Thursday, April 28, 2011


Yesterday morning Michael stunned me with this gem:

"You should be proud of yourself babe. You look great. You're a thin pregnant woman and didn't balloon into a whale."

Since I've been obsessive about not gaining too much weight during this pregnancy (which is a battle I'm losing), this was just about the nicest thing in the world anyone has ever said to me.

So naturally, I went out for lunch and got a 7" chicken sausage hot dog (no nitrates, locally-sourced chicken), large fries--with cheese--and a root beer. And because that wasn't enough I snarfled down some chocolate ice cream afterwards for good measure.

And this is why no one can compliment me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Pregnancy Land

Most women at this stage in their pregnancy are fretting about what kind of mother they'll be, the pains of labor or how they'll make it through the day-to-day of caring for a new person.

Naturally, I can't be bothered with such plebeian concerns.

I have REAL fears. REAL concerns. Based on years and years of crazy I have honed to a perfect point of insanity.

The Baby Shower
Being the center of attention makes me break out in a sweat. A nasty, dripping, uncontrollable sweat that no amount of deodorant can prevent. This makes total sense when you consider I opted, on purpose, to get my undergraduate degree in theater. See. Totally makes sense--for a person with a cruel intent on punishing herself for no good reason.

My girlfriends (to my understanding) are making the shower as painless a possible. And while I don't doubt them for a minute, I'm still freaking. Because I know in the near future I will be forced to be the center of attention. And that thought is about as petrifying as watching someone playing with a balloon. (This may or may not be another irrational totally understandable fear. I mean, you just don't know when that balloon is going to pop. Oh, it's going to pop...but when??? The anticipation is nauseatingly nerve-wracking.)

Talking to People on the Phone
There are exactly 4 people in the world who I talk to on the phone for enjoyment purposes.

I am a results-oriented personality, so I consider talking for the sake of talking a waste of time. If you want to get together, email and let's plan something. I don't need to chit chat before we get together to chit chat. In fact, the phone pre-chit chat is detrimental since I only have so much to say and I'll likely use it all up during the phone call and then be left staring vacantly at you when we meet up.

So, the inevitable slew of phone calls once The Bean makes her entrance is already making me itchy.

Ready? Here's the script: "Yep, she's here. It's great. Labor hurt, but it was all worthwhile. Yep, I'm tired. No, she's not really doing anything other than eating, sleeping and pooping. That's about you think the NFL will come to an agreement soon?"

The Unexpected Visitors
Worse than the phone calls are the unexpected visitors; who, from my understanding, show up a lot right after the baby expulsion.

I think it's totally swell that you don't care whether or not I've showered or put on a new shirt in four days, but I CARE. So now I stink AND have to make polite conversation. Two of my least favorite things at once.

Having to Socialize with Breeders Only
I'm not mommy club material. Unlike many moms-to-be, I am well-prepared for the solitary lifestyle most new mothers are shocked and depressed with facing. I work from home, so I'm already quite familiar with being home all day, every day with no adult interaction.

I have no desire to join a mommy club and talk about the different color poop my child makes, complain about not being my pre-pregnancy weight or bitching about my husband's unwillingness to meet my every passing, irrational fancy.

The only reason to join a mommy club would be to showcase how much more awesome The Bean is than every other child. Ever. (Except yours) But that would just be joining for all the wrong reasons.

The thing is, non-breeders are reluctant to hang out with you once you are sporting the latest in baby accessories.

So yeah...episiotomy, a non-latching baby, finding the time to sleep...all drops in the bucket when you compare it to the fear of hearing the phone ring.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Before and After

As a woman, one of my favorite things is the makeover. Whether it be a house renovation, a new hair style, weight loss...whatever.

Those before and after photos capture my imagination and let me know all can be right in the world if you have access to landscapers, plastic surgeons, zillions of dollars in cash for a new wardrobe or willpower--things I am woefully missing in my life, but I can dream.

Let me show you the power of before and after photos.

We'll start with the largest of our brood, Bear. A Great Pyrenees who received his first summer shave this past week.


And After:

They walked him out of the back room and I didn't recognize my own dog.

But we're not here to make fun of the lollipop pup. We're here to make fun of me. So, let's get on with it.

In a few almost every single post, I complain about how much my boobs have grown as a result of pregnancy. But I'm not quite sure you are all grasping the enormity (hah) of the situation.

While organizing my closets this past week (hello, nesting), I came across a most brilliant way to illustrate my troubles to you.

Before Pregnancy:

It's no secret that I've always sported a larger bosom than most, but here is a pre-pregnancy bra with my size 7 flip flops for a comparison (I had no appropriate fruit in the house to do comparisons). We'll call this the manageable stage of my life.

Pregnancy--Wave 1:

Here you'll see the flip flop has been dwarfed by the gargantuan circus tent I use to wrangle the ladies in each day.

Let's do a side by side comparison to drive home the effect:

There it is.

Oh wait! Did you notice the "Wave 1" designation next to the pregnancy bra photo? That's right kids. Where there's a Wave 1, there must be a Wave 2.

It was 90 degrees this weekend which meant the maternity jeans I've been sporting for the past 2 months are getting to be a little toasty. It was time to get the summer maternity gear.

While I was trying on every last thing in the store to find one item that didn't make me look enormous (a difficult task when one is 30 weeks pregnant), I came across a dress which required a bra style different than the ones I currently own.

Except I couldn't close the bras in "my size."


Pregnancy--Wave 2:

I couldn't even fit the new bra in the camera screen. If you picture a parachute, then quadruple its size, you'll be close to what the new bras look like.

I didn't even know this particular bra size existed. They certainly don't carry it in the mainstream lingerie stores.

And the real rub of it all?

They're going to GROW AGAIN once my milk comes in.

It's a wonder I can stand up anymore.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thar She Blows

It's getting to be the time of year most women with a healthy self-esteem loathe.

Bathing suit season.

I live in Atlanta; bathing suit season starts tomorrow. And as you may have surmised from reading a few posts...I'm pregnant. Can you imagine how much I'm looking forward to this?

There are a few cruel jokes played on pregnant women:

  1. Swimming (or standing in water like an overgrown hippopotamus) is probably the best relief for a hot, sweaty pregnant woman carrying an extra [undisclosed] amount of weight on her frame

  2. Swimming, in most places, requires one wear a bathing suit or else be arrested for indecent exposure and cruel and unusual punishment to all of humanity

  3. Pregnancy hormones and pre-natal vitamins give your hair super-growth ability--yes, all your hair

  4. When one is 7.5 months pregnant, one cannot see certain areas that might need some attention prior to wearing a bathing suit

  5. Maternity bathing suit manufacturers are pure evil spawned from the copulation of Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung

One of my besties, Julie, and I spend roughly 800 hours a day on IM together. We're bonded through the same lack of desire to do our jobs, tendency to be distracted by anything and ability to turn even the simplest tasks into an epic journey of insurmountable obstacles and heroic feats of endurance.

While on her own monumental search for a bathing suit, Julie decided she would start looking for one for me as well. After being discouraged by the cruel jokes bathing suit makers play on all women (hello, Brazilian bikini) and the ever unhelpful tips from fashion magazines (sure, that style is great for the big hipped woman, but what about the big boobs, short torso, medium height, no butt, enormous hipped woman???), she decided to bring me into the hellhole of bathing suit shopping.

Julie is so off the Christmas card list.

I knew this was going to go nowhere fast when the conversation started like so:

Julie: OK. Give me your measurements: chest, waist and hips.

Jen: You're kidding, right? I can't fit a measuring tape around my chest, I haven't seen my waist in a month and my hips are spreading by feet each day.

Julie: Here's one. It's black, slimming and has good coverage.

Jen: You're telling me I need to wear a full outfit to go swimming in order to make people not puke when I show up.

Julie: (Undeterred by my attitude) No worries. Here's one. Cute design, a little sassy, but still has good coverage.

Jen: Um...that will not work with the 38DDs I'm sporting these days. Actually that was the measurement a few months ago. I can't even bear to know the size now.

Julie: OK. Now we're getting somewhere.

Jen: We are?

This goes back and forth for awhile and we find a few cute styles. But then, oh then Interwebs, we had to go the sizing charts.

These things are beyond idiotic. My pre-pregnancy size is apparently considered an XL. Really? I live in the South. I know what XL is. It is not me. And I'm pretty sure I'm not just living in a delusional dream. *deep breath* I was a size 10-12. Not petite, but certainly not an XL.

But it gets better.

Do you have any idea what size my boobs are considered on these charts? PLUS-SIZED 2X.


And that's when I was done swimsuit shopping.

A few tips to the maternity bathing suit manufacturers of the world:

  • If it looks like it can double as a tennis outfit, circus tent or nightgown from the 60s, then it should not be made into a bathing suit

  • Under no circumstances should a bathing suit have horizontal stripes. Ever.

  • All 2-piece bathing suits need to be sold as separates--my boobs exploded three sizes while the rest of me is growing along at whatever normal pregnancy growth rates are

  • PLEASE. For the love of all that is holy. Do not add insult to injury by making sizes common for women--particularly pregnant woman--hell, for ANY woman--a PLUS SIZE. I'm having enough body image issues without your input.

I hate everyone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Trivia

Let's play a game called, Guess Who Did the Food Shopping This Week.

This week's hint is a picture clue.

Michael and I went to Whole Foods and this is what we came home with:

Counterclockwise from top-left: Sea Salt Caramel gelato, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Double Dark Chocolate, Toasted Almond and Red Raspberry sorbet.

Don't worry, we bought a few other items as well. Heavy whipping cream, whole milk and eggs to make our own home-made ice cream too.

Winners earn my undying love and adoration. Losers will have to hang their head in shame for 3 whole seconds.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Things Pregnant Women Should TOTALLY Complain About

This weekend, I vented my frustrations about some of the idiotic things pregnant women seem to complain about constantly.

But here's the catch. There are a multitude of things brought on by pregnancy that you don't hear Boo about--and they really suck.

My Hips Don't Lie

My hips are going through a particularly nasty, painful divorce. After 33 years of togetherness, irreconcilable differences have made my hips part ways. Apparently they have gotten restraining orders and they are required to stay 100 feet away from each other.

The rub is, they are still contained within my skin.

As The Bean settles in for her final weeks of womb vacation, her weight is pushing my hips apart so I can shoot her out of my hoo-ha like a cannonball. This means: (a) I can stay in one position for roughly 30 minutes before it becomes wildly uncomfortable--this includes sleeping positions, (b) it feels like I've been riding a bicycle for 400 straight hours--on an unpadded seat, and (c) my walking gait more closely resembles a duck's than a human's.


I'm not sure what I thought was going to happen to all of my internal organs and bits and bobs when there was something the size of a small pumpkin taking up residence inside me. Would they just shrink? Perhaps they take a well-deserved vacation. Or maybe they just effortlessly scoot to an unoccupied spot in my body and get a little cozier with some of the organs they haven't visited in awhile.

I'm now fairly certain none of those things happened. Everything stubbornly stayed put and has become the playground for The Bean.

It's hard to be angry with a person who doesn't realize your right ovary is not a punching bag or that kicking another person in the diaphragm for hours on end is annoying bordering on grounds for spree killings. Actually, it's pretty easy to be angry with them, but the knowledge of my ability to embarrass that same person when they hit 13 years old makes the pain more bearable.

The World's Most Ineffective Camel

No joke, I go through 3 liters of club soda a day (I have the Soda Stream and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the fizzy water). It's like I just finished my 20-year African desert hike and every last drop of water on the planet might help alleviate some of the thirst.

Except then I have to pee.

Like a lot.

Except when you go to the restroom to alleviate yourself, nothing happens.

Like at all.

Because someone is sitting on some of your internal plumbing and it closely resembles what happens when you accidentally park your car on top of the garden hose and then try to water your plants.

This goes on every 5 minutes all day long. It's a real treat.

So there's those things.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Pregnant Women Complain About


I'm going to go ahead and break the first rule of Pregnancy Fight Club.

There seems to be a lot of complaining accompanying this whole pregnancy experience and I'm not exactly sure I get it. For the most part, pregnancy is a walk in the park (We pause this post for an editor's hedging: I'm talking about normal pregnancies with no complications. And no, being pregnant is not a complication.)--albeit a very long, sometimes slightly inconvenient 10-month walk.

There are a slew of complaints I hear about consistently making me want to slap pregnant women. If you thought being pregnant would be the same as being unpregnant, find yourself a toaster oven and a full bath. You'll love the pretty lights you see.

Things Pregnant Women Need to Shut Up About Already

"That person called me 'Big,' 'Small,' '6 months pregnant when I'm clearly only 21 weeks'

This is going to come as a surprise to most pregnant women, but the day you found out you were pregnant, the world did not stop to go out and read up on pregnancy. No one cares that pregnancies last 40 weeks--and they certainly don't care what week you are in.

People want to know 2 things: what day are you due and what day are you due.

Everything else is extraneous information making them do math and most people aren't that good at math. So give the world a break and when they ask you how far along you are just say, "I'm due in July--only 3 months to go!"

Shock #2: While the world was spending all that time not looking up pregnancies week by week, they also were busy not giving a damn about how much your uterus and womb expands throughout pregnancy.

So when someone says you look big or small for how far along you are, they are saying it just to carry on the conversation (unless it's your doctor. Then you might want to listen up and possibly lay off the ice cream. Yes, I'm looking in the mirror as I type this.). So give them a pass.

I had two cashiers the other day tell me I looked 4 months pregnant. I wanted to jump over the conveyor belt and kiss them with tongue. My mother told me I was looking big. I took this to mean definitively that The Bean was coming early and I would get to be unpregnant sooner. Win-Win.

People Keep Touching My Belly

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the people making this complaint are the same people who (a) are always talking about their pregnancy, "It IS great the unemployment rate is dropping. That means this baby that I'm pregnant with will have a better chance at finding a job 16 years from now." (b) are wearing the cute little maternity clothes showcasing their bump like a ship beacon in the fog, and (c) don't walk around with this face on:

I don't have anyone touching my belly who I don't want to. In great thanks to that look being etched on my face at most times.

I Can't Believe How Much Weight I'm Gaining

I have two things to say: (a) You're pregnant. If you didn't think you were going to gain weight you're an idiot and should do us all a favor and play in traffic. (b) If you (or your doctor) think you are gaining too much weight, eat right.

Pregnancy is not the 'Get Out of Jail Free' card to go eat at Shoney's Buffet 24/7. 300 extra calories, kids. That's like an apple and a glass of milk. If you're starving, it's probably because you ate something crappy that doesn't fill you up. Go eat a cucumber.

All that said, I'm fanatical and obsess about my weight. Because I'm allowed. I got permission from the Pregnancy President. Which means I can go eat out constantly, enjoy fried foods and desserts and then be completely stunned when the scale says I've gained 10 pounds in three weeks.

Next Post: Things Pregnant Women Should TOTALLY Complain About

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making Great Strides

Y'all...the nursery is done!

If you consider this done:

Which some people may say is not exactly baby-ready, but I think is pretty close because The Bean can totally share the dog crate with Ginger (the thunderstorm freak out dog) and the two items I've been vying to have in the nursery from the word jumpstreet arrived yesterday.

So I'm all ready.

You're going to need to brace yourselves for the adorable.

First up, we have our polar bear bookends. These will be handy for holding up books AND throwing at visitors who overstay their welcome.

But this next item(s), I have been crushing on since I saw them in a store in San Francisco in January. Until I picked them up and saw the price. Then I was mad at them for at least 10 whole minutes. So I left them in the store to think about what they had done.

Instead I was the one left thinking (read: obsessing) for the past 4 months. So much so, that I not only paid the same price for them, but I also paid for shipping and handling! Yea!

But come on, can you even stand it?

While mostly a show piece, these are also going to be exceptional at poking out eyes, stabbing exposed, delicate flesh and teething (they're teak, so don't worry, the ducks will be fine).

Nursery: check.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Try Not to Hate

In a matter of seconds, I went from being cute pregnant to hippopotamus pregnant.

I feel like ending the update there, but after my last post apparently people expect great things out of me. I should've kept my funny in reserve because it's starting to run out.

After 3 days of 90-degree Atlanta heat--in APRIL--the physicality of my pregnancy can no longer be ignored; despite my constant attempts to do just that.

There was the mountain hike Michael and I tried to do this weekend. I'm not sure why we thought that was a good idea. But by mile...oh wait, we didn't even make it a mile...a half a mile in I gave him the look that said "if we don't get to the air conditioned car in less than five minutes you may be saying goodbye to some body parts you hold dear."

20 minutes later we were eating pizza and drinking cold water so we thought we might live. But we don't do well in the state of contentment. So we decided to play tennis.

Oh yes. You read that right.

Now before you get all up in arms, I didn't actually play tennis. That would be ridiculous.

We drag the tennis ball machine to the courts so Michael can practice his swing and I go around picking up all the balls and refilling the machine. Because a 7-month pregnant women constantly pacing a steaming hot tennis court and bending over 500 times to pick up tennis balls is much less ridiculous.

I would draw a picture of what this looked liked for you, but I'm still tired. So you can go ahead and picture a melted donut with stringy hair and swollen ankles--that about covers it.

An hour later we were lying in bed contemplating all the feasible excuses to get out of dinner plans for the evening. But it was the one instance the pregnancy card wasn't going to work. We were meeting up with the parents of a one-month old. If anyone's tired, it's them.

Luckily I balanced all this physical stress with mental stress on Sunday when I pre-registered for my delivery at the hospital.

At my last appointment the nurse lectured me for 20 minutes about how I needed to be registered because anything can happen from here on out and what if something happens on the way to the parking lot and I'm not registered (thanks for giving me a new thing to obsess about).

Because no one in the history of Ever has gone to the hospital without pre-registering.

So I spent Sunday morning signing consent upon consent to rip my body open using safety scissors and rusted hedge clippers if need be. And acknowledging that I should be left in a pile of bloody tatters if the doctor is suddenly called away for a family BBQ.

Just another glimpse into the weekend of a pregnant woman.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Of the Sick and Twisted Variety

Michael has recently taken to referring to me as the Tauntaun. Meaning, every time he looks at me, he is visualizing this:

Which seems about right.

While out to dinner with Michael and my mom the other night, we noticed a recently evicted baby being rocked in her car seat while the parents ate. This sparked the following conversation:

Mom: That will be you guys soon. You never stop rocking. It's all you do.

Michael: What's with that? Why do babies find that so comforting?

Jen: (Super excited to know the answer and dazzle the world with her wealth of knowledge and ready to receive the thunderous applause and cheers for being brilliant) Well, the baby is used to being in the womb and moving around all day. I can feel it already. The Bean sleeps while I'm up and about doing things. It's when I sit or lay down and stop moving that she starts kicking and punching me.

Michael: It's probably because she thinks you died and is trying to let the outside world know she's still in there.

My mother stared at us horrified as Michael and I spent the next 5 minutes enacting exactly how The Bean was signaling for help from inside and cackling the entire time.

Look! I drew you a cartoon so you could see the sublime humor in it all (you may need to click on them to enlarge them to see the full scope of genius):

Poor Nana. She's going to have her work cut out for her trying to make sure this grandbaby grows up well-adjusted.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Think I Might Be Pregnant

Michael: I thought you women are supposed to embrace being pregnant and be all 'I'm Mother Earth; Hear me roar.'

Jen: *Growls*

I made it all the way to the third trimester and all I got was a stupid gift basket of promotional items from the nurse who took my blood today.

The Bean is clearly taking after her mother and is inside the womb with her day planner making sure to cross major milestones off her to-do list as they arrive. Unfortunately, these milestones have driven home the fact that I am indeed pregnant and in the not-too-distant future will be caring for a live little human...or a large trout. You can never be too sure about these things.

The past 2 weeks have brought on a plethora of pregnancy symptoms. The powers that be were smart enough to realize they should wait until the third trimester to give me side effects or else I would've thrown in the towel months ago. Now I'm sort of invested to see this thing through; if only to ask The Bean why she needs to plant herself on my far right side for days on end making me lopsided and uncomfortable in every single position conducive to sleeping.

Today we discovered The Bean is measuring about a week ahead of where the average 27-week growing baby measures (who knew the medical community would be so accurate about these things); while I've gained no weight in 4 weeks. So she's clearly part magician.

It also explains why I am full after two bites of food. The Bean has shoved my stomach out of her way to make room for all of her spells, newt eyes and bubbling cauldrons.

We also learned The Bean is strategically positioned upside down (this is apparently good for babies, but seems wildly disconcerting and uncomfortable to me), which explains why I feel like someone is constantly kicking me in the ribs and punching me in the bladder--because someone is.

Go ahead and ask a close friend to do this to you. See how pleasant you are by the end of the day.

I'm Mother Earth...hear me complain.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

When Acronyms Go Wrong

This past week I felt compelled to check in on my Things to Do Before Baby Arrives checklist. Next week will be the official start of my third trimester and, people, that's when shit gets real.

The first item on the list that caught my attention was square away maternity leave, fill out insurance forms, blah, blah, blah. Mainly because, I have to tell you, I cannot wait to be on maternity leave.

You always hear people say, "Oh, I'd have no idea what to do with myself all day. I'd go stir-crazy within a week. I just have to have a job."

That is so not me.

I'm pretty sure I'd make a fabulous unemployed person. I'd never complain. I'd never be bored. Or at least, I'd never complain about being bored. Yeah, I know. There's the whole money thing. Details.


I call my office (I work remotely) and ask the admin to send me all the forms and things I need to know about maternity leave.

Later that day my inbox shows this subject line: Your STD

Uh...I know my boss isn't thrilled I'm pregnant, but this seems a bit extreme. Pregnancy hardly qualifies as a disease; though technically the sexually-transmitted part is correct.

General Note to the World: STD is not an acceptable shortening for Short-Term Disability.