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I think I have finally answered the age-old question: How long can the husband of an expectant wife keep his sanity? The answer would be seven and a half months.
Chris is revolting against my pregnancy. Its not a problem with me or with the Bean, I think he has just finally had his limit of fetching, caring, and empathizing. I’ve noticed that there have been less foot rubs in the past couple weeks. And where he used to tuck me in bed every night, helping me strategically place each of my 1,000 pillows, he now just shoves the pillows here and there, tosses a kiss in my direction, and heads downstairs to the television.
I don’t blame him for this. Not at all. In case you hadn’t guessed, I am not exactly the strong and silent type. I’m more the hurl myself on the floor, yelling “WHY DOES GOD HATE ME” type. Chris has put up with his fair amount of complaining and moaning and crying, so I’m not surprised that he has hit his breaking point. I’m just surprised at what it was the pushed him over the edge.
This morning I woke up earlier than him, like always. I took the dogs downstairs, like always. I fed them and had a bowl of cereal myself, like always. And then I settled in with a good book, like always.
About an hour later Chris wakes up and comes downstairs, seemlingly happy. Until he goes into the kitchen. And we are out of bread. And I thought the world was going to end.
“Where’s the bread?!?!?!” he frantically shouted.
“I think we’re out,” I replied, distracted by my book.
“WHAT??!?!!” he screeched. “HOW COULD WE BE OUT OF BREAD? HOW AM I GOING TO HAVE MY TWO SLICES OF PEANUT BUTTER TOAST? YOU CAN’T MAKE TOAST WITHOUT BREAD! WHERE’S THE BREAD? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?”
Hearing the hysteria in his voice, I suggested that he throw on some shoes and run up to the gas station to get a loaf of bread to make his beloved peanut butter toast. To which he snapped back, “You go get it!” (Note: He said this laughingly, but he was 100% serious.)
Now, I love Chris, but I’m not about to drag my pregnant, pajama’d belly up to the gas station for him when he is perfectly capable of going himself. If he were impaired – say unconscious or trapped under a large bookshelf – I may had offered my assistance. But this was not the case.
“I would do it for you!” he insisted. “Go get me bread!”
“No!” I yelled.
“Why not?!?!” he demanded.
And then I uttered the line that pushed him over the edge. “Because I’m pregnant!”
“You’re not THAT pregnant!” he responded. “Go get me bread!”
At this point, I looked down at the book I was holding. It is a book on the No-Cry Method of parenting, which teaches you different ways to soothe a crying baby. Chris was sitting next to me on the couch – whining uncontrollably for no apparent reason and didn’t seem to be able to calm himself. All symptoms of colic.
So, I calmly and confidently lean over and take him in my arms, firmly yet gently, as the book instructs. And I begin to rock him back and forth in a repetitious manner which simulates the lulls of the womb. And lastly, I start making “swishing” noises.
And wonder of all wonders, he stops moaning! Just like the baby book said he would!
So, we sit there for a minute rocking back and forth and then from somewhere within my arms, I hear him whimper quietly, “Please go get me bread.”
I knew parenting books were a crock of crap.
I have spring fever. Bad. New England has the best spring ever, I think. But waiting for it is like waiting for Christmas morning. Some days its warm, but rainy so you can’t enjoy it. Some days its sunny, but freezing cold so you can’t enjoy it then either. And then there are those rare, illusive March days where the stars align and it is miraculously sunny AND warm at the same time. And you have to go to work. So, you sit in your office, pressed against your window, wishing you were in a field of posies somewhere wearing gingham and toting a picnic basket.
Because I’m pregnant and any kind of movement at this point takes an enormous amount of planning and energy, I have been laying low at my house for the past few weeks. I lay on my couch on my little heating pad, watching television, and, you know, growing a child. But I’m over that. Totally over it. I came home yesterday and when I walked into my house, it just smelled dark and dingy and so inside-ish. Sort of like what I imagine a bear’s cave smells like after a long winter. So, I threw open the blinds and the windows and let some fresh air in. And then Chris came home.
“What the heck are you doing?” he asked, immediately beginning to close the windows.
“I’m airing out the house,” I said.
“Yeah, but its 30 degrees outside!”
Minor technicality. It didn’t feel that cold to me. And if Chris would just adjust his hormone levels to mine right now like a decent husband would do, I’m sure he wouldn’t think it was that cold either.
I’m also ready to go somewhere. Somewhere other than my living room. Somewhere where shoes and pants with zippers are required. Somewhere warm.
“Let’s move,” I told Chris.
“Somewhere warm,” I replied.
“Why don’t we just take a daytrip instead of, you know, selling our house…”
“That works, too.”
Yep. I’m ready for something drastic. I’m ready for shorts and t-shirts and ponytails and margaritas. I’ve been listening to Kenny Chesney again, and if he tells me one more time that no shirt and no shoes are no problem, I may be forced to just up and walk out on my job and find the nearest beach where whaling has not been outlawed and throw my huge self down on a towel.
But, until that happens, I’m going to have to find some other way to celebrate spring. Maybe I’ll do something crazy. Maybe I’ll change my screensaver…
Chris: Maybe you should think about limiting your Girl Scout cookie in take.
Me: Maybe we should get a divorce.
In the past few weeks my hands have started to swell pretty badly and almost every day. Its gotten to the point now where if it happens and I am still wearing my wedding and engagement rings, they get stuck. Chris keeps getting on to me saying that I need to stop wearing the rings or else he’s going to have to cut them off of me one day. I compromised and am now only wearing my wedding band.
I love my wedding band. It wasn’t actually the one I picked out when we got engaged. The one I picked out was much cheaper. Just a band. But on the night before our wedding, Chris gave me a small box and inside was this beautiful platnum band with small diamonds. It matched my engagement ring and it was gorgeous.
So, I love my wedding band. No question about it. But more than the band, I adore my engagement ring. It isn’t big. It isn’t something flashy. It won’t stop traffic. It is just a single solitare square cut diamond, small but beautiful. I love that ring because I know that Chris saved money for it while he was a poor college student. He kept the money hidden in a picture frame behind a picture of me. I love that. And I love that ring because of the day that he gave it to me.
Have I told you about how we got engaged? Its a pretty great story. When we were juniors in college, Chris and I went on a trip to New York together at Christmastime. I had begged the entire trip for us to go ice skating in Rockefellar Center, right in front of the big tree. But Chris kept putting it off and putting it off. One night after we went to see the Rockettes in Radio City, Chris asked if I wanted to walk over to Rockefellar Center and finally go ice skating.
So, we’re skating around in front of the big tree and the lights are twinkling and Christmas music is playing and there are a million people milling around, and all of a sudden Chris stops skating. Right there in front of the big tree. And he gets down on one knee. And I cry. And he asks if I’ll marry him. And I say yes. And we both cry. And then I fall down (cause I’m on ice skates, remember…).
I loved my ring from that moment on. We went back to our hotel room that night with a case of beer and a bag of pretzels, and we stayed up all night talking about weddings and marriage and, of course, my ring.
(This is a picture of me telling Chris that from now on, my ring will be front and center in pictures.)
The very next day, I bought my first wedding magazine and began plotting planning our wedding. And, once again, my ring was front and center.
And that was the beginning of my love affair with my engagement ring. I was hooked from then. But its not the ring itself that hooked me. I’m not bummed right now because I can’t wear a diamond ring on my finger. It was more about what that ring meant at the time that Chris gave it to me.
When we got engaged, I was waiting to hear from law schools, he was floating around trying to decide what to do after graduation. We didn’t know where we’d end up or even if we’d end up there together. There were so many questions out there, so many obstacles, and it probably would have been easier for us to figure out our paths separately. But when Chris gave me that ring, things just clicked into place for us. We still had a million unanswered questions about how it would practically work out, but we knew that however things ended up, we’d be together. And that’s why I love that ring.
And that’s why it is so hard for me to not wear it right now. Because we are sort of back in that limbo phase. Now, we are waiting for a baby, waiting on job opportunities, waiting to see how our lives will change yet again. And being able to look down at that ring and just know that everything will click into place exactly how it is meant to be was very comforting to me.
I’ve been without my ring for about a week now. And you know what? I don’t need it. I’m doing fine without it. I guess its because I just know things are working out how they are supposed to – whether I’m wearing that ring or not. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
But I can guarantee you that the minute that baby is out of my belly, I’m putting my pretty diamond back on my finger. Every girl loves a little sparkle…
Today kicks off March Madness, and if you are at all vested in college sports or if you know any male you know all too well the time commitment and dedication it takes to be a March Madness fan. Personally, I’m a big college sports fan. I went to Florida State University where the culture of sports and beer are cultivated like fine wines and cheese. Being a fan is an artform in Tallahassee, Florida. While I mostly follow college football, I do dust off my basketball cheerleading uniform for one month a year and I cheer on teams that I know nothing about in the name of March Madness.
For years, I have stood on the sidelines as Chris participated in pools and brackets. I’d occasionally throw a good suggestion in the mix for him, but for the most part I just showed up and ate chicken wings. But not this year. No, sir.
Because THIS year, I’m IN THE POOL. That’s right. Chris finally agreed to let me enter the basketball pool that he and his friends have done for the past few years. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I spent HOURS pouring over statistics that mean absolutely nothing to me in an effort to help me make at least a half-way educated guess. I don’t need to win the thing. I just don’t want to embarrass myself. Visions of playing golf with my Dad when I was little and being told to just pick up my ball because I had taken too much time dance in my head. I don’t want to choke under the pressure. I just want to be able to at least hang in there for a few rounds.
I called my sister when I found out I was going to play.
“Ginny,” I whispered. “When you pick teams that are going to win in a basketball tournament, what is that called?”
“I think its called your racket,” she said.
“Oh, yeah. I think that’s right,” I responded. (Its not right, actually. Its called a BRACKET.)
“And Ginny?” I asked. “Whats it called when you enter a group of people who all pick their rackets?”
“I think that’s called a pool,” she said.
“Oh, yeah. I think that’s right,” I responded. (That actually is right.)
So with the help of my trusty sister, I was able to at least FAKE the sports lingo I would need to be a real contender. Of course, Ginny went to the University of Florida, a university that makes Florida State look like a nursery school when it comes to team spirit. Chances are she was more immersed in the “culture” of beer than the “culture” of sports while she was there, so God knows what she actually knows about sporting rules. She looks great in a jersery and visor though, so I trust her judgment.
I submitted my BRACKET yesterday and the tournament kicks off today. Cross your fingers and cheer for Pittsburgh! They are my number one pick over U Conn (don’t I sound so sporty?). And if you have any basketball watching/picking/cheering tips for me to keep me from completely embarrassing myself, feel free to share. I’m gonna need all the help I can get!