September 12, 2013

And then we... realized you shouldn't pee or burp on people, or give advice to pregnant women.

About 10 minutes before I was asked to pee on him.
When I was 7, I was asked to pee on my brother by my grandfather.  Given the mechanics of peeing as a girl, I believe the actual request was to pee in a cup and then pour it on my brother, but same difference.

Papa:  Who wants to pee on Chris??**  (As if this is some sort of lottery you just won, congratulations!)
Me:  I look at Lindsey, who's like... 8 months old and barely knows how to use a diaper much less aim for a cup.  
Lindsey:  Looks at all of us like, "why was I born into THIS family?"
Me:  No, Papa.  Lindsey and I don't want to pee on Chris today.  Maybe next week.
Chris:  You're supposed to share, Allison.
Me:  I don't want to share my pee with you.
Chris:  (whinny/nasally voice) Papa!  Allison won't share her pee with me!!!
Papa:  Fine, son.  I'll pee on you.
Granny:  Silently hands Papa a cup while slicing watermelon for lunch

** The kids were asked to do this first before the adults, and Granny wasn't even consulted as to whether her pee made the cut.

Hashtag ideas?
#Jellyfishproblems.  (Andrew's Note: #siblingurine #thereispeeonmywatermelon #dontmakeeyecontact)

Take your pick.  Having 9 months to be pregnant gives the brain lots of time to dig up all these little gems of stories from being a kid and this is just the kick in the butt needed when your pregnancy brain starts tricking you into thinking that having a baby is all about excessively pink outfits, smiles and coos.  Ironically, some of my best horror stores are from the times I was with my grandparents.

Other favorites?
1.  The time 3 year old Chris decided to back our car out of the driveway as G-parents were babysitting.  We call that hands-off parenting mixed with hand-on the steering wheel.
2.  The time when the same G-parents decided to load all 3 of us kids up and take a month long car trip from Texas to Canada, with parts of it driven at 10 mph so that we could "experience what it was like to be on the old west wagon trail".
3.  The time, on the same trip mentioned in #2, when all 3 of us started crying because we just couldn't take it anymore.

Good times.  As a kid, you really have no control over much of anything in your daily life, and pregnancy is just about the same.  I knew gaining weight was a natural part of this pregnancy-gig, but I didn't expect for my chest to compete with my stomach for size.  Most days it's like carrying twins up top and a baby underneath.  Not cool, yo.

Yep.  The belly is NOT winning this race. 

There should really be books written about things you're NOT told about pregnancy.  This would be my contribution, oh, and.... this might get weird, fair warning.  So if you don't want to hear about gross bodily changes, scroll down to where I rant about parenting, it's italicized and underlined for your locating ease:

Things you're not told about pregnancy:

1.  Hemorrhoids:  (I had to spell check that 3 times in order to get it right) (Perhaps you could spell check the rest of the blog as well :-D) I didn't even know what hemorrhoids were 6 months ago.  Welcome to pregnancy... let's expand your vocabulary.  [Hint:  DON'T GOOGLE 'HEMORRHOIDS'.]  Every preggo book I own goes on for pages describing the correct way to "use the restroom" to avoid these nasty little buggers.  (Is there a "Squat Pots and You" chapter??)  My mom-friends discuss the best brands of hemorrhoid cream to apply when your turn comes.  I even have several varieties of cream/gels given to me at baby showers... what happened to the cute clothes?!  Writing thank you notes for hemorrhoid cream feels dirty, kids.

"Dear Sylvia, thanks for the hemorrhoid cream, its just swell,  it makes everything feel velvety, it's..."

"Dear Sylvia, thanks so much for coming to the baby shower!  So glad you are my friend! Allison"

2.  Peeing:  Like every freaking hour.  And sometimes, you'll have literally JUST washed your hands and you have to pee again.  What the crap?!  (no pun intended).  Is the pee just being held by the liver as backup-reserves incase there's another jellyfish incident?  (Better keep some around in case I get stung - this is HIGHLY possible from May to August.)  It's exhausting.  My yoga studio here on camp has a restroom located essentially right off the main studio, so while everyone else is silently supta baddha konasana-ing, I'm visiting an all-tiled restroom that makes Carnegie Hall acoustics look dead.  I need a catheter.

Yep, I've even included a diagram.
Note the locations of said bladder and stomach (to be discussed next).
You're welcome.
3.  Burping and other unpleasantness:  Once baby moves in, all other body parts get evicted to smaller spaces.  (Except for the boobs, of course, they get their own villa, make that plural-- villas).  My stomach was ordered north to the region beneath my lungs leaving little space for actual food and air.  Less space means less room for food, and food always get priority these days, so burping is now something I have little to no control over.   They just come up.  At really awkward times.  Like in the middle of talking.  To your lesson student's parents.
I need to wear a sign:
"Hi, I'm pregnant version of Allison and I uncontrollably burp."

4.  Insomnia:  After my nightly 3 AM visit to the loo, I have difficulty sleeping.  Usually, the only way to get back to sleep is to eat something.  But in an attempt to keep the aforementioned chest to a manageable size, I try not to have a bowl of cereal every night.  So I just lay in bed and think about milk, and cereal, and eating cereal and milk.  Sometimes it works like counting sheep and I fall back into blissful sleep with dreams about working in a Kellogg's Factory, and other nights find me stumbling downstairs in the dark to pour cereal and milk into a bowl only to realize after the first bite that I'm actually eating dog food with milk.  (Won Ton's shooting you looks of death from across the room.)

4:30 AM Feeding, this one in bed with actual cereal.
The punk next to me took this shot.
So pregnancy makes you do weird things, like eat "cereal" at 4:30 AM or sniff your husband's face while he sleeping.  (Wait...what??)  For example.... here is a recent conversation between Andrew and me after lunch as I was eating a brownie:

Me:  You took up too much space in the bed last night.
Andrew:  What?  That's ridiculous, I have a sliver of matress exactly my size...mostly because of your new found need for 400 pillows to support anything and everything.
Me:  I could feel your leg... if I stretched out.
Andrew:  We have a King size bed.  Why were you stretching out to feel my leg??  ....   ........     .................       ......  How you doin'???
Me:  Shush.  I like the way your face smells with aftershave.
Andrew:  How are those two things related?
Me:  Sometimes when I can't sleep, you smell good so I stretch out to smell your face.
Andrew:  This feels like a Paranormal Activity moment.
Me:  (Still stuffing my face with the brownie)  Some people count sheep, I sniff my husband's face.  I see no problem with this.
Andrew:  (Grabs my hand and starts dancing with me in the kitchen...But since both of us can't dance, it's more of a feet-glued-to-the-ground-upper-bodies/bellies-swaying kind of dance)
Me:  (Dancing while eating brownie) This is impeding my brownie eating.
Andrew:  Just smell my face, it'll make you feel better.

This is where I rant about parenting:
The other thing that no one prepares you for in pregnancy is other people, be it friends, family or the Pakistani lady at the commissary, hands out advice.  Everybody has advice.  And is EAGER to share it with you.

Having a chest and belly (or in my case, a chest that competes with your belly) is like wearing a sign, "Please, give me advice about how to raise my children!"

Let's just be honest here.  Or more accurately, let me just be frank.  I suck at taking advice.  (um...yes)  I hate listening to other people's advice.  I would much rather do the research myself, make the mistakes myself, than follow someone else's advice.  But can I tell this to people?  Nope.  That, Andrew tells me, (is rude!)  He often says to stop being defensive and just listen, smile and nod... even if I don't agree.  This is hard because it requires not being proud; I suck just about as badly at that as I do at the taking advice thing.
And, realizing that people who read this blog are probably people who have lovingly given me advice over these past few months, let me just say this:  Thank you for your help and ideas.  You mean well and you are MUCH more experienced than I am.

The thing is, we chose to have this science-meets-prayers-pregnancy.  (I can show you the receipts!)  We sort of want to do it our way.  And while I think everyone means well, listening to people tell us the way we should raise our child is a really hard thing to do.  (Pride?  Yes.)  It legitimately bothers me when someone tells me this is the best way to breastfeed your kid, or get them on a sleep schedule or have the perfect hospital delivery.  One day one someone would tell us why this was the best way to do such-and-such, and the next day another person would tell us the complete opposite advice!!  Everyone has a different experience and is convinced that their way is the best way to do things because their way worked for them.  The new parent-to-be in me gets highly confused by all the conflicting advice and frustrated that Andrew and I can't just be left to make our own decisions.  There is SO MUCH PRESSURE as a new parent to do things certain ways.  Just say the words "vaccinations" "crying-it-out" or "formula-feeding" in a room of moms and watch the punches start to fly.  (I'd rather be peed on.  Seriously.)

We are defensive creatures.  Moms and society pressure us to be a certain way.  It's d*&^% hard to make a parenting decision without offending at least half of your friend group.  So where does that leave me?  I am one of the most opinionated people I know, (Heh...I....nevermind.) but after realizing how much I hate hearing advice from other people, I am now trying super hard to not give parenting/mom advice to people around me.  I've read some AMAZING books recently.  And I'm bursting to share what I now think is the best way to get a kid on a sleep schedule, breast-feed them, make them less whiny toddlers, but as hard as it is for me, I am trying to keep my mouth shut around others.
1.  I don't want to be 'that person' to them.
2.  My new discoveries are just that,... MINE.  They work for me.  Not someone else.  They have their own way, and you know what?
That's OKAY.

So here's where we are at the moment.  Devouring this book: ( and learning what our parenting philosophy is going to be.  Notice the word.. "our," (this is not me giving advice as to what book you should read, this is me sharing with you what we've decided to use as one of our guides).

Andrew and I have decided we don't want to be the high-maintenance parents.  We won't sterilize the pacifier after it falls on the floor (unless the dogs have been REALLY interested in that piece of floor).  We won't be feeding our kid only certain types of _________ (fill in the blank:  Milk/Cheese/Meat/) from goats (camels) raised in the Andes Mountains (Empty Quarter) by liberated orphans (hospitable Bedouins) whose goal is to raise free-trade goats (camels) that are independent-thinking milk-producers.

If that means NOT picking up the bebe every time it squeaks, that's okay for us.
If that means traveling with a toddler, that's (gulp) okay for us.
If that means, having an epidural at delivery because I flinch when a mosquito bites me, that's okay for us.
If that means vaccinating our kids because we think that's the safest option in this international community in Saudi Arabia where we live, that's okay for us.
And, if that means letting the dachshunds lick little bean's face despite wherever their tongues have been.... that's okay for us.

And you know what?  Those might not be okay for some reading this, but... that's okay too.  Everyone has a different way of doing things, I'm trying to learn to respect and be at peace with that.  Hopefully, I haven't offended everyone that reads this post... probably just the females :)  (Please talk to us again.  Please.)

We are now in our 27th week and grateful to be complication free, minus the hemorrhoids, lack of sleep, peeing and heartburn.  Here are some beautiful pics taken by my good friend, Natalie Hebert ( when we were 22 weeks preggo.


  1. So excited for you!
    Having Liam is so much fun. We learn new stuff and have new stuff to research every day. And ain't nobody gonna tell me what's best for him :D

    1. Thanks Tiffany! Glad to hear we aren't alone!