Friday, June 29, 2012

Have a great week!

We will be out of town next week on our very random 'Babymoon', but wanted to wish you all a very happy 4th of July!

Have fun, enjoy the weather, wave a flag, go to a cabin, eat some watermelon, whatever it is that you like to do on the 4th of July.

In my family, growing up, we would drive to the local park where we could see a few sets of fireworks. My dad would let us climb on the top of our car and lay up there to watch the fireworks. It seemed like the most exciting thing in the world, being allowed to sit on top of the car! Typically, I would request that we bring my dog, Snickers, along for fireworks. I would whine and complain until finally my dad agreed, and let us bring Snickers the beagle.

And then every year, the fireworks would start, and Snickers would get scared. He would drive us nuts in the car (he was a terrible car rider), and then bark and whine as the fireworks went off. And yet every year, I would whine and complain, and every year my dad obliged and let our little Beagle come along for the ride.

That's a pretty good Dad.

Happy 4th of July! Have a fun and SAFE week!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

The incident with the bird

Last night I came home from work with the intention of changing and going straight to the gym. However, I opened my mail, and saw my lab results from my life insurance exam, and, after gloating for about 20 minutes, explaining that I was the picture of health, Jeremy suggested that since I was so healthy, we should skip the gym and get ice cream instead.

Clearly the obvious way to celebrate one's health.

And so we did.

We walked out our mudroom door and into the garage, on our way to get ice cream, in celebration of ideal health statistics. Jeremy walked out first, and opened the garage door. The door was but 2 feet off the ground when I see Jeremy literally jump two feet in the air and scream bloody murder.
Scream like there is a murderer standing at the door.
Scream as though there is a pack of wild coyotes at the door.
Scream as though he has moments to live.

And so what do I do?
Scream louder, of course.

I scream, jump in the air, run in circles, and scream some more. Still unaware of the reason for my screams, as he has been unable as of this time to explain his screaming.

He finally calms down enough to spit out the words...BIRD.

I glance over, while hiding behind my car, with my purse over my head, as though it will protect me from impending doom, only to see a little bird laying on the ground just outside our garage door.

Yes, a tiny bird.

A tiny bird that unfortunately must have flown into our garage door, and was hanging on for life.

Now, you must know that I hate birds. HATE birds. But, I love animals. So I am conflicted in this area because my love of animals typically outweights my hatred of birds.

So after suggesting we call my cousin, who is a vet tech, to see if she can perform CPR, or my Dad, who always seems to know what to do in these situations, Jeremy decided that he should probably handle this one on his own.

So, he told me to remain behind the car, and hide my eyes. Yes, I'm that scared of birds. In the meantime, he gently moved the bird over, to our grass, with a broom, hoping it would come back to life. Well really it was more, me coaching him to keep pushing it over, while he continued to scream.

We sat the bird in a comfortable spot on our grass. And by we, I mean he, and then said the Jewish prayer for healing. Yes, yes we did. Why? Because I'm fairly certain that this bird was probably just slightly injured from its encounter with our garage door, and that it was our ear piercing, incessent screaming that killed the little bird.

Yes, the autopsy results would likely show that this bird died of heart attack, rather than blunt force trauma with a garage door.

Sad day for the little bird. Tonight, the bird funeral.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

And so life changes

When I was young, I was excited about most things. Namely anything involving athletics (bike rides, softball, playing on the swing set, swimming pools).

As I got older, and changed, so too did my source for excitement.

Eventually, nothing was more exciting than wearing a cool new outfit to school. That outfit usually involved scrunch socks, and a matching hair tie. And eventually, the latest Abercrombie sweater that I just had to have.

By high school there was nothing more exciting than learning to drive and then eventually getting my own car, a purple Toyota Rav4. It was hot. I loved that car.
 
College rolled around, and my life revolved around my sorority. There was literally nothing in the world more exciting to me than my sorority. Okay, so not gonna lie, there are still not too many things more exciting to me than my college sorority...I still think it's pretty fab.

Hearing about the upcoming weekend's parties, that was exciting.

Graduating, and obtaining a fantastic job in my field of study...moderately exciting, but nothing on the scale of the purple Rav4.

Getting engaged and then marrying the most amazing guy I know, that was pretty exciting.
 
And then today I received an email, and I realized that life had changed once again. I mean, I obviously know that life is changing a lot for me right now with the baby...but now it has finally sunk in. This one really solidified the fact that I am entering a brand new stage of life. 

A new stage similar to the scrunch socks, similar to the Rav4, similar to the sorority, but yet entirely different in how insanely boring it is.

Today I got an email explaining that I had qualified for "Super Preferred Non Tobacco" status for life insurance and was literally giddy with joy.

A whole new stage of life. 

Gone are the days of scrunch socks, purple Rav4's and sorority parties. Bring on the Super Preferred Non Tobacco status for life insurance.

The realization of life's change has just set in.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

It's time for a Franklet update...so here goes...
Size of the baby?  
About 8 inches long and 1 pound
The size of a spaghetti squash....
both delicious and enormous

Maternity Clothes?  
Uh yes, maternity, or flowy dresses. Perhaps it is because I am so short, but my belly has popped. I thought I would include a photo because when other people are pregnant, that's really what I want to see and they never post photos. So here goes...
13 Weeks

21 Weeks (and Stanley, who wanted to be in the photo)

Stretch marks?  
Nope, not yet...woo hoo!

Best Moments?  
 I'm going to be quite honest here, my best moments have been feeling NORMAL again. I can eat most foods again (with the exception of chicken, which I still hate), and in general, I don't feel bad at all. The 2nd trimester truly is quite amazing. 

Movement? 
Baby is moving constantly. It should be any day when others can feel it too. I am very excited for that.
 

Food Cravings?   
Smoothies. It's basically all that I want to eat. I went to a smoothie shop the other day for lunch, and they ran out of bananas for the smoothies and I literally had a breakdown. It was inappropriate. I was beyond upset. Fortunately, the nice smoothie people improvised for the crazy pregnant lady freaking out over her lack of smoothie and made one without bananas.

Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Chicken.

 What I'm looking forward to?  
 Next week we will take our "Babymoon". We were going to do a big European adventure, but changed our plans due to Jeremy's concerns over long flight times with a pregnant, complainey wife, and what he considered inadequate health care in our locations of choice. So, we are going to Montreal and Austin. Random? Yes! Fun? Absolutely! 

Symptoms? 
Swollen feet. It has been HOT in Minnesota. 90+ degrees all week. This, combined with pregnancy has made my feet swell. And I don't exactly have the type of job where I can wear flip flops. Shoes have become a bit of a struggle. And my mom has convinced me not to buy new shoes because often women's feet grow after childbirth. Lovely.

Gender? 
IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

23 Things I Think New Parents Should Know

One of my friends sent me this hilarious article this morning from the Huffington Post written by Melissa Sher.

I thought I would share...

23 Things I Think New Parents Should Know


1. The more time and effort put into decorating a nursery, the more likely that the baby will sleep in your room.

2. Things that don't wake a sleeping newborn: loud noises and bright lights. Things that do wake a sleeping newborn: sitting down to eat dinner.

3. Maybe they'll say it's the eyes. Maybe they'll say it's the mouth. Whatever it is, people will insist on telling you that your newborn looks like you. It's almost never true.

4. You may not want to cut your baby's nails because you are afraid of making her bleed. However, if you don't cut your baby's nails, she will probably scratch herself and, then, she'll bleed. So, why postpone the
inevitable?

5. There is no greater thrill than the first time a baby calls out "mama" or "dada," even when it is directed toward the cat.

6. Sleeping a lot and eating a lot are traits highly cherished in babies. Unfortunately, neither are particularly admired in adults.

7. As a new parent, strangers will often approach you to ask, "Is she a good baby?" Surprise them by saying, "No, she's kind of an #$$hole."

8. You will discover that there must have been something very, very tricky about composing a melody for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," The ABC's," and "Baa Baa Black Sheep."

9. From the moment you arrive home from the hospital, you will be asked if your baby sleeps through the night. Tell them you don't know. Tell them you spend most nights out clubbing.

10. Make sure you learn all the noises that farm animals make. Even though most people no longer live on farms, the sounds that sheep, pigs and cows make are priority number one when teaching your little one to talk.

11. If she is wearing a nice outfit, it is likely that your baby will poop.

12. If you are wearing a nice outfit, it is likely that your baby will poop.

13. Despite advances in science, no one has figured out how to diagnose a dirty diaper besides sniffing at it or peeking in it. When you're in public, learn to do this discreetly.

14. Never in your wildest dreams (or worst nightmares) did you ever imagine how much you would be talking about poop. Unless you work for a laxative company. If you work for a laxative company, you are probably already talking about poop a lot.

15. Strangers are friendly when you're with with a baby. That said, strangers are even friendlier when you're with a puppy.

16. One of the surprise perks of having a baby? When you're with one, you can talk to yourself out loud and people don't look at you like you're crazy.

17. Everyone tells you to "sleep when the baby's sleeping." It's good advice. But, remember, it's "sleep when the baby's sleeping... unless the baby fell asleep in the car and you're driving."

18. Don't beat yourself up over every little thing. Babies have really low expectations.

19. If you think you might be posting too many pictures on Facebook, you probably are.

20. No matter how much you love your child, naptime is never long enough.

21. When people come to visit in the first weeks after you come home from the hospital, remember they are there to see you and the baby. Remember they don't expect you or your house to look perfect. And remember, if you are talking anywhere near the baby monitor, there's a good chance they can hear you.

22. The secret to being a good parent? There isn't one. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

23. When all else fails, if you can't stop your baby from crying, turn on some music and dance around the living room. Even if the crying doesn't stop, at least you'll enjoy yourself.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dreaming

I am a very strange sleeper. Very strange. Please accept this blanket apology for anyone out there who has ever shared a room with me, for any period of time.

Growing up, my sister dreaded sharing a room with me on vacation, and my cousin Jen, refused to do so.

I was extraordinarily lucky to have the world's most amazing college roommate (and best friend) for 4 years, who was an incredible friend, otherwise nobody would have put up with my weird sleep talking.

And now, fortunately, my husband finds it hilarious, instead of scary.

Yes, I'm a sleep talker. I don't do it every day. I don't just mumble and grumble. No, consistently, for my whole life, I have screamed angry and upset words in my sleep.

Now, keep in mind, I am not an angry person. I would say I'm quite happy. I rarely swear, I love my life, I have an amazing family, but somehow, I'm an angry sleep talker, and I swear like a sailor in my sleep.

Case in point (as told to me the next morning by Jeremy): Thursday night. I fall asleep. It is the middle of the night. I sit up, start shaking Jeremy to wake him up and scream. Scream as loud as I can, "HE POOPED....LOOK...HE POOPED", as I point to our previously sound asleep dog, Stanley.

Stanley looks up at Jeremy, completely puzzled, and then flops his head back on the bed as if to say, "She's lost her mind. I did not poop in the bed". 

And he would be correct, Stanley did not poop in the bed. Nor did anyone else, thankfully.

Jeremy looks back over to find me back to sleep, sound asleep on my pillow. And, he is left completely awake, confused, perplexed.

I told you I was a strange sleeper.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Bodyguards

My dogs' behavior remains completely different while I am pregnant. In a good way. A great way.

The Franklet has started moving around a lot and I can feel it, but Jeremy cannot yet. I think that perhaps the dogs can feel it too because this is the position they assume on my belly each night.

They sit on the couch, in my lap, faces pressed close against my belly.

Perhaps they're just wonderful dogs. Which they are. But this behavior is not normal for my typically very active dogs.

My bodyguards

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shopping for Baby Stuff

We are officially past the halfway point in my pregnancy, which means.....it's time to look at baby stuff. We spent some time this past weekend looking at cribs, dressers and car seats.
I figured it was best to look at a few things at a time.
So as to avoid complete over-stimulation.

We visited a fabulous local baby store with very helpful people  (Baby Grand)   The people are amazing, and they didn't think our questions were dumb, nor did they (outwardly) find it strange when I wanted to photograph Jeremy carrying the car seat around with the dummy baby inside of it.
Jeremy with 10 lbs dummy infant in car seat
We selected a crib, a dresser, and narrowed our car seat choices down to two. Quite successful! We found that our crib selections were greatly limited by two factors.
1. We are not large people. Most of the cribs are so enormous, we could not pull dummy baby out of said crib. And so, we selected a smaller crib. Babies are small. Why do they make such enormous cribs!?

2. Jeremy wisely pointed out that many of the cribs look like baby jails. And he is correct. Many, many of the cribs look like baby jails. And once you get that in your head, it's pretty hard to look at them and think they look like anything but a baby jail.

And so, we picked out this beauty...which is pretty un-jail-like.
Babyletto Modo
We attempted to start a registry at Target as well, but became far too overwhelmed, so we are bringing in the big guns.
Our friend Ali.
Ali is one of the greatest moms we know, and she knows her baby stuff. So, Ali will take us registering. And by that I mean, I will hand over the registry gun, and have her register for all of the things we will need. Thanks Ali! :-)

And then today, I open my friend Greta's blog. Greta has an almost 1 year old daughter, and today she posted a fabulous re-cap of the Must Haves for Baby's First Year. And so I added every single thing to my list.

Anyone else have recommendations for us? We have no idea what we are doing here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Commercial


A friend sent me this commercial and said it brought her to tears. Before pregnancy, I lacked emotion at many of the appropriate times, and had too much emotion at most of the wrong times. Now, I seem to have emotion about everything, all the time.
Particularly television.
I cried for a half hour over the season finale of Glee.
Hormones, they're a powerful thing.

But really, this commercial is fantastic. Watch it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

20 Weeks!

This week marks the midpoint in my pregnancy! Halfway there!!!

This is both hard to believe, and quite easy to believe. I kind of feel like I've been pregnant forever. But I also cannot believe that we will be holding the little Franklet in about 4.5 months.

20 weeks also marks the pivotal "anatomy ultrasound". For most people, this is likely the only ultrasound they will receive throughout their pregnancy, unless they have underlying issues. We have already had two ultrasounds as I have endometriosis, a very common condition.

This is also the time when you can decide if you want to know the gender of your baby.

I am a control freak.

A huge control freak.

I needed to know. Absolutely needed to know. There are a lot of crazy things happening in my body these days, things that are quite surprising, I needed to know one of those surprises. And, fortunately, Jeremy also could not wait to find out the gender. If he had wanted to wait, I might have needed to find out and keep it a secret from him. I really couldn't wait any longer.

We have heard about these crazy, extravagant 'gender reveal' parties, where the ultrasound tech finds out the gender, writes it on a slip of paper...puts it in an envelope...then you bring it to a baker, who bakes a cake the color of the gender (i.e. pink food coloring for a girl, blue for a boy) and then frosts it in white frosting. You host a party, and cut the cake, and the parents, along with everyone else, finds out the gender at the same time via the cake.

That's just not my thing.

After making it quite clear to my friends that I was not going to find out via a cake, they decided that they wanted to be surprised in some way.

Enter: the hot dog and fish taco party.

My friends Debra and Alex hosted us for dinner, and created a menu of Hot Dogs (boy) and Fish Tacos (girl). The plan was that Debra would make both, and, based upon which we choose, they would learn the gender of the baby.  And so, we played along. And it was quite fun.

So you want to know if we ate fish tacos...or hot dogs???

Hot Dog, left; Fish Taco, right.


This is where Jeremy got nervous. Thus grabbing his chest.

Me, reaching for.....the FISH TACO



(Photo Credit: Thank you Alex for photographing the reveal!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dinnertime conversation

I'm not sure that I really understand what appropriate dinnertime conversation involves.

When I was growing up, my mom, sister and I would usually talk about business, friends or school, while my dad usually read the newspaper. So, maybe that is typical.

In the Frank family household, our dinnertime conversation varies a bit. It usually begins with an entertaining story from one or both of our workplaces. We then move on to very important discussions. Such as this evening...

We have all but given up on enriching our baby's life with music out of our own mouths. We tried. A wonderful friend even made me a CD with childrens songs so that we could practice. It's still painful. The Franklet will ask to be returned to my womb if we sing to it.

And so, we decided stories would be much more valuable.  We are creative. We can come up with fun stories to tell the little Franklet.

And so, this evening's discussion related to the children's stories and their theme. So, while our child's life will not be enriched by music, it will be enriched by stories of....The Adventures of Punky and Stanley Frank. (our dogs)

Somehow, the children's stories segued into a debate over what would happen to the baby if our dogs babysat the baby. No, we would not actually leave our child with our dogs, but you know, in theory.

We theorized that Stanley, the overweight, jolly, silly, happy-go-lucky one, would be like Mrs. Doubtfire. Large, sloppy, goofy, hilarious, Mrs. Doutbfire and Stanley.

Mrs. Doubtfire
Mr. Stanley Benjamin Frank

Punky on the other hand, sassy, demanding, spoiled, but oh so wonderful, Punky...would be more like Nanny 911. Strong, demanding, ultimately gets what she wants. Punky and Nanny 911.
Nanny Punky
Nanny 911


As I said, I'm not certain that these dinnertime conversations are normal. In fact, I'm fairly sure they are not. But they are entertaining.

Oh little Franklet, you have no idea what you are in for.

Monday, June 4, 2012

You've got to read this blog post...

It's not mine, it's someone else's. I don't know this person. My friend Dana sent this post over to me. I kind-of want to meet this girl because I feel like we are sort-of the same person.

Prepare to laugh.

And that is why you should learn to pick your battles

And that’s why you should learn to pick your battles.

This morning I had a fight with Victor about towels. I can’t tell you the details because it wasn’t interesting enough to document at the time, but it was basically me telling Victor I needed to buy new bath towels, and Victor insisting that I NOT buy towels because I “just bought new towels“. Then I pointed out that the last towels I’d bought were hot pink beach towels, and he was all “EXACTLY” and then I hit my head against the wall for an hour.

Then Laura came to pick me up so we could go to the discount outlet together, and as Victor gave me a kiss goodbye he lovingly whispered, “You are not allowed to bring any more goddam towels in this house or I will strangle you“.   And that was exactly what I was still echoing through my head an hour later, when Laura and I stopped our shopping carts and stared up in confused, silent awe at a display of enormous metal chickens, made from rusted oil drums.

Laura:  I think you need one of those.

me:  You’re joking, but they’re kind of horrifically awesome.

Laura: I’m not joking. We need to buy you one.

me:  The 5-foot tall one was $300, marked down to $100.  That’s like, $200 worth of chicken for free.

Laura:  You’d be crazy not to buy that.  I mean, look at it. IT’S FULL OF WHIMSY.

me:  Victor’d be pissed.

Laura:  Yup.

me:  But on the plus side?  It’s not towels.

Laura:  Yup.

me:  We will name him Henry.  Or Charlie.  Or O’Shannesy.

Laura:  Or Beyoncé.

me:  Or Beyoncé. Yes.  And when our friends are sad we can leave him at their front door to cheer them up.

Laura:  Exactly. It’ll be like, “You thought *yesterday* was bad?  Well, now you have a enormous metal chicken to deal with.  Perspective.  Now you have it.”

Then we flagged down a salesman, and we were all “What can you tell us about these chickens?”, as if we were in an art gallery, and not in a store that specializes in last years’ bathmats.  He didn’t know anything about them, but he said that they’d only only sold one and it was to a really drunk lady, and then Laura and I were all “SOLD.  All this chicken belongs to us now.”
Insert-inappropriate-cock-joke-here.
So he loaded it onto a trolley, but Beyoncé was surprisingly unstable, and the giant 5 foot metal chicken crashed over onto the floor.  And Laura and I were all “CHICKEN DOWN!  CLEAN-UP IN AISLE 3″ but he didn’t laugh.  Then the manager came to see what was causing all the commotion, and that’s when he found the very-conservative salesman unhappily struggling to right an enthusiastically pointy chicken which was almost as tall as he was.  The salesman was having a hard time, and he told everyone to stand back “because this chicken will cut you“, and at first I thought he meant it as a threat, like “That chicken has a shiv”, but turns out he just meant that all the chickens’ ends were sharp and rusty.  It was awesome, and Laura and I agreed that even if we got tetanus, this chicken had already paid for himself even before we got it in her truck.
Then we got to my house and quietly snuck the chicken up to my front door, rang the doorbell, and hid around the corner.
Knock-knock, motherfucker.
Victor opened the door and looked at the chicken in stunned silence for about 3 seconds.  Then he sighed, closed the door and walked away.

Laura:  What the fuck?  That’s it?  That’s the only reaction we get?

me:  That’s it. He’s a hard man to rattle.
Victor was surprisingly pissed that I’d “wasted money” on an enormous chicken, because apparently he couldn’t appreciate the hysterical value of a 5 foot chicken ringing the doorbell.  Then I said, “Well, at least it’s not towels” and apparently that was the wrong thing to say because that’s when Victor screamed and stormed off, but I knew he was locked in his office because I could hear him punching things in there.  Then I yelled through his door, “It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole.  Two whole weeks early.  15 YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.”
Then he yelled that he wanted it gone, but I couldn’t move it myself, so instead I said okay and went to watch tv.  Then when the UPS guy came I hid, but he was all “Dude.  Nice chicken” and Victor yelled, “IT IS NOT A NICE CHICKEN”.  Which was probably very confusing to the UPS guy, who was just trying to be polite, Victor. Victor seemed more disgruntled than usual, so I finally dragged the chicken into the backyard and wedged it into a clump of trees so that it could scare the snakes away.  Then I came in and Victor angrily pulled me into his office so that I could see that I’d stationed Beyoncé directly in front of his only window.  And I was all “Exactly. YOU’RE WELCOME.”  I told him that he could move Beyoncé if he wanted to, but he totally hasn’t.  Probably because of all of the giant rocks I piled on Beyonce’s feet to dissuade burglars.  Or possibly because Beyoncé is growing on him.  Still, I can’t help but think that we wouldn’t even be having this argument if Beyoncé was towels.  Honestly, this whole chicken is really a lesson in picking your battles more carefully.  Plus, he’s awesome and I can’t stop giggling every time I look at him.  Beyoncé, that is.
Best. 15th anniversary. ever.