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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Finally!

Last night, I had a dream about George Clooney. I don't really care all that much for George, and nothing happened other than some cuddling and discussion of getting a hotel room (which in the context of the dream was not all that daring a proposition) but it's nice to finally get some mileage out of the whole sexy pregnant dream thing that doesn't include my husband.

I'm so boring.

High Fashion and Misdemeanors

I never thought I would say it, but I am so grateful for those horrible black leggings that everybody has resurrected from the 80s lately, because if it weren't for them I would have been looking directly at a very chubby girl's butt at the mall yesterday. The skirt, it was short, and ridden up in the way that two-size-too-small garments tend to do and there it was, full-on black-spandex-clad ass.

People, that just ain't right.

I hate titles

For those who keep track of such things and will be wondering, same shirt, different yoga pants. But hey, not too bad for 20 weeks, right?

Ok, now here's how I look when I'm not killing myself to suck it in.

I keep telling myself that since I had lost 10 pounds before I got pregnant, the first 10 don't count because there was no way those 10 weren't jumping immediately back onto my ass, so really I've only gained like 7 pounds. Rocking.

I'm soliciting feedback on how to prevent this sort of thing from happening again over here today, so if you have just been dying to jump into a discussion about birth control of the sort to guarantee that one never gets pregnant again, today is your lucky day, head on over.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have to take a meeting (I crack me up) for an actual real job that I'm doing. Sure ok, it's just writing some web content and yes yes, it is for my father-in-law, but it isn't blogging and it isn't about being a mommy and it is honest to god getting paid to write because I happen to be fairly good at it, so yeah, I think I'm pretty hot shit.

And then I'm meeting Sarah to let the kids run around like the little maniacs they are and then smear themselves with pizza, which I'm sure will be much more fun than the work thing but Sarah has yet to offer to pay me to hang out with her, so I guess I'll do the work thing too.

Free buffet

Dear Squirrels,

There are 143,985 chestnuts in my front yard right now. Please help yourselves, because I'm tired of picking the damned things up. I know they don't taste as good as the thousands of peanuts that Mia scatters on the steps for you, but really, it's your duty.

Thanks,
Beth

So close, so far

You know how sometimes you go to the grocery store and the ancient and slow as molasses cashier with the really bad wig decides to pile one of your items on top of the toddler-car portion of the cart even though there is plenty of room inside the cart because she's just weird and you figure eh whatever your car is right outside you can make it so you just leave it there and of course as soon as you get out of the store it falls off and then the totally hot fireman in full fireman regalia (including, I assume, the suspenders, although I couldn't be sure because he was wearing the coat and I love the suspenders, and even, oh my sweet lord, the hat, the hat!) who was responding to a false alarm in the very same store says "here, let me get that for you" and then grabs the fallen item and puts it back in your cart and smiles at you in a friendly way even though you are four and a half months pregnant and getting pretty chubby and did your hair three days ago and are pretending that it still looks good enough to wear out in public and your obnoxious maternity pants are sliding down your ass and giving you a big puffy bubble-butt thing? That happens to you too, right? Well, why is it that when it does happen, it's never your MILF Society membership card that fell or sexy black lacy lingerie, which they don't even sell in my grocery store, losers, or even, like, a bag of cucumbers or anything, no no, it's the toilet paper, always the toilet paper.

No wonder he didn't invite me to make out with him on top of the truck.

Mia Monday #89: Spying through the window edition

These pictures are absolutely awful, but they are of one of my favorite activities these days - watching Chris and Mia play in the backyard when they don't know I'm watching. During this particular session, they were throwing handfuls of chestnuts up into the air only to collect them and throw them again.

Also, how much do you wish you had my backyard? Well, remind me to show you the other two-thirds of it sometime.

No, you be coherent

Hey, you know what's an unsung benefit of being pregnant? You can clean your belly button really, really well. I mean once it starts getting all pushed out and sort of flat, of course.

I tried to feed Mia McDonald's french fries for lunch today and she rejected them in favor of a protein bar and grapes. What's wrong with this kid?

One of the things I hated about our old house was that they picked up the trash really late in the day, and since our horrible neighbors were all too lazy and vulgar to bag their trash or put it in trash cans, by the time they came to collect it was spread all over the neighborhood and nobody ever picked it up. At the new house, people actually know how to use trash cans, which is nice, and they also usually come collect pretty early, which is also nice. In theory. In practice, when the garbage truck comes at 6:30 in the morning after you have been up until 3:00 trying to get your kid to go the hell back to sleep already that early pick-up seems like enough reason to put the house straight back on the market.

Also, the new house has these lovely granite counter tops, which make me feel very fancy since I am used to stained formica. They are sort of brown and speckled and don't show dirt at all, which is fabulous because I don't have to wipe them every five seconds. Except that they don't show dirt at all so I have no idea if they are dirty or not and I have to wipe them every five seconds.

Note to everyone who has been sucking up to Sarah in hopes of scoring Claudia's giraffe dress: you can start sucking up to me now, because that bad boy it totally hanging in Mia's closet right this minute. It's only in the closet because for the first time in a week she agreed to take it off long enough for me to wash and dry it.

Asscrack

We're naming the baby over here today, for those who are interested.

I have exactly one pair of non-maternity pants that are not unbuttonably too small and exactly one pair of maternity pants that are not fall to my ankles-ly too big. So, I alternate, and naturally both pairs are always covered in peanut butter and toddler snot. The problem is that neither pair are capable of remaining in a remotely appropriate or modest location and I spend all day trying to remember to hike them northward before I frighten any children that may be in the area. It means that the entire population of the DC Metro area gets a daily status update on the precise nature and color of my underwear. I've been feeling bad that you are all left out of this excitement, so I'll just clue you in that today is a white thong. There, now you feel like part of the club.

This type of classy behavior may be what led to the conversation we had at dinner the other night.

Mia: Mia baby.
Me: No, Mia is a little girl.
Mia: Mia little girl. Dada little girl.
Me: No, Dada is a big boy.
Mia: Mama big boy.
Chris: No, Mama is a MILF.

Great thing to be teaching our kid, no?

Hobbies

Every couple of days I get a flier on my door from a house cleaning service. You know the sort of thing, a picture of a house much, much nicer than yours and a menu of all the services they provide. I get a lot of fliers, but the house cleaning ones are the only ones spared from an immediate trip to the trash can. Those, I save. I place them carefully on the counter and then bide my time until Mia is napping or in bed. When I finally get those few, oh so few, precious minutes of solitude, I like to pull out my house cleaning fliers and read over them. I like to pretend that someone is going to come do those things to my house. Some of it is pretty mundane. You know, vacuum floors, change linens, dust mop hard floors. And then you get to things like dust blinds and picture frames. Wet wipe outside cabinets. Clean and disinfect showers and bathtubs. Totally hott.

I'm a little ashamed of my habit. I try to hide it from Chris - act like I just haven't made it to the trash yet or get rid of the evidence before he gets home from work. What it is, fundamentally, is housewife porn, and nobody likes to get caught admiring their porn.

Better and better

Hey! You know what's totally awesome to have at 19 weeks pregnant? Bladder infection.

Mia Monday #88: Obligatory Bathtime Edition

Scroll down for fetus gender notification, and in future, come early when you know there will be news.

Mia has just started smiling on demand for the camera. The hair was totally her idea too.

(Hey, we can still do nipples, right? I mean, she's only two.)

The Update Update

You know what I hate? When people email or post sonogram pictures with the genitalia circled or surrounded by flashing arrows or otherwise ridiculously prominent. Dude, you can just tell me, I promise to believe you. You know what I loathe and despise? When the fetus in question is a boy and the totally unnecessary genital circling is accompanied by jokes about the size or girth or resemblance to the purported father of the item in question. I mean really, the kids is 20 weeks from even being born, do we have to start with the penis jokes already?

So y'all are just going to have to take my word for it that Wally does seem pretty certain to be a boy.

Mia wants to name him Banana Froggie.

The Non-Update Update

People, I am so sorry. I'm not coming to tell you the gender of the fetus because there are still a few people we have to tell ourselves before it goes out on the world wide webernet, so it will most likely be Monday, but it never occurred to me that you guys would worry. Y'all are so sweet.

Everything is fine, perfect, the fetus is in great shape and spent the entire sonogram jumping on my bladder, which I could totally have told you without the fancy equipment. We're thrilled, we told Mia, she likes to kiss my tummy so the baby feels better and won't cry, and she's worried that the baby doesn't have any milk in there, because she knows babies like milk.

And that's it for now. Sorry. Kisses. Don't throw things at me, I'm knocked up.

Sheets

I must be the world's biggest idiot, I can't buy sheets.

On Tuesday, we got a new bed. It's a king. I love it. I love it because on Wednesday night when I finally brought Mia back to bed with us after the fourth round of screaming there was room for her and Chris and me and I wasn't clinging by my fingernails to the very edge of the bed while Mia did all she could to dump me out onto the floor.

I hate the sheets though. I'm having a real problem. This weekend, we went to one of those discount stores and bought two sets of 400 thread count sheets for $35 a pop. They suck. It was like sleeping on sandpaper. Ok ok, my fault, I cheaped out, lesson learned. On Wednesday, I went to a home store and bought two sets of "hotel, luxury, sheets like butter, whatever else" 620 thread count sheets for $100 a set. For 100 bucks I figured they had to be good. And they seemed better, but it was all an act. They were much much worse than the cheap sheets, such that I had to get up in the middle of the night and put on long pants and socks and a turtleneck and a ski mask just so I could stand to spend the rest of the night on those sheets.

On Thursday, I went to Target and got more sheets. I know, probably not the best choice for a quality product, but I had a playdate in the morning and actual adult dinner plans at night and absolutely had to go to Target because somebody put the wipes bag back on the shelf totally empty without mentioning to the other someone around here who does all the shopping that there were no longer any wipes to be had and it was a race against time and poop to get to Target and secure additional wipes and I honestly did not possibly have time to go anywhere else. But! I got 500 thread count sheets! I spent $100! I hate them!

And I am starting to feel like the biggest idiot on the planet because I cannot secure a simple set of sheets for love or money. Or, you know, for money. So would you people please tell me where the hell to get some decent sheets? I clearly need very specific instructions. Also, I can totally return the sheets I've hated, right? On the basis of them sucking ass? I mean, I'm willing to keep the cheap ones since that was clearly my fault, but for $100 sheets ought not make me want to chew off my own skin, right? Returning those is totally legitimate, yes? I'll wash them again first, swear.

Dammit. I cannot believe that I just wrote an entire post about sheets. Clearly I need to get out more.

Also, the big genitalia examination is at 10:15 today, so stay tuned for updates. Oh, we'll be examining the fetus's genitalia, just to be clear here.

Mama always get you

We've had a bit of a sleep regression around these parts lately. Ok, so that's putting it mildly. Mia's been sleeping for shit, and therefore I've been sleeping for shit too. (Chris sleeps like a log, thanks, I'll let him know you inquired after his well-being). It takes at least an hour, more likely two, of screaming and whining and crying and coddling to get the kid into bed and asleep every night, and then I am damned lucky if I don't spend another three hours in the middle of the night either getting her back to sleep in her bed or giving up, bringing her to bed with me, and then getting her back to sleep with the added bonus of losing my pillows and getting kicked until morning. It sucks.

Do not give me advice. No really. Step back, take a moment, and read this again. Do not give me advice. I've heard it, I've either dismissed it as cruel and insane or tried it, it didn't work for shit. Do not, under any circumstances, give me advice.

And don't get me wrong, I let her try to work it out on her own. The new rule at bedtime is she has to scream for the entire time it takes me to complete a Soduku puzzle from the book Chris gave me two Christmases ago before I go back in. Because it's screaming, not crying, not anything really wrong, just a tantrum. At night, she has to overcome my overwhelming desire to be in bed, which with the combination of being out of practice at this and pregnant to boot is pretty hard to overcome, before I go see what her deal is. I am not jumping at her every murmur, but neither am I letting her cry it out. When I hear crying, I move on the double. Screaming gets a longer leash.

Invariably when I ask her in the morning what the problem was the night before, she tells me "attitude." Hey, at least she's honest and we are all on the same page here.

I've been beginning to feel like I did it all wrong, made a huge mistake, like regardless of how absolutely against everything I believe about parenting and nurturing this child it is, I should have sucked it up and let her cry it out at 4 months and had done with it. And I don't even really believe it works - I think sleep is an individual thing and draconian methods of trying to control it are inappropriate and that leaving a small child to cry alone in the dark has to be, simply must be, damaging to that child. And yet, I was still thinking maybe I should have done it, that maybe I should do it with the next one.

And then yesterday morning, we were playing Naptime. This involves Mia tucking her dolls in for a nap and then getting them up to change their poopy diapers and then tucking them in for another nap over and over for hours. It's scintillating. Mia had Dolly, and Dolly was all wrapped up in her blanket ready for naptime, and Mia had already sung her Rock A Bye Baby and the ABCs, and then Mia said to Dolly "Don't cry, Mama right here, Mama always get you."

And with that, she saved me. Sure, I may have to rock her to sleep every night until she's 35, but my kid knows that Mama is always there for her, Mama always comes, Mama will always help her. And that? If I never do another good thing in my life, that is enough.

Psst

New post here today, if you are interested. I promise not do this every time, but it's one of those things where if you go read it tomorrow it's just not as relevant.

Only me

I own a couple of... adult items. You know what I mean. I will leave it up to you to decide for yourselves whether they were gag gifts which have since gathered dust in the back of my dresser because I am terrified to throw them away for fear someone will discover them in my trash or whether they are treasured items put to frequent use. One of those things is true, but I can't quite decide which would be worse to admit on the internet. I feel like one way, I'm repressed, and the other way I'm giving you information you have no reason to know, so I'm just admitting that I own these... adult items, and leaving it at that.

When we moved, I did not want the movers to discover these... adult items amongst my belongings, so I hid them in one of my many purse-type things in one of those cheap plastic "dressers" and then taped the drawers closed.

Last week, I took Mia to a local park/farm to ogle the pigs and horses (I held my kid while she patted two massive draft horses and didn't cry even a little, be proud of me) and the peacock.

What do these two things have in common? Well, guess which purse-type thing I decided to take along to haul all of Mia's needed accessories, and guess which purse-type thing I didn't check before dumping a bunch of toddler stuff inside, and guess what I carried along with me to our local park/farm?

I'm the only person this has ever happened to, aren't I? I knew it.

Mia Monday #87: Mia's Playroom Edition

One of the things Mia picked up in the whole pack/move/unpack thing was the concept of being busy. I guess I told her a time or million that Mama was busy right now, but would play with her soon, so now she likes to tell me "Mia little busy now, play Mama later."

Well, Mia is too busy to play with you today. Maybe next week.

Grump

Things making me grumpy today:

I just discovered 300 comments and emails in my spam folder. I've realized for a week or so that I was missing stuff, but didn't think to check the spam and had no idea it had been happening for at least a month and who knows how much longer. So, if I haven't been answering you, it isn't because I'm a jerk. Or at least, not only because I'm a jerk.

We had a veritable dickload of margaritas left after the party on Saturday, and out of a group of 6 adults, none of us could figure out how to dump the thing without making an unholy mess, so we just forced the men to move it full and left the tequila to oxidize in my garage. Then the rental guy came to pick it up and just opened the taps to drain it back into the buckets the mix came in. Taps. Duh.

I know I mentioned last week that I had started wearing maternity pants, but it was really just for a small amount of extra comfort since all my regular clothes still fit. I wore regular old pants yesterday, in fact. And I don't know whether it was a sudden fetal growth spurt or the two pieces of leftover birthday cake I ate last night, but this morning not a single item of pre-pregnancy clothes fits. Fuck me. Oh wait, that's how I got into this mess in the first place. Nevermind.

The child, she is whiny. The only thing that stops the whining is "rocket," aka Little Einsteins. I am very anti-tv for Mia - I don't like her to watch more than an hour or so a week, but the whining was so bad that I turned it on just to have some peace, and she already watched 45 minutes of Elmo this morning.

Pictures later, had zero free time this weekend. Or in the past three months really. I guess you can add that to the grump list.

Par-tay!

I have 28 bottles of wine, 96 bottles of beer, a gallon and a half of tequila and a margarita machine in my garage.

You guys bring the food, ok?

Marital Bliss

Chris likes to make rules for me while I'm pregnant: things that I want to do and cannot and things that I don't want to do and must. It is the sort of thing that is hopelessly endearing and also sort of hot, that at the same time makes me wish he would shut the fuck up already. I think he does it because he can play the fetus card and have at least a chance of getting me to do what he says, whereas most of the time I either ignore him or tell him where he can shove his bossy, "because I'm your husband" attitude.

Or it may just be that pregnancy is his turn to be the rational one in this relationship. We usually alternate - I convince him that the sky is not, in actual fact, currently falling one day, and he talks me out of whatever tree I've chased myself up the next. These days, Chris is the one lecturing me that if I got less than three hours sleep the night before, a nap is a far better option than a trip to the gym. Or a pedicure. But see, I really need a pedicure. And he's right on that. He says I'm stubborn (and probably thinks, but wisely does not say, that I am also stupid), but I prefer to believe that pregnancy impairs my brain to the point that logic and I just decide to part company for a while.

Chris's big Pregnancy Rule for Beth this go-round, thanks largely to our recent move and my habit of stacking a phone book, a toddler chair and a sturdy basket into a pile to climb so I can reach the top of the cabinets, or whatever, is No Standing on Chairs. Although, it is far more complicated than that. I may not stand on a kitchen chair, but it's perfectly fine to stand on the kitchen counters. Apparently the living room chairs are acceptable as well, but that may only be when I am rescuing my husband from a terrifying spider the size of a pea.

I think the rules are a little silly. After all, I've done this before and I am certainly not going to do anything to endanger the safety of our fetus, or my own ass for that matter as I am not a fan of pain. But I abide by them, for the most part. At least when Chris is home. When he isn't home... well... what he doesn't know and all of that.

I bring this up, because I have a pile of empty boxes that need to be relocated to the attic, and I am fairly sure that Chris would Not Approve of my hauling them up the very sturdy ladder myself. And I am also fairly sure that he would notice, forcing me to either admit that I climbed the ladder and face the lecture or come up with some story about how a roving gang of elves came storming through the neighborhood early this morning and I gave them a nickel apiece and all the leftover Chinese food in the fridge to haul the boxes for me. Somehow, I don't think he would buy that.

Sigh. I guess I'll have to clean the bathrooms instead (with all-natural, non-toxic products only, of course). It just doesn't sound like nearly as much fun.

Also hey, we're guessing Wally's gender over here today, if you are so inclined.

At least it wasn't the electric

Latest entry to the List of Things I Never Thought I Would Say to Another Human Being:

Sweetheart, please don't put the toothbrush in your bottom.

Some things of note

First:

Click for a bigger version.

Are you concerned about maintaining the lustrous finish of your toilet seats? Because I sure as hell am. Thank goodness I read these instructions and can now devote all my free time to keeping the toilet seats looking new for years to come.

Second:

Seventeen weeks, fifteen pounds (moo), say hello to the maternity pants.

Sorry for the shitty picture quality, but no way in hell am I retaking it. Now sure, my regular pants still fit since I'm really only 5 pounds over my pre-pregnancy pre-diet weight (and sweet jeebus but those ten pounds I lost this Spring leapt back on in about four seconds) and never bought new pants, but the maternity pants are just so much more comfortable that I've decided to give up the fight. Granted, I spent the morning catching them halfway down my ass and hauling them back up to a decent level, but it's either that or punch another hole in my belts and I just can't deal with that.

So I hope all (three) of you who have been clamoring for belly shots are happy now and will leave me the hell alone while I go get some more ice cream. It takes work to look this good, you know.

Mia Monday #86: Cousins Edition

We asked the two year old to hold the three month old. We got about what we expected.

Also, I've started blogging at a new joint, but only twice a month, so don't worry that I'll be nagging you all the time to go read over there, because I'll obviously only be nagging you about it twice a month. Anyway, my first (sort of dull, but I was on an unexpected deadline with way too many home improvement tasks going on at the same time) post is up here. (Doing this one for fun, not for money. Just wanna keep it all up front with all y'all.)