Should I rename the Blog?

Ways to determine a baby’s gender…

Pee in a cup of Drano and watch to see if it changes color. Green = girl, and blue = boy.

Dear Little Shit;

I’ve always wanted a proper reason to put a cup of Drano next to my vagina. All these years, I’ve been waiting for a clog in my plumbing; as it turns out, this is the clog in my plumbing! Oh good. Old wives’ tales are so much fun. My personal favorite is the Mayan method of determining gender in which they looked at the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it’s a girl. If one’s even and one’s odd, it’s a boy. Every 29 year old who conceived in 2011 is having a girl. Ah, science.

When I started this blog, Clint and I had been told the pilot’s curse is they can only breed girls. Not sure how this started but at the time we didn’t need a magic eight ball, only the plethora of girl toddlers around us, to point out “It is decidedly so”.  I figured we were guaranteed to have little girls when the time came.

But now the time is here and ever since the first trimester, I felt perhaps the pilot’s curse is wrong. I was, and still am, fairly certain you are a boy. The ultrasound couldn’t give us a clear picture so this is purely my own “maternal instinct” (do I even have that yet?). So now what do I do? This entire time I have been writing to you as if you are a girl and now I’ve got a blog named in that vain. I can’t remember what I’ve written to you about, but if it’s about periods, cardboard applicators (ow!), or bad boyfriends, you can ignore them (except maybe the bad boyfriends – if that ends up your style, then the same rules apply. Please, please, do not date the guy who is a bad tipper, treats wait staff and toll booth staff like crap, can’t laugh at a LOLz cat memes, or doesn’t know his own credit score. All of these point to ‘bad’. Oh, and if you do turn out to be gay, please marry Anderson Cooper. He is such a doll. Except he might be approaching 80ish by the time you are old enough…)

Now I have to refocus. What advice do I give to a boy? I’m not a boy so my perspective is a bit warped but the only things I can really tell you are things I have learned from my brothers, my friends, and of course the life lessons I picked up in the absence of my dad and the failure of past relationships. Of course, your dad and grandpa Smurf will have their own wisdom to impart but until you are physically able to talk to them, you’re stuck with whatever I have to say.

For now, just know whether you are a boy or a girl, we just hope you are happy and healthy. And we are oh so excited to meet you. XOXO

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Construction Zone

In the pregnancy process I have come to realize how much of the burden is on the female partner. She’s got a construction zone going on in her belly.
Al Roker

I admit, I was extremely naive about the whole pregnancy… thing. I thought sure, there’d be a bit of vomit, some pretty bad fatigue, and some odd cravings. But a whole bucketload of unknown unrealized symptoms came as well. I guess all these extra little symptoms are the unintended consequences of this human construction, much like the noise, extra pollution, traffic jams and detours are the extra symptoms of an actual construction zone. But getting a sneak peak at the construction keeps my hopes high… we’re halfway there kiddo.

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And so it begins…

You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

Dave Barry

Dear Little Shit,

Sorry it’s been such a long time! I get frustrated with feeling I have to be profound so instead I play with kitties. Anyways, a couple of weeks ago, I took a test, the kind of test you have to pee on. And when I gave your daddy the results, he said: “OK…. I’m processing”.

We both took some time to think about this. But don’t see it as a bad thing! Your daddy and I aren’t the type to whoop and holler over the big things… unless it’s a copious amount of money tax free.

I’m about 7 weeks along now and here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1) Pregnancy causes your boobies to swell. The progesterone that causes this also causes – heartburn, rhinitis (runny nose), post nasal leak (de-licioooous), and flatulence (adorable).

2) Everything will smell ten times more strongly and everything will smell disgusting.

3) I will not be able to eat the same amount of food – I can only eat a fraction of what I can normally eat which means I’m ALWAYS hungry.

4) I run like a fat kid – I basically can’t.

That’s the glamour of pregnancy thus far. (You remember this in high school college when you start liking boys – pregnancy happens like, 99% of the time during sex so don’t do it til you’re ready!)

OK, I have to go lay down. But we’re super excited to meet you soon! I’ll be going to the doctor next week for an update on your progress. I’ll keep you posted. 😉



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Born this Way

To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.

Dear Little Shit;

Your Uncle Charlie and I once spent a summer afternoon staring into the bathroom mirror pinching our noses. My nose is flat and so unfeminine, so I would pinch it until it looked like a nice “white-girl” nose. (What is a “white girl” nose? you ask. Perhaps Winona Ryder… sure, she’s a klepto but who am I to judge?) I ended up with a swollen, red, bulbous nose at the end of my nasal contortions. I also wasted a nice summer day scrutinizing myself rather than enjoying the weather. Chock up another day lost to pining over a delicate nasal bridge….

But we can’t think like that, can we? Or we end up spending the rest of our lives trying to change–and not necessarily the things that matter. For me and your dad, change (for the better) means changing from within to be a better person. No amount of makeup, highlights, or boob job will change who we are deep down… so are these physicalities really worth changing?

As an adult, I’ve learned to love who I am (flat nose and all), and what I’ve been Born With…

You might be born with my pug-button nose,
or my gangly extraterrestrial toes.
Your daddy’s got translucent skin
and I’ve got pores you can hide a hobbit in.
There’s a genetic toss-up between the big Doty butt,
or the slim Asian hips that don’t get much thought.
You might get teased for slanted eyes,
or muscular steer-wrestler thighs.
You’ll definitely get irises that are plain brown,
and boobs that are either tiny or renown.
As each freckle and mole maculate your physique,
remember it’s these oddities that make us unique.
I won’t apologize if you are born this way.
It’s not the outside that matters so don’t dismay.
If you want to be a better person, it’s the heart that matters;
the compassion, the intelligence, the imagination that flatters.
It’s in the empathy, the love, and the emotion you display.
But don’t worry about becoming so great–you were born this way.

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Daddy has no idea how he would dress you…

The power of imagination makes us infinite.

John Muir

Dear Little Shit:

The first few years of your life, I might dress you up as a different animal every day. I was inspired in Venice and by all the cute little animals toted around. I worry you might get an identity crisis from it though: Am I a panda bear? Or am I a tiger? Oh well. I think the animal onesies would help your dad a lot when it comes to dressing you, too, so maybe not a bad plan.

And I say, if you want to keep dressing up as a kid, do it. Let your imagination take you wherever it may go… (especially if these are second-hand recycled costumes–I am all for that). Be bold. Be imaginative. Be creative. Be who you really are (and if that’s a regular ol’ kid in regular ol’ clothes, then that’s great too).

8 am Butterfly princess stroll

Pirate in the middle of rush hour

Caped Crusader Princess... not really sure what she was.

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Thank you Julia Sweeney

Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.

Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.

Love quotes by kids

Dear Little Shit:

Someday you’ll want to know more about love, life, babies and other adult things. Daddy and I are more than happy to talk to you about those things and in case you would like an introduction while Dad and I argue over who gets the job, here is Julia Sweeney:

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Going Bald

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
C.S. Lewis

So I’m losing my hair. In approximately 37 days (give or take) I’m gonna be one bald mama. People keep asking me if I’m scared or nervous; they tell me they couldn’t do it; they ask me why I’m doing it.

I say I am scared and nervous. Then I tell them they could do it too–it’ll grow back. And I tell them I’m doing it because everything I’ve regretted in my life are the moments where I had an opportunity to speak up, to stand up for something or someone, to try and change something. These are opportunities in my life I’ll never get back. So I’m taking advantage of this opportunity.

Next month, your dad and I are shaving our heads to support children’s cancer research. Yeah, I know…. I run the risk of looking like a monk and I’m okay with that. The thing is, when I’m old and cranky and dying and yelling at you to change my bedpan, in between I’ll probably be spouting out the regrets of my long, fabulous life. And I know none of those regrets will be: “Why didn’t I have more gorgeous hair! Why didn’t I use more leave-in conditioner!” Instead, I’ll be thinking about all those moments I had an opportunity to be brave but I was too scared, nervous, or insecure. But these are the best moments of all–these are our moments to step forward and say “Hey, we need to be different about this”; or “We need to pay attention to what’s important”; or “Please let go of my little brother and stop bullying him–only I can give my brother a swirlie!”. (And no, you cannot give your brother a swirlie–that’s a huge waste of water). These are chances to affect change. While in an ideal world, these opportunities would be unnecessary, we live in a world rife with potential. But we need people who are willing to start the movement.

I hope you’ll be one of those people. I remember when I was a kid I heard some “friends” making fun of one of our overweight classmates. I didn’t know what to say–I was scared to say anything (maybe scared that I was actually wrong, that I’d be their next target or that I’d lose these “friends” who really were never friends to me to begin with) but I also knew they were wrong so I didn’t say anything at all. Her name was Tyne–that’s how bad I still feel about that moment. One day a girl did stick up for her and I felt so ashamed of myself for not having the courage to say something.

I guess what I’m saying is being brave doesn’t mean shaving your head (because in all honesty, getting rid of my hair doesn’t feel nearly as difficult as the moment I could have stuck up for Tyne). Being brave means acknowledging an opportunity to try and create change for the better and then doing something with that opportunity. That might mean supporting a charity at the risk of your own image or sticking up for someone because you know it’s right. It could also mean a million other things.

I just hope you know you shouldn’t be afraid of those moments; 1) the regret later will be far worse than any humiliation because of your damaged “image” and 2) because it just is the right thing to do and I hope we’ll have taught you to stick up for the right thing. Sometimes it’s scary but that’s how we learn courage.

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Just the way you are

There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are.

Bruno Mars, Just the Way You Are

I hope you know, we love you no matter who you are–gay, straight, dark-skinned-light-skinned, half-Asian. If anyone ever tells you any differently, I hope you either read this note and are encouraged to ignore mean comments… or you let us know, and I’ll spit-shine my shiv… (JK)

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My mama used to say this, too…

Mantras, continued!

Self-pity gets you no where.

I rather enjoy a little pity-party from time to time but a glass of wine and a gallon of soy ice cream is a far cry from moping and dragging your behind for weeks on end. I think it’s cathartic but really it gets you nowhere except maybe to “Lonely-town” faster. No one wants to hang out with Debbie Downer and while that shouldn’t be your motivation against self-pity, it is a good way to measure if you’ve fallen into the depths of your pity party–when you look around and there’s no one listening.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the mastery of fear.

Fear is okay. Running from fear is not (always) okay. If you want to grow in life, to progress, to learn, you have to master your fear and move past it. Understand why you fear whatever it is that is daunting you… and then overcome it.

Be fair.

Oy, ain’t this a good one to tattoo to your father’s forehead so whenever my temper starts to rise and I turn to him as a scapegoat, I can read his forehead and remember, “Right, be fair!” If life is a book, you are the main character of your own book. However, keep in mind the supporting characters in your book are main characters of their own books too. Understand that the pages of everyone else’s chapters are different from yours.


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Losing is Winning

A bad experience is a good experience.

Zen mantra, Dr. James Calvin (my professor)

Losing is better than winning. You can’t learn anything from winning.

Movie quote

Dear Little Shit;

What would life be like if everything came easily? Who would we be? Would we be wiser? Would we be appreciative? There will be times when life occurs easily for you–perhaps the quadratic equation, sketching a bunny, or conjugating French verbs. And yet there will be moments when life seems to be slipping through your fingers, like trying to hold onto sand, and you think, “I just can’t win”: your first breakup, losing the big game, fighting with your best friend. But life isn’t all skittles and kittens… and ya know what? I’m glad it’s not.

People evolve. I think that’s a main ingredient to a good life–evolution. If you’ve stopped growing and learning and repairing, you’re just a vehicle–waiting always for someone else to do something to you for you to react and always in the same way, as you travel from point Birth to point Death. But unlike cars, we can be engaged with the world around us. We can do the driving and as we hit potholes and speed our way into tickets, we can learn and change and figure out for ourselves how to manage our vehicles–our bodies, minds, souls.

It never feels good to lose a game, an argument, or a friend… but in our losses we can accept the lessons and reflect on how we can change. Your daddy and I are big believers we are all students of life–we know you’ll be a good student.

And please don’t speed.

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