Sunday, October 31, 2004

I'm getting bigger

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More Thoughts on the Election

It's interesting that the two most recent controversial topics on my blog were about the election and baby wipes warmers. Could we draw a parallel between the state of the American voting process and poop? I don't know.

The election is nearing. I've decided who I am going to vote for (but I'm keeping it to myself, thank you.) I had coffee with a good friend last Friday night and she's in the same predicament as me. She said, "What's a compassionate conservative to do?" She also has had people scoldingly say to her, "I don't see how you could be this close to the election and not know who to vote for." Her answer is, "I don't see how you could be this close to the election and KNOW who to vote for." I don't know how to see the world in strict black and white. There are so many shades of gray. And opinions on how gray they are. Or if they are even gray to begin with. Sometimes, the gray turns out to be a bright red.

Separately, she and I had both come to the same voting resting place, though. Begrudingly. I've got a couple of blacks and whites that I suppose I cannot part with.

But it just pisses me off sometimes. Voting should not have to be determining which candidate/party makes you cringe the least. It reminds me of a Simpson's Halloween episode where Kang and Kodos (the two aliens) take over the bodies of Clinton and Dole during the 1996 election. Right before the election, it is revealed that they are, in fact, aliens. Kang laughs and says, "What you going to do about it? It's a two party system! You've got to vote for one of us!" Later it shows everyone, including the Simpsons, doing slave labor on a chain gang under the rule of President Kang. Marge complains about the earth's plight and Homer says, "Don't blame me. I voted for Kudos."

Well, I guess I'm gonna hafta suck it up and vote for one of them.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Lure of "Stuff"

I am a sucker for Clinique Bonus Time. I don't wear much make-up usually. A wee bit of concealer, blush, powder and lip gloss. That's about it. But whenever Clinique starts giving away those darned make-up bags with the free stuff, I try to come up with any excuse to buy enough make-up to warrant the $19.50 you have to spend to get it. I get like a little kid with new Barbie clothes. I get my free stuff, then I come home and spread it out all over the couch and sniff and dab at all of it. usually ends up in my cute little box above the toilet. Never to be actually used. Why am I so happy to get free eye shadow when I don't even wear eye shadow?

I am trying to prevent myself in being this way about baby "stuff." And I have been really good so far. Thankfully, I am really not much of a shopper. I also have a husband who sees that look in my eyes when I pass by Baby Gap. "You will have a shower, Ellen," he says, "Don't even think about it." I started thinking about money and materialism and priorities this weekend, whilst wandering around the mall with my little Clinique bag. It's so easy to get caught up in the lie. Jason and I are currently on a tight budget, trying to completely rid ourselves of debt. We're not in a bad spot, given from what I've read of the normal American family's debt. But frankly, I don't like having a bit of debt. It makes me itchy.

Unfortunately, the people who work in Baby Land know exactly what buttons to press. Those soft pastel colors, adorable mobiles, cute footies. They get you that way. They also get you the "safety" way... if you don't get that Duckie Bathtub Temperature Gauge that quacks when it is too hot, you are playing with your child's life! How could you even think of not buying that Fisher Price Long Distance baby monitor? They also hook you the education route. Apparently, it is imperative for your child to be looking at a black and white checkered gizmo that plays Beethoven, rather than that equally as fascinating (at least to your three month old) moth on the ceiling.

Some women tell me that there are some things that you can't do without. Like a bouncer seat. I've never heard a mother say, "Eh, skip the bouncer." It's more like, "Get the bouncer. It will save your life." I was looking at my registry list today, thinking of the Must Haves. Actually, there are really very few. A crib. A car seat. A high chair. A changing table (although some women just plop them on the bed.) A stroller. Diapers. Some onesies, socks and pants.

But then there's all of this stuff that the workers of Baby Land have convinced us are neccesities. For instance, if push comes to shove, you can use a pillow instead of a Boppy. You can use your ears instead of a baby monitor. You can use your arms instead of a Baby Bjorn. You can use the kitchen sink instead of a baby bathtub.

Not to say that I would mind receiving all that cute or unneccesary stuff, which is certainly on my registries--hey, who am I to refuse a like a Prince Lionheart wipes warmer? But it's nice to know that my daughter is not going to end up selling crack cocaine just because the wipes were cold on her newborn tushie.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


My sister's wedding was this past weekend. Everything went well. Nobody fell on the cake. She's married.

The whole weekend was a little difficult for me, emotionally, though. My sis had seven bridesmaids (I was matron-of-honor. Yikes! I am a matron!) and one of the others was a girl who was in the same infertility boat as me this past year or two. We aren't close friends, but she is a really informed smart cookie, so we had talked on the phone several times to discuss treatment options and the fruits of our collective research. Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm pregnant and she's on her third IUI (that's intrauterine insemination for you non-infertiles.)

Every time a relative would squeal over my protuding belly, I felt myself cringe for my friend's sake. I had uncles snapping upclose pictures of my tummy, aunts calling me "Mommy" and my father including his future grandfather status during the toast. I felt such conflicting emotions. I couldn't "turn off" my pregnancy for the weekend, nor would I want to. I've wanted to be here for so long, I am enjoying every minute of it. But part of me wanted to hide in the bathroom and cry because I want her to have that joy as well.

We passed most of the weekend in uncomfortability until right before the wedding. We ended up having a long discussion about all her procedures and I told her about my survivor's guilt. It helped a lot. I understand her pain, but I didn't try to give her helpful advice or anything. And I have none to give. I never got to the point of IUIs, and I probably wouldn't have, since we had decided not to go that direction if I hadn't gotten pregnant. Everybody has an end point. My end was the laparoscopy, then take scuba lessons until we decided on either adoption or no kids (Well, that was my plan.) I think that my friend is nearing her end as well. She is starting to have that look to her eyes that I had, that sound in her voice. Acceptance, I suppose. But not hopelessness and bitterness. I'm not worried about her. She is going to be okay, whatever happens.

Life is not fair sometimes. I used to be a big proponent of fairness in my youth. My dad always said, "Whoever said life was fair, Ellen?" I would nod, but secretly roll my eyes. He was just an old jaded man and he didn't understand how things were supposed to work. But God started using a jackhammer on my fairness principle and just kept going until I "got" it. And I think that I get it now. My dad was right. Life isn't fair. Life is painful. There is going to be infertility and cancer and death and car wrecks and failed careers and stubbed toes. But I am so thankful that God jackhammered me, because I think that when I accepted the inevitability of the crap, I finally accepted the blessings as well. It honestly wasn't until I felt the heartache in my life that I felt the contentment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Well, Election Day is upon us and, horror of horrors, I still haven't decided who to vote for. Elections are hard when you are a Conservative Democrat/Liberal Republican. I guess that would make me an official "Independent." The problem is, I have major points of contention with both party's platforms. I am the perfect voter for courting. I could truly be swayed. Hello Bushie! Hello Kerry! There is a voter in Arkansas who is still undecided thirteen days before the election! Come and get me!

I remember when I was five, I went to the poll booths with my parents during the Carter/Reagan vote. Afterwards, I asked my dad who he voted for. I guess my dad wasn't keen on announcing his choice to a blabbermouth five-year-old, so he said, "I voted for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." So for years, I thought that was an option on the ticket. Vote for Bush, Kerry or Happiness. I wish it was that easy.

Maybe I'll just write in Tom Hanks. He seems trustworthy.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"Ellen's List of Most Profound Movies"

To preserve my sanity from the constant barrage of family phone calls about weddingweddingwedding, and to avoid the huge pile of work sitting next to me on my desk, I thought that I'd make this list. (And to be perfectly honest, my list is probably fairly shallow in nature, but then, it's my list. You aren't going to find "The Piano" or "Citizen Kane" on here. I guess these are just the movies that I find myself referencing on a regular basis.)

Orange County- Lesson Learned: No place is perfect, no family is perfect and no friends are perfect. But you can still find inspiration in the imperfections. There are the stoners, dancing cheerleaders and dumb pseudo-intellectuals wherever you go, although they make take on different forms. You can't escape it. Find happiness and people to love wherever you happen to be. (Favorite line: "All I know is somebody here is gonna hafta pee in a cup for my parole officer!" Or something like that.)

Groundhog's Day- Lesson Learned: Don't be a jerk. Getting ahead is not what is important in life. Try to appreciate the day, even if you are bored out of your mind. (Favorite lines: "Pastry, Larry?" "Don't drive angry!")

Office Space- Lesson Learned: Work sucks, but we all have to do it. At least find something to do that doesn't make you want to kill yourself. (Favorite Lines: "I don't like work...I'm just not going to go." "Excuse me, I have lost my stapler." Mumbled, of course.)

Reality Bites- I know, I know. How cliche. A Gen-Xer who liked that Winona flick. But to be honest, I really identified with the characters in this movie. Lesson Learned: You are not a loser just because you can't get a fabulous job after you graduate. We all have high ideals, but then we all also have to eat. (Favorite Line: Actually it's when Winona sits in her living room, depressed, braiding her hair and singing "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock. I also like "Hey, Lanie, take a look around. You are IN the bell jar.")

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Keeping Busy

Well, I've really sucked at writing on my blog recently. In all honesty, I've been incredibly busy. My sister is getting married this weekend, so everything is weddingweddingwedding right now.

Although, truthfully, I could have been writing if I'd been setting my mind to it. I've had enough time to make a baby mobile in the evening. And trust me, it is the most bizarre mobile that you've ever seen. You see, I am addicted to Christmas ornaments. Every January, I get really sad packing away my ornaments because I know that they are going into hibernation for a year. It seems like such a shame to me, to hide away such glittery pretty things for 11 months out of the year.

I recently bought some really cool ones, some of them from an ornament line called Funkytown (if that tells you anything to the spirit of the bobbles.) After I bought them, I decided that they have to be used for the good of humanity because they are too cool. I bought some aluminum wire and created a mishmash curly baby mobile. Jason is skeptical. As long as it is sturdy and placed away from baby's prying hands (I think it will be dangling over the changing table), he is willing to give it a chance. I will try to take a picture of it for viewing.

I also finished a scrapbook last week. I had all these old pictures of Jason and I from our younger days, so I created an album of "The History of Jason and Ellen." I showed it to my parents and they laughed at some of the many many differences between the two of us growing up. Jason is almost always outdoors, riding a bike, scuba diving, spelunking, what have you. I, on the other hand, am nearly always indoors, wearing a wig or dancing around in an elf costume or some such nonsense. I happened to place two pictures next to each other of the two of us during college, the same summer, but before we ever met. He is covered in grime, racing a mountain bike across a field as fast as he can. I am wearing my mother's old prom dress, racing barefoot across our driveway as fast as I can, so that the organza will flap in the wind properly.

There's no telling what sort of child is going to pop out of me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Love That OB

Jason and I went and saw my beloved OB last Thursday. (I am currently 21 weeks, 5 days.) He always does an ultrasound, but this was the big one (and my last for awhile.) He checked the heart, stomach, head, cord, all that stuff. She looks healthy and wiggly. Or as he puts it, "beautiful" (and I'm not really a gooey emotional person, but that made me feel warm inside.) And yes, she still appears to be a girl, though breech at the moment.

I might possibly be developing placenta previa. My placenta is pretty low. He will do another ultrasound around 34 weeks and see if it moves. I could go either way, apparently. Oh well. If I've gotta do a c-section, then I've gotta do a c-section.

This weekend, I went on a "research trip" with several members of my design team to Kansas City. When I say "research trip" what I really mean is a perk trip that allows us to all go shopping in Anthropolie and eat at the Cheesecake Factory. We do actually research new gift design ideas, but in between our many Starbucks breaks. It was a really fun trip and the four of us got along really well. Our boss is a classic metrosexual guy, which are the best kind of men to take along shopping, because they never rush you out of a store. He is not gay, but he has on occasion uttered the word "yummy" when smelling a new candle scent.

My friend, who is due a month ahead of me, shared a hotel room with me. One night we ended up talking about childbirth and labor. We have completely opposite viewpoints on the whole deal, which we've known the whole time, but never discussed in detail. It was a good conversation and I think we tried to see the other person's point of view. She has been taking Bradley Method classes and wants her labor to go as drug-free as possible. She wants as little intervention as possible. She feels that women have been doing this for many years and you should keep it as natural as possible. I, on the other hand, am all about the Managed Care. The way I look at it, medical science has advanced to the point where I can have a relatively painfree, pleasant birth experience, while still allowing me to actively be involoved in my baby's birth. I trust my doctor, and feel that the decisions he makes are in the best interest of my child and me. Whatever it takes to give me a healthy baby is fine with me-- forceps, episiotomy, suction, c-section, whatever. Besides, he went to thirteen or so years of schooling for this exact specialty and currently delivers about five to ten babies a week. He knows more than me. That actually gives me a great deal of relief.