Monthly Archives: September 2008

Freaking out less


Jeez. If you thought I was waddling before (which you probably weren’t because you’re not here), you should see me now. I’m like a caricature of a pregnant lady. I groan and struggle to get out of bed (mind you, the bed is on the floor and about 6 inches tall) 4 or 5 times a night to pee. I can’t remember anything, it’s like the baby ate my brain. I did laundry today and forgot the last load in the dryer. I didn’t realize until hours later when I gave up finding the matches to 2 pairs of socks and went back to the laundry room to see if I left them there. I did not remember this load until I opened up the dryer to see if I’d left the socks there and found the whole bundle. It’s a good thing I found it, because if another person had taken these clothes, they would have got my only remaining pair of comfortable pants. I don’t really think it’s nice of me to assume another fellow Berkeley Student Family Housing Resident would steal my clothes, but in the first week here I washed a lovely flowered dishtowel that Mom got me at Powell’s Books for Cooks and left it folded in the laundry room, only to find it taken (or what, thrown away?) that evening.

So that’s a rambling paragraph to say my pelvis is uncomfortable. Jesse and I went to a childbirth class yesterday. He’s been studying so diligently that I think the 8 hours we spent together learning how to relax and how freaky birth is was like a little vacation for him. He kept saying what a good time he was having. The class definitely made me feel better about giving birth, but made me start to worry about the weeks after and being lonely. I think I’m going to need to be driving up to Redding every few weeks for some company. Jesse has some good friends here and we’ve seen them a few times, but they’re living a different lifestyle than we are. We’ve also met a bunch of other very nice fellow student families, but meeting somebody once or twice does not make them a friend to go to for comfort and reassurance. I’m glad the holidays are in the next few months so we have family vacations to look forward to. Also, Oakland airport is very close and a cheap place to fly into on Southwest. Come on over! San Francisco awaits your visit a short BART ride under the bay. Also, Berkeley has fan-damn-tastic food.

Thanks so much to Melissa and Megan for your reassurances after my last post. You’d think once a girl was 31, she’d have too many baby hand-me-downs than she knows what to do with, but you 2 are the only ones of my friends and family to have jumped on the baby train. Yours and all the other gifts we’ve received are not only kind, but extremely helpful. Thank you cards are coming! I just have to buy some stamps.

Also, my completed *52 books list* is up! I have got time, time, time on my hands tonight as Jesse is working at reading his 900+ pages of stuff and preparing a presentation for one class and a paper for another. (Hey, did you know in Grad school “classes” are called “seminars”? Whatever.)

So the booklist, in somewhat chronological order is available for your perusal. Questions and commentary welcome unless your question is, “Aren’t you embarrassed for reading all three books by Meg Cabot about a girl who is not skinny and also reading them almost straight in a row?” To which I would answer, “You try moving to China and only getting your hands on quality literature that is also interesting and being a bit lonely and also not skinny.” But still, don’t ask such questions, because I can only talk back so rudely to myself, not to you my kind friends and family.

And that is all for tonight.


Freaking Out


Ugh.  Oof.  I never thought it could be this difficult to bend over.  Jeez.  I’m about 2.5 weeks from the big due date and all’s well inside the uterus, I just wish all were well inside my head.  Last night I freaked out. I fell asleep on the couch but once I got in to bed, couldn’t sleep. I obsessively thought of all the things I don’t have yet for taking care of this baby. Ahhhhh!  I imagine when you are sent home from the hospital, you don’t exactly feel up for running to the store to get diapers and wipes and…what else? Ahhhhh! I don’t even know what I need!

What goops and toiletries do a baby (or a new mom) need? I don’t have a stroller or a baby carrier. Am I going to be able to leave the house? Do I need a bath tub or is a kitchen sink OK? Do I need to stock up on convenience foods so we have something to eat? Do I need nipple cream? A breast pump? How many blankets? How many quarters for laundering the 2 blankets I have?

The house is a mess.  There are still boxes and suitcases everywhere and it’s nearly impossible to unpack as there are no surfaces to put things on or drawers to put things in.  We have a bunch of boxes of stuff, but none of our furniture.  Ahhhhh!  *freaked out*

Anyway.  The baby’s doing fine.  The acrobatics are beyond cool and well into scary, as it’s now less of a delicate kick here and there and instead full on slow and alien stretches and jerks.  There is no descending of baby or any other signs that it could come anytime in the next, oh, month.  I’m terribly uncomfortable standing around, sitting upright in a chair is only slightly better.  In fact, I’m only OK if walking or sofa-lounging.

So.  That’s what’s going on!  Freaking out and uncomfortable.  I’m going to swallow my pride and go ahead and mention that if anybody is feeling hugely generous and pitying our poor confused-new-mom/24-hours-a-day-grad-student lifestyle and wants to buy anything for our baby, we do have an Amazon registry thingy and Momm has our address.

And also, I miss you all.  It’s been really nice to get to know Berkeley, but I haven’t gotten to know any people and I am totally serious when I say Jesse studies from 8am to at least 8pm and I’m beginning to realize I have no one to talk to.  Jeez – poor, poor me.  This whole email has been a personal pity-fest.  I hope no one reads my journal anymore.

Times Up


Ok, I did it, I’m done.  I left for China a year ago tomorrow (Tuesday, September 11th) and read my first book on the plane.  It was a Nora somebody book that was on a shelf in the back of the plane and the flight attendants said I could have it.  It was something like 2 or 3 of her shorter books in one and was quite fluffy.  I ended today by spending an hour and a half in Barnes and Noble reading the Tao Te Ching.  It’s 82 poems.  Ha!

It wasn’t so hard reading 52 books in 52 weeks.  I kept up without really trying most of the year.  The problem came with all the traveling this past month.  I was right on track when I left China, but then read one book in 4 weeks, which left me with 6 books to read in 2 weeks and we still had a week of company and traveling.  So what it came down to was me reading 4 books in the last 4 days.

But it’s done now and I’ll write up a complete book list for y’all in rough chronological order.  Later.  Right now I’m busy making black bean soup and resting my wimpy pregnant body.  I could never have imagined that sitting could be this uncomfortable.

Also, baby alien has the hiccups.

Goodness, gracious


Oh jeez.  I know it’s been about a month too long since I last wrote.  I’m good!  Jesse’s good, baby alien is good (actually sticking a knee in my ribs right now) and we’re attempting to settle into our awesome (and expensive) new apartment.  There are kids running around everywhere and our apartment backs up on a park-like patch of grass.  The weather in Berkeley is just as perfect as we’d imagined and all is quite well.  There are quite some characters hanging around town and it all seems a bit big city-ish to me just now.

I’m afraid I can’t write a whole bunch for another week.  I have to read 4 more books by next Tuesday to finish up my 52 books in a year thingy.  I was all caught up when I left China, but all this traveling messed me up and I have had to really buckle down the last few days.

Everything is going great, though, and I love and miss you all!