Monday, May 30, 2005

Goodbye, Sugar

I am moving!

My brilliant husband worked all day yesterday to create me a new blog. So without further ado, welcome to The Reign of Ellen.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was a week pregnant, but didn't know it yet. I guess Anna was implanting herself in my uterus about now.

I was tending to my foster dog's new puppies, falling in love with them despite the fact that I was still slightly pissed that Sugar could get pregnant but not me (I definitely related to Charlotte in that episode of "Sex and The City.") I was also in the process of preparing myself for my laparoscopy, as well as finding out I had Barlow's Syndrome (mitral valve prolapse thingy) through chest X-rays, EKGs and echocardiograms. I find it slightly ironic that if the echocardiogram tech chick would have just moved the wand down about 12 inches south, we might have seen the slight dot in my uterus that was Anna.

A week later, I was puzzled why my period, though it felt impending, was not here. I always spot for about seven days before the full tidal wave hits, so I couldn't figure it out. And my boobs were still big and sore, which usually leaves about the same time the spotting starts. I went to go see the third Harry Potter movie, positive that my period would arrive by the end of the movie. When it hadn't, I decided to take a pregnancy test in the morning, even though we hadn't bothered to "try" that month. (No OPKs, temp-taking, Robutussin-drinking, Clomid-ingesting, green tea-guzzling, progesterone-shoving or pillow-propping.) I didn't bother telling Jason my testing intentions, because he had all but forbid pregnancy tests in our house several months earlier.

I got up in the morning and peed on the last of my Dollar Tree secret stash. And I saw two lines. I didn't even have to wait. It popped up right away. It was the first time I had ever seen such quick beautiful lines on a pee stick of mine. I bent over with my head between my knees and cried with shaking hands and thanked God.

(Of course, Doubting Thomas took over and I went to Walmart and bought pregnancy tests in every brand. I went home and peed on a batch on them. All positive. I finally threw them away after Anna was born. I guess she was the official proof that they really were positive.)

My life has changed so much in one year. I am so blessed to have been given such a good life. I have a rockin' husband, fabulous friends, beautiful home and a much longed-for daughter. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. Sometimes Three.

We went through a stage there, around 2 1/2 months, where Anna was sleeping through the night. Well, from 10pm to 5am, which I consider sleeping through. But after I went back to work, we seem to have fallen off the wagon on our collective butts.

After I started back, she started waking up once during the night. This past week, she has started twice. One night, she even did a whopping three times. And it's not just fussing. She wants to eat and gets quite pissy if she doesn't get fed. Is this a growth spurt? Is it the change in routine? Am I coddling her at night? Do I just let her cry at 3am?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it is amazing the effect that sleep deprivation has on me. First thing to go is always my sense of humor. My father-in-law has been here all week. I love him, but sometimes he drives me insane. In the past, I have always just taken his slight obsessiveness in stride and laughed it off. Last night, I realized that I wasn't laughing and I was entering Bitch Territory. I had worked all day, hadn't really slept in two weeks, and managed to go out to dinner with Jason, his dad and Anna. Eating out just isn't fun for me if I have Anna with me. There's no point in it. She hates sitting still, so I bounced her, fended off the fussing, wiped up a gallon of spit-up off the table, scarfed down my food in five minutes and left to go walk around the parking lot with her for twenty minutes, so everyone else in the restaurant could have a pleasant dining experience. And my FIL has the nerve to insinuate that I was being too "over-protective." Last night, I officially accepted the fact that dining out, with the child I was given, is just not an option until she is older.

Anyway, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sit down and watch the "Lost" finale. Somehow, I was guilted into trampsing around outside, taking pictures of Anna. I missed half my show (which I know is a silly thing to get worked up over) but it was the only thing I was looking forward to all day. Again, usually, this wouldn't bother me, but at the time, I wasn't smiling. I was a crank.

Physically, I feel like I felt when Anna was a month old. Sort of like a walking zombie. And not like the zombies from "28 Days Later," you know, the ones that run around really fast and hyperkinetic. We're talking "Shaun of the Dead" zombies. Grunting, moaning, limbs periodically falling off. Well, maybe not that last one. But I don't feel like my appendages are working correctly. I keep knocking things over and hitting my elbow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Well, I Did It

I quit my job this morning.

I've been losing sleep about this for several weeks now, so I decided it was time. My boss was extremely understanding about it-- his wife is a stay-at-home mother of four homeschooled kids. He said, "Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do." It was a relief. I told him I was planning on the end of June being my departure, but he asked if I could hang in there until July 14th, so he could get my job posted and replace me (we are badly understaffed in our design department.) I was fine with that. He has been really good to me for five years, so I don't want to leave him high and dry.

I wasn't really worried about telling him. Actually I am petrified to tell my babysitter. She was so good to save Anna's spot for an entire year; I feel awful. But I am giving her ample warning, and I actually have a friend who wants to take Anna's spot. So she's not high and dry either.

I can't believe what a difficult decision this was to make. There are so many good points to stay working. I will miss my work friends greatly. There isn't the isolation that accompanies being a SAHM. My company, despite my frequent complaints, is an excellent company to work for. I have some time to myself during the day, and have lunch with adult conversations (well, "grown-up" conversations. Not "adult" as in Howard Stern.) I was fortunate to have found a good babysitter. But in the end, it comes down to wanting to be at home with my daughter. Everytime I weighed the benefits of working to staying at home with Anna, well, Anna won out hands down.

So here I go, the next big adventure.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"Pahss de Dutchie from de Left Hand Side..."

My father-in-law is here. Today he informed us that Anna has "Dutch ears." (I hope she also develops her grandma's Dutch cleanliness habit.) So my sister and I have decided to call her Dutchie.

Yesterday, the babysitter told me that she thought that ole' Dutchie was going to be "advanced." She has started trying to pull herself to a sitting position, and she gets mad if you don't stand her up on her legs to watch everyone. When I got home, I pulled down my "What to Expect in the First Year" book. I had no idea what babies are supposed to be doing at this age. I was surprised to learn that the child is doing late five month old stuff. She also turns and looks at people when they talk to her, and is using more complex vowel sounds (and I know that Jason and I are probably imagining it but it often sounds like she repeats what we say, like "Hi." Not that "Hi" is all that impressive. If she said, "Pass the butter," THAT would be impressive.) The fact that she started holding her head up fairly steady at three weeks should have clued me in. I have had my suspicions from the beginning that Anna's crabbiness is partly due to not having the physical ability to do what she wants.

I know that I should be dancing around, all "Look at me, my child is Mary Lou Retton" but inwardly it makes me groan. I don't know if I want a child that is pushing the envelope. The babysitter also said, "You'd better watch out for that one." Which I sort of knew already. Something tells me I have many hair-pulling years ahead of me.

Your Next American Idol

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I feel exhausted this week. It took a few weeks for the return-to-work-exhaustion to hit me, but boy, did it hit. Anna went for a few weeks of sleeping until 5am, but took a dip this week. She's been waking up to nurse around 3am every morning. We have tried to hold her off, but she will have none of it. Jason tried to get her back to sleep, but she kept trying to nurse on him. I imagine it's a growth spurt.

My exhaustion has come out in a humorless snit. I have had very little patience with Jason this week. It's amazing how fast sleep deprivation can suck out your sense of humor. He got a new macro lens for his spiffy new camera. He's been taking many many photos of bugs, maggots and dandelions. Usually, I would find this interesting. Or even if I didn't, I would have the energy to fake it. But last night, he wanted me to "ooo and ahh" over his latest photographs. I said, "Fascinating. I have to go make Anna's bottles and fold laundry now" and left. I think I hurt his feelings.

And I've never been a compliment whore, but this week, I've really been needing a little more encouragement. [Note: this is honestly not a whoring technique to get everyone to back-pat me in my comments section.] Jason started a new job this week, so he has been overwhelmed and preoccupied with that. But last night I felt like I needed a "You are a good mommy" rather than a "This kid stinks. When did you last give her a bath?"

Maybe I'll go take a nap at lunch.

Regarding Previous Post

I'm kinda liking "The Reign of Ellen."

Regarding a comment in the previous post...a guy on my high school yearbook staff once looked at me and said, "You have porn star lips." I decided to be flattered, rather than offended. I also did not ask him to elaborate.

By the way, do you know how to find out your porn star name? Add the name of your childhood pet and the street you grew up on.

Example: Mine is Betsy Lou Digby.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Time For A Change

(First of all, thank you for the sling/carrier suggestions. I will look into that Over the Shoulder Boulder (oops) Baby Holder. What an unfortunate name.)

I think that I need a new look to this blog. And perhaps a new name. I never really knew why I decided to name this thing "Sugar In The Raw" in the first place. To steal it from my sister and piss her off, I guess, because that was going to be her stripper name (if she ever decided to become a stripper.)

I will sic my husband onto the task of figuring out how to create a blog (more than just switching templates.)

I am also open to suggestions for a new name. I have never been a nicknamed person, so that's part of the problem. Just "Ellen" my whole life. Well, one friend in college called me Frank; another called me Mrs. Schmelle. My mother calls me Ellonio Balonio (no idea why.) My friend, Melissa, calls me LBoogie because we were watching a Fugee's video for "Killing Me Softly" and one of the lyrics goes, "LBoogie, take it to the bridge!" I said, "I want a nickname like that. If my nickname was LBoogie, then I'd be cool." So she started calling me that. But I'm still not cool.