Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yep, still pregnant

Sylvia was two weeks overdue and had to be shown the door before she'd make her entrance to the world. Thus, it's not all that surprising to me that I'm still pregnant the day before my official due date (and a week before the early ultrasound-based due date, which is the one I consider more accurate).

Apparently I'm about the only one, though. Even though I'm still small enough people are surprised to hear I'm just about due (and I'm definitely bigger than I was with Sylvia) a number of people expressed surprise to see I'm still pregnant--like the due date is some deadline and I should have given birth before it or something.

Unless I'm needed in primary, I think I'm going to skip next week. I could go around educating everyone I talk to about how only about 40% of women go into labor naturally before their due date, and only something like 67% before a week after the due date, but really, I get tired of the glassy-eyed stares and the quick exits to more mundane conversation. I know people are just making conversation and there's no actual meaning to their supposed astonishment at the continuation of my gravid state, but I'm a weirdo and I have this awkward tendency to take small talk too seriously.

Who knows, perhaps tomorrow I'll have my baby boy. I see the doctor again tomorrow, and perhaps stimulating my cervix will actually do something this time. I saw her last Thursday, at which point she stimulated my cervix. Later that evening, while walking through the SD zoo with Sylvia, Derrick, and a friend and her kids I had one good contraction that reminded me that yep, labor's painful. It was a really long contraction, too--we'd just gone into the Panda exhibit and the contraction lasted pretty much the whole time I was walking through. Admittedly, it's a pretty short exhibit, but I did take it slowly because I was in pain. Other than that I've had some contractions, but they've all been pretty weak and I'm guessing aren't doing all that much for me.

Ah well. One of these tomorrows I'll meet my little boy. In the mean time, I'm doing my best to enjoy the last few days (or weeks) of our family having only three people in it. Sylvia's excited about her brother, or at least about his arrival (she keeps telling people her brother will come out and then it'll be her birthday). This week we did spend a few good, quality evenings together as a family. Monday night I picked up Derrick and we got good Mexican food for dinner, then ate it at a beach in La Jolla. Sylvia wouldn't go into the water on her own (which was probably a very good thing at that beach. I don't think I've ever seen a beach as steep as the one we were on, and the waves were correspondingly powerful--probably too much for a small child) but she loved holding on to one of us as we dunked her into the oncoming waves. I was grateful my bikini still fit (though I look like a bloated, pasty whale), but I got cold pretty quickly, so Derrick did most of the dunking. Sylvia would yell, "no, no, no!" as the waves would come in and try to climb as far up Derrick as she could, and then, after each wave passed she'd just grin.

Thursday we went to the zoo (as I mentioned earlier). I took a rather long nap that afternoon and didn't even wake up until 5:10, and then Sylvia had to be fed before we could leave to pick up Derrick (who had sore tendons in his knee from starting biking back up). We stopped at In n' out for dinner for the adults (which was subsequently shared with the kiddo anyway) and finally showed up at the zoo around 7:30. That only gave us about an hour and a half at the zoo, but the cool thing about being there that late is that a lot of the animals are relatively active about then. Other than the koalas that are phase-shifted specifically to let people see them move, I've never seen one active. Several were quite animatedly chewing on eucalyptus leaves when we went past there. The wombats were also moving around, which again, I've only seen sleep before. Sadly, being a diurnal primate myself, the light faded quickly past the point when I could effectively see much. Still, walking around with my family and with my friend and her family was very enjoyable. Sylvia was particularly excited, and spent much of the time shrieking like a happy little monkey. I think she would gladly have stayed at the zoo all night long.

Last night Derrick finally got to see what my belly does when the little boy decides to be REALLY active. He said it reminded him of the scene in Spaceballs where the alien jumps out of the guy's belly (which is ripped from the movie Alien, but whatever). Apparently Derrick did that before he was born, at one point causing his father to laugh so hard he fell out of bed. Since baby boy is currently up to the same antics, I'm going to go find a more comfortable spot to spend the rest of my evening!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

still here

I'm still pregnant (not a surprise) and although my body's actually doing something (I am effacing and my cervix is softening, though I'm only barely a centimeter dilated) it's still probably going to be a while before I actually go into labor. Still, I'm feeling pretty good, so it's not a huge deal to me that I'm still in a holding pattern, and I have hope that I'll actually go into labor on my own this time. Yeah!

Somewhere along the way I (or someone) introduced Sylvia to the Queen song, "We will rock you." All week Sylvia's been randomly humming the tune, or breaking into the song, or, proving she's very much related to my dad, changing the lyrics to accommodate whatever activity she's currently engaged in. Sadly, I can't think of any specifically at the moment. Definitely one of those things I should write down when it happens so I don't have to write blog posts with lame non-endings.\

This weekend was pretty busy. Derrick gave a talk at Caltech yesterday, and today we had a friend over for dinner. Derrick wanted me to go up to 'tech with him yesterday, promising it'd be fun. Given how much "fun" I've had in the last couple of months travelling with my kid (and her refusal to take naps and increasing crankiness and energy as the afternoon wears on combined with my decreasing energy and increasing crankiness) I was all for *not* going. At the last minute I emailed some friends who have a daughter just a few months younger than Sylvia who are post-docs at Caltech (though not for long, as I found out--They're moving to England at the end of the month!) and asked if they'd be able to watch Sylvia for about an hour so I could at least go to Derrick's talk and, since they agreed, I figured I'd go.

Derrick suggested Sylvia and I go to the Page museum while we waited and I had every intention of going. Somehow, between walking campus (Sylvia loved hanging around Throop and enjoyed running through the (currently waterless) Millikan library pool) and visiting with a few friends who are still around (Athena at the Y and Tim and Theresa and their daughter) we never made it. We did go to Trader Joe's for lunch, where Sylvia played on their weird non-playground equipment while I talked to a beautiful Iranian woman who works at the Macy's next door. I didn't actually make it to Derrick's talk--since Tim and Theresa are moving to England and it's rather unlikely I'll see them again any time in the near future, I hung out with them instead. They had to get back to packing or I probably would have asked them to dinner. Instead, I called Sarina and we went for a light dinner of sushi since she had plans with other friends.

Being around 'tech as a non-student is finally nice. Somewhere along the line I seem to have gotten over feeling insecure and inadequate simply by being on campus. I hope that's a permanent part of my personal maturation and not just a by-product of pregnancy.

Today we had a friend, who happens to be Indian, over for dinner. Probably having someone over for a relatively intricate meal the day after a big travel day wasn't the most brilliant idea (especially since I'm easily tired at the moment) but dinner went okay. Derrick dragged Anand out to the garage, where they worked on making a wooden bowl (and a very rustic one, as my mother in law would say). I fixed lentils, zucchini pancakes (which are essentially my zucchini koftas only made pancake/latke-style and served with the traditional tomato sauce), fancy rice (basmati with spices, onions, and raisins), and then made Derrick cook chicken tikka on the grill, which was easy enough. I froze a bunch of uncooked chicken tikka so all we'd have to do was pull it out and cook it after the baby (assuming it makes it 'till then). Next time we definitely need to thread the chicken pieces on skewers, though--the ones I found at the store seemed too long, so I didn't get them. The individual pieces are far too small to cook easily on the grill. Probably the most difficult (if one can call it difficult) part of preparing the meal was making chapatis. They're a must with Sylvia, though--she loves to eat Indian food with chapatis. Then again, so do I. There's just something enjoyably elemental about eating with my hands!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Both sides of the story

When I was young, before I realized I would be far to short and unattractive to ever seriously contend for a beauty pageant, I dreamed of being Miss USA. I'm pretty sure almost all girls dream of being that glamorous, that talented, that poised; of being so beautiful you light up the stage, and the television cameras can't help but follow you around.

Not that I've watched a beauty pageant in a while, but I don't think I realized how dumb most of the girls sound when they open their mouths.

So, if you were to ask me the question, "should evolution be taught in school?" my answer would be something along the lines of, "YES! Evolution is a basic scientific principle that helps us understand much about the world around us and so it should absolutely be taught in schools."

According to many of this year's Miss America contestants evolution should be taught in schools only as a contrast to creationism, you know, so kids can decide for themselves what to believe.

Seriously? What schools did these girls go to where creationism was taught? Did they not pay attention in science class, or were their teachers that terrible or misinformed themselves that only a handful of them (almost exclusively from the coasts, you may note) even seemed to recognize evolution as science? And what is it with "both sides should be taught?" There are no "both sides" to evolution. There's a well-tested theory with an awful lot of evidence backing it up on one side and on the other...religious dogma.

While these young women may be exceptionally poorly educated, I have my doubts they're very different from most of their generation. I find it intriguing they seem to think the information presented in school is something one chooses to believe or disbelieve. Sure, there are interpretations one can choose to accept or not accept (though it really takes more education than you get in high school to be able to discern between interpretations), but the vast majority of what you're taught in school (including evolution!) isn't so much stuff you choose to believe or not; more like that's the stuff we're all expected to know and understand in order to be educated, reasonably thoughtful citizens of our nation. Having that knowledge may open up more choices, particularly educational, social, and (hopefully) employment opportunities, but believing what your taught in a secular school or not isn't really the choice you have before you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Go work like daddy

This morning when Derrick was headed out the door, Sylvia insisted she also needed to "go to work." Since Derrick was biking, she also insisted on riding her skuut, just like her dad. Unfortunately I didn't grab a camera to capture the two of them "biking" together, but let's just say it was very cute.

Sylvia's getting proficient with her skuut, too. This evening we went on a short walk to a friend's house around the corner. She's not quite gliding yet, but her feet aren't in contact with the ground 100% of the time anymore and she goes faster than I can walk. And when she falls she just gets back up and keeps going, just like a big girl.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Seven years, no itch

Today Derrick and I have been married for seven years. Happily, we've even spent more than half of that time living in the same place!

To celebrate, the three of us went out for Mexican food. We spent less than $20 on dinner and then went home and put Sylvia to bed before crashing ourselves. What can I say--romance isn't really a big deal for either of us. Then again, being rather hugely pregnant, I'm not currently feeling all that adventurous. Sure, we could have gone out to a nice, fancy restaurant, but we'd have Sylvia with us and I'd still have to be very careful about portion size to prevent that lovely third-trimester heartburn (which is strangely not connected to spicy food, but is triggered by fatty food and chocolate--grr).

I definitely lucked out in the marriage department, though. Derrick is a wonderful guy who I get along with well, he's a great dad, and we have a lot of fun together. He makes my life better, he makes me a better person, and I think he reciprocates those feelings. Here's to the next seven times ten years and more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011