Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not too much going on here. In lieu of other news, I'll tell you that I'm really enjoying Turning Tables by Heather and Rose MacDowell. I tend to like books set in the restaurant industry (Waiting by Debra Ginsberg and Girl Cook by Hannah McCouch are other examples), but this one is especially fun. I also like the font. Isn't it funny how that can make a difference? I think it's the same font they used in Because She Can by Bridie Clark.

(D can often identify a font just by looking, because he does some design work as part of his computer job.)

E is still moving around, though hopefully staying with his head down. We felt something round and hard a few inches above my belly button the other day. We think it was his bum :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I went to the doctor today. It was a different one than usual -- they are rotating me among the partners in the practice so I can get to know all of them; any one of them could deliver E (you get whoever's on call when you go into labor).

I like my regular doctor a little better -- she's warmer, and gives more opportunity for questions -- but I'll see her next time anyway. And this one was fine.

A number of good things happened:
  • I didn't gain any more weight. At least that's what the nurse said. I think I gained a pound. In other words, she says I weighed X both this time and last time; I think I weighed X - 1 last time. But whatever, I can't complain.
  • My blood pressure is normal, as it was last time.
  • E is head down -- the proper birth position! They're supposed to be head down by 34 weeks; I'm only 29 weeks and 2 days. I wonder if this means he will be early.
  • The doctor said I "measured perfectly." Starting a few weeks ago, they've been measuring my bump each time.
  • My sugar test was normal -- no gestational diabetes. It only affects 2-3% of pregnant women, but they test all of us anyway. I had the test done last time and they gave me this orange drink. I have to admit, it tasted pretty good. Some of the nurses even drink it when they're thirsty (probably not the best thing to do, since it's loaded with glucose). But they enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Damn nesting urge

I used to laugh when I read blogs by women who were about to give birth and frantically ran around cleaning their houses. "Please," I thought. "That will never be me."

As with so many things, I spoke too soon. I still have no desire to get down on hands and knees and scrub the bathroom floor, but I have a strong urge to knit goods for E (I started a sweater for him today, it is very petite and cute) and clear out tons of junk. Mindful of the childbirth teacher's warning to the husbands ("Your wives will give all your stuff to Goodwill!"), I am concentrating on getting rid of my own junk.

I'm performing a cookbook purge, having realized that I only make a few recipes over and over, while other ones will never be tried. My SIL will be the lucky recipient of three cookbooks, and the rest? Who knows. The laundry room? The dump? Some of them are freakin' heavy, too.

In fact, I have a systematic urge to go through every room in the house and throw out whatever I don't use. The urge is powerful and primal, almost like adolescent hormones. I want to get a crib earlier than D does, too. And I'm going to do it! It's bookmarked at target.com, and come late April, I'm ordering it. So there.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Music news

Well, Madonna has a new CD coming out. I for one will be getting it. I've been a fan of hers since I was 9.

I also like how she's totally inappropriate at 50 :D

(Okay, she's almost 50; she was born in August 1958. And yes, it's sad that I know that. In my defense, I don't know the day ;)
As my belly gets bigger, it's increasingly harder not to bump it against surfaces. I just bumped it into the table when I sat down, but he responded by kicking and shifting around, so it must be ok. I'm starting to discern habits and patterns...usually he wakes up slowly in the morning, stretching one leg, then building up to a crescendo of kicking.

This morning, though, D was snoring a bit, and E started wiggling enthusiastically on both ends. When he does that, I can't tell if he's waving his head around or his arms. He also seems to curl up and release sometimes, almost as if he's doing crunches.

My biggest fear right now is that there won't be time for anything after he's born. I see mothers (or fathers, or couples) bringing their babies to the pool where I swim, so I can do that once he's old enough. But I do feel pressure to race through all my knitting projects, especially the ones for him, in case I can't do them after he's born. It's probably irrational - my SIL has already offered to babysit and D is a big believer in getting help -- but it's haunting me just the same.

I picked out yarn (but haven't bought it yet) for a cardigan for E. I think it's going to be really cute.

Friday, March 21, 2008

FO and UFO*

Here's the sock I just finished knitting:



And the blanket I'm still knitting:


*Knit-speak for "finished object" and "unfinished object."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

D and I tried this new (to us) diner today. It was fabulous. The decor was Art Deco. I had a lentil burger in pita with horseradish mayo on the side. It really doesn't sound very good, so it could have gone either way, but it was quite tasty. Lentils are like impressionable children; you can mold them in either direction. I also had some of D's garlic cheese bread, which was made with some unusual, tangy cheese (but it was melted, so no listeria worries), and topped myself off with a brownie. The waiter walked by as I was contentedly mowing down on it and he smiled broadly. It must have been obvious how much I was enjoying it.

I finished the brownie as we walked because D had to get to his office for a meeting. Unable to contain myself, I exclaimed, "This is @$^$^@ fabulous!" A Jamaican lady walking behind us laughed and said, "I heard you."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thoughts on Before Green Gables

I finished the Anne of Green Gables prequel. I thought the author did a good job of imitating Anne's voice, tastes and character. It reminded me of Syrie James' book, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, in that regard -- it didn't sound exactly like the original author, but close enough that you didn't mind.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was that it was DEPRESSING. Not consistently so, but by page 350 I was thinking, "Please, let something good happen. Please." One of my favorite things about the series was that it was so positive, and any setbacks that did occur were mild -- Marilla giving Anne plain dresses, etc. At first, Before Green Gables had that cozy, escapist feeling, too; but after a while, to borrow Anne's words, it was "mired in the depths of despair."

Fortunately, it had a happy ending. I don't think I'm giving anything away (but stop reading if you're worried) when I say that it ends with her heading toward Green Gables. I mean, the book is called Before Green Gables, and everyone knows what happens next. I thought the ending was really well-done, getting into Anne's head and showing how she was leaving all her past experiences, good and bad, "on the other side of the Northumberland Strait."

This would explain why the characters in this book aren't really referenced in Anne's subsequent life -- an omission that bothered some reviewers. It made sense to me, and helped explain how Anne got over her early tragedies.

In summary, I would say if you're worried about inconsistent tone or bad writing, there's no cause for concern. But if it would really bother you to see Anne undergoing some fairly extreme hardship (albeit with a happy ending), that might be an issue. I don't regret reading it, but I think some of the events could have been softened a little.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pregnancy = free cupcakes

After dinner tonight, I wanted a cupcake, so we headed over to Billy's Bakery, which was nearby. We passed a really cute dog tied up outside a restaurant. He had little doggy dreads -- soft, furry ropes of hair that made him resemble a friendly carpet. We both patted him and decided to visit him again on the way back from the bakery.

At the bakery, we got a perfect vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting -- I think they called it a "Yellow Daisy" cupcake. The cashier took one look at my stomach and said it was on the house. (The cupcake, not my stomach ;) He also guessed that it was a boy. He was the first guy to guess correctly (the women always guess right). Some woman held the hotel door open for me in Miami and said, "It's a boy, right?"

On the way back, the dog was still there and *very* fascinated with my cupcake-scented fingers. We spent some time with him, and after we walked away, he gazed after us, forlorn. Then he jumped up on the window of the restaurant and barked! I hope his family came out to join him soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anne of Green Gables alert

I picked up a couple of books today -- Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (a light-hearted mystery series) and Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. D was skeptical at first ("Is it written by a guy?") but I assured him it was written by a Canadian woman. The series could hardly be continued by an American or a man, now could it?

Purists may be offended, but it looks good and I'm looking forward to reading it. Of course, these continuators have an enormous advantage as long as they can write, because they have a cast of well-known characters and a legion of built-in fans.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A compendium of comments

R, who works at the hotel: Now, you told me it was a boy, so next year if I say it's a girl, you can hit me, okay? (I told him, "I'll dress him in blue all week." Yes, we're planning to still make our annual sojourn to Miami after E's arrival. Everyone says OMG, YOU WILL NEVER TRAVEL AGAIN, but we saw lots of babies at the airport and on South Beach.)

Woman in the swimming pool locker room, child in tow: Ooh, congratulations! I want another one! I want five more! (I was thinking, "I'd rather just have your body." After E is born, of course. But her figure did give me hope, because if I hadn't seen her kid, I would not have believed she had one.)

Many, many men: Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl? ("A boy," I tell them.) You must be happy! they say to D. On the plane, D said, "It's funny they all think I'll be thrilled because it's a boy." I asked him, "How would you feel if it was a girl?" D said, "I'd be thrilled either way."

I did work with a guy once, though, who said that "every guy" wanted a boy, and "no guy" wanted a girl, but he would be happy with a girl, although I shouldn't tell anyone. I'm serious. (He ended up having a boy.)

One-half of a lesbian couple (I stopped to pat their bulldog): How far along are you? (I said, "26 weeks." I'm 27 and a half weeks now.) You're big for 26 weeks! Are you having twins? ("No.") You're going to go early. 36 weeks and you're done. Mmm-hmm. (Pregnancy is usually 40 weeks.)

And the sweetest comment, from the guy who drove us from the airport to our apartment last night: Your baby will be beautiful. From you and you (pointing to each of us.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

So I'm enjoying Miami more than I have in recent years. Maybe the slower pace of life here is just better suited to my slower pregnancy pace. Maybe the food, a little simpler than New York's, is better suited to my pregnant palate (which favors pasta with non-rich sauces, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.). But I think the warm weather makes people more patient and kinder. It's even pretty when it's stormy here...the palm trees toss and the grey sky is brooding and atmospheric. Do we really need the cold of the northeast?

Of course, most of our friends are in New York. But for the first time, I can see the appeal of moving to Florida. Sure, the summers would be hot. But the winters wouldn't be punitive. I also like the outdoor pool here. Randomly, the water tastes a little worse than the swimming pool water back home (sometimes I inadvertently get some in my mouth), but swimming in an outdoor pool is really fun. I remember thinking, as I moved in the warm water with the sun overhead, "This is the life."

What is your ideal place to live (if there is such a thing)?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hello!

The internet was broken yesterday. How traumatic! Now it is back up.

D and I had dinner with friends last night, a girl I know from college and her hubby. She is pregnant too but has gained 10 lbs less than me, despite being 6 weeks further along. She is having a girl. Maybe our kids will date ;)

Today we went swimming at a public pool, where they let us in for free -- D surmised it was because I was pregnant.

Otherwise I am just relaxing and unwinding. The good weather has a definite lazy-fying effect.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Poppy asked for it!

Here it is...belly shot 2. I'm at 26 and a half weeks.

D and I were walking along today and I was struck by how huge the breasts on the mannequins are here. I have a frame of reference now as a C...these ladies must have been G or bigger. On a size 4 "body." It was crazy. This guy walking ahead of me saw my amusement, giggled and pointed out another, even bigger mannequin...and then I thought, "I can't believe I'm laughing about mannequin boobs with a stranger."

On a less cheerful note, this woman we passed said, "Congratulations! How far along are you? Seven and a half months?" Um...six and a half.

Now I know that when people ask me how far along I am, and I tell them, their mouths are gaping because they think I'm further along. Great.

Also, we were in the burning sun at brunch at first, because D refused to go inside into the A/C (he is one of those people who will always choose to eat outside, given the option). Finally I told him I was feeling faint (which was true), and we went inside. Now I am worried that E is brain damaged from the sun.

I know better than to share this newest fear with my mother, because she basically told me I'm crazy and I should read a book on anxiety management.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So we arrived in Miami today. The flight was, for the most part, uneventful -- though we hit some turbulence right before landing. E seemed to survive it all, though. There was a scary moment in the cab going to the hotel -- a Jeep rolled over on the highway. They pulled some people out of it and everyone seemed to be OK, though they were holding one guy very straight, I guess so they wouldn't interfere with his spine. It was definitely chilling and made me glad that I don't have to drive or be in a car very often.

We got a great room in the hotel. I think it might be bigger than our apartment! After dinner we went to CVS (there aren't a lot of supermarkets around here) to pick up some cereal and other staples. This hotel has refrigerators, which is nice. They didn't have organic milk or the organic version of my cereal, but I figured flexibility is important.

D also got pay-as-you-go cell phones for us...mine has been broken for a while, and his just broke. Mine still needs to charge. His phone is in the process of charging, so he is Skyping with clients instead, which means I can hear their whole conversation. Not too juicy, though.

Monday, March 03, 2008

WOW

D picked up a Hillary Clinton nutcracker for my brother's mother-in-law, whose hatred for Hillary is legend. At Thanksgiving dinner, my brother's MIL's sister said, "You know, I think you have the same birthday as Hillary," and my brother's MIL said, "Oh, no. That's not true. That's a mistake."

So today we got a thank-you note from my brother's MIL, who, if you haven't guessed, is a staunch conservative. Here is the depth of her hatred for Hillary:

She and her husband changed their registration to Democrat so they could vote for Obama in the primary -- thus putting in their 2 cents to keep Hillary from getting the nomination. They live in Connecticut, I forget whether Hillary won that state or not.

D and I voted for Hillary, but I don't think it really matters since it looks like Obama will win. D and I have a long history of voting for the losing candidate: Kerry, Gore, etc. Somewhere back in the mists of time, he supported Bill Bradley.
We're going to Miami on Thursday so my mind is taken up with the kind of mundane details that I hate. One of them is my packing list.

I suspect many of us wish we could change in crucial ways, or fantasize about an alter ego. My alter ego can travel with a tiny knapsack, at a moment's notice, no planning required.

In reality, my packing list is a page long, and even though I come nowhere near the 40 minutes the "average" woman spends on grooming daily (huh?), I still have a long list of grooming garbage to take:

deodorant
razor
floss
toothpaste
toothbrush
facial cleanser
sunscreen
hairbrush

Oh well. I guess that knapsack was just a fantasy.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Introducing Morris

Morris is my new cat friend. He has not replaced Rainer; he is just supplementing him.

(The deal with Rainer is, he lives in Brooklyn, which is a bit of a pain to get to. We have to take a special train to get there; it's too far to walk. And the last two times we tried to go, the train wasn't working. So Fate seems aligned against us.)

Morris lives in Manhattan, at a vitamin/health food store. I saw him once before, munching out back from his silver bowl. I patted him then and he wagged his tail, but he was mostly involved with his food.

Tonight he was in a special box near the front of the store, where he could observe everyone coming and going. I said, "Hi, Morris," and patted him repeatedly. He likes being patted with the grain, not against. When I tried the latter, he looked askance at my hand, so I went back to regular-style patting. His tail thumped up and down against the floor of the box.

I call him Morris because he looks like Morris the Cat from the old commercials. He seems to respond to it, although maybe he just likes being greeted.

While I was patting him, a man who was not all there came in and started making a high-pitched, piercing noise, like an emergency broadcasting device. Most disconcerting of all, he stared at me while he made the sound. I decided the best thing to do was ignore him.

We saw another crazy-looking person on the way home, but she just wanted to know why the Empire State Building was red. I was wondering the same thing.

(The Empire State Building is floodlit different colors, but it usually corresponds with a holiday. Easter is especially cool; it has a striped pastel thing going on.)