Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nesting: Now with more sticks and dirt!

"You know, this isn't what most people consider nesting."

This was my neighbors comment to me upon seeing the 15 tons of dirt sitting next to our house and the mini excavator perched in our driveway.

"We're building a pump track in our back yard," I explained. Apparently, this didn't explain anything at all, so I tried another route.

"The way I figure it, as fun as those bouncy baby swings are, I can't fit in one. This is for me to play on."

Finally, my neighbor got it.

For those who are not completely and totally and unreservedly obsessed with all things biking, a pump track is like a tennis court, except it doesn't suck. It's a small track full of rollers and berms that you ride to your heart's content (or until you collapse with exhaustion, which normally happens in 15 minutes). It's like being able to surf your backyard.

We'd been trying to create a backyard pump track by hand for quite a while (and by "we," I mean "the man beast"). It turns out that moving a zillion tons of dirt by hand is both difficult and demoralizing. When a friend of ours came to town, a friend with an expertise in building pump tracks, we realized this was one helluva opportunity.

It was time to bring in machinery and a big ol' pile of dirt and Git. 'Er. Done.

We had a plan, a big machine, and a few good friends to help out. Since I'm way the hell knocked up and useless when it comes to moving dirt, I've taken to making beer runs. It turns out that few things draw dirtier looks than a preggo in a liquor store with a case of PBR under one arm and a set of tallboys in the other. I figure, since I'm getting the dirty looks anyway, next time I'll ask, "Do y'all know a beer that won't clog Junior's bottles so quickly?"

Alright. Let the games begin! Below is a game we like to call, "Oh shit! The mini-ex is going to tip! No, wait. It's all cool."

Eat your heart out, Johnny 5.

After a warm day's work, a chill set in and we woke up to a beautifully snow dusted track. Still soft and under construction, the frozen snow made a perfect canvas for first tracks.

In just a few days, big piles of dirt became flowy waves.

Of course, some people are more adept at riding those waves than others.

Watching these folks (like Jason here) dance their bikes along the track triggers this insatiable curiosity within me. I always wonder the same thing. How much practice will it take for me to do that too?

I hope to find out, sooner than later.

Our back yard pump track started out as a joke. Somewhere along the line it became a fantasy that began to seem like a good practical idea. And though I'm officially too pregnant to ride the track, I find myself perfectly content just staring at it. I picture riding it for the first time with the baby on the patio. And then I picture him riding it for the first time on his first obscenely tiny bike.

And that's about when my placenta tree planting neighbor walks out and says to me, "You know, this isn't what most people consider nesting."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This just in: Sleeping Beauty was a drunk.

I want whatever Sleepy Beauty was on.

Man, I'm tired.

I keep waking up.

I wake up to pee. I wake up only to realize that someone put a bowling ball in the bed next to me. Flipping from side to side, I wake up having to focus all my strength just to rotate my body 180 degrees. A lot of times, like tonight, I just wake up.

After several nights of waking at 4am just to lay in bed reading for two hours, I've stopped fighting it.

I get up, make a bowl of cereal and sit on the couch looking out the window at...nothing, because it's still too dark to see. The house is so quiet. The dog usually takes this opportunity to fully sprawl in my spot on the bed while Ryan sleeps soundlessly. The cat takes my getting up as a sign that it is morning and time for her to scamper around the house and crash into things. Loud things. After a few minutes of kitty mischief, her internal clock seems to set in, letting her know that she's well under her 20 hours of daily beauty sleep, and she crashes out on my belly a few moments later.

And then, it's just me awake in the house.

Four in the morning is a noiseless time. It's a time that should feel lonely, but doesn't at all. Instead, it feels like you're stealing a moment of the day that you weren't really meant to have. It's like being backstage during a magic show and seeing how all of the tricks work. This is the moment that sits precariously between yesterday and tomorrow.

Then again, maybe there is nothing special about 4 in the morning, and these ramblings are just my brain on sleep deprivation. I have been up since 2am after all.

But, I can't help but wonder if this is my body's way of preparing me for the sleepless nights ahead. And reminding me that being awake at 4am isn't always such a bad thing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So, the other day...

I coughed. And when I did, I peed a little.

Apparently, I've reached that stage of pregnancy.

Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I fail at sweatpants.

Way back when, before I became pregnant, before college, and quite possibly before I was even conceived, I made a promise to myself.

"I will not wear sweatpants out in public."

Not even if I called them by their more socially acceptable name of "Yoga pants" and not even if they had some creepy and/or trendy name across the butt like "Juicy" or "Cheer!" Whether it's due to their stain and pet hair attracting nature, or in the not so subtle way they announce, "I've given up on life!" all I've known for sure was that I would not wear sweatpants in public. No matter how pregnant I got.

Except, yesterday all of my jeans that still fit (and by "fit," I mean, "I can still squeeze all but the top few inches of my butt crack into them") were dirty. And so were all of my cute preggo tops. And my back hurt, and so did my feet. So, I did what any 8th month preggo would do.

I spent the day in my pajamas.

By 5pm, I still hadn't changed out of the yoga pants and Ryan's oversized shirt that I had worn to bed the night before. To my credit, I had accessorized the outfit with a pair of leopard slippers.

They really tie the outfit together, don't they?

At 5:15, I get a call from Ryan asking if I could pick him up from work. I thought about changing, but compromised by staying in my pajamas and trading the leopard slippers for real shoes. Hell, I was only going to be in the car anyway.

"Hey, Ryan. I'm here."

"Oh. There is a birthday party going on here. Do you want to come up."

"No. I'm wearing sweatpants. I'm still in my pajamas. No way! there cake?"


"I'll be right up."

And with that, I did it. My craving for cake outweighed a lifetime of sweatpant prohibition. I wore my pajamas outside. In public. To a party.

Since I'm pregnant, everyone still greeted me with the obligatory, "Wow! You look great!" I think I could walk around in a moo-moo and Crocs and still be greeted with pregnant compliments.

"That moo-moo is adorable! Are those puffy paint Siamese cats all over it? How charming!"

Next time, I won't bother changing out of my slippers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three Dozen Days

According to my creepy little fetus counter in the upper right hand corner, we are officially at 36 days and counting. This means three things:

a) I've reached the "Holy shit! It's almost time!" trimester.

2) There is something so wrong (but oh so right) about having a creepy little fetus counter. I mean, seriously, have you even clicked the green "Tickle Me" button? This is the laughter that horror movies are made of.

iii) I'm huge.

Regarding my hugeness, after a lifetime of being used to slipping sideways through tight crowds, I've recently noticed that my stealthy crowd slide has given way to regularly assaulting strangers with my belly. It turns out that I'm now wider when I turn to the side than when I plow straight forward. I've realized that I'm actually wider from the side these days. This is a little disconcerting, and definitely hard to get used to, but Ryan reassures me that I'm not fat. He says I'm "bulbous."

Huge. Rollable. Bulbous. Whatever adjective you choose, there is only one truth - I've got a nearly full grown baby inside of me.

Unfortunately, those pictures are from over a month ago. Until I get some new pictures (which may require a fish eye lens at this point), here is a fairly accurate depiction of The Belly.

Since I've been a bit of a slacker about updating the blog lately, there is a lot of catching up to do, and I'm not going to do it all in this post. In theory, that means there will be more frequent posts from me. Then again, in theory, baby poop could taste like bacon.

So, just when my Yoga classes end, Birthing classes began. This must be the world's way of doing everything it possibly can to make sure I don't forget how to breathe in the next month.

For nearly two and a half hours, we moved into various positions, and breathed. Sitting, standing, on our side...every which way. I found myself cheating a few times, and only pretending to breathe.

Now it was time for fake labor drills

"Lay on the floor. And pretend you're having a contraction! And breathe! BREATHE!"

Well, hell. If labor was as easy as laying on the floor and breathing, I don't think they'd have invented epidurals. Then we hold ice for a minute and breathe. Obviously, this is a dead on simulation for having a contraction. The instructor tells the partners to whisper agreed upon words of encouragement. Ryan and I agree that our encouraging words would be, "Harden the fuck up!"

The instructor is not pleased with us.