Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Revelations

I broke down when we got home from my sister’s house on Christmas. I was feeling the pressure of all the things I’ve been putting off until “after the holidays”. Plus holiday and personality stress like my sister snapping at me earlier that morning and two pairs of Kirk’s brand new Christmas present underpants being accidentally thrown away. I need to feel like we’re making preparations for this baby. I definitely do not feel like Mr. b and I are on the same page as far as baby prep goes and even after talking to him about it I still don’t know that we are. But I did realize that I need to take control over something, anything.

I’ve joked about my procrastination habits for most of my life. I put off everything from school work to sewing projects and it’s continued into my adulthood, to an occasionally detrimental degree. I didn’t bother to submit the rebate paperwork for the dishwasher delivery fee in a timely fashion and we’ll likely miss out on that now. I still haven’t made an appointment for Kirk’s eyes or for my thumb, because neither are immediately critical issues so it’s easy to put off. I can’t allow myself to be so lacking when it comes to housework and homemaking and parenting and being a grown up.

My grandmother gave me a piece of advice that I’ve tried to follow: just do one thing every day so that your chores don’t pile up. The problem is that I’ve become accustomed to certain tasks and count them in lieu of others. Don’t feel like sweeping the floors? Well, how ‘bout I do a load of laundry that could wait until tomorrow instead. I rarely run out of clean clothes for the family to wear but the old stove top was usually a disaster. I recently read the sixth book in the Anne of Green Gable series. In it she’s a grown woman, married to Gilbert and raising their six (surviving) children. And she is constantly working, whether it’s in the garden or sewing something for one of the kids or something else, she is busy. When her friends come to visit they bring their knitting or lace making projects and they sit together and chat while working. Idle time for daydreaming is a luxury to be doled out sparingly. And I realized, I take my idle time for granted and it’s actually doing me a disservice.

I need to keep busy. I have excellent time management skills. At work I can juggle multiple deadlines and beat them easily. When cooking I can nearly always perfectly time out each element of a multi-part meal without actually thinking about it. I’ve known for years now that if I bustle about the house when I first get home from work, picking up or making dinner or something simple, that I’ll get a lot done but if I allow myself to sit on the couch first then the evening is a complete bust. So I obviously need to extend this to the post-dinner hour. Spending time on the internets is great. Watching TV is great. Reading is great. But I need to dial it back and make sure I keep it balanced. For me it’s not idle hands that are the devil’s playground but rather an idle mind. If I’m not focused on something then I start to over-think and over-analyze. Worry. Fret. And just generally freak out about life, the universe, and everything.

This afternoon I read this article about praise and boy did it lock in to place all the pieces of my previous revelation and self-awareness. I absolutely didn't bother to try at things that didn't come naturally. Putting in effort was for suckers and nerds; the "real" smart kids didn't have to work at it and I was always able to easily classify myself with that elitist bent. Besides, it’s not like there was an *actual* A+++ I could earn. (Extra credit? Of course! As long as it was easy.) College was a real wake-up call for me. No longer was Good Enough good enough when I was competing with students that actually tried. My Good Enough was no longer Spectacular in comparison. I do wonder how much of that old attitude is residual in what I now label as my natural procrastination? If I don't start a craft project until it's "due" then the only effort I'm putting in is the bare minimum needed to finish, right? Nothing extra.

I can also see that I already do praise the Captain very specifically. I will tell him that he’s awesome for a defined reason. He pooped in the potty all by himself. Why? Because he’s awesome. I praise him for trying something he’s previously declined to even attempt and give him detailed feedback when he’s particularly polite or does something completely on his own for the first time without prompting from me. I definitely think that must be a subconscious reaction to try to prevent the same thing from happening to him – being overwhelmed by too much adequacy.

I absolutely believe that being Good at too many things but Great at nothing is what has led me to my current I-just-fell-into-this career. I know my mom believes that the same thing happened to her and led to her becoming a teacher, because then she didn’t have to focus. I could never pick a minute enough topic for a dissertation and that was definitely as big of a factor as finances and general dissatisfaction with contract archaeology which allowed me to finally let go of the idea of grad school. And I think it has a lot to do with my inability to pick a career path now. I keep telling myself that I just can’t think about it until after maternity leave. But why? Why can’t I start researching and investigating my options? I’ve had countless job performance reviews where I’ve heard, “You’re just so much smarter than everyone else that it’s intimidating” but no real mentoring advice. So I’m on my own I guess. I need to take this newfound self-awareness and apply it to something more than just doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom and sorting through Kirk’s old baby clothes to find the gender neutral stuff. Intelligence absolutely can be learned. Your brain absolutely can be exercised. I need to believe that I can stop this cycle of just taking the HR mandated promotions as they come and actually earn something. But godsdamn it’s going to be hard. And trying is just so foreign to me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

25 Weeks 6 Days

I had my doctor visit and glucose test yesterday. This time it was fruit punch flavor. The thing about that stuff is...it doesn't start out tasting so bad. And it's only 10 ounces. But you have to drink the whole thing in 5 minutes or less and frankly about halfway through it starts to just be Too Much. Hopefully the fact that I had just had pizza at my holiday lunch at work won't skew my results any. I definitely felt myself crashing once the sugar rush wore off later in the afternoon.

Weight-wise I've shot up 6 pounds since last month. That took me by surprise, though it really shouldn't have. My clothes have been noticeably tighter, even some of the maternity stuff I had saved from before. And I've been eating more. Many of the taste issues I've been having this pregnancy have suddenly lessened. And holy cow those savory breakfasts I've been favoring sure have a way higher calorie count. Plus my salt tooth has come back, though my sweet tooth is still going strong. So basically now I'm having twice the evening snacks since I'll have some chips or popcorn or something first and then move on to the candy or ice cream or cookies. Bad, bad, bad. I need to dial it back.

But hey, at least we have a working oven again! Mr. b found one on Craigslist earlier this week for the cost of the part to fix the old one. So he and my dad went to pick it up this morning and now it's in and I guess I should decide if I need to do any holiday baking or not. Certainly I don't need more sweets around the house. But I wouldn't mind bringing in something to share at work or at least bringing something to my sister's house for Christmas Day dinner.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fa La La La La

Being pregnant during choir season has been a considerably different experience this time than last. In 2004 I had only just found out I was knocked up and by the time we finished our holiday concerts I was still in the first trimester. Sure, the ladies all fussed over me and I didn’t feel 100% the whole time but it was relatively easy to get through.

I didn’t notice how much more difficult it has been this year during our three months of rehearsals. We sit down at practice. We go over trouble spots and have announcements and there’s fuckery between songs and it’s just not that intensive. Being in a concert? You’re standing and singing, nonstop, for an hour. I was fine during our charity concert two weekends ago because that’s a total of 7 songs, broken into two sets. I was mostly OK during the concert at my corporate campus last week but I definitely felt a bit woozy by the end. And then of course I missed the next one when I was recovering from being violently ill.

Monday was when our official, downtown-at-the-big-location shows started. And it was tough to make it to the end. I powered through and was relieved when we were done. I lip-synched through quite a few of the high and sustained spots but still made it. Yesterday? I had to sit down. I just crouched down on the risers and sat during an entire song, figuring that would be good enough. I couldn’t even finish the very next song, even with lip-synching. I left the risers and sat behind the group for the remaining 10 or 15 minutes. It wasn’t just weakness, though I definitely felt like I was going to pass out. I think it was a number of factors. I was hungry (our shows start at Noon). I was tired. It was frickin’ hot as hell in there. My choir clothes are ill-fitting because I don’t have any suitable maternity substitutes. But mostly I think it was the breathing. Being pregnant means you have reduced lung capacity. Physically your lungs are squished up and you can’t take in as much oxygen as you normally would. Before singing, most people start yawning as an unconscious way to sort of “fill up” on oxygen. I was trying to suppress yawns in the middle of the songs, especially when I was lip-synching. Essentially, it’s an hour of rhythmic hyperventilation.

And on top of that, I started getting foot cramps. Both feet, in the arches, at the same time. The entire time I was sitting down, trying to catch my breath and recuperate, I was fighting off foot cramps. I suppose I could have dealt with one thing or the other but not both issues at the same time. I vaguely remember hearing about the cramping being a preggo thing. I’ve gotten them off and on my entire life (thanks dance!) but I can rub or stretch them out. That didn’t work yesterday. Tenacious little pains they were. So now I’m getting ready to head downtown for our last concert of the season and I’m totally paranoid. I guess I’ll stand on the edge of the risers so if I need to make a quick getaway it won’t be as disruptive. But frankly I’m kind freaked out about the whole thing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Worst. Night. Ever.

Last night I got up with Kirk at around 2:40. That's pretty common. He frequently ends up with a wet bed because those damn pull-ups just seem to leak all the time. The problem this time? I couldn't fall back to sleep. And it wasn't regular insomnia. I started having nasty cramps.

My first thought, of course, was to freak out about the baby. How many weeks am I? I can never remember. It's somewhere around 24 I think. Definitely not far enough for a premature birth. But then the nature of the cramping didn't fit with the actual early labor pains that I experienced last time. This was more violent. Could it be food poisoning? I had been out to dinner with some girlfriends earlier that night. Still, it wasn't until the puking started that I finally eradicated the notion of it being gestationally related.

Two and a half hours later I was finally able to head back to bed. The chills and the hot flashes and the issues at both ends all made me wonder the whole time if this was somehow bad for the baby. The little girl, however, was extremely active during the entire ordeal. That was a comfort, if you can call anything comforting while going through that. I guess she thought it was a party in my tummy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Bigger on the Inside

Recently we finally got a dishwasher and we naturally gave the box to Kirk to play in. It comes equipped with two doors and two windows.


Kirk has been referring to it as his spaceship. Mr. b has been calling it a TARDIS. Either way, it’s been fun to watch him play in it. Of course now it’s relegated to the basement but still. Kirk would announce, "Bye! I’m going to space. See you later!" and then disappear into the box. I love his imagination and his fascination with space.

I don’t feel like having us as his parents has in any way forced science fiction upon him. If anything, it’s simply made it more available to him but the tendency has always been there on its own. Kirk quickly focused his attention on Buzz Lightyear, rather than Woody, when first watching Toy Story. We have had nothing to do with his preference for The Incredibles over Ratatouille. Sure, when he was in his Star Wars phase last year we had a selection of lightsabers already on hand for him to play with. But even when he was a baby he was captivated by the planets and robots in the Baby Galileo video. That’s not something you can predict.

I do remember having the same natural predilection when I was little. I loved the Maurice Sendak "Little Bear" stories but my favorite one was where Little Bear went to the moon. I would tape the Wonderful World of Disney Sunday Night TV movies and only keep the ones like Earth Star Voyager. My first hazy memory is of seeing Star Wars at the drive-in with my parents. I didn’t know it was a specific genre that I was drawn to. I never even made the connection until decades later.

There’s the concept of the Stealth Geek that I enjoy. (Though lord knows in our hipster music circles everyone is pretty open about their Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica and Lord of the Rings obsessions.) I think that Kirk is already showing awareness of a receptive audience. When a friend of the family was over recently and she mentioned Star Trek he started chatting excitedly about the show. He’s got his favorite couple of episodes and showed off how he put action figures in his Little Einsteins rocket to use as the Enterprise. But when he was around his cousins over Thanksgiving he didn’t mention anything of the sort. They talked about Cars and whatever attack-Mr.-b’s-cousin game they were playing. I’m impressed that he’s already that cognizant of the cultural divide. And that he finds common ground with people to discuss something they find interesting, instead of just going off on his own topics. I’ve realized I do that, too. I unconsciously keep a mental catalogue of common interests with rarely seen friends and acquaintances so that I always have an easy conversation starter when I do see them.

It’s intriguing to hear people’s reactions to Kirk’s interests though. Some just shrug it off as inevitable. Others think it’s cool that we don’t have to put up with the usual Barney and whatever garbage. But it’s not like he doesn’t watch any of the standard PBS/Disney Channel/Nickelodeon kid’s shows. He just mixes it up with stuff that we genuinely enjoy as well. And frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Breaking Fast

Just when I think I've got this whole breakfast thing finally figured out...it seems like my tastes are changing yet again. It made a certain amount of sense that I was wanting a protein infusion in the morning to get me started and then carbs late in the day to fuel the overnight baby factory shift. Lords knows the squirminess is at disco proportions in the evenings. And dairy in general has given me heartburn so it also makes sense that I'd be avoiding that. A couple people have suggested protein shakes instead of eggs and that just sounds revolting. I'm not even having yogurt as second breakfast anymore and I've done that for years and years. Frankly, most of my calcium is coming from late night ice cream and Rolaids!

So now that I've adjusted and have been trying all the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls and other savory quick meal options, cereal is starting to sound attractive again. I still haven't been brave enough to try a bowl before going to work in the morning. None of the cold cereals I have in the cupboard sound tasty to me. And I haven't even been buying myself skim milk lately because it's not like I'd be drinking it. But hot, whole grain cereals have been calling to me on the weekends again. I had a bowl of oatmeal this morning with Kirk's 2%. I haven't yet figured out how to interpret that.

The strangest craving that I'm dealing with this pregnancy is candy. I don't mean chocolate. I don't even mean cookies or cake or sweet-tooth stuff in general. I mean candy. Skittles and Starbursts and Dots and gummy bears and that kind of thing. Can't get enough of it. I usually manage to resist all day and then end up eating a bunch at night an hour before going to bed. Which can't possibly be good for either being currently inhabiting this body. And yet, I can't stop it. It's so weird. Objectively, I'm kinda freaked out by this behavior. I'm normally a salty snacks gal. This is just plain odd. But yummy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On the Road

Taking Aim

Driving nearly 10 hours with a freshly potty trained 3 year old went surprisingly well. We pulled over once each way for a side of the road pee break but the rest of the time Kirk made it to a rest stop or gas station with no problems. Well, there was that one instance of a little turd nugget escaping into his underpants but it wasn’t really a Big Accident. And since we’ve been home he’s been pretty dang good about pooping in the potty instead of his overnight diaper. So that’s a good change!

He did start a new habit of stalling out bedtime by getting up to pee a hundred million times after being put to bed. He had a bout of insomnia one night (thankfully his cousins weren’t kept up by his constant movement) and would ask for more juice and then pee and then ask for more juice and then pee and then ask for more juice… Our new thing is to not allow him to get a refill – and by refill I mean an inch or less of beverage in his sippy cup – unless he pees first. Even if it’s 2 in the morning. I’m just plain sick and tired of changing sheets every frickin night. Next step is convincing him he can get up and go pee by himself. Last night he got up 5 times! “I gotta go pee!” “Well then go!” He doesn’t request an escort during the day so I’m not sure what the difference is. Then again, he doesn’t ever get out of bed on his own, even in the morning. He waits until someone opens the door or turns on his light or something. Which is great for preventing any unannounced appearances during Mommy and Daddy Time, ahem, but is definitely something we’ll have to work on for bathroom visits.

Mr. b is thinking of getting a portable DVD player. And not actually to use in the car. Kirk keeps himself entertained with toys and singing (hearing a little kid sing the Ramones “Beat on the Brat” is pretty much the cutest thing ever) and looking out the window and talking to us and everything else that you do while on a long drive. I just don’t think watching movies in the car is something we need. But I agree that it might be fun to have the TV to ourselves now and again when Kirk is dead set on watching something he’s already seen 50 billion times. On Sunday afternoon, while we were recovering from the Thanksgiving trip, Mr. b was in the bedroom watching something, I was in the living room watching the episode of Top Chef I had missed, and Kirk was in his bedroom watching Cars on the laptop. It was silly and modern and perfect. It’s not like it would be a common occurrence either. But hey, we live in the future so why not go for it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Turkey Round-Up

Yesterday I had another ob check-up. I'm glad for how quick and easy they always are. Get weighed (gained another pound so that plus 2 last month puts me back at my "starting weight" which, granted, was at least 10 and closer to 20 pounds more than it ought to have been), check blood pressure, wait for New Doc. Then when he comes in it's up on the table to measure my belly, listen to the heartbeat, and that's it really. I rarely have any questions. He rarely has anything to ask me about. Next month, however, is the glucose tolerance test. Bleh.

I realized tonight while rinsing out the shower that my normal high levels of natural shedding have seriously been curtailed. I don't remember it dropping off like this when I was preggers with Kirk. But I also didn't have the massive chemo levels of hair loss postpartum either. Should be interesting to see if that happens this time.

Tomorrow we drive south to Springfield, MO, for Thanksgiving feasting. It'll be the first long drive we've taken since Kirk's been in underpants. I'm not really sure what to expect. I've pulled out spare pants to keep in the car just in case but he's really been accident-free for quite some time now. He's even been having dry naps for the past week or so. Overnight is another matter entirely but I don't count that. Except for the pooping thing. He continues to eschew the potty for poops. He's regular and goes every night: in his overnight diaper after he's been put to bed. We've been trying to at least convince him he needs to let us know so we can then change his diaper. He's had a poo-burned butt far too frequently of late from sleeping in his own crap. Gross. How can he stand that?

I'm bored of my paltry selection of maternity shirts already. I still have some to pull out that were obviously for when I'm further along but I think I might start in on them sooner, just for variety. Otherwise, I'm going to have to do some shopping.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Abdominal Adjustments

I think I’m crossing some sort of belly line. I’ve definitely felt in transition or in flux for the past couple of weeks. There were times when I thought that my stomach was just unmistakable and yet other times where it was easily camouflaged by my clothing. I would look hugely pregnant to myself from the vantage of looking straight down upon my own roundness but in profile it wasn’t always obvious. And sometimes I would find myself sitting for a while and didn’t actually feel like I had a pregnant belly. It felt normal, except for the movement inside to remind me of reality.

Something subtle has changed though. Just this week my pants are finally starting to show signs of being tighter. Sure, most of them are still my regular pants but I no longer need to wear my belt on the last notch. No belt is fine. Jeans are no longer possible. I wore a pair last Friday and was so uncomfortable all day. I have a vague memory of needing maternity jeans before other maternity bottoms last time around so it must be something to do with denim. I’m wearing maternity jeans right now – just the kind with the elastic waistband, I hate the belly panel ones – and it’s a definite improvement. I’m also getting good use out of the clothes I bought for returning to work after maternity leave. Pants and suit jackets that were so big I should have had them taken in and tailored after loosing weight but was too lazy are now starting to fit quite nicely. So hey, more use out of that forgotten corner of my wardrobe!

My belly is just plain *feeling* bigger now, too. I’m starting to feel the pull of gravity. I can make a noticeable difference simply by holding my stomach up, whether I’m sitting or standing. I don’t think my posture has changed much, yet I’m definitely feeling joint aches that would go along with my center shifting to adjust for this new front load. I am still able to sleep on my front, well maybe 7/8 on my front, but that’s still better than nothing and I know it won’t last. I suppose this is all just natural as I move closer to the end of the second trimester.

It is a little ridiculous that I’m already having trouble reaching my feet. Since this is a winter pregnancy, I’m not going to be able to get away with simply sliding into some sandals. Pulling on boots is increasingly tough. And when stretching at the gym I have to physically move my stomach out of the way when I bend over and it smooshes against my leg.

It’s also strange to use the phrase “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”. But the reduced eating capacity is continuing along unabated. I’m saddened to know that I physically won’t be able to pig out at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. But since pork and poultry are the two proteins I’ve been craving most frequently, it’s convenient that we’ve got the ham and turkey holidays coming up!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Kirk’s got a couple of new speech quirks I’ve been noticing. The most obvious one is that he says “almos’” when he means “also”. I’ve tried to correct him but I don’t think he’s aware that he’s doing it wrong. And he does it that way every time. The other one I haven’t quite figured out yet. Because I’m not sure if he’s saying “see” or “sí”. It really could go either way. I wish I could come up with a sample snippet of conversation. He’ll be going along, telling a story about his toys or a movie or something and I’ll ask a question and he’ll say…one of those. And they both work! “See. Balok was just a puppet!” “Sí. Balok was just a puppet!” He is either clarifying or agreeing. There’s so much Spanish in children’s education television that it wouldn’t faze me one bit for him to have picked that up. I just honestly don’t know which it is!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Restless Brain Syndrome

The preggo insomnia is really starting to take its toll on my mental facilities. I’m just barely holding on to a thread of rational thought today. I don’t remember the sleeplessness being so bad when I was pregnant with Kirk. Sure, it was difficult to get comfortable and I woke up to pee more times than should be allowed without turning into a punchline. But the straight up inability to stay asleep wasn’t an issue.

I’ve had sporadic random insomnia throughout my life. Usually I can fall asleep no problem but if I wake up in the middle of the night I can’t get back to sleep, often for a couple of hours. But I generally only woke up from a weird dream or an odd noise or something, and it certainly wasn’t common. Now I’m waking up nearly every night, either to pee or because Kirk’s demanding something from the other room. Even if I make Mr. b go attend to the boy, well, I’m still awake.

So then I toss and turn and my brain goes into overdrive and all my old tricks for calming my thoughts don’t work anymore. Last night was especially bad because a level of crazy got added. I don’t know if it’s hormones or sleep deprivation but I ended up bawling for nearly an hour. After spending an hour or so watching reruns of M*A*S*H. After gazing out the front window into the dark street. After restlessly flipping about from side to side in bed for an hour. I feel like a ghastly human. I was filled with so much self-loathing and pure hatred. The reason I woke up? I was sleep slapping Mr. b to get him to stop snoring. In my head I thought I was stopping him from spoiling me on episodes of Angel I hadn’t gotten to yet. He ended up moving to the spare bed in the basement. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m a terrible mother. I spanked Kirk – in public – earlier that evening when he hit me in the belly at the store. And then when he stumbled and stubbed his finger while getting out of the car back at home I didn’t comfort him. And then when he was slamming the bedroom door against the wall, causing a doorknob shaped ring to be pressed into the wall, I grabbed his hand to stop him and squeezed too tight and hurt him. I’m a cruel and vicious person. What right do I have to bring another human into the world? How can I possibly be a good mother?

I also felt so alone. I don’t have anything in my life to identify me other than being pregnant. I have no hobbies. I have no interests. I have nothing going on, no plans or strategies. I feel like I have nothing to control. Everything is breaking around me. Our DVD/VCR has been useless for a while now. We watch discs on a Playstation 2 and just don’t watch anything on tape. Our new dishwasher still isn’t installed because the handyman keeps putting off the work. Our oven no longer works, the heat won’t come on, so even though the range top works we have to figure out if it’s fixable or if we need to magically find the money for a new stove. Our car is paid off but that just translates to constant issues, the latest dealing with tires. Our ARM resets next year and will we even be able to afford to live in our too small house with crappy appliances?

I feel this little girl squirming inside me and I worry about the pregnancy. I didn’t fret about that last time at all. But now each little abdominal twinge, each poo cramp or stomach growl, each time I don’t feel her moving (certainly not for long enough to be a *real* concern), sets me off on a bad train of thought.

I’m just so tired.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gender Appears Female

Ten fingers. Ten toes. All the correct organs in all the right spots. And three little lines between the legs, apparently the labia. It seems that Mr. b beat me to the punch and already wrote up his thoughts on learning we are having a girl. Like he said, we all already knew that it was a girl. I was 90% sure going in to the ultrasound that it was a girl. For Kirk I was definitely leaning towards boy but I didn’t have anywhere near the certainty that I felt this time.

I had lunch on Friday with my mom and some of the retired ladies from her swim class. Finding out the sex of the baby came up and some of them couldn’t believe that you’d want to know. But one of the oldest of the ladies pointed out that they never had the chance to know. The technology didn’t exist then. Basically it came down to some of them would have wanted to find out and some of them would have still waited. I thought that was interesting since that’s exactly how it is now. I can’t imagine not wanting to find out and people that wait can’t imagine wanting to spoil the surprise!

Of course now we are starting to seriously look at the logistics of having another human in the house. First of all, where do we put her? It was easy with Kirk because we just moved the guest bed downstairs and turned the guest room into his bedroom. But neither of us really want to try to squeeze a crib back into his room now that it’s finally been removed. And I don’t think it would be fair or healthy for Kirk to deal with being awakened every night for feedings and all that goes along with a new baby. But there’s certainly no space in our room for more than a bassinette, and barely even that to be honest. So I think we’re going to move downstairs.

The basement living room has an egress window and is counted as a third bedroom. We’d be able to use our current room as a guest room and have plenty of space downstairs for a crib and other baby equipment. Then when she’s older and sleeping through the night we can revisit sharing a room with her brother. Mr. b was talking bunk beds if she was a boy but I don’t see why that can’t still happen. I don’t see anything wrong with a brother and sister sharing a room – at least until they’re 8 or 10 or so. And presumably at that point we’ll have moved into a bigger place anyway. So in the meantime we need to get Kirk used to the idea of him sleeping on a different floor of the house than us. I’m not sure how he’s going to react to being the only one upstairs at night.

And we need to start rearranging furniture and getting rid of crap and organizing the basement. Which is all good stuff and will force us to better utilize a lot of space that’s currently going to waste. And I think we’ll get a dorm fridge in which to keep baby milk.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Mr. b compared my making a costume for Halloween to him learning a bunch of cover songs for the various charity concerts Mercurial Rage has been playing lately: hours and hours of work for a very short pay-off. I rather liked that. I’m mostly pleased with how my costume turned out. I should have shortened the bodice and I could nitpick the placement of the tassel and if I had a dressmaker’s dummy I could have done the beading a bit straighter. But really, it’s just a Halloween costume and it’s Good Enough.

Halloween turned into a major family event.

Costume Party!

My sister moved on Tuesday so I had invited her girls over for trick-or-treating.
I figured she needed one less thing to worry about while sorting through boxes and cleaning and all the rest of the shit that goes with a major move. But then I also realized that since she’s always lived in apartment buildings, my nieces have never experienced neighborhood trick-or-treating before!

Cousins in Costume

My parents both came down, too, (my brother had car trouble so his boys couldn’t join us) to enjoy the costumed festivities. They live in the boonies now so this is the first Halloween they’ve had in years. My dad said he most missed passing out candy so he manned the front door while Mr. b and Nana took the kids around. I was the floater and both went out as well as hung out with Dad and carved my pumpkin. By the end Dad was wearing a scary mask and just terrifying the older, late-comer kids, which was never not hilarious.

A King, a Queen, and a Space Ranger walk into a bar…

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


This morning Kirk left the house for daycare carrying the following items:
  • a juice cup

  • a sandwich baggie filled with cereal

  • his blue blankie

  • a plastic grocery bag filled with 8 or 9 Cars (all numbered race characters)

  • his pillow with the Incredibles pillow case

  • We did not help him carry any of these items and he was clearly overburdened with too much crap. He even stumbled up the step on K’s sidewalk when we arrived at daycare. However, the rule is You’re In Charge Of Your Own Stuff. I have my own stuff. Mr. b has his own stuff. If Kirk wants to bring anything, then he needs to be sure he brings it. We refuse to turn the car around on the mornings he’s wailing because he forgot whatever item it was he’s upset about not having. He’s in charge of his own stuff.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    18 Weeks

    I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping track of what gestational week I’m on this pregnancy. I had to actually ask the doctor yesterday. I knew approximately but I wasn’t sure exactly. I know that my “day” is Sunday but I had just completely spaced out if I was already at 18 or coming upon 18. The former.

    I guess that’s one of those Second Pregnancy things. Mr. b is experiencing a different one; he said he can’t even imagine how he could possibly love the new baby as much as he loves Kirk. I’ve actually heard that one before. I’m not sure why I’m not feeling it. Maybe because the reality of another lifeform is more immediate for me? I mean, I can literally feel it moving around.

    Mr. b also hasn’t been able to come to all of my ob visits with me like before. Yesterday was the first time he got to hear the heartbeat! He announced he could just tell it’s a girl. New Doc was amused. They also had a small bonding moment of making fun of the preggo’s lack of logic. (Dammit, it makes sense to me to want to buy a new Boppy pillow instead of just steal the old one off of Kirk’s bed!)

    It was an uneventful visit other than that. As they should be. I’ve gained 2 pounds since last month which is good I guess since I had been loosing before then. I did learn about the weird sharp pains I’ll occasionally get deep in my belly if I stand up too fast or shift position too abruptly. Apparently it’s the ligaments that anchor the uterus getting stretched and not keeping up with what’s required of them. Makes sense to me and nothing to worry about.

    Monday, October 27, 2008


    Last night Mr. b asked me what I was doing. I answered truthfully, "Procrastinating." He declared that Denny Thor, procrastination, and potatoes are my three favorite things in the world and has promised that should he ever write a comic strip about me it will be titled Procrastination & Potatoes. [Inside Joke Explanation: Mr. b once drew me a picture of my "boyfriend", Denny Thor (a long haired surfer), after teasing me mercilessly that I looove hateful Denethor, Steward of Gondor and father of Boromir and Faramir, which is painfully untrue though I will admit that the actor did a fantastic job of portraying such a wretched man in the film.]

    I finally bought fabric for my Halloween costume last weekend. But did I start working on it? No I did not. Instead, I made Kirk a pillow case. While at the fabric warehouse, he and his father found some adorable Incredibles flannel and Kirk asked me to cut him some. I still have about a yard left which I figure I’ll either back with some cotton for a simple small "quilt" or else maybe stuff as a teddy bear. I’ve managed to put off that unnecessary project though so at least one thing is waiting its turn.

    I was bound and determined to not let my procrastinatorial nature stop me from working last night. So after two loads of laundry I was finally ready. To sort through my old maternity clothes! I pulled out everything not sleeveless or obviously warm weather and started trying stuff on. I vividly remember the weird loss of self I experienced last time from wearing clothes I never picked out on my own. I love hand-me-downs but there came a point where I couldn’t recollect my own sense of style. So I immediately pulled out the items I know I didn’t wear because I wasn’t sure if I liked them or not, as well as the stuff that is just plain too small since I’m starting off several pounds heavier than last time. I’m still wearing my regular pants though so I’ll save that session for another day. I guess that’s another vote for "girl" since carrying high is a girl indicator, right?

    I really did finally get some work done on my costume. Cut out all the skirt pieces. After making Kirk’s bed and spending some time on the internets. Sheesh. I’m pathetic. But now that I’m started I really will be fine. And I mean, the deadline is coming up and that’s what procrastinators need: deadlines. The tough part will be making the bodice pattern since the pattern I’m using is missing those pieces. Since I’m already sizing the whole thing up I’d have to do math anyway so it’s less dire than it would appear.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Potty Party

    Kirk went to daycare wearing underpants today. We’ll see how that went when I pick him up.

    It was a good potty training weekend. He’s been accident free all evening (post-daycare until nigh-nighs) for a week now so both Saturday and Sunday we put him in underpants as soon as he got up. Still wearing a diaper at night and during naps of course. No accidents until at the very end last night, as he was getting ready to have a bath. But Saturday afternoon he actually peed at the store. And not just any potty useage, he peed in the little shortie urinal! We were ridiculously pleased with him and since we had been contemplating getting one anyways, and they happened to be there on sale for $19.99, we bought him a floor rug with roads and crap printed on it as a prize.

    There is, however, an unexpected side-effect to potty training while pregnant. My gag reflex is being activated. I am not a squeamish person. But last night I had to call Mr. b into the bathroom to transfer a giant duke from the potty chair into the toilet. Because I was ready to puke into the sink just from the shit stench. I have never had that before. So many nasty infant poos and disgusting toddler poos and hell, years of cleaning cat boxes, and I have never retched from the smell before. I guess it must be preggo nose but damn. I was queasy for like 20 minutes after that. Sure, we haven’t been changing many poopie diapers of late but this was more than just being unused to the butt wiping gig. I hope my reaction doesn’t scar the poor boy.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Sugar & Spice?

    While going through my old posts I was reminded of all the fun gender identification myths out there. Mr. b and Kirk have both been calling this kid “she” since the beginning and they must be winning me over or something because I’m definitely getting girl vibes now. For one thing, the only names I can think of are female. And frankly, my top girl name is the same girl name we picked out last time and didn’t use. I’m glad we both love it still. Another indicator is the heartburn issue. OK so like all of these, there’s a 50/50 chance that they’re accurate; that doesn’t make them not fun! Even though I had been told that heartburn = girl, I was told more often that heartburn = boy. (And also heartburn = lots of hair at birth but that’s not relevant here and wasn’t the case with Kirk At. All.) At this point in my last pregnancy I was already popping the Rolaids like no tomorrow. I think I’ve had maybe a half dozen all told so far this time? And honestly, that could just as easily have been regular ol’ heartburn instead. Hopefully that means that I’ll get a break and it won’t get bad until my stomach is so squished up that the acid has no place to fit. That’s just physics folks, pure and simple. Of course I feel like utter crap today and have already had to choke down a mouthful of bile but that’s not regular heartburn either. Then there’s also the “a girl steals her mother’s beauty” trope. I am definitely feeling that one. I’m not saying this to plead for compliments either. I just don’t really see myself in the mirror anymore. I see someone that looks like me but is missing that spark that I do think makes me attractive. It’s not that I radically cut off my hair and I needed to get used to that. I always radically cut off my hair when it’s gotten too long. (I just don’t think haircuts are any fun if all you’re doing is chopping off a couple of inches. What’s the point in that? It’s hair people! It grows! Have fun with it!) No, this is something deeper that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s a self-perception issue entirely but I do keep coming back to that phrase and wondering about it.

    I’ll have my ultrasound in about a month or so and we will most definitely find out if possible. So who knows, I could be totally wrong here. But I wanted to put my prediction out there just in case.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008


    Yesterday evening we went to Target to pick up Kirk's hard-earned prize: a Screamin' Banshee. He filled in his potty chart with stickers for every poop in the potty and that was the final goal. He was beyond excited. (We need to come up with a new prize for the next round of potty training - I want to give stickers for no accidents next.) But as we were leaving Target I saw the back of his pants; he was soaked through. OK, part of that is because we had just spent a couple of hours at an apple orchard and since he was wearing pull-ups none of us thought to have him use the bathroom. But it was still just plain amusing for him to have an accident then.

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Compare and Contrast

    I need to do some research and review my blog entries from last time. Some things I remember very clearly. I know I had the greasy hair at the roots issue. It drove me nuts. Stupid hormones. Well, it happened again this time and I took action. I cut it all off! Yay for short hair! It’s been since like 9th or 10th grade that I’ve had it this short. I’m 90% used to it now and I’m having fun with accessories.

    Stomach holding: Oh wow. I didn’t think about this one but I’m totally doing it already and have been for quite a while.

    Weakness: Yep. That’s back. Several weeks ago, Mr. b caught me taking a break from cutting up a watermelon by sitting on the floor and freaked out. I didn’t want to give up in the middle of the project but I just couldn’t stand anymore and figured that wasn’t safe considering the fact I was using a sharp chef’s knife.

    Weird nipples: Mr. b called me on that one. Naturally. I remember being a little kid and seeing naked woman boobs at campground showers or wherever and being freaked out about their giant nipples. Some of it was just size perspective, like the house you grew up in seeming smaller if you go back there as an adult. But thinking back on it I have to wonder if there wasn’t some pregnancy and/or breast feeding going on as well.

    Lost weight: Five pounds. That is exactly the same amount for the first trimester of both pregnancies.

    Fetal movement: Here’s a difference. Apparently it wasn’t until week 16 last time. I know for a fact I’ve been feeling it for several weeks already this time. And I’m not at 16 weeks until Sunday. I know that you feel it earlier for your subsequent pregnancies than you do for your first. But I’m pretty sure that’s still sooner than typical for most women.

    Showing: I guess that’s about the same timing, maybe a week earlier this time. It really became evident to me earlier this week. And not just while naked. Some of my clothes still disguise my belly but anything even slightly tightish and you can really see that either I have a major beer gut or else there’s a parasite growing in there.

    Taste buds: Interesting. I didn’t remember my distaste for Chinese food last time. Currently I’m having issues with breakfast. All the foods that I normally love (OK cereal mainly, both cold and hot) just don’t sound good to me at all in the morning. And don’t really taste that good to me either. I need to figure out what I do want to eat, and soon, because I need to eat first thing in the morning, pregnant or not.

    Well, I’ll stop my review there for now. I don’t want to get too far ahead of where I’m actually at. I do wonder how long I continued wearing regular clothes before switching over to maternity. I’m planning to pull the ‘ternity stuff I saved out of storage this weekend and take inventory. My shirts are just becoming noticeably short and even though my pants still fit, I think it’s time to start integrating some of those items into my closet.

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    What to Watch

    We are a TV family. Oh sure, you can feel superior about not even owning a television set. I don’t care. I think that makes you a freak. I like having the TV on as background noise. I’ve always been that way. I can remember my dad getting on my case when I was a kid, incredulous that I could actually be focusing on my homework while sitting in front on the TV. But frankly, it blocked out the noise and helped me concentrate!

    Since I don’t want to have anything on that will be upsetting for Kirk, I’ve settled on “safety channels” that are somewhat different than my previous ones. Sure, he’s got his own shows on PBS or Disney or Nickelodeon but there are only so many of those that I can handle. The Food Network ends up on a lot. I can guarantee there won’t be anything scary or harsh on there. The same can’t be said of other seemingly family friendly cable networks. History? You’ll end up with some massacre or Holocaust show. TLC? Inevitably it’ll be a disgusting surgery show. Discovery? Weapons and warfare. You just can’t win!

    It’s not like Kirk actually actively watches TV for hours and hours at a time. Like I said, background noise. Even if he’s picked out something of his own to have on – currently the winner is the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command movie – he often just wanders away. He’ll play toys on the ottoman or jump around on the furniture without actually paying attention to what’s on the screen. Or he’ll be over at the fridge, arranging his magnets. Or he’ll just leave the room entirely and play toys in his bedroom. At which point I’ll attempt to switch over to something I’d rather listen to, like whatever showbiz gossip show is on while I’m making dinner.

    When it comes to appointment television there are very few of my shows that I’m fine with Kirk seeing. Sarah Connor Chronicles, Heroes, Lost, 24, they’re all just plain way too violent. And I need to pay full attention to what’s going on! But we’ve come to the conclusion that Doctor Who is usually fine. It’s not gory, the bad guys are obvious, and the Doctor always saves the day. It’s billed as kid’s programming in the UK anyway. Actually, I think most science fiction is fine for him. OK, not Battlestar Galactica. Obviously. But Stargate? Star Trek? Star Wars? No problem. And one of his favorites these days is Futurama.

    But I’m also not blind to the fact that just because something is made in the medium of animation means that it’s safe for children to view. That’s a facile American simplification that ignores that the art form has grown beyond its initial use in serials and Saturday morning cartoons. The Simpsons he can watch. Family Guy and South Park? No fucking way. And he knows it. If we don’t turn the channel fast enough he’ll point and announce that, “It’s the naughty show!”

    Kirk is very understanding about the fact that there is just some stuff that he can’t watch. We’ll flip the channel whenever a horror movie ad comes on (because the politicians so concerned about having ratings on television programs apparently don’t care what sort of scarring commercials are shown during those family friendly hours) and just tell him that it’s too scary. He’ll find the cases to something we were watching, like Mr. b had Cheech and Chong out the other day, and tell us all about how that movie is too naughty for him to watch but he can see it when he gets bigger. He even asked me a couple of weeks ago if he was big enough for naughty movies. I explained he has to put all of his poops and pees in the potty. I’ll have to come up with a different excuse as soon as he’s got that mastered.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008


    I’m pretty sure I’m feeling fetal movement now, and not just uterus stuff. It’s still pretty vague and it’s definitely early yet, but a pattern is emerging so that’s why I think it’s Child Person Mark II. Typically in the late evening is when I can feel it and then it’ll last for maybe up to an hour. I’ll have to go back over my early posts to see where I was with Kirk when I first started feeling him. I know it was early for a first timer so I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m noticing it early again now.

    Mr. b has gone back to school. We’re still getting used to his new schedule and it’ll change again next semester. The biggest difference for me is that I’m doing the daycare drop off and pick up now. I’ve been taking the bus for so long I need to get used to the new timing. And I won’t be able to read as much. So far Kirk’s been really good about his daddy leaving at night to go to class. In the past he has pitched a fit when Mr. b leaves for band practice but he’s been very understanding about school. I don’t know what it’ll be like when I have a new infant to also deal with in the evenings but so far Kirk and I are keeping ourselves busy. We go on walks or do laundry or yardwork and then start the nigh-nigh routine. We can’t run errands though since Mr. b has the car. That’s going to also take some advance planning to adjust.

    I spanked Kirk this morning. I know everyone’s got strong feelings on spanking but frankly, it’s been a long time coming. We’ve been threatening it for several weeks now as counting to three only works sometimes and taking away his toys or blankie only works sometimes and turning off his movies only works sometimes and putting him in time out only works sometimes. He’s a little brat and I was done. I was trying to get him dressed and he was actively fighting me, stepping on his diaper so I couldn’t get it up his legs, and punching and headbutting all the while. So I swatted him on the butt. It certainly wasn’t hard but it was enough to make him pay attention and he cooperated for the rest of the getting ready and was sweet to me at daycare drop off. We’ll see how long it lasts. I should have known I’d be the first to go there. We were just discussing how spoiled he is the other day, too. Some of that is generational of course and some is that we need to step it up. When Kirk doesn’t follow the rules we have been giving him choices: you can go to your room with the door closed or you can sit at the dinner table with us. I gave him two choices this morning: we could use teamwork to get his outfit on or I could hold him against his will and do it myself. That should have been his tip-off that Mama wasn’t gonna play games. And maybe it will be next time he decides to be a jerk instead of “I wanna be good and listen”.

    We’re both feeling the need to nest already. It’s not the same as the end of term nesting but it’s real nevertheless. Mr. b cleared a ton of shit out of the basement last week and while it’s all just sitting in the garage now it’s making it easier to see what exactly needs to be done for cleaning and organizing purposes. I’m also desperate for craft projects. I have ideas for everything from framing prints to knitting to embroidery to rug making but I haven’t actually started any of them. What I need to do is make a pattern for my Halloween costume and go to the fabric store. I’m not sure if the DIY impulse is pregnancy related or seasonal. I do typically get a burst of creative energy in the fall.

    Kirk has a new trick up his sleeve when it comes to delaying sleep after being put to bed. The interesting thing is that he does not get out of his bed at night – or even in the morning. He’ll sit up and play with Woody and Buzz and talk to himself or shout for us but he won’t actually leave until one of us opens his door. Which has been nice because we were warned up and down that the second he switched from his crib to his big boy bed that he’d be bugging us constantly. However, with the organization trend in the house, we put a short bookcase in his room near his bed and moved his toy stove over to the other side. He dragged the plastic kitchenette back to by his bed, placing it in front of the bookshelf. So now he can reach out and haul the entire thing right next to him and get at the toys that are stored within. Scammer. Smart little bugger! I don’t really care though. He fought going to bed last night with a declaration that he wanted to “stay up all night!” I told him he was welcome to do so: in his room, with the door shut, and the lights off. He was asleep within 20 minutes.

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    What's in a name?

    Kirk has declared it: he is to be called Buzz. As in Buzz Lightyear. From the Toy Story movies. He’s been referring to himself as Buzz and his daddy as Woody for quite some time now but I’ve finally been added to the mix. I am Jessie. We suspected that his daycare buddy was Woody in his father’s absence but K says that the other day he instead declared himself Mermaid Man, the weird Adam West type superhero from Spongebob. Apparently Buzz and Mermaid Man got in a fight over a rocket and Buzz came home with some nice scratches on his cheek.

    Kirk is ridiculously excited about his choice of Halloween costume this year: Buzz Lightyear. We haven’t actually purchased it yet because c’mon, it’s still September. But apparently he asked yesterday if he could go to the Red Grocery store just to look at it! I think we’ll have to cave and buy it this weekend. I have no problems with him getting some use out of it before trick-or-treating.

    In other news, tomorrow is our 11th anniversary. To celebrate, we are completely overscheduled and will not be able to spend any alone time together. Yay?

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Nap Time!

    If we ever required proof that Kirk still needs a nap, we got it this weekend.

    I often wonder at what age kids typically start either taking shorter naps or dispense with them altogether. Presumably they then have an earlier bedtime to make up some of the difference. But it’s always been a mystery to me when that begins. Oh I know, all kids are different. But even so there are some generalities that can typically be found.

    We were all invited over to the neighbors’ house on Saturday for their son’s 5th birthday. While chatting with an alley neighbor, the mother of another 5 year old, I learned that her son still needs a nap and takes one at school everyday. That made me feel a lot better. At least I know that we’ve got some time before we have to wean Kirk off them altogether. And lord knows I love napping with him – or at least at the same time as him, depending on how squirrelly his is.

    The birthday party was scheduled to start at about the time that we would normally put Kirk down. But since it was only two houses over we figured we’d just bring him home when he started to show signs of needing to go. Yet that’s the thing. Lately Kirk hasn’t shown the typical tiredness signs. He just suddenly snaps and then it’s a screaming fit of crazy insanity. And that’s exactly what happened, for all the party guests to see. He was playing as-nicely-as-can-be-expected-these-days with the other kids for a couple of hours and then as soon as we wouldn’t let him have a second piece of birthday cake, it was all over. Completely madness.

    Of course his diet that day may have contributed. We won’t be winning any parenting awards. Breakfast: Coco Puffs; lunch: one bite of bun, birthday cake, ice cream; dinner: peanuts, fruit & cereal bar. Yeah, we rule.

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    What's my Tell?

    I went out to lunch with a colleague last week. After learning that I’m preggers, he claimed that he could “tell”. He said it was something about my face. Huh? Then again, I remember Mr. b saying something similar about a customer a year or so ago. So maybe it’s a guy thing? Or maybe it’s the so-called “glowing” that I just can’t see in myself?

    No matter what, as soon as I tell someone that I’m knocked up they glance down at my belly. Do they think it’s going to be magically huge and they just hadn’t noticed? I guess it must be a reflex of some sort. My other theory is that it’s because I work with guys now. When I was pregnant with Kirk, I worked in a very small group of all women and one guy. Now I work in a considerably larger group and I’m one of only three females. So the vibe is definitely different. I guess I’ll end up coming out to the majority of them that still don’t know later this week when we go out for drinks with a former co-worker. Or rather, I’ll join them at the bar and have a Coke. Ooh, maybe instead of bringing the baby in to show off while I’m on maternity leave, I could demand that they all take me out and buy me drinks some night!

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    Weekend Labor

    Mr. b was in Washington DC the whole long weekend. We didn’t get to go in July (original plan was to leave the reunion early and spend a couple days there) and I told him he could go for his birthday. He didn’t believe me. But then, after discovering low airfares and cheap hotel rates due to being the weekend in between the DNC and RNC, well, he was off!

    So Kirk and I needed to make sure we stayed busy in his absence. I get burned out on full-time single parenting anyway and I figured it would be even worse with the first trimester effects still showing up on occasion. Though thankfully not as often as I move closer and closer to that magical second trimester line. I arranged to go over to my brother’s house Saturday afternoon and to my friend’s house Sunday afternoon. Then my sister needed some hemming done and came over with the girls Saturday morning. So we were just the right amount busy and had lots of fun and Kirk got plenty of attention and playtime with his cousins and friend. I didn’t have anything planned out for Monday, thinking we would just do some shopping. We went to the wading pool before lunch and hit the grocery store post naps.

    That night, about two hours after putting Kirk to bed, I heard a horrible coughing fit. Poor buddy, he must be getting a cold. So as I was getting ready for bed I peeked in on him. Something wasn’t right. I quietly snuck over to his bed and the smell hit me. He had thrown up! He was laying on his back, sort of in a daze, not exactly asleep, with piles and piles of red noodles all over him (watermelon and chicken noodle-O’s soup) and covering his pillow and his blankie and his sheets. It was horrifying and I felt awful that I had waited the 10 minutes or so before checking on him. I peeled his jammies off him and started gathering up the mess. I stripped his entire bed and we threw the first of many loads into the washing machine right away. But he wasn’t done. His stomach wasn’t empty yet. And I had let him have a little drink of water so up that came. He threw up three more times throughout the night. I had a puke bucket for him to use but he didn’t always make it in.

    Obviously we stayed home on Tuesday. I wasn’t going to make the mistake of letting him have regular food or beverages too soon and kept him on water-with-a-splash-of-juice for a couple of hours in the morning. He even kept down two saltines. But then at about 11 he threw it all up again. Thankfully on the floor and not the freshly washed bedding. He started perking up a bit after a nap and he was keeping crackers down and drinking Gatorade at that point. He was fine yesterday.

    But what caused it in the first place? I honestly have no idea. He definitely drank heavily chlorinated pool water but that was quite a long time earlier in the day. And he didn’t have any problem packing away his entire lunch. Could it have been food poisoning at dinner? I had some of the same soup but not much. After feeling pretty good all weekend I was hit with a major bout of preggo at the dinner table and spent the entire meal with my head on my arms, moaning to myself between spooning soup up for the boy. We both had watermelon. Was the coughing fit I heard the result of throwing up or the cause of it? I know that A2 has a tendency to puke when she coughs too hard and then she’ll be set off for a good ten to twenty hours of repeated puking if she tries to eat or drink too much. I sure hope that Kirk hasn’t manifested a similar trait. But for the moment, all is back to normal. Mr. b is safely returned. And all the sheets in the house are clean.

    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Ob Round-Up

    Friday morning I had my first ob visit. But I had to go in on Wednesday morning for the registration. I didn't remember that part at all. Mr. b kept talking about how they gave us free stuff last time when I got the confirmation and how that must be for first timers only. When I got called in it all came back to me: oh yeah! Nurse P and the paperwork and the free stuff! We actually used that diaper bag the whole time for Kirk, until it had disintegrated into nothingness. So thankfully...we've got another one now!

    The ob visit itself was fine. The first one is always longest since they have to do the gyn exam, too, and there's the blood work and pee sample. New Doc came highly recommended. Nurse P and Doc and the scheduling lady are all fans so I was looking forward to finally meeting him. Indeed, he was very nice and very funny. Mr. b didn't come with since daycare was on vacation and he was home with Kirk. He missed out on the nifty bedside ultrasound! It looked to me like there was only one fetal blob inside the uterus blob so that's good news. New Doc had presumed he wouldn't be able to hear the heartbeat yet at not quite ten weeks and that's why he busted out the little portable ultrasound. But I've been told since my first gyn at age 15 that my uterus is slanted back at a pretty extreme angle. So even though he couldn't actually see the heartbeat on the viewscreen, when he switched to the audio finder instead, he found it immediately - way down at the pelvic bone.

    I've already decided that I do want to bring Kirk with for the big proper ultrasound at 20 weeks. I think it'll be neat for him to see the baby inside mama's tummy.

    I've had 3 different due dates suggested so far. The doctor that confirmed the pregnancy was on old ob, long retired from that part of his practice, and used some mental calculations to arrive at March 29th. Nurse P used the plastic calendar dial thingie and said that I was right on the line for frickin' April 1st (which would just figure). New Doc also used the dial thingie but said it was more like March 30th. So I've just been saying "end of March". I actually just had to bite my cousins' rhymes. They sent out an "oops, here comes number 3 announcement" last night, and they're also due at the end of March. I used that as my opening to let the rest of the family know about me, too. I had already told everyone in MN and ND, figuring that the grapevine would do the rest, but still, it seemed like I should actually make a real announcement. Hopefully they'll see the humor. The Fourth of July was a fruitful holiday this year!

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    First Trimester Blues

    I haven’t posted in far too long. Normally I have several topics floating around in my head and I have to space them out. I had intended to put up my travelogue from our North Carolina trip but it’s been over a month now and that seems kinda dumb at this point. Obviously some stuff has happened in the meantime to distract me. Heh. I’ve been pretty much useless by the time I get home from work each day. The exhaustion continues but at least the queasiness after eating has lessened considerably. However, in its place, I now feel beyond bloated after I eat anything. It hasn’t moved into the heartburn phase yet either, which is good because yay no heartburn but bad because antacids don’t actually help. I need to buy a new Boppy pillow for sleeping. Mr. b says I should just take the old one from Kirk but it’s Kirk’s! And besides, why should Child Person Mark II have to begin in vitro with hand-me-downs? Lord knows that’s gonna happen plenty as it is just being a younger sibling. I can feel the expansion tension in my stomach. In fact, I can feel all sorts of uterine movements. Not fetal fluttering yet but there are still familiarities. Unfamiliar, however, is constipation. That was not an issue last time. It actually hurts to poop and I feel like I’m tearing open scabs, which must be the case due to the occasional blood. Guess I’ll have to ask if stool softeners are on the list of OK meds for preggos. Not that I want more drugs. I’m already on antibiotics for this frickin’ sweat gland infection in my arm pit. Which in turn forces me to use anti-fungal cream (externally thank you very much) to keep any yeast infection at bay since antibiotics apparently make women prone to that fun side-effect. And as long as I’m complaining about the functions between my legs, why has the middle of the night peeing already begun? Dammit. I need sleep! My bladder can’t possibly be operating under that much real estate reduction yet. I’m only like 9 weeks fercrissakes! And if I don’t wake up to pee then I wake up to let the damn cat in when I hear her yeowling outside because she wouldn’t frickin’ come in before I went to bed. And if it’s not the cat then it’s the boy and he really sucks these days. He is just mean and a total jerk to both his mama and his daddy. The hitting and the spitting and the screaming and the crying fits and jeez, it’s like he’s three or something. Time outs are ineffectual and we haven’t figured out what to do next. Taking away toys seems to work somewhat. I can’t believe we’re having another one. We are clearly insane.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Milk Fed Veal

    Kirk had his 3 year check-up this morning. Everything is awesome, he’s in perfect health, developing fantastically, blah blah blah. But we definitely have a couple of take-aways. Mr. b asked about milk. Because Kirk drinks a lot of it. So much that Doc was actually worried that he might be anemic. Apparently kids reach a point where getting the majority of their calories from milk instead of solid food can deprive them of other nutrients, particularly iron. So Kirk had to have his finger pricked. He looked at the lab tech with this shocked, accusatory expression on his face and hissed, “You hurted me!” But he didn’t cry and he forgot all about it once we left. The results? His hemoglobin is “excellent” and he’s definitely not anemic. However, we’re still going to start weaning him off the constant milk cups. It’s largely a laziness factor I think. On both sides. It’s easy to just get him a sippy of milk and it’s easy for him to just carry around a sippy of milk. I’ve already begun to only fill the cup 1/2 or 2/3 full when he asks for some so that’s a start. We’re going to get him some Flintstones vitamins, too.

    We also need to actually take him in to an optometrist. We should have after we saw Doc the last time to check out his eyes/flat head. But laziness prevailed there as well and it didn’t happen. Now she’s worried that his right eye might be developing a little off and wants us to be sure that it’s not that and is only a result of the skull shape. Great. Oh and teeth. Time to take him to the dentist. Well, since he’s not on my dental insurance yet that’ll have to wait until next year. I have a check-up I need to schedule soon for myself and I was thinking of bringing him along just to observe and get used to the idea.

    Doc also was properly saddened by her decision to quit delivering babies when we told her I’m knocked up. She spoke highly of the guy I’ll be seeing in a couple weeks for my first ob visit though and asked that I bring Child Person to her after the birth.

    The last thing we need to work on is something we’ve been working on already: potty training. Doc suspects that it may come down to peer pressure for Kirk. He’s certainly physically capable of doing it. But he doesn’t care. And he’ll convince himself that he “can’t” and then won’t even try. Mr. b has instigated a bribery system that works…to a point. Kirk will most definitely put his pee in the potty if there’s a toy on the line. Stickers and suckers seem to be less worth the effort however. So yesterday he peed in the potty four times in rapid succession – just enough to get the three Cars hotrods and one Cars book that were taunting him from on top of the refrigerator. Maybe this plan is backfiring after all.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Dietary Supplements

    This weekend we had no plans. Finally. For a change. So we ended up going to the grocery store a lot. For my preggo cravings. I do not normally have a sweet tooth. It takes me three sittings to eat a full-size candy bar. I can keep a pint of ice cream in the freezer for two weeks. If I bake something I’ll have one serving and then have to give away the rest for fear it will go bad before I get to it again. But not right now. Oh no. I want sweet thangs.

    So Saturday we went and I picked out cherries and strawberries and fancy fruit roll-ups (Archer Farms Fruit Strips) and a Heath bar (of which I only ate half). Oh and more grape Gatorade G2 because it’s apparently the most delicious beverage ever made. Sunday we had to go back. I needed honey roasted peanuts. And cupcakes. Thankfully we were smart enough to pick out a 6-pack of mini cupcakes so that when I am no longer interested we won’t have zillions sitting around. And later that night I still made myself an ice cream sundae with peanuts, chocolate sauce, and cut up fresh strawberries.

    The only problem is that I’m having a hard time eating anything. Oh, I’m not nauseous. I’m not puking up my lunches. But most of the time I get queasy and just generally sick in a “my tummy hurts” kind of way after I eat any food at all. Saturday was terrible and I slept a lot instead. Sunday I was fine until dinner and then felt icky most of the evening. I know that feeling crappy means the baby is healthy and all that but it still sucks.

    The other thing that sucks is my internal thermostat. I’m cold all the time. Until the middle of the night. Maybe some of it is the end of summer over-reliance on air conditioning. It cools off at night and we could open windows but we’re in the habit of having the AC on instead. But then it gets too cold and I have to turn it up or wear a sweatshirt, the latter option just seeming stupid in the beginning of August. And yet I’ll wake up at 3 in the morning and have to turn the air back on because I’m so hot. I remember being ridiculously hot last time but that was during the third trimester. I’m going to have to go back over old blog entries to see if I went through this schizo bullshit in the first then, too.

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    Weekend Observations

    While spending the night at my folks’ house on Friday I gave Kirk a choice of sleeping arrangements: he could either sleep in the bed with me or by himself on the floor in his sleeping bag. He chose the floor. I guess it’s a sign of his continuing independence but it sort of threw me. Since when has he turned down a chance to sleep in the bed with either or both of his parents?! But it was Nana and Papa’s house and the guest room we usually stay in so it was all familiar. And he slept in his sleeping bag on the floor the whole time we were on vacation last month so that was familiar, too.

    I truly don’t think I’m showing yet. I mean, I’m like 6 weeks along so the idea I could be is kind of ridiculous. I remember a girlfriend telling me that she popped right out for her second kid but I’m still at least a good couple of months away from even that. However, I had some real difficulty zipping up my dress for the wedding we went to on Saturday. Sure, it’s a snug fit normally, but not in a too-tight kind of way, rather a proper sizing kind of way. And it was definitely smaller. Or rather, I seem to be thicker. Or something.

    We seem to be getting the most excitement from friends and acquaintances that have more than one child. Like we’re entering the secret fraternity of Real Parents. Bill Cosby had that old bit about how you don’t know what parenting is like until you have more than one kid. And Mr. b has certainly riffed on how people ask if you have kids, plural, or if you have children, plural, so I guess we’re supposed to have more than one. But I felt…something indefinable yet real from some of the wedding guests Saturday night. It’s definitely been easier to come out as preggo. I was so freaked about that last time.

    Physically things are mostly the same. However, I don’t remember having sore boobs last time. It’s not like a constant irritation or anything. But there’s a recurring ache that is definitely new.

    Friday, August 01, 2008


    What are the cardio rules when you’re knocked up? I know that starting any new exercise program is frowned upon but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m hardly a gym bunny but I have been going fairly regularly for the past year and a half or so. Maybe two or three times a week. I’ve gone twice this week. I’m trying not to push myself. When I was on the elliptical I purposely kept my heart rate lower than I normally aim for. And I didn’t go to an aerobic group exercise class; I went to a strength training one. We didn’t do any during that session, but I don’t know what I’m allowed to do for ab work. I know it’s damaging once your uterus grows enough to start to spread your abdominals out. I’m probably fine since it’s early.

    The only bad thing I’ve noticed is that the exhaustion hits me harder when I’ve been to the gym. So far I’ve been nausea-free but the tiredness comes in the early evening. I’ll be fine again by the time Kirk’s getting ready for bed. I have enough energy to work out in the middle of the day so it’s a good thing my gym’s onsite. I just go before lunch and no worries. But then I’m simply destroyed when I get home. Completely spent. So the trade-off will be trying to keep up good habits and fighting the urge to take a hundred year nap.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    My blog name is relevant again!

    I didn't bother with a home test. I just went in for the official lab test because I *knew*. I mean, I knew the last time, too, but that was my first go at this whole pregnancy thing so I wanted to be sure. I hadn't ever peed on a stick before and it seemed like an important part of the process. This time it seemed like a waste of money. Even so, I started wondering if I was kidding myself. As I walked to the clinic I wondered what would happen if it was negative. Would I be upset? Would that mean that something else was wrong with me? Would all my friends make fun of me for acting so sure of the results?

    I needn't have doubted my instincts though. I mean, women have been having babies for an awful long time without having to pee in a cup to find out they're knocked up. And when the doctor came into the room holding the lab results with a giant red POSITIVE stamped on it, well, I felt relieved and just a touch giddy. I'm due at the end of March - the doctor guessed maybe around March 29th - and it's still so early I can wait another month before the first ob visit.

    It's interesting how much less worked up we are about this though. I mean, it's awesome and I'm excited but hey, I've done this before. I know what I'm getting myself into this time. I guess all the experienced parents out there who said you just don't care in the same way for the second pregnancy really knew what they were talking about! Mr. b and I went out for breakfast and we didn't have any worries about what sort of parents we'll be. Instead, we joked about how much easier it will be since Kirk will be nearly 4 when his second officer is born! That poor kid is going to be put to work. Good thing he likes babies!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008


  • Heartburn

  • Some slight boob tenderness

  • Horniness

  • Calm demeanor even though there’s a plethora of Things I *could* be freaking out about

  • Lack of any usual PMS indicators

  • No period

  • OK, so that last one doesn’t necessarily mean anything because I just don’t know when to expect it. If I had been on the pill, it would have been yesterday. If it had been a perfect 28 days from the last one it would have been Sunday. However, the last one came earlier than 28 days and that’s what happened when I went off the pill last time, too. Not that I had enough data for a conclusive analysis then either.

    I haven’t bought a stick to pee on yet. But I did pull a Vir and drink my last drink. Just in case. I’m still going to give it a few more days. We’ll see.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Untitled Vampire Detective Saga

    I’ve fallen behind on book reviews, even only doing them for occasional titles instead of each one. I’m up to 35 already this year but I’ve also been reading a lot of comic book trade paperbacks, which will tend to rack it up. Some of those were the Bone Saga by Jeff Smith. I had seen this title in stores but never really looked at it. A friend posted a story that it may be made into a movie so of course, with my book-to-film obsession, that meant I had to finally read them. Nine volumes later and I’m so glad I did. One of the most amazing stories. The art is so simple and yet completely rich and alive. The characters are wonderful and grow and change in believable ways. The story itself is a wonderful adventure and Hero’s Journey. I don’t know how they could possibly transform this into a film but I definitely understand the desire to try.

    Continuing along with my vampire book phase – which I’m just about ready to get over – I managed to catch up on the Twilight saga before the release of Breaking Dawn. I wasn’t planning on it but now I can’t imagine how I ever was willing to wait. I’m utterly and completely addicted. I’m a Jacob girl and I guess I’ll leave it at that.

    I had read some good reviews for later entries in the series, but finally decided to read the first of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books after a friend posted this online comic strip. When I was picking Guilty Pleasures up at the library, the girl helping me said that she also had the comic book version on hand. So I checked them both out, figuring that it could be an interesting exercise. I’ve never read a graphic novel adaptation of a book I’ve already read before. The book was really fun, hard-boiled and intense and rather like the Dresden Files in feel. One of the blurbs on the cover, however, called it a "heady mix of romance and horror". OK, the horror part I get. There were some seriously scary and gross bits. But romance? Uh, making out with someone because you’re undercover and you have to keep up appearances does not count as romance. Perhaps things change as the series goes on. I’ll definitely read more, though it may be a while. (I’m so far behind on pop culture!) The art in the comic version kind of bugged. The curling hair and fabrics reminded me of Todd McFarlane’s capes. And the males are all drawn so beefcake it’s a bit unnerving – though I suppose it’s nice to have some equal opportunity cheesecake since so often it’s only chicks that get drawn that way. Mr. b said they all looked like Spider (Dewey’s replacement in School of Rock) and...he’s not wrong. That said, I got sucked (no pun intended) into the story again, even knowing what happens! So much so that when I got to the end of the volume and found out that it continues in the second one I was completely annoyed.

    I’ve been reading some more of Discworld. I’m glad that I’m not the only one overwhelmed by starting this massive series. I wasn’t too keen on The Light Fantastic and I’ve heard that the earliest books are the weakest. Night Watch had a wonderful time travel element and the Ankh-Morpork Guard. It focused on one of the minor characters from Monstrous Regiment. Soul Music was also largely set in Ankh-Morpork but focused on the Wizards and Death moreso than the Guards. I feel like I’m getting a good idea of which areas I like best in Pratchett’s world and where I’d like to go next with that series. It’s such a daunting creation to dive into, and it definitely inspires quite a bit of discussion, but thankfully the fact that it doesn’t have to be read in any sort of order makes it easier to just pick and choose.

    The last book club book I read was The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. He was a friend of Dickens and is considered the father of the thriller. While the main protagonist in this book was not officially a detective, he did an admirable job of following through and linking together all the disparate elements of the mystery. It was an interesting read; it was very flowery and antiquated, and yet completely compelling. It was slow and deliberate but I kept turning the pages. And by the end, a lot of stuff happened! Some of the characterizations of the women were painfully sexist, but the author was himself something of a liberal for the times, which is an amusing, if appalling, thought. Overall I quite liked it, though I don’t know if I’d seek out any of his other books.

    Monday, July 21, 2008


    What he said.

    I did keep a travelogue some of the days so I’ll transcribe that and add to it after I get our pictures uploaded. Basically my routine was thus: get up, make muffins, take Kirk to the beach, take Kirk to the pool, eat lunch, put Kirk down for a nap, take Kirk back to the beach, go to the other house for dinner, start drinking, put Kirk to bed, stay up late drinking and playing games.

    I am beginning to wonder, however, if the constant heartburn is truly related to all the excessive drinking. I’ll give it a few more days.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Just Wait Until Your Father Comes Home

    It finally happened. I’d been expecting it since I was pregnant but this was the first time. Kirk being naughty and wasn’t listening to his daddy and I heard Mr. b say, "Do you want me to call your mother in here?" Yep. I’m the threat. I’m the heavy. I always knew this day would come.

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    Big Boy!

    For the two or so weeks leading up to Kirk’s birthday I had been talking about how we were going to take down his baby crib after his party. Because then he’ll be too big to sleep in it anymore. About a week before, he started sleeping in his Big Boy Bed instead of the crib. So on Monday, Mr. b took it apart. We asked Kirk where he wanted the bed placed and so now it’s on the same wall that the crib was on.

    Big Boy!

    Once that was done we tackled the toys. Mr. b sorted through everything and asked Kirk if it should stay upstairs or go downstairs. He did a really good job making decisions. I hauled everything to the basement while they were rearranging. I still need to go through the basement toys and pick out what to keep – either as keepsakes or for the next kid – and what to take to goodwill. No matter how messy the downstairs living room may be right now, Kirk’s bedroom looks fantastic! I’m sure it won’t last…


    We still need to get some shelves and a bin system of some sort. At the very least, a container for all of his cars. He had been using an old wooden bath salts box. He inherited it along with all the various cars that Mr. b and I had collected ourselves over the years. But that’s not going to be big enough anymore. Not with the motherlode of Cars merch we gave him last night! His excitement and joy was overpowering. And listening to him sing “you’ve got a friend in dee” to Woody was just about the cutest thing ever.

    Woody's Round-Up

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008

    36 Months

    Three years ago today Kirk was born. It's hard to believe it's been that long already.

    Apparently he told his daddy yesterday that he doesn't want another birthday, that it would "make him sick". Awww, poor buddy. But he's fine with more presents. Of course. We went down to the Death Star on Friday to hit the Disney store and buy him merch. So he'll get a talking Woody and a complete set of Cars tonight.

    Monday, June 30, 2008


    We celebrated Kirk’s third birthday yesterday. I tried out a potato salad recipe using sweet potatoes on my unsuspecting friends and relatives.

    Sweet! Potato Salad!

    I cut up and arranged a veggie tray myself and was very pleased with the presentation.


    I had asked Kirk what kind of a cake he wanted and he very quickly responded "White!" Thinking that I needed to make sure I then asked him if he wanted a white, yellow, brown, or pink cake and again, "White!" So that was easy to make. I utterly failed at the decoration, however, and turned that duty over to Mr. b. Who clearly had fun with it.


    Mr. b hauled out all of our various lightsabers and the kids had a great time chasing each other around and smacking each other.

    May the Force be with you.

    Auntie C got Kirk a stomp rocket set. This meant that, despite her fancy party dress, A2 was gleefully climbing fences and rooftops to retrieve lost rockets all afternoon.

    Holding Court

    We were having so much fun we nearly forgot to have cake! The balloon candles were to match the balloons that Mr. b bought with a helium tank. The kids really loved releasing them.

    Holding Court

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008


    Warning: The following post contains Too Much Information. Turn back now. This is your only warning.

    I’ve been off the pill for two and a half weeks now and things are weird. I haven’t been able to tell if I’m experiencing side-effects from the sudden lack of hormones in my body or if there are just a plethora of coincidences going on.

    I spent most of my trip to Georgia this last weekend running to and from the bathroom. Ever since France I tend to have butt issues if I drink either too much in one sitting or just a little bit, too many days in a row. So my initial guess was that the copious amount of red wine I drank at the rehearsal dinner, coupled with the two margaritas I had the night before, was coming back to haunt me. After all, I had been awakened in the middle of the night with the worst heartburn I’ve ever had. At least since I was pregnant. And naturally I couldn’t find any antacids while quietly ransacking my aunt and uncle’s house in the dark.

    But unlike previous visits from José Nus after drinking too much, this wouldn’t go away. And if it wasn’t actual diarrhea, then it was ridiculous amounts of gas. And if it wasn’t gas, then it was painful cramps. What the hell was going on? I had a mere two glasses of wine at the wedding reception, and that was spread out over the course of many hours, much not-up-to-par wedding food, and not a little bit of dancing.

    My mother, evil creature that she is, suggested that perhaps I was not experiencing a hormone level adjustment. She thought it was hilarious to imply that perhaps I had already gotten knocked up. Har dee har har. Not funny. Too fast! Too fast! Maybe it’s just pre-PMS. After all, I have no idea what my cycle is like without the regulation of the pill. I believe I sped up a little last time, though a pattern is obviously not made by a mere two periods. And since intestinal issues are a semi-regular early indicator for me, maybe that’s all they’re a harbinger of?

    The other strange thing that happened when I went off the pill is an inability to come. I’ve always been a believer that a woman is in charge of her own orgasm. So that’s got to be psychological, right? But why? I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been preggers before. Thankfully it’s only been twice, at the beginning of the month, and seems to have stopped since then.

    I don’t know how I feel about possibly being up the spout again. Already. I mean, obviously I should be grateful to be so ridiculously fertile, especially when there are so many people that have had trouble conceiving even once. And I admit that it would be kind of fun to tell my whole extended family in one fell swoop next month at the reunion. How does due date math go? February? It would be winter for sure. Gah! I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Even though I’m really not ready. And they always say you need to wait three full months after going off the pill to clear out your system, or else you’re at increased risk for miscarriage. Which I don’t know how I’d be able to handle, not to mention Mr. b.

    Monday, June 09, 2008

    Birthday Boy

    What do you get for a three year old's birthday? We've been thinking of having a balloon theme for his party, not because of any particularly excessive attachment to balloons on Kirk's part, but rather it's an easy thing to do. Balloon's are simple party favors and I think Mr. b would like to have an excuse to rent a helium tank.

    Kirk's not really old enough to want anything and he certainly doesn't really need anything. He's starting to see stuff on TV and ask for it, but he hasn't gotten to the point where he throws a fit. He'll try to sneak the point-of-sale items onto the check out conveyor belt or into the cart but doesn't notice when they don't actually make it home. He'll declare that he "has that" when he sees a toy he really likes on an ad or in a catalogue.

    I've been trying to work with him on telling me what he wants for his birthday. He knows that his birthday is next (technically it's Grandpa's but since he's in Texas I guess we'll give Kirk a pass on that one this year) because it's after mine. My birthday is when it's almost hot. Kirk's birthday is when it's hot. (Again, maybe not the best explanation for a cool summer like we seem to be having but it was the best I could do all winter long as cousin after cousin celebrated their birthdays.)

    So far Kirk has requested the following:
  • a birthday hat

  • Lightning McQueen cars (including Mack and "the naughty cars")

  • Finding Nemo jammies

  • And that's it. That's all I have to go on.

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    belsum the Vampire Reader

    I’ve accidentally gotten addicted to reading vampire books. It’s no mere seasonal thing like I thought before. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching Buffy for the first time ever? But really, these things are awesome! They’re like…the perfect smut for a sci-fi chick! And who doesn’t like that? I had previously thought there were only two choices for dirty books: literature like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski or Harlequin bodice-ripping romance novels. Yet there’s this whole world out there!

    I was looking forward to Bloodsucking Fiends since I’ve enjoyed the two previous Christopher Moore books I’ve read. It was nice to have a female vampire protagonist, Jody, for a change. And since she wasn’t centuries old it was a brand new perspective on the idea of becoming undead. There was a bit of a mystery and a bit of a love story and yet it was mostly just plain hilarious and absurd. Jody’s boyfriend, Tommy, and his friends/co-workers added a really fun and exuberant element. There’s a sequel, You Suck, which I fully intend to read, this time not just because I’m working my way through Moore’s oeuvre. Mr. b accidentally read the sequel first so I know that it will feature the boyfriend and I look forward to his perspective on becoming a vamp.

    Twilight had been recommended to me a few times and I knew that it was big with The Kids. I read a review of Stephenie Meyer’s latest book and it sounded good so I figured I’d like this one. What an understatement. I completely and utterly fell in love with the protagonist, Bella, and her vampire boyfriend, Edward. There were some major changes to “standard” vampire mythology but they all fit within the confines of the world that was created. And as a romance, it was completely chaste, yet extremely passionate. I can fully understand why it has so caught on with the middle school crowd and I’m really excited that they’re making a movie. I am thrilled that there are two more books already published and at least one more in progress.

    There were a lot of differences between Sunshine and the other two books. Robin McKinley created a dense and fully believable world, but it was a modern alternate universe. Whereas in the previous two vampires were secret and unknown to the outside populace, New Arcadia was still recovering from the last war with Others, vampires being the darkest of those. The technology and setting was modern, but with alt labels and names for things we have in our own world. And there’re demons and monsters and sorcerers. The complete realization of the way that magic functions within that universe reminded me a lot of the Dresden Files. There was the same dank realism, the same hard boiled edge. Though Sunshine herself is going through a voyage of self-discovery, so it also reminded me of War for the Oaks. Events and circumstances thrust her deep into the unknown, and by the end, I wanted more. In general this was a much more adult story and I simply adored it. I’m not aware of a sequel, and maybe it wouldn’t be possible to write one without diminishing some of the elements that made this book so enchanting, but I’d read it anyway.