Posts Tagged ‘About Brandi’

29-Years Old

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Every year Shelton asks me what I want for my birthday. Little does he know that weeks in advance I’m pondering over new purses, shoes, massages, necklaces, expensive dinners and maybe even a weekend getaway. It’s a celebration of my life people… I deserve all of these things and more! (she says slightly kidding!)

A couple of weeks ago, sitting on the deck after dinner, Shelton asked me what I want. And I told him a pedicure. His response was “and?”. And nothing. I want an hour by myself with some nice lady rubbing my feet and scraping off the toe nail polish that has been flaking here and there since Paisley was born. Two of my toes don’t even have polish and one of my big toes looks like a donut of polish. It’s sad.

I’ve always been a bit of a birthday brat. Announcing countdowns weeks in advance and planning a big to-do. But this year, without even trying, I feel differently. I haven’t given it much thought, other than dreading the fact that I’ll be 29. Drawing back on when I was 15… 29 just sounds dreadfully old. Thirty will probably put me in an early grave.

I blame this change of heart on Paisley, but in the best way. And possibly a little bit of maturity. (My fingers just vomited even typing that word.) This year I could have expensive gifts and make a big thing of my birthday. Or, I could buy diapers, a day or two of babysitting, save for college. Or hell, finish paying for her!

Truth be told, nothing Shelton could buy me will compare to that little girl. And I mean that with every ounce of sincerity I have. I told Shelton the night that Paisley was born that nothing he’d ever give me again would compare to her. And as we arrive at the first real gift-giving event since her birth, I think I’m right. I want to wake up tomorrow morning and see her big face-encompassing, gummy smile, breathe in her good-morning scent and the way she smells like bedtime, cuddle with her as she has a bottle and lose myself in those glassy blue eyes, and feel my heart (and let’s be real, my ovaries) swell with a love and attachment I never knew possible. And maybe eat a blueberry pancake!

One year ago I was a good ten days in to my fertility shots. I was miserable. I was emotional, hormonal, tired, sore and more scared than I’d ever been in my life. Today, I can’t imagine being any more fulfilled. At the dreaded age of 29.

The post I write on this day next year will be much different, summarizing my love affair with my 20s. It feels like a decade that just wouldn’t end… and it also feels like I was packing up my ’89 Camry and headed for my freshman year at OU just yesterday. Who I was then and who I am now are completely different people, yet I know they’d like each other. (Although one would probably choose a shot of hot damn or a coors light and the other a Cab Sauv or Sam Adams Summertime).

I’m proud of myself. And I hate saying things like that because I sound boastful and vain. But I am proud of myself. And I think more people should feel able to say that outloud. Everything in my life I’ve worked damn hard for. The blessings abound, and I don’t take a single one for granted. I’m happy. To my core I’m happy and when I catch myself complaining about how to afford my bills, not owning a house,barely fitting in to my pre-pregnancy clothes or how the A/C is fading in the car… I really do make myself shut-up. I’ve got it so damn good. While I’m not stopping here, as I have a lot of goals, dreams and places to go, IF this moment had to be defined as as good as it gets… then I’m not doing too badly.

I feel like 29 is going to be a farewell tour. I can assure you the comeback tour will start promptly on July 20, 2011.

To me… happy birthday!

My Half-Marathon Pipe Dream

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I’m putting it here because I’m that committed to my goal. I have every intention of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) this October. Just six months after having this baby.

Go ahead and scoff and yeah right me, but I don’t see any reason I can’t and shouldn’t be able to do it. I feel incredibly fortunate to call several Biggest Losers friends, and every one of them has told me that it’s entirely doable, and reasonable. I’m very fortunate to call an incredible trainer a friend, and he also echoes this positive line of thinking.

I swear the next person I tell that I’m planning to run a half mary who scoffs, grimaces, laughs and goes “yeah, mmm hmm, OK”, it’s entirely likely I will kick them in the shin. Let’s see YOU run with broken shins, yeah huh?!

As soon as I get the all clear, my butt is moving again. I’ve only gained 30 pounds in this pregnancy; a respectable gain considering the recommended average is 35 pounds. There’s absolutely no reason I can’t lose that and get back in shape. And why wouldn’t I want to? I am a healthy woman, and I’m going to be a healthy mom. It won’t be as easy as it was before, but it’s certainly no excuse to just let things go and five years from now whine about my “baby fat.” Guess what, five years from now, that’s not baby fat… that’s just fat.

Last year we lost a dear friend to ovarian cancer, and she has a quote on her Facebook page that has always stayed with me:

“So far I have survived assorted broken bones, living in tornado alley, law school, the bar exam (while on chemo) and stage IV ovarian cancer. Bring it!”

No, I’m not fighting terminal cancer here, and I sure as hell haven’t tried to pass a bar exam, but I am trying to do something that most people think is impossible, just like Anna did. I’m going to have a baby and six months later be standing in a crowd of athletes with a big number pinned to my chest… and I’m going to run 13.1 miles.

Bring it.

Mama Got a Massage

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Oh my word! I got an hour-long massage today and it was so good I almost cried. For Christmas I received two prenatal massages and I cashed in the first one this afternoon. (Meaning I’ve got another stellar rub down waiting for me!)

If you’ve been following at all you know that my back pain is probably the worst part of this pregnancy, and it just keeps getting worse. It’s agonizing, and has taught me that with all the furniture we have in this house, there is not one piece that is comfortable. In any position. At any time of day. Ever. At all.

Except my yoga ball, which Santa brought me. I sit on that thing all day and it relieves so much pressure in my back. (Plus, Tibet is scared to death of it so it’s kind of fun, in an evil way, to roll it at her!)

I explained all my aches and pains to my masseuse, a good friend too, and did she give every knot the attention it needed.

Last night was the most brutally sleepless night of my entire life. The Tylenol PM I took might as well have been a Skittle for all the value it added. I think I changed positions every 10 minutes the entire night. I’m hoping that I sleep very soundly tonight as I still savor my post-massage fog.

Mama Cocktail and Pregnancy Sangria

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Hello… my name is Brandi and I’m a raging alcoholic. Not entirely. I like the occasional drink. Occasions tend to find me a few nights each week. That is when I’m not growing a human.

When we were doing our fertility drugs, our nurse (M) told me it was fine to drink a little, but that I likely wouldn’t feel like it. She was right. However, a few days before the egg retrieval I knew that my drinking days were over for quite some time. This was in August, when cold beers are as essential as stew in the winter. I was going to have to finish the summer sober. Oh the horror!

One Friday after work, Shelton escorted me to my favorite bar downtown, The Pumphouse. I ordered a Blue Moon and I drank about half… because M was right, with all the drugs and hormones in my system, it just didn’t sit right. But I let those first few sips linger on my tongue as I soaked under that hot August sun, and told myself that one day we’d meet again.

I’ve had several people remind me that “some doctors say it’s totally fine to have a glass of wine now and then while you’re pregnant.” Well, I would never go to that doctor. I might eat ham sandwiches while I’m pregnant, but I’m definitely not knocking back bottles of cab at dinner. I’ve already written a $20,000 check… a $10 bottle of cabernet just doesn’t really sound worth it. Can you imagine the guilt you’d feel if even one thing were wrong with the baby, all because that steak dinner paired so well with that one little glass of wine? ACK!

I have no problem giving up drinking for these ten months (or more…). In fact, if I can’t go this long without a drink, then clearly I have bigger issues!

But it doesn’t mean I don’t find myself in social situations or at the end of a long day when a little fun-having drink wouldn’t lift my spirits. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t drink soda. So eliminating alcohol leaves me with water. Yum! It’s the only thing I ever drink anyway, but when so many alternatives are eliminated, it gets a little old.

Enter, The Mama Cocktail.

Shelton and I were on the plane headed to Florida for our babymoon. This is a situation where I would normally take a beer from the flight attendant (because have you HAD airplane wine?! Ack!). Instead, I asked for a club soda and cranberry. Oh it was so good. SO GOOD I tell you! Sweet and fizzy, super low-cal, no caffeine and no alcohol! I thought, this is brilliant. I can drink these and give myself a break from the water. So it’s become my go-to drink when we’re out to dinner with friends or I’m winding down after work. I just do a 50-50 split of club soda and cranberry-pomegranate juice (100%!!!), and a teensy splash of lime. It’s amazing!

Then, before Christmas dinner, I realized that my wine-loving cousin and I would be dining together. She’s also pregnant. And for the first Christmas since I was probably 18 or 19 I wouldn’t have a glass of wine in front of me. Nor would she. Bummer. So I concocted Pregnancy Sangria. It was divine and the two of us drank it down like… wine. When I cook or create a recipe, I don’t measure things. So the recipe I’m providing you here is a rough outline and you can mix it to taste.

Pregnancy Sangria
about a cup/cup-and-half of OJ (I like Simply Orange with a little pulp)
32 oz cran-pomegranate or cran-raspberry juice
32 oz club soda
slice limes, oranges, apples thin (strawberries, blueberries, whatever)
stir it all up in a pitcher and pour over ice when serving

I hope my fellow preggos can seek alcoholic refuge in one of these little cocktails and that it helps them take the edge off, have a good time, or just enjoy something other than water!

Pregnancy Week 23 and OB Visit Week 23

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Oh what a week! Not as bad as the past few have been, yet still not the starfish kisses that everyone promised second trimester would be. I liked week 23.

I had my monthly visit with my OB. And as much as I like going every four weeks and having him reassure me that there is in fact still a baby inside of my uterus, I’m going to be perfectly honest… these appointments are pointless. I’m learning that short of having a foot hanging out of my vagina, no one is going to react to anything. NO ONE WILL REACT! Which is disappointing for a person like me who, well, likes it when people react to things I say and do. He measured my belly and that was the only “test” he did. Apparently it was fine. I at least took a long list of questions with me to make it worth my while for going down there.

Whether I’m more sensitive to it or it’s just trending, I’ve been hearing a lot about pre-term deliveries lately. This completely freaks me out. And Dr. W was reassuring in telling me that they have no idea what actually causes pre-term and he can’t tell what to do or not to do to avoid it. Awesome.

I asked about the bloody noses that I wake up with every morning. He told me I’m pregnant. Awesome.

I asked about the heartburn I have that would make a dragon cry and “radiates in my knee caps,” according to Juno. Ah ha! A solution. Prevacid or Pepcid.

We spent the weekend of Christmas in Oklahoma City with Shelton’s family. We got to catch-up with friends over a very long lunch and it was as if the past two years hadn’t lapsed at all. It was one of those four-hour lunches where we left with cheeks hurting from laughing so hard. They cooed over my belly and I soaked it up! There was confusion over our baby name and they thought it was Petunia. It is definitely NOT Petunia! We also got to spend two whole days with our nieces and nephew. I absolutely am in love with those babies. My nephew, Stone, is one of these boys who charges you when he wants to hug. It’s adorable, and I’ve indulged this behavior for nearly four years, scooping him in to my arms with each charge. We both had to learn that pregnant people can’t pick-up charging 3.5-year-olds… and 3.5-year-old boys can’t charge pregnant aunts.

One of the highlights of the week was, of course, continuing to feel the baby moving. I will seriously sit here and laugh out loud (that’s normal English for “LOL”) when she gets on a roll. Each week her kicks and punches get stronger and the sessions last longer. This past week, they got so strong that I didn’t even have to touch my belly to feel her, my stomach just moved. It’s insane! Feeling her moving, rolling, punching and kicking is absolutely the highlight of my pregnancy and I think it is this that I will miss most when she’s resting in my arms.

We did two road trips this past week – one to OKC and one to Topeka to celebrate the new year. I swore off planes a few weeks ago and I’m not too far off from swearing off car trips longer than 20 minutes. We have to stop all the time for me to pee, eat something or get up and walk. There is absolutely not one comfortable position in those seats. Driving helps some, but I hate driving and Shelton hates when I drive.

Our New Year’s Eve celebration was fantastic. It not only marks the start of a new year (clearly!) but also the anniversary of when Shelton and I started dating. At midnight of 01/01/01 we kissed and we’ve been doing so every new year since. Maybe one or two other times during the year. 01/01/10 marked nine years… which means we’ve actually known each other for more than ten, and that’s astonishing to me. We spend each Eve with some of our best friends in Topeka for a stay-at-home party that is always themed. This year I was fat and when someone suggested PJ Party I said yes! So we all sported jammies and had a comfy, cozy celebration. I actually made it all the way to 12:45am… even though around 8:30pm my eyes were doing that rapid-blink thing struggling to stay open. I also had a martini glass filled with “pregnancy sangria” all night long, and while I jealously watched everyone sip bubbly at midnight, at least it wasn’t water.

As if my cousin’s long-john style PJs with the butt flap weren’t entertainment enough, my pregnant boobs took center-stage and were the topic of conversation throughout the night. Apparently I’m supposed to change the name of the site to Baby AND Bust. I’ve known they’ve gotten bigger. I mean come on, I’d have to be blind and paralyzed from the neck down not to realize the expansion project taking place in the middle of my chest. But it’s one of those things that you don’t quite realize just how big they’ve gotten until someone points it out. And people pointed, literally. It was all in good humor and I’m glad that I was able to provide such robust entertainment for the evening.

Finally, we finished the week by registering. Yay!!! I’ve been waiting to get through the holidays to do so. The next few weeks are pretty insane for us and my first shower is the end of February, so I thought we should just get it done. Shelton was really stressed about it. He thought we needed a plan or a strategy. And I was like, we’re going to scan baby wipes, what kind of strategy do we need? We went to Babies R Us and quickly realized that ALL OF THE PREGNANT PEOPLE IN WICHITA go there to register on Saturday afternoons. The BRU staff has clearly done this before and they got us set-up with a gun and on our way in a matter of minutes. It helped that I had registered online so we didn’t have to go through all of that in the store. I started crying when they handed me the gun. Just another one of those moments that I thought would never be ours. So many times I’ve walked in to BRU to buy gifts for friends and walked out of their crying each and every time. And here I was crying inside the store because I finally got to be there for us, and it felt so good! I think we did pretty well, considering we have no idea what we’re doing. When faced with 400 different varieties of baby bottles, strollers, diapers and other ESSENTIAL baby items, we typically opted for the brands we commonly see friends or family using. That was our on-the-spot research method. We were actually pretty reasonable about the whole thing, so we think, only scanning items we really needed and straying from the over-hyped plethora of YOUR BABY WILL NEVER LEARN TO WALK WITHOUT THIS SUPER TRENDY VERY EXPENSIVE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER WITH A PICTURE OF A BABY ON THE FRONT type items. Then we went to Target where my back and feet finally gave out and we spent one more hour scanning a few items. We’re just that much closer to getting her here!!!

Farewell 2009

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I don’t do Christmas letters, but I do like to wrap up my year all nice and tidy on my blog. Web site. Whatever we’re calling it. Before I had a blog I would always go back to the front of my calendar and relive the events of the past 12 months. But now I can do it so much flashier!

2009 will go down as one of the best years I’ve yet lived. It wasn’t too fast, it wasn’t too slow, it feels like it was exactly the pace a year is supposed to be. We’ve enjoyed four actual seasons, distinguishable from one another with generous tap lapses between one climate/weather and the next. You know, because I’m such a crier, I get a little misty thinking about bidding this year farewell and I wonder if 2010 can live up to the bar that has been set so high.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from our year. First in pictures, surrounded by the people, places and even things that fill our lives with such immeasurable joy.

And now, the list. The things I’ll most remember 2009 for.

1. Ringing in the new year with some of our dearest family/friends, at a nerd-themed party.

1b. (because I’m not renumbering this list!) Watching Obama being sworn in as president.

2. Eating oysters for the first time in Dallas with the Woolards. And not dying.

3. Spending an entire week with the Koskies in OKC, while dodging Flu Armageddon ‘09

4. Attending my sister’s sonogram to learn she was having a little girl!

5. Buying a Snuggie. And wearing it in public.

6. Attending SXSW in Austin (my first trip) with some of best guys I know. Not to mention eating lobster tacos and sipping mojitos on a roof-top under the sun.

7. Going vegetarian for an entire week. Not one piece of meat. And trying tofu.

8. We moved (and will likely do so again this spring). Sigh.

9. The Brooks wedding.

10. The Morehead/Bauer wedding.

11. Witnessed the founding of

12. Invited to have dinner with Jillian Michaels. Had to try sushi for the first time. Didn’t die.

13. Start taking birth control pills, officially begin the IVF process.

14. Shelton got a fantastic new job, ending seven months of unemployment!!

15. Spent a weekend in Baltimore and Annapolis visiting Koskies, being woke up each morning by my nephew.

16. Attended my 10 year high school reunion and loved it!

17. Skipped Shelton’s 10 year high school reunion because he said we wouldn’t love it.

18. Welcomed miss Charlie Jane Morehead! My 18th cousin or something.

19. Spent 4th of July in Omaha/Cedar Creek with the Moreheads and made the best of the dreariest July EVER!

20. Shelton’s MESA surgery.

21. Started Lupron and thus began 68 consecutive days of fertility drug shots.

22. Said goodbye to Anna Cesario, who never hesitated to tell cancer where it could go!

23. Welcomed my niece Eleanor “Ellie” Sue Marie Felker!

24. Did our egg retrieval, and got 17 eggs.

25. Waited “patiently” for four days and then transferred are only two viable embryos.

26. Waited “even more patiently” for 11 days and then took a pregnancy test and found out that we were finally, FINALLY pregnant!!!

27. Waited “really super patiently” for two more weeks, then did a sonogram to learn that one little baby was occupying my womb!!!

28. Released from our amazing fertility clinic to join the ranks of normal OB/pregnancy treatment. But, we know we’re not normal!

29. The best camping trip in a very long time! Morning sickness and all. Thank God someone brought BBQ potato chips.

30. Rocked the best Halloween costumes EVER as the Twitter bird and Fail Whale .. with the Moreheads.

31. Felt the baby moved… and she has yet to let up!

32. Took our Babymoon to Boca Raton. Swam in the Atlantic for the first time. Sailed on a catamaran. Spent an entire day on the beach doing nothing.

33. Found out she’s a she baby!

34. Celebrated our little’s 13th birthday with Hibachi!

35. At midnight we’ll celebrate nine years together.