Tuesday, September 30, 2008

in summary...


Last weekend was my fifth wedding anniversary. These have been the very best five years of my life, easily. It probably has something to do with the fact that Mike D. makes me happier than anyone else on this earth. He has the best attitude towards life and it keeps me in check. He helps me to see the bigger picture. He doesn't care what others think and is the most honest and caring person. He doesn't dwell on the negative, doesn't ever complain or feel sorry for himself, and can always be counted upon to 'do the right thing'. Before I met him I was up and down and broody all of the time. He keeps me consistent. He always gives me the most perfect, unconditional love. Michael is someone who really knows how to live, and I'm so glad we get to live this life together. He is the coolest dude I know and makes me laugh. He helps me to not be so serious. Mike- I love to love to love you...

2. We have walls!

The sheet rock/ drywall has been hung and sanded, the painting has commenced. The days do not cease to be crazy. Today started with a delivery of the wood for our new hardwood floors at 7:50 am and continued with the guy doing the under-tile work in our shower, Mike's dad doing odd-jobs, my parents helping with painting, my plumber, hvac, and electrician all doing their thing, and the sheetrockers finishing sanding. All of this and signing checks and chasing after a two year old with plaster dust everywhere and making lunch for everyone and... I'm ready to check into a spa. Or a sanatorium.

3. The baby.
She is due in about six days. Unfortunately my doctor will not be on call this Saturday or next week after Wednesday through the weekend. They are giving me the option of induction, but I really hate that idea. I had to be induced with Henry as he was two weeks overdue, and I have to say I'd avoid that again if I could. It is a longer, more tiring and more painful birth process. I was looking forward to going into labor naturally and unfettered by an IV drip of vile Pitocin. Also, Mike talked me in to having all of the wood floors in the house refinished when they lay the new- which means we have to Move Out Of Our House Completely by this Sunday, two days before I'm due. I have to pack up a Pod this week with all of our belongings so that we can go live with my inlaws for a week right in the midst of giving birth. I am not completely happy with any of this. I have never muttered 'serenity now' so many times under my breath. Mike keeps reminding me that it didn't work for Frank Costanza. Oh yeah.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Did I mention that I think we finally decided on a name for our dear little soon to arrive daughter?

We have been struggling with what to name her. We struggled the same way when I was pregnant with Henry. A growing list of names, deciding on one finally, and then changing our minds quickly. It is the sort of thing that is not to be taken lightly, this naming of another human being. As with Henry, I just knew that I would know when we had found the right name for our little girl.

It is hard to find names that sound nice with our very long, very Italian and hard to pronounce last name. We like old names, but we don't want to choose something too popular. I always enjoyed having a name that was different. There was only one other Marissa I encountered growing up, and she spelled her name differently and didn't even go to my school. The old names we like are so popular now; I am sure our daughter will have multiple Isabelle's, Ava's, Sophia's and Hannah's in her kindergarten class. We settled on Alice for a little while- I liked the Alice in Wonderland reference, and it sounded so nice with Henry, another name requisite. After a few weeks of sitting with 'Alice' something about it changed. It just didn't sound right somehow. That is when I went back to our very first name we liked- 'Annie.'

1) My favorite doctor in the world is Dr. Annie Williams. She is the person who delivered Henry. She has delivered hundreds and hundreds of babies throughout her career, and yet she acts like each baby is her first. I swear she even had a tear the first time she held Henry. She always has a bright red manicure and is full of the most wonderful and complete seeming joy and gusto, if you will, for life. If this is an example of an Annie, then that sounds good to me.

2) When I was a little kid I was also obsessed with the movie "Annie." I watched it a million times growing up. In the third grade I convinced my mom to let me cut my long brown hair short and get a perm. Both. At the same time. Needless to say, this jump-started the beginning of a painfully long and yucky awkward stage. I would never have pulled off that Annie look unless I had dyed my hair a carrot-ish shade of orange-y red and wore an apple-red dress all of the time. But man did I love that zany orphan.

3) Woody Allen, one of my most favorite directors of all time made 'Annie Hall' one of my most favorite films of all time. I love Annie Hall and all of her endearingly silly quircks.

Still going back and forth between Alice and Annie I had sort of a bizarre experience that clinched the deal. I was down at the city building permit office and met the nicest woman. She was flirting with Henry while I met with the framing/foundation supervisor. When I had to pay for a plan revision, she was the one who helped me. We started chatting about babies and whatnot. She said she had decided not to have any more children after her first was born many, many years ago; but that much later she and her husband became foster parents to a little boy no one wanted. He was a severely autistic child who had basically been left in a room alone, completely feral, by his birth parents. Ignored and unloved, he was six but acted more like a one year old, unable to talk or interact with others. She went on to tell me that the state didn't want to allow her to adopt him because she was a black woman and he was a white child, but eventually the adoption went through because no one else would have him, she fought the system so hard, and he had thrived so much under her care. This story was so moving that it nearly made me cry. I didn't know what else to say to her except she was a great example of how all people should be. She said that he has been her son for seven years now, and that he is able to talk and interact fairly well with others, and that she wouldn't trade him for the world.

As I turned to leave she called out 'oh yeah, what's the name of that baby in your tummy?'. I told her I wasn't sure yet, but we thought 'Annie'. She just looked back at me and smiled and slowly turned her nameplate around on her desk- her name was Annie. She said "See, it was meant to be- you and I were supposed to talk today!" My pregnant hormones kicked in and I started to cry as she came around to hug me. It was wierd, unexplainable, and a tad embarrassing to be crying in the city building office with all of the gruff contractors around. But it felt like it was meant to be in this utterly weird inexplicable way, just the same as Annie feels so, so much to me like she was so completely meant to be...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

and the walls came tumbling down...

This is the scene I returned home to this evening:

The back wall of the house is down, and the old part sort of resembles a doll-house, with its cut-out openings. It makes me think of 'Being John Malkovich'.... I half expect to see John Cusack's character standing above our house, dangling one of his marionette dolls next to our dining room table. I guess there's no turning back now.
p.s. like my pink hard hat? a present from Michael.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last Saturday my little guy turned two. We tried so hard in the midst of the current chaos that has become our lives to just have a relaxed day full of fun Henry things to celebrate. We only went to Home Depot once on Saturday. And once on Sunday. The poor guy is probably as sick of looking at lighting fixtures, plumbing materials, and refrigerators as I am. I thought it would be so excellent to get to pick all of these things out, but you reach a point where all of the features start blending together and you just pick something to be done with it, already. I'm sure being REALLY pregnant has something to do with feeling so over it. I desperately want to nest- to clean and organize and prepare. But I just can't do it properly with everything so... half- done. We finally settled on a refrigerator and purchased it. I know this sounds as exciting as drying a head of lettuce, but it was, because you have no idea how many refrigerators we looked at over the course of the summer. Yes, I am now that asshole who is writing about her new refrigerator on her blog.

Anyhow. We went to the zoo. I love being a member, because we go regularly enough that there is no pressure to see the entire park. Henry is always cool with a quick visit because he knows we'll soon return. Some days we go just to see the monkeys. Other days we just watch the turtles and walk around the butterfly garden. Lately Henry has wanted to go just to see the progress of construction on the new exhibit being built. I am fine with just watching the cranes and bulldozers. We followed our trip to the zoo with lunch at Doumar's, Henry's favorite lunch spot. I swear, we can't drive past Doumar's without Henry pointing wildly towards the building. I used to love going there when I was a kid, too, so it makes sense. An enduring love and tradition for a favorite local spot.

As I feel sort of mournful that my dear first born is growing so quickly and is no longer a wee little baby, I look with anticipation to the birth of my second. Only three more weeks to go. She is getting so big in there that I can no longer sit without slumping backwards- her little body is jammed up in my ribs. The once a week doctor's visits commenced a couple of weeks ago. Every time I take the elevator trip up to wonderful Dr. Annie William's office I cross my fingers that she will show no signs of coming early. So far, so good. Tomorrow the back wall of our house has to come down, thus opening up everything to the addition. This is a tad overwhelming, but also a great sign- once that wall comes down, there is absolutely no stalling or turning back. Time for insulation, sheet rock, dry wall, tile, hardwood floors. The hvac, plumbing, and electrical roughing-in is nearly finished. Fingers crossed. Three more weeks.