Thursday, October 30, 2008

We've got the biggest balls of them all

I would like to preface this blog entry by saying that I support the concept of public art and installation art. I think it is important to support the arts and I think that municipal installation art is a great way to expose the public to great works of art.

I also think that there are reasons to not purchase art, especially using hotel/motel tax funds. Hotel/motel tax funds are designated for endeavors that will promote and enhance tourism in the city. These funds are often used to run visitor's centers, advertising campaigns, and city beautification projects. Occasionally, I suppose, public art falls under that last category. For example, Renee O'Connor's lovely tiles in the sidewalk in Long Beach - they have a historical message and are beautiful and I think they enhance the tourist experience. But sometimes, art for art's sake just doesn't work for me. And the whole town of Mount Vernon is up in arms over what I (and many people) think is a particularly ugly and inappropriate piece of installation art for which the city paid $30,000 in hotel/motel tax funds and then decided to put in front of the building in which I work. Why here? Because the downtown association thought it was too ugly to put downtown, and the Mayor did not want it in the part across from his office because he didn't want to look at it every day, either.

So, what comes to mind when you see our lovely new sculpture?

I think it looks like sperm. And so do lots of other people. Notice that it is white. We are taking bets on how long it will be before it is tagged with graffiti. You know, since it now lives outside of the freakin' bus station.

Fortunately for Mount Vernon, we are not short on creativity, and this has sparked a new interest in coming up with a "fresh" slogan for Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon: We've got the biggest balls of them all

Mount Vernon: Get it on!

Mount Vernon: Come rub our balls

I just don't get it. How does this giant sculpture (which, by the way, the artist has been trying to sell since 1999 and didn't have any takers until he found some suckers on our city council, who did as many politicians do and didn't listen to the constituency - basically the entire town - when we said that we didn't want to buy this monstrosity) attract tourists or enhance their tourism experience?

All I can say is that I think I am going to go kick Mount Vernon in the balls when I leave work today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


It's funny how things can feel like they're going so great, and then you can hit one day, just one 24 hour period, and things seem to fall apart. Worried, scared, frustrated, tired, sad... just some of the many emotions I am experiencing right now. Oh, and I am trying not to wallow in self-pity, I really am, but geez, things are no good, you know? Tony spent some time ripping up the floor last night where the contractor said he didn't think the floor needed to come up. It was soaked, the contractor is full of crap, but I will surely be holding my tongue around him because, hey, he is fixing this all for free (as well he should - it was his screw up). So things smell bad, there is black mold, a large dehumidifier machine makes a ton of noise, I have no working dishwasher or oven, I can't reach the microwave, and my house is a mess. To top off my fears of poisoning my whole family with this fiasco (seriously, black mold is BAD and that many Clorox fumes can't be good either), I know my blood pressure is getting worse. I can feel my face all hot and throbby. So, all in all, Monday was not a good day and it has sort of screwed the entire week.

I feel like I am failing this child already. Okay, so I have felt that all along. I have gained waaay too much weight (who's a big, fat whale?) and now I have high bp and am breathing spores. Due to the bp, I am no longer doing even the minuscule housekeeping items I was doing before, like the few hand wash dishes we have and feeding the dog, because every time I move, my heart freaks out. What makes it worse is that this child is no closer to coming out and I will likely have to go through another five weeks of miserable, swollen ankles and clothes that don't fit (even large maternity shirts!) before I bring this baby into the world. And then, what if it's deformed or has some horrible disability?

Thanks for reading my rant, internet friends. I am trying to believe it will all get better, but I have a real hard time seeing past the dust and detritus in my kitchen and living room, or the dirt in my bathroom, or the laundry piles, or the overflowing garbage cans, or... I could go on, but you get the picture. Even without the kitchen torn up, things are dirty enough that I wouldn't want to invite friends or family over to visit. So don't come over! Gah!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


So the throbbing in my ears and the pink cheeks? Pregnancy-induced hypertension. Scary!

I had another checkup yesterday and my BP was a bit high. High enough that I am under strict orders to attend no more meetings and to "take it easy." No more Crazy for me! And this comes at a time when our house is about to get ripped up AGAIN. Yes, the contractor screwed up and connected our dishwasher to our garbage disposal incorrectly, so we have been unknowingly leaking water into our floor everytime we run the dishwasher. We only noticed when our beautiful new flooring started to swell and buckle. So, for the next few days, it's all ripped to pieces and drying before the contractor will put it back together. Gar!

Wish us luck over the next few days... I think it might take more than just rest for my BP to calm down!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Crazy

Lacking only a few items one might deem "good ideas" for a baby room (i.e., a diaper pail and perhaps a few more receiving blankets - I hope to avoid doing laundry that first week), the baby room is done! Now, before I share photos, let me just preface with a few comments. Tony and I are not designers, and we're not matchy-matchy type people. I guess we're what you'd call "eclectic," and as such, our baby room is probably not nearly as Winnie-the-Pooh, flowers-and-butterflies, color-coordinated gooey baby themed as most other nurseries. But we like it.

As you can see, we finally purchased a dresser and it is already full. We have lots of newborn clothes and blankets, so I figure if we have a really "spitty" baby, we are set for a few months. The bottom drawer has lots of clothes for later in the munchkin's career as a baby, including many adorable sets of footy pyjamas. Why don't they make footy pyjamas for adults?

The painting is a print from Goodnight Moon, my favorite child's book ever. We have three copies for the baby to chew on and love. The blue wall is also adorned with a painting of Buddha, I believe, given to me back in college by my good friend, Dave, who spent a year in Sri Lanka. The bassinet is going to be great in the baby room for the first month or more while we wait on our backordered crib (which matches the changing table... there, we were matchy-matchy about something). Then, I plan to move the bassinet downstairs so baby has somewhere to sleep whilst I am cooking or whatever on another floor of the house.

In case you were wondering, most of the things one purchases for a baby room come in packages marked "Assembly Required." That was so with the bassinet as well as with the lovely white changing table (and I imagine will be the case with the crib). Tony did a magnificent job putting the pieces of the changing table together, and he didn't even have that many left over at the end! I'm sure we didn't need those parts, anyhow. As you can see, my station at the rocker is all set and ready with my boppy in place (a side note: the competitor to Boppy is called My Breast Friend. I find this a little disturbing).

Lastly (well, other than the closet, which is really just a closet with that adorable whale-shaped laundry hamper inside), I present to you "The Fun Wall." We have baskets of toys, a well-stocked bookshelf, maps, and a patient dog who is probably wondering, "what the hell? There's a whole room of junk in here that smells all weird where before there was an awesome guest bed on which I loved to sleep!" (Buster occasionally has impeccable grammar. Other times, I could swear if he could talk, he would say "Durpa durpa durp..." like the happy idiot he is.)

So now that the baby room is finished, The Crazy that is nesting has turned me to other parts of the house to fulfill my nesting urges. This afternoon, Buster and I went to Lowe's for the express purpose of purchasing a squeegee because I COULD NOT GO ONE MORE DAY with dirty windows. There's still one I can't reach, so Tony will be pressed into service when he gets home from work (Tony's version of nesting is to work on Saturday to try to get things buttoned up before baby). Buster enjoyed a trip through the drive-through (as soon as I even think of drive-through, I think of that ridiculous SNL skit with NSync... "Why don't you drive through my heart/can I take your order...") of Dairy Queen for a small vanilla cone. I think the gal at the window was amused when I immediately held the cone out to Buster in the passenger's seat for him to start licking. I think it only took him about a minute to devour the whole thing, but it sure was funny to watch that big, splotchy tongue lick the cone and his eyes roll back in his head with delight.

I also cleaned the oven today. Because we've had it since March or so, and I have never cleaned it. For shame. The garden has been weeded, each night I make and freeze a meal for later this year, and now I am about to go tackle the ironing. The Crazy sure makes me productive.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shower with love...

A bit late in posting this, but I owe a big, gigantic THANK YOU to the lovely ladies who put on and attended my second baby shower in Mount Vernon... wow! I had a ton of fun, and I was totally exhausted by the end of the day! The highlights were that my Aunt Lisa and my Aunt Cindy (pictured with a friend's baby) both drove up to attend; it was wonderful to see them!

We played some interesting games, including one where everyone had to "birth" a small, plastic baby from an ice cube. Our new friend Janin, wife of a new hire at Tony's firm, won!

Everyone also had to guess how large my belly was by cutting a piece of string. Janin, who is also pregnant, won that one as well. Most people WAAAY overestimated. Including my own mom! I guess I look a lot bigger than I am? I don't know, is that a good or bad thing?

This is my boss, Kristen, who threw the shower:

All in all, we had a fun time, and little baby cook received many gifts from his/her adoring fans, including a crib from my mom, a bassinet from my mother-in-law, and a changing table from my Aunt Lisa! Holy cow, we might be ready for this baby after all!

Last night, we purchased a dresser, and Tony put the changing table together. The crib is backordered until December, but we have the bassinet for the baby to inhabit for the first month or so. I will take some photos of the baby room this weekend, after I clean it a bit better.

I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, but the office called and rescheduled me to Monday due to an emergency. In my last-weeks-of-pregnancy hormonal anxiety state, I was a little bit peeved. After all, people are starting to tell me that I have dropped (and oh, can I feel it-- pregnancy is painful, people!) and I really want to know what my status is. An aquaintance of mine, who was due on November 21, gave birth this weekend! Yikes, that totally made me realize how close we are!

Oh, and here are the new standings in the pool:

10/31 - Mom

11/10 - Amanda

11/11 - Cris

11/14 - Kelli

11/15 - Maggi

11/17 - Jeanne-Marie

11/18 - Monica

11/19 - Loris

11/20 - Keleigh

11/21 - Carole

11/22 - Sarah

Monday, October 20, 2008

Swim Lanes

So here are the standings as of now for the baby pool:
11/10 - Amanda
11/11 - Cris
11/14 - Kelli
11/17 - Jeanne-Marie
11/19 - Loris
11/20 - Keleigh
11/21 - Carole
11/22 - Sarah

So, plenty of time for anyone else to weigh in. I promise to send the winner something cool after the baby comes, but don't expect it to come right away. I'm not planning on much sleep during those first few weeks.

In other news, I had another great shower this weekend with lots of friends and family up north... I will post about that with photos later. Also, Braxton-Hicks, yay! (not.) It is a pretty weird sensation for your belly to get all hard for a few seconds, then relax... and not be controlling it whatsoever! I am thinking pregnancy is all about letting go of control...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jump in the Pool!

So, my office started a baby pool, and I thought I would get one going here...

Official due date: November 19th (LMP method)
9 week ultrasound due date: November 17th
19 week ultrasound said BIG BABY
Doc says I'm healthy and doing great
I'm not waddling yet, but I am feeling lots more pressure down there, if you know what I mean... the baby could be dropping a bit.
My poor little fingers are swelling, and I have taken to wearing my wedding rings on a necklace to save myself any unfortunate loss-of-finger incidents.
I have a hair appointment on October 31st, so I am counting on at least making it that far.

And here are the most recent photos, taken this evening:

So, friends and family, here are the rules: choose a date (and a sex, if you dare... my office pool is much more complicated with weight and length as well, but I am not suggesting you buy into such insanity) and put your guess in the comments. If someone else has that date, pick a different one. Maybe by the time I have this baby, I'll come up with a cool prize for the winner :-)

By the way, I will admit that I am impressed that I am so large! I mean, I guess it doesn't look weird on other pregnant women, and I am totally within the realm of normalcy (for the pregnancy, I mean), but dang! When it's your own body, it's a different thing. What I really can't believe is how small my boobs look next to that belly, even though they have taken on gigantic proportions compared to their pre-pregnancy size. What a crazy adventure, huh? It's pretty cool, despite the uncomfortable madness and loss of control. I started to think today that I might be sad when it's all over... *sigh* I am trying to really enjoy these last few weeks of belly jabbing from little legs and arms before I never again feel this baby inside of me.

Okay, sorry for the sappiness... on with the guessing (side wagers are up to you, you crazy gamblers)!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ohmigosh, THANK YOU!

Cleetus the Fetus is so blessed, and I am convinced that he or she will have an amazing network of support and people who love him/her! As you know, we spent the weekend at the beach, and my lovely sister-in-law, along with loads of help from my mom and mother-in-law, threw me an excellent baby shower! Some of my favorite people were there, and I now have lots of baby stuff to begin filling dresser drawers, play boxes, cribs, bathtubs, and more...

First, Sarah and I stopped by Kelli's shower, which was held the same day as mine. Our children could be born on the same day, that's how close our due dates are!

Isn't she beautiful? Her little boy is going to have such a fun mom!

Well, I just want to say a heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who came to the shower. I know you are all excited for the arrival of our little one, and I can't wait for him or her to meet all of you. I had a lot of fun being showered with gifts and I was so happy to have seen all of you!

Thanks, too, to mom and Loris for making tons of wonderful food. Mom, I don't care what you say, your cupcakes were adorable. But your cake tasted awesome, so I opted to look at the adorable cupcakes and eat the lemon confection.

In news, I am 35 weeks pregnant! Hooray, only 3 to 7 more weeks to go! We are working on the baby room and getting things prepared from this end... hmm, do you think I should pack a hospital bag just in case? My guess is we still have at least a couple more weeks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aaaand, we're off

To the beach, that is. Which probably means that I'll be seeing half of this blog's readership this weekend, hooray!

Had a checkup yesterday, and the doctor said, "Wow. That's a big kid." No kidding. Anyhow, everything is fine with me and the baby and I even got a flu shot this morning. You should, too; there are no shortages of the vaccine this year and then I'll be sure that when you touch my preshus baybee that you won't be infected.

The weather is beautiful but cold, and I am looking forward to a few days of relaxing with friends and family. We started working on the baby room last weekend and I meant to post about that, but then we didn't really get to a point that seems post-worthy. With any luck, I will find a crib that I love and then we will finish the room and you can all see the glorious photos. Glorious photos of beach time to come on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The View from up Here

Do you see toes?
Neither do I.

We have hit that magical 33-week mark. Actually, it isn't magical, but it does seem as though every pregnancy book has some snippet of info to make you feel as though you've really done something each week you are still pregnant. So at 33 weeks, I am fairly certain that the child in my belly is long and large, at least 4 pounds, and we are slowin' down, folks. The child does not have as much room to squirm and play in utero, so I get fewer fast-paced belly-rolls and more frequent slow stretches of feet into my ribs. I can't eat as much in one sitting as I used to, and I am so fatigued by the end of the day, it's impossible to think of doing anything so strenuous as taking Buster for a walk. Thank God for Tony, he takes care of me and the dog. And my parents were up this past week, and if it weren't for them, there wouldn't be a clean dish in the entire house.

So here is the full-body view this week. The photos aren't that great, I think the flash was off. I'm standing in what used to be our guest room, so I guess these also qualify as the "before" photos of our baby room. Junk on the floor, white walls... all of this will mysteriously disappear in the next couple of weeks to be replaced by new paint, furniture, etc. I call it a mystery because I will likely sleep on the couch while fairies do the work. Or Tony, take your pick. Hmm, at the moment, I suppose it is also a mystery because we don't technically have anything to put in the room other than books. And while I am sure the baby will love reading at some point in his or her life, he or she probably won't want to sleep on books. We'll be working on acquiring baby gear over the next few weeks.

Just for funsies, here's what I looked like at 8 weeks...

Let this also be a lesson to pregnant women about what they should not do in the third trimester. Look at that belly! And I was feeling pudgy and had gained 6 pounds at that point! Look a that butt! Okay, you don't really have to look at my butt, but I'm just saying, damn, I looked good compared to now. I don't think my thighs would be able to fit into half a leg of those pants at this point! I am so tired of being fat, and internet, I think my biggest fear is not about being a good mom or having a crazy demon child, but of never looking good again. Given the current state of my ass, I would say that fear is well-founded. So, does anyone have any great advice on how to accept the fact that you will never be beautiful again and instead forever pudgy? Cuz I'm pretty sure that giving birth will only get rid of so much weight... the rest of this nasty forty pounds I'm stuck with (forty pounds today... but what about in seven weeks when I actually push out the child? I might have surpassed the ridiculous and gone on to just horrifying weight gain by then!). Baby boy or girl, you might get to be an only child if momma stays this unsexy.