Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Need Ice Cream

Do you remember that True North commercial?  The one about the incredible nut snack?  Well, just to update you, they changed the commercial.  I was flipping between Cash Cab and the evening news as I am wont to do on a weeknight as I unwind knitting in front of the tube, and the commercial came on.  Of course I stopped what I was doing to have another little immature giggle.  Not so giggle-worthy anymore!  The first part is the same .... build up ... build up ... AND THEN, "all of these things come together and make an EXTRAORDINARY (...) SNACK!"

Really.  I mean, the music doesn't even line up.  You can hear the empty space where they took out the word nut!  I wonder how that kind of thing works?  Did they figure out that moms were covering their children's ears?  Did some old people get offended?  Did they realize that they were the butt of immature jokes all over the internet and in countless houses around the country?  Anyway, I am mildly disappointed.

I have a list of things to accomplish today.  Like Frog and Toad - my list starts with Wake Up. Followed by Get Out of Bed.  Check...and...check!  I'm doing really well so far.  I figure I need all the sense of accomplishment I can get today.  But then things crept onto the list that involve doing stuff like laundry.  Ok, not so bad - it's all sorted and I even started it.  Walk To the Library is on there.  That'll be a good 40 minute activity for after Eat Lunch gets crossed off.  I have some DVDs waiting for me for that I requested.  Ah, blessed entertainment.  Then I will sit and knit and watch mindless entertainment and pray that God will grant me a coma to slip into until this child is born.  I should add Slip Into Coma to my list.  

Also on my list is Mop Kitchen Floor.

I'd like to talk about my kitchen floor for a moment.  It's super gross.  It's the only part of the house that we live in where I really feel like I'm living in someone else's filth.  You know the feeling?  When you rent a place and there's just something about it that can never be clean enough for you?  That's my kitchen floor.  I could mop it once a week on hands and knees with my scrub brush and straight bleach I think my socks would still be dirty after walking through there.  It's really very frustrating.  Well, today I am SICK of it.  I will attempt to scrub the floor on my hands and knees.  Wish me luck - I'll let you know if it actually gets crossed off...

I think I will also add Eat Copious Amounts of Ice Cream to my list.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Waiting Room

I walked into my OB appointment today right on time, congratulating myself for my forethought to leave early to circumvent the heinous construction on every single street in Capital Hill.  My mood was thwarted when the receptionist said "Dr. had to deliver, can you come back in 1/2 an hour?"  Fine, I thought, but why isn't it ME she's delivering for the love of Pete?  (grumble, grumble, of COURSE I hope the delivery was fine and healthy and whatnot, grumble, grumble.)

I found myself an empty uncomfortable chair and sat with my new library book and started reading.  There was only one other woman in the waiting room who appeared to be nursing a very small human, and I was thinking that the quiet was actually kind of nice as was the view from the 9th floor, and I settled in.

The the one other lady in the room started talking.  To her infant.  At full volume.   Normally, I think this is fine.  I mean, you talk to your baby, duh.  But this lady (when I say "lady" I mean mother of ambiguous age, because I think she was younger than I) did not seem to be doing it for her baby's benefit, rather for mine.  She was giving a play-by-play of everything happening in that corner of the room as her infant was busily sucking away at her booby.

It started with "oh, you're such a good eater" type cooing.  I could handle that.  But then, more people started filtering in the room, more of Dr's patients who were asked to come back later.  Then this lady's soliloquies got progressively louder.  "Oh, hey Mister!  What are you doing?" and at one point, she took the baby off her booby with a suction-type noise and he was pretty upset about it.  She proceeded to apologize profusely and try to coax him to latch back on "Here you go - no, Mister, over here.  Here it is."  No one who came in wanted to sit in her corner of the room.  

I found myself staring at the words in my book without reading them and just thinking "Gosh, this lady doesn't get any attention at home obviously" and proceeded to feel a little bit sorry for her including giving her a little "I feel sorry for you" smile.  But then I decided that she was just a little bit off.

Her baby fell asleep and she put him in his car seat.  She got up and started swinging the car seat hither and thither quite unnecessarily - her baby was contentedly asleep.  She let him sleep there for all of ten minutes before she took him out again and bounced him on her knee.  He then woke up and started fussing.  Duh.  The mother could then resume her discourse: "Oh, what IS it, Mister? Oh, you're still on a one hour feeding schedule?"  And then the tell-tale sounds of a dirty diaper made its way to the ears of those of us subjected to this little scene punctuated by "OH MY!  I hope you feel better after that!  WOWEE." Etc.

Just for the record, we waited for an HOUR AND A HALF.  One entire hour and a half of my life was spent not reading and thinking about this over-actor and her progeny.

I think it was toward the 40-minute mark that I started to feel a lot less sorry for the mom and a whole lot more sorry for the kid.  This child who was a prop for this lady.  I mean, she was obviously (obviously) taking care of the baby, it just seemed more like she was doing it for the attention it would get her rather than for the baby itself.  What must their lives look like every day?  Was it always like this?  I wonder if the lady knew we were all going to remember her as the kooky lady we had to put up with in a confined space.

And then the nurse came out and called her name and she declared from across the room "Oh, great!  Just in time!  He just ate and pooped and fell back asleep!" and slung the car seat like an accessory across her arm and strode out of the waiting room and into the office.  

And everyone in the room exchanged polite, silent little waiting-room glances that conveyed the loud cheers of celebration we all felt in our souls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Just Can't Fight It

I've been trying to keep my pregnancy rants to once-a-week blow out posts.  And this for a couple of reasons.  The first is so that you don't start hating me because of the constant bitching.  The second is that I've come to the conclusion that obsessing does me no good either.

So, I'd really love to fill this space with deep thoughts of dynamic proportions that inspire interesting conversations and make you chuckle and think "oh, how true!"  But there's just no fighting it any more.  I must discuss pregnancy.

It seems that when it hit me that I have less than a week to go until my due date, my feelings changed about ...um... everything.  I starting having crying fits of weak resolve wailing "What if I can't do this?!"  And not referring to labor and delivery.  I mean bringing a kid home.  I'm scared to death!  An infant!  In my house!  That I have to take care of!

The raging-swinging-polar hormone-induced moods have been pretty awesome lately.  One of the Bubba's colleagues that was due the same day as we are had her baby on Sunday.  My first reaction was "WAH!  WHY HER?  WHY NOT ME? WAH!"  I've become really good at throwing fits and being grumpy in general.

And these mood swings are only augmented by the fatigue from the random insomnia.  I'm still not used to waking up to turn over.  It has now become a step-by-step process for which I almost need a guide book.  
Step one: decide you are uncomfortable and try to budge.  
Step two: wake up because your body does not respond to your effort to budge.
Step three: scoot hind parts so that your elbow can prop up your enormous corpulence.  
Step four: as gently as possible, catapult yourself over using elbow as a pivot.  
Step five:  re-rearrange all pillows supporting said corpulence.  
Step six: lay awake for the next 45 minutes at least wondering why if you're so tired you can't just for the love of all that is holy go to sleep.

And yet, the concrete reality of having a baby has yet to set in.  At church on Sunday there was an announcement for a volunteer opportunity and I was all "I should do that" and I almost signed up for it before I thought, "oh, wait, I'm going to be having a baby."  I shouldn't plan anything for next week because who knows!  And then I stood there with bewildered blankness on my face as my brain slowly melted.

Now we've come to the point where I'm really worried about Tad's name.  We haven't named her yet.  She is nameless and it stresses me out.  We do, however, have a list of names that we love and we're hoping that she inspires us to choose one over the others when we see her.  I am now doubting all the names we've whittled down to the short list.  And I don't trust myself to just come up with something after going through an exhausting labor.  God knows, she'd probably come home with a name like Jehosaphat because it had a good ring to it at the time. 

So I'm back to poring over the baby name books searching for the possible gem that we overlooked the first time around.  The Bubba had the idea to create a poll on the blog and let y'all choose from our short list.  I really can't think of a worse scenario.  Chances are, I'd end up naming her something that you didn't pick and then feel awful that I picked the name that nobody liked.  I can't do that to myself!  Gah!  The PRESSURE!  I keep trying to convince myself that the name doesn't matter so much when there's a cute little person attached to it...

And thus concludes this episode of mindless pregnancy ranting by yours truly.  Please send cake.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hey Big Spender...

Who said the economy is in a remission?  Not the people that were at the Southcenter Mall in Seattle this weekend. 

It was a zoo.  I have never seen so many people in one place since I was at the free Second Monday at the Chicago Field Museum.  First of all, we had to fight for a parking spot in the lot of a Target that is in a strip mall across the street from Southcenter and its lots!  Parking for mall was all the way to the streets/highway, and there were cops and traffic directors everywhere trying to tame some of the madness of people trying to turn into already full parking lots and garages.  

The Bubba and I went to the mall to celebrate the opening of Seattle's first H&M store by  madly stuffing things in bags and throwing money at the cashier.  (Tad made out like a bandit - neither Bubba nor I got anything for ourselves!  Side note:  I can't remember the last time I looked at clothes for myself - maybe month 5 of this pregnancy?  I just don't even want to think about it!)  Sigh.  I love H&M.  That Ikea of clothing stores.  Come to think of it, I love Ikea too.

But back to the crowds.  It was kind of fun to be in the big crowds and feel like we were being part of something.  I'm always surprised that when people get into a crowded situation, they seem to act even more like there the only ones present than if that were actually true.  It took a bit of patience at some points.  But there was certainly a high degree of people-watching potential since there seemed to be one of everyone on the planet in this space.  

The quintessential teenaged girls were tightly grouped laughing into their hands as boys with low-slung pants and boxers hanging out sauntered past the too-loud, too-scented Abercrombie store.  Moms and dads were dragging crying kids that obviously detested the limited freedom the crowds and new shiny things brought with them.  Women were fighting over bags and scarves and earrings.  There were even old people waiting for lunch with their grandkids at the Raiforest Cafe.

Also, Seattle has never been so diverse.  There were African Americans.  There were Hispanics. There were Asians.  There were Caucasians.  Milling around all spending money together on smoothies and shoes and pretzels and ensembles!

Seattle is a big-ish city.  But I always expect it to be more diverse than it is.  One does not see many African-Americans or Hispanics just around.  Asian-Americans are the exception.  But every time I'm out and about I expect Chicago-like proportions of diversity and it just doesn't seem to exist here.

Until you open a new mall, anyway.  Nothing like consumerism to unite the masses!  Isn't America grand?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I've made it this far...

Hey guys.  How's it going?  I figure since it's been about a week since you got the baby/pregnancy ranting update, you'd probably like one? (No?  Really?  Anyone?  Mom?)

Here I sit 7 days before my due date in my once-cute maternity clothes that are now stretched-out stained semblances of what they used to be trying to convince myself that I will be this way forever.  Because that can't be worse on my psyche than willing my baby once or twice every minute to head out.

I'm seriously considering not opening my email or answering my phone from here until this little bugger says hello, because I hate people.  Well, the people are ok.  It's the things people SAY that sucks.  

How many times do I need to answer the well-meaning question "How are you feeling?"  Just for the record: how do you think I'm feeling?  Ok, if you want a real answer, I'm feeling big and pregnant and done.  There.  Just think about it.  And then?  STOP ASKING.

Or the people that I tell that I'm a bedbug without an attention span that respond "Rest up!  You'll be so happy you did."  Or "Reserve your energy because you'll need it."  Or "Take advantage because you won't get any sleep in a few weeks!" Or something along those lines.  PLEASE!  I would kick you in the shins, but it's just too hard to get up anymore.

One thing that I have learned from this last bit of pregnancy (not patience!) is what it means when a woman says "get my body back".  As in, "I can't wait to get my body back."  As a pregnancy neophyte, I thought that meant "see my feet again" or "lose weight to wear my old clothes."  I now realize the very literal meaning of this poignant phrase.  I want my body back.  I want my body to be MINE again and not cater to this demanding creature that wreaks havoc in the way of stretch marks and constipation and heartburn and general discomfort in her wake!

So that's me...

As far as Baby Tad goes,  I had a diet Coke yesterday at "happy hour" with my peeps and I thought she was going to just turn a nose up at the birth canal and bust directly out of my skin a la "Alien."  Bubba calls it doing "the waterbed" when Tad parties in my belly - we try to guess the waves of body parts that roll by.

I haven't been having too many contractions this week, which is a little disappointing because last week it seemed I had one once every couple of days.  But my doc said today that the cervix is thinning nicely and that I'm a fingertip dilated.  I'm glad I know that, but I really wanted her to get her fingertip out of my cervix.  Quite uncomfortable.

Now comes the ultimate countdown.  The countdown to August 8th.  (Why the 8th, you ask?  Have you been pregnant before?  Obviously not.  Well, I set my sights on the 8th because I don't want to count on the 1st and be disappointed.  And besides, 08/08/08 would be a pretty cool birthdate, don't you think?  And then we can relax and watch the Olympics while we all recover.  All good things, right?  AND there's the fact that the 8th is when the Mama-a-llama comes to take care of me.  Everyone wants their mommy when they go through something like this!)

Only one two more weeks of trying to find things to fill my time!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Auto-correct

I came across an article the other day that I find to be just hilarious.  There's a weirdo ultra right-wing Christian news site called OneNewsNow that got a little auto-fill happy.  

You guys know Tyson Gay?  The dude that broke the world record for the 100 meter sprint in the Olympic Track and Field trials in Oregon?  Well, this article from OneNewsNow reported "Homosexual Sets World Sprint Record" and "World's Fastest Man: Homosexual."  They auto-replace every instance of "gay" with "homosexual," and evidently it works quite well.

After all the flack it got, they corrected everything (obviously) so I can't link to it - only to the sites that make merciless fun.  The article was evidently originally by the AP, but was altered on the OneNewsNow site.

I expect something like this from The Onion: "Homosexual qualified for his first summer games team...he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing."

And you just can't make this shit up: "'It means a lot to me' the 25 year old Homosexual said, 'I'm glad my body could do it because now I know I have it in me.'"

This is hysterical.  What a colossal mistake.  How did no one catch this?  And if Gay is not, in fact, gay, could he sue them for slander?  Or at least misrepresenting him?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wild Things

I have some very firm memories of when my family lived in Chicago.  We only lived there until I finished kindergarten.  Most of these memories involve the neighbor kids that I got in trouble with a lot.  An inchworm we fought over until someone got pinched.  The time my brother and his friend tricked me into eating "poison" bird berries and convinced me I was going to die.  The huge chicken-costumed man my mother hired for my (fourth?) birthday party.  

I saw an article once by a memory expert that said that one is more likely to remember something that is accompanied by a strong emotional reaction like fear or stress or embarrassment.  I can say I mostly agree.

Some of these memories, though, are my parents and my family just being family.  These are precious to me.  These are memories of my family all living together.   After I finished kindergarten, my older set of siblings were finished with high school and they all went to college allowing my parents to follow my dad's transition from the steel industry to the paper industry, which meant moving to upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains.

But for my first five years, my brothers had bunk beds.  My sister and I shared a room that smelled like her perfume and had bouquets of flowers tucked in above the mirrored dresser.  My dad ran the Chicago marathon and took my closest brother and I on Hot Wheels to train with him.  My mom rode a bike with one of those kid-buckets on the back and her hair would get in my face as she rode.  My older brothers' room was always stinky and dark and they would sleep all the time.

When my close brother (almost 2 years older than I) started school, he came home and taught me how to sound out words and read every day.  I was three when I started reading.  My mother signed me up for preschool then and told the nun that I could read - I had to read from the newspaper to prove it.

Many of my memories from this time revolve around books or snippets of them.  Sounding out new words with my mom at the kitchen table.  Reading to my dad in the orange striped chair.  Reading to my sister.  Reading.

Make Way for Ducklings.  Frog and Toad Together.  The Emperor's New Clothes (I couldn't understand why he would want to be nakey!).  Weekly Readers and Highlights for Kids.  Ranger Rick.

I have a special place in my heart for these books.  For the time when my whole family lived out of one house.  For the silly songs my dad would sing to make us laugh.  For the creative things my mom would come up with when we were bored or sick or crabby.

I recently purchased Where the Wild Things Are for Tad.  Most children's books I've read thousands of times since my own childhood to my nieces and nephews.  This book seemed to be an exception.  As I was reading it, I could hear my dad doing different voices of the characters and the way we would both cry "Let the wild rumpus start!" at that part of the book.  The smells of my mom's kitchen filled my nose, and I could see the way the swivel lamp lit the living room.  I could smell my dad's work clothes and his DoubleMint breath.  

Max and the Wild Things brought me back to the time when my family was everything that I knew and everything that I needed.  And now it's my own little nuclear family.  Well, let the wild rumpus start!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Still Love a Good Spectacle

Just out of college, I worked for Buena Visa Home Entertainment doing customer service for French-speaking Canada.  It was a pretty fun job for a new grad.  Lots of neat perks like getting the promotional products, and best of all getting free DVDs.

The DVDs were being released and still having compatibility issues with some of the DVD players out there.  Therefore, those of us with DVD players would get the movies to take home, watch, and then keep!  The only drawback was that we were required to record any glitches, navigation errors, layer jumps, etc. that happened on our player.

Snow White, Unbreakable, Pearl Harbor, Toy Story 2, the Sixth Sense.  I got all of them before they were released and watched the movie, the commentary, the trailers, the foreign languages.

This turned me off of movies for SO LONG.  I could absolutely not sit through an entire movie to save my soul for the next ....  oh .... 10 years almost.  Well, actually, if we're at home watching a DVD, I still often have to pause it so I can have a break and go do the dishes or something else with my hands.

As far as movies go, I'm a shoot-em-up kind of girl.  In order to keep my attention, it's got to be an action flick.  I want you to spare me the Howard's End Pride and Prejudice Boleyn Girl Baloney.  No thank you.  I actually find these to be painful.  I'll take Die Hard or The Usual Suspects any day.  I like suspense and plot twist and intrigue!

Last night, I went to see the Dark Knight.  AT THE IMAX.  It was in-effing-credible.  I even metered my liquid intake for hours beforehand so I wouldn't have to get up and pee in the middle of the excitement.  This is the first movie in AGES I've actually been so excited about going to that I bought tickets in advance and had Bubba and another friend leave work early for the 4pm show (I couldn't see myself staying up for the 10pm show, you understand!).  I got there a few minutes after 3 to wait in line for a good seat.  That is dedication for a lady who's 9 months pregnant, let me tell you.

The acting was incredible - the critics aren't kidding when they say Heath Ledger basically has the Oscar in the bag for best supporting actor.  He made the movie.  And the scenes were awesome.  Chicago makes such a good Gotham.  Bubba has worked on designing a couple of tall buildings there that made it onto the scene, so that was kinda cool.  The writing and action were spellbinding.

One drawback:  Tad, this sweetest fetus, does NOT like loud noises.  She was writhing basically the whole time which turned out to be a little less than comfortable for yours truly.  I didn't even eat treats to make her dance!  I hope she's not the kind of baby that wakes up with every honking horn!  Ugh.

Anyway, the movie was awesome and the IMAX experience made me have total sensory overload for the rest of the evening.  I couldn't really do anything.  I felt like I had to come home and stare at a blank wall for a few hours and then go to bed!  It was hard to make conversation over dinner.  Impossible to turn the TV on.  

The movie was so overwhelming, my brain was mush.  I still haven't decided if that's a good thing or not.  Maybe it's the ultimate diversion...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nice feet

So with all the restlessness that I'm experiencing, I had to sit down this weekend and write out a list of things to keep me occupied this week.  Seriously.  Like an activity every day.  Which, is real genius if you ask me.  Otherwise I'd be on the couch moaning.

Some activities are not as fun like going to Trader Joe's today and getting groceries.  But others are lots of fun like getting a pedicure and finally getting some attention paid to my poor gross dry feet that do things like catch the sheets in bed and scratch my legs when I sit indian style.  

And then I read about the new fish pedicure.

I don't know about you, but I hate the part of pedicures when they scrape your feet with those cheese grater things.  I would totally let fish eat my skin off.  I wish I could find something like that around Seattle.  And then of course, I would rate it and tell you all about it.  That would be a daily activity in itself!

Ah well, I guess I'll have to stick to the regular pedicure.  And library visits.  And strolls around the craft stores to keep me busy.  If anybody else has ideas on how to occupy myself for the near future, I'm all ears - I have the attention span of a hummingbird and the energy of a sloth!

Friday, July 18, 2008

14 days, God help me

Baby Tad set up shop in my gut 38 weeks ago today.  I am so ready to not be pregnant anymore .  

It's been nice.  I've actually enjoyed most of it.  It's been a pretty easy pregnancy without many of the discomforts women usually complain of.  I didn't have morning sickness to bad, or heartburn too often, or joint pain too regularly.  I did have crazy hormonal mood swings, but that can happen once a month anyway, if you know what I mean.

I can even maybe say that I like being pregnant.  Not only the excitement and anticipation of having a baby, but the intimacy of feeling the baby move in my skin and hearing her heartbeat just below mine.  I've loved sharing the awe of life and making future plans with my Bubba.

Pregnancy really is an amazing thing.

But I'm done.  

I'm just so restless!  I can't concentrate on one thing for more than a butterfly's attention span. I am having a really hard time working and keeping my thoughts and ideas together.  It's rough because since we're starting this business from the ground up, I have some firm ideas of what I'd like to get done before spending some time just with Tad when she's born.  Yeah right.  I'm lucky to get through a very simple to-do list by the time my wires are fried!

Last week when we went on the hospital tour I was all "WAH!  I don't wanna give birth".  Or rather, "WAH I don't wanna have a baby!"  Thinking that I was ready to not be pregnant but not ready for the whole bringing-a-baby-home thing.  Well, now I can say that I'm ready for anything but this.  I wouldn't even mind giving birth to someone else's opinionated toddler at this point.

This baby might even be past due, just the way first babies run.  I'm not really sure how I'm going to live like this for 2-4 more weeks.  My goodness, I wish patience was one of my virtues, because learning it is a real bitch.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Technology and you

Yesterday as I was walking, I started noticing people's traveling media of choice.  Lord knows, we need our music and talk radio or whatnot to distract us while we're enjoying the outdoors!  There has been an evolution of all these personal listening devices that I think is pretty interesting...

Let's start waaaay back.  There's the guy walking along with his walkman clipped to his fanny pack.  Some people just get stuck in an era, don't they?  I remember my walkman.  I listened to Phantom and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major on it.  And maybe some clarinet jazz.  I was a band nerd.  There I said it!  And oh how I loved a good clarinet piece - Gervaise De Peyer was my hero.  I also wore fluorescent spandex and Mickey Mouse t-shirts.  It's amazing that the walkman is still found in places other than tar pits...

Then that gave way to the next big thing.  See it modeled by the power walking lady with the wide hips.  She's gently holding her round disc-man in her hand as the other arm furiously pumps to keep her going.  I have to think back: when was the last time I put a CD into a disc-man and listened to it?  High school at least.  I think my disc of choice at that time was Duran Duran - oooh! or Bon Jovi.  I listened to the radio more often than not - Casey Kasem's top 40 was an absolute MUST so I'd be sure to know the coolest songs.  I may or may not have taped every Salt-N-Pepa song that came on the radio, and I may or may not still be able to sing along with all the lyrics to "Shoop".

And now we see an explosion of tiny little gadgets that hang off peoples arms or wrists or appendage of choice.  Mr. College-Student-on-Summer-Break over there is sporting an arm band cradling an iPod Nano.  These are everywhere.  A couple of people have the stick MP3 players that tuck into places I probably shouldn't be craning my neck to check out - if it weren't for my curiosity of the topic, of course.

My iPod nano is clipped in my pocket.  It has my collection of NPR podcasts (which I really couldn't live without and I use as topics of conversation WAY too often - still a nerd!) and my new favs: the Weepies, Spoon, Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys, Rogue Wave, Rilo Kiley (Jenny Lewis)....

What does your mode of music listening say about you?  I feel like carrying around a discman would transport me back to bad hair and awkward conversations with acne-ridden boys.  Or listening to a walkman would bring me back to the smell of key grease and walking around with my reed hanging out of my mouth.

I have decided, based on the (completely unbiased) empirical data collected above, that using old technology is akin to being stuck in tight-rolled jeans, t-shirts gathered in clips at the sides, and stirrup leggings.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In which I love and hate the internet

I know.  I wrote the phrase "hate the internet".  You are all probably declaring me a heathen and deleting me from your Google readers and otherwise excommunicating me from your internet lives.  Aurevoir, mes amis...

I have let the internet become a major time suck.  I work on the internet.  I play on the internet.  I do research on the internet.  I write pointless aimless blogs on the internet.  If I am away from the internet for an hour, I have to compulsively check my (3) email boxes, refresh my Google reader, and check Facebook to see if my opponent played a word on Scrabulous or if anyone fun is online to IM with.

When Bubba comes home, he likes computer time too.  He doesn't get internet at work.  Can you imagine?  They have intRAnet, but that's so not even pretending to be the same thing.  I guess it helps a lot with productivity to not have internet available at their individual desks.  I wouldn't know what that's like.  Wouldn't WANT to know.

I don't like to share my internets.  Seeing him on my computer just makes me go through my compulsive checklist and wonder what I'm missing on my sites!  If there are any new free knitting patters on my reg sites.  If my bloggy friends have posted new thoughts!  I think that my relationship with the world wide web has surpassed a hobby and become and addiction.  A need.  If I can't get online I tweak.

I have a sneaking suspicion Bubba is planning an intervention.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I have nothing to say.

WARNING: This is a worthless waste of time blog post!  Don't read it if you possibly have ANYTHING better to do with your time!

I have nothing in my brain this morning.  Nothing.  I am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to concentrate on work (ie. I have done very, very little work today).  And yet I wonder into the kitchen and can't quite make myself clean in there, so I lumber to the recliner and I don't really want to sit there, I don't really want to knit, I don't want to do anything.  I want to go to bed and wake up when this baby is coming.  

The frustrated restlessness isn't so much caused by the fact that I'm waiting and waiting (although I am...) it's more so the overwhelming sense of ambiguity and apathy for everything right now.  I can't seem to get myself motivated to DO anything.  Well, I go for walks, but only because I have told myself that it will help convince the baby to come.  

There's not a whole lot to clean or do to prepare for Tad.  My house is pretty durn clean with the little I-must-wipe-this! spurts I've been having the last week or so.  My hospital bag gets packed in installments, my email addresses and phone numbers are all ready to go.  

In baby news, I think she dropped.  I can breathe and eat again and I feel like I have to learn to walk all over again because my hips are different somehow.  I need help getting in and out of the car because I can't really bend forward - I kind of have to get my lower half out and then pray that my upper half can follow without too much trouble.  Awkward.

Also, I'm HUGE.  This week at church a lady leaned over to be at the blessing of the Eucharist and asked if I am due really soon or if I was having multiples.  And then at the church picnic afterward one of the guys jokingly recruited me to be the anchor for their tug-of-war contest.  Charming.

Also, I want to go out and find the owner of the car whose alarm keeps going off on the street in front of my house and kick him or her in the shins.  It's not even one of those annoying new alarms that changes tone and whatnot.  It's one of the honking horn alarms, and it's gone off three times since I've been writing this.  This makes four times.  Uh.  I think I need to leave the house.

I'll go walk around Greenlake and hopefully that will change my attitude and motivation a little bit.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ready or not...

After the last few weekends, I feel like I need an extra day of recovery!  The weekend was full of Bubba's work picnic, a friend's bike race, our church picnic, and even a little tutoring.  Oh, and a visit of the hospital where Baby Tad's going to show her face for the first time EVAH.

Overall, the hospital visit was a good thing, it relieved some of the "where are we going and what are we doing" stress.  We figured out where we have to park, where we have to check in, and we got a tour of some birthing suites and postpartum recovery rooms.  We can now visualize where things are going to happen, and somehow that brings a little comfort.

However, I suppose that I was completely overwhelmed with the entire thing and I ended up bawling and telling Bubba that I'm not sure I can do this.  It was just so HOSPITAL.  So tubes and monitors and machines.  So REAL.

I'm not sure what I was expecting.  I'm no stranger to babies being born.  I have been in many postpartum recovery rooms.  I candy striped on the maternity ward when I was in high school, for crying out loud.  I know how things happen.  Somehow I had glossed over all of that and decided that this baby is just going to magically appear in my arms after a relaxing night in the hospital (read "spa") without my having to even muss a hair.

The birthing suite was equipped with every kind of monitor and gadget for mom and a little bucket for the baby with warming lights and bells and whistles too.  Oy.  I started tearing up when I thought about lying in that bed with a nurse and a doctor and working on laboring Tad into this world.  I DON'T WANNA!!!!!  

I like the spa idea better.  I think as a species, we should work on evolving to the point where one moment we're getting a delicious massage, and the next we're holding our happy newborn.  Maybe Bubba and I will hold out for that to happen before baby number two.  Depending on how the next couple of weeks go...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Worth a thousand words

Last week I saw a woman wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed "Who needs BRAINS when you've got THESE?" just a layer away from the references.   I wonder if that is actually the message she was trying to send...  

What do you suppose possesses a person to advertise something across the front or back of their T-shirt?  I have never understood the phenomena of teenage girls wearing cropped shirts with the word HOTTIE emblazoned in sparkles across the lady lumps - or for that matter, do you remember the "Big Johnson" T-shirts?  Ugh - why?  

There's a place for funny T-shirts in my world.  My husband is always coming up with funny phrases that he thinks should be on the front of a T-shirt (mostly dorky, let's be honest here).  I get a chuckle out of the T-shirt from Urban Outfitters that says "This way to the gun show" and has arrows pointing to the sleeves.  But since when is it ok to advertise your sexual proclivities or drinking abilities on your clothing?  (I've even seen a T-shirt with references to both on the same T-shirt - something about beer goggles...)

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things for dinner and there was a man at the seafood counter wearing a tank top that shouted I'M SHY in huge red letters across the back.  And then under that in smaller black letters was "But I have a huge d**k."  Really?  I wanted to ask him if that shirt actually helped him get dates.  That just seems counterintuitive to me.  And of course, it didn't help that the friend he had with him at the store didn't have a shirt on at all.  Classy. 

It starts young, this phenomenon.  There are onsies for newborns that say things like "My Mom's A Fox" or "Boob Man" or "Future MILF".  Have you seen these?  Seriously!  Who's going to dress their 2 month old baby in a T-shirt that advertises that she's going to be a MILF???  This is just too far beyond the scope of my understanding.  

To be fair, Baby Tad is the proud owner of a onsie that declares "My dad's a geek" which I think falls into the "humor" category and not the "offensive" one.

What does this advertising via clothing say about our society?  That we appreciate humor, or that we're crude?  Where did the line go between funny and just plain obscene?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Week 37 and all's well...

For your viewing pleasure!  A photo of me at 37 weeks!:

I thought black was supposed to be slimming....

I've been doing hypnobreathing in my sleep - how weird is that!  I woke up in the middle of the night "breathing up" my contraction.  Does that mean I've done a good job of training my body/mind?  Or did I just happen to be dreaming about hypnobirthing while I had a contraction?  Hopefully that bodes well for all things birthing related.

I've been dreaming about the baby too.  The 20 pound newborn in the cradle.  Weird things that also involve normal routine like changing and breastfeeding and worrying that my milk won't come in.  From steamy dreams to baby stress dreams?  Generally, I'll take the scandalous ones, thank you.

I got all checked out yesterday chez le docteur, and she said things are going well.  (TMI warning - don't read if you don't want to hear about womanly parts!)  The cervix is soft and thinning and when the doctor checked it, she said she could feel baby's head right against it (weird and awesome at the same time).  All good signs!  Also, I like my doctor again.

Nesting is still a battle.  Now instead of cleaning like a maniac I look at dirty things and go through what needs to happen to them.  Example:  I look at the kitchen floor and I think, "This needs to be swept, the oven and fridge moved and swept under and then it needs to be mopped on hands and knees with a scrub brush."  But I don't DO it.  I just OBSESS about it.

I think the nesting has infiltrated my knitting too!  It's too hot to knit, and yet I now have three projects going.

First, the delicious Italian yarn.

I've finally decided on the sweater that this yarn wanted to grow up to be.  But it's knit on such itty-bitty needles that I get a little bored of the same pattern over and over and over just to have knit half a centimeter.

So I started an instant gratification fix:

Mmmmmmm!   Llama!

It's a little shrug-type sweater for a teeny person.  I didn't have much of the baby llama fiber left - just enough for this little sweater in fact.  It's knitting up really fast and gives me breaks from the mind-numbing pink sweater.

And then there's this:

Peace baby hat with some over-all type pants

I got the back of the pant-things done and I'm tired of it.  The pattern is cute enough - it's just such a sick color of grandma that's not the most pleasing to me.  I know I should just finish it.  And maybe if I put some embroidery on it or something to soften the color I might like it better.  I wish it were already done so I don't have to think about it ever again.  We'll see - it may end up on the Island of Lost Projects....

There's only one more week until this baby is "full term" and we're starting to take bets on what day her birthday will be.  My friend Mike is adamant that it's going to be the 19 of July.  That's next Saturday, and I hope he's wrong because that's just awfully soon (although at this point, anytime is soon!).  But he keeps referring to it as Baby Day.  Bubba and my mother both think August 3rd will be it.  I'm holding out for August 10th so I have something kinda far out to focus on just in case I'm pregnant For.Ev.Er.  I haven't thought of a good prize for who wins though.  Any suggestions?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dirty thoughts

Last night I saw a commercial for the True North company.  It is a description of their new trail-mix type munch without the fruits.  It goes something like:

We put walnuts and peanuts and almonds and a little sweetness and the result is this amazing nut snack!

Am I the only one rolling on the floor laughing?  What an unfortunate choice of words!  Did no one listen to this before airing it?  Or did they, too, think it was too funny an innuendo to pass up? 

So then, of course, like the 3rd graders we are mentally, Bubba and I started talking about how to spread the "nut snack" love - that sweet and salty nut snack goodness.  And (very important) where it's appropriate to get the nut snack out, and where it might not be appreciated.  We went on for far too long, I assure you.

To add to the dirtiness in my mind, my String of Hearts plant bloomed.  Have you ever seen its flower?


String of what now?

I apologize for the dirtiness.  I'll go to confession this week.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My man

The other night, Bubba and I were sitting at the table finishing dinner.  We had already talked about our work days, and that usually means that we're pretty much done for the evening.  Add a little relaxation before bedtime, and we're good.  Well, Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me  came on the "sad listening for over thirties" (little shout out to Bridget Jones) that we were tuned into on the radio.

Bubba started lip synching.  To the entire song.  With hand gestures conveying emotion.

I sat and tried to finish my dinner without laughing it up into my nose.  When the song was over, and the last note had been drawn out with the last desperately reaching hand motion, Bubba turned to me and said "Have I ever told you how many awards I've won for lip synching?"  Totally serious.

Yeah.  He's mine.  Hands off, ladies.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Unleashing the inner crazy

I love having long weekends.  Especially the ones that we spend close to home not doing much of anything.  Well, not much of anything can be construed in a variety of different ways.  We did all kinds of things around the house and to get ready for the baby.  

Not to mention the time we spent dealing with two moderate to severe disorders (on my part) this weekend:

First.  Dudes, I think I've got the nesting bug.  Not sure if it's contagious, but my Bubba did organize the garage and kitchen pantry while I went absolutely psycho with every type of cleaning product imaginable on the baby's room, living room, bathroom, and my office (roughly 80% of our house).  I cleaned and conditioned furniture!  I "freshened" couch pillows!  I dusted every surface in the house, and then, when there was nothing more, I said "Bubba, there's nothing left to dust!" and he replied "Well, then you better stop."  But I COULDN'T.  I organized my desk and filed work to be done in order of importance.  I washed the blinds.  I did 6 loads of laundry.  I WASHED DOWN THE BATHROOM WALLS, PEOPLE!!!  I made a grocery list, and was going to go to the grocery store until Bubba INSISTED that I sit down and take it easy.

In the middle of the crazy cleaning, we went to Target to stock up on things for the baby's arrival.  We needed some more clothes for Baby Tad - the practical t-shirt and sleeper-type clothes; the cuteness-type clothes was covered mostly by friends and relatives!  We also needed some freezer containers for making food and freezing it for the first couple of weeks with the baby when we're on our own. My mom is going to come to Seattle from Wisconsin (because she's awesome like that) in mid-August, but until then, Bubba and I are on our own to keep an infant alive, ourselves alive, and make the household run.  Frozen dinners will be the key, I imagine.  And paper plates.  

This brings me to my second moderate-to-severe disorder: madly swinging emotions.

We went to lunch at Chipotle (ooooh, yum, sweetness of all things good), and as I awkwardly sat down, my shirt caught on the back of the chair and it ripped.  I cried.  I only have three shirts that fit my any more, I refuse to buy any more because, hello! I only have mere weeks left of this size, and everything I wear gets stains across the belly somehow.  Wah! I feel huge and frumpy and now I have to look it too!  And the Bubba wondered why I put on makeup to go out for brunch Saturday with friends who were meeting us hung over from the 4th...

Then we went to get a nightgown and slippers for me to wear in the hospital when I don't have to wear a hospital gown.  I broke down and cried again.  I was so overwhelmed with the thought of going to the hospital for real and having a baby.  Yep.  Bawling.  Wah!  I'm going to have a baby! I don't know if I can do this!  What were we thinking!

And THEN, in the baby clothes aisle, I had a contraction.  I hid and swayed and breathed, and when it was over, I was like "Woo HOO!!  Let's have a baby! I like contractions!  Let's go!" Totally manic.  Yeah.  I'm not really sure who I am either.  

Something better happen soon, or this Crazy might just creep out full time. 

But then again, maybe I'll be the only one who doesn't notice.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Safety first

The Bubba and I went to an infant CPR and safety class the other night.  It was a three hour class from 6-9 in the evening.  Needless to say, we were not in our paying-attention prime, but the class was ok.  Actually, I'm so emotional, it was pretty hard to learn how to do CPR on a baby doll without bawling, but I survived.

The second part of the class was basic safety for infants: don't let them play with marbles, etc.  But also, consumer products not safe for baby.  Like snugglies that fit behind baby in the car seat or the infant positioners in the crib so that baby doesn't roll over.  Some stuff we didn't know.  Some stuff we decided not to be overly paranoid about - like about crib bumpers.  Our instructor stressed was how unsafe crib bumpers are.  Now this kind of ticked Bubba and I off - not because they're unsafe, but because we already bought one.

So we decided to think of creative uses for this crib bumper that doesn't involve the crib:

You could make a TOGA and address the senate!


You could artfully wrap your nether-regions and hope 
the other Sumo wrestlers don't squash you!

You could use it as your sash and wave to your
adoring crowd as you accept your Miss America crown!

You can keep the heat off your head in hot desert climates!

You could join Pancho Villa and his bandits with your new bandolera!

These crib-bumper makers were genius!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Let us eat cake

To celebrate our anniversary I made this from Cooking Light:


Nectarine cheesecake with pistachio brittle.  Oh my goodness, it was fantastic. Highly recommend it.  Highly.  (Note to people like me: pistashio brittle does not hold up well in the fridge.  I now have a lovely cake with a puddle of carmelized used-to-be sugarness in the middle and soaked into the used-to-be-crusty crust.  Still delicious, don't get me wrong!)

*Except*! how bad of a wife am I that I completely blocked out our recent discovery of Bubba's lactose intolerance in making this??  I saw it in the magazine, and I was all "Mmmmmm.  I need to have this!" and made it as a surprise for the Bubba, and when he saw it was cheesecake, he just got this confused look on his face, like "why would you do that?"  Yeah.  Not the most thoughtful thing I've ever done.  But he did a cost-to-benefit analysis, and ate a small piece and loved it.  

I still feel kinda bad.  Partly because there's an ENTIRE delicious cheesecake in my fridge that no one in my house can eat but me, and I just want to eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner - and really, I almost have to so that it doesn't go to waste.  I guess I'll just have to take one for the team.  The doctor's going to be really surprised next week when I show up and actually break her scale...

Evidently the third anniversary gift is leather.  I immediately thought "Kinky! What kind of 'tradition' is that?!  Ha ha."  But then since we decided not to exchange gifts, I bought a bottle of leather cleaner/conditioner and gave it to Bubba as a joke so he can clean our leather furniture.  Well, even after the horrible lactose-full cake I gave him, and the silly "get to work" gift, SOMEONE didn't follow the rules. SOMEONE bought me a big-girl wallet that is awesome and looks like this:

With a slot on the other side for my ID and room in the zipper for cash and coins.  I've never had a grown-up wallet!  It's kind of exciting.  No more fumbling around in my Marimekko coin purse full of cards that like to jump out and onto the floor at populated places like CostCo! 

But the best present of all?  My Bubba who never takes a day off for anything in the entire universe ever took the morning off today to spend sleeping in and cuddling and making breakfast with me!  We even took a nice walk around Greenlake.

I am spoiled. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One thousand ninety-six days

The morning after the New Year's party, I called my mom and told her I met someone and couldn't stop giggling.  I had never done that before.  I knew then that I was going to spend all my time loving you.  And now you are as comfortable as my skin.

When you first told me you loved me, I asked you when you started loving me.  You couldn't have set it better when you told me: "I've always loved you.  My whole life.  I just didn't know you yet."

You asked me to marry you November 2nd in front of all of Paris after climbing the steps to the Eiffel Tower. We gave the all-we-could-afford $10 BHV plastic bling ring a fabulous view and strangers smiled at us and at each other and held hands sharing our happiness.

18 months after that fateful New Year's party, having lived in different cities, states, even countries for 90% of that time, we were married.  It was a leap of faith.  Looking back we didn't know each other very well, only that we were meant to love each other.

I've seen the world with you.  We've explored Sweden and France, Mexico and Istanbul.  And yet among my favorite memories with you is drinking a cold MGD that someone left in our fridge while sitting in the garage with the door open watching it rain after a day of working in the yard.

You are stubborn and frustrate-able and infuriating and patient with me and rational and kind and thoughtful and perfect for me.  Life has never been better.  I have never loved so much or felt so loved.  You help me be a more patient and understanding person.  There are stumbling blocks, and stubbed toes.  Life is not easy, marriage has not been a piece of cake, but laughing with you and loving you is the easiest thing I do every day.


Happy anniversary, my Bubba-Love.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Caffeine buzz

I don't think I've ever been happier to wake up to an overcast day.  It is so nice and cool today that I almost want to apologize for all the times I complain about my lack of sun.  Almost.

I went down to Canal Coffee and got myself a delicious decaf latte treat to celebrate a great work conference call with my business partner.  I haven't even had decaf TEA since last August when we started trying for a baby.  I'm so jittery with the caffeine of the decaf, that I'm terrified of what might happen if I were to drink the high-octane stuff!  Whew.  This is my only excuse for the disjointed thoughts that follow.

It's been a while since I posted about Tad and any new developments in the nursery department, but there's not much to report.  She's getting bigger.  I looked in the mirror last night at how my shirt fit, and I'm convinced that she's bigger even just since the weekend.  Not to mention that I just feel bigger - but that could be the warm weather too.  I feel like when I walk the correct word to describe it is "lumbering".  Not necessarily the most flattering thing I can think of, but fairly accurate.

I'm definitely feeling pregnant lately.  I have to ask for help more often with getting things from shelves or doing general things.  It makes me feel kind of... hm.  I'm not sure.  Useless isn't quite the word.  Neither is needy.  Somewhere in between, let's say... tired and frustrated.  Energy wanes quickly these days, so mornings are absolutely key if I want to get anything done with my day.  In the afternoons, more often than not I'm sitting staring at my computer screen wondering what I was going to type, or what I just looked up for work.

We've been playing the "Guess the Appendage" game when Tad does her nightly Tai Chi exercises.  Bum is usually the winner - she has this bony little bum that she pokes out while she stretches out her legs.  That makes feet the second most popular guess in this game.  Either way, we mostly win - she's pretty predictable without much room in there anymore.  I mean, seriously, I don't think there is ANY more room that I can share in my body.  Does she WANT me to remove my intestines and whatnot?

In other news, I know I'm getting older growing up when the term I used to apply to the people that were always at our neighborhood bar when I went, I now apply to our friends at church. The Reg.s (regulars) used to refer to the old drunks at the end of the bar that were ALWAYS there whether I would show up at the tavern once in a week or once in a month.  Now the word Reg.s applies to Maggie and Phillip, and about three other couples at church.  That's growing up for you - looking forward to seeing the Reg.s on Sunday!

Also in other news, I am amazed by the random kindnesses of others.  I met a friend of my aunt's this spring when I was in Virginia for a funeral.  She was a model for Nordstrom before moving into other modeling and meeting her Italian fashion designer husband and moving to Italy.  Anyway, we talked about knitting of all things and life in Europe and that was that.  Well, she sent some wool/silk blend yarn for me to make something for Baby Tad!  When I got the package I actually squealed with delight.


It's the sweetest pale pink color and the most delicious soft wool/silk blend that I want to eat it.  I even threatened to name them before my Bubba made fun of me.  I've gotten every book and pattern down that I own and I have been poring over them trying to decide what to make with this.  And it doesn't even bother me one bit that it's too darn hot to knit - I want to cast this on right now!  What an amazingly kind thought for a woman that doesn't know me other than as Laura's niece.  

That really is how the world should work, isn't it?  We should go through life trying to do thoughtful little things to make other people happy.  Resolved: always remember to pay it forward.