Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Linky loo.

Did ya'll see this?!

Starbucks will offer free Wi-Fi.

Wh, wh, what? It's like my last post totally changed the world! I swear, I did not get paid for writing that. Although, hello, I totally would have if anyone had offered. Seriously. Anyone? Hook a mama up!

(Thanks for the link, Kate!)

And speaking of work...

I started illustrating another book! It's coming along much faster than my last endeavor and, as a friend of ours pointed out when he came over to watch basketball the other night, has somehow NOT taken over the rest of our house (or our lives). He honestly seemed shocked that I was working on a project and our house still looked like a sanitary place to live. He and his wife came over one night while I was working on Christmastime for Me and that was definitely not the case. The living room floor was piled high with whatever Liam had been entertaining himself with, the kitchen counters were stacked with dirty dishes, I was wild-eyed and wearing 3 day old clothes, and the entire house was covered with tiny bits of paper. They got a peak at my insanity and it wasn't pretty.

I can assure you, I'm being much more reasonable with this project. I've yet to miss a meal or neglect my child, I still manage to shower and leave the house, and I get plenty of sleep each night no matter what. My partner, Finn, is a stickler for balance. And yet, the work is still clicking right along!

Check out this other great link someone shared with me this morning:

Pregnant? Enjoy free frozen yogurt on us!

Wahoo! On a day like today that is so damn hot I can't even get near a window without wilting, free frozen yogurt might be one of the only things that could possibly lure me out of the air conditioning. That and the pool. Although, after it got shut down yesterday because of an "incident" WHILE WE WERE IN IT, I'm not quite as excited to lather on the sunscreen and jump in. No one likes a poop in their pool.

(Thanks for the heads up on the frozen yogurt, Sue!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Working girl.

I am sitting in Starbucks right now, pretending to be someone I'm not. The person I'm pretending to be is like a regular here. She spends several dollars on a cup of coffee all the time. She has her own coffee at home. Plenty of it. She just woke up this morning with a hankering for some mediocre (but scalding hot) coffee in a paper cup. A paper cup with a message. She appreciates a drink she can read. Who doesn't?

She is not at all amused by the continuously long line of professional coffee drinkers who seem to be ordering their morning beverage in a new and fascinating language. An iced tall dry Americana. Dry? And what's up with that water? It looks like it came from a tap but that woman just paid good money for it. Is it magic water? Dry water? Whatever it is, no one seems the least bit fazed by it. Or excited about it.

Especially not me.

The person I'm pretending to be this morning is much too busy working to even notice such things. This is most certainly not the first time she has lugged her extraordinarily heavy laptop into a public place to get some work done. She does this sort of thing all the time. It helps her focus - the jazz music and people watching and uncomfortable wooden chairs. Not to mention the endless supply of caffeine. Like life blood to a writer like her. This place really is like her home away from home. She affectionately refers to it as "her office". As often as possible. Whether or not it makes sense in conversation. "Oh, I love basketball! I didn't get to watch any this morning though because I was at the office. Just working away on my laptop, all jacked up on Wi-Fi and dry coffee!"

And speaking of Wi-Fi.

Can anyone tell me how the hell that's supposed to work? Seriously. I'm trying my best to pretend to be a busy pretentious writer but without the actual Internet to distract and convince me, it's not an easy charade. I mean, I'm "blogging" in Microsoft Word for godsake. And my coffee? Just a normal cuppa joe. I may have even said "medium" when I ordered it. What a sham.

A normal person would just ask the barista man for help but I hate to interrupt him to point out how stupid I am. Besides, he's neck deep in a conversation with Miss Vandy Pants about the small art school he went to and how he misses riding his motorcycle to Santa Barbara to visit his girlfriend. Those really were the days, weren't they? The summer of '69 and all that. He may be inappropriately old for this conversation but he's more than making up for it with enthusiasm and thoughtfully designed facial hair. I'm pulling for him. I really am. But there's no way in hell I'm asking him how to use my laptop in a public place. If anyone should know how to do that, it's someone like me. Or, at least the me I'm pretending to be.

The real me thinks this coffee is gross. But our Costco can of grounds ran out yesterday and after skipping my morning cup on Monday for my glucose screening, I know better than to face the day without a little bit of caffeine. Besides, this Starbucks is right next to Liam's new preschool where I dropped him off for the third (successful!) time this morning. With him doing his own thing for the next 5 hours, I feel it's my responsibility to do something I can't normally do. Like sit somewhere other than home "on my laptop" and work without interruption. But, there are way more distractions here than there are at home. No one is trying to engage with me directly which is nice but there are so many people to watch and stories to make up. This is like heaven and hell for a people watcher like me! Plus, you know, the whole Wi-Fi situation. Not to mention I am sticky with sunscreen from getting Liam ready for school and I have to pee. Bad. Do I pack up my stuff to go to the bathroom or leave it here unattended? I should know this stuff by now. I really should. It's 2010. Like 10 years after most people have taken their maiden laptop voyage. I'm feeling like an old dog who's not in the mood to learn a new trick. I just want to gnaw on my bone and growl if anyone gets too close to my corner. I think I'll pack up my stuff and hit the john. If I want to sit down again to choke back the rest of this coffee, there's plenty going on around here to keep me entertained without the pretend Internet. And if all else fails, at least I've got my cup to read.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Even though I know it's totally asking for trouble, I'll go ahead and say I've had almost NO icky side effects this pregnancy. Sure, I sweat through the last half of Sex and the City 2 like an overstuffed pig and have to eat dinner like Al Roker post gastric bypass if I don't want to spend the rest of the night making fat person noises every time I try to move, but in the grand scheme of things that could be happening, I feel like one lucky duck (oh, if only you could see me waddle... zinger!).

Of course, I'm well aware that this final stretch is not exactly a down hill journey. At this point in my first pregnancy I most likely said some similarly ignorant things. I know for sure I told the receptionist at my office, "I haven't gotten stretch marks at all!" And then a few weeks later I was standing in the office kitchenette making yet another afternoon snack (those 45 pounds weren't going to gain themselves!), when the receptionist passed by and said (way louder than she needed to), "Ooh, look! You did get stretch marks!" Evidently my massive tum-tum had turned my maternity top into a belly shirt. And it wasn't even casual Friday!

29 weeks.

There is one thing I've been dealing with this pregnancy that was never an issue with my first. It could be the difference between having a baby in the summer instead of the winter or simply a product of my environment. It's nothing major but strikes me as funny because it's one of those things people told me would never happen with a second pregnancy. It happens a lot with a first but when it's your second, you just don't have time for such things - you have a child to take care of!

I'm talking, of course, about pregnancy narcolepsy.

I'm telling you - anytime I stop moving for 5 minutes or more, I totally fall asleep. Daytime, nighttime, after getting a full 9 hours, in the middle of a conversation - you name it. Fortunately my current lifestyle is fairly conducive to this. My first pregnancy was spent in an office where napping in the middle of the day was sort of frowned upon. But now, I'm at home with Liam who is more than happy to let me nap for an hour or so while he watches a show or has a little alone time in his room. I know what you're thinking - That Liam is a freak of nature! There is no way you'll get this lucky with number two. Well, let's just wait and see, shall we. I mean, you were wrong about the napping thing. Maybe you're on a roll?

30 weeks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kids say the darndest things.

Me: Liam, guess what? When I was at the baby doctor today, she could feel the baby's head and it's right down here. Right where it's supposed to be.

Liam: That's great, Mama!

Me: (semi-confused, wondering if I had talked to him about the difficulties a breech baby might mean) Thanks, buddy.

Liam: I'm glad everything is okay because I love you and I don't want you to die.

Me: (What the heck?! Did someone talk to my kid about maternal morality rates?) Oh, honey, don't worry. I'm not going to die until I'm much, much older. Remember?

We've talked a lot about death in the last 7 months. And not just because of Cloey. His fascination came many months before we were anywhere near ready to admit that was a conversation we'd need to have. Maybe it's normal preschool curiosity but I think it has something to do with wanting to understand the full picture. The circle of life, if you will.

As soon as we told him I was pregnant, he was full of questions. First and foremost, he wanted to know how the baby was going to get out. I gave him the best explanation I could muster. "Believe it or not, buddy, the baby is going to come out of my vagina. Crazy right? You know how you have a hole for peeing and a hole for pooping? Well, girls have three holes - one for peeing, one for pooping and one for making babies. When our baby's ready, he'll come out my baby-making hole!"

I don't know why, but he wasn't quite satisfied. It was like he wanted to actually see the hole. So on a whim I showed him (no, not my baby-making hole - gross!) a few select scenes from the documentary The Business of Being Born (great flick, by the way). I first chose a birth where the mother was lying on her side, dressed from the waist up. She moaned a little and the midwife plopped a squirmy wet baby on her chest. Liam was not impressed. "I couldn't even see anything!" So I fast-forwarded until I found a more graphic (but very peaceful) birth. The fully naked mother was squatting and moaning while the midwife was shining a flashlight on the baby coming out. It was a great birth and totally satisfied Liam's curiosity. Although, ever since watching that scene he can't help but mime a squatting woman in labor anytime he asks about me getting the baby out.

It didn't take long before he wanted to know how the baby got in. It's a natural progression of curiosity, sure, but we like to blame our friend Sean for planting the seed. See, anytime Liam would "tell Sean the good news" that there was a baby in my belly (he did this with everyone we saw for the first several months), Sean would say in a panic, "What?! Your mama ate a baby?" It didn't take long for Liam to put two and two together: Well, I know my mama didn't eat a baby. That's just crazy talk. But if she didn't eat it, how the heck did it get in there?

Like any good parents of our generation, Bill and I stalled, buying just enough time to simultaneously Google what to tell a 3 year old who wants to know how babies are made. Our search delivered the same results: Tell the child that the mommy has an egg and the daddy has a seed and when the egg and the seed come together, a baby starts to grow. We were both thinking, Yeah right! Like that's gonna do the trick. But we followed the internet's advice and figured, When he wants to know more, we'll tell him more.

Believe it or not he was perfectly satisfied with the seed and egg business. Score! He shifted his curiosity temporarily to adoption (perhaps the scene from that movie didn't sit so well...) and soon after that, death.

I don't recall anything out of the ordinary happening - no shows or conversations or funerals he would have been witness to - yet all of a sudden he was completely obsessed. Night after night we would read him his bedtime stories and sing him his songs and then sit and talk about death and dying until he was too tuckered out to ask another question. We were as honest as possible, giving straight forward answers when we could (Every living thing will die. You will die, I will die, Dada will die, Sia will die...) and shrugging our shoulders when we didn't know what else to do (I don't know if it will hurt - no one who died ever came back to tell us about it...Some people believe you go to heaven, some people believe you come back as something else, some people believe you just die - no one really knows for sure...). He would surprise unsuspecting baristas and babysitters with stuff you just don't expect to hear coming from a 3 year old's mouth. "Guess what?" "What, sweetie?" "We're all going to die."

And then, just as suddenly as his obsession had started, it was over. He hadn't so much as mentioned death in months. Until today.

Liam: But Mama, even if you don't die until you're really really old, I still don't want you to die. Because if you die and Dada dies (wiping his eyes, trying really hard not to cry), I'll be all alone. I don't want to be alone.

Me: Oh, buddy. You don't have to worry about that. Daddy and I will be like a hundred when we die which means you'll be in your 70s. Can you believe it? You'll probably have a wife and some kids and maybe even some grandkids by then. Plus, you'll always have your brother. You will not be alone. I promise.

Liam: But even if you're a hundred, I still don't think we should go one at a time. I think we should all three go together. Like if you die, then Dada dies, I want to die right after that.

Me: (What?!) Let's just play it by ear, okay? Now go get your swimsuit, we're going to the pool.

I mean I love my kid more than anything but there is just no way I'm making a suicide pact with a four year old. If it really means that much to him, I'm sure he can get his little brother on board after he comes out (picture me squatting while saying that last bit, my voice strained like I'm pushing really, really hard). That's what siblings are for, right?