Ryan and I spent the first two weeks of our vacation in the Bay Area visiting his family, listening to the rain, and enjoying the freedom to breathe without fear. I decided that it would be nice to live in a place where it is possible to be outside for a significant amount of time each day without threat of bodily harm. Whether this wish will always be a fantasy remains to be seen.
Our Christmas was lovely, and we received many generous, thoughtful, and wonderful gifts. One gift, marked "To: Ryan and Amy" was an iPad, upon which I have not lain one finger since its receipt. Ryan, who maintains even still his hate of Apple products and programs, is losing face fast as it becomes increasingly impossible to pry from his eager little hands. I figure, he can have it. I would just use it to look up brownie recipes anyway, and that's the last thing anyone needs.
In the end, all's fair in Christmas gifting. Ryan may have received a Very Fancy Electronic, but I received a Very Useful Toileting Alternative. Evidently, human elimination ought to be done from a deep squatting posture and, in the interest of my intestinal wellness, Ryan's brother-in-law, at the behest of his clever wife, built for us a contraption called a squat platform, nearly identical to what you see pictured below. As soon as I can squat without fear (honestly, I'm even finding standing still a little hazardous these days), I will let you know how it works.
Or perhaps not, now that I think about it.
After driving back from California, we flew to Maryland to see my side of the family. I don't know whose pelvis I thought I was working with when I scheduled 24 hours of car travel and ten plus hours on a plane, but I've never been known for my prudence or good judgment. The trip was worth the discomfort, edema, and risk of embolism, however. I was the lucky recipient of a cast iron skillet and baby shower gifts including soft, blue things for Dweezil and a recliner for me. And pleather maternity pants.
Sometimes I like to reward those of you who keep reading when I'm feeling boring and long-winded with tidbits like this.
It's true! My grandmother, mother, sister, and I went to Unique Thrift, a Value Village subsidiary and our most beloved destination, to search out clothing for my expanding bod. This was the source of many additional soft blue things (baby bodies are far easier to dress than the bodies that produce them, I'm learning), and several maternity items, one of which is a pair of pleather pants with a stretchy panel over the belly.
Trying on clothes at Unique Thrift is an acrobatic event in any condition, but trying on pants with no dressing room at seven months gestation nearly gave me a coronary. Still, I felt I had no option. This was clearly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I had to at least see if they fit.
My eighty-seven-year-old grandmother, who goes by Mutie, took one look at me in those pants and proclaimed "Amy! They're darling!" I couldn't believe the funniness of my life as she continued, "Really, they look very nice! Especially from the back--" At which point I had to interrupt her. A woman in my condition can only take so much commentary on her derriere.
The end of the story is that Mutie couldn't bear the thought of my leaving that store without those pants and so she forked out the four dollars and bought them herself. She then proceeded to harass me for the next two days about how I ought to wear them to the lovely, classy baby shower my mother's friends had organized for me. How do you tell your grandmother that, no matter how minimizing of one's hindquarters, pleather pants simply don't feel like baby shower wear?
I mean, look at her. You wouldn't want to mess with her, admit it.
I wore regular clothes to the shower. Don't worry about Mutie, she'll get over it, she's tough. In fact, she shared a little poem with us the morning we left for the airport:
The harder you fall
The higher you bounce
Come up with a smiling face
It's nothing against you to be knocked down
But to lie there,
That's the disgrace
Pretty much sums her up right there.
The day after the shower was my mother's birthday, so I forced her to wear a birthday hat and we all ate pancakes.
It was a lovely holiday, so lovely that it provided me with ample material for the five posts I penned in my head but never quite got to the presses. Oh, well. At least I have some pants to wear if I go to a motorcycle rally before April.