Thursday, January 31, 2008

Week 16

Hi Baby,

Well, how about we get a-movin' in there? I know I should be more patient, and all the books and websites say that it can be up until Week 20-22 until I feel you move, but now would be a good time. Now would make me very happy. Pretty please? I know you're active in there, but I would love to be a little part of your gymnastics. I know I'll want to take all this back when you're 38 weeks old and crushing my lungs and bladder into a pulp. But for now, give Mama a little peek into your underwater world.

Other than that, things have been going pretty smoothly this past week. You're the size of an avocado! That makes me very pleased because I love guacamole more than anything else in this whole world. Though I hope your first sentence isn't "Hey Jose! Bring me a Corona!" Your father may try to teach you that early on. Lily isn't catching on quick enough for his taste.

I've been reading lots of books about how to care for a newborn, and I am learning many different methods of soothing a crying infant. Please don't cry. It sounds like it would be awful. Your mama likes 8 hours of sleep per night so if you could please comply with this standard, I would be very appreciative. But these so-called experts on baby raising all have wildly differing opinions so it's incredibly hard figuring out which is best. I suppose we'll learn when you get here. Lord knows you're probably going to be a bit of a firecracker so we'll have our hands full. I'll try lots of methods to make you happy, and if they don't work, you and I will sit down and write nasty complaint letters to the authors and question their so-called "credentials". M.D.? Please. That really means Massive Dumbo. R.N.? Reject No-Brain. (I'm trying to keep it clean for the kid...if I had my druthers this blog would be a lot more...expressive).

Keep up the good growth in there, kiddo.


Jumping on the bandwagon

So, I've been hearing about this new website for a while now, and I just got around to taking a look at it. Why I waited so long is beyond me. These e-cards say the things we all wish we could say outloud, yet never have the balls to. Go forth and laugh your ass off. Here are a few for your workday pleasure:

(all images courtesy of

I picked only a handful of the not so terribly offensive ones...but believe me, you could have a field day with these cards. Show the world a little love, in a sarcastic way.

This website reminded me of how I felt when I saw Juno. I loved that movie much more than I care to admit, seeing as how it seemed to glorify teen pregnancy. Regardless, the writers created characters that have the sharp wit and sarcasm that I always wished of having. Throughout the whole movie, Tim would lean over to me and say "I bet you wish you could say that all the time and not make anyone mad." Oh how right he is.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Someone come save me from myself. There is no need for the sobbing at A Baby Story on TLC. The tears, and hiccups, and wet sleeves are just so ridiculous, I scare myself. If I cry this much when a complete stranger gives birth, on TV no less, what the hell am I going to do when it's my turn?

I don't remember if I mentioned that my new boss, the one I live with and sleep next to, fired me a couple weeks ago. Over dinner at our favorite Mexican hole in the wall, I was fired before my job even began. Let's all sit with the irony for a moment, shall we? I surprised myself with my reaction. I was pretty pissed off actually. I mean, we were only on week number 2 of part time at my other job, and I was settling in nicely to the extra time to get things done around the house, run errands rather than putting them off until the weekend, and playing with Lily of course. Apparently, Mr. Boss Man thought I was a self-starter and would just jump in feet first. I thought he was going to give me a little direction.

This confusion boiled down to me getting fired, over fajitas. So, I moped about it for a couple weeks before the boss came to me with a project. I project I can (and WILL) excel at. I am currently working on finding the company office space in the city. This means a) I get my basement back, b) Tim can get settled into a space before the baby comes, and c) the company will have a permanent home of its very own. All of these are good and necessary for the success of the company and our marriage. Now I just need a little help accessing the MLS listings...any realtors out there willing to help me...for free? Or at least the price of a nice dinner? Anyone?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why I Oughta...(shakes fist menacingly in the air)

Do we all remember when I was complaining about my weight early on in this pregnancy, and Tim jumps in with the "maybe its the McDonald's and Potbelly's shakes" comment? Do we? Because today, today I decided to check our joint checking account for shits and giggles, and what do I see? A debit at McDonalds yesterday and Burger King today. And that was so NOT me. He is so going to get an earful tonight.


I wish I had some miraculous product, like fairy dust, that I could sprinkle around and make a bad day go away. Though today is not my personal bad day, I received some sad news from others. Seems like negative events come in multiples, no matter how much you wish it all away. My thoughts are with you all today, those of you who are having bad days, and just know that nothing stays gray forever. Not even the cold Chicago weather.

Dad--I'll be thinking about you all day today and tomorrow and sending you lots of strength to get through your day! I know this is a little blip on the health screen, and you've got the resilience to make it through. See you after surgery!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Week 14/15

Hi Baby,

Guess what? Only 5 more weeks until we get to find out what you are. By that I mean, we'll soon find out if you are a he or a she! My patience in this matter is wearing very thin as I find myself falling in love with many different itty bitty onesies, nursery decorations, and tiny little shoes. But of course, everything is geared towards boy OR girl so I haven't been able to buy you much yet. And that makes your father very happy.

Speaking of money, your father and I had a very important discussion about finances and fiscal responsibility. Basically, we learned that your father is responsible, and I am not. Or at least that is his interpretation of our discussion. But the cherry on top is that not three days after that discussion, a brand spanking new Playstation 3 gaming device shows up on our doorstep. Hmmmm...I cannot even imagine who ordered that! So curious. Must be the little elves that live under our front porch.

This week you're about 3-4 inches long and weigh 2.5 ounces. The website that likes the fruit comparison says that you're an apple. I prefer red apples, but green are ok too. Your legs are beginning to grow in proportion to your body, and your arms have reached their final length, again in proportion to your body. You've made my belly start to pop out noticeably...especially in any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. My skinny jeans are a thing of the past. You also make it very difficult to sleep on my stomach. Anytime I roll onto my stomach at night, the ache wakes me immediately. Almost like you're telling me not to get too comfortable, because "hey lady? guess what? you ain't sleeping through the night for the next year." Sweet. You're growing hair patterns too...if you're a boy let's pray to the good hair gods that you get your father's hair pattern. Your grandfather on my side has none left.

In a few weeks I'm going to begin feeling you move, though at our appointment last week you were tumbling and turning all over the place! I heard your heartbeat for the very first time. It was magical. The thump, thump, thump kept disappearing as you did your gymnastics, but the doctor assured me you sound strong and healthy. Next time your daddy will bring the video camera so we can record your heartbeat. You will be a YouTube sensation, I tell you.

I'll continue eating for the both of us. Don't you worry about that...ever. I'm doing a very good job of it. Though if your father calls me one more time to brag about his awesome Chinese food lunch, he's not getting dinner for a week. His pipe dream of home cooked meals will never come to fruition.

I love you, Baby.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bleeding orange and blue

Do you think the baby will come out singing the Illini fight song? I'm hoping to encourage a deep loyalty to the orange and blue while in the womb. To help my cause, I bought this last week.

Authentic, from Champaign, Illinois, and with THE CHIEF. Go Illini!

Belly-Week 13

Just in case you thought I seems to have shrunk a little since week 8. Or maybe I have finally stopped stuffing my face. Either way, I will take advantage of the opportunity to wear horizontal stripes for as long as possible.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Week 13

Dear Baby,

I would like to formally introduce myself. I am your...mother. The only one you'll ever get, and no, you don't get to trade me in for a newer model like your father thinks he should every 5 years. Welcome to our little family, Baby! Your father and I are overjoyed at the prospect of meeting you in 27 very short weeks. Right now you are 2 inches long, about the size of a lime, and almost fully developed into a miniature person. You have itty-bitty arms and legs that wave and kick about, though I can't yet feel you move. Your brain is forming new connections everyday...according to your father you will be a math and science genius that is also the quarterback of the football team. Apparently your gender doesn't matter. You are our first-born, which means you are the fruit of the genius tree, and we will have unattainable expectations of you from the minute you will be born. Better get started, kiddo.

There are so many people who are looking forward to meeting you. Don't worry, we'll have a flash card study session to prep you. They have been bringing you gifts already, isn't that so fun?! Well, it is for me, ok? I LIKE presents. You will too. It's in our blood. Your father likes expensive things so any money you make better be saved up for his birthday and Christmas gifts. Mama will have to borrow it from you.

So far you've been a good little fetus. You haven't given me too much to complain about which is so far from my normal existence that everyone thinks I've lost my mind. I've been feeling tired, but that is to be expected when I am growing such a strong little baby. Not too bad in the queasy stomach department, though you've given me a run for my money in the evenings. I've been reading many books about newborn/infant care so please don't hate me if I try out many different parenting methods on you. I truly hope you won't hold it against me into your teenage years. I'm new to this so I deserve a learning curve, right? Also, the Ashman side of your family (mine) are royal guilt-givers...your grandfather in particular. I have learned from masters in this art and will be using you to perfect my methods. Take one for the team, Baby...your future siblings will be better off because of your sacrifices.

In all seriousness, you are our miracle. Everyday I learn a little more about you and my excitement grows. You're the tiniest love of my life. I can't imagine how I will be able to love you more than I already do. Your birthday will be one of the greatest days of my life...


Your Mama

Babies invading my sleep already

I finally had a dream about the baby! I feel like I have reached a milestone here, people! From the books to the blogs about babies that I have been reading, every single source says that baby dreams are extremely common. For a while there I was wondering when it was going to be my turn. Well, last night, my time came. It was a sweet dream, truly, and almost a tad bit too picture perfect. I gave birth (after only 7 hours, go me!) to a baby GIRL. Which totally goes against my gut feeling and made me feel a little bad for already telling my supposed son he's a sissy.

Anyhow, she came out perfect and beautiful, and she started nursing right away. IN FRONT OF MY ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY. Now, why they were all in the room, I have no idea, but I think my brother might have thrown up. (Just note that no one but Tim will be allowed in the birthing room with me while the gross stuff is going on.) I know dreams mean nothing, and are not able to predict future events, but I woke up to the thought of a precious baby girl and just melted. Whatever we get will be 6 short weeks we'll be able to know. How cool is that?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beware the imposter

Have you ever been somewhere or attended an event where you felt like such an imposter? That was me last night at prenatal yoga. 1) I was the least pregnant person there; 2) I was possibly the youngest person there (with the exception of the strangest looking woman-child...she came in holding a stuffed elephant with a Santa hat on it and clutching a blanket...and looked to be about 15 years old...but I don't think she was...I will investigate further...once I meet my ellipses quota for the day); 3) I don't have a big belly yet which is clearly proof that this baby doesn't exist and my doctor is trying to pull a fast one on me.

I guess I am just not used to the idea that I am one of "them". One of those women who is incubating the best of the next generation of our country's leaders. I felt so out of place and much like I was pretending. Kind of like when you were 10 and played pretend house, and school, and store in your basement with the neighborhood kids...complete with props and everything. When we went around introducing ourselves, I felt like I should jump up and leave because they could all see right through me. I wonder when this will all begin to feel real.

This was also the first time I have ever been in the company of 25 other pregnant women at one time. I was completely amazed by the differences in body shape while pregnant. There were women who had gained weight from top to bottom and women who just inflated a basketball under their shirts. Many women were in their 25-30th weeks and each looked completely different from the rest. One woman was in her 40th week, at the very end, and looked completely pissed off that the kid hadn't shown up yet. Hell, I don't blame her at all.

I have a long way to go. Yesterday I reached the 12th week (according to various parenting websites), a huge milestone in pregnancy-land. Next Monday I will be in the second trimester, when all the fun starts. We'll get to feel the baby begin to move in a few weeks, and we'll be able to find out the sex of the baby by the end of next month. Then when I ask "I wonder what we're having?", Tim can stop responding with "a baby!". He's such a comedian.


In house news, we're still looking for an electrician so feel free to send some my way if you have recs. Also, so help me god, I will tear up the carpet in the guest room and baby's room myself if I have to. Consider this my first threat, Mr. Smith.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Monday Funday

Tomorrow is my first Monday not heading off to the office first Monday not waking up knowing I have to take the dreaded el, standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, and praying to the pregnancy gods that the squeamish stomach holds off a little longer. A small part of me wonders what I am going to do to fill up my day. Lily needs to go to the groomer, so that's something. I have dry-cleaning to pick up. that's not until 6:30...I better sit down with Tim and get some work set up asap so I don't drive myself crazy. But this is exactly what I wanted. The freedom to plan part of my week exactly the way I want it.

What I would like to know, and feel free to chime in, is how accountable do I need to be to my "office" job when I am not there? By that I mean, on the days I am home, and not clocked in at the office? It was so frustrating on Friday when I was home and got 5 phone calls from the office with questions. And then I had to make calls to clients from my cell phone while Anthropologie patiently waited for me to shop its lovely wares. I understand that I left my company with very little back-up for my specific job. But, honestly, when I asked to go part-time, I gave them plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to hire someone else.

At the end of the day, I don't mind making calls that need to be made to help out, but when I'm working hourly, and can't clock in and out for thirty minutes of phone time, I feel like I am working for free. And we all know that ain't going to happen. No way. This is almost like a little life experiment. Anyone else have success in making a transition from full to part time, essentially keeping the same duties and job responsibilities? Advice?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pass the whine

I just re-read my last post and oh my god, whine-y mcwhinerson. I need to have a pep talk with myself and tell myself to get my pretty little head out of my royal-acting ass. I annoy even myself. And that is very hard for me to do.

In other news, we have had our second successful CList purchase. I found, and then bought, an almost new Jasper sofa from Room & Board. This will become the perfect spot for me to lounge around on while watching tv and eating bonbons...I mean, working for Tim. I was given a limited budget by he who controls the money, and I conquered it. I hope it's not going to be too big for the room...I failed in the whole prepping and planning part of this purchase. We'll find out Saturday when we move it on in. I am really beginning to admire CList and all the fun it brings me during my workday...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ramblings of a yogurt brain*

I started this blog hoping to find some purpose for it other than as an online journal of my life. I didn't think anyone really cared to hear about the minutiae of my day-to-day existence or my harping on how my pants don't fit. But the problem is that I am having trouble finding my passion, my focus. I read approximately 30 blogs on a regular basis that range from daily journals on raising a family to a passionate recounting of recent culinary genius to the beautiful discoveries of a design junkie. Each blog has that focus that I so deeply desire for myself. But each blog also has a passion that fuels that focus. That is what I am lacking.

There are so very many things that interest me. But nothing that completely inspires me so fully that I can't write about anything else. This whole lack of direction reflects itself in my life. I am cutting back time at a job that means almost nothing to me, other than the fact that I enjoy the people and have trouble hurting feelings. If I was a real ball-breaker, I would have quit this job long ago, and moved on to something bigger and better. The whole problem is that I don't know what that bigger or better thing is. And I don't like the feeling of letting someone down. My boss is a great man, but this is corporate America...people quit all the time. Instead, I was guilted into staying part-time. Guilted by my conscience and my boss. Yeah, big ball-breaker over here.

I feel like I am constantly moving forward in life, doing all the things I wanted to do, i.e. meet a fantastic man, get married, buy a house, start a family, etc. But while moving forward, I'm staying in one place. If that makes any sense at all. Is this the quarter-life crisis I've been hearing about? My mom would tell me to shut up and grow up. No one gets everything they want packaged in a neat little box with a pretty green bow. And what I want is undefined. It's a passion for something that eludes me and has eluded me for years. I thought maybe this so-called passion would be found in time, and who knows? There is still so much time in my life. So much time to discover what I am meant to be doing with my time. I am truly looking forward to being a mother...I have always wanted to be a mother, and I have vowed to do that job with extraordinary passion.

But there is more out there that keeps stepping just outside my grasp. I think this quote from Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail sums it up: "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? " Brilliant, really.

*Tim keeps telling me I have "yogurt brain"...which I suppose means it's all mashed and slimy up in there these days. Also known as pregnancy brain.