Emily Kaye Lazzaro

Amusing anecdotes almost entirely about myself.

28 Weeks

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Who got a full-length mirror and doesn’t know how to style her new haircut? Me. It’s me.

Also I think this picture is funny because I put my hip hand in a fist so that I wouldn’t pull on my dress, making the stripes go weird, and it made me look like a superhero a little bit, which I don’t hate. Super Pregnant! She flies through the air with the greatest of effort and panting.

I’m 28 weeks pregnant today which is good and fine. Some places say it’s the third trimester, officially, and some places say the third trimester isn’t until next week. And some places said the third trimester started last week. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. I will be induced at 38 weeks and I love knowing that. Again, thank you, life-threatening high blood pressure. Just kidding, I wish I didn’t have high blood pressure like a 60-year-old man who eats bacon all day for the rest of my life and that I didn’t have to take pills forever, but this is my lot in life and at the very least it satisfies my need to control things because I know I will be induced at 38 weeks, at the latest. So 10 weeks to go. What’s 10 weeks? Barely anything. A little more than 2 months. Evan can kind of count to 10. I mean, he is a baby genius, but it’s not that high a number, is what I’m saying. An almost-2-year-old can count up to it. Maybe he repeats five a few times in the wrong places, but you get what I’m saying. I’m basically already done.

I’ve been feeling huge surges of energy at, like, 8:30pm the past few days, which means I stay up late hanging (i.e. making Billy hang while I supervise) pictures on the walls and setting up our home office (desk in bedroom) and writing one time! And then I get in bed at 10:45pm and can’t fall asleep because my legs feel weird and I have too many thoughts in my brain. I’m pretty sure this is called nesting. I also want to make a thing to hang on the wall in the new baby’s room from that Kurt Vonnegut quote about babies. Wait, let me find it…

hello babies

There you go. But not like that. I want it to look cool.

Do you guys like how this blog post is, like, in real time? Like we’re just having a conversation? It’s a little one-sided, this conversation. Feel free to chime in anytime, guys! JK you can’t. You are my captive audience and this is my blog and I DO THE TALKING HERE.

Anyway, I want to put that quote on the wall in a cool and stylish way and I think that means I have to get crafty. Nesting! My friend just recently had a baby and her husband has spent a bunch of time painstakingly crafting little plush Fantastic Mr. Fox characters, because nesting. Last time, because nesting, I got up on a very precarious stool and hung a mobile over Evan’s crib, while home alone. Which was not safe at all. But nesting waits for no man.

House update: it’s good. We have pictures on the walls. Not all the pictures on all the walls, but some. There is a dumpster in our driveway, which I don’t love, and the outside still needs to be painted and the yard is a friggin mess, but everything else is kind of close to done! It’s a nice little house and I like it.

Organs update: my placenta is still considered “low-lying” which means it is one centimeter from my cervix, and it should really be two centimeters from my cervix. This is a big improvement because it previously was completely covering my cervix, which is dangerous and bad. If it doesn’t move to two centimeters away by the time I’m 36 weeks, they will schedule me for a C-section at 37 weeks, which I find utterly terrifying! I am very, very afraid of having a C-section, not because of anything, I know a lot of people have had successful C-sections, so many people, so many of my friends, but I’m scareddddddddd. I don’t want to get cut. I have this thing about getting cut open. I don’t like it. It’s a weird thing I have. I like my parts to not be cut open. Call me crazy!

But yeah you can find lots of pictures of C-sections on the internet if you look for them, but DO NOT LOOK FOR THEM, THEY ARE SO SO SO SCARY. Eeeeee I do not want. I know it will be fine if I have to get one, but yikes. Yikes yikes yikes. I’m a little surprised that I feel this way, honestly, because a C-section is the ultimate in control. And I love control, as I’ve mentioned here many times. And a small part of me would be happy if I had to get a C-section because it would mean one less week of being pregnant. But no, I maintain that I’m scared of them and I do not want one. If there was a wishbone here and I was wishing on it I would wish to not have to have a C-section. Ooh wishbone reminds me of Thanksgiving. Yum. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving.

Let’s think Thanksgiving thoughts to drown out the C-section thoughts. Also, I welcome stories from women who have had C-sections about how great and easy they were! Please feel free to set me straight. I would love to not be scared of this anymore.

Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Green bean casserole. Okay, I feel better already.

27 Weeks

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Hello there!

Here is my requisite late-pregnancy drastic haircut. I chopped off enough to donate, even. That was fun!

Last time the requisite late-pregnancy drastic haircut was bangs. Bangs were not the smartest as they require lots of maintenance. When Evan was 6 weeks old I took him in the stroller to my hairdresser’s to have my bangs trimmed and I had to stop halfway there, on the sidewalk, to breastfeed him, because he was screaming so much. It was November and it was dark and cold and I stood on a city sidewalk, breastfeeding my newborn son. And then he screamed the whole time I was at the hairdressers. I had to frantically text Billy to hurry there to help me, which required him riding his bike as fast as he could over Winter Hill in Somerville, which is a big hill, if you’re not familiar. Anyway, long story medium, bangs were probably the wrong choice, but they did make me feel like a badass.

This haircut doesn’t make me feel like a badass, but I do think it’s going to make my life significantly easier.

It might be a mom haircut. I don’t know yet. Jury’s still out. I am a mom, after all. Just gotta be careful with the jeans. JK I love mom jeans, I’m already on board for that. Not elastic waist or anything, but I like a high rise.

So what is going on with you this week? Things are going pretty well for me. I think 27 weeks is kind of a magical time for my pregnancies. I kept having these moments of bliss this week, of thinking, and genuinely believing, that I am very lucky and things are going really well. And then Evan would scream-cry through dinner because his spaghetti noodles were too long and the bliss would fly right out the window. But there are moments!

Also, pro tip: if you are pregnant and your stomach sucks at digesting things, you’re allowed to take Zantac, the high dosage, twice a day, which I now do, every single day, whether I have heartburn or not. It’s been a game changer. Feel free to pay me to talk you up, Zantac. I don’t do that normally, because I have a readership of somewhere around 37 people, and Zantac doesn’t care about me, but it can’t hurt to float the idea. I will accept your money, Zantac. Also I will do it for free, that’s how much I love Zantac. ZANTAC!

Also Metamucil. Same. Hit me up, Metamucil people!

Haha, I don’t know, this has been a pretty good week. Evan pees and poops on the potty at home and when visiting his grandparents and he uses a fucking diaper at daycare but whatever, that won’t last forever, it’s fine, I’m fine with it. I can only control what I can control. Zen. I’m gonna write a book called Zen and the Art of Potty Training and it’s going to be all the mean thoughts I have about Evan’s daycare followed by me feeling guilty about using so much profanity and then being like “no, they take good care of him and he’s safe, I should calm down” and then getting riled up again because of the grave injustice of it all. It will be a number one bestseller!

So by some estimations I’m in the third trimester now. Or I will be next week, I don’t know and I don’t really care. I’m 6 months and 5 days in, I will probably deliver in early December because I’ll be induced (thanks chronic high blood pressure!) so I only have 11 weeks to go, pretty much. I can’t wait to go to the hospital. It’s crazy how nostalgic I am for labor. I obviously hated being in pain, like I was in more pain than I ever even imagined, but once I got the epidural it was straight-up fun. It was fun! It was a little bit like going to the space museum with school and doing the pretend mission control thing, did you guys do that? There are all these beeping machines around you and you’re like WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?! And then you get a baby! And somebody helps you take care of it for two whole days and lets you lie down! And there’s unlimited juice!

The scary part for me will likely be going home from the hospital and being like “oh fuck, now there are two of these.”

So the only thing I have to focus on for the rest of this pregnancy is not adopting any more animals. If you see me with any animals that don’t already live in my house, please stage an intervention.

POTTY TRAININGGGGG

pottyHere we go, folks. I am going to write a long thing about potty training.
I’ve been writing about pregnancy lately, for obvious reasons, but I took a break from being pregnant this week to teach Evan how to put his pee and poop in a tiny plastic bowl instead of in a diaper.

Also, haha, just kidding, I did not take a break from being pregnant. I was still pregnant and potty training made my body hurt a lot. There was much urgent hurling of my body from place to place and abrupt lifting of a 35 pound person. It’s fine. I cried a bunch after he went to bed a few times from utter exhaustion, but whatever.

The thing is, during this week, I was thinking about the week before we started potty training. The week before we started potty training was not an especially easy week! There were arguments and tantrums like any normal week. I certainly didn’t mourn the loss of changing his diapers. Every week with a toddler is fucking hard so what’s the difference, really? At least if we’re potty training, we are making progress toward a brighter future.

Another reason I wanted to do this now is because Evan is very large (he currently wears size 6 diapers, the largest they make, and he will not fit in them forever) and he is really verbal, so he is likely going to be able to tell us when he has to go pretty soon. ALSO, I was thinking about when Evan was a newborn. When I was pregnant with him I was like “ugh get this baby out of me, I hate being pregnant,” and then when he came out of me I was like “put him back in, I need to sleep.” Being sleep deprived with a newborn is not going to be a good time to potty train. By the time the new baby is sleeping through the night, Evan will probably be around 30 months, which is generally considered to be the end of the magical window of best time to potty train. So decisions were made. By me.

The day before we started potty training, Billy finished reading the chapter in the book I got (Oh Crap Potty Training) and decided to tentatively suggest that maybe we shouldn’t do this. But I said, “shhh, we are doing it,” and then we did it and Billy faked his way through it, acting like it was something he wanted, because he is a saint.

My attitude about this probably has a lot to do with how much I love to control things. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I’m kind of a prime candidate for one. I love controlling the things I can control, especially when certain areas of my life are utterly outside of my control (what? Pregnancy?). One of the things I can control is when my son puts his pee and poop in a plastic bowl instead of in a diaper.

So let’s talk about this. Let’s really get in the weeds, shall we?

Evan has been doing great! The first day, he peed on the floor 8 billion times and like twice in the potty. The second day he peed on the floor significantly less. The third day he wore clothes and peed on the floor only like one time, and peed in the potty lots of times. The fourth day he pooped in the potty! I was like, nice, we are done, hooray. The fifth day he went to daycare, peed in his pants once and pooped on the floor at home. Oh, I see we are not done, haha, obviously we are not done. The sixth day he peed in the potty many times and he pooped on some playground equipment because he was in a location that was impossible for me to reach when he made the poop gesture/face. Then he had some gastrointestinal distress that I just couldn’t with and I put him in a diaper at like 4:00. I wasn’t giving up, I was making a decision based on the situation we found ourselves in, but I felt like a failure and cried about it. This morning he had a major pee situation at the breakfast table because he had kept his night diaper mostly dry, which is a plus and a minus at the same time.

Much of potty training is training of parents to recognize cues and alter our behavior based on those cues. Just like sleep training. And probably common core math.

So there’s some cool stuff about potty training. The main thing is seeing how well they can do in a very short period of time. Their tiny brains go from knowing literally nothing about peeing and pooping, like it is a bodily function as natural as breathing, to knowing the feeling of having to go. That’s a huge leap!

You’re like “good morning, tiny person, today we are not going to wear diapers!” And they’re like “what is a diaper, even? Oh you mean that extension of my butt that has been attached to me since I was born?” And they let their pee out of their bodies like they normally do and you put them on a plastic seat and you’re like “put your pee in here” and they’re like “what is pee?” And then in a couple of days they get it. It’s amazing!

Anyway, yes, it’s amazing, and it’s very stressful, and I’m OBSESSED WITH IT. It’s all I can think/talk about. Sorry husband and coworkers and all other people I’ve interacted with in the past week. I’m boring, I can only talk about potty training.

But maybe potty training is a METAPHOR. For… Let’s see… What is potty training a metaphor for?

Life? Just when you think you know where to put your pee and poop, life comes along and? …no.

Relationships? Communication is very important so that you don’t poop on playground equipment? …no.

It’s not a metaphor. It’s just a hard thing we all did when we were very small. Life is a series of hard things we do, and this is one of the first ones. Other hard things Evan will have to do include playing a sport he is bad at because his dad likes it, reading a book that is boring because it’s his homework, playing with a kid who is annoying because the kid’s parents are friends with his parents, try to get good grades even though he gets a boner every 15 seconds, etc etc etc.

Life is hard, kiddo. You’re doing great.

Kiddo=me.

25 Weeks

IMG_6793My uterus is the size of a soccer ball this week. Just the uterus. Not even counting my other organs. And my extra blood. Pounds and pounds of extra blood! (Cue Billy barfing and fainting into his own barf.)

This baby seems more active than Evan was. She kicks me and I can feel it in the top of my stomach and in the base of my pelvis at the same time, like she’s stretching to her fullest extent and then punching. Or doing the butterfly stroke through her amniotic fluid. She’s already testing her limits. Great.

Evan is testing his limits here on the outside of my uterus. Yesterday we were stuck in the house for a long time because it was rainy and we had to stick around for a building inspector and chimney sweep to come by. (To answer the question you are definitely asking: No, the chimney sweep did not sing and he barely danced.) And by the end of the day he was standing on top of the coffee table, jumping. (Evan, not the chimney sweep.) He was not jumping off the coffee table, just jumping on the coffee table, like jumping in place, so it didn’t even seem especially fun. It was just to piss me off, I’m pretty sure.

My belly is stretching in a very disconcerting way and I had what I think was intense gas yesterday that resulted in me waking up at 1:30am and googling “pre-term labor.” I feel like my lungs can’t work properly if I sit with my torso-to-leg angle at anything less than 90 degrees. There’s just no room. And I have three more months to go.

I’m not in the third trimester yet but I know (because they’ve told me repeatedly and because they did it when I was pregnant with Evan) that I will be induced around 38 weeks. So though my official due date is December 16, I will probably deliver between December 2 and December 6. Which means three calendar months from today is when I hit the 38 week mark and can schedule the induction. Which means I have all of September, all of October, and all of November to be pregnant. Coming to this realization this week made me feel an equal mix of excitement and despair. Three months is a long fucking time and is also a short fucking time and both of those things are upsetting in their own way.

Evan weighs at least 35 pounds. I frequently have to pick him up as he fights me/runs away, and carry him under one arm up stairs, while also calling the dog who has gone down the driveway, while also making sure the cat doesn’t run out the door. These are not things that a pregnant woman should be doing, much less a pregnant woman who maybe has placenta previa and is discouraged from doing anything too strenuous.

I got so tired last night I couldn’t even complain about how tired I was. I’m bored by how tired I am. Are you guys bored, too? I would be!

Let’s talk about something fun. I got this top from Stitch Fix, which does maternity and it was fun. Say fun again. Fun.

Billy and I are going on a date tonight and finally going to see [Lady] Ghostbusters. I’m super psyched, I hope I don’t fall asleep.

Also, here’s a link to a lovely and interesting article. Helpful to remember that everybody doesn’t just get to put it in and then carry a baby like the world expects.

Anyway. Pregnant and grumpy, signing off.

24 Weeks

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I took 4 different pictures in 3 different bathrooms of myself today and they all looked terrible so this is what you’re getting. It’s actually pretty accurate.

24 weeks is when, mostly for the purpose of arguing about abortion, people say that it’s possible for a fetus to survive outside the womb. So this week is a little bit of a milestone! Viability! I mean, it’s highly likely that the baby wouldn’t be able to breathe and would have severe mental disabilities, but still, it’s a pretty okay milestone. Feels like a bit of a benchmark. Survival and all that.

A real thing I said to Billy this week: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is making it impossible for me to eat pie while lying on the couch because of my severe indigestion.” But seriously, I can’t fit much food in my stomach and when I do eat, it comes back for a visit many times over the course of the day or night. One night recently, I woke up from a dream in which I was swimming (drowning?) in stomach bile. My mouth tasted like barf when I woke up and I feverishly chewed 2 Tums and went back to sleep but yowza that was unpleasant.

What else stinks? I’ve been getting some feedback lately that my attitude is way too positive and not fun to read (haha) so I’m trying to think of things that are bad.

I can’t think of anything else bad. I’m fat and I also can’t eat, that’s some real bullshit, but that’s pretty much it. Oh here’s something: I finally unpacked all my clothes and wore a cute pair of sandals to work this week. I walked down to the ocean to sit and stare out at it and breathe the air during my lunch and as I walked back up the stairs toward my office, I tripped on the cute sandal I was wearing and fell forward and bumped my knee and it was embarrassing and then that leg hurt desperately for two days. Stupid sandals. You stay in the box where you belong!

I don’t know, that’s it. My life is great. I watched a really good movie this week, called Brooklyn, about a woman from Ireland who moves to Brooklyn in the 1950s. It’s kind of about nothing, but is somehow very beautiful and engaging and well-acted and I love little tiny stories of normal lives. Highly recommend. I’ve also been watching old seasons of Veep, catching up. Boring! This is so boring.

Here’s something fun that you guys can have opinions about! We are going to try to potty train Evan over Labor Day weekend. We are going with the Oh Crap Potty Training method (OCPT on the internet), which suggests that you have your kid run around your house naked and watch their business end like a hawk for a long weekend, and every time they start to pee or poop on your floor/couch, rush them to the potty and after a few days, they get it. For some reason, this method makes a lot of parents super mad because they want to follow their kid’s lead and let them take their time, and I get that, but also last week Evan pooped through his diaper and out the bottom of his shorts onto the floor, and I would super love for him to be potty trained so that doesn’t happen as frequently in the months to come. Also he is very large and wearing the biggest diapers they make and he is too big for his changing table and I’m tired of having to fight him to get a diaper on, because he is so big! Sometimes he wins the fights. Let’s just get it done, shall we? I’ll let you know how it goes!

Maybe it will go so bad that we have to go back to diapers for a few months and try again after this baby is out of me. At least if that happens I’ll be able to drown my potty training sorrows in buckets of wine.

23 Weeks

IMG_6711Don’t fuck with me, fuckers.

HERE’S A CONVERSATION I’VE HAD 20 MILLION TIMES AND NEVER THE FUCK WANT TO HAVE AGAIN:

Person (co-worker, stranger, etc): When are you due?

Me: December.

Person: OH MY GOD, YOU’RE KIDDING.

 

IF YOU ARE THE PERSON IN THIS CONVERSATION, EVER, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. You are saying that the pregnant woman with whom  you are speaking is terrifyingly huge and you can’t even imagine that they could possibly get huger. You can’t believe she is only 5 months pregnant. She looks 9 months pregnant. She looks as big as any woman should ever look. You are shocked.

Perhaps you feel bad for her, that she still has so far to go. Perhaps your shock comes from a place of pure empathy. Fine, whatever. That’s me giving you the biggest possible benefit of the doubt.

What is most likely happening is that you have unconsciously looked at women’s bodies as objects of male consumption for your entire life and seeing a woman whose body is undergoing a physical change that does not have to do with making herself sexually appealing is confusing and upsetting to your world view. This applies to women and men. Perhaps you are concerned for her health, which, frankly, I’m pretty sure is just a distortion of the male gaze. Either way, whatever place this comment comes from, you need to shut the fuck up.

Here’s the only way this conversation should ever go:

Person: When are you due?

Me: December.

Person: Wonderful! What a great Christmas present that will be! You look so healthy and glowy. Here, let me carry that for you.

 

Alternately:

Person: When are you due?

Me: I’m due in fuck your mother.

 

Either of these are acceptable. I regret that the question of when I am due puts me so much on edge, but it is because I gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant and I know what people are thinking when they ask me this question. Because I’ve gotten it a lot of times. Me and Kim Kardashian have a lot in common, but the main thing is that we gain a lot of weight when we are pregnant. And then we lose the weight, and it’s fucking fine. And also even if I didn’t lose the weight I would be fucking fine and would need no input from you, people of the world.

I have spent way too much time thinking about my body. In truth, I don’t worry as much about it anymore, and it’s very freeing. But me not worrying about it in my own head does not stop other people from thinking about my body and its value or lack thereof. And this pisses me off, hard.

I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s new book and also listening to Amy Schumer’s new book on Audible while I drive places, to really scar my toddler who sits in the backseat and is going to start saying the word “clitoris” any day now. Point being, I’m consuming content by two really great and valuable humorous feminist writers and I’m getting worked up anyway in my life, so this is not the time to step to me with your “oh my god”s and your “you’re kidding”s and your “so much more to go!”s. Don’t talk about my body. Just don’t. Not when I’m pregnant and not after.

I don’t even want you to tell me I look skinny. I don’t want you to express concern for my body in any way. That’s not your job, you are not my doctor.

I FEEL LIKE THIS STUFF IS SO BASIC, WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP SAYING IT?

I’m just getting tired. When I’m in shape people say “positive” things to me outside in public and I don’t like it. When I’m pregnant or heavier for another reason, I become invisible, which is actually, frankly, kind of nice, but can be jarring. And I’m just tired of all of it. I’m not even talking about real things here, not real real things, not rape or wage inequality or hiring discrimination or societal support for mothers or the lack of research on women’s health issues.

I’m also tired because I’m pregnant and growing a baby is a lot of physical work. I don’t have time to look good for you.

Anyway. Okay. I feel better now that we got this squared away. How are you guys doing? Yesterday Evan and I went swimming at Walden Pond and he sat in my arms in the water and requested that I sing Baby Beluga, which I did, which was definitely one of the top 5 moments of my entire life. So, you know, things are generally pretty good.

21 Weeks

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When I had my first miscarriage, I think I was only like 6 weeks pregnant and it never had a heartbeat. We were in the middle of a kitchen renovation and my cat had just died and then my grandfather died and it felt like a lot to happen in the span of about a month. But things seem to happen when they happen and there’s no logic to any of it.

When I had my second miscarriage, I wouldn’t stop bleeding and cramping for weeks and I had to get the rest of the tissue removed with a simple surgery, which I woke up from in incredible, unexplained pain. They had me on an IV of Pitocin and they couldn’t explain that to me as I lay screaming. That was my last encounter with that particular hospital.

When I had my third miscarriage, we had seen a heartbeat and thought that meant we were okay. But then I started bleeding and after a lot of pain a dead fetus came out of me and I flushed it down the toilet, horrified, an action I still regret. I had been to a fertility doctor to have tests before the third miscarriage and I went back to her again and sat there, unable to speak or process anything, not caring about what she had to say to me, knowing nobody had any answers for any of it, and there was nothing wrong with me.

Then I got pregnant and everything went basically without a hitch and Evan is here and he’s great. No reason for that, either. It just worked out and nobody knows why, because the insides of our bodies are absolute mysteries. And then, when I was ready to have another one, we tried again, I got pregnant right away, and everything seems to be going without a hitch again.

When I got genetic testing for this pregnancy, I told the genetic counselor that I had had three previous miscarriages, and she corrected me that I had only had one, since there was only ever one fetus. This made me feel like shit, but I know it was just medical terminology.

One miscarriage is still too many.

It happens a lot.

I know a lot of people who are struggling to have babies right now and taking pictures of my profile in my work bathroom mirror feels idiotic.

I’m going through a stretch of incredible good luck. I think it’s important to sit in this moment in time and appreciate that. Because someday something horrible will happen and I might think “my life was so good and easy for a time and I didn’t appreciate it.” I’d rather appreciate it.

I shall leave you with two quotes from Kurt Vonnegut, a very good writer.

  1. “She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing.” In my case, I would replace “God” with “the randomness of the universe,” but the spirit of the quote remains the same. Having miscarriages made me not believe in God anymore, that’s an interesting, possibly depressing outcome. But I think that made me a better, more clear-eyed, happier person in the end.
  2. “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”

20 Weeks

IMG_6596I took this picture in the bathroom at work.

We moved! Which is great because we don’t have to live below a mean troll neighbor anymore, and because our house is a super great house in a really great neighborhood, so hooray! I’m feeling good and there are so many things to be thankful for. Evan is doing great! Evan loves the new house! What a lucky family we are!

No, but seriously, things are kind of terrible. Like, I feel fine, basically, except going up any flight of stairs in any capacity is taxing, and all the basic stuff, like if I lean over to take a sip of water from bed and then lie back down, I burp vomit taste. How’s that for descriptive? When people say things like “heartburn” or “indigestion” they don’t usually describe it like that, do they? Well that’s what they’re talking about, now you understand, you’re welcome.

We moved on Tuesday, but we didn’t really move. Like all our stuff got packed up and moved into our new garage by three sad-seeming Russians, and it took them 14.5 hours, and we have access to almost nothing. Our house is still very much under construction and covered in incredible amounts of construction dust, which is gross and more sticky than any other kind of dirt or dust in the world. We are all sleeping in one room with an AC unit in the window and lots of pillows on the floor. We have a mattress in there that is always very sandy, somehow. Evan keeps waking up at 5:30am because he can see us and he wants to play.

IMG_6594This is where we currently sleep. Photo taken from mattress on floor.

It’s like camping, kind of. You know how you’re always a little dirtier than you want to be when you’re camping? Yeah. And we couldn’t shower until this morning.

But the bathroom is coming together! And the cosmetic changes we made to the kitchen are nearly done. This is what it looked like when we bought it:

old kitchen

And this is what it looks like now:IMG_6595It looks very gray in this picture, and it is largely gray, but it feels very light and pleasant in person. Also everything in our house is vaguely gray right now because of the aforementioned construction dust. We put in new marble counters, painted the cabinets, and put in a tile back splash. We still need drawer pulls (thinking about some copper ones that basically look like rose gold) and paint for the trim and walls, and outlet covers, obviously, but it’s getting there!

Now all that’s left is finishing the bathroom, replacing the drywall and plaster in the entryway and hall and up the stairs because the wallpaper was load-bearing, painting everything, finishing all HVAC work, and refinishing the floors. And then we can put our furniture inside. And then we can do epic amounts of yard work and repairs on the exterior and paint the outside of the house and replace the shutters. That’s all! Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa. We should be fully done by 2020.

No, but it’s great. The animals like it here, we know that much.IMG_6580

You can’t tell from this picture but both animals are little balls of plaster dust from exploring in all the construction supplies and tools. It’s okay, we are all together and everybody is mostly safe and in a few months we will only be worried about exterior stuff and soon we will be able to eat real food in our kitchen and go to bed in our real beds and then watch TV on a real TV while sitting on a couch. And we will be able to walk around without shoes on and this will all be a distant memory.

And one fun thing is we are eating a lot of restaurant food and ice cream. It’s possible I’m on the same train I was on last pregnancy, weight gain wise, but there’s only so much a person can deal with at a time. So who fucking cares? Not I. I’ll just do another half marathon after I have the baby and all will be well.

But also, I keep forgetting this, but I am HALFWAY THROUGH this pregnancy! 20 weeks is a fun point to get to, because it’s all downhill from here, in more ways than one. Some things get way worse from here, but also, we are halfway there! The end is in sight. I keep dreaming about winter. Glorious winter! We will wear pants and sweaters and cozy socks and I will have a snuggly baby and it will not be hot and I will drink such wines! And we have a fireplace now so we can have fires! And eat popcorn and watch Home Alone 2 and A Muppet Christmas Carol in our pajamas next to our Christmas tree, ahhhhhh IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING.

 

Free Range

stranger things

I’ve been watching Stranger Things on Netflix this week. Do yourself a favor and watch it, it’s a goddamn delight. It made me think a lot about being a kid and sort of freely roaming around, getting into trouble and having adventures. The show isn’t really about that, it’s a sci-fi show about a mysterious energy monster in an alternate dimension created by the government or something, but that’s not my point. I haven’t quite finished the series, obviously.

We had brunch with friends on Saturday and when Billy took Evan to walk around so he would stop putting schmaltz and chopped liver in my hair (Jewish deli brunch, amazing) I chatted with our friends about being free-range kids. I was not a free-range kid, but they were. I grew up in a town with lots of Activities that were very age appropriate and safe, and nobody ever walked anywhere. I spent a lot of time begging my parents to drive me places. Mike and Emily grew up as country kids, wandering miles into the woods in the morning and not coming home until dinner time. It made me start thinking about parts of my childhood I might have previously forgotten, free-range moments.

The closest approximation to this sort of experience, for me, was the summer of 1994, which my brother and I spent living with my dad and step mother and baby sister. Dad signed us up for a “sports camp” at his swim/tennis club in town, which no other kids signed up for, and they effectively cancelled it, but somehow it was decided, by forces beyond my control, that we would still show up to the club every day, as though we were going to camp, and instead we would swim and goof off and play games of our own invention and drink 1000 Lipton Brisk Iced Teas from the snack bar, charging them to our dad’s account. We spent that whole summer outside, pretty much, cultivating our future skin cancer. We were also signed up for swimming lessons and for the swim team. The swim team did, thankfully, have other kids on it, and gave our days some structure. I learned to dive that summer, and to do various swimming strokes, though I never did quite get the hang of the butterfly.

The parts of that summer that stand out to me most are wandering, alone, with my little brother, through the grounds of the club, swimming in the pool by ourselves, looking at the swampy lake, drinking endless cans of over-sweet iced teas. We were left to our own devices and it was strange and unnerving sometimes, because we weren’t used to it, but it was also a good exercise. Boredom is kind of nice, in its way. It forces you to be creative. And, of course, we were always safe. There was no actual trouble we could get into. That kind of thing appeals to me as a parent. The illusion of freedom.

The point of this is that I hope to be able to give Evan and New Baby the opportunity to be a little free-range. Not, like, in an extreme way. Everything parenting-related in moderation. Our new house is on a dead-end street, which helps. It also helps that we live in a sort-of city. There are buses and trains to take to Boston. And we are close to the real woods, a reservation with hiking and water and, actually, it’s pretty dangerous. Maybe they don’t go wandering in the woods. I don’t know, I don’t want them to get taken by a faceless energy monster. I mostly want them to be able to ride their bikes alone.

The more I think about this, the more anxious I get. Why is it that a Stephen King-esque story with actual monsters in it makes me want to send my children out into the world without my protection? I think I’m missing something here.

In conclusion, parenting is hard.

19 Weeks

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I hate these pictures and think they make me look doofy but I think a visual is helpful and informative so I’m going to keep doing it.

Anyway. I don’t know. I’m fine. Whatever. I don’t know. My head is pounding today. Every time I stand up I feel like my brain is going to explode. The sinus thing really kicks my ass in pregnancy. There are all these symptoms you can have, and I don’t have all of them, and that’s good, but yikes the ones I do have are unpleasant. And what the fuck do sinuses have to do with being pregnant? At least I’m not constipated I guess. It’s Friday, and I’m sharing a lot.

Listen, it’s fine. Everything is great. Pregnancy is so temporary. The baby is the size of a “large mango.” Cool.

It’s a girl, by the way. Full set! Super pumped. I also would have been totally happy with two boys because Evan is a perfect thing and why wouldn’t I want another one exactly like him, but this will be a big adventure and I’m nothing if not always looking to complicate the shit out of my life.

Baby Girl is kicking me very much and it is still early enough that it is mega cute and not painful or rib-reaching or anything, and I’m really happy about that. Just kickin’ around in there, living her little tadpole life.

A girl! I really like being a woman and most things associated with it (except for pregnancy and the ABSOLUTE UNFAIRNESS of breastfeeding, but that’s nature and nature is not fair). In my case the things I love about being a woman are super cis, hetero-normative things like hair and dresses and painting nails and walking slowly through the mall touching things while having long conversations about people’s inner lives. I hope she gets to have that too. And frankly, I hope Evan also knows the joys of walking through a J.Crew at 11am on a Saturday and talking about compassion and The Future and how to be a good person and do you think I can pull off espadrilles with the straps that go up your ankle. Because those are good times. And then going and getting a pretzel.

Billy and I have a small fear that new baby will be the absolute opposite of Evan. That she’ll be a very picky eater who doesn’t sleep at night and screams at a very high pitch. But also maybe she will be a super good napper and a normal breastfeeder (as opposed to an every hour on the hour breastfeeder like some of us) and maybe she won’t eat us out of house and home, who knows? Guessing about this stuff is sort of fun but also sort of stressful when you are a control monster.

Speaking of being a control monster, our new house is still majorly under construction and the other day I freaked out and started looking at places to stay for 10 days after we move and haha that would cost us around $2,000. Or more! We are moving on Tuesday and our house won’t really be done until August 14th, when we return from a week-long family vacation. But we don’t leave for the vacation until August 5th, so we have from July 26th through August 5th to basically camp out in our construction zone of a house. We can’t move our furniture in because we are refinishing the floors while we are on vacation. God, all of this is so mind-numbingly boring. I have a lot of respect for contractors for having to keep all this stuff in their heads. The toilet and sink can’t go in until the walls are painted. The walls can’t be painted until the tiles are in. The tiles can’t go in until they are delivered to the warehouse and somebody drives to godforsaken Waltham to pick them up and bring them to the house. And this is only the bathroom! We also have HVAC installation happening and holes in the floors and soffits to build. And every single wall to paint. HAHAHAHAhahahahacries.

But I’m trying to think of it as a fun adventure. We aren’t staying in a hotel, we are staying at our house that we own, and we are going to fill the living room with pillows and blankets and toys and we are going to play in the backyard a lot and it’s all going to be fine. We will read books and order takeout and have lots of picnics and it’s going to be great. Having a panic attack about it before it even happens is good and healthy for no one.

Also, can I just talk to you about little baby girls in sleeveless dresses? Their chubby little armsssssss. Hold on, google image searching that shit…

Thank you, internet:

blorp arms

Blorp. Let’s get one of those.