Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashion Friday #5

How long has it been since I posted about baby-belly style? Basically since forever, I know. I kind of decided that I hate maternity clothes and also realized that I still hate shopping. Then everyone started in with the boots and fall fashions and here I was in the Bay Area with summer all up in my fall. And that? I did not care for. But it is hinting at fall here now! We have seen some fog and changing leaves, and fallen leaves, and sadly also rain on the way, but it might not be summer anymore! Yay!

It still isn’t cold, or even particularly brisk, but I can dream of what I would wear if the air did have a bite:

Fall maternity

MIH JEANS corduroy jacket, $315
Maternity, $40
Knee length denim skirt, $109
Barbour boots, £270
Zipper bag, $40
Jeeyun Ha Designs 14k earrings, $260
Fringed shawl, $16

Sunday, September 25, 2011

32 Weeks

Apparently I am now a person who wakes up at 4:00 AM. I find this to be an incredibly annoying quality in myself. In related news, I can rarely stay awake past 10:00 PM. I know; I’m a real party.

Baby H, though... that kid is a total riot these days. He’s all sharp edges and lumpy bumps, stretching my abdomen into crazy shapes. It seems entirely possible that I am gestating an octopus. But I'm pretty sure I know who the dad is, and he is not an octopus, so, there's that. Baby H is also exceedingly clever and charming (obviously). This week I discovered that I could play a sort of “Baby Whack-a-Mole” with him. He juts a bit of himself out, I put my hand on it, and he wriggles and juts out someplace else. I hope this doesn’t count as baby harassment, because I find it hard to resist.

My crazy, angular baby is the weight of a jicama this week. No, I am not kidding you with this. Just under four pounds and 17-19 inches long, depending on whom you ask.

I am finding my own figure to be growing mostly straight outward these days. Like a belly torpedo. I imagine Baby H in there all Superman-style, trying to force me onward to the next adventure, because seriously, he is ready!

We are getting more ready every day. Yesterday, we toured the labor and delivery ward where we’ll welcome our little monster into the world. Meaning, most importantly, that Jasper now knows which entrances to use and where he should park. I keep telling him we can just park in the garage and walk in together, because I am smug like that, but he seems to like knowing where the short-term parking is so that he can get me in fast and move the car later. Because I guess labor can be pretty uncomfortable and I might not want to go for a walk? I mean... maybe. Then we attended a class on newborn care, where my baby’s daddy changed his first diaper (on a rubber, non-waste-producing “infant”). He also gave the baby an imaginary bath. I had to take our rubber baby's temperature, which is so how it’s going to be, I can tell you now. Then I had to give him lots of snuggles, because thermometers? In babies? That’s just rude. Throughout the entirety of the three-hour class we were required to hold our fake babies. I found myself idly bouncing him and rubbing his tush, like some sort of crazy person. I was pretty attached by the end.

The main development that came out of class was that we are now considering cloth diapering again. And yes, we know it’s kind of crazy-sounding. We would use a service, though, so it would be about the same effort as disposable. Jasper’s mom used cloth diapers, obviously. (And if you don’t know why that’s obvious, you need to hear the story of how my husband grew up. It is such a good story.) But she had to wash them by hand. Yeah. BY HAND. With water that she pumped up out of the ground. So, cloth diapering with a service sounds pretty posh by comparison. We’ll see... maybe I’ll tell you more about it, as our plans develop. Or maybe not, because diapering! Gross!

Number of prenatal yoga classes Baby H has attended: 3
How we feel about this: Gotta be honest... we are not loving the prenatal yoga. It is slooooow.... and boooooring...

Number of baby-related classes Jasper and I have attended: 3
Number of baby-related classes still in our future: 3
Number of car seats installed in Jasper's car: 1 (yeah, he's pretty dang ready to do this thing at this point.)

Number of blog-stalkers I have: 4
How I feel about this: So flattered I could kiss you all on the mouth (but I totally won't, I promise). People, we are on the cusp of establishing a trend here. It’s all akin to dooce, without the post-Mormonism. And, okay, with roughly a million fewer readers. But that’s why we’re still on the cusp! The early days. You read me when! Also, I wonder if I will get more hits this week for mentioning dooce...

Number of people who have touched the belly: 19, still. This has really stalled out.
Number of pregnancy colds I have suffered: 1, still in progress. Apparently this is pretty lucky because along with everything else, pregnancy suppresses your immune system so that you don't reject the parasite, er, baby. But I can tell you, this cold? It's pretty much thrashing me. I think it's because at this late and enormous state of pregnancy, I am already lower on energy and a little more generally uncomfortable than normal. So, add a bad cold to that and I am pretty much couch-bound in my patheticness.

Baby H’s favorite foods: still fruit. and also, fruit. and also whining that we are hungry but nothing sounds good.
Baby H’s favorite songs this week: Waltzing Matilda and that Michelle Branch one

Jicama photo: Baby Center

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nursery Decor

When my baby’s daddy found out he was going to have a baby, he took prompt and decisive action in the realm of putting things on the baby’s walls. So, for many months now our baby’s room has contained one (1) map of the universe with glow-in-the-dark stars and one (1) map of the world. There are a couple of other things that were already there and could stay or go, depending on what I do next, which is a lot of pressure on my decision-making center and I am a libra so I don’t actually even have a decision-making center at all. Hence, I have been much more waffley and hesitant about the baby’s room decor.

BUT! I have my eye on a few things and am starting to feel ready to commit. One of the challenges of decorating in earthquake country is that framed things cannot go over beds or cribs. So, if I choose nice prints that need the protection of a frame, my wall real estate is limited.

But I thought I would share the things I have my eye on. Because sharing is my thing lately. Had you noticed?

I’m super-crazy excited about these Collective Noun Posters:

We wouldn’t get the otters, because I think we’d go with the letter of Baby H’s first initial. And no, I am not telling you what that is, because I am also smug and secretive, when I’m not sharing.

I also feel a fondness for this charming paper-cut:

And, for something that wouldn’t need a frame, I’m getting a kick out of the Nerdy Baby Posters, like this one:

And I am still on the hunt for the perfect mobile. We have one over the changing table, but it is artsy and the Baby Daddy does not think it is approved for hanging over young Baby Halekas's sleeping chambers. (Too sharp and fragile-seeming.) So, I want something else over the crib. I have no idea what I’m looking for, but I know I haven’t found it yet. No real rush on that, since we won’t even be trying the crib until he’s a bit older, but if anyone has a favorite mobile source, hit me with a link.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Where babies sit

Granny J and Gumpa* sent Baby H the fanciest and most fabulous baby seat in all the land. Granny J saw it on The Today Show and apparently was filled with the knowledge that her future grandson needed such a fancy and fabulous seat. I mean, otherwise, where will he sit? She thought he might also need a stroller equipped with a built-in generator. You may wonder why a stroller would have a built-in generator. That would be to power the cell phone charger, the mileage and temperature display, and the... wait for it... daytime running lights. It also collapses and expands itself at the touch of a button. She admitted the stroller might be a bit more than we need, and I assured her it was. But then I also assured her that Baby H wants the baby seat ever so very much. It apparently moves like me. (But have they ever witnessed my moves?) I guess the model that moves like Jagger was backordered. But it does have an iPod dock for Baby H’s tunes.

Baby H’s new seat:

*Grandparent monikers for the Carriers remain uncontested at present...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

31 Weeks

Yesterday Baby H and I had the busiest of all busy days. First we awoke at 5:00 AM, because I ACTUALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE DID THIS AND IT WAS DUMB. Then we made oatmeal. It was the real kind that takes awhile, so while it was cooking, we swept Reese’s fuzz up off the floors. After breakfast and other whatnot, we went to yoga. It was a tougher class than the first one, but we were still the stars, I am sure. (Is it possible I do not have the correct personality for yoga?)

After yoga, we went to the Old Navy on Alameda, where a sale on maternity clothes was underway. See, I had recently fallen into a chasm in my wardrobe... most things are too short to make it over the belly, and some other things are still too big. Every morning I do much putting on and taking off of shirts to find one that fits somewhat appropriately. And I decided that the luxury of being able to put on a shirt and know that it will fit over my belly is really not so much to ask. Especially when there is a sale. I also congratulated myself for extreme achievements in the self-control division when I did not buy Baby H a puffy vest.

Once the wall of frugality was broken, there was nothing left to do but go to the supermarket and spend all our money. We bought the Baby Daddy’s favorites (chips and cottage cheese, chips and salsa, Greek yogurt, peppered salami, and beer), in honor of his coming-home-day. We also bought the baby’s favorites (fruit, instant pad thai, cinnamon rice chex, and sparkling water), in honor of his being a baby who is still too young to spoil. Then we realized we would fall over if we did not eat something NOW. So Baby H and I got ourselves a nonfat-decaf-coffee-frappuccino-no-whip (his first!) and hurried home, where we ate some red grapes, obviously.

At this point it occurred to me that in all this running around, NO ONE had wanted to talk to me about my baby. Can you imagine? What was wrong with the world? This made me a bit fretful for a few minutes, and now it also occurs to me that it is going to be a cold shock to my system when I am suddenly deprived of all this lovely attention.

But I couldn’t mope for long, because we had a party to prepare for. An engagement party! Around the Halekas house, we are much in favor of all things love and marriage and parties, so this was no time for moping. It was time for making sangria and tapenade. Here’s a tip: people find it very impressive when you make your own tapenade. But it’s really an incredibly easy thing to make. Mine has figs and olives in it and it is delicious and I don't mind saying so. I serve it with goat cheese and some sort of a bready vehicle and then I have to spend the rest of my day fending off marriage proposals.

The sangria, I am told, was strong. All of my cocktail concoctions these days are strong, it seems. I don’t measure, and I don’t taste, and so you get what you get. Jasper is my official taster these days, but I have long-since trained his palate for the wondrousness of cocktails on the martini end of the spectrum, so... it’s not so much a trouble with my cocktails as it is inadequate training on the part of my drinkers. And I can’t do much about that, now can I? Motivation has to come from within.

The party was fabulous. It was possibly Baby H’s favorite party yet (and he’s been to lots!) He danced and people talked about him a lot. These are both hallmarks of a great party. We also ate tons of delicious food, heard stories of recent 100-mile races, and met a two-year-old who also has a baby boy in her belly. Seriously, what are the odds? Her baby’s name is Collin. Baby H’s Auntie V also talked up the virtues of tequila for pain-management during labor. So, you know, we’re looking into amending our birth plan.

Could this post be any longer? It could, because we still need to cover the produce report.

This is another one of those disappointing weeks when we all wonder if the baby could be shrinking? But the actual lesson to be learned here is: navel oranges weigh more than you thought. And Baby H weighs as much as four of them, which is apparently around 3.3 pounds:

People continue to tell me I am not very impressively pregnant at all. In fact, yesterday, at the fabulous party, someone who knows me was chatting me up and completely didn’t notice that I am pregnant. Seriously? It’s right there! He must have assumed I had just really let myself go after getting hitched and disappearing from the ultra-running circuit. And what a tragic weight-gain pattern!

This would be sad if I weren’t so pregnant:

Number of prenatal yoga classes Baby H has attended: 2
Number of fabulous and fancy baby seats Baby H owns: 1 (details to come!)
Number of people who greeted me with “You’re gonna have a baby!” this week: 1
Number of people who had already greeted me thus, prior to this week: 2
Likelihood that this greeting makes my pregnant glow that much brighter: very high
Number of blog-stalkers I now know myself to have: 1
How much this delights me to my very core: very much

Baby H’s favorite foods: red grapes, cinnamon rice chex, smoothies
Baby H’s suddenly not-favorite foods: ice cream, peanut butter (!!)
Pounds of red grapes consumed this week: 1.5
Number of smoothies consumed this week: 2
Number of days my baby’s daddy left us unsupervised this week: 4.5
Number of vegetable servings we ate while he was away: 2-ish

Dependably enjoyed tune of the week: Moves like Jagger (Maroon 5)
Surprisingly not-enjoyed tune of the week: Tonight Tonight (Hot Chelle Rae)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Unsupervised #2

These are the things I've done while my husband has been away:

  1. Worked pretty much incredibly hard at my job and even worked from home one evening. (Are such conditions even legal??!!!)
  2. Inadvertently eliminated vegetables from my diet, out of food disinterest and also general laziness.
  3. Changed the sheets, which was very grown-up of me, don’t you think?
  4. Worked myself into a state of semi-fretful worry, yet again, over the fact that maybe my baby is TOO active? Abstained from googling “crazy fetus.”
  5. Gained half a pound. (I do this, like, all the time, sometimes right before your eyes.)
  6. Ate a lot of red grapes. Some of these were off of the floor, after I dropped them.
  7. Discovered Cinnamon Rice Chex, which are super-delicious.
  8. Incorporated my husband’s pillow into my sleeping fortress.
  9. Did not watch any of the new TV in the Hulu queue without him. (Not even the new episode of The Lying Game! Have you ever witnessed such self-control?)
  10. Read half of Twilight: New Moon. Seriously, why am I reading these books?
  11. Brought the giant box in from the porch with my own weak little arms. Decided I should not open it until Jasper gets home, because it is a gift. But then I also might be being lazy, because I don’t want to have to break down the giant box? With my weak little arms?
  12. Walked eight miles. No, not all at once.
  13. Committed to attend yoga tomorrow morning.

Assuming that you now feel pretty good about the way you spent the last four days, you’re welcome.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So today at lunch, Baby H asserted that if it was not made out of fruit, he did not want to eat it. He was like this before, back in Trimester the First. I had heard that disinterest in most things food-like sometimes returns in later weeks of the baby-growing project, but my reaction to such tales was to say “bah! That doesn’t sound like something I would do at all! Food is delicious!"

Yeah, so, there I am, all hating on the idea of food that is not made of fruit when I get the idea to go to the Jamba Juice, because Jamba Juice? It is tasty. And also made of fruit. When I get there it becomes clear that Baby H wants his smoothie to have a dominant peach flavor and no banana. Seriously! This baby! And his demands!

After I read the entire menu twice, much to the befuddlement of the male cashier and the several male customers who had to go ahead of me, one peach perfection smoothie was gotten and consumed. Later we ate some red grapes.

But then! As I’m riding home on BART, I receive another demand. Pad thai, asserts Baby H. For dinner, pad thai. So part of me is thinking that wow, this is so exciting! My first real craving of pregnancy! A right of passage! I may be a late bloomer, but bloom I shall! Then a bigger part of me realizes that my baby’s daddy? He is in Annapolis. And even I realize that to ask him to fly home to fetch me pad thai this evening would be unreasonable. But he has not had to deal with even one crazy craving-fetching adventure! And as his adorably, enormously pregnant wife, it is my responsibility to send him on such adventures! And now, in my hour of need, he is sailing on a schooner, drinking beer and eating crabcakes. (I can only imagine.) So, feeling very oppressed by my lack of a proximal husband, I turn to pad thai acquisition plans.

I fire up the Yelp on my phone and determine that, on my walk home from BART, I have two options. One is cruddy and always empty; the other, a trendy Asian-fusion bistro. I opt for the bistro, for a multitude of reasons: 1) If you’re going to feed your baby prawns, they should hail from the most reputable source; 2) Trendy bistro is close to home and this would be a non-committal way to audition it for a date night; 3) Trendy bistro is close to home and so I wouldn’t have to carry my pad thai as far; and 4) A half-star more on Yelp.

HOWEVER. Because Asian-fusion makes me nervous and suspicious that there is soy sauce (and therefore wheat) in everything, I quiz them on the contents of my desired dish. They admit there is soy sauce, and they cannot leave it out, because the sauce is premixed. Trendy Asian-fusion bistro is so not our new date night locale.

So I skulked toward the market, thinking I would settle for some instant pad thai in a box. And as I go to cross the street (with the walk sign!), I look to ensure that no one is going to run me over and this lady? She’s completely going to run me over! So I stop short of the crosswalk and she sees me and is of course horrified that she almost could have run over a pregnant lady, if said pregnant lady had not been being cautious. Because really, no one wants to run over a pregnant lady.

And now I’m thinking that clearly my husband should be taking care of this nonsense, with the danger and the difficulty and all.

And then it turns out the market does not sell instant pad thai in a box. And I am really too hungry and pathetic at this point to actually make pad thai. Which leads me to two thoughts: 1) Baby H is getting his choice of microwave mac-n-cheese or slacker nachos for dinner and 2) Jasper owes me some pad thai, or whatever else Baby H is demanding by the time he gets home from impressing the NASA bigwigs with his flashy Powerpoint and handsomeness.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

30 Weeks

Thirty! It’s as though my pregnancy has reached actual adulthood. (Because, let’s be honest, the 20s are just not nearly as grown-up as they used to be.) And, people, let me tell you, I loved turning 30. I felt as if I suddenly had a handle on this whole being alive thing. I was very much single, living alone with Reese and Puppet in the cruddiest apartment in all the land, and managing a hectic and tragic-to-the-point-of-hilarity dating life. I was surrounded by amazing girlfriends. Two days before my 30th birthday, I ran my first 50-mile trail race. The next day, I threw myself a party in the backyard of the cruddy apartment. We dragged random old furniture from the storage area of our duplex out into the yard. I made a big pot of chili and we poured lots of wine. There were friends, coworkers, family, babies, and lots of little kiddos to help me open my presents. It was pretty much the greatest. I was smitten with being 30.

The day before I turned 30:

That was almost three years ago, and seriously, you guys? My 30s have been pretty darn great. Right around the time of that party, one of said amazing girlfriends told me she had my future husband all picked out. I googled him and thought he was neat. I also thought he had terrific legs. (I still do.) See?

A few months later, I met him and it turned out he was very neat! I eventually seduced him with my Scrabble and gimlet-mixing skills (it’s pretty much all I’ve got). A year later, I married him. And now we’re going to have a baby. So, yes, all great things started the year I turned 30.
And now my pregnancy is 30 (weeks). So, clearly, I have some pretty high expectations. (No, not really.) But it does mean that I’m super, really pregnant. Though people keep telling me that my pregnant immensity is quite unimpressive to them. *sadface* It is getting more impressive every day, though, and I think I’ll get them in the end. But before we get to that, Baby H! And his gigantic proportions! He is now roughly the size of a cabbage (though he’s not spherical, as far as I know). He’s apparently around three pounds and 16 inches long.

And if the sensation of my skin stretching beyond the bounds of sanity is any indication, I am also growing apace:

And because Mr. Puppet also wanted to share his belly, here’s an outtake from before I wiped the schmuck off the lens:

(Apparently, if you want your pictures to be not foggy, you should not maintain a layer of schmuck on the lens. Seriously, the things I learn!)

My ever-dwindling wardrobe also confirms continued growth... the subset of my shirts that dependably cover the belly is shrinking every day. And two of my dresses are now shirts. (No, I’m not kidding.) I hope that tunic and leggings thing is still in, because I am planning to rock it this fall.

Number of people who have touched the belly: 19
Baby’s favorite music: anything his dad is playing for him on the guitar... little guy is very into his own private dance party
Baby’s favorite foods: still grapes, and ice cream, and peanut butter, but also last night there was a bite of steak so delicious that I wanted to shove everyone else away from the buffet table so that any remaining steak would be ALL MINE

Cryptonomicon progress: more than halfway!

Number of miles we “ran” this week: 4
Likelihood that those were our last running miles: high (the run itself was fine, but oh my lord why do I now feel like I rode a galloping horse all day?)

Question of the week: Should I tag along on Jasper’s 3-day business trip to Paris when I’m 34 weeks enormously pregnant? We have miles to cover the ticket and his work covers the room, so the crazy isn’t about money. It’s more... Am I the sort of girl who jets off for 48 hours in Paris? I want to be that girl... And also, can I wear leggings in Paris or will the Parisians chase me out with torches for my sartorial offense upon their fine city? And what if I wear boots with my leggings?

Photo of my “future husband” and his sexy legs: Ron Little
Photo of cabbage: Baby Center

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

29 Weeks

These days, when people ask how far along I am, I get a lot of “wow! already? your pregnancy is flying by!” and also “jeez, still? this is sort of dragging for me.” My perspective is that the weeks-that-start-with-a-two have genuinely started to drag a little. I mean, 20 weeks was when we found out the grub is a boy. And that was AGES ago. Also, speaking of my perspective, it came to my attention this week that, when looking straight down, I can no longer see my toes. And I have no idea when that happened! I can still shave my legs, and bend over to pick things up, and tie my own shoes, so I am not quite in the league of entirely comical proportions. But surely I am getting there! Oh, and my belly is somewhat more comical due to the fact that there is more baby on the right side than on the left. So, I’m quite uneven. Anyway, I know some of you are here for the produce report... This week, Baby Halekas is a SERIOUS vegetable. A butternut squash!

And let me tell you, this is not surprising to me at all. The little guy feels like quite the beefcake these days. I may have once compared him to a fish, flopping and squirming about in my abdomen. Now, he is much more akin to a labrador puppy. And if you have never spent any time in the company of a labrador puppy, you totally should! They are the most adorable in the whole world.


That particular lab puppy lives in Virginia, with my parents. His name is Beau. When my mom found out we were having boy, they had just recently acquired and named Beau, and she was afraid they might have stolen our baby name. (They hadn’t.) I thought her concern was very sweet, though it was also obvious that she wasn’t offering to rename the puppy, even if they had stolen our baby name. So, there’s that.

And for those of you who are here for the belly shot... Well, we were on vacation this weekend, and so you get the rare and surely not to be repeated BATHING SUIT belly shot:


I know. Could I possibly get any more shameless in the name of journalistic honesty? (I assure you I could, but I will try to restrain myself.)

According to one of my weekly pregnancy emails, Baby H might be making his way into exit position (so early!), which would be upside down, facing my back. In my non-medical opinion, he actually isn’t far off. I think he’s diagonal, head-down, and back-facing. I base my theories on the fact that he is currently pummeling both my left hip bone and my right ribs. He hits harder at rib level, however, so I’m calling those kicks. And I think my belly is uneven because of his cute tush sticking out. (He gets that from his father.) So, yes, not quite locked and loaded, but honestly? I don’t really want him to figure out the exit plan yet. If he did, he’d probably go for it, since he seems to find my uterus so very boring.

Number of strangers who spoke to me this week, secure in the knowledge that I was pregnant: 2
Amount this surprised me: a lot! (I figured people would think I might just be fat)
Amount this surprised Jasper: not at all! (he says I’m way past “could be chubby”)

Baby H’s favorite foods this week: red grapes, ice cream, and blackberries that his dad forged a freezing cold river to pick for him
Baby H’s favorite songs this week: “Snow (Hey Oh)” -- Red Hot Chili Peppers (way more mellow than his usual faves!) and anything with a decent dance beat

Number of times I was not offered a seat on BART this week: 2 (that hasn’t happened in months!)
Number of times this week I slept through the night: 1 (that also hasn’t happened in months!)

Squash photo: Baby Center