Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy No Ear

I've read many blogs today that discuss how bad the year 2009 was and how much better everyone hopes 2010 will be. I'm inclined to agree. In 2009 the economy sucked, Will was sick most of the time, and I feel kind of like I slugged my way through the year. We definitely had many good things happen too and I'm not discounting that, but I will be glad to leave behind the year of being pregnant with a sick husband while trying to mother a toddler.

When I think about resolutions, I can think of lots for NEXT year, but in 2010 I know my body and my time will be almost completely claimed by a baby and a toddler so I am giving myself a free pass for this year. Instead I am feeling pretty good about what I have accomplished in the last week.

Christmas = Survived

Just barely

Train table = Pimped

Relaxation Trip = Accomplished without incident. Relaxation achieved.

My hair = Cut

I figure I will not have time to get to the salon anytime in the next couple months. I also figure I am going to a different place next time. I liked the way the girl cut my hair 2 years ago, but she keeps trying to give me bangs nowadays and I am just not really thrilled with how my hair keeps turning out.

Baby = Dropped (although the doctor says she dropped OUT, not DOWN. Whatever. She's not living in my lungs anymore so that's a win in my book)

Charlotte's room = Decorated...

....more or less.
Wal-Mart is still out of C's. Poor little Harlotte.
I also can't make the curtains hang right but I am too lazy to wash or steam them to get the fold marks out.
I also would rather gouge out my eyes than ever put those wispy little stickers all over the wall again. I hope Charlotte likes dandelions because those are staying put for a GOOD long time.

Embarrassing supplies for after the birth that make me feel like I'm 80 = Purchased

Not pictured = Gigantic pads (I have a couple leftover from last time and hope to steal enough from the hospital to get by), sitz bath and hemorrhoid pillow. I didn't need the last two last time, and I hope I don't this time but if it turns out I do I wanted to leave SOMETHING for Will to buy. He's half responsible for this baby's arrival too.

Hospital bag = Packed

My New Years Eve = Will be spent in bed spooning my snoogle

Now if only the baby will stay in until Monday or Tuesday that would be just swell.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. Or as Emily says, a Happy No Ear.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe it....

Will went to bed at 6:45PM, I just have to last 1 more hour until Emily's bedtime. Thank the LORD (and Playskool and Gemmy) for the Busy Ball Popper. Between that and the trampoline Emily might be occupied and tired out with minimal effort from me by 8:30. I am SO sleeping through my massage tomorrow, and I'm ok with that.

Never EVER plan to be this pregnant at Christmas if you already have kids.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An early Christmas present

While searching for recipes earlier this week, I came across this picture at My first thought was that it was a picture of two Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches mating. And to be honest, that was also my second and third thought. I had to enlarge it and read the recipe to realize it is actually a bacon-wrapped turkey with pear cider gravy.

I figured it was just me who was weird enough to think that food was actually bugs, but while I was peering at it sideways I heard a little voice behind me say "That is a buggy and the lady let me pet it gently and it went "pfffffffft"". Which is precisely the 2-year old version of the story I told at the beginning of the month about the bug-obsessed preschool. So either it really DOES look like a cockroach, or else my daughter is just as weird as me.

Either way, I feel vindicated. And proud.

So Merry Christmas everyone! And if you make bacon-wrapped turkey with pear cider gravy, send me a picture. I am disgusted but intrigued.

Christmas Countdown

Bleh. I am finally on the upswing of whatever disease has claimed my energy and productivity for the past 4 days. I tried blogging while I was sick on the couch, but everything I wrote was far too whiny and unintelligible. A far cry from my usual sophisticated prose. I've spent the past 5 days either watching 18" of snow fall, or doing a lot of groaning and mouth-breathing. The snow was cool because it's the most we've gotten in 15 years (we USED to get snow, but then El Nino or La Nina or whoever showed up and we haven't had more than a couple inches in any given year for a LONG time) and because I did not go into labor while we were snowed in! The mouth-breathing tends to keep Will awake at night, but sorry dude, anything less than 2 fully functional nostrils is just not enough and I need to switch over to my mouth. I'm breathing for two here.

But now, I find myself unceremoniously dumped practically on the feet of Christmas Eve, and instead of slowly transitioning from sick mode back into normal life I've had to hit the ground running to make sure everything is bought and wrapped and baked and prepared for Christmas. I think I'm almost there, but despite all my efforts to get prepared ahead of time, I am still rushing and stressed and looking forward to when Christmas is over and I can relax for a bit. I am in good company though, because all the parents in Frederick county unexpectedly found their houses full of kids this week, as they have canceled the last 3 days of school before Christmas break. I imagine losing the last 3 child-free days before Christmas would be pretty panic-inducing.

One of my errands today was to go to my now-weekly doctor appointment. As usual, I left pretty irritated. For brevity's sake, I'll explain why in a list.

-The nurse told me casually that I'd gained 4 pounds in a week. I knew for a FACT that I had not and said so. It took a bit of arguing, but she finally realized it was a typo and I had actually gained 1 pound, but I had actually ACTUALLY only gained 0.6 pounds, because last week my weight ended in 0.2 and this week it ended in 0.8 but they ROUND, the bastards.

-As I was getting my blood pressure checked, a nurse tried to send another lady's husband back to hang out with me. Once it was determined that this was NOT my husband and I did NOT want him in the exam room with me, the nurses told me the story of when they had accidentally sent a guy (named Marcus) back into an exam room with a lady (with a husband named Mark) who was on the table at the time. Apparently this was hilarious. If it were me, and some strange dude walked in while I was in the stirrups, I probably would have sued. It may be no big deal to an OB/GYN nurse who sees women's whole worlds all day every day, but for the rest of us (and as I am trying to teach my daughter right now) 'ginas are private.

-I was left to sit in the BAKING hot exam room for 35 minutes with no phone service, and only a breastfeeding pamphlet and a copy of Parenting magazine that I had already read for entertainment. By the time the doctor showed up for his 4 minutes of face time, I had completely shredded both the paper under me and the woefully inadequate paper "modesty sheet" I had been provided because HELLO, I'm 37 weeks pregnant and it's really uncomfortable for me to have to perch on an exam table for 35 minutes so I'd had to do a lot of wiggling and re-adjusting.

I could go on, but I'm sure you've all heard more than enough about my OB appointment by now. Oh, except for the result...I'm 1cm dilated, but not effacing yet. So it's no guarantee, but I will probably stay pregnant for a bit longer. But I'm 1/10th of the way there! Yay!

And now I have to go. Will has not done anything Christmassy yet this year, so we've waited until today to take Emily to the mall to visit Santa. Better late than never, I guess. Hopefully we'll still have time left today to do the millions of other things on my list.

2 days until my massage...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Eggo is Preggo

I haven't watched the Top Chef finale yet, so I am hiding in my house, avoiding Facebook and Twitter and certain blogs and the newspaper and random strangers walking by on the street so that no one can spoil the ending for me. Just because I can't stay awake late enough at night to watch it, and just because we don't have cable shouldn't mean I can't be surprised!

I just read over my last post, and all of that still applies, really (except there has been blessedly less cockroach-petting this week). If you are pressed for time, here is a quick summary for you:

I'm pregnant blah blah blah I hope the baby doesn't come too soon because there's still a lot to do blah blah blah preschool for Emily blah blah blah.

So yeah, still finishing Christmas shopping, still worried about Charlotte arriving earlier than planed, still looking for preschools, although I've made some progress on that front. I've found two that I really like, and she's already in at one of the two so all I have to do is send them $50 by February and it's all taken care of. Despite that fact, and despite the fact that ANY of the preschools I've looked at would be 100% fine (a point Emily relentlessly drives home every time I take her to visit a new one and she just walks right into the class, helps herself to some blocks or play dough and starts to play like she belongs there) I am still obsessed with finding the PERFECT preschool. I guess I've read too many blogs where moms have had big problems with their childs' preschools and I want to make sure the one I choose is the best possible fit for Emily.

But since I've settled into a weekly routine of preschool visits, doctor's appointments and Christmas-related errands, there's really not much that is interesting to report. If this pregnancy lasts exactly as long as my pregnancy with Emily did, I will be slightly skinnier (but much baggier) and sporting a cute new accessory in 3.5 weeks. I'm in the "I'm afraid to leave the house too much lest I get too tired or go into labor" period of my pregnancy, the time when you just kind of curl up in the nest like the huge egg you are and wait to hatch. I bought a dress for the wedding on January 2nd, and I even restrained myself from asking the saleslady at Motherhood which dress would be best for hiding a gush of amniotic fluid. I have even seriously considered wearing some depends, but then I start to think about how very convenient diapers would be at this point because they would save me about 100 trips to the bathroom per hour, but Will says he would flat-out divorce me if I ever wore diapers and purposely peed in them, and I think that's fair so I will probably avoid the temptation. I settled for this one, and I even got it in a medium, so now I feel all svelte. But in reality I look like this:

Except that usually I have arms.

And you all have my permission to rub my face in all these "oh please don't let me give birth too early" posts when January 24th rolls around and I'm still pregnant.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Wow. It's December. That means I can officially say that I'm having a baby next month (at least I hope it won't be this month or 2 months from now) and that's scary. Because next month isn't far away, and there is A LOT to do in the meantime.

Probably the most important is to pick out a freakin' preschool for Emily already. I've been whining about it for almost a year now, but at least I'm visiting places and getting on lists now. Emily has visited a couple with me, and she seems to love the idea. The first place we visited, she walked into a classroom, said "Bye bye Mommy" and then went to play with some blocks. At least I won't be the parent who has to attend preschool for a month because their child goes ballistic if they try to leave. I'm just the parent who is so boring the kid can't wait to escape and go interact with other kids. Much better.

The place we visited today had a definite emphasis on "nature". And by "nature", I mean they are situated on 22 lovely wooded acres, they take the kids on nature walks, and they have hideous bugs in all the classrooms. They are all in cages and not scurrying around on the floor so they get points for that, but still. There was a HISSING COCKROACH in a cage in the hallway, and the woman had Emily touch it. If you've been reading for long, you'll recall that I although I am trying my hardest not to pass this on to Emily, I hate bugs, and I have an absolute phobia of cockroaches after one jumped on my foot first thing in the morning when I was in college. Cockroaches that HISS are even more phobia-worthy than regular city cockroaches. I actually seized up a bit and had to back away when she pulled the terrifying monster out of its cage, and while I watched Emily pet it (yes, it was so big you could PET it!!!!!!) and heard the disgusting beast hiss, it took every ounce of control I had not to grab my precious baby and just run blindly in any direction that was away from that abomination. Emily will NOT be attending the insect freak preschool.

While the search for a preschool goes on, I am also helping my youngest sister find an engagement ring (awwwwww!), peppering my lawyer friends with questions on behalf of my middle sister who is getting totally screwed over a speeding ticket, trying to get ready for Christmas earlier than I usually do (i.e. before 3AM Christmas morning) and doing work here and there in the nursery. Poor Charlotte is definitely the second child...we had Emily's room painted months in advance, I painstakingly matched bedding colors and furniture finishes, I made hand-painted letters for her wall and matching hand-painted switchplate and outlet covers and the room was ready to go with months to spare. Charlotte's room is the color it was when we moved in (the walls are green, green is girly enough, right?), she has mismatched, hand-me-down furniture and bedding, and her crib is still in pieces on the floor being used as a balance beam by Emily, mere weeks before she is due to arrive. Also all of her clothes (Emily's hand-me-downs) have weird yellow barf stains on them that weren't there when I packed them away. I'll have to do some research to figure out how to get those stains out because that is just TOO sad. Even a second child shouldn't have to wear clothes stained with other people's barf.

But at the end of all this getting ready, my mom and sisters informed me that they're taking me up to the Omni Bedford Springs for 1 night to relax and have spa treatments :-) I am thrilled, but I was a little worried about going ANYWHERE less than 3 weeks before my due date. I realized though that it wasn't really a BAD time to go into labor, because I'll have all my coaches with me already, I'll be nice and relaxed, and it's only an hour away so we can just call Will, tell him to get ready and get someone over to watch Emily and then pick him up on the way to the hospital. And if my water breaks on the massage table? I'll make my massage therapist finish, THEN leave to go home :-) Either that or make her come with me. If you can't call in special favors when you're in labor, when can you?

So I'm aiming to have everything done by December 31st, because that's when wedding activities for our friends' wedding start. It would be a bad time for Charlotte to come (except that we'd still have good insurance) so I need to make sure we're 100% ready because that will ensure that she WON'T come. And if I get past January 2nd (please please please) then I can just lay around and gestate and rest up so that I AM ready when she makes her debut. At least as ready as is possible.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Holiday-ing

Well I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. And a great November for that matter since I've only posted once since the beginning of the month. We enjoyed our Thanksgiving...we spent it up at Will's family farm/retreat/whatever it is which is perfect for Thanksgiving as far as I'm concerned. It looks rustic but is actually very modern on the inside, it's made of stone, it's secluded in the woods, and it's only a 40 minute drive away. Far enough to feel like we're going somewhere for Thanksgiving, but close enough that traffic doesn't bother me much because it's such a short drive. We spent 2 nights up there, and combining my family and Will's family worked out nicely. I did all my prep ahead of time too, so all I had to do the day of was saute canadian bacon pieces and sprinkle some blue cheese on the brussel sprouts. Everything went quite well except for the fact that we took the dogs with us and they peed all over the place at night. My just barely potty trained 2.5 year old does better than my idiot dogs who have been housebroken for over 6 years. Just another way the dogs make life easy and enjoyable.

Then, wasting no time, we moved right on to Christmas. Emily is now old enough to not only understand but anticipate holidays, so it's lots of fun to do Christmas-y things. She went with my parents (Gemmy and Dibby) to pick out a Christmas tree yesterday morning, so we couldn't get away with being Christmas tree-less around here for very long after that. We've opted to use the fake tree again this year since Will is allergic to the world and his allergist says that getting a real tree is one of the worst things you can do if you have allergies. He's working on his allergy shots, and by next year he should be impermeable to all allergens. The problem is, it is SO easy to bring the tree up from downstairs, unfold it and plug it in. It feels lazy and wrong, but it's so nice to get everything set up in an hour or so. Perhaps Emily will just have to enjoy picking out a real tree with Gemmy and Dibby every year and then just get by with our laser-beam Christmas tree at home (I'd forgotten how very PIERCING the LED lights on the tree are. Decorating it is kind of like staring directly into the sun).

So today Will is hunting (I know...this is a new thing, but I would be thrilled to get a whole deer's worth of fresh meat!) and I have plopped Emily down in front of some Christmas specials so that I can clean up my house. I hate plugging her into the TV, but having her watch the same specials I loved growing up is not bad for her brain, it's wholesome and traditional, right?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming back to life

Wow. I can't believe November is half gone. The last thing I remember was Halloween. And this was supposed to be my lull before the holiday season in which to get ready for the baby that will be here in LESS THAN 2 MONTHS. Yeah, that hasn't happened yet.

Halloween was incredibly busy, like I fell asleep at my friends' Halloween party on the couch watching Bolt with the toddlers before 10PM busy (I am a party ANIMAL). But we managed to take Emily trick or treating as an eff-a-lant, and that was my goal for the day so it all worked out. She still needs to learn that it's important to knock on someone's door BEFORE yelling trick or treat, and that the proper way to show appreciation for the candy is to say "thank you", not "I want a lollypop instead", and that you should not go busting into people's houses even if they do have a really cool light up ghost sculpture in the front hall, but she had a blast and is still talking about trick or treating 2 weeks later. Even better, she didn't notice when all of her candy except for one lollypop mysteriously disappeared. We're definitely not going to be able to pull that off next year.

The next few days were spent getting Emily excited about going to the farm, showing up to said farm only to find out that it was closed for rain (even though there was no rain), desperately trying to find a different farm to take a very disappointed 2 year old to, going back to the original farm the next day because damn it, I had free tickets and I was going to use them, realizing that chasing a toddler up and down slides and onto moon bounces alone CAN'T be good for keeping babies that are not yet finished gestating inside where they belong, taking Emily to the local science center's open house because she needed some education after all that fresh air (and apparently because I was trying to kill myself), then kind of just dropping dead with the swine flu.

I am now DECIDEDLY immune to the swine flu, because when I showed up to my OB last Friday coughing my lungs out into my fetching little SARS mask, the nurses said "Oh pshaw! You can get the swine flu shot unless you're moderately to seriously ill" and gave it to me. I certainly FELT at least moderately ill, and a swine flu test or even having them take my temperature before getting all needle-happy would've been nice, but they know what they're doing, right?

Then I don't really remember much about the next 4-5 days, except that my lungs somehow filled with razor blades and that I called the ER at 3AM on Saturday night because I figured my flu had gone into pneumonia or bronchitis but I wanted to make sure they'd bother to admit me if I bothered to drag myself in. Of course they don't give medical advice over the phone and told me to call my doctor, but the thought of trying to get the OB on call (who barely speaks english) to understand my hoarse croaking over the phone, followed by a night of sitting on a hard bench in the ER waiting room exhausted me enough that I was able to fall asleep and just continue my fevered moaning from home for the next few days. Also Tamiflu? Sucks.

So now I've finally started wobbling, delicate and weak, back out into the world, and it's a scary place. After spending so very long on my couch, I kind of miss it. There are no nor'easters hitting my couch, there are no preschool representatives trying to sell me their "hands-on approach to education" on my couch, and there are no impossibly, exhaustingly wide grocery stores to walk across when I'm on my couch. And on my couch I am not asked to do high-level problem solving, like "Should you buy ice cream now, when you don't have time to run it home to your freezer before it's time for your ultrasound appointment?" or "Should you bring some food to eat or just randomly run errands until it's too late to get lunch and then have to starve until you can go home again?"

I am hoping it's just that I'm not fully recovered yet. It's tough to take it easy when you've finally started feeling better and the doghair tumbleweeds are starting to become sentient and the groceries are not buying themselves and preschool waitlists are filling up, but I'm hoping if I force myself to take it slow, I will be back to normal (well, pregnant normal) soon. I don't think I can handle bumping around in this squinty brain fog, crashing into curbs and melting gallons of ice cream for much longer.

And because I don't have the brain to figure out a good way to finish this post, LOOK! PICTURES!

One excited eff-a-lant

Emily, Will, and me looking huge in my Juno costume that I kind of ran out of motivation for putting together

Pictures from the ultrasound...they surprised us and did a couple in 3D which was awesome

Charlotte's nose and mouth

Fight the power! Also, hide the face, which Charlotte does fantastically

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bad timing

I have decided that for all the planning and waiting we did before getting pregnant with Charlotte, we still timed it badly. I have been worried about it snowing on delivery day since the beginning, but I'm starting to settle down about that a little. I just SO don't want to have Charlotte at home and have to clean up was much nicer to have a team of nurses do that for me last time. I will also consider it a miracle if I manage to attend my friends' wedding in the beginning of January without my water breaking on the floor, or right as I crawl exhausted into bed that night next to a drunk husband.

But now, on top of that, it seems I've decided to have a baby smack in the middle of (what the media is telling us will be) the worst flu season in 30 years, and daily I struggle with "I need to get a flu shot, but there aren't any flu shots to be had anyway, but maybe I SHOULDN'T get a flu shot because the H1N1 vaccine is so new and hasn't been tested on pregnant women and remember DES and thalidomide, but if I DON'T get the shots then Charlotte won't have any immunity and if she gets sick I'll never forgive myself and I am careful about Emily's vaccines and NEVER get her the yearly flu shot but maybe I should this year and oops, my head just exploded". Then Will tells me that our AWESOME insurance is going to turn into not nearly as awesome insurance as of January 1st, just in time for me to rack up a $14,000 hospital stay. That is, IF I'm lucky enough not to need pain meds or a C-section or have any complications. If I have Charlotte as early as I had Emily, I will be giving birth on January 5th. It's enough to make me want to induce on the 31st just so that I'm covered under the old plan AND get a tax deduction for this year. But that would probably leave me delivering in a broom closet, since lots of people seem to aim for that time of year.

Having a baby just wasn't exciting enough for me, I guess I had to add in some extra stress.

BUT, I have now bought a couple of warm footie pajamas and sleep sacks for Charlotte, moved a bookcase out of her room, and my mom has ordered the crib. So we're practically all ready to bring her home (hah). Oh yeah, and I have probably already gained my allotted amount of weight for my entire pregnancy, so I have that covered too. I am not sure though, since every time I see a scale I hiss and run away. I am virtuously eating a carrot right now because I'm sure that'll undo all the bad eating I've been doing.

The problem with getting ready now is that if I were to get Charlotte's crib all made up, the bedding would be dusty by the time I brought her home to sleep in it and I'd have to wash it again anyway, and if I did start cooking up extra dinners to freeze then there wouldn't be ANY room left in the freezer, instead of the approximately 1/100th of a cubic foot of free space we enjoy now. But if I wait much longer I'll have even less energy for doing these things, plus I'll be in the middle of holiday season which comes with its own impressive to do list.

It shouldn't be surprising to me anymore that parenting presents you with never-ending conundrums, but it is still annoying. Especially since I've brought most of these issues on myself with my poor choice of baby timing.

So I've been cleaning. I hope it's not nesting, or at least if it is I hope it's a very early bout of nesting. Even though I will have to clean everything again a million times before Charlotte makes her appearance, cleaning is a nice distraction from stressing about the things that it's too early to do, and the things I have no control over. Plus if it turns out I do actually need to take people up on the offers to clean my house, at least they'll be cleaning a house that was clean not too long ago. I'm not sure what about my upbringing caused me to think that no one will like me unless my house is clean, but it's there in my psyche.

And all the while, Charlotte's kicks and punches and rolls get stronger and stronger, to the point where I wonder if she's trying to liberate herself without the benefit of labor contractions (or to the point where I am considering liberating her myself without the benefit of labor contractions just to ease the discomfort), reminding me that snow or not, wedding attended or not, stocked freezer and completed nursery and clean house or not, she's coming soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

High Voltage

A new restaurant called Volt opened in Frederick about a year ago. Everyone raved about it, and when Will's and my 5th anniversary came around, we decided to try it out. It was, of course, heavenly. We got the 5 and 7 course "chef's kitchen" dinner with wine pairing, and although it was an absolute ton of wine and we got quite giggly, we did NOT drop to the floor as soon as we stood up from our table like the lady next to us did, so I considered it a win. The food was fabulous too :-)

The head chef, Bryan Voltaggio grew up in Frederick, and after getting his training he came back to Frederick and opened his own restaurant. There's definitely nothing else like it in Frederick, and it's really nice that someone had enough faith in us backcountry Fredericktonians to open a gourmet restaurant here.

I have been to Volt quite a lot in the past month, but never really to eat. A couple weeks ago, after a girls night with some friends, Carolyn and I walked Wendy to her car which happened to be parked in front of Volt. As we lingered on the sidewalk saying the long goodbyes that women are famous for, the Maitre d' came outside and invited us in. When we told him we'd just finished eating, he offered to give us a tour, so we said why not. Now Bryan Voltaggio is currently on Top Chef (and kicking butt), so even though I have been to Volt before and seen him before, it was difficult not to fangirl all over the place. I mean, I KNOW I've seen him before, and heck, he even brought food to my table the last time we were there for dinner, but now he's on TV! Plus I knew after eating his food that he was talented, but now that he's competing against some of the best chefs in the nation and WINNING, I have more context for exactly HOW good he is. How can you not squeal slightly (even if it's under your breath) when in the presence of a food god? To recover a bit from the embarrassment of traipsing through the restaurant like tourists who have never eaten anywhere but Friendly's before, I promised the Maitre d' that we'd be back on Wednesday for the Top Chef party and to actually eat.

Luckily, everything kind of fell into place and we managed to get there on Wednesday. It turned out to be a Top Chef repeat that week which was disappointing, but at least I got to eat there, even if it was only off the bar menu.

Still later that same week, we ended up back at Volt during the In The Streets festival. We were picking up a gift card on behalf of my new brother-in-law's parents (who live in California, so it was a bit difficult for them to get it). Poor Will wanted to hang out in the outside lounge area they had set up and have some drinks with our friends who were there, but he had the misfortune to be accompanied by a starving pregnant wife and a daughter who decided it was the perfect location to pee her pants, so we weren't able to stay long. At least when Emily grows up and we take her to Volt for a celebratory dinner we can embarrass her back by telling the waiter about how she peed herself at this very restaurant however many years ago. Teenagers always talk about how hideously embarrassing their parents are, but what they don't consider is how WAY more hideously embarrassing it was for those parents to even leave the house when their kid was 2.5 year old. Why, these hypothetical parents might've had to apologize profusely to a salesman after their child climbed to the very top level of the tallest, most expensive playground set at a showroom and then let loose an impressive stream of urine that was heard echoing throughout the empty salesfloor as it splashed down through three levels of playground fun. They might've had to helplessly push a puddle of pee* around the floor of Toys R Us because the adolescent sales associate only brought them a couple sheets of that delightfully cardboard-like and completely non-absorbent paper product from the bathroom with which to clean up said pee. Or they might've had to stand in a crowded grocery store checkout line pretending they didn't hear (while their cheeks blazed and totally gave them away) when their 2.5 year old crawled under their skirt and loudly announced "Mommy I can see your 'gina", EVEN THOUGH I SWEAR I WAS WEARING UNDERWEAR. I mean, even though these hypothetical parents were totally wearing underwear.

What was I saying before?

Oh yeah. After all of those visits to Volt, it's about time to go there for real, and NOT in the company of my daughter. So in belated celebration of our 6 year wedding anniversary (Will was up in Chicago for a bachelor party on our actual anniversary, but he brought me a box of Vosges truffles, so we're all squared up) we are going to Volt this Friday. I don't know what makes me more excited; going to Volt and actually getting to eat dinner, the fact that they now offer a 21 course tasting menu, or the fact that my mom is taking Emily overnight. After enjoying 2 months during which Emily didn't seem to realize she could exit her room by herself, the honeymoon is over. She is up at 7ish every day (5:20 this morning) knocking softly at our door. She has even started coming to visit at night. We heard her knocking at a particularly inopportune time earlier this week, which has made all our other inopportune times since a bit more guarded. I don't want her first memory (or any memory for that matter) to be of THAT.

So yeah. Volt food, date time with Will, and luxuriating in bed until (gasp) 7:30AM (or possibly even 8 if we are feeling decadent) are very good reasons to keep dragging my ever-increasing bulk through this week where nothing seems to get done yet I am still somehow always tired. And if all that is not enticement enough, I am also getting a haircut on Friday, and a massage on Sunday. So hurry up, week. I am totally sick of you and I have way better things to be doing.

*Despite these three incidents that happened a couple weeks ago, Emily IS in fact back to being 100% daytime potty trained but I am certain she will be able to find plenty of non urine-related ways to embarrass me in public. Otherwise, what will I blog about?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Angry angry hippos

I had another doctor's appointment today, and all is well. I saw Dr. "Are you sure it's not twins...well don't worry, it IS your second pregnancy" again, and once again, he pulled the same crap. He unrolled the measuring tape, held it almost all the way up to my sternum, and said "Wow, the baby is growing FAST!" Then he paused just long enough for me to envision myself struggling to push out an 11 pound monster baby, and amended "Actually you're measuring 26cm, that's exactly right". Does this guy just not think before he talks? Does my stomach just LOOK huge because the rest of me is so very svelte and willowy? No matter what, I don't think I want to see him anymore.

I had my gestational diabetes test today, so I got to drink the kool aid medicinal-grade bug juice. I know the stuff has to be super-sweet, but does it have to be chock full of red dye too? Are they TRYING to make it as bad for you and the baby as possible? Don't get me wrong, I am far from angelic about my eating, but it just seems unnecessary to make it dayglo red.

So I got to experience the dizzying (nauseating) high, followed EXACTLY 30 minutes later by the spectacular crash that led me to notice that a certain set of 3 chairs in the waiting room did not have dividing armrests between the seats, and if they left them off then it's TOTALLY ok for me to just crawl over there and lay down for a bit, right? I mean, if they WEREN'T inviting me to lay down in the waiting room they would've put armrests between ALL the chairs.

Tomorrow marks 27 weeks for me, and depending on which source you go by, it also marks the end of the 2nd trimester (commonly referred to as the "feel-good" trimester) and the beginning of the 3rd (commonly referred to as the "angry hippo" trimester). I think Charlotte has been keeping track. I could almost hear her think "Ok, we've reached the 3rd trimester, time for you to be uncomfortable now" as she executed a somersault and flipped head-down. This is excellent in theory, because that is where she's supposed to be facing, but in practice it sux. I think I have been very generous with the percentage of my body I have devoted to housing her, but it felt like she was trying to crawl into a couple of places she is not supposed to be, namely my spine and my bladder. Today my waddle is a bit more pronounced (I can still walk like a normal person, but it feels SO much better to waddle and my dignity is gone anyway so why not be comfortable?) and my belly is larger still. I remember getting all whiny around 31 weeks when I was pregnant with Emily, so I guess it makes sense that it would happen a bit earlier this time. And adding to my issues is the fact that I have run into 2 other pregnant women in the past 2 days who are both at least as far along as I am, and they were both still tiny and nimble. I, on the other hand, have been grunting so much as I shuffle through my day that I've noticed Emily now exclaims "Ooof!" every time she sits down.

I know, whaaaa! I spend the first 16 weeks of pregnancy complaining that I have no belly and then a mere 11 weeks later I'm back at it complaining that I look big and pregnant and HEY YEAH, now I remember that this pregnancy thing is actually pretty uncomfortable.

Oh well. 11-ish weeks from now I'll be complaining that at least when I was pregnant I had an excuse to be fat and BOY are babies easier to take care of when they're inside you. But we'll have a Charlotte, and she'll (probably) have a middle name, and I'll be in the throes of the love that makes it all worth it.

I still get to complain though.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Our day today went a little something like this:

7:15AM - Emily wakes up, and therefore Mommy has to wake up
9:00AM - Mommy gives up and allows Emily to start watching Peter Pan, even though we just finished watching Alice in Wonderland because she's too damned tired to try to fight. Plus while Emily watches Peter Pan Mommy can just lay on the couch and not move.
10:00AM - Daddy wakes up, Mommy goes back to sleep
11:45AM - Mommy wakes up as Daddy and Emily return from errands, Emily goes back to sleep
12:00PM - 3:00PM - Emily naps, Daddy works on a class project, and Mommy shuffles around the kitchen trying desperately to wrestle it back from the brink of disaster. Actually, since we're all friends here, I'll admit that it was well over the brink and firmly entrenched in disaster territory.
3:00PM-8:29PM - Mommy and Daddy wish it were 8:30PM so that we could put Emily down for the night and then drag our sorry selves back into our sweet, sweet bed for more sleep.

So yeah, we're pretty much wrecked today, but we have several good reasons. Emily and I accompanied Will on a whirlwind business trip to Philadelphia earlier this week (it was supposed to have been longer, but Will has a very spoiled client who threw a hissy fit and demanded his presence at a meeting in Virginia while we were still supposed to be in Pennsylvania, so we had to cut our short trip even shorter). BUT, we got Emily back into a pool to refresh her swimming skills acquired this summer, and we were able to go to the Please Touch Museum, which is fantastic. It's like the biggest, best indoor playground for toddlers you could ever imagine, and I'm pretty sure Emily wants to move in and live there. She especially liked the Alice in Wonderland garden (which was awesome), and ESPECIALLY especially the Cheshire Cat, which was simply a statue of a cat sitting in a big tree, but apparently he made an impression. It was NOT so fun having to entertain Emily in our hotel lobby for 2 hours between her naptime and the time we needed to pick Will up from his conference to go home because we had to check out a day early and therefore didn't have a room to go to anymore (grrrrr spoiled client), but it is interesting to spend time in hotels these days. Back when Will and I were young, childless free spirits (and even now when we travel without kids), we almost never spent any time in our hotels. All our time was spent out doing things and hotels were only for bed-related activities. When we travel with Emily though, we always check out the hotel pool, we hang in the room for naptime, and we often opt for a room-service dinner because it's way easier than packing her up and making her sit in a restaurant. It's not a WORSE way to travel, it's still very enjoyable, it's just very different. We definitely get our money's worth out of hotels these days.

Also adding to our exhaustion today, Will's sister and our old roommate got married yesterday! Will and I were both in the wedding party, and it was hosted up at the family farm so we had a long weekend of helping out, rehearsing, picture-taking, and partying. It was quite a blast, and now I have my very first brother-in-law (or brother-out-of-law either for that matter), and Emily has her very first uncle. The wedding itself was guest dropped from a suspected heart attack right as the ceremony was about to start, causing the proceedings to have to be delayed 30 minutes while the paramedics carted him away, and there was some jaw-droppingly crazy family drama (which luckily was not at all bride or groom related and transpired safely out of notice of all but one of the guests) but overall the wedding was beautiful, smooth, fun, and everything a wedding should be. Emily OWNED the dance floor from even before the first official dance began to the very last dance of the night. It was hilarious and adorable, but predictably, there were consequences. She fell asleep in the car on the way home, and we had planned to gracefully transfer her from carseat to bed, but of course she woke up confused and furious as we pulled into the garage. Instead of dumping her into bed we had to spend over an hour trying to calm a hyperventilating, hysterical toddler down enough that she could get the sleep she so desperately needed. My daughter is already learning that there are consequences to partying too hard, and alcohol hasn't even entered the picture yet. At least I THINK that was sparkling white grape juice she was drinking.

And now, instead of yakking about it, here are some pictures. I'm ganking them from Mary Kate, a fellow bridesmaid who had her act together enough to bring her camera AND post the pictures the very next day. She even remembered safety pins and things like that, the girl is clearly magic.

Getting married!


Tying the knot

Will escorting me back down the aisle

First dance

Getting ready to cut the cake

Why yes I did make the groom cake (no, it's not a caterpillar, and usually I can make better-looking cakes but this was an ice cream roll cake and DAMN those are difficult)

Brad cutting his train cake...why oh why doesn't Baskin Robbins make these anymore (shakes fist at nearest Baskin Robbins)

Emmy and Mommy

Emmy dancing with Daddy

What Emily did for approximately 4 hours straight yesterday

Ummmm, I think we were all whipping it, whipping it good?

Margaret entertaining everyone with her fantastic magic show set to "Final Countdown" (a la Gob on Arrested Development)

Emily's favorite dance move...going under the bridesmaids' skirts

Brad and Will doing...something

It was late at this point...I think they're doing the "Zoidberg"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Top 5 songs for making pregnant ladies cry

Well this pregnant lady, anyway.

These days my playlist is like a minefield. I have to be careful about which songs I listen to while Emily is in the car, or while there is a lot of traffic, lest I dissolve into a sniveling mess and cause alarm to those around me. Here I present the top 5 songs I try to avoid.

5. When She Loved Me by Sarah McLaughlin

This is the song that plays in Toy Story 2 when Jessie the cowgirl is thinking about the little girl who used to own her, and how she grew up and got rid of her. Maybe it's because the little girl's name is Emily and she's outgrowing her toys and becoming a pre-teen, but that damned song gets me every time. And of course that's one of Emily's favorite movies to watch these days.

4. Finale B from Rent (or as I think of it, No Day But Today)

I feel like I have kind of "outgrown" Rent. I still like to listen to it, but to 28 year old Sara it seems a bit much. However when it came out I was 15 year old Sara, full of teenage angst, and this musical SPOKE to me. Nevermind the fact that I didn't have AIDS or live in poverty in New York or have any interest in being an artist or even KNOW anyone who was gay, but I found connections the way only a teenager can. My mom took me to see it on Broadway for my 18th birthday. We sang a Rent medley in vocal ensemble. My senior quote was the opening lines of the song, so I definitely have memories associated with it, and I think it's the nostalgia and memories more than anything that make me cry like a baby when I hear it, especially when I'm carrying one.

3. Slipping Through My Fingers by ABBA

This song hit me hard a year ago when I saw Mamma Mia in Bar Harbor. I had reached the point where it was time to try for another kidlet if I wanted my children to be 2 years apart, and I was fairly panicked at the thought of having another kid so soon and missing out on a phase of Emily's life while I was focused on a newborn. I worked through my issues shortly thereafter, but this song is still a doozy and I challenge any mama of a little girl to listen to it with dry eyes, especially with pregnancy hormones thrown into the mix.

2. What Sarah Said by Death Cab for Cutie

A song about sitting in the hospital while your loved one fades away, culminating in the line "Love is watching someone die, so who's gonna watch you die?" Who WOULDN'T cry at this song, pregnant or not?

And #1....

The War was in Color by Carbon Leaf

Oh, this song. It came out when I was pregnant with Emily and when I heard it it pretty much knocked me flat with the sobbing. I listened to it a couple times while I wasn't pregnant, and I was able to get through it without crying. I suspected that perhaps just hearing it the first couple times got to me and now I was ok? But that hypothesis was disproven last week, as the song popped up on Will's Ipod while I was driving and I almost had to pull over. I'm talking great, heaving sobs, mascara running down my face, the whole bit. I always have to click a couple tracks back to A Girl And Her Horse in order to recover, because that is by far the crappiest song Carbon Leaf has ever released and it gets my mind off the sad.

So there you have it. If you see me driving around town sobbing, don't worry, it's probably just that one of these songs has popped up and I wasn't fast enough to change the track.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Houses and Dogs

Looking at the calendar, I realize that a year ago we had already closed on this house, and were 2 days away from the big move. It sounds trite to say "I can't believe we've been here for a year". EVERYBODY says that, so you would think people would re-adjust their expectations of how fast time goes by, but no matter how often you note the speediness of time, and no matter how many times other people warn you, it still always comes as a shock.

A year ago we were heading to Chicago. This year, I have no Chicago trip on my schedule, but Will is headed up there for a bachelor party in 3 weeks :-P I am quite irritated that I am not invited. Last year it took us FOREVER to get all of our stuff out of the old house, but as of a couple weeks ago the old house is officially sold and we don't have to hear about it anymore! I took a spin through the old neighborhood last week while I was out there visiting my seamstress, and was surprised by the nostalgia that hit me. I am not really nostalgic about the house, but I definitely am about the neighborhood. We did live there for 5 years, and for a large portion of that time I spent every morning out jogging or walking, so I knew everyone's dogs, I knew whose mailboxes will be covered with pretty clematis in the fall, and I knew the odd air currents that resulted in warm pockets in certain places on chilly mornings. I haven't done much (any) morning jogging or walking in this neighborhood, so I don't know it nearly as well. And even though the houses are closer together in this neighborhood, the people are more distant. We wave to our neighbors and talk over the back fence, but of course it can't compare to how well we knew the people in the old neighborhood where Will grew up.

But I love living close to everything. Driving out to my parents house makes me wonder how I survived before. The community pool was great this summer, Emily loves it and learned to be quite a proficient swimmer (with waterwings). The house itself has been great too, with only a pinhole leak in a pipe to marr an otherwise incident-free year. Knock on wood and cross everything that we continue to enjoy such good luck.

The only bad thing about this house is the Jehovah's Witnesses. They come around practically every Saturday morning, and although we have incredibly busy Saturday mornings, we somehow manage to be home for what has to be a large percentage of their visits. We had one doozy of a visit back at our old house when the woman, seeing that I was holding a 5-day old baby, thought it would be somehow appropriate to give me a pamphlet about losing a child. Luckily though, that was one of the only visits at the old house. But here we're much luckier. Will is comfortable telling them to sod off, but I am a sucker. I look at the poor woman's shaking hands, I notice the tie-clad man's awkward demeanor, and I can't just tell them to get off my porch. But that doesn't mean I don't hate that they come. When I make the decision to step out of my house and into the world, I do so with the understanding that I may run into a person or two who I would rather not deal with. But when I'm safely ensconced in my own house, I shouldn't have to deal with such people seeking me out. I can't stand their "it's just logic" approach, it makes me long to shoot their arguments full of holes whether I agree or not, but doing so would only encourage them so I usually just adopt the blob approach. If I just stand there staring at them vacantly, they eventually go away. But not forever, oh no. They'll be back next Saturday to take up "just a minute of my time".

One thing that is the same this year as last year is that I am still throwing money hand over fist into dog maintenance. Last year we were trying to figure out a way to keep Mingus' skin from falling off. This year I am spending money to try to turn Mingus into a dog I can actually live with. A couple weeks ago, I was ready to get rid of him. Despite the fact that whenever I hear of a family getting rid of their dog I feel like they should have tried harder and stuck it out, I was willing to swallow my pride and be that schmuck. Now that Emily is not just mobile, but steady and quick enough to catch up with a dog, we are having problems. He nips her to herd her, which is one thing, but he also nips her out of anger, which is one step away from actually biting her. Of course we never leave them alone together, and of course we work with both of them, teaching Emily that if he's growling or running away it means he doesn't want to be played with, and having her feed the dogs and give them treats to establish that she is fun and good and she controls their resources, making her higher up in the pack than them. But despite our efforts, things seem to be getting worse. Emily will come up to me crying with a red mark on her arm because Mingus nipped her, and that is not ok. I've worked on this dog for 6 years, and I've gotten nowhere. I can deal with him being an asshole to me, but I can't deal with a dog that bites my daughter.

So we're making a last-ditch effort and calling in the big guns. We hired a trainer to come out to our house and give us advice, and I think it went well. She pointed out that despite Mingus' aggressive, in-your-face behavior, everything points to him being an anxious, frightened dog. And even though he will come sit next to me and whine, or even put his head on my lap, he does not like it when I pet him. I suspected as much, but his mixed signals have kept me guessing. She also pointed out that dogs have mental capabilities that are on par with that of a 2.5 year old, so it helps me a lot to think of him as a frightened toddler vs. the belligerent old man he acts like. I am not supposed to pet him ever, and we determined that when Emily is running around and Mingus starts getting flighty (i.e. always), we are supposed to quietly close him in his room with a peanut-butter stuffed kong ball until he calms down. These methods seem to have helped so far. We haven't had any nips today at least.


I have a dog living in my house who I don't like, and who doesn't like me. I cannot pet him. I have to tiptoe around him, lest he get too anxious and bite my daughter. 10 times a day I have to gently and lovingly escort him to his room and give him a treat just to avoid having him lash out. There is really no plan to make him a good dog who we can all enjoy, there are only ways to try to keep him calm enough that he won't hurt people. It is obvious that Emily's very existence only worsens his anxiety. I am not happy, and he is not happy. Is it really worth it?

I will make the effort. I will talk to the vet about anxiety meds for the dog when baby Charlotte arrives, as suggested by the trainer, because stress will be high for all of us and the last thing we need is to have to spend our time coddling the dog. I will do these things because if the time comes to get rid of him, I want to have a clear conscience. I want to be able to say we made every effort.

But I still feel that if we are ever able to find a different home for him, a place where we know he won't be killed or forced to live out the rest of his life in a cage, I will jump at the chance.

Maybe that makes me a bad person. Especially because "there are no bad dogs, only bad owners". But I also know there is only so much I can take.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The naming of kids is a difficult matter...

I have been meaning to write this post for awhile, but I have been putting it off because to people I know in person (who make up about half of my readership) it will be boring. So if you have seen me in the past month, feel free to skip this entry.

It's about the baby's name. You may have noticed that I have kind of gone back to referring to her as "the baby" since we found out "the baby" was a she. Zippy just sounds too masculine now that we know for sure we have a girl in there. I didn't want to randomly start using her name until I had explained it, so I went back to "the baby" until I got around to writing this post.

SO, from now on I plan to refer to the baby as Charlotte, which is her name. I am sure we'll field many inquiries about whether or not we named our daughters after the Bronte sisters (no we didn't), but we like the name enough to deal with it. We picked out all our kids' names long ago, and we still like it, so that's that.

But with Emily, her middle name was a no-brainer, since in my family the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter etc. has the middle name Elizabeth. There's a little ring to go along with the name and everything, which you may recall I just received recently from my aunt with great pomp and circumstance and quavery weeping. Charlotte's middle name has proved more difficult. The first one we came up with during our trip to St. Thomas 3 years ago; Amalie. We think this name is beautiful, but it has several problems:

1. Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas, and people who know that might wonder why on earth we named our daughter after a city, or worse they might think we named our daughter after where she was conceived, like in that dumb car commercial for the Chrysler Concorde where for some reason the little girl who was conceived in Savannah had a southern accent even though her mom didn't and the whole thing was just all weird and EW.

2. People who DON'T know that Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas (or who aren't Dutch) which is probably the large majority of people she'll meet in her life will think "Amalie" is pronounced Ah-mah-lee, when in fact it's pronounced Ah-mahl-ya. I guess we could technically change the spelling to "Amalia" to avoid that issue, but then people would think we're just ignorant and tried to name our daughter after the capital of St. Thomas but spelled it wrong.

3. Amalie is the Dutch version of the name Emily, and as you may remember, we already have a daughter with the name Emily.

SO, I decided it might be best to at least try to find a different middle name. I liked the flow of Amalie, so I tried to come up with something that worked in kind of the same way. I came up with Olivia. I like it, everyone else seems to like it, but Will does not :-( And his opinion is kind of important.

On top of that, I recently re-connected on Facebook with a girl who I was friends with in high school (and who Will had a big crush on in high school before he started dating me). Her name is Charlotte, and shortly after I came up with the middle name Olivia, I found out that she has a dog named Olivia. How stalker-ish would that be? "Hi, I just started talking to you again after 10 years and guess what!!!!1 I just named my daughter after you and your dog! Now we'll be best friends forever, right?!?!?" ::crazed, maniacal laughter:: I actually mentioned it to her at our high school reunion in June, and I must not have come off as TOO crazy because she just laughed and said to go for it, but still. It feels stalker-ish.

The idea of using a family name on Will's side is appealing, since Emily's middle name is a family name on my side, but as far back in his family tree as either of us knows, there aren't any female names that we particularly like. Plus his family is big on re-using names, so every name has usually been used multiple times already. My MIL says she has a book with lots of family members in it that she'll lend us, so maybe there'll be something in there that we like.

I just want her to have a pretty middle name. Sure, you don't use it much, and as a girl she may not even use it anymore after the first 20-some years, but I just don't want her to dread taking standardized tests at school because the teacher calls you up by your full name and "Oh no! Now all my friends are going to laugh at me because they'll know my middle name is Mildred!"

If we don't come up with something else, she'll probably end up Charlotte Amalie. I'm probably worrying too much about what other people will think anyway. In the meantime, we're still brainstorming, so feel free to offer suggestions. I'm kind of trapped in the mindset that it needs to be a 4-syllable name that ends in "a", but maybe if someone comes up with a good suggestion that I hadn't thought of it'll knock me loose from my name rut.

Otherwise she might just have to deal with a lifetime of "Did your parents conceive you in St. Thomas?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The agony and the ecstasy

Some of you may be wondering, where are all the pregnancy gripes? I haven't heard her complain about anything for days at least. Well, truth be told, for the past week or two I haven't really had any. But my body doesn't want things to get boring around here, so in the last couple days it put an end to the boring-ness and started up with the SCIATICA! That word just LOOKS scary.

I remember it from last time; I think it started later on in the pregnancy though, but it didn't stick around the whole time so that is comforting. It is both the best and worst pregnancy issue that I have. I say worst because when I bend or turn or step a certain way, an intensely painful jolt runs down the back of my right leg, usually causing me to emit a loud noise or exclamation and alarming everyone in my vicinity. It also provides low-level background pain while I'm walking. So yeah, the pain sucks.

But it's also quite manageable compared to other problems, because if I lay down it goes away entirely. Most issues or injuries or illnesses you encounter are kind of just THERE, no matter what you do, and when you're in constant and inescapable discomfort it starts to wear on you. But I can get perfect relief just by lying down, so it's bearable. Unfortunately I can't lie down all the time (well maybe I should say fortunately, because lying down all the time would basically be bedrest and I SO don't want to be on bedrest) so I have to deal with it. When I lay down in the evening to make it stop though, I tend to fall asleep, resulting in 11 hour sleep marathons. But at least I don't require a nap when I do that, and I am more productive during the day.

Like today I got all my errands done, and then came home to continue being productive. I picked out a crib for the baby and found the cheapest place to buy it, scheduled an appointment (for tonight) with my seamstress so that we can hopefully make me look like slightly less of a rhinoceros in the bridesmaid dress I have to wear next month, got the house clean again, showered, and started dinner.

OH! And in news that is interesting only to me, I also did a little research and confirmed my suspicion that pregnant ladies only need to avoid RAW MILK soft cheeses. I was wistfully caressing a particular hunk of cheese at the Common Market today when a person who worked there happened by and exclaimed "THAT is the BEST cheese I have ever had!" She went on extolling the virtues of the cheese for about 3 minutes while the saliva ran down my chin and onto my belly, and when I saw that it was pasteurized milk I decided to just hope that a bite or two wouldn't give me listeria and I bought the stuff. When I got home I discovered I can enjoy it guilt-free, and OH, it's like it came from heaven's refrigerator. It's bleu-cheesy in the middle, and somehow it magically fades to brie-like with a rind on the outside. It embodies both of the types of cheese (well all 3, because it's goat milk) that I have missed so very much while pregnant and IT'S ALL MINE!

Good thing I'm only cutting down on processed sugar today and not on fat. Although it probably won't help me look like less of a rhinoceros in my dress. Oh well, I'm sure the baby is enjoying it too, and it has, like, calcium and stuff so it's, like, actually good for me, and yeah.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finally a lull

I am no longer my daughter's best friend. Not because my best friend status was pulled in a fit of toddler-rage, but because I have been replaced. By a feather. And also a monster.

I hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law this weekend, and as she is not a very flowery-shower type person, the theme was pink pirates (and smoothies). It turned out to be lots of fun, we got to tease Margaret a lot, and we found out from Grandma that some of the best meat in a pig comes from behind the eyes. Mmmmm, can't wait for the pig roast next month. I know where I'll be aiming MY fork!

I acquired a pirate hat and a pink feather boa for Margaret to wear, and in the course of the day the boa dropped a couple feathers here and there, one of which Emily formed a very strong attachment to. The next morning she could be found wandering dreamily around, gently cradling the feather in her hand and periodically rubbing it across her cheek. She walked up to me at one point, held up the feather, and said "This my best friend". Now I knew when she told me a couple weeks ago that I was her best friend that it wouldn't last forever, but I was thinking I would end up being usurped by a kid; not, well, a feather. But a bit later, she made me feel better by saying "Feather Emmy's best friend, and Monster Emmy's best friend, and Mommy Emmy's best friend too!" So at least I now share best friend status with the feather and Emily's imaginary friend Monster, who is a recent and mysterious addition to our household. All we know about him is that he is green and he likes to climb into bed with us. Kinda creepy, if you ask me.

So we made it through Gorham, the shower, and Will's birthday lunch at Fogo de Chao yesterday (so much meat, but SOOOO yummy!), and Emily promptly got sick. Of course I'd rather her NOT be sick, but I sure can't complain about the timing. We have a luxurious stretch of about 3 weeks before any more major events are to take place, so we can just stay home and recover. Plus, even though her head sounds miserably clogged and her nose is a faucet, she is still a little sweetheart and in very high spirits so that is good. She even gave me the slip this afternoon and when I found her several minutes later she was in the backyard violating our "We don't go outside naked" rule. She was not technically in full violation, because she was wearing her pink crocs, but still. I guess we need to work on our "private parts should remain private" lesson some more, but boy is that one difficult with a 2 year old. Especially one who, when her requests to be naked have been fulfilled, always follows them up with "Want to be naked OUTSIDE." We'll have to take this girl to Orient Beach in St. Martin sometime.

Now if you'll excuse me, Emily just faked me out with a claim that she had gone poopy outside, but after investigating now it appears that one of us is bleeding so I should probably go figure that out. We may not have any events coming up, but things certainly aren't dull.

UPDATE: The blood spots I keep finding around the house turned out to be red food coloring from when Emily and I made playdough earlier today. She DID, unfortunately poop in her pants outside, the poop just covertly escaped from her pants before I took them off and once I had determined there was no poop in her pants I was so distracted by the blood that the poop laid undiscovered on the floor of the bathroom for a good 10 minutes until I just heard Will shout in surprise. Definitely not dull.

Monday, August 31, 2009


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO WILL (yesterday)! I am once again married to an older man.

Love you darling :-)

This one family camp....

So we're back, and the whole trip was pretty great. Emily did really well traveling, breaking the trip up into 3-4 hour chunks worked out really well. Next time though, I will probably try to book us hotels in Binghampton instead of Scranton, because Scranton? SUX. I-81 is pretty much the worst road ever built, but the stretch near Scranton is especially terrible. It is constantly under one kind of construction or another that necessitates closing it down to 1 lane, except that no one is ever actually DOING any work. See, around us, when they're not actively doing work on the road, THEY PICK UP THE TRAFFIC CONES AND LET YOU DRIVE ON IT. Not so up there. Add to that the facts that it is the dreariest place on earth (the pool at our hotel on the way back was closed in August. If it's closed in August, when is it warm and sunny enough to be open?), they like to hide their Wegmans up in the mountains way off the main road, their Red Robin got absolutely every item we ordered wrong, and the people we met were not very bright, and you've got yourself a pretty lame place. Emily did enjoy watching the Polkafest 2008 channel on TV in the hotel room though.

So yeah, I guess I just said the trip was awesome and then went directly to complaining about the part that wasn't. Better get back to the good parts.

Emily was great in the car, although she tended to start yelling "Need to go pee pee in the potty!" whenever she was bored. After stopping every 15 minutes for awhile (we don't want to undermine her progress by telling her to go ahead and pee in her pullup! But ugh, it's raining and we're actually making progress on 81 and it's SO unsafe to pull over and get out of your car on the side of an interstate!) we got into a good rhythm, and she actually stayed dry throughout every leg of our trip except while she was asleep.

Gorham itself was nice. Will was beside himself to finally be back to the place he spent all his childhood summer vacations after a 10 year hiatus. To him, this place is heaven on earth. To me it was nice, but aside from the pleasant weather it could've been one of the lakes in the mountains we have near us. But it was definitely fun, and Emily had a blast. She did lots of random running around, she tried out the rock climbing wall, rode a pony for the first time, fed the ducks, went swimming, made a clay sculpture, and played "soccerball", which consisted of putting basketballs back in their holders, or just stomping in puddles on the basketball court. She was fearless, and I was proud. Exhausted, but proud. Plus, discounting one day when she didn't use a potty ONCE, she stayed 100% daytime potty trained the whole time we were there. It helps to have a room full of people to clap and cheer every time she emerged from the bathroom after having peed in the potty. And between the baby, who has decided that my bladder is much too spacious and needs to be compressed, and Emily potty training, we did a lot of emerging from the bathroom. At least Emily claps for me and says "yay mommy!" every time I pee in the potty as well.

Everyone got along really well too. Will's mom's family all act super-happy all the time. My family on the other hand, are kind of known for their biting sarcasm and cynicism, so I wasn't sure how we'd all get along. It turns out that having a toddler around really helps, because EVERYONE kind of has to act super-happy when dealing with a toddler. I DID get a bit sick of all the inquiries (always accompanied by a light backrub) about whether or not I was getting enough rest, and admonishments to make sure I was taking care of myself. Are YOU going take over chasing after Emily and provide me a bed in which to nap? No? Well then stop telling me what I already know!

Will was a superstar though (He's healthy again! He's back! Huzzah!) and my mother-in-law did take Emily for us a couple times so we could go on a little hike or learn that we kinda suck at canoeing. But through a laborious method we came up with out of desperation to not get left behind by the group, we managed to keep up with the best of them by the end.

The food was surprisingly good. The presence of a vat of oatmeal at breakfast and a salad bar and soup offering at lunch and dinner meant that even Will didn't have to resort to eating alternate meals. The portions were sometimes a bit paltry though, so I occasionally had to pull the pregnant lady card in order to get enough to eat. Luckily we had brought tons of food, so no one was in danger of starving.

I kind of also fell in love with the cook. I went back to the kitchen one day to ask for more chicken patties for the table, and they were supplied to me by a 40-something man with blue eyes and a very compelling air about him. Oh, and an Australian accent. Sigh. He really reminded me of that military guy in season 4 of Lost who keeps trying to kill everyone on the island except that he cooks for a YMCA camp instead of being a slightly crazed mercenary.

When I went back to the table, I told Will about my new crush, but he said he had already asked him out. Apparently while Will was back there he had overheard an old lady asking the chef out, but he turned her down. At that point Will asked if he could ask the chef out, and the chef told him yes. So I guess Will and I are in competition for the same guy. Will has a head start because he's already asked him out, and because he's in good shape and, you know, NOT 5 months pregnant, but I'm banking on the chef having at least a slight preference for women. We'll just see the next time we go back to Gorham.

The trip home was less good than the trip up, what with Emily getting a slinky caught in her hair that had to be cut out, Scranton trying to make our little girl sad every chance it got (hotel pool closed, Wegmans wouldn't let her play on their indoor playground, I-81 being SHUT DOWN TO 1 LANE FOR NO REASON AGAIN forcing us to take windy backroads that made her sleeping head flop around like crazy) and on the very last 5 miles of the trip, me hitting a deer on Rt. 40. We were really SO lucky because even though I hit the thing hard enough that I saw pieces fly off (shudder), we weren't hurt and the car wasn't hurt. It was right over a blind hill, and I probably only managed to slow myself down to 45-50 mph before impact, and I KNOW you're not supposed to slam the brakes and swerve but how on earth are you supposed to overcome your instinctive reaction in a situation like that? The deer did not really die though, and I will forever have nightmares about watching the thing seize and pull itself up to an upright lying position before just giving up and laying down to die. Apparently no one cares about deer on the side of the road on a Saturday evening, because no one would come to put it out of its misery. All we had was a swiss army knife, and Will did not want to try to kill a wild animal with nothing but a pocket knife. I don't blame him one bit. And I just hope I broke the deer's spine so it couldn't feel anything below the waist (if deer have waists).

So as I said, we're back, we're thankfully undamaged, and we'll be returning to Gorham the next time August rolls around and we DON'T have a crawling baby.

I have as many pictures as the connection at the Big Moose Inn would let me upload in a reasonable amount of time up here, and if I'm feeling post-y I'll put up some more later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A letter to my Endocrinologist

Dear Dr. Adrianna,

Boy, we've known each other for a long time, haven't we? When you joined the practice I had been going to since birth, it was perfect timing. There I was, a 14-year old with a major thyroid problem, and a family doctor who had run out of ideas for how to treat me. I was lucky enough to start seeing you just as you began practicing. We didn't know it at the time, but you would become quite popular in the years to come.

You were not afraid to take quick and decisive action, even with a person as young as I was, and my quality of life has improved dramatically because of it. Plus I get to tell fun stories about the Christmas when I was radioactive. That geiger counter and I kept the family entertained through many a long winter's night.

As I got older, I came to appreciate all the one-on-one time you spent with me. When you walk into that room, you sit down like you're looking forward to a conversation with a friend, and we talk about all sorts of things, not just my medical issues. I now know how rare that is.

So your nurse is a numbskull who I can't stand (as a person, OR as a nurse). That's not really your fault, right? And I only have to put up with her for a bit before and after the appointment. It's you I'm really there to see.

And so it takes over 6 months to get an appointment with you. As long as things are going ok I only need to see you once a year, right?

And so you only work 2.5 days a week. I can rearrange my schedule once a year, can't I?

And so I moved over the mountain and your office is now quite out-of-the-way.

Except that it's all becoming not OK.

Whenever I call to get an appointment or a prescription refill or a lab slip, I am on hold FOREVER, and then I'm always treated like an idiot by the secretaries, who are all definitely God's gift to the medical community.

And sure, last time I called for a lab slip nothing happened for a week, and when I called back again your numbskull nurse sent it to my old address (which shouldn't even be on file there anymore), but I finally got the slip just barely before my baby was out of the developmental time period when it's SO important to closely monitor thyroid levels. That counts, right?

But when numbskull nurse called me last week after hours so I couldn't call her back, then called me again bright and early Monday morning, then called me AGAIN today to say she still hadn't gotten my lab results, I started to get annoyed. When I apologized and said that my OB was supposed to have sent the results to them and that I would talk to them about it in person at my appointment tomorrow, and numbskull got SNIPPY with me and said "Well make sure you do, because Adrianna has been waiting since June for these results", I kind of snapped.

You mean you guys are getting irritated about waiting for lab results? Like I get irritated having to wait 6 months to get an appointment with you? Like I get irritated waiting weeks for my lab slip to show up so that I can get the blood tests that you are now hassling me about? Like I get irritated waiting an hour past my appointment time to finally get called in to see you? Like I get irritated waiting on hold, waiting at the lab because you guys won't draw my blood anymore, dealing with your nurse, basically doing everything it takes to see you just so that I can get that half hour with you each year?

I'm afraid if you guys are getting irritated with me because my OB messed up and after I have promised to correct it at my earliest convenience, I am going to have to forget about our good rapport and tell you to stick it WAY up there.

I am going to find a new endocrinologist.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Who down in Whoville

Well, we had our ultrasound today, and Zippy cooperated! The technician (who was full of exclamations about the baby like "Hey there gorgeous" and "what a cutie-pie" that were delivered with complete professional boredom) was able to get a "hamburger shot" (which I will not post) but that means we have a little girl in there! Here are the other pictures:

Her foot (a VERY long, thin Deyle-looking foot. I sincerely hope she doesn't end up with size 13 feet like her grandmother and aunts on Will's side):

Her face:

So the first thing I thought when I saw this side-profile picture is that she looks kind of like a Who, what with the teeny upturned nose and her mouth down at the bottom of her face. What do you think?

I'm sure it's just an unflattering angle. And considering Emily looked like a terrifying skeleton and then came out looking adorable, I'm not too worried.

So yeah, we'll have 2 girls! Will and I are very excited to see our two little blonde girls running around in dresses looking adorable. I'm also excited to be able to re-use all of Emily's old clothes and other pink paraphernalia, and to be able to see how they are similar and different without wondering if the differences are because of their genders. I guess my morning sickness this time WASN'T because I'm having a boy!

I am also excited because I will be getting 2-3 MORE ultrasounds during this pregnancy to monitor our little girl's growth (she measured 1 day ahead today, so she's doing great so far). So yay for that too!

And while I'm posting pictures of one of my girls, I've got to post this picture of my other girl. Does she have a kickin' tan or what? I'm jealous, neither her mommy or her daddy tan like that, we just burn:

Also, just because it's adorable, here is Emily modeling her life vest for our trip next week, and her new hiking boots:

She looks totally prepared to be a big sister :-)