Friday, March 30, 2007

Darn You, Katerina

Seventeen Weeks Pregnant

Here is a pregnant belly shot for your amusement. This is not me. I resent this woman. I am a shallow, bitter individual who is shallowly, bitterly eating Reese's cups and resenting this woman who most likely consumes very little sugar!

Love, Desperate

This Calls For Reese's Cups

So this morning, after cleaning up a broken bowl and a large amount of milk off the floor, I was peeling Addy out of her breakfast-covered pajamas to put her in the bathtub. It crossed my mind that maybe while we were in the bathroom I could try sitting her on the potty, just to see if she had any idea what it was for, if it scared her, or what. Kind of get a gauge of where we are as far as potty-training goes (I wildly entertain hopes of having her potty-trained this summer, but am not holding my breath or anything.) As I knelt there contemplating all this, Adelay laughed, patted her round naked belly, and peed down her leg onto the freshly laundered bathroom rug.
There was already a load of urine-soaked sheets, mattress cover, blankets, and pajamas in the wash. I might also add that as I was placing the pee soaked blankets in the washer, Adelay had clung to my leg, weeping giant crocodile tears and sobbing, "Bwenkie! Bwenkie!" But that's the cruel and heartless mother I am. I just live to snatch wet and rank-smelling blankets out of my child's arms and then laugh at her heartbreak.
But seriously. Not a great start to the day. Good thing I had a big bag of peanut butter cups in the cupboard. Sometimes that's the ace up my sleeve that keeps me going, you know? That thin line of peanut butter and chocolate is sometimes the brink of sanity.
Also: I see that Vintage All Stars is winning by a landslide. Keep those votes coming, people!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Poll: Baby Boy Bedding

Okay, folks! Time to tell me which of these crib sets would make baby boy most happy! Vote now, or forever hold your peace!

Moon and Stars

Vintage All Star

Monkey Business

Boy Toys

Home Run

Freak of Nature

I am rapidly becoming a circus side-show known as "The Bottomless Pit." Step right up, folks, and witness the phenomenon of the perpetually hungry woman! Watch her eat breakfast- Grape Nuts with raisins, milk, a half a grapefruit. Now see her rub her growling stomach two hours later and forage through the snack cupboard for further sustenance! See her eat lunch at Wendy's- junior bacon cheeseburger, side salad, and most of her daughter's chicken nuggets. Watch her come home and consume an ice cream bar.
Then, observe her growing shaky and faint around three-thirty in the afternoon while trying to vacuum. See how she is forced to sit down and eat another bowl of cereal to hold her over until dinner. Look in amazement as she greedily scarfs down said dinner a scant two hours later!
Now let your jaw drop in wonder as she continues to eat steadily throughout the evening, first raiding her daughter's Easter basket stash, then polishing off the remains of a bag of barbecue chips. Note how she intersperses these attacks of gluttony with endless glasses of water due to her constant and camel-like thirst.
Back slowly out of the tent, shaking your head in amazement and horror. Be grateful you are not this woman, who is being eaten from the inside out by the hungriest unborn child that ever lived.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In Which My Self-Esteem Takes A Hit

Well, I felt like a real genius today, when I reached into my purse to pull out the car keys and realized they were still on the kitchen counter. I felt even more brilliant as I ran around to all three doors and realized that like a good, safety-conscience citizen I had locked them all before leaving. I climbed back into the car and grimly pulled out the cell phone- at least I hadn't left THAT on the counter too!
It's always fun to make phone calls wherein you have to tell people about your embarrassing screw-ups and have them come and rescue you. If I had, say, sprained an ankle and was lying wanly on the driveway, I would have no problem calling Jim and letting him know of my damsel in distress status. I might even enjoy being rescued in this particular scenario. But I do not enjoy having to be rescued from my own stupidity.
I especially didn't enjoy that it was cold again outside, forcing Addy and I to sit in the car and wait for fifteen minutes, in only five of which Addy was pacified by the contents of her diaper bag.
In more positive news: the TV interview went fairly well, although as expected it was a little freaky to hear my own voice and observe my own little quirks. The way I kept folding and unfolding my hands drove me crazy- I looked so prim! The way I seemed to conclude every sentence with the very eloquent "and stuff." The way I completely fumbled the web address of our organization. But in all, it could have been much, much worse. Still, I have ruled out a career in broadcast journalism.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sentimental Fool

I love to read. Most people who blog probably do, I would think. If I have a spare moment, in the dentist's office, check-out line, someone else's house, whatever, I will pick up and read pretty much anything besides the The Wall Street Journal. Historical fiction of the non-sappy variety appeals to me, particularly historical fiction that is loosely based on actual events. I really like biographies, too. But my absolute favorite author, by whom I will read anything published, is Elizabeth Berg. Anybody else love her?
I will grant you, her stuff actually can border on the sentimental quite often, something which normally turns me off. But with her, the sentiment is so genuine and so identifiable that it is no way a Hallmark moment, but a real-life moment, and so you don't feel so stupid to be tearing up over it. She just really has a way of pointing out the little moments in life that actually are life, if you just pay attention. I would say she is the Catherine Newman of fiction.
Anyways, I was thinking of her (Elizabeth Berg) because the thought crossed my mind tonight that I couldn't actually remember what we did before Addy came along, what we talked and thought about. And this particular passage from one of her books ran through my mind (describing the moment when a father hands a newborn to her mother for the first time):
Then, with a tenderness I would not have thought possible in earth-bound humans, he gives her to me. Her wet head is cupped; her quivering chest is calmed. What have my hands been doing all my life before this? I see now that they too have just been born. I unwrap the blanket, stop breathing. -"Until The Real Thing Comes Along"
And it's like that for me. As much as I might complain about the tedium inherent to motherhood, I literally cannot think what my life would be without my child. I try to imagine, to look around this house and picture it without her, and everything is a blank. I feel my son kicking (still such an unexpected thrill, each time) and can't even remember to four and half months back when there was no life inside me.
Always, when I'm tucking Addy in for the night, even the nights when I've been counting down the hours until bedtime, I am suddenly and strangely reluctant to leave her. It feels like leaving behind a limb or something, even though it's a limb that's been on my last nerve all day. I stand there by the crib, in the pinky glow of the night light, and I have a feeling I cannot name. It is this: "There is no me without you."

P.S. And now for something completely unsentimental: Butt Prints

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pot Stickers... And Oh Yeah, I'm Famous!

Hey all, hope you had a great weekend. We had a really nice time with Jim's family; his grandma and brother were in town, which is a rarity, and we all hung out on Saturday and Sunday. It was also his niece's birthday party Saturday, so that was fun. Gotta love birthday desserts! And present opening. My daughter, it seems, has inherited my gene which renders me practically unable to restrain myself from tearing into piles of gifts, whether they're mine or not. This is not one of my nobler characteristics.
Today was fun, too. I took Addy to my husband's family's restaurant, which we both enjoy, for lunch, and then to play in the Children's Garden since it was so nice out. She had a lot of fun crouching in the mulch, transporting handfuls of dirt from one empty vegetable bed to another. Unfortunately, they hadn't turned on the fountain yet, so there was nowhere to wash OFF the dirt, but it was worth it. It was even worth the screaming tantrum that ensued when we finally had to leave the garden.
When we got home, I allowed myself to take a nap as soon as Addy went down, even though there was plenty of things that needed doing. It felt great; I slept for about three hours! When I got up, it was almost six. Jim and I talked and played with Addy for awhile, then decided to go out for Chinese, which we haven't done in a long time. And who knew? Adelay likes pot stickers! I mean, what the heck? This child has refused to touch meat her entire life, and she was devouring the ground chicken filling as though she hadn't eaten in a week. We actually had a pleasant meal in a nice restaurant with a toddler! It was kind of miraculous. We stopped at Toys'R'Us afterwards to check out their selection of toddler beds, and also so Addy and her dad could try out all the tiny little bikes and cars! Fun stuff.
But what made this day so particularly interesting and fun and glamorous? Well, since you asked...
This morning, I was on TV! Granted, it was a local station and I doubt there were millions of adoring fans watching, but still! I was being interviewed on a morning talk show kind of format about this mom's group at our church that my sister-in-law and I helped start. I also had to talk a little about myself, which was slightly more difficult, but overall, not nearly as scary as I was anticipating. I was only on the air about fifteen minutes, but that's the closest brush with fame I've had, so my ego was pleasantly stroked. I'm a star!
I'm terrified to watch it when it's aired tomorrow morning- no doubt I will be horrified at the sound of my own voice and the lack of symmetry in my facial structure and the extra fifty pounds added by the camera! At least the host kindly mentioned my pregnant status, so maybe the viewers will assume I am ordinarily slender and waif-like, with high, chiseled cheekbones and only one chin.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Big Box Mart

Welcome To The Greatest Show On Earth
The above is a truly hilarious blog post about the various interesting stereotypes one may encounter, at any time, in any Wal-Mart in the world. Since I was in said evil giant corporation just today, I thought I would add my own two cents about the negative/positive aspects of an average trip to ye olde Wally World.
First off, as mentioned in the post I refer to, you have your truly obese people filling their carts with family-size bags of fried grease fried in fried frying oil (as Dave Barry would say.) An example of this would be the other day, when the woman behind me, about as wide as she was tall, began piling the belt with generic soda, cheez-puffs, potato chips, bags of candy, and marshmallows. Seriously. That was it, that was the purchase. Nary an apple or a stick of celery in sight. No cleaning products, no personal products. Just crap. Behind the woman stood her three children, all of whom were well on their way to juvenile-onset diabetes, and were clawing at the candy bar display as though they were on the brink of starvation.
Now before everyone starts scolding me to get off my judgemental high horse, let me say that I too purchase unhealthy snacks on a fairly regular basis. And maybe this woman's cupboards were stocked to the brim with brown rice and broccoli and whole grain cereals, I don't know. It's very possible the family was just on a quick fun-food run. It happens. I'm just saying... It was hard not to jump to judgemental conclusions, what with the giant bags of powdered cheese puffs and the children, huffing and puffing with exhaustion from their long walk around the store.
My next favorite sight on your average trip to the Mart is the truly evil mothers (who I notice are usually shopping in pairs, with their mom or sister or fellow whore or something) who are perpetually slapping their toddlers in the face and screaming "Shut the f--- up!" every other time the kid speaks or moves, then resuming their loud, yakky conversations about their most recent STD or cheating boyfriend. The kids are usually shoeless, pale, and just generally very Oliver Twist.
And I HATE their moms. They make my jaw clench and my heart race, and while I have never yet gone up to someone and asked them to pick on someone their own size, for fear the mom would simply take it out on the kid later, I have sent many a (hopefully) disgusted glare in their direction. I wish I were braver in this regard. I worked with a woman once who was arrested for punching a mom in Toys'R'Us after she saw the mom slap her son in the face. I think the mom was arrested, too, though. Good, heartwarming story any way you look at it!
Now for a compliment to Wal-Mart. Best place to fill Easter baskets, hands down. When your town doesn't have a Target, anyways. Cheapest place to buy face, hair, and makeup products. Cheapest place to buy diapers that I know of. Decent selection of inexpensive yet cute lamps, picture frames, candles, etc.
But still. Do these pros outweigh the cons? Not usually, which is why I have recently decided to drop Wal-Mart as a regular shopping destination, using the slightly more expensive local grocery instead, and Wal-Mart simply as a once-a-month or so stop to pick up diapers and wipes and foundation.
Anyone else have a fun and/or horrifying Wal-Mart tale?
Oh yeah, and please do note with slightly condescending pride that I have at long last realized there is a freakin' button right there at the top of my screen with which to make proper links. Expect to have any mentions of your blog handle highlighted and linked from now on! Yay for me being slowly led into the light of computer literacy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's That Time Again

Time to complain to me! You remember the rules- sympathize with one of my grievances, then contribute one of your own. Once you've thoroughly vented, resolve not to let it frustrate you anymore, at least for the rest of the day. The blog will absorb all of our collective wrath, and we will forgo at least one frown wrinkle in our foreheads.

So here's mine:

1. This stupid computer!! It takes like three tries of starting and then shutting it down before the mouse will unfreeze and start moving on the screen. Drives me NUTS!

2. The dog's muddy paws and shedding hair. I read in someone's blog the other day that she thinks dog hair will be the death of her, and I am inclined to agree. I am sure I spend more time per day scowling and grumbling about the dog hair and the wiping of the dirty paws than I do grumbling about world poverty and the worrisome national deficit.

3. The weird grungy green stuff which always appears in the fridge below the milk cartons. Always there, nowhere else, and it's not as though the milk is sitting there taking root and growing mold, so I just don't get it! Clearly, I just need to clean it, but why doesn't this weirdness appear anywhere but beneath the milk?! It's a scientific mystery.

4. Why is there half a day's value of saturated fat in just one of Schwan's heavenly Gold 'n' Nugget bars? Something so delicious should not be so bad for you. Those things are like frozen Snicker's bars, but better. Besides, the baby craves them! What can I do, deny my child?

5. Having to clean the table, highchair, and floor beneath the highchair every single time Adelay eats. Cleanup usually takes longer than meal prep and eating combined. The mindlessness and endlessness of this particular chore make it my top annoyance of this week.

There, all done! Your turn.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Big Arrival

I was so excited today- there, delivered to my front steps, was the Superyard XT Play Gate AND Extension Kit! And Swistle, you were right. This thing is fabulous. I never thought I would be so completely thrilled to have a plastic chain-link prison yard set up in the middle of my living room, but priorities tend to shift when you've stepped on the same freaking Lego ten times in one day. Now all I want is a place where I can put Addy and her toys and walk around the house and do things and not hear her screaming/whining from the playroom, which for some reason she seems to view as a Pit of Doom.
Heretofore, my only other options were, 1., to allow her to roam free throughout the house with me, which ends only in dog food munching and falling into sharp things and dragging out DVD's and decks of playing cards, or 2., to put her in her playpen, which she is usually fine with as long as I put in a movie, but which I end up feeling a little guilty about. Lying in a Pack'n'Play staring at Baby Einstein for hours a day does not seem the most mentally or physically stimulating thing for an eighteen month old child.
I am hoping the play yard, which takes up roughly half of the floor space in our living room, will be the solution. Plenty of room to walk around and play with even large toys, but no chances for falling into the TV or fireplace or sneaking off into the bathroom to play in Mommy's makeup bag. And also, hopefully none of the abandonment issues which the playroom seems to bring up, since the living room is a place I pass through often, whereas the playroom is kind of off in a corner of the house. I can see where one might feel lonely there. (Mind you, our house is probably not even 2000 sq. ft., so I use the term "off in a corner" loosely. It's not as though I can't turn around from the computer desk, three rooms away, look down the hall, and still see into the playroom. It's just that it's not a room which is in the main flow of traffic, so to speak.)
So geez, could I be having a better week or what? All my dreams are coming true. A tiny penis and a play yard! I'm the luckiest girl in the world!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Travel Anecdotes

So I realized today I forgot to say anything about the weekend away. And really, there are some things to say. The car trips there and back really didn't go too badly, for which I was so grateful. I kept whispering grateful yet paranoid little prayers, in the vein of, "Thank you God, she's still asleep, now just please don't let her wake up okay?!" But the packing prior to the road trip ended in myself having a tearful meltdown in the bathroom, so that was not so great. But hey! My first wild pregnancy mood swing! It had to happen sometime.
What brought on the attack of hormones was that Jim had to do last-minute work and couldn't help me pack OR watch Adelay, and you know what that meant. That meant Adelay was doing a fine job of following along behind me and unpacking everything I had just neatly stowed away. And Jim was saying, "Hey, why is Addy in here again? I can't watch her right now. Oh, and isn't it lunchtime?" And the toys and the clothes and the diapers were being strewn all over the house just as I was trying to get everything packed up and cleaned up, and I still looked like a mess and had nasty unwashed hair and my sister was here and we should have left a half hour ago and.... There you go. There she is, crying at the sink while trying to pull her hair into a sleek ponytail when her hair is in fact greasy, not sleek.
But this is about the trip.
The hotel was pretty nice, as mid-Ohioan hotels go (seriously, that was the name of one of the signs along the way: Mid-Ohio, 6 miles. I'd like to hear John Mellencamp sing a nostalgic song about that small town.) We spent the evening eating in a very nice, very expensive, very not-kid-friendly restaurant, but it was still fun, and frankly our dining options were limited. It was chain fast food, this overpriced but atmospheric place, and something called the Stop and Go Diner. The implications of the diner name did not sound promising to me, so we went with the quaint, darkly-lit restaurant, wherein Addy proceeded to throw her angel hair pasta on everyone and everything in a three foot radius. But it was actually still a fun meal, all things considered.
Then we all headed back to the hotel and swam. And things proceeded to get... Creepy. Now, the pool was clean and warm, Addy was having fun, things were good. But there were some not so savory looking guys also in the pool who were freaking me out a little, because I am just like that, suspicious of everyone who is male, moustached, and over thirty. They left, though, and all was well. Just us, a couple of little girls, and a dad and his son.
Except that it turns out the dad is the creepy one. He would not leave us alone! He and his little boy stalked us around the pool, and would not shut up about how cute Addy was, how beautiful her eyes were, how they would just love to take her home with them! And maybe it doesn't sound so weird in writing, but trust me, it was getting beyond the point of friendly small talk with fellow hotel patrons, and venturing into a weird, pre-kidnapping type of chitchat that was making me distinctly uncomfortable. So we didn't swim for too long!
Addy did sleep pretty well, fortunately, and we managed to get ourselves ready and checked out and on our way to the church on time. Jim had to take Addy out of the service about five minutes into it, of course, but other than that it was lovely. As we were all filing out to our cars, however, we noticed a truly rank, manure-like odor coming from the basement stairwell we passed by. Later, we discovered that there had been a giant pile of human feces just sitting there for every guest to enjoy a big whiff of on their way out. Lovely. I mean, who the heck...? I don't even have the words to form the question. I will leave the story at that.
So the wedding was over, and as usual there were about two hours to kill between then and the reception. And speaking of killing, I was wearing some pantyhose that were digging into my pregnant belly cruelly. Seriously, I was so uncomfortable I could barely breathe. We decided to go to the nearest Target, where I hunted down new hose and Jim chased our daughter around. I figured, oh, yeah, Target, they have a decent maternity section. They'll have maternity hose, right?
Wrong-o. I had to settle for buying a size larger than usual, and then scurrying off to the Target bathroom to wriggle myself out of the tourniquets which were currently wrapped around my thighs, and into these new hose, which proved to be no better. So, I was falling all over the disgusting, germ covered walls of the stall trying to get myself into the stupid things, swearing and panting and at one point spitefully kicking the old hose across the floor, when I realized I was not alone in the bathroom. And my fellow bathroom users were also guests of the same stinkin' wedding.
Ah, dignity. How I miss you sometimes.

P.S. If you haven't seen it, do go check out my comment to Lisa on my last post. Read it, and then come back and read this last sentence.

Dear Dr. K,
I just thoroughly enjoyed a pack of Easter basket Little Debbie cakes. I licked the crumbs off my fingers. I think maybe I'll have another pack! Come arrest me, I dare you! Call the pregnancy police!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My Old Friend

Tonight we were over at a friend's house for one of our regular visits, and, reckless with giddiness over the baby news, I decided to go crazy and give coffee another try. Now, I am a former coffee junkie, but thanks to pregnancy and the accompanying nausea, I have not indulged in something like four months. It smelled good to me tonight, though, and I dared to give it a second chance.
It hit my taste buds like sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. And in about twenty minutes, it hit my nervous system like a couple of rum and Cokes. I felt my face growing flushed, my body temperature rising, my voice getting louder and faster. I poured a second cup, remembered I was pregnant, and opted for hot cocoa instead. But the damage was done. I have learned that drinking coffee is not like riding a bike, in that one's tolerance for the caffeine drops markedly after having taken a months-long sabbatical.
We got home, and for two straight hours I cleaned the kitchen like a woman possessed. Jim was watching a new movie he had rented and tried to get me to sit down with him, but sitting was not in the cards. What was in the cards was dishes, then the frantic removal of every item from the counter tops, wiping with water and Clorox, dusting and returning of the counter items, cleaning the top of the fridge, cleaning the stove top with actual stove top scrubbing cleaner, dusting and the tidying the baker's rack, and sweeping and mopping the floor.
I am now coming down a little, and my heart is slowly pitter-pattering back to a normal rate. I had to change my clothes for the sweat. I feel shaky and drained, but soothed by my sparkling kitchen (and by the large and well-frosted piece of cake I am currently eating.)
But I will not be drinking coffee again for awhile. This can't be good for me. Or for the boy. Ah, the boy... :)

Worth The Wait

Well, today has been filled with relieving and exciting news which made all of the weekend's fretting seem so worth it. Jim took Addy to her doctor's appointment this morning, while I filled out paperwork and waited and waited and waited in an unfamiliar OB's office. Addy is fine, her rash is a yeast infection which requires prescription cream, but no ear infection or anything, so that was good as far as I'm concerned. Rash= way better than ear drops or tubes or whatever.
And now for the really good news. After finally getting into the exam room after forty-five minutes, Dr. K got called away for a delivery. I curled up with my feet under my butt to keep them from turning into purple Popsicles frozen to the stirrups, and waited some more. The doctor finally got there, introduced himself, then abruptly informed me that it was much too soon for Braxton-Hicks and that if I was feeling contractions, I was probably beginning to miscarry. Nice to meet you, too, Doc!
He examined my cervix, and declared it to be fine, but said he wanted to look and measure it with ultrasound as well. Then he left. Now, in my usual doctor's office, they leave, wheel the ultrasound machine back in, and perform the sonogram there. But in this office, as I surmised after waiting like a moron for about ten minutes, you have to get redressed and go to a different room for the ultrasound. So I wandered down the hall to the desk, handed them my chart, and said hesitantly, "Am I supposed to be somewhere?"
"Room 5, have a seat and wait." The expression added, "Duh."
So off I trudge, wait some more, only to find that Dr. K has been called out to yet another birth, and I will be examined by an ultrasound technician instead. Which is fine by me, as Dr. K's charming bedside manner has done little to impress me thus far. The ultrasound technician is a really nice woman, early thirties, with long brown hair and pretty little silver hoops. She smiles, and does not offer flat, depressing statements, so I like her better than the other guy already.
She looks at and measures my cervix with the good 'ole transvaginal ultrasound, and again, everything appears fine and I am not dilated at all, so I feel hugely relieved and also slightly stupid for having wasted everyone's time. But not so stupid that I'm going to waste this opportunity.
"While you're there..." I begin. "Is it possible to tell the gender at this age?"
She tilts her head and starts probing around further (such an indescribable feeling, that probing!) "Not usually," she explains, "But since I'm looking with the vaginal ultrasound instead of over your belly, I'll have a better view. I can try!"
She is quiet for awhile, moving her wand inside my womb. "This is a squirmy baby!" she comments at one point. Then, "Oh, there's the cord, you see? And then over here, between the legs... Can you see that?" She points and freezes the camera frame.
And I can. I can see it. It is a penis. There is a penis inside me, and I am not currently having sex. You know what that means!
I have had a big stupid grin on my face all day long. We're having a little boy! A squirmy, feisty one, apparently, whose rolling and thrashing against my uterine wall I mistook for contractions. I could not be happier. A boy and a girl. Perfect.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wait and Wonder

Health is a big giant pain in the rump. First, a week or so ago, Adelay gets this diaper rash which refuses to depart, despite days and days of vigilant creaming and frequent diaper changing. My SIL clues me in that she might have an ear infection or something, but just isn't exhibiting other symptoms. So, I call and schedule her eighteen-month checkup a little early, thinking I will mention this whole ear infection possibility then. But they couldn't get me in for two weeks, and now, a week since I called, the rash remains and the appointment is still a week from tomorrow. So I'm thinking I need to take her in.
Also, I've been noticing weird pain through my belly, which I mentioned awhile ago. I pretty much narrowed the belly-button-tenderness situation down to being a separated stomach muscle, which I've heard is pretty common in pregnancy. But now for several days I've also been having what I'm pretty sure are contractions- my stomach seems to ball up and I feel pain low, like menstrual cramps, not on the side like muscle stretching. I finally called the OB office this morning, and the nurse I talked to sounded concerned and said she thought I should be examined since I have a history of preterm labor, but that my doctor is out for the week.
So now I have to basically try to lie around and do nothing but prop my feet up and drink lots of water until he gets back, and take careful note of when and how often I feel these pains. If they get worse or more frequent, I have to go to the ER or to another OB in town to get checked out. Yay! Everyone knows how much I love being in limbo, just sitting around waiting to find out if something is wrong or not.
I'm trying not to be overly concerned though. I mean, some things I've read say that in second pregnancies, it's not uncommon for Braxton-Hicks to start much earlier than in first pregnancies. On the other hand... What if I have an incompetent cervix or something that's been made even weaker since the last baby, and my body is already starting labor? That freaks me out so much. I know the chances of that are pretty slim, but when you're just lying around with nothing to do but think, those are the things you think about. Good old worst case scenarios.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brace Yourself For Boring

So I have a question, in the fascinating vein of similar questions such as "How do I trim Adelay's toenails without injury to her or myself?" If you don't have kids or came here to read something funny, you should probably move along for today. Because today's topic is, "Is there a certain point at which a toddler should be completely weened from bottle to sippy cup, and if so when is it?"
I've already mentioned my rebellious reluctance to ween her from the comfort of milk in bed, despite my pediatrician's dire warnings of cavities. So I am just being stubborn again here about the bottle thing in general? She does use sippy cups, and in fact exclusively sippy cups, during the day. Really, the only time the bottles get broken out is at nap and bedtime... Or if all the sippy cups are dirty at meal or snack time.
We've tried giving her cups in bed, too, but she really gets upset, and the very mention of a "ba-ba" settles her down so well that it seems pointless to force the issue. So I guess it's a comfort thing at nighttime, for both her and us. I've just kind of figured, "If it's working, why mess with it?" Am I being lazy, or does it not really matter? If it does matter, how should I go about the removal of the bottles?

Ode To Swistle
Everyone promise me you will go read this post. It is brilliant and wonderful and I want to MARRY it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

We're Off To See The Wizard

Actually, we're off to see my cousin get married. But we'll be gone through Saturday night, and Sunday I'll probably be unpacking and doing laundry (or lying on the couch eating Dairy Queen- it's a toss up.) So, all ten of my readers, fear not! I shall return to blog world on Monday.
Everyone wish us luck- we're going to have Addy in a hotel room overnight, which she hasn't done since she was about six months old, I think. The plan is to wear her out with swimming, and by the time we all go to bed she'll be exhausted. Swimming seems to have that effect on kids, I've noticed. Swimming and sun, especially, but we'll have to do without the sun.
Also, congratulate me, because I found (actually, my mom found, and purchased- thanks!) a really cute maternity dress to wear to the wedding. It's got a hint of sexy, and it quite clearly shouts, "This bump is a baby, not a beer gut!" One of my favorite features in any maternity outfit during the pre-six months along stage. Will I actually dance in this dress? Unlikely, since it takes an unhealthy amount of alcohol to convince me to hit the dance floor (See, Untitled, from December.)
But I will be rubbing my belly and smiling that glowing Madonna and Child smile at anyone who looks my way. Another fun part of pregnancy- everyone smiles at you benevolently, thanking you for carrying on the human race. Well, unless you're a skanky looking pregnant woman who's hair isn't washed and whose current child is screaming through the grocery store. Then I've found the smiles come less often. So, as long as you're wishing me good luck with the hotel sleeping, wish it for Adelay's behavior at the wedding, too! (Maybe we could slip her my share of the champagne...)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hello, Doula

Drumroll, please... I met the doula! And I LIKE her! A little too much, apparently- after she left, Jim was like, "Wow, so you guys could have talked FOREVER, huh?" And I realized I had maybe kept her a little long. But it was like she was reading my mind! She totally got everything I wanted and everything I wasn't happy with last time and we were practically completing one another's sentences by the end.
And she's not a "no pain meds ever" Nazi whatsoever. I mean, obviously, as a doula she's a big supporter of natural childbirth, but I told her within the first ten minutes that I wasn't entirely ruling out epidural if things were going too long or I was getting exhausted, and she was totally fine with that.
What I really like is that she's there as a go-between for myself and the staff, and to help me plan out what I want beforehand. Such as, for instance, none of that, "Hold your breath as every single person in the room loudly counts to ten and tells you to push- PUSH-PUSH!" as though birth were a freaking sporting event, and also as though you were a robot who couldn't feel that there was a bowling ball between your legs needing to be pushed out. As though if they didn't instruct you to push, you would perhaps lie there and hold the baby in indefinitely.
Anyhoo... So I'm a happy girl today. Now I just can't wait to get on with it and have this baby! Actually, no, that's not true. I'm not quite ready. Still have a toddler bed to buy and a room to paint and baby clothes to organize and a name to decide on. So I guess I'm glad we still have the summer.
Oh, but, sorry everyone who's been posting over at Swistle, I don't think I'll be buying cloth diapers. It sounds lovely and environmentally responsible and all but... Ew. I get grossed out enough just taping the diaper up and tossing it in the trash. I don't think I would enjoy having my washing machine perpetually filled with soaking poopy diapers. I'll have to find another way to do my part for Mother Earth.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deep Thoughts From The Front Seat

Today it was freakishly warm, about seventy degrees when it has been in the thirties and forties. I took Adelay and my niece to the playground after school today and we weren't even wearing jackets! It was so amazing. My brain felt awake for the first time in months. As I was driving along with the windows down, my Sugar Cult CD from high school blaring, I got this rush of nostalgia so intense it made my chest ache a little. I saw myself in a cute little tank top, my stomach flat and tan, with my highlighted hair blowing in the wind as my friends and I drove along toward no particular destination. And this wasn't a bad thing, because this meant our destination could still be anywhere. The night air, rushing in through the open car window, tasted like possibility.
It still does, too. Now it's the possibility of watching Adelay play for the first time on the slides. She looked so big I couldn't believe it. Or helping her swim for the first time this coming weekend. It's the new baby coming at the end of summer, the grand finale, if you will, of the best time of year.
I read once that to maintain hope, an interest in the daily monotony of life, one must have someone to love and something to look forward to. Whatever parenthood might temporarily withhold from you, it certainly offers both of those things. More than adequate compensation, I have to say, for trips to Europe and late-night car rides.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Help Wanted

Needed: Knowledge on how to help a formerly angelic sleeper settle down at night and not give herself hysterics/bloody noses/gagging episodes in her efforts to resist the crib and sleep in general. Said child was awake until eleven thirty last night. Her mother was ready to crawl out of her own skin. There were all sorts of conflicting feelings being passed around the house like mutating viruses: compassion, guilt, annoyance, frustration, self-pity... The gang was all here! And their soundtrack was screaming. Shrill, piercing, haunted-house-worthy screaming.

Wanted: Opinions about the following names for boys: Clayton, Merrick, Drayson, Larson, Landon, Bennett. Also, for girls: Eliana, Sabriya, Talia. Opinions should include, merits of the name itself, as well as thoughts about how the name sounds with the name of first child.

Please Advise: Is it normal at this point in pregnancy to already feel a lot of discomfort in the front of my stomach? Is this just muscles stretching, or what? It's right through the middle, and it's especially tender right around my navel. Am I lifting Addy too much, maybe? Help!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Back From The Windy City

So Jim and I had a really nice time in Chicago this weekend. Jim and his dad went to a couple of the Big Ten games, and his mom and I went shopping. We went out to dinner with Jim's cousin, who lives in Chicago, then we all went to see The Second City, which was very good. We had leisurely breakfasts in the hotel restaurant, and Jim and I enjoyed the pool and hot tub (well, my legs enjoyed the hot tub.)
The only thing that rained on my parade was a truly wicked headache, which hit while we were out shopping on Friday- by the time I managed to get my sorry self to the hotel room, I was nearly blind with pain, and of course I didn't have medicine with me. I drank tea, turned all the lights out, and tried to lay down, but lowering my head made me feel as though someone were driving ice picks through my temples, so I had to settle for being propped up on three pillows, semi-reclining. I also realized I hadn't eaten in about four hours, which for me equals practically dying of starvation, so I speedy quick ordered up a little personal pizza. Jim returned shortly before the pizza, bearing rapid release Tylenol. These two remedies finally shrunk the headache down to a manageable little throbbing, much to my relief, and I was able to completely enjoy the dinner and show later.
One thing I am still bitter about, though, is that I tried on every stinking pair of pants in Mimi Maternity (we don't have one in our city, so I was looking forward to shopping there) and NOTHING fit! Here I was, prepared to shell out more than my usual twenty bucks for, essentially, a pair of fat pants, and I couldn't find anything! So here I am, bursting out of my regular pants, unable to button the tops, safety pinning them together in a raggedy and uncomfortable fashion. The only pants I have from the last pregnancy are capris, because with Addy I didn't get big until about June. I have like TEN pairs of shorts and capris, but only one pair of elastic-waist pants. I have been wearing the heck out of them.
Adelay did very well, apparently, without us. She stayed with several different people over the course of the weekend, so I was a little worried that she would be overwhelmed because of all the changes of location. But everyone said she was fine. Yet, last night, when we went to put her to bed, it was apparent that she was feeling a little insecure after having been left behind. She screamed her head off every time we put her in the crib, jumping against the rails and trying to climb out. She got so hysterical at one point she was gagging and choking, and then in all her jumping managed to give herself a bloody nose.
We felt so awful. We got her in and out of bed like three times. The third time, when Jim tried to lay her down and she bumped her nose, we felt so horrible we just gave up and laid her on the couch next to me. We turned all the lights off and put in a Baby Einstein movie, and she settled down. When the movie ended, I brought her to bed with me, and after a half hour or so she fell asleep at last, her head nestled into my neck at an excruciatingly uncomfortable angle. My hair was matted with her sweat and milky drool by the time I managed to extricate myself from the weight of her body.
So... I don't think we'll be leaving her overnight again for awhile. That was pretty rough aftermath. Although, I think part of the problem was that we left really early Friday, while she was still asleep, so she woke up to a stranger in her house and no mom or dad. We thought it would be easier that way, but in hindsight it would probably have been a smoother transition if we had gotten her up, said goodbye, and then handed her off the babysitter. Maybe she would have been less confused or something. I don't know. I just feel bad about it all around. She must have thought we had abandoned her!
So, other than parental guilt, we had a really nice weekend. And I have to say, it was nice to get to do our own thing and not worry about sippy cups and diapers and strollers and naps and all that. So, hope you all had some fun this weekend as well!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's A Beautiful Day

I have an anthem today, courtesy of U2. Also courtesy of the stars all being aligned in my favor and my actually having a day in which all the pieces fell into place! I got Adelay ready and dropped off at her aunt's house on time, got to the doctor's office on time and even looking pretty decent, got in and out of a crowded OB's office in under an hour, and... My baby is alive and well! I got to hear it's galloping little heartbeat for the first time today on the Doppler, and I have to say, it doesn't sound any less amazing than it did two years ago. I had the nice nurse today, and she left the Doppler on my belly for several minutes. We both just listened and smiled. I think it's so nice that she can still be touched by things like that, even when she's heard them a million times. I know I was touched. We made it, baby! I thought, a little amazed. We have made it safely to the other side of three months!
Then I worked up my courage and asked the doctor about the doula thing (I found one, by the way!) and he was surprisingly pleasant about it. I had kind of braced myself for a reluctant approval, but he said he's actually worked with doulas before and has no problem with it, "Just so long as the baby is doing fine,"- but that's to be expected.
Then I stopped into the local coffeehouse (where I worked for a year and met my husband) to pick up lunch, and ran into a bunch of people I haven't talked to for awhile. And someone accidentally messed up someone's latte order, so one of the girls behind the counter who knew me gave me the "accident" latte for free!
I got to my sister-in-law's house and found Addy playing contentedly with her cousin, which always makes me happy. As much as I like to be missed, it's also reassuring to me when she sees me come in the door and barely looks up. I know she was fine without me, and I feel much better the next time I have to leave her. So we had a really nice lunch together, lattes and everything, while the kids played nicely, and I got to enjoy adult conversation for an hour! It was great.
Then I drove Adelay home (in the SUNSHINE!) and fixed her lunch. As I went to sit her down in her highchair, kissing all over her little head as usual because I'm annoying like that, she grasped my face between her hands and gave me a big, long kiss back. Her little face was so serious and intent. Then she pulled away and smiled benevolently upon me. There, the message seemed to be. I love you too.
I felt my throat closing up in the manner of annoying, overly sentimental mothers everywhere. I wanted to offer her the world, if only she would promise to offer me such sweet, uncomplicated affection even when she becomes a teenager and I am old and embarrassing. Please always love me like this, I was thinking. And I realized how vulnerable it makes you, to love a child so much. It's worse than a high school romance. Your heart is just lying there, waiting to be trampled. And to be sent soaring.
And then the song came on the radio... I am a big sucker for sappy songs. If they catch me in the right mood, well, I just have to swoop that little baby up and dance her around the kitchen. These are the days that make all the others worth it.

"Beautiful Day"

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town

You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere

You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Trying Something New Here...

You know how some bloggers have cool activities, like lists or whatever, that they do depending on what day it is? Like how Kelli does her Thursday Thirteen lists? Well, here's my new activity which I invite you to partake in, and, true to the usual format of this blog, it involves griping. I'm going to pick a random number... Five. And I'm going to list five things that have driven me nuts recently, but are not exactly post-worthy in and of themselves. And anyone who reads one of those items and says "Aha! I myself have been driven insane by that very thing!" must comment about it, and also leave a new "thing that has driven them nuts lately" for me to enjoy. Basically just some good old-fashioned complaining, but things that you maybe have had the courtesy not to unload on anyone yet. Here's your chance. But first it's my turn:

1. Why does no one in our house ever seem to eat leftover ravioli? There are probably three little containers of it in the fridge at any given time, growing mold like they're trying to supply the world with penicillin, but no one will go near them. Myself included.

2. Why do some couples like to spend their entire day in the grocery store together, grimly debating every single item which is placed in their cart? Why am I always behind said couples, waiting impatiently for them to finish their wheat vs. honey wheat cracker debate so I can get to the stinking Cheez-Its, while Adelay is tossing everything already in my cart to the floor? I was behind one couple for almost an hour straight the other day- I kept trying to dodge them, but they found me in every aisle. Here they are in frozen foods: "Do we need waffles yet, George? I think we still have half a bag." "Well, do you want to have to go out for waffles in three days when that bag is gone?"
And here they are again in dairy: "Excuse me, excuse me, young man." (Harried looking stock boy acknowledges them.) "Do you carry the one brand of cottage cheese with the red label? You usually have it: It has a red label." All of this is said in an agitated tone, while the offending contained with the blue label is thrust into the stock boy's face for comparison. "It's not like this. It's a taller container. With a RED label." Stock boy begins to sweat and looks around for someone to save him.

3. Why do my lightbulbs never seem to last as long as promised? In the kitchen right now, two out of four lightbulbs are currently dead, and in our bedroom fan, only one bulb is currently alive. I swear I must change them once a month. On a similar lightbulb note, why are outdoor lampost style lightbulbs five dollars a piece?

4. Why did I feel completely un-nauseaus for a whole week, then randomly throw up at breakfast yesterday? WHAT THE HECK!? That's just not fair to play with my hopes like that. Either I'm over the morning sickness or I'm still sick. One or the other!

5. Why has our insurance gone from 80/20 to 70/30? And why has our copay gone up by fifty percent? It is now going to cost us about twice as much to have this baby as it did to have Adelay. Not that I begrudge the money or anything, and of course we're lucky to have insurance, blah blah blah, but good grief! How does the medical industry get away with charging as much as they do for stuff? I swear those hospitals charge you like, thirty dollars per sanity pad. It's like, "Oh, would you like an ice pack for those swollen and stitched-up body parts through which you just passed an entire human being? That'll be fifty dollars."

Whine and Cheese

I thought of titling this particular post, "Nap, Interrupted." I cannot tell you how annoying it is to me, because I am a selfish and grumpy soul, to be interrupted four different times in the course of one nap. Now, I know I said that my nausea has mostly abated by now, and this is true, but the tiredness is another story. Most days, if Addy is taking a nap in the afternoon, I like to crawl into my own bed and sleep as well. I am taking advantage of this indulgence while I still can, as I imagine my napping days are over once the second baby comes along. But the problem with this is that if the phone is anywhere near me, it inevitably rings just as I am half-asleep, and startles me awake with a nice little panicky burst of adrenaline.
So I'll answer that call, and then, feeling both groggy but also edgy from the mental jolt, try to fall back asleep. And then the stupid dog will start barking wildly and scramble to the window as though there were a cat festival taking place on our front lawn. Nine times out of ten, when I stumble into the living room to see if someone is here, not only is no one here but there are also no visible signs of life, animal or human, anywhere to be seen. The source of the random barking is a mystery.
So, muttering grumpily under my breath, I will lurch back to bed (this is assuming the crazed barking hasn't woken Adelay) and try once again to return to sleep. And then the phone will ring. This happened for about three hours straight yesterday, first a call, then the dog, then a call, then the dog... I thought I was going to cry from exhaustion and frustration. This probably all sounds like a minor inconvenience to someone who is not able to lie down during the day EVER, and I realize it's not exactly a tragedy worthy of a 5K benefit walk or anything. But it does put me in a really irritable mood for the rest of the day.
The solution here is probably to, a, TURN THE PHONE OFF, and b, lock the dog in another room so he can't hear whatever inaudible-to-human-ears sounds he's hearing that send him into his random frenzies of barking. There, I solved my own problem. I will now end the whining portion of this post.
On to the cheese. I decided last night that my husband's and my conversational skills have taken a serious nose dive into the BORING lately. We spent, in rough estimation, about an hour last night discussing food. Primarily cheese. I was already tucked into bed (it was ten o' clock, after all!) and he was standing in the doorway getting ready to return to his computer. One of us made a random comment about food, and we were off. We had a long, lively conversation about whether we're eating enough antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and whether we should try to have more vegetarian meals. We talked about whether black beans provided "complete" protein or not. We moved from this witty repartee into a spirited debate about whether or not cheese is a nutritious food choice. We concluded that we definitely should control our cheese portions more strictly. And then we kissed goodnight. This was tragic stuff. I mean, food is important. Nutrition is important. But dear Lord... In three years we've gone from lying around, staring into each other's eyes and talking about our hopes and dreams, to lying around talking about the merits of black beans!?
I think Justin Timberlake is right. It's time to bring sexy back! Or if not sexy, at least... Not cheese. Which I ended up eating with Triscuits in bed last night, as I was famished and required nourishment after our lengthy discussion about the dangers of cheese.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lamb and Rice

If you're thinking this sounds like a nice casserole I whipped up this weekend, you'd be thinking wrong. This is the flavor of dog food Fonzie eats, and now, apparently, so does our daughter. All of the sudden, she cannot pass by the dog dish without stooping to snag a handful for herself. A little snack for the road. If not caught in the act, she cruises around the house, happy as a clam, munching the little pellets out of her grubby fist.
Her fondness for this particular food group is obviously disgusting, but also bizarre and confusing. This is the kid who throws even foods that she likes onto the floor, the kid who rarely finishes a meal because she has better things to do, like leave random small objects tucked into the toe of my shoe. What person in their right mind would disdain macaroni and cheese or even cookies, and then trot on over to the germ-filled dog bowl and happily chow down? I don't get it, unless she feels she is owed, due to the generous amounts of her own food that she has willingly shared with the dog. Perhaps she feels she is evening things out a little by helping herself to his meals.
Anyways... Weird, but I'm not sweating it too much. I say, "Aacky!" and try to get it out of her hand when I catch her at it, but I haven't gone so far as to do a throat sweep to remove the chewed-up particle before it slips down into her stomach. I mean, the dog seems to thrive; how bad can it be? It is Purina. Proven to give your pet a longer life! Or is that Iams?
So, on a different note, I am now officially in my second trimester! And, in an amazingly textbook turn of fate, I really do feel much better! As of last week, my incidents of gagging have been few and far between, and other than a little tiredness, and the bursting of my pant waistbands, I feel basically normal. I can't believe I'm a third of the way there... By the end of the summer, there will be four of us.
I have an appointment on Thursday, when I will be about fourteen weeks, give or take a few days. I probably won't get an ultrasound, I'm thinking. By this point they should be able to hear the heartbeat on Doppler, right? I've been trying to think up a reason (strange ovary pains!) for the doctor to go ahead and take a peak around in the 'ole uterus again. I want to see how big the baby is now. Last time I saw it it was... what? A fig? Now it is three inches long, weighs an ounce, and is roughly the size of a jumbo shrimp. (Why do they always compare it to foods? I think it's a real pregnancy milestone when the prenatal books stop referring to the size and shape of your fetus in terms of fruits and appetizers.)
Also, I have began again in earnest my reading of the various library books on birth and babies. And I made a decision: No home birth for me, I'm not quite that willing to trade comfort for technology, but I do want a doula with me at the hospital. A doula is basically a woman who is there to support you emotionally and physically, who will deal with the hospital staff for you if they are being intrusive or trying to push measures on you that you don't want yet, or at all. She takes some of the pressure off of the husband or birth partner, so that he can provide emotional support while she handles a lot of the verbal "coaching" and also the more physical aspects such as massage and counter pressure. She stays at your side through the entire labor.
A doula has to assist at ten births to become certified, as well as go through a training program. Many of them also do postpartum visits, in which they help with the housework, laundry, or watching older children so the mother can rest. All studies done about doulas have shown that women who give birth with a doula tend to have shorter labors, request less medication, receive fewer interventions, and report less pain during birth than women without doulas. Sounds pretty good to me.
I wasn't really sure if I could even find one in this town, though, which is very medically oriented in the tradition sense- lots of hospitals, tons and tons of doctors and specialists, but only two nurse-midwives, no birthing center, and no doulas that I knew of. Through Internet research I did find the names of a few women in our area, though, so I have sent emails and am excited to hear back from them.
Also, I know doulas aren't covered by insurance (even though I think they should be, as a form of preventative care to help you avoid expensive procedures like epidural or iv drugs, but oh well!) So I'm very curious to see what their rates are! Also, if any of you have any knowledge about doulas, please let me know what your experiences were like.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Welcome, Luke!

This is just a quick announcement that Kelli In The Mirror (Holding A Mirror Up To My Soul) had her son this weekend! It was a quick birth, from her account, no time even for an epidural! But it sounds like all went well, and the little man is gorgeous! I just wanted to congratulate her and her family, and tell you all to head on over to her blog and wish her well- also to check out the cute pics!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Green With Envy

So I called up some friends from high school this morning (prompted by a dream I had last night in which I was still IN high school, complete with knee socks and pleated uniform skirt, but I was also pregnant and trying desperately to conceal it from everyone. Interesting.) And I realized that all of those people, like normal college students, are headed off on exciting adventures because it is SPRING BREAK! I didn't even realize. Renee and Linzi are off on a cruise to the Bahamas, and Laura and Kelly (actually still in high school!) are renting a house on the beach in Florida with some friends, and, worst of all, Braden is going backpacking around Europe!!! Without me!!
Oh, that was supposed to be me... I was the one obsessed with all things Europe, remember? I was the one who was going to live in London and be a journalist.
This just goes to show how hard it is to be content with what you have, because just last night I was feeling super excited about a couple of weekend trips we have coming up. Sure, Akron, Ohio is not exactly an exotic destination, but we are also going to Chicago this weekend! That's pretty cool. It'll be even cooler still if we can find someone to keep the kiddo overnight for us! To someone who's gone no farther than the grocery store in two months, the thought of road trips and hotels with swimming pools were really cheering me up.
And then I talk to the friends, and I can practically see them, jet setting around the globe in all their un-tied-down freedom, with their low-rise jeans around their still un-stretch-marked hips, and I had a feeling, honestly, that was more resentment than even just jealousy. I am not proud of this, let me say. Because I know that we all make our choices, and no one forced me into marriage and babies. I have the life I wanted, and continue to want.
But sometimes, even when you've gladly taken one path, it's hard to keep from looking back over your shoulder at the path you walked away from. I wouldn't in a million years trade my life with my husband and daughter for my friends' lives with their projects and tests and crazy hours, but there are days when I would like to trade... Days. Not lives, just days. Even a few hours, in which I would Freaky Friday myself into their bodies and experience the life of your average twenty-two year old. I would hand off the temper tantrums and the sticky kitchen floor and my waddling, pot-bellied self to one of them, and I would slip into their slim bodies and their apartments and the sea of choices still in front of them. Even though I know I would likely return happier than ever with my own choices, I would still like the chance to make that trade. Just for the day.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Natural Dark Neutral Blonde

...Are not the words I would use to describe the current color of my hair. More like, "Still as brown as ever, but with a weird, distinctly not neutral brassy undertone." Dang it!
I don't know what possessed me to do this. I haven't had my hair cut or highlighted in about six months, and it was in about as natural a state as it has been since age twelve. I was liking it. But pregnancy makes my already super-thick hair even thicker and poofier, so it's also been getting on my nerves. And then I strolled down the beauty product aisle of Meijer, and a box of ash blond coloring caught my eye. I started thinking, "Usually when I've colored my hair in the past, it kind of tames it down for awhile. Maybe I'll go blond again!"
Except that before, when I've been blond, it's been the result of months and months of repeated highlights at an actual salon, with actual hair stylists who know how to mix dye. It has not been the result of globbing on a box of Clairol Nice'n Easy.
So, that was a waste of time! And I probably inhaled all sorts of noxious chemicals which are terrible for the baby, and now I feel both guilty and foolish. And very annoyed that my hair is, if anything, red!
Maybe I can sue Clairol?