Lead Balloon

Pine-Sol is Divine.
April 27, 2007, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I broke down. A couple of weekends ago, I spent almost all day Saturday and Sunday cleaning our house. This was after a week of travel for work. (Okay, maybe it was more than a couple of weekends ago, because as of yesterday, the house was disgusting.) The point here is, that I’m not finding time to be the excellent housekeeper that I used to be. And it stresses me out. And it consumes my non-working hours. And I’m pregnant, and I consider that to be a valid excuse that I can use for anything for the next four months.

A while back we went over to my in-laws house for dinner, and as I walked into their house it smelled squeaky clean, of Pine-Sol. It was a Friday. I said to my mother-in-law, “Your house is so clean, and smells so good!” She said, “Yes, thanks to Alejandra, who cleaned today.” Immediately I started to fantasize about this Alejandra coming to our home like a little fairy and having the house all spic-and-span and ready for us for the weekend. I dreamt about the idea of people just “stopping by” and me not being embarassed by the odd pink stains in the toilet, or the five layers of animal hair that are certain to cover every object in my house even two days after a good cleaning. Anyway, my fantasies were soon put to rest when I sat around and thought about how able-bodied I really am and how cleaning the house is really, most times, quite therapeutic for me.

Then the work travel schedule picked up again. And every Sunday, I’d start to get this anxiety over all the things that didn’t get done that weekend. I’d start to truly get into a bad mood because of the baseboards or the fan blades. I started to have palpitations over the cat hair dust bunnies in the corners of every room. We’re not pigs – this is just how it is in a house with slobs and animals.

So I told Todd, I want to see if Alejandra can come to our house, and how much she will charge, and how soon she can start. He agreed – and this week she stopped by to give us an estimate and said she could be here on Friday. Today! So here I sit, in my very clean home which is almost sparkling from the cleanliness, my head just spinning from the Pine-Sol fumes…and I am happy. I feel good. I don’t feel guilty. There’s so much I can get done this weekend without worrying about the countertops, before I have to leave for another trip next week.

I also sit here with the worst knot in my back, from work-related stress this week. I was very nervous about a presentation I had to give in Chicago – but it all turned out great. And when it was over, the knots came. This happens all the time. This time it was so bad I had a chair massage – and the massage therapist said my problem is huge. Not something that will be worked out in a chair massage. And she was right. It’s no better today, even worse I think. But this pain is so much more bearable because of the Pine-Sol in the air! The clean house even makes my dirty car outside look better.

Man, she did such a great job. I caught her once, scrubbing the light switches. The light switches, people!!!! She’s going to start coming every two weeks. And I think I will grow to love her, like a sister. We will become best friends. And then she will never want to leave, perhaps she’ll even want to move in and care for our child once it is born. Maybe not. I love her so much today that I’d give her our firstborn, if it meant that every home we live in from here on out looked this clean and smelled this Pine-Solly.

And she’s honest. When she was done today, I asked her how bad it was. She said, “Pretty dirty. Lots of dust.” She was being kind – it wasn’t pretty dirty…it was especially unfathomable for someone living with OCD.


Full Bloom
April 23, 2007, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Spring is officially here. Some days, it feels like full-on summer. But things are looking up. (Translation: I don’t have to wear long sleeves anymore and can move to my all-flip-flop, all-the-time routine.) I love warm weather.

Today I was fortunate to meet my best friend Kelly for lunch. We RARELY get to do this. Both of us work from home, you’d think that it’s something we could easily pull together. But we’re both so busy lately. Seems that we always are. But, we made time to meet today and it was a great break in my workday, I made a mental note to do it more often. If for no other reason, to get out of the house. True, I’m on the road a lot. But if I’m home for a full week, it’s possible for me not to go anywhere for days, not even leave the house. Part of that is because I’m so thankful to be home.

As I drove up into our driveway after lunch I noticed the magnolias on the tree in our front yard blooming. It’s such a beautiful tree, and I love magnolias because they only bloom on a few choice spots on the tree. The tree isn’t covered in blooms – they’re just here and there, as if they’ve thought long and hard about which area of the tree they’re going to beautify for the spring. And the blooms are so big. I’m looking out the window now and seeing where more magnolias are going to appear over the next few days…I can’t wait.



Todd has spent every spare nice-weather moment in our yard, cleaning it up, planting flowers, making new flower beds, growing grass. It is looking great, he’s really got a green thumb. And that’s good, because the one house plant that is my responsibility is dying a slow, painful death right now. Yesterday he planted caladiums, my favorite. I can’t wait to see them bloom.

Also in full bloom – me. I went from a week of being able to fit into my regular clothes okay, to not being able to stand them at all. Unbuttoning, unzipping in public places – something I’ve always found to be disgusting from people who’ve eaten too much or whose pants are just too tight, period. Yesterday before starting laundry and getting the kitchen good and clean, I went upstairs to put some shorts on. Surprise, surprise, none of them fit. I went into the maternity clothes drawer (insert scary music here), pulled out a pair of shorts, put them on, and felt…relief. I was so shocked! They fit me, and why hadn’t I done this sooner? It’s because I didn’t want to be over-anxious or too on top of things, I wanted to put it off until the last minute. But it was worth it, and today I’m wearing some cute maternity capri pants that fit so comfortably that I might just sleep in them. I thought seriously about sleeping in those shorts last night. That’s how good they feel.

April 16, 2007, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Things have happened over the past several days that are just…odd.

First, the weather. I know that April is always this way in Dallas, but it just seems odd to me. One day, I’m in my warmest sweater with a scarf around my neck, the next I’m in shorts. One day I’m having Todd clean out the hall closet so that he, the animals and me can run to it during the tornado warnings for our area, the next day we’re basking in the sunshine outside, taking Jack for a big boy walk.

Next, over the past week I have gone from comfortably wearing my normal clothes to a place that can only be described as wardrobe purgatory. No, not even purgatory, it’s hell. I was away all of last week on a business trip and 3 out of the 5 days I could not wear the pants I’d packed to wear…These are pants that just fit me a week ago… I have all these books that ask the question, “When did you finally pop?” I’ve always thought the question was strange…until now. I guess I’ve popped. But I’m not popped enough to wear maternity clothes. Around the house this is fine, I can wear my slouchy sweatpants (or shorts, if the temperature rises), but going out is something else entirely. Wearing business attire is yet another animal…

Speaking of animals, something really odd happened today at home. The animals (Jack and Lily) sleep on the loveseat in my home office while I work. This is usually a really cute sight…so cute, in fact, that my boss is getting tired of receiving pictures of the dog and cat sleeping during the day. I can’t help it, they’re adorable. Anyway. Today I heard a really odd noise coming from the loveseat area (one foot away from me), and I looked over to see Lily (the cat) kind of dry heaving, gagging…you know how cats do it with their whole body…Well Jack was sitting right next to her. She usually doesn’t let him sit so closely, but since she was vomicking I guess she didn’t care. But he was close. Like, he was LICKING THE INSIDE OF HER MOUTH close. I can’t figure out if it was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen him do (awwww, helping Lily pull up her hairball) or the most disgusting thing in the world. So I dragged him off the couch to allow Lily to vomick in peace. Then I had to clean it all up.

At my last doctor’s appointment, the doctor told me she wants me to quit sleeping on my back and to start sleeping on my left or right side. Well, every time I wake up in the middle of the night (which is a lot) I am flat on my back. Even with the huge, awkward, space-consuming body pillow we bought, I have managed to roll myself over to my back. I have no idea how to correct this problem. I’ve seen in the baby stores this neat little thing you can put in the bed with you once the baby comes home, so that the baby can sleep safely there on his or her back without rolling off the bed or being rolled onto by the adult sleepers. I wish they made one big, for pregnant people. I need some sort of restraint. I can tell you that when I do wake up, I lie there and soak in th comfort that is the back sleeping…I think to myself, “Man this is comfortable, I’ll lie here just a little longer in this position before mustering up the energy to roll to my left side…” Then I realize how crazy that is, sigh loudly (Todd should experience this too, after all!) and roll over.

Otherwise, it’s not odd that I’m swamped at work and busy, busy. I hope you all had a great weekend! I’m glad to be home for a FULL WEEK!

Happy Easter, Everyone!
April 8, 2007, 6:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of surprises.
I just wish he’d brought some warmer temperatures with him.

Check Up
April 3, 2007, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning we went in for our latest pre-natal visit with our doctor. We’re 15 weeks now, moving right along. For those of you who have never had a baby, there are two things you do immediately when you get to the doctor’s office. You pee in a cup and you get weighed. Peeing in a cup is no easy task for me. Actually, I’m terrible at it. And this time, I forgot to write my name on the cup (also weird!) before putting it into the little gnome-sized door in the bathroom wall for someone to pick it up on the other side. When I do this, I picture Barbie and Ken and Skipper on the other side of that door in their dreamhouse, just testing up urine. So the nurse had to play Which One is Lauri’s Urine? for a while. Sorry.

So then there’s the weighing. I think only women who are rapidly losing weight are actually excited to get on a scale. Given my diet since the last visit (more hamburgers than usual, lots of chicken nuggets and weekly breakfast taquitos), I was a little worried about hopping on the scale. I know I’ve gotten bigger – many of my pants don’t fit anymore. I can see a baby bump there…so I know that I’m bigger. It was the actual number that concerned me. The books all say that you’re supposed to only gain about 3-5 pounds in the first trimester. Given that I’ve not been exercising and eating more than usual, I was sure it was double that. So I hopped on the scale, and I looked over at Todd and saw what I thought was a “I’m prepared to talk to you later about your nutrition and exercise program” look. Then I looked back at the scale, and I realized it just as the nurse said it, “You’ve only gained one pound!!!”

Of course Todd doesn’t think I’m getting fat (at least he says he doesn’t), but both of us know my lack of energy and overall refusal to eat a really good, balanced diet were leading me down a path of destruction. I can’t get too confident and lazy with that one pound gain, I’ve got to start eating better. And I have, now that the thought of vegetables and fruits doesn’t make me start to dry heave.

We listened to the baby’s heartbeat, that’s always nice to hear. And when I asked about why I get headaches every day at 4:00 pm, I got a good lecture on the amount of water I need to drink compared to what I am actually drinking. Todd was smiling, nodding and giving me the “I guess you should start listening to me more” look as she was finishing up her lecture. I know I should drink more water, I just don’t enjoy it. Maybe if it were red wine it would be easier. I will start pretending, and drinking my water from a nice merlot glass…to enhance the effect.

We signed up for our Prepared Childbirth classes at the hospital. Those ought to be fun. If for no other reason than to really get in some good people watching. You think you like to watch people now? Well when you’re pregnant, you really like to stare at other pregnant people. Surely the women in the waiting room at my doctor’s office don’t mind me eyeing their very large abdomens and outfits. I need to soak all of that in. I mean, really, how does one’s abdomen stretch and grow out so big? And how do they stand up and keep balanced? It’s so freakin’ weird.

Other than that, I’m just very busy. Or as my friend Mary says, “busy as a one-armed paper hanger”. (For those of you reading out there who only have one arm, that wasn’t meant to offend you or imply that all you can do is hang wallpaper…it’s just a figure of speech. Or a simile. Something like that.) Lots of travel coming up over the next few weeks…fun.

Also, it’s Holy Week. Get holy, be holy. It’s the most important week on Jesus’ calendar.