Monday, December 31, 2012



For real, happy 2013.  But if you live near me, and I find out you were shooting off fireworks, I'm gonna murder you.

It's New Year Already?

Holy Smokes, you guys.  It's almost January.  As in, it's THREE HOURS from January.  I can't even believe how much has happened this year.  This time last year, I had run out of birth control pills and was on my period.  TMI?...Meh, I don't care.  Anyways, this time last year, Jacob and I had decided to try for a baby.  Now, here we are, 12 months later, and I've got an 11 week old ball of sunshine.
So far, I'd say parenthood is pretty much a million times harder than I expected.  Olivia's great, and she's a pretty happy baby, but I just had no idea how emotionally draining it would be.
 This are going pretty well, though.  Despite the challenges, Jacob and I are SO BLESSED to have a VERY healthy (13 lbs at 2 months) baby who sleeps really well.  I don't really have much to complain about.  But I will.  Here's the thing.  Olivia's developed pretty bad acid reflux, which is causing a lot of discomfort.  Most of the time her medicine works to keep her pretty comfortable, but when it's not working, the poor girl is in agony.  Everyday there are times when she's screaming inconsolably and you can hear the acid gurgling in her throat.  Frequently, the acid makes her gag and she throws up.  This is where her appetite comes back to bite us.  She's a great eater (hence the high weight), which is pretty reassuring.  Unfortanately it also means that when she throws up, she REALLY throws up.  The girl can projectile vomit with the best of them.  Everything I've read says babies normally outgrow their reflux by age 1, but I just can't imagine dealing with this for nine more months.  Please just keep her in your prayers, that her medicine might start to help more, and that she'll have fewer painful episodes.

Besides the reflux, like I said, she's really a pretty happy baby.  After every feeding is playtime and she gives LOTS of smiles.  Unless she sees the camera.  Then she's pure stone.
Good gosh, what's happening with my hair?!  Time to stop going to sleep with wet hair I guess.

As much as I'd like to say more, the fireworks are going bonkers and I have a feeling I'll be in and out of Olivia's room all night, trying to get her back to sleep.  So rather than blather on, here are some highlights from this year:
Winter in North Dakota is NO JOKE
 My sun boys enjoying the deck Jacob built in the home we had built.  Little did we know we'd live in it for only five months...
The long move down to Houston.  The boys were such troopers.
 Our new house after some much needed yardwork.  Eight months pregnant and trimming bushes for several hours will really wear you out.
 Enjoying the new backyard
Olivia moving in my belly.  Yeah, it's not for everyone.
  After a 4:45 wakeup call from the hospital saying I should come in to be induced, I cried the entire way there.
 This seems obvious, but labor suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
 Less than half an hour after she was born.  I was almost too weak to hold her and my whole body was shaking.  A special moment for sure, but also one of the scariest in my whole life.
 Oscar watching sister in the bassinet.
 My sweet Oscar.  Such a trooper after surgery.
 Sleep Smiles!
 My sweet Girl

Sunday, November 4, 2012

House Arrest Makes Me Awkward

As of Thursday, Olivia is 3 weeks old, which means that in three weeks I've left the house I think 5 times.  Three of those times were to take her to the pediatrician, which is a pretty stressful experience.  The other two times come courtesy of my sister/lifesaver, Ashley.  Last weekend she came by to see Olivia and sent Jacob and I out to get some frozen yogurt on a mini-date.  It was just a quick trip to the Tutti Frutti at the front of the neighborhood, but it felt
The only thing is, I've noticed that since I've basically been stuck inside since Olivia was born, I've regrown all my awkward preteen genes.  It's really pretty bad.  When Jacob and I went to get yogurt, it was like my first time in civilization.  Ever seen one of those documentaries about feral children?  That's what I was like.  I'd like to say I smelled better or had less body hair, but I don't want to lie to you.  For some reason, the whole excursion sort of started off as a failure because I decided not to take my purse.  I have NO idea why I did that.  Because of my poor decision, I was carrying around my phone, wallet, car keys, and then I had to balance my yogurt container.  So we start filling up our containers, and despite having lots of experience in buying frozen yogurt, I basically forgot how the whole thing works.  I way overfilled my container like some sort of rookie.  It was like watching some 9 year old come in and fill his whole container with yogurt and then overflow the thing with toppings and the whole time, you watch, judging him like "you idiot.  That's gonna cost like $25."  Yeah that was me.  And then it came time to pay and I set my yogurt on the scale with Jacob's.  The young gal (that's what people call teens nowadays, right?) working asked to weigh them separately.  I took mine off so she could weigh Jacob's, and in moving Jacob's off the scale, I basically spilled the whole thing all over the counter, losing like ALL of his toppings.  I apologized really awkwardly to both Jacob and the cashier, and was trying to pick stuff up, but all I could think of was "HOMEGIRL BETTER RE-WEIGH THIS THING BECAUSE I'M NOT PAYING FOR ALL OF THESE SPILLED TOPPINGS."  Once we got the whole thing figured out, I reached to get spoons and couldn't have been more awkward about it.  I grabbed one, then turned awkwardly and stuck it in Jacob's yogurt.  Then I turned around and grabbed another and stuck it in the yogurt we were taking back to Ashley.  Then I turned back and got another one for me.  Something that should've been as quick as one second in just grabbing all three spoons at once took easily a minute and a half.  It was like cards with the tards.  To top it off, I'm pretty sure I tripped walking out of Tutti Frutti.  I'm positive the cashier was happy to see me go.

My next venture out of the house was, again, courtesy of Ashley.  The other day, she came over to help me with Olivia, and once I finished feeding the baby, she sent me out of the house to have some time to myself.  I would love to tell you it was hard to leave and I was missing my baby every second, but that's not true.  All I did was drive to the Kroger at the front of the neighborhood and it was the most heavenly thing in the whole world.  I LOVED the alone time (probably more than I should've), and it was kinda hard to come back.
Ultimately the only thing that brought me down off my Kroger high was the old lady behind me in the checkout line that was trying to rush me out the door.  Obviously she was in a rush and felt like she was more important than me, but I was really losing my patience with her.  Check it, old lady.  This is my first real time away from my baby.  LET ME ENJOY IT.  Back up off me, for real.  At one point, she literally pushed my cart to move it forward, even though I was still unloading it....Not okay.

Even around the house I'm noticing I'm regressing.  The other day I was sashaying down the stairs, so pleased with myself for putting Olivia down without her crying.  I got down to the second to last stair and my house shoe slipped on the stair and I pretty much ate it.  Fell down both stairs and hit the tile pretty hard with my knees.  I'm fine, clearly, but thankfully no one else was here to see it because I lost all my swagger at that moment.  Another pathetic moment came from my baking last week.  I had made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins as a thank you for our neighbors who were kind enough to buy us a baby gift, even though I'd never even met them.  During one especially fussy nap time, I had come downstairs to get a break from the baby's screaming, so I turned on the monitor in the kitchen.  Exhausted, I leaned over and rested my head on the kitchen counter while watching Olivia scream on the monitor.  I stayed there for 10 minutes of crying before checking on the baby.  Several hours later, I finally had a moment to go the bathroom.  I noticed something on my face, and upon further inspection, I realized I had a melted chocolate chip stuck to my chin, which I must've rested my face on when I was watching Olivia on the monitor.  Bless my heart, I'm a total mess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Real Talk about Having a Baby

So as most of you are already aware of, I am officially a mom now.  Since my womb is so hospitable and cozy, my baby refused to come out before we were scheduled to be induced.  On Wednesday the 10th, Jacob and I got a call at about 4:45 am telling us to come in to be induced.  I tried to play it cool and just enjoy that moment--knowing I was on my way to the hospital to have a baby.  It didn't work.  I basically cried the entire time I got ready and during the drive down there.  I was nervous and completely terrified.  I won't go into all the details of labor, but it was a really REALLY long day.  They started me on the pitocin at about 7 am-ish and by about 1pm I still hadn't made any progress on how much I was dilated.  The whole experience was just pretty defeating.  I went as long as I could with no medicine, but as my contractions started to get harder, I knew I'd have to get something.  Especially once I learned my cervix wasn't dilated, despite the worsening pain.  I figured I was in for a long day.  At one point when my doctor came in to check on me, I was so scared of how much it was going to hurt when he checked my cervix, I had a complete breakdown, which I'm convinced is what made my water break.  FYI, when my water broke, at that moment in my life, it was the grossest thing I've ever experienced.  Also, since it was during my doctor's examination of my cervix, I was genuinely thinking "he probably needs some goggles to see through this mess."  My nurse had told me that contractions would get worse once my water broke, so my doctor and I discussed pain relief.  Ultimately I decided I wanted to hold off on the epidural for a little longer and see what would happen.  My doctor said he'd come back and check on me in an hour, and I said I'd see how I felt at that point about the epidural.  They gave me some pain medication through the iv which worked WONDERS for about half an hour.  When that stuff wore off, it hit me really hard and it was everything I could do to make it to the full hour I had mentally given myself before committing to the epidural.  I became pretty stereotypical lady in labor at that point.  I was doing my yoga breathing during contractions and squeezing Jacob's hand so hard I thought his bones would break.  When the hour was up, I was crying and shaking from the pain, so I asked for the epidural and they brought in the CRNA and made everyone else leave the room.  It seems obvious to say, but getting the epidural was a nightmare.  My body was shaking so much from the pain and nerves that one nurse had to help me lean over so they could get the needle in, and another nurse had to hold my shoulders to try to steady me.  I was pretty shocked at how much I could feel when they were putting the epidural in.  Once that was done, they catheterized me and propped me on my side and let people back into the room.  This was about 7pm.  The night got easier from here.  I couldn't feel the contractions, but the catheter was SUPER uncomfortable.  Looking back, that should've been a red flag, but I complained for like an hour solid to my nurse, who wasn't really sure how to help me.  At about 10:45 pm, my nurse checked me and told Jacob and I that I was 100% effaced and 10cm dilated.  She said I'd start pushing soon.  I can honestly say, I have never felt such a strong, primal fear in my entire life.  I knew I was at the end, and I was TERRIFIED.  That's when all the sugar-free Popsicles I'd be sucking on throughout the day came back up.  Once we started pushing, things got really real.  Suddenly I could feel everything-the contractions, the baby, everything.  It was awful.  I knew labor would be hard, but I honestly had no idea HOW hard and how exhausting it could be.  After just 15 minutes of pushing, I remember thinking that I didn't have the strength to keep going.  Unfortunately, Olivia was pretty content just hanging out in the birth canal.  They could see her head for about an hour of my pushing, but I just couldn't force her out.  Finally, after two hours, when I was pushing during a contraction, they pulled her out, which I wasn't expecting.  It hurt.  I'll say that, and I'll leave it there.   They put her in my arms and started wiping the goo off, but i was so weak and tired, holding her was almost too much.  I didn't feel like I had the strength to do it.  Meanwhile, there were issues with my placenta, so things continued to be very uncomfortable.  I focused on trying not to crush my baby while I tensed up and was screaming as they continued to work on me.  At one point, the CRNA came back in to check on me, and was alarmed at the amount of pain I was in.  He put more in my epidural, but at that point it was time for the doctor to stitch me up, so unfortunately the pain meds hadn't taken effect and I felt all of that as well.  After a few minutes and a lot of crying, the CRNA was like "here, I'll just give you some more...".  Eventually all that anesthesia kicked in and my whole bottom half was totally numb.  They took my 9lb 6 oz (HOLY SMOKES) baby to the nursery and got me ready to go to my postpartum room.    Moving me from one bed to the next was a complete nightmare.  I have a new-found appreciation for people who are paralyzed because I just couldn't do it.  My legs wouldn't move, so I needed to pull myself from one bed to the other with my upper body, but since I was so tired and sore from pulling myself up to push during delivery, I didn't physically have any arm strength left to move myself.  Jacob basically had to pick me up by my armpits to get me into the bed.  A few times, my legs would slip off the side and I'd have to ask the nurse to put them back on the bed, for fear she'd knock me into something during our journey from one room to the other.  There's nothing more demoralizing than saying "ma'am, do you mind picking up my leg for me?".  So yeah, that was my birth experience.  All in all, it was pretty miserable.  I know most people are like "oh the whole thing is so beautiful." or "it was all totally worth it"....Ehhhh I guess I'm just not there yet.  It's still all a little too fresh.  And I still have trouble going to the bathroom.  So at this point, it's not some sort of beautiful magical memory to me.  I will say, I am SO thankful for my family.  Even though it was a really long (and probably very boring day) for them, they all came down to see me at the hospital and spend time with me while I was in labor.  It was a painful and miserable day, but it would've been so much worse without them there to distract me and keep Jacob and I company.  I am SO SO SO grateful they all came.

So now Olivia is almost three weeks old and things are still pretty blah, to be honest.  Maybe it makes me a bad mom, but I'm certainly not one of those women who's like "she's amazing!  I'm loving every sleepless minute!!".  No.  I'm not.  I'm exhausted and crabby and irritable.  Olivia's great and I love her and all, but if she could jump ahead to being like 6 months old, that would be amazing.  I expected the first several weeks to be hard and emotional, but this is much more so than I expected.  Unfortunately for both Jacob and I (and probably Olivia), she got my temperament, so she's fussy and pouty and cries A LOT.  It's just really overwhelming.  I know I'll look back one day and be like "awww I miss when she was just a little baby" but I don't feel like that now.  Honestly, I'm miserable most of the time, which I blame on lack of sleep and feeling completely consumed by a crying baby.  If I were ever taken captive as some sort of POW, all they'd need to do is put a screaming baby in the room with me and I'd be like "tell you what.  Here's the intell I have-we'll start with undercover agents and work our way to ground operations, kay?" 

So that's where I'm at now.  I really do try to stay positive, but when it's late and I'm tired and she's crying and won't go down, there's just nothing I can do but be miserable.  It's exhausting, really.  And just a piece of advice to everyone out there.  Whenever you're trying to make a new, completely overwhelmed mom feel better, don't tell her "it'll get better!".  I'm not saying that with any one person in mind.  But since Olivia was born, every single person I've spoken to has said that to me, and at this point, if I hear it again, my head will probably explode.  I know it's true.  It will get better.  But that really doesn't help me at this moment.  Anyways, I know a lot of this is terrible and really whiny and I should just be thankful for a healthy baby.  And I am, honestly.  But I'm also just emotional and tired and having a hard time saying anything positive.  If that makes me a bad mom, so be it.  Unfortunately it's just how things are for me right now.  It's a lot harder than you'd think to be totally consumed by a baby.   I'm constantly feeding her,
or putting her down for a nap and listening to her scream, or changing her diaper.
Right now it's just not the fairy tale people make it out to be.  But it'll get better!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Impending Motherhood

Welp.  Looks like it's about that time.  At my appointment on Monday, I had a non-stress test done to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions.  I don't think I had any contractions during the 20 minute test, and the doctor said the baby was doing really well in there, so things still look good.  He did NOT want me to go a week after my due date (the 7th) though, and since they don't induce on Fridays or during the weekends, he would've scheduled me to be induced this Thursday.  It just so happens that he's going out of town this Thursday and will be gone all weekend, and since both he and I really want him to be the one to deliver the baby, that left us with Wednesday.  As in tomorrow.  **GULP**  So yeah...I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I mean, I know I should feel super duper excited and ready to meet the baby, but I'm just a bundle of nerves and anxiety.  It's scary knowing that you only have a short period of time left before your life changes forever.  It's even scarier knowing that those life changes involve you being COMPLETELY responsible for another life.  It's not that I'm not ready to be a mom.  I'm just not really ready to be a mom to a newborn.  But I guess, ready or not, that's what's gonna happen tomorrow...Once we scheduled to be induced for Wednesday, I really started hoping she'd come before then.  I know there's nothing wrong with being induced and everything they'll give me to get labor started is no big deal, but the hippie in me just DOES NOT WANT IT.  In an ideal scenario, labor would start on it's own and I'd have obvious contractions that Jacob and I could time and get through and I'd be able to work through it without medicine and deliver vaginally.  Unfortunately, up until this point, I've been pretty unsure of when I'm even having contractions, which makes it hard to time and keep track of them.  Now, since I'm probably going to have to be induced (UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET THINGS MOVING, OLIVIA), I'll be given pitocin, which, in my reading, typically goes hand in hand with an epidural.  I'm sure it will be fine, and if I decide to get the epidural, that's really not a big deal.  I just really don't want to have to get it because the pitocin kicks in and contractions come on fast, and I don't get a chance to gradually work into the pain.  Anyways, just pray for me.  I'm kind of a mess.  Add that into Oscar needing surgery (I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT), and I've basically been crying nonstop since Friday.  I am 100% certain that the reason I haven't gone into labor is because God sees what a mess I am, and he's like "uhhhh let's give her a little more time."  I know as soon as she comes, I'll be so crazy about her that I'll just be like "this little baby?!  This is what I was scared of??  She's the best thing ever!"  But until then, I'm terrified.  And desperately hoping that every new mom gets this kind of anxiety and I'm not already the worst mom ever...

Nothing really makes you aware of how much you should do around your house like being told you have 48 hours before you have a baby.  I realize I'm past due and for the last couple weeks, I've technically been in the "any day now" category, but somehow it's different when you have a date set in stone.  I guess it just makes it much more real, and you start counting the hours vs what you should be getting done.  I
could be cleaning my house, since I know it will be a long time before I'm up to doing that again.  I could plan a fancy dinner for Jacob and I, since I know I won't have the time, energy, or desire to spend a ton of time grocery shopping, prepping and cooking a meal for...a really long time.  I could make sure all the sheets are washed and the fridge has enough food for whoever will be staying here while we're at the hospital.  I just....can't.  I can't bring myself to do any of those things.  As smart as I know all of that would be, I really want to be selfish and enjoy my last day of just being me and the dogs.  I want to lay around with them and love on them, since all of our worlds are about to change.   When Jacob comes home from work, I just want to sit around with him and have a nice dinner (which I don't feel like making), because I have no clue when we can do that again without interruptions.  BUT Jacob went to work, and I'm not motivated, so here I am.  Spending entirely too much time playing around on the computer.  Wishing someone would just show up at my house with lunch for me [Chipotle burrito bowl with chicken, pico, tomatoes and cheese, please.  And about 8 dashes of Tabasco, thanks].  

The thought of being a mom has had me thinking for several weeks now, about what kind of mom I'll be, and what kind of legacy I'll leave to my kids.  More specifically, I've been thinking about material possessions I could give them that will mean a lot to them.  This had me going through my box of stuff from my parent's house.  Let's just say, I forgot what a weird kid I was.  Below are a few of the things I came across that made me realize what a "creative" child I was.  I included these because I could easily get to them in the giant box of stuff, and was able to pull them out and take pictures.  There are other things, buried deeper in the box (and maybe my soul), that weren't available to be featured but I figured I'd give them an honorable mention:
  • Amber--Amber was a Cabbage Patch Kid doll that I got when I was little.  I think she was my 2nd of 5 CPK dolls.  She was special because, unlike most Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, she was not fabric, but rubber, because she was meant to be a bath toy.  She came in only a robe (which now, that I think of it, is weird), and I did not hesitate to put her in the tub with me.  I'm assuming that somewhere on the box, in small print, were the instructions "DO NOT SUBMERGE IN WATER" because water seeped into every joint and filled her so that she weighed about 20 lbs.  After my bath was over, I remember performing both the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR on Amber, only to have about 10% of the water come out.  I laid her out on a towel for several days, since my mom didn't want me returning a water-filled baby doll to my room, but nothing came of it.  For years afterwards, I would occasionally pick up Amber and could tell by her weight there was still some water in there.  If you shook her, you could hear it sloshing around.  Like I said, she's buried deep in the box from my parents, but if I had to guess, I'd say there's still a little water left in that rubber body.  Like a conch shell, I bet if you hold your ear to her, you can hear the ocean.  I am also completely positive that the entire inside of her is black and green with mildew.
  • Spice Girls Memorabilia--I'll be honest.  I was a Spice Girls fan.  As much as I made fun of them and said they sucked, I totally loved their songs.  You put "Wannabe" on right now and I can sing every single word to you.  So during adolescence, when all of my friends were too cool for the Spice Girls, we all thought it would be "hilarious" and "ironic" to buy a bunch of their stuff, watch SpiceWorld, and learn all their songs.  I think they were probably all closet fans too.  Anyways, this attempt at irony fell during a period that included my birthday, so for that birthday I got Spice Girl dolls (more on that later), stationary, a watch, and a journal.  I still have all of it.  And I wore that watch with pride until the battery died like two months later.  What the heck?  Now that I think about it, that was the worst watch battery ever.
  • My book--As some of you may remember, I went through a phase in childhood of feeling like I should be both writer and illustrator of all children's books.  What I'm about to admit here, no one else knows.  Except for maybe Hunter.  So when I was little, maybe 5 or 6, Angie gave a gift to Hunter and I that I thought was THE COOLEST PRESENT EVER.  I don't remember the details exactly, but from what I recall, it was a book-writing kit.  You had several pages with a large blank space to draw an illustration, and lines below it where you wrote the story for that page.  Once the whole thing was done, including the cover, which you got to draw out, I believe you were supposed to mail it in and they'd create it for you.   Like I said, Angie sent this gift to Hunter AND I, with strict instructions that we do it together.  Well, this just simply would not do.  One day, when Hunter wasn't around, I took the book kit into my room and spent HOURS writing up a story and drawing the pictures out.  Not to brag, but I was actually really ahead of my time, because the story (as I remember it), was about standing up to bullies, and being anti-bully.  It may or may not have been the exact storyline as The Berenstain Bears and the In Crowd Of course, I was writing from my own experience, so the characters were people and not bears, but you get the idea.  So after spending hours finishing and perfecting what I was SURE would be a Caldecott Award Winner, I was overwhelmed with guilt for writing the book without my brother's help, despite strict instructions to the contrary.  In an effort to hide my transgression, I shoved all the papers into a duffel bag (it was gray and had a red ribbon on the handle) and threw that in the back corner of my closet.  Occasionally, when I could deal with the guilt and shame of it, I would pull the bag out and go through my story and admire my work.  I even remember thinking "what a shame this masterpiece can never see the light of day."  I was a sophisticated child, I guess.  Anyways, I guess the present wasn't as exciting to Hunter because he never noticed it had gone missing or that we hadn't written it.  But, much like Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, it has haunted me to this day.  I used to worry about someone stumbling across it in my closet, scolding me for writing it without Hunter.  Although, I know once they read it, they'd be so awe-struck by my brilliance they'd understand I couldn't be held back by some juvenile.  Anyways, despite the guilt, I've hung onto that story forever, and it's buried deep within my floorboards toy box.  Phew.  That feels good to talk about.
  • My bag of Barbie heads--It's no exaggeration to say I was obsessed with Barbies as a kid.  I'm not sure what age I got into them, but I stayed obsessed with them much later in life than should be allowed.  Unfortunately, Barbies aren't build to withstand CONSTANT playing, and several of my Barbies suffered the unfortunate fate of their heads coming off.  Any of you who had Barbies are probably well aware that once a Barbie head comes off, it won't go back on normally.  The only way to attach the head back to the body is by ramming it all the way down her neck, making Barbie look like she has no neck, and may have cerebral palsy.  Some of my Barbies suffered this fate, and I basically never played with them again.  In addition to the lack of mobility they now had with their injured necks and heads, they just looked weird, and so they never came out of the toy box.  Once I realized those Barbies were basically worthless to me, I vowed to never try to put the head back on once it came off.  Instead of throwing out the Barbies, I kept a collection of the broken bodies and severed heads in separate bags from the healthy Barbies.  It became my quest to figure out how to make them whole again, but obviously I never succeeded.  It's one of the greater failures in my life.  Anyways, over the years I've held onto those Barbies.  They remain in my Barbie box (still in their separate bag, of course) and I'll continue to search for the cure.  If any of you are wondering why I have so many severed Barbie heads, there are 2 reasons.  1) Like I said, played with my Barbies CONSTANTLY.  Playing also involved grooming them to keep them in tip-top shape.  I guess I just brushed their hair too hard when trying to make them look perfect for Ken.  2)  God gave me a delightfully devilish oldest sister in Angie.  One day while she was visiting us, I came home to find Angie VERY pleased with herself, telling me it was time for a head hunt.  She'd ripped the heads off some of the Barbies, put them on toothpicks and then stuck them in the yard like Lord of the Flies for me to hunt down.  It was traumatizing, but it makes for a pretty good story, I guess.  It also adds to the number of heads in my Barbie bag that need to be fixed.
Okay so now that the honorable mentions are out of the way,  we can talk about the toys I have photographic evidence of.  The really weird stuff.

Troll Doll--Like most kids in the 90s, I had a few troll dolls.  I have no idea why I did, but I did.  You could probably make the argument that I had watched so much Full House that the Olsen twins had seeped into my subconscious, making me susceptible to the lure of the Troll doll.  No matter what the cause, I ended up with a handful of Troll Dolls.  For some reason, I was EXTREMELY bothered by the fact that my boy Troll doll had long hair, despite this (and the bejeweled belly) being their trademark.  I took matters into my own hands to rectify the situation.

He was obviously never the same, but at least I felt like he finally fit the proper gender role.  Minus the belly ring, of course.  You'll soon see that this obsession over my doll hair continues into a bizarre compulsion..
Fluffy--I have nothing to do with the oddity that is Fluffy.  He was given to me as a gift for my 13th (?) birthday, and I really loved him.  I still do, actually.  I think I slept with him in bed with me all through high school and finally realized that was too weird to take to college.  Anyways, I included him because he's a pretty strange stuffed animal.  I never really knew what he was, I always just assumed a fly.  Not exactly your typical sweet toy to cuddle.
Spice Girl Dolls-- Like I said, I went through a Spice Girl phase.  So when I was given these dolls for my birthday by my friends, I was all "LOL, they suck!", but I could never bring myself to open the box to take them out.  Maybe one of these days I'll make billions off them and you'll all be realizing how wise young Hayley was. 
Take a good look inside Posh's box.  THERE IS A POSH DOLL THAT COMES WITH THE POSH DOLL.  How freaking meta is that?  I wish they'd given that doll a Posh doll.  Created some infinite wormhole of Posh Dolls.

Pre-Pubescent Barbie Boy
--I have no clue who this guy is.  Lemme correct that.  I know he's the preteen boy counterpart to the preteen Barbie sibling.  Not Skipper, but the younger one.  Crap.  Hang on, I'll ask my friend, Google..........TODD.  Okay, her name was Stacie, she was Barbie and Skipper's younger sister and this guy is her twin brother, Todd.
A few thoughts.  First of all, I'm terrified to learn that Stacie and Todd were brother and sister.  I always played with them as boyfriend and girlfriend, I feel gross.  Second of all, HOW LEGIT DOES TODD LOOK IN THIS PICTURE!?!  The multi-colored diamond jacket, the acid wash jeans?  Nice.  And the other two are different versions of Stacie, which is kinda confusing because it makes you think maybe there were triplets.  There weren't.  So, I don't think I had the middle Stacie, although her hat looks familiar, but I KNOW I'd remember those lace bottom bike shorts.  Stacie on the right, however, I DID have.  I remember thinking at the time how awesome it was that she came with a little mini Happy Meal to bring home.  What I didn't think about was that she was wearing a McDonald's UNIFORM.  Let me remind you that Stacie and Todd are supposed to be 12...So, yeah, I mean, I know Barbie didn't have parents [sidenote-what did happen to her parents, and why do I always think they died in a plane crash?  I guess I'm getting Barbie and Shania Twain mixed up again.  Except her parents died in a car crash...] and somehow the family had to survive, but come on.  There are child labor laws.  Not cool, Barbie.  Although major props to Stacie for totally jazzing up a normally boring McDonald's uniform.  And finding some red hightops to match.  Okay so all of that to say that I stumbled across Todd in my Barbie box and he creeped me out.  Despite coming in the most baller outfit ever, for some reason I kept him dressed in what appears to be his gym uniform.
I'm pretty sure Todd either grew up to be a choir director or a murderer.  Maybe both...

Consulate Barbie--A little background info here.  Around the time I was getting to the end of my Barbie phase, my dad came home from work one day, taunting me about some gift he had for me.  He said he'd gotten it from someone at work and he wanted me to have it.  Prior to this, the only gifts he brought me home from work were post-it notes and a heart-shaped calculator with different colored gems for buttons, so I had VERY high expectations.  I pretty much assumed he was coming home with a bag of emeralds and rubies.  After what seemed like endless days of him teasing me with this elusive gift he had at his office, he finally brought it home for me.
Now, I was still pretty young, but I guess I was also sort of racist, because I remember wondering why someone would give this to me, despite my OBSESSION with Barbies.  What I should have been wondering was why someone looked at my dad, a 50 year old man working at an oil and gas company, and thought "this ethnic Barbie is the perfect edition to his office".  Regardless, I took the Barbie and immediately assumed she was some sort of consulate working at an embassy.  I figured little Sri Lankan Barbie was a nice diverse flair to add to the rest of my Barbies.  All white, of course.  I also remember at the time inspecting every aspect of Sri Lanka Barbie's clothes and accessories.  I remember thinking "ohhh what an exotic outfit!  I wonder if this is typical of her people?!"  It's a velvety dress and hat.  What the heck was my problem??  Anyway, not long after, I began phasing Barbie out of my life.  It was a difficult transition, but one that needed to be made.  I don't blame Consulate Barbie for that at all, but I am positive that I never included her in any of my Barbie play adventures.  I always justified it with the notion that she was too busy at the embassy, working for her people.

Goldie Hawn Barbie--Here's where it gets a little weird.  If it hadn't already.  So I went through a phase-much like my need to edit and add to children's books-where I liked to change my Barbies' appearances to make them more interesting.  Sometimes I just changed them to mix it up, and other times I changed them in order to make them look like someone specifically.  Here we have Goldie Hawn:
I really loved the movie Cactus Flower, and since that was made in the late 60s, Goldie's character is a super hippie.  So here, I made her pants out of yellow felt and covered them with glitter and found the hippiest top I could.  Also I put glitter in her bangs, because why not?

Time Lapse Sickness Barbie
-- For whatever macabre reason, I decided to make a progression of progressively sicker Barbies.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
I told you, I was obsessed with changing the hair on my dolls.  You'll be happy to know this Barbie has made a full recovery and is doing very well.

Paula Cole Barbie--Many of you may not remember Paula Cole.  She was a singer in the 90s who had a couple of hits; "Where have all the Cowboys Gone?" and "I Don't Want to Wait" are the two I remember.  Those songs meant nothing to me, and I found her voice to be pretty annoying, but her hygiene made quite the impact on me.  I guess she was known to be a pretty big hippie, and it was common knowledge she didn't shave her armpits.  That factoid really resonated with me.
The picture isn't great, but you can (hopefully) see that I cut her hair and colored it with brown marker, to make it more like Paula's.  More importantly, I cut the hair from another Barbie and glued it to Paula's armpits.  I like my dolls to be as authentic as possible.  She's also in a dress of my own creation, but I don't want to just keep bragging about my abilities.

Homemade Spice Girls
--So between these last two, I'm honestly not sure which I'll be prouder to pass on to my child.  Like we've already addressed, I had a bit of an obsession with the Spice Girls.  I saw how awesome the dolls were that I received as gifts, but I knew I could do better.
So the order here is Baby, Scary, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty Spice.  It was very important for me to stay true to their personalities, so I hand picked each outfit according to what I truly thought they'd wear.  I changed all of their hair, to make them more realistic.  For Baby Spice, I cut her hair.  I'll address Scary momentarily.  For Ginger, I colored her hair with red marker.  For Posh and Sporty Spice, I colored their hair with black marker and put Sporty's hair in a ponytail.  Okay now let's jump into the real standout here:  Scary Spice.
For whatever reason, I always found Scary Spice to be disgusting, manly, and horrible.  (I really hope it wasn't any subconscious racism like with Consulate Barbie...)  When I decided to make the Spice Girls, I had no idea how to conquer Scary Spice.  Then I realized the perfect canvas wasn't a Barbie doll, but a KEN doll.  So the next big hurdle was the obvious issue of skin color.  Scary Spice is black, and we've already established that I didn't have any black dolls, so I did the next best thing.  One of my sisters had nail polish that was pretty brown, so I painted Ken's entire body.  As soon as I got all the polish on, I realized it would be the perfect time to give him some hair.  I figured I'd just lay some hair cut from another Barbie (and leftover from Paula Cole's armpits) delicately on his head and that the wet nail polish would make it stick.  Two birds, 1 stone.  I'm a genius.  While still waiting Scary's skin color to set, I wondered what the heck he/she would wear.  It's a Ken doll, but it's for a woman.  That's tricky.  Ideally for Scary Spice, I wanted like a bra top with some pants, but since none of my Barbie clothes fit Ken, I had to create something specifically for him.  That explains the green felt dress with the heart appliques glued on the front.  It's basically couture.  Once I got it on him, I realized he still looked like a dude, so I jammed some clothes down the front of the dress, in an attempt to feign cleavage.  So that's why you can see that Barbie swimsuit top coming out the top of his dress.  Once I finished all that, I sat back to admire my creation.  The only problem was that the nail polish hadn't dried yet, so my hands were covered with brown nail polish, and all the maneuvering I'd done to dress Scary had totally messed up her hair.  "Oh well", I thought, "This will be totally worth it in the end".  Well here we are, who knows how many years later and that dang nail polish has NEVER dried.  It's still a sticky mess and you can't touch Scary Spice without it rubbing off on you.  That's why she's got so much white residue on her in the pictures.  I really wasn't trying to go overly racist and say that Scary has ashy skin.  That's simply years of dust, settled into the wet polish and stuck to the doll. 

Kwanzaa Baby
--I don't want to put too much into this next doll, but if I had to describe her, I'd say she is a representation of my life's work.  I spent HOURS. DAYS. WEEKS on this doll.   And you know what?  I wouldn't take back a second of it.  So let me describe how she came to be.  This was a Cabbage Patch Kid doll who was special because she came with hair tools and accessories and you were supposed to have fun with her hair.  Obviously this was right up my alley.  Her hair, rather than be the typical nylon or whatever doll hair normally is, was made of essentially pipe cleaners, so that you could manipulate it and curl it or crimp it or do whatever.  I loved this doll.  There came a point, however, that the braiding, crimping and curling lost their excitement for me, and I wanted more.  So I came up with the idea of turning her hair into something special.  Remember those kits that had all the tiny little plastic beads/tubes that you set on templates of different shapes and then ironed over them so the tops melted together and it became like a heart or star or some other multi-colored shape?  I know that's a terrible description, but these things:
I still don't really get what the point of those things were, but I loved them.  And I had a HUGE bucket of those beads.  So to make Kwanzaa baby, I decided to give her dreadlocks using these beads.  It was a looooooong and tedious process, but I think the final product speaks for itself.
You may be noticing a few things here.  One being her perfectly coordinated Kwanzaa dress.  I still have no idea where I got that from.  I remember mentioning to someone that I needed something to go with her new look, and they gave that to me.  But I don't remember who that was and why they had this dress.  Either way, it's the perfect addition.  Also, you may be noticing that it seems like one side has more beads than the other.  Well here's the thing.  Obviously I started on the right side and worked my way around.  By the time I got to the left side, I didn't have enough beads left, so I decided to fill about half of each strand of hair with the beads, then knot the hair and chop off the end.  I figured no one would notice.  I was wrong.  Because the hair is so off-balance, you may also noticed that her head is drooping back to the right.  The weight off the beads has basically caused some of the stitching to come loose on her neck, so I'm certain one day I'll find her with a severed head, not unlike many of my Barbies.

 Well there it is.  The legacy I'll be leaving to my children.  The important things they'll inherit and one day fight over.  I get it, I have some pretty incredible toys.  Also, if anyone has a good therapist they'd recommend, I should probably discuss what I've done to most of these dolls...  

Monday, October 8, 2012


You guys, I can't even get over how excited I am about part two of this reunion.   I am LOSING MY MIND.

 If I could get this jazzed about the birth of my child, I bet she'd drop already and just slide out. 

Okay so we're picking up with the Rosie meltdown in the background. 
 I'm reminded of how terrified I am of lesbians.  (STEREOTYPE AHEAD, PEOPLE) As much as gay men are silly and fun and goofy, I'm pretty sure all lesbians, when not plumbing or adopting or planting, are VERY ANGRY.  That may not be entirely factual, but that's my experience.  So...yeah, I am scared of Rosie.

In defense of Rosie, I would be pretty pissed if someone was talking about my dad if he had died.

"I think basically, you guys are just trying to hurt each other."  Andy Cohen, psychiatrist, ladies and gents.  Gotta love him for it.  I'm still kinda upset with Kathy for talking bad about Teresa's parents.  You're better than that, Kathy.  Really.

Quick thing, you guys, and this is really important and relevant to the reunion:  I really love this area rug.

Look at Lauren, calming down Rosie!  That's pretty amazing.   Honestly, no one's really giving Lauren enough credit for taming the beast there.  I bet since we couldn't actually see what was happening, she was giving Rosie a Home Depot gift card.  Home improvement is like aromatherapy or massage to lesbians, I'm pretty sure.

I'm proud of Melissa for yelling at Teresa and telling her she can't play the victim, but honestly, I'm sooooo distracted by all the bronzer and baby oil Teresa has between her boobs.

I love the footage of Rosie talking about coming out.  Honey, lemme just say, you don't have to come out to anyone.  We alllllll know.  You're family has ALWAYS know, kay?  So Andy just asked Rosie about coming out to Kathy's kids.  "They're so sweet with me, they never even realized I was gay."  Girl, please.  You are FOOLING yourself.  They may have been like "oohhhh, you're gay?  What?  I had no idea!" just the same way you'd say to someone "what pimple?  Oh that quarter sized red bump on your forehead.  Yeah, I guess I see it, but I would NEVER have noticed if you hadn't said anything."  Rosie, they were being nice.  You look like Ralph Macchio and Megan from Bridesmaids had a baby.  And then that baby dressed like Charlie Sheen.  Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
 I rest my case.  They never thought you were straight, okay?  No judgement, I'm just saying.
Andy looks SO proud of Rosie coming out.  Or maybe he is laughing on the inside like "Listen lady, you don't need to come out..."

YOU GUYS!  Jacob is sitting here while I watch this (he wants me to add that he's watching clips of A&M Football and drinking beer) and he heard Andy ask Rosie how Kathy handled him coming out.  His response: "HANG ON.  Why did she need to come out?  No one thinks she's straight."  Seriously, I think Jacob and I are soulmates.  I laughed so hard and told him I'd just dedicated an entire paragraph to that and he just nodded and went back to his beer and football.  I love him so much.

I need someone to find me a gif of Andy saying "I've been there, sister" when she says no one knows the pain she went through to come out.  I need that gif, and I want to use in in EVERY SINGLE POST FROM NOW ON.

I'm a little confused why Teresa insults Kathy with "stop with the BS, you and your fake nose and fake lips."  Oooookay.  We all know you have breast implants.  How is that different?  How does her getting a nose job and lip injections make her fake, but your fake breasts don't?  Look, I got no problem with plastic surgery.  If someone wants to pay the bill for me, I'll go get lipo right after the baby is born.  But I don't think you can get plastic surgery and then make fun of someone else for doing it.  ESPECIALLY with this cast.  Every single person on this show has plastic surgery.  Who do you think you're kidding???  And Jacqueline pointing to her own nose and lips as Teresa says that is awesome.  And if you're gonna insult someone about plastic surgery, I'm sorry, but NO ONE can ever beat Kim G's insult to Danielle--"you're a f-ing old lady, with your fake and square tits!".  That's gonna win every single time.

I am really happy that Kathy just apologized for what she said about Teresa's mom.  Shouldn't have said it in the first place, but at least SHE can acknowledge when she's wrong, unlike Tre. Good job, Kathy.  You're back on my good side.  Now please make me a cannoli.

 If I were an alcoholic, I would play a drinking game where I had to take a sip every time Teresa blinks.  I would be drunk so fast.

Poor Teresa can't even think of a single time that Caroline bullied her.  She can't think of anything.  I guess "the whole season" counts?

OH BOY.  Talking about Dina.  WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE US THE BACKSTORY THERE?  I still want to know what started the fighting between Dina and Caroline, since they were already not on speaking terms when everything went down with Teresa.  Andy Cohen, please ask the appropriate questions during part 3 of the reunion.

I've really started to like Melissa, but this montage of her "fame" makes me uncomfortable.  I don't want to hear her and Joe talk about their sex life and I really don't want to listen to her music.  OH GEEZ.  Melissa is singing now.  That's so strange.  And now Teresa tells her she needs to sing the whole song.  This is terrible.  Oh boy--not nearly as bad as Teresa singing.  "BRING ME FISH, BRING ME TILAPIA, BRING ME CLAMS."  What is happening here? Teresa, I know you're trying to prove a point, but it'd be tough to cook up some seafood in the middle of this reception hall at the Borgata.  It doesn't exactly have the amenities of a gourmet kitchen. 

Yay!  Flashback to to Danielle!  Ahhh the good ole days, when we all thought Teresa was normal.

Teresa's really all talk because the second Melissa touches her arm, she threatens to press charges.  She's all about the legal barriers here.  HOLY SMOKES!!!  Teresa just said "She wrote 'On Display' about me!"  Remember last week when I said I'd never seen narcissism displayed so perfectly?  I WAS WRONG.  This is a better example.  I don't want to get all Dr. Science on you, but according to the DSM-IV (I used to really want to be a psych major), the following characteristics define narcissistic personality disorder:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration 
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.
  So now we can all agree, right?  I really think there's NO denying she's a textbook narcissist.

Girl done lost her mind.  "YOU CAME ON THE SHOW TO DESTROY ME!"  I'm beginning to think Teresa's gone off her meds, guys.  At this point she's just saying the most outlandish things she can think of.  Surely she doesn't mean it, right?  Surely she's being ironic???  And now she's bowing down, thanking God that Caroline and Jacqueline are out of her life.
 Bless her.

Okay Andy's just brought in Joe.  Can someone please give us a clear ruling on the pronunciation of their last name.  Since when is it pronounced Jew-dee-chay?  Hasn't it always been Jew-dice?  That's how everyone has said it up until now.  Why is it changing???

Joe's chest is already grossing me out.  The open neck with the wide collar is just too much.  Also, I feel like each time I see him, his face is swallowing his eyes even more.  One of these days we're going to see him and he will be without eyes.  Those beady little rat eyes.  May actually be an improvement.  Really quick, what's the prediction on how Joe defends his sleazy behavior?  I'm guessing he says something like "whatever, it's a coworker, ehhhh whatever."  Something super eloquent like that.  And I guarantee Teresa will defend it with "ohh well he was drinkin."  Let's see.....Wait.  WAIT.  What is this footage of them renewing their vows?????  Was that in an episode I missed?!  I'm telling myself that all of that was just recently shot, because, if I had to guess, based on Teresa's dress, hair, and hair accessory, I would have assumed it was 1994.  THAT'S BAD.  Okay, back to Joe being a sleazeball.  Joe on all the readers' reaction to who he was talking to: "Ehhh I know a girlfriend, whatever."   That's pretty good, Joe. Way to come across as contrite and embarrassed.  I don't understand why Teresa is defending Joe for using the c-word about her.  I'm really confused now.  Andy just asked Joe why he would speak in another language if it was a coworker he was speaking to.  "It wasn't another language.  He put another guy on the phone, a Spanish-speaking pizza guy."
 Well....technically Spanish is another language, so there's that.  Also, does ANYONE buy that?  Joe can't even look up from the rug when he says it, and Andy's just staring blankly at Joe like "dude, you had a year to think of an excuse and that's what you're giving me?!"  Joe seems pretty pleased with himself for going to the jewelry store and getting Teresa a lot to make up for calling her the c-word.  You can smirk all you want guy, but it's despicable that you'd talk to your wife like that.  And the fact that Teresa is fine with it as long as she gets some jewelry in return is ludicrous.  Materialistic, much?  Oh, and hey, remember your bankruptcy???  Maybe you shouldn't be talking about all the money you spent on jewelry to "apologize" for calling your wife the b and c-words. 

Joe to Jacqueline: "really, who gives a crap if he cheated on you?  Nobody cares."  He doesn't really get these reunions, huh?  This is what they do, idiot.  They talk about all their drama and all the stuff that they're pissed at each other for.  And, to answer your question, Jacqueline cares if her husband cheats on her, and Jacqueline cares if Teresa insinuates that Chris and Jacqueline's relationship isn't authentic.  I mean, I just don't get this guy.  Of course she'd be upset that Teresa said that.  Who wouldn't?!

Uh oh, looks like Joe woke the beast in Jacqueline by dismissing the whole Chris cheating thing.  Now she's calling him out for cheating on Teresa.  Not surprisingly, Teresa and Joe are denying it.  SHOCKING.  I definitely believe Jacqueline, but at the same time, I'm not sure I can buy anyone ever having sex with Joe.  Now Joe is saying to Melissa "I don't think anyone gives a crap about your marriage." 
 Dude, seriously, I know you blow everything off, but if you watched the show you'd see that Teresa is pretty much obsessed with and consumed by Melissa and Joe's marriage.  There's really no denying that.   She's decided she needs to let the world know it's fake, so I'm not sure you can say nobody gives a crap about her marriage.  Because Teresa definitely does.  Uh oh.  Teresa's called Melissa an opportunist and everyone is LOSING THEIR MIND.  I can't even keep up with what they're all saying.

So the episode ended, which really and truly makes me sad.  I can't even bring myself to delete it, which says something because I delete stuff off our DVR super compulsively.  Next week is going to be incredible with the husbands and Kim making an appearance.
 My thoughts on both reunion parts so far are that I feel like a lot of specific scenes have gone unaddressed.  I don't know if Andy's just having a hard time keeping things on track, because everyone obviously came ready for a fight.  But we haven't talked about either of the massive fights between Jacqueline and Teresa (about the magazine and at Melissa's launch party).  Also, they normally do some filler questions during these reunions.  Just light-hearted or unimportant questions to move between topics, and we haven't had any of those.  They haven't talked to Caroline about the boys and BLK or Lauren and Caface (ugh).  Not that those things are important, but they got a lot of screen time during the season, so you think Andy would get an update.  I don't know.  Maybe they'll address some of that stuff in part three, but since they still have the entire Posche Fashion show to discuss, I just don't know how they can get to all of it.  Maybe they'll surprise me, though.

Here's hoping if I have the baby in the next week, I'm at least home and can watch the episode on Sunday, because if I'm in the hospital I will NOT be happy that I can't blog my thoughts.  Come on, people.  Priorities.