Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Well Universe, it has happened again.  My face exploded.  Along with the rest of my upper body.  Hard as I have tried this time to avoid the pitfalls and gluttony of my last pregnancy, it is just not in the cards for me to remain "unpuffy".  The only deflated thing here is my ego.

Please enjoy the future photos of my rotund corpulence, either that or BE AFRAID that it may happen to you.  BE VERY AFRAID.  I'm talking to you ladies who read this who have yet to bear children.  Or as I like to call it, blow an O ring.  

As the next couple of months go by, you will recognize my head less and less as it begins to resemble a beluga whale.  The back of my neck will take on the shape of a package of hot dogs (preferably Hebrew National), and my fingers will look like tasty little breakfast sausages.  If I happen to shake your hand, please don't try to bite me; I just may bite back.

Pictures.  Soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bicycles of The French Quarter, New Orleans

When I lived in Mississippi I met a wonderful person named Neil Ladner.  Neil is an amazing photographer and while any one of his photos are worthy of being featured in a gallery; I recently saw a collection that I thought some of you, Dear Readers, might particularly enjoy.  
This is Neil.  

And here for your viewing pleasure is just a sampling of his beautiful work.  These photos capture the essence of what this part of the city is.  It's beauty, grit, charm, and eccentric personality are almost tangible.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  

Yeah.  Nice, huh?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This Part Should Be Called Labor As Well

My Mother got pregnant with me when she was 21 and from the way she talks about it she was so physically capable at that age to bear children she may as well have been a trapeze artist.  She frequently made mention to me that the five year difference between my brother and I had a huge impact on her body physically.  When I became pregnant with Ellie I was the same age that she was when she became pregnant with my brother.  And I thought that was hard.  I attributed all my physical woes to the copious amounts of lard I packed onto my body.  And to be truthful, outside of the chest clutching heartburn and hangover like morning sickness of the first few months, this time has been much easier on my body.  Until now.

Last night my Husband took up residence on the couch and I fear that this may become a permanent move until the birth of the baby.  He graciously informed me that the constant heaving of my expanding body from one side to the other and endless trips to the bathroom were disturbing his sleep.  Well.  I haven't slept a full night through in I can't even remember how long.  I'm contemplating asking for a catheter and some Ambien for Valentine's day just so I don't have to see the bride of Frankenstein every time I look in the mirror.

It feels as though this baby is giving me arthritis and no amount of yoga or exercise is lessening the aches I feel that only worsen as the day progresses.  I forgot to bring the baby monitor from the basement to our bedroom ( FIVE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS UP) last night and when I mentioned it to Jeremy who was already in bed with a pillow over his head he said, UGHHHHH can't you go get it.  I informed him that, no, I couldn't because it felt like carrying a watermelon between my legs down the stairs.  And not only that but on the way back up I had to clutch my back and  grimace through the sciatica that shot pain up my pelvis and down my legs.  So, no, if the kid woke up, we would just have to hear her through the wall.  And then I peed for what was probably the fifty seventh time that day.  At least that time I made it to the toilet.  

This child is sitting so much lower in my body that nearly every move she makes affects my bladder.  I estimate it's size to be about that of a large marble and from the way it feels this child is going to be a boxer and she's practicing on my bladder.  She's like one of those people that inspect a house's fortitude by roughing it up a bit (Dwight Schrute).  Sometimes it hurts so much that I think I'm going into early labor.  And then I realize that, nope, she was just practicing Tae Kwan Do on the floor of my uterus.   This shirt from cafe press nicely describes some of what I feel on a daily basis.

At least I'm in the home stretch.  I can see the finish line from here.  Now all I have to do is wait.  Wait and beg a massage from anyone who comes within arm's reach of me.  Yeah, even that drunk homeless guy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love Is a Many Splintered Thing

Last night my brother called to tell me that he and my Mother had heard a song that reminded them of me.  I asked him what song it was and after a long pause in which he had to go look it up and call me back, I learned that it was What's Up by The Four Non Blondes.  It's ironic that I enjoyed that song so much because at that time, and I suppose even now to some degree, I resemble the typical blonde.  Outwardly anyway.  My departure from bubblegum pop and into this music and song in particular signaled the beginning of a long and dark period of self discovery in my life that would ultimately end with my tearful homecoming after Katrina.  I've discovered enough about myself at this point that I realize there are much more fascinating things to discover.  Self is way overrated.

After my conversation I was retelling my Husband about this song and what my Brother had said.  YOU liked that song, he said.  WOW, now I KNOW we were meant to be together.  
Oh, why, I asked him, did you like it too? 
No, he replied, I hated that song.  But it just goes to show you, opposites attract.

In many ways we are very much alike.  He compels me to unleash my inner geek that has hidden somewhere underneath my lacquered exterior for many years.  We have geek movie marathons that include Star Wars and The Lord of The Rings, while I eat three kinds of pickles and he indulges in Little Debbie snacks and Mountain Dew.  

But in most ways we are such complete opposites that I am often fascinated by what it is that attracts me to him.  Other than his Adonis like good looks and impeccable parenting that is. Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I am simply amused by him and his departures from what I call normalcy.  I find these ticks humorous and endearing even if he may not find it humorous that I am finding them humorous.  

This is a good summation of the consistency of our relationship.  I act like an idiot while he stands guard nearby  and babysits me ensuring that I do no further harm to his reputation or future chances at President.

He was recently named Infection Control Officer for his dental department and this new title and responsibility has required that he has a very thorough education and updated knowledge on current infection and disease information.  Unfortunately, and often times amusingly, Elsbeth and I receive the brunt and consequence of his newly acquired knowledge.

Elsbeth and I have recently been having conversations on littering and how it is not a nice thing to do to the Earth.  On our walk to the grocery store last night, she spotted a crumpled Dunkin Donuts bag on the ground which she leaned over and picked up with the intention of throwing in the trash.  No sooner had her two fingers touched the bag than Jeremy yelled out, ELSBETH PUT THAT DOWN THAT'S DIRTY!  It's OK, Jeremy, I said, it's not like it's covered in AIDS or anything.  

He sighed at what I can only imagine that he perceived as my peasant ignorance, and said in a lofty voice that he reserves for such occasions, Jill, antibiotic resistant MRSA can remain on some surfaces for up to six months. 
Shit, I said, let's go ahead and get her a bubble to live in because the world is just too scary otherwise.  And then the smile that was bubbling in my soul broke through my teeth and I laughed at him and all his loving paranoia.

He smiled at me and said, Can you tell I've been doing my infection control homework?  Ummm, yeah I replied.  Then we put our germ infested hands together and swapped some saliva that probably contained plaque and many other potentially deadly things.  But hey, that's love, it'll make you do some crazy things.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Out of the Mouth 'O Babes

Elsbeth has always been early on her vocabulary and speaking skills, but since turning two her ability to reason and communicate that reasoning to me has just blown me away.  It is so entertaining that I can spend a good deal of time just talking to her about things and asking her questions to see what her astonishing little mind will come up with.

Here is just a small selection of what she has told me about lately.

While discussing the days of the week she informed me:
On Tuesday the turtles get big.  (I have NO idea what she is talking about, but she seemed fairly certain that this was a concrete fact)

In line at the grocery store yesterday, she faked a cough and then, clutching her chest, looked pitifully at the woman in line in front of us and said in her most heart-wrenching voice: I am very, very sick.  Which was not at all true.

Ever since I told her there was a baby in my belly, she has been carrying one too.  She daily informs me that her baby is very, very thirsty, only likes apple juice, and is very, very hungry for a popsicle, an orange popsicle.
We indulged both of our babies with a popsicle Sunday and Jeremy had one as well.  After we had finished, she looked at me and exclaimed with a groan of satisfaction, My baby was SO hungry, and then she added, you're baby was hungry too Mama.  She looked at Jeremy's finished popsicle and proclaimed that his baby had been hungry too.  She then affected a very quiziccal look, leaned in close to me, tilted her head and whispered, Do he have a baby in his belly Mama, do he?  No, I said, only girls can grow babies. Oh, OK she said and nodded as if the world was right again.

One morning she looked at Fairway and said, What happened to his eye?  I asked her what she thought happened to it.  She thought for a minute and then said, It's in the car, I'll go get it.

While examining my Father's ear with a tool from her doctor kit, she said, OH, there's snakes in there!

After watching me put on a GIANT maternity bra she proclaimed, That's better Mama, that thing holds your boobies up.  Later that night I whispered to her to go pinch Daddy on the nipple.  She reached down (he was on the floor) and pinched somewhere in the middle of his stomach.  Through the tears of laughter and pitiful realization, I informed her that Daddy's nipples were up higher than that.  

She was in the room when Jeremy was taking the photos of my pregnant butt.   Take a picture of my butt too Daddy! she exclaimed.

I cannot imagine the conversations that will occur in this house with TWO of them.  I can only wait.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Compilation Tuesday

When I was a girl we spent many weekend afternoons driving aimlessly around in the family vehicle.  I relished these times because we never knew where they would find us.  Often times we would look at houses, as my parents life long hobby has been renovating older homes.  My brother and I would always be most impressed with the biggest homes we could find, extolling their palatial like virtues while my Mother responded with, yeah, but WHO'S going to clean a house like that?  Well when you're 10, cleaning isn't the first thing that comes to mind when picking out your dream home.  I had fanciful visions of football field sized games of hide and seek in the dark.

Since our move to the city, we nearly doubled our living space and added five sets of stairs.  I suppose it was the ten year old that still resides inside me that compelled me to pick this place out.  Oh, the space we would have!  And truthfully it hasn't been all that bad.  Until I got pregnant...and Elsbeth learned to rival the Tasmanian Devil in destroying a clean room.   The past several months have been a breeze physically as far as this pregnancy goes, but emotionally, my Mother was right.  WHO'S going to clean a house like that?  Me, that's who.  And it's all I seem to do lately.  MY coinhabitants aren't much help either, here's an example.

Look at the face above.  You would think it easy to love a mug like that.  But in reality, there is not much happening behind those eyes other than intermittent messages of: DUUUUUUHHHHH!  Sunday I returned home from church to find Jack Johnson covered in feathers and trailing a whirlwind of feathers behind him.  My heart sank and I knew instantly what he had done.  He ate through our down comforter.  Of all the small things in life that give me pleasure, my down comforter is at the top of the list.  I wanted to chop off his head right then and there, and I think my hormonal rage would have compelled me to do so if it weren't for Ellie begging clemency for his black, black soul.  Every day since then I have risen to find he has decapitated one of her stuffed animals or gotten into the garbage.  He has always been annoying, but never anything like this.

After that, Jeremy and I had a talk about the fact that for the next several months I am going to need more help around the house.  There must be more shared responsibility on his part and he must take the initiative to help me out without me nagging him about things.  I think he may have seem the dark storm brewing in my eyes and he readily agreed to help.

He has kept his word and I am so grateful.  Sometimes though, I just don't understand him.  I found this in the kitchen:

This is a half gallon of obviously spoiled goat milk.  Keep in mind that the trash can is about two feet from the fridge.  The distance to the counter where I found this milk is about three times that long.  This is supposed to say: STAY AWAY (it's a good thing he chose to pursue dentistry and not English...Whew)
And just because the first warning wasn't enough, the next side of the bottle exclaimed this:  YUK!  Yes, we can all see that the milk is SO spoiled that it has actually seperated and formed two layers in the bottle.  YUK indeed!
And perhaps because there was still one empty side and his impeccable sense of proportion compelled him to also fill it in, he indulged us with this gem:
Sometimes all I can do is laugh.  

This has become my life.  A nightly orgy of zoo animals and strawberry scented bubbles in the tub, a Dora the explorer potty seat, and a pink step stool used in the aiding and abetting of Elsbeth's sporadic ransacking of my makeup.  Would I change anything?  Well, maybe some money for a maid would be nice, but otherwise, nope, not a thing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pregnancy Photos 25 Weeks

Well, I made it past the halfway point with no drama or catastrophe occurring.  As far as pregnancies go, this one is very different from my experience carrying Elsbeth.  Mainly, my stomach isn't lodged somewhere right under my boobs.  It fell about a foot and a half from last time (although sadly, that hasn't eased my heartburn in the slightest...nor my cravings for jalapenos) and it almost seems like my belly button is further down than last time.  It's strange too because I've always had a relatively flat stomach, and now it seems as if any weight I have gained has gone directly into forming a chubby circle of flubber around my waist.   I now have four breasts, one set under my chin and the other, newer set on my lower back.  They resemble man boobs in a very unattractive way and I'm considering buying them a bra.

But the booty surprisingly has not blown up like it did last time.  The only thing I can come up with is the fact that I live in a house with five sets of stairs and I walk up and down them carrying a two year old about nine hundred times a day.  Oh, and I also haven't been drinking the icing cups from dominoes cinnasticks like last time.  I'm not sure, but that might have something to do with it.

Here ya go people.  This photo is a departure from my normal shots, as I don't do "reverent" well. But on this particular day I was skipping around the house singing "I Feel Pretty" and my husband noticed that I seemed to be glowing, or sweating glitter.  So I cajoled him into capturing the moment in the warm afternoon light.

Now for the boo-twah.  It is certainly more than two handfuls, and feels something like cold jello, but lemme just tell you:  it can deflect snowballs, instantly deal with half-shut car doors, and makes an excellent seat for a two year old.  I like to measure it in heads, and it looks to be three heads wide at this point.  In the infamous words of Sir Mix Alot: Red beans and rice didn't miss this!