Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On Utah and its females

"Utah women need to stop trying so hard!" declared the young man at the table next to us, loud enough for our table of Utah women to hear. I was dining with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law, three of us Utah natives, one of us a Utah convert, all of us trying not to take too much offense to this guy's statement.

Having been born and raised in what I consider to be a pretty decent place, I was surprised to get to BYU and meet so many people who were so unhappy with the location of the college they electively chose to attend. Sometimes, not knowing my origins, or knowing my origins and not caring about my feelings, fellow students would making sly remarks about Utah, Utahns, or "Utah Mormons" as though we were a lesser species who that had infiltrated their space and housing and roads, not the other way around.

I've met people beyond college who make similar statements. Who warn about the danger of raising children in Utah and laugh at the ignorance of those in Happy Valley. I try not to get defensive. I struggle.

Look. I get it. We have our flaws. I've even been a vocal critic of Utah and Utahns at times. Winters are cold and inversiony. We're not super considerate drivers. Some of us choose questionable hair styles. Some of use name our children after our favorite Scrabble tile draws. And for the love, why are so many of us wearing our best heels to Target? Our I-15 billboards are obnoxious, and our politics, actually, I don't want to get into last one.

But of all the criticisms, "trying so hard" seems unfair. So many of the world's problems seem to stem from people not trying hard enough. So how can we fault anyone for making any sort of effort? Honestly, it's those efforts that makes me appreciate the women in my life, a good chunk of them from Utah, as much as I do. The Utah women, my family and friends, I know are kind, and thoughtful. They invite my family to dinner after just meeting us. They watch my child while I go to doctor appointments or just need to get work done. They meet me for lunch on days when I need adults to talk to, they drop off apples just because, and they generally make me feel welcome everywhere I go. I can only hope to someday try so hard.

In other Utah news, this Thursday night I'll be telling a story for The Porch, 8:30 at Muse Music. It's always a really fun event, and I'd really love to see you there.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Weekend

We're a few short days away from THE ENTIRE GILMORE GIRLS COLLECTION DEBUTING ON NETFLIX(!), so you would be wise to spend your weekend preparing. This should help. 

If you don't hear from me until November, it's because I'm in Stars Hollow. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

An actual conversation with Ivy

Ivy: What's your name, Mom?
Me: My name is Meg. What's your name?
Ivy: My name is Tarzan.

It might explain why she sometimes calls me Jane and caresses my face.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Can't wait to hear when it's finished

Yesterday marked a 20 week ultrasound and the assurance that baby girl is still a baby girl. So I've decided to tell you her name because I like you guys and it's not a secret and I want to claim this name before someone else does. YOU HEAR ME, BEYONCE? IT'S MINE. 

We're naming our second daughter Ramona. 

I believe we're naming her after my favorite books from childhood, the Ramona Quimby series. 

Stephen believes we're naming her after The Ramones. 

We both believe this song is awesome, so...win win?

Poor Ramona already suffers from second child syndrome. In fact the only thing we've really done for her so far is named her. At this point in my pregnancy with Ivy we had painted the nursery, stocked a closet full of tiny dresses, and filled a bookshelf with all the children's classics. This time, nothing. A few weeks ago a friend asked what colors I planned to use in the nursery, and I realized I'm not really sure where this child is going to sleep in our two bedroom apartment. I've done zero research on double strollers and I don't remember where we put the infant carseat. 

The logistics just aren't as thrilling this time around. But every night before I fall asleep, I put my hand on my belly. It takes a minute, but eventually Ramona starts her acrobatic routine, kicking and punching against my abdomen, greeting me with soft sensations of life. And it's totally thrilling. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Weekend

Ivy and I cannot get enough of this song. Don't tell my hipster friends.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear Princess Kate,

Hey girl!
Congrats on the big news!

As a fellow second-time gestationer, I thought I'd offer some tips I've learned so far this pregnancy. You're welcome.

* There is no shame in eating half a bag of Cheetos in one sitting. For breakfast. 

*Anyone who says you won't feel as sick during your second pregnancy is a dirty liar. You might have the authority to have them burned at the stake. Look into it.

*Old Navy maternity leggings are frequently marked down to half price so watch those online sales. What's that? Top designers send you entire wardrobes specifically tailored to your growing bump? K. Never mind.

*Be prepared to look seven months pregnant at 18 weeks. Maybe give those top designers some warning.

*Your firstborn will never complain about watching too many movies or eating french fries for lunch. Remember that in your can't deal moments. 

*Some brands of prune juice are superior to others. Call me if you need recommendations.

*Ease up on the internet. Once you get that plus sign on p-test, it will seem as though every acquaintance on Facebook is sharing a link to a blog post about that baby that was born with that terrible disease that one in every 8 million babies has. Do not read these posts, unless you want to spend a month or more obsessing over the possibility of the exact same condition striking your fetus until you've convinced yourself it's an eventuality. Also, avoid pregnancy forums unless you've already lost all faith in humanity. 

* You will have moments when you realize that your offspring will double in the next year and that you will likely never make it out of the house again. You will find yourself paralyzed with anxiety and fear. This is normal. Go to Target and buy some eyeshadow or something to distract from the crippling sense of impending doom. It could be your last chance. 

*You will have other moments when you pull out the baby clothes you saved from round one and you will cry with excitement at the thought of having another tiny, squishy human to put that completely unnecessary newborn three piece suit on. Embrace these moments. 

Best of luck these next 40 weeks. Don't hesitate to call if you want to swap maternity tops or something.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Weekend

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For every season Turn Turn Turn

Everybody be like, "Oh no! Summer is ending!", and I'm like, "It's about friggin' time." Summer 2014 was not the best in Walter family history. Stephen spent the majority of his time studying for and taking the bar. Watching someone study for the bar is like watching someone slowly get eaten alive by whatever kind of creature slowly eats human flesh. Ivy and I spent half the time in Provo with my parents to "give Stephen more alone study time" but really just escape having to witness the misery. So my parents had to put up with a frequent visitor who spent half her time complaining about nausea and the other half sleeping. They also had to parent her child since she was so busy complaining and sleeping. Some people handle pregnancy with glowing grace. I am not one of those people.

Also, summer is hot. And full of bugs. And dead grass. And the animals are always asleep at the zoo. And the slide at the playground will melt the skin off your body. Unpleasantness all around.

But today I stepped outside into cool air and shed a tear of joy. Stephen no longer has to study for the bar. I no longer have to take naps between doing dishes and vacuuming. Ivy can go down the slide without blistering her bum. We can wear sweaters and go outside without applying bug repellent and make soup. Good riddance, summer.