Random Thursday thoughts

photo-208I wrote this when I was up early. In my pregnant state I have trouble getting back to sleep, so my general rule is that if I pop up after 5 a.m., I don’t try. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 and slept straight through until 5, so that’s not bad. I cranked out the article I needed to, so now on to blogging. A few mid-week thoughts:

We’ve been marked. We have a fancy photo shoot arranged for the kids this weekend. So, of course, yesterday the school nurse calls to inform me that my 7-year-old got kicked in the face during a rather exuberant game of leaping through hoops in gym class. He got a bright red cut/scratch under his eye. Then at home his sister scratched him when she got mad about him turning the TV off. The 5-year-old, meanwhile, ran smack into the wall last night and got a giant purple bruise and scratch on his forehead. Here’s hoping the photo studio can retouch stuff.

I missed the 7-year-old’s first soccer game. There’s this trope in work-life literature where games and missed games take on much significance. Sometimes it’s framed as someone reminiscing that “my dad never missed a game” or otherwise it’s framed as a mother reaching a point of soul searching because the flight was late so she missed the soccer game, so she needs to re-evaluate, cut back, etc. That wasn’t my problem. I missed the first soccer game because another kid had soccer in a different location at the exact same time. This reality makes me suspicious of claims that parents “never” missed games (really, never? Did they elect to miss your siblings’ stuff instead?). Also, while the late-flight scenario has people clucking that you can’t have it all, no one would look at my hard-choice moment and inform me that I need to get rid of the other kid.

I’ve been reading the book Jesus Feminist. I had seen it mentioned on other blogs, and I saw it at the library the other night, so I picked it up. While I appreciate the message (God thinks women are people too!) I become aware, as I often do with the religious-oriented tomes I’ve picked up lately, that I am not the target market. The prose has some similarities to A Thousand Gifts: not my style. Also, I’m not part of a religious community that’s struggling with how to use women’s gifts in light of Paul’s statements on the topic. Some of the reviews talk about how liberating and eye-opening Jesus Feminist is. My church has a female lead pastor. With some books, I decide to read them from an anthropological perspective. With that mindset this one was interesting.

I also checked out Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century from the library. I’m pretty sure I won’t make it all the way through by the time the books are due. This is the triumph of ambition over experience.

I’m still running (at 23 weeks), and grateful it has been going as well as it has. There’s a 3 mile loop near my house that’s mostly on trails. It is utterly gorgeous right now with everything still green and overgrown, but the vines turning bright yellow and red. Sometimes on runs I ruminate too much but on trail runs I’m too busy watching for roots and rocks, and I tune everything out.

I am struggling to figure out the proper response to “You don’t look that pregnant!”

I baked the bourbon apple cake (photo) from Real Simple’s October issue. It was pretty good. Other parts of Real Simple magazine, as usual, leave me scratching my head. Long-time readers know that I think the magazine perfectly sums up the upper-middle-class 35-45 year old woman zeitgeist, but I find that zeitgeist pretty humorous. For instance, the cover line was “76 Greatest Organizing Tips of All Time” (not 75, 76 — we like precise numbers!) Among them: “Slide empty toilet-paper tubes around rolls of gift wrap to keep them from unfurling.” I am pondering the person who finds the state of her gift wrap so vexing that this advice is life-changing. Or (tip 48) that I should roll my swimsuits, rather than fold them, to save space.

Do you roll your swimsuits, rather than fold them, to save space?

26 thoughts on “Random Thursday thoughts

  1. Also, while the late-flight scenario has people clucking that you can’t have it all, no one would look at my hard-choice moment and inform me that I need to get rid of the other kid.

    I really did laugh out loud at the truth of this observation.

    As for your running while pregnant, you are so very lucky! I couldn’t run during either of my pregnancies. It just felt too weird to me.

  2. I lose interest with most lists over about 10 things. After that, the excitement wears off. Short attention span, I suppose.

    I didn’t know that bathing suits were stored any other way than “wadded” or “crammed”. Real Simple has really given me something to consider.

  3. Ha, thought the same thing about Capital. Good luck.
    You know that it isn’t 76 because it’s precise, but precisely because it’s not 75.

    1. @lynneguist – I don’t know. We take a *lot* of pictures of the kids, so there are all kinds of records of the bumps, scrapes, bruises, etc. For a formal portrait – which we do every 18 months to 2 years at most – I kind of like the idea of everyone cleaning up a bit.

  4. So I have to ask: do you typically have pretty easy pregnancies? I’m toward the end of #4 (32 wks) and I have found that mine seem to get progressively harder and harder. I’m typically a pretty active and healthy person, but between the nausea at the beginning and the debilitating hip pain during the rest of it, I can’t imagine running while pregnant!

    1. @sarah – I guess so. My first 2 pregnancies went to 41 weeks, and I was envious of some friends who delivered at like 37 weeks. A shorter pregnancy might have been easier. But I haven’t had major complications. And I seem to be built in such a way that I don’t stick out much until the end, so my center of gravity doesn’t shift as much. I think that makes mobility issues more tolerable, and I gain on the lower end of the normal weight, which also helps.

  5. I also laughed at (and loved) your comment about not being advised to give up the other kid. I also note that dads are not generally asked to give up their jobs if they miss games or performances for work.

    I didn’t have games. I had shows, and my parents went to each one once – except for the time they were out of town for the entire run, and the times my father decided not to go because he was on call. This did not ruin my life or my relationship with my parents. I’m sure at some point I will miss one of my daughter’s performances – comes with the territory of doctoring even with an only child. I suspect we’ll all survive

  6. It is inevitable that when a photo shoot is scheduled, people get cut or scratched or bonked in the face. We don’t do our shoots in studio (usually at a local park or at home) but our photographer does tend to “fix” some of it if it’s really obvious, but not all, which I like, so it looks more natural.

    We have a family photo shoot this weekend and I am debating whether to “let” the girls wear their birthday dresses for their party, which is the day before the shoot. Ah, #firstworldproblems. 🙂

    Glad to hear the pregnancy is going well.

  7. I’ve gotten lots of both the “you don’t look pregnant” and the “wow, you’re really small for X weeks” comments during both my pregnancies. At this point, I just chalk it up to people either thinking they’re giving you a compliment or just being clueless about what pregnant women actually look like. I usually reply something like, “Thanks. I’ve still got X number of months to go!”

  8. I had a stay at home mom, who came to nearly every performance, etc. that I had. And you know what? I remember feeling that I wished I had a little more space and that she didn’t come to some of events. For example, there was class I had in high school that had to put on a musical performance. Because of some issues between the school administration and the teacher, the teacher was spectacularly unmotivated and the show itself was terrible. All the kids knew that the show would be terrible. I begged my mom not to come. But she would NOT be convinced. After she came, all she could talk about was how it looked like no one wanted to be there.

    It’s hard to find the right balance, but I don’t think that attending every event is necessary. And maybe not even that helpful?

  9. Oh dear, I am the obsessive person that list is aimed at. I HATE when wrapping paper I’ve bought unrolls and gets wrinkled and torn so I will probably try that tip about the toilet rolls out. I also like to have all my towels folded the same way and roll baby clothes and get twitchy when my cosmetics are moved out of order… On the bright side, I am near blind to dog furballs and dust.

  10. Either they think you are fat (doubtful) or they are trying to pay you a compliment. Just say, “Thanks!”

    I don’t roll or fold my swimsuits. Though I am a 37 year old female, I suspect this magazine was written for a different kind of person.

  11. Hmm. I shove swimsuits into a corner of the drawer. They don’t wrinkle!
    On the late flight/missed games thing, I suspect that like most of these “you can’t have it all” issues, the real issue is how often you miss family events because of work needs, whether you ever do the reverse, and whether your family truly believes you can’t miss the work thing or instead suspect that it is just that you won’t miss the work thing. There’s a reason we mostly hear these stories about the high power people who actually do have the choice. I’ve missed all manner of kid things- for work, for the other kid’s things, for my own things- but I miss all of those things for the kid things, too. Maybe the difference between your competing soccer game example and the late flight scenario is that while most parents will try to be “fair” and trade-off between the competing kids’ things, some people don’t trade off between the work things and kids things at all: work always wins.

    1. Kids are not always the best judge of what else you’re giving up. I don’t always tell my kid when I’m missing work to do something for or with her. I do tell her when work keeps me from being somewhere. Kids are also generally pretty self-centered and self-involved (appropriate so for their stage of development) and may expect us to show up without realizing what’s involved. We try to talk about the balance of needs and how our family time has to work for all of us, which means sometimes I get to do what I want to do and other people don’t, and sometimes she gets what she wants and sometimes she doesn’t, and the same goes for her father. We all get what we need – “want” and “need” are not the same.

    2. @Melanie – it may be the trade-off issue. In my case, I’ve been feeling a lot lately like work almost never wins. It has been a tough month with lots of transitions. Also, since I do have a lot of flexibility and control over my time, I often “can” do things and so I should. But this may not be sustainable long term. I think this might be a subject for a blog post.

  12. I’m showing more with kid #4 than I did with kid #0 (died at 23 weeks) or kid #1. But the proper response to being a small pregnant lady is, “I’m only a little pregnant.”

    1. @Twin Mom – I hope this pregnancy is going well for you. I can’t remember if I look bigger than I did at this point with #1. I know I weigh more, but that’s because I started out weighing more! Ah, age.

    1. @Rinna- I am pretty sure it’s supposed to be a compliment, though the phrasing makes me wonder if looking pregnant is a bad thing!

      1. Well, many women don’t look all that great when pregnant. Apparently, the “pregnancy glow” is not spread evenly 🙂

  13. An important rule in life: Never comment on a pregnant woman’s size–little or big. Just say, if you need to say anything, “You look great!” or “You look beautiful!”

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