where did I put my nap?

Mark wanted to know if he could strap the baby upside-down on his back in some kind of holster, and say "energize" and make the baby stiffen into a deadly weapon that he could draw by the ankel like a sword and fight crime with. I told him that infants are like dogs... you have to train them to do such complex tricks. If he can train her, I will personally buy him a holster with some fancy crime-fighting slogan leather-embossed on the front.
I've been making a routine of chai tea & long walks every evening. Saturday I started early, taking my tea & walk at 10 a.m. -- and walking farther than I intended, ending up at the mall. Needing to sit down & rest before the long walk home, I decided to see "My Sister's Keeper" which is based on a book that I have read... cried my hormone-ridden brain out. Good movie. I rarely say this, but the movie was better than the book.
When I got home at 6 p.m., Mark reminded me that we had tickets and had to leave in 30 minutes to go see "Explosions in the Sky", an instrumental post rock band that we missed last time they were in town. How did I forget this? I skipped ABBA to be able to see Explosions.

It was a great show and I never enjoyed slipping into bed and getting off my feet so much in my life. This morning was about recovering. I slept in, woke up, ate, and fell back to sleep. Now I'm playing catch up with myself to do all the weekend household business that piles up during the week. But, I took some time out to make Fried Green Tomatos for lunch. I was craving them so a lady at work picked them from her garden so I could fry them. It hit the spot, but now I'm paying for the greasiness. To distract myself from the heartburn, I'm watching Benjamin Button while I clean the house.


yodel lady who

I really like yodeling.

If you do too (or even if you don't), watch this. Maybe it's the hormones, but it made me cry.

After watching this amazing kid yodel, I found these vocal tips on a yodeling fan site... Subject: Yodeling... How to get started


month five

We made it to the half-way point and we're hanging in there.

I am now sleeping only on my left side, and hobbling in the popular Christensen fashion. I have really enjoyed me some (eg: my body weight in) potato salad & greek salad. I'm past the "craving" point where I-know-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now and into the I-don't-know-what-I-want-but-I-want-it-now point.

I have read my 1 billionth baby/pregnancy book. I have freaked out on people. I have cried at nearly everything sweet. I have gotten really nuts about random things - like pet dander (don't you think we should shampoo the carpets RIGHT NOW at two in the morning?) and skin changes (see this red patch on my knee that looks like a rug rash? do you think it's cancer that can be passed to the baby?) And I hung up a sign at my desk to remind myself to breathe, because it is all so much to take in that I really need to periodically re-evaluate, take a nice long breath, and relax.

I have gained 16 pounds so far, which puts me on track to gain about 35. I am eating a lot of healthy smaller meals and walking a good distance two or three times a day. I haven't cancelled my gym membership, but I think it might be a good time to. I don't see myself really hitting the gym for another 10 months at this rate of exhaustion. I get winded after the first quarter mile of walking (okay, waddling -- slowly.) I can tell that some of that weight gain is definitely going to the baby, based on the strength of the kicks. They sort of feel more like kicks now and less like flutters. I have also reintroduced a single cup of coffee to my mornings. It hasn't hurt my bedtime, which is now 8:30 pm.
The straight-on face shot in an ultrasound looks like an alien monster. Somehow, we will love this klingon skeleton.

More ultrasounds confirm we are now 100% sure we are having a GIRL! Today we had the ultrasound where the doctor went through to check every detail & vital part of the baby's body. He pointed out the various parts of the brain, the four chambers of the heart, the aeorta, mitrochondrial valve, kidneys, belly button where the umbilical cord comes out, etc. It was really something. We thought it would be 3-D & show the blood flow, but it didn't. It was very reassuring, though. The doctor ruled out spina bifida, cleft palate, and a few other things. He thought that there was plenty of fluid around the baby. The placenta was placed well (in front of the baby) and my cervix was long & closed. I know this part must be important because he repeated it three times.


actual size

This one is truly for you, fans. I personally am grossed out a little bit by my belly, especially in pictures taken with a flash. And so is Mark. So I apologize if you were one of the minions of my fans who begged for this. If you lose your appetite, don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway. Mark was having a hard time visualizing the garden vegetable that is used week by week to demostrate the baby's typical growth. So I sketched out the measurements for him. It looked really big on paper, compared to the avocado or even snow pea of what seems like yesterday. So, to get a feel for the actual size in comparison with my tum-tum growth, I sketched it on.

Keep in mind that the rest of that bump contains my displaced bladder, stomach, intestines, and other smashed up organs - not just baby and amniotic fluid. It definitely looks a lot smaller on that now showing bump.

As you can also see, the baby's eyes are too close together. No, I have not been drinking. I'm blaming Mark's genetic code for that.

In a related note, I am reading the "give it to you straight" birth stuff that is usually glossed over in pregnancy books in order to keep you from trying to squeeze the baby out your nose to avoid. Bad idea. I should have stuck to catalogs.

Also, Wii Super Paper Mario rocks. Go buy it (used) and talk to me when you come out of your crack-a-thon in a month.


belt buckle and groin of america

What you see behind me is the belt-buckle of middle america. We liked St. Louis so much more than we expected to. They had Hardees and White Castle and protesters at the local planned parenthood and a disproportionate amount of overweight people (I could be heard telling Mark, "this is nothing. Just wait until we get to Texas.")

Josh and Anna's wedding extravaganza was beautiful, opulent, and over the top. We ate and drank well. (No, of course I did not embibe. What? You think I want a baby with eyes too far apart?) Probably the best part for me was chilling with Nick and Tanya at the Botanical Garden.

On to Texas... Hanging with McBro and Evan. So good to see those guys. We did way too much and a lot of nothing. Another botanical garden, a trip to Galveston Island to see the hurricane damage, take a Duck Tour of the downtown & bay, tour the police station and jail where McBro works, Nasa Space Center, and lots and lots of driveway chillin, barbequeing, and delicious food. No one can ever claim to be a better cook than Kim. I'm sorry. That chick has a monopoly on the title "best ever."

This is Nasa.

This is port-side on the Duck. I have a fetish for boats on vacation, so I am seriously elated in this picture for getting Mark on the water.

There is my little bump. I think it really started to pop out on this trip, because when I got home, I had only two shirts that could still conceal it. I guess it's safe to assume that it no longer looks like a failed diet.
Once swaddled safely back into my own bed, I slept 15 hours and then 10 hours the next day. Ah, the vacation after the vacation. My body was tired, but my mind was so relaxed.
I bought a maternity swim suit so I can feel the precious sense of weightlessness next time I go to the gym... which has been a weekly on Sunday routine for the past few weeks. I'm looking forward to trying it out. The heaviness is surprising (compared to what I expected this early on.)
In related news, I almost threw a pepperocini in my mouth and washed it down with chocolate milk. It sounded awesome. Luckily, somewhere between the refridgerator and my mouth, sanity kicked in just in time to stop me. Thank God.