Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yesterday was our two year wedding anniversary.
Had I not been over occupied with other things, I might have taken Paul someplace nice, but instead we went to Monday Brunch, at this place. Where I stuffed myself on some damned tasty apricot french toast. I highly recommend this if you are eating like there's no tomorrow. (my doctor is fine with my weight, and everyone else can go get stuffed. I do not need to hear it)

Last Monday, my boss (The Best Boss On Earth) threw me a little work shower. Why is she the best boss on earth? Well, a lot of reasons, but when was the last time your boss baked you cupcakes and then made one of these:
From 2010

Seriously, I had never seen a diaper cake in real life, and it was awesome. I took it home and didn't have the heart to dismantle it until after my mom and sister had come to bask in its glory on Craft Day.

My last day at work was last Wednesday, and I am so glad to finally have some time to catch up on stuff.
Thursday, however, I returned to "campus" to take advantage of the penultimate prenatal yoga/pilates/whatever class. The instructor was impressed I actually showed up. Well, why not? But whenever she'd say "OK now turn over to the other side" or "ok now stand up" I was like "uh, hang on! any minute now, I'll be right there with you..."
It is not a pretty sight right now. I feel like a whale. But, you know, a *cute* whale. Something like this maybe. (definitely not this)

Sunday we had craft day but I got tired of my craft about half way through.

I had sort of been joking that as soon as I took off work for maternity leave, it would get insanely hot and I'd just end up going back to work for the air conditioning and frozen yogurt. The past two days have been unmanageable. I can't do anything. It's not surprising that we're getting a heat wave at the end of summer, but that doesn't mean it's welcome. None of the things I mean to be doing are getting done because I'm stuck to the couch. I wish we had a tile floor, because I'd love to just lay on a tile floor. I may not be able to get up afterward, but it would be worth it.

In wildlife news, we are no longer able to use the front door, as it's completely infested with a yellow jacket hive. (please keep this in mind if you are visiting. Or trying to sell us Jesus.) But we can look out the window at the birdfeeders and Sunday/Monday we had a praying mantis hanging out on the porch.

From 2010

Tuesday we were visited by a hawk! I have never stood so close to a hawk before (It was about 4 feet away, through the window), and let me assure you, this thing had the dumbest expression I think I've ever seen on a bird. I'm not so good with birds of prey, but we think it was an adolescent Cooper's Hawk.

From 2010

From 2010

Yep, there's still lots to do, no, I'm not bored yet, and no, there is no baby yet. You'll be the first to know. I swear.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yesterday it occurred to me that changing the diapers of a screaming brat for a few months might actually be a welcome respite from doing front line support and being attacked by whiny adults for no goddamn reason. At least I can tell myself the screaming baby isn't just being an asshole.

There are not words for how stupid busy my days have been, and yet I cannot actually make progress on projects that matter, with the incessant piling on of stupid work. I look at the growing pile and become numb to it. The good news is, it will be over in less than a week, and all the projects shoveled to someone else along with the stupid work. I actually would have liked to work longer on the projects, but found that if I did not set a date, I just got more stupid work to pile on, and never time to do the project work. So! Wednesday is my last day! Then it's all someone else's problem. I am actually waaay more excited about this than I thought I would be when I set the date.

I can barely remember to breathe at times, and yesterday I spent my entire yoga class thinking about someone who had just laid into me for no reason. Totally not what yoga class is supposed to be for, right?

So work is not good. But it is nearly gone for a while.
At home, I have the most fantastic husband in the world to come home to. He keeps me sane, and I don't think he even knows he is doing it.

We moved the bed aside to make space for the Giant Baby Bed Thingy. Again, like the cat, how can such a tiny little critter take up so much space??? The past few nights she's been moving a whole bunch and I finally started getting what I assume to be contractions, but either they only happen at night, or I only notice them at night because I don't have time for them during the day. No, this doesn't mean anything is happening, or happening soon, it's just stuff. Could be stuff for several weeks.

We are just about squared away on "crap we need" with just a few more diapers needed. I think we'll be picking up the remainder this weekend at Tiny Tots in Campbell. Then we have to strip and wash all of them. And then? We wait...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seriously, I could cutabitch

  • "Oh get all the sleep you can now because you won't be getting any after the baby is born." This is tragically wrong. I can't sleep. I haven't had a good night's sleep in months. Last night? I couldn't sleep for several long stretches, but I know I slept a little in between because I HAD DREAMS ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO SLEEP. And then I woke up again, a million times. I have to pee, and my hips ache terribly. When I sleep n my back for a bit, I have to worry about all the crap people said about not sleeping on your back, plus the lower back pain. Then I'm getting kicked, repeatedly, for about 30 minutes (hiccups?). Then I try to roll over onto the other hip to see if it hurts less, only to find that it hurts my round ligaments. Seriously, your advice is stupid, uninformed, pointless, and makes me angry because I'D LOVE TO FUCKING SLEEP ALREADY. But it's not an option. So shuttup.
  • "Oh is that your weird pregnancy craving?" Yeah, you know what? I crave junk food. Especially sweets. You know what I craved before I was pregnant? Junk food, especially sweets. It's pretty stupid that you are trying so hard to fit my life into your tired jokes about weird things pregnant women do, that you're considering my wanting cake "one of those weird pregnancy things." I was actually kind of looking forward to more creative cravings... pickles and ice cream, or dirt, or something. But in reality, it's just the same shit I've always wanted. Plus lots of water. I'm insanely thirsty all of the time.
  • Bonus for all the asshats who said I would surely give in to craving meat. Not only was that a big "no" (never a single craving) but you get the added asshatedness of basically saying "your pregnancy will surely make you decide to do something you find morally repulsive. Just you wait and see, you silly thing." Yeah, and next time you have the flu, I'm sure I'll find you calling up your sister for a blowjob. Ick? How could I suggest something so... wrong? Exactly.
  • "You can't have that!" Said to me as I raise a glass of coffee to my lips. Really? Watch me. And if I can't drink it, I'm gonna throw it in your face.
  • (smug face) "oooohhhh, you just wait, you have no idea.../you're in for it/blah blah blah" (smug chuckle). I have no idea what you said because all I heard was "I'm so smug and you are so clueless. Hah haw haw. And also you are so foolish and I am so smug. And furthermore, look at how smug and condescending I am" These people need to consider why they are talking to me, because I'm at worst planning how quickly I can never talk to them again, or at best I am gritting my teeth while internally screaming at the top of my lungs to never hear anything they say to me again. So congratulations on being someone I hope to tune out or just avoid in general. I'm guessing these people think they are being funny or just seeming wise, but really consider whether patronizing comments and condescension is something anyone in your life is going to respond to. Even if I didn't just dismiss your every word because you're a jerk for being so rude, I guess you're hoping I'd just feel bad that my life was going to end and you thought it was a big joke? No one is thinking "wow, I am so glad that wise old owl pointed out the obvious." Besides, no one has any idea what they are in for ever. EVAR. I'm not a fucking idiot. And yes, I am going to do cloth diapers. Yes I am going to keep riding my bike after I fall off. Yes, I am going to be a vegetarian. I remember being told that I was foolishly entering those thing too. Guess who had no idea? When has being smug and patronizing ever strengthened your interactions or relationships?
  • Do I know you? Don't make me grab your crotch to prove my point.
  • Anyone blaming my reaction towards them on pregnancy. Nice, easy out for you, but, no. My temper is about the same. Sometimes I am even less temperamental lately. If I think you're an idiot, it's because I think you're an idiot. Are you a teenager who refuses to move their bag to share a bus stop bench with visibly pregnant or disabled or old or tired people (or, hell, anyone is not a fucking bag?!?!)? You're an ass! Are you a guy who can't seem to do your job despite being told a billion times in simple terms how to do it, then trying to throw me and my team under the bus? You're an ass! And you're lucky I don't have the time to make it a personal goal to get you fired. (it crossed my mind) Are you otherwise being blithely self-centered or wasting my time? I have a lot of shit to do. Get out of my way. Thanks. PS: I can lose this weight and will not be pregnant soon, but you will still be an ass. What will you blame it on then? Blaming someone's reaction to your behavior on pregnancy is right up there with saying "oh, she's disagreeing with me. Must be that time of the month." It's just a way for people to dismiss a woman's thoughts by blaming them on some hormones. Women just can't control themselves, you see, and if they don't mesh with what you want, it must be due to female troubles. Not because she has a valid point.

I've gotten so much advice about what I *should* do, or what I should feel guilty about not doing, I really could give a shit what most people have to say at this point. I had planned to work up until I popped, but I realized that the closer I got to my due date, the more work people kept piling on my plate. Giving myself a week or two off before the due date may actually mean I can catch up on some stuff. I was scheduled to do my driver test this week but I had to cancel it because it's just one more thing I haven't had time to prepare for. No shit I should do that because "what if my kid needs to go to the hospital?" I'm not a moron. I just have 4 billion things on my plate. And the stress is too much. Keep your comments about my weight or my diet to yourself-- my doctor is happy and I think he's delivered many more babies than you have. If you want to share your happy or fucked up birth story with me, I'm perfectly happy to listen, but that's pretty much all I'm going to do. I love hearing about the experiences and learnings of my loved ones, but everyone is different, and yours is just one data point. I like hearing about motorcycle wrecks too but no one should expect me to stop riding because they had a bad time of it.

Pregnancy is a stupid and unlikely thing. If there was ever an argument against "intelligent design" I think human gestation would be it. And if you survive it, you get this half-formed thing that still isn't really baked yet. Yay?
Anyway, every pregnancy is different, and you just get what you get (and probably won't like it-- if you do, you're a weirdo)
This one has been pretty easy so far, comparatively. I've been mostly able to barrel ahead with my life in general and keep on task. (outside of running, which, despite my best researched plans, I had to give up after some severe round ligament pain early on) Paul and I have managed to have a lot of fun in between (offroading! Ice caves! Ice cream!) We're not "Ready" for a baby any more than anyone ever is. Who cares? We are ready! Shark slapping time!

Among my early confessions of terrible motherhood:
I'm not banking cord blood, I'm not getting on the waitlist for the good preschools. I'm not eating all organic, I'm eating a little too much of this and not enough of that. I have allowed, neigh, invited, beer to pass my lips. I didn't give up motorcycles until I was several months pregnant, and I have every intention of going out and wrecking again. I won't be bragging about her early attainment of random development milestones, and she'll probably end up a latchkey kid at some point. I will occasionally (if not regularly) swear in front of her, and I will let her eat dirt pie. I will probably bring my work home with me, and there will be times when I just let her cry it out. I didn't think her ultrasounds were cute, and I have no intention of decorating her nursery.

I won't do the things I am supposed to do to give her everything.
I already did the most important thing I can do for her: I found her a wonderful father, and we loved her very much.
Everything else is just window dressing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This post is for me and not particularly of interest if you are not me.

On July 19th, we had to part ways with kitty. The night before that was one of the worst of my life. It's both a blessing and a curse that she went relatively quickly-- she only seemed unwell for maybe a week, but we were still in shock when we had to say goodbye.

It's been about two months, and I still sometimes think she's going to greet me when I come home. I still have to fight urge to meow into the hall to say hello when I open the door. Every part of the house and garden is a place where I remember her habits. She was huge in our life, always nearby, and never in the background like most cats.
"Let's take our coffee into the yard."
"OK, shall I grab the cat, or you?"

She suited Paul perfectly and I worried terribly about him when we lost her.

Everywhere in the house seems to miss her, that sunspot she used to sit in, that stairway of boxes we arranged so she could reach the window, the place she used to sleep in the hall when we were at opposite end of the house.

The way she insisted on coming into the bathroom in the morning to sit while I took a shower, and then demanded to leave while I got ready. At the last house, she'd had a habit of jumping into the bathtub after the shower was turned off.

The way she would always want to sit in between us on the couch-- a mean spirited and jealous cat!

The way she used to sit up on the counter at the old place and swat at the shadows of the birds at the feeder, getting her claws stuck in the curtain.

The way she would yell and bang on the door if Paul went into the front bathroom with her locked out.

In the winter, she would sit by the fire on the floor with us, purring, in a very cat-like state of sweet coziness.

The way she would get your attention and then get you to follow her down the hallway to a certain spot in the kitchen "Let me show you my food bowl!"

The way she'd fight me for my spot at the table-- at the old house she would literally hop into my chair if I got up. At this house, she would just stake a claim under the chair before I got there.

The way she'd sit in my lap if I sat in the reclining chair in the study. This was a cat who never sat in anyone's lap besides Paul. Something about that chair.

The way she'd occasionally get a wild hair up her ass and tear up and down the hallway yowling. This didn't happen as much in the end, presumably because she couldn't run that well with three legs.

She caught a snail once in the backyard of the house we live in now, which must have been a fine moment, since she'd not been much of a hunter for years.

The way she used to love to curl up in the closet of my sewing room on some pile of cordura, which was her favorite material.

The way she would come yelling down the hall when I came home and follow me into the bedroom while I put my stuff down so I could properly pet her up on my return. For a cat that pretended to be standoffish most of the time, she was always pretty excited to see me return. Which lasted for minutes before she went right back to hating me.

Once, we had cut out some crayon and paper antlers and stuck them to her head before walking to dinner when Paul lived in Berkeley; we came home to the adorable sight of the silhouette of a reindeer-cat waiting for us in the window.

When Paul lived in Berkeley, the three of us would spend a lot of time in the garage. She loved to explore all the shelves and stacks of junk, and sometimes get stuck there and require rescue.

The way she would spread out over the night, cramming Paul and I into maybe half of the bed while she got the rest.

The way she'd sit in the yard with us while we drank our coffee, protesting loudly when the spot she'd chosen in the sun made her too hot.

And on and on... this post is for me, and I may add to it later.

In the end, here is what happened:
After a long time of monitoring and treatment, her kidneys finally failed. Kidney failure is very common in older cats. At the same time, however, she also had a large growth, a tumor, that was blocking her colon basically, which we found out about only on her last night. Together these things were not treatable, and I'm only thankful that this turn for the worse seemed to be only the last week of her life. It was painful to see her suffer, but I think it was not terribly long.

I know some people will wonder if this has to do with the carcinoma she had last year, and do we regret drawing it out. First: no, it is not from her carcinoma, and second, no, I do not in any way regret the decision we made to amputate to stop the bone cancer. After recovery, she was basically back to her old self, and the time we got with her was good for all of us-- she was a happy cat (in her own mean-spirited, bitter old lady kind of way) and I do believe that the kidney disease and tumor in her gut were not related. Anyone facing feline carcinoma should trust their vet in that a cat can recover and be very happy for many years with only three legs. (which is still one more leg than I have!)

The cat was overly central to our daily life. I guess some people just have cats as background noise, but we pretty much considered her in every part of our day, and miss her terribly. Some people have made pretty insensitive comments about her being gone, and I'm just going to say that you don't replace a cat any more than you replace a family member. I won't offer to get you a new mom or son or spouse to replace the one that just passed, as though you ran out of toilet paper and I know where you can get some more for a good price. You may have had your ups and downs but losing a family member is not a joke. Making a decision to put a pet down, and then living through one last painful night together, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Of course, the reality of loving anyone is that some day you will have to say goodbye. But it is always too soon to say goodbye.

From 2005.04.09 Seattle

From 2005.04.09 Seattle

From 2005.04.09 Seattle

From 2006

From 2006

From 2008

From 2007

From 2008

From 2009

Thursday, September 09, 2010


So the blog is stopped up, and I know exactly why. Knowing why hasn't made it any easier to clear up.
When I have something in process that seems important, and that post isn't finished, it keeps me from posting anything else. This one has been stopped up since July.

The post I had in work turned out to be too much, and it could never be finished. So it will go up, and it will be added to going forward, and anyway, it wasn't for you to read, it was just for me to post, to keep it in a safe place. Because it needs a safe place to go. It's a memories post, and it's really just for me, and for the memories I'm adding to it.

Other than that, I've been keeping busy, too busy, and so I have a lot of catch up to do here.