Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making Waves: Fun in the Tub

Taking a hot bath (dry skin be damned) is a great way to relieve my sometimes achy back and hips (true even before pregnancy), and with nothing better to do tonight, I decided to soak AND shave. Happy New Year, C, you are one lucky man! Anyway, to add to the excitement of shaving my legs, a certain fetus was all riled up and kicked so hard he made waves in the still water! He put on quite the show, and I think he also rubbed his butt up against my hand. Obviously, he's gifted.

Better Late Than Never

Starbuck, as he appeared in utero at 22 weeks:


For the untrained eyes among you, his head is on the right side of each picture, and he's looking upward, so you're seeing his left profile (I guess this means the "exit" is to the right of your screen). And while C would like me to tell you that the long phallic-looking thing in the second picture is Starbuck's mighty boy bits, in reality, it's just his umbilical cord. It seems a little weird to be parading my son's wienis around the interwebs, so you'll not be seeing those particular shots here. Trust me, it's there, and there's no mistaking it for anything else.

Needless to say, we simply cannot wait to meet this little guy! He is more active every day night and a little feisty, as he recently kicked/poked/kneed/elbowed me when I pushed on my belly. He's still a little shy around C; either that, or C has the magic touch that calms him down very quickly (doubtful, though, as Starbuck will go for a swift headbutt to the cervix as soon as C moves his hand away from my belly). We're hoping to have our comprehensive Baby To-Do List (complete with deadlines and assignments; possibly color-coordinated and indexed) compiled by Sunday night, so feel free to post your suggested to-do's in the Comments section.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

On Winter

Other Post Titles I Considered:

The Post in which I Bitch about Winter
Things I Hate with a Passion: Winter, Shopping Malls in December, and Double-Dipping
Why Am I the Last to Know About My Scary Makeup?
Why Are You Looking at Me?
A Snowplow? In Lincoln? Doth My Eyes Deceive Me?
WTF?
No, I Am Not Delusional, These Pants are Not the Same as the Others

Suffice it to say, I've had it up to HERE with winter. We've had stupid wintry mix weather for a over a week...snow, wind, sleet, wind, freezing rain, wind, thundersnow with lightning (ODD), wind, ice, wind, and I did I mention horrible blustery north wind causing the wind chill (or the "feels like" temperature as the weather-guessers are of fond of calling it) to dip well below -20F. My usual 10-minute drive to work has taken anywhere from 20-40 minutes; the City of Lincoln is oblivious to the accumulation of ice and snow on the streets; even when the roads are OK it's just too damn cold to be outside; my snot freezes well into my brain if I'm outside for more than 5 seconds; my parking lot is scary slick and I look like a dork wearing tennis shoes with my dress clothes; the mall failed to clear the parking lot resulting in double parking and mass chaos and NEAR DEATH experiences; the Motherhood store makes jeans in TWO DIFFERENT SIZES and calls them both Medium even though one fits me and the other creates SAUSAGE CASINGS around my fat thighs; no one told me how scary my cowlick and bad makeup were BEFORE my shi-shi-poo-poo company Christmas party; no, the pregnant lady is not a wimp for driving 3 blocks to the restaurant because the sidewalks are ICY and she doesn't want to DIE.

I'm feeling a little better now, but wait...

Oh weather-guesser, why didn't you tell me it was supposed to snow as I drove home from work this evening? Why did it take me 20 FRAKKING MINUTES to drive 9 blocks? WHY? Hey you, with the 4-wheel drive, no, you do not have license to drive like a maniac on the black ice, and yes, I do hope you end up in a ditch; read between the lines, asshat. Why did we not suck it up and buy a new video for Starbuck?

deep cleansing breath

Much better. Truth be told, my piss and vinegar has been tempered infinity-fold by these acts of grace and kindness:

1. I can keep MAH BABY warm. Oh yeah, and he appears to have 10 toes, 10 fingers, appropriate internal organs, and a penis. He might get a lot of grandeextrahothotchocolateforKim, pulp-free orange juice, and bean and cheese burritos, but it's better than beer and porkrinds.

2. I have a warm home, warm clothes, sturdy shoes, and a reliable car with a working heater and defroster.

3. The women at Starbucks know my name, and it turns out the manager is pregnant with her first little munchkin due in February. There are few greater compliments than hearing one's own name.

4. My friend Lori helped me clear the snow from my car after work one day.

5. C shoveled the driveway.

6. My family and friends are so excited about Starbuck's arrival. This boy is LOVED.

7. Elastic waistband pants, and the fact that I can afford to purchase maternity clothes that make me feel confident in my appearance and comfortable around my ever-expanding belly, and friends willing to selflessly share and donate their clothes to my closet.

8. I can afford to purchase Christmas presents for my family and friends, and they all arrived BEFORE Christmas. Have I mentioned I paid just $4.69 in shipping this year? Also, non-tacky Christmas music.

9. The Ear of the Year arrived on my doorstep today, in one piece, despite the USPS's apology for possible mishandling of my PRIZED POSSESSION.

10. Facebook and blogging, because it's just so much fun to catch up with friends old and new.

Suffice it say, I have been blessed, and continue to be blessed, with countless other acts of grace and kindness; most are just too personal to share here. Christmas is a logical time to contemplate all we have to be thankful for, but I know of no better way to pull myself out of the dumps any time of year than to think about the many good people and things (not necessarily material) that make my life a little more interesting and a lot more fulfilling. I use this blog as place to vent about my petty frustrations with the world, often with a good dose of sarcasm, self-deprecation, and feeble attempts at wit. Rest assured, on the other side of your screen sits a woman who chooses her attitude everyday. Today, she chose gratitude.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hot Dog!

C and I had an ultrasound today to catch a glimpse of Starbuck in utero! Great fun - the little munchkin squirmed and kicked the entire time! But for the crink in my neck from watching the screen sideways while lying on my back, I could spend the entire day in the ultrasound room with a stranger pushing on my bladder and uterus in new and different ways! Starbuck was lying head down (down = near the exit), weighs 1 pound, and had a heart rate of 152.

After signficant 11th hour negotiations (the terms of which shall remain confidential), C and I agreed to take a little peek between Starbuck's legs...

...where we found a very noticeable penis! Starbuck is definitely a BOY!

We are thrilled! Everything appears to be developing as it should, in fact, based solely on his measurements, his projected due date is April 22 (3 days earlier than the Official Due Date). In addition to his penis, we got to see his brain, face (very alien-like), hands, feet, femurs, heart, kidneys, bladder, ribs, spine, and umbilical cord. His placenta rests at the back of my uterus (a good thing - we don't want it blocking the exit).

We have tons of pictures, which I hope to post soon. We also have had a video. TEAR. Since you can't purchase a single VHS tape anymore (don't need a 6-pack these days), we elected to record over an existing tape. I don't know what happened, but when we plugged in the tape, we could see both Starbuck and the "underlying" football game we tried to record over. Starbuck was more visible in fast-forward mode, but it's just not the same. We are utterly sad and disappointed (I haven't felt this sick to my stomach since about Week 9); I was really hoping to post the video to YouTube. We don't have another scheduled ultrasound, and from what I understand, we won't have another one unless it's done for medical reasons...which, in general, is something we don't want. So no video for now. :-(

In other pregnancy news, my ass is expanding, the effects of which include sore hips/back and 2 pairs of maternity pants that no longer fit me. Starbuck likes to headbutt me directly in (at? on?) the cervix which is just a WEIRD sensation. I'm mostly regular again (Hallelujah!), my highlights have already grown out (dammit!), and I think I look pleasantly pregnant instead of just oddly fat.

Truth be told, this has been a very easy pregnancy, and I am very thankful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

RetailMeNot.com

Dear Readers,

I have a little secret to share with you: it's called RetailMeNot.com.

For the past 5 years or so, I have completed my Christmas shopping almost exclusively online. I abhor a crowded mall, and the $40 or so that I usually pay in shipping is well worth my time and the preservation of my sanity. This year, however, it seems I will avoid *all* cost associated with shipping items to my home (assuming C gives me a decent Christmas list in the next 48 hours), and I have RetailMeNot.com to thank for that. Specifically, I got free shipping from both LL Bean and Lands' End where none was specifically advertised, C got free shipping from some website I've never heard of, and I got a fabulous Givenchy lipstick sample from Sephora (if only I were willing to shell out $25 for a tube of lipstick)!

The website collects "coupon" or "promo" codes for your favorite online retailers and provides user information on the codes' success, expiration, and reliability. I've also seen in-store only coupons that you can print off and take in. C and I frequently listen to Good Morning America while getting ready for work, and one of their reporters stated that you should not be paying for shipping from online retailers this holiday season and that retailers want you to search for and use these "hidden" codes.

I highly encourage you to check it out! I LOVE saving money!

Monday, December 8, 2008

20 Weeks

Starbuck and me, 20 weeks.

I swear to God, I am WAY more ginormous than that, but maybe that's just me and my warped perception. Since this pregnancy is officially halfway over, I'll only get twice as big as this, right? I am a bit concerned, however, that TV and chick-lit portrayals of pregnancy and childbirth may not accurately portray Real Life. For example, I was expecting a sudden and obvious kick/jab from the baby that would cause me to exclaim aloud, "Alas! The quickening of my child. Behold, my love, there is new life within." (This also makes me question the premise upon which Justice O'Connor based her opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but I will not have an abortion debate on this blog.) I'm now questioning other aspects of pregnancy and birth as portrayed in fiction. To wit:

1) The breaking of my water will rival Niagara Falls in both intensity and volume. I just hope I'm not wearing these or these at the time. (And yes, those are my new LEATHER boots. I am officially a sexy mama.)

2) The labor and delivery process will commence with an extraordinary contraction in the middle of the night, and I will just "know" that birth is imminent. The comedy of C's packing my bag at the last minute or leaving for the hospital without me will undoubtedly leave you in stitches. He will make an endearing ass of himself.

3) The actual birth itself will occur in the first hour or so after our arrival at the hospital. We will have a nurse with a mustache or other not-so-endearing personality quirk, and I will labor flat on my back in bed. I will not curse, and when the giant non-cone-headed baby is handed to me all clean and swaddled, I will be fully clothed in a beautiful silk and lace nightgown. My hair will be clean and styled with nary a headband in sight, and I will have managed to reapply my lipstick and eyeliner.

OK, dear readers, especially the parents among you: are these expectations completely out of whack?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fabulous Fleeting Flutters

I felt Starbuck move for the first time on Thanksgiving Day!

Both awe-inspiring and absolutely ridiculous...there is a person growing in my body who moves independently of me! WEIRD.

Truth be told, I have been feeling odd little gas-like flutters and bubbles for a couple of weeks, but they've been so slight and quick that I was never quite sure if they were baby movements or intestinal activity or hunger pangs. I often felt them at night (I had a cold and woke up frequently for water and nose-blowings, in addition to my regular jaunts to the bathroom), but I was usually half asleep and never quite sure if they were real or dreamed.

My new favorite hobby is to sit quietly and wait for Starbuck's little jabs and kicks! I know those little jabs and kicks will quickly grow into punches and karate chops to my kidneys, bladder, ribs, and other exciting internal organs, so I'm enjoying the fish moves while they're still cute and non-painful.

In other news, according to WebMD, Starbuck can place his/her hands over his/her ears to block unwelcome sound...such as when his/her father shouts "GO BIG RED" at my belly. This kid is BRILLIANT.