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, so...now 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...  

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