10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

  1. You’re pregnant?! You don’t look pregnant AT ALL. Listen, I get that this is probably well-meaning, and meant to sound like “You’re not a whale!” and I do appreciate that. But my raging hormones have turned my body inside out and upside down and I don’t recognize myself most days. The last thing I want someone to tell me is that I don’t look pregnant. Because that’s all that’s happening to me right now, and I just want to feel validated. Also, I want a milkshake.

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2. “Just wait…” to get more uncomfortable, to get less sleep, to have less money, to have a worse fill-in-the-blank experience than you’re having right this minute. I don’t need/want to be showered with bull shit positivity, but don’t go out of your way to be a jackass. 

3. “Are you planning to breastfeed? Have a natural child birth? Go back to work?” None of these things are your business, and if you’re not a close friend or family member, I automatically feel like you’re judging me.

 
4. “I just loved every minute of being pregnant.” I’m not mad that you loved being pregnant. I’m mad because you asked me how I’m feeling, I said “I’ve been sick for five months” and then you respond with how great it was for you. Like, what am I supposed to do with that? 

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5. “There’s no need to gain too much weight.” This goes out to my mother, mostly, but others have heeded the same warning. Look, I have little-to-no control over my body right now. It’s a good day if I don’t almost pee my pants. Please do not make me feel guilty for the number on the scale, or I will cut you. [Love you, mom!]

 
6. “You need to put on some more weight!” Really, just don’t comment on a pregnant woman’s body if you value your life. 

 

7. “You’re still getting sick?!” Yes. Yes, I am. Please, make me feel worse about it. 

 

8. “What are your plans for New Years Eve?!” Being sober and not making it to midnight. 

 
9. “Have you started talking/reading to your baby?” No. I know I’m probably in the minority, but I think that’s weird. I’ll save all conversations for after The Baby has made it’s way through the birth canal, thankyouverymuch. 

 

10. “You are so stupid/crazy/unbelievable for not finding out the gender!!!” Well, I’ll find out in March. 

The Real Life Joys of Pregnancy

It’ll be worth it. 

It’ll be worth it. 

This better be worth it. 

This is what I was telling myself about pregnancy as I was running down the hall to the office bathroom just a few short weeks ago. Puking is gross enough, but having to put your face in a toilet bowl where numerous stranger-asses have been really takes it to a whole ‘nother level.

I rushed into the bathroom, utterly relieved to see a row of empty stalls.

As I bend down, I close my eyes because I can’t risk seeing if there’s a lone pube on the toilet seat or shit stains in the bowl. I pretend I’m at home, losing my [second attempt at] breakfast in my own, clean, private toilet.

Nothing beats this level of nasty, I think to myself, bitter and on the verge of tears that I’m found myself in this situation. Again.

But, I was wrong, friends. The level of nasty could easily be raised.

How?

Oh, by a woman walking in and plopping down in the stall right next to me. Essentially, my face and her ass were at the same level. Her shoes were ugly.

No, it wasn’t the face-to-ass proximity that took it to the next level.

It was that she ripped the nastiest, juiciest fart ever while simultaneously expelling a massive, smelly dump. A shit so forceful that I know there had to be toilet water backsplash on her ass. And there I was, with my head at ass level.

It was like a symphony composed by a 12-year-old boy: Barf. Fart. Shit hitting the water. Dry Heave. 

The real life joys of pregnancy, my friends.

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Pregnancy Update: Half Way!

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I don’t know how most pregnant bloggers/women in general keep up with weekly chalkboards and belly pictures and updates.

Believe it or not, I’m half way to having a baby! (Praise the Lord.)

Pregnancy remains one of the least enjoyable things I’ve ever done, but it’s starting to suck less and less each day.

I liken my body to someone else’s science project. I have no idea what to expect from day-to-day. (Yes, I have the books.)

I haven’t had any real cravings, but orange juice and french fries (not together) are two things that always make me feel better.

I’m experiencing mild headaches most days, still barfing, and I go to bed around 8:30pm.

Wearing the above dress was so fantastic, because it was the first time since being a preteen that I wasn’t concerned about how flat my belly looked in a tight dress. It was so liberating and I genuinely felt pretty!

I pee approximately 105 times each day.

Everyone I know mentions my boobs. Yes, they are ginormous. Add it to the positive column!

I frequently google old wives tales regarding gender.

I cannot wait to meet this kid!

OMG Another Survey

One of my major blog crushes is Gracie of Girl Meets Life. She’s just too stinkin’ cute. I saw this survey on her blog last week and thought it was fun, so I’m bringing it over here! I’m sure everyone who’s reading this knows who Gracie is, but if you don’t – go check her out!

Lately I’ve been…

Making: a baby.  

Cooking: LOLOL – no, siree. I’m not cooking at all. I pack Cory’s lunches – does that count? 

Drinking: Water upon water upon water. Before I was pregnant, I’d go through the day and drink maybe 16oz of water. MAYBE. I know that’s terrible, but it’s the truth. Now, I can’t even keep track of all the water I’m drinking. I’m always thirsty! 

Reading: I recently read Six Years by Harlan Coben and it was fantastic! I literally read it in one sitting. 

6 years

Wanting: clothes that fit. I’m still in that kind of awkward phase of my normal clothes being way too small, but not quite fitting into maternity clothes. I’m currently on the lookout for a killer pair of maternity jeans. No one tell me “Target!” or “Old Navy!” because I’ve only found Mom Jeans at either of those stores and it’s so depressing. 

Looking: Forward to the holiday season! The food and the parties and the family time are all so wonderful. I love this time of year. 

Playing: The “should” game with working out. I miss going to the gym, but I’m not one of those fit moms who Crossfits her way through pregnancy. It’s been a weird transition, but slowing things down is what I feel is right for my body. 

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Wasting: Food. Because I’ve been so iffy on what does and doesn’t sound good, we’ve let a good deal of food go to waste. And I hate wasting food. I’m proud to report that in the last two weeks we’ve drastically improved our food waste.

Sewing: I don’t sew  (and this seems like a weird question.) My mom is an amazing seamstress and I constantly kick myself for not letting her teach me how to sew when I was younger.  

Wishing: That baby registries made themselves. I am beyond overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need for a kid. 

Enjoying: My time with Cory. For 8 years it’s been just us, and in a few short months, everything is going to change! While we’re so excited, I’m mindful of savoring our childless time together. 

Waiting: For my ultrasound appointment in a week! 

Liking:  The change in weather. Here in Virginia it feels like we’ve made the quick transition from fall to winter, but it’s making me very excited for the holiday season!

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Wondering: The gender of the baby. We’re not going to find out, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wonder! 

Loving: Life. This might sound weird, but the Brittany Maynard story has deeply touched and inspired me, and her story has me looking at things from a new perspective. I could go on and on, but her story has really made me pause to look around and notice the awesomeness of life. 

Hoping: This sound trite considering the above, but I’m really hoping my morning sickness doesn’t last for another 20 weeks. 

Marveling: I know how this will sound, especially to my friends who have yet to experience pregnancy, but I’m constantly marveling at the fact that I’m growing a human. What?! That’s just insane. 

Needing: Nothing, really. 

Wearing: Yoga pants and my favorite Longwood hoodie. My winter weather uniform has officially made it’s return. Cory is so lucky.

Following: I follow way too many celebrities on Instagram. It’s weird, but I won’t stop. 

Noticing: That french fries are never a bad idea.

Knowing:  That it’s exciting when old friends become new friends again. 

Thinking: Oh my gosh, so many things. I can’t even begin to tell you! 

Feeling: Excited about being published in a real magazine! Check out my story in MDA’s Quest magazine (pg. 52 – 53)

quest

Bookmarking: Baby List. I’m in no way affiliated with them, but I love them! They’re great because you can make your baby registry from all different places, not just one store. 

Opening: 

Giggling: Thanks to my friend, Kaylee, I watch this short video every time I need/want to giggle. Works every time.

I Have an Idea

So I have an idea, but it would need your input to be anything worth while.

Growing up, I loved reading Dear Abby in the newspaper. Which is interesting, because among my friend group, or just people in general, I tend to play the Dear Abby role. Maybe it’s my background in counseling. Maybe it’s my no bullshit approach to things. I don’t know. But people come to me with their problems or situations asking for advice.

I sometimes wonder if I have TELL ME YOUR LIFE STORY tattooed on my forehead.

tell me

Just this week, as I was checking out at the grocery store, the bagger said “Paper or plastic?”

A simple question, to which I replied, “Whatever’s easiest for you, man!”

And then, out of nowhere, he started telling me about how he almost died as a child, but was saved by a great team of doctors. He knows though, that God was the main saving grace in that scenario, and he just can’t stand it when people only attribute his survival to modern medicine. How’s he supposed to deal with people like that?!

And I’m like, Should I have just said ‘plastic’? 

Instead, I quoted Sweet Brown and said “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” To which he gave me a high five and said “Amen, sister!”

Things like that happen more often than I can even tell you. It’s probably because I’m always so serious and composed…

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The bridesmaids watching Bobby & Whitney’s “first look.” Photo by Leslie Maron Photography

So here’s my idea.

Rather than doing a Q&A about me, I’d love to do a Q&A about you. A Dear Abby with a twist. An irreverent, no bullshit, humorous twist that only a Dear Colleen series would provide.

It could be serious questions, relationship questions, random questions, questions you’re too afraid to ask your friends face-to-face. It’d be anonymous. And it’d be fun.

I’m just putting it out there. It’s up to you if you want to play along. I’m thinking I’ll give it 2 weeks to see if it’ll be anything. If I get some emails, I’ll do the series. If not, I won’t. Simple as that.

What do you think? Send your Dear Colleen email to lunchboxdiaries[at]gmail[dot]com to play along!

Behind the ‘Gram

I love Instagram. It’s probably my favorite social media app. Facebook can be too whiny or braggy and Twitter can be kind of boring, but Instagram is fun. It’s probably the voyeur in me, but I just love looking at other people’s personal snap shots.

My biggest IG pet peeve (and I’ve done it myself) is the no-caption picture. Or the emoji caption. Only because I’m so nosy and want to know the story. That’s why I love “behind the ‘gram” type posts. So, if you’re nosy and voyeuristic like me, enjoy…

As a recovering orthorexic and body hater, you’d think I’d totally fear the physical changes that come along with pregnancy. Truth is, I’ve always thought that pregnant women are the most gorgeous people! Not that I feel like the most gorgeous thing, but I’ve been so ready to actually look pregnant. So when I woke up on Saturday and there was that little bump, I was overjoyed.

belly

I’ll be honest with you – right now, I hate the smell of Penny. My beloved fur baby is the foulest stench I’ve ever encountered, and it permeates my entire home! If I were you, I’d invest in Bath & Body Works, because I’m keeping them in business with the amount of wallflowers that I buy on a regular basis. Cory thinks our home smells like a wonderful apple orchard, but all I can smell is that damn dog. Hence, why she’s no longer allowed on (the majority of) our furniture. Still, when I’m not looking, she sneak up on even the most uncomfortable pieces of furniture. Also, this is more evidence of her not knowing her own size.

penny

I didn’t do a birthday recap because, after 21, who really cares? While my birthday is very exciting for me, it’s just October 5th for you. Basically, Cory and I went out to a nice dinner. As I was ugly-crying over the cocktail menu, the waitress offered to bring me a mocktail. Good, fine, whatever. I appreciated the strawberry kid drink of a gesture.

Someone told me before I got pregnant “Oh, when you’re pregnant, you don’t even want to drink!” This now sends me into PTSD-like flashbacks of me believing my uncle Danny when he told me right before my First Communion that the Host tastes like pepperoni pizza. Lies and disappointment, my friends. Lies and disappointment.

mocktail

At the end of August, I was depressingly ill from all the “morning” sickness. I say “depressingly” because it was absolutely starting to affect my mental health. If you’ve ever thrown up all day, every day for two months, you know how thin it wears you. Cory is a saint, hands down, for dealing with me, but it got to a point when all I wanted was my mom. (He totally gives me shit for that, but I really don’t care.) I was so thankful that my mom made the trip down for the day to be with me. While she looks nice and cute and smiley, I was on the other side of the camera pale, puffy-eyed, and looking like death.

mommy

So there you have it! Some stories behind the ‘gram. Now, go have a great day and be a good person who captions all of their Instagram photos ;)

Virginia Wine Expo

The tickets for one of my favorite events of the year are now available, and I’m a little conflicted. The Virginia Wine Expo is by far one of the best days of the year. Cory and I have gone with friends for the past several years annnd it never disappoints. But the fact that it takes place roughly one month before my due date gives me a new, unfamiliar pang of parental sacrifice. So close, yet so far. 

Damn it, guys, I love wine.

I’ll be the DD this year, which seems like it may be the most masochistic thing I could do to myself, but Cory is filled with glee, because he’s always the driver. (He knew he was marrying a lightweight, so I carry no guilt.)

Here are some of my quick tips for enjoying the Virginia Wine Expo

1. The main-event: walk around grand tastings is the only ticket you really need. It’s on Saturday and Sunday (February 21 – 22) and I feel like it goes without saying, but: go on Saturday. You will, without a doubt, be hungover that evening and/or the following day.

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2. Get there early. I know brunching is very popular in Richmond, but guys, doors open at noon. I’ve normally had at least 2 and a half meals by then (important for any day drinker.) The longer you wait to get there, the longer the tasting lines. I like to play the game “let’s see how many tastings we can do in the first hour” and Cory normally ends up hating me 40 minutes in. I LOVE WINE.

3. Go with a small-ish group. There is a time and place for going out with a group of 10 friends, but this wine expo isn’t it. Remember – you’re there to do tastings. The bigger your group, the more difficult it will be for you to all get into a tasting at once. Time to get selective with your friends, people.

4. Taste them all(ish), then purchase. Unless you have an unlimited wine budget (can we be friends?) you can’t afford to buy your favorite bottle at each winery you visit (because you’d be picking from approximately 450 bottles.) My first year, I made the mistake of buying bottles at the first three wineries we sampled. An hour or so later, when I’d tried other wines I liked better, I was drunk bummed.

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5. Look up the vendors list beforehand. This is something I do because it’s not possible for me to taste every winery there; I’d end up in the hospital getting my stomach pumped. I like to have an idea of which of my favorites will be attending, so I can make sure to visit them. The rest of the time, it’s a fun free-for-all!

I’m obviously not a wine connoisseur, but the Virginia Wine Expo combines my love of day drinking and discovering new Virginia wineries (but mostly day drinking.) I want you to go this year and enjoy it for me. I’ll be the lady trailing behind her drunk husband, eight month pregnant and asking to smell the wine samples. I’ll probably be eating fries out of my purse that I smuggled in, but that’s neither here nor there.

 

just FYI: I was compensated by the event for writing this post, but clearly, all borderline alcoholic wine-loving opinions are my own.

 

3rd Annual Trip to Belvedere Plantation

This past Saturday, I was a pretty basic bitch with my basic bitch friends (and amazing husband) as we had our third annual trip to the pumpkin patch and corn maze out at Belvedere Plantation.

cornmaze

We played games and (they) went down slides (I don’t do slides) before tackling the corn maze. It’s the same every year. Cory and Emily take the lead and share flag-carrier responsibilities while I follow along. This year was Jamie’s first trip with us and she quickly became a follower like myself. Direction are not our strong suit by any stretch of the imagination. If it weren’t for Cory and Emily, being in a corn maze might be something along the lines of my own personal hell.

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This year we sort of needed an attitude adjustment, but it was our poor planning of entering the corn maze AT lunch time that threw us off. Being lost + being hungry (+ me having to pee every five minutes) = us being over it about 20 minutes into it. 

 jamieemily

Thankfully, we made it out alive and enjoyed Mexican food for lunch. Then, I came home and slept for the remainder of the weekend. Walking. It’s hard work, man.

And now, I have a cold and can do nothing about it. If any mamas out there have suggestions on how to deal with a cold while pregnant, I’ll love you forever!

Welcome to Crazy Town

Last week, Cory had a conference out on the West coast, so I used it as an opportunity to take a week off work and nap. God, I love sleeping. I can’t get enough sleep.

I digress.

I was talking to my mom the day before we left, and she said, Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit!

Woof. That was the LAST thing I’d ever think of packing.

My response: Mom, there is no fucking way I’m putting this hot mess of a body into a bathing suit. 

Let’s remember, my body doesn’t yet look pregnant. I don’t have a cutesy baby bump. I have the body of a collegiate binge drinker and boobs that are monstrously large. Like, not cute. Not cute at all. 

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But, because my mom can guilt me into doing just about anything, I headed to Target to find a bathing suit. My regular bikinis would not do. My cute one piece looked a little porn-y. It’s with great disappointment that I tell you this, but I bought a mom suit. A one piece with extra fabric around the tummy, a deceitful cut that makes us think it’s flattering, but it’s clearly just a fat disguiser.

And no, I will not be posting a picture of it.

You’re welcome.

But there I was, walking to the pool and noticing all the hot bodied girls, feeling like I looked 47 and needing to declare: I’M WITH CHILD! I DON’T KNOW MY OWN BODY! I USED TO BE YOU!

As if anyone in the place even noticed me.

Welcome to Crazy Town, ladies and gentlemen.

Pregnancy Fitness

LOLOLOL at this title.

Prior to actually getting pregnant, I had told myself that I was going to have a “fit pregnancy.” I had pinned what seems like tens of thousands of “pregnancy workouts.” Some were even broken up by trimester! Oh, the convenience.

I was going to eat the healthiest I’d ever eaten. Kale, spinach, organic protein – spare no expense! I was going to pop out an organic, lean, mean fighting machine.

foods

 

gag me. source

Then, I actually got pregnant.

Anything “healthy” makes me gag. Veggies? Chicken? Lentils? FUCK NO. I can’t, dude. I literally cannot.

Not long ago, I ordered THREE double decker taco supremes at Taco Bell. Double cheeseburger meals from McDonalds give me life. I made a pan of box mix brownies, and asked Cory if he wanted me to make one for him. Because yes, the entire pan I made was just for me.

And because I puke so often, I’ve only gained one pound! (And lost all my muscle definition, but let’s not focus on that part, mmkay?) Oh the joy.

During my first visit with the OB, I was so embarrassed to tell her about my diet. I had such grand plans! But in reality, I’m eating fast food and brownies – foods I enjoyed in moderation (not weekly) in “real life.”

I thought she was going to call and alert CPS or tell me that I was ruining my unborn child’s life, but to my shock and awe she said “At this point, I just need you to eat whatever you can keep down.” I wanted to weep and kiss her at the same time.

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This made me think: maybe this is what parenthood is like. Constantly worried that you’re not doing it right, or not good enough, or that someone is going to find out that you haven’t done dishes in two weeks and that you didn’t make your bed.

But as someone dear to me said, “If you’re worried about doing it wrong, you care enough to get it right.” And I think that’s right. I have a subpar veggie intake –  it’s not like I’ve picked up a crystal meth habit.

So maybe this hasn’t been the “fit pregnancy” that I planned, but it’s teaching me how to give myself grace and to let go of tight plans. Things are going to happen that I have no control over (terrifying for a Type A like myself) and that’s okay! It’s the ability to roll with the punches that really matters.