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Still Kicking

Wow, when you take a bit of a break from writing, things snowball, and then there's just so much to write. Where to start?

Well, my parents were here last week. They'd never been to Wisconsin before, so Dad was determined to see as much as he could. We ended up going to Madison one day, to Milwaukee another, and to the Chicago area on a third. (Okay, Chicago's not technically in Wisconsin, but it was convenient, and Dad hadn't been there, either.) For all of the travel, it was actually quite a relaxing visit. Sam adored having them here, and he's been miserable since they left. Kills me that they live so far away; it really does.

What really got my goat, though, was that their visit coincided with this weird Oedipal stage in which Sam is currently entrenched. He's doing everything he can to "love on" me, calling me "My sweetheart!" and hurling his arms around my neck at every opportunity; Eric, on the other hand, seems to be a source of competition for Sam. He tries to be just like Daddy, and yet he's fighting with him and being contrary toward everything Eric says. Now, we understand that it's just a stage, and we're being patient and waiting for it to end, but I didn't realize that the love and the animosity would be extended toward my mom and dad. Mom, he adored; Dad, he fought. Not that he didn't want to spend time with Papou, but he did it on his terms, and he argued with everything Dad said. I think it really got to Dad and made him a bit jealous, and that hurt my heart to see.

While they were here, we went to IKEA (the initial reason for our trip to Chicagoland) to look for possible solutions for Mom's and my current storage problems for our collections. I've got my teapots currently sitting on top of the fridge, and Mom has a snowglobe collection threatening to take over her entire living room. We both needed some sort of curio cabinet. In the end, we both fell in love with the same cabinet (only in a single model instead of side-by-side, and with glass shelves instead of wood). Of course, we weren't able to buy it, since it wouldn't fit in their car. We'll have to figure out some way of getting it here; delivery cost is astronomical, and Eric doesn't know anybody with a large, borrowable vehicle. If we haven't figured it out by November, Dad will bring his larger car when they come up for Beta's birth.

I just want to look at my beautiful pots again!

Dad's birthday was on Friday, so we decided to have portraits done of Sam so we could give him a new picture in a nice frame. I'd show them to you now, but we tore down the Macintosh, with its scanner setup, when we cleaned up the basement in preparation for the visit. The office stuff is working its way upstairs to the corner of the dining room into a smaller setup, but until it does, I'm limited in what I can do. (Hint, hint, Eric...) The pictures turned out adorably, though, and they're well worth the wait.

All in all, it was a fun time having them here. Of course, in the enjoyment of those days, I completely let all the housework go idle, and now I have enormous piles of work waiting for me in the realms of laundry, dishes, vacuuming and dusting, etc. So what do I do? I procrastinate by writing a journal entry. But can you blame me?

So what else is new?

  • The backache is well and truly back now. It started at the beginning of last week, just as a little niggling but persistent pain that only slightly resembled the giant, throbbing agony of last-time-around, but which immediately registered in my memory and filled me with a mix of creeping horror and resignation. At least last time, I could go on early maternity leave (yeah, yeah; so I was forced into that decision by my higher-ups); how do you take maternity leave from a preschooler for whom you're the primary source of care and entertainment?

    I got the name of a chiropractor from Andrea, and I'll be making an appointment ASAP. I don't know if a chiro will be of more help than the massage treatments I got last time; I don't know whether anything can really help in my case. I'm relieved beyond telling that Sam seems to have a good amount of flexibility in his own back, showing me that perhaps I haven't cursed him in this particular genetic arena the way I did with the whole skin thing (and the eczema and the rashes and the paaaaaaain...! Sorry, channeling a little Frink there).

  • I'm about thirty weeks along now. I'm not sure if I'll go late again this time, but I'm far less eager to contemplate that prospect this time around. I know how "uncomfortable" this experience can get, and this time I don't even have the whole lingering thought of "how novel!" with which to temper my miseries. Nope, I'm done. I've experienced the whole "watch my belly shake and roll" fun, and now I just want to meet this child and start getting to know her or him. I hope my body's getting that message loud and clear. I'm having tons and tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions, many of which are painful enough to stop my in my tracks. I can handle seven more weeks of this, putting me at full-term. After that, it would be in everybody's best interests to begin active avoidance of my presence, I believe.

  • I had my last free counseling session, and was shocked to find out at the end that the counselor to which Eric's employee assistance program had referred me was not even in our network of covered physicians. If I wanted to keep seeing her, it was going to cost me much more than if I were seeing somebody in-network. What the bloody heck? Why on earth would they send me to somebody not covered by their own insurance? No, I do not want to start all over with a new therapist; no, I do not want to start paying needless chunks of cash due to some sort of mixup/error/oversight (at least, I hope that's what it was) that wasn't even made on my part. Eric's going to complain to somebody in Benefits to see if this counselor can be added to our plan, and I hope they're willing to go that route.

    Honestly, I can only hope that real help and headway was to be made eventually through this therapist. In three visits, I feel like we got basically nowhere, that all I did was, well, what I'm doing here - unloading. The only real piece of advice I got was that I needed to start recognizing my humanity and understanding that I couldn't always provide the most ideal care and responses that I want to for Sam. ("Do you think that sometimes the second-best solution might be acceptable?" she asked me. "It depends on how far apart first and second are," I responded.) I don't know how far down the line true healing might have been waiting, or if it even was, but I'm annoyed to be derailed by red tape.

Other than that, it's been fairly quiet around here. I've been feeling more and more exhausted by this pregnancy, so Eric's been doing a marvelous job helping to pick up the slack. He's made a few meals lately that have really gone above and beyond the call as far as sustenance-providing; one night while my parents were here, he cooked up two separate stir-fry dishes, one with shrimp and chili sauce and the other with vegetables in black bean sauce. Last night, he used up a bunch of leftovers, in conjunction with some extra vegetables and meat, in creating a pseudo-paella casserole dish that was very nice indeed. I may be the primary cook around here, but he is certainly becoming the primary chef.

Last night, after all his cooking and after setting up a television in the bedroom (we had some gift certificates to Best Buy that were burning a hole in his pocket and nearing their expiration dates), he sent me to bed early and took care of Sam for the rest of the evening. Sometime around Sam's bedtime, I remember him coming in to ask me some questions, but I hallucinated and was somehow convinced that he was asking me questions about the SAT's:

"Honey? Which of these words isn't grammatically correct?"
"There are only thirty of them! Which is wrong?"
"I...I don't..."
"Oh, forget it."
At which point he gave up asking me whatever he wanted to know (possibly something about bedtime stories or diapers) and left, and I fell back to sleep.

(Honey, I promise to get through this as quickly as I can. It's hard on me, too, and I do appreciate how frustrating I'm being. We're in the home stretch now, though.)

Since we're heading into "about that time" locale, I though it appropriate to open up a baby pool for Beta. Actually, it's not so much a pool this time around as it is a survey, but I'm looking forward to seeing some of these answers. Be gentle.

previous one year ago:
Am I going to look like an untrained idiot in front of my class on Tuesday?
two years ago:
He's so friendly, and he should reap the benefits of that, not wind up in the very same situations that his introverted parents did.
three years ago:
"And the bunny went 'Hop, hop, hop!' Look, Sam, see the bunny? Yes, that's a fluorescent light up there above us..."
four years ago:
Good God, I'm Typhoid Mary!
In the ears:

On the Bookshelf:

Gratuitous Sam

Feeding goats at the zoo

Reading books with Daddy

Making Bugs-on-a-Log for snack


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