Friday, November 16, 2012

Baby's Got (Me) Back

If you had begun to read my blog again at the beginning of September, after all sorts of promises by me to write more often, and wondered why I abruptly stopped, there is a reason to my mysterious absence (and it's not laziness). Shortly after my last post I took a pregnancy test. Not because I actually thought I may be pregnant, but quite honestly because I wanted to know if I could drink that fabulous Oregon wine I kept hearing about without guilt on an upcoming trip to Portland at the end of September. You know, just in case. Because I'm responsible like that.

One test turned into twelve over the next five days. Starting with the more expensive 3-pack of Clearblue Easy and quickly switching to the generic brand and all the way to a stack full of dollar store versions, I was on a mission. There was a very, very light second line that kept appearing days before nature was supposed to tell me about this blessed event, and there was no way possible it could mean what I hoped. Text messaged photos to my sister and dear friend Lizzie (both experienced in this department) of these possible signals of new life were like a NY stock exchange ticker. It's kind of gross when you think about it. Yes, there's my urine. It wasn't a surprise since this is what Michael and I had been planning for, but it was denial in the best sense. Just really didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did. I mean, at thirty-five, I'm bordering on the old broad department when it comes to the reproduction world. A blood test and phone call from my doctor confirmed it a few days later that I was very early on, but definitely had a little one on the way.

From the moment I took the test, there has been a domino effect of the need to have confirmation at every step. The blood test was a yes: okay, this is happening. My first ultrasound, which I had to wait a month before having: relief, there's really a baby in there (even though I can't feel anything yet). The exhaustion beyond any kind of tiredness I've ever experienced: the kid is growing. And now, lots of waiting. Next week an appointment with my Perinatologist where I'll have more blood work, genetic tests and another scan. I just want that scan to see how Porkchop is doing. Oh, Porkchop. Yes, you'll be hearing that name frequently now. 

At this stage there's not much to go on for a woman who has little symptoms. The process, besides the sleepiness, has actually been pretty easy. But that's not always relief. For someone who has a little worry wart in her blood, the lack of typical signposts is unnverving. Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful to feel as relatively great as I do, but because most of the women I know have had nausea or worse, it's not comforting to just be guessing that Porkchop is developing. I'm truly sorry for my friends who've had to experience the non-fun bits of pregnancy. Since day one I have been wishing for a nice, healthy yack just to know that this kid is okay. 

As of today, Porkchop is 12 weeks. Almost out of the first trimester. Of course I will be nervous until I get that next scan, it's only natural. But I'm also just trying to focus on being present and feeling good while my body is still a manageable size.

Ah, enough of this for now. Just wanted to share the fun news and put you on alert that there will be more posts again soon and the silence is over. Because, as my sister says I am, "an open book", I had decided, before we had announced to the world, that it would be impossible to write anything of significance without blurting the news. So, now you know. More thoughts about this new adventure coming soon...

And, for the record, every post will not just be about pregnancy, birth and my child. This is obviously a life-changing event, but there's still (and always will be) much going on in every aspect of my life. Porkchop will now just be coming along for the wild ride!

Monday, September 17, 2012

500 Albums in 600 Square Feet

Any night that we don't have plans, which varies dramatically from week to week, Michael and I end up having a deliciously prepared meal (by him, of course) and wasting away the evening listening to one of 500 albums that he has collected over the last two and a half years since we've been together. As you can imagine, music is a pretty big deal in this tiny flat. We don't have space for much in a 600 square foot shoebox, but somehow all of those records make their way from a squeezed-on-the-shelf space to the turntable, daily.

As someone who started playing piano at six, and has been singing since before I can remember, music has always been in my blood. There is a cabaret singer on my mother's side, an opera singer on my father's, as well as numerous relatives with the gift of playing instruments and carrying a tune. Apparently that is not normal standard issue like I assumed it was. In my family that trait happens to be.

Thankfully, I married a man who equally, if not more, has this passion for music. Michael knows a lot about the subject. It's actually kind of ridiculous. He plays electric guitar, writes, creates the most perfect mix tapes (okay, mix playlists), DJs, studies it historically and theoretically and, as corny as it sounds, breaths it. He challenges me to reach deeper and understand what those lyrical poets are trying to say. There are many, many benefits to being married to this man, this is just another.

Music is an artform that crosses cultures, religions and generations. It reminds we crazy humans of the past and gives us hope for the future (and makes us shake our booties!). This stuff, like, connects people. Pretty amazing. It baffles me when someone says that they don't have an interest in it. It's even more baffling when someone says they love music but will not explore outside of one genre or singer. Come on, guys. There is myriad available. Might feel overwhelming but so worth discovering over a lifetime.

This is all I wanted to say. Just a little note about what's happening in our little place tonight, and many nights, when our social calendar releases us to relax. A few more albums have crossed the turntable since I started writing this. A few more are sure to do the same before my head hits the pillow tonight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

So Long, Sunday Nap

My Sunday afternoon nap is not going to happen today. This weekly ritual, that has occurred no less than the last thirty-two years (subtract about three years for the times as kid that I skipped it in fear I'd miss something), is one I cherish deeply. One that will continue with me for the rest of my life. Except for this day. Curses!

I don't know about other religions (side note: would be very interested to hear if you have this kind of thing in your faith community!), but in most forms of the Christian world, this time to pause is one that is a pretty big deal, whether done consciously or not. Thank you, God. I love you for many things, but most definitely for inventing the nap.

While I don't subscribe to a complete rest with no activity on this day, I like the idea of having time to easily force myself to chill out in the middle of the afternoon, with nothing to do but close my eyes and gather drool on my pillowcase...which reminds me, time to change the sheets. Most times this relaxation occurs after a full, early morning of church, lunch post-service with friends, and a doze finally happening sometime in mid-afternoon. It is heavenly rejuvenation.

Oh, but not today. Our landlord is showing our apartment to a host of perspective building buyers. We smile and nod and say "Welcome to our home", as they trod their boots and eyes everywhere from the front closet to our bedroom. "Yes, please see our private boudoir where I should be sleeping right now." Our home is very open and welcoming to all, but this is a little ridiculous. 

And here they come again.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Arvo (That's Aussie for Afternoon) Listening

Cocteau Twins are one of my all-time favorite bands. Robin Guthrie, of their fame, branched out and has several solo albums. This one, Emeralds, has been on repeat since I was introduced to his stuff by my darling audiophile husband.

Because I'm a big stress ball most of the time, this (in addition to a long list of other artists I will eventually share with you) has become mandatory listening. Ethereal, calming,'s the perfect album to rebalance my freak out moments to more, um, ladylike ones. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

From the Very Beginning...Again

Here we go again. Another attempt at keeping a blog. A silly, novel idea for a sometimes giver-upper, but one that must not be let go of. After poking and prodding by some of you over the years, and realizing that several of my Facebook updates border on long-form prose, it seems like I should probably be cleansing my inner writer here instead of making the poor randoms that added me as a friend on FB endure this personal exercise.

You, dear friend, seem to want to be here. So, welcome back.

There have been about two years and a helluva lot of stuff that has happened on this accidental hiatus since the last posting. A ton has happened. I mean, A TON. To keep you reading and build a sense of suspense, I won't tell you everything right now. But, it is intriguing, very

Looking back over the 137 postings (many of which were never published) from the former "Ragamuffin Girl" blog that are now all archived, it seemed like I was kind of depressed, a bit weepy and often forlorn, constantly seeking for a deeper meaning of why. Much of it was cryptic but usually related to some boy trouble. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is to be encouraged, celebrated and continued throughout our lives, but there was something a little embarrassing about a lot of it. It was, at times, well, cheesy and pitiful. Not all of it, mind you. Some of it. A couple of them I might even throw back up at some point, but for now, I just want to start completely fresh. Thank you to everyone who endured that back in the day.

There isn't really a "focus" for this blog quite yet. I know, I know. That's the worst thing for someone like me, a person who has to have structure, to do. It's not a food blog, or a music blog or a fashion blog. It doesn't pontificate about politics or religion or social structures. But it could be all of that and more. We'll see where this thing evolves and then maybe put some boundaries on it. Until then, I'll try to keep it about the everyday. Right now I just want to write. 

Let's try this once more.
Nice to meet you.
Wait, we have?
Ah, that's right.
Reintroductions are sometimes awkward.
It's been a while.
I'm just really happy to see you again.