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.