Thursday, June 30, 2011


I’m going to be a spoil sport here. A debbie downer. A whiner. A glass is gone, let alone half empty kind of girl. Mock me if you want. But don’t come crying to me when you’re 40 lbs overweight, the a/c is out at home, your limbs are swollen, and you're having a break down right around Fourth of July, OK?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Last week, I made a blatant statement about someone that made even Pete gasp.  I don’t typically bad-mouth people.  Not out loud, anyway.  But even I surprised myself with what poured out of my pie hole.

Preface:  I love my family.  I'm as fortunate as they come.  But there's always that family member.  You know the proverb, “There’s a black sheep in every flock?”  Yeah, well, we have one.  I’m sure you have one, also.  Yes, we should love unconditionally, even when they hurt, annoy, or offend us.  But I’m…well…human.  My patience occasionally falls short of my expectations.

You know how people excuse old people for things that they say because they "can't help themselves"?  Well I am asking for the same leniency when it comes to us pregos.  Sometimes we just can't help what bothers us.  What gets under our skin.  Or what frosts our cookies.

Monday, June 27, 2011


dear baby,

we’ve been having more fun with your baby stuff than i think we are supposed to. technically, all of these books and “chew toys” (as your daddy calls them) and musical gadgets are for your benefit -- but your daddy and i have found ourselves in fits of laughter at night while we try them out.

your room is so peaceful – i could sit in there for hours.  i think daddy could, also.  he’s built for you the cutest little mobile, with plush sea animals we purchased at atlantis bahamas on our babymoon.

i am daydreaming constantly about what it will feel like to hold your little body in my arms. and as funny as this sounds, i can’t wait to smell you, little one. i suspect you’ll be the best smelling baby of all.

on a different note, my body is now on strike.   my legs don’t want to walk.  my hips don’t want to sway.  my fingers look little sausages, and it hurts to stand up, or sit down, or lay in bed.

nothing i do makes me comfortable.

remember a few weeks ago when i said i wanted you to take your time getting here?  well, things have changed.  you can come out now!!

my body is revolting against me -- it’s punishing me, protesting and making me miserable.

this has been a wonderful experience. i have truly loved being pregnant with you.  but i’m done now.  i’m serving you with an eviction notice. effective immediately.

unless i can get one of those hover-round scooters like those old ladies drive to the grand canyon. better yet, finish these last few weeks floating around weightless in a big pool. and a full body massage.  and the ability to roll over in bed without it being a 4 step process.  i want to see my feet again.  but…more than anything…

i just want to meet you.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


…a number of things ran through my mind:

1. Are you serious? That’s totally pathetic!
2. Built in Pumice stone? Hmm…
3. Wait, secures to ANY tub or shower?
4. Clean feet?
5. No bending?
6. I want it!

Think of it as a giant toothbrush for your feet. A toothbrush that you suction to the bottom of your shower. A toothbrush that you better hope nobody sees because then they’ll know what you know: you are a huge pregnant lady with filthy feet.

Monday, June 20, 2011


The kids have been keeping us busier than usual: Bailey’s social life has sky-rocketed and Keegan’s got a new-found networking venture at Gorilla Hole – and it so seems that we do, in fact, negotiate with terrorists in our house. This weekend also entailed another fabulous baby shower, our last and final summer league volleyball game, end-of-season party, and Father’s Day. It was indeed busy…but pleasant. Pete opted out of his Perry’s Steakhouse brunch, and chose breakfast at our regular Sunday dive followed by an early morning movie, The Green Lantern (surprisingly entertaining). Then, it was off to the Lacy’s ranch where we joined a fairly large crowd and a feast suitable for an army. I nearly consumed an entire coconut cream pie all by myself. [For a moment there, chewing was deemed over-rated -- I inhaled the dang thing!]

Point here being that I cannot recall the last time we had a nothing-to-do, relaxing weekend. All this craziness has deviated me from things needing to be done: cleaning, dinner preparing, keeping up with friends, and getting prepared for baby. After several weeks of unscheduled chaos, I find myself feeling adrift, and perhaps (despite the festivities galore), a little sad. I realize that without a routine, I am without sanity.

A routine’s best gift comes in the morning when I can wake up and start the day without existentially panicing about my life’s meaning. With a routine in place, I can go about my business on auto-pilot – completing tasks and getting stuff done. In the absence of routine, my mind goes to dark places and my body goes to…Target. BB&B. Ikea. Lowe’s. And the like.

Yes, that’s right. Apparently, when the kids aren’t around and I am avoiding productive work like the plague, my eyes dart about my house looking for projects that will take all day and yield minimal life-improving results…home improvement “ideas” courtesy of a mind doped up on HGTV.

Put all of the kids’ artwork in frames, just like Genevieve Gorder said to do on Dear Genevieve. Can’t afford a big piece of artwork? Frame lots of little things in discount frames spray-painted the same color just like that weirdo stubby guy told me to do on Design on a Dime. When we sell our house (which we have zero plans of doing in the next 10 years), I better damn well get rid of all that clutter in the corner just like Lisa LaPorta would have me do on Designed to Sell. If my block was featured on Curb Appeal the Block, I’ll be damned if my house is picked by John Gidding and his lackeys for a makeover! I gotta get to the nursery and buy some living plants STAT!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


dear peter,

you are simply amazing. you truly are. not a day that goes by do i not thank god for your existence.

your love for our unborn child…oh god is that love deep already!  i see the look you get in your eyes just talking about him.  you show so much pride for me and our little man, but you should know, we are even more proud of you…daddy!

after the same ol’ typical day at the office, i just assume i’m headed to another typical evening at home…instead, i find myself in awe, and most times hysterics, at something you’ve said…or done.  every day you do something else to amaze me, whether it's doing the housework all by yourself, painting me pictures, your exponential amounts of affection despite my efforts to push you away, or when you tell me I'm beautiful when I'm wearing your too-big boxers.  and as it’s always been, i love how we finish each other’s sentences, and those unfathomable moments when we read the thoughts of the other without being prompted.  i blush and roll my eyes, but i love the passion with what you sing to me "marry me" or "I'm yours" -– you make me feel adored.  and how you say "yes" to…well, just about anything that makes me smile.  most of all, i love the times you know exactly what i need before i even know it i need it.

from the first meeting, you gave of yourself to keegan and bailey in a way i’ve yet to see in another step-parent. and though they may never call you daddy…you are more.

when things get hard for me (pregnant or not), you don’t falter a bit.  you pick up my broken pieces, put them back together, and go about your day like it’s no big deal.  you have truly been my partner throughout all of this. you have taken care of me in a way that no one else has.

i’m discovering that no matter how deeply and thoroughly you know and love someone, there is always something new to learn about them.

meeting you wasn’t about adding layers to my life.  it was about stripping down to the core of who i am, and who you are.  our love for each other isn’t about additions.  no.  rather our love is like a haiku…saying so very much but in a reduction of everything.

happy father’s day to you. on this day and every day.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


i was in something of a mood when i woke up yesterday morning. i spent most of the morning flailing myself around on the bed and whining to pete about how miserable i was and how he couldn’t possibly understand what i was going through. i reiterated that i was tired and could very easily see myself giving into laziness.

but he did exactly what every man with a volatile, pregnant wife should do - he “poor baby’d” me, gave me plenty of back rubs and neck rubs and kisses and convinced me to get dressed and go to our favorite breakfast spot. all he had to say was “food” and i was up and dressed in under 10 minutes.

after breakfast we went to a movie, and later decided what i needed was pool time. while i dressed, pete packed a cooler and some of my favorite snacks. i was in utter bliss for the next couple of hours, frolicking in the lazy river with my honey.

it was exactly the day i needed.

i’m still incredibly uncomfortable today – more specifically, i feel gigantic today -- but yesterday renewed me in a small way.

allowing myself to wallow in self pity for the final weeks of my pregnancy would do nothing but drag them along even more slowly than they already are. that’s just not an option when i don’t know if i’ve got 4 weeks or 6 weeks in front of me. if i’ve got to spend each day floating in a bathtub and reading mags - so be it - but i’m not going to let this get the best of me.

Monday, June 13, 2011


monday, monday.  why must you constantly come around with back to back meetings and deadlines to rain on my parade?  and you're especially dreadful now that the sun is out and the pool is open on a regular basis and i'm stuck inside staring at the bland white wall i wish i could paint.  [sigh.]

the only thing saving this day from being totally craptastic, is knowing that every monday that passes puts me closer to my delivery day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


pete came to my office this morning in somewhat of a panic. handed me a must-haves-for-baby checklist exclaiming “not even half of these items are checked off.” [i chuckle when he gets like this.] personally, i think he’s having withdrawals from shopping. [shhhh, don’t tell him i told you, but the man loves to shop. more than me.] i reminded him, however, that we have 2 upcoming baby showers and 6 weeks to gather the essentials.
in pete’s defense, however, i absolutely loved registering for baby necessities! zapping bar codes and imagining what my baby would look like in all of his fun, new stuff was great-n-all, but there was also a plethora of information just waiting to be absorbed. pete and i have learned. so. much.
the most boggling of the products…the mattress. i mean, a mattress? how different can they be?!?! you just cover them up with cute sheets anyway, right?!?!
no such luck. as it turns out, they're pretty important and also a little complicated. you have to think about the size, materials used inside and out, whether it's waterproof, how firm it is and a whole host of other things.
the sealy signature soybean crib and toddler bed mattress, which, as i'm sure you guessed from the name, is made from a foam derived from soybeans. interesting, eh? at around $149.99, it's a little more than i wanted to invest in a baby mattress, but it’s one that will grow with our “little man” through his toddler years. btw, thank you for the mattress, gigi!
here's what to love:
  • it's safe: you always gotta start there. this one passes all flammability, phthalates, lead and cpsia testing and does not contain toxic fire retardants and has a lifetime warranty.
  • easy-to-clean: the laminate cover is wet-proof with a stain, odor, dust mite and allergen barrier that wipes clean. it also has a protected edges that help prevent mold and bacterial growth inside and out.
  • airflow pocket: well-ventilated and doesn't include any small metal parts.
  • snug fit: square corner design to keep baby safe. this is extremely important if you're buying a mattress for a newborn or infant as they can get trapped in the area between the crib and the mattress if it's too small. for more on how to know what size is right for you, check out the buying guides at
  • environmentally-friendly: this is where the soybeans come in. because this mattress is made of high density foam-core made from a renewable resource - u.s. grown soybeans - the carbon footprint is less than other mattresses. read more on soybean-enhanced foam at

Friday, June 3, 2011


I promised myself I’d never take “the maternity picture.”  You know the one.  Daddy’s arms around mommy’s belly with hands affectionately forming… gag… excuse me… a heart.  There’s nothing wrong with this photo.  AT ALL.  Calm your rage oh you who just did this exact shot!  It’s just that I didn’t want to do the typical maternity image that every mother who’s every had her belly photographed has in one of her 9 baby albums (9 for the first child that is… 1 for the second…a few images in an envelope somewhere for the third… and oh, that poor fourth child, he has to borrow pictures from his brother when he’s highlighted on the bulletin board in Kindergarten).  I marched right into that session ready to stand by my commitment to creativity!

“Mandi, you stand here.  Pete, you stand behind her.  Let’s do that shot with Daddy’s arms around you?!?”  I stood by that pledge of mine…frozen…for a full… well, 2.4 seconds…then realizing the photographer never said the word “heart.”  I was so prepared to do the whole smile and head tilt…” uhhhh….nuh-uh.”  Of course I probably would have done the shot.  But we never had to!  We did a lot of other stuff instead.  Take that, belly button heart picture!

If you’re planning to have a maternity photo shoot, I suggest avoiding these clich├ęs:
  • Definitely avoid silhouetting bellies, hand-hearts over belly, and just anything that is overplayed.  I think just having a pregnant woman in a picture qualifies it as maternity.
  • Steer clear of those cheesy muslin studio backdrops.  You know, the crinkled tie dyed looking variants of gray or maroon.  They don't look natural and neither will you. 
  • Remember that what works with your clothes on doesn't necessarily work with your clothes off.  There is the classic shot of one partner behind the other in a big group hug around the belly.  Take your clothes off and it is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IMAGE.  Stop for a sec and think about it.  Yup.  Don't let that be you.  Ick!
This day was humid and sticky, and a heat stroke nearly ensued.  ...for poor Jessie, the photographer.  Hope you enjoy these as much as we enjoyed celebrating our baby bump!  To view more of Jessie's fabulous photography, please visit her website at

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Lately, I’ve been waking early and spending the first moments of my mornings thinking about the continuation of AND in my life.

For so long, it was just me. I was Mandi. Singular me.

It was when Keegan came along that I acquired my first AND. Only two years later Bailey came along. AND moved forward in the equation.

Mandi, Keegan AND Bailey.  My time... my energy... my focus exploded in even newer directions as I watched their sweet presence change every facet of what I knew about love and devotion. There was even more to consider, more weight to every decision, more motivation for every action I took.

With Peter, my AND moved forward again.

Mandi, Keegan, Bailey AND Peter. There was someone else to worry about. Someone else to care for. Someone else to consider and put before my own needs.

So lately, I’ve been lying in bed, observing my big AND my littles. I rub my growing, round belly as it rests against the soft cotton of our sheets, and attempt to prepare my heart and mind for our AND to move again.

Mandi, Pete, Keegan, Bailey, AND Reef.

Soon enough, we will be five. Another warm body will fill our bed and we’ll all be carried along in the continuation of this beautiful life and the future possibilities of AND.

It feels so good to be a part of this.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


things are changing and fast it seems. i have turned into a true pregnant woman.

let me ‘splain…

in the last week i have tripped about 1,000 times. my normal klutzy count is only about 500, so this is news. my balance is whack!

they say i’ll gain more weight in the third trimester, and that little mister will triple in size. they weren’t kidding -- the scale is jumping -- not even creeping!

soooo. in an effort to avoid tipping the scale, i have been exercising. pete and i have been riding our bikes a bit more than we had been. i mean formal “this is exercise” rides. it feels good! [when it’s over.]

i’m slow as molasses. actually, slower. it seems like everything around me is in warp speed. pete and the kids can reach their destination and back before i’ve stood from a sitting position. and i am as tired as they were at the end of it. i even get sore muscles over short distances. carrying an extra 30-something lbs and having increased blood volume really does affect a woman.
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