Be-Bopping Baby and the Explosive Ear of Corn

In the 23rd week of gestation-a-go-go, a trusty helmsman shuffles from the stage and away from the seven kingdoms. And then there were two... and a smidgen. A kicking mango, karate smidgen burbling up in fair lady (W)rights belly. A new hope? A blotchy wrinkled eggplant? May time mercifully tell its tales in pleasing gestes without the taint of tragedy. Offices reshuffle and treadmill salvation nips upon its heels. And paternal parties go artfully anatine in the Lake of Swans. 

In week 24, the fizz pop of fermented milk of marvelous crackles with the snap pop KICK of MMA-corn-baby! Hubba-hubba-hubbies vanish into the bowels of the basement earth, while their sweeties swelter on sofas. A sororal gift of teeny sartorial splendor suits the building pile of be-bopping wrap-tastic supplies and nurseries emerge from the mist of pregnancy fog. And a single word: VIABLE shifts fears from early losses to premature labors. And on the bump bumps, ripping tendons and collagen that dare stand in the path of a full waddle!

Be-Boppy and the Slipcovered Sarong

Because some day I won't be able to just tuck the little Fonza-prune in my pouch and feed her via the ever so tasty amniotic ambrosia... baby things!! Two more exciting arrivals to presage our little bundle of joy and meconium! From the same "I could barely help myself from buying the entire list and a separate baby house to store it all in" generous Double-Mum-O-Awesome-sox-and saucin'. 

So far so good goes the week. And on our tip-toes to the weekend, this is promising. I've spent quite a lot of time organizing, cleaning and streamlining various processes at the office. Desk drawers that haven't been pried ajar in decades have had their spelunk! Supply shelves are re-ordered. Files are overhauled into logical areas (my version of logical anyways).

And everything that can be moved from clunky software into google calendar/docs etc. has been moved. Not the client files or anything, but our office type docs. How novel to be able to have a single portable calendar that addresses both work and personal, and which can be edited from any location! How thoroughly inconceivable to have a case status worksheet that can be edited by two users at the same time! Mombossa even christened our new conference room by meeting with an actual client there yesterday (more to come today). 

It's been a sweetly gentle week in terms of workload. There's really just enough for two people who are also dealing with restructuring and administrative matters. With three and no additional business, it might even feel treacle and molasses slow. But it's a perfect pace for the new normal to establish itself. Ha, normal. Sure sure. 

The home life settles as well. Andrew and I swapped our date night for the rainy Tuesday in lieu of the original plan in which he would spend the evening mud-biking and then go out with me on our perfectly clement Wednesday. I suggested it and I'm proud to have done so. I had more energy on Tuesday anyways (still have a residual headache from the weekend that got set off by yesterday's beautiful blossoming verdance), and yesterday was an excellent time for chores, chopping (of veggies), making of food, trekking to the recycling and the mail, and then collapsing for the remainder of the evening on the sofa with my feet elevated. 

Small joys. Elevated feet is like a double chocolate ice-cream sundae with strawberries and whipped cream these days. I'm far from the toils of timerster three, but I'm started to get those back aches and swollen legs/feet right now as a preview. Better to ease into these things, I figure. 

And these things are accompanied with adorable and exciting baby things! So a total trade off of easing in-ness!

Happy Tippee Toed Thursdays to all y'all. May your frolick to the weekend be an easy and a merry one!

Corny Fonz The Viabilababy!

I trammeled past all odds and daunting barriers (to be described below) to make it here and share the very joy of WEEK 24 of this pregnancy dalliance! Viability, baby! Whatever that means. Ok, I know what it means. There was that first trimester paranoia about all the normal discomforts of pregnancy being harbingers of miscarriage. No more. Now we get to go full on Valetudinarian about common complaints being signs of premature labor!! WHOOOOO! Or so all my pregnancy sites are beginning to warn. If anyone needs me, I'll be camped out at the ER until August. 

But that's cool. Between the malicious doors out to close in my face and the cruelly unrelenting onus of gravity, I didn't have enough to worry about. And it's kind of awesome that should the Fonz be born today, there's now about a 50% chance of survival. 

And the sites agree pretty unilaterally: she's an ear of corn this week!

Which works, as her ears are developing rapidly. Not only can she hear, recognize sounds, and possibly react to them by punching my belly, but she also has now developed her inner ear sufficiently to distinguish up-down and right-left. Which is pretty impressive. I still can't distinguish left and right half the time. Our little creature is a genius!

Well at least her brain is developing rapidly. The neural functioning is now about on par with that of a newborn, capable of some form of "consciousness" (time to whip out the philosophy books and ponder such weighty words), memory, and REM sleep even. What do babies dream? Hard to imagine. Probably lots of naked dreams and dreams about showing up for delivery totally unprepared (see we're all freaked out about preterm labor here!).

But while she's awake, she's a thrasher now. And it's going to get more exciting apparently. This month is the most "active month" since she'll get too big to go whole hog after that.

My poor aching stomach muscles and ligaments. They're not already totally tweaked, ripped and twinged from all that growth... ok, they are. I swear, turning to look behind me while reversing the car is painful and feels like ripping. I hear that my collagen layer actually is doing just that! All for you little baby. My uterus is now the size of a soccer ball (hence your desire to kick it? Naw, I think you just get claustrophobic in there) and my skin is irrepressibly itchy. As promised!

In other exciting "well phew at least I can blame something" symptoms: (1) Braxton Hicks - no, not hiccups, but the uterine practice contractions that really are totally normal, but make sure they're not a sign of labor eek. Or something. They pick up around now. (2) Carpal tunnel - I guess I am advised to elevate my hands on a pillow while I sleep. I have been elevating them on a stuffed animal. Hope that's sufficient. (3) Dry eyes - yep! (4) Nasal congestion and cold symptoms - worse than before.  I barely can breathe through my nose at night on the best conditions and feel like a leaky faucet in the mornings; (5) red itchy palms? Well red and itchy. Not palms yet. But I'll take the advice to avoid things that exacerbate the redness like heat, tight clothing and... oh yeah dishwashing. All yours sweet husband! (6) Round ligament pain - stretching oh so close to snapping; (7) Oh yes, the pregnancy fog and clumsiness persists to new levels. My aphasia is epic and I sometimes will just stand in a room for minutes trying to remember why I went there. 

Speaking of... why on earth am I here at the office? Why dear lord why would I walk through an office door barricaded with several bags full of discovery documents that I know to be abstruse, incomplete, fallacious, and disorganized? Documents I know to be my responsibility. 

Why would I need heed the signs made so clear when the clasp holding up my cell-phone purse strap caught on the seatbelt, refusing to release until I finally struggled free and broke the entire clasp in the process? What contumely causes me to charge so boldly forward into the abyss? 

Absent-mindedness mostly. That and the desire for lemon water and a hand-full of dates I suppose. (Yes appetite is there and it likes dried fruits a lot). 

And the promise of the weekend. So very near. There is no turning back. Only charging forward with our ears a poppin (mostly in my lower abdomen).

Mind the Baby Gap Wild Wardrobery and the Myoclonic Massage

We may be a few months off from the big screaming show, but the stork arrived a little early with some gifties in a magical suitcase containing roughly two Baby Gaps and a small bedroom. Actually, my sister gave the sartorially laden suitcase to my mom to return to me back in March. I've been afraid to attempt opening it, being fully familiar with my sister's magical packing abilities (she could fit a stable of ponies into the trunk of a kia, I'm pretty sure. 

Yesterday, though, I had a brief moment of bravery and/or those occasional nesting twinges that lead more domestically minded women to remodel, select "baby themes" etc. etc. And thus I dared open Pandora's suitcase. 

Baby clothes are friggin' TEEENY!! I swear she gave me doll clothes. Adorable, misty-tear-inspiring doll clothes. Sleep sacks, onesies, little itty bitty baby shorts, fifty odd hats for all varieties of meteorology and activity, fleecies, sweaters, vests. Our little girl is going to be one snazzy 0-6 month old. After that, her chic might take a wee bit of a nosedive, since that's maybe when the torch gets passed back to us and things get a little less chic and a little more hipster norm-core type fashion (at least I'm assured that this is the stylish word for "rolled out of  bed and threw some plain clothes bought on sale at Rite Aid" these days)

Today has been nice. Andrew is holed up in his bike dungeon again doing unspeakable things of which I daren't speak or ponder. I started my morning off with a walk and a massage. Oh the massage was lovely. So nice that I started to drop off, causing one of those sleep-jerk-awakes that startled my poor massage therapist. I had to assure her that what she was doing was absolutely perfect and please would she not stop. She still did eventually, but I guess when you pay for an hour you can't expect eternity. 

For whatever reason I'm quite sleepy today. Have been yawning up a storm through all my sundry chores and am looking forward to a spell of time just chilling on the sofa before dinner. Perhaps the boyfrianceband will emerge from his lower chambers even! I've got the traps and the binoculars ready just in case!

Super Swine Crash Land on Monday And the Fizzy Fermented Preceding Weekend o'Whoopie

Man, I was tired this weekend! I don't know what got into or out of me. Ok, yes I do. Into me: thrashing little creature who seems hellbent on early parole for good(ish) behavior. Forget c-sections, I think this little Fonzie beast will be burrowing her way out of my belly. Possibly, now that she's heard she's viable, she'll be doing so fairly soon. And it's not uncomfortable yet, but she's getting bigger. I'm still in for it but sooner than before. Out of me? Well, that's a topic of private nature that need not be shared too publically, other than perhaps a lot of energy during the week. 

Also "into me" this weekend was my very own homemade kefir! I doubt that the oh so strenuous work involved in making it was to blame for my exhaustion (put some "grains" in milk, leave milk alone at room temperature for a day, strain grains, drink kefir), but it was an exciting process. I started getting pretty obsessed with kefir a few months ago. Fizzy fermented milk that has kind of a sourdough yogurty tang but then absolutely unique at the same time? Sign me up! But commercial kefir comes mostly flavored (i.e. "sweetened" which I hate) and in smaller containers for a pulchritudinous penny.

Turns out that making kefir probably isn't significantly cheaper day by day. Or at least if I persist in buying organic milk, then I probably pay about 0.75 cents a day for 1.5 to 2 cups of kefir versus 75 cents for decidedly 1 cup a day. Something like that. But it does create a lot less recycling to haul out to our common recycling islands at least. I could probably buy cheaper milk and say "hey, the flavor of the original milk matters less when it's all fermented and weird tasting anyways," but that seems sort of excessively penny-pinching. 

And maybe the homemade kefir isn't quite as addictively "yogurty" as the Trader Joe's kind, but it has a certain quality that makes it pretty compelling. I'm enjoying it. And any time I can "make" food that requires so little effort while still giving me that homemade halo... I'll go for it! I put nutmeg and cinnamon in during my "second fermentation" for the kefir I made this weekend. It was nummy. 

Andrew has made significant progress in the bike dungeon, after quite the struggle. Floor is as perfect as he needs it, and he's actually set up his desk and bike trainer down there. Hence why he may never be seen again. But I have all the food upstairs, and so far there's no bathroom down in the basement jungle, so I have sufficient incentive with which to lure him out from time to time. 

And since I was so zonked this weekend, I didn't need to do much luring for my satisfaction. I actually took quite the incredible nap yesterday. This got my energy up for some serious sofa surfing down stairs until I decided it was time to remove dinner from the slow cooker and force the fella to come upstairs (we insist he dine in style, so fortunate that his mom sent him his grandfather's old military jacket). 

And really maybe all of that sleepiness was in preparation for what awaits at the office: several bags of discovery dross. Not in binders. Not labeled with relevant exhibit tags. Probably (if past history serves as a marker) not relevant or complete. Guess who will get to find out?? Hopefully our client and our financial expert. But I'll get to spelunk as well. Wheeee! Definitely a Monday morning there. 

Wish me luck and I wish you a happy work week full of whimsical whistling from your lips to the sun that surrounds you!

Bring on the Ice-Ice-Baby (Fonzarelli)

Well I'm definitely dreading summer at this point. It was warm yesterday. Unseasonably to a small degree, getting up in to the 70's. That might be "clement" for most, but I've never been a big fan of heat (unless the heat is concentrated in battery-operated slippers, gloves, or cozy robes in cool climes). As I've babbled on about, I'm an HSP (highly sensitive pain-in-her-own-ass more like - the world as sensed by all but with the volume up to the max). Temperature, light, sound, emotions, gestures... they're all so overwhelmingly loud most of the time! Dimmer switches and proper fanning is always an issue. And heat, in particular, triggers the worst of headaches. This pregnancy thing has certainly enhanced that distaste to a right aversion. Pretty sure my version of "room temperature" is closer to 62 degrees at this point. And some days, I'd certainly let it get colder just for the rare luxury of getting to snuggle into my warm and cozies. So, yesterday... a preview of the joys to come. And they were less than joyous. 

Fortunately, I have air conditioning in my office now. Thank all the powers that be and any that may be-and-not-be-in-some-kind-of-transcendent-neo-platonic-fashion for that! Of course as soon as I leave my little cave for the middle office, the ambience hits oven and we're up to an 80 degree swelter. I, in turn, find my face a vermillion shade of fireball and begin to hear the tarumtumtum of a good throb. Home was better, but not fantastic. We don't currently have a fan in the ground floor area. We will once the air conditioning takes over in our bedroom, but until then, that is the priority room for fanning. 

Our new home is significantly less oven-like than the prior, thank goodness badness and moral ambiguity... BUT in my delicate "condition" this only ameliorates the difficulty. Our new place has great airflow, so any breeze will calm a warming interior. Some days, though, nary a breeze in sight. Yesterday was one of those.

Needless to say, yesterday was big fat headache and ice pack day. And it wasn't that warm out! Hence my concern. Oh summer pregnancy. Adorable to have a baby so close to my birthday, but awfully inconvenient to place me of all people smack in the dab of a likely warm June and July while sweaty, huge, and pumping 150% of my normal blood volume with swollen everything

If anyone needs me for the next four months, I'll be trying to fit my enlarged body into our standalone freezer! There's a bit of a legend (confirmed by the mombossa) that my labor was possibly induced when she threw herself into the lake to cool down on a warm August Day. Poor Fonzarelli might just be coming out early, because that sounds really refreshing. 

Anyways, the forecast today is for rain - blessed rain. I may do a little thank you dance to summon it on its way. 

At least the bike and chain got to enjoy the weather with an after work bike ride. Since he has a great tolerance for heat, it's not been easy for him tolerating his wife's ever boiling blood and arctic preferences. I really appreciate that he has been adjusting to life with blankets and warm sweaters and robes so that the heat can be low enough to forestall migraine eruption on my part. Maybe I just need a cooling suit and he can have a heated one. That should mix us nicely in the middle. 

Whatever the heat may be today, may you warm nicely into this week with gusto and zeal. And a little bit of cozy if you can find it!

Karate Kiddo, Filial Fortunes, and a Long Leslie Goodbye!

In the week of 2-2s, the pruney Fonzarelli tossed and tumbled along with an world set atip in full frenzied stir! Hail through the scintillating sunbursts! Tempests between soothing professional palps. The pending departure of a third of the Musketeers beckoned perky poltergeists to upend the furnishings and set offices askew in a sequence of ne'er-lasting lasts with the departing damoiselle. Weekend ways were safe but uninspired, and keys led nowhere. 

As week 23 charges into the sixth month, bumping bellies burble when leeky mangos train for MMA matches in utero. Intrigue abounds at the Collaborative Convention as members of all seven kingdoms reeled at the news of Leslie's departure. A grand fete planned and executed in an abundance of feasting gave a fondest farewell to a dear friend. Registry excitement exploded in (W)rightlandia, while office elves revitalized the second-home-space. And a moment of awestruck gratitude at the instance of a father's festival of birth. 

Collaborative Law Snippets - What I did instead of writing a post this morning... an excerpt about Leslie

12:10 - The Strident Secretarial Screams Harken the Meeting Hour:

Special Party Business!!

Official business began on a bittersweet (no sorry, no chocolate this time) note. 

Pamela owned that her loyal Bosun Leslie would soon no more hold the helm at Englettlaw. Upon her own designs to retire from her seat at the Seven Kingdoms of Family Law some day (and with knowledge that she could not possibly do so until her mate was well situated and safe from political backlash), Pamela ha​d encouraged Leslie to seek employment in a new field well insulated from the upheavals of litigious larrikins and their lurking lackies! 

Leslie will now be working as an assistant project manager at Dawson Construction. Her last day at the office is Friday April 17th. 

And thus it was that Pamela declared that April 17th shall be a day of feasting and feting in the kingdom of Englettlaw. Between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. all are invited to drop in and wish Leslie a fond farewell

*Farewells are nice, but treasures and tributes will also be accepted... either by Leslie or by her soon-to-be-erst-coworkers. Did Adella mention she likes dark chocolate and money and generally sparkly things, and that she is registered at's baby registry and wouldn't Leslie's office just make the perfect nursery for her incoming infant... if the desk were just replaced with that amazingly awesome Graco Play yard with little monkeys plus that little kick and play baby piano and shouldn't the office generally just sort of have more of a monkey theme??? With a ball pit????Wouldn't that be just perfect!

​As the members reeled at such a blow to their community, Patrick dangerously flashed his eyes, pointed his inquisition upon Adella and revealed the terrible secret he had learned from the oracle of Harris Street: Leslie and Adella were one and the same! Where were they going, he asked, chuckling at the turnabout and awaiting the gasp of such gravid reveal! If commercials were allowed, there would be a break about here...  

But were they? Members regaled the hall with tales of Leslie's prominent past in paralegalling. Existing before time itself, she may well have started the LAW Advocates program before adopting the Englett office as her safe harbor home. Surely such vivid tales were not merely illusion concocted by a mad daughter of the Lady of Englettlaw! Surely memories could not be so manufactured in each mind. Surely Leslie had no reason to develop an alter ego in the form of Adella after several bouts of insomnia! Surely somebody had seen the two together at the same time!

Clarification: Whilst each forms a vital part of the Kingdom of Englett, these ladies manifested from different origins (sometimes the Oracle plays April Fool's tricks and poor Pat fell prey on this day) and only occasionally inhabit the same physical presence. 

A few distinctions: 
1. Leslie is a paralegal, a professional vocation which is sometimes confused with a legal secretary though it is a distinct calling and skillset. Adella is Secretary of the WCP. But not actually a paralegal. Or a secretary in other connotations of the word. Some malicious calumny has even branded her as an attorney (shudder and gasp!).

2. Adella is enceinte (and possibly insane, but that's a different issue) with the spawn of Wright. Leslie's son is already in college and she'd not be thrilled to hear of any pregnancies on her part at this point. 

3. Adella is sticking around to milk the nepotism for as long as she and the little incunabula can impose upon the aegis of her generous mom-boss. Leslie is flying off to new career in construction

...​And with grief did the official record end, while discussions continued. It is presumed that all survived the day, but never guaranteed. 

Writhing Wrinkly Ear of Mango Mumbo Jumbo And the treadable treadmill! (fingers crossed, which is making typic very difficult)

It's Week 23 in baby-bumping land! That means a new list of produce and a whole new definitive entry in "you can't be six months' pregnant! You hardly show at all/aren't even showing!" Really, trust me. Don't make me show you my belly button here (oh wait, too late, shirt's back off)... It's all true. At least I hope so. I've got a visit with my OB today and I would like to think they'll confirm that it's a healthy 23!

It's an exciting milestone in that if the Fonzarelli were to leap forth from the womb prematurely, she would actually have a mild chance of survival this week (between 23%-30% with proper medical care). That chance will sky rocket as the weeks wear on, but it's still kind of cool to think about. The first trimester is all about milestones towards the pregnancy "sticking"; from here on out, the milestones are about the pregnancy releasing successfully!

And if our little ruddy wrinkly rat were released today? Why we've got produce to pick:

1. Papaya again! Papapapapaaaaaaaayaaaaah! I'll buy that. She's going to fatten up into a nice plump papaya in the next month, apparently doubling her current weight. Of course that just means putting on about a pound, but still, that's significant when you consider the proportions. 

2. Eggplant again! Well after that Seder "chopped liver" recipe with eggplant subbed in, I am pretty ok with eggplant. Between that and Baba Ganoush (new baby name? Kalamata Baba Ganoush? Aubergenia?), I have made my peace with the odd nightshade. 

3. An Ear of Corn! Mmm how appropriate for a summer-baby. This has more to do with length but with all the stringy hair and whatnot growing on her, she may well look covered in husks. 

4. A Leek! The mellow and nuanced allium. Long, lithe, graceful, and oh so subtly saporous. 

5. Mango! I love mangos! And it fits that ruddy hue she still sports due to the veins and arteries showing under that translucent skin she's got!

And that red skin? It's hairier at the moment, but also developing keratin. And the fat be coming. Hence why I need to eat all of that brownie brittle we bought for Leslie's party. My baby needs collagen!

In other "weird but vital substances coming this week" her lungs are developing surfactant, which will allow the lungs to inflate and deflate without sticking together! This will enable many future years of screaming and shrieking and bawling I am sure!

Apparently, the little Fonza-leek has fully developed hearing. She's starting to get familiar with the audial surroundings and may no longer be startled by familiar loud noises. Like my usual screams and hollers when nobody else is around and a nasty cabinet edge has assaulted my poor face again? My caterwauling in the shower that makes Scuttle the Seagull sound like Bing Crosby on a crooning binge? My squawks and shrieks in traffic when another car is driving recklessly and the fact that I am hurtling through space in a metal death trap at 70 mph comes back into full consciousness? 

Apparently not. Or at least, she might get used to it, but I'm instructed about a billion times to remain happy!!!and avoid stress because it's like more toxic to neurodevelopment than mainlining GMO nutrasweet laced with PCBs and BPA. Or something. So, um, I mean... ommmmmmm. I actually was even going to go to a peaceful and calming "contemplative prayer" meeting last night (largely meditation), but then I was so friggin' tired that I ommed out on the couch with my legs up instead. I think that was a fair trade off. 

Apparently it is par for the course that I'm also starting to tire more easily again. Time for that nap to make a comeback. 

Which is actually amazingly convenient timing (at least I hope so). Yesterday -while I was waiting several hours to receive the joyful news that (1) I need gum surgery too (what can I say, my mom's a role model), but (2) I can wait a few months after giving birth first - the treadmill people finally arrived. The thing is equipped with a new motor and motor control board. I used it for an hour yesterday and am on minute 52 right now. Which is promising. 

That's tied in to my previous comment about naps, really. See, without the treadmill desk, I pretty well need a walk in the morning to keep my head straight. So I've been taking an hour long walk each morning for the last month. That really cuts into the "non work time" I have for myself in the morning. My twenty minute nap just didn't fit in, so I folded it into the walk part. I am looking forward to being able to get my walk on while working and take my breaks for resting. 

I won't really get a chance to do a full treadmilling day today, since there's much afoot hereabouts. There's that appointment with the OB (hopefully informing me that in fact I can be six months' pregnant and it's all good!), and then there's that whole "last day of work party" thingy shortly after. 

We've laden the outer table with treats, but there is a lot more to get. And gifts to compile. And banners to hang! And sweet nothings to whisper to each other about our undying gratitude and love, and about how we'll still survive (which inevitably will be asked: "what are you going to do with Leslie gone???"). 

And that brownie brittle, of course... Fonzie needs me to eat that brownie brittle! Or an entire veggie plate and several tons of trail mix. Maybe both. 

Happy Friday!! Yes, our new baby bassinet is the very first baby item we've received in our home. I started building up our amazon baby registry earlier this week and sent it to my mom and sister for feedback (Andrew's been a bit distracted with his bike dungeon project and I thought it was time to just get a checklist and start the windows shopping online... terrifying process, but kind of fun when you ease into it gradually). Naturally my mom exerted "great restraint" in not buying the entire list. But we may have a few items already  headed our way!

This fabulous Halo is my dream product! It's a side-sleeper bassinet and a little harder to put together than I could manage. But it's going to be awesome! At some point... After we clear out all the cardboard and whatnot... 

Leslie and the Light-to-Heavy-and-full-of-Hearted Last-Day

Well, we three of Englettlaw are now an Engle-duo! Maybe two and a half. Leslie actually will be coming in on off hours a few times a month to handle billing. Sure we do this because billing is complicated and she's good at it, but also so that she - as an employee subject to all the benefits and confidentiality rules of such employment - can continue to hear the lurid and colorful tales of our trade. I'm sure she'll have a few of her own to swap with us soon, going into construction and all...

And what a day. It truly was the right send off and the right-but-unanticipatedly-so-and-feeling-kind-of-early time. She began the day by coming in late (preplanned PT), so the rest of us began the day hanging a banner (We Love LESLIE) and compiling her trove of tributary gifts, including the honorary diadem of rosy sparkles and frivolity... 

And maybe I began my day before all that dayness by romping on a functioning treadmill. This was not necessarily an ode to Leslie, per se, but I'm glad I could give her one day of that oh so familiar treadmill roar before her future employment environs swallow her in hush. I am so selfless!

Upon her arrival, we - eventually (I was on a roll with the treadmill) - convened in the office for a right on treacly sickening love fest that I will spare the world of sharing for fear of a mass diabetic outbreak. But it was heartfelt and poignant, and involved the ritual exchange of chocolate and cards on both ends. In customary fashion, I had to leave quite abruptly in the midst of all the kumbaya hugging in order to make my OB appointment. 

Incidentally, it was the fastest appointment I've had at BOGA so far. I met yet another fantastic doctor (they have a stable of them there) and she heard the heart, measured my belly and explained the oh-so-exciting glucose test I'll be taking next month. After some reassurance from her, I actually this morning am starting to feel more confident that I feel the little Fonz practicing her taebo in my belly. In fact, this morning, I noticed that I could see it if I stared at my stomach. Still not 100% certain every time, but... adjusting to the idea that I'm not just marveling in awe at crazy indigestion.

And in the afternoon was the party. With plenty o'plentitude and more food than a roving hoard could ravage. Few even tried, but it was a beautifully balanced afternoon of small groups holding court and hearing the tales; there was also bountiful moments letting Leslie know how appreciated she has been and how missed she will be. Also, brownie brittle. 

When the final straggler had been chased out, we packed up the food, removing the perishables to Casa Wrighta, and had a prolonged and surreal goodbye. 

Today the adjustment really begins. Mombossa can start processing what it means to be short an appendage and right-hand of 13 years. And in the middle, we can start making a plan for moving around all the furniture and apportioning responsibilities. 

And maybe in the middle, there will be some chilling and walking and "oh my lord 65 is HOT" air-conditioning fantasizing. 

Swan Puddle Jump Into a Grateful Birthday Fete

Yesterday was my father's birthday. I forget how old he is. Older than me. I could even calculate it out, since I know his birth year (1981 - was a very young dad... no, not really), but why bother? He's alive and he was born and that is enough cause to celebrate. 

As I was walking yesterday morning, I had time to reflect a lot on what it means to have had my father as a father. Really, my parents as parents. I realized that I am one of very few people I can name who has had an ongoingly positive, supportive and present relationship with both of my parents over the entire course of my life. That really just blew me a bit away, actually. 

Oh yes, my parents have had their individual issues coming to grips with their own selves, their issues with each other (hip hip hooray for divorce when it's right for two people), and certainly we've butted heads at younger ages. But it has always been true that both were there, both were concerned, both listened (in time perhaps), both expressed love and limits, and both gave me the support to try my own path with the assurance that if I failed, this would be ok. 

Feeling mighty lucky. 

My dad and I certainly had more of our share of conflict when I was a sprat, mostly a teenager. But in a lot of ways, this was essential for me to learn the rules of healthy conflict and communication. It also gave me a place to assert and crystalize my budding sense of identity. The conflict was always within a safe space in which love - even acceptance - on either side was never doubted. My father loved and so he worried. It was hard for him to let go, but in the end he did. And I learned fathoms about setting boundaries and expressing my needs in the (longish - teens aren't necessarily the most emotionally intelligent beings so some lessons take a little longer) interim. That's pretty amazing. 

Other things I'm particularly grateful for from my father: (1) a sense of tradition, of values, of coming somewhere, and the importance of reaffirming rituals that connect me to my origins and my family, (2) a deep thirst for beauty, and the vulnerability to that beauty which allows the giving up of self to imbibe more fully, (3) the use of humor as a tension and stress relief valve, (4) a sense that I am merely one part of the world and that I owe it to those around me and to myself to invest in the lives and well-beings of others, (5) the pique to leap from my comfort zone despite aversion, (6) fiscal responsibility, (7) planning is good, but cooking - and life - should never be entirely on-recipe, (8) that a quest for learning and knowledge is best when insatiable and always forwarded, (9) a sense of the importance of spirituality and community in my life, (10) a billion other things including the importance of communicating about difficult topics and staying emotionally available to our loved ones even through difficult conversations. 

Phew, so wow lucky me! Who knows why I'm still so oddly adjusted, but I like to think that while most people assume they are "above average" I'm more like "there is no up and down when you're diverging from average in outer space!"

We celebrated by make yet another trek to the hinterlands of Seattle, a driving and sitting experience which I was admittedly dreading. After the last few treks - particularly in any form of heat or sunshine - I've reeled for days afterwards. Headaches, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, exhaustion... and I'm not saying these aren't on the periphery, but it was worth it to share Swan Lake with the man who shared that love of music-performance-emotion-experience-theater-etc. with me. 

It's a stupid story: boy hunts swans, boy meets swan-girl, boy gets confused by a jerky sorcerer in a drag-fabulous-on-Gay-Pride-day cape into thinking some other girl is the girl he met, boy loses girl when girl is consigned to be swan for the rest of her life because the boy went and fouetted with some other chick... but it's so evocative when staged well. The music itself is integral to every part of our lives (and so profoundly passionate), the dance sequences are familiar to anyone who has ever studied ballet, and the raw experiences of love and betrayal can be thoroughly chilling and sob-inducing with just the quiver of a swan's shoulder. The PNB put on a brilliant performance with Leslie Rausch and Seth Orza as the leads. Leslie Rausch so well captured the vulnerability and thrall of the white swan with a capricious and gleeful black swan that defied a traditional temptress and yet accorded perfectly with the story. The costumes and sets were splendid. And the choreographical touches by Sendak made the story far more cohesive.

And oh that music. The way it swells with longing and passion... lovely. 

There's something about sharing a moving experience with somebody similarly moved that enhances its sapor and potency. That was truly the case yesterday. Speaking of things for which to be grateful. 

So, if I complain or cavil about the odd headache or sleepiness today, let it be known that I am beyond words more lucky than not and more grateful than anything. 

Happy Monday! It's already weird and mad in the office with Leslie gone and furniture magically moved around. The piles of resulting stuff from various shelves is a little terrifying and much organizing remains to be done, but we're getting there... now to actually figure out running the office as a duo. Yikes!

Official Officey Reshuffley Riot! But like in a Mellow Sorta Way

Leslie's gone for one day and things get topsier and turvier than the curiousest of curiosers! And I've gotta say, I love it. This weekend, Mombossa enlisted her trusty consort (a/k/a "Favors" according to Swype's favorite interpretation of "David") to move heavy things around. Many heavy things. In many locations. When I entered on Monday, the horrible treadmill desk dungeon had returned to its airier capacious location (within viewing distance of the monitor). 

But that wasn't all...

The whylum "Leslie's office" had undergone a total makeover worthy of a half-finished Queer Eye episode. I say half finished, because the major components were moved, but the final touches perhaps forestalled. The two part desk had been separated out. One moved up against a wall with a computer station still intact. The other removed from the office and repurposed as a reception type table in our front lobby area. This is a drastic transformation of that opening space, which previously met visitors with several screens and a narrow secretary on which to leave papers (if you could balance them).

Back in the ever mutating Conference Room, the table and chairs stood ready for conference. A little shelf in the back was begging to be filled with snack supplies (I happily obliged with my many mediation set-up trainings, and now all of the most unhealthy and tempting of junk snacks are snugly hidden in plain sight of all relevant conferencing attendees. Just as it should be!

But it didn't stop there! The large bookshelf previously in "Leslie's Office" had been moved into mine. In exchange, my two other smaller shelves had been thoroughly removed from the office along with a filing cabinet and a few other sundries. 

As mentioned, everything was PILED with detritus. Filing boxes, closed files, semi-open-file overflow, dance shoes, swimsuits, and a million other personal items that I'd stashed in the little shelves because I had no other plan for them and didn't really want to deal with them. Several forests of papers no longer needed or poorly organized. This was my task yesterday. I still have the dance shoes, hand warmers, electric slippers, and hair glitter sitting on my new bookshelf, but the paper has been recycled and the shelves are organized. And the desk actually has surface area and an inbox!

Mombossa was still on a rampage, taking several trips worth of filing boxes down to the car and moving others. An entire half-office space full of piles were whittled down to none by this morning!

In between, she fled the office to buy a new phone at the mall. Guess her old one finally gave up the digital ghost (in the shell or pre-shelled, I forgot to ask). 

We may have also done some work yesterday, but it's primarily important to get the workspace set up for our impending public appearance. 

In other events, I am still pregnant. Good to keep tabs on that. Hence perhaps why I allowed Mombossa to do all the heavy lifting yesterday. Probably also a culprit (or so I shall asseverate to high heavens) in the mysterious toppling of several gravity-prone items including a bag full of pepitas and a full glass of water.

Belly button is still at the threshold of outie without full committal, but I can pretty assertively say that "oh, all that rumbling I thought was maybe just my GI system being weird??? No, no I don't think that causes actual ripples and bumps and little fist impressions on my outer belly! Duh, baby moving!" 

Hey, I'm a first timer. I discovered my new rippling belly sometime this weekend. You can even see it through clothing. I've more or less abandoned omphaloskepsis for a more generalized area-watch. The whole thing is fascinating. Equal parts creepy and delightful. Our little one is super-active. I am super-in-for-it when she gets to be baby sized instead of some happily measurable produce! And I finally got to let Andrew feel the rumbles with assurance that he wasn't just experience his pulchritudinous paramour's bad gas or something. Phew! And yikes... a few more months and I just hope no hands actually break through. Little thing is getting strong!

Wish me luck! With the office reshuffle, my blundering elegance, and this wee Fonz's karate, I may need it!

Pa-pa-pa-papaya Chou-chou a Woohoo: Of Wrinkles and Work Spaces

In the 21st Week of gestational giggles and holidazed fun, new homes, old traditions newly shared, and a new and unwelcome lurgy mix and meld into a weekend blitz of Judeo-Christian family fun. And greater goodbyes are in the works as office mates float forward towards new horizons. 

As Week 22 hovers near half a year of wrinkly pruney Fonzarelli frenzy, rueful returns to the Com of Cast (that scourge which bites the hand of those who pay it) brought the internet into the world once more in time for wrinkly banana babies to slurp the amniotic ambrosia. Office order is cast into anomie as furniture and staffing goes all atumble. And wee little bumps biggen while belly buttons flatten.

Humpless Hump of a Semi-Relaxed Hump-Day

We're definitely over the hump here. Then again, that hump-thingy probably toppled over the apex on Monday or Tuesday. Those were the days when all the excitement calmed down, the home settled, the hubba-hubba got so bored during his long-forestalled sick day that he set up our internet; these were the days when we sat down together once again to watch our netflix in our new library. Said "hump" might have abated further into decline when confirmation of hubba-hubba's status as being on-the-mend came in yesterday. Sleeping through two nights in a row! This is promising. And the appetite is back more promisingly!

I do suppose there's some complicated and taxing work stuff hereabouts, but I feel like I have more of a grasp on it today than yesterday. And the settling of home-life really goes a long way towards making work seem manageable. This week. Before Leslie's last hurrah and disappearance from our company roster throws all into an appreciable anomie hereabouts as we try to transition into a two-person well-oiled machine. 

There's still oh-so-very-very much to do at home and at work. Reshuffling teems and abounds in atolls of microenvironments. The entire restructuring of our office. The finalization of all that moving. Setting up our cleaning service. Appointments. Let's not even begin to contemplate my list of "things we can't think about until after the move": changing our investment strategies; estate planning; life insurance; registering for baby stuff; finishing that contact form that the condo association wanted us to fill out; meeting the neighbors; hanging all those pictures; buying genuine maternity clothes; figuring out THE FUTURE after mom-boss actually does retire and I'm confronted with my resolve to not be a family law attorney in the future... the list goes on. 

But for the remainder of this week, I'm on staycation and workation. Or something like that. 

As Bob would put it "I'm on vacation from my problems," except instead of problems I guess "I'm on vacation from my obligations and self-expectations" 

I'll send y'all a postcard. Except I probably won't because that's an obligation too!

Tippee Top Hoppety Hop Towards A Crashingly Good Weekend So we hope

And hope pullulates with that verdant vernal foliage thirsting for our irrigation system to start working (we have this nifty set up that should theoretically drip-water the poor darlings, but which doesn't seem super effective as far as I can tell)! 

We finally had a date night based from our new location last night! It's been a while with last week's craziness and the lethal lurgy lurking in Andrew's belly. And since our starting off point is now a different locale, we began a little exploration on the northern side of Bellingham. By going to a Japanese place in the other Grocery Store parking lot. Yeah, but this is way classier than the strip mall one in the Freddy's parking lot. Trust me on this! We are upscaling baby! 
It was good, though. Andrew had a dish he'd never had before and I had the dish I always have (deconstructed avocado maki, in which most of the rice is scraped off into a pile and the rest is rewrapped into a horror of culinary ginger/avo/nori/wasabi mush to be eaten by hand).

In other hopeful news, parts for my busted treadmill (a/k/a "the most fanciest and technologically flashy stationary standing desk ever") arrived at the office yesterday. The repair people are not scheduled to install said parts until a week from today. Heave and gasp at the prospect of yet another week after what is nearly a month now of resentful and fidgety "standing." Still, there's some palpable sign of progress. And that brings me hope. 

As does the lovely weather, although I'm told that is slated to turn to rain by the weekend. 

But by the weekend is great by me. A little rain might just dampen the instinct to do too much on a weekend strictly reserved for doing very little. And water our poor, underwatered plants. 

So hope all around and a happy almost weekend hereabout!

Bilious Bibacity (of Amniotic Ambrosia) and the The Half-Year old Fonzarelli-Papapapaya-Chou Prune

Week 22, baby! That's almost the beginning of my sixth month of this pregnancy nonsense. Whooo. I'm moving right along here, despite the measured disbelieving exclamations that I'm far "too small" to be five month's preggers! Big frame, trim abs... it'll explode fast soon, I can tell, as can most anyone who sees me regularly, but I shan't complain too much that nobody yet wants to touch my belly other than me. 

But my little piece o'produce is getting bigger in time for next week's check-in. No ultrasound this upcoming visit, but I'm sure I'll get to hear all about the joyous and jubilant Gestational Diabetes Test! A/k/a nightmare torture test for somebody like me. For those who have not experienced this excitement, this is a test requiring (initially) two blood tests taken an hour apart. After the first one, you are required to pound this glucose grog that has roughly 50 or more grams of sugar. The second blood test will compare blood sugar levels and see how efficiently the body processes said sugar. If that one raises red flags, there's a three hour test to add on. 

Did I mention I am really sensitive to sugar? And concentrated sweet things like juice tend to make me ill? I'm not looking forward to how that glucose is going to go down at all. Oh yeah, we're also supposed to not eat much going into it, so that will all be on an empty stomach. The joys of childbirth!

But back to the adorable little "overripe red prune" of wrinkly vernixey shock-white hair and pigmentless eyes. Wee Fonzarelli is finally graduating from a banana. Bahnaaaaanaaaaah bye bye! This week she appears to be: 

A Spaghetti Squash! With that lanugo to match a squash's stringy interior, I suppose. 

A Papaya! Yes! I called this one last night. Or wished it to be so. I was sitting and thinking, you know, I think it should be a papaya today. That's almost as much fun to say as banana. Papaaaaaayaaaaaaaaaah.  

A Cabbage - Aww ma petit chou! How french!

In addition to the usual circus act and thrashing, she's giving back a little in the form of a huge amount of bilirubin for my liver to process. How sweet. I give to her and she gives back to me! Mother-daughter bonding. There are also folds forming on that otherwise flat brain of hers. Pretty soon she's going to start thinking and then we're all in trouble, trust me!

I'm told that my feet are about to get larger. Which will be weird, but at least I've been forewarned. Apparently a mix of the usual swelling and the sprawl of relaxed ligaments. 

I'm also promised dizzy spells and uncomfortable sweats! I have been running into those reeling spells from time to time out of nowhere already. Kind of entertaining. Pregnant ladies may not get to drink, but sometimes you really don't need to. Forgetfulness, erratically enhanced moods, a sense of warmth, the occasional staggering: who needs alcohol when you've got several tons of hormonal stew coursing through your body?

In terms of the heat, I'm promised there are "chilled pillows" to provide some succorance should I need them. I'm not sure about this. But the other suggestions of setting up fans, opening windows, wearing loose clothes, etc. etc. are pretty well no brainers. I've been told that some cars now have air conditioned seats, as well. I apparently need a new car!

In other news, it's FRIDAY! One week from today will be Leslie's last day, which is utterly surreal, but we're gradually making plans. Mine have been mostly furniture related, but there are other elements involved. Realizing that I don't often meet with clients and that I am about to have plenty of reason for more office space to keep some baby stuff (and possibly even a baby) we are moving the gigantic round table from my office into what will soon be "the conference room" (Leslie's current office). Mombossa and Leslie actually moved the table out of my office after I left yesterday. It's out in the main office area and I've received a much smaller student desk that we used for filing back in the day. It's kind of perfect, actually. 

Very exciting! 

And both the (W)rights have mostly recovered from the prior excitement. Andrew went on an invigorating bike ride and I've discovered how to retrieve the mail finally. Still have no idea how to get into the rec center. There are about fifty keys on a key ring labeled "mom" that appear to open nothing. Actually several of those keys are copies of each other, and one of those was the mail key. But none of the keys open up the rec center area. Also, we can't figure out how to work the fancy drip irrigation watering system that the prior owners installed at great cost and effort. Cannot find a control box, period! 

Ah well, in time, in time... I'm just glad we got the mail before the box itself exploded!

Quickly popping in as the belly button continues contemplating popping out

Ho ho! It's the weekend!!! And I started the morning more or less - after a relaxing linger with the hubba-hubba (who was disturbingly alert and pert enough to remove his own handsome figure from the bedroom and appear downstairs by 6:30 a.m. this morning) - with a massage! A nice, happy, heavily propped up prenatal massage. With a new masseuse. I liked her. She was prompt, perspicacious, and effective. My muscles are all unclenched and my skin is happy for all that extra blood flow. 

After a walk and an excursion to Safeway (I like Freddy's better, but at least I tried) It's time to get my domestic dervish on a bit. Beans in the slow cooker, future freezer meal in the rice cooker to use up the very last of the Passoveaster viands. Well, I suppose I still have some of that charoset my dad and I made, which subs quite nicely as spread for a PB&Jish type sandwich. And I froze some of the herbs left my by the holiday spirit (Casper the friendly mensch). 

The weather has been about as variable in mood as my three year old nephew: two minutes ago, I had all the windows open and was regretting the indoor designs on my afternoon; now the windows are being slammed shut and I'm oh so happy to stay indoors! It has also hailed a couple of times between seductively sunny skies and bloviating little zephyrs. 

Muddy Monday Madness!

Well if it's not the cleaner, it's the mom-boss: Somebody will mess with my office space over the weekend and leave me moorless and disoriented! The treadmill desk has now been moved several fathoms back and away from the computer and its monitor. Everything is still more or less functional(treadmilly itself excluded of course), except I need a telescope to see the screen, I can't actually charge my phone and keep it on the desk at the same time, and I can barely squeeze my pregnant belly through the teeny gap left between the arm of the desk and a neighboring bookshelf. So... it's going to be an interesting week!

This is for a good cause, her little belated April Fool's Prank. The treadmill repair people have promised to arrive on Thursday bearing mechanical know-how and a little Sole-sponsored elbow grease to (please please please be true) fix the treadmill. And she thought they would have an easier time if the treadmill motor was readily accessible, instead of buried underneath a bunch of wiring and wall space. Probably right. Further right she is that I'm not supposed to move heavy things and this is a multi-person job. So she enlisted her boy-toy to help on Saturday. They did it. They "helped" in a way that I hope will eventually be quite helpful. Although who exactly is going to move my treadmill desk back to normal after it starts functioning again... well, nobody has said anything about that. 

But it can't last too long. With my belly continuing to grow as it is. I will eventually get stuck in here if I don't have a little more clearance between the desk and the bookshelves. No, I'm sure somebody will help me out... really. 

Or I'll take the next couple of weeks off. 

Which might be awkward once Leslie officially is off at her new job! This is her last week. Things are getting real and she's using up her remaining vacation. For part of the week. Smart girl, she's working the first two days (including attendance at our final office lunch), taking off the next two, and then returning for the open-house goodbye party. 

Then... holy crap, we're on our own. I get to enjoy my beautifully spacious (if bizarrely laid out at the moment) office, we get a conference room, and we get to scramble with picking up whatever slack we haven't even anticipated yet from the absence of 1/3 of the Englettlaw team. Going to be exciting! And weird! Leslie's been with this office longer than I have. As long as it has existed and before that she worked with my mom at the nonprofit where my mom started her legal career. I think I've known her through several incarnations and metamorphoses of varying degrees of awkwardness. Not that we won't still see her, but she's been kind of an organ of this whole entity. This is like detaching a lung and visiting it from time to time. The experience of a Leslieless office will just be strange. 

Like my treadmill desk and its new orientation!

Things are getting ooky here, but I guess we only learn through surprise and only grow by stepping out of our comfort zones. 

I'm due for plenty o'learnin' baby!

Tango to Tuesday The Final Countdown of Final Finals Fritters On

I have yet to become haplessly and helplessly lost in the aretes, arroyos and crotchety crags of my current office desk-set up! Not for some close calls, but I think a good belay and some cautious twisting has so far allowed me a modicum of freedom. Just to be safe, I've ordered the cabana boys to prepare the jaws of life and - barring that or perhaps in preference - the vats of peeled grapes and emergency barrels of chocolate to sustain me in my incarceration. 

Should I manage to remain unfettered, today will be another last something for our current office: the last "office lunch!" The office lunch is a - theoretically - monthly outing for our office. Fully sponsored for us employees and meant to build goodwill and satiation in our tumbly tummies. It has worked quite well even in the most stressful of office miasmas, and will have its own bittersweet tinge, with 1/3 of our motley crew heading off for new horizons. 

And as we get there, we will - no doubt - have our last "several hours of dithering over where we would like to have said lunch" experience. Oh memories!

Yesterday, we had our last case status meeting with the three of us. Consequently, we let things run less tautly than perhaps a usual meeting. And by "we" I mean "task master Adella" since I am the one always attempting to move forward and stay oriented on "what needs to be done and who's doing it" instead of the nuances of the opposing party's hair or the manner of the attorney on the other side. 

After this we had our last "leave Leslie at the office while we go to the Collaborative Law meeting" excursion. We attended the whole thing and everything. Even invited people to a going-away open house we're throwing for her on Friday. That's how committed we were to the full experience there. 

I'll save until Friday the "last battle over climate control," but we'll keep on our skirmishing (me with the a/c on and Leslie with her heating blaring in our respective offices. 

But as many lasts as there may be this week, there will be plenty of "one of a billion on either side" activities and possibly a few firsts. Hopefully the firsts are fun and the psittacistic stuff has purpose and meaning that persists into the future!

Or something.