Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bologna sandwich from a real, live pregnant woman ...

I started the day so fresh-faced and full of life. By midday I had pizza sauce
on my shirt, ankles the size of a thigh, and a soul that had been trampled. 
Saturday was the busiest day I've had in 100 years and just happened to coincide with having ankles that have bled into my calves, which have bled into my thighs. None of these body parts are distinguishable from the other. And while I'm exaggerating, it's still real live body horror and I've Googled "Swollen Ankles 37 weeks pregnant" so many times that I'm surprised the search engine hasn't redirected me to a screen where giant CGI eyes roll in annoyance.

There was dropping Chuck's car off at a shop.
There was a retirement party, where I spent 3 minutes with the retiree and 25 minutes with plate after plate after plate of meatballs.
There was picking Chuck's car up from the shop after a $15 fix.
There was keg pickup.

There was me standing next to an open hatchback, waiting for Chuck and The Great Archivist to return with a dolly, when a woman and her children walked past.

"That's what I like to see," she said. "A pregnant lady with a keg."

At one point I had an embarrassing case of road rage at a tourist who didn't understand the concept of a four-way stop. The guy let seven cars go in front of him while he waited, blinker blinking. "It's a Four-Way Stop!" I probably yelled too violently out my window. He indicated for me to pass him on the right. I took advantage of this to tell him that he was an idiot.

Then I collapsed in social shame for the next four hours. I made Chuck tell me over and over and over that I was justified.

I've got to get this baby out of me so I can hopefully resume some semblance of self control.

Chuck directs website fans to the soiree. 
There was a birthday party for the website Chuck and his friends have kept interesting for the past 10 years. Geo Grrl and I worked the prize table: She manned the prize wheel and passed out collections of naughty verse, concert tickets, T-shirts and vinyl; I made bologna sandwiches for the fortunate 7 who landed on that piece of the pie.

Yummy in your tummy.
JCrew practices a life with this chair. 
JCrew lingered near the prize table, hoping proximity to it would help her chances at winning a sexy Adirondack chair, valued at $600. "I just got married," she told people, angling for the sympathy vote. "I just moved in to a new house," she said. "We don't have any deck furniture yet." In the end she was one of five people who had scored an entry in the drawing and ... she didn't get it. She would have rigged it for me, she said, if things had been different. "When did you get ethics?" she asked.

Chuck talks about the internet. 
The Great Archivist talks about what it means to be a Grand Poobah. 
Chuck and The Great Archivist ended up on getting interviewed on by two TV news stations.

After the party I had the kind of social fatigue that requires sensory deprivation. I laid in The Seahorse and Orin kept his little paw on my arm and stared into my eyes. My ankles relaxed, my mood improved and within two hours we were walking into Bayfront Festival Park for Atmosphere-Trampled.

Some people watch concerts at Bayfront Festival Park from here.
Also: CAN YOU BELIEVE I LIVE HERE?!
While standing in line for the Biffy, The Great Archivist presented the most horrific visual: What if I had the baby in the porta-potty. What if she fell down the hole. What if she floundered in the muck.

"Call the paramedics," he said. "SHE ALREADY HAS A NAME!"

It was a nice night. Either the entire city was hamboned or someone turned up the gravity on the day. Chuck and I left early for Round 2 of the retirement party but didn't last long. There were too many bodies in one room. And blah, blah, ankles.

We came home and watched four episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and let the rest of the air deflate from our pores. I elevated my legs on an exercise ball; Chuck hid under a blanket.



Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Pregnant: Week 37 ...

I was one of three preggos in the bar. The bartender and I were thinking of
bumping bellies, but instead we arranged a marriage between our kids. 
I am, what they call, full term. This mostly means that my next trip to Target could end with a yellow "Cuidado! Resbaloso cuando esta mojado" sign in the toothpaste aisle. On the other hand, it's a great relief to think that at this point the PBG is just fine tuning some developmental things and growing some hair.

The Parents Pista have been coming to town regularly to complete construction projects that fall outside of our comfort level. Now all of our bedroom doors close and we don't have to prop a milk crate full of records against ours to keep the cats off our faces at night. My dad also gave the PBG's closet a makeover, which included covering a cracked wall that looked like The Hellmouth. As a person who saw fright faces and demon doors in the swirls of wood on my own childhood closet, I appreciate this. I spent a lot of time worried that the band KISS was going to rock its way into my bedroom. I know fear.

There were a few hiccups during construction. My dad is a slow and steady worker whose mind is always whirring with the next idea for a fix. He explains these stalls matter-of-factly, but you never get the sense that he won't find an answer. Then he gets so far into his own head that he is unable to register human frequencies. You might ask him a question and he might answer if 20 minutes later after plotting a how to re-rig a light fixture.

Just once his frustrations mounted to truly angry, albeit therapeutic: "Darnit! ... Darnit!"

Meanwhile, this has led to way to a wonderful contribution to the master quote board. At one point the construction crew had to make a return trip to Menards. Chuck asked my dad if they should take his car. My dad looked at him and said:

"You can't take a car to Menards."

So now the construction is done, at least the stuff that requires assistance from someone who owns his own door knob hole maker. This all ended ceremoniously with me filling a glass of water at the sink and feeling, suddenly, like I'd been stabbed in the throat.

By the time my mom walked back in the room I was hyperventilating tears, wheezing "The next time you're here I'll have had the ... BABY." (Hiccup). It happened again at the door when they left. This was all very mortifying, as I like to -- at least in front of them -- maintain the personae of a hardened soul who doesn't feel feelings. I'm not sure why. Probably the same reason I automatically sulk whenever I sit in the backseat of their car.

My mom, of course, cackled. She'd heard tell of these outbursts.
"Poor (Chuck)," she laughed.
(Although I think she welled up).

***

I'm only dreaming in baby. Every fresh dream scene stars one. Most recently a 3-month-old toddled down a long hallway, surrounded by keepers. I understood that this was our child and that it was time for us to pick her up.

"But that can't be our baby," I said, looking at the blonde haired, blue eyed chubby. "Our's would only be three months old and this one can walk!"
"Some of them can walk as soon as they come out," someone told me, bored.

***

This has been the most physically uncomfortable week of my life. It's exacerbated by swollen ankles, which I study like they are the stars of a petri dish.

***

Today as I drove home, the PGB head-butted and poked, the slow, lazy movements of a growing person confined to a too tiny space. She poked her butt out, giving my stomach a non-symmetrical alien outline. I have to imagine she wants out as badly as I want to get a look at what I imagine is a scrunched little face with a tiny black path of hair that resembles a toupee.

She must want out as badly as Chuck wants to introduce her to the "Power Puff Girls."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Special treatment ...

I worry that I'm getting spoiled. I'm hardly a selfless person, but I am hyper aware of standing between someone and something they REALLY want and something I only barely care if I can get. Of being an inconvenience or taking up too much space. Around the time the waist belt on my winter coat became laughably obsolete, I had to get used to people doing things for me: Letting me budge in line, holding doors, picking up my phone off the ground, offering me food or a seat and just cooing over my beach ball-esque girth.

At first it was uncomfortable. I felt like I was faking a limp and everyone was buying it. This was my "no, no ... it's no big" period. Then came the awkward acceptance that, yes, I would be less aware of my internal organs while sitting down so I'll take your offer but make an exaggerated grimace to show that I'm not super comfortable with all this take-take-take.

I'm now basically at: What the hell are you going to give me for THIS? (Cue the slow, exaggerated belly rub).

I was on my way to Subway today for a BLT and notice that it was apparently still Food Truck Lunch Hour. As soon as I saw the green Bookmobile-sized restaurant, I started craving its Caprese Panini.

"Are you still open?" I asked. All the signage had been stowed.
"I can't let a pregnant woman go hungry," the guy said.
"No, really, it's no big. I can --" I pictured the limp 6-inch sub at the other end of my errand.
"I can't let a pregnant woman go hungry," he said.
By the time I finished nodding, he'd brought the menu board back outside of the truck.
"The only one I can't make is the Caprese," he said.
I scrunched my nose.
"Nuts," I said. "That was the one I was going to get."
"GET THE STUFF OUT," the guy called to his coworker. Then added to me: "It's going to take an extra two minutes."
"No, no," I said. "Really. I'll."
I read the menu, which included a few things that fall outside the boundaries of safe pregnant eating. Hollandaise, for instance. (Raw eggs).
"It's just I can't eat some of these things," I said.
He nodded.
"FIRE IT UP!" he said, picked up the sign and carried it back inside the truck.
We traded some small talk about due dates and how fast the Food Truck could get me to the hospital if need be. Then I ate my delicious sandwich.

So, I did feel a little eeps about that whole exchange. On the other hand, every time I'm in my car and feel slighted by a fellow driver -- a refusal to allow me to merge, jumping line at a 4-way stop, cruising through a dark yellow -- I get extra incensed. I'm actually bothered that they can't see the relationship between my steering wheel and my stomach.

I actually think to myself: "Great. You just almost T-boned a pregnant woman. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?"

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Pregnant: Week 36 ...

"Feel that?" she asks.
I won't even tell you what she's doing, but, yes, I do feel it.
"That's the baby's head," she says. "She's in position."

Basically this means that if I did a handstand, the PBG would be wearing my pelvis like a jester's hat. This doesn't mean the nurse practitioner, who is filling in for my doctor, is going to predict a due date. At least not aloud. But, she tells me, this positioning means that when I get to the delivery room much of the work has been done.

This is good news. I'm in a silent competition with my own mother, who labored less than 3 hours with both my brother and me. If I can score a 2 hours, 45 minutes, I'll be the reigning champion.

It also means that it might hurt to walk, the nurse tells me, which I've verified.

"Like you've got a bowling ball between your legs," she suggests. "And then you might begin to feel electric jolts in your vagina. ... Maybe you've begun to walk like a duck."

I'm starting to feel like people should pay 50 cents to a man in an exaggerated top hat to sneak a peek  behind the velvet curtain. Visit my cage. Throw peanuts at me. Pet my second head.

We discuss upcoming appointments, including the one next week.
"And," she says, "If you're still coming here the next week ..."
Whoa. If?
She must notice my big eyes.
"Yep," she says. "I have to tell you. That baby's coming out. One way or another."

***

Me: "Promise me we will never put one of those headbands on our baby's head."
Chuck: "No way."
Me: "She can wear hats, though. We need to make sure that she is comfortable in a hat."
Chuck: "Yeah, but we don't want to raise Blossom."
Me: "... Why not? I like Blossom. And she as a good dancer."
Chuck: "In your opinionation."



***

I've become obsessed with swollen ankles, to the point where I might have ankle dysmorphia.

***

Chuck and I were in Canal Park today to catch Lil Latrell's big finish during Grandma's Marathon.
"Look at that kid," he said.
A young boy, very serious looking, was pacing a man -- seemingly his father -- down the homestretch.
And ... I started bawling.
I stuck my face to Chuck's arm.
"Later" (sniffle) "Later" (sniffle) "That dad is going to tell everyone that" (sniffle) "that kid helped him finish the race."
Full on tears mixing with rain.
Chuck cackled. He claims that I always cry when I see young people succeeding. That I didn't stand a chance at the finish line of a marathon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Rage ...

I didn't even notice the jackass until I heard him say: "We should make him put one on his head. Wear it like a hat." Then I looked over and saw the jackass standing with his arms propped up, pits out, facing deep into the women's underwear department at Target. The "him" was the pre-teen I'd seen him loping through the store with earlier. "Yeah," the jackass said. "We should do that. He can wear it like a hat."

He was talking a woman who were bra shopping, seemingly part of this jackass's party.
I made an annoyed face, re-tuned him out mostly and continued shopping. I forgot he was there until I heard the woman say, loudly and firmly: "Would you two knock it off? Seriously."

That kept him quiet for a few minutes, then he was at it again.
"44D," he said. "Those are some pretty big boobies. The D is the cup size."
"Yep," he said. "Those would be some big boobies, 44D. Can you imagine the size of those big boobies?"

I turned in his direction and rolled my eyes just as the women looked over at me.

"Knock it off," she said to him. "You have people rolling their eyes over here."
She left the bra zone and he shuffled behind her a few paces with the kid.
"I don't care," he grunted.

And then: My rage flood.

"Way to act around your son," I called to him.
"'s not my son," he grunted.
"Nice example," I said again.

He said something else about big boobies and I tried to explain that he was making "boobies" sound like something to snicker about -- except it came out sounding like I threw up 10 completely unrelated words all over the floor in front of baby bib overhauls. Then I escaped down an aisle to quickly text the story to Chuck, quiet my fury shakes and come up with 20 different things I could have said that would have been awesome.

In other news: Chuck had to hold me back from going outside to yell smart ass comments at our Nuisance Neighbor the other day. Like, literally hold me back.

I guess the moral here is that you can take the girl out of the bar, but you can't take the bar fight out of her.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Seven things ...

1. I'm wide awake and Chuck is, whatever is the opposite, maybe closed asleep. His head thrown back, mouth open, eye mask still in place. It's the worst. I'm ready to start having fun and he's still knee deep in REM. Pure cruelness.


2. We determine the whereabouts of one of the food trucks and get there just in time to snag the last panini with pesto from a vegetarian who must instead eat the veggie burger. Chuck and I share an order of deep fried strawberries, which taste like strawberry pie.

3. The Park Point Rummage Sale is miles of house-after-house-after-house of sales. Lots of "Saturday Night Fever" albums and bartering. "Sure. I'll take $20 cash and a $20 check, as long as it has your phone number on it." That kind of thing. I buy a 50 cent ring, a $2 pair of earrings, a $1 book that was on my Amazon Wish List (and smells faintly of cigarettes) and Chuck buys 1970s home repair books covering topics like plumbing, sauna building and floor boards. After 3 hours of this, I wonder if the PBG is in a desperate fight with gravity, her little hands on my pubic bone to keep from falling through void.

4. An enthusiastic teen sells us double scoop ice cream cones, expertly suggesting flavor combinations. I have chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel and a tiny sample of salted caramel.


5. Ever since my mom mentioned a meal she used to make, Tuna Twist, I've been Tuna Twist curious. I've been really into vintage foods lately, which is why I tend to slather bare noodles in butter and then go apeshit on Parmesan Cheese. She sends the recipe, I substitute Cream of Mushroom Soup for Cream of Celery Soup and we eat the heck out of it.

6. We keep things old school and watch the movie "The Paper Chase," which is good aside from having the most loathsome protagonist. Sometimes I want to take the male romantic lead of movies from the 70s, shake him until his curly wig-like hair whirls like a mop, and say: "You're insufferable. Stop torturing your girlfriend with your dumb words."

7. Then, after searching through every movie available various streaming services, we watch "On Golden Pond." The only thing I remember from this movie -- which I seemingly saw 400 times when I was a kid -- is the 12-year-old kid telling Henry Fonda that he likes to "cruise chicks" and "suck face." The entire movie is slow with barely a ripple of a plot and Jane Fonda plays a woman who desperately needs to get over some sort of perceived bad relationship with her father. Meanwhile, the viewer is constantly made aware of how everyone dies. It's equal parts boring, frustrating and depressing. But Jane Fonda really has beautiful eyes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Pregnant: Week 35 ...


I no longer recognize my own breasts. Couldn't pick them out of a pile of breasts. These aren't just bigger versions of the breasts I've always known. There have been actual structural changes to my breasts that have rendered them unrecognizable. Strangers. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it except this: My breasts now look like they would want to talk to you in the locker room at the YMCA. They would wear sensible sandals, grow lavender, take inspiration from Lake Superior.

Consider just this: I'm referring to them as breasts instead of one of the dozens of more colorful words I prefer.

***

I took a breastfeeding class this week. The teacher described the entire milk factory as looking like broccoli, the florets as Stage 1 of milk production, the stalks as the route to the spigots. A teenaged preggo, who looked a little stoned, went apeshit on some Tootsie Rolls and then left early. A woman in her 30s asked how long she can pump and if milk production slows during menopause. The teacher spoke with an urgency that suggested if, under duress, a new mother caves and takes the easy route -- formula, "just this once" -- SHE WILL REGRET IT FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.

Meanwhile, a boot camp for new fathers was going on next door. A graduate brought his baby to class to show the newbies and said baby wailed for about 45 minutes straight. We all pretended like we couldn't hear it. The alternative was just too painful.

***

I've now jumped to weekly appointments. Ma and Pa Pista were in town to help with home repairs that fall outside of our skill sets, so I brought the former along to the doctor's office to see what kind of emotional bloodletting I could induce.

It was too easy. She was already swallowing glue when I said to the nurse practitioner: "Grandma hasn't heard her heartbeat yet. Is that okay if she sticks around just for that part?"

***

I've become a woman who sweats. And this woman who sweats has all sorts of interesting new places for pools of sweat to collect.

***

I've recently become cloth diaper curious after reading about a local all-natural cloth diaper company that opened less than a mile from our house. I sent Chuck a link to some info about the company and he responded:

True story. Just three hours earlier I'd complained that I did laundry, but forgot to wash underwear. 

Ma Pista and I stopped by the store later in the week and I coached her before we went inside. "I'm just browsing," I said. "I'd like to get her a little sun hat and just see what else they have. DO NOT LET ANYONE TALK ME INTO CLOTH DIAPERS."

"No way," Ma Pista responded. "What a mess. You don't want to make things harder for yourself." 
"Seriously," I said. "I'm too cloth diaper curious." 
"I won't," she promised. 

It took my mom two minutes in the store before she asked the owner about the cloth diaper system and got a little tutorial. We left a half hour later with a sun hat, belly balm and a tiny T-shirt. 

Ma Pista: "Those diapers are really cute. And with those biodegradable sheets! She said she saved $7,000 on diapers. It's not like the old days with the smelly cloth diapers, that wet bag system is really neat." 
Me: "..." 
Ma Pista: "I mean, you could still have a few disposable diapers around the house." 
Me: "Do you remember when I told you not to let her talk me into cloth diapers." 
Ma Pista: "But it's so much better than it was when I had babies." 
Me: "You had one job." 

***

Chuck has been through a symphony of my day-to-day grunts, groans and yelps. When I had a leg cramp in the middle of the night, he practically had the car pointed toward the hospital before the muscle stopped seizing. Yesterday I had the worst sleep I've had since purchasing The Seahorse, which seemed to have him a bit on edge when I peed twice in 23 minutes. 

"Are you okay?" he asked around 4:30 a.m. 
"Just uncomfortable," I said after groaning my way into sleeping position. 

Today he had a solution to all of this. A way of knowing which yelp means go-time. 
"We need a safe word," he said. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Pregnant: Week 34 ...

At this point in my pregnancy, my maternity T-shirt fails to cover the bottom of my belly. I regularly see this fashion faux pas while at the OBGYN (and, frankly, the grocery store in West Duluth), so I'm going to assume it's all cool in preggo land. 

Here is the thing: I don't think there will ever be a point where I will blacken the final item on some fictitious to-do list, prop my feet on a duffle bag containing three nightgowns, Chapstick and an Us Weekly, score 100 percent on some set of parenting pop quiz Flash Cards, sigh and say, "Now I'm ready."

Not today, not in five weeks, not in six years.

Canceling out the state of being ready-ready, truly ready by the definition of ready, I would like to say that I'm soft ready. I'm ready despite not being ready. I want to meet this squirming eel, this blueberry aficionado, this alien arm shark-finning across my midsection, this PBG who I've already decided, simply by the way her whacky little leg finds unique cubbies to lodge, is such a charmer. So adorable. Really has an advanced sense of humor. I can't wait to have a handstand contest with her in the front yard. Me, in my 40s with an ever-changing center of gravity; Her, pre-K, with the energy of both her parents times a zillion.

This excitement level divided by five more weeks is the most grueling answer to a math problem. Ever.

***

The doctor checked her heartbeat this week and then asked:
"What's your guess?"
He was a little ramped, that fever that infects people who are close to vacation.
"145?" I asked.
He flipped the monitor to Chuck, nodded, flashed it at me. It was 147.
"What's this?" he asked, guiding my hands to my upper left quadrant.
I prodded the baby part.
"Butt," I said. "It's a little squishy."
"She's right!" he said to Chuck. "She knows her baby!"
I slid off the table, tugged my clothes back into position.
"Sometimes the butts are squishy," the doctor said. "They can be hard, too."
"I know mine used to be," I said. "Before all of this."
Silence.
Nobody likes my jokes.
Ever.

***

I'm at this thing and everyone wants to talk about this science project that is turning the pattern on my dress into something like a Magic Eye puzzle.
"The only thing more beautiful than a woman is a pregnant woman," an elderly man whispers into my ear.
"You want my advice?" another elderly man says. "Just love that kid. Just love it. Because you blink and it's graduating. You blink and it's getting married. You blink and it's having its own kids. Just love it."

Then, today:
"I still miss the feel of a baby pressed against my neck," a woman tells me. She mimes the act of holding a baby. Her kids are older than me.

In each case I quickly excuse myself to avoid projectile tears.

***

Me: There is just a little bit of milk left. Are you going to need that for your breakfast tomorrow, or do you think it's more important that our daughter benefit from the calcium?
Chuck: Hm ... You know, she's probably fine. You've eaten a LOT of cheese tonight.

***

It occurs to me that I've begun wielding my belly as a weapon. Or at least a form of manipulation. I was at the grocery store today and a man was taking up too much space at the self checkout so I nailed him with my hand cart and when he whipped around to be pissed about it, I exaggerated my waddle and said "sorry" in a way that sounded wonderfully insincere.

"I'm so proud of you," Chuck texted back to me when I told him about it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wherein I lose my ability to hold a narrative thread ...

Me: How long do you think Dijon Mustard, opened, lasts in the refrigerator?
Chuck: Are you asking me, or do you already know?
Me: I know.
Chuck: Six months.
Me: (Slow nod) Interesting. No. See, when I was making that quinoa thing and I had to mix Dijon with water. I'd written on the one in the fridge that it was opened in January. I didn't know if I should use it and I knew we had an unopened Dijon in the cupboard. But that expired in 2012!
Chuck: Was it expired or was that the Best By date?
Me: Doesn't matter. It's still a year ago. ... Anyway, so I look online and ---
Chuck: ?
Me: I just realized this isn't  a story. You know what? Never mind.
Chuck: So ... how long does it last?
Me: Who cares.
Chuck: Just tell me!
Me: A year. (Shrug).
Chuck: Huh.
Me: Chinese mustard lasts two years.



Monday, June 3, 2013

Adult Contemporary Series: 'A Shoulder to Cry On' ...

I hit my romantic apex as a young teen. I had dreamy notions that love was about holding hands and roller skating. Or that I would reinvent myself as a 1950s style golly-gee girl and wear a poodle skirt and saddle shoes on the first day of school. I called boys and twisted phone cords. I scribbled initials on the bottom of my Keds. 

But it wasn't just the hockey-haired boys of St. Pius X or the teal Converse wearing neighborhood skateboarder who made me all gooey and doe-eyed. It was also my friends. And as an eighth-grader about to graduate to a school that would combine teens from two other elementary schools, I was terrified about what this would mean for our gang, identifiable by the Esleep pajama bottoms we wore over leggings in public. 

We sort of tortured our music teacher, a woman I now confuse in my head with Diane Chambers. Fannie and I got in trouble for throwing sticky pieces of wall goo at her while she played piano. When Princess Linda didn't want to play trumpet at the spring concert, I wrote Mrs. S a letter about how playing trumpet reminded Princess L. of her dead grandfather. So when we showed enthusiasm for a choir song, Mrs. S had no choice but to forge ahead. During the spring concert in 1989, we joined voices beautifully to sing "The Rose," made popular by Bette Midler. It was for that same concert that I suggested we sing "Shoulder to Cry On" by Tommy Page. It's a little known tune about always being there, a friend to rely on, when the whole world is gone you won't be alone because I'll be there. It was a song that perfectly encapsulated how I felt about my friends at the time. A song that I now see as barely-rhyming emotional manipulation dished by a man with fantastic hair. 

Princess Linda's parents recorded the concert, a tape I loathed revisiting. There I am during the set list's One-Two Punch of Emotion: Age 14. Big hair, neon shorts. My eyes undeniably shining with tears. 


The Adult Contemporary Series explores the hits of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s and what they meant to me, inspired by a song heard while listening to Adult Contemporary radio in my Adult Contemporary Car. Except this time I heard the song at Menards. 

It's Sunday and I'm Boring: The mom is on Facebook edition ...

Wake up to the sound of urban chaos: The simultaneous whoops and whistles of an ambulance, a lawn mower, a car alarm and a train, which, at half-a-mile away sounds like it is going to blast through the bedroom wall.

It's not quite 9 a.m. and it really feels like there is more sleep to be had. Chuck's still strapped in a sleep mask, which gives him the look of Super Sleeper. You could make an action figure out of his resting face.

I have a text message from Brother Pista who is responding to a curiosity that I discovered on Saturday night: My mom joined Facebook simply so she can watch a video of my niece Mel dancing Gangham Style while she was on vacation -- which Brother P posted on his page. My mom also refuses to accept friendship from anyone who didn't personally shoot through her birth canal. (Subsequently, she has two friends). Sometime in the late hours of Saturday night, she changed her school to my alma mater and her current city to Duluth.

The hell?

I texted my brother to ask what he thought this was about, does she know I'm  me and she's she, and he has responded that she also changed her address to my basement. Chuck speculates that she is masking her identity to avoid "cyber crimes." Brother Pista and I believe that this kind of paranoia smacks of Pa Pista.

***

I check in with how all of my Instagram and Facebook friends spent Saturday night, scrolling, scrolling. The results are equally entertaining and exhausting. Sometimes having fun looks so hard.

***

Back to sleep. I dream that an old friend's teenage son says to me: "I've found that the overwhelming majority of my mother's friends prefer the outdoors." Meanwhile, I'm in some sort of loop where the same elementary school keeps getting robbed by the same band of heavies and I keep escaping unscathed.

***

The cats break down the door and are prancing around on the bed. My new mantra for Hal has become a half-assed "Don't step on the baby" that he seems to both understand and ignore. I agree to get out of bed, a decision coaxed along by my bladder, and find myself stuck. I'm on my back and wrapped in a 6-foot C shaped body pillow I call The Seahorse and am unable to hoist myself into an upright position.

Chuck watches me flail and grunt and asks if I need help just as I finally roll into a position of mobility.

"I was beached!" I gasp.

***

Some people say you can get the smell of gasoline out of your clothes by adding Coke to the wash. I'm reluctant to dump Coke in the washing machine.

I will, instead, try multiple washings following by air drying in nature. If that doesn't work, I will consider soaking the jeans in a witch's brew that includes baking soda.

***

There are a few ways to get rid of expired medications:

1. Take them to the police station;
2. Dissolve them in water and throw in the garbage;
3. Take to your local hazardous waste dump site.

***

I hit exhaustion near the check out at Target, but that's not my destination. I'm headed paces beyond for a pre-check out trip to the bathroom. I'm draped over the cart like I've just crossed an ultra marathon finish line in the desert. Chuck responds to my "Which toilet paper won't leave us ankle deep in our feces" text with "Charmin Basic" but the basket is currently filled with something called Charmin Ultra.

I'm, like, winded.
Toilet paper is at least 50 yards the opposite direction.

I propel myself backward with the promise of sewage-free living.

***

Ma Pista asks if I had fun last night at the "Best Duluth Day" birthday party. Seems she saw on Facebook that I would be attending this event. (Except the event isn't until the end of the month and it's not "Best" Duluth Day).

"That's not until the end of the month," I tell her.
"YOU'RE GOING TO THE BEST DULUTH DAY BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE END OF THE MONTH?" she's mentally measuring my girth.
"It's not like a contractual obligation," I tell her. "I can still opt out."
Anyway, she's not sure how she changed her alma mater and current residence but she thinks it's all pretty funny.

***

The "It's (Insert Day of Week) and I'm Boring" is a series that Jodi and I do to pay homage to the beauty of old-school blogging. 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

It's Friday and I'm Pregnant: Week 33 ...

Man is this little lady a rascal. On Tuesday she was totally chill, disconcertingly chill, so I pulled some moves I learned from growing up in a house where one's mother might rip open the shades to blast a sleeper with sunlight all while channeling Ann Margaret to sing the inane rhymes of something deemed a wake up song.

Except instead of annoying her awake, I did some of her favorite things: I ate blueberries and turned up the volume on her favorite radio voice Neil Cohen. Occasionally she would give a movement that I assumed was the equivalent of the shrug-eyeball roll combo. But for the most part she acted like Tuesday was a spa day, a special session with her signature amniotic fluid treatment. Whenever I started to be a little, "C'mon, Little Girl. What's happening in there?" she would head butt my intestines or try to climb my ribcage so I guess we're psychically linked or something.

Everything changed the next day and by Thursday I was Googling: 33 weeks pregnant too much movement? 

It was like an earthquake.
It was like fireworks.
It was like the choreography from "Flashdance."
It was like Gallagher having a temper tantrum in a tiny bedroom.
Sometimes it tickled, sometimes it hurt, sometimes it was just a nuisance.

And every time I gritted in discomfort I thought to myself: Remember that time you made a 15 second video of this movement because you liked it more than watching TV? Oh the naiveté of being 30 weeks pregnant.

I learned that walking provides a soothing rhythm that even works in utero. I also learned that sometimes a person might have uterine muscle spasms because of all the Braxton Hicks-ness going on. I learned that wild in the oven might also mean wild out of the oven. I learned that when I hypothesized that being pregnant would feel like cupping a frog in my hands I was exactly right.

Anyway, since those two days all has returned to normal. I can again find her flailing completely adorable.

***

Chuck finished the big to-do items on Operation Baby Bedroom. It looks like this:


***

About 10 minutes after telling Chuck that I am "totally the kind of person who will poop during delivery," he was quietly scrolling on his phone.

"What's up?" I asked.
"Just researching pooping during pregnancy," he told me. "The majority of women do it."
"Even if the majority of women didn't do it, I'd still do it I bet," I told him.
"Those who report NOT doing it either a) just don't remember or b) are among the rare few who don't do it," he said.
"Although," I said. "Considering I've become regular even during the adverse conditions of being pregnant AND taking iron pills, maybe I'll be cleaned out and I won't."
"Some couples make a pact beforehand," he said. "That if the woman isn't comfortable being seen at her most vulnerable, her partner won't be in the room. OR that if she DOES poop during delivery, her partner promises to never mention it again."

***

Clever touches from a coed BBQ shower with Chuck's family last weekend: