Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beautifully Put

Oh my god! Two posts in one day! Is there a babysitter involved?

No, I'm just skipping my nap to enjoy the blessed silence of a house filled with sleeping children. And using my time to chop up vegetables and put pretzels into individual serving size packages. Or I'm surfing the net, reading all the blogs that I love and pretending that one day I will be as talented as these other writers.

And in doing that I found myself in awe over what Ms. Heather Armstrong of dooce had to say about getting mentally healthy. Please go here to read her take on this topic. It's what I would have written...if I was as smart and funny as she is.

Supermom...Or Not

Honestly, I've been feeling a bit like Supermom the last few weeks. Granted it's Supermom by my standards that are, let's face it, not terribly high. But Quake is getting to preschool mostly on time. I'm almost done Christmas shopping. I take a shower almost every day. And despite some moments of panic at 7pm, no one in the house has had to wear dirty clothes in the morning because Mommy didn't get the laundry done.

There's a huge list of things that aren't getting done, but I'm focusing on the positive. The positive says I'm a Supermom!

Then Thursday afternoon Cha-Cha started to get fussy. He napped fitfully. By the time I got dinner on the table, he was screaming non-stop. Monkey Man and I took turns pacing with him for about 30 minutes before Monkey Man asked if he could make up a bottle of formula. I agreed, convinced the child wouldn't take the bottle because he wouldn't take the breast, ergo he must not be hungry.

Or...I could be running on empty.

Cha-Cha sucked down 4 ounces of formula in about 2 minutes and then drifted off into an exhausted sleep. I was devestated. Once I got the hang of the breastfeeding thing with Quake, I could have fed a village. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be producing enough milk for Cha-Cha.

Clamping down tears, I asked my mil what could possibly be wrong. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "You're doing too much." From a woman who generally seems to think I'm a lazy bum, that's a kicker. So I'm hanging up my cape and declaring an end to my Supermom days. I'm busy feeding my baby...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My New Identity

When it comes to my preschooler, I've turned into Snappy McBitchy. Every time I hear his voice ringing through the house with, "Momma?" it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I've spent some time feeling very gulity about not giving him enough attention, but then I realized that he's getting more attention than usual. Monkey Man and I both are going out of our way to spend alone time with Quake, but he's suddenly turned into a bottomless pit of need. I know it's because of the baby. I know it's because he feels threatened and wants us all to himself. Knowing that makes it no less annoying.

And using my very best whine, "It's hard to be this tired and be nice too!" Yeah, yeah, life's hard; suck it up.

At least he's growing up in a house that will be supportive of his therapy.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Of Pop-Tarts and Potty Breaks

On hearing the news about the birth of my second son, one of my friends responded by saying, "Two boys!? You're going to be so thin!" Leaving aside the feeling that my weight has suddenly dropped to one of the last priorities in my life, I see her point. Chasing two high energy boys around is sure to blast through amazing amounts of calories.

But I'm guessing it won't do me any good unless I manage to eat something besides Pop-Tarts and McDonald's.

What I really love are all those articles on healthy eating that recommend prepping healthy snacks ahead of time so they're just as easy to grab as, say, that 5th Pop-Tart and 2nd soda of the day. Not that I actually eat like that. Not every day.

One tiny prolem with this method. It assumes that you lack time as you're running out the door (or as your newborn is screaming to be nursed, etc.), but that you can fit this activity into your schedule at some other time. I know things will not always be this crunched, but right now I don't have extra time...ever.

And even if I do manage to find myself with 45 minutes alone on Sunday afternoon, I will not be in the kitchen chopping veggies and dividing pretzels into individual serving size portions. I will be filling those precious moments with all the excitement of napping, or cutting my nails, or maybe even going to the bathroom...by myself! Just thinking about that is enough to get me through the next 15 minutes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Crazy? Probably

Am I the only person who thinks breastfed newborn poop smells vaguely of buttered popcorn?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I'm Back

Apparently all I needed to do was write a post detailing all my self-pitying feelings - I went into labor early on the morning of November 8th. Cha-Cha came into the world at 8:21 pm, Thursday, November 8th. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 21 inches long. And much to my delighted surprise, he managed to enter the world in the usual way instead of requiring surgery on my part.

I've attempted to sit down and blog at least a dozen times, and the only reason I'm managing now is because I've resigned myself to typing with 1 hand. I'd love to share more details of my successful VBAC, but that is too long a story for one handed typing. All of which is starting to sound much more sexual than intended...

I will say that recovery from vaginal birth is hundreds of times easier than recovery from being sectioned. I know there are strong opinions on the many sides of this issue, and I will refrain from getting involved in that discussion for now, but I do know for sure that there is no comparison between the recoveries.

Also, being drugged for depression before being post partum? Highly recommended for those who need it. Moments of hopelessness - usually revolving around Cha-Cha nursing for what feels like hours - but no yawning abyss of despair. Perhaps not being full of morphine and vicodin helps as well?

I even started walking again yesterday! Not too long or fast, but it's a start. One I probably could have started a week ago. And speaking of those moments of hopelessness, I always forget how healing fresh air, sunshine, and exercise can be. Especially cool, crisp, autumn (finally dammit) air.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No, Not Yet

It occurred to me that some of you might think I've had this baby since I haven't been updating. But alas, no. I also haven't weighed myself or measured my belly mostly because I'm in denial about this huge thing I have growing and growing and growing inside me. I'm also completely exhausted.

But just to give you an idea of how large I've gotten...

1. The nurses and midwives cannot hide their shock and always offer lots of sympathy.
2. A man at McDonald's last week turned abruptly and almost collided with the belly. "Whoa!" he said, in utter shock. "Sorry, I didn't see that." Other complete strangers that witnessed this couldn't help but laugh.
3. A new cashier at the grocery store asked me when I was due...while checking his watch.

I actually had a vaginal yesterday. My cervix is soft (the midwife could feel Cha-Cha's head!) but it hasn't dropped enough to even consider stripping my membranes. I have been taking black cohosh, which I might add is nasty, and I started evening primrose oil yesterday as well. Needless to say I'm a little depressed about my lack of progress since I'm having very frequent contractions that have been strong enough to wake me up some nights.

Now Monkey Man and I are starting to have serious conversations about when to schedule a c-section. They'll only let me try to labor until the 20th, and I'm not sure I want to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. Meaning I need to schedule a c-section for a few days before that, meaning I won't get my full time to try going into labor, meaning I may never get my chance at the vaginal birth that I want.

I've been fighting a lot of resistance to having a VBAC in the first place, and now I feel as if it may have all been for nothing. Can't imagine why I'm feeling down...

On the plus side, Monkey Man has been taking Quake to school this week and picking him up and working from home in the afternoons. It's been fabulous to get a little extra sleep and generally just not have to do anything in the mornings. I have to enjoy it now because no matter what, it will all be over in a week or so.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 37 Weeks

3 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 24 pounds
Tummy girth: 47.5 inches (right at belly button)

Apparently eating a diet rich in chocolate is exactly what I needed to put a stop to gaining weight. And now I know why my stomach muscles - what's left of them anyway - hurt so much. I don't even like the feel of my shirts' fabric rubbing against me. But it's not likely I'll be walking around with the ginormous belly hanging out either with all my stretch mark glory.

But I've made it! I am officially a full-term pregnancy now. If things don't start moving in the next week I'll start trying some of those folk remedies. Mostly I'm concerned about not getting a trial of labor; I'll be forced into a c-section at 41 weeks. The frequent contractions come and go, but today they started getting more intense...

I think I may have mentioned here before that my dog, bless her lovely little heart, is a bit strange. When we went to get her more food on Sunday, Monkey Man and I decided to shop for a new pillow to go inside her kennel. The old one had shrunk to half the size of the kennel, and I felt bad that she only had a blanket on the other half.

*Quick aside - who the hell makes a dog bed that's not supposed to be washed? It states clearly on the label to not wash it, which would explain the shrinkage. But really? A dog bed? That can't be washed?*

So we found a large, cheap pillow with a removable and washable cover that's even the right color to fit into our living area. I was so excited. The dog was...less excited. We almost had to carry her into the kennel Sunday night. Monday morning I had to use a leash to force her inside. This morning when I was trying to leave she was still eyeing the thing like it might suddenly jump up and bite her. Because that's happened at least, well, never.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


10 Things You've Been Putting Off (from 10 on Tuesday, archived from Sept 2007)

1. Grocery shopping
2. Showering
3. Getting ready for baby
4. Dinner
5. Getting passports for myself and Quake
6. Buying stamps
7. Making a Christmas list
8. Getting more dog food
9. Ordering photos
10. Finding a dentist and a dermatologist

It's about 4:15, and I've done exactly 2 things on my to-do list. I'd blame preschooler interference except that Quake is visiting family in another town at the moment. I did manage to watch some DVR recorded shows this morning. And take a nice long nap this afternoon. I should be thankful to have hours to fill with nothing, but of course I'm too busy being anxious about all the things I'll have to squeeze in tomorrow to make up for it. I'm such a dork.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dreams of the Dead

The other night I had a dream about my Uncle Billy who has been gone for many years. And for many years prior to that he was confined to a wheelchair and bed, a result of strokes and heart attacks. Turns out eating too much good Southern food, smoking like a chimney, and drinking far too much alcohol on a daily basis isn't all that good for you health. I don't often dream of the dead, and I tend to treasure those few dreams.

My Uncle Billy, aka Fat Man, was a larger than life character to me. He threw his vices around like they were virtues. He cursed freely - then always apologized for doing so but you knew he didn't really mean it. He made big promises I knew he wouldn't keep, but the words themselves made me feel better (he promised me my own white Stetson when I became enamoured of his; he gave me his card and promised to pick me up at the airport in Dallas if I ever need to escape from my parents). My dad's family has produced more than its share of storytellers - a tendency I've inherited but perhaps without the talent - and Billy was the loudest, most outrageous of them all.

In my dream he was talking to my dad, his "baby brother". And when I approached them, he hugged me, told me he'd missed me and loved me. He suggested that we needed to spend more time together. He was himself but perhaps toned down a bit from my childhood memories of him. It was such a little thing, not some big production, but it made me feel happy when I woke up, like maybe, just maybe Uncle Billy is watching out for me. Even if it's only from a perch in my own memory.

Illness update: Took Quake to the doctor Tuesday morning - he has strep throat!

Pregnancy Issues: Coffee suddenly tastes better than my beloved tea. Wtf?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 36 Weeks

4 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 24 pounds
Tummy girth: 46 inches (right at belly button)

Still packing on the pounds - I give up. I think for breakfast I'll skip the oatmeal and just eat half a pan of the spiced pumpkin chocolate chip bars I made last night (what's not to love about a dessert recipe that includes the justification of "it has vegetables in it!"). Although the constipation theory wasn't all wrong last week - I did spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom last Tuesday. Monkey Man would also like to add that I did not include the 1/2-inch of my actual belly button sticking out in my tummy measurement. Perhaps he needs a laxative with his coffee this morning?

I had my prenatal class last night and even the midwives and nurses couldn't contain their comments about my ginormous belly. My fundal height (that's how big my uterus is getting) is measuring exactly on time so it's not that the baby is outrageously huge. Apparently I just carry my pregnancy all out in front. Like a 24 pound medicine ball glued to my tummy that I have waddle around.

The baby has dropped further into my pelvis. That and my intense and frequent contractions has one of the midwives guessing that I'll go early. From her mouth to the gods' ears. Not that I'm complaining. I'm letting go. I'm breathing into the moment.

Kept Quake home from school yesterday to see if a little rest would help him feel better. Right. It's a good theory for a child like I was. When I was home sick I would happily stay on the couch all day drinking fluids, watching TV, and reading. But three and a half years is apparently not enough time for me to figure out that this child is nothing like I was. He was so excited to watch TV. For about 6 minutes. Then he was off looking for trouble. But it was obvious by late yesterday afternoon that he was developing pink eye so it's a good thing I did keep him home. Now I have to call him in sick to school again today and hope that I can get him in to see his doctor. And of course stop by the pharmacy to pick up a packet of Airborne in a desperate attempt to not catch any of his sickness myself. Because that, that would really piss me off.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snotty Noses and Contractions

Woke up at an ungodly hour again last night. Quake was tossing around and then said in the world's quietest whisper, "Need to blow my nose." Seriously, during the night he says things that I swear are just above the audible threshold. The rest of the time he keeps his voice at just below shrieking. He belongs to me and Monkey Man afterall.

So my mommy duty done, I snuggled under the covers to try to get back to sleep. Even the ever hot, sweaty pregnant woman needs at least a sheet at 70. Then the contractions started. Four of them in about 10 minutes. Uh-oh. I had to get up and walk around, drink a glass of water, generally hope something would help. Not that I wouldn't mind this baby coming a bit early, but I'd like to wait at least a week so I'd be considered full term. Once things settled down I fell asleep on the couch again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dreamy Thoughts

I couldn't sleep last night despite being exhausted. I had a terrible headache and every time I went into a prone position I would throw up a little bit in my mouth. So I popped half a Unisom, sat on the couch in the dark until it took hold, and then spent the night there on the couch. I actually like sleeping on our couch; it's way more comfortable than our needs-to-be-replaced mattress, and there is no preschooler smothering me. I dreamt of coyotes yipping and howling in the night. Of course the windows were open last night so that may not have been a dream at all.

I'm trying not to complain about the indigestion and headache and exhaustion even though complaining is something I do so very well. I'm trying to just accept what's happening to my body in these last few weeks of pregnancy. Many years ago, while still living in the Silicon Valley, I had the opportunity to take a self-actualization class with this amazing woman. The two most important things I took away from her class were 1)trust your instincts, and 2)an introduction to Tao.

The instinct thing...I'm still pretty terrible at it and forget to do a gut check pretty much all the time.

But Tao is something that keeps coming up in my life over and over again. So much so that even I, she who forgets she has an instinct and overthinks everything instead, has had to take notice. It's popped up again recently, and I suddenly feel that I need to try to be in the moment instead of fighting so hard. I spend too much energy wishing this baby would come early, feeling miserable and beaten for being in pain, beating myself up for not being that perfect, blissful image of mom and pregnant woman that I carry around in my head. God, she's a bitch.

Right now I have an almost overwhelming urge to curl up on the couch and disconnect from so much of life. I want to cocoon - flip through magazines, try to read (I suddenly can't concentrate even on my guilty pleasure books), nap, snack, maybe watch a movie, maybe journal a bit. I don't want to run errands or cook dinner or do laundry. I don't want to be distracted from the last bit of time I'll have with this child that is just him and me.

Of course that's not realistic. Things still need to get done. I still have another child and a husband who both need attention and can't carry the household load alone. I still have obligations. Here I smile to myself and think of a line from Illusions by Richard Bach - the best way to avoid obligation is to say I have obligations.

So I'm taking a deep breath (hey, that's not so easy with a baby pushing into your lungs), and just going with the moment. Today I need to get snacks for tomorrow's prenatal class. Today I need to do one load of laundry. I do not need to worry about volunteering at the school tomorrow, if I'll have the energy to meet friends on Wednesday, or even if I'll sleep well tonight. The time will come for those things and the time comes for all things.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 35 Weeks

5 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 22 pounds

Tummy girth: 46 inches (right at belly button)

How is it possible to eat practically nothing and gain 2 pounds in a week?! I'm blaming constipation. I haven't pooped in 4 days - ran out of the corn chowder - so I must be retaining every bite that I've eaten. And that new inch around my belly? I feel every millimeter of stretch in that puppy.

I have started preparing for the baby though. Monkey Man pulled out all the boxes of Quake's baby things, and I started going through them. I even washed a load of 0-3 month sized clothes as well as changing pad covers and co-sleeper sheets. And the preschooler finally prevailed at Target, forcing me to go down every aisle in the baby section and explain all the things he didn't understand. He also insisted on a package of diapers and a box of wipes. At least someone is watching out for the new arrival.

In other news, some of you may remember me complaining about being bored with my life here. I really shouldn't talk about these things because apparently Someone. Is. Listening. My husband is once again being recruited for another job. I'm delighted to know that he is so highly sought after! But I'm not so sure about actually moving again. I made him promise when we moved to San Diego that we would stay for at least 5 years. That didn't happen. I wanted the same promise when we moved back to Tucson. At least I was smart enough by then to know it was pointless. But I still hoped.

It's still way way way way too early to even be stressing about the possibility, but dammit, it takes my mind off the pregnancy and birth thing I've got going on. I know I should listen to my gut. Too bad there's so much interference on that line...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tummy Tues...er, Wednesday - 34 Weeks

6 weeks to go! (Technically 5 weeks and 6 days since it's Wednesday)
Weight gain: 20 pounds
Tummy girth: 45 inches (right at belly button)

I make myself feel better by saying I have "3 weeks until a full term baby!" Which of course means I'll probably be 40 weeks and 6 days when I go into labor. At 41 weeks they'll force me into another c-section so I'm trying to be really positive. We all know that's not easy for the cranky pregnant lady.

Went on a tour of the hospital Monday night (as a VBAC patient I can't deliver at the birth center). The labor and delivery rooms are really quite nice. The recovery rooms...not so much. All the more reason to make sure I get this baby out vaginally - I do not want to spend 48 to 72 hours in that recovery room.

Dr Magic and I will once again be spending some quality time together over the next few weeks. My pain level has risen drastically, as if the Pain, angry at being sent away, has decided to return with a vengence. Yippee. The consensus among Dr Magic and some other peoples "in the know" is that the structural strangeness in my hips that causes the pain, may also have contributed to my labor failures during Quake's birth. Oh yes, Dr Magic is about to become my new best friend...

Other than my wild fear of having another c-section and complaining bitterly about my pain, I have done pretty much nothing to prepare for this baby. My mom sent us new crib bedding a few weeks ago, and my mother-in-law recently sent us a mobile and matching curtains. I have managed to open and unpack those boxes. I justify this by saying that we'll be cosleeping anyway so the crib doesn't have to be ready right away. Which in no way explains why I haven't unpacked the cosleeper and washed those sheets. Or why I haven't pulled out the other boxes of baby stuff to see what I have and what else I might need. Or why I can't seem to make myself go through the baby section at Target even though my preschooler is already insisting that the baby needs diapers.

On the dietary front, I have made the satisfying discovery that all that extra iron is simply no match for my homemade corn chowder. Need to make an extra batch to have in reserve in case I do have a c-section - can't go home until I poop? No problem!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 33 Weeks

7 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 20 pounds
Tummy girth: 45 inches (right at belly button)

And I'm still packing on the pounds! I've reached that point in the pregnancy. You know the one. It's where you tell people how many more weeks you have, and even though they try really hard to hide it, you can't help but notice the look of terror that passes over their face. It's the look that says, "Dear God, she's actually going to get bigger?!" The look that says, "She's carrying twins, right? Right?!"

I'll work on getting some photos posted so you too can stare in shock and amazement at my gigantic belly.

It's also the point in the pregnancy where I feel like I'm done. I realize the calendar doesn't agree with me, but that doesn't matter. Because I'm done with being pregnant. I told a woman yesterday that I had, "a few more weeks, well, seven actually." She laughed and said, "A few is more like 2 or 3 weeks, but you tell yourself whatever you need to to cope!" She has a newborn so she understands.

In other parenting news, Monkey Man took Quake to school for the first time today. So it's after 9:30, and I'm still in my pjs. I'm not a morning person; I love a nice slow start to my day...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Officially Just a Chaffeur

I lolled about in bed this morning enjoying my cuddle time with preschooler and husband because I assumed the husband would be taking the preschooler to school. He told me yesterday that he'd arranged his schedule to be pretty much 9 - 4 all this week. Apparently in my overwhelming sense of relief and hope I missed him saying, "Except on Monday morning." When I hurried out of bed, cursing the fact that I was now late, he told me I had plenty of time. Because getting Q and myself ready and off to school all by myself for the last two weeks hasn't taught me how much time I need for these activities.

After assuring Q that I would watch him for a few minutes before leaving (he requests this every school morning), I was refused a hug and kiss. Is he really already old enough to not want a display of affection from his momma at school? I thought I had at least another 6 or 7 years! But my heartbreak wasn't over - turns out all my kisses are yucky all the time now. Haven't had a preschooler kiss since lolling in bed this morning...

Took the dog to the vet today. She has some sort of infection in one of her ears that may or may not be related to allergies. When looking up "timid" in the dictionary, you will find a picture of our dog. She is afraid of just about everything. When we walked in the door, she had her tail tucked so far under her butt, she almost couldn't walk. Then she proceeded to shed enough hair to fur a chihuahua. And not one of those tiny ones. At least she doesn't pee when she's terrified - but that's only because she has some sort of OCD thing about not letting anyone see her pee. Or poop. And she'd really rather you pretended you couldn't see her eating, thank you very much.

I guess it all boils down to life returning pretty much to normal around here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cooler Days

I spent the early part of last week pretending the weather had changed, but I don't have to pretend anymore. We kept the windows open most of the day, and it was really quite nice. Fresh air is always so welcome after the long summer months of suffocating heat.

I sense lots of oatmeal in my future. Is it wrong to be so excited about oatmeal? It strikes me as a little strange. Maybe it's a pregnancy thing. Or an I-take-so-much-iron-I-can't-have-a-normal-movement thing.

Boy, I overshare one time and suddenly it seems perfectly natural to discuss my potty issues. Let's just say that I've come to view popcorn consumption as "preventative medicine".

Monkey Man made it home, by the way. He even seems to be re-adjusting to the time zone amazingly well. Perhaps he replaced himself with a robot model while in Asia? I'm more exhausted than he is. The dog is mad because she's back to spending her nights in her kennel, but I swear my cats are happy to see him. They're happy to see the man who said we'd never live together until I got rid of my cats. The man who curses them and kicks them off the bed. The man who has threatened to "accidentally" leave the front door open so they can "accidentally" get lost or run over.

See? Having cats is a lot like having kids - no appreciation. I love them, but they can really piss me off sometimes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Final Countdown

The Endurance Test is now being measured in hours instead of days! I got a call from Monkey Man last night just after 9; he was at the airport and turning in his rented phone (his doesn't work in Japan). I expect him to be pulling into the garage within the next 10 hours!

Last week went pretty well, but we just survived this week. Quake threw tantrums left and right, and I was just desperate to get some sleep and a few moments away from him. Have you ever spent 13 days with another human being 24/7? And of course if I'd been with another adult I could have stolen some moments for myself by going grocery shopping or taking an extra long time in the bathroom, but that's not an option with a preschooler. I locked the bathroom door yesterday, and you would have thought he was being beaten by the sound of him screaming when he couldn't get in. Not exactly the quiet moment alone that I was hoping for.

On the subject of my other child - I have started to swell up like a ballpark frank. My toes and feet look like little sausages, and I swear I'm developing cankles. I never retained water with my first pregnancy so I'm unprepared. And it brings on a strange dilemma. I want to kick back and keep my feet up in a desperate attempt to retain some shape to my legs. I also want to stay as forward as possible, even hanging out on my hands and knees periodically, to encourage the baby to be in the correct birthing position (Q's posterier position contributed to some of my problems laboring). Maybe I'll just concentrate on eating massive amounts of watermelon (it's supposed to be a diruetic)...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If You're Afraid Of TMI - Stop Reading!

I've been debating with myself (as there are no other adults in the house) since Monday night about sharing a certain story here. It's kind of creepy, icky, and embarrassing so it's perfect for a blog! But then there's the creepy, icky, embarrassing thing, and oh, what the hell. The three or four of you who read this regularly will hopefully be amused and not offended...

I had a growth. On my girly parts.

About the time I got pregnant I noticed what seemed to be a larger-than-normal skin tag sort of thing on my...things. When I had my pelvic, the midwife took a look at it and said, "Yep, looks like a skin tag gone a little wild." She said not to worry about it.

A few months pass and my body becomes a seething mass of all sorts of hormonal madness. What with the constant vomiting and all, I failed to keep track of my little tag for awhile. One day I look down, and I swear the thing had started taking steroids. Which considering the amount of hormonal chaos in my body, it pretty much had.

And just because you know this story isn't complete without this sort of detail - the growth never really got thicker, just longer. It never got quite as thick as a pencil, but it did manage to stretch about 2 inches. Monkey Man started threatening to name it. I told him that all the testosterone in the house was causing me to grow my own damn penis. I was actually thankful when my belly got too big to see around - as long as I didn't have my glasses on when I looked in the mirror, I could contentedly pretend it wasn't there! I even refused to trim on the very sound basis that it would just make the thing look bigger.

Cut to my prenatal visit on Monday night. I ask the midwife (a different one) to take a look at my soon-to-be-named growth and let me know if there's anything that can be done before the baby comes. Anything. Please. She tells me she removed a similar "polyp" (can we stick with growth because that really sounds icky) from another patient just a week prior and offers to snip snip right then and there.

And while the sound of scissors clipping away in the numbed vicinity of my most treasured body parts was just a wee bit disconcerting, I am now happily growth free. Happy but just a tad uncomfortable; it's a little ouchy when I change positions and the underwear rubs against the snipped part. They are sending the thing to pathology just to be safe, but all the medical types seem to be in agreement that it's just one of those weird but harmless, you know, things.

And as long as I'm oversharing, here's a thought - the growth was bald (pretty much a miracle in itself since Monkey Man isn't the only furball in the house). I wonder if I'll have a bald spot after it heals up...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 32 Weeks

8 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 18 pounds
Tummy girth: 44 inches (right at belly button)

Whoa, starting to pack on the pounds! I've got that problem where I'm looking for something specific to eat, but I don't know what it is. I end up eating lots of things that aren't quite what I want, and since the craving isn't satisfied, I try something else. Perhaps I should not do so much of that. What could it be that I'm craving?

The Endurance Test is going well although I found out on Sat that it's 13 days, not 12. Monkey Man won't be home until Saturday. Which I can clearly see on my calendar at this very moment, but apparently I wanted to believe he'd be home Friday.

I woke up Sunday anticipating feeling much better because Quake seemed to be feeling better. I was so disappointed at waking up feeling worse that I proceeded to break down completely. But sobbing in anger and frustration and exhaustion seems to propel me to do housework so at least the dishes got done.

I still feel crappy physically, but I've recovered emotionally. What other option is there? Becoming a parent severely limits one's options in more ways than one. I've harbored a lot of anger at my mother over the years because of her frightening ability to always get it all done. I felt I could never live up to the example that she set. And really? I can't. But I am starting to appreciate her attempts to toughen me up; those lessons are finally coming in handy. It also makes me wonder if her lack of warmth is just her sucking it up and powering through. Life never really lets us stop learning, does it?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Silly Names

Along the lines of naming, I stumbled across this on the internet yesterday...

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Juliet Vue

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Sweet Cream Meringue

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
L-Atch (went with the (not official) married name because I liked it better)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Magenta Tiger

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Elaine San Antonio

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Blue Martini

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Jack Richard

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Shalimar Truffle

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Jean Alford (no seriously, that’s his middle name)

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Hoile Hannover (I think that was her name anyway...)

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Gerber

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Raspberry Shorty

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Sherbet Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Scrappin’ Monsoon Tour

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What Is In A Name?

I think the only bad part of having another boy is knowing I'll never be able to use any of the girl names that I picked out. Those names have all moved into the fantasy realm for me. Maybe if I actually starting, you know, writing the stories that I compose in my head, I could use some of them as character names.

An idea that got me thinking...if you could rename yourself, what name would you pick?

I've always liked my first name. It's quite pretty, and, at least when and where I grew up, it was also unusual. Unusual seemed to fit me well, but as I got older it sometimes struck me as too...pretty, soft, feminine.

I developed a fantasy name for myself as early as junior high; I had a secret desire to be called by my last name. It probably started because that's what my much admired older brother was called by his friends. Even today my internal voice calls me this, and I often indulge the fantasy by giving this name at restaurants and coffee shops.

The irony of course is that all the baby girl names I picked out were unabashedly feminine. I'm particularly fond of the fusty old grandma names. But when I started to think about renaming myself, I couldn't imagine any of these refering to me. Instead I'd want to be a Kennedy or a Davis or a Bennett - something masculine and last-namish. I'm sure this preference speaks volumes about my gender identity issues!

What about you? What name would you choose for yourself if you could? Do you think that choice says something about your personality?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cooler Days...Next Month?

Ah, it's finally getting cool enough to have oatmeal for breakfast. Um, yeah, not really. But it makes me feel better to pretend.

Despite having a cold, Q and I are slogging through the Endurance Test quite well. We even spent quality time at the golf course yesterday. Only 7 more days to go! Riddle me this - the preschooler goes to school; he gets exposed to all the germs first hand. He gets a little cough; I get a full blown cold. Explain.

Monkey Man keeps telling me it's allergies. I keep telling him that I don't have allergies.

We risked exposing other moms and kiddos to a possible cold though to attend our usual Friday playgroup. I wouldn't have been able to handle another day alone with the boy. He's utterly delightful and utterly exhausting. Now if I could just figure out what to do with him on Monday night (prenatal class) and Tuesday night (parent-teacher meetings at school) since my babysitter is busy with cross-country practice and homework and you know, being a teenager. Damn her.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 31 Weeks

9 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 16 pounds
Tummy girth: 44 inches (right at belly button)

Well at least the measurements fit how I feel this week - enormous. We're talking beached whale proportions. All but one or two of my maternity shirts are already starting to ride up in front. At this rate, within the next few weeks my buddha will be hanging out for everyone to see. I've also managed to pull out most of the stitching on one of my smocked shirts. Because while the belly is the most obvious and frighteningly huge thing about me, my boobs are getting completely out of control as well.

My need for the joy that is Dr Magic has diminished - I didn't go at all last week, and the hips still feel good. I have been dealing with some pretty intense round ligament pain on my right side that I think started because of twisting around in the car to talk to or hand stuff to my preschooler. Maybe I should stop doing that.

Quake and I are doing pretty well on our second day of the Endurance Test. The dishes need to get gone and I'm pretty sure we'll be eating mostly frozen pizza and McDonald's for the next week, but I did manage to get the trash bins in last night.

Oh my! I believe this is my 100th post!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Endurance Test Begins

This morning my Monkey Man left the house at an ungodly hour to get on a series of planes that will deposit him in China within the next 24 hours. He travels regularly, although not constantly, for work so this is really nothing new. What is new is that he'll be gone for 12 days. 12 days!

Let me be perfectly clear - single parents are my heros. I've only had to pull single parent duty for a few days, maybe a week, at a time, and I am not cut out for that kind of responsibility and work. I've been quite anxious about getting through these next 12 days without going completely insane.

Cuddling in bed last night, Monkey Man tells me he knows I'm anxious about it, but he's not really too worried about me. He tells me I'm a tough broad, that I've made it through worse. This made me laugh. I hadn't thought about it with that sort of perspective, but I have slogged my way through worse situations. Today I seem to have tapped into that reserve of confidence that I often forget I have at my disposal.

Isn't it funny how just the right words, at just the right moment, can completely change your view? So it's not poetry and breakfast in bed, but I'll take it. Of course it is only day 1...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 30 Weeks

10 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 15 pounds
Tummy girth: 43.5 inches (right at belly button)

This is about the time in my last pregnancy that I started to wonder, "What the fuck have I gotten myself into?" I pretty much feel the same way now too. It's always disconcerting to find yourself halfway down the bungee jump with no where else to go but down and realize you're the only person you can blame for making the leap.

Monkey Man took Quake dove hunting on Saturday morning, his first real hunting experience. Q loved it. I always imagined my true love would be some bookish intellectual type who would read me poetry after serving me breakfast in bed. Life is strange.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Hormonal Madness Begins

I did not have bangs this morning when I
woke up. I did not visit a salon between
getting up and now. Yes, it's true. I have
once again started hacking off my own hair.
Come October it will be one year since my
last professional haircut. I avoid going
because it doesn't look horrible, and I have
no idea what I want done with it. Oh, and
I'm cheap.
Recently I took some time to flip through a few of those hairstyle magazines. I found nothing, nothing, nothing, that I liked. I didn't even swoon over any of the styles that would be impossible for me to pull off. Because really, if you can't fall madly in love with a hairstyle that requires genetic engineering to change the thickness and texture of your hair, what can you fall in love with?
I'd been toying with the idea of bangs for at least a few weeks. Then last night I had a dream that I'd already cut them. And, hey! If that isn't a hormonally induced incentive to get snippin' then I don't know what is.
Monkey Man is going to roll his eyes so hard you'll probably be able to hear it in China.
Btw, Quake, having slept with us last night, rolled over this morning and asked, "Can I go to school today?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Preschool Blues

Here's a quick rundown of how our first week of preschool went:

Monday, Day One.
Q begins crying before we leave the house. I carry him to the car and hold him down so I can get his seatbelt on. He cries for most of the 35 min drive. He refuses to get out of the car. I carry him to his classroom door. I hug and kiss him, tell him I love him. He asks if I'll be back later to pick him up. I promise to pick him up, give him one last kiss and hand him off to his teacher. He is still sobbing. A number of mothers offer their support and sympathy as we all walk to our cars. After I turn on my air conditioning I call Monkey Man and cry too. When I pick him up, Q says he had fun.

Tuesday, Day Two.
As I'm getting stuff together to leave, Q begins to cry. He throws himself on my bed and says he needs to take a nap first. I carry him to the car. He tells me he didn't have fun at school yesterday. I tell him I'm sorry and hope that he'll have a better day today. He calms down and tells me he will have a better day. As I take the last turn toward school he starts crying again. He stops crying by the time we park. I take him into his classroom so he can show me where he puts his sun hat. We repeat the hugs, kisses, I-love-yous, and promises to be back later. He seems ok, and I leave the classroom secretly thinking, "Victory!" Just before I get to the school yard gate, Q throws open the door to his classroom, screaming and sobbing. His teacher leads him back inside, and I spend the next few hours feeling like some sort of evil person. When I pick him up, he says he had fun.

Wednesday, Day Three.
Q keeps repeating all morning, "I don't want to go to school." I try to talk about other things. I point out all the older kids walking to schools we pass during our drive. I walk him into his classroom, help him change his shoes. As I go for my hugs and kisses, he turns around and starts toward one of the little girls to see what she's doing. I grab him anyway. There is a tiny look of anxiety on his sweet face as I wave from the door. I practically run for the gate in case his repeats the screaming from the door trick. When I pick him up, he smiles and seems pleased, but he doesn't fling himself at me like the last two days. Then he asks if we can stay for a little longer so he can play in the sandbox for a bit. He says he had fun.

It was worse and better than I imagined. Which pretty much sums up most of my parenting experiences.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 29 Weeks

11 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 15 pounds
Tummy girth: 43 inches (right at belly button)

It seems weird to have lost an inch in my belly, doesn't it? I'll blame it on inconsistent measuring. Or perhaps the baby weight is slowly migrating to my ass?

I'm feeling much better psychologically. Pain management can really do wonders. And of course Q starting preschool has made me quite busy - always a good antidote to depression.

Eleven weeks until my due date. I've been trying to read lots of good stories about good birthing experiences so I can feel more confident about my ability to do this the way I'd like to. I just finished reading this book. I knew there were lots of things broken in our maternity care in the US, but I don't think I realized how crazy things had gotten. The one thing that really made me angry was learning about all the risks associated with multiple c-sections. When I mentioned that I was thinking about a VBAC, a number of professionals were quick to point out the risk of uterine rupture. But not one person, not one, has ever mentioned to me that there were risks with multiple c-sections or what those risks might be. It's appalling that in this age of unprecedented equality so many doctors still feel justified in treating women, especially pregnant women, like ignorant children. The medical system in general just makes me so mad!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Magic Is Back!

Dr. Magic is back in the house! His wife finally had her baby (a 4.5 hour homebirth - she's my hero) so he's back to adjusting...well, backs. The pain is once again tolerable, and I'm seriously considering the idea that Dr. Magic may be the Devil. In which case I'll be ready to sign over my soul any day now.

I also finally let my Monkey Man know that despite the apparent shiny-happy gleam I've been managing to convey, that I am really only keeping up the appearance of keeping my shit together.

This seems like it should be such a no-brainer - you start falling off the deep end, you tell your devoted and loving spouse that you need help. Yeah, right. Then how could I warm my aching soul with my burning rage? And how could I justify being all bitchy and snide and feeling superior because I'm obviously the only person making real sacrifices for this family? And what kind of a husband is he if he can't read my mind already? Jeez.

I think maybe I might need to read this book. Not that I actually "need" help, but you know I am always trying to expand my knowledge base. Learning is good.

Amazing what a good cry in the arms of a loved one and a couple of great chiropractic adjustments can do for your mood. Doesn't hurt that it's Friday (I can sleep in tomorrow - you know, at least after I get up to pee) or that I had a cleaning lady come today (so we're no longer slogging through drifts of animal hair to get from room to room).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Call Me Mr. Ed

If I were a horse, someone would shoot me.

The pain in my hips flared to a solid 9 yesterday. I'll be heading back to the chiropractor tomorrow morning. If that doesn't help, I may have to take to my bed for the duration. At least it's raining again this afternoon.

On a happy note, Quake started preschool yesterday!

Some of the other parents had been chatting at the open house on Tuesday about how hard it was going to be watching their babies start school. I decided I must be some sort of evil mom because I was delighted! Well it turned out to be more emotional than I'd thought it would be. I skipped, well waddled slowly while grinding my teeth, to the car and then realized that I had no idea what to do with myself for the next 2.5 hours.

According to the teacher, Quake cried a little at the beginning (I'm assuming he started as soon as he turned around and realized I was gone) but once that was over, had a great time. He told me he liked it and wants to go back. I guess we'll see on Monday. How heartbroken will I be if he decides to pitch a fit on Monday when I leave? This parenting thing gets more complicated all the time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 28 Weeks

12 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 14 pounds
Tummy girth: 44 inches (right at belly button)

Definitely coming into the home stretch. I have my glucose tolerance test on Thursday - not looking forward to it, but I suppose it has to be done. Still fighting some pain in my hips with the help of another chiropractor. Can you believe Dr. Magic has abandoned me so he can be home with his family while they welcome their newest member? Jeez, the nerve.

The cold made me utterly miserable all weekend, but I'm feeling much better now. Just mostly dead, not totally dead.

I still think I may be spiralling downward in a psychological sense. The only two emotions I seem able to feel at the moment are 1) a bizarrely disconnected sense of hopelessness, and 2) rage. Now of course is exactly when the more cautious mother would be weaning off her antidepressants in order to avoid any withdrawal symptoms in the baby. And I get to contemplate the pros and cons of upping my dose! While in an already compromised mental state!

I'm going to wait until my next midwife appointment (next Monday) to make any decisions. My cold should be over by then so hopefully just not being utterly drained physically will help me feel better emotionally. And if not...well what is motherhood without a few extra doses of guilt?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Love My Chiropractor

So this week started out really awful.

As I mentioned in Tuesday's post, the pain in my hips had continued to escalate. I'm pretty grumpy anyway, and pregnancy doesn't do much for my mood. Add chronic and intense pain, and even I don't want to spend time with me.

Then I went to the chiropractor again.

I would offer him my undying love if he weren't already married to a beautiful and amazing woman who is currently about to have her own child. Seriously, she's 42 weeks today. The series of adjustments he did on Wednesday made it possible for me to walk without grinding my teeth! It also made me so tired that I went to bed at 7:30. After my 2 hour nap. And only because I was embarrassed to go to bed earlier.

I went back on Thursday because I couldn't get enough of Dr. Magic. Although when he used this little hammer thingy to make an adjustment on my pubic bone, he became not-my-new-best-friend for a few moments. Pain...almost gone. I was supposed to go again yesterday, but I had tons of errands to run and somehow the time just got away from me. After all the walking I did Thursday and yesterday, the pain is flaring again, but it's still at a 4 compared to Wednesday's 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Woo-hoo!

At the moment we are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Q's preschool teacher. She likes to do a home visit with every student before school starts so the children meet her on their turf and can tell her all about their favorite things. I think that's so great. It makes me feel really confident in my choice of preschool.

And yet...I can't help feeling like she's going to be looking through our cabinets and fridge and books and well, everything, and then telling us what awful parents we are and what we should be doing differently. I know it's irrational. Can I blame it on pregnancy hormones? Could the fact that she's a preschool teacher and has a much better education than me (hello, masters from Harvard?) have anything to do with it?

Oh yeah. And I managed to pick up a cold. Because the vague discomforts (and some not so vague) of pregnancy apparently aren't making me miserable enough. Bah.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 27 Weeks

13 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 13 pounds
Tummy girth: 43 inches (right at belly button)

I have to admit to being terrified of getting on the scale this morning. By all physical indications I had yet again managed to pile on a few extra pounds. My hip pain has become unbearable at times, my maternity shirts are starting to get snug, and I managed to eat almost an entire cherry pie by myself this weekend.

I've lost 2 pounds.

Perhaps that has something to do with the ever decreasing abdominal space left over for my stomach? At this rate, in the next few weeks I'll only be able to eat a few bites at a time. It might also be reflective of my mood; chronic pain is not a happy place to be. But it does make me more likely to continue sitting on the couch rather than get up to get (yet another) piece of pie.

My mind is also starting to fill with all sorts of doubts about my ability to birth this baby naturally. I didn't have many doubts last time; I really believed in my body's ability to do the job. That didn't work out so well. So now I'm wondering if I'm not completely insane for even attempting this. It would be so much easier to just schedule a c-section.

Fear and chronic pain are nibbling away at my ability to think rationally. I think I'll go bake a loaf of bread (cooking seems to be my favorite nesting activity, which will seem truly bizarre to most of you). I'm sure I'll fee better after eating slices of warm, fresh bread covered in butter.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hello? Monsoon?

What the hell happened to my monsoon?
10% chance of rain today? We haven't had
rain in days. It's actually gotten over 100
the last few days. What's happening?!
I know most of you, who don't live in
the Tucson desert, probably find it ironic
that I'm complaining about the heat in
August, but this is usually our coolest
summer month. Last year, while the rest
of you were suffering through record
temps, we barely broke 95 all through
the month of August.
I want my rain back!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Things I Loved This Week

Groovy wallpaper at Target.com
Don't think I could ever commit to wallpaper, but I'm thinking some of these might be perfect for creating some one-of-a-kind art for the walls. I could glue it to a large canvas for a mural or use it as background for a series of shadowboxes.

West Nile vs Chicken Pox vs A Parent's Sanity
It's so nice to know that I am not alone in my parent frustration

Missing Pregnancy
A good reminder to keep enjoying the benefits while I can. And to ask for more back rubs.

All Modern Wal-Mart?
It looks like modern design has truly become mainstream. Those of us who love the look but can't afford it, suddenly have some new resources!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Room

This is your room. It's a comfortable room. It's the room where you spend most of your life, and it is filled with all that is you.

Some days the light dims a little. Your room feels a little dark. But you don't worry about it because you know that some days are just darker than others. Tomorrow there will be more light again.

Sometimes the light continues to dim by just a little tiny bit every day. Sometimes it happens so slowly you don't even realize it's getting darker. It's harder to do some things, but you make adjustments. And you know this is only temporary. Tomorrow or the next day or maybe the next, there will be light again.

One day your spouse or a friend or a coworker points out that your room seems dark, seems like it's been dark for quite awhile now. This might suprise you. Perhaps you didn't notice how dark it was. Perhaps you didn't know that others might notice. You tell this person not to worry. You know all sorts of tricks to get the light brighter. You're working on it. It will be better soon.

Then one day you wake up and there is no light. You admonish yourself not to panic. You feel your way around the walls for the window, for the door. After the first lap around your room, you take a few more, slowing down each time, convinced you have just missed the way out, convinced you are not trapped.

But the dark eats at your confidence. Soon the panic and fear have their way with you, and you are trapped. Perhaps more surely trapped by these feelings than by the dark room. None of the tricks you have learned over the years will bring back the light. You suddenly know, know to your core, that there will never be light in this room again. You are lost.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 26 Weeks

14 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 15 pounds
Tummy girth: 43 inches (right at belly button)

So it seems that I can watch my diet carefully and put on obscene amounts of weight (another 4 pounds in 1 week!) or I can eat whatever the hell I want and put on obscene amounts of weight. Hmmmm, that's a tough one.

Sleeping well is becoming some sort of distantly remembered thing. I know I used to do it, but I can't quite remember what it felt like.

The worst part is that I'm watching myself become one of those hollow-eyed moms. I know you've seen them at the mall or the grocery store or maybe even the park. Their kid is running around, full of energy, chattering away, but instead of interacting, this mom stares off into the middle distance, looking as if she's fantasizing about getting her teeth cleaned. Because that would be worlds better than being anywhere near the child.

When I start making noises about wanting a third child, someone, anyone, please point me back to these pages...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Free To Do What I Want

What a crazy weather day. It's supposed to get to 82, but since it's already after 3 I don't think we'll break the current 77. It's August. In Tucson. It's been raining all day. After the boy and I got home from errands this morning, I made hot chocolate. It has been a blissful break from the heat.

This weekend I got a different kind of break. I went to Phoenix Friday evening. Alone. A whole different kind of bliss. Not only did I get away from the toddler for 24 hours, I got to spend those hours in the company of funny, creative, intelligent people.

You forget what it's like to have conversations that aren't interrupted by, "Mom!" every few minutes. I ate without the need to share. I sat down for incredibly long stretches of time. I used foul language with abandon. I stayed up way past my bed time. I never once worried about anyone else's bathroom breaks.

And when my 24 hours was over, I realized why I'm so damn tired all the time. My toddler is the Tazmanian Devil. Only 2 weeks and 2 days until preschool. Only 2 weeks and 2 days...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Well Balanced Diet...

...apparently includes corn syrup Monster shapes
in shades of blue, red, green, purple, yellow,
and pink. Because that's what the toddler and
I ate for a snack this afternoon.

Oh no, not just a packet. Not just a packet each.
Oh no, we ate the whole box. The. Whole. Box.

Wait, wait, let me check...no, no, nope. Not on the
gestational diabetes diet food list. But tasty.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 25 Weeks

15 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 11 pounds
Tummy girth: 41 inches (right at belly button)

Only 1 pound gained this week - better than 4! But I don't feel well. I'm so tired that I need to nap after taking a shower. Getting any kind of exercise makes me so sleepy that I'm afraid to drive. I'm already taking extra iron because I was anemic during my last pregnancy. Last night the midwife recommended an herbal supplement that I'll go pick up today. We'll see if that helps.

I'm also changing my diet. My gestational diabetes test is scheduled in 3 weeks. I asked to have it sooner since gd can cause fatigue, but the midwife said it wouldn't be helpful (if it came back negative I'd have to do it again anyway). Well I don't need an actual diagnosis to follow dietary guidelines for diabetics. It can't hurt.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I Don't Really Like You Either

My in-laws visited over the weekend. Which is great, really. I love having people at the house, and it's even better when those people want to whisk away the toddler for hours at a time. But...

The toddler didn't have a nap for two days.

The kid's a high energy spazz so it doesn't seem to be a big problem. Until Mommy tries to put him down for a nap today. Much weeping, screaming, and gnashing of the teeth. From both of us. But my favorite part?

"You don't love me anymore!"

Wow. That's a new one. I guess since the standard, "I don't like you anymore," was still failing to get the response he was hoping for, he was forced to bring out the big guns.

I wonder how old he'll be before he realizes that despite my reassurances to the contrary, I'm not a big fan of the screaming, snotty monster who refuses to nap. If my life is any indication he'll be about 35.

And to those of you who think maybe he didn't really need the nap...he slept for almost 3 hours. No, he wasn't tired at all!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Smells Like Toddler Spirit

Warning! Toddlers can smell weakness!

I haven't had a great week. I've been super tired, like first trimester tired, and even with a daily nap I've been struggling to get through my days. I feel like a zombie. I probably look a bit like a zombie. A well fed zombie but still.

I had a number of errands to run Friday morning so the toddler and I packed up and headed out, shopping list in hand. I should have known better.

My usually sunny, usually agreeable little boy turned into a whining, fit-throwing monster on our second stop. And with two more stops to go, I found myself with no defenses against the alien that had taken over my child.

Well except for buying it chocolate and running through Target as fast as possible with a medicine ball attached to my middle. I'm still recovering.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crazy Making Questions

I can’t handle the constant questions.

I was sort of prepared for things like “Why is the sky blue?” But my little darling isn’t nearly that abstract. All the way to the midwife’s office yesterday he was full of his special kind of questions.

“Why are we stopping?” Because the car in front of me is stopping.
“Why is the car in front of us stopping?” I don’t know.
“Why are we turning here?” Because this is how we get to the midwife.
“Why is the midwife here?” I don’t know.
“Where is my doctor?” His office is that direction.
“Why is he that direction?” I. Don’t. Know.
“Where did that bird come from?” Evolution.

The nicknames I acquired in my family of origin always went along the lines of Little Miss Know It All or Little Miss Smarty Pants. I’d tell you they were uttered with affection, but I’d be lying. My parents wanted me to get an education and do well in school but were dismayed when I did really well in school, and they certainly didn’t want me to be smart.

So I suppose all those toddler questions that I can't even begin to answer should humble me. They just irritate me.

I was filled with sweet relief when he started singing, "Baby poop! Baby poops out baby butt!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - Week 24

16 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 10 pounds
Tummy girth: 41 inches (right at belly button)

Four pounds in one week?! Holy cripes! I guess feeling like I was getting bigger last week was a little psychic foreshadowing.

But it wasn't all bad news this morning. M turned on Dora for Q while he took a shower after they woke up. When Dora was over, Q crawled into bed to snuggle with me. He threw an arm around my neck and said, "You're the best mommy in the world!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Same Old Me

I'm in a contemplative mood, i.e. grumpy.

I have a bit of a restless streak. I always wanted to be one of those women who lived an unconventional life, but it seems I've settled into supreme conventionality with aplomb. And I'm suprisingly quite happy with it. Perhaps not surprising to everyone, but surprising to me.

But still...

It seems this mood hits me about every 18 months into a new thing - a city, a house, a job. We've been in Tucson for 2 years now, in this house for 18 months, and I've been a stay-at-home mom for 3.5 years!

I've started dreaming of moving to a new town, starting over. I've started a running list in my head of all the things the next place and the next house will have. I'm even using my precious time to browse job listings.

Because having another baby is apparently not enough of a change for me.

Mostly I think I don't like myself very much. Moving and changing careers feels like reinventing myself, and I love the idea of becoming someone new, someone different, someone who isn't me. Of course all the moving and job hopping I've done over the years has never really accomplished the transformation that I crave. How could it?

I'm trying to be more accepting of myself. I'm trying to not be so critical of myself. I'm trying. In the meantime I think I'll sneak a peek at a few more realty and job sites and indulge in my favorite kind of fantasy.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back from Camping

We made it back from our camping trip. It was lots of fun, especially for the preschooler and the dog! It didn't rain nearly as much as last year - always a good thing.

I also learned that despite rumours to the contrary, I am not nearly as girly or high maintenance as I think I am. A number of to-remain-unnamed co-campers brought (and used!) all the components of their fancy skin care routines. One of these people was a man. One woman shaved. While camping. For 2 days.

I brought lotion and a brush.

I used neither.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Now We Can Move to Springfield

What a fun way to waste 15 minutes or so! Check out the Simpsons Movie site and you can make your very own version of your Springfield self. Here I am with my darling husband and son...
Q would like you all to know that he does not approve of the color of his hair. He says that his dark blond/light brown hair is much nicer that what is shown.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fashion Faux Pas

Let's be clear about one thing - I am not some sort of fashion diva who always manages to look fabulous. Shorts and t-shirts are my daily uniform. I rarely manage to accessorize. I'm lucky if I add lip gloss before I leave the house, and I am delighted that my hair has finally gotten long enough to pull into some sort of ponytail. Not an attractive ponytail but still.

That being said, I do think there are some basic fashion guidelines that most of us are capable of following. Simple things like not wearing skirts so short that we could get a gyno exam from anyone sitting down, or short jumpsuits (unless you're under the age of say 8), or wearing the rise of your pants so short that we all get an idea of how good your waxer is.

I do have a few personal pet peeves (not wearing a decent bra, being too tan (fake or not), high waisted pants, white shoes) that may or may not be hard and fast rules. But that's a whole different discussion.

Believe it or not, there is a story that goes with all this rambling. Getting off the plane in Tucson I was following woman wearing a brown skirt with a black shirt. Not always an easy combo, but I found myself thinking it could work if done right. Then I realized this particular woman was wearing black opaque tights. In Tucson. In July. But wait! She also had on a long sleeve knit shirt with a 3/4 sleeve chunky knit, cowl-necked cardigan. The sweater was a gorgeous coral color. But it's Tucson. In July.

At least her shoes had closed toes. Something I can not say for another woman I saw in the airport a few minutes later. Woman #2 had on a lovely, floaty, black and white, summery dress. With sheer black hose. And white, open toed sandals. No really. I had to force myself to stop staring in horror.

On the upside, it made me feel practically magazine-photo-shoot ready!

For immensely more amusing fashion snarkiness directed at people who actually pay other people to dress them, please visit what may be my favorite Internet site ever, Go Fug Yourself.

Tummy Tuesday...A Day Late

17 weeks to go!
Weight gain: 6 pounds
Tummy girth: 39.5 inches (right at belly button)

So nothing has changed this week despite feeling like I must have gained another 10 pounds while visiting my parents in Texas. And I swear my tummy looks bigger. Must be my imagination.

I had a dream last night about updating my blog. In the dream I was obsessed with fat Elvis. I posted a blog entry to confess my obsession...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - Week 22

18 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 6 pounds
Tummy girth: 39.5 inches (right at belly button)

Baby #2 is getting quite active, especially in the evenings when I settle down. My hips ache if I move around a lot, and I have Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy whenever I get up from sitting down. I'm still sick to my stomach a few times a week, mostly at night. The summer heat is killing me! Did I actually want to move back to Tucson?

All in all I feel good, and the boy's movement reassures me that things are going well.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Can I Go to Puerto Rico for Groceries?

I haven't left the house in 3 days.

I think this should worry me, but strangely it doesn't. I've noticed over the last few years that I seem to be turning into a bit of an agoraphobic. Oh, not literally. Leaving the house doesn't send me into a sweaty panic. I merely find it easier to stay at home. Maybe it's just another symptom of my laziness.

The irony is that I used to imagine I would be one of those sophisticated, worldly women who traveled all the time. Now I dread a trip to the grocery store. I suppose it's not really the same though, is it? One is about adventure, doing something new; the other is about the drudgery of chores.

So maybe I don't have to worry about myself after all.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Not MY Happiest Place

So, Disneyland. I have to start by telling you that my husband and his family are all huge fans of the amusement park. My mother-in-law in particular is horrified whenever I express my distaste for it.

But the whole thing just seems so...manufactured. It feels so forced and not genuine, as if everyone is thinking, "We paid so much money to get into this place that we're going to have fun come hell or high water!"

Put together those kinds of crowds and the outrageous prices, and I'm not sure it isn't one of my versions of hell.

I can't be the only person out there who feels like I paid a huge sum of money for the privilege of standing in lines all day. You stand in line to get in. You stand in line for rides. You stand in line for the bathroom. You stand in line to get something to eat. You stand in line for a picture with a character. You stand in line to get out of the place!

I was 17 when I went to Disney World and 18 the first time I visited Disneyland. Was I too old by then to be lulled into the sweet caress of a fairy tale land? I had oodles of fun during both trips. Of course I went to both parks with my marching band (high school and college), and I'm pretty sure we could have managed to have fun in an open stretch of asphalt.

We also had dinner at Medieval Times, that place where you get to watch the jousting. More manufactured fun! It's a strange day indeed when I find myself yearning for a nice, quiet camping trip.

We also spent a few extra days in Yuma on the way out and back so we just got home yesterday. And M doesn't have to work this week either! I'm going to be so spoiled that when next Monday rolls around, and I have Q all to myself, I may go into shock.