The Pregnant Waddle

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Just Around the Corner (It's Trying to Run and Hide)

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I just googled my maiden name. Who knew the Internet had so much on me? Lots of entries on me--my master's thesis listing in my grad school's library, a conference I haven't presented at yet, grad school presentation sign-ups, a brief stint as a poetry editor, last year's teaching schedule (which was briefly, and erroneously, assigned under my maiden name), my engagement, for crying out loud!--not on random people with the same first or last name. What a strange feeling. I also found out that a poem I sold last year is being used--with permission of the publishing journal, thankfully--on the cover of a church's online newsletter.

Surreal, even. I went through a couple of pages before I started getting to fan site listings for Jordana Brewster.

Three-day weekend Tuesday: the OTHER Monday

Happy post-Memorial Day!

What a wonderful three-day weekend. We left for D.C. on Friday, so that we could hit the museums bright and early on Saturday. Smithsonian thoughts:

* The Hope Diamond is way more beautiful in person than in pictures. A gorgeous smoky nighttime ocean blue.
* Snakes have a LOT of ribs.
* The history of polio is rather fascinating. (We went to the museums of Natural History and American History, just in case you were wondering.)
* More museums should be free.
* If I can help it, I don't think I will ever go on a walking tour of Smithsonian museums at seven and a half months pregnant again. WADDLE.

We had lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant. Delicious. I even left some food for my companions.

A Midsummer Night's Dream was fabulous as well. Very well-played. My favorite part of that play is, increasingly, the Pyramus and Thisbe play-within-the-play at the end, and I always look forward to finding the standout Rude Mechanical, the Rude Mechanical that makes me want to pick him up and give him hugs. I think Wall had it this time. He was played as a rather dry Iowa farmer-type, and he took his chink-miming very seriously and broke into the biggest grin as he finished his part.

We came home Sunday afternoon, which meant that we had yesterday to sleep in, go for a walk at a local nature preserve, give our houselet a spit polish, mow the lawn, and snuggle. We also did a final baby-shop at Wal-mart, and now I would say we're pretty much good to go on this whole baby thing. Except for a breast pump. And this. I mean, we don't really need it ... we have a Baby Bjorn and arms, after all ... but lured me in with promises of a "beautifully made, stylish sling carrier," and now I am in love. I think it's the black and white toile.

Now for the perineal update you've all been waiting for: We're up to 5 centimeters! My goal is 10 ... if my cervix has to stretch to such horrifyingly huge dimensions, other things should as well. Plus, it gives me a chance to practice pain management techniques. And it gives the Husbandlet practice at getting me to relax and detach my fingernails from his flesh. How well-prepared for birth we shall be!

Friday, May 27, 2005

More evidence that Fridays totally rock

* We're heading up to D.C. for the weekend to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Shakespeare Free for All. And we get to do other playing-in-D.C. things! Like go to museums! (We are museum geeks.)

* Just 12 more days of school--8 if you don't count exams. And why count exams?

* My dadlet got a job offer!!

In other news:

This week, my husband has logged more underwater time than the average clam.

And because I can't shut up:

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a special play for us because we saw it on our honeymoon, at an outdoor amphitheater on the shore of Lake Tahoe. The stage was at the bottom of a sand dune; the audience sat on the dune; and the Waddles sat on a blanket on the dune and ate chocolate chip cookies. The play started at sunset and ended with the moon high overhead ... just the perfect setting for that play. Happy memories.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Flies on the wall overheard this in our house last night

(Context: The Massage)

Husbandlet: OK, relax.
Me: OK.
Husbandlet: You’re still tense, honey.
Me (channeling sleeping cats): Is that better?
Husbandlet: Yeah, except for this one muscle right here.
Me (concentrating on NOT concentrating): I’m relaxing it.
Husbandlet: No, it’s still really tense.
Me: Are you sure that’s a muscle?
Husbandlet: Yes! And it’s as hard as a rock!
Me: That’s not a muscle, that’s my pelvic bone!

Are we more amused by how long it took my husband to figure this out, or how long it took ME to figure it out? What can I say, I was busy relaxing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


(An obscure reference to Camelot and Arthur's description of how Merlin lives his life backwards.)

Well, as of yesterday, it's official: I'm moving down in the world. Instead of teaching 12th grade next year, I'll be teaching 9th grade English. Actually, the plan was not only made official yesterday, but conceived, germinated, and hatched yesterday (a series of words which will no doubt make my sciencey husband and friends cringe). Seems our rising senior class is "not too smart" (and I quote), as evidenced by the fact that we don't need all that many senior English classes next year, and the English 12 Dual Enrollment classes that I teach had the lowest registration of all. My department offered me 11th grade, about which I am unenthusiastic both because I don't care for American Romantic literature, and because the pressure is on for 11th grade English teachers because that is the grade that gets the statewide standardized test. So I volunteered to move into the 9th grade academy instead--my school segregates 9th graders from the rest of the school and forms them into teams, each team having its own set of teachers. I have taught in the academy before and enjoyed working with a team of teachers; and, to my mind, the Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet are far to be preferred to Emerson and Thoreau.

The only major downside to this--and I've been a bit too downside-oriented over the last week or so--is that I will have to create all new lesson plans over the summer. Hopefully, Squidgle will be agreeable.

I will also be taking a bit of time off in the fall--just how much has yet to be determined; see comment in previous post about twisty/turny leave option hunt--and I'm slightly terrified of picking up 6 classes that have been started off by another teacher. I did that once before with just one class, and that was the class from the very coldest level of Dante's Inferno. A rather excruciating experience. They had bonded with their previous teacher, and were horrid for me for the remaining three quarters of the year. I shall have to be especially Forceful, Assertive, and Firm when I take over from the sub in the fall. Meep.

Anyway, I've actually been more emotionally stable throughout my pregnancy than in my Before Pregnancy state ... until the last week or so. All of a sudden, all possible stresses and strains--tricky student issues, the Leave Option Hunt, parents attempting to find jobs so they can move, a new course load, guilt at not being able to stay home with Squidgle, fear that my weirdies are affecting Squidgle's emotional development in the womb and MY BABY WILL HAVE TO GO TO THERAPY because I couldn't hold it together for a lousy two more months--have descended with a mighty FWUMP on my shoulders, and my poor husbandlet has had to comfort a depressed, seven + months pregnant wife almost every evening.

Is that overreactive enough? I know it will all come right soon. God is, after all, in control. It's just the waiting-room feeling I don't like so much.

On the third movie--or the sixth movie--oh heck, "Episode 3"

Via That Other Jordana:

"You need to look at the video to figure out who did this? Oy. Stupid you are."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Random geeky trivia follow-up post

Can anybody identify from whence "Sweets to the sweet" cometh? :)

Sweets to the sweet

As thanks for a Job Well Done during testing last week, the guidance department sent treats to every teachers' center in my school. I just ate ... well, let's just say there are a LOT fewer cinnamon Danish twists in there than there were. But before you start worrying too much about my eating habits, let me point out that

1) I also ate three quesadillas and a large bunch of grapes.
2) The cinnamon Danish twists were fairly small (and delicious and crispy).
3) I did leave a few for everyone else. My mommy trained me well.

When I was little, my parents enforced a strict Three Cookie Rule for fellowship hour after church. The maximum three cookies I carefully chose every Sunday were among the most savored desserts in my personal history (my husband's mint-chocolate pudding pie being also in that number). I've never had that much of a sweet tooth; during Squidgle's first trimester, in fact, sweets were on my No-thank-you-that-would-make-me-violently-ill list. Something kicked in at the beginning of our third trimester, though. Now no brownie, cookie, cake, pie, ice cream, or cinnamon Danish twist is safe ... I constantly feel like I need that energy kick. Is this normal?

In other news, my dearest husband (as opposed to all my other husbands, that I don't like quite so much) has plunged--literally--into field season. He has started coming to collect me every day bespattered with mud and smelling faintly of sunscreen and salt water. He also has the beginnings of a Marine Biologist's Tan, which differs from a farmer's tan in that it focuses on hands (not covered by wet suit) and back of neck (if sunscreen washes off). By midsummer, he will also give new meaning to the verb "to moon," as everything not covered by a bathing suit becomes quite dark, making everying COVERED by a bathing suit quite white in comparison. I am married to a skunk.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Well, it's All Over, and I'm exhausted. The testing itself wasn't all that bad, at least what small part I took in it. Mostly, I had duties, and sitting by a bathroom or in a big, empty commons area isn't too terrible. But there were other complications this week, the more stressful of which I can't really discuss due to its confidential nature (it was a student disciplinary issue with lots of twists and turns). And I'm also trying to figure out my leave options for next year. Plenty of twists and turns with that, as well, and a clear answer is hard to find. Thus, at times, distress and angst prevail.

However, today has many joys about it. The other teachers on my hall threw a baby shower/potluck luncheon for me and the other two pregnant mommies and one pregnant daddy I work with. Squidgle now has several more neutral-colored outfits and bibs. I have a major sugar high and an earful of baby stories. Here's my favorite from the day:

When one of my work friends was pregnant, multiple ultrasound techies told her that her daughter was a boy. So when the baby was delivered, my friend's husband took one look at it and, in all seriousness, said, "There's something wrong with him! His tallywhacker's missing!" The doctor said, "It's a girl, you idiot!"

Tallywhacker ... heh ...

And today's grand finale: Star Wars!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Testing, testing

My school is in the midst of Standardized Testing Week. The powers that be are trying out a new organizational system for said testing, which actually seems to be going pretty well. Regular classes have been cancelled; students are encouraged to show up only for their testing times; administration, faculty, and staff are dispersed around the school to oversee tests and monitor bathrooms and commons areas. So far, I have proctored one test and two bathrooms. I have one more test this afternoon, then two full days of planning periods (hallelujah!), then a test and two commons-watchings on Friday.

So, much is the grading ... with all this time on my hands, sitting outside bathrooms, I have no excuse not to get things done. It's not like I can check email or blogs.

Squidgle and I had our 31.5-week appointment yesterday ... the husbandlet of dearness had to run some school-paperwork related errands, so he dropped us off and picked us up afterwards. I met with my second-favorite doctor of the practice, a rather jovial grey-haired Southern gentleman, who was full of good news. That diabetes test? Aced it. Squidgle's development? Right on target! S/he is about 4 pounds right now, and the doctor is predicting a 7-7.5 pound delivery weight. I asked if I should be composing a birth plan, and he laughed and said to go right ahead if it made me happy, but that the minute a birth plan is made, things start to go haywire. (Any thoughts on this from the moms out there?) Anyway, my main concern is avoiding an episiotomy, and the doctor said that all the doctors of that practice try to do so, so I'm content.

In the evening, my husband and I had a nice Applebee's date and then went to the public library to hear a local young-adult-book author speak about getting published. Interesting, yet strangely disappointing ... not only were the excerpts she read from her books dreadfully adjectival and, frankly, high-school quality writing, but she was self-published. Not much help there. She did confirm, though, what we've been learning about the necessity of an agent in getting a book published through a "real" publishing house.

We came away rather critical of her style and the legitimacy of her publications, but at the same time convicted by the fact that it's easy to criticize, but do you see us sitting down every night to work on our creative writing projects? Ahem. After all, we don't want to fall under the heading of "those who can't, teach."

Speaking of which ... back to grading ...

Monday, May 16, 2005

This is SO not okay

There is a mouse. In the ceiling. Of my classroom.

At least, I'm assuming it's a mouse. My school has been known to harbor mice. But by the sound of it, it could be a small, fast-moving antelope. Do ceilings always amplify the sound of TINY UNWELCOME CREATURES SCRABBLING ABOUT ON THEM?! Or ... would anybody know, because mice do not generally run about in ceilings?

Seriously. Mice don't usually bother me all that much ... I even had a pet mouse in my youth, and the cute little mice that sometimes frolic fearlessly in the staff room of my school charm me, though I do understand that staff rooms are not for mice, and especially staff room vending machines are not for mice (ever bought a nice bag of chips only to find one corner chewed off?). But I do not, let me emphasize NOT, enjoy the sound of mousie feet skittering above my head. Yeek.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Heh heh heh

The issue is by no means clear-cut.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

But will he holler "Freedom!"?

Sorry for the lack of Meaningful Posts over the last couple of days, but I fear that things have not been terribly exciting and/or post-worthy. Did some grading, lots more to be done, waddled a bit, Squidgle got the hiccups three times yesterday and the Husbandlet got the hiccups once (we know after whom the small one takes, n'cest pas?), tried out reading on two different items of happy new living room furniture yesterday (must make it all feel welcomed), had hour+ debate with Husbandlet as to whether he should grow out his hair to shoulder-length and beyond. Yada yada yada.

On the hair thing: Husbandlet has never had long hair and wants to see what it would look like on him. I wouldn't mind if he could suddenly get the Braveheart look tomorrow, but it's the growing-out stages that I dread. Initially, he wanted to shave his head (meep!) when the baby is born and grow out hair along with said infant. I have talked him down (up?) to cutting it to the average length of the baby's hair at birth ... I am convinced that my genes will triumph and Squidgle will be born with lots of hair ... and then growing it from there. My husband's moments of advanced whimsy are infrequent and hard to read. Is he having a minor pre-fatherhood crisis that is not manifesting itself through red sports cars or tattoos? Is it a long-standing desire of his to have long hair? Is he just teasing me? All of the above? (Yes.) Fortunately,

1) He is a graduate student, so now is a good time for coiffure experimentation, before he has to sleek down for job interviews.
2) He is more ticklish than I, so I always have a potent weapon to bend his hairstyle to my will.
3) He is cute when he's being weird, and I love him.

The darker side of the high school

I just passed the clinic and saw a sign on its door:

"All medicine MUST be picked up by June 15 or they will be destroyed."

WHO? The clinic has started holding hostages?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Don't drink the water

Happy Monday!

Our big news from the weekend is that our dear friends Chris and Sarah are procreating! I am so excited. Lots of people from my work are having babies (most due in July), but this is our first instance of Close (both relationally and geographically) Friend Reproduction, and we couldn't be more thrilled. Now I will have someone to nurse babies with and (hopefully) work off baby-related fat with (or at least commiserate with in the reducing of said fat). My husband will have someone to compare Poop Stories with (and run up mountains with, baby on arm). And our Squidgle will have a little friend whose parents we like to hang out with.

See? I am so selfish. Of course, we are happy from their perspective too ... Happy babies! However, Chris and Sarah are probably going to put a restraining order on my prayers for them one of these days ... I keep getting my wishes and THEY keep having to put up with the consequences. Note:
* They're moving to our town. Me: Yay! Them: They don't get to live near her folks, as they had hoped.
* They're pregnant. Me: Yay! Them: Guess who has to deal with the Bone-Melting Nausea? Poor Sarah.

Well, I'll try and make it up to them with lots of unasked-for advice and the passing on of tiny baby clothes and huge mama clothes as necessary. Their small person is due on Christmas Eve, about five months after the Squid, which places them neatly in line for hand-me-downs.

Please join us in rejoicing about this new little life, and praying for a smooth pregnancy, easy delivery, and healthy baby for Chris and Sarah. And that the Bone-Melting Nausea will go away soon.

In other news: Our new living room is having an amazing effect on us. All of a sudden, I can't stand to have two dirty dishes in the sink. We mowed the lawn only two weeks after the last mow! Clothes on the bedroom floor? Not so much! We--and the rest of Chez Waddle*--must live up to our shiny new living room.

One more, completely unrelated thing: studies prove that whenever Ashlee holds a high note, the Earth's crust cracks, gas prices soar, and a kitten explodes. I just really like that sentence.

* I have a feeling that I'm borrowing from Belgian Waffle with this house name, though I'm not positive ... Has "Chez Waffle" lodged unconsciously in my brain? Probably. In any case, I'm an English teacher, so I feel compelled to cite my sources, real or imagined.

Friday, May 06, 2005

There were three in the bed

(though OUR little one mostly says wigglewigglewigglewigglewiggle).

* NOTE: The following post may contain Too Much Information. Consider yourself forewarned. *

Last night, we started perineal massage. Interesting experience, that. We're only at 30 weeks, but I wanted to start early because I am Paranoid, especially when certain sensitive bits of me are threatened by scalpels. (The main reason I don't want an epidural is so I'll be able to give the doctor a good front snap kick if he tries to give me an episiotomy.) Anyway, all throughout the proceedings, Squidgle went absolutely nuts. WIGGLEWIGGLEWIGGLEWIGGLEWIGGLE. So many wiggles. Did s/he think we were encouraging an exit before s/he is absolutely ready? Was s/he trying to help? Were the wiggles completely unrelated? Who knows?

Though it might have had something to do with the fact that we were poking his/her head.

We figured out that we could feel the baby's head internally through the bottom of my uterus. The Husbandlet felt it first; but as soon as he mentioned it, he got himself out of the way fast, because it is dangerous to stand between a mommy and her baby ever, under any circumstances, even if the baby is, technically, still inside the mommy. It took me a few seconds to locate Squidgle's head . . . and then, all of a sudden, there it was: a heavy, solid mass that was not me. I prodded it. (This is the woman who has been known to poke her sleeping internal baby to generate wiggles.) (And I have to point out that Squidgle has been ignoring me and sleeping straight through the pokes since about the fifth month.) I prodded it again. It moved away from me.

It's alive!

To my mind, this demonstrates, once again, that Squidgle shows remarkably good judgment, especially for a fetus. And is probably a Sensate. I, as an Intuitive type, would probably have to be prodded way more than twice before I figured out that I could move my head away.

Postscript: I am a uniformly logical, sensible person. Which would explain why I lay awake for a little while last night worrying that the head prods might have prompted the baby to turn head-up again.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Squidgle has the hiccups. :)

A cornucopia for the convex, indeed

Lately, I've been outgrowing maternity clothes at a rather rapid rate. Most of my maternity clothes are loaners, with a few items generously donated for keeps, and an even fewer that I actually bought. The problem is that I have a Professional-Dress-requiring job, and I have been outgrowing all my professional clothes. (T-shirts I have aplenty.) I'm trying to save our pennies for a post-baby wardrobe (has anybody NOTICED the price of nursing bras, alone?!), so I basically decided to just brazen it out until mid-June, wearing the same three or four outfits over and over until school ends and I can lounge about in a large floral muumuu all the time.

So, last Sunday, a wonderful mommy of 5 from our church handed off a huge box of maternity clothes. For me! To keep! And, what's more, she's one of those refreshing ladies who unabashedly gains 60-80 pounds per pregnancy (and then, even more encouragingly, loses it all afterwards), so her clothes contained a lot of mediums (which is my size right now), larges (which don't fit me yet), and extra-larges (which I will hopefully never need. But you never can tell).

Yesterday I opened the Box of Joy, and what a box, indeed! Work-worthy sundresses, skirts, pants, a few pairs of (non-work) shorts. This is so exciting, because Squidgle is a summer baby, and now I won't be forced to wear that large floral muumuu to work when the weather gets really hot.*

Here's the thing that really intrigued me: In a few moments of non-penny-pinching weakness, I've been admiring a pale green shirt-and-capri set on a maternity store website. Pretty color, summery, professional, the whole deal. Amongst the clothes I opened yesterday was a pale green shirt-and-pants set (not the same one, but similar. And looser. Which is good). The phrase "My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory" kept running through my head as I unpacked beautiful, useful garment after beautiful, useful garment. That green outfit was the whipped cream on the chocolate milkshake. It was a wonderful reminder to me that God seems to have this thing about going above and beyond in his gifts . . . not just what we need, but what will delight us.

I've been worrying lately about various transitions, not so much in our life but in my parents', as they hope to find a new job for my dad in our neck of the woods and move out (cross-country) to help with Squidgle. This has been an incredibly unsettling, frustrating, draining process . . . they've been job-hunting for months with no result, and since we'd not only like to have them near but need my mom's baby-watchin' skillz, I've been getting tense for many different reasons. Somehow that green outfit brought me a lot of peace.

* Of course, in order to wear the large floral muumuu I have to go BUY the large floral muumuu. But I'm sure Wal-Mart will come through for me.

It should have been a post

OK, check out the comments section of the last post. Jenny asked about baby-gender-predicting old wives' tales, and of course, being the woman of few words that I am, I couldn't get my short reply down to less than a couple of paragraphs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The news and the other news

Well, we had our last ultrasound yesterday, and here's the big announcement you've all been waiting for. Squidgle is

not a reptile. Yes, folks, our baby has four whole chambers in his/her heart! Beating madly away! Good baby.

We found out another exciting bit of information, too. Squidgle is

still head down. GOOD baby!

The ultrasound techie wasn't in again (is this a trend? Ultrasound technicians getting to take days off? What's up with that?), so one of the doctors ran the ultrasound. He was just checking Squidgle's heart, because last time, s/he was all folded up and they could hardly see the heart at all. He didn't go anywhere near below-the-waist. :) I'm rather relieved, because now I can put aside all temptation, knowing that we have no more chances of finding out the Squid's gender until birth.

The doctor did remark on how active our baby is (Squidgle twitched a few times during the ultrasound). The Husbandlet and I just laughed at this . . . after all, we're the ones who've been getting kicked for the last few months. That doctor ain't felt NOTHING.

We didn't get any new ultrasound photographs--sorry! But there is still a baby in there. A cute baby, too.

One more thing: I have developed another sense, a sort of primal Knowing when there's free food in the teachers' center. Yesterday, I skipped going through there because I didn't have anything to drop off in the refrigerator, but when I got to my classroom, my inner Food Intuitor told me, "There is food. Go eat it." And there was--homemade banana bread with butter. Mmmm. This morning, there was that inner urge again, which led me straight to a doughnut. A pregnant woman am I: men respect me, food fears me.

Monday, May 02, 2005

True fame

"The Pregnant Waddle" is on my brother-in-law's Favorites list.

Our new living room

is absolutely beautiful. I'll post pictures of the whole process on flickr just as soon as we get them developed. The brother- and sister-in-law went far, far above and beyond the call of duty in moving furniture, painting (and painting and painting), and laying floor, and then moving some MORE furniture because the first time apparently just wasn't enough for them. We are looking forward to being able to do a similar service for them someday.

Did I mention that our new living room is absolutely beautiful? Oh my. The Husbandlet and I keep walking by it, stopping, and saying, "Is that the same room?" This morning, I went dashing out to check on it, and came back and told him, "It's still there!"

Because a picture is worth a Whole Bunch of words, I won't attempt to describe the changes in detail and will leave them, instead, to your 1) horrified, 2) wonder-struck eyes. Suffice to say that the room went from a 1960s orange-and-avocado theme with a cement slab floor partially covered by an ancient green area rug (more like a really big carpet square), to blue and white with wood floors. We have comfy furniture, kindly given by our pastor and his wife (they updated our furniture by an estimated 30 years), and I have a baby-rocking nook next to the bookshelf (in easy reach of the Foxtrot and Zits comic books) with a nice lamp.

So we are thrilled.

More thrilling news: we have yet another baby doctor appointment today. Perhaps there will be ultrasounds. You never know.

We have a new, improved living room! Come visit us.