Archive for September, 2007

One month

It is now officially one month to my due date.  Today has been really uncomfortable (back aches, Braxton Hicks, exhaustion, feet all swollen, gas, and hello hemorrhoids)  and I’m afraid that I am going to be pretty damn miserable for the remainder of the pregnancy.  There are a lot of crosswords being done, catnaps while Lucy colors, feet up and bare minimum of housework.  We got the furniture from the MIL yesterday so once Sal Army picks up next week I am officially on bare minimum duty.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my expectations of myself and the people around me, and trying to come to terms with what is fair to expect and what I need to suck up and do for myself.  This sort of reflection seems to be going around, and I’m hoping it can be productive for everyone doing it.  For my part, I came to a grand realization last night that I spend most of my time feeling under-appreciated and second-guessed and that it’s because I find it impossible to step back and enjoy the things I do.  As much as I long to be a live-in-the-moment kind of person, I never actually do it.  And, worst of all, I feel like if I only did more, I would gain the appreciation and approval I say I feel I deserve when I can’t bring myself to appreciate and approve of what I do.  It’s a bit of a mindfuck lately, and I’m hoping some downtime will help me sort it all out.  Honestly, I keep trying to write about it and it is coming out all jumbled so if I’m not making sense it’s a combination of being embarrassed to admit how often I get unjustly angry about not getting enough recognition and the fact that I still haven’t figured out how to stop expecting myself to live up to some superhuman standards of everything.

I have a tattoo on my right shoulder, the first professional one I got.   It’s a little sun from Lou Reed’s Magic and Loss record, and I got it to commemorate a person who was a sort of writing mentor and who was coming out of a really tough time.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the lyrics that reminded me of her when I got the tattoo:

They say no one person can do it all
But you want to in your head
But you can’t be Shakespeare
And you can’t be Joyce
So what is left instead
You’re stuck with yourself
And a rage that can hurt you
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment
This wonderful fire started up again

The thing is, I can’t be supermom and superwife and superwriter and superconservationist.  I can only do what I can do, and if I can’t sit back at the end of the day and feel like I’ve done something good, I need to think about why.

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Vows of Silence

There are days, more than I can count, where it feels as though I talk and talk and talk and talk but it goes nowhere.  I can hear my voice, and I believe in what I’m saying, and it’s important to me.  And yet what I’m saying isn’t understood, is shrugged off, or worse, isn’t even remembered moments after the words have passed over my lips.  It’s the forgetting that bothers me the most, that makes me feel the most like the part of me that has ideas and thoughts is somehow less than.  And that’s the part of me that I think is the most important.

I am having trouble biting my tongue lately.  Keeping my temper, letting it slide when I have to repeat myself for the 50th time.  I remind myself that other people have their own things going on, and that I certainly forget my fair share of things.  But the truth is, I don’t forget what people say.  I don’t forget their stories or their requests, and I don’t forget when they have something that’s really important to them because when I care about someone, things that they find important are important to me as well.  That’s what it means to me to care.

I am needing a bit of a break from all of this talking, and from the tears it has been bringing.  I need to spend some time hearing my words bounce off of the walls of my mind because once they are out there in the open, they are careening off into nowhere and I can’t find them again.  I’m tired of losing my words, and at least if I’m not saying them, they can’t run off and leave me anymore.

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Go Now!

Today is Thordora’s birthday and man, is she ever OLD!!!!!

I was going to write a birthday story for her event but I hate my birthday with such vehement passion that I can’t even bear to recollect any of the damn things.  Let’s just say that for the entirety of elementary school, my birthday parties were comprised of the little girls my grandmother wanted me to be friends with.  The rest of the school year we were all polite but distant, and I can only even remember a couple of their names.

And then there was the year that she decided that my ice dancing would be greatly improved by the gift of a walkman, which was awesome.  What wasn’t awesome was, when folks asked what music to get me for it, she suggested Henry Mancini, Andre Previn, and something entitled ‘Balailaika Favorites.’  I was one hip ten year old.  Huge thanks to my aunt who came through with Under a Blood Red Sky and Synchronicity.

Sweet 16?  Have a baby brother!  21?  The guys at the bodega sing ‘Happy Birthday’  30?  Fuck if I know what I did for my 30th birthday.  I know my driver’s license expired on my 30th birthday but I don’t think we did anything for it.

I do have one birthday ritual that I have performed every year for the past 10.  It started out with the 2nd of my McNumeral roommates and a pile of random cassettes, and ended up with a song at midnight that still just makes me really damn happy.  I even hauled the tape to Italy and listened to it, pregnant, in a teeny hotel room in Florence with my head hanging off of the foot of the bed and noise from the street below.

I still hate my birthday, not because of getting old or anything like that, but because it always starts out so perfectly, with this song that feels like home, and ends up with all sorts of disappointment because it always feels like it’s more about everyone else than about me.  I guess there are just so many years to make up for that it is impossible for my birthday to live up to what I want a birthday to be.

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whatwhatwhat?  Because I mentioned that I cut it close getting to the hospital last time?  Induce?  Whoa.  Howsabout I just leave the apartment earlier, eh?  Seriously, I am still a little in shock that anyone would even say anything to me about the possibility of induction so that I didn’t have to worry about getting to the hospital on time.  I’m quite thankful I’m back with my midwife for the rest of my prenatal visits, and I’m thinking I need to iron out a birth plan after all–just in case she’s not available when it’s time.

In other warm fuzzies, ha, I’m less than thrilled that the baby is due at the same time as C’s midterms.  His plan is to turn his phone off while he’s taking them because ‘he’ll already be in Manhattan anyway so it won’t matter if for there’s an hour when he’s unreachable.’  Because yesterday was ‘Say Dumb Things to Pregnant Women’ day, apparently.  Yes, I did explain the concept of labor, trying to get a 4 year old ready and to someone else’s house and getting to the hospital solo and in pain, to which the reply was, ‘Ok, then you just have to tell yourself that you won’t have the baby while I have midterms because that’s how it works, you know.’  Yes, my husband has figured out the secret to not having babies at inconvenient times.  Personally, I’d just let my professors know that my wife was due to have a baby at any time and so I might have to leave during the midterm, would there be any way to schedule a make-up exam but that’s just me.  I suppose there are merits to both approaches.

And, hey, I could always just schedule an induction for the week prior so nobody would have to be inconvenienced!

There simply aren’t enough hands for all the bitchslaps I want to give out.

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I’ve not taken the time over the past few weeks to enter all of my reduction numbers for the month. Frankly, they’ve been high again and I’m feeling like, rather than this being a progressive reduction, I’ve stagnated and possibly even that things are getting worse. Part of this is a result of huge trash numbers (part of getting stuff together to donate has involved coming across some things that are in too bad condition to donate or, in one case, were covered with bugs. Incredibly disgusting, as well as 10+ pounds of trash. ) I feel like, even not counting that load of trash, our garbage has gotten completely out of control. I don’t know what we’re throwing away, but I have an idea that it’s mostly packaging. It feels sometimes like no matter how much we’ve cut down on processed and packaged foods, we still end up with a crapload of package trash. Can that even be?

Our mileage has been good for the most part. I’m not going anywhere but doc’s appointments and that’s all subway anyhow. Lucy is only in a car when her grandma picks her up, and both times this month have been super-local trips. Her school is so close as to be almost negligible, and only C takes and picks her up.
Unfortunately, this is hardly a feel-good area for me as we’ve always been really low in this category.

Our local/wet food ratio has also been pretty crap since I skipped CSA last week. I’d like to be less dependent on it, but at this point it’s really hard. This is the area I fear the most at this point; as I get closer to the baby being born and even after, it’s going to be very hard for me to do the walk, even with the cart to help out. I don’t have anyone to help me with the pick up (C has class) and I have no access to a vehicle so it’s either walk or don’t get it. That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow at this point. Maybe I’ll take a stab at Greenmarket next week to help out. It’s still a lot of walking but less trying now that it isn’t 8 million degrees.

Consumer spending has also been better, since we’ve not bought any furniture this month. First week was mostly school supplies and prenatal vitamins plus canning stuff, second was a mix of some maternity and some Lucy Halloween/dress-up plus supplies for planting and storing bulk food (still not here, grrrr) while last week my only purchase was a set of shears for cutting up TC and hankies. It helps that we have everything we need for the baby at this point. Or at least mostly. I’m a little nervous about the number of cloth dipes being enough, and I’m torn between using the prefolds as burp cloths to start out and getting burp cloths. I also don’t know if I should go ahead and order the glass bottles I want to get for pumping or if I should wait and see how bf-ing works out this time around. I’ll probably wait so that I don’t jinx myself. But other than that, we’re pretty well ready.

I’ve managed to get together 12 boxes, 7 bags, a suitcase full of bags, and several pieces of furniture for donation. I sure wish I could count this off of my consumer goods or garbage totals for the year 😦

Actually, mostly I just wish I could be happy with what I’ve accomplished without having to list it all out here. I always feel better after these posts, or after I look at the tidy row of items checked off and highlighted on my to-do lists, but I would really like to feel satisfied without having to recount everything I’ve done. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m truly doing it for myself or if I’m just trying to do what I think I should be doing. I think (and hope) it’s the former, but there’s really a fine line sometimes between trying to be honest about one’s misgivings and being self-deprecating for the purpose of bragging without sounding like an ass. I really do have these misgivings, I swear, and I’m really not doing the reduction for attention either.

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For the past 4 years, my mother in law has been trying to get C and I to swap our lovely, teak framed couch for the sleeper sofa from her tv room.  Every couple of months or so, she’d ask if we were ready yet, and every couple of months we’d try and come up with a polite way of saying ‘no, really,  we have designed the entire living room around this couch and are really quite satisfied with its performance thankyouverymuch.’

And then earlier this year, the unthinkable happened.  Well, not so unthinkable for a wood-framed couch that was purchased from a chain store in the 70’s but we were a little bummed, although in truth I had been worrying about having said sofa with a baby (in the old apartment we were able to jam it between 2 larger pieces so that the huge wood arms weren’t so much of a hazard but we had already lived through a Lucy scare in the new where she tripped and banged her nose into the frame.)

And so we bit the proverbial bullet and mentioned to the MIL that, should they still be looking to rid themselves of their sofa, we would be needing one after all.  After the dance of joy subsided (I could hear it over the phone, I swear) we started making the necessary arrangements.  She would have the new sofa designed, and when it was finished the old would be delivered.  Of course, this would necessitate new chairs as well, and so we would be receiving the old ones, which are quite possibly my favorite chairs ever.  And so I did my own dance of joy and all was well.

Over the next few months, we tried to hammer out details as best we could due to my need to know that the old sofa would not end up as landfill fodder (hello, teak!) and likewise my need to know when everything is happening as far in advance as possible in order to maximize the time I can spend stressing out about it.  The end of July was the best estimate, and so our schedule was arranged as best as possible to accommodate.  No sofa.  August.  No sofa.

Which brings us here to the end of September.  This Wednesday, barring appearance of any of the horsemen of the apocalypse, we will be receiving our brand-spanking-new-to-us sleeper sofa as well as The Best Chairs In The World.  We have a delivery window set up.  I have the phone number of the people who will be delivering said sofa and TBCITW.  We are moving the old sofa out and steam-cleaning the carpet behind it today in preparation.  And I am, dare I admit, excited.  Not waiting for 6 months excited, mind you, but at least not quite so upset that July was a no-go.

Couple that with the coming removal of a metric ton of crap we don’t need anymore (including half of my wardrobe *gasp*) and the imminent completion of Lucy’s dresser-putting-together extravaganza, and I’m feeling pretty ok about being ready for the baby to get here.  It suddenly doesn’t even matter that I haven’t set up a pick-up time for the truck or that I can’t walk more than a step into my closet for all the boxes or even that we may be living with an extra couch for an indefinite period of time.  I am less disappointed that my potting soil and cannisters still aren’t here (although I do have to email True Value and find out WTF is going on with those.)  I am going to be able to lounge on a couch and watch tv for the last month of my pregnancy without needing a crane to get me up!  And it will be good that my mom will have a place to sleep when she comes up to help out when the baby gets here, but that’s all the way next month and therefore not nearly so exciting.

Ok, I lied, I’m still a little peeved about the potting soil.

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Today I was going to get the Salvation Army stuff sorted out but frankly, I feel too much like crap.  I’m thoroughly tired of tea with honey and lemon, and noodle soup, and blowing my nose.  I’m sweaty, tired, cranky and generally a big old baby.  And I have a 28 page program to proofread if I can make my eyes focus long enough to get through it.  Did I mention I’m sweaty?  Isn’t it supposed to be fall?

Anyway, here it is, Day 6 of the the cloth TP challenge and I have to confess…last night I forgot to use cloth and accidentally wiped with regular toilet paper.  I swear, everything went in slow motion for a minute as I dropped the wad into the toilet and exclaimed, ‘nooooooooooooo!’  Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I did feel pretty dumb for forgetting.  Anywho, it’s still going well.

What isn’t going so well is the use of cloth hankies.  I cut up an old pillowcase and proceeded to go through 7 hankies in the first night.  I don’t know if it’s the material or if I’m just inordinately squicked out by my own snot, but I’m not so jazzed on blowing my nose on cloth.  Then again, I’m not so jazzed about blowing my nose at all right about now, so perhaps I need to give ’em another chance.

Today is Peace One Day.  For my part, I’ll be pulling down The Big Book for Peace for Lucy and me to look at tonight when she gets home from school.

Holy crap, can I stop sweating already?  Damn tea.

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