Monday, February 28, 2011

in what must only be described as monday morning delusions...

...i believe i am now planning to, once 36 weeks comes, to go back to body combat.  i miss it.  like, with my whole soul. i miss it.   i also, at that point, won't care about worrying anymore.  it's not going to hurt me, i'm likely not going to be able to do much, but for heaven's sake it might be therapeutic.

if i can't kick well, i can at least punch. and if i can't do that full out, which i likely won't be able to do, i can do it at 50%, which will be more than i've done in AGES.  and maybe it'll initiate some sort of baby boot camp to a) get myself ready for delivery and b) prove to myself that i can do something more active and c) convince myself that i will get my body back after the baby comes.

(that, in combination with periodic fears about delivery, is what i worry about now, since the numbers on the scale are frightening and i haven't seen them in YEARS. YEARS, I TELL YOU.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

sometimes, when my husband's piano TA cancels class like three or four times a month during the semester, i wonder why it was that i never did.

sometimes, when my husband's theory teacher demonstrates abominably bad teaching skills and has to be the subject of a departmental intervention of sorts, then has to redo the syllabus, and feels compelled to send out long, somewhat defensive and somewhat explanatory emails about the whys and wherefores of the whole thing, i wonder why i do what i do the way i do it when apparently tenure track professors can get away with murder.

and then i remember: oh, i'm a TEACHER.  that's why i do what i do.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


when my grandmother was ill, it was fairly alarmingly fast.  she just didn't wake up easily one day, which led to an extended hospitalization and tests and one diagnosis that didn't seem to answer any questions and then discharge to a rehab facility and then, when it became clear that she was not recovering quickly, choosing an extended care facility from which she never returned. her decline was sudden, sharp, dramatic, but still filled with hope.

i don't think we ever really lost hope.

and in the last six weeks or so of her life, i got to be there, to hold her hand and comb her hair and take her to PT and try to work with her so that she would work harder, because back then we thought that she was depressed and not afflicted with dementia and all manner of other things that made everything about her experience incredibly frightening and paralyzing.

on the last day when i saw her conscious, she thought i was my cousin, who had graduated from high school that day.  but the light in her eyes, that was pure.  that was real.  i knew that it was love, and i didn't care that it didn't have my name attached to it.  i knew it was for me.

on the day that she had her final stroke, before they gave her the medication that calmed her down and put her into a three-day coma from which she never awoke, she squeezed my hand over and over again and i knew that she knew that i was there, that i loved her, that we loved her, that we were a family that would go on forever.  i knew that, even if she was in pain, she knew that she was loved. i just kept telling her that it was okay, that we were there, that we loved her.  my mom and aunt were talking to doctors, who diagnosed her with just about everything imaginable. but me and her--we were together.  she couldn't talk. she couldn't even open her eyes.  but i knew she knew me and i knew she knew that i was there.

these memories to me are precious.  she was gone so soon, but these memories to me are precious. she went the way she lived: full of fight, full of love, full of light and legacy.


i think a family is an organic thing.  i think it changes and adapts to the circumstances that surround it.  i think it opens, in the best of cases, to include the new and develops, in the strongest of cases, nearly impenetrable ties to the ones who were always there, to ensure that all are strongly wrapped in its embrace. 

but i also think sometimes it does the opposite, despite the desires and dedicated actions of those who build it.  i think, sometimes, a family begins to fracture, to split, sometimes because of the actions of one.  one who, perhaps, doesn't really believe in family the way the others do. one who, perhaps, doesn't understand how actions create long-lasting consequences. one who, perhaps, believes that he would be better off, in some ways, without said family.  one who should, for all intents and purposes, be leading it. 

several weeks after my grandma left this phase of her life, it began to dawn on us that maybe my grandpa would be one of those people.  that, perhaps, he didn't define family the way that we did. that, perhaps, his choices would not work to build on what he and my grandma had created, but would start to eat away at it--if we let it. 

i don't say this to criticize. i am saying this to mourn what i think i thought would have been.  it's been almost six years since she's been gone.  to see someone slowly, but surely, begin to chip away at what seemed to be a solid core is tough.  tougher on those who see it every day than on me, who is distanced by geography and circumstance.  but it's still the harder split than the one we experienced with my Mimi.  it's slower, it's more tragic, it's infinitely less understandable than the ebb and flow of human existence. it's complicated. it's painful.  it's still ultimately unstoppable, really. 

it's a death--but it's a different kind of slower death. 

because, really, you cannot believe that all people have the freedom to make choices and then not honor their ability to do so, even if those choices make no sense whatsoever.

sometimes i think the thing you bury, in these situations, is your idea of what family is and how it is defined.  perhaps family is really defined by those who choose to be a part of it.  perhaps family is really defined by the service that you render to those who surround you.


my grandma worked really hard to build our family.  i don't think there was a Christmas program or a school function or a birthday or a holiday or a day off of school, until we moved two hours away, that didn't involve her and my granddaddy.

she used to clip little things out of the newspaper for me as i started teaching, little cartoons that she knew that i would like, little notices about my college, things that she saw and thought of me.

when i was little, she used to crochet.  she made me a pink and white afghan for my bedroom when i was about 9 or 10, when pink was it, and i still love it to this day. when i go home to my mom's house, and it's cold, and i see that blanket, i think of her.  we made Christmas ornaments one year as a project to keep me busy during school break. i still have a bag of them. i think of her every time i see them, and i remember not only that we made them, but that she taught me how to make them.  every time i use a sewing machine, i think of the lessons she taught me about double stitching and putting the needle down and catching the bobbin. 

i have an old tin measuring cup of hers in my kitchen. i will never get rid of it. 

she had a associative way of remembering the dates of anniversaries and birthdays in our family. it was always so important for her to never miss any of them.  i was laughing with my mom about it the other day, and i realized how very important it must have been to her if she had made a game of it.  that speaks volumes about what was important to her.  

she built a legacy of memories through her efforts. she was just her. she wasn't trying to be anything else. she was never rich or esteemed in the eyes of the world, but she built a family that loves her still and will love her always.

that's family right there.  that's how i define it.  it's the everyday efforts of mundane living. it's taking the time to clip out a cartoon that you think reminds you of someone. it's picking up the phone to say hi. it's teaching someone something new because you think, hey, maybe it's a good idea.  it's sharing your talents and the substance of who you are until you're not sure you have anything left to give unless you look up and look around and see what you have built with your own two hands and your gift of love.  then, suddenly, there's more of you than you could ever imagine. 


there's more of her than she could ever imagine in our family.  and there's about to be more, because we're naming my daughter after both of our grandmothers.  not because we want our girl to be just like them, but because we want her to know that she has a legacy of love looking after her from all sides of this life, and that she has the capacity to be anything she wants to be, just by being her.

and because we want her to know what family is, the truest sense of family, we're starting with her name.

Monday, February 21, 2011

week 33: ps.

it wasn't clarinetapalooza. it was bassoonapalooza.

and it was snorefest 2011. we played hangman on the program. 


before i begin this, let me first say this: i am grateful. what i am about to say does not negate or change that gratitude. i am, for example, grateful for every single day that Baby Girl stays where she is. it occurs to me today to be exceedingly grateful for the relative ease with which i am dealing with the third trimester. i have a few issues, but it's nothing huge.  i am grateful.

but i am also struggling. i don't know exactly what it is, but i feel grumbly. grumbly and frustrated. i am frustrated that i don't feel free to eat ding dongs whenever i want because i know what i know. we were at walmart tonight and i was literally walking down the aisles grumbling under my breath, a long stream of perceived injustice at the world because there are women out there who eat whatever they want and never seem to pay the price for it and i feel compelled to watch everything that i eat (not that i'm fantastic at that either) and just look at the box of hostess products in what can only be described as envious coveting. i feel frustrated that i don't feel pretty or even like i look decent on most days, mainly because i stay here and i don't have many clothes to wear and it feels like it doesn't matter what i wear, something gets smeared on the belly when i'm cooking at some point without me knowing it so everything looks like junk.  i am grumbly and frustrated because, i think, i am in this weird nether region between "ages left before she's here" and "holy junk it's just around the corner."

it just feels like dr. seuss's waiting place, and i don't like it.

i don't like feeling like i am not doing enough. i know i do a lot, and i know i'm doing well, but that's all intellectual knowledge and it's not easy to feel that way.  i feel like everything that comes out of my mouth now is negative, but only about myself.  i don't see the things that i do as anything other than pale in comparison to what i want to do or what i used to do or what i should be doing in the world of Shoulds where Intention is King.

i'm just...tired. maybe that's it.  maybe i'm just tired.  maybe this is the beginning of the process wherein you become so very miserable being pregnant that you're willing to do almost anything to have the baby on this side of the world rather than on that side.

if that's the case (and i think it probably is), that makes sense and i'll take it.

but in the meantime, i've really got to find my way out of the case of the grumblies. i don't like me like this.  i don't like how it feels, and i definitely don't want my husband to wish he could eat the words he spoke when he told me that i wasn't a complaining pregnant person.  more than anything, i don't want him to think that i am.

tomorrow, i'll play the productive glad game.  but for right now, i just wanted to give voice to what i've been thinking. sometimes, when you give it a voice, it gets a little bit better because it's less daunting, scary, or powerful. 

it already seems conquerable, more so than 10 minutes ago.

thanks for letting me share.

week 33: living for 36 weeks.

did i tell you that i experienced my first for reals braxton hicks last week? rhythmic, every few minutes, seriously freaky.  not painful, except in the sense that they were attention-grabbing, but present nonetheless.

so i did what the childbirth class said to do: i got up and did something else.  and it worked. they went away.

but now i know what a supermild contraction is like. and i also know that i can bake through them. my mom thinks i'm crazy to think that i'll be baking cookies during the first phase of labor, but i know that i better have some sort of plan to keep my mind off of the part of labor that's fairly unproductive and happens before you get really serious or this whole natural labor thing is going to be eternal rather than just a marathon.  baking sounds like a good plan.  so does loading up the netflix queue with some seasons of something like 24.  nothing says "distraction" than some well-produced but fictional torture-for-the-greater-good.

on a somewhat related note, i'm pretty sure that's someone's job in the early phase of labor will be to get me some sweet potato fries and a burger. i have no idea why i think that's important, but i do.  right now.  maybe it will change.  supposedly i'm not supposed to eat anything other than clear liquids during the active phase of labor, but you better believe i'm eating a real meal before then.

also, i'm eating cookie dough. you know why? BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF BEING TOLD WHAT TO EAT AND NOT EAT.  and the kid won't be in utero long enough to suffer from any adverse effects from some possible salmonella that has never once bothered me.

but mainly because I'M TIRED OF BEING TOLD WHAT TO EAT.

it's good to have a plan.


apparently i'm not large.

i feel large.  but apparently i'm not that big.

so that's good.

(you may read that in any way that you would like to read it. i don't like to force my will upon you. if you know me, you probably know how you can read that. if you've been pregnant, you probably know how you can read that.)


the baby likes trumpets.  i have learned this not because musicboy plays the trumpet (although he can and he owns one) but because musicboy has a recital requirement and so i get to go to lots of random recitals wherein people play various instruments.

(tonight? clarinetapalooza. that's not the real name but that's what i call it.)

she likes trumpets.  she be-bops it around my belly when they play.  i think it would be awesome if she grew up to be a trumpet player, but she also likes frozen yogurt so maybe she'll grow up to work at TCBY.



two baby showers coming, on back-to-back saturdays.  i'm excited, but i don't know what to wear. i mean, i have some options, i suppose, but i have nothing except skirts for the springtime weather we're experiencing here, which is good for baby showers (don't want to look like a pregnant slug), but not so good for like the whole "i'm in the house all day" deal. i wear shorts that i bought at sam's club 150 years ago that look like sweat pants but aren't quite cut-offs.

i'm keepin' it classy over here.


this is the conversation i just had with musicboy:

me: so, hypothetically, what would your opinion of me as a wife be if you had to eat frozen pizza tonight?
him: nothing.
me: so you don't have an opinion of me as a wife?
him: i would think you were a good wife.
me: because i don't cook for you? i'm a good wife?
him: you do realize that's not your sole responsibility, right?
me: it's not?
him: no, it's to be a support and a helpmeet.
me: and i'd be supporting and helpmeeting you by making you eat frozen pizza?
him: yes.
me: sweet.

i love my husband.  he so doesn't care.


somebody commented on somebody else's pregnancy-related post about being hungry all the time (she's 18 weeks), and the first somebody told the pregnant somebody to live it up and eat whatever she wanted because it was the only time she'd have an excuse to eat more than her husband.

i wanted to shoot myself in the face.

so many things wrong with that. shall we play a game? you can point them out and i will just jump up and down, to the degree that i can, in joy that other people also see that such a comment is CRAZYTOWN.

also, why is pregnancy so fraught with weight-related issues? i sort of want to go back to the 80s when nobody cared how much weight you gained and nobody told you that you couldn't eat cookie dough.

dang. i'm back to cookie dough.

that, friends, is a circle.  and that, friends, means the end is growing near.


week 33 is boring.  it's mainly just me hanging out, waiting for 36 weeks so that i can stop worrying about Baby Girl coming too soon and waiting for baby showers and waiting for the end of one of my online classes and feeling guilty about all the stuff i want to do but can't manage to find the energy or inclination to do consistently.

week 33 is boring, but i'm glad we're here.

i'll be gladder (shut up, it's a word) when week 34 or 35 or 36 is here.

the end now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

if you're a friend on facebook, you've probably already seen these, but that's okay.  for those of you who are not, a final nursery update (well, maybe almost final). 

that's the initial hanging, all hung above the crib. yes, her name begins with an m. :)

and here is photographic evidence of how i'm feeling:

i don't remember what i look like not pregnant.  no, really. i don't remember.  i think this is a good thing, since i alternatively am grateful for whatever it was (more than i was) and will be glad to see it again.  you know, in two months or so.


dear baby girl: understanding boys.

dear Baby Girl,

someday, you're going to think boys are less than yucky and more than spectacular. i'm sort of hoping this is a gradual process, but i'm not delusional enough to think it won't begin early.

(if you're anything like your mommy, you'll have crushes as early as the 2nd grade. oh ethan burlingame, why do i still remember your name? and the fact that you chased me around the playground incessantly?)

so eventually, i'm going to want to tell you all that i know about boys. and you're probably not going to want to hear it because you'll think i'm old (probably right, comparatively speaking) and that i don't know what i'm talking about (definitely wrong, as i have met and interacted with my fair share of crazy boys), so maybe i'll just start to record some thoughts here.

first of all, you want to think about boys as things that are NOT UNDERSTANDABLE.  at least for many years, that is, though i know this is fruitless advice because girls tend to make it almost a second job to analyze what boys are thinking and why they do what they do and try to figure them out ad nauseum infinitum.  i mean, you can do that--i suggest baking some cookies and settling in for a while, because these conversations are almost always long, extended, and vexing--but i'm just telling you that it's not likely to get you very far. 

because boys don't make any sense.

well, actually, they make perfect sense, but a sense in a way that makes no sense to girls.


they're transparent. what you see is what you get. you may find it mind-boggling to believe that a boy could really NOT be thinking ahead, be planning what he says and does, be contemplating the ramifications of what he does.  you would be, in many cases, wrong. i would say that, chances are, you would be entirely and completely wrong--if we are talking about a boy from the ages of, say, 12 to 18.  they just aren't that complex.

pretty much, they like shiny things.  and they like food. and if those two things go together, they are in heaven.

now you may think this indicates that i have a bad opinion of boys. in fact, i really don't.  i quite like them. i think their brand of living is a breath of fresh air.  maybe someday you'll have brothers, and we'll come to understand them better together, you and i, but in the meantime, let me just say that i think boys are awesome.

they're just not like us.

we like to make things complicated because we see the world as complicated. we see all of these different parts of the world, and all of these different components that all work together and how they work together and what they do and how they all affect each other and that can be exhausting.  boys don't really see that, in my experience.  they might see complexity, but they don't believe they have to engage with it immediately. they are excellent compartmentalizers--they will deal with what needs to be dealt with at the time that it needs to be dealt with, and not a minute before. 

this can come in HANDY, Baby Girl.  it's excellent in a crisis, it's excellent in a stressful situation, and it's outstanding when you need to see the world in a bit less cluttered way.

boys are refreshing in that way.

but that means that when you think that because he ate lunch with you, he's showing you that he really likes you and wants to date you and (you can take it from here...), that really might not be true. it certainly shows that he likes you enough to spend time with you (in my experience, boys don't really do what they don't want to do unless their moms are involved, and i doubt she was there prodding him on).  that, in and of itself, is a huge indication of how awesome you are.

but, Baby Girl, it doesn't mean he's in love with you.  sadly, i wish that it was that easy for girls to understand boys and boys to understand girls, but there's this whole process we all have to go through wherein we feel like we're lost in a country of people who speak nothing but a foreign language and we don't have an interpreter.  that's boy-girl life right there, until you end up somehow stumbling into someone who sort of speaks your language, or with whom you seem to have some sort of interpretive gift.

that's a good one. that's important.  because if, naturally, you can already bridge the gap a little, that one has potential to be more than just another crazy boy.  that one has the potential to be a good friend, or someone more important to you.

daddy and i, we understand each other.  i don't know how it happened entirely, because it is both learned and natural, but we don't need an interpreter.  we just...know.  that's the kind of understanding you want to have, eventually.

but before you get there, you have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they're all saying. it's not the funnest job in the world, but it brings its own share of hilarity. 

just remember: they're not like us.  we're not like them.  they're hard to understand sometimes, but it's easier if you remember that they don't look at the world the way you do.  and sometimes, they're dumb.  but most of the time, they're pretty awesome.

(see? i told you i'd have lots to say--and this is just one tiny part of it.  complicated.  girls are complicated--even mommies.)

come what may, you just remember that you are wonderful, for all of the quirks and flaws and beauty and talents that make you you.  if a boy makes you feel otherwise, he is not speaking your language.  move on and keep your eye out for the one that does.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

big fiery hoops.

i 100% believe that if you want to steadily but stealthily drive someone insane, without them realizing that you're doing it, you should send them a series of claims-related insurance forms to fill out.

we've descended into one of the nine rings of hell, that ring known as "questioning your claim as a preexisting condition."


yes, friends, pregnancy can be considered a preexisting condition, like a knee injury or a chronic disease. can anyone really tell me we haven't medicalized the holy heck out of babies now? (i don't think you can, and if you do, i'm going to sit you down and force you to watch "the business of being born" until you agree with me.)

anyways, because we are perpetual students, we get our insurance through the school. let me tell you, it's not cheap. it's pricey but it's worth it, because it's got great coverage.  however, i was covered under one policy (my own, back when i was Perpetual PhD Student) when we conceived Baby Girl and then covered under another policy (my husband's, who became Music Student Extraordinaire right about the time that I graduated) when we started getting seen by a doctor.  But because my doctor doesn't bill until the end of the pregnancy (best idea ever, she says sarcastically), the claims are only now beginning to be processed.

the first one was for the ultrasound, and i can only imagine what happened when that claim came through.  a big fat red ALERT ALERT ALERT! MATERNITY CLAIM! and many many printers whirring into action to deluge us in a rain of paper. i've had to get musicboy to confirm his full-time status, my doctor to confirm my last menstrual period date (duh, trying to establish conception before the plan was in effect--saw that one coming a mile away), claim that we are not covered by any other policies. 

these hoops were completed yesterday. i scanned them, emailed them, and was pleased to have them be done.

then i got the mail today. more.  this time, about preexisting conditions and who i was covered by before and a release for medical records for the six months prior to the effective date of the policy.

it's quite obvious that they're gearing up to deny the claims as preexisting condition, which is cute since i have emails from the benefit counselor at collegetown u and the benefits booklet itself, which says that maternity is the exception and that you'll be covered for that pregnancy and birth (only! nothing else!) if you conceive while you're covered by their policy.

(and also, i have another policy that covers everything else, so it's really just a matter of them telling me what to do for what and getting it all sussed.)

HAHA! don't tell me i don't plan ahead. man, my ducks are in a row and quacking.

it's just the hoops, man. the hoops are so annoying. 

but i just keep telling myself that i have to keep scanning and emailing, keep signing and smiling, keep calling customer service to confirm what has been received and what is happening and what i need to do to get my doctor paid and the road paved for all future claims to be accepted.  i get it. i understand what they're doing. i don't even really begrudge them the process.

but i hate it. i really, really hate it.

because, here's the thing. i work REALLY REALLY hard to afford the insurance. like this is a huge chunk of change that we have to pay every semester, and it's not pretty, and it usually means i have to work more than i normally would to either pay off that credit card bill or to replenish our savings when i just decide that it's not happening fast enough and i want to get the balance gone. either way, it's not pretty. 

so it annoys me when there's any question that somehow we are cheating the system. nobody's cheating here.  we're totally aboveboard and honest.  but it frosts my cookies when it all doesn't go the way i think it should.

(that's true in life, too, by the way.)

in the meantime, i'm just trying to stay calm and deliberate, be wise and keep detailed notes, and do what they ask me to do.  i just think it's outstanding planning on their part to do this when i'm eight months pregnant, because the whole calm, deliberate, rational thing is, at times, fleeting at best.

go bureaucracy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

week 32 update: if you're keeping track at home.

weight: up 5 pounds in 2 weeks, but considering it stayed the same for the past 6 weeks before, that's 5 pounds in 8 weeks.  overall, the total is fine, according to the doctor.

blood pressure: very good. the nurse didn't even understand that, since my weight had gone up (and i had offered to bribe her so that i didn't have to get on the scale).  but it's great.

measurement and heartbeat: all awesome, all on track, all healthy.

HUZZAH for two more weeks of health.  four weeks until full term!


something unexpected happened to me last night.

we went dancing, and it was fun. it was a fundraising swing dance held by musicboy's former institution, the same local cc that i now work for, and it was a musical performance by the band that he used to be a part of. so it was a bit of coming home for him, and he was sort of adorable as he took me around to all the people and made sure to show off my huge belly. he was so proud--it was kind of swoon-worthy.  they, of course, asked him to sing a song he sang with them before, and he did beautifully despite having no practice. i do think, though, he knew they would do it, so i'm not sure i can say it was without warning.

something weird, though, happened all night.

i got looks. like, looks that said that people were deeply nervous that i was there and that i was dancing.  i'll admit that my stamina for dancing wasn't that fantastic--by the end, i was sore and TIRED in my body--but i was out there, salsaing a little bit and swinging more and doing a little step-touch when it was appropriate. there were masses of people there, so there was very, very little room on the floor. 

but people looked really nervous when i was dancing--like somehow i was going to cause a scene.  a few people seemed to look at me with that sort of affectionate stranger look that i try to show when i look at things i think are cute, but everyone else just looked like it was something they didn't want to acknowledge. 

it was weird. it was the first time that's really happened. i felt self-conscious about my belly.

of course, the fact that i was leading with my belly, and practically running into people as musicboy would spin me (and he likes to do that), probably didn't help.  but it did make me wonder.

why are people so uncomfortable around really pregnant people? i'm not so large that i look like i'm about to pop at any moment (or i don't think so, at least), so what is it?

it was weird.  but the night was lovely, and musicboy gave me the gift that is most precious to both of us this semester: time.  he spent the morning practice time he usually devotes to preparing for his lesson with me, and then took me out and we had fun dancing and being together.  you can take your cards that you'll just eventually throw away and your chocolates that i shouldn't eat anyway.

i'll take my musicboy's quality time any day.

Monday, February 14, 2011


eighteen months ago, this was the scene at the last truly memorable dance party we had.  it was our reception, and it was a wonderful day. 

tonight, we go swing dancing to celebrate. i think it will be truly memorable for different reasons--i'm eight months pregnant, it's valentine's day, and the next time we go dancing, we'll have a little ballerina to contend with.

valentine's day this year has been low-key, which suits me just fine.  simple is best, when you remember what it is that's most important: love in all its shapes, sizes, and variations. 

i am surrounded by it, and i am grateful.

i hope you feel the love that surrounds you as well, whether or not it manifests itself in red hearts, cut flowers, or chocolate treats. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

happy weekend.

i have decided that i need people to come over to my house every week.  i am highly motivated to clean my house when such things happen, and i REALLY LIKE IT when it's clean. 

and for some reason, when it's like this, i just keep thinking of that scene in poltergeist where the little lady says "this house is...clean."

(she was wrong, of course, but that's okay.)


when they say that corelware won't break? they lie. broke one today in spectacular fashion.  good times.


the most exciting thing i've heard about 3rd trimester so far: in our childbirth class DVD (which is an entire class that we can watch in our bed, which i just think is AWESOME), the instructor went over the six signs of oncoming labor (as in 2-4 weeks before baby decides to say hi to the world).  one of them?

weight stabilization.

she said, and i quote, "you can test it out, ladies. you can eat for three days straight and your weight will do nothing."

can i get an AMEN?

things i know for sure: baby girl is not coming in the next 2 to 4 weeks, because that scale is nothing close to stabilized. oddly, this makes me very, very, very happy. 

and i can't wait to cheeseburger it up when it does stabilize. love it. love it. love it.  seems only fair, you know? you're about to do the hardest work of your life. you ought to be able to pack it in beforehand.  like carbloading before a marathon. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

just putting it out there.

the nesting in me has moved on to a new project--the putting of all of our pictures into photo albums before Baby Girl arrives. 

i dug out the pictures i had printed for this purpose, and others, and then thought "hey, i should get out the envelope that has our CDs in it and figure out which ones i need to print (again). then i thought "hey. don't i have a bunch of pictures already?" and then i thought that that envelope has my birth certificate and my social security card in it too. it's essentially the Envelope of Important Things.

i remember having it and using it and being so careful about it in the fall, when i was using it for all sorts of jobs. 

can i find it now?


cue the intellectual part of me, which says that i would never have thrown it away and it's somewhere in this house, likely in some place that made sense at the time but SHOULDN'T BE BECAUSE WHY ISN'T IT WHERE I THOUGHT IT WAS?!?

but also cue the crazy hormonal part of me that is sure that someone has now stolen my identity and is wreaking havoc on me and my credit rating and trying to figure out how best to, you know, secure myself against it.  and there's the stomping around trying to find it, praying all the while (though i do see how the stomping and the praying might NOT go together so well).

i guess i'm just putting this out there because i need it to come back to me and i need to know where it is and i know it's here and WHY IS IT HIDING?


but i did find our camera charger, which is a beautiful thing. that's $20 i don't have to spend. 

so there's always a silver lining.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

when babies attack.

i read something somewhere, i think on the little site that updates my facebook page weekly with the baby's progress, that those baby shows that show deliveries should be called "when babies attack," mainly because they are almost always Dramatic. they choose the deliveries that have some sort of crisis or show women moaning and wailing and freaking the fetch out. it's very rare that you see a controlled, deliberate, natural labor, even in the "natural childbirth" scenarios.

case in point: one natural childbirth that i saw on one of those shows had the woman convulsing from anxiety and her husband turning on her, calling her a liar when she said that had never happened to her, reminding her that she always freaks out when she gets upset and citing her throwing their computer the night before as evidence.


so once upon a trimester or so ago, i was hanging out with some friends as we were baking cookies for some people at church. my friend gave birth at the end of the hottest summer on record and had to be induced.  she has been great at telling me whatever i want to know. her husband was there, and his main advice was this: "don't listen to anyone's advice, including ours." i like that.  his secondary advice: "don't watch those baby shows!" he told me that when his wife was pregnant, he would come home and find her sobbing because of a premature baby delivery and he would be like "WHY ARE YOU WATCHING THOSE SHOWS?!?"

this is a really good question, as i probably watch approximately 4 hours of those shows a day. (most of the time i'm also working, so please don't judge me. except that, really, i watch way too much tv.  so maybe judge me a little. sometimes i am sleeping through these shows, especially in the morning, so there's that too.) maybe less, but every day i watch some.  i can't explain it.  it's like they are my particular brand of siren song.  if it's on, i feel compelled to watch it. 

(i swear to you, one is just coming on, and this was the teaser line: "will their love be enough to get them through? the drama of a dangerous delivery on a baby story."  jeez. i'm changing the channel.)

but lately, after i had been watching all of these women barely get through labor with an epidural, i began to think: how on earth am i going to do it without it? doubts began to creep in.  i started asking musicboy "what if i can't do it?" to which, good coach that he is, he replied "you can." but i really started wondering.

and i'm not really surprised, given what is depicted in those shows. i'm not surprised that i began to wonder if i could do anything contrary to what seemed so difficult even with paralyzing pain relief.

and then a couple of things happened.

watching one of those shows, the woman was excited to get to the birthing center to see how far she was dilated. she said "i could be at 2 or i could be at 5--i have no idea." i looked at her face and her demeanor, untouched by medical intervention, and said, out loud to the tv, "you're at 2. you're not even serious yet."

what was she?

a 2.

freakin' heck yes to the bradley research. i can watch labors (the snippets that i get to see) and read the signposts. that is seriously comforting to me.  it means that maybe, somewhere down deep, the information is ingrained enough in me that i'll be able to read the signs in myself as well.

then there was a show today with completely natural labor. she was totally in control. her husband was a rockstar coach. she didn't scream. she didn't freak out. she just did the work. and it was all great.  a 9 pound plus baby, and all was well. 

sometimes, life presents me with hope.  i like that. 

i don't think my worries and doubts are solely the result of my overactive TLC viewing, though it can't help.  i think it's probably just what happens at this stage, when it all gets very real.  when my stomach tightens up, or when i feel a ligament pull, or when i feel the baby move ALL OF THE TIME, i naturally begin to think about what will happen.  i don't think that's abnormal. i think, actually, that's totally normal. 

there's something awesome about the way all of the parts of you begin to prepare for the hardest work you'll ever do in your life.  i think this psychological bucking up, this mental molding and shaping and stretching to begin to believe i can do anything i set my mind to, is just part of it. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

things i never thought i'd do in my life #498.

take the online jeopardy contestant test.

50 questions. 15 seconds each (SO NOT LONG).

not that bad. i know nothing about science or swedish actresses, but i'm happy to report that the random cultural knowledge that i have picked up over the course of a phd in english paid off. 

you don't know if you passed. you can't ask if you passed. if you passed, you go into a big pot and they randomly choose you to audition, if the fates smile upon you and all works out well.  if not, you go through life thinking you're not smart enough for jeopardy.

or grateful that you don't have to deal with alex trebek's obnoxiousness, which is apparently A LOT.

either way, it was a fun way to spend 8 minutes of my life.  now if wheel of fortune would just let me take them for all they're worth...

Monday, February 7, 2011


no one can adequately prepare you for the kicking.

(sorry if you're bored by these. this is a pregnancy post, though not a complaining one, if that helps.  i just know myself well enough to know that if i don't write it here, i won't write it anywhere.)

i thought they lied at first when they called it a flutter, or butterfly kisses, or whatever cutesy name they dream up to try to describe the strangest sensation in the whole entire world.  the first time i recognized movement from Baby Girl, it did not feel like a butterfly kiss. it felt like a jab and drag.  it didn't hurt--she was too small for that then--but it was no wedding song tenderness. it was serious movement.

knowing her, it was probably a fist pump. she does like to fist pump.

then there were the little tiny kicks, when i started to understand the idea of the flutter. ever-so-gentle, ever-so-imperceptible, blink-and-you'll-miss-it movements.  just enough to track, just enough to notice, but not enough to sort of change your own daily activities. those were not the kind of kicks that make you stop mid-sentence, except at the wonder of it all.

she then moved on to the "you can tell she's kicking from the outside" movement.  jerky, somewhat unexpected, and hilarious to watch from the outside. these are still my favorite.  i have taken, now, to putting the remote on my belly. she does one of two things when she's moving my entire belly. she's either kicking hard (which is a sort of jabby motion, as you'd expect) or she's moving. i describe that as the earthquake, but only as a true Californian understand it. it's not jerky--it's rolling. it's hard to notice if you don't have an object there, but when you do, it's hilarious. 

i sort of think that's awesome.

lately, though, she's been expanding her repetoire.  in fact, she's probably just been expanding, because where i feel her now is EVERYWHERE.  right now, for example, i've felt some strange flutters and kicks on my left hip. like seriously--that far over.  i've felt it on the right as well, which can just tell me how large i am and how big she is.  she is so active now (now's the time--between 24 and 32 weeks, before space becomes premium in there) that i feel her when i wake up in the middle of the night.  i turn over, and maybe she does too, because there's almost always a kick or a jab to tell me she's there.

i hope this does not suggest what her nighttime schedule will be.

now, though, the kicks are becoming the kind where they stop me in my tracks at times.  they're beginning to HURT, which just tells me good things about her health, so i don't mind.  she's kicked me in the spine. i'm not lying.  she has yet to reach my ribs, but i'm sure that will be good fun times as well. and sometimes, when she moves, it's the strangest sensation. the only way i can try to describe it is as axis-turning--as if she's completely turning over...and taking everything with her. 

bizarre.  i don't think you can just continue through your sentence when that happens.  imagine your insides flip-flopping and try to not be like "whaaa?." it's impossible.

now, i feel like she has the whole repertoire down: the hiccupy movements, the jabby kicks, the axis changing, the flutters, the drag and drop, the earthquakes. i love them all, but i wish more people could feel them. musicboy feels her at least once a day, sometimes in unexpected times and places, which i really like. sometimes he just sees her, which i also like.

but it's very strange to try to describe it. i wanted to record it, on video, and it took me two days. i couldn't get it in time.  she would erupt and then be done, just as i would pull out the video camera.  but i finally got it. 

i don't think it really records it adequately, but it's the best i can do.  still, it falls so far short. 

i feel like that's true of most things about this whole journey. it's awfully hard to capture, but i'm doing my best.

questions questions questions.

why do eggo waffles not taste as good as i remember them tasting? i keep trying.

why do so many students automatically assume that i am out to get them when their papers don't get electronically submitted?  surprisingly, i actually don't hate them. surprisingly, i am not trying to get them.  i am just accustomed to people NOT turning things in.  why does it have to be about fault?

is there a way to use blueberry preserves to make blueberry muffins? i don't have that much, so i'm wondering if i can split a recipe.

does someone out there have some sort of system of making dishes not be a heinous and awful chore that i loathe and that makes me hate my life?

is there a job somewhere where the description is to think up the rules and the competitions on reality shows? because i watched top shot all day on saturday and i think i would really like that job.

why is there a dearth of television options between 11 and 1 pm? why can i not manage to turn the tv off? it's like i'm afraid of quiet.

is there going to be some day when using coupons is actually going to make me save more than $5? i appreciate the $5, for sure, but...really?  i'm jealous of those people who spend $10 for $100 worth of stuff. of course, the volume in which they purchase things is alarming and they usually purchase things i never would.  i have been convinced that there are coupons for most everything that we purchase. that's exciting.

why is it impossible for me to imagine my belly getting any bigger, even while i intellectually know that i will?  why is it necessary for everyone to tell me that i will? even musicboy is in on it now.  i just want to live in my delusions, man.

after the superbowl, does anyone have any doubt that is the talented one in that particular group?

in the same sort of vein: is there a way to make this house somehow not be a pithole of death all of the time? i try...sort keep up with it, but during the week, it just seems impossible.  i don't like it. it goes against my nesting instinct right now, so that's doubly annoying. 

and, finally, what do you think?

the valance, hanging on the rod that was already there. after all of that, i just decided i didn't think it looked bad and it was white, and so there you go. 

our reclining rocker and the butterfly accent/back support pillow that i made. it was SO MUCH HARDER than i thought it would be.  it turned out okay, i think, but if you look too close you'll see how hard i labored. if it gets heavy use, it might fall apart, but that's okay. 

the diaper stacker, hanging on the changing table. sorry for the washed out color--it's very gloomy here and i'm still confined by my MacBook's photo booth.  it's pretty darn cute, though. you can't see the ties, but they are made out of pink and white polka dot fabric. we like our patterns here.

the cuddle/reading nook. i LOVE it.  so much.  i love the color on the wall, which has been there since just after we moved in. i don't, however, know what to hang on it.  it's very blah right now. i feel like it will come to me.

the light was dying, but this gives you an idea of the layout.  the changing table is on the same green wall, and the crib will be to the right of the changing table, on the adjoining (inside) wall. we found out this winter that outside walls are VERY cold, so we're going to keep her on the inside.  or at least that's the plan.  it'll be easy enough to change if we need to.

just as an FYI, this is the crib set that we registered for and that i took the colors from:

Product Image

i love it.

so...did i do good?

Friday, February 4, 2011

battle weary, or a weird full circle.

so, i've been eating really well for the past few weeks. the past...six, i would say.  it's paid off, for sure.  but after this past doctor's appointment, i just got...tired.

case in point: last night, we went to the grocery store. we had to get something and i wanted ice cream. and i really wanted one of everything.  (there was red velvet ice cream and birthday cake ice cream and monkey business banana ice cream and chocolate trinity and why can't i just have ALL of it? musicboy's answer? "because we don't have an extra $150." good point, babe.)

and i ate copious amounts after i got home.  i just wanted to be one of those pregnant women who just does that, without feeling like that's not what i should be doing EVER.

flip side of that is how all i really want to eat, otherwise, during the day is smoothies. green monsters, to be specific.  i just want a green monster and hummus and pita bread and cereal. that's what i ate early on in my first trimester, so i find it a sort of comforting return to normality.

(i have a feeling this kid will really like hummus. and perhaps spinach.)

but i am just...tired...of having to work so hard at the things that seem to come so easy for other people.  is that lame? does that make sense?

but even if i want to do that, i can't divorce myself from the fact that i know what i know. yet, right now, i don't feel so bad about eating pretty well all day and then, maybe, shooting myself in the foot at the end of the day. i feel like i try each day to get back on track, but...i just don't have as much will as i did. 

i am not sure if it's a phase (perhaps a growth spurt?) that will go away, or if i will just maybe do this for the rest of the time. i'm still getting good food, good nutrients, and am exercising self-control for most of the day. even when i'm not, i'm still not eating as unconsciously as i once was.

i tired of having to be so iron-willed all of the time. of course, i went to sonny's bbq yesterday and ordered a big salad. and it was delicious. i also ate french fries, but not as many as i would have previously.  i looked up the calories and nutrition facts before we went. 

i don't know. maybe i'm not doing so badly after all.  i just don't want to gain 9 pounds in two weeks. i just don't want to hear about it from the doctor. 


in baby-related nursery project news, i will be posting pictures after this weekend of (hopefully) at least two, possibly three or four, of the projects that i've sewn. the diaper stacker, what i thought was my personal everest, was easier than i thought. it actually took less time, all told, than the valance, which is shocking. it's a little wonky, but i like it.  it suits me. 

anyways...just in case you thought i punked out, i didn't.  i just have had papers to grade this week, and so haven't gotten back to my projects to finish them up (i.e. hang the valance, put on the ties to the diaper stacker, etc.). 


it's like one month away from a baby shower.  what the HECK.  another will either be the week before or the week after.  then, it's serious nesting time.  i am so antsy to get everything done. i feel so compelled to get her room finished.  it won't hurry anything up (i hope...stay in there, Baby Girl!), but it will at least let me focus on other things (like, say, getting myself ready and the house ready and the freezer full of food, etc.). 

5 weeks until full term. 



musicboy asked me if i'm scared about anything other than her coming early (which i was very worried about earlier this week, but am feeling much better about now).  i said not really, other than the logistics.

he specifically asked me if i was worried about the delivery. i told him, honestly, that i wasn't and haven't really ever been so.  it will go as it will go, and i believe that i can do it and i believe in us as a team and i think it will go fine.

and come what may, it will be great.  so long as she's here and healthy, what else matters?

but that sort of surprised me.  i'm not scared.  that's a good sign.


are you sick to death of pregnancy-related posts yet? do you want to hear how i cut off the top of my finger while trying to cut sweet potatoes? or how i have yet to reconcile myself to the constant pile of dishes in my kitchen? or how i suck, a lot, at keeping the house clean and yet feel twitchy when it's messy?  or how i watch WAY TOO MUCH tv?

i know. i'm bored with myself. i don't blame you at all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


i don't know what it is about everybody's personal journeys, but they are always so tailored for our individual personalities.

(duh. hence the use of the adjective "personal.")

i think, though, that i find this frustrating when i am not involved.  let me try to explain. sometimes, i see things being heaped on the plates of those around me and i don't understand why they keep being heaped upon said plates when it seems like they are full up to capacity except that, perhaps, my definition of full is based on the smallest bit of perspective that is drastically colored by my love for and personal investment in those people.

so, i guess what i'm saying is maybe i don't know so much.

but sometimes i wonder why it is that those people have those challenges. why do some people have to deal with doing things that they think are stupid, that don't make sense, that they can't wrap their brains around but are forced to do, required to jump through these illogical fiery hoops, when it just totally annoys and frustrates them?

i mean, perhaps i see the lesson, but it just seems so...obnoxious.  of course, it's not my lesson.

it occurs to me, however, that perhaps letting go and letting people have their experiences instead of trying to fix everything and worry about everyone all of the time--having faith, perhaps, in their ability to grow from their own journeys rather than feeling compelled to save them from them--might just be one of mine.

fancy that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

just a little monday, post-doctor update.

i ate everything i wanted to eat today. i didn't care. if i wanted it, i ate it. this included:
  • pita bread and sundried tomato hummus. OHMYGOSH. so delicious.
  • a few oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that i baked for husband's lunches this week. small ones but delicious nonetheless.
  • a hot dog. a real hot dog, not the turkey or fat free kind. all pan seared and crunchy, in a real, white bread bun.
  • doritos. with ketchup on them.  they were spicy.  shut up. i'm pregnant.
  • chocolate milk. 
  • just a little bit of honey bunches of oats with chocolate milk on them.
  • waffles (which i already told you about).
  • pineapple.
  • carrots and ranch dip.
  • pretzel sticks.
it has been lovely. i just wanted to record this, in all its gluttonous glory.  perhaps i should be ashamed of myself, but it's nice to just do what i want to do.  what's nicer, strangely, is to know that it's conscious (rather than that out-of-control feeling that i sometimes get when i am grazing and can't seem to stop, even though i know i should) and will end tomorrow. i'm already planning wednesday's green monster and what i'll do to get back on track.

but sometimes, it's nice to feel like the crazy pregnant woman who's eating whatever she wants.  and i don't even really feel bad about it.

i will admit, though. i am VERY FULL.  goodness.


in other news, one of the three people who were due ahead of me gave birth today, a month ahead of schedule. she went to the midwife, was 3 cm dilated, and then 7 hours later, her baby was born.

that leaves two before me.


oh boy.

week 30: when you look up "normal" pregnancy, i am apparently the poster child.

i am pretty sure the sum total of my doctor's visits are about 10 minutes.  maybe a little more, but i think i spend more time peeing in a cup than i do talking to the doctor. i could be annoyed by this, but i have no real questions (and he's wonderful when i actually do) and our pregnancy is a freaking healthy textbook. so i'm not at all.

to date: i have gained 20.5 pounds, according to the doctor. as in, remember that month when i gained 9 pounds? i haven't really gained since then.  in SIX WEEKS OF THIRD TRIMESTER. what the awesome. even if i gain a pound a week from here on out, that's perfectly fine with me.  of course, there's no real need for that, but i'm prepared for the worst case scenario (per usual) and i'm pretty stoked that that worst case scenario is actually TOTALLY NORMAL AND AWESOME.

(i don't know. i still think i eat too much for this to be true. i think it's like a miracle like the reverse of the loaves and fishes or something like that.)

there's this one nurse who works with my doctor--she's his regular nurse. i love her. LOVE her. she is so zen-inducing to me, no matter what. when she takes my blood pressure, it's something insanely low like 105/70.  when anyone else does, it's usually 130/80.  i told her today that she has a calming effect on me, which my doctor heard and joked with me about later.  i really like her.

i knew that i had passed my glucose screening already, but hearing the doctor call my sugar "perfect" was rather nice. and apparently my hemoglobin is 12.4, which is "very good" for this stage of pregnancy. 

(i just looked it up. it's also termed "great" when you're near term, which i'm not sure i really am, but i'll take it.)

thanks for letting me joyfully declare this.  i am excited. 

(not so excited about insurance company nonsense that force me to jump through hoops, but that's okay. it will all get worked out in the end. i really hate insurance companies of all kind. my mom says their job is to make life difficult. i think i believe her completely.)


after my appointments, i almost always feel this compelling urge to eat WHATEVER THE HECK I WANT because i don't have to go to the doctor for a while.  i suppose this is not a very healthy reaction, but since i try so hard every other day to eat only healthy things, with very little deviation, i don't begrudge it much.

but here's the thing.

i was watching cake boss last night (seriously--i could watch any cooking reality show ad nauseum forever).  they run a bakery. and they showed the front of the bakery and i was like I WANT TO GO TO A BAKERY AND GET ONE OF EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW.  of course, i couldn't, but i tried to think if our little college town even has a good bakery.

(i couldn't really think of one.)

but after my appointment today, i decided i wanted a donut.  so i went to the grocery store, where i needed to get some stuff anyways, and walked by the donuts.

i just couldn't do it.  i COULDN'T do it.  there's redeeming value in them. at all.

so i bought waffles instead.  and ate several. and they weren't that good.

boo.  boo to cravings that don't turn out to be what you really want. 

but seriously--this kid of ours? i think she prefers fruit and healthy things. she's like my dream kid.  may she be blessed with this preference, and not my sweet tooth, for all of her life. 


speaking of this kid of ours, she has decided to amp up her kicks.

like she's been kicking the HOLY HECK out of my left side for at least 24 hours. she's chilled out a little bit today, but good grief yesterday and last night were a show. too bad musicboy was asleep for most of it. she was up all night and making it known. 

part of me wonders if the reason why i couldn't really sleep was because of that. i didn't really WANT to sleep that much. maybe we were in sync.

(not 'nsync. that's something different.)

i asked the doctor if that's normal, and he said yes.  between 24 and 32 weeks, the baby is bigger but still has enough room to really be moving around. apparently that will come to an end as i get bigger but not big enough for tall lanky girl baby.  i sincerely appreciate the kicks, as they are reassurance that she's doing awesomely, but good grief.

the soccer kicks could wait a few years, couldn't they?

(of course, i had been feeling a bit left out of those pregnancy-related stories about being kicked most aggressively. i don't feel left out anymore.)


people are just genuinely good.

do you know that?

we have gotten two huge bags/boxes of clothes for Baby Girl, that are just sort of randomly coming our way without really asking about it or even thinking about it. we have gotten diapers and a bassinet and a swing awaits us whenever we want to pick it up. then, on sunday, we were approached by a mom in our ward who asked if we wanted baby blankets of all types. 

i always say yes. i figure it can't hurt, and anything we don't use we will pay forward. 

i am just so astonished by how genuinely good people are, sometimes. i really shouldn't be.  people are good.

i hope i will be that good.


what i do promise that i will never do (and hold me to this if i ever fall short) is be the doom and gloom police. no matter how fussy my baby is, i will not tell a pregnant mother that she will never sleep. no matter how hard nursing is, i will not tell a pregnant mother that it's a horror show.  i will share what they would like me to share, but that's it. 

i will remember that every body is different and i will allow someone to enjoy those last few moments of blissful ignorance. don't we really just get too few of those in life?

they all know it in the back of their heads anyway. but it's awfully nice to think that sleep will improve when there's not another human being sharing my body.  it may be less, but i bet it will hurt my hips less.  i bet my bed will feel more comfortable, if only because i so rarely get to enjoy it for any stretch of time. i bet i will appreciate it more.


yeah, i ate tons of waffles and i'm still hungry. this might be one of those days, you know? ask me if i'm going to care.

nope.  not going to care. 


on a totally unrelated note: have you tried a green monster? i did, yesterday. i'll admit that i was more than skeptical, but after hearing from at least three friends that it didn't, in fact, taste like crap and realizing that i actually do, in fact, like to eat spinach raw anyway, i tried it. 

here's a helpful note: when you add blackberries to spinach, it will turn brown. an unfortunate shade of brown. put the beast in an opaque cup and pretend like you don't notice the color and all will be well. 

i added, to 4 cups of spinach (which sounds like an insane amount but actually isn't because spinach is FLUFFY), 1/2 a frozen banana, 1/3 cup of frozen blackberries, 1/3 cup of frozen peach slices, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 6 oz carton of strawberry yogurt. it was good.  and my food diary LOVED it. i think it was something like 230 calories and it filled my pregnant self up for several hours. 

go healthy smoothies!