Friday, November 21, 2008

Halfway to 70

Today I have been alive 35 years.
I've been a mother for 4.5 years.
I've been a stay-at-home mom for 2.5 years.
I just signed up for another 5-year hitch. (wtf, me? oh yeah -- baby head smell)
I have felt mildly crappy for one week.

To celebrate my 35th birthday, today I ran the self-clean function on an oven for the first time in my life. It was stressful -- for the three hours it ran I attributed my increasing sleepiness and headache not to caffeine withdrawal and my new need for a daily nap but, of course, carbon monoxide poisoning. Even though the two carbon monoxide meters in the house were functioning and not going off. I finally turned it off one hour early so I could take a nap while Nutmeg watched tv and the baby continued her own (blessedly) three-hour-plus snooze.

Guess what, though? The oven was totally clean. All that was left of more than a year of very messy oven use was a thin layer of white ash, easily wiped up with a damp sponge. That's it! From now on, every year my birthday is oven cleaning day! Besides the straight-up feeling of accomplishment with no real work involved, it's also kind of fun to stick your head in the oven (to sponge it off) and tell your spouse, "That's it! 35 years of this crap is enough for anyone to bear!"

So, here's how crazy I am. Just before morning sickness set in, I picked up the telephone (and the Internet) and invited people over to my house TWICE IN ONE WEEK. Tomorrow we are entertaining a few friends for my birthday, then Thursday the inlaws are dining here for Thanksgiving. So tomorrow, instead of doing what I really feel like doing (staying in bed all day while Epu entertains the kids), I will be driving to several stores, cooking and cleaning the house, with the kids. Epu will be putting together replacement woodwork above the dining room door, which recently, without warning, fell right off. The woodwork, not the door. But hey, to those few of you who will be joining us tomorrow night, don't feel guilty. I am really excited to see you all so it is worth the minor effort I plan to exert.

And how am I feeling, you might ask? As if I am IN A DELICATE CONDITION. In fact, I think I have gained new understanding of why they call it that. I sometimes feel ok, mostly for a stretch after lunch and between dinner and bedtime. Mornings are not so good, which is pretty much a stereotype for pregnancy, no?

But that feeling of equillibrium can be shattered by any change, which is why I feel delicate. I must eat constantly to avoid getting really nauseous (in fact, my new slogan is BABEY: Better Always Be Eating, Yo). Yet, I must eye and smell each potential snack with the most precise eye (and nose). Will this make me feel better, or worse? The herbal tea I thought might replace the coffee I can no longer touch went from good to bad overnight. Sadly, since I still have two pumpkins I wanted to puree and eat as well as about 5 pounds of bananas sitting around, any baked good containing either of those ingredients seems to be Bad. In fact, any taste of those wonderful seasonal spices, nutmeg and cinnamon, is a negative right now. Last night Epu took me to a fancy restaurant for my birthday. I ordered all wrong, and even though I had purposely ordered lightly so as to enjoy their famous desserts, after eating my sweet potato soup and pate I felt so off that I could not drink my hot cocoa. Wah! I wish I had that hot cocoa right now, but last night I left it sitting on the table, homemade marshmallow and all.

The only thing that always goes over well is sleep, glorious sleep. Except, of course, that one cannot eat while sleeping. Which leads to the waking up feeling icky.

So, enough kvetching. Happy birthday to me, and all that. Nutmeg told her whole class about my upcoming birthday yesterday, and told them all that I was going to be 34. When she found out her error, she said she was "so embarrassed." I assured her that it was just fine with me if she spread rumors that I'm a little younger. Why, she wanted to know. Because, I told her, grown up ladies usually like people to think we're younger, because we feel like the younger ladies are the most beautiful.

"But you are the most beautiful lady! You couldn't be any more beautiful," she told me in dead earnest.

Maybe this is why I just signed up for another 5-year hitch in the Stay-at-Home Mom Corps (5 years being the time until the next baby starts kindergarten). Nutmeg will wise up eventually and I'll be lucky to rate a 7 out of 10 for her, and I'll need some fresh new eyes to tell me I'm the most beautifullest lady.


Becky said...

Happy Birthday! And compliments from your kids are the best.

Kori said...

Much love, chica. Now you are an old bag just like me---your two week window of youthful comparison is closed until next year.

Seriously, though, we will party just as happily in a messy house as we will in a clean one, so don't go crazy today, 'kay?

Bert said...

Hooray! Happy birthday to you, my dear! Hope you got my hokey e-card yesterday!

Notta Wallflower said...

Happy Birthday!

Sara said...

Happy Birthday!! Hope it was fabulous!

Cindy Fey said...

Happy (a little belated) Birthday!!