What is the chemical process that causes water farts to smell INFINITELY worse than regular ones? Curious two year-olds YEARN to know.
Aside from the usual stuff, you know, the "eat your chicken mc nuggets! don't wipe ketchup on mommy's sweater! sit on your bottom!", I was like Amanda to the power of Zen yesterday. But since Alex seems to have been the one to receive the personality transplant, I deserve none of the credit - he was an angel. Although I did manageto retain my cool while lugging two suitcases, two backpacks and a stroller with a thirty pound child in it around the Portland airport for an hour while we hunted down the play area, so I guess I deserve some credit.
Things didn't really fall into the crapper until we got here and now we're on our third carseat, our second car rental (soon to be replaced with a third) and our second hotel room. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. But I'm trying to stay calm about it and think of it as a learning experience. This is the last time we'll ever rent a carseat without bringing along an extra latch strap and we'll never try to rent a car online for a one-way trip. The closest gas station to the Portland airport is over six miles away and when you go to exchange the car, they'll charge you SIX DOLLARS a gallon for the measly eighth of a tank that disappears on the drive back to the airport. When hotels.com says they've reserved you a room with a king-sized bed, what they really mean is that you've reserved a room at that hotel.
And as lovely as The Hilton Serenity Bed is, I can't remember ever having had a more painful night of sleep. I slept about an hour until it felt like somebody was trying to unscrew my hip sockets. And being pregnant, you can ONLY sleep on your side, so that was it. We'll definitely be hitting Target today for another air mattress, which is fine by me. What would a vacation be if it didn't include a trip to Mommy Mecca?
After having him in the house every everloving minute of the day for the last month, I thought three days might not be long enough for me to begin missing my husband and actually want to see him again. But I do miss him. Surprisingly much. It's been hard for me that he's so stressed out and going through this huge ordeal and we're not there with him for support.
So we leave for Portland in a couple of hours where Dave will (hopefully, if his test gets out on time) be waiting for us. Not to toot my own horn (which means that's exactly what I'm about to do), but I tend to be a good traveler. When I was a kid and we'd take these big family trips, I was the ten year old castigating her parents - "You guys are going the WRONG WAY! Our flight leaves out of gate B4, not G4!!!" I was born with the travel knack, I guess. But today? Even though I've packed like a maniac and thought of every possible contingency? I need a mantra and possibly even a personality transplant. I want to make this trip really fun for Alex and also not kill my own pregnant ass in the process. And that means I need to slow down and lighten up, which? HA.
How many times do you have to actually SAY a mantra for it to work?
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I'm totally addicted to this season of American Idol. Maybe it's just because I'm pregnant and my sanity is on hiatus, but probably it's just because there is just NOTHING else good on TV during the Olympics, which? I can. not. watch.
I'm following in Sheryl's shoes here:
Patrick - What kind of a man sings Melissa Etheridge? His big-lipped mother will be the end of him, I swear. I was scarred for life the first time they panned the camera in her direction. WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DO IT MORE THAN ONCE!!??
David - We already have a classy Elvis impersonator and his name is Harry Connick Jr.
Bucky - Totally reminds me of a boyfriend I had in Junior High. Both of them should stay in 1989 where they belong.
Jose - Picked a really hard song and actually managed to pull it off. I really didn't want to like this guy because of the whole "Sway" thing, but he's good. There's no getting around it.
Chris - I love this guy because he's the diametric opposite of Clay Aiken. And he's a good singer AND totally bone-able.
Kevin - I'm afraid to say anything bad about this guy because it would make his poor mother cry. So that's all I'm going to say.
Gedeon - Blah. He was able to make the Motown at least sound like Motown, but he's basically a big dork. And even though it's a terrible thing to say to someone, Simon was right about the annoying smile.
Elliott - The best singer of the guys, by far. After some creative orthodonture, this guy will go REALLY far.
Bobby - Copa f-ing Cabana???? That's just not a song you can pull off when you're a guy who plucks his eyebrows.
Ace - Very average singer, but he's so, so pretty. He's like a hot George Michael, only straight.
Taylor - I just LOVE this guy. He may actually be the reason I'm watching the show at this point. I have a special (almost pornographic) place in my heart for men who go prematurely gray.
So I mentioned we had some friends over yesterday morning, but I forgot to include that at one point Alex stripped naked from the waist down and "showed Vianne how to go pee pee on the potty." Vianne only has one sibling - a twin sister - and I think Alex gave her quite an education. (Her father is apparently not quite the nudist that Dave is.) Alex is only two and I already get to worry about him playing doctor with his girl friends!
After he finished, Alex cleaned his potty. The insert removes easily and he like to "help" rinse it out in the sink after he goes. My friend walked in and saw him with the potty in the sink and freaked out a little - that it was dirty. I was a little embarrassed, since it never occurred to me that cleaning a potty in the bathroom sink was unsanitary. I mean, it's just little boy pee. Admittedly, I'm not much of a germophobe, so it's probably just that I didn't think about it. I tend to be a let-them-eat-dirt kind of mother. I clean the potty with Lysol toilet bowl cleaner about as often as I clean the toilet, probably once a week or whenever it starts to seem dirty. In between I rinse it with hot water and a little of that foaming hot pink kid-friendly hand soap. Am I way off base?
I left the housecleaning till the last. possible. moment before having Alex's friends over this morning. And rushing around cleaning before your first cup of coffee is probably ANYONE's idea of a great way to start the day, no? So, after breaking my ass to vacuum and clean the kitchen, his friends got here, and he was a horrible, rotten, no-good, bad, bad boy. At one point I actually smacked him on the top of his head because he was pulling Athena's hair and wouldn't let go. I've had long hair my whole life, so I know how that feels and just, NO. He's not going to get away with that. It was maybe the second time in his whole life that I've ever hit him. So yeah, I lost my cool and we were off to a rip roaring start.
Then we all went to IKEA, which normally would be great, but when you're pregnant and your child is being a pain in the ass, it's not the fun shopping adventure you remember it being. By the time we got to the checkout, my friend (who is also pregnant) and I were walking around like we were about to die, like geriatric sloths. Carrying toddlers.
So I got home and did a bunch of laundry. You know, for fun. Then dave called to say that the Bar was going okay but that his hotel room had the least comfortable mattress he'd ever slept on in his whole life. So I got busy trying to find him a new hotel and the cheapest room I could find nearby was $180/night, which is just too much, especially since we'd still have to pay for the hotel with the shitty bed. So he agreed to make do and went back to finish the second half of the test. For today. He still has two more days left to go.
Then I realized that my initial travel plans were all screwed up and I needed to change our rental car situation. Dave needs to rent a car in Bellevue,WA and then drop it off in Portland, OR and none of the travel websites allow you to reserve anything but a roundtrip to/from the same location. So I called Travelocity and after forty three minutes of wading through one of those automatic voice recognition programs (of doom), I was finally connected to a person. In INDIA. Literally. And then they had the nerve to complain that the connection was bad and hung up on me. Twice. (I WASN'T THE ONE WHO TRANSFERRED THE CALL TO INDIA!!!)
So then I called the rental car company directly, which seemed totally logical to me. But the rate they wanted to charge me for the SAME mini van for the SAME trip was literally TWICE as much as the Travelocity price. So I just went ahead and reserved it online and now I figure we'll just drive the damn van to Portland and they can hear me complain once we get there. And that's going to be fun. For them.
Then, after Alex went down for his nap and the realtor came over so I could sign more paperwork, I decided I should start working on changing our address so the insurance company will stop sending my medical bills to the condo. Since I'm sure the new owner will just adore reading about my vaginal exams. We only get 500 pieces of mail from them every month, so I figured finding their address to send them a letter would be easy, right? But no. It's not on ANYTHING, not on their letterhead, their claim paperwork, their website or anywhere - not even a return address on their fricking envelopes. So I called them and waded through their maleficent phone tree. And??? They were already closed for the day!
Finally, Dave finished his exam (for today) and called to tell me that the keyboard? had pretty much completely crapped out at this point. He can't use the laptop at all. And I forgot to post about it, but I spent pretty much all day last Friday driving around trying to get it fixed - the space bar had stopped working reliably and the laptop is such a new model that none of the repair places had replacement parts yet. They were able to make it work about 75% better, but just in case it broke again while he was taking the exam, I went to Fry's (my favorite place in the world!) anyways and bought him an extra USB keyboard. Which? He didn't think he would need and didn't bring with him (even though he made me pack duct tape and an extension cord?!?!?). So while trying to boil pasta for Mr. McCrankyPants, I had to make six more calls to Bellevue trying to find him a place to buy the keyboard so he could catch a cab and go buy it. Again.
And Alex just dropped my cellphone into his tortellini alfredo!
Did I ever write about the first time Dave took the California Bar? And how we lived in this apartment in Woodland and when we got home the first night of the exam, there were news crews and police everywhere because our next door neighbor was murdered? And how I was walking Harry right by her front door at the time the police said it happened and I thought I heard a baby crying and figured she must have had company visiting since I knew she didn't have any children? And what I probably heard was an innocent woman bleeding to death after being stabbed by a maniac? Well today wasn't THAT bad.
I drive Dave to the airport in an hour. He's off to Washington to take the Bar exam tomorrow. I can't even tell you how relieved I am that this trimester, the bar exam one, is almost over. And unlike him, I'm totally confident that he's going to pass the exam on his first try. He's been studying insanely hard. Wish him luck anyway, though.
I know what you're thinking and the answer is no, Dave did not forget Valentine's Day this year. Although that was mostly because I put this cookie catalog in front of him three weeks ago, creased it open to the correct page and was like, I want this RIGHT HERE* and THAT IS WHAT I WANT and nothing else. So he ordered it (after I reminded him AGAIN a few days ago) and fortunately for him, it got here in time. He might not have lived to see his next birthday otherwise.
* They no longer have the Valentine's Day stuff up on their website, but what I got is exactly like that only all pink and heart-y.
And the cookies are fabulous, which is really dangerous. I've already gained sixteen pounds this pregnancy and I'm starting to get freaked out about it - I only wanted to gain twenty total and I still have over three months left. Three months during which the baby will go from the two pounds she weighs now to the nine pounds I'm anticipating. Go me! I think we're gonna have to adjust that number a weensy bit. Like, maybe I'll just try to keep it under thirty pounds, because honestly? I can't MAKE myself stop eating, I'm so hungry all the time and exercise is like a faint inkling of my imagination. I can remember a time in my life when I exercised, but I'm not exactly sure when it was and I'm definitely sure it's not a happy memory. My subconscious is probably blocking it out to protect me.
Yesterday we had Alex's cousins over, who are here staying with their grandma, and he had fun tearing around and throwing monster trucks at them. Their grandma had packed them some toys to bring over and Alex REALLY wanted to play with their toys and of course they didn't want to share, which, you know, just NEVER happens with MY kid. (ha!) So I told Alex "You just wait till your cousins warm up a little and then I bet they'll want to share their toys with you." And so for the rest of the morning he kept asking his cousins if they were warm yet. "Are you getting hot?" he would ask them and I was sure he was going to beg me to turn the heater on any minute. Then I brought out the brownies and all was forgotten.
Speaking of the brownies, I ate, like ALL OF THEM, no wonder I'm getting so fat. Have you ever been in the middle of cooking something, let's just say pancakes, and asked your husband/wife/sister to hand you a spatula and they hand you the thing you use to scrape out a bowl instead of the thing you use to flip an egg? WHY ARE THEY BOTH CALLED SPATULAS?!? It makes no sense. But Alex, genius that he is, came up with a distinction so brilliantly simple that I'm thinking of sending it off to the good folks at Webster's: the PANULA. Why didn't anyone think of this earlier? There are spatulas, which scrape pans and are excellent for licking and panulas, which flip things and always end up with eggs stuck to them! Genius! My child is a genius! Isn't it OBVIOUS?
And any minute now he's going to wake up from his nap and beg to snuggle me. With HAIR! HE MUST FONDLE THE HAIR!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Emily asked, and she's right, I've been a total slacker about the pregnancy updates. I'm now 26 weeks along; my due date is technically May 19th, but like I've said before, I'm already picturing a June delivery. Baby Sister is perfectly healthy - we know this because I had a normal ultrasound on the morning after the Great Gas Debacle and also because I just know. She is now constantly kicking the crap out of me (and also the pee) and I enjoy putting the remote control on my belly just to pose her a challenge. She's got to work on those leg muscles early if she's gonna keep up with her big brother.
Now she may be fine, but I'm pretty miserable. Constant contractions, annoying back pain and The Waddle are the bane. I even had a slightly scary thought the other night - that I may not be all that sad if this is my last pregnancy after all. I mean, I've known all along that this is probably my last baby, but now the thought of actually putting myself through all this again on purpose seems totally insane. I'm sure I'll end up changing my mind once she gets here and I fall in love, though, so don't quote me.
Most of my difficulty this time is just because a second pregnancy is always harder than a first, unless you wait ten years and have a big kid to help you move your giant ass around the whole time and fetch things for you. Lugging Alex around is killing me. I think I age three years every time I lift him into the car. Grocery shopping is like torture. I start off all enthusiastic, but feel like abandoning the cart after I count four or five contractions in under a half an hour. Dave has promised to take over that chore as soon as he finishes the Bar and I can already think of about a dozen other things I'll be adding to his burden when we get back from Washington.
So I'm six months pregnant, right? Pregnancy math makes absolutely NO sense. 24 weeks = 6 months, but then you still have 4 months to go until your due date and technically that means you're pregnant for 10 months. Whatever. But I'm totally ready for her be here now. I set up her crib the day after we found out she was a girl. She'll be sharing a room with Alex until we move and we're renting so decorating is kind of a moot point. Some day she'll have a frilly pink girly room, but I don't have my panties in a bunch about it yet. She also has the most perfectly gorgeous name - a name Dave and I chose at least five years ago and have been hoarding ever since. We aren't telling a soul until she gets here, either.
PS - That was THE dorkiest self-portrait I've ever taken, so there you go.