Saturday, February 27, 2010



i've been feeling sad that i don't take as many pictures as i once did. mostly because it means i'm not getting any better. being a good photographer used to be, i guess still is, a serious ambition, and i've really let it go. i'm not sure why; i'm not feeling compelled by what's around, i guess, even though i have a handsome husband and live in a beautiful place.

i figure all this is going to change when the chickpea arrives. faces are my favorite things to photoraph, and i'll have a vested interest not only in preserving images of his wee facelet but in making sure they're . . . something other than snapshot quality. i am going to photograph the hell out of this baby. i've been researching some lenses, and figured out two relatively fast primes i can buy used for around $200 a piece. i'm selling my film scanner to pay for them, since i don't think we'll need it anymore. i'll get the stuff i know i need to get the flash off-camera, and maybe upgrade some software, if the money holds. i know i'll be tired as shit and everything, but i can feel how excited i am about doing this, at least as much as exhaustion permits. and given that things have been a little anxious, happy excitement feels very good.

photographing my own baby. i only hope that somewhere, in all the images that result, there'll be a couple of him with me on the other side of the camera, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


blind leading the lame.

me: i think we should get one of those tiny clothes washing machines that hook up to the sink. for many reasons, but partially because there's about to be a bunch of tiny baby clothes, and we're terrible at taking the laundry into the next building more often than once a month.

monkey: herm frumph yes but maybe ?

me: ?

monkey: we're going to wash diapers in there, right? and there'll be poop on them. which will get mixed with water and soap and then drain into the sink.

me: maybe it can drain into the toilet. or maybe we can just wash the sink after.

monkey: it's not about the sink. it's just, if it takes awhile to drain, i'm afraid the apartment is going to smell like poop water.

of all the things i think this apartment might smell like once the baby is here, including actual, unwatered poop, laundry wash water seems like not a big deal. i forget that the monkey has never diapered another person, and doesn't quite understand the workflow of what happens to the the cloth diaper and the poop inside it after it's removed from a baby butt. fair enough; it's not like it's really intuitive. my mom was just telling me that when i came home from the hospital after three weeks in what i think they did not yet call the NICU, she followed the routines the nurses used: automatic diaper changes before and after every feeding. she went through something like twenty four diapers a day. i wonder what absurd things we're going to think we have to do that turn out to be completely unnecessary.

Monday, February 15, 2010



i have to admit it's not really bothering anyone but me, but i would give so much at this exact present moment to go THIRTY SECONDS without emitting gas from some part of my body and/or compulsively eating a cookie.

this is the kind of thing you can't really say in public because i know there are lots of people who'd give their eye teeth to be pregnant, and so making a joke about it isn't funny, but . . . man. even the monkey just looked at me and said, "really?" and i don't know if he meant the fifteenth belch or the fourth cookie, but really, either way.

i remember when i was a relatively lady like and skinny person. it was september. maybe from now on it's just pudgy and farty. good thing i got married first.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


sorry i ate so many cookies, baby.

i made the monkey some chocolate sandwich cookies. they're amazing, but i've now licked enough of them off my fingers (and shoved enough of the finished ones in my mouth) that i'm a little sick of them. ah, cookies. a harsh mistress.

i keep forgetting how pregnant i am. what week is it? i dunno, sometime in the fifth month? the other day i was suddenly sad that the realities of the first trimester were fading. the weird waking up, the amazing bloodhound nose (which was a terrible match with the distressing pregnancy gas), the flat tummy that seemed like it would never look any different. it looks different now. finally, maybe more like a fetus than an extra burrito. one of my students asked on friday. and then i ran into three of them, girls, in westwood, getting frozen yogurt, and they almost cooed at me. i guess it's out.

i'm feeling comfortable being pregnant. i mean, i think. i like being the pregnant one when we're out somewhere. i'm not uncomfortable. i'm not scared. uncomfortable about money, maybe, but that's been about three years going, so.

what i *am* scared about is the dissertation. i quake. i race. i shy away from checking my email for fear of advisor messages. did i write here about maybe the dissertation anxiety seeming like a portmanteau for impending parenthood, which must certainly be scarier?

trying not to be so scared of anything. i got a lot going for me, here. trying to keep my chin up.

Friday, February 05, 2010


slow news day.

there have been a couple of inward-feeling days. partly, maybe, because it's easy to imagine why that would feel good, given the great happenings happening daily in my inwards, which maybe makes me more likely to focus there. i spend a lot of time half-listening to my abdomen. i'm teaching, i'm doing the dishes, i'm watching some teevee or talking to you, and forty-five percent of my attention is wondering if i'm missing any awesome kicking, or if there's any way he can hear what i'm thinking. this is part of why the dissertation writing has been hard.

and because i'm feeling overwhelmed. a lot suddenly became due in the next week, and when i think about it, i just get colder and colder. i have some important writing to do, and i wangled an invite to some open w00ster group rehearsals (i know, i should be so excited), and i have a class and two discussion sections and 25 pages of dissertation to turn in by wednesday and a draft of a fellowship application and no car and am giving an hour long lecture on the restoration on friday. a couple of these things just showed up, which doesn't excuse not being further along with the others. when i have this baby on the outside, things will be harder, which doesn't seem to bode well for the not-so-greatness with which i'm handling things so far.

i went back and re-read a bunch of what tina wrote when she was pregnant. there was this one that reminded me very much of a feeling we had during the first ultrasound, when the little fishbean flipped itself right off-camera and the monkey and i made shocked faces at each other. he moves. and i thought: that is an entire other person in there, especially one who is not me. maybe i wrote about this. but tina's post reminded me of it again--and then i noticed that i had made a comment, back then, about how i would file this one away for later re-reading. mission accomplished.

what contributes to the overwhelmed is the sheer enormity of how much i do not know is going on. i feel like i don't know anything. i'm sure this is both true and usual--i mean, we don't know much, any time about any thing, and in the middle of this babymaking mystery is maybe an even more ignorant time than most. but it leaves me cold, and incapable, and like i just want to sit in a chair for a while.

which i might have time to do later, although i doubt that, but not tonight. these little pockets of frozen come upon me where i don't have much to say to anyone, and i feel like i'm just walking around with my eyes really wide. it happened a bit early on, too, in the first months. i feel a little vacuum-packed. a little freeze-dried.

i can't even think of a song to sing to the baby. i wanted to do this, i wanted to make a practice of singing to him, and i can't think of a song that is right. somehow, this is the symbolic lack that is speaking for all the others this week: i can't even sing to my proto-baby. in a world where i'm being given almost everything, i am sitting in an ice-pool with big, stupid eyes and can't really build anything. i guess i'm waiting until he comes out and needs so much that there's no time for this weird ice-fishing or anything else--my focus will be on immediate needs only, which will be, i think, a relief (no dissertation), a trial (no naps or clean clothes), and a comeuppance (no time left to organize my life, which i imagine is like fibber mcgee's closet. a tennis racket is wedged in the door. a cat is in there. possibly also a monster. sleeping bags are being eaten by moths. roller skates will fall from a shelf and hit me in the head if i approach).

i can say this and not worry so much about melodrama because i know it's the preg and not the crazy, but: i feel like i've been shaking for two days. i've never had those girly hormone problems; i don't know from PMS. this is my first time. i'm weeping and i'm not even really sad, just shaky and scared of the closet. it's preferable to the crazy, no question, but not particularly nice--it's weird and cold-making and very inconvenient.

which is all just to say that it's a daunted day. i have been daunted. i will do my meditation and i will have some warm milk and i will probably go to bed. it will undoubtedly be okay.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


love belly.

the belly has finally gotten to a good place. firm, not so doughy; full of squiggling baby that other people can feel, at least occasionally; visible, but not uncomfortable. this was the week i was sure the students could tell. although, they're not very observant. but i bet some of them have figured it out.

the squiggling is something else. the ratio of serious thumps to minor flips and squirms is pretty low, but i'll take what i can get. mom was here and we went to see the monkey's show (Carousel is a cancer on the american theatrical tradition, but he was good), and himself thumped quite a few times during the overture and the louder numbers.

we're talking about names. and it's good. i feel like we're going to name this baby something good. and we're both doing well, despite the monkey getting hit-and-ran in hollywood last night. i can't pretend like the thousand bucks (whose idea was the high deductible? um, mine) won't be missed, but i'm pleased with how good it feels that . . . we are okay. we are okay.

and, my mom is making us a crapload of diapers. like, thirty. herself! i can't believe her. she is also okay. okay.

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