Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's a Baby!

More specifically, it's a baby girl! We went to the hospital for our anatomy scan today, and because the baby is basically see-through, we got a look at her vertebrae, the inside of her brain, and her heart. The technician aimed the camera between the baby's legs and said "Can you tell what you're looking at?" I wanted to tell her that everything we had seen so far suggested I was carrying not a baby, but a plate of calamari. But I just shook my head and she told us it was a girl.

"Are you 100% sure?" Rob asked. It's not that he didn't want a girl, but neither of us wanted to leave until we knew that the hospital was sure of what they were telling us.

"I'm sure," she said. Another technician and a doctor backed her up, so yes, we're pretty sure. Girl baby! And she's really cute, except if you look directly at her face, in which case she looks like something out of a ghost story. Perfect for Halloween. My feeling is that once she has fattened up a bit and is no longer translucent, she'll be totally adorable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's like Christmas Eve

I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow. It is basically freakish how excited I now get by doctor's appointments. I love them like nothing else, and wish that I was going more often than once a month. I always feel like I'm visiting the baby. Today someone emailed to ask when my next appointment was and I wrote back:

Tomorrow! I can't wait!

I might as well have dotted the I's with hearts and drawn little unicorns all over the page. But you can't do that in email.

The best thing is that I actually have two appointments tomorrow: one with my doctor and one at the hospital to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. Dear Middlesex, I hope it is not both.

Tomorrow is also my last day in the office, plus the movers are coming to get us packed. We like to keep it lively, people. And I would just like to announce that if the baby is a boy, you are all being recruited to help name him, because after several conversations about this (including the one where Rob very seriously suggested the name Achilles), I do not think we are qualified to name a boy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Final Days

Things that are getting me through our last week in New York, as we are forced to say goodbye to friends and family, and I contemplate the reality of working from home starting next week:

• Rob’s best friend Spero and his wife Johanna came to town this weekend. We had delicious dinners at Peasant and Babbo. This morning, I feel like I’ve gained 10 pounds from the Babbo meal alone, but I’m blaming it all on the baby being abnormally fat.

• We saw In the Heights on Broadway. Incredible and highly recommended.

• Rob walked into the bathroom to get ready and started singing “What a Man” as he gazed into the mirror. “What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man,” are words that actually came out of his mouth.

• And the main thing that has gotten me through so far is that we are so busy there is no time to think. Perhaps this (plus the singing) is the secret to a seamless move?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A New York Meal

Rob and I just got home from cooking class. Our new friend Daniel invited us. He also brought his mom. Prior to class, we were emailed the following menu and told to bring a bottle of wine.

Fresh fig, Arugula, Chevre, Pine Nuts, and Fennel with Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette

Chez Allard's Roast Chicken with Lentils and Bacon

Chocolate Rum Praline Fané

Class was at a fabulous apartment with a huge chef's kitchen, complete with enormous square slate cooking counter that easily sat the 12 people in the class. We piled the wine on the counter and ingredients started flying around. The teacher was hilarious: slightly absentminded and extremely casual, she dropped things, forgot what she was saying, ran around the kitchen multi-tasking, and repeatedly licked food off of her fingers while preparing it. She was perfect.

At one point, we had all become so distracted talking to each other that she had to ring her little kitchen bell and call out "Is ANYBODY interested in the lentils?!"

We were. The evening was basically run as a demonstration, though we were all given odd jobs to help the meal come together. Rob sliced figs for the salad, and it's a small miracle that any of them actually ended up on our plates, considering how many I saw him eating. "She said we had too many!" he claimed. I chopped onions for the lentil sauce. That was literally my entire contribution to the meal. It was almost more of a dinner party than an actual class. But we did learn. "Oh!" the teacher would say. "I didn't put this in the recipe, but you really should use a metal bowl for the fané. What? I did put it in the recipe? Oh. Then it's there." or "To make pralines, you should use about 1/2 cup of sugar to 2 tablespoons of doesn't really matter. You can use any amount."

She chatted, she taught, and she very calmly ran a pretty complicated meal, telling us "You have to accept mess."

And it got messy. But when the food was done, it was amazing. We all ate too much, while the teacher continued to bustle around the kitchen finishing up the decadent dessert. When it, too, was done, she sat down with us and everyone told stories as we mutually overdosed on sugar. This class happens every Wednesday, and is suddenly another thing I will miss about New York.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Big Baby

I don't want to be overly dramatic or anything, but getting dressed has now made me break down into tears twice. The first time was the night before Tash and Steve's wedding. I had tried on my dress 5 nights earlier (not even a whole week!) and it fit. Not only did it fit, but it somehow managed to kind of squeeze my belly into an if-not-flattish-than-maybe-only-a-little-hilly state wherein I probably still looked pregnant, but kind of svelte at the same time. I was Kentucky! I should have known it was too good to last.

When I tried it on again as I was packing, I couldn't even zip it up. Not at all. Dismayed, I walked into the living room and asked Rob to try, as though it was some hard to open can of pickles that he could wrestle into submission. He tried to be tactful. "I can't get it to go any further without ruining the dress."

So I started pulling dresses out of my closet one after the other, including a few that I haven't worn in 6 years for good reason. Nothing fit. Even the dresses that were at one point too big for me now strained around handfuls of my chubby back. On the plus side, my cleavage was distracting. Still, nothing was quite right and I suddenly remembered the dress I had bought in LA when I was with Liz. It was $5 at a store called Veronica M, and had apparently been waiting in the back of my closet for its chance to rescue me. You may not see it and immediately think "wedding dress" (I didn't), but once again, my sister is my hero.

It's not that I'm concerned about getting larger. I realize I'm pregnant and that this is what happens, which is what Rob told me as he hugged me and I cried, surrounded by a pile of useless fabric. I just wasn't prepared. My stomach popped out in a matter of days, and I suddenly find myself standing at the closet in the morning, totally panicking about what to put on my expanding body.

The day of the wedding, we went maternity clothes shopping, which was a whole new exercise in frustration. It should have been a 30-minute trip, but every store we headed for had somehow closed--not for the day, but forever. Were there not pregnant women in Denver? Where did they shop? We finally found a Gap maternity store that was so small and sad that I sat down in a chair and cried again. "This looks cute!" Rob said, looking at a row of sweatpants and cotton dresses. "What's the matter?"

But I couldn't speak the words to tell him that this all looked like schlubby maternity loungewear, and if I wasn't going to be able to go outside in my new purchases, then what was the point of buying them? He took my hand and dragged me to the nearest restaurant, where I was distracted by chicken salad and a bunch of people fawning over John Elway as he left the building. Fueled by the food, we tried one more stop (our quick trip having now turned into a 3-hour tour.) At Pea in the Pod, I found out that I am still not big enough for maternity pants and that all the maternity tops just had the effect of making me look even bigger than I am. I bought some clothes I will probably be able to wear in the next month or so. Until then, I am just going to get used to adding an extra 30 minutes every morning to tear apart my closet in hopes that I can find something suitable to be seen in.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shades of Gray

It's cold and rainy in New York, one of those nights where I can very easily get excited about the upcoming move to San Francisco, where it will be hmmm...maybe cold and rainy for a few months, too. But not AS cold. This is important.

I rode the elevator with 2 guys and one of them shook water from his hair and jacket and said, "Man, I'm soaked!"

"No umbrella?" I asked.

"I don't like em," he answered.

I heard myself say, "Well, it's a personal choice."

Seriously? It's a personal choice? Only if you want to personally defy all logic and find yourself shivering in an elevator, but whatever. See how politically correct I am? So ready for San Francisco.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Evening at Home

Rob and I cleaned our apartment tonight because we had a potential renter coming over and we wanted her to think that we are clean people. Actually, I just wanted her not to kill us, because I have this strong reaction to people who respond to my Craigslist postings, which is that I assume they all want to come over and kill me.* So far, this has not happened.

We also moved a bunch of extraneous containers of clothing and dishes (and cat litter) into our neighbor Eric's apartment, and that really made the place look (and smell) extra clean. Almost like no one really lived in it and it was just a show home. I've never seen Rob happier. "I'm so bummed that it doesn't always look like this!" he exclaimed after she left. I don't think he enjoys that whole "lived in" feel.

After we brought all our stuff back in from Eric's, we sat down to have dinner and were interrupted by a knock at the door. No one ever knocks on our door, so we were confused. I got a little freaked out that the renter was coming back and would see that our cats actually do have a litter box. But it was Michael from down the hall. "You have a cat, right?" he asked. We confirmed. He then gestured to the hallway, where Smokey was having a little field trip, inviting himself into other people's homes. When we caught him, he was in 5A clawing up JD, the guy who lives there, in an attempt to escape. We brought him home, his little heart hammering away, and he is now passed out in bed. I hope this isn't an indication of how he's going to handle leaving the state and flying to California in a cat carrier. I mean, it was brave of him to attempt the adventure, but I think he lost his confidence somewhere near the elevators. We're going to have to get him some good drugs for the ride.

*This is not a new development brought on by that guy who actually was killing people he met on Craigslist. This particular affliction has been going on for years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wedding Weekend in Pictures

My feeling is that when true love, pig roasts, and chair surfing are involved, there's really no need for words.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Deepish Friday

Rob and I are off to a wedding in Denver this weekend. Tash, of bachelorette party fame, is marrying Steve, of great calves fame.

I was telling a guy at work about my weekend plans, and he expressed disbelief (I guess we've been to a lot of weddings this year), asking, "Do people have to be married to be friends with you?"

At the time, I just laughed, but later I thought about it more. And the conclusion I came to is thus: Friends, I don't care if you're married. I'm really more interested in what you can do for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happily Ever After

This weekend Rob and I were in Berkeley for the wedding of our dear friends Brooke and Krista. The ceremony was in their backyard and was lovely and very memorable--they were married by the community of 40 friends and family. Krista's mom read a poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, which you can see here. I think one of my favorite things about it was that her mom was really not very into Oriah's name, and told Krista that if she had to say who the poem was written by, she was going to say it was a poem by "Oriah M. Dreamer", presumably to make it sound less, um, insanely hippie-ish. But the poem and her reading were quite perfect. She did not say the author's name at all.

Krista and Brooke looked like tall, elegant princesses. [I'm sorry, but really, what kind of blog post would it be if I didn't insert my height insecurities?] I will post more pics as soon as possible, but for now, I just wanted to post a big congratulations to my beautiful friends. And I wanted you to see the cake, which was a lemon affair with fresh raspberries and blackberries.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Whole Nother State

There are lots of things the jury duty official could have asked. He could have asked "Who here has served on a Grand Jury before?" or "Who here has been convicted of a crime?" or "Who here is having digestion issues and simply can't sit on these wooden benches for one minute longer?" I am guessing there are countless ways he could have shrunk the pool of potential jurors, and none of the aforementioned ones would have helped me out much. I've never been on a jury, or convicted of a crime (unless you count that one party in college when I was 20 years old and got hauled off to jail in a paddy wagon with 35 of my closest friends and acquaintances. But you don't count that.) Plus, I'd eaten bran cereal that morning and was feeling fine.

What the important guy in the suit did ask was this, "Is there anyone here who does not live in Manhattan? Please line up in the center of the room." I thought about this for approximately 3 seconds and then stood up. Rob, you see, has been transferred to work in the San Francisco office of [censored!]. And, because he is bringing me along with him, it would be very hard for me to serve on a 6-month case in New York. In fact, when I told the official my news, he even said "Wow. That's a whole nother state." Yes, it is.

Then I said to him, "Plus, I'm pregnant and would probably be having a baby before the case was over."

"Congratulations," he said, waving me away because I had obviously become an extremely unattractive prospective juror.

So there you have it. I'm pregnant (due in March) and moving to San Francisco in November (we're in the city today looking for places to live. This activity toggles between being exciting/fun and exhausting/a remarkably quick way to get in an argument.) In other good news, my company has been kind enough to allow me to transfer as well, and I will do my job out of whatever spectacular apartment we do eventually find. Which is good, because otherwise I would probably just lie down in the middle of the city, thinking about how much I love it, while my weight balloons out of control.

The other nice thing about having a baby is that it affords Rob the opportunity to fake punch me while we're getting ready for work in the morning, all because "the baby told me to do it." Rob and the baby already have a very special bond.

We'll miss New York a lot, but I am truly ready to move back to my favorite city in the world, made that much better by its proximity to wine country...which I will be enjoying again at some point in 2010.