The App of Shame

The App of Shame

Do you drink a lot of water? I find that when I ask this question (yes, I do ask this question a lot), people fall into one of two camps: Either water is omg the best thing ever and you should love water and do you have any water and is that water I see can I please have some, or water is the single worst thing to ever exist and when Jesus returns to this earth the first thing he will do is get rid of that foul liquid so we can finally be happy. 

I was more in the second camp until recently. I like water but I looooove so many other things. But being pregnant means you have to stay hydrated and something about health and other stuff, too, so back to water I went. I drink a lot of water. A. Lot. Exactly how much, you wonder? Thanks for asking; it’s hard to segue into this next part unless someone asks. I drink about 100 ounces a day. I know this because I have an app on my phone that tells me how much I have had (after I tell it) and tells me how much I need to be hydrated according to my height and weight and hair color. Easy peasy, right? 
Wrong. 
See, as I have stated previously, I am not the kind of person who is motivated by goals. Or by anything, really. I need to lose 20 pounds by my birthday? Okay! Or not! Either one is okay with me! But I always start out motivated. Sometimes I’m even really motivated. As was the case when I originally started using my hydration app. But now, several weeks later, I find myself falling off the wagon, as they say, and while I want to get back on… meh. I still drink a lot of water. But the thrill of adding it to my phone has faded somewhat. And I have realized this is true of so many apps I have used in the past… running, couponing, even Pinterest. Looking back over my lack of motivation I have noticed a pattern, which I will now present to you chronologically. Why? Because I can. 
Day 1: 
New app! It was free! Yay!!! I will now spend the next hour filling out every single question and meticulously typing in my info so I can get started! Weeeeeeeeeeee! Now to choose a username! Oh, if I do a good job I get either a bronze, silver, or gold medal! I bet I can make it to gold every day! 
Day 2: 
Boy, this new app sure is fun! And my user name is awesome: TheHydrator1986. I am a genius. Now to add all of my water so I can get a medal! Wow, up to bronze already? I am so awesome. And it makes a happy sound when I reach a new medal!!!!!11111!!!
Day 3: 
Oops! Almost made it all the way to lunch without putting in my water intake! Silly. There we go. No medal yet? Hmm… I will chug some water right now… type it in… MEDAL, SCORE. 
Days 4-6:
Oh, shoot – I haven’t added any water since yesterday. But I know I drank a lot. Probably at least as much as the day before. I’ll just say that; it’s not like the app knows (or does it?). Okay, silver medal. Not as good as gold but still respectable, right? 
Days 7-9:
Argh. I have absolutely no idea how much water I have had. It felt like a lot. Should I also count the Diet Coke I had? I mean, it hydrated me, right? Sure. That’s science. Okay, show me the gold, show me the gold… huh. Bronze. Well, that’s okay. It’s ridiculous to expect someone to get gold every day. Even Gabby Douglas went home with a few silvers, amirite? 
Day 10: 
Okay, I have to stop lying to the app. The point is to drink a lot of water and lying isn’t helping. No more lying. 
Day 11: 
Maybe just a little more lying.

Days 12-14: 
Seriously, I don’t see why this is such a big deal. It’s just water. I drink plenty. This app doesn’t know my life. Maybe if the APP had a baby who needs a lot of attention and a sink full of dirty dishes it wouldn’t be so quick to judge my lack of water intake. Get off your high horse, hydration app. 
Day 15:
I will just move the app to the last section on my phone. That way I don’t have to see its angry, condescending glare every time I unlock my phone. 
Day 16: 
I can still sense the app…waiting for me, asking me why I give up so easily. Be quiet, you stupid app. You don’t know me. You don’t know ANYTHING. I GOT SIX GOLD MEDALS. SIX. 
Fine, it was five. 
Day 17:
Delete app. Eat brownie. 
So there you have it: The quick descent from motivation into apathy. I’m actually really impressed that it only takes me a couple of weeks to make such a drastic change. Maybe I am more motivated than I thought. Maybe I am THE most motivated quitter that ever was. That can be my thing. That will earn me a real gold medal!!! 
I’m thirsty. 
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The Routine

The Routine

No, the title of this post does not refer to a song and dance routine that I am going to perform for you. I know you’re disappointed.

There have been several requests for me to film and post Daniel’s many dance numbers – I’m trying. I really am. But someone keeps talking to me about how Some Things Are Private and how You Have To Ask Permission Before Doing Stuff Like That and Something Else I Didn’t Really Catch Because Grey’s Anatomy Was On And It Was A Really Good Episode About A Little Kid With Liver Disease. It’s like Daniel doesn’t care about this blog at all. But I’ll wear him down. Don’t you worry.

So, my teeny mini baby is doing well today. He’s doing so well that his parents ditched him and left him with Grammy. Well, and the 14 kajillion medical staff members, but mostly Grammy. He’s on the CPAP (it has bubbles!) and he’s doing well! One step closer to breathing on his own. He also gets some super-rad breathing treatments for a while because his lungs keep deflating. Jerks. Part of the breathing treatment is a little vibrating massager thing that they rub on his back to break up the congestion in his lungs. It’s kind of funny because it’s sooo tiny (just like everything else that Josh uses) and it’s just funny to think of a baby getting a massage.

And Daniel got to hold Josh today! The nurse let Daniel hold him up when they changed the bedding. It was totes awesome.

The Amazing Levitating Micro-Preemie

Today we had to discuss the dreaded W word… no, not whales. NO, not washers. It’s… … … work. Yes, work. I know. I’ve kind of just stopped going but it turns out that if you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid, which means you don’t have all that food and shelter stuff people keep mentioning. Then you run out of places to steal food from and you have no bail money and it’s all just downhill from there. So as much as we’re dreading it… Daniel will probably have to go back soon. His manager has been very understanding but that can only go so far, you know?

I know he has to work. But I am not looking forward to it for two reasons: 1) Daniel is the one who actually pays attention to the nurses and doctors. I try. But I get distracted by my pretty baby. And now they’ve added the bubbles and they’re just so fun and by the time I’m done playing with those the doctor has gone. Until now that has worked because Daniel is not so easily amused and he listens. He is also a numbers guy. I am going to have to make liberal use of the pens my SIL gave me (which are so colorful, YAY) to write down everything. If I can remember them. Someone remind me.

Reason #2 that I am not looking forward to Daniel’s return to work is that it means we’ll settle into a routine. Normally I like routine. I even, dare I say it, love routine. But this routine means we’re really, truly, no seriously in the NICU for a while. Until now it’s been easy to pretend that it’s only going to last a few more days and then we’ll bring Joshua home. Healthy, I know. But if we get into a schedule and a pattern… it means we’re really doing this. Josh is really staying in the NICU for 11 more weeks. Stupid NICU. Except please don’t leave, NICU; you’re saving my baby’s life. I love you.

So that’s it for updates. I’ll keep you posted if anything cool happens, like a shark attack or if Josh learns trigonometry or something. Thanks for reading!

Yes, that is my giant thumb in the corner of the picture. 

Everything I never knew about babies

Everything I never knew about babies

Daniel has a general knowledge of just about everything. The Bible, history, mechanics, television – he knows a lot.

I, on the other hand, live my life in a land where unicorns and Pop Tarts reign supreme. Sure, I don’t know who my Senator is (I totally do), but I can find you pictures of six cute cats in thirty seconds or less.

So it didn’t surprise me to find out that I didn’t know a ton about babies, either. When my nephew was born, I discovered all sorts of things. I would share them with you, but I don’t want to be on DFACS’ radar before my baby is even born. Let’s just say I didn’t know much about babies. Daniel knows a lot about them, so our kid still has a good chance of eating every day and going to school and whatever else children do.

I am still learning about babies. I have, however, learned some interesting things about pregnancy. These revelations aren’t “scientific” or “medical” or “useful” but if I had realized just how true they were, I would have prepared myself more for them. You want to know what they are, don’t you. Come onnnn. Say yes. Say it. Say it say it say it say it say it.

Okay, I’m just going to pretend you said it. Here we go!

1) Pregnancy makes you stupid.  You may not know this, but I totally have a super power: I can remember anything. Birthdays? Check. Anniversaries? Done. Random facts about guns and the history of guns? I’m on FIRE.

But not anymore. Now I’m stupid. Stupid is a harsh word. But I cannot think of another way to describe my brain when I am at the post office, trying my hardest to remember my address and telling the nice USPS lady that I could just drive down the street and look at my mailbox really quick. My mom gave me a notebook to write things down so I would remember them. I have no idea where it is. Sorry, Mom. I teach children’s church at my church and called at least 3 kids by the wrong name last week. They kind of just went with it. They also wear name tags, by the way.

So be ye warned, potentially pregnant ladies. It is serious business. Get a notebook. And Velcro it to your shirt.

2) Lettuce is the enemy. McDonald’s is my friend. I can no longer eat lettuce. Not sure why lettuce specifically has given me that lovely feeling that I am about to barf at any moment. But it does. I avoided Taco Bell for a while because of all the lettuce. I avoided Taco Bell. Then Daniel pointed out that I should just get my taco without lettuce. I told you he was smart.

McDonald’s, on the other hand, is my new best friend. I do not go to McDonald’s. Ever. Before these last few months I had gone to McDonald’s maybe 5 times in the last ten years. I don’t like it. But now I love it. I kind of want to marry it. Except I’m already married. But I think Daniel would let me bring McDonald’s into our marriage. He likes it, too. We could all be so happy together.

Ahem. Anyway. McDonald’s is awesome.

3) Everyone and their mother has a medical degree. Apparently. I had heard that people were incredibly rude and nosy to pregnant women. Not on purpose, of course (I hope), but it was still an issue. And maybe I didn’t believe it was that bad. I’m here to tell you – it is that bad.

Random strangers have told me which veggies to eat, to lose weight, to make sure I take a swimming class so my baby will know how to swim. Yeah. That last one really confused me, too. The Quizno’s lady keeps telling me horror stories about parents dropping babies or forgetting to feed them. And once a child at Babies R Us asked if I was pregnant. I mean, yes, I am. But we all know you don’t ask. Never too early to learn, right, Johnny? Oh, stop crying; I didn’t pinch you that hard.

Believe it or not, strangers are the easiest ones to deal with. I can get all Southern on them and say something polite that on the surface makes me sound so gracious but that really means they have .2 seconds to back. the heck. up. before I go crazy ninja on them. It’s the people that I see on a regular basis that really drive me nuts. I have had people email me about how much I am hurting my baby by drinking Diet Coke. One person told me that my highlights have likely damaged my baby forever.

If you are one of those people… sorry. It’s better you know this now. We’re still friends. It’s cool. But how about we all abide by this one rule, m’kay? If you don’t have some kind of medical training or degree, I don’t want to hear it. 

**There is obviously the exception of other pregnant women and/or mothers that I am friends with. Please give me all of your advice and I will make you a cake. HELP ME.**

The rest of you, go use that eager, helping spirit to build a house for the poor or donate some toys for Christmas. Learn to weave baskets, take up knitting, apply to clown school and buy a red nose – just no. more. advice. My own mother-in-law is actually a real live nurse and I have yet to hear from her about all the terrible things I am doing during my pregnancy. So rest assured that I have medical staff on hand who are measuring my Diet Coke intake by the ounce.

This post seems mean now. Maybe I shouldn’t post it. Eh, who I am kidding. But here – have six cute kittens to make you happy again.

The Lawn Mower

The Lawn Mower

If you passed by my house yesterday between 8:30 and 9:30 pm, you might have seen some very strange things.

You might have seen a woman negotiating with her dog and pleading with him not to get out of the fence.

You might have seen her successfully distract the dog with a stick, not knowing that she still had 3 more cycles of this to go. Stupid fence.

You might have seen the woman drag the lawn mower out of the fence, carefully follow the instruction her father gave her, and pull on the cord with all her might.

You then would have seen her stomp her foot because IT ISN’T WORKING AND SHE WAS FOLLOWING ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS AND

Then you would have seen her remember the last step. Victory!

You might have noticed that she has no idea how to cut a pattern in the grass with the lawn mower and that she takes the approach of “God’s will be done with the yard” as she begins to push the mower up and down.

Then you could have seen her get to the driveway, and decide if the mower could cross it without damaging the… mowery parts. She decided she needed to turn it off.

She was wrong.

You might have then seen her attempt to restart the mower over and over and over and over and over and over and over until she looked like Billy Blanks from Tae Bo, except with less muscles and way more sweat.

You then would have noticed her drag the lawn mower up to the house, negotiate with the dog to get back inside the fence, and change clothes because if she was going to make a fool of herself in front of a busy street, she was going to be comfortable.

You might have seen that her tank top was completely and utterly see-through. She, however, did not see this until she got back inside. You’re welcome, people of Lawrenceville.

You would have wondered about her sanity when she kicked the lawn mower and sat in the grass.

It would have made a little more sense when you saw her husband come home and help her figure out the problem, and saw her glee at having her power over the lawn restored.

You then could have sat back for the next 3 million hours as the woman slowly but surely made her way around the yard, going in a pattern that only she could see. Kind of. It was dark.

You might have stopped to wonder why a grown woman was running with a lawn mower, alternately laughing and trying not to throw up. If you had just ASKED you would have known that she decided walking was too boring and running would be more fun. She was right, by the way.

And if you drove by this morning, you would see a shorter, albeit uneven, yard, mowed with the determination of one who has learned her lesson about asking her husband if he will let her mow the lawn just this once. 

She should have used this instead


TSA

TSA

I recently got promoted at work. I was a semi-grown up and now I am a REAL grown up. Neat, huh? I agree. Part of being a real grown up is that I will need to travel some for work. To ease me into this slowly, they sent me on the first trip with another real grown up, whom I shall call C-Dizzle.

C-Dizzle is a master at the travel game, so I just did what she did and followed her around. Literally, I followed her around the airport like a puppy. She kept trying to say things to me and I would try to catch up really fast to be next to her instead of behind her. ANYway, we got to the security check point and got separated. I tried to stick with her, I really did. But when the burly security man says “YOU GO THERE” and points to the opposite line of your travel buddy, you do not argue.

So I go to the other line and put my bag, shoes, kidneys, etc. on the belt. Then I am directed to the Temple of Doom. Yes – I got sent, for the very first time, to the body scanner.

This is the part of the blog where you should click here and press the blue button (make sure your sound is up) to understand the full horror I was experiencing.

I do not like the body scanners. Even after they fixed them so they can’t see you in your underwear, I have had an unnatural fear of these for years. If Daniel and I fly somewhere, he volunteers for the body scanner so he won’t have to talk me down from the proverbial ledge for the entire flight.

But I was very good and went through it. And I got stopped. Dang it all.

“What do you have in your back left pocket?” the very tall TSA lady asked me. I do have to say I was impressed with the accuracy. I wanted to tell her so but I felt like that wasn’t the time. I might write a letter, though.

HOWEVER, I would have to include in my letter the rest of the incident…

“Oh, it’s my license. I just had to show it for the first checkpoint and there was no time to put it in my bag,” I said, cheerfully but not too cheerfully just in case this lady didn’t care for pep. Then I took it out of my pocket and the lady jumped a little. Maybe I was supposed to let her do it?

She then told me she was going to have to pat me down. Erghhhhh, no. But she was already doing it, lightly brushing my left cheek with the back of her hand. My butt proved satisfactory (it always does) and I thought I was done. Oh, how naive I was. She made me raise my left hand above my head and she brushed her fingers down my arm and side. It tickled. I giggled. Apparently giggling is unacceptable to the TSA because she glared at me.

Then came the strangest part of all: She started poking her fingers through my ponytail. I know my hair is thick but is it really bad enough that I could hide a weapon in there? Because if so, she just gave me a great idea. She tugged on my ponytail and was finally satisfied that my CVS-brand ponytail holder was, in fact, docile.

She yelled “I NEED HANDS” in no particular direction and told me to go stand in front of another lady. This one at least smiled as she wiped my hands down with something. I realized she was checking for gun-powder residue and other explosive stuff. And this is where I truly started to panic.

See, my husband Daniel is a gunsmith. A gunsmith who likes to (safely) experiment with how to make things blow up. This means that any given day of the week I am putting away guns, chemicals of unknown origin, pointy objects covered in black stuff, and tubes of something science-y. And so my thought process went like this: Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no. Should I tell her before she even runs the test? No, no, that would look too suspicious. But what if it turns up something? What if I can’t remember what Daniel was playing with the other day? Was it magnesium? Marbles? Mangos? Something. Something with explosives. And he had me practice shooting the pistol… would there still be GPR on my hands? Is that even a possibility? Do people still use gun powder? It seems kind of old-fashioned. Maybe it’s just a phrase. Maybe they just call it that beca – 


“Uh, ma’am?”

I tuned back in to the TSA lady to see her staring at me.

“You can go.”

Oh. Well, good.

Stupid body scanners.