Thursday, January 29, 2009

There's so much going on in my brain right now and most of it can be filed in one of two categories: panic or rage.

Panic because we have just about 3 months left - if the chicken goes all 4o weeks before showing himself - and nothing is done. If you came over to my house there would be no evidence that would suggest a baby was on his way to live there. We are in no way set up at this point for a baby. Also, in less than 90 days there will be a new person on this planet, a person that I will physically put here, and I will be his mother. Can't quite get my mind around that one. He doesn't even have a name yet.

Let's not even talk about the physical part ok? Because the panic people, the panic. I've never been to the hospital for anything other than visiting hours. The emergency room only exists on TV to me, as I've never seen one in person. Do you see what I'm saying here? I have no experience being a patient for more than 15 minutes in a doctor's office. Physical trauma and being in the hospital are not things with which I'm familiar. Yet very, very soon, I'll be admitted to the hospital to give freaking birth and oh the hyperventilation just thinking about it.

The rage is a little more of a puzzle. Generally, I'm not an angry person. Most people (I think) would say that I'm rather easy going and slow to any kind of anger. Not so these days. I'm pretty pissed off most of the time and things that usually would not even register are making me seethe. Maybe it's the testosterone my baby boy is producing. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm lumpy and cranky and so done with this experience can the boy just get here already please God? Being in a state of increasing and bizarre physical discomfort - is that an elbow and how is he kicking me all the way over there? - makes it tough to be cheerful. So far I've managed to keep the anger to myself - hence the seething - since it's not really fair to bite the heads off of those around me just because I'm irrationally enraged all the time. I'm not making any promises about these last few months though.

Panic and craziness aside, two things were purchased from our baby registry this week and I'm so excited it's like I'm a 9 year old in December. It was quite by accident that I found this out. Really, not stalking my own registry I swear. I was trying to show someone the stroller we picked out and lo and behold, some items had moved into the "already purchased category. It's a little weird I know, to be so freaking excited about a pack and play and a receiving blanket but someday I will share with you my anxiety and weirdness suffered at the idea of actually creating a baby registry at all, so to see that it actually works is very thrilling indeed. And probably because it helps with the panicking, to know that things are indeed moving along. While the idea of an actual baby in my house is still a little too abstract for my own mental health, at least the boy will have somewhere to sleep now. Maybe we'll even move the boxes out of his room before he gets here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Award Winning

One of my best girls gave me an award! Lora from Jakezilla recently was the recipient of the When Life Gives You Lemons award (not an official name but that's what we're calling it) and she turned around and gave it to me! My very first blog award ever!
And here I though all I was doing with my recent haul of lemons was squeezing them on my paper cuts.
Thanks Lora!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rant Interrupted

So my plan was to unleash my grumpiness today and complain about all those jerks who continue to ask me how I feel. I've been thwarted in my efforts though, because Lora tagged me for a meme and I'm sure you'd much rather read about my handbag obsessions than my irrational crankiness.

Apparently, my free admission that I'm bratty and spoiled isn't enough. Some people want hard evidence of my spendy ways. I'm happy to oblige. My belief is you can be cheap about your clothes - to an extent - but not your bag or shoes. Your bag and your shoes will make or break your outfit. You can be dressed very nicely, even in designer labels, but if your shoes are cheap or "run over", you look a mess. Ditto your bag. A great shoe or bag can also be a more affordable way to add a some luxury to your look, even if your entire outfit came from H & M (like mine).

Here are Lora's rules, (via Beth who tagged her first):
1) Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. No, you cannot go up to your closet and pull out that cute little purse you used back before you had kids. I want to know what you carried today
2) I want to know how much it cost:) And this is not to judge, because I’m honestly telling you I was ready to put down some cash; I just got lucky. This is for entertainment purposes only. So spill it. And if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I’d love to hear it.
3) Tag some chicks. And link back to her post so people know why the heck you’re showing everyone your diaper bag/non-diaper bag.

So here is the bag I've been carrying around lately:

You can't really tell from the picture (taken with my camera phone at work) but it's deep purple, patent leather, Coach. I would describe it as a bucket bag because it's taller than it is wide. It has two side pockets on the outside that I have so far found completely useless save for the time I used one to hide a car key from myself. The pockets do have the lovely Coach silver hardware so I like how they look. The inside is quite functional with a zipper pocket and a couple of regular pockets, including one especially for my cell phone. I can fit my wallet, planner, sunglasses (in their case), a thermos, and all kinds of random kid crap in it. During a recent cleanout I found a baseball in there. The straps are long enough to put over my shoulder and it also hangs comfortably in the crook of my arm.

Part of the rules of this game is that I tell you how much I paid for this lovely bag. The truth is, I have no idea. I certainly didn't need a new purse and hadn't been out shopping for that specific reason. I just saw it, liked it, and bought it. This was back before I became wondergirl on a budget, when I used to buy whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I told you, bratty.

This exercise raises an interesting question for me. I'm not sure what to do about a diaper bag. There are tons out there and of course anything with cartoon or storybook characters on it gets dismissed outright, but then what? I'm not interested in a bag that screams "baby" or "mommy". It's my bag and I have to carry it around all day so I'd like for it to fit my style. Something along the lines of this would be fantastic. Also? A totally appropriate shower gift since I don't buy things like this for myself anymore.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HOPE, Day 1

It's hard to put into words how I feel today, after watching perhaps the most remarkable inauguration this country has ever seen. The sense of hope and promise and optimism is so overwhelming it's almost corny to say it out loud.

I feel like there was a shift today - actually back on election day and even before that. A shift away from the kind of politics that for years has been labeling people red or blue, or pinko leftist commie wackjob, or right wing bible thumping gun loving nutcase. There was sense during the campaigns and election that this one had to be about more than that. I think that's part of the reason the other side lost so hugely. People are tired of the message of division. There's so much going on that's bigger and scarier than whether I'm pro-choice or you're pro-gun and it's scary for all of us. We need to talk about why we can work hard every day and still not have health care. We need to talk about why my friends and I are already worried about where to send our kids to school because there's just nowhere for them go. We needed to elect someone who was going to talk about what was really happening to us every day. The old rhetoric of terrorism and nationalism and fear of the other guy just isn't relevant when you're trying to figure out how to save your home from foreclosure and your family from homelessness.

We were looking to elect a leader, not another politician and I believe that's what we got today. I believe that this President is less interested in making sure his team wins and more interested in making sure we all win. He emanates a sense of inclusiveness and an air of cutting through partisan crap to effect the change needed. I'm encouraged that his vision is about more than his own legacy or the legacy of his party and that he may just care more about what happens to all of us, not just to those of us who agree with him.

This is not to say that now all of our problems will be solved and the White House will live under a rainbow of magic and joy for the next four years and we'll all have a pot of gold and a puppy waiting for us when we get home today. Things are bad out here and you know what? Things have been bad out here for a while. It's going to take a long time to turn things around. It'll take longer than that to actually make strides in the right direction again. I don't for a moment expect that this President will be able to fix everything, even if he gets 8 years to try, but my spirits are lifted by the knowledge that he will do his best and that he'll do it for me and for my son.

I also am in awe of the fact that we saw our first African American president get sworn in today. Race was the last thing I cared about in this election and I would have voted for him no matter what color or religion or whatever because I believed in his message. The historical significance that it holds though, that barely 60 years after people who looked like him were getting beaten and thrown in jail for daring to want to vote this man is now the President, is too enormous to cast aside. Kids have no sense of history or that there have been other presidents other than the one they know. It stands out to me that my son's first image of who and what the president is will be a black man. I'm proud that my country voted to make that happen.

Change takes time and we're not going to see anything happen overnight, but I'm excited to see what it will be as it unfolds.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Attention Shoppers

I am in desperate need of some new bras. I've been stuffing myself into the same ones I bought right before I got pregnant (I'm talking like, the day before) and at this point I can hardly breathe and the marks they're leaving make me look like some kind of torture victim. My prepregnancy size was 34DDD. That's right, prepregnancy. I don't know what my current size is and I'm almost afraid to find out, but I have to get some new bras before the one I'm wearing either gives out from the effort - shooting hooks and eyes in all directions as it snaps in two - or I suffocate.

As a newly minted girl on a budget, I decided to stop at the Kohl's in the shopping center near my house and see what I could find. I've never been in a Kohl's but what the hell, bras are bras, right? They sell the same brands pretty much everywhere, except for maybe Target or Walmart or something, and maybe they won't be $75 apiece at Kohl's. My plan was to ask the (hopefully) little old lady in the lingerie department to measure me for the correct size, after which I would explain that I'm pregnant, not a mutant freak, try on some examples and go home with a few new, well fitting bras.

Turns out, Kohl's doesn't work that way. While the store does have departments, it doesn't have personnel assigned to specific places, nor does it have registers in each department. Having tried (and failed) to measure myself earlier in the day using internet instructions, I didn't really know what size to look for and just kind of guessed. I quickly found out that while DDDs were scarce, anything bigger was just nonexistent. I tried a few options with just larger band sizes and while I could breathe, they didn't fit correctly. Think shopping for bathing suits is fun? Imagine trying on bras, in the winter, 5 1/2 months pregnant.

Anyway, upon giving up in disgust and headed out of the lingerie department, I happened upon a section of maternity clothes that wasn't large enough to call a department. They were smashed into a corner between the baby clothes and lingerie because, sure. Maternity clothing and I have a difficult relationship since they're stupid and ugly and expensive and I'm trying to avoid buying much of anything. I love a pair of $200 jeans but not if I can only wear them for 3 months. And anyway, my new budget conscious self does not like $200 jeans anymore. There wasn't much merchandise at all and what was there was not cute, although far cheaper than I've yet to find elsewhere. There was a wide selection of jeans that already looked like momjeans while being maternity jeans, a true example of design genius. Seeing as how I'm still jamming myself into my Rock and Republic skinnies (with the help of a repurposed hair tie and a bella band), those were not happening. There was also a small assortment of ugly blouses made from bad synthetics with terrible patterns. Really? Still?

It became clear that perusing these clothes was more an exercise in humoring myself than in finding anything to wear, but I kept looking. There was a clearance rack with a bizarre combination of children's, juniors, and maternity items that I almost missed. Upon closer inspection, I found a few good looking tops. Nothing spectacular or particularly fashionable but definitely cute enough to wear for the next couple of months. And they were on super duper clearance so each top was about $2. That's right, 2 dollars. I found 3 shirts and a tank. You can guess who was feeling pretty proud of herself at the end of that trip.

Still, I need new bras. I did find bra extenders at the Kohl's so they're helping out for the time being - I can actually breathe again - but I started out on the very last hook with those so they're definitely only a stop-gap measure. It looks like my best option is a real store, the kind where all they sell is "foundations" and it's staffed by old ladies with measuring tapes around their necks. So much for avoiding the $75 price tag. If I'm lucky they'll only be $75. There's such a place in South Philly that Lora reminded me about. It's been around for about a hundred years and I've always wanted to go in there anyway. It'll be the highlight of my weekend I'm sure.

Monday, January 12, 2009

World's Brattiest Woman

I'm a huge brat. This is not an epiphany for me. Frank would tell you I've been a brat for a long time and he's not exaggerating nor does it hurt my feelings. I like to have things my way (and I usually do). I enjoy pretty presents and expensive bags and shoes and clothes. This is not to say I'm vain or shallow because I'm neither of those - I blow dry my hair without a mirror or hairbrush every day for pete's sake. Some days I don't even brush it (it's short so you can't really tell). That aside, I own up to the fact that I'm an enormous brat, made even worse by Frank spoiling me and giving me what I want.

So why then, is this topic blog worthy? I don't know that it even is, I just realized that my brattiness has taken on an entirely new dimension recently and it's the brattiest I have ever been.

I don't want to work anymore. There. I said it.

I've had jobs since I was 15 years old. I always liked having a job and working. When I graduated from college I tried to take some time off before entering the grown up workforce. It lasted a month before I felt bored and lazy and had to get a job. When I first started teaching I did that plus waitressed at night, both for the money and to be around people instead of home alone in my single girl apartment. I've always been proud of having a job and have always been dedicated and reliable and blah blah blah.

No one really likes working, I get this. Even when you've found your life's true calling and what you do fills you with a sense of purpose or worth or whatever. At the end of the day, work is for jerks. If work were fun, as my friend Nicky says, they wouldn't call it work. And so even when I was saving the world one poor neglected child at a time, I still had resigned myself to this unavoidable fact. So why now with the internal whining and tantrums? (I stress internal here people, I'm not throwing tantrums or whining out loud about going to work. Just in my head. And now on the internet.)

Maybe part of it is the total life suck that is my job and how after 4 and a half years of working for the real life incarnation of Michael Scott and Mr. Pitt combined (with none of the humor), I just can't take it anymore. When I compare that burnout with the way more important things happening in my life right now, I just want to run screaming. Not that I ever cared about ordering the correct type of sock or helping decipher stereograms (I swear to God), but at least before I could fake it.

But it's more than I don't want to do this job anymore. I don't want to do any job right now. I want to be home, cleaning things and unpacking those last few boxes. I want to spend my day trying to figure out where the old man smell is coming from in my bathroom and get rid of it. (More on the old man smell later. Seriously, it's killing me.) I want to make dinner and fold clothes and be home when Frank gets home from work so that we can eat together.

It's bizarre really. I'm no housekeeper and we've never had a typical home life because of our shifty work schedules. In fact, my aversion to any type of housework usually borders on violent. There are so many better things to do than dust and straighten. My friends and I have talked at length about how we're definitely going back to work after we have babies because eff that, we're not the kind of girls who stay in the house with a brat all day, vacuuming the lamp shades. In fact, all of those friends had babies and went back to work and here I am, baby not even born yet and I'm looking for my apron and string of pearls. Whaaaaat??

Is this a particularly strong onset of nesting? Perhaps brought on by my crazy work schedule whereby I'm not home till late at night and I work lots of weekends? It's possible. But if I think about teaching in a classroom right now, I don't want that either. Again, the desire to just be home doing domestic things is overwhelming. It's not even the desire to be home on the couch with a tub of ice cream, which would make a little more sense. Oh no, I want to pull out my standing mixer and bake things from scratch.

Obviously I'm not going to up and quit my job to become a stay at home preggo. Just saying that right now, I wouldn't mind it if I did.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Insert Clever Title Here

Christmas is over and I survived. To be honest, I barely noticed Christmas personally this year. I worked Christmas Eve until about 7pm, after which I met up with Frank at his Aunt's house where his whole family was gathered. My own family was scattered to the four winds this year. Frank's godson really loved his present from us and we got a few goodies from the fam. The multiple Lowe's gift cards were especially appreciated, as was the cash from the MIL which will be burned at an overpriced maternity wear shop soon enough. We got home around midnight. I wrapped gifts for my charges and then we went to bed.

I was up bright and early Christmas morning to go back to work. I worked until 1:30, then headed to Lora's to enjoy the peace and quiet of her annual Christmas boycott while Frank was at work. I headed home around 5pm to feed the dog and let her out. I built a fire and put A Christmas Carol on the television and was asleep with the dog and cat on top of me by 9pm. Frank got home after 10 and we watched some tv together and then went to sleep. Merry Christmas.

Next Christmas of course will be a completely different story, and we're looking forward to the fun of it. The chicken will only be 8 months old at Christmas and will have no idea what's going on but it'll still be fun. I'll have a different job next year and I'm looking forward to being able to focus on my own family's Christmas. I think that our little family is staying home next holiday season and if folks want to see the boy on Christmas Day, they can come to us.

The big move went extremely well. Those packers and movers were more efficient than I'll ever be in my whole life. Alberta was a phenomenal help on moving day. We had the whole kitchen and downstairs area unpacked that day. It was a lot of fun to realize that we don't live in an apartment anymore and that there's actually storage space for things! I have an attic and a basement and a linen closet for crying out loud! Not everything is unpacked and right now the baby's room is full of unpacked, rifled through boxes. It's all clothes and crap from our old bedroom. There is a box of books from my teaching days that I'm planning to put on the chicken's bookshelf that we don't have yet so that's just there in a corner.

The closet in baby's room has been commandeered by Mama because really, it's a whole adult sized closet which is really wasted on a person who can fit their clothes in a shoebox. We'll get a nice, baby sized armoire for the chicken's clothes and I will have my own closet for the first time in almost 6 years. The baby won't notice for a couple of years at least and that gives me plenty of time to turn the third floor room into a walk in closet.

The unpacking of the clothes has hit an impasse because there's just nowhere to put them. Frank's closet shelves are piled to the ceiling with his tshirts and I'm keeping a few of my most frequently worn things in the baby's dresser. I've made progress packing up summer clothes and storing them (I have an attic people) but there are piles of things that keep getting moved around because there's nowhere for them to go.

Why don't we go buy ourselves some dressers? Oh but we have. Frank went to Ikea weeks ago and purchased two lovely dressers that match our brand new bed. They just need to be put together. Frank does not enjoy assembling Ikea furniture while I get an enormous (and a little weird) sense of satisfaction from the task. I got to work on the dressers the day after Christmas. My plan was to have both of them put together and full of clothes from unpacked boxes that day. Alas, it was not to be. In trying to affix the top of the six drawer, almost as tall as me dresser onto the wobbly base being held together by pressboard beams, I dropped the top piece through the middle of the almost dresser, snapping the beams and ripping the little wooden dowels out of the wood. This development coupled with my current emotional stability of a two year old had me in tears on the phone with Frank, cursing the evil that is Ikea. Then I took a nap because it was all very stressful and upsetting.

Of course, they don't sell or supply replacements for the parts I destroyed. So the dresser parts are just in our hallway, not good for anything but we can't bring ourselves to throw out something brand new that we never even used. The other dresser remains flat packed in its two boxes, one in the foyer, one in our bedroom. I won't go near it because due to my new Ikeaphobia and Frank still hates to do it.

So my clothes keep getting shuffled from box to box and I just keep washing and wearing the same things. Hopefully some time in the next 3 months we'll have the chicken's room looking like a nursery rather than a store room.

I started this post so long ago I don't even remember what my point was. Maybe this is why I'm a nanny instead of a literary genius.