Friday, September 7, 2012

Thoughts during 1st Breakfast, Friday

Canberra Times

1. I seem to be doing something intense with my jaw during unconscious times.

2. I was thinking about what a train wreck I was during my first semester of college, at Sarah Lawrence, and I experienced a new kind of pain thinking about my kids having to go through that. Difficult and inevitable to a certain extent. But, I do think there is something very valuable in being able to look back at a past version of yourself and say, "Holy shit, what the fuck happened there?!"

3. ...I'm still entertained by "Walter Benjamin Weisfeld", and it's really not that funny.

4. After--what is essentially--a 9-month harsh hangover, social isolation, constant fight against the forces of thirst and malnutrition...essentially a 9-month spiritual war of 25 years of intense birthing anxiety are over.  I'm slightly nervous about a few discomforts, but fuck it.
As I keep saying, that's the only way I can go back to being NOT PREGNANT.

5. I'm officially making it a life goal to someday have a room hidden behind a bookshelf. Going forward, I shall refer to it as my lair.

(39 weeks, 2 days pregnant...6 days 'til due date)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Critical Onesies -- Foucault, Durkheim, and Grammatology

I haven't purchased any of these, but was entertained by their existence :-)  Really, I could only commit to the first, I think.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All Brains Need Breaks -- Recess

This Slate article talks about recess returning to the school day.  I am glad that I went to school before this vital part of physical and social development was ripped away.  I didn't know kids were currently missing out, though I can't say I'm surprised.

How can you expect elementary age kids to sit and do school work all day--save a 30 min. lunch break--and not mentally suffer?  Oh wait, that's right...we can just medicate them into more focus. Silly me! Amphetamines are obviously always the answer.

But seriously, play and movement and imagination are vital to making kids smart and well-adjusted.

The Rebirth of Recess  by: Nicholas Day,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

38 Week OB Appointment

So, the blood pressure was up today for the first time:  138/90.

The midwife is running some blood and urine tests to check if I'm developing preeclampsia.  If I am, we might need to think about inducing at 39 weeks (which is Sept 6...or 9 days from now).

Test should be back by beginning of next week.  Hopefully it is nothing.

(37 weeks, 5 days pregnant)

UPDATE: no preeclampsia, after all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

When Kids Play Across Gender Lines -- Emanuella Grinberg on

...I love the idea around this toy store rearrangement.  Much more useful.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nerdy Thought on a Sunday Afternoon

How entertained would I be to have a kid named Walter Benjamin Weisfeld.


So very sad that I don't like the name Walter.  I guess we could change it to Gautier...I would NEVER get partner approval on that one.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birth Class Foodie Moment

Last night at birth class we had a lovely couple come in to share their birth story. The story was great (not scary), they seemed pretty cool, and their baby seemed to be the kind of baby I enjoy. The mom even referred to having a standard vag exam as getting fisted...and I got a good little chuckle out of that, of course.

But I was distracted through the whole second half because I was hung up on Fire Bowl Cafe.  Now, there is a reason I've never been to a Fire Bowl's because I don't believe in fake Chinese restaurants (that and they only seem to exist in suburbanesque strip malls--rarely a good sign).  DON'T lump together a bunch of pseudo-Asian cuisines and expect me to respect you enough to give you money. Ok, I could rant on this place forever.

The point is: this lovely couple mentioned they went to Fire Bowl Cafe while in early labor, and it sent me into a special mental space.

Later, we were divided into teams to play a game moms v. coaches. One of the moms I have identified as probably awesome made a quiet foodie-appropriate comment about the presenters' food judgments, and I was so excited to not be the only one with feelings about this! It was a nice moment for me, though probably seems totally trivial.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Twenty Reasons

20 reasons my man is the most awesome pregnancy partner in the world:

1. Despite ever-increasing workloads at the office, he has taken over most of our domestic tasks. He will leave work at 8pm and STILL go to the grocery store, do the dishes, switch out the bags in the mini trashcans (aka, emergency puke receptacles), and make sure the bathrooms are stocked for the night. He doesn't bring home his stress anymore, and I know that has to very difficult for him.

2. He joins me in occasionally breaking pregnancy rules (nothing dangerous, of course.)

3. Even when he's asleep in the middle of the night, he senses my queasiness/offness and reaches over with comforting mini-snuggles.

4. He is ever vigilantly scanning for potential nausea/emotion triggers and immediately counteracts them as much as possible, like a ninja!

5. He is better at gauging my likely reaction to things than I am.

6. He is quite funny and adorable.

7. He nerds out at our birthing class.

8. He brings me surprises...often.

Day 211 of Vomiting

[WARNING: there are like 4 different things in this short post that could leave you uneasy, not excluding a face in a placenta, and my cervix. Whoops! Well, there; you've been warned.]

...and we are on day 234 of the year. That's 90% of 2012, so far.

I worry my gag reflex is going to be permanently changed after this journey through the dark jungles of pregnancy-long morning sickness. (Insert jokes here.)  I feel like I should be reading some Sartre, but I think it could be psychically bad for the baby...and probably me.

I watched some videos of people on ayahuasca. They were comforting. From now on, I'm going to pretend that I'm knocking on the door of the spirit realms when I'm hunched over not keeping my food and drink.  Each puking session could be an opportunity to encounter my true Buddha nature within...? When I see the sparklies floating in my field of vision, I'm just going to tell myself that I'm reaching towards sacredness.

Ok, all this lemons-to-lemonade is making me nauseous now.

As of Thursday, the kid should be baked enough to be a fine human being on his own. We've made it this far.  I can do anything for 1 to 4 weeks.  May the spirit of earlyish babies in my family run strong in me!

As of last Thursday: 
1 cm dilated
50% effaced
baby is locked and loaded in the head-down position.

Hopefully his face's love affair with the placenta is still raging strong, and he'll come out face down as he should.  (Srsly, every ultrasound he hides his face in that thing. I think of them as being besties.)

(36 weeks, 5 days pregnant)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beaten to the Punch: Baby Dictators

At that link, you will find a delightful series of baby dictator photographs by Danish artist Nina Maria Kleivan.  My idea to do this series, sadly, was not original it seems. Of course.  But! Look how fun these are. And by fun, I mean amusing while managing to agitate several different levels of discomfort and critique.  I like to remember, also, that her baby is a girl.

                                                       Baby Stalin; Baby Pinochet

Friday, August 17, 2012


Seriously, the issue of object permanence (or lack there of...lols) is one of the funniest things about babies to me.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Quick Note to My Perineum

Hey there,'s it goin'?

Listen, lemme start by saying that you've brought me three decades of excellent service--truly above and beyond level, yo. From my being a potty training superstar by 24 months, to an ease with mula bandha control any yogi would be pleased have not once let me down.

But, ahead we have our most harrowing trial yet.

I'm gonna need you to really dig deep and find all your strength and power. Babies run big in my family, and the Buddhism + middle America protestant work ethic of my grandmother + a lifelong fondness for cultural and physical anthropologies are all somehow conspiring to convince me of a drug-free birth experience. So please, for the love of all things holy, please let's keep this an incision-free happening.

Between you, our komrades the extra-wide and flexible hips, and my knowledge of 7 different forms of meditation--y'know, I think we can do this; we can make this happen.

Go team!


Note to self: get a small framed picture of an Amish woman plowing...

(33 weeks pregnant...1 month, 18 days 'til D-Day)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Need to Nest

It's totally bizarre that I have this deep, primal urge to buy/organize/set-up things. I organized a closet the other day that both the husband and I have been avoiding since we moved in almost a year ago...and I enjoyed it. I was gleeful, in fact. For people who know me, the idea of my gleefully organizing my own cluttered space is...completely foreign, I think.

Really what I want to do is open up all the baby things we have (and then buy even more), put them in their places, set up the baby spaces. It's KILLING me.

But, we're Jews, so we don't set up the nursery before the baby is born (long story short: bad luck). So, I'm channeling all this nesting energy into other, totally not as satisfying pursuits. And, I'm trying to only spend money on things we really need.

Luckily, we have a lot of cluttered spaces, and I think everyone would be happier if there were fewer :)

...I'm not going to go to the level of playing with dolls, though.  Nope. Samantha is not coming out of storage. I'm decidedly above that.


(32 weeks, 6 days pregnant....or, 1 month & 19 days to D-Day)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First Baby Shower -- Cirque du Bebe

                                                                                     Mother and daughter

My first baby shower...both as an attendee and as a mom-to-be.

The lovely Tricia Noyola and Kendra Herring, aka my OG homegirls, threw me a lovely shower in San Antonio titled Cirque du Bebe! It was French circusy :) GORGEOUS.

My mom, Aunt Sherry, sister, and brother's girlfriend all came up from the valley. Ellen flew in from Chicago...or really, from Brussels...for the event and a bit of a visit.  Even Nana--Kendra and Tricia's grandmother--came in from Amarillo!

The shower ritual is an interesting, snacks, passing around's all about female bonding, it seems. Everyone is there to applaud your motherhood?  Regardless, it was a great time, even if I did get woozy and tired at certain points.

The whole group

                                         Aunt Sherry and I...the 32 weeks & 3 days baby bump

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Naked as We Came

                                                                    Sally Mann, Goosebumps

Magic Man and I have differing views on clothing and nudity.  I hold degrees from 2 schools that are clothing-optional campuses; I think that makes my views clear.  He sees getting up in the morning and putting on public-ready clothes as a natural part of life.  Even if you're not going out in public, the clothes are a healthy and necessary reminder of civilization, he asserts. 

I don't 100% disagree--giving up on getting dressed can be a sign of depression or other illness.  But, I also think that one works hard in life so as to be able to NOT wear pants (or anything else), if one chooses. There is nothing "natural" to me about clothes. ESPECIALLY in the Texas heat.  I do appreciate a good bra, being of the larger breast persuasion...but outside of that, the rest is mostly optional in my mind, and I have spent chunks of my life happily wearing clothes only part-time. As a result, I have also enjoyed far fewer body image problems than a lot of women I know, especially considering that I've always been a chubster (or Rubenesque, as my mom puts it).

I have no intention of forcing my kids to wear clothes when we are in the privacy of our own home. It is incredibly important, obviously, for them to understand conventional social rules around bodies, privacy, and audience. Home alone with your parents is different than at a friend's house for a birthday party. But, as long as that understanding and respect of culture is there, I see no point in forcing them to stay dressed all the time if they don't want to. There is nothing wrong with their bodies, and making them anxious about covering themselves all the time only increases early-sexualization of their bodies. I think it brings shame into a place it does not belong...possibly making it harder for them to hold clear boundaries of body safety later on.

 TBD's body is his body. It's not mine (even now while still totally encapsulated by my body.) If he doesn't want to cover it, within the safety of set boundaries, I think that should be his choice.

Magic Man and I haven't come up with set rules yet. Seems a little premature.  But, I have full faith that we will find a happy medium. He has no desire to have kids who are anxious about their bodies, just as I have no desire to have kids who can't function in public life. 

Here is a solid post on the subject by Shannon Hayes (author of Radical Homemakers). I agree with so much she is struggling with here. 

Ugh...ok, back to sipping this nausea tea. Yes, I am still vomiting.

(29 weeks, 5 days pregnant)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Avoiding Brie Is Dumb

Obviously I'm not a doctor, but...

I'm really annoyed by all the alarmist crap around food and pregnancy in this country.  I seriously doubt that eating brie, salumi, , bloody steak, or even having the very occasional glass of wine is going to make my baby deformed or lacking in intelligence. Especially after the more fragile 1st trimester. Even some well-chosen sushi from a highly reputable place is fine in my mind (say no to mercury, though; heavy metals are for real, ya'll.)  Is it because we're a culture that doesn't really value moderation?

NOBODY should eat salumi twice a day. C'mon guys...

There are plenty of things to worry about in parenting. Stressing because you desperately want some brie, and you're not supposed to have it, seems like a ridiculous waste of energy. The stress is probably worse for the baby. Bacteria is everywhere; you could cut your hand and touch an infected doorknob and get a crazy infection. That doesn't mean wear gloves all the time.

Just don't buy sketchy food products. As long as I'm educated about what and how much I consume, I think it should be fine. Soft cheeses, here I come!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bradley Method Class #1

Last night, the Magic Man and I went to our first Bradley Method class down on the south side. Jenny Wood is our instructor, and I can say already that I like her! The class has 6 other couples that seem to come from a wide range of backgrounds. There are a few women there which I've decided I want to maybe be friends with.

After class I felt a lot less anxious about delivery. It may just be the over-confidence from being a ninja of squats and kegels, but I think I might really be able to do this sans epidural. I am a little concerned at the possibility that one's pc muscles can be...too strong. I'm not sure about the science on this; further research required.

(28 weeks pregnant)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

99 Days to Go!

I've been away for longer than I thought. Family visits, registry filling, the never-ending hunt for the right bassinet....these have been filling my days.

I had a good 6 weeks of feeling like a normalish person. But now, 6.5 months in, the morning sickness is back with a vengeance, the beginnings of stretchmarks are starting to appear (luckily they're directly over old stretchmarks--win!), and hot/cold flashes are making an appearance here and there.  At least I've gotten used to these gianormous boobs, for the most part.

The kid is quite the tiny dancer, and I can see my belly ripple when he's really getting down. This can be fun, but his stronger movements--when paired with worshiping at the porcelain alter--present extra difficulties in trying to forcibly will the food to stay in my stomach in those touch & go moments. It's hard enough to mentally calm my puking muscles, without an outside force kicking at my organs. (Please don't let me spontaneously vomit in public!)

*sigh* Less than 100 days to go (hopefully).

(25 weeks, 6 days pregnant)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parenting Taboos

I started thinking about creating this blog in the first weeks of knowing I was pregnant because I felt like I'd been dropped into a strange role that I normally see portrayed as a different reality than, well, is actual reality. The idea that motherhood is inherently a magical and happy experience for all women is such a fucking myth. Why isn't that a bigger part of the larger discourse? I started on this motherhood path emotionally, mentally, and financially able to deal with a child--I even have a loving and committed partner to share the experience with--and I STILL felt like I was walking the plank at sword-point.

What I became acutely aware of in those early weeks were all the things I found myself wanting to say or ask, but which immediately seemed waaaaay outside of cultural acceptability. I found myself prefacing these topics with apologies and acknowledgments of how terrible it sounded when bringing them up with close friends I've had for 20 years.

Isolation, alienation, a decrease in importance within your family circles, a shift in how society sees your attractiveness/worthiness, the so-called Baby Blues (a disgustingly euphemistic name for something very real and potentially incredibly dark and soul-devouring)...all of these things are obvious parts of parenting, in my mind. What if I don't immediately want to die for my child at the first moments of holding him? What if other things in my life don't stop being important with the first breastfeeding? What if I want to take a vacation without my kid in the first year? Do any of these make me a bad person...a bad woman? Logically speaking: no. But culturally speaking, the answer I felt was YES.

Through lots of talking about it, I've found that the reality of how women feel about these things is really different--something I can relate to--than what many websites and books and nauseating commercials offer. But, why isn't the real of it all a bigger part of cultural representations?

I found this pretty awesome TED video of Alisa Volkman and Rufus Griscom talking about parenting taboos--those things that culture keeps us from regularly addressing in the open. It's funny, real, and comforting to hear parents saying the things you KNOW are true, but usually seem impolite to discuss in random company.

(21 weeks, 6 days pregnant)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm Just Going to Say It:

...I am super freaked out about what's going to happen to my vag as a result of passing another human being--in its entirety--through my body.

Really, really freaked out. (Thanks for 2.5 decades of horror stories, Mom...)

I know everyone does it, and there's even plastic surgery and the rejuvenation option down the road if it's really bad, but that doesn't change the fact that something beautiful and vital that is, will soon cease to be. Or, at least cease to be as it currently is. And yeah, there's something bittersweet and Buddhist about this fact, but that's not making me feel better.

*facepalm* So shallow...

(21 weeks pregnant)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

...and I didn't think these books could get any better.

Thanks to Kent Wang for bringing this awesome into my day.

Baby Sex Revealed

It's a boy!

Vagina or Penis?

Today is the big unveiling!!! Here's hoping that TBD is in a junk-flashing mood. Hard to imagine a child of mine being shy with its body... And then FINALLY, the husband will engage in the naming conversation! Stay tuned for the big news.
(19 weeks, 6 days pregnant)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Friday!

May this 20th of April be a lovely one for everyone! Go outside. Be thankful for the planet that loves and supports you.

Pick up a piece of trash.
Enjoy a flower without picking it.
Lay in the grass and find the cloud shapes while eating a whole bag of Doritos.

Photographic Inspiration

From Bored Panda...I love these images by photographer Jason Lee!
Fun, creative, full of childhood magic. I'm filing these under To Do.

And here's Jason's website.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Radical Homemaking: a beginning

Ok, I have to start this with a preface:
There are a lot of issues of privilege that come into play when talking about someone choosing to stay home instead of working for the monies. Additionally, there are currently a lot of people out there who desperately want to work, but can't find jobs or are incapable of holding a job for one reason or another. Issues of privilege and class (and race...and gender...) are incredibly important for us all to be thinking about in our everyday lives, and my discussion of homemaking is not presented without a conscious awareness of all this. But, that also doesn't mean that we shouldn't pursue ideas and choices because our culture currently doesn't allow everyone to participate in them. On the contrary, I think often change starts when people in positions of privilege start making different choices and speaking about them.

I am embarking on a new life as a homemaker. I feel a little shameful just saying that publicly. I come from a cultural milieu that demands that women pursue careers and ever-increasing levels of financial independence. I have a master's degree, I have taught at the college level, I have studied/debated/lectured on the most hardcore philosophical levels of feminism(s) since I was 15 years old. I was raised in a family where not only did my mother always work--often multiple jobs--but HER mother (b. 1920) also worked and was a savvy businesswoman. As a result of these realities, and so many more, I am currently working through the guilt of "depending on a man" for my financial comfort.

BUT...this idea that it is a weakness for one member of a partnership (regardless of sex) to depend on the other member for financial support, I believe, is rooted in an inherently patriarchal and capitalist/consumerist belief system--a system which I wholeheartedly believe is at the root of most of our major planetary ills (it looks different in different places, but the effects are the same).

My developed skills and natural talents do not make the big bucks. They are not greatly valued by our culture. My partner's skills are. It doesn't make sense for me to invest the precious hours of my day working at a job which only makes a tiny fraction of what my partner can make, and to then have 2 people in a relationship who are tired, stressed out, and only half-able to do the work of building/maintaining a home.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In Utero Training

This kid is totally gonna come out singing the West Wing theme song as a result of my compulsive DVD playing.

What can I say? President Bartlet soothes me.

(...Really what I should hope for is a kid with an innate sense of Sorkin-esque dialogue. I can see it now: "When you say 'lunch', I think we're envisioning two different things, Mom. Here, walk with me...")

Preschools: Get 'em while they're young!

I'm told I need to be getting on preschool waiting lists NOW. Let's be clear: I am 4.5 months pregnant and live in Austin, Texas. I naively thought that mad dashes for preschool spots only existed in the largest cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. Y'know, places where lots of people with too much money and too many

anxieties tend to congregate. It seems, Austin is one of these places now? Is it that there are too few awesome preschools in this lovely river city? Is it that Austin is somehow plagued by inert contraceptive pills? Is it just that all of America has been taken over by the culture of starting the road to Harvard at 18 months of age? ...I certainly hope not.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a teacher and obviously very pro-education of all sorts. Get 'em while they're young! But my fetus is barely old enough to reveal its genitals to the looming eye of a sonogram, and starting the preschool schmooze-fest seems a little silly at this point.

But, if these are the rules of the game, I shall abide by them.

I've made an impressive spreadsheet (if I do say so myself) of all the preschools in Austin which may be a good fit for our family...Montessori heavy, of course a lot of language immersion options. I've included a column in the sheet for comments on ethnic/cultural diversity info since I think the battle against a lily-white landscape must begin early. There is also a column that holds information on what age ranges they work with, in case we want to continue on at the school into elementary.

Honestly, my interest in preschool isn't focused on trying to gain an edge on academics--I could lead that process at home quite nicely--it's really about

socialization. Beyond the tasks of making friends and sharing toys, I think the lessons of tolerance, patience, self-reliance, cooperation, compassion, and living in harmony with our environment need to start as early as possible. And, I think many of these lessons are learned best when a child is working within a larger community of children.

(18 weeks pregnant)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Cat Issue

We have a cat named Baby Starbuck (no S at the end, a la the Battlestar Galactica character, not the ubiquitous caffeine pusher.)

It took two years of a campaign I called Smitten with Kittens to convince Husband to consent to a cat...I mean I REALLY, REALLY wanted a cat for a long time. And finally when we moved back to Austin in September, I got this teenage kitty who had wandered in from the wild one day to adopt my father-in-law.

Baby Starbuck is gorgeous, on the smaller side, and has the softest short hair coat I've ever felt on a cat. She sits and lounges regally. She has bat-like ears...all meaning, her appearance begs you to cuddle with her.

But appearances can certainly be deceiving; her personality fits her name.

She isn't exactly adult-friendly, let alone baby-friendly. She bites and attacks...A LOT. She turns on you quickly. She is a vengeful kitty who pees on personal items (blankets, pillows) if you exclude her, or if you don't keep her litter box OCD clean. She wants to always have you in sight, but she doesn't want you to actually pet her or look at her too much.

After 7 months of trying to assert my dominance, I have accepted that I am not the alpha kitty in this house. I am Baby Starbuck's bitch. But I just love her so much!! ...Did I mention she has to have special prescription cat food because she has delicate kidneys?

Obviously we can't keep her once we have a new baby. It would be disastrous for TBD! Starbuck would institute daily slash and pee sessions. I'd walk away for one second and have to run back quickly to find a bloody infant doused in hateful cat piss. No ma'am.

Really, she needs to be an outdoor cat, preferably outdoors in a place where she can stalk and viciously kill a wide variety of prey. We're talking some crazy hunting instincts in this kitty. Maybe a barn cat is her highest potential.

This reality breaks my heart.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


(Thanks George Takei!)

Farewell Back-sleeping! My Hips Shall Miss You.

Well, it's finally happened. And, I suppose we're right on schedule. My uterus has reached a size that is heavy enough to press down on the vena cava when I'm laying on my back...Damn! Just this morning I was hoping that somehow, magically, I would never have to give up back-sleeping.

I blame yoga.

Today I finally started going to prenatal yoga. I think it must have jostled the little tyke loose from some corner it got smooshed into while I was stomach sleeping (this is how I imagine it, at least...). I came home from class, had some queso and gelato lunch, and laid down on the couch to briefly watch some Star Trek: TNG before hitting the ever-piling housework.

Fast-forward 4 hours:
I wake up and seemingly random parts of my body are totally numb, despite being in perfectly normal positions, and I feel an odd dizzy fog, to which my first fully conscious response is, "Oh no! I've been abducted!"

I feel like it's too early to be having such dramatic physical responses to a little vascular challenge...but, I am blessed/cursed with a freakish awareness of the minutiae of my physical experience.

I guess it's time to settle on a preggy pillow.

(15 weeks, 5 days pregnant)

Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Major Pet-Peeves

1) When people refer to a baby's gender when they obviously mean sex.

Sex = male/female...this is chromosome based. When you encounter someone with a baby bump, and you want to know what kind of genitals their baby has, you are wondering about the baby's sex. When someone of the gestational persuasion heads to a 20 week sonogram in hopes of finding out what colors to paint the nursery...the sonogram shows sex.

Gender = the cultural expression of femininity/masculinity. Pink bows, cupcake onesies, princess shit...these are typical symbols of feminine gendering. Baseball onesies, army men, blue dinosaur decor...these are typical symbols of masculine gendering. Parents impose gender on their infants, and slowly, over the course of the next few years, kids start to drive their own gender expression. It has nothing to do with their in-womb status.

2) Inaccurate animal groupings.

Recently, I was perusing the bedding section at a baby store. There was a crib set with matching mobile that was all woodland creatures (owls, deer, hedgehogs, etc.) a FUCKING GIRAFFE.

I get that Sophie the Giraffe is a big deal, but that doesn't mean it's ok to stick an animal that predominantly lives in grasslands--ONLY on the African continent--into any ol' mix. I was so outraged, I had to tell the sales associate how terrible this was. She was, understandably, not sure what to do with me.

It would have been fine if they were animals all from different environments...let's say a dolphin, a python, a penguin, and a horse. But to have a group that is cohesive except for ONE. Totally not ok.

One of these things is not like the others...and it makes my skin crawl!

Mom Groups: questioning my resistance

...I don't know what to do about this issue.

I know I should be actively trying to make mom friends since I'm the first of my local friends to procreate, and socializing is going to change even more than it already has in the last few months. Not to mention, TBD is going to need friends early on. But, I find myself resisting. I'm not totally sure what it is.

Perhaps it's that I'm not super into kids in general? I'm excited about my own, and a few I've encountered through the years...but I don't really see the inherent magic of all kids. I find many of them simply annoying as fuck. And parents of children who can't control themselves...I become the judgement monster!

Is this just an opportunity to confront some of my judgement-as-defense-mechanism?

Do I just need to jump in with both feet and hope I can control my tendency towards a decidedly NOT politically correct sense of humor?

Am I just imagining that these groups are filled with Sesame Street characters who gush when they see infants, and in fact they are filled with brainy and irreverent types who don't see motherhood as the ultimate achievement in a woman's life?

Is this just one more step in trying to readjust my understanding of my changing identity, and I need to just do it?

Seeking: super nerdy, super liberal, super creative parents who make fun of babies and don't want parenthood to be the only achievement of their life.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A NerdMom Fantasy

I walk in on my 3 or 4 year old parsing jellybeans or buttons by color (how very Montessori). After they're all separated, this kid pours all the dark ones into one bowl, all the lighter ones into another bowl.

"Look! A binary!"

"Yup, this is true," I cheerfully respond...of course not over-praising so as to encourage taking the idea further. (Because obviously in this fantasy world I am magically always able to draw out a sense of supportedness and curiosity in my offspring.)

Then both bowls get poured onto the work table, joyfully mixed around, and I hear a tiny voice sing-song out, "Dark is light and light is dark! Free play of signifiers dance!"

We then prance around the room together improvising a song about deconstruction.

(Aaaaand scene!)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cravings: Dear Los Angeles, California

I lived in L.A. for 2 years while in grad school. A lot of the cravings I've had have been little anchors drawing me to places I've lived before.

I should clarify:
When I say "cravings", this doesn't necessarily mean the blinding desires I think most people imagine with pregnancy. I generally don't want food at all. In pregnancy, I feel inconvenienced by eating (and every 2 to 3 hours, at that!) So for me, cravings are more about simply wanting something specific instead of nothing at all.

But recently, I've been starting to experience something closer to real cravings...and they're all focused on food I loved in L.A. Here are the champions:

Canter's Deli--Pastrami on fresh, moist rye with nothing but a schmear of spicy mustard, accompanied by an egg cream (of course).

Chin Chin
--all things potstickers, especially the pan-fried ones (omfg yes!). Seriously, an ORGY of potstickers. And crab rangoon, which I like to call cheesey poofs.

and la piece de resistance...
Killer Shrimp--holy mother of God! This place was closed for a couple of very dark years and has recently reopened. Killer Shrimp in broth. The only way to go. With an Arnold Palmer to temper the slow-building heat. I want to take that bowl (bucket) of french bread and sop up every last drop of that magic spicy seafood juice.

Earlier today I looked for cheap flights to do a weekend food trip...Yes, even when not pregnant I am the kind of woman who would happily cross 2 time zones for some meals. I think the husband would disapprove of such a trip at this time.

Someone, please bring me magic foods.

(15 weeks pregnant)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sigourney Weaver Is Coming for My Belly

It has recently come to my attention that, up until this point in life, I've only thought of unborn babies in 2 sizes: abortion sized and about-to-be-born sized.
(my apologies to all the people out there who can't handle the idea of abortion.)

And then I checked out TBD's current size on the What to Expect app--yeah, we call the tiny TBD for the moment--as I like to do every few weeks, and I realized that this kid is half an inch LONGER than my iPhone.

Enter: sudden queasiness.

On one hand, it's a relief to know that TBD is becoming a more viable size, like a real person. There's a certain sense of accomplishment to this.

On the other hand, I keep hearing the voice-over from that early 90s Aliens action figure commercial. Kinda unsettling. After a few days, I've become comfortable--even happy--with the idea that my uterus has ballooned to the size of a football, and shoved my internal organs out of the way on its climb to the top. The weird muscle stretching feeling in my abdomen, the growing itchy skin is definitely NOT an extraterrestrial trying to burst unnaturally through my abdominal wall.

(14 weeks pregnant)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Things I (way too) Regularly Consider

*When I am alone, I am never actually alone.

*There is double everything in my body right now (heartbeat, spinal column, tongue, middle fingers).

*If I hold my breath to get rid of hiccups...what is that like for TBD?

*Omg the kid swallows its own pee.

*Will the sound of a vibrator be terrifying for the kid? Like a giant lawn mower coming to eat it?

*Are other mammals aware of the fact that they're carrying their young in their bodies? Dolphins perhaps? Do they think dolphin thoughts about how weird this reality is?

*What if TBD is born a unicorn or a garden gnome? How could I hide it from evil government scientists who would obviously want to steal and study my baby?

*Where does one acquire those pointy gnome hats?

*Why are there so few episodes of David the Gnome?!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I Called My Mom While Growing Up

I have a tendency towards nicknames.

I probably have 10 I semi-regularly use for the husband--we won't get into those right now, but I assure you that he hates half of them.

Growing up, I had several for my mother too. I find myself thinking about a couple quite a bit:
Dear Maternal Unit
Oh Great Vaginal One (as in, the one whose vagina I sprang from)

Obviously my mother had a great tolerance of (and even humor about) my persistent quirkiness. They were said with respect; I was never being a little bitch about it. They were just a little androidy.

I hope that when my kid starts flirting with the intersection of identity, science, and language, I will be just as awesome as my mom was.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Notes from the Bathroom Floor

To all the moms who say things like:

"Pregnancy is so great; I loooove being pregnant."

"God, I miss being pregnant!"

"Seriously, pregnancy is one of the best times of a woman's life! Trust me, you'll love it!" all those moms, I want to puke in your fraking faces right now. What pregnancy grass are you smoking, and where does one acquire it ASAP?

right now, THIS BLOWS.

(8 weeks pregnant)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gettin' My Mammal On!

Drop Date: September 13, 2012

That's a week and a half after my 30th birthday!

That means we're probably gonna have 3 virgos in one household...