August 31st, 2007

In an e-mail, Noelle said something cute I thought I would share:

“i’m glad to hear you’re laying the smack down on the puke-ness. my sis had it real bad. she was puking constantly for precisely three months. one morning, she woke up and was perfectly fine. now she has a 3 month old who looks like a 40 year old man, and he takes care of all the puking in the house.”

Nice to think someone (small) will take over for me in the vomit department at some point.

Basket Cases

August 30th, 2007

I purchased a basket the other day, tossed it on the couch with a bunch of other purchases. Next time I came into the room, Mia was in it, bein’ cute. Of course, Linus is not one to be outdone (this shot gives you a good look at his ear-grease, too—BONUS). He was popping out of the basket, of course, and soon returned to his pizza box. I fear this is now a permanent home furnishing. At least we know where Mia belongs when it’s time to clean up and put her away. (On the shelf. Duh.)

The Creepiest Place on Earth

August 30th, 2007

Today I wandered innocently into the creepiest place on earth. My thinking was this: It’s a store with baby dolls … my niece, Dani, turns five in a few weeks … Dani LOVES baby dolls (passionately). But WOAH. We’re talking about a multi-story clone factory in which a little girl is meant to create a lifelike version of herself—she even buys MATCHING CLOTHES for herself and her baby—for hundreds of her parents’ dollars. There are glass cases all over the place with little clones inside them, and special theme rooms depict clones eating ice cream, driving cars, and doing other bizarrely lifelike things. The many uniformed employees encourage you to enter “the theater,” but I was much too wise to fall for THAT. Brainwashing Center, more likely.

Now I have been to a Build-a-Bear Workshop with my nieces, and I can see that parallels might be drawn. But BaB is nowhere near as expensive or detailed as this nuttery. You do not schedule a stop for your bear at a Hair Salon counter. You do not discuss plans for activities with your bear with a CONCIERGE. BaB is a treat. American Girl Place is a Stepford-like debt-hole.

Stay away, people, and keep your precious kids far, far, FAR away.

Noise Pollution

August 22nd, 2007

I have been home for two hours. In that time, Mia hasn’t stopped meowing in a whiney, screechy way, to be let outside. What has gotten into her!

She’s done now, though. It apears she screeched herself out of a voice! All that comes out is a pathetic “Ra-a-atch” when she tries to scream in my face. Serves her right.

It’s Like a Bad Dream

August 21st, 2007

I tried to take a nap just now, but what began with the creaking of the pizza box (yes, the very same one) turned disasterous for my intentions. Linus, compelled by a Force greater than himself or than me, was driven to try—and fail—repeatedly to position his entire 20 pounds on top of the side of my head turned away from the pillow. There was a lot of teetering. I gave up on the nap. I’m not sure what to call the Force that compelled him, but it should probably end in “Disorder.”

In other news, Sarah-Architect found this cute penguin sippy cup on a random shelf at IKEA yesterday. Imagine our surprise when we found that the actual ones for sale, in their actual packaging, came with a rubbery “hood” that makes this cute kid-ware seem … well, let’s just say Sarah-Architect dubbed him The S&M Penguin and leave it at that.

The Type of Parents We’ll Be

August 17th, 2007

Today at lunch with Stevel’s friends, it was suggested that at whatever point the Thing gets ears in there we should play it Mozart. I had heard this before. I explained that I had given this some thought, and since the kid and I will be spending just oodles of time together, I don’t want it asking me to play stuff I don’t like. Naturally, then, I was thinking that at ear-time I will play it MY favorite music. Steve let the group know that this would entail a lot of Lionel Richie, and I was like, HELL YEAH. Some jokes were made about “Dancin’ on the Ceiling.” Then, as I was driving home, a great Seger tune came on the Classic Hits station, and I was all, This is the STA-tion! But then the DJ started talking about Ted Nugent tickets, and he referred to the artist as “The Nooge,” and I thought, Is this the right thing to do to a kid? Do I want OUR kid to be the one who doesn’t know a sonata from a TV-ad-jingle but speaks openly at daycare, to his own social doom, about The Nooge?

I’m not particularly superstitious except about two things: The Law of Threes (things happen in threes), and the Jinx. So it is with trepidation that I announce that in the last couple of days, per my doctors’ many promises, I feel I may have turned a corner with the nausea. Friday night through Saturday evening, things were worse than ever: 24 hours unable to keep anything down, and I stopped counting the number of times I had thrown up. Stevel tried to convince me to drink some horrid electrolyte liquid he bought with the gentle suggestion that it might be better than taking it in by IV. Could not do it. Fortunately, I finally got some crackers to stay with me, and it was uphill from there. Since then, I haven’t (NO JINXES, PLEASE!) spewed anything. Perhaps this was the Grand Finale of Morning Sickness?

Other fun aspects of being a vessel of nature continue, of course. The tiredness that is like no other tiredness I have ever experienced. The tiredness that makes me conk out for a 4-hour “nap” (does it even still qualify as a nap at that point, or is it another night?) every afternoon. Just a little daily reminder that, much like an airplane lavatory, I am IN USE.


August 13th, 2007

haiku [hahy-koo] a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons

hwh [hə-wə] the sound of one woman heaving


Eighth of a bagel
rises, falls in the puke-tube
Bird on a stank breeze

Who fills this bucket
with foam? I have no moisture
for you, Rubbermaid

Just when yellow seemed
the sole shade I could produce—
pure red! A nose-bleed

Powerful spirit
Witch of my hot, summer gut
Enraged, vengeful bile

These two tranquil cats
no longer open their eyes
when I spew Jell-o

Wise Tracey (nurse) says,
Tea tastes the same coming out
as going in. Wise.

Sweet, white gummy bears
Why have you forsaken me?
Dreams splinter, crushed reeds

BRAT(T) Diet fails me
as I have failed the Master
of Digestive Light

Seas of Asia churn,
call to my esophagus:
R e t u r n t h e J e l l – o

Listening to “Sweet Jane” Lifts My Mood

August 10th, 2007

Thanks, Lou. I do miss the part where it’s hard not to dance around, but I have all the energy of a bucket of sap. I’d nod my head in time with the music, but for those of you who don’t know this little fun-fact about pregnancy, your hair falls out like crazy; nodding my head produces a shower of shed.

Today the medicine is at least keeping the nausea at bay. The last two days were rough. Moments where I’d find myself spent from heave-spasms, standing over the disposal too exhausted to do anything but hold my mouth open while the pasty clumps of my last meal continued to crawl up my throat and over the back of my tongue assembly-line stye. I’m making this sound like a terminal disease. Let’s just say if I’m not in the 50 percent of women for whom this vomit-fest ends after 14 months or so, I fear I will lose it completely and start throwing puke at the walls with my hands. The delivery room nurse will have to spirit away my newborn for its own protection. “Welcome to the world, little baby; sorry your mommy went insane before you got here.”

Maybe I just need the semester to start. I’m teaching two classes, both on Thursdays, starting in a few weeks. If I am still this sick, I’ll be locating the classroom trash-can up front by the white board. Can’t you just see the end-of-semester student evaluations? “This teacher was pretty good, but the hurling sort of made it hard to concentrate.” Actually, I’m about to enter the window when this is supposed to all abate, and if it doesn’t, my doctor and I will be exploring further medicinal options. Either way, CLASS WILL GO ON!

Right now Mia is trying to convince me she is an outdoor cat. “See me meowing by the front door? It’s time for me to go out.” Yeah, just like all those other times. Not. Meanwhile, Linus continues to break in this same pizza box. Sarah-Architect suggested we put the pizza box on our bed. I explained that a lot of the POINT of the pizza box is that it gets Linus to sleep somewhere OTHER than our bed—this is why Stevel refers to it as “the decoy.” Apparently Sarah-Architect’s cat, who is affectionate on her own terms only, has taken to sleeping in a clear plastic storage box. Sarah-Architect revealed that she put this box on her bed, and much to her delight, the cat sleeps inside—this is the closest to snuggling her cat has permitted, although she says when she put her arm over the box, the cat stood up as if to say, “Look, I think I made my boundaries real clear when we did this.”

Another recent cat development: We’ve been watching the Planet Earth series on our HD TV. Fantastic, of course. Even Linus thinks so—he has been watching TV with us, which amuses me so much I can’t even watch the TV myself. A cat! Watching TV! If I catch him trying to program the TiVo, I will laugh myself to DEATH!

What’s Coming, What’s Here

August 4th, 2007

Some people who haven’t experienced depression think it’s simply sadness. But depression is a thick, numbing smoke that rolls in. It clouds over the things you enjoy and care about; you catch glimpses of them sometimes, but they are never tangible. You sit there breathing in the smoke like a blob, hopeless and frustrated. You can’t reach out. You barely see breathing as being worth it. You barely feel anything.

The danger in depression comes when you can’t identify it for what it is. When you think the world has actually become dreary, and that you’ve become pointless. When you can’t see that it’s the same world it was, and that you’re the same person you were, before, when everything was fine, but instead think the sense of pointlessness and dreariness represents reality. Then you don’t know it can be the way it was again. You start to look for ways out—artificial happiness or stimuli, or worse, an exit.

I’ve never been to those darkest places. I’ve been fortunate myself to develop depression late enough in life to have learned from a lot of people close to me what it looks like and how it tricks. I’m not saying I’m always able to quickly react and address it. Only that I’ve never failed to identify it.

Depression happens for a number of reasons. It can be genetic, or it can develop as a result of—or as a side effect of coping mechanisms we develop to deal with—situations we live within when we’re young. The latter is tough to reprogram, but, with a lot of work, it’s very possible. The former is chemical. Depression can also develop as a result of ongoing stress, a life-situation that goes against the things that make us essentially satisfied as individuals. If we try to fit ourselves into a life that isn’t suited to our natures, it’s depressing. Stay married to the wrong person, or stay in a job that disagrees with your personal ethics, and you’ll know it.

I guess I’m thinking about this because I’ve been depressed lately. Steve and I are expecting, and while I know the blog entry about that should be celebratory and wonderful, I haven’t been feeling well, to say the least. I’m on five different medications right now for nausea, feel stressed out by social interaction, have barely left my house in a month, and am finding it difficult to imagine I will like having a kid weighing me down. It’s all very unfair of me, because I wanted this very much and am so lucky to be physically healthy with it. Those of you closest to me know I’ve been saying for two years how much I want a baby. Right now I feel like that was nature taking over and talking through me, and not my essential self talking, and that’s depressing.

I don’t need to hear how much I’m going to love being a mother. I know all that stuff—how I’ll “fall in love” with the baby, etc. I know. And I know this sickness will end, and I’ll probably regret having told the entire Internet how I didn’t look forward to the very thing I’m so fortunate to be receiving right now. All I know is these three things: (1) the Internet—blogs and IMs—has been my life preserver from the outside world many times, (2) this is how I feel right now, and (3) I’m working on it.

Thanks for always being patient with me.