Pregnant and Hoarding

November 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

What is it about pregnancy that turns you into a hoarder? Is it knowing that the clock is ticking? That it will be hard to get out of the house, to do anything really, once baby gets here? I’ve been to the mall twice this week already. The first trip was to H&M to pick up sweater dresses with room for a big belly. The second trip was to H&M to pick up t-shirts long enough to cover my belly, which is now sticking out of the shirts that fit earlier this week. How did anyone ever make it through a pregnancy without H&M?

I’ve known that I’m pregnant for exactly 10 days. After all my worrying that it might take longer to get pregnant the second time, because now I’m 33 and have a different husband, it took 0.2 seconds. No, not the act itself, the “trying.” Neither my body nor my husbands disappointed. The blessed bundle of joy is on its way.

The first thing that struck me about being pregnant the second time is that my fear of miscarriage has skyrocketed compared to my first pregnancy. I’m starting to find out I’m not alone in this respect. This time I know what’s at stake. I know what’s waiting for me on the other end of the pregnancy, and I have some idea how heartbreaking it would be not to get there. The first time around, you know the rate of miscarriage is highest for first pregnancies, but by the time you have the first scan and start to comprehend that there really is a baby in there, you’re through the danger zone of the first three months.

The second bizarre thing is that the nesting instinct kicked in almost immediately. With my son, I was probably 7 months along before I realized I needed to get the nursery ready and finish decorating the living room. This time it was more like: “My boobs are huge, I can’t sleep through the night without peeing, and I keep falling asleep. I’m having a baby and we need knock out the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Then we need to paint every room in this house.”

I suppose it’s knowing that we really are staying in our house now. The chances we could sell our house in this economy and move into a more family-friendly abode by the time baby gets here are slim to none. Instead, we need to turn my husband’s bachelor pad into a family house. This is not going to be simple.

I start my renovation project at my happy place: Restoration Hardware. They’ve already picked the best green color and the best blue color. There’s no need to go sorting through thousands of paint chips at Home Depot. I pick up each one of their paint chips. Today is Friends and Family Sale – 20% off of everything. That could be dangerous. The store employees will order anything in the Restoration Hardware Baby and Child catalog for me at 20% off with no shipping charges.

But now we’re back to the fear of miscarriage. Besides having no idea if this is a boy or girl (although I have a “feeling”), I’m not optimistic enough to start ordering nursery furniture. I’ll just have to pay fill price in March or April.

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Shot in the face

September 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

What better way to salvage the rest of my day than a little botulism? The $10 per unit special will be the over by the end of the week, and I’m due for a little toxins. I have to get injected before I get pregnant. Once that sperm reaches the egg, its lights out for wrinkle treatments.

I’m still frazzled getting by the little guy to preschool 45 minutes late.  The teachers at the Goddard School usually look at me like I’m a bad mother anyways because I have the kid that runs around and never listens to me.  They are prone to leaving me notes every time I fail to pack the precisely recommended lunch.  Ran out of apple slices? You’re getting a note for sure. A D+ for mom that day.

I drop him off and thank god for a couple of hours of quiet. If I didn’t take him to school, I was surely going to kill him. I call the dermatologist and see if I can squeak in for one of the botox appointments left that week. Even though I was fairly certain that the “only 8 appointments left!” email was a gimmick designed to instill panic in me, it worked nonetheless. They had 4 appointments available that morning alone. The economy sucks for sure.

I walk into the little coach house in “Old Dublin,” the small part of our sprawling midwestern suburb that actually dates back a couple hundred years. For once, the actual doctor is going to inject me and not some assistant. She smiles and greets me. She asks how I’m doing, as if she has actually met before, which she hasn’t. She is gentle though, and it’s a comfort to lay down on the treatment table and relax for a minute before the pricks to the face begin.

“So how is your morning?” She asks.

“My three-year old is kicking my ass,” I say.

“Oh,” she says with a little laugh. “I remember those days. When I was home with my kids, I would be so emotionally drained by the time my husband got home. They just wear you out.”

“I just don’t get it,” I say. “I’ve lost one trial in my entire career, so I guess I have about a 95% record of winning trials. And yet, I get outsmarted by a three-year old on a daily basis.”

She laughs and in goes the needle right into my forehead. That one hit a nerve, like the freeze headache you get from drinking a slushy too quickly. “I remember wondering how I could be so competent in one area of my life and struggle so much at home.”

“Right,” I said, feeling some relief that someone else actually felt the same way I did. “It seems that if I’m going to fail at work or at home, home is probably not the place to do it. It’s like Jackie O once said, ‘if you bungle raising your children, nothing else you do is really going to matter.”

Another sting right between the eyes and she wipes the excess off with a little pad cool with rubbing alcohol. “We had our twenty year reunion for medical school last month. It was amazing the range of what women had done. Like, one woman I know, she works so many hours and has a nanny running her house and she sees her kids when she can. Others stayed home completely for a few years. One woman doesn’t work but is involved in so many things that she still needs a nanny. It’s hard to find the right balance.”

“Right” I say. “When I went back to work full-time, I felt like I missed so much. I would get off work, pick my son up, go by the grocery store or dry cleaner or whatever else we needed that day, get home, and it was maybe an hour before he had to go bed.” I remember what a crappy hour that was, too, since by the time I got to see my son, he was exhausted and cranky and going to take it out on whoever was closest.

She wipes off my face.

“Did I bruise?” I ask.

“Just a little,” she says as I sit up, my face fully replenished with toxins. “For what’s it worth,” she says, “you’ll look back on this time and remember it being fun.” She smiles and I thank her and pay my bill.

I stop in to the Starbucks across the parking lot for one of their seasonal holiday treats. As much I hated the brand, they had quite a yummy pumpkin latte. I take a seat at one of the few empty tables. I reach into my bag to pull out a journal and a pen. As I look around, I notice that every person is working on a laptop. I wonder what kind of work they are doing, if they have important deadlines or are churning out money.

I look out the window hoping to catch a little of the Fall color that is settling in. All I can see is the brand new building that has popped up in “Old” Dublin. They built it to mimic the older buildings and probably to vaguely recall old buildings in the real Dublin. A painted ref facade and intricate white woodwork are supposed to look old. I can see right through the windows, though, ad notice that there is a ladder set up in the middle of the room and wires hanging down. The place isn’t even finished. The exterior looks done, but the interior was probably abandoned when Wall Street crashed and banks halted construction across the country. There is a sign in the window. “For lease. Will build to suit.” No shit.

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Another morning, another fail

September 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm (Uncategorized)

I woke up this morning to a puddle of pee waiting for me. I’ve gotten rather used to it. Between the little guy and the dogs, most days it seems that my husband is the only person I know who pees where he is supposed to.

I still managed to stay calm, to make a cup of coffee with a smile on my face. I tried my best to cook the bacon and eggs my son asked for, play with his monster magnets, and listen to my husband describe the latest crisis with his business all at the same time. When they both started talking to me at once, both with their signature rapid fire, I just couldn’t keep up. “Um, Mommy, Mommy, I want Dora. I want to watch it on your pu-ter…”

“So then the guy was supposed to wire the money…”

“No, not dat one. Da udder one….”

“Alright!” I said, stepping back and putting my hands up in a motion to stop. “I can’t listen to both of you at once.”

“That’s alright. I’ll talk to somebody else,” my husband said and walked off. Great, I failed, again. He might as well talk to somebody else. He’s not going to listen to me anyways. I’m used to clients not taking my advice. It’s part of practicing law. They pay for your advice and then do what they want to do anyways because “I just don’t understand.”

Yeah, I do. I understand what’s at risk. I understand what’s motivating you, even the things you think I don’t know or don’t want to admit. And the fact is, there’s really no shame in it, not to me, not in my office.

But now I’m home, and I’m down to one person talking to me, and he ignores what I have to say.

My son eats my breakfast and leaves his, as usual. He wants to watch something on my tv now, but I can’t find the right remote in the sea of remotes on my comforter, as usual. I can’t find the one to the internet box that has the episode he wants, so I offer up a measly hard drive Dora episode. Even before I do, I know how it’s going to go.

“Here, I can put this Dora on. This is the only Dora I can find,” I tell him.

“Not dat one! I want da robot Dora!” He yells, as if I’ve just ruined everything he ever hoped to have in his young little life by putting the Christmas Dora on. How could I?

“Too bad!” I yell back and walk into my bathroom. It’s 8:45 in the morning, and the day is rapidly going downhill.

My husband is getting out of the shower and towelling off. “Why is he crying?” he asked me.

“I can’t find right remote and he’s freaking out because he wants the robot Dora. Well, fuck you, I can’t find the robot Dora,” I said as I start putting my contacts in.

My husband just started laughing and walked over to me. He stood behind, wrapped his arms around my waist, and said “See honey, that’s what I love about you. You’ve got the brains and you’ve got the class but you still drop the F-bombs.”

“It’s not funny,” I said, afraid that f I started to laugh, I might cry instead.

“Yes it is,” he said as he kissed the side of my face.

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How did I get here?

September 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I wrote out of anger. Always. If I had something to say at nineteen it was merely because I was so pissed off. At what? I can barely remember. I was good at hiding it, and I needed a place to let it go.

I went pilfering through the boxes in the garage yesterday looking for some of my old writing. I read the first page of the novel I wrote in college. Well, I couldn’t really get through the first page. The writing was shit, and all I could see was rage.

I sent a text to a friend of mine who blogs for a living. It said, “Ick. I took out a novel I wrote in college, read one page, and thought, ‘this is shit.'”

He quickly replied, “Ha – it would be surprising if it wasn’t shit. What do we really have to say at 20? Now you have some life experience and steamy sex.”

Why is it, then, that I had so much more to say at 20? The drunk years, the starving years, the just plain stupid years…those years I had plenty to say. My writing wasn’t fiction. It was a series of indictments.

Now I sit here in an old church converted into a coffee-house wondering if I have anything left. Did my voice vanish with my resentments?

It’s bad enough that I have to drive 20 minutes to find a place that feels a little more authentic, a little more real, than the chains along the highway that offer scalding coffee and shiny trademarks. Thank god they didn’t turn the Church into a Starbucks.

There’s a group of women, maybe a few years older than me, who put several tables together for a meeting. As best as I could tell, they were discussing soccer. Not theirs, of course, but their kids. The word “goal” is getting throw around a lot. People are already telling me to put my little guy into soccer. He is three years old after all, and he would probably love it. I just can’t bring myself to do it, though. He can kick around a ball all he wants, but I’m not prepared for what it makes me if I put him in soccer.

I’m officially in my mid-thirties now, and I have the most comfortable of lives, but there are still some lines I don’t want to cross.  It seems like just yesterday I was an interesting person. Soccer mom? Please, God, not yet.

No, in fact I thought those dumb whores should be forced to go meet somewhere decidedly more commercial. I’m trying to think of something to say here.

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