Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before...

So tomorrow is Christmas! How did that happen? And when did I start writing in such terrible cliches?

At any rate, I'm just checking in to wish you all a Merry Christmas, or, alternatively, a happy holiday season. I hope you all are ready. We are, but that is only because I lowered my standards. Does the baby Jesus really care, after all, if I have washed my kitchen floor? He is a baby! He won't know! And Jesus's birthday cupcakes are more important. So.

Oh, so I guess that actually means we are NOT ready, because I still have to make cupcakes and orange chocolate chip bread (credit to Linda for pointing me towards that recipe. How could I resist it?), and I still have to wrap Andrew's gifts. But we're ESSENTIALLY ready. The ESSENCE of readiness is there.

And this is a bit of a non-sequitor, but I need to record for posterity that about two weeks ago, Jack wanted to read this book before bed, but, for reasons unknown, called it "The Option is a Man." Yeah, I dunno either.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Apparently, winter's here

This is after a major ice storm last Thursday night which didn’t affect us personally very much other than knocking out our power for about six hours on Friday but which left thousands of people without power for... what day is it now? Because they still don’t have it. And it’s going to snow again tomorrow.

But still, it sure is pretty that first time, isn’t it? And I must say, it’s EXTRA pretty when your mother, who was an OB/GYN nurse, forbids you to shovel snow because your placenta is still migrating. Really, Andrew, I would have been out there this morning with you if only I could have!

getting started

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Rosy cheeks
Note the rosy cheeks.

Oh, and here’s a bonus picture from a few weeks ago. Based on the Advent candle, I’d say it was about two to three days into Advent.

Early Sudoku prodigy

I’m going to start him on logic puzzles next week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pregnancy: It's awful

Some women like being pregnant, or so I’m told. These women are clearly insane. OK, yes, I suppose it is possible that these women experience pregnancy differently than I do; perhaps the women who like being pregnant don’t have toddlers who want to “cough inna toilet” before bed, just like Mommy, but, Lord, I hate being pregnant. I mostly hate it during the worst symptoms of the first trimester, which lasts approximately 18 weeks, so don’t fall for those lies the pregnancy books tell you. No, this time there will be no flinging of pregnancy books across the room when I open them, weak from vomiting, only to read, “You’ve finally entered the second trimester, so by now you should be feeling better! The nausea is just about gone, you probably have a burst of energy, and rainbows have started streaming out of your butt!” (I might be paraphrasing slightly.) No, this time I will not fling them across the room because this time, I am not reading them. Take that, pregnancy books!

I did look up a symptom in the Mayo Clinic Guide, though. (The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy is way better that What to Expect, for those who are curious. What to Expect is a little judgmental for my taste.) I wanted to know if extra saliva really is a pregnancy thing. Of course it is. It’s called “ptyalism.” Pregnancy is SO WEIRD. Seriously, you could tell me that some women experience “superdigitism,” the spontaneous growth of an eleventh finger, and I would believe you. It’s not much weirder than extra spit.

In other news, the sciatica has already started even though that’s not supposed to hit till the third trimester. So, you know, woot.

But it’s not ALL terrible. The nausea with this pregnancy is WAAAAAAY better than it was with Jack, for example. So if this were my first pregnancy, I’d probably be feeling a lot sorrier for myself than I do, but I remember how it was. In fact, I hit fourteen weeks yesterday (they moved my due date back down to June 17 for some reason), and I seem to have already reached the stage where I throw up once in the morning before breakfast and then go about my day, a stage I didn’t hit until week nineteen or so with Jack. And let me tell you, I can TOTALLY DEAL with throwing up once in the morning before breakfast, especially when you consider that with Jack, I was eating nothing but Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup, yogurt, and jello for the entirety of the fourteenth week because they don’t hurt when thrown up. So, yeah. This is better.

Even better, I unmistakably felt the baby move today. I am pretty sure I felt the baby move before, but of course, it feels so much like gas, one can never be certain. Still, who’s going to tell me I didn’t? But today was not gas. Nope, there’s a baby in there, alive and fluttering. And that part is pretty cool.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Worlds! Colliding!

I had three English teachers in high school, but the toughest, by far, was my eleventh grade teacher, Miss A. Miss A's English class was notorious for her "pressure essays." Each quarter - or maybe each month because it definitely feels like I wrote more than four - we were assigned a book to read with the knowledge that we would have to spend one class period writing a five paragraph essay on it, complete with supporting quotations. Oh, those supporting quotations, so critical to a well-written thesis. Miss A taught us about supporting quotations while we were reading The Great Gatsby, and everyone said, "OK, yeah, great. I totally understand," but when the time came to write our essays (take home, not pressure) on the book, not one person used supporting quotes. (Well, except that one girl, but no one liked her anyway.) I SLAVED over that Great Gatsby essay, but somehow didn't get the message that supporting quotations were supposed to be used all the time and not for that one assignment, and I got a big fat D. A D! Me! It was shocking, believe you me. Fortunately, everyone else also got D's. (Everyone but that one girl, anyway.) And this was an Honors English class in Junior year, the critical year that determines whether you will get into a good college or be doomed to a career sanitizing pay phone coin slots. (This was back when there were pay phones.) So you can imagine the uproar when a bunch of neurotic anxiety-ridden overachievers got failing grades.

There is one pressure essay that I have never forgotten, my essay on Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle. I assume you have not read it, because no one but me and the rest of my 11th grade English class has ever read it, so let me outline it here: A bunch of migrant crop workers get together and form a union. Unfortunately, a few crazy extremists get everyone all riled up unnecessarily, and the union becomes more of a mob and it all goes to hell. One guy tries to get people to see reason, but he fails and is possibly killed. I can't really remember, but I'm pretty sure someone dies. The end.

As you have no doubt gathered from my brilliant synopsis, Steinbeck's point here was that mobs? Bad. Individual thinking? Good. Unfortunately, this was a message I picked up on only after writing two paragraphs supporting my claim that Steinbeck really just wanted us all to cooperate. Out of time, I was faced with two choices: I could finish the essay by supporting my claim with a quotation that, in fact, proved the opposite of my thesis, or I could write a note to Miss A saying that I realized too late I had completely misunderstood the book and here's what my thesis statement should have been. I chose the former, but I wish I had written the note. I bet she would have given me bonus points for sheer pluck.

Miss A was the hardest English teacher I have ever had, and I credit her with teaching me to write. She showed absolutely no mercy when doling out grades, and I still cherish an essay I wrote for her class which contained no red-penciled comment from her other than "Excellent!" I got an "Excellent!" from Miss A. It is one of my proudest academic achievements.

So imagine, if you will, how it was for me at the cookie exchange I attended last Sunday. The cookie exchange at which I discovered that one of my neighbors is best friends with none other than Miss A, whom I am now supposed to call by her first name, and that Miss A lives around the corner from me. Has lived there for the past fifteen or so years. Was living there, in fact, when I was her student. Imagine further my reaction when Miss A asked me if I had read any good books lately, not knowing that the most recent book I had read was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: The second summer of the sisterhood. Imagine, finally, what I said in response.

Yes. I lied.

***

In other news, Jack picked out his own outfit yesterday. (I should mention that he's been picking out his own socks for weeks, and is always very specific and Dobby-like in his choice, so this sock pairing is not unusual. Today, for example, he's wearing one red and one gray one.)

Jack's outfit

I also thank you all for your well wishes on my news!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving, belatedly.

I am thankful for my family, so thankful, in fact, that I stand in awe of the showering of blessings they represent. I am thankful for turkey, buttery carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake. I am thankful to have a toddler who actually ate turkey, buttery carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake thus proving to his uncle what an eating prodigy he is. (His uncle need not know about the deal-making that goes on at at least fifty percent of our usual dinners.) I am further thankful that I was given a mysterious reprieve from my usual 3pm-to-bedtime bout of "morning" sickness and was able not only to enjoy the turkey, buttery carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake, but also to keep it.

First ultrasound today, folks. Eleven weeks, four days. Due date: June 19, 2009.