Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Countdown

So, I am now officially 12 years pregnant.

The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal.

My actual due date is May the 7th, but taking into consideration that ole Snoodie-butt arrived 12 days past HIS original due date, I am conservatively estimating that I will give birth to his sibling sometime around Christmas.

Though I can't speak for him, I think it is fair to say that this is the phase of pregnancy that David has been dreading the most. If our experience with Snoodie's birth is any indication, the next several days (or, God forbid, weeks) shall involve me wandering around the house in outsized maternity muu-muus wailing loudly over and over again,

"I am going to be pregnant forever!"

David will calmly attempt to assert that recent medical literature suggests that such a thing is not actually possible, while I remain convinced that I, alone, have been chosen to be the world's first eternally pregnant woman. There will be crying and yes, some yelling.
My emotions are running a little *high* these days. I had to re-calibrate my entire sense of emotional self yesterday when, having left the radio on while doing some dishes, I found myself SOBBING UNCONTROLLABLY at that horrible Taylor Swift song about Romeo and Juliet. Seriously, I wept for almost 10 minutes thinking about how those two kids were able to make love work despite the odds.

I'm in a WIERD place.

On the positive side, I've reached the stage of having a full-term human in my abdomen where I feel justified in my belief that WHATEVER I want to do is totally acceptable. Especially when it comes to the snacking.

Here's a quick sample of yesterday's menu:
  • Three Super Pretzels
  • Burger King Value Meal #9
  • A glazed doughnut
  • A large glass of Strawberry Quik (did you even remember that such a product existed? I didn't until late last week when I woke up feeling like if I did not consume a gallon of the stuff immediately I was going to maim someone)
  • Half a pint of Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream
  • Three peanut butter sandwiches
At some point in the late afternoon, my neighbor's four-year-old daughter came over to play and brought some Pop Tarts to munch on. It truly took all the self-control I could humanly muster not to violently mug her for them.

Oh, the deliciousness!

David is seriously considering implementing a new house rule banning me from visiting the grocery store unsupervised.

But, what can I say, tasty treats are the only joy left to me.

Everything else is just the waiting.

Oh, and also fielding the occasional "Have you had that baby, yet?" phone call/email. (People, a quick heads up! I didn't forget to notify you! If you haven't heard about the baby it's because IT'S STILL IN MY UTERUS!! ROAR!!!!!)

Yeah, I guess I'm not in what you'd call "a good place".

Please keep your collective fingers crossed that next week, in place of more insane and rage-fueled ramblings, these pages with feature a tasteful yet joyous birth announcement.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm in the mood for a snack.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Food! Really Gross Food!

I've always had a strong feelings about food.

When I was a kid my mother always told me that I ate so fast it was as if I thought someone was going to snatch my food away at any moment (which, to be fair, was a distinct possibility as the youngest of three kids).

My passion for exuberant food consumption continues to this day. My husband and I often observe that about 85% of our dating relationship was based on food: we'd talk about where we were going to eat, then we'd go out to eat, and finally we'd spend the remainder of the evening discussing what we'd just eaten. It wasn't a lot to build a successful marriage around - but somehow we've made it work.

In no way is all this to say that I'm what you'd call A GOOD EATER.

As fervent I am about food I like to eat, I'm just as passionate about my food phobias. I'm completely repulsed, for example, by any sort of condiment: ketchup, mustard - you name it. The yucky crunchiness of celery or cucumber is the stuff of my nightmares, and don't even get me started on the horror that is raisins.......

When I was a kid my sister and I invented a game that was a variation on "hide and seek". What gave the game its extra edge was that the seeker would declare herself to be some sort of disgusting food stuff to add a special degree of terror to the proceedings. So, for example, you could often find one of us stalking around the yard, arms outstretched, and shouting in a spooky voice:

"I'm a half-chewed eggplant and I'm coming to get yooooouuuuuu!"

This intense phobia re: food-based grossness has NOT served me well as the mother of a self-feeding 18-month-old.

Though it was over a decade ago, to this day I can clearly remember watching my sister-in-law feed her toddler as we sat talking. After her son had stuffed about half of a ketchup-laden hot-dog into his maw with his bare hands, he decided he didn't like the way it tasted. My sister-in-law never stopped chatting with me as she extended her hand to allow her son to spit the contents of his mouth into her palm. As I recoiled in horror she calmly placed the result in the garbage before wiping both their hands. I clearly remember thinking at the time,

"Oh my God, I'm NEVER having children."

But let me tell you, these days at my house - a palm full of chewed up hot-dog is AMATEUR HOUR.

I turned to David the other day and said,

"I think if we just put food on a plate and then blew it towards Snoodie with a high-powered fan it would result in him ingesting more food while creating less mess."

And I meant it. The Snood is resolute in his desire to eat each meal WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM MOMMY!

He uses a spoon to deliver the meal of the moment towards the general vicinity of his mouth, and then proceeds to use the back of his hand much like a battering ram to shove the food towards the back of his throat, chewing maniacally the whole time.

The result is food goo EVERYWHERE! Yogurt on the walls...bits of masticated Goldfish under the high chair....syrup in the hair. The other night I got into the bathtub and after several moments noticed a handful of small pieces of cheeseburger floating around the water, having been loosed from somewhere on my person.

If you'd told me several years ago that my reaction to such a revelation would be to calmly continue my bath like so much human stew, I would have told you that you were crazy - that there was no way that my personal grossness threshold could EVER get that high. But I would have been wrong. It takes a lot more than that these days, and it's helped me reach a kind of peace with food that I'd never known before.

Just don't try to get me to eat any damn raisins.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What a Girl Wants

I would like to begin by briefly congratulating myself on being freakishly prescient when I wrote this one year ago:

On Sunday, David and I sat in Griffith Park cuddling and watching the Snood roll around practicing his almost-crawl. We took the morning to relish an Easter that involved exactly zero Easter Eggs, Easter Baskets, and/or Bunny-Related Shenanigans, realizing that it was likely our last chance to do so for the next several decades.

What a difference a year makes.

This weekend we were up to our necks in plastic eggs, candy, and, yes, BUNNIES!

A good time was had by all, but more importantly, the entire event led me to a new understanding of marriage and its most basic truths.

Let me back up. I got married....later in life, as they say. This means that I spent the better part of 20 years looking for Mr. Right. The lesson I've taken away from those two decades (along with my Easter weekend lightbulb moment) can be summarized in this simple rule:

What one tends to look for in a successful date bears comically little resemblance to the qualities that one actually needs in a husband.

When you are dating, people always ask you "What are you looking for in a man?" When you date for as long as I did, the answer to this question is always changing and evolving as you, like Haddaway before you, ask "What Is Love?"

In my earliest dating years (say, ages 16-18, for example) I was pretty much exclusively looking to date Pierce Brosnan (specifically Pierce Brosnan from the TV Movie "Noble House").

What can I say? He was my Edward Cullen. (EMERGENCY ASIDE: Are you looking to be epically disturbed? I now present the results of a Google image search for "Edward Cullen Man Pillow"):

WOW! I don't even want to think about who is purchasing that particular item.


Anyway, it never did work out for me and Pierce, primarily because he was an international superstar and I was an overweight Catholic school 11th grader, (ah, love's fickle ways!) and so it was that I marched into my college years still single and alone...

...which offered me the perfect opportunity to hone the "dating type" that would dominate the next several years of my life --- the troubled dude that only I could understand! Ah, so many romantic months spent sublimating all my needs in order to spend the entirety of my free-time propping up some French-major's fragile ego! How I don't miss you!

Post-college, my dating life alternately marched and limped forward. I headed out on the town with a cavalcade of different suitors: The Ironically Detached Musician, The Guy Who Had "Too Much Love" to Date Just One Woman, The Emotionally Unavailable Comic, The Emotionally Over-Available Grad Student.....well, the list goes on. Through each unsuccessful relationship, I attempted to refine exactly what I was looking for in a man: he should be a good dancer, he should be exciting, maybe an artist or perhaps a professional athlete? It wouldn't hurt if he was rich, right? Also, he couldn't be a vegetarian because eating meat was too big a part of my life. He should be passionate about life, but not to the point that he got into fist fights with strangers. He should be smart and funny. He should think I'm smart and funny, too. He should definitely be handsome, and, of course - TALL!

I kept a constantly-running tally ready for each new guy I met. How many qualities on the LIST did he have? How many was enough to consider making things permanent?

But, what I've realized post-marriage is that, while I'm extremely lucky to have found a guy who has many of the qualities noted above, it is amazing to me how little those qualities I thought were so important seem to matter in our day-to-day lives.

For example, I can count on exactly ZERO fingers the amount of times I've longed for my husband to be "taller" or "more exciting". Possibly because I am too busy looking for him to be a WHOLE NEW list of things that I couldn't have possibly imagined back when I was searching for him out in dating-land.

Like, I want him to be is home from work in time for me to take a bath before bedtime, I want him to be eager to participate in our kid's day, I want him to be able to fix the back door when it breaks, and I want him to be willing to help heave me out of bed in the morning when I'm 8.5 months pregnant without laughing (OK, this one he does fail at quite regularly). How I managed to somehow luck into finding these wildly necessary qualities in a mate, while searching for something completely different, I'll never know.

For truly, I never foresaw in all those years, and on all those many dates, that what I really wanted at the end of the day was a man I could turn to one evening in late-March and say:

"Hey! How about if we invite 20 kids over for an egg hunt this weekend and you get dressed up in a 6-foot tall bunny suit?"

And that man would respond,

"You know what, honey? I'd love to."

(actual husband pictured)

Folks, if that ain't love, I don't know what is......

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Cruelest Month

So, I'm eight months pregnant.

As I mentioned last week, I'd kind of forgotten how ridiculous everything about being 8-months pregnant actually is, but the last several weeks have been helping me to remember. For example, last night, I spent approximately two hours lying in bed having the following conversation with myself:

SELF: "There is NO WAY I have to pee again. I'm going to go back to sleep."

*90 minutes elapses*

SELF: "OK, if I still have to pee in five minutes, THEN I'm definitely getting up."

CUT TO: Self lumbering out of bed, after 2 hours of internal sleepless debate, and shuffling angrily towards the bathroom.

*End scene*

Yes folks, it appears that I have hit that special intersection in pregnancy where the constant need to pee bangs up against the difficulty level involved in getting my large self out of bed, transforming my nights into a hellish battle between my sleepy brain and my constantly needy bladder. So, you know, boo to that.

One positive aspect of pregnancy I'd forgotten about is just how much attention you get from the public at large just for being large with child.

This weekend David and I headed off to our local spa/Casino/hotel combo for a little "Babymoon", hoping to soak up some rays, dine on mediocre ethnically "themed" food and, as it turned out, inhale our yearly ration of second-hand smoke in a single evening!

All morning, post-check-in, wherever we went throughout the "resort" fellow vacationers/degenerate gamblers would cluck joyfully in my direction and/or murmur congratulations as their glazed slot-machine-addled eyes took in my passing belly.

That afternoon, we headed for the pool. As I was making my way down the stairs and into the water, my maternity bathing suit working overtime to contain my large form, a size-zer0 Paris Hilton look-alike suddenly called out from her lounge chair,

"Oh, you look SO beautiful!"

I looked around, perplexed as to whom this bikini-clad nymph might be addressing (using, I might note, a tone of voice usually reserved for small children or those with recent head trauma) and eventually concluded she was speaking to me. I nodded a feeble thanks as she asked,

"When are you due?"

I told her I was a month out and she beamed widely, explaining that she like TOTALLY wanted a baby someday. I was smiling back at her, attempting to imagine her flowing blond weave tamed into a practical mommy do, when suddenly her Ed Hardy wearing boyfriend (need I say more?) put his arm protectively around her rock-hard abs and glared at me as if to say...

"Do not pull my hot lady friend into your pregnant world, manatee lady!"

...before hustling her away from me and towards the bar, leaving me to float in peace.

And speaking of bars....

...they are another place I've noticed where you tend to get a lot of attention when 8-months pregnant.
Let me clarify.

This last St. Patrick's Day, my sister and I, being the good Irish girls that we are, headed out to celebrate this most sacred day at a local pub here in L.A. Now, normally an event of such magnitude would have called for the ingestion of copious amounts of beer (green or no), but in deference to my passenger I resigned myself, before tugging an "Erin Go Bragh" shirt over my enormous girth, to limit my intake for the night to a single Bud Light.

Naturally, this diminished the merriment to some degree, but the night was not a total loss, as it turned out to provide a revelation that may prove valuable to you, my beloved readers. For I have discovered a secret long coveted by female bar-goers everywhere! And that is a FOOLPROOF method of repelling the unwanted advances of drunken bar dudes.

You see, as I was savoring the first sips of my beloved Bud Light, a suitor in a state of advanced intoxication approached with the always winning come-on line:

"Hey pretty lady, you look like you could use a shot!"

As his arm darted around my shoulder, I ducked to avoid the shower of spittle that apparently came free with his offer. I paused briefly and pointed south, past the now-oversized boobs that had likely attracted him in the first place, towards the belly, heretofore camoflaged by the bar's dim light and simply asked,

"You still interested?"

Truly I don't think the lad could have fled faster if I'd revealed that I had a penis.

And so it was that I danced the night away to my favorite Irish band in complete peace. Feel free, ladies, to co-opt this method for your own uses! The next time you want to head out to an event and get your drink on without dealing with unwanted attention from the male of the species, might I recommend a well-placed pillow tucked securely around your mid-section?

Fair disclosure, you'll get a couple of dirty looks from those judgemental, "What the hell is that pregnant woman doing in a bar?" types, but you can always just tell them you're only having one Bud Light.