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June 2008

I am writing this while Phillip does my contract work for me

When I was 8 or 9 years old I was in a community theater production of A Christmas Carol. I don't quite know why my parents let me do this, since the theater was quite a ways from our house and I remember going to quite a few rehearsals. Maybe they had visions of my Future Stardom? But I don't even think I had lines. Anyway, it was fun, and one of the best parts was having my dad all to myself while he drove me there and back.

My family had a gigando van and a small station wagon. My dad drove me to rehearsals in the station wagon, which was a treat, and he often took me to a fast food restaurant for lunch, which was an even bigger treat. One day my dad picked me up and told me there was a surprise waiting at home. A SURPRISE! I'm sure I badgered him about it all the way there, but he wouldn't give me a hint. Finally, when we got home and the garage door opened, there was a new car inside. Our old white van with the red stripe (people called it The Ambulance) was gone and in its place was a new-to-us Ford van, just as hulking as the old one, but blue and much newer and better looking than the white van.

I cried.

It wasn't that I loved the white van. I mean, even at 8 or 9 I knew it was the farthest thing from a Sweet Ride. But the white van was our van. And this van... was nicer, yes, but DIFFERENT.

I offer that trip down Memory Lane to show you that I am unreasonably sentimental. Ridiculously so. I mean, hello, I am a THIRD GRADER. We are talking about a CAR. And not even a car, but a huuuuuuge van, a van so big my mother could pretty much walk around inside and dole out snacks to the five of us in car seats. And so unattractive that it had its own nickname.

So it makes sense that I would be at least a little bit morose about the fact that my little hippie car, with its excellent mileage and shiny blue paint and sparkly rearview mirror disco ball, is sitting on some dealership lot somewhere and there's a mini minivan sitting in its place in my garage.

(Yes. That is what Phillip and Maggie Cheung did on their fifth anniversary: try out car seats in a dealer's showroom and "negotiate" with a car salesman for an hour, only to say we needed to sleep on it, by which we meant "agonize about getting a new car over our anniversary dinner of halibut and salmon". GOOD TIMES.)

Even though we'd already pretty much decided to get a new car AND we were 99% sure which one we wanted, it was still a hard decision. I mean, it seems pretty stupid, in these Dire Economic Times, to trade the car that got 42 mpg on our little weekend road trip for one that [supposedly] gets 27 mpg at best. And do we really NEED that third row? No, we guess not. Making sure you can take your 91-year-old neighbor on a 10 minute ride once a week sort of IS a silly reason to buy a totally different car. And if we DID buy this new car... that third row is super tight. I mean, my Teeny Tiny Sisters would fit just fine (seriously- why didn't I get THOSE genes?) but normal sized people? Not so much. And buckling a kid into a car seat in that third row might require more agility than Phillip and I possess. Shouldn't we be considering a Real Van? One that would be enough space, even if we had a third kid? A used one, so we'd still manage to get away with no car payment?

I was feeling guilt over wanting a New and Less Fuel Efficient car while Phillip was frowning over whether to just go for a full size van.

But today Phillip went back to the dealer on his own (can you imagine keeping a baby entertained for the duration of a Finalizing The Car Purchase afternoon? During NAP TIME?) and came home with a new car. Which we then immediately piled into because we were late for my grandmother's birthday party an hour away.

So far I love it. It doesn't drive like a van (although perhaps I don't know, as I am used to driving vans that handle like buses) and when you have been driving a diesel for two years, it doesn't take much for you to describe another car as "zippy". It's blue. It has all the fancy stuff, because Phillip's consolation prize for owning a mini minivan is that it will answer his phone for him. It's SO MUCH EASIER to get Jack in and out of a car that has sliding doors and is higher off the ground. I even think it's sort of cute (although, again, I grew up with a van that could seat 85 people.)

But I have an itsy bitsy twinge of something inside. Did we do something dumb? Irresponsible? Silly? Short-sighted? Something we'll regret?


And then I will say: Suckas! I still have the Story Of Actually BUYING The Car And Why I Should Not Be Allowed To Be Anywhere Near Car Buying Negotiations and the Story Of Why We Traded It In (which is very short, it goes something like "no one wanted to buy it, I am assuming because they are stupid" and also "one of us is very impatient and got tired of no one emailing her, can you guess who?")


In college, in the spring before the summer before we started dating, Phillip and I went on a camping trip. NOT BY OURSELVES, like the Non-Denominational College Fellowship would have allowed THAT. And not that we would have anyway, because we were both so concerned about making sure no one found out we were interested in each other. OH, NDCF PRIORITIES.

So we went on this camping trip with our bible study. I know plenty of other people in the NDCF found this kind of thing super fun, but not me. First of all, I don't know what the excitement is about camping. Why do people like to "rough" it? For me, roughing it is no room service and a broken pool. I know, I know, I should be kicked out of Seattle right this second for saying such a thing, but whatever. HATE CAMPING. And you know what a person who hates camping just loooooves to do? Go camping with a bunch of Outdoorsy Freaks. That's right. I said it. My bible study, while fun to talk to in your dorm room, was made up of people whose idea of a good time was sleeping on the sidewalk outside REI so they wouldn't miss out on anything good at the garage sale.

(If you have no clue as to what 'REI' is or the 'REI garage sale' then we can be friends. Call me!)

So there I was, forced to spend my weekend with a bunch of Outdoorsy Freaks, sleeping on the ground and playing (good heavens, just the name makes my heart beat faster) Capture The Flag in the dark. (I am an ANXIOUS non-camper. Were they trying to KILL ME?)

But, NDCF priorities and all, I tried to have a good time. I really did. I tried to shove my famous NDCF Bad Attitude inside my sleeping bag and put on a good show. And Phillip was there! That was good, right?

After a not-exactly-restful night's sleep, I blindly crawled out of my tent to look around. My glasses were around somewhere... I found them and shoved them on my face and saw Phillip across the campfire, giving me a funny look. "Oh God," I thought, wondering what I must look like. I felt around for a sweatshirt and yanked it over my head, hoping it would also smooth out my sticky-up butch haircut. "WHAT?" I said, when he was still staring.

"Nothing!" I couldn't tell if he was confused or nervous or what. So I grabbed my toothbrush and attempted to hold my head high while I went off in search of "bathrooms".

Much much later he told me that when I poked my head out of the sleeping bag, he looked over at me and had a feeling, or a vision, or maybe just a thought: we're on a camping trip and our kids are still sleeping and my wife just woke up.

Of course I thought this was hilarious because HA, like I will EVER take our family camping.

Sometime that same spring all the bible study folks were hanging out in my dorm room (since I lived with our Fearless Leader and, being upperclassmen, we'd learned how to take our beds apart and install lofts, making room for couches and chairs and coffee tables underneath.) I had one of those pillows with arms, like this:

Husband_2 I was sitting against it, trying to get comfortable to do some homework. One of the guys in my study was all, "Did you know that's called a 'husband' pillow?" Which everyone thought was very funny. Because we were in the NDCF and afraid to talk about things like husbands.

Phillip said, "But that makes sense. Because you hug it and lean against it and kick it around, just like a husband." And everyone laughed some more because ha ha, Phillip, you are so funny. Except I was sitting there having my own little feeling/vision/thought: my husband's right there.

Sure, I liked Phillip. I had for an embarrassingly long time. But the thought of dating was enough to make me lose my appetite. I wasn't even THINKING about getting married. I mean, maybe when I was THIRTY. You know, OLD ENOUGH. So WHERE DID THAT THOUGHT COME FROM?

We got married five years ago tomorrow, a month before my twenty-fourth birthday. I have a very hard time remembering what life was like before I had Phillip to hug and lean against and kick around.   

We went to our friend's wedding last weekend. We felt like Old Married People. Who are also unflatteringly pregnant and nervous that their kid isn't taking a nap and wondering what time we'll catch the ferry home the next day and discussing houses and kids and What Comes Next with the other Old Married People.

And who obviously did not think much about 1) what they were going to wear and 2) how much they needed a haircut.

Well, this is depressing

Jack is now having meltdowns when Phillip leaves for work. We have to distract him and have Phillip sneak out somehow. Then he's clingy and/or getting into everything he's not supposed to be getting into. Which means I am picking him up and carting him up and down stairs all day long and no wonder my back has been hurting for 3 days. (I am terrified my back is going to hurt until the new baby is born. Because what am I supposed to do? Stop carrying Jack?) I'm packing for our day with the grandparents. It's not going to be sunny until the afternoon, which totally ruins my plan to sit by my sister's apartment pool this morning while Jack splashes around. And he's whining because he's run out of plastic sandwich bags to yank out of the drawer and throw around the kitchen.

I'm exhausted and it's not even 9.

So if you are really hard up for material I've got a post up at Parenting- adventures in coupon clipping. Back pain and coupon clipping- my life is THAT exciting.

The best I can say

The second floor of my house is one big room. Kitchen at one end, living room at the other end, dining room table in the middle. During dinner last night (which I actually MADE, for REAL, with an OVEN) I was sitting on the side of the table that backs up to the kitchen counter. Totally exhausted by my dinner making efforts, I leaned back in the chair, pulled up my hair up off my neck and let it drop- as you do when you are tired and sweaty and can't find a hair tie.

Except I'd let my hair drop into the pan I baked the sausages in, and my split ends were now coated with sausage grease.

After dinner I took myself and my sausage hair to Target (to RETURN things, JEEZ) and even if I'd wanted to spend more money I couldn't, because every step popped my hips farther and farther out of joint.

Later on that evening I was trying to do some writing, but all I could think about was how there was not enough padding on my chair.

"Everything hurts," I said to Phillip just before I settled down to a night of drooling into my pillow. "Nothing's in the right place. And I didn't wash the sausage out my hair."

"At least you smell good," he said. " Mmm, MEAT."

And that's sort of how I'm feeling these days. Like the best you can say about me is that I smell like meat.

A few months ago a friend of mine, who's now due in DAYS, was asking me how I felt this time around. "Everything hurts more with this pregnancy," she said, longing for the comparative ease and breeze of her first baby. I was barely into the second trimester then, and couldn't relate.

BUT NOW? I still have three months to go and by the end I fear they're going to have to use a hydraulic lift to get me out of bed in the mornings.

To make myself feel a smidge more productive I'm going to post a list of Things To Accomplish Before The Baby Is Born in my sidebar. I figure this is better than inundating you with boring posts about my things to accomplish, but still gives me the accountability factor. For example, last night I decided the baby isn't going to sleep in the Pack 'n Play, the baby is going to sleep in a porta-crib. Which we don't have and will have to purchase. I have come up with all sorts of reasons to justify buying another (smaller!) crib, mainly so I can keep the Pack 'n Play downstairs for those sketchy who-knows-when-it-will-happen nap times. But the actual reason is because I want to buy cute girly bedding and I can't buy cute girly bedding for a Pack 'N Play. I'd tell you not to tell Phillip, but now when he finds out I want to buy another crib and another bedding set, I can just say, "That's what you get for telling me I smell like meat."

Add three house plants, subtract one car

My car is now posted for sale on Craigslist. SOB. As much fun as I've had shopping for the Next Family Vehicle (and it HAS been fun), I don't really want to get rid of my car. I want some little magic elf to wave his wand or blink three times and somehow stretch the back seat enough to accommodate two car seats and one grown up posterior. I've given serious thought to how we might ferry our kids and neighbor to church in two trips, but there have been a few times in the last two weeks when we've picked up my sister or driven a friend somewhere and I think to myself, "That third row of seats will be AWESOME." And I've thought a lot about keeping our car and getting a second bigger car, but we've navigated life successfully as a one-car family and two cars seems like too much. I mean, Phillip takes the bus to work. I drive to Target. We never leave the house after seven and when we do go places we go together.

And so. My car is listed for sale. I am so sad. And a little bit terrified of having to deal with the General Public types who will want to test drive it and then hand me a fake cashier's check. BECAUSE HOW WOULD I KNOW? But that's if anyone even responds. I think we may have priced it too high, but it's less than the Kelly Blue Book value (did I even know what KBB stood for before I started the Next Family Vehicle Project? HA HA HA) and our car's stats are better than the other car stats currently listed. Not that I am biased or anything.

My sisters would like you to know that they are totally sick of reading about cars. And then I say, "Wait! So you read my BLAWG?" And then they hem and haw because yes, they totally do, but they don't want to give me the satisfaction of admitting it.

In other news, my kid was absofreakinlutely adorable today.

So I'm rolling around the floor with my bear. SO WHAT?

Even though he only took one nap and it was at the wrong time. (My mom is always asking me if Jack took his nap at "the right time". Which I think is her not-terribly-subtle way of making fun of my Neurotic Tendencies.) The wrong time means he woke UP from his nap at noon and did not care to take another one, but fell right asleep at seven so at least there is that.

And what a splendid day we had! There was that trip to Target which totally canceled out the fact that I am rocking the grocery shopping lately. We all know what a money suck Target is, but I outdid myself today. And I can't even figure out what I should return because I NEED IT ALL!

Then we took the car to the car wash, in preparation for the Selling The Car Photos, and oooh, was that a hit. I was a little worried, since Jack is freaked out by certain noises. When he was a teeny tiny baby I dropped some ice into an empty glass and the howling could be heard in the next state. He hates the dust buster and regards the Roomba with deep frowny suspicion. I wasn't sure how he'd react to the Loud Crazy Tunnel Of Swirling Mops, but it turns out we could have gone again and again and again, such was the pointing and the oohing and the kicking of feet.

I like car washes AND ferries.

And then we were off to Fred Meyer, the nearest supplier of house plants because OH MY GAW, people, the NESTING, it is INSANE. Last week I cleaned every surface in my kitchen. I know normal people do this on a regular basis, but I can't stand the whole "as soon as I clean it it's dirty again!" issue with the kitchen. So I wipe up the obvious spills, but the crumbs under the toaster? Eh, let'em stay there. But no, I cleaned under the toaster, behind the wine rack, the sink, the counters, the cupboards, the drawers, the window sills and the little dusty ridge on top of the microwave. And I've been bawling out anyone who dares to spoil my perfect shiny kitchen. Today I dusted. DUSTED! I set the Roomba loose while Jack took his nap. I put all the toys away, even though I knew they'd all get dragged out again. And after rearranging picture frames and plants and knick knacky items, I had a few empty spaces which meant: more plants! I bought three more plants and Jack and I potted them outside (well, I potted them, Jack went around ripping up the geraniums and bringing the petals back to me, like he was actually bringing me flowers and not bits and pieces of flowers). When Phillip got home I made him shower me with Doesn't Our House Look Fresh and Clean compliments. Now if only the nesting instinct also covered the bathrooms...

No one has responded to my ad yet. And it's been THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES. I forsee a bit of paranoia this week, perhaps some obsessive-compulsive email checking. SIGH.

I NEEDED a glass of wine

Last September, when Jack was about 4 months old, the three of us took a little weekend trip to Lake Chelan. Lake Chelan, for you un-local types, is east of the mountains. As in, you have to drive over the pass to get there, and somewhere in my Life Policy paperwork is something about "never ever visit Eastern Washington", so this little Lake Chelan trip was a Very Big Deal for me. We'd wanted to do some kind of summer vacationy thing, but we couldn't go too far or for too long. So we booked a few nights at a lakeside hotel and discovered that all you really do when you are vacationing with a 4-month-old is wait around while he naps. Seriously, we  could have watched all that television and surfed all that internet at HOME. Whatever.

We didn't attempt an overnight trip with Jack again until this weekend, when we drove over to the peninsula (the peninsula, for you un-local types, is WEST of Seattle, requiring a ferry ride and the Policy is ALL ABOUT ferry rides) for a wedding. (AT A WINERY. How awesome is THAT?) I have some family living over there so we talked my mom and dad into meeting us and providing free child care while we drank ourselves silly. I mean, stared longingly at everyone else's wine glasses. SIGH. We booked rooms at the wedding-approved hotel and packed up nearly everything Jack owns and off we went. Ferry rides! Sunshine! Calculating that my house could fit ninety-three times over in my cousin's backyard!

And you guys, this wedding, it was amaaaaaaazing. (Jess, it was all! purple!) Before I get married again I am totally talking my dad into buying a winery. It deserves a post of its own, with pictures, and some commentary on how horribly unfair it is to be invited to a wedding at a winery when you are pregnant.

So we went to the wedding and it was lovely and when we got back to the hotel my parents were taking a half-asleep Jack out of their car and we thought, "Perfect!" Stick him in some jammies and put him to bed. I know! It was like we hadn't MET our son, Jack "I Challenge Sleep To A Duel!" Cheung!

Since Phillip was ready to climb into bed as well, he got the pleasure of winding Jack down and putting him to bed in the portable crib in our room. My mom and I sat in her room and watched Olympic gymnastic trials while my dad fell asleep with a book on his face. Exciting times in my family, I tell you.

Eventually I thought I'd head back to my room because it was nearly NINE, which is WAAAAY past my bedtime, and I have no idea why I was SURPRISED to see that Phillip was rocking a very much not asleep baby.

Being the kind and supportive wife I am, I took over. But do you know, it is pretty difficult to duplicate the Bedtime Routine in a hotel room. No rocking chair. No familiar backdrop. Strange sounds. Strange crib. Sleeping in the same ROOM. It took me about a half hour in a pitch black room to get that kid to sleep, and by that time Phillip was out as well. We tried our best not to make any noise getting ready for bed and I jabbed Phillip in the ribs every time he started to snore and I thought we were doing well. Right?

Jack was up All. Night. Long. First Phillip would get up. Then I'd get up. Then Phillip would get up again. Then we'd wait to see if he'd go back to sleep on his own. Then one of us would get up because surely the rest of the hotel was not appreciating the little night music seeping out from under our door. One time I just bent over the pack 'n play patting him back to sleep, which worked great until I stood up and realized I now had the lower back of a 90-year-old woman. Later on when I had to sit with Jack in the arm chair for a half hour to get him back to sleep, I had to wake Phillip up so he could put Jack back in the crib.

I know what you're thinking- why didn't we just put him in bed with us? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK. We tried. We really did. I was even kind happy about it, because my baby doesn't like to cuddle too often. Turns out he is especially uninterested in cuddling in the middle of the night. Putting him in bed with us was disastrous, and reminded me that it barely worked when he was a newborn. There were a few nights when Jack spent the night wedged under my chin, but other than that, the cosleeping thing didn't really work for any of us.

He woke up, bright and chipper, at 6:30 in the morning. I picked him up, walked next door to my parents' room and handed him over to my bleary eyed mother. (Who, I later found out, hadn't slept EITHER, why didn't we just leave Jack in HER room?)

So! No more trips with THIS kid. That's all I'm saying. The whole way home we were all, "New baby better sleep. NEW BABY BETTER SLEEP." Because New Baby is sleeping in our room until we have enough brain cells working to figure out how to get two kids sleeping in the same room. And I don't think we'll be taking them anywhere unless 1) the grandparents are tagging along and 2) we get them their own outfitted-with-baby-monitors suite. And since it is past nine which is way WAY past my bedtime and we finally got Jack down after TWO FREAKING HOURS of trying to get him down, Phillip and I are going to crash in bed and dream of babies who not only sleep through the night, but roll over and fall asleep as soon as you put them in the crib. Or, you know, sipping a glass of wine on the balcony of our rented Tuscan villa where we escaped after leaving the children on the grandparents' doorstep.

A super random cap of a fairly boring week

I finally figured out how to deal with the nap stuff. DON'T PLAN ANYTHING. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. It makes TOTAL SENSE that if you have nothing to do all day every day, then it makes no difference when naptimes are. DUH!

I haven't had much going on in the last week or two. Wait. That is the opposite of true, actually. I've had a TON of stuff going on, just not anything scheduled for the questionable morning period when you are wondering if the kid is going to nap or not. I've been sticking him in the crib when I take a shower and sometimes when I get out he is asleep and sometimes not. Sometimes he's up for a while, sometimes he falls asleep in the car on the way home from the grocery store and takes his one and only nap from 11:30 to 1:30. Which the Planny Me finds completely unacceptable, but the New Flexible Do-Nothing Me managed to cope with just fine.

Also! It helps to have friends who, when you say, "Well, I'm not sure if he'll nap or not, can I give you a call and let you know?", say in reply, "Sure! Whatever works for you!" Because these friends are AWESOME. (Note to Planny Types: Populate your pool of friends with Flexible Types.)

So. Whenever Jack wakes up this morning we are off to the Trendy Outdoor Shopping Mall to buy a wedding gift. To go with the wedding gift I already bought. See, I bailed on both the Engagement Shower (kitchen items) and the Bachelorette Party (embarrassing underwear) so I feel like I need to make up for the lameness with a most excellent wedding gift. And, you know, I never mind having to spend money. It is spectacularly sunny today (the first day of summer, if you are curious) and I think there will be some ice cream accompanying the shopping.

IF MY STOMACH CAN HANDLE IT. Because OMG, I don't think I have one anymore. This morning I ate my customary bowl of cereal for breakfast and then I keeled over and died. I think this baby has taken up shop directly underneath my ribs leaving no space for anything else, which is not good because HELLO BABY, YOU NEED FOOD TOO. Phillip watches me clutch my sides and hears me declare that I will be dead within minutes and I KNOW he is thinking, "God. Pregnant women. MELODRAMATIC, MUCH?" But I would just like to say that if Phillip couldn't eat one fourth of the amount of food he is used to eating at one time, he'd be unhappy too. And bonus points to me for exposing an argument that didn't even exist until I typed it up on my website. Whoo hoo!

However! Bonus points to Phillip for treating my series of Panicked Client Phone Calls like his very own, and for promising to help me do all this Techie Stuff which I SO DID NOT SIGN UP FOR, but find myself responsible for ANYWAY. (Again I say: English Degrees! Good for nothing!)

(Actually, total tangent here, my dad and I were talking about college and what we would have done differently and I was all, "I STILL don't want to learn science and math, I'd probably do exactly the same things and get exactly the same lopsided education and still be totally unemployable, but NO REGRETS HERE!" And my dad thought some more and said that maybe his problem with college was that he didn't meet my mother until he was 28. Which then spawned an entirely new conversation about Listless Young Men Who'd Be Fine If Only They Had Girlfriends and does anyone want to date my brother? Thank goodness he is too good for things like BLOGS because then he'd see that sentence and come after me with his gun. Really! Anyone want to date him?)

Wow. Someone is FLIGHTY today. Off to pack the diaper bag for my day of moneyspending. See how much nicer I am WHEN IT IS SUNNY?

Owie! And also: stop calling me.

ETA: Oops. I forgot to include my contractually obligated link. Go here to find out what we are doing with our ginormous coffee table. THE EXCITEMENT NEVER ENDS!

I forgot to mention one other downside to working a contract gig: the guy you're working for always leaves certain details out of the contract. Not on purpose, he just didn't realize he had to put EVERYTHING in writing. What about this? What about that? What about the panicked phone call asking for assistance right this very second? When I am far from my computer and outside watering the flowers with my kid?

This is why I hardly ever answer my cell phone. (Unless it's YOU, of course. I always answer when it's YOU.)

Sometime around midnight I woke up in excruciating pain. I'd been dreaming, the pain had been part of my dream, and eventually I realized that no, THIS IS REAL and OWWWWWW. It was so bad I couldn't lay flat, couldn't lay down at all. I think if this hadn't been my second time, I would have assumed I'd gone into early labor. My entire midsection was plotting to overthrow the rest of me. I whimpered and moaned until my log sawing husband finally woke up and saw that I was Distressed and offered to get me a glass of water. Which: where was the offer to run me over to the emergency room? Where was the leaping from the bed to call my doctor? HMMM?

I swear I thought I was going to die, but then I limped into the bathroom and, well. Some things are not nice to share in public, so we'll just say I felt MUCH BETTER.

But seriously. The "could this be contractions?" thought fluttered through my head more than a few times. I think because this baby has pushed all the normal-sized parts of me into temporary cramped quarters and I have no idea where anything is. Did my stomach hurt? I had no idea because WHERE DID MY STOMACH GO?

I remember pregnancy being a breeze. (I know. SHUT UP, ME.) I mean, after the initial bouts of mild nausea and napping all day long, I pretty much floated through it. I only had a few days of true uncomfortableness at the very end, and Jack came a few days early, making the end easy on everyone. So I don't know what's up with THIS baby. The one thing this baby hasn't done to me is try to kill me with heartburn, but there's still time for that. I was/am sicker, more tired, more hormonal, more uncomfortable, more EVERYTHING with this baby. Even the kicks have been more frequent and more painful. And I shouldn't complain, because everything is still going very well and I'm still, you know, MOBILE, but dude. I really miss sleeping on my stomach and sleeping without the constant bathroom interruptions. And before Jack was born we still had a futon in the next room and I could drag myself over there in case my Soundly Sleeping Husband kept me wide awake, but we got rid of the futon and I don't really fit in the crib. Moan whine kvetch.

Phillip is working late tonight. The one concession he did offer me at midnight, when I was dictating my last will and testament, was to get up with Jack and stay home a little longer in the morning so I could sleep. But of course the Panicked Phone Call was the first thing that came to mind when I woke up, so I had to get out of bed and deal with that while I didn't have Jack hanging on my leg. Somewhere in the contract I should have written: Panicked Phone Calls: Allowed only during naptimes, evenings and previously agreed on meeting times. Otherwise, SEND ME AN EMAIL. God. It's like they have no idea I am a blogger. I live online.

I'll just throw anything up here and see if it sticks

My sister and I are sitting here drinking coffee. We're at my parents' house. Jack is napping upstairs. My parents are out grocery shopping. And my sister and I are very very bored.

"Help me write a blog post."


"Help me write a blog post. I've run out of material. Give me a good idea."

"I don't have anything to say about children."

"It doesn't have to be about children."

"Or new cars. Or nap schedules."

At which point I stop asking because: POINT TAKEN. Maggie's Blog: Boringest Blog In Universe.

I went to see the Sex and the City movie last night. (With this fine lady. Who looked awesome, whatever is she talking about?) I liked it. I actually liked it more than I liked the TV series (which wasn't very much, to be honest), mostly because Carrie wasn't writing her stupid column and making up little wordplay jokes every two minutes. But it was very sad. I had no idea how sad it was going to be. Even though everything ends well, la la la, the sadness really bothered me. I came home feeling kinda bummed and my brain chewing over things like Forgiveness and Being An Adult. And then I was all, "Self? You just saw the Sex and the City movie, not a freaking war documentary. Please get off your ledge."

I am still in the place where I need to stay away from certain kinds of books and movies. My dad wanted me to read an op-ed today, but a glance at the title told me it was not something I should be reading. I am hoping this is just a pregnancy thing. I mean, I AM a delicate sensitive wittle thing, but the list of things I have to avoid is getting sort of ridiculous. But if I don't... my brain just STEWS. I don't think I have to tell you how pathetic it is when the SEX AND THE CITY MOVIE ends up on your Sensitivity Watchlist. (And not for the reasons you'd expect!)

Aren't you wishing my sister had come up with a Blog Topic?

I saw my first Mazda5 on the road today (segue!) and it was white and filthy and had a giant JESUS IS LORD sticker on the back window.

All the Remembering Tim Russert stuff makes me cry. Public Figure Tragedies belong on the Sensitivity Watchlist. Also, I really liked his show and his kid seems like a Very Nice Boy.

Why do people write all over their cars when someone graduates? "Congratulations So and So! Class of 2008!" all over the windows. Is this just a My Parents' Town thing? Do people do this everywhere? Am I the only one who thinks it's weird?

I think this post is a good example of, "No blog post is better than a crap blog post."

Today's Channel 13 forecast: "cold, murky and chilly." And I did not make that up.

Here are two things I am not worried about: how Jackson is going to feel about the new baby and whether I will love the new baby as much as I love my first baby.

When I hear people talk about The Next Baby, these things ALWAYS come up. People started talking about it as soon as I told them we were pregnant again. "You'll worry about Jack, but he'll be fine!" "You think you can't love anything as much as you love your firstborn, but you'll see! Just wait till that baby is born!" I just assumed I was too concerned with barfing and overwhelming exhaustion to care much about Jack's feelings or finite amounts of love. I assumed I'd start getting nervous about this stuff, especially since some friends pregnant with their second babies ARE nervous.

And so I find myself in the completely novel position of NOT being nervous about something MOST people are nervous about!

The first thing doesn't bother me at all. Jack will just have to deal. And he's only going to be 16 months old when this baby is born- will he even know enough to be upset? Sure, things will be different. I've been pretty diligent about not rocking him to sleep anymore and things like that, just because I know I won't have the opportunity when the new baby arrives. But he's only going to be sixteen months old. It just seems like that's too little to be mean to the new baby or throw huge frustrated hissy fits. Maybe not (I obviously have no idea) but it's not like he's had us all to himself for the past three years and now he's going to have to share. I see issues on the "Where is my macaroni and cheese? I want it NOW!" front, not so much the emotional trauma front.

As for the other thing... people bring up the Love Dilemma so much that sometimes I'm afraid I must not love JACK enough! Because, obviously, if I loved Jack as much as these other people loved THEIR first babies, I'd be terrified too, right? How could I possibly love another baby as much as I love HIM?

I can say I'm feeling the same sort of ambivalence I felt when I was pregnant with Jack. It's awfully hard to love something that you can't see or touch or hold and which is constantly stomping its foot on your bladder. Even the few days after Jack was born, he still wasn't quite real to me. I think I'm one of those people who "take a while"... But I'm not worried about how much I'll love my new baby. At ALL. I even think it's sort of silly. I don't know if this is because we definitely wanted more than one kid or if I'm used to big families or what, but no, we will love the new baby at least as much as we love Jack. And possibly more, especially if new baby isn't the kind of baby who spits out her food after she's been chewing it for a good ten minutes.

Did you worry/are you worried about this stuff? I think if Jack were two or three or four I'd be more anxious, especially about the jealousy/world upside down thing. That makes sense. But it's never too early to learn that life's not fair, right?!