Thursday, February 26, 2015

Effing Cold Midwest

I mentioned before that we spent the long, President's Day weekend in the effing cold Midwest while I was being inducted to the SIU Athletic Hall of Fame.  While the induction experience was pretty incredible, it was made better by getting to spend time with Ryan's family and see a few of my college teammates.

In the six plus years since I left the Midwest, I forgot just how bone-chilling cold it could get and how the wind can whip through the wide open space.

Ryan, Camden, my parents, my sister, and I all flew out to St. Louis on Thursday morning.  I felt like a completely different person than my typical high-strung-pre-flight-self because I knew that it wasn't just up to me to keep Cam entertained on the three and a half hour flight.  I had six extra hands (eight if you count sleep-deprived Ryan) and just knowing that was like a belated Christmas present.

We got settled in our seats, Ryan immediately fell asleep (he is on graveyard so got home from work at 6am and we left for the airport shortly after), and then we waited on the plane for an hour while some mechanical issues were fixed and a sick passenger was taken off the plane.  I could tell that Cam was getting really sleepy at this point, but I couldn't strap him into the Ergo until we took off and were in the air.  He ended up drifting off to sleep just sitting in my lap -- totally one of those singing angels moments.  This was our first air experience having to pay for his seat (since he is over the age of two) and I'm pretty sure he sat in said seat for maybe seven minutes.

He slept and I sat uncomfortably in my seat, patting his bottom, and sending death stares to the extremely obnoxious family sitting in the row in front of us.  Seriously, loudest kids ever.  Cam slept for about an hour and 15 minutes or so and after he woke up I happily passed him across the aisle to my family to entertain him.  He wanted to watch a show so I reached into my backpack to grab my laptop - only to find that his milk had leaked (I assume from the altitude change) and had taken residence all over my Mac.


It was hard to tell just how much milk had seeped out and how much actually got on the laptop, so I wiped it off, booted it up, and was happy to see that it turned on no problem.  I handed the spritely child and laptop to my sister so they could watch Bubble Guppies and it was only a few minutes later that Rachel hesitantly told me, "It shut off."  Mother effing eff.  Knowing there was nothing I could do while flying at 32,000 feet, I told myself to let it go and not worry about it.

We landed in St. Louis, got all our crap, walked outside to be greeted by 20 degree temps and wind, and made our way to Ryan's sister's house.

Camden was so excited to see his cousin Liam, who turned three in October, and I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.  The two of them were really entertaining (not to mention heart melting) to watch  interact the whole weekend.

Friday morning was quiet before we headed south to Carbondale.  Cara captured the pajama-clad boys looking out the window to make sure their daddies weren't leaving their sight. 

Saturday morning in Carbondale we got to see my teammate, Krystal, and her husband and daughter, Bella, when they joined us for a chilly swim in the hotel pool.

I am kicking myself for not getting a picture with Krystal, but glad we at least got a picture with the kids.  They last saw each other at Becky's wedding.  

Speaking of my college roommate, Becky, we got to see her when she came to our hotel and then again when she and her husband ate lunch with us at Quatro's.  Clearly, I really suck at documenting reunions with my girlfriends because I didn't get a picture with Krystal or Becky.

On Sunday morning we headed back to Columbia.  My parents and Rachel were flying back to Seattle, and Cara was hosting an open house baby sprinkle for us (and baby sister) so Ryan's friends and family could stop by and visit.

I always make sure to get a picture of Camden with his great-grandparents.  He wasn't interested in sitting with his great-grandma Midge by himself (jerk) so Ryan and I got in on the picture too.

The boys were the primary entertainment during the open house, so come the early-evening, they were ready for some cozy, quiet time and settled in to be adorable and watch a movie together.

 Weathermen and women were calling for five to nine inches of snow to fall starting Sunday night and carrying on through Monday.  Considering we were scheduled to fly out Monday night, you can guess how elated I was to hear this forecast.  I hoped and hoped that it would miss us or at the very least, that the roads would be clear by the time we had to head to the airport.

It never ceases to amaze me just how entertaining certain things can be to kids.  These ladybug balloons, for example, kept the boys bopping busy for a good hour on Monday morning.

(Seriously.  Are these not the most adorable cousins you've ever seen?)

We got bundled up and ventured outside into the snow.  Liam was totally digging it, while our little Pacific Northwesterner was completely stoic for the first five minutes or so.  He was even less impressed after his cousin hit him in the face with a baby snowball.  Is it bad that I thought the snowball incident was hysterical?  I'm pretty sure Cara was horrified.  There were very few smiles from Cam during our time in the snow.

I wish I had asked someone to take a picture of me in my makeshift snow attire.  I packed light and didn't bring much in terms of warm clothes (I forgot socks for goodness sakes) so had on Ryan's romeo shoes/boots, yogi's under my pajama pants, Ryan's heavy dress jacket, and Cara's green (and floral) headband.  I looked absolutely ridiculous.  

After about forty five minutes of play time, we all came inside to warm up.  Ryan's mom's parents live two doors down from Cara, so they came over to visit.  Much like with Midge, Cam wasn't interested in sitting still for a picture with them all by himself with his great-grandma and great-grandpa, so we improvised.

I was compulsively checking our flight status the entire day to watch for any delays or cancellations.  Thankfully, the people of the Midwest know how to handle snowy conditions and roads much better than the people of the Pacific Northwest.  We made it to the airport in plenty of time.

Thankfully, the flight home was (on time) and really smooth.  Camden was awake (and sat in his own seat!) for the first half of the flight, and then slept on me in the Ergo for the second half.  My back was killing me, but it was a small price to pay to have a sleeping (and quiet!) child for those two hours.

I can't say enough about how thankful I am to have been able to go back to SIU, where everything truly began, and spend time with Ryan's family.  We don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like - so any time we do get to visit is very special.

As good as it was to spend time with them - we couldn't have been happier to be welcomed home by nearly-60 degree temperatures.

We'll head back to the Midwest in August for Ryan's cousin's wedding.  It's hard to believe that we'll be traveling with another child in tow, and will get to meet a new nephew.  In August, instead of complaining about the effing cold, I'll be complaining about the effing heat and humidity.

Take Luck,

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hall of Fame Weekend

Yes, hello.  I am still alive, thank you.  Things have been busy, but what else is new?  Everyone is busy.

I'll just jump right in and tell you about how Southern Illinois University's Athletic Director called me one morning in November to tell me I had been selected to be inducted into the 2015 SIU Hall of Fame Class.

After I stopped sweating and reattached my lower jaw to my face (because it fell on the floor, duh) - I almost asked him if 1) he was sure he called the right person and if 2) he was just sure of this decision in general.

I have to say, that when I answered the phone, my first thought was that the head coach was looking at retirement and the Athletic Director was going to ask me to consider applying for the job.  Why this even crossed my mind (and in what universe they would call me to discuss) is laughable - but that was the "most likely" reason I could come up with.  Ha.

After 100 "thank you's," I composed myself enough to accept the invitation to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and events that would take place on campus in Mid-February.  

Looking back on my softball career at SIU, I suppose it was successful, but at the time, I was more concerned with working hard, winning games, leading my team, and making the most of my senior year.  The Hall of Fame and my career statistics were the farthest thing from my mind.  Now, almost seven years after my final at bat, thoughts of the Hall of Fame and my stats were in another galaxy.

February seemed like forever and ever away, but just like everything else - I blinked and it was time to fly.

Friday night was the reception dinner.  A totally humbling and overwhelming reception dinner.

During the pre-dinner reception, I got to do a couple interviews with a few of the local news outlets, and while those were totally nerve-wracking, they also sort of prepared me for the three to five minute speech I was expected to give during the dinner.  I hadn't prepared a speech, but had kept a classy note in my phone of talking points I wanted to hit.  I speak a lot in front of people for work, so I wasn't too worried about it.  The difference was that when speaking for work - I'm not talking about myself.

I was the third inductee introduced.  The first guy (a seriously impressive football player) was a man of few words, and the second guy (a seriously, seriously impressive basketball player and coach) was a man of many words.  The master of ceremonies introduced me, calling out my achievements, and as I walked up to the podium - my mind totally went blank.

I didn't know where to look and was fidgeting, and desperately trying to keep my voice from shaking.  The first thing I did was thank SIU for the honor, and congratulated the other inductees.  I can't really say for sure what I said after that because I'm pretty sure I blacked out.  Just kidding.  I know I talked about the support from my family, coaches, and teammates, and how my dad drove a serious work ethic into me, but I'm pretty confident I wrapped it up approximately 45 seconds after I opened my mouth.

Needless to say, I felt like a bumbling idiot as I sat my shaky ass back in my seat.  I missed half the talking points I had planned to hit on - most importantly that without SIU and SIU softball, there were people with me that night that wouldn't be there otherwise.  Ryan, Camden, and the baby girl kicking in my belly.  Looking back, maybe it's good that I missed that point because I probably would have lost what little composure remained and started crying.    

After everyone was introduced and gave their speeches, our plaques were unveiled.

And the night was over.  Thank gaaahd.

Saturday, after a delicious lunch at Quatro's, it was time for the men's basketball game against Evansville, where the 2015 Hall of Fame class would be introduced at half time.

The whole experience was humbling, overwhelming, surreal, and a true (true!) honor.  My parents and little sister were able to make the trip and I am so glad they did because while it was my accomplishments that were being celebrated -- I would have not achieved those accomplishments without their guidance, love, and support.  And not only was my family on-hand to support me, but because we were in Southern Illinois, Ryan's family got to be there too.

I was feeling all the loves, for sure.

I'll be back with more on our long-weekend getaway to the effing freezing Midwest.

Take Luck,

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mind Reading

Do you ever wish you could read someone's mind?  Sometimes I find myself wishing I could read Ryan's mind - but that's usually if he's being quiet or not super forthcoming with thoughts and feelings.  Cam is very verbal (which I've said probably 17 too many times now) so I usually have a pretty good idea of the very random things that pop in and out of his head.  But there are times when he is quiet, playing independently, looking mischievous, or throwing a tantrum that I wish I could read his little mind.

 I would imagine his little mind looks a little something like this:

I'm thirsty.
Milk sounds good.
No, water.
Definitely water.
But maybe milk?
What that noise?
Let's go outside.
My mom just opened the door.
Let's stay inside.
I have a basketball hoop.
I'll shoot this ball.
No, not that ball.
That ball is stupid and yellow so I will throw it on the ground.
I'll shoot the blue ball instead.
I missed.
Wook!  Trains!
Choo choo!
I will push James's button so he chugs on his own.
I haven't pulled Sonny's tail in a while.
That bookcase looks like it would be fun to climb.
Is my mom watching?
Of course she is.
Where did James go?
Maybe he had to go in the bathroom.
Wook!  A plunger!
I would like to wash my hands.
But without soap.
And without water.
No body understands me.
What do I need to do to get a snack?
I definitely would like some milk.
No, water.
So, about that snack.
Yes, please.
But not that half. 
The other half.
Santa song, please.
No, stop!
Reindeer song.
I'm tired.

Me too, buddy.  Me too.

Does this sound about right?  I don't have it down to an exact science yet but I'm pretty sure each thought lasts about 2.5 seconds.

Take Luck,

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

23 Weeks

23 weeks down and May doesn't feel very far away.  At all.

The belly and the belly button have officially popped, making those people who were previously side-eyeing me, wondering if I was pregnant or letting myself go - now feel confident that it's the former.

Speaking of the belly button - I'm fairly confident that Camden associates the baby with my belly button.  He is always poking it (trying to poke it back in, perhaps?) and I'm wondering if he thinks that's how the baby will make her exit from my body?  That's frightening to think about.

The belly pop apparently gives people the impression that the belly is open for rubbing business.  I don't mind when my parents or siblings do this - but when strangers or work acquaintances reach out to cop a feelski, I really want to reach out and rub their bellies in return.  Just to see what they would do.

This week, a male co-worker (who I don't actually work with but we are within the same division) came to my desk with some chocolate in hand.  He put the chocolate on my desk and with a smile said, "I heard about your situation."  Since when did being pregnant become a "situation"?  I didn't bat an eye and happily ate the chocolate.  Because hello, it's chocolate.

I had my 23 week OB appointment on Monday morning.  While standing on the scale and watching the nurse continue to slide the slider-thing farther and farther to the right - I started to do a little mental math.  I confirmed that I gained seven pounds in four weeks.  The nurse could tell I was a little shocked and she said, "Well, the good news is - you can't tell!"  I laughed and said, "Maybe, but I don't know if that's a good thing."

I am officially the annoying pregnant woman who randomly touches or rubs her own tummy.  I don't remember doing this a lot when pregnant with Cam.  Maybe I did - but I think this time I am more aware of my body and the likelihood that this will be my last pregnancy.

Baby girl is moving/bouncing around in there a lot more - especially at night.  I think she is more active than Camden was at this point, but who knows.

I pee so much during the day that I'm starting to count my 38 daily trips to the bathroom as exercise.  

I will have another OB appt in four weeks (27 weeks) and get to take the dreaded glucose test.  At my appointment on Monday, the nurse asked what flavor glucose drink I wanted - fruit punch, lemon lime, or orange.  After some internal debate, and asking if I could pick none of the above, I settled on lemon lime.  Gross.  

Take Luck,

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