Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year end round up

So I didn't mean for my blog last night to end on such a bummer note; what happened was the keyboard thingee disappeared so I had no choice but to publish what I had. I am currently blogging via the Blogger app on my phone - don't know why I didn't think of just downloading this app first, derr!

Anyhoo, so today is a good day for reflection and looking forward. As previously noted, last year I made my Facebook status that my resolution for 2011 was to start composting. I didn't actually do this, mainly because I didn't want to shell out the dough for the materials (although I swear I will get on this this year some time). However I did make serious headway on my Super Secret Resolution, which was, of course, to have a baby. Now, I didn't actually HAVE the baby, but that would imply that I would have been successful on my first attempt in March, which if you know my history, didn't end up happening. Still, being safely in my third trimester is good enough, believe me.

So, what was accomplished in 2011? I kept my event going, for the 14th time, and survived it with morning sickness no less. I paid down some serious debt, which considering I used to be in the habit of rolling my debt into my mortgage, is a major point of pride for me. I traveled extensively with the band, even while in the middle of a miscarriage. I bought a new car which hopefully will be my car for 5-10 years. I watched my friendships change and become enriched with the news of my pregnancy. I largely overcame my rampaging jealousy of my friend, also a point of pride for me since this has been a real problem. I finally tackled some home projects which have been on the back burner since 2001. And most importantly, I shucked the need to frantically try to find a partner before it gets too late for me to have children and just went and did it on my own. The first few months was a real roller coaster of doubt and fear and disappointment, but I feel truly blessed with the positive outcome. Not everybody gets so lucky and I don't for one moment take this fact for granted.

So 2012 will be The Year Everything Changes. Even more than the year I graduated high school and started work (1990), even more than the year I moved to California (1993), even more than the year I started swing dancing (1996), even more than the year I left work to run my own business (1999). Things had been the same for so long I had begun to doubt anything would ever change. And as has always been the case in my life, change didn't fall in my lap, change had to come from tremendous effort and persistence on my part. Because of this I feel ready for it - I'm ready to take care of someone else, to make someone other than myself a priority for a while. I'm looking forward to it, actually. 2012 will definitely be a banner year around here. I wish everyone who reads this the same! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My first remote blog post!

So I am attempting to write a quick blog post on my Kindle Fire from my hotel room in Asheville. So far it is turning out to be a bit of a pain in the ass, but I don't have anything else to do so why not try?

Survived the crazy early flight yesterday, but barely. I was was picked up at 3 am, which means I had to get up at 2:30 am, which means despite my best efforts I didn't sleep a wink even though I went to bed at 9:30. About half way through the trip I wanted to jump off a cliff I needed sleep so badly; it was that awful feeling of your brain wanting to turn itself off but there's too much light/noise/activity going on to allow it. Luckily the band didn't have to play until nearly 10 so I begged off the sound check, took a good long nap in my room, and felt about 10000% better. I always say even a little sleep is better than none.

The gig went great and today was an odd day off (normally we play two nights and then home) so I went out in town a little bit and then came back to my room with the full intention of getting dressed up and going to tonight's dance...but totally lame-d out and didn't go. It has nothing to do with not feeling well or being tired; I honestly didn't feel like anyone would want to dance with me and it would make me feel bad. I always say the dance world is very similar to the dating world - it's a sea of awesome women fighting over a handful of decent guys, and when push comes to shove the youngest and cutest girls will always win. Which is not me, especially right now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(Almost) third trimester, travel, and a New Year's wish

So at about 1:30 tomorrow morning I head out to LAX for my last traveling singing gig in Asheville, North Carolina.  As I’ve repeatedly mentioned I am very nervous about how physically demanding it’s going to be – that first day is going to be brutal, what with a 5 AM flight and getting to the venue barely in time to do a sound check, put my hair in curlers, slather some red lipstick on, and then sing until 2 AM.  Unfortunately because we’re almost always going from west to east for these things, rather than spend another $500+ on an additional night’s stay at a hotel for us band people, the promoters would rather torture us with a first thing in the morning flight and having to get off the plane and play with no time to rest.  Personally, I don’t blame them – as a promoter, I’d do the same – but it does suck for us.  And especially for me, now. 

At least the next day we have off completely, which I intend to spend sleeping, and then we play again NYE and then the next day I’m home.  Honestly, with the way I feel now I’m not overly concerned – again, I’m not having any weird pains/sickness, I’m not so huge that I can’t get around easily, and I feel somewhat up to it.  The money will be great, and once I’m there it’s always a good time.  And it’s kind of bittersweet because I will, in fact, kind of miss this – as noted before, this is the LAST TIME EVER that I will travel without a child in tow or worrying about a child left behind.  I had to ditch out of three traveling gigs in early 2012 because I didn’t want to take the risk of agreeing to it now and then having to cancel at the last minute because I realized I just couldn’t handle it, etc.  So the fly-at-the-seat-of-your-pants travel thing is over for me.  And I’m ok with that, I really am.  But I felt it should at least be noted, because that’s a big change for me.

One common fantasy I have is traveling to Hawaii with the babe and either relatives or friends with kids (or not).  I can’t WAIT to sit on a beach with a fat little baby splashing his hands in the water and making rudimentary sand castles.  I was hoping to do this next fall, actually.  I’ll even go by myself if need be, although it would be nice to go with some other people.  It would be such a wonderful bookend to my sad trip last October during which my aunt died (and as you know if you know my story, started my SMC journey).  I plan on making Hawaii a big part of our lives, actually – it really is like heaven on earth, and for us Californians is literally our back yard.  Why I’ve only been there a handful of times in the nineteen years I’ve lived here I don’t know.  As long as I have Marriott points and airline miles through my credit card, I’d like to head out there with the kid at least once every couple of years, if not once a year.

So tomorrow I am 27 weeks and according to my WTE app will be entering the third trimester.  Right now I can sit here and say this pregnancy has flown by, but I’m sure there will be moments ahead where I will feel exactly the opposite!  Lately I’ve been having this feeling like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop – that things have just been going “a little too well” lately, that I feel too good and have had too few complications.  But that’s my old mentality talking there.  There’s no reason on earth why the healthy pregnancy shouldn’t continue to be – yes, even at my age.  And if something does crop up I’ll deal with it as anyone would. 

In the meantime I may head over to Anthropologie today, not necessarily to buy anything but just to look at all the pretty things.  Then drop the dog at the kennel (AKA The Bad Place) for the weekend which always breaks my heart.  Here’s wishing everyone a happy New Year, and for those struggling with infertility or planning to be an SMC, I hope 2012 is YOUR YEAR!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

There's a perfectly good knife

Went on my first hike today since pre-pregnancy.  It felt good, and I don’t think I overdid it.  Which tells me I’m probably in better shape than I thought I was – indeed, climbing the three flights of stairs to my house several times a day, although a bit tedious, is probably helping me out more than I realized.  Work out?  Who needs to work out?

Went with a friend who confessed to me that she’d just had another miscarriage – probably about her fourth in as many years.  She is 43 now and was shocked that she got pregnant at all.  But if you have lots of unprotected sex with your husband and don’t have fertility issues you’re bound to pop up pregnant now and again even at her age; and keeping the baby apparently is the problem.  She has an odd approach to this stuff that I don’t entirely understand.  She has a lot of issues with doctors and hospitals and has a sort of “everyone’s out to get me” approach to life, and so is opposed to a) fertility treatments of any kind, even progesterone to help support the pregnancy, and b) can’t seem to just tell her husband she’s done having babies.  I think like a lot of marriages, she goes through the motions of “trying” just to keep him happy (because he wants a second kid and is opposed to adoption), but lets herself miscarry over and over because deep down she just doesn’t really want a second baby.  It’s a very odd circumstance and one that’s puzzled me over the years.  But I know a lot of marriages with that sort of weird dance going on – one wants kids, the other doesn’t, and they both just smile and pretend everything’s ok – so who knows what goes on with these people?  No matter what it’s a tricky issue unless you both want two kids and then go on to have two kids with no problems.  Anything else and it gets contentious.  Yet another reason I’m glad only I get to make these decisions for myself!

She had told me she had some baby things for me…and much to my dismay she brought over giant tubs of huge plastic toys that aren’t usable until my son is about four or five years old, clothes for about that age, and a giant hiking backpack that’s about the size of my giant baby pram that also can’t be used for at least two years.  I rather sheepishly had to tell her that I have no space to store all these things for five years; I thought she’d bring over a lightweight baby stroller she’d mentioned and newborn clothes and toys and things like that, not huge things for an older child.  Honestly I didn’t want any of it.  I think she was pretty annoyed with me – she said she thought I had a big storage shed (I do, but it’s not sealed and is filthy and full wild animal poop; I have no intention of ever storing any baby stuff out there) – but I was pretty annoyed with her for dumping all this crap on me that can’t be used for five years.  I showed her the one small storage cabinet I have for all his stuff, and she sort of scoffed and said I’d better buy a storage shed.  Now, she could be on to something there, and I’m not 100% opposed to the idea.  But you know what?  I also don’t agree with keeping piles of useless shit around, and having so many mountains of giant plastic toys that your kid could never play with in a lifetime, either.  I’ve been to her house, and it’s a mountain of plastic toys strewn all over the place.  I have no intention of living like that, and I personally don’t think that’s necessary, either.  I didn’t have mountains of toys when I was a kid, nor was our house strewn.  My tactic is if it doesn’t fit in the cabinet I have then we can’t keep it.  Is that wrong?  Maybe I’ll eat these words later.  And my kid will have lots of toys to keep him educated and entertained.  But mountains?  I don’t know about that.

I feel my grandmother’s Depression practicality seeping in.  When we were kids we spent most holidays at their house in rural Connecticut, and always pitched in to help with the food preparation.  When it came time to peel the potatoes my sister and I would ask, “don’t you have a potato peeler?” and the answer always was, “there’s a perfectly good knife.”  So now whenever either of us contemplates something we don’t need, we think of that phrase.  So far the “there’s a perfectly good knife” has been my approach to baby and kid gear, which has made registering for things particularly challenging and my approach towards “things” in general pretty agonizing, as I’ve repeatedly posted about.  I’ll tell you what my hope is.  My hope is that I get a bunch of crap and get all set up, and then once the baby is here realize I kind of don’t need about 80% of it and get rid of nearly all of it.  I mean, I’m his food source (hopefully), we’re cloth diapering, he has a place to sleep and clothes to keep him warm and a way to be ported around town and a few things to stimulate his brain.  Beyond that…?  Beyond that I think there’s a perfectly good knife.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Thanks, ladies, for the recommendations about the registry – I will absolutely try that site!

Why am I blogging on Christmas day?  Because I don’t have a kid (yet).  So I thought I’d take advantage of this fact for the last time.

Got the wild hair up my ass today to attempt to bake something for dinner at TFWUMMFLMLIS’s house tonight.  Decided on peppermint meringues because I’ve always wanted to try to make meringues.  I have no idea how they’ll turn out because a) I’ve never made them before, b) I didn’t have parchment paper, c) there was so much meringue I had to put them very close together, and d) my oven runs hot, and I’m already on the lowest setting.  But I wanted to try it.  They’re super easy and fat free, so other than the sugar content they are fairly guiltless.  I plan on lots of meringue in my future if this pans out. 

Went to dinner at the A’s last night.  It’s such a pleasure to always be welcomed in the festivities of that lovely family.  They even gave me three gifts – a t shirt, a scarf, and some votive holders.  I felt like an a-hole for not bringing anything; probably what spurned the meringues today.  Well, for now at least I can use the pregnancy card, right?  My intense exhaustion from Friday night has dissipated now, thank goodness.  Yesterday my hands were swollen and I was stiff all over from cleaning and moving furniture all day.  But today I feel good (a good night’s sleep I think helped a lot).

I have to say this has been an exceptional Christmas.  Not that I don’t always enjoy Christmas, but this year there’s a pure joy for the first time since childhood – because there’s going to be a baby next year.  This is the first Christmas that I don’t have that ugly feeling of watching all the couples and all the kids and wondering how the heck I’m ever going to make some of that happen for me.  Although last year I had the plan to have a kid, I had no idea if I’d be able to pull it off, so there was a lot of fear there.  And here I am this Christmas just days shy of my third trimester, and next year I’ll have a nine month old son to share it with.  Does it get any better than this?  It really doesn’t, I have to say.

So tonight I’ll go to my friend’s house and not be jealous for once, after days and weeks of fun parties and good times with good friends.  I’m so blessed, really.  At this moment, for I believe the first time ever, I can’t complain.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time for toys and time for cheer

As promised, in bed in my jammies watching my new bedroom TV.  No good movies on and too lazy to get up and pick out a DVD, but enjoying a little true crime on the ID channel.  The only thing that would make this more complete is a Hoarders marathon.

Overdid it a bit yesterday but it was worth it.  After the painter guy finished up around 3, I spent five hours hustling to get the house in shape for a small white elephant party.  I went into full event mode – every half hour was broken down into goals: by four I want the bathroom scrubbed, house dusted, and all furniture and knick knacks put back; by four thirty I want the floors mopped and vacuumed; then lunch break, then get dressed and made up, etc etc.  In the end I got to have an hour off my feet waiting for the first guests to arrive.  It’s funny, every time I finish one of those marathon cleaning sessions I always think the same thing, “this is awesome!  I should clean more often!”  And yet this feeling fades amazingly quickly.  Anyway, despite all the stress I’d had about it over the last two weeks (worry about the paint not being done in time, the house being a mess of plaster dust, not having the tree and decorations up that I wanted, etc) the party ended up being really fun.  And it was somehow different.  Maybe it’s just because it’s Christmas and a lot of the people I’d invited hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but there was a lot of good will in the room.  And of course a lot of good will directed towards me, which I am starting to get more comfortable with.  My friends’ reactions to my pregnancy has really changed our relationships and also shed light on our relationships for the past 15 or so years – last night I couldn’t help thinking, “wow, these people really do love me!” 

It’s funny, just hours earlier the painter and I had had a discussion about this – he’s probably about my age and has a four-year-old and comes from the same 90s LA hipster background I do.  He said that having a baby will bring my friendships to a whole new level – that now so-and-so will be aunt-so-and-so or uncle-so-and-so; they become family.  I sort of knew this on some level but never really thought about it in quite that way.  Last night a couple of the moms of grown kids and I were talking and they said when they had their kids they were so isolated; none of their friends were in kid-having mode, they had no support and no network.  I can’t imagine how lonely that would feel.  Honestly had I not been aware of the potential network of supportive friends and fellow new parents around me I might have had second thoughts about doing this at all. 

Today I will attempt to make some headway with my registry, since my friend who’s doing the shower invites wants to send them next week and I figure it’s bad form to send out invites and not have the registries in place (I’m one of those psychos who wants to get on line and buy a present the day I get the invite).  I started a couple of days ago but am completely overwhelmed.  Everyone I talk to says, “if I could do my registry now instead of three years ago, it would be totally different!”.  I think what I need to do is recognize this is one of those situations in life that will just have to be flawed – I am going to register for things I don’t need, forget things I do, and end up getting things I don’t need and not getting things I do.  I should be grateful people are willing to buy me anything at all, actually!  Having to put out of pocket for an entire cloth diaper start-up kit, not to mention all the clothes/bedding/nursing stuff/furniture/toys/educational stuff/travel gear etc could be pretty devastating to me financially.  It dawned on me the other day that this could be the only shower I ever get in my life, so I’d better really treasure the moment!

Right now every muscle in my body aches from all the activity yesterday.  I guess I needn’t worry about not getting enough exercise right now, with all the stuff I’ve been doing lately.  I had a hard time sleeping because my right arm and hand kept hurting – I think it’s that pregnancy carpal tunnel I’ve heard about.  It’s ok now but my hand is pretty swollen.  Trying to drink a lot of water to mitigate that.

In the meantime been reading some blogs about women suffering through morning sickness at this time of year.  All I can say is I hear ya, sister!  It must SUCK to feel like that at this time of year which is all about food and obligations you can’t get out of.  It wasn’t too pleasant to be that sick at the height of summer, either, but I would be very unhappy missing out on all the Christmastime food and parties.  I think it would make me cry, actually.  So for anyone who’s in that place right now, cry if you want to.  Even if nobody else understands, I do.

For now I intend to catch up on some maternity reading – The Maternity Jeans That Wouldn’t Stay Up – and other stories, and I’ve Dropped My Keys and Can’t Pick Them Up, both by acclaimed author I.P. Freely.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

26 weeks and the shortest day

Today is the shortest day of the year.  On this day I always feel like I can breathe a bit of a sigh of relief – it’s all downhill from here.  From this point on the days grow longer, and next thing you know spring is here.  This is also the last week of my second trimester.  In a sense, it’s all downhill from here in my pregnancy, too.

Yesterday I started making a list of things that need to happen in the first three months of next year, and was a little appalled.  Now almost all of this is work related, not baby related – tons of tax stuff for the various businesses I’m involved in, plus getting my registration going, fliers distributed, information to the web, a video promo cut, etc.  It’s a lot that all has to happen in January alone.  As far as baby stuff, I have to start my registry (I’m assuming baby shower invites probably shouldn’t go out unless my registry is settled…and I haven’t even started it), I’d like to get a 4D ultrasound (was trying to hook this up before Christmas as presents for relatives, but never got it together), and I want to do some professional maternity photos.  Not to mention all the stuff that has to happen for my body – starting to exercise, taking birthing/baby classes, keeping up with the yoga, touring the hospital, plus all the third trimester ob visits/tests/etc.  So I am very glad I’ve done what I could do now, even though it’s stressful doing house projects/clearing stuff out around Christmas when you’re preoccupied. 

More women are giving birth on my March 2012 board.  So far the babies have survived and are doing well.  This blows my mind.  I would SO not be prepared to give birth right now!  Although some stats say as of next week he would have a 90% chance of survival and only a 10% chance of permanent disabilities.  The fact that my baby is already over a foot long and about two pounds – crazy!  Where is he?  I can’t believe he’s in my body.  I thought I’d be a lot bigger by now (Omar the Tentmaker photo notwithstanding).  I feel relieved when I think of next week’s trip to North Carolina – barring any sudden changes, I am not sick, in pain, or unwieldy.  Cross country stressful trip in a week?  Piece of cake.  It will be the last time I travel without a child in tow or worrying about a child left behind, so I am going to try to enjoy it as much as possible. 

So, what am I going to do for Christmas?  Well, I’ve had several invites, and will probably take people up on some of them just to be polite/social.  But part of me just wants to sit in bed and watch movies.  Christmas Eve & Christmas are some of the only days you can be lazy entirely guilt-free; banks are closed, post offices closed, nobody in the Judeo-Christian world answering e-mails or doing any kind of non-essential work.  So, why not just be a slob in my jammies for a couple of days?  Sounds like a Merry Christmas to me!