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And Then There Was Baby

IMG_0110 Oh dear friends, it has been so long since we last talked. I feel badly about my recent hibernation, but I tell you what I’ve never been happier in my life. My daughter, Charlotte Rose Smith, was born on November 16, 2009. She was a 8 days late, 7.5 pounds and 19 inches long. Praise God, I had one of the best epidurals known to (wo)man. The anesthesiologist didn’t have the best bedside manner but, I’ll tell you what, he really knows how to do his job.

I was in labor for 13 hours and pushed for 55 minutes. Being present for a human being’s first breath is an almost religious experience. When you make that being from scratch and carry her for nine months, it’s almost as if you see the whole world, no the whole universe in her eyes.

Charlotte a few minutes after birth

Charlotte a few minutes after birth

Charlotte is amazing. She opened her eyes and was staring at 15 minutes old! She’s been in the top percentile of developmental milestones. In fact, at only seven weeks, she is teething! Her first tooth just broke the skin.

Being a mom is amazing!

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Will This Ever End?

I’m officially tired of being pregnant. I’m so fat, everything hurts and I’m just plain pooped. I only have one more month until my due date, but if this baby doesn’t come soon, I don’t know what I’ll do. It’s only nine more days (yes, I’m counting) until I’m full term and I’m praying that she comes then; if only so that I can eat or drink without having heartburn for four hours.

Last night, I got three hours of sleep. I’ve been having contractions for over 11 days and was given a prescription to keep them under control which has been working pretty well; I still feel the contractions every few hours but they are not as painful, often or regular as they would be. Yesterday, though, was a bad day. I forgot to take the medication to work with me and the contractions came on suddenly and with the strength of a 14-wheeler. I was in the middle of a meeting with my boss and BAM! I had to leave work immediately as they was no way I could continue working.

On the way home, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I was in so much pain and feeling a bit dizzy. I finally got home and took a second in the car just to be thankful. I got inside, put my purse down and the phone rang. I picked it up. It was my brother. He had an audition at 7 p.m. and my mom wouldn’t be able to take him. Could I come get him? I tell you dear reader, I started to tear up. I sat down and asked him if he really, really needed to go to the audition. It sounded very important to him and I knew that he would have done it for me, so I agreed.

I popped my medication into my mouth, took a quick drink of water and headed out. Long story made short, I had to drive for almost two hours to get him to the audition, wait for an hour and a half and then drive an hour home. The entire time, the contractions wouldn’t go away.

When I finally made it back home, I was in tears. I collapsed on my bed and hoped the pain would go away. When Alan called, about five minutes later, I was sobbing on the phone. Apparently, not only were my contractions on full force but so were my hormones. The contractions didn’t stop the entire night and the heartburn started in around 11 p.m.

I have to say though, my parents were really amazing. I’ve been living with them while Alan is in training and my mom stayed up with me the entire night. My dad made a laudable effort but had been working for probably 10 or more hours and feel asleep on the floor next to my bed sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Aren’t they amazing?

But here is the bottom line: I love my daughter so much. If she needed me to, I would go through yesterday everyday for the rest of my life. But frankly I’m tired of this and I want it to be over. I’m also really excited to meet her. So, here’s the question: won’t you please come out soon my love?

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Thought My Thighs Were Getting Thinner, Rest of Me Is Just Getting Fatter

So, I was getting very excited because I thought my thighs were finally getting thinner. The best part of the thinning process was that it seemed that my minimal workout routine (walking from my room to the fridge and back again) was really paying off. But today I had a revelation; my thighs aren’t getting smaller, the rest of me is simply ballooning, which in turn is making my thighs only appear smaller.

I guess my magic thighs are the silver lining to my multiplying fat cells but it sure is hard to feel grateful for the illusion when I feel like a walking submarine.

This just in: my 5’3 frame is supporting 144.4 pounds. Ho hum.

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It’s a Girl

Update: I’m having a girl!

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Before our marriage, my then-fiance and I went to several stores, painstakingly registering for wedding gifts. It took us almost an entire day and much effort was spent picking items in every price range that would (a) express our love for one another and (b) be reflective of our (my) style. Picture us walking around Macy’s for hours on end with a heavy price-gun looking piece of machinery agonizing over whether we wanted the blue tea kettle or the green tea kettle. Even more taxing was my effort to keep Alan’s -well we’ll just say- interesting taste off the registry.

Now, to put the amount of effort I just described into context, you have to realize that I put almost no work into the planning of my wedding. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that my showing up to the ceremony fully dressed was the most amount of labor I had put forth towards the entire event. It wasn’t that I was not excited to be getting married, I’m simply suffering from the incurable disease of laziness.

Now, let’s fast forward a few months to the days following the wedding. Picture Alan and I sit together on the floor of our new living room teeming with anticipation. As we opened our gifts, we were excited and very thankful to see that many of the staple gifts we had registered for were present (think plates, silverware and glasses). Some of our friends had given us funny and inventive gifts and others gave us unique and sometimes handmade gifts that, although we had not registered for them, were perfect none the less. And then, oh and then, there were … the crock pots.

Apparently, some of our lovely and valued guests had decided to wing the gift giving process and my husband and I were the proud owners of four new crock-pots all different shapes and sizes and for various reasons, none of them were returnable so it looked as if we were stuck with them.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am many things, but Betty Crocker is not one of them. As someone eloquently once said, “that woman could burn water.” So to suddenly find myself with four crock-pots was quite startling – the fact that four different people thought that I would have the ability to use such an item was astonishing in and of itself. It is true that I had registered for a crock-pot, but only because I had seen a shiny new one at a friend’s house and thought it looked cool. Perhaps I could display mine as a cute decorating item, I had naively thought to myself. To be very honest, and I know you won’t share this my dear reader, I don’t even know how or when one would use crock-pots.

Now, please don’t think that I am ungrateful for any gift that I have ever received – I truly am not; I had simply been laboring under the impression that our excruciating experience in the registry department was so we could avoid such a four-crock-pot situation.

However, all sorrows do indeed turn to joys! For tonight I am going to have the pleasure of living out the axiom “it is better to give then to receive.” Tonight, oh tonight, good ol’ Courtney will be receiving a shiny new crock-pot. I don’t think Courtney knows how to use the cooking aid either, but too bad – she’s getting it. And I have learned to be truly grateful for my redundant-gift-giving relatives and friends, for they have given me gifts that will keep on giving.

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I was sitting in one of Fairfax City’s Panera’s Bread today when an unsuspecting staff member was brutally attacked. The employee was working diligently, I assume, in the back kitchen as the Panera’s Bread workforce snuck silently behind him and struck! Without any warning, the group of approximately 10, surrounded the man and started singing “Happy Birthday.” The tune, apparently only vaguely familiar to these people, was performed in several different keys and at several different tempos.

I was overwhelmed by the group’s unrelenting viciousness. Did they not have ears? Could they not hear the crime they were committing? Not only was the intended victim feeling the abuse but I and the rest of the Panera’s innocent costumers were also being orally mutilated.

What makes Americans do such inhumane acts to poor birthday celebrants? I have hardly ever heard a rendition of “Happy Birthday” that doesn’t assault my ears. Groups of ordinary individuals who normally sing only on a substandard level, say at church services or baseball games, descend to unparalleled depths of villainous squealing, squawking and howling.

People who can’t carry a tune from point A to Middle C sing the highest, the loudest and always, and I mean always, go up for the octave at the end. They are merciless.

I hereby call upon all of you ruthless, hateful attackers to permanently beat your vocal swords into silent plowshares. It really is the best birthday gift you could ever give someone.

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