Monday, January 24, 2011


Officially it has started! I didn't think it would happen so soon...
I'm 23 weeks along. Just a few more days and I'll be in the third trimester. However, to those who do not know me, I just look big-bellied. I look like I've been working my way solo, through a keg and it is moving from the metal tin to my gut. I do not look pregnant. I look nothing like all the photos of pregnant women with distinct round bulges. Yes, I know, I should count myself lucky

However, when I am not counting myself lucky for having a beach-ball under my shirt, I am stuck with this nagging thought in my head, "Is my fetus developing normally?" Is it on the small side? Is that why my belly isn't round and massive? I didn't think I'd have to worry about my child's development until the Human Tape Worm (HTW) made an appearance. At which point, I'd feel compelled to chronicle how soon it walked, held a rattle, said "Mommy!" and such. But no, I'm starting the worry now even before the HTW has appeared.

Maybe it would grow more if I felt more maternal towards it. The exercise tapes and birth class talk about feeling connected to my baby. How am I supposed to feel connected? The big belly is like a never-ending post Thanksgiving bloat and the kicks could just be high-powered gas. The glowing woman, hands on belly, gently gazing down who is somehow channeling the Virgin Mary - nope not me. I'm sure it will change with HTW makes a personal appearance. Until then, I'll keep wondering what is going on in there and if it has learned how to play Mozart yet.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Energy Efficiency

Yesterday I enjoyed an hour catching up on New Yorker magazines. I read a number of thought providing articles, one if which has stuck with me.
This one: The Efficiency Dilemma - If our machines are more efficient, will we just use more of them?
The article clearly states that the answer to that is, "Yes!". The example provided about refrigeration has an interlinked story with other excess with it. Essentially, by the 50's the modern home had a refrigerator. That model would pale in comparison to our current versions - cooling less while using twice as much energy. Yet, 50+ years later, we don't have just one, energy efficient fridge. Instead we have the kitchen fridge, the spare in the garage, or maybe a drink cooler in the family room and a sub-zero to keep our Costco purchases frozen. So, yes, our refrigerator is more efficient, so we own more of them. Our energy usage is not less.

So, for the same energy bill, we can own two fridges which means we have to fill them, right? Trips to Costco help with that. We super size our consumption of food. The article notes, "the growth of American refrigerator volume has been roughly paralleled by the growth of American body-mass index." However, we don't eat it all. According to, we throw away some 40% of the produce we produce.

This core issue has been bouncing around in my head. Yes, I struggle with cooking & eating everything I bring home. I hate to have something go bad. I do try to put what I don't eat into either the dog-bowl or the compost heap. I do have one weakness - take home food. Friday we had a pizza delivered and ate half of it. The rest is still there... staring at me, asking to be eaten. But with my expanding waist, I'm not keep to indulge twice in a 7 day period. I'm guilty of over buying and there are starving children in some parts of the world. You might think, it's just a pizza indulgence - get over it! Yet last week, it was left-over Thai food that sat in there wanting to be eaten for days. There is a pattern of waste in my life.

And it doesn't stop with the food. I know I'm evil by keeping the house at 70 degrees in the winter and, I'm not sure what in the summer. I ponder shade structures in the back yard to passively cool both the units & my house. My ever-so-efficient air conditioning units face west and bake in the summer sun - but really, that could improve their efficiency by 10%, would I then change the thermostat down 10% in the summer, evening out the gains?

In essence I'm American and living the American life-style. Unless I make radical changes, such as going off the grid or replacing my house with an earthship, are the changes worth it? They are small and mere drops in the larger sea of energy usage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DMV Follow-up

The DMV visit was fantastic. Never better! Couldn't believe it!
I didn't have an appointment - having been to sick on Thursday to go, I went on Friday with Nook & New Yorker in hand. However, I didn't get to read. My number was called within 10 minutes of arriving. The guy who helped me was very nice. Almost every person who I spoke to congratulated me on my new married status. The were quick, nice, competent. Except for the photo lady - she was a bit scattered and I was left standing for a while, which, in my current state, can get a bit tiresome.
One bad thing - they did warn me that my license might be 2 months to arrive! They are re-vamping the California ID/Driver's Licenses. I'm excited to see what the new one looks like. I do hope my hair looked OK. My last photo was fantastic. The one before, well, I kinda looked like a Russian Prostitute. Bad hair & face day.

One strange thing - I counted 8 babies at the DMV all under the age of two. Very strange. Do we now require drivers licenses for Big Wheels?

The mother of the little tyke next to me was even more odd. She was well manicured with the hair/make-up & nails yet, despite having a toddler in tow, she elected to go wit the four inch, platform, patent leather heels. The shoes I would choose to go clubbing in are her top pick for going to the DMV with baby.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writer's Block

Yep. I can't find anything to write about today.
Maybe tomorrow I'll have more inspiration?
Tomorrow I'll be sitting at the DMV getting my driver's license updated to reflect my new name. My last few visits to the DMV have confirmed my sense that it is the cesspool of American Culture. Why is the DMV so appealing to those missing teeth, whose educations ceased at the second grade? Is it the hard, plastic seats? The unwashed surfaces? Is it the eternal lines with the mysterious numbering systems? What is it like this in other countries? Marc claims they do it all by mail, so they have avoided the entire entity.
While my favorite moment at the DMV was registering my SLK a few years back. I got it all tested - which was a challenge, as I accidentally called road-side assistance while trying to pop the hood. But the nice man who gave me my place and walking papers sent me of with, "Yo fit to ro'l". Bling Bling in my Black Mercedes!
My experiences tomorrow may provide me with a bleak & dirty muse.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fit & Pregnant

I didn't realize exactly how rare fitness was in women. Why this has come to my attention - I am having the hardest time finding information, workouts and fitness gear for pregnant women.
What I can find reflects an image that most women don't do anything vigorous. The maternity shops give you a large cotton t-shirts:
Seriously - these are my workout top options? None of the options appear to be designed for actual workouts, where one wants the sweat to be wicked-away with special fabrics.
Dropping by Lululemon, a bit proponent of women's fitness I was told, "Our regular clothes have 4 way stretch and can accommodate a pregnant belly." Really? You're telling me this 30 inch waist top will expand by 50% to get abound my belly that I anticipate to be 45 inches around? I have my doubts.
However, even if I can find the clothes, I'll be hard pressed to find a workout. The fitness advice in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (a book that is able to convince more women that they have medical issues than med school is able to create hypochondriacs), includes push-ups against the wall, gentle stretching and other activities for those who find the idea of running a mile unfathomable. May caution against any Real Effort, as that might upset the delicate constitution of a pregnant woman. I'm taking a birthing class and their "exercises" include daily 5 minute walks, a pelvic tilt and squatting.
I know that marathon training & pregnancy aren't really a good combo, yet there is nothing for the expecting mother who, at the start of the pregnancy could go out and knock out 3 miles in 30 minutes. Suddenly I'm being told not to do to much - 5-30 minutes a day of walking should do it. I do that with the dogs - what am I supposed to do to keep fit?
Is the limited number of products an indication of a limited audience? Are there so few women who are fit and want to stay that way during pregnancy? I can't be the only one.