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Archive for January, 2012

Cravings

In the beginning there were no cravings, in fact I was surprised to find my world filling up with anti-cravings. I knew about a million things I didn’t want to eat and my challenge became finding something I could tolerate. Smells and tastes I used to love were suddenly putrid and off-putting, such as: cooking with garlic, meats, even most cooked vegetables, shrimp, green onion, fish… basically anything strong smelling at all was the worst thing I have ever smelled and I couldn’t eat any of it. I couldn’t wait until my body calmed down enough to allow me to share my favorite foods with baby…

Well, dear readers, I can say with certainty that we are moving swiftly into The Craving Zone. It became clear to me yesterday after work when I knew I needed to go to Safeway because I HAD to make and eat lentil soup. I knew I didn’t want lentil soup in a can, I wanted a very specific lentil soup that my Spanish host grandmother, Felipa, used to make me when I was an exchange student living in Spain. Felipa taught me how to make a bounty of her favorite traditional Spanish dishes and this became one of my favorites. (Last week I was making her Spanish tortilla de patata almost every day and eating it with her garlic tomato salad and it was fucking fantastic.)

I knew a trip to Safeway was in the cards but I only had “lentils” and “shampoo” written on my hand when I walked through the door. As soon as I was inside, all the brief apparitions I had had during the weeks of things I’d like to have a bite of, came into my head at once, and I knew I had a longer grocery list. I started simple with a few extra things for the soup. Organic carrots, celery and a potato… oh and if I’m getting lentils I may as well get a 5 bean mix because the craving is legume-based and I’m not sure how long it’s going to be around… probably longer than the lentil soup is around.

So I’ve got my soup stuff, and the meat section is at the end of the vegetable section which makes me remember when Scotty and I watched Junior and Arnold Schwarzenegger said “Oooh! Pigs in a blanket! Zose are my faaavoreeet!” and how I made Scotty walk to the store and get stuff to make hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls with american cheese baked in: SOO GOOD, BTW, PREGNANT PEOPLE, SO GOOD, ESPECIALLY WITH MUSTARD. So I was like, OK I’ll get some turkey cocktail weinies (lower fat) and some all natural crescent rolls (no bleached flour, blah blah.) Oh and SINCE I’m in the meat section, why not get some Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage since I don’t have any protein at home and OH they’re 2 for 1 so I’ll get two (one sage and one SPICY.) Oh and since I’m getting sausage I could get gravy mix and then bake biscuits at home and do biscuits and sausage gravy omg YES… What? Wheat Thins are on sale? Someone had Wheat Thins at work and I ate almost the whole box and felt really guilty. This box will be MINE! Free of guilt and OOH I’ll get the hint of salt ones instead of the original cause I’m not shooting for preeclampsia here so let’s be sensible. Speaking of sensible it’s way cheaper to get cereal and soymilk here than it is at Whole Foods so I’ll grab some of that and SHIT now I’m craving breakfast maybe they have those breakfast sausages wrapped in pancakes on stick that Conny once bought a Costco sized box of and ate for like a week… no those are soooo unhealthy but hey Morning Star corndogs are on sale, those are reasonably healthy fast snack, I’ll snag one of those. OMG you know what sounds absolutely perfect right not? Pickles. Zesty garlic dill pickles and I don’t mean in like an hour when I get home I mean let’s grab the pickles, check out and open them up as soon I’m at the bus stop.

That is how my craving brain works, in a nut shell. There are cravings hiding, that come out when I am near the things I can eat. I hardly think it’s worth traveling across the city to seek out a craving, although I’d be willing to do that for Ethiopian food, which I have been craving like nobody’s business, so we’ll see if this escalates. I have a confession to make, I also purchased a tube of those orange cinnamon rolls that you bake at home and yes there are about 10 in there and no I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat 10 of those BUT I’m sure my roommates will help me.

Eating pickles at a bus stop is a very humbling experience, especially when you spill the pickle juice on yourself, after you’ve been up since 4:30AM and you look like you’re about to slip into some zesty food/sleep coma and have been drooling on yourself. What I’m saying is, HEY, I’m 3 months pregnant, I’m AVAILABLE and a jar of pickles is like $4, seriously so what are you waiting for?

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Week 11

I have arrived at week 11, which is allllllmost far enough along to know the gender of my baby but NOT QUITE and that is MADDENING. I’m craving Ethiopian food like nobody’s business and am always tired. Last night I impressed myself by staying up til 2am for my karaoke birthday blast and think I may have overextended my immune system in the process. I feel a little sick and sore-throated today, but I’m a fast healer and basically nothing could keep me from karaoke.

I’m super excited to be visiting Seattle on the 26th and to be able to see all my family and dear Seattle friends. It’s insane to think that it’s been 11 weeks of pregnancy without seeing anyone from home. That is just too long, and feels way too weird. It will be hard to leave once I’m there, for sure, but the healthcare/maternity leave in SF will make it all worth it once baby is ready to pop out.

I’m really glad baby got to bounce around while we all sang karaoke last night. I’ve been meaning to sing more but I can’t really sing in my room with my roommates home and I am WAY TOO TIRED to go out to karaoke late at night most nights. I’m wondering how early is too early for a kid’s mic and PA set so we can cover all the classics together. I want music to always be in the air in baby’s life, and for singing all the time to be a regular and normal part of our everyday life. We’ll see how it works out, maybe baby will think I’m a huge embarrassment, and that’s OK too!

Anyway, things are progressing, I’m way less sick, though I still get sick on car and train rides and I still throw up at night. I’m hoping most of this will dissipate in the short term and that I’ll receive that energy burst everyone talks about in the 2nd trimester. It would be nice to feel like getting out of bed, ever, at all, during this pregnancy. I have so much laundry to do and so many foods to eat around this great city. Time to get on that.

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As I swell further into pregnancy, my plans continue to shift. At first I was thinking I’d look for my own place, so I could camp out with baby while I’m on maternity leave and not bother the roommates at the place I’m sharing now. The more I think about it the more I’m sure I want to stick it out where I’m at, and just head straight up to Seattle once the baby is born. I’ll need to talk to my OBGYN about what check-ups/shots the baby will need shortly after birth, but I’m pretty sure I can get those at Seattle Public Health  if needed.

I want to create a “home” for baby as quickly as I can, so that I’m not suffering the stress of being in transition while I’m breast-feeding and sleep deprived. I can’t imagine having to move TWICE while pregnant, and waiting out months in SF before I can start getting settled in Seattle. Too much wasted time, energy and resources that way. So I’m going to hang on to the cheap rent I have now until the baby is born and we’ll drive all of my stuff up shortly enough afterwards that I don’t think it’ll traumatize the roommates. They may hear a baby cry for a few nights but it shouldn’t be too much more than that. The money I’ll save in rent will be a huge help in the move and the subsequent job hunt.

Hannah made an awesome suggestion which was to start receiving mail and using a bank account in Seattle before I actually relocate. That way, if I seek financial assistance I’ll have proof that I had an existence in Seattle. This will be tricky since I’ll have to convince my job I’m in SF but convince Seattle social workers I’m in Seattle. I’ll be leading a double life! Perhaps my baby will be suspected of espionage! So exciting!

I’m still sorting out the details and requirements of recieving my maternity pay from both my job and California state. Maybe they won’t mind if I’m “visiting” out of state, but I’ll have to ask that with a sly, suggestive tact that is not too telling! Worst case scenario, I’ll just have the money I’m saving now and I’ll have to live off of that as long as I can and get a new job sooner. Would be hard to have prospective employers call a job I am already employed at for a reference. These things are pretty time sensitive, but not unmanageable.

Things keep reshaping in my own mind. I’ve been juicing with my juicer: apples, carrots, oranges, ginger if I’m feeling spicy… fresh juice over ice is wildly satisfying. Another thing that pleases me is the MICHAEL MCDONALD PANDORA STATION. Has anything smoother even existed? Impossible. Smooth 80’s rock is what this fetus craves, and I am all for it. How awesome would it be to give birth to  “Sweet Freedom” or “Yah Mo Be There?” If my baby comes out prematurely gray I will be SO HAPPY. I’ll have to buy a sewing pattern for teeny tiny suit jackets.

Hey, check it out, the bruise I got from my blood-draw looks like a purple pool with a mole-diving-board.

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