Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is not the post I was going to write

I’ve been working on a post about late pregnancy and how it stinks, but instead of the light, amusing tone I was aiming for, it was coming out more like this: “Whine whine whine I’m uncomfortable and I HATE EVERYONE.” So I scrapped it.

But I will sum up salient points for you:

1. Many parts of me hurt because I am 37 weeks pregnant.
2. I am small for 37 weeks, but I feel enormous.
3. Even though I am small, that doesn’t mean I welcome total strangers’ comments and critiques on my physical size.
4. I will never again comment on anyone’s size ever, not even to say, “You’re so thin!”
5. What is up with total strangers asking me if I’m going to have any more kids after this one? Seriously, what is UP with that? I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU. (My standard answer is “I do not plan the next child while gestating the current one.” But now I’m thinking I might switch to, “Yes, we are going to have eleven and half.”)

So. There you go. I feel I should also mention for the sake of my friends and relatives who read this that I don’t mind when YOU tell me I’m small. It’s mostly the strangers who get to me. I think it’s because I have to be polite to them and can’t give them the litany of my complaints like I can with you. So don’t feel bad.

In other news, The Doktah sent me a surprise package last week. It turned out to be full of cute clothes that her own daughter has outgrown. I remembered that The Doktah had told me she was going to go through her stuff and pick just her favorites, and she did a great job. There’s a little flowered dress, a pair of cool embroidered jeans, and an adorable little pink track suit!

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Awww. Except… wait a second. What is THAT?

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What kind of sick joke IS this? A New York Yankees track suit? So I called The Doktah and demanded an explanation.

“This is why I sent you that email that you should call me before you open it!” she said. “I only put it in because I thought you could use it at Halloween. She can go as the devil!”

Well, OK then. But after Halloween, I guess I’m stuck with it forever, because I certainly can’t give it away to anyone around here. I’d be lynched.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Place holder

I'm at Andrew's computer right now and starting my computer up involves far too many steps. It's WAAAAAY across the room and I'd have to BEND DOWN to plug it in* and then wait for it to boot up and I'm exhausted just thinking about it. So this means I can't post pictures and I can't finish my post about how I feel about being pregnant right now. (Short answer: It stinks.) But what I can tell you is that I recently bought at $13 watch at Target, and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I haven't worn a watch in years because the clasp on my good watch broke and it kept falling off my wrist. I got it "fixed" at least twice and finally gave up and stuck it in my jewelry box. Then I just started relying on clocks, my cell phone, and my innate sense of time. Since clocks are not everywhere, my cell phone is often difficult to access, and I have no innate sense of time, I have basically just been late for everything.**

Then one day I thought, "If only there were some sort of small clock device which I could strap to a part of my body, say... my wrist, so that I could simply glance down to see what time it is without having to search in my bag for my sleek-yet-difficult-to-find cell phone. I would gladly pay upwards of $15 for such a device!" And then, lo, I found racks of them at Target. Racks and racks. (Well, one rack. But still.)

Since acquiring my cheap watch, I continue to be amazed at how quickly I can find out what time it is at any given moment. I've also noticed that in this cell-phone society, no one wears watches anymore, and OTHER people seem equally startled at how fast I can tell them what time it is. It's like a magic trick.

The only catch is that I have to remember to wear it.

*This is a legitimate excuse because of the whole "pregnancy stinks" thing. I am not very bendy at the moment.

**In other words, nothing had really changed from when I wore a watch except that I didn't know HOW late until I got where I was going.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's too bad this child doesn't have a single pink thing to wear, huh?

This new baby will be the 13th grandchild on my side of the family, and the 6th girl. Three of these girls are too old to be useful by way of hand-me-down clothes, but I have nieces who are currently 3, 2.5, and 1 year old, so I am pretty much not going to have to buy this baby a damn thing.

Seriously, not a thing.

This is not even all of them

And that is not even all of them. You can't see the two more giant Ziploc bags out of the shot on the right nor the complete load of laundry I had already washed. Do any of you need any tiny pink clothes? Because I HAVE EXTRA.

In other news, I am 36 weeks pregnant today, and I still don't want to talk about it. I will talk about it soon on The Bump, but for now, all you get is this:

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Forced smile

In other other news, my friend came to visit me today and we all went to the park.

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This is also a forced smile, but is far cuter

And while we were there, they turned on the sprinklers for the season! Score! And THEN we found a caterpillar! It was AWESOME.

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We finished up with ice cream and a nap, but the best part for me was when it was time to go, Jack put the caterpillar back down where he found him and then turned around to wave goodbye. Twice.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Movie, Part III: A complete lack of melodrama

If you’re new to The Movie, acquaint yourself with Parts I and II here and here.

I have to start off Part III of The Movie by telling you that the alter-egos of Kim, Kasey and Vicki have read my movie posts, and Kim informs me that, in fact, Johnny Depp was HER boyfriend. So she wins in the fake boyfriend department. Vicki comes in second with a still-cute Matt Dillon, and I bring up the rear. “But wait!” you are saying. “Aren’t you forgetting that Kasey’s fake boyfriend was C. Thomas Howell? How could yours be worse?”

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because my fake boyfriend was – wait for it – Huey Lewis. HUEY LEWIS. With almost the entire cast of The Outsiders from which to choose, I went with Huey Lewis. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking, I was thinking, “I’m only nine and know no famous people, but I really like ‘The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll*,’ so…”

All of our fake boyfriends were originally claimed in a game we called “Boarding School,” in which we pretended we were the teenaged children of famous parents and thus went to boarding school. Naturally, we also all had famous boyfriends. My parents were Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley. Since I have just been reminded that Huey Lewis was my boyfriend, I looked both him and Billy Joel up on IMDB. Billy Joel was born in 1949. Huey Lewis? 1950. It must have been awkward the first time I brought him home, huh?

But I digress.

When we last left off, all four main characters had had their top secret love scenes committed to paper and at least two of these scenes had been desecrated by prying sisters’ eyes. All that was left was to write part of the movie that had any relevance to moving the plot along. For example, we knew that Crayon’s and Dan’s father was a workaholic with essentially no personal relationship with his children. It was very “Cat’s in the Cradle.” There were no actual scenes with Dan’s father depicting his estrangement, but we the screenwriters knew about it, and that’s really all that mattered.

The major theme of The Movie, however, was Drunk Driving and how It Is Bad. The theme came into play in several parts of the movie. Kasey’s parents, for example, were killed by a drunk driver, and that’s why she had moved in with her grandmother at the beginning of the movie. And I am just now remembering a scene at a bowling alley with almost the entire cast, including Vicki’s three or four older brothers, one of whom was played by Patrick Swayze and who was written as a very intimidating guy prone to angry outbursts such as the one that happened at the bowling alley which I will now paraphrase from memory:

KIM’S BOYFRIEND PLAYED BY JOHHNY DEPP: (amidst general friendly hubbub) Oh, man! I know! I can’t believe how drunk those guys got!

PATRICK SWAYZE: (angrily) Oh, you think it’s funny do you? When people drink and drive?

JOHNNY DEPP: (nervously) Hey, man, calm down!

PATRICK SWAYZE: Calm down? CALM DOWN? You expect me to calm down when my best friend was just recently killed by a drunk driver? And yet here I am yukking it up at a bowling alley with my far younger sister and her friends? And you all seem unaware of my best friend’s recent tragic death?

(a hush falls over the crowd broken by Crayon, who had not been paying attention)

CRAYON: Seventy-five dollars for a sweater? Kim, that is absolutely ridic- (notices the silence, blushes, and starts rummaging in her purse, mumbling) Where IS that cheese?

Patrick’s and Johnny’s lines are not verbatim, but they do represent the spirit of The Movie. In particular, in this scene, Patrick’s character exhibits a habit typical of all the characters in the movie, that of suddenly bursting out with critical, emotionally charged information with absolutely no warning. Crayon’s line at the end IS verbatim. It came back to me while I was typing the scene and is the comedic relief to ease the tension.

OK. So are you with me? We have now introduced the primary theme of drunk driving and you have been made aware of the situation with Dan and Crayon’s father. I can now reveal to you the opening scene of the movie, which was Dan and Crayon’s father standing at an as-yet unidentified grave, holding a piece of paper, and giving a speech about how he wishes he had paid more attention and been around when he had the chance. We hadn’t quite gotten around to writing his speech, but it was definitely going to be very moving and touching. And as he turns to leave, he drops the paper, which wafts slowly down in a breeze while the title card appears. The title of the movie was S.A.D.D., and as the scene fades to black, the paper turns and we see it is a child’s drawing of a daisy which becomes part of the movie’s title art.

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And… scene.

This brings us to the climax of the movie, which is Dan, Crayon, and Vicki in a car, singing along to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” when out of nowhere, a car plows into them and causes a terrible crash. And after the sounds of squealing brakes and crunching metal have faded, the camera zooms in on the pile of twisted metal that is all that remains of Dan’s car and you hear the faint sounds of the song's refrain:

The good ol’ boys are drinking whiskey and rye
Singing “This’ll be the day that I die.”


CUT TO BLACK.

The next scene was a funeral, and as the camera pans across the mourners we see Kim, Kasey, Vicki (she’s not dead!)… and Crayon (also not dead!). This means that Dan, I’m sorry to tell you, is in the coffin. And… is that a bandage on Crayon’s right hand? HER DRAWING HAND?

Yes, Dan’s car was hit by a drunk driver, and he was killed instantly. Crayon was OK except for the severe injury in her right hand which means she can never draw again. Her SUPER COOL nickname is now fraught with painful irony! Vicki escaped entirely unscathed save for a scratch on her nose.

Don’t think about it too hard, you’ll get a headache.

All this means of course that in the opening scene, the dad was standing at Dan’s grave, and the drawing of the daisy was one that Dan had made for him back when he was little. When he still cared.

Like I said, no melodrama whatsoever.

So remember: Drunk Driving Is Bad.

And also: Don’t Spend Your Life At The Office And Miss Out On Your Children Because It May One Day Be Too Late.

And finally: If Your Best Friend Was Just Killed And You Are Still Angry About It, Perhaps The Bowling Alley With Your Younger Sister’s Friends Is Not The Best Place To Be.

*And I still do. UH. Heart of rock ‘n’ roll still beatin’. In Cleveland.**

**DETROIT!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Sickness

Latest post is up at The Bump!

We have been having a difficult time of it here at Chez Dr. Maureen, because it feels like SOMEONE has been sick five out of six days for the past two months. In reality, it’s probably more like two out of five days, but I’m seven months pregnant with a kickboxing ninja, and I refuse to be troubled by mere details. In fact, let’s call it nine out of ten days. Yes, someone has been sick in my house nine out of ten days for the past two months.

Read more at TheBump.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Make way for Jack

Last Thursday we went for a ride on the swan boats. I have been looking forward to taking Jack on the swan boats for, oh, about two years. (He’s two.) Riding the swan boats with my parents and then going on the Make Way for Ducklings field trip in kindergarten – my first ever field trip unless you count the fire house which was a HUGE DISAPPONITMENT because we totally did not get to slide down the pole like they did on Sesame Street – are cherished memories of my childhood. I even remember that I got to bring a soda for my lunch that day, and we ate on the Boston Common and played “Duck, duck, goose” and “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar” when we were done eating.

So I naturally bought Make Way for Ducklings ages ago, and was sorely disappointed at Jack’s initial disinterest in the story, possibly due to the fact that he was only about 18 months old. Fortunately, he has since warmed up to the story, and I’ve been reading it to him all winter in preparation for our big trip to the Public Gardens in the spring.

As it turned out, the day could not have been better. First, we drove to the subway and then we rode into town on a train. This was, by far, the highlight of Jack’s day. On the way home, in fact, he just sat in the seat grinning and then turned to me and said, “This is so fun, Mom!” Once in Boston, we stopped for lunch and then headed into the Public Gardens. The weather was sublime: warm enough to leave our jackets at home but cool enough to wear long sleeves. We saw ducks and geese and pigeons on the way to the pond and stopped on the bridge to wave to the people in the swan boats passing below.

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Definitely pregnant

Then, at last, we got to ride the swan boats themselves. Jack was thrilled.

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Despite this picture, he actually did enjoy the ride, but I think that the actual swan boats were the least fun part of the day. Seeing as how they are propelled by someone pedaling the swan in the back, they’re really pretty slow. The part where we saw a duck dive underwater and then pop back up was pretty cool, though. And it was not until we were actually on the pond that Andrew told me it was his first time on the swan boats as well! He could barely contain his excitement as well.

After the ride, we searched the gardens for the Make Way for Ducklings statues, stopping on the way to chase some actual ducks.

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At last we found Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack*, and that was the second best highlight of the day.

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There was one attempt at escape.

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We followed up with a ride on the merry-go-round.

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I was going to go on with Jack, but it turns out pregnant people are not allowed.

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It’s understandable. I might have gone into early labor from the sheer excitement of the ride. It goes around and around! And then it goes around some more until is slows to a gradual halt! Jack chose to ride in the teacup with another little boy and spent the whole ride having a tea party complete with imaginary cookies. I am told the other little boy kept saying, “What is he giving me?” but eventually just went with it.

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We ended the day with ice cream, which, coupled with a train ride home was pretty much perfection. So even if the filthy, filthy subway is the reason Jack spent his weekend feverish and throwing up, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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*It took me FOREVER to memorize the ducklings’ names and only after successfully doing so did I notice that their names start with J K L M N O P and Q. In order.**

**In my defense, when I told my parents how long it took me to notice this, they both said, “I never noticed that!”