Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nesting, Part II. Now with asbestos!







As you might've guessed, a large part of the nesting dilemma has been solved. We'll probably take possession of the house sometime next month, and then I will steam-clean and tear down the wallpaper and paint things and put down a rug in the living room and basically attempt to get all of my pent-up nesting out of the way.

Things I like about my nest:

1. Nest has a giant kitchen. I AM GOING TO BAKE EVERYTHING.

2. Nest has a gorgeous brick fireplace with built-in bookshelves. I GET TO LIGHT THINGS ON FIRE.

3. Nest has a garage-door opener that actually functions. I GET TO PARK MY CAR INDOORS.


5. The living area has asbestos tile. JUST LIKE HOME!* <3

Planned improvements to my nest:

1. The house currently has horrible wallpaper. I hate wallpaper, and I especially hate horrible wallpaper. I am going to paint the living area taupe, Paxton's room is going to light green and turquoise, and the (now Pepto-Bismol pink) bathroom is going to be gray-blue. I haven't decided about the master and guest bedrooms yet.

2. The house does not have carpet in the living area. I'm buying an area rug, ASAP.

3. The fence is only four feet high and my dog has been known to scale six-foot barriers without much of a problem. We're going to get a $170 install-your-own-electric-fence kit and put it in the backyard to deter Angua from going after squirrels/other dogs/the mailman/meter readers.

4. The bathroom currently has a lot of hand-holds and other "safety" things installed, which reminds me of a bathroom in a nursing home. Tris says we can take them out after I have the baby, but I am quick to point out that I am pregnant, not disabled, and I am perfectly capable of taking a shower without breaking a hip.

5. This one is for far, far in the future, but I'd like to replace the bathroom countertop. The current sink is made of white marble with black swirls, except the swirls are more like swipes and they're all on one side. It looks like someone rubbed dirt into the sink and it's messing with my slight case of OCD.

*A note on asbestos tile...

This house is part of the same neighborhood as the house I grew up in (where my parents still live). All the houses were constructed sometime around 1955 and you can tell that the architect had some running themes, most notably a certain pattern of black-brown asbestos tile (which was a perfectly good building material back in the day before they figured out that asbestos kills people).

I tease my parents about this, because there was a strip of the original tile in my bedroom growing up, although the majority of the tile had been replaced with laminate. Obviously, being allowed to crawl around on asbestos is the reason I grew up to be a total nutbar. Never mind that (as my father often reminds me), I'd have to grind up the tile and snort it for it to have any effect...

My parents are currently in the process of taking up the original tile in their home office, which is beginning to crumble. The tile in the master bedroom remains.

I figure that, if I lived on asbestos tile for 20+ years and made it out okay, there's no reason to freak out and refuse Paxton the same luxury. Long live the asbestos!

Friday, December 17, 2010



The word "nesting" conjures up lovely images of suburban housewives painting nurseries while their husbands assemble baby furniture. (Yes, special baby furniture exists. I know.)

It's been driving me up a wall.

At just shy of 20 weeks, the treasured halfway point of pregnancy, I feel as though I should have some furniture by now, or I should've at least painted a couple walls or something. Instead, our belongings are rapidly disappearing into storage totes and trash bags bound for the Salvation Army while Angua does her best Helper Dog impression. I've been fishing wet, drippy postcards from the clerk of courts out of the snow-filled mailbox, notifying us of our impeding eviction.

You see, we stopped paying the mortgage in January of 2009, since my husband's repeated calls to the mortgage company were met with, "we can't help you until you're three months behind". What the mortgage company neglected to tell us was that they couldn't help us even after we were three months behind, and neither could HUD, credit counseling, the Legal Aid Society, or the six different banks we went to in a desperate attempt to refinance. The obvious plan was to ride out the foreclosure and try to save some money before we had to start paying rent, but when you live in a money-pit that eats up all of your income with its outrageous utility bills... you see where I'm going. In any case, the house we're currently in goes up for county auction on January 3rd, and after that the bank can pretty much kick us out whenever they want to.

We are fairly lucky in that we have someplace to go (or we will, eventually) and that we can take our cats, dog and the guinea pigs. We shouldn't have to buy any new appliances, and we won't have to cram ourselves into a tiny, two-bedroom duplex in the low-rent part of town. We are, in fact, getting a new house in a nice neighborhood... something that many, many people can't do after foreclosure. We're lucky. I know we're lucky.

I'm a worrier--it comes with the neuroses. I can solve any problem by worrying away at it. I make great, elaborate plans so that I can cope with things. I'm sure you can see the cracks in my facade of sanity right now, seeing as:

1. I'm pregnant and can't just start popping Xanax until everything goes away.
2. I have no idea exactly where we're moving to or when.
3. I have absolutely no control over both the above.

Like I said, it's driving me up a wall. I feel moderately better at the moment, since I brought up nursery colors with my husband on his lunch break. Green and blue seem like good paint colors, and he wants to get Mario stickers and put them on the wall. I could give two shits about the Mario stickers, honestly, but if it make him happy, I can live with Mario stickers. The important thing is that I have now narrowed my paint chip selection down from a million paint chips to something like... maybe 200 paint chips. I can handle 200 paint chips.

Neurotic, folks. Completely neurotic, in a charming sort of way.

So, currently, the nesting instinct is my least favorite pregnancy symptom. I feel completely unprepared and I want to just buy things and paint things and arrange things in alphabetical order. Is that too much to ask for?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paxton Alexander.


After weeks of ranting, whining and moaning about how I wanted a girl and if it was a boy I'd be so fucking disappointed, the day of our anatomy ultrasound finally came.

It's a boy, of course.

I did manage to control my complete and total psychological breakdown until about 10 PM, when my husband had to pick my sniffly ass up off the bedroom floor and assure me that people have male children all the time and it is not, in fact, the end of the world. However, this does mean that I only get one more shot at having a female child--and, as I've warned my family over and over again in the past few days, if genetics sees fit to "bless" me with two boys, I'm adopting a foreign import with the correct anatomical bits.

The boy presented another problem--my husband suddenly decided that the name he'd been pushing at me for almost five months was no longer an option. I'd tried explaining that people would naturally assume "Torsten" was a combination of the names "Tori" and "Tristan", but he'd ignored me. Upon finding out that everyone in the known world does, in fact, assume that Torsten is a combination of Tori and Tristan, he threw a small fit and we went about trying to find a new name.

We've finally decided on Paxton Alexander, which is about as far away from the original names (one first, two middle) we had chosen as you can possibly get. It's very satisfying, though, and I like saying it because I feel as though it's got a nice ring to it, what with the two "x"s and all.

My dad likes it because of this. Go figure.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breastfeeding, and why I'm not doing it.

Warning: this entry serves no purpose other than to let me bitch about how I'm not breastfeeding. I've got people coming at me from all angles about this decision and I'm a little tired of putting up with it.

In case you haven't figured it out from the many uses of the "i am completely neurotic" tag, I am completely neurotic. You'd be hard-pressed to find something I don't have psychological hang-ups about.

I have a thing about my body. Actually, I have many things about my body. This is probably something I should still be in therapy for, but a) my anxiety issues trump my body issues, easily, any day of the week, and b) my therapist left/retired/got fired/abandoned her practice for some reason. With five and half months left with a rapidly expanding waistline everything and no Xanax, I am constantly adding new items to my laundry list of things I absolutely loathe about myself. I also don't particularly like being touched in certain ways, which I suspect has something to do with the previous bodily hang-ups. I could go on, but I don't wish to bore you.

Instead, dear friends, I present you with...

Reasons Why I Do Not Want a Drooly, Sucky, Wet Baby-Mouth Anywhere Near my Chest

1. Things that go into you are also the things that go into your breast milk. Most commonly, women who breastfeed should avoid alcohol. This is not a big deal. The big deal is the avoiding of the Effexor and the Xanax, two things which I am becoming increasingly obsessed with getting back to as soon as possible. Especially with the possibility of a screechy, needy baby to grate on my already fragile nerves.

2. Babies drool and their mouths are all wet and warm and nasty. I'm expected to put that a part of me inside that? No. No, no, no, no, no. I don't even really like French kissing all that much because of the (minimal) spit involved.

3. I had 36C boobs. I now have 38DD boobs. I'm not even producing milk yet and they're already too big. Where the hell am I supposed to start getting bras?

4. I found a stretch mark on one of my new DD boobs. I am so not okay with this, and they are not allowed to get bigger. My boobs were the only part of me that I actually liked and now they are ruined. They will not be ruined more... not if I have anything to say about it, which I obviously do, as...

5. ...they are my boobs and I get to decide what happens with them.

6. Once you start producing milk, it's a pain in the ass to stop the process. If I can just get a few shots right off the bat to stop producing it as soon as I start, it'll be so much easier for everyone. After all, they won't have to hear me bitch about my boobs anymore.

7. Formula is just as nutritious as breast milk and vaccines exist for a reason.

8. Yes, you release oxytocin when you breastfeed, but let's get real: it's the same hormone that gets released when you pet a dog. I'd much rather pet a dog than nurse a baby.

9. Three months after giving birth, I'll be back to being a full-time student. I do not want to deal with leaky boobs when I transfer to a new school and try to make friends. There is no easy way to tell someone you just met that they are leaking through their shirt.

10. Also dealing with the above: I do not want to sneak off to the restroom between classes with a noisy breast pump.

11. I don't want anything to do with a breast pump to begin with. They ones for everyday use are very expensive (hundreds of dollars), and I'd have no way of storing the milk at school anyway. Also, I am not a cow and I do not want to be milked like one.

12. My husband helped make the baby, he should also help to feed it. Seems like, by virtue of having a penis, he's allowed a free pass on the feeding since "I'm the mother and I should nurse". Nope. Sorry, I'm not buying any sex roles today, thanks.

13. Bodily fluids are gross.

I am currently not accepting efforts to change my already made-up mind at this point, thanks. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Freaking Vampires.

This is a photo of my arm. I suspect that your arm is NOT supposed to look like this 24+ hours after having blood drawn. One tiny vial of blood drawn. With a butterfly needle.

It's so gross. I discovered it after taking off my sweater this evening to shower and I can't stop looking at it.

It looks really yellow in the photo, but trust me, it's purple. Purple with red spots. It looks like I got stabbed a dozen times with a very tiny fork.

I suspected that the tech drawing my blood messed up yesterday, because a) it hurt going in, and b) it bruised up right away (but not as badly as it's bruised now). I suspect it must have bled more after I took the compression bandage off to go to bed, since it didn't look like this last night. That's impressive, because that bandage had been on for over five hours.

Of course, this happens after I have gotten SO GOOD at this whole monthly bloodletting game. I have been so, so good about it. I waltz in, ask for my butterfly needle, endure the two minutes of torture and walk out calmly instead of running out while clutching my purse and sobbing. I've been so good.

Then this happens, and now getting giant, ugly, painful bruises is all I'm going to think about next time I'm due for bloodwork.