Thursday, April 24, 2008

something's rotten in the state of rhode island

The other night, I was enjoying my sleep (after tossing and turning for hours) when my husband's alarm went off. I woke up, smacked him (as I do every morning), and rolled over to look at the clock.

4:30. Apparently Hubby had not reset his alarm after going in early the previous day. I told him this (in what I assure you were loving, dulcet tones) and he fixed the alarm and immediately (being the non-pregnant one he is) fell back to sleep.

I, on the other hand, was wide awake.

And I realized right away that The Smell was still there. Now, I had noticed The Smell the previous day, and while it wasn't necessarily a bad smell (it was sort of a red pepper hummus thing), it was precisely the worst possible smell to my pregnant stomach at that time.

I rolled over and tried to fall asleep, but it was no good. The Smell was there and it was haunting me, gagging me. There was clearly no way I'd find peace while The Smell lingered.

I heaved myself out of the bed and opened the window. Immediately, I was surrounded by the sounds of birds. Lots and lots of birds. It was like I was living on a bird sanctuary or in the rain forest, or... well somewhere with a lot of birds instead of my suburban residential neighborhood. I tried getting back in bed, but now I had The Smell of the Mystery Hummus AND the call of 5 million birds. At 4:45 in the morning. I, being the peace-loving, hippie pacifist that I am, lay awake wondering where all the hunters were when you actually need them, and trying to figure out what in the name of god that awful smell could be.

Finally, when I could take no more, I got back out of bed and shut the window. (At least I could do something about that part of the problem.) Without the fresh air, of course, The Smell got worse.

At this point, I was more annoyed than anything. I mean, I was lying there, tormented by a horrid odor, and all Hubby could do was sleep? Hello?! I'm pregnant with your child, man. The least you can do is help me out a bit!

As I lay there, frustrated and angry, tormented by The Smell, unable to open the windows, the perfect solution came to me.

I got up, walked to the bathroom closet, got a bar of Irish Spring soap and climbed back into bed, where I propped the soap up under my nose and (while I didn't actually fall back asleep) blissfully ignored The Smell that had been haunting me.

The Smell that has been there for three days now [even though I cleaned out the fridge (twice), emptied and scrubbed the sink and took out the trash].

The Smell that is still turning my stomach as I type.

The Smell that no one else can smell.

Can pregnancy actually drive you insane?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

begin again

Friends of ours are moving in to their new house this weekend and we offered to watch their two little girls (ages 2 and 10 months). Yesterday the older ones played outside for five hours while the little one slept and today Magic Baby woke up telling us how "cool" and "cute" the baby is. Then, when they came over, he picked up his guitar and ran around the house playing it and singing songs about the baby. He's also been kissing her and playing with her constantly and whenever she cries he's right there to soothe her. I'm taking this as a good sign, since we weren't sure how he would be with a little one, and he's only got about six months to get ready for our new arrival.

Oh, had I forgotten to mention that? Yes, I'm pregnant. About ten or eleven weeks, actually (which puts me about two weeks behind Amy) and which makes me due sometime in early November. Had anyone figured it out? I'd dropped some little hints along the way, mostly that I was sick for over two months (and still am. Yay morning sickness). Let me tell you how hard it was not to say anything earlier, but I'm a little paranoid so I decided to wait. We had to tell my family almost right away, though, since I have been incredibly nauseous and exhausted. We're all very excited (although my mom's response of "I'm not old enough to have three grandchildren!" was kind of funny) and can't wait for the arrival of our new little one. As far as gender goes, we probably won't find out ahead of time. Hubby and I like to be surprised, and while this makes knitting things a bit more difficult, I think I can handle sticking with neutral colors and patterns for awhile. (Not that I've done any knitting in the last two months. I have been way too tired, but I'm really hoping that goes away soon.) In fact, the only reason we might even consider finding out if this baby is a he or she is to help with names. See, we have a girl's name picked out (although it's a secret. Sorry, Jen.) but so far we haven't had any luck with one for a boy. This is sort of the reverse of what happened when we had Magic Baby. Then we had a boy's name all picked out but nothing really for a girl. Fortunately, he's a boy so it wasn't really an issue. I'm kind of hoping the same is true for this one, although I realize that's a pretty stupid reason for wanting to have a girl- we already have a name. Honestly, other than that reason, neither of us really has a preference. Big Sister switches; some days she wants it to be a girl, others she hopes it's a boy. Magic Baby has no clue yet really. He thinks we're going to get to keep the baby we've been watching these last couple of days. He also thinks the baby is in his stomach, which I guess is okay if he wants to be on Oprah someday.
Well, now you all know my secret and the reason I haven't been blogging as much lately. I really haven't felt up to it. Most days end with me passing out right after Magic Baby either from exhaustion or nausea or a killer headache. Like I said, though, I really hope I'm over this phase soon and that I can get back to my regular program of knitting and blogging until the wee hours of the morning. Ahhhh, the good old days!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

genetically speaking, take two

My wonderful husband has been taking Magic Baby for walks around the neighborhood, now that the weather here isn't as ridiculously cold as it had been. Yesterday, they asked me if I wanted to go and I agreed, figuring that I could at least get some cute pictures out of the deal. And I did. At first.

Here's Magic Baby pulling his wagon along.

Here's Magic Baby and his Daddy playing Pooh Sticks in a nearby stream.

Here's my boy and his mud-covered fireman boots. Doesn't he look thrilled?

Then my husband decided to do what he does when we go for walks in the woods, which is look for bugs. Disgusting, slimy, creepy crawlies. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well, since I had my camera I took some pictures and figured I'd share them with all of you. No, no; no need to thank me. It's the least I could do.

Here are some nasty little bugs that roll into balls when you touch them. Not that I know from experience; my husband told me and I took his word for it.

Here's a teeny little worm that really wouldn't be too bad except that

Magic Baby actually touched it. Gross, I know.

These things (the little yellow blobs)

are ants. Millions of tiny ants just waiting for an opportunity to crawl all over unsuspecting hikers.

Here we have some salamanders, in their natural habitat

and being held by Hubby, who has no problem touching these nasty things. The freak.

Oh and this one?

This is a picture of some more of those rolly bugs and that shiny thing? That would be a slug. A big, fat, slimy slug.

Magic Baby's verdict on the whole thing: He was reluctant to hold the things we uncovered (although he did try holding a few of the slower-moving salamanders for a few seconds), but he had no problem touching them if someone else held them. He did not want to leave, and he spent most of today begging for Daddy to come home from work and take him to see more "eeewwwws" which he now tells me are "cute". I guess it really is in the genes.

Also, I've decided that maybe I won't come back as a man in my next life after all.

On the plus side, at least I had some pretty things waiting for me when I got home:

Our tulips are coming up (finally) and...

my Pay It Forward gift from Amy had arrived! That's right, I am the proud owner of an Amy Hood original book! With grid paper inside for knitting patterns! And in my favorite color, no less! And best of all- it matches my blog! A big 'Thanks you' to Amy for her excellent work! (Can you tell I'm a little excited about it?)

And now, I'm off. There's knitting and laundry and cleaning to be done. Plus, I haven't finished disinfecting Magic Baby's little fingers. I can't believe he actually touched those things.

Monday, April 7, 2008

thanks, hon

As I have been a bit under the weather lately, my wonderful husband has been picking up the slack around the house. Before I say anything else, I'd like to make it clear that I really do appreciate all his hard work. Really. That said, though, there are a few things about his housekeeping that I'd like to mention. Let me know if I'm alone in this, or if this is some kind of deficiency all men have.

1. The other day he said (and this is a direct quote): "The laundry is all caught up." I was shocked, because honestly I think the laundry was all caught up once in the entire time I've been doing laundry, and I called everyone I knew to gloat about it. (I really did. You can ask Jen, I was all "Hey, how's your laundry going? Not bad? Still in the rinse cycle? Then you still have a load of whites to do? Awww... poor thing. Mine's all done. Yep, nothin' in my hampers." I'm a good friend like that.) So the fact that my husband, who had only taken the laundry over a few days previously, was able to fight through the gigantic piles of dirty clothes and get them all washed, dried and folded- without being snarky about it- amazed me. I was in awe of his housekeeping prowess.

Fast forward a few hours, when I actually walked past the laundry room and noticed that not only was the huge pile of laundry still there, it was all still dirty. At first I was taken aback- but he said the laundry was all caught up? Then I thought about it. Maybe 'all caught up' means something different to men? Maybe, to him, 'all caught up' means the five loads that I had washed during the week and had asked him to put in the dryer had actually gotten dried? Or the three baskets that have been waiting to be folded for months now are actually folded and possibly even put away? In this house, either of those would be a big accomplishment. That must be what he meant, I decided. So, while he didn't accomplish the impossible task of 'catching up on the laundry,' he did quite a bit, and I was still impressed (although to a lesser degree than before).

Fast forward a bit more... when I went in the basement where the dryer is, and I noticed that there are not one, not two, but three (overflowing) baskets of laundry sitting there. Two are not dried. The other is not folded. Also, my keen sense of smell told me these are the same baskets of laundry that had been sitting there all week. Which really made me wonder: If he didn't mean the laundry was all washed, and he didn't mean the laundry was all dried and he didn't mean the laundry was all folded... What the hell did he mean by 'the laundry is all caught up'?! But no, I told myself, I am not going to question him on this. He's been working hard all week, trying to help me out. I am not going to make a big deal about the fact that while he said 'the laundry is all caught up' I have found evidence to the contrary.

Of course, this noble stance of mine lasted all of an hour, at which point I (very sweetly) said, "Hey, honey? Remember when you said 'The laundry is all caught up'? What did you mean by that, exactly? 'Cause when a woman says that, she means all the laundry in the house is done."

My husband looked at me in alarm and said "Oh I didn't mean that!"

"Yeah, I know you didn't, 'cause I saw the dirty laundry and the laundry that's waiting to be dried and the laundry that's waiting to be folded... so I was just wondering what about the laundry was 'all caught up'."

He mumbled for a bit and finally I was able to get out of him that what he meant by 'the laundry is all caught up' is that he had washed a bit of it, and dried some and even folded a basket or two. And now he was done. He looked at the mounds of clothes in various rooms of the house and decided Eh, I've done enough for today. Which would have been fine except that he told me the laundry was All. Caught. Up. Clearly, he had heard the phrase before and figured he'd try it out regardless of the fact that he had no idea what it actually meant. It's like when a three-year-old drops the F-bomb. Or I talk about plumbing. We don't know what we're saying, we just like the way plumbbob sounds! And while I understand my husband's desire to use the phrase 'the laundry is all caught up' he'd better make damn sure that the next time I hear it, he's got bureaus full of folded socks to prove it.

2. Yesterday, I was lying in bed around dinnertime, with a nose like a faucet and an upset stomach. My husband yelled upstairs that he was going to make pasta and chicken cutlets for dinner. "That's fine," I replied thinking As long as he feeds the kid and doesn't mention anything else to me about food I really don't care if they eat Spam for dinner.

Thirty seconds later, my husband yelled, "I thought we had pasta."

"We do." Please don't make me think about food right now.

(Pause while he looks.)

"I don't see it."

"It's there." God, if I have to come down there and find the freakin' pasta, you're the one cleaning up after me!

"I don't see it."

*Groan* "All right-"

"Oh wait, I found some egg noodles. Do you think those are okay?"

Egg noodles? I guess they're fine. I mean I've never had them with pasta sauce and chicken cutlets, but this is the guy who eats anchovies. How bad could egg noodles and pasta sauce be? "Yeah, egg noodles are great."

" 'Kay. Do you want some?"

"NO! Are you sure there's no pasta? I could have sworn there was some-"

"Nope, no pasta. But don't worry. I'll make these."

"Great." Whatever.

Care to guess what I found this morning?

That's two...

That makes four...

Okay that's six. Six boxes of pasta in the very same cupboard my husband swore he checked last night. When I showed him the evidence, he said, "Huh." Then he thought for a minute and said "But those two were behind something."

"Yeah," I said "they were behind the pasta sauce."

"Huh," he said again. Then he shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

In my next life, I'm so coming back as a man.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

party time

I decided, since Magic Baby's birthday is at the end of February and Big Sister's is the beginning of April, we could get away with just having one party for both of them. ('Cause, really, would you want to host two huge parties within a month of each other? I thought not. Hell, would you even want to go to two kids' parties that close together? See, it was a good idea for everyone.)

I did let them each have their own theme, though. Big Sister (for the third year in a row) chose pirates (that Johnny Depp gets us all), and Magic Baby (after careful deliberation) chose fire trucks. Thus our combination Pirates-And-Fire Trucks Birthday Party was born. (Those go together, right?)
There was food,

and games

(a treasure hunt for the pirates)

(and a house 'on fire,' a.k.a. covered in little crepe paper flames, to be sprayed by the firefighters).

There was even the requisite pinata to be smacked around.

No hitting, Magic Baby. Um... except that. That you can hit. No mixed messages here.

I think I might have even seen some sibling love in there.

She's dressed as a dead pirate, with a pink skull tattoo on her face. He's wearing a shirt with a fire truck on it and his firefighter boots, which you can kind of see in the picture of them putting out the fire. BTW, he never takes those boots off.

All in all, everything went great. The kids were all well behaved, the food (from a local Italian restaurant) was delicious, the games were all a huge hit. And I wasn't even too stressed out (mostly because I had given up food and cake duty, and just bought the dern things). I've decided the combination birthday is the way to go, as is the not cooking (really, who was I trying to impress? Everyone knows I'm the worst cook ever... although I did make pretty some cool cakes in the past, if I do say so myself.) And who's even going to notice about the mix-and-match themes? I mean, pirates and firefighters might get together... like if a pirate ship was on fire? Someone would have to put it out, right? Right?