Aside

Inspired by my old roommate’s grilfriend – at 3:45 in the am.

quiet girls make the best lovers.
they express so much more than
the formulaic shrieks of the moaners.

you can read the quiet ones:
they way their breath quickens
the scarce gasp that escapes
the scrape of fingernails
and the legs that clutch

loud girls give the same
performance to everyone
and encores would be more aptly
named: re-runs
complete with
canned laughter
and perfected fade-outs

quiet girls have the charm
of an awkward silence;

loud girls fill voids
with obscene noise

quiet girls have a tender eroticism
wrapped about them,
fed on bedtime stories from
Ovid and Abelard.

loud girls have no mystery;
their primers are founded
on stale issues of Cosmo
and bathroom stall graffiti

and, when that quiet girl
finally escapes
from silence,
you will not question.
you will know.

7 Months Later…

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I haven’t updated here in a long while. Long story short, we lost the baby in early January. Most of my time has been spent dealing with grief in my other blog, so I’m not going to bring that over to this site (other than this one lil’ post).

My life is slowly getting back to normal, like  I’m trying to lose weight so I can fit back into my favorite pair of jeans. I’m so tantalizingly close, that sometimes I think I’ve reached it. And then other times, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear those jeans again.

Since that point, I’ve taken a three week writing class, testified before the Texas Senate, and seemingly grew a pair of balls out of nowhere.

I have lots of things to share, but I feel like I just needed to get this out of the way first.

There’s no eloquent way to do this, so I’m just going to hit submit on this and let it be.

 

13.4

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Not much has changed here. I personally still can’t believe that there’s something (someone?) growing inside of me. I occasionally look at Gregg and squeal out a “I’m pregnant!” No real changes – I gained a pound since my last visit, and considering the food aversions and the “morning” sickness, I’m pretty darn pleased with that.

Most people seem to think it’s a girl: heartbeat both times have been over 150 – first time was 160, last heartbeat was 168. And the only thing I can seem to stomach is fruit, particularly tart fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, green apples, and other citrus fruits. Fried foods make me sick. I can’t stand the thought of popcorn or macaroni and cheese right now. Gregg and his hotdogs (and his hotdog burps) are enough to send me into the other room. In fact, Mom gave me a purse over Thanksgiving, and the smell of it made me go running to the toilet.

In other news, Mom and Dad both made it for Thanksgiving. Well. Mom made it. Dad made it on Black Friday. Good enough for me. We actually had all of our parents over for Saturday and Dad made some ribs. We even had David and the neighbors over as well.

Poor Mom. I think she was expecting to spend some quality time with me, but if I wasn’t sleeping, I was barfing the entire trip. I’m so charming.

We haven’t started looking at this baby in a realistic fashion – no ideas on childcare yet, no names yet, we haven;t even really looked at the pamphlets the OB’s office gave us. Parents of the year, right here! I’m happy that Gregg started to clean out the room designated for the nursery. It’s not completely ready to go just yet, but I think that when I start to show, we’ll both be more motivated to put some real effort into a nursery.

In fact, I think I’m to snuggle up in bed with a cat right now. So sleepy.

8.7

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I’ve known since September 28th that I was pregnant, and I still can’t really believe it.

We were having the TSTA social that Friday, and I expecting my period – I think all of my pregnancy optimism had been exhausted by this point. Thursday night, Gregg asked me how I was doing, and I grumpily replied that my period was coming – I was cranky and bloated and feeling a little crampy. Normally the conservative one, he surprised me when he said “You *know* your period is coming or you just *think* it’s coming?”

I know it probably didn’t mean anything to him, but for some reason, my stomach went to my throat. If he was being positive and optimistic, maybe I really was pregnant! I was so excited that I woke up at 4:00 am. I forced myself to stay in bed until 5:00, and then I took the test.

Positive.

I had all these grandiose plans on how I was going to break the news to Gregg, but instead I just woke him up bawling.
He made me take a few more pregnancy tests that day, one more on Saturday, and then *another* on Sunday before he finally admitted it.

So here I am. 8.7 weeks pregnant. Tomorrow marks the start of week 9.

I had been feeling ok up until this point, but I just in this last week, I started getting sick. No real throwing up, just nausea and food aversions. I’m hungry, but I don’t want to eat anything. Tonight, my meal of choice was corn flakes. Exciting.  I can also do pretty well with fruit, but anything with any substance queases my my stomach right up. I was totally expecting morning sickness to be a snap: get up in the morning, throw up, brush my teeth, and be superwoman the rest of the day. And then reality decided to bitch slap me. Oh, it’s not as bad as some people have it, but it was definitely a shock. I really wasn’t expecting it.

So far, we have had two ultrasounds – I have seen and *heard* the heartbeat – 160 beats per minute. We’ve told our parents, a few friends, but I think people are starting to suspect. I also have the hardest time keeping it a secret. I’m such a blabbermouth!

Right now, my plan to keep it on the down low for a few more weeks, and then go public with it the Friday before Thanksgiving – I don’t want to showboat people’s Thanksgivings with my news, and this way, I can break it to my school right before a week’s holiday.

So far, my due date is June 5th – a little Gemini. Not only are people already guessing on the sex, they are also taking bets on whether or not it’s a red head!

So that’s that. I’ll keep this unpublished until the reveal date, but for now, I’m off to take a nap. 🙂

My Own Personal Hell: Stockpiling

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A few years ago, when Gregg and I had just bought the house and were saving up money for the wedding in Scotland, we started couponing. It started out as just maximizing the CVS Extra Care Bucks, but after Gregg lost his job, we started down the dark, unholy path of using coupons to stockpile. Now, stockpiling somethings is just fine: at one point, we had 42 tubes of toothpaste that we had gotten for free. We used every single drop of that toothpaste. I am proud of that.

My pantry, however, is something that I am *not* proud of.

It started out innocently enough, but it soon turned into a nightmare of boxed goods. It was too much. Gregg and I aren’t preparing for the end of the world, economic collapse, or hosting the Duggars anytime soon, so it didn’t really make sense why we had 14 boxes of cereal, but we didn’t care. We were running on a savings high, elated over how much money we saved. We even made a game out of checking out: we both estimated how much the total bill would be.

It wasn’t an easy task: Gregg would spend Saturday night planning the purchases and we’d cut coupons. Then, Sunday morning, we’d wake up early to try and beat the scammers (people actually try to abuse the coupon policy to get the biggest and baddest deals only to sell them at a flea market or on eBay. Seriously. I can’t make this up.) We’d usually hit CVS first, because those were the deals that went the fastest. Planning the grocery stores was a bit more complicated. We’d go to Kroger and Randalls, but we had to plan out which one we were going to first based on the grocery list. We did this all in one trip, so we had to be careful about cold items in the car when making multiple stops.

But most of the “food” we were buying was crap: heavily processed, powdered, and full of preservatives. It was convenient, sure, and at that point, we were all about convenience. We didn’t buy products that we didn’t eat, for example, we learned early on that Healthy Choice meals were about as enjoyable as its cardboard packaging. Yuck.

Eventually, we learned that even though we were saving money, we were technically wasting money because we couldn’t eat fast enough before the food expired. But we couldn’t bring ourselves to admit defeat and clean the pantry; it would have been too painful to see all the food that went to waste in one, large pile.

So, it stayed in the pantry. Until last Friday, when I cleaned it all out. Not in one go, oh, no. It was a three-week process, taking up more than six garbage cans. We had been stockpiling since 2009, according to the expiry date. I couldn’t do it all in one go, besides, I was embarrassed for the garbage men to see how wasteful we were, so we had to do it in chunks.

We still have a few things that need to be thrown away, but for the most part, my pantry is clean.

It was a hard lesson, but one that I think we learned quickly.

Although I still want to go back to CVS. I need toothpaste.

Nature versus Demeanor

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When I was in college, I used to role play – D&D, White Wolf, etc. So last year, I incorporated some gaming elements into my classroom to try and motivate my students to to a bit more. I found myself creating a WOD character sheet, complete with Nature and Demeanor.

For my readers who aren’t familiar with this gaming concept (Mom), there are basically archetypes of personality. You nature is who you really are, the real you, the you that you guard carefully. Your demeanor is what you present to people.

We talk about how your Demeanor will change depending on the situation and who and what you are faced with, but most of the time, I am usually a jester. My nature is an architect.

Sometimes having that demeanor is difficult – people don’t always take you seriously, people don’t expect you to get upset, and worst of all, they expect you to be a jester at all times.

It’s hard to maintain that demeanor, especially when going through stressful situations. Even people who know my nature aren’t comfortable with the non-Jester Vanessa. I hear (or imagine that I hear): This isn’t you. This isn’t the girl that I married. You’ll be back to normal in no time.

It’s just easier to slink away and play Solitaire on my phone. That way, I’m quiet, unobtrusive, and it staves off the tears.

I wouldn’t say that I’m depressed – I would use the word grieving. And not the normal grieving, either – an emotional yo-yo of hope and sucker punches to the stomach.

I usually have a breaking point, cry, and reach out, but afterwards comes the embarrassment. I hate sucking people into my drama, making them feel bad – there is nothing they can do for me, so why tell them? They can’t give me any advice, they can’t console me, and they certainly make me feel any better. Either I’m working myself up for disappointment, or I need to have more hope and not give up so easily. There’s no happy medium between the two, at least none that I’ve found.

Even posting this blog feels like attention whoring. So I trudge on, week by week. It seems easier to take things a week at a time – day by day just gets too long – I start looking at the days until next month. Weeks are easier for me. I keep myself busy cleaning, baking, making doctor appointments, but there is always that nagging headache in the back of my mind, and if I let my guard down or pause for too long, or get shocked into emotion, it’s back like a migraine.

Let’s see how I feel after yoga.

Cats in the Cradle

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Ok, not really, but we do have cats in the yard. And not MY cats. No, these are large, scabby feral cats that have decided that my backyard is a budding tropical paradise. And it it, but not for them!

Normally, I don’t mind the wildlife in my yard: lizards, toads, birds, snakes, but the feral cats are a but much. For one, they are QUITE loud. The romantic yowling (and territorial fights) are enough to wake us both up in the middle of the night. At one point, we were woken up so much that Gregg started keeping a glass of water next to the bed so he had easy access to toss it at them as he chased them out of the yard.

The other problem – the one that I hate the most – is the spraying.  It’s nasty.

We have trapped them and sent them off to the SPCA before – a death sentence, I know, but we were at our wits end.

Gregg has plans to set up a motion-activates sprinkler system – he has heard lukewarm reviews about the ultra-sonic sound deterrents. I have also read about using scent to deter them, but I don’t think that’s a long term solution.

I have tried the trap-neuter-release (TNR), but Gregg isn’t sold on that. I’m not too sure how to the HOA would feel about me becoming a colony caretaker, and I really don’t want the added expense to taking care of a colony.

What are your thoughts? Anything out there I need to know? Remember, this is a suburb of Houston, so I’m not likely to drive 40 miles one way INTO rush hour traffic to pay for a TNR. Free? Maybe.