Friday, February 27, 2009

Plus-Sized Pregnancy, Plus-Sized Fears

In the last couple weeks, I seemed to have popped.


Me @ 22 weeks.
It is absolutely amazing to me that my belly protrudes farther than my boobs.
I hardly believed such a phenomenon could exist.


To be perfectly honest (as, let's face it, I usually am) I have been afraid to post pictures of my pregnant self. I've been afraid to take pictures of my pregnant self.

I don't like to be photographed at this size. I am not now (nor will I ever be) happy to be so overweight. I prefer as few reminders as possible. And once I got pregnant and my weight started shifting, I didn't so much look "pregnant" as I did look "differently heavy." Hard to feel glowy when you just feel fat in a new way.

But! Now that I have popped such that the (trained) eye can tell I'm not (just) carrying a red-wine enabled spare tire under there, I feel a lot better about the whole thing.

And you know what? I also kind of feel vindicated.

I don't want to go off on an angry rant about how, because I'm overweight, I have been given about thirty bazillion warnings of how this pregnancy will be bad, hard, challenging, unhealthy, etc. (Note: my doctor didn't say such things, actually; my web-reading, plus-size-book-buying self found all this "research" that said those things.)

But you know? That information is real and scary. I've felt I I've had every reason to expect an uphill battle.

And yes, I've been ashamed, too.

God, I hate writing that. I hate thinking it, I hate feeling it, I hate admitting it. But taking pictures of my body is just not something I've been okay with for the last several years, period. I always hide from cameras. And now that I'm pregnant and my body isn't just my own anymore...it's suddenly perfectly okay and expected for people to want to see pictures of me?

That's a really hard transition to make. I'm working on it. I'm getting there.

My point is: I entered into this pregnancy with all kinds of body shame and body fear.

Back when I wasn't even sure I could GET pregnant because of my family's genetic history, the fancy specialist told me the number one thing I could do to help with the process would be to lose weight. I am sure there's research to back up his claim in general, I won't deny that. I will, however, point out that my specific issue is linked directly to my genetic makeup, and my incredibly fit, trim, never-had-one-extra-ounce-of-fat-on-her sister is no longer able to conceive for this reason. So telling me to go on a diet is maybe not the most useful piece of medical advice in the world.

It does plant the seed, though. The "If something goes wrong, it was probably your fault" seed.





Maybe I've been projecting. I err on the side of crazy, so it's possible. I've just...since I discovered I was pregnant, I have been convinced that something would go wrong. Because my genes aren't healthy, because my body isn't healthy, because for a million reasons, I've been weighed down by doubt and fear and a near refusal to believe this is actually happening. And it seemed that -- especially in the very beginning -- the doctors were treating me as though I should be cautious, that I shouldn't expect too much (of course they never said this, it's just how it came across to me).

But now here it is, here I am, over the half-way point.

And I'm still waiting for the YOU'RE OVERWEIGHT AND GOING TO HAVE A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PREGNANCY (boogeda! boogeda!) things to happen. You know, the things I expected to happen, the things I -- shamefully -- assumed I deserved to have happen.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Honestly, looking up what can happen to you if you're overweight and pregnant is like asking a hungry news reporter what they think about the state of our economy. There's instant frothing and worst-case-scenario-ing and BEVERYAFRAIDing.

Let's play a game. We'll call it, "You're overweight, so you must be having problems with _____!" And then let's fill in the blanks.
  • You're overweight so you must be having problems with...high blood pressure!
This is usually the first thing that comes up when you do any research about being overweight and being pregnant. Because it's the scariest, because it can actually lead to a sort of pregnancy "toxemia" that can be fatal to the mother and baby.

Now, I do NOT mean to make light of this serious condition (preeclampsia). But what seems to be buried in this blood-pressure research is that it's usually only something to worry about if you have a pre-existing history or chronic hypertension, and even then it's likely that you will have a healthy pregnancy.

Yeah. Oh.

So while I am most definitely on the lookout for this to crop up as a potential threat to my pregnancy, I feel I should also point out that my blood pressure has actually gone down since I got knocked up. And, you know, stopped working. Hmm. Come to think of it, this is the lowest my blood pressure's been since I officially entered the workforce. (Wait, you don't mean to suggest that blood pressure might have to do with outside stressors and not just your weight, do you?)

  • You're overweight so you must be having problems with...diabetes!
Again, I do not for one minute think that diabetes isn't serious or that weight/diet doesn't have a profound effect on it.

However, gestational diabetes is a slightly different story. It's right up there with high blood pressure in terms of its boogeda! boogeda! YOUWILLGETTHIS-ness.

But yet, just with high blood pressure, all the studies actually say that the best predictor of gestational diabetes is -- you guessed it -- having a family or personal history of diabetes.

I've personally known two people who had gestational diabetes, and neither of them were overweight.

As for me, my first glucose test was perfect. I have to go back for a second test in a couple weeks, though, so who knows. Maybe I'll discover that eating three packs of Sour Patch Kids a day hasn't been a good idea...

  • You're overweight so you must be having problems with...weight gain and that GIANT baby you're going to have!
I don't, actually, know what kind of research is at play here. I do know that larger people do tend to have larger babies, so I won't debate that. However, I don't know if there's any real evidence that suggests overweight women take greater liberties or gain more weight during pregnancy than their thinner counterparts.

I find it hard to believe that any woman these days thinks that being pregnant means she can eat or drink anything she wants. But I also find it hard to believe that "thin" women are ANY LESS PRONE to indulging themselves or giving into cravings than overweight women are.

As for me, my belly is quite obviously growing well. Meanwhile, I have gained one whole pound.

So, well, yeah.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Apparently I did need to go on an angry rant.

I just...

Of all the things I expected, having a relatively easy and healthy pregnancy was not one of them.

Oh, I have my aches and pains. I am always tired. I have bizarre skin irritations and hormonal fluctuations that make no sense. I cry at mops. I forget everything and get lost within a five-block radius of my own home. Finding a comfortable position to sleep in is becoming a greater challenge every night. I can't wear "normal" pants anymore at all. My boobs are more sore than they've ever been, and will eventually be the size of my head. I want pineapple most of the time. I miss gin.

But...I have had no morning sickness. I haven't thrown up once. My ultrasounds have been normal. Every test, including the one for the baby's Fragile-X, have come back totally fine. Her heartbeat is good and strong and she is very, very active. I am perfectly healthy.

I am finally starting to believe that maybe, just maybe, I will remain perfectly healthy and the baby will be born without any major complications. Maybe all the genetic stuff was just precautionary. Maybe being overweight really isn't an indicator of how healthy I am or what kind of pregnancy I am destined to have.

Maybe I should start taking more pictures.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A New Generation of WTF?

Long before there was YouTube...

Long before there was "mommyblogging"...

Long before anyone had any idea that the internet would, someday, take it upon itself to immortalize the very worst that pop culture has ever produced...

...a group of women performed something called The Preggo Shuffle Rap.

Now.

Even just from the name of the, uh, "song" you should know you're in trouble. Nothing has been called the something "Shuffle" since 1983 when "The Curly Shuffle" came out. And that was really the last Shuffle we needed. I'm not sure American pop culture can sustain the weight of more than one satirical Shuffle. No. I am pretty sure 1983 closed the lid on Shuffles.

Meanwhile, no one has called anything the something "Rap" since, like, ever. (Unless I have scrubbed such a thing from my memory, which is possible, because it would have scarred me otherwise.) And let's be honest: If anything out there is called the something "Rap," it is going to suck the lifeblood right out of you. It will have been conceived and produced and performed by very white people with no rhythm who thought they were doing something "clever."

So! When you ADD the term "Shuffle" to "Rap" to describe a song, you have something of a Bermuda Triangle of pop culture horendousness. Ill-conceived does not begin to describe. You know there will be white, unrhythmic people performing something nearly unwatchable. You know there is going to be choreography. You know there is going to be a "rap." You know there is going to be fail.

And good Lord, we haven't even gotten to the "Preggo" part yet!

But wait.

It turns out that when you hide a pregnant lady shuffle-rap away, faaaaaaar away in a place time forgot, and then pull it out 20+ years later and put it on YouTube?

It's...it's mesmorizing.




I just don't even know where to begin. It's so awful and, I daresay, haunting.

The frizzy perms! The hairspray! The SUNGLASSES! The absence of rhythm! The "in unison" that sooooo isn't! The backwards-ish ballcaps! The LEOTARDS!

The lyrics are so unbelievably bad I don't even want to mention them, but "Number One Bug"?

Look. I KNOW that this was meant to be funny, because obviously the pregnant ladies in work-out gear do not really think that they can or should be rapping. Or shuffling. Or both. (Rapffling?) They know it's ridiculous.

But I don't think they know that it's THAT ridiculous.

Anyway, topping off this hauntingly catastrophic YouTube experience are the comments.

Because somewhere between the standard YouTube-teenaged-boy-misogyny comments and comments about M.I.A. (who linked to the video on her blog), there lie comments that I believe really capture the spirit of The Preggo Shuffle Rap Meets 2009.

Comments like these:


im sorry but this crap freaks me out....its SO WERID....WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS HAHA.



this has got to be from the 80's...people were doing all kinds of stupid shit during that time period.



Omg they rhymed bagel with kegel! Brilliant!


LOL white people!


Hormones.


And my absolute favorite:

WTF2.0?



(Thanks(?) are due to blogger/commenter LiLu (a self-proclaimed "South-i-fied Masshole") for sending this to me.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Warning! Labels!


This bag's warning symbols are at once horrifying and hilarious.
Kind of like when Sarah Palin danced along to Amy Poehler's rap on SNL.
You see it, and you sort of laugh, but then you sort of go, "Oh my GOD."
And then you blog.

(More on this below.)


The really sad thing about my last post is that the blocks from my apartment to Whole Foods and TJ Maxx are all numbered and on a grid.

Versus traveling in the other direction from my apartment, which involves some really tricky stuff. Like, there's a highway underpass where roads go from being on a grid to being in something of a really off-centered and broken clover, with one-way roads becoming two-way roads and two-way roads becoming one-way roads and, MY FAVORITE, one-way roads that just end. So you're driving down the one-way street thinking you're going the most direct way ever, except then all of a sudden it becomes one-way in the OTHER direction, and you have to turn off it and go some totally wrong direction and next thing you know? You're miles from where you intended to be.

I have to navigate this maze anytime I want to go to the nearby shopping center, which is what I was doing yesterday to go to Office Max. Except I maybe got a little confused and ended up driving directly to Office Depot in an entirely different shopping center. Potato, po-depot.

I was on a quest to get an all-in-one printer/scanner, since the one I have is old and clunky, and all its cables are missing. I popped in, looked for about 5 minutes, found a good one for a good price based on all of extensive research (extensive research = "I should get a new printer/scanner!"), and left happy.

Until I got home and spent a good two hours doing the install.

I eventually had to call for help with the install, which I hate doing because 9 times out of 10, the customer service person thinks you're an idiot. (Or maybe that's just me.) The guy I talked to yesterday was professional, but could not completely disguise the contempt in his voice for having to walk another dingbat through an install process. And so with this guy, as with ALL the customer service guys I end up on the phone with, I try to focus on NOT sounding like a dingbat. Because hey -- I DO know what I'm doing, I'm NOT technically disabled, and the customer service guy will soon be realizing that the fault is HIS and NOT MINE and I will be vindicated. Save your contempt for an actual dingbat, buddy.

But of course yesterday, with the snottiest man EVER on the phone, the problem WAS mine. And not a big, thorny, justifiable problem, either. My entire issue was that the USB cord wasn't plugged securely enough into the printer. So my install failed -- TWICE -- because I didn't push the cord in hard enough.

Anyway.

Aside from having the ability to print wirelessly in my own home (which, I will not lie, makes me feel like I live in the future), I now have the ability to scan again. And as I've been saying, I have alllllll kinds of goodies to start sharing with you.

This morning, I decided to grab a box I have full of "random" pictures, to see what would inspire me. I sat down with it, opened the lid, and was utterly confused. These aren't my pictures, I thought. What the -- oh ACK! And GAH! And...ACK!

Of all the decorative shoe-like boxes in the entire world, we happen to have TWO of the exact same ones in this house. One is full of my old photos. The other is full of love letters between Ish and his ex from I don't even know when.

And while this isn't the point of this post at all, I will say this: I think it's sweet that Ish has kept these. In fact, despite an incredibly painful and unpleasant ending, Ish has never been anything but respectful of his relationship with his ex. I appreciate that and think it says a lot about his character.

That doesn't mean that accidentally opening the wrong box filled me with glee. No, it was a little more "throw up in my mouth a little, close the lid, return box whence it came." Bah.

And ALL THIS is to say that I have not scanned anything new yet, but at least owning a (working) printer/scanner is one step closer.

In the meantime, I will show you the most frightening images ever, that came on the plastic bag the printer was wrapped in.

The first one is telling me, I think, not to let my child go crawling around with a plastic bag on its head. Except that's not what I see.

Image A

If your Tylenol Gel Cap suddenly sprouts appendages,
do not try to balance an old-fashioned television set on it!



The second image is probably telling me not to put the bag on my head. But again, how can one be sure?

Image B:

If you are using your giant hand to secure a water bottle
over your head, DO NOT sing opera!



Want to join in the fun?

What would your captions be for these horrifying, hilarious warnings?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pregnancy Brain Strikes Again! Plus With Drunk Leprechauns. I Should Also Maybe Stop Driving.

Scroll down for the awesome diagrams.

I had never heard of "pregnancy brain" before and thought it sounded kind of made-up. Like, Oh, she's just distracted, she has pregnancy brain. Like, tee hee, she can't concentrate because she's thinking about the baby. I stupidly thought that perhaps "pregnancy brain" meant instead of focusing really hard on crunching the numbers due at the end of the day, I might accidentally spend 45 minutes on babycenter.com looking up whether or not the baby has fingernails yet.

(By the way? She does. Isn't that cute?)

Turns out, that is not what pregnancy brain is. At all. Pregnancy brain is when your body sends all of its blood and nutrients and thinking power to the growing baby and leaves your brain to fend for itself. And apparently, left to its own devices, my brain basically functions like a dimwitted half-cousin with language issues and a drooling problem.

Thus, "pregnancy brain" is when you suddenly find yourself standing in the middle of the room for some reason but you don't know what it was and Oh! Remember that time that thing happened and it was funny and you should maybe blog about it, do you have a picture to go with it? Why is your husband staring at you like that? What? Oh, right! You were in the middle of a sentence. Wait, you were? I was? About what? Hold on, I have to pee.

It's happening all the time now. I put my socks on and then go to look for a pair of socks to put on. I panic because I cannot find my cell phone and ask if it's okay if I just call my sister back so I can find it. I made a nice dinner for Ish on Valentine's Day that took me twice as long as usual because I kept forgetting to do things even though the recipe was in front of me. Every morning I put my wedding band on, then my engagement ring; except the other day, I looked on my dresser and realized my engagement ring was still sitting there, even though I swore I'd already put my rings on. I looked down at my hand and realized I'd put my wedding band on, then a totally different ring on top of it.

Yesterday, I went to Whole Foods. On my way home, I discovered there was a new TJ Maxx! In my neighborhood! I decided I needed to go check it out. So this afternoon, I drove over to it only to discover it was gone!

But how could that be?

Well, right. Pregnancy brain.

But here is the story of how, in my world, a entire giant building suddenly disappeared.

Now let's remember that I'm maybe somewhat directionally impaired to begin with. (I wrote this post with diagrams of how I was supposed to drive the .3 miles to get from work to the deli but instead ended up driving around a pond somehow...)

In my world, yesterday I drove directly to Whole Foods and then drove directly home. And on my way directly home, I passed TJ Maxx. So today, when I was coming from a point even farther away but absolutely directly home and it wasn't there, I was baffled. Where could it have gone?

Let me show you what I mean.


In case you can't tell, to get to Whole Foods from where we live, you take Folsom to 4th street and turn right.

Getting to Whole Foods


Um, and yes. We are talking about an approximate total of FIVE BLOCKS.
How do you lose a TJ Maxx store in five blocks???



In my own feeble defense, one-way streets make all of this far more difficult.

But okay. So, to get home from Whole Foods, especially if you park in front of the store as I did, you simply double back.

Getting Home from Whole Foods

Easy!

And so yesterday, as I was traveling on Howard starting well before 3rd St., I figured I'd have to bump into TJ Maxx, since I had done so the day before. Except I didn't.




Eventually I had to give in to the notion that perhaps the store hadn't disappeared but that at some point my version of directly was not, actually direct.

And seeing as today I was driving on the street I ACTUALLY LIVE ON, I had to figure it was yesterday that I did something, ah, indirect.

So when I reached home and had not found the TJ Maxx, I did the only smart thing I could think of to do. I decided to retrace my steps from yesterday, hoping somehow it would jog my pregnancy brain version of "memory" and give me some clue as to how I got home the day before.

I turned around and headed back to Whole Foods.

Getting to Whole Foods, Day Two

Yes, yes. All of this seemed familiar.

I even got this far...


...before realizing that, ah-ha!! Yesterday I'd turned left! Here!


(Oops. I also accidentally made half an arrow blue and the Whole Foods pink. Sorry, Whole Foods!)

On Harrison! For no! Reason! At! All!

(And the only reason I remembered I'd done so was because I also remembered thinking that the guy driving the car in front of me, who was also turning left, seemed like kind of an asshole.) (Why I thought this, I have no recollection.)

But yes. As you can imagine, I was quite relieved to have found TJ Maxx. I pulled my car into the parking lot and pretended like of course I knew TJ Maxx was on Harrison Street. Like, duh. Where else would it be?

Then while at TJ Maxx I didn't find anything I wanted. (See previous entry.) I did manage to buy that cute folder thing, but even more traumatic than their sad little selection of clothes I might possible fit into was their "St. Patrick's Day Doll Display."

I don't know about you, but I do not see these dolls and think, Gosh, they're so cute.



No. I think, AGGGGHHHHH! WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS THIS ALL ABOUT???

They look possessed!

And...drunk.

Where do you even begin with this one?


This guy is squinting with his tongue out as if to try to remember what he's doing. He also looks shitfaced.

What I want to know is, why does he think he can play golf with a flute? Because in case you can't tell, that's a GOLF ball by his boot, next to the frightened-looking Grandfather Leprechaun head.

Hey, kids! It's Shitface The Leprechaun, and he's coming to your house to lick you! And kick golf balls the size of his head around while he plays you a little ditty on his black stick flute!

My trip to TJ Maxx was not all I'd hoped it would be.

Then, when I got back to my car, and managed to get out of the tiny parking lot (which was hard to do in and of itself because the directional arrows in the parking lot were very, very misleading), I realized I still had no idea how I'd gotten home the day before. As I drove, I had to search the streets for any sign of what I'd done.

You can bet I hadn't gone directly.

In fact, I went so indirectly I need to go download a NEW image from Google in order to make the street map big enough to show you what I did do. Hold on.

Okay.
How Not To Get Home From Whole Foods


Seriously. With an under 10-block GRID to travel, you would think it wouldn't be hard for me to find my way directly home. After all, I've lived in San Francisco for seven-and-a-half years, and lived in SoMa for one. And yet I still managed to take the wrong street in BOTH directions - West AND North to go about five blocks.

The best scariest pregnant brainiest part of all this is that I hadn't even known I'd done it. I had to go back over my steps to figure out what in the world I did, and why it hadn't seemed like I'd done anything wrong.

Turns out...



This is how I always used to get home off the highway when I was commuting from work! (That X = the highway exit). MYSTERY SOLVED.

Sure it makes perfect sense for me to go from Harrison, which I shouldn't have been on, to go all the way to 9th, as though getting off the highway in the opposite direction, to get back home. Of course it does.


Shitface the Leprechaun totally gets me.
*lick*


**********Comment of the Day**********
Citycat said...

I once got lost on my way to Costco from my old apartment. Key factors here: I was ON FOOT, because it was less than half a mile away, I had lived in that apartment for over three years, and I took a wrong turn. Funny thing? THERE ARE NO TURNS BETWEEN MY APARTMENT AND COSTCO. SO here I am, in an alley full of trashcans, entirely lost, because I turned for absolutely no reason.

And I'm not pregnant. Just stupid.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Score! And It Only Took About 45 Years!

Unrelated opening:

Whew. I have been on a blogging rampage lately. It is my goal to now post at least 5x a week, so please check back often.

I am also going to take a page right out of the hilarious and (let's call her) transcendent Bloggess's book and start highlighting "The Comment Of The Day." Meaning if you've commented something particularly funny, useful, poignant, flattering, whatever, I want to highlight it. (Because I do a crap job of replying to the comments you leave and that sucks of me. I read them all, I love them all, and hope this helps some.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

About a million years ago (ten) I was known to regularly rant (to my ex) about
a) Why computer equipment is so damn fugly
b) Why all computer and office peripherals are so damn fugly

With the advent of high-speed internet and things like "telecommuting," suddenly everyone was working from home and converting guest rooms and closets and, in our case, tiny dining rooms into home offices and also everyone was buying computers. Remember 1999?

And remember how ALL computers were big and clunky and either gray, black, or beige? Oh! Wait! Remember how they STILL ARE?

Well, mostly.

I mean, I love that my laptop is white. I love that you can buy skins in new colors. I love that finally, a decade after the five colors or whatever of iMacs came out, we finally have something like this:

Can you hear me drooling ? It's not even a Mac. *drool*

And of course I care about functionality blah blah but come on. This should not be so revolutionary, you know?

Likewise, I feel like it's only been in the last few years that home decor has finally given us options, real options, for office furniture that doesn't all look like you're going to stub and break your toe on it.


My toes hurt just looking at this.
Also, this weighs a thousand pounds and looks good nowhere.


In the same vein, I LOVE when I find office products that don't look like boring office products.


Love these file folders from Ballard Designs.


The point of all of this is that today I ended up at TJ Maxx. This alone is worth blogging about because first of all I thought the entire store had disappeared because I couldn't find it, even though it was just there the day before, except -- a-ha! -- my pregnancy had moved it. And then I got there and was disappointed to learn that they do not have maternity clothes, their "plus size" section includes a whopping total of two sad racks (jam-packed with cardigans) (???) and also the scariest Irish dolls in the universe. So that post is coming a little later because it involves diagrams.

But while I was wandering around in a "nothing is going to fit me" state, I came upon what I think is the cutest damn thing ever!

It's this thing called the "Take Note Tote" and it's by Vera Bradley, whoever she may be. It's really just one of those accordion-style file holders, except it's actually attractive and has handles. It's PERFECT if, say, you're moving and want to get rid of all your magazines except want to put those few awesome recipes and projects somewhere you can actually access. And don't want to put them in a butt-ugly brown file folder.

Here's a picture of someone prancing about with the tote, stolen from the internet:

I'm not sure why someone would want to go walking around with a collection of recipes, or why that person would seem so damn happy about flinging a file folder over her shoulder when clearly the straps are too short for that sort of thing, and I really don't understand why someone would take their files to the beach while wearing jeans, but these are mysteries for another time.

Anyway, it was $9.99 at TJ Maxx's. I guess that's pricey for a file folder, but it's a lot cheaper than packing up and moving and finding a place to put a year's worth of magazines just so I can save about 3 recipes and one knitting project.

And it's so cute!

Um. So I don't know what my point was other than maybe you are also looking for a pretty file folder? Or something? And also hate ugly office furniture?


Buying this is kind of like packing!


*****Comment of the Day*****
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently bought a laptop. When I told my coworker (who was helping with researching what I should buy) what I was looking for, I told him that the #1 criterion was that it was purple. I bought my purple laptop and it brings me so much joy every time I use it. Especially since I also bought the matching purple wireless mouse.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

And Then I Cried Over The Sad Mop

After a whole lot of second- and third-guessing ourselves as to what the hell we should be doing, Ish and I are now in contract on a house we love in Napa.

We were very wishy-washy about the whole moving thing, you may have noticed, until the right house came on the market; then we knew. If all goes well -- and omg, there are a lot of things involved in financing a house, and mortgage rates are all very weird now as is the approval process and plus with fun new rules coming into effect because of the stimulus bill and you have not lived until you're getting cc'd on emails you don't understand from your realtor, mortgage broker, tax attornies from two different firms in two different states, and a CPA thrown in for good measure -- we remove contractual contingencies next Wednesday and close about two weeks after that.

Meanwhile I'm preganant and content to speak about nothing except the wondrousness of coconut popsicles.

This past Friday was also my last day at work and that's just really weird. So now I'm home and looking about 80 million projects straight in the eye and cowering. There's fun stuff I want to do, like arrange a song or two for my a cappella group. There's huge, big stuff like start the website I've been babbling about for a year. Oh, and those books I want to write. And then there's the whole "packing" thing.

I refuse to start packing, however, until we have reached the "everything is in order, here is the closing date and time" point on the house. Packing anything up before then just seems like tempting fate, and I really don't like to do that.

However. So that we don't get saddled with closing costs and mortgage payments AND extra rent, we did give notice to our landlords. And as these things happen, our apartment is being shown THIS FRIDAY. HAHAHA.

On the one hand, it's not like we're showing a place we're trying to sell. I don't care if this place gets rented -- it doesn't impact us one way or another. On the other hand, people I don't know will be traipsing through my home for the sole purpose of deciding whether or not it's the kind of place they want to live. Strangers will be wandering through the place I live and judging it, judging me, and it's hard to not care.

Especially because one small coat closet and one mid-sized clothes closet is not enough storage for two grown adults and all their earthly possessions. So while we don't even have that much stuff, the stuff we DO have is everywhere, all over every surface, because there's nowhere else for it to go.

And I know that strangers will assume we are disheveled packrats and I hate it.

Plus I'm not even being rational, but what if these strangers go into full-on snoop-and-judge mode? What if they open the kitchen cabinets and see that my pots and pans are just thrown in there, not stacked neatly (um, because how DO you neatly stack pots and pans?)? What if they open the fridge and cast disapproving glances at that salad dressing that's been there since July? WHAT IF THEY JUDGE MY POPSICLES?

The point is, it's not a big deal and I just need to suck up and deal and perhaps find a happy medium between "not packing" and "decluttering" but it just gets a little overwhelming and Oh hey, I haven't checked Twitter in 4 minutes, I wonder what's going on there!?

And please keep in mind that I am not even remotely sane these days. Between the I-don't-know-what-it-is-about-pregnancy that makes me totally, totally spacey and the hormonal roller coaster, I am a big heaping mess of a woman.

Example:

You know those Swiffer commercials? Where the woman is at the grocery store and is contemplating buying a Swiffer, and the woman working at the grocery store tells her it's a miracle product and she'll never go back to her old mop? Then her old mop appears from around the corner, looking dejected? (Yes, it looks dejected. Even though mops don't have facial features of any kind or anything, the mop looks miserable.) And then the song "Baby Come Back" plays and it's supposed to be funny?

Because you know how MOPS DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE FEELINGS, NO MATTER WHAT CHEESY LOVE SONG IS PLAYING?

Cried. I actually cried. At the sad mop.

You want to know why? Because the sad mop reminded me of the scene from Toy Story II where the song "When She Loved Me" comes on. It is the saddest song in the entire universe. It is about a toy a little girl gets when she's little and she loves it so much and then she gets older and little by little forgets about the toy and it winds up alone and unloved and under the girl's bed.

"When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful. Every hour we spent together lives within my heart...when she loved me."

You can bet I sobbed like a baby watching that, however many years ago. And not JUST because I felt bad for all the unloved toys in the world. But because I made the catastrophic mistake of realizing that sometimes the same thing happens to pets, that sometimes when kids get older they don't play with their dogs (note: I'm now crying as I type this, not kidding) as much. And the dogs don't understand why. Because they're just dogs and love the kids as much as they ever did -- dogs don't understand that kids have different responsibilities and priorities as they grow up. Dogs just love.

JUST LIKE THE MOP AT THE GROCERY STORE.


***Comment of the Day***
Why? Because it made me laugh right out loud.

Corrina said...
Harry Carey died when I was pregnant (the baseball announcer). I barely knew who he was but spent an entire week with red-rimmed eyes telling everyone that he had died. No one else cared. Poor mop. Poor Harry.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear Al Gore: Are You Happy Now?

Ish and I are on the sofa, having just finished dinner. We both have our laptops in front of us, and American Idol is about to begin. We're prepared to do some Twittering.

My IM window pops up. It's Ben.

Ben asks: Does Pete's fart stink?

I turn to Ish.

"Why is Ben asking me if your fart stinks?"

Ish replies, "Because I just tweeted that I farted."

It's Time for...The Really Cool Oscars Pool!!!

For the last eleven years, my dearest friend, Emily, along with her husband, Nick, have put together the "official" Really Cool Oscars Pool.

It's fun to play even if you haven't seen any of the movies, because while Part One asks the standard, "who will win?" questions, Part Two asks the really important stuff -- the stuff that makes it fun to watch the Academy Awards.

Questions like:
  • Will Brad Pitt sport any form of mustache?

  • From what movie will the final clip be in the Lifetime Achievement montage?

  • How many of the 24 available awards will have been given (as in, the winner has been announced) by: 6 p.m.? 7 p.m.? 8 p.m?
Want to play? Email me, Tweet me, or send me a note on Facebook and I'll send it to you, along with the rules and how to enter. It's the most fun $5 you'll spend this year. You can also leave a comment with your email address if you prefer.


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P.S. I can't find the printer cable anywhere, and they have stopped manufacturing my model printer/scanner. This means I need to go out and buy a new All-in-One because a) they are way cheap now and b) I have some awesome photos from back in the day that deserve to be scanned and blogged about.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Relationship Advice No One Asked For! Fun For All!

Anytime anyone spouts advice on a blog, you should probably take the advice with a grain of salt.

When I spout advice on my blog about anything -- especially about relationships -- you should take it with a whole, giant margarita glass rim of salt. Plus the tequila.

I am sharing this with you now because it's been on my mind a lot lately, for a few reasons. Mostly because I've just entered into a new, wonderful marriage...and thus, it seems like a good time to remind myself why my first marriage went up in big shooting orange flames.

(I am also sharing this with you because I was not kidding when I said I was going to start blogging like mad. Muahahahahaha!)

Luckily for the internet, the entirety of My Relationship Advice can be boiled down into just two pieces, as follows.

(And don't worry, we'll be back to all kinds of blogging hilarity any minute now.)

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Piece of Advice Number One:
Being Passive-Aggressive is destructive to you, to your partner, and to your relationship. It is also dishonest. It is your job, as a grown-up, to say yes when you mean yes and to say no when you mean no. If you aren't sure how you feel, it's not your partner's job to figure it out.


Being passive-aggressive can take on about a bajillion forms, and I am pretty sure there aren't enough blogs in the world to cover them all. Especially when there are so many cute cats to take pictures of.

But there are some really really straightforward ways to avoid being passive-aggressive in your relationship. Trust me on this.

If your partner asks you about something you don't like, do not say "okay" if you don't mean it. The moment you say "okay" or "fine" or "sure" or "I guess so" -- even if you sound kind of sad when you say it -- the onus is on you. You don't get to say yes if you mean no. You especially do not get to say yes if you mean no and are going to spend the next days, weeks, or even years holding it against your partner.

Now, this can get tricky, especially when the whole point is that you wish you weren't being asked the question in the first place. You want your partner to know the answer is "no" without you having to be the one to say it.

Let me use an example from my current relationship.

Last Thursday, Ish asked me if I'd mind if he spent Saturday afternoon with a friend. I looked at the calendar and realized it was Valentine's Day. I immediately felt hurt. I was, momentarily, at a loss for what to say.

  • If I said "Sure, fine," I'd be lying. I didn't feel fine about it, and that disappointment in me would likely seep into our relationship.
  • If I said, "No," I'd feel guilty for saying so. I don't want to force my husband to spend Valentine's Day with me.

What I really wanted was for him to not have asked the stupid question in the first place. You know? And that was what I said to him.

I told him that I felt bad that he'd rather hang out with a buddy on Valentine's Day than with me. I didn't like saying it. I felt a little stupid and exposed, and I wished he'd just magically known where I was coming from. Like, of COURSE I would want to spend the day with him.

But then his response surprised me. He apologized, and said he didn't see it that way. He didn't think much of the "holiday" and had no idea I put any stock in it -- we'd never had a conversation about it. He said we'd already made special plans for that morning and evening, and thought a few hours in the afternoon wouldn't make a lick of difference.

Let me just say that this example would have gone very, very differently in my first marriage.

I dunno, I've just seemed to witness this a bunch lately with some couples I know. The case of, "I said it was okay because I love him and want him to be happy!" Which is very nice and wonderful and good if you can live with your making-him-happy decision. But if you hate your decision and it makes you unhappy, and you find yourself complaining about it, and even perhaps adding it to an arsenal of "Things I Do For Him Because I Love Him"...um. I don't think it takes long for that arsenal to breed resentment. And that resentment will come out eventually.

Which brings me to...

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Piece of Advice Number Two:
All the improved communications in the world can't make the person you're with be a different person. If your partner wants something other than what you want, (or simply IS something other than what you want) you either have to accept it or move on.


This seems kind of "duh"-y, but it'll sneak up on you.

No matter what relationship you're in, there will come a time or two or forty when you realize you have very different ideas about something. You'll want one thing and your partner will want another.

In my first marriage, we spent a lot of time figuring out how to communicate, how to compromise, how to find common ground in those situations. Yay for us.

But...if we were so good at figuring that out, why were we still so unhappy?

Ah-ha! Because there is ANOTHER part!

What we didn't realize for far too long, what no one told us, was: Okay, yes. All relationships require compromise. But there is such a thing as too much compromise.

It's great if you can be all honest and forthright about how you feel in any given situation, but what if your partner seems to never want what you want?

I knew of a woman whose husband couldn't do anything right. He mishandled bill-paying. He was a bad driver. He went about vacation planning all wrong. He couldn't even load the dishwasher properly. The list went on and on and on.

Of course, what this really meant is that he wasn't doing things the way she would have, or the way she wanted him to do them. These were all just surface-level issues, but they all pointed to the same thing: he wasn't what she wanted him to be.

I know plenty of couples who have very little in common, who come at everything from almost entirely opposite perspectives, and who absolutely delight in each other's differences. But the flip side of that is exhaustion -- feeling like everything is a compromise, and that every compromise is a struggle. You wish that just once you didn't have to "put up with" something to get your desired result.

And all of this is my long-winded way of saying it's not, actually, always easy to recognize it; sometimes we get too deep in. Sometimes the little things that bug us are really just the little things. But sometimes they're not.

You have to be honest about the difference. And it's probably a good idea to move on if you (allow yourself to) realize you're angry at your partner for simply being who he or she is.

You will both be happier for it.

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Okay, so yes? No? Do you agree or am I nuts? Am I missing a big point in here?

Also, is this stupid for me to be blogging about?

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~ Previous entries you might want to read ~

Related to this post: The one at the beginning of my divorce story where I realize my husband will never want to go to the stupid party with me.

From the archives, mid-February two years ago: A post about PORN CHARADES! With no pictures because I accidentally renamed them all in Flickr. Oops. (But rules for Porn Charades can be found in the comments!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Baby Names

You know? None of the eleventeenmillion blog posts I've written in my head in the last couple weeks involved any discussion of baby names whatsoever. But I'm tired and achy and just a little bit blown away by life at the moment. Because dude.

I mean, Ish and I moved in together, into this apartment, last February 15. If all goes well, we'll be leaving it soon. And I tell you what. I knew when we moved in that I could not possibly foresee the circumstances under which we'd be moving out again. Would we be moving out together or separately? If separately, would our break-up have been amicable? Or would we be moving together to another apartment? A bigger one? A smaller one? A place we'd...own?

Never did I think that just one tiny little year later I'd have left my job and that we'd be moving to a house, in Napa, and that we'd be married and I'd be pregnant.

See? Dude.

And yes, I am looking forward to it all, of course I am. But it is a lot to take in, and not just because I've come a long way from where I was a year ago. Let's be fair. It hasn't been that long since I was splayed on the bathroom floor in a big stupid house in Connecticut, sobbing hysterically to no one because my husband had left me and my mother was dying and I couldn't envision my future, or any future at all.

Which is to say that all these life changes are great and huge and when I start to put them in context, they're even greater and huger and I'd love to have some time to just let it all sink in.

Ha! Except!

I can't very well just go flitting about, pondering and pontificating and tra-la-la-ing while things magically sort themselves out. (Although that would be cool. I picture myself skipping through a meadow with some ridiculous sun hat on, and when I return from my jaunt I discover that all our stuff got packed up and moved by elves! And there were no issues with the mortgage! And we're settled in our home and oh! The baby was born! Fiddle dee dee!)

But right. No. And all this is a very roundabout way of saying that, while I'm busy trying to sort out all the emotional "whoa"ness going on, life isn't getting put on hold.

Which brings me -- yay! -- to the point of this entry.

The baby is still due in a few months and we haven't bought any baby anything yet. I haven't taken a single class, or read more than a few pages here and there in a couple books. I still mostly think this pregnancy is totally surreal, and I'm in some fairly considerable disbelief about it.

Thus this baby most certainly does not have a name yet.

So, ah, wanna help?

Here's where we're coming from:

We are trying to avoid names in the Top 100 most popular lists, and if possible, even names in the top 500.

We like a lot of old-fashioned and traditional names, but surprisingly, many of those are on the current most popular lists. (Ex: Isabella)

We do like untraditional and interesting names, too...from history, Hollywood, or literature especially. We're very open to last names as first names, and even to boy names.

I do not, however, like made-up names. And if it's something you can imagine Britney liking, I will probably hate it. (Anything of the Brayden/Jayden variety is really just not my style.)

We don't care if the name is hard to spell.

I don't plan to change my last name, but the baby will have Ish's last name of Bartlett.

We are primarily of British, Celtic and German descent.

I also personally like French names, and I really like names with long and short A sounds.

I don't really want to provide examples of specific names we're considering, because I'd prefer not to have them shot down (everyone does it, myself included). But just to give you a small taste, one of my most favoritest names is Ava -- and see? It has both the long and the short A sound. Unfortunately, it's the #1 name for 2008 and also Ish vetoed it. So oh, well.

One of our actual still-on-the-list possibilities is the name Maeby. (Yep.)

So...any thoughts? Suggestions?

We'd love your help!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

You Aren't Even Gonna Know What Hit You

This isn't a post about pregnancy, but I feel I need to begin it by saying that according to ALL literature I have read, the Second Trimester is supposed to be a (relatively) glorious time. Your energy returns and you generally feel better than you did in the First Trimester, and better than you're going to in the Third Trimester.

Yes, well.

My First Trimester was a breeze. Oh, I had waves of nausea and soreness and some hormonal fluctuations, but mostly my issues were internal (i.e., "What do you mean, I'm pregnant???).

This here Second Trimester is Kicking My Ass. I get home from work these days before 5 p.m. and am so exhausted I can't think straight. I have no energy, I have no motivation, I have little to no coherence (I just wrote that as "know coherence" and then stared at the screen for a full two minutes wondering what was wrong). I had a cold that lasted a full month (I counted the days) and with the suddenly growing belly and aches and pains pretty much everywhere, I'm uncomfortable all the time and sleeping poorly. And peeing every 3 seconds.

And I know what you're going to say next because EVERYONE says it.

"JUST YOU WAIT."

Yeah, I know. I KNOW it's going to get worse, thank you for reminding me, that is very helpful. Mind if I kick you?

Hmm. Remember how this post isn't about pregnancy? Shut up.

The point is that neither my body nor my mind is working properly and so by the end of the day I am useless. There is no point in my trying to blog.

HOWEVER!

My last day at work is a week from Friday. And while I have lots of projects in the works and house stuff to deal with (eventually) (because eventually we will be moving somewhere, whether it's Napa or Novato or San Rafael or we're renting or buying) (and we have to pull the trigger soon!), I will be able to blog WHENEVER I want.

Oh my dear, dear Invisible Internet Friends.

I have a folder on my desktop labeled "blog fodder." I have TWO shoeboxes full of "Stuff To Blog About." I have about 27 drafts of entries I never finished, and I have a bazillion photos that could each warrant their own blog entries.

It is alllllll coming. So much stuff you always wanted to know about! (By which I mean "stuff you never, ever wanted to know about, never thought to ask about, but that I'm going to tell you about anyway!")

So if we can just make it through this week and next with just the barest dribs and drabs of blog posts, the flood is sure to follow. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


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SERIOUSLY. This is the funniest thing I have ever seen on YouTube. I pick and choose what I post here wisely, and this had me crying, literally, at my desk.