The ayes have it

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There have been plenty of situations in my life that didn't seem like they were going to be a big deal until the actual event snuck up and smacked me square in the jaw. 

Buying my first house, for example.  Everybody - our realtor, mortgage lender - played it all casual until I sat down to sign a mountain of paperwork informing me that my prison nick name would be Cheeks and I would be playing the part of the rabid yet horny jail donkey should I miss a payment.

Today, as I sat in a hospital room at Children's trying to distract my extremely suspicious daughter while the anesthesiologist went over the possible side effects of her impending surgery with me, would be another good example.

It was a relatively minor procedure - she was born with a blocked tear duct that had to be opened.  For the past year strangers everywhere ask why she's crying or if she has pink eye.  The affirmative pink eye response actually comes in handy on those occasions when I'm just not in the mood for idle produce aisle chit chat.

But, as with all decisions I make for my children, it was in the best interest of her getting a date to prom to have it fixed. 

I knew it wasn't going to be pleasant, but the image of your baby being carted away by a team of people in scrubs was significantly more heart wrenching than I had anticipated.  Especially when she turns around and cheerfully waves goodbye to you as they walk out the door with her, like she thought they were going to spend a nice afternoon at the park. 

Immediately before they came in to take her I had visions of scooping her up and running with her like a football tucked under my arm fancy footing it past the nurses and back out to the parking garage.

But, as usual when I have that fantasy, I chickened out. 

Luckily Nick was able to take a couple of hours off work and we passed the time by watching an infomercial for The Perfect Meatloaf for the 1/2 hour she was gone.  A quality product that almost took my mind off what was happening until she came back, woke up from anesthesia and looked at me like this:

It's safe to say that milkshakes are in our near future.  


The Nile

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Image credit:  http://www.worshippingchristian.org/
I was feeling a little guilty this morning because I realized that I'm already almost 30 weeks pregnant and I've barely given the new baby so much as a shout out on my blog.  I mean, sure, I'll post the occasional belly shot or complain about alcohol withdrawals, but there's been a big void when it comes to me writing about my pregnant feelings and junk. 

I STILL have readers emailing me things like "Congrats - I didn't know you were pregnant!" which is a lot different from last year when I was pregnant with Lila and people were emailing me things like, "OMG - we GET it - you're pregnant!  Now please stop talking about the placement of your placenta." 

And there's a reason for that. 

I am in complete denial that there's actually a baby growing in my apparently (SURPRISE!) now not-so-barren loins. 

Of course there's been loose talk around the Mayer house about mini vans and nannies and man I can't wait until after the c-section and I get my percocet fix, but the only action I've actually taken is to buy a fixer upper dresser on Craig's List.  Which, by the way, does anybody know how to cover up the smell of mouse poop?

We don't even have a name.  Friday night Nick and I took the girls to Chipotle and as we sat outside enjoying the cool autumn breeze and watching the sun set I said, "We really need to come up with some names for this baby."  To which Nick replied, "I know." 

Then we just continued chewing.

To get ready for the baby means it's real.  And - God help me I am so super excited we've been blessed with another little miracle - I'm scared out of my mind.  I am still majorly scarred from being tossed into Satan's circus when we brought Lila home from the hospital when Ellie was 16 months old. 

I feel like I'm only just beginning to emerge from the haze of insanity now that we're on a schedule, Lila is finished with bottles and Ellie doesn't constantly try to end the misery of having to share my attention by running into oncoming traffic.  The thought of going back there in 10 weeks makes my eyelid twitch.  And this time will be like last time except Lila will only be 14 months old and a 2 1/2 year old will be thrown into the mix.

But this train has left the station and although it wasn't the way we planned it, it's how it's going to be.  Between Ellie using my stomach as her own personal Craftmatic Adjustable Bed and Lila using it as a teether (I've still got a lot of extra skin hanging out down there, people) this baby is already getting a taste for what life on the outside will be like.  And who knows?  Maybe it's already decided it would be a win/win to just hang out in my uterus for another year or so. 

I'm just saying no one really passed judgment on Moses' mom for sending him down the Nile because she couldn't handle it, and he ended up having a fine life.   

Vehicle that extinguishes fires

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Someday... somewhere... there will be a man looking for a woman with the eyes of an angel, and the mouth of a sailor.   

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Animal House

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Against my basic instinct and better judgment, this weekend we packed up and headed back to Planet Ozark for a few days with some of Nick's college buddies and their wives.  Of the seven couples there, I was the only one who did not attend the same university.

Much to my relief their confederate college experience was a thing of the past and nobody was interested in reliving the good 'ole days. 

Oh, except for that one time when we first walked into the house on Friday night and everyone was gathered catatonically around the TV watching a 4-hour DVD showcasing every detail of their senior trip to Mazatlan.  Which we watched twice because some people arrived late and were not able to view it in its mind-numbing entirety.

And, my other hesitation - that I wouldn't have any fun because everyone would be too drunk to have a conversation with - was a silly little fear that went unrealized as well. 

Oh, except for that one time after, mercifully, the DVD was finished and the person I was having a conversation with suddenly whipped around and picked a fight with an invisible person in the chair next to him, didn't like what he had to say, tried to punch the invisible person, missed, and knocked over the chair.  Then moments later passed out mid-stride while walking across the living room onto the back of the chair I was sitting in, sending me flying across the room where I landed on all fours with the chair on my back in a pool of O'Doul's. 

He was dragged to his bedroom by another equally intoxicated man's fish hook, but 20 minutes later staggered out like a wounded caribou that refused to die.  Thinking it would be a good idea to hit the hot tub, he would have surely drowned had it not been for the cat like reflexes of yet another equally intoxicated man who forced his lips upon him and shouted repeatedly, "Hold still so I can help you!" in an effort to provide basic life saving skills.

He finally went down when yet ANOTHER equally intoxicated man sat on his chest and thumped his brain against the linoleum.   

The next day we all piled into the boat and after tooling around for a while, decided to "cove out."  A term which is WAY under appreciated and that Nick and I have decided to incorporate into our everyday discourse:

"Hey, can you bring me some chicken?"

"Go screw yourself - I'm coving out."

Thank god my friend E was also pregnant, alleviating my fears that I would be the only fat whale on the boat. 

Oh, except for that one time when she whipped out her string bikini and revealed that pregnancy actually makes her even hotter than everyone on the trip, as demonstrated by the five passing boats which crashed into one another.   

The water temperature was a balmy 65 degrees, and after about 20 minutes I pried Nick's blue and rigid fingers off my raft, whispered "I'll never let go" as I let go and pushed him to the bottom of the lake and made a break for the USS Carphathia that had finally come to our rescue.

I realized five hours on a speedboat on one of the busiest lakes in the United States may not have been the wisest idea as I laid in bed that night squeezing Nick's hand through contractions screaming "I can't have an Ozark baby!  Anything but an Ozark baby!" 

As our friend Matt pointed out the next morning, Ozark babies are born with the only four teeth they'll ever be lucky enough to have in their lives, a mullet and a full mustache.  And the boys are even uglier.

The silver lining of this weekend is that it officially marked the end of swimsuit season, and the last time I'll need to involve a mirror and a forklift to shave.  I can finally let my winter coat grow in. 



   

To Lillian on her first birthday

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Dear Lila,

Yesterday you turned one.  9/11 is not a date most would associate with celebrating, but the sparkly laughter you bring to our lives every day gives us the perfect reason to turn a normally sober day into one of happy rejoice.

Flanked very closely in the front by an extremely opinionated and outspoken 27-month-old, and even closer in the back by a soon to be all-consuming newborn sibling, my greatest challenge in life will be to not accidentally leave you behind in the grocery store.

Patience is a virtue you've had to learn the hard way, as certain members of our family did not exactly welcome you into our home with open arms. 

But you've been quietly biding your time and your diligence has paid off, as you've been able to charm even your harshest critics.

    
I'm positive that in no time at all Ellie will be reciprocating the unconditional admiration and awe I see in your eyes every time you look at her.  Either that or you're going to have to continue to maintain your Sumo wrestler diet, outgrow her and physically force her to love you. 

With the exception of growing hair, everything seems to come so easily for you.  Rolling over, popping out your first tooth, crawling and taking your first steps all just sort of happened with little encouragement and as much fanfare as I could squeeze in between burning macaroni and cheese and cleaning poop out of the bathtub. 

It's already obvious that you'll never know a stranger.  Within moments of dropping you off in the gym nursery you've introduced yourself to every other child and convinced them to vote for you in 2048.  Like a little ray of sunshine, wherever we go your magnetic energy seems to pull people across rooms to get closer to you.  

I could stare at you for hours as you lay sleeping in your crib, and your squeal when I walk in your room first thing in the morning is a noise that will warm my heart when I'm 100, laying in bed and thinking of everything in my life that I did right.  

I can't wait to see where this life takes you and watch as you grow and learn, knowing that you'll be teaching me just as much about how to relax and roll with the punches life throws.  Whatever path you choose, know that I'll be your biggest fan.  

Even if right now that path is looking a little sketchy.      

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Please understand that if you DO become a stripper I will be front and center at every show, announcing to each person putting a dollar bill in your underwear that you once pooped up to your neck.

Happy birthday. 

Love,

Mom 


Win this! (Well, everything but the Hooter's owl)

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Like pasta?  Like teeth?  Boy did YOU pick the right blog to read today.

I'm giving away a pass for 4 to the Delta Dental Health Theatre, where kids are guaranteed* to have a flossing good time learning how to keep their teeth from rotting out of their little faces. 

*This is a fun little editorial 'guarantee', not the same type of 'guarantee' like, "I guarantee these tires will last you 40,000 miles, Mrs. Mayer."

Along with the Delta Dental Health Theatre passes I'm giving away two dinner entrees (up to a $20 value), a free kid's meal, and free dessert at The Old Spaghetti Factory, located right next door to the theatre.

So afterward you can look like the big hero and give them a nice reward in the form of the best pasta in St. Louis* by taking the fam to dinner.

*Again, a fun little editorial 'best', not the same type of 'best' like, "This is the best liver available for your transplant, Mrs. Mayer."

See how I'm always looking out for you?

To enter you only have to do three simple things:

1.  Like my Facebook page (either click that green link or click the big blue "F" on the right and then hit the 'like' button)
2.  Get a friend (who doesn't already) to like my Facebook page
3.  Leave me a comment below letting me know you've done both things (make sure the comment includes both your name and your friend's name)

That's it!  I'll be drawing a random winner on Monday, September 12 at 10:00am.

Good luck!




Life after death

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First things first. 

Will the person who has visited my blog 84 times in the past few days by Googling "Hannah Mayer Skidmarking Photos" please drop me a line just to let me know you aren't a psycho stalker killer?  Or, if you ARE a psycho stalker killer, please give me at least two weeks' notice because I'm REALLY REALLY close to finishing my book and if I die before it's finished then I swear to God I'm going to spend eternity haunting every Barnes and Noble within a 20-mile radius of your house moaning about dreams unrealized.    

See here?

I can see you. 

And I'm totally flattered but you're creeping me out more than the person who got here by Googling "Big fat smelly priest." 

Ahem.

Over the weekend we experienced a whirlwind of emotionally exaggerated events, which is awesome timing for my pregnancy because Wednesday I officially entered the "I will sob uncontrollably if my pancakes look at me wrong" phase.

Saturday morning we attended the funeral of Nick's best friend's Mother who lost a long and courageous battle with cancer.  We were running on Mayer time, and showed up 10 minutes late to the funeral home to an empty parking lot, minus a lone hearse getting a jump start.  Which is a little ironic if you think about it. 

Apparently we had missed the procession to the mass by about 2 minutes, so we Dukes of Hazzarded it to the church.  We parked and ran, entering a side door and immediately found ourselves the guests of honor at a wedding.  Telling the crowd to try the veal before we slowly backed out the door, we finally found the church and my 2-day crying spell was officially green-lit.

Within an hour of returning home from the funeral, Lila took her first steps.  Which my sister Beth did an AWESOME job of capturing on camera.   


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To recap in case you're at work, I asked her to take some footage to get a better vantage point, and after about 20 seconds she found Lila's first steps to be boring and decided to capture some video of her own son picking lint off my stairs, missing the entire thing.  

But that's okay... think of the 20 seconds of memory I saved from having to store such inconsequential and meaningless things like first steps on my computer.  

My sister was in town because we finally decided it was time to drive the devil out of Lila and have her baptized.  You know you have procrastinated on such things when in a few weeks you could actually do a two-fer.  Which I plan on doing for potty training, by the way.  



See how much happier she is now? 


And, finally, to bring our weekend circle of life to a heartwarming close, we ended with Lila's first birthday party.  With only her grandparents, aunts and uncles there, it was a far cry from Ellie's first birthday bounce house, keg, catered, rented table, pinata, 110-person blow out extravaganza.

But I just want to go on record as saying I love her just the same.  

And yes, I just noticed that the tip of my belly is touching the counter.  

And no, that cake isn't half eaten.  It fell apart when I was dumping it in the carrier and I tried to surgically fuse it back together with frosting.

I'm starting to understand the curse of being the second born.