Monday, February 25, 2008

Mom Bomb

Some days your mom looks like a harmless little girl who ate an overinflated basketball. Cute. Nonlethal. Others, it's like she has a big round bomb strapped to her stomach and when she looks at me and asks me something about how this or that piece of maternity clothing fits I feel like I'm staring into a digital clock on her forehead that's counting backward.

Either way, she's now set to explode is less that two months. After that I'm predicting a mess.

We spent the weekend constructing your baby furniture and outfitting the nursery. The cribs were fairly self explanatory and I had lots of help, but consider yourself warned. I also put together your mom and I's bed and had two things labeled 'braces' left over. Every time the bed so much as creaks we look at each other and wonder whose side will collapse first, leaving that person to cushion the others fall. Ever since she crossed into mobile home territory the creaks seem to be consistently on her side. If there's one upside to the whole pregnancy, it's that she looks like a pretty comfy place to land.

Anyway, I think you'll dig your new spot. My memories of the uterus are thankfully dim, but I don't think there were curtains, so there's something to look forward to right there. If you don't want the stuffed animals I'll take them. I think I'm going to need something fuzzy to comfort me as much as you will.

I've been hesitant to write lately as my progress on everything has been so abysmal. There was a week where I didn't seem to be able to string two words together. The day I finally wrote something I didn't erase I wanted to hug strangers and small animals. I've also measured my jumping ability again, and if anything I've regressed. Apparently jumping around like an idiot really was working. It's a shame that looking like an idiot isn't more effective across the board. I'd be pretty unstoppable.

Your mom and I don't sleep very well anymore, which is unfortunate since we probably won't sleep at all once you're here. She says you guys are always wrestling in the middle of the night, hitting one another over the head with her organs the way Hulk Hogan swings a folding chair. She'll sit up, breathing like she's mid marathon and rub her belly. And then I'll come out of dream in which I have nothing more important to think about than what I'm going to have for lunch and I'll see her sitting there.

Sometimes I swear I hear ticking.

Novel - pg 24
Dunking - more cookies?
French - Le bomb

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Message From Your Mother

Your mom and I have spent a great deal of time talking to the two of you and she decided that the rest of her innards were feeling left out. I know I never start a day without having a good long chat with my pancreas. Here's what she had to say to all the pieces of the mobile home:

I realize that in the past, I have taken some of you for granted. I have not been one to praise you for jobs well done. No pats on the back. No stars in a column. In short, I have been a bad parent. So, here is my way of saying thank you – perhaps it’s a little too late….

Brain: I must admit that I didn’t appreciate all that you did for me. You used to be so on-the-ball – remembering where I left the car keys (and the car!) and what the person across from me had said 5 minutes ago. Now, you have become distracted by such mundane tasks and all you can do is think about one thing: babies. You wake me up at 3am thinking about babies. You bore my friends/family with constant talk of babies. You will let me do or think of nothing else and it’s beginning to be a problem. Yesterday, I put the toothpaste in my purse instead of the bathroom drawer. Monday I got in the shower with my underwear still on. Saturday I (inadvertently) rented a movie I’d seen just the week before. Aside from being forgetful, you are quite mood labile. One second I’m so euphoric and in love with everyone I want to dance around Kevin Bacon style telling the world of my happiness. The next, I’m sobbing uncontrollably because I misplaced $20. Do you see how this is becoming a problem? Please, Brain, don’t fail me completely. I still need you.

Lungs: I remember when you didn’t have to work so hard. When little feet didn’t jump up and down on you like a trampoline. I remember when I could walk across a room without feeling like I was about to collapse or could lie in bed and not worry that I would die in my sleep from lack of oxygen. I know that you continue to work hard despite having less and less room to do so. Thank you.

Heart: Once upon a time you only pumped blood for one person. Sometimes you would stretch your heart-muscle legs a little, like when I’d go for a jog or when I got surprised for my 30th birthday. But, on a normal day, you were content to just thump along. Now, you must work overtime all the time. You race even when I no longer can. I feel you working hard in my neck and in my chest and in my head – it makes me feel like I’m on a constant Red Bull high. Keep up the good work.

Breasts: I can’t decide if you are at your happiest now, or if you are sad. On the one hand, your job used to be so easy: be pretty, fill a t-shirt, and lure the husband’s attention away from ESPN. Now, you are swollen (filling the t-shirt nicely, thank you very much!) but also tender and sore. You know that you have a more important task ahead of you than you have ever had before and you are probably a little nervous: Will I be able to handle TWO babies? What if I can’t make enough milk? What if my now-gargantuan nipples get too sore to pump? What if I embarrass my master by leaking on her favorite cashmere sweater? Yes, you will certainly have more responsibility soon and the task ahead of you is daunting. But, I have faith in you and think that it is a great honor. So buck up, be happy. Great things await you!

GI tract: I must say that I greatly under-appreciated you! There was a time when you did your job so well and I didn’t pay you a bit of attention. I never heard a peep out of you and should have thanked you for your quiet resilience. Now, I’m afraid you are not so silent and charming. You make me belch like a sailor when I’ve always thought of myself as such a lady. You keep me constipated and bloated despite me drinking gallons of water and popping fiber pills by the handful. You make me hungry when I’d prefer to sleep. I know that the large baby-filled-sac in my belly is encroaching on your workspace, but please be patient and try to find a way to work around it. Stop being such a trouble-maker.

Girly Nether Regions: Like your friends the breasts, you used to be quite content with your lot in life. You just got to sort of lounge around, relaxing, waiting for occasional bursts of excitement to come your way. Now, you are both neglected (you’ve forgotten what it meant to be excited!) and abused (ANOTHER transvaginal ultrasound? ANOTHER cervical check? Really?). I’d like to tell you that things will get easier from here, but the truth is that things are about to get a whole lot harder. You’ve seen the videos on YouTube. You know what’s coming. All I can say is, I’m scared too. For the both of us.

Skin: I feel like you’ve kind of been a wallflower in the past – sitting on the sidelines while the other organs got all of the glory. But now, now is your time to shine! What other organs out there can say that they are able to expand and stretch to be 5 or 6 times their usual size? What other organs get to be pampered with daily rubbings of cocoa butter and anti-itch creams? None. I think you’re the lucky one. That being said, I’d appreciate it if you’d continue your Gumby-esque stretching for a few more months – please don’t give in to those evil demons The Stretch Marks. Please.

Body Hair (lower body, in particular): In the past, I have kept you in check. Whether shaved or waxed or lasered, I was the master of you. Honestly, I never really thought you were necessary. Well, revenge is sweet, isn’t it? Now, you get to grow unchecked as it is near impossible for me to navigate to the land below my belly – and to do so with a razor in my hand seems downright irresponsible. So, enjoy your freedom while you have it. Roam free while you can. Soon enough I’ll take the shears to you and will show you once again who is master of her domain.

Legs: You used to be so strong. You’d carry me as I ran and jumped and hiked. You frolicked with me and we were so happy. Now, you are weak and underused. Your poor little muscles have atrophied and you are angry. You’re so angry that you have decided to fight back with excruciating nighttime cramps, irritating restless legs, and never-pretty-in-skirts cankles. I can’t say that I blame you, really. But perhaps you’ll be more forgiving if you know that I too wish that I could take you out for a good romp around the neighborhood again. Please be patient. We will play again soon.

Uterus: I saved the best for last. You had been sitting idle for many, many years and now you are the MVP of this body of mine. You must feel so fortunate to get to be the temporary home of two little human beings. You’ve nurtured them from when they were just bean-size, protecting them from the cruel outside world. You, alone, have been able to watch them on a daily basis, playing with each other, jabbing each other with their feet, holding each other in wrestler poses. You have been the sole witness to their sisterly bonding, their first breaths and their wordless banter. In a way, I am jealous of what you have seen and what you have done, but more than anything I am grateful. I look forward to taking over your job in the near future, but for now, hold those babies within you for a few more weeks. Let them grow and become strong so they are ready to face the world with fully functioning little organs and miscellaneous body parts.

Only your mother would tell her own brain that it is 'mood labile'.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From The Cereal Aisle With Love

Girls, allow me to wish you Happy Valentine's Day while admitting that romance is not really my strong suit. In the past I've been known to gift wrap the groceries. My theory is that anyone can smile at a diamond necklace. Only someone who really loves you is happy with a box of Cap'n Crunch.

It wasn't always this way. Back when, I was more prone to the GRAND GESTURE. Painfully collected mix tapes, hand drawn pictures, and poetry that relied heavily on things like my exploding heart, the endless ocean, and beautiful birds, which sometimes exploded and fell in the ocean. Several restraining orders later I figured out that no matter what they say, girls would rather date that jerk who forgets their birthday than the sweet kid who makes a cake in their likeness and brings it to their door at precisely the moment they were born, even if that's 2:36 in the morning. Since then I'm been wrapping the groceries.

But tonight we skipped both Hallmark and the grocery store and gave ourselves the gift of a peek at you two. Thanks to the magic of 3D ultrasound I think we can make some predictions about your futures. Nixon, I have to be honest, you're getting the shaft in there. For seven months you've had your sister's butt or feet in your face. If you find yourself talking to a shrink about deep seated resentment someday, give that some thought. Ripley, I'm not sure you belong to us. From what I can see you're the progeny of a Chinese acrobatics team. As you know, I've always been suspicious of the conception timeline. The fact that you're flexible enough to sit around with your leg over your head and your knee in your eye socket while I can barely touch my knees or my eye socket only deepens these suspicions.

That said, you both look amazing. Your mom talked about how anxious it made her to see you on the outside. Personally, I'm really growing attached to you where you are. With all this technology we can look in anytime, but you can't make messes or ask to borrow the car. It's like having hamsters. Flexible hamsters. That sit on one another's heads.

Still, staring at your fuzzy images I admit that I felt my heart swell to the size of an ocean, soar like a bird, and then explode. I've just got smart enough not to write those kind of things down.

Novel - pg1
Dunking - I'll measure this weekend
French - Je t'aime

*The old email subscription link was apparently busted. If you're interested in email updates, please sign up again.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Doing Burnouts

I grew up in one of those small towns that tends to attract Wal-marts, trailers, and tornadoes. The kind of place where people leave a parking lot by peeling out. The kind of place where monster trucks and tractors were considered legitimate forms of transportation. The kind of place... I'm not really sure where I was going with this. I think the point I was trying to make is that there was no traffic.

Anyhoo, when I encountered stoplights I'd usually makes a series of turns, go around blocks and so forth so as to avoid just waiting them out. About 99% of the time this was slower than just sitting though the light, which I knew, but couldn't seem to make use of. Being in motion, even if it was pointless, was better than just waiting at the light. It made me feel like I was accomplishing something, even if in reality I was falling behind.

When I had various cubicle jobs I became an expert at appearing busy, in fact feeling busy, while accomplishing nothing. Email+crossword=lunch then I'd spread an hour's worth of work over various sports radio broadcasts until it was time to go home. The fact that this more or less matched the routines of those around me led me to believe that this was more or less, life. So I quit.

But on my own it might be worse. When I'm on a real deadline, I'm fairly square. And could there be any more real deadline than the two of you? But I'm afraid in recent weeks I'm doing a lot of traveling without moving. The internet is full of things that feel important (countless videos of people getting kicked in the nuts) and take up time, but don't really put me any further down the road. Email, news feeds, etc, not to mention all the little things I can distract myself in the house (when was the last time someone turned the mattresses?) make it rare that a day goes by where I say to myself, dude you just sat around and did nothing. Instead, I do a ton of meaningless things and then end the day wanting a do over. If I can be this unproductive with two cats I can't fathom the non work I could accomplish with two kids.

We've settled on an au pair for you two. She's from South Africa. English accents for everyone. She's going to get my office. I used to think that would be awful. How would I get anything done? Now I'm pretty sure it's for the best. I think I'm going to go low tech with my next office space. No internet and doors that lock from the outside.

Novel - see above
Dunking - week 6
French - looks like it's back on me

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bring Us Your Cycling Latvian Hindus

I think I've said before, that as far as kids go, you two are a little young for my taste. I'd love to skip everything from diapers through driver's ed and get started right around freshman year of college. Ideally, we'd pick up on your first semester break when you come home for Christmas to inform me that our consumer culture is a form of mind control and you're only eating ham if it's made of organic tofu. That's what I remember learning anyway. Your results may vary. As we've discussed, I didn't buy the books.

Anyway, countless ultrasounds continue to confirm that neither of you are going to be ready for college in the next couple months (even though it would be WAY CHEAPER if you just got it out of the way now). Even if you were accepted you probably wouldn't make it through a single lecture without defecating in your seats, something that's still frowned upon everywhere outside of Berkley.

But it turns out that my dream of college age adoption lives on. It's called picking an au pair. We've done our interview, written our essay, and been forced to wrestle with some unexpectedly difficult questions. Is it more important that our au pair like swimming or cycling? Do you have a higher opinion of Latvia or Hungary? How much would you say you know about Hinduism? It's like computer dating, only instead of being for single people who like going out it's for married people who are about to stay home for the next five years memorizing Pixar movies. We answered cycling, Latvia, and lots and crossed our fingers.

And somehow we started getting matches. The bad news is, French speaking au pairs are apparently hard to come by. Everywhere I turn someone wants to remind me what a waste of six semesters that language was. So far our favorites are from Brazil and South Africa. That pretty much means Portuguese or an incredibly cool accent.

It's humbling to talk to people who are so interested in seeing America they're willing to leave their own families for a year to be part of ours. On the other hand, it's kinda terrifying to think that six months from now this house will have gained two infants and a teenager (a cycling Latvian Hindu teenager). Right now your mom (and you two by extension) is at work. There's one cat asleep on a chair to my left, another on the table by my feet. It's so quiet I can hear the fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen.

I should probably go enjoy that while I can.

Novel - pg17
Dunking - wk5
French - looks like we're back to me, I mean moi.

blogger templates | Make Money Online