Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cranky, cranky....

Yes, I am.
And considering that my baby's due date isn't for another 3 days, I don't know why everyone keeps calling me to ask if he's here yet.
He's not.
If it were up to me, he would've been here two weeks ago and then y'all could read about how I'm cranky due to a lack of sleep, instead of:

I'm tired of it. Sick and tired of it. And I'm about ready to pound on the next person who says anything to me about babies and due dates and how Halloween would be the perfect day for him to be born. I may be 9 months pregnant and weigh more than I ever have in my entire life, but I will still kick your ass. Repeatedly, if need be.

And what's up with people asking me if I plan on having a natural childbirth? The answer is not only no, but hell no: I plan on delivering this baby out of my armpit whilst playing a John Phillip Sousa tune on a one-man-band-type-apparatus.
Delivering a child is a private matter--it involves one's genitals, therefore it's private (see how that works?). I don't ask you questions about your genitals, so don't ask me questions about mine.

If you have any further questions, you can write them on a piece of paper...
and then set fire to it.

Thank you, that is all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Seriously, now....

Ah-hem-hem-hem (and other throat-clearing noises)

My uterus is obviously on strike.
This baby will never be born.
I will die, and like Queen Mary of England (Elizabeth I's elder sister), they will discover that it was not a baby after all but a ginormous tumor...two years they though she was pregnant--how bizarre is that?
All of this is to say that my contractions cannot decide how strong they want to be, but I know that 20 minutes apart and mild discomfort isn't enough to eject a baby.
I'll go to bed in a few minutes here and the contractions will undoubtedly stop.
Because my uterus is on strike and THIS BABY WILL NEVER BE BORN.


What is that smell?

Firstly--bravo for reading this, after a title like that.
Secondly--No, I haven't had the baby yet.

(On with the show!)

It's been raining for about 17 hours now, and the humidity in the house is at 75% (according to the hygrometer--which I'm not sure is actually working properly, it's been dropped so many times). And our computer room smells like a cross between a wet dog, cheap plastic toys, and mildew. I'm sure it's all mildew, seeing as how we have neither dog nor any plastic toys.

I think the plastic toy association is because when I was younger (read: 8 years old), our family lived in a rental home with a horrendous mildew problem in the basement. The basement that became, by default, the playroom for my younger brother and I. This was the same house where my brother earned the moniker of "Buckethead", due to his tendency to wear a bucket on his head as a helmet whenever he played G.I. Joe. He claims no memory of this activity, even though we've got the photos to prove it happened.

Back to the smell--I fear there's nothing I can do about it. I can't open the windows to air the room out, as it is supposed to continue raining for the next 4 days. And I don't see any evidence of mildew; so attacking the source isn't an option. Also, I really don't want to be wielding toxic chemicals in my home when there's a baby on the way.

Perhaps I should just invest in one of those respirators that look like something out of a low-budget sci-fi film...Then I could call myself "The Intrepid Pregnant Explorer of the Western Stench".

Monday, October 25, 2004

Three Down...

Well, hooray and ouch.
Before you continue: this post has a happy ending, and there's still a baby in my uterus.

Went to the hospital last night to visit the nice folks at Labor & Delivery (I'm starting to feel like I should bring gifts, I go so often) b/c my hips were trying to escape my body and it hurt. So they hooked me up to the monitors, checked my cervix (ow-ow-ow) and proclaimed that I was at 3cm, contracting irregularly and could go home. Or, if the pain was too much to bear, I could stay there for overnight monitoring on a morphine drip. MORPHINE DRIP. I'm not a big fan of pain, but I'm gonna have to say that before I let you put morphine in me I'm probably going to have to be suffering a flesh-eating virus or similar. Morphine is an opiate, yes? Opiates are addictive, yes? And morphine passes through the placenta and into the baby.
So, um, thanks, but no.
Anyway, back to the exciting stuff. Well, exciting and kinda gross. This morning I lost my mucus plug--well I didn't lose it, it fell out and I flushed it down the toilet. But that means that it's now cervix and amniotic sac side by side (as opposed to cervix-mucus plug-amniotic sac); which means that it's baby's head on cervix....Which means that we're THAT MUCH CLOSER to delivery.
Countdown to baby (T minus x; x being an unknown value due to the fact that babies operate on their own schedules...)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Early Education

If this baby ever decides to be born, we are living in the perfect house for him to become an entomologist. I'm not saying that I'd like for my son to be obsessed with bugs; it's just that we seem to have a wide variety of them sneaking into our home March through November.
So far I have experienced: 3 tarantulas, 4 wolf spiders, countless crickets, mosquitoes, houseflies, cockroaches (which are the bane of my existence), weevils, moths, June bugs, roly-polies (pill bugs), and numerous bugs the likes of which I have never before seen.
Now, I don't have a problem with most (read: non-poisonous & small) spiders, and we currently have a spider living between 2 panes of our sliding glass door that I've named Francois (fran-swah). For a while we had a spider living in the bathroom that I called Herman, until Herman produced egg sacks and my husband decided it was time for Herman to go. I figure that having spiders is similar to having cats--they both catch and kill things so I don't have to.
I know some of you are currently standing on chairs and calling the exterminator for me, but look: the bugs aren't living & breeding in the house, they're coming in from outside. How do I know this? We're living in a run-down rental home that has an inch or so gap between the bottom of all doors and the threshold. And I've never seen baby bugs, just fully grown ones. So, unless you plan to foot the bill to exterminate the entire neighborhood, just bring a can of RAID when you come to visit.

Friday, October 22, 2004


It is, in fact, a troupe of trained ninja-assassin mosquitoes that have invaded our home. I am covered in bites from my attempts to squash the buggers. They are sneaky, sneaky beasties and if I could, I would rain sulfur upon them.
But for now I have to go find the hydrocortisone before I peel my skin off to stop the itching.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Our computer room is home to either the world's tiniest vampires or a team of stealth mosquitoes.

I have bites.
They itch.

Are we there yet?

The list of things that I have tried to encourage labor is getting longer by the day. The list of things that have worked so far is non-existent.
Here, in no particular order (and with a few items left out for privacy's sake) is what I have tried so far:
  1. Eating spicy food...Not a bad experiment, and Texas Pete hot sauce goes really well on a number of foods.
  2. Walking. And walking. And walking some more. All this has done was encourage my feet to swell and my knees to make funny creaking noises.
  3. Stretching in various gravity-friendly yoga poses. And squatting--what?! It opens up your pelvis.
  4. Positive thought--tougher than it sounds. Goes a little something like this: Open up, friendly cervix! It is time for you to get to work, efface and dilate--I know you can! Because if you don't I'm shipping you to Tanzania on the first possible flight you lousy good-for-nothing useless body part!
  5. Foot massages. While nice don't seem to have the desired effect.
  6. Shopping. Maybe being in a public place will cause the embarrassment of ruptured membranes? (SPLASH! "clean up on aisle 5")
  7. Cleaning and doing mounds of laundry. Perhaps the repetitive action of washer-to-dryer will spark something?

See the thing is this--if I go into labor then I can get my husband back out of the field. Otherwise I'm on my own for longer than anyone in my condition should be, because the Army owns my husband. That's the deal you make when you join. And to be fair to other Army wives, at least he's stateside. But that doesn't change the fact that I am very pregnant and overly emotional and just want what I want when I want it...dammit.

And now I am going to bake some bread--it's a multiple hour process that depends heavily on the timing of things being just so. Maybe that'll do it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Singing the praises...

Of plumbers.
Hooray for plumbers!
We have questionable plumbing in our house--the question being "will this drain properly or back up into the downstairs bathroom?" The answer to that question two days ago was "downstairs bathroom", which is why the plumber was here yesterday. He fixed it by snaking out the exterior line and then announced that the problem was tree roots. We had tree roots in our exterior sewer line. Which is odd because we don't have trees on that side of the house....
I think that plumbers are some of the most underrated professionals out there. We should have a national holiday dedicated to the celebration of the people who do the important, underrated jobs. People like plumbers, garbage collectors, appliance repairmen (repairpersons?), and the like. They should have a parade and everybody can have the day off of work--and I don't think that Labor Day counts. These important folk deserve a day unto themselves.
We could call it "Folks-who-make-life-better" day. And there should be some sort of associated food that goes with the day...Krispy Kreme* Doughnuts, perhaps. If you've never had a Krispy Kreme; stop what you are doing and go get one RIGHT NOW.
My husband doesn't like doughnuts, but will eat six Krispy Kremes at one go.
Maybe Krispy Kremes should get their own holiday....
I hereby declare today, the third Tuesday of October, to be Krispy Kreme day.
Now go get some doughnuts, take the afternoon off and enjoy your holiday.

*If I'd listened to spell check, you'd be reading a post about "crisp Koreans"

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Here's the deal...

I know a lot of you are really excited about this baby, and some of you are even more excited that his due date is Halloween. And I appreciate your enthusiasm, but if one more person tells me that I have to wait to have this kid some serious unpleasantness will ensue.
For those of you offering advice who have already have children: thank you, and I know you know what I'm going through.
For those of you offering advice who have never had children, let alone menstrual cramps: I love you, but shut it.
I have been having "mild contractions" for 2 days now--not strong enough to change my cervix from 2 cm to 4 cm, but strong enough that I feel like surgically removing my own pelvis to MAKE. THEM. STOP.
Yes, I am cranky. Yes, I am uncomfortable. And yes, I will turn into the Dragon Lady and eat your eyeballs if the urge strikes me.
So tread lightly, m'kay?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Wedding Congrats

I am so sorry I couldn't be there today!
I love you both tremendously and wish you a lifetime of love and laughter.

Wedded Bliss

(photo) Congratulations to Nes and Sandy on their wedding! Posted by Hello

Friday, October 15, 2004


I have come to the conclusion that it would be (to quote Martha) "a good thing" to visit the local farmer's market.
Woe unto me.
Did you know that the USDA has a website that lists farmer's markets by state? And even tells you when/where they will be? And gives you a contact number so you can get more information? (Love the lovely USDA!)
I, however, have failed to learn from my past experiences with Oklahoma bureaucracy. I was hoping that since I am in a new county that things might run better.
Woe unto me.
I was passed back and forth like a frisbee, with each new person declaring that they "don't really know anything about [the farmers market]".
I guess I'll just drive around to all possible locations tomorrow morning and hope that I find it. (wheeeeeee!!)

On a completely unrelated note, here's a list of things I should be doing instead of typity-typing away:

1. Cleaning the bathrooms...How is it that a toilet can develop a gross rust ring in a weeks' time? (didn't I just clean you, you stupid bathroom?!)
2. Calling that on-again-off-again friend who's decided to be on-again.
3. Tape up that box so I can mail it to Sarah, like I promised to in June. And July. And August. And September. At this point I may as well upgrade to a larger box and fill it with chocolates so that maybe she'll overlook the fact that I'm a terrible, forgetful person.
4. Coming up with something witty to leave on Nessa's answering machine tomorrow while she and Sandy are getting married. (CONGRATS YOU TWO!)
5. Cleaning up the remnants of my crafting frenzy from the living room, which have been sitting out for nearly a month now.
6. Finishing the art projects I started for the baby's room.

Six isn't so bad, is it?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I lose again!

Every time I think I've figured out a way to effectively communicate and train our cats, I lose. You think I'd give up by now, seeing as most of my strategies are as effective as a square wheel. The problem is that cats are smart. After our simian cousins, the cat's brain is the most similar to ours in physiological function. Which means that, in theory, cats are capable of figuring out puzzles and the like. But because they are cats, they don't see the world as we do.
For example, we live in a dilapidated rental home. Some of our windows have screens and some do not. The screen on the back door had a huge hole in it when we moved in. Our industrious cats soon figured that they could let themselves in and out of the house through these many faulty screens. Which led to our first problem, namely the new kitty doctrine of "that which is not a wall must be a door". Thus the cats have attempted to enter or exit through ANY window, screened in or nay. Which has led to many instances of me yelling and brandishing a squirt bottle full of water.

With dogs you can train them to avoid certain behaviors if you reprimand them while in the act; with cats it is not so simple. What happens is that the cat learns to avoid having you around while perpetrating the offending behavior.
They're sneaky, see?

And as I am very pregnant, I cannot see my feet. The cats have begun to take advantage of that as well. Jack, the most garrulous cat this side of the Mississippi, has taken to meowing at me from under the shade of my belly. When I move to make eye contact with him, he moves right along with me, continuing to demand that I pay attention! It's like I have a kitty waltzing partner. When he tires of this charade, he rubs against my legs (while purring) and then saunters off to the food bowl.

But today--today was the most treacherous of all abuses of my blind spot!
I had just finished rolling the trashcans back from the curb and was preparing to go inside when I noticed Lunchbox's reflection in the window of the front door. I couldn't actually see her, as she was standing beneath where I keep the baby. So I open the door, Lunchbox runs in ahead of me and drops a bird, a very much alive bird, on the middle of the living room floor. And I just about lose it--I'm trying to herd the bird out the open door, while the bird is trying to avoid me and Lunchbox at the same time, all the while dropping feathers all over the place. This bird is not so much scared as it is pissed off and it keeps making a horrible angry-bird noise while I try to corral it. I eventually figure that this is not a cooperating type of bird and go off to grab a dishtowel, for the purposes of subduing the squawking menace. I am at the same time, yelling at Lunchbox (as though she speaks English) "How many times do I have to tell you 'no animals in the house'?" Well, I don't know if inside wasn't as fun as she thought, or if she was tired of me yelling, but while I was off getting a towel, Lunchbox took the angry bird back outside. Leaving a feather-and-poop strewn living room for me to clean up.
So the tally is officially 2-0 in Lunchbox's favor; that's one rat and bird she's managed to sneak by my pregnant body.

And now...Politics.

A singer-songwriter acquaintance of mine wrote this, and another acquaintance gave it a short video. The author describes it as "an anthem for red necks against war". You may find it enjoyable or (if you think that our current President hung the moon) you may not. I think it's pretty clever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

A tiny portfolio

(photo)Here's a short series of paintings I did Fall/Winter 2003. This one's titled River. Posted by Hello

(photo) This is Plains, and curently resides in our living room. Posted by Hello

(photo) This painting is called Ocean. Posted by Hello


You know, like Antebellum....
I have a degree in art, and have enjoyed painting as far back as I can remember. I used to paint with frequency, working on 2-3 paintings at a time. That was all before I got pregnant and turned into a human slug. I am hoping that in a year or two I can return to a paired-down version of my former painting schedule. In the meantime, I have these reminders of what it's like to have time AND energy...

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The one with the movie

We're back from another Army-sponsored childbirth class, and boy do I feel enlightened...
Tonight we got to look at all kinds of labor & delivery devices such as the fetal scalp monitor and a set of forceps. You know how when you watch those baby shows on TV and they show the forceps, and you think to yourself "there's no way those are that big"--well, I'm here to report that the forceps are every bit as large and scary as they appear on TV.
We also got to watch a video of some live births, shot in the 80's if the hairstyles were any indication. My favorite couple was the chick with the David Lee Roth 'do married to the guy with the mullet. The video wasn't any more graphic or disturbing than watching a live birth on the Discovery Channel or TLC. And I don't think it was as informative as "Birth Day" on the Discovery Channel.
The best part of the video had to be our instructor's commentary after the thing was over...especially when she compared the delivery of one baby to "arriving on a waterslide". I don't know if it's because she's a soldier and a nurse or if it's just her personality, but she does like to tell us gross and disturbing stories. Maybe she's just handing out little doses of reality to all of the 18 year-old-moms-to-be. It's hard to tell.
Watching other women in labor always brings to mind the question of how I'll handle it. I'm going to go ahead and assume that I'll be a wimpy whiny mess, and that way if I handle it better I'll be really pleased with myself.
It's all about low expectations, people.

Observation: Sunday Afternoon

I was making dinner, I looked out the window and noticed two young men meandering across our neighbors back yard with a 4-foot long, bright yellow pick axe.

What does this mean?

Monday, October 11, 2004


So, for the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying the thrilling ride of false labor, which goes a little something like this:
Me: (sharp intake of breath) mph!
Aaron: What?! What's wrong?! What is it?!
Me: oooh...contraction.
Aaron: Does it hurt?
Me: yes.
Aaron: (writes down time)
(Repeat this scene at 10 minute intervals for 2 hours)
And then the contractions miraculously stop.
The doctors and nurses and nurse-practioners and pregnancy books all tell you to go to labor and delivery when your contractions are 5 minutes apart for 1 hour. And every time the contractions start I think to myself "this could be it!".
Up until now, of course. We've filled four notebook pages marking down contractions that are 10 minutes apart; one night we even had contractions that were 5 minutes apart for a half hour before they stopped altogether.
I've come to believe that my uterus is taunting me.
It is showing me that it is fully capable of contractions, but that it has no intentions of relieving me from all of those glorious late-pregnancy symptoms: back pain, heartburn, swelling (are those my toes or mini marshmallows?), ravenous hunger at 3am, frequent urination, and hemorrhoids (bastards!).
People who tell you that pregnancy is beautiful are lying.
Lying through their artificially whitened teeth.
Pregnancy is an awe-inspiring, miraculous thing, to be sure. But anything that involves hemorrhoids and heartburn cannot, in my book, be labeled as beautiful.
I have my 38-week check-up on Wednesday and I so desperately want to hear the words "You're at 4 centimeters, go check in".
Sometimes wishful thinking is the only kind I have.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Nesting Instincts

For a certain group of people (hey gals!) the word "nesting" is a euphemism for the process of creating a baby, rather than the frenzied cleaning of a very pregnant woman. Unfortunately for them, this post is about the crazy things I have found myself doing in the name of cleanliness.
In no particular order:
1. I took apart and cleaned the interior of the vacuum cleaner because it did not meet my carpet-cleaning standards. I cleaned the filters and actually cleaned the vacuum cleaner itself (with 409 and paper towels) until it was sparkly. (see how it sparkles!)
2. I cleaned the downstairs bathroom. By which I mean that I scrubbed the grout in between the shower tiles with a toothbrush and cleaned the floors BY HAND because I just didn't think the mop would do it right.
3. I dry-dusted and Pledged the UNDERSIDES of the coffee tables in the living room.
4. I reorganized the pantry into a system that is logical only to me.

I have been tempted (but have not yet succumbed) to
1. Alphabetize the spice cabinet--I've done it before.
2. Bathe the cats--I've done this before too, but with less pleasant results.
3. Tear up the ratty living room carpet and put down one of those neat inter-locking carpet systems they keep showing in Home Depot adverts. (Seeing as how this house is a rental, I don't think the realty company would be inclined to return our deposit should I proceed with this plan)
4. Pull down the "wallpaper" in the bathroom and paint it. I say "wallpaper" because I have a sneaking suspicion that it is actually contact paper masquerading as wallpaper.
5. Purchase entirely new bedding for our bedroom. This would cause a minor stroke in my husband, which is the only thing that keeps me from doing it. But every time I walk past the bedding section in any retail facility I am sorely tempted by the suzy-homemaker-demons.

I have been really restless for the past 24 hours. I don't know if it's the fact that it's been raining since 2pm Saturday, or that I'm in the "keeping busy" stage of grief (see the "Black Friday" post for more info), or if I'm actually nesting. At any rate, the house is getting cleaner.
And now, it's time for pie.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Black Friday

Sadness is the hallmark of today.
We have lost our dear littlest cat Khurplunque (aka Plunky). He was hit by a car last night, and as a result suffered severe nerve damage in his hindquarters. To make losing him easier, I have composed a letter to our booger, which I will post here.

Dear Plunky,
I am sorry that you were in pain and I am sorry that there was not more that we could do for you.
You were nice to have around and I will miss you. I liked the way you would sit outside the front door and meow until someone let you in. I like how you would sometimes sleep under the covers with me. I will miss watching you chase bugs, especially flies. You were an excellent bug-catcher. I will miss seeing you and Jacko nap together. I liked the way that you meowed when you wanted to be picked up and carried like a baby. I liked the way you would scoop food from the food bowl for yourself so you didn’t have to wait in line to eat--That was pretty clever.
I will not miss you waking me up with your cold paws, or the way you sometimes felt the need to be in the bathroom with me when I had to pee. I will not miss your habit of tearing open 20-pound bags of cat food just because you could. I will not miss the way you terrorized Lunchbox and Jacko when all they wanted was to relax. I will not miss your habit of meowing loudly from other parts of the house for no reason. I will not miss your habit of climbing the screen door…it’s a door, not a rock wall at the gym, dude. I will not miss your affinity for tearing up paper towels or rolls of toilet paper. I will not miss you clawing at the furniture.
I will miss your sleepy yellow-green eyes right after naptime, and the way you were always so excited to see us when we got up in the mornings. I will miss your gutter-purr. I will miss your affections and I will miss you. You were a good cat.
With Love,

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Today has been a good day, present-wise. (I think I may have broken my desk, but that's another story for another time)
If someone had said to me, waay back in February when we were trying to make a baby, that the only reason that we were trying to have a baby was for the presents I would have been righteously indignant.
Now I'm thinking that having a baby is an excellent reason to get presents! I've received all kinds of stuff for our squirmy--and I have had the fun of opening the presents, and remarking on how cute the presents are. That's the best thing about presents for your baby--who cares if it's not something you'd pick out--YOU don't have to wear it. And it's all so cute and tiny!
Today was probably the mother lode, however. I received a box of stuff by mail from my sorority sisters (this is a bonus that they never mention before you join), and then there was the baby shower I attended which was hosted by the officer's wives coffee group. (My husband is in the Army, and therefore I am a moderately supportive officer's wife)
Oh! The cuteness, you would not believe!
All sorts of rompers and jammies and that make noise (so we'll just see about those). It's hard to grasp that the squirming, kicking being in my uterus will one day be HERE and big enough to wear a size 12-18 pounds.
In the meantime I'll be washing and folding and writing thank-you cards...and discouraging my husband from trying to dress up the cats in baby clothes.
Hooray! Presents!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Monkey Trees

"Sorry there's no vegetables with dinner tonight--I figured pasta sauce is made with tomatoes, so that counts"
"You mean meatloaf isn't a vegetable?"
"No, it doesn't grow on trees"
"What if it was made of monkeys?"
"Well, you can't plant monkey trees, so even then, no"

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Not a one-trick pony!

Hello, All!
Tonight we had our very first childbirth class at the hospital...the Army hospital where our little squirmy will make his entrance into this world. (This post contains the word "cervix" and "uterus"--if you're squeamish: TURN BACK NOW!)

The major theme of tonight's class was, of course, the female reproductive system, and how it not only cradles and nurtures babies, but how it sends them forth (not a one trick pony after all!). It was tonight, for the very first time, that someone compared my uterus (all uteri, really) to a turtleneck sweater. That's right, ladies and gents! Not only does my reproductive system have full baby-growing capabilities, it also feels right at home in a winter wardrobe. I think the analogy was a memorable one, but I don't know that it explains the birth process--of course I can't give you the hand gestures that accompanied this bizarre metaphor, but I'm sure your imagination will figure it out in time. The point was to explain how the cervix changes in preparation for delivery.... Tonight only covered the early phase of labor (dilation to 4 cm), true labor vs. false labor, when to come to the hospital, what happens when you get there, the methods of delivery, and pain management.

I did learn a few comforting things whilst at our educational soiree....
1. The Army hospital does fewer cesarean sections than the national average. The nurse speculated that this was due to most mothers being younger and more active than the mothers delivering in civilian hospitals. But what it said to me was that the hospital doesn't do c-sections without a good reason. (insert great, big, giant sigh of relief here)

2. The anesthesiologist does epidurals for a majority of the births. I don't want an inexperienced anesthesiologist--do you?

3. The Post Partum unit employs more security than your average airport, thereby ensuring that babies don't go running off with the gypsies. I don't know that this is a problem, but it's nice to know that the Army isn't taking any chances with mislaid newborns. All infants are equipped with LoJack, and much like the one in your car, you'll be refunded for the cost of the LoJack should they fail to recover your stolen baby.

And then I heard a few more things I already knew...

After that it was time for "relaxation techniques". I could tell by then that Aaron's patience was starting to go--it was, after all, hour number 2. So whilst the rest of the class was relaaaaxing, I was trying not to laugh out loud at my goofy husband who was trying to impress me with his vast knowledge of barnyard animals: "A cow says moo". We're in for good times when this baby turns into a toddler.
Next week we get to watch a movie and do more relaxation...I just hope it's not Hidalgo, because I've seen that one already.

Monday, October 04, 2004


We don't really get seasons in this town--there's hot, rainy, cold, rainy, and hot again.... I don't want to jinx it, but I do believe that rainy-between-hot-and-cold has arrived (as opposed to rainy-between-cold-and-hot). It started early this morning (3:30am) with a tremendous thunderstorm--the kind of thunderstorm that wakes a baby in utero. And while I was treated to the sights, sounds, and smells of the storm through the open bedroom window I was treated to knees and elbows and shoulders in my belly. It was an interesting combination, but it didn't deter me from enjoying the storm. It rained until 8:30 this morning, making it the perfect gloomy morning for books and hot chocolate. When I lived on the East Coast, fall and spring were my two favorite seasons, and I find that I pine for them here on the edge of the plains. I have come to enjoy the rainy season because it means open windows, fewer bugs and an end to the heat of summer...or the cold of winter. And now that I don't have to get up in the mornings and go to work, I can enjoy rainy days without ever being cold and miserable. (hooray!) October is quickly becoming my favorite of the 12 available months from which we can choose.
Of course, as a giant pregnant lady, I can't enjoy the dip in temperatures as much as I'd like because I'm overly warm ALL THE TIME. Especially at night, when I've been sleeping less and less as a result of frequent trips to the bathroom and assassination attempts by our cats.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the ways of cats, they enjoy sleeping in warm places...and an overheated pregnant lady is about as warm as it gets.
So there I will be, slumbering away as best I can, and the whisker-faced beasties will slink onto the bed and lie pressed up against me, usually in the leg region. Do you have any idea how much heat can be produced by three cats? A cat's normal body temperature is between 100 and 103 degrees--multiply that by three cats and I’m basically sleeping in an oven. But this is not what leads me to believe that they are making attempts on my life. Even though I will physically move them to the other side of the bed and they will migrate back over to my side. No no--I am referring to their desire at 3:30 in the morning to be let outside. Again, for those of you unfamiliar with cats: cats truly believe that the world revolves around them and we are merely here to do their bidding. Which means they will devise all manner of obnoxious behaviors to get what they want.
Wanting to go outside in the middle of the night is pretty annoying all by itself...but here's the clincher--they wait until I have made my 3am potty break, gotten my giant and ungainly body back into bed and have just about dozed off before they announce that there is a time to go out, and that time is NOW. That time is now, until I actually get out of bed, walk to the front door and open it. And then I have a living room full of cats who have discovered that they have the dirtiest paws in the history of all felines everywhere. You may think that this is the time to go back to bed--but you would be wrong! Because as soon as you settle back into bed, you have one cat at the window rattling miniblinds, and two cats at the foot of the bed making kitty-wrestling noises. What I wind up doing is standing in the door of our house in my underwear, waiting on 3 cats who may or may not decide to go outside before I pick them up and put them outside. I am doing all of this in the dark (because I'm in my underwear), without the ability to see my feet, in my underwear (because I've been sleeping in the kitty-oven). The number of things that could go wrong with that scenario are too large to count! It's like a Hitchcock film waiting to happen, if he ever made a movie about an international gang of cat-assassins whose main character flaw was badly timed fastidiousness.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Debate Presidencial

Firstly, a confession:
I am not registered to vote. There's a number of factors to this one, all of which will be waved aside by women's rights groups or by my father, the lawyer. Let's just say it boils down to this: I'm living in a state where "liberal" is a dirty word, and there is a billboard on one of the main drags that says "Repent! Vote Republican!"
Yes, I am afraid of torch-wielding villagers.
And now, the story:
Although I am not registered to vote, I felt a need to watch the Presidential Debates. I watched them 4 years ago, when I did vote and it made no difference (I've got to move to a Democratic state). From watching the debates I have 2 observations.
Number 1: The candidates were much better behaved than they were during the Gore vs. Bush II debates. Anybody else remember all that eye-rolling and heavy sighing? I'm surprised that Gore didn't get offered a spot on a soap opera after the election was over, such was the caliber of his acting.
Number 2: Presidential Debates are much more entertaining when you watch them in a language you don't speak. After an hour of the debate in English, I switched to Telemundo (the fabulous all-Spanish channel). It's much easier to listen to the boys argue when you can't make out what it is they're saying due to the simultaneous translation that occurs. And I don't know about you, but I LOVE the translators' voices. They put me in mind of the dubbed-over black and white Japanese horror flicks that used to be such a staple of Saturday-afternoon television.
If you're looking for an entertaining mindless afternoon, tune to Telemundo when they're playing an American movie dubbed over in Spanish. The other day I caught the tail end of the Thomas Crown Affair, and Pierce Brosnon's dubbed voice was just too wonderful! It sounded like it was done by an actor who could crush Pierce in the palm of his hand.
In summary: Telemundo is good, Debates were better than the last time, I'm not registered to vote (sorry, Dad. Sorry, Ms. Cady Stanton and Ms. Anthony).

Friday, October 01, 2004

36 weeks!

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment, in my efforts to be a good uterus for this baby. It was the 36 week check up, wherein you get tested for group B strep (for more info on that, go to a medical website), you get to pre-admit to labor & delivery (mmm, paperwork), and they check your cervix for the first time in 6 months.
And hooray!! My cervix is getting ready to spit this baby out into the world! Soon there will be no more wondering who's toes he's got, or if he has a cleft chin like his dad. Soon there will be tiny hands and feet to hold, instead of just watching them slide around under my skin.
But that also means that soon I'll be getting up in the middle of the night to feed and change him, instead of just going to the bathroom. And soon there will be another human that is dependent on us for survival.
It's an awe-inspiring thing....
But for right now, I'm completely focused on those little hands and feet.

(photo) Here's Adrian's tiny little hand, and the top of his head, in my uterus. June 15, 2004. Posted by Hello