If Men Were Pregnant

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Morning sickness, stretch marks, food cravings/aversions, and those wonderful strangers who think your bulging bump issues them a free pass on touching your midsection.  Ah, the joys of pregnancy.

But, let's face it gals, as much as we cringe at the roller coaster of lending out our bodies for nine months' time to the newest love of our life, we also adore the perks it offers as well.  There's the extra attention, the excuse to cut into any bathroom line, and of course the wonder of it all - growing a real life human at the speed of light (okay, some days go by faster than others).

Pregnancy is life changing to say the least, and one of the grandest perks we get as women is the ability to lord our childbearing ability over our husbands the rest of their lives.  It's the trump card of all trump cards.  The be all end all of gender wars ends in the delivery room, no doubt.


But, what if the tables were turned?  

If Men Were Pregnant...

1. "Bump Gloating" would be an actual thing, bragging about how big their bellies could get.
2. They would actually try to get stretch marks, scars to tell stories about for generations.
3. Paternity clothing stores would have names like "Big Bill's Belly Barn" or "Business Bump for the Modern Man".
4. They would get highly visible tattoos of how long they were in labor, along with the baby's weight.
5. Natural birth wouldn't exist as an option.  Men who accidentally go through childbirth without drugs would be given Presidential Medals of Honor.
6. Paternity Leave would be 18 years per child. Paid.
7. Novelty pregnancy t-shirts would say things like "Mine's Bigger" or "Play Hard, Push Harder".
8. Bars would close and be replaced by ice cream shops on every corner.
9. The most popular Superbowl ad would be a Gas-X commercial.
10. The beer industry would always be competing for the world's best non-alcoholic beer.
11. All pants have draw-strings.
12. Gift Registries don't exist.  Instead, the Bass Pro Shop offers an all-in-one baby starter kit featuring everything necessary for parental survival that comes in two colors: black or camouflage.
13. eXtreme Lamaze is the new rage for birthing prep; featuring virtual ski, surf, and rock-climbing experiences to practice heavy breathing.
14. Baby Showers would consist of 5 minutes of high-fiving and 4 hours of video games.  (Call of Doody, anyone?)
15. Every birthing suite would include a giant flatscreen TV with a Sports package.
16. Car seat prices would double and there would be whole magazines published about high-tech strollers that men are constantly begging their wives for.
17. Baby name books would be two pages long:  a page that says GIRL and a page that says BOY.
18. "Morning sickness" would be called something like "Brutal Barfing Syndrome".
19. Cankles would be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
20. Father's Day would last a week.


I hope you found this list funny [and not too sexist].  Comment below to add your own interpretation of how the world might spin differently if males suddenly took on the role of child-bearer!




The Story Behind the Big News: I'm Pregnant!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yep, in case you haven't heard, I'm expecting my third baby.  Baby Pardy #3 is on the way, due to arrive mid-August!



We broke the news publicly yesterday, with this genius announcement made by my husband.





But, of course, we knew several weeks prior to the ultrasound pic that the course of Pardy history was forever changed.  We were lucky enough to find out before Christmas, making it the gift-of-all-gifts to give our parents on Christmas day.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to see them in person, but we sent gifts ahead of time, and included this surprise-revealing frame to break the news.



As we Skyped with our parents, we had them open the gift on cue and got to see their reactions at the same time.  (Ain't technology grand?)

Telling our girls the big news might have been the most memorable, however.  I told them "We have small gift for you and some big news!" then proceeded with the following announcement caught on tape.  I'll warn you, it doesn't quite end the way I anticipated!  (Seriously, watch to the end for a cringe-worthy laugh.)



We are beyond thrilled to share our joy with you all.  And to streamline all your FAQs I've decided to just jump into the answers and spare you the awkward moment of not knowing how to ask what you really want to know.  I get it.  And as I grow to the size of a small planet, I'm well-prepared to tackle awkward encounters.

Was it a surprise or planned?
Have you met me? Yes, it was planned.  However, it was also quite a surprise that we struck gold on our first try.  I count this an incredible blessing and luxury in my life, to have had the opportunity to choose to "open the door" so to speak and then also to be instantly gratified.  I have many close friends who have been on either side of the spectrum, either waiting and longing for a child or shocked by a surprise blessing.  All that to say, I don't take for granted the fact that this was altogether easy for us this round, and yet completely acknowledge that I retain zero credit over the fact this miracle occurred when it did.  It's all God's timing, folks, that I know for sure.

What about school?
Speaking of timing, one of the main reasons we decided to go for baby #3 now was that I would be out of school.  In fact, I will finish all of the curriculum for my MMFT (Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy) by the end of July, just a few weeks before this baby arrives.  I'm doing my utmost to complete all of my client hours by then as well.  In fact, if I have one non-health-related prayer request, it's that I can somehow finish all of my client hours in time so that I don't have to worry about picking up extra hours after the baby comes.  I keep telling myself that it won't be the end of the world if that happens, but I will admit it keeps me up at night sometimes wondering how it will all come together.  All in all, the hardest part will be over with (the coursework) and I'm just trusting God to tackle the rest!

What's the due date exactly?
The official due date is August 19th.  But, because this will be my third C-section, this sucker will be scheduled on the calendar.  My husband's birthday is August 16th, and so, per his own request if everything is safe and healthy, the baby will be born on his birthday!  That's right, Josh wants to share his birthday.  Many can't believe this, but honestly I think he is just hoping we will remember it is his birthday if he has our baby born on it.  Haha.  So, obviously safety and healthy baby/mama come first, but if all goes well, then we will have a double-birthday celebration on August 16th!

How am I feeling?
Miserable and blissful.  Icky and happy.  I'm kind of fighting the cold-of-the-century right now, so I'm extra full of complaints at the moment.  (Seriously, they can put a man on the moon but they can't create a cold medicine for pregnant women?)  I'm one of the luckier pregnant gals who doesn't barf every morning.  I just feel seasick most of the day and exhausted as usual.  I want to eat cheeseburgers all the time and can't stand the smell of coffee.  Otherwise, I'm really pretty good.  And yeah, I'm already belly popped at 9 weeks.  I should be building up my own gravitational pull within a few weeks now.

Are you hoping for a boy?
I love and hate this question.  The easy answer is "yes".  It's fun to picture something new like a boy being added to our family, but it's also an unknown realm!  Sure, for many reasons we would be stoked to have a boy.  After two girls, a boy would be an exciting change and would keep the Pardy name rocking for another generation to come.  Also, it would be a lot easier name-wise cause I've pretty much used up all the girl names I think I love.
That being said, I can't quite imagine life with a son.  I adore my daughters and adding another girl would be seemingly easier and thrilling for my girls, plus there's all the hand-me-downs that would await her.
I will rejoice at the news of either and I will grieve the twinge of loss at the news of either because I'm honest and enjoy this phase where both dreams are alive and well.  
Asking me what gender baby I want is like asking me "Do you want your lottery winnings in one giant lump sum or spread out over the rest of your life?"  It's a win-win and it's gonna be the best ever either way!  And yes, we will find out the gender, probably around the end of March.

Are you crazy?
Yes.  I've never argued this.  As my daughter Matilda realized the other night, "Mom.  This means three kids.  We're going to need more grown ups."  Tell me about it!  I think we always knew we wanted more than two kids, and for all known current intentions, this will be our last baby.  We debated most of the fall whether a third kid was in our future, and the discussion quickly turned to a "now or later" discussion more than a "now or never".  So, it just felt like it made sense to pull the band-aid off faster, get all the crazy over with early, tackle the youngsters while we are youngish, etc.  Honesty, there's no right or wrong way to build a family.  And we couldn't have predicted how quickly we would have gotten pregnant either.  So, there you have it.  We dove head first into crazy, and now we are excited to be outnumbered by our children.  It will be hard.  It will be LOUD.  It will be a challenge unlike any other, and we've no expectation this is a walk in the park.  It's more like a trudge through a snowstorm with chimpanzees climbing all over you.  Still, it's an adventure, and we're stoked to be part of it.

Prayer Requests?
Thanks for asking!  Yes, of course any prayers for a healthy baby would be most appreciated.  Prayers for our family as we finish up this crazy grad-school chapter of my life and prepare for a new baby and Kindergarten in the fall for my oldest would be terrific as well.  I'm so incredibly encouraged to be surrounded near and far by a network of prayer warriors.  Thank you!!!


Thank you for sharing in our joy!  I can't wait to share this journey once again with all of you!

Merry Christmas! Starbucks Card GIVEAWAY TODAY

Friday, December 19, 2014

UPDATE:  Congrats to Anna Cushingham who won the giveaway!  Enjoy your lattes!  :)


Merry Christmas!

Less than a week until the big day, and if you're like me, you could use a BOOST!  While I can't personally hug or high five each one of you, I can give you a chance to win today's giveaway - a $10 STARBUCKS CARD!  Woohoo!

Caption this silly vintage Christmas Ad below for your chance to win!  

"Beers and Bows: Holiday Staples since 1942!"
-Anna Cushingham

ENTER AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE!

I'll reveal the winner on MONDAY MORNING (12/22) so you'll be caffeinated in time to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve as you assemble that toy with a million pieces and four missing screws.  (How does that always happen!?)

Leave a caption in the comments here, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or email me directly at emily@pardymama.com

Here's to keeping our spirits merry and bright!  Have fun and Happy Holidays!

Christmas Wars: Why Everyone Needs to Chill Out About Santa vs. Jesus

Monday, December 15, 2014

We've got ten days until Christmas.  Are you feeling overwhelmed? *hug*

I don't know about you, but it seems like every day I see a new article or blog floating around the Internet about people's take on Christmas traditions:

Why we don't let our children do Elf on the Shelf.  Why we don't lie to out kids about Santa.  Why our kids only get three gifts just like the wise men gave. Why the way we celebrate Christmas is the way Jesus intended it to be celebrated. (Okay, maybe not the last one, but they all pretty much have the same subtext!)

And on and on.

People are all OVER the spectrum on the whole Santa vs. Jesus topic, and their not afraid to spill their guts out about why their approach is the most intricately considered method that will deliberately help mold their child for the better.

Well, that's all quite fine.  But, frankly, as long as you are keeping Jesus and family at the center, then I. JUST. DON'T. CARE. how you go about doing it.  Santa, no Santa.  Elf, no Elf.  Candy and presents, simple Stockings.   Gluten free fruitcake, gingerbread houses.

I'm over it.  I read these articles and I start doubting my parenting.  I get fearful I've already gone too far down the Santa path.  I get anxious I'm accidentally raising spoiled rotten heathens who will grow up to  be liars and thieves.  Am I a hypocrite for hiding the Elf and then taking my kids to church?  Geesh, you gotta be careful who you tell your approach to these days or you might be eternally judged for where you lie on the Santa spectrum!

The number of Nativities in my home makes me no more of a Christian than before.  Asking my kids what they want from Santa for Christmas makes me no less of a Christian either.  And, my kids will not grow up to be psychopaths - well, at least not because our Christmas traditions steered them down the wrong road.  Of this, I am certain.

I'm not here to defend the Elf on the Shelf or tell you that you should hop on the Santa bandwagon or even to get you to realize that (hello?) JESUS is and always will be the true reason for the season.

Choosing Christmas traditions has become just as distracting as the new Target commercials (I can not get "Marshmallow World" out of my head!) We're ALL inundated with ads for toys and deals and food that distracts us from the precious miracle of Christ.  Must we add to this dilemma by filling up the cracks with fear and doubt about how we survive this season?  Do we need to criticize each others' parenting approaches and Christmas customs as part of our Christian duty?  I'm gonna say "um, no."

Parents.  Simmer down

As a mother, I absolutely love this season of celebration with my kids.  As a consumer, I like the glitz and glam and the hubbub of finding the perfect gift for someone. As a Christian, I weep at the thought of how miraculous the true story of Jesus' birth affects me to this day.  As a future Marriage & Family Therapist, I sleep well at night knowing that Santa or Elf on the Shelf are not to blame for the corruption of children everywhere.

There are far more important battles to fight here, folks.  We've all got plenty to lay down at the feet of Jesus and lift up in prayer.  We've got burdens and worries and broken hearts aplenty.  No doubt this world is filled with enough fear and guilt as it is.  Let's let this one go.

Every Christian family celebrates the birth of Christ differently.  And as Believers, we can keep Jesus on center stage while still watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with our kids.  We have the freedom to worship the birth of our Savior and then eat an entire plate of peppermint bark.  We can teach our kids our family traditions (from grandma's cookie recipe to Elf on the Shelf) while keeping the reality of Jesus fresh all year round.

We need no less balance this time of year than any other season in our lives.  Period.

Chill out, guys, it's gonna be okay.  Be merry.  Be bright.  If we can all team up and keep Jesus in our traditions, however that looks, then December 25th will be all the more miraculous.
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