Monthly Archives: June 2011

Where I’m From

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I am from gravel driveways and paperback novels, the Boyce Park Wave Pool, the Squirrel Hill Carnegie library and the city of bridges; from JIF peanut butter, Skechers and Crayola markers.

I am from the measured, meticulous land packages of suburban development, vinyl siding, landscaped lawns with picket fences and pre-fab clubhouse/swingset combos. From a finished basement with a treasured Sega Genesis and a bedroom with sea-foam green walls, a shelf packed with books, a portrait of my late grandfather and a perpetual monster toddler a la Pet Semetary lurking in my closet.

I am from a yard full of creeping phlox, crab apple trees and ground hog burrows; from small stands of trees tangled in blackberry brambles and poison oak. I am from chipmunks and red breasted robins and raccoons and white tailed deer.

I am from potato latkes with applesauce, sour cream, or sugar on Hanukkah and Shamrock shakes after watching the Saint Patty’s parade from our dentist’s office on 5th Avenue. I am from curly dark hair and a sense of humor so dry that it’s parched. From Diane and Eddie. From Danny and Marian and Anne and Kenny. From Klein, Heller, Reichman and Stern.

I am from high expectations blended with unconditional love. I am from hypocrisy in regards to personal habits and life style choices. I am from masked anxiety and depression. I am from acceptance, patience and undying loyalties to family traditions. I am from forgiveness and mutual understanding, even when things are not always completely understood.

I am from “do as I say, not as I do,” and “as long as you’re truly doing your best, that’s good enough for us.” I am from “the most important thing in life is family” and “the most important thing in life is a good education.”

I am from an increasingly lax form of conservative Judaism that played a very important role in my upbringing but has progressively dissolved into a loose set of holidays that allows for frequent family get-togethers, reminiscing and over-eating. I am from not necessarily believing in god but believing in one’s responsibility to the welfare of people in general and specifically to one’s family. I am from the hope and belief that life does have some sort of purpose, and that life is a valuable thing.

I am from the Keystone State, from Pittsburgh: Steel City, the city of bridges and rivers and Iron City beer and Heinz Ketchup. From the city of Andy Warhol, the Carnegies, the Fricks, and the Mellons. I am from Spain, Germany, Austria, Romania and the shtetls on the boarder of Russia and Poland. I am from gefilte fish, brisket and matzah ball soup.

From the early morning walks my father took me on when we went to Virginia Beach every summer where he warned me to not step on jellyfish and inevitable ended up picking me up just as I was about to step on one, yelling at me to be more careful, but then continuing to take me for a walk every morning. From the time I was 15 and my mom took me with her to test drive a new car and then in the cover of darkness took me to the parking lot of the LDS church parking lot to let me practice driving for the very first time. From my very first legal beer when I turned 21 and my late Grandma took me to lunch and told me to order whatever I wanted from the bar, which was a wheat ale that she took a sip of to celebrate with me even though I know she hated beer.

I am from faded photo albums, some taken by fire, gone up in clouds of smoke. From Betamax made VHS made DVD copies of home movies and preschool performances. I am from a sweet and sour stew of blue and white collar families, vegetable hucksters, seamstresses, teachers, synogogue co-founders. I am from the stories told over and over again by my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, stories that will be passed down to the next generations along with the fraying books and tarnishing frames containing the faces of those who came before us.

*found this via Avitable. If it inspires you, the original prompts are here.

The Waiting Game

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Hear that?
That’d be the sound of a very pregnant woman twiddling her thumbs.
Cause that’s pretty much all I can do right now.

My parents arrived yesterday, much to my excitement since 1. I haven’t seen them in over a year and 2. I enjoy spending time with my parents and I find copious amounts of comfort in having familiarity around me.
My dad will be here for two weeks and my mom for six weeks. Piet is currently out grocery shopping with them, which leaves me here to sit for a while.

And wait.
Because I had a check up at the gynecologist today, 4 days away from my due date, and while the baby is still head down and apparently firmly positioned in my pelvis, there is no sign that I’ll be giving birth soon. No dilation, from what I can tell mucus plug still in place.
Nada.

So the game plan is to have another check up next week (if I haven’t had the baby by then) and if nothing changes, to discuss induction the week after. From what the doctor said, the maximum we’d wait would be until July 7, although if there are any changes (i.e. my blood pressure goes up or bleeding, etc.) then obviously it’ll be done sooner.

I wasn’t planning on blogging much about this because I figured with my luck I’d jinx everything and end up having to be induced on the last day but then I decided, screw it.
This baby is going to come when he’s ready, unless he’s not ready until the 7th. And until he (or my uterus) decides that the time has come, I can’t do much besides wait.

But like Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part.

Not only am I anxious to finally have this baby out of my body, to see him and hear him and have him be totally 100% here, but I’m also continuously trying to wrap my head around the whole labor thing and simply unable to do it. By now I’ve heard plenty of birth stories, not only from friends and relatives but also from hospital personnel and blogs and other online resources. I still can’t conceptualize going into real labor, knowing that “hey this is it,” heading off to the hospital and spending who knows how many hours in pain and discomfort before producing a living, breathing human being from between my legs.

Does. not. compute.

I know it has to happen.
I want it to happen.
I’m trying not to crawl out of my skin with the anticipation of it happening.

But it still doesn’t all seem completely real because it hasn’t happened yet.

And until it does, I guess I’ll be here, waiting, getting my check ups, visiting with my parents, reading voraciously in the interims (it’s one of the few things that makes the time pass and gets my mind off of obsessing over all this stuff), and trying not to freak out that he’s  not here yet and all I want in this world right now (besides that corned beef sandwich) is to finally have this baby.

Not Having Kids Yet Doesn’t Make Me Stupid

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This is a quiet little blog. Most of my hits/readers probably come from my friends on Facebook or some of the people who have been reading what I write for the past several years or so.
I don’t network or try to get people to come read my drivel. If you happen upon it and stay, awesome.
If not, ah well, no skin off my nose.

I pretty much never pick fights or take issue with any other blog/blogger cause I rarely see a point.
So this will be a first for me.

I’ve been reading this blog for a while now, possibly since it started, mostly because I loved Heather who used to blog as Queen of Shake-Shake, but who has, I believe stopped blogging for the forseeable future. Which makes me sad, but in the meantime I also began reading Marinka’s blog, Motherhood in NYC and enjoy it immensely.
Anyway, all that aside, I’m a wife and currently at home and so I believe I fit the niche that The Mouthy Housewives is for, plus I do actually find some of the questions interesting and sometimes the answers from readers informative.

What I really don’t appreciate is when there is a question having to do with kids and I choose to give my opinion, that I am automatically, condescendingly criticized for not knowing what I’m talking about cause I don’t have kids.
I mean, why is the assumption that not having kids is the same as not having extensive experience with kids?
Do I have to give my credentials to be considered a valid member of this particular community?
Go read the comments here on this post by a woman who says she feels trapped because she has to spend the summer with her 6 and 8 year old kids.
I made the mistake of saying I didn’t have kids yet and also made the mistake of not listing my qualifications as having worked in childcare for several years and look at the rude responses my comment got. I could practically picture these women rolling their eyes and it really pissed me off.
Because I have spent summers (not only summers, but the whole year) coming up with activities and things to  keep children busy and entertained: kids who aren’t 6 and 8 and able to read or write or swim or do their own arts and crafts and projects or turn on a video or even wipe their own butts by themselves. I probably have more experience dealing with kids than half of the mothers who answer so flippantly before they had kids of their own.
And for those who respond “you don’t know what it’s like until you’ve taken care of kids 24/7/365?”
Well neither do you.
If you use any sort of daycare, the daycare worker most likely spends more time with your child than you do.
I’ve had plenty of parents ask me for advice on how to handle their kids.
And once your kids are old enough to go to school, guess what, you still don’t handle them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day all year.

So women who automatically laugh off or look down your noses at women who don’t have kids yet, but have opinions on other people’s attitudes regarding children, get the fuck over yourselves.

You’re not always in the right just because you’ve pushed one out before I did.

I Should Hate Her But

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I totally can’t hate Robyn for her recent song.

I don’t know if Robyn is played at all over in the U.S. but I’ve come to kind of like the dancy little songs the Swedish singer puts out. I mean, her style is, well, Northern European, definitely, but in that kitschy fun way that makes it totally okay that I’m listening to synthesizers. It’s the kind of stuff I’ll be putting on my ipod for when I join a gym in a few weeks to try to slough some of the amassed flubber of pregnancy.

Anyway, I heard Robyn’s voice again on the radio recently with a new song so I looked it up and normally if a singer is convincing her lover to dump his girlfriend I’d be all claws and venomous fangs and “you are evil and promoting the totally wrong end of morality and I will now boycott your next album.”

But I just can’t with this woman. With the cute little haircut and pink shoes and crazy dancing… I just find myself watching it over and over and bobbing my head along. Maybe you’ll like it too.

Mommy’s Mental Health: 101

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Dear Baby,
Let me just reiterate here in digital black and white, that change is good.

While I realize that you are probably very happy there in your little portable waterbed with the climate control and the all you can eat buffet, I would just like to remind you that out here there are so many other cool things like colors and flavors and smells and basic physical awareness!
We have books and toys and cuddly blankets and BPA-free stuff to chew on and boobs! Boobs that are so anxious to feed you that they are already staining all of mommy’s nightshirts!
We have a daddy person who you already get excited to hear and who can’t wait to hold you, which will do wonders for mommy’s pelvis and back, which creak and pop every time she attempts to get up from the couch.
We have room to move around! Yes! You can kick and punch and roll out here all you want without making mommy groan or wince or run to the toilet to pee even though she just went five minutes ago and her butt is getting a permanent toilet seat shaped dent in it.

So please, I know everyone is saying you’ve still got another 11 days before it’s time to come out, but if you’re anything like your parents, you are a stubborn over-achiever and if you set your mind to it, I’m sure you can exceed everyone’s expectations. We are all out here waiting for you and even though we’re in Europe, half of you is American, so I expect you to at least be on time, cause where mommy comes from, it’s definitely not fashionable to be late!

38 Weeks

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The baby dropped sometime in the last few days. Makes breathing a bit easier, but walking a lot harder. He knows his daddy’s voice and practically does back-flips when he hears Piet talking with his mouth against my belly. Hopefully only 2 more weeks before he makes his debut.

38 Weeks