Saturday, May 31, 2008

Of Glucose and Old Friends

Ugh. I have diabetes. Well, gestational diabetes at least. All I know is that after 36 hours of crying, I have learned finally that I can actually eat enough to fill me up, and that my baby is not already all fucked up. This one, like the last, will have to be all fucked up slowly, through my parenting skills and not my incubating skills.

How did I get diabetes? It doesn't run in my family that I know of, except that apparently my father's grandfather got Type 2 in his 60s or something. But I mean, I'm relatively thin (always had a good BMI), and I don't live off junk food. I like to snack, sure, but I've never had a real big sweet tooth. So, why am I one of the 5% of pregnant women to get gestational diabetes? I always figured people got it because they ate lots of sugar. Now I can't have spaghetti or anything like that, and I LOVE spaghetti. I have charts stuck to the fridge and cabinet doors telling me what I can eat, when I can eat it, and how much I can have. And I slept in today which screwed me all up. I missed breakfast and my morning snack so I kind of had to put it with my lunch and then I'll have 2 afternoon snacks or something. It's confusing. And whoever decided that one slice of bread was a serving?! Who eats one slice of bread? Have the diabetes people never seen a sandwich?!

In other, more cheerful, news: Ryan is ten. Her party was on Saturday but her actual birthday was yesterday. An old friend, someone I hadn't seen since my "gay days", stopped by while in town last night. Maggie used to babysit when Ryan was a toddler and hung out here because it was a more gay-friendly environment than her parents' houses, but I hadn't seen her in at least 4 years. She grew up and found her own life, and I ended up fated to be monogamously hetero, at least till death do us part. (Who knows what'll happen in my next life?) Anyway, it was nice to see her again, and she stuck around to visit for at least an hour. I, of course, had to brag up Ryan, mainly because it's what Mom does. But when I mentioned the Wii savings plan Ryan is working toward, Maggie ran out the door, only to return with two twenties! She said she wanted to see Ryan color the thermometer up to $100, which it is now past, by $1.20. For a kid who's only been saving for a couple weeks, Ryan's done pretty well for herself. But I still feel like maybe Maggie thought I was dropping a hint or something, even though I said more than once that I had NOT meant anything by mentioning the Kool-Aid stand, which is how the bragging started.

Whoops. Two o'clock. Time for my snack. I think I will have crackers today, and save the granola bar and yogurt for bedtime. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll lose those fat pockets my ass has developed. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm a rhinopotomus! And somehow, my ass is getting square too.
Wish me luck; I get my RhoGam shot and take my glucose test tomorrow. Yay. A stab in the butt and an hour long urge to vomit, all in one day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reasons Not To Nominate Hillary

Or, how she's made herself look bad during the primary races.

  1. She played the gender card, way back when there were more candidates. I don't care if they did ask you all the hard questions first or scrutinize your answers more, you don't claim sexism. You are trying to get the hardest most-scrutinized job in the country and all you've done is prove that you will blame the boys for everything. Maybe what you said was true, but you need to present yourself as a woman capable of working with that reality, not just cry out against it. My nine year old knows not to cry out that "It's not fair," because I'll just point out that life isn't fair.
  2. She let Bill go out and run his mouth and didn't shut him up in time. The first time he said something stupid and controversial, she should have disclaimed it in front of a bank of reporters, with him looking thoroughly chastened behind her. People worried about having Bill back in the White House and she needed to show that electing her would be letting HER run the show, not Bill. Being unable, or unwilling, to stop him as he roamed the country doing damage and garnering attention only proved that she can't run the show, that he will take over no matter what she tries to do. There's a reason potential first ladies stand behind and slightly off to the side of their husbands, smiling and clapping quietly; it's because people want to know who would be running things if the candidate were elected.
  3. She tried to claim her years as first lady as personally presidential experience, and then refused to claim Bill's mistakes along with his credits. It's hard enough to run as an incumbent for a VP (remember Gore?) but to do it when your title was one you literally slept your way into, and which the American people still feel is a mainly decorative one that Jackie O did better, is almost impossible. If you're going to take credit for Bill's great legacy, then you have to accept NAFTA too. Call it a mistake, apologize for it, and then claim to have learned from it and use that education to illustrate why experience is necessary, and that Obama doesn't have it. Also, after letting Bill shoot his mouth off and grandstand like he has, she needs to downplay the role of the president's spouse, not make it out to be an elected position with real responsibilities. People don't want Bill to have real responsibilities, and they don't want him elected to the White House again.
  4. She reacted to the "pimping Chelsea out" comment and swore not to appear in any MSNBC debates after it. During what is basically a months long job interview, she showed that she has a very glaring weak spot. We don't need a president with that kind of gut-level reaction to anything. We are in a war with people who play dirty and she is running on the premise that she will end that war. When she called herself a "mother first", she created real concern that if a bin Laden tape surfaced insulting her daughter, that she would be unable to think straight, and presidents need to be able to always think straight. She should have expressed her disgust with the comment, called it a low blow, and then refused to acknowledge it further.
  5. She ran the 3:00 a.m. phone call commercial. Again, she's supposed to be running as the peaceful candidate, so let McCain's team use the scare tactics. Her target audience, democrats, are sick of the GOP trying to constantly convince the American people that an attack is just around the corner and that we need a war monger to prevent it. She shouldn't have run a republican sounding ad, especially not when people are so sick of republicans.
  6. She brought up race, at all. People have repeatedly shown that they don't like the mere mention of race in this election. The Muslim rumors, the race issues, Obama has successfully brushed them off for months as being unworthy of replies or even contempt, and when the Wright scandal came up he gave a speech addressing racial tension that earned him new fans. So pointing out that she polls better with whites was a bad move, not to mention how she phrased it.
  7. She doesn't know when to back away. She could have run in 2012 or 2016, if she'd been graceful with her defeat this time. But now she's a sore loser. She's the runner-up standing behind the beauty queen who, instead of clapping and congratulating the inner like the other girls do, folds her arms over her chest and glares. She's coming off as increasingly desperate and pathetic. Ever see the Friends episode where Rachel is so intent on impressing a man that she comes to a party in her high school cheerleading uniform, because it had never failed her yet? Yeah, that's Hillary and her yellow suit.
  8. She pointed out that pledged delegates aren't contractually obligated to vote for the elected candidate. Sure it's true, and the rule exists for a reason, but you don't point it out and imply that delegate stealing is an option you're willing to explore. The rule is there fro recounts, in case of a tie so that the delegates can be swayed rather than having the entire country engaged in another year of voting, not so that you can play dirty to win.
  9. She ran in Michigan, campaigned in Florida, and is now trying to get the delegates seated for her. Michigan and Florida were warned and knew the consequences of going against the DNC. They broke the rules and now they are paying the price. Arguing that rule-breaking shouldn't have consequences is not a wise action for the wife of the guy impeached for immorality. As for the delegates, Clinton's name was the only one on the ballot in Michigan so there's no logical way those delegates should be seated in her favor, and Obama didn't campaign in Florida at all, which proved not that he didn't care about the voters but that he was willing to play by the rules. She claims that voters in those 2 states will be disenfranchised if their votes don't count, while at the same time she makes it known that delegates don't have to go where the votes tell them to anyway!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Begging For Ideas

When Tom and I registered at Toys R Us last month we found the PERFECT stroller/car seat combo. It was ROAD CONE ORANGE! It was also $160, and no one I know was going to spend that kind of money on me.

So this weekend when Tom found out it was the big city-wide garage sale, he went nuts. He was out of the house and up the street by 8:30 am. He didn't even stick around long enough to help Ryan set up the Kool-Aid stand she had planned. (She made almost $50 selling kool-aid and cupcakes, and decided to put it toward the Wii I won't get her.) He called a couple hours later and asked if he should get an Eddie Bauer stroller/car seat combo for $50, and I had to say yes.

It's black and gray, very adult and sophisticated, and boring. I like it, but it must be improved. So I am making an open call for help. Any ideas are welcome. How do I customize the stroller? I want to put one of those bicycle bells on it ( Cha-Ching) and maybe handlebar streamers, but other than that I have no idea. So I'm begging; help me pimp the stroller.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Baby's Playlist

Songs that make the baby dance:

  • Rufus Wainwright: Across The Universe
  • The Ramones: We're A Happy Family
  • Iggy Pop: Lust For Life
  • Elvis Presley: A Little Less Conversation
  • Fleetwood Mac: Second Hand News
Songs that make the baby sucker punch me in the bladder:

  • Digital Underground: The Humpty Dance
  • Sarah Brightman: Ave Maria
  • Oingo Boingo: Weird Science
  • Robin Sparkles: Sandcastles In The Sand
Songs that make the baby play dead:

  • The Ramones: Teenage Lobotomy
  • P.W.E.I.: Defcon 1
  • Faith No More: We Care A Lot
  • Lit: My Own Worst Enemy
  • Weezer: Buddy Holly

My baby has strange taste in music. I can only assume that the more subtle notes are lost somewhere in the abdominal wall.

Could I Even Produce A Normal Baby Anyway?

My Iconic Cousin recently alerted me to the possibility that we may be missing some universal brain enzyme, some protein that makes people value fitting in and being "normal". This had never occurred to me, honestly. I mean, I don't really like to be thought completely socially unacceptable; I do shave my legs even though I hate to and see no reason for it except to avoid harsh comments and ridicule, and for the last year or so I've consistently worn a bra into public despite finding them to be very uncomfortable. I think perhaps I have, at most, a slight case of Asperger's. Like maybe I have Asperger's from before it was called Asperger's, back when it was just considered socially retarded rather than actually suffering from a syndrome. But whatever it is, syndrome or chemical deficiency, it has apparently affected my maternal instincts.

The pregnancy boards are full of posts from worried mothers looking to have their minds put at ease. Many of these women have had bad news thrown at them: holes in miniature hearts, hydrocephalic babies, severe clefts in fetal palates, and I feel so bad for them and understand their concerns. But then there are the ones I don't understand, like the lady freaking out because her ultrasound showed a possible extra finger. First off, have you ever seen an ultrasound? Half the time they can't tell a penis from an umbilical chord and they're doing finger-counts on a woman who is only 5 months pregnant? Second, it's just a finger! It's not like the kid will be born predestined to be run through by Inigo Montoya! Sure, it'll be hard to buy gloves, but how hard can it be to make a freaking glove? Trace the hand on fabric and sew the outline shut. And in some cultures people with extra fingers are worshipped. I think it would be cool to have a baby with an extra finger(s) or toe(s). Maybe not one with an extra boob or eye or something, but how many people do you meet where you would even notice anyway? I don't count people's fingers or toes so unless it was an extra thumb or if they had their flip-flop strap moved over and I happened to glance down, I wouldn't even spot it. But if it were my baby and it were a functioning digit, not just a floppy piece of meat to get caught in the play-pen netting, I wouldn't have it removed.

I don't really like the idea of performing unnecessary surgeries on babies, especially not cosmetic ones. For one thing, there are risks to putting a baby under anesthesia. How many times have you read or heard about parents who had their conjoined twins separated just so they could have a "normal" life, even if it meant they would be on dialysis or in wheelchairs forever, only to have one die from the surgery? And I have seen enough documentaries to know that if a baby is born with genitals that look to be neither here nor there, that most of the time doctors recommend rebuilding them into whatever's easiest to make with the tissue they have, regardless of chromosomes or reproductive organs. Micro-penis and undescended testicles, or enlarged clitoris and fused labia? The diagnosis often depends on what would be easiest to sculpt, with a warning from the doctor that "these babies have a 50% higher chance of being gay later on", which is code for the fact that doctors have a 50% chance of being wrong right now. I say let the kid grow up and tell you what they are and then go from there.

Yes, fix a cleft palate. Fix bowel obstructions and cleft palates and heart defects, sure. Install shunts for hydrocephalus and feeding tubes if needed and remove parasitic twins, of course. But when it's just to make a kid "normal", just to try to ensure that your baby meets your standards and expectations of what a baby "should" be, then I think you need therapy more than your kid needs surgery because you are just setting yourself up for disappointment and your kid for the pain of never living up to what you want. Because NO child will ever live up to all your dreams and wants for it. They might have a learning disorder that keeps them from getting into the college you picked for them, they might be uncoordinated and unable to fulfill your dreams of athletic achievement, they might be gay and challenge your visions of the perfect wedding and grandchildren. But certainly, at the very least, they are going to one day look at you in all seriousness, with venom in their gaze, and tell you they hate you. And if this child's purpose, surgically reinforced in infancy, is to reflect well upon you and live up to your goals rather than their own, then your world will shatter at that moment.

Really, though. Removing extra fingers? Lasering birthmarks away? What's next, nose jobs and hair plugs for babies too?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We live in a world (or at least a culture) of abbreviations. Some are universal but certain subcultures have their own too. My MIL died so DH and I left DD with his MIL and went to stay at my SIL's for a couple days. (mother in law, dear husband, dear daughter, sister in law) I happen to have learned in my lifetime certain abbreviations that perhaps aren't so incredibly mainstream, like glbt (gay lesbian bisexual transgendered), ftm (female to male transgendered), mtf (male to female transgendered), msm (men who have sex with men, even if they claim to be straight), wsw (women who have sex with women, even if they're straight too), you get the idea. Also there are certain abbreviations that most people can readily identify, like VD (old school), STD (current), STI (European, the I stands for infection), AIDS, HIV, HPV (thank you Gardisil for making that one common knowledge), etc etc etc. And of course, once you know what an abbreviation means, that's a word as far as you're concerned. I'm a SAHM (stay at home mom) and I would never read that to mean anything else, would never think perhaps that someone was claiming to be stuck alone hunting moose. Tom was OTR (an over the road truck driver) and he never once worried that people would think he was an overtime rancher. So this brings me to my latest claim to idiotic fame.

I'm pregnant, and even though it seems like everyone I know capable of being pregnant is as well I still feel the need to occasionally visit pregnancy websites. I can't help it. I want to know what is forming or developing this week and how other women due around the same time are doing. So I go to these sites and sometimes I post or sometimes I just lurk, whatever, and I've gotten pretty good with the lingo. GD is gestational diabetes, LMP is last menstrual period, BF is breast feed and FF is formula feed. But for the longest time, I thought I was on the most progressive pregnancy board available, due to the relatively impressive number of FTMs posting. There was even a thread devoted to pregnant FTMs, which I never read because I don't plan to change my sex. At first I thought this guy was online, until I realized that there was more than one person using the term. Fine, I'm an idiot. And as you've no doubt guessed long before I did, FTM means first time mother. And this isn't the first time I've gotten caught being an idiot with this pregnant lady shorthand. It took me a week and a half to figure out why one lady wanted her boss to give her STD*.
*short term disability pay, for being put on bed rest.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm a symptom

So Tom tells me today that he isn't as superficial as he used to be, because he can see all the weight he's gained and he thinks he doesn't have any room to talk. He tells me this to make me feel better about the fact that my ass cheeks have grown their own ass cheeks. I laughed. I said, "So you're telling me that your attraction to me is directly related to your repulsion for yourself, that your love for me is a symptom of low self esteem?" He laughed too and complimented me on my ability to twist anything to make him sound bad. Well, I try.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Funerals and Missing Dogs

Tom's (estranged) mother died last week so we drove out to Omaha Thursday evening and came back Saturday evening. I'm not sure who the drive was harder on, me with a sore back or him having to pull over for my bladder every hundred miles. But we made it and we saw people we don't often get to see and there were no huge fights despite having six sibling, their significant others, and their children all in the same room. It was all very "Big Chill" and it wasn't until we crossed the Nebraska/Iowa state line on the way home that I realized I hadn't even gotten a Runza.

We came into town, picked Ryan up at my mother's, and came home to find two very lonely dogs happy to see us. We don't know where Cheyenne went or how she got out or how long she was gone before we got here, but she's missing. I've called the police and Animal Control and tomorrow I'll put ads in the local papers, but if she got in a fight or ran into traffic, I've just lost my puppy.

Tom had to go to Minnesota for a job and I'm not dealing well with the separation. I had really gotten used to the idea of him being home at night. Maybe it's hormones but I'm feeling really mushy and clingy lately. Yeah, I'll blame it on hormones.

Went to the greenhouse today for the first time this year. Ryan and I bought some seeds for her garden and she's pretty impatient to plant them, but we have to wait for Tom to come back and rent a roto-tiller first. Also I bought some strawberry plants for the barrel planter and a little spruce tree for the front yard. it'll be fine in a container until we find a permanent house someday; it's small and grows slow. Ryan named it Grasshopper Spruce. I wonder why she names the plants when half the time I kill them. Poor Warden Shmuley. Well, it's time for me to get to bed now. It's a school night and my back is screaming anyway. If any of y9ou see Cheyenne, let me know. I bitch about the dogs but I don't want to lose them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Birthed A Lab Rat

My daughter is an experiment. Scratch that. My daughter is my Grand Experiment. Maybe that sounds cold, but I think it's just honest. Every firstborn child is an experiment; you have a child and decide to test out all of your theories on how to raise a kid, with this particular kid's mental health at stake. If you're really on the ball, you realize and accept that you're not even in the business of raising a child. You're in the business of raising an adult. Children are corralled and herded, by parents and sitters and school systems. Adults are the results of the experiments and they have to be shown, somehow and by parents barely capable of it themselves, how to stick with the herd while thinking independently. It's a rough job, and you can't just scrap the experiment when it's over either.

When my daughter misbehaves, I don't spank her. If she commits a rule offense, such as being late or getting a bad grade or not cleaning her room, she gets grounded, and if it's bad enough she gets grounded to her bedroom. But if she commits an ethical offense, such as lying or cheating or gods-forbid bullying, she gets assigned a paper. So far she's only had to write 3 papers, and none really up to par seeing as how she's just a kid with little in the way of formal paper-writing training. This theory, that you can raise a better adult by assigning them anecdotal examples of their own offenses rather than using brute force or arbitrary punishments, came right out of my own head. I'm probably not the first mother to ever think of it, but I did think it up on my own nonetheless. For all I know I'm fostering a horrible distaste in schoolwork, but I honestly don't think I could do that any better than the public school system anyway. It is just part of my Grand Experiment. Also, my kid has a summer reading list, including To Kill A Mockingbird and The Picture Of Dorian Gray. And this is in addition to the vegetable garden she keeps in order to sell her wares and earn money for the county fair. I don't think every child should read Oscar Wild at age ten, but I do think more of them should. And I think that having her own little vegetable stand teaches her valuable lessons about money. Of course, last year she ended up making over a hundred dollars, so the financial burden it takes off of me during fair week is a contributing factor as well, but not the whole story. As for the books, she can read them between customers.

What makes me sad, is that the child I carry now won't be my Grand Experiment. I will have to collaborate with a fellow scientist: my husband. And he's a different sort of scientist. He feels that children should be raised with a more militaristic approach than I do, and he doesn't fell it's at all important that they learn that Napoleon was short or that Eisenhower's real first name was David or that Persephone ate half a pomegranate. I will have to share this child, and that scares the living hell out of me. In fact, it scares the living hell out of me that I am going to have to let him hold the baby, the same man who can't sit on the couch watching TV without dropping the remote.

25 weeks

I would of rather he did that then what he did do. I swear if he does it again, I'm going to loose it!

How do people who write like that ever manage to graduate middle school?!


Ahh, now that I've gotten that rant off my chest, on to my regularly scheduled post. This pregnancy is taking too long! I am 25 weeks along, which leaves 15 left. Fifteen weeks of growing and being pummelled from within and it just seems like so long. I don't think my last pregnancy took this long. I really think there's been some alteration in the Earth's rotation, causing the days and months to stretch out. Maybe something with the moon, since we work with lunar months. I know there's plenty of things I need to do before the baby is born, but none of them are things I can do now. I need to pack the hospital bag, but I can't pack the things I'll need before then. I need to set up some place for the baby to sleep, but we don't happen to have that particular furniture just yet. And I suppose there's a baby shower to be had, but I don't have anyone planning to throw me one, except Ryan and it might be a little over her head. I kind of feel like I have three months of sitting and waiting left in front of me. I'll just keep getting bigger until I become homebound and immobile, and eventually an ambulance will come and they'll haul me out through the side of the house with a crane.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Shoulda Kept Christopher A Saint

The other day I was driving along scenic I-88 and I noticed, not for the first time, a cross on the side of the road, decorated with weather beaten silk flowers. You've seen them before, the crosses nailed together as a shrine to someone who died in an auto accident. Normally I see these things and I feel a bit of sadness for whatever poor soul was flattened on the side of the road but this one got me curious.

Why is it always a cross? Why do only Christians get run over? You never see a Star of David on the side of the road surrounded by dying roses and polyester carnations. It's never a pentagram. It's always a cross. It makes me wonder; is Jesus really the way to salvation, or just the way to a tire track across your frontal lobe?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Day For Celebration


A Book Review, Of Sorts

I have recently rediscovered my local public library. When I was a kid I used to spend whole days there in the summer, but then the library moved. Now, instead of the big cozy room with dark wood shelves and a fireplace flanked by overstuffed chairs, it is a sandstone and glass monstrosity, well lit by windows and recessed fluorescent lights, with a bank of computers and no shelf higher than eye level. And a community room, complete with a kitchen which permeates the building with the smell of burnt coffee and the latest benefit pancake breakfast. It's a horrible and plastic version of what it used to be, like Kenny Rogers's face. Even the chairs in front of the new (gas or fake?) fireplace are hard and uncomfortable. And the children's section, once a room all it's own down a short flight of stairs, is now in the same atrium-like room, right next to the counter, ensuring a no-fun librarian-shushing time for all. Combine all of this with the fact that this is a small-town library with next to no selection anyway, and you'll see why it fell out of my favor for a decade or so.

But anyway, a couple weeks ago I had a hormonal breakdown and stormed out of the house in a huff. I went for a walk and ended up at the library, wondering if perhaps they might actually have Darkly dreaming Dexter in stock, a book I'd only seen the title of before. I like the show "Dexter" and hidden amidst the credits are the words "Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay", so I thought I'd check it out. It turned out that they had it, and the next 2 books in the series. The first book, although seemingly about the same thing as the television series, has pretty much been bastardized by Hollywood. Don't get me wrong, I like the show. But if you're thinking that you can just read the book to see what's going to happen next week, like I was, then just give up now. After the second murder or so, the two storylines branch off from each other in what can only be described as a T intersection. As for the next 2 books in the series, they're good, but. . . .

Book three, Dexter In The Dark, brings too much unconnected stuff into the mix for my taste. No matter how literal Lindsay has been with the Dark Passenger, one can't help but see it as either a symptom of psychosis or as a metaphor for his urges. So, for the Dark Passenger to suddenly be granted independent thought and movement, to be explained as its own self-aware and separate being, just sort of changes the premise. Now we've gone from a glimpse into the charming mind of a functioning serial killer to a supernatural ghost story. I am, however, still looking forward to Book four, and sincerely hoping while I wait that it will be more like one and two. Let three stand on its own as an aberration, not serve as a turning point. Meanwhile, I'm off to the library. I think I'll rediscover Heinlein today.