Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Disappearance of the Pregnant Lady

I'm SO SO sorry for abandoning this blog for almost 2 weeks!! So I put together a little FAQ - not meaning that people actually ask me these questions frequently, but that I imagine it might cross their minds. And if you think they don't, please don't burst my bubble.

Q: Hi, Anne! How come you haven't blogged as much as before?
A: I'm pregnant.

Q: Oh, okay. But what about facebook? You rarely post, and when you do, it's about some bodily function.
A: I'm pregnant.

Q: I understand. In real life, though, why do you spend weeks without socializing?
A: Um, because I'm home, barefoot and pregnant.

Q: Also, about your posts. Whenever they do come - which takes FOREVER - they're just about how tired/nauseated you are. Isn't there anything else going on in your life?
A: This blog is mostly about motherhood, so I'd rather not go on and on about my plans to become a movie star and then end world hunger. Which is going to be a little harder now that I'm PREGNANT.

Q: C'mon, it can't be that bad. Don't you have such a cute daughter? For sure she's an endless source of posts.
A: She would be, if I wasn't PREGNANT with a nauseating child.

Q: I give up. Is there anything else you have to say for yourself? Please don't mention any medical conditions.
A: I'm sure that, somewhere deep inside me, there's still a well of deeply imaginative posts waiting to be posted. And one day, I might throw them all up at once. It will probably be when my TWO kids start kindergarten. But no guarantees - chances are, by then I'll be PREGNANT again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In This Pregnancy, I Promise...

...not to wait until laundry becomes a 4 load monster that I have to wreck my back to tackle; give myself permission to feel miserable, without letting it make me miserable (all mothers - or all women who ever had a period - probably know what I mean); maintain realistic expectations about parenthood and the whole process of having a child, which are so, so far from Parents/Fit Pregnancy magazine covers;

...not to wait till I feel 100% social to see other humans, BUT, not to push it as if I'm a helpless isolated nerd if I don't; smile before I think of complaining of something (it always sounds better that way); laugh at my own invalidism; allow Melissa to make me laugh even though I feel like I'm about to puke on her head;

...not to imagine the worst scenario, EVER - unless for child protective purposes;

...not to use chocolate as a medication (but not make it the forbidden fruit either); truly believe I'm glowing like people say pregnant women do;

...not to freak out that I already have another kid to care for, but think of it as the proof that I've done it and survived.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Think My Baby Ate My Brain

<- 12 weeks of brain mushiness

That's the only explanation. My mind's foggier than when I'd just given birth to Melissa - though I might be exaggerating, since the whole selective memory thing gives us enough amnesia to want to do this again :).

But lately I feel like everything is taking at least double the effort. Not just physically, but mentally too. It takes longer for me to figure things out. I used to be able to come up with a game plan for Melissa - if she seemed hungry, offer this; if cranky, then this; if hungry and cranky, then something else (plus the Wiggles). Now, I feel like I've turned dumb. Most of the time I don't have the faintest idea of what to do with her. There are certain routines that I do still follow (like her regular breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), but even the timing and what I serve on these seem off. I just hope I don't mess her up too much until this baby comes out of me.

So I came to the conclusion that either my brain has become fetus food or my hormones have overcrowded it, turning half of it inactive. I cry for no reason often (or for silly reasons, like someone's sad on TV), have a headache if I think too hard and feel guilty almost all the time. I think, for example, that Melissa deserves a more energetic mother. Someone who isn't too busy growing a person to be completely in tune with her every need.

Of course I'm being dramatic - there are moments when everything feels right in the world, we're bonding and I'm so happy I'll have not one, but two little kids to squeeze. Melissa is such a little girl now that, when she's not being difficult, she's so funny and smart and sweet. I tell her that there's a baby in my belly and she looks at it confused, saying: "Where's the beddy? [she thinks it's more fun to say "belly" - "beddy" - than baby] Where did it go? Beddyy, where aare yoou?" She cracks me up everyday.

I think my body is shutting down my mind for anything except the baby, unless it's strictly necessary (like Melissa and hubby). It's annoying, 'cause I do want to be productive in other areas too (like writing), but EVERYTHING just seems like such a humongous effort. Strangely enough, at the same time I have been a little more disciplined about a few house chores (like cleaning the kitchen and the floor/carpet). Maybe my body understands that as strictly necessary (which I'm ashamed to say, it didn't always before :).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My First Fancy Interview: Betsy St. Amant, Author of "Fireman Dad"

What do I do when I'm not blogging or chasing after Melissa, you might ask?

I'm usually reading, writing or watching reality TV, and in between bugging my writing mentor, Betsy St. Amant. She's one of those rare super talented people who still corresponds with us, mere mortals. Here's the bio from her gorgeous website:

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. She has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, a chocolate-loving author and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

Betsy's latest novel is Fireman Dad, which was just given a 4 star review by Romantic Times Magazine. This fun and heartwarming story is about a stubborn woman, a hunky and determined man (the best combination :) and one of the most honorable professions out there. Betsy lets us in on the fears - and blessings - on being in love with a hero.

Betsy, you're awesome. How can you write a gazillion books, have a couple of part time jobs, a toddler and still put up with my hormonal emails?
To be honest? I still don't know. Ha! I chalk it up to the grace of God, and a totally unnatural amount of self-discipline. I'm a detailed, organized, goal-setting, list-making kind of girl, so I don't mind wearing the SuperWoman sometimes. There are definitely moments, though, when it chokes me and I have a hysterical fit that ends in my 3 year old patting my shoulder: "Cheer up Mama". She's good for resetting my priorities :) Trust me, I'm not perfect or Super. But thanks for the awesome compliment. I'll take it and stitch it on my cape.

Your leading lady has an aversion to dating firemen. Since you're married to one, can you point out the upsides?
Sure! There are definitely good and bad parts of being a fireman's wife, as the heroine discovered so well in the story. The downsides are obvious - crazy schedules, missed family time, low pay and significant danger. But the good parts include bragging rights (my hubbys a hero!) and how sexy they look in uniform ;). Also, the crazy schedule can sometimes be a good thing. All departments vary depending on city and state but typically, firemen around here work "5 on, 6 off" which means he works a 24 hour shift, is off 24 hours, works 24 hours, off 24 hours...5 times, and then gets 6 days off in a row. This is great for family time or taking vacations, yet not having to use actual banked vacation time. It's a huge plus and also makes working a side job easier. Plus, you sometimes get discounts at restaurants ;).

Despite Marissa's fears, her son wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Would you freak out if your daughter decided to do that? Are there any firegirls, by the way? Pardon my ignorance.
I probably would freak out, but thankfully I have a long time before my daughter decides on a career! haha. There are firewomen, but its pretty rare, at least around here, because of the physical requirements. There are physical tests before getting on the stations (especially city departments, often the country districts are volunteer only or have fewer requirements). You have to literally prove you can carry a human body so many yards and drag hoses and climb ladders and bail out windows from a two story building... It's not easy. Sure, there are women out there who COULD do it, but probably not a lot who WANT to. ;) To the ones who did, kudos!!!

It's very annoying how Marissa and Jacob are always supposed to be together in every single scene but never do until the very end. Why must you torture us so much?
Because otherwise the book would end on Chapter 1? HAHAH!

That's okay, we're tortured but we like it. The best part of the entire book for me is your testimony on the last page. It's amazing how God's come through for your family. Is that what compelled you to write the book?
I do enjoy torturing my readers. And my characters. But all to the greater good! Hehe. Seriously, though, yes, the true story part of this novel (as explained in the Dear Reader letter in the back) is exactly what prompted this story. It had to be told.

If you had to pick an actress to play Marissa in a movie, who would it be? I'd pick Alison Sweeney (Sami from Days of Our lives) - she has a good "angry but in love" face.
Ohhhh good choice! I answered this question in another interview and chose Julianne Hough. What do you think?

I love her! Who would you pick for Jacob? Kirk Cameron already has experience playing a fireman in Fireproof - but he doesn't do kissing scenes, and Fireman Dad's movie would have some really good ones :).
Yes, there must be kisses. I chose Josh Duhamel.

I like him too, but can't forget those rumors about him cheating on Fergie (probably not true) - people would never say that about Jacob :). Anyway, to wrap it up, could you elaborate on why Christian romance is so awesome?
I think Christian romances are awesome because not only do they inspire and encourage someone still waiting to find the right person to share their lives with, they also remind said reader that the ultimate Lover of our souls is Jesus. And that while finding earthly love is wonderful and a blessing and something to strive for, it's not the bottom line. We'll truly never be satisfied in our hearts until we connected with the One who set them to beating.

Fireman Dad will be available on August 1st. Order it on ChristianBook here! Also, check out Betsy's blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2nd Pregnancy Ramblings: Can't Believe I'm Doing This Again

Seriously, I can't. Not that I'm not excited - I am, it's just VERY surreal. So sorry if this post is scattered and doesn't really make sense. I usually don't anymore.

When we first thought of getting pregnant, I felt like we were cheating on Melissa. It felt absurd to think of loving another child as much as her. Impossible, even. Then, when I realized it would be possible, I was afraid of it. Afraid of what it would mean to care so much for two people and being still just one person.

Now, it must be that I'm less afraid. Or that, with the decision to move to Texas, I'm breathing in relief to know there will be other family members around to help me love these little people. But the fact is, I feel more excited than afraid. Instead of thinking: "oh my gosh, I already die of worry about Melissa, how can I handle double that" to "how awesome will it be to be as amazed as I am with Melissa, only twice??"

Another reason for my better perspective could be that Melissa's growing SO fast, talking and understand much more than ever that maybe I miss her babyness. She has recently discovered she has a will, and that she can fight it until she gets what she wants. For that often she uses "emotional intimidation" - which consists of crying as if her heart is broken forever. The first time she did this I comforted her, thinking she'd just been traumatized. But after the fifth trauma in the same morning, I realized they might have been premeditated. She sure knows how to turn on the waterworks.

I'm missing when I used to able to calm her as a tiny baby. When she was too small and too undeveloped to be this strong-willed. But then again, at that time I used to be jealous of moms with toddlers, who bragged about the cute things their kids said/did. I guess we're never satisfied, are we?

Maybe the point of this rambling is that, while I still can't believe I'm doing this again, I'm up for it. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention - I feel the baby sometimes!! I know a bunch of people out there might think I'm crazy, but I'm so sure of it. And hey, according to, right now (11 weeks) baby's the size of a lime. So imagine if there was a little lime inside your stomach with tiny arms and webbed fingers swimming away. You'd feel it, right? Sure, by the first pregnancy you'd think it was gas, but by the second, you KNOW it. Gas doesn't go "tap tap tap tap", like walking in circles inside you.

So this is the end of my first 2nd pregnancy ramblings. More to come. Now that I didn't go to Brazil (read update at the bottom of latest post), at least I'm excited I'll get an appointment on the 13th (not this Wednesday, the next one). Please pray everything will be ok!