Friday, January 29, 2016

Twin Activities

When you're having two girls, there are so many activities to think about.

- African Dance
- Tap
- Martial Arts
- Double Dutch
- Swimming
- Soccer
- Kickboxing 

And when I say "activities to think about," I mean activities going on in my belly RIGHT NOW. LAWD, these babies are ACTIVE!

My WebMD app tells me babies at this stage sleep 80% of the time. These have to be lies.These children move nonstop. Or perhaps they do Kung Fu in their sleep.

They went from Boy-Yoy-Yoing, to feeling like constant chocolate milk bubbling in my stomach to feeling like weighted marbles in Jello that hasn't coagulated. And Baby A conducts her tap dancing on my bladder.

The girls moving is just a normal feeling now. I actually feel weird if they're not moving. I think this is the one thing I will miss about pregnancy, having them move around inside of me.

The good news is that they're already enjoying themselves in small spaces, so they should be perfectly comfortable in my New York apartment.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Medium-Sized Agency Problems

I thought that moving to Pittsburgh and working at a medium-sized agency had humbled me a bit. And it did, but not quite enough.

I need an admin.

I swear, every time I get a promotion the level at which one gets an admins changes. I actually had an admin before. I believe the year 2008. The economic recession had just started and my company seemingly had not been affected. I was a senior account executive, mogs were still getting bonuses, we could take car service home from work and I mailed NO PACKAGES!

Fast forward, eight years later and every time I have to schedule a meeting or print my own copies, a small fluffy grey kitten dies.

I swear I am not being used to my full potential working under these conditions.

What's worse, it when I finally hit "true executive" level, I'm likely going to have to share my admin with all the other admins, making him or her still pointless as I join the "we made it" ranks.

I wonder if my company would let me find my own college student to just sit here 2-3 hours a day and do admin duties. What? I'd teach them some PR stuff and I swear I would write them a stellar recommendation.

What's your biggest work gripe right now?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Not Paying The 5: Amazon Prime

I put up a status on Facebook asking people if they liked Amazon Prime and if all of the benefits outweighed the costs. There was a resounding yes, go ahead and pay the $99.

I can't do it. Here's why.

Free 2-day shipping - I'm actually not that impatient. The bonus in this word is free and if you shop online a lot you know most online shipping is free. If I REALLY need something in two days, I can go to CVS for it.

Amazon TV (or whatever it's called) - I already have Hulu and Netflix and while they fail me sometimes (Netflix streaming doesn't have Home Alone, Cinderella, Love Jones... the classics), I'm not ready to commit to another entertainment source.

Cost/Benefit Analysis - I added up all that I spent on shipping in 2015 (and I bought a GANG of stuff from Amazon). It didn't add up to $99.

They're trying to get me - I used to work in retail. And they would say you want people to get the credit card because those people shop here more AND spend more when they come in. It's science folks. If I had Amazon Prime, I'd be on there buying things I DO NOT NEED just because the shipping is fast and free.

The grocery service - The real issue with this is it's only for dry goods. I'd still have to use another service for fresh foods (I think). Even though Peapod is pretty weak in NYC, when I supplement their dry goods with Fresh Direct's produce, I'm golden. I just wait for free shipping days and/or sales from both of them and I'm good to go. Sometimes it's more of a hassle to switch companies than to try something new. And the fact that I have to pay for it to "Try it" really messes me up.

There's one last benefit, that I'm trying to figure out the value of: Amazon Mom. If you're Prime, I think you're automatically included in Amazon mom and that gives discounts on diapers and formula and the same free, 2-day shipping. Not sure if the discounts will actually add up to $99 a year though, so I'm skeptical.

I think I'm just going to wait to see what kind of gifts and gift card action I get from my baby showers and if an Amazon gift card is on there AND I don't need ANYTHING else (LOL!), then maybe I'll buy prime.

Otherwise, I can't pay the 5 right now.

Do you have Amazon Prime or any other membership programs. Is it worth it to you?




Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Every Day Is Like Christmas!

Since sometime in December, every day has felt like Christmas at my apartment. Here's why:

1. People have sent me Christmas or Happy New Year Cards, which are my FAVORITE things. I leave them up in my house all year long. Especially after moving away from Chicago. It reminds me of all the people who love me even if I can't be near them all the time.

2. I don't have the energy to shop anymore, so I shop online and there's always a random box here with stuff that I forgot I ordered. A bunch of times it comes in different boxes, which is disappointing when I actually open it, but fun to get random boxes on my door already.

3. My baby registry is live and we've asked everyone to ship all of my gifts to NYC. I can barely carry my purse without being uncomfortable, let alone the idea of trying to transport baby gear across the country. The first gift I got was from someone who had Amazon prime and it caught me off guard. I send the registry, two days later there are unexpected diapers at my door. Complete water works.

So now in addition to Hulu, Netflix and deep couch sitting, I'm exciting every day to go home to little tokens of love in my mailbox or at my front door. (This was clearly written before neighbor-theft-gate, but it was in the drafts, so I'm not erasing it.)

What are you excited about at the end of each day?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dream Sessions: New Business

Sorry if these dream posts are boring. This is more of a pregnancy archive for me than an entertainment piece for the masses. I'm trying to intermingle them with other posts to break up the monotony.

On to the dream at hand.

I was dressed for work and VERY pregnant. I came up to what looked like a large theater hall, but it was a church. I realized it was the church I grew up in. In real life, I haven't been to that church since I've been pregnant because I'd rather not deal with the "are you getting married soon" questions. In my dream, I was happy to be there, but leary of some people.

I got there during Sunday School or the start of service and it was like a big deal that I was walking the hallway after something had already started. Though I knew I was at my old church, it looked nothing like it. It was very ornate, red curtains everywhere and lots of gold candles adorned the foyer. It actually looked like an opera house.

So I see the Pastor, he hugs me, then looks at me with disdain (because I'm an unwed mother) and tries to usher me in front of others and I run out of there. But not out of the church, just into a room in the church that was meant for classes vs. the sanctuary.

Get into that room and it's a new business pitch for work. I have a team of eight people and I'm leading the pitch AND doing all the talking. All of the materials are there and the client is a round white guy who looks like a polished version of Steven Avery (too much Netflix before bed, I see). He's sitting on a bar stool and the room is tiny, so my team is sitting up against the wall.

So then two or three of the women on my team start having a full on conversation, while I'm in the middle of the pitch. I stop, scold then, then get back to the pitch. Then I zone out. I think I fell asleep in the pitch. I wake up and I'm on the last slide of the deck and his binder (he has a three-ring binder handout).

I say, well, despite the unprofessionalism here, I assure you that we can prove to you that we're right for the job. And he's like: you didn't even get through the first module. (Which confirms to me that I didn't just zone out, I actually fell asleep in the pitch).

And he's like get out, you just wasted an hour of my time and I never want to hear from your company again.

I just left the room thinking about how I could salvage the relationship and my job because my manager was going to fire me.

I shook myself out of my sleep from that dream. I hate dreams like that where I'm thinking about work and work things and having work-like anxiety at a time when I'm supposed to be sleeping.

Do you ever dream about work? It is nightmarish for you too?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Catching Some Zzzzs

After getting no sleep earlier in the week, I was able to sleep like a baby the following night. I slept all the way through the night, getting up to go the bathroom four time, but was able to go RIGHT back to sleep afterwards.

Then following that, I wake up at about 4 a.m., get back to sleep at about 5 a.m., then get up for work at 7 a.m. if I'm going into the office or 8 a.m. if I'm working from home.

In addition to what I wrote a couple of days ago, here are a few more tricks that are working:


1. NOT getting on social media in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. Same reason as shutting it off when I get home from work.
2. Getting up when I can't sleep. This is the hardest for me because I believe that my body needs rest whether I'm sleeping or just lying down, but the internet (and some friends) say get up, do something and go back to bed. The trick is not to get up and stay up until you feel sleepy again. I usually just say a prayer, pay a bill, write or a blog or research something I'd been meaning to research, then go back to sleep.

I'm so happy that not getting ANY sleep isn't my life for now. And after that sleepless night, I now appreciate being able to sleep at all, even if I wake up for 1-3 hours in the middle of the night.

I have to take my wins where I can get them.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dream Sessions: Montana on My Mind

I follow visit Montana on Twitter and this place called K Bar L ranch, which is like a getaway for the uber rich. I have the goal of going to all 50 states, so it makes sense that I follow the places that I want to visit in the future, what doesn't make sense is why I have a dream about this one state SO MUCH. Oh, what I would do to talk to Joseph from the Bible, so he could tell me what my dreams mean.

On to the crazy dream at hand.

I had a dream I was at work and handling the hell out of something. Hopped on a plane, ended up at a dope bed and breakfast in Montana where my other colleagues and clients were supposed to meet me. I get there and everyone is sleep. I'm in PR girl business gear and feeling good and I keep opening doors and folks are knocked out sleep or in their pajamas and just overall mad at me for being there.

A manager, an older white woman, comes out and is like "What are you doing here." And I'm like, it's on the schedule. I just flew in from NYC, it's time to work.

Then my homegirl, who works in another PR job and represents lots of NBA players, rolled in with a gang of them and she didn't even speak to me. She like head nodded me and I think that was my cue that she needed to appear professional (Because pros apparently don't have friends or give hugs or even handshakes).

And even though I was mad I was still happy for her because her career is taking off and she looked like she was on top of her game with the NBA players. *pun intended*


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shipping And Such

Here's what I learned about shipping today:

USPS

- The email form does not work
- Someone does pick up swiftly at 1-800-ASK-USPS
- You can make a request that you get a signature OR hold your mail if you are not home

FedEx
- Their chat feature works.
- However, you need to request to speak to a person WITHIN the chat box, otherwise, they'll just keep sending you FAQs
- The sender of your package has to request a signature in order for there to be a signature required.

UPS
- I signed up for a My Choice UPS account
- That only gives me an option to check a box if I DO NOT want signature. Not the other way around.
- They answer the phone pretty quickly 1-800-742-5877
- It costs extra to have a signature required, so you have to ask your shipper to request signature
- The account is helpful because it sends email notifications to let you know when a package is on the way. At least I'll have a head's up. 

Amazon
- They do not require signature on items that are $1,400 or less
- The first rep I talked to told me her would mark my account as "signature required" and send me a email confirmation. When I didn't get one, I asked the second rep. She said the best thing to do is in Address Line 2 write *signature required upon delivery*

With all of these stops in place, hopefully I'll get ALL of my packages now.

It's really fun being 25 weeks pregnant with twins, barely able to walk to the bathroom, miles away from my family and support system, not having a car, dealing with people who don't give a fuck about me on the streets and the trains. And now to add to my fun-filled life, I get to go to the post office several times a week to transport packages on foot because I have at least one neighbor who is a thief. This is the most fun I've ever had in life.  

I'm HEATED.

Someone stole a package from in front of my door. What's worse is that I'm working from home today and I left out for 2 hours to go to an appointment... that must've been when it was delivered.

I know it's New York, but I live in a double gated building and I'm never had this issue before. The building must not have the issue because they allow USPS, UPS and FedEx to come onto the floors and leave stuff for people. I know it's not just me.

Amazon has been amazing. They just shipped me a new item, but that's not the point.

I'm pretty much done with New York. Between the people on the MTA not giving a fuck about anyone but themselves. *screams* I'M SIX MONTHS PREGNANT WITH TWINS and folks just thinking that they deserve what you worked for because it's easy to take. How about if you didn't buy it, don't touch it.

I can't wait to move to the Chicago suburbs. I might move to Palatine or some shit, I'm so mad. Clearly that move still isn't happening for some time, but New York is not home. I can't raise kids like this.

Trying to think if I should get a P.O. Box for the rest of my deliveries.

UPDATE: Apparently this was delivered to my door eight days ago, so the raggedy thief has had my box with my name on it in their apartment for a week and the maintenance man just brought it to me today. Now I'm about to be looking at all of my neighbors like Satan trying to figure out who took my stuff.

I feel very safe as a single pregnant woman right now. 

35 weeks pregnant: how to put on socks.

When I was 8 weeks pregnant my uterus was the size of a woman who was 20 weeks pregnant. Now that the babies are bigger, they no longer measure my uterus and now measure the size of the babies and they're right on track.But I'm assuming that at 23 weeks pregnant (how far along I was on the day I wrote this post) I am the SIZE of a woman who is 35 weeks pregnant.

There are some real issues between me and gravity right now, especially as it relates to anything happening below my needs.

I bought some spray lotion for the bottom of my legs and feet since I can't bend over to actually put lotion on... 

If something falls on the ground, I just leave it there...

I asked IT to give me a second cord for my laptop because I can't bend down to plug up the one that used to travel with me from work to home...

I only load the top tray of the dishwasher...

I have a bunch of issues.

BUT I have mastered one task and want to share some tips on it with you. Here are three simple ways to put on socks when you're the size of a woman who's 35 weeks pregnant:

1. Don't.
2. Make your partner put them on.
3. Move to a city where it's warm year round and you don't have to wear socks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dreams Sessions: Eyebrows and Shoes

Those Eyebrows 
I had a dream that I was with my grandma, staring at her. And she had the prettiest, fullest gray eyebrows. And I was made that I had plucked and waxed and razored my eyebrows so much that they'd lost their fullness. I thought about how manicured I was as a woman and how my grandma has never had a manicure, or pedicure or eyebrow wax, but is still beautiful.

Cheap Shoes
I had a dream I was dating and living with one of my homeboys, but we went to different churches. And Sunday we got in from our respective churches and were getting undressed and he started going off on me. And I was like I don't know what's going on with you, but I'm going to my mom's house, so you can cool off.

Shoot to my mom's house and it's the same house it always is, except it's on a golf course. So I see my mom, hug her and am shooting the breeze, when he walks up about three hours later with purple flowers that looked amazing and new shoes. They were lavender, strappy sandals, the same color as the flowers and somehow matched perfectly with my after-church outfit.

He then started talking like Martin and was like "you know the football games I always tape, so I can watch Sunday after church?" I'm like yeah. He's like well, I didn't tape one and you know how I feel about football and I took it out on you and I'm sorry. I'm like ok, go in the house and get something to eat.

My mom comes out and says "let me see your new shoes girl" and we think they're designer because my homeboy likes nice shoes. And she looks at the bottom of them and they were $6.99 from Walmart. Then we found out the flowers were cheap too. And I was trying to figure out if apology gifts have to be expensive for them to be meaningful and I was just hoping my mom didn't tell the family I was wearing Walmart shoes.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sleeping Well

I went from not being able to sleep from about 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. to not being able to sleep AT ALL. It started with my stomach feeling VERY heavy. Like one day I just woke up and I could FEEL it feeling heavy vs. just noticing it being bigger. And that day it hurt to roll over in the bed. It hurt to get out of the bed. It hurt to walk. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lie down.

My U-Shaped Leacho pillow wasn't comfortable anymore. Nothing seemed to work. I was dead dog tired, but I couldn't sleep. I pull up my phone and read the symptoms and all of the advice.

  • Exercise - Nope. 
  • Take a warm bath - Did that at about midnight after being in the bed awake for 3 hours... still no sleep 
  • Turn everything off (TV, social media, etc.) about an hour before you go to bed - Too late for that 
  • Drink herbal tea (pregnant women can't have herbs) 
  • A host of other things that I had either already done or that were prohibitive because I was having twins
The internet failed me that night. I got about 2 hours of sleep from 6-8 a.m. I was late for my 10 a.m. meeting and dragging the entire day. It was such a shame.

I'm pleased to announce that the following night I DID get some sleep. The formula was

- Eat as soon as you get home (to allow food to digest before bedtime) 
- Don't check social media AT ALL when you get home (I deleted the apps from my phone)
- Instead of sleeping in between the U-Shaped pillow and another pillow to it and sleep on TOP of it. It was like my butt and stomach were elevated, almost like sleeping in a sofa chair, which I heard you have to do at some point in pregnancy. I don't have a sofa chair, so I had to improvise.

The next morning I woke up and my stomach wasn't heavy and I was so grateful to have had a full night's rest. I still woke up four times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but I was able to get back to sleep. I was still nauseous and fatigued during the day, but I wasn't sleep deprived.

I'm so happy that I'm not going to have to go 3-4 more months not sleeping at all. I never thought I'd be happy to just have "regular" pregnancy ailments, but today I was.

Have you ever battled with insomnia. Any tricks to get to sleep?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dream Sessions: Jennifer Anniston is Preggers

Today I don't remember all of my dreams, just part of them. Actually before I sat down to write this, I remembered three of them and now I just remember one. I mean, it is completely gone from my mind. I meant to write this as soon as I got to work today, but Nooooo. I had to be productive and now I'm home sitting on my couch and can't remember anything.

Also, at this rate, I may as well turn this into a dreams blog. Like if I remember a full night of dreams once a week, this blog will write itself.

I need to find a dream interpreter. And I don't want them to tell me anything except that my dreams mean I'm really brilliant and will come into great wealth soon. LOL!

On to the dream at hand:

I was watching TV and Jennifer Anniston was on something. It was either a movie or in a reality show, but she was pregnant. And she was trying on different dresses. She was with a friend. She picked one up and was like this is awesome, let's buy it. But her friend reminded her that she has to try it on. So she squeezes into this little black dress and her entire breasts are showing and they are huge.

And I hear a laugh track in the back, so maybe it was a sitcom. And then I'm like can they show this on TV. Then she adjust herself and the dress looks great. And she makes a face at her friend like "see, told you it would look great." Then she bought it and that's all that I remember.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Twin Facts

As a twin mommy, I've learned SO much about having twins. One of the biggest surprises was how rare they are. Another thing that I just can't quite explain to people thoroughly enough is how hard it is to carry twins. I spend most days wanting to pass out pamphlets to help explain to folks what I'm going through, so they can support me better...

Especially old women. Well intentioned as they are, they make it a point to tell me OFTEN that they don't remember pregnancy being THAT hard or don't remember hurting as much as all the pain I'm having. It feels like they're calling me a punk, but like many things throughout pregnancy I really have to learn to just let it go.

It's also really interesting how the actual facts don't add up to what I originally perceived to be true. Here are some of the most interesting twin facts I've learned/found:  

10. TWIN MOMS DO NOT NEED TO EXERCISE! We're pumping blood for three humans. That's enough. Every time I'm reading a pregnancy resource and they tell me stuff like "stay healthy, watch your weight or be sure to exercise" I just want to punch everyone in the throat. No.

9.  Twin pregnancies have increased risks and more prenatal visits. (I go to the doctor every two weeks now. It's highly likely that I will be put on bedrest at some point. After 30 weeks, I think I have to go once a week. They are watching me like a hawk, honey, and I appreciate the care.)

8. Black women are most likely to have twins, while Asian women are the least likely.

7. Women over 30 are more likely to have twins - a woman is more likely to have two eggs available for fertilization during a single cycle in her 30s than she is during her 20s.





6. About 2 in 3 sets of twins are fraternal (fraternal = two eggs fertilized vs. one fertilized egg that split in two). I'm having fraternal twins and this was a shocker to me because I always think about identical twins when anyone mentions "twins." 

5. Twins represent about 90% of all multiple births. I was reading somewhere that I need to befriend a mom of triplets to help me understand that while twins will be tough to carry (and feed and raise and provide for) if she can handle 3, I can handle 2. That's a pretty selfish reason to befriend someone, but I understand the sentiment.

4. Twin pregnancies are considered full term at about 37 weeks. Still, 60% of twin pregnancies are still born "premature," which is before 37 weeks. Lots of twins spend time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Unlike what I thought before (OMG! No, not my baby!), it's actually something I won't be surprised about if it happens. I also fully expect to have these babies in April, though my due date is May 5. 

3. The twin birth rate in the United States rose 76% from 1980 through 2009, and it's definitely even higher in 2015.

2. In the year 2011, 19.1% of all twin births and 32% of all triplets births were a result of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The one I'm most familiar with is In Vitro. It's also hilarious that even though 80% of twin births are NOT via ART every doctor, nurse or other twin mom asks me if I had in vitro.

1. Despite the rise in twin births, only 3% of all births in the United States are twin pregnancies (It was closer to 1.5% before 1978 when the first "test tube baby" was created.) 

Resources
- This is one of my favorite articles to get friends and family to understand my pregnancy better (and one of my resources for this post).
- Twiniversity has another good article and is a good twin resource.
-  Another resource
- And the CDC, can't go wrong with info from them 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dream Session: International Flights

I'm pretty sure Dream #1 from yesterday's blog post went right into Dream #2.

After walking out of the cafeteria, I was in an airport. I've seen this airport in my dreams before, too. It was a cross between an international plane and a spaceship. And somehow in my other dreams I always have access to the hangar where this plane is, but this time I had to go through the front door like everyone.

This time I was also there with my boyfriend. He FELT like my actual boyfriend, but he looked like a former coworker, who while attractive, I would never date. YUCK!

But he was working late in the airport (also just like my former coworker) and I said something like, let's go we're going to miss the plane. And he's like it's fine, we won't miss it.

Then we missed it, but they gave me an upgrade, so I went to the cafeteria, which turned into an open version of the Union at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And the sun when down and I went to the front of the Union, which then turned into an outdoor nightclub-like atmosphere in the shape of the Union, but had all these flashy cars outside.

Then it was morning again and I was on my way to get my flight, but I stopped at CIBO, one of the vendors in the airport. And I was FURIOUS. Because everything there costs an arm and a leg, but no one rings you up. There's just one guy telling people how to ring themselves up.

He was an Asian guy with dark spiky hair, a maroon shirt, khaki pants and black shoes square toe shoes on. I hated him because it was such a small space and he saw me approaching the register, but then he did the are you going right? Or are you going left? dance about 10 times, thinking it was funny.

So then I got to the gate at about 3 minutes past when the door had closed. But I was at the wrong gate. And this is the woman who gave me the upgrade yesterday and she says "honey, the gate is closed" and I was like it's ok, they always make an exception for me.

And I was running to the other gate, but I was so pregnant and my body started to ache. And I was about to cry because I didn't want to miss yet another flight and I didn't understand why they didn't have a shuttle or some kind of wheelchair or something for the disabled or pregnant women. It seemed like I couldn't win.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm pretty sure I woke myself up from that dream, so stressful. Why can't I have pregnant dreams about hot, steamy sex with Idris Elba. These dreams give me more anxiety in my sleep than I have when I'm awake. Womp.  
CIBO, dude in red shirt, going back and forth with me.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dream Sessions: Riding Bareback

Last night was a doozy, I had about a million crazy dreams and I have to write them down almost immediately after they happen to not forget them.

Dream 1:
The Oregon militiamen must've been on my mind because I had a dream that I took a flight and my plane dissolved into thin air leaving me in the middle of a field with grass almost as tall as me. And some flight attendant/resort host says "This is the wild."

Then a bunch of wilderbeasts were just running past me. I wasn't scared of them. It was a bunch of Matthew Mcconaughey-looking white guys riding the horses bareback.

Then I was thinking, I should cross the border from Nevada to Montana because I've never been to Montana (I know now that I'm woke that these states don't touch each other but it works in the dream).

Then I was riding through a suped up home depot type store on an ATV/motorcyle. I was so high up in the air that if I stopped riding I would have surely busted my head. And it looked like another boutique I had been to in other dreams (yes, I dream about shopping), except with hardware and tools and more stuff for my motorcyle/ATV instead of fabulous shirts, skirts and dresses.

People were asking me if I needed help and I was too embarrassed to say that I didn't know how to get down off of this thing, so I just said no and sped through the store not buying anything. I finally got off, and in order to get out I had to walk through a cafeteria.

And the smell was repulsive because when you're pregnant you smell everything. Just imagine being at a buffet and smelling the intensity of every food item and seasoning at the same time. Sickening.

Then I was out, which lead me to Dream #2. Come back for that tomorrow.




Sunday, January 10, 2016

Small Wins

Since I am physically miserable every day, it's important for me to count small wins, otherwise I might miss them. In the last 24 hours or so, I've had three:

1. I finally got Hulu to work on my home theater system. This has been broken since at least September. I had been calling Time Warner since it said it was a network issue and after about the 5th or 6th time they told me it was probably Hulu, and not Time Warner, since Netflix and EVERYTHING else was working. They fixed it in about 2 hours with about 10 back and forth emails and a server change. Now I can binge watch TV in peace!

2. I finally got to use a credit from Delta airlines that I have been trying to redeem since September to no avail. I was so elated that they actually issued me a refund for a flight I couldn't take. Then they issued the refund to my company's ghost card. Womp. Then when I got that resolved, they issued my refund (part credit card charges, part Delta Skymiles credit), except none of the numbers on the voucher they sent me worked online or over the phone. And, as you guessed it, the customer service phone people don't talk to the refund email people. After resorting to flying Spirit for Christmas, I finally got the patience to call Delta AGAIN. And they saw all the calls and just issued a new credit. #LookAtGod

3. I shaved my legs in the tub. I can't bend over to shave them in the shower anymore. I can't bend over to do anything. a) because it hurts and b) because the rush of blood to my brain makes me dizzy. The fact that I had time to take a bath was a win in itself. Now, if I sit "just so" in the tub, I can shave like 7/8s of my leg semi-comfortably. That beats this hairy beast situation I've been having thinking through a "how can I ever shave my legs again" solution.

This pregnancy is further along than not and things are looking up folks. Do you have any small wins to report?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Dream Sessions: Legal Ejaculation

One side effect of being pregnant is having crazy dreams and I am not immune. I used to have like 10 dreams a night, but never remember them. I would wake up feeling the mood of the dream. Sad or scared if it was a nightmare, happy if it was an uplifting dream, horny if it was a sex dream, but I wouldn't REALLY remember what happened.

But now I remember the crazy dreams, so I'm going to try to chronicle some of them because they are funny.

Legal Ejaculation
I had a dream that the Supreme Court ruled that it was no illegal for a man to get remnants of his sperm all over the place. It was rape or sexual assault or anything like that, even if you didn't want to be around that man. So I was at a party and fell asleep and someone was squirting whiskey like champagne all over the place. And it got in my mouth and I screamed: I'M PREGNANT, I'm going to call the police. And the guy was like the Supreme Court ruling was about liquor too and this isn't illegal. So I went to the bathroom to spit out the whiskey that had gotten into my mouth and he came in the bathroom and dry humped me and I was feeling very violated and I woke myself up out of my sleep to get out of that crazy dream.

More dreams tomorrow! 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Cop Who Stopped Sandra Bland

By now you should know that the cop who pulled over Sandra Bland was indicted for perjury. He's since lost his job.

To date, no one has been indicted on her murder because they said it was a suicide and somehow the courts and the powers that be believe that and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

I'm talking about this here because my blog is a safe space and Facebook is not.

When we see documentaries about organized crime, people will kill hundreds of other people and then go to jail for mail fraud. The thing is, they know how to kill people without getting caught. They were less careful when it came to their mail...

But the people who brought them to "justice" if you will, still did it and found creative ways to do so.

That's how I feel about the cop who pulled over and essentially is responsible for the murder of Sandra Bland. I feel like someone knows right from wrong and saw to it that he lost his job and can't do this to another person. And someone knew that perjury charges would stick while murder would not.

And that does not make me feel any better about the outcome, a young woman is dead. However, with all that we've seen over the last five years as black people, as black women, I'm more surprised when the government actually doles out justice than when they do not. I would LIKE for it to be an indictment for her murder. If this happened to me or someone I knew I would be up in arms, but history just tells me "justice" isn't going to be that cut and dry.

I hope this doesn't sound hopeless or insensitive to the family.

This is not good enough, but it's better than the cops who beat Rodney King and got to go back to work. Or Daniel Pantaleo, who's just walking around New York with blood on his hands after killing Eric Garner. Or the Chicago cop who killed Rekia Boyd who's still on the payroll.

I think the cop who pulled over Sandra Bland being indicted and fired for perjury is our country dipping it's toe in the sea of justice vs. a true miscarriage of justice.


What's NOT Wrong

I'm such a sour pickle during this pregnancy. It's hard to be positive when you just don't feel good. Nonetheless, I've made it a point to try to find the silver lining in a lot of things and I'm happy I have this blog to document them and share them with you all.

That said, Google pregnancy side effects. About 98% of the things you see on there have happened / are happening to me. Like ALL OF THOSE THINGS! BUT, there are some things that haven't happened [yet] and for that I am grateful.

- No heartburn - Praise God!
- No face acne - My face is actually quite clear and this makes me happy. My back looks like a sausage pizza.
- No dark neck - Your body produces more melanin during pregnancy. For some people this shows up as a dark neck. I have some dark spots, but nowhere anyone would see, so I'm good.

- No weight loss - Yep, some women who aren't eating enough/can't eat enough experience weight loss in their pregnancy. Even though what I eat is limited, I have been able to keep eating and gain weight with my pregnancy and that's a good thing.
- No high blood pressure - This is a serious, yet common pregnancy complication and I'm very fortunate to not have to deal with this yet. (probably because I don't answer all these questions people ask me. I kid. I kid.)
- No cankles - My toes are swollen, but my entire foot hasn't swollen and my hands haven't swollen yet, so this is good. Moreso for my comfort, not looks. My looks have gone down the drain folks. I'm a hairy, makeup free beast. The best I can do is shower and find creative ways to bend over to put on socks and shoes. Everything else is frills at this point. Twin mommies don't have energy for frills.
- No Visible Stretchmarks - My mother is crazy about asking me if I've been oiling my belly. Cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil... I better tell her I put something on it to stop stretchmarks in their tracks [see what I did there]. I'm not really good about it. I feel like I'm basting a turkey. BUT the books and apps say I could have stretchmarks by now and I do not. I'm going to get better about a routine to try to avoid them. My mom was crazy about cocoa butter with her own pregnancies and she never got them, so there's hope. 


So yes, lots of things are wrong, but I see from the books, the internet and the Web MD pregnancy app (the only app that lets you indicate that you're having twins and get twin-specific results) that there could be more wrong. And so I'm grateful for all the stuff that's NOT happening to me. I would like a gold star for positivity. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tea's Guide to Pregnancy Questions

There are 3-10 questions that people ask you when you're pregnant. Since you know how much I love idol conversation with people who aren't close to me, you know this is the true highlight of my pregnancy. It's the reason I've been shouting it from the rooftops to anyone who will listen. (If you didn't catch the sarcasm in that, please go back and read my ENTIRE blog, so you can get to know me a bit better.)

Q1A: How far along are are you?
A1A: XX weeks

Q1B: How many month is that?
A1B: about XX months?

Q1C: [Since no one is here for math] When are you due?
A1C: May 5, but twins are considered full term at 36 weeks, so I plan to deliver in April. (I'm actually due May 3rd, but I have been telling people May 5 and people are SO excited about Cinco de Mayo Gemini babies. It gets the people going man.)

Q2A: Do you know what you're having?
A2A: Twins.

Q2B: OMG! TWINS! HOW EXCITING! Do twins run in your family?
A2B: Yep, my paternal grandfather was a twin and I'm next in line after that. 

Q2C: Do you know the sexes of the babies? (This is what they meant in Q2A and then I had to drop the twin bomb, so they got sidetracked)
A2C before I knew: No, not yet.

This usually shuts down the question/answer portion of the dialogue. Praise ye the Lord... until I found out what I was having.

Q2C: Do you know what you're having?
A2C now that I know: Yes, it's XX (Gotta leave SOME stuff off the blog... and or leave you all guessing for a little while, c'mon now.)

Q3: OMG! That's so exciting. Do you have names picked out?
What I want to say: 
WAIT! STOP! ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? If I do have names picked out, I'm not sharing them with you. At what point did we get so familiar? Is there NOTHING else to talk about. LAWD, didn't Black Lives Matter march somewhere today. Can we PUH-LEASE change the subject. I have already met my small talk quota for the day. Damn. 
What I actually say: 
A3: We have a short list, but we probably won't share until after I give birth. (This is a bold faced lie. I know exactly what my children's names will be. I don't want to say no, because then people will offer suggestions. I don't want to tell people the names because then they will offer feedback and I really don't care what you think about what I'm getting ready to name MY CHILDREN. I don't want to say I know, but I'm not telling you because you'd be surprised what people are offended by when prying into your personal business.)

I think I need to come up with a better key message for Q3. I'm considering saying: "We have a short list, but we likely won't pick until after I give birth." I wonder if that will beg the question "what's the short list?" At which point I STILL have to say "we're not sharing."

Since writing this post, I've thought of another that I'm going to try: "We're going to wait until we see them to decide." I think that may work to shut the questions down. We'll see. 

Q4A: Are you going to move back home to Chicago?
A4A: No, moving and job searching are stressful and I need to focus on resting right now.

Q4B: Are you going to move into a bigger apartment?
A4A: No, I've been watching Ikea videos on transforming small spaces and I think we can make it work.

These next questions are either with someone I really care about who is still talking to me after 5 questions or a client or someone I can't tell to leave me tf alone.

Q5-Q10
- When is your maternity leave? 16 weeks after I give birth.
- Are you going to go back to work? Yes.
- Is your boyfriend moving in with you? No.
- What are you going to do about childcare? I haven't gotten there yet.
- Who's going to help you? My mom is coming for 3 weeks and then after that I don't know. (This question, is quite possibly the most infuriating because the people who are asking who's going to help me generally OFFER NO HELP WHATSOEVER.)


Please also note that all of these questions have come in the same order and at the same rapid fire succession no matter if I was 4 weeks pregnant or 20 weeks pregnant. Can you imagine being early on in the pregnancy and someone asking you about your housing plans? Ma'am, let me go vomit in peace. 

The only two questions I ever want anyone to ask me about my pregnancy are: How are you feeling? How can I help? which SOME people ask me (and thank you considerate folks for your support), but fewer ask me those two things that matter than mogs asking about my kids names.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pregnancy Thoughts: Money, Money, Money!

It's the first of the year and one of the biggest New Year's resolutions is to get your finances in order. I've always been very interested in personal finance and now that I have two little ones on the way, I guess you could say I'm obsessed. Here are some of my random thoughts about money lately:

I'm very tired and pretty miserable most days. I'm pretty much just like a newborn. My life revolves around eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. I only go to work because I have to. I go to bed at 8:30 p.m. and if I can, I take naps during the day. This means:

- No dinners (outside of the home)
- No happy hours
- No after-work catchups for coffee, tea, apps or anything else
- No random after-work shopping excursions (if I need something now, I buy it online or shop during my lunch break.)

The benefit of this is that not going anywhere gives me the discipline I need to stick to my budget. I do, however, spend about double, sometimes triple what I used to spend on lunch and groceries. I've never put a premium on buying food, but as a pregnant woman, I can't play those games anymore.

Most of my sleepless nights in the second trimester are due to this big belly. Once I get up to go to the bathroom, it might be another 2, 3 hours before I can get back to sleep. During the first trimester, however, my sleepless nights were due in part to worrying... mostly about money. How am I going to afford a child in the most expensive city in the country? Do I need a bigger apartment. How much will movers costs? What's the cost of daycare. Then when I found I was having twins, how am I going to afford two children? My brain shot straight to where are we going to apply for college scholarships and literally everything in between.

I did a lot of reading and research on the best way to prepare financially for kids. I decided to stockpile cash (vs. paying off loans or credit cards). It's a truly personal decision, but works for me since I will have a period of time where I'm not working and not getting paid for being off. I also imagine lots of things that will cost that I can't exactly plan for, especially having kids.

Also aiding in the decision is that I make better money decisions when I'm spending cash instead of putting something on credit cards (I think scientifically we all do). Buying gently used baby gear with cash for the low low is SO much more cost effective than buying brand new stuff on a credit card, then paying interest on it. I'll end up end up buying a brand spanking new bassinet or infant car seat and will pay for the thing long after the child is even using it (3-6 months max). 

I've always found it fascinating that no matter what your tax bracket, people find ways to make it work... to raise happy, healthy families. So while I would like to have SO MUCH more in preparation for children, I'm trying to employ the creativity of someone who makes much less than me in order to avoid a poverty- or struggle-like mindset or lifestyle.

I've been living below my means and thriving as a childless lady and I think/hope/pray that can continue to happen when my two bundles of joy get here.

Do you have any money goals for the New Year?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Boy-Yoy-Yoing!

On December 22nd, 2015 just before 8 a.m. CT, I was sitting at my mother's kitchen table, eating some Honey Nut Cheerios with Soymilk and powering up my laptop to work from home. At that very moment, I felt Baby B move. When you have twins one is Baby A and one is Baby B. Most people think twins sit side-by-side and I'm sure some do, but mine are one right on top of the other. Baby A is closer to my pelvic region and Baby B is closer to my breasts. They're very active on the ultrasound, moving around like true busy bodies. And when they're still, they look like they're chillin' on sofas in my womb. #Unbothered


Everyone told me when they started kicking it would feel like butterflies fluttering and that it would be great.

Butterflies fluttering is too gentle of a description. Let me see if I can describe it better. 

Do you know those coil stoppers on the back of the wall in a bathroom? They're used to keep the door from jamming into the wall? If you (or a mischievous toddler) play with them they go: boy-yoy-yoing. It felt like like someone playing with one of those, three times, back-to-back in my stomach. And my stomach felt like a pillow absorbing the impact. So it's like a bathroom stopper vibrating against a pillow, but the pillow doesn't slow down the vibrations. It feels just like THAT.

And folks were right... IT! FELT! AMAZING!

Apparently, I was supposed to have started feeling them move about 4 weeks I did. And on December 22nd, I didn't realize I HAD been feeling them for quite some time. I thought it was gas. #KanyeShrug

Now Baby A has joined the action and Baby A is kicking me right in the bladder. And now that I know what that movement is, I also realize it's pretty constant.

So yes, the babies are moving, my bathroom trips are even more frequent (Thanks Baby A) and most times I don't know if I should say "excuse me" or "HURRY UP AND FEEL MY BELLY!" to anyone in my vicinity. 

There are two lives inside of me and I can tell from all this action on the inside that they're ready to make their presence known. This is one of the truly unique pleasures of motherhood and I'm looking forward to experiencing so many more.