February 13, 2014

That Lovin' Feelin'

The Sarge and I are not big romantics.  We met at a club about 16 years ago and it was not love at first sight.  In fact, I was not really sure I liked him at all and ended our conversation with empty promises to try and catch him at his landscaping job in the South Jersey shore town where I would be vacationing with some girlfriends at some point during the following weeks.  I never did.

It was at the same club about six or seven months later that we met up again and this time made more of a connection.  We talked all night and made plans to see each other again at the club.  A few weeks later we had our first date NOT at the club, but the place was a favorite of ours and our respective groups of friends and so we continued to frequent the place.

Because we lived nearly an hour apart, when we first began dating we would mostly plan to meet at the club. Maybe it was because we each went with our friends, or maybe it was just because neither of us was particularly needy individuals, but even as a couple we would go to the club and kind of do our own thing.

Part of this was the nature of the beast.  Sanctuary was (for lack of better descriptives) a Gothic/Industrial place filled with an "Alternative" crowd.  Windmilling around the dance floor is not especially conducive to dancing with a partner.  And although I've seen couples moshing, stomping and even skanking together, none are likely to be considered typically romantic.  

Of course we spoke and had drinks and hung out, but we never danced "together" and we didn't wander around holding hands or falling all over each other. Even after we were spending a lot of time together and actually travelling there with each other we could spend most of the night hardly seeing each other. I'm sure a good many people didn't even know we were a couple.

But aside from the environment, we were just not touchy-feely people. I come from a large Italian family on my mom's side, and we can hug you like nobody's business (seriously, it can take me over 45 minutes to say goodbye to everyone at a family gathering) but the whole PDA thing has never been my bag. I will hug my friends upon seeing them; I have ZERO qualms about smooching my kids whenever and wherever; but I have never been a big lovey-dovey, hand-holding, kissy-kissy foo-foo face, arms-around-each-other-walking-around-town-because-I-NEED-to-touch-you kind of person. And neither has Sarge.  

We're okay with it.  But people think it's weird. And perhaps weirder is we're not especially affectionate talkers either. We don't often say "I love you" after phone calls and such, or even face to face a whole lot. We say it when we need to, or maybe when we think it needs to be heard. Of course, I would never knock anyone that says it all the time, but for sure I can say for us:  it's not automatic, rote, or expected.  

Of course, Valentine's Day is upon us, (not to mention that our 10 year wedding anniversary just passed--uncelebrated) and although I don't hate on this romantic "holiday" I am largely apathetic about it. I find the whole thing to be grossly commercialized--like SO MANY holidays these days--and, well, cluttered.  

Maybe I'm just too practical for Valentine's Day. Everything just seems to be a waste. Flowers? Dead in 3 days. Chocolate? A moment on the lips...and you know the rest. (I don't need that extra work, ya feel me?) And stuffed animals? Seriously, it might be simpler to give your loved one a bag of dust mites and some allergy medicine. Who needs another stuffed monkey holding a chocolate rose and a balloon on a stick?
Honestly, this wasn't meant to be a hatin-on-V-Day-post. It just seemed the right time to put it out there that it takes all kinds--and their significant others. Some of us are just a little (or a lot) less public about it and totally okay with it. You keep your sloppy kisses on the sidewalk, I'll take my grabass in the kitchen doing the dishes. It may not be ideal, or even normal to some, but it's all we need.
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February 10, 2014

Unto me, a Moo was born.

My Moo turned twelve today. Not the most momentous of birthdays, but her last as a PRE-teen. Next year it begins: I shall know the torture of life with a teenager.  But I'm getting way ahead of things.

I started this blog when I found out I was unexpectedly (and not entirely welcome-ly) pregnant with The Geel, but truthfully none of my babies were planned. And although they were all unexpected, none were unwanted. Moo was, of course, our first surprise....

The Sarge and I were not married and had been together for almost four years. I found out I was pregnant the week preceding Father's Day. I bought him his first Father's Day card and that's pretty much how I told him I was pregnant.

After the initial 13 weeks of "morning" sickness--which was "all the time" sickness for me--everything went well until a late ultrasound showed that Moo had an enlarged kidney. I don't want to make light of this because at the time we were pretty upset and very worried about it, but it is apparently not terribly uncommon and a lot of infants "grow into it" and that is what eventually happened with Moo.

Friday, February 8, 2002 rolls around and I am getting ready to make spaghetti and clams for dinner. One thing I hate is waste--especially when it comes to food.  I will eat leftovers that the dog would pass on, just so I don't have to throw them away. So of course, as soon as I crack open the clams, my water breaks.  We had a 45 minute drive to the hospital, so we didn't wait around.

I got there and they basically told me that it wasn't my water that broke and that I just peed my pants, but since by then I was having some contractions they would be nice enough to let me hang around and walk some laps around the ward in the hopes that my labor would progress and they wouldn't have to send me on a 45-minute drive home. It did.  We stayed.

My contractions became pretty regular but not earth-shattering and I did my best to rest through the night, as much as anyone can with the automatic blood pressure cuff reminding you that you are alive--yet not asleep.

In the morning my labor was going well and my epidural was going even better. I basically sat around doing crossword puzzles while my contractions got stronger and stronger. When it came time to push, the epidural was working a little too well, and I had no idea what I was doing.  The nurses were telling me to push harder, breathe, good job, whatever; I was just doing my best not to look like I had no idea what I was doing.

At some point someone told me to wait before pushing one last time--which I didn't hear in all the hubbub--so I kept bearing down and out came 9 pounds 2 ounces of Moo, breaking her collarbone (audibly!) and shredding my undercarriage on the way.  Two-plus hours of putting Humpty Dumpty back together and I was finally able to hold my little pink bundle of sugar and spice and everything nice.

She was a big baby, a solid little toddler and is now, at 12, nearly as tall as I am. She will always be my first baby and I will always remember the time we had together just Mommy and Moo until Slim came along. She has grown into an awesome girl and I could not be more proud of her. I can't and probably don't tell her enough. She is beautiful in so many ways and I hope she knows it and feels it about herself.
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