Archive for September, 2008

Alone

Oh man. I loved your comments about C-sections and parenthood and the compliments made me cry, although really, you do know me, in a way, but you don’t know how much I fart or how awful I am with remembering people’s birthdays! I AM SO BEHIND ON GIFTS. HOWEVER AM I GOING TO BE A MOTHER?

The day was also helped by the fact that I saw a place I loved which, even if we don’t take it, restored my faith in house-hunting, that perhaps we won’t be screwed and homeless and living somewhere without working toilets after all. Plus, a local friend gave me a lead on a gorgeous place nearby, so yes, perhaps we WILL be okay. Maybe.

I also went to Harrington’s for lunch. Do you know Harrington’s and their miraculous hams? I’m not a huge ham person, but these are really great hams, and their cheese is quite good also. I’m a bit of a fanatic, and everyone who comes to visit is hauled to one of their locations and forced to take home a ham and hey, they do a catalog business and wow, I sound like a HARRINGTON’S LACKEY, don’t I? Also, if you type ‘ham’ enough it looks like the absurdly ridiculous word that it is. Say it with me: HAM. Ahem, anyway, I ate an ENTIRE SANDWICH (not made of ham), which is a first for me, and purchased a ham (a wee size only available in stores) for dinner tonight and my God, I ate that too, along with some scalloped potatoes. It’s a MIRACLE. Also, perhaps not the most appropriate meal for uh, Rosh Hashanah (ham and cheese?), but delicious nonetheless.

By the way, one of my favorite things to do is to have lunch by myself. I don’t know about dinner, as I’ve never done a full dinner alone, and any time the opportunity’s presented itself, I’ve chosen to get room service and stare blankly at the television for hours on end. I’ve never understood the whole, “Can you eat alone in a restaurant?” thing, because I’ve always found it very soothing. This may be because I don’t mind being alone at all, anywhere — I prefer to shop alone, and if I’m with a lot of people for too long I start going nuts, because OH MY GOD I NEED TWENTY MINUTES BY MYSELF. I also may be hermit-like and odd, I … I don’t know.

Also, the other day I mentioned that my nails are quite robust, but what I didn’t mention is that I’ve suddenly become one of those women who treats them like PETS and files them every night, making sure they’re happy in their newfound glory. And to think, it was only a year ago that I thought any nails beyond the quick were disgusting. (I still think that, I mean, if you’re not going to clean them obsessively. No one wants to think about the potential for bacteria under there, least of a all a pregnant lady with a weak disposition. GRAH.)

And finally if, like me, you’re a Simon Pegg fan (and who didn’t like Hot Fuzz?) might I recommend that you either adjust your expectations and/or skip Run, Fatboy, Run entirely? I don’t mean to discount David Schwimmer’s directorial skills, but the whole thing sort of made sense for me once I realized that he’d directed it. It was LAME. VERY LAME. And not at all up to Pegg’s usual hilarious standards. Very sad.

Happy Wednesday!

*Heart. I LOVE Heart.

26 comments September 30th, 2008

Cuts You Up

So, uh, how about Wall Street, eh? What an exciting time we live in! Bailouts, fingerpointing and pathetic politicking, OH MY! It’s all very tiring, even if you’re interested in it, which I am.

But this isn’t really about that, because today was, all economic disasters aside, a good day, health-wise. After a rough start to the morning, I eventually shored up my resources enough to make it out for pot roast night at a local restaurant! (Confession: I love pot roast. Adam does not. Ergo, I find myself at our local home-cooking place for Pot Roast Mondays more often than not. I know it’s gross, but I have a thing for pot roast, I can’t help myself, and it’s one of those meals you can’t really make for one. But what kind of person doesn’t like pot roast, I have to consistently ask this man that I love so dearly?)

Plus, there are bigger problems in my world, such as the fact that I can’t get the “Two and a Half Men” theme song out of my head, and haven’t been able to for DAYS. DAYS. And despite the show’s popularity, every single time I’ve caught an episode, I’ve felt a little — how shall I put this? — less intelligent, and I’m a HUGE FAN of dumb television, really I am. Look, I’m not pretending that watching Sookie Stackhouse drool over a vampire named Bill is anything but cheap froth, but Charlie Sheen goes a little beyond the pale for me, I don’t know why.

The other thing that I really feel like I’ve neglected to emphasize in this Time of Pregnancy Woe and Pukage is that I’m honest and truly ridiculously excited about being a mom. I am, more than I can properly express here, and while that should be obvious, I can’t tell you how it seems that once you’re pregnant, all anyone wants to tell you is the bad stuff and how HORRIBLE it is and how NO ONE TOLD THEM how hard it was. And believe me, while I’m fully expecting to be shocked and horrified with the relentless agony that is parenthood at times, to those people, I sort of feeling like asking, “Uh, seriously? No one told you? COME ON. That’s either a) a total lie or b) you just weren’t paying attention.”

Because, if it isn’t obvious, that’s ALL anyone has told me: how tired I’ll be, how miserable I’ll be, how I’d better sleep now, because I will never sleep again. This latter part I know for a fact is a lie, because I’m fairly certain that my mother sleeps just fine these days, so don’t tell me there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, albeit 33 years later.

At this point, quite frankly, I’m anticipating parenthood to be akin to having giant swaths of bamboo shoved up my fingernails at the expert hands of Sayid Jarrah and will be pleasantly surprised to find if it’s anything remotely otherwise. But really, you guys, I’m so excited to meet this little person, and be someone’s mother. Because I have to believe in the midst of all the crap, there is good stuff, like baths! Smiles! Playtime! Learning about dinosaurs! And I cannot wait.

Hey, speaking of scary, I was flipping through one of my pregnancy books again last night and was hit with one of the most terrifying photos I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and it was presented WITHOUT WARNING, all casual-like, as though it would not haunt my dreams for the months to come. It involved (oh, I can barely type it) a photo of a baby, all snuggly in a woman’s uterus with ONE LEG DANGLING OUT OF HER VAGINA. ONE LEG. And it made it appear as though this sort of thing an just HAPPEN, like not even in DELIVERY or anything, and I’m not kidding, there was NO EXPLANATION ACCOMPANYING THE IMAGE.

I could be at a cocktail party in one of my cute little Gap maternity dresses, when suddenly, a giant penis-like thing comes shooting out from between my legs and I have to explain, “Oh, no worries, that’s NOT a penis, it’s just my baby’s leg! No big deal! It’s called a FOOTLING BREECH and it’s quite manageable! Now, if you’ll excuse me …”

(Seriously, WHAT THE HELL, “What to Expect …”? I thought you were supposed to be all UPDATED and stuff, so as NOT TO TERRIFY THE NICE PREGNANT LADIES.)

In addition, while I am not married to any specific birth plan — no, seriously, I DO NOT CARE, and I understand there are women who do! I do! I get it! But I am not one of you! — I am a bit in fear of the C-section, not because I’m afraid of surgery (I’m not), but because I am afraid of being strapped to a table like Jesus. I don’t do well with my arms out like that, all vulnerable-like, and it’s been a long-held fear of mine, having my wrists exposed. I hate it, and will never — NEVER — hold my arms up to you, wrist forward, because I am afraid (oh look, I KNOW) that you or someone else will decide in that moment cut them. I don’t know why this is, it’s just a THING I have, that strangers (or uh, friends and family) are going to be wielding knives for the express purpose of slicing my wrists the moment I show them. And in the operating room, THERE ARE SCALPELS. For baby-freeing and maybe wrist-cutting, oh my God, and the thought makes me feel very, very faint.

I know how weird that sounds, being totally cool with being eviscerated while they sling my intestines on the table to get to my baby, but NOT being cool with the (totally unlikely) idea of someone CUTTING MY WRISTS IN THE INTERIM. I’m actually planning on packing some uh, wrist bands for the occasion. It’s the only thing I’ll have written in my birth plan, swear to God. “In event of C-section, for the love of all that is holy, WRAP SOMETHING AROUND MY WRISTS TO PROTECT THEM FROM ROGUE KNIVES.”

(I’m absolutely serious about this. I know you think I won’t care, but you don’t understand how deep this fear is. I will care, I assure you, and I will need something that I BROUGHT MYSELF to go under the strap they give me, because it could be filled with SLICING INSTRUMENTS. I … do you think they’ll let me do this? OH GOD.) (No, really. I’m serious.)

And with that, I bid you happy Tuesday. I’m looking at a house tomorrow that appears to have working toilets. Viva la rental market!

*Peter Murphy

43 comments September 29th, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

Oh dear. First of all, thank you so much for all the soup recipes, both here and e-mailed. I am officially ready for soup, and this week, plan to make at least one of them, as soon as I stop dying. Because OH YES, I AM DYING. I have been, in the words of Adam, the sickest he’s ever seen me in our ten years together, and what a time for such illness, while PREGNANT, THANK YOU JESUS. I … I scared him a little, and frankly, I terrified the crap out of myself, at times quite literally. There were fevers (quickly reduced with Tylenol so as not to fry the babe)! Projectile vomiting while driving (Driv.Ing.)! Coughs to wake the dead! Wheezing! Migraines! OH MY GOD, IT WAS (is) HORRIBLE.

I think the whole thing can be summed up thusly: complete system failure. Lungs, sinuses, intestines, digestion … every single part of my body went up into a MASSIVE SCREAMING FAIL, and if it wasn’t for my husband, who was kind enough to fetch me things like cup o’ noodles, water and tea, I’m fairly sure I’d be dead now, not to mention filthy and very scary.

Which, when you consider the disaster that was my house-hunting experience on Thursday, didn’t seem so bad for a little while there. Um, oh my God. I really don’t know what else to say other than that. I did find myself at a home directly across from my OB/GYN’s office that was so old and decrepit that the doors did not appear to lock — they were wide open when I arrived — and had toilets that were OFF OF THE FLOOR. As in, WERE NOT ATTACHED TO THE PLUMBING, but apparently did not count, because it was in a side apartment that wasn’t going to be rented for obvious reasons, but came with the house “as a bonus!” Oh ha ha HA. I might add that our price range is equal to that of a two to three bedroom home in the Boston area. THE BOSTON AREA. AS IN, A MAJOR METRO AREA IN THE NORTHEAST, THE MOST EXPENSIVE PART OF THE COUNTRY.

And this … this is fucking VERMONT, which is decidedly not Boston or, say, Manhattan. It might be the most ridiculous rental market I’ve ever encountered, and if I weren’t thisclose to being virtually booted from our current abode, I would give up entirely, because for what they showed me, you’d think I’d arrived and said “Hi! I’d like a gigantic three-bedroom home for $500 a month, please! Anything with a working toilet is A-OK and even THAT’s negotiable!”

Except that I won’t give up, because I do think we’ll find something (PLEASE GOD), it’s just HOO BOY my first true go was a laughable one, and may have reduced my faith in humanity even more than it was already diminished. It is also possible that I am clouded by hormones and a little bit of mucus, and my default setting is to panic rather quickly in these situations and go all Eeyore, so I am staying positive! AIEEEEEEE.

And now for two totally unrelated, and nowhere equally exciting bits of news:

– The baby is fine, and has a wee little heartbeat that’s just perfect for his or her size. And I’ve gained four pounds, thanks to Swistle’s cookies and brownies! My doctor was very pleased, as I was, that I’m no longer SHEDDING pounds and have moved on to ADDING them. Although I am sad to report that I’m fairly certain I just lost them all over again, at the hands of this ridiculous, ridiculous disease. My stomach is almost flat, which it most definitely should not be at 17 weeks, and it’s a little upsetting, frankly. I never thought the sight of a smaller belly would fill me with so much woe, but it does. I also got snookered into the AFP, which I did not want, because everyone I know has TERRIFYING RESULTS with it, then goes on to have healthy, robust, non-spina bifida babies.

But on the upside, have I mentioned my long, gorgeous, well-manicured Sarah Palin fingernails? I might as well be sporting ACRYLICS over here, such is the strength and beauty of these bad boys. The lone positive side effect of pregnancy I’ve experienced thus far.

Also, the Big Sex Reveal ultrasound is scheduled for Oct. 20. I, for one, cannot freaking WAIT. My money’s on the fact that it’s a girl because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m TERRIFIED of having a girl, and am much more comfortable with a boy (AM NOT GIRLY). I sort of think by that logic that I’m destined to have a girl as a cosmic lesson in doing what makes you uncomfortable in the name of big reward. Although let’s be honest, I’m not sending it back no matter what happens, and I’ll embrace whoever he or she is as long as they’re healthy and happy. Obviously. And you know, guesses are still welcome based on this totally grainy and inconclusive ultrasound of nothingness from about five weeks ago that could very clearly go either way (I HAVE NO IDEA).

Baby Parts

(Arrow points to baby bits. It’s uh, from behind.)

– I reported Lawyerish’s shitty, shitty news a few weeks ago, but I am happy to say that there is HUGE, EXCITING, LIFE-CHANGING STUFF going on over there, and I’m so happy for her and her darling husband and their wee little baby girl. Go check it out. Bring Kleenex.

Happy Monday! If you read this and come in contact with me, for the love of Jesus, wash your hands or better yet, stay 10 feet back.

*Kate Nash.

21 comments September 28th, 2008

Move Away

Contributing, I believe, to the general crabbiness around here — crabbiness that even I will admit has reached HILARIOUS levels, as I swear to God, sometimes I stop being pissy to just laugh at what a Crabby McCrabpants I’m being — is a head cold. A relatively minor head cold by non-pregnant standards, but I never realized what sweet relief it was to be able to pop some Dayquil and carry on with life as though nothing had happened. Sure, you might have medicine head, but it beats the pants off of dealing with unmitigated green snot and, your friend and mine, The Herp Lip.

Ah, Herp Lip. How nice of you not to forget about me during pregnancy. It’s a pleasure to be able to play host to not one, but TWO parasitic entities, one lovable, one … not.

Tomorrow, by the way, I’m taking the day off from all work-related responsibilities to attend an OB appointment, wherein I sincerely hope they can find this kid’s heartbeat, because I’m reading all about how I should be feeling kicks and whatnot down there and I DO NOT FEEL A BLESSED THING EXCEPT THE URGE TO PEE AND MAYBE THROW UP. I will also be looking at houses — five, to be specific — and am both dreading and looking forward to it.

I know this is irrational, but there’s something about renting at this stage of life that makes me feel wholly inadequate, like I’ve FAILED somewhere. This is made all the more ridiculous by the fact that a) I am a home owner, just not where I live, thanks to the wonders of the economy (with strong fundamentals!) and a pillow-soft housing market; b) Even if I WANTED to buy a second home, I wouldn’t buy one in Vermont, because while we like it here, this is not a permanent solution, so I’d be renting regardless; and c) at least the home I own is rented to someone and not in foreclosure like so many others, my God, Jonna, SHUT UP.

Anyway, in many ways, renting should make me feel like a colossal success, because I’ve been amazed at the amount of people drooling over us, simply by the fact that we’re two clean-cut, professional people with good jobs who can not only afford the rent (a novel concept), but don’t plan on throwing parties with elephants and camels on the weekends. Now, I would have assumed in this bleak housing economy where no one is buying anything that there are many people like us, but apparently I was wrong, for when I hung up with a prospective landlord this evening, the desperation of his “I SINCERELY HOPE YOU LIKE THE HOUSE” was nearly palpable, and it’s been much the same with as many others.

So we’ll, uh, see. Sunny is causing a small kink in our plans, as though we are drool-worthy tenants, we do come with an mini-beast who really does drool and occasionally sheds.

And now! Onto my latest pregnancy obsession: soup. I know! How BORING. Pie and apples have hit the road, my friends. They were wonderful while they lasted, but all good things must come to an end. And seeing as I already have the recipes for my other obsession (BROWNIES) thanks to Swistle, I find that soups and stews really are the next frontier in pregnancy foods, along with English muffins. Something about the nooks and crannies.

The problems with commercial soups are several-fold, and include: a) the meat in them is so gross even to a non-pregnant me, but add a total intolerance for anything gristly (HALP) or off-color (HOLD ME) and we have the Return of the Vomit Monster; and b) the only commercial soups that have any complexity at all and/or lack the Icky Meat factor are tomato broth-based, which OH MY GOD, NO NO. THE HEARTBURN. NO.

My favorite lately came from TwoBusy around this time last year — no, wait, oh my God, it was TWO WHOLE YEARS AGO — and I would be remiss in not paying it forward. I finished up the last in the freezer today and plan to make more tomorrow. (By the way, I usually freeze it, so I don’t use the pasta.) (Also, I know it’s got tomatoes, but there is a difference between tomato PUREE and chunks of tomatoes, you know? Or maybe you don’t.)

This is a long way of saying I welcome soup recipes that do not involve sauteed onions and peppers (GAH GAH GAH).

Happy Thursday! Wish me luck in my long, dark Day of Househunting and OB-GYNing.

*The Killers, who I love so very much still. Especially Brandon Flowers, who is rather tasty, despite the eyeliner and odd behavior.

30 comments September 24th, 2008

She Drives Me Crazy

First, I have to tell you all that I received a care package today from Swistle and it involved TWO KINDS OF BROWNIES. I know we’ve all read her recipes on occasion and thought, gee, that sounds good! I should try that sometime! But I have to tell you, you would be horribly mistaken if you didn’t make “sometime” turn into “this weekend.” They might be the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Ever. In my life, and that’s not an exaggeration. They’re dense and fudgy and chewy without being TOO dense and chewy, and they’re just the right amount of sweet and chocolatey, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get another one right this minute. Also included? Ginger snaps. These ginger snaps, and they’re even better than she says they are and I DO NOT EVEN USUALLY LIKE GINGER SNAPS. My beef with them is that they’re usually too gingery and a little too crispy/snappy, but these are PERFECT. LIKE, NO KIDDING.

Things around here are … a little nuts. In the last 24 hours, I’ve put together three new freelance proposals, two of which at the ball-ass last minute; uncovered a horrendously unethical scheme by the person who is buying our house and the Realtor selling our house designed to manipulate us into staying here until June, but only under certain, hilariously inconvenient and unethical circumstances; looked at three houses, none of which I liked; called on approximately 9,879,600 houses, flagged 1,098 inappropriate posts on Craigslist and yelled at the aforementioned Realtor who tried to have an electrician come to my home at 7 a.m. that I would, in fact, not hesitate to call the police if I saw their truck here before 9 a.m. and if she thought I was kidding that perhaps she should go ahead and try. I also think I used the words “over my limp, dead, pregnant body, no SERIOUSLY.”

Before I go on to state my next point which is, not surprisingly, that pregnancy makes you crazy, I will say that in this particular case I believe pregnancy insanity has worked in my favor. That is, I am more assertive than I would normally be (because really, 7 a.m. for a non-emergency electrician visit that has even NOTHING TO DO WITH ME is totally unreasonable), and paranoia, in this case, has led me to figure out that in at least one instance, people really were plotting to fuck me over in grand fashion.

However, this does not account for the level of crazy that takes over your body and mind in pregnancy that really, I don’t feel that anyone adequately warned me about. I knew enough about morning sickness to know that it can happen the way it’s happening to me (and who hasn’t read Jessica’s ordeal?), and all the body/boob changes haven’t really fazed me.

However, NO ONE prepared me for the insanity that are pregnancy hormones. Hormones that made me cry HYSTERICALLY for several hours (SEVERAL HOURS) because I’m afraid I’ll have to spend the rest of my family vacations at Disney World (uh, I won’t); hormones that made me absolutely lose my shit on poor Adam because he HAD to stop playing XBox THAT VERY MINUTE or the world would completely end and OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU STILL PLAYING? IT IS BECAUSE YOU HATE ME, DON’T YOU? Seriously, I harped on him for a good 20 minutes, with no discernible logic or reasoning — I didn’t want to watch TV, it wasn’t too late at night and I WAS NOT EVEN IN THE ROOM. It simply HAD TO BE DONE OR ELSE.

I can’t even go into the number of times I’ve snapped on him for some invisible transgression and at one point earlier in the day, I threatened to leave the ENTIRE STATE OF VERMONT because I didn’t want to be in the same state as someone I so vehemently dislike (the effing Realtor). I was, sadly, entirely serious, and spent a good 20 minutes plotting (WITH GOOGLE MAPS) how Adam could commute two hours to and from work from our cabin in the Adirondacks, because GOOD GODDAMN, I am NOT living in the same state as that fire-breathing ASS OF A WOMAN, DO YOU HEAR ME? VERMONT IS DEAD TO ME.

I know this all sounds so clearly insane, but at the time, I could not be stopped under any circumstances. And what’s worse, I can’t promise I won’t revisit each and every one of these issues again before this pregnancy is out.

Anyway! Let us end this ranty moment of insanity with an odd moment of zen thanks to Vermont’s quirky apartment and housing listings from various sources, shall we? Perhaps these tidbits will give you a little insight into why I AM SO INSANELY INSANE AND CRAZY.

— 7 room house with 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths available for someone willing to milk in exchange for the rent. Yes, that would be MILKING THE COWS. They need about 30 milkings a month to cover the rent, and while they would prefer an “experienced milker” they’re not afraid to train.

— If milking isn’t your thing, perhaps you’d like to take a peek at this little “fixer upper” that has had a “run of bad luck” (photo of dilapidated house with crazily crooked, not-intentionally detached porch and sloping roof included for detail) for $350/month. There isn’t any heat, per se, but a “stack of wood out back, if burned correctly, can heat a family of two for quite some time. Let us know soon!”

Seriously. I did not make up a single word of either of those listings. Lake George and a two-hour commute don’t seem that bad now, do they?

Edited to add in this delightful little postscript: Remember when I had a dream that my cream cheese was made with breast milk? No? Anyone? Well, if PETA has it their way, Ben & Jerry’s will be made with breast milk. To which I say heartily: Uh, NO? How about a HELL NO? How about a “No way, no how, no McCain, no Palin, no BREAST MILK in my ice cream?” Again, I’m all “Yay, breastfeeding!” but my God, I don’t want to CONSUME IT MYSELF.

Happy Wednesday!

*Fine Young Cannibals. I … I love them still. Because I’m stuck in 1989.

25 comments September 23rd, 2008

What Light

I realized today that part of the reason I’m so jazzed about fall is that it’s my first real autumn since 2004. 2004! I was in the Floridian purgatory since then, and to be honest, I’d almost entirely forgotten. I feel like I should take myself apple picking to celebrate or at least do something quintessentially autumnal. Perhaps a bonfire is in order. (By the way, Adam hates picking fruit. Hates. It’s this very strange thing of his. Anything labeled “pick your own” is wholly unappealing to him. He likes things professionally picked. Perhaps he doesn’t trust his own fruit instincts.)

Still medicated to the hilt over here, but tonight, I made dinner. A WHOLE DINNER. I mean, it was basically American chop suey and garlic bread — nothing remotely gourmet — but my God, I handled raw sausage and used my oven. An oven, by the way, that I had completely forgotten to operate. Completely. I couldn’t even figure out how to turn it on, and was almost in tears at one point, because JESUS, I COOKED ALL THIS STUFF and I couldn’t even bake it properly. Underuse or pregnancy brain? I’m honestly not sure.

The line, however, was drawn in the sand at sauteed onions and peppers. I actually chopped them and began the cooking process, only to find that I wasn’t quite up for them, and may never be again. Like, ever. Oh dear God, GET THEM AWAY GET THEM AWAY. RUN RUN RUN.

Sadly, that was my biggest thrill this weekend. I cooked dinner. Uh, hooray? How about some pictures instead, you boring-ass woman, you?

TAKING YOUR OWN BELLY PICTURES IN THREE ACTS
Subtitle: It’s surprisingly difficult and totally frustrating!

The Beginning (Also known as “Blurry Amusement with Bad Lighting and Misplaced Focus”)
Amused

The Beginning of the End (Alternate title: “How I Manage to Be Totally Annoyed, Taking Crooked Photos and Yet LOOKING AT MYSELF Being Totally Annoyed and Pushing the Button Anyway!”)
Not Amused

The End (Also known as “Oh Wait! There’s a Self-timer Function! Except There is Nowhere to Put the Camera But on the Dryer!”)
Self-timed

Also, hey, you know what’s unfair? The roll. You see it there? The bottom ROLL? The belly pooch most women have? IT DOES NOT GO AWAY, LIKE FOR A REALLY LONG TIME, even when your belly is growing! I should also say for the sake of my own vanity that this was taken at the end of the day, just after a meal of uh, American chop suey, garlic bread and maybe a dessert of one of those Betty Crocker Warm Delights in Molten Caramel, but I’m not admitting to anything.

And finally, because I almost forgot, it’s a virtual wedding shower for Jess! Hi, I’m late and totally awful about EVERYTHING, but a real, live wedding gift is winging its way to you. May you have a warm, wonderful marriage full of all of the best that life has to offer. I can truly say that marriage has made my life better by an infinite amount. I am certain it will do the same for you. xo

Happy Monday!

*Wilco. Because uh, I am very bad with the lighting. And the camera. And should not have anything but a point and shoot.

25 comments September 21st, 2008

Suckling the Mender

Well! Based on your comments, it seems that maternity wear sucks no matter what your size or situation. This is strangely comforting, although I am perhaps more consoled by the fact that at least designers are making a half-assed attempt to make us look like normal people, rather than 1950’s farmer’s wives with a penchant for big bows and smocks. I will admit, however, that the tie in the back is a bit of a throwback to those days, and the only time people ever acknowledge that I’m pregnant is when I’m wearing a tie-back shirt. It’s the universal symbol of knockeduppedness, apparently, so if you wish to avoid the Pregnant or Just Fat? conundrum, just slap a tie around your back.

They should make stick-on versions for women who just want a little extra sympathy that day. Have some extra fiber, get yourself a little bloated and stick on a bow. No one will know you’re not four months along!

I had an extraordinarily ordinary day today — I did very little other than work and a few small errands, but it was one of the most amazing days I’ve had in ages, because THERE WAS NO PUKING. I ate! I had a delicious breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts (TWO powdered jelly and a chai latte! TWO DONUTS) and I … I FUNCTIONED. Well, except for that hour mid-morning nap I took, thanks to the meds, but I’m not sure I can count that, because frankly, the Unisom/B6 combo is the only thing that enabled me to make it through the day, so who CARES about a measly nap, I say? WHO CARES? NAPS ARE FOR THE PREGNANT WHO WORK FROM HOME.

(Let me state for the record that that there statement makes me feel like a spoiled, spoiled ass. I KNOW I am lucky to work from home and be able to nap, believe me. It was, however, still only my third total. True story.)

This came as a most welcome respite after yesterday, which was quite possibly the worst day I’ve had this pregnancy so far. There was puking, there was what may be the end of the apple affair and there was an infinite amount of migraines, misery and woe. The sad truth is that I have to take the Faux Diclectin three times a day (the highest dose) in order to achieve Maximum Functionality and Minimum Crashing. By the way, my insurance did cave and will now approve Zofran, but at a 10-pill per month maximum, when you’re supposed to take it two to three times A DAY. A DAY. And I *think* the Diclectin’s working, so I’m saying thanks, but no thanks to that medicine to nowhere.

To continue this line of joy, it’s fall! It’s FALL out there, and the time for long sleeves is upon us. I spent some time this afternoon helping my neighbor cover her grapevines because tonight, we’re getting what I’m told will be a KILLING FROST. Do you know what that means? There is an end in sight of the stinky, smelly plants of summer and the endless wafting of cow manure. Come tomorrow, the world will be a little less horrifying. Soon there will be bonfires and crunchy leaves and then WINTER, when the WORLD WILL FREEZE AND STINK NO MORE.

Hyperosmia aside, I’m looking forward to fall and winter this year more than any other, perhaps because it will be the first full change of seasons since we left the land of eternal summer. I will also admit that my pregnancy automatically gives me a free pass on some of winter’s less than savory tasks, such as, like, for example, the shoveling and the scraping.

Also exciting? The new fall TV season, but most exciting of all is True Blood, which has already been re-upped for a second season. Oh, True Blood. I love you. I hate to admit this, but ever since I was wee, I have been a sucker for anything involving the words “vampire drama.” Anne Rice, apparently, had quite an impact on me and I read Interview with the Vampire in eighth grade, and yes, it scared the everloving shit out of me, and I do not recommend it for most 14 year olds. Next came an unhealthy obsession with Elizabeth Bathory and a bit of a crush on Gary Oldman as young Dracula (so creepy! so sexy!) and I’m kind of creeping myself out writing this, because do I sound like a weird kid or what? Highlander! Vampire obsessions! Oboe playing! Secret dabbling in paganism! I was one heartbeat away from a lifetime of excessive kohl eyeliner and spending every Wednesday at Vampire Night at Man-Ray in Central Square, Cambridge. Thank God for dodged, um, stakes and silver bullets.

Aand, on that embarrassing note, I’m off. I hope you have a great weekend.

*Cocteau Twins

28 comments September 18th, 2008

All In The Suit That You Wear

I think it speaks volumes to how isolated we are here in Vermont — at least our particular brand of country — that I thought that Syracuse was some sort of gleaming metropolis. I couldn’t stop marveling at the array of stores! Shopping! Car dealerships! When was the last time you gave your local car dealerships a nod of appreciation? It turns out their presence, provided they sell more than an odd mix of veggie-powered vans and Ford F150s, goes a long way to making you feel connected to the rest of the universe. Because if there’s a car dealership, that means there are people. People who need to buy cars because their jobs aren’t within walking or Schwinning distance, because they live in an actual city with an actual economy other than a college and the health food store.

Ahem. It seems I am a bit bitter today. Bitter because my sister-in-law can shop at a mall that doesn’t take an hour to get to and has a store that carries Gap Maternity clothes IN THE FLESH, without having to go through the whole online rigmarole, especially since the ladies in maternity catalogs have pregnancies akin to Jennifer Aniston’s on Friends. As in, THEY ARE MANNEQUINS. NOT PEOPLE.

Can you tell one of our items on the pre-baby list is to move to civilization, oh my lands? Or at least move somewhere that gDiapers (yes, I’m going to try them) are available somewhere other than the Interwebs?

Anyway, if you’ll indulge me for a moment to discuss maternity wear, I would be much obliged. I … well. I hate it. I hate shopping for maternity clothes, because it all feels like such a waste (and my GOD, they are SO EXPENSIVE) and yet wearing things that don’t fit and/or are uncomfortable make an already miserable pregnancy pretty close to absolutely unbearable. If there is ever a time when you need to look cute, it is at a time when you feel your shittiest. I have been gifted with a TON of baby crap from my younger brother who’s all set with the breeding, thanks, and I am so incredibly grateful to his family for it. I was never one for hand-me-downs until I got pregnant and realized how LITTLE this stuff is used and how EYE-POKINGLY EXPENSIVE it all is.

Alas, I have not been given any maternity wear. This both frustrates me and pleases me: on the one hand, I hate spending a ton of money on clothes I’ll wear for a year of my life, max, and it would have been nice to at least have a few hand-me-downs to get me started. On the other, I like being able to pick things out that suit me, rather than feeling like I have to figure out a way to make that polka-dotted shirt work because someone gave it to me, dammit, and I CANNOT WASTE THINGS.

However! I have a few bones to pick with the maternity wear industry. And if you are not pregnant, never plan to become pregnant, couldn’t give a shit about maternity wear because you’re wearing your husband’s jeans instead (BAD IDEA), you can stop reading and come back tomorrow. This will be boring as sin for you. Also bear in mind, your mileage may vary, etc. Also? I WELCOME ADVICE, FRIENDS. I’m not buying anything else for a little while, but I had to pick up a few things, at least to get me through now, as my belly is … a bit bigger. Not huge, but bigger. Big enough that the Bella Band is a thing of the past, not that I ever really liked it anyway (Turns out that wearing your pants unbuttoned means that there are buttons poking you in really bad places! Who knew?)

Anyway! My beefs and questions, in no particular order:

— Motherhood Maternity has the cheapest, strangest maternity clothes on the planet, and their sister stores (Mimi and Pea in the Pod) offer incremental improvements at best, and certainly not enough to warrant the price increase. For fun, why don’t you go check out A Pea in the Pod’s prices? I’ll wait. Now imagine that shirt will fall apart after two washings, and calculate the cost per wearing. Oh, I’m sorry, HAVE YOU DIED? Also, call me crazy, but I think $95 for a PLAIN COTTON T SHIRT is a bit excessive under normal circumstances, much less an inherently temporary condition. Side note: please note how the model’s crotch is dropping TO HER KNEES in the main photo. This is a recurring problem and does not bode well for their denim possibilities.

Not only are the shirts sized for anorexic primordial dwarfs, but they will disintegrate after one washing. To wit: I’m a size small/medium usually, but in Motherhood, I’m an XL. This leads me to wonder what in God’s name normal large/extra-large sized women do, which must be to make their own maternity clothes from leftover potato sacks, because Motherhood has decided that not only are they the most flatulent, pukey versions of themselves, but that they are also fat and slovenly and can’t even fit into the BIGGEST SHIRT THEY MAKE. Way to support the sisterhood, Motherhood! Make the perfectly normal pregnant ladies feel horrid!

Their one redeeming quality: bra extenders. God bless the bra extender, for when you’ve gone up a band size, but not a full cup size. And they’re CHEAP.

— I’m not sure the Bella Band was worth it, and I’m glad I took others’ advice and only bought one. I wore the thing for about a week, although the way it was hyped, I was expecting Jesus himself to come hold my pants up for the duration of its use.

— Edited to add thanks to Pork with Bones that YES OF COURSE, I have loved Target! How could I forget that long-ago, longed-for trip to Target to visit Liz Lange and her clothing of joy?

— I believe I can make it through the majority of this pregnancy (first and second trimester at least) without wearing a single maternity shirt, thanks to today’s generous styles and the return of the empire waist. I tried on one of those godawful belly strap-ons with a bagful of large tops recently purchased at Old Navy, and lo, there was still plenty of room beyond the … strap-on (oh God). I’m not sure if this would be true of second pregnancies, as you tend to get bigger, faster, but for now, I am running like the wind from the maternity shirt. Why? Because the vast majority of them — even those from places like the Gap — feature strings, ropes, buttons, bells and bizarre ties in the back designed to make you look huge all over, not just the belly. They also conveniently come to one’s knees, giving the illusion of the minidress over leggings trend, but without the streamlined appearance. Also, this length DOES NOT DISSIPATE, even with a large belly, thanks to the … strap-on. (It’s a drinking game!)

Is this a myth? Am I fooling myself?

— Buying jeans are a miserable adventure in Panel Confusion. Full panel? Hidden panel? Adjustable panel? Roll panel? Demi panel? Semi-demi panel? I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. So far, I’m favoring the demi and hidden panels, as the idea of a giant sock over my belly makes me want to throw up even more than I already do. And the hidden panel jeans I bought at The Gap make me feel more human than any other item of clothing I’ve worn so far. They fit like ACTUAL JEANS, like they would on an ACTUAL, NON-PREGNANT PERSON. And the … strap-on … fit above the waistband. This reminds me, too, that Gap’s jeans are the first that fit true to pre-pregnancy size, if not a bit bigger. I was an eight in Gap regular jeans, I’m a six or an eight in Gap maternity. I imagine this is true for Old Navy as well.

But I ask you, does the belly eventually feel like a giant breast that must be supported with something bra-like? I’m 16 weeks and have no need for the belly sock. When does this happen, if ever?

Dear lord, I think I’ve gone on enough. I’m scared.

Happy Wednesday!

*Stone Temple Pilots. Because I never grew out of the early ’90s, I suppose.

64 comments September 16th, 2008

Princes of the Universe

Of all the things I’ve learned this weekend, not the least of which is the all-important skill of remembering to charge the camera battery before going anywhere where you actually want to use the camera, the strangest may be that Dennis Quaid has a bit of an age-induced turkey wattle, and that I don’t really care about celebrities in person like, at all. I’m guessing that it’s even harder to get excited about B-list ones (sorry Dennis! You were once very cool, but no more! Maybe Innerspace 2?), although I’ll tell you, Adam and I discussed our lack of excitement over celebrities on the way home, and I realized that there are very few I would care enough to approach, and I’m including Brad Pitt in that category, although there is a SLIGHT chance I might see if Angelina Jolie would go in for a kiss. On me, that is. Screw Brad.

I think my celebrity excitement can be fairly limited to Vince Clarke, Peter Gabriel and Bernard Sumner, and hey, chances are I’d be the only person in the room who would even recognize them, so I could have them all to myself, should I be so lucky.

Well, and I would have been excited if Clancy Brown had been there, but only because he played The Kurgan in the first Highlander film, and had I seen him, I’m not sure I could have stopped myself from crying out “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE” and raising my fist in solidarity. I said as much to my gala-attending comrades, who stared at me blankly. I … I guess they weren’t as big of a dork as I was, and don’t even know about Planet Zeist and whatever, cool kids! Whatever!

(Uh, hello? Anyone out there? Have I out dorked you once and for all? Connor MacLeod? Anyone?)

Anyway! I also learned — confirmed, I should say — that Bob Costas is an actual, real-live douche, and I witnessed him being a douche at least six times over the course of the weekend. He also has very bad skin in person, and I feel okay saying that because I saw him being MEAN to actual, real-life NICE PEOPLE, and I don’t care if he reads this! He was MEAN.

Perhaps the best and worst news of the weekend, beyond the fact that I stayed out (as in, OUT OF THE HOUSE) until 2 a.m. which is something I will never, ever do again, was that I met my pregnancy equal. A friend of ours from college is expecting a baby three days after us, and his wife is in rough shape. Ah, validation in the form of someone else’s suffering. We clung to each other, white as sheets, blanching as tray after tray of high-end hors d’oeuvres were passed in front of our too-sensitive noses.

I’m nauseated at the moment, so that’s really all I can say, except that there was a moment when she looked at me after I came out of the bathroom and said, “Oh my God, are you okay? You look pale!” And really, all I could do was laugh, for if there was a whiter, more sickly looking person in the world, it was her, and I’m not sure a sadder pair has ever been spotted outside of a hospital ward.

And finally, two beauty-related bits of information I feel compelled to share, because they are THAT GOOD. First, Slynnro recommended a bunch of foundations to me, as my usual mineral routine is sucking eggs on my weirdo pregnant skin, and I picked up Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse as a starting point before moving on to Lancome to see if I liked the mousse-y texture. And OH MY GOD, YES I DO. Further, I have surprisingly dark skin for a white girl, and finding a foundation shade that matches my skin without being too orange is very hard, and yet their medium range has a few that come close. I’m not declaring it my holy grail of foundations, but I have some kind of hope for the future. And from MAYBELLINE, of all people. Who knew?

Secondly, in addition to dark skin, I have highly pigmented lips. This makes finding a nude lip shade nearly impossible. Nars laughed at me. Laura Mercier mocked me. And yet! I have found the greatest nude gloss of all time: MAC Viva Glam V, paired with Whirl liner. Apparently this is a secret that insiders have known for years, but I am just coming around to it. Blessed be.

I hope y’all have a great Tuesday.

*Queen. Um, from The Highlander soundtrack. Ha ha?

26 comments September 15th, 2008

You to Thank

I got all sniffly, warm and fuzzy reading your comments. Thank you so, so much, for you all made me feel so much better. Throwing up or not, it’s so nice to not feel so alone, and I can’t thank you enough. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the crap I’ve had to field comes from real-life friends and family who are pushing me to eat more and/or acting shocked and appalled that I’m still feeling this way, and implying that it’s all in my head, because SURELY I’m far enough into the second trimester that I should be feeling better by now? Maybe throwing up is just a habit? (A HABIT. SOMEONE SAID THAT. LIKE IT’S UP THERE WITH BITING MY NAILS.)

Perhaps the most murderous I’ve ever felt was the other day when our home was being inspected for sale and the buyer’s father came along to help his son out. In the span of fifteen minutes, he threw a rock at a hornet’s nest, creating a swarm of angry yellowjackets and trapping us inside; complained passive-aggressively that Sunny was sniffing his socks by admonishing her, i.e., ME with, “Young lady, didn’t your owner teach you not to do that?” (Uh, no? I taught her not to sniff crotches, but I thought feet were acceptable? Especially INSIDE HER OWN HOUSE?) and finally, plopped himself down on the couch with an iced tea (from me) and said, “So! Dan tells me you’re pregnant! Isn’t pregnancy the best? It’s such a wonderful thing to experience.”

I had just thrown up an iced coffee in the downstairs bathroom. Did he hear me? Was he MOCKING ME? Or was he just … making conversation and I’m an oversensitive lunatic who is angry about the hornets and the dog and P.S., had just THROWN UP?

This, by the way, was right up there with witnessing a man (A MAN) tell my friend Nicole, who’s having trouble nursing her seven-week-old son and has to supplement, that no no, she can’t let the child go off the breast! It’s much healthier! His empirical evidence was the fact that he had two sons, one sickly, one hardy (guess who was breastfed). She was too flabbergasted to speak, and I’m sorry to admit that I was, too, because I was afraid I’d grab a hold of his manly bits and twist until his face turned purple. In my opinion, neither dude has the right to say anything until they’re the ones a) puking up their lunch of pie or b) desperately nursing an infant until their nipples bleed and STILL getting a diagnosis of “failure to thrive”.

So again, thank you. I’m now at least marginally confident that I’ll end up with a baby that is semi-normal sized, with ten fingers and ten toes and not, say, skeletal and starving upon his or her grand entrance to the world and be whisked off by child protective services in the maternity ward.

Also thanks to all of you, I took my second-ever pregnancy nap today, brought on by a migraine (what every puking pregnant lady wants!), and I didn’t even feel the slightest bit guilty about it. Normally I felt too lazy and indulgent to do something like that, because there are female GARBAGE COLLECTORS who must do their jobs while gestating, and my heart perpetually goes out to the woman — excuse me, Sandwich Artist — who worked double shifts at the Subway restaurant in town (OMFG SUBWAY). So who am I to bitch about my cushy work-at-home WRITING JOB that does not involve smells or trash or lunch meat?

Incidentally, a relative gifted me with The Pregnancy Journal, which is a day by day guide to, uh, pregnancy (no kidding) and it’s really very cute, except that this week’s recommended food is sardines. SARDINES. I know that pregnancy is known for bringing about weird cravings (which, I’m sorry are more like the only foods that aren’t EVIL), but I have never known a pregnant woman who was all, YES PLEASE. SARDINES. Let me eat weird bony fish packed in Mystery Mustard Sauce in a yellow, paper-wrapped CAN.

That’s all I really wanted to say. I mean, the thank you part that is, not the sardines (but still, sardines? SERIOUSLY). We’re off to Syracuse after work tomorrow for the weekend, and I promise to bring back pictures, at least so there will be ONE photo of me while pregnant, and in a dress to boot.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

*Ben Folds. Perhaps I can call him twee again and his mother, bassist or best friend will come out of the closet?

26 comments September 10th, 2008

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