Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 15, 2009 - Mal's 27th Birthday!

"I'm fine with just stuffed shells" she said with a wave of her hand as if it doesn't matter.  That is what Mal has traditionally had every October 15th for her birthday dinner.  And for the 2nd year in a row she has wanted nothing but stuffed shells and nothing more...presents included.  For anyone who knows what goes down on my usual birthday knows it typically involves a family and friends get together for a Louisville Bats baseball game with drinks and good times that follow at Browning's located less than a block from the ballpark.  So when Mal tells me all she wants for her birthday is stuffed shells I always get an awful feeling in my stomach because in no way do I think that is fair to her.  So, seeing as how I had already gotten her a pink laptop over the summer as her early surprise birthday gift, I didn't let her go empty handed last year on HER day and I was not about to let it happen this time.

My gifts to her this year included a scrapbook organizer and stock card paper.  I purchased these the day before her birthday right before I picked her up from work to go to our doctor's appointment for a checkup on Kylar.  When she hopped in the car I showed her more than a half dozen books I picked up for Ky at Half Priced Books and told her she wasn't allowed to look in the back of the car (it's hard to believe Kylar will be her in less than 3 weeks!).  I'm sure Mal knew I was going to pick her up something scrapbook-related from Michael's for her birthday, seeing as how I already had two 40% off coupons in my wallet coupled with the fact she had told me these were things she wanted just days before.  BUT...what she was not expecting was me to pick up cards for her later that night.  AND I took a long break at work on her birthday and scurried to the store to pick her up a vase of 3 roses and a slice of Hershey's chocolate pie.  When I showed up at her office with both of those in my hands, the expression on her face was simply amazing!  If that is the only look I saw on her face for the rest of our days together it would not bother me one bit.  It was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the day for her and I know for certain she had no clue that I was going to show up with flowers and a treat for her on her special day.

Later that night, I left her to her own devices as I concocted pumpkin bread, which was another request, before getting to the famous stuffed shells.  I must say I was never a huge fan of flavored breads like banana nut and things of that nature, but once I licked the batter mix off of the spatula my taste buds were jumping with excitement and my tongue was left watering for more!  Oh...yeah...Mal liked it too :)

While the bread was baking for nearly an hour it was time to move on to the traditional stuffed shells for "Mal Mal".  Now, last year I followed a recipe from that was called turkey and artichoke stuffed shells.  But this year was a little different as Mal specifically said she wanted the same stuffed shells she had had so many years of her 27-year-old life.  This recipe called for your ordinary everyday ground beef and Italian sausage browned and mixed with pasta sauce that was poured over shells stuffed with ricotta cheese in a Pyrex dish.  Sounds pretty basic right?  Believe me, once you add that extra baked top layer of mozzarella cheese you'll be saying "Mmmmmmm" over and over again.  Right Mal?  Hehe

But before we dug into this nose rattling birthday dinner, I let Mal open her birthday gifts and cards from our family and friends.  I let her open mine last because I knew I would get a particular reaction.  What reaction do you ask?  She got teary eyed over the mushy card because I'm cheesy like that.

Everyone's thoughts and gifts, not to mention that her birthday wishes were posted all over Facebook and her phone would not stop ringing the entire day, meant that she had a wonderful birthday.  And that's what matters most.  All of a sudden I don't feel so selfish anymore.

Happy Birthday Mal!  Love you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Women - Part 1: This Has to be Told, Part 2: Nocturnal Ky Ky

Part 1: This Has to be Told

First of all, the order of events described here occurred before 8am this morning so details may not be as clear as I'd like them to be.  Working 2nd shift has had this affect on me.  Especially without any morning coffee beforehand to kick start my brain functions.  Anyways, Mallorey and I woke up to start the day this morning just like any other day.  Laying in bed, letting the alarm sound off about 50,000 times before we actually decide we had better get up and start moving otherwise she will be later (than normal) to work.  I like to get up early with her and stay up because I can get things done around the house and focus on my online class for Oracle training as well.  Mallorey normally hops in the shower while I set out her lunch which is usually prepared the night before and concoct the morning's coffee.

Afterwards, she meets me in the kitchen as we put together a sausage biscuit for each of our breakfasts.  This, by the way, was a quicker than McDonald's drive-thru, it felt like, and is definitely a cheaper route.  If you too are finding yourself scrambling out the door to make it to work on time but still want the satisfaction of a hot and light meal for breakfast without the hassle of waisting time or money at a fast food place, you might want to try this out.  Simply pop a biscuit in the oven for about 15 minutes before you hit the shower in the morning, put a Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage patty in the microwave for about 45 seconds after you get dressed, put the two together and before you know it: BAM you are on your way to the time clock!  Now back to the story at hand...

For those of you who don't know, or were not aware, Mal has had to test her blood nearly 4 times a day since being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes several weeks ago.  Her testing times are normally as soon as she wakes up and then roughly 2-3 hours after every large meal.  The blood tester device itself is actually very compact and is kept in a small black zip pouch about the size of your hand which holds the test strips, the needle, the electronic blood sugar level reader and her log book for keeping track of it all.  On any given workday, Mal ALWAYS leaves the house with the following in her hands: purple water mug, blue lunch bag, breakfast, her purse (which also contains her blood testing kit) and, of course, the car keys.  Today was no different than any other.  Or so we thought.

While finishing up my online training course for the day, around 11:30am, just under 4 hours before Mal left for work, she gives me a call on my cell phone.

"Do you know where my blood tester is?" She asked.
"The last I saw of it," I replied, "was last night when I put it in your purse."
"Well it's not here.  I don't have it."  she countered.
I assured her it was NOT at home by saying, "I'm standing in the kitchen right now and I don't see it anywhere."
You could almost see her head curiously tilt to the side through the phone when she asked me, "Can you check the 'fridge please?"
I hesitated, laughed, and checked.  No sign of it.  "Nope not there," I said with a chuckle.
"Wait a minute, hang on just a second," she said.  She placed me on hold and the elevator music began to play in my ear.
"Maybe she had found it, or found something that closely resembled it" I was thinking to myself as I eagerly awaited her to return to our conversation.
In the meantime, I turned to our pantry and opened the door thinking, "nah, it couldn't possibly...."
The elevator music over the phone fell silent.  "Okay, I'm back" She said quickly.
"You'll never guess what I have in my hand!"  I said with a smirk.
"What?!  Did you find it???"  She asked in desperation.
"Yeah.  I sure did and you'll never guess where I found it."
Laughing hysterically at this point, I said, "In the pantry!!!"

Mal couldn't believe what she had done.  Something that had become so routine throughout the week.  Something that had never really slipped her mind until now had REALLY, I mean REALLY slipped her mind.  And come to find out, she later went on to say how she didn't remember opening the pantry door and if she did, she wasn't looking for anything in particular.  I knew pregnant women are forgetful, but I had no clue they could be so unconsciously random!  Love you Mal :)

Part 2: Nocturnal Ky Ky

A couple of days ago, Mal had been complaining that she thought Kylar had not been moving around enough.  This type of non-action had happened before by our baby daughter, but not so late into the pregnancy.  Mal really started to get worried at work saying she could feel small movements but not much jabbing of the arms and legs that she had gotten so used to as of late.  While I was at work one day this week, a co-worker, who is currently pregnant and has 2 other children, told me that that can happen during the latter stages of pregnancy.  She said it usually occurs because the baby does not have much "wiggle room" inside the mother's womb because they are almost full-term.  I advised Mal of what I had learned but it still did not seem to calm her nerves about the entire situation.  She knew that Kylar has been very stubborn to this point, but was neglecting to give her the benefit of the doubt.  And I don't blame her.  Even my co-worker said that if you aren't sure of what's going on and you're really scared, you should probably go to the hospital to have everything checked out.

Well, being the laid back person that I am, I disregarded the advice of my co-worker and kept trying to reassure Mal that everything with Kylar is normal and there is nothing to worry about.  I still haven't figured out how to make that line work with her.  In fact, she has every right to worry.  I mean after all she is the one who is feeling every punch, kick and flip that Kylar makes.  So if something doesn't seem normal to Mal, I probably should not try to convince her otherwise.

We sat on the couch and watched some television after work that night and I would lightly place my hand on Mal's belly waiting for a reaction by Kylar.  While my hand never jumped off her belly like it had done plenty of times before, I kept my cool and didn't think anything of it.  Later that night, after we had crawled into bed, I knew there had to be something I could do to reassure all of us that everything was, is and will be just fine.  Besides, Kylar usually always moves around for us at night.  Maybe she has the moon and the sun  mixed up?  I don't know what it is.  But that is simply the way her little body operates at this point in time.  So, after turning off the lights, I snuggled next to Mal, reached across her and placed my right hand on her belly and slowly moved it up and down and in a light circular motion.  Next I firmed up the rubbing motion and started to talk to my baby girl.  "Kylar...what are you doing in there?  Are you going to move for daddy?  You going to move for me?"  Those were the only words I could come up with without making it sound like I was having a conversation with our dogs Wiley and Lola.  The words felt weird.  They felt silly.  I even wondered if Mal was taking me seriously.  But regardless of what we thought of those words, someone certainly heard me.  And she responded with a triple kick to my palm.

It's amazing how a gloomy afternoon can ultimately change to an exciting night with a few childish words and a little loving tenderness.  Needless to say, our family rested easy after that.