Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bridging the Great Divide

Just a brief update. Here's what's shakin' around here (apart from my gelatinous be-hind):

The Bear has learned to say "butt." She says it whilst pointing at her own. Now, I'm no prude, and I'll be surprised if that's the worst thing that she ever says, but ew! It just seems undignified for my angelic little girl to use the word "butt" to refer to that particular part of her anatomy. I am a big fan of the word "bottom" at this stage of her development, so I'm wondering where she picked this icky phrase up. Methinks we can point fingers at Daddy for this one.

I got my very first ever stretch mark on Sunday. 34 weeks to the day, it was. It's about 3/4 of an inch long, a light pinkish color, and located about 1 inch due west of the spot where my belly button used to be. Then, to my utter dismay, I found another one on the east side. Slightly longer and curved into a slight smile, just for some variety in the landscape. I will not tell you how long I cried about this, only that I had to use a hand mirror to even see the damn things because I am. so. enormous. Husband claims he can't see it, but I think he was being charitable. Lovely man.

Had my 34 week checkup the other day. Had gained no weight at all in the last two weeks, and celebrated said achievement with a foot long sandwich. Extra pickles. This brings us to a rousing 37 pounds (counting from conception, not my first office visit). The high-water mark with the Bear was 51 pounds, and my goal was to stay below that. To date, I haven't topped that, but with six weeks to go (5 weeks 3 days, really), averaging about a pound a week, that could bring us to 42-43 pounds. Ick. I'm just very, very hungry. All. the. time.

My calves, ankles, and feet are starting to swell. Not nearly as bad as last time, but I can poke a dent about 1/4 inch deep on my ankle and it will stay there for quite a while. Not attractive. Thank goodness it's still winter and I don't have to wear shorts or sandals yet.

The Great Divide, in case you were wondering, exists between my left hip and my right hip, which used to be connected and reasonably well-attached. Not so anymore. They are definitely about two inches further apart than normal, and you know that bone? The one that bridges the great divide? Well, yesterday as I attempted to get up from the bed, it snapped. Like cracking a knuckle. Only sharper. Oh, my gracious... I thought I was going to cry.

I am so ready to pop this chica out of here early. I am impatient and crabby and fat! Does anyone have any tips for things I can do to, er, speed up the process? The Bear was induced early because I was so sick, but this time I'm not, but I'm not waiting until 40 or 41 weeks if I can help it at all. So, what can I do? I'm willing to try *almost* anything. I figure once I get to 38 weeks or so, all bets are off.


Monday, January 16, 2006

My friend Flicka

Yeah, I wonder how many times she heard that growing up...

On a more serious note, though, I am loving Felicity Huffman today. I admire her candid answers when questioned about her motherhood on 60 Minutes last night. She had the courage to say exactly what many moms think, but few moms ever say. She rocks so much, I may have to start watching the Housewives (or not...)

Why is it that every woman who has children is expected to love motherhood so much? Why is that supposed to be the single defining event of our lives? Why must my entire existence revolve around the fact that I am a mother? I'm also a wife, and a teacher, and many other things. Are those things intrinsically worth less?

What makes a "good" mother? How do I know if I am one? Do I get points for trying to be a good mom, even if I may not always succeed? Can moms be "good" in different ways? Does what makes you a "good" mother automatically make me a "good" mother if I do it too? I realize that it's important not to screw up your kids too badly, but do I need to stay home and bake cookies for that?

Come to think of it, why does society always expect that women *want* to be mothers in the first place? I know of many women who just don't feel the urge to have children. Is there something wrong with them? Are they bad, unnatural women? Husband and I never wanted to have children when we got married (hahaha - the best-laid plans...). We love our children now that they're here, but we didn't plan for either of them. Why is motherhood selected as the thing that makes women who they are? Men aren't defined by fatherhood...

This may set a new world record as the post that asks the most questions while giving the fewest answers - ever. I'm just curious - why is this the way it is?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A, B, C... Easy as 1, 2, 3

Ganked from Ninotchka. Enjoy -

[a is for age:]
closer to 30 than 20…

[b is for booze of choice:]
Sangre del Toro – try it if you haven’t!

[c is for career:]
Public school teacher

[d is for your dog's name:]
asthmatic kid = no dog

[e is for essential items you use everyday:]
concealer for those pesky undereye circles, my gigantic water bottle

[f is for favorite song(s) at the moment:]
“Gracie Girl” by Ben Folds. What can I say? I’m a hormonal mess and that one really gets the parent in you.

“Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight” by Amos Lee. Nice. Very nice.

[g is for favorite games:]
Trivial Pursuit. I will so kick your ass at this game. I know more useless crap than anyone I know (except for the sports category. I hate that one).

[h is for hometown:]
I’m guessing this means where you live at the moment, since I lack a proper “hometown.” Let’s just say it’s somewhere between Cleveland and Denver.

[i is for instruments you play:]
I can play chopsticks on the piano – that’s about it. Husband is the musical one.

[j is for jam or jelly you like:]
Mmmm… strawberry. Peach. Blackberry. Cherry. What the heck – I love jam in all incarnations!

[k is for kids:]
One and ¾. Check with me in about 5-7 weeks and I’ll be able to say two.

[l is for last kiss:]
My mother kissed me on the forehead the other day. Real, actual kiss? I can’t remember back that far…

[m is for most admired trait:]
Saying the things everyone else is thinking but nobody will say out loud.

[n is for name of your crush:]
Husband, ‘cause he’s pretty hot. Checkout girls hit on him all the time…

[o is for overnight hospital stays:]
One when the Bear was born, one during a miscarriage in February.

[p is for phobias:]
Small, enclosed spaces. Being alone in the house.

[q is for quotes you like:]
“…Any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” Yay for John Donne, who was actually pretty nifty. And super-yay for Hemingway for recognizing that.

[r is for biggest regret:]
Hmmm… at the moment, I’d have to say leaving a large city for the cultural wilderness of the Midwest.

[s is for sweets of your choice:]
Oh, pastry. Best when filled with some kind of fruit and topped with some kind of icing.

[t is for time you wake up:]
Assuming we’re not counting the 4 times I wake up each night to use the bathroom? My alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. on weekdays, but it’s set 7 minutes fast, so technically, 4:53. On weekends, the Bear is my alarm clock, and she gets up punctually at 8:30.

[u is for underwear:]
So old and ratty that just the other day Husband said after the baby comes he’s going to get me a gift certificate to buy lots of new underwear and bras so that I can throw out everything that’s in my drawer right now (most of which is left over from high school or college and is composed of giant holes loosely held together by fraying threads).

[v is for vegetables you love:]
Broccoli. Corn. Green beans. Are potatoes a vegetable?

[w is for worst habit:]
Interrupting people when they speak.

[x is for x-rays you've had:]
Dental, pelvic, pulmonary, and one particularly memorable shot of my coccyx, the first time I broke it.

[y is for yummy food you make:]
Husband says the soup is where it’s at. Last night he claimed that he couldn’t choose a favorite from among my soups even if he tried. I think the man just likes soup, personally. I also make a mean fruit pie.

[z is for zodiac sign:]
Cancer – I’m toxic.

Hey - this was fun! A mild diversion from my aching back (and tailbone). Exactly 7 more weeks to go, as of today!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Grrr. Argh.

So, today is the day when nothing is good. I think I've officially hit the stage where everything sucks. I don't want to go anywhere, do anything, see anyone, eat anything, talk to anyone... you get the picture. I'm incredibly restless and, well, just plain bored. I know I have things I should be doing (so many things I *should* be doing) but I have absolutely no interest in doing any of them. I just want to sit and argue with my husband. And occasionally throw coasters at him.

I called a friend who recently had a baby, and she reassured me that this happened to her, too. I don't seem to remember this happening with the Bear, but I was so damn depressed the entire time I was pregnant with her, I don't think that my recollections count for much, really. I just want to curl up and hibernate and not think about anything. For at least 7 weeks. Can I do that? Please?

On a similarly irritating note, everyone I see seems to think that I'm not going to hold out for another 7 weeks. They keep asking me if I'm sure I got my dates right (yes, moron, I *can* count), if I'm having twins (no, jackass, not anymore), etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum. Yes, this baby is carrying a lot differently than the last one. Yes, this baby is decidedly lower and perhaps a bit larger than the last one. No, I haven't gained nearly as much weight this time. Yes, the baby is already so low that the midwife couldn't find her head last week because it was already below the bone. But is she going to do us all a gigantic favor and get the hell out of there anytime soon? Of course not. Why? Because she's my kid, and being difficult is her genetic birthright.

So, is it just me? Has anyone else ever gone through the pregnancy phase where everything is just supremely annoying and you're all restless for no apparent reason? Or have I officially gone around the bend on this one? I know that delurking week is over, but if you have any words (of wisdom or otherwise, I don't care) on this subject, I'd be eternally grateful. Cause I think Husband is ready to divorce me any minute now...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Don't even get me started...


Firstly, a belated Happy Thanksgiving, New Year, and every assorted holiday in between to those who have stuck with me though the drought here. I am a gigantic slacker, though to be fair, I had many a reason for my absence.

My rationalization for my absence is threefold.

Fold the First: houseguests. Although I don't know if it really counts as a houseguest when your mother comes to help wrangle your toddler because your husband works nights and you're in too much pain to do it on your own. Guest or no, she was here for over a month, and I scrupulously avoided blogging the whole time, for some reason. I have no wish for her to find my blog, or even find out that there is such a thing as blogging; ergo - no updates from me.

Fold the Second: pain. And have I mentioned to you the pain? It was one thing to have a rock the size of a goodly jawbreaker obstructing my kidney. It was quite another to have rubber tubing shoved unceremoniously up there in a lame attempt to roto-rooter the thing into proper functioning. It was, again, something totally different for the baby to kick with her delightfully sharp little toes that same exact kidney. (Although, to be fair, it's usually more like a heavy pressure than intense pain.) And then, wonder of wonders, my hip wandered off and left its natural habitat (namely, its socket) for greener pastures (namely, anywhere but the socket). It did this last time, and I seem to remember limping a bit, but it seriously pops and grinds when I attempt to roll over in bed at night (an undertaking in and of itself). Combined with the separation of the pubic bone (did this ever happen to anyone else? feels like knives in your... well, in an area normally reserved for happy thoughts), this has rendered me unable to put on or take off my socks, shoes, and pants without help. Have you ever seen a fat lady try to get into a pair of pants without bending over or raising either foot off the floor? It's amusing, if you ask Husband. This last one is a normal pregnancy thing, and I don't mind it at all. It's all the other crap that really takes it out of you. Most of the time I would just lie on the couch if I could, nursing two Tylenol and some apple juice. However, as a more-than-full-time working mom with a ridiculously precocious toddler, this is usually out of the question, unless I have help (see #1).

Fold the Third: exhaustion. I am just at or over 32 weeks, and I am so stinking tired all of the time, I can't hardly see straight. I have no energy. At all. I fondly remember the days when I was this pregnant with the Bear. I was already on bedrest, and so I napped whenever I wanted to and had people bring me food and entertain me when I felt like it. Now I have to bring food to and entertain others, and all I want to do is sleep. A lot. Hours on end I could sleep, if they would let me. Most nights, 8 p.m. is past my bedtime. (To be fair, the 5 a.m. alarm is awfully damn early, if you ask me.) So anyway. Yeah. Me = tired. Very very tired.

So, enough excuses. A brief update on other things:

The Bear has a vocabulary of at least 75 words, probably more. Every day she says something new and Husband and I just look at each other like, "where did she learn that? I didn't teach her that!" She strings them together into two and sometimes three word groups. I hesitate to call them sentences, exactly. They're more like "Bye-bye Daddy!" and "no juice - milk!" She runs, not just walks, but her balance is, sadly, much like mine. Today she tripped on her own feet and fell headlong into a door - she actually chipped a solid wood door with her forehead. Quite the thick skull has my child. She is growing some hair, but not enough to appease the callous weirdos who still think she's a boy. She has started potty-training herself, and has actually had some small success, both with the small potty we got her for Christmas (don't ask), and at daycare. She will talk into the phone now, which is nice for long-distance relatives, but she will also hang up immediately when she is done (sometimes to my amusement). She will be 18 months at the end of January, but is still fitting quite comfortably into her 12-month pants, although shirts and footie pajamas have progressed to the 18-month size recently. She's very skinny, always has been, but we feed her like it's going out of style, so it must just be all the running around in circles.

The new Cub, it seems, will be sadly neglected. We have no furniture, no room prepared (not that it matters for the first few months anyway), no new clothing bought (only hand-me-downs), no plan (who will watch the Bear? what about work?), and no name (although that one is getting closer). We did manage to haul the infant carseat out of storage the other day, and my mother finally started knitting on her blanket, after much debating over colors. That's about it, though, and I get the feeling this one may come early. I came home from work last week with an achy, crampy back, and was able to time some very serious Braxton-Hicks to 6 minutes apart and 45-65 seconds apiece for the course of the evening. They got better when I was completely still and off my feet for about five hours, but I've had a few more episodes of that recently. One of these days, it's going to be the real thing and I will be entirely unprepared, as usual. The Bear was induced early because I was so sick, so I've never gone into labor on my own before. I have no idea what to look for or expect. Any tips? My money is on the weeks between February 14-28. We'll just see what happens. Feel free to speculate, but if you have helpful advice, that would also be appreciated.

Other than all that, not much is happening here at la casa de los osos (house of the Bears). We're all fat and sassy here in the New Year. My resolution is going quite well, my school year is off to a good start, I got a nice haircut, and, best of all - 32 weeks and no stretch marks! I made it through my entire first pregnancy with nary a one (on my stomach, that is. We will not speak of the lifeless zebra teats that used to be my breasts), and I'm hoping for a similar turnout this time.

I'm back in for more surgery later this week, so I may space for awhile again, but I will do my utmost to keep updating regularly. We'll just see about that...