Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 38 tummy

I'm not sure why, in this photo, I'm looking up at Nick with what I read as awe, confusion, and perhaps even reverence.

Although he would say, "As it should be."

I have things to say on perspective, but those are for another day.

So this week the boy is suddenly even more enormous. He kicks, he pushes, he makes it clear that he needs moremoremore room!

Everything is just squeezed to maximum capacity. Even with all the belly stuff I'm slathering on, my tummy just burns, inside and out, it's so stretched. I was considering taking a picture of the area formerly known as my belly button, just to gross you all out.

But then I thought the better of it.

It really is gross. I do still have the temptation to share the horror.

In a positive, the boy does this really funny thing where it feels like he's cycling his legs. I get this very fast, swirly movement that feels like leglegleglegleg! Gogogogogogogo!

It makes me giggle.

But I have firmly hit the point of I. Cannot. Do. This. One. More. Fucking. Minute. I said as much, without the F-word, to my OB.

Usually he asks how I am and I'm all smiley and fine. And he's all, you're doing great, fine! And it's all very pleasant.

This time, when he asked, I nearly grabbed him by his white coat and said through clenched teeth, "Out! I need him out! I don't care if you have to take him through my ear!"

But I somehow restrained myself and instead gave him the litany of complaints - no sleep, hips hurt, can't breathe, etc.

Which of course he said were normal for a pregnant woman.

He said clearly the baby is full-term, and we'll induce on the 14th if he doesn't come before. But he'll come before that.

I wanted to make him pinky-swear to it. But again, restrained myself.

So this morning I am off to the cardiologist for a follow-up. Begrudgingly and only because my husband said that he'd really, really like me to keep the appointment.

Even though all they are going to say is, yep! Still normal! Good luck with all that baby business! Thanks for the gazillion dollars in insurance money!

But if it were Nick, particularly if he currently constituted the rest of our entire nuclear family, I'd ask him to go as well.

So I'm off to have my normalcy confirmed (you'd think, after all these years of wondering why I'm so not normal, I'd be delighted to have so many people tell me how damn normal I am).

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Finch update

One finch caught, one to go.

Although I don't use Twitter, I realized this would be a perfect tweet. No?

I cracked myself up with the thought.

I passed along all your suggestions. Betty thought it was so interesting (and reassuring) that everyone who has finches has had to chase them down at some point.

So for the catching, she laid the hamper on its side and put food and water deep in the back. One finch walked in while the other stood guard out front.

We figure the last finch will get lonely.

Or hungry and thirsty.

See you all tomorrow, belly forward!

And man, is it ginormous.

To catch a finch

I answered the phone around 10 last night.

"Do you know how to catch a finch?"

Betty is finch-sitting.

The neighbors, whose daughter has four finches, went on vacation for a week. And asked my mom if she could feed and water their finches.

I called the other day and there were all these funny little finch-noises in the background.

They are, according to her, adorable.

It turns out they're also fast. And if they get out of their cage?

Very uninterested in going back in.

Nick was all, "Uh oh, they've had a taste of freedom. They're not voluntarily heading back to the cage anytime soon.

So there are two in and two out. And last night the two out were having a great time hanging out on the kitchen blinds.

Fortunately, the kitchen has doors. So essentially, the entire kitchen is their cage.

However. This is not a tenable situation.

Nick's suggestion last night was to put some food on the floor, rig a laundry basked up over it, with some string tied to it. And then sit and wait for them to be enticed by the food.

So at the moment, Betty, who was up till 3 am with the finches, is sitting on the kitchen floor with them. They'll get a couple inches away. But they want nothing to do with the laundry basket - which is actually a very enticing, fine white mesh.

They're just sitting there, Betty and the finches. They keep peeping up at her. And then flapping out of reach when she heads for them.

I was wondering if she could maybe put out some peanut butter, and they'd get their little feet stuck in it?

Which would then take some explaining when the neighbors get home on Saturday.

Which is a long way away, with finches loose in the kitchen.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Humor: nature or nurture?

These pictures were taken on Christmas morning about 15 years ago.

I'd given my mom these gold tights (I cannot even begin to remember why), and she put them on immediately. She came back to the living room in them, and we all started to laugh.

As you can see, she and my dad are laughing so hard they're having a hard time standing up.

And this is the thing: we have humor chemistry. We think the same things are funny. My brother, for as angry as he can make me, is truly hilarious.

I always picked friends whose sense of humor worked well with mine. And as such, I didn't give it much thought until I was dating and dating and realized that so many men are not funny.

Although I should say Nick is in utter disagreement with me on this: I contend there are more funny women in the world than men. It's hard to find funny men.

My proof: I have lots of hilarious female friends. But the funny men? Hard to find.

You don't have to think I'm funny. I don't have to think you are. Unless we're going to be really good friends. And/or spend all eternity together.

I got started thinking about this after emailing with Dagny yesterday. I realized that I'd made the assumption that her sister has the same subtle, slightly wicked sense of humor she has. I've never met the woman, but I figured, of course she does.

At which point I remembered that actually, Nick is the only funny person in his family. His father and younger sister seem to be able to appreciate our kind of humor, at least some of the time.

But none of them generate anything that make either of us laugh.

He was kind of a funny island unto himself in that family. Till he married me. And now he has someone with whom to snicker in the corner.

So then I started wondering how our kid will come out? I hope he has our sense of humor!

Because what if he turns out to be a Will Ferreller? And just thinks we're un-funny freaks? And we don't think he's funny either?

Because I'm not sure where humor comes from, but it's not all nurture. Maybe a lot of it is nature?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fantastic cake, frog boots, and a stroller that I'd drive to work in if I could

Last week my office had a shower for me.

One of my friends/colleagues makes cakes for events, and she offered to make my shower cake. Needless to say, I was delighted.

It was just so fucking cute, and she had to cut it, because if I'd made it, I wouldn't have wanted anyone to touch it. There was no way I was slicing it.

Don't you agree?

There was a chocolate layer on top, and vanilla on the bottom. Chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting. Yum.

Not that I am all about the cake, or that it was the first thing I organized for my wedding or anything.

And I got presents. Man, did I get presents. I mean, he. He got presents.

I seem to be like this about presents, don't I? Me me, and more me.

Jenny, on top of contributing to my group gift (which was spectacular) gave me the cutest little box of shoes. You know with me as his mama, the boy is going to love shoes.And I would totally wear these frog boots if I could find a pair in my size.

After an abundance of amazing gifts, they handed me a bag with a bottle holder. The card had been signed by most of the office. I was all confused. See my confused face?Until they wheeled out the jogging stroller. Which was when I started to cry. Which is of course not remotely embarrassing in front of the entire office.
The bow, it turns out, was gotten from a friend of a friend, who works at an auto dealership. Which is only fitting.

As this stroller, without exaggeration? Nicer than my car.

And also: ORANGE!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Except that I'm sure I'd get arrested. Plus I believe in Karma.

The truth is, contrary to what I said yesterday, I don't actually shove anyone. Or do anything violent.

I just want to. Sometimes, I really, really have to check myself.

And being uncomfortable and tired and angry and pregnant, I shock myself with how on the verge I am to doing and saying some very bad things.

I want to ask this one woman if it makes her feel good to behave like such a bitch-faced see-you-next-Tuesday. Or if she just can't help it.

Isn't that awful?

On sidewalks I seriously want to shove pedestrians who are slower than me (at this point, you have to fucking work to be slower than me). And, on the metro escalators, when people are standing on the left rather than walking. I sometimes just want to pinch the person in front of me, very hard.

It wouldn't be productive. It's just to be mean.

I've been stuck in the crush of rush hour and someone has inserted their arm between my face and the pole in the metro car. And I've come very close to biting.

The things that deter me: One, ew, some random person's arm. And two, it's probably considered assault, and you could really get in trouble.

But I've considered the consequences in that order.

And asshole drivers? When someone speeds up to get in front of me, just to slow down, or cuts me off, I have this nearly irrepressible urge to speed up and slam into the back of them. Repeatedly.

And slooow pedestrians in front of my car? The ones in the zebra crosswalk, who know they have the right of way, and look over at you, and then amble as slowly as possible?

I have momentary visions of mowing them over. Just because.

Also, I've long fantasized about having a huge hammer on the top of my car. Huge. And when someone iss a tremendous dickbag of a driver, you could drive up to them, push a button, and have the hammer slam into the roof of their car.

Not hard enough to injure anyone. But hard enough to do some serious damage.

Yes, I know I'd be liable, and it would just be a bad idea all around.

But I imagine that in the moment it would just feel so good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seriously, dude, what are you doing in there?

Yesterday morning I woke up unable to breathe, in a huge fret, convinced the boy was turning himself head-up.

He was sideways, with his back across my stomach, pushing on both sets of ribs. And my lungs.

And my immediate thought, which I voiced, was, "You are not flipping over. Goddammit! Do you know how pissed I will be?"

I woke Nick up, and had him feel my stomach. Who knows what he was doing, but we both agreed it was new behavior, whatever it is.

It really felt like most of the boy was in my chest, with his back sideways. And since we knew he was head down, mainly we've been feeling what we think is his butt or legs poking out at the top.

He kept sticking himself rib-to-rib intermittently throughout the day.

Nick absolutely forbade me from shoving him one direction or another, as was my wont.

Which is really for the best, since I have no idea which end of his is up anyway. And you probably shouldn't shove your in-utero progeny, really.

Actually, you shouldn't shove your out-of-utero (ex-utero?) progeny either.

Maybe just blanket statement: No shoving of progeny.

I'd say no shoving, but on days you're feeling hatefully over-pregnant, random slowpoke pedestrians and people in your way on the metro are another matter entirely. Naturally.

But seriously. What if he's turned over? If they can't flip him, I'll have to have a C-section.

Which, despite the fear of hoo-ha trauma, I really don't want unless there's just no way around it, health-wise.

I spent a chunk of the day fretting and all preemptively mad.

Like that would help anything.

Like, "Oh, you turn over and you are so going to have a time-out as soon as you're out of there. Who do you think you are, getting out of head-down position?"


Friday, July 24, 2009

Week 37 tummy

I talked to Nick this morning, and he asked if the baby had dropped.

Because, he said, I sound less breathe-y. I know exactly what he means.

I can't tell, because my lungs still feel squozen, but a couple other people, including Betty, think he has.

Fingers crossed.

So this week, my little stalk of Swiss chard (odd choice, no?) started to demonstrate that he doesn't. have. enough. space!

There is always some bit of him sticking through somewhere.

Him moving, getting hiccups, shifting, squirming, it's better than television. I'm telling you. I can sit and watch my stomach forever.

And in meetings, I put on my best "education policy is really interesting" face. When really I'm just holding my stomach and wondering what he's up to.

And thinking, "Soon, very soon, little dude, we will be getting the fuck out of here! For 16 weeks! Yippee!"

However, after I eat, and dinner in particular, I have to hold my belly button, to keep it from stinging. Because it's late in the day, everything is bigger. And he's all whee! Food rush! Fun!

He wiggles and shoves.

I put both hands over my belly button and pull in, just a little. It helps.

Which clearly inconveniences him. So then he pokes at the top of my belly.

Which hurts as well. And causes me to gently but firmly push back. He pokes out elsewhere. I push. We do a little nightly belly chase poke-push-shove-shove. I'm all, "I love you, but be nice to mama!"

OK, very candidly, sometimes I'm like, "Ow! Goddammit! Stop shoving! That hurts!"

But then I always add an "I love you!"

(I sure hope I don't sound like an abusive parent, all, I only shove you because I love you.)

Sometimes he retreats to the back. And sometimes he heads down for a mischievous little bladder poke.

Considering his parents, there is no way he's not going to be stubborn.

The truth is, there are a lot of things that suck about pregnancy. But I can't wait to see the boy, and there's nothing I would ever regret about it. In fact, I think that probably in the scheme of things I've had an easy pregnancy.

It might just be that I complain more than the average human?

My dad, wherever he is, is surely getting a kick out of that epiphany.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Teacups and profound thoughts

Years ago, a friend in medical school told me that an unpregnant uterus can fit in a teacup.

A teacup! Somehow, this really stuck. I always pictured a cup of the very delicate, English china variety.

I had this teacup image for years and years.

And it wasn't until yesterday that it really hit home how large my uterus has actually gotten. I mean yes, duh, it stretches at the baby grows. But I didn't really think about it.

Yesterday was the first time that the boy has thumped hard enough that my hand, which was resting on top of my stomach, actually got bounced up on the air.

It was right under my breasts, where his butt or leg or something like that tends to squirm around.

I was talking to a friend when this large thump happened. She was impressed.

And then she said, "You know, your uterus now extends all the way up to under your boobs!"

Which was when I realized the following.

At this point, I could fit my uterus over my head.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where personal is all so very relative

You know, I've never been one to hold back on discussing, well, much of anything, really.

But I feel like pregnancy does so many icky things to you that you just have to be comfortable with, that my tolerance for this kind of thing has skyrocketed.

If you can imagine.

Jen and I had dinner with last Friday night.

It was so great to see her, and fantastic to catch up, although just slightly a far cry from the boozy, boy-spotting, who knows what might happen Cancun porn-watching outings of yore.

Conversations of wedding (yay!) and baby and pregnancy dominated.

Nick joined us as we were discussing - and I kid you not - my anus.

Because, you see, one of the things that nobody told me beforehand was this: All these down-there bits of you that typically live inside can get shoved outside. All the weight and pressure, it turns out, is hard on your bits.

And so while I haven't looked, because I can't really bear to, I know for a fact that it's not like it used to be. My OB, in fact, commented on it last week during the surprise! swab.

I asked if there was anything I could do for it, and he said, "Sure, but it won't help before he's born. And just wait till you deliver!"


And so I said to Jen, "Basically, as far as I can tell, much of my butthole is more on the outside than the inside."

And she said, "I've never paid any attention to my butthole."

To which I responded, "Yah, I never had before. But you realize something is different. And then it's more different. And one day you're all, hmm. What's going on with my anus?"

She was in the middle of saying something like, "I'll have to check it out. . ."

. . .when Nick interrupted. He leaned towards her and said, "Can I ask you a personal question?"

And I was all twitchy, wondering where this could be going, and Jen clearly was too, as she tilted her head, "Su-ure."

And he said, in his very polite Southern accent and manor: "I was wondering if you'd mind me asking how old you are?"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You think it can't possible get any harder. And then you contemplate renting construction equipment for personal use.

"The kid has got to come out."

I said this to Nick last night, as he was packing for yet another work trip.

I was struggling to rearrange my pillows and settle into bed, and I made this announcement. "End of the week is 37. He's almost cooked. I need him out."

He froze.

He got that look on his face that you see on animals when you happen across them in the yard and the two of you notice each other at the same time.

You're all, "Oh, a bunny/deer! Eating Betty's lilies!"

And they're all, "Fuck! A human! But on the other hand, these Stargazers are so delicious. . ."

It's gotten harder and harder. By it I mean everything.

And then, at 3 am the night before, Nick had to help me get out of bed to pee.

I could not get to the edge of the bed. I couldn't sit up. I was stuck.

I struggled and struggled, and my side was cramping because I reallyreally had to pee. And that same cramp would keep me from moving very much, because it was so hurty.

So I'd thrash and grasp and it would clench and I'd be all "fuckfuckfuck." But very softly, so as not to wake Nick.

I weighed the inconvenience and embarrassment of wetting the bed versus trying waking Nick to tell ask him if he could haul me out of bed.

Which would be worse? Our mattress, very heavy. And we have no way to dry sheets.

On the other hand, I'm essentially admitting to needing a crane lift out of bed.

I tried, I really tried.

Somewhere in my process of shifting pillows and clutching for the headboard and trying to pull and snuffling and shuffling and gasping and cursing under my breath, Nick woke up, wondering what all the commotion was about.

And in a very small voice I said, "I have to pee. And I can't get up."

And so he came over to my side of the bed, scooped one hand under my belly, pulled my shoulders with the other, and got me upright.

He called me later that day. "I think we've hit a new low."

The kid, he needs to come out.

Also, I know it looks like I'm being saved by an Amish man. And it's hard to tell what kind of outfit I might be wearing.

But you see, it started out looking like he and I were both naked, and though it's just stick figures, it just seemed very wrong. And then I thought he needed a hardhat to make it clear.

And you know how this kind of thing goes...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Swimming, weightlessness, hot tubbing, and learning experiences

We invited ourselves out to our friend Jonathan's pool on Saturday.

He was spending the day doing yard work, and asked if we could pick up a friend of his on our way.

So we brought the friend. And our laundry. Because our dryer situation, it is not yet resolved. Not because of disagreement. But rather because everyfuckingthing this year is at least five goddamn times harder than it has to be.

Jonathan, he is family. I have known him since I was born. He's the one who organized the bagpiper for my dad's memorial.

Come to think of it, he's the one who took the mandals picture.

He's also the best host you can imagine.

So we called and said, "Hi, can we come swim in your pool? And can we bring our sheets and towels and do laundry? Oh, and since we have no idea where in god's name we've packed them, can we use your beach towels? And will you hang out with us while we're there?"

And he was all, absolutely! And I'll give you beverages and snacks and suntan lotion!

It was spec-tac-ular.

The pool is in the sun, with these lovely slate tiles around it. And on the side is a hot tub is raised above it, made of the same slate. It cascades water into the pool. Gorgeous.

It was the first time in months that I have felt great. Not just OK, but great. Lithe and agile and just fantastic.

We swam, we paddled, we floated, we lounged in the sun.

And then we got in the hot tub. We turned on the jets but no heat, so as not to cook the kid. Being shallow and in the sun, it was slightly warm. Much like being in a kiddie pool you know nobody has peed in.

Nick and I floated, and they sat on the side, feet in, drinking beer and chatting.

So somewhere along the way we started talking about water and boats and pool maintenance and hot tubs.

Nick said he'd had a hot tub at his place in Alabama.

And even though I like to think I'm not a jealous person, I don't really want to dwell on his dating shenanigans. Plus I envision his life in Alabama to be kind of cheesy, and so of course, all the women are too.

This is grounded in absolutely nothing. It's just because I am bitchy like that.

So I was internally rolling my eyes all, of course you did.

And then he told us his hot tub dating strategy.

He'd invite women over for a third or fourth date, and he'd tell them he was making fajitas. And this stream of women, they would always show up with Coronas or Dos Equis to go with fajitas.

And they'd have a couple beers - Mexican! so exotic! - and he'd take them on a house tour, and then they'd be all "Ooh! A hot tub!"

In my vague recollection, after some liquor a hot tub always seems like a better idea than it actually is. So I could totally see this.

He'd feign surprise at their enthusiasm, and suggest they get in. But the only thing was, he'd say, unfortunately, you simply couldn't wear clothing in the hot tub. Because it would clog the filter.

Nick was clearly delighted with himself. He was all, "It always worked!"

At the same time I was all, "It's a lie? I thought it was about the fibers and detergent?! And delicate filtration system??"

"Oh, Lis. Sweetie."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week 36 tummy

I went in for my appointment last Wednesday.

And in what seemed like a two minute whirlwind the following happened: My OB listened to the heartbeat. He said I have that pregnant woman out-of-breathness.

He did a Group B Strep swab in two orifices. Yikes! Knew about the hoo-ha but wasn't quite prepared for the butt swab!

And then he did the hoo-ha exam and determined that: the boy is head down (yay!!!); I'm not at all dilated; that in all likelihood, I'm weeks from delivery.

How does he know all this so fast?

And then he was all, doing great, see ya next week! Call if your water breaks!

At which point I realized I'd forgotten to ask him if I could drive to Charlottesville for the weekend for Nick's work retreat.

It was a perfunctory question, I thought. The only reason I asked was because Betty made me promise I would.

Because you know my bag was packed for the long weekend of hanging out with fun people at a country club with a spa. I bought a tankini (which I think is a stupid word), and I was all ready to get a preg massage and hang out with cool women and float in a pool and just lounge.

And he said no!

He didn't exactly say no. He said it's too risky, and if my water breaks, he's not having me come back to DC, and I'm stuck delivering in Charlottesville.

My water breaking? I wanted to say dude, they told me the statistics. You really think I'm going to be in that itty-bitty 12%? Nearly four weeks ahead of my due date?

But instead, I said OK, I'd take the route of caution.

Although I will admit to you that my first thought was this: Lie! Lie to Betty!

Lie to Betty, lie to your OB, and go have fun for the weekend!

Because I'm still like 12.

Then I realized that it's not actually about me, nor is it about Betty. It's about the boy.

And I'm not only a liar but a giant asshole if something does happen. Even though odds are slim.

I called Nick, sobbing. "Why? Why is everything so hard? Why don't I get to go? How come I never get to have any fuuuuuun?"

But as it turns out I do get to have some fuuuuun. I'd already taken today off, so today is a lounge with Betty day.

I slept late. We're going to Upscale Resale shortly. And, as fabulous Jen is briefly back from Macedonia, and we are having dinner tonight. She is engaged, and we have a treeeemendous amount of catching up to do.

And Nick is coming back this evening, and we have all kinds of nice things lined up for tomorrow.

But you know the boy is just going to hang out in his little pool, and that water is not going anywhere for the next several weeks.

Ah, well. Better safe than sorry. Never my prior motto, but not a bad one.

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I don't know how you feel about sandals on men.

Me, I quite like them.

It might be because I grew up in places where men wore sandals. I dunno. I just like them better than flip flops. And I certainly wear sandals as much as possible when it's warm; I don't see why men shouldn't either.

So we got Nick this pair of mandals at DSW.

He was never a man for sandals, but I was tired of him wearing his horrible old faded flip flops all the time. So I proposed these, and he likes them.

Also, because the disembodied foot above quite amuses me, but is admittedly kind of weird, here's the rest of the picture. I like how we're both all floral-y.
And I know we look grumpy, but we're not. And the pictures where we're smiling are totally blurry.

But the mandals.

Nick wore them while with his colleagues in California a couple weeks ago, and one of them commented on his footwear. Because the mandals, they are such a departure for him.

He told them I'd chosen them. What did they think?

The guy said, "I think that's an excellent way for Lisa to make sure that there's no chance that any other woman would be attracted to you while you're apart."

Nick relayed this to me, and all I could think was, seriously, dude? Out of all his gem clothing possibilities, you're going to focus on the mandals?

Why not his seersucker shorts? How about that damn Itchy and Scratchy t-shirt that I just bet he took on that trip with him?

Both of which make me want to rip his clothes off. Not lustfully.

I like the mandals.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In which I compare labor to porn and use the word cervix a whole lot

We had our birthing class on Saturday. And I am about to have the first of my weekly OB appointments.

The coincidental timing was good, I think.

Today will be the first internal exam, where he checks to see if the boy is head-down, and apparently, examines the state of my cervix.

I had no idea this began already or that you have this slow progression of your cervix changing. And did you know that only 12% of women's water breaks on its own?

I thought everyone's did.

Turns out I've seen too many movies where the woman's water breaks and suddenly she's in labor. She gets rushed off to the hospital. It all goes fast fast fast and the woman groans a lot but then very quickly there's a happy ending and all are delighted.

When I write it out like that, it makes it sound kind of like porn, doesn't it?

So our birthing class.

Although I'd read about it, I didn't quite understand, but when she explained effacement and dilation I got it.

Her analogy was a Life Saver - as you suck on it the center hole gets bigger and thinner. Although, as Nick correctly observed, a Certs would've been a better one, as Life Savers start out with a hole.

So your cervix, it starts out all thick and closed. It needs to get veryvery thin. Until there's a hole. And then the hole needs to get bigger and bigger.

She demonstrated the checking amount of dilation by sticking two fingers up in the air.

Kind of like the guy I went on that date with describing the ex-girlfriend sticking her finger in his butt.

So she explained how they know roughly how many centimeters if they can poke two fingers in, and then the progression.

Basically, as she explained it, you have to get to the point where there's no more cervix left covering the head.

To demonstrate, she swept these two fingers around in a big circle. Sweeping them around the baby's head. No more cervix! Baby's head can come out!

Nick and I both kind of clenched at this flourish of a round sweep.

I was sitting there half fascinated and half eeeeeee! That! That big going round sweeping motion! That's going to be taking place in my hoo-ha! In a matter of weeks!

That and plenty more!

Holy crap.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The kind of helpful suggestion that can make a pregnant woman stabby

We were inching down the block towards dinner.

Nick, adjusting his stride to near stasis to accommodate me. And me, rocking back and forth, trying to propel myself forward with as much alacrity and grace as possible.

I'm kidding about the grace part. That never figures into anything anymore.

The truth is that now I just do whatever I can to go forward. Keeping moving, I have discovered, is important.

You stop and you're screwed. Restarting? Very hard.

So at this point I should mention that my husband, like many men, is a problem solver. And generally, he's very, very good at it.

And most of the time, I appreciate it.

Most of the time.

So he steps, and I plod, and this is clearly a lot of work.

And I, who wanted to stay home and eat Popsicles, rather than struggling out the door for dinner in the first place, am not remotely subtle about the fact that I am not having any fun.

Plod. Scowl. Plod. Grimace.



"I was thinking about how your hips are hurting."

"Uh huh."

"They hurt all the time?"

"All the fucking time now."

"Well, do you think they'd hurt less if you didn't walk like that?"


"Maybe try not walking like a duck and see if that helps."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lucky thirteen: An empty uterus is totally better than a goat*

So the pool picture is me right around a year old. And the next picture is from the birthday party where I received a goat as a present.Truly, I did. He cried all night, he pooped everywhere. And the next day, my dad said he had to go. No cry-all-nighting-yard-pooping goats for us.

It was Bangladesh. Odder things happened.

Jordaan was there - right there, in fact - grinning at the camera, green hat (Why? Why the green elf hats in August?) and all. He could tell you.

So today is July 13th, and a month from today, I turn 40.

Also, a month from today is my due date.

Although I realize that a due date is more of a sort of vague suggestion and my OB seems to be more like, here's your target but who really knows.

But you see, last November, when I was peeing on those sticks, I remember looking at the online calculator and it said something like, "If you get pregnant on this day, here's your due date."

And it was my birthday. And I thought, "A baby with my same birthday! How cool would that be!?"

And 13 is my favorite number, and I'd be happy to share it.

Although now I think, "How cool would it be to have an empty uterus for my birthday?"

But then I peed on all those sticks and never really got the two clear lines and was wondering if I even ovulated. And then of course it turned out that I did and then we were all knocked up and here we are.

And I am thinking about all this because we went to our friend Amanda's surprise 40th birthday party last night. Yesterday morning, I was talking to Nick about how my birthday is a month from today.

And I was all, "You know, I always thought I'd do something really big for my 40th."


*Also, because of HKW's comment, I just had to add to the title. It makes me laugh every time I say it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Week 35 tummy

You know how dogs will circle and circle and circle in seemingly the exact same spot, in an apparent effort to pick the perfect position?

This is me now.

I could tell you how the honeydew melon now supposedly weighs about 5 1/5 pounds, and how he pushes down on my everything, and how, even propped up on pillows, my stomach makes trying to sleep a dreadful experience.

I could tell you how exhaustedly, tiredly tired I am, how I spend my nights shifting and cursing. And hobbling to the bathroom to pee. And getting back into bed and rearranging everything 54 times till I get comf enough to settle down.

Which lasts approximately 37 minutes. Or until the next time I have to pee.

But I figure, why tell you, when I can just show you?

There you have it. Me, in all my tired, pregeriferous glory.

Also, I thought I cropped these all to the same width. But once uploaded, they are various widths. This bugs me, but seriously, I cannot bear the thought of re-cropping and re-uploading.

Perhaps if I weren't so damn tired.

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

TMI Thursday: Not for the poo-averse

Although if you're one of LiLu's TMI Thursday regulars, that's likely not an issue for you.

So Maude and I like few things more than a good delve into the disgustingly ridiculous. Like how much you might charge someone who wanted to poo on your foot.

Just to give you some background.

I always think there's nothing we haven't talked about. And then, somehow, there is.

So while I was in Amsterdam we were talking about the various inconvenient and sometimes painful aspects of pregnancy.

"And what is the deal with all the sticky sticky poo?"

"I know! And it's so hard to wipe off!"

"Nearly impossible. And it hurts!"

"Yes! You wipe and you wipe, and it just makes your butt raw."

"And even if you use water on your toilet paper, it only helps a bit."

"I know. And if you don't have a sink right there, spitting on the toilet paper does nothing."

"Which I guess indicates that even if you could lick your own anus, it really wouldn't help."


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Because heckfire is not where all the cleaning up my language attempts went

It's not the worst thing you can do to your kid, but it does make me wonder if I really am fit to be a mother.

Out of sheer necessity, Betty and I found ourselves back at Babies R Us. While we were there, Maude called me on Skype, and while it's fantastic as a free/cheap service, you are at the mercy of the Internet.

Which isn't great in Amsterdam. Maybe because so many of those wires are underwater? Or however it works?

But anyway, our time difference is such that we don't talk very often, and we were way overdue for a catch up. So every time it cut off, she'd call back.

There I was, on my fifth call with her in 15 minutes.

Betty had wandered off to a different section, and I was meandering through the clothes.

I cannot even tell you what we were talking about, but I know for a fact that I used a good deal of profanity, and specifically the word "asshole" quite a number of times.

At some point Maude laughed and said, "It such a good thing you're not here. Benjamin has started repeating everything we say."

At which point I looked around, and realized that there were children of some age or another all over the place.

Which of course elicited a panicked, "Fuck, Maude! There are kids here! Lots of kids! Fuck! Oops. Crap!"

This will garner some not-great looks from mothers. Not exactly like the raisin-in-the-anus comment, but along those lines.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Speed bumps

It was the speed bumps that started it.

I feel like they must be a great metaphor, but I'm unable to weave it, at least currently.

But as I slowed for the first one, I got that prickly nose feeling. You know the kind that starts somewhere under your eyes? And then shortly after, your throat begins to swell. And you know for sure that you are going to cry.

And it turned into a cry-y weekend. Sometimes it's just like that, I know. And the seemingly randomest things will start it.

Fucking speed bumps.

For years, my parents have wanted them on their street. There are so many children. And people ignore the speed limit and come careening down.

What I've realized about myself, which stands in stark contrast to my parents, is that I don't actually care about humanity. Individuals, I care passionately about. If I love you, I'd go to the ends of the earth for you.

But people as a whole? Not remotely.

I mean, I'd never set out to actively bring down society. But I tried a couple save-the-world-help-humanity jobs. And I just lack save-the-world passion.

My parents, on the other hand, they have this. My dad's whole career was in public health. They joined the Peace Corps right after Kennedy started it. They got sent to Afghanistan, which they loved.

Minot and Duluth to Kabul. And they thought it was so great.

I've got a picture of the King of Afghanistan standing next to Kennedy. And in the next shot, my dad is shaking the King's hand. Kind of extraordinary.

(And king is a weird word if you say it enough. Also, I have trouble with capitalization in this case. To capitalize in both sentences above? Or not?)

This picture is from that time. And while it's an elephant rather than a car, somehow I felt like it fit.

I know it's small on this page, but you can biggen it.

It makes me laugh. My dad is so at ease. This Midwestern boy, all delightedly seated on an elephant's trunk. Betty, on the other hand, slightly alarmed.

But still rising to the occasion, and in trendy glasses and a short skirt, no less.

But the speed bumps.

I was all, Dad, they put in speed bumps! And you've missed them. You'd be so happy to know this. Maybe you do.

And once one minuscule gate opens, through the tiny prickly passageways of your nose, thoughts and memories and feelings and everything else don't hesitate to rush in.

It's like they're just hovering at the edges, waiting for an opening.

Fucking speed bumps.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Week 34 tummy

Oh, hi. I missed you guys, even though I'm the one who wasn't around.

I had all good intentions of getting this up on Friday.

Betty took the picture and I was going to post, and then Nick called to say his plane had landed early, and I rushed off to Dulles and then we went on with one thing and another - some fun, but mainly 85 different house-related errands and tasks. And the blogging, it didn't happen.

And now it's Monday. How is it that five days can take for-fucking-ev-ver and three can go by so fast?

So (in case you're wondering about the sweetie above) I've started to see what I can balance on my tummy. Which, although it's reached astounding proportions, is still not a lot when I'm standing up.

I'm working on it, though. I'll keep you updated.

Last week I learned from the cardiologist that I'm normal. All my little heart racing episodes fall in the range of normal. The lightheaded, they chalk up to pregnancy. Normal.

This was no surprise to my OB. He always looks all my numbers and tells me I'm fine. Keep it up; you're doing great!

This past week, I asked about the size and direction of the kid. Do I get another sonogram?

Not unless the internal exam next time indicates that he's breech.

"My husband is gigantic. And he comes from enormous people."

"You're not measuring large so far."


And in the meantime, I've been told by all the women in Nick's family - and somewhat gleefully, I might add - that he weighed 10 and 1/2 pounds when he was born.


But my OB, he looks at my blood pressure and weight and urine sugar or whatever and then listens to the boy's heartbeat and does the tape measure on the belly and then sends me on my way.

"Bye, normal! See ya in two weeks!"

"Bye, OB!" Hobble, waddle.

So my average size cantaloupe (whose testicles descend this week), he feels enormous. He fills up all of my space, and makes it difficult to get up and sit down and lie down and every other damn thing.

Sometimes I wake up and my stomach looks square, with all the angles he's poking out. I imagine him in lotus position.

He squishes my diaphragm, squeezes my air out, he dances when I'm trying to sleep, and pokes me in the bladder, thus propelling me out of bed and hobbling to the bathroom.

Maybe I'm measuring normal, but geez.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy birthday Maude and various and sundry other bits

Maude: Today is Maude's 40th birthday. Happy birthday, Maudie!

I was looking for a kid picture of the two of us, but unfortunately, everything is still packed. But then I remembered I'd scanned this one for our wedding slideshow.

I think we're about three here. It's Easter, and my family was visiting Maude's family in Chandigarh. I don't know which of us dropped the basket, but probably me.

The mail: It's not yet sorted out, but it's getting there. If you go on the USPS website and type in our addres to get a +4 zip, it tells you it's not a valid mailing address. But we've gotten a whole bunch of people involved, and it seems this will in fact get sorted.

Nick: Nick comes home tomorrow morning. He's been gone for ten days for work. California and then Alaska. Ten long, long days.

When he got to Juneau I asked if he could see Alaska from his hotel room.

"You mean Russia?"

"YOU try being pregnant, asshole!"

What I really meant was: "I miss you and can't wait to see you."

And 4th of July: Our office is letting us out at noon. As in, a few scant minutes from now. Yippee!

Tummy and I will be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Raised in a barn rant

This is an expression I've always liked, although I've also always thought that clearly it depends more on who your parents are than what type of edifice you were reared in.

But much like the wild hair/hare expression, I like saying it.

"Were you raised in a barn?"

Nobody ever says yes.

But anyway.

You don't have to hold the door open for me.

Candidly, I have always loved having doors opened for me, and while I didn't think less of men who didn't open doors while we were on a date, I did think more of men who did.

OK, so yes, I'm judgey.

I fucking hold doors open for people. Just to be polite. And now that I'm big waddly preg, lots of people - men and women - hold doors open for me.

It's nice. It's not hard to do. Why the fuck not do it?

And me, I always say thank you, and I always appreciate it.

So, you don't have to hold the door open for me.

But if I've just opened it, and am partway through, then you, preppy 20-something guy, you should not dart through it, all, hey, cool, she's clearly coming in and I need to go out and awesome, an open door! just because you move faster than me.