Never Give Up.

For Gwendolyn.


99 Days

For reasons I'm not going to bother blogging about (because your eyes will glaze over), I started a second registry today at Target and discovered that little G is due in 99 days. That's less than 100, (in case you hadn't figured that one out yet), and while it's technically another 14 weeks, to me, it's really just over 3 months (and barely) - to prepare for her arrival. I've been told it will fly by. I'm not buying that, because I'm starting to feel huge and am consequently having trouble sleeping, suffering from incessant heartburn and hating the NYC summer heat, which makes the days seem torturously long. I wish it would fly by. I'm anxious for her to get here and I'm already over being pregnant.

That being said, I realize that 99 days isn't much - and I have to get this registry nonsense figured out now.

I have interrogated numerous friends, including Eva, who recently had a baby herself and who has likewise been tremendously helpful in the 'What works, what doesn't, what is actually necessary/vital?' department and I am incredibly indebted to her.

Despite countless such interrogations, I was looking at my first registry on Babies R Us and realized that there just isn't much on it. Mind you, I'm not even sure who's going to be purchasing anything for us other than our parents anyway, given that we're not throwing a traditional baby shower, (it'll be a virtual one just like Eva's) and given that we live a gagillion miles away from the vast majority of our friends and family. Nevertheless, we figured we'd give this a whirl anyhow. If nothing else, it's a good way to keep track of what we need and don't yet have.

At first, I was totally cocky about the whole baby registry thing thinking - you know... we really don't need that much stuff. We're probably going to be moving in a year and don't have room for a full baby furniture suite in this apartment anyway, so that's out. We really just need a few basic things. You know, like a mini-crib, playpen-type thingy, one of those bouncy chairs... and we'll be good-to-go. Oh - and maybe we should get a diaper pail too. Nobody likes stinky diapers. But really - that's it. We'll keep everything to a bare minimum, because we do live in NYC after all, and there just isn't room for anything extraneous.

Oh, were it only so easy!

Now that I've had time to properly assess the whole 'What does little G' need thing? The answer is, EVERYTHING. Or it seems like it anyway.

Honestly, I had absolutely no idea what a complicated, time-consuming and altogether annoying task developing a baby registry would be. I mean - just look at the Babies R' Us "Must Have" list. It's fairly lengthy for a list of what they're deeming to be must-haves. This is their interpretation of what a bare-bones list of necessities is. Now, I realize, this is a huge money-maker for them and convincing parents to-be, especially first-timers like me that they need everything is good for business... but I mean, come on! A hooded bath towel is a must have??? Somehow, I think little G will live without one.

Anyway, I begrudgingly now have two separate registries and I'm still not done figuring out what little G really, truly needs.

How many diapers do they go through in a week?


Another Week of Incredibly Mixed Emotions

Those who have been reading this blog from day 1 know that I lost one of my pups just days after finding out I was pregnant. It sucked. I was so excited about the pregnancy and so sad about my pup, but I got through it. Wasn't the ideal way to start out a pregnancy - but life tends to work that way sometimes.

Last week, I was celebrating being 6 months in and that much closer to the third trimester. Posted a silly belly pic on Facebook and was feeling pretty damn great about life in general. Then over the weekend, Anna, our other pup started showing signs that her congestive heart failure is getting worse. We took her to the vet. They did X-rays which were inconclusive - but the vet suspected that there might be some fluid in her lungs, so she sent the films off to a radiologist. Not good.

I suppose we had gotten a bit cocky. She was diagnosed almost a year ago - and honestly, unless we told you something was wrong with her, you probably wouldn't even know. I am convinced that she is the happiest, loviest most playful little pup in the whole wide world. (Don't argue). She is literally my sunshine, so to hear that wheezy cough again was heartbreaking. Again however, with her condition - this kind of thing is to be expected. We had just forgotten.

Part of me appreciates this balance in life. After all, how on earth can you appreciate/relish the good if you've never dealt with any bad? It's why I can reflect on the rather icky things that have happened to John and me and appreciate the takeaways. We've grown stronger, we've become better people as a result... so in a way, the bad is good, right???

But, when it comes to Anna, the thought of losing her sends me into a complete tailspin, especially after losing Otto less than a half a year ago. To lose two pups while pregnant would be just plain awful. (One was bad enough,) and to be honest, I'm not even sure I can fully function without an adorable pup in my life anymore.

After losing a night of sleep and crying on-and-off for the better part of 24 hours, I realized that I had to somehow calm the hell down again - for the baby's sake.

Which is why, when we got the call from the vet at 8 p.m. tonight, I had already braced myself for the worst. I was fully prepared to hear that there was indeed fluid in her lungs and that her congestive heart failure was beginning to worsen in a much more pronounced manner... that it may only be a matter of time at this point until her heart gives out completely, etc. I won't go into the gory details, but let's just say that congestive heart failure doesn't do pretty things. I hate thinking about it. All the more reason I was so relieved to hear the vet say that there was no fluid buildup and that yes, her heart is a bit larger and there are a few other little issues, but nothing monumentally bad.

Whew. Thank God! Anna's gonna stick around for a while. I really can't wait for her to meet little G and vice-versa. I mean, look at these two! They're gonna be fast friends.


I Erased Myself From My Yearbook

My girlfriend from way back when, Dani Gillman, is a hardcore advocate for children with Autism, including her own adorable little girl.

When Dani discovered that her daughter's school had basically eliminated all three of the special education classes from the yearbook due to a "printing oversight" she was livid - and decided to get vocal. (I don't blame her).

For me, multiple aspects of her story struck a chord, especially as I get closer to becoming a parent myself. In her blog, Dani asked, "Do your kids read and re-read yearbooks all the time, too?!"
I thought, well, I don't have a child yet, so I really don't know... But what did I do with my yearbooks?

Oh yeah... I recalled and recoiled from the thought simultaneously. At one point in junior high, I erased my photograph from one of my yearbooks entirely. Yep. That's right. I erased it, leaving only a smudgy white box. I thought I looked so hideous that the photo should never have been printed in the first place, and I wanted to more or less, delete it.

I think about this now and I have very mixed emotions. In a weird way, I'm happy that I did it because I'm now forced to deal with the regret surrounding it and can tell my daughter what a mistake it was to erase a piece of my history and how terrible it was that I ever felt that way about myself to begin with. I want to use it as a tool to teach her that you need to embrace who you are no matter what, and that one day, you'll appreciate all the childhood photos of yourself, even if you're not a fan of them now.

But, thinking about this also made me sad, because it occurred to me that Dani's daughter wouldn't have even had the chance to hate and possibly erase her yearbook photo had Dani not raised hell over it with the school. Fortunately, the company that printed the yearbooks will be doing a reprint, so Dani's daughter will have that keepsake. It still doesn't resolve all of the issues surrounding the debacle in the first place though, nor does it undo the school's repeated failures to utilize this instance in a beneficial manner that could've had a markedly positive impact on the entire student body, but at least she'll have her yearbook. Hopefully she won't go erasing anything (and I doubt she will), but clearly she still won't have the opportunity to engage in one other important yearbook-related tradition that Dani and I both happily did when we were in junior high - exchange autographs and goofy little K.I.T. notes, like the one pictured here that Dani herself wrote for me in my own yearbook in the 8th grade at Portola Junior High. I love that she said, "Don't forget me," as if I could!

Anyway, the scenario at Dani's daughter's school is a tough pill to swallow. It never should've happened - and while it was a mistake, it should've been managed and handled very differently, especially since multiple occasions were presented to do so.

But perhaps most importantly, nobody should ever be erased from a yearbook, for any reason.