I have to rename my child Squirmy McGruntsALot

Munchkin

Well, Lily is now 5 weeks old, and we already have to rename her. We have no choice. Because she squirms. And grunts. A lot.

Squirmy McGruntsALot’s favorite time to do this is when she’s sleeping. Which wouldn’t be an issue, except that it kind of keeps Mom from “sleeping when the baby sleeps,” since I’m constantly rousing from my hard-earned slumber to look over into the bassinet, making sure she’s not hungry or being poked and prodded by alien abductors.

I took a video of it, but I’m too tired to figure out how to get it on here. So here’s one someone else put on YouTube of their kid squirming and grunting in his sleep. It’s pretty much the same thing Squirmy McGruntsALot does, so just go with it.

 

She’s clearly not the first baby to do this, but I feel like this isn’t necessarily “normal.” At least, no one warned me about this. It only seems to happen when she’s in “light” sleep, but that accounts for approximately 15 1/2 of the 16 total hours she sleeps each day.

I mean, I’ll take squirmy gruntiness over endless crying jags any day. But still. I’m tired.

Will she outgrow this? Or will poor Squirmy McGruntsALot stop getting invited to sleepovers when she’s older because her squirming and grunting weirds out her friends? Stay tuned.

 

 

She’s here! (Plus all the parenting wisdom I’ve gained so far)

OK, she’s been here for a few weeks now, but it turns out learning how to mom is kind of hard and takes a lot of time that most definitely interferes with your ability to sleep and blog.

But yes, I fulfilled my new year’s resolution at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, when I gave birth to Lillian Sage Franz, aka Lily, aka Lily Pad, aka No. 1 Munchkin, aka all the other silly nicknames we’re sure to come up with for her.

Lily

Hi, I’m Lily!

Turns out all the hard work and feeling like a zombie are worth it when you get to love and schmoodle a sweet little bug like this.

I’d like to claim I am a total parenting expert and am here to impart valuable advice, but I cannot. I will leave you with this little nugget of wisdom I’ve learned since Lily’s arrival: Projectile poop is not a myth. I repeat: Projectile poop is NOT A MYTH.

It is so, so real, and let me tell you: That shit can move. Once it strikes the first time — which will inevitably be during the middle of a 4 a.m. diaper change when you haven’t slept for eight days — you will live in constant fear of when it will happen again.

And it will happen again. If you’re lucky, you will have remembered to put a clean diaper underneath at the beginning, and it will block the poo’s main trajectory. If you’re not lucky, you will have forgotten to do this, and, well, let’s just say that projectile poop doesn’t discriminate when it comes to its targets.

That’s all the wisdom I have to impart for now. Once I have this whole parenting thing down in the next week or two, I’ll surely have more.

My new year’s resolution is to HAVE THIS DAMN BABY ALREADY (plus other pregnancy fun facts)

Well, our little munchkin was due to make her appearance into the world on Jan. 1, but, like her mother tends to, she’s running a little behind.

Since she’s dashed all hopes for a 2014 tax break or first-baby-of-the-year honors, she’s basically starting off her first year grounded, with about $1,000 already deducted from her allowance. That’ll teach her.

From what I can tell, I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy, but after hitting the 40-week mark five days ago, I. Am. Ready. I’m anxious for labor to start and to meet this little bug who’s been growing instead me for the better part of a year.
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If baby girl is still refusing to cooperate in a few days, we’ll start talking to our doc about forceful eviction, aka induction. Don’t worry, she’s been served proper notice.
This was actually taken at the 40-week mark. I'm three times this size now.

This was actually taken at the 40-week mark. I’m three times this size now.

I already nested/cleaned so long ago that things are starting to get dirty again, and I don’t feel like starting round two with this bowling ball-sized bulge protruding from my stomach. So instead, I’m writing a post on some things about pregnancy that have been particularly surprising to me.
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You’ve probably heard all about the morning sickness, the mood swings, the need to pee every 2.5 seconds. But here are a few things “they” don’t tell you about pregnancy before you are pregnant that may or may not freak you out.
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(I should probably preface this with: Someone who did a lot more research than I did prior to becoming with child might know these things. Also, I am weird, and weird things happen to me. So it’s possible “they” didn’t tell me about some of these things because I am the only weird person they’ve happened to.)
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You won’t actually “feel” like you’re growing another human inside you for a while, and it will freak you the eff out. Sure, you’ll see what looks like the beginning of a baby in an ultrasound. You’ll hear the magical thub-a-lub of a tiny heart beat. Your uterus is supposedly blowing up like a balloon, but the only “showing” you’re doing for a while is courtesy of some massive stomach bloating. Depending on your hormonal load that day, you may accuse your doctor of being a g.d. liar because she keeps telling you there’s a baby in there, but clearly there is not, because you would be able to feel a human growing inside you, thankyouverymuch.
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Consequently …
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It will feel like ages between doctor’s appointments. Each day is a gift, and I hate feeling like I just want them to be over, but holy shit. Each day of the month will never drag by as slowly as it does when you all you want is confirmation that your little munchkin is still kickin’ in there.
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Sometimes you don’t get morning sickness. This can mean one of two things: 1) You have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and are just “lucky” and don’t have to suffer through what’s considered one of the most miserable pregnancy symptoms; or 2) Something could be wrong with your pregnancy. As someone who’s experienced both situations (2 followed by 1), it’s pretty nerve-wracking to not have this ubiquitous symptom.
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(Um, so, I’m not a doctor. I don’t *actually* know if these are the only two things it could mean. Maybe there’s a weird third option, like you’re actually spawning a miniature pony.)
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The worst part is that Googling for information about lacking this symptom will often lead you to articles stating how some researchers have determined morning sickness could be an indication of a healthy pregnancy.
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Researchers! STAAAP! Until you can confirm this is a black-and-white deal, quit putting this information out there for unsuspecting neurotics like me to stumble across and freak out over!
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So, basically, I know most women would consider me “lucky” to not have morning sickness, but I would have given my left kidney to be puking my brains out every morning in exchange for the reassurance that something was, in fact, happening in there.
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Also …
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The Internet is your best friend and your worst enemy. A lot of weird-ass stuff is happening to your body when you are pregnant, so of course you want to know what is considered normal and what should send you into a full-swivel panic. But when you find yourself searching for phrases like “OMG is it possible that something else is making you seem pregnant when you’re not actually pregnant 12 weeks,” it’s time to stop. (Yes, I actually Googled something along those lines, due to the point I explained above. Following this and other ridiculous searches, and the panic they provoked, Zach made me put a moratorium on Googling things for one week.)
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Really, if you have concerns, you should call your doctor/nurse/midwife. They will reassure you when a symptom is nothing to worry about or let you know if you should get checked out. If you do this enough, they will start to expect your calls. And if you start calling about the same ridiculous things over and over again, they will stop reinforcing your constant need for reassurance either by taking a really long time to call back or not calling back at all, in what I assume is meant to be a form of therapeutic neglect.
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Not that I know from experience or anything.
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Sleep may not come so easily, even at the beginning. You’ve probably heard that insomnia is common during the third trimester, because sleep experts typically do not recommend trying to catch your z’s with a watermelon protruding from your stomach.
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However, I have been an insomniac since age 9. I literally have not had a good night’s sleep since the fourth grade. I had been looking forward to the fatigue of pregnancy in hopes that it would provide this elusive rest. But nope. That would just be too damn normal for me. So, apparently, instead of morning sickness, I got “bolt up wide awake at 3 every morning and never fall back asleep”-ness. (I have a team of medical professionals working on a better term for this affliction.)
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On the plus side, I’m really not concerned about the lack of sleep most parents of newborns encounter, since that’s pretty much the norm for me. I’ve been training for it my entire life, apparently.
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You can’t eat. Anything. This one’s two-fold: First, even if you aren’t afflicted with oh-my-god-kill-me-now morning sickness, it’s still likely you will find very few foods appetizing. All I could stomach for about two weeks was plain spaghetti with a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese.
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Also, once you’re pregnant, all your most favoritest foods suddenly turn to poison, and eating them will surely kill you and/or transform your baby into a sock monkey.
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Sushi. Alcohol, obviously. Soft cheeses. Wait, what?! You can’t eat soft cheeses when you’re with child? People. My life depends on cheese. Pregnancy has essentially eliminated half of its most delicious forms. It’s the worst.
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“True Life: I Accidentally Ate Some Feta on a Salad So I Gave Birth to a Sock Monkey Instead of a Human Child.”

“True Life: I Accidentally Ate Some Feta on a Salad So I Gave Birth to a Sock Monkey Instead of a Human Child.”

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The heartburn. DEAR GOD, THE HEARTBURN. Apparently, when your uterus is squishing the rest of your internal organs up through your throat, it makes it nearly impossible to digest food like a normal person. And don’t even bother looking up foods to avoid to prevent it. Out of the foods you’re still allowed to eat, they will ALL cause heartburn. All of them. Even the healthy stuff. For realsies. I’ve eaten bananas that have given me heartburn. I kind of thought bananas were the most easily digestible food known to humans. Not cool.
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The only thing you can really “eat” that doesn’t cause heartburn is Tums, which have subsequently become my favorite food during pregnancy. If someone invented a candy necklace — but instead of candy, it had Tums strung along it — and marketed it to pregnant women, they would make at least a few dozen dollars off it. (I’ll let someone steal that idea as long as they give me 70 percent of the profits. Remember, we don’t get to cash in on that tax break for 2014.)
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That “pregnancy glow” is BS. Unless by “glow,” they mean the “red glow of jawline acne,” I apparently missed out on this supposed pregnancy perk. I had terrible acne as a teenager, so I’m not really surprised the surge of hormones wreaked havoc on my skin once again. (But hey, who doesn’t want to look/feel like a teenager when they’re pregnant?)
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Of course, using any of the standard acne treatments will turn your little tyke into the aforementioned sock monkey, so I’m kind of SOL on this.
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If you’re having a girl, some people think it’s absolutely necessary to tell you about their friend/relative/random person they met at a bus stop who thought they were having a girl but it turned out to be a boy. I’m not gonna lie: I was really hoping we would have a girl. Of course, you don’t want to hope for one gender over the other too much, because there’s a 50 percent chance it will be the other one, and you don’t want your child to feel like they’re a total disappointment before they even exit the womb. Regardless, I was happy when the ultrasound revealed it’s a Baby Squirreltina Jr. who’s been kicking me in the bladder. (Squirreltina is obviously a girls name, in case that was unclear.)
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But now, I’ve had a enough people tell me stories about girls turning out to be boys that I’m starting to become paranoid. (In what was probably the most asinine piece of unsolicited advice I received, someone told me I should “bring a blue hat to the hospital, just in case.” Seriously. That happened. And no, I could not even.)
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I have no idea why people feel compelled to tell me this, other than that it must be some sort of sign from the universe and I should be prepared. So, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a boy and we have to name him Sharknado because we didn’t have any boys names picked out so we panicked and that’s the first thing we could think of.
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Of course, I’d still prefer a boy to a sock monkey.

Oh no! I gave birth to a baby squirrel instead of a baby human!

Baby squirrel

OK, not really. But I did hold a baby squirrel! One of Zach’s co-workers brought it into the office after she found it abandoned and helpless in her yard. So I had to go in and meet it, of course.

I thought maybe I shouldn’t hold it because I’m pregnant, and what if it bit me and turned our human baby into a squirrel baby? Or caused something that’s actually biologically possible, like infect us with a nasty disease? The co-worker assured me that she had taken it to the vet, who confirmed it’s disease-free, so I went for it. But if I do give birth to an actual squirrel, we’ll know why.

19 photos I couldn’t bear to delete to make room for the iOS8 update

Apple released the latest iOS update for iPhone today. And, in what may be the firstest of First World Problems, it has everyone complaining about how much storage space is needed to download it. This means deleting a lot of useless apps and selfie duplicates.

Because I’m currently unemployed, I had a lot of time to really comb through my photos and only keep those nearest and dearest to my heart. Here are 19 I just couldn’t bear to part with.

1. This photo of me standing in front of a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in a snowstorm

BOB'S

We’ve all done it.

***

2. This photo of Pancake in which it looks like she doesn’t have ears

Pancake no ears

We did not chop off her ears, I swear. She still has them. We are not bunny abusers. Please don’t report us to animal control.

***

3. This photo of a squirrel-shaped nutcracker

Nutcracker

If you’re cracking your nuts with anything else … you’re doing it wrong.

***

4. This photo of me holding what I assume is a life-sized replica of Chewbacca as a baby

Chewie

If my child’s head is this big, she’ll be living in my uterus indefinitely.

***

5. This photo of the face I made after getting the World’s Worst Haircut

Bad haircut

It kind of made me look like Toad from Super Mario. Or a literal squire.

***

6. This photo of when we met The Great Pumpkin

Giant pumpkin

It was, like, really big.

***

7. This photo of when I made latkes because I like to pretend I’m Jewish around Hanukkah

Latkes

The smell also lasted much longer than anticipated.

***

8. This photo of the time I totally nailed a Pinterest recipe

Pinterest fail

If someone tries to feed you food that looks like this, do not eat it. I repeat: DO NOT EAT IT.

***

9. This photo of Zach pretending to get stabbed in the eye with a dart

Dart

He kind of looks like he’s enjoying it …

***

10. This photo of a guy on the sidewalk dressed up as a giant bottle of shampoo

Shampoo

I just really admired his enthusiasm.

***

11. This photo of the time I spilled pho on my pants at lunch

Pho

If I don’t document these memories, who will?

***

12. This photo of blatant desecration of religious symbols in the workplace

Religious discrimination

For those of you who also like to discriminate against “other” religions, this is a menorah and a miniature Festivus pole.

It’s like this newsroom has never even heard of the First Amendment.

***

13. This photo of a lawn gnome a business donated to be a prize in an Easter egg hunt I used to plan

Gnome

 You would not believe the knock-down-drag-out that ensued between two fifth-graders battling over this coveted creature.

***

14. This photo demonstrating that many people do not understand appropriate use of quotation marks

Quotes

Sooooooo … can I get some Fanta or not?

***

15. This photo of a guy on the sidewalk dressed as a Big Blue Blob

Blue guy

WARNING: If you are dressed up as anything — literally, anything — in public, I will stop and take your photo.

***

16. This photo of a delicious lobster dinner I enjoyed back in March

Lobster

Back off. It could be the last one I ever get.

***

17. This photo of a cardboard cutout of my childhood hero, Scruff McGruff (Chicago, Illinois, 60652)

McGruff

He’s the only thing that kept me from pursuing a life of hard crime.

***

18. This photo I took of Pancake in which she looks completely hammered

Drunk Pancake

Jesus. It’s like I want someone to call animal control on us.

***

19. This photo of me touching the World’s Largest Purple Spoon (maybe)

Spoon

I think they’re selling themselves short. This is probably the World’s Largest Purple Spoon, at least.

 

I suppose now that these images will live in perpetuity on the Internet, I can delete them from my phone. The emotional toll still might be too much though. Better play it safe and keep them this round.

Unemployment, Day 11

Or Day 9. Or 6. I don’t really even know what day of the week it is. Monday? Thursday? Some weird in-between day only jobless people know about, called Schlermday? Sure. Maybe every day will just be Schlermday for now.

(I just Googled “schlerm” to make sure it doesn’t mean something completely inappropriate. According to Urban Dictionary, it means “a permed mullet.” So clearly I’m sticking with it.)

We moved back to Missoula about a week ago so Zach could start his new job. I, on the other hand, am gainfully unemployed at the moment. I’ve had some good leads and done a few interviews, but I’m still waiting for news on those.

This is the first time since I graduated college seven-plus years ago that I just haven’t had a job, so I’m feeling a bit anxious with all this free time, which somehow pays worse than journalism.

But, I’m also finding a lot of time to work in my daily cheese consumption. And I get to wear comfy (and sexy!) high-waisted maternity leggings all day. And I am super on top of all my Facebook notifications. So it’s not all bad. I’m sure something will work out soon …

Unemployment

Pancake has an important new job coming up …

Guard bunny

Zach and I are really excited about our new addition, expected around Jan. 1! She’ll either be a New Year’s Baby or Tax Break Baby — those are her choices. Not a minute a later. (Clearly, I have not yet accepted that as a parent I will actually have little control over many aspects of my child’s life.)

Pancake has started a rigorous Guard Bunny training program in preparation. Though so far it looks like her most valuable weapon will be disarming intruders with her cuteness. We’re working on it.

 

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