Sunday, November 27, 2011

And so we enter the cranky stage

This weekend, I achieved the following pregnancy milestones:

1. The cashiers at the grocery store asked me if I wanted help putting stuff in my car.
2. I did.
3. Near constant back pain. In fact, hold on while I rearrange myself on the couch because ow.
3a. There. That's better. Wait, no it isn't. There is no better.
4. I can no longer bear to walk to church (not far).
5. Seriously, my back really hurts.

Andrew returns to work tomorrow, along with the rest of the world, and I'm a smidgen worried about how I'm going to get through the days without dying. Meanwhile, I'm not even at 40 weeks for three more days, but I'm mentally preparing myself for having this baby at 42 weeks because I just feel like I'm doomed that way. Did I ever tell you I was personally three weeks late? THREE WEEKS. And I'm the youngest of six, so my mother was 43 weeks pregnant with five other children at home, ranging in age from 11 to 2.5.

Let's pause here, and raise a glass to my poor mother. Three weeks late, folks. I said to her this weekend that I don't know how she did it, and she said, "Well, I cried a lot."

But I shall change the subject and discuss the holiday weekend, which was actually quite nice until the back pain kicked in yesterday. Wednesday was a bust because of a variety of things, including Andrew going to bed for the night at about 5pm thanks to a fever, but we did manage to take the kids to see The Muppets on Friday. I had been very concerned that I would not get to see it until it comes out on DVD because of this here baby, but we made it! We even found a 10am showing which was very promising since we figured Nora would be able to stay awake for the whole thing! HA HA HA! We are adorably naive. She enjoyed the Toy Story short at the beginning and then asked if it was over. About halfway through the movie, she started whining kind of a lot and asked to go home, but we are terrible, awful, selfish people, and made her stay. In our defense, Jack - and, fine, WE - were enjoying it immensely, and we only had one car, so it wouldn't really have been fair to make Jack leave. Or us. We did take her out for walks, though, and then she climbed into my lap and went to sleep.

Andrew and I are both very relieved that Jack liked it, because we would clearly have had to disown him. And Nora at least liked the singing chickens, so there's that.

And that's all I have in me because I need to lie down. WOE WOE WOE IS ME.


Nothing.

I'm posting this from my couch where absolutely nothing of interest is happening whatsoever, unless you count a sharp increase in normal overall pregnancy-related discomfort over the last two days.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Aiming low

I made myself a to-do list today. It was:


1. Clean kitchen
2. Clean bathroom
3. Clear off dining room table (which I JUST DID, I swear I could add this to the list every 45 minutes)
4. Shower
5. Laundry

I can legitimately cross off Number 1. Number 2 I'm crossing off because I redefined "bathroom" to mean "toilet." I'm about to cross off Number 4 (at 4:15 pm! Woohoo!) and all the laundry is clean, just not so much put away. And I kind of think it won't be. So, pretty good I guess. Oh, I should also add:

6. Continue to grow baby.

For those keeping track, I'm at 39 weeks today. And, since I've made it this far, I would like to formally request that this baby stay put until Friday, because we're going to see The Muppets tomorrow if possible, and after all this torture, it would be a shame to miss out on Thanksgiving, don't you think? But Friday would be good. Friday, baby. You can do it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful tree, 2011

In 2009, I got the idea of a Thankful Tree from Emily, and it has since become one of my favorite holiday traditions. This year was the best yet, because Jack is old enough to write his own things down, so I get to see it in his handwriting.

There’s not much to say here other than to mention that Nora does not yet understand what we’re doing, so she mostly just echoed what Jack said, or else said, “Yus,” when he said things like, “Nora, aren’t you thankful for green?”

So without further ado, here are our lists:

JACK
Blueberry muffins
Angels
Cherry pie
Pizza
Pineapple pizza
Cupcakes
God
My birthday
Bunk beds
Family
New baby

NORA
Blueberry cupcakes
Pineapples
The letter H (This one was I think her own idea. I’m flummoxed also.)
Toys (My suggestion)
The color green

ME
Jack
Nora
Daddy
New baby
Our house
Pancakes
Autumn leaves
The color red (Jack’s suggestion)
My health
Books

Andrew does not have a list because I guess he has nothing to be thankful for. Or, OK, fine, possibly because he works all day and then comes home and has to take over all child-rearing responsibilities as soon as he walks in the door since I am morphing into a useless, weepy, pregnant mess. So maybe he hasn’t had time to sit and write down ten things he is thankful for.

Speaking of useless, I would post a picture of our thankful tree, and maybe a belly shot, but that would mean I’d have to stand up, so forget it.  Just imagine a tree cut out of brown paper, taped on our brown wall. The leaves are multi-colored, though, so you can tell it’s there.

Incidentally, Jack came into the kitchen this morning and said, “Mom? Dad? I suggest that there is too much brown in this house.”

Oh! And speaking of lists, one of Jack’s favorite bedtime stories is the book I gave Andrew last Christmas about the elements. And honestly, I could sit for hours and gaze at Jack and Andrew snuggled up on the couch reading about the periodic table. It absolutely warms the nerdy cockles of my heart. Currently, sitting on top of the book, is a list in childish handwriting that says, “HeLiUM, Nitrogen, Florinen.” Andrew told me that it’s the start of a list of all the elements we can’t touch. You see, Andrew told Jack that some people collect elements, and he could too if he wanted to. Jack said, “Daddy! We need to make a list of the elements we can’t touch so I know which ones I can collect!”

So Jack knows, for example, that you should not touch the alkali metals, and that fluorine is dangerously reactive so it’s best to avoid it as well. Helium was his own addition to the list since you can’t “touch” it because it’s a gas. Ditto for nitrogen.

Did I ever tell you I have a wallet-sized periodic table that I used to carry around*? Oh, my heart cockles.  

*I really did, and I used it all the time because it had the gas constant in about eight different unit sets on the back of it. So handy.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guilty not-so-pleasure


Not long ago, I checked Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later out of the library. It was… not good. Now obviously I didn’t expect it to be good. I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare, but I did think I would enjoy it in a guilty-pleasure way. Sadly, no. Not so much. I have since put some thought into why this was the case, and have compiled them into a list for handy reference. 

Top Ten Reasons Sweet Valley Confidential was far less enjoyable than I anticipated:

Warning: Contains spoilers. But don’t worry about it, as you should never read this book.

1. The writing is really really bad.

2. It turns out that I don’t remember any of the characters or plots from any of the Sweet Valley books I read in my past except for the one Sweet Valley Twins where Elizabeth and Jessica decide to pretend they are triplets for the new girl in school that no one likes but then Elizabeth gets to know her better when she is acting as the fictional third Wakefield girl and feels bad so they throw her a birthday party and Jessica tries to order a chocolate cake but Elizabeth heard the new girl complain about how she always has to have chocolate cake on her birthday because people think everyone likes chocolate cake but she hates chocolate cake. I assume there’s some kind of fallout at the actual birthday party regarding the fact that the entire middle school conned this girl into thinking there were Wakefield triplets, but I mostly only remember the thing about the chocolate cake, as it’s clearly the most critical plot point of the book.

At any rate, I can’t remember any of the characters’ names except for the twins and Lila, the snobby rich girl. Possibly the new girl in the above story ended up being a major secondary character, but I have no idea. So when the characters were reintroduced in Sweet Valley Confidential, I had no frame of reference and therefore didn’t care about them. For example, I did not remember that the twins have a brother a year older than they are. (Turns out, he’s gay. And Jessica outed him to his wife. But I don’t care.)

3. This isn’t technically a reason I didn’t like the book, but I’d like to note that twenty-five years can really change a person’s perspective on things. Back when I was reading the original books, for example, I did not spend time wondering how poor Mrs. Wakefield managed when she had a one-year-old and a set of newborn twins. 

4. I kept getting hung up on the fact that Sweet Valley is supposed to be a small town, but it has more than one law firm in it. And a PR firm. And an architectural firm. And a university. And 80% of the graduates  of SVH stay and live in Sweet Valley for the rest of their lives.

5. Inasmuch as I can remember what any of the characters were like in the original series, many of them did not change or grow at all in ten years, and most of the characters are rigid archetypes; something that escaped my notice when I was 10.

6. The book starts out with Elizabeth and Jessica estranged because Elizabeth hates Jessica for a mysterious reason that turns out to be – shocker – Jessica stole Elizabeth’s boyfriend. (Former SVH fans: Yes, Todd. Jessica and Todd get married. Elizabeth ends up with Bruce Patterson.) But then Elizabeth turns back into a doormat just like she always was.

7. Jessica has a powerful and high-paying job at the famous Sweet Valley PR firm despite the fact that she still, like, talks like this, even in, like, her thoughts.

8. You guys, the writing.

9-10. At the end, I was forced to read a description of Elizabeth Wakefield’s naked body. This one counts twice.