You come home from a party with kiddy fake tattoos instead of a stamp from the club.
You rummage through your purse for your keys and find this instead.
So, where was I? Oh yes, pregnancy sucks. And still does.
I was so diligent with my weekly updates with my first pregnancy. This time round, I just realized my last post about this pregnancy was Week 20. It’s partly because my online presence has been cannibalized by Facebook status updates (sorry guys, I know it’s been an arduous journey with me…but thanks for listening!). And partly because every time I sat down to write an update about the pregnancy, I bored myself because it has been ceaselessly miserable. If I could sum the last 18 weeks up, it’d be: whine whine whine, puke puke puke, sick sick, puke puke, sick sick sick, puke puke, oh, I feel ok today, oh wait I’m puking again, puke puke, OMG I’m f*cking HUGE, I’m so tired, heartburn heartburn heartburn, puke puke puke, whine whine whine….there, see all the boring posts I saved you?
Unlike the first pregnancy, I never got that breather, that Honeymoon 2nd trimester that made the 10 months of pregnancy tolerable. Instead, I just kept getting sick repeatedly from my toddler attending daycare, or shall I call it, the Cesspool of Germs, and the throwing up, while abating for sure, never really stopped completely.
It’s telling that the best month of my pregnancy has been this last one, only because it’s the LAST ONE. The end is near, for sure, forever! A friend of mine asked me if I was ready for the “chaos of 2 kids”. Call it naïveté, but that hasn’t really dominated my thoughts. I’ve trained my brain to not worry about stuff that hasn’t happened and you can’t control. If it’s gonna be chaos, it’s gonna be chaos and we will deal with it (or whine about it) when we get there. All my brain knows is that, right now, I’m carrying a 7 pound watermelon in my belly and I can’t make it up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath, I can barely walk, and I wake up each morning with a severe backache…and that this misery shall end soon.
And soon it shall be, for this Pickle is scheduled to be delivered via c-section this Thursday, March 22!! WOOHOO!! Since Xi was breeched and born via c-section the last time, I had the choice to do a repeat c-section or a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). A smaller part of me felt guilty for “coping out” on natural birth, but a much larger part preferred to know what to expect (even with all the pain that came after), and was freaked out by the (rare) possibility of uterine ruptures and tearing in the va-jay-jay. Ultimately, there was a million reasons to go either way, but in general, my decision rested on my positive experience with the first one: there was no lack of bonding or problems with nursing that came after, we were all well rested by the time the baby was there, we could plan around the date, the pain was very manageable with pain killers (didn’t even have to be on pain killers for more than a week), etc etc.
I’ve gotten terribly emotional with Xiola lately, knowing that these are last few precious days she will be my only child, and I’m not quite sure why I feel like I want to put these times with her in my pocket and keep it there forever. But I’m feeling those feelings and letting myself indulge in them…mostly culimating in random enveloping of Xi in gigantic hugs, crying “OH MY FIRST BORN! I LOVE YOU!”
Xiola’s been terribly excited about her baby sister “coming soon”. I’m not quite sure if she truly understand what that means. I think she does know that a baby will be coming to the house, but I don’t think she knows that a baby will be there to stay…F-O-R-E-V-E-R, sharing everyone’s attention and love. Hopefully, while attention must inevitably be shared, she will grow with her dear sister knowing that our love for her and her sister both is infinite.
It’s the end of an era. The Fat Cat, Phat Cat, King Kitty, Globetrotting Godfather of Chansikitties has passed. We brought him to the vet last Saturday to be put to sleep. He was 18 years old and hadn’t been happy for a while, so it was time. He meowed heartbreakingly loudly once when we stepped into the elevator, like what’s going on guys? And then he was silent all the way to the vet and on the table, like he knew and was at peace with the coming final sleep.
Graciela, you and I had our moments. Well, mostly I had my moments with you. Evil-stepmother-severely-allergic-to-you moments I’m not proud of. Particularly when you pooped or peed where you shouldn’t. But you were an old cat and didn’t mean it.
Despite our baggage, you were still family and this is my tribute to you.
Thank You Graciela for your presence in our home.
Thank You for being there for my husband for 18 years, more than half of his life, through really tough times when he was ill, before I knew him, and seeing him through recovery and whole health.
Thank You for being the sooper trooper traveling cat, living in Florida, San Francisco, Singapore and NYC, letting us move you in a shopping cart, coming with us to flea market sales, camping and the park. Thank You for taking Fat jokes like a champ and being a gracious conversation piece because of your girth.
Thank You for letting my daughter pet you roughly, walk all over you, and sit on you like a chair.
Thank You for making our home feel like home with your annoying croaking meows (how bizarre is it that you had always had a croaky meow, just like your owner has his croaky voice?) whenever you were hungry, which was often (hey it takes a lot to maintain that figure!), because you know what? Our home really feels empty without your croaky meow now. I am astonished at how empty it feels.
Be well, Graciela. You were a great cat & we love you.
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.
What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
I read this post on Babycenter and just had to laugh because it’s too true.
Your 2-year-old now
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree again?! Oh yes. Reading the same book over and over provides a measure of comfort to preschoolers, who see the familiar characters and plot as an oasis in a world full of unknowns. But there are cognitive and language benefits to re-reading, too. Re-reading helps your 2-year-old connect the words he hears with the pictures he sees. This is an important kind of pre-reading that will be a useful skill in a few years when he learns to read. Hearing the same sentences again and again helps him decode grammar. Your child also gets a rush of confidence when you turn the page and he sees the expected next part of the story: “Yes! I knew that was going to happen!”
Let your child choose which book to read. If it’s the same old favorite, mask your boredom and read it once again. (Hey, at least most preschooler books aren’t terribly long.) He may well want to hear the same story several times in a sitting. Keep a wide variety of books on hand by making frequent library visits; eventually he’ll be ready to switch to a new favorite or expand his repertoire.
Xi’s favorite book for the past year it seems has been Elmo’s Big Life-and-Look Book. She has about 50 books in her ever growing with each grandparent visit library, but all she wants to read is this book.
I have nothing but great things to say about this book, though. It’s fabulous. It’s got a million flaps that she can open and close. I swear she learnt all her ABCs because of this book (they have a great page with all the ABCs, each with a flap for an object with that letter). She’s also learnt her numbers, shapes, colors, and opposites with this book.
I am pretty bored with this book by now (we read it EVERY NIGHT), but it’s cute to see her get excited about knowing what comes next now. I think my mother read my brother & I The Three Billy Goats Gruff (what a weird, creepy story, upon hindsight!) for like 3 years straight or something, until we knew exactly what came next. I remember feeling so proud of myself when I could guess what happened next and I see that in Xi as she guesses the object behind the box before she opens it.
One of the many gifts of parenthood…you get to re-live the joys of your childhood again!
And yes, this is a book review of an Elmo book. In case you haven’t noticed, this is a…*shudder*…mom blog now!
My Paypal account got hacked today. It feels so shitty to be hacked, knowing someone had control of sensitive information like your bloody bank account. I want to post this experience so that everyone sets up additional security features on their Paypal (that I didn’t even know about) so that these m*thaf**kers can’t hack anyone else’s account again.
I got an email today informing me that I made a $27.55 “shipping label” to a gibberish address in Russia. Like literally, the address was to “bndynjdy ndtyhnd, nbdth, bhnsrtss676574 Russia”. At least be more creative, hackers!
Within 10 minutes, 3 other transactions of the same amount was made. God know how many more would have been made if I hadn’t change my password immediately after I saw those transactions. Since my Paypal had zero balance, the money will be taken from my checking account.
I called Paypal right away and they have set up an unauthorized transaction claim for each of the 4 charges. I was assured that if my checking account gets debited, they will refund me the money.
So please, UPGRADE YOUR SECURITY ON PAYPAL NOW!
You can do so by registering your phone number on Paypal. When you set this up, everytime you login to your Paypal, they will send a security key to your mobile so some annoying hacker in Russia who doesn’t have your phone will not be able to hack into your account. I wasn’t even aware Paypal had this feature till this happened.
Here are the instructions I got from Paypal on how to set up your phone:
You can use your mobile phone to receive text messages with a secure code on it.
Here’s how to use your mobile phone for PayPal Security Key:
Log in to your PayPal account.
Click “Profile” near the top of the page.
Click “My Settings.”
Click “Get Started” near Security key.
Click “Get security key.”
Click “Use your mobile phone.”
Enter your mobile phone number twice, and then click “Register.”
After you register your phone, we’ll send you a text message with a code. Enter the code to complete the process.
*BIG MIDDLE FINGER TO HACKERS*
So a big fire happened about 8 houses down from where I live yesterday on Thanksgiving Day. My visiting father-in-law was on our roof looking at the view and saw it all happened and he was one of a few ppl who called 911.
Witnessing our fire-fighters rise to action was INCREDIBLE. The first fire truck arrived within minutes and then a couple more back-ups came, followed by more firemen running down the block from 5th Avenue. A few minutes later, a man was climbing out of the window down their ladder, and we saw them hand-sawing a big hole on the roof, presumably to release the smoke.
It was definitely a big one as we saw and smelled smoke billowing down the block, but I didn’t know the extent of the fire until I read the news reports later. An infant was in cardiac arrest, and thanks to these fire-fighters and EMS, he is still alive.
HOLY SHIT, they are true HEROS! I sure do hope they get paid handsomely with amazing benefits because they sure do deserve it.