Yesterday was like the beginning of a Charles Dickens novel for me.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Best and worst are actually pretty big adjectives, so I’ll use smaller ones: yesterday was really nice, then it really wasn’t.

I had my monthly OB appointment, heard my baby’s strong heartbeat, and got permission from my doctor to take HOT BATHS!  I’d heard conflicting messages about baths, particularly hot ones, which is the case with nearly every aspect of pregnancy, and had been avoiding them.

But I missed them so much.

This hilarious and vulgar article (thanks, Tiffany!) sums it up perfectly for pregnant women.  In fact, my doctor said yesterday that pregnancy is a very gray area, which I find to be weird because women have been getting pregnant for, oh, FOREVER.

But, anyway, I can take a hot bath.  And I did it last night, and it was wonderful.

Then I had lunch at one of my favorite spots with a friend and laughed until my face hurt.  For realsies, my cheeks were sore from all the laughter.  I don’t remember the last time that happened.

Then I went home (I telecommute on Wednesdays) and spent the rest of the afternoon on my deck with my laptop and my dog.  Usually Murphy’s in daycare on Wednesday, but he cut his foot pretty badly, and we kept him home this week.  So, there I was, basking in the sunshine with a giant dog at my feet when I heard the slightly out-of-tune melodies of the ICE CREAM TRUCK!

I got some ice cream, of course.

And then things went downhill.

So downhill that I’m still tired today from all the crying.  I’m not a crier, people, so when I do cry, it wears me out.

My grandfather’s dying, and last night he took a bad turn.

He’s in the hospital.  The cancer has spread.

I don’t know what that means for the timeframe he was given when first diagnosed.  Obviously, it’s not going to make things better, but I don’t know if it’ll make things worse.  We suspect, though, that this is the beginning of the end.

When I wrote this back in July, I compared the time he had left to live to gestating a baby.  I had no idea – absolutely not an inkling – that two months later, I would be pregnant.  It wasn’t on our radar, wasn’t anything we planned to do in 2012.

But while preparing myself emotionally for the loss of my grandfather, someone I’ve adored from my earliest memory, I’ve also been preparing myself emotionally for the arrival of my daughter.

The juxtaposition of the two is jarring.

My last grandparent is leaving and my first child is on her way.

Maybe that was the plan.  Maybe that’s why I got pregnant when we weren’t trying; maybe it’s so their spirits can touch somewhere in the middle, one on the way in and the other on the way out.

I still see boxes – particularly boxes of copy paper – laying around my office and have the urge to grab them.  In my opinion, they’re the best moving boxes ever.  They’re strong and sturdy and have removable lids.

But I’m not moving anymore and I don’t need them, so maybe I should see a therapist about my urges.

I still have unpacking to do at the house, actually – I have to unpack my suitcase.  In order for Allan to put it in the attic when we got back, I removed all of the contents and dumped them in my bathroom.  Which is where they still sit, taunting me with their short sleeves and cropped bottoms.

I’m back from my babymoon, y’all, and I almost wish I wasn’t.

I mean, I’m thrilled to be back in my own bed.  I can drive my car to get anywhere I want to go. Our tv is really big and our couch is really comfy.  But it’s in the 40’s and 50’s here.  The sun hasn’t really made an appearance since I’ve been home, and there are no chocolate croissants waiting for me every morning.

I have to cook for myself.  I have to be out of bed before 7am.  I have to do my hair and put on makeup.

Did I mention the lack of CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS?

Ugh.  Life.

The trip, though, it was bliss.  Heaven.  (almost) Could not have been better.  I really, really loved it.  It was the kind of good that requires you to pinch your own skin, to make sure you’re not dreaming.  In my wildest dreams, though I couldn’t have imagined water those shades of blue, weather so perpetually warm and sunny, or cultures so vibrant.

It wasn’t perfect – I got severely sunburned.  Very, very, severely sunburned.  I wasn’t trying to be cavalier; I know the sun isn’t something to be messed with, but I missed a spot.  A big spot.  All but one section of my body – my chest – was lathered in SPF 50.  An hour after I got outside, I realized my mistake and ran into the bathroom to put some onto my bare skin.  But it was too late.  The damage was done, and I was in varying shades of pain for the duration of the trip.

But neither the blisters nor the peeling skin could put a damper on those few incredibly happy days in Central America.

The word ‘babymoon’ is a play on ‘honeymoon’ and that’s really what it felt like.  It felt like another honeymoon, but this time, this trip, I loved my husband more than I did on our first moon.

For nine solid days, I was by his side, holding his hand, kissing his skin, reveling in his presence.

It was bittersweet.

This is it for us for a while.  I don’t know when our next solo trip will be, when we’ll be able to escape, just the two of us, for days and days at a time.

The next couple of years will be about someone else.  Instead of focusing on falling more in love with each other, we’ll be falling in love with our daughter.

Warning: girlie post ahead.

Ok, so I’d noticed that my favorite eyeliner didn’t cooperate over the course of a few days, but it never dawned on me that the lack of cooperation was because I was out of product.  The little vial was empty.  There was no eyeliner left.  I’d used AN ENTIRE CONTAINER of eyeliner.

That has never happened to me before.  Ever.

Usually I’ll get tired of something, or something new and shiny at the makeup counter will pique my interest and I’ll make a switch, but this stuff I has been so wonderful, I’m not even tempted to look for something different.

What is this wonder product, you ask?  Maybelline Stiletto liquid eyeliner.  I use it nearly every day.  It goes on smooth, the felt tip is thin and simple to control, and I can easily wing my liner out a little.  It stays on for hours without flaking or losing any sort of pigment.  It is a make-up staple for me.

I have a really hard time with eyeliner.  I must use liquid or else it doesn’t work.  Why?  Because I have Asian eyes.  I have a fold of skin.  I don’t have a big, smooth eyelid to work with.  So if I wear stuff that isn’t liquid, it smudges off within 15-20 minutes – no exaggeration.  And then, to make things even more interesting, I have very oily skin.  No wrinkes (yet!), but my skin is like a grease pit.  And the oil on my eyelids just adds to the smudgy-ness of the eyeliner.  Therefore not only do I need liquid eyeliner, but it also has to be waterproof.

Do you have any idea how challenging it is to find nice, liquid, waterproof eyeliner?


I can’t overstate how much I love this Maybelline stuff.

And then!  I got new shoes!

I’ve been buying a lot of things lately: maternity clothes (they don’t count as real clothes), stuff for the house and stuff for the bambino.  But nothing for me, really.

Until I got the shoes, which I love.  I think they’re perfect spring/summer shoes, and I like them so much, I’m wearing them today even though it’s cold.

Allan forgot our happy anniversary, which I expected, and to sort of make-up for it, he got me another pair of the shoes that I love so much.

That’s how much I love them: I want them in two different colors.  One color just isn’t enough.  I bought the neutral and Allan got me black.

The sad thing, though, is that the black don’t fit.  They’re a size 9 just like the neutral, but I can barely squeeze my feet in them.

As the photo shows, I have no ankles anymore.  They’re gone.  The baby ate them.  (It’s actually quite awful – no pain, but who wants cankles?)  But my feet are still basically the same size, so the problem must lie with the shoes.

Unfortunately, these shoes are very, very popular, so I’m going to have to visit many a Target to find them.  And I’ll have to try these on before I buy.  But I’m determined to do it!  I’m determined to have these cute-ass shoes in two colors!

I’m checked-in for my cruise.  The flight is booked, the hotel room has been reserved – hell, I even printed my luggage tags.

And I’m so damn relieved.

For a minute there (for a whole day, actually), I thought I calculated my pregnancy progress incorrectly and I’d be unable to board.  For a solid six hours, I was in agony.  I was so stressed, I literally couldn’t even eat.  My lunch went completely untouched.

Have you ever met a pregnant woman who couldn’t eat?  Yeah, I didn’t think so…

Turns out my math was correct, which was confirmed by my doctor, and I’ll be 22 weeks and six days pregnant when we arrive back at port.  Had I been 24 weeks, I couldn’t even get on the boat.

Although it may seem like I was cutting things close, I deliberately selected those particular dates.  I wanted to wait until the last possible minute to leave – while still giving myself a little cushion – because I wanted the absolute warmest weather I could get.

I need this vacation, you see.  I know – need is a very strong word all things considered.  But I really feel like I need this – or some sort of break – from my life.

It’s been an insanely stressful few months for me.  From October until this very second, I’ve been on edge; whether it’s been about the baby or the house or the townhouse or my grandfather’s health – it’s always something, and the somethings have been big things.  It’s not like I’ve been worrying about getting a new battery for my car (which Allan says I need, by the way) or what color to make my highlights.  This is BIG LIFE STUFF that I’ve been constantly worrying about.

I told my dad earlier today that my good fortune isn’t lost on me.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world these days, and I know it, and I’m grateful.  So, so, so, grateful.

And so, so, so in need of a few days in the sunshine.

Dude, I have a rash.  I feel so dirty saying it: I have a rash.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m super lucky.  Aside from chunky thighs, crooked teeth (which are crooked no more) and insufficiently strong eyeballs, I’ve had an easy health road in life.  I don’t get allergies.  Aside from sinus headaches, the spring and fall months don’t faze me.  I rarely get sick.  I’ve had one episode of vomiting in 15 years.  I take no medication on a regular basis, not even Tylenol.

So this rash thing is freaking me out.

It’s on the back of my hands, and I suspect I know the culprit.

In December, I got the norovirus.  The one that makes you vomit, or if you’re me, it makes you vomit six times in three hours.  I curled up in a ball on the floor of the bathroom and cried and puked, cried and puked.

It was AWFUL.  So, so awful.

I don’t want to get it again, and it’s making the rounds.

So I’ve been washing my hands vigorously.  I recite alphabet while scrubbing my digits and praying to not vomit anymore, please no more vomiting ever again.

After washing so much, my hands got really dry.  I started slapping on lotion, any lotion, to try to relieve the dryness.  And I think I’m either allergic to a random lotion, or I’ve been using expired lotion.  Regardless, I have a rash on the back of both hands.

I just started using Benadryl cream to relieve the situation, which I didn’t even know existed.  But because I’m hosting another human right now, and because her safety is my top priority, I couldn’t slap any old anti-itch cream on my hands.  Turns out what I have in my medicine cabinet has steroids, and unless I want this baby to come out with a six-pack (I’d like a six-pack, just FYI), it wasn’t good to use.  Thus the Benadryl.

Now it looks like I have old lady hands; they’re dry and wrinkled on top.  It’s sexy.

So, holy crap!  Have you been paid in 2013 yet?  We got our first paychecks of the year today, and my goodness, that Social Security tax increase is a bitch.  I was shocked.  Hundreds of dollars.  Hundreds of them.  Gone.  POOF!  I suspect that several of our trips to restaurants on weekends are also going to go POOF! as a result.

Speaking of no more dinners out, it’s our anniversary today.  Mine and Allan’s.  But, tax increase or not, we’re not going to go out to dinner or doing anything special.  Why?  Because my husband forgot.

Let me clarify: it’s not our wedding anniversary.  It’s the anniversary of the day we got together, and I still like to acknowledge it.  I don’t expect anything big, nor do I buy him any sort of magnificent gift.  This year I got him a pair of Smart Wool socks.  But it’s still a special day to me, and it bums me out that it’s not special enough for him to remember, too.  This is the anniversary of the day that started it all: the dog, the two houses, the trips to Alaska and Utah and the Bahamas, the baby on her way.  It all started four years ago today.