Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I had the distinct pleasure last night of overhearing my father's fiancee informing someone I don't know (over the phone) that I look huge and she doubts I'll make it to their wedding in three and a half weeks. This left me incredibly pissed off.

First, I don't think I look particularly huge. My fundal height measurements have been on target each week, and my weight gain (23 pounds) has been perfectly within reason, according to my doctor. People still tell me I don't look pregnant from behind. I don't waddle. I can still, for the most part, do the things I used to do, though I do get tired more quickly. How many pregnant people has she been around lately? Her son lives a plane ride away, so I doubt she saw her daughter-in-law during the late stages of her pregnancy (and I know she wasn't there for the birth since she and my dad decided the week her first grandchild was due was a good time to go to Europe, which I would have found incredibly insulting had it been me who gave birth at the time).

Second, and more importantly since I would feel the same way even were I currently huge (which, perhaps, I am), I don't really get why being pregnant somehow makes it acceptable to discuss my size with complete strangers. Were I not pregnant, it would be considered incredibly rude to discuss that topic. I was half inclined to discuss with people while she was within earshot the fact that she walks like an elderly person for no medical reason and that I wonder whether she'll be able to walk down the aisle at her wedding, but, well, I'm not a bitch. She also touched me without permission, which makes me very uncomfortable. PREGNANT PEOPLE ARE NOT PUBLIC PROPERTY!!! No touching and no public commentary, PLEASE.

Am I being overly sensitive? I normally really like this woman but I'm really having trouble getting past this one.

Oh, I added last week's belly shot, so you can judge my current size for yourself. It was at 31w4d, I think.

Lest anyone think I disappeared, we are on vacation for a couple of weeks. Internet access is spotty for now and will be nonexistent next week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Progress on the Room That Shall Not Be Named

Though it wouldn't have been obvious to anyone who knew us, we knew that at some point we were going to have to turn our small room full of junk into a room that someone could live in.

Well, that point came this weekend, as the furniture was delivered on Saturday. Once the furniture was in, P was really gung-ho to get the rest of the room together, as best we could (as was I). We had already painted the room and hung the valance, but we assembled the glider and the mobile and put the bedding on the crib and hung a couple of things on the walls. We still need shelving, and something with which to hang the comforter from the bedding set on the wall, and we don't have the changing pad on the dresser since we don't have a cover for it yet, and the ottoman isn't in there because it makes the tiny room look even more crowded than it does already, but we now have a room someone could live in.

From the door:

Also from the door, but looking right:

From the window, looking at the door:

Standing in front of the dresser:

As you can see, the room is really small (7x11) and therefore really crowded. And the closet, which is also the access to the attic (though it also, rather usefully, has a built-in dresser), is still filled with junk, which is why the door is closed in every picture. But it's a room. And someone could live in it. In fact, we put a stuffed animal in the crib just to give the illusion that someone does live in it (the bear will not actually live in the crib -- it's our fake small person for now).

It really seems rather extraordinary. Since Saturday, P and I have both frequently found ourselves standing in the doorway, looking in, realizing how close we really are. I can't believe we only have two months to go.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bathing in Something

Yesterday, my colleagues threw P and I a surprise baby shower (we don't work together -- they invited him to come over from his office, so it wasn't a surprise for him). It was our first shower, and their generosity was truly amazing. We got so much stuff -- they all chipped in and got us our Pack N Play (and a sheet for it), our infant car seat, an extra car seat base, a Snuzzler, a play mat, a few toys, and a bunch of books. We had to use two mail carts to get it all to the car. They made chocolate chip cookies as well as frosted cookies in baby shapes (feet and ducks and letters spelling BABY) and had an ice cream cake. cream cake. I wish I had pictures! The whole thing was truly unreal. And, again, their generosity was beyond compare.

Between the gifts and the stuff we bought for ourselves used (bouncy seat, swing, and high chair), it looks like we live in a combo Graco-Fisher Price factory. Oddly, though, none of it seems real yet. It feels a bit like we're acting as if, going about our business as though we really and truly believe there will be a baby in the end, which I'm not sure I've truly integrated into my world view yet. The crib and dresser are being delivered this weekend, and we'll probably start to set up the small room at that point (since right now it only has a valance and a hamper and a closet filled with junk, which was apparently Ps idea of "cleaning out the room" -- that said, I'm really glad he did it, since clearly I hadn't done it and we really needed to paint). I suspect this all will only exacerbate this suspension of disbelief sensation.

Speaking of showers, our "big" shower (i.e. the friends and family one) isn't until August, by which point I'll be at 35 weeks. I have some serious concerns about this shower, but there isn't much I can do. My mother wanted to plan it, which seemed like the worst possible idea, given her alcoholism and narcissism and whatall. (As a couple of examples from the day she asked to plan it: She suggested doing it at the old folks home my grandmother lives in (because it would be convenient for her, even though it would be inconvenient for us and for all our friends and for all our other relatives, none of whom live near there) -- the same place she said was "too depressing" to spend Mother's Day. She also gave me two dates all summer that she was free -- both while we were on vacation. She had concert tickets for the dates that were best for us and was unwilling to miss one.) So, when she asked if she could plan it, I told her that others had also asked to be involved in planning, then I asked those others to please pretend they had asked to be involved in planning, so as to avoid certain disaster. Thankfully, my MIL and two SILs are wonderful people and are willing to take one for the team (though I think planning something with my mother -- or having to spend more than five minutes with her for any reason -- is my MILs idea of hell, and I can't say I blame her for feeling that way).

In the end, it's unclear who, if anyone, is doing what. I had to find a location and set a time myself, since no one else would. The shower is in 4.5 weeks, but no one has sent invites yet. My MIL seems to have gotten stuck doing them but no one will send her needed addresses (I sent the address list to the four of them four weeks ago, noting that I didn't have a current mailing addresses for a few folks and assigning others to find them -- relatives to the moms and friends to my SIL, since she and my brother got married last year and had to send invites to those folks then. I know they didn't send them since my MIL called me to ask for them and because I had asked them to send them to me too so we would have them as well). My mother keeps calling me with questions (like "what time is the shower" and "has someone sent invitations"). Why is she calling me? Shouldn't she know these things since she is, she claims, PLANNING THE SHOWER? And, if not, why not call my SIL? Or my MIL? Or ANYONE OTHER THAN ME? If my mother was planning it alone, it just wouldn't happen (or would happen on three days notice and no one would come), which makes me incredibly sad. Even with three other people helping, I'm still a little concerned. I should not be filled with dread about this, but it fills me with much angst these days.

I also hate that the stress I feel about it makes me feel like a spoiled brat for thinking I deserve a shower at all, much less a properly-planned and -executed one. I really am thrilled that someone wanted to throw us a shower, and I know our friends are excited to get to be there, since many of them have asked about it (since, you know, they haven't received invites yet). I constantly feel torn between this sense that the whole situation seems sucktastically ridiculous and this sense that I really need to GET OVER MYSELF. Ugh. Poop. And all other expressions that convey my desire to crawl under my desk, curl into a ball, and knock my head lightly against the wall.

Monday, July 7, 2008


So, 30 weeks seems surreal. And that's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Until I was ten or eleven, our family celebrated the Fourth of July the same way every year. We went to the fireworks in our town, arriving early in the day to stake out a good spot on the lawn. We loaded up the Scotch cooler (so called because it was plaid, not as any indication of its contents) with food and drinks and brought blankets to lounge on that we only used on the Fourth of July (even though they were plaid and wool, rather than All American) and a few chairs for adults. We ate cold fried chicken and watermelon because our family friends who we went with brought both, and my brother and I never had fried chicken except with them. I remember hot air balloons and frisbee games and finally being old enough to be allowed to walk around by ourselves and check out the festivities. Sometimes people came via parachute. And the fireworks always seemed amazing -- well worth the long walk back to the car and the slow crawl to get out of the parking lot.

After my family moved, we no longer had a Fourth of July ritual. We went back to Connecticut a few times, but never back to our old town, since the fireworks were for residents only. There are a lot of Fourths that I don't really remember at all, which makes me a little sad, since my memories of my childhood Fourths are so happy.

This year, I decided to do something vaguely festive. I baked an apple pie.

We brought it (still warm) to our friends' place, where we enjoyed the Boston fireworks from their roofdeck (though without the Pops, as the radio up there didn't get AM, which was too bad). I don't see pie on a roofdeck as a likely candidate for our new ritual, but figure it will likely be the last Fourth we have before we start thinking about starting such a new ritual, so pie on a roofdeck it was. I suspect that once we have kids who are old enough to appreciate it, we'll do the Esplanade in full force, spending the full day by the river, eating fried chicken and watermelon (and pie, perhaps). Maybe with family friends and a cooler with a nickname and special Fourth of July blankets. Though likely without a long walk to the car, since Boston fireworks aren't really car-friendly. And with an F-15 flyover rather than hot air balloons. But a ritual nonetheless.

A parting shot of the pie, which didn't look so pristine for long:

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This post is truly boring. Don't say you weren't warned.

I had my 29/30 week appointment yesterday. It was relatively uneventful. I had gained four pounds in twelve days and freaked out a bit, but the midwife told me that my swollen feet/ankles and puffy looking face suggested to her that it was more water than anything else. Her guess was 3.5 pounds of water and .5 of weight. She then gave me suggestions to reduce the swelling, but I'm not sure how much they'll help, since I already drink 1 - 1.5 gallons of water a day and can't really keep my feet up at work (which would only help with the feet/ankles anyway). I think the real key would have been not having Thai for dinner the night before (mmm... Drunken Noodles and Udon Basil Chicken). And cutting back on sodium generally, but she wants me to keep consuming the sodium to keep my blood pressure up. So I may just have to live with retaining a lot of water.

She also thought my neck looked swollen and sent me for bloodwork to check my thyroid levels. (I am sure they will come back normal -- medical people constantly think my neck looks swollen and send me for a thyroid check, and it always comes back normal. Apparently, I just have a thick neck.) And she figured if I was having a blood draw anyway, she'd check on my gallbladder as well (and seems to have added a liver test in as well, since I got the results of that and the gallbladder this morning -- both normal; no results on the thyroid yet).

That's about all that going on around here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reading List

Stuff to Say did this one already. Her count came in at 27.

"The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

Well, let's see.

  1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  2. Italicize those you intend to read.
  3. Underline the books you LOVE.
  4. Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)"

The List:

  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
  34. Emma - Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
  45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  52. Dune - Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So, I'm at 35. Seriously, who are these people who have only read 6? I feel like I should lose points (or have to mark in scarlet in shame) all the books I own but have not read (7), as well as all those that I have started but not finished (3), some many times. I gave these two categories italics (along with a few others) in the hopes of encouraging myself to read these books some time soon.

[Edited to note that I copied the meme from someone who copied the meme who copied the meme and so on and so forth. As best I can tell, no one seems to know the source of the list or how it was compiled or what order the books might be in. I did find an alternate version, published by the BBCs Big Read, which may in part explain what may be an errant link to the NEA's Big Read. If anyone can find any actual sourcing info, let me know, since I'm super curious.]

[Edited again to note that I believe that the Complete Works of Shakespeare is referring to this specific title (or something similar), though I could be wrong.]