Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because I Know you Couldn't Wait Until Tomorrow

Oscar, at the beach in Santa Cruz.

Home Filthy Home

Upon waking this morning after a decent night's sleep, I realize something. My house is a hole. A giant, dog hair-filled, crap hole. In the nearly six days I was gone, it seems no laundry was done, the floor was vacuumed not even once, and the sink was LITERALLY overflowing with dishes.

On a positive note, while in Santa Cruz I managed to shower every single day five days in a row, a feat I've not accomplished since before Oscar was born. I also exclusively went to the bathroom with the door closed (even if Oscar was in there with me a few times) and blew dry my hair everyday. I felt like a princess.

In a preview for tomorrow's Phobia Friday, I'll be talking about Karaoke, Santa Cruz style. I'm terrified of singing in public, but my BFF loves it (and is amazing at it.) There will be pictures. And a game. You're gonna love it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Humid Home

Oscar and I have spent the last week in gorgeous, sunny, ocean side Santa Cruz, CA. My BFF's husband few us out there for her 30th birthday (what a great husband.) We had a fantastic time, and have some great stories to share, but for now, we're both still recovering from jet-lag and I'm digging out from a week an a half's worth of laundry.

I'll tell you briefly about the weather. Every morning when we woke (at 6am, of course) it was around 50 degrees, overcast, and misty. You could smell/see/hear the ocean from my BFF's balcony. By 10:30am, the mist and sky had cleared. The weather warmed up to a perfect 72 degrees almost every day. You needed a sweater in the shade and at night. I had to by pants for Oscar because it was too cold for shorts. They don't even have air conditioning. Because they don't need it. It was such a welcome relief from the oppressive heat of DC this time of year.

That's it for now, but I have some good antics to share. I missed you guys!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reason #112 Why Pregnancy is Gross

So, it happen, folks. It finally happened. It didn't happen even one time while I was pregnant with Oscar. I was all like "That must only happen to OLDER pregnant ladies." I was wrong.

This weekend, when I sneezed, I peed myself. For real. And I'm not talking about a little leakage here. I'm talking about crotch-soaking-peeing-myself.

It was so much, for a second I though my water broke. But, no, it was urine. My own. I didn't even feel like I had to pee. It was like my body was just holding a little, just to give me a nice area of moisture in my crotch. Disgusting, I know.

I seriously did 100 kegals a day for two months after having Oscar to re-tighten all that business up. Apparently, it was to no avail. Incontinence is common in pregnant women, and more common in second plus pregnancies. So I'm a prime candidate.

And so I sit, afraid to laugh to hard, afraid to sneeze, lest I be left in a puddle of my own urine.

Think about that for a minute.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ooooohhhh, We're Half Way There...


The Belly Shot - 20 weeks pregnant.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Phobia Friday Cancelled - Ultrasound Results!

Our 20 week ultrasound (which, incidentally, I almost forgot about) was this afternoon. The Sprout looks good and is measuring right on time. Lots of cute arm waving and we have some pretty hideous photos of a skeletal face.

Guess what we don't have.

That's right, the Sprout kept it's lets shut up tight. The tech tried to get the baby to spread 'em with no success. It wiggled it's feet, drew up it's knees, but refused to show us the goods.

So, it's looking like lots of green and yellow for the new addition.

But, seeing that little baby hide it's face behind it's hands was one of the cutest things I'd ever seen, and I finally felt a connection to this little one. I'd much rather walk away with that than a confirmation of the sex anyways.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lists

Last night I was suffering from pregnancy induced insomnia. Being no stranger to insomnia, pregnancy induced or otherwise, I did what all good insomniacs do and I began to make a list. So, I present you with -

Reasons Why I'm Not as Good of a Pregnant Person this Time Around:
1. I eat poorly - lots of take out and almost no veggies. I can't stomach veggies, except salad, and that really doesn't count. And I'm too tired to cook dinner, and so is Nelson. Last time, he'd make dinner a lot of the time, but this time he takes care of Oscar pretty much from the time he gets home. No time for making dinner, so pizza and Thai food it is.
2. I don't drink nearly enough water. I can count the days on two hands that I've actually gotten in the prescribed 64 ounces.
3. I'm not getting enough calcium. With Oscar, I drank three glasses of milk a day, plus a yogurt. And I still got four cavities. This time around, one glass, maybe two. I need to start supplementing.
4. I do not get enough rest. I think I'm getting my energy back, but the boys wear me the crap out, as does the seven weekly loads of laundry, daily dishwasher full of dishes, daily dog hair clean up, etc.
5. I forget my prenatal vitamins at least twice a week. I'm such a loser.

Since I enjoyed making the above list so much, I made this list this morning -

Things that Really Made me Angry this Morning:
1. My prenatal vitamins. I bought them at a health food store and they are supposed to be really great and made with all plant based materials, etc. They were $30, 60 to a bottle. Good deal, thinks I, a three month supply. I took one the first day, all was well. The next day I take one again, and as I'm drinking my water, I read the vitamin bottle. Apparently, you are supposed to take SIX of these vitamins a day! That is the daily recommended serving! Six! So, instead of getting a 60-day supply, I really only have a 15-day supply. Who ever heard of having to take multiple multi-vitamins? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
2. Nelson put his dirty dinner dish on the counter opposite the sink, not in the sink, which was empty and had plenty of room. Don't worry, Jenni's Maid Service is always on duty and can move your dish the extra four feet to the sink, the four feet that were too far for you to travel. You just take it easy, okay? Whatever you do, don't over exert yourself.
3. My greengrocer charged me for a delivery that I cancelled. This is not the first time this has happened. Get it together, man. How do you run a business when you regularly charge people for a service they did not receive, or send them notices that their account is delinquent when it is not delinquent? I'm tired of it, which is why I cancelled my delivery. I'm getting my produce from the grocery store from now on. At least that way I won't get mealy peaches and wilted lettuce.

Phew, that feels better. Now I'm going to go take my six vitamins and catch a nap.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hair: A Dilemma

Since Oscar has been born, I've had my hair cut a grand total of two times. Some of you may be thinking "BFD, who gets their hair cut more often than twice a year?" Well, I do.


I wear a pretty short hair cut. Not as short as it used to be, but shorter than the average woman. Shorter than a bob, longer than a pixie. So, I NEED to get my hair cut far more frequently than I do else I end up with a mommy-mullet (which I'm sporting right now.)


I've espoused on my love of hair care before, so I'll not go there again. But, I do have a dilemma.


I've been seeing my stylist for about four and a half years. She's located in Washington, DC. On the Hill (as we insiders say) to be exact.


Now, I live in (dun, dun, DUN!) the suburbs, about a 30 minute drive from the Hill or a 10 minute drive and 3o minute Metro ride. Driving into the city also requires finding parking in the city and that takes at least 20 minutes, particularly on a weekend.


I love, love, love my hair stylist. But the schlep into the city is just too far. So, where to suburbanites get their hair cut? Turns out they get their hair cut IN THE CITY. Hence there are no really good upscale salons our here, at least where I live. There all at least 30 minutes away, so I might as well just go to my girl.


And that takes me to the city. I just don't feel like going there.


Normally, I'd just put off going until my hair covered my face, but I'm going on a very exciting, very secret trip next week and I must have good hair. And, my pregnant hair is already pretty much in my face and very mullet-ish, so yeah, time to make a decision.


I've gotten some suggestions from friends for stylists closer to home. I'm still very nervous. I have short hair and it is much harder to give a good short cut than to cut longer hair.


My husband and brother think I need to go to my regular stylist - my hair is very important to me, and she is a known quantity. However, I really don't want to spend and entire afternoon traveling to get my hair done, dig?


Oh, and if my hair is royally screwed up and I have to go to my regular stylist to get it fixed, how do I explain my hair infidelity?


The decisions that a suburban housewife must make. Sigh. Let me go bleach some whites and see if that clears things up for me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

There You Are!

I first felt Oscar fluttering around in my tummy at 15 weeks. By 18 weeks, it was like I had David Beckham in there. He was kicking the tar out of me. By 21 weeks, you could see my belly moving with the force of his kicks and punches, and Nelson felt his son for the first time.

I felt the sprout swimming around 12 weeks. Gentle little flutters, like popcorn or gas bubbles in my lower abdomen. Twas sweet bliss. Then, nothing for three weeks, until standing at the meat counter in the grocery store. There were several real kicks. Then, nothing again. For weeks.

On Saturday, I finally confessed to Nelson that I was a little worried. There I was, at 19 weeks, and feeling nary a flutter, and I hadn't felt one for nearly a month.

"Could something be wrong," he asked me, clearly worried.

And, at that very instance, the sprout decided to make itself known with a serious series of flutters and kicks.

"Nope, it's fine. I feel it."

And since then it's been a nearly constant presence, reminding me that there really is a baby in this gigantic belly of mine, tapping out some kind of baby morse code. A baby that Nelson and I will see for the first time during our ultrasound this Friday. A baby that I'll be holding in my arms in four and a half short months.

This whole pregnancy is starting to feel much more real.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Phobia Friday: Tooth #7

Oh, tooth #7. The fear hiding behind all my other fears. I almost don't even want to talk about it.


But here goes.


Tooth #7 has never been my favorite tooth. It was a peg-shaped tooth, never the robust square it should have been. It was discolored. It was unattractive.


Several years ago, I decided to do something about tooth #7, to take charge via cosmetic dentistry. I spent a good chunk of money having a porcelain veneer placed over tooth #7 and it became a lovely addition to my smile.


I thought I was done with tooth #7. Little did I know.


Last fall, I noticed tooth #7 was a little sensitive to hot and cold, so I informed my dentist at my semi-annual exam in October.


Aside: After neglecting my teeth all through college by not going to the dentist once, I had MAJOR dental drama and have since gone in for my twice yearly exams like clockwork.


The news was not good. I needed a root canal. I was bummed, but not overly concerned. I'd had a root canal before. BFD, I can handle this, thinks I.


I was so freaking wrong.

What I didn't tell you fair Internets is that I had an appointment with my regular dentist the following day to have FOUR cavities filled (thanks, Oscar) and at this appointment I told her I did not think I could bear going back to have the root canal finished. I was terrified.

My dentist, who I've been seeing for many year, agreed that if I was experiencing this kind of anxiety, it was best to just have tooth #7 extracted and have a dental bridge put in. I felt relief.

Until she told me the bridge prep was going to take an hour and a half. I panicked. Even though I've never suffered dental anxiety (shocking, I know) I knew I could not undergo another marathon dental procedure. I simply didn't have it in me.

Since the tooth wasn't particularly painful, I deiced to wait a couple of weeks until I got over my fears, as I was certain I would. A couple of weeks turned into a couple of months which turned into several months and has now been NINE MONTHS.

I actually cancelled my semi-annual cleaning in April because I couldn't bear to face her and the fact that I had this horrible, rotten, infected tooth #7 still hanging out in my mouth.

Now, my dental office is stalking me to come in for my cleaning. You think I'm kidding but they call every week, trying to reschedule. I just keep dodging them.

The truth is, I'm still to scared to have tooth #7 properly dealt with. And I'm afraid if the hygienist knocks the protective layer of plaque off of tooth #7, it'll start to hurt crazy bad and I'll have no choice but to take care of it. And clearly I'm all about avoiding the problem here.

Oh, and to make matters worse, because I'm pregnant I can't take any of the good anxiety relieving medications or nitrous oxide during my treatment, so all hope for avoiding a total dental freak out seems to be lost.

Nelson thinks I just need to call the dentist and have a sit down with her and explain my anxiety and that she can help me deal with it. She actually specializes in patients with dental anxiety, so she knows what she's doing. But I can't even seem to do that.

So, here I sit, me and my dirty teeth and funky tooth #7, frozen in terror. I've never liked tooth #7, but I just can't seem to let it go.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Love Letter to my Husband

Dear Nelson,

I know that I'm hard on you. I know that I have very high expectations and very high standards that I expect you to meet with little direction and encouragement along the way, and I know that can be difficult and disheartening.

With that in mind, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you, and and that all the little things you do and have done are not unnoticed. You are a remarkable partner, friend, and husband to me, and since I don't tell you often enough, I'm going to tell you now, in this post.

Every weekend, you get up early with the Bean so I can sleep in for an extra hour and a half. I never even have to ask you to, you just do this for me, even though I know you'd also like to sleep in.

You pick up our ransacked living room almost every night so I don't have to drag my pregnant behind and aching back around on the floor retrieving toys.

You take out the trash every day, which I appreciate doubly since becoming pregnant again because the smell is more than I can bear.

You do the dishes after dinner almost every night so I can relax for five minutes, even though you have not relaxed since you walked in the door.

Each night, you bathe Oscar and get him ready for bed. I can hear the two of you laughing and splashing - I know it's the happiest part of both of your days and it warms my heart.

When you used to travel several days a month for work, you always brought me back a pair of earrings, usually made by a local artist and usually made with materials local to the area you were visiting. It was frivolous expense we can no longer afford, but I now have a beautiful collection of unique, handcrafted earrings, each with a story.

You work so hard to support our family and that makes me really proud of you.

On Saturday mornings you care for Oscar so I can go out for brunch with my girlfriends, and you barely complain at all.

You make me laugh every, single day.

Before you leave for work in the morning, you always come back upstairs to kiss me good-bye. You read a study once that said men who kiss their wives before work live longer, happier lives, and that made us both feel good because we already had that kind of life.

You know me.
You listen to me, I mean you really, really listen.

You try really hard.

When I was in labor, you were the best birth partner I could have asked for. Even the midwives where impressed by your awesomeness.

We made the Bean, and the Sprout. This is my favorite thing about you.

It takes my breath away when I think about how much I love you.

I know I don't say it enough, but I love and appreciate you, Nelson. I wouldn't change one thing about you and that is the truth. You are a great husband, and wonderful father, and more than I deserve. I love you.

Love,

Jenni






Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Let me start by saying that I do not often enough write posts about how fabulous my husband is. Usually, I write posts to complain about him, so I think he comes off rather bad on this blog, particularly if you don't know him in real life.

Nelson is amazingly generous, thoughtful, caring, helpful, selfless, funny, and loving. And I'm about to write another post where I complain about him. BUT, in recognition of the fact that I do not give him enough props around here, I will be writing a post later this week about how wonderful he truly is.

Okay, on to the kvetching. We live in this gorgeous 80-year-old Victorian home with a beautiful porch that spans the front the house. There's this pretty swing at one end and I absolutely love it. We've spent many a night on this porch.

Since having Oscar, our porch has become a crap hole. Okay, that's not exactly true. It looks like the porch of many families: we have a double jogger, a regular stroller, a wagon, and a child's riding car that permanently live on our front porch. It's crowded to say the least.

This stuff is all to big to fit in our home and I'd be worried about sun and weather damage if it were just in the yard, so this is how we live. We can still make it to the swing, so I'm okay with it.

Except that recently, our porch has taken on some new tenants. These tenants come in the form of three full sized coolers that we used to keep drinks cool for Oscar's birthday party. Three and a half weeks ago.

The place where our coolers are supposed to live is in the basement and the basement is my husband's territory. He hauled the coolers out and wash them and filled them with ice for the party. He drained them and rinsed them after the party. And then, nothing.

I've asked him, twice, to please bring the coolers back to the basement. He has assured me he will. But, three and a half weeks, people.

So, now I'm in the position where I need to decide if I should be passive aggressive and put the coolers away myself, or if I should be a nag and ask him (for the third time, hence nagging) to take care of it.

Physically, I think I could do it. The coolers are bulky and awkward, but not heavy. Our basement steps are steep, but not unmanageable. My belly will get in the way a bit, but overall I think I can manage.

The problem is, when Nelson sees that I put the coolers away, he will become immediately defensive and angry that I did it instead of waiting for him to do it because HE SAID HE'D DO IT, OKAY?

This is a scene I'd like to avoid.

So, option two - ask him for the third time in three weeks to bring them down stairs. This will likely result in him becoming defensive and angry because I'm nagging him about the coolers and HE SAID HE'D DO IT, OKAY? And then, he'd probably do it, but this option would almost certainly end in an argument about who does more work around here.

Also, a scene I'd like to avoid.

There is a third option - I just leave the coolers out until he remembers to do it. But then I might as well put some recliners and an old refrigerator on my front porch to keep the coolers company.

I really don't want to be "those" neighbors.

So, what to do?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Confessions of an Addict

I have a confession to make. Do you see that blog roll to the right of my screen? The one I haven't updated for months. Take a quick second to count how many blogs are on that blog roll. I'll be right here.

There are 20 blogs in my blog roll. TWENTY. Is that a lot? I don't really know. It seems like a lot to me. I read each and every one of those blogs each time is it updated, which is on a daily basis for most.

Here's the confession: Those 20 blogs are not the only blogs I read. Oh, no. I read more. I actually read twice as many. Were you to peer into my reader on any given day, I'd say I have a minimum of 25 blog posts to read. It's actually a bit overwhelming. And if I skip a day, whoa nelly. I usually can't catch up and end up skimming and/or skipping many posts by writers I usually love reading.

I add blogs to my reader every week. Maybe I'm reading your blog and read a comment I think is funny, so I check out the commenter's blog. I read a few posts and decided I enjoy it enough to add it to my reader.

I think most bloggers read a lot of blogs. Reading other people's blogs, and commenting on them, is part of blogging - is a way of being an active member of the blogging community. But I'm a bit concerned I'm going overboard.

Here's my issue(s):
1. Should I update my blog roll to reflect all the bloggers I'm reading? I know linking to other bloggers you like is a principle of good blogging, but 40 just seems like too many. But is it too many?
2. I feel like I'm being a bad blog citizen. Since I stepped out of the dark ages a few months ago and began using a reader instead of clicking over to blogs, I comment far less. And I never commented much to begin with. Commenting on other people's blogs is an important part of blogging, and I'm just not doing a very good job. I feel bad.
3. I actually read blogs that I DO NOT like. I think the writers are pompous and full of themselves, but I read anyways, so I can sneer at them (you, know, to myself. Because I'm crazy.)

So, what to do? Should I add all of my daily reads to my blog roll and just accept that I'm a blog addict and get over it? Do I stop adding blogs to my reader and pare down my list? Maybe at least exclude the bloggers I actively dislike? Should I shut up and write a real blog post instead of stressing over such a ridiculous minor issue in my life?*

*I actually do have a real blog post I've been working on for a while, but I've decided to hold on it because it is kind of similar to a recent blog post written by Backpacking Dad (he's smart and funny - check him out) and I don't want to seem like I'm riding on his coattails. I loath riding on coattails.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Phobia Friday: Scorpions

Scorpions. *Shudders* For real, who likes these things? They're slimy looking, they have pinchers, they have stinging barb, and are notorious for hiding in shoes and stinging the crap out of you just for trying to get dressed in the morning.

They are totally creepy looking: spider meets lobster meets Venom. I know this is shallow, but belch.

Oh, and they can be deadly.

I once saw an episode of Man Vs. Wild where Bear Grills broke the stinger off of a scorpion and ATE it. I almost died.

Nelson seriously considered completing his PhD at Arizona State and all I could think was, "Arizona? But there are scorpions in Arizona! AHHHHH!"

Scorpions are the number two reason I have never visited the Southwest. The extreme heat is number one (and I'm not afraid of the heat, I just don't like it.) Or maybe scorpions are number one and the extreme heat is number two. I go back and fourth on this.

Full disclosure: I have never seen a real, live scorpion. I've only seen them on TV. I have never known anyone who's been stung by a scorpion. I don't even think I know anyone who knows anyone that's been stung by a scorpion.

What I'm saying is I realize my fear is totally irrational. Scorpions are not even native to the U.S Northeast coast where I live. But I don't care. I hate the little suckers and wouldn't mind if they went extinct. Sorry, scorpion lovers of the world, but that's just how I feel.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Run for the Border

I just really want some Taco Bell RIGHT NOW, is that okay? I've never in my life liked Taco Bell, but now, I can't get enough of it. I wish I was eating it this very moment. The double cheesy beef burrito? YUM. Chicken ranch chalupa? Yes. One of those crunch wrap things with the awful commercials? Oh, I'll take ten. And hot sauce, LOTS of hot sauce. Hot, please.

No, I don't want Chipotle or even a real burrito from an actual Mexican restaurant. I want gross, nasty 89 cent Taco Bell burritos.

We're supposed to have steaks for dinner. You know what I want? The Bell. The Bell over steak.

Lord help me. And send me a cheesy beef burrito, STAT.