31 August 2007

The Itchy Butt

The heat wave continues unabated. Ed worked from home to avoid the pre-Labor Day traffic (which is supposed to be thrice as bad as ever due to an impending Bay Bridge closure – for the entire weekend. The prediction is that Highway 101 through Marin will be a parking lot for three days.) as did LB. At mid-day LB joined me at the pool, she reading and doing the respite thing in the sun and shade, dabbling her toes in the water from time to time for a cool off while I swam a mile. (Yes, a stellar, fabulous, exhausting mile!) I’m going to have to start putting on sun screen because the freckles on my face are darkening and it reminds me of when I was an awkward kid.

Coming home I made Ed fetch me ice cream while I reposed in the back cottage in the cool breeze of the air conditioner and surfed the internet for nothing whatsoever. And then I went and picked up some leave-in hair conditioner to hopefully combat the effects of chlorine and since I was out, you know, a slice of pizza – which just made me hungry for the left over chicken enchilada in the fridge so of course I popped that in the microwave. Which all was chaser to the ice cream sandwich which started it all off before leaving the pool. And I act all mystified and bewildered when I get heartburn. Ha! (Yeah, hmmm… wherever is all this weight coming from, eh?)

LB’s coming over shortly, we’re taking our evening hike a little later in the evening in hopes of escaping the heat. Ms Honey Bee didn’t get a walk at all yesterday (way too hot) and today we’re leaving far later than normal… she likely presumes I’ve abandoned her needs as she’s looking rather despondent and forgotten at my feet. And little does she know she’s getting a bath when we return this evening… she’s got what we call “the itchy butt.”

I’m quite happy to report that I actually had a fairly decent night’s sleep last night. All is good is Zuzuland.

29 August 2007

Barely Legal

The most assiduous task of parenting is to divine the difference between boundaries and bondage. - Barbara Kingsolver

We’ve begun keeping a list of every time Zoe kicks me and we’re going to ground her for it later. I think we’re getting a good handle on bondage – we’ll have to work on boundaries no doubt.

We’re in week 21 now and although I promised some reflection on The Good Terrorist…. Well… there you have it – I’m not inspired.

It’s hot today, in the 90’s. I spent the morning doing chores before the heat of the day made it all feel too oppressive and then made the unfortunate decision to take the Honey Bee for a mid-day sojourn to the lake. Even though we relegated our activities to the shady side of the lake, it was still miserably and relentlessly hot. Only one room has a window air conditioning unit, so I lifted my skirt and let the cold air pour over my big sweaty belly before readying my things for a trip to the pool.

Getting to the pool later than I have to date gave me a taste of the family aspect of the club. Early in the day it’s open to adults only and not until afternoon does it open up to family swim activities. There were gazillions of kids and babies and moms – not so many dads. But even with the influx of young’ns most of the lanes were reserved for lap swim and people seemed to respect the lap swimmers.

I’ve been working up slowly (it’s only my 4th day in the pool) and currently I’m swimming 1100 yards – which is about 2/3 of a mile. I haven’t been in the water since the summer of ’01 and I’m way out of shape, but the water is so familiar and comforting to me – it’s like coming home. My body is so different and unfamiliar it’s an interesting contrast – feeling so invited and good in the environment and yet feeling so distant and uncomfortable in my body. The movements in the water are reflexive, however. I know how it’s supposed to feel to swim. I make little adjustments and compensate for my changing body shape, my more buoyant belly, my heavier hips and I try to get that feel. On some level, at least for a few weeks, I know that no matter what I do I’ll feel like I’m dragging my body through the water as I build up the right muscles and endurance to swim on top of (rather than under/in) the water. That’s just the normal road to getting there – nothing I can do about that except swim every day, push myself a little harder and have patience. I do wonder, however, as I’m dragging this bowling ball called Zoe with me, if I’m going to feel like I can swim on top of the water as long as she’s in tow.

After I’d finished my first 600 yards I paused and a man approached my lane and touched my shoulder. He asked if I was a competitive swimmer. Not for many, many, many years, I assured him. He said that he’d been coming to the pool for years and he’s seen no one swim as beautifully as me – how it looked so strong and effortless and like it was supposed to look. It felt nice to hear it, even knowing how weak and formless my stroke is given lack of practice. With each stroke in the water I’m correcting, coaching, reminding, adjusting – and yet to someone it looks beautiful and effortless. “No one else here swims like that,” he tells me.

When I was a little girl I remember watching Mark Spitz in the 1972 Olympics on television. The colors of the pool and the grace with which he moved through the water entranced me. I wanted to do that. Even as a young girl, I was never dissuaded by my lack of abilities or natural talent.. heh. I like it that I’ve never been afraid to square off with failure and keep trying to understand, persevere, anyways. I hope I can give that to Zoe – the willingness to ignore failure, one’s own incompetence and insecurities and do it all anyways in the face of it because what really is there to lose at the end of the day?

26 August 2007

Pregnant Pause

The human race has had long experience and a fine tradition in surviving adversity. But we now face a task for which we have little experience: the task of surviving prosperity. - Alan Gregg

I’m so out of the practice of posting I don’t even know how to begin or what to say. Greetings. This is my first “new” post on blogspot, all the others have merely been transplanted from Diaryland – a quaint little spot – let it never be forgotten, it had its moment. It was.

Week 20, the half way mark, of this pregnancy, has commenced. It’s rather daunting. The miracle of life and all that rot. The first three months were miserable and now I just feel big and uncomfortable. What do I have to look forward to? Feeling bigger and even more uncomfortable and then being in a lot, lot, lot, lot of pain and then terrified for the next eighteen years. And this was a choice… a planned and deliberate choice. What were we thinking!?!

Despite my whining, Saturday was an awesome day. I pruned my agapanthus in the morning, with the exception of two aging flowers acting as pillar to the web of my Marge Simpson spider (which resembles this, but I’d say mine is bigger.) I conferred with Ed on how to handle Marge and his advice was to just leave her be. So there she perches, though much more exposed than when nestled among the other towering scepters of purple flower.

Ed edged the lawn around the garden, which looks amazing after an eight hour stint last week where I weeded, pruned, raked and primped. Zoe’s dresser arrived a few days back and Ed hauled it in pieces, to be assembles, which now lay strewn across the newcomer’s floor.

I’ve been kavetching about wanting to find and pool and swim for years – since we moved up here – and we visited a swim and tennis club which looks like it fits the bill perfectly. It’s an outdoor pool, heated to 82 degrees F, and open year round. If you’re a Native Son of the Golden West they offer steep discounts. They don’t kick in until one has been a member for a few years but it’s even reasonable until then. We got to try it out for free for the day and it was the first time I lay face down, stretched out, for months! It felt so great – like something really precious and valuable. I was beaming happy well into the evening.

After our afternoon at the swim and tennis club we took the bikes out for a spin, while the Honey Bee ran along side, up to the park for a frollicky game of fetch. After a nice work out I retired to the hot tepid tub for some respite. It was a great day.

Despite the pleasures of the day, however, I had a restless and uncomfortable night. If I wasn’t waking to go to pee (an every few hour occurrence… thank you miracle of frill’n life) I was waking up just plane uncomfortable. Around 4 am Secret decided she wanted up on the bed, to be with the pack, and until she departed around 7 I don’t remember sleeping well – despite cozily rubbing noses with the Monster Grrrl, I felt cramped and uncomfortable and sore. So today really sucked by comparison – I did a modicum of gardening but other than that I’ve been prone on the sofa or lazing on the bed and I feel like a big lump.

And if you can’t tell by this post, I’ve officially become one of those pregnant ladies who seem to have no life or mind or thoughts beyond the simple fact that she’s pregnant. For those of you who have never been pregnant, it’s rather all consuming. For those who have, my sympathies go out to you.

I’ll try to bring up some non-pregnant topics next time… like the Doris Lessing book I’m reading (The Good Terrorist.)