Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hopefully she doesn't inherit our social skills

This is crazy. Our church is tiny. We have four couples of child-bearing age. And all four have either just had a child or are now expecting. We just found out about the fourth today. I don't know why I'm so excited about this one. But I got the email and actually squealed. Maybe I'm just excited that my baby will have three kids right around her age to play with. Hopefully this coming one is a boy. All three of the other new ones are girls. Heh. Could make for some interesting junior high years.

The living room is growing on me. We peeled the (yellow) tape off, stepped back and said, "Huh. This is really not so bad." And then today I just glanced in the room and said, "Wow. I really like this." Weird. But good. Because our dining room will be the same color scheme. We better like it.

I still want a blue living room, someday.

Once the carpet dries, we can put the couch, piano, bookshelf, TV, TV stand, and a whole bunch of books and DVDs into the living room. It will start to feel like home. I'm very excited. Actually, the carpet is pretty much dry; it's just that I can't really move any of this stuff myself. I have to wait until James gets home.

The Knob is doing well. I call her "Knob" or "Knobs" or "Knobbles" or some variation thereof because she keeps poking me with nondescript knobby limbs (I also call her "Ham Loaf", but I'm not sure why). She'll poke one out, then drag it all across the front of my stomach. Sometimes she'll jab me in eight different places simultaneously, which leads me to believe my baby has tentacles. That would be awesome. A couple weeks ago (Edit: no, it was more like a week ago), she managed to poke me hard enough with a foot that I could actually feel with my hand that it was a foot. I squealed and squealed. Nothing makes me giddier than baby feet.

She also does this manic pedaling/speedboxing thing, usually when I'm lying on my side. On my left side are the short, quick little fluttery jabs--probably her hands--, and on my right are the pokes and wallops, very very fast--I'm assuming feet--, and she'll do these both at the same time. I'm amazed something so tiny can move so fast in such cramped, fluid-filled conditions. One of my favorite writers described it as a "rabid mongoose". I wish I'd coined that phrase.

One thing I'm not happy about is this sudden, insane fatigue. I sleep all the time. Used to be if I napped during the day, I couldn't sleep at night. Now I nap some five hours a day, spend all day yawning, go to bed and fall asleep immediately (waking up to pee several times a night, of course) for another six. I can't sleep for longer than that because my hips hurt too much to lie down any longer. Pillows help, but they don't get rid of the problem. I actually got achy hips before I ever got pregnant, but since I could also sleep on my stomach it wasn't much of a problem.

Standing up is exhausting (even with the support belt thing, I feel like all the circulation in my legs is cut off, and my belly is just drooping down to my knees, dragging all my internal organs into one squished little knot). I'm heavy enough that if I sit too long (even on the couch), my butt starts to hurt. I've only gained 30 pounds, which is just slightly over the recommended range so far. So I'm stuck with either lying down or walking all the time.

Breathing is also really difficult. I'm not really short of breath; I just don't feel like there's enough oxygen in the air. This started around 20 weeks, but my sister gave me some yoga breathing exercise to do, which helped immensely. Now it's back. And doesn't really care that I know my yoga breathing.

The best part is my sudden need for ridiculous amounts of water. I cannot drink enough. My poor kidneys and bladder are beside themselves. How is it fair that pregnancy says: "OKAY! You need to double your daily fluid intake. ALSO! Your bladder capacity is now 25%. AND! If you have a contraction or the baby moves funny, you had better hope you're close to the bathroom! MWAHAHAHAH!"

I hope this doesn't make it sound like I'm miserable all the time. I'm really not. These are pretty much the only 3rd-trimester annoyances that I've had to deal with so far. If the greatest of my problems is sleepiness, I think we're doing pretty well. I just wish there were something I could do about it, since more sleep only makes me even sleepier. Speaking of which, it's about time for my nap. Mmmm. Nap.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Whew. Kind of.

Crisis averted. Kind of.

We had a very dark wine color we were going to use in the dining room. The dining room and living room are separate, but the doorway in between is about six or seven feet wide, so we were going to tie the two together with the lighter color. The lighter color that turned out to be pink.

Well, we decided to just try that color in place of the blue in the living room. And it worked! Mostly! I mean, we still have half pink walls in our living room, and it will be the same for our dining room. But it's not so bad that we can't live with it until the day it's in the budget. Now we're out just the cost of one can of paint, not four. And the wine color is just beautiful. It's masculine enough to offset the pink and make it livable. Still not crazy about it. It looks like Valentine's Day barfed all over my living room, but it's better than the alternative. And buying more paint just wasn't an option unless it was the absolute last option.

I will, however, keep all paint suggestions in mind. We still have a kitchen to paint (ack!), and I have no idea what to pick for those. Years down the road, we plan to do a full kitchen remodel, so for now, colors we're already stuck with in there:

--Grey and white countertop. The grey has bluish undertones. I don't hate it, but it reminds me of my elementary school kitchen. It's just so boring. And functional. Nobody would design that pattern for a countertop with beauty in mind.

--Light faux wood floors. They're actually kind of nice, if you're not a hardwood snob. Just really crappy for keeping clean. Have you people seen me chop vegetables. I'm like a two-year-old with a taco salad. And no bib.

--Light wood cabinetry, about the same color as the floors.

--Off-white refrigerator and stove ("bisque", insists GE, but we all know it as off-white).

That leaves the cabinet faces and the walls. There are three windows in there (four, if you count the one in the back door), and they face in three different directions. So there's always a lot of light. It's very bright and airy.

I'd like to do something fun and exciting (with color; I like neutrals as accents, but I want color in a room that's already got a bunch of neutrals), but I don't know what. And the living room has made me timid. It has me cowed. I'm about ready to just paint everything off-white. But those cabinets would then be impossible to keep clean, so I just don't know.


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Those bleeding paint cards. I'd like to make them bleed.


Reality: I'm 95 years old. I have six cats and live in a seaside condo in Florida. I have really tacky wicker furniture and eight different flavors of Metamucil. And I'm totally pink. A sandy shade of pink. But pink.


Reality: I'm a huge fan of primary colors (what's with that pink crap you're trying to hook me up with?). For this reason, I love Superman. In fact, I like to collect Superman suits. In fact, I have wallpapered one whole room with blue spandex. Wanna see?

Not cool. Not cool at all. And I can't paint my WHOLE HOUSE Toasty Grey.

Home Depot: Sucka. Now you have to come back and buy three new gallons of paint. EPIC FAIL.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Putting hair on my chest one day at a time

Dudes. I got nothin'.

Well, maybe a little.

The toilets are gone. They picked them up a few hours after I posted my last entry. I was a little sad. I had such high hopes for Toilet Watch 2008.

Tuesday it was eight thousand degrees here with 132% humidity. I thought maybe our house had *teleported to Ecuador. So, of course, I spent the day wrestling with filthy windows. The three in the living room were probably the dirtiest in the house. I even had to disassemble the locks and a couple other things to get them completely clean. I'm having trouble understanding why parts of them were covered in this weird amalgam of dirt, grease and hair. These are parts that were well off the ground, out of reach of children and pets (unless they had some very dexterous mastiff/Clydesdale mixes). I understand letting clutter get the better of you. I understand having dirty, dusty corners. But in most cases, it's like they expended more effort to make the place filthy than it would take just to keep it clean. Yagh.

*Firefox does not believe that "teleported" is a word. Idiot.

So. Windows. Two of them are sparkling clean. They look as new as the are, finally. One of them had the worlds most horrifying spider web across the top of the outside, so I just cleaned the inside. It doesn't look so good. But I don't regret my decision. Last night its occupant came out to play. Made Shelob look like a fuzzy baby jumping spider (oddly enough, I almost like jumping spiders; I think they're cute--still creepy, but cute). I just know that if I'd gone to vacuum up that web, she would have come out of hiding and laid ten thousand eggs in my mucus membranes.

Tuesday night James and I painted the trim in our living room. I tell you, our windows are real pretty. They're new, and the sills have these pretty beveled edges on them. But by golly are they a pain to paint. We got the chair rail and the baseboards painted in about 1/4 the time it took to do the windows. Also, I kicked over a small bucket of paint. That was awesome. Especially since James did the cleanup. Love that man.

Wednesday I did nothing all day. It was eight thousand degrees again.

Today it is not eight thousand degrees. It is a nice, comfortable temperature. Of course, it's 8:54 in the morning, so that could all change.

I forgot one thing about living in an older house with a basement in the middle of Wisconsin during monsoon season. Well, two things.

One, earwigs. All I can think about when I see an earwig is Star Trek and ceti eels and thinks burrowing into my brain through the ear canal. You know, if it weren't for their unfortunate name, I bet earwigs wouldn't be anywhere near as terrifying as they are. Sure, they look totally creepy and alien, but it's the name that really puts it all together. *shudder*

Two, centipedes. Thank the Creator they tend to be recluses. Of course, this means they pop out of dark corners at the most inopportune times. I have encountered two since we moved in.

The first decided to go on safari all over our bedroom wall one night. I just happened to turn on the light at the right moment. James heard, "REEEEEEE! DAGH DAGH DAGH! BRAGGADAFFIN!" while he was in the bathroom brushing his teeth. Well, maybe he didn't hear it. It's what came out of my mouth, but much of it may not have been on the audible sound spectrum. He came dashing in, expecting a severed limb or perhaps a man with a gun. Instead he sees his perfectly healthy and comically rotund (he says "cute", but I know better) wife attempting to levitate off the critter-infested ground while pointing and chittering at an apparently empty wall. Finally I managed to get out, "Centipede! Behind laundry basket! Wall! KILLIT KILLIT KILLITKILLKILLKILL!" He's about as comfortable with centipedes as I am, but he valiantly grabbed some toilet paper and sneaked up on the beastie while I clutched at my smelling salts. The first whack missed--the little thing went scurrying off at a mile a minute the second he detected air movement--, but the second, third, fourth, and tenth definitely found their mark. James nearly tore off his thumbnail, but by golly that thing was dead. He still has a visible wound under his nail. My hero.

The second time, I was sitting on the toilet, which is one of man's more vulnerable positions, and I just so happened to look down from my book as a darkish shape slithered out from under the dryer, between my feet, and under the folds of my gaucho pants. I specify the type of pants that I was wearing because they are generously cut and full of folds and hiding places. Now, lately, I can barely stand up from a regular chair without a decent amount of effort, but I tell you what, I jumped straight out of my pants and halfway across the bathroom without even breathing hard. Then I uttered a short, primal scream and waited for James to show up. He dutifully came running. I was more coherent this time. "Toilet! Dryer! My pants? Centipede! Kill!" then made my way upstairs to finish my business in the other bathroom. Nevermind that I was pantsless and we have no blinds over the windows onto the street. Hi new neighbors!

It gets better. James couldn't find the bloody thing. So now there is a known centipede loose in my laundry room/bathroom, and my favorite comfort pants are lying on the floor. I can't touch them until I know they are vermin free. I settled back on the couch (feet safely up on the Rubbermaid container we are using as a coffee table) and played some video games. Ten minutes later, our friend decides to make a break for it and goes feathering (weird word, I know, but it's the best I can think of for the eerie way they move) across the dining room floor, and I start back up with the screeches and grunts and non-English signs of distress. This time James gets him, and I'm more in love with my husband than ever.

I'm getting better. There was an earwig in the sink this morning, and I didn't even flinch. I just washed him down the drain.

Next time I'll tell you about our basement. I'm pretty sure that, if you go down there on the right night of the month, you'll find chains hanging from the walls and creepy men with giant axes hanging about. Needless to say, I don't go down there much.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Toilet Watch 2008

They never did come pick up our toilets. James had to cart them all away from the curb by seven pm, along with a crummy closet door and a bucket o junk that the previous tenants left behind for us. Oh, they left lots of stuff behind for us; most of it involves cigarette butts and cat litter.

So James called the waste disposal company to inquire about the toilets. They didn't know why they hadn't been picked up, promised to do it this morning. Pickup is supposed to be at six. It's 8:20. We still have two extra toilets chillin' in our front yard.

Hi, neighbors! Is there some reason you haven't come by with pie for us yet? Oh, not to worry if we're not here when you come a'knockin'. You can just make yourselves comfortable on the pot. We have two, in fact--one for you and one for your pie. Be careful of the one that got broken a little. It's all shardy. We'll be home soon, and we can all have Roadkill Delight for supper!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blah blah house blah blah house blah blah.

So. We just dropped the price of a very used car on appliances. Nice appliances. Energy-efficient appliances that will pay for themselves in a couple of years. But the cheapskate in me is clawing at her throat and ripping out her hair every time she even glances at a checkbook. I don't normally worry about money, but after a big purchase I'm all PANIC PANIC PANIC for about three weeks after. Also, I'm a little more needy in the financial security department than I even have been before.

Also, with this meal planning thing, we're spending a lot more money on groceries than we used to. I have to keep reminding myself that we're spending far less money on food overall, but I died a little inside when we went out last night to get foods for the week. Nevermind that we're not spending at least ten to twenty extra dollars a day on restaurant/prepackaged food. I see the grocery bill that will hold us for at least a week, and I freak.

It still hasn't removed my undying affection for the appliances. I did eight loads of laundry last night, folded them all and put them away (except for James's mountain o' socks), cooked dinner for the two of us, and was still cheerful and happy enough to do the dishes immediately after supper.

I LOVE my kitchen. It's bright, it's airy, it has counter space and room to turn around. Room for a little breakfast table. Three windows, lots of cabinets. A sink bigger than a silver dollar. I don't even care that the cabinets are a badly-painted forest green or that some of them really need to be replaced one of these days. It's MY kitchen, and it makes cooking fun and unchorelike. I may just start sleeping on the floor down there, or maybe start curling up in my oven for the night. My new oven. My new oven of love.

The office is the one room that is completely done, and it looks beautiful. I'm a huge fan of this Toasty Grey thing. Thanks again, Kemma. It looks especially nice with my desk color, which is a deep cherry red.

Oh! Our bedroom is done, too, but we're not sleeping in there. We have to get a queen mattress for the gorgeous queen size bed frame and headboard (which we got for FREE from a couple in our church). It is huge. It ain't just a headboard. It has a high, narrow set of dressers on either side of the bed, and a giant shelf with a mirror and two lights behind. The mirror kinda weirds me out (I just know I'll wake up in the middle of the night and take a baseball bat to the shadowy figures lurking about my bed), but it looks really nice--provided I can apply Windex to it more than once a year.

We haven't gotten said mattress because of aforementioned PANIC PANIC PANIC about the checkbook. With my growing size and ungainliness, it's gradually moving up the scale from "want really bad" to "kind of need". Not that we'll ever outright NEED a queen-size bed, but we'd both get more and better sleep, and my hips wouldn't wake me up at three in the morning, telling me to turn over or they'll strangle me in my sleep.

Our guest room is done (that's where we've been sleeping). Ish. There is a smell. A pet smell. It's not in the carpet, walls or ceiling. It's in the radiator. This radiator is a beast. It's not the tall, cast iron kind, but the kind that's low to the floor and runs along the wall--metal hot water tube covered with diffusers (small square metal panels about 2" by 2" and about 1/16" apart), and the whole assembly is covered with aluminum panels. The diffusers are the problem. It's impossible to clean and vacuum around and behind them, they're really hard to take off, and there are hundreds of them. When winter comes, and they start kicking up heat and scent particles, the problem will be so much worse. We're going to replace all of them some day, just because they're so ugly and beat up, but we can't do it now. In the meantime, we have a smelly house, and I don't know what to do about it.

I can live with it; I know what it is, I know it's nothing that's going to hurt us, and that it's just unpleasant. But it means we can't really have people over. Perhaps we can talk to our realtor. She does a lot of house-flipping; maybe she's run into the same problem before. Of course, she probably just replaces the radiators in most cases, but we can ask.

I need to go. I have to eat. Ye olde fetus is kicking me pointedly at regular intervals.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I can live again.

I just got done making out with my brand new washer, dryer, and stove. I tried to make out with the installation guys, but they ran out the door before I could catch them. Not moving so fast these days. In retrospect, this is probably best. James would not have been pleased.

Also, the cable guy, who was either a little bit of a jerk or just socially awkward. I couldn't tell. He almost got some crazy pregnant lady loving. We have Internet. The long dry season is over.

I'm doing load after load of laundry for fun. I'm meal planning. I'm sweeping floors. On purpose. I wake up early to cook James breakfast.

I really hope this new leaf does not go rotten. I like being all domesticky.

Also. Today is the single Tuesday of the month where they pick up large pieces of garbage at the curb. We had two toilets sitting out there (nothing says "Redneck" like two really old toilets sitting on your front porch for three weeks, by the way) with the garbage cans. The recycling people came by and smashed them as they emptied the bin. Thanks! Thanks so much! I would love to go out there and make them easy to pick up again, but it's getting really hard to bend over. I look like a despikified blowfish.