Thursday, December 5, 2013

This post might have TMI

In the final stretches of this pregnancy, there is simply nothing left for me to do but lie awake at 3 a.m. re-writing the rap songs that are stuck in my head, transforming them into pregnancy anthems. For example:

To the tune of "Thrift Shop":
Ba-da, ba-baby, ba-baby, ba-baby, ba-baby...
Eight o'clock's my time to crash,
and I got plenty tissue in my pocket
I-I'm hormonal, looking for a toilet
This is freaking awesome.

That last line would be absolutely dripping with sarcasm. Obvi.

I kind of want to make a sweet youtube video of super-pregnant me dancing around a thrift shop and then rushing to vomit in one of the nastiest bathrooms on the planet (have you ever been in a thrift store bathroom? They rival Middle Eastern gas stations, in terms of nastiness.) But the problem is, I have no video-making skills whatsoever, I'm not sure how to get a karaoke version of "Thrift Shop," I can't really sing, I definitely can't rap,  I have no video camera or editing software, I'm kind of self-conscious about appearing in public on film, and also--this is the critical point--I don't really want to get up.

In spite of all these obstacles, I am still managing to pass a pretty good amount of time daydreaming about how amazingly awesome this youtube video would be, and how it would definitely go viral and then I would make a million dollars off of ad revenue. Also, I would get to appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show. (I love her.)

In other news, I had yet another ob/gyn appointment today, during which...wait. You may not want to know this part. We may not be close enough friends for you to handle the information I am about to share here, on the Internet...which is forever. Feel free to navigate away from this page now, and go google something else to keep you entertained. I recommend "Thrift Shop."

Still here?

Okay, today at my ob/gyn appointment, the doctor swabbed my butt with a q-tip.

That's right, folks. Around this time in pregnancy, the Strep B culture happens. Which sounds like it's going to be fine, because Strep usually involves your throat. You might read about how you'll have to get this test and be all, "Oh, Strep! I got tested for that before! The doctor swabbed my tonsils and I gagged a little."

Ha-ha! As if anything about pregnancy were that easy. No, kids, when you get to 36 weeks of pregnancy, and the doctor explains she is going to check you for Strep B, that means you have to take off your pants.

My theory is that, at 36 weeks, you're so close to labor that the doctor is trying to prepare you for this fact: In a short amount of time, you will poop in full view of a small crowd of strangers. Pregnant women of the world, be warned! There is simply no way you are going to push out an eight-pound human without pushing out a few other things as well.

This wouldn't be so bad if you never, ever had to see any of those people in the delivery room ever again. You could, perhaps, then convince yourself that it never happened. That it was all a bad dream, or a hallucination brought on in your 24th hour of labor.

But unfortunately, this is going to happen in front of the Husband, whom you will see almost every day for the rest of your life. A few weeks ago, I worked up the courage to ask him whether that had really happened...the pooping. Right in front of him. On the table. Yep, he said.

Oh no.

So there goes my chance of convincing my husband that I'm like one of those girls out of the J. Crew catalogue, or maybe a ballerina of some sort... you know, the girls who like, never poop. This was pretty much my main goal over the first five years of our relationship.

And now, I've admitted it to the entire Internet.

Oh well. At least my blog is not even remotely popular. I'll comfort myself with that.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Labor Magic Eight Ball

So other than the baby at the end of this ordeal, there are not that many cool things about pregnancy. Some people disagree. There are women out there right now like, "OMG, I just like, looooooved being pregnant! My skin was so perfect! My hair was so thick! I totally loved knowing a miracle was growing inside of me!"

Personally, I prefer my miracles to involve less vomit. I mean, some vomit. But like, maybe not almost every night of the week at the 33 week mark.

But yesterday something actually cool happened in my pregnancy (again, other than the whole human-growing-beneath-my-ribcage thing). I was lying in the bath, when all of the sudden, my stomach experienced a landslide.

Like, the whole top of my stomach just gave way and sunk back to what looked almost like pre-pregnancy levels. And then the whole bottom part of my stomach suddenly grew a couple inches.

It was so sci-fi.

So the baby dropped, meaning that now I don't get completely winded doing strenuous physical activities such as finding and putting on my shoes.

This was the cue for me to start playing what I call Labor Magic Eight Ball, when you start to go absolutely insane searching for clues as to when this baby is going to Get Out Already.

Pregnant women play this when they are so desperate for pregnancy to be over that they'll wish for something that completely re-defined my pain scale. (My pain scale used to be, "1 to 10, how bad do you feel?" Now it's, "1 to Labor, how bad do you feel?" at which point I ask myself, "Hm, do I wish my husband would actually shoot me in the head in order to stop the pain? Guess I'm not at a Labor level of pain then."

Labor Magic Eight Ball is based on the ridiculous premise that you can somehow predict when you might go into labor based on things as subjective as "Nesting." (As in, "Today I felt like vacuuming! That never happens....Am I about to go into labor?!?!")

Babies, in my experience, are about as predictable as the desert island on Season 1 of Lost. Like, just when you start to think you have it figured out, Polar Bear.

But this doesn't stop women from playing Labor Magic Eight Ball, because waiting for labor is like watching grass grow with a bowling ball sitting on your bladder. You gotta do something to pass the time.

Oh, Magic Eight Ball, when shall I go into labor?
Answer: Probably never.

How to Play Labor Magic Eight Ball:
1. Start plugging random symptoms into Google, such as "baby dropped how long until labor."

2. Read a whole lot of Yahoo! answers on the subject, because every desperate pregnant woman on the planet is on Yahoo! for some reason.

3. Some people went into labor the next day; others waited five weeks; others were totally induced 2 weeks past the due date. If you happen to be a hopeful person, you can go ahead and feel optimistic about the 5-week thing happening to you, but if you're a pessimist go ahead and count on the longest pregnancy possible.

4. UNLESS you have other new symptoms to report to Google. I won't go into details here, but Yahoo! will, excruciatingly.

5. So now you can do some extremely complicated algebraic equation to determine when you might (please please PLEASE God) go into labor, but only AFTER you have read every single answer about every single symptom on Yahoo!

6. All of this is about as reliable as a Magic Eight Ball, so if you owned one of those, you could probably waste a lot less time with this business.

Monday, November 11, 2013


You guys, I just unwrapped a root-beer flavored Dum Dum sucker left over from Halloween to power me through writing this post, and it was legitimately half-gone, like the candy mold hadn't been filled properly or something. I am so totally bummed. Also, now I'm not sure how I'm going to make it all the way through this post.

Hey, but guess what happened to me last weekend? I turned the big 3-0, and I'm just pleased as punch about it.

Apparently this isn't like the standard for hitting a "big something-0" birthday. Apparently, the standard is this:

Step one: Wake up on the "big something-0" birthday with a sinking feeling of dread, like you have to go get a root canal, or like you have to go to the DMV. But no, you don't. In fact, you'll probably get cake at some point in the next 24 hours, but apparently, this doesn't matter to you, because OMG, you are officially old.

Step two: At some point in the day, you are going to shower. And then you're going to stand in front of the bathroom mirror with your hair up in a towel and decide, unequivocally, that the years have not made anything on your body firmer, skinnier, or smoother. Feel totally bummed; maybe even teary--it's a day for a lot of hormonal swings. (You probably won't remember to note that when your body was its firmest, skinniest, and smoothest, you were in high school, and that is not exactly a time you'd like to repeat. Unless you do want to repeat it. In which case I officially think you're kind of maybe like a little bit pathetic. I'm sorry. Someone had to tell you.)

Step three: Spend all day feeling depressed, especially when people walk up congratulating you, wishing you a happy day, as if they had not noticed the Grimm Reaper's scythe swinging ever closer to your tender little neck.

Step four: Get really drunk at your birthday party and cry into your cake. It's over. Your young, hot, exciting days are through, and all you have to look forward to from this day out are Depends and pureed meatloaf. I mean, I know it's your party and you'll cry if you want to. But seriously, you are ruining the mood.

So I don't really feel the need to go through those steps.The Me of the 30s is way too cool, too carefree, too wearing-whatever-crazy-hat-I-like to waste time with those morbid flights of fancy. I decided, instead, to get really excited about my cake (Um, apple cinnamon cheesecake, made from scratch by that Hubs of mine, who is legitimately the best ever.) Also, I'm kind of really happy not to be in my 20s anymore.

Here are some things that happened in my 20s:
--I moved nine times, and that's not counting the times I moved somewhere for just a summer, which would bring the grand total up to 13, I think. I'm not sure, because it's legitimately hard to keep track. Guys, I hate moving. Moving eats my soul and then craps it onto my shoe. I am so glad to be done with that for a long, long time.
--I got my heart broken, twice, on purpose.
--I worked 10 different jobs. I liked less than half.
--I made a whole new set of friends in a whole new city no less than six times. Sounds great, except it means I also lost a whole new set of friends no less than six times.

All in all, I would say the twenties were pretty tumultuous. I mean, some fabulous things happened. I met the best guy ever, who makes me homemade cheesecake on my birthday, and somehow he decided he wanted to marry me(!) Also, I had my daughter, who is the pride and joy of my life, and I used to think that phrase "pride and joy of my life" was kind of lame until I had her and realized that it was so true.

But I'm so over the twenties. Bring it on, thirties. Bring it on.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Things That Go Beep in the Night

Seriously, one of the absolute best things about being married is that I have someone to shake awake at 3 a.m. when any of the following happen:

  • I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is an axe murderer in the hall closet. Axe murderers love my hall closet. They have actually constructed a secret passage into the hall closet that bypasses our house security system and can be accessed by pressing a hidden button on a whomping willow 30 feet away (What's up all you Harry Potter dorks who got that reference??) In general, when the axe murderers arrive, I will alert my dear husband, who will arm himself with something like a vase from Ikea and go patrolling the house in his pajama pants, throwing open doors and calling back to me "No bogeyman here!" (We have yet to catch any axe murderers, but he DID once catch some people trying to break into our house...he did not use the vase on them.)
  • I suddenly realize that some Important Paperwork has to be mailed, um, tomorrow, and I can't remember my husband's social security number for the life of me (as if I ever knew it), and I have to have it so I can drop this at the post office first thing, and I cannot possibly go back to sleep until it's finished and ready to go. And then, since he's up anyway and all, I ask him when our car last got an oil change, because I feel like it's been a while since we did that and I don't want to break down on the way to the post office or anything, and that reminds me that the movie we got from the library is due and can he please think and tell me where it might be? The fact that my husband has not left me after four and a half years of crap like this is probably the best evidence I have that he really, really loves me.
  • There are Unidentified Noises in the kitchen. UN can usually be attributed to the cat, but have also been attributed to the faulty balancing of our crap on top of the microwave, or to the ghost that used to live in our bathroom. (Um, shout-out to Jesus, to whom I am eternally grateful for making the ghost leave. So now our bathroom is officially un-haunted.)
Last week, though, just in time for Halloween, we had the most annoying UN of life. I woke up at like 1:30 or so, right on schedule, to pee. (My egg-o is so pregg-o.)

Of course, I could not fall back asleep; I just laid there for like half an hour wondering whether I should pierce my nose. (Probably not, right? I mean, wouldn't it be a pain whenever you have a cold, and I have had a cold for like the last 800 years. The only thing is, I would look really cute with a pierced nose; you can't even argue with that.)

I've found that the best remedy for insomnia at 2 a.m. is to watch a movie that wishes it was the Bourne Identity but isn't. Netflix has plenty of those suckers on tap. In general, the plot is this: Guy (or very occasionally, Gal) has a normal life for about three minutes before all of the sudden everyone he sees is trying to shoot him, or maybe strangle him if they get close enough. I find these movies incredibly soporific. I don't know what it is: Maybe it's just the fact that all of these movies have exactly the same plot and therefore no suspense. Maybe it's the fact that there is never, ever any character development to keep me interested. Maybe it's just that I find the sound of screeching tires soothing.

Unfortunately, however, just as I was beginning to get really, really drowsy during the scene where the Guy escapes like six people with machine guns in a parking garage, I heard it. The UN.




At this juncture, the Hubs made a classic mistake: He stirred and mumbled something that sounded like "Isamerchabom." Luckily, I understood that what he meant was "Please wake me up to help you solve the mystery of the beeping."

"Honey, what is that noise?" I asked. The microwave? A dying electronic something? The axe murderer, who had given up on axes and decided that bombs were really the way to go?

"It's the smoke detector."

"Oh." I said.

And then, because my husband is the best husband on the face of the planet, he threw aside the covers and went out into the hall, reached up, and took the battery out of the smoke detector.

The beeping stopped. He came back to bed. We both snuggled up, and then....the UN started again.




"Um, I thought you took the battery out?"

"I did. It must be a different one."

"Which different one? Where do we have a different one?"

"In the basement."


So he got up, again. And I swear to you, I swear on the cheap yellow necklace that I recently got at the thrift store and is now my favorite thing in the entire jewelry box, the beeping stopped the second he got out of bed. And started the second that he got back in.

That happened twice. After removing two batteries.

"This is like Chinese water torture," Marc said. Yes. Yes it was.

It was as if a tiny goblin came to our house and kept making the beeping sound whenever Marc got into bed, and then the goblin stopped the beeping and hid in the hall closet the second Marc got out of bed. Seriously, Goblin, best prank ever. I started thinking maybe Marc was lying on something in bed that was making the beeping sound, because it only happened when he was in bed.

So we decided to do what any logical people would do in such a scenario, and get ourselves some cereal.

Also, I finished the movie. It ended like they always do.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Frugal Moms: Meet Your Worst Enemy

Spoiler alert: It's me versus Target in the battle for frugality, and She's winning. (Yes, I just referred to Target using a female pronoun. I feel that Target has a distinctly female personality. If Target were to be cast in a movie, She would be played by Meryl Streep, who would resurrect her character in "The Devil Wears Prada" almost exactly, except the title of the movie would be "The Devil Wears A Cute Little Sundress Printed with Cherries and OMG It's Also on Clearance for Like $27!")

Target is a dangerous, dangerous place for a gal on a budget. I went in last weekend (more specifically, I waddled in, because I am third-trimester humong-o, and my stride has begun resembling that of a penguin with blistered toes. I wish humans were amphibious and I could just swim places.) Anyhoo, I can't find my winter hat; I think it might be lost for good in the black hole that is my basement. My ears have started voicing concerns about frostbite, and I got myself a hankerin' for a Target Field Trip.

The first rule of a Target field trip is not to take your husband, unless he is equally into pulling random clothing from hangers and exclaiming, "Oh my gosh, I've totally been dying for a sweater in this color!" Husbands, in my experience, are not likely to agreeably gush over a striped, slate-gray cardigan, especially if it's the 16th thing you've pulled off the rack in the first thirteen minutes of your trip, and you aren't there to look at sweaters, you're there to get a hat, and the women's clothing section isn't even near the hat section (which he won't find out 'til you tell him later, another revelation that is unlikely to make him rejoice).

Luckily for me, my friend Hannah came over this weekend. And Hannah, like yours truly, believes Target to be like an amusement park for the materialistic side of your personality. You know, the side that usually lurks beneath a heavy curtain of frugality but occasionally likes to come out and ride the roller-coaster of "Should I buy it? Should I not buy it? It's on clearance!"

So we went. She parked the car beneath the sign with its glossy promises of how we could Expect More! And Pay Less! (You'll notice there is no qualifier there--pay less than where? Because the Hubs definitely wanted me to get my hat at a thrift store.) Hannah walked and I waddled in, breathily gasping for her to slow down just a smidge (you quite tall, non-pregnant, speed-walking woman on a mission, you).

And oh! The bright lights! The shiny packaging! The posters of gorgeous people frolicking around in Isaac Mizrahi! All of them are always laughing, except in the men's section, where they're staring at you like you are Scarlett Johanssen, and tugging at the collars of their $29.99 fleece pullovers.

You can't get to anything in Target without passing absolutely everything else. This is the sheer genius of that sly Meryl-Streep-y fox. You can't look at hats without looking at the scarves that hang seductively below them. You can't look at the scarf-and-hat combo in the mirror without noticing the earrings that glitter beneath those sparkling lights, and gosh-darned if the earrings don't totally make that look. And you can't go and ask your friend what she thinks about the scar-hat-earrings combo without seeing that peacock-blue-colored pea coats are on sale, just when peacock happens to be your favorite color, not to mention your daughter's second favorite animal, and if that's not fate, I don't know what is.

The absolute most dangerous thing in Target is that one section right by the entrance of the store: the cheap crap for a buck section. I stinkin' love cheap crap for a buck. I could spend 1/48th of my day ogling cheap crap for a buck. It's always rotating! It's always holiday-themed! On my most recent trip, I purchased googly eyes and also a package of fall-themed stickers, because I am biologically incapable of going to Target without buying something for my toddler, even if she's not there whining for it. I narrowly avoided buying the following:

  • a package of magnets with seemingly hand-drawn leaves and pumpkins and cups of steaming coffee on them, printed with such soul-soothing revelations as: "Autumn warmth."
  • a packet of stickers with "rosemary" and "basil" and "oregano" printed in script, which is of course like an endangered animal in this computer age. (I mean, do you remember how to make a cursive S?)
  • a skull-shaped container of orange nail polish. 
  • a piece of felt cut into the shape of a pumpkin. I seriously spent five minutes trying to figure out what I could possibly do with a die-cut felt pumpkin (craft pumpkin puppet? create educational pumpkin activity?). Alas, my creativity ran short, and also I was tired of standing up. So that was the end of that.
In all, I left with a teensy-tiny bag of Target purchases that still ended up costing $44.73. No matter how tiny the Target bag you leave with, you will always, always have a bit of a shock at the register.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pregnancy FAQ: Given to you straight

What to Expect When You're Expecting may be the Pregnancy Bible, but I'm telling you, that book will not give it to you straight.

Luckily, I will. I am here to answer all your pregnancy questions, just like What to Expect, except, um, honest-er. (Also, I stole these questions from WebMD, which is always convincing me I have cancer, so I feel like they owe me one.)

Q: What should I do in preparation for getting pregnant?

A: Invest heavily in granny panties, flannel pajamas, and the least sexy bras you can find. There is a reason there's no such thing as a maternity thong.

Q: What should and shouldn't I eat when I'm pregnant?

A: "Shoulds" include anything that you're craving so bad it's like your body is going to throw-down and have a huge hormonal tantrum if you don't eat it in the next 20 minutes BUT you do NOT currently have said item in the house. This becomes even more of a "should" if it happens to be 2 a.m. Go to the store. Get the salt and vinegar chips and coconut-chocolate ice cream and eat them in the car, using the chips as a spoon. This is the only time in your life when this act will not be perceived as a reason to see a therapist.

"Should nots" include anything super-nutritious that anyone spent an hour preparing but then, upon that first bite, you realize you're probably going to throw up if you continue to consume. DO NOT swallow that first bite. Spit it into a napkin. Trust me.

Q: Are there activities I should steer clear of when I'm pregnant?

A: High school reunions. Also, meth.

Q: How can I safely exercise when I'm pregnant?

A: Wrong question. The correct question is: Where can I find a sports bra that will fit correctly while I'm pregnant? And the answer is: Nowhere.

Q: What can I do to relieve or prevent pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, leg cramps, and hemorrhoids?

A: Have the baby.

Q: When should I call my doctor between regular prenatal visits?

A: When your bladder goes on furlough in the middle of the night and you think maybe your water broke but really you just peed yourself; when you slip in the mud and break a flip-flop and fall hard on the concrete but not on your belly thank God but you're still worried that the baby might be hurt; when you haven't felt the baby kick for hours and hours and you're freaking out because of that one story you read online during pregnancy loss awareness month but as soon as you get to the doctor's the baby starts doing the macarena; when your back starts cramping weirdly, and it is totally rhythmic and you read that's a sign of labor but upon taking the doctor's advice to lie down you realize you're not actually in labor, you're just tired of doing dishes; and when you need a prescription for something you didn't know you could get over-the-counter.

Q: How can I make a birth plan for labor and delivery?

A: By deluding yourself into thinking you have even a modicum of control over what will happen to you.

Q: How can I prepare for breastfeeding?

A: Wear nothing but a shawl over your bare chest in a coffee shop and ask your partner to suddenly flip it up at random intervals.

...I would tell you more, ladies, but the child is crying. This is how most of my blog posts end, anyway.

Also, I've decided to include a moderately relevant picture:

I thought about including a picture of the bump, but this one had more confetti.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My tot says "vagina"--get over it

Recently, my toddler found out that Mama has a uterus, but Daddy doesn't. She seemed a little concerned for him, like, "Good gracious, Daddy, where did your uterus go?" 

The conversation between her and Daddy went like this:

Sweet Pea: Lifts up Daddy's shirt, inspects his very flat stomach. "Daddy, baby?"

Daddy: No, Daddy doesn't have a baby.

Sweet Pea: Mama baby?

(Side note: Yes, readers, I'm pregnant. So you can totally blame all weird mood shifts on this blog on that phenomenon.)

Daddy: Yes, Mama has a baby in her uterus.

(Side note: We generally do not believe in the phrase, "Mama has a baby in her tummy." Food goes in your tummy, babies don't. Babies belong in uteruses, and there is simply no reason not to give accurate information just because the audience isn't even toilet trained yet. In spite of the fact that we emphasize this, my daughter did recently pat my stomach and ask me whether I had eaten the baby. Ah, well, we'll get there.)

Sweet Pea: Seems to consider. Mama, ute-us.

Daddy: Yes, Mama has a uterus.

Sweet Pea: Daddy, no ute-us.

Daddy: Correct.

Now see how age-appropriate and informative that was?

Consider it another step toward our quest to raise a child who knows the anatomical names for all her body parts. Since I'm on the topic, let me go ahead and say that my baby also knows the word vagina. (She says 'gina. It's adorable, actually.)

The fact that my 2-year-old says "vagina" tends to bring out two responses: Nervous giggling or shocked silence. In fact, right now, I bet there are family members reading this who are going to bring this up as a topic of concern in our next phone conversation.

I think the general concern is: "What if she uses that word in an inappropriate context?" (ie. What if your kid embarrasses you? Apparently it's so embarrassing for adults to hear the word 'vagina,' that they'll actually ban representatives from the state house floor for saying it. This coming from a nation where just yesterday, I drove by a billboard that just read, in humongous letters, "SEX," complete with scantily-clad women draped all over some furniture. Apparently references to sex or sexual organs are only okay if a woman is somehow being objectified in the mention.)

Anyway, I am not concerned about my child using the word 'gina in public. I am not even worried that she'll embarrass me. Here's why:

1. I am more concerned that my daughter would need to use that word in an appropriate context, and couldn't because she literally didn't have the language. How can she tell me about a possible health problem if she doesn't have the word "vagina" to describe what hurts? Will she be able to communicate about a UTI? More terrifyingly, how could she tell me about abuse that was happening to her if she was unable to describe why she felt uncomfortable with the way someone touched her? (I shudder to think these thoughts, but hello. In this day and age, we have to arm our children before the fact. And that means, most definitely, giving them the language to communicate their experiences.)

2. If your main concern is not being embarrassed in public, um, have you ever met children? Because even when you're not their parent, and they're not talking about vaginas, they have an incredible skill for embarrassing you. Kids have no problem pointing out your pimples to strangers. Also, they will tell your in-laws about how you and Daddy fought in the car on the way over. They will tell your friends how much money you make. Also, they will tell you you're getting fat. They don't even care. If you don't want to ever be embarrassed in public, you probably shouldn't have children.

3. It's way, way weirder to use "substitute" words with your child. I mean, in choosing between saying, "Let Mama wipe your vagina," and "Let Mama wipe your cookie," I have to say I'm not sure I could even get the latter out of my mouth. I'd feel like such an idiot. Do you really want your toddler to think her vagina is called "cookie"? And wouldn't you feel weird every time your 2-year-old said, "Mama, I want a cookie?" Not to mention how confusing this would be for a child.

4. It isn't shameful for my daughter to have a vagina--but refusing to talk about a body part when she points to it (she's TWO, and curious) communicates that it is shameful for her to have one. Which is equivalent to saying it's shameful for her to be female. Uh-uh. We're not doing that. That kid is fearfully and wonderfully made.

And so, I look forward to many years of public 'gina references that will be teaching opportunities for me. Also hilarious stories later.
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