Thursday, April 23, 2009

31 weeks and assorted sundries

It was exactly two months until my due date yesterday, less than nine weeks. I'm not sure how the time went marching by so quickly. I'm at every two weeks for doctor appointments now, shortly to move to every week.

At my appointment last week, my blood pressure was normal, my measurements were on target and I had gained a pound (bringing me up to only seven pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight). Wulfrith is still head-up. He wanders a bit, slouching down into my pelvis like a hammock and using my hipbone as a pillow, then bracing his feet on my cervix and bladder to provide leverage for jamming his head in my ribs (fun!). But what he shows no interest in is moving his head below the top of my right hip.

I've pretty much decided to just go ahead and schedule the c-section. I can cancel it if he turns, but I'm not feeling a lot of confidence in that happening and it will make me feel better to have things arranged. I don't think trying to turn him with an external version is a good option since 1) all of the evidence is pointing to something structural keeping him in this position, so even if we manage to turn him, I doubt he would stay, and 2) they administer drugs to prevent labor when they do the version, which have the very common side effect of speeding up your heart. Given that I already take medication for tachycardia, that doesn't seem like a great choice.

Two months is an amount of time that seems to be able to stretch or contract magically. It doesn't seem long at all when I look at the list of things I still want to do. But when the reflux burns up my throat, my hips ache and I lose the ability to do simple math, it seems way too long.


Ira Glass is on The Colbert Report right now. It's so weird to hear a radio voice come out of someone's face.


K is being treated for a UTI. Poor little bunny. I say treated because we're not going to have the results of the urine culture until next week (and if you think it's fun to try and pee in a tiny cup, try having to hold the cup for a stubborn three-year-old who doesn't want to give a urine sample. On the plus side, three years of motherhood has gotten me to the point that a little bit of someone else's urine on my hand is nothing to me. As bodily fluids go it's one of the least offensive and at least a hand can be easily washed under a faucet. Ah, how our standards change). But when your child has to pee every three minutes, complains of her lower abdomen hurting and pain when she pees and has developed a fever, it doesn't take the OED to spell out UTI.* After two doses of antibiotic, she was doing well enough this morning for us to send her to preschool without a qualm. She was pretty wiped out by the end of the day and developed a mild fever, but she's pretty clearly on the mend.

*Another symptom of UTIs in small children that I hadn't known about before? Lots of wetting accidents. Going through four pairs of pants on Monday was actually the first thing that had me thinking UTI, but it was actually because I know that peeing all over the place is a symptom in cats, and this somehow made me make a mental leap. So if your previously relatively reliable child suddenly starts wetting themselves, take heed.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Work Saturday featured our most exciting Friends meeting to date, which is really saying something. And surprisingly, it didn't come from my poor co-workers head exploding after the third time that she was simultaneously asked a question by someone and then shushed by someone else trying to listen to the rest of the meeting when she attempted to answer said question. It didn't even come from the treasurer, who is on a power trip of such Caligula-like proportions that she is refusing to write checks because she feels all purchases we make over twenty dollars should be approved at the monthly Friends meetings, leaving us with the prospect having to wait three weeks every time we need office supplies like printer ink or copier paper. She has also tacitly or outright accused three fifths of the staff of thefts ranging up to $15000. The usefulness of a treasurer who refuses to dispense money is an exercise I shall leave to the reader.

No, the excitement came afterwards, with the attempted book theft in broad daylight.

We've had a patron who for quite a while has had a habit of keeping books out for huge periods of time (as in months) and then returning them in bad condition. She came to the Friends meeting today and in the process returned two books that were four months overdue. Which is good and all, if not for the five she still had at home. After the meeting was over (at which she volunteered to head approx. 212 committees. Any guesses on how well she'll do with that given her track record with returning library books?), she came up and wanted to borrow another four books. I should add at this point that we only allow people to have five books out at a time.

Now I'm an absurdly nice person. If I were any softer touch, you would have to just stick me in a cup of hot chocolate because I would be too much of a marshmallow to be a good librarian. I almost never charge fines, I let people go a couple books over the limit and I'll extend borrowing periods without a problem. But this woman managed to find my limit. When I refused to let her check the books out, she tried to bargain me down to two. If she had brought two more back, I might have gone for it since it would have brought her up to five. But no dice.

Bear in mind that the meeting was still breaking up at this point, so there were a ton of people milling around. Which made it all the more astonishing when she put two of the books down, grabbed the other two and ran onto the elevator, which was open since some people were getting on it.

I think this is the point that being the parent of a small child came in handy, because I'm used to running to stop misbehavior. I didn't even think about it - I ran around the desk, dashed onto the elevator and grabbed the books out of her hands and made it back off before the doors closed.

I'm still gaping at bit at what happened. I'm certainly familiar with library theft, but it usually takes the form of people checking stuff out and never bringing it back, or people trying to sneak stuff out. I've encountered the "Oh, I don't know how that got in my pocket" phenomenon in my day. But at least those people have the good grace to at least try to conceal what they're doing. Daylight snatch and grab jobs in the middle of a crowd is something I've never seen before.

On the plus side, I seem to have raised my cred with the rest of the friends with my brand of Wild West heroism. Just call me Wild Bill, I guess.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

House of never-ending plague

We're all sick again, or more accurately, we're still sick since we didn't have the chance to get well first. The actual details are tedious and don't matter, and I don't think anyone really needs a recitation on how annoying it is to have an entire household sick for a month. So here's the shorthand version:

Whine, whine, complain, kvetch, WE'RE All SICK AND I'M SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT, grumble, grutch, kvetch.

There. Subject adequately covered.

On the bright side, our European visitor has arrived and it's been a pleasure to have her here, even if no one had the energy to do nearly as many things as we had talked about this weekend. Fortunately, being European, mass transit doesn't scare her, so we were able to send her off on the subway today to experience the pleasures of Center City.

Other news, in brief:

*K is a huge fan of dyeing Easter eggs, and an even bigger fan of eating hard-boiled eggs. Coincidentally, we only have one Easter egg left.

*The taxes are filed, and I now get to sit with lots of money in my bank account until the IRS gets around to taking it out. It still beats going to the post office two days before taxes are due though. I actually had our taxes done two months ago, but I didn't see any point in filing before I absolutely had to, when I could keep our money earning (miniscule) interest for us instead. Hey, that twelve cents could be vital to our future solvency.

*We watched the Doctor Who easter special on Saturday night. It was a pretty good episode, but not what I would call... special. If we're only getting four episodes this year, I kind of expect them to pull out a few more stops. I need my Doctor Who fix more regularly, dammit.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dubious milestones, part 24 of an infinite series

When I was pregnant with K, starting at about 32 weeks she started amusing herself by alternating between slouching down in my pelvis in transverse position and stretching herself up into breech, jamming her hard little head into my ribs in the process.

At a mere 29 weeks, Wulfrith has discovered the same trick of jamming his head into my ribs. I guess this is one of the milestones you get to experience when you have babies that don't care to go head down. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that I may never know what it feels like to get kicked in the ribs.

It's very cute of you to try and imitate your sister, sweetheart, but there's no need to be precocious.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


When B started getting a cold in the middle of the week, I was a bit surprised because K and I came down with our cold a week before and I had thought that since B had gone so long without getting it that he safe.

As it turns out, B was getting an entirely different cold, which he has now passed on to K and me before we could completely get over the last one. Sigh. Thankfully, I didn't have to work yesterday or today, so I was able to get a couple good naps. Better yet, I don't have to work next weekend at all, so hopefully I can rest up a bit and help out my depressed immune system. Hopefully we can all get better - I'm a little tired of our house sounding like a tb sanatorium.

On the positive side, I'm incredibly excited that a friend from the Netherlands is coming to visit this week! We met in England during foreign study my junior year, and I haven't seen her in ten years.

Besides getting to see an old friend I haven't seen in forever, her visit also has the positive effect of making us finish the major rearranging of our house that we started last weekend. Our house has an L-shaped living room and dining room, and a large finished room downstairs. We decided to put the bulk of our books in the living room/dining room area and put the couches and tv downstairs along with all of K's toys. It worked perfectly well until we decided to have another baby who is going to need the third bedroom which is currently the guest room, leaving us with the question of what to do with guests. As much as I'm sure guests would love to sleep in the same room as the baby and take over nighttime baby duty for me, we decided the only real option was to move the futon downstairs. But that left us with the question of what to do when there's a guest downstairs asleep and we're still awake and would like to watch tv. There's also the fact that in the increasingly likely event of my having a c-section, I'll need to avoid the stairs as much as possible for a while.

So last weekend we moved half of the books downstairs, the couch and tv upstairs and turned our living room into an actual living room. So far the new arrangement is very pleasant. Even though I'm fine climbing stairs right now, I'm tired and sore enough these days that it's awfully nice not to have to climb stairs every time I want something to eat or need to get K something.

The second major change was figuring out how to handle the very likely possibility of two children in our bed on a regular basis. We're planning on having Wulfrith in our room at first, and if he's anything like his sister, he'll probably wind up staying in our bed after feedings because it's much easier just to go back to sleep with the baby in bed than trying to gingerly transfer a sleeping baby back to the bassinet and hope against hope that they will stay asleep. But K also comes into bed with us on a regular basis, and B and I usually wind up hugging the edges of the bed as a result. There just isn't room for another child.

So I measured and discovered that K's toddler bed is exactly the same height as our bed, making it ideal to attach to our bed as a co-sleeper. We scored an Ikea Kura bed at nicely lowered price for K from Craigslist this week, so her old bed can go into our room when the baby comes and eventually be Wulfrith's first Big Boy bed.

However, in the way of these things, as of yesterday the state of our house was as follows: living room mostly set up except for several piles of books waiting to go downstairs; new bed for K residing on the futon in the guest room; basement an unspeakable mess. If nothing else, I assume Judith hasn't taken of any forms of asceticism and would like to be able to sleep on the futon itself without piles of wooden slats in the way, so we at least had to get the new bed set up. As of this evening, the bed is set up and K is thrilled*, most of the books are cleared out of the living room and we've managed to move most of our dvds upstairs onto shelves and we've made progress on the basement. It's still unspeakable, but at least all of the furniture is where we want it to be so all it will take is someone taking the time to go downstairs and shelve books. As long as keep her from looking at the basement, our house is mostly ready for a guest and part of the way ready for a baby. Not a bad weekend's work.

*Can I take a moment to say how much I love that K has reached the age of semi-reason? I mean, she's still three, so she certainly has her moments. But for the most part these days, she can be told "We can't do x because of y" and will mostly accept that. Because of that, we can also make bargains. While B put the bed together this afternoon, I took K to get some new bedding for it. I had scoped out a very cute generic fairy princess bed-in-a-bag set on sale that I probably should have just bought without bringing K into it. Because she took one look and rejected it in favor of a much more expensive Disney princess comforter. The princess didn't bother me, but I try to avoid giving to much money to The Mouse, and I wasn't too happy at the amount I was going to have to spend. But luckily, we found a Disney Princess lamp on clearance that K wanted as well. So I told her that we could only afford to get the lamp if we got the fairy bedding and she actually went for it. A year ago, that would never have flown.