Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Things and stuff

The crib is together.  One evening when I worked late, Bubba set it up to surprise me.  It certainly was a dose of reality!  Here's a bed.  Where I will lay the baby will sleep.  SOON.  That opened the floodgates.

Friends that have babies that aren't so new anymore are willing (thank heavens) to let us borrow so much of their baby gear.  So far, we have a car seat, a highchair, a swing, a couple of bouncy chairs.  Even a breast pump instrument-of-torture-looking contraption and a boppy. Hell, a girlfriend even threw in some maternity clothes.  Talk about some luck!

Well, I reckoned we were pretty much set with all this STUFF that is filling up the baby's room. But THEN, I started a registry for the lovely, lovely people that have found it in everyone's best interest to throw us a baby shower, and I am stuck on the question: HOW MUCH STUFF DOES AN INFANT NEED??

I have decided that much of the things that are purchased in the event of a new baby gracing the planet are for the parents to feel better about themselves.  Prime example: wipe warmers? Seriously?  Or the audio/video baby monitors that cost as much as wall mounted plasma TVs? I guess you could hook up this baby monitor to feed into said wall mounted plasma TV, and then you could both hear and watch your baby breathe obsessively in HD while actually letting him sleep...  Marketers would make a killing bringing the transmitters and wires and machines that you find in a hospital to the masses - I'm sure some parents would pay lots of money to be able to monitor baby's breathing and heart rate and blood-oxygen content at any given moment.

Ok, ok.  So it's not all worthless/obsessive/overkill.  I'll concede that we need a changing table.  Maybe a diaper bag?  Some pacifiers?  A bottle or two in case the boob doesn't work out - or even if it does.  Some bedclothes.  A bath.  A first aid kit!  A thermometer!!  A WHITE NOISE MACHINE!!!

And all of a sudden, it looks like a huge glacier of Babies R Us has cut its way through our house and left in its wake bits of brightly colored plastic baby things.  Well, I guess our baby will not want for anything.  Maybe we can even convince ourselves that we'll be better parents because of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Playing in the dirt

You know those tiny self-help books that are sold at the check out at places like Barnes & Noble?  The ones that have little pearls of wisdom on each page to help you live a more fruitful or peaceful or thankful life?  

Well, I was looking through one the other day and laughing hysterically with some colleagues (because, really? This is life advice?  Really?).  One of the suggestions for leading a fuller life was: "Help a child plant a small garden."  Just for comparison's sake, other suggestions were "Order an L.L. Bean catalogue" and "Read a book on bees" and "Never poop in public bathrooms."  Incredibly enlightening.

That said, I took some of this advice.  I strive for a full life, after all.  Tad and I are preparing a space in our little yard for my second annual attempt at growing my own food.  I say Tad and I because gardening "single" is SO much easier than doing it "plural".  The bending and weeding factor, the digging and pulling and stamina factor.  Anyway, now that the rainy season is subsiding, I can't wait to get this little patch of dirt ready for the Tilth edible plant sale this weekend.

I get so excited about what to plant and what I will eventually eat (and share!) from my garden. This year, there will be cherry tomatoes!  Last year I did a couple of different varieties of tomatoes that yielded approximately two and a half ripe tomatoes and a good half dozen that never ripened and rotted green.  I don't do fried green tomatoes.  BUT, my friend Tyler would bring over cherry tomatoes by the bucket-full for us to eat last year, he couldn't possibly eat all the yield.  I can learn from my mistakes.

What else?  My bell peppers were another failed experiment last year.  To be replaced with lemon cucumbers this season, I believe.  And radishes.  Mmmmm.  The one thing that did succeed last year was the lettuces I planted.  They loved their home and grew big and strong and we picked fresh salad once a week or so.  The bad thing was that I chose spicy mustard greens that were seriously so spicy that I couldn't eat them.  So this year, another lesson learned, I'm sticking to romaine and spinach.

So in my garden, I will grow a salad.  Hopefully it will be a low-maintenance kind of garden that the weeds and bugs don't like and I'll be able to take care of it even as I'm more and more round and firm and "ripe" myself.  And I will have the satisfaction of watching good things grow.  And as it grows, maybe I'll read a book on bees.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Enlightened Competition

I started taking a prenatal yoga class a couple weeks back, and I love it.  I haven't had sciatica pain since I started, which is a pretty huge deal, and I feel like I'm learning a lot about how the body and muscle groups work during pregnancy.  All good things.

There is one part of the class that I don't love.  I have come to the conclusion that there is a fine line in the land of women between commiseration and competition, and that this does not lessen in delicate circumstances such as pregnancy.  Maybe it's the heightened hormones (on my part?), maybe it's the situation (best in the class competition?), but I seem to think that when pregnant women get together we should be a little more in awe of the lives we are creating and a little less focused on who's winning the pregnancy race.

One woman in my class had worse aches than the rest of us and couldn't be bothered to listen to our yoga foci and goals; one was way further along than the rest of us and therefore had nothing more in common with us because we just couldn't understand what it's like to be 35 weeks, and I overheard one say, "Oh, you haven't felt your baby move yet?  You probably will soon" in what I took to be a mildly condescending tone.  (This last comment, to me, was reminiscent of women who might someday say "Your baby hasn't rolled over yet?  Mine is crawling and sleeping through the night and playing Debussy on the piano already!" With the "shouldn't you be concerned?" lowering of the voice.)

I'd like to add that as it turns out this is the FIRST pregnancy for everyone in the class.  

~On a completely petty side note, let me confess that I may or may not have felt a bit intimidated by these women from the get-go because of their perfectly manicured hands and feet and actual yoga outfits that match.  For the record, I usually show up with my scraggily toes, exercise pants, and the t-shirt of the moment that covers my entire baby bump without creative layering.  Not to mention that I am definitely the youngest member of this class.~

So, we have arrived at the crux of my dilemma: is it that women are constantly in competition amongst ourselves no matter what, or is all of this to blame on the area of my pregnant brain that is now named Take-Everything-Personally-Even-If-It's-Not-Directed-At-You-Or-Even-Mildly-Aggressive (which, I have a sneaking suspicion, takes up a great deal of my frontal lobe lately)?

These days it's kind of hard to tell.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I have been so jealous lately of the droves dusting off their people-powered contraptions in celebration of the spring.  So, I got my road bike out of the garage.  And rode it to work and back.  26 weeks pregnant.  With a baby bump out to *here*.  Granted it took me about 30-35 minutes for a ride that would have taken me 20ish last fall, but hey, I'm willing to give myself a break for the extra weight and strain I'm lugging around!  

And no, before you chide me, I did NOT ride on the roads - the bike trail goes basically from my kitchen door to the front door of my work.  Only two roads to cross, and I walked my bike like a good little pedestrian.

I didn't really think about it as being a big deal, but apparently everyone else did.  I now have the awe and respect of all of my colleagues and the new title "Bad-ass".  

Not to mention that I do have a bad ass.  You know the feeling right?  The first time in a long time that slim little ever-so-slightly-padded saddle that fits the "sit" bones so perfectly snuggles in for miles of ride, and the next day you want to die every time you sit on a hard surface.  That is what they make bike shorts for, after all.  But me, I decided I didn't want to wear bike shorts (read: couldn't - because they don't make maternity cycling gear!).  But I digress...

I don't think that people should be so shocked at a big pregnant lady being active.  I mean, every time I do something, peoples' (non-pregnant people of course) reactions are: "Really!? You walk around Greenlake?" or "You still go to the gym?"  And then there's the "Good for you!" gratuitously thrown in there.  As if it's a feat for me to even get out of bed in the morning!  Way to be pregnant and a functioning member of society at the same time!  According to my doctor I should probably still be able to run around Greenlake with a 7 minute mile for heaven's sake!  

The incredulity I deserve is: "Really?  You can keep up with a husband that makes THAT much laundry and dirties every dish in the cupboard every time he enters the kitchen?"  

In that respect, I really am a bad-ass.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baby Daddy

Bubba: Do you think Tad will look like you or like me?

Me: I don't know.  She'll be beautiful.

Bubba:  Well, I suppose she'll either look like you or like me or a like combination of both of us.

Me:  Or like someone else completely.  Don't narrow the options too much - I don't want you to be disappointed.

Bubba:  ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Sweater for Tad

When we found out Tad's gender a month and a half ago, the first thing I did was go out and look for some pink and purple yarn to knit little girl things.  I was tired of trying to find unisex knitting patterns. Then I found the peach blossom jacket on Looking Glass Knits - too cute!!

Here's Tad's version:

I just love the tweed!  And the bows!  And if that weren't cute and girly enough, I started this from Jen's same cache of patterns.  It's a work in progress:

I made it a little longer than the original pattern; it'll be more of a swing-y spring jacket when all is said and done.  Someday when the sleeves grow.  The lace pattern is really precious - I love it.  So feminine.

Hopefully Tad won't mind that I've decided that she's going to be a girly-girl dressed in pink and lace and bows!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

I think it's funny every year at this time when commercials and billboards and whatnot sprout up encouraging people to wake up to the realities of waste and its impact on our planet.  Not necessarily the ads themselves, but the fact that they only come out once a year.  Like the new ad with Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich (  I fully expected that commercial to end in a fist fight.  I actually think it should have - more people would have watched it/been affected by it...  Ok, maybe only I would have thought it hilarious.

But isn't it still a fact that people doubt the very existence of such a thing as global warming?  Last year about this time, I went to a lecture on climate change given by one of my professors from back in my college days.  This is what I've learned and what has stuck with me: while fluctuations of the greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere have always existed, the levels that we are now dealing with are a product of humans' consumption exacerbating the issue.  So even if climate changes every so many eons, why should we mess with it and tempt fate?

Living in the Northwest, Bubba and I have become much more "reduce, reuse, recycle" conscious.  Partially because it seems to be much easier here than in the midwest.  Everything gets recycled, we compost, we have a yard waste bin, we keep our heat low, we drink tap water, we (mostly) remember our reusable grocery bags, etc.  So even though we don't have a negative carbon footprint as of now, I think we're doing pretty well for beginners.  We're not Crunchy to the point of some of our neighbors, but we are comfortably Crusty, I'd say.

In baby news, Baby Tad (the sweetest fetus) has been rocking and rolling with amazing agility lately.  I read somewhere (in my obsessive mommy reading) that it's because she's strong enough to exercise her muscles, but still small enough to have room to do so.  Well, let me just tell you, it's pretty amazing.  I can tell where she is situated in by belly, and sometimes she kicks me so hard it makes me jump with surprise!  I've discovered that she hates the blender/food processor, and when she's restless and won't let me sleep at night, we both calm right down when Bubba sings to us.  

Monday, April 21, 2008

20 Pound Baby

So, this spring has not been the best that I've ever lived through.  The weather is seriously screwed up with disassociated identity disorder going from summer to winter and back.  Last Saturday we had summer with warm sun! and breeze! and droves of Seattlites all fighting over space outside!  Now this week we've had cold thunderstorms, snow, and the new favorite joke these clouds have is to throw down hail every so often through the sun breaks.  Mean and spiteful.  It makes me want to sit and eat and watch bad TV.

Eating seems to be how I normally deal with this badness.  Since we've moved to Seattle, I have my summer weight and my winter weight.  My summer sizes and my winter sizes.  I'm starting to think that buying one of those SAD lamps might just be more cost effective than upkeeping two different wardrobes and the supply of carbs I consume during the rainy season.  

Apparently, I'm consistent in my search for comfort through calories because last week at my OB appointment, I got the weight talk.  "You're gaining too much too fast" and "let's try to maintain" and "extra weight causes extra problems".  All of which I agree with technically.  But I naturally get defensive and think "I didn't gain anything for the first couple months and you told me to eat!  I've been following directions!" and "I thought the body would just do it's thing and gain what it needs" and "WAH!!!"

Yesterday I went to the gym and weighed myself on that scale hoping the Doctor's scale was off.  No such luck - I have indeed gained quite a bit of weight pretty quickly.  So now I just have to make the commitment to eat more rationally and less emotionally and go to the gym more regularly.  It sounds easy.  I've done it before.  But PLEASE.  Tell me.  Who wants to go to the gym when you're 6 1/2 moths pregnant and HUGE just to glide along on the elliptical machine next to Ms. Fit 2008?

Really, I think the only option is to convince myself I'm going to have a 20 pound baby and a 15 pound placenta.  If only I could take this sandwich out of my mouth for long enough to do it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hello, Internet!

It is I!  Here I am!  A bit of an anticlimax, but moderately satisfying nonetheless.  I am a blogger.  That's what I do.  I blog.  After months of vacillation, I am putting words in a box that will be published to the internet.  That maybe someone will read....  Isn't the internet wonderful?

I am enrolling in blogging therapy to keep away the dark, moody clouds of Seattle springtime and and the insecurities of budding entrepreneurship.  And not only that, but there's a baby on the way to shake things up a bit!  My life just keeps getting more interesting.  And you're going to hear ALL about it....