Category Archives: Momentousness

pending person

So, I’m pregnant. Here is a small person who lives inside of me and steals all of my ice cream:

It’s almost two years exactly now since I miscarried a previous pregnancy. Being pregnant again has not made the strangeness or sadness of that go away. I still think about it regularly and it still has this influencing voice of “sometimes things go wrong.”

In the meantime, things seem to have been going rather uneventfully with his one, despite all of my high riskiness. I’m 38, overweight, and there’s still that MS thing lurking around, but I’ve been really lucky so far. I never had much morning sickness and I certainly never threw up. I don’t have gestational diabetes. I occasionally get heart burn, but it’s not persistent. My biggest challenge or complaint really is just a lack of sleeping.

Only six weeks left to go (until the due date, anyway) and it definitely now feels like something that is coming soon, not like something in the <shrug> “later” category. We went to a birthing class, four Tuesday evening’s worth. It was rather horrifying, but I suppose they were horrors worth being aware of. And it did solidify for me that I just don’t know what I don’t know. I don’t know how much pain I can tolerate. I don’t know what kind of encouragement will help me. So I don’t have a birth plan, or even want to have one. I’ll try to have an open mind and just do the best I can.

I worry about getting things done before she’s here. About how we’ll get through the first few weeks and months. About how we’ll pay for child care once we have to go back to work. How the dogs will cope. And how we’ll pay for a dog walker, too…

I don’t have the feelings of smug pride or earth mother-y amazement that other people seem to. I haven’t indignantly asked anyone to give me a seat on the train. I would not describe it as “exciting.” I feel daunted and unsure of how to prepare… will the baby be a terrible sleeper or refuse to breast feed? Will she be ok? There’s no telling what she’ll do, so we can only consider and hope for the best. And try to tune out all of the advice and The Tales of the Baby Who….

Amidst all of the baby tales and the no one every told me stories, I actually feel like I’ve heard it all. Maybe because the entirety of my generation (and some of the follow-up generations, too) has already done their procreating? It seems like people talk about it all the time. Sometimes even brag about it. Every possible terrible thing that supposedly no one ever talks about, someone, or the internet, has talked to me about it. Fingers crossed, I don’t experience some brand new terror, heretofore unmentioned in the so-brave confessions of new mommydom.

And somewhere underneath all of the worry and doubt and dismay that I will never go see another movie ever again, I am incredibly curious about this person. What she’ll look like and be like and what loving her will feel like.

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august thirty-first

so.

I’m married!

The David and I got married on August 31 on a very sunny Saturday in Oakland.
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It was a gorgeous day and it somehow, miraculously, turned out just like I had pictured it might.

We’ll get access to use the photographer’s photos after the new year, but in the mean time, I’ll try to convey what it was like with the various snapshots I have.

Overall, we wanted to feel like ourselves and I shied away from anything that I wouldn’t normally do. I wear dresses, but I don’t wear gowns. I like to decorate with flowers, but I don’t carry them around with me.

Normalcy be damned, though. I started weeping in the morning while I was getting ready and continued to do so off and on. So a lot of what I remember is crying and trying not to.

We both wrote our own vows, which ended up being even cuter than I thought we were. One of my favorite bits was The David’s promise to love me even when I have the snots, which he said precisely as I was blowing my nose.

Lisa Congdon officiated for us and did a wonderful job of it. She got married a few months before us. Leading up to her own wedding, she wrote so genuinely about her joy and delight in love. The sound and sentiment of her beliefs were exactly what I wanted I wanted to be surrounded by while we did the marrying. And fantastically, she agreed to give some of her Lisaness to us.

75 of our friends and family came to spend the day with us, including The David’s parents, his sister+brother-in-law+their-3-kids, and one of his buddies from England. I had a goodly representation from the east coast. But the majority of the guests are a part of the family we’ve built for ourselves here in the Bay Area. I was struck by how special and fleeting it was to have all of our people gathered together in one place; there will never be another opportunity like that.

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I was surrounded by my best ladyfriends, who all picked out their own yellow dresses: one from my first real job, my sister-in-law, one from high school, and one from college.  (A fifth intended lady friend had had some unexpected travel conundrums and couldn’t make it.)
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David wore some yah-HELLOW pants and all his dudes wore bow ties and blue gingham shirts. It was great. A fantastic blend of British and San Francisco hipster.

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I had wanted the dinner to look and feel like something that I might have invited you to in my own home, without formal floral arrangements or place settings and I think it turned out beautifully. A dear friend and her mom sewed the yellow gingham table runners for me. The dishes and utensils were all compostable. The flowers were arranged in jars and cans that I’d saved for the past few months.

The food was fantastic. Seriously the best wedding food I think I’ve ever had. We had ribs and bbq chicken, a kale salad, a roasted corn and zucchini salad, and whole wheat mac n cheese. There were incredible deviled eggs, watermelon skewers, and sausage rolls passed before dinner. And there was an amazing cheese table. Later we had two kinds of pie, strawberry rhubarb and blackberry nectarine, with sweet cream ice cream.
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We demonstrated our swing dancing skills (rudimentary) for our first dance to Mumford and Sons I Will Wait.

1173878_436104783175252_2144697979_nThere were far off fireworks at the end of the night over the Oakland A’s coliseum. We packed up a ton of leftover food and a million flowers and went home to our new house.

I don’t feel different, but I do feel amazed and happy that we did it. And I am, as ever, surprised at just how much I lucked out with this fellow of mine.

 

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i think i wanna marry you

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This is pretty old news now, but it’s time to note it for posterity: The David and I are getting married!

And when I say that we’re getting married, I don’t just mean that we got engaged, but literally that we’re getting married. In like 2 seconds. On August 31.

There wasn’t a proposal, per se, but on the couch in our living room, after work on Friday, April 12, there was a conversation that resulted in the decision that we should get married.
The words “we might as well get married” were issued. I almost swooned at the onslaught of romance.

And on the tails of this decision, we learned that the green card The David thought he would be getting through his employer was actually not going to materialize and that since he was almost all out of visa juice, he’d have to leave the country in November of this year.

Hence, the 4 month engagement.

And then we went out and drank beers and ate tater tots with cheese and bacon.

 

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rocket

We got a kitten!  A teeny tiny little booger!

On Saturday, we went to the mall to go pick up some something or other from the Apple store and there was a shelter bonanza going on.  The cuteness was too much to bear and we decided that a kitty must be ours.

So we picked one, because he was rolling around upside down.

We named him Rocket in the car ride home, because The David wanted a fiesty-boy name and I wanted it to also mean arugula in British, obviously.

He’s 9 weeks old and so tiny that he can’t jump onto the couch.  He’s a very good purrer.  He likes to stick his little snoot into my nose holes, for reasons unknown.

poking out of the box on the car ride home

playing with string!

behold the cuteness!

teeny little cat head

not sitting still for a picture kitty

sacked out

little rocket guy

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aunt mary

I’ve been really slacking on the blog front.  Shame!

I will never be a famous, awesome blogger if I can’t managed to squeeze out more than post a month, now will I?

But, there was something that I had to write and until I did that, I felt like I couldn’t write about any of the other trivial silly things that I might have, like giving myself a weekly speed test for running a mile or going on vacation to Kaua’i.

The thing is that my Aunt Mary, my mom’s twin sister, died on May 10.

She was sick for a long time.  Cancer of the appendix that kept turning into cancer of this and cancer of that.  They took little bits out of her one at a time until I’m not really sure what was left in there.

It went on for so long that I got used it.  And because I was on the other side of the country, I didn’t have to confront the reality; I only had to settle myself with the idea.

When she finally did die, I thought it was fine.  A relief more than anything else.  The horribleness of her story was finally over.  My mother did not have to make the trip out to see her every weekend to weep at her bedside.  It was good to be finished.

David and I went to the funeral, flying out on a red eye on Tuesday night, arriving in JFK on Wednesday morning.  We went to pick up Nana from her nursing home and then to the service.  I expected it to be hard, but fine.  Tolerable.  It was so much worse than I expected.  It’s normal to not see Aunt Mary most of the time.  She’s never come to visit me here in California.  But it is definitely not normal to see those cousins, to see her children and her step children, to be there in her scene and to not see her.  She seemed so horribly missing.

And then later, taking Nana back to the nursing home… she had appeared so stoic through it all, but then she started to cry.  She said “She was my little baby.  I held her in my arms.  How can I never see her again?”  It was possibly the most despairing moment of my life.

Aunt Mary was like a fairy godmother to me.  When I was a little girl, she didn’t have children of her own, me and my brothers were the only nieces and nephews, and she absolutely doted on me.  The boys were wild and unruly, but I was *the little girl.*  I was the outsider in my dirty, tumultuous, heathen family.  I wanted cabbage patch dolls and make-up and the clothes from Benetton that all the other popular girls wore and, much to my mother’s disgust, Aunt Mary would always oblige.

When I was 11, I flew from North Carolina to New York all by myself to visit her.  She bought me a red dress and took me to see a Broadway musical and to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It was amazing and fantastic and wonderful.  A fantasy.

But as much as she loved me, she always wanted to have her own children, of course.  I was too young to know all the details, but she had quite a few miscarriages before she and her husband (who she’d only just married when I was 8 or 9 or so) decided to adopt.  So in her early 40’s, she adopted two children – newborns each – about two years apart.  And just like she had spoiled me on birthdays and on various special occasions, she spoiled these two children.  But every day.  Until they grew up into something awful.  Maybe because of the over abundance of cloying love, maybe because of their genetic nature, maybe because of a thousand things combined.
After her marriage to a man ten years older and becoming a mother of two, I was no longer her favorite.  But I was getting older and didn’t really need an aunt for whom I was the favorite any more.  Later, I moved to California and I saw her very rarely.  Probably I didn’t even see her every time I went home to visit my family, which is usually only once or twice a year.

So by the time she got sick, I was already removed – emotionally and physically.  More than other feelings, I hurt for my mother going through the loss of a sister, a twin.  And it scared me that I could now be at an age in which my parent’s people, or my parents, could die.  And I thought that it would be fine.  It will be sad, but ok.  It is ok, but now that it’s over I see that there is still the grief of a little girl who lost a very special aunt.

Aunt Mary and me, 1 year old. 1978.

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33

I am thirty-three years old today.  Thirty-three.

Which is like saying that I’m now Hoozle Puddit.  What does that even mean?  And how did it happen?

But it happened, and I’m 33 now.  I cried a little this morning.  I’m not even sure I could articulate why.  It all just feels so beyond my control.  And it feels so incredibly meaningful and meaningless at the same time.

So to make 33 feel like something, I want to commit to 3 things that I will do this year.

By end of the day, September 24, 2011, I will:

1.  Have no credit card debt.  None.  $0.

2.  Lose *some* weight.  I don’t want to commit to a specific amount.  But it will be something.  Ideally, it will be enough so that I’m not technically overweight, let alone obese.  But let’s just call it something.

3.  I will not pull a single grey or white hair out of my head.

That is all.

Carry on.

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Maple Leaves

Maple died on Friday.  On Thursday night, I walked into the kitchen and saw her sprawled out by her food bowl.  Typically, she’d scamper right out of the kitchen if we happened to come in while she was in there, because eating and drinking is very special private time in Maple Land.  Or something.  But she just lay there.  I picked her up and put her by the radiator in the dining room, which is her typical hang out spot.  As soon as I put her on the floor, she just flopped down, exactly where gravity put her.

Around 4:30 in the morning, she started mewing, loudly.  Sometimes caterwauling.  I got up and held her on my lap, sitting on the couch for a while.  On Friday morning, I went to work.  I had an interview in the afternoon.  When I got home again in the evening, she was dead, and probably had been for quite some time.  She was in the same spot that she had been when we left in the morning.  I cried a lot.  David cried a bit.  We put her in a box.  Then we went out for dinner and drank a lot.

The local vet wouldn’t take her body, since I’d never actually taken her to the vet and she wasn’t “a client.”  So in the afternoon, we took her to the Humane Society.  I couldn’t go in.  I sat in the car while David did it.

She was only 8 years old.  I have no idea what was wrong.

And I feel very sad.  She was rather ridiculous, but she was my cat.  My pet.  The non-human creature who shared my home.  She would lick our hands, if they were exposed from under the covers in bed on a Saturday morning.  She’d thud herself against me to lean on when we went to sleep, and end up at the foot of the bed in the night.  When she was happy, she’d do a somersault of sorts, with her ass in the air and her head down between her legs, curled up and looking up at you from in between her hind legs.

She would holler and meow like crazy when we came home.  And I think she recognized the sound of my car; she seemed like she always knew when I was coming in.  She sat like a gargoyle protector on the arm of the couch, next to me, while I sat there.  She liked to head butt.  She loved coming in to the bathroom after I got out of the shower, rubbing around my wet legs.  She had a funny white spot on her nose, that extended on to the pebbled texture pink part of her nose.  Her whiskers curled up, not down.

I can’t describe what it is that feels so sad right now.  It doesn’t feel like missing, or regret.  I couldn’t claim that it was a tremendous cat love, or that I was ever a good cat lady.  But still.
There is a huge unfathomable sorrow.

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