The Rompin' Rootabaga's Sweet New Ride: A Bloody Tale of Tears and Triumph (and tissues)

Week 24 brought Viafonzababy one step closer towards screaming lung-pumping potential-premie, as new prenatal paranoias supplanted old. A wardrobe crashed down upon the home yielding sororal sundries and marvelous chic. Daunting discovery shook the office, and dairy bubbled over in a froth of fermented frenzy! Hot times in the city of condo flared and faces flushed, but all was well in the final thrashing corny tally. 

Week 25 heralds new arrivals! Toils untold and trials beyond imagining faced to finalize the mommening of Adella's transportation. De-juked but heavily _noted_ survival is only ensured with both pluck-a-pluckers plucking it up together on a loooong weekend haggle. Cantaloops canter through tiny in utero rituals, while bellies bulge and ripple. And it all inevitably ends in bloodshed... 

Slow Loris Types Sloooooow 

It's an appreciably gray morning. One fully complementary to my currently befogged brain (if such a glitchy organ can claim title to the illustrious "brain"). Hormones be ragin'. Husbands be missed a little bit - some long secret journeys having something to do with something have more or less turned him a wee bit absentee, with him either focusing on those something-journeys or on making up his missed cycling time. Pregnancy be pregging along. That second-trimester blast of energy be dwindling as I get back into the swing of viabilibabyying. 

Plus, you know, coming home from work and collapsing on the couch all evening is exhausting work in its own right! Somebody has to do it, and I'm a brave soul like that. Hey, my nesting instinct has interpreted itself as roosting so there's that. 

That sleeping bag by my desk is looking awfully tempting about now, but I have plenty of work to do today. And I'm really enjoying it. With Boson Leslie gone, I'm doing my usual work, but also setting up clients, maintaining the conference room, revamping the intake process and forms, and keeping the (new google!!) calendar & (new google!) status sheet maintained.

And on my break time I'm flirting with the vilest of tarries: buying a new vehicle. Yuck. I hate bargaining. I hate being ripped off. I don't necessarily like driving or cars that much. But with my current state I see the advantages of swapping in the kia for something a little meatier, something less the consistency of tissue paper, something easier to load a carseat into, and something - by god - that has air conditioning before summer hits. Driving to and from work is like leaping headfirst into a sauna on a warm summer day. Not recommended, even in these temperate lulls of weather. 

I have several blue book profiles, several listings from around the area and a husband who is absolutely certain there's a good way to handle all of this. He's coming with me to the dealership before I have my expected nervous breakdown and end up either walking away or buying a $100,000 Porsche!

And when that's not consuming my off-work-not-fantasizing-about-going-back-to-bed, well, life is pretty good. No further complaints than the ones possibly proffered before and that rising tide of anxiety about parenting a little creature not too long from now. Hormones again. 

But also, looking forward to a weekend just lingering beyond the tips of my toes now... 

Rootin' Fonzaloupe-bella 25 Weeks Baby

As I start to get on my full penguin waddle (just at the point where I may be moseying a little extra in my walks, but the bump is getting out there now and the back does not want to keep straight anymore), it's wonderful week 25! A few more weeks of the second trimester before the oh-so-joyous gigantic third begins!

And what - pray tell - is the little Fonzababy this week? 

1. A rutabaga - Not a turnip. Not a daikon. But a ragin' rutabaga. Nummy little root veggie baby. And it makes sense. What kidlet doesn't enjoy burying herself in mud and earth? And surely with all those little pokes and jabs, it can feel like the kiddo is rooting in my belly. 

2. An acorn squash. Presumably a slightly larger one than the last time she was some kind of squash. And acorn squash is very tasty when plopped in the oven, which is analogous to my internal incubator. Poor kid is a little more than half-baked these days, but not ready to be doused in butter and cinnamon or whatever your fancy may be!

3. A cantaloupe - why did the pear marry the banana? Cantaloupe! Or something. Not a great melon fan, but on the other hand I do enjoy the US3 song Cantaloop! Which I shall now play in my eensie creature's honor. May she get her boogy (and Flip Fantasia) on with me. Get this little Fonzie some shades to rock her funky self. 

4. Two juice boxes stacked on top of one another and as heavy as four of them - Ok, then. Nobody had better try to stick a straw in my baby's soft palate. Let's be clear on that one!

In developmental milestones, she is actually filling out a bit, thus looking less like a red wrinkly prune-rodent and more like a baby. Her hair also now has texture and color. Given  her parents, one might expect brunette and untameable. But initial hair can be strange, and we were both wispy tow-headed sprats. I'm voting for purple pigment to start.

In the ongoing march towards increasing viability, the lungs are now developing blood vessels and capillaries. Still working on surfectant and she'd still need help breathing if she were parted from that amniotic cushion, but progress. Her nostrils also opened (lucky kid - mine have been clogged for weeks!)

And I'm told I can make her turn her head by shining a light at my belly. Which will go well with trying to startle her with noises and whatever stomach poking I might be giving back to her when she starts kickin' old school. Also, she has a "play and nap routine" which might be the last time she has anything so structured without a fight. I'm still not sure what that might be, but I can say that she definitely likes to kick a bit if I dare to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Not sure if that's a "leave me alone mom, I wanna sleep" or a "ok we're up, let's thrash!!" 

In my developmental milestones, my poor back just does not want to stay straight, although I'm still forcing it to fight back (har har) against the vagaries of gravity and relaxin. Belly button remains flat, but the bump itself is pretty darned distinct at this point! 

Points to Andrew for suggesting this, but turns out that - yes! - in addition to pre-existing pigment, LASIK, and my highly sensitive pain-in-the-assness, pregnancy does also make eyes more sensitive to light. And people wonder why I have sunglasses permanently perched atop my pate. And of course the dry swollen eyes thing still persists as well. 

In fact everything is a bit swollen and crowded. My tissues are all swollen, my organs have been pressed to the back wall by an expanding incubator, and my hands and feet are so pinched and maybe they'll get numb sometimes. 

I think I look increasingly "holy crap, you are definitely pregnant" at this point, although I still am a bit slower on the weight gain than many of my pregnant peers. Time to vamp up the binging buffets. This week I should be eating 350 "extra calories" but next week it goes up to 450!

And of course, the oh so exciting Glucose Challenge looms in about a week and a half. Lucky, lucky me.

And... my brain doesn't work anymore. Which has made quite the interesting work week of follies and fun. I'm innately good at some of the new tasks I've taken on, but have been making the most inscrutable of mental decisions about things in addition to generally staggering through the office in a merry (well, sometimes, when the hormones are kicking it up to weep-factor-five) muddle. 

But I'm feeling much more relaxed to be at Friday, and refreshed for an actual evening at home together with the hubba-hubba. I decided to forestall the "you're so tired, you can barely keep your eyes open and this makes me feel petulant and bored and unattended to" potential of trying a formal date-night, by having it be just a regular at-home night. Not exciting. Barely conscious. But I really like those. We scarfed some food and hit the couch before the food coma struck back. Not much canoodling or sweet nothings, but some good solid together time. Definitely boosted my happy time feelings. 

And again Friday. Hard to complain about Friday except that sometimes it moves a little slowly in this morning hour! Big mediation today. Fingers crossed it doesn't go super long. 

She's Got a Ticket to Riiiide... And she'd rather dance

In preparation for our future car buying excursions (shudder, but at least +Andrew Wright  is revved and prepared to keep me from meltdowns on either side of the buying spectrum), we have now acquired the ever crucial car-seat. I figure if a car doesn't take this holy grail of child transportation with minimal fuss, then I seriously do not want it. 

The seat came nestled in a car-sized-cardboard casket, which has finally been vanquished and lain in pieces for the garage-jackels. It is now ready for several sessions of puzzlement and struggle. With some practice before the little squealer oinks into our lives. I may be suffocating poor little Koala bear here. But I'm sure I'll figure out how to adjust the straps... eventually. 

In the meantime, today is our day to really savor the weekend. Bike-and-chain is off to a race tomorrow morning, so we won't be having much lingering after this evening. And really, we have so much that's been put off until "after ... (the move, the other secret things Andrew's been up to in the basement...)," that there is a heckuvalot of catch up  going on and looming about now. 

I'm having a minor pre-parental panic, looking at our calendar, actually. Summer just heats up. Literally yes (oh yes, a/c is on the list of things to do promptly!), but also in terms of every weekend being packed with something!! I'm started to feel the hours that we two DINKs have for just-us-two-time crumbling in the wind. 

Andrew has several races, he'll be gone one weekend in May on a Mt. Rainier and MOE volunteer stir, there's the Ski to Sea, and then...

Wow, I thought that I was recommending a small little casual cook-out party in lieu of a shower. I decided we would call it "DINK's Last Stand!" and just have it at a park with kind of a potluck feel. I admit to providing enough email addresses for a pretty lengthy e-vite list, but these were mostly people from out of town, who would appreciate being thought of, but wouldn't take it seriously enough to make a trip of it. Of course, my sister was flying out already. That was sort of the point of the entire party really (an excuse for her to fly out solo before the kid-bomb of later in the year). Now it appears by coincidence, Daddy Dubya will be here housesitting. Andrew's mom is coming. My Uber-Aunts are coming! Several friends I haven't seen in years are saying they're coming. It's really exciting and flattering, but wow, this has become an actual event!

Aaaand then the rest of June is more races, a weekend long intensive childbirth class, a family wedding in San Francisco. July is more family visits, and more races (and the Tour de France, which I must rather insist we watch together as a vital "adios DINKage" ritual), a big Falconer family incursion, and the ongoing change of early but still within term childbirth!

Yikes! Not to mention, furnishing our home, getting the nursery set up, possibly updating our policy on wills/life insurance, sorting out some future career stuff (well, ok, I know I have a year with the mombossa for full indulgence, but there's more around that to fill out). Oh and trying to figure out where our future parenting community might lie, what kind of spiritual community might be a great support network, hammering down some more of the details about our agreements on parenting (ongoing conversation centered around "how will we not kill each other in that stressful 'fourth trimester' of new sleeplessness and cluelessness?").

Ok, enough of that. I'll savor our quiet morning, already mostly spent. 

And some time with the little Fonza-squash. I swear, I absolutely swear she started dancing today. I was singing to her this morning and hit on this energetic African song I learned several years back. All of the sudden, popcorn erupted in my stomach. Fast and rhythmic and bumpety-bump-a-rat-tat-tat. Had to just keep singing it over and over again, and she just kept moving until Andrew eventually came back into the room. 

Noted: African music. Will have to get my drum circle on. 

And with the passing of a morning nearly nigh, might be time for my second walk of the day before the car buying horrors. 

New Arrivals for the New Arrival 

I own a mom-car now, but so not the minivan, or juked up juke which I thoroughly expected to be sporting by the end of all this. Then again, I don't think I expected to survive the car buying process (only by luck and the graceful talents of my soothing and very helpfully hardlining husband was survival eked out of a long afternoon of horrors). 

When tossed my chimerical chapeau into the buying ring, I really wasn't sure what I wanted. Well, air conditioning. That one was certain. Safety. Maybe a slight decrease in the krinkles-like-tissue-baby factor. Possibly, albeit not crucially, a cd player that could functionally play cds for more than four or five minutes at a time. Mostly, a/c though. Really, it was more of a "I have the money, and I have a need for air conditioning, and it would be kind of dumb to invest that into a crappy kia, when I know I'm due for a more family friendly car" kind of move. 

I turned, of course, to the internet. Andrew had suggested I may also benefit from a car with an elevated body - easier to get the carseat in and out - so that was on my radar as well. I got lists of "best family cars" and focused on the slightly lifted ones with medium gas mileage and rave reviews: Honda CR-Vs, Kia Sportages, and several of crossover SUV babies that fell far short of "boat" or "house" category while still maintaining a more capacious and elevated interior. I found the Nissan Juke to be fairly charming in its body style as well, so looked into that particularly. Emails around the area brought me to the local Nissan dealership and eventually Andrew suggested we pull a trigger or two and test drive a juke before investing more energy into it. 

And so on Saturday we went. I was in only a moderate froth, and Andrew was armed with KBB prices on every imaginable modification of "Nissan SUVish car." The juke was pretty swank. Definitely a sweet ride. And I really considered it until realizing (1) They didn't carry the base model on the lot and I'd have to get several bells and whistles that were terrifically unimportant to me (particularly after reviewing the price they added); (2) more to the point, the backseat did not really handle either human legs or a decently-sized car seat. 

I wasn't entirely giving up on the juke, but it would have had to come down significantly in cost for it to be interesting. Andrew suggested the Nissan Rogue. This is the next-size up and a pure SUV. And a car he might be interested in owning in the future. In fact, after one look and a proclamation that it was really too much car for me, he was the one who took that test drive. He loves it. He's sold. I thought he might walk off the lot with a new car (or, hopefully, drive). But he exercised restraint and we returned to my car buying interests. 

No Juke. No Rogue. Our sales lady was a wee flummoxed. I asked if we could drive the Nissan Cube, a funny looking box of a car that had often caught my attention, as it happened to be much closer to my price point. Surprisingly, it had equivalent gas mileage to the much sleeker Juke, so I figured worth a shot. 

But not to be. The on-lot Cube I'd been looking at - the one she was certain the dealer would be extra motivated to sell, since it was a new 2013 and had been there for years - had sold that morning. And the key was nowhere to be found. Until it was located in the ignition. At which point, the battery was so drained that we would have to wait for it to be recharged to see if the Cube was even a consideration. 

To kill time, our slightly distressed sales lady desperately tried to figure out what on earth we might want. Andrew, actually, came to her rescue. He asked about a few options that they didn't have. But then he asked whether they had any base model hatchbacks that we might look at. Lo and behold: the Nissan Versa Note. Well, eventually. There were two basic 2014 Versa Notes, which took quite the scrounging to locate. One was on the lot and the other was - for no reason the sales lady understood - on the display floor. We climbed around the display floor model, while she located a key for what turned out to be a somewhat tricked out 2015 Versa Note (not the base model), and with assurances that they drove the same, we tried that one out too. 

And it was like coming home. The car felt so much more comfortable than the other options. It moved well. It had plenty of space, but not too much, it had roughly equivalent gas mileage to my kia, and it swallowed up the car seat quite greedily. Our sales lady continued to look distressed when we asked if we could see the base model, which she assured us in ominous tone was "very very basic." It was, indeed. I mean, so basic, that I have to manually crank the windows and manually lock the doors! Gasp! Which actually felt like coming home as well. I distrust all the electronic circuitry in cars. 

And it's far less basic than my manual kia, having a CVT transmission and power steering. I'll miss having a manual, but the CVT transmission does drastically improve on most automatic experiences I've had, while also improving gas mileage. And, did I mention it has a/c? Yeah, basically anything with a/c counts as a fancy treat in my world. 

Finally we decided that we preferred the gun metal gray one on the show floor and the tedious part commenced. Or almost didn't. There's this game that dealers play, in which they go to another office to draft a "bottom line price." They wait there for several eons, leaving the customer to stew. I guess giving some illusion of working super duper hard on getting you the best deal possible, except everyone knows they're just killing time talking about the Mets and trying to up your sunken cost fallacy investment in taking the price after one or two rounds. 

Andrew suggested we bail, and I was more than happy to let my panicky anxiety gush forth. We started leaving just as the first quote came back. I insisted we were already running super late (with complementary Adella-twitching, because it was kind of late and I was hungry), so we'd think about it but really really had to go. I probably would have left eventually with that and maybe never come back for the trauma of more rounds of such negotiations, but... Andrew suggested we might be able to wait around if they took the price down to basically the Kelly Blue Book Fair Price. 

And another round of dicking around in the office before we once again, started to leave. The manager warned us that finalizing would take 45 minutes, but he'd need to test drive my trade in car to see if they could improve my offer. When they said it would take a minute to drive the kia, I told him to just do that and we could go from there. Another five or ten minutes and we were once more just about to leave when they came back with our price. Sigh. After that, though, everything moved expeditiously. I paid in check, emptied out my Kia, and they drove the Note into the Great Outdoors. Everything was closed so they kind of threw the manuals at us (finally respecting my lingering nervous "MUST FLEE!!!" entergy) and wished us luck. Four hours and change, but I came out of it with a car! One I love so far!

As annoying as that last bit was, it was actually the best car buying experience I've been through. My last experience was accompanying Andrew to a Subaru lot. That one took about 5 hours. The salesman was very high pressure and a bit butyraceous. By the end, they were incredibly close to closing, but several rounds of the waiting game were accompanied by all kinds of hidden fees and costs. In that case, we finally did just walk out. Thus ushering in the era of the Nissan Pathfinder (and possibly a Rogue in future judging by that test drive). 

So, chalking up the Christmas Letter list for 2015: New belly, new belly button, New Internal Parasite With Mad Jiu Jitsu Skillz Sparring With my Newly Soccer-Ball-Sized Baby-Oven, New Condo, New Bassinet, New Baby Carrier, New Car Seat, New Teeny Tiny Wardrobe larger than my own, New Strange and Bizarre Body symptoms, New Office Environment and Duties, and New Car! I think there may be some more "new" things still lurking on the horizon for the next... oh forever or so. 

But every little step towards having this New Life in place before the big event, is one I'm thrilled to take. 

And like I say, this is such a mom-car! I feel all grown up driving it. And climate controlled. Beautifully, wonderfully climate controlled. 

Super-Soppy Bleedin' Bluesday Tuesday Mellow Mama

Well, typing with a nosebleed is less than ideal. But I can do it in jags between tissue attacks. Yes, I'm pregnant. Pregnant noses occasionally bleed. I'm told it's nothing over which to fuss my pretty medium-sized cranium. But it is annoying. This is actually my first, so I've been lucky, mostly consigned to the normal congestion nonsense.

I may have tried taping tissue to my nose to free up both hands. Not worlking so one-handed typing it is! not super facile...


And forty-five minutes later, I may have learned to respect the nosebleed a bit more. In future, I will be getting off the treadmill immediately, applying ice/pressure and sitting quietly with my head slightly forward. Because walking and trying to half-ass the stopping, apparently not going to fly in this condition. I'm still a little paranoid about breathing through my nose or moving too much.

Especially considering that I have this pesky vasovagal reaction to bleeding. Sometimes. Usually only after a while, but once that portion of my brain gets activated (either noting that it's been a half hour and the gush is not being quelled or - hell - sitting in a class in which we discuss the symptoms of the tsarovich's hemophilia) and I go all wilting violet southern lady! Not a full swoon today, but some staggering and fuzzy heads and near-black-outs, which doesn't help with any related paranoia that a "common symptom" might actually be some freak aneurism or other fatal condition.

Just for fun, I scared the crap out of my mom by asking if she could come in early with the car in case I needed to go into the doctor... after she was already on the bus... then went silent for about twenty minutes as I sat at her desk with my head down and buried in a tissue trying to ward off the vasovagal syncope and the stem the nasal gore. Things were just stopping when she arrived with some ice (although I applied the ice too for another five minutes just in case, since it had a pattern of almost stopping and then starting up again).

Whew. Another day when normal never felt so good...

Welcome to week 25 and a half, I guess!

But where was I aside from sopping up blood and getting my squeamish blackouts? Just starting my morning out, I believe. Whew.

It's a lovely moody kinda morning with plenty of clouds and a heavy veil of condensation. A good day for holing up in the office-cave with a cup of tea and a slight tinge of concentration. Or wall-staring. One of those.

Yesterday, I inherited even more second-hand baby stuff! Yes, don't tell anyone that this infant carrier is used. But it won't be my baby carseat, since we have that fancier convertible one. Still, a back up and - I'm assured - portable one for travelling may be handy. I also got handmade blankets and some unused infant diapers. Oh yeah. Bring on the haul!

Well, as my gushing nose has preempted much of my "personal" time before I really ought to get my tush in gear, I'll cut things short with a "hope that all your orifices remain blood-gushing free this morning" (it's kind of a pain in the orifice that I can't recommend).
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