i did learn that i'm up to 153 pounds now. i'm not exactly pleased with the cumulative number, but am glad to see it was only two pounds gained in 3.5 weeks at a time when they call for an approximate gain of a pound per week. oh, and i was mistaken about that third trimester business. that retarded two weeks that they sometimes like to count and sometimes don't threw me off. TODAY is the official start of trimester three. again. the baby is now a chinese cabbage.
in the time it took me to drive home the three or so miles south from the office, the temperature dropped a good 10 degrees. brian had picked up oliver for me, but i had still beaten him home. which meant i got to hear what i initially thought was a very angry infant outside, but it turned out to be my child throwing a huge fit out in the parking lot.
friday night, oliver went to new lengths to help brian with laundry. he's become pretty proficient at it, and demanding about it. he lost his shit a couple of weeks ago when he caught brian carrying the laundry basket without his help. he gets the detergent out of the pantry and puts the clothes in the basket and carries the basket to the back door. and now, he goes down the stairs with brian and helps do whatever it is they do in the laundry room. i'm left to wonder when he'll start cooking dinner for me.
saturday morning, we were an unsurprising hour and a half late leaving for austin to visit our friend, ricky. a cold front had definitely blown through and it had to have been in the upper 30s. it was still windy and cold when we stopped wherever we stopped to pee and get gas and coffee. i saw my zilker park plans evaporating.
despite the blustery cold, it was amazingly gorgeous scenery out on the highway. that luscious spring grass that's a foot tall and you just want to roll around in the cool of it and pretend it won't make you itch or cover you with bugs and dirt. the wildflowers were everywhere: blue bonnets and tiny, yellow flowers, and flowers that looked like indian paintbrushes, but were pink. the sky was blue blue. there were cows with their fluffy babies eating grass instead of corn or or other cows.
we finally made it to ricky's and oliver immediately fell in love with the one cat ricky has who was brave enough to remain in the open. never mind that oliver has four cats at home he barely ever notices. it was a whole lot of "where'd the kitty go?" "where's the kitty?" non-stop. the answer was always: "under the bed."
we went to veggie heaven for a late lunch and were immediately ushered into the darkened secret back room. i have decided this is where they store the patrons with children. which is fine with me. after awhile, another family with child showed up. at least we could study the poster of their leader in a business suit with a purple tie hovering over a crowd and turning the buddhist wheel of law in a rainbow swirl. and we could finger the fine material of the tiny chinese dresses used to clothe inappropriately naked wine bottles. and we could put chopsticks in all the cups of water. that was oliver's bag.
fortunately, the weather had turned in austin and it was a beautiful day. we went to zilker park and dodged bees the entire time. as soon as we arrived, it was immediately apparent that oliver had taken to ricky and was all about holding ricky's hand and wanting ricky to pick him up (which he never does to anyone but us). maybe it was because ricky had let him play with his talking teletubby and his sesame street dolls and his dreampets ladybug and his talking c3po figurine. and his kitty.
it was totally bananas there. a million kids climbing all over. it's one of those places that make me want to scream: "we're overpopulating the planet!" guilty as charged. and yet, somehow, we were able to find an available bucket swing for oliver.
soon after, it was time to board the zilker zephyr, a moment i've been waiting a year for. it was a leisurely 25 minute ride on a miniature train and was much more scenic than i had expected, as long as you looked out one side of the train and not the other. it ambled along the edge of barton creek and was totally old school what with nothing keeping a child from jumping or falling from their seat and taking a long, steep tumble down into the water. it was the tiniest bit harrowing. oliver sat the entire time with his hands primly set upon his knees and a look of uncertain terror gracing his features. i don't know if it's because he had immediately fallen in love with ricky or what, but he was very resistant to me having his arm around him. i would relent easily each time he noticed i had snuck it back around as i was afraid his increasingly physical reaction to it would cause him to flail himself from the train.
it took us under this bridge and that willy wonka song where they're in the boat kept playing in my head as i waited for the unsubstantial-looking wooden trestle to give way and plunge us 20 feet to the water below. i also kept an eye out for the nutria ricky claimed infested the area. i saw only ducks. and dogs.
we survived the train ride and the bees and the nutria and let oliver swing a bit more before heading out to prepare for dinner. it was getting a little late, by toddler standards, and oliver fell asleep in the car. it didn't take us long to decide ordering in would be a wise idea. portabello sandwich and apple pie from mother's.
ricky eventually left for an 80s-inspired shindig on the patio of a gay bar and brian and i slept in the same bed. oliver spent his first night on a pallet on the floor. anyone else use the word "pallet"? i think my grandmother is the only person i have ever heard use it with regularity. she had linoleum that looked like little pebbles in the living room when we were growing up and it was all about putting pallets down. pallets pallets pallets. she even made her own with 70s-era polyester fabric. there were pallets in the camper. pallets.
oliver slept well, despite my periodic coughs. and then he got up at 6:30. which meant i got up at 6:30 and spent every other minute trying to shush him or keep him from going into ricky's room.
we were able to lure oliver out the front door without too much sadness by promising him we were on our way to a playdate. which we were. in round rock with brian's college buddy pam and her twin daughters, who are almost exactly oliver's age. oliver was awash in toys and a backyard. he had a few issues with sharing a ball, but was of a presentable demeanor most of the rest of the time we were there. he was even polite enough to wipe his nose while we were out back. on a rag that had been left outside to clean pollen and dirt off the swing set. i can scarcely wait to see what disease he will develop as a result and then had to me with a bow on top.
we left at naptime and stopped in at a starbucks with the most flagrantly annoying employee i have ever witnessed. gross affectations. draping himself in a sultry fashion across the edge of his register monitor. flourishes all over. weirdness exuding from all pores and orifices. i couldn't get away fast enough. i also couldn't fathom how he had a job there and how all his co-workers kept from cringing every time he moved or opened his mouth. you had to be there to really understand. there aren't words enough.
we arrived back in dallas in time for me to take darren to a cooking class at spiral diner to replace the cooking class we never took at kalachandji's. i was delighted to find all foods in our recipe packet were present and available for consumption during the class. amy mcnutt was quietly adorable. i was a little embarrassed as we were packed in like sardines and i still was still suffering from some residual cold virus symptoms. and still am.
i took oliver to the gym last night. all on my own. no brian motivation required (he was working late). i had missed going last week due to my contagious disposition and, despite saying every day for three days i was pretty sure i was getting better, feelings of shittiness. i knew i needed to go asap as i'm booked with melody on wednesday and possibly mar on another day and, most importantly, the recent bout of illness put a herpes cherry on top of the sundae and i needed to get out before becoming hideously disfigured. which i'm expecting to happen any moment now.
oliver was pretty excited when he saw the kidcare was taking place outside on the attached playground. this is good for the dropping off, but bad for the picking up. i had to carry him to the car while he cried and flailed and tried to climb out of my arms. i was worried about him knocking into my stomach. ps: i actually received a nice comment from my stranger whereby she said i looked adorable with my big belly. when i went to pee later, i checked the full length mirror to see what she saw. that thing is huge. it looks better when i do the non-pregnant girl thing where you hold in your stomach. but who the hell wants to do that when they're pregnant.