Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blame it on the NaBloPoMo

I wasn't planning on  participating in National Blog Posting Month because I was planning in having a baby. But I thought I'd play along until then. I had a few things to say, and thought it would be a good distraction to keep my mind off the last few weeks of pregnancy, which I thought would be the first two weeks of this month.
Also, I don't get to an actual computer very often, so I've been doing this all from my phone. That has led to some interesting challenges and  realizations. First, I can't choose where the pictures go when posting from my phone. It's end of the post or nothing at all. OK, not a deal breaker. Also, I've had some trouble with the posting date. Things I've kept in my drafts folder are showing as published on the day I started the draft, not the day I actually published them. Or, when I make an edit to a post (fixing a typo or link), it changes the published date to the day I made the edit. None of this would really matter if I weren't going for "a post a day."
Anyway, here it is, the final day of the month, and I'm both still pregnant & still posting. Win some, lose some?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Naked & Chocolate

My desire for eye-shadow is well documented. There are 2 palettes that I've got my eyes on for potential holiday gifts. To myself. For being awesome.
Urban Decay Naked 3 OK, I'm not much into neutrals. I feel like if I'm going to spend the time to do my makeup, I want to see my makeup. I like colors, though after my July experiment, I'm glad to own some matte neutrals for blending and whatnot. Also, what I love best about Urban Decay are the fabulously pigmented wild colors with fun names. I somehow don't own a single UD palette however and this seems like an oversight. I've avoided Naked 1& 2 so far because... well, they're pretty, but I couldn't imagine getting much use out of them. I wasn't too fussed about Naked 3 when I first heard about it because come on! How many neutral palettes do we need? Well, for me the answer is 2. My matte one & this one. Warm pinks & coppery browns are much more my kind of neutral. These are nudes that actually seem like my skin tones.
Too Faced Chocolate Tin
Eye-shadow made with chocolate? OK, do I really have to make a case for this one? Well, again, pretty warm colors. Not just neutrals. Oh, AND THEY SMELL GOOD. That is all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blogging changed my life

Ok, that sounds over-dramatic but it's true. I have an internet friend living in my house, so I don't think it's too far of a stretch.
So, the main things about my life would still be the same. I'd still be here in Texas, performing at a renaissance festival, where I met my husband, and we'd still have kids and all that. Though, how I care for those kids is different because of the internet. I never would have attempted cloth diapering if I hadn't read all about it from Temerity Jane & Here We Go AJen. Eleanor has been clothed by the internet her whole life. I don't think I'd ever heard of Baby Led Weaning before reading about it on TJ's blog and hearing Arwen talk about it on Twitter.
And Twitter is a huge part of my blog world, because that's where I really interact with these ladies. Of course that really only happened once I decided to go to The Blathering and that's where things really started to change.
Deciding to write a blog was a whim I had while on vacation. I am notorious for starting things I don't finish so I'm a bit surprised I'm still doing this. But my husband sent me links to a few blogs and I read them--like, all of them. As much of their archives as I could get a hold of because I felt like I needed all the back story. I didn't really understand blogging so much. I approached it like a TV show instead of a comic strip.
So that's how I got to know TJ. And then she mentioned this thing called The Blathering that she was going to. I read that it was an open invitation to all bloggers. I was skeptical because I'd hardly been blogging for any time at all and so they couldn't really mean me, but they said anyone & I took them at their word and signed up. It helped that the gathering was in Austin so I could drive myself & if it was horrible just leave. I knew NO ONE who was going, except TJ, who didn't really know me except as the crazy lady who read her archives. But I started reading the blogs of the women who were attending, trying to make connections. One of my favorite random facts is that Sarah Lena & I were at the same International Thespian Society thingamajig at UNL. I saw her perform Hello Dolly. 15 years ago. Crazy.
Anyway, because of The Blathering, I started making actual friends. I joined a book club. Then TJ hosted a pajama party and I met Bagels. TJ is the reason is found Bagels' blog in the first place, because she linked to it and from the very first post I felt like Bagels was a kindred spirit. Which led to me inviting her to my house. Not to live (that came later), just to visit. At that point I invited a bunch of local-ish folks to come up while Bagels was down and learned that hostessing/hospitality is not my gifting. Still, somewhere in all that Kammah wound up coming over for weekly Doctor Who dates and she's now a permanent fixture in our lives too.
If it weren't for blogs and Twitter I wouldn't have found myself driving Miriel from DFW to Waco through some ridiculous thunder storms while 38w pregnant (the first time, not last week). I also wouldn't have a pile of presents from ladies across the country waiting for the next crappy day. I'd never have discovered R's amazing nursing pads or have tiny crocheted booties for my babies. I wouldn't have gotten fresh, warm, delicious cookies delivered to my door by Nicole.
I've made friends with people who have different political and religious views,  widening my brain space and making me really think about why I think/feel/believe the way that I do. I've learned about Catholicism, self-publishing books, infertility, a crazy genetic thing with an abbreviation that reminds me of a swear word, several different ways of eating to feel better, Adam Ant, the Air Force, teething, gender stuff, makeup... so much stuff. Things I'd likely never be exposed to in my regular life.
My life is fuller and richer because of the wonderful women I've met (face to face and tweet to tweet) through blogging. I highly recommend it. Find your people. Meet their people and their people's people until your world is bigger and better. And sign up for the Crappy Day Present Exchange, because it's wonderful. Do it.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Have I mentioned Eleanor has a cold? Because she does. And that's kinda rotten. It's not stopping her from being pleasant & playful & wanting to go outside. It is, however, stopping her from wanting to sleep. Which is unpleasant on many levels.

The up side is with the colder weather, there are hats & gloves all around and babies in hats are adorable, even ones who are toddlers & sniffly.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Welchling Watch continues

Well, a firm eviction date has been scheduled. If he doesn't get his little butt moving towards the exit by Dec 2nd, this baby will be forcibly removed. That's still 6 days away. Let's all pray for a November baby.

I'm still walking & yoga-ing daily to keep things in as good a position as possible. I will not list all the things I have tried to start labor, but short of acupuncture & communing with elephants, it's a fairly exhaustive list. I still feel fine, just eager to meet this little man. Who, after this much cooking will probably be bigger than some Thanksgiving turkeys by the time he greets the world.

My freezer is stocked with good food. (Some of) My closets are organized. Floors have been cleaned. The pantry & Tupperware cabinet have had an overhaul. My toes are painted. My hair had been cut. My eyebrows are tamed. Baby monitors have been installed to cover the cradle. I've located sheets & towels for my mother's stay with us. I'm ready, is what I'm saying. Everything is ready. Except the baby.

Eleanor was born the day before Easter. Maybe this one is waiting for Thanksgiving? Eleanor was also born the day after Passover, so maybe he's waiting for Hanukkah? Oh, wait, they fall in the same day this year. So, the news is we're fine. Healthy, happy, and given the all clear to wait until the full 42 weeks before they go in after this little dude.

But everybody hopes it won't take that long.

Once this baby is born, I'm probably never wearing this top again. Maybe I'll put together all my growing pictures for this time around. Maybe after I nap.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I hate waiting

You should read the title in the voice of Indigo Montoya. Because that's always how I hear that sentence. t because patience isn't a virtue I have cultivated well, though my opportunities to do so have been numerous.
I was going to put a long, wordy rant here about STILL being pregnant a week after my due date, Eleanor catching a cold, Mom Guilt, Blogger eating my previous post about Eleanor catching a cold, which threw off my non-attempt at National Blog Posting Month that I wasn't really doing anyway because I thought I'd have a baby by now and various other complaints. I had been stock-piling my crappy day presents, hoarding then to help get me through those rough first few weeks home with a newborn and toddler, but there were some specifically designated as "waiting for baby" gifts and I plowed through those and was about to tear into the rest.
Then someone sent me warm cookies from the Internet. (Update: it was SISTER! Not my sister, Bagels' sister) Fresh, warm cookies on a cold, wet day. Pretty much the best thing ever. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rough Day

Today was kinda rotten, for no particular reason. I mean, I wrote up at 2 am with a particularly vicious "what if" running around my brain that refused to let me get back to sleep, and we all know that I'm an absolute PEACH when I'm tired.
But J not only got up with Eleanor this morning, he made waffles. Giraffe shaped waffles. Giraffles if you will. And I will. He did all the toddler wrangling while I tried to rest. I took a walk around Northpark & got a new thing to try from Sephora. I talked to my mom & dad. J made dinner & went to the store, where he bright me home a giant salted caramel hot chocolate. Then I got to take a hot bath & relax while watching Korean drama.
None of these things add up to a bad day, and yet I was not at my best or brightest. I'll try again tomorrow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The colors of fall

Today, Bagels and I took a very cranky, crappy napping baby for a car ride. We got some Starbucks hot chocolate & looked at trees.
People often complain that we don't have a real fall here. We do, it just only lasts a month & is only really pretty for half that time. But that time is now.
So, most of these are blurry because that were taken out the window of my car, with my phone, but here's some of the pretty of my city.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lip service

For my birthday, a friend gave me a sampler of lip stuff from Sephora. There were many brands that I hadn't had a chance to play with yet and some real gems.

The best of the bunch is the Tarte Lipsurgence crayon thingy. Now, I've known about these for a while. My friend Kathleen has several that she wears at her day job, in fairly unobtrusive, neutral colors, which her job demands. I'm generally a fan of louder lips, and since the brand name Tarte makes me giggle, especially given my Queen Anne's Lace associations, I've always looked at their brighter shades. This one is a lovely pink that on me is just a hint of color. It smells good, feels good, and looks lovely and natural. I don't think I own any matte lip stuff, and only a few matte anything else because I am all about the shine, gloss, glitter & glitz. I'm slowly coming around to the versatility & understated grace of mattes. These crayons do come in a variety of finishes, not just matte.

Anyway, try this stuff. It's rad. Here's a before & after shot of my face.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


It's impossible for me not to compare these two pregnancies. In the beginning, everything seemed the same. Same level of queasy, same lack of energy, same lack of any other symptoms. There were differences, too. I didn't have to take progesterone for the first trimester this time. I was more tired chasing a baby/toddler than I'd ever been working a 9-5 job. I also had the ability to nap when my baby did, which wasn't really an option at the office.
I still never noticed my hair getting thick and lush. My nails did get stronger just like last time, and like last time I was cutting them faster than seemed reasonable. I've talked a bit about the changes to my shape, and surprisingly I've added no new stretch marks this time around. I've been waiting to say that because my pink & purple rites of passage didn't show up until around week 38 with Eleanor.
I think I've worried just as much this time around, but about different things. How will Eleanor adjust to the new baby? How will I manage to care for them both? Do I have to have another major surgery? Will this baby be here for Thanksgiving? (Which this year is also Hanukkah because of course it is. Apparently I only have babies on Jewish holidays? Eleanor was born during Passover.)
This time around, I've had next to no heartburn. The rash of doom cleared up after just a few weeks (instead of the 3+ months last time). No carpel tunnel. It's been even easier and last time was still easy.
At this point last time, 2 days past my due date, I was impatient & looking up how to start labor with Castor Oil, which I've since learned is a bad idea. If you take enough to be effective you can wind up dehydrated. I didn't take enough to feel any effects, but I did go into labor, which is my coincidental anecdotal non-scientific link. But this time last time was my last day before labor. 11:30pm on the second day past my due date contractions started. About 30 minutes later my water broke. Conveniently in the shower. I don't think I'll be so lucky this time.
Anyway, I still have no idea when this baby is going to get here. I hope tomorrow. I really do. Or Friday morning. That's good too.
Gratuitous picture of Eleanor being cute.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bathing beauty

Eleanor loves bath time. OK, honestly she loves water in all forms--even the pets' water dish. She loves to "swim" at my folks place. Tonight she spent over half an hour scrubbing her feet. Just a dribble of water from the faucet and a goldfish sponge. Endless entertainment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

In Due Time

It's my due date. I'm still pregnant, to the surprise of no one. Due dates are rough estimates at the best of times, even if you know date of conception, not just a guess based on cycles. Only 10% of women give birth/go into labor on their due dates. I know all this. I expected to be here.

But I want to meet my baby. I'm not uncomfortably pregnant, I'm just bad at waiting. There's been some kerfuffle over when the final eviction date will be and since I really do want labor to start on its own, I'm willing to wait, but I'm bad at it. Second guessing every twinge and gas bubble is kind of exhausting.

I've gotten all the usual advice for what to do to make this baby come out, from the well-meaning and generic (walk, eggplant Parmesan) to the crazy and somewhat personal (trampolines, adult activities).

Good news is that I'm healthy as can be & everything looks good, so it's just a matter of time. Time to wait.

So, here's what I look like at 40w pregnant, with Eleanor. OK, not pregnant WITH Eleanor, but pregnant and Eleanor is also in the picture.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Church family

So, we joined a new church a while back. A little local church where we sing out of hymnals and stand to greet each other. It's where Eleanor attends her Mother's Day Out program that she loves and I love and they love her. It's both small enough that I feel like we matter and belong but big enough to have resources that make our life easier.

We also joined a Sunday School class, which has been delightful. When we first walked in, there was a table with 3 pregnant ladies, so I fit right in. Actually, my baby might wind up sharing a birthday with one of the other babies if everything goes... I don't want to say "right" but it's a possibility anyway.

So, last week, during the "say hello to your neighbor" part, the folks behind me asked when I was due. This week, they remembered me and said they were surprised to see me. Now, that kind of comment can go all sorts of wrong. Luckily, it struck me as quite sweet that they remembered me. Also, I think it helps that even at 279 days pregnant, I don't look so huge that people are on high alert to run and grab towels and boiling water when I walk by. Round though I may be, my nearly six-footness gives me lots of room to carry a baby.

I've had lots of friends to compare bellies with both times I've been pregnant and I'm happy to say that I am happy with the way this one shaped up. Just in time for him to exit.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Like mother, like daughter

This picture (due to flash) does not accurately portray the joy & wiggling that happened when I busted out my old 96 box of crayons. And I do mean old. I got that box in high school. For the fun of it. And put all 96 in rainbow order. So far (and I'm not holding my breath) she's been her usual determined self and is pretty good at only taking one crayon at a time. They're not in the exact order I put them in anymore, but they're still grouped together well. Coloring is a pretty recent addition to our daily routine and I probably enjoy it WAY more than she does at the moment but her excitement when I get the crayons out makes me so happy.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Little games

I like computer games. I have since I was a wee Bean. Kindercomp was one of my favorite things to play, though I skipped the math sections to spend extra time drawing. We had a fun tank game called Scortched Earth which taught me about trajectory and that "May the fleas of one thousand camels infest your hide" was an appropriate curse.

I am spectacularly bad at video games, however. I stuck to computers. Puzzle games like Tetris & Bejeweled. Oh, and Alchemy. Not the one where you combine whenever elements to make stuff, but the PopCaps version with the astrological symbols. You can see why Candy Crush appeals to me. (I'm currently on level 419. I'm both proud & disturbed.)

My husband introduced me to World of Warcraft and I got to be pretty good at that. The dress up factor speaks to me. So I have to kill some dudes to get a new dress. I'm fine with that in the pixilated world.

All of this to get to Grim Fandango. My brother have me a copy of this game when I was in college. It's set in the afterlife, Day of the Dead style. Our hero, Manny Calavera, is a travel agent whose job is to help souls navigate to the blissful hereafter. If you've been good, you can take a fast train. If not, your options range from cruise ship, bus, car, all the way down to walking stick. It's very clever and puzzle-esque in that you have to gather clues to solve the mystery to figure out what to do next. "Look pigeons, it's Robert Frost!" OK, that's only funny in context but trust me it's a hoot.

Sadly, I never finished the game. It runs on Windows98. But I still have the disc because I can't get rid of anything. And tonight I learned that you can play it in Windows 7. And there was much rejoicing. Now to unearth my copy and get back to Manny & the pigeons.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rounding Up

One of the things that I was a little sad about when pregnant with Eleanor is that I never got satisfyingly round. I had 2 bellies (divided by my belly button) and the top belly was pointy. I started this pregnancy quite pointy as well. I think it's just the way I carry weight in general.

Starting this pregnancy 20+ lb lighter than I started Eleanor's has made a big difference. I was able to buy maternity jeans (which fall right off my slopey belly & irritate the snot out of me). I'm able to still button my pre-pregnancy pants, because I never bought a size to accommodate my new weight before. And again, this baby rides high, all above my belly button, so really, the only thing my pants are containing is the post-c-section-fat-flap we all know and love. Except the opposite of that. Anyway, pants. It's an ongoing rant. For the past few weeks though I've been catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and thinking "whoa, I look pregnant. From the front!" which is new and exciting for me.

Just in the past week though, the great roundening of 2013 has happened. All of a sudden (to me) I'm ROUND. I have a ROUND belly. I look like a pregnant lady. I'm round and round and round. I'm very excited about this. I'm still round above my belly button with 2 bellies, but whatever. ROUND! Can you tell I'm excited?

Also, wearing a giraffe print scarf, because I can. And a hat, because I didn't shower that morning. 

So, I'm on track to go all the way to my due date, which is fine. I'm prepared. I'm not even uncomfortable. Getting up & down off the floor is a bit arduous, but I'm so much more comfortable this time around than last time, and even last time I remember thinking that physical discomfort wasn't the reason I wanted to be done being pregnant. I wanted to be done because I wanted to meet my baby. That's where I am now. I want to meet this little man. And stuff him in a cornucopia, because apparently holiday babies in baskets is a thing I do. 

Last time at this stage of the game I was (and had been for quite some time) having nightly 1-Tums heartburn. Nothing major, but it was a thing that was there. I had an incredibly uncomfortable & incurable rash of doom that I'd had for the entirity of the third trimester that peeled off like snake-skin days after Eleanor was born. I was getting carpel tunnel in both hands. And yet I remember thinking that the pregnancy part wasn't so bad. It WASN'T! I'm oddly good at being pregnant, which sounds like bragging but how can you brag about something you have no control over? Eleanor is made of chicken nuggets and french fries and I still only gained 11 lb. That's not superior pregnant-ladying, that's just good luck. I've puked once each pregnancy, and both times it wasn't because of morning sickness, but other external factors (a reaction to antibiotics & a virus). That's not superior pregnant-ladying, that's just good luck. I'm lucky. And so very grateful. My pregnancy with Eleanor was easy, and this time it's even easier. That's just good luck. I'm not better or special. I have no secret 12-step plan to happy, healthy pregnancies. If I did, I'd write that book and be rich forever. Somehow I don't think endorsing McDonald's drive-thru and naps is really a best-seller. 

Now, if only I were as good at getting babies out as I am at carrying them around, eh?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Basket

One of the best pieces of advice that I got for making it through the first few weeks with a newborn was to have a basket. Not to put the baby in, although places to put the baby was not something I realized I needed until another mom mentioned it and so I got a swing and a chair thing and a playmat, all of which got plenty of use.

No, the basket is full of the stuff you need all the time so you don't have to run to the nursery for every diaper change/feeding.

Butt cream
Changing pad
Nursing pads
Burp cloth
A water bottle
A granola bar or two (for the MUST EAT ALL THE THINGS that strikes two seconds after you get the baby quieted down)

Then you just grab the basket when you change rooms, or you can have whomever is near fetch the basket without having to give directions for all the things your going to need in the next 5 minutes which may or may not be scattered all round the house. It's a brilliant idea and I wish I remembered who suggested it because they deserve a gold star.

I can't find the basket I used with Eleanor but luckily I'm a basket hoarder so I have many to choose from. It's mostly stocked and ready to go. One more thing to cross off the list of "to do before baby" things. I'm actually almost done with that list. I might be ready to have this baby next week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The numbers

It's 11-12-13. I suppose in other parts of the world it's 12-11-13, which is both less fun and doesn't serve my purposes. Today would be a great day to have a baby because that's a fun birthday.

Lots of people will have babies today. I'm not one of them. I never really expected to go into labor earlier than 40w but if I did, I wanted it to be today.

Other interesting to possibly no one but me numbers: At 39 weeks pregnant, I'm back to my STARTING weight in Eleanor's pregnancy... wait, gestation. Eleanor wasn't pregnant. I was. Grammar confounds me some times. My total weight gain for this pregnancy so far is more than I gained the whole time with Eleanor, but still within my "acceptable" guidelines so I'm trying not to worry about that part.

I'll be having this baby just a little more than one month after my 33rd birthday. My mother had me almost a month after HER 33rd birthday.

By my calculations, I'm officially 9 months pregnant now. Pregnancy math can get weird because they start counting weeks before anything has really happened, so while I haven't actually been carrying this baby for a full 9 months, it's been 9 months since things got started, in the cyclical sense. Feb 11th, when I gave up being un-pregnant for Lent. Which sort of makes this my tenth month of pregnancy, but I'm not 10 months pregnant because nope. A month is not 4 weeks so even though there are 40 weeks of pregnancy they are still only 9 months. And some spare days/weeks, give our take. But I guess if you count from when the baby actually started growing it's closer to exactly 9 months.

I'm not wearing real pants until after this baby is born. Nothing but yoga pants & maxi dresses until the end!

Monday, November 11, 2013

What do I know

A million years ago, or some time shortly after the turn off the century, I went to lunch with a friend. Some place that served calzones, which is completely irrelevant to the story, but the kind of detail my brain holds on to. It wasn't really a pivotal, life changing lunch, but the conversation we had that day has stuck with me over the years.
The gist of it can be boiled down to this: some boys struggle with body image issues and some girls struggle with lust. Neither of those sentences should be revolutionary, but I'm telling you that at the time, my friend and I were both astounded. Neither of those statements by themselves was shocking or unbelievable. They sounded perfectly reasonable and understandable, but I don't think I'd ever actually thought them. They'd never crossed my mind to evaluate.
It's not as though I thought that boys cared nothing for their appearances. My friend was (is probably still) a handsome and fashionable dude. With really great hair. Like truly amazing. Thing of beauty I tell you. Anyway, stylish and good looking. He obviously thought about things like having a hairstyle not just a hair cut. He cared what shirt he wore with which pants. Fine. Sure. Makes sense. What never occurred to me was that he might look in the mirror and not like the body he put those clothes on. That particular thought was, in my mind at the time, solely a struggle of women. I didn't think about the fact that he grew up in a world of Abercrombie & Fitch, a world that had definite ideas about what "real men" should look like. I was too busy worrying about my too flat butt, too wide hips, unflat stomach, thighs that touched, and 900 other things that didn't line up with the images I was seeing. Intellectually I knew that dieting and eating disorders weren't just women's things, but I couldn't wrap my brain around the kind of body loathing I was used to from my girl friends affecting a boy. Especially not this stylish and attractive one. Just like he couldn't imagine girls struggling with lust. Now, it's not as if he thought all women were sexless creatures, or even that "good girls" didn't think like that. He'd been around enough to know that we girls oogled as much as any. I think he, like me, just couldn't see past a culture that said boys are the ones who struggle to keep it in their pants. Girls don't have that problem because even if they want sex, they have superior self-control.
This is getting way deeper than I have the brain power to articulate and do justice to. I was getting to a point with all this and I think it's about U2.
No really, stick with me. I'll get there. So, this particular lunch conversation over calzones helped open my eyes to the fact that some basic assumptions I had about life were wrong and needed to be challenged, that I needed to look beyond my own selfish world view and stop asking that everyone's experiences be just like mine, or that their conclusions based on their experience would align with mine. It was a conversation that made me question the way I looked at the world and people. OK, so that's point one.
The U2 thing is like this: Not everyone likes U2. Well, yes that's true but that's not my point. Of course there are people who don't like U2. Nothing has universal appeal, even things I really, really like. There are even people who don't like chocolate. Rather it's more that I have friends who don't like U2. This is a somewhat strange concept to me. Not that U2 is the end all, be all of my life (they're not, but don't tell 16yr old me that), but for a long time I really believed that friends had to have the same interests and preferences or you couldn't really be friends. I thought disagreement on things like music or movies was a grievous fault. So, I knew that there were people in the world who didn't like my favorite band. I didn't expect everyone to love them as much as I did. There was a time when all 6 discs in my stereo were U2 CDs. I could name every band member, their significant other, and give you the names & ages of their offspring. I've since reallocated some of those brain cells, but you understand now the depth of my... devotion to this band. I knew that most people didn't give half as many squats about them as I did, but none of my friends actively disliked them. At worst they passively didn't care. And that was fine.
Then one day, when I was about 30 years old, I found out that my friend Carrie didn't like U2. Not just didn't care, but actively tuned the radio station AWAY from U2 songs. I think I already knew that my best friend Andrew, with whom music was sort of our common language, didn't like the song "Beautiful Day" but he didn't hate all the other U2 songs, so it was OK. But Carrie didn't like ANY U2 songs. This was shocking to me. I wouldn't say that our CD collections were similar, but she always picked good music for dance class and we shared some mix tapes (on CD or jump drive, but whatever, I will probably always call them mix tapes). But she hated my favorite band. What's more surprising: we're still friends! I didn't shun her or run screaming. I think I said "huh" and moved on.
So, the revolutionary thought here is this: you can be friends with people you disagree with. I mean, you probably want to agree the on the BASICS, like human dignity and treating others with respect, but politics, religion, music? You can disagree and still be friends. Not just agree to disagree & tolerate each other politely. Real friends. Who hang out. And invite each other to their parties. And LIKE one another. It took me 30 years to figure that one out.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Learning curve

Yesterday I had a FitBit Flex. Apparently I don't do bracelets well & J wanted a display on his thingy, so now we have Ones. Again. Only mine is pink this time. They say "burgundy", but come on. It's pink. Let's see if I can go more than 10 days this time without ruining another expensive piece of equipment.
I'm at the point in this pregnancy where I have to start every phone call to my mother with "I'm not in labor." It's not that she's the anxious type, but she is my designated Eleanor watcher while I go get this new baby born, so she does have a reason to be antsy. She also helped me get my whole kitchen whipped into shape. And listened to me ramble about marriage & being a mom, which must sound pretty silly coming from me. She's been married 44 years and raised 2 grown kids. She's the best listener in the whole world though. I'm so lucky to have her.
My dad had a birthday. He's 66 now. That number doesn't seem to fit the image I had in my head of how old that would be. It sounds old. My dad isn't old, he's awesome. And continuing to kick cancer's stupid butt. So that's good.
I'm dog sitting for my brother's dog Tukko next week. He's the prettiest dog in the world. He, however, does not have a toddler in his house, so he's not used to the rules of "just because it's at your level doesn't mean you can eat it" that our dog Puca has learned. Honestly, it's a good time for Eleanor to learn not to wave her snacks in the faces of the beasties.
My husband just tried to blame his snoring on the dog. My poor, patient, long-suffering, sweet-hearted dog. I'm not buying it.
One of these days I'm going to do a whole post and not re-correct auto-correct and see what happens. One day when I'm brave. Or lazy.
I'm also at the stage of this pregnancy where I refuse to put on real pants. Yoga pants until the end! Which is in no more than 16 days. 9 until the official due date. Eleanor was 4 days late. Maybe this one will be earlier. I just want to be home from the hospital before Thanksgiving. Which is being cooked for me in my house by my fantastic family. My brother is a whiz at gravy. But I should buy some Wondra.
There is no unifying thought or theme here. Just some randomness from today. Oh, I also learned that my hair is now if a length that cannot be slept on wet. I've always been able to combat the bed-head before. This is no longer true, and when they're no saving ponytail to fall back on... well, I guess I'll finally have to learn to be a morning shower-er.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Trying again

So apparently, running over my FitBit with a car wasn't enough to get me out of having one.

Which is awesome, because I really liked it.

J got us both FitBit Flexes. He says I can't run over my own wrist with a car. True. And I guess the Flex is much less likely to fall off my wrist than the One was to come unhooked from my bra.  So now I'm back to tracking steps. And this one will track my sleep. That should be a hoot.

I set out on a goal this year to walk 500 miles. Before I got pregnant. And I know that women all across the whatever do all sorts of amazing feats of fitness while pregnant, and a measly 1.3 miles a day is actually a very small goal and no where near the 10,000 step marker that they say you're supposed to get, but it's been a bit of a challenge. I did great in the spring, talking walks with Eleanor in her stroller. Then it got hot and I got more pregnant. Or neighborhood walks went the way of the dodo. Walking became a thing we did at Target & the grocery store. Thankfully, the 8 weekends of running about at Scarborough Renaissance Festival really helped and I'm still mostly on track.

But sometime in the next 2 weeks, there's a baby who is getting his wee butt born. I have a feeling that might throw me off track a bit. I'm trying to gain a little momentum these last few days. If only multiple trips to the bathroom counted, I'd be set! Maybe I'll wind up pacing at night with a fussy baby. I'm not sure that's how I want to get my steps in either.

To change the subject, Eleanor is getting much better at operating my phone. The other day she managed to not only tweet a random string of letters, but she must have swiped enough that autocorrect filled in "blogger blogger" at the end of her tweet. Also, she's been taking some STUNNING photos of her daily life.

 An artist in the making? We'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Family photos

So, I had a very busy day. My mom came & we cleaned and organized the house like a couple of super awesome ladies, which we are.

But I am wiped out. So I don't have lots of words to say. What I do have is some pictures we took tonight. Eleanor's "Halloween" pictures & some family/maternity pictures. So here. Look at my family.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Learning the lingo

I have yet to learn the right combination of words to tell a hair dresser what I want and then get that. I've got "angled bob" down, but there's something about "stacking" and "layering" that I don't understand. Also, when I say below my chin, I get at my chin. When I say collar bone I get at my chin. I don't have enough hair to say below my shoulders hoping to get some where between my shoulders & my chin.

I feel like I've been semi-adventurous with my hair over the years. I've been all the shades of red that come in boxes in addition to the several shades of red that my hair has naturally been as I get older. I've been a brunette once or twice. Now my hair is sort of in between colors. I haven't dyed it since... The Blathering 2011. I've done some highlights, but not all over color. So what I've got now, as short as it is, is just me. It's... not at all the color I think of as my natural one. I think I'm still stuck on the sort of dirty copper/ golden red/not strawberry blonde but not ginger red that I grew up with. My hair is much darker now. Auburn? Maybe, but not quite red enough for that I think. I keep thinking I'll dye it back to what I remember, but that snacks of effort that I don't have right now.
In an interesting side note, I did help my husband dye his hair a few weeks ago. The haunted house he was working at was black & white this year. Like, everything in the haunt, including the actors, was shades of grey, so J decided to dye his already dark brown hair black to make things easier. I actually went to visit J, with Eleanor, at the haunted house on closing night. We went right as they opened, which is usually her bedtime, and got basically a private show. I don't really do scary things, but there's no one at that house that I don't know, since they're folks I work with at Scarborough Faire. That makes it safe. Eleanor was a champ & took the whole thing in stride.

Anyway, I got my hair cut. It's shorter than I ever thought I'd cut it again, but I like it. I miss ponytails & buns, but this is as wash & wear as it gets, which is really what I need right now.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

4am is the worst

I'm more familiar with the 4 am hour than I ever wanted to be. After college, I got a job working at the local TV station, doing production graphics for the morning & midday news shows. I worked 4-1pm. I had to go to bed by about 6pm to be functional. I missed my non-work friends, though having the grocery store largely to myself in the afternoon was nice.. 

There's this annoying sleep pattern thing that I've developed as an adult. I get woken up around 3:30/4 and then can't get back to sleep until after 6.  Something about sleep cycles or some such. I don't know. When working a regular 8-5 job, it's the worst. Just when the sleepy creeps back in, the alarm goes off. Bad words are uttered. Grumbling ensues. It's also the worst when you have a newborn. They wake up, you feed them, they go back to their adorable, tiny person sleep and you... stare at them wishing desperately to be asleep too. Just as you drift off, they're awake & asking to be feed again. So basically, it's just the worst.

Last night, I woke up around 1 for my first potty break. Then I had some contractions for a few hours. (Spoiler alert: I didn't have a baby today.) Then it was 4 am and I knew there would be no sleep, so I watched the latest episode of the Korean Drama that Temerity Jane got me hooked on and wow. Dude. Totally worth it. Kim Tan forever. (Heirs. It's on Hulu. Go watch.)

Then there was the drama of the missing cat. I realized that Ruzulka, who only started sleeping with us in the past 2 years (of her 4 year life), hasn't been to bed the past 2 night & I couldn't remember seeing her all day. Or the day before. So at 5 am I went searching for her, waking up Eleanor in the process. There was much wailing & gnashing of teeth. Eleanor cried too. It took about an hour to get her comforted & settled back in her bed. At which point my husband's alarms started going off. And I started crying because the tired had caught up to me & I still couldn't find my cat. I'm feeling wretched for not noticing she was missing all day, but she is the least social of our cats and spends her days hidden in window sills or curled up under things. I'm imaging the horror of having to tell our friend who RESCUED these kittens from the harsh elements that I LOST one of the kittens they entrusted us with. And, well, she's kind of my favorite.

Now, I don't have a favorite cat, except I do. Banshee is my favorite because she's my cranky old lady cat with Resting Bitch Face. She purrs loud enough to be heard rooms away & comes to the living room when we watch TV, only to settle in with her face to the wall. She's the best & most patient with Eleanor, which surprised us all.

Except Valkyrie is also my favorite because she likes to be wherever I am & always snuggles me when I sleep. She also has a purr to be heard for miles & she talks back when you pet her. She's consistent.

But Ruzulka is my real favorite. She's the reddest of our tabbies. She has an orange ring on her tail, but just one. She's the softest & fluffiest of our cats. She's also the best snuggler. You can readjust her & she'll stay snuggled up, unlike the other 2 persnickety ladies. She, like Eleanor, likes to get in my way anytime I have to go to the bathroom. She has the tiniest & quietest purr I've ever heard & it's a treat to get to hear it.

So it's nearly 6 in the morning. I'm sobbing about my lost cat, my non- sleeping baby, and my fruitless contractions when IN COMES 'ZULKA! She had been sleeping in Bagel's room the whole time! All is well that ends well I suppose, but man. 4 am is the worst!

'Zulka, Valkyrie & Banshee

Monday, November 4, 2013

Not to be trusted

Forget the Eye of Sauron, what should really strike fear into the heart of the stout and the brave is Target.

Oh don't give me that look. You know what I mean.

"I just need undershirts for the husband." she said.
"And shoes for the baby."
"And maybe some half-price leftover Halloween candy."
"And this would be a great nursing nightgown."
"Oh, might as well look for some Crappy Day Presents while I'm here."
"Hey, look, 70% off clearance rack!"
"What a beautiful crock pot..."

And before you know it, your cart is full, your bank account is empty and you have no where to put all the stinking adorable shoes you bought. ON CLEARANCE.
 But it's a good thing I bought shoes, because we sacrificed a shoe to the great beast with the red bullseye in order to escape without adding a new purse, a sweater dress, a hooded Batman onesie (with Bat-belt detail) (in adult size), and some striped union suit pajamas.
 But look at these RIDICULOUS shoes. High-top Converse!! Pink & purple with sparkly laces!! And they zip up the inside, because NO WAY am I strapping Eleanor into lace-up high tops on a daily basis. Zippers we can manage. Seriously, if they'd had these shoes in my size I'd be wearing them from now until they fell apart.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Control freak

Few things expose my deep desire to control my life and circumstances like being pregnant. Or getting pregnant. Or pregnancy in general. So much is just not controllable. You take the steps, do your part, and even with charting & stuff, there's no guarantee that all the science will result in the miracle of life. Then, after peeing on stuff, you can't guarantee that things stay where they're supposed to. It should be comforting. You take care of you & the rest is out of your control.

It's not comforting. It's scary & if something does happen (which it does, way too often, to too many people I love), it's almost impossible to stop the "what-ifs." You blame yourself, even if you know, logically, that there's nothing you can do.

Then there's the end of the road. No woman has stayed pregnant forever. That's the first piece of "advice" they gave us in our Preparation for Childbirth class. It's true. The other truth is that you can't make labor happen. Well, modern medicine can. With a whole host of drugs to trick your body into doing what you want. But ye olde average lady, at home, waiting, can do nothing. Despite the advice & wisdom of every well-meaning old wives' tale, you just can't guarantee when labor will start. When the baby is good and ready, that's when.

I'm not in a rush. I have a long list of things I'd like to get done before this baby arrives. Like organize the pantry. And get a hair cut. But I see the doctor every week now. And every week she checks to see if there are any signs of impending labor. There were no signs with Eleanor. Even 2 days before labor started, no hints. And I have friends who wandered around dilated for WEEKS before their babies were born, so I understand that it's all kinda a crap shoot.

For me & my peace of mind, I'd like to see some signs of progress. Clover has turned his head towards the exit which is good news. I'm dreaming of a baby born on 11-12-13 but realistically expect to go all the way to 40w again. I don't mind. A Scorpio or Sagittarius is all the same to me. I'd like to be home with my new baby before Thanksgiving, but that's my only real rush.

It's just a time of waiting. We all know how good I am at that. He'll arrive when he's good and ready and not a moment sooner. I just hope he's kinder about his entrance than his sister. Bagels had me sort of outline my Barbie-Dream-World version of things, ranking the stuff that's most important to me, to help me keep perspective.

Obviously, healthy baby & healthy me are top on the list.

Next in line is going into labor. Since I had a c-section with Eleanor, all those wonderful drugs and tools of modern medicine are off the table. There will be no inducing labor. Either it happens, or at 41w we head to the OR to take this baby out like toast. So, I'd like to at least start laboring.

If I can check that off the list, next in line is completing labor. Birthing a baby. No surgery.

If we get that far, then I don't really care how. Epidural? Sure, if I need it. I'm not holding out for an all natural birth though I want to wait as long as possible so I can keep walking & moving (which I didn't get to do much with Eleanor).

If we don't get that far, I'd like to get as least as far as last time. Maybe even try pushing. And there is a part of me that is just rolling my eyes, because major surgery after long, exhausting, unproductive labor is exactly my least favorite option when it comes to birth plans. Still, peace of mind isn't always rational. Trying is very important to me, even if I try & fail.

Now, I'm not a glutton for punishment. I think I have a pretty reasonable response to pain and suffering. I try to avoid it when I can. I bite back bad words when I stub my toe. Paper cuts and hang nails turn me into a big whiny baby. Despite what my pharmacist father may think, wanting an unmedicated birth isn't, for me, about hating drugs or liking pain. It's just about seeing what my body can do & working to do as much as possible. Letting gravity help get this baby down and out is something I'm really looking forward to. If I could do that and still have epidural-level pain relief I'd take that option in a heartbeat.

Bottom line, end of the day, I just want to meet my baby. The rest is less important. Not trivial but not critical either. Walking the fine line between hoping for a VBAC & being mentally & emotionally prepared for a second c-section is hard. Hope & realism don't sit easily with me. I don't want to assume that I'll end up in surgery because I'm afraid of self-fulfilling prophecy stuff. I also don't want to be so focused on the how of the birth that I let those feelings rob me of joy if things don't go the way I want.
So I'm praying. That's the one part I can control--my attitude. Can't make my body or this baby do anything but I can turn my heart towards my Creator and put my trust in Him. He's got this all under control. He knows the plan. I just need to live it. Much easier said than done. Thankfully lots of other people are praying for me too. I think it's gonna take all the prayers we can get.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When you say it on the Internet

So, as with most things baby/sleep related, if you tell the Internet, the exact opposite will begin to happen.

So here's Eleanor. Sleeping on her pillow. Like a tiny human.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pillows: You're doing it wrong.

Eleanor, during her most recent cold (September) decided that she wanted a pillow to sleep on. So I got her one of her very own. A memory foam thing that she can't suffocate on & it's a good thing too because while she likes to snuggle up to the pillow when falling asleep, she doesn't sleep ON it, so much as vaguely near it. Or, recently, under it.

Pillows. She's doing it wrong.

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