Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pregnancy Photos 18 Weeks

I may be a week late in getting this post to you, but nevertheless here it is.  It's odd how the uterus has a good memory of previous children that it bore.  Either that or it's just like a wet sock and once it's been all soggy and stretched out, it pretty much just stays that way.  In either case, I look about three times as pregnant as I did at this point last time.

I have heartburn almost constantly, run to the bathroom nearly every half an hour (on a good day), and feel a potential "roid" coming on, but dammit my skin is FLAWLESS.  Of all the weird and disgusting things that happen to my body during pregnancy, the glorious, glowing skin is by far the best.  I can heave my lunch while breathing flames of indigestion into the toilet, and as I'm wiping the flecks of vomit from my cheeks in the mirror I am still able to marvel at the unnatural twinkle to my eyes and the miraculous shade of peach I have become.  If  there were a song dedicated to my skin during pregnancy it would be called, "A Darker Shade of Tan".  Please, click that phrase, or it just won't be as funny.

So, without further ado, here is my first public photo of my pregnant belly.  18 weeks
And now Dear Readers, here's the one you're really waiting for.  The one of my butt.  Make no mistake, we WILL be tracking the growth of my derrier along with that of my stomach, and I think you will be amazed at how my hiney is like a black hole for excess calories.  It is the climate controlled storage unit for baby weight.  And no, you cannot bounce a quarter off of it.  But  it sure is fun to slap it and watch it jiggle.

Be careful kids, this is what happens when you don't use protection.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mommy Makes It Better

*I know I said I would post a pregnancy photo yesterday, and I WILL I promise, but first I have to get motivated enough to take a shower, change out of my sweat pants, and possibly brush my teeth.  And then I have to convince Jeremy to photograph me in all of my chubby glory.  So, perhaps tonight will be the night.  

As I mentioned in my previous post, Elsbeth has been very sick.  In fact, I cannot remember a time when she was this sick.  I have been home from work since Thursday, and one (or at least me) would tend to think that I would have gotten much accomplished in that time.  But that is not the case.

The Dilettante has had her first case of experiencing the magic medicine and its convalescent powers that only Mommies posses.  I can give this child Tylenol, chicken soup, soothing Vick's and a hundred humidifiers, but none of these things would compare to the comfort and respite she finds by simply being close to me.  So, while my plans of having a sparkling house have been put on the back burner, I have been taught a valuable lesson on the powers of nurture versus nature.  And for that I am very grateful.  Because while I am usually a very judicial and objective person, my personality can tend to be cold and insensitive to the needs of others.  

This is not something that I do on purpose, it's just my makeup.  This experience with Ellie has taught me to slow down, pump the brakes, and tune in to the emotional needs of those in my care.  It is a something I will have to continue working on, especially with Jeremy, who is much easier to brush off than a pitifully sick toddler crying for Mommy, even though he does have the same soulful eyes as his daughter.

For the past several nights we have allowed Ellie to go to sleep in our bed because she's been so sick.  This has been a new and unpleasant experience for me.  It's like trying to sleep with a two foot tall ninja.  Silent, but able to deliver deadly kicks to the gut with skillful precision.  I was about to kick her out last night when I felt her tiny hand reach for mine and slip itself into the palm of my own.  She rested it there and was then still.

As I lay there holding her hand; relishing the softness of her skin, I told myself:  remember this moment.  Remember the moment when your daughters hand fit easily into the palm of your own.  And remember when it's skin was unblemished by time and the wear of life.  I looked at the back of my own hand there in my bed, and saw the wrinkles beginning to form on my knuckles, the blue blood mapping its way under my skin, and I remembered looking at my own Mothers hands as a child and all that they meant to me.

They possessed the tickle monster, who could spring to life and into attack tickle without a moments notice.  They became my silent entertainers when I became restless in church as my Mother would use two fingers to ice skate across the back of my hand or pretend to be jumping on a trampoline.  They were so many things to me, but they all translated into one word: love.

As I looked back down onto my own hands holding those of my child, I said to myself,  I am the mother now and this is my child.  I will use my hands as one of many tools to express and  pass down the love that was given to me by my own Mother and so many others.  Because while banks may fail, one sure safe investment is love.  Love into the hearts and souls of people.

And that Dear Readers, is your dose of sap for the day.  Please enjoy and pass along.  The thing you're really waiting for, chubby pregnant booty shots, will be along shortly.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Elsbeth

On this day two years ago I was tearfully begging someone to give me DRUGS, anything, hit me in the head with a hammer, just MAKE THE HURTING STOP!  And then sometime around five o'clock, after 15 hours of labor, I summoned reserves of strength from somewhere unbeknownst to me and with my Mother holding one leg and my Husband holding the other, I shot Elsbeth Asher Hayes into the bright, shiny, world of people.  And then I nearly passed out.

My first memories of the moments following her birth are the comments everyone made proclaiming their astonishment at her incredibly pointy head. And to them I said, hey I challenge you to spend more than five minutes in my birth canal and see if you don't feel a little cramped.    And when asked if I wanted to see her, what did I do?  I asked to see the placenta.  And no, we did not eat it OR bury it.

The past two years have a way of seeming like an eternity that has sped past me faster than I can comprehend.   This amazing child has taught me so much about love and what it really means to live and I cannot imagine my life without her.

Her love for animals rivals that of my own as a child and last week we had to explain death to her after her beloved hamster Toodles died.  It brought me to tears every day as  she would spontaneously kneel down, fold her hands and ask God to make Toodles feel better.  Then she would tearfully look up at me with those huge, doe eyes and tell me she prayed for Toodles.  How do you explain the hard facts of life without your own heart breaking in the process?  I told her that if I could make him better, I would, but that's just not how it works and sometimes animals and people don't get better, but they DO stop hurting.

The joy she has brought into our lives is indescribable and Jeremy and I marvel over it all the time.  We agree that it's alot harder than we imagined, but so much better too.  He has to tell me to let her sleep in the morning because I can't bear to be up without her luminous presence to light my life.  

I view our lives as waves on a beach, and one generation ushers the next one in.  Parents are the guides that show their children the how to live before moving on.  I am honored to be chosen as her guide and relish in the moments when I can teach her life's lessons and pass along things that were dear to me as a child.

Tears filled my eyes as I read the night before Christmas to her and explained who Santa Claus is.  Her shouts of joyful recognition when she spotted him at the mall a few days later made my heart swell and I had to agree with her that no, Santa does not want you to pick your nose.

Today she turns two and she is pitifully sick.  So, I am forsaking most of the plans I had for a raucous birthday celebration and we will curl up on the couch together and watch Rudolph with our glasses of orange juice.  

Elsbeth, you are the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for.   I love you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Dilettante's Official 100th Post

I'm so glad that "my people" are keeping  track of how many posts I've completed, because honestly I have no clue.  It's just like literary diarrhea.  I sit down, my fingers start moving over the keys and whatever's been on my mind just seems to spill out of the black netherlands of my psyche.  

It's kind of on the same page as exercising...or coitus.  When I've been doing it for awhile I look forward to it every day and feel kind of off if I haven't done it.  But dare I take a leave of absence and the prospect of starting up again is more daunting than climbing up Everest.  So, please, bear with me while I flex these muscles that seem to have atrophied due to my pregnant brain.

On Monday I will post my first pregnant photo.  I enjoy watching my friends progress in their pregnancies and think it will be an adventure to document mine this time too.  Along with the growth of my stomach I will also be keeping track of my ass, because apparently, it's pregnant too.  

Before I ever got pregnant with Elsbeth I would imagine myself as an adorable pregnant woman waddling around with no more than a large belly and a glow of excitement.  Oh, what a shock I was in for.  I know that my issues during that pregnancy were in large part due to my slothfulness and poor diet.  This time though, I don't know what to blame it on.  I barely have time to eat and with the fifteen flights of stairs in this house I am getting one hell of a glute workout every day.   

I think I am just destined to be a chubby pregnant lady.  Do I like that?  No.  Do I particularly enjoy being pregnant, ummmmmm NO.  I like the end result, minus the fact that I was nearly ripped in half last time.  But hey, little secret, the honeymoon's NOT a myth.  

Being pregnant is like having your body hijacked, and by God if I didn't love my little babies so much, I'd be pissed.  Sometimes I imagine a day where I moan to them...How can you say that to meeeeee?  I gave you the BEST years of my BODY!  

All that bitching aside for now folks, I gotta say, when pregnant, my boobies would make any National Geographic photographer proud.  Their sheer mass is intimidating to any newborn about to indulge in their first meal.  Why just the effort exerted from hauling them and my growing stomach around all day...oh and a two year old that insists on being carried up and down these stairs all day should burn about 1000 calories.  

Most of my friends that have children tell me to relax and just enjoy being pregnant because who knows how many times I'll do this again.  To them I say, who are you that you can surrender your body so easily to the veins, and the heartburn, and swelling, and the gas.  You are apparently not the wanton, self absorbed creature that I am.  And I applaud your matronly asses, but no, I cannot give in.  

I will dutifully cook this baby in my womb and count the days until it's out.  And then the hard part begins.  But...and here's where I grow all misty eyed... it is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.  And I will forever thank God that at least I don't get pregnant in the face.  Well, not for another four months or so.  Then hello, Violet Beauregard!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Weeeeeeeel, let's just say that The Dilettante has re-entered the dominion of dilettantery.  Yes, I realize I just invented a new word.  That's part of what being a dilettante is all about.  Stirring the pot, shaking things up, changing the American vernacular, people.  Actually, none of those things has to do with being a dilettante, they just come as a sidebar to my amazingly glamorous, rock star life.

And would you like to know what this amazingly glamorous rock star has been up to lately?  All right, all right.  I got a job.  Now I cannot go into the details of what this job is because I am contractually obligated  by a BLOOD OATH and sworn to secrecy in front of a flock of geese on the White House lawn.  No, not THE white house, but it was a house and it was white.  I can say that it involves espionage, and craigslist.  Both of which can be VERY dangerous.

What?  You find it hard to believe that a pregnant woman such as myself would involve herself in dangerous situations and put her unborn child at risk?  Well, let me just tell you, this baby LOVES a thrill.  Why, I think I'm growing a mini 007 and as I type this I can faintly hear the sound of ricocheting gunshots bouncing off my womb as a tiny martini is being shaken and not stirred.

Truthfully though, Dear Readers, I am working as a nanny and I've just been TIRED!  Here is an idea of my amazingly glamorous rock star life right now:

Wake up, heave growing self out of bed and try not to land on dog that insists on sleeping right below bed.
Toddle down the stairs and sip tea and have toast while bemoaning the fact that it is still dark out
Shower and try not to fall back asleep
Lotion my entire body while trying not to look at the weird veins that map my body when I'm pregnant, do this while praying that stretch marks once again remain far from my stomach  
Get dressed in whatever makes me look the least like Tweedle-Dee
Wake up Elsbeth, dress her, feed her, brush her teeth all while carrying on a conversation with this very chatty two year old
Walk the dogs, yell at Jack, kennel them
Drive to work
All day play with three children and try to remain patient and engaging.
Come home, eat
Clean up dishes
Bathe the kid, read her a book (currently it's The Wizard of Oz or the Biz 'A Bop as she calls it), and put her to bed.
Carry on a brief adult conversation with my Husband while consuming fiber to offset all the iron I have to take.  * I TOLD you it was glamorous.
Fall into bed, hopefully remembering to take my contacts out.

Dear Readers, I honestly do not know how working Mothers do it.  Where is the time for laundry, grocery shopping, hair appointments, doctor appointments?  

So that's it in a nutshell.  You'll be lucky to hear from me in the coming weeks, but please wish me sanity.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Dreams May Come...and the Weirdness Continues

Several of my friends are also pregnant right now, a couple of them with their first children.  Being pregnant for the first time is scary, who am I kidding, being pregnant is scary no matter what number child you're on.  Although I have a feeling it gets easier the more you do it.  Kind of like that awkward, uncomfortable, first time you had sex and then were plagued with fears for your mortal, sinful, soul as a result,  Don't tell me that I'm alone on that one!

Pregnancy comes with it's share of really weird dreams much like those experienced before a wedding.  Except instead of a plastic wedding ring, you receive a plastic baby in the delivery room or a standard poodle holding a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs while crying MAMA!  One of my pregnant friends Amanda recently shared such a dream she had with me.    I'll give you some background info before reposting her email.  She had been experiencing some really painful cramp like feelings all day which we agreed were probably the ligaments in her uterus stretching.  It can feel like someone is stabbing you the first time you're pregnant.  That night she had the strange dream.  Another thing that may be helpful in understanding this dream is knowing that I have a red hot passion for notebooks and journals of various designs and sizes.  

When Amanda and I used to work at The Fort Golf Course together and I was stuck in the snack bar while she was off schmoozing golfers on the beer cart, I would occupy myself by writing stories on the computer that doubled as our cash register.  In order to print these stories out, they came out on ticker tape like a receipt as that was all the printing capacity the machine had.  Amanda really liked my stories and printed them out and I believe she still has copies of them, which is just one of the million reasons why I love her.  

Here is her email of the dream:

Okay, basically since I had all those cramps and stuff, I was scared that something was wrong with the baby. So, I kept dreaming that I was waking up and finding blood all in the bed. Then, I had a dream that you wanted me to go with you to get your 1st ultrasound done. You were pissed because your jeans were tight around your waist. Anyway, we went and they told you that you were having a boy. I was freaking out because you weren't even supposed to know yet since it was so early. I was all, "How do you know and I don't know yet?" So, you took the little machine and put it on my belly. Well, when we looked inside, my baby was standing up and was all skeletal and had all its guts and organs hanging out and was trying to pull them back inside its body. You were all, "Look, it is pulling a's a girl!" The next thing I know we were back at your house and you were crying. I couldn't figure it out because I thought you wanted a boy, but you were sad because you couldn't find the perfect journal to write things in and had to use the kind of paper tape on supermarket machines.

And so basically, Dear readers the weirdness of the second trimesters has begun, and not just for me.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A funny Thing Happened in the Bathroom Today

From time to time I will repost some essays I've written on another blog I have.  Some of you may have already read these, and if so, well read them again.  This particular post was written about a week or two after Jeremy had left for Kuwait.  Elsbeth was about ten weeks old and I had moved back in with my parents while he was deployed.  

My Father and I have a strange sort of companionship and camerarederie that only resulted after yesrs of vehement dislike for one another.  Needless to say that time of my life was very entertaining.  Those of you who know my Dad can attest to that.

Ok, so My Dad finally got contacts. This presented a whole new set of problems, the major one being that he can't put them in by himself. I don't know why they let him get them. When I was 12, I wanted contacts and the people at the store wouldn't let me leave with them until I could put them in and take them out by myself. I tried for over an hour, and finally gave up and left in tears. I guess they've changed their policies.
Anyhow, he called me one day soon after he got the contacts and told me that he discovered that he had the eyebrows of Martin Scorcesse, and all these years he didn't know it because they were hiding behind his glasses and since he's farsighted he couldn't see them when he took his glasses off. He told me he was going to "shave them down". I sugessted threading, and that led to a discourse on the finer points of hair removal.
But that's another conversation. So this day, The Donald asks me to put his contacts in for him. I oblidge. I went into his bathroom and got what appeared to be multi-purpose solution. I rinsed the contacts off with it, and filled them up with it, just like I do with mine every day. As he held his eye open, I tried to put the first one in. He screamed and said "owww, it hurts". I told him if he wanted me to put them in, he was going to have to suck it up and stop being such a baby.
We decided to have him sit in a chair in the kitchen to be a better level for me to put them in. So I rinsed and filled the contact again. I tried to put it in as he held the eye open for me again. This time, he started stomping his foot on the floor and screaming, "Oh God, Oh, God, it burns, it feels like there's acid in my eye!." I told him to shut up, and cut it out if he wanted me to put them in. He said " I don't care, if it's going to hurt this bad I don't want to wear them!" And he got up and went back into the bathroom.
I started to feel uneasy as I looked at his cherry red eye, so I decided to read the bottle of solution. It was only then that I noticed that it was not, in fact, multi-purpose solution. But rather a chemical cleansing solution that the bottle warned "not to put directly into eye".
I felt so bad, and I went and told him that we needed to flush his eye. He said " I knew you were trying to kill me!", but let me rinse his eye out as I tried to stifle my laughter.
Oh well, we'll try again tommorow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Marbles Have Officially Been Lost

A couple of weeks ago a very strange thing happened to me.  For about the past decade I have experienced some crazy hallucinations in the time that lapses between when I am asleep and dreaming and when I wake.  There, in that period, reality becomes blurred.  Because I sleep with my eyes partially open sometimes my brain will register things I am seeing with my eyes and incorporate them into a dream I'm having.  I've heard people in the room when I'm the only one in the house, heard doors opening and shutting, weird things like that.  The icing on the cake came the other day.

In the early morning hours after Jeremy had left for work, I dreamed that I was humping Jack's back.  Jack is Jeremy's very large dog for those of you who may not know.  So, there we were and I was going at it with all the frenzy of a puppy  when in my dream I heard a buzz saw.  This startled me and I woke up to find myself spooning Jack in our bed and him growling at me.  It was then that I realized that perhaps the incident had been more than a dream.  I am not Madonna and bestiality does not appeal to me, so this realization created a strong urge to toss my cookies.  I HUMPED MY DOG'S BACK.  How many people can say that they've unconsciously done that?  Believe me, it's never been on my to do list, but I am now sharing it with you.  For closure.

I've finally reached the point where I can laugh about it, but it took awhile.  As for the ungrateful dog, well, I kicked him out and from now on my pillow will have to be on the receiving end of my REM affections.  At least the pillow won't growl at me.

Oh, and I KNOW he's into me even if he rejected my advances because he's ALWAYS trying to make out with me after I eat garlic and every time I take a shower he just stares and stares.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On Religion and Politics

It's that time of the decade again folks.  The election.  I'm sure all of you are as sick of being inundated daily with political tripe and mudslinging as I am.  And I don't even have T.V.  In this heated debate everyone seems to have an opinion, and they seem to have all the cutting remarks for those who disagree with them too.

When I began this blog I did not make a conscious decision to become apolitical, nor did I decide not to speak about my faith, although I know sometimes I slip a little spirituality into this cocktail of crazy.  The fact of the matter is, both of these things are very important to me.  And those of you who know me personally probably know which way I lean.  And I know it has surprised many of you on occasion.  

I choose not to use this blog as a platform to further my political or religious agenda, because there is no agenda. The opposite of which seems painfully obvious in some of my favorite places.  I've found that opening a discussion of this sort over the comment section of an internet blog becomes messy and isn't really a dialogue at all.  It's more a collection of monologues and hurled accusations.  I find it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Worse than those six cloves of garlic I had last night.  

As citizens of a free and Democratic society (rights that people in less fortunate places of the world die for) it is our right to take part in the election process as well informed voters.  But it is not our right to force those views upon others or rub our opinions in the faces  of those who may disagree with us.  Although you actually do have the right do do so as provided by the first amendment.  But it is inhumane and discourteous.  And I, for one, am sick of it.

I am happy to have a discussion on my beliefs whether they be spiritual or political with anyone who chooses to do so in an engaging and openhearted conversation.  We can even debate.  But my relationships with people, regardless of their political or religious persuasions are far more important to me than the advancement of my political ideals.  I would rather invite you over for a cup of tea and talk about our favorite books and send you on your way with some cookies and a hug than open this blog up as a pedestal of political subterfuge.

That, Dear readers, is that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ward of the Flies

Because we happen to have a dead mouse rotting in our wall, the flies seem to be able to smell it from outside and at the slightest opening of any door, they rush in by the dozen.  The baker's dozen.  As if the smell of a dead mouse weren't enough to my uber-sensitive pregnant nostrils, we have to add nasty little poop eating, maggot laying, flies into the equation.  Here is a snippet of a conversation I had with Jeremy recently regarding this matter:

Me: Jeremy, you need to go on a mad crazy fly massacre.

Ellie: Kill the buggies, Daddy!

Me: (As Jeremy is deftly killing two at a time in mid air) I HATE flies, I HATE them worse than cockroaches.  I would rather have cockroaches right now than these damn flies.  At least roaches have the decency to run away when you enter the room.

Jeremy: Yeah, but it's that ballsiness that I kind of admire about the flies.  They got Moxie.  They'll do a kamikaze fly by right in front of the swatter.  Roaches are just chickens.  Flies have balls.

Ellie: Flies have paws

Me: Yeah, I guess you're right, but I STILL hate the flies.  And you ARE going to clean up that one you just smeared across the window right?

Jeremy: No, he's staying there as a warning to any of his buddies who dare to enter.  THIS MAY HAPPEN TO YOU.

Me: Ummmmm, you're cleaning that up RIGHT?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life Comes At You Fast

It's easy to become wrapped up in the insignificant details of life.  Everyone does it, or else there wouldn't be Idioms like chill out.  But sometimes it's hard to realize that's what's happening when you're in the middle of one of life's many mini dramas.  Sometimes it's hard to notice the precious toddler singing songs to her doll as she gently rocks it in her arms when you're trying to clean vomit off the floor before someone steps in it.  And you're doing this while the fridge is beeping to remind you that you left the door open and there's a puddle of water spilled across the counter top because someone overfilled the Brita pitcher.  And then the phone rings and it's your Husband who wants to discuss at length the three page list of upgrades he's planning on doing to his mountain bike, half of which you don't even understand.  And while you're talking (er listening) to him you happen to look in the mirror and realize that OH CRAP your roots are like five inches long, when did that happen?  And all the while the precious toddler is passing her time feeding and diapering her little baby doll while singing Hey Jude.

Just two prison inmates doing their best to make MEAN faces and intimidate the warden

Sometimes I have to stop and say to myself, can't it wait?  And often times it can.  One of the hardest things about being a Mother is learning to juggle the responsibilities of taking care of your family and the home while managing to find time for yourself.  It's never easy.  But I have found some things that have helped me along the way.  Being organized is a huge help in keeping your sanity.  I have designated days of the week for laundry and cleaning the house as well as free days specifically geared towards fun with Elsbeth.  But I still have to be flexible.  So far this pregnancy hasn't been very easy and I've felt sick alot and this means I've been forsaking my normal domestic routine.  I tend to turn into Mommy Dearest when this happens.  I blame my own Mother for setting the bar so stinking high.  No one has ever seen her eat, but we've all seen her endlessly busy herself around her home which always looks and smells wonderful.  

Lately, I've been beating myself up mentally over the fact that my house didn't look like a Martha Stewart photo shoot.  And then I heard a quote and that quote was, No on ever sat on their death bed and wished they had ever cleaned their house more.  That struck home for me and I decided to cut myself some slack.  The next few months will be the last time that Ellie is an only child and I've made it a point to spend alot of time with her, talking, playing, reading, and imagining.  Because even if there wasn't another baby on the way, she will never be two again and I don't want to lay on my death bed and wish I had played with her more.  Does that mean that she gets a free pass on helping clean up?  No, teaching those kind of responsibilities is good parenting, but I have chosen to no longer let those details run my life.  If the dishes sit in the sink and extra twenty minutes while we dance to some music on the radio, so be it.  They'll still be there when we're through.

She danced with Elmo for a long time  before he began to laugh and ruin her fun.  She would try to straighten him out while yelling, ELMO CUT IT OUT!  To which Elmo would giggle and say, Give Elmo a break PLEASE!

These small moments, when I stop to really let them sink in to my soul, are the fulfillment of dreams I've had since I was a little girl.  Here we are, standing in my home, with my husband, my one point five kids and two dogs.  When did I grow up? Because on the inside I still feel like a sixteen year old.  Ahhhh, if only my butt felt that way.  Don't let the moments pass without your notice and your involvement,  because before you know it, they'll be gone.

Here she comes, running full speed
Annnnnd she's intercepted with a big hug from Mommy
Now I'll teach her the ancient art of finding four leaf clovers.  If I can before she manages to rip all the grass out of the Earth.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A while back I wrote about the uninvited guest to our house.  It was a rat that ended up dying outside of our front steps.  I don't believe he ever made it into the actual house  because he was too busy hoarding poisonous dog food in the garage.  Lesson kids: Greediness just MIGHT kill you.  At the very least it can ruin the global economy.

After the rat died, I put the notion of pests out of my mind and began to focus once again on trying not to throw up while stuffing my face with crackers every five minutes.  And then there came the lovely Saturday evening when Jeremy and I were watching The New World.  We had paused the movie so he could take the dogs outside and I was left alone in the dimly lit basement lying on the down feather bed on the floor with a blanket.  I thought I saw something streak past me and looked around for a spider near my covers.  I didn't find anything so I attributed the streak to my visual "floaters" and residual tracers from the good 'ol days.  I laid back down  and snuggled into the feather bed thinking what a hot John Smith Colin Farrel made when I noticed something in my immediate field of vision.  

Sitting on top of the covers on top of my stomach, looking right at me was the smallest, cutest mouse I have ever seen.  Under normal circumstances I would at least have flinched but his adorableness had a paralyzing effect on me and all I could manage was a weak Awwwwwwwwwww.  And then he darted away under the chair.  I ran outside to tell Jeremy about the mouse and when he came inside the hunt began.  We managed to catch it a couple of times but he jumped what would be like the equivalent of the rodent version of the Sears Tower to escape each time.  Finally we caught him in a box and tried to figure out what to do with him.  

He was obviously not full grown and we felt very bad about putting it outside to be killed by a cat or an owl.  So what brilliant idea did I come up with?  I decided we should keep it an make it our pet.  I would love him and pet him and squeeze him and name him George.  And because Jeremy is sometimes as insane as me, he agreed.  I'm telling you, the powers that this mouse held with it's cuteness were unshakable.  I rushed over to Petsmart to get a tiny cage for this mouse whose young life we had so benevolently spared and we put him in his new home.  Most people would have taken the fact that the mouse escaped from that cage several times in the first ten minutes as a deterrent from keeping him.  Us?  Nah, our solution was to just duct tape the hell out of the cage and wait till morning.

Well, morning came and with it came the revelation that we had one very good escape mouse on our hands.  It took me sicking Fairway on the trail of Baby Mouse as Ellie named him to find him.  NEVER underestimate a Pomeranian with only one eye.  Jeremy caught him again under the bookcase and this time we put him outside, with only minor feelings of regret.  He was mostly forgotten about and we got Ellie a Chinese Dwarf Hamster that kind of resembles a mouse to fill the void in her tiny heart left by the abandonment of Baby Mouse.  It worked and she named him Toodles.  And then we came home from the store one afternoon and she ran over to the window lifted the curtain and exclaimed, Toodles!  

OH GREAT, I thought, another escape artist!  But when I went upstairs to check his cage, Toodles was there fast asleep.  He is one lazy bastard.  When Jeremy came home a little while later we were talking in the front room and I happened to look down at the floor.  Just what do you think I saw?  BABY MOUSE!  Not even batting a tiny eyelash at his ballsiness of coming out in broad daylight.  And then I noticed that he had left some mouse droppings under the desk, and that's about the point that my inner Queen of Hearts reared her scepter of death and decreed, "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!"  When that failed to get the reaction I desired, I switched to Mr. Burns and said in my most sinister voice, "release the hounds".  

The hounds chased that mouse down to the laundry room in the basement where we almost caught it right before he made a flying leap into a small space behind the drywall.  "Well, he's in the walls now, Jeremy said, we'll just have to wait for him to come back out.  I'm sure he will." That was about a week ago.  On Friday I went to the basement to do some laundry when I was overcome by a putrid smell.  I thought maybe it was just Jeremy's socks and then I realized that it was coming from in the wall and that it smelled just like the time my hamster got lost under the sink when I was eight.  Sometimes it really stinks that scent is the closest sense tied to memory.  Poor Hammy, there was nothing left but some fur and tiny bones when we finally found her.

When Jeremy got home I took him to the basement where he accused me of creating that smell.  In a very unladylike way.  I told him that if I were going to lure him into a cloud of flatulence, I would certainly wait until he was asleep and then hold his head under the covers.  Thank you, Urban Dictionary, for teaching me some awesome tricks.  After some inspection of the basement, Dr. Sherlock Hayes informed me that he had deduced that Baby Mouse had made his way as far into the wall as the circuit breaker box where he was then electrocuted and is now stuck and obviously decomposing.  I asked Jeremy of there was anything we could do to get it out.  He replied that if we had a tiny camera, some fiber optic cable, and a set of pincers he could perhaps rig something to tunnel inside the wall.  I informed Macgyver/Bill Nye that that would be impossible and wasn't there anything else?   Well, outside of punching a hole in the wall, he told me, there really isn't anything we can do other than wait.  

So Dear Readers, we have been waiting.  Every day I think the smell can't get much worse, and every day the smell proves me wrong.  I have tried lighting candles, matches, and covering my face with a mask; nothing works.  This is my punishment for showing mercy to a living creature and sparing it's tiny life when everyone else yelled, KILL IT!  In the end it died anyway didn't it?  As an aside, this is just how much I love the show The Office.  I braved five straight hours of smelling a decaying mouse corpse merely feet away from my nose to catch up on season three.  THAT IS HARDCORE.  And the fact that I'm pregnant means I have the nose of a bloodhound.  

So if you think you had a bad day, just remind yourself that Jillian has a dead mouse in her wall right next to a vent and that means that the smell is being carried throughout her house.  Do you feel better now?  Good.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hot Hot Date Update

As most of you probably know, last Saturday Jeremy and I were treated to a night of complimentary babysitting that afforded us the opportunity to have a real "date" night.  

This is us on our honeymoon in the Caribean.  Notice Jeremy's tan.  A tan the color of which I will never attain.  And I am the Italian one.  The irony.

Lauren came over around five and as soon as Ellie relized that Oh, here is a new person whom I can boss around and manipluate into giving me candy, she quickly forgot the people who she sometimes refers to as Mommy and Daddy and we made our exit.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before but Indian food is my fovorite food on the planet.  I could drink bowls of curry sauce while bathing in hot chai.  So, that being said, Jeremy picked a well reviewed place in Bethesda for our dinner.  My being in "the family way"  did put a slight damper on things because I enjoy getting a bit tipsy with my Husband when we're out together.  I feel less inhibited when I goose him in front of others.

This is me goosing Jeremy just as Niki snaps the picture.  Poor Jeremy has decades of that to look forward to.

 He, on the other hand, was presumably relieved because the probability of my causing some type of scene was drasticly reduced.  

Dinner was delicious and both of us ate so much that we were uncomfortably full while walking to the theater.  It was so nice to have a conversation that didn't involve a list of toddler activities accomplished for the day or a run down on bodily functions that involve the "potty chair".  No, we talked about much more adult things like the crumbling of the US economy and how we might all be living out scenes from The Grapes of Wrath before too long.  On the bright side, I noted, a new trend called the "Depression Diet" craze may begin.  Everyone will be so thin from the shortage of affordable food we'll all look like Angeline Jolie or Christian Bale in The Machinist.  Please note that the depression diet is nowhere near as extreme as the "Auschwitz Diet" which I DO NOT endorse.  It has proven fatal.

The second portion of our date involved wading through swarms of hormonal teenagers, and I think I broke out in acne from the sheer osmosis of it all.  The sexual tension made me very uncomfortable as did all the braces and blinged out cell phones.  Who, WHO gives a preteen a cell phone?  But I digress.  The movie we ended up choosing was called Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist.  It. Was. Awesome.  If you're into Michael Cera.  Which I am.  I won't go into the film too much other than to say that I felt a pang of sorrow that my party till the break of dawn days are over.  I patted myself on the haunches and said, "Well, Ol girl, we did have a good, long run now get yer ass out to pasture and start making babies."

Here is a photo of many people who did not authorize me to post their photos in the internet.  We had all been drinking.  Those were the good 'ol days.  Unfortunately I don't remember large portions of that night.  I am told I was very entertaining, and all at my own expense.  Imagine that.

 See the movie, it is heartwarming and funny and the soundtrack is really amazing.  If you're into mainly obscure, off beat indie artists.  I am, see my profile.

We laughed and chatted about the film as we walked back to our car arm in arm.   When we got home and after Lauren left, we made threats of a sexual nature about what was in store for the other party once teeth had been brushed and clothes changed.  And then we did what any good, married couple does after 11 pm, we got in bed and instantly passed out with legs tossed over one another like a litter of puppies.  Ah well, there's always Sunday morning.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Out 'O The Mouth of Babes

A hot, hot date update is on it's way for tomorrow, but for today I am simply going to serve you a slice of homespun horror straight from the toddler's mouth.

As with most parents I know, the usual procedure for curing little boo boos and bumps is a kiss on the spot and a quick recital of "all better".  Elsbeth has even taken to healing our wounds this way and it is probably the most precious thing I have ever experienced to have her rush over when I suck in breath at the pain of some minor thing like a hang nail.  She'll cock her head and ask with a look of pure concern, "You OK Mommy?"  After I explain the situation, she'll say, "I kiss it" lean over give a sloppy, open mouthed "MMMMAH" followed with a loud and very certain, "All better Mommy, OK?"  And, magically it is better, albeit very possibly covered in two year old slobber which usually contains some tiny fragments of either a chicken nugget or macaroni and cheese.

Yesterday we walked to the grocery store to pick up a quick dinner and while we were walking through the aisles Elsbeth says in her loudest EVERYONE LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE I AM THE QUEEN voice, "My Pee-Pee hurts, Kiss it"  A shocked Jeremy who happened to be holding her practically chocked as he said, "Ummmm, no Ellie I don't think so."  Meanwhile, I made a mental note to try that line at a later and more appropriate time.  

When Ellie realized that that hadn't worked, she moved on to, "My butt hurts Daddy, need to kiss it make it better." This time I had to laugh as I nervously glanced around looking for people who I might tackle that were possibly calling child protective services.  Fortunately it seemed that no one had noticed.  This event raises the issue that perhaps it is time for Mommy and Daddy to stop the frisky (fully clothed) shenanigans in front  of the kid.  Or maybe I should stop letting her watch the Elmo's Potty Time video in which the words Pee-pee, poo-poo, and butt are mentioned at least once a sentence.  It's like Cinemax for preschoolers.

I was always the parent that much to the chagrin of most of my friends advocated freedom to be "nekkid" in front of your kids.  Why my Mom and I still walk around in our birthday suits when we're getting ready.  I thought this was normal until recently when my Mother in Law and Sister in Law gagged at the mention of that.  Since then I have been conducting an informal survey of my friends which goes something like this, Do you ever see your parents naked (the parent of your gender) and how old were you when this stopped if it doesn't happen now?  

I just happened to grow up in a very free environment in that regard and I seem to think I turned out OK, you know except for those few years after high school which I like to refer to as "The Lost Years".  I always advocated this same type of freedom as a family, but now I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't something to the prudish nature of Victorianism.

What say you, Internet?  Am I overreacting?  Is is just a "kids'll say the darndest things" moment or do you think that our tendency to be nude around the kid is having a Freudian effect on her tiny psyche?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Green Experiment Update: You Weren't Expecting That Were Ya?

NOTE: If you don't care to read this whole post, please skip to the end and read the question I have posed to you.  I would love to hear your feedback.

When I proposed the Green Experiment it was with a dreamy head full of romantic ideas.  Such is often the case with my fantasies and sadly, real life seldom often lives up to them.  It is easy to have a drastic plan in theory but it is not so easy to implement that plan to the "T" without making adjustments for reality.  So here's what's been going on.

When I came up with the idea of  this experiment I assumed we would be living within the city of D.C. where everything that I would need access to would be within walking or bike riding distance.  Although our military housing allowance went up dramatically when we moved here, it still wasn't enough to afford us a large enough place within the city.  A shoebox with a view?  Yes, but I'd rather not listen to Jack lick his balls all night, so we opted to live just outside the city in a much larger place that was affordable.

The area I live in does afford me biking access to many of the things a person may need in daily life, post office, dry cleaners, grocers, pharmacy, and liquor store.  Sadly, the last one will not be frequented by me in the next several months.  I take advantage of these by foot or bike on an almost daily basis and  in that regard my life has changed drastically.  But, a car is still needed for me occasionally, especially with another baby on the way.  Jeremy, on the other hand, has really impressed me with his dedication to our plan.  Almost every day he bikes about three miles to the metro, while it is still dark out, and then takes the metro to work and bikes back in the evening.  

In the big picture I would say that my bike has become more like an extension of my body than a method of transport.  I am more fond of it than my beautiful piece of fine German engineering, and when Ellie and I are riding somewhere by bike, no matter what depths of a foul mood I may be in, biking seems to magically erase it.  I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to be angry while riding a bike.  Although I bet that guy Puck from The Real World could manage it.

This experiment was about more than bicycling though, it was about changing our lifestyles overall to emphasise activity and togetherness, particularly not togetherness in front of the TV.  Not having cable TV was at first a very hard thing for me to come to grips with.  I used to leave it on as background noise and was known for my hardcore Law and Order addiction.  It took several weeks before I could walk downstairs and not reflexively reach out my hand to turn it on.  We made a conscious decision (Prompted by the example of my Aunt) not to put it ( It is a HUGE 50" plasma beauty) in the main living area.  By purposefully doing this we made the main living area a Library of sorts and it is used for reading and playing together as a family instead of being used as a plopping ground for butts in front of a Television.

We DO reserve Friday nights for pizza, coke, and a movie  and it has become something of a family ritual which we all look forward to.  We pull out every down feather bed, comforter and pillow that can be found in the house, and after everyone has eaten, we make a pallet on the floor and watch a movie.  Sometimes Friday's involve two movies, one for family viewing and one for the grown ups to watch after Elsbeth has gone to bed.  And NO it's NOT porn you pervs.  Recently I've been getting some really weird indie flicks from the library (THEY'RE FREE!).  

Overall, I feel that these changes have been made consciously and we have shifted into them gradually and seamlessly as opposed to the drastic lobster in boiling water approach I had imagined.  And that's OK.  Our lives are without a doubt more healthy, more active, and our time as a family is better spent.  And that's about it on that.

On another note entirely, A Dear Reader Lauren Robinson is so graciously baby sitting Ellie tomorrow night so Jeremy and I can have a date night.  And please don't worry I know her from outside of this blog.  I am not in the habit of picking internet strangers to watch my child.  We're planning on doing dinner and a movie.  Since I no longer have TV; I have NO IDEA what movies are out or what even looks good.  So, I need some suggestions.  What is the best movie you have seen lately?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Uninvited Guest

A few weeks ago both of our dogs became violently ill from both ends  and because we live in a home with no yard it was impossible for me to predict when these bursts of bodily upheaval would occur.  So even though I was taking both of them out every twenty minutes or so, sometimes I would still miss an accident. ( DEAR GOD PLEASE DON'T LET MY LANDLORD READ THIS) Because of this unfortunate circumstance, in the end they were relegated to the deck that has small gaps in between the boards.  OH THE HUMANITY!  This meant that in between taking their sick asses outside I was washing the deck with bleach water and trying not to murder them both in the name of disease control.

After three days of this I started to get worried about them and then a light bulb went off in Jeremy's and my head collectively (because together we ARE one giant superhuman brain).  Perhaps it wasn't a virus but the dog food!  So we switched foods and within a day both of them were well again.  Guess where this food is made Dear Readers?  Stuck?  Need a hint?  It's made where all the poisonous things are made.  CHI to the EFFIN NA.  But I'm not even going to get started on my thoughts about that.  Cough* They're trying to kill us and our four legged friends! Cough* Cough*

We put the tainted dog food bag in the garage with the intention of returning it to the store.  The weeks wore on and it was forgotten about.  Not long after that I was outside getting the mail when I spotted a RAT running across the parking lot.  As gross as it was I didn't think much of it and attributed it to the fact that we live right by a strip mall with several restaurants that have large garbage bins outside.  And then a few days after that we found that same rat dying in front of our door step.  He looked pitiful and as much as I realize that rats carry many diseases and were responsible for the spreading of the black plague, I still don't like to see any living thing suffer.  So I was about to get Jeremy to do the 'Ol "Off wif is head" just as a purely compassionate act of course when he gave up his little ratty ghost.  He was disposed of and forgotten and I assumed that someone had poisoned him.

Last night we were giving the garage a much needed cleaning and reorganization.  In the process of moving boxes that had been stacked against the garage wall Jeremy would find piles, large piles, of dog food with scattered rat crap.  And I don't mean crap as in little rat hairbrushes or little rat shoes, I mean rat POOP!  We were collectively astonished that the rat had managed to carry so much dog food to these hiding places.  I was just waiting for us to discover the nest of tiny, hairless rat babies which I would have been unable to dispose of and would have had to raise to be civilized rat folk.  Thank the Lord that never happened.  But in the process of cleaning this food and poop up, guess what conclusion I came to?  Still stuck?  THE POISONOUS DOG FOOD ALSO KILLED THE RAT!  And boy was I glad that I had quit giving it to my dogs when I did.  The remainder of the bag went away with the garbage truck today to kill more rats or homeless people that may be rifling through the dump in search of edible things.  Do I feel bad?  Yes, but I also feel like pointing a finger, one finger in particular, at the country who keeps sending us tainted goods.  Why, they're even killing their own people now.

My solution?  Buy local; buy locally organic if possible.  Eat food as unprocessed as possible, believe me it tastes better.  If you have a baby, don't let it chew on toys from China, give it a stick from a tree or a chicken leg.  In all seriousness though, let's be conscious consumers because when it all boils down, I'm just not ready to die, or get food poisoning.

Oh and the dog food?  It was the Iams in the green bag.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Pregnancy and How it makes Me Crazy

Dear Dudes Who Read This Blog,
I'm sorry that I had to get pregnant and ruin whatever humorous quasi sexual posts you may or may not have been looking forward to.  But wait!  All hope is not lost; stick around because in the second trimester I REALLY get weird.  You may have to suffer with me through these next several weeks as I bemoan my hormones and recount all the painful ways a baby can interfere with ones digestive system (that subject can be a personal favorite) and I may or may not tread into the waters of my previous labor experience.  It will all depend on the amount of sleep I've been able to snag the night before.

Sincerely craving sorbet,

NOW, on to today's post.  For whatever reason during the end of my last pregnancy Jeremy seemed to think that I was funnier than the love child of Jack Black and  Will Ferrell.  I think it may have had something to do with how many octaves lower my voice registered and when I would laugh he would crack up saying I sounded like Gus the fat little mouse from Disney's Cinderella.  So because there was no getting my svelte figure back in the midst of that, I obliged and became the funny chubby kid for a few months.  When all vanity is lost, one must laugh at ones self, and that's what we did.  I became the entertainer always poking fun at my situation.  

Some of my most memorable experiences include:
The Magic Eight Fetus:  This game requires at least two players (one of these should be pregnant, preferably in the last trimester) the non pregnant player(s) ask the pregnant player questions about their lives, future, love interests, etc and the pregnant player will then vigorously (but not  vigorously enough to induce labor) shake their Magic Eight Fetus (stomach) all around and divine the answer from the position on the fetus's body parts.  These answers will be something to the effect of: To be certain or Check back later, or my personal favorite, You will surely catch scabies.  If the other party(ies) object to that answer, dismiss their objections with a blase wave of your chubby fingers saying that,  "The Magic Eight Fetus has spoken, Now BEGONE."

Another very exciting game to play (and Jeremy's personal favorite) is Pregnant Hard Rock Air Guitar:  This game involves the very pregnant player reenacting some classic rock songs in her best Gene Simmons face complete with nasty tongue and Kiss boots.  A black cape earns her extra points.  It is particularly essential to become the character and the pregnant woman should do her best to make her unborn fetus proud with her unmatched prowess at some killer air guitar moves.

This next move is not recommended for the faint of stomach.  It is called Attempt to Out Eat Your Partner:  In this game the pregnant woman and her partner should declare how many pieces of pizza each will eat and then the pregnant woman will attempt to eat more than her partner thereby displaying her intestinal fortitude and proclaiming herself Queen of the Piggies.  But should her partner dare call her a piggie, the pig- I mean Pregnant Lady has every right to sit on her partner until he begs for mercy.

There are limitless opportunities to keep ones self entertained while waiting for the baby to come and as the months go by I will share more of them with you.  I shall leave you with my three favorite songs from my last pregnancy, please enjoy.

If you have ever seen The Silence of the Lambs, you will probably get this next video.
WARNING: This song contains some serious potty words including the dreaded "F-Bomb" so if you are my Mother, one of her friends, or a member of my church or extended family, I suggest you do not listen to it.  But if you chose not to heed my warning, don't say I caused you to sin you dirty little sinner.

This song displays one of my favorite Paul Mccartney traits and that is his ability to make one song feel like several songs in the way that he changes the music. *Sigh*

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Music In the Wind

The territory I am about to tread into is certainly a departure from my usually whipped cup of domestic insanity sprinkled with flecks of nastiness. So bear with me, you might enjoy it, then again I may lose you. I hope not though.

A few months ago I was having a conversation with my Aunt Joni on the telephone. I forget how we got on the subject when she asked me if I had ever heard music in the wind. I said, "No, I don't think so, is that an album or the name of the band? "
"No, I mean have you ever heard the MUSIC blowing through the breeze when you're outside?" 
My jaw dropped and I think I may have been speechless for a few minutes and then I replied, "Well yes, but I've never told anyone because I thought I was just having a flashback from my party girl days."

We continued to discuss this strange phenomenon for a while and I became more and more excited that someone else had heard this other than me.  Other strange things have happened to me but like I said before I generally don't talk about them because enough people already think I'm a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

She told me she had only heard it once, as was the same for me.  Both of our descriptions of the event sounded very similar in the way that the music sounded.  When I heard it I also heard what sounded like a choir of hundreds of voices not really singing a song but just harmonizing in a single tune with very little fluctuation.   I was out on the beer cart at the Fort Golf course which is in the middle of a state park with very little residential area around it.  The particular area where I heard this music was an especially secluded area and there was no chance that it could be coming from people.  Although if you had heard it you would have known instantly that it wasn't being made by people, it was prettier than anything I've ever heard.

I had been listening to my iPod when I thought that the song I was hearing was messing up, so I turned it off to restart it, and that's when I heard it.  It was as if the music was all around me but being carried by the wind through the trees.  It was a little bit scary, but the beauty of the sound overcame any fear I had.

After my Aunt and I had this conversation I scoured the Internet for more information and perhaps others who have shared this experience.  I did find many people who have experienced very similar scenarios, and I also discovered a medical community that was all too eager to dismiss it as a malfunction in the human brain.  How much easier it is to chalk it up to our own faulty bodies than to open ourselves to the very real possibility of something other than the things we can merely see and touch.

Since that conversation I have still rarely spoken of this with anyone, but while watching the movie The New world with Jeremy Saturday night, I became very excited.  During the opening score, I said "That's it, that's just what it sounds like.  That's the closest thing I have yet heard to describe the sounds."  I suppose that since he has never heard it he just wasn't able to fully understand.  I found a clip on you tube (after searching FOREVER) that plays part of the score that I am referring to.  Notice how there is no real tune it sort of sounds like a symphony is warming up for the big show with little crescendos of music scattered within it.  That is the sound I heard but also mixed in was the sound of a large choir of voices harmonizing with the music but fluctuating in pitch very little.

I'm writing this today because I wonder if anyone else has heard this or something similar, and if so would you share your experience?

Oh and by the way, if you haven't ever seen that movie, it is HOT... in a totally historical way of course.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nausea With a Side of Puke

During my first pregnancy I felt sick alot.  So to quell it, I ate alot.  And I mean full blown manly meals, no saltines and ginger ale for me.  Yes, it made the sickness go away, but only for about 30 minutes at which time it would return and  then Jillian would eat....again.  And that dear Readers, is how Jillian gained 30 pounds in the first trimester.  A big no no as any obstetrician will tell you.  Any obstetrician except mine that is.  

This time I vowed to be different.  I would suffer the waves of nausea gladly as I admired my gurgling stomach and its ability to retain the four pack I have worked so hard to maintain.  I would sip ginger tea and nibble on Ezekiel toast like any good waifish Mum.  Except that I am no waif.  Healthy is the term most used to describe my physique, or voluptuous.  I have been slightly obsessed with the amount of food I would allow myself to eat this time and the amount of weight I would allow myself to gain.  So when I woke up yesterday and couldn't take my rings off...not even with oil on my fingers, I began to panic.

How could this be?  I had been so careful.  I stepped on the scale to find that I had gained two pounds.  I called Jeremy almost in tears and told him that despite my best attempts my body was out to destroy me.  "Jill, you're PREGNANT" was his reply.  "Well my BUTT'S not PREGNANT JEREMY!" I told him.  He spent a few minutes trying to console to not much avail and then had to go see a patient.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I tend to obsess about weight.  Because I am the kind of person that can simply walk past a bakery and gain five pounds.  And by some ironic twist of fate I'm surrounded by family and a husband who just "can't keep it on".   When I was home recently I asked my brother if he wanted to go for a run with me.  "Hell no", he said "I'll lose 10 pounds!"  I told him that I hoped he caught crabs of the eyelashes and went bald at 30 and then headed out all by my self.

This obsession of mine started around my eighth birthday.  I had always been a gangly kid. And then I discovered toaster hash browns.  So let's blame the hash browns.  And my Dad.  Because when I began to show signs of chubbiness, he lovingly referred to my as "Pudge".  A pet name every daughter cherishes.  That summer I went to a sprinkler party at a house down the street.  I can still remember that bathing suit; it was hot pink with black polka dots and I thought I was the cat's meow.  After jumping through the sprinkler with squeals of delight for what seemed like an eternity, I stopped to take a break next to some other kids from the neighborhood.  I overheard one girl whisper to another girl, "Jill kind of has a big butt."

When I got home I looked in the mirror and tried to get a good luck at this big butt of mine.  Until that moment in my life it had never crossed my mind to notice it before.  It had always just been a butt.  Good for sitting on, mooning people with, and often the recipient of a spanking with "the spoon", my Mother's disciplinary utensil of choice.

It still looked like a butt to me, but from then on I began to compare my body to other girls whenever I was around them.  And that dear readers, is never a good idea.  But alas, old habits die hard.  And so here I have sat, in my own nauseated, self absorbed and obsessed little prison.

That is until I picked up a book on natural pregnancy written by a famous midwife who also happens to be a former hippie.  Because of the complications I encountered at Elsbeth's birth and the lack of compassion I felt, I have been toying around the idea of a home birth with a midwife.  This book talks about surrendering to the power of the contractions during labor and that by doing so many women can speed up the process and experience less pain.  Ina May states over and over that as women our bodies are pretty amazing things that we are able to grow and then expel a human from an almost unbelievably unproportionate place.  We are amazing.  She says that if a Man had an organ that could get as big as a uterus you'd better believe he'd be bragging about it.

The testimonies in this book by the women who have delivered at home or at birthing centers without the use of medication  has been so inspiring that as of last night I have a new attitude.  Internet, I am making a public statement that as of last night I have surrendered to this pregnancy and whatever it wants to do with my body.  I am going to take excellent care of myself in a holistic way.  Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and that means that most of the struggle occurs in the mind.  

This can be applied to so many things in life, not just pregnancy (this is the part where I deter from humorous analogies and begin to preach "at" you).  I woke up this morning (yes, still felling green and exhausted) but I started singing This little Light of Mine which Elsbeth very much enjoyed.  I made a decision that I was going to be sick whether I was in bed or whether I was enjoying my day and my child.  It worked.  We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of Irish oatmeal with raw honey and rasberries, coffee (I only had one cup you Nazis) and a hearty dose of optimism.

I feel great, in between bouts of the urge to toss my cookies.  My butt feels great too.  The way it is retaining fluid makes for a very comfy seat cushion.  Kind of like a water bed.  I jest.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It Speaks...and well too!

Riding home from the airport the other day Jeremy picked me up in the BMW (I know...we STILL haven't sold it, Jeremy isn't ready to let it go just yet.  Blame him).  Ellie calls this "Mommy's car".  The red VW Jetta station  wagon is "Daddy's car".  Jeremy and I were talking about my trip when all of the sudden Ellie apparently couldn't contain herself anymore and this is what came out of her mouth:

This is Mommy's car.

Daddy's car is dirty.

Daddy's car is nasty.

Daddy needs to wash it with his hands.


I think I may have inhaled and then shot chewing gum from my nose when she said that.  How did she remember that daddy's car is, in fact, dirty, nasty and much in need of a hand washing? Ah, the things kids will say.    And keep in mind that this child doesn't turn two until December.  I can't wait to hear what she comes up with when she's 16.  Oh wait, YES I CAN.

This is Ellie on my parent's porch ready to head to the airport to come home.  She is carrying "My Wion" (that would be the shaggy lion) and "My boot-case" (which would be the tiny suitcase).  The contents of which she packed entirely herself, they included: three pacifiers or babbies as she calls them, a stuffed bear in a Naval officers uniform that she calls Daddy bear, a small draw and erase magnetic board, and a half eaten Ritz peanut butter cracker.

PS.  Please read yesterday's post for the update on Jeremy's response to his shampoo purchase.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Men When Left Alone

Jeremy is by no means a metro sexual.  He won't even let me attempt to pluck the one or two hairs that threaten to turn into a unibrow.  I believe when we began dating he washed his hair with a bar of soap.  He is just one of those damn lucky people who happen to look amazingly attractive naturally.  DAMN HIM!  

Aside: After the dental ball I was sad that we hadn't gotten even one picture of us all dressed up.  He was all: well we can just put the clothes back on and take a picture.  And then I was all: GASP!  DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TOOK ME TO GET READY?  Unlike you I don't roll out of bed looking like Johnny Depp.  It's closer to cousin It with a case of morning breath.

So the whole time we have been dating/married I have been the one to purchase any kind of bath or hair product for him.  Most of the time he just takes them and uses them without any comment or complaint.  He is my leetle manly Guinea pig.  Until recently he used the same shampoo that I did which was just a drug store brand like pantene or herbal essence.  And then I went to an upscale salon for a cut and color and the stylist was all: Girrrrrrl this hair is NOT GOOD!  And I was all: Waaaaaaa!  So she recommended some hair care products that were amazing but extremely expensive.  (Click here if you want to learn more about this great line of products which I later learned can be purchased on ebay for much cheaper).  Because of the price I told Jeremy he had to keep using pantene because we couldn't afford to waste the good stuff on his hair.  I'm so nice aren't I?  So he's been using the pantene like a good husband and I guess while I was gone we ran out.  

He was forced to go to the store and purchase some shampoo.  Probably for the first time in at least 7 years.  As I was taking a shower this morning I noticed his shampoo and began to wonder what kind of purchase this was.  Did he just walk in and grab the first bottle that said shampoo or did he thoughtfully peruse the aisle contemplating which selection would best suit his particular follicular needs.

Let's suppose it was the latter.  This was his choice.

This is the description on the bottle:

Gentle, Balanced Cleansing with vitamins C & E
Shine enhancing nutrients
Experience the health and vitality of pro-vitamin nutrient enriched formula for beautiful hair.
Exclusive 5 pro-vitamin formula maximizes body and shine. Balancing formula for gentle daily cleansing. Vitamin C and E enriched formula, protects hair.

Reading this made me wonder:  Did he make this selection because he feels that his hair is in need of shine enhancement and body?  Did he look in the mirror at that mop of black hair and think to himself, "Hmmm, I think my hair is looking a little dull and perhaps the PH balance is off.  I'm going to look for a product packed chock full of nutrients and gentle cleansing powers that will not only balance but also protect this luxurious mane of mine"  I highly doubt it.  But I sure did have a nice giggle thinking about it in the shower.  I'm going to ask him later tonight and I'll get back to you on it.

UPDATE:  I showed this post to Jeremy and asked him why he chose that particular bottle of shampoo and he said, " Because it said for normal hair, and it was cheap."   As opposed to the stuff I always buy which says it's for hair: Screaming for therapy and extensive treatment due to years of chemical substance abuse.  He is vanilla.  I am Rocky Road mixed with chunky monkey served in a banana split dish with 15 cherries on top.  AND EXTRA NUTS.

Welcome Back To Me

Please play this song as you read this, or not, but to fully experience the journey I am about to take you on I think it would be prudent to do so.  Prudent is a funny word, don't ya think?

I just got back last night.  Going back to Indiana always makes me feel nostalgic.  Even though I have moved around this country for most of my life, I've always considered Indiana my home.  All my family is there.  And there's just something about the sight of a golden field of corn in the fall that makes my heart warm.  The abundance of Steak 'N Shakes doesn't hurt either.

I spent a good deal of time riding my mothers pink cruiser around the small town that my parents live in.  Several times I rode to a local bakery and cafe and picked up lunch and rode back to my parents house with it in the wicker basket of the bike.  I never once had to lock it up and I never once feared it being stolen.  MAN do I love some things about small towns!  

Many other eventful things happened such as my whole family coming down with a shat nasty case of strep throat.  Oh yeah, and Elsbeth got Hand Foot and Mouth disease (But don't worry it was mild and she's OK now).

Amanda if you're reading this, right about now in this song I'm remembering you and I sitting in my apartment on Talbott street in Indianapolis listening to this song on a CD you had made me.  You had probably come over to help me list stuff (incredibly unusual and hip vintage stuff) on Ebay, although I think you even then had ulterior motives of visiting your boyfriend Magnum the Italian Greyhound.  After this song I believe I broke out in an infamous dance to R Kelly's Ignition "The Remix".  Yeah, we didn't always listen to that kind of music though did we?

I visited my old stomping ground, The Fort Gold course, one of the singularly most beautiful places I have ever been.  My heart experienced a dull throbbing pain and I had to fight the urge to steal the beverage cart and make a lap around the course.

But enough reminiscing.  Dear, DEAR readers, I have something to tell you.  This morning I made an exciting discovery: Coffee made by ones self is just never as good as coffee made lovingly by ones own Mother.  

And also this:

Yep, thas right.  Jillian is going to be a mother of two.  When I informed my husband of this news he chuckled in a very cocky way and said, "I TOLD you I posses the Navy Seals of sperm".  I realize that that last statement may have taken our Internet relationship into levels of intimacy which you were not prepared for.  If that's the case, you'd better leave now.  As the months wear on I am sure to delve deep into some really disgusting subject matter, that is unless the Pregnancy Gestapo (AKA Jeremy) gets to me first and enforces mandated censorship.   

We shall have to wait and see. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane...

Where to start?

It is a rare occasion that I am at a loss for word or suffer from mute mouth, but the last few days have succeeding in affecting me with that.  So many times over the past several days I have wanted to reach out to the blogoshperenet and attempt to explain the tumultuous ocean of feelings that were rolling through my insides.  But I couldn't.  It is a defense mechanism that I involuntarily acquired over the last three years due to the shit storm of events I went through.  

I wanted to tell you that the four hurricanes in the ocean make me queasy because even though my body is not on the gulf coast anymore, I am there with everyone in spirit and memory.  But when I leaned over my keypad, my fingers just wouldn't move.

So please just understand.  I'm going to put all those feelings back in their zip lock air tight baggie and shove it back into the "place where things go that we just can't talk about right now".  Mmmmkay?  And then when I'm done here I will silently go back to my position of crossed fingers,  bowed head, and rumbling stomach.

Now, on to lighter fare.  As some of you may know, we gave up cable TV as part of our "Green Experiment".  That has been an adjustment, but I am thoroughly accustomed to it now and really don't ever want to back to the realms of American Idol or Dancing With the Has Beens.  One thing we do allow for is movie rentals.  We have a netflix account and lately we have been watching The Office at the behest of just about everyone I know.  At first I was all, come looks so stupid and everyone was IS, and you will LOVE it!  So we caved and now we're on the second season.  

I came to the realization yesterday that my Husband is Dwight Schrute.  Jeremy and Elsbeth were watching a video from PBS that is geared towards preschoolers.  The show was describing different types of insects and had just covered a butterfly a bee and an earthworm.  Then it asked the viewers which of the insects lived in the dirt.  No sooner had the question been uttered than Jeremy yells out with an urgency that left me puzzled: EARTHWORM!  

I looked at him and said, "Wow, that's pretty good.  Maybe you're ready to move up to the Barney programs now.....DWIGHT SCHRUTE!"  

Then there was last night when I asked him if he had ever had a pimple inside his nose.  He replied, "No, but if you ever do, you really shouldn't pop it because the bacteria could potentially travel to your brain and kill you.  I'm just saying, It COULD happen."  I just looked at him and said, "Schrute".

This discovery comes on the heels of my trip home to Indiana.  I am leaving for two weeks and am anxious to see how much more "Schrute-ish" Jeremy will have become when left to his own sinister and adorably nerdish devices for two weeks.   

I guess in a very round about way I'm telling you that for the next two weeks I will post sporadically if at all.  But I promise, I'll BE BACK.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Around the World in 80 Naps

Recently, Elsbeth has taken off in terms of her speech and motor skills.  Almost every day I look at her and marvel at how this little girl, this beautiful little girl was once the hairy baby that popped out 'O my womb looking like a baby bird.

The conversations we have, if you can call them that, are the highlight of my days and it is very difficult not to commend her on some of the shrewd and manipulative  things she tries to pull over on me and Jeremy.  

One of the more recent things she has taken to is spontaneous napping anywhere and anytime.  These speed naps consist of her trying out any new textural surface, lying prostrate on the ground with her eyes firmly squeezed shut, the effort of which itself looks to be exhausting enough to require a nap, and the statement: I take nap here.  It lasts only a few seconds usually because I am harping  like a nervous chicken about germs and yucky, yucky stuff on the ground. 

This fear of mine comes from a very traumatic experience I had as a child of about eight.  While walking through a parking lot in Baltimore behind my parents, I spotted what appeared to be the nipple to a baby's bottle on the ground.  We were very poor at the time and so I was up for anything that I could use as a toy.  I picked it up and held it and couldn't wait to get home and play house with my dolls.  When we got back in the car I had time to better examine this new found prize.  Upon further inspection I discovered that the lip of the nipple unrolled and so I began to unroll it.  It kept unrolling and I held it up to ask my parents what kind of balloon I had found.

They just about ran the car into a ditch trying to extract the thing from my hands and heave it like the plague from our car.  Apparently I had not in fact discovered the nipple to a baby's bottle, but rather a condom.  A. Used. Condom.   Although I did not know what a condom was at that time (bless my innocent little soul), I knew the thing had felt slimy and my parents were significantly freaking out, so it must be a pretty nasty thing.  And that readers is why, to this day I HATE condoms, AND dirty parking lots.  But mostly just condoms because that day I essentially unknowingly touched someone's penis, AND vagina, or colon, however you want to look at it.

Wow, what a tangent!  So as Ellie prefers lying on hard, man-made surfaces for these naps of hers, I keep insisting that this is asphalt, hot and yucky while that grass over there is green and soft and made just for feet and heads to rest upon,  all to no avail.

I have managed to capture a few photos of this phenomenon known as the quirkiness of childhood.  And the fact that I don't very often have a camera with me and yet I still have several of these photos should be a testament as to just how often she does this.  

A nap on the steps, ahh wood is by far her favorite surface of all.

Although this rocky pavement for a nap also called.

But soon it was back to the wood.  Wood down low when the day is drawing to it's end.
Wood of a chair is best when shared with a friend.
Jack, she decided was too soft for napping, but juuuuust right for back handed slapping.