Are they Quick? Probably Not. At Least There Are Seven.

1.  So it turns out non stress tests are kind of awesome.  Eli goes over to the neighbors house (I have a neighbor who watches my kid ALL THE TIME just because she’s so crazy about him which means obvs I can never ever move) and I get to go for a nice little walk BY MYSELF and then I get to sit for twenty minutes or a half an hour BY MYSELF listening to the cool whooshing heartbeat noise BY MYSELF and they bring you a big cup of water with a straw and some crushy ice which I get to drink BY MYSELF while I read a book BY MYSELF, and it’s actually like, the best hour of my day.  Although I do find myself thinking sometimes “Aw, this walk is a little lonely and quiet, and I’m a little sad that I haven’t had to come up with an answer for “Why DON’T we have a pack mule, Mom?  WHY?”

I would also like to add, so that I do not appear to be a total ingrate, that every single time I go in there I think to myself, hard, “Thank god for this health insurance thank god for this health insurance thank god thank god thank god.”

2.  I have ordered 160 newborn diapers (shots out to diapers.com).  I bought a coming home outfit from Baby Gap (RUFFLES!) with my gift certificate from NGS and I hit the Carter’s outlet and and I bought Eli a big brother present and I ordered a breast pump and the fluffiest pinkest blanket I could find and a dishwasher basket (I don’t even really know what that is but it seemed useful) and bottles and unscented baby wash and I am READY.  Except for that part where I’ll have a random contraction and think “Oh,wow, these are way more horrible than I remembered! Fun!”

3.  This doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but in other “I can never move” news, they are building a new Target within WALKING distance of my house.   This means I will be able to walk to the park, the grocery store, Starbucks, my OB, the pediatrician, a doughnut store, and TARGET.  If it turns out to be a Super Target I can’t even tell you what I might do, other than buy a lot of pie.

4.  Swistle has me irrationally excited about eating hospital food, and if I get there and there aren’t chicken ranch wraps and turkey sandwiches and warm chocolate chip cookies I am going to hold her personally responsible.

5. I am more ready to be able to have a glass of wine at 5 oclock again than I really think I can rightfully explain.  Whatever, I come from WASPS, Happy Hour is what we do best.  Betty Ford, here I come!

6.  I had random “false labor” last Wednesday and Mr. E told EVERYONE.  (He also announced “My brother said he just twatted it.”)

Now every day that passes with NO BABY I feel like a huge loser who is letting everybody down.  Especially Mr. E who seems to think the main point of having a baby is to get out of work.  He’s worse than a fifth grader in January with a huge test the next day and a forecast of snow on the horizon.

But it is funny to remember how in these last two to three weeks EVERY SINGLE TIME you call ANYONE they answer the phone with a very hopeful excited lilt to their voice and the first thing you always have to say is “No, I’m not in labor.”

7.  Dudes, I won a Clairisonic face brush thingee from Kristen and all I can say is Holy Pants how fanfreakingtastic is that?  I mean, I won something! Seriously?!  And it was something really super cool.  That never ever ever happens to me.

Mr. E already has a sonic toothbrush that he got because every person we’ve ever known is a dentist or a lawyer but only the dentists give out free shit, and apparently the face brush is made by the same people and my only point here is that eventually they are going to run out of normal things that need brushing with Sonic Waves and they’re going to have to invent the sonic bum cleaner and I can only hope they name it the Sonic Boom because that would be the best thing ever.

None Of This Makes Any Sense: Notes from Thirty Seven Weeks

It is May, but it’s cloudy or rainy every day.  There are brief breaks in the weather, and whenever it’s sunny, we take slow walks through the neighborhood, and I follow close behind his little blond head, and marvel that it’s been three years and I still can’t take my eyes off that perfect swirl on the back of his head.   I take him to the park even though I hate the park and we hold hands across the scary jouncy bridge, over and over, and then later the whole swing shakes, he is laughing so hard, and at night even though I do own all those books that tell me this is a terrible horrible no good way to have healthy sleep habits and a happy child I let him fall asleep next to me, curled into my arms, and we make chocolate chip cookies and he eats half the batter and through it all, as I walk behind him, as I toss and turn next to him with fitful dreams, I ask myself, over and over, “What have I done?”

I know, without a doubt, that I do not deserve more than this, and I wonder what my punishment will be for daring to ask for it.

Certain days I have signs of early labor or false labor or I hang up tiny pink dresses or I remember that new baby smell or I read birth stories late at night on my laptop and on those days it comes in flashes of excitement – we’re having a BABY.  A real life actual Baby Girl, and all of a sudden, I can’t wait.  And then other days I wake up with the nausea thick around me again, clogging everything, and I don’t care about babies,  I don’t care about dresses, or anything, I send emails all day saying “I can’t do this anymore” and tell people I have forgotten what it’s like to live a normal life free from endless deep breathing and gagging at the IDEA of peanut butter.

Sometimes I am not sure when it’s worse – the good days, or the bad days.  The bad days are the days I know I can’t do it, that two children will be the death of me and there’s not enough anti depressants in the world.  The good days are the days I have time to think about how it’s JUST NOW that being a mom got fun, and to wonder at how I had the audacity to chance all of that for MORE.

You read over and over again about people who say “I didn’t think I could love another one this much and then my heart just expanded” but for some reason I am not at all concerned about having enough love.  I’m just worried that I’m about to wreck this life that just finally started to get amazing.  I’m worried I’m selfish.  I stop Eli a hundred times a day and I say “I want you to know I’ll never ever ever love anyone more than I love you” and I have to turn away so he won’t see me cry because I’m scared he won’t know this, even though they are the truest words I’ve ever spoken.

I sit Eli down and I tell him that when Lightning Bacon comes out, that she’ll need a new name, that Lightning Bacon is her tummy name and that he has to help me think of a real name for her, a name for a baby girl, and he thinks for a minute, looks straight at me, and says “Harold. Harold Blockface.”

And I think “really? You needed MORE than this?”.

There’s only one thing that helps all this, and it’s this:   I think of my brother.  How I’d be lost without him.  How we lived our childhood so close  together and how no one else in this world knows what quite what I’ve been through, and the thought of my life without him makes my breath catch and seems utterly impossible to fathom.  I think how for me there’s just no one else in the world quite like my brother, and in those moments, it makes me hope that in the end, maybe, just maybe, I am not ruining my son’s life.  Maybe I am, after all, giving him a gift.

Pants and Lightning

Maggie is worried that I don’t know how to nurse a baby and type at the same time,  and therefore she’ll be forced to endure nap time without my scintillating IM’s about which outdoor cushions at Cost Plus are cutest.  I have assured her that 1. I am a world champion no hands nurser, and that 2. it doesn’t matter anyway, because I have always been pregnant, and I will always  be pregnant.  I will never ever not be pregnant.

I have five doctors appointments this week.  This means I have to haul myself and my toddler into the doctor four days out of five, and I understand that I should be grateful that I am having a baby, I should be grateful I have health insurance, I should be grateful I have a uterus and a toddler and legs and a doctor and medical care and that I am alive to walk the earth and the reason I never blog anymore is because I don’t want this space to turn into complaining.org but can I just complain a little tiny bit about the fact that I have to go to the doctor FOUR FREAKING TIMES IN ONE WEEK?  (one regular appointment, two non stress tests, and an ultrasound.) URGH.

I feel totally unprepared to give birth to an actual baby, and also totally not bothered about my lack of preparation.  Sure, I threw some socks and some Lasinoh in a tote bag, but other than that, I’m sort of just…meh on the whole thing.  I should probably be putting together email lists or charging the camera battery or doing something other than googling “patio globe lights” and trying to choose outdoor pillows, but I remain unconcerned.  At least about camera batteries.  I do have a fair amount of concern as regards outdoor pillows.

Holy Pants! The sun just came out for FIFTEEN WHOLE MINUTES! It’s almost like I like in  California or something!

You know, it’s interesting because people have these concerns when it comes to having two kids instead of one – some people wonder how we’ll fit them in a two bedroom house, or if they’ll fight a lot or if it’s a bad sign that Eli often starts yelling “I like to hit babies!” in the waiting room of the ob gyn.  (Whatever, it’s practically his second home, he has to entertain himself somehow.  I’m getting ready to just pitch a tent in there.)  I’m not sure what this says about me but honestly, my only concern is that I think Pants is going to be really really really really mad if we don’t name the baby Lightning Bacon.  I know this because this morning I said “Eli, what’s going to happen if Mama doesn’t name the baby Lightning Bacon when she comes out?”  And he looked right at me and said “I will be bery bery bery bery bery mad.”

Shit.

Ya’ll remember this moment, because it’s going to become the story of how I gave my children perfectly lovely, dignified, biblical, classic names and somehow ended up calling them Pants and Lightning.

The Secret to My Success

So, the backyard is done and it’s pretty freaking awesome.  Like, I haven’t looked at any real estate listings in DAYS.  I wasn’t going to say anything because I’m so not allowed to put any pictures on the internet until after the episode airs (July Ish) and I am pretty sure I’m also not supposed to mention vendors by name and all that stuff and I’m kind of airing on the side of caution because I know Mr. E forged my signature on a bunch of documents and I don’t want to get my shit sued.  But then Maggie insisted on update so here it is.  (Let me know if you MUST see a picture and I will email you one under the cover of darkness.)

Anyway, it’s a rad rad backyard and I love it so insanely much and its got a “shade structure” and I still have my tomatoes and my hydrangeas and I want to know where craft services went because it was scary easy to get used to someone pulling up into my driveway with coffee and fruit at the ready even though it only happened for two days.  Also, I would like to note that I just got the backyard of a LIFETIME and it’s pouring down rain.  Of course it is.  The only bonus I can think of there is that I don’t have to water the new plants? But seriously Sacramento – SO UNCOOL WITH THE WEATHER IT IS NOW MAY LETS JUST CUT THIS OUT ALREADY.

Because I almost never do this, though, I am going to take this moment to say that I am officially proud of myself for how I handled this whole experience – I am not going to lie, I was a tidge bitchy/stressed going into it, but once the cement trucks rolled up and the cameras started filming, I kept my promise to myself and I did not have emotional breakdowns and I did not yell at anyone and I did not fight with my husband and I did not cry and I did not freak out when five different people implied that I needed help figuring out how to make my yard cute and just in case you did not know I am not normally the type to take kindly to that particular sort of advice but I just took some deep zen breaths and said “two days, two days” over and over again.  And btw, my yard looked damn cute, if I do say so myself.

Also, our friends rocked it out – Amy parked cars for like, a hundred years with Pants and even indulged him when he told her that he only eats food if its frozen solid.  (Sadly, this is sort of true).  Her boyfriend Andrew basically saved the entire project and became the unsung hero of the DIY Network when he figured out (in like 15 minutes) the back steps that gave all our contractors fits for hours.  And basically everyone else worked their asses off and we could not have done it without them – I wish I could buy everyone a new backyard because seriously they all deserve it.

Unfortunately after getting a free backyard I have no money (funny how that works) which is really too bad because it turns out that the cuter your yard is, the more stuff you want to buy to put it in it.  Seriously, I just spent 30 minutes convincing myself that I don’t actually need 12 striped acrylic drinking straws.  Well played Pottery Barn, well played.

Also, are you aware that I am now 35 weeks pregnant? This means that I could totally have a baby like any minute.  I alternate between “Oh my god I CANNOT wait” and between wondering if its humanely possibly to just leave babies in there forever because I do not feel ready.  But please don’t get me wrong – I am way ready for pink hair bows and that new baby smell, I am just a little nervous about how Senor Pants is going to do with a sibling and sleep deprivation and breastfeeding suckitude and also PUSHING A HUMAN OUT OF MY CHA CHA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

And now I would like to tell you something that I have been keeping secret from the internet for quite some time because I am terrified to tell you all – you just never know what could go wrong with these things.  But I think you have the right to know.

SO.  DEEP BREATH.

Ok.  Pants?  IS TOTALLY 100 PERCENT BUTT CRAZY ALL THE WAY FOR CERTAIN POTTY TRAINED.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FREAKING HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Do not ask me how I did this because my only word of advice is: Stickers.  One day I just got sick of changing diaper after diaper and dropping money at Target on box after box of even more diapers when I could be spending that hard earned cash on striped acrylic straws, you know? But seriously, he’s only had TWO accidents.  When he has to go, he tells me, and then he walks in the bathroom and pulls down his pants and lifts up the toilet seat and pushes the stool in front of the toilet and goes to the bathroom and flushes and pulls his pants back up and pushes the stool over to the sink and washes his hands and dries them.  ON HIS OWN.

And what I have learned from this is that 1. my kid rules 2. I am a potting train genius and 3.  when Pants is ready to do something, he’ll do it, and until then, you might as well just bash your head against the wall for any progress you are going to make trying to get him to do something he just is not ready to do and all the treatises in the world on being manipulated by your three year old aren’t going to change any of that.

It’s also kind of weird – there’s an element to this that seems too good to be true.  I actually feel kind of anxious that my backyard might be TOO nice.  It’s just seriously SO NICE  – and it will make such a big big big big big huge difference for us – this summer, this year, with this baby, if we ever try to sell our house.  This is something we never could have afforded or pulled off on our own – and it just feels – like an outward sigh, if that makes any sense.  Like I let something slide off me that I didn’t know was there and now I feel light.  I don’t know – I’ve never won anything and I normally have to work really hard to convince myself of how lucky I am and this time it’s just right there in my face – I’ve got an insane back yard and a magical child and the best friends in the world and Baby Girl is almost here and there were a hundred times this weekend when I just wanted to give Mr. E a huge hug because of how awesome he is.  Lucky lucky lucky me.

Probably it’s good that it’s not sunny because then what on earth would I complain about?

And that’s what up in our corner of the world.  You?