Monday, April 26, 2010

Mocktails and Faux-jitos

Another question I should add to the list of prenatal FAQ’s is “Do you miss alcohol?” We don’t have many friends with children. (Thankfully we do know two couples due a few months before us, so we can take notes.) Most of our social engagements include alcohol – something I didn’t realize until becoming pregnant when I can’t partake.

The answer is usually “No, I don’t miss it…yet.” I’m only 12 weeks along, so I’m sure the longing will creep in sometime soon. It’s more about feeling like your part of the situation, and having a fancy drink in your hand to gesture with, helps with that. A sweaty water glass just doesn’t do the trick.

Thankfully, there are some new options out there for us expectant moms:
Did you know there’s non alcoholic wine on the market? I've come across Ariel and Fre thus far. They come in several varietals; chardonnay, merlot, white zinfandel to name a few. I picked some FRE Chardonnay up at the store on Friday and have yet to try it. I’ll let you know.

For those of us who went to state schools, there’s Coors Cutter. Surprisingly it doesn’t taste that much different than Coors Light, and never fear, still gives you the lovely breath and burps. Guiness makes Kaliber, which is for the dark beer fans (not I).

A neighbor made his pregnant wife and I a virgin version of a mojito – a Faux-jito. He crushes mint leaves in a glass, adds simple syrup and soda, and garnishes with lime. Perfect for patio season.

And my favorite - Ben created a mocktail that I’ve now ordered all over town: orange juice, tonic, and lime. It’s simple, fizzy, refreshing, and if you put it in a tall white wine glass, envious people at the bar will copy your order. Joke’s on them.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meet Norm

Many couples refer to their unborn child as Baby Lastname, Bundle of Joy, or Little One. Not my family. My aunt and uncle referred to their first daughter as Scooter Pie. To this day, when dessert rolls around, someone in my family will say, “Scooter wants a Blizzard.” Brady and I were referred to by a myriad of nicknames, mostly ending in Joe. (Our Dad is Ricky Joe, by the way.) We have friends who are expecting about the same time as us who have begun calling their baby Cletus the Fetus – Hi-larious.

We started calling ours Bean, but then it grew to the size of an olive, then a prune, now a lime. It’s too much to keep up with. Thus…

Meet Norm.


This picture was taken last week when Norm was 9 weeks and one day old. The plus signs mark the top of the head and the bottom of the rump. Norm is now a little larger –about the size of a lime. It’s fascinating to me that you can make out little arm and leg buds as well as the beginning of eye sockets. I think Norm has Ben’s hair, don’t you? We’ll see Norm again in the 20th week when – finger buds crossed - we can start referring to it by the baby boy or baby girl name we choose. Until then…Later Norm!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Uncle Tex

I broke the news of my pregnancy to my Mom, Dad, and Brother all the same way. I bought them children’s books about their new role and wrote a note inside of them. For Mom and Dad, I gave them Just Grandpa and Me and Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer. They’re part of the “Little Critter” series – favorites of mine and Brady’s when we were kids.

Mayer didn’t write a book about Uncles, so I had to turn to another childhood favorite for Brady’s book. Growing up, it seemed like whenever we were about to experience a life change, Mom would give us a new Berenstain Bears book.

  • Mom’s going back to work? We read Mama’s New Job.

  • We’re whining about toys we don’t have? We read The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies.

  • Fussing with friends at school? We read Trouble with Friends and The In Crowd.

You get the picture. The Berenstain Bears ushered my brother and I into several life stages always with a short, sweet, and happy lesson learned. I thought it only fitting that Brady be ushered into uncle-dom by receiving The Berenstain Bears Visit Uncle Tex. It’s a darling story where Brother and Sister Bear have wild adventures on horseback with their outlandish cowboy Uncle Tex. I know for certain that Brady will show his niece or nephew much love, and they will too adore their Uncle Tex.

So with that, Happy 27th Birthday Little Brother! For the past couple of years, I’ve threatened to have a baby to lure you back to Texas. The plan is now in action.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Puppy Proof

I may look back next year, and roll my eyes at this post, but the subject weighs on my mind habitually these days.

How are Boz & AD going to react to the baby? Will they love it? Will they love it too much and not let visitors near it? Will they be aggressive towards it because it monopolizes my time?

Obviously, the welfare of the baby will be paramount, but I do hope for the best in their interactions. Thus, I’ve been researching ways to acclimate dogs to new babies.

For those of you who haven’t met them, Boz & AD are Rhodesian Ridgebacks, aged 4 & 3, respectively.

Overall, they are sweet knuckleheads. They’re funny, willful, and I dote on them entirely too much. AKC and other breed experts say that they are good protectors of children. I know that’s definitely true of me, so I’m hoping that safeguard extends to my progeny.

As far as actual steps to introducing baby to dogs, I’ve found two helpful resources.

While their methods differ, the basic principle is the same: preparation is key.

So Mom, I’ll be headed home in a few months to dig out some old baby dolls to swaddle up and carry around. Whitney – if you could send me a recording of Hudson crying, I’d be most appreciative. Dad - if all else fails, I'm going to need a few horse tranquilizers.

I’m going to begin baby proofing the dogs before baby proofing the house. Yep, skewed priorities like that sound about right. This will work. We will all love each other and get along...dammit.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Giving this a shot

It appears that most people I know participate in blogging. I have some really interesting friends who write about food, travel, work, communications, you name it. I always marveled at their posts, and wondered what I could write about if given the chance. Well follks, now I have it. Welcome to Lauren & Ben McMurrey's life.
Question: Why would two people who could best be described as typical / normal / average (read: kinda boring) start a blog?

Answer: Simple m’dears…Average waspy 30 year olds start blogs when they have children to blog about.

Ben and I are going to have a baby in November and we want you all to be informed about the experience!

We also figured this was an easy way for far flung relatives (specifically Ben’s parents and my brother) to see what we’re up to. We don’t have the best camera, and we don’t have mad photography skills, but what we lack in style, we hope to regain in substance.

Here goes…So as I mentioned above, we’re expecting a baby in November; the 4th to be precise. We found out on March 1, and we kept the secret to ourselves for about 3 weeks. Our first prenatal doctor’s visit was on March 17, and we wanted to get that behind us before informing our parents and my brother. Now that we have the 2nd prenatal visit and sonogram behind us, we figured we could start telling the world…er…our small world.

Since we’ve begun telling people, I’ve noticed there is an assortment of questions that one must answer. I’ve compiled them into a FAQ for your reading pleasure and efficiency.

  • Yes, we are going to find out the gender. (Have we met? I’m an anal retentive Type-A personality. I need to know what’s coming.)
  • Yes, we were trying. More like not preventing, but that’s just semantics. Same result, right?
  • Yes, we have thought of names, but I’m not ready to share them quite yet. That’ll come after we find out the gender.
  • Yes, I’m feeling alright. I’m afraid to mention it too often lest the Morning Sickness Monsters be awakened. I bow to you in reverence, Monsters. I am, however, going to bed at the same time as our 3rd grade neighbor kids.
  • Yes, we have thought about where the nursery will be - the current “crap room”, or the office next to our bedroom.
  • Yes, we did tell Boz & AD. They actually knew before Ben did. I had to tell someone, and he was in the O.R. all day. They’re excited about a new pack member to protect…I think.
  • Yes, I’m nervous about the labor & delivery. (Again, have we met?) Birth is one of those situations you absolutely cannot control, which makes me terribly anxious. That plus my low tolerance for pain and discomfort…Lord help me. I don’t plan to waste any medical technological advances. Bring on the pain killers.
  • Yes, we have been to the doctor – twice now. Dr. Robert Watson will deliver the baby at Baylor All Saints Andrews Hospital on 8th & Magnolia. I love the gray headed doctor with the calm demeanor. It speaks volumes about experience cool headedness – something Ben and I will be lacking.
  • Yes, our families are excited. See examples below:
  • Mike (Ben’s Dad) proposed we take a pre baby trip to Maui, and I think he means it to be complimentary.
  • Susan (Ben’s Mom) asked us to break out the name list right away. She had good feedback, by the way.
  • Lana (my Mom) waited less than 15 minutes after finding out to buy a baby gift.
  • Rick (my Dad) is talking about pony shopping.
  • Parenting challenge #1 - This will be the first grand-child for both families, so get ready to be S-P-O-I-L-E-D little McMurrey.
  • Yes, we are excited, overwhelmed, and already looking forward to meeting our first born. Readers who are parents already, get ready for a firestorm of questions from me. Neither of us has changed a diaper before, and I don’t feel comfortable feeding, bathing, or really even holding babies. Word on the street is that all that changes with your own. I’m trusting in the hope that is correct.

Thank you for indulging me by reading this first entry. More to come on the baby journey…

Lauren Ford McMurrey (with an E-Y)