the homestretch

PSA: don't forget your birth control 
Are you out of breath after tying your shoes? Have you ever gotten a side ache from eating your lunch too fast? Does the urge to pee again hit as soon as you pull your pants up? Congratulations! You might be almost 8 months pregnant.

I get such mixed reactions when people ask how far along I am. Sometimes they say "oh, you're getting so close!" and I scream "I KNOW! PLEASE HELP!" And then there are those who judgingly eye my midsection while saying "2 months left? You've still got quite awhile!" I'm zero percent offended at the inference that I'm overly large and in charge and fully offended over the statement that two months is a lot of time. TWO MONTHS IS BASICALLY  TOMORROW. Can't you see the panic in my eyes? Please look at the room that is supposed to be the nursery and tell me two months is a lot of time. I DARE YOU. 

Am I ready to be a mother? My living room is decorated with concert posters. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with Ms. New Booty stuck in my head. I still think your mom jokes are hilarious, even though I'm about to become the butt of one. Early in the summer I was bopping around concerts in my jorts and ironic t-shirts, and now I'm wearing jeans with a band that covers my entire midsection and a bra that could hold next summer's watermelon harvest. My Amazon wishlist has gone from books and music to nursing pads and burp cloths. I have more fun shopping for this little peanut than I ever did shopping for myself. I ain't the woman I once was!

Can I confess something to you? I think I may be gestating a feline.  It doesn't help that I keep dreaming about giving birth to a cat. The baby makes movements that give me no other choice but to assume she's chasing a laser pointer up the walls of my womb. She wiggles and squirms like an angry cat trapped in a paper bag. I can see her wriggle around and stretch and kick. It's completely weird and I couldn't love it more. There have been several nights where I've swatted at my midsection, thinking the cat was standing on me when really the baby (the kitten?) was just pushing against my stomach. I will take this opportunity to not tell you that when I was talking to the baby a few nights ago, I accidentally called her by the cat's name instead of her name. Maybe it's no coincidence half her wardrobe has cats on it...

Let me just say the obvious here and what we're all waiting for me to say: pregnancy is uncomfortable. At least when I'm anywhere but home. The back aches? I do my Hunchback of Notre Damn impression every time I stand up. Sciatica is no longer just an uncomfortable symptom; it has become a way of life. If you saw me stand up out of my desk chair at work, you'd think I was just learning how to walk. And my hips! One of these days they're going to just crack open like a pistachio. I moan and groan and howl whenever I move. Do I dare mention what it's like to roll over in bed? Traumatizing. I've frequently found myself yowling in the middle of the night while trying to change positions. Oh, and sleep! I don't sleep anymore. I can't. Doesn't happen. My body forgot how. Ask me how much I love this!

I used to not understand why the pregnant women at work turned into angry, scary versions of themselves in the third trimester, but I get it now. I so get it. I walk around the office looking for someone to hurl a rock at just because my body hurts that much and I have no energy. No energy. I knew pregnancy would be uncomfortable and tiring, but nobody told my body would give up on life. Those women who say they feel great in their third trimester are almost as dead to me as the women who don't get morning sickness. Thought let me be straight: achey hips > 24/7 puking any day of the week forever and ever.

Other things I was not prepared for (are you ready for this? buckle up):

+ My tastes have changed. I have hated sausage my entire life, but lately? It's delicious. And ham! All I want is 7 Honeybaked Hams. I'm slowly coming around to coffee again. I drank a little on Christmas and it was sort of okay, and sometimes I almost kind of want some. A big improvement.

+ My non-food tastes have changed, too. I've always been ambivalent toward the color red, but now? I want to paint my whole life red. Football? Sure! Hot pink bows? I will buy them for my child, maybe. I listened to a Taylor Swift song last month and accidentally liked it. I am not who I once was.

+ My ribs. THEY ACHE. Whenever I sit too long, it feels like someone is cracking my ribcage open. If I'm going to get what feels like a side ache during a run while sitting on the couch, I would at least like to burn some calories for my trouble.

+ Pregnancy glow? What is that? A lie from the Russians. My skin has never been drier or more itchy. Ever since the minute I got pregnant, my lips have been chapped as though I've been standing atop a windy mountain, and no amount of chapstick or lip balm has made a difference. I have been reacquainted with my teenage acne issues. I think the pregnancy hair thing might be real, though. But mostly on my legs, if you catch my drift.

+ I'm starting to think food cravings are mostly a myth. The only real food craving I've had is red meat. I require a cheeseburger for every single meal. I'm having Ron Swanon-level feelings toward beef.

+ Food aversions, though? Let's talk. I fell hard and fast into the comforting arms of Wendy's French Fries during the first trimester, and now I dry heave whenever I drive past a Wendy's. But nothing is as bad as my aversion to Tim Hortons. I had one week where all I could stomach was one of their grilled cheeses. Whenever I drive past one now (which is every 300 feet in Ohio), the smell of the cursed grilled cheese hits me and I turn green. I just had to stick my head in a trash can to write that. Any food that was within 300 feet of me during the first 5 months of pregnancy is dead to me.

+ I have developed a medical need for the smell of rubber. Specifically, car tires. I want to walk into a store and smash my nose all up in those tires' faces. Just writing that makes me feel weak with passion. Any kind of car smell is getting me riled up. A car dealership? I can't. I crave new car scent more than I've ever craved chocolate. I got a whiff of eau de tire the other day and it smelled so good it knocked me off my feet. I haven't sent James running out the door for ice cream and pickles, but I've nearly sent him out for new tires.

+ Forgetfulness. Listen, I know this is completely eye-roll-worthy, but it's LEGIT. And that's big coming from me, the cynical girl who eye-rolls everything. I've heard about pregnancy brain. I've read about it. I guffawed, and I have since eaten those guffaws.
     -Let me just give you a few examples: When Sarah came to visit, she texted me a street name to see if it's near the one I live on. I told her I had no idea where that street is. 5 minutes later I realized it's the street I've lived off of for over three years now.
     -Exhibit B: I made scrambled eggs the other day. After I started cooking them, my brain shut down and I walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. Several minutes went by before I realized I had eggs on the stove. I ran back into the kitchen just in time and then dry-heaved from the smell of the eggs I had wanted 10 minutes earlier.

+Clumsiness. It's a fact. I drop everything I pick up. If I'm holding something, there's a 60% chance I'll drop it every time. Which is great, because bending over has never been easier!

+Since we're here, I might as well mention the kinship I am starting to feel toward certain farm animals. I know it will only get worse, but nothing quite prepared me for that first night of waking up with a half-soaked shirt. Oh, is that too TMI for you? Try experiencing it. 

This will all be over in 2 months. I have so many feelings about that. Some days I feel as excited as a 5 year old at Disneyland, and other days I crawl under the sheets and sob from the sheer terror of it all. My emotions are on a pendulum constantly swinging between those two extremes. It's getting so real! There are bottles on the dining room table and teeny onesies in the nursery and a breast pump tucked back into a box that I've hidden from myself because I'm too scared to look at it again. The nursery is still a disaster and I still don't have the slightest clue what goes into a hospital bag and I'm not ready to think about it yet. I'm convinced pregnancy exists solely to torture women like me, but I also don't want it to end. I don't want to be pregnant anymore, but I don't want to not be pregnant. I've become extremely attached to the torpedo sticking out of my abdomen, and even though I'll be holding my baby (which I am dying for), I'm not sure I want to look down and not see a squirmy bowling ball under my shirt. What's that syndrome where women become attached to their attackers? It's sort of like that. I've been pushed to my breaking point physically, emotionally, and mentally, but I am so not ready for it to end (dramatic!). But to eat and drink whatever I want again? Such luxury! I was living a charmed, caffeinated life pre-pregnancy, and I had no clue.

I used to be so scared to have kids because I didn't want to give up my freedom. I had a long list of things I wanted to do first. I've done almost none of those things, and my life is about to not be my own anymore. And you know what? I'm so happy about that. Really! All those things and ideas I had been clinging have completely lost their appeal. I worry here and there about not having time to myself anymore, but I have never felt more ready to dive into this. My priorities have completely shifted. This is all so good. And so hard. And so scary. And I'm so ready. But so not ready.

Ugh, these emotions. They're exhausting.


visit me at your own risk

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like something is just off in the universe? Like the air around you is just janky and wrong?

That happened to me on Saturday. I woke up in a weird mood I couldn't shake. I chalked it up to hormones (they get a lot of blame these days), but then things started to get wonkalicious. I have a map hanging on my wall that fell off over and over. The toilet in the guest bathroom broke. That toilet has never worked right, so I wasn't surprised, but it's never caused any major issues. James took the plunger to it to see what he could do, and he realized that somehow the plunger had holes in it.

Do I need to tell you where this is going? The guest bathroom flooded. And I mean flooded. I spent the rest of the morning washing every towel and rug we own. While I was doing that, James went to buy a new plunger. I kept up with the laundry and hung the blasted map back up for the third time. The cat could sense the world was falling apart and burrowed under the covers on our bed, which she absolutely never does unless someone comes over. James came home with the the new plunger and stuck it in the toilet while I sat in our bedroom cringing and praying. Within seconds, I heard him scream "OH NO OH NO OH NO!" The bathroom flooded. Again. It flooded all over the place. I heard the water pouring out of the toilet like Niagara Falls. Again. I heard the waves and tsunamis of toilet water splash against the freshly cleaned floor and walls. We took the last three dry towels and threw them on the floor.

The best and worst part? Sarah was on her way to visit for the first time. I was so excited to see her, but I suddenly realized I had to hurry and clean the master bathroom so I didn't scare her off with makeup caked on the bathroom counter and my grey hairs littering the floor. I cleaned, I showered the toilet water off myself, and then I laid down on the couch and prayed the day didn't continue down this path.

Sarah, her 9 month old daughter, and her mom showed up a little bit later. It was so amazing to meet her in person and I felt shy and giddy. At the risk of sounding like the Craigslist killer, I love meeting people from the internet. Blogging is like match.com for friendships; sometimes I meet my new best friend, and other times it's a disaster. I've known Sarah online for awhile now and we text each other every day. We've been wanting to meet forever, but she was pregnant and sick, and not long after she had her baby, I got pregnant and sick. She has been such a good friend to me and has virtually held my hand through this pregnancy. We sat around and played with the baby and chatted and had a great time. At least I had a great time. I hope she did, too. She texted me the next day, so that's a good sign, right? I wonder if she wants to see me again. But it was crazy and strange to see a baby in my house and know she's the age my baby will be a year from now. I had to shut those thoughts down before I had a heart attack.

We eventually went to grab dinner. We sat over soup and bread and talked about Elizabeth Smart and crazy kidnappers and the generally creepiness of the world and sufficiently scared ourselves silly. We walked outside in the dark to our cars, that were parked in a NICE and BUSY part of town and said our sad goodbyes. I was getting in my car to leave when Sarah's mom noticed the window of their car had been smashed and everything of value in their car had been stolen, including important baby things (who does that?!). I would be much more dramatic about all of this, but I don't want to steal Sarah's thunder if she decides to blog about it. We stood in the freezing cold and the police told us they wouldn't send anyone out, so I brought everyone back to my place to file a police report. We put the carseat and baby in my backseat so she didn't have to ride next to the smashed window. Cue another panic attack as I looked in my rearview mirror to see a carseat. At least I now know how to put a carseat in my backseat. A baby in my house and my car. It felt all too real and strange.

We got back to my house and worked on the police report, where we learned that you can report the following items stolen from your car: an empty beer can, cocaine, and a llama. But no GPS. You can report an empty beer can stolen, but not a GPS. Which makes sense, as the empty beer can is clearly a much more tragic loss. I'm just thankful she was wise enough leave her llama at home this time.

Sarah put the baby to bed in the pack n play in my bedroom, which she once again showed me how to set up. And hers happens to look exactly like the one James and I just bought, so obviously I wasn't having heart palpitations or anything about seeing a sleeping baby in a pack n play in my bedroom 2 months before giving birth.

The police report was filed, James taped up the window, and they were eventually on their way, all of us feeling a little bit traumatized. The cat wisely stayed burrowed through the whole ordeal, and I soon joined her.

So when can I be expecting you all for a visit?


stream of consciousness, vol. 5

Oh, hello there. Yes, hi. Yes, I am feeling better. Thanks for asking! I hope you understood that through the 17 coughs I just hacked in your face. Clearly my health is still a work in progress.

I haven't had much to say lately except that right now I'm really regretting not getting Chipotle for dinner. No, really. The pizza thing from Trader Joe's that I just ate only made me hungrier and I'm too tired to do anything about it but whine. If I can't whine about the flu anymore, I'll whine about food. Flued? I'm really tired. James is bringing me home a cinnamon roll in a few hours, and that is the glue holding me together right now.

I have such little brain power that I had to pause Gilmore Girls to finish writing this. And it's the series finale which means James should probably bring me an extra cinnamon roll. I haven't watched this season since it aired my senior year of high school. My first period English teacher and I would dissect the intricacies of each episode every week and then discuss our knitting projects. If you're wondering, I was very popular in high school. Hashtag first chair clarinet. 

Speaking of knitting, it's all I want to do lately. I think it's the weather. I think it's the fact that I was couch-bound for a week with the plague. Whatever the reason, I dream in garter stitches now. I'm in the zone, finally. I have a hard time getting in the knitting zone because I'm slow, the progress is slow, and the whole process makes me feel like a toddler screaming ARE WE THERE YET in the back seat of someone's mini van. But I finally hit the zone and I don't want to stop. I almost brought my knitting to work so I could work on it during my lunch break, but I stopped myself. My office is entirely too trendy/too into running/not the knitting type, and I wasn't ready for the questions. In last week's team building exercise (grrrroooaaannn), I had to name my favorite movie. When I spouted out White Christmas, there was a sea of blank faces before me until my boss finally broke the silence and said "aww, well that's cute." So I keep the rest of my absurdity safely locked up during business hours. 

Man, why didn't I get Chipotle? Always get Chipotle. I'm about to eat my blanket.

In other news, I'm now watching football. Alone. The National Championship is on, and since I'm still on a Sugar Bowl high I pilfered my parent's long-in info so I can watch on the ESPN app on Apple TV. I'm going to be upfront: I have no idea what's going on. I need James or my dad here to help me out. The cheers of my neighbors are the only cue I have to go off of right now.

Can I tell you a secret? The one sport I understand and semi-enjoy is basketball. I have zero skills, but it's fun to play. You know, if you have to play a sport. I also mostly understand it, it's fast paced, and the games are inside. Anyway, for some reason, I keep transferring the rules of basketball to football. Every time someone catches the ball and runs, I immediately panic that they're traveling. I've internally yelled "BUT DON'T YOU HAVE TO DRIBBLE THE BALL? OR PASS IT?!" several times. Thankfully I have yet to yell this out loud, but more than once I've had a small internal anxiety attack over the fact that I'm the only one who notices the blatant traveling. Aren't you excited to invite me to your next football party? I'll just be over here with my knitting. 

You can stop rolling your eyes now.


Ooo, touchdown! No one has to explain that to me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Things I'm good at. Aside from identifying touchdowns, of course. Driving myself crazy has to be at the top of the list right now. I always feel stressed and frustrated when the house is messy, but my hormones have put that on steroids lately. I OBSESS over things that are messy/not how I would like them. This place got messy during the holidays since we were out of town a lot, and then after New Years I got the flu, and things went from bad to worse. I had to lay on the couch while coughing and sputtering and dying and stare at the mess closing in on me. I finally felt well enough on Sunday to do something about it, and well, let's just say I found myself scrubbing the top of the refrigerator at one point. I also found myself at Target on Sunday night buying up their flannel sheets and duvet covers. The problem is, I wore myself out so much I didn't even have the energy to put the new sheets on the bed. And now I'm busy being a pseudo football fan, so they'll have to wait again.

I would tell you all about how I also bought a basket at Target (what I'm saying is that I went crazy) and dropped it twice and watched it roll through the slushy parking lot into oncoming traffic, but James just got home with cinnamon rolls.


Update: OSU won the National Championship. The ESPN app kept freezing and buffering every 30 seconds, so I didn't find out we won until well after the rest of the country. I managed to keep my eyes open until 12:30 on a Monday night, which is no small miracle. I knit and drank tea through the whole thing like a proper lady. If I'm going to watch football, I might as well bring a little Downton Abbey to the table. 


even my eyeballs hurt

You guys! I'd like to invite you to a party!!

Are you excited?

Here are the details:

Location: here
Time: now
Reason: my pity party!

That's right. I'm having a pity party and you are all invited. I'm also writing this while still woozy from last night's Robitussin, so if this is weirder than usual, there you go. Everything's a little fuzzy right now and nothing's really making sense, and I kind of feel like I'm floating. Maybe I am? I can't tell.

The internet has a penchant for compartmentalizing things into different years. So do I, really. As soon as the ball drops, our lives are supposed to magically change and I just don't believe that happens. Life continues to ebb and flow despite the flip of a calendar. But I'm going to compartmentalize for a second and say that 2015 SUCKS SO FAR. January 1st was spent not being myself, flipping through instagram Whole30 posts while shoving more Christmas candy in my mouth. January 2nd involved very, very expensive car repairs that still sting when I think about them. January 3rd? January 3rd was supposed to be a grand day full of cleaning and organizing and everything that speaks to my soul right now. Instead, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by 17 trucks that left me with bronchitis. I spent the day curled up on the couch coughing and hacking and wheezing, convinced I would feel better after a good night's sleep. But then the body aches came! Not just any body aches, but the kind that set your whole body on fire. My throat burns as though a satanic sacrifice is taking place on it. My ears are fuzzy. My eyeballs feel like they've been doing bicep curls. As weird as it sounds, that's really what it feels like. My lips are so chapped you could scrape ice off your car with them. Yesterday I coughed so hard I threw up in the sink. The first trimester all over again! I ordered two beanies from F21 two weeks ago, and they still aren't here. Unrelated, but today this is a place for negativity and whining.

And then THE FEVER. And this time, the only prescription was not more cowbell. I spent literally all of Saturday night wide awake, stripped of my flannel pajamas and covered in cold compresses and trying to figure out when this fever was going to kill both me and the baby and when I should suck it up and tell James to drive me to the hospital. Somewhere around hour 6, my fever broke and I fell asleep as the sun was coming up. I don't remember any part of Sunday because I was half dead the entire time, daydreaming of my former life when I wasn't two people and I could Nyquil myself into oblivion without worrying about it. Now I have Robitussin only, which helps but also kind of doesn't.  I also now have two doctors offices to consult with instead of just one. The OB nurse says "oh, it's most definitely Bronchitis" and my primary care doctor says "nope, you have the flu and it's nasty. By the way, please wear this face mask until you leave." She sent a prescription for Tamiflu to my pharmacy, and the pharmacist said "oh we're out of stock, and you probably won't find a pharmacy in the area who has it right now." I sat in the CVS parking lot calling other pharmacies in the area scream-coughing into the phone and begging someone to have it in stock. Remember when I used to be terrified of the doctor? And the phone? I don't even care anymore. SOMEONE JUST CURE ME, PLEASE.

The best part is that this is the first time in years that I got a flu shot. Aside from coming down with the swine flu in college (yes, the swine flu), I haven't had the flu or gotten very sick in a long time. But thanks to my doctor's urging, I got the flu shot a few months ago, and now I'm on my deathbed. I know the flu shot is no guarantee, but I have to laugh.

The good news? I haven't set foot at work since last year. My green teapot and I have rekindled the passion in our relationship. It has become my ball and chain and I would not survive without it. God bless the broken read that led me straight to you, right? It snowed last night and I can enjoy the view from the comfort of my germ-infested couch. I can finally finish season 7 of Gilmore Girls. At least I would if my internet would stop crapping out.

If you need me, follow the trail of empty cough drop wrappers. It will lead you to the couch, covered in 12 blankets, dirty mugs, Christmas candy, and surrounded by Christmas decorations that still haven't been taken down. I figure I'll worry about that once I can breathe with my nose again. I want a redo.


2015 word of the year: sports

The strangest thing happened on January 1st. I changed. And I didn't even have to make a resolution!

Are you ready for this?

I watched football.

And I liked it.

I've been very vocal about this in the past, but if you don't know, I happen to despise football and most sports. Just not my thang. Bores me to tears.  Me watching a football game is akin to me starting a fashion blog. I have only the loosest understanding of things like first downs, and I can never seem to learn any more no matter how hard I try. And I usually don't try very hard. How many times have you rolled your eyes at me so far?

But the thing is, I watched football. I watched the last half of the Rose Bowl with my dad, and then we all watched Ohio State play in the Sugar Bowl. And I freaking loved it. I was not myself. I cheered for Oregon and I didn't even know I cared about Oregon? During the Sugar Bowl, I jumped up in my snuggie and spit out my homemade chex mix when things got crazy. I screamed so hard I thought I was going to put myself into labor. I wet my pants a little after every touchdown. And yeah, maybe my mom had to explain things to me and maybe I had to ask a stupid question every 32 seconds, causing my dad to pause the game and point things out on the field so I would finally understand, but I mostly understood what was happening and I had multiple heart attacks during the game. I stayed up until 1 am to make sure they won. I favorited football-related tweets, and I did so genuinely. For the first time in my life, I understood why people post constant football statuses on Facebook. I was so into it, man. So into it. I felt like a football fan, and I dug it. And the worst part? Ohio State is playing in the National  Championship soon and I can't watch it because we don't have cable. And that actually bothered me.

New year, new me?

At this rate, I'm expecting to open my fridge to find only healthy foods and a membership card to a gym the next time I open my wallet.

In other news, I had grand plans of freshening this place up after putting the Christmas things away this weekend. I spent the week mulling over ideas of new duvet covers and where to hang up my new calendar and the deep pleasure of cleaning out the pantry. Even though I feel wounded and offended over the fact that the holidays are over, the Christmas stuff is starting to suffocate me a little and it needs to go. I went to bed last night excited to wake up and start. But then I woke up with the chest cold to end all colds, and I am convalescing on the couch with Downton Abbey season 4 (have to rewatch it before season 5 starts tomorrow. You get it), and my current knitting project that is finally getting the attention it deserves. My throat feels like it's ripping in half every time I cough and my entire body is aching. I drank an entire pot of tea from my green teapot, and I think I'm about to go fill it up again. I have grand plans of cracking open a can of potato soup later and going to bed early with a book. There's a chance of snow this week and it's giving me the slightest will to live.

New year, same me.