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 had 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 amazon.com'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!