Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

Just so you know, my new favorite food is Cheerios. And Lance Cheese on Wheat crackers. (I'm not sure why you need to know this, or even why you would care, but I feel compelled to share). I wouldn't go as far as to call them a craving, because I'm not all "If I don't have a bowl of Cheerios right now someone is going to get hurt", but I have come to rely on them as foods that do not smell and do not upset the tummy-tums.

Oh my word, I just said tummy-tums. This kid is destroying my vocabulary and he/she isn't even here yet.

Anyway, I thought you might like an official baby update, just so you know who is behind the whole cracker and cheerios cuisine.

It's week 9, and Sesame Seed has officially graduated from embryo to fetus-hood, so of course we had an official portrait done to commemorate. (They grow up so fast!)

(See the little arm and leg waving in the air?)

The 9 week visit was great, and little SS is growing like a weed. S/he's now about the size of an olive, or a grape, or (my personal favorite) a gummy bear. (I like the gummy bear idea the best because gummy bears, like Sesame seed, have tiny arms and legs and faces, whereas grapes and olives are pretty featureless...Although I did have a dream a few weeks ago that SS was a purple gummy bear floating in the air next to me, and I was all like, "Sesame Seed! Get back inside! You're not supposed to be out here yet!" And he was all, "Can't catch me!" and ran away. So it's possible that I could be taking the whole gummy bear thing a little too seriously).

Speaking of arms and legs, you should have seen them waving like crazy on the ultrasound. It was like ultimate dance party in there! Kicking and flailing and waving and boogieing down like all get out. Mom said that obviously we have a new tiny hockey goalie in there practicing his saves, but to me it looked more like a Kung Fu movie. I hope s/he settles down before getting big enough for me to actually feel the movement, otherwise I'm going to be black and blue from the inside out.

Week 9 is such a fun week. All the essential body parts are here now, including eyes, nose, mouth, heart chambers, and even tiny little earlobes. (I'm sorry, but thinking about tiny earlobes makes me tear up every time). Sesame seed's tail is gone, and s/he's working on teeth buds. Now comes the growing and fine-tuning and the getting huge part.

And, of course, more Kung Fu.

The One Who Smelt It...Dies A Horrible Death From It

Apparently, I have developed a super-power. And like all good super-powers, it comes with an arch-nemesis.

I wish I could say that my super-power was something cool like flying or going invisible or being able to walk through walls, but alas, it is not. Instead, I have developed a super sense of smell. And trust me, it is not nearly as much fun as you think it is.

I can smell everything! EVERYTHING! Even things miles away assault my nose with the intensity of a thousand stinky suns. I smell our garbage, I smell the neighbor's garbage, I smell fast food restaurants blocks away, I smell people in other countries. And none of it smells good.

It's a warped smell, too. Things that used to smell delicious now send me running for the bathroom. All the air fresheners that I myself purchased a few months ago? I had to unplug them. They were just too strong. Litter boxes? Had to be moved as far away down in the basement as possible. Hamburgers sizzling on the grill in the summer used to be one of my favorite smells. Now the only thing that comes through is overwhelming grease smell, viciously strong and turning my stomach even as I type it.

I can totally get why all the super heroes in the comics are all full of angst and regret all the time. I used to think that they were whiny crybabies with all the "Why me?" and "What did I do to deserve this super-burden?", but now that my own super-sniffer has developed, I am right there with them. I'll just be minding my own business when suddenly, "Gah! WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!?"

And my arch-nemesis? My own beloved Tony. He's got a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on where he'll be loving and sweet right up until it's time for him to make dinner for himself (I've officially forgone traditional dinner out of my eternal devotion to Saltines, the driest cracker on Earth), and then he'll suddenly transform into the evil Dr. Stinky, sworn enemy to my super-sniffer. Oh sure, he claims that it's completely accidental, but look at this list and tell me if this isn't a deliberate attempt to kill me through stink?

For dinner, Tony has made:

Bratwurst! This stunk up the house even when I wasn't pregnant! He knows I hate this smell! And with the Super-sniffer? I stayed locked in the bedroom for three days before the smell dissipated.

Curly Fries! Remember what I said about the grease? It's so strong, it's its own living, breathing monster, like swamp thing, or the blob. Grease blob, evil minion of Dr. Stinky.

Hot ham and cheese! This doesn't sound so bad, but he used Swiss cheese! Swiss cheese! Strong even when cold, heating brings out the very strongest of cheesy stinkiness.

Pizza! Actually, the pizza wasn't bad...until he burned it. Do you know what burned anything smells like to a super-sniffer? Oh it was bad. Fire and brimstone and sulfur can't compete with the smell of burned pizza.

Finally...(and this is probably the worst because he's done it on a repeat basis)...Corn dogs! Tony has decided that since I've given over the dinner reins to him, that means that he can eat all the stuff I normally wouldn't let him eat for dinner...such as that artery clogging box of corn-dipped death on a stick. Oh happy day for him! Oh slow and stinky demise for me. I'm not sure exactly what it is about greasy fried corn meal and hot dog that is so toxic to the the super-sniffer, but it brings me to my knees every time. It is my kryptonite.

Oh super-sniffer! Why do you torment me so? Why must you warp the smells of beautiful everyday things, bringing them into deadly clarity and enveloping me in a blanket of your stinky stinkiness? Why must you gag me with your unending OH SWEET MERCY! NOW WHAT IS THAT AWFUL SMELL?!?

Update To Cat Psychics

Well you were right most beloved and brilliant readers. I took Mason to vet this morning to discuss his "behavior ish-uhs" and a 100 smackaroos later, it turns out that he's probably just picking up on the pregnancy and acting out because of it.

I totally didn't even realize that he would know what was going on, but the vet says they do. Animals are very sensitive to hormone changes, and they probably knew something was up even before I did. As a matter of fact, the kitty doc says that some animals are so sensitive to hormonal changes that male iguanas can even tell when their female owners are menstruating, and thus become very aggressive during that time. (Although I've gotta say, if I had an iguana get all snippy with me during my time of the month, I'd have some new lizard skin shoes before long. PMS? I'll show you PMS, you stupid reptile).

Anyway, the good news is that Mason is physically fine. The bad news is that he's just a neurotic little fur ball who is having mood swings because of my pregnancy. The vet gave us some kitty Valium to try to mellow him out some while he deals with all his hormonal changes.

The little nut job.

Is There A Cat Psychic In The House?

Well we've certainly had an interesting morning this morning. Instead of waking up to birds chirping and flutes playing, Tony woke up to Mason peeing on him, and I woke up to him yelling about it. Then, while Tony was in the shower and I was sitting in the floor after stripping the sheets, Mason came right over to within arms reach of me and looked me dead in the eye while he pooped on the carpet. (Poor Tony, as if being peed on wasn't bad enough, he had to handle poo patrol too).

It seems that one of our elder fur-children is trying to tell us something.

It's not like Mason to act out, so there's definitely a message going on here, although darned if I can figure it out. (Anybody know what deliberately peeing on someone while they sleep translates to in cat?) I wish this was one of those times where the cats could just go, "Excuse me, but I've been trying to get your attention to tell you that I'm sick/upset that my favorite twisty-tie is stuck under the couch/annoyed that Bella seems to get all the best lap time when you're watching TV".

He's a good cat, he really is, and this isn't like him at all. Plus you can almost see the frustration in his little cat eyes as he stares at us, willing his mysterious message into our dense human skulls. I've tried to concentrate and decode his little physic cat messages whenever he gets all stare-y like this, but it usually just ends with me getting a headache. (Mason cannot believe how we humans have managed to survive this long, being as dumb as we are. The fact that we can access the refrigerator and he cannot also rankles). Anyway, apparently he's been trying to tell us something for weeks, and I guess he decided today that he needed to step things up a bit.

(And in case you're wondering, we haven't changed the food, the litter, the number of cats, any routines, the environment, or anything else lately. The cat is just cuckoo for cocoa puffs).

I called the vet and made an appointment for him, so here's hoping that they'll know what's going on. I'd like to think that this is his way of getting our attention (and boy, did he get it!) for something that is easily fixed, like maybe a urinary tract infection rather than just one of those nebulous cat behavioral issues. I'm going to be annoyed if all they can come up with is something like, "He's trying to establish alpha-cat dominance over the household". (If that's the case, alpha cats sleep in the basement).

Don't you worry, Mason. We'll get you figured out. There's something going on in the little kitty brain of yours, and we'll do out best to get to the bottom of it.

And hopefully before we run out of clean sheets.

Week 8 And Feeling...Well, Sometimes Great

Well, we've officially hit the 8 week mark on this baby thing. 2 months down, 8 to go. Sesame Seed is now the size of a kidney bean, and while I love having him/her around, I'll be more than glad to say goodbye to the morning sickness.

Actually, today's been an okay day for the nausea. One day I'll eat something (or not) and the nausea will have me spending hours of quality time contemplating the minute details of my toilet. (Just so you know? Toilets are incredibly boring to look at). The next day I'll eat the exact same thing, and I'll be completely fine. Like the time Tony was trying to teach me poker and I got all excited because my hand was "all red cards", I just can't seem to get the hang of what beats what with these morning sickness rules.

But like I said, today's been a pretty good day. And despite the fact that I make him buy anti-nausea medicine by the caseload, Tony's pretty excited about Sesame Seed too.

Oh ya'll, he's so funny about me now. He doesn't really say much about the baby (well, other than asking if we can name the child after his favorite hockey goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin, which was sweet but no...), but he's gotten to where he touches me constantly. A head massage here, a shoulder pat there, an ear rub while I'm waiting for the nausea to pass. And he'll pat my tummy too, but so carefully and gently it's more like the brush of feathers than an actual pat. I think he's afraid that I'll break if he uses any more pressure.

(Well, break or barf all over him, which I suppose is a valid concern).

He holds my hand while driving. He pats my leg while watching tv. It's so funny. He didn't touch me this much when we were newlyweds. But I think touching me helps him believe that it's real. (I'm not sure what's going to happen when I actually start showing...his hand may be permanently glued to me by then). Still, I think the little pats reassure us both (or all three of us), and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I See This Turning Into A Lifetime Movie

I'm trying to think of something non-preggo to tell you about since I promised that the blog wouldn't turn into a second-by-second account of all things baby. (Although, if you're wondering, this entire week can pretty much be summed up with: I'm bloated. I'm nauseated. I hate V-8. I already feel heavy and thick. And if I ever choke down another stinking dry saltine cracker, it will be too soon. On the other hand, I'm so freaking excited about it I can't see straight.)

In other news, I'm having to detox Tony off of nasal spray. Three weeks ago, he caught a cold. (Normally, Tony's modus operandi is to catch a cold, bring it home, pass it off to me and return to perfect health while I suffer with it for weeks on end...You can imagine my joy at this arrangement). Only this time, for reasons I haven't been able to figure out yet, I didn't take the cold when he offered it to me. (Oh I tried, of course. He brought it home and presented it to me and I immediately got a sore throat. But strangely, nothing ever progressed beyond that. The sore throat went away after a day, and Tony kept his cold). And because I didn't take it, Tony kept it for weeks. (Yes, I'm aware that cold germs and the immune systems are slightly more complex than your average game of hot potato, but it seems to be the pattern. I didn't take it, and he had to keep it). Anyway, Tony has this weird quirk where he enjoys breathing through his nose, so for a while there Afrin was his best friend.

If you don't happen to be a user of nasal sprays, you should know that they are fabulous for cutting through the congestion and letting one breathe again. They're like Liquid Plumber for the nose. They help you win the war on clogs. But there's a catch-22. You're only supposed to use them 3 to 5 times before they quit being effective, and worse, actually inflame your nose so that you feel even more stuffed up. Tony knows this, of course, but like all Afrin junkies, he was lured in by the bright lights and promises of being able to breathe again if he did just one more squirt.

I decided an intervention was needed when he'd actually been over his cold for a week, but still couldn't breathe because he'd been using the nasal sprays too long and was all clogged up with angry nasal passages. I took away his squeeze bottle stash and made him sit on the couch while I read him my letter, just like they do on TV. ("Dear Tony, Your nose is seriously ticked off at you, and for good reason. You gotta lay off the nasal spray, dude. Some of us are tired of listening to you snore all night. Love, Me").

So now he's off, cold turkey. It'll take a few days for the inflammation to die down, but I'm hoping that with time, he'll eventually be able to breathe again without the use of drugs and lead a happy, normal life. It's hard, but he's taking it one inhale at a time.

Be strong, man. Be strong. Don't let your child grow up without a Daddy who can breathe through his nose.

If you or a loved one is suffering from angry nasal passages, please feel free to contact our organization, Wives Against Nasal Abuse By Husbands Who Fail To Read Simple Dosage Directions On Nose Sprays, or WANABHWFTRSDDONS. We can help.

It's Funny How One Little Plus Sign Can Change Everything

Hey, anybody else notice that the date is 8-9-1o? I love little things like that.

Thanks for your congrats and good wishes regarding yesterday's post. I love you guys. And don't worry, I'll try to keep the blog balanced between baby and non-baby stuff. I've seen more than a few good blogs dissolve from interesting posts into "the baby did this..." and "the baby did that..." (which is wonderful if it's your baby, but slightly less awe-worthy for those of us who don't have one and fail to see the magic of when your kid blows spit bubbles). On the other hand, I've seen some really well-done "Mommy Blogs" also, so I'm hoping that I can find a nice balance.

Here's the deal. I'll just answer some of the questions that have come up, and then we'll try to get back to some of our regularly scheduled programming. (I mean, you aren't missing much right now except for my all-encompassing, "Food? Take it away! TAKE IT AWAY!" nausea. And really, who wants to hear about that?) I'll keep you posted on the big stuff though.

I was surprised. Had no clue. Not a one. In fact, I never would have thought to even check except that I was getting ready to schedule my annual lady doctor visit and I was 15 days late (not unusual with me. I'm all over the board). But I knew that the first thing the Dr. would ask when I mentioned how late I was was I sure I wasn't pregnant. And I was sure I wasn't pregnant, but I took a home test just for proof.

That little blue plus sign was quite the shock.

So shocking in fact that I went straight to the store and bought a second test (a digital one this time, to make perfectly sure that it wasn't just that one test) and did it again. And sure enough, it immediately popped up, "Yes fool. You really are pregnant". I went to my lady doctor and she confirmed it with blood tests, gave me prenatal vitamins, and referred me to a specialist since I am considered a high-risk pregnancy (you know, the one kidney and all. One kidney for just me raised some eyebrows. One kidney for two of us they want to keep an eye on).

So far the hardest part about being pregnant is the mental parts. I just can't seem to absorb it. I totally get why it takes 40 need that time to wrap your head around it. Or at least I will. When I hit the ancient age of 30, I guess I figured that having kids just wasn't in the cards for us. Now I'm happy, but I still don't really believe it either. I'm like Mom was when I told her...I keep waiting for someone to be all, "Just kidding!"

The good news is that two home tests, two blood tests and one ultrasound usually don't kid around.

I Was Going To Post But Then This Happened...

My apologies for the absence lately, but I've kinda had something on my mind.

Mainly this:

Yeah, that's a baby. My baby. Apparently, I'm knocked up. This is at 6 weeks, and I know that most people don't share the news until at least 12 weeks, but 6 weeks is a long time to not tell you about the one thing that has trumped every other thought in my head. So now you know. This is my little Sesame seed (that's what I'm calling him/her because that's how big s/he was when I found out about him/ "Sesame Seed" doesn't sound nearly as breakable as "baby").

So yeah. That's my news. It's still sinking in. I'm zooming back and forth between really happy and scared to death roughly every .043 milliseconds.

I mean, holy crap people, that's a baby!

Who Has Two Thumbs And Is a New Aunt?

Congratulate me. I am now officially an aunt. Tony's sister delivered a healthy baby girl this weekend, making me the latest addition to the cool aunt club. Baby M was a delightful 7 lbs 9oz, and while there was some initial resistance to vacating her one room studio, I am happy to report that both Mom and baby are doing fine.

Tony and I went by the hospital to see her yesterday. I know people say that all babies are beautiful, but the truth is, sometimes they aren't. (That's right. I said it.) Sometimes they look like monkey children or old men. But I am happy to report that Baby M isn't one of those babies. She really is beautiful. Big eyes and a little nose and the cutest mouth you ever saw. She's two days old and already a looker. (Her daddy is going to be in so much trouble).

Anyway, we didn't stay too long, but we pop in to personally give our congratulations and coo over our new niece.

Me: So is she a good eater?
Tony's Sister: Yeah, she did really well today. She-
Tony: Hey cool! This room has movies on demand! What kind of titles do you get?

Okay so one of us cooed over our niece. I'm sure the other one will get there eventually. The important thing is that she's here and I am officially beginning my campaign for the title of Most Awesome Aunt Ever.

Welcome to the world, Baby M.