As WEEK ELEVEN casts its rosy fingers cross the horizon, little Fonzarelli evolves with a Brussels badabing and a beetroot brio. Tuna nigiri gives a fig and somersaults through the many moods of maternity, while the mommening strikes hard and fast with a terrifying revelation: Fonzie fig feels Adella's moods and can react to them. Oh holy shhhhhhh -er - moley! Things are gonna get interesting!
Date Night Regained And Other Triumphs of a Slightly Less Insane Amount of Evening Sickness
I won't say that I slap-dashed straight into Week Ten, and magically my nasty progesterone-related glowingly preggers symptoms went kapoof! Oh no, not quite. Several of the undesirables are still loitering about my internal alleys, smoking cloves and glaring for sure. But, I am starting to rally (rah rah).
It's all relative. I may still take a nap during the day, but not usually two naps necessarily. I may still feel dizzy after walking at my treadmill desk, but now I have to walk for two and a half hours instead of just the half hour. I may still suddenly grow queasy or backed up or nauseous in inverse proportion to the hour of the day, but I'm getting a little more leeway on how crippling that is. I can kind of "fake it" in the "feeling ok" department now, which is a huge boon to my relationships across the board. I may occasionally snap or lash out, but ok HA when did I not "occasionally" do these things.
And maybe sometimes the idea of being touched sends shivers o'er my epidermis, but general propinquity and affection mostly ranges from tolerable to pleasant to (get this) actively sought out!
Needless to say, this is a delightful development. And I'm glad I have alerted the husband to this information. Not to say he was completely unaware of my tendency this last week to have energy when he arrived, be more talkative, perhaps actively kiss or hug him, and/or not begin hissing and growling at any attempted approach... but he's not exactly a big guy with patterns when humans are involved.
Machines, thermodynamic trends, bike parts. Sure. Humans, though. I believe they are more random and unpredictable chaos beasts in his world. I think he had it set in his head that "pregnant wife = do not touch on pain of death or bile or both" and any exceptions to that were random occurrences with no particular trajectory or promise of repeat.
Thus, yesterday morning, I thought it fit to provide the internuncial alert that I had been feeling better in kind of a recognizable pattern of "better all this week after having gotten progressively worse two weeks ago and then starting to get less worse."
Of course, having informed him of such I was relatively stuck putting my attitude where my mouth had boldly gone before. No way I was suddenly having an evening of relapse. Because wouldn't that just be the way? Here I convince him that everything is getting better and then suddenly he comes home to a cavilling bog-beast spewing bile and hissing!
I'd warrant the combination of his possibly tentative optimism (I'm not sure he believes me when I inform him of these easily identifiable patterns, as much as thinks it's a devious trick of some macabre sort) and my dogged determination to prove myself right made for a fantastic date night. We went out. We ate Mexican. We waited a long time in a cubicle of a booth. The food was good when it finally came, and we had each culled enough random data to sustain a conversation for nearly the entirety of the evening.
There was an unwelcome interruption from his work, and perhaps in other moods I'd have sulked longer that cell phones (strictly forbidden on date night) had broken the seal. But it passed. I avoided my own cellular temptations, and the evening settled splendidly into an affectionate and much needed affair.
I'll not say that there were zero moments in which I suddenly wanted to pass out in my black bean tostada. Nor shall I asseverate such falsities as a dearth of nausea upon finishing, or even the occasional whirlwind of "listeningish" when the training regimes started getting a little complicated for my brain. But the chagrins did not dominate the evening. This is progress. Major progress.
And did I ever earn that early bedtime last night! Relaxed and drowsy and so ready to transfer my nuzzling from hubby-neck to pillow fortress.
All this makes me hopeful. I think things are looking up. My belly isn't bumped out yet, but it's quite full. I guess I've more reached the point where I can no longer pull it in. I enjoy this and will particularly enjoy the next month and change in which random people will have to speculate on whether I am getting fat or just knocked up. I've suggested to others that they get one of those "Baby on Board" placards and wear it around their necks to alleviate the confusion. But I don't know. I kind of want people not to be certain.
Bouncy and belly-ey. I'm hoping that will be me in a few weeks. In the meantime, I'm manifesting my novel semi-alertness to do work. That's right. Work has returned. It took a slow start at the beginning of 2015, as it always does, but things are revving up again. Just in time for Valentine's Day!
I Rather Do Give a Fig This Friday Or is it a tuna nigiri
Hello Week Eleven. And here we reach a milestone: none of the pregnancy guide websites can agree on a sufficient food comparison for the calvous marmoset holding court over my belly.
Our little Fonzarelli has graduated from flailing kumquat to ... drumroll please... a translucent hiccuping fig and/or lime and/or Brussels sprout and/or beetroot and/or a walnut and/or bit of sushi! I think I prefer the fruit options. Sushi is cold and often masted down to rice and seaweed. Figs just sound more fruitful and fertile. Limes more frisky and fun. I guess, Brussels sprouts evoke a somewhat nostalgic throwback to Cabbage Patch children (those poor abandoned farm kiddos). And I do like Brussels sprouts. They are multilayered - id est heavily nuanced - just like any child of mine, no doubt. Still, I prefer fruit. I guess beets are a fruit. A nice juicy rich and recrudescent little pickle. I could have a beetroot baby. And a walnut... well it's a very dignified and British sort of nut to me, but it is nutty, so that about fits!
So far in produce metaphors, I see a few trends developing. Prune to fig makes sense. They are dark, fiber-rich fruits that are often dried and served on slightly fancier hor d'oeuvres menus (if only our Fonzie was a date previously... but that's a wee bit tall and thin for our alien-headed incunabula). Kumquat to lime also makes sense, as does small lime to bigger lime, I guess (though fairly uninspired, it does highlight that the difficulty in all these metaphors is that produce runs a pretty wide range of sizes typically) They're all citrusy fruits that make for deeeelicious pies and desserts. I have to admit I'm a little lost on how a lime/prune/kumquat would crossover into beets and Brussels land. But ah well. Some pregnancy website writers just have a more serialized bent with little regard for the overarching story arc.
In other news, whatever piece of small roundish produce our wee one might be, it is now on the verge of a major growth spurt. I look forward to a whole new range of GMO monster fruits, veggies, and appetizers. Also, it's probably for the best that our Fonzie's head will not much longer consist of the majority of its physical size. That could put a lot of strain on a kid's neck once it got out of mommy's internal swimming pool!
And Fonzie is ambulatory! Those big thumbs-up can go straight into a mouth full of forming teeth. The kicking is Rockettes' quality, though as yet unfelt in the echo chamber of my roiling gut. And the mini-yogi can somersault, apparently. Spry little bugger!
As for me, well, I fit the typical profile. I'm starting to feel gradually better on the nausea and exhaustion levels, but my brain is increasingly mush. Pregnancy brain may or may not be a thing, but I'm saying it is a thing, because it sounds better than "my brain is done processing for the day, let me hover over that awkward pause like Wiley Coyote over a canyon while I hope your brain can fill in the blank because I'm thinking about butterscotch milkshakes drizzled in nutella and cheese fries now and have no recollection of what I was saying before that image came along."
And for the love of wheat bran and colace, I'm getting through the day in other arenas as well.This is all very good practice for being elderly. Decreased energy and mobility. Random aches and pains, a suddenly dependency on prunes and a fascination with the physical processes they stimulate.
Next week is my nearly-12-week big screening test and ultrasound. An NT (measuring fluid behind the baby's neck to assess risk of abnormalities) and a bunch of blood tests. It's been such a nice run of not-being-sucked-dry. But it's been a while. I am probably somewhat recovered from the blight of angry veins that November's shenanigans brought on. Knock on wood!
Andrew? He's tired. Because of work, though. I think he's still trying to figure out how we can send a little baby sized bicycle into my uterus. For early training. I've made him promise to research appropriate ages for strapping babies onto the back of bikes, possible not absconding with a newborn infant on a three hour death ride through Galbraith. Possibly... I imagine he's tentatively relieved that I'm no longer either asleep or annoyed when he's home. I imagine. Although, that probably was good practice for the first few weeks of parenting... Bridge to be crossed when we get there!
Work? Oh yeah, I'm there. I have some of that. But sparing-little, it being Friday. Oh the joy and excitement!!
Trainer Strikes Back at the Base of the 2015 Skull Persnickety Feline Mode Engaged
It was a lovely respite of longer light and less intensive training, but Base 2015 is back with a (rumbling, Harley-quality) vengeance! And that means indoor training sessions. And that means adios living room. Well, there will be a lot of living going on in the living room, but not quite the "easy living" I envision when I contemplate the eidos of such a room.
If some men's homes are their castles, our home is Andrew's gym. Mine too, admittedly, but my gym pieces consist of a bouncy ball, small hand weights and a lot of ingenuity. His requires a touch more hardware.
I had been forewarned, but it was still quite the sight to return from my massage yesterday. Upon arrival I encountered a mad hubba-hubba husband atop gigantic bicycle rumbling at full tilt in front of a blazing fan by laptop teetering on the dining table. Endearing, perhaps, to see the rider of this bicycle in Captain America-style bib-shorts and frisky top-knot half-ponytail (like OMG!) providing atonally unharmonic and syncopated accompaniment to SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! (and it was definitely too late). I did not stay to admire for too long, as I had other commitments (like not being next to the loud rumbling humid gym arena). Most of the sprawling damage has been contained, but we'll have the bike back in the living room until at least May. It's a wee bit classier this year, at least. Andrew received an actual exercise mat instead of the cardboard he'd been using previously. We're moving up in the world here!
Before his exciting trainer foray, "we" did our taxes. I'd say that "Andrew" did our taxes, except he managed to include me in all the best and most fun ways. Like when he woke me up from a nap, asking me what kind of IRA or retirement account I had. Actually, it went like this:
Me: Grooockerwhat. Hi?
Andrew: Do you have a traditional IRA?
Me: Um... (stumbling off the couch). Uh, I dunno. I can look it up. But my Morgan Stanley forms aren't back yet so we can't finish today. You need this now?
Andrew: well ... yeah!
Me: (futzing with the website for roughly fifteen minutes because I'm still totally groggy, can't remember my password, can't navigate, can't barely remember my name)... (eventually)... Simple IRA. But we don't have the interest form on my other account.
Andrew: What other account?
Me: You know the one with the separate funds.... the mutual funds... remember when I set up with Lorie at Morgan Stanley.
Andrew: Is it retirement.
Me: No, it's a mutual fund or something. I don't know.
Andrew: Is it pre-tax.
Me: No. It's a mutual fund or money account or something.
Andrew: Then it doesn't matter. (Leaves back to the computer den)
Me: (throws a pencil at the wall for reasons unknown and attempts fruitlessly to return to a nap)
Me: (coming upstairs with lunch for both of us and skulking on the sofa)
Andrew: Well, depending on what kind of IRA you have, our AGI is either (some numbers I didn't hear) or (some number I didn't hear).
Me: It's a simple IRA. Money going in there is pretax.
Andrew: So you have a 401K.
Me: No, I have an IRA.
Andrew: An IRA is a kind of 401K
Me: Sure whatever. It's a simple IRA. My total taxable income is listed on the W-2.
Andrew: I see that. But the way it's phrased is weird. On line (whatever) it looks like you could deduct money you put in there twice.
Me: Um... no. It's pre-tax. It's already out of my income.
Andrew: Here, we can deduct contributions to a "traditional IRA."
Me: Right. But ... I have a simple IRA and it only came out of my paycheck.
Andrew: So you have a 401k?
Me: No! I don't know. It's a simple IRA! I think what that's saying is... you know how you can take taxed money and put it into an IRA? I think that's what you can deduct.
Andrew: (pause) So... you did that?
Me: NO! All the money in my IRA is pre-tax
Andrew: So, you have a 401K.
Me: I have a Simple IRA.
Andrew: Wait, who's 401k is on first??
Me: Who's 401k is on third, what's IRA is on first!
He still believes that he needs more information about my Simple IRA to know our AGI. I still believe that he actually needs my information for monies made in my mutual fund account.
I also still believe that whatever else, that hurdle has been mostly careened over and we can happily move on with our lives. Did I mention I hate taxes? They are... taxing to my soul and spirit.
Not to linger only on the oddities of my day yesterday, which was overall quite spectacular. Pleasant, quiet (mostly), and with a lovely lick of serendipity at the massage place. The girl I'd scheduled with couldn't do it, so they reassigned me to somebody else... who couldn't do it because she can't do prenatal. So in an act of desperation the manager herself came in and did my massage. And she is magic! Best massage I've had in decades. Clouds 9 through 1,000,009 full reached, imbibed and feted.
Compared to that, death, bikes and taxes (the inevitabilities of life) didn't really stand a chance to harsh my buzz. Which is good, because apparently little Fonzie can now "sense [my] moods and react to them." Oh shit! (er Shoot!) I mean it's not like anyone in society lives fully for herself, but we're definitely getting a lot closer to living for something/somebody else here! Andrew has commanded me to stay healthy and happy to preserve our baby. I believe this is his version of my advice to make sure to make me happy for the next 9 months.
But I suppose I ought to obey. Let's start with chocolate!
Mussy Monkey Monday Madness Office Cleaner Strikes Back in a Land of Highly Aspirational Screentime Limitations
Well it must be that joyful jolly alternating Monday. That Christmas Morning of Mondays in which we get to wake up and discover a whole new office with special "treats" left by our mysterious visitor: Nancy the cleaner. This time around, I had hidden things sufficiently enough that her damage was limited. That said, she once more shut the office window and offlined all of our many fans. Given that it's going to be 60 degrees out today, I call foul on that one. Needless to say, the windows are open and the fans are back to their easy, breezy beautiful burbling.
It was a restorative weekend, so I can handle these little twists and turns of a mad woman with her chemical trove and duster of doom.
But a weekend full of portent: As the nausea and exhaustion subside, The Mommening has begun.
DUN DUN DUNNNN....
The Mommening - code for changes that occurs in a pregnant woman's outlook as she begins tograsp the horrifying and awe inspiring truth that her life is truly not her own anymore. And/or that she doesn't want it to be.
Symptoms include: the overwhelming sense (short lived) of containing a universe inside of her and a minor god-complex. Unlimited love for an internal parasite whom she has never personally observed without the aid of several phantasmagorical imaging devices, and with whom she cannot consciously interact despite an ongoing subconscious ballet of bodies intermingling and co-sustaining. Further symptoms include the benighted resolve and determination to become a better person. To drop vices, foster compassion and goodness, and otherwise begin to imagine being the kind of person that can teach her virtues and morals to another living creature in a manner that does not reek of base hypocrisy.
I'm not foolish enough to imagine all this determination will stand up to the stress of having an actual baby in my life (let alone those special hours egesting the creature from my beaten body), but this interstitial pre-parturition period is at least a time to reflect. Who am I? What about myself would I want to pass along. More importantly, what about myself would I like to keep contained in my own personal chamber of vices and shortcomings?
My current cause du trimester is limiting screen time. This is something I briefly flirted with over last year's Lent (my lindt ball challenge). I found it an incredible experiment, that lent to clarity and reawakened my pleasure for boredom and daydreaming. It's slipped. As these things do. If I'm really supposed to limit screen time for a small child, I've got a lot of personal "growth" to be doing, and not just in the belly region.
The lack of attention to our own child aside (those buggers are attention hogs), children focus on what their parents focus on. And we really are at the beck and call of the cloud above. The hubby may claim in random moments that "if left to my own devices I'd probably read my kindle," but we both are compulsively attached to our various devices, and thoroughly tangled in the world wide web. In fact, despite that claim coming early this weekend (in response to my suggestions about various alternatives to "screen time" we could indulge in together), he then spent the majority of time attached to some computer device or other, free only when he was doing the following: (1) going on a bike or run, (2) changing for a bike or run, (3) doing something to his bike, (4) sleeping, (5) actively forbidden from touching devices by me during our weekend mornings (although a device free zone), (6) giving an impassioned lecture to dinner companions about engineering or bike stuff.
I'm typically no better. I have my phone on me at all times and an ultrabook up and awaiting chats or updates. I reload my google and facebook compulsively and look up random things all day long.
Except this weekend, because in my mad mommening, I decided it would be good to wean "us" off of these habits. I really rather like the idea of limiting my screen time to select chunks of time in which I am using the internet deliberately. Until recently I actually didn't have internet at home, and so would save up all my internet related tasks for a visit to the computer lab. I think that's a healthier dynamic for me. So this weekend I started experimenting. I do leave live-streaming radio up, but otherwise, I only used "THE INTERNET" at designated periods. On Saturday that was once in the morning, once around lunch time and once in the late afternoon. On Sunday, just twice. For about a half hour each. Adding in the 45 minutes of "one Buffy or Angel a night" I'm at least pretty close to the limit of 2 hours a day.
Of course, that doesn't count the phone. I have been pretty good about not compulsively checking my phone, but text and chat are generally how people contact me. And their availability is fairly limited. If I catch somebody available to chat, that may be my only chance to do so for weeks. So I haven't quite been able to ignore that one entirely. But I am leaving the phone away from tables and places in which I'm interacting with others. Sure, that means I furtively check my phone as soon as I have a minute alone in the bathroom, but that's better than putting off the present for the virtual I guess.
The other mommening goal has to do with that 'Oh lord!' promise that my little Fonzarelli can now sense my moods and react to them. I've been trying to just stay aware of that and monitor the inflammations of impatience and annoyance that pop up for me. That will take a lot of mindfulness, but I'm practicing all that breathing nonsense. Don't get me started on becoming aware of my tendency for blaspheming.
At any rate, back at the office, with a trial even scheduled for this summer. So I should have plenty of practice! on that one.
Wish me luck. And yeah, I know it all won't stick, but I figure starting off at a good point might be at least a better setup for the chaos that's to come in August!
Or the chaos to be coming in April, as we were just informed our lease will not be renewed. This is good news, meaning our landlady's family is moving to town and can finally use the home for its intended purpose. And also, Andrew and I did want to move eventually. But April is kind of soon! So... let the FUTURE begin! And the future breathing. Not only must I imagine what kind of mom/person I want to be, but what home we want to be in!
And of course... wait what... um... butterscotch milkshake with mac and cheese and ketchup fries. Pregnant lady removes herself into the comforting fog about her. And the world hums merrily on!