Thursday, May 31, 2007

I don't feel diabetic.

Last week before we left for the wedding in Omaha, a nurse from my doctor's clinic called to tell me I had failed my glucose tolerance test. This is the routine test that screens for gestational diabetes. The test subject drinks a highly sugared solution and, after an hour, her blood is drawn to see how much sugar remains. The normal range caps at 139, and I scored a 140. The nurse insisted I come in the next day for the more intensive three-hour glucose test. This beauty of a test entails fasting from midnight, having my blood drawn upon arrival at the lab, drinking even more of the sugary mess, and having three more blood draws at hour intervals. Jesus H. Considering I failed the test by one point, am very low-risk for gestational diabetes, and just plain don't want to take the miserable test, I refused. So I had to go see my doctor yesterday to argue about it.

In this age of opting-out, you'd think I could opt out of a lab test, but you would be wrong. I find that extremely messed up because, you know what it is optional? Testing for Down syndrome and neural tube defects. If I don't want to find out if my fetus might possibly NOT HAVE THE RIGHT NUMBER OF CHROMOSOMES, I don't have to. Like I would ever waive something like that. Hells no, test me twice!

I did score a minor victory at the visit. My doctor agreed that it makes no sense for me to have gestational diabetes, but she still wants to rule it out. I got her to agree to let me take the one-hour test again tomorrow. If I pass, I'm off the hook. If I fail again, I have to suck it up and spend three hours in the lab starving while they drain my life's blood away. It's either that or, at every visit from now on (and I've got about seven to go), I would have to undergo a two-hour postprandial blood sugar test. It seems a round lady can't catch a break. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

He is not the only one, and I can prove it.

Sam and I knew going in that we were blessing/cursing our son with a unique name. We knew we would never find a Paolo on a store rack of personalized cups or bike license plates or 'Stay out of _____'s Room' signs. We knew our Paolo would probably never meet another one. But they're out there, those Paolos, and they're totally rocking of late. I'd like to introduce you to a couple.

For those of you who weren't paying attention, AC Milan won UEFA Champions' League yesterday. This is important. Imagine if a professional sports team from some city in the United States could enter and win a championship to be the best team out of all the teams on the continent. Also pretend the U.S. were on a continent that had more countries that all played the same sport and were really good at it. Okay, I give up. The gentlemen holding the trophy is Paolo Maldini, otherwise known as God. I'm not kidding; look it up. It would take a very long time to detail all of his winnings and contributions to his club and national team throughout his long and illustrious career. So I'll just celebrate this, his latest. Auguri, Paolo!

Also underway is the Giro d'Italia, which is just like the Tour de France,
only it's a tour of Italy. Got it? The cyclist pictured on the right is Paolo Bettini, and he had a very good 2006. He is wearing a special white jersey, different from his team, because he is the reigning world champion of cycling. He is also the national champion of Italy and, not surprisingly, is heavily favored to win the Giro. Forza, Paolo.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You know you want this ring tone

I work in an office with lots of other people. We all have phones, our own phones, right at our desks, just an arm's reach away. And yet, I hear cell phones ring all day long. I've got Madonna on my right, Chiquita Banana on my left, and a loud, angry robot across from me. When I get a cell phone one day (don't hold your breath), my ring tone will be a quiet, polite clearing of the throat.

Ahem.

A-hemm.

ahem.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

OverHeard from a Four-Year-Old

Following his father into a fitting room, right as the door closed behind them, Paolo asked him, "Hey, what's your name again?" That can't sound good to a store employee.

I asked Paolo what the nice police officer had talked about at career day at school: "He KILLS bad guys. He didn't have a sword, but he had a shooter, and you can only see what comes out of the shooter when he's KILLING bad guys." Nice presentation, Officer Slaughter.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Victory Baby

In the new Eurosport catalogue, there's a facetious article about a baby boom happening in Italy right now, nine months after the World Cup victory. The article points out that similar baby booms occured following each of Italy's three other World Cup victories. The most outlandish part of the article was the report that baby supplies were running out, and Italian women were getting into fistfights over packs of diapers for their "Victory Babies." While the story was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if historical birth rate statistics proved it true. I laughed at the article and passed it to Sam to read. When he'd finished, I sighed and said, "I want to have a Victory Baby." He replied, "You are having a Victory Baby." Seriously, I love him so much sometimes.

Speaking of Eurosport, I am now the proud owner of these beauties. So...pretty.

Princesses and Star Keepers

We went to see a fabulous family show on Friday night called The Star Keeper performed by the Canadian puppetry company Th√©√Ętre de l’Oeil. It's about a wormy little puppet guy named Pretzel who finds a fallen star and tries to put it back in the sky, helped and hindered by other fantastical puppet creatures. Probably because Mothers' Day was impending, Pretzel's devotion reminded me of maternal devotion. A mother's task is to help her stars find their places in the sky, and if she does her job right, she will watch them shine from afar.

Shortly after the show began, Paolo moved from Sam's lap to mine and instantly started wiggling. He wiggled off of one leg, then the other, until he was sitting on the seat between my legs, and began wiggling forward. I assumed he wanted to go back to Sam, so I took my arms from around his waist. Two seconds later, he fell forward into the wooden chairback in front of us. Because it was dark, and the chair was angled, he couldn't catch himself. The full brunt of the impact-THWACK-was borne by his face. A four-row perimeter of showgoers gasped and turned to see what had made that ungodly noise and also because Paolo was screaming. Sam snatched him up to take him out of the theatre, but Paolo didn't want to leave. In under a minute, he was laughing again with the other children.

Although it was too dark to read expressions, I imagined disbelief and accusation on every face turned toward me, including Sam's. I couldn't blame them. I had my child on my lap, under my protection, and had allowed him to fall off, incurring loud, significant and painful damage to his head. What was my defense, he wiggled? I misconstrued a wiggle! My inner voice criticized me mercilessly into a total crisis of confidence. If I can't even keep my son uninjured at a puppet show, what qualifies me to have a child, much less two? Like a complete goon, I sat there empty-lapped, full-bellied and cried, because after four years I can still be so incompetent.

My overreaction was obviously caused by the stupid moodswings of incubation. Still, it's a hazard of motherhood that we swallow our children's misfortunes as small, bitter pebbles of guilt that weigh in our stomachs like lead. They become the proverbial pea under all those fluffy mattresses of everything we've done right. You know you're a true princess (and a true mother) when, resting on cushions stacked to the ceiling, that pea is all you can feel.

By the end of the show, my self-hatred was waning. Pretzel watched his star twinkle in the night sky, proving what I already knew. Even the best star keeper can drop her star. You just have to pick it back up and keep climbing; it's a long way to the sky.

Happy Mothers' Day to all the True Princesses and Star Keepers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Five-Point Recap of Recent Events

1. Marriage on the Rocks. Sam forgot to tape the first leg of the Coppa Italia final between Roma and Inter Milan today. The FINAL between ROMA and Inter Milan. By the by, Roma won 6-2, and all of my favorite players scored. The game won't be replayed, and there probably won't be that many goals in one game for another one hundred years. Would have been nice to see.

2. Sweetness. Saturday morning as I buckled Paolo into his booster seat post-Farmers' Market, he told me I'm his friend, his best friend. He loves me, and we're going to be friends FOREVER. The only response I've ever gotten to telling Paolo I love him is a calm, considered "I don't love you, Mama." He has professed love for other things like cheese and swings, but not for me. Although I know he adores me, the spoken words are golden, and they will drown out every hurtful thing he says to me in his teen years when I become a clingy idiot out to ruin his life.

3. The Pregnancy Stupids. Place empty coffee pot under drip. Pull out filter holder. Throw out old grounds. Put in new filter. Open coffee creamer. Pour into filter. Watch as cream flows through onto the counter and floor. Do this in front of a co-worker.

4. What Child is This? Paolo had his annual checkup on Monday, accompanied by both parents so that one could muffle the screams while the other one righted all the furniture. Imagine our surprise when our boy turned into Prince Charming instead of his usual incarnation as a Viet Nam vet in the throes of a village-burning flashback. Several times during the exam he announced proudly, "I'm not scared at all and I'm not crying." We were finally able to have an EKG done to find out if he inherited his dad's heart condition, and I'm so happy to say his heart is just fine. Like I didn't already know that.

5. Disconcerting. I walked into the breakroom, where the lunch topic immediately switched to an historical analysis of my belly growth by a three-member panel. I escaped as quickly as politeness allowed, and as I walked away, said panel commented, "See, you can't even tell she's pregnant from behind." Has the hallway always been this long? It's one thing to think people are staring at your backside. It's another thing entirely to know they are.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

On Being Round and Objectified

Now I know how big-bosomed women feel. People walk past me, even greet me, without once lifting their gaze above my waistline. During conversation, they sneak glances with a knowing smirk.

Hey, Bozo! My eyes are up here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Maternity Fashion in Action

Here are a few looks I will NOT be rocking at the wedding.




Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Nice Recovery

I walked downstairs this morning wearing a dark purple stretchy long-sleeved T-shirt. Sam looked over at me and a huge grin broke out on his face. "Aw, look at you, you look like an eggplant! Let me see your profile. Yep! You are a super-cute eggplant." I glared at him, lost for words. "What?" he asked. More glaring. "Hel-loooo. I said a super-cute eggplant."