Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The galloping of a hundred tiny horses

I haven't written all that much about my long-awaited pregnancy, partly out of a concern that this will become a pregnancy blog (and if I do that, will someone tell me, so I can put all that stuff in a different, preggo-only space?), and partly out of a concern that I would miscarry at any given second. See, I told you I'm a pessimist.

Last night, we had our second visit to the OB. It was relatively brief: get weighed, pee in a cup, etc. The highlight was finally hearing our baby's heartbeat. 164 bpm, which I am hoping means a girl (modern folk wisdom says that 140 bpm or above indicates a female, but I'll settle for ten fingers, ten toes, and full mental capacity. Oh, and not ugly, God willing).

According to the 20 books I have on the subject of pregnancy, hearing the heartbeat pretty much cements things. It's unusual to miscarry after that (or after 12-13 weeks along), although, of course, not unheard of. But that 10% or so statistic which gets tossed around lowers considerably after that point.

My next set of worries will be going in for genetic counseling and hearing about the odds of having a baby with birth defects, which will be especially fun since mine is technically a high risk pregnancy due to my "advanced maternal age" of 35.

Booby had the sudden realization last night as we drove home that these worries are just the beginning. "After the birth, I'll be worrying about crib death," he mused.

"Yeah, and just wait till the kid gets to venture out in the real world, where there are so many factors beyond our control."

Parents tell you that everything changes after you have a child, and I have an intellectual sense of what that will be like. But, doubtless, there's no way to fully understand the actual feeling until you're really, truly a mother or father.

Of laziness and baby animals

I know, I've been lax about updating, and I have no excuse, because I'm here, at home, assing around. On the plus side, I've made a few batches of chicken stock, have made my husband's lunch every morning (before crawling back to bed for another hour), and even baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (Mark Bittman lied - you can use the quick oats in his recipe, and the world will continue to turn on its axis).

Let me tell you what I did a couple weeks ago:

Rescued a baby squirrel. Cute, huh? I was walking back home from a thrilling trip to the mailbox when I happened upon this wee fellow (it was a boy, I checked) lying in the middle of the sidewalk. After a moment's hesitation (if I left him there and went to get an oven mitt so I didn't get scratched, would he be gone upon my return?) I scooped him up and brought him home. He just laid in my hands, eyes open, but unmoving. The little guy was pretty sluggish. He needed help.

As I walked up to my house, my neighbor's kid trilled out, "Excuse me! I think you have my squirrel!" Oy.

"Your squirrel?" I asked.

After further questioning, she revealed that she had found the squirrel a few blocks away, and was planning to keep it. As a pet. He was on the sidewalk because she had been carrying him in a flowerpot and then dropped him without realizing it. Oh, no no no no no no.

I told her that I was going to take him to an animal refuge where they could care for a wild baby squirrel properly. He wasn't meant to live in a cage indoors. She wasn't happy about that. "Could I keep him in a cage, outside?" I told her no, it was illegal. I haven't been able to find the section of the code of the Pennsylvania Fish & Game Commission that says that specifically, but it's a safe bet. Plus, I was willing to bet that her mom wouldn't be too desirous of a squirrel as a pet, anyway. I left her pondering the legality of squirrel ownership and took the baby inside.

After getting Baby Squirrel wrapped in a hand towel (he had claws, but they weren't very sharp yet, still, better safe than sorry), I spent a few minutes on the interwebs and tracked down a wildlife refuge. The cats, amazingly, were curious, but didn't act like they were hungry for a squirrel sandwich. I guess their sense of smell isn't so acute. I was able to drive him right over and they took him off my hands (I'd been entertaining the thought of keeping him myself, even though it would be wrong. He was awfully cute) and popped him into an incubator so he would be warm.

Booby was gutted that a baby squirrel had been in the house and already gone before he had a chance to see it, but the pictures helped soothe him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What do you want first, the good news or the bad?

Me, I'm a pessimist. So I always choose to hear the bad news first:

I got laid off on Wednesday.

That was kind of a huge surprise. Also a surprise was being hustled out of the building like a criminal, with barely time to close down my computer and grab my purse. Ah, this modern world we live in!

Since I worked in a department consisting of two people who did approximately the same exact job, and I had about two years' seniority over my colleague who didn't get laid off, and I was told that I wasn't being laid off due to my performance, I can only assume that it's because I have a uterus and not a penis that this layoff occurred.

Speaking of uteruses, now that I've been laid off, I can share the good news with you, at last:

I'm almost 11 weeks pregnant.

I didn't want to say anything on the actual blog, because some of my ex-coworkers read it occasionally. And I didn't want management to know and use it against me (ho, ho! Now I wish they had known, so I'd still have a job). And I didn't want to have to tell my entire workplace if anything went wrong, though I guess I wouldn't have any problem at all telling the world via blog. By the way, if I know you in real life and haven't told you, I'm sorry. I think there's one or two people who I haven't gotten in touch with just yet.


The weird thing about this is that my friends who were trying to get pregnant at the same time I was are all pregnant, too. Within a week or two of each other. It must be something in that Savannah water.

So, I guess the timing of my career blowout isn't so bad. I'm supposed to be taking it easy after having had some spotting in week 8, and needless to say, I haven't really had the energy to do much around the house in my off-hours (which have consisted of furious calorie intake to combat nausea, zoning out in front of bad TV, and sleeping).

And now, I think I need some salt & vinegar chips (potato chips contain folic acid!), and some quality time watching TiVo'd episodes of Flip That House while lounging on the couch.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

But I don't blame you for thinking I might have shuffled off this mortal coil. I have been L-A-Z-Y, but, even more sadly, my life has been quintesentially boring. I have stuff I would love to talk about here, but I just can't right now.

So here's what I've been doing:
  • Celebrating my 35th birthday in late August (yes, I am a Leo), and receiving a salad spinner from both Booby and my mom (I got other stuff, too, never fear)
  • Celebrating Booby's birthday (he turned 33; still a young pup)
  • Going to the Jersey shore over "Ernesto" weekend
  • Getting my hair cut, twice, and not really liking it much either time
  • Failing to adequately water my vegetable garden and then witnessing it wither into dry, brown sticks (goodbye, tomatoes)
  • Getting a new dishwasher
  • Getting a new mattress (will the excitement never end?!)
  • Obsessively watching Project Runway
  • Avoiding cleaning with all my might (that one wasn't really hard, and I still did some laundry and cooked the occasional meal)

Beyond that, life has been very sedate and sedentary. I'm feeling pretty peevish about the state of my coiffure, so another cut 'n' style is in my near future (in the 100-degree heat, it seemed like a good idea to chop 4 inches off of it. Now? Not so much).

I also have BIG plans this weekend to start using pure henna to retain that copper penny red hair that is my trademark. Farewell, Wella #145, Titian Red Blonde! I've refrained from dyeing for the last 7 weeks so as to leach as many chemicals out of my hair to better prep it for this new method, and now I have an attractive reverse skunk stripe down the middle of my scalp (true to form, Booby didn't even notice).

If anyone is interested in the results available from using pure henna (not to be confused with the henna generally available at, say, Sally Beauty Supply, which will eff your ess up if your hair is already chemically dyed), you can go here. I ordered my henna from here (before I found the first, US-based site), and that site was enlightening for the information about chemical dyes provided. Nothing says directly that the PPD in chemical hair dye is carcinogenic, but since I am cutting down on chemicals in most other areas of my life, a natural hair dye can't hurt. The nicest thing about it seems to be that I can use whatever natural ingredients I like to alter the color (lemon or lime juice, paprika, even herbal tea), and I can add small amounts of essential oil to make the henna smell nicer (that's something you certainly can't do with commercial hair dye), as apparently, henna has a very earthy, haylike scent. The only drag about using it is that I'll have to wait several hours after mixing the color for the dye to release (or I can leave it on the unlit stove and hope that speeds the process) and I will have to leave it on my head for about 2 hours.

Wish me luck!