Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolutions

I haven't made any new year's resolutions in quite some time, but I hereby declare 2011 The Year of the New Me. Here are all of the amazing things that I will accomplish.

1. Extreme Thoughtfulness.
Believe it or not, I've been working really hard on the thoughtfulness front, and I do think I've made some progress. Unfortunately, I've gotten approximately twelve to the tenth times busier this year, so the net results haven't necessarily been that impressive. I can do better.

2. Writing.
Here and elsewhere.

3. Not Letting Work Bug The Crap Out Of Me.
Good luck with that, self!

4. Getting Rid Of This Mother Effing House.

5. Getting Hair Cut.
I know, I know, that's more of a to-do list item. I need one gimme on this list for encouragement, okay?

Okay.

Happy New Year, Intertubes. May you be gloriously unclogged in 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ho ho homicide

That's the title of a display that the Fiction department put up this month. I love the Fiction department's displays. They express my feelings perfectly. 
We weren't going to get a Christmas tree. Then there was a phone call in which my mom made it clear that not getting a tree for Soren's first Christmas was tantamount to child abuse. So, overwhelmed by guilt, I went to Safeway and got one of those little potted fir shrub things and decorated it within an inch of its life.



It ain't much, but it's ours.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Thank you"

It seems to have stopped raining for the moment, both inside and outside our house.  So that's good news.  We just got this email from our home insurance company:
Dear Mr. Awesome,
I wanted to take a quick moment and "thank you" for taking time out of your day to speak with me. I realize that sustaining damage to your property can be unsettling. If there is anything that I can do to assist you further, please do not hesitate to respond to my e-mail or call me direct on my work phone.
Do you think our friend the insurance claims representative is being intentionally sarcastic?  Like, "Thanks A LOT bitchez, now I have to come all the way out to your stupid piece of crap house just to tell you that there is no way we're going to cover this damage.  I was enjoying a delicious crossandwich from BK and now my day is ruined."

**
**
From the Soren News Desk: He is fascinated by his new tooth.  He's constantly poking his tongue at it, making him look like a little lizard.  I guess if he were actually a lizard he would not be little, but would be an enormous eighteen pound lizard of terror.  In people terms though, still small.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our roof is leaking.

Also the basement, but that happens pretty often in Seattle.  Our basement isn't finished, which normally is a drag but at least we don't have to worry about ruining our luxurious family room wall-to-wall carpeting or anything.

The roof thing is a problem though.  It's raining in our kitchen cupboards. Raining delicious water infused with lead paint and roof tiles.

You know what?  I'm just going to say it.  Our house is an asshole and I don't want to be friends with it anymore.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meghan and me

You guys really shouldn't encourage me.  But since you asked . . .

People tend to get confused about whether to use "I" or "me" with a compound subject or object, like "Meghan and me" or "Meghan and I."*  It's really easy to figure out, though--just take Meghan out of your sentence and whichever sounds right, is right.  So, "Meghan and I went to the movies" (I went to the movies) but "The movie was too crowded for Meghan and me" (The movie was too crowded for me).  You'd never say "The movie was too crowded for I" because you'd sound like a crazy person.

See?  I'm the most annoying person on earth.  My grammar nut mom was my English teacher in middle school (oh god it was horrible, the stories I could tell you), and now I have to spend the rest of my life fretting over stuff like this.  It's amazing that I have friends.


*This is an quotation pulled straight from seventh grade.  I would begin sentences with "Meghan and me" just to show my mom that her grammar rules couldn't hold me.  I was a tween rebel. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

lists

Words/grammar issues I'm trying not to be annoyed by anymore, because being annoyed by them makes me annoying:

1.  "Hubby."
2.  "Literally," when there is no way what the speaker is saying could be understood in a figurative sense.
3.  "I" used improperly in place of "me," as in "The gift is from my husband and I."
4.  Most of the abbreviations used by mommy bloggers, commenters, etc. (CM for cervical mucus?  Really?  You're typing that so many times you need an abbreviation?  Okay, sorry--I guess I'm missing the point here.)

Words I want to phase out:
1. Awesome.
2. Rad.
3. Like.
4. Totally.
5.  All other late-1980's Valley girl speak.

Words I want to phase in:

1.  Swimmingly.  (As in, "It's going . . . ")
2.  Splendid.
3.  Most of these.

Teeth!

Well, tooth actually, but still: The Mystery of The Night of Continuous Screaming has now been solved.  One little north-facing tooth is poking out of Soren's gums.  I feel bad that we didn't spot the kid some Tylenol that night, but sometimes when it's 3 a.m. and there is constant screaming it's hard to strategize the best course of action.

On Friday night we went to the Garden of D'Lights (yes, it's really called that) at the Bellevue Botantical Gardens.  And took some blurry photos!  Which I will now share with you, you lucky creature!





And okay, one unblurry one:


Are you now filled with the spirit of the holiday season?  I should hope so. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No teeth

Being at work is not much fun these days. Many of my most beloved coworkers are losing their jobs or being demoted due to budget cuts. Other people are being switched into jobs completely different from their own, in other parts of the city, with different areas of expertise--and of course they feel terrible guilt for (involuntarily) displacing their colleagues. It's all pretty f'ing horrible, if you want to know the truth.

And on the homefront, Soren was pretty much awake and screaming all night last night. He's been sick, so maybe that was the problem. Maybe he's teething. I have no idea. We've been blaming everything on teething since he was three months old and guess what? No teeth.

Starting tomorrow I have three days off in a row, and on Saturday, praise be, Mr. A. and I will have the day off together. The sun is even supposed to come out that day. Maybe by then Soren and I can get it together and, more importantly, get some freaking nap time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good one

Soren has a pretty good sense of humor; it's easy to make him laugh. But sometimes I suspect that he is just humoring us.

"Ah yes, once again we're doing that peek-a-boo thing that you guys seem to enjoy so much. Hahaha, very humorous indeed. Let me guess--you're going to pull that blanket back down off your face again, right? Yup, there you go. Haha, good one."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sorry.

Okay, it's like two minutes later and I already feel terrible about that last post.  It's obnoxious to complain about a little schedule change when people around me are losing their jobs.

What's really leading to my work-related depression is that even though things have not been great at the workplace for a long time, I've been able to convince myself that Workplace cared about its employees, and wanted the best for them.  Now, I feel like . . . well, I have some really great coworkers.  Who want the best for each other.

I think it's time to come up with a new plan.  I don't know what, but I'm going to get serious about finding out.

Success

I think that regarding kids, there are basically three stands you can take.  Let me know if I'm leaving something out.  As I see it, you can believe:

1.  That nobody should have kids.
I actually find this to be a pretty reasonable point of view.  Objectively, it's hard to argue that having kids is a great idea.  The planet is crazy crowded, we here in the first world are using stuff about a zillion times as fast as other folks, global warming, etc. etc.  Obviously I had one anyway, but if you want to take the stand that giving birth was where I went wrong, I sort of feel you.

2. That only the very wealthy should have kids.
I'm sorry, but if you believe this, you are an asshat.  Please reassess your life and views.

3. That having kids is allowed, even for regular people.

If you believe #3, then I think you also have to agree that we regular people should be able to get our kids to and from daycare.  Right? 

The latest in a long string of insults from the workplace is that starting soon, everyone will have to work until 6 p.m., at the earliest.  Like most Seattle daycares that I know of, Soren's closes at 5:30.  Also, he is a baby, so he is sound asleep by 6:30 every night.  I am lucky lucky that I'm not a single parent, and right now Mr. A's schedule allows him to leave downtown really early so that he can pick our kid up before daycare starts charging $5 a minute.  But under this new plan I won't see Soren before he goes to sleep five nights a week.  It's kind of breaking my heart. 

Being a working parent has been hard.  I miss having days off with Mr. A, and it sucks that Soren has hardly any time awake when his parents are both around.  But up til now I have felt like my head was more or less above water.  I have told myself that Tim Gunn would be proud of me for Making It Work.  But only seeing my baby for a few minutes every morning, most days . . . that doesn't feel like success. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On the 312, 7:59 a.m.

I get on my bus at the very last stop before it expresses its way downtown, so it's usually pretty crowded and I have to stand.  Today was no exception, but then a cute young African American guy behind me offered his seat.  Normally I decline seats, but today I thought, what the hell? I'm tired and I'm carrying a breast pump.  So I thanked him profusely and sat.

An older Asian lady noticed this exchange and said, "Oh, what a gentleman!  You're a gentleman, aren't you?  Such a gentleman. You want to get married?  Let's get married!"

A middle aged white guy broke in at this point.  "MARRIAGE IS A BROKEN INSTITUTION.  ALL WOMEN ARE GOLD DIGGERS."

The poor kid.  "I think I'm probably too young to get married--I'm just eighteen.  Maybe after I finish college."

"No problem!" said the lady.  "I have a PhD, I take care of everything!  You never worry.  We get married." 

And then the white guy took it straight to crazy:  "OH LADY, YOU THINK YOU'RE SO GREAT?  WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE CHANCES I'LL BE THE NEXT KING OF ENGLAND?"

Erm . . . yeah.

As we cruised into downtown, the white guy explained to the kid that he should make sure to get a prenup.  He himself was due to come into twelve hundred dollars of his parents' money, he said, so it was important for him to make sure that no gold-digging lady could get her hands on it.  The kid should do the same before his impending marriage to the older lady.  The kid promised to take that into consideration.

In the end, I kind of wanted to marry that sweet polite kid myself.  After he got off the bus, the older lady turned to the woman next to her and said, "Oh no, he's gone.  I guess we don't get married.  Well, that's okay.  He was a little too old for me."

"Too old?"

"Yes, I need to get one younger so I can train him.  You know what I train him to do first?  Suck toe.  Start with little one, go to big one.  Suck one by one."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Potted plant

Dang, Soren's cousin is a beauty.  I fell in love right away.  It seems impossible that Soren was ever that tiny--so much so that I had to go back and look at his newborn pictures to see if it was true.  But it is.  He started out small.

I'm really enjoying the current phase of Sorenness.  He can sit up and play with his toys and entertain himself, but he can't crawl.  It's so convenient--you just plop him down like a little potted plant, as a friend of mine said the other day, and do your dusting or whatever.

It's hard to really attend to the dusting, though, because hanging out with Soren is pretty good times right now.  I knew that the acid reflux was making our lives worse, but now that the reflux doesn't really bother him anymore I can see exactly how bad it sucked.  Sure, he still occasionally pukes on company, but he's not in pain all the time and as a result he's usually in a pretty fantastic mood.  Even though his parents dress him crazy.



Monday, November 8, 2010

Cousins!

Soren's Seattle cousin was born last night!  I get to go meet her after work today, and I'm so excited.  I don't get to hold her, though, because I have a stupid germy cold.  Dumb old library germs.  Grumble grumble.

I was emailing (well, Facebooking actually, but I'm going to say "emailing" because Facebooking seems like an embarrassing form of communication) with a college friend about the cousins and she said, "It's so great that they'll be so close in age.  They can have a creepy marriage just like in a Jane Austen book!"

So we have that to look forward to.  Which is nice.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two things what are funny (at least to me)

on this bummer day:

1. The worst moment of W’s presidency (for W) was apparently that one time Kanye hurt his feelings.


2. Mr. A. is the secret Seattle correspondent of this piece.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fine fine fine

Overall, everything is going better than I could have expected.  Soren seems to be doing fine at daycare, I seem to be doing fine at work, everybody's fine fine fine.

But oh my lords.  If I don't get a half night's sleep* sometime soon, I am going to go buh-nay-nays.


*A full night's sleep, you say?  Let's not talk crazy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby holder

Today is Day Three of daycare--last day for the week--and it seems to be going okay. I thought I would be tearful, dropping him off that first day, but he didn't really mind so I didn't mind. He's still a little young to be afraid of strangers, and I'm hoping that with daycare (and constantly passing him around amongst friends and family), we can sidestep that phase a little bit.

Speaking of passing the baby around, do you know what is a semi-weird phenomenon I had never thought about, pre-baby? The Holding of the Baby. I am 100% fine with everyone I know holding him for as long as they want; I get plenty of baby-holding time. But I think some people are maybe afraid to ask, in case I do mind, and I kind of feel weird offering. Because if someone happens to be a non-baby-holder (which is a perfectly fine way to be), then that person has to say, "No thank you," and feel all bad, as if they have personally rejected my baby (which maybe they have because he is kind of a drooler, but that's okay too). (Also, when the baby starts to fuss, I usually take him, because who wants to hold a screaming baby?) Anyway.  Is there a graceful solution to this problem?

Long, long ago, some of you asked if Soren has Scandanavian heritage, and the answer is ja. Mr. A.'s mom moved here from Norway when she was a little girl, and we pulled Soren's name off of her family tree. However, that Soren was quite a few "greats" ago, and I think from a Danish branch of the family. So there you have it. Hopefully the original Soren wasn't a total butt, but if we was at least we'll never know it.

In thrilling financial news: We bought the $500 part for our crappy old furnace and are crossing our fingers. It looked for a while there like I might lose my job, or at least get demoted (because of budget cuts; please believe that I am a killer librarian). It seems that won't happen, which is wonderful, but other killer librarians--who are also good friends of mine--are probably going to get the boot. It's kind of a giant suckfest at the library right now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So few electrical storms

It got cold, so we tried to turn on the heat. But guess what? No heat. The furnace is broken. Here are our options:

1. Spend $500 on a part for the ancient furnace, and hope that nothing else falls off of it very soon.

2. Spend $1000 on more parts for the ancient furnace to make it a little more efficient. Similar to option 1 but, I think, dumber.

3. Spend one million dollars (approx.) on a new oil furnace. There would be no gain in equity because who thinks, wow! brand new oil furnace! when they are hunting for a house? Nobody, that's who.

4. Spend 1.5 million dollars (approx.) on a new natural gas furnace. The city would have to extend the gas line to our house, which is where the extra .5 million comes in. There would theoretically be some payoff in equity if anyone were to ever want to buy our house, which no one will. Ever. Also, there is no way in hell we could afford this option without borrowing from my parents or something. And I'm not sure it's worth it for this house.

None of these are good options, and yet we can't let the baby freeze to death. What to do.

I feel completely defeated by our house. I know I'm lucky that Mr. A and I both have jobs, and we are more than likely going to keep them a while longer. But I would give just about anything if we hadn't bought this house. Oh, to be a compartively wealthy renter, who can sort of afford daycare! I fantasize about just walking away from the house, or about an errant bolt of lightning that burns it to the ground when we're away on vacation. Too bad there are so few electrical storms in Seattle.

Also, today is my first day back to work. I'm mostly enjoying mingling with the grown-ups, but man--the things that sucked about my job before I left have really spiralled out of control. I work in Crazy Town.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Soren - 4 months

The other day, we had a conversation with S & D about whether or not we'd know if Soren wasn't cute. At first I said I was sure I'd know if my kid wasn't really cute. Later, though, I realized how dumb that was. Of course I wouldn't know.







But come ON.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tricks and stuff

Holy crap, I can't believe I have to go back to work in eight short days. Last night I had a work anxiety dream that began with a boring departmental meeting and ended with me screaming "HELP" at the top of my lungs, waking myself and Mr. A right up (but luckily, not the baby).

We moved Soren out of our room and into his nursery last week, and he's in there now chatting with himself while I listen in using our auditory baby spying device.  He's got a whole new repertoire of sounds he's been trying out.  A current favorite is the creaking door sound favored by haunted houses everywhere:  "Ehhhhh . . ."  Also a pterodactyl screech that can indicate joy, rage, boredom, a fart--pretty much the entire range of baby emotions.

(While I was typing this, he really started to complain about his crib imprisonment, so I went in to free him.  When he saw me it was like I was Elvis.  Appearing live, right there in his very own nursery!  I know this won't last, but it's great for the ego.  Not many people react this way to the sight of me first thing in the morning, lovely though I look.)

Part of the bummer of working for a living again is that I feel like I am just starting to get the hang of this parenting thing.  Actually, "hang of it" is overstating, but I do feel like I occasionally have some dim clue as to what the hell is going on.  Plus he's so much more interesting these days.  Newborns are cute but it's pretty much just them, them, them, all the time.  Now he likes us and does tricks and stuff.

For instance, he rolled over for the first time a couple of weeks ago, on the day before his four month birthday.  But he hasn't done it again since.  His attitude seems to be, "Look, I did it once.  I have nothing further to prove to you people."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contemporary cinema

Me:  You know the other problem with that Nanny McPhee sequel.

Mr. A.:  I don't even know the first problem with it.

Me:  The first problem is obviously that it exists.  But the second problem is, what can possibly be the plot?  I mean, you know how in the first movie, Emma Thompson gets progressively less ugly as the kids stop being jerks?  Well, now what?  Does she have to start all over again as ugly, but with a new family?  Or do the same kids backslide into jerkiness so that she gradually re-uglifies?  It just doesn't make sense.

Pause.

Mr. A. I'm so glad we could have this talk.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fine, hippies, I admit it

I really didn't mean to abandon this blog.  The thing is, I'm way behind on everything that requires two hands, and I always feel like if I do get a minute when both hands are free, I should be doing things like writing thank you notes or sweeping up cat hair.  Posting to my blog seems very self-indulgent somehow.

But here I am, with thank you notes yet to be written, indulging myself.  I won't try to sum up the first six weeks of parenting in one blog post.  It's magical, it's terrifying, it's boring, it's exhilarating, it's every cliche you've ever heard.  We believe our baby to be the sweetest and the best.  At his check-up the other day his pediatrician called him a smart baby, and while this is a ridiculous thing to say about a child this age and probably just meant that the doctor couldn't bring herself to call him cute, we are secretly convinced that she's right--he's a total genius.  Unfortunately, he is a genius with acid reflux, just like his old lady in the last two months of her pregnancy. This makes him understandably unhappy from time to time. He has been prescribed Zantac, also just like his old lady.  Heartburn sucks, ya'll.

Today for the first time we tried putting Soren in the wrap thingie and strolled up the street for a delicious brunch.  He was out like a light, a completely contented light, the entire time.  It was delightful.  Why did we wait so long to try the wrap thingie?  I don't know.  I think Mr. A and I both secretly distrusted our own origami skills.  I don't think we're the most hyper-worried first time parents around, but the wrap thingie comes with a really long instruction manual that is intimidating somehow.  We pictured him falling through our slopping folding techniques and splattering on the pavement.

But you know what?  He effing LOVES the wrap thingie--it is like a miracle shut-off switch for fussiness.  So fine, hippies, I admit it--you're right about everything.  Well, except for elimination communication.  (You may be right about that too but you'll never get me to admit it.)

And now, a couple of baby photos that have nothing to do with the wrap thingie.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soren James Awesome


7 lbs, 9 oz.
20.5 inches

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No baby yet

I just thought you might want to see some photos of the nursery. It's hard to take good pictures in such a small room, but you sort of get the idea. The wolf cubs on the wall are vinyl stickers, drawn by Mr. A. and sent off to a vinyl sticker maker company. Aren't they the cutest?







The window seat is all piled up with our stuff for the hospital. Note the incredible handmade blankets, pillows, etc. all over the place, made by our wonderful friends.

By the way, we took the infant safety class, and we know what the safety hazards are in there right now--we're on it!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

You look tired

Here's a conversation I won't mind not having every day:

Coworker or Library Patron* (as though I am in the final stages of galloping consumption): How are you feeling?

Me: Good, thanks! How are you?

CoLP: You look tired.

Me: Well, I guess I am a little bit tired. Not too bad, though.

CoLP: Yeah, well you'd better enjoy life now because soon you'll be a MISERABLE SLEEPLESS WRECK! Hahahaha!

Good one.

**
**

My due date is a week away. I wouldn't mind getting this show on the road a couple of days early, but I have a feeling it'll be more likely to run late. Any last minute advice?


*Really, all of my coworkers are great. These conversations only happen with people who work here, but aren't really my coworkers. You know?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sheep safety


This means we're ready to be parents, right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

C'mere, gLovie

Loyal readers may recall that many months ago we started getting a free subscription to Parenting: The Early Years. (Technically it's in TimJim's name; we're saving them so that he can enjoy them later.)

We have learned many things from P:TEY. For example, we have learned that actually there is only one parent and her name is MOMMY. Articles tend to focus on topics such as how not to be too much of a nag to your husband, even though he doesn't know a diaper from a disco ball and expects his martini to be cold and ready when he gets home from work no matter what. (You, Mommy, do not work.)

There are also lots of helpful tips and tricks from other Mommies--sort of like Hints from Heloise, but weirder. For instance:

"Travel Tub: When we go on a trip, I bring a small inflatable pool to put in the hotel room's tub for my son to take a bath in. It protects him from germs, and any water that spills out goes right down the drain!"

or

"Look Book: So I can read my Parents magazine in peace, I made my son his own "magazine" to look at. I cut out pictures of kids from past issues, slide them into sheet protectors, and put them in an old binder!"


Aren't those great ideas? I know there's nothing I'd rather do than bring an inflatable swimming pool on every vacation, or cut and paste an old magazine into a binder for some reason instead of just letting the kid look at it.

What's really fascinating, though, are the safety products. To be fair, these are more advertised than featured in the parenting magazines. But wow, check this out:


That's right, it's Baby's First Head Gear! Presumably the first of many. These might be the best though:


Finally: a world where children need never touch a surface! Ever! No matter what! Isn't science wonderful?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why not to buy whiskey when you are eight months pregnant, no matter what

It's my friend and coworker T's birthday today. I thought about getting him a gift certificate for a coffeeshop near our workplace, but it turns out he's given up coffee. (Even though apparently he's not even pregnant. I know, he must be a communist or something.) I consulted with Mr. A via email and we decided to get him something not very original that we knew he would enjoy: whiskey.

Thanks to Washington's repressive liquor laws, you have to get your liquor purchased during the workday. So on my break, I headed down the hill to downtown's only liquor store, bought the whiskey, and hauled it back up. Then I went to the Bartell to buy some ginger ale, because T enjoys a nice whiskey ginger.

It was all going swimmingly until the bag the Bartell lady gave me immediately broke and the whiskey bottle fell and shattered. I could feel every single person in the long line at the Bartell judging me as a terrible mother and a drunken librarian.* I really didn't know what to do, so eventually I just threw away the sad remains of my bottle of Maker's Mark and left.

I still reek of whiskey and there are only six minutes left in my dinner break. Time to go serve the patrons!


*I was still wearing my crazy clown librarian badge. Represent!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Zap it!

Mr. A. doesn't have a Facebook account, which state of affairs is probably a better way of life overall but did present him with a problem this week at work. He found that he needed to send out an email to hundreds of people, encouraging them to become fans of his workplace's page, even though he doesn't know the first thing about Facebookery.

Me: What are you going to say in the email?

Him: I'm going to tell them to zap it to our Friend Zone!

**
**

Oscars recap: The fact that The Blind Side even exists on film fills me with impotent rage. I saw the woman the movie is based on being interviewed on one of the morning shows the other day and she confirmed my suspicion that she could probably use a good punch in the face.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tiny slimy sausage

Whoa dude, I'm having a baby next month.

For a while there, people were constantly commenting on how big I was. But now popular opinion definitely seems to have swung round the other way. I hardly look pregnant at all, they tell me. So skinny!

I know these people mean to compliment, and these comments don't make me mad. I might have said similar stuff to pregnant ladies in the past without thinking about it--who knows. But isn't it weird that such is our culture that even the knocked up get applauded for being thin? (I've actually gained a very average amount of weight, but that is neither here nor there.)

And now, in reality television corner: I watched a few episodes of The Bachelor this season, including last night's thrilling finale, and I must say I have never encountered a more stupidly named group of people. Tinsley? Vienna? I'm sorry, but no. It is not possible to love someone named after a tiny slimy sausage from a can.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Probably babies

You know what? I know a lot of kind, generous people. I was previously aware of this, but this whole having a baby thing has really brought it home in a new way. The handmade gifts! The thoughtful gestures! They are overwhelming. I'm pretty lucky.

Another way that I'm lucky? My husband has bought me the most beautiful, romantic gift that anyone has ever received: a dishwasher. Seriously, I am so happy about it I could just cry (and I might, depending on current hormone levels). In the past fifteen years, I've only had a dishwasher in my home for one glorious 10-month period, and at this point I'm pretty sick of doing the dishes. I'd rather dust, clean the toilet--just about any other chore is preferable.* Plus you can just throw baby bottles right in there. And probably babies. Those machines can do anything, right? Modern technology is wonderful.


*Except scooping the kitty litter. But that's the one big bonus of pregnancy: no scooping.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What I did on my last vacation as a non-parent

Okay, I said I was going to write a Portland post a hundred years ago, and yet have not. Here are some highlights:

1. It was sunny and 65 degrees the day we were in Corvallis, cementing that town in my mind forever as a paradise on earth.
2. Also, our hotel had an indoor heated pool. Heated!
3. Here is a picture of the courthouse:


4. Why did I take a picture of the Corvallis Courthouse, and nothing else in Corvallis? Because I am crap at taking pictures, both technically and in the sense that I somehow always forget to take them.
5. Our hotel in Portland had fancy French bath products and waffle-fabric robes and slippers and a French press (do you capitalize the "P" in French press? Wikipedia says no) and loose tea. It was delightful. I love a fancy hotel.
6. We went to practically every single restaurant and shop you suggested, both in Corvallis and Portland, and they were all lovely. Thank you! Here is the breakfast we ate at St. Honore:


8. Yum.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where to look

One of the many things you're not supposed to eat as a pregnant lady is unheated deli meat. Apparently some sort of deadly bacteria can grow on it that only pregnant women are susceptible to, science, studies, blah blah blah.* But at the same time, the pregnant ladies need a lot of protein. So everyday when Mr. A packs my lunch (let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that he packs my lunch every day, shall we? thank you), he puts the turkey in a separate baggie so that it won't contaminate the rest of my sandwich and I can heat it up in the microwave at work.

He generally leaves the house before I get out of bed, so he also leaves me a note to remind me to get the turkey out of the refrigerator:



Mr. Awesome really lives up to his name, does he not?



*Also there is something about nitrates, if you really want to get into it, but we buy the nitrate-free deli meats. So please don't worry your pretty little head about that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My state of zen calm

I'll post an update on the Portland trip soon--we didn't take many pictures, but we took a couple and I will post them here for your viewing pleasure once we get them up on the computator.

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I attended a meeting today at which I think I came off as kind of a crazy person. I hate it when I do that. You would think that, at my advanced old age, I would be able to advocate for issues I find important without sounding like a lunatic, but alas, this skill eludes me. I even came straight from doing prenatal yoga with another knocked-up friend (which was really fun, by the way), but my state of zen calm only lasted about four minutes into the meeting.

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At our birth class last night,* the instructor said we should bring several different outfits to the hospital to give birth in. She said that having something fresh to change into can make all the difference. People who've given birth, is this true? I feel like this will likely be the one time in my life when fashion really doesn't matter to me, but maybe I'm wrong.



*Will I ever talk about anything besides birth class ever again? Perhaps no.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's gonna hurt

Conversation with a teen at the reference desk:

Her: How many months you got?
Me: About seven.
Her: This your first one?
Me: Yup.
Her: Dang. It's gonna hurt.

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At our first birth class, the instructor mentioned that there was a sign-up sheet for anyone who wanted to bring pot-luck dinners to future classes. We could bring our own food if we wanted to, but wasn't it nicer to share, etc. Mr A and I declined, since we had signed up for the class under the assumption that as grown-ups, we would take care of our own nutritional needs.

This last class, though, she laid the potluck guilt on pretty thick. We were specifically instructed to sign up right now for the potluck, and not come to the next class with a full stomach. And really, wasn't it much, MUCH nicer to share?

Mr. A and I do not believe it is nicer to share. It's not that we have anything against sharing per se, but we both have full time jobs that end just about an hour before the class begins--enough time to pick up some food for ourselves, but not enough time to whip up a little something to feed the whole group. We chose this class specifically for its proximity to our workplaces, and going home in-between isn't an option. Plus, even if we made some giant platters of something in advance and somehow hauled them to work on the bus, where would we keep that stuff all day long while we're at work? And how could we reheat it?

Aside from all that, I just don't want to be responsible for feeding a room full of pregnant strangers. Everybody has different (not to say crazy) beliefs about what it is okay to eat while you're pregnant. I can just imagine some woman standing up and saying "Macaroni?! Don't you know that ingestion of noodles during the 3rd trimester has been shown to inhibit breastfeeding and cause colick in newborns? Are you trying to KILL US ALL?!"

So yeah, we still didn't sign up for the potluck. I'm assuming that we are now the pariahs of the class.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Banner day

It is a banner day in the Soggy Librarian world, as I am wearing, NOT the maternity jeans I wear almost every single day, but instead an actual dress. My public is amazed. Normally I love wearing dresses, but I only bought one maternity dress because maternity dresses just didn't seem like such a great investment. Also, it's winter so you have to buy maternity tights. Which are expensive and frankly not very easy to put on, what with all the maternity getting in the way. One pair of those seemed like enough.

My annual Big Thing I Do at the Library is this weekend. Sadly, being me, I can never host a Big Thing without some level of anxiety. But this is my third annual Big Thing, and I think I've pretty much got the hang of it by now. It'll be fun. Still, I'm really looking forward to the period of time after the Big Thing, when I will activate my own personal autopilot button and cruise on out to maternity leave.*

Next weekend, Mr. A and I are taking a 3-day weekend and going to Portland! Actually, on Friday we are going to Corvallis, OR, where Mr A will be attending something or other. I lived in Eugene, OR for a couple of years, but the only time I made it over to Corvallis was when I joined a friend who wanted to go to an Ani Difranco concert there. And the only thing I remember was that the concert was in like, the basketball stadium I think, and Ani Difranco could NOT get over the fact that Oregon State's mascot is the Beavers. She was way into it.

So anyway, I have two questions for you, Intertubes:

1. What should I do in Corvallis while Mr. A is doing his something or other? Has anyone ever been there? What is Corvallis' deal, anyway?

2. Portland. I have been there before, of course, but I am not an expert. Favorite restaurants? Shops? Onesie peddlers?**


*If my boss or anyone above me in the pay scale at The Library is reading this, please note that my autopilot functions on an extremely high and productive level and is undetectable except by very expensive instruments not currently owned by The Library.
**Mr. A and I can no longer walk past over-priced children's stores without going in and poking everything. We do not buy. Only poke.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mystery solvers, library edition

As promised, let's chat about Project Runway's new season for a second, shall we? It's already so much better than last year! Don't you think? We are watching it on the computator, so we stay a little bit behind, but I am seriously loving it. Just moving back to New York makes a lot of difference, but I think the designers are better, too. And Nina and Michael are in regular attendance so far, instead of those terrible sixth rate L.A. judges from last season.* In these times of strife, I really need to be able to depend on Nina and Michael.

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In the past two days, I have had two different patrons come to the desk asking me for Section 9. Any guesses as to what they actually wanted? Patron #1 was looking for District 9, the major motion picture, while Patron #2 was looking for the 9th floor of the library. It is for solving these brain-busting mysteries that the library pays me the big bucks.

p.s. I feel bad about yesterday's whiny post. I really do know how lucky I am, sometimes I just forget for a few minutes when I get an email that doesn't agree with me.



*Of course, the first episode of this season featured Nicole Ritchie. But at least they didn't let her talk very much.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting cranky

I'm going to get to take about five and a half months off for my maternity leave. I'm well aware that I should be grateful--and I am grateful. It's going to be wonderful to be away from work with the baby for so long, and I know it's a chance that a lot of parents in this country don't get. The bummer about it, though, is that in order to do that I've had to save up all my vacation time (and sick leave, though luckily I haven't been very sick) for quite a while now. So I haven't had a real vacation in a year. And I'm getting CRANKY.

This year has been a real struggle at work, and every time I think it's getting better, everything backslides again. It's gotten to the point that I don't know how to make things better, or if I can. Then, people keep asking me if I'm coming back to work after the baby. Although I know this is a reasonable question, I can't help but think, how fancy do you think Mr. A and I really are? Have you seen our tiny shoebox house that we can barely afford? Our single car with the cracked windshield? Believe it or not, we need both of our incomes to make this glamorous lifestyle possible. Would that it were otherwise.

Also the national and international news is so terrible these days that I can't even bear to listen to my beloved NPR. If I hear ONE MORE WORD about Scott Brown pimping his American Idol daughter, there will be violence, I swear.

Sigh. Sorry--I needed that. My next post will be about rainbows, bunnies, or Project Runway, promise.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

While watching the US snowboarding championship on Universal Sports

Mr. A: I think the 2026 Olympics are the earliest we can aim for.*

Me: (pause) 2030 is probably more realistic.

Mr. A: Nah, he can make 2026. He just needs to focus.




*For the baby to compete in. If that's not clear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Smiley-smiley

So, uh, I haven't been such a great blogger lately. This is partly because I wanted to try to come up with a post that wasn't pregnancy-, baby-, or weather-related (the sun has been out! sort of! thank you, El Nino and climate change!)--and failed miserably. There just isn't room in my brain for very many thoughts, and those topics are taking up most of the available space. Also, once I go for a while without a post I feel like my next post should somehow be extra interesting, which is a pretty high bar to set for myself since my regular posts are not all interesting. Hence, the long periods of silence.

We went to our first birthing class this week, and it wasn't too bad. There was a lot of smiley-smiley "no question is a stupid question" sort of stuff, but people really weren't asking stupid questions, so it was fine. The class seems to be free of the kind of people who ruined graduate school for me by never, ever shutting their pieholes under any circumstances and turning each class into their own personal therapy session. So that's nice.

There were ten couples, all due at more or less the same time--late March through late April. One of the couples still hadn't looked into finding a place to deliver their baby, and I was disconcerted to find myself for the first time feeling smugly superior to other parents. Clearly it is only a matter of time before I'm denouncing bedtime techniques and pacifier practices left and right. I'm going to be so much fun to be with!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shoe mysteries revealed! High school football shows plugged!

For those of you waiting with bated breath to discover the results of the Great Shoe Debate of Late 2009, the answer was . . . none of the above. I couldn't reconcile myself to the elf shoes, and the Frye boots were just too expensive. Instead, I got these Clarks boots, which I found on sale for a pretty sweet discount at a local shoe store. So everyone was a winner. Well, mostly me. I was a winner. Of boots.

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Mr. A. and I are currently obsessed with Friday Night Lights. I know it's nobody's fault but my own that I had never seen this show before, but in my defense, a show about a small Southern town obsessed with football just seemed a little too close to home. Still, enough of my ladyfriends recommended it that I finally caved--which was half the battle, since I also had to convince Mr. A. to watch it. He is not a football fan, which is one of the many things I love about him, but it made this tv show a hard sell.

I must say, FNL ladyfans, you were so very right--I am crazy about this show, and Mr. A is pretty near as crazy. We agree that we have crushes on Coach and Mrs. Taylor, respectively (although actually I sort of have a crush on both of them). And I never get tired of saying the name Tim Riggins. Don't you wish your name was Tim Riggins? Of course you do.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still got it

The other day a couple of boys (we had established they were twenty, which equals "boy" in my book) were asking me about getting hired at the library. So I was telling them the boring details of all the pieces of the application, when and where to turn them all in, etc., when one of them said, "I wanna get that job just to be able to sit next to you all day. You fine!"

"Honey, I'm old and married and pregnant."

"Well . . . old and pregnant ain't bad!"