Tuesday, July 28, 2009

gender roles

We chose not find out Spagett's sex for one simple reason: we know that if we find out, the family will glut us with heavily gendered toys and clothes. And we simply don't care for that. We think it is stupid and unnecessary. Babies are fairly genderless little beings, and we as parents, we as guardians and family and even strangers, are the ones who push them into assigned gender roles.

Case in point: Sid's father insinuated last night that we were keeping the sex secret from him for some nefarious purpose, then went on to basically say that he could not buy anything for his grandchild until he knew the sex. Because what if he buys a baseball glove and it turns out we have a girl?

Let me just say that he is incredibly lucky he did not say that to me. As it was, it was said to Sid, who chooses to let that kind of stuff fall by the wayside more often than not.

We have a registry, one that Sid and I put together after much discussion over each individual piece. We deliberately left out "gendered colors" such as blue, purple and pink - even though neither of us harbor any particular qualms about dressing a child of either sex in those colors - because we did not want the family to get ideas and make assumptions. We only put two big-ticket items on the list, and the rest were affordable, inexpensive necessaries, all in gender neutral colors: clothes and towels and socks and burp rags and crib sheets and hats. If you are shopping straight from the registry, Elder Manson, there's no need to say that you can't buy anything simply because you don't know the sex of the child you are shopping for! It smacks of blackmail, quite honestly! We made the registry the way we did so that everyone - yes, even you! - could buy what they chose and could afford. We really did have family in mind, believe it or not!

Before we decided to have a child, Sid and I had many discussions about gender roles. If a son of yours decides he'd like to wear a skirt one day, will you tell him no? I wanted to know. If he wants to play with Barbies, will you tell him he can't? What if we have a child who is intersex? Will you choose their gender, or let them make their own choice? Both of us had lots of questions for the other, and we both had lots to say about what was important to us. And in the end, we were in total agreement. I won't even attempt to lay it all out for you, but it boiled down to this: Whether boy or girl or intersex or whatever, our child would not be forced into society's gender roles. We would never be the ones to say "little boys don't play with dolls" or "little girls don't play sports" and try to dictate who they should be, what role they should play.

We know that once Spagett is born, there will be no avoiding the gendered gifts from family. We know it is unavoidable. We know that we are fighting a battle in which we are clearly outnumbered. But we also know that it is up to us as parents to make sure that Spagett will grow up in a home where it is perfectly safe to be a little bit different. And we can do that!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

belated update

Last week I had the big anatomy ultrasound, where they take all sorts of measurements and make sure that there aren't any gross anatomical defects in the fetus. We got some good pictures, which by now have probably made the rounds to family I didn't know we had, courtesy of Sid's mother. I won't share them all, because that would be obnoxious and boring, but I want to post the one that is my favorite...


I like to compare it to the nine week sonogram, just because there's such a marked difference in the development. You don't have to squint and tilt your head to try and make out the head end from the butt end! It's no longer a little blobby gummy bear creature!

But enough about that, it gets old after a while. I want to put down for posterity the most appalling thing EVER.

Not only is my blood pressure wonky, and oftentimes gets too low and I feel like I'm going to faint dead away, and not only do I have monstrous round ligament pain that is so bad I have been walking around like an old woman... I had to venture outside yesterday for twenty minutes and get bumrushed by mosquitoes. I am not exaggerating when I say I have got at least fifteen or twenty bites on each leg. From the knees down, I'm a throbbing lumpy mess of itchiness. I am in a veritable PANIC: nothing is easing this itch, nothing is helping at all.

As if mad heartburn, wonky blood pressure, and crippling round ligament pain weren't enough... this is the cherry on the shit sundae, let me tell you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

this is freaky and I kind of don't like it

All my life (and I do mean literally "all my life"), eating meat off the bone has been totally beyond me. I can't do it. It makes me gag, ruins my appetite, and is just an all-around icky experience. IT IS TERRIBLY GROSS. It is one of the reasons I decided to just stop eating meat altogether, rather than try to justify my strange meat-eating preferences (NO, I won't eat that, it's got that funny line of fat through it. NO, I won't eat that, look at the blubber along that edge. NO, I wont eat that... and so on and so forth.).

Our neighbors invited us over for dinner this past Saturday, and ribs were on the menu. And surprisingly enough, I said "you know, I liked steak when I never have before, so I'm willing to give ribs a shot" and said I'd be there. And you know what? I LIKED IT.


Yeah. Miss EW I CAN'T EAT IT OFF THE BONE ITS GROSS AND MAKES ME PUKE... ate ribs. And found them delicious.

This is worse than when I started levothyroxine and felt all weird in my own body. This absolutely trumps that whole experience. IT IS WEIRD. And to be honest, it really freaks me out and I kind of wish I could just go back to eating like normal. That will come in time, of course, but I'm impatient.

In better news, I broke down and started taking Zantac 75 for my wicked heartburn and it is HEAVEN. I can eat again! Unfortunately, I only caved and bought the stuff after a day in which my heartburn was so bad, I became violently ill and could not make it to the bathroom in time to hurl up Tums and stomach acid. But...RELIEF. YES. It's awesome.

Monday, July 6, 2009

one track-mind

I don't even know how it got started. We were hanging out with our neighbors down at the mexican restaurant, and got to talking about how we found out we were going to be moving in November (OMFG, SERIOUSLY, NAVY?) and we were trying to get a good idea of what houses we could afford compared to what we wanted, and how long it would take us to find a good one. The conversation turned to financing and mortgages and insurance. And eventually, it turned to houseboats.

My ears pricked up. Houseboats have always fascinated me, and when I was little, I sort of really wanted to own one. I love boats, love the water and I adore the idea of combining those two in my very own living space. I didn't mention this to Sid, but apparently he fell in love with the idea, as well. He is constantly online looking at boats (as am I, if I might be honest), and it dominates most of our conversations.

Because now we are weighing the pros and cons of living in a houseboat. We're still in the research phase, where we are emailing the naval base we're moving to, and asking about dockside fees and hurricane evacuations and all that lovely stuff. Because HELLO, we're moving to Florida, we are going to face a hurricane sooner or later!

Right now, though, a houseboat is still looking like a viable alternative for us. We've already found things we aren't going to like so much (such as lack of storage space) and things we are going to LOVE (such as the ease of simply moving our entire house to the next naval base, rather than dealing with the stress of packing and finding a new place).

I won't be terribly upset if this doesn't pan out. But if it does? HOLY SHIT. I think I will have to invite every one of my friends out to my place for a mini-vacation.