Wednesday, January 30, 2008

i'm sure the extra grilled chicken bits cost more than thirty-four cents

Dear Lynn,

It's not my fault that I ate your salad today. I blame the server who took my order over the phone. I clearly stated that I wanted a side Caesar salad and a small cheese pizza. I should have been clued in for problems ahead when she asked me what type of dressing I wanted on the CAESAR salad. Ummmm – Caesar, perhaps? I should have been even more concerned when she was ready to hang up the phone without finding out my name. For the order, you know?

I waited in the heinously long pick-up line, just as you did sometime after me, I’m sure. And when I finally reached the register, having witnessed some of the chaotic goings-on with all those pick-up orders, I was just so happy to be finally getting my food that maybe I didn’t speak clearly. I thought I said MY name at least 10 times, repeating the order I had placed a mere 15 minutes ago. Maybe I only said it 9 times, and 10 would have been the magic number? I don’t know. The dude at the register seemed put-off by my frequent repeating of my name and order: MY NAME IS WHIMSY AND I ORDERED A SMALL CHEESE PIZZA AND A SIDE CAESAR SALAD. After a moment, he returned with a bag (no pizza box in sight) and said that all he had for me was a Caesar salad. It didn’t help, for some reason, for me to hopefully repeat my order. They broke my SPIRIT, you see? As he was telling me that this was ALL HE HAD I turned to just leave, explaining that I was pregnant and hungry and it had been a very long couple of days and there was no way I could wait another 15 minutes for a cheese pizza. Which is all very true. His co-worker overheard the exchange and handed him a pizza box that apparently contained the other part of my order… but had someone else’s name on it. Lynn, I felt so bad when the server dude shook as he handed me my Coke and accidentally forgot to give me my $0.34 in change. I’m not a bad person, Lynn. I ate your salad but I let the guy keep my $0.34.

It wasn't until I was back at my desk, RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY and ready to consume the cardboard pizza box along WITH the pizza inside that I discovered I had YOUR full chicken Caesar salad, premixed with the dressing. I was just so terribly hungry by this time, you know? I couldn’t STAND it. I had to eat the salad and then also share half of it with K. I found the receipt with your name helpfully written across the top a few minutes later.

It makes a lot more sense now that the dude thought the pizza was for "someone else". That someone else was ME.


Monday, January 28, 2008

i'm going to step on you and squish you flat

This one is going to be all over the place. You've been warned.
I had a HORRID night of “sleep” last night. “Sleep” because calling it sleep would be totally misleading. It’s “sleep” when you don’t actually dip into any sort of REM cycle, when you have so many wacked-out dreams that you’re convinced you’re either an audience member of some kind of loopy ballet where they require AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION or you’re trying to survive in a world where people can be shrunk down to the size of gerbils and wind up living underground, attempting to survive when they can be stepped on, eaten, or kicked into oblivion at any moment BY THE GIANT PEOPLE. Factor in INTENSE HIP PAIN, a snoring husband, two cats (one vomiting hairballs in the wee hours, the other going on closet-door-opening sprees at 4am), an overactive bladder, AND a little baby girl who twists and turns to get herself comfortable when mom can’t sleep. I found myself at one point thinking about the words HUSBAND/CAT/FETUS CONSPIRACY in relation to WHIMSY and then quickly tap danced over to YES which easily slid past HECK YES coming to rest near AND I HAVE TO GET UP IN 5 MINUTES.


In other, more sunshiny news, we have this:

This is Chip, holding up his correctly swaddled “baby” from our Saturday seminar. I have to tell you that it was actually pretty fantastic. Sure, there was some stuff we already knew – but there was also a great section on Baby Wearing, including an opportunity to actually try some of the different soft carriers (winner by a landslide in the Whimsy/Chip household: THE MOBY – dude, we’re so getting one).

Chip was a champ during BABY BATHING as well as BABY DIAPERING (which was much more theoretical than I ever imagined). My favorite part was when Chip asked the diapering instructor about the percentage of time he can expect to actually get poo material (his words) on his hands. And that if he can just know what to expect, he’ll be fine. Her opinion was 60% in the first week, with decreasing likelihood in the following weeks, probably tapering off to around 20%.

We take this whole thing VERY SERIOUSLY around here. Can you tell?

Oh, and I have to add that we spent a good portion of the seminar with K, who is also in our Labor & Birth class. This is the K who, with her gallant husband by her side, is the STAR PUPIL of the class (according to Cindy). K’s mother-in-law is a doula – so they do have quite a bit of a helping hand in knowing the right answers to things. And Chip is still a little bit irritated that they correctly performed the Double Hip Squeeze while Chip himself was still fumbling around pressing various parts of my bum (not that I was complaining). Anyway, turns out that K and A are totally NORMAL. And, in fact, I LIKE THEM. K, at least. A couldn’t attend the class due to work, so the jury’s still out on him. We took turns complaining about the pelvic pressure this late in a pregnancy, along with the frequent PEEING. She’s just 2 weeks ahead of us, and when Chip heard that, he busted out with BUT SHE’S SO MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU. Annnnnnd I’m going to take that as a compliment even though K’s belly is seriously just so round and adorable. She gets comments from folks like, “That just looks painful” and “YOU HAVEN’T HAD THAT BABY YET?!?” while I get the “You’re due in MARCH? REALLY?” and “YOU DON’T EVEN LOOK PREGNANT.”

No, I just look like I've been eating my weight in donuts and Twix bars. (And really! I haven't! But I would like another Skittle, please.) Also, anyone who messes with me today might be surprised with my ability to shrink them down to the size of a gerbil and SQUISH THEM FLAT.

Friday, January 25, 2008

tales from labor & birth class - part 4

Let's just say that ONE of us came to bed last night with a heaping bowl of Tillamook Chocolate Mudslide ice cream sprinkled with a generous handful of Cheddar Sun Chips. Who might that have been? (hint: IT WASN'T ME.) I don't want to hear any more ewwwww when I'm stuffing french fries into my cheeseburger.

- - - - - - -

Last night's labor and birth class was focused on the following: C-sections (we watched a video that thankfully avoided the more gushy parts), vacuum & forceps deliveries, episiotomies, and the first 6 post-partum weeks.

Least favorite part:
Seeing the internal fetal monitor doo-dad that might be used in the event that the baby’s vital signs are a bit sketchy during labor (a long cord thing that they stick all up in there and then ACTUALLY SCREW INTO THE TOP OF THE BABY’S HEAD to more carefully monitor her heartbeat). Dude, I know it’s a great measure to take to more accurately check her vitals prior to having a C-section or whatnot, but I still don’t want anyone screwing a wire into my kid’s noggin. Call me crazy. We are so totally aiming to avoid that business.

Most humorous part:
The “helpful”, “handy” (Cindy’s words), and might I add WEIRDLY STRETCHY disposable underwear the hospital uses for mom after labor. We even got a demonstration with how the nurses snuggle a little icepack in there. (Whoever believes that labor is a glorious sunshiny trip through meadows of flowers full of frolicking puppies simply HASN’T WORN THOSE WEIRD PANTIES and certainly HASN’T HAD SOMEONE PUT AN ICEPACK IN THEIR DRAWERS). This is Whimsy; I tell it like it is.

Most comfortable part:
After our breathing exercises, I decided that I simply wasn’t going to get up off the floor. And more than that, I wasn’t going to sit up. I was perfectly cozy leaning back against Chip in a semi-prone position. Of course, poor CHIP maybe wasn’t all so comfy. It’s possible that his bum fell into a very deep (and later: prickly) sleep. He whispered into my ear: “You’re funny. You’re also the only one LAYING DOWN right now.” My answer: “Yes. That’s true. Hand me a Skittle.”

Whimsy's favorite part:
Scanning the room to see how many of the dads-to-be were actually COVERING THEIR EYES (no lie). The few that weren’t doing that were noticeably UNCOMFORTABLE hearing about the possible ripping/tearing of their wife’s lady parts. It was sorta cute.

Chip's favorite part:
When Cindy busted out the helpful visual aids for hemorrhoid care (a box of Preparation H and a tub of Tucks). SWEET.

- - - - - - -

We only have ONE more L&B class next Thursday. How crazy is that? However (because I know you're all waiting with baited breath and have just ADORED this series of mindlessly numbing stuff from pregnancy land), I'll have an extra installment of "Tales From" after tomorrow when we attend our 5 HOUR SEMINAR: A DAY ABOUT BABY. I do believe we might be changing diapers on dolls. I will do my best to smuggle in a camera because this is going to be AWESOME.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

tales from labor & birth class - part 3

So I'm slightly behind in my serial episodic of the labor and birth class. What? I've been BUSY, yo. I've been contemplating the massive ball that has become my belly. My favorite is when the Bean gets herself wedged up against the side of THE BELLY and I'm like 3 inches higher on one side than another. It's so weirdly alien. I love it.

We're in week 34 around here, and wondering when she's going to get her head down into the starting position. Perhaps I've just made it so enticingly INTERACTIVE with all the poking and patting and talking, she just doesn't want to get committed to a headstand. Who knows. I just hope that the undulating bulgy part that moves from side to side is actually her BUM because if it's her HEAD, I might have to go in there and put her in a time out. YES BEAN - IF YOU DON'T GET INTO THE RIGHT POSITION AND STOP MESSING AROUND WITH YOUR UMBILLICAL CORD, I'M GOING TO TURN THIS BODY RIGHT AROUND, YOU HEAR ME? DON'T THINK I WON'T DO IT, EITHER.

So - back to the labor and birth class.

When we last saw our heroes, they were in a BATTLE OF WILLS with Cindy, the birth instructor. After two classes, it was decided that Cindy HATED our Whimsy and Chip and they were destined for serfdom in the caste system that is a Labor and Birth Class full of people WITH NO SENSE OF HUMOR WHATSOEVER.

The third class actually went so much better! It helps when you simply refuse to get into the positions that you know are going to either KILL YOU or cause enough blood to pool in your ankles as to require some kind of MAGICAL FEAT to get you off the floor. I made Chip do the dirty work, of course, forcing him to break the news to Cindy that the Whimsy is not so comfortable laying on her (albeit somewhat cushy) hips on the CONCRETE FLOOR THAT IS REINFORCED WITH HARDENED STEEL and we’d be happy to do a modified position as we practiced breathing. Cindy sort of gave Chip a fine/whatever nod and sent him on his way, enabling me and my husband to happily recline in bliss. Later, I started cracking up when she had us up on all fours (a position for back labor) and when a couple of the star pupils hesitated, Cindy rushed in to let us know that under no circumstances do we ever need to get into a position that is uncomfortable. Try what works! Go with the flow! Cindy is flex-i-ble to the MAX. Smile, smile, smile. HA HA HA!

The key to loving a class when you don't so much connect with the instructor is to get into the mindset that you’re somehow getting REVENGE on the instructor when you learn something that is going to be helpful. Are you following me here? I’m saying that we really do love this class. We have a video at the beginning of each session – a BIRTH video that inevitably leaves me in a puddle of teary goo (I refuse to report on the state of Chip’s emotions before, during, or after these videos. Let’s just say that I might have to occasionally share my Kleenex.). We have all these fantastically goofy breathing exercises (Chip’s favorite is the hee-hee-hee-haaaaaaa one, but he sometimes substitutes it for hate-hate-hate-heeeeeeer – indicating Cindy). We have some kind of discussion about labor and birth itself – the types of labor, ways to deal with the pain, the phases of labor, what happens during procedures, etc. We have a BREAK-OUT section where we get counted off into groups and then we spend time brainstorming about subjects like epidurals, natural birth, and labor inducement (favorite subtopic was when Cindy digressed into an enraptured lecture on natural ways to induce labor and whether or not any of the methods worked – there was a great deal of talk about nipple stimulation and how your LEVEL OF COMMITMENT really affects the outcome).

I don't know about you, but any time a group of perfectly respectable adults PAY to sit in a hospital classroom, roll around on the floor, talk about their nether region, see a bunch of videos displaying said nether region in some FUNKY ways, and then hear a lecture about the importance of COMMITMENT TO NIPPLE STIMULATION -- well, that's a good time in my book.

We have our fourth class this Thursday. I can't wait.

Monday, January 21, 2008

strange bedfellows

First, thank you to everyone who participated in INQUIRY WEEK - it was incredibly helpful and also totally gratifying to hear back from so many of you (new and return readers alike). Thank you for playing - I'm sure there will be many more INQUIRY sessions in the weeks to come.

Until then, there's this...

Various food combinations that I've loved in the past 34 years:

- Grass and dirt (there are pictures of me enjoying this delicacy around 18 months)
- Grilled cheese sandwich and Miracle Whip (7 years old - it was a phase)
- Nilla Wafers and a tortilla (9 years old - another phase)
- Nilla Wafers with peanut butter and jelly (don't know when I first tasted this ambrosia, but dude: it's the best thing EVER)
- Cinnamon Pop Tarts and Tang (16 years old through adulthood - in my defense, we don't buy Tang, like, EVER, but when we do buy it, I dip cinnamon poptarts into a nice cold glass of the stuff. Don't judge me.)
- Chocolate frosting on graham crackers (again with the ambrosia... let the cocolate sort of settle into the graham crackers for a couple of hours before eating - so so so good!)
- Sausage and maple syrup (as long as I can remember)
- Sour cream/onion dip and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (sometime in the past 7 months)
- Toast and cereal: with lots of dipping the toast INTO the cereal/milk concoction (I'm sure I loved this from the moment I could EAT cereal - and I love it still to this day)

Your turn. I want to hear DETAILS of some of the weird food combinations you nuts have enjoyed eating.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

joe lies and INQUIRY WEEK continues

Okay, maybe not Joe*, but WHIMSY CERTAINLY LIES. Here I had you all het up about INQUIRY WEEK and I've gone and blown it. Day 1: of the good, there was an actual inquiry. Day 2: no inquiry, but at least a post. Day 3: no inquiry, no post – what is this world coming to! We’re on Day 4 now, and I have another inquiry – but this one breaks my original promise of including an inquiry that encourages participation from the lovely subset of readers at The Creamery who don’t have kids. I am still (technically) one of them, and it seems ridiculous to ignore my own KIND.

Anyway... I guess I'm ignoring my own kind (please say you still love me and we'll see what tomorrow brings) because the INQUIRY for today is based on a bag that I have sitting in my closet. It’s the HOSPITAL BAG, my friends, and I have a gazillion lists that tell me what should go in it. I understand the basics like toiletries and a change of clothes and underwear and things for Bean and swim trunks for Chip and whatnot. I’m more curious about some real-world experience. (And before we continue, let me add that I know this is an early request. The bag in my closet is not packed in any way whatsoever. But it sits on the floor, mocking me with it’s wide open maw and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get all the junk they tell you you’re gonna need in there without also breaking Chip’s back. Please help.)

Without any further delay, our INQUIRY for the day, courtesy of Chip's back and that bag in my closet:

I'd like to know...
- One thing that you brought to the hospital that you loved - that you found totally indispensable.
- One thing that you WISH you'd brought to the hospital that would have been a lifesaver.
- One thing that you brought with you that you never used, that you maybe never even unpacked, that you looked at later and wondered what you'd ever been thinking to bring such a thing.


* And please oh please say you remember this reference. If not, I feel sad. And Lloyd Dobbler feels sad. And so does Joe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

brief pause in INQUIRY WEEK for this message from your hostess

It's my birthday today. Birthdays, no matter how momentous (or otherwise) always give me a reason for reflection - on my life, my goals, my past, my future, my direction.

Last night Chip asked me to go outside to look at the stars. I said no. I was cold, I was wearing my pajamas, I was watching television, I was knitting, I had a cat sitting if not on then near me, I was under a blanket, I was too comfortable to get up, I needed to brush my teeth and wash my face, I was lazy.

I wrote something like the above in the comments of Meg's post.

And then I wrote this: If I could go back, I'd say yes. A thousand times: yes.

How easy it is to get caught up in the To Do lists, the dailiness, the tiresome need to keep up with life's little necessities. We miss the chances to look at the stars with the person we love the best.

Monday, January 14, 2008

tales from labor & birth class - part 2 and let INQUIRY WEEK commence!

First off, I have to tell you that Cindy, our Labor & Birth instructor, totally has it in for us. No, really. The lady HATES US. There were a few instances in last Thursday's class where it was none too subtle that she'd like to throw various birth balls and posters at me and Chip. My favorite was when she came all the way across the room to use ME as the prop for what NOT to do when your partner is doing this touch relaxation exercise. Sure, I guess she needed a dummy. Maybe I looked particularly dummy-like, I don't know. The key is that she walked across the room and man-handled me in such a way that as soon as she was out of ear-shot I looked at Chip and uttered these rarely heard words (from me, at least): I. Hate. Her. At the break, Chip watched in silence as I pulled off our nametags and told him, "From here on out, we're doing things OUR way. We paid for the class. We're here to learn what we need to learn to get the Bean into this world in a healthy way. If Cindy tells us to lay on the floor and roll around, and I don't find that particular brand of "exercise" (torture) to be helpful for my back, I'm going to find the posture that WILL be helpful. If Cindy has a problem with it, she can take a walk. Ha ha ha ha ha!" Chip smiled this huge smile, then he told me I rocked. The rest of class was much more enjoyable. Some days I have these really great moments when I realize that it really IS just me and Chip, and we're in it together - whether it's a birth & labor class, or stumbling through this parenting gig, whatever - it's such an amazing thing to be doing this with my best friend.

I have officially declared this to be INQUIRY WEEK. My reasons are twofold: first, I have some questions for y'all; second, I'm sapped of all creative energy (at least today) and I cannot think of a witty way to tell you that I'm so tired I want to cry - but also still so incredibly INSANE with all the To Do madness that I can't decide which way is up or down.

Hence, INQUIRY WEEK. Every day I'm going to ask a question (can you see how COMPLICATED this here INQUIRY WEEK is going to be?). You get to answer. I'll post my thoughts as well - that is, if I actually HAVE any thoughts. Not all questions will be baby-centric, I PROMISE.

Let us begin with Monday's question:

This is about feeding and soothing baby. There are a million books out there with varying advice about what's best for baby. Instead of arguing about it, I want to hear what one book you enjoyed the most on this subject. So far, I've read Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block and it seems pretty straightforward and simple. He gives a helpful hand on how to deal with settling baby. He does not, however, really cover the whole feeding baby topic, other than it's important to feed on demand for the first few months. No feeding "schedule". So now it's your turn. What is one book you'd recommend that covers the feeding/soothing baby issue? If you never read a book about this, but received some particularly sage advice, share that instead. For you out there who don't have kids, please chime in as well if you have a strong feeling about any of this, even if it's to tell me that I'm a wonderful human being and you just can't get enough of my writing.

Breastfeeding: Yes or no? For how long?
Rice cereal: Yes or no? When?
Cry it out: Yes or no? When?
Baby soothing: Cuddle on demand, or let baby learn to soothe him or herself?
... Just a random sampling of some of the thoughts in my head.

I don't think I have many strong feelings about this topic, as of yet. I am going to breastfeed. I don't know for how long. We hope to be able to include Chip on the feeding Bean experience, so at some point (no idea when) we will also be feeding her from a bottle (I'll be pumping, obviously). This is pretty much all we have right now. Here's your opportunity to totally bend me to your will.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

department of licensing hijinks - plus some other stuff

Today I went to the Department of Licensing to renew my driver’s license. It was all it was cracked up to be, let me tell you. I got to people watch! For over an hour! While I listened to a bunch of tired and unhappy-looking folks answer (and ask) some of the most inane questions known to man! I watched the lady at the information desk answer the same question 20 times in a row (I counted) - and in case you want to know her answer: for license renewal, please press the #2 green button on the number machine behind this wall. My favorite part was when they were only 4 numbers away from calling my own (#48) and magically ALL OF THE WINDOW WORKERS DISAPPEARED. It was as if they didn’t think a staggered schedule would make ANY sense at all. Why NOT go to lunch all at the same time? And then conduct a very interesting social experiment to see how long a large room full of hapless jacketed and coughing folks will sit quietly and wait for their number to be called (the number slip that is being clutched in a death-like grip) – called from NO ONE because NO ONE IS AT THE COUNTER.

So I survived that. I had the best intentions to do this deed at least a month ago (they allow you to renew up to 90 days prior to expiration in the state of Washington – a little known fact that I learned from reading the website, aren’t you glad I shared?). I had meant to do this a month ago because at least then I wouldn’t have been quite as puffy as I am now. There is a teeny bit of the puffy pregnancy cheeks going on here at The Creamery – and now those puffy cheeks are stuck on my license for the next five years. Or until post-pregnancy vanity wins out.

My refrigerator incident STILL has Chip cracking up – along with a good majority of family and friends who have also now heard the story. It turns out that there are a lot of hilarious pregnancy gaffs like mine – and I’ve heard quite a few in the past couple of days. One of my favorites is my sister’s, from when she was pregnant with #2. Her little girl D (2 years old) was in the bathtub and my sis just sort of fell in. Here she was, very pregnant and also trying to not squish her 2-year-old, all the while also attempting to NOT DROWN as she somehow wedged herself over onto her back, pushing D back and up onto the back lip of the tub – as a naked and wet D is yelling at the top of her toddler lungs CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP MY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Classic.

Swistle's post about baby registries and gifts has me thinking. In case you don't read her post - she's not saying that registries are bad in any way. She just notes that she hates it when people complain or actually say it's rude NOT to buy something off the registry, which I totally agree with. I can't imagine actually thinking that it's rude that someone didn't give me what I told them to. A gift, afterall, is a very personal choice.

The whole gift registry thing never entered into my consciousness until Chip and I got married – and even then, we’d both been on our own for quite some time, so the items on the registry were awesome and fun, but they weren’t things that our house was going to be DEPENDANT ON, if you know what I mean. We already owned a toaster (okay - I owned a toaster, Chip was proud that he had reached his advanced late-twenties and could still fit everything he OWNED in the back of his Jeep). So even though we had the basics for running a house together, I’m still incredibly grateful for the folks that did give from our registry because they gave us exactly the items we wanted and could use, which worked out wonderfully for us. Also, gift cards? THE BEST GIFT EVER.

The baby registry, however, is something much more monumental and necessary, given our status as New Parents. Until very recently, Chip thought a Boppy was either the mallet in that Wack-a-Mole game (which we had the joy to play over Christmas and it was a BLAST), or just a funny word – not something that was the saving grace of just about every mother we know. We don’t have a swing. Or a bouncy seat. Or a baby monitor. Or (insert whatever baby item you deem to be absolutely necessary how-can-you-possibly-live-without-it). We’re doing our best to amass the must-have items in these weeks leading up to Bean's arrival (things like the car seat, diapers, a crib), and we’re attempting to not break the bank while doing so. The registry is like this haven for me – a place to list items that we might not get around to because of time or finances, items that I know will make Life With Baby that much more manageable. It’s this golden realm that I can visit with thoughts of maybe, hopefully, what if. I was very careful when I chose items for the registry. I didn't want to pick what I considered to be outrageous things - in price or necessity. I tried to put items in there in a wide range of cost, because it's possible that a few folks may feel inclined to go in on a gift together, or, in the case of my boss who is not monetarily challenged in ANY WAY WHATSOEVER I can hope he'll feel the warmth in his heart to gift something to his wonderful and long-suffering assistant. He randomly throws mints at me, for crying out loud. The least I can do is hope for a generous baby gift. (ha ha - I KID! ... sort of) With that being said, there were a few things that I just couldn't NOT put in there - like the BABYLEGS - things that really are bordering on superfluous and we're going to be buying a crib mattress before we buy little baby leg warmers, but MAN ARE THOSE THINGS ADORABLE OR WHAT. I fully understand and expect that I'm going to be judged based on the items in Bean's registry. (If I could only be a fly on the wall to hear what people say when they see the many versions of BabyLegs - who does this lady think her kid is going to be? She's strangely addicted to STRIPES.) All this to say that I certainly wouldn’t EVER think that someone is being boring, uncreative, or thoughtless because they bought a baby gift that we need and want – an item we’ve listed in the registry.

Reading the comments of Swistle's post, I'm not in any way surprised that so many people say they hate shopping off a registry. I’ve been one of those people. It seemed… impersonal. (Which, in retrospect, is a somewhat crazy thought – it’s the most personal thing in the world! It was created by the people who NEED THE STUFF!) I’m not trying to poo-poo anyone who is anti-registry; I’m just saying that I see an entirely new side of this gift gig now. A gift will always be just that: something that you’re given that you should be grateful for. It’s a thought. It’s a symbol. It’s a nicety that is never required. It’s something that someone is doing to express their feelings for the recipient – it is, by its very nature, a very personal choice. So far Bean has received some of the most wonderful and thoughtful gifts from incredibly kind and gracious friends and relatives. We wouldn’t exchange these items for the world. No matter what.

Dude - I just wrote 156,978 paragraphs about REGISTERING FOR BABY STUFF. I must be stopped.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

okay seriously

I was just bending down and reaching into the ginormous restaurant-grade refrigerator at work and I fell in. Really. I just FELL HEADFIRST INTO THE FRIDGE. Who does that? Apparently, I do.

Other than a red bump on my forehead (where it came into contact with one of the lovely industrial shelves) and MY PRIDE BEING BRUISED, I'm fine.

Monday, January 7, 2008

i really wish i was making this up

Things I've said to Chip in the last few weeks:

- You really need to go around with a q-tip and a can of acetone to clean up the smudges of wall paint on the baseboards.

- Are you kidding me?! With the SHOES?! Left out in the ENTRY WAY?! (said as I simultaneously shriek with disgruntled shock and also step around my OWN shoes that are piled willy-nilly in the entry way)

- I need you to take this list SERIOUSLY. I know it's 4 pages long and includes things like "clean up paint smudges on baseboards with q-tip" - but this is SERIOUS business.

- Stop laughing at me.

- Focus!

- I'm not going to be distracted into cleaning out this closet. (said as I am actually cleaning out the

- I think we need to find a more effective method for organizing these business cards. They're everywhere. They need their own box. With labels.

- The most important thing I can do right now is to CLEAN OUT THIS BOX OF CAT TOYS.

Things I've left out in the last few weeks:

- Very cold and badly perspiring bottle of water ON THE LEATHER COUCH.

- Jar of peanut butter on the kitchen counter. Four or fives times in a single week.

- Slice of pizza and tupperware of milk (for morning bowl of cereal) on the floor by my desk at work. Overnight.

Things I have actually done in the last few weeks:

- Cleaned out a box of cat toys. Even though the "box" was actually an attractive basket that had a perfectly fine home in our living room. Just the fact that I KNEW that there were toys in there that could be donated or thrown away was enough to send me into a cleaning frenzy.

- Reorganized my hair bands, headbands, and barrettes.

- Reorganized the shelves that hang over the computer in the den. This included me attempting to arrange Chip's Darth Vader piggy bank in a more artful manner. I'll pause to let that one sink in.

- Filed, sorted, shredded, recycled, and dealt with more mail than should EVER pile up on a kitchen counter.

- Breathed an actual SIGH OF RELIEF when Chip and I made it to Home Depot to purchase a closet organizer thing (a claspy-hook thing to hang brooms & Swiffer on) just minutes before they closed - 9pm on a Saturday night. Because I HAD TO HAVE IT DONE.

- Watched excitedly as Chip installed the claspy-hook thing in the downstairs coat closet just minutes after we got home from Home Depot. After 9pm. On a Saturday night.

- Checked, double-checked, and reorganized the on-going typed to do list.

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 4, 2008

noted to add

Let me just say that you KNOW you're hormonal and excited when you get teary-eyed watching a shortish labor & birth instructor stand in front of a class squeezing a weird red and white crocheted bag thing (meant to stand in for the uterus) until a strangely dingey baby doll pops out. You also know that you're totally crazy and anticipating impending parenthood when the graying instructor places the grimey baby doll on her belly, simulating what is going to happen in the labor and delivery room once the baby is born-- and all you can think of is THERE'S THE BEAN! and HEY! GET THAT HAND OFF OF MY BABY!

M.F.E.O. (that's made for each other, folks)

We went to our first Birth and Labor class last night. Not only did I learn some stuff and sit on the floor and do breathing exercises with a bunch of strangers, I also received further confirmation that Chip and I are MFEO (see above, slackers) – TRU LOVE 4EVA – CHIP+WHIMSY – HEART HEART HEART, you get the idea.

The evening started with some marginally scary driving conditions – Chip drove downtown to pick me up and then we traversed across the 520 bridge to get to the hospital. In very slick conditions. All I’m saying is there might have been a couple of near-traffic mishaps. Ahem. All of which were totally forgiven and forgotten when yours truly INSISTED that we should park in the SILVER parking garage area because we were meeting in the RED AUDITORIUM and we NEEDED TO BE THERE EARLY because NOTHING IS AS EMBARASSING AS SHOWING UP TO SOMETHING LIKE THIS LATE and by the way I HAVE TO FIND A BATHROOM RIGHT NOW blah blah blah. Chip took it all like a champ. And proceeded to tote around our two pillows, insisting that it felt really funny to be carrying pillows around in public. And then we had a pillow fight in the elevator, because: WHY NOT and also when are we gonna get a chance to do that again (besides next week).

Once we arrived at the red auditorium, it was strangely empty and silent. We were early. So we took a walk down the long and rambling hospital hallways. Dude – do they MAKE hospitals with a clear floor plan? No. No I don’t think that ever happens. Anyway, we realized that time was growing short so we jetted BACK to the red section only to discover that we were at the wrong room. This was once resident genius Whimsy checked the room schedule posted on the wall. Uhhhh. So then we clomped BACK down the meandering hallways to find the right place. We arrived SECONDS before the class started, of course. And had to sit at the front of the large semi-circle of pregnant women and pillow-toting partners.

The instructor got the party started soon after by telling us about herself and then asking us to share just a little bit about ourselves in the form of our names, due date, gender of baby, and ONE WORD WE THINK OF WHEN WE THINK OF LABOR. Note this last thing, because it’s important.

I started sweating as soon as Instructor Lady was all, “Let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves!” because I was sitting at the first chair and I HATE that stuff. I’m shy, introverted, and also terribly verbose (try that combo on for size). I usually wind up saying TOO MUCH of something dumb and then berate myself because I feel like a giant dork. Thankfully, Instructor Lady (let’s call her Cindy) started on the other side of the semi-circle. Each time someone listed their word to describe labor, Cindy would write it down on the whiteboard at the front of the room. After couple 1, and then couple 2, and then COUPLE 3 used words like “miraculous”, “wonderful”, and “blessing from above” to describe LABOR, I knew Chip and I were sunk. I turned to him and whispered, “I’m thinking MESSY.” He started to laugh and whispered back, “I was thinking THE EXACT SAME WORD. It’s totally MESSY!” (see above re: MFEO) After a few more couples, Cindy finally found someone ACTUALLY THINKING OF HER QUESTION – WHICH WAS A WORD TO DESCRIBE LABOR, PEOPLE—and the dude said, “unknown” and that’s when Cindy busted out the RED MARKER. All the other fluffy words were in a nice soothing green color. And then U-N-K-N-O-W-N was scribbled on the board all red and blaring. There were a couple more RED words – but mostly people kept saying things like “beautiful” and “super duper” and “hearts and puppies” TO DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF LABOR? REALLY? Cindy gets to Chip and he says something self-deprecating and funny (I just met this girl) and then busts out his word: TERRIFYING (just kidding – he came up with something else, but for the life of me, I can’t remember it with my gnat-sized temporal lobe). At my turn, of course I said too much – and then stuck to my guns and blurted out MESSY, because I’m stubborn and I wanted my RED word to keep Chip’s RED word company. We are so MFEO, people!

At this point, Cindy congratulates the class on all the wonderful GREEN words that they used to describe this beautiful and incredible event (it’s still messy, yes it is). Blah blah blah you should all be so PROUD of yourselves because you’re so much more highly evolved from our classroom 12-year-olds sitting on this side of the semi-circle – Chip and Whimsy I’m looking at YOU.

Anyway, I'm making way too much of this because I think the entire thing was just hilarious and relationship-affirming. If we’re going to be 12-year-olds, at least we’re 12-year-olds together, you know?

The rest of the class was pretty good, barring the most uncomfortable chairs known to man. It got even better when we got down on the floor (with the pillows!) during the last 30 minutes of the class and did a relaxation exercise where we needed to focus on one object in the room.

At the end of class, Chip and I were walking out (toward the bathroom, naturally), amazed and amused by the entire experience (and we get to do it for four more weeks!). Chip informed me that during the relaxation exercise thingy he had to stop himself from thinking of Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite (Now, just imagine you’re weightless, in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by tiny little seahorses.).

Turns out we focused on the same ceiling speaker thingy during the relaxation exercise. MFEO, indeed.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

saving it for a rainy day

Is your cat self-conscious about the bald spots above his eyebrows? Does he spend vast unfulfilled hours in front of the bathroom mirror, trying to get a different look? Is he bored with his very fur?

For the pampered pet who has everything, including his own dressing room...
For the freakish pet owner who is willing to put his or her very life on the line attempting to put this darn thing on their cat's wee little skull...

This is for you.

(Thanks to Stacie for sending this my way.)