Monday, June 27, 2011

Half Way There!

I love this graph because her 22 weeks was my, eh, 0.  

Today I was so hungry I had to go and buy a second lunch.  I ate the lunch I brought, and then in a meeting from 1 to 2:30 pm all I could thing about was dinner, then maybe picking up a small snack in the cafeteria, and then it came down to it I bought whole second lunch.  And guess what?  I’m still hungry. 

These days I’m downright beastly: I swear I may have even growled at Matt as he tried to eat my trail mix last night.  I realize my, “I have no pregnancy symptoms!” shtick may be up. 

Case in point: I’m utterly, completely exhausted half the time.  Of course, I working now and sitting at home with Ellen and Oprah, but I’m also sleeping much worse (which really is a feat for a girl who never slept well).  I wake throughout the night to either pee (which is puzzling as there’s no baby on my bladder as far as I can tell) or just stare at the clock in aggravation. Even on Saturday I woke up at 5 am, a day I was hoping I could “catch up”.  Poor Matt is lobbying for his own bedroom (complete with a “race car bed” to boot).

I’ve also been experiencing “round ligament pain” which is really no big deal (just the stretching and contracting of the ligament that supports your growing uterus) but it often catches me off-guard.  My lower abdomen is growing harder (well, underneath the fat) and I was told my boobs are bigger so last night I felt myself up in the shower and lo and behold they DID feel denser (and they certainly are pointing due south so something’s goin’ on in there).

So, really, things aren’t too shabby…or at least it’s nothing a long nap, a five-course dinner, and a Miracle Bra can’t solve.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Train Tantrums

I’m a bonafide commuter and take the train to work, and (so far) I love it.  I love unwinding, listening to music, staring out the window, dog-earing my book, and thinking about dinnertime and Penny and Matthew and all those precious little things.  I’m on my daily migration to what’s important.

But there’s a dark underbelly to the train, too; one that centers on a pervasive lack of manners and general etiquette.  I do enjoy myself some Miss Manners, I must say.  You will receive a thank you note from me, and niceties will be met with a “my pleasure”.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m going to write about the train douches (yes, I said it) on the R5 line.  Really – they need to be exposed.  So hitch a ride, darlin’, because here we go!:

Septa (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) regional rail trains are invariably set up in the following format: a set of two seats on one side, and three on the other.  Meaning, if there is a full train, someone will have to sit in the middle.  I often take a train called “The Great Valley Flyer”.  Doesn’t that just scream turn-of-the-century railroad romanticism to you?  The Great Valley Flyer stops at all the outermost stops on the line, and then continues into Center City Philadelphia non-stop.  I live a good 2/3 out on the line, so I pick-up the train on its last stop before it choo-choos into the city for a 7:51 am arrival.  Because of this, the train is always very crowded with tired commuters and there are almost always only middle seats left.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT pretend to be asleep so a new passenger will forgo asking you to slide over.  These dufuses are almost always male, because, and this is very scientific, here: I believe males have a bigger allotment of asshole-y genes.  I can SEE YOU peaking out at me through your half-closed eyes, sir!  And spreading your legs in the biggest, most obnoxious and grotesque “V” isn’t going to stop me.  And YES, my big booty will take a seat.  Also, putting your briefcase, laptop bag, and newspaper all in a row to take up the middle seat will not deter me.  I see others look at your seat, look at the crowded train, then look back at the seat in that sad, timid way my dog looks at leftover food on my plate: they would rather stand the whole trip than bother with the likes of you.  Well, they’re obviously nicer than me, so scoot over!

On most trains there is an overhead rack, number one, and number two, why don’t you try a little consolidation?  Women are particularly guilty of this: oftentimes a woman will carry 1) a purse of smallish stature, 2) a tote bag of largish stature, and 3) a lunch in a thermal container.  Sometimes a laptop bag is thrown in there, too.  I’m particularly baffled at these gals: whatever happened to one large work bag?  I carry a large leather tote a la L.L.Bean (stylin’, I know): it can fit a laptop, a pair of shoes (and these are some pretty damn big size 11’s), my wallet and mp3 player, and a lunch.  However, I’m not mad at them because they aren’t spreading their baggage all around like a petulant fifth grader. 

Now let’s touch on the cattle call that is the train station during the evening commute.  When our train pulls in I have never witnessed such base behavior.  This is no Titanic, folks, with women and children first.  I’ve seen feeble old ladies cut off by a Main Line douche.  This is a good time to say I find people who live on the Main Line particularly loathsome, and it’s really my problem.  I’m sure most are hard-working good people who aren’t on their second marriage to someone half their age, and they all don’t drive Mercedes convertibles and have live-in help.  But I don’t care: that’s how I see them all (I know, I know: I’m awful).  For non-locals, the Main Line is a supremely tony area of suburban Philadelphia.  My train runs through this area as Matt and I live about 15-20 minutes north of this tax bracket (and thus three tax brackets south).  Now don’t get me wrong: I’d love to be rich and not work, but I’m not, so my only option is to seethe at them and be a jealous ol’ curmudgeon.  And write pithy blog posts.

My distaste for this suburban breed began when I was cut off again, and again, and again by clueless moms in Land Rovers chirping away on their Blackberries.  This happens daily.  She’s often pulling into Whole Foods with three children in the back and wearing Lululemon yoga pants.  Now that I take the train with their husbands, I’m even more incensed because (and I swear to you on this) they are always the ones who would rather give up their nanny than move over a seat or let you slide in.  If you are dressed in something from Target or Macy’s, or, jeez, even Banana Republic, you’re downright jolly in the morning.  Brooks Brothers and reading the WSJ?  Keep a’walkin’. 

But even I am shocked when I see good ol’ elderly folks trampled in the commuting rush.  I have literally put my arm out to stop the masses as the woman in question gathered herself and slowly boarded the train.  I am also known to give dirty looks at these offenders, and I swear I can be all sorts of intimidating given by 5’10” stature (5’11” in the orthopedic flip-flops my mom insists I wear).  They’re probably scared I’ll key their X Series. 

Finally, there are the individuals (read: men) who insist on getting up and positioning themselves in the aisle a good stop before their designated stop.  The other day a MLD (Mainline Douche), who occupied the window seat, said to me, who occupied the aisle seat, “The next stop is mine.”  I replied it was also mine, thinking we were good to go, when he said, “Well then can you please move?”  We were still at
30th Street
Station, which is a few minutes before our Suburban Station stop.  The train was idling.  I got up and MLD took his position in the aisle.  Now this is the kicker: I finished my book chapter and got up when the train actually pulled into Suburban Station and LO AND BEHOLD, stepping into the aisle directly behind me.  I figure he saved two seconds off his commuting time by doing this, so good going MLD!  You win!

I know I sound like a bitter Betty, but I can assure you I love the train!  I love feeling like a part of the masses – there’s just something so intrinsically welcoming about it.  Like, we’re all doing this less-than-ideal commute together.  We’re all waiting for this delayed train, together.  And sometimes I’m even tickled by my well-off seatmates (my JC Penney-clad self often guesses if their cuff-links are real gold, or, god forbid, platinum). 

So, there you have it: scoot in or let your fellow passenger take that middle seat without grunting, quit the farm animal shoving, calm the heck down, and I swear, I’ll quit bitching. 


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cletus Carries On

So many people have told me I look happier and I have a glow. Now, I think this is what you're supposed to tell a pregnant woman, but I eat it up anyway. I'm in my 18th week and because of my height and build am not particularly showing, although my sister saw me in a bathing suit a few weeks ago and said, "Woah, preggars!!!" I had to correct her and tell her that was my everyday fat - doi. My stomach has always stuck out; now I just monitor how much further it sticks past my boobs. I'm thinking it may be a good idea to get a push-up bra to even out the heft on the top and the bottom.

I see women on the train platform or the grocery store and I desperately to want saddle up to them and spout, "I'm pregnant too! I'm part of the club! Let's compare notes!" even though they're obviously much further along than me, and could really give a damn about this half-baked floozy. The strange thing is that I have no notes: I would not know I was pregnant. Only on two occasions early on did I experience any stomach upset, and it was simply, "I need to eat that bagel because I'm feeling a bit woozy." That's it. I was tired, but home at the time, so it was tolerable (and nicely filled the gap between the end of The View at Noon and the beginning of Ellen at three). I eat things and then realize maybe I shouldn't have (a turkey sandwich - god, it was good: grilled pear, cheddar, turkey on a baguette - two days ago, a big, sugary Coke yesterday). Even when you tell me I'm pregnant I'm skeptical. At my monthly doctor's appointment this week the ob/gyn put the doppler to my belly and said, "There's the heartbeat! 156 beats per minute!" I didn't hear a thing except some watery swooshing.

That's not to say I don't worry incessantly that something is wrong. I told my work last Friday only because my team brings up babies often. Our manager is currently out on maternity leave and we're all approaching 30, and I guess that's just what barely-30-year-old girls talk about in their cubicles. After a few days of feeling duplicitous ("Babies?! Eh. I dunno." was a memorable quote of mine after they mentioned they were nowhere near ready to rear a child) I came clean. They were phenomenal, but ever since then, however morose this sounds, I thought, "What is something happens?! I should have kept my trap shut!" Yesterday's heartbeat "confirmation" has made me feel more relaxed.

The good thing about being pregnant is that I can get away with almost anything since I can just blame it on Cletus the Fetus. This has included taking the dog out, making my own dinner, or, allowing myself to huge second portions. "Cletus is hungry! Cletus is tired!" when really Kathryn just wants to watch The Bachelorette (which isn't to say I don't do my fair share of housework, but this little trick has really come in handy of late).

A friend told me that dogs know when a woman is pregnant, but Penny has been ignoring me just as much lately, so who knows. At least I still have her to keep me grounded.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Workin' 9 to 5

This is the story of how Kathryn – sorta – got her groove back.  I’ve never worked for a company that had much more than 1,000 employees, so imagine my cultural shock working at an organization that has just shy of 30,000.  There is a cafeteria!  Omlettes and pancakes to order after the morning commute!  A gym!  (With laundry service no less!)  I work in a skyscraper!  (Well – a Philly skyscraper so let’s not get too excited.)  My cube has tons of space and even a visitor’s chair and a coat closet.  A coat closet in a cubicle, I say!  I have a window view (never mind my view is directly into another skyscraper and I have to turn around to see it, but I get to control the window blinds!)
Look, I went to school in Manhattan, had internships in Manhattan, and am not some Podunk hillbilly (well - not fully), but this girl has been living the suburban life a little too long.  There is nothing more exhilarating than the crush of the morning commute as I get off the train with headphones on: warm bodies rushing every which way, coffee in hand, street lights to be abided.  Now, I know the novelty of my commute will wear off.  Like, probably by tomorrow.  But right now, when I shut down for the night, turn up my music, and hop on that elevator, I am elated.  I am buoyant.  There is no better feeling to know I am making my way in the world – I am earning a living and standing on my own two feet – and I don’t need anyone’s support (unless it’s killing spiders).
And it’s not about being a bigwig with a bloated salary (both of which I am exceedingly far from), but it’s about buying the aged cheese, or the fancy lipstick (or at least having the option to).  It’s about saying, hey, I can afford to increase my 401(k) contribution and maybe we can pay this mortgage off in fifteen years in lieu of thirty.
Perhaps with a child my priorities will change, and we’ll decide on cutbacks so I can stay home or work closer to home.  A commute into the city with a job that requires extended travel is a lot, but it’s not worth thinking about now.  So this past week – as overwhelmed as I am – I just turn my headphones up as I push through the building’s revolving doors, face up, sun shining.