Thursday, November 12, 2009

More of a basket case than I seem

So, you know how I'm always saying, "Oh, I have no friends here, and it sucks, and I suck at making friends, and what do I do blah blah blah?" Well, I fully acknowledge that it's my fault. I think it's totally unfair that an extrovert gets saddled with sometimes crippling shyness (THANK YOU evil evil elementary school classmates), but that's my problem to deal with, not this mean, unfriendly town's. Well, what makes it worse is that James has a coworker who lives right here in town. Within walking distance of our house. His wife is a SAHM, and they have a two-year-old and a newborn. They are normal and nice people. They shower and do not smell of dirty socks. And yet! Here I am, a hermit in my own house while prime friend fodder lives just a mile away. Idiot.

Well, today we're bringing dinner over to their house (see above, regarding newborn and two-year-old), and I am flipping out. What if the food sucks? What if they die of food poisoning (seriously, I kept sniffing the meat as I cut it up, absolutely CERTAIN that the meat I'd taken out of the freezer just yesterday was maggoty and rotten)? What if I say something wildly inappropriate (okay, so that's a given, and I should just learn how to recover gracefully in these situations instead of worrying about the inevitable happening)? It's times like this a beer would be really handy. I actually laid awake at night, worried sick about how to make conversation without making a donkey's rear of myself.

And do you know what? All this stupid worry always turns out to be for naught. Sure, I say inappropriate things on a daily basis (I have this compulsive need to make everything funny, which means I sometimes do things like make fart jokes at the dinner table), but no one even notices except me. And when I've finally gotten to know people well enough to share with them that I was absolutely terrified of them for the first three years of our relationship, they say things like, "What? Really? You seem so outgoing."


The dinner I am making is this fajita stew. It is fabulous. And it takes five minutes to prepare (provided you do not have a clingy fourth-grader-sized toddler hanging off your hip and screaming in your ear). I've made it twice before, and each time I'm surprised at how good it is. The best part is that you can use a super cheap cut of beef, and it's still tender and full of flavor. I love red meat like I love cheese and chocolate, but I refuse to pay $4/lb for a round steak, thank you very much (on special! in the middle of Farm Country, USA! I do not understand!).

Even The Child loves it. We always go through a few minutes of breathless anticipation before we try to feed her a new meal. Will she eat it? Will she get enough food for dinner that she won't be cranky all night? Will we want to kill ourselves for not making something else for dinner?

These days she rarely rejects anything we feed her, so long as she sees us eating it first. But it still happens. And since I'm evil, I won't just give her something different. She gets other dishes, of course, but only what I'm already serving her. So if all she gets for dinner is apple sauce and Cheerios, that's her problem. Except that it's also our problem because she makes it our problem. As I said, though, this is rare anymore. We actually have a bigger problem with finding enough foods for her to eat. The other day at lunch she had a bowl of stew, a scrambled egg with spinach, two fruit cups, some oatmeal, yogurt, and a trillion Cheerios. I started a mental tally in my head of all the foods in the fridge that were good for her to eat without any preparation. If she hadn't stopped after the Cheerios, it would have been a dessert of shredded cheese in milk. And yet, she's still a string bean. I wish I knew her secret.

I realize there will probably come a day when she's suddenly a really picky eater, but I'm hoping her current zeal for any and all foods means there's a chance she won't go through that stage. Or that it will be shorter. Or less severe. And this is where all you experienced parents clutch your bellies as you laugh and laugh and laugh.

All right. Lots to do today. I need to get off my rear (no small feat these days, by the way, despite my tiny weight gain; it seems I'm a thousand times less coordinated this time around than I was with Grace).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Babies plural will probably do me in

I had a horrific dream last night. Thankfully, it was an absurd horrific dream, not a realistic horrific dream, so it was easy to shake once I was awake (unlike the ten or so times I've dreamed James has died in a car accident or shooting or whatever). I still woke up sobbing. I dreamed Grace had Alzheimer's. Which is really stupid, of course, but I dreamed I watched my baby lose her mind, and it cast a bit of a pall over much of my day. I kept watching her play so sweetly and thinking, "If she turns out to be a drug addict, I'll remember her at this age, and how horrible will that be?"

Yay for crazy pregnant ladies.

I know I haven't been around much lately, either reading or writing. The Child has shorter and shorter naps, and when she is awake, she is more and more demanding of my time and attention, so I just don't feel like being on here when she is asleep. Lame explanation, I know, but napping is one of the most important things in my life right now, when I can manage to fall asleep.

I did manage to start V, finally. I've been meaning to watch it since it premiered, but kept napping instead. So far, so good. I love seeing all these old Firefly cast members. Speaking of which, if anyone watches Castle, how awesome was the Halloween episode with all the Buffy and Firefly references?

Anyway, V was pretty awesome, and I like seeing the lady who plays Juliet (Lost) in a less annoying, less smirky role. Also, I have a girl crush on Inara (can't remember real life name). She's so pretty.

Doctor's appointment yesterday. Nothing exciting. Finally got to see my favorite doctor of the bunch, Dr. M. And I completely forgot to ask him his opinion on a VBAC. All of the other three have expressed pretty varied opinions (I like this; I realize doctor's offices have to have set policies on certain things, but I also like that they're individuals with their own opinions, not a hive mind), so I very much wanted his. Oh well. Next appointment, perhaps.

2.0 is hyperactive. She is awake and kicking all the time. Grace was more prone to sporadic (yet violent) outbursts. This one just does lazy somersaults all day.

Speaking of Grace, she has now learned a new word. "Block." Only, it comes out "bop," and she applies it to all smallish toy-like objects, including my spice jars. She may also have "up" and "hi" and "bye," but the verdict is still out on that. Those teeny little one-syllable words are so hard to distinguish from pure coincidence. Throw in our own conviction that she's the most intelligent child on Earth, and it's pretty much impossible to figure out.

Her sleep is still unreliable, but it's no longer beating me relentlessly into an endless gray fog of hopelessness (sounds melodramatic, but that is exactly how I start to feel after just a few days of interrupted sleep). She'll go two to three days at a time now without incident, which allows me to catch up a little on sleep. I'm still a little dull in the head, which I think also contributes to my not writing. But! It seems things are getting better. And I hope I haven't jinxed it all just now.

The other night, she woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I brought her some water, and she downed about four ounces in one go. Then she snuggled up to me against the crib rails, and I started singing to her. Halfway through "You Are My Sunshine," she pulled away, looked up, put her hand on my cheek, and said, "Mama." Devious child got at least five extra minutes of cuddling just for that--after I picked my dead body up off the floor. I am such a sucker.

James is also "mama" now, by the way, which is endlessly amusing to me. If I exclaim, "Daddy's home!" or ask, "Where's Dada?" she goes completely nuts with excitement, though, so it's not as if she doesn't know his name. When he's in the room, I pretty much cease to exist. This bothers me less than you might think. If we were both away from her all day, it would probably hurt, but I enjoy the break.

I'm still swimming, hurray! It's getting harder. Most of the time, when you exercise regularly, things get easier, right? Well, not so much when your drag coefficient increases exponentially by the day. I do a lot of kicking, not so much actual swimming. It is very hard to keep my midsection afloat. I would think I'd become more buoyant, what with most of this weight being fat and water, but that's apparently not the way it works. Pregnant ladies get more awkward both on land and in water. Awesome!

The best part is getting out of the pool at the end of a workout. "Beached whale" has become a cliche because it is so true. I refuse to use a ladder. This is stupid. But still, I refuse. So I thrash my way up onto the edge of the pool and then struggle to my feet. It's not the weight so much as it is tired muscles and terrible balance on slippery tile. (actually, I'm still -3 lbs for weight gain) Still, I look like a beached whale. A beached whale trying to climb a ladder. A rope ladder. With missing rungs.

Also, I don't have a maternity suit, so I just look like I have the most bizarre body shape known to mankind. When your torso is the length of a postage stamp, that skinnier space between the bosoms and the belly is essential. Well, with a regular old suit, that space is webbed over in lycra. I look like a pumpkin stuck with four toothpicks and a cantaloupe out the top. We won't even get into how idiotic I look in a swim cap to begin with.

This is okay, though. I'm already feeling better about myself, even if the swimming itself isn't getting any easier. I sleep better, and I have more energy when I'm awake. It's a glorious feeling, this being able to function like a normal human kind of thing. Almost forgot what it felt like.