Today was a red letter day! I got on the Bart to ride home this evening and it was really crowded. And a gentleman looked at me, noticed I was pregnant, and offered me his seat. I rode home in a seat with a very blissed out feeling, hands on tummy, feeling pregnant for real.
Hunger Strike On Opposite Day June 23, 2008
Lately this has been the biggest topic of discussion.
More than Cougar’s sex. More than Cougar’s post-womb name. More than home birth vs. hospital birth. And more than money and things related to buying.
Except to the extent that we spend money on food
I haven’t looked at the budget (imagine that), but my guess is we’re spending about twice as much on food these days.
Its not that we’re necessarily buying twice as much food. Its more that we’re buying more expensive, “quality” food.
Before the pregnancy, Kate and I pretty much split grocery shopping. BEEEEP. Oops – that was the lie detector going off. Okay, okay – Kate did the majority of the gro-gro shopping.
But when I was trusted with it, and when faced with the choice between Odwalla Orange Juice and Simply Nutritious’ Morning Blend juice, I would get neither and we’d just drink water.
When faced with a choice between organic vegetables and the other ones, I’d get the other ones.
The bottom line is – the bottom line. I’m a cheap-skate.
These days are different though.
First – I’m doing the majority of the grocery shopping. Wait for it……okay, no lie detector beep. I speak the truth.
The little bean in the belly is sapping Kate’s energy. While her body is shuttling its resources to a central location in her middle, there’s not much left to make Kate’s legs work or keep here eyelids from closing
Second, I buy “organic” everything now, whatever that means. Laundry detergent, milk, eggs, meat, cheese, yogurt, snacks, cereal – you name it.
Hell, I even bought lentils twice in 1 week. Crazy. I didn’t even know what a lentil was 2 months ago.
The difference is that my default is no longer “buy the cheapest thing you can find.” My new default is “buy the healthiest thing you can find.”
This is because I want a baby with 4 appendages and 20 digits (I’m not picky about the allocation). I want a baby with good senses of smell, hearing, sight, touch and taste. Oh – and a baby that likes Wilco. I have some inkling that these things may be linked to what Kate eats now.
Side note: I read yesterday that in the 14th week, the baby’s ears move from its neck to its head. Yes – you read correctly. Babies start out with neck ears. Absurd, but it must be true – I read it on a pregnancy website!
In reality, I have no clue what is healthy and what isn’t. My version of eating vegetables is a sausage and onion pizza. So I typically just buy the most expensive groceries I can find. This seems to please Kate, so I must be doing the right thing.
If you’re looking for expensive groceries, Safeway (my former grocery go-to) is no longer the best bet.
The most expensive groceries can be found at places like Whole Foods, or that bastion of Berkeley organicer-than-thou, the Berkeley Bowl.
Trader Joes presents an interesting problem. They sell a lot of really tasty pre-packaged foods that I like, and I’ve heard that some of it may actually be healthy.
But they don’t have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, which means Tee-Jays is out for those late night dinosaur kale runs.
And who in the world wants to go to multiple grocery stores for everything they need? I know, I know – life in a modern food society has spoiled me rotten.
But time is of the essence here people. For me, grocery shopping is a chore that is best accomplished quickly. Like cleaning the toilet, or killing a cow with a broken leg.
To tell you the truth, I pretty much hate grocery shopping. Around here, there are ALWAYS crowds.
There are just too many fine motor skills involved in maneuvering the cart down an aisle littered with indecisive perusers. Specifically around the lady who has opened the milk refrigerator and can’t decide between 3 different brands of organic Vitamin D milk. Yes, lady – I am waiting on you.
On the plus side – grocery stores with free samples should be highly praised.
When I was unemployed in D.C. for the first few months, I could always count on at least one full free meal from free samples at the grocery store – mostly consisting of fistfuls of bread slice quarters and cheese cubes, with an occasional garlic-stuffed olive or chocolate covered apricot, pilfered from the salad bar or bulk bins respectively.
So yeah – food. FOOD! I never really gave it much thought before. I ate when I was hungry, and I ate whatever was around.
Now there’s more at stake than whether I’m going to get adult-onset scurvy. I’ve got a little bean to feed!
Ain’t She a Picture? June 12, 2008
Apparently I’m a cook now, making dinner for the purpose of having leftovers. Chicken enchiladas and hearty soups made of lentils and potatoes and leeks. Kate made macaroni and cheese with beef last night. I think I’ll have some of that tonight.
Also – Couvade Syndrome. Its not just the best band you’ve never heard of out of Williamsburg. I’ve been pretty tired lately, and instead of going to bed earlier – I’m gonna keep staying up late & blame my sleepiness on Couvade. Damn you Couvade! Why?! Why?!
Many of you may be wondering about the father’s experience in all of this craziness. Here it is in a nutshell:
1. Do what I’m told, no matter how irrational.
2. Try my best to forecast needs and act preemptively.
3. Understand that its nearly impossible to forecast needs and act preemptively since this isn’t happening to my body.
4. Display sufficient & genuine respect & awe at what she is experiencing.
5. Tell her that everything is going to be ok.
6. Believe that everything is going to be ok
In other news – Kate’s going out of town this weekend, so I’m drinking whiskey and listening to records with a bunch of Y-bromozomes.
This past weekend included a lot of musical entertainment. Il Gato (aka Daimian the ecstatic puker) opened a three band set at Amnesia on Thursday night. He kicked off his set with a tongue-tripping spoken word piece dedicated to my friend Annie who was following him with her debut performance as a solo musician. Annie can really pull a crowd and I think about 150 adoring fans showed up to worship her. Including a number of “older men traveling from out of town.” Howie and I were happy to join Elizabeth, Clay and (new friend) Eric as her backup band. Annie wowed everyone with her beautiful song writing and her extraordinary stage presence.
I was happy for the opportunity to play with Annie and to show off my new decolletage in a royal blue velvet baby doll dress. I know it sounds hideous but I rocked it.
The moment was made even more special because my sweet adopted soul sister, Natalie, was able to come the performance. She made my weekend because she’s always hungry and I think her constant eating is what has finally cured my morning sickness. She’s also on the mommy track…although I can’t tell you which train she’s on until later. So we spent the weekend reveling in baby-ness. We covered everything from baby names to baby furniture to baby birth places. Natalie is also a pleasure to be around because she THINKS about this stuff way more than me and it makes me more prepared to be a mother. Who knew you had pay attention to whether the glue from your crib was going to off-gas all over your meticulously gestated child?
The one mistake of the weekend was forgetting to take a picture of Natalie’s trip. I’ll look through my stuff and post an old picture and humiliating picture of us sometime soon.
Another musical event that happened this weekend was the launching of a new group called the Unexpected Epigraphs. Both “unexpected” and “graphic,” this band consisted of our two friend/crooners Benny and Tony. Their show was a weekend highlight because they tapped into enough silliness, sappiness, and sincerity to make the whole room feel warm all over.
This story of musical harmony brings me back to the title of this email: top ten list of songs not going on the birth mix. As they wound up their set with a delicate Iron and Wine number I remarked to Natalie and Elizabeth that I was going to have Tony and Benny play at my birth. Elizabeth immediately asked if she was also invited to sing too (many of you will remember this siren from our wedding). There is definitely the potential to have a larger band at our birth than our wedding. (Trick point: we had a DJ)
The band idea aside, Howie and I have discussed the “birth mix” at length and I at his insistence I am willing to let him be in charge. But I thought it might be fun to include a couple songs in the blog that are NOT going on the Birth Mix. Today’s song is called “Hot Mom.” I found it on salon.com and it is PRICELESS.
Calling Dr. Jung… June 11, 2008
According to the all knowing Wikipedia, the most common feeling experienced during dreams is anxiety. I am prone to dreams that are full of anxiety. Typical dreams include the following:
I am living in the world without Howie. I have an awareness that I had a soul mate or life partner at one point…but in the dream I can’t remember who he is, what he looked like or what happened to the relationship. In a variation of this dream, I am with another person (usually faceless, nameless) who is not Howie and it just feels wrong.
I am waiting tables at a restaurant and the hostess has just seated me 4 tables. I’m trying to get water to all of the tables at one time…but the fountain is coming in slow drips.
I am taking a class during a summer session at a University. Except I haven’t gone to any of the lectures in the past 5 weeks and there is an exam coming up. I vacillate between believing I can study to make up for the exam and believing I should drop the class and take an incomplete.
Once I decided to get pregnant, these dreams started to form around pregnancy plots. For example, after Burning Man last year I dreamt that Howie and I had left our dog at home during the festival. In the dream we’d failed to get a dog-sitter or leave food out for the animal and we came back to a shivering animal with bald patches and soft teeth.
My friend Elizabeth compares the above dream to ones she has about literally LOSING her baby. She puts the baby down and then can’t remember where she left it. Sometimes she can hear it cry but can’t get to it or find it.
So, last night I had one of the weirder dreams I have had. I dreamt that I gave birth to Cougar Dan too early. Except instead of being small he was big…like 18-month-old big…with a huge baby head. In the dream I had a midwife who was convinced that I had to put Cougar Dan “back in.” To let him gestate longer. As much as I thought that I’d want Cougar Dan to have adequate in-utero time before meeting the world…I couldn’t understand how she planned to put him “back.”
What does it mean? Anxiety about parenting? Anxiety about pregnancy? Anxiety about a baby with an enormous head (see my husband and father)? Who knows!
What’s your anxiety dream?
This One Goes Out To The One I Love… June 4, 2008
On Saturday Kate and I went to see REM and Modest Mouse at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, just up the road from our apartment.
While sitting in Row 3D (yes – 3D) it dawned on us that this was our spawn’s very first rock ‘n roll show.
Get ’em while they’re young!
Cougar Anne?!? June 3, 2008
Hello our lovely and committed readers. First let me say how gratified Cougar Dan and I are for the kind words in response to the last blog entry. Don’t worry, Cougar D has assured me that I can speak for him while he’s in utero…as long as I remember that it will be the “last time” i get to speak for him. Spunky little guy…I tell you.
Unfortunately this blog entry will be short but I wanted to alert you to a couple upcoming posts:
1. Cougar Dan’s First Rock Concert
2. Cougar Dan Takes his Parents to Meet Their First Midwife
3. Kate’s Second Ultrasound (Cougar’s Second Snapshot?)
Also, Howie and I have been queried by many a friend and family member about what we will do if this young fetus has female reproductive parts. As if a young female could not be called Cougar Dan! Many of you have suggested Cougar Danielle as a potential solution. Unfortunately this reminds me of a common pejorative for older women in tight jeans (see Cougar). So we will let you in on a little secret…the female counter part to Cougar Dan is (brace yourselves): Joy Jubilee
Also, it has been suggested to me by at least two people that severe morning sickness indicates a female fetus. Woah…talk amongst yourselves.