Slushy New Year's!

It's snowing again.
Everybody seems to be in agreement that I should try hard not to slip and fall. And they act like wiping out is something I would otherwise enjoy doing.

A week or so ago, my mother sent me a product called "Get-a-Grip" snow and ice cleats in fashionable purple.

Brian warned me that it was icy and slushy out this morning, so I put on my ice cleats for the first time. Walking in the slushy snow was fine. Leaving the house was a bit of a challenge. Walking on shoveled sections of the sidewalk was difficult. And walking around in the subway was embarrassing.

The cleats made me sound like a scratchy tap dancer. A number of people turned to look as I waddled onto the train wearing my fashionable and rhythmic ice cleats. At least I haven't fallen yet.

Last night, before it was snowing, Brian flipped through our no-cable and came upon a public access channel that was airing a hearing he had attended back on December 7th (his birthday).

One of his coworkers was speaking. And then I saw what looked like Brian whispering into the testifying coworker's ear.

"Were you there?"


"Do you speak too? Are you on camera any more?

"Just towards the end."

We watched ... and finally, there was Brian, leaning in awkwardly to try to clarify a point. Such a cutie. One of the council members even said, "You're going to have to pull the mic closer. We can't hear you." Here is a picture I took with my crappy camera phone of Brian trapped inside the TV.

Tonight is New Year's Eve. I can't wait to not-drink and then fall asleep before midnight. Here's to the decade that both started and ended with a bust. Aughts: it's been real and it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun. Ciao!

Practicing Parenting

Brian and I have been honing our parenting skills.
We've been practicing our statements of quiet resignation.

We took turns saying things like, "We never would have chosen for you to be a transsexual, but as long as you're happy...."

I think you mostly just keep repeating that what you want most is their happiness, but make sure it is clear that it will come at the expense of your own. Here are some occurrences for which we tried to prepare.

I want to be an artist: "If this is what you want to do, than we want you to do it. But we want you to be able to support yourself too."

I want to be an Investment Banker: "We want you to be successful in everything you do. But we want you to feel good about yourself. We love you and we just want you to be happy. Are you happy? Really?"

I want to be a Human Rights Activist in some war-torn country: "We are so glad you want to do something so meaningful. But we worry about you. Please always make sure you are safe."

I want to be a Republican: "This is something we have feared for a long time. We still love you. But we think you are wrong."

How are we doing?

Someone remarked how most almost- and new-parents dream up high and sometimes unachievable goals for their offspring. I was complimented on my very realistic outlook on child-rearing.

I am a glass-half-empty person.

We go for our 20 week sonogram next week. That's when we'll learn if we're having a boy or a girl. For no good reason, we have both assumed we are having a girl. The other day I said to Brian, "You know there's a still 50% chance it's a boy. Would you be okay with that? I mean, there's really nothing we can do to change things."

He said he would be fine with either. A few days earlier, he had spoken with a male friend who has a son. The friend talked up how great it was to have a boy. Brian told me, "I guess I agree, but I just think if our kid is schizophrenic and tries to kill me, it will be easier to wrestle it to the ground if it's a girl."

I totally agree. But, hey, maybe our child won't be schizophrenic. Maybe it'll just vote republican. I haven't yet started practicing my talk on sex or drugs, but I figure I still have a little time.

Maternity Wear

Some people have dream-catchers. I have a food-catcher.

It's my protruding belly.

I've been noticing lately that after I've eaten, about 10% of my food gets caught by my belly. And it just stills there, as if on display.

Watching my body change has been an exercise that is both interesting and terrifying. I'm changing shape, and there's not much I can do about it.

At first, I was terrified about not being able to fit into my normal clothing. But when my normal clothign got uncomfortable, I was relieved to begin wearing that lovely, elastic-waistbanded garb.

But this was short-lived. Soon into my maternity-wearing days I began to feel frustrated and a bit depressed. The clothes were comfortable, sure, but nothing really fit right. And everything made me look big and pregnant (which I was). And I would have never chosen these clothes if they were not maternity clothes and I were not pregnant.

Also, the many of the clothes were hand-me-downs. On one hand, I was thrilled to have gotten so many clothes for free from my sister and from friends. But on the other, I was experiencing middle-child flash-backs like PTSDs — having to parade around in other people's old, ill-fitting, otherly-styled clothes. It took me years to hammer out my own personal bad style. Now I was being forced to fit into another style -- and while using what felt like another body.

I complained to my friend Clare, and she consoled me. She wrote back:

I know the whole hand-me-downs thing is weird and I got frustrated with the clothes too. It's hard because they aren't the clothes you'd really ever pick and also, they reinforce the fact that you aren't exactly yourself at present. Which is strange!

Also, everyone has warned me that maternity clothes are pretty ugly. Unless you want to spend a fortune. But who cares about looking good when you're wobbling around uncomfortably, huffing and puffing like a manatee out of water. An asymetrically hemmed skirt will only get you and your giant, lumpy body so far.

I obviously have a disconnect between what's going on with my body right now and what will happen in another four and a half months.

Big News

It's been hard to blog these past few months, because the one thing I've been so fixated on is the one thing I needed to keep quiet about.

I'm preggers.

I have been slowly coming out of the closet, trying to tell friends and relatives individually, which has been a bit awkward at times.

I waited until I was four months along to start telling people at work, but this proved to be a less-than-suave move. My personal growth had really taking off, and by the time I was confiding my "secret," I was already in maternity clothes. A couple people seemed truly surprised. Most of them had already figured it out. One person told me he had been contemplating recommending WeightWatchers.

It hasn't been all fun times while sitting around and getting fat. For three months I felt constantly out of breath. I was so tired I could cry, and queasy. And I'm so congested, I've gotten sick three time already — for one of them I was out a whole week.

I don't understand these people who dance around talking about the loveliness of pregnancy. You are playing host to a little alien growing inside you sapping your resouces and crowding out your organs. During the first trimester, I would walk around looking like a bloated, strung-out zombie. But I could always find someone who would tell me I was "glowing."

I'm almost 17 weeks along now. Things are going okay. I still feel very superstitious. But I am telling you now because, for one thing, it is getting very hard not to, and for another, I have a hard enough time keeping good news to myself. If something bad should happen, I would certainly not want to suffer in silence. I much prefer suffering loudly.