Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Please Keep Your Horror Stories to Yourselves, Thank You Very Much

I'm going to my cousin's baby shower this weekend. Well, let me rephrase that: I am planning to go to my cousin's baby shower this weekend. I'll be 36 weeks pregnant tomorrow and at this stage of the game, my body is unpredictable. If the shower was today, I'd definitely be there. But Sunday? I might not be in any sort of condition to leave the house and drive to the Westside! I am, however, optimistic and keeping my fingers crossed.

I am excited to attend my cousin's shower. She is due two weeks after me (how cool is that?) but since we live on opposite sides of L.A. County, I haven't seen her since Christmas Eve. I can't wait to compare our pregnant bellies in person. Also, I decided to skip having a shower for Baby Girl, mainly because I lacked faith in my fussy tummy's ability to handle an entire party. (Would you want to go to a shower if the guest of honor was puking in the bathroom 70% of the time? I think not.) Since I did not have my own shower, it will be fun to vicariously soak up the atmosphere of storks, rattles and bottles.

But I am also a teeny-tiny bit apprehensive about the shower. When some people see a pregnant belly, they feel compelled to share the most horrifying labor and delivery stories they know. I'm worried that the baby shower atmosphere will only enhance this phenomenon, and I'm not interested! I am feeling calm and mellow about the coming weeks, and I'd like to stay that way, thank you very much. I don't want to hear any stories that involve "tears" or "temporary paralysis." I don't care if your sister-in-law's cousin's freshman roommate gave birth in a broken elevator. I don't need my head filled with a bunch of worst case scenarios.  

I suppose if anyone tries to tell me a labor horror story, I can just practice the breathing and focus techniques I've been learning at my prenatal yoga classes. And if that doesn't work, I'll just use my pregnant bladder as an excuse to walk waddle* away from the story. The pregnant bladder does have some usefulness, from time to time.

*Nathan claims "waddle" is not the right word for my new walking style. He says it's more of a "stomp" since I am very deliberate about the way I place my feet on the ground. Hey, call it what you want, but it works. Despite my belly's best efforts, I have not tripped!

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Stayed Awake Past My Bedtime!

Last night, Argo won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I predicted this last October. Excuse me while I take a moment to gloat and bask in my psychic powers.

In even more exciting news, I stayed awake past 9 p.m. and watched the entire Oscars, from start to finish! Okay, we didn't watch the entire show. We recorded the show and then Nathan skipped over the boring bits (of which there were many). But the important thing is that I saw Ben Affleck's acceptance speech live, and folks, I have not stayed awake past 9 p.m. in MONTHS. If I'm awake past 8 p.m., that is a miracle deserving a parade and fireworks. But 9 p.m.? I didn't think it was possible!

Thank you, Seth MacFarlane. You were an entertaining host and you kept this pregnant lady awake waaaaay past her bedtime. Now, if only Mr. MacFarlane could do something about my uncontrollable pregnancy thirst... (Seriously, folks, I guzzle water all day and all night, but the more I drink, the more my uterus demands.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Dumbass Pregnant Brain

My cousin Emily is also pregnant, and as she likes to joke, we are basically "operating at stoner capacity." Lately I feel like Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Here are some of my favorite "pregnancy brain" moments from the past few weeks:

  • I went shopping and bought some stuff for Baby Girl. About 45 minutes later, as I was driving home, I had a nagging suspicion that my shopping bag with Baby Girl's goodies had not made it into the trunk of my car. Sure enough, when I got home, I confirmed that the shopping bag had indeed been lost at some point during my shopping excursion. Fortunately, after several phone calls, I located the errant bag and the store was happy to hold it for me. And now I shop almost exclusively online.
  • I left my yoga mat at the yoga studio and had no idea my mat was missing until my next class. Fortunately, some kind soul had turned my mat into the Lost and Found.
  • I only wash my hair every few days (if not every four or five days). With my limited energy, I can't be drying my hair every day or two! I washed my hair this past Monday. On Tuesday, I told myself, I don't need to wash my hair, I washed it yesterday. About 30 seconds later, I was in the shower, applying shampoo. Doh! Then, when I was drying my hair, I realized I had forgotten to rinse out my conditioner. Are you freaking kidding me?! As a matter of principle, I refuse to wash my hair until tomorrow morning even though it feels a little gnarly from the excess conditioner. (Le sigh).
  • Just yesterday, I decided to assemble our Diaper Genie. It looked easy enough. According to the directions, I literally needed to snap Part A into Part B, and voilĂ , we'd have a functioning Diaper Genie. But my feeble pregnant brain could not handle this task.
  • Last night, as we were cleaning up dinner, Nathan asked if the dishes in the dishwasher were clean or dirty. I assured him that the dishes were clean, that I myself had run the dishwasher just that morning. I was 110% confident the dishes were clean. Nathan started to put the dishes away ... and suffice to say, they were not clean.
  • Last but not least, the Shift key on my laptop has been acting up. Nathan asked me, Are both Shift keys broken or is it just the one you normally use? I paused for a long time and finally said, My laptop has two Shift keys? My third grade computer teacher would be so disappointed!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Onesies

So far, I have exercised excellent restraint in the baby clothes department - but man, it's been hard. Baby clothes are so freaking cute! I've been browsing the baby onesies on Etsy, and holy crap, I'm in trouble. Maybe I'll just live in a flour sack and dedicate our 2013 wardrobe budget to Baby Girl's onesies collection. 

But for now, I'm just admiring the baby onesies. There are many onesies that make me swoon, like this and this and this. But there are also some onesies that annoy and disturb me. These are a few alarming trends I've noticed:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey: People actually make and sell baby onesies that refer to Fifty Shades of Grey. Are you $%&ing kidding me? How deranged do you have to be to let your child wear that? Whenever I see this type of onesie, I think about Susie from Curb Your Enthusiasm chewing out Larry and Jeff. Watch this montage if you want to understand my rage. (If you are not familiar with Susie's potty mouth, be warned that this montage should not be watched at work or while in the company of a nun.)
  • Poop Jokes: Look, I know baby's poop a lot, but let's not parade our babies around in onesies that make poop jokes. Leave the baby a shred of dignity for God's sake.
  • Politics: Whatever your politics may be, please do not treat your baby as a billboard for your political agenda. It's just creepy.
  • Onesies About Parents, Grandparents, etc.: I hate baby onesies that say "I love Mommy" or "My Aunt Is Hot And Single." A baby onesie should not be used as a way to bolster one's self-esteem. Let's just stick to the onesies with cute images of elephants and ducks, okay?
  • Hateful Sports-Related Onesies: I have no problem with baby's wearing clothes for their parents' favorite teams. Baby Girl will probably wear a ton of Huskers gear in the fall. However, I have also seen onesies that say stuff like "F___ the Yankees" or "Mizou Sucks." That's not cool, my friends, not cool at all. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some Random Thoughts After The Long Weekend

Did you enjoy your holiday weekend? Was it filled with presidential celebrations? I stopped doing legal work last month, so I was not exactly pining for a work vacation, but it was certainly nice to have Nathan home for an extra day. Lots of random stuff happened over the weekend:

  • I finished reading The Good House, by Ann Leary. Loved it! The novel takes place in a small coastal New England town, and the main character, Hildy Good, is the town's most successful realtor. She also happens to be a descendant of one of the witches burned at Salem. The story feels like the novel-equivalent of a three-hour conversation with a long-lost friend who is always plugged in to the best gossip.
  • I also finished reading Tiny Beautiful ThingsAdvice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed. Dear Sugar was an advice column that ran on The Rumpus, and Strayed elevated the advice column to an art form. I tried to read this collection of columns as slowly as possible, but I could not put the book down. I've already started reading Strayed's memoir Wild, which so far, is also excellent (and which I had avoided reading because I have some weird bias against the Oprah book club selections).
  • Nathan and I watched at least a dozen episodes of The League. We are just slightly obsessed. The show is about five friends who have a fantasy football league, but you don't need to understand football or fantasy football to enjoy the show. It's like the male version of Sex and the City. Warning: Just like SATC, it's very, very crass.
  • I watched the season finale of Downton Abbey. When does Season Four start? Next week?! Please?!?! In the meantime, Nathan gave me the BBC version of the first two seasons for Christmas (extra footage! deleted scenes!), so I'll just have to watch that for my Downton Abbey fix.
  • And most importantly, we transformed our office into a nursery. By "we," I mean "Nathan, my dad, and my sister" although I did my best to help (which generally meant staying out of the way and saying "thank you"). The nursery still needs some work, but you can definitely tell a baby is going to sleep there some day soon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I love yarn! Usually I just knit with it, but I've been branching out lately in my crafty yarn endeavors.

I made this wreath during the Super Bowl:

First, I wrapped dark pink yarn around a styrofoam wreath from Michael's. The wreath obviously needed a little bird, so I sewed one from felt using a pattern in Little Birds. Well, I sort of followed the pattern - I accidentally collapsed two of the steps together, and I made the wings and feet a little differently, and then I gave the little guy some yarn hair on top, but hey, it worked. (Nathan says the bird looks like a pig-devil hybrid, which I can see, but whatever, I love my fat little bird.) Once I had lashed the bird to the pink wreath, I added some extra bands of color with light pink and green yarn. This started as a Valentine's wreath, but since I'm primarily using pink and green in Baby Girl's nursery, I think this might actually be a Nursery Wreath. We shall see.

I also learned how to make pom poms:


My first batch of pink pom poms look like something you'd find in a tide pool. But I strung them together into a garland and now this doorway has some Valentine's loving. They make me happy (and Nathan instinctively ducks every time he passes through this door, even though he's not quite tall enough to get hit!)

Now I'm making pom poms with a very thick wool yarn:

These guys are much more plump and festive. I'm 99% certain that once I've made enough, they will become a garland for Baby Girl's nursery. I used this tutorial on the Minted blog to learn how to make pom poms. This tutorial on DesignSponge inspired me to use multiple colors in the same pom pom. 

The pom pom making process is very soothing and relaxing. Some people meditate. I make pom poms.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I've Been Reading

In the past month, my consumption of novels has matched by consumption of vanilla milkshakes (and damn, I've been drinking a lot of milkshakes). This probably has something to do with the fact that I'm in my third trimester and have less energy these days; so my afternoons are often spent in bed with my Kindle. These are the books I recently enjoyed the most:

  • If I Stay and its sequel, Where She Went, by Gayle Forman. In the first book, a high school senior is in a coma after surviving a terrible car accident. I don't want to say anything more for fear of ruining the plot. I cried at least a dozen times, but they were cathartic cries. I inhaled the book in a 24 hour period, and then read its sequel during the next 48 hours. Both books are compelling stories that will make you think - a lot.
  • The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan. This is the story of three sisters who danced at the Paris Opera. One of them also poses for Edgar Degas (you know, the artist who painted all the ballerinas.) The story is based on true stories and feels very well researched. This is the sort of historical fiction that makes me only want to read historical fiction. (It also makes me want to own a Degas painting, but that's not happening in this or any lifetime.)
  • The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson. If you liked The Royal Tennebaums, you'll highly enjoy this book. If you don't like Wes Anderson... you should probably read something else.

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Favorite Pregnancy Purchase (So Far)

I cannot say enough good things about this gizmo:

It's the Ez2Care Aluminum Reacher and every pregnant lady needs at least one. My bump recently got to the point where bending over is a challenge; and once it became a challenge, it felt like I had to bend over at least a thousand times a day to pick something up. Nathan is a saint and helps as much as he can, but he's not always home. And if my shoes are on the floor, I can't exactly wait eight hours until he gets home from work and can pick them up for me.

This is where the Reacher comes in handy. It is glorious. I mostly use it to pick up socks and shoes, but it picks up almost everything I need. I love it soooo much, and I can't believe no one suggested I buy one. I have received so much advice from friends, relatives, books and blogs, and no one ever thought to say, "Hey, when your bump becomes huge and cumbersome, get yourself one of those arm extender thingees." My husband had to think of this idea (while he was picking up a ball of yarn I had dropped for like the twentieth time that evening).

Every pregnant lady should receive one of these the day she starts her third trimester. It's a life saver. And I imagine I'll keep using it after Baby Girl arrives. Rather than bend over while holding a newborn, I'll just use my Reacher to clean up the floor. Screw Gandalf's wizard staff. My magical weapon of choice is the Ez2Care Aluminum Reacher.