Ten More Days

90% of why I began my maternity leave early had to do with a brutal commute from the Lower Upper East Side to the Upper Upper West Side and back every day.  It was long, arduous, involved multiple forms of transportation, and the only people who offered up their seats to a big pregnant lady were most often fellow women: usually older, often heavyset, and never any perfectly able-bodied men.  Most of them pretend not to see you by engrossing themselves in their smart phones, no matter how pathetic you make yourself look.  Side note: my big pregnant self got on the elevator at Fairway last week with an elderly woman, a young woman with both a stroller and a grocery cart, and a young man carrying nothing but a zucchini.  I don't pretend to know the physical details of why he chose the elevator over the stairs to haul his load, but that's not going to stop me from judging him.

I have enjoyed having the opportunity to try to get our apartment organized before the baby arrives - yes, our one-bedroom apartment that will soon house three humans and a small petting zoo.  These are my life choices and I'm sticking by them, thank you very much.  We were able to wall off a portion of the living room to create a good size nursery, and once Sandy H. gets here to meticulously and psychotically hang up some pictures perfectly evenly, I will post some photos of her handiwork.  So far it is the only room in our home that is even remotely coordinated, thanks to having to buy everything all at once (or as Derrick says, take a bunch of money and light it on fire) rather than collecting hand-me-downs and Ikea pieces over time.  Why is it that the Ikea pieces you buy to tide you over until you can afford something you actually like seem like they could withstand a nuclear holocaust?  Maybe I'm just TOO good at taking care of things.

When I'm not sorting baby items whose purpose I don't understand - yes, this makes it hard to sort - or failing to keep Violet out of Frank's litter box buffet, I've been able to make it to pregnant lady pilates a fair amount and hope to go a couple of times this week.  Last time, the instructor had to physically hold me up half the time, but at least I was there!


The Crumbs

Confession: I am so enormously pregnant that all food must be consumed in a reclining position.  Unless I go all-out Mama June and put on a bib, food goes right down my shirt.  Once a day, I have a ritual where I open the bottom of my shirt and shake out the excess crumbs, but I'm too big to lean over and clean it up, so I call Violet over to lick the floor.  I am disgusting.

No, your eyes do not deceive you, and no, Cats in Baths has not been hacked.  At least I don't think.  This shit is real.

What in the hell have I been doing?

Derrick graduated.  We moved to Spruce Pine, NC for 2 months where I pickled things, grilled things, and picked up that little French bulldog I always wanted.  Her name is Violet; she leaks and is a little stinky, but we love her anyway.  We moved to New York.  I got knocked up.  (It's Derrick's).  And here we are.

Violet is not this little anymore, but neither am I.
Also: Not to brag or anything, but I kept that fern alive all summer.
She loves it when I do this; don't let her fool you.

Hopefully the next time I update CiB, little Princess RuPaula Beyonce (or as she's currently known at her future pediatrician's: TBD Preston) won't already be in pre-algebra. 

I had wanted to blog last summer while living in Spruce Pine but it would have involved spending more time at the local library, which was our only internet source, and I really just didn't want to spend that much more time with the obese solitaire-playing population of rural North Carolina than was absolutely necessary.

A basic summary of my magical summer in the NC mountains.
My first split-second thought when I saw this bear lumbering through the yard was,
"Gosh, Franco needs to lose some weight."  I'm not even kidding.

I had wanted to blog when we moved to New York, but I started interviewing for jobs within two weeks of moving here, and was frequently asked, "So what have you been doing to keep yourself busy if you aren't working right now?" Ummm, two weeks?  Two weeks I've been here.  Soooooo yesterday I finally started throwing out cardboard and bubble wrap, and now I'm sitting here in an interview with you.  And we all know how well I do in interviews anyway.  But really it was the guilt brought on by that question that kept me away.

I had wanted to blog when I got pregnant, but, getting myself to the Tasti-D's on my block took so much out of me, I just didn't have the energy left to write anything.

Me, knocked up, on an invigorating walk to Tasti-D's,
detouring through Central Park, months before I became the slob I am today.

But now!  I am spending the next month trying to get myself together before this little gumdrop arrives.  Unpreparedness does not begin to describe my current situation.  I remain the youngest person in the Hartwell family, and truth be told, babies scare terrify me.  I hold a baby and think, "PLEASE DO NOT DIE, BABY!!!!!" They feel my tension and start to cry, which makes me realize I am too tense, and then I get tenser from the crying and the realization that I'm too tense and I'm just a big hot baby-holding mess.  

Derrick and I have a "Caring for a Newborn" class this week, and if it's anything like our baby CPR class or our childbirth class, around the mid-point break one or both of us will mentally break down, begin to pluck out the hairs on our heads, one by one, and there may be some thumb-sucking involved.

Oh, and one more update: Franco is doing well and frequently employs a salad bowl as a bed.  Not exactly a bath tub, but it'll do.