Heirloom Mango's Grand Picture Party and the Turgid Treadmill Tango

As Eighteen Weeks Boldly enter the (W)rightlette into a fifth whoppin' month of gestational age, things got green! Especially the food. Siblings were feted, mothers returned. Dancing monkeys led the parades while effervescent fetuses pressed bellies into poppage. 

In the Nineteenth Week, the treadmill voodoo vanishes despite the best mendicant meddlings and asseverations of functionality. Dropping us down the labyrinth of customer service purgatory 'twixt Sears and Sole and Nordic-Entirely-Off-Track to no avail. Ultrasounds revealed an heirloom mango with a certain gendered twist: SHE SHE SHE SHE makes the nice normal Fonzarelli feel a hundred times more real. As she catapults about with raver arms and Rockette legs, mommening Adella twists and contorts till her bladder is wrung for the perfect picture to ensure a soothing "all healthy!" from the reports. And in the zero hour, a closing date is made and moving madness maunders into the muddle! 

Tippee Toes Touching Treadmill To-Dos and the Looming Ultrasound 

Well, the treadmill is still broken. Boy did we call in the voodoo yesterday. Ms. Englett's favorite boytoy spent all morning doing all the things that I - as an owner - really should have been doing over my last four years of ownership. He opened up the motor, he vacuumed thoroughly, he lubed properly, he cast holy water on the appropriate vessels, and he slaughtered a chicken or two. And he got it to work! For 37 minutes! 

When I wasn't on it. Maybe it's me. 

As soon as I got back from my dental appointment, I tried it out and... dead in 12 minutes. Fifty points to David and the ghost walker. Negative 60 to Adella!

Good news is that the treadmill repair guy (I think that actually is his tradename, smart man) is coming today to tell us if it's new motor time or if there's some other electrical issue going on. Fingers crossed for an easy solution yet to be found, but I grow increasingly certain that I've acquired a very expensive and complex standing desk at this point. Still, hope is eternal and all. As much fun as pumping my legs in imaginary stair stepper action all day may be... it's just not the same work-friendly solution that a slow walk has proven itself to be for. And the last few days have provided beautiful enough weather for a couple of shorter walks, but it's going to start in with the rain as of today. The radar is showing quite the intimidating green blob (belated St. Paddy's day blob action - whooo!). 

Ah well. I'll be well enough distracted today, as I've got another OB appointment and ultrasound! Excitement abounds. Waiting shall be tested and tried. Weighting will be supplemented with heavy shoes and a water bottle unless I remember to take those off this time around. Gross and uncomfortable questions may be asked in front of the spousal unit. It will be a bonding experience and good practice for the essential grossness of having a child. And we'll get to see little Fonzarelli in all hiser glory. Possibly attaining some kind of affirmative gendered pronoun to attach to said glory. Which may or may not turn out to be accurate from all I hear. 

In the meantime, I'll keep on fidgeting and desperately try to get the actual trove of work allotted to me somewhat handled despite my distractions and walk-breaks. Wish me luck!

Ultrasonic Magical Mango Lanugo Lass and the Fonzarelli Follies 

Rev up the beat, baby. Yesterday was ultrasound time. That's like Hammer-Time, but with fewer parachute pants. Actually, no pants for Fonzie (scandalous, but useful for some of the ultrasound sleuthing), and just yoga pants for me. Aaaand several trips to the bathroom during a single ultrasound. Whee pregnancy is fun. 

Fonzie was facing my spine a lot yesterday. Moving like a caffeinated chihuahua at a rave, but not showing any face or profile. I had to do a number of my own contortions at the instructions of my ever-ambitious ultrasound tech to get a little face and whatever measurements she needed to determine that we have a perfectly normal baby (so far) in the 40th percentile of growth! Thank goodness, we got something as I'm pretty sure the next step was hanging upside down from the ceiling while swallowing the ultrasound wand!

We did get to see the following fetal parlor tricks: double thumbs up again (heeeeeeey), knee in mouth while hands were flailing above the head, clasped prayer hands, hiccups, a little bit of a stretch, and a lot of functioning organs! That was really cool. Close up on the heart and aortic valve. Close up on the brain. Close up on all these skeletal details we've never been able to see before. Little feet!

 Little thumbs! 

Adorable little kidneys.... And.... yes, close up on the wee one's genitalia (or so the tech assured us. Was a little hard to tell at that angle and resolution). Feel very invasive about that one. It was a straight up the spread-eagle kinda shot. And yes, the little creature thrashing around inside of me: she's got female anatomy! My ultrasound tech was so certain that this wouldn't change in subsequent ultrasounds or at the birth that she promised to retire if she was wrong. Hope she's not. She doesn't seem quite old enough to retire. 

 Weird. I really would be happy with boy or girl and I don't wanna start running rampant in the pink princess world (oh god, Frozen 2... NOOOOO don't make this just after my child will be born, please!!!). But having a gendered pronoun to refer to Fonzie is kind of... weird, yes, but also amazing. It makes her feel so much more real. I mean, as cute as the little thing is, I still mostly think of her as a particularly active organ in my body, you know? Sure there's a lot of humanoid there, but we still are a ways away from sentience here. Still, she she she she she she makes my little pregnant-lady swollen eyes all misty. (He would have as well, of course)

Let the name gamut begin! I have a long list of names that I've accumulated over times when I was fighting off miscarriage and non-sticking paranoias. Don't know why it soothed me, but it did. They are all composed in strict secret and I'm not sharing with my family or taking input until we find one that works for us. I've been through the family suggestion gamut with my sister's kids. I would just as soon avoid the politics. Announcing a name before the birth feels superstitiously wrong. Plus, it's our kid. Our families will learn to love whatever wacky names we come up with (Thaddea? Hanniballia? Fluffy?) 

But I suppose Andrew should have some input too. Sigh. Whatever. I've proposed we make a big list and then take turns whittling it down. Basically a strike list or like The Bachelor for names, in which a decreasing number of names get a rose each week until week 40 comes around. 

Anyways, gender news aside, the even better news is that our little piece of produce is 100% normal and healthy. 

And it being happy WEEK 19, we've got more produce from which to pick (only when ripe of course): heirloom tomato, mango (!), and... actually that's it. I tell ya, the produce metaphors are getting slim here! But mango and tomato were popular enough. I'm going for mango. Nummy! Mango Lassi (may or may not be a candidate on the name list of course)

Apparently she is a mango covered in cheesy "vernix" that is greasy and white and spotted with lanugo, so maybe less appetizing. But hey, it's our little bundle of ooze and muck!

And for me? Well, I already talked to the doctor about my delightful burning-blistering skin stuff and have a nice little referral to somebody who might help me. This referral should ensure that it all clears up on its own. And some other issues that I'm sure Andrew was thrilled to hear about in disgusting detail. 

In addition, I'm mostly promised a continuation of the same. Heat and heartburn, indigestion, headaches, tearing up at the thought of a gendered pronoun, and just getting that adorable cloasma (the mask of pregnancy - tell me that doesn't sound like a weirdo superhero movie). 

Also, of course, there's clumsiness. As evidenced by my evening last night. First upon retrieving a ziploc of forbidden rice (apparently more forbidden than I'd anticipated), I managed to empty about seven cups into the bottom of our freezer. Requiring a crash course in our vacuum cleaner (mostly used by the cleaners). Immediately afterwards, I upended a glass of water Andrew had left on the kitchen counter. Let the games begin, baby!

And I'm even sweatier and hotter than before!

Oh and boy am I more buxom than before. Which isn't saying a lot, but apparently it's enough to make running really interesting. I'd not run since before the fertility treatments. My RE said nonono to it, and once I was knocked up, the first trimester was more or less not really the time to do anything but nap and grouse and fret over baby names to distract myself from various "oh god is that a bad sign" symptoms churled up by my changing body. Now, I'm feeling fine and probably could, but it's so close to when it'll be uncomfortable and it's been so long that it doesn't seem worth revving up again. But yesterday I was doing a test on the treadmill to see if speed was a factor. And I ran. For 8 minutes. And boy does my workout top with built in shelf bra no longer provide adequate support. OUCH!

It didn't work beyond that. I'm a wee bit relieved in the moment, if not disappointed in the long run. 

Today it's FRIDAY! I have a blood test and hopefully today the treadmill guy will actually come and tell us what's wrong with the Sole F80. I'd like to know really. Really really. Like my in utero daughter, this chica's gotta move baby!

Chacha into the weekend... 

Mud Month Strikes Back Of Moss and Mildew

Ok, it's spring now officially. Forget the unseasonable warmth and clemency of our odd little winter wonder-what-the-heck-happened-land. Perhaps we're not in like lambs and out like lions so much as in like lambs and out like drooling-St.-Bernards. It be soggy this morning, matey! And yesterday for that matter. But it's more notable this morning, since my husband is - of course - out in the middle of it wearing nothing but various layers of spandex and not-super-protective bicycle wrapped under his legs. 

Oh yes, "we" got up early for the weekend this morning, because some teammates of his thought it would be "fun" to ride Galbraith at 8 in the morning. I'm sure it would be. Say, in our prior clement winter time. Right now, I think it's probably more like a mud-shower. But I guess dudes like that kind of stuff. Or so I can glean for all the super macho truck adverts that involve riding through lots of mud and mire to a pumpin' awesome soundtrack that oozes testosterone. 

I had my fill of the great outdoors when I went out for my shopping this morning. That will really sate me for at least the next few hours. If the weather changes, I reserve the right to change this vote. 

Well, this is the weekend before the theoretically big move, which is nervous making. And/or must-leave-the-house-because-everytime-I-am-here-I-feel-overwhelmed making. Except we still haven't gotten a definitive closing date. Of course. So we can't schedule the movers. So... who knows? Going to be interesting trying to find a storage place and a few couches to surf on if things don't go according to plan. But I'm sure it'll all work out. Really. Now, get me outta here! To somewhere indoors...

Happy Saturday! May your days be dry and cozy. Unless you dig miring in the mud, then by all means, join Mr. (W)right up on his mountain trek!

Lucky cultural shenanigans!

Forget moving boxes and possessions. The husband and I are moving our own tooshes from show to show. Yesterday, it was The Wonderhead's Grim and Fischer, live physical theater performed in mask about an elderly lady and the Grim Reaper. Both hilarious and touching, the entire show is a magical bit of old school theater, coordinating physical movement, lighting, sound, and brilliantly crafted masks to make a sweet and touching and utterly engaging show. Although the masks were still and set, they were done in such a way as to capture several emotions, allowing a slight turn off head and a physical gesture to make the expression appear plastic and dynamic! Really super cool! Like live action Pixar (especially Up!) or Wallace and Gromit. We got to stay for a Q&A with the troupe (all three of them) afterwards. Such an interesting calling, but they certainly have embraced it. I would definitely see their other shows and hope to some day. They do tour a lot. 

Today we're having our date afternoon in Seattle at the ballet. A Repertory of Forsythe pieces, hooray for repertory performances. They're more engaging. They're typically shorter (only one intermission) and they don't center around happy peasants and princes who can't keep their pants on. A win-win all in all. 

Got to culture up our little Fonzie, you know? And maybe those boxes will package themselves while we're off!

Kafka's Treadmill Repair Guys and the Internet Horror

Yesterday was just not workin' for me at work. I came into the office to:

 (1) A busted treadmill. This is not news, except the "Treadmill Guy" came out to fix it on Friday and seemed certain (twice!) he had. Which is funny to me because as soon as he left the first time, I tried it. The darned thing died within 4 minutes of use. Apparently he just gets an intuition that things are working and that's enough for him? We called and he came out late in the afternoon to revisit. Apparently - this according to Leslie, as we had left - he ran it a few times, there was an awful smell and then he reported that "it works, but if it has problems again, find the manual because there's a warranty on motor parts and electronics." Basically a brush off to my ears. Or at least a referral back to the recondite labyrinth of customer service people at the Sears/Nordic Track/Sole/Whatever Subsidiary Represents Them Sort Of But Refers to Another Person Anyways (TM) company.

Which is exactly what happened yesterday. Sears refers out to Nordic Trak, who won't deal with anything unless you have some kind of magical "model number" that is not listed anywhere on the device and doesn't sound like any of the several serial numbers and technical identifiers actually on the device and paperwork. Sole has a customer service line, which refers you to Nordic Trak. Sears, once you register the device can tell that you bought it with them and give you part of the model number, but refuses to believe that there's a second part that is absolutely necessary before anyone can even talk to you about a frickin' treadmill. And there should be a five year warranty, but our device is listed as out of warranty. Which is fine, I just want it fixed, but they're so fixated on the warranty, I'm not sure they'll ever be willing to just check the darned thing out for me. I think we have to jump through fire and untie the gordian knot before they're even willing to connect us to somebody who could come out and look at it. 

Note to self: NEVER EVER AGAIN buy something from Sear's, Nordic Trak, or Sole. I have no idea if any one else is better, but this is getting into Comcast customer service territory and apparently nobody local can actually do anything for a treadmill other than insist assertively that it's totally fine (just you know, don't put your weight on it). 

So I envision that my perfectly high end, warrantied wonderful Sole will become a piece of static furniture from hereonout and if I should ever want a functioning treadmill, I'll have to start scouring Craig's List. 

Figures that my treadmill would die in the month that I ceded my gym membership. Fortunately, it's mostly nice enough to at least take a walk outside most days, but I still have plenty of nervous energy to burn off... 

...slowly. The pregnancy breath-shortening and slightly strained cardio system doesn't seem to like too much effort on my part, I'm realizing. There were some treacherously steep hills on my walk yesterday that nearly killed me. This is a good lesson for our moving and packing blitz. Be gentle, Adella. 


That was one. 

Then there was... 

(2) Completely isolated work computer. No network access, no drives. Nothing. When this happens it means that unless I want to write little journaled thoughts on the hard drive, I cannot work. All of our documents and programs are stored on the network. My email is on the internet. Even administrative stuff is inaccessible. Not that several hours of rousing solitaire bouts would not be an excellent use of work time, but... well. I'm not even sure this computer has solitaire. 

I spent much of the morning sulking and skulking in mom-boss' office. Putatively, I was "helping" get a mediation packet out for tomorrow and insisting we review discovery requests, but mostly I was just desperately trying to justify not leaving the office immediately, buying some boxes and heading home to pack up for the move

Fortunately Leslie managed to think of the one "reboot something and see if that works" that I hadn't already tried - a router in her office - and although our tech guy swears up and down that should not have worked... it did. Granted we only thought of that after lunch, but we had a nice office lunch in the meantime, so it was a generally successful day. Mostly. Except for the inutile treadmill, which persistently taunts me. 

Not the most propitious of Monday starts. Although I did have an excellent time at the blood draw place (once a month versus once every two days - I could dig this pregnancy stuff) before coming in to work. They exsanguinated me efficiently and had me on my way within a few minutes. Wasn't even all that late to my utter inutile workspace!

I did really quite nearly give up and go home to start packing...

Speaking of which, we are signing stuff TOMORROW!! This is really very exciting. There had been a bit of bank radio silence going on the last week or so, as our closing date loomed. Afraid to jinx it, we opted not to actually set up anything with the movers. I suspect it's too late now, so I guess I might have to stay home some time next week for a while, but I am really hoping we can at least start moving this weekend. Andrew is going to get some boxes from EI and Leslie may bring some in from her semi-recent move. Really, I really absolutely will start packing ... soon

But not today. Today I'm having lunch with one friend and dinner with another. Lord knows why my generally spacious social calendar fulcrummed on a single day, but it just works better this way. Andrew has his trainerosaurus this evening, so it's the perfect night to go out to dinner. And this was just the best day for a work break.

But soon. Maybe ... after date night? Hmmm. Wait after signing? Thursday? Some time?? Maybe???

Ah whatever, at least I can work again.

The Green-Potato Eyeds of March Make the Sweetest Swee'Potatopeppercolaonions

In the Seventeenth week of gestational gallivanting and home-buying hullabaloo, Mombossa nova baby! Trusty Englett-boss dissolved into Grammy Pammy and whisked away to the far reaches of Mountain Lakes. Left bereft and all alone, Associate Adella ducked for cover and hoped the magical packing elves would visit her muddled mess of a moving miasma. Excel spreadsheets were cast into the ocean of investing possibilities to reveal equivocal conclusions. And havoc lingered at all sides as things went far too smoothly... so far... 

At the very cusp of the fifth month(!), the world turns green! Monkeys dance down the streets and families ford their way through rites of passages despite the perils implicit. Belly buttons begin to burst and bumps biggen while mommening panics throw our flame-faced femme into a tizzy. Swee' Potato Fonzarelli sips onion soda and continues kicking as the first pass at gender norms and nonsense loom. All in time for Grammy Pammy to meet on the battle field with Mombossa Englett. 

We Interrupt This Sockage With a Birthday Throwback

My big sis is 37 today. Don't believe the photos, she was an evil child hellbent on punishing me for my incursion into her placid family existence. She would lock me in attics; throw me in showers and empty everything under the bathroom sink over my head; scare me with stories about how our local stores were black markets for child slavery rings; and try to provoke me into any kind of behavior that would get me into trouble. So, typical older sibling. No doubt I became a significantly better (if more alert and sensitive) person for the trial-by-fire entry out of my tender years.

And she was also fun, wise, and sweet in her other moments, of course. By the time she was a teenager, I was less an impediment than a project. And the project was upgraded to tag-a-long, upgraded to honorary clique member from time to time. I could pass for much older than I actually was (not sure if this remains true, although in the soupy mire of "thirties" I'm pretty sure it's indistinguishable), so she'd often sneak me along to dances and let me stay out all night with her and her (mostly very well-behaved) friends. I had a lot of first-hand experience with high school craziness through her. And a lot of previews of normal college life and those various rites of passage. 

No doubt, my personality was molded more by her influence than anyone else's. It took a long to recognize just how much we have in common. So much of my personality evolved to work in complement to hers and many of my life choices were divergences from hers after studied observation. But we are both alike and not alike, as one might expect of siblings. And no matter how vigilantly my father insists that she and I look completely unrelated (similarly he and I apparently don't resemble each other at all, which I try not to take too personally, but he is totally wrong, we do), we definitely are related. 

Rachel travelled the traditional path and hit the rites of passage for adulthood far earlier than me. Four year college, bridge program to an advanced degree as a Nurse Practitioner, marriage to her first college boyfriend at 24ish, they bought their first home together, and had children a bit after that. They now have three boys scattered across the first decade of childhood. They're fairly well off, responsible, and their kids are involved in every childhood activity and fun enrichment program imaginable. Ryan coaches little league. Rachel volunteers at the school. She always immerses herself in a fabulous supportive network of moms in child-heavy neighborhoods of like financial stability and investment in family. 

I, of course, embraced every counter-culture movement for brief periods of time, started college early, stuttered through a bit of a liberal arts enclave, abandoned college (also early), worked blue collar jobs, travelled on a few bucks a day to various continents, worked myself back to finishing college late, obsessed over dance for a few years, and finally resigned myself to that law school thing. I'm still not convinced I'm a grown up in any conceivable form. I'm not great with regular formal activities or commitments. I tend to shy away from groups, even when that leaves me prone to some isolation at times. And well you've seen my sock collection. 

I finished all that law school nonsense about 7 years older than my sis had, married 8 years older, will own my first house at 11 years older and have my first child at something like 5 or 6 (depending on which side of my birthday that labor hits). 

But as always, I've paid attention. When I visit the Falconer household, I see the craziness and am in awe at the maternal superpowers my erst-nemesis has now acquired. I learn and I hope that I can be as loving and patient and utterly fun (and willing to be disliked when it is necessary to love toughly) as she is. With her kids. And generally. Because, the more we visit, the more I realize that life experiences and timelines won't always define whether a certain person just clicks with you. And we really are so alike at the bottom of it all. In good ways. In ways that makes me hopeful about myself!

Anyways, she is always so feverishly running about making life better for her family and friends that I hope today she is able to stop and let down the assumptions that let her take her own efforts and actions for granted. I hope she has an unmitigated blast filled with expressions of the latent love that sometimes gets missed in quotidian flurries that characterize her triage-heavy day. 

Five Month Fonzarelli and the Bell(e) of the Pepper Ball

While my ornery omphalos contemplates breaking itself out of its innie mode (countdown to outie in 5-4-3-2... weeks probably), it's time to fete the onset of my very own fifth month of pregnancy! Has it been that long? Is there that much left to go? Holy crap, I'm gonna get huge soon, and huger later. Break out the crane and the body pillows!

This week - lucky number 18 - my wee little gender-neutral bundle o-myelin may be analogized as the following: 

* A bell pepper, color not specified. Given my general complexion and slight sweetness, I'm going to guess red. And oh my wouldn't that be just an adorable little Halloween costume, a red pepper? Just a red suit and a big huge green stem on the hat. Probably only good for babies that have no intention of lifting their necks away from their proper support. 

* A can of cola. Ok. That complements the yogurt from last week I guess. Cola - sweet, refreshing, and explosive when shaken. Also, should not be frozen. Good advice. What brand though? I'm thinking maybe Moxie, because I like to think my spawn will have a lot of that (a wish I'm likely to regret). But could be one of those local brews as well, I suppose. 

* A sweet potato. Hopefully a garnet yam. Those are my favorite! Nummy. Of course, this one is pretty variable, as the sweet potatoes I buy at the store come in such a vast variety of sizes that my image of the roughly 5.5-6.5 inch baby is mucked with variety ranging from 3 inches to about 12 inches. StillI like the idea. 

* A red onion. Why a red onion? Why not! Goes with the red pepper. No onion yogurt last week. No onion soda this week. Although when I was at St. John's, there was a local Diner (Chick 'n Ruth's) known for selling celery soda. Andrew and I went there to eat last year when I visited, but neither of us looked for the soda on that. A shame. 

* A fetus! Ok, I added that one. I'm kind of surprised that at this point they aren't using more animal analogies. We did have the guinea pig option last week, but now that the baby is kind of a creature verifiably, why not go with it? I'm sure by the third trimester, various lap dogs would be apropos and arguably less variable than produce. 

Anyways, the days of "it-baby" may be fading. There's an ultrasound scheduled for next week, and it's fairly likely that the gender will be determinable at this point. I've kind of enjoyed not knowing, but Andrew's a fed up with calling our precious Fonzie an "it" (he's probably also afraid that the longer "Fonz" sticks around, the more likely I'll insist on that name officially).

My thing is mostly that we put so many expectations on gender. I know the way I read a baby guide changes just by the gender pronoun they use. And I think it's pretty prescriptive. I like that open sense of possibility, and offering that to the little swee'potato. Right now, it could be anything and anyone. And of course yadda yadda yadda, gender identity and biological sex aren't really the same anyways... but mostly just I don't really need to choose between Pink Princesses and Red Racer Dinosaurs for the nursery. Kid's going to be unique and like its own things if I let it. And I think it's harder to let it once you start forming the expectations of what it will be. That's my theory anyways. 

But hey, it'll be fun to know too, so not horribly strong on the ignorance. 

In Adella-land, the mommening is manifesting in a cantaloupe uterus, a popping belly button, and faltering posture. Between the center of gravity shifts and all that relaxin, it's taking a lot of concentration to keep that tail-tuck ingrained in me from all those dance classes. It too shall fade into a sway-backed waddle!

My cardiovascular system will continue to get crazy, meaning more headaches, more flaming faces, and possibly even lower blood pressure! If that's even conceivable since I'm virtually dead normally anyways. I have been eating more sodium recently, even adding in some NUN electrolyte tabs to my ocean of daily liquids. Maybe that helps?

I'm told for the headaches, I should apply an ice pack to my forehead the second that I feel one coming on. Hey, I do that! When I'm home and not lazy. And I seem to get more benefit from an ice-pack to my neck, but same idea. At work, I mostly just have a few cans of sparkling water that I won't drink (for fear of heartburn) that come out on a regular cooling rotation. 

And then there's my skin! Oh boy is there! The mild eczema is enjoying the raging hormonal shifts to go full throttle AGGGGGH on me recently. Apparently supposed to exercise restraint with steroid creams like cortisol (and it wasn't that great anyways), so I'm using some baby eczema cream with colloidal oatmeal. 

And then there's the general dryness. Oh, and I'm a mom-to-be, so the ongoing paranoia and panic. This week's theme: parabins and phtalates and plastic goblins, oh my. Had the misfortune of running across some recent study about how these cost the European health system Bajillizillions of dollars a year in horrible adverse developmental effects. Being contrary, I spent several hours researching the study to prove it wrong or clarify its limits. But I have to admit there's a decent amount of evidence out there to at least question whether it's such a great idea letting these particular chemicals absorb into your skin and bloodstream on a regular basis. And even the FDA acknowledges there's a heckuvalota exposure right now between food, cosmetics, consumer goods, toys, packaging, furniture, air, medical anything, and most personal care products. 

 So, sure, bajillions of babies are born every year from mothers who marinate in the stuff, heat their meals in plastic, sleep on fire retardants, and have vinyl everything. But you know... mommening and all... Why wouldn't I strive to make my life worse and more anxious now?

My skin is so dry I require a creaming at least twice a day. Probably more. I actually am sensitive enough to fragrance that I gravitate towards simpler creams anyways, but you know... I was between creams anyways and still trying to find my perfect cream, so I was relieved to find that the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Massage Cream that bestie-Molly bought me way back in December was parabin and phthalate-free. No doubt, it still contains a million carcinogens because what doesn't, but really there's a line. I'm placated for now... 

For a few more minutes. Before the next thing to panic over emerges. Because, as I've noted before, life will kill you. And living past the age of 35-40 is the primary cause of all major killers of our population. Food for thought there. That's why I wanted to have this baby before 35 and all, of course!

Anyways, last day of mom-bossless office existence. It's going to be nuts when she gets back. The week is stacked with work and personal appointments. But I'm glad to have her back even if she brings the chaos. 

Grand-Sock-Marshal And Return of the Mom-boss

For those of us on the Pacific side of the world, happy almost-St. Patrick's Day. We hereabouts are Euro-mutts by heritage for the most part. Aside from a strong Dutch contingent up in Lynden, I think most people can count several points of origin, and at least enough to feel properly Irish for the Irish-American holiday (long tradition going back to times when the Irish were the ethnicity du contempt) that we have made of St. Patrick's Day. Sure, it involves plenty of green beer and whiskey and a dollop of carousing, but of course it also involves green-everything else, parades and a little whimsy. 

And to the Atlantic folks, Happy Mother's Day! I do believe I'll celebrate a little myself. 

Mom-boss has returned! Or at least her vehicle, the mighty +Pamela Englett  appears to have survived toddler and turbulence to arrive on our coast sometime late last evening! Phew! Realty realigns... gradually. 

It's strange when a constant presence in your life vanishes.It's sometimes equally strange when they are merely pulled out of your familiar context but still semi-present.

I joke that Mom-boss has turned into Gramma Pam, but there's some verity to that. We change facets of our identity, focus, and personality in the face of context. Those around us define and reinforce our experience. In the absence of the mill of work and home routines - and in the middle of an entirely new but familiar set of routines and relationships - the confirmed experience shifts. 

Or something. I know I feel like I'm in "kid-world" when I'm visiting. It's harder for me to connect or feel connected to those outside of that bubble, even when it's a subtle "away for the day during a visit" experience. I can even tell that it's harder for me and Andrew to find our common argot at the end of the day when my context is different than our familiar rote of inside references and mutually built habits. We may not experience the same day (largely not), but I am so versed in his life and he (mostly) in mine that there's this common language and vicarious experience about both. That can falter a bit when context is wrenched and habits upended even somewhat. 

All this in turn makes my day to day life here quite peculiar. I'm used to a constant stream of confirmation of quotidian experience that has just been yanked. I hear a song on King FM that moves me, and I can almost guarantee that if I remark on it, mom-boss will respond accordingly (we listen to the same station all day). The ongoing quirks and personalities of our colleagues and clients spark a certain reaction in me, just as legal questions, interesting news, or my interactions with our mutual acquaintances... and I know there's a complementary reaction (not always the same, but part of my natural rhythm) to counterpoint it. 

I am interested in the day to day fracas of the Falconer household, but it hardly consumes me the way it would somebody in the middle (unless I'm there and then I am obsessed of course). And with the fickle memory of children, they barely recall I exist beyond a convenient name for make believe, so it's a fair trade that I lack the obsession and attention of one present.

 And there's just an inevitable dearth of familiar reinforcing ritual when you talk to somebody who usually does, but didn't experience the fugal patterns of the personalities at the Collaborative Law Board meeting. Who won't get all the in-jokes in the minutes or find them oh-so-painfully truly funny because of witnessing the same key moments presented in parody. 

Of course we build new contexts and patterns rapidly, but shorter trips happen before such things occur. And they make us rather nostalgic for the ones that have been suspended. 

So break out the parade, there will be some mental deprogramming (brain washing? Naw, just decompression and scouring of the "going potty" vocab for at least a few more months), but we'll get there in a way that bends to my selfish needs!

E Tu Monday? The (Ey)des of March have Winked and Twinkled at Me 
Ok, when did March march straight into "half over"? When did our prospective closing date tiptoe straight into less than a fortnight from now? Oh my lord, we have to move? Boxes, STAT!! Pitchforks! Shovels! Kindling for the bonfire! Not kindle, kindling!! Give me my book back!!

Ahem, ok, well, we survived Pi day and the Ides and Transcontinental Mother's Day ok. Let's keep on jigging to St. Patty's day and finally panic day/Passover/Easter/my-god-we'd-better-be-moved-somewhere-before-the-MIL-visits-or-we-might-be-joining-her-at-her-hotel Day 

I celebrated transcontinental mother's day by seeing my mother, so that worked quite nicely! I did not eat pie or Pi this weekend. Nor did I stab Caesar or his great ghost. Ah well - next year maybe. 

I'm oddly excited to be back in the office and ready for a real Monday. And nervous. My treadmill stopped moving last week. I thought it just needed a relube, but then it stopped again after that. It's currently moving, but it's only been 15 minutes and last time, it took 18 to stop. It feels a little lurchy, but that could be my oversensitivity now that I suspect something's awry.  If that doesn't work, I may have to take the week off work. I don't do stationery desk work well!

But whatever else, we've got mom-boss back! I should be panicked, because I've seen our schedule and know the mad dash coming up. But so far I'm just excited to get things addressed and handled! And to sink back into my office day routine. As well as I might with a potentially busted treadmill. But I'll make do. Somehow. Maybe. 

Yesterday was a lovely indoor day for me and a wretched mud-fest for the husband. Hey, he wanted to go out racing at a course he didn't particularly care for several hours away and he didn't care that it was typhooning outside! But I guess there are some things a man has just gotta do. I guess. I'm glad he came home in one slightly demotivated and surly piece, and that a ridiculously large slab of oven baked cheesy sausage ravioli seemed to lift his spirits right-high enough for a nice coma. 

And with a wee tarantella of further ado, I take a leap into our third week of March. Toes first to test the waters... 

The luck o' the Tuesday! This mad breakfast rush was brought to you by... some serpents, Irish Americans, and a very long pair of socks

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Naturally, I couldn't go straight green-green-green today. That would certain forsake my Irish Protestant heritage. Yes my mother would sometimes joke about wearing all orange for this particular holiday just in honor. But... well... I like green... so a lot of green. 

And I can't really manage to eek out a creative breakfast every morning, but sometimes a gal has too good of an excuse not to shake up the morning ritual with some flailing and experimentation and plenty of melted butter all over the stove (whoops, just meant to leave it atop the oven for a spell to soften it... more like liquidate apparently). 

Today's experiment was oven baked egg in avocado cups. Or some such title. Found the recipe off of a Wellness mama blog while searching some inspired terms like "egg Irish easy green." You never know what hits you're going to get. I will say that her recipe promising you can easily fold an egg into an avocado with just a little scooping first is fairly optimistic. Also her estimated bake time of "15-20 minutes at 350"... she must have a magic oven. I baked mine for 35 minutes before finishing it off in the microwave. But it did work! With those variations of "hastily mop the remaining egg overspill with a paper towel and let the rest just kind of bake into a nice white plastic layer on the baking pan" and "nuke it!!". It worked and was pretty tasty. 

Particularly with some cilantro pesto on top. Because I needed more green and I happen to have cilantro. And oh do I love cilantro pesto. Walnut oil, parmesan cheese, cilantro, lime (usually lemon, but in honor of green...), garlic and onion. Nummy. The rest of it made it to lunch of course. 

And yes, that's Irish soda bread. No, nothing green on it. I just didn't have time to make green butter. 

Dinner of course will also be green. Bamboo/jade rice - naturally infused with bamboo to have a naturally creepy green hue. Some cilantro, some mustard greens, and potatoes of course! Black eyed peas maybe don't really fit the theme, but they're tasty anyways. 

Needless to say the kitchen is a battered veridian miasma of various verdurous hues and smeared fixings. Needless to say, breakfast bell was more of a hastily shouted "breakfast is ready!" at several minutes past usual instead of the normal amble upstairs and grand proclamation to a half-dressed hubby. Needless to say, it was totally worth it. Because green food! And while I just cannot sustain the energy to be culinarily creative on a regular basis, I enjoy the occasionally sanctioned opportunity to channel my inner Manic Martha S. 

Today, my chore - aside from casting out snakes - is to survive a full workday without a functioning treadmill desk. I'm currently standing at it and pumping my legs in an alternating stairmaster sort of style. Keeps the blood from pooling with too much standing and we shan't even discuss what horrors of actually sitting this forstals. But it is now making the treadmill deck creak and cavil, so that might not be advised either. Oh how I hope we can find a magical voodoo doctor to help the poor misused thing! And sooner than later... this gal was not formed for sedentary anything. 

But with the luck o'green non-alcoholic gluten-free beer (Bellingham Irish!), peradventure the day shall surely turn super fantasticadaisical for me and all y'all out there in cyberworld.

The Tumid Turnip's Onioney Yogurt and the Odyssey of Gramma-Pam: Part One

Sweetest of Sixteen weeks waddled (no, not yet for real) through a vertigo of condo craziness. Our future condo-owning parental dazed DINKS mired their way through reams of recondite condo kabal, coming out the other side with a proto-loan and some signed contracts. Wee avocados aspired amniotic fluid while mommening maidens concocted appropriately themed meals in fits of prescience. While our hero hied to the mountains for a mud-bath of his own, the purging began at home for the Best of Goodwill. 

As the seventeenth week winds its way ambitiously towards the coveted fifth month of gestation, little turnips get porky and start their circus careers. Paperwork cascades from the heavens in head-aching horrors of tumescence! As a quiet moment alights upon our weary wonders, the loss of a mom-boss to the other child blights the calm. And lolligaging with loans Excels to economic ecstasy (and or pregnant lady hormonal panic) cured only by a perambulation about Padden. 

Over the Hump Day

We're sojourning at another brief interlude from our home buying fandango. My mad rushing is through (for now), and it's time for the bank and realtors to pick up the slack.

Loan papers have been signed and stamped. Our rates were locked in last Wednesday. This actually created some confusion, because the antediluvian machines don't handle minor tweaks particularly well, and we'd actually wanted to borrow a different amount at a different rate than the lock we'd received. No problem really, except it added an additional 45 minutes of shenanigans and skoperloit trying to get the various machines and programs to update and unlock in order to relock etc. etc. We actually didn't walk out of there with fully revised papers. But we signed a small mountain. And we think we know what we're getting into. As much as anyone can. Which isn't much. 

The big inspection has been done,  and it did not yield any gorgons in the basement or nuclear reactors in the garbage disposal. I love the guy that our realtor referred me to. He looks to be in his sixties. Kind of a guy I'd immediately think "neighbor!" about without knowing why. He was prompt in response. He was cheaper than all the managed inspection companies. He was chipper. He was focused. And oh my oh my was he ever in-depth! This is a condo, so he couldn't didn't look at several things typical to a home inspection. No crawl spaces, no electrical wiring shenanigans. Despite this, he was at the home from 1:30 -4:50 p.m. running every machine, crawling on every rooftop and taking photos of photos of photos. And his report followed roughly two hours after completion. He got everything imaginable and then some, while still presenting a balanced report that reminded us that no condo or home is in perfect condition, and all in all things looked good, but attached was a yearly maintenance schedule to keep our home from crumbling with age. 

Finally, much hair-pulling analysis has been done of inscrutable budget ledger sheets and bloviating bylaws. Things seemed good, but there's just so many "what if we miss something" curiosities when you start mucking in the endless moors of periphrases and babelism. And Andrew has a methodical way of reviewing things that had not yet gotten a chance to shine until Monday evening, during which time I completed several crosswords and called it good. 

All looks acceptable. The little dings in inspection seemed like they could be offset by the sellers leaving some of the personal property (shelves, tool storage etc) for us. And as our deadline for the inspection contingency drew nigh, we finally settled on "ok, this will work." 

It's past now. The loan process has begun. We now get to kick back, watch anxiously for our respective down payment checks to come out of various brokerage accounts, and keep our fingers crossed for a clean assessment and smooth process. Back to obsessing over work and my increasingly titanic but taut belly bulge. And maybe all that packing rot that looms ever nearer. And probably something to do with several bikes and a mad training schedule, but I'll leave that to the huba-hubby. 

Phew, good to kick back, as well as I can in my current condition (not the baby, just my general insanity)!

Return of the ThursdaWedsdaFriday and Mom-Boss' Last Stand Gramma Pam Strikes Back

I keep telling Gramma Pam this, but she doesn't seem to hear: now that I've got the ultimate grandkid (literally ultimate, since I don't see either of us Thompson gals reproducing after this last Fonzarelli), she no longer needs to dally with all those trainer-grandkids the other daughter. I mean, ours is obviously the singularly superior grandkid.

For one, proximity! I mean the darned thing will be two offices down for roughly the first year of its life. And once we're all moved into our new condo, the wee one will be a ten minute drive (conservatively) away. Talk about convenience!

For another, concentrated grandkid. What with there being three of the others, obviously her grandchildness-experience has a requisite scattering. Not to mention that the difficulty of handling any child exponentially increases with the quantity of them.

So, ultimate grandkid will be closer, easier... and well, I mean this is my child so obviously it will just be breathtakingly amazing. Actually Andrew and I have laid odds that - given our respective -er - complementarities of talent and intellect - our child will either be a scintillating polymath or a looby dimwit. But either way, that will be endearing, I'm sure. 

Nonetheless, Ms. Englett continues to insist on spreading the grandmotherly wealth. Maybe even seeing her other daughter, which I've frequently pointed out is quite anserine, seeing as said daughter willingly moved very far away and therefore has ceded all rights to maternal succour. 

As such, tomorrow shall commence her annual New Jersey Pilgrimage. Me jealous? Just because I can't really travel in a car for more than an hour without getting sick and sure as heck won't be on a plane to Jersey anytime this year? Naw. I just think her choice is irrational given the explanations above. I'm pretty sure visiting all three of my nephews and their overscheduled-overachiever parents in my delicate condition would kill me, but I still will miss the chance to visit this year. And may feel a whole lot of missing out on all the craziness mom-boss is about to experience with the rest of the family. 

In order to abandon her darling daughter and associate attorney, she will be leaving at tomorrow morning's witching hour. Effectively, this is her Friday. Except our usual Wednesday errands were postponed until today as well, because of a tighter schedule yesterday. So it is both Friday and Wednesday. And neither. Quantum workweek!!! AAAAGH!!

Last year I took advantage of mom-boss' absence to become so embroiled in Infinite Jest, that I stopped speaking to anyone for a couple of weeks. I think this year, I might have a bit more of a tether line to reality nagging at me. What with the packing and moving and gestating and whatnot. But it is tempting to slip into oblivion again. 

Until then, the inevitable mad dash of catch-up before the big-Attorney goes off the playground for a while. Followed by the eerie quiet of her absence, as we wait for various emergencies and plunk through our little projects. 

As the Turnip Turns Fat and Sweaty (and a slight shade of seasonal green) 
As mom-boss dissolves into the magnificent Gramma Pam en route to clean and coddle and love the heck out of the other daughter and grandkids, I have decided to proceed with my ascension into week 17 of this pregnancy imbroglio! I had considered suspending it on her behalf, but then again she's leaving us, right? Wright?? 

So this week, I've got options again on envisioning my little wriggling Fonzarelli (whom I may or may not have felt fluttering about in my belly, but with all the other cavils of midsection being stretched and coerced and crowded in all directions in the middle of perpetual indigestion, I couldn't say that for certain). Drum roll please... 

Our little monster is now a turnipa pear (again?); an oniona large orange; or a kid-size single serving yogurt (hopefully not onion flavored). This is all code for being roughly 6 inches long and about 5 ounces. 

I'd say we're on our way to an exceptionally tasty salad if we bring back the avocado from last week!

And oh oh oh, the little onion is getting porky! Or at least finally developing some nice brown fat along with sweat glands. Apparently once the darned creature springs from my loins, it'll be about 2/3 body fat. Little porcine pear! 

Fonzie's head is proportional and whirring about with synapses, creating all the connections necessary to process senses and get startled at sharp noises like dogs, doorbells, and telephones (see, that's why I always have my phone on silent! Me and the kiddo have so much in common!) And definitely going for Rockettes with (now) disproportionately loooooong legs and a rubbery skeleton! My little Cirque du Fonzeil!

As for me, it's a laundry list (does anyone actually write laundry lists at this point? I mostly just dump and dial on the quick wash) of familiar symptoms. I feel so justified. I've got dry eyes! Perpetual congestion! Higher sensitivity to allergens (perfectly timed for our unseasonably esteval winter's end) and might even start getting rashes and reactions I've never had before! Heart burn! A perpetual heat wave in my body leading me to feel aflame once the icicles start to drip. Brittle nails (newer one). 

And I'm promised I'll soon be accosted by rabid belly-touchers. So far, just my husband and he's not reaching for my belly exactly... 

Then there's the onset of even itchier and drier skin, as everything gets stretched out. I already have stretch marks from my youth as a zaftig mama (I was about fifty pounds heavier in my late teens, which melted off pretty successively throughout my twenties down to ten pounds lighter than I am now - so, more than my anticipated weight fluctuations during the pregnancy, although a lot more evenly distributed I'd warrant), but I'm promised more. I am, of course experimenting with cocoa butter. I feel like some creams just make everything worse. The cocoa butter is fairly pure, so I'm hoping my skin will react a little less obstreperously to it, but it's also pretty thick and greasy. And my skin feels kind of weird afterwards. I've been combining it with a light Vaseline brand cream to see if I can get a bit away from sand-paper. 

In sexier news, the bedroom... oh la la. I'm supposed to sleep on my left side from here out. Sadly I can't do it. My arm falls asleep after a half hour. My hips get sore. I don't care how many pillows I use, this is pretty consistent. I just feel better sleeping when I'm propped up by three pillows under my back and another under my legs. Minimizes the heartburn and keeps the circulation moving. Besides, I'm told I should be developing a sexy hippo snore around now, and sleeping propped up is supposed to help with that. 

But the energy and appetite are doing pretty well. I still prefer a nap and have middling brain processing compared to my usual acuity. And the clumsiness deepens in hue and hone. But it being all relative, I am having to hold myself back from doing anything too strenuous as I mostly feel "awesome compared to first trimester." My little ab muscles are starting to feel the stretch and twinges; at times it feels like they might just snap. A good sign that I should lay off trying to move lots of heavy things at once, or twist around while holding things etc. etc. Clearly I need myself a cabana boy to help me with the household chores. 

So phew, all in all, not a bad week to be reaching. And one with a lovely little rest in store (rat-tat-tat on that wood). The condo sale is moving along of its own momentum for a while. The office may either become quite still or totally mad with the absence of mom-boss. And I'm back on the phone listening to the eternal IRB meeting.

Naturally, it's party time at Englettlaw. WHOOOOOO! By which I mean "time to lock the doors and take long naps between watching online episodes of the Daily Show or whatever else netflix will play for me." And cheers, that's not green beer on my socks (tsk tsk, in my condition) but shamrock shakes, of course! In a beer stein because why not?? 

In Honor of Mombossa Gramma Pamalammadingong Off season sportingly, but quite the seasonal color

Phew, Gramma Pam made it to the East Coast. I shouldn't say things like "phew." I would have just as soon selfishly kept her here. Or at the Seattle Sheraton, as I so helpfully suggested once she missed her connection at Seatac and was considering her options. Certainly other daughter could have flown out! I do like other daughter (a/k/a "Rachel" a/k/a "Tormentor of my childhood who finally showed mercy, let me live and turned into a likable and fun person in her own right"). We could have had a girls' weekend! Where it's warm and sunny and beautiful out. Daddy Ryan could have watched the boys for a while. 

Ah well. Second best scenario was that the flight fandango worked out without too much fuss or bother. And well, both my parents did end up in California this weekend after all (my dad is visiting the uber Aunties down there). Though only briefly. For a short connection. But not so short that it was missed. Gramma Pam left Bellingham at 6 a.m. and reached Newark at 9:45 p.m. (so just over twelve hours of airports). I then witnessed an unfolding stichomythia of texts between other daughter and Gramma Pam as they desperately attempted to be at the same pick up spot at the same time. I am envisioning a very Escheresque Moebius strip of an arrival area. But somewhere along the way, they met up, cars were loaded and she got to the Falconer home. 

I spent my moorless boss-free day on fairly good behavior. I even worked. Leslie even worked. I got to sign "on behalf of" mom-boss on several legal filings. Talk about feeling important. And I had a brief interlude of lunch with Azita. Inertia is strong with friend-meet-ups. Glad we broke the stasis this time out. 

And now for a momless weekend. Waaaaa waaaaa. I'll somehow survive. Andrew will probably do several horrible things with his bikes. He's now also going to rerun some overly complicated excel program to decide whether - now that he has his inheritance money - he actually wants to pay off his student loans after all (cue debt phobic, change-averse Adella panic). I guess the interest rates are fairly low and now that he's got big bucks, he's thinking about a BIG TRIP TO VEGAS!!! 

No, actually he thinks he could increase his net wealth by investing. Which is a lovely idea so long as the doomsday scenarios of complete market meltdown various economists keep touting don't pan out. I'm hoping they don't, really, but try not to bet on it too strongly.

 It's a little disorienting to hear his new curiosity as I thought we were much more on the same page about our financial goals. And I think we were before the money changed them. I'd just gotten it fixed in my head that paying off debt was his first priority, so I was a little flummoxed when he implied that not only was he happy to take on the mortgage debt, but also to keep up his student debt.

Again, it all makes sense from a net wealth statistical comparison of risks and returns perspective yadda yadda yadda (except for that unless you have way more money it doesn't really make a difference all that much and that pesky risk nonsense), but it took me back a bit to realize maybe we have lapses in communication on finances that leave us not always on the same page. Gasp!

 And he's been thinking about this for a little while, so it also took me back that I hadn't heard these thoughts developing until last night. Of course I'm a wet blanket and want to concoct some sense of what happens with a baby present (rising monthly expenses and decreasing income), when I work/make less, etc. etc. But I'll adjust. I usually do. Surprises just ... surprise me. But they're his debts and his money (legally as well as objectively). So his call. But running his little spreadsheets will take a good bulk of the day. 

If I'm clever, I will continue my packing trajectory buy buying a few more storage containers and packing up a few more "things I won't need for a while." We'll see if I'm clever or otherwise distracted with the whimsical adventures of life. Maybe I need some spreadsheets of my own!

Springtime for Bonzo and the Mighty Tome of Time Vortexts

I don't care what that pesky little groundhog may have seen or unseen or never seen or thought-he-seen, shadow-wise. Nor do I care if he attacked the mayor, his shadow or all of Detroit while doing it. It may be winter elsewhere in the US of A, but it is comfortable spring here. Has been since February, so who knows if we just misfiled spring and winter (maybe April will be fall again?), but I'm willing to accept this is no longer in the "unseasonably warm" category. 'Tis the vernal season, tra la la la la, baby!

As is my wont on these weekend, I took a minor trek around the neighboring Lake Padden. Which won't be so neighboring in just a few weeks (yikes! 3 weeks 'til closing!!!). A whole new set of bauers and verdance and endless arteries of trails into the unknown middle earth will replace it! But a few more weeks around the Ol' Lake...

... After shopping... and purchasing all of my groceries with change found around the house while cleaning and packing. That's right, I spent $35 in change at the self-checkout aisle. I'm that crazy old cat-women but recast in the modern age. More fun than slot machines, and a much higher rate of return! 

... aaaand after making yogurt, hardboiling eggs, preparing dinner fixings, and picking Andrew up at the car infirmary (squealing again, needing new brakes and lacking a headlamp - the car, not him). 

But I made it on that walk by golly. Both days, actually. 

The rest of the weekend was a pleasant balance of productive and placid. Andrew drove his hoards of numbers into the Excel corral and sorted out several complex scenarios based on a number of theoretical assumptions (market rate of return will be 10%, he will have x amount of money to invest or pay off loans each month, the Mad Max apocalypse will come ten years from now, neither one of us will discover ourselves to be the adopted long-lost monarch of a small nation island and/or he neglects to invent that Hammacher Schlemmer item that will resign us both to a life of lucrative leisure...). His aim was to compare what happens if he (1) uses the remainder of his inheritance to pay off all of his student loans, (2) reduces his monthly payment to the minimum, invests the money in index funds and puts any excess after the minimum payment into the market, or (3) puts the money into the market, but makes the maximum student loan payment. 

Drum roll, please...

Turns out with all those assumptions being equal (and they won't be, of course), he could improve his net worth by a whopping $6,000 over 5 years to ladle his cash into the market and make minimum payments)Ok, so $6k in a day sounds impressive. Even a week or a month. Once you string it out over that time period, though, we're talking the difference between buying cheap eggs and cruelty free eggs at the supermarket every week. A little over $2 a week. Which is kind of like all those dumb "give up your morning latte and save $(billions) over the course of a (longish time period)" kind of things that do make some sense until you decide you actually think your morning latte is worth that much and it's only $2 (ok, this is a latte, so um $4). Really, we should make an extra scenario in which we just skip our weekly date night and invest the $20-$30 we spend on that into index funds every week...

So, yeah, kind of a wash. Worth it to me to purchase the certainty of a loanless existence against the uncertainty of the market. I'm not sure Andrew felt strongly any way, but last I heard, he thinks he'll just pay the loans and save himself the hassle of handling those payments (now to two separate entities) every month. 

Phew, all those charts and things made my head spin. I'll have to figure out what to do with the rest of my monies after we finalize the house deal. Having a kiddo changes things a decent amount. It's always been the "unless we have kids and then everything blows up" contingency on all of our plans. We're sorting things out slowly but since "kids" are utterly unpredictable typhoons, well... it may be a while. Like until Fonzie is about fifty and figuring out which home to place us in... 

My continuing mantra whenever Andrew starts musing about financial stuff is "I'm going to be working less, and after my mom retires our joint income is nosediving, and our expenses will be more." I'm helpful like that, but it's true. Just like that out there as a pre-established assumption before we go much further. Pollyanna is my middle name! My second mantra is "but remember I'm a lawyer who's trained to approach every new idea with the assumption it is wrong and I will find the wrongness or wander into agreeing after a thorough search, so give me time with it." 

In the meantime, I'll keep earning that money nonsense. Mom-boss is gone for an entire work-week. Let the havoc begin!