So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.


World's Most Beautiful Child

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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Wimp

My due date is two months from today. Does that freak you out as much as it freaks me out?

I learned this weekend that I am a great big wimp. See, I am not the kind of girl who sits around waiting for people to do things for me. I carry things. I fix things. I am very independent and pretty gosh-darn proud of it. Yes, I do occasionally have to have Chris open a jar for me, but for the most part I do my share, whether that means cooking dinner or hauling bags of rocks for the garden.

So this weekend, I was very upset to discover that I had become one of those women who sits around and does nothing while leaving all the hard physical labor to her husband. I had very modest plans. I wanted to weed the flowerbeds and plant some petunias. Piece of cake. Chris, however, decided to implement the major re-landscaping of our front yard that we have been discussing for the past three years. It was a lot of work. A lot of very hard work. I warned him when he brought it up that I couldn't help him dig or move mulch or really be much help at all, but he went for it anyway and got it done and it looks fantastic.

I pulled three weeds and had to take a break. Then I pulled two more and had to take another break. Bending over didn't work. Squatting didn't work. Getting up and down really definitely didn't work. It took me three hours to do what should have taken 30 minutes, and I spent more than half of that time just sitting on the porch refusing to move. Now I have a pulled muscle that requires me to either walk so slowly I drive myself insane or waddle. I'm still trying to decide which is worse. I managed to finish weeding and planted all my flowers, but the most help I gave Chris was pointing to where I thought the azalea should go.

I love being pregnant, I really do, but I am used to being fit and strong and capable and I can't wait to have that back.

I'm awake, how are you?

Everyone does laundry at 5 AM, right? I mean, when you have been awake since 3:00, it is the only rational choice. I'm awake, have nothing but time, and the laundry isn't going to do itself. Next, I plan to balance the checkbook and then once the sun comes up maybe go weed the flowerbeds.

Also, can anyone tell me why it is that you can lie in bed wide awake and full of energy for two hours and then the second you give in and get up you are totally exhausted? I would go back to bed, except I know it would wake me right back up.

For those of you keeping score at home, the birds start chirping at precisely 4:23 AM.

Enlightenment

My office has smelled like cupcakes for the past two days. Just thought you would like to know.

I have always been a little confused by the reserved parking spots for pregnant women that you see at some stores. I'm pregnant, yes, but my legs aren't broken. While I have availed myself of these parking spots on one or two occasions when it was, you know, raining, for the most part I avoid them and always thought the signs should really say that they were reserved for lazy pregnant women. However, I have changed my tune. I figured out the true purpose of these reserved spots. It isn't that us pregnant gals can't walk the few extra feet to our cars, it's that we can't remember where we parked. Having our cars right up front is our only hope if we want to avoid wandering around the parking lot for 20 minutes desperately racking our brains and coming up entirely blank.

Not that this has happened to me or anything, certainly not yesterday at work. And I definitely did not have to have a coworker drive me around the parking garage until we found my car. Nope, that would just be silly.

Since you asked

A number of you have asked how you can jump on the bandwagon of sending unbearably cute things to my unborn child. I am very touched and honored that any of you charming internet people would want to send the Lima Bean gifts, but there's a small problem. I am indescribably paranoid. So paranoid that Chris and I have vowed that we are not giving our address to anyone who doesn't already have it because come on, have you heard the stories of people killing pregnant women and stealing their babies? Not that any of you amazing and attractive and did I mention thin people would ever consider doing such a thing, but my hormones are in charge of my brain at the moment so that's just how it's going to be.

And here's the other thing. See, Chris and I are doing pretty well for ourselves (although I might get fired in a couple weeks which would change things considerably) and we could really get this kid three of everything she would ever want or need if we were so inclined. Add in two sets of insane grandparents and it goes to six of everything she would ever need. I'm trying to find a polite way to say that I'm loaded, so unless you are also loaded I would prefer that you spend your hard-earned money on you instead of on me.

However! Because I know how much fun it is to shop for baby stuff and because the very thought that people I have never met would send presents for my baby makes me cry just a little bit, I have set up an online registry here so that if you are so inclined you can send the Lima Bean a little something, for which, despite my bad attitude, I would be deeply grateful.

In return, I promise to tell the Bean all about the crazy wonderful internet people who knew her from way before she was even born, and also promise to make every effort to post pictures of anything you send being put to good use (although there is the possibility that will mean dressing up the cats).

Or... if you want to do something for the Bean and would consider making a charitable donation instead, please consider this organization.

Helpful Pointer

Ok, I'm getting a little tired of having to tell the entire population of the planet what is and is not appropriate behavior. I think it is about time that the rest of the world accepted some personal responsibility. Also, I am very busy lately and just don't have the time to give it my full attention. However, as long as I'm here:

If you are going to the gym to try to pick up men, you should at least try to look like you are really there to work out. Lounging on the treadmill wearing an off the shoulder top just gives you that extra air of desperation that men find so attractive.

Nearly unbearable cuteness

First of all, I have been woefully delinquent in showing you the lovely baby gifts sent to the Lima Bean by the beautiful and talented Dawnie. First, there's the outfit:

In case you can't read the text, the onesie and bib say "It's All About Me."

Then, there's the hat which Dawn would like us to believe she made her very own self, but as someone who has done some knitting herself I can assure you that there is no way that anyone can actually make something so complicated and even. Not possible, but we will humor her.

Finally, many thanks to the charming Sweety for the box we received today which contained honest to goodness wooden shoes! The only problem is that you can bet I will force the baby to wear them.

Once again, in case you can't read the text, the hat says "Drama Queen." I can't imagine where Sweety got the idea that might be appropriate for my child. Haven't the foggiest.

Many thanks to both of you!

Let's talk about breasts, baby

So, does everybody want far too much information about my breasts? Yes? Good.

Did you know that you start producing milk at 30 weeks? You wanna know how I know that? Well, I know because I asked my OB. But, you wanna know why I asked my OB?

Also, you wanna see if I can do an entire post of questions? No? Ok, fine.

I'm reading this book about breastfeeding. Every so often I have to stop reading to show Chris an especially disturbing diagram or to read him an especially disturbing factoid, such as that newborns can nurse 12 hours a day. Anyway, there's this section in the book where it tells you how to test to see whether you have flat or inverted nipples, which apparently makes breastfeeding harder. The test is basically to grab a boob and squeeze. So I did. And guess what? I leak!

That's right folks - I can now make stuff shoot out of my boobs. I feel so, so, mammalian.

(Oops, I forgot to mention that I appear to have just regular old nipples. As long as we are discussing my boobs, you may as well have the whole story.)

The Hunchbelly of Washington DC

So, the baby has a new thing. No longer content to just kick me non-stop, she has decided that the most comfortable way to spend her time is to wedge her entire body as tightly as possible into one of the top corners of my uterus. (Does a uterus have corners? That's what it feels like, so I'm going with it.) At first, this was sort of cool because I could feel her there and I spent several days grabbing Chris's hand and saying "there, feel that hard spot? That's the baby." However, I just noticed that not only can I feel her wedging all 16 or so inches of herself up under my ribs, I can also see her in the form of a large lump sticking out noticeably farther than the rest of my belly. When she gets tired of that, she heads off to bounce on my bladder like a trampoline.

As long as I'm complaining, I can't seem to keep my pants up. How are you supposed to keep your pants up when you have no waist?

Also, I noticed something disturbing last week. My thighs are terrifying. If Jabba the Hutt had thighs, I'm sure they would look pretty much like mine. Now, I've never had especially thin thighs so I don't know why I'm surprised, but things had been going so well and I feel a little betrayed.

So let's see... I'm fat, I'm lumpy, I have to pee every 10 minutes, and my belly button is about three seconds from popping out and causing severe bodily harm to anyone who happens to be standing in it's way. But I? Totally make it look hot. Swear.

I think I need a cookie.

Title?

Wow - apparently I am completely out of practice. Anybody wanna give me a topic? Please? Because I am pregnant and swamped in email and therefore can't possibly be expected to think for myself?

Home Sweet Home

I love vacations, because honestly I love to go anywhere and I don't especially care where that is, but even more than vacations I love coming home from vacations. Well, except for the part where I have to go back to work tomorrow. Anyway, we are home from a week on the Outer Banks. Most of the week went like this:

Wake up
Eat breakfast
Walk on the beach
Read on the deck looking over the ocean
Get a sundae with homemade ice cream for lunch
Read on the deck looking over the ocean
Shower
Dinner (including the most perfect crab cakes known to man, which lead to the worst heartburn known to man)
Pool (Chris kicked my ass most of the time, but it was still fun)
Sleep with the door open and the sound of the ocean

We also did some other things like took my little pseudo-SUV driving over the dunes up north of Corolla where the road ends and drove down to Manteo for an afternoon, but really it was an entirely lazy vacation. Considering that our last two vacations were a non-stop week in NYC and two non-stop weeks in France, utter laziness was just what we were going for.

For those of you playing the home game, my beach reading was:
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Plan B by Jonathan Trooper
The Last Juror by John Grisham
and the Weekly World News, just to stay informed.

Chris has posted most of our pictures over at his place, so you can check them out there if you are so inclined.

I think it is funny how many people told me to enjoy our last vacation without the baby, because the baby was definitely part of this vacation. I guess the sea air agreed with her, because she spent the whole week doing jumping jacks and half gainers. She also helped initiate me to the joys of incredibly painful heartburn, which I am not enjoying but understand that I am still getting off very easily with this whole pregnancy thing. I am a bit concerned that Chris is getting a little carried away with the sympathy pregnancy symptoms. I mean, I told him he ought to gain some weight just to make me feel better, but this is ridiculous.

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The cat wasn't too thrilled by it either.

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And I think my belly is definitely cuter than his.

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Vacation

I'm sorry, I can't come to the blog right now because I am too busy picking sand out of my sunscreen and watching dolphins chase fishing boats. Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I return to the real world.

Bah

Bah. Busy. Also cranky. Also tired. Am lovely to be around, swear.

However, in two days I will be at the beach and subsisting entirely on crab cakes and hot fudge sundaes.

Is it bad that I refuse to buy a maternity bathing suit and am just going to wear a bikini? I mean, it may be the last time I ever wear one and I hate to pass it up.

Bummer

Have you ever had one of those days where nobody says a pleasant word to you all day long? Where you feel like there is a group of people waiting in line to tell you that you suck and another group waiting to kick you once you are down? Where you get to the point where you think you would sell you soul just for someone to be nice to you, or maybe a little kind? Of course, by that point your mood is so black and foul that most likely what you get instead is one more chance to hear all about why you suck. Have you ever had one of those days?

I'm just asking. No particular reason.

Hey, I'm a snob!

I did something today I have never done before.

Now, first of all, let me say that I spend a lot of time giggling at people who spend their hard earned money to buy designer whatever that looks exactly like the non-designer whatever you can get for a quarter of the price somewhere else. That sort of snobbery just amuses me. However, I am enough of a snob myself that I don't usually do what I did today.

I bought clothes at Target. No, that isn't it. Granted, I don't usually buy clothes at Target, because I am a snob, but I have gotten several things there lately because they have maternity clothes, including tank tops that are long enough to cover my belly without giving the whole world an overly expansive view of my newly developed cleavage. They also have great elastic waist jeans - and that's a sentence I would have sworn would never have come out of my.. um. fingers.

But today, I went a little overboard. I went shopping for clothes pushing a shopping cart. I couldn't help it! I needed a travel hairdryer and sunscreen and soap and some t-shirts that didn't display four inches of belly for the beach next week, so I just rolled my shopping cart into the clothes section and threw in some shirts. And then I went to look at sandals.

Now before anyone gets upset, I have no problem whatsoever with other people going shopping for clothes pushing a shopping cart, but I? Am a snob. This just does not fit with my over-developed image of my own sophistication, and I think that it can only lead to things such as going out in public wearing sweatpants.

Slippery slope, people. Slippery slope.

(Whoops - almost forgot. You should all go congratulate that Silly Old Bear on his good fortune in adding a lovely little girl to his happy family. These people do it the hard way!)

Expecting

I like "expecting" as a euphemism for pregnant. I like it because it sounds gentle, delicate, hopeful. I like the way that when you say it out loud the combination of the second and third syllables force your lips into a smile. "Pregnant" seems to include so many things - how you happened to wind up pregnant, the sickness and cramps and swelling, the pain and struggle of labor. "Expecting" seems to exclude those things and leave only the idea of the baby, as if you would simply sit quietly in your newly painted nursery and the baby would appear in your arms, new and fresh and unspoiled. I like the focus on the waiting, the anticipation. I like the way it seems to capture how wrapped up in the waiting and yourself you become, how your whole life seems to focus on this one thing, how no matter what else you are doing you are always, always expecting.

Advice

Dear Internet,

I need your advice on two totally unrelated yet very important topics.

Topic 1: What book should I take to the beach next week? I usually take a Stephen King book, as they tend to fill my requirements of being entertaining and relatively mindless but not acting like the reader is a somewhat challenged fifth grader, but I think I have read all his books so that's out. What do you think? No romance novels please, they make me gag.

Topic 2: How important is it (if at all) that you be able to see into the crib from the doorway of the nursery. As we currently have the nursery furniture set up (can you believe I have nursery furniture?) it fits in the room very well but you have to walk quite a ways into the room to see into the crib. Does this matter? Also, how critical is it that the crib not be next to the window, assuming that I am not a total idiot and will cut the cords on the blinds to that they can pose no danger to the child?

Thanks in advance, Internet. I know you won't steer me wrong.

Beth

Sam

This is my brother's dog, Sam:

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Sam was a very old lady and she went to doggy heaven yesterday, where there is sure to be plenty of cheese to eat and squirrels to chase.

Good girl, Sammie. Good girl.

Belly up to the blog

I don't think you all want to hear about how very, very busy I am and how very, very tired I am. Do you? Because if you do, I am a world class whiner and will be happy to bitch and moan and then bitch some more about it. Volunteers? Anyone? I didn't think so.

However, today is Friday and I am having dinner with a very good friend of, I dunno, twenty-some-odd years, who is now a doctor so I will force her to spend the entire time lecturing Chris on the importance of a healthy diet and exercise until he completely forgets the whole OB fiasco from earlier this week. Which will be fun for me.

Anyway, instead of all the whining I will announce that we have new members of the Belly Brigade! First off, we have the aforementioned friend of mine who doesn't have a site and is therefore only an honorary member, but I think it was awfully nice of her to get pregnant with me so thought I would give it a mention. Second, we have Anne of Belgian Waffle who already has what may be the cutest child ever born and is rubbing it in all our faces by having twins. Twins! And last but not least, the latest to jump on the bandwagon is Irene of Chicago Chick, who is a woman of extreme strength and bravery because her darling baby boy is still very much a baby and she has already signed on to do it all again. Rush on over and give them some love and good wishes, would ya?

Complaints, Lucky Charms and Poop. Really.

People, I am spending a minimum of six hours a day every day on conference calls, which is wrong on so many levels that I cannot even begin to express the total level of wrongness. This leaves me almost no time to do any actual work, and zero time to do the really important things, like update my site and read yours. You can all abandon and hate me now, I give you permission. I mean, I will cry long and bitterly about it, but I will not blame you. Much.

However, I had to take advantage of the three minutes today where I am not on a conference call and also not trying to be on a conference call and in a meeting simultaneously (which I get to do twice today, also twice yesterday) to tell you what happened at the OB on Monday. I asked a perfectly innocent question about how long I had to wait after giving birth to go to the gym (because I was hoping she would say I had to wait a minimum of two years, not because I am one of those psycho exercise people, although that too) and it lead to my DOCTOR and my HUSBAND having a long conversation about how much better it is to sit on the couch and eat Chocolate Lucky Charms than it is to exercise and eat anything involving vegetables. The baby and I just looked on in shock and disbelief as they shared their little moment. I mean, fine that my OB is a couch potato, that's really her choice, but don't med schools teach doctors how to lie anymore? Shouldn't she at least pretend to support a balanced diet and exercise? For the rest of my life, every time I recommend to Chris that he put down the ice cream and come to the gym with me, he is going to remind me of that day. I hope this OB has to deliver our baby, and I hope the baby poops on her when she does.

Return of the Belly

Apparently, the best thing to do when someone is taking a picture of your pregnant belly is to arch your back and stick said belly out as far as possible. Oh well, I'm far too lazy to take the picture again, so here's my third trimester belly combined with bad posture.

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I know you can't quite see how much my back is arched, but I had to crop it that way to cut out my smokin' ass out of fear that it would be just too much for the internet to handle.

Maybe next time we can do video of one entire side of my body convulsing when Lima Bean kicks me.

2/3

Welcome to my third trimester!

I know you are all very excited to be here. I plan to celebrate by going to the OB today and taking a gestational diabetes test, which involves drinking sugar water and then having blood drawn. The sugar water states on the bottle that it is only for use by pregnant and nursing women. It then advises that you should refrain from smoking after you drink it. Thanks for the news flash.

I'm not looking forward to the doctor today because I am not looking forward to being weighed. Now, I am not at all concerned by how much I weigh and am totally comfortable telling the entire internet that I have gained 20 pounds and expect to gain about another 10 before the baby is born. This makes me happy because it is good for my baby (and also because I don't look like I've gained 20 pounds.) However, today is going to mark a new milestone that I have never experienced before and I am not excited about it. You know how the scales in doctor's offices have the big weight in 50 pound increments and the little weight in 1 pound increments? I am going to have to move to the next 50 pound increment. I've decided I'm just not going to watch. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, people.

Anyway, we had an all baby weekend. On Friday we got word that the nursery furniture we ordered three weeks ago and which was supposed to take 10 weeks to arrive is here and ready to be delivered. Good thing Chris had already decided to paint the nursery this weekend. We still have work to do, but I can already tell you that no baby ever born or to be born has had a nicer nursery. We (and by we I mean Chris) painted it yellow and green and it is so bright and cheerful that all I want to do is sit in there (in the new glider we also got this weekend) and stare at the walls. (Did I mention I'm a little tired lately? Wall-staring sounds like hours of entertainment to me.) We also registered, which took hours upon hours because babies need a lot of stuff, yo, and of course we had to debate every selection in great depth.

And finally, no weekend is complete without the obligatory purchasing of baby clothes. This kid is going to have to wear at least 5 outfits a day or she will outgrow half her wardrobe before she gets a chance to wear it. But really, it is not my fault that this stuff is so freaking cute.

We also made a strange and wonderful discovery lately. Lima Bean is now kicking hard enough that you can see my belly move when she does it. Big time. This is very exciting, but also a bit freaky because there is something moving inside me and now I have actual, visual proof. I am still thrilled when she moves or kicks, but sometimes she keeps it up for hours at a time and I find myself wishing she would take just a little break so I can feel more normal for a few minutes. Of course when she does stop I tend to jiggle her around to get her going again. There's just no pleasing me.