Love notes

Mr. D.’s job has a few quirks, one of which is that it’s difficult for him to text or email me during the day, and he’s also not often available for phone calls. We’ve gotten used to this, though it’s a big change from his last job, where he sat in a server room and could Gchat with me all day.

This week, however, he’s at a training, instead of in his office, and he has many more opportunities to text me (or email me or call me) during the day. And I’m really enjoying it.

I remember when texting was pretty new and no one in my cohort really used it — we all had cellphones, but I think texting was still a pay-as-you-go feature then, and none of us bothered with it. Why spend the $0.25 per message (or however much it was) when you could just call your friends?  But then I took an undergraduate class (while I was working at the university) and suddenly I had all these younger friends who were using text a lot, and I discovered that it wasn’t that expensive to send a few messages a month, and the next thing I knew, I had a texting package on my cellphone.

Mr. D., though, was less convinced. He still didn’t see the utility in it. Why not just call people?

I think it was halfway through law school when Mr. D. finally got on board with texting. Suddenly, he discovered that it could be much easier to text me than call me, especially because cellphone reception at my law school was horrendously bad. I could almost always get a text, but calls were much iffier, and even if a call came through, it was almost guaranteed to get dropped as soon as I answered. So he’d text me to let me know he was on his way, or what did I want for dinner, or just to say “I love you.”

When we first started dating (nearly 11 years ago, oh my God, I am so old), we would send each other emails back and forth all day. I have all of them saved. They are all adorable. Little notes about last night’s date, about plans for the weekend, about funny internet memes like the Hamster Dance. Over the years and for a variety of reasons, we’ve sent each other fewer cute emails during the day, and sometimes I miss that. Texting has replaced that a little bit (and now that I have Google Voice and can save all of my texts, it’s even better), but it’s not quite the same.  And of course, now that Mr. D. can’t really text me during the day (or even email me) it’s definitely not the same.

But this week, it’s a little bit like the old days. He’s texted me about whether enchiladas sound good for dinner (they did, and they were awesome last night), about changing the door locks this weekend (we had an issue with one of our dogwalker’s employees, and want to cover our bases as far as security goes), and just to say he loves me. It’s nice. And I’ll miss it when he’s back in the office next week.

More on maternity fashion

Two of my good law school friends are getting married later this summer and I am so excited about their wedding. Not only does it let me go back to Law School City and see many law school friends, but it also promises to be a heck of a shindig.

The kicker is that I got the invitation today — beautiful, heavy cream card stock — and discovered that the wedding is “black tie optional.”  That means my plan to find something basic and black and jersey is probably not going to work. (I mean, it COULD, but how boring for a black tie optional wedding! Those really don’t come along all that often.)

The second kicker is that I’ve now discovered that no one makes nice, pretty, formal wear for pregnant women.  I’ve looked around and while there’s lots of cheap, tacky, fake-rhinestoney stuff, and lots of less-cheap, drapey, jersey knit stuff, there’s very little classic, tasteful, well-made evening wear.  The stuff that seems to be more well-made is, as I noted, almost entirely jersey, and designed to go day-to-evening.  I would normally appreciate this — after all, I shouldn’t WANT to spend a ton on something I will wear once (not only because I’m pregnant but also because how often do you need to dress for a formal event while pregnant?). But, honestly? I’m just not jazzed about wearing jersey to this wedding.

So I guess I’ll explore Plan B: try to find something non-maternity with an empire waist, buy it a size up, and have my tailor take it in in the top. Third kicker: it’s hard to know now how big I’ll be in two months, so I need to wait to buy. But I can’t wait too long, because it’ll take my tailor at least a week to work his magic. (And he is magic.)

Any thoughts from other ladies? I’ll note that I will happily wear black jersey if I must, but I really do want to look dressed up, and not like I just came from a work event.

Parenting test #1

I got up this morning and stumbled downstairs to eat a bowl of cereal. I didn’t even turn the light on in the kitchen; I just grabbed my food and went into the living room where I read the news on my laptop while eating my Life.  I was a little congested but thought I smelled something, and I wondered if something in the trash had gone bad.

By the time Mr. D. came downstairs, I was done with my cereal. He was in the kitchen making his lunch and I trooped in to deposit my bowl and kiss him goodbye before going upstairs to shower. And that’s when I noticed why the smell — our poor dog, who was still in his kennel, had had an accident (poop) overnight.  He looked miserable and the smell suddenly became overwhelming.  We quickly shuffled him out the front door to relieve himself (he’d held his pee all night, at least) and then set to cleaning up.  I’m not a gagger, usually, but pregnancy has made me much more sensitive to smells, so I found myself pressing a handkerchief to my nose while I scooped his soiled bedding up and hauled it down to the basement to be washed.  By the time I got back upstairs, Mr. D. had bagged up the solids and put them in the outside trash can, so I set to the actual cleaning, with rubber gloves and Clorox in hand.

I got everything cleaned up (Mr. D. had to go to work) and the dog back in his kennel in fresh bedding, with the only (apparent) casualty a bleach stain on my lounge pants (dammit), and hustled back upstairs to shower. But when I got back downstairs, I found the dog had vomited up the remnants of his dinner, along with bile, mucous, and foam. (He’d also managed to scrape his nose pretty badly, so there was blood on the bedding, too. Imagine my relief when I realized where the blood had come from, though — for about 10 seconds, I thought he was vomiting blood, with the attendant terror that accompanies that thought.)

My heart sank. Once I again, I hustled the dog out of his kennel and back outside, where he promptly vomited up more foam and mucous before finally coming back inside. I hauled another batch of soiled dog bedding downstairs to the laundry room, and then hustled the dog into the bath.

The bath seemed to finally shake him out of his misery and while he didn’t immediately bounce back to his normal post-bath manic-ness, he definitely perked up.  And drank some water. And drank some more water. And now he’s bundled up in a blanket in the last clean dog bed in the house and I’m working from home so I can monitor him.

I’ve had to clean up dog poop and pee before, but the magnitude of this morning’s mess was really unique. (For our dog, not dogs in general. He’s only 17 pounds.) And having to clean up a mess twice…well, it’s been quite a morning. I know that in a few months, this will probably seem somewhat routine — I’m reminded of the line from Bossypants, about poop leaking up a baby’s back.  For now, though, I take away two lessons:  first, I am completely unprepared for parenthood and second, I know can totally handle it.

Sunshine

I always find the summer solstice a little bittersweet.  I love the long days of summer and I hate realizing that, from here on out, the days are just going to be getting shorter.  For the next six months, there will be a little less daylight every day.

Worst of all, this year, when that shortest day rolls around, I’ll be newly post-partum.  This worries me. I tend to have mild seasonal affective issues anyway; I imagine having a baby and dealing with first-time parenthood is only going to make those issues more pronounced. So I’m approaching today with a little dread.

What I should be doing is remapping my feelings about the summer solstice — you know, instead of feeling all “impending doom!” about it, I should look on it like a marker:  By the time the next solstice rolls around, I’ll have a baby in my arms! And that will be wonderful and magical! It will also be hard, yes.  But it will be mostly wonderful, right?

The clothes make the woman.

I find that I tend to dress up a lot more now that I’m obviously pregnant than I did before I was showing (or before I was pregnant). It’s a Friday, and I’m wearing a skirt, heels, and pearls, for heaven’s sake! Most of my office is in jeans, and at least one partner is almost certainly wearing shorts!

A big part of it is that I want to continue to be taken seriously during my pregnancy. And I have no reason to believe I won’t be — this is a good place — but it’s still a law firm, and people still have biases. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m coasting till my maternity leave, y’know?  Luckily, most of the maternity clothes I’ve bought are pretty professional — black pants, two nice black skirts, two office-appropriate wrap dresses.  And I am still fitting into my nicest (and lowest-rise) designer jeans (and I hope to continue fitting into them for a while, even though I did buy a pair of Gap maternity jeans, which were on ridiculous sale, and that are still a touch too big, so I’m hoping they work in the fall when I’m much bigger than I am now).

Anyway, I didn’t necessarily want this post end up being about fashion; I really just wanted to note that, no matter how far we’ve come as women, we still have a ways to go.  I can work in a place where every female partner has kids and still worry that I need to make sure my attire is above the office curve so I continue to be taken seriously. It’s a good thing I like to dress up.

16 weeks and counting.

So I initially published a post on this topic a couple of weeks ago, but then chickened out and pulled it because I hadn’t said anything at work (and as a privacy lawyer I know that nothing on the internet is really anonymous).  Now that I’ve told the managing partner and the office manager, though, I’m finally comfortable telling everyone!

Yes, I am, in fact, really looking forward to taking maternity leave in December.

Now if we could just get daycare squared away, I’d be in a perfectly happy spot. (More on that later, though.)