Tuesday, May 29, 2012

tough s***

I was sitting in class today listening to a man from Uganda talk about how the US has all these "books for Africa" charities, and they collect all these books that are written in English, and ship them across the globe to kids who are either 1) illiterate or 2) non-English speaking. He said they use them for kindling.

Both Mitch and I have pretty cynical views of the world, and as we are becoming more educated in our given fields, we are only finding ourselves becoming more so. I suppose its a defense mechanism to protect us during our jobs, but it makes for some pretty morbid dinner talk. We would like to try to strike a balance between preserving our child's innocence, while at the same time presenting it with a realistic view of the world. Kids should get to do fun stuff, namely to participate in social norms, and they shouldn't have to worry about what kids on the other side of the world do or don't have. Nonetheless, we discovered we have a long way to go as we discussed various kid-oriented scenarios.

Birthdays: No, you can't have a birthday party at Scallywag Tag. There are kids in Somalia that don't even know their birthdays. They only know they were born during the last drought/flood/famine/conflict.

Prom: No, we are not spending $300 on a limo. There are kids in Malawi who have to walk two hours for water. You can drive your own damn car.

First Job: Don't complain about it. There are kids in Guatemala who sell sticks to tourists. And then beg for them back. They rent sticks to tourists. Rent them. (that one's a true story)

Stuff: No, I'm not buying you new cleats (because Mitch has already decided they're playing soccer). Kids in Brasil play soccer barefoot with a sand-filled soda bottle. 

I'm both immensely grateful and somewhat guilt-ridden that we were born here, and that our children will be born here. Our kid will likely never have to worry about getting a parasite from the water, or being forced to drop out of school to support younger siblings, or starving during the winter because of a poor harvest. I think I take for granted that every time I flip the switch, the light turns on, or that every time I turn on the faucet, water comes out. I can only reconcile some of this guilt by trying to raise a child who values these very simple luxuries, and sees beyond his or her ecosystem. I currently have no idea how to do this, so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to share. And if it doesn't work, we can only hope that in the next 15 years, someone will institute some sort of compulsory Peace Corps service for brats. But then Mtv wouldn't have any material for the 19th season of "16 and Pregnant."

Friday, May 25, 2012

fluids and such

So I read that your amniotic fluid tastes like whatever you eat, and that can shape your baby's taste preferences after it comes out. I read it in Fit Pregnancy, which we all know is a reputable source of empirical evidence, so it must be true. I also heard the same claims on NPR, so that's as good as doctrine.

This information is important to me, because I really don't want my kid to eat only chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Or salami and Tobasco sandwiches, if you're my brother (what the hell did my mother eat while she was pregnant with him).

Now before I piss off some mothers whose kids only eat that stuff, I'm not saying you're a bad parent or whatever. I'm not saying you haven't done whatever you can to get your kid to eat vegetables. Honestly, I really don't give a shit what you feed your kid. As an aside, I feel like we women are too judgmental of each other's pregnancies and parenting, as was evident with the recent dialogue surrounding attachment parenting.

Anyway, so I resolved to eat as many bitter vegetables and as little salt as I can for the rest of this pregnancy. The reasons for this are pretty self-serving. I want to be able to go out to dinner and to friends' houses and potlucks and take this kid with me without worrying about where the nearest Wendy's is. I want my kid to at least try everything once, and hopefully like some of it. I want my kid to eat more than brown food. And vegetables are good for it. Even if this is all bullhonky, and my kid still comes out only asking for Cheetos and purple drink, I suppose I should eat like this anyway, because it's good for me too.

No, this is not an unintentional gender reveal, but wouldn't that be crazy if it was Asian?!
Buuuuuut, I realized today that I may have gone too far when I looked down at my lunch and noticed I had only served myself cucumbers, zucchini, red potatoes, and raw broccoli. I try not to do anything half-assed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

college life

I'm in Minneapolis again for a couple weeks. Just here learnin' stuff. My entrance was not as dramatic as last year, but I always get a few surprises. Like, my bed in the dorm is two and a half feet off the ground. I'll afford you a chuckle at my expense as you imagine me hoisting my fat ass in and out of that bed several times a night as I head to the bathroom. Oh right, the co-ed bathroom. Last year my goal was not to ever poop when someone else was in there. This year my goal is simply to avoid exposing my overstretched midsection to some unsuspecting teenage boy. I also have the pleasure of sharing a "quarter bath" with another dorm dweller. For those of you not familiar with the term, a quarter bath is a closet with a sink in it. Useful for pretty much nothing other than flossing. Or not even that because there's no garbage can.

All that aside, I feel like I'm on a little vacation with Snorkels. It's just me and he/she/it. I saw it kick through my belly for the first time the other day, and I was a little sad that I had no one with whom to share that moment (I don't think my Food Traceability professor would have appreciated a spontaneous sharing time), but I'm kind of enjoying my self-imposed isolation (so far). It's just me and Snorkels. Against the world. And the crazy cyclists on the bike paths. And the dorm food.

UPDATE: The only male on my floor (so far as I can tell) is being extradited for some mysterious crime he committed. I awkwardly witnessed a conversation between him and two policemen this afternoon. Looks like ladies get the run of the bathroom after all. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ultrasound Day

Confession. This isn't even our baby. I figured it didn't matter because all babies look the same on an ultrasound picture. ALL of them. Although we did get a creepy photo of its face where it kind of looks like the Terminator or the Donnie Darko bunny.
The baby squiggled around the whole time, and made it very difficult for the sonographer to take pictures, but we did find out the gender today. Honestly, we were just excited that it's human (did I mention I dreamed it was a piglet?), that it seemingly has all its body parts, and that it's normal on every scale. Head circumference, length, weight. All good.

We're not sharing the gender until the birth for a couple of reasons. One, because what if they're wrong? They're never 100% sure unless they do a genetic test, and I've heard enough horror stories about parents getting ready for a certain gender, buying all pink or blue shit, and then getting a big old surprise when the baby comes out. We would like to avoid that inconvenience.

Second, we just decided that we want to keep some things to ourselves. We decided to keep the name and the gender a secret just so there's something to look forward to (other than the actual birth of the baby).

But really, I just get off on being withholding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Halfway there!

holla to my B's who lent me these swell maternity clothes
Theoretically speaking, I'm halfway through my pregnancy, assuming the baby comes at exactly 40 weeks. No sooner, no later. Which of course means nothing to Snorkels, or Thrasher as I have now started calling it. I think I have experienced many of the joys of being pregnant at this point, such as being called fat by a young child, nightmares about zombie cows, and peeing at least half a dozen times throughout the night. Luckily, I have yet to have a stranger grope me without my permission. But by far, my favorite experience has been having Mitch feel the baby kick for the first time. I think he actually believes that I'm pregnant now, and that I'm not just making it up so he doesn't leave me for some motorcycle chick.

Also, for your listening pleasure, I'm adding a link to my pushing music. Every time you listen to these songs, I want you to imagine me pushing out a baby. Like, red-faced and squatting pushing. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

they just get more disgusting

So yet again, the chickens have fooled me into thinking they're terminally ill, when really they're just doing normal disgusting chicken things.

A few days ago, I was feeding the ladies some strawberry tops (their most coveted delicacy), and I noticed some of the chickens looking a little scraggly around the neck. Namely, that a couple of them had started developing bald spots, and were looking less like healthy backyard chickens and more like free range stray scrappy chickens. Maybe they were going for street cred.

Anyway, I immediately suspected mites, as that causes their feathers to fall out, but the trusty backyard chicken forum set me straight yet again, and informed me that this is a normal molting process. Chickens apparently shed their feathers once a year cuz it's fun or something. Just so you know, this is what we have to look forward to:

nom nom

And apparently I am encouraged to make chicken capes, since their modesty must not be compromised. They are an honorable fowl, and would prefer to maintain some dignity during this very unfortunate transition.