Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hap-Hap-Happiest Christmas

The holidays just aren't the holidays without my favorite movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Clark W. Griswold and his endearing, often mind-boggling antics have been making people laugh for nearly 30 years.

Christmas Vacation came out in 1989. I saw it in the theater. And since then my brother and I have prattled off it's quotes while giggling and reminiscing of the dozens of ridiculous scenes in the movie.

The movie starts out with the Griswold's heading out to cut down their tree in the "front-wheel drive sleigh." Clark moves on to putting up his outdoor Christmas lights. Then the parents arrive and other family members.  Who could forget Uncle Lewis.

Uncle Lewis: Hey Grizz, Bethany and I figured out the perfect gift for you.
: Aw, you didn't have to get me anything.
Uncle Lewis
: Dammit, Bethany, he guessed it.

Everyone knows a quote from this movie. One of my favorite is Clarke's rant about his fun, old fashioned family Christmas. Of course the highlight of the movie is the arrival of Cousin Eddie played by Randy Quaid. There are so many memorable quotes and scenes pertaining to Eddie including the scene in the Griswold living room where Clark and Eddie are drinking out of the moose mugs. Eddie is sporting his dickey. Don't know what that is? You can read about it here. 

While Clark is a good natured family man, it is hilarious to see his feisty side. This is portrayed several times through correspondence with his snooty neighbors, Todd and Margo.

Todd: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark : Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd : You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark : I wasn't talking to you.

 And as you enjoy all the comes with the holiday season such as music, food, and decor be glad that you don't live next door to a man who puts so many lights on his house that the power company had to turn on their auxiliary nuclear generator.

What is your favorite quote or scene from this movie?

If this isn't your favorite holiday movie, what is?

BTW- the moose mugs are available for sale on-line-- for only $19.95 a piece.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our New Baby

The world I envisioned when pregnant has revealed itself. I have been let in on the conversations of body changes and breast feeding. I have answered the question,"How are you feeling?" several dozen times. I have purchased and read pregnancy publications, and not as a preemptive or positive thinking method, but because I am actually pregnant. My attention has maneuvered to the 0-3 sizes, the tiny clothes no longer a painful reminder that I would never hold my child the day they were born.

But somehow I just don't feel like I belong. I'm here. I'm bulging and sporting the belly band, but when I feel my hand approaching the small of my back in the traditional pregnancy pose, I smack it down. The voice creeps up and hisses, remember! Remember how the site of a pregnant woman turned your stomach in knots. Remember the buckets of tears you cried over the past eight years. Stand up straight and whatever you do, don't rub your belly.

We are our own worst critics, as they say. I understand that I am needlessly chastising myself for behaving 'pregnant.' But old habits die hard.  I have reached the haven of pregnancy but with one foot out the door as if I am ready to run if the situation turns sour. My guard is continually up.

I'm on the platform but I cannot get on the train; and even though the whistle is blowing, I just cannot seem to make the leap to the comforting countryside passage.

I don't necessarily have these feelings because I am overly afraid of losing my baby. This is another thing that has caught me completely by surprise. While I have trepidation about my baby going to term and delivering okay, anxiety has not taken over my life as I always suspected. Every now and then a nervous thought creeps into my head about my baby dying in utero or being born with a disease or disorder. But my vision of being overly anxious because of our circumstances has not proven to be true. And I am extremely thankful for this sense of peace. It is as unexpected as the pregnancy itself.

My feelings of pregnancy-ostracism are completely self-inflicted.  I am signaling reminders all the time that I am different. When I notice that a certain moment or instance would normally have ripped my heart to shreds, I cannot help but divert back to pre-pregnancy me. Recently I was enveloped in a conversation with a few women regarding pregnancy symptoms and birthing plans. I was sort of half listening well aware that for the first time  I was actually participating in such a conversation instead of avoiding the circle at all costs.

It has been strange to discover that while I am allowing myself to be involved in pregnancy and newborn conversations, and others are now including me because they are no longer trying to protect me, I simply am not able to succumb to the feeling that I am finally a part of this ever-coveted genre of females. I don't feel this huge sense of relief that my place as a woman is finally secure because I'm in the circle. It is an acceptance that I cannot fully grasp; maybe it's that I don't want to.

I thought that when I became visibly pregnant which I am as of late, that my ability to see that this pregnancy is real would blossom. However, I still have to keep looking down at my belly as a reminder that this is true. But the reminders come often and my connection to the little one growing inside my body and not just inside my heart, becomes stronger every day.

When Min touches my belly and talks to the baby, I soften. I embrace all of these tiny moments, each one a miracle for us as a family. And then I am able to revel in this dream come true. I guess I should not be surprised that it is my two boys that extend my happiness, serving as a reminder that they will both be big brothers soon. As my five year old chirps that he can't wait for our new baby to come, my heart leaps.

This morning my mother-in-law lent us a book she read to my husband in anticipation of his brother arriving. It is entitled, "The New Baby." Thumbing through the pages I saw the illustration of a mommy with a big pregnant belly. Later I wondered if my MIL hoped to one day share this book with us, feeling her own sense of hurt for herself and us.

It made me realize again that the hurt of infertility is felt by those who love us as well. This pregnancy is a dream come true for our loved ones.This is the reason why I let my mother take a picture of me this afternoon. She has waited a long time to see her only daughter pregnant.

Before bed Min and I read the book about bringing a new sibling home. My sense of peace that this nearly nine year journey is finally boasting a clear understanding left a warm sensation around my heart.

Maybe next time I will forget my inhibitions for a moment and reveal my baby name list and park in the 'Expectant Moms' space at the grocery store.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Huff Po, Woah

 *image from The Grieving Dads Project 

So this post should have gone out roughly six days ago. Alas, here it is.

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to partake in a segment entitled, "The Pain of Miscarriage" on Huff Post Live.

 I was joined by 3 other panelists, Abby Lagunoff, a miscarriage healer in Los Angeles, Marybeth Lowell, mother of one in Seattle,and Kelly Farley, a bereaved father, recovery coach and the author of 'Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back.'

Notably the highlight of the segment was Kelly Farley author and creator of the Grieving Dads Project.

It was refreshing to hear the opinion of a man regarding the topic of miscarriage and still birth. While the segment was not on infertility specifically, he did mention that he and his wife struggled through infertility as well.

Farley stated, "I went into a pretty heavy tailspin, into despair and grief. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I didn't talk about it. I didn't seek help. Eventually I gave in and sought some help."

Farley recommended that men dealing with pregnancy loss must give themselves space to cope.

"It's not weak to cry," he said. "And it's okay to show emotion. It's okay to talk about it."

There were many tweets that came in during the 20 minute segment from men.  I am happy to pass along the Grieving Dads Project information to share with the men in your life. Kelly has created an excellent and much needed resource.

In the near future look forward to a guest post from Kelly Farley.

Here is a past post from giving the male perspective of infertility- Factor In


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