Monthly Archives: February 2008

unexplainable attractiveness

There’s something really sexy about:

a) seeing my fiance with his wedding ring on (he had to test it out to see if it was comfortable) and
b) hearing him refer to the Critter as “my son”.

I guess if I have to find someone’s husband (and father of children) attractive, it’s better that it’s my own.

Incidentally, we only have seventeen weeks to go on the Critter. I’m looking pregnanter than ever these days. I should really get around to taking those photos to show how much larger I am getting. In the meantime, you will all just have to take my word for it that the little guy is getting less little every day.

thank you, president w, for making our country stupider

Dear Soon To Be Ex-President:

Perhaps insisting “I’m the decider,” is not going to put you in the history books next to FDR after all, since he at least encouraged people to know where the countries we were fighting were located.

(see also: today’s WaPo article by Susan Jacoby, who is shocked by how stupid Americans are getting)

baby preparation domestic day

Now that I have recovered from last week’s Death Cold, I am up and moving again – and itching to DO something. There’s nothing like a few days of bed rest to make me stir-crazy, and now, I can’t stop looking for Tasks to Do. In that interest, I started surfing Craigslist for secondhand baby gear. It isn’t that we can’t afford new stuff, it’s that we don’t NEED all new stuff. I don’t like adding to the demand for new, third-world manufactured baby stuff – especially when the kids only use it for a few months before outgrowing it. It’s a waste of resources: the energy that goes into making these things, the fuel that is used to ship them, everything. I could just go out and search for and buy all green stuff, but that’s REALLY expensive, so I’ve started just looking for used versions of the things I want.

Hence, today’s purchases: the Graco travel crib/bassinette/playpen:
picture behind cut

being thin may not get you better than a C-lister

Hi, my name is Jillian, and I watch VH1 reality shows. Yes, it’s true. It started with just Flavor of Love 2 and then ran to I Love New York and now I seem to be watching everything from Rock of Love downwards. Well, except Celebrity Rehab. That show is actually kind of boring.

Sunday night, Paul and I actually watched even more crap than we usually do. We watched Scott Baio is 46 And Pregnant because it makes Paul look like the MOST AWESOME EXPECTANT FATHER IN THE WORLD. Basically, now that Charles in Charge is over his fear of commitment to his girlfriend, he has to get over his fear of commitment to his unborn child. And everything that comes out of his mouth is the wrong answer when it comes to parenting. And what’s sad is that I think he’s supposed to represent the Typical Guy Having A Baby. But the girlfriend, who is thin, blonde, pretty, and despite the collagen lips, relatively adorable – still couldn’t do better than Scott Baio. Not only that, she had to get knocked up to make sure he committed!

Move on to the next show – My Fair Brady. Starring Christopher “Peter Brady” Knight, and his lipstick-lesbian model wife, this show wasn’t just a trainwreck, but a BORING trainwreck. There’s only so many times I can yell “YOU STUPID COW!” at the screen. But here’s this beautiful, 24 year old model, with a beyond idealized body – and the best she can do is a former child actor? The best she can do is a Brady – not to mention, one she fights with all the time? Seriously. As I understand it, these people met on the Surreal Life, which I HAVE watched when it’s on, although not that season, so I’m guessing that this is both of their big chances to stay in the spotlight.

And then there’s my staple, never-miss, Rock of Love Twenty women fighting over Bret Michaels of Poison. Many of these women are also stunning, beautiful, and some are actually not entirely stupid or untalented. And this is what they have to do to find a rocker they like? Catfight with nineteen other silly bitches?

The point is that all this makes me feel IMMENSELY better. Being thin & pretty doesn’t make you less desperate. In fact, it seems to make these women more desperate. Instead of saying to ourselves, “wow, these beautiful women have to settle for losers, what does that mean for me?” we should all be saying to ourselves, “wow, clearly what’s on the OUTSIDE doesn’t matter all that much, despite what I always thought.” I know this is all easy for me to say – I have a kickass soon to be husband, who is attentive and sweet and kind, and CUTE, and not to mention, who is going to make a wonderful father. But I didn’t GET that kickass husband by being thin and dressing like a skank. I got him by being awesome and not being a totally crazy bitch. Therefore: being thin doesn’t necessarily get you happiness in relationships. But being SANE, and knowing when you’ve found the right guy, pretty much will.

Hey, call it a life lesson from VH1. Besides, I think schadenfreude is the #1 motivating factors to watch these shows in the first place.

stupid pregnancy has drained my immune system

I’m sick today. AGAIN. I was sick yesterday too. I have a sore throat and aching sinuses and hot flashes and am whining a whole bunch because I rarely get sick. I didn’t take antibiotics as a kid (thanks Mom!) and I have thousands of years of ancestry on a cold, wet island (thanks Dad!) and generally have a great immune system. I’m blaming the pregnancy, because not only did I GET sick, but I’m STAYING sick, and usually, I fight off colds faster than this. Also, I am following my four-part get-better program, which is:

1) Full doses of ColdFX, the Canadian ginseng voodoo immune system booster. My mother, who discovered echinecea before anyone else did in the 80s, swears that it is the best thing since then. Also, it is the official cold remedy and preventative of the NHL!

2) Extra doses of Ester-C, which also helps immune systems, and is more easily absorbed by the body than regular vitamin C

3) Liquids, liquids, liquids, especially black currant juice cut with water, and echinecea tea with honey – not the same power as the bitter extract, but it helps my cough

4) Sleep. My father can sleep off almost anything with 24h of hibernation. I’m pretty sure this is directly due to his heritage in northern England, where it is always cold and damp. I can usually do the same. USUALLY. Especially since I grew up in a cold, damp climate as well. I’d expect that method to work even better in sunny, warm, L.A.

I know most of this is a bunch of hippie bullcrap, but it’s better than the drugstore cold remedies, and I need to kick this, fast. Anyone else got any hippie bullcrap to share? I can’t take anything with real drugs in it, due to baby, and I can’t get any sicker for that reason as well. This sucks.

what president do i want for my son? (part one of two)

Who do I want to shape America in the first years of my child’s life? Obviously, a Democrat. My political ideologies are very left wing. And my most important issues, for the future of this country, are as follows:

1) The Environment
The #1 defining factor on what kind of world my child grows up in, is the way we treat the planet in the next few years. And the US needs to get with the program and take some more extreme actions to preserve the world we live in. I believe that we need widesweeping measures in everything from our agricultural and food distribution system, to a system of penalties and taxes on non carbon-neutral businesses. I believe that we need to push harder for better cars and for better public transportation, for self-sustaining energy sources that will be more affordable in the long run. And we need to do all this fast, to slow down the terrible storms, the freak weather, the droughts that could affect food supplies, so my child doesn’t end up scrabbling for survival in some apocalyptic post eco-crash world.

2) Right To Choice & the Preservation of Roe v. Wade
AKA, “Get The Hell Out Of My Uterus”. I’m pregnant now with a wanted child, who will grow up in a happy, stable household. I’m also a productive citizen paying a decent amount of income tax and donating regularly to charities to benefit society. If I had been forced to have a child at a time when I was not able to take care of it, with a lousy, unstable father, I’d never have been able to become this productive citizen, and I would be unleashing yet another fucked-up kid into America. I have always been able to choose when I believe life begins, and when I wanted to bring that life into the world. And I believe that every woman, no matter what their color or income level or legal status, deserves to make the choice on when she wants to have that child, and when it is best for her & her baby. It’s a step, for me, that is part of women’s rights, to allow women to make the choice whether they are mother or whether they are not, and I believe a strong society is one where every child is wanted.

3) Civil Rights & Constitutionalism
This is what I believe tears the country to pieces: the discrepancy between the words of the Founding Fathers and how those documents have been interpreted and applied. The Constitution is a living document, which, at the time, was written based on a bunch of really novel, trendy ideas that were being kicked around by European thinkers in coffee houses. The Constitution is chock-full of new ideas re-interpreted for the American situation at the time, which need to be constantly interpreted to allow for changes in the country. I didn’t realize how precarious the United States was in 1776 until I heard Ben Franklin’s quip, “If we do not all hang together, surely we will hang separately.” Same thing today. If we don’t all believe in these same ideals, we won’t be able to hang together as a country, and it’s REALLY hard to believe in those Constitutional ideals when you’re getting screwed over for being a color, a different faith, or gay. Civil rights, to me, means that everyone has the same rights to and from the government, no matter what their religion, income, color, gender, sexual orientation – an idea that is truer in America than in most countries, but is still muddied by the lack of separation of church and state, the inability of gay couples to benefit from the state institution of marriage, the blatant racism against recent immigrant groups (especially against Muslims), the difference in treatment of white families and black families in the wake of disaster, even the torture facilities and the TSA that sprung up when 9/11 was used as a springboard to destroy civil rights. To have a better America, we all need to re-read the Constitution, study it, line by line – and re-interpret those lines for the times we live in. There is no Constitution in Trent Reznor’s Year Zero vision – and that scares the daylights out of me.

4. Education
This is simple: pay teachers better, put more funding into fixing public schools, and STOP FUNNELING MY TAX DOLLARS INTO CHRISTIAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS. I don’t want to put my kids into LAUSD, and it’s very difficult to find a NON-Christian private school to put them into instead. Also, obviously, education is the key to a better future – we all saw Idiocracy, right? With education and more focus on learning at all levels and ages, our nation’s people and our children can do great things. And that applies to all of them, not just those that can afford it. I want all schools to have the arts and music, to have literature and appreciation, to have great math and science programs – and most of all, to have qualified, happy, well paid teachers who are able to do their jobs.

5. Healthcare
I also think that in order to remain a competitive and healthy country, we need to keep our own people healthy. Not just by providing universal healthcare, but by encouraging disease prevention. I believe that the non-existent line between personal health and personal finance needs to be made more defined, and that more people should be able to get the healthcare they deserve without having to go into debt forever for it. I also believe that with a better healthcare system, that money could be applied to buying more American products and restoring the economy. $600 in tax credit for economic stimulus is nothing, when with any sort of universal healthcare, thousands of dollars could be going into the economy.

So these are the issues that matter to me, for the future of the country. The economy comes and goes, international conflicts even come and go, but these are the issues that I consider most important, and which I believe will have the greatest impact on this country – and my son’s life. Therefore, when I get the energy to write the entry, I will write on how the candidates stand on my issues – all four of them, including the Republicans. Now, I have to go watch CNN announce the Potomac Primaries.

does pregnancy make me stupider?

1) Reading the iVillage baby name boards makes my head hurt. Dear people: please stop naming your kids stupid stuff. And stop using last names as first names. And STOP COMING UP WITH WACKY SPELLINGS! “Jaxon” and “Siennekah” are NOT OK.

2) Somehow, a mailing list found out that I am expecting, so I got a copy of “American Baby”. Which came packaged with FOUR parent-targeted brochures, for everything from Fisher Price crap to something that adds fluoride to your baby’s water. For what? The teeth it doesn’t have? I’m sorry, but did I suddenly become susceptible to buying random, unnecessary crap just because I got knocked up? I’m sure a deluge of baby-related junk mail is now imminent until Greendimes can find and kill it all.

3) I’m going to bed now.

baby gender discovery

Paul and I were not particularly concerned about our baby’s gender. First of all, neither of us had a preference on what we got, because both sexes have advantages and disadvantages. Second, we were going to get what we got anyways. So long as we got a healthy Critter, we would be happy.

We went in for the super-ultrasound yesterday – the structural one – and were immediately asked if we knew or wanted to know the baby’s sex. I told the tech that was one of the things we were here to find out. And she immediately informed us that it was definitely a boy. No question. There were all the boy parts in question, facing the monitor. Plus, we got to see the 4D imaging ultrasound? (WTF do they call it 4D anyways? I thought the 4th dimension was time. Is my baby defying laws of time & space? Is tesseract imaging next?)

We went through the rest of the ultrasound inspecting various parts of the baby and its habitat. My cervix & uterus are the right size – which, right now, is taking up a major chunk of my abdomen. The baby’s brain, in cross-section, is developing nicely, and his head is the right size. His heart is pumping away, and the bloodflow to his vital organs is healthy and steady. His liver and kidneys are fine. His leg bones are developing nicely – in fact, if anything, they already indicate that he’s going to be tall. And the baby was waving his little legs and arms around, so we got a good look at all his little fingers and toes, and there are 10 of each. The doctor’s final statement was that this is a wonderful looking baby – perfectly, absolutely normal, with nothing at all to worry about.

So that’s it – we’re getting a boy in four months and change. A bouncing baby boy. Who, this week, has just been draining the life out of me – damn kid must be on a growth spurt. For exactly one pound, he demands a lot of energy and food.

Flickr set of ultrasound pictures here:

and YouTube video montage behind the cut:

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last night’s midnight mashup performance

Some day, the Critter is going to find this video, and depending on its age at the time, have one of two reactions:

2) “It is AWESOME that my mother was dancing at a mashup dance club while obviously pregnant with me!”