Friday, May 21, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
It may seem ridiculous to call Bug my firstborn. But that's just to those of you who don't understand. Either you've never had a pet or just didn't give enough consideration to your current pet's needs...I don't know. For those of you who have/had a little doggie, (not one you can leave outside) you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's not easy. They're not like cats, all independent and self-cleaning. Unlike most dogs, you can't leave Bug outside. He'll literally freeze to death. Well, that or run away. And I'm not saying this because he's my first real pet. Nu-uh! I've had about 6 dogs before Bug ever came along. Both indoor and outdoor dogs. Trust me, Bug has tested my parenting skills in more ways than one.
How Bug has prepared us for parenthood:
1) He vomits. A lot. If he drinks too fast or too much...BLAH! If he eats something new...BLAH! If he didn't digest well...BLAH! If he gets distracted while chewing....BLAH! I've never used so much OxyClean for anything! And he gags all day long, as if he takes after me and my sensitive gag reflex. So weird.
2) Can't be left alone for long periods. When we first got Bug, we didn't know if he was potty trained or not. I was never successful with my previous dogs so I was hesitant to leave him alone in the house. Therefore, he spent hours on end in the bathroom, poor guy. Eventually, we did let him roam the house....but we never left him alone for more than 4 hours at a time, thinking his bladder would eventually burst. So, my errands and outings would revolve around Bug's schedule. And not just me, the whole family would converge everyday to discuss who would be home and at what time, to make sure there was always someone to take him out to pee.
3) Wakes me up a lot. I'm a very light sleeper, which should come in handy when Baby comes along. But I never thought the dog would wake up so often, and it's not because he's barking. We tried to get Bug to sleep in his own bed every night. At some point in the middle of the night, he leaps onto the bed and under the covers. Here's the thing. He doesn't stay under the covers. He gets hot eventually and walks backwards until his body is uncovered and his butt is in one of our faces, then walks on top of the comforter, and plops down onto his side and lets out a giant sigh. We call this his hot pose. Oh, but it doesn't end there. Eventually he gets cold and shimmies his way under the covers again. This process is repeated several times during the night. And I wake up for each glorious step. (BTW, P sleeps through most of this. Lucky duck.)
4) He takes advantage of grandma and grandpa. Here's a typical scenario: We take Bug out to pee and an hour later, he's hopping around asking to go out again. Now P and I know it's because he saw another dog or a lizard outside. So we don't take him out. After a few rounds of the take-me-out dance, he runs to grandma. Of course, she falls for it and reaches for his leash. Smartypants.
5) He's defiant. We know he hears us. We know he understands. We know he is capable of compliance. But if Bug doesn't want to...he's not going to. You can almost see him roll his eyes when you tell him to sit. Sometimes he looks away and around him as if he didn't hear you. You know the look, the-"Oh I'm sorry, did you say something?"-look. And sometimes he just gives you the stink eye and walks away. The nerve of this little dog!
6) He cries. This one is not so bad, thank goodness. He doesn't cry out loud like a real baby. It's more of a high-pitched whimper. Sometimes, he does it when we pick him up (he doesn't like that at all). Sometimes, it's because he wants to go out (whether to pee, poo or see the other dogs in the hood). Sometimes, he whimpers when we've already gone to bed and he hears grandma and grandpa have just come home from the restaurant (he likes to say hi to them before he hits the sack). For whatever reason, he cries. And just like a baby, they can't speak to tell you what they want, and you have to learn to read the differences.
7) He needs bundling up. I don't dress Bug up because it's funny or cute. This dog actually needs to be clothed or he'll shiver his head off. In fact, every source we could find has said that Miniature Pinschers need to stay warm. And they weren't joking. So Bug has a wardrobe full of sweaters and jackets. All of which he hates to wear. It's like having a doll...or a baby!!!
8) He likes to sit between mommy and daddy. This is the funniest. Whenever P and I are sitting around on the couch, Bug has to sit between us, just like a child. Although I don't know why human children do it exactly, I think I know why Bug does it. First, he wants the maximize the amount of body heat he can get. Again, he gets cold easily and being sandwiched between two people doesn't sound so bad. Second, this also maximizes his chances of getting some adoration. Always the opportunist. Lastly, I like to think it's because he loves us both and wants to be near us. I don't know if this is true...but I'm gonna think it anyway.
9) He's smarter than you think. You know what they say, kids these days are so smart. Well, Bug is too smart for us. He is the smartest dog I have ever had. We don't even mean to train him and he learns. Like the time he was barking at something outside...and I went to see what it was. It was a lizard that was sunbathing. And I said..."Oh it's a lizard, Bug. That's called a lizard." After that, if I say, "where are the lizards?" he runs to that window and looks for the lizard. If I say "squirrel," he goes to the back window where the squirrels hang out.. He really listens when you speak and tries to pick up on words he knows. You don't even have to be talking to him and he'll learn to associate certain words with places and actions. And because of this, the whole family has to watch what they say. LOL! I'm just glad he can't repeat what he hears.
And just like a real child, Bug'll do something cute and funny that helps us forget all the ways that he's made our day a little more crazy and us a little more tired. It's all worth it!! And it's only going to be 1000 times better with our real baby!! I can't wait!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Before I start my usual rambling, I just want to apologize to my husband. He hates when I write or say mushy stuff about him. Says it's like bragging and it doesn't look good. Hates when other people do it, too. So, for the most part, I keep it to myself, with an occasional good word to his mom, so she knows she raised him right :) There are so many sweet things P has done that I have never shared with anyone. However, I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway this one time. I don't want my husband to be my "unsung" hero. Sorry, hunny, but I'm about to open my big, fat mouth.
I had no doubt that if I were ever ill or disabled, my husband would take care of me. In sickness and in health, right? Even before we were married, P always took real good care of me. So, am I surprised that he is the same sweet, caring man during this rough pregnancy? Absolutely not! But every single day, it hits me just the same, how wonderful he truly is.
Since we found out back in January that we were going to become parents, P has been my rock. I can honestly and shamefully say that this pregnancy might not have lasted this long if P had been any different. There were times when I felt like giving up and saying...this is not worth it. But right then, I'd throw up and everything would be peachy keen again. It wouldn't be long before my insides were spinning and my knuckles would turn white from gripping the sofa cushions. I would sit there, shut my eyes and concentrate, slowing my heart rate, trying to relax my mind, hoping I could go another few hours away from the toilet. Finally, when I opened my eyes, there was my sweet P, looking so concerned and feeling so awful about my condition. That's all it takes, that face of his. It may not make my nausea go away, but instantly, it's a little more bearable. And each time, I care a little less about me and little more about Baby.
I think by now, P knows the supermarket layout better than I do. I lost count of how many trips he's made so far. And folks, P is not accustomed to going to the market by himself. Even he admits, at first he was like that guy from the Carl's Jr. commercial, wandering the aisles aimlessly, poking the raw meat, wondering how in the world that ever became a hamburger patty. What panic and pressure P must've been under! But he triumphed and conquered, my friends. My P would visit 2-3 different markets until he found a good watermelon! He'd not only complete his shopping list, he'd buy all sorts of new snacks for me to try. All fortified with some sort of vitamin, of course. :) He'd come home and research what foods were good for Baby and then go out and buy all those, too. He even scoped out all the daily supermarket ads to see who had the best deals. Even my mom was impressed at his newfound skill. Naturally, it wasn't long before our house looked like a supermarket itself!
Everyday, I would get a full body massage, complete with accupressure treatment from P. Normally, I'm too ticklish for any of this. You can come at me with wiggling fingers and I would swear I could feel them while you're still 10 feet away. But somehow, this pregnancy rid me of all that. Even after work and driving that awful 405 traffic, P would still have the energy to rub my back, legs and arms. It was heaven! And as soon as I was able to eat something other than mangoes and bananas, P would drive to Subway every single day after work and order 2 veggie footlongs for us. We've now moved to Yoshinoya, btw.
That's another thing. My poor husband's diet had changed drastically during the last few months. At first, he ate the normal food that my mom would cook up for him. You know, meaty dishes. But I couldn't handle the smell...not even his breath. Especially if he ate meat or kimchi. He would brush his teeth, rinse with mouthwash. All of it was in vain, sadly. My nose is that of a bloodhound's. I can smell a person's last meal through their pores. I kid you not. To make things worse, he had to eat every meal in the garage. The whole family did! He moved the microwave in there so that they could heat up food without stinking up the house. Let's not forget, the nights have been cold until recently. So, every day, P would have to bundle up just to eat his meal in the cold garage, all alone, with no TV. Sometimes he ate in the car. And not once, did he complain. There have been many nights, where P hardly ate anything at all. And as I lay awake with my nausea, I could hear his stomach growl as he sleeps. Then I would burst into tears, trying to keep my sobs to a minimum so as to not wake him.
Well, that is, not until he saw the rat. I know....EEEEK! That was the last meal P ever ate in the garage. He moved to eating in the front and backyard. Luckily by then, my senses were able to tolerate a little more. Still no meat, onion or garlic. Eventually, P learned to eat mostly vegetarian meals, stuff that wouldn't smell too strongly of anything. So, now he eats with me in the house. Anything that does stink, he wolfs down instantly before it has a chance to permeate the air. As a result, P lost some weight. Whereas, I've gained a few. Ain't life funny?
So as much as I've suffered throughout all this, P has, too. He's given up food, sleep, warmth, even his hard-earned time off. Just to make me feel better. His vacation time was spent cooped up in the house with me. He gave up an annual snowboarding trip to Mammoth. The only time he ever leaves the house is to go to work and get food for me. I know he'd rather be fishing, out with friends, or just plain not thinking about what I'll ask him to do next. But he hasn't said one word. He even tried to hide his awful cold from me, so I wouldn't worry about him. I, later, found a box of medicine in his jacket pocket that he had been taking when I wasn't looking.
Now that I'm much better, P no longer has to make those market runs by himself. But he still goes out to get dinner or whatever I'm craving. And he still gives me those wonderful massages. And he still asks me how I'm doing when we're just sitting there, watching TV. If anything, he's taken on a whole new list of responsibilities. Like researching the best baby furniture and gear. He's been doing his best to eat up all the food that laying around that I just can't seem to get down. Now, he tries to get me to be more active and exercise, ordering DVD after DVD on prenatal yoga. Whenever he finds the opportunity, he talks to co-workers and even patients about their experiences with pregnancy, extracting every piece of advice he can get.
My mom told me that back when she was pregnant, it wasn't all that unusual for the husband to just disappear. As if their presence made things worse. I'm pretty sure it was mix of fear, laziness, ignorance and, of course, selfishness. Boy, am I glad times have changed. That doesn't mean these awful men don't still exist, of course. She's very thankful for her son-in-law. I know it's a great relief to her knowing he's there to take care of me. What mother wouldn't be?
Before I go, I just want to give you another example of how sweet P is. I guess they're doing a Mother's Day special on the Ellen DeGeneres show. The entire audience will be filled with mothers. And not just any moms. First-time mothers-to-be!! There's supposed to be tons of giveaways, which we all know would be such a lifesaver!! Plus, it's Ellen! Who doesn't love Ellen! And the only way to get tickets was to write in, state your case and hopefully the staff will pick you. I had no idea this was going on. I don't know how P found out about it either. Well, I guess P wrote the Ellen show a bunch of times. He said he emailed them about me and how I deserved to be in the audience. He even tried to get tickets for my pregnant best friends! But he never heard back from them. And the taping is today. He was so crushed. All day yesterday, P was so upset and mad at Ellen. He probably still is. I tried to explain that Ellen is super popular and there is such a major baby boom right now, I'm sure we'd have a better chance at winning the lottery than getting Ellen tickets. And I told him that Ellen herself probably didn't pick the winners herself. But it didn't help. I realized that he must've really felt that I truly deserved those tickets more than anyone else. He even blames himself, saying his emails weren't good enough. Poor guy went to bed angry.
Just when I think it doesn't get any better than this....he goes and does something so thoughtful, makes me wanna shout to the world that I am the luckiest woman alive! So Phil, please don't be mad at Ellen anymore. I don't need those gifts and freebies. Maybe the staff figured out what I already know. That no amount of free diaper bags is going to make me happier than you already have.
Monday, May 3, 2010
It's been a long time since we've gone hiking and it felt so good to be out with Mother Nature. It seems most weekends I feel gross, weighed d0wn and exhausted. Basically, I feel pregnant. But I think my body, maybe even Baby, was in dire need of some fresh air because Sunday afternoon, I was itching to get up and use my legs.
We headed over to Placerita Canyon again and trekked the Hillside Trail. It's short, slightly uphill and loops around so you don't have to double back when you're done. Very nice. I had to stop quite a few times (and I thought I was out of shape before the baby!) There was ample shade and the air was cool. There was a set of stairs we had to go down and I had to take them very slowly because my belly was bouncing up and down with each step! It was hilarious. I kept wondering what it was like for Baby. It's probably like laying on a waterbed, while someone else is jumping up and down on it. I'm guessing the experience was a little bit of a shocker because Baby was real quiet for a while afterwards. And he's usually moving and kicking all day long.
Every time I sat down to cool myself, I kept thinking about how brutal this summer was going to be. I don't like summer heat to begin with. Imagine being 20-30 lbs heavier!! Does anyone know where I can get those spray fans? I'm so gonna need it. I can just see myself, laying there like a beached whale, waiting for the tide to sweep over me. It's not a pretty vision.