Pregnancy Observations

I’ve got five weeks to go. Here’s my observations and truths based on the past few months of being pregnant:

1. You can always get bigger. I look back and laugh (but not really because it can be uncomfortable) at the past me at 25 weeks who thought, “I don’t see how I can get bigger than this.” Stupid, stupid fool.

2. Crumbs. I think it’s the combination of lower cut maternity shirts, pregnancy pant stretch panels, and truly more slovenly eating habits that have caused me to have to empty out my bra, shirt, and pants of leftovers on a regular basis. I don’t know how I haven’t been attacked by a colony of ants, yet.

3. “That’s where that stays now.” If anything ends up on the floor – money, trash, clothes, remote controls – that is their new place where they belong. It’s fate.

4. “Washing your hands is overrated” and other such disgusting compromises you make with yourself. I’m starting to have trouble reaching the faucet knobs. People don’t have to shower EVERY WEEK, for Christ’s sake. I’m just going to pretend I don’t see the dog eating the cat vomit. The five second rule becomes the 10 minute rule, Etc.

5. My niece is very flexible when it comes to still being able to play with her aunt. “Ok, let’s pretend we’re napping and we hear the pirate bear in the distance.” Done. “You can walk and I’ll run from the pirate bear.” Deal.

6. I’m completely screwed if I encounter a real pirate bear.

Pirate Bear
“Argh, when ye ‘r nappin’ is when I get to treasure grabbin'”

7. A LOT of plots of TV shows and movies involve children and babies and pregnant ladies in peril. Almost every show I’ve been watching: Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Bridge, Luther, Orphan Black, The Blacklist pilot, The Walking Dead, has had terribly perilous situations for kids and babies. After a century of film making it’s good so see people can still come up with creative horrible ways to put children in the line of danger.

8. No strangers have touched my belly so far. One of my biggest anxieties about being pregnant was this idea that obnoxious women would be lurking around every corner, waiting to feel me up and ask invasive questions – like that’s what they do for a living somehow. I feel fortunate that no one has done this but that could also be that I rarely leave the house, am covered in crumbs, and haven’t showered.

9. Tested truth: If I go to the Wizard of Oz theatrical re-release (which I did), and you bring your adorable twin three year old daughters dressed as Dorothy and the Wicked Witch (which someone did), I will have to work hard not to break down in tears. This is despite my continuing to be pretty even keeled and robotic even through pregnancy.

10. Tested truth 2: Driving two and a half hours to the nearest Ikea and then spending 6-7 hours there, only to find out they don’t have the couch and loveseat you chose in stock, can be an unpleasant experience for all involved, pregnant or not. Also, wandering around an Ikea for hours on end can get you a little dehydrated and cause Braxton Hicks contractions (harmless contractions named after Toni Braxton and Bill Hicks for some reason). Your only comfort is seeing about 3 other pregnant ladies in the same situation, testing every bed and chair they come across in an attempt to make it a little more tolerable. FYI, when you hit the textile/frames/shelving areas – that’s where you’ll find the largest chair testing shortages.


Be Unspired 4

Pinterest and Facebook are full of of pictures with inspirational quotes on them. Sentimentality for sentimentality’s sake doesn’t work on me. I have no ill will towards the people it does inspire, it’s just like how broccoli just tastes bitter to some people – you know, because of genetics and shit. So, when I see these rampantly shared images, my gut reaction is a little different from the people who love them. I get unspired, if you will. Here’s some side-by-side comparisons: on the left, inspiring inspirational inspirement and on the right, my brain’s rejection of it. (P.S. I do know that “unspired” is not a word and there’s “uninspired” as a real word, but “uninspired” suggests that there was an expectation of it being inspired, and I just don’t feel that way, so I made up a word instead).






It’s five o’clock dinners and mall walking for me from here on out.

I’m thirty-five years old. I have a sister who’s four years younger than me with two beautiful children ages four (girl) and twenty months (boy).

Last month, my niece’s daycare had a little holiday recital. I was really excited to go because this is the type of thing I was looking forward to seeing since my husband and I moved back up to our home state, North Carolina, from Georgia.

It was very simple; you’re not getting a full-scale production with four year olds, although that would probably be adorable. The kids came out with little Santa hats on, attempted to sing “Jingle Bells” and a few other songs in unison, kind of did it, and then it was over. Each child also had the opportunity to explain to the audience what the holidays mean to them – every audible answer I heard involved candy and presents (sorry Jesus, etc.). I couldn’t hear what my niece said, and when I asked her later, she told me, “I didn’t say nothing.” So touching.

After the show, everyone filed into the classroom to eat cupcakes and then watch sugar-rushed children run around and scream. This is when things went south.

As my sister an I were standing around, attached to each other as we tend to be during social situations (she’s the “outgoing” one by about 2%), one of my niece’s teachers came up to us. She said something like, “You must be the grandma!”

Yes, she motherfucking said that.

I was having a hard time processing it. I’m sure I looked like a deer in the headlights, but  also with a lot of confusion on my face because, for example, I noticed that a deer was also driving the car. So, as I stood there, my bottom jaw probably being trampled by four-year-olds, my sister picked up the slack and said, with as much restraint as possible, “This is my sister.”

And then the lady gasped in horror and apologized profusely. HA, no. She had apparently already boarded the conversational “this lady is obviously the grandma” train and just kept chugging along, admittedly with a weary “why am I still talking” expression on her face. She continued, “Well I can see which side of the family you [my sister] get your looks from.”

Nope, sorry, we draw our “looks” from the exact same genetic pool. Try again.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this were the end of the story, I may not have even written about it. It makes me uncomfortable, as a lazy vain person, that I worry about things like this. I am indeed reaching the age where we as women start to try and turn back or freeze the hands of time, so to be told that my clock is a valuable antique is a little disconcerting. If it was just this one lady, who I think is in her twenties, I could chalk it up to a crazy misunderstanding – that maybe she asked before she got a good look at me – and let it slide (much like the skin sliding off my brittle old bones). But, sadly, that is not what happened.

A few minutes later, my niece’s other teacher, a much older lady, came up, extended her hand and said, “Are you the grandma?”

This time, I was ready! I extended my hand and with brow furrowed, released a sad, confused, “Noooooooo.”

This lady was so embarrassed and appalled at her assumption, she said she was so sorry and told me OF COURSE I didn’t look like a grandmother. HAHAHA, you guys are so gullible. No, she then told me reassuringly that SHE is a grandma, and then started listing the ages of her grandchildren.

Really, lady who is clearly at least twenty years older than me, you’re a grandma? WELL THEN EVERYTHING IS FINE!

I understand that it’s a nightmare come true to assume someone is “the” grandma  and find out they are not. Much like I’m sure it’s embarrassing to ask someone when they’re due and they’re not pregnant. I have done neither of these things but I have once mistaken a boy child for a girl child and I felt like a steaming pile of shit for doing so. I didn’t have a loud, more-attention-brought-to-the-situation meltdown apology, but I did apologize, because I was in the wrong, and it’s just kind of good to acknowledge so that it doesn’t seem like the other person is to blame. What I’m saying is I don’t want to feel like an old hag at thirty-five so one of you being slightly mortified would have made me feel a little better. To me, continuing a conversation as if nothing happened tells me that OF COURSE I was mistaken for a grandma, and have you tried the cupcakes?

Maybe it IS me. Maybe at thirty-five it’s time to admit that even though I would have given birth to my sister at age four (thus being pregnant through most of my third year), I do indeed look as old as my own mother (who looks great, by the way). Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to you all. Here’s a picture from the day I attended the recital, what do you think?

Maggie Smith

We say this about every house we buy BUT THIS TIME IT WILL HAPPEN

No, HA HA to YOU, house!
No, HA HA to YOU, house!

It’s happened. Our house is sold. It’s a really big relief, like a pimple you’ve had for four years and haven’t been able to pop and then someone comes along and buys it or something.

Now that we’ve been unburdened of the house we didn’t want, it’s time to burden ourselves with a new house! THIS house, this house is going to be the best house, and not only is it going to be perfect, it’s going to change us on a molecular level. We will become capable, responsible adults, ready to tackle any and every obstacle that comes our way in a timely manner.

The KitchenAid mixer I love but have used maybe three times? I’m gonna make it rain cookies all over this land. That sewing machine I’ve owned for a decade and have never learned how to use? BAM – have a quilt you don’t want or need, family member! The books that will line the books shelves that I’ve yet to open? Get your asses ready, eyeballs! Pinterest is going to look at my house and tie cement blocks to its feet, paddle out to the middle of a lake, and then jump in. And you know what? I’ll bake a delicious casserole for Pinterest’s grieving widow or widower because I’M ALL OVER THAT SHIT.

I can’t help but also notice that all of this is happening around New Year’s. It’s a perfect perfect storm? This is no fail, right? RIGHT?

I Love-Hate You, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a bunch of glorious bullshit. It is so corporate, sponsors sponsor sponsors – “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brought to you by NBC presents the cast of Annie courtesy of McDonalds.” That’s really not an exaggeration.

It’s awful. I watch it every year and love each terrible minute. Why? I’m not sure. It’s cheesy. It’s a wall to wall advertisement save for the occasional school band or cheerleading squad. Why would anyone want to watch it?  It’s tradition. Tradition is a very powerful lure. But, more than that, I kinda like watching people sell their souls. I know that makes me sound like a terrible person and I don’t  have any response to that. There’s just something about a musician who wants to be taken seriously as an artist having to lip sync a cheesy song on the Build-A-Bear parade float while a bunch of furries cavort about that warms my heart. And also listening to the absolute bollocks river of banter and product placements that the hosts have to vomit out of their Turkey day mouths. Real example: “”Hamburger Helper gives us a float to remember.” They had to say that!

Because this isn’t at all scary.

And let’s not forget the balloons! I can’t see the giant balloons without remembering the scene in the 1989 Batman movie where the Joker tries to kill the entire city with poisoned giant parade balloons. I don’t hope that this happens at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But, I don’t want to miss it if it does.

Another game I like to play is “What Will be the Most Embarrassing Clip to Watch in Ten Years Time.” The possibilities are endless! Here’s some examples (people with heart conditions, sense of decency, or allergies to train wrecks should not watch) they are really bad quality, too, just to add to the mood:

I wrote the thing about The Joker BEFORE I found this clip.

Let’s remember: someone had to actually write this song, then she had to learn it, then she had to pre-record it, then she had to learn dance moves to it.

Remember when Victoria Jackson seemed sane riding around on a giant snail? Also, Phyllis Diller, RIP, this is EXACTLY how one should behave performing in this parade. I’m serious.

Jordan Knight of NKOTB gives up on lip synching about halfway through (unless one of the other New Kids sings that line, I bet someone knows! Show yourself!). I also LOVE that Donnie looks positively delighted that children have no food to eat or a place to go.

There’s a very good chance I will be live-tweeting this marvelous event, so please stop by and laugh at things with me: @cannibal_nerd