Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grosser. Definitely Grosser.

In my never-ending quest to document the minutiae of all the differences between pregnancies, I have finally figured something out: this pregnancy is just way, way grosser than my pregnancy with Grace. (exhibit Y in the category of "Proof This Baby is a Boy", because we all know, boys are gross.)

For example! I never had even the slightest bit of swelling when I was pregnant with Grace. I wore the same shoes for nine months, my wedding ring never felt snug, and I could stand around at work all day long with no ill effects.

NOT SO, this time.

I spent a good chunk of sunday on my feet, as a result of my own stubbornness. Hosting my awesome friend Rae's shower, I had multiple people offer me their seat over the course of the day. I did not take anyone up on their offer. I'm fine! I'm not an invalid! A hostess should not sit while the guests stand!

...so, monday? I found myself thinking, dang, this socks have never hurt before (you know, how some socks are just too tight? and every time you wear them, you think, why haven't I gotten rid of these socks yet? They're too tight! Yeah, never thought that with these socks before.) Finally, about halfway through my day, I could. not. take it anymore. I hiked up my pant leg and found this. THE HORROR:



My legs. My beautiful legs! COVERED WITH POLKA-DOTS!!! (please note: the pattern on the socks wasn't even raised. I could barely even see the outline when I flipped the sock inside out.)

Never in my life have I ever been so happy to take a pair of socks off at the end of the day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Started Singing It, Not Knowing What It Was

On the list of things that absolutely, positively, MUST be addressed before Segundo arrives: electrician to install fan boxes, painter to patch walls in Segundo's room and paint. I mean, they each have more work to do beyond that (we needed a few fans installed, some wiring replaced, the entire interior of the house needs to be painted, save our bedroom and the bathrooms), but those things really have to happen before the baby comes. Need a ceiling fan for SIDS prevention, can't put a baby in a room with giant holes in the walls.

In spite of dire news about the economy, and its impact on tradespeople, this has proven to be less than simple. The painter told me, back in December, that he hoped to be ready for us in mid-January. Then he got swallowed by a whale or kidnapped by Somali pirates or something, because he vanished and isn't returning calls. Fantastic, since it's now nearing the END of January, and I'm sure anyone ELSE I call will tell me they need a few weeks notice themselves. Okay. We got a similar answer from the electrician, who called last week and pushed his start date back to January. Then, he surprised us monday night by saying he could squeeze us in on tuesday. Hurrah!

All told, we needed the electrician to replace the wiring for the fixture in the front hall, replace the living room fan (there was already a fan, so we hoped it would be straightforward)(foreshadowing!!), put a ceiling fan in the kitchen (replacing a huge, ugly fluorescent light fixture, expected that to be problematic), and hang a fan in the third bedroom (also expect this to be problematic, as I am 99% sure that when he was out replacing all the OTHER wiring two years ago, he said there was no fan box in that room.) But! We can hope for the best, right?

So the electrician and his assistant showed up yesterday and asked where I wanted them to start. STUPIDLY, instead of telling him to do Segundo's room first, I told him, ohhh, whatever you think! So, they got to work on the first floor. To make a long story short (too late!), he replaced the wiring in the front hall, which necessitated replacing the wiring for the porch light (same lines). Porch light couldn't be put back up, wires too frayed. New light for front hallway missing parts. Kitchen? Disaster. Like absolutely everything else in the house, the prior owners did a half-assed job of hanging the fluorescent fixture, and there was nothing on which to anchor a fan. He had to cut a big hole in the ceiling, put up a special brace, and the fan can't be hung til the painter comes out to patch the ceiling. I told both the electrician, and his assistant, numerous times, that I was sure there was no fan box in the third bedroom and surely we would have the same situation. (more foreshadowing!!) In the meantime, I took Grace out to my parents' house for her nap, since there was too much noise at the house for her to sleep. Stephen, who had slept one hour in the prior 24 (again, noise) ran to Lowe's for ANOTHER light fixture, and stayed home while they got to work on the living room fan.

Grace fell asleep in the car on the way to my parents' house and didn't nap. But then, you knew that, didn't you?

The fan in the living room took three and a half hours to replace, because the previous owners did a half-assed job. But then, you knew that, didn't you?

So, after I gave up on G ever napping, we drove home...at which point she fell asleep in the car and I let her snooze for half an hour. I came in the house and Stephen said the electricians would be back after the painter came and patched the ceiling in the kitchen. But...but...what about Segundo's room? I told them no less than three times that there's no fan box in there either, and we'll probably have to have that ceiling patched, too!

And simultaneously, all the blood in both our bodies poured into the frustration overload centers of our brains and we died.

But, see, it all works out, because this morning? I went into the first floor bathroom? Where they didn't even DO ANY WORK, and found that the exhaust fan no longer works, and neither do any of the outlets. Stephen checked the fuse box and none of the circuits had popped. He reset them anyway, just to see if it helped. No dice. So hey, now they have to come back sooner anyway!

I know my frustration tolerance is lower than usual when I'm pregnant, but I'm also pretty sure the universe is fucking with me a little bit.

Also? OH MY GOD THIS HOUSE.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Me Importa

Since I don't want to get dooced, all I'm gonna say is that today tested me. And also my prefrontal cortex, which was required to light up and scream "Stop it stop it stop it DO NOT ACTUALLY SAY THAT OUT LOUD" more times than I can count. My point? I pulled into the garage, pissed off and frazzled and just totally spent.

As I walked to the house, muttering to myself, I heard a loud banging. I looked up at the kitchen window, and saw a tiny form, bouncing up and down. Gracie. Looking like she was on a trampoline, she was so excited. Waving both hands. Running over to the back door. Knocking on the window and waving at me.

You know what, work? You pay the bills. But you don't matter. Not even a little bit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Quite So Different Anymore

let's just cut to the chase here...

32 weeks with Gracie:


32 weeks with Segundo:


It's the first time I've looked at the pictures and thought they didn't look all that different- and my back isn't nearly as lean as it was at this time with Grace, which is probably due to my steady diet of chocolate-covered Joe-Joes, fried mushrooms, and homemade toffee, and the significant reduction in running. Duly noted. I think the bump is finally bigger than it was last time, too. BUT- I usually take these pics around mid-day, and I took that picture at the end of the day, when I'm all bloated and huge.

...and I'm HOPING that also explains THIS:



because SERIOUSLY. I have two months left. My belly button canNOT be that far out there already. That is a very serious issue. I may need to redo this tomorrow and see if that's any better, because GRRRR.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Ideal Sport

Gracie's behavior lately has been less than pleasant. To put it mildly. This should come as no surprise- she's a woman of extremes, so why should the terrible twos be any different? It feels like every day is a series of battles and tantrums and general unpleasantness. I really do think she's going through a growth spurt, because she's also been eating like a 14-year-old boy and taking 3-hour naps, which, seriously? GRACE? I had to stop myself from holding a mirror in front of her face to make sure it would fog up the first few times she did that. (Although, for the record, the powers she has possessed since infancy remain sharp, and she only takes said marathon naps when I am too amped up to nap myself. If I even look at a blanket, or think about assuming a horizontal position, she instantly changes course for a 1-hour nap. Kid'z got skillz.) Anyway, my POINT is, I know she has reasons for her behavior, both developmental and probably physiologic, too.

I also keep forgetting about one big factor- outside time. Gracie's favorite thing in the world is running around the backyard, digging in the dirt, carrying rocks around, chasing Sam- you name it. Breathing fresh air and burning off energy. But lately? It is just too damn cold. I can't do it. It's different when there's snow on the ground. It's hard to feel TOO cold when you're watching someone make their first snow angel.


But all the snow melted last week, so it's just frigging COLD outside.

We do lots of stuff inside- kicking balls, riding her cars back and forth in the kitchen, blowing bubbles inside...but it's not the same. I've been racking my brain, trying to think of something, ANYTHING we can do to pass the time, burn off energy, and cut through the boredom (the biggest trigger for rotten behavior). Today, I was sitting on the couch, pouting and whining and being a baby, and complaining to Stephen that swimming starts again today. That I hate swimming, it's an even bigger pain in the winter, but Gracie loves it so we just do it.

...Right. Look, I never said I was SMART.

We have a new teacher this session. She's no Coach Kim, but she'll be okay. And Grace? Oh wow. I thought Grace was going to lose her mind. I can't remember the last time I saw her so happy and excited and ZOMG SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH!!!!

She was a little angel for the rest of the evening.

One of the docs I work with is one of six kids. They were all swimmers- his mom, who was clearly a genius, always said it was the ideal sport, because at the end of the day, they were all clean and tired.

Add well-behaved to the list. thank GOD.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Extreme Home Makeover: Carpet Edition

When we moved in to this house, one of the things we knew we absolutely had to do was address the upstairs floors. Since they were unfinished hardwood when we moved in, the initial plan was to finish the floors. After living here awhile, we realized that A)WOW, plaster walls echo like CRAZY, B) it's kinda cold in Chicago, and C) we are not going to live in this house forever so it's stupid to spend all that money and deal with the massive headache of moving out for like, a WEEK, while the floors are done. So we decided to carpet. Between work and Gracie and life in general, it always just seemed like too daunting of a task, so we've lived in this house for the last two years with unfinished hardwood floors. It's a pretty gross look, especially when you have pets, and not very comfortable either. Finally, with Segundo on the way, we just had to deal with it. And seriously oh my god I am so annoyed that we waited so long. It is like a different house up there. I can't get over how much brighter it is with beige carpet, as opposed to dark, blah floors, and everything just looks a thousand times neater.

The only picture I have of those disgusting floors is from Grace's room, right when we moved in, before she was even born, so the comparison here is a bit unfair. It's kind of like those makeovers they'd do in Seventeen magazine, where they'd take the before picture of the model with no makeup at all, her hair hanging by her face, harsh fluorescent lighting and the world's biggest pout, and then make her over and photograph her smiling in soft light. I mean, I get that. But still, you get the idea:


Ridiculous, right? There's also the added bonus of the new carpet smell, making me feel like we just moved into some swank gut-rehab, instead of still living in our same old house.

Next up: the hideous paint job. Don't ask me why we've lived so long with oppressively blood-red walls in the front and upstairs hallway and puke green walls in the kitchen for as long as we have. The reasons are the same as the carpet, though I will likely kick myself just as hard afterwards for not biting the bullet and doing it sooner.