Archive for September, 2008

Better

My mother is a process person. An artist and a brilliant seamstress, she gets a charge not only out of the finished product, but out of the actual niggling bits and pieces of developing whatever it is she’s working on.

I am not a process person. I’m impatient, easily irritated and frustrated when things don’t go right the first time. This is why there are endless half-finished sweaters, beading kits and evidence of other abandoned hobbies in our office downstairs. I do heartily enjoy many finished products, however. Like furniture! And sweaters! Apples! Scarves! Babies!

Oh yes, babies!

I’m not enjoying pregnancy, save for a few moments of pleasure when I think about the baby and remember the excitement of the last ultrasound. I know no one likes to hear this, and I know how lucky I am, and that many would give their right arm to be in my position. Believe me, I feel plenty guilty about it. But then I think, shit, I’m not sure how or why I could enjoy this, frankly, given that I still, at nearly 15 weeks, have not stopped throwing up and/or feeling nauseated more than 90 percent of the time. I’ve had moments — one whole week, in fact — when I wasn’t sick, when I thought I’d turned a corner, only to be dragged back into the vomit-fest that is my pregnancy experience. The fact is, however, that during that week, I was on the brink of puking nearly every minute, and woke up almost every night swimming with nausea. I mistook not throwing up with actually feeling better.

I’m not really getting any work done, save for the bare minimum. I’m not spending any quality time with Adam, and I feel … I feel downright awful about it. About all of it.

When I’m not nauseated, which is rare, I’m gripped by mood swings that make being around me almost impossible, and I’m including myself in that category. I’d like to leave myself behind some days, and go spend time with the person I used to be. She was nice, and on occasion she could even be fun, and I never — not once! — saw the contents of her stomach! I miss her, and I’m pretty sure Adam and Sunny do, too. They deserve better. They really do.

I cry sometimes, because I just want to feel better for FIVE MINUTES. FIVE MINUTES. I want to enjoy this, and have fun with my husband and take my dog on a walk that lasts more than a hurried poop and pee while I desperately holler, “GO POTTY! GO POTTY!” because someone is barbecuing and I can’t handle the smell of the chicken they’ve got on that thing (OMG RAW CHICKEN).

I normally have a relatively high tolerance for advice, but I … well, I’ve tried everything, so please don’t name it, for the mere suggestion of many solutions make me throw up. Ginger, saltines, pretzels, cookies, Preggo Pops … pretty much anything but pie, apples and the occasional glass of milk sends me retching. And I know that the baby needs nutrients beyond sugar, fat and calcium, but unfortunately, s/he gets it via Flintstones with the blessing of my OB/GYN, for I’ve thrown up every brand of prenatal vitamin I’ve had the pleasure of attempting. I haven’t landed in the ER yet, but I’ve come close — once because I couldn’t keep water down for a scary amount of time, and another time because I truly thought I’d torn my esophagus right off from throwing up so hard. My chest burned so badly that even Tums were like flames licking my insides like an ice cream cone, and I’d irritated it to the point that it was bleeding.

I’m on drugs. What started as an occasional habit at the suggestion of a few people (including my doctors), has quickly turned into a necessity, and I take jury-rigged Diclectin, a mixture of Unisom and B6, and it does help, but hot damn, it makes me sleepy (HA HA, it’s UNISOM). I’m not thrilled about taking pills, as I can’t imagine anyone else would be, but risks vs. benefits, yada yada yada. Without it, I’m not sure I’d be eating at all. My insurance won’t cover most of the heavy-hitters (Zofran! Reglan! Zuma! Nesta! Rock!), even in small amounts, and I’m not up for a $500/month pill habit at a time when I’d rather be saving than spending, and the makeshift Diclectin works well enough. I bought out my drugstore’s Unisom supply today — five boxes — after discovering that one was out of the tabs and only had the melts/gels (which is a different, non-helpful medicine). I’m pretty sure they’ve contacted the police, assuming I’m on a suicide mission. (Near impossible — Unisom tabs are a mild, very safe antihistamine, just FYI. I’d be like OD’ing on Benadryl.)

I have better days than this. I really do. And I’m not depressed or anxious or any of the other things that it might appear to be — I’ve been there, know the signs and this isn’t it. It’s just that I throw up all the damn time and it’s CRAZYMAKING. I feel lousy and a little like a failure, because MAN, if ever a person failed at pregnancy, it was me. I can’t even feed the kid properly when he’s in my own body, and how hard can that be?

(Side note: I casually mentioned that I felt a little better during that week of non-vomiting, and how have my neighbors celebrated? With fried chicken. In the FryDaddy – this time with added burning and smoke alarms! They did this even though I’d already told them the FryDaddy made me sick. Tonight, it was deep-fried jalapeno poppers, plus smoke alarms. I filled the house with inoffensive candles — THREE! — and yet the odor persisted. I cried and puked, cried and puked. I don’t mean to sound callous, but perhaps one of them can get a cholesterol test and be ordered on a low-fat diet? Is that too much to ask?)

Anyway! That’s where I am. I’m hopeful, as I am every day, that tomorrow will be better. Sometimes I’m even right! And of course, things could be so much worse. I could be sick from something horrible instead of something wonderful — don’t think I don’t know this, believe me, I’m grateful for it, and sometimes the guilt of being bothered by it brings me to sobby hysterics, because THINGS COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE. STOP CRYING OVER SPILLED BILE, YOU FOOL. (Hi! I’m defensive today! And crazy! I AM SORRY.)

By the way I got busted with my third pie in four days — a peach one. I’d hid it behind the microwave so as to avoid getting any shit, but alas, my peachy secret has been discovered and partially devoured, much like the apple one I picked up over the weekend. I’d just like to make it clear that I OWN ANY AND ALL PIE THAT ENTERS THIS HOUSE.

At any rate, I hope y’all have a happy Wednesday. I plan to give it a good whirl myself. They can’t make fried food EVERY day, can they?

Don’t answer that.

*Regina Spektor

65 comments September 9th, 2008

When You Wake Up Feeling Old

Firstly, to anyone who recommended Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to me, I must heartily thank you. I feel vaguely dirty while reading it, as to be honest, it sort of smacks of only a slightly more intelligent bodice-ripper, but at the very least, it’s a well-told bodice ripper. I … I don’t know. All I know is that I’m having a hard time tearing myself away from what is the most ridiculous plot I could imagine encountering (involving 18th century Scotland, an absurd love “triangle” and … time travel? Riiight). This enjoyment is in spite of the fact that whenever anyone has sex, I am not titillated, as Gabaldon surely intended, but am instead slightly grossed out because all I keep thinking is, Ew! These people haven’t bathed in days and they’ve been sweating in dirty clothes, riding horses and … and … swordfighting (oh God, seriously, there is SWORDPLAY. It’s like a WORLD OF WARCRAFT scene come to life, sans wizardry) and there aren’t any toothbrushes to speak of, much less SOAP and … well. I’m happy I live in the age of running water and Aquafresh Extreme Clean, otherwise I think I’d have to be taken by force to produce an heir.

All of this reminds me that I’ve been meaning to tell you that there is a bodice-ripper in the checkout line at my local Hannaford’s called “The King and His Mighty Whores”. THE KING AND HIS MIGHTY WHORES. I’ve actually picked it up to see if it’s facetious in some way, but I’m afraid that no, no, it’s quite serious. It’s no secret that I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, but if someone said I could choose between being a world-famous bestselling author of “The King and His Mighty Whores” and the life I currently lead, that of freelance writer toiling in relative obscurity on things like sales proposals, marketing collateral and the ever-exciting Web site copy for all of eternity, I’d take obscure eternity for a thousand, Alex.

Anyway! This weekend was not the weekend in Syracuse attending some sort of Syracuse-caliber gala event (which is to say, uh, not Hollywood-y, like, at all), but rather that is next weekend. I think it speaks volumes to the state of Adam and me that when we found out that the gala portion of the evening would be taking place AFTER the movie at NINE THIRTY IN THE EVENING, we panicked, wondering how we would stay awake, much less remain standing in things like suits and high heels. There will be much yawning.

By the way, I’ll be wearing this dress with these shoes, which is the best I can do, I’m afraid. I’m not really showing, but I’m not really NOT showing, and I discovered that any non-maternity dress makes me look … well, fat, I’m sorry, there’s no other way to say it. I look PUDGY, whereas maternity dresses at least make me look SORT OF pregnant. Maybe. Oh hell, I don’t know. But I’ll be damned if I’m buying MATERNITY FORMAL WEAR, that much I’ll tell you.

Odd segue! While watching the VMAs, several things happened that completely disturbed me:

a) Lil Wayne’s pants? Down past his ass? I actually yelled, “PULL YOUR PANTS UP OH MY GOD!” Hello, I’m your grandmother. My kids are screwed.

b) I only knew who Lil Wayne WAS because they announced him. Ditto Russell Brand and the vast majority of the people present. Also, the Jonas Brothers made me laugh out loud, because really? They’re BREATHLESS over something, really? THEY’RE INFANTS. The only thing they should be breathless over is Ovaltine.

c) I like Lindsay Lohan. I’m … I’m ROOTING FOR HER. And I hope she’s really a lesbian, and that the warm reception to her relationship HEALS HER and that she’s COME TO TERMS WITH WHO SHE IS. *cue triumphal horns*

Finally, I’ll leave you with an image of my wholly earnest ninth-grade self which was, I believe, the last time I knew what the hell was even on MTV. I was way into the marching band at this point, and am totally at a band function here, if not a band TRIP. We were partying quite hard, I believe, with plenty of fruit punch and pretzels and we were downright giddy about it. Behold, the earnestness:

Ninth grade
It sort of breaks my heart, because my God, I was so … so … earnest! And happy! About BAND! BAND BAND BAND OMG GOOOOO, BAND! OBOES RULE, SAXOPHONES DROOL!

By the way, I was MOCKED for not curling my bangs into the ever-popular softball shape. MOCKED, I tell you. In fact, at the lunchtable once, Mean Girl Lori blurted out, “Oh my God, Jonna, will you PLEASE CURL YOUR BANGS. PLEASE.” Who’s laughing now, Lori? It might not be the best hair, but at least there wasn’t any AquaNet involved, unlike, say, YOURS.

Happy Monday!

*Wilco

36 comments September 7th, 2008

Mouthwash

Jenny mentioned the other day that she was the last person on earth to see Lars and the Real Girl, but alas, that distinction belongs to me, as I didn’t see it until last night. It was adorable and very well done, and I’m so glad I saw it (Gosling!), but I have to admit the reason I’d been avoiding it is because of the whole RealDoll issue, which still grosses me out, and you know that whole documentary thing I talked about in January. Oy. The mere mention of a RealDoll (TM) sends me into a strange sense of ick, and wild Googling to figure out WHAT THE HELL people are doing with these things (hint: they aren’t as demure as Lars!) and WHY, like it’s a puzzle that demands a solution. It’s disgusting, yet compelling. This led me to the uh, Teddy Babes site, home of the vaginal insert known as the Pussy Velour.

I totally didn’t make that last bit up, I swear.

Anyway! In other People magazine news I’ve been meaning to discuss, there is a woman who is ball-ass terrified of BANANAS. I know this shouldn’t be funny, I mean, she’s genuinely skeeved by them, but the accompanying photo of her with her back to the banana aisle, all cock-eyed and suspicious-looking is just so funny. Bananas! She’s even afraid of people DRESSED as bananas, of which there are a surprising amount. It just opens up an entire can of fruit-based fears. Do you think there are people afraid of strawberries?

And now for a list of very random things which are entirely unrelated, but either thrill, confuse, or bother me immensely.

– I made The Pioneer Woman’s peach crisp again yesterday (the first time was with Lawyerish last summer), and I hate to say this, but I don’t think I have the same tastebuds that Ree has. I really like her, and her recipes always sound so DIVINE, but they never pan out as I hope they would. They’re always just a little too much — a little too much butter (yes, there is such a thing), a little too much meat, a little too much cheese, a little too much sugar. The peach crisp, for example, when made precisely to her proportions, leaves a startling crumb-to-peach ratio that’s a little too buttery-sweet for me (!!) and Jesus, let me tell you, it does NOT need that maple cream sauce, for it’s already plenty rich. I’ve taken to pouring milk over it to cut it a little.

– Shampoo and conditioner is sold in the wrong proportions, at least for my taste. I realize I have wicked short hair, but I use at least one and a half times the amount of shampoo as I do conditioner. Why so big, conditioner?

– Speaking of short hair, since Katie Holmes cut her hair in a pixie, there’s been a great deal of misinformation about the products needed for very short hair and how to style it (I’m looking at you again, People). I won’t bore you with the details, as there are very few of you to whom this applies, but GOD, just let me say that they advise far too many products and they’re always the wrong ones. I’m no Whoorl, but I know how to style a short haircut and what to ask for and my God, how to talk to your stylist about COLORING IT without disaster. And they are ALWAYS WRONG. ALL THE TIME. Because they’ve never had short hair. I could so be a successful short hair consultant. Ask me, Cosmo! People! Allure! I KNOW SHORT HAIR. STOP SPREADING LIES.

– My boobs are peeling. Like, in sheets, as though I’d baked them in the sun for too long, which I haven’t. (No topless beaches for this pregnant lady.) Apparently it’s a side effect of their rapid growth. which: OMG. I’d like to also note that thanks to my continued adversarial relationship with food that isn’t pie or apples (ick! food!), my weight gain has remained steadily at almost nothing, despite the appearance of these mysteriously large peely beings AND the fact that my midsection now looks as though I spend my free time belly up at the bar sucking down Guinness drafts. Oh, and nothing fits. So what the hell, body? Where is it coming from? Why aren’t my thighs skinnier then? How about my arms? I could totally do with some smaller arms.

(Note: I am not worrying about or watching my weight in the slightest. Au contraire. If I wasn’t hurling and hating food, you’d best believe I’d be kicking back and enjoying without guilt. But if it’s going to redistribute, I’d at least like a say in where it COMES FROM.)

And uh, with that, I hope y’all have a great Thursday! Full of non-peely chestal regions!

(P.S., thank you Joan Vennochi)

*Kate Nash. I use it because I’ve come up with an entire verse about my boobs, which is … well, ridiculous. “These. Are my Boobs. Peely and scary, they are swo-oh-oh-llen.” Am so going to be award-winning lyricist some day.

50 comments September 3rd, 2008

American Pie

Well, I’m sunburned. How about you? We spent the weekend at the lake, basically, for what could potentially be the last time this season, and though I’m mildly saddened by that, oh my hell, I am so ready for fall. I spent the last three years in eternal summer, and for the love of God, I’m ready to experience a season that involves long sleeves and maybe something other than ballet flats and flip flops. Yes, I KNOW I will regret this discussion come winter, but I don’t care. Like a bad, brief romance with a vapid waiter who’s all style and no substance, I am supremely over summer. This could very well be because my default temperature before pregnancy was generally set to “rather warm” but since becoming pregnant, has been dialed up to “OMFG IS IT HOT IN HERE OR IS IT ME? HUH HUH HUH? ARE YOU HOT? I AM SO HOT! IS THERE ANY AC IN THIS PLACE? JESUS, I AM SO HOT.”

Also? Summer smells. The manure! The Flower Odor of Mystery! MAKE IT STOP.

I’d also like to say that I am sunburned on only half of my face, because of the direction I was facing and also despite the liberal application of sunscreen. This also resulted in some frantic Googling of the “mask of pregnancy” as I desperately wondered if by some hormonal glitch, this half-face sunburn could be a permanent affliction, giving truth to the old wives’ tale that your face really will freeze that way, you stupid dumbass, you should have worn a FULL BODY SHIELD.

Anyway! Our house — as in, the one that we live in, not the one that we own, unfortunately — has been sold, to a family who wants tenants until at least the spring, but that doesn’t really provide any comfort to the pregnant lady who’s all OMFG WE WILL BE HOMELESS. Ergo, I’ll be spending the next several weeks seeking a new home, preferably one that doesn’t have neighbors who enjoy making things like BACON, which is what they had for dinner tonight, and although bacon has been on the white list for some time, the smell can be remarkably disruptive and puke-inducing. Let me also add that there is nothing more annoying than renting at this stage of life, but because we don’t plan on spending the rest of our lives in Vermont, along with that little thing called a mortgage in Florida (I am SO not owning two houses I can’t sell), rent we must do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it, as searching for housing makes me feel like a broke college student and also, I’m a brat who wants to be able to paint her own kid’s goddamn nursery.

However! There are things making me happy, which include, but are not limited to: pie. Oh pie. Where have you been all my life, pie? My mom sent me home with several varieties — not whole pies, mind you, but slices — and I am now obsessed with buying and making pie. Tomorrow, I’m tackling pie crust and Wednesday? I’m making PIE. OH MY GOD PIE. PIE PIE PIE. Apple! Peach! STRAWBERRY. I’m aware that there are — how shall I put this? — PIE DENIERS out there. That is, people who prefer cake and eschew desserts fraught with pie’s fruity goodness, but to those people, I simply say, fine! Eat your chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies! MORE PIE FOR ME, THEN.

See also: apples, which have the remarkable effect of making me feel better almost instantly. Feeling nauseated? Have an apple! Headache? Oh, an apple will fix that! I never liked apples before, but for the last month, they have taken on a mystical quality that is the stuff of pregnancy legend. The Windex of pregnancy, if you will.

Also thrilling is the fact that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams appear to be back together. Like many of the relationships on Swistle’s list (RIP, Michael and Nicolette), I was always a little too emotionally invested in their courtship, and I’ll cop to a squeal of delight after a smoochy pic appeared in this week’s People magazine, of which I am an ardent subscriber.

And finally, though I am not in favor of any personal attacks against Sarah Palin, including those against her daughter (dude, my mother isn’t to blame for my teenage shit and like many, I could have been Bristol, but wasn’t, and not for lack of stupidity), I AM insulted that Representative Michele Bachman (R, Minnesota) sat with Larry King and actually told us that any questions about Palin’s experience — that is, ANY AT ALL, including those that are warranted — is a direct insult to women and implies that her experience as a mother isn’t relevant to the vice presidency.

I … oh dear, I can’t believe we’re playing that card. Lay off her hair, lay off her family, lay off her appearance, yes, PLEASE. But relevant issues — including her record — are fair game, and if you want to be treated as an equal, then stand up and take it without asking for special treatment because you’re a woman. It works both ways, I’m sorry. By standing up for her on the personal issues, we aren’t negating the right to challenge her on the ones that are entirely relevant, and I’m embarrassed that Bachman would be that pandering in a blatant attempt to make anyone who asks QUESTIONS about Palin’s agenda on any level appear misogynistic.

I’m sorry. That was boring. But my God, did I want to punch that woman square in the face until she fell out of her chair and begged for mercy. Does this mean I hate women? No. It means boy howdy do I dislike Michele Bachman. And Palin wouldn’t ever get my vote, but it doesn’t matter, as McCain never had my vote no matter who he picked.

Anyway! To carry on with a topic of discussion that will be explored further in the first Blogstle conference, what say you? Pie: Yummy or Yucky?

Hope you had a great long weekend!

*Do I even have to? Don McLean.

55 comments September 1st, 2008

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