Hey! You guys! Did you know it's election day? Didja? I bet you did.
This morning, after breakfast and Curious George and general Boynton-fueled tomfoolery, Little A., Floyd the greyhound and I set out a'strollin' to our local polling place. The FYD had stopped by even earlier and reported that the A-L line "was all kinds of LONG" so I girded my loins and prepped a snack pack for a long wait.
On the way, a pleasant older couple in an SUV flagged me down to ask where to vote. I almost asked them for whom they would vote before giving correct directions, but my impartial civic-minded conscience took over at the last minute.
We tied the doogie outside and trooped in, trailing teddy grahams and waving HI! to everyone (err...Little A. did anyway, I was too busy trying to remember my line-up for the referenda). We didn't have to wait long to vote though. 20 minutes later (it took a long time to remember the referenda, and then Little A. grabbed my pen and scribbled all over Question 4, so if legal immigrants get the vote in Portland you know what happened) we were back outside, avoiding eye contact with the up-for-election at-large City Councilwoman standing outside.
(Dudes, I felt so guilty not voting for her when she was standing out there! But, dudes! She fell asleep (or something scarier than sleep) during a council meeting! Asleep!)
(Politics are SO cutthroat.)
So yeah, here in Vacationland (like in my sistah-blogger's state), we're in mid-term election crazytown. The gubernatorial election has been SUPER contentious, all attack ads and shunned debates and thwarted press-conferences...oh wait, that's just ONE candidate. The one who scares me. This guy.
Ordinarily, I would not get so worked up about a governor (confession time: I've never even voted in a midterm election before!). But here in a state where the government is small, small, small, elected officials really do have an impact. And that guy? He's nuts. His leadership would send my already struggling homeland into a deeper spiral. Plus. He is soooo not smooth. We don't need to help perpetuate the dopey hay-seed stereotype, thankyouverymuch.
So here I sit, hitting refresh over and over and over on our local paper, streaming live video from our local station, watching the numbers fluctuate (the Dem just conceded) within very small percentage points....
And there is no way I am going to be able to stay awake til the end. Damn this 10 pm curfew! Someone text me later, OK?
HFS you guys, only a little over a month to go before I am a mommy and start blogging about breastfeeding and post 1000 pictures of my baby and tell you AAAAALL the details etc like the "mommybloggers" do. Not that I am against that, no way. I am way addicted to a small pack of mommybloggers and have found them to be useful resources. It is good, when you are feeling ambivalent about the whole endeavor (somehow I am finding room to have doubts SIMULTANEOUS with choosing an awesome name, washing the most adorable wee clothses, etc etc.), to read stuff from these smart cool funny ladies who are in love with their adorable bebes.
I am just warning you all.
But in the meantime, per request, here is how the pregnancy thing goes for me so far:
PRE-CONCEPTION: The FYC and I were having an excellently fun day at the Old Port Festival, running around all over Portland with fun people, drinking margaritas out of Nalgene bottles, etc. At one point I turned to my fine fellow and asked him to remind me to start my new packet of birth control pills when we got home, and he said, FUCK THOSE PILLS and just like that, we were kinda sorta trying. This REALLY FREAKED ME OUT, but fortunately didn't have that long to think about it, because I got knocked up 6 weeks later. So much for the "old eggs" bullshit.
CONCEPTION: Um. I think you know how this happens. But I will tell you that it was a torrid July night, and we think one of us was on magic mushrooms at the time. Hee hee. It took two home pregnancy tests and a trip to Planned Parenthood before we believed it.
FIRST TRIMESTER: Soooo tired. Sooo sooo sooo tired. And also? Buying a house and getting a new job and fixing up new house and planning a move. No time to be tired! And also, while I did not puke, I almost fainted a couple of times because of poor meal planning. And by that we mean: not having something to eat directly in front of my face at all times. No food aversions here, except I couldn't stand the smell of beer. Which was sort of handy I guess. Tried to quit caffiene, which was just dumb. Cut back to one cup of half-caf a day and saved everyone in the world a lot of problems. I went to Chicago to visit my co-blogger and we DID NOT DRINK. It was totally bizarre, but so relaxing. Vacations are so different without hangovers!
Also: libido? Gone. Poor FYC.
And oh, the nerve-wracking anxiety. Would the baby be deformed because I ate turkey before I knew I was pregnant? Would I lose the baby because I got drunk one time before I knew I was pregnant? What about that time I cleaned the litter box aggghhh I want to lay down and wake up at 20 weeks. But one good thing about being of "advanced maternal age" is that you get to go to lots of ultrasounds, each one (knock on wood) more reassuring than the last.
And did I mention that I am one of our nation's uninsured? Yep, we gonna do this the ol' fashion way: with cash. So it's off to the low-cost clinic for me, where my very nice, seemingly competent doctor has braces. BRACES!! Fortunately by my second visit they are off and she looks older than 20, but she still says things are awesome and cool. I am tempted to look her up on myspace.
SECOND TRIMESTER: Dizzy spells decrease, energy increases. Start thinking more positively about everything. Around 20 weeks, belly started to look like a preggo belly, not "just American" as Nurse Susie's HILARIOUS German boyfriend pointed out during our October trip to NYC. A trip where I looked longingly at sushi and rare duck but also went for lovely walks and saw more babies then I had ever noticed in my entire life. I could eat anything you put in front of me, anytime. Except of course the 1001 things I cannot eat and OMG WINE I JUST WANT SOME WINE.
My blood pressure starts to get stupid low, like, sometimes the nurses look at me after they take the cuff off and ask "Are you lightheaded right now?" Dr. NiceLady is not concerned so much about anything, which for a few weeks makes me want to fire her, but then I realize that this is exactly the attitude I am looking for. Why pay for a panicky doctor when I can google and panic at home? No, I start to love my laid-back Cleveland-born-n-bred Doctor.
Jobs and house continue apace - stress and schedule take a toll on my sanity occasionally but when I am feeling low, I just remember Swaying Jenny's advice: Ignore everything you feel for the next year or so. You're crazy and sleep-deprived. This works like a charm.
Baby starts kicking me. If you haven't felt this particular sensation...well. It is just about the strangest thing in the entire world. Imagine a playful, declawed kitten in a laundry bag, inside your abdomen. Does that image work? Sometimes it also feels like bocce balls rolling around inside a large sock. Or someone breathing on the back of your neck but in your stomach. Rilly, rilly weird.
And comforting of course.
And just in case you were curious. Libido: still gone. Yoo-hoo, sex drive? Where hast thou gone? Poor, poor boyfriend.
THIRD TRIMESTER: Right at the beginning, my co-blogger, Nurse Susie, and Swaying Jenny throw me the BEST SHOWER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Seriously, people. It was lovely and chill and had amazing cupcakes and people came from halfway across the country to see me and give me presents. So I am loving 3rd trimester. Plus, I am feeling damn good: sleeping well, appetite awesome, taking walks as weather permits and doing my prenatal yoga. Even...shhh...don't scare it away...I kind of feel like having sex sometimes. Sometimes the baby moves in such odd ways that my belly looks like a cartoon - angled this direction or that in a way you never would have thought natural. All is going really well.
But then. The first trimester hormones seem to make a comeback on occasion. I pick a huge fight with the FYC on his birthday eve (still feel terrible about it), act a brat at my family shower (didn't want to do the "guess how big her belly is" game! Waah!), and sortof want to cry often. I feel myself turning inward, not wanting to expend any excess energy on socializing or even stupid fucking work. But at the same time I feel hugely restless, fantasizing about trips to Europe and massive organization projects. Start to feel like maybe it's not just pregnancy but this FUCKING GODDAMN WINTER that is driving me nuts. Because it seems like everyone is sort of feeling the same way, even non-preggos.
So, I resolve to take it easy where I can. Go in the sun whenever it is out. Talk to people but not too many. Make sure to keep in touch with friends so they will come visit after the baby is born even if I am too overwhelmed to ask them to come. Wash the teeny baby clothes and set up the nursery. Watch a lot of movies. Forgive myself for any ambivalence because I know my first glance at this baby girl is going to be amazing.
Enjoy the last few days of regular old me, before I turn mommy.
Aren't you glad you asked, Jen?
Loyal lovely readers! What have I done to deserve you?
Well. Not much, really. My life lately - and by lately we can really say for many, many months - seems...unbloggable. That is so not even a word. But there you go. I was used to writing my craaaayzay (though thoroughly cliched) life in New York, and then had plenty of material with the whole re-Mainiacing for a while, but then went and got all SETTLED. Perhaps I am still settling into being SETTLED. It's a strange sensation after so many years of searching searching what am I doing and who who who will do it with me?
I know that now. And perhaps I miss the old feeling of being slightly unsettled, or perhaps that was what made me want to write. What to write about now? Picking out the paint for the new kitchen? Going to the doctor what feels like every frickin DAY to pee, get weighed, and have my blood pressure checked? I never imagined myself blogging through a house renovation, or writing about what it's like to be pregnant, so I just....don't. Don't get me wrong, because I am perfectly content - or more than that. Things are exciting but profoundly... comfortable. Totally weird...but sweet. Kind of like sitting on your couch, contented greyhound at your side, feeling your baby girl jab and kick at your insides. Weird. Sweet. Natural. Freaky.
I know I am so, so lucky, and maybe not writing about all of this is part of my whiplash superstitious turn since the pink plus sign showed up on that August morning, right at the same time that we were negotiating the last details on closing on the house.
So what, exactly, is the point of this post? Not sure. Just wanted to share. And isn't sharing what this blogthing is all about?
Uh huh. It IS.
Well. After 5 years of rampant snoggery, your gal A. has finally hung up her hat. As you may know, I met a fella last September. Thus, my 2008 year in snog list looks like --
1. the FYC (MAP '07, RTT, OG, BD*)
Great followed good, we moved in together, then we bought a house, and...here's photographic evidence of what happens to me when there's only one guy I want to snog for a whole year. Taken at my parents' house on Christmas:
So a warning to all my faire lady readers: this could happen to you. One day you could be drinking a whole bottle of cheap chardonnay at a friend-of-a-friend's kinda boring party, chatting with some guy in a t-shirt with a ripped elbow that you think is just the most adorable thing in the world, and the next, you could be lamenting your disappearing belly button and preparing for the most monumental life-shift fucking ever.
You know - it's kind of great. No, it's really great. And nerve-wracking anxiety-ridden, and terrifically wonderful, and everything. AND my lovely co-blogger E., Swaying Jenny, and Nurse Green are throwing me a shower tomorrow! For that alone, I am the luckiest babymama in the world.
Happy 2009, everyone. At the very least, we know that everything will change. How exciting/terrifying/thrilling/nuts is that?
*New category: Babydaddy
Last week one of my oldest bestest friends called from the other side of the WORLD. Well, not really. But indeed, Jim Libby has known me since he insisted we become friends in my early highschool days, and in spite of his expatriation to Austria (where I totes would have joined him if SOMEONE hadn't gotten elected), we remain bosom friends.
So we chatting about this and that, including nanotechnology and how we might get rich harnessing said technology for fetal bling,* and I declared to him that the thing that most freaked me out about pregnancy was that my belly button might pop out. Like a chicken timer! How fuckin weird!
He reasonably pointed out that maybe there were some other things that might be scary - like the mere fact of having someone inside one, someone who kicks and punches and gets hiccups and pees inside you, or ginormous ta-tas, or hyperpigmentation, or braxton hicks contractions, or maybe, you know, thinking about how the baby is coming out of your ladyparts? Hmm? No, I insisted. The belly button thing is the thing that is freaking me out right now.
Probably this is merely an avoidance technique to resist a greater freakout while I can still (barely) see my toes and do everything I need to do, like sleep, and pee, and etc, but goddamnit I LIKE my belly button as it IS, and why does it have to poke out and what do you do then?? Put TAPE over it or just let it be a big bump under your shirt or whhaaaaaa???
I conduct routine belly-button depth tests after every shower. It is getting worryingly shallow. Maybe it will just DISAPPEAR instead of going inside out holy shit i hadn't thought of that possibility does that happen OMG PREGNANCY IS SO FUCKING WEIRD!
Anyway, Happy New Year, y'alls. Hope your belly buttons are right where they are supposed to be.
*probably not our strangest conversation topic ever. And if you steal this idea you will be DEAD MEAT.
Imaginary posts in my head keep getting hijacked and preempted by other imaginary posts. SO today I am going to try to post all of the posts and get them out of my head so I can do other things with the brain space, like figure out how the HELL I am going to get all of my Christmas shopping done between now and Thursday?
Anyway, the latest interrupting post was prompted by a lil' link on Mighty Girl via Superhero Journal. This lovely video makes me want to time travel to summer in Chicago and take lots of photos and be in a band and post things on youtube and stuff. But instead I'll make some homemade chocolate bark for my family and grow this baby and wait for summer again.
We fell asleep all cozy, to the pitter-pat of sleet on our windows, and woke up in a cold dark house with no power. So we decided it would be more fun to be in our respective warm offices, with internet (but sans shower. Sorry officemates!). The FYC de-iced the car, we bundled up Floyd the dog (he hangs at the office too) and we drove into town under anarchic conditions - no traffic lights the whole way. But as I have reported before, Mainiacs are surprisingly resilient under weather-related duress. Drivers treated each intersection as 4-way stops with no issues. My brother and his family are camping out at their house, cut off from civilization but for generator-powered PC, which they will turn off this afternoon for a while before turning it back on to prepare dinner for any stranded friends and relatives who might be able to make the trek. Half my office slogged in through the ice and crap just because. Our new director does his commute by BOAT. Crazy, man, crazy. Midwesterners I know are made of the same tough stuff. It does not cease to amaze me.
But, speaking of Midwest and Crazy, WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH YOUR GOVERNOR, Illinois? Chicagoans, please to explain. I mean, when Spitzer got caught he at least just quit- and that scandal didn't really directly have to do with his job! He was just rilly dumb! And now NY has the blind guy, which is kind of cool! Anyway. Someone please tell me what the hell. If you can. While I have been impressed with the media's sudden ability to correctly pronounce Blagojevich, I wonder when he will get off the crazy pills and stop pretending he can get back to normal.
Hola loyal reader people! Hope you had lovely Turkey Days, loaded with family and/or friends and most importantly FOOD. Mmmm. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, oh my.
Note: maternity pants are perfect for Thanksgiving. I know the Friends show beat me to it, but seriously, elastic waist = seconds! Or thirds!!
But, really. This year I have so much to be thankful for. You know most of the specifics and I won't go into too much detail, because that brings the evil eye, but since last Thanksgiving, golly, has the year been SO OVERWHELMINGLY AWESOME around here. I know there are many in the world who haven't had such a year, and fervently send out healing thoughts and, after I get this bun out ma oven, plan to brainstorm more proactive ways to get involved. My paychecks have been involved for several years now, but my heart needs to catch up (not that lupus and 'general social change' aren't worthy causes, but they're not quite MY causes). Keep you posted on that one.
Any thanks-thoughts from youse, or suggestions for good works?
Gravy-scented-kiss-blowing to all!
Administrative note: check it out, a bit of blogular maintenance. I cleaned up some of the sidebar stuff, added some of my favorite bloggesses, and that weird baby countdown clock. Stole that idea from Jensational.