Checkin’ In, or, Gettin’ Emotional.

I’ve got some pretty bad pregnant blogger guilt right now, y’all.  This is a time when I should be documenting everything, but instead my brain is full of things like stroller choices and pregnancy-friendly burlesque costumes.  In my downtime, I’ll start a blog post and then inevitably end up on Buzzfeed* or reading A Feast for Crows.

Basically, I’ve seem to have some sort of gestational ADD.   

So, let’s see.  I’m currently at 29 weeks (!) but haven’t taken a belly photo in a while, so here’s my 24-week one.  Imagine that plus five more weeks’ worth of gestating (and eating).

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Shit ain’t getting any smaller.

Despite my fuzzy mental state, though, I have to admit I am one of those obnoxious women who loves being pregnant.  Sure, I’ve been feeling the less-than-wonderful effects, too.  My back and hips ache, my balance is off, I get out of breath if I talk too much, and some days there’s nothing I’d like more than to just drink an entire bottle of red wine.  There are times that I’m ready to be done, ready to have an identity outside of “pregnant chick,” ready to meet this kid!  But still, there’s just something so strange and exciting about walking around growing a future human in my belly.  Maybe it’s the extrovert in me, but I can’t say I mind the attention it brings.  People love to touch my belly.  And I (usually) love it when they do.  Because what’s better than having people lavish love on me and my daughter?  People who’ve never met me think she’s wonderful and special.  And I may be biased here, but she kind of is, right?  She is new and fresh and nobody has ever been or will ever be quite like the person she will become.

A couple of months ago, late into a pre-holiday evening at the bar, our friend Jaime asked if she could talk to the baby.  She bent low and spoke close, almost touching, next to my belly.  It was loud at the bar and I couldn’t hear a word she said, but she must have said a lot because she was down there a while, and I found myself getting teary.

It’s humbling to see the love that’s already waiting out here for my kid.  I wonder sometimes if she can sense it.  Does she hear the many voices of the people who can’t wait to meet her, murmuring through my skin to her new ears?  Can she feel the hands and arms and hugs lavished upon me?  Does she hear it when her sweet papa speaks to her through my belly button, or plays her grandpa’s guitar for her?  There are so many people who love her so much already.  And me!  I have no idea who she is or will be, but I already love her so ridiculously much.  What a weird feeling it is to love someone you’ve never met.

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Papa speaks into the baby-phone.

Maybe this is why I haven’t written much about pregnancy – it gets me all emotional and teary if I think about it too long.  I’ve always been a tad on the mushy side; being knocked up just seems to have pushed me over the edge.  Now it’s all puppies and rainbows and tiny little baby booties.  Sheesh.  I’m hopeless.  You’ve ruined me, little baby.  Soon I’ll start collecting Precious Moments figurines and it’ll all be over.

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* I pretty much died while reading this one.

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation (Part 2): We Love Lucy

My next installment of What I Did On My Summer Vacation features everyone’s favorite: a baby!  This is Lucy, who has the enviable distinction of being the first baby born to a member of our burlesque troupe.  On a hazy, humid late summer afternoon, she and her husband held a meet-and-greet for Miss Lucy, which of course provided countless adorable photo ops.  Now’s the time to look elsewhere if you hate sweet baby photos…

Lucy and Mama.

Good dreams.

Holding court.

Examining.

Not too shabby.

She was clearly very responsive to all the attention.

Sweetly oblivious.

Oh, and those FEET.

Obviously, every burlesque troupe needs its own baby.  Which reminds me: I’m shipping off to Seattle for BurlyCon tomorrow morning!  Expect a full report (and definitely at least one or two more summer retrospective posts) when I make my triumphant, glitter-encrusted return to the east coast.

It’s My (Beach) Party and I’ll (Walk Around In A Bikini) If I Want To.

Who wants to hear about working overtime and headaches and fatigue?
No?  Good, I don’t feel like writing about those things right now.
Who likes theme parties and photos and photos of theme parties?
OMG, so do I!  Let’s talk about those instead.
So, the husband, who is currently enjoying what he calls “funemployment,” recently decided to throw a beach party at our place.  The resulting soiree was a success, with a “mystery punch,” tiki torches, and plenty of props:

Everyone’s interpretation of “beach wear” was slightly different, which made for some damn good photo ops.

See?  We are not letting summer go without a fight.

But This Day By The Lake Went Too Fast.

Summer!  Oh, summer.  My favorite kind of summer is full of late nights and lazy mornings, impromptu gatherings and wine-soaked conversations.  To be a successful summer, it must include at least one awful sunburn and one group camping trip.  And by these standards, I’ve had a successful summer indeed.

A few weeks ago, the mister and six of our friends and I retreated to a state park near Albany for a weekend of lounging, frisbee-ing, and lake-swimming.  It was kind of perfect, really.

It was definitely far from roughing it, but there’s just something so nice about having no choice but to sit around and just talk to each other – no TV, no cell phone, no laptop – just the company of people who you genuinely like.  It’s something I want to make sure I do on a regular basis.  And you should too.

Fourth.

Last summer, the husband and I became expatriates for ten days, visiting London, Dublin, Galway and Amsterdam.  It was an epic adventure (deserving its own post – or posts –  someday), but as a result we didn’t really celebrate* the 4th of July.

Our Irish 4th.

So this year, it was back to good ol’ American business as usual.  Our friend Nicholas’ parents graciously allowed us to take over their house/yard/grill/swimming pool in the suburbs for a day, and we made good use of them all.

Lucy and some patriotic drinks.

My vintage bathing suit score.**

Dudes with beards, throwing things.

Impromptu swimsuit fashion shoot with Kait.

From Kait’s camera.

Must have for hot-day drinking.

Totally un-posed, I swear.

AMERICA!

Nicholas and guitar.

It was the best kind of summer day: hot, hazy, and dreamy, with good food and drinks made by good friends.  After experiencing one or two Independence Days in the city, I now would much rather get the heck out of Boston, away from the crowds, and into a backyard somewhere quiet*** and suburban.  It felt like spending a day with family – which, I suppose, that’s what it was.

* To be fair, taking a tour of the Guinness Brewery actually is like a party in itself.

** Vintage bathing suit c/o my favorite seller at the Davis Flea, Sarka’s Collection.  Bathing suits, silk scarves, dresses galore.

*** Aside from those illegal fireworks.

Meredith Is An Adult, Too.

When I moved to Boston for grad school six years ago, I barely knew anyone, save from one friend who moved with me at the same time.  Having stayed in my hometown for undergrad (which I attended with my high school sweetheart), I’d never really had to do the whole moving-to-a-brand-new-city, making-all-new-friends thing.  I figured I’d be amongst like-minded people in my Master’s program and would be fast friends with everyone in it.  And while I did make a number of good friends, none of them were quite like Meredith.

Meredith is like nobody else I met in grad school.  She can sing Carole King at karaoke like no other (except maybe Carole King).  She introduced me to Teen Girl Squad and unconventional vocal warm-ups.*  While I was (melodramatically) mourning the end of a relationship, she insisted on coming over and cooking for me rather than let me mope on the couch, living on cheese slices, pita chips and Harry Potter.  She is witty and sarcastic yet loyal and kind.

In short, she is everything I needed in a friend.

The night I got engaged. Check my swollen ring finger.

The day we became Masters.

Bride and bridesmaid.

Of course,  grad school came to an end, and with our brand new, somewhat useless degrees in hand, we set off to figure out what to do next.  As it turned out, that meant Meredith would move to Texas to teach high school theater: pretty kick-ass, career-wise, but not so great for me.  We bridesmaided for each other’s weddings (three months apart), and then suddenly three years had gone by.  Finally, this was remedied two weeks ago when she flew up to Boston.  I took two days off from work and had myself a mighty fine catching-up staycation.

There were beers to be drank.

Armpits to be aired.

Laughs to be had.

Needless to say, it was so good to have her visit.  It was like three years hadn’t happened, which is pretty much what I’d expected.  It’s good to know that some things don’t change, regardless of Texas or marriage or whatever else.

And, and, and!  Today is Meredith’s thirtieth birthday.  And while she may not like to admit it, Meredith is just the kind of adult I strive to be.  So the happiest of birthdays to you, dear Meredith.  May we continue to grow into kick-ass grown-ups, together.

 

* “I bite the heads off puppies, and their warm blood drips all over my new shoes.”

And P.S. She blogs too, guys.

Bohemian Rhapsody.

So we have reached the time of year where I refer to myself as a “Phish widow,” for my husband has once again given in to the siren song – and flying glow sticks – of Phish.  Some people find it hard to believe, but it’s true: my beard-sporting, indie-rock-listening lover man has a secret jam-band hippie streak.  This time he’s gone for a week, so I decided to get out of town myself, hopping a bus up to Vermont to see our friends Jen and Mike this weekend.  They’ve just bought a house, a lovely old colonial full of creaky hardwood floors and hidden staircases.  I hadn’t seen their two-year-old daughter, Ella, since last August, and with baby #2 set to make an appearance next month, I figured it would be a good opportunity for some quality time with much-missed friends.

And quality it was.  I always forget just how much I love Vermont until I’m in it.  I tend to consider myself a city girl at heart, but there is something about being up there that quiets a part of me that I sometimes forget needs quieting.  It was a weekend of good company, good food, good conversations and even better photo ops.

Ella in the morning.

She’s got her dad’s curls and her mom’s dimples.

She took me on a “nature walk.”

Mommying.

Mike owns a pottery studio where we hung out during the day on Saturday, playing with clay and listening to the Grateful Dead.  After becoming thoroughly covered in clay dust and teaching Ella to say “you’re harshing my mellow,” there was a little thrifting,  some chocolate malts, and backyard swing-pushing/grass-sitting/bug-biting-my-booty (and also teaching her the word “booty” – oops).

So many curls.

Jen + belly.

Jen and I then spent the evening toddler-free, puttering around Montpelier.  There were burgers, obscenely posed Star Wars action figures, and plenty of girl-talking.

We are grown-ups.

Father’s Day morning was French toast and rambunctious toddler dancing, after which I hopped back on the bus and headed to my little city.  Now I’m kind of still longing a bit for mountains and farm markets and moccasins and barefoot toddlers…

Sometimes I have this fantasy where we all pack up and start our own crunchy little quasi-commune up in the mountains of Vermont somewhere.  I’d probably have to be in charge of photography or sewing or something since my agricultural and culinary skills are severely lacking, but I suppose that’s where everyone else will come in.

Funny how, once upon a time, communal living was kind of a vague threat my mom would talk about from time to time, and now it’s my own fantasy.  I guess we really do all become our parents eventually.