Disney Trip Ahead

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’re headed to Disney!

I knew several weeks ago that we would be heading to Orlando for work and Jon and I discussed the possibility of making it a family trip and he and Elle flying down on the Wednesday when work meetings were done and spending the balance of the week there. But, he was working on a big project that was going to be going through a shutdown and the work and hours would be too good to pass up, so we agreed that the money/hours were worth skipping the Orlando opportunity.

But, then Jon got laid off earlier than anticipated from this particular job, so I thought I’d see if I could still extend in Orlando, etc.

I started looking at rates at Disney through their website. Holy, freaking, moly. I was not anticipating costs of $500 per night. I mean, I wasn’t expecting it to be cheap but to stay in Disney I guess I just never knew what it cost. So, I asked if it was still possible to extend at the hotel where we’re going for work, the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. And it was. And the rate is so good I’m not sure I can even brag about it. Suffice to say that I would pay more than that if I’d booked in Frankenmuth for the weekend!

Anyway, now I’m reading all sorts of blogs about toddler-friendly Disney and Orlando. The good news is that kids under 3 get into the parks for free, so it will just be $100 tickets each for Jon and I (yes, that’s how much it actually costs…who knew?!).

So, the plan is that I’ll fly out on Monday, then Jon and Elle will fly down Wednesday morning and rent a car and drive to the hotel (did you know that the shuttle service from the airport to the hotel is $100 every time you take it. Orrrrr…we can rent a car at $50 per day and have a car at our disposal for the same cost. So yeah, Jon will be renting a car. I’m planning on packing all the warmer weather stuff with me to take down there, that way Jon will have less to cart around with him. That way he’ll bring a carry on and Elle’s car seat and should be good to go. I’m honestly very, very nervous about Jon flying with Elle on his own. Not so much him with her, because he’s awesome with her. But more about the logistics of all the things he’ll need to be able to manage all at once…making sure he remembers all the stuff (I’ve made lists to remember to remind him of…) and that he doesn’t lose track of her in the airport while trying to keep track of whatever else he might have…her freaking out on the plane…not even sure all the things I’m anxious about. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I just want it to be a great vacation and want his trip down with just her to be seamless. Wish that her first time on an airplane wasn’t going to be without both parents, but…it is what it is. It’s a way for us – who rarely take trips – to actually take a trip. So, I’m going to look forward to it.

The challenge is that I’m out of town this weekend for work for the entire weekend and will likely end up having to work next Saturday so that I can be gone for vacation for the few days and not have to work that weekend…so, I have a very, very limited window of time within which to find summer clothes for Elle, for pregnant me, to make sure Jon’s stuff is ok. I’m sure it is…he’s going to be the easiest one in this whole thing.

So, anyway, we’re working on it. I think we’ll go to Magic Kingdom one day, hang out around the hotel one day, maybe drive to Legoland if we’re feeling up for it, or maybe we’ll go to Universal. I’ve read some interesting things about Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the only thing with that is that the only super toddler-oriented thing that I know Elle would love is the Disney Junior stuff. Not sure. I’m going to get a better plan together in the coming days, but what a thing, to have something fun to look forward to!

Week 25, Day 3

Due Date: June 22, 2014

week25Baby Developments: You’re 25 weeks pregnant and it’s probably dawned on you that soon you’ll actually have to deliver this baby. (A little scary, but exciting!) What’s cool is that most hospitals will let you preregister, which means you can put in your paperwork early, so the day you go into labor, you don’t have to stand around filling out a bunch of forms before you get admitted. Maybe you’re getting nervous about delivery, or maybe it’s your haywire hormones, but you might start to have trouble sleeping around week 25. This is a common complaint of many moms-to-be. Some people will tell you that’s just your body’s way of prepping you for sleepless nights with baby, but those comments won’t help you get the rest you need! Experiment with different strategies for getting some sleep. One idea is to drink extra water early in the day, so you can start tapering off your intake as you get closer to bedtime. That way, you might need less bathroom breaks during the night and can keep sleeping. After all, now that baby’s crowding your bladder, you’ve got to pee. A lot.

Crazy that it’s just 14 weeks to go – just over three months!

Weight Gain: Ehh. Not terrible. Not good. I had a really down in the dumps month there in January into my last appointment. And then when I went back most recently, at my 23 week appointment, I realized I’d only gained a total of 15 pounds. So, not as awful as I’d thought, but just gaining weight in TOTALLY different places than I did with Elle. My ass – like I needed any more there – and thighs this time. Whatever.

Cravings: Still nothing really.

Symptoms: General ‘yick’ feeling. Dizziness sometimes. Thirst, inquenchable thirst.

I am loving: How quickly this is all flying by. And, that we just booked our first every legitimate family vacation in two weeks! We’re headed to Orlando/Disney, so that will be fun. I’m going to Orlando for work already, so this was just a natural dovetail with all of that. Jon and Elle are flying down on the last day of my meeting and then we’ll get four+ days to play in the sun and see Mickey Mouse (or Mickamouse as Elle refers to him). When I asked her today if she wanted to go for a ride on an airplane she responded “Roarsome” which is Henry Hugglemonster-speak for “Awesome”.

Sleep: I’m really uncomfortable when I sleep. I now have three of the four regular pillows on the bed (Jon requires just one) and the body pillow that I’ve added into the rotation. Getting comfortable to sleep seems pretty impossible, but once I fall asleep it typically is ok and I sleep for awhile.

I miss: Feeling like I was in some type of physical health. Got out for a walk with Elle on Sunday afternoon and walked two miles and I was winded and just generally out of shape. I feel winded too often and I just am welcoming the warmer weather (though 6 inches of snow is on the way tomorrow night!) and the sunshine and the longer daylight hours later in the day.

I am looking forward to: FLORIDA!

I am spazzing about: Nesting…I can feel it setting in. I think all day about all the things I’m going to get done when I get home from work, and by the time I walk in the door, my energy level is sapped. I feel like our house is out of control – not entirely but I just feel that way. And that I haven’t done great grocery shopping that keeps us stocked up. Winter us and summer us are very different…wish it weren’t so dramatic 😦

Best moment of the week: Walking outside with Elle.

Milestones: Not sure…the nursery is nearing completion. That’s exciting.

Movement: To the point it takes my breath away. I feel like the kicking/punching is significantly harder and placed differently than with Elle. I feel like Elle rolled around and had big dramatic movements more and this child just continues to beat on me from the inside.

It’s a….: Boy.

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: Better, and all I really want is water. I feel like it settles my stomach.

Goals for the upcoming week: Muddle through the week – I was in Traverse City for a work conference Sunday-Tuesday and then in Grand Rapids this Friday-Sunday. In an odd turn of events, Jon was laid off last week, so he’s now home for the time being. I think until after we get back from Florida. I’m SO SO glad that we’ve got a trip planned. I feel like this will be a great few days just the three of us.

Week 20, Day 4

Due Date: June 22, 2014

Baby Developments: Baby’s digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, speaking of the diaper situation… baby’s genitals are now fully formed!. (From thebump)

This week baby is the size of a banana!

Weight Gain: I’m no longer talking about it. I’m not. It’s not good. To the point I’m looking into the ludicrousness of hiring a trainer NOW to get me into a shape.

Cravings: None.

Symptoms: Not many to write home about. Movement of the baby more and more.

I am loving: Knowing what ‘kind’ of baby it will be — healthy. I also know its gender. Oh, did you want to know?

Sleep: Not nearly so tired but I have to take the energy bursts where I can get them. Like tonight I made a mental deal with myself that I needed to get the kitchen cleaned up, the bathroom once-overed and the clothes off my bedroom floor. Last night, not so swell as Elle ended up at the doctor first thing this morning for a rosefin shot to rid us of the dreaded ear infection.

I miss: Cocktails. I know. Pathetic. I’ve taken to drinking sparkling grape juice in a wine glass to help make me feel like a grown up.

I am looking forward to: Picking out the fabrics for baby’s quilt soon. And getting the room started, finished, etc. and settling on a name that Jon and I like.

I am spazzing about: My level (or relative lack thereof) of fitness.

Best moment of the week: Getting fun news from some relatives. Not my news to share yet, but it definitely has made the week!

Milestones: Closer to meeting this baby than we are to having made it. Yup, beyond the halfway point now by four days.

Movement: Lots. I did finally say to Jon ‘you could probably feel the baby move’ and he looked like he’d been hit by a truck. “Already?” he says. I mentioned that we’re beyond halfway and I think I saw beads of sweat pop out of his forehead. Shit’s getting real.

It’s a….: healthy baby BOY!

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: I keep eating a TON. Not of awful stuff, but lots of it.

Goals for the upcoming week: Get out of the damn house. This weather and the massive amounts of snow have really cramped our lives. Ready for a break in the weather snowing on every freaking weekend.

What Do I Do About the Racism?

I don’t know how to write this post.

I thought about it all day. I thought about it in the early shower I took tonight, specifically early so I could try to process what occurred today. How to process what is haunting me in a way that I’m unsure how to handle it at all.

I haven’t brushed my hair yet, haven’t put lotion on my winter-dry-skin face because I’m trying to process the blatant racism exhibited at a meeting I attended earlier today.

I told my husband, my parents, my co-workers what happened. And I haven’t figured out what I ought to have done. So, in the hopes that I can tag this post properly and use the right hashtags in tweeting it to get some ideas, here goes…

I’m involved with an organization and today was my first meeting as a member of its Board of Directors. I have a deep affinity for the organization and the community it serves.

There are, of course, other Board members. And I understand that just like the every day life I lead, everyone on the Board brings different perspective to the table. Which is perfect, of course. It’s what we want.

But today…

A fellow Board member began talking politics in the middle of the meeting, entirely off topic, specifically commenting on how Michigan’s Governor, Republican Rick Snyder, was doing a really good job. And while I’m from the complete opposite school of thought with regard to Mr. Snyder and the job he’s doing on a variety of fronts, I have learned JUST enough in my big-mouthed experience to not engage in political discussion in groups of people who I don’t know terribly well. It’s better for all of us, in times like these, to hold our beliefs close and work towards the common goals that bring us together. Political discussion works fine around our dinner table at home, on our back patio, over drinks, or where that is the point of bringing people together. But not in this setting.

So, I bit my tongue.

I even kept my eyes and face down so that no one could see my reaction – I’m an open book when it comes to my emotions.

I’d done well, I thought, in avoiding confrontation and making a scene.

And then, the same individual who had commented on Governor Snyder’s really good job, segued into a discussion about Detroit, about how he couldn’t understand how all these blacks had been elected mayor and driven the city to bankruptcy all those years, and then had to elect a white guy to get them out of bankruptcy.

So…

To say I was shocked was an understatement. I don’t THINK like that, let alone speak in public like that.

But here was this guy, saying these things.

And — I averted my eyes, bulging out of my skull though they were, avoided confrontation and avoided making a scene.

I. Said. Nothing.

Nothing.

And it’s haunting me tonight, 12 hours later. Having said nothing.

I feel as though my silence, in this rural Michigan town, somehow could be construed that I AGREE.

And I do not.

But, how does a white woman like me speak up, in a room of all white men and women, in a community of almost entirely white men, women and children? What words could I have used? What could I have said?

Honestly – I’m asking HONESTLY. What could I have said that wouldn’t jeopardize all the things I’ve worked toward personally and professionally?

I live in this community. I work in this community. I LIKE the community.

I DISLIKE people speaking this way.

Part of it is naivete – it’s not like I don’t know there are people in the world who feel that way about other demographic groups – but I didn’t…

I don’t…

I don’t know.

I could have made a statement, of course. I could have used my words – which can be sharper than knives – and could have stood up for how these words and the discussion made me feel. I could have said that it made me feel uncomfortable. But that would have put this person on the defensive, I fear, and it would have been confrontational. It could affect my work. It could affect my livelihood.

I guess what I am searching for are words – for the next time I find myself in a scenario where the discussion makes me feel uncomfortable and how I can deflect the topic while making it clear I do NOT agree with the views.

Sharing memes on facebook doesn’t change the way racism affects me, affects the community my family lives within. But the way I react and the words I use — maybe they can.

So what can I do? And how do I do it?

 

A Little Bit of Elle: January 2014

Over the first few days of 2014, I’ve done a much better job of capturing a few photos of Elle.
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Here, she’s playing ‘phone’ with a decorative phone I got from my Aunt Jenny, who grabbed it up at a garage sale in Clear Lakes years ago.

 

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And from today, after school ,watching a little Disney Junior and playing hide and seek in the family room.
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Elle Gets Her Hairs Cut

Well, I promised to be a better blogger.

And to do more photos.

I’ve been taking photos more daily, to attempt to make good on my goal. However, when I downloaded pictures from my fancy camera today, I realized that I had a TON that I hadn’t captured on the blog and I really want to, if only because it is Elle’s only baby book.

So, here we were in November on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

We took her to my stylist, Shannon. And Shannon gifted Elle a Blow-Pop, which she obviously wasn’t entirely sure how to do at first…she also was not wild about sitting by herself, so she’s sitting on my lap instead.

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DSC_0528 Isn’t the finished product just too cute for words?

New Year’s Resolution 2014: Be a Better Blogger

No kidding.

I actually thought long and hard about this one. (No, really, I did).

I took great pleasure in cataloging my pregnancy with Elle and her first year, and then the last 12 months have just been an ‘eehhhh’ year in blogging. Just take a look at the number of posts per month for the last 12 months (if I don’t make a rash decision and change the look of my blog tonight, you can see this on the right side of your screen).

So, I’ve resolved to be a better blogger. More consistent. I’ll shoot for 10 posts per month, which SHOULD be conservative but is probably and simply realistic for me and my life.

I’m going to figure out how to incorporate pictures easier (if anyone reading this is a fellow blogger, what’s the easiest way to do this – I feel like downloading/uploading photos constantly can’t be the only way – there HAS to be some handy app for that right?).

And I’m going to try to find a theme I like. I looked at shuffling pages around, at potentially finding a new blog name. But, I think The Baby Brain works. For now. But in the long run? I have a DBA of “Candy Tree Productions” that goes back to a candy tree that my Grandpa shook for me. I guess you could call it a summertime Santa Claus story, but it’s one of the defining memories of my childhood. Maybe naming the blog “Under the Candy Tree” or something? What do you think? Suggestions?

Here’s the logo that I had worked up for the business:

CandyTree-Pink

 

 

What’d you think? I like it – but I’m not sure how I can use it and keep the blog name the same. I know there’s a gad-zillion ways to do it. I just haven’t settled on what way that will be. Yet.

In other news, Jon, Elle and I rang in the New Year by going to bed at 9 p.m. Sick and wrong and lovely all at once.

In full disclosure, Elle still gets a bottle (yikes, it hurts even writing that) at night, to go to bed. And she only wants a bottle. I was SO close at nine months old and at 18 months old to getting rid of the bottle from our life. However, more realistic heads prevailed and I figured my kid wouldn’t go to college drinking out of a bottle (at least not a baby bottle!) so I stopped letting it be something I tried to battle. Anyway, we were out of a) milk and b) bottles at 1:30 a.m. But guess who was awake? Our girl Elle. So, Jon went to the corner store for gas, I washed a bottle and we wished each other Happy New Year before rolling back over, getting kicked in the back by our toddler, and drifting off to sleep. Oh, the life!

I think that it’s likely that someday, in the relatively near future, we might learn to have fun again. But for now, we’re both working a lot, and tired, and going to bed at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve is probably – actually – one of the better New Year’s Eve’s I’ve ever had. As my cousin Matt has always called it, New Year’s Eve is ‘amateur hour’.

ANYWAY – I really veered off path there but at least got a little info in on our NYE.

The goal for the year is to be a better blogger. Here’s to hoping! 🙂