Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just A Little Whine

My husband had to go out of town for business, so the night before he left I decided to cook a pot roast just to ensure he would miss me. I got all of the ingredients out and ready and realized I forgot wine. I don't cook much without wine, but certainly not a pot roast.
Our grocery store is right behind our house so I zipped on over and went straight for the vino. As I walked through the bottles, I caught a few stares. I realize it may be a little strange to see a pregnant woman in the wine aisle, but come on. Mind your business.
I chose a wine after a few minutes and carried it towards to checker. Each person I passed did the same thing: looked at me, looked at my belly, looked at the bottle, back at my belly, and back at me. I'm not wearing a scarlet letter here, people. It's a bottle of wine.
I got to the check out and while another woman finished up in front of me, the checker looked at me, my belly, the bottle, my belly, and me. "Who are you buying that for?" she asked. Yep. She went there. Has she not read my blog?
"I'm buying it for me."
"Oh. But you can't have that, can you?"
"It's for pot roast," I smirked.
"You use that kind for pot roast?"
"Yes. Cooking wine is too vinegary for me."
The woman in front of me came to my defense. "Yes, but you can have wine if you're pregnant."
"I know," I announced, "I drink wine several times a week. And it's delicious." The checker was not happy with this.
She asked for my ID. "Pot roast, huh?"
I swiped my card and the bagger looked at me, my belly, the bottle, my belly, and me. "You can't drink this, can you?"he asked.
I paused, smiled, and looked him right in the eye. "I think I can do anything I want, actually."
He laughed, nervously.
"She says it's for a pot roast," the checker piped up again.
"Oh," he said.
"It is for a pot roast," I snapped, "but after this little exchange, I think I'm going to have a glass while I'm cooking. Hell, I might need to open it up in the car. Have a good day."
I didn't actually look back to see their reactions, but I hope they both passed out, or at least fell down.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time to Panic

Six months.
Six months, people.
Didn't I just tell the whole world I was pregnant a few minutes ago? And wasn't I already 10 weeks along when I TOLD them?!
And now I'm 6 months pregnant.
It goes by so quickly, and right around now is when the panic starts to set in. Three short little months to paint his room, figure out what he sleeps in, what kind of diapers he uses, and how many burp cloths I need to stash in each room of the house.
How am I going to stop my dogs from barking so much in three short months?
Should I start warning neighbors, friends, and the UPS man that if they ring the doorbell they'll be electrocuted?
A birthing plan. Someone mentioned that the other day. I should get one of those.
I wonder if he's allergic to our houseplants. Those should all be destroyed, I'm guessing.
I know nothing about children's toys and I don't think I have enough books. Am I supposed to be collecting books? Do I read to him even though he's still trying to remember to breath in-between swallowing gulps of milk?
How do I organize his clothes? I already organized them once by level of fancy and once by size/month. Now I'm thinking fancy was better but we should also differentiate between day wear and evening wear.
Will he ever actually wear shoes that are this small?
I should register for more pacifiers, right?
Does ANYONE know the proper way to use a Moby wrap?!
The backyard is gated but the front yard isn't. This is starting to make me nervous.
He needs more pictures in his room. I don't want him to feel like he can't have pictures.
Should I even try the hypnobirthing class?
I need to check that child molester website again...
I just want him to be happy and healthy and for everything to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Choked Up

If you've read any pregnancy books ever, you know that heartburn is a common pregnancy symptom.  Progesterone is the culprit of this and a lot of other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. It relaxes your esophageal muscles and allows for "back-flow" of stomach acids. I have not experienced this, which according to everyone on the planet also means my baby has no hair. (That's right, heartburn = baby has hair. It makes no sense, but everyone swears it's true.)
Instead of heartburn, I get a very annoying and sometimes startling symptom. Occasionally, my esophageal muscles relax so much that they stop working for a second. This, in turn, keeps the top of my  throat from noticing that saliva is a potentially lethal substance if BREATHED instead of SWALLOWED because my throat is SLEEPING. So about 9 times a day, I do that coughing/choking know, the one where you choke and can't breath and you're eyes water and, simultaneously, you're attempting to convince everyone in the room that you're fine by trying to say, "I'm fine," but what comes out is similar to what a 70-year, 4-pack-a-day smoker sounds like, which then causes you to hack even harder and louder so you do the deep, heaving breath thing because at this point it's been about 20 seconds since you've actually taken in oxygen and now everyone thinks you're hyperventilating, so you put your hands up as if to show that if you can move your arms, no one should be alarmed and everyone can resume eating their soup? You know, that kind of cough? Sure, it's not that embarrassing when you're just with your friend or significant other. But when you're on a business call and you have to stop the call for 45 seconds while the person on the other end waits for you to figure out the difference between swallowing and breathing, it's pretty much the worst feeling ever. And afterwards, you inevitably say something stupid like, "I'm going to practice breathing and talking at the same time before our next call, Phil, I swear!"
The pregnancy books don't mention all that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do. Not. Move.

Do. Not. Move. Mom.
Something HUGE is on your tummy. I think I can sneak up on it if we stay very, very still.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pass It On

Erin - Oh, I'm so excited! Another box of maternity clothes from a friend!

David - What do these women get in return for giving you all their stuff?

Erin - Well, nothing. I mean, I'll give it all back to them if they get pregnant again. Otherwise, I'll give it to someone else.

David - So, it's like an underground trade?

Erin - I guess.

David - And what will the women you give these clothes to do for you?

Erin - Nothing. It's just understood. You just pass these things around.

David - Wow. They should have something like that for guys.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I never realized just how many ways there are to completely avoid bending over until I got pregnant. I call it "Not-Bending". Today I filled up a huge glass of water. Upon realizing the dogs' water bowl was empty, I quickly analyzed the situation and decided to stand next to it, pour my glass of water into the dogs' bowl, and then refill my glass in the refrigerator door. Didn't have to bend over once.
Summer has arrive and I decided to plant flowers in some empty terra cottas hanging out in the garage from last year. The trouble? I was going to have to bend over to fill them with soil, even if I sat on a chair they were still too low. Solution? I propped the bag of soil up onto a tall chair next to me with the help of my husband (and the pregnancy card), dug my gardening shovel into the bag and just dropped the soil into the pots. Sure, potting soil got everywhere; but when I was finished, I sprayed the entire patio off using the garden hose. Didn't have to bend over to do that either. Not-Bending.
Another idea I had recently to keep from bending over involved tricking my husband just the slightest bit. Sure, I can do that dishes at the sink, no bending over there. But loading them into the bottom rack of the dishwasher meant bending over REPEATEDLY. As this is to be avoided at all costs at this point in my life, I have cleverly taken to loading only the top rack, leaving plates and silverware in the sink for him to load. Not-Bending. I mean, they're half his dishes, right?
I've completely mastered the art of picking up dirty clothes with my feet. No bending over there. And when the laundry basket is full? I do NOT pick it up. I just kick it with my feet all the way to the laundry room.
So you see, my friends, I am the ultimate mother looking out for my child's well-being. I would never dream of squishing or cramping the beautiful boy growing in my stomach by bending over. It's just not the type of mother I care to be. He is fully protected and, thankfully, if I do drop something directly to the floor by accident, I'm showing enough now that 97 people immediately rush to pick it up for me. And if no one is around, then I guess whatever I dropped will just have to stay there until someone gets home or a grocery-store clerk puts it back on the shelf with the other apples. Not-Bending is a learned-skill, one I recommend all women begin to think about prior to getting pregnant.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Don't worry. That bottle doesn't actually have beer in it.

It's rum. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Weight is on everybody's mind regardless of who you are. And there's this floating misnomer out in the universe that if you're lucky enough to get pregnant, you get to forget about weight. Everyone expects you to be fat, so enjoy it! Right?!
I mean sure, you read that one section of the baby book that says you "should have gained 15 pounds by now" and you've really gained 25. Of course, your girlfriend tells you how she only gained 30 throughout her entire pregnancy and your aunts and other female family members stress how difficult weight loss can be after pregnancy if you don't stay on top of it during pregnancy. And sometimes the OB-GYN emphasizes your weight gain with a "Wooow" when you step off the scale. But who's counting, really?

I AM. I'M COUNTING EVERY EFFING POUND, excuse my French abbreviation. I'm walking everyday, I'm constantly strenuously cleaning my house to keep up with this ridiculous nesting hormone, I eat small meals every few hours to keep my blood sugar steady, I incorporate plenty of protein and lots of fiber, I drink 60 oz of water a day, AND I AM STILL 10 pounds further than any baby book ever written says I should be. TEN POUNDS! I don't know if you've ever been 5'0" and 105lbs, but I was, and ten pounds is a LOT of extra weight. I mean, on those weight loss shows, don't they have them wear weights while they walk so their body thinks it's heavier and burns extra calories? I'M WEARING 20 EXTRA POUNDS! How am I not burning more calories?!
I know exactly what you're thinking, "Stop it Erin, you look great." And if you're not thinking that, then shame on you. I'm pregnant and sensitive. But the trouble is that it is virtually impossible to be anyone's version of a normal pregnant woman. There is no normal, which is why there are 50,000 pregnancy books each describing their own versions of normal, and why we end up sitting on the couch watching the Biggest Loser and sobbing uncontrollably about our abnormalities and eating chocolate ice cream with sprinkles and peanuts and Oreo crumbles while our husbands sit helplessly, telling us we're beautiful when we know we look like we should be at the next weigh in and PRAYING we don't fall below the yellow line. I'm really not sure if this weight is going to "fall off" because I choose to "breast feed" or because I was "so small before." I mean, I'll be sure to let you know, but in the mean time I need a shot every time the digital scale adds insult to injury by reminding me that not only have I gained 20 pounds, I've also gained .4 pounds.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It Registered

My husband and I enjoyed a long-overdue date night this weekend. Iron Man was the most exciting movie on the list, but we promised my mother we'd see it with her for Mother's Day, so we settled on Babies. This film, a documentary about children being raised in different countries around the world, completely changed my view of child-rearing.
*Spoiler Alert - I'm going to tell a few stories from the movie in this blog, so if you're a freak about being surprised about every little detail, read it anyway 'cuz it's super cute.*
A baby in Mongolia was born in a "hospital". A few days later, he was wrapped in a blanket, a stiff piece of canvas, and tightly tied up with some loose piece of fabric. The mother boarded the back of a mo-ped and zoomed back to her village. This baby's entire story included video of him almost exclusively alone. Mom was outside farming and caring for the animals much of the day, so the baby was left to learn and grow alone for hours at a time. He played with chickens, laid on goats, and discovered a roll of paper towels. The point? HE WAS FINE. As compared to the baby profiled in San Francisco, (you know the one: Mommy and Me groups, 70 books a day, Baby Yoga, ridiculous amounts  of enunciation), this Mongolian baby actually seemed happier! Babies are stimulated by whatever is in their environments. They don't need a bouncer, a play yard, and a swing. This movie proved it for me. Pacifiers? The Mongolian baby used his foot to pacify himself, which turned out to be a very exciting scene in the movie. Toys? The African Baby played with rocks (and occasionally ate them). Diapers? One baby pooped on his mom's leg and she wiped it off with a corn cob. NO JOKE. The San Francisco baby couldn't say boo without 20 people shouting, "HOW HIGH?!" And when she got angry because she didn't want to sing the damn song mommy was forcing her to learn and hit her in the face, mom pulled out the "No Hitting" book. The kid was barely a year old.
I realize we have disposable diapers in this country and we teach our children to read because it's necessary in our culture, but I feel much less pressure to learn the latest baby sign language techniques or while deciding which bottles to buy. The truth is, barring any interference from spoiling grandparents, my kid is going to be fine without all the stuff, all the latest and greatest. And if my dogs lick my boy directly in his mouth? I'm guessing he'll still make it to college.
This isn't to say I'm not registering. I registered the hell out of Target's website. I mean, I'm still American.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Like to Move It, Move It!

Twenty-two weeks, and everyone knows it. I love that people open doors for me, pull out chairs for me, help me maneuver this monster belly through tight situations. That is the best social aspect of being visibly pregnant: people feel the need to help, and those who don't are jerks. Jerks.
Where this can get confusing and/or blurry is when people think I can't do things. One thing I'm not is handicapped. Opening doors has always been a particular strong-suit of mine, and I'm pretty sure if given the opportunity, I could still open one. I don't need help pushing my grocery cart or cooking a meal anymore than I did before. Once you're pregnant, you experience the overly-ambitious pregnancy police who try to keep you from doing or touching anything that could possible cause your body to WORK. My husband seems to think that vacuuming and dusting are "too much" for me at this stage and I should be relaxing more. Frankly, I'm insulted. It's not that I CAN'T vacuum and dust, it's that I DON'T. There's a big difference. And we all know how much I love people coming to clean my house. It always works out SO well. 
As my thighs and butt balloon, the last thing I want to do is stop moving. I know they tell you, "Nine months to put it on, nine months to take it off," which I'm sure is true, but it still makes me consider adopting the next one when I actually take a moment to look at the size of underwear I just bought at Target. Never has my rear required so much coverage. And it seems no matter how much walking, fiber, or  kitchen table squats are included in my day-to-day life, there's no stopping the growth. So do us preggos a favor when you think about offering to do something for us: don't. Let us burn the calories and build the muscle so child birth will be easier and we won't be one of those women who gets asked, "When are you due?" 6 months after giving birth. We're tough. We can handle pumping gas.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Down South

Have you ever had a chinese buffet on Wednesday and paid the price for it on Thursday? Let's just say that the entire encounter makes you feel a little sensitive in certain areas after several hours in a bathroom...That kind of price-paying.
Did you know being pregnant can give you that same feeling without so much as a egg roll? It's what I like to call "a pregnancy butt-kicking". Despite the fact that babies hang out in a nice sac of water and sometimes make their mommies' bellies jiggle and wobble, they still have incredible reach. Is it a foot? It is a hand? I don't know, but it's pounding down DIRECTLY onto my anus. And after a cold glass of water, a sugary snack, and several changes in position, there is no end to the butt-kicking. How does he even reach down there? Is he trying to get out and got lost after a detour near my pancreas? WHAT IS SO INTERESTING ABOUT KICKING THAT SPOT? The kicking is adorable, don't get me wrong. But someone should really tell you about how far down these kids can swim.