Saturday, July 30, 2011

Working Girls

Not that kind of working girls!  Geez!

I got myself a J.O.B. and I am very excited.  I will be the salesperson in Houston for a new company called SweetJack.  They are like Groupon and LivingSocial but are owned by the second largest medial company in the country.  So far, they are only live in Atlanta, and are doing awesome, and will be launching Dallas and Houston just after Labor Day.  Then they will be quickly expanding across the nation.  I am so excited to be on the ground floor of something like this, and even more excited to be getting back to work!  Best part, they are totally fine with the whole "bun in the oven" situation and are willing to be flexible with me post-baby as long as I keep my sales up.  My perfect situation would be to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I could spend the other 4 days of the week with the bambino.  Best of both worlds?  I think so.

Steve kept making me promises of things I could have/do after I got a job (bribery is a good tool people), and top of that list is a cleaning lady.  We aren't messy, so just one day every other week to clean the bathrooms, vacuum, you know...the stuff we hate.  Our ultimate goal is this:  Hire a hispanic nanny who can teach our baby Spanish for the 3 days I work and then maybe she could also clean on one of the days I am off.  What's that you say?  Genius plan?  I agree.  Steve is only interested in whether or not she can cook authentic Mexican food...ugh.  I figure since we live in Little Mexico (aka: Texas), it would be beneficial for our kid to be bilingual. 

I love it when a plan comes together!  Let's just hope it all works out...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm sorry ma'am, I didnt mean to vomit on you.

I promise this will be my last baby post for a little bit, but I have to get this off my chest.

Whoever said pregnancy is beautiful was probably.....well.....a man or something.

Although I'm not hovering over my toilet unable to keep any food down all day, I am experiencing such an array of side effects that I am already praying for February.  "Dear God, please make tomorrow miraculously be February.  Please."  And, I'm not even really showing yet, so imagine how much fun I am going to have with swollen feet, super sore back, unable to breathe, and something kicking me in the organs from the inside. 
For the last month or so, I have had zero energy.  I am used to being tired since I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as I wrote about here, but this enters a whole new stratosphere of tiredness.  How do women do this when they already have a kid?????  My mom confessed that she once locked my brothers in their room and fell asleep on one of their beds while they played around and on top of her so she could sleep.  Sounds peaceful.

I have either no appetite or cannot stop eating...never know what kind of day it will be.  Most days, I feel so nauseous that I don't want to eat but force myself in hopes it will settle my stomach.  Rather than being nauseous and throwing up, like a normal person, I just walk around gagging all day.  I wish I could actually get sick because I think it would make me feel better...but I just can't.  It is awful and I can only imagine what strangers think of me as I walk around gagging.  The gagging is caused by several things:

smells - I have the nose of a highly trained bloodhound now.  I thought about getting a part time job at the airport as a drug sniffer, but there are a lot of stinky people out there and I don't want to smell them.  ANY smell will make me gag.  Steve's soap in the morning is one of the worst followed by just about any food smells.  My Chanel perfume also makes me gag, but my Burberry doesn't.  Maybe the baby is British...

sinus drainage - Yep, you read that right.  Fun fact, when you are pregnant, your sinuses begin draining ALL DAY and you can't take any allergy medicine because it might harm the baby.  You know how when you are sick you experience that gross feeling of something running down the back of your throat?  Well, I feel that all day and it makes me gag at least 35 times a day.

North-Easterly winds - Or any direction of wind really.  Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason behind the gagging, it just happens.  So pretty.

I am also afraid I may be becoming a lizard or alligator.  You always hear about the "Pregnancy Glow" women experience because their skin becomes a little more oily.  Well, me being who I am, am instead experiencing the most dry skin I have ever had.  It feels like I got really sunburned and am peeling.  Look at my leg from this morning:

I can't make it through the night without having to get up to use the bathroom.  I'm afraid this is only going to get worse too.  This wouldn't be so bad if I could go back to sleep after going potty, but instead I am up for at least an hour afterwards.  (See the paragraph on tiredness.)

Those are really the only side effects I feel are appropriate to share on this forum, but trust me, there are other less-attractive symptoms.

I'm going to sleep and plan to wake up in February. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Real Pictures from Inside the Human Body

I thought I would post our first baby pictures today.  Hold on to your seats....they are thrilling.

Steve was not convinced that I was in fact pregnant and that there were no complications until I went to the doctor to be "diagnosed."  After reminding him that this is a baby, not cancer, I went in a week after I found out (so I went to my first appointment at 6 weeks).  Not until I started reading the books, did I learn that most normal people don't go until around 10 weeks.  Guess that explains the first two images I was given to prove to my husband that I was pregnant and everything was okay.

I showed them to Steve and asked him if he could tell which part was the embryo.  He pointed to the black dot, obvious choice.  He was close, but it is actually the tiny white dot within the black dot.  Impressed?  Me neither.  The one thing that did impress me though was that there was only ONE black dot and ONE white dot.  (Steve's mom has twin brothers so I was a teensy bit nervous.)

At the first doctor's appointment, Dr. Mundy mentioned several times that Steve needed to come to the second appointment.  I assumed he needed to ask about his family's medical history and talk about a game plan.  Instead, my poor husband took off work only to speak 2 words to my dear doctor.  Dr. Mundy is a very low-key, relaxed, friendly man which suits our personalities perfectly.  If he was dramatic or excitable at all, I would be finding a new doctor STAT.

The one good thing that came from Steve attending the doctor's appointment (except that he got to witness his first pap smear and has told everyone he got to do so...thanks dear) was that he got to see the first ultrasound that actually showed us something.  The little guy or gal was very active; waving its little arms at us.  Unfortunately, the ultrasound tech didn't capture a very good picture compared to what we saw on screen.

The baby's head is on the right, arms in the middle and feet to the left.  Oh, and that pink stripe going down the right side?  That's the sign that the printer was running out of paper.  Thanks for changing the roll for us!  Not like it's our first picture of our baby or anything!  Really, no biggie.  This is totally something we can relive.  REALLY?!?!?!?  I am really hoping dear, sweet Dr. Mundy will do our next ultrasound.  Especially since I would like to know the sex and you can't tell if I am having a baby or a kidney bean in this picture.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Say wwwhhhhaaattttt????

Those who know me well, and even some who don't know me as well, know that I did not plan to have children.  I love kids, they are great to play with, but then I like to hand them back to their respective parent and return home to my nice, quiet, clean, baby-free home.  Steve was on board with this no-baby plan and we were going to fill our lives with exciting trips, vacation homes, and a very relaxing retirement (hopefully no more than 15 years away).  It was all planned.

Buuutttt- you know what they say, "While you are making plans, God laughs."  I don't know who "they" are, but I've heard this a lot, so just go with it.

Steve and I were planning our anniversary trip and had just about decided on Napa.  He was really putting on the pressure to book the trip (apparently when we got married, I became his personal travel agent), and I kept forgetting. 

Let's rewind about 2 weeks.  (Sorry if this is TMI but it is necessary for the story, so deal with it.)  We went to visit my family in Florida and while there I told Steve that my boobs seemed really sore.  I also noticed they seemed a little bigger, but wasn't sure if that was just my hopeful imagination, so I kept that detail to myself.  I figured it was just the normal thing that happens about the same time every month (catch my drift???), and ignored it.  But rather than lasting a day or two, it lasted a few weeks.  I joked to Steve that I might be pregnant, at which, we laughed it off and poured ourselves another glass of wine.  Then I started doing the math and realized I was about a week late, which is sometimes normal for me, but not with the other symptoms.

OK, back to the travel plans and no more TMI. 

I was finally getting around to booking the trip....Steve may have nagged a little bit that day....but as I went upstairs to get something out of my nightstand, I had this twinge to take a pregnancy test just to be sure I could enjoy this trip to wine country.  I happened to have an extra test from a slight scare a few months ago (I told you being late was sometimes normal for me), so I nervously went and took it.  Being the brainiac I am though, I only had the test and not the box or the instructions that would tell me whether two lines was positive or negative.  As I saw the 2 lines glaring back at me, I had a very uneasy feeling that this meant positive, but I wasn't sure so I sped to Walgreen's to find said box and get the truth. 

There it was, in bold, on the front of the box: 1 line negative, 2 lines positive.  I began to cry.  Not sob, but cry.  I composed myself as best I could and found a manager to unlock the case of expensive tests so I could be sure.  I bought an EPT 2 pack (they have good commercials and have been around forever, so I went with it) and rushed home with tears streaming down my face.  I chugged about 4 bottled waters to make sure my bladder would provide the supplies needed for the tests and took one.  When the plus sign showed up, I cried a little harder, drank some more water, and took the other one.  When it showed the bright blue plus sign in about 15 seconds, I began to shake and sob. 


All of my plans, my glorious plans, shattered.  Now there would be a new plan.  I have to care for another person besides my husband (who is self sufficient most of the time), I can't be selfish anymore, I will probably never own the Chanel purse I have drooled over and dreamed about so many times.  This happens to 16 year old girls on MTV, not me.  What is Steve going to say?  Will he be happy?  I was just about to get a job; will that be ruined?  My brain wouldn't stop and I couldn't compose myself, so I did what any red-blooded American woman would do, I turned on Oprah and lost myself in someone else's drama so I could forget my own for just a minute. 

As I sat watching the big O, the strangest feeling came over me; I was suddenly very protective of this new life inside of me.  Although it wasn't all...I now didn't want anything bad to happen to it.  Then I remembered the dinner party we had 2 nights before and the mass quantities of wine that were consumed.  Cue the next round of panic.

I sent Steve a text asking what time he would be home and then suffered through the longest 3 hours of my life, waiting to see/hear/experience his reaction.  You see, my husband is a planner, a thinker, an analyzer.  He shopped for his first Cartier watch for 2 years before buying it.

Steve came home and did his usual "walk around, take off his tie, get a glass of water, check the mail" routine as I was screaming on the inside for him to come sit down so I could change his world forever.  Finally I had to say, "Please come sit down, I need to tell you something."  Probably should have chosen better words, but I was in no state to filter myself.  With a look of slight panic and nervous laughter, he sat down and asked if I booked the trip.  I told him that I hadn't.  He asked why and I uncovered the 3 positive pregnancy tests.  Then I began to sob again.  More nervous laughter from him and then he asked why I was crying.  I told him I wasn't really sure and that it wouldn't stop happening. 

We had a talk about it and he was very calm but didn't get excited or upset...have I ever said how hard my husband is to read????  He said he would have preferred to have been married a little longer, but it is what it is. 

That night in bed, I started to cry again and confessed to Steve that I felt like a bad person.  I went on to explain that some women try their entire lives to have babies and are never able to, and here I was pregnant without even trying and really not happy about it.  Steve sat silent for a few minutes and then being the "fixer" that all men are, said "well, I've never ever considered abortion, but I can't imagine anything worse for a child than being a parent when you have no desire to be."  I consider myself pro-choice (that is the only liberal thing about me), but not for a happily married, financially stable, healthy individual.  I could also never imagine asking Steve to violate his morals and principals like that.  Also, do you remember that protective feeling I had almost immediately?  I told him that although this baby wasn't planned, that I didn't want anything to happen to it and that I will be the best mom I can possibly be and provide the best environment I possibly can.  I also know without a shadow of a doubt that he will be an absolutely phenomenal dad. (He always wanted kids but said that at this point in his life he was perfectly fine with the plan to not have any.)

Looking back, it seems so strange that we even had that conversation.  I am so thankful to have a husband who cares about my feelings and happiness, and that we have an open line of communication where we can have conversations like that without any judgement.  I am also so thankful that God gave me that immediate feeling of protectiveness, so this wasn't even ever an option. 

I am not sharing this so I can be judged or to fish for words of encouragement, I am sharing this because if I felt this way, I'm positive other women have also.  It was shocking to me the amount of friends who have since confessed to me that their pregnancies weren't exactly planned, that that they were nervous, terrified, hysterical, etc. but never told anyone.  Here I thought I was alone in these feelings and that they may never go away, and that was a very lonely place to be. 

Don't worry about me.  I am becoming more and more at peace with this addition everyday.  It has not gotten in the way of my job search, we made it to Africa and back safely, and I am already starting to plan the nursery, education, trips, college, and career choices (okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away).  I am still scared to death to bring a life into this world (I can't watch the news anymore or I might be too afraid to ever let this baby out of my body), but I know that if the girls on 16 and Pregnant can do it, Steve and I can more than handle it. 

OK, this was long and if you are still with me, you made it!  I promise the future posts will be shorter winded and maybe even feature pictures.  If that's not a teaser, I don't know what is!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

She's Here!

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of the Callaway klan.  Her name is Stiana and she is GORGEOUS!

The other animals from last year's hunt came also, but she is the only piece that doesn't need to go to the taxidermist (we had it tanned in Africa). 

There was a lid on this crate but Steve and I ripped it open last night when he got home.

The horn wth the red tape around it is my impala and the big horn to the left of it is Steve's kudu.  There are also 2 backskins and a warthog skull in there but the chemicals they use on them stink so bad that I couldn't dig through it anymore. 

I took them to Miguel, the taxidermist, today and because business is slow this time of year, we should have our mounts in about a month.  I told him we will keep him very busy since we have 9 more coming....let's just hope it doesn't take so long to get them here this time. 

The rug turned out beautiful though, and is so soft.  The only problem is that I want to find a low traffic area in the house where nothing gets set on her.  Maybe I could borrow some crime scene tape from a cop and put it all around Stiana so no one will walk on her.  I would suggest hanging her on the wall, but we need to save our wall space for our new trophies. 

Geez....the tough decisions of a hunter.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Out of Africa

(and no one robbed our house, so thank you for that...)

Long trip summarized in a post: we had a great time, killed 9 animals, saw some incredible ones, had a great time with the other hunters and guides, ate some great food, and spent waaaayyyyy too much time on airplanes.

Here are some animals:
This is a waterbuck cow with a baby....very cute.

A blue wildebeest with an impala buck.

Some more blue wildebeest with an eland in the background.

This is one of the blinds we hunted out of.  To the right is the blind, in front of it is the
water hole and there are about 3 feed troughs in the area.

This is a nyala.  They are so pretty.

There were about 50 monkeys that came into the blind.  They were hilarious; biting each other, screaming at each other and running full speed only to face-plant into things.

Almost wanted to take one home, but something tells me they aren't very friendly.

This is Phil the Grinder (as he was known in high school) from Louisiana who kept us entertained all week.

This is the camp where we stayed.  Our cabin is the one to the far left.

This is a huge sable.  You can kill one for a cool $11,000.

A huge ant hill.  Steve tried his best to disturb them, but it is hard as a rock.

Black Wildebeest.  This guy is very skinny and sick, but would still make a nice trophy with the right taxidermist.

More Nyala.

A group of white blesbok with a nyala.

Some very pretty butterflies.  I didn't kill these.


Steve's impala...not as big as mine last year, but he tried.  :)

This Red Hartebeest is massive.

Steve finally got his gemsbok and it is gorgeous.

We both shot a blesbok out of the same blind one after another.  Before we could go retrieve mine, another herd came in and Steve took one.  It was pretty cool and these animals are gorgeous.

Steve's Nyala.  I'm excited for him to move into our home.

My white blesbok.

This bushbuck was difficult.  We had to track him through thick brush for 3 hours and get the dogs on his trail.  The dog that is in this picture, however, was worthless and once we called in for another dog, we had my animal in about 5 minutes.  Glad this dog felt worthy of the picture though.  Posing like a pro.

Another pic of me and my bushbuck.  This is a really nice one and they are beautiful animals.  All of my animals measured 16", guess I should have a new lucky number.

Steve with his ginormous waterbuck.  His goal was 28" and this beast is 29.5"; the biggest one they have killed all season.  I have no idea where this thing is going to go....we need a bigger house.

So there's Africa in a nutshell.  It's very good to be home!