Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ache-y breaky heart

Blah day in the hood. Missing LA hard right now. Missing friends, food, warm weather. We had a high of 36 today and the news keeps talking about the "wintry mix" to expect after midnight. I keep envisioning a giant frozen salad to rain upon us as we sleep. I had a nice lunch with Mom (soon to-be Nana) today and as she loaded up my car with boxes of my high school crap and shadowbox framed poems and stuffed animals, she told me how happy she was I was back home. It makes me happy that she's so happy - I just wish I felt the same peace being back here. Don't get me wrong - I love my family and we're super close and it's great getting to know them all as people again. But sometimes I just hate it here. Ok, deep breath.

I hate that smoking is still allowed in every restaurant and bar, seriously cutting down my opportunities to go out and meet new folks and hear music. I hate that it is so fucking difficult to eat out healthily, especially now that I'm dealing with the whole diabetes drama. I hate that they inexplicably shortened Fresh Air to a half-hour on one of the few news radio stations here. I hate that I hear Whitney Houston and that fucking Lips of an Angel song 4 out of every 5 times i turn on the radio. I hate that our local, closest grocery store, the bain of this side of town's existence, makes me want to gouge out my eyes and stab a fellow shopper everytime I'm forced to go there. I hate that there are verty few boutiques and urban-cool shops. (Thank God for the internet) I hate the weather. I hate that I am now part of the SUV revolution swallowing up this town. I hate that there is a church on every block, packed with said SUVs and W stickers. I hate that I live in a red state and not a select city. And worst of all, I hate hating Memphis, because I'm not going awywhere for awhile.

Baby has been strangely subdued today - I'm wondering if because I feel like I'm coming down with something that they are chilling out as well. Dad copied the VHS 4-D ultrasound onto a DVD, so getting to watch the little one considerably brightened my day. I'm sure the grumpiness will pass. I just hurt and I want chocolate and I know I've got at least 8 more weeks of this to go.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Babies R ExhaUSting

Saturday C and I made the 80th or so trek to Babies R Us to 1) pick up our ginormous crib box and 2) buy the Peg-Perego stroller that I was absolutely certain - after weeks of research - I wanted to buy. By the time we left 2 hours later, the PP stroller was history (sucker was freakin heavy - and that is without a baby or carseat in it!) and we drove away with a crib neither was sure the other one wanted.

I keep telling myself it's just a crib, what's the big deal? The big deal is that Caleb and I turned into design snobs (more specifically, he of wood, me of overall design) and I'm now drooling over modern offerings that are sleek, attractive and insanely expensive. To makes matter worse, freakin Walmart debuted the Roxanne crib, a sleek, attractive, and very WalMarty price of $300. The catch here is that you can only order it online and well, it's freakin Walmart. The crib we've bought is really beautiful, but it just has the slightest whiff of country kitchen. At least we can take comfort in the fact that the bed can be converted and reconverted into different configurations so that our little baby can conceivably use it until they've mailed out their college applications.

So now we have to go back to find 1)another stroller and 2) maybe buy the matching furniture dresser and changing table. 3) and a rocking chair and 4) a million other things we haven't gotten to on our to do list

Baby's not even here and already this is exhausting.

You wouldn't guess it from my dreams. Every night this week has involved some kind of cardio for me. Sunday Caleb and I did jumping jacks in a park. Monday I was running around the block, thinking maybe it wasn't such a hot idea for an 8 month pregnant lady to be out for a jog. And then last night - some artist had created a giant indoor/outdoor art installation at the base of an ampitheater, and I was sprinting in the dark, I mean running as fast as I could, on the outdoor track. My body felt so incredibly light and compact and free. But then I realized that sprinting at 9 months was probably not on the recommended list of activities for 9 month pregnant ladies. But I kept running anyway.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shoot Out

I'm in the Willow Oak house of my youth, and these two faded action stars who have had an intense, unyielding rilvarly for years have finally decided to settle the score. In my house. Dressed like two cowboy extras on the Paramount Lot, the men open fire on each other with shotguns, blowing cat-sized holes through the walls and knocking over furniture. I'm running around like a crazy person, trying to get them to understand that maybe firing at each other inside my house may not be the ideal way to settle their issues, when I notice Mac clutching Guion in his car seat and scrambling to get out of the house. As they sprint away to safety, I come upon his hastily scribbled note:


Sorry to rush out, but we don't feel like this is a very safe environment in which to raise a child.


And then I wake up.

Nah, I don't have any fears over being a bad parent.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Scared of Girls

i am a fountain, a virtual Old Faithful of happiness at the moment. We just came home from our weekend in LA which culminated in the most jaw droppingly beautiful, moving and simply lovely baby shower I ever could have imagined. Already Baby Sweazy is the most fabulously outfitted fetus this side of the Mississippi, and with a nursery waiting to be stocked with the cutest toys, books and fuzzy blankets. I think baby's 20-some aunts was the greatest gift, though.

There's a band in LA who somehow got my name on their email list. I don't ever remember hearing them play, but every now and then, Scared of Girls writes to let me know they've got an upcoming gig at the Viper Room. These emails always cracked me up and unsettled me at the same time, because they were scary appropriate. I've always been scared of girls. If I started a band, I'd be jealous the name was taken, because surely all my songs - when not about high school boys breaking my heart - would be about the high school girls that broke my heart. The group I ran with were generous and fun but they were high school girls - they made up mean songs about my fixation with my hair (granted - I touched it way too much) and said terrible things about me, because that is what high school girls do. I sincerely believe that like an Indian's walking across coals or an East African tribal warrior's circumcision at age 16, being bullied and shunned by a girl posse is an America teenager's essential rite of passage. But I think that unlike most people, I never really got over it. I realize now that it was always easier to risk kissing and curling a leg around the torso of a boy who might never call than to simply offer up my heart to a girl in friendship, because the latter was simply too terrifying.

Yet, somehow I made friends despite the paralyzing fear. And I'm not exaggerating the fear. Some people reading this may recall the migraine I developed at my bridal shower. Yes, I was tired and hadn't eaten much, but that was because I was simply terrified at having to be the center of so much female attention. So my head tried to give me an out by exploding. In light of this weekend I'm almost embarrassed to be revealing so much about this, but almost. I can talk about it because of Sunday.

Today, I received several emails from various people at the shower commenting on what an amazing group of friends I have. I found myself stunned by the fact that other people outside myself had actually observed this. Because this just confirmed it wasn't some lovely dream curled up all catlike and out of reach. I know I got all teary and emotional at the shower when I clumsily - but honestly - tried to thank every person in the room for being there, because it is true. I do have an amazing group of women I'm privileged to call friends, who lift me up just by thinking of them and break my heart not through cruel songs this time, but because I cannot fit them all into my suitcase and spirit them away to Memphis.

When Caleb picked me up at the airport, he told me about his dream last night. We were visiting his mom and he was out on the driveway when he noticed a little girl inside a parked car. He asked her what she was doing and if she wanted to come inside, but she just smiled at him and acted shy. I showed him the very girl-centric thank you notes I bought today, and we both laughed that we were on the same wavelength. Maybe it's a girl in there. One who will grow up to be battle-scarred by high school girls only so that she can appreciate the grace and beauty of female friendship when it bonks her on the head.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Today is not a banner day for pregnancy. Got the official word that I have gestational diabetes. I have zero of the risk factors listed on every website I could find on the subject: I'm not overweight, I exercise regularly, eat well*, I'm causcasian and have no family history, but now I am doubly at risk for diabetes with my next pregnancy and for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. This news came approximately the same minute I got an email from the agent I had been praying would take an interest in my book saying, in fact, she hadn't.

So big ole pity party here with the mama to be.

On the bright side, the strict diet I will have to adopt will almost ensure that I fit back into my skinny jeans sooner rather than later. And we leave for LA early in the AM, so being among so many friends again will certainly lift my spirits. It's just hard right now not to feel like I've already failed as a mom somehow. That eating chocolate or french fries has put my baby at risk for obesity and diabetes in their lifetime. I know its a stupid and unproductive way of digesting the news, but this is how my brain works.

* in the interest of full disclosure, it was only last week that I gave up my big indulgence - my (once a ) daily coca cola.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Dear baby,

What is with the recent fixation with my bladder? You seem to take particular pleasure in standing on top of it and perhaps testing it for buoyancy by kicking it - repeatedly - with those cute little feet of yours. Which I saw, by the way. We almost didn't get to have the 4-D ultrasound, first because your daddy and I were cagey about getting an early glimpse, as if that would be like opening a Christmas present before Christmas morning. But we decided to go ahead and take a peek. And when we finally got to our appointment, they made us wait an hour and a half. We were going to leave, but they plied me with peanut butter crakcers - which you really seem to dig, by the way - and finally we were in.

And there you were. Not the grain of rice, not the rockabilly baby of 11 week old ultrasounds or the skeletor baby of week 20, but a real baby. With your father's nose. We don't think you were really into the whole process, because you dedided to kick the tar out of me for its duration. The woman running the ultrasound said that in the duration of her career, she had never been kicked so much by a baby. Look at that. You've already garnered your first accolade, and you're not even out of the womb! You made your father very proud.

So we've entered the home stretch, you and I. We picked out your crib yesterday and selected the paint for the nursery. Pretty soon the room's gonna be done, my showers will have come and gone, and still we wait.

I'm not very good at waiting. But I have a feeling you're worth it. Except when you do that kicking, pummelling thing with my bladder. Then not so much.