Thursday, February 25, 2010

Butterflies, Nacho's kicks, or poop?

So, everyone who's been pregnant has told me that you won't recognize the first flutters of the baby moving at first.  I'm currently 17 weeks and 1 day along and I'm not sure what I'm feeling.  I get what I call a "nervous uterus."  It's the same as getting the butterflies before you have to do some public speech or the same as the nervous poops you get right before you get onstage for a performance. 

I'm getting all of those feelings in my lower stomach but since I'm not really sure where my intestines are at this moment, I don't know if it's the toots, the poops, or the baby.

Anybody out there who's been pregnant have any advice?

Baby's Future Family

We're gonna need all the help we can get with raising this baby.  This includes calling on our families to give us advice about what to do when the baby poops up his back and down his legs, when the baby won't stop crying, if the baby looks cross-eyed, etc, and even though most of Little Nacho's uncles and his aunt don't have babies of their own, they could get on google for me and search so that i could take a nap.

Also, our families don't know each other yet, so this would be a brief introduction for everyone so that you know what buttons NOT to push when y'all meet.

Scarlett's Side:

Grandmother: Frances Giselle Danelli
 Mom's on the right with her cousin, Carmen, on the left.  For my whole life, she's had short hair, but she's got the facial structure and the height to pull it off. 
Likes: a good time as long as it has good food and good music.
Dislikes: a bad time and when I don't put makeup on or have my fingernails painted; cantankerous, stingy people.

Stepgrandfather: Jorge Raul Danelli
My stepdad basically raised me my whole life.  I can't imagine him being a traditional grandpa since he never was a traditional dad, but he is so happy that I'm having this baby that I have no doubt that he'll be excited to welcome Little Nacho into the world.  
Likes: Order and manners
Dislikes: Disorder and long hair on guys

Grandfather: Argemiro "Pito" Sierra

My dad lives in Colombia.  I see him about 2 times a year.  I love him to death, but he still likes to think that I'm 9 or 10 years old.  I'm not sure if he's really, really excited that I'm having this kid; I think he's more excited to have his 28-year-old daughter pregnant ("it's about time" he'd say).
Likes: dating
Dislikes: me saying or doing anything he doesn't approve of.

Uncle: Andrew Saenz, Aunt: Stephanie Saenz, Cousins: Caleb, Lake, and Brody

 That's Andrew with his wife Stephanie.  Andrew has 2 beautiful little boys (Little Nacho's cousins! Lake (on the left) and Brody (in the middle)) and one beautiful stepson (Stephanie's little boy from a previous marriage, Caleb, on the right).  They live in Gulfport, Missisissippi, so if we ever end up moving to New Orleans for Billy's business school, we'll be a few short hours away from Andrew, Stephanie and the boys.

Uncle: Sergio Mauricio Danelli, Aunt: Melanie Francom

My brother and Melanie both live in Sugarhouse here in Utah in a cute house with a kitchen with red walls.  Love it.  They have a 3-legged dog named Achilles and they like being outside a lot.
Sergio Likes: golf,, and running
Sergio Dislikes: running, mean people, baths
Melanie Likes: good food, good beer, photography
Melanie Dislikes: 

Uncle: Jorge Alejandro "George" Danelli

George is a goofball.  He likes having a good time all the time.  He's gonna be the "funny" uncle, for sure.  I think I've seen "serious" George maybe 10 times in my life.  He's going to need to come up with some baby-and-toddler appropriate jokes for Little Nacho, as well as some killer sneakers.
Likes: Art and having a good time
Dislikes: Anything that could be considered a downer

Uncle: John Jairo "the Gyro" Reeves

I used to make fun of John when he was little: he used to wear Robin (of Batman and Robin fame) pajamas that were like 2 sizes too small for him and he used to have really big, round glasses and X-men t-shirts.  Now, he's a lot cooler than me and even though I used to make fun of him when he was little, he still loves me.
Likes: New York City
Dislikes: Avocados and money problems

Uncle: Gabriel Angel Danelli

Gabriel's the one on the far left.  He's 12 years younger than me and now he's about 2 feet taller than his height in that picture.  He's super smart and loves reading (just like me!).  He's also one of the best secret keepers I know and has a memory like I've never seen.
Likes: Education, video games, and TV
Dislikes: Being bored

Billy's Side:

Grandmother: Donna Raye Ojanen Thomas


My mom is an eternal optimist.  She is nice to the elderly, loves animals, and takes care of those who need it.  She'll stay up all night drinking and gambling with us if we invite her to, and then she'll run 10 miles the next morning.   
Likes: The underdog
Dislikes: Being treated like "some old lady."

Grandfather: Bruce Michael Thomas


My dad knows something about everything.  He can speak knowledgeably about Ayn Rand, Outkast, football, and Vivaldi.  He is almost 60 and only has about 2 gray hairs, and he has an incredibly sharp wit.
Likes: Clever plays on words
Dislikes: Stupid movies
Aunt: Kseniya Ann Thomas


My sister is smart, enterprising, strong, and independent.  She is an entrepreneur, a traveler, and a scholar.  She finds good, obscure music and laughs raucously during The Daily Show. 
Likes: Learning to ski
Dislikes: Backseat drivers

Uncle: Daniel James Thomas


My brother is incredibly well-rounded.  He is very educated, can play sports, play instruments, speak Spanish, and quote  movies and song lyrics verbatim. He will take on anyone in any kind of challenge and he will rarely lose.  
Likes: Being the life of the party
Dislikes: Negativity 

Immediate Family:

Pet/Brother (depending on who you ask): Pirate Ignatius Thomas


Pirate (aka The Pi, Pumpkin Pi, Pi-ranian) just wants to be where we are.
Likes: Cuddling, hiding poop in our house while we're gone
Dislikes: Being home alone

Part-Time Pet/Step-Brother (depending on who you ask): Hanzo


Hanzo (aka The Hanz, Hanzie Pants, Hank Hanzarian) likes to be a tough guy, but he also has a sensitive side.
Likes: Barking at stuff
Dislikes: Being messed with

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reaction Posts: Annie D'Angelo Murray

Annie is my best friend.  She has been for the last 10 years.  10 years!!!  We've been through some serious ups and downs and this relationship has been more painful and beautiful and rewarding and upsetting than any of my other previous relationships with boys.  She is one of the wittiest, funniest, humanest people I know.  She's got this amazing gift for writing.  I mean, like amazing.  She's gonna be famous and my grandchildren will be reading her books for english class in high school.  She's an incredible daughter, sister, wife, and the most devoted mother I know.  She is going to school full time and working full time so that she's able to graduate with an MFA in creative writing and do what she does best.  I asked her to write this post because I seriously couldn't have done it better.  I love you, Nin.

(By the way, stemming from a night out in college when we were drinking Kentucky Straight Old Crow bourbon whiskey, she calls me Old Crow and I lovingly refer to her as KY Straight.)

Our signature roommate hug

I'm sorry it took me so long, Old Crow. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I promise you and Nacho and BillyBillyBilly have been on my mind every day. Here's my reaction. It's long, but what do you expect? I'm a writer.

I hate driving. I'm terrified of it. I didn't even get my license until I was 22, and the first time I ever drove Scarlett anywhere, it was home to Pleasant Valley Road from the Pittsburgh International Airport. And Scarlett, sensitive little gem that she is, laughed her ass off the whole way about this silly little quirk that she noticed--I tap the steering wheel with my index finger when I'm nervous. And it was January and snowing, so there was lots of tapping. And lots of laughing (on Scarlett's part, not mine). Deep, rich laughing. With snorts and wheezes. If you're reading this blog, then you know Scarlett, and you know the kind of laughing I'm talking about. Anyway, my point is, in the world of Scarlett and Annie, the dynamic had been set long ago. I was the innocent, the naive, the inexperienced, and Scarlett was the cool, cosmopolitan, sophisticated friend who taught me how to do everything. Everything from dancing to applying eyeliner to calculating probabilities (stupid flipping Stats class!) to smoking a cigarette. 

So there I was, a few days after Christmas '09 telling Scarlett, despite my lingering phobia, that yeah, sure, no problem, I could pick her up from New Castle and drive her to Twinsburg for our second annual Hiramgirls Christmas Dinner. What can I say? She's my best friend, and I was excited to see her, even if it meant I had to drive unknown roads through the falling snow. 

The night before the dinner, I called and called, but no answer. My frustration built the next morning when there was still no reply. I didn't even have an address, and I was seriously stressing about the snow. Finally, I received a short, noncommittal text: "I don't know if I can go. I feel like crap." Assuming she was hung-over, I was highly unsympathetic. I can't even remember if I texted back (That'll show her, eh?!). Then, a few hours later, my phone rang, and this tiny, hesitant voice I could barely associate with my mentor in coolness said, "Um, [pause....pause] I'm pregnant." 

Iris (my daughter) was in the bath, and I had the phone tucked under my ear as I sprayed Lysol and scrubbed the sink, desperately trying to clean the bathroom before Iris lost interest in her bath crayons. I actually dropped the sponge. 

I squealed and smiled so hard my cheeks hurt and asked all the appropriate questions, but the whole time, my mind fixated on exactly three thoughts. And here they are, in order of importance:

1. If she doesn't ask me to be the godmother, as outlined in the sacred pact of 2003 (we chugged Coors Light out of plastic cups to seal it, for God's sake) , I swear to God I'll leave her out of the Acknowledgments section of my first book.
2. I've actually done this one huge thing before Scarlett. For the first time in our friendship, I'm the one who has the experience. I hope I can offer sage advice and honest comfort the way she has for me so many times before. 
3. I can't believe I'm 28, and I have a pregnant roommate.

I hung up the phone and sat down on the wet floor. I watched Iris play in the tub. Her chubby fingers made awkward shapes with the blue bath crayon, and her hair stuck out in crazy curls from the warm water. I looked at how small her shoulders were for so long I almost cried. Being a mom is the greatest thing I have ever done. And in that moment, my heart swelled for Scarlett in a new and exciting way. I'm so happy my best friend gets to do this too. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Auspicious Due Date

So, little Nacho is slated to be born on August 4th.  This happens to be the day of my friend Carrie-lyn's birth, too!  She really wants Nacho to be born that day.  I'm sure if he is, they'll be cosmically connected for life :)


My brother John, however, is pushing for an August 9th birth, to keep in the family tradition of birthing babies on the 9th of every month.  Also, Nacho's birthdate will be 08/09/10.  Coooool, huh?  

If little Nacho is born on the 4th, he'll share the same birthday as some of these other notable people:

Richard Belzer

Billy Bob Thornton

Barack Obama

Daniel Dae Kim
It is also a holiday in the Cook Islands (Constitution Day) and Little Nacho will share the feast day of these saints: Saint John Vianney, patron saint of priests; Saint Dominic of Osma, patron saint of astronomers; and (the best one) Saint Sithney, patron saint of mad dogs.  According to Wikipedia, Saint Sithney's tale comes from :  "A Breton folk story[1], an adaptation of a tale associated with Ciarán of Saighir[1], states that God asked Sithney to be the patron saint of girls seeking husbands, but Sithney said he would rather be the patron saint of mad dogs and get some rest.  He is the patron saint of Sithney, Cornwall, England and is invoked for help against rabies and mad dogs and for healing of mad dogs."

Little Nacho will also be a Leo.  According to, it states that Leos are generous and warmhearted (Nacho will get that from my mom), creative and enthusiastic (he'll get that from his aunt Kseniya), broad-minded and expansive (he'll get that from Bill), faithful and loving (he'll get that from Bill's parents).  On the negative side, Leos are pompous and patronizing (he'll get that from me), bossy and interfering (he'll get that from me), and dogmatic and intolerant (me, again.)