Wednesday, March 30, 2011


This weekend I spent my time like many mothers-to-be; partaking in a 5-hour pub crawl with 200 of my nearest and dearest friends and neighbors.

Don't judge; it was for charity.

And yes, I will do anything to not deal with decorating or buying furniture for the nursery.

Happily, I didn't draw too many sideways sneers and hisses of "look at the already irresponsible mother. Shouldn't she be at home not killing my buzz with her disfigured abdomen?" I figure I averted the mobs' judgment because I'm such an adorable pregnant woman... was really because there was a woman who had her two-month old strapped to her chest for the entire pub crawl and she took all the heat off of me.

Not drinking has been fairly easy for me. Well, except for those days where everyone around you is drinking and it's warm and they are all having a much better time than you because they are wrapped in alcohol's loving embrace. Which is roughly every time I get together with my friends.

But I'm sticking to my guns and not introducing The Bean to the joys of vodka and wine (not together, that's just gross) until she's at least 3 weeks old and can handle her liquor.

However, I have managed to replace alcohol's void in my life because I am easily addicted to every single thing I am introduced to. Particularly if those things will occupy brain space that would otherwise futilely try to figure out how to find a nursery set that won't cost me a year's salary or why crib bedding manufacturers insist on putting lame-ass cartoons on every single item.

Ice Cream:
(Oh my god, is she really going to talk about ice cream AGAIN...I get it. You're a crazy pregnant lady with an ice cream obsession. What else is left to say?)

Currently my freezer is home to: 1 pint chocolate gelato that is to die for and I sneak one spoonful into my body each day; 1 frozen yogurt pint that serves as a back up for the day I run out of gelato and need a frozen dairy treat; 3 fruit sorbets that remain untouched because they're sorbets.

The freezer is my new mini bar.

Cross OCD with the natural pregnancy urge to nest and you have my crack/cocaine.

While most rational people are curled up in bed sleeping, I go on organizational benders of epic proportions. (Which coincidentally does not involve cleaning my floors. That hatred runs deep.) I've managed to consolidate two rooms worth of crap into one. Mainly through my strategic use of throw everything away.

This drives Michael insane since my criteria to throw something away involves my not having used it in the past month. Which may be a little harsh, but I HATE clutter. (They should hire me to go on the show Hoarders. I fantasize about tying those people up to the wall while they watch me throw all their crap away. "Sorry. You have clearly lost your mind and it's time for someone to come fix this. No, no, no. We're not going to talk about this because you are CRAZY.")

Luckily, Michael travels a lot for business and I embrace these moments as my prime "organizing opportunities."

So, yes. I purge in secret.

Who needs alcohol with addictions like these?

Happy and not drunk at a bar!

This photo was taken precisely three seconds before The Bean sent a crippling pain up the entire right side of my body from doing a new break dancing move she's been practicing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Name Game

We've been trying to keep The Bean's name a secret, but like most things involving pregnancy and becoming parents, we're failing miserably.

The first time I told someone her name was because I was at a party with a few friends and there was a little boy who had the name we had chosen (my mother just died reading that sentence).

One of my favorite past times is being overly paranoid and obsessing over imagined scenarios that will never happen. So I was positive my friends and neighbors would forever judge me for stealing a little boy's name unless I announced the name right then and there.

The second time we revealed the name was because Michael was there and he can't keep a secret worth a damn. So if you really want to know the name, ask Michael.

Her first name is one we had decided on about 2 years ago. For those of you particularly skilled at math, you'll realize this was before she was even conceived. For the rest of you, just take our word on it.

The middle name has proven more difficult to agree upon.

Michael is lobbying for her middle name (you know the one that goes on the birth certificate, that she has to tell people when they ask "what's your middle name," and what you use later in life when you're figuring out your porn star name) to be "The Bean." I wish I was making this shit up.

I am leaning towards something that is actually a name. Or at least does not include the word "The."

I'm hoping, since I will be blowing out some body parts I've become quite accustomed and attached to having in order to birth said child, that I get a weighted vote in this election.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Lose-Lose Situation

If you could just gouge my eyeballs out with a melon baller and shove lit dynamite in the empty sockets, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am in the registry/planning the nursery/can't put off buying things any longer phase of the pregnancy. Luckily this combines some of my favorite things like shopping for crap I have no interest in, spending ridiculous amounts of money for things that will last about a year and completely disassembling my house to find new places for the crap we've been storing in the "office/one day will be a nursery/mostly a place we hide the stuff we don't feel like putting away" room.

So I'm in a real healthy place right now.

One would think at least the registry part would be fun to do. "Look! You can go to a website, click things you need and other people buy it and send it to you."

I'm on hour 876 of attempting to create my registry. That's how well registering is going for me.

The one consistent piece of advice I have gotten from friends already in the mommy world is: Don't buy too much stuff. You don't use most of it. And less shopping is one piece of advice I whole-heartedly can get behind.

So I had a brilliant plan. BRILLIANT, I tell you!

I sent out an email to my closest girlfriends asking the following three questions:
  1. What is the one item you couldn't possibly live without?
  2. What handful of items were the biggest waste of money that you never use?
  3. What do I have to, can't live without, simply must know when I'm setting up the nursery?

How streamlined of me, I thought foolishly. I'm going to have the world's most efficient nursery and can use the rest of the registry for things like All-Clad pans and Le Creuset pots.


Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I received a 10-page missive back on the things I would be needing, the girlfriends' reviews of each item, about 10 billion contradictions on what I really need and don't need and links to 50 katrillion sites I should definitely check out before making any decisions.

OK...I'm playing this up for funny for sure. Well it really included all those things, but their information was beyond helpful. Unfortunately, I've fallen down the rabbit's hole of research and can't get out.

The process goes like this:

  • Jen opens up Amazon to start registering for each and every item listed on the 10-page document
  • First item: Car seat
  • About to register for the 'approved by all moms' car seat when 10 emails come in about how car seat laws have just changed and now kids need to be in a rear-facing car seat until they are 35 years old.
  • Old car seat recommendations no longer applies.
  • Spend 3 hours reading every Amazon review on car seats.
  • Decide I still can't make an informed decision so go register for Consumer Reports to read their 1,000 reviews on car seats.
  • Ultimately determine no car seat is safe enough, comfortable enough, easy enough, car seat-y enough.
  • Go back to original car seat recommended and register for the one made to hold a 35 year-old.

I wish I was making this up.

10 pages of this.

And this is just the registry...I STILL need to buy baby furniture. (Which I like to make infinitely more impossible by insisting it be eco-friendly AND cute--the nerve of me.)

We're at the point, where I'm considering leaving the dog crate in the nursery and using that as a 3-in-1 crib, changing table, storage unit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Momentous Moments in Momentdom

Michael finally got to feel The Bean last night.

Her new trick is acting like a lunatic at a mental asylum with padded walls--so she'll fit in well around here--and flinging herself and all her body parts against my womb. This is a fun addition to her previous repertoire of tricks which consisted solely of beating her heart (while appreciated, is fairly boring for us spectators).

For those who want to know about baby kicks, the best description I can give is: it feels exactly how I would imagine it would feel like if I swallowed a live fish and it was flopping around in my stomach.

Being a typical woman, she's been toying with Michael up until now. She'd be all practicing her break dancing moves and I'd go running to find Michael so he could feel her. He'd put his hand on my stomach in anticipation and she'd play dead.

I found this wildly funny. Michael did not.

But by last night I had it. He was going to feel this baby move because all the websites say he should be feeling her by now and we were not going to be behind schedule goddammit.

She played her 'torment Dad' game and kicked and squirmed right until he put his hand on my stomach. And I was not standing for this behavior another minute.

I got a big glass of ice water and downed that sucker as quick as I could to send a cold, arctic blast down into my warm baby growing facility.

Mom wins. (Hey, it's not child abuse until she's born, right?)

That jump started her and Michael got to feel her kick/punch/head butt/whatever it is she's doing in there.

It was this totally super sentimental, moving moment where suddenly everything in the room is bathed in God lights and angels sang and we were the perfect family unit. Our lives were forever changed and we're whole.

Sort of.

Not at all.

What really happened:

Jen: (feeling the third kick in a row) Ugh, did you feel THAT one?????

Michael: (jumping off the bed) Oh gross! Ewww. You have aliens inside of you. Stay on your side of the bed and don't touch me with your alien body...until after she's born. (Sneering in disgust at me and my stomach.)

Yep. That sounds much more like us.

And look! A special treat since I put make-up on today...a new bump (25 weeks):

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Open Letter

Dear Sir at Whole Foods,

Just because your wife is also in my "position;" actually let's stop there for a moment, shall we? I am not in a "position," "condition," "situation" or any other such word. I am pregnant.

Last I checked, this word was perfectly acceptable to say in mixed company. If you don't want me to shoot laser daggers into your brain with my thoughts, I suggest you refrain from equating my pregnancy with a terminal medical issue.

Moving on.

Just because your wife is also PREGNANT, you do not have the right to come up and interrupt my ice cream fairy tale dream. There I was in front of the ice cream freezers gleefully imagining how glorious that first bite of Rocky Road ice cream was going to taste. I was about to swan dive into a pool of chocolate, marshmallows and peanut-y goodness when you butted your big, fat nose in my business with "You should go buy a Vita-Mix blender and make your own ice cream. It's so easy and a lot healthier too."

I put up with you when you told me how I could make yogurt and fruit ice cream ('s called frozen yogurt, but you're clearly an idiot). Then when you started in on how home-made ice cream has less fat and sugar, I politely nodded and walked away from the ice cream aisle--ice creamLESS because you made me feel bad about feeding The Bean chocolate instead of fruit sorbet.

But I want you to know, I still hate you and here's what I should've said:

Hey @sshole. First off, I'll have you know I already own the Vita-Mix blender because I have an awesome husband who buys me ridiculously expensive kitchen gadgets so I can make our baby food when the time comes (and he gets awesome meals in the meantime).

AND I will have you makes piss poor ice cream.

Want to know how I know?

Because I already make my own ice cream and it's LA BOMBA! I make a Mexican Chocolate Mole ice cream that would make you cry it's so good.

But you know what else? I'm freakin' pregnant and tired because I'm all sorts of busy working, food shopping and growing a baby and if I feel like buying a pint of Haagen-Dazs maybe you should just back off and save the preaching for when you're six months pregnant and churning ice cream in your kitchen. I might consider listening to you at that point.

I eat ice cream maybe four times a year. Sure, I eat it a little more often now that I'm the host body for a sugar fanatic, but I still have only eaten one pint of ice cream this entire pregnancy (six months of it). So if I want to buy a pre-made ice cream because it's PRE-MADE, maybe you should mind your business and let the pregnant lady do what she wants.

I only wish your PREGNANT wife was there to witness this because I'm pretty sure she would've slapped you upside the head and started calling you some unseemly names in the middle of the store. She probably wants to right now anyway since you're going to go home and have her make someone in your "condition" (read: stupid) some ice cream.

If there's one rule when talking with a pregnant woman--and in particular one you don't know--it's NEVER tell her what she should and shouldn't be eating. You could seriously lose your manhood pulling that kind of stunt.

Up yours,
Mrs. D-Zo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are You Doing It Right?

I'm pretty big about making confessions here. There was the "I hate shopping" confession, the "I love reality, crap TV" confession and probably a few others that I can't be bothered to find right now.

But you're going to have to sit down because this might be the biggest one yet.

I've only seen 2 (MAYBE 3) episodes of Oprah. Ever.

Yes, I promise I'm a woman.

I dig her messages, but the way she preaches makes me want to tear my face off and wear it as a hat. [Except when she does episodes on eating local, sustainable food because we all know that is even more important than having enough ice cream in the freezer--which is really, really important these days.]

Despite having not seen an episode (except for the Michael Pollen one) in the past 12 years, she has managed to form scar tissue in my brain and I can't help but think of her every single time I put on a pair of shoes.

I can't quite remember what the episode was about; something like making fun of people who don't do things the Oprah way or uncovering what people's habits said about them. Regardless, the segment forever emblazoned in my mind was about the order people put on their socks and shoes.

It's quite simple. You're either a sock-sock, then shoe-shoe person or a sock-shoe, then sock-shoe person.

And there was a big discussion on this. Most people are sock-sock, then shoe-shoe people and the prevailing argument was "If there's a fire, I'd rather run outside with two socks on and no shoes than one sock and a shoe on my left foot and nothing on the right."

Solid, logical thinking in my book since I, myself, was a sock-sock, then shoe-shoe person. [My underlying reasoning stemming from a deeper psychosis of wanting things to be in equilibrium at all times and a sock and shoe on one foot, with nothing on the other clearly would spell impending doom for the planet.]

At the time when I watched this episode (over a billionty years ago), the crazy sock-shoe, then sock-shoe people were discussing how much more efficient it is their way. Then (I may be making this part up because I tend to do that when I get excited about things), there was even a race to see which method got both socks and shoes on quicker. The sock-shoe people won. But I wasn't to be deterred since I was saving the Earth from certain destruction by doing it the sock-sock, then shoe-shoe way.

Ready for my new catchphrase?

That was back in my non-pregnant days.

Two confessions in one post (lucky dogs): I am now a sock-shoe, then sock-shoe person.


So all the bad crap that's been going down in the world lately...that's all my fault. All because the sock-shoe, then sock-shoe method means I only have to bend over twice instead of 4 times. Go ahead, try it. You'll see.

And when someone is punching you from INSIDE your stomach every time you bend over, you learn new ways of doing things.

Even if it means Oprah is totally going to make fun of you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ma'am, Your Pregnancy is Showing

Whenever my husband travels for work I am driven by a strong desire to do everything ever. Somehow in my warped pea brain, I interpret his absence as adding an additional 50 hours to a single day. Since I don't have to make dinner for two, I must have enough time to re-tile the bathroom and install a closet organizing system like I've been meaning to get around to for the past three years.

I had a number of lofty goals for this weekend. And I started off great guns. Actually that's a complete and total lie. You can't trust me. By Friday night the only thing I had accomplished was setting a new world record for fastest ingestion of a pulled pork sandwich.

Saturday had a lot of potential to be a productive day. But instead I lost my mind and walked 5 miles in the park near my house and nearly had to call in rescue services to come get me.

"Hi, yes. I'm 6 months pregnant and thought it would be a good idea to do a 5-mile walk today since it was sunny...yes I realize there is a giant papaya inside me sitting on my hips in such a way that makes walking for more than 2 miles extraordinarily difficult and eventually painful...yes, I also realize that my feet are swelling with each and every step I, I didn't bring any water with me...look, I'm afraid I may have to live under this bush if you don't get here with a wheelbarrow STAT and roll me home."

Unfortunately, I had forgotten my phone so I walked home going negative 3 miles per hour and whimpering the whole way.

If you're keeping score at home, it's To-Do List: 0 and Being Crazy Pregnant Lady: 2

Sunday brought with it Daylight Savings Time, a hangover from my death-defying trek in the park, a birthday brunch for a good friend and then an utter meltdown from lack of sleep.

Seriously, being pregnant is a lot like being a three-year old. It's all go, go, go; I want to have fun like the regular kids (adults); right up until you hit a brick wall at 100 mph and have a temper tantrum because you weren't bright enough to take a nap, eat a balanced meal and pace yourself.

Here we are Tuesday morning and the only thing on my to-do list I managed to get done was wash the floors.

We're calling it a successful weekend and moving on.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sleep is the New Black

Next week, I'll be in my 24th week. So I'll be starting my sixth month of pregnancy. Can you see the rainbows and glitter shooting out of my butt yet?

Pardon my mood. I haven't slept in a week.

This is the stage of pregnancy where everyone around you gets excited because you are visibly pregnant, but not yet the sweating, swollen, twin sister of Violet Beauregard.

People manifest their excitement through a lot of tummy fondling, conversations with my belly button and serving me food first at dinner parties. And none of this bothers me one bit. Mainly because in certain circles I am known as the Queen of Pregnant Belly Molestation, so fair is fair.

While everyone else is getting their pregnancy bliss on at my expense, I have entered the "HOLY SH*T! RED ALERT! stage of pregnancy. Yea!

Over the past week, it has occurred to me that I'm supposed to actually prepare for being a mother in more ways than simply eating pints of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream and contemplating, then dismissing vacuuming my floors.

Did you know you need to get a room ready for this being? Oh and take some classes on how to get it out of you and how to feed it and how to not break it. And apparently you're supposed to buy supplies for these things because they don't come in an all-inclusive kit-type thing.

I know, I was surprised too.

Luckily, the dogs considerately woke me up EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. this week so I could devote enough of my brain power to stressing about these things I haven't even considered yet.

In case you don't know, I may have a slight tendency compulsive need to be the Champion of Everything. So when one of the dogs woke me up at 3 AM because a leaf fell out of the tree in the front yard and, boy, was he going to tell that leaf which way was up, well that seemed like a good time for me remember I totally forgot to sign up for a birth class which apparently fills up three years in advance. (Seriously, can't I get credit for watching every episode of "A Baby Story" and call it good?)

Or the night after, there was a thunderstorm which sends another one of the dogs into a full-on PTSD attack. So while I was wrestling her shaking, panting body off of mine and into the dog crate, I decided I probably should have ordered some baby furniture by now. And then stressed since I clearly was not being the Champion of Baby Furniture Ordering.

So I made a nice two-page list of things I need to do before The Bean makes her appearance. And I was pretty sure I'd be able to get through the list since I've never NOT completed a list I've created--because then I wouldn't be the Champion List Completer. But I forgot to add things like "Work 60 hours a week at your day job," "Sleep," and "Continue doing daily chores like cooking dinner, showering and breathing."

So I'm beginning to stress.

In an attempt to let me sleep through an entire evening, my husband brilliantly locked all the dogs in a room last night, then closed our bedroom door, turned on the noise machine and off we floated to a pleasant 7-hour visit to dreamland.

He's the Champion Awesome Husband.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wherein One Realizes She's Pregnant

One morning you finally wake up and think, "Holy crap. I'm pregnant."

It just hits you one day--and it's not the day you pee on the stick or even the day you first go to the doctor's office to see static and fuzz and are told there's actually a baby inside you.

I am surprised it isn't a more prevailing thought throughout the entire pregnancy. Up until your 'come to Jesus' moment, thinking about being pregnant is a lot like thinking about breathing. You just aren't aware of it until you think about it. And once you think about it, you have a hard time not thinking about it until something else distracts you; like cheeseburgers, a good crime show, or a paperclip.

My big moment of realization didn't come until I was standing in the dressing room of the maternity store pulling on a pair of jeans topped with a giant elastic band.

Once you are hiking an enormous rubber band over your midsection so your pants stay on, you quickly come to the conclusion that either there has been a serious overdose on beer and queso dip or you are indeed pregnant.

So I stood in the dressing room staring at the unmistakable protrusion and just thought, "I guess I'm really going through with this." Which, upon reflection, is sort of an odd thought when one is having an epiphany which involves bringing another person to life.

I may be an adult, but just going food shopping, stopping at the bank and walking the dogs makes me feel like I've performed some sort of miracle. Raising a child to become a productive member of society is a pretty big step up from managing to get a load of laundry done.

The physical act of being pregnant eventually becomes part of your daily life and you simply make some minor adjustments to account for it. Not unlike knowing the knob to the pantry is loose so you pry the door open another way rather than just take 2 minutes to fasten it.

You wake up in the middle of the night confused why you are awake and then realize it's because every limb in your body has fallen asleep and you want more than anything to flip over to your other side, but you are paralyzed with being pregnant. You go through a quick series of movements to get the blood circulating again, flip over to the other side and are back asleep.

Tying your shoes now involves lifting your leg onto a chair, making sure your balance is centered and bending over carefully to reach the laces. But mostly you just say "Screw it all, I'm just going to wear flip flops today."

And you learn to make the last meal of the day a small one and you eat it when grandmothers around the world are enjoying their Blue Plate Special or else you'll be up all night with heartburn.

But you still wake up some nights because there's a cantaloupe rolling around inside you and you can't help but think, "If I can't bring myself to mop the floors, how the hell am I going to help someone survive high school?"

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Positive Thinking

It's not that I'm a negative person, but sometimes I'm a little less effusive than others in my peer set (yes, I am referring to the peer set of women-in-general).

I have a hard time getting excited over shoes, Sex in the City and even the whole mommy-to-be thing. (Clarification: I am looking forward to being a mom, but the planning, squealing, holding baby clothes up to my belly parts of pre-motherhood...PASS).

When I end up in my Grumble-saurus pants, Michael forces me to make gratitude lists. Probably because it keeps me occupied for 45 minutes which is 45 minutes less of bitching he has to listen to. But I do the lists because perspective on life isn't a bad thing. Sure, I had to give up my wine and blue cheese for awhile, but there are little things like a house, readily available food and money that we have. So in the grand scheme of things, I'm ahead of the game.

To make up for my lack of unbridled optimism about pregnancy, I've decided to share my latest list with you.

Things that are awesome about pregnancy:

  1. Feeling the baby kick

  2. Not having a period for 10 months (Did you miss the part where you are actually pregnant for 10 months and not 9?? Yeah, there's some crap they don't tell you BEFORE you get pregnant...but we're being positive here.)

  3. Getting fat Maternity pants

  4. There's always a default topic of conversation when you unexpectedly bump into someone while you're out running errands or are at a party chatting with people you don't know. There are some days when I can hold court with the best of them, but most of the time I'm just socially awkward and would prefer to avoid talking to people altogether. So having some material in my back pocket is a huge relief.

  5. OCD The nesting instinct means my house no longer looks like a war zone

  6. Insomnia; Swollen breasts; Complete inability to make up one's mind about anything; Constipation; Morning sickness; Rapid hair growth...everywhere... I think I'm getting off track here...

See...I can be positive.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


For the past two years, I'm pretty sure the people handling television programming have been stalking me to determine their season line-ups.

I got engaged 2 years ago and everything was all "Say Yes to the Dress," "Bridezillas," "A Wedding Story" and so on. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm inundated with "Bringing Home Baby," "One Born Every Minute," "Teen Mom," and my personal favorite "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."

Brace yourselves, because it's confession time again.

I'd like to say I'm above watching such tripe, but let's face it...I lap up every frickin' episode.

Please don't get the wrong idea. This is not sentimentality or hormones taking over. This is me in my most comfortable element: Unfettered judgment of others.

I'm one of those (awesome) people who turns everything into a competition. "Oh, you're doing a crossword? Bet I can do it faster or figure out more clues." "What's that? You dropped an earring? I'll find it first." "You can't remember the name of that movie? I'll think of it before you."

The competition is all in my head naturally, because people don't like overly competitive individuals. But I assure you, if you're in the same room as me, there is likely a secret competition going on that you don't even know about. And I'm going to win.

OK. Tangent done. Back to how this relates to baby shows.

For me, these shows are the prime opportunity to be in a competition with every woman who has ever been pregnant. But the game is almost too easy. I mean, it's not fair to compete against people who say things like:

"I thought having a baby would be like having a puppy. But it's really not."
"I know my husband will be a good a father because he likes video games and cartoons."

And I'm really fascinated by the women who moan for 28 hours straight, refuse to listen to the nurses (who have delivered about 500 more babies than they have) and are so married to their birth plans they put everything in jeopardy.

You know what my birth plan is? To get the baby out of me. Good plan, right?

Nothing pleases me more than sitting on the couch, watching one of these shows and gleefully tallying up how much better I'm going be at delivery than everyone. Ever. Even though all these women have actually delivered a baby and I've done nothing more intensive than playing some tennis.

So when Michael and I were talking about what this child is going to be like, naturally, competitive was one of the first attributes we came up with (Michael may or may not be uber-competitive. Hint: he is.). The scenario we came up with went something like this:

Jen: [Pushes the baby out and wins the best delivery of a baby--ever--award] I win!

Baby Bean: [Turning to the doctor] So, how'd I do? I mean compared to the other babies you've delivered? Was I the best? You can tell me. I won't let it go to my head. What about compared to the other babies in the nursery right now? I just want to know who will be in the room with me. I mean if someone was better, I'd like to know about it. It's just this thing I need to know...yeah, I was the best. You don't have to say it.

Yep. We've lost our minds.