Monday, November 30, 2009

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of those modern classics that everyone references, but which I'd never read. And to be honest, until recently I'd never had much desire to do so. But the book came up in a few different contexts, so I decided to give it a shot. I found it to be an enjoyable, light read, but it's plot wasn't completely satisfying. And since I finished it about a week ago, I can say it is not entirely memorable either.

The book follows hapless human Arthur Dent, whose house is about to be destroyed to make way for a new bypass at the exact moment when the planet Earth is also to be destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. His best friend, Ford Prefect, outs himself as an alien while this is going down. Since Ford is also one of the contributing editors of the encyclopedic reference book (also called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), he's got enough space-street-sense to flag down a passing UFO and secure passage for Arthur and himself.

Through a couple of crazy random happenstances, Arthur and Ford find themselves on the cutting edge spaceship the Heart of Gold, which has recently been stolen by Galactic President and ex-hippy Zaphod Beeblebrox and his girlfriend Trillian. This motley crew finds itself on the distant planet Magrathea, which the galaxy had thought was completely abandoned. In their adventures on Magrathea, the crew learns the Answer to the Ultimate Question, finds out what the Earth really was, and they meet some interesting characters along the way. It's a fun ride to take, so long as you don't expect anything life-changing.

Next up: Emma by Jane Austen.


Apparently I posted the Bug's funny quotes one day too soon. Yesterday we were in the ladies' room at a restaurant when she said to me, "Mommy, you have a humongous vagina." I looked at her, puzzled to myself for a second, and asked "What was that?" And she told me, "Mommy, I don't like your great big vagina." Yep, I'm still a little mortified.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bug's quotables

It's been a while since the Bug said something so off the wall I felt compelled to report it verbatim here, but we've had two in the past week.

Early this week, my Mom and I took her shopping for, among other things, a play-in-the-snow winter coat. I saw a cute brown coat with a faux fur-trimmed hood at the Gap, and asked her if she wanted to try it on for me. She took one look, shook her head, and said, "NO - it's too monkey!" I thought I must have misunderstood and restated the question, and she stamped her feet and vehemently replied again that the coat was "too monkey!!" In Macy's, another fur-trimmed hood, and another report of "too monkey!" We ultimately found one that was pink and brown but completely without fur. It won the stamp of approval, and that evening when she put it on to go for a walk, she cheerfully reported that this coat was "not at all monkey" and therefore quite acceptable.

And on Tuesday I took the Bug to her third swimming lesson. We've had pretty mixed results - with Mom, she was happy to get in the water and practice her stroke and her kick, but when I was there she cried non-stop. I'd already taken her out of the water a couple of times, and after I didn't respond to the third consecutive cry of "I have to go potty" (since the last had been a false alarm), she screamed at the top of her lungs "I have to make a poop RIGHT NOW!" Believe me when I tell you that is not a bluff you want to call - I scooped her out of the pool, ran to the bathroom, and was only mildly annoyed when it proved to be another false alarm.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dud Avocado

The Dud Avocado is Elaine Dundy's loosely autobiographical first novel. It tells of the misadventures of 21-year-old ingenue Sally Jay Gorce, an American in Paris in the mid-1950s. Sally's Uncle Roger has agreed to foot the bill for two years in Europe, during which Sally wants to have some fun: stay up as late as she wants, eat whatever she wants, and meet some interesting people. She's terribly unlucky in love, has a hopeless tendency to wear the wrong thing, and manages to lose her passport during one late night of partying.

Sally's escapades are more amusing than the underlying plot. She's fallen in with an arty cafe crowd, has an affair with an Italian diplomat who has both a wife and a mistress, falls head over heels for the smarmy American theater director she knew in the States, and jaunts off to the south of France with a guy she barely knows. Her hair is dyed a shocking shade of pink, she jilts the nice guy who loves her, and did I mention she lost her passport? The Dud Avocado is charming, witty and an enjoyable read.

Next up: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I am actually surprised never to have read.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big sister so sweet

The Bug is quite taken with "her" new baby. She really could not be sweeter to the little Bunny: she kisses her, picks out her clothes, reads her books, pats her gently on the head, is very concerned when her pacifier goes missing... in short, incredible success with the new addition to the family. This was definitely the unknown variable that had me most nervous; now I am simply worried that in a few years they will totally gang up on their poor mommy.

Knowing the Bug's penchant for artistic expression, it should not come as a surprise that she is also presenting quite the tome of to her sister. Here's the first picture the Bug made for the newborn Bunny, which she brought to the hospital to present to new baby sister at their first meeting ever:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Special delivery!

So at exactly 41 weeks, my pregnancy ended on Friday the 13th with the birth of beautiful little Anya "Bunny" Marie. She weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz., so apparently those last few weeks were dedicated to packing on the weight.

On Thursday my weekly doctor's visit was accompanied by a sonogram which indicated borderline low amniotic fluid, so the doctor sent us to the hospital. Once I got there and they determined the baby's and my vitals were fine, I was given pitocin to induce labor. Things progressed pretty quickly - my cervix began to dilate and they broke my water - and I even got to relax a little once they administered the epidural. By around 5:00 in the morning, my cervix was fully dilated but the baby still had not dropped one iota. After another hour of the pitocin doing its thing, the doctor's best guess was that the baby would not drop, so I was prepped for a Cesarian which would begin when the new shift of nurses and anesthesiologists came on at 7:00.

With 15 minutes to spare, my doctor and nurse came into the room and suggested that, while it was not overwhelmingly likely to work, I try to push the baby out the old fashioned way. Yeah, the baby was really high (+3, with delivery happening at a -4... don't ask me what that means), but what could it hurt? If pushing accomplished nothing, we were already ready for the O.R. and would proceed as planned. Without getting into the details, it turns out that I am a rather impressive pusher, and baby was delivered in an hour and 20 minutes.

The Bunny is strong, healthy and wonderful, the Bug is enamored with her baby sister, and we are settled back at home as a family of four. More to follow soon, of course!

Monday, November 9, 2009

40 weeks +3

It actually never occurred to me that I'd go past my due date with this baby. Call it naive, call it short-sighted, either way it's the truth. So three days past the due date with no signs of any change on the horizon, I am a bit flummoxed. I have tried every "home remedy" under the sun, with the exception of chugging castor oil - that just sounds gross. I've been working from home for a couple of weeks - the commute was wiping me out, and my colleagues all feared my water could break at any moment - so I'm actually a little lonely. On the flip side, none of my clothes fit these days so at least I'm not flashing the world my unsightly business. My Mom came out at the end of last week under the assumption that we'd be looking at a due date-ish baby. And she returned to Colorado today with plans to return when I go into labor, or get scheduled for an induction, or it's Thanksgiving - whichever happens first. So Gentle Reader, stay tuned. No news is... well, no news is simply the lack of news. Keep your fingers crossed something happens soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween wrap

So it's November now, and still nothing to report in the baby news department. I can tell you I am not a fan of pointless contractions that apparently accomplish nothing, but that's about all I've got.

On the plus side, though, we did get to take the Bug trick-or-treating this year - something I was super pleased not to miss! She was a very magical unicorn, though we were not able to convince her to wear her hood with its extra-magic horn... Still, it was pink and fuzzy and adorable. She didn't *actually* say "Trick or Treat" at any of the houses, preferring to cling to Joker and stick out her pumpkin bucket. But she scored a plenty fine haul for her non-sweets-eating self (and her Reese's Peanut Butter Cup-loving Mommy), and she has learned she likes chocolate, though she soundly rejects everything else (even M&Ms!).