April 29, 2005

And who says a pregnant chick can't still score?

The garage sale is going pretty well - considering it has been sprinkling rain and my fingers are a little numb with the cold. I closed shop at 11:30 am, but still raked in $105. Besides, everything is now staged and ready to go for tomorrow. It is supposed to be much nicer tomorrow, so I am hopeful still.

So, I went to my cousin's yesterday to see his new son. Of course, my heart melted when I held that little wrinkled cutie in my arms. I even got to witness quite a bit of Eyeball Time - very alert for just a 6 day old tyke. It's amazing to see my cousin in the role of Dad. I still think of him in his role as Co-Conspirator - this is the same guy that I shared my first beer and cigarette with, after all. Emphasis on the singular. We literally stole ONE beer and ONE cigarette during a party our parents were having. The good ole days when half a beer was enough. Sigh.

The unexpected side effect of the visit is that I scored a massive amount of maternity clothes! Um, let me clarify - CUTE maternity clothes. Like, I can't wait to get big and fat so I can wear some of these cute gems in August. Ha! As it got so warm in March, my cousin's wife had to buy quite a few warm-weather items. So while I will still need to buy some mid-pregnancy clothes, I am pretty well covered for the last "big" month or so. However, I haven't actually tried these clothes on. I am a little scared to frankly and feel it is better to just stuff them to the back of my closet. I'd rather not think too much about how much the Freeloader is going to grow. Yikes.

April 28, 2005

Bust a hump?

Not a single thing has happened this week that could manifest itself into an entire post. Therefore, I present a bunch of tidbits.

Stairs: I fell down the stairs again the other night. Sigh. I only fell a few steps and was shaken more than hurt, but it still freaks the shit out of me every time I do it. You see, we all have our little bits of paranoia and mine for years has been the damned stairs. Furthermore, this paranoia was given legs three years ago when a friend of my mom’s actually died from FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS. I kid you not. I have already fallen down the stairs TWICE in the New House and of course, this fear has only heightened since I became pregnant (could it be that I have read Gone with the Wind WAY too many times?). Nowadays, I am very careful to use BOTH railings when I go down the steps (particularly at night or in the morning) but using a railing doesn’t help much when you step OVER a step. Sigh.

New Baby:
My cousin just had a baby and I am going to visit him tonight. For whatever reason, people love to shove a baby off on a pregnant woman so she can “get practice”. I seriously doubt merely holding a baby could provide ample training for motherhood, but I am just guessing here. Also, I have enacted a self-mandated Kid Free Zone around my periphery for the next 6 months and this visit will be in clear violation of that. Ah, well. Family is family, after all.

Horror Story: This story first appeared a few days before the tsumanis in December. I was initially horrified by it and was going to post about it, but then the tsunamis hit and well, the horror couldn’t compare to that of which was happening in Asia.. In short, a Marine died in combat in Iraq and his family was fighting with Yahoo to get access to his email account. You are my witnesses – my family doesn’t need access to my private correspondence. If they do need access to anything, I have already made sure they have it elsewhere. When I die, my Yahoo ID dies with me, folks.

Hypocrisy: Earlier this week, I prided myself on using the library for the most part these days. However, my guilty secret is that I will occasionally still go crazy at Borders. Borders for me is akin to a Weight Watcher crashing a bakery and this dieter went shopping for a cake the other evening. The visit itself was justified since I needed to buy a selection for one of my book clubs – the library simply wouldn’t have gotten the selection to me in time. However, I ended up purchasing more than the book in question. In addition to the actual book club selection (Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson), I also bought the new Laurie Notaro book. I was doing fine. Really. But then, I not only picked up another book, I actually started READING it, thus hammering THAT proverbial nail. The book? Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Ironically enough, Vikram Seth aside, I am not a huge fan of Indian authors – the books I have read in the past incorporated too much mysticism and superstition for my taste (an issue I sometimes have with many Latino and Chinese authors). However, I am willing to branch out more and reading just a few pages made me want to find out the ending.

Kids Part Deaux: When I apply for another job, please remind me of the Field Trip Factor. Unfortunately, Big Al is a place of attraction for school field trips. Nothing is more distressing than busting my hump uphill for two blocks to get to work on time only to stand in line behind slow-poke kids meandering through the metal detector. You would think the security officers would let the actual WORKERS cut in line in front of the kids, but NO.

Olive Branches: My manager gave me an odd peace offering in the form of DIAPER COUPONS. Like I needed a reminder that my days will soon enough be filled with poo and pee, but I guess it was the thought that counts. The thought? Hey, wait a second……..

April 26, 2005

How much is that kitty in the window?

After two months of being a fixture of sloth on our couch*, it is great to be feeling human again. In fact, I have been a dynamo the last few weekends. The last two Sundays, I have crawled to bed with EXHAUSTION, but snug (smug?) with that cozy feeling of Contented Accomplishment. You see, household projects don’t care about morning sickness, colds, or migraines. While I was lazing around on our couch, tasks were piling up faster than Billy Joel’s tabs for rehab.

Weekend before last, my mom came over to help me plant some things in our yard. It is animalistic that I would feel the need to plant ONE MORE THING in the craziness of the already existing foliage, but hey, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle and freely admit that I needed to mark my territory. 24 bags of mulch later and that yard’s ass was MINE. Seriously – after a mere weekend of sweat and toil, I now truly feel the yard is more mine than the previous owner’s. I can look at the blue oat grass, knockout rose bush and jacob’s ladder with bursting pride because my mommy planted them while my pregnant ass patiently watched and provided her water.

Last weekend was even more productive. Our homeowner’s association** is having their annual garage sale. What is it about the possibility of crinkled $1 bills and a pile of nickels and dimes in my hand that will entice me to drag all my crep onto my driveway? I spent the entire weekend going through every cupboard, closet, box, and drawer just weeding things out. It was great! It’s nice to know where everything is now AND to know that what is laying around in all those boxes are things that have been recently approved for Long-Term Retention (to be renewed on a yearly basis). I also completed burning all of my CDs and will be laying them out for the stellar price of $1.50 a piece. I should mention that contrary to the title of this post, no felines will actually be for sale. Now, if they jump in your car while you aren’t looking, you’re on your own.***

Anyway, it’s been very freeing to get all these things done that have been hanging over my head as I was hanging over a toilet.

*Really, I spent more time in bed than on the couch, but the couch sounds less lazy.

**We do not belong to the association – our house existed before it was established, so technically I am “crashing” which makes it even more exciting! Like, will they bust me? Will they try to make me join? Oooo, the anticipation!

***The cat actually jumps into our cars. Go figure.

April 25, 2005

Are we really what we read?

It seems I’ve been tagged. While this may not bode well for a deer, in my case, it merely means that Rozanne has chosen to ask me some questions that are literally of the literary kind.

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be saved?
Of course, my first instinct was to say Fahrenheit 451! Seriously though, I would want the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin to be saved. That would be beautiful irony, right?

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I spent my 20s searching for a present-day Mr. Darcy or Rhett Butler. Close, but no cigar. Sorry, X!

3. The last book you purchased?
The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. Oddly enough, it is my 2nd time purchasing it. I had already read it and sold it several years back but it was recently chosen for one of my book clubs. I prefer to use the library these days, but I often still buy books for the clubs because of time constraints.

4. What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and State of Fear by Michael Crichton. One is for brain nutrition, the other for brain candy. Both are serving their purposes equally well at the moment.

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island? Since several others asked this question “cheated” by choosing anthologies, I will follow suit.
a. The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

b. The Harry Potter series –the Spanish version. Since I have read and listened to the English version several times, the Spanish version could prove interesting all the while allowing me to bone up on my old Espanol.

c. A Suitable Boy – at the rate it is taking me to get through it, I need to be stranded on an island to finish it!

d. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – This is one of my very favorite books – a beautiful example of triumph over adversity. I can’t imagine never reading it again in my life so to the island it must go.

e. Robinson Crusoe – I am attempting to wax poetic here. Why not?

I tag Jane , Mojavi , Goofy Girl and Dorothy to continue this game, if they wish!

April 21, 2005

Where’s the martini in maternity?

I have never been much into weddings. I was scarred at the tender age of 19 when my “very best friend forever and ever” asked me to be her Maid of Honor. Giddy with girlish excitement, I breathlessly said yes – still innocent to the horrors that lay ahead. The next year was a telling exercise in all the levels of Dante’s hell as I listened to the endless minutia of the “perfect” shades of green and peach, the different patterns of lace she could choose from for her cake frostings, cathedral vs. fingertip veils, dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate for the hand-dipped strawberries, choices of linen paper for her invitations, etc. The list goes on, but as I’ve already bored myself enough, I shall spare you, dear reader. Furthermore, as of this posting, I have not seen the bride since her marriage burned in a blaze of glory 10 years and 3 kids later when she met her “true love” in an AOL chat room (that union has since "logged off" as well). (DRESS: Kelly Green with off-the shoulder sleeves and a specially (read: expensively) altered A-hemline. Hair was complete with handmade barrettes sporting ribbon and beads that matched the dress.)

I was then asked to be a bridesmaid for another wedding. While that wedding was low key, it bit the dust a scant year later. I barely remember the wedding much less the marriage. (DRESS COLOR: Dusty Peach with puffy sleeves)

I was then asked to be the Maid of Honor in a 3rd wedding. Since the wedding was to be out-of-town where the bride was living at the time, I was spared the excruciating details of matching napkins, BUT this added new stressors with airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, etc. In addition, I have family members that live in the same town and I had to coordinate familial duties with my bridesmaid's duties. In fact, I went to that wedding a week ahead of time specifically to take care of family business and it was still pretty stressful running back and forth between west Las Vegas and Henderson. While that marriage is still going strong, I did suffer a dog bite, a rental car wreck and many tears in the process of the Wedding Week. (DRESS COLOR: Black with an empire waist. For the non-fashionistas out there, empire waists look good on NOBODY.)

By the time I got to my own wedding, I was so over the whole process of wedding planning that I could barely muster any interest in putting together my own shindig. In fact, I ran away and did a destination wedding. I was to be married on a June day and during the previous December once I had the Catholic priest and reception site booked, I sat back and didn’t give it much more thought. In my defense, I worked for H&R Block at the time in software development so I was more than just a little busy that spring. When tax day swung around and the mayhem died down, I decided on April 17th that I should buy a dress. I went to 2 different stores, tried on a few dresses and basically picked the least offensive that didn’t cost too much. Yes, it was a pretty dress, but it wasn’t my dream dress. However, I certainly didn’t care enough to go on a nationwide hunt and I loathe clothes shopping anyway. I was only going to wear it for half a day! For my Maid of Honor, I had her pick out her own dress on her own without me even there – she chose a cute red number that she has actually worn several times since. For the reception, I called the place and told them the choice of entrees I wanted. I ordered a white wedding cake and told the bakery to “surprise me”. We did no tastings. For the flowers, I called the florist and told her to send over some flowers. I think I specified a color, but I had no idea what the flowers would look like. So, you see, I had little inclination to do much in the way of wedding planning.

I was recently asked to be in a 4th wedding – as a bridesmaid. The great irony is that while this is turning out to be the easiest wedding yet, I will be 5 MONTHS PREGNANT. The bride (my own Maid of Honor) is even letting us pick out our own dresses in the hopes that we end up with a “little black dress” that we can wear again.

But alas, the words “maternity” and “cocktail” are about as ill-suited as “Ashton” and “Demi”.

April 19, 2005

Where does the ending meet the beginning?

It’s certainly not profound to say that life is really a series of endings and beginnings. But there – I said it anyway. Last night, I went to Raku class. But to call it a “class” is really a misnomer - basically, for the mere fee of $100/month that includes all materials and firings, I rent studio space from a local artist and play with clay once a week. It all started in the fall of 2000 when I took a community class with this artist. My first attempts at pottery were clunky at best and I still can only make very simple forms (I only hand build – no wheelwork). However, raku was never just about the pottery. It was about the experience of taking a hunk of clay, toying with it for an hour or so – all while learning the other artists’ life stories, hopes, dreams, and disappointments

In 2000, my life seemed to be at an ending – I had spent the whole year suffering from a wrenching heartbreak at the hands of Asshole #2 and I was working at a job that I loved – but I was working ridiculous hours and had no life. I had no idea where I was going emotionally and professionally so I started taking community classes to try and explore life again. While basket weaving was interesting and making a wreath enjoyable, nothing grabbed my soul like raku and a big part of it had to be the community of gals that spent every Monday evening together. When I first started raku, the dustiness and clay under my nails would drive me crazy. The disorganization of the studio irritated me. The artists were very non-materialistic, in contrast to my extreme yuppie exterior. I would carefully change my clothes beforehand as to not get them dirty. Over time, things changed. I got more comfortable with all the confusion and dirt. The craziness of the studio became a sanctuary for me after many a nutty Monday. I stopped changing from my work clothes and just made sure to wear something washable. We all got such a kick out of newbies looking at me in my dress clothes in astonishment – but it was a testament to how clay is really from the earth! Finally, when I first began raku, I was pretty conservative and voted Republican in that year’s election. By 2004, I had turned more liberal and actually voted Democrat for the first time in my life.

2000 ended on a much brighter noted than it had began. I was crawling out of my shell and discovering new ideas, people and interests. I also met a guy named X. I still can’t believe how incredibly fortunate I am to have met someone so compatible and perfect for me. Nearly 2 married years later and I am still amazed.

Last night at Raku, the artist in charge told me she would be closing the studio. While I knew I would give up raku for some time with the baby coming along, it still hit me like a thunderbolt. There was something comforting to me knowing that even if I couldn’t be at the studio, others would still be there. The bigger message, of course, is that so many other things in my life are about to change and this is only the beginning.

Ultimately, the irony of raku is that while I learned learn so much about the other gals in the studio, I also found out a bit about myself. I can triumph from the pits of disappointment and sadness. I can get my hands dirty without my stomach turning. I can stand in a complete disorderly mess and still find an inner calm that allows me create a piece that reflects this calm inside of me. And I can make something from a lump of nothing.

April 15, 2005

Why sweetbread? Why? WHY?

Mother of an Overload: I had dinner with my mom the other night at Pachamama’s. The meal was fabulous despite being tricked by the waitress into trying a sweetbread appetizer that we received for free. I can’t think of a more misleading food name. Feel free to apprise me of any food name more deceiving should you think of one. Rocky Mountain oysters don’t count as they already sound disgusting. Anyway, back to my mom - I love her, really I do, but her Pollyanna, rose-colored view of the world drives me nutso. I am a realist (or cynic, to the likes of my Mom) and don’t believe that everything will “just work out”. I firmly believe that often you can take actions to help/change a situation. Again, we had a great dinner but I get to see her on Saturday as well. This is A LOT of Mom in a short amount of time! Saturday, she is coming to help me figure out what half the crep in my yard is. We are going to separate the enemies from allies, plant some bushes, trim some trees and resist, RESIST the urge to pull out the nasty evergreens planted in the front yard. She may be a Pollyanna about most things, but damn straight – she means business when it comes to gardening. My mom owns a chainsaw. She’ll go all Jason over those evergreens if given half the chance.

More Irritating Work Stories: Apparently, sitting in near proximity to the copy machine has bestowed upon us in the Information Security department super-duper Copy Machine Powers. We are now being frequently called upon to help those in Paperjam Crisis.

Fashion Tragedy: I am wearing Favorite Skirt. This skirt has traveled with me all over the USA the past 4 years and has been a faithful friend. It never needs ironing, goes great with sandals and equally well with boots. Sadly, my days with Favorite Skirt are numbered. In fact, my relationship with most of my clothes right now is on the wane. I am in that Awkward Phase of pregnancy fashion. Not quite there for maternity wear, not quite there for simply bigger clothes because of my weirdo body shape - the great irony is that I am having a Skinny Day today and my rings are LOOSE AS HELL right now. Oh, how I loathe clothes shopping and am not fond of the mall. And did I mention that not only am I attending a wedding in June, but that I am also a BRIDESMAID in a wedding in May? This Fashion Tragedy may very well reach Grecian proportions.

DNA Project Status Report: In the county I live in, the Parents as Teachers group is a popular thing for babies. So hot, there is at least a 6 month waiting period to get into the program. My sister recommended that I get on the list NOW. I thought it was silly, but decided to call anyway. As it turns out, my little sister was accurate. I was correct in registering my FETUS so that by the time I have an actual BABY, we can start getting our visits. Okay – so it is good stuff, but it was a tad disconcerting to be registering someone who is only the size of half a banana, after all.

Wow. The kid is on his/her FIRST waiting list. They grow so fast. It seems just yesterday the little tyke was just a blastocyte. Sniff.

April 13, 2005

Really, who’s the rude one here?

As I have mentioned, my cell at work is in a cubicle cul-de-sac. This cul-de-sac is near the common area of the elevators, printers, receptionist, etc. Therefore, people seem to think it is their own personal cell phone lounge. At least a few times daily, we get someone who thinks it is acceptable to seek privacy in our cul-de-sac, stand outside our cubicles and shout away. While they are facing a window. Which only serves to enhance the echo of their irritating conversation (and personality).

I invariably make a point of standing outside my cube, looking at the person questioningly “may I help you?” (NO), sighing deeply, and returning to my cube. Lord help the offender if there is a visitor nearby, because I have no qualms about loudly asking said visitor “Isn’t it rude when people just stand outside one’s cube making phone calls?”

I’ve always loved a good rhetorical question.

April 12, 2005

What's in a name?

I hate doing taxes. I don’t mind doing my own as much, because I can usually whip them out quickly but I particularly loathe doing other people’s taxes. For whatever reason, people assume that a licensed CPA knows the ins and outs of the tax system, including state and local city situations. Nothing could be further from the truth – unless you are a TAX accountant (which I am NOT). On the CPA exam, we cover the basics of individual returns, but that’s it. The other part of doing someone else’s return is the liability. You do someone a favor, but Lord help you if it is incorrect. Anyway, I managed to make it through this season fairly unscathed. Good grief.

Well, the Miss USA pageant last night, was, well, your typical beauty pageant. Thank goodness for the DVR so I could fast forward through most of the crep – watching Barbies parade around in swimsuits with their heads bobbing to and fro was quite entertaining in the fast forward mode, I should add. As I mentioned before, the only reason for me to watch it this year was that I knew the Miss Kansas “delegate” (the word actually used this year – like this is the U.N. for Beauty or something). Poor Miss Kansas – she didn’t even make it to the Top 15 (I can’t wait to hear the back story, though!). I did watch the rest of the show, although I could have cared less who won. I thought their listed “hobbies” were hilarious, though. Some of them were things such as “discussing current events”, “shopping”, “surfing the Internet” and my favorite one, a sad, hopeless attempt for wholesome appeal “spending time with my family”.

DNA Project - Status Report:
I will start labeling the kid updates in a separate section so it can be skipped if desired – not everyone wants to hear this stuff, after all. Again, I will keep gory details to a minimum. So, I had lunch with BOTH of my grandmothers on Saturday. Like, we ate a meal in a restaurant together AT THE SAME TIME. While I love them both dearly, they are an interesting juxtaposition of repression and like to live in parallel worlds of Pretend where reality is altered at their whim. It was an exhausting game as they tag-teamed me into submission. Furthermore, they are obsessed with the Freeloader possibly being a girl. You see, after 2 grandsons (and another on the way in May), the family is rabid for a child of the female persuasion. To compound my agony, I made the mistake of telling them that if the Freeloader was indeed a she, that her MIDDLE name would be Lily (after X’s mother, who passed away 4 years unexpectedly, at way too early of an age). I thought that by throwing them a bone to gnaw on, I could breathe for awhile and hunker down to my food. My, how wrong was I – and gravely so at that. Now, I stressed MIDDLE name, but they have determined that Lily is not an appropriate middle name and I am now being inundated with strings of names that include Lily as the FIRST name – despite my firm statement that X doesn’t want his daughter to be named directly after his dead mother because in his words, “that would be creepy”. After the kid is born – be it boy or girl, I fear we will have to do bag searches when they leave the house to ensure they haven’t taken off with what will surely be a poorly-named, starved and under-clothed child. These 2 gals are nuts. And I share a bloodline with them, which is quite disturbing.

Speaking of names, if one more person asks me if we are going to give our child a "normal" name or an Indian name, I will spit nails. Seriously. With all the phonic nightmares out there in the realm of baby names, who the hell is going to notice a kid with a REAL Indian name?

April 8, 2005

Who is Rachel Saunders?

You would think in my life that I have had at least one celebrity encounter. My grandfather was in the television and film industry throughout my childhood - I have been to LA and Vegas frequently over the years visiting him. My aunt’s husband works for Fox Studios as a carpenter. Craig Kilborn’s mother went to high school with my dad – our grandma’s were very best friends FOREVER – hell, I even played with his own cousins when I was younger. But NO, not one cool celebrity story in my archives.*

So, when I learned that not only is Miss Kansas 2005 from my high school town ** of Tonganoxie KS, but she is a family friend (her sister and my sister are very best friends FOREVER), I knew I had to grab what little celebrity fame I could.

So, here’s a shout-out to Rachel Saunders, Miss Kansas 2005. The Miss USA pageant is on Monday, April 11th. While I don’t normally watch those sorts of things, you can be assured I will be watching THIS one. And for once, cheering on Tonganoxie.

*Except this: Apparently Kilborn had a daughter that he didn’t tell his grandma about. Until he rose to some fame and the mags dished it out for him. Quite shocking to the likes of my grandma and her cronies. But still, not really such a cool story.

**Notice I did NOT say “home town”. Sigh. I went to high school there, forcibly. I actually lived in that town, my childhood town, and my college town (Lawrence, KS) all equal amount of years. I would consider Lawrence to be my hometown because the other 2 towns were nearby – therefore, we did everything in Lawrence - doctors, shopping, movies, my parent’s jobs, etc.

April 7, 2005

How am I?

Well, things are getting better. The Helmut of Piercing Agony has been reduced to a Beanie Cap of Dull Pain. I came to work today and unlike yesterday where I ran home after only 2 hours, so far, I have made it most of the day. Besides lying around the couch reading magazines*, not much has been going on that is worth blogging about. Well, except my eating habits. You know you want to know, right?

The Freeloader (aka the Traitor) likes beef. I have eaten more beef in the past 2 months than in the past 2 years – this is not an exaggeration in the name of blogging entertainment, either. Until last week, I could not stomach the sight or smell of anything chicken or fish related. To make things WORSE, the Freeloader really liked beef tacos. I have eaten more Meals of Shame from Taco Bell** in the past 2 months than in the past 9 years since I finished grad school (in fact, I had to check out the Bell’s website in desperation to locate one near to me). It’s eerie to drive through Taco Bell BEFORE the bars have closed, pay with a $20 bill (instead of spare change scraped from my floor mats), then drive to my HOUSE and eat the damn food without a Budlight chaser. I guess I’m all grown-up now. Fortunately, migraines aside, I am starting to feel better now so I am slowly incorporating chicken and fish back into my diet. I can’t wait to start the gym routine and get my poor arteries back in shape, too!***

For the most part, this blog will not become all about the Freeloader. As you can tell by my blogroll, I love Mommy Blogs myself, but I am not certain I would want to maintain one myself. I will definitely include the kid, because, well, how could I not include something that occupies a good percentage of my newfound dreams and fresh paranoias? At a minimum, I can promise that in deference to my male audience, I will keep out any gross particulars. X doesn’t want to hear them (although he has no choice) and I am guessing you wouldn’t want to either.

*For whatever reason, watching TV is not appealing for the migraine and I don’t have the patience to endure a book. So, National Geographic and US Weekly it is!

**The bad thing about having read the book Fast Food Nation or having watched the movie Super Size Me is all the visuals you retain.

***Contrary to belief, I don’t go to the gym to lose weight. It kills me how many people have said “why bother?” when I express interest in getting back to the gym. Huh? Maybe because it FEELS GOOD? Does anyone seriously think that a pregnant gal thinks she is going to LOSE WEIGHT while pregnant? I admit I have had my delusional moments in the past but those were in college and involved beer and mild illicit drugs grown in someone’s closet (Don’t judge. I was an Accounting major, after all. SOMETHING had to staunch the pain). Again, I’m all grown up now. At least, I think so.

April 5, 2005

Um, now exactly what is it like to have a migraine?

Having a migraine is like wearing a Helmet of Piercing Agony while your stomach goes for its own jolly ride on the Tilt O’ Whirl. However, I can’t think of an accurate metaphor for your head exploding as you dry heave over a toilet. Sorry, you’ll just have to make up your own damn scenario on that one.

Things are not as bad as they seem, though. Let me explain……………………
Over the past decade, I have been told by doctors that I would have trouble getting pregnant so I spent my 20s and early 30s thinking I was facing some insurmountable obstacle. X and I discussed all this before we got married, as well. We quickly agreed that we didn’t want to go to extreme measures to get pregnant – we weren’t comfortable with that since adoption, for us, is an equally special way to start a family. We would just see what happened. So last year, we copiously came up with our own Family Plan that included what-ifs and timelines. We just really want to have a child and however that may happen is fine by us. Anyway, I thought I had it ALL figured out ‘cuz I’m so smart. (Feel free to roll your eyes. I sure am.)

So, we started “trying” around Christmas. By the beginning of February, I began to notice that things smelled either really GOOD or really BAD – and if they did smell really bad, it made my stomach ROIL. Furthermore, the former night owl in me started creeping to bed at 9pm. It soon seemed that peeing on a stick was definitely in order. I have never, ever taken an HPT before. After freaking out and accepting that the LCD screen on my fancy-smancy HPT was NOT cracked or broken, it began to dawn on me. FOLKS, PHASE 1 OF THE DNA PROJECT IS A SUCCESS. Never in my wildest dreams could I fathom it would happen so quickly. I had hoped to be pregnant by this Christmas – not actually have a baby by Christmas. Am I complaining? HELL NO. Am I still shocked? HELL YES.

Soooo, after battling the Three Week Virus from Hell alongside morning sickness all while battling the Bitchy Boss from Hell, things have calmed down. I still don’t quite trust it when my friends tell me I will enjoy food again someday, but at least I am holding it down most of the time (although I still think it is a testament to my driving skills that I managed to puke all over myself in rush-hour traffic without making the 6:00 news.) Overall, the little Freeloader is hanging on for dear life and I am fervently hoping the kid sticks it out for the long haul and makes an appearance around October 15th.

Obviously, I am happy, no make that ECSTATIC, but the shock has not quite worn off and I am still in a state of superstitious disbelief. To boot, I also feel like a total and utter schmuck because last year I confided all my infertility worries to a dear friend who was and still is battling infertility. She and I have been pretty open about it all, but I would be lying if I said we weren’t both feeling some weird uncomfortable sadness from it all. Sigh.

So, today we heard the little Freeloader’s heartbeat and now, I am attached. I am starting to like this kid! I don’t think I have ever wanted anything so badly in my life before. Not even the Barbie Dream House that the bearded tightass in the funny red suit never, ever ponied up for me. Damn straight - if this kid is a girl, bet your bottom dollar, SHE'S getting one.

April 1, 2005

Mind if I ramble?

Not much of importance has happened this week, just odds n’ ends.

Previous Owners (POs) Update: The silliness just gets sillier! PO calls me to ask if we were available for the movers to come and get the fridge today. HUH? Why do WE have to be there? He has been coming and going from the house since we moved in – why can’t he come in ONE LAST TIME and let the movers in himself (This is not as odd as it would seem - I have known the PO for almost 10 years. Also, he always calls beforehand and would never just walk in the house if we were there.) Anyway, at least the damned hot tub is gone from the backyard, although the movers for THAT left a 4 foot bare cord lying around. PO swears it is not live, but said he will come and cap it soon. Yeah, whatever. I’m just grateful I didn’t find a crispy kitty carcass in the yard. The only other thing left is the re-sealing of the deck. When we made the offer LAST APRIL, re-sealing the deck was on the list of things for the PO to do BEFORE we moved in that September. Sigh. I just keep reminding myself that in 5 years all this won’t matter and that we did manage to get a very nice house at a very nice discount.

Newest House Obsession: It seems, I must always have something to fixate upon regarding the house. First, it was buying the house, then it was moving in, then it was painting, then it was a kitchen table, then it was curtains and now it is a concrete slab. The slab was revealed after the hot tub was removed from it. While the slab is not entirely revolting, it is certainly not adding value to the landscaping. Until the damned thing has brick laid on it, I shall obsess over that. Of course, then I will move onto new living room furniture.

Sweater Status: I have seamed the neck and shoulders together! It wasn’t as painful as I had thought it would be and looks okay so far. However, I learned a lesson the hard way (is there any OTHER way?) while seaming the sleeve to the body. PIN THE ITEM TO THE SWEATER FIRST, DUMBA$$. Of course, halfway up, I realized things were going awry. The great thing about this seaming bit is that it is quite easy to pull the seam out and start over. So, I will just attempt the sleeves again this weekend. Once I have the sleeves attached to the body, the rest will be a piece of cake! I just seam the sleeves closed and then seam the sides of the sweater - those are very easy stitches. Overall, I have learned it is best to look at this whole seaming thing in parts instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Would I do another sweater? I am still not sure – I’ll have to report back on how this one ends up. Meanwhile, I need to pray for one last chilly day before summer hits!

Books: – I am still reading A Suitable Boy – it’s a great read but will not be a fast one. It’s one of those epic novels surrounding 4 families and I am still getting through all of their backstories at this point. It’s also just over 1400 pages long – my goal at this point is to finish it by June. I think that is reasonable and still allows me to fit in other reads as well. It is a good read, though and I have always been fascinated by the Partition period of India and Pakistan anyway. However, to counter all the literary seriousness I have been consuming these past few months, I picked up Janet Evanovich’s Hard Eight. I’ll admit, I am not the biggest fan of Evanovich, her writing style resembles an exercise of “tongue in cheek puerility”, but right now, reading her stuff is a breath of fresh air after all the starvation, war, death, infanticide, and general heartbreak of late. I NEED to read about a goofy girl with big New Jersey hair who catches criminals and tries to keep her crazy grandma out of the line of fire.

Human Behavior 101: Things with my worthless manager are going quite well now. I am pasting a fake a$$ smile on my face, attempting to look happy while laboring for Big Al and making an effort to talk to her more. However, I realized something yesterday. HER CONDUCT HAS BEEN ENCOURAGED. She is an ineffective manager in the way she deals with things, but now I have reinforced this VERY behavior by acting the way she wanted me to in the first place. Sigh. If I wasn’t finalizing my Exit Strategy, I would be alarmed but thank goodness, a healthy case of Short-Timer’s Syndrome puts things in perspective.

Sick People: If your nose is running faster than Paris Hilton does from a real job, then for the love of all things mucus, STAY HOME. Quit breathing on me. I know who you are, I can find your address and I have access to Mapquest - if I get sick, I WILL exact my revenge.

Have a great weekend!