I'd guess that after a year and a half of no posts, you've figured out that my blogging life has been completely subsumed by my Facebook life.
I have to say, I love Facebook. It keeps me connected with friends I can't see as often as I'd like and has reconnected me with friends from former lives. But Facebook is for quips and arranging meet ups. Blogs are for stories. And I've missed telling my stories, dreadfully. (Not to be confused with telling dreadful stories. Punctuation; it's important!)
In said intervening 18 months, I've gone back to work, as a REALTOR -- and I love it. I love the clients, my co-workers, my broker, the flexible schedule, getting to tour some truly incredible houses, and the work itself. And I'm actually pretty good at it. Another aspect of my job that's almost too good to be true is that I'm responsible for our social media.
I blog, Facebook, Tweet, Pin, and Link In on a daily basis. I'm so connected it's scary. A lot of what I'm writing now is industry specific. But sometimes, life, humor, and work will coalesce and in those instances, I'll be sure to post over here as well....
Well, boys here we are: less than two weeks from MOVING DAY!! Of course
you’ve noted that 90% of the house is boxed up and that the answer to
most of your “Mom, where’s my…?” questions is either “packed” or “I
don’t know.” Click here to continue reading...
I wanted to give each of you a little something as a thank you for
everything you've given me this year. Well, it didn't arrive in time
for Christmas. We're all moms here, so I know you'll understand.
For my friends, the someday moms: May your eggs be viable and your uterus be hospitable. Or may you find another way.
my friends, the gestating moms: May the first and last trimesters go
by with ease. May you take the sleep when you can get it. May you
savor the miracle.
For my friends, the laboring moms: May your
OB be on duty when you go into labor and free with the drugs. May your
baby's head be small. May your partner know his place is to shut up and
shovel ice chips.
For my friends, the brand new moms: May your
baby latch on like a champ and sleep in long stretches. May you shower
most days. May your husband have a great paternity leave policy.
my friends, the mothers of newborns: May your child find a schedule.
May he take a bottle, when necessary. May you be there for her first
For my friends, the mothers of infants: May your child
sleep through the night. May she be allergy-free. May he be an "easy
For my friends, the mothers of toddlers: May your child
not figure out how to open the child proof locks. May she not share
food with the dog, then put it back in her mouth. May he not hit the
terrible twos before his first birthday.
For my friends, the
mothers of preschoolers: May potty training last days, not months. May
she not suffer from separation anxiety on the first day of preschool.
May he always like you better than his teacher.
For my friends,
the mothers of kindergarteners: May your child adjust beautifully to
big kid school. May the teacher recogize the uniqueness and individual
gifts of your child.
For my friends, the mothers of elementary
schoolers: May your child neither bully nor be bullied. May she love
learning in all its forms.
For my friends, the mothers of tweens:
May your child find his own moral compass. May friends, music, and
movies not steal the precious years of childhood innocence.
my friends, the mothers of high schoolers: May your children's deeds
make you proud. May you be their mother first and their friend, second.
my friends, the mothers of college students: May your children
remember your lessons as they take their first fledgling steps to
independence. May they make good decisions and know their own minds.
my friends, the mothers of adults: May your children grow to be
intelligent, loving, kind, good, hardworking, humorous parents. And may
they take good care of us as we grow old.
For all of us: Though
the days are long, the years are short. May we treasure the good ones
and run down the clock on the bad ones with humor and love and
She couldn’t believe that she’d actually agreed to have a drink with him – and at his house no less!I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside She’d given in to the holiday spirit and now, here she was in this terrible weather, looking for a way to escape.This evening has been - Been hoping that you'd drop in So very nice - I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice She thought to herself, “I’ll use the old parents excuse.”My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what's your hurry My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar So really I'd better scurry - Beautiful, please don't hurry He was already so far gone that she figured one more drink would send him over the edge and she could run.Well Maybe just a half a drink more - Put some music on while I pour She was beginning to wonder if anyone would hear her screams, should it come to that.The neighbors might think - Baby, it's bad out there She was beginning to feel the effects of something more than two glasses of “eggnog”Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there She could feel the waves crash over her, pulling her underI wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight now To break this spell - I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move a little closer At least I'm gonna say that I tried - What's the sense in hurting my pride I really can't stay - Baby don't hold out Ahh, but it's cold outside
C'mon baby Before the euphoria fully envelops her, she puts it as plainly as possible:I simply must go - Baby, it's cold outside The answer is no - Ooh baby, it's cold outside
But tries not to awaken the beast that lurks inside This welcome has been - I'm lucky that you dropped in So nice and warm -- Look out the window at that storm She thinks; let him think that someone will be looking for herMy sister will be suspicious - Man, your lips look so delicious No, someone who could take himMy brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical shore She casts about for something that will help her.My maiden aunt's mind is vicious - Gosh your lips look delicious She reaches into her pocket and presses the panic button of the cell phoneWell maybe just a half a drink more - Never such a blizzard before I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there She searches for some kind of weaponSay, lend me your comb - It's up to your knees out there She hears the sirens in the distanceYou've really been grand - Your eyes are like starlight now Keep him talking…But don't you see - How can you do this thing to me There's bound to be talk tomorrow - Making my life long sorrow At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died Yes, the sirens are definitely headed this way.I really can't stay - Get over that old out Ahh, but it's cold outside Baby it's cold outside Brr its cold...It's cold out there Can’t you stay awhile longer baby
She just needs to hold on for a few more seconds Well... I really shouldn't... alright Make it worth your while baby Ahh, do that again...
Sunday, November 17th, one month and one day before my due date,
Andy, my BIL, and I were watching the Patriots play the Raiders on
Sunday Night Football while I consumed my weight in guacamole and chips,
feeling HRH doing aerobics in my abdomen. I went to bed somewhere
around the 3rd quarter and the Braxton-Hicks continued.
1:00 am, I went to the bathroom and upon returning to our room,
commented to my unconscious husband that something was up (where "up" =
mucus plug) and climbed back into bed. Maybe another half hour passed
and the contractions continued and got stronger. I leaned over to Andy
and, touching him lightly on the shoulder, whispered, "Honey, I think
I'm in labor."
In no less than three seconds, Andy is out of the
bed, lights on, and has gone from boxers and a t-shirt to jeans and a
sweatshirt. And he's accusing me questioning me about what's going on while I am thumbing through the 'false labor' section of What to Expect When You're Expecting and learning nothing.
I call my OB's office and get a call back from the on-call physician,
who asks me in his German accent what my previous labors had been like (Dude? Previous labors? Didn't you read the first sentence? This is how I became a mother.)
the contractions were around 3 minutes apart, we decide that we'd
rather go to the hospital and have professionals laugh at us for crying
wolf. But not before Andy packs a bag for me - containing six face
cloths(?) and two pairs of his socks (I did end up using the socks).
On the surreal, 20-minute ride to the hospital, it
occurs to us that we may indeed become parents that night and perhaps we
needed to decide on a name (we knew it was a boy). Between
contractions, we arrived at HRH.
We arrived at the hospital
around 3:00 am and parked in the fire lane (I still have the parking
ticket as a souvenir). We arrive in the ER and find a nurse to check us
in. She explains we need to go to Labor and Delivery and of course, we
know where that is. Uh, no. The tour part of our prenatal class was
scheduled for the following Tuesday. Did I mention I was a month early?
So we get directions and head down to a locked door and press the
intercom. A woman answers and I (feeling like Dorothy at the door to the
Emerald City) say "Um, my name is Christine Manic and I think I'm
having a baby?"
Thank God, we were now in the hands of more
competent and knowledgeable people. I was ushered into a very nice room,
given the once over and it was determined that I was indeed in labor.
Cause these things were really starting to hurt.
0.25 seconds later, I asked for drugs.
the guac from earlier? Yeah, so did I. Proud, bonding moments passed
between myself and my husband (who had heretofore never even seen me
pee) and the toilet as I adjusted to labor. Eventually, I was
in bed and given a Nubain IV, which allowed me to sleep between
contractions (mmm....sleep....contraction! owwwwww!....sleep...) and
then my boyfriend the anesthesiologist arrived to place a red hot poker needle into my spine with that great, "move-and-you're-paralyzed" warning. I was. not. impressed. with the Epidural.
time (weeks, maybe months) elapsed and I opened my eyes to find my team
and my husband watching The Today Show. I spun my head 360 degrees and
demanded to know why Katie Couric was on TV. They switched off the
television and got down to business; it was TIME TO PUSH.
Of course being a month early, my doctor was away so the on-call OB, Dr. Mengele arrived.
I suck at pushing. I told him the epidural wasn't working. He did not
care. And told me more meds would slow progress. I think he studied
medicine straight out of the bad parts of the Bible where women must
endure the pain of childbirth to atone for Eve's sins. To this day, I
After about two hours of "he's just around the bend" (Bend? What freakin' bend? What do you mean my body is shaped like a J?),
my nurse finally turned on the tough love and demanded that I get at
least two to three good pushes out of each contraction. Andy hears this
and decides to try this approach with me as well - once.
wisely returned to holding my hand and shoveling ice chips into my
waiting mouth. Finally, the baby was crowning. Using that same drill
sergeant voice that had worked so well on me, the nurse instructed Andy
to take a look. He left my side and peered down, returning seconds
later, white as a sheet. He later told me his only thought was "that's one big vagina." He stayed up by my head throughout the rest.
10:26 am, after nearly four hours of pushing, I finally PUSHED just the
right way and was rewarded with my beautiful 5 pound (head) and 9 ounce
(body) baby boy.
It wasn't until they went to push the pitocin through my IV that they realized that the IV had come out and I wasn't getting the drugs.
Andy fessed up that he'd been inadvertently stepping on the IV tubing
throughout the night. My own OB also later told me that I'd reacted
poorly to the epidural and he'd watch for that next time.
remember most of the next hours and days was the first time I was alone
with HRH. I looked at him and knew him; he looked familiar - not in a 'he looks like his dad' kind of way but more of an 'I know you.'
My first "I remember where I was" moment occurred when the Challenger exploded. It was January 1986. A nor'easter was blowing into Massachusetts and my school closed early.
A bunch of us rented some movies and headed to my friend, Joe's house. My friend, Michele called her father to tell him where she was. I can remember her saying, 'What?!" and to us, "the shuttle exploded! Turn on the TV!"
Ten years ago,
I was sitting in my office in Andover and Andy called me when he got into his office in Cambridge. He commented he'd just heard on the radio that someone had just flown into the World Trade Center. We both thought it was some poor idiot in a Cesna. We both thought it was an accident. We hung up and I ambled into my boss, Lee's office and told her. She tried to get onto CNN.com and couldn't. Then another co-worker ran in to say a second plane had just hit the other tower.
Not an accident. An attack.
We were in a new building and didn't have a TV so all over, small groups of people gathered around small images on computer monitors. Every time someone managed to get some news, it spread as horrible rumors through the office. As we learned about Flight 93, my friend, June got a panicked, crying call from her college-aged son. His dad was flying back from PA today. Had she heard from him? She had not but later learned, thank God, he was not aboard that flight.
Finally, Lee and I left the building to run to a local big box store to get a TV. Going home would take too long. It was in Lee's Jeep that we heard that the first tower had fallen. We saw the second tower fall standing among strangers in front of a big-screen TV in Best Buy.
We spent a longer while at work, eventually leaving to watch the horror unfold from the comfort of our own homes. There, I pleaded with Andy to leave the job he had just started a few weeks before. He worked in Kendall Square, where MIT is located. I was sure if there were more attacks "they" would target the academic centers soon.
He didn't leave until 5:00 and was home in record time. He found me in front of the TV exactly where I had landed when I arrived home hours before. We watched more. We headed to his mom's to wish her a "happy" birthday. More TV, bed, God-Bless-America-sex, sleep.
In the morning, we woke up back to the bad dream that was our new reality.
And it's good one! Great company, great package, great opportunity, seven and a half miles from our house...basically...GREAT!
My cousin, who went through something similar, said she felt like God had picked them up by the scruff of their necks, and was shaking them saying "Learn. Learn."
Since November 30th, that image has played through my mind hundreds of times and I'll ask "What am I learning?". The answer is plenty.
I learned that we have friends and family who have our backs.
In particular, I think of Andy's best friend, John. Like all adults with kids, and spouses, and jobs, and responsibilities, for years, Andy and John haven't seen each other as much as they'd like. Starting Andy's last day of work, John has faithfully called several times a week, they text often, and have met almost every week since for lunch.
Of Andy's cousin, Mike, who has put Andy in touch with people that Andy should network with, generally kept the lines of communication open, and always checked in to see what was up. We spent New Years Eve at their place on the Cape.
Andy's oldest brother, Greg who lives several states away but simply acted as a sounding board when Andy needed another ear or another voice.
There were others, friends at school, our neighbors, Facebook friends that I haven't 'seen' in years, and of course, my Blog Buddies. So many people in our corner, sending leads, lending support, saying prayers. And meaning it.
I learned that there are plenty worse things than going into Year 8 in our Five Year House. I hope I learned what's really important because right now, I feel blessed.
Thank you all so much. I'm so happy to be able to share this news with you.