Week 12

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My sweet little praying mantis baby salutes you.

bug baby


Do you believe in magic? she asked me.

Her thick, exotic accent already put me in the mind of a fortune teller fresh from Romania. With her black hair, large brown eyes, and particular sales pitch, I pegged her for an Israeli. What were so many Israelis doing in a suburban Memphis mall hawking Dead Sea salt nail tonic anyway?

I told her I did believe in magic. I was running late. I only had 10 minutes left to find some maternity jeggings that wouldn't cut off mine or the baby's circulation, but at that moment, I needed to believe. More importantly, I needed to be convinced.

She took my hand in hers and ran a blue buffer over my ragged nails. She cooed over my watch, clucked when I told her I was three months pregnant (Ju? No. Look at ju. Ju cannot be prrrrrregnant). She then asked if I was ready and whisked away the buffer. And I will be damned if my nail didn't look shiny and fresh and new.


She then tried to sell me about 3 boxes worth of the stuff and the magic was gone. My irritation began to spike. Yes, the stuff really seemed to work, and yes, I can use some lotion that will help clear up all the brown discoloration on my face you keep pointing out, but please, just leave it alone. Yes, I know three boxes will help Israel that much more Now not only did my nine other shabby, ragged nails look so prnounced, so did my liberal guilt. She was sly, that one. I bought 2 boxes and heard myself promising I would come back for Christmas. Oy.

I walked past the food court and was nearly stopped in my tracks by the smells wafting up from the hibachi grill. I was supposed to be downtown for a pilates class, but fatty Japanese chicken and a giant coke was now what I wanted. I picked up my order, sat down at a table and burst into tears.

Why wasn't I at pilates? If I kept eating like this and not exercising, I was going to end up gigantic and nothing like my 100 pound, perfectly pregnant pilates teacher. Why was I still drinking coke? Why on earth did I buy 2 boxes of Israeli magic nail salt when I had carefully budgeted for maternity clothes? Why was I always such a pushover? Why did I become pregnant?

I glanced up at the mall TVs and the image of actress Kat Dennings frolicking in a music video made me cry even harder. She is my current muse for a long gestating screenplay, and her likeness seemed like proof of my failure. Why couldn't I finish the screenplay? Why couldn't I finish anything?

Why...did I forget to take my medication that morning?

I threw away my half-drunk coke and walked quickly to my car where I could sob in private.

I've been taking Cymbalta for a couple of years now, and I credit it for achieving something that years of talking therapy could not - it held the Voices at bay. I think everyone has their own version of the voices, thoughts that reflect his/her unchecked, unbridled darkest fears. Mine routinely mocked me and called me out on every perceived flaw. But mine often wouldn't let me answer a telephone for fear that the person on the other end would end up thinking me stupid because I couldn't carry on a conversation. Mine often kept me housebound for fear of somehow failing somebody, so it was safer to just stay home.The Cymbalta banished them to some distant corner of my brain, and finally I was left to just being me. Sometimes I had bad days, sometimes I was hard on myself. But then I got over it and got shit done.

And then I got pregnant.

Publications like the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics have published a comforting amount of material on the safety of taking SSRIs while pregnant. It has been determined that there is less than a 1% risk of birth defects while medicating, but after careful discussions, my doctor and I agreed that I would slowly wean off the cymbalta so that it would be completely out of my system - and the baby's - by the third trimester. He wanted me to stay on. He knew of my history with pre and post-partum anxiety and depression. He wanted me to be a strong mom to the child I already had. Most importantly, he wanted me to be strong and healthy for myself.

But I wanted off. Even with the New England Journal on my side, all it took was one day of googling to scare the shit out of me and the meds out of system.

So every two weeks I dropped down 10 mg. Caleb would come home to find me crying or scrubbing a plate in fury. I would then remind him through my tears that it was a weaning day, on top of the rampant progesterone flooding my system, and he would go play with Harlow at the far end of the loft. I agreed with the voices. I was miserable and nobody wanted to be around me for good reason.

So I found myself at my next doctor's appointment grateful when he put on the brakes. As of writing this, I am still not officially in my second trimester, and his hope is that I can have a trimester that is (mostly) free of the anxiety and self-hatred that tends to plague me when I am med-free. Sure, that last bit is gonna suck, but I'll take whatever magic I can get.

My nails don't look half bad, either.

Best. Unintentional. Maternity Sweater.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010



from Forever 21

Happy Saturday

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hope it's been as lovely as ours!

papa john and H


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It's what's for dinner.

And all over the counters.

And the floor.

And the kid.

But it sure is yummy.

2 steps forward

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I was summoned to the house in progress yesterday to discuss fireplace placement. Unfortunately it's gonna have to be wedged in the corner rather than the traditional middle of the wall positioning, and I got all fretful about symmetry and layout, but the boy hasn't steered us wrong yet.

He was having to tackle much bigger issues, such as the insulation that had molded. He had to tear out all of the sheetrock from the wall and ceiling, spray the insulation with bleach and wait for the stuff to dry before putting it all back together again.


And hey! We have windows! So the house it starting to look less inhabited by hobbits than by actual people!


Next week, the house painters arrive to start the extreme makeover...

Megan + Matt

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm so excited about the upcoming wedding of musician Matt to artist Megan, and I was doubly thrilled when they agreed to have their engagement shoot at the Fair! It was sweltering hot (again), Matt wasn't able to score a coveted fair pretzel, and the carnies were about ready to threaten mutiny, but Matt and Megan stayed cool and calm and pretty much adorable, whether it was on the ferris wheel, snacking on cotton candy or taking a ride through the haunted house.

Thanks, Megan and Matt, for our time at the fair!
















Sunday, September 19, 2010


Squirmer, meet world. World, Squirmer.

I had a doctor's appointment on Friday, a day capping off a week of feeling run down, grouchy, and generally troll-like. I don't generally enjoy being pregnant, and these supersized hormones, responsible for my constant carbo-loading followed by epic naps, the resulting weight gain in places that I really don't think helps baby all that much, the subsequent self-loathing body image crap, well, you get the idea. I'm a general 24 hour cornucopia of fun.

So the doctor tried to find the heart beat. And couldn't.

I'm not worried, she said, helping me up and wiping the goo off my belly.

You're not worried?

Nah, you're super pregnant, she said. I pictured mutant hormones with little capes. Let's just squeeze you into the ultrasound tech before you leave so you can hear the heart tones.

I go to check out, and the attendant informs me that I need to take a seat in another waiting area for the ultrasound.

But I really need to go, I say. I'm meeting someone, and I'm coming back for an ultrasound in 2 weeks, so...

The attendant eyes me steadily. It says on your chart you haven't heard the heart tones, she explains. It's a precaution.

It's a precaution ? But she wasn't worried.

The doctor wasn't worried, I sputter.

I'm going to go check with her, says the attendant, taking my chart.

No, it's ok, I say hastily. I'll wait. To hear the heart tones.

I take a seat. They are calling them heart tones now? Is that like calling it a fetus before some magical alchemy where you can start referring to it as a baby? Do heart tones become beats when everyone is assured the baby is alive?

The enormity of it hit me. There was a chance the baby wasn't alive. I could go in that room and have more goo smeared on me and a stranger would try and listen for tones from a heart that wasn't beating.

I suddenly realized how much I wanted this baby, and I was minutes away from learning whether or not I was being given a chance to see it through. All the whining and complaining, the pity parties and roller coaster emotions - was this somehow a test? A terrible price to pay for not rising above the daily grind of pregnancy and not being grateful?

The room came into sharp focus. The Food and Wine magazine in my lap, the nurse in purple scrubs who kept giving me a sad smile everytime she brought a new patient into the hallway, the cute basketball of a belly on the young pregnant girl across from me - these were thee little flashes that were being quilted together into my Moment. In Your Eyes suddenly drifted over the soft chatter of the waiting area, and my Moment suddenly had a soundtrack. Lloyd Dobler was holding aloft his boombox, his sadness becoming my sadness.

And then the lyrics started. I actually looked up at the ceiling in confusion, trying to find the source of the mess that was not Peter Gabriel coming into the waiting area. Dionne Warwick? A live feed of a 60 year old Filipino man singing karaoke? Whatever is was, this was by far the worst cover of In Your Eyes if not the worst cover of any song ever. EVER ever.

And it totally snapped me out of my ridiculous scene staging. I burst out laughing, startling the pregnant girl across from me. I started to google "worst cover ever," but it was my turn to see the technician.

The second that wand touched my belly, the baby came into view, waving and kicking like we had just interrupted him/her dancing a jig. Or trying to escape the Renee Fleming awfulness.

The baby waved, and I waved back.

I heard the heart tones then, and I burst into tears.

Tumblring down

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This blog started as a way for me to chronicle the f-ed up dreams I was having during my first pregnancy. As time marched on, so did the blog's focus. My freelance work and photography started to take center stage as the peaks and valleys of motherhood started to level off into one endless trail run. I've even found myself hesitating to talk about things kid/pregnancy related here as it's not really "professional" or work related. And as pregnancy sharply increases my tendency to fling about 4 letter words and icky medical conditions, maybe I need to find a better forum for it.

So I started a tumblr account that focuses solely on this pregnancy.

And I updated it. But then I kinda felt bad for segregating all those thoughts. And really? Do I need another blog? So I haven't quite decided how to handle the personal vs. the professional. I'm not even sure the blogosphere has that quite figured out. I'm just gambling that a prospective client interested in boudoir photography might not want to hear me prattling on about the effect of progesterone on my digestive tract.

But then, my clients tend to have really wicked senses of humor.

All this to say is that the hormones are compelling me to write some of this shit down to get it out of my overloaded, hormonally saturated system. And, according to my archives, I am right on target. So if you are interested in my take on Fetus 2: The Revenge, I'll be over there. When not here.

Nina's house

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

As my midsection (and other sections) start to expand, I've got kid's furniture on the brain.

How freakin adorable is this? It's a crib, changing station and playhouse in one. I worry about people taller than 5 feet trying to hunch over that changing station, but what's a little crick in the back when it's SO CUTE?

nina's house

nina's house

via inhabitots

Coming soon

Monday, September 13, 2010


Trouble You

In honor of last night's True Blood finale (and our cancellation of HBO until next summer) I'm posting a song that I think needs to be in contention for the season 4 soundtrack. Yes, it's my husband's band. But it's my blog, and I'm the sheriff of these parts, so I make the rules.

Hooray for Abel

From yesterday's sweet birthday party

mmm cake

Grow Home Grow

Friday, September 10, 2010

My apologies for the light posting this week.

It's been kinda hard out here for a pregnant lady.

But I hope you get up to all kinds of hijinks and escapades and other contraindicated for pregnancy activities that you'll have to share with me on Monday.

Until then, I am going to leave you with the most amazing, hilarious wallpaper I have ever seen. It's the "Mrs. Ward," a print inspired by an enterprising entomologist of the Victorian era. I think it needs to go in my downstairs powder room immediately.


available at Grow Home Grow

They're alive!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

from Small Magazine

With print magazines biting the dust regularly, it's nice to see online ventures popping up in their place.

Lonny became the new Domino, but Rue, partly created by Anne Sage of the eye candyilicious City Sage blog, is looking to take its crown.

When the ridiculous, sublime Cookie fell, I scratched my ridiculous toddler fantasia itch with Small Magazine, a beautiful, quirky collection of artwork, clothes and toys for the tiny set.

Newest on the scene is La Petite Mag, created by a girl so beautifully Nordic in appearance that it makes me a bit angry that my Anderson genes lack the ability to give me blunt cut blonde bangs.

Ooh, and definitely can't forget Erin Loechner's Design for Mankind, which is always beautiful, and always kinda defies description.

What magazines do you read online?

Labor Day

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'd like to take a minute (and do my best not to sound like the beginning of a Barry White song) and thank the hardest laboring man I know, (in addition to my dad) - my hursband.

Like a lot of people, he's had to get a little creative due to the downturn in the economy, and as a result, he's working a ridiculous amount of jobs in addition to renovating our house. And putting up with a hormonal pregnant lady. One of his jobs actually has him welding, and I have been encouraging him to just go for it and start dancing at night, just so he has a shot at the male remake of Flashdance.

I'm just ridiculously proud of his work. If you're local and fancy yourself a new piece of furniture, a playhouse for the kiddo, a bathroom remodel, he's your man....when he's not busy being mine.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

All That Jazz

Good morning!

It's Labor Day, and I'm studiously avoiding laboring of any kind.

In our non-laboring, we happened to catch the second half of one of my favorite movies last night, All That Jazz. I immediately had to watch the opening sequence as it happens to be one of my favorite openings of any movie ever.

I know. Strong statement. But I defy you not to be enchanted.

It still contains the magic to make me want to drop everything, move to New York, and try to make it on Broadway, pregnant belly be damned.

Where my kids at?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sweazys received some interesting news today. Turns out? The Volvo?


Mama survives unscathed to get a brand new car!!

We've been cruising in the parents mini van for the past week, and it seems that with baby #2 on the way, it's an inevitability we'll end up with our own swagger wagon. Have you seen this? Hi-lar-ious.

But just for now, I'm going to pretend I'm hoisting up that car seat in my brand new Porsche Cayenne, taking the corners like they're on rails, driving onward into the Labor Day weekend.

Hope it's a memorable holiday weekend for you and yours!

thought for the day

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Hunger Games

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I finished Mockingjay, the third and final book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and I am (mostly) satisfied. Anybody else out there sucked in by the reality TV on steroids framework, the uber-dystopian premise, the extreme violence, and the occasional smooching? Team Gale? Team Peeta?

I'm digging some of the foreign covers for the series:

Hunger Games Cover - Germany

Hunger Games Cover - Greece

via one sparkling star