Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yay for Dooce!

This post makes me very happy for a woman whom I have never met and probably will never meet.
Dooce is one of my favorite online writers, and I am so going to buy her books.
This post also makes me vaguely jealous, as I can't wait until I get to feel all the crazy feelings of sending in a book manuscript. Oh the things I will write.

As a side note, I know that my baby's feet are going to be exceptionally cute feet with perfect toes and just the right amount of smooshy-ness but if this kid does not get its feet out from under my right ribs I will force those feet to wear silly socks with ducks and bears and bows and possibly dinosaurs on them. (I will probably force those feet to wear those socks anyway, but the baby doesn't know that yet.) Seriously.

*Update* I have spent the last, who knows how long, looking at Old Navy and Gap and J Crew websites. I am so excited that one day I will be able to wear cute skinny clothes again, rather than trying to fit my fat belly and newly chubbied butt and thighs. Sigh, being pregnant is rough.
Oh, and the feet have moved from the ribs. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finally Some Clarity

I decided to go to one of the websites that advertises that they can predict the gender of your baby. After answering several questions like "Has your nose spread during pregnancy or has it remained the same?" or "Are you craving sweet foods or salty foods?" or "Are your feet colder than they were before" I was given the results.

There is a 50% chance that I am having a boy. Good to know.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Too Scary for a Clever Title

We went to the doctor yesterday for my 29 week check-up. It was a totally normal and boring check up, with a few added bonuses.
Bonus #1-I saw my old counselor in the waiting room, and for a split second it was very awkward in that "should I say hi, will she say hi, of course she won't say hi because she isn't supposed to because she was my counselor and they don't say hi, would she remember me if I said hi?" kind of way. No one said hi.
Bonus #2-I am mastering the art of peeing in a cup. No joke. I didn't get a drop of pee on myself! And it's only taken me 29 weeks to gain that skill.
Bonus #3-I weigh 144 pounds. What the crap? I blame the donuts and the cookies and the poptarts and the cheetos and the cheese burritos I am embarrassed. It's also a little too late to worry because weight gain at this point is inevitable.
Bonus #4-I sort of love my doctor. He is very tall and kind and has a very calm voice. He also lets us make our own decisions, but makes sure we are educated. I might have a crush on him like I had a crush on my childhood doctor, Dr. Fenzi. (I named a stuffed clown after Dr. Fenzi when I was about 5).

After peeing in a cup and doing the blood pressure/weight thing Rusty and I went to the exam room to wait for the doctor. He came, we chatted for a minute and then we got ready to listen to the heartbeat. I had mentioned that I had been worried because the baby hadn't been moving very much for a few days. Dr. said that it was probably ok, that movement changes and honestly didn't seem worried about it. So he lubed up the doppler and found the heartbeat. We heard, "whoosh whoosh blurp whoosh" then again "whoosh whoosh blurp whoosh" and one more time "whoosh whoosh blurp whoosh".

Dr said, "Well the heart rate is 130, which is good, but did you hear the blurp?" (He didn't actually call it a blurp, I just can't remember what he called it.) I did hear the blurp. "Well" he said, "Its probably nothing, its not anything to worry about. It's probably a Premature Atrial Contraction, which happens all the time, people drink too much caffeine...(I blanked out here) So, since you mentioned the decreased movement and since we heard that three times, we'll go ahead and do an ultrasound, just to check. Probably nothing to worry about, but since we have the technology to check, we should do it."

That's pretty much what he said, and while he was in the room I was totally fine, totally calm, totally mellow. Then he left and my brain translated what I had heard into "Your baby's heart doesn't know how to beat. We're going to check things out, and be prepared for the worst." The worst being, of course, that the baby was dead. Why are pregnant women so morbid? My eyes wanted to well up, I wanted to cry, but I didn't. Rusty was there and was very chipper and said it was ok, and I didn't cry. Then we went to the ultra-sound room and watched the baby's heart and everything was fine. Perfectly normal. No problems. Dr was very cheerful and fine, and if something was wrong I know he would have been not cheerful and fine, he would have said something. I know that.

Then today, I talked to my mom about the heart thing and the moving thing, and she said if the baby doesn't move for four hours, to call the doctor. Crap. There have certainly been times the baby didn't move for four hours or longer. Crap crap crap. Then I got onto and read about kick counting. I read that I should take time everyday to pay attention to the baby's movements, and if it takes two hours to feel ten distinct moves, to call the doctor. Crap. Crap crap crap.

So I laid down on the couch, drank some orange juice, eyes wanting to well up again, and waited for the baby to move. I felt ten moves in about twenty minutes.

But none of these things, Dr's reassurance, mom's reassurance, ten moves in twenty minutes, none of them have eased that stupid feeling in my gut that makes me freak out and think the worst. I know I shouldn't worry about this stuff, I just can't help it. How am I going to make it through the next 11 weeks? 11 more weeks of this?

And then the really scary thought, even if something isn't wrong with the baby right now, sometime in this baby's life something will go wrong and it will be scary, even scarier than blurp heartbeats. How am I supposed to handle knowing that as much as I want to I can't protect the baby from everything? I haven't been a particularly emotional pregnant woman up to this point, but shoot, I'm all mush and worry now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Roswell and Salem:A Comparitive Study

It is cold here.

No seriously, cold like I seriously thought about wearing my dinosaur long johns to school today. Cold like my ears may have fallen off somewhere between Walker and the cathedral. Cold like my butt feels like it is made out of ice. Cold like there are sections of Sager Creek that are frozen.

Last weekend Rusty and I went to his hometown, Salem AR. I remember growing up in Roswell, NM and always complaining about growing up in a small town. We all whined about how there was nothing to do, how Roswell was so boring and we couldn't wait to move out and go to a big city. We spend many evenings hanging out at Denny's for lack of anything else to do. Now, my growing up in a small town is nothing compared to Rusty's growing up in a small town. A comparison.

Salem boasts somewhere around 1,500 people--Roswell boasts around 45,000 people.

Salem has one elementary and one mid/high school--Roswell has more elementary schools than I can think of, four middle schools and two high schools. This does not include private, charter, or military schools.

Salem has three fast food restaurants--I have no idea how many Roswell has

Salem has no Wal-Mart (what? In Arkansas of all places...)

Rusty's graduating class was around 47--My graduating class was around 247.

Salem's population divided by ethnicity: White-97% Bi-racial-1% American Indian-1.5% Hispanic-.5%--Roswell's population divided by ethnicity: White-50% Hispanic 44% Other 21% Bi-racial-3% African American 2% American Indian 2%

And the most fundamental difference being the infamous Roswell Crash of '47. Salem can't hold a candle to our UFO's.

Perhaps a picture or two to solidify the differences



It is safe to say, our small town experiences were quite different. So we went to Salem, to watch a basketball game and to give me a frame of reference for all the stories the Perkins/Blands/Rogers tell me about the town. We left on Friday afternoon, watched the game, spent time with some friends, and in the morning saw the sights. It took about...10 minutes. Then we left.

On the drive to Salem I was looking at the landscape, quite different from Roswell. There are lots of hills here, lots of trees, and lots of water. I've heard Rusty talk about his Granny's house and how in the winter they would sometimes play on the frozen pond on her land. I have wonderful pictures of this in my head, cute little Perkins children bundled up playing on the ice. I told Rusty on the drive that I wanted to see a frozen pond and he said "You've never seen a frozen pond?"
"Nope. Not that I remember."
"You've never even seen a pond with a really thin layer of ice on the top?"
"Well, I've haven't really seen alot of ponds in my life. But I have seen puddles with thin layers of ice on them."

Please note as well, when I moved here I didn't own an ice scraper. Never really needed one on a consistent basis. Now I am the proud owner of a freaking huge ice scraper with a double sided scraper on one side and a brush on the other.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Plight of Owning a Remington

One of the things that makes Squid very Squidlike is that he is very touchy. He gets his feelings hurt if you accidentally take up too much couch room, spend too much time at work, or look at him when he is not prepared to be looked at. Pull one of these tricks and he will sulk off into the other room, curl up in a ball and glare at you. Not Remington.

I believe Remington may be made out of flexible rubber, covered with lots of poufy black hair. He'll let you do just about anything to him. Except touch his teeth. He doesn't like that very much. But if you want to cover his eyes with his paws, that's fine. If you want to fold him in half, that's fine. If you want to roll him into a ball and put him in the breadbox, that's fine too. You can pick him up and move him, hold him in the air, use him as a scarf, whatever you please, and he will be totally fine with it. In fact, I think he likes it. I can hear his small meeping voice say "Whee! This is fun! You must really love me!"

Now Remington, as I have mentioned before, is a total in your face snuggler. This is particularly annoying at 5 in the morning when you wake up to cat breath in your nostrils and whiskers in your mouth. I am not very nice at 5 in the morning and will often rudely push him away. To no avail, as he comes right back. We'll usually go through this scenario about 8 times, him trying to kiss me, me pushing him away, before I get fed up and toss him off the bed. Squid would never put up with any of that, but Remington hops right back up, as if I just did him a favor, as if flying through the air is the most fun thing he could ever imagine. He does have feelings though. Yesterday, when I was trying to sleep past my alarm, Remington was playing with a plastic bread tie he found on the floor. I think the plastic bread tie was trying to get away from him because he was running back and forth across the bed, trying to pick up the bread tie without using his claws. When he came close to me I grabbed the bread tie and threw it onto the floor. Never in my life have I seen a cat give an uglier look.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crazy Worrying Cheeto Lady

It may come as a shock to you, readers, but sometimes I can be a tad dramatic. A tad, mind you, nothing extreme or over the top or hysterical. And really, I am only dramatic about things that are important, like school and family and the cats and what the crap am I going to eat for dinner because we do not have a crumb of food in this entire house!

Like last night. Rusty rode his bike down to his mom's house to get some cable thing we accidentally left there, and at the precise moment he left I heard the screeching of tires. I, in my totally calm and collected way, automatically assumed that the screeching was of course because some madman, high on crack and Doritos, had run over my adorable and indispensable husband, leaving him on the street with a nasty head wound and a broken leg. I had a brief moment of panic as I waited for him to come back. He did come back, don't worry.

Then today, I was sitting in Cognitive Psych, trying desperately to stay awake and not think about how hungry I was, when it occurred to me that I hadn't felt the baby kick in a while. As the seconds oozed by I tried to recall the last time I had felt any movement and I couldn't, for the life of me, remember any. I quickly jumped to the worst case scenario, the one that involves spontaneous abortion. I concentrated entirely on my stomach, waiting for the tiniest sign of life. Four hours later, when the baby started moving, I finally stopped worrying.

I was thinking about this, about how pregnancy turns women in ordinarily normal women into total crazy worrying freaks. We worry about what we eat, what we breathe, what we wear, how we sleep, how much weight we gain, how much weight we don't gain, how much weight we carry, whether we'll buy enough diapers, whether we will ever get to sleep again, whether the baby is ok in there. I could go on, quite literally, for pages. I thought for a second that this nutty worrying business would go away when I have the baby, and wow what a relief that will be. Then I remembered, oh yes, when I have the baby I will actually have the baby and no, the worrying will not stop. I will continue to worry about this baby for the rest of my life, and yes, the worrying will likely be nutty and crazy and dramatic.

Being a mother is exhausting. Now, where are the hot Cheetos?

Monday, January 14, 2008

How Do I Respond To This?

I suppose it happens in most pregnancies. You wander around for six months or so with a slightly paunchy belly, one that could be mistaken for a mere chocolate chip cookie addiction, one that is still able to be covered by a regular sized t-shirt, one that only your closest friends and relatives even notice.
And then, as if overnight, your belly explodes and all social grace (and really, any kind of grace) flies out the window. You look to be housing a small child rather than too many cookies, your t-shirts don't fit anymore, and the prize girl at Chuck E Cheese thinks it acceptable to reach across the prize counter and rub your belly, and then goes on to offer you a giant Mouse sucker 'for your baby'.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Because He Does Not Get Enough Credit

Cripes. When I look at my labels list I realize that I have written more posts about silly things like woolen coats, muffins, and being pants-less in a lifeboat than I have about my Rusty. This is simply not acceptable. Rusty has to put up with every single one of those silly things, and countless more silly (and sometimes downright crazy) things every single day. So really, he should get credit for every one of those silly things posts. He should also probably get a million dollars for every one of those silly things posts, but I don't know where he's going to get that, so we'll just move on.
In response to how little appreciation Rusty gets on this website (and probably at home too) I shall compose a list of things that are special and good about him. He will probably be embarrassed by this, but hopefully a little pleased as well.

1. When I made the neighbors cookies and then ate them all rather than giving them to the neighbors, he didn't say a word.
2. He acknowledges that I am a mess, but loves me anyway.
3. He lets me wear his clothes, though generally not in public (which is probably a good thing).
4. He understands that sometimes I just need to take a nap.
5. He helps to organize me.
6. He helps to calm me down when I get all twitchy and freaked out.
7. He makes a very cute shepherd.
8. He is good at fixing things, especially if they are things like computers.
9. He is a much better cook than I am.
10. He never makes me share my desserts with him.
11. He listens well and understands that I don't always need someone to fix things, but just to listen to me.
12. He doesn't complain about me using a pillow that takes up more space in the bed than he does.
13. He cleans the cat box.
14. He takes out the trash, of his own will.
15. He is very patient with me.

There are a bazillion more things I could write, but the mush has reached a critical point. In short, Rusty is a good man (He reminds me alot of my dad, and my dad is a good man too) and in my little way I want to tell him thank you. And to let him know that even if he is a dirty rotten blanket stealer, I really love him.

It Is Now Undeniable

I got my hair cut on Thursday and when I woke up this morning it was sticking straight up.
That, my friends, is the mark of a good hair cut.

Also, according to my walking schedule thing, I am in the third trimester. How in the world did that happen? However it happened, it must be true because walking has become harder. If I walk more than a block at a time my back starts to ache. Yesterday I walked, slowly, for about twenty minutes in the classic pregnant woman posture: hands on back, elbows splayed out, slight waddle.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Photo Op Lost

Oh how I wish my camera would work so I could take a picture of Remington sleeping in his new favorite spot: Stretched out on Rusty's red plaid underwear.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Holy Crap on Toast!

People, we are now in the 26th week of The Pregnancy Extravaganza. 26. Do you know what that means? Let me tell you.

The baby weighs 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long. If you think about that for a second, that is one long and lean baby. So long and lean, in fact, that the baby is rather wrinkled it's skin is all loose. Don't worry though, because the baby is putting on fat rapidly and will likely triple in weight in the coming weeks. (Just so you know, all of this is estimated, and not exact.) Essentially, the baby is the size of a wrinkly English Hothouse Cucumber. Please excuse me while I look up an image of an Engligh Hothouse Cucumber. Hopefully I will not find anything X-rated.

That also means that my fingers are swelling. My ring doesn't fit anymore which makes me very sad because I really love my ring. I couldn't have a naked finger for the next four months so I bought a replacement wedding ring at Target. It was quite a decision to make. I still eat alot. I have begun doing some prenatal yoga, and am on a strict walking schedule. I suppose I should have started all these wonderful things a while ago. Better late than never. Oh, and the baby kicks like a champ. So much that I can see my stomach move sometimes. Must be a soccer player. Harharhar.

14 weeks left! Gah! I have diapers to buy, nurseries to assemble, names to pick (I'm thinking Percival for a boy and Muriel for a girl) so I can monogram tiny hats and hooded towels, booties to knit, bottles to sterilize, a house to safe-tify*. Oi. I'm tired now. I think I'll take a nap.

*Note*: I do not know how to monogram or knit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Always Practical

This summer we went on a cruise. It was fun. I don't know about spending 5 days on a boat with 2000 other people, but other than that it was fun. One night we were laying in bed after a hard day of eating, sunbathing, and reading and I couldn't fall asleep. I started to listen to the rhythmic thumping coming from somewhere is the ship, hoping that it would lull me to sleep. As I listened to the thumping I asked myself what the thumping might be, and whether it was a normal sound or not. Before I knew it I had a small movie playing in my head, a movie that was somewhat like Titanic.

In this movie, the thumping was not normal, but was the sound of tragedy looming just ahead, and I just happened to be able to hear it. Soon our cruise director would come over the intercom and instruct us to calmly make our way to the appropriate deck areas, which would mean that 2000 people would begin a panicked sprint to the lifeboats. Rusty and I, of course, would not be exempt from the panicked sprint, and we would take off too. It was then in the movie that I thought about my wardrobe, a perfectly appropriate thought to have while in the belly of a sinking ship. I was struck with an even deeper sense of terror, for if the thumping was truly the sound of tragedy looming just ahead and if we really were going to be called out to the lifeboats, then I would be stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean without any pants.

After a few fruitless minutes of convincing myself that everything was fine, I got up and found my pajama pants. I fell asleep soon after and woke the next morning, thinking to myself "Well, that was sort of dramatic....but I'm wearing pants to bed tonight."

Last night I worked on the girls' wing. If the boys' wing is like working with a bunch of wild monkeys that have been fed a straight diet of sugar and crack, then the girls' wing is like working with a bunch of brooding cats, equally likely to either snuggle up and purr or quickly scratch out your eyes.

The girls are master complainers. They are very dramatic. They frequently say " Oh! I'm just going to DIE!" I must be a girl. Last night was no exception. We had a staff meeting, which meant that from 6:30 to 8:00 volunteers would come to watch the kids for a while. About 40 minutes into the staff meeting we got a call that there was a tornado warning in effect and those working needed to run back to the emergency building to be with the kids.

For the next three hours (THREE HOURS!) ten girls, two staff and one volunteer were crammed into the tiny hallway just outside the bathroom. The complaining, it was incredible. The drama, even more incredible. The lights flickered twice. Around ten we made the decision to move the beds by the windows into the hallway, and let the kids go to sleep.

After everything, all the stress and yelling and whining, when the kids were finally asleep, I thought to myself "But what about their shoes? Shouldn't we put the kids shoes by them in case the building crashes down and they need them?" Practical should be my middle name.

Monday, January 7, 2008

LIke Being Punched in the Gut

I have to remind myself that I have been very blessed throughout this pregnancy. I read articles that talk about women who were sick every single day all nine months. I've heard women talk about waking up every morning and crying because they didn't think they would be able to make it through another day of vomit and fatigue. I've talked to women who felt like they completely went crazy, would cry over anything only to scream in anger twenty seconds later.

I have had it easy. I threw up three times, twice because I gagged myself while brushing my teeth. I was very nauseated for the first three months, but was able to eat like a normal person. I haven't had too many cravings, (except for the maddening craving for chocolate donuts) and I have yet to send Rusty on a midnight run for applesauce and Bagel Bites. I can, however, sleep like you would not believe, but that's nothing new.

In general I think I have been a pretty pleasant pregnant woman. I suppose you'd really have to ask Rusty, but I feel like being pregnant has done more to calm me down than freak me out. I haven't been especially sappy about babies (unless I am within ten feet of baby clothes), I have yet to write a zillion gushy posts to my unborn baby. I feel very mellow about the whole thing. In fact, for the most part I find pregnancy kind of boring (GASP! Did I just say that out loud?)

But then, out of nowhere, the reality of being a mama hits me and I am overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Well Ok Then

Today when Rusty and I were between Roswell and Oklahoma City, somewhere in the vast spread of sepia grasses and treeshrubs where even the roadkill seems more forlorn than normal, I accepted defeat.
After reading 80 pages of Anna Karenina and realizing that I still had at least 1000 pages to go, I silently cursed Tolstoy. In my defeat and silent cursing I picked up Gabriel Garcia Marquez and before we got back to the ice-ravaged trees of Tulsa I had finished Memories of My Melancholy Whores . I had to redeem myself.