November 29, 2006

Blogger Version Woes

This new version of Blogger is making me crabby. Blogger kept nagging me every time I logged in to switch to their new improved thing, and so I finally did, and now I keep running into trouble. People can't comment on my blog anymore as their logged-in selves if they still have the old version for their own blogs; they have to select "other" and type in their information that way if they don't want to be anonymous. I can't comment on old-version blogs as my logged-in self, either, but have to do the same work-around process. This is annoying, and should have been fixed before they went to the new version. I don't know if I wish I'd never switched, or if I wish everyone else would switch. Either version is fine with me (I've noticed no improvements in the new version) as long as we're all doing the same one. The commenting problem is silly.

As I understand it, this is part of the merge with Google. I happened to already have a Gmail account, but I wonder what happens if you don't? Since you have to log in to the new Blogger with your Gmail information, do they let you sign up for a Gmail account if you don't already have one? Usually Gmail accounts are invitation only. Well, if any of you need a Gmail invitation, I have some spares. Let me know if you need one.

November 28, 2006

Cheap Thrills

I was changing a twin's diaper and treating a diaper rash and readying that rashy baby for bed, and as usual my mind was drifting to more interesting matters such as myself.

At first I was thinking that I am a demanding person who requires excessive stimulation to stay interested in life, but then I started thinking that actually I'm not. The original train of thought was because I realized I was all excited that Edward had a new pair of pants to wear for the first time tomorrow, and it occurred to me that I like for one twin or the other to have some new piece of clothing about once a week, and that that's a lot. It isn't that I gratify that desire, it's just that that's what I'd like best. Actually, if we're using the term "like best," what I'd probably like BEST is to have an entire new outfit for each twin every few days. But for pure maintenance of fun levels, one single item per week is plenty: it's fun to do the laundry with that new item to process, and it's fun to dress the baby using that item in different combinations with existing items.

Then I thought that I'm the same way with other things: I like to have a new hair product of some sort every couple of weeks, for example. A new conditioner, a new leave-in thing, something like that. If I have a new conditioner in the shower, I feel kind of happy and excited to face something I usually consider a time-stealing chore. New conditioner makes shower more fun; new baby pants makes baby care more fun. New things give me something to look forward to. Therefore, I'm someone who needs a lot of stimulation and change and variety in order to look forward to life.

But then I reconsidered. A pair of $5.58 pants (30% off at Target) makes me excited to do laundry, and then improves my moral when I'm dressing twins at 6:15 a.m.--and continues to do so the next five times the pants go through the laundry and back in the drawer? A $.68 bottle of Suave (after $1 coupon routinely given out by Target) "blonde highlight enhancing" conditioner makes me feel cheery in the shower for two weeks? That's not a lot of excitement to ask for out of life. Some people have to pay $200 for lift tickets and ski rental. Or have to have affairs. Or have to go to parties and bars. Or have to meet new people all the time. Or have to go to new places all the time. I like to stay home in my own house, and I like to shop at familiar stores, and I like to stay with my current husband (though I'm not promising I'd say no right away to Seth Green, should he appear at my door begging for my company), and I like to read library books, and periodically I like to have an inexpensive new thing to restore my interest in household tasks. I think that counts as low-maintenance.

November 27, 2006


You read the icon right: I finished my 50,000-word NaNoWriMo novel. It is so, so bad. The writing is embarrassing. The plot is lame. The characters bear no resemblance to real living people, but instead walk around like paper dolls. The dialogue is not anything like the way people talk. But it is DONE. I FINISHED it. I was queasy, but I did it anyway, and lo a month has gone by like a snap.

November 24, 2006

I'm On Playgroup Dropout! Me = Celebrity!

Hi, visitors from Diary of a Playgroup Dropout!

See the entry below for a Chocolate-Crusted Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that will BLOW YOUR LITTLE MINDS! It's too late to make it for Thanksgiving dinner, but you can make it quickly today, eat a huge section, and them claim it's leftover from Thanksgiving, and too bad you'll have to finish it off. If I finish off my own leftover pan too soon, I plan to make another pan and say that one is the leftovers.

Thanksgiving was great. I ate my own weight in turkey and mashed potatoes, and then also had cherry pie, vanilla ice cream, and cheesecake. If I were a bear, I could now safely hibernate for the entire winter on my stored food supply.

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, U.S.! Also, Thanksgiving Cranberry-Raspberry Jell-O Salad Recipe

It is happy Thanksgiving again, and thankful I am indeed to be going to someone else's house for dinner. Also, nothing is quite as delicious on a queasy pregnant tum as huge heaps of turkey and mashed potatoes and corn. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I plan to still be eating long after everyone else has left the table to work on the clean-up.

I am making the chocolate-crusted pumpkin cheesecake I bring each year (recipe posted a few days ago, on the 17th I think), and also a raspberry-cranberry Jell-o salad I make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can always find the Jell-o recipe easily in the cookbook: it's the page that is dyed completely pink from previous years' spills.

I will give you the recipe in case you want it for next year, because it is indeed delish. Shuss.

The night before you want to make it: Put a 10-ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or I think the ones at my supermarket are 12 ounces, and I use that) in the fridge to thaw, in a bowl to catch the juice that will otherwise leak out of the package and all over your refrigerator, making a nasty surprise when you look inside the next morning at breakfast time.

When you're ready to make it: In the mixer, put one can of jellied cranberry sauce, plus two 3-ounce packages of raspberry Jell-o powder (I use the sugar-free kind instead, not to save calories but to save "heaviness": the recipe seems so much more filling with the sugar, and I can't taste the difference using the sugar-free instead), and mix them up. Then add two cups of boiling water, CAREFULLY, remembering my stained cookbook, and blend it all up for awhile until the cranberry sauce is totally dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and blend a little more. Pour into a 1.5 quart bowl, and put it into the fridge. Stir it about every 30 minutes for 1-1/2 or 2 hours, and when it seems pretty thickened add the thawed raspberries (and any leaked juice, too). Stir the raspberries in, and then leave the bowl alone to set completely. I usually make this first thing in the morning and it's ready by suppertime, but if you have your Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day you should make it the night before.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone in the U.S.! Happy Thursday, everyone else!

November 17, 2006

Chocolate-Crusted Pumpkin Cheesecake

9 oz (half package) Oreos, crushed (eat other half of package while cooking)
1/4 c. sugar
6 T. butter, melted

Pumpkin mixture:
1-1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
5 oz evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla

Cheese mixture:
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
salt (the recipe doesn't say how much, and I don't remember how much I used last year--maybe 1/2 t.?)
24 oz softened cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the three crust ingredients. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake until crust is set, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool crust completely.

In a bowl, stir together the five pumpkin mixture ingredients. Set aside.

In the mixer, mix all the cheese mixture ingredients EXCEPT the cream cheese. When mixed, add the cheese and beat on high speed until smooth. Take out 1/4th of the cheese mixture and set it aside to be used two steps from now.

With mixer running at low speed, add pumpkin mixture to the cheese mixture and mix until combined and smooth.

Pour pumpkin mixture into pan. Drop dollops of the reserved cheese mixture over the pumpkin mixture. Use a thin metal spatula or knife to gently pull the cheese dollops through the pumpkin to make swirls.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, or until center of cheesecake is just set. Remove from oven and cool 30 minutes. Cover and chill for a few hours. Eat in handfuls directly from pan in fridge. Or, slice it into squares and serve it on plates, I guess, if that's the way you want to do it.

Small Talk

"Ug, I hate small talk." Not me. I love small talk. I'm introverted, socially awkward, I have trouble keeping up with conversations. Small talk saves me. I can talk about the weather, what a relief! Small talk gives me something to say ("It's so pretty out!"), something to ask ("Have you heard what the weather's supposed to be like this weekend?").

Small talk leads naturally to bigger talk in a way I couldn't have engineered myself. If I tried for big talk right away, I'd blurt out something that would make everyone feel uncomfortable. But with small talk, "Sure has been mild for this time of year!" leads casually to "Yeah, I even took the kids outside to play!," which leads to, "Oh, how old are your kids?," and before you know it we're on comfortable ground: kids, schools, minivan brands, marriages, friends who are pregnant. Or maybe it leads to travel plans, trips taken, how travel has changed since September 11th, whether or not you can bring nail clippers now. Or maybe it leads to plans for the holidays, various family traditions, how crazy our in-laws drive us. We have material for hours if we need it.

Here's what freezes me: NON-small talk. When someone comes up to me and says, "So, did you hear the giant sucking sound?" and I am like a rabbit in the headlights. Huh? What are we talking about? And it turns out we're talking about jobs going to Mexico, a subject I know nothing about but can't fake the way you can fake the weather ("I think it's rainier than usual for November, isn't it? Or maybe it just feels that way every November!"). Or when someone asks me a question about something I feel I ought to know about but don't: "What's this town's crime rate like?" Me: "Um. Good? Oh! Rainy!"

November 16, 2006

The Cute OB

I had an OB appointment today with The Cute Doctor. He's my least favorite, because he's too handsome for me to want to let him see my jiggly tummy. Also he's my least favorite because he's so clearly aware of his handsomeness. You can tell he's used to pregnant women blushing and getting crushes on him. He has green eyes, and I notice he often wears green shirts.

I suspect him, too, of thinking of himself as "good with women." Like, he's explaining to me all the tests and screens I can have done, and I can almost see him thinking about how awesome he is for explaining all this just as if I'm his intellectual equal.

And this is the worst part. When he was done explaining, and he wanted to check for the baby's heartbeat, I had to pull down the top of my pants--and my tummy, the aforementioned jiggly one I don't want him to see, was all damp with sweat, and he prodded it a few times before putting on the gel, so I couldn't even pretend the dampness was from the gel.

The OB offices are always SO HOT. They feel like they're about 80 degrees, and then the little exam room door is closed so the air is stuffy. And then there's a cute doctor talking to me, and I'm socially inept so I'm just barely grasping each "next appropriate thing to say" in time to say it, and whenever I talk to people I tend to get overheated and damp with nervousness, and also we're talking about things that could be wrong with the baby, and all those things together make me a little sweaty. Which was bad enough when I was just painfully aware that my face was red and my forehead wet, but way way worse when I realized it was the jiggly loose much-stretchmarked skin of my stomach that was clammy, and there's his hand coming towards it in prodding position. God.

NaNoWriMo Stuck

I'm still working away at my NaNoWriMo novel. The month is half over, and I'm a little more than half done. Some days I feel like this is awesome and I am awesome for participating. Other days I feel like this is a colossal waste of time and energy.

Right now I'm stuck. My original idea for a plot was to have a woman pregnant with her fifth child---and, to make things more interesting than my life, have this fifth child be possibly the result of an uncharacteristic (and now ended) affair. I thought I could draw out the tension: is the baby her husband's or her lover's?---maybe until the end of the book. It turns out, I am not an interesting enough writer to make this tension last. I went ahead and revealed that it is her husband's baby. And NOW what? It seems there is nothing left to say. It seems as if I should now just leave this family in peace to live their boring lives.

November 13, 2006

Things I'm Afraid Of, Things That Scare Me

  • That I will be washing a baby, and I will be so focused on washing the baby's bottom half, I will not notice that the baby's top half is under water.
  • That I will be walking down the stairs carrying a baby, and I will trip, and I will save myself and not the baby.
  • That the house will be on fire, and that after I get the children out I will have to decide if I want to risk going back in for the irreplaceable photo albums and baby journals, and that either way I will make the wrong choice.
  • Things I don't even want to type, involving the children being hurt or killed or in danger.
  • Running into a guy who used to think I was hot stuff, and having him think "Oh my god, that was a lucky miss."
  • An emergency, and I don't have my glasses. I feel so disoriented without my glasses on.
  • Or not having my shoes. I wouldn't feel right, running around frantically but with no shoes on.
  • Dying while my children are still little.
  • Wind storms.
  • An emergency happening when we're snowed in and can't get help.
  • Hearing emergency vehicles; seeing them all pulling in to the school parking lot.
  • Any emergency where I can't think fast enough of what to do, and I spend the entire rest of my life thinking, "If only I'd just..."
  • When someone has started a fall from a tall place, and they're still alive but they can't be saved. They're still alive, but they're also already dead.
  • The dark, especially if it's cold.
  • Spiders. Snakes. A dog suddenly going for my throat.
  • Sociopaths. Knowing they're all over the place, and they don't care if they hurt us, and we can't tell who they are.
  • That I'll completely by accident kill or permanently hurt someone else.
  • I'll be badly hurt, unconscious, in front of my children, and they'll have to figure out by themselves how to deal with it.
  • Carjackers who don't care that there are children in the car.
  • Being separated from my children in an emergency.
  • Any noise at all coming from the basement. Having to figure out what to do if I hear one.
What are you scared of?

Go Read What Someone Else Said

There are so many Hard Topics that are also Important Topics, and organ donation is one of them. I keep thinking I should write about it, but it's so sad to think about, and it's hard to write about. Also, I'm aware that there are some people who think that if their body loses any parts in this life, they won't have those parts in their next life, and that's a difficult thing to argue with--I mean, what do I know about what happens after we die?

I do know what will happen after I die: any of my organs that can be of any use to anyone are getting removed from my body that doesn't need them any more, and given to someone's body that does. If my children die, same thing: losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent, and so I don't know how I could withhold something that could keep another parent from going through the same thing. I'll take my chances with the afterlife.

This whole topic is courtesy of Beth over at Diary of a Playgroup Dropout, who brought the subject up this morning. Rather than writing about it myself, I thought I'd just send you over to her:

Diary of a Playgroup Dropout, 11-13-2006, "Donate Life"

November 12, 2006

Pot Pie

In case you were wondering, the "Chicken and Broccoli" Banquet pot pie has, like, one bite-sized broccoli stem, cut up into littler pieces. The luscious little florets? Who knows what happened to them, but they are not in the pot pie.

Nevertheless, I would like to formally thank the pot pie, which saved me this evening when I was in a must-eat-can't-eat fit, pacing the kitchen trying to find something---anything---that seemed appealing, or even edible. I opened the freezer even though I knew there was no hope there, and there it was, the pot pie, appealing and salty, hot food in half an hour, reminiscent of childhood when my parents would have their one night a week when they ate dinner by themselves after we kids went to bed, and so we would get to have something delicious by ourselves: Kraft macaroni and cheese, Campbell's chicken noodle soup, Banquet pot pies---those were our favorites. And tonight the little pot pie was called into service again, and it was good, and the fit has been extinguished, and I can get on with the evening.

Misleading the Pediatrician

At Edward and Elizabeth's 15-month check-up, the pediatrician was concerned about Elizabeth's speech: she was saying "da" for "clap" and "da-da" for both Daddy and Mommy, and that was about it. He said that if she didn't make dramatic improvements by her 18-month check, he was going to refer her for speech therapy. (Edward's speech is at exactly the same point, but apparently it's normal for girls to be significantly ahead of boys in speech development, so while Edward is still within normal range, Elizabeth is well behind what the doctor would expect.)

My oldest son had speech therapy from age 2-1/2 until age 5, for an articulation delay. Here is what I noticed: one, that it was a hassle to have to bring him to therapy each week; two, that it made no discernable improvement in his speech; three, that once we were in the system, it was hard to get out. I am glad to have that system in place if Elizabeth really does need it, but I see her making steady--if slow--progress, and I don't see any reason to worry about her speech: some kids speak earlier than others, that's all. Practically everyone has a family story about some child who didn't speak until age 3, and then spoke in complete sentences. Elizabeth isn't going to be like that, but what I mean is that I think she's just slow to speak, and not in need of intervention at this point.

So in the two months since the 15-month check-up, I have been plotting to mislead the pediatrician. When he says, at the 18-month check, "So, is she talking?," my plan is to say, "Oh, YES. She says 'shoe' and 'sock' and 'yes' and 'hair' and 'eye' and 'cat' and 'thank you' and 'here you go' and 'Maisy' and 'book.'" I won't spell out that she says about half of those as "da" or "da-da," and the others as "szs" and "heh" and "ah." I'll just let the pediatrician assume that I mean she says the words clearly. Not LYING, you see, just misleading.

The problem is that I have a hard time misleading this doctor. He asks a question, and I answer it, and then he continues to listen even after I've stopped talking: he looks at me and waits, thinking about what I've said and also seeing if I have anything else to say. This approach flusters me. I think I'm more than half likely to blurt out into the silence, "Of course, half of those are 'da' or 'da-da'!," and then laugh nervously. Sigh.

November 11, 2006

Dumb Move

I am a person who enjoys a bargain. My favorite place---my heaven, let's call it---is the clearance section of Target, where perfectly good stuff is invitingly priced at 75 or even 90% off. Things I wanted at the beginning of the season are already available to me for mere peanuts! Why, it would be a crime against nature to leave them behind! I have been known to consider purchasing a replacement carafe for a coffee maker I do not own, just because it is 90% off and it seems like at that price I ought to buy it.

I particularly enjoy seasonal clearances. This year I bought four fluffy frilly glittery costumes for Elizabeth to wear when she's older, maybe for Halloween or maybe for dress-up, or maybe not to wear at all if it turns out she's the sort of little girl who won't have anything to do with that sort of thing, but anyway I bought them, and they were 75% off, and I rejoiced. Am I going to spend $19.99 for a few scraps of fabric calling themselves a fairy costume? No, I am going to spend $4.94!

I also bought a snuggly little tiger costume, really more like a hooded sleeper, for the new baby to wear. William and I saw a baby wearing this very costume a few days before Halloween, and we both nearly blew a cuteness gasket.

Here is the point, though, of this discussion. There was one time when I saved a great deal of money, and it was the stupidest money-saving decision I ever made. It was when we moved across the country with our 10-month-old baby (Robert, our only child at the time, which seems so hard to believe now), and Paul drove the moving truck and I took a flight with the baby, and I held him on my lap instead of paying the $250 so he could have his own seat. When I was booking the tickets, it seemed ludicrous to pay that much money for an infant who could ride for free if he sat on my lap. Five minutes into the first flight, I had completely changed my mind. Seven years later, I still regret it. It was miserable for me, miserable for Robert, and miserable for the poor, poor woman in the center seat next to us. Why didn't I buy him a seat? He could have been strapped down in his car seat, maybe even sleeping. Instead he was twisting and fussing in my lap, wanting to GET DOWN. Instead he kept dropping his toy on the floor at the feet of the woman next to us.

There is saving money, and then there is saving money. Better to spend it on that airplane seat, and then make up for it ever after with the 75% off Halloween costumes.

November 10, 2006

25,000 Words; Also, Muffins

I am feeling gross today: nauseated and listless. It should be a good day: Paul has the day off of work, so there are two adults here. But Robert and William have the day off from school, too, and also the house is infused with that special kind of hyper child energy that comes from unusual circumstances and Daddy home all day.

I made muffins this morning, a recipe containing pumpkin (vitamin A!), walnuts (omega-3s!), and ginger (reduced barfing! I hope!), and also flour and sugar (morale!). But I ate two and I still don't feel better. Perhaps a Burger King Spicy Tendercrisp? Mmmmmmmmmm.

I just passed the halfway point in my NaNoWriMo novel: 25,000 words plus a few more. It's still crappy, but at least it's getting done. I was hoping to succeed at this: it's nice to set a goal and achieve it, even if the goal is, in the end, a pointless one.

Back to the front, I suppose. I hear Paul starting to raise his voice.

November 8, 2006

One Per Customer

Last night I was putting on the XXL faded-pigment-dyed black men's t-shirt I wear as a nightshirt, and I was thinking about how no one is ever happy with what they have. There are probably times that Paul wishes he'd married the kind of woman who wears slinky little nothings as pajamas. And there is probably a man out there, married to a woman who wears slinky little nothings, and he's wishing he were married to the kind of cutie who sleeps in one of his t-shirts, all charmingly oversized on her, plus a pair of socks. I mean, probably, right? There's got to be at least ONE guy who doesn't want the fancy wrappings, right?

It's the same with hair and make-up. I'm not much for it. And I assume there are times when Paul's eye is caught by some chick all styled up. And probably that woman is married to a guy who wishes it didn't take her two hours to get ready in the morning, and that she wasn't always screeching about her hair getting messed up. (Look how quickly we turn on our own: all a woman has to do is have different grooming habits from me, and suddenly I'm using a verb like "screeching" to describe her.)

It's too bad, but we only get ONE choice. Well, or two or three or four, or you could even keep going but that starts to get expensive in terms of lawyers and alimony and child support and taking crappy offers on the house just to get the sale over with and so on. Let's call it one at a time, then, because probably there are men who go from a high-maintenance wife to a low-maintenance wife, and with the former he's wishing for low, and with the latter he's wishing for high. And let's not take into account the branch of Mormons that would let a guy experience both at the same time, because that's getting too complicated and beyond the scope of this column, which was supposed to just be about how Paul can wear a teddy himself if he thinks they're so great.

November 7, 2006

Let's Talk S'more

Since I've already talked about politics today, why not move on to religion?

Having no particular religious affiliation myself, I am flexible when it comes to how other people wish to express their religious beliefs during the holiday season, as long as those beliefs are not actively batting me in the face while I'm trying to eat my Lindt chocolate Santa in peace. Nativity scene? Star of David? Santa Claus? Santa actually attending the nativity scene? None of these bother me.

But this? This seems wrong:

It's a nativity made of s'mores. S'mores. The Baby Jesus is a mini marshmallow, and he is resting on a bed of chocolate and graham cracker. This can be purchased for $19.99, and you can display it in your home during the season of love and joy. And then, presumably, when the holidays are over and it's time to put away the lights and the tree, you can eat Him.

Vote Your Driplet!

I voted, and I brought three children with me, and I was queasy, and there was very little parking and I had to parallel park, and as far as I'm concerned this makes me some sort of American hero. I was all set in case a newspaper reporter wanted to interview me about my brave struggle to vote: "Voting is a responsibility," I'd say. "We're all 'busy,' but that's no excuse." Then I'd smile blindingly for my photo, hoping there wasn't shredded wheat in my teeth and that none of my children had a finger in his or her nose.

It's harder to get excited about non-presidential elections. I admit it was only this morning that I went online to research the candidates. I couldn't find anything that didn't make all the candidates sound all the same (either all lying dirtbags or all "pro-education! pro-people! pro-love!"), so finally I went with my usual voting technique when there aren't clear differences: I voted for Democrats for policy positions, Republicans for positions budgeting the money or handcuffing criminals or filing paperwork, and girls over boys because there should be more girls in office. There. *Briskly whisking my hands together* I did my part for the country.

Evaluating my voting technique put down in black-and-white like that, I'm glad that each individual vote doesn't make much of a difference, and that it's the big clumps of votes that count. I wouldn't actually want to be in charge of choosing who wins, I only want to add my driplet of water to the barrel and hope that any dumb-ass decisions I make get canceled out by someone else's driplet.

November 6, 2006

Crappy Novel and Iffy Fish

I have written 17,000 words of my 50,000-word NaNoWriMo novel, and holy crap is it ever boring. I think I mentioned that, as I usually write non-fiction, I would dip into fiction writing by making it as close to non-fiction as possible: I made it about a woman with four children, and she's pregnant again. This idea sucks so, so bad. I start getting drowsy every time I try to work on it. Have you ever played that computer game The Sims, where you control little people? And if you don't give them enough to do, they'll stand their tapping their virtual little feet and looking at their virtual little watches? That is what the characters in my book are doing.

My main character is sitting around pregnant, wondering when the hell I'm going to let some action happen. I'm trying to follow the rule about "plowing through it" (not getting stalled when you have nothing to say, but just continuing to write anyway), but it's hard to keep writing about the groceries and the sitting around waiting for something to happen. Finally out of desperation I let her be someone who came to the rescue in an accident involving screaming and blood, and the book STILL won't wake up. It may be hopeless.

In the meantime, I am so tired of the queasiness. I can't believe how it suffuses everything I do. All day long I am thinking about what to eat to reduce the queasiness, or what I can eat despite the queasiness. I am like a newborn, needing to eat every 2-3 hours or I start whining and crying. But a colicky, fussy newborn, who cries harder when you try to feed it.

I love tuna, and I have been wanting it, but I'm worried about the mercury. I ate a whole can of it tonight (the chunk light, which I don't like as much as the chunk white but it's supposed to be lower in mercury), feeling furtive and dangerous. Low-fat, high-protein fish! I'm such a maverick.

I don't want to imply that I ate it plain right out of the can, as if I am a highly healthy person. No, I mixed it with Miracle Whip and salt, and I ate it on potato rolls. So when I say "low fat," what I mean is "before I added fat to it."

November 4, 2006


I highly recommend this NaNoWriMo thing, if you're still teetering on the edge. It's not too late to catch up. The daily writing task is about two single-spaced pages, which is not as much as I'd thought it would be. Considering your only goal is to fill those pages with writing (not to fill them with quality writing), you can natter on and not worry about what you come up with. And you feel like you're being all creative/expressive, which is happy for those of us who usually express our creativity via our choice of children's outfits. I am not particularly inclined toward fiction writing, and so I am writing a story about a stay-at-home mom. With four children. And she's pregnant. Instant brilliance!

Paul and I went out for dinner last night, and so I wore clothes I don't usually wear. And they...looked funny. It's not that things don't fit--although that's thanks in part to two pairs of "fat pants" that are ALSO stretchy denim--it's that they don't fit right. A shirt stretched kind of funny, and made me look lumpy. Well, okay, I DO look a little lumpy, and the shirt showcased it. I don't look pregnant, I just look lumpy.

I noticed as we were walking around that for the first time I started to feel my pregnant body emerging. Before now, I've only felt sick, or tired, or maybe a little loose-jointed, but basically my body has felt the same as usual. Last night I felt the first indications of the pregnancy. My stomach seemed to curve out more, and it made my back remember how painful that would be later on. I felt tired just walking around. Here it comes.