Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Third Trimester

In repose, in duplicate

38 weeks and counting!

Some reflections on:

HORMONES AND SUCH  No cravings to report.  I started drinking milk, which reflects the moratorium on the [lax] 'no calories from drinks' rule.  Also milk is the only way to dissipate spicy-food taste, and I make a lot of spicy food for LH. No bizarre or formerly-disliked foods have become palatable all of a sudden.

NESTING  No bursts of nesting, unfortunately.  The house is sort of a mess, the nursery is a baby-supply staging area rather than quiet retreat, as we anticipate putting her in the mini-crib next to us for several months. And because I keep waiting for the nesting burst, perhaps mis-manifested as watching Cook's Country on PBS and reading non-parenting books and leaving the blackout curtains I purchased weeks ago in the box on the floor. I need to leave some activities for my six weeks of maternity leave, right?

SEQUELAE  Second and third trimesters have been easy breezy beautiful MotherGirl.  I have managed to avoid many nuisances such as heartburn (have never experienced, ever), hemorrhoids, stretch marks (maybe I should look more closely, or maybe not), frequent urination, overall discomfort or inability to get comfortable.  Once the first trimester fatigue/slight pukiness/disinterest in most food (except for delicious cold creamies like guacamole, egg salad, milkshakes) passed, it's been smooth sailing.  I FEEL SO LUCKY.  Some women are so miserable.  (Not to mention not experiencing real complications rather than annoyances).

ARE WE READY?  Of course not.  I don't know how you could prepare fully for such an abrupt life-altering change.  We are excited and enjoying the Last Days of Just Us.  (I like what Miranda July has to say on the topic of motherhood ... what will it be like to wake up and not have the luxury to wonder 'what will I do today [for myself]?', which has been so fabulous for so many years). We've read the books, we have the stuff, the freezer is full of lasagna.

THE BLISSFUL IGNORANCE OF THE PRIMIGRAVIDA  Luke has a better sense of the imminence of the birth than I do.  Even though I can feel the baby moving and jostling all the time, there is a disconnect that I am at a loss to explain.  It feels very surreal that a tiny baby will emerge (somehow) and belong to us.  He assures me it will feel very, very real very, very soon.

♦  HUSBAND. Best-ever labor coach.  This whole blog is about how much I adore Luke, and this experience has only deepened my love and in-love-ness with that man.

♦  QUESTIONS!  What will she look like? (I'm calling it now: like Luke, dark eyes, bald) Her temperament?  Will I see the mucus plug? (Luke: Tell me if you see it.  DO NOT SHOW ME.)  Will breastfeeding be easy(ish)?  Will my water break in spectacular sitcom fashion?  What will it feel like to see Luke holding our daughter?  What do I do with a baby??  Will I have a waist again?

♦  THE NEW NORMAL  As it's difficult to envision Life With Baby, I have a small list of postpartum activities I'm either eager to try or return to, in broad categories: exercising without protest from uterine ligaments (riding bike, stroller walks, Spinning and barre classes), chemical exposures (tooth bleach, Brazilian blowout, Vitamin Botulinum shots), foods (deli meats, queso fresco, margaritas, spicy tuna rolls).

SO THANKFUL for an enjoyable and easy time so far.

THE EXTENT OF MY BIRTH PLAN  Hopeful for an easy(ish) delivery with a healthy baby and healthy me at the end of it!

        ♥ See you on the other side, readers! ♥

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In Others' Words

Grandpa helping Dad with model airplane, winter 2012

You Can't Have It All

by Barbara Ras

But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam's twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man's legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who'll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can't bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can't count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother's,
it will always whisper, you can't have it all,
but there is this.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Likes and Finds

This American Life TV show - just two seasons on Showtime, available here, also Netflix.  Watch and be enriched.  (The Season Two feature on Mike Phillips is astonishing... watch a bit here).

Threshold home goods at Target.  Polished and affordable.  Love the bedding.

Emily Henderson's design blog. I had to break up with Design Sponge because I couldn't bear another post beginning with "I'm a big fan of..."  I like Henderson's fun and personable prose style, and practical posts like how to choose a color palette and favorite houseplants and 'on a personal note'.

Boscia sunscreen continues to be a marvel.  Maybe I'll try the new SPF 30 formulation for more oomph as summer rolls around (there is no spring here).

This marvelous Richard Angell essay.

To feel great about living in America, read On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines- And Future

Oroweat Healthfull 10 Grain bread: 5 g of protein and 5 g of fiber per slice.

Vollrath baking sheets don't warp in the oven, even under the broiler.

Zero Dark Thirty, a slightly uneven but overall well-made and thoughtful movie (compared to Argo, this review of which hits the nail on the head, in my opinion).  Anyway, the movie made me think of picking up breakfast for a conference I was giving the day bin Laden's death was announced.  Donut Drive-In made special doughnuts for the occasion:


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


My almost-two weeks off is drawing to a close... a fabulous time to celebrate the holidays, to prepare the house for baby, and lay around the house with the man of the house (something that never happens on weekdays).  This time together has been relaxing and precious.  Though so excited for the baby's arrival, there is a certain mourning for this time of our lives: spontaneous trips, 2 am dance parties for two, naps whenever (we don't really nap, but we could).  Soon our family life epicenter and focus and schedules will change and it is somewhat bittersweet.  On to the next adventure; it's time.

January brings resolutions and reflections to the forefront, which made me revisit this post from November 2011.  How did I do?

Walk/tennis: Not so much. 

Research projects: Plugging along.  A recent collaboration was accepted for a podium presentation.

Knitting: No.  I never sit around (in my dream commute I spend 20 minutes on a train everyday, knitting away) so this hobby may never take off.  It's also very, very hot here with little need for knitted garments.

New underwear: Buying nursing bras does not count.

Learn about music: Started piano lessons in May, did not practice enough, need to read to supplement understanding (music theory, A Natural History of the Piano)  My goal is to resume lessons in a few months and be a proficient sight-reader at that time.

Fix hair: Gonna go a little darker this Friday.  I love this little-bit-of-pink-hair trend, however, given that I will be 35 before I can try it out (=15 years outside age-appropriate range), I don't brush my hair in the first place, and I wear the same clothes for consecutive days with Dansko clogs, this seems a bridge too far.

Cooking and baking a lot: YES.  I cook and bake a lot.  We installed a chest freezer and purchased a Costco membership.  When I divvyed up a $6.59 5 lb bag of shredded mozzarella into 1 lb bags and promptly used one to make and freeze a sausage (also from the freezer) and broccoli rabe lasagna, I thought, yes, the $110 membership is so worth it. I felt like a Very Good Wife.

Freezer inventory late December 2012

Volunteer more steadily at Morgan's Wonderland: I didn't keep up with volunteering after the park re-opened after its winter break and after becoming pregnant standing outside in 100+ degrees was a no-
go.  I do plan on taking Baby H here a bunch, especially when she's older.
Make wedding album on Blurb: A project fully executed, at last.
Blogging: Has turned out to be a great record of our life in Texas.

2013 Plans
Long walks with Baby H in nearby parks and greenways, especially before the weather takes a turn for the Dantean again. Get flexible at Smart Barre, a 4 minute bike ride from our house.  Spinning. 

Research projects: Keep plugging away.

Music: Sit at piano.  Connect brain and fingers.

Cooking and baking:  My main hobby.  Goals: limit meat to 2-3x/week, emphasis on veggies, less white food (flour/sugar), find a place to grow kitchen herbs (a spectacular failure so far).

Needlework: Restart cross-stitch, learn embroidery or perhaps get a sewing machine.

Wyoming: Family vacation in August.  Florida: Society meetings in the fall. Montreal: July meeting I realllly want to go to because I've never been to Montreal.

In the short-term: Adjust to life with a newborn, which promises to be magical, exhilarating, and exhausting!