Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Road Warriors

Forget the fact that we have an 18 year old (step) daughter, forget the fact that we have a baby on the way, a mortgage, jobs, financial responsibilities, vehicles, and are never, ever carded. It's now official, my husband and I are card carrying adults. We own a camper trailer.

I knew when I married my husband that the majority of our vacations would revolve around windsurfing. I also knew that he'd give in, here and there, and allow for vacations elsewhere. But our summer weekends and summer vacations are about the Gorge. And that's okay - I've come to love Hood River. It's now my second home and I fully envision us retiring there one day.

It reminds me of when I was a child. My Dad and Stepmom took us to Lincoln City, Oregon almost every summer. And I loved that. To this day, memories of those trips are precious to me and I feel intimately connected to that town. I know the restaurants, the shops, the sites to see...and I fully expect to take my children there one day. But my children's "Lincoln City" is going to be Hood River. They'll know the hikes, the waterfalls, the river, the town...and fall in love with it the way that my husband and I have.

Hopefully, they'll learn to windsurf from a very early age. I was never a particularly athletic child. My parents never pushed me toward it, so I'm not a very athletic adult. Learning skills like golf, skiing, windsurfing is hard for me. I have an inate fear of hurting myself, lack of basic coordination, and I am just plain ole out of shape. This isn't to say I don't keep trying...but I like the sports that require less coordination - like hiking. I love to hike. Even with that, I'm out of shape, but I sure will give it my best!

At anyrate, I digress (me...digress? never!) whole point of this post was to show off our new camper trailer. When my husband and I were in Texas one spring, we were tent camping along side windsurfers who all (or at least the majority) had camper trailers or motorhomes. I told him then, when we have children, I'm not tent camping anymore...unless it's for a weekend. I want a camper trailer!

Each summer since, as we've spent our extended vacations at the Gorge, I was happy to do it in a tent....always with the understanding that when babies started coming, I wanted a camper trailer. Tent camping is hard work for the girl....washing dishes in a tub you had to haul to running water...trying to keep your equipment out of the dust or dirt...trying to keep the tent's a lot of work. And I enjoy it for a couple of days. But for two weeks at a time? While you're trying to change diapers and keep baby clean? Not so much.

Thus, when my husband and I realized that next summer we would have a small infant with us, the search for a camper trailer began. I didn't really expect to find one this summer, but when my in-laws offered to share the cost of the trailer with us so that my father in law could use it hunting this winter, we decided to make it a more serious search.

Luckily for me...that happened just in time for the vacation we're leaving on this Saturday. No more camping in a tent for me, as of yesterday, we're the proud owners of this:

Mi casa es su casa

View to the back of the trailer

View to the front

The Master Bedroom

Our guest quarters

I think camping in Hood River just a got a whole lot more enjoyable!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hoochie Mama

Let's talk briefly about maternity fashions.

Once upon a time, all maternity fashion involved something mumu-ish...or bows, lots and lots of bows. Not pretty on anyone, especially a pregnant woman. At a time when the majority of us are larger than we've ever been, those clothes were the most unbecoming possible.

Apparently the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and now, it appears, maternity clothing manufacturers think we all want to be hoochie mamas.

Hoochie Mama as defined by the Urban Dictionary:
1. A female who dresses ghetto ho fabulous. Lots of gold, lots of weave-typically Pattie LaBelle style with red, purple, gold, or orange streaks, and long nails with lots of airbrush glitter, and color. This female's goal in life is to use her female attributes to obtain a male with lots of money or any money to spend on her. Weaves, rent, & diapers for her baby from another daddy included. 2. A ghetto version of a "Gold Digger".
Friday night (payday} at the club: "Ooo, girl the hoochie mamas are out trollin' tonight!"

Seriously - the patterns on today's maternity wear are horrible. Red, purple, gold, AND orange! Together in one shirt!

But the thing that really gets me are the low cut tops. Seriously! I'm not a small waif of a girl - and "the girls", they're not small either. And apparently, they're only going to get bigger. So what's with the low cut tops?!?! I'm not out trollin for a date. I already have one of those. I took him home to Mom and Dad. They liked him. We got married. Now we're having a baby. And the only person that needs to SEE "the girls" is him!

Things are slightly better for the girls that are smaller to begin with. Clothing manufacturers like Ann Taylor, The Gap, even Juicy Couture are offering fairly fashionable maternity lines. But with prices starting at $75.00 for one shirt and an extra large that equates to a size 12, that's not really going to work for me.

So that leaves me to the lower end, more affordable stores like Target, Old Navy, Motherhood Maternity, Sears, and JC Pennies. And let me tell you, the pickins are slim. Add into it that nearly every single shirt I've purchased needs some sort of camisole under it to keep from showing off the girls and it's just not my favorite part of pregnancy.

So...if you see a pregnant hoochie mama walking down the street...don't judge. She might be a really sweet, lovable girl that just can't find a damn thing to wear.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pit Stops

I have an unreasonable fear of public restrooms.

There, I typed it outloud. I can't stand public restrooms. They always make me feel skeevy and dirty and I don't like them. I'm embarrassed to use them. I know, it's absolutely crazy...everyone "does" it - so why should I be embarrassed? I have no idea. At work, if there is anyone in the restroom, I'll leave until none of the stalls are occupied. But I've realized this strategy isn't going to work so well for the duration of my pregnancy.

Take, for example, this last Friday. I had my twelve week doctor's appointment. It went really well! The spud (or spudette) was alive and kicking and moving around. My doctor is convinced it's a girl because of the extremely high heart rate. Part of me is praying she's right...but I still gotta go with my gut. I won't lie, I'll be happy with any healthy baby, but I wouldn't mind so much if it was a little girl :)

At any rate, I digress. When I arrived at my doctor's office, the receptionist advised me to go weigh myself and test my urine. Once you've been instructed how to do it with the little dipsticks, each patient monitors their urine for blood sugar and protein. However, I haven't been taught how to use those little dipsticks. I told the receptionist this, but she said to go ahead and pee and leave it in a cup in the bathroom and the nurse would show me how.

Okay...dilemma #1 - you want me to pee in a cup and leave it in the restroom for all the world to see? Uhhh...okay.... So, redfaced I come out of the bathroom and wait for my nurse. In the meantime, someone used the restroom and dumped my cup! Yikes! Dilemma #2 - someone else was touching my pee cup! I am not so comfortable with this! We proceed with the appointment and the nurse shows me what to do and asks me to try again after the doctor has seen me. So, I down the rest of the 1 liter bottle of water I had with me and pray for the best. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't work so quickly. Dilemma #3 - I am now in the doctor's office restroom, with a waiting line, trying to get myself to pee. That was a serious no go. Not only did the water not have enough time, but I've got a shy bladder...there's no way I'm going to be able to pee with other pregnant women who *really have to go* standing outside of the door waiting!

So much for knowing if my blood surgar was high or if I've got too much protein in my system.

Dilemma #4: I've now had quite a bit of water to drink and I've got errands to run and I'm across town from my house. So, in order to use my own restroom, I'd have to waste the time (and gas!) to run back home. Here's where the practical side of me wins out. I realize that I'm being stupid - and praying that I can get all of my errands done before Mother Nature works her magic. I wasn't so lucky. And I'm forced to use another public restroom. Twice. Ugh.

Fast forward to Sunday. My husband left to go windsurfing for the week (which really sucks, because he's on vacation without me, the bum! I hate that he has twice as much vacation as I do!) and so I decided to escape the heat at the mall. I went shopping for maternity tops. I could get by without them, but my favorite shirts are starting to be a wee bit too short in the front, so I'm constantly tugging at them, trying to pull them over my burgeoning belly. And I must add that the lovely plethora of plus size clothing for pregnant women is a topic for an entirely different post. To put it bluntly, it sucks!

However, I find myself in the same situation. I can't be out all afternoon without drinking my water like a good little pregnant lady. But drinking water means Mother Nature is going to kick in at some point. You guessed it, I had to use another public restroom. Twice. Again. Double Ugh.

And it was at this point, as I was walking away from the second pit stop that I realized this is only the first of them many humiliations that go along with being pregnant. And as much fun as this all is (and it is!)....pregnancy isn't for the shy bladdered!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nausea, BLEH!

So...I don't get this whole nausea thing. At first I thought, ohhh, this is fun! I'm sick, I'm really pregnant.

But after 6 weeks of consistently being grossed out by the mere thought of wears on you.

It's a very foreign experience for me. I've always been a FOOD LOVER. LOVE LOVE LOVE my food. To quote (roughly because I couldn't find the *exact* quote online) the ever-lovable singing Goofy in Jack in the Beanstalk... "Turkey, starches, sweet potato pie...." Well that's me. I have had a long standing love affair with food.

But suddenly, I don't. It's the first time in my life that ever, EVER, I haven't wanted to eat. Oh...I try, but if it's very heavy or involves meat, I can almost guarantee you that I'm either going straight past nausea right to worshipping the porcelain goddess or I'm going to be praying that I could worship the porcelain goddess because my tummy hurts so badly.

So...I eat a lot of bananas. A lot of them. Can't get ENOUGH of them. I keep telling people, I'm not having a boy or a girl, I'm having a monkey! I eat a lot of yogurt. A lot of fruit. Applesauce is good. Plain rice and corn aren't too bad either. Oatmeal bars and saltine crackers. That's my staple diet all day long. I crave mashed potatoes (sort of...they're kind of heavy - so if I ate some - just a little tiny bit), but I haven't had the energy or wherewithal to actually boil and mash them. Ohhh, if I *had* to, I could...but since I can get everything else out of a can - I haven't.

The strangest thing is my new-found love of ramen noodles. I haven't eaten ramen noodles on a regular basis since I was in Korea. That was 10 years ago (omg - I just did the math and realized how old I'm getting....10 years?!?!?!) But, for whatever reason, they're one of the few hot foods that don't upset my stomach and I can keep down. Go figure.

But here's the thing I don't get. We all know how challenging parenthood is - or at least, we think we know. I'm being told by my parent friends that I only know the tip of the iceberg. So..if it's so tough, why can't this pregnancy time be blissful and without this stupid nausea, really? If labor and delivery is that tough and parenthood even tougher than that...why do you have to make us sick now?!?! Can't we just go blissfully unaware into the realm of parenthood?

Everyone (that isn't currently nauseated, I might add), keeps telling me this is a blessing...and don't get me wrong, I feel SO lucky that my baby was sticky this time and things are going well. I'm thrilled I'm going to get to be a mom. I'm also terrified of the not knowing what I don't know, if that makes sense, and realizing I'm in for a rude awakening about the things I think I do know. But this nausea? It ain't so fun...and really, I'm kinda ready to hit that 2nd trimester "glow" everyone keeps talking about....

In the meantime, if you hear any retching sounds from over in the corner...that'd be me... If I'm over there for too long, send in the cavalry.