Catching up… The Whirlwind Edition

Sooooo… the funny thing about being pregnant, is as soon as you tell people that you are expecting, that is ALL you end up talking about. I imagine it is similar to when you actually have kids outside of the womb as well. I am 24 weeks, which is slightly more than halfway through this crazy journey. How am I doing? Well, sometimes I forget I’m pregnant, but then I go to stand up and I remember again. I told my sister-in-law this and she said that was very sad. lol

During the past 24 weeks, my husband was offered a job on the west coast, so we flew out to California to see how we liked it. (Don’t know what we will decide). My job ended up in the news, and not the good kind… I was nominated for teacher of the year right before spring break. I was then reamed out for letting my test scores drop a few percentage points after spring break. My students all scored amazingly on their last exams. I was taken out of work due to stress. I am officially the third pregnant teacher this year to be pulled out prematurely using the Family Medical Leave. That is also not a very good thing). My sister is getting married and I will be 8 months pregnant at her wedding, so stay tuned for “how to attend a wedding as a pregnant guest!” Back to my baby, since we started talking about it… it’s a boy. The end.

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Little Surprises

kt136I’ve been very quiet for the past few weeks. I can officially say that hubs and I are having a baby! Looking back on some of my old posts about babies makes me chuckle. I am finding that much like planning for a wedding, planning for a baby comes with its own little surprises. I’m not exactly sure what to do with this blog now. lol Will it take a whole new direction? Should I start a new one? We’ll see…

My heart is burning…

We’ve officially hit the honeymoon phase of our marriage. I was told not to expect it right away. It happened some time after the 1 year mark. It took some time to settle into our roles. We pushed at the walls a little to test their strength. Learned our own rules.

On another note, It’s 12:53. I have had the worse case of heartburn and haven’t been able to keep down food. I’m a sad puppy… but overall a happy one.

Advice that is Actually Helpful

What type of marriage advice are you getting?

How often do you check in?

When you get married, you get a lot of advice. Some good, some not so good.Here’s a random fact about us. My husband and I started pre-marital counseling well before we got engaged simply because we did not have a LOT of “great” married role models. I grew up in a single parent household and my husband grew up with an “until they all graduate from college” household. We are also one of the first couples in our circle of friends to get married, so obviously our friends may not be on the same page in terms of relationship advice.

1) Find  a GOOD Relationship Role Model. When we started discussing

Mr. Gottman, the relationship genious!

Mr. Gottman, the relationship genius!

marriage with each other, we had a lot of questions. We also didn’t have a lot of people to ask. I think on hand, I only really had one person that I knew that would give me honest feedback about their marriage. My Uncle & his wife were the only married couple I ever saw kiss each other “just because” regardless of who was around. My Uncle was also the only one that openly shared his lessons learned on marriage… and I don’t mean the usual stuff like “you have to communicate” or “never go to bed angry”. He told me that he used to be selfish and had a difficult time really listening and empathizing when they first got married. It took him some time (and marriage counseling) to grow up and not feel as though he had to win every disagreement.

2) All relationships can be difficult, but given the limited time we have, it’s important to learn how to let things go. He emphasized pettiness, selfishness, ego as “the things” and encouraged me to nurture my relationships. My uncle, a cancer survivor, passed away two months after our wedding. He told me that when you realize just how temporary life is, you can also realize just how trivial some things really are.

3) Checking in on people is important. My uncle called me every Wednesday just to check in because, as he used to say, checking in on people is important. This was by far one of the greatest lesson I could ever learn about relationships, specifically marriage. Till this day, I still consider Wednesday’s my check-in day out of habit.

4) Successful couples have a detailed understanding of the intricacies of their partner’s life. They have a detailed love map of interests, friends, stresses, goals, etc. for each other. I learned this piece of advice from, John Gottman, a marital genius… (seriously, look him up!), authored one of my favorite marriage books: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. In it, he lists Seven habits of highly successful marriages. He, and his colleagues can predict the divorce of a couple within 10 years simply by watching them interact for just a few minutes. One piece of advice he gave echoed that of my Uncle’s, the importance of checking in.

English: John Gottman with His Wife, Julie Gottman

English: John Gottman with His Wife, Julie Gottman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5) Successful couples also spend at least 5 hours a week, The Magic Five, checking in and strengthening their marriage.

6) In successful relationships, for every negative comment received, 5 positive comments are also given. (5 is a big number for him). Gottman’s 5 to 1 Ratio. Among the least successful, there was a ratio of .8 to 1, (almost tit-for-tat). See more on the Gottman relationship blog.

The first year of marriage hasn’t been easy. We’ve had our battles with ego & selfishness. We’re still learning when to keep our distance and when to rush to the other’s side. We’ve gotten a lot of good advice and some not so good. I thought I would do my part and share what was good for me.

Hormones and Sex

ice cream

This has nothing to do with sex, but I do love ice cream in bed!

ok… this might be too personal, but bear with me. (Sidenote, I had to look up the difference between bear and bare and realized that I almost told you to undress with me. Seriously, bare with me means to “get in your skivvies or less” 🙂 But I digress… what I wanted to share with you was something I recently discovered, or shall I say “re-discovered”, the roll of hormones and sex!!! *Gasp
So, without putting too many details out there, I met my husband seven years ago in college. He was my first “real” boyfriend and eventually we decided to have the “birth control talk”. (Another sidenote, watch this awesome TED talk by Melinda Gates about birth control. I love TED). I have to say, like a lot of couples (on tv), things started off well… REALLY well! I soon got on birth control pill A and things were even better since I no longer had to worry about an accidental pregnancy. Well, time passed – we grew up, we broke up, I got off the pill, we got back together, moved around, I got on birth control pill B, got engaged… then married… and so on and so forth. And this is the awkward part… over the course of that time, my sex drive began to change.

caughtwhoopie

Don’t get caught with the wrong birth control. Do your research!

I’ve always had a pretty healthy sex drive, but upon switching to pill B, EVERYTHING went to a screeching halt. While it didn’t completely stop, it slowed tremendously. I thought it was the pressure of planning a wedding, surviving the first year, etc. But after realizing my pill hadn’t been refilled, I decided to quit. I’m only now realizing this having been sans pill for about 3 months, that I’ve been missing out on all these… feelings.. neurons connecting… synapses firing. lol So long story short, research your birth control if you’ve become a complete psycho overnight. Research your birth control if your doctor says “yeah, don’t worry about the negative reviews for this one. Most people are usually fine.” Sure clear skin, shorter periods, almost non-existent cramps are nice. (Let me stop before I convince myself to go back on). Finally, If you lose all wits about you over commercials like the one below, you may need to research your birth control:

Other People’s Relationships are only Interesting When it’s Dramatic

Ok, not really… but let’s be real, it’s kind of true. I really hate that it’s true… Juicy gossip is never about how well someone is doing. That stuff’s about as dry as white meat on an old turkey. A few weeks ago, I went to an engagement party. it was really sweet. They guy brought his gf to the house as 20 or so family and friends waited to capture the big moment. He took her out to dinner, got down on one knee – all on her birthday I might add – all the while I kept wondering if there was a new episode of Sons of Anarchy this week. She was blindfolded and they engaged in light banter. Then he removed the blindfold and played a video montage of people sharing “the moment they knew that they were destined for each other”.

This is when I knew that I watch too many television dramas and my drama-meter is screwed. We all hugged and had hors d’oeuvres, (so grown up right?) But the whole time I thought, “how awkward would it be if while blindfolded she made a snarky remark about one of the people in the room OR said no. Now that would make one hell of a Saturday night!” Yeah, I’m going to hell, I know.

Google is my worst enemy

I read an article –this article- and it scared the shit out of me. I’ve never thought of myself as a baby person, but damn it, baby fever is real.  Learning that 90% of your eggs are gone by the time you hit 30, will F*** up you s***. And I wonder, am I freaking out because I really want a baby? OR am I freaking out because my body is telling me I’m old but my mind is screaming “wait… you still haven’t answered what you want to be when you grow up.”

Both my ovaries and I give a collective sigh at this information.

Also, this is me played by Zooey Deschanel:

Couple things – Weirdos and Winners

Now I know it’s important to have good marriage role models BUT it needs to be said.

Double dates are a little weird.

Couples-only parties are weirder.

Planning/constantly inquiring about “my conception”, aka “when are you guys having kids, eh?” the weirdest.

On the other hand, Happy hours, a great sale, extra gas points, dancing? All Winners.

The end.

Things I Never Thought I Would Do

So I read an article from the Huffingtonpost about “the single bridezilla.” I know a lot of non-engaged people that plan their weddings. Thanks to pinterest and other blogs, it’s hard not to window shop. I can’t really judges based on my post “I secretly stalk my wedding dress.” Whether people want to talk about it or not, I thought it was interesting and worth sharing.

Fieldwork in Stilettos

girl daydreamingUpon finding myself implicated in yet another “Single Bridezilla” debate (this time written by an Australian journalist who contacted me for an interview last week) I can’t help but wonder:

How did this happen?

Right.  I wrote a blog post about my grandmother’s wedding dress.  Then I said yes to Marie Claire, yes to Good Morning America and the rest is history.

But I don’t care this time.  If 204 people want to waste their time calling me and the other “Single Bridezillas” crazy, that’s their prerogative.  Especially because the jokes on them (take a guess who’s traffic has just quadrupled.  Actually it hasn’t even quadrupled.  It’s eight-drupled.  Is there a word for that?)

Nonetheless, I’m amazed.  Becoming the poster child for “Single Bridezillas” everywhere wasn’t exactly the reason I went to college (or went on to grad school to complete my MA in anthropology).

Then again…

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