Thursday, November 30, 2006

good grief!

oookay. on to more innocent topics...

my friend jamie recently asked, what music reminds you of your childhood?

after viewing the tv special, a charlie brown christmas, i downloaded the soundtrack off itunes. it's all played by the vince guaraldi trio and it's just good jazz. it's the perfect background music while waiting for a snowstorm to hit.

we used to stay up as kids to watch the peanuts specials. each year, we'd park our toughskins on the olive green shag carpeting in the family room and relish every moment. i still love all those charlie brown specials and never realized how smart the dialogue really is. i'm sure i never really caught all of it as a kid. snoopy still cracks me up. seems so much cooler than the junk being peddled to the tots these days.

i wonder if otto will think the peanuts are cool, too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

welcome to my nightmare

have you ever had a horrible dream in which you felt like you knew it was a dream but weren't sure? i did early this morning... horrible.

i dreamed that casey informed me rather unceremoniously that he was, in fact, gay. he was very cavalier about it and seemed so relieved to get it off his chest; he barely concealed his excitement to dump our boring, laborious hetero life.

in my dream, days went by and i kept asking him, "are you really gay?" he would roll his eyes and say, "yes! christ, what do you want me to do: print it on a banner?" even while panicking about being a single mom with an infant; hiring a lawyer to arrange the divorce; and completely start a new life, i remember thinking, "but this is just a dream, right? this isn't real... right?" this newly out casey was busy packing clothes and cleaning out closets of his belongings.

finally, we went to my mother's house to visit and, curiously, my mother-in-law lived there. i collared casey in the living room and whispered, "does she know?" to which he blurted gleefully, "nope! why don't you go ahead and break the news?"

"what?" asked roma, "what is it?" it was almost as if she was anticipating hearing good news: we sold the house for a great price, are moving to grosse pointe, are expecting again.

i mournfully reported, "casey and i are getting a divorce... because he's gay."

through furious tears, roma said, "what?! so i guess this is news that just didn't manage to come out with the baby." and then, thankfully, i woke up.

the sunrise alarm clock was blazingly bright, and just before it beeped, i turned to casey, sleeping on his stomach and asked, "you're not gay, are you?"

one hazel eye popped open above the pillow case and the accompanying eyebrow arched. "what!?" i told him about the nightmare. "you think i'm gay?" he asked.

"no, not at all. even in the dream, you didn't seem gay. it was just the dream... it never seemed to end."

"i guess i better man up for you -- wear lumberjack shirts... get into fights..."

i laughed, and sighed in relief. whatever. anything to keep a dream like that at bay.

what was your worst nightmare from which you couldn't wake up?

Friday, November 10, 2006

home of the beavers, no less

what can possibly make this experiment less politically correct?

this is at the university whose website reads "oregon state university. open minds. open doors."

i got it... how about if the female scientists were forced to wear high heels and mini-scrubs with plunging necklines. wait... who am i kidding: "female scientists"? haw haw haw... beavers.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


compare these first day photos of otto and me. though everyone knows babies change their looks constantly, you have to admit we look a lot alike. now you see where that hair comes from... and even our noses look about the same. funny... i pegged it a hess nose, but only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

why be smart? when you can just eat chocolate

click the picture! to get more stupider

today, as i was nuking a scrumptious boca brat for lunch, i noticed this nestlé crunch bar sitting atop my microwave. the side of the wrapper read:

why be plain? when you can be crunchy

what?! this is the kind of shit that just sets my teeth on edge, probably more than ever now that i'm a mama. as if the children who consume the most candy bars don't have enough issues with knowing how to nourish their pale, flabby bodies as it is, now they're going to be grammatically challenged as well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

manilow and the wrath of arrabiatta

it's a miracle!
a true blue spectacle,
a miracle come true.
we're together, baby
i was going crazy,
'till the miracle came through!

on monday night, we witnessed otto in a state yet unseen: complete agony. he cried so hard that he had tears in his eyes. until well past midnight, i roamed our dark house with him cradled in a sling. i rocked him in the popeye hold in his room. i stood in our bathroom with the shower running and showed him his face in my treasured magnifying mirror [a phaneromaniac's most valued possession] which elicited some smiles and cuddles before the dreaded pain set in again.

sleep-starved, i wondered what was making otto so miserable. i checked his nightgown for scratchy tags or pins -- i recently sewed a second sling [say that three times fast] and was worried about a forgotten one sticking him. and then i remembered... the leftover penne arrabiatta from la gondola that i had for lunch! chockablock with hot peppers and slivers of garlic, it about tore me in two. otto normally does a good job tolerating my diet, piquant and gas-producing, but i think this was just a whole new level of challenging food. plus, because monday was my first harried day back working, i definitely didn't drink enough water to dilute the devils down.

eventually, after a squirt of gas drops and a few more momma-rides around the house, the pain finally subsided and he conked out. oh, but the wakefulness didn't stop there. otto cried with his eyes closed after 3, enjoyed a little amuse bouche, and then fell back asleep... for fifteen to thirty minutes... again and again and again. yesterday, needless to say, casey and i were begging for mercy.

last night, after a nice bath and feeding, casey swaddled the blue blazes out of him and put him down at around 9. we're talking hospital blanket and one of those pre-fab swaddlers with velcro and all. exhausted, we swan dove into our bed, anticipating another wakeful night.

i woke to otto's warm-up whimpers on the monitor and my eyes snapped open to see the clock.


what?! could that be right? i got out of bed, only this time, i was able to make it to my robe without feeling like fossilized cro-magnon man. i had enough sleep to actually move with some fluidity and control. though i was worried i might drown the tot in his own dinner, he took his entire repast with no trouble. i was a little freaked out when, mid-meal, his little peepers popped wide open and started to roll as he grinned with glee. i was like, "oh man, it's not morning yet!" alas, he finished up and retired to his sweet swaddled slumber at 5. and what was playing in my head for the entire hour? the chorus from barry manilow's "it's a miracle". he didn't wake up again until 7.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the bold and the... boring?

since otto and i are both sick with colds, i am borrowing this meme from jamie. you bold all the things you've done before.

what i notice? i thought i was a relatively accomplished person before i got busy with the bolding... and apparently never ate enough wildlife. damn.

01. bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain [hiked the na pali cliffs on kauai]
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. said "i love you" and meant it [you betcha]
09. hugged a tree [wasn't cuddly]
10. bungee jumped
11. visited paris [four times... i miss it]
12. watched a lightning storm at sea [on our honeymoon cruise]
13. stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise [insomnia's a bitch]
14. seen the northern lights
15. gone to a huge sports game [either as a performer or a tagger-on, yep]
16. walked the stairs to the top of the leaning tower of pisa
17. grown and eaten your own vegetables [do a few lame tomatoes count?]
18. touched an iceberg
19. slept under the stars [see shots from our camping expedition below]
20. changed a baby's diaper [...and the hits just keep on comin'.]
21. taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. watched a meteor shower
23. gotten drunk on champagne [and suffered the grisly consequences]
24. given more than you can afford to charity [a few years ago, and now they just keep calling me!]
25. looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment [too many times to count]
27. had a food fight
28. bet on a winning horse
29. asked out a stranger
30. had a snowball fight
31. screamed as loudly as you possibly can [right when my son came out]
32. held a lamb
33. seen a total eclipse
34. ridden a roller coaster [thanks to countless free trips to orlando]
35. hit a home run
36. danced like a fool and not cared who was looking [hello? i was a summer dance camp instructor!]
37. adopted an accent for an entire day
38. actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment [all the time]
39. had two hard drives for your computer
40. visited all 50 states
41. taken care of someone who was drunk [and hated every minute of it]
42. had amazing friends
43. danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. watched whales
45. stolen a sign [middle school hijinks]
46. backpacked in europe
47. taken a road-trip [i'd love to limit mine to fun ones only]
48. gone rock climbing
49. midnight walk on the beach [oh, that memorable summer of '90 in panama city]
50. gone sky diving
51. visited ireland
52. been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. in a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. visited japan [for such a short time, it seems like a dream]
55. milked a cow
56. alphabetized your cds [all our cds on our built in are alphabetized, thank you very much]
57. pretended to be a superhero
58. sung karaoke
59. lounged around in bed all day [it's called 'camp crash']
60. played touch football
61. gone scuba diving
62. kissed in the rain
63. played in the mud
64. played in the rain
65. gone to a drive-in theater [my parents took us to see caddyshack and grease]
66. visited the great wall of china
67. started a business [my own choreo/private coaching freelancing biz, i guess]
68. fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. toured ancient sites [europe and mexico]
70. taken a martial arts class [i was a yellow belt until my sensei creeped me out]
71. played d&d for more than 6 hours straight
72. gotten married [:o)]
73. been in a movie
74. crashed a party
75. gotten divorced
76. gone without food for 5 days
77. made cookies from scratch [during my high school weigh-in days, i'd make scads of sugar cookies... and then give them away. boooooo....]
78. won first prize in a costume contest
79. ridden a gondola in venice
80. gotten a tattoo [so dates me with the ankle tat but whatever]
81. rafted the snake river
82. been on television news programs as an "expert" [ESPN, baby]
83. gotten flowers for no reason [yeah, in high school and college]
84. performed on stage [i miss performing a lot]
85. been to las vegas [yeah... not my favorite place]
86. recorded music
87. eaten shark [my dad caught one and we ate it a long time ago]
88. kissed on the first date [yes, but not with queso. he was a gentleman.]
89. gone to thailand
90. bought a house
91. been in a combat zone
92. buried one/both of your parents
93. been on a cruise ship [honeymoon!]
94. spoken more than one language fluently [i used to speak french very well]
95. performed in rocky horror
96. raised children [practically raised someone else's niece and nephew]
97. followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. passed out cold
99. taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. walked the golden gate bridge
102. sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking [helped me get my voice back on the ride home after teaching]
103. had plastic surgery
104. survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. wrote articles for a large publication [i'd love to do more]
106. lost over 100 pounds
107. held someone while they were having a flashback
108. piloted an airplane
109. touched a stingray
110. broken someone's heart [yeah, and it came back around]
111. helped an animal give birth
112. won money on a t.v. game show
113. broken a bone
114. gone on an african photo safari
115. had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. smoked a cigar [gross, but yes]
119. had major surgery
120. had a snake as a pet [sorta...]
121. hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon
122. slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours [again with the camp crash]
123. visited more foreign countries than u.s. states
124. visited all 7 continents
125. taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. eaten kangaroo meat
127. eaten sushi [veggie sushi only]
128. had your picture in the newspaper
129. changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. gone back to school [finished my last two credits via correspondence course]
131. parasailed
132. touched a cockroach
133. eaten fried green tomatoes [i miss christa's cooking]
134. read The iliad - and the odyssey (not voluntarily)
135. selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. skipped all your school reunions [i have no interest in reuniting, oddly]
138. communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. been elected to public office
140. written your own computer language
141. thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. built your own PC from parts
144. sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. had a booth at a street fair
146. dyed your hair [my hair has been colored more years than it hasn't!]
147. been a dj
148. shaved your head
149. caused a car accident [crashed jeff jr. this december]
150. saved someone's life

Thursday, October 12, 2006

hee haw moment: pregnant?

gee, i thought you were just fat or something. whoops.

i feel like such an ass. i suppose it's an innocent mistake but i'm mortified nonetheless.

i went for my six week appointment with one of my midwives, probably the one i love the most, yesterday. we were discussing what i'll do once i have to get back to work, and she said, "i'm sure it will be hard for me to make time for myself to pump, but i'll just have to work on making that time." my face must have gone completely blank. huh? pump?

so she stands up to go to the sink and, staring at her belly in the scrubs, i ask in the worst possible way the question on my mind:

so, uh, you're pregnant?

she tells me she's due in three weeks. this means that she was seven months pregnant the last time i saw her and i had no idea. how did i miss that!?

i recall at all the appointments that she wore loose, sleeveless empire blouses and long skirts. i suppose i just thought she was just zaftig. i remember her ankle brace, i remember that she has a tattoo on her foot, i remember the midwifery necklace she once wore, but i do not recall any bump ever. mind you i had only begin seeing her towards the end of my own pregnancy so i'd never seen her sans enfant, but still...

not perceiving someone as clearly pregnant when they are is just as bad as thinking someone is pregnant when they aren't, in my opinion. how do you save face? i just thought about how i felt when i was at a party at about six months in and people repeatedly asked me if i wanted a beer. i kept looking pointedly at my rounded belly and said, "i'd sure love one but no thanks... got any seltzer?" what did they think that was -- a giant beer gut? ugh.

Monday, October 09, 2006

camping and the constitution

otto's serious about gun control

this weekend, we took our little granola-in-the-making for the ultimate crunchy christening -- the camping trip. he probably slept better out there in the wilds of wisconsin than at home. this kid's got a metabolism that wont quit and is always roasting hot so, bundled up right, he seemed to feel just fine. casey and i enjoyed doing very little but reading; rubbing sore backs; snoozing in the sun; and making yummy campsite fare like scrambled eggs in an iron skillet, hot vanilla soymilk to drink, and red beans and rice. we didn't see any wildlife [i think it's hunting season because we heard gunshots] but we did hear coyotes at night. freaky. if you haven't already seen them on casey's blog, here are the great photos from the weekend.

speaking of gunshots and chil'ens, can someone please explain to me why there are so many kids with firearms shooting up their schools this year? we're only into october and the number of shootings is truly alarming. i've said it before and i'll say it again: all the violence makes you start to really respect the commitment some parents make to homeschool, at least for elementary school years. just today, i heard a junior high boy took an ak-47 to his principal's office, pointed the barrel at the personnel and begged them "not to make (him) do it". when i was in junior high, i was too worried about salt stains on my black suede scrunch boots and if my rat tail was still pink to even know or care what a kalashnikov was. i think it's high time for this government to consider whether the second amendment needs some mending. it's been 230 years -- it seems to me to be a little tattered and threadbare for my liking.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the maple ate my baby

if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em

we've got a huge maple tree in the front of our house between the sidewalk and the street. it's got to be the largest tree on the block, and it's getting old; it sheds branches and big hunks of bark constantly. aside from springtime when i'm cursing it for spewing those infernal whirlicopters everywhere, i like this tree. the light that comes through the leaves makes our already green frontroom absolutely verdant. on lazy weekends, i wake up slowly by watching its thin uppermost branches dangle in the breeze outside our bedroom window.

last night in bed, we listened to a menacing scratching noise coming from above us.

"it's the tree. it's too big and it's touching the roof. we gotta call the city," casey said.

the last storm had kicked the crap out it and it seemed as if it was in its death throes, clambering and clawing at the house for help as the wind picked up.

early this morning as i was nursing otto peacefully in his teeny tiny room, i looked out the skylight to see one cute, lone branch of the apple tree to the south of the house, bouncing benignly, waving hello. at that moment, it reminded me of the tree from poltergeist outside robbie's room. i don't trust it -- that movie has ruined me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

random observations while on maternity leave

it's funny how you spend ten months of your life in the most womanly state possible, only to find yourself dressing in drag. i can't find much in my own closet that fits my newly rubenesque physique. fortunately [?], casey is about my present size, down to the inseam.

speaking of fluctuating sizes, it's time for oprah to hang it up. long a big fan of her show, i now find it unwatchable. she just seems to be grabbing at straws. the other day, she had on "oprah and gail's big adventure" where the two of them pretended to be on a road trip like normal people... with an entourage of about fifteen camera people and producers? it was actually kind of embarrassing.

speaking of tv, let's all please start a letter-writing campaign to get those god-awful campbell's soup commercials off the air. you know the ones: they've got that nasal, flat voice singing, "campbells/chicken noodle/possibilities..." everytime i hear it, i wish i had swimmer's ear in both ears instead of one.

speaking of swimmer's ear, remember that being a doctor doesn't necessarily make you smart. i went to my g.p. the other evening, complaining of a very painful lymph node at my right eustachian tube, which i guessed might be attributed to the swimmer's ear i got birthing in the tub. as is evident in the medical history he was scrolling through, i'm pretty prone to ear infections. he smirked and clucked and then asked me, "if you knew you were going to get swimmer's ear, why'd you give birth in the bathtub?" you're right: how stupid of me. now i have to put pesky old drops in my ear. jeez, what a bimbo i am.

lastly, speaking of bimbos, if i was the creative director at a hair coloring company, i'd call that spun sugar platinum shade "porn blonde". from time to time, i see women with that brittle, monochromatic, über-bleached hair and reflexively think "porn." before you accuse me of being overly-critical, i myself have fallen under the spell of the porn blonde hair. i'll have to find a photo. i may be heinz 57 with scandinavian blood in there but let's face it: the greekness cancels out being truly able to carry off that sparklingly pale a mane.

speaking of hair, i'm finally getting a real haircut! i had several inches lopped off four months ago, but this time, i'm getting away from hippy-drippy and attempting some long layers à la maria menounos. now she's a hot greek chick.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

otto walter's birth story

getting acquainted

friday, august 25: went in for my 39th week checkup that afternoon to meet with the newest of the midwives, sarah. the nurse who weighed me and checked my blood pressure told me that my cervix would be checked and to undress from the waist down. i thought that was a little peculiar given the fact that this midwife didn’t usually see much merit in checking the cervix unless there were contractions going on. throughout the pregnancy, i’d alternated seeing each of the other three midwives at the practice, and for the last few appointments, i had met with sarah whom i liked a lot. of all the midwives, she seemed to embrace the midwifery method the most. toward the end of the pregnancy, her reassurance that everything i would experience during the birthing process would be normal, natural, and safe was like music to my ears.

sarah came in, and began the standard procedures always performed at the checkups. she looked at the paper drape quizzically and asked, “so you want me to check you?” i told her that the nurse told me that she was going to check me, so i just complied. “well, we’ll at least get a baseline measurement, i guess.” she pronounced me closed and long, and then said me that was totally normal. even though i knew that my cervix could dilate and efface in the blink of an eye, i was a little crestfallen. upon completing the appointment, we chatted for a little [a luxury i love about seeing a midwife] and i asked her when she would get hospital privileges; she told me that, after saturday, the OBs at the practice would no longer be covering midwives patients since she would be thrown in to the mix. sweet, i thought, since i’ve not progressed yet, i’ll surely get to have one of the midwives attend my birthing! a concern i’d had was getting to the l&d unit and having some unfamiliar face staring me into the crotch, insisting on keeping me strung up to wires and tubes and on my back. i left the office and headed to chipotle for black bean tacos with hot-sauce, my favorite post-appointment treat!

that evening on the couch, i was feeling some low aches. they were barely noticeable and i commented to casey that either the chipotle hot sauce was kicking in or something was going on. we shrugged it off and went to bed.

saturday, august 26: at 1:15am, i felt like someone snapped a rubberband in my uterus, and then felt a warm glug-glug-glug like a hot water bottle being emptied out. “oh my god, my water just broke!” i hissed to casey. he jumped so quickly out of the bed to get me a towel that he almost puked. fortunately, i’d been sleeping on a lunablanket [like a reusable flannel chux pad] for about a month so my mattress wasn’t deluged. we checked the fluid – clean and clear – and paged the midwife on call. the midwife that called me back, carol, asked me if any surges had started, which they hadn’t. she said if she didn’t hear from me first, she’d call me between 6:00 and 7:00a to see how i was doing. i hung up the phone, grabbed my ipod, and set my on-the-go playlist to play the “easy first stage” track back-to-back four times in a row. i was ready to begin.

almost immediately, my rushes began. ohhh…i thought, so this is what they were talking about. these ain’t no braxton-hicks! i concentrated on each word coming through my headphones, and breathed very deeply through them each. as they got stronger, i employed more and more methods i had learned through hypnobabies training as well as from the book, ina may's guide to childbirth. my exhales became low moans, almost like the “om” sounds one would use in meditation. slowly, i incorporated the peace cue as well to help me with directing anesthesia -- which i envisioned as someone’s very warm, soft, large hands caressing -- to my clenching abdomen. between surges, i would try to shut off and rest, seeing the words spoken on the script scroll through my brain like closed captioning. at one point, i was feeling pressure mounting in my back, so i tried a few belly lifts [learned from back labor no more!] and they subsided instantly, to my relief.

i’m not sure what time it was, but casey asked how i was doing, and i suggested he probably ought to start timing things here. like a track coach with narcolepsy, he snoozed in between my contractions, his thumb pushing the watch’s buttons as i inhaled before each wave. occasionally, he’d report, “that was about 50 seconds long and four minutes apart.” i was amazed – i could not believe everything was moving so quickly! it seemed so manageable. i was emboldened. i could do this!

shortly thereafter, i was too excited to just lay there. i had to cross all my ts and dot all my is. i got up and made sure my bag was packed and my nightgown and sleep bra [for wearing in the tub] were out. i’d run around, then stop and lean on something, either standing or on my knees, and say, “time me”. i’d hear the stopwatch beep and roll through the wave, remembering to smile to myself. fortunately, the black beans and hot sauce eventually did kick in [if you know what i mean] and, happily, my system was good and empty for the birth.

6:30a: casey got up and we decided we’d probably better shower. we scrubbed and then i’d stop to lean on the shower ledge, swiveling my hips in a figure-eight while he pressed on my lower back. i was two to three minutes apart at this point and each surge was over a minute long, but they only felt like they were about 15 seconds long. miraculous! the suggestion from the scripts that every fifteen minutes would seem like only five was totally kicking in. i was geeked. this was great!

7:30a: casey loaded up the car and i made it downstairs. carol, the midwife on-call, rang and i spoke to her between waves with my elbows resting on the seat of a kitchen chair. she would listen to me moan with each contraction and when i’d pick back up, she’d say, “great job. it sounds like you’re doing really well.” i asked, “when should we go to the hospital?” and she replied, “you’ll know. when you decide to leave, just call us and tell us you’re coming. we’ll be ready.” after hanging up, the waves became instantaneously more intense. i suppose i could liken the feeling to being on a rollercoaster and seeing the summit of the track ahead before a precipitous drop. i’d inhale big before really letting my lungs empty with a good, deep “aahhhh!” as i’d plummet to the bottom. i whispered, “it’s time,” and wobbled out to the car double-parked in the street.

8:00a: still hooked up to my trusty ipod, i laid on my side in the back seat while casey blasted us down lake shore drive toward the hospital. i was moaning loudly now and throwing in some “open” cues in there. casey was not deterred – we arrived at valet parking and, when asked if i wanted a wheelchair, i said, “yes, please.” i plunked down and then proceeded to gyrate my entire head and thoracic spine, loudly chanting my cues through the next waves. what a dichotomy, i remembered thinking, a writhing, moaning animal with impeccable manners. i didn’t care who heard me or saw me. i was getting down to business! sitting in the wheelchair felt good. as i was wheeled through the halls, i envisioned the bright lights i saw through my closed eyes overhead as the source of relaxation i’d heard described in so many scripts.
i arrived in triage and casey handled all nurses and orderlies that crossed our path, only occasionally rousing me from my state to answer a few questions. they checked me there and i was at nine centimeters. nine! no way! i beamed a huge grin during a trough at casey. “i can’t believe it,” i told him, “that’s so awesome.” as sarah had told me, an OB was on call. she introduced herself and said, “you got to nine all by yourself?! girl, you’re a trooper!” i knew i was gonna like her.

i found myself in our birthing suite and there seemed to be a lot of action. casey was a rockstar, delivering our tray of homemade sweets to the nurses’ station, distributing our birthing preferences, and putting up our door signs that let the nurses know we’re using hypnosis. i remember being asked if i still wanted the tub and i yelled, “yes!” at which the entire room went into high gear to get that area of the suite prepared. i remember the anesthesiologist introducing herself to casey and i thought, oh, no! go away! with the next contraction, exclaimed, “i gotta push!” the OB checked me and said, “you’re at ten! you’re complete! let’s go!” i yanked off my nightie, wearing a bra, and got down deep in the steamy water.

10:00a: the birthing tub was heavenly, at least between surges. casey lovingly administered propel and ice chips, even when i tried to push it away, which was good since i really needed to stay hydrated. the urge to push was so powerful, and i was still yelling through them, when the OB very politely suggested i harness that breath and put it behind each push instead of letting it escape. i tried it, working hard to relax my face, contract my torso, and let my uterus do its stuff. thank god i’m a dancer, i thought. this requires coordination! i remembered reading that the sound that would come out of me as my diaphragm got behind my pushes would sound like “aaaagh!” and boy, was that accurate. it was the weirdest, most beastly yet most necessary noise i’d ever produced. the room was quiet during each trough and casey would pet my head, peering down from the edge of the tub at me with a smile. i’d occasionally crack a joke and smile at him, but i was getting so tired my eyes were crossing. i was so hungry and thirsty, too.

10:50a: i was beginning to get the hang of this pushing thing. in no time, i was crowning! whoo-hoo! a little bit of the head would show, and then slip back in. then a little more would show, and i’d feel him slide back again. with each push, i’d stare at the big blue eyes of this cute little nurse as she’d softly urge me to “pussssshhhhh.” she let the p-word slip out, encouraging me to push through it, and casey was johnny-on-the-spot, firmly yet nicely insisting she not use that word. she never slipped again; she was back to the word “pressure.”

though it was frustrating to feel the baby’s head slide in and out, i hoped like mad it would help me to stretch. i didn’t want to tear and really didn’t want to be cut. the OB came back in [it was a busy day there in l&d] and together with casey and the nurse, she rooted me on. the OB was also helping me with each push by stretching me as well. i was so close. i was beat-down tired, but i was so close. they told me there was all this long, dark hair, waving in the water like seaweed. casey was laughing, his face dripping into the tub. i asked, “are you dripping with sweat?” he said, “no,” through tears, “i’m just a big sap.”

11:29a: my mind was beginning to race at this point. i thought of everything. i’d get empowered thinking of my mother who had had only pericervical injections with the three of us. then, i’d think wistfully of what looked like a really easy epidural birth i saw on tv. i’d also remember bits and pieces of so many phenomenal natural birthing stories i’d read. lastly, i thought of all the naysayers: those that insisted i’d never be able to have a baby without drugs. i saw their faces, and with that, i pushed the daylights out of myself three times. on the third push, i screamed – i felt some stinging – and out shot the entire baby. “look at your baby!” someone exclaimed. the feeling of coming face to face with the being you’ve carried inside your body for ten months is just so unique. he was placed on my belly and i was shocked! the cord was cut and he was passed off to casey so i could get out of the water. with help from the nurses, i walked the trail of towels to my bed. casey followed us, crying and laughing, holding our precious baby boy.

11:40a from the ceiling came the bright light to inspect the damage and i though, oh, brother -- here comes the stitches. the OB checked me, which reduced me to a squirming, squealing beast. that was really the only part i remember thinking, THAT HURTS, but when she said, “relax! it’s okay -- no stitches! you only have some skidmarks,” i was elated. i probably asked her three times to repeat that i hadn’t torn. “oh my god, i can’t believe it! so awesome! i didn’t tear!” i kept repeating. i asked if i could nurse him and he latched right on. amazing! casey and i sat on the bed, subsisting on pure adrenaline and white-hot love for this mewing, wrinkled creature in our arms.

Friday, August 25, 2006

39 weeks: like farm-fresh produce

just got back from my 39-week appointment with the newest midwife at the practice. she informed me that, not only will she have hospital priviledges next week, as of saturday, obstetricians will no longer be covering the midwives' shifts. that's really exciting news to me: i was feeling leery of having some random doctor in there whom i've never met who may turn her [or worse, his] nose up at the birthing preferences the midwives already signed.

the nurse who checks my blood pressure and weighs me assumed i would have my cervix checked today, which i thought was odd since midwives [and especially this one] generally agree that internal exams are kind of needless unless rushes are being felt. i obliged and, as i thought, the midwife came in, saw me with the paper drape around my waist and said, "so you want me to check you?" i was like, "um, the nurse told me you were going to." whatever. she checked and, no surprise, i am "long and closed". the notion of my cervix being unripe makes me imagine that inside my body is this something crisp, green, and hollow or like the blossom-end of a green banana. i kinda wish i hadn't been checked because i have read that, when a woman uses mental imagery, she can affect the progress of her body's readiness. oh well -- what's done is done.

anyway, i have one more weekly appointment scheduled for next week with the first midwife i met, and then, if i still need to ripen at that point, i go in the following monday for a non-stress test and to talk about post-dates testing. yuck. the good news is that there will be a full moon that week on wednesday so, if i still have this baby giraffe in me at that point, hopefully some inner tsunami will shake things loose.

Monday, August 21, 2006

chubby roma bark: the recipe

in effort to ply the nurses to do our bidding, i have concocted a heaping plate of the sweet salty goodness we term chubby roma bark and lovingly wrapped it with blue cellophane and a label expressing thanks in advance for their help with the birthing. the chubby alludes to ben & jerry's chubby hubby ice cream, but i imagine that, if roma were to eat this, she would become quite chubby herself. it's a bit more robust than your standard comparatively svelte roma recipe. [and, gurls! this one's the perfect p.m.s. prescription!]

homemade peanut butter pretzel toffee bark
[a.k.a chubby roma bark]

2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
sleeves of saltines
12 oz. peanut butter chips
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
crushed pretzels

preheat oven to 350°. melt the sugar and butter in a saucepan. line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. then, line with saltines end-to-end. pour melted mixture on saltines and bake for 10 minutes. take out hot and sprinkle peanut butter chips. spread melting chips with spatula evenly across crackers. place in oven again for another 5 minutes. sprinkle chocolate over peanut butter and spread evenly, trying not to disturb the peanut butter layer. sprinkle crushed pretzels over entire tray and place in freezer to harden. 15-30 minutes later, slip hands underneath foil layer to break into large bark pieces. place large pieces in gallon ziplock bag and close, then break large pieces into smaller, bite-size chunks. keep refrigerated or frozen for best results!

Friday, August 18, 2006

38 is great

here i am at the tail-end of 38 weeks. everything is going just fine. i now have clearance to birth in the tub -- huzzah! my only complaint is that my raynaud's phenomenon seems to be wreaking yet a new kind of havoc on my hands -- they're turgid and immobile, especially my right hand, which seems more like a stiff, red lobster claw. people don't generally notice them as being swollen because they actually look like normal hands now instead of something out of a tim burton movie, but they're quite achy and unfun.

we took a class last night at the hospital to learn how to take care of a baby. while it was a little painfully basic, at least we revel in knowing we're just a little more prepared than the average participant in the class. we realize how much we've learned already tending to our siblings kids. in addition to having some pretty dope hand-me-downs, being at the end of a line of older cousins does have its advantages.

mostly, i'm just grappling with the constant ebb and flow of my elevated hormones. i'm teary, sensitive, manic, lazy, blissful, all in a span of a few hours. i went to see the fourth and newest midwife yesterday, and i just sat on the table and weeped a little. she asked me what was wrong and was so patient, caring, supportive, and above all, positive. i am filled with abundant relief for having switched practices at 26 weeks. it's terrific to be around people who celebrate what is really an incredible, healthy transformation and stand shoulder to shoulder with me on the path to what i hope will be a peaceful, joyous, natural birthing. i never feel like a patient with a disease or that i have to have my guard up or that i'm made out of popsicle sticks and could just collapse with one false move. i always leave feeling a little more empowered and a little stronger on my big, puffy feet.

right now, truth be told, i'm just trying to enjoy a little peace before the storm. i'm turning my cell phone off and not checking voicemail so no need to call both phones trying to track me down, and if you don't call me every other day, i promise i won't be hurt. honest. while i'm working on being as ready as i can be, the wait isn't as agonizing for me as it seems to be for everyone else. this baby could come tomorrow or sometime in september, but when he comes, there is a very small likelihood i'll be [well, i can't speak for casey, i guess] picking up the phone as we speed down lake shore drive to the l&d unit, plate of roma bark in hand.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

all's fair in love and birth: an update at 37 weeks

i'm in the middle of the 37th week so, at this point, the pregnancy is to term. this means that, if it's time for him to come, it's time. we're all packed and i'm still adding things to my already gigantic bag; another set of pajamas here, a spare set of headphones there, etc.

i haven't made the l&d nurses any treats yet -- we're too afraid that we'll eat them waiting. i should go and ensure i have at least the supplies handy to whip up a big batch of roma bark. good god, people. what chemist knew that butter, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and saltines would yield crack cocaine? the recipe belongs to my mother-in-law [and frequent blog commenter] and was a staple during my sister's pregnancy. i think i may expound on this recipe with a twist reminiscent of ben & jerry's chubby hubby ice cream. i'll call it "chubby roma bark."

so, i'm starting to get people calling all the time:

did you have that baby yet?

how are you?

are you glad it's almost over?

are you feeling fat and miserable, you poor thing?

ya just can't knock tha love, but at the same time, i am half-tempted to leave a daily progress report on all voicemails:

good morning [ahem]. today is 37-point-two and status has not changed. experiencing normal but not excessive braxton-hicks surges as was reported at 34-point-five midwife appointment. movement is excellent to the point of being uncomfortable -- preparing for house littered with grass-stained soccer cleats and/or stinky tap oxfords. occasional mild cervical jabbing sensation and scant expression of colostrum. appointment with fourth midwife scheduled for 37-point-four at 13:45 hours. thank you for calling. goodbye.

truly, i'm not frantic for it to be over. of course, i'm excited for him to arrive, but i'm really trying to appreciate this rare state of being for what it is. i have my son inside my body. he wakes up with me in the morning and i can feel him stretch his limbs out, ready to live out yet another day in his warm, inverted world.

if anything, i'm just bored of the clothes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

9 months at 99 degrees: an update

as of yesterday, i am officially 36 weeks pregnant. crazy. crazy that it's august -- when we told our family during the holiday season, august seemed unfathomable. the whole thing just seemed like a hoax. ha, ha. yeah, so i had this ancient ept stick that was, like, totally two years expired? and i peed on it? and, like, it showed up as positive! so we told everyone that we were pregnant! hilarious, right? that's how unreal it seemed.

there is nothing quite like the sensation of a small human being in your body. i can feel with my hands where his feet, knees, and backside are. there's a hollow where my navel is around which his torso is curled. his head is down and apparently already quite low, which will make his entrance into the world a little easier from what one of the midwives said. sometimes it feels like he's ferretted a pair of chopsticks up there and is poking his way out... we need to lay off the thai food, i think. he's definitely activated by any asian food, swinging his rear back and forth against my straining upper abdominals, swiping legs around.

all signs point to him coming earlier than later, which is fine by me as long as he waits at least through the rest of this week. can't say casey feels the same. the nursery is, for all practical purposes, ready. we have a rough semblance of a changing station downstairs as well, although i'm sure we'll move it all around once we try to figure out a system.

of late, i wake up each night with dull, throbbing cramps. he's definitely dropped as i've lost more than two inches around my ribcage and have adopted the waddle. can't take big steps because he feels like he'll just fall out [wouldn't that be nice?]

i'm on the maintenance schedule for my childbirth hypnosis home study course. i could be better about practicing the techniques, but i'm definitely plugged into my trusty ipod each night, letting all the suggestions flow into my head. a friend of a friend who also took the course is at 42 weeks, and i'm anxiously awaiting report of how well it worked for her.

now, i'm going to take my new book -- invisible monsters by chuck palahniuk -- out to the giant blow up pool in the yard, sit with a nalgene full of ice cold lemonade, and contemplate.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the nose knows: my type

have you ever figured out what you think makes someone attractive? i think i've distilled exactly what does it for me. according to my highly scientific research, the secret equation to someone's hotness is:

beautiful bone structure + full lips + large or lumpy nose = scrumptious

i'm serious. here are those that have helped me arrive at this calculation:

exhibit a - owen wilson

exquisite cheekbones and chin? check. big, pouty lips? check. pendulous proboscis? ding, ding ding! delicious!

exhibit b - elizabeth hurley

she has a perfectly fragile, symmetrical face and a strong enough chin and lips to balance out a slightly bulbous schnozz. i hope she doesn't go dr. 90210 on us and get it bobbed -- she's my girl crush, y'all.

exhibit c - mi quesito

the ultimate in hottness with almond shaped eyes, a squarely chiseled chin, juicy lips, and a shameless nose. no wonder i stared at his profile so hard when we met, sipping my northside tea, six years ago. i had no choice -- i had to marry him. i just didn't really get why at the time.

i now understand why, also, i put up with this one on-again/off-again boyfriend's crap for so many years -- he was middle eastern with big, long lashed brown cow-eyes, a huge smacker, long and luscious black curls, and hello, a nose with its own zipcode.

i wonder what makes this combination so compelling to me. ever though about what components make your type?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

dateline segment on hypnobirthing

as some of you know, i'm doing a self-study course for childbirth hypnosis called hypnobabies. it's an adaptation of hypnobirthing and is very similar in principle but allows for movement during the birthing process instead of just remaining in a deepened state in the lithotomy position [on your back], the most common yet most physiologically challenging position in which to birth. as i get nearer and nearer to my birthing time, i soak up reinforcement thirstily -- positive encouragement and support is the key to success with any hypnosis [for all you kibbitzing armchair obstetricians out there]. this totally hit the nail on the head for me.

[[click here to open in windows media]]

it's about 25 minutes long but the dateline segment [14 minutes in] is the part really worth watching the most. the first part is an ad for a hypnobirthing instructor. i'm not 100% sure why -- maybe because it's something i want so desperately -- but watching the first time mom's peaceful, perfect birth just had me weeping. when all the people were scrambling to get the room ready for the second woman's birth [it had progressed so quickly], i chuckled through my tears. i keep hearing how hypnosis exceeds expectations and it's funny to see that in action, but a bummer that all the chaos [look at all the people! urgh!] broke her concentration momentarily.

Monday, July 10, 2006

jim & edna

i received this today in an email from one of my former customers whom i've known for years. i think, in the instances that tend to give me much anxiety, this is a particularly apt [and amusing] anecdote.

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

Jim and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Jim suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there.

Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled Jim out.

When the Head Nurse Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable.

When she went to tell Edna the news she said, "Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged; since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of another patient, I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness.
The bad news is that Jim, the patient you saved, hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead."

Edna replied, "He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?"

Friday, July 07, 2006

R.I.P. L.R.S.

yes, the time has come and gone -- the little red sled is no more. this weekend, after much forceful haggling on casey's behalf and unprofessional salesmanship on the dealership side, we traded the old girl in for a 2006 four-door honda civic lx. it's got air conditioning, folks. it doesn't smell like twelve years of body odor has seeped into the upholstery. the cupholders actually work. the speakers aren't shot. it doesn't look like i played crash derby with it, either. it's a scrumptious shade of metallic taupe and it's fabulous.

leaving my girl on clark street downtown was bittersweet. she's been there for me on long, hot, cow-ass infused drives through the rurals of iowa. she's been my reliable steed as i made five changes of residence, cats meowing, puking, shedding and shitting. in winter, she's kept me warm and safe, gliding effortlessly across the midwestern tundra. she has quite a fan base -- friends of mine from minnesota to memphis, from kansas city to connecticut will mourn her passing.

as we drove away towards lake shore drive, i instantly conjured up the end of "so long, farewell" from the sound of music as the youngest von trapp softly sings, "goodbye... goodbye... goodbyyyye..."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

step right up and ride the negatron

have you ever just been so mired down in negativity that you can't find your way out?

i feel like i just want to hit the reset button on my brain to get away from the never-ending stream of toxic bile it churns.

i can't seem to shake minor disappointments. i keep taking them apart in my mind and wondering how the ball got dropped.

i want explanations. i want a forum to express that something left me crestfallen or at least mildly curious about how certain simple decisions were made. i want to know what i need to know to make it okay for me when it isn't. i want vindication. i wan't apologies and agreements.

however, being a demanding bitch is one thing -- having your superego deliver a psychological caning at the same time is agony.

"who the hell are you for thinking you deserve everything exactly the way you want it?" my righteous nemesis demands, punctuating the question with a forceful lashing. "don't be such an ungrateful [whip], exacting [whack], persnickety [whap] brat! what stupid [whick], petty [whack] things to obsess about. you should be more thankful [wha-whip]. count your [thwack] blessings! be appreciative for once in your life!"

i can't get away from it. i can't turn it off. it's giving me a headache and a lump in my throat. i can't talk to anyone about it. i can't focus on anything else -- my eyes just go blurry while my mind keeps the cycle of criticism and self-loathing spinning and spinning.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

i get a lot of requests for references, either for jobs or continuing education. in large part, those that request a letter of recommendation from me are people that know they've truly been a great help to me, typically over a few years, and so i'm happy to take some time out to give them a glowing review.

and then there are the reference calls. these are usually for people that worked for me for a year or two, did the bare minimum, and after having been stalked and cajoled by me all spring, eventually tell me they would not be working for me again this summer, apparently because they want to work in the mall.

my office phone rings and i answer

caller: hi-ee! my name is amber and i'm calling from skankz clothing store in oakcreek-fieldbrook shopping center.

me: okay.

caller: i'm calling for a reference check on a... suzannah smigthe? i believe she's a current employee of yours?

me: susan smith? no, she is no longer employed by me.

uncomfortable pause

what can i answer for you?

caller: umm... do you know how long she worked for you?

me: she worked for one year.

caller: ...and would you rehire her?

me: hmm. i guess.

caller: you guess?

me: umm. well, i guess she did what was expected of her. she did what the job entailed but didn't proactively exceed any expectations/had a few breakdowns when given criticism/was arrested for drinking beer while sitting on a curb alone outside a taco bell one night.

caller: ohhh... okay. well, thanks for your time!

me: you betcha.

two weeks roll by. my office phone rings and i answer.

caller: hi, i'm caitlin, calling from aunt patty's pretzel pavilion at streamriver-brooklevee mall about susie smith? wondering if you have a minute...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

recess, city-style

well, woman the way the time cold i wanna be keepin' you warm
i got the right temperature for shelter you from the storm
oh lord, gal i got the right tactics to turn you on, and girl i...
wanna be the papa, you can be the mom....oh oh!

around the corner from my house is an elementary school. when i sit in my office, inhaling the glorious scent of lilac or honeysuckle, i can always hear the gleeful screams of kids running rampant in a well-worn play yard.

of late, the soundtrack to recess has been the same two songs, played over and over again: "hips don't lie" by shakira and "temperature" by sean paul. it's gotta be at a healthy volume because i can hear [all the shocking lyrics] perfectly. i really want to go over there and see what accompanies the tunes. i envision a sort of bollywoodesque choreographed spectacle -- boys in the required giant baggy jeans and voluminous white t-shirts and girls in tighter versions -- all pulsating rhythmically in time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

mysterious white rocks

the other evening, we came home to find shards of what appears to be carrara marble strewn about our roof and our backyard. it looks like pieces were hurled at our garage, too. we did notice that there were some pieces on our neighbor's garages.

casey is contemplating the possibility of the detritus actually being airplane trash [planes follow irving park road to o'hare].

ever the conspiracy theorist, i maintain the mess is from the across-the-alley neighbors, still pissed that the cops were called on their weekend-long cinco de mayo extravaganza a few weekends back. i state my plea -- i only called the cops once: at midnight, the horny latin disco music and echo-heavy telemundoesque mic voice were still shaking my window panes. surrounded by my pillow nest, there i was with eyes locked open, imagining my poor junior juice breaking the sound barrier out of frustration. in my robe and slippers, i am then carrying my red-faced, screaming son under my arm into their yard to spew my wrath.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


all hail the barkless basenji

i gotta tell you, people. i know there are some die hard dog lovers who read this site but i have to be honest and tell you that the prospects of my being inducted into your world are dwindling fast.

you see, my home is surrounded by many a barking dog. to the north, our neighbor leaves their black lab outside at about 6:00a every weekend and then seemingly returns to a deep, unshakable r.e.m. sleep. the beast stands at the front door and rhythmically woofs like a canine alarm clock. being shaken from my already crappy slumber [i just wanna sleep on my back, for chrissakes], i morph into my mother: hair askew and shuddering from lack of motor skills, i throw on my robe and hunker down to my back window to hiss, "hey! hey! be quiet!" to the creature. just like we three kids did, it sheepishly obeys for a while, but it doesn't matter: i'm awake now. boo.

to the south, we have a menagerie: two cats, a ferrett, and an undetermined number of shih-tzus. we guess there are maybe five of them. when i am outside, enjoying my yard with a nice magazine, savoring the sweet perfume of my daffodils, these little monsters yap and yap and yap and yap and yap at me, pop-eyes ablaze. this has gone on every year, despite the fact that i have unabashedly taken a hose to the little bastards.

there are other dogs around: ones that howl when emergency vehicles pass by, ones that crap in front of my trash cans in the alley, and ones that incite others to help them do their evil bidding by barking up a frenzy. today, as i sit in my office, happily typing away listening to birds sing their mellifluous song with the windows open, the canine chorus begins. before you know it, the shit-zoo joins in on the refrain. my neighbors were outside, going about their day, not quieting their animals when i could take it no more.

i screamed: "quiet!" i astonished even myself, but i just don't care. it worked.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

little preggy paula k

i just haven't had that much to write. it kinda sucks. mainly, i've wanted to avoid just writing about pregnancy. detailed description of the rigors of knocked-up-ed-ness can be boring reading for the world at large and there are just so many blogs out there all about it that are far better at it than mine already.

isn't the second trimester supposed to be the easier one?! this morning, i was in the bathroom, exhausted and on the verge of tears from being kept awake by my newfound lack of peristalsis. i was fervently trying to get my mouth clean -- between the increase in plaque production and the constant bath of stomach acid, things get pretty mossy in there. after brushing, flossing, and washing with cool mint listerine, i was left with a raw, bloody gums and... a blue tongue. pathetic. what immediately popped in my head? a childhood favorite, shel silverstein's poem sick.

i bring you my adaptation of this work:

"i cannot go to school today,"
said little preggy paula k.
"i feel a stretching on my bump,
a kick, a stick, and even a jump.
my crotch is wet, my skin is dry,
i feel like i am going to cry.
montgomery's tubes as big as rocks,
i've counted sixteen belly knocks,
and there's one more--that's seventeen,
i’m sorry if i’m sounding mean.
my ass is fat -- i’ll try’n be nice --
i'm over veggies over rice.
i burp and fart and gasp and choke,
i'm sure my 'sophagus is broke --
my teeth feel like they're full of grout,
my belly button's popping out,
my back hurts sleeping on my side,
my pillow, ‘tween my legs, i ride.
my hands are swollen now, and numb.
man, i swear i'm getting dumb.
my thighs are thick, my arms are weak,
can't find the words i want to speak.
my tongue is growing lots of hair,
can't reach to trim the stuff down there!
my belly's popped, my spine ain't straight,
my weight is well past one-o-eight.
my hair is flat, i cannot crap,
i really want to take a nap.
i need a pedicure, and -- what?
what's that? what's that you say?
you say today is. . .saturday?
g'bye, i'm going out to play!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


it may sound really simple and obvious, but i am bowled over by the effect that love has on people these days. i spy three victims of loveflux:

the cactus: she's without any love of any kind, but not because it hasn't been offered. she's fresh and green and inviting from afar, but when you get close, you see those spines glistening with venom. her life has become pretty arid -- i think we're all sick of getting stuck so many times.

prometheus: how many years is he going to spend strapped to that effing rock, entrails ripped to shreds by that evil eagle? friends keep trying to set him free, but there he stays, inviting the pain and humiliation all for the promise of false love and masochistic repentance for just doing it all wrong when the going was good.

schmoopy: formerly of the spiny succulent variety, after dragging her heels and bitching and moaning, bears her sweet juicy side to someone who's just so good to her. she's sweet and sappy and happy and fun. stubbly doubt keeps coming back -- fear of rejection, fear of heartbreak, fear of the unknown -- and she requires a little pruning and reassurance. love has made her look at her bad habits in a can-do light. on the whole, schmoopy is love's finest accomplishment: a venomous, negative entity turned bubbly and optimistic.

to quote when harry met sally, tell me i never have to be out there again.

"...this stupid, wagon wheel, roy rogers, garage sale coffee table!"

Friday, March 24, 2006

from farts to fruit and back again

oh, pureheart, how i love thee.

sorry for the dearth in posting. haven't felt particularly posty. i figure, perhaps if i write something, the pithy content comes later. to those who are of the easily-offended variety, i apologize in advance for a most unsavory entry.

speaking of pithy, i am reminded of my humiliating experience with color commentating. i was struggling with a good way to explain my feelings on a performance in a manner that joe lunchbucket can understand. with furrowed brow, i muttered, "it's hard to be substantive without being pithy." my brilliant, seasoned co-host winced at me like she just accidentally walked into my fart cloud. "oh my gawd! who even talks like that?!" i will always be an insufferable word nerd at heart.

speaking of fart clouds, my other present obsession [besides checking things off casey and my shared to-do list] is fruit. i have become quite the fructivore: bowls of berries with fat-free vanilla yogurt on top, perfectly sized pureheart watermelons, gala apples, just-ripe bananas. i ran a buncha errands yesterday and noticed it just doesn't take that much to pollute the red sled's air quality. i can leave and come back, and it's still kinda wrong in there. i am pretty certain a few commuters waiting on addison to get on the kennedy saw me pull the single-cheek sneak, make a face, and then slide open the sunroof. the sled may not have a CD player, air-conditioning, or a flawless chassis, but by golly, she's got an electric sunroof. this will be a must-have on my next car.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

lookee here

can i borrow your mask? then, no one will see me crying. neato!

at long last, here is a post. my winter schedule forced me to abandon the blogosphere almost entirely at the same time my figure has begun to take on a more spherical appearance. since my insane wintertime has ended, i've tried to post so many times and stopped because something else got in the way.

so what's been going on with me -- here's a month-by-month recap:

12/1-8: conceived a baby, unbeknownst to us.

12/11: driving down I-55 to get to peoria, skidded on black ice and spun out into a ditch, damaging "jeff" [casey's black ford explorer sport]. was winched out and had to arrive at the event venue smiling and ready to take charge.

12/17: ran a kick-ass event. trotting around the venue, noticed a very foreign phenomenon - the bouncing of my own bosom. peculiar. went out that evening to adobo grill for my birthday with my family and enjoyed what i now know were my last margaritas for a long time [sigh].

12/20: happy 33rd birthday -- you're officially late! casey is still skeptical. one lone [and expired] ept stick is at the ready, just in case.

12/21: guess what else? you're going to co-host the college dance team championship on espn!

12/22: get up and pee on expired stick. yep - pregnant! casey is still mildly unconvinced. we pack up and drive to detroit in stunned disbelief.

12/23: we hide in the back of barnes & noble to cram with pregnancy manuals of every stripe.

12/25: exchanging presents early morning. casey breaks the news to nana and gamper hess that there's another christmas present, coming in late august. they are sworn to secrecy. later at eric and laurel's house, tom hess proceeds to dangle the secret precariously and is threatened within an inch of his pinot grigio. don't mess with mama bear. casey shares the news with the hess clan during the christmas dinner toast.

12/27: on the way back home, we go to lunch with my momma in sawyer, mi. at the very last second, break the news. from no grandkids to three this summer! shocking!

1/4-15: casey launches off on his trip to london/barcelona/mumbai. introduction to pregnancy weepiness. my schedule is jammed with dance team practices around the chicagoland area.

1/12-15: i head to orlando to host the college shows. can't stop eating. this tv thing is really a lot harder than it looks... can i just go watch now? i sure hope my hotel roommate stops coughing. spend the next few days during the national sales meeting evening events discreetly drinking ginger ale, hoping everyone is too wasted to notice my teetotaling.

1/18: finally return home, having not seen casey for two weeks. more crying. i don't feel well. cancelling all practices that weekend.

1/20: after making much fun of my husband and brother-in-law for always being sick, my ass is handed to me by the flu. what do i take to kill this bug safely? i have a competition this weekend! yes, there is weeping.

1/22: competition is run for me by my amazing staff as i lay on the couch, unshowered, smelly, and miserable.

1/24: chippy has four teeth pulled. her mouth can no longer be smelled from three yards away. still attending dance team practices here and there.

1/29: run a giant competition at my high school alma mater. it is good.

2/2: back down to orlando, but my head is on the competition i have the next weekend -- do i have enough judges? what about equipment? is the schedule ready to be finalized? meetings with the tv producer interrupt my working, apparently to watch him eat a tuna fish sandwich and show off his new ibook.

2/3: this is hard. it isn't fun. my best efforts are met with blank expressions. go back to my hotel room and cry.

2/4: cry as much as possible before makeup. by the end of the night, i'm over it and snapping. enjoy as many performances as possible between floggings to my self-esteem.

2/7: casey and i go for the first ultrasound. oh my god - there's a baby in there! so exciting! not crying.

2/10: see the bad plus at old town school. so spiritually renewing, it's church-like.

2/11: my last regional comp. i begin sharing the news about why my pants are not buttoned right and why i cried like a freak during eden prairie's performance to kate bush's "this woman's work".

2/14: happy valentine's day. i have the best husband in the world. crying.

2/15: i am plunged into the fiery depths of hell - tulsa.

2/16: happy anniversary...not! arguments in the tv producer's studio about what i should be saying on the voiceovers. walked in on a backstabbing session. get me out of here... except my flight is cancelled. go to united ticketing lobby and sob unashamedly. rebooked to leave next morning at 10:47a , so i luxuriate at the downtown doubletree. eff it.

2/17: "ma'am, this flaht is overbooked." standing at gate desk, shielding red, teary face from other business travelers. at least i scored a $300 flight voucher... um, when am i gonna get to use that in the next year?! the bathroom has a nice couch in there for crying. rebooked for 2:50 but don't actually leave until like 4:30. get home at 7:30p. i have so much work to do. casey and i suffer through the slowest dinner at a thai place around the corner. just shoot me now.

2/18: leave for my last event.

2/19: 72 giant trophies are on campus, but no one knows where. mama bear re-emerges as i am told "i don't know what to tell you." roar! despite this, day runs without a hitch. scratch that; there's mild controversy as the team for whom i choreograph beats one of my best friend's team which happens to be second in the nation.

2/20-present: at the same rate at which my life returns to normalcy, my body begins to reject normalcy. new, expensive, larger bras. i stop kidding myself - ain't no buttoning them jeans. the flow of tears has largely been staunched.

looking forward to a happy spring and a return to posting!