29 June 2010

Ten Things TUESDAY!

I remembered! I'm so proud of myself!

Ten Things That Made Me Smile This (Past Four Days or So):
1. Remembering that it was Ten Things Tuesday and not Ten Things Thursday
2. Heather is arriving TONIGHT!
3. The running commentary that Kip and I kept during the US vs Ghana game that had nothing to do with the game, but everything to do with the fact that the cameramen kept showing reaction shots of Bill Clinton, who was watching it. Our commentary involved a lot of breathy, Southern drawled comments ("Well heeeeeeey, that wasn't a very good pass. And I know about good passes, aha...ha.......ha....")
4. Alli's first birthday, which was on Sunday. I can't believe she's already a year old!
5. It getting sunny enough to make sun tea and hang out some laundry. Yay!
6. Kip's excursion after work last night: he ran to his old bachelor apartment on Douglas Island, got his bike out of storage, and rode it back.
7. The way our apartment looks as of late thanks to my slightly obsessive cleaning. Who doesn't sweep their floors twice a day? Or maybe three times. Okay, possibly four but they're hardwood, we have a shedding cat, and the nesting hormones are really in full effect these days, okay?
8. Finally bringing a bunch of furniture we don't need down to our landlords (again, thanks to my slightly obsessive cleaning).
9. The game plan that Kip and I made last night for Heather's visit. It may or may not include several drives out to the Shrine, a trip to Skeins (the local yarn shop), and a culinary tour of Juneau including the Hot Bite, Tracy's Crab Shack, and the Thane Salmon Bake (mmmmmmmmmm!)
10. Playing my cello again in preparation for a wedding gig on Friday.

When Pregnancy and Real Life Meet, or Why I'm Insanely Glad There's Not a Babies R Us in Juneau, Part 1

It's not that I thought pregnancy wouldn't jive with some aspects of my regular, pre-baby life, it's just that I didn't think it would necessarily influence every single one of them. Take, for example, my comment to Kip as we watched the Nigerian and Greek national teams take the field for a recent World Cup game:

"Hey, I bet they're all uncircumcised."


I rest my case. When in the world, other than the week that your midwife springs about a thousand statistics about the downfalls of circumcision on you in the name of being "fully informed", does one EVER associate soccer with "the cut"?

Never, that's when.

It had been a heck of a week. On top of realizing that we were drastically beyond the halfway point between "Why am I so emotional and where the heck is Mother Nature's monthly gift?" and "Omg there's a baby lying there and it's ours", Kip and I also became more intimate than we ever thought possible with one of our midwives when, in the course of an hour, we spoke in depth about the pros and cons of circumcision and she mimed breastfeeding (still fully clothed, lest you think it was that intimate). I should have known, as we exited the Birth Center wide-eyed and a little shell shocked that afternoon, that there would be no going back. Pregnancy Life and Real Life were on a collision course.

Of course, I'd been experiencing a merging of Pregnancy Life and Real Life for several months at that point. But it was in a cushy and cute sort of way: I noticed babies more; I realized I had a justification for looking at the cute onesies on sale at Fred Meyer; I lost the ability to wear pants without some sort of elastic in the band. All these, with one great exception, were relatively welcome and anticipated changes in my psyche, showing an identity shift from "Cindy" to "Cindy and Bean". I never dreamed I would one day draw a parallel between competitive world soccer and the be-foreskinned status of international footballers. And the day that happened, I realized Pregnancy Life had left Los Angeles traveling 65 mph while Real Life had left New York at 45 mph, and that they had triumphantly collided somewhere around the Red Lobster in Kokomo, Indiana.

But what is this aforementioned "one great exception"?
What is the one aspect of Pregnancy Life that had wiggled its way indelibly into my world like an unwelcome family member intent on squatting in your living room for as long as possible?
It is something which I will blog about in a second installment.
And it's called Superfluous (Usually Plastic) Baby Crap.

24 June 2010

Ten Things Thursday, Um....Again

Okay, so in my pregnant-brained state, I genuinely thought that this was supposed to happen on Thursday and not Tuesday, so I'm counting this as being on time. I blame you, convenient alliteration!!! Or is it assonance? Either way, I blame it.

Ten Things That Made Me Smile This Week:
1. Kip's last week of night shift! I get him back now for the rest of the year! Huzzah!
2. Using a Snuggie for the first and hopefully only time in my life while watching a World Cup game in my landlord's chilly living room. I embraced the tackiness, though, and kept declaring, "It's a blanket with sleeves!" at sporadic intervals.
3. The USA vs. Algeria game yesterday. We are seriously considering naming the baby Landon if it's a boy. What a goal! What a game!
5. Our visit to Ketchikan over the weekend--we saw the sun, Kip got to feed eagles while fishing, I made a few new friends. It was great.
6. The breakfast that Kip made for me this morning to celebrate the end of night shift.
7. Clearing out a corner in our bedroom for Bean's crib.
8. Finding out that our car situation is all set! Kip's parents are bringing up a new(er) Jeep Grand Cherokee from the Lower 48 in the end of July. They're also bringing the car seat that Becky and Scott are loaning us, and the glider that they're giving us for the baby shower. Basically, we're going from 0% prepared for Bean's arrival to about 85% in the course of a day. I'm thrilled!
9. My most recent musical obsession, because apparently I'm stuck in 1996:
10. Slowly working my way through Norway photos. Posting soon!

17 June 2010

Ten Things...Thursday

A Belated (and oft' put off) Ten Things That Made Me Smile This Past Fortnight Or So:
(I promise next week I'll get back to a schedule for these things)
1. Finding a frozen pumpkin pie at Fred Meyer after going on a grand search for canned pumpkin during an epic craving.
2. Feeling like an actually pretty good photographer when going through Norway and Chicago photos.
3. I know I say this every week, but Tillamook's antics. It just never ceases to amuse me how easily he entertains himself (and me). Most recent source of amusement: the blue, puffy, feathered, dangling cat toy that I got him in an attempt to keep him out of mischief (namely from jumping onto my back every time I wear a tie-back maternity shirt, which is pretty often). He's taken to dragging it around the apartment and presenting it to us as if it were plunder from a Crusade. We appreciate the thoughtfulness.
4. Potting some flowers and putting them on the stairway up to our apartment entrance. It looks really homey and I can't wait to show them off to Heather when she arrives in THIRTEEN DAYS!!!
5. The increasing frequency with which Kip can feel Bean kicking. It's not a new development for me, but Bean is finally big enough that his/her kicks can be felt from the outside! I'm waiting for the day when Kip gets kicked in the face while up close to my belly talking to Bean. Speaking of...
6. When Bean kicked as soon as Kip started talking to him/her yesterday. :)
7. The sheer amount of reorganizing I've gotten done at the church library.
8. Getting an invitation to the baby shower that Natalie is throwing for us. It's "bean" themed!!!
9. The granola I made tonight. I'm impressed with myself.
10. Our upcoming weekend trip to Ketchikan to see some friends. It'll be the first place in Alaska that I've visited other than Juneau!

16 June 2010

a cult of a peaceful welcome, a thousand points of light

The refrigerator poetry in Kasey and Christina's apartment was eerily truthful: coming home to Chicago for Matthew and Alethea's wedding felt like a cult of a peaceful welcome, a thousand points of light. I'd forgotten what it felt like to really fit in a place. I like Juneau, don't get me wrong, but even a square peg can learn to be comfortable in a reasonably sized round hole, eventually forgetting its angles and awkward geometry in contrast to its surroundings. Being around all my best friends again for a few days, where we could chat about theology, have a few debates about ridiculous topics that normal 23-year-olds don't usually debate, and generally joke around in the way that's possible only with people who are family in all but blood--well, I was in a square hole again, which made going back to circular Juneau pretty painful.

The weekend was a nonstop celebration--of Matthew and Alethea, of friendship, of the Church, of love of all kinds. It was a blast. I took too many photos to post, and definitely too many to post them individually, so click on the collage below for some of my favorites.

Pregnancy Vices

While perusing one of my new favorite blogs, OffbeatMama, I came across a seriously kickass article, Learning Not to Worry During Pregnancy, in which the author shares her liberation from all the worrying she did in her first trimester. With her no-worrying policy now firmly in effect, she admits to indulging in one diet soda a day, painting her living room with low-VOC (not no-VOC) paint, and enjoying a much happier pregnancy because of it all. Her general level of chill-ness has encouraged me, a natural worrier, to enjoy and admit to a few pregnancy vices of my own. Because really, the human race has been reproducing for millions of years without worrying about the nitrate content of its morning bacon, so should I really be losing sleep over it?


I therefore present the following list of Cindy's Official Pregnancy Vices:
  • I lay on my back when I'm reading on the couch. Or when I'm trying to get to sleep and the prospect of resting all my body weight on one still bony hip or the other seems unbearable.
  • On occasion, when I'm trying to get something from the top shelf and nobody else is around, I (carefully) get up on a chair to reach it instead of waiting until Kip gets home.
  • I had a whole two gulps of my aunt's red wine during my week in Norway. And they were tasty.
  • I still cuddle with my cat. Once, when it was really, really bad and Kip was in the middle of an 80-hour workweek, I changed the litter box (and then promptly burned my hands washing them, but I still did it!)
  • When I have bad heartburn, I eat ice cream. And it's not the "no sugar" kind, it's Haagen Dazs.
  • I have logged about 15,000 miles of high altitude, cross-country flights (such as the trip to Chicago where I took the above photo). I did not get up and walk every hour of those trips. And I'm still going to Ketchikan in two days.
  • I don't wear gloves and a mask when I clean with Clorox wipes.
  • I've become a raging fan of "Dexter" thanks to the Instant Netflix streaming option. I'm pretty sure becoming obsessed with a show about a forensic blood splatter specialist who moonlights as a serial killer goes against the "Don't watch any TV or movies that are violent, suspenseful, or stressful" rule, but I love it.
  • I forget to take my prenatal vitamin on a semi-regular basis, and I still sleep at night.
Now, this doesn't mean that I'm running through the streets of Juneau flinging cat feces to and fro, chain smoking, and eating my fill of bologna, but it does mean that I'm not breaking down crying every time I do something on my list (with the possible exception of the vitamin thing; I live in eternal fear that Bean will be That Awkward Kid who doesn't technically have anything wrong with him but who is unbearably slow and socially awkward because I didn't get enough Vitamin F26 or something like that). And I have taken up many good Pregnancy Vices like drinking superfluous amounts of water, paying far more attention to my nutrition, and taking rapturous amounts of joy in reading articles about prenatal development (Did you know that my baby will soon be able to see the light difference if you shine a flashlight on my belly? THAT'S AMAZING!).

I figure that this new commitment to calming the crap down about the million "What If?"s of pregnancy will just train me for parenthood. For example, I've already come to the realization that 12 minutes of tummy time instead of the recommended 15 does not mean that Child and Family Services should be called to my residence. Progress! Now I'm off to bake some banana bread (with protein powder, of course). And I might just lick the spatula.

12 June 2010

Our World Cup Runneth Over

Every once in awhile, I'm reminded that Kip and I have a habit of doing absolutely ridiculous things. Current example: watching as many World Cup games as possible...including South Korea vs. Greece, which is playing live right now....at 3am Alaskan time.

Hey, he's on night shift and I don't have a job with set hours, so why not? The sun's coming up right about now anyways.

08 June 2010

"Welcome to the Parlor", Said the Kitten to the Fly

"GAH! CAT!!!!!" I yelled, grabbing my magazine and now empty plate.
Tillamook, unconcerned with the be-pizza sauced status of his front left paw, continued towards his prey: a fly so obese that its flight was a minor phenomenon and who must have gotten into the house when I stood in our open doorway this morning talking to our landlady. Through the course of the day, the poor, fat fly got stuck in that most frustrating of insect positions (hitting himself against the screen in the window--so close to freedom, yet so far away!) and cornered by a cat with a severe case of cabin fever and claws weeks overdue for a trim. Normally I would have let the poor fly out, or at least stopped the cat from torturing it, but I was still reeling from Tillamook stepping in my lunch during his chase (which I'm sure was accompanied, in his mind, by the National Geographic theme song). Fears of contracting toxoplasmosis from his paw ran rampant in my mind along with my ex-boyfriend Darrin's Double Dipping Thesis of 2005 ("Well, it's not really that bad, because any part of the dip that touched the previously bitten part of the chip is now touching the chip, and all remaining dip is clean, right?") as I investigated the red paw prints now leading up the back of the couch.

Here I'd like to take a moment and appeal to anyone who knows more about animals than I do: is it possible for cats, even neutered ones, to still go crazy when they would have been in heat had their parts not been removed? Because I'm pretty sure this is the case with Tillamook. Or he recently sold his soul to the Devil. Or was kidnapped and replaced by his evil twin, who runs around the apartment with no consideration for the floor, upholstery, teetering pregnant women who can't see their feet when tripped or sleeping night shift cops and who has manufactured several valiant escape attempts all in the course of one morning.

Or maybe he's just jazzed about the Sun and warm weather. I digress.

Back to the kitten and the fly: having studied the paw prints enough to conclude that any part of my pizza that had come into contact with Tillamook's paw was now rubbed into my couch's slipcover, I continued eating my lunch and watching the Animal Planet episode now taking place before my eyes. Dinner and a show! The fly, clever being, crawled higher and higher on the window screen while my cat, the sillier (and yet theoretically more highly evolved) of the two, proceeded to get both his paws stuck in the screen by way of his aforementioned claws. It was a pathetic sight: he stood up on his hind legs to catch the fly, placing one of his front paws on the screen to steady himself and batting at the fly with the other. When he realized that he couldn't stand any higher because his claws were now stuck in the screen, he would press his other paw against the screen to steady himself while pulling the first paw free, catching the claws of the second paw in the screen in the process. Over and over he went, trying the same solution only to see the same results: paw #1 stuck, paw #2 used for balance, paw #1 freed, paw #2 stuck, paw #1 used for balance....I couldn't help but laugh. Hard. So hard, in fact, that Tillamook turned around to glare at me, both paws now stuck to the screen.

I swear I saw the fly, now standing slightly out of Tillamook's reach, pointing and laughing too as I sat up and unhooked my kitten from his predicament. "Ancient Egyptians used to worship you?" I asked as I placed him back down on the cushions. With an offended meow, he turned around and settled onto the couch, still staring up at the fly, who had finally found a comfortable place to rest at the very top of the window.

04 June 2010

Home Sweet Juneau

After returning to Juneau from literally halfway around the world (Mom and Dad were even nice enough to call and let me know that they looked at a globe, and it would have been way quicker for me to just fly across Asia to Norway than across America and the Atlantic), I have been keeping myself busy (and therefore not blogging, apologies) by:

-catching up on sleep and hydration
-dreading doing the final Great Memory Change of 2010 on Cindy's Computer and therefore putting off uploading photos from Norway and Chicago (today is the day, though!)
-doing searches on Google of pretty much any permutation of "buying", "used car", "negotiating", and "checklist"
-dreading actually going to the dealership with Kip and trying to buy the aforementioned used car, since the Jeep greeted my return by promptly losing its ability to signal its intent to turn. This is in addition to the radio having not worked for a month, the back windshield wiper calling it quits years ago, the brake light taking sporadic vacations, and the parking brake slowly sinking into a life of sloth and laziness. Oh, and it wouldn't fit a baby carseat anyways, so it was just a matter of time.
-training Tillamook to stay away from things he's not supposed to be playing with by spraying him with water in a spray bottle. Now he only has to hear my hand on the plastic to go running. It makes me feel powerful, but evidently not in a scary way, since he still cuddles with me.
-starting work at the church library. I had a minor geek-fest when I found a cache of Peter Kreeft books yesterday. Huzzah!

Plus, it's been nice in Juneau. And there was an epic Pumpkin Pie Craving last night. And we had a fabulous pre-natal appointment yesterday in which we actually started discussing the idea of a baby coming from this pregnancy and what we were going to do about that.
Good times.