A message to my favorite person

Happy Birthday.

I love you.

Poetry Thursday?

The Life of a Cat


Play with string.


Hunt a bug.


-Laurence Overmire


Baby update

  • Eyebrows and eyelashes are now very noticeable!
  • Hair on baby's head is growing longer. Some babies are born with almost none at all, while others appear to be ready for their first haircut!
  • Eyes are completely formed now. Quite a view from inside!
  • Your baby's body is getting plump and rounded. Most of that increase is muscle tissue and bone. Fat will be added in the last few weeks.
  • Muscle tone is improving. Preparation for the Olympics feels like it is taking place in your womb!
  • Lungs are capable of breathing now (but baby would still struggle and require medical attention if born now)
  • Talk to your baby often, reading stories, singing songs and more. He can recognize your voice now and will often calm to it later on!
  • Your baby weighs in now at 2.2 pounds (1005gm) and is 14.8 inches (37.6cm).
He still doesn't have a name. We came close to finalizing one, and then changed our minds again. So for now, you can address my stomach as "hey, you"

Somehow everything is going too fast now and too slow at the same time. Part of me wants to hurry up and meet my baby, and also to get my body back. I now fondly remember when I could take a complete breath, watch an entire movie without a bathroom break, and roll over in bed without needing assistance. At the same time, I am still not ready to have a baby. I mean that in all possible ways. The house isn't ready, the nursery isn't ready, and I don't think B and I are ready. Not that we will be any more ready in September.

On Friday evening, we will be driving to Dallas for the last wedding of the season, that of an old high school friend. One of the things I enjoy about staying with my in-laws is their habit of having a big family breakfast and then sitting around the table for an extra hour or two just to talk. I'm planning on bringing the cabled baby blanket I've been knitting - at the rate I've been going, I'll finish it about when the baby goes to Kindergarten.



Lately, we've been watching a lot of Marilyn Monroe films. We've seen Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch (definitely my favorite), and All About Eve, which she had a bit part in. Previously, the only one I had seen was How To Marry a Millionaire, and I was very happy to find that all of her movies are just as funny.

We've also watched Barbarella, Amazon Women on the Moon, and the Terminator. I didn't particularly like any of them, but B seems to think they are important parts of cultural history. About 30 minutes into Barbarella, he paused the movie, looked at me blissfully and remarked "it's even worse than I had hoped!"

Can you guess who picked which movies? Our movie choices are so stereotypical that it's embarrassing.

Starting tonight, however, we will temporarily abandon our Netflix war of the sexes in order to watch childbirth class dvds. Our real, live, in-person class was cancelled recently and we were kind of stuck. The only remaining open classes were all day affairs that took place on the weekends. We have limited weekends left in which to complete the two page long list hanging on the fridge of House Projects That Must Be Done Before The Baby, so we aren't willing to give any of them up to learn how to breathe. Instead, we bought a dvd from Amazon, which I expect to be every bit as bad as taking a defensive driving course. I'll let you know.


Crisis averted

We found the crib and another dresser and changing table that will match. It's not the exact stuff I wanted, but I can be very happy with it.

Now I am just obsessing over these ridiculous stuffed turtles. They are so repulsively cute that I need them.


I have no baby furniture after all. The company we ordered from kept pushing back the expected shipping date until today they thought that they might ship the stuff by the end of August. So I cancelled the order. I give up. I'm just glad we didn't go ahead and order a rocking chair to match.

Maybe it's better this way. I was getting too caught up in making the room look perfect, as if that matters in the slightest. Maybe I can be a little more realistic now about what we really need.


A short book review

I bought Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics just for the title, without knowing a thing about it. It's a little pretentious, a little unrealistic, a little long (at over 500 pages), but overall, I greatly enjoyed it. The premise - a precocious adolescent traveling to small college towns across America with her academic father - mirrors Lolita, but without the pedophilia. The actual plot is a tightly woven murder mystery of the best kind. The clues are all there, artfully hidden among the didactic cross-referencing and other cutesy literary allusions. Pessl's ending doesn't quite tie up all the loose ends; rather she presents all the loose ends and allows you to tie them together however you wish.


woowoo mumbo jumbo

Of all the strange places to find a motivational creed, this was in my email a few weeks ago from the Soup Peddler, who delivers delicious food to my porch every Monday. It is hanging from my computer monitor so I can read it every day.
Promise Yourself-
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Poetry Thursday


A child's cry out in the street, not of pain or fear,
rather one of those vividly inarticulate
yet perfectly expressive trumpet thumps of indignation:
something wished for has been denied,
something wanted now delayed

So useful it would be to carry that preemptive howl
always with you; all the functions it performs,
its equivalents in words are so unwieldy,
take up so much emotive time,
entail such muffling, qualifying, attenuation.

And in our cries out to the cosmos, our exasperation
with imperfection, our theodicies, betrayed ideals:
to keep that rocky core of rage within one's rage
with which to blame, confront, accuse, bewail
all that needs retaliation for our absurdly thwarted wants.

-C.K. Williams


Crazy Texans

After this one, Fiend and Felix will never visit us!

Baby update

The baby is now about 14 inches long and weighs around two pounds. If he was born right now, he would have about a 75% chance of surviving with no major defects. His eyes are open, and he is blinking and practicing breathing movements. B is able to hear his heartbeat just by putting his ear against my belly.

I had a prenatal appointment this morning. Starting today, I go in every two weeks because I am in my third trimester (how the hell did that happen?)! Because I couldn't find paperwork proving B's blood was Rh-, I had to get a shot in my butt to keep my immune system from attacking the baby. It put me into a little bit of a bad mood, which wasn't helped when I was late to work and had to park down the street and walk to my building in the pouring rain with my sore butt. I found an umbrella under my front seat, but the wind blew it inside out. I would have enjoyed the movie moment, except I was more worried about my iPod and my laptop getting wet.

The only other significant happening was my official weigh-in. I have gained seven pounds since my last visit a month ago. The doctor reassured me that the baby has had quite the growth spurt over the last four weeks, but I'm still a little freaked out. Maybe I should quit drinking a quart or more a day of milk? But I don't know if I'm prepared to take that kind of drastic measure - lately, drinking only a quart a day is an act of willpower. Maybe I need the calcium? In any case, this will help my resolve to hit the gym more often.



I can't say much for my other beds, but I'm insanely proud that this one is in my front yard. I think it's beautiful!

From behind:

From the front:

The plants are jerusalem sage, mexican feathergrass, mexican oregano, and purple coneflowers.



B has been remarkably patient with my painting activities. He has occasionally remarked that he thinks walls should be "wall colored," but he has still let me paint rooms pretty much whatever color I want. So far, he has only put his foot down when I wanted to paint our bathroom lavender. And I am perfectly happy to give him veto power. So I'm not sure why he didn't stop me when I did this:
The downstairs bathroom now looks like the inside of a tube of toothpaste. I was going for a beachy aqua, but it didn't work out. So I had to go to Lowes and buy a whole new gallon of paint. But I think when I paint the new color on (we are now going to have 'aquatic mist' rather than 'meadow mist') and get the cabinets painted bright white, it's going to be perfect.

Geek heaven

Who doesn't love a good graph? I could spend hours on this site.


Ramblings of a crazy woman

We bought baby furniture last night. We've been going back and forth about what we wanted, but we always came back to the same thing. Unfortunately, the set we liked is available online only and it seemed like most of the pieces were out of stock at any given time. While browsing online last night, we found an online store that had all three pieces we wanted at the same time, as well as a free shipping offer. So we bought them.

Now we just need to find a glider. The problem is that I think all gliders are ugly. After much looking, I found exactly one that I could live with. It was reasonably priced, and offered on Target.com or Amazon. I had to buy something else from Target.com a few days ago, so I had my credit card in hand ready to buy the chair when I found out that it had been discontinued. So back to square one.

I realize that the baby couldn't care less where he sleeps or what his room looks like, but I think I'm nesting. I've been having panic attacks about things not being organized, and I've thrown away several boxes of things I had formerly deemed important enough to tote from apartment to apartment to house.

Several times lately, B has taken me gently by the shoulders, looked deep into my eyes, and murmured "try to be a little less psychotic now, ok?"


Paging Dr. Freud

So today I'm trying to unpack/clean/organize my office. It has been in a state of disarray and full of half unpacked boxes since we moved in a year and a half ago. I was going through some old journals and found a description of a dream I had a few years ago. I know that no one cares about other peoples dreams, but I'm throwing the journals away and I kind of want to have a record of this one. Sometimes I use this blog as my own personal filing cabinet.

Exact transcription from my journal, as best I can make out (I must have written it down first thing in the morning because my handwriting is almost illegible)

I was receiving someone else's prophecies by mistake. Then something/someone summoned me (by letter, I think) to go down some steps next to a dirty bookstore in NY. From there, I got on an elevator and used the extra buttons at the very bottom to go down to God's courthouse. Inside, the room was huge, with angels and heavenly bureaucrats everywhere. The atmosphere was generally frustrated. I was wearing a white sheet (everyone was in white) and as I walked to the front and across the front of the bench, my sheet kept slipping down off of my shoulders. I didn't think it mattered (although it was annoying) but then God yelled "NO BARE SHOULDERS IN GOD'S COURTROOM!" I apologized, saying that I wasn't familiar with the procedure. God said she knew and that was the only reason I was being treated with leniency, and by the way, I was supposed to come around and kiss her feet too. Just as I did, B woke me up.

Dream for the future

I hope our kid can be even half as awesome as this kid.

via BoingBoing


A whole week!

I am on vacation. I'm not going anywhere, I'm just staying home. My plan is to relax, read some books, work on my knitting, and get some house projects done. I've been trying to plan this vacation since my Christmas went sadly awry, and I'm finding it hard to believe that I finally managed it. But here I am!

I might or might not be posting this week. It just depends on whether I feel like it, and whether I'm covered in paint or dirt or whatever else I might get into.


Baby Update

  • The structures of the spine begin to form -- joints, ligaments and rings. These will protect the all important spinal cord which serves as the information transmitter for your child's body.
  • Blood vessels of the lungs develop.
  • Your baby's nostrils begin to open. There is a study out of Belfast that suggests babies at this stage have the capability of scent preferences!
  • The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. When baby is rooting for food later on, these will be valuable!
  • His swallowing reflexes are developing.
  • Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and would clasp objects placed in palm.
  • Your child has now obtained an approximate length of 13.6 inches (34.6cm) and weighs 1.46 pounds (660gm).
What none of this mentions is that he is a real live person now, who responds to the little he experiences of the outside world. He likes to crawl up on the left side of my belly, and I'm forever trying to push him back over to the middle so I'm not lopsided. If I clap my hands near my stomach, it startles him and he kicks. Sometimes if I poke him, he will poke me back in the same place. He gets the hiccups and it's funny to watch my belly rhythmically bouncing. He has turned into a night owl, and likes to do somersaults in the early morning hours when I'm trying to sleep. If he were born right now, he would have a decent chance of surviving.

I'm starting to get impatient. I want to meet this new human being. I feel like we're pen-pals, communicating through Morse code. The other day, I saw a clip of Grease on an article (10 famous movie moments where smoking is featured prominently) and suddenly had a thought: I am going to get to introduce this new person to all the great things in this world - cheesy movie musicals, Harry Potter, libraries, flowers, the Beatles, Star Trek, old movies, enchiladas, swimming in a lake, climbing a tree, and Christmas. I imagine it will be like discovering the world for the first time myself. I can't wait.


Poetry Thursday

Well Water

What a girl called "the dailiness of life"
(Adding an errand to your errand. Saying,
"Since you're up . . ." Making you a means to
A means to a means to) is well water
Pumped from an old well at the bottom of the world.
The pump you pump the water from is rusty
And hard to move and absurd, a squirrel-wheel
A sick squirrel turns slowly, through the sunny
Inexorable hours. And yet sometimes
The wheel turns of its own weight, the rusty
Pump pumps over your sweating face the clear
Water, cold, so cold! you cup your hands
And gulp from them the dailiness of life.

-Randall Jarrell



Yesterday, Austin-area Chipotle Burritos held a food drive. If you brought in a non-perishable food item, you would get a free burrito. Of course, B and I showed up last night with a grocery bag each to trade for our dinner. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of teenage and college-age kids with a single can each. I can't blame them - I remember a few times of eating nothing but Lipton rice bags for weeks on end and I would have kissed the feet of anyone who gave me a burrito in exchange (or married him...)

But I was a little surprised to see lots of well-off looking grown-up couples with their single can of cheap veggies each. If you can afford to drive to Chipotle Burrito in your Lexus SUV and your designer jeans, can't you afford to donate more than a single can of green beans to the food pantry? B disagrees, but I thought it was a little bit tacky. I am disappointed in my neighbors.


I have made a sock! Just one, and it's a little ratty and misshapen, and I haven't taken care of all the pieces of yarn sticking out all over, but still! I made a sock!

Because I'm sure the baby cares about having tiny, hand-knit cashmerino socks, instead of the kind that cost $1.99 at Target. I wouldn't be surprised if he shows his appreciation by peeing on them the first time I put them on his feet. Of course, that's assuming that I can provide him with a pair, and not just a single.


I think this guy has the right idea. I'm surprised at how few people agree with him.



The FTC is filing a complaint to block Whole Foods' merger with Wild Oats. What a stupid thing - does anybody actually believe that WFM and Wild Oats will combine to block competition in the grocery market? Last I checked, I believe we have a combined market share of less than 5%.

The FTC is considering only the natural foods market, rather than the entire grocery market. This might have been valid several years ago, but even Wal-Mart sells organic now! And all the big grocery chains have organic lines that are doing phenomenally well.

Grrr, this makes me angry.


Do you know about Voxtrot? They have been vaguely in the field of my awareness for the last year or so, but I finally downloaded some of their music last week and I'm in love. I only think it's sad that I needed someone in New York to introduce me to something in my own backyard.


A few more

My Marie Pavie rose bush is about to bust out again. I counted 36 buds on a single cane.



Mexican oregano (mmm, yummy)

Dame de Coeur rose


A few pictures from my yard:



Red salvia

Purple coneflower

The pomegranate tree is blooming - if it actually makes fruit, I will be in heaven.

Last year, it seemed like I had to search for flowers and color. This year, my flower beds are a riot of colors.