Posted on October 22, 2011
I’m one of those annoying people who need to have a project. Whether it’s something at work or home I am happiest when I have a ticking time bomb of a deadline hanging over my head threatening my sanity and reason.
Now this was somewhat excusable when I could justify the lack of sleep and stress on assignments given to me by school or work. But lately I have fabricated my own methods of torture by making up ridiculous kitchen projects.
It started innocently enough with a goal to mail my husband something at least twice a week when he left for 3 months of military training. This wouldn’t have been too difficult if I was satisfied with mailing some packaged snacks or a card or if I wasn’t working 60+hrs a week and traveling regularly. But no, I convinced myself it was absolutely necessary to make delicacies from scratch when I arrived home at 9pm and carry 12lb boxes on public transit to the post office. I won’t even go into the legendary birthday party box or the frightening Chuck Norris doll.
Fast forward past some less notable projects (The Challah debacle of 2009, Canning Chaos or Gelato Gluttony of 2010) to my last fiasco. I got a very generous present of a Mauviel 2.5mm 2.7qt saucepan for the holidays (yes I can read off its stats from memory). I immediately did not feel worthy of such a fine instrument and sought a way to best utilize Chester Copperpot (like any member of our family he was duly given a nickname).
So, really, I had no choice but to spend the next 6 weeks of my life spending 4-6 hours a day practicing and producing various confectionary. Must make Chester Copperpot happy! Fortunately I will have multiple burn scars to remind me of my sacrifices, or was that supposed to be foolishness? Nevermind, BTW I am in search of a 2mm+ 5qt+ copper saucepan because clearly Chester needs a companion and 4qts of 300 degree sugar syrup must be better than 2qts!
Well now that HG has banned me from anything remotely culinary I need a new project. Family members encouraged me to journal my pregnancy. But I am not really that gushy of a person and it sounds much more fun to embarrass and guilt my future offspring into obedience with a blog. And so was born The Vomit Volumes.
The fifth and final post:
12. Ok I know I already said I am not into stuffed animals, but this is the one exception. Whenever I see him I let out a squeal because his adorableness and softness just overwhelms me. When I showed him to your father he was a bit disturbed at my excitement. He said, “I don’t understand why you feel a mustachioed French rabbit in a top hat is an appropriate companion for our young daughter.”
To which I replied, “He’s not French, his name is Sir Reginald Carrottop and I will be pushing something out that could have inherited your size head, so shut the eff up.” To clarify your dad wears the largest size hat they make and I did not really say “eff” but I am really trying to be all parental and role-modelly now.
13. I got this print because I started to feel guilty that just about everything else in the room was for my own enjoyment and not really “kiddish.” And supposedly you are not just my doll to dress up in cute clothes and I have some sort of responsibility to make sure you are a positive, contributing member of society.
So I figured I’d do my part and get you a print that included the alphabet and animals. With this strong and generous foundation I expect you in the future to draw me a really cute card with bears and cats on it that documents, at length, how you think I am the greatest and prettiest woman to ever walk the earth.
Which reminds me, I should also list for your all my other expectations wishes for what type of daughter you will be:
· You will have a significant obsession with all my favorite children’s books (specifically Little House books, Harry Potter, anything Roald Dahl)
· You will love to help me cook, but also like to help dad with “boyish” things
· You will not have frizzy or red hair
· You will love doing crafts projects, especially quietly and neatly
· You will be an astronaut with several Olympic medals
· You will have your father’s teeth and eyelashes
· Remarkably, you will sleep through the night at 4 days old
· You will be very inclined to travel
· Your cries and whines will sound like an operetta
If you don’t meet these requirements fantasies, I’m not that worried about it because I heard Steve Jobs is going to announce an upgrade like any day now.
14. I have intentionally left out pictures of the innards of your dresser drawers and closet for very good reason. It will serve in everyone’s best interest if your sweet father is not 100% aware of amount of clothes contained within these receptacles. But I assure you, you were properly outfitted in precisely the appropriate amount of pink.
15. A very important thing is also not pictured. Your Nana. She was instrumental in so many parts of this room. She made all the linens/layette and many times gave me great emotional support while I teetered on the edge of a mental breakdown (not really an exaggeration sadly enough) about stupid things such as paper poms and a poorly selected rug. Let’s just say while being overcome by pregnancy hormones I should only be allowed child safety scissors and never allowed into a Pottery Barn Kids.
Well that’s it. I surely have done enough damage. Hopefully you are not pictured on CNN one day perched in a clock tower tweeting nonsense messages about having to sleep in a room with rainbow chevron and the year of the golden rabbit. If that does happen and this blog is Exhibit A in the sure to follow government inquiries than it really was all your father’s fault. He did it, or rather he made me do it. I totally made this all up.
Just in case there is anyone out there still reading…
8. Now I am a little embarrassed about this print, but I do like it. I think it is sweet and charming. It is also convenient as a way to excuse my subpar housekeeping skills on my devotion to you. No I am not sloppy, the bookshelves are dusty because I love my baby, you cold cleaning automaton!
9. This was my foot car. It is the best toy that was ever created and I loved it like sour cream and popcorn. Your dear grandparents lugged it all around the country for 25+ years just for you and now I will lug it around to whatever far corners of the world the Air Force flings us to while giving the movers dirty looks and veiled threats about what will happen to their descendants should your little bug meet harm. So please cherish this toy, respect it and have fun.
10. Here is your diaper changing station. It is full of all those glamorous diaper changing necessities. Now is also a good time to remind you that I wiped up your pee and poop for several years. Think of this every single time you speak from the age of 13-18.
But really the thing that you should notice in this picture is that you have an abundance of cloth wipes. One day your Nana said to me “Oh, I’ll make you a few cloth wipes. You will still need the regular disposable wipes, but it’s always nice to have some cloth ones too.” I said sure, life went on. Then your Nana showed up with a wheelbarrow of cloth wipes. “I believe there are 96,” she said.
I wrote down this story to illustrate that it’s not entirely my fault; I inherited the cray-crayness that makes me go overboard from your Nana. There will be some point in your life when you give me a simple request and I respond by not sleeping for 24 hours to complete something that is unnecessary and way out of proportion for what is needed. Understand this, it is my own sickness, brings me some sort of twisted pleasure and I am completely aware that it is insane. Oh and this story is also meant to illustrate just how much your Nana loved you, so much so that she spent countless hours laboring over things that wiped poop from your tushy.
11. Hanging up is the outfit I intend to put you in when we bring you come home from the hospital. It is soft and comfy and cute. Should it turn out that we had a shoddy ultrasound and you are in fact male, you will still likely come home in these clothes. Sorry, but we all know it takes a real man to wear pink ruffles and honestly I will be facing a much bigger dilemma. I will have to weigh the sadness and work of returning all those piles of adorable girl clothes against the consequences of just raising you as a girl. Decisions, Decisions.
Just one more post should do it, I think!
And the saga continues
4. This adorable little stuffed sheep was gifted to you by some of my very nice coworkers. I am not one for stuffed animals, I just don’t get them. But this thing makes creepy noises like the ocean, rain and whales and little small creatures like you are supposed to really like that because it is reminiscent of the womb.
I am pretty skeptical. The fine engineers who designed the Sleep Sheep clearly did not know anything about the noises around my womb. I spent half of this pregnancy in Clovis, NM and the other half in San Angelo, TX. Both of these locales experienced the worst drought on record during my pregnancy, so you most definitely have not heard any rain. There clearly has not been an ocean in my vicinity, but I do think I once saw a ripple crashing against the side of a cow’s water trough. The closest thing to a whale’s cry you may have heard is the baying of cows in the feed lots.
I was silly to request this item, because really if I wanted to recreate your experience in the womb I could simply place you in a sauna (to represent the hottest summer on record in San Angelo), import a pile a manure from Clovis (that is what laced the air we breathed for 5 months) and play a mixed up audio recording of me vomiting, Dobby the cat meowing and various Bravo Real Housewives arguing (this is the beautiful music that graced your ears during gestation). See, I really am a great and considerate mom.
5. There is something you probably should know about me. I love shoes. Now the problem is that I am at least pretending to keep some minor vestiges of practicality when it comes to baby purchases and I’ve been told you don’t need shoes because you don’t, you know, walk. While I take great offense that the possession of shoes can be solely rationalized by the need to walk, I will concede that they are quite pricey and difficult to buy in advance when I don’t know your shoe size or preference in heel.
But thankfully there are other shoe inclined mothers out there who came up with a perfect solution, Trumpettes. Now, the clever people behind Trumpettes realized no right-minded person would deny a baby socks and you could quite simply design the socks to look like all sorts of ridiculously cute shoes. By just engineering the sock so that it has a marginally higher chance of staying on babies feet you can also justify shoe-crazed mums purchasing large quantities of such premium baby socks too. So there you have it, my itch to buy baby shoes is at least partially satisfied, at least temporarily.
6. Ok, ok, this may actually be my favorite print in the room. And for very good reason. I happen to know for a fact that you are as sweet as Tupelo Honey (or at least will be until you become a teenager). How do I know this? Because I am your mother and am all knowing. We might as well get this out of the way now. I am always right and know everything. The end.
But I also know that you are as sweet as Tupelo Honey because Van Morrison sang about it and it is a wonderful song and my besties think so too. Late at night in college (when we were stone cold sober of course) we would stand on a wall outside or hang from our dorm window and scream out the words to this song as loud as we could until the authorities were called. These lapses in good judgment can be only be explained by a premonition that I would someday have you.
Now we might as well get this out of the way too, I, despite not possessing a single molecule of singing ability, will sing this and other wonderful songs to you loudly and proudly. But you should know that if it sounds like a cow having an epileptic fit while I sing, there is nothing to worry about. It’s supposed to sound that way.
7. So this is probably one of the stranger items in your room. It is a print celebrating this year as being the Chinese year of the Golden Rabbit. I wanted something to represent the year that you were born, and fatefully I had just broken our Japanese lucky cat and was looking for some way to pacify the general Asian superstitious realm. Plus, I just really liked the print and it has a very nice sentiment about how this is a year that is about family, peace, artistic pursuits and diplomacy.
It’s totally ok if you don’t like it, I was probably in some crazy dehydration and starvation fueled hysteria caused by violently vomiting 20 times that day due to morning sickness when I bought it.
(Did that work? I am working on perfecting my Jewish mother guilt skills and try to practice whenever possible. Did you feel like banging your head against a wall? Because if you don’t feel like banging your head against a wall, it didn’t work. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.)
Lucky you, there is even more yet to come.
The nursery is not quite done, but the for the most part is complete. I apologize in advance. Oh and to clarify while I am sharing this you the dear internet audience, I wrote this as a letter to my future daughter.
So away we go…
1. Please first reflect on the wall color. Again this is a rental home and I take zero responsibility for such crimes to our vision. If I was a professional paint color namer, I am pretty sure I would call this one Well-Digested Peas. The silver lining is that should some of your diaper debris somehow get flung onto the walls, I do not think we need be concerned about staining.
It took the looming disapproval of your father and all the self-control I possessed to not paint this room another color. But again, it is a rental, I would have to repaint it. Then there would be all the confusion of going to Home Depot and saying, “I need a can of Well-Digested Peas in semi-gloss, or was it Moderately-Digested Peas? Dammit, can you color match the inside of a diaper?”
So turn on your internal Photoshop and mentally replace this nastiness with some super chic color of your choosing.
2. The crib. Oh, how I debated and worried about selecting a crib. You see, I am short. A lot of women are short and do not have huge issues with cribs. But I possess the super convenient combination of being short and short-armed. If you are having trouble picturing this, imagine a T-Rex trying to remove a baby from a crib and you’ll see what I am dealing with. And I don’t even have a tail to help me balance.
Now I won’t go into all the messy details, but “the man” got in the way of me getting the ideal short-armed crib, and we got this one as a runner up. Your dear Papa removed part of the bottom legs to make it even shorter, but alas once we move the crib bed down from the highest rung I expect great difficulties in removing you from the crib. So if you ever wonder why I, after struggling to get you out of the crib, look up to the ceiling and shake my fist, it Is because I am simply cursing “the man” at keeping all us short-armed T-Rex mommas down.
3. Ok I love, love, love this print. But to be completely honest I do not love biscuits and gravy. While I have a healthy respect for nearly every carbohydrate ever created, biscuits do not top the list and that thick gross gravy makes me think of curdled paste. But for me this print instead represents my love for eating, making, reading and talking about food. And the fact that, even before you were born, I already loved you like Mussles Tigres at a little Pintxos bar in San Sebastian, Spain (and that’s a lot).
Now your dad would insist I point out that he LOVES biscuits and gravy and instead this print should represent his great affection for you, but let’s be realistic. If I had found a print that said “I love you like sour cream and popcorn” on Etsy you can bet it would be hanging up there instead.
Ok I’m spent. I will try to get the rest up tomorrow!
Ok so I sat down to upload some photos of the nursery to Facebook and realized I needed some hefty captions. Fast-foward a few hours I realize that I have written over 5 pages of explanations and this could not be contained in Facebook or even one blog entry. So I am sorry, at this point you are the audience to my decent into insanity. Hold on tight.
So I am not normally the type of person to spend much effort or worry on decorating. I usually direct all my energy to finding the means to get away from my house and care little what it looks like inside.
But apparently natural selection favors animals that make some attempt to prepare their environment for their offspring and this curse of nature has thrust me into a crazed frenzy of nursery preparations like a bird building a nest for its chicks. So, many years from now, don’t judge me harshly when you look upon this. I am just a lost and confused momma-bird trying to piece together a safe haven for her baby with spitwads and sticks.
So as I nearly finish with this endeavor into full maternal insanity, I reflect upon my work and realize that nearly every part of your sweet little room needs explanation. There are a few strange non-traditional items in your nursery that I know may not make immediate sense (I saw the look of fear in your father’s eyes as he wondered if I really lost it, for realz, this time). But I hope with these words I can show you that nearly every item was chosen with much care, love and may even contain a life lesson. If not, then I have probably already been diagnosed with schizophrenia by the time you read this and it can serve as a creepy memento.
Just one more thing to further document the insanity of all of this;
We are renting this home for less than a year. You will likely only be 4 months old when we move, yet again. We bought a bassinet so you probably won’t actually use your nursery for the first few months of your life. This means that it is very likely that you will only inhabit this room for about 30 days. I expect you to spend as much time as possible in those 30 days reflecting and relishing in the love and effort we put into this room…or else.
A sneak peek of the nursery…more to come
Posted on May 22, 2011
There aren’t many songs about vomit. I guess there isn’t much of an audience for such things. But I, despite possessing not a single cell or molecule of musical ability, am one of those people who abide by the broadway musical doctrine…you must sing whatever you are currently doing.
From this policy such legendary classics were born as “Peeing on the toilet,” “Yep, yep, time to do the dishes” and the trance club hit “So bored”
So since I spend so much of my day sick it was just a matter of time until my inner musical catalogue took a dive to Vomit-town. It’s been a struggle. Maybe it’s that the act of throwing up is not conducive to musical solos or that there are not many pleasing rhymes to vomit or that I am just so damned exhausted, but the musical muse is not often by my side.
But the spark sometimes has prevailed and whenever I have broken out into song (usually just in my head, don’t want to frighten the neighbors!) it has resulted in a definite surge in my good spirits. So for your listening..errr…reading pleasure here’s today’s top hits…
“Vomit here, there, everywhere”
Inspired by my realization a couple weeks into HG that I had vomited everywhere I’d been lately.
“Hasten Jason” A rap song with fly beats that uses my grandma’s saying “Hasten Jason bring the basin, too late bring the mop” as the main refrain.
“I feel nauseous” sung to the music of “I feel pretty” but with a lot less prancing and enthusiasm.
Posted on May 12, 2011
If you haven’t picked up the subtle hints yet, I have had an aggressively vomity pregnancy so far.
I actually have a fancy title for it: Hyperemesis Gravadium (HG). Which is just a super fancy way of saying I have super-duper bad morning sickness that requires significant medical intervention. If you have some strange interest in reading more about it go to helpher.org for hundreds of articles about vomit, weirdo.
But this is not a medical lesson, it’s a blog entry about how we as a couple have descended to the very deepest levels of vomit intimacy.
Having this bad of morning sickness for such a long period of time is kind of like a relationship. At first every time I felt relatively close to losing my lunch I boogied to the bathroom to heave in private. Likewise, I probably spent 10 hours a week straightening my hair (these were the days before Chi irons ladies) in the the first 6 weeks of dating my husband.
Then one day I couldn’t make it to the bathroom and I sheepishly threw up in the kitchen sink. Just like when I was eventually betrayed by my Jew frizz after a late-night dip in the pool with my beloved.
I could further describe the descent through the 7 levels of vomit hell, but I think you get the point. I will just let you know what the grizzly, crusty bottom looks like, gird your loins!
I now vomit in a bowl that is never more than an arms reach away. This may sound disgusting to you, but so is spending 63% of your day with your head partially in a toilet.
Oh and the hubs no longer has any illusions that I have shiny bouncy Pantene commercial hair. Just like when he returns home today he will probably not have any illusions that my clothes are anything more than dressed up pajamas and that there is a good chance my hair has not seen more than a unenthusiastic run-through with a brush.
Posted on May 11, 2011
Having HG has revealed a new hereto unknown talent in my husband. He is…the Vomit Whisperer
He has quickly developed a 6th sense to gauge and measure my likelihood to vomit in the near future.
This is an amazing asset as it has allowed him to coach me to make good eating decisions. Nearly in every one of my attempts to eat I hear “I think you should slow down” or “I think this should be your last bite” or “Pace yourself” or “Really put that fork down or I am going to take your plate away.”
Now I guess after reading this you may think I am subscribing to the Glutton’s Guide to Portions, but that’s just not the case. We are talking tiny portions here. Apparently since I am now eating for a baby my body has determined that I should eat no more than a baby could consume.
So when I finally get to that happy and fleeting moment when my body is actually willing and able to consume food, you can forgive my zeal to consume all 6oz of applesauce in one sitting. But in my excitement of encountering 3 pieces of toast I never seem to be conscious that really I can only handle two pieces of toast, consumed slowly, over 60 minutes.
But this is where the vomit whisperer saves the day. Queue clouds parting and angels singing. The hubs has learned from an apparently complex set of facial queues and gestures when I am approaching, reached and overstepped my limit.
Initially I laughed off his warnings, seriously I already have an abundance of Jewish mothers, thank you very much. But given his 100% accuracy track-record and my not so scientific policy of “alls ok until you vomit,” I have finally conceded. So preach it Vomit Whisperer.
I guess you can say you are never given more than you can handle. If I had to have a superfluously vomity pregnancy at least I have my very own vomit guardian angel right by my side.