Monday, March 31, 2008

Martha Knows Her Eggs

I’m not a huge Martha fan, but I love flipping through her magazine and seeing the luscious images of immaculate cupboards, perfectly iced cakes and all of the floral arrangements. So, when one of her magazines falls in my lap, I always appreciate it.

Pregnancy carries with it an obvious need for added nutrition. I’ve been told everything from 65 to 100 grams of protein a day. This, my friends, is no easy task – especially when you only crave carbs. I’ve taken a bit of a laissez-faire attitude to eating this first trimester since my mother survived on peanut butter crackers with my brother, and my brother’s really smart. I figure when I feel better, I’ll eat better. (Please let that day be soon!) In the mean time, I eat a lot of scrambled eggs.

So, when I was flipping through Martha’s Spring egg edition (don’t recall the month – maybe March?), and there was a whole section on cooking eggs, I read it. First rule, never use a non-stick pan. Um, I always use a non-stick pan (I know, chemical party, but it’s easier). Use butter to coat the pan. Hmmm… I use a little olive oil.

This weekend, when I made eggs, I decided to put the rules to the test. I buttered up our All-Clad fry pan (it’s good to get married), scrambled my eggs and poured them in. I did everything exactly the same as the non-stick pan except for using the stick pan. And wow! Those eggs were the best eggs I’ve had in a long, long time. Fluffy, light, tasty. I can’t explain it. I can’t imagine a non-stick pan makes that much of a difference, but apparently it does.

I am spreading the gospel of sticky-pan eggs. (If you use enough butter they aren’t supposed to stick. I couldn’t do that. It just seemed wrong.) After putting the eggs on my plate, I immediately soaked the pan in the sink, and you know what? It wasn’t that hard to clean. Plus, the elbow grease was worth the better tasting eggs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

For years, I’ve said, “I like my breasts, but it’d be great if they were just a little bigger.” So I thought. I was happily cruising along as a B/C (the sales people say C, but most tend to be gappy, but Bs are too tight). Now I’m a full C and growing. I think I’ll even crest into D before it’s all said and done.

At first, it was kind of cool minus the aching growing pains. They became a curiosity for Pete and me.

“Wow! Those are big boobs!”

“I know! And they just keep growing!”

And they do. I was sleeping on my side/stomach last night, but the position smashed my new big boobs so I had to move completely to my side. I thought I’d have to change my sleeping position eventually to make the belly happy, but nope, it’s the boobs.

Small boobs stay out of your way. Clothes button easily over them. Size small t-shirts cover my stomach. Not so with these knockers. My small t-shirts pull up, exposing my chubby, not-yet-pregnant-looking belly. The buttons on my blouses strain to cover the bigger girls. And reaching for things? The darn things block my arm all the time. I had to readjust my shampooing posture to accommodate these globes of growing flesh.

I admit that I am starting to get used to them. They fill out some of my tops a little nicer than the small ones, and the look of astonishment on Pete’s face when I’m standing naked after a shower? Priceless. Just wait until the milk comes in and they’re all for baby….

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bumpy Roads

A friend of mine is having a rough patch with her boyfriend right now. I won’t go into details because they aren’t mine to share, but talking to her brought up one of my past relationships.

When I was in my twenties, I dated a guy for three years. We met at a party, went on some dates, and a month later said, “I love you” to each other. Four months into our relationship we moved in together. It was fun and adventurous since we rented our friend’s trailer in a trailer park. We laughed about how our house used to have wheels. We giggled when the washer was on spin cycle and the opposite end of the trailer shook like a carnival ride.

Eventually, we moved from Vail to Boulder. Although we’d both lived in Boulder before, my friends were long gone after graduation and his were happy he was back. Quickly, I found that the time we used to spend together in Vail was now spent with his friends or alone while he was with his friends.

About a year into the relationship, I started questioning things. Prior to this one, my longest relationship had been in college for six months. I was determined to have one that lasted at least a year. So, I ignored the questions and persevered.

That summer, I asked my cousin how she broke off her engagement, and she said, “When the voices got so loud that I couldn’t ignore them, I ended it. At first, there was a small voice saying he wasn’t the one for me, but I ignored it. Then, it got a little louder, and I told it to shut-up. Finally, it got so loud, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. That’s when I knew.”

I’d recognized the voices, but I thought, “They aren’t that loud. Maybe they’re wrong.”

In the second year, we went to a couple’s counselor to try to make it work. He even moved out so we would have to make an effort to see each other instead of taking each other for granted. We broke-up and got back together about eight times until we finally decided we would stick it out until we were sure we wanted out. That was October.

By the following spring, I was wrought with emotion. I woke up at 5am, tossing and turning, so upset as to what to do. I would wait, tormented, until 6am so I could call my mom on the east coast in tears, begging her to help it get better. I fell asleep worrying, with a knot in my stomach, not listening to all the signs around me.

I booked a trip to North Caroline to see my mom and clear my heard. I spent the week talking about the future with my boyfriend in Boulder. It was like I was trying to talk myself into a life with him. The more I talked about it, the more real it became so I kept talking. My mom, being the amazing woman that she is, just listened, biting her tongue from saying DUMP HIM.

Finally, the week ended and I was on my way back to Boulder. I remember sitting on the airplane full of hope for my relationship. He picked me up at the airport, and things were good. I was happy to see him.

Then, back at my apartment, we were snuggling on the couch when the voices screamed at me, “He’s not the one for you! You have to move on!”

I looked around to see if he heard. He kept going on about how great things were, and how much he missed me.

“YOU HAVE TO BREAK-UP WITH HIM!” the voices yelled.

I sat up. And I knew. The voices were not going to let me ignore them any longer. It took me three more days to finally break-up with him, but I did it. It was the best thing I ever did for myself, and I wondered why I waited so long to do it. It was also one of the hardest things to do. He never hit me or cheated on me, which I used to wish for because then I would have had a clear answer as to why it had to end. In hindsight, he said things that damaged me, but I probably did the same to him. I had a lot of healing to do after that relationship. Sometimes I wonder if I’d listened to the voices earlier, would it have been easier?

I don’t envy my friend right now. Trying to figure out if a relationship should continue or not is difficult. There are so many variables, and everyone who listens and gives advice is carrying their own baggage. No one can see what it is like to be in the relationship, the secret goodness (or badness). It’s hard because in my experience, being unhappy meant that I needed to move on, but for other friends, that was just a layer before their relationship deepened. I listen to her, and like my mom, I try to bite my tongue from saying anything too positive or negative, knowing she has to come to a conclusion on her own – whatever that may be.

The Big Cave-In

I did it. I caved. After a few weeks of unbearable pressure on the gut, I started wearing maternity clothes. I know, it’s completely and utterly premature, but this kid does not like ANY pressure on it. I did the rubber band trick, the bella band, the unbuttoning my pants when I sat and covertly buttoning them when I stood. Everything was unflattering and frumpy, plus uncomfortable.

So, I raided the maternity store closet and broke out some jeans. I thought those would hold me over for a little while. (They’re totally too big and falling off, but better than strangling baby.) And then to add to the collection, I got an email that Liz Lange is closing her Beverly Hills store. Everything in the store is $20. TWENTY DOLLARS!! Those are Old Navy prices! (Just in case you aren’t clear, this is the real Liz Lange, not Liz Lange for Target.)

I grabbed my purse and made a mad dash through spring break traffic to get to Beverly Hills over lunch yesterday. Beverly Hills is usually 15 to 20 minutes away during the week. Parking is generally not too difficult because there are plenty of public lots. The emphasis is on USUALLY. Add spring break, and it took me half an hour to get there only to find my favorite lot full. (Damn spring breakers!)

Finally, I found a spot and dashed over to the Queen of Maternity’s store. I was a tad disappointed, but not surprised, to find all the fun, colorful pieces gone. On the plus side, there were lots of great basics and friendly sales people to help find the pieces.

I managed to find 2 pairs of pants, a skirt, a blazer, a dress and a shirt ALL for under $100. That’s not too impressive at Old Navy, but the pants are regularly $175 and the jacket was $275!! I thought, “Do I really need a jacket?” And the sales lady pointed out, “For $20 you can’t lose.” So, I now own a maternity blazer.

Pete almost had a heart attack when I told him I spent $100 on maternity clothes until he saw me this morning. I feel pretty today. I have a cute outfit on that fits properly. The baby can breathe and so can I.

** Hopefully this will be the lasts of my posts regarding clothes because even I’m getting bored of them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh the Vanity

I completely understand the fat not cute stage now – and I am barely showing. To the untrained eye, I just look like I’ve been eating too much pasta and fried chicken. As suspected, a lot of my clothes don’t fit correctly anymore. My fitted t-shirts are now too short because of the new rack I’ve got, not to mention they highlight the bulging belly. My pants don’t really button, and the ones that do, I need a rubber band to make fit comfortably. My bras are too tight – including the one I just bought in an effort to have one bra that fits. Needless to say, getting dressed for work has become something I dread.

We planned this pregnancy, so I knew last fall that I wouldn’t fit into a lot of the clothes I admired. I solved that by limiting my spending to things I knew I would wear (jeans). In fact, in the past few years I haven’t bought many clothes. I had the website so my extra money went to buy clothes for that instead of clothes for me (the payoff is weeks away). But in the meantime, this means that my selection on clothing is limited. Incredibly limited.

I went shopping last weekend in hopes of buying a few pairs of pants to hold me over until I fit into maternity pants. The websites and books say that I’ll fit into them after the baby so not to worry about spending the money. And honestly, this time, I wasn’t that worried. But all the big pants look sloppy. Generally, I like my clothes fitted and tailored. I like body skimming clothes. Since I sew, I’ve even taken in blouses so they have a more fitted look. I spend money on expensive pants because the fit is better than the basic Gap pair (although, occasionally I’ve gotten lucky). Which leads me to my current dilemma: how do I dress cute, accommodate the baby that doesn’t like any pressure on it and not look frumpy?

I have no answer. Today, I have on a pair of cute jeans, a white blouse and pale green cardigan. I thought I looked preppy-cute when I left my house this morning. A trip to the bathroom at work proved otherwise. The rubber-banded button of my jeans is completely visible when I walk and my jeans are a little too tight, if you know what I mean. Did I mention the buttons on my blouse are pulling from the gigantic ta-tas I’m sporting? So much for concealing the pregnancy. Here’s the thing: I’m over it. I am at the point where I HAVE to wear clothes that are comfortable. I’m still not saying anything about the bun in the oven, and so far, no one has been rude enough to ask. I think my boss is on to me because he didn’t say anything to me as I inhaled a breakfast burrito at my desk this morning, which I never do (did).

And I wonder why my pants are tight.

The Site

Two years ago, after paying off all of my debt and feeling incredibly free and bold, I decided to start an on-line maternity store. (Put the money in the bank instead of spend it? Are you crazy???) In my big-picture plan, I thought I could start this while working my day job since the Internet is on at all hours of the day, and then in a few years (or year in my plan), make enough to quit my day job to do it full-time. Then, when I was ready to have kids, I’d have a flexible job where I could have my kids around. (I was realistic enough to realize I would still most likely need a nanny to help, but in my mind, I was making enough to pay her, too.)

Anyway, without going into the minutia of starting the business, hiring web designers, getting decent photographs, dealing with a back-end that didn’t work right and again, the web designers who couldn’t fix it, I’ll let you know it fell flat. The inventory is languishing in the office closet (it’s a large closet) waiting for me to raid it for this pregnancy and to sell of the rest of it.

It’s kind of become like a large tumor I pretend I don’t have. “What? That thing? Oh, it’s nothing. It’ll take care of itself.” Or so I hope. I keep dreaming of coming home to an empty closet and a full bank account. Often, I forget all about it until either Pete asks me what I am going to do with it (“Stop asking me! I’ll figure it out!”) or miraculously, someone orders something.

It’s so bad I don’t even check the business email very often, but last week I did, and lo and behold! Someone made it through my unencrypted (it expired) check-out! New hope dawned! I sold a shirt! Perhaps I will revive the shop and unload this stuff at discount prices! Hallalujah! Of course, in between wanting to barf and sleep, I kept forgetting to pack her shirt. So, this morning, I finally sat down to pack up her shirt and send it off with heartfelt thanks. But the size of the shirt she ordered WAS ALREADY SOLD! Yes, I sell things to my friends straight out of the closet (there’s an idea – sell out of the trunk of my car) and I don’t always update the inventory on the site. (Well, I did, but that was on the NEW site that we had rebuilt, but no one knows exists.)

I’m starting to feel like I am always supposed to have an albatross. First, the credit card debt that I did a fine job of accruing, and now, the maternity inventory that I also did a fine job of accruing. I mean, finally, someone wanted to buy something! How, oh cruel world, can this woman want the same white t-shirt as my friend in small?! Where are the big people I keep reading about? Why does everyone want a small???

Frustration is an understatement.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Just Another Reminder to Vote

Los Angeles is a very tolerant city. One of the reasons I like living here is the diversity. For me, that includes race, religion and sexual orientation. Since I live in a blue state with representatives (all women!!) that mostly vote how I want them to, I forget about the other parts of our country

Hearing this clip from Oklahoma representative Sally Kern made me shudder.

If you want to help, click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Riding the Wave

No one can prepare you for morning sickness. We’ve all heard friends complain about it. Noticed when they dropped out of society until the triumphant first trimester ended. I had sympathy. I offered bland foods. I stepped out of delicious smelling coffee houses because they no longer smelled delicious to my pregnant friends. I even left a great show because the bar smelled like beer and Melissa thought she might barf. But my lord, nothing could have prepared me for the real experience.

The nausea comes and goes. Sneaks up on me and clobbers me over the head. And just as I begin to accept my fate of riding the invisible curvy road with no end, it ends. I’m still complaining internally, woe-is-me-ing myself when all of a sudden, I realize I feel fine. Then, I get excited that I beat the sickness. I start gloating and just as suddenly as it stops, it comes back. It’s worse than my brother’s most evil torture when I was a kid.

And here’s the thing: I know my morning sickness is mild. Oh, and in case none of your friends have enlightened you, morning sickness is a bunch of bullshit. The crap lasts all day, sometimes lulls you to sleep, sometimes wakes you up. It knows no boundaries.

When I found out I was pregnant, all 2.5 weeks ago (time is moving slllloooowwwwwllllyyy), I felt great. I felt great minus a few nauseous rumblings that were quickly quelled with food. I stupidly thought THAT was morning sickness. No sirree, morning sickness is turning green at your desk and wondering if you can make it to the bathroom to puke. Then looking around the copy room outside of the bathroom for a can to puke in just in case someone is in the bathroom, and in case you can't make it there, eyeing the recycle bin under your desk as a perfect puke receptacle. Yes, my friend, that is morning sickness.

I looked up “morning sickness cures” online, and found that there are a few things one can do: eat small meals regularly, eat protein, stay hydrated and rest. Okay, let’s look at this list. You want to puke. Spend just a moment thinking how much you want eat when you want to puke. Yep. Not at all. But here’s the thing: it really is salvation.

Yesterday, as I lay my head on my desk, groaning quietly, I ate a few pistachios, then an almond. I thought I would be making the run to the bathroom, but I managed to keep them down, and then about twenty minutes later, I could actually function. How novel! (And all of this while trying to keep it from the boss. Oy.)

Today, I am carefully watching the clock and eating a few nuts or peanut butter crackers every hour or so. Not a lot. Just a couple to keep the nausea at bay. I’m sipping Pellegrino, mint tea and water. And I feel…. okay. I’m not saying great, but better. If only I had a cot in my office to rest on...

I keep telling myself about all the women who have gone through this before me, and the beautiful baby I’ll get in the end, and I feel better. I feel bonded to both of them. I keep telling myself that morning sickness means there is a healthy baby growing in me. I am working on gratitude that this pregnancy came so easily to me, that I am joining the billions of women who are mothers. I’m trying to figure out how to accept it and stop fighting it. To finally cede control over to parenthood. This, I know, is just the first of many times I’ll need to let go. I just hope I don’t “let go” in the recycle bin.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Joining the Tribe

We have all heard the quote about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before you really know them. It sucks when I find out these old quotes “hold water.” (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) When I planned our wedding, I found myself looking back on events around other peoples’ weddings, and wishing I had acted differently. I wished I’d sent a better gift or offered to help more. I understood why my friends were stressed, but also calm. Even though I think of myself as a supportive friend, like the saying goes, until you’ve been there, you can’t fully understand it.

So it goes with pregnancy. In the late 90s, I started studying to be a doula, which meant that I read lots of books about pregnancy. I quizzed friends about their pregnancies and births. I even attended a birth, which included almost every intervention except a c-section. Stupidly, I thought I knew what pregnancy was all about.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The joke is completely on me. My friend Lisa once told me about the “fat phase,” where you look fat not pregnant. I sort of knew what she meant, but I thought this phase happened around month three or even four before the belly popped out and looked cute. I hardly look fat now, but there is a definite bloat to my stomach. There is no holding it in anymore. And my favorite skinny jeans? Sayonara. They are history until next spring at the earliest. (Let’s be honest – summer - I’m no Heidi Klum.) Already, they push into my sweet, bloated belly, causing me to feel like utter hell and want to puke.

Last Friday, I wore them to work cleverly unbuttoned with a belly band. I sold the bella band when I had my online store, and thought how great! Wear my favorite pants longer? Of course! Brilliant! I still thought that Friday morning when I got dressed. By Friday afternoon, after indulging in a light lunch of quiche and salad, my stomach pushed out further and I swear, even further. By 6pm, I was almost in tears. When I got home, I raced to the bedroom, took off my jeans and slid the evil constrictor off. I groaned with pleasure. I moaned. I praised the heavens. Pete asked if he should come in and help me.

Today I am wearing a little black dress that is completely overkill for my casual office. After the bella band episode, I couldn’t bring myself to put on a waistband. I’m still trying to figure out how to make yoga pants look cute enough for work.

I won’t even start the tirade on my boobs yet. That’s another entry. And the nausea. I keep wondering how I can get off this ride that is making me so sick, until I realize I have to ride it to get the baby. A whole tribe of women before me knows exactly what I’m talking about. The tribe behind, be warned. It’s exciting, but nothing can prepare you for the experience. With all of that said, and a little trepidation, I am proud to be joining the Momma Tribe.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

BFP (Big Fat Positive)

On Valentine’s Day, I peed on a stick for the first time in my life. How I made it to 36 without doing it before, I have no idea. Blame it on my regular cycle combined with my "No babies, no babies" mantra. This time, I patiently left it on the bathroom sink for the allotted three minutes and laid back down with Pete while we waited. After about a minute, I sprang back up and went to the bathroom. I squinted and prayed for a second line. Faintly, a second line appeared. Pete and I looked at each other.

“Do you think that’s a line?” I asked Pete.

“I can barely see it,” he said.

“I don’t know. I think that’s a second line. I’ll do it again tomorrow morning and see what it says.”

It was all very calm and business-like. And we waited. I went to spin class with this potential secret growing inside of me, and to work where I continued to feel fine.

Friday morning I peed on a different brand of stick. A blue line appeared, but again it wasn’t dark blue like the test line.

I wasn’t as patient this time so I ran off to my friend the internet, and typed in “faint line, pregnancy test.” Sure enough, it told me that ANY second line means that you are indeed creating a child.

“Pete, I think we really are going to have a baby,” I yelled from the computer.

“Wow. That was easy.”

“Don’t jinx us for the next time!”

“Right. We should keep practicing.”

So, it’s true. We made a baby the first time we tried after preparing for it to take six months to a year. Apparently, we are in the 20% who hit the jackpot on round one. We are just now getting over the shock that we are actually going to have a baby at the end of October.

** It’s super early and we really shouldn’t tell anyone, but we did. And now I’m telling the internet because there is way too much going on not to write about it.