Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So, tomorrow's the big day. We find out if it's a baby Anderson or a baby me. And I'm very excited about it, but also a bit ambivalent. I mean, why is it that I want to know the baby's sex? What difference will it make whether it's a boy or a girl? I feel like knowing the sex will be nice because it makes me feel like I can start getting to know the baby better and bonding with it. But what is it about having its sex clearly defined that is so linked to me knowing its identity?

And now I'm back in undergrad, in my women's studies class, or in a discussion about gay rights, or in a movie about a transgendered person, and I start to wonder how much is biological and how much is sociological? How are identity and sex intertwined? Will I treat my child different based on its sex? This concerns me particularly when it comes to buying things for the baby - clothing, bedding, toys. My mother-in-law wants to know the sex so she'll know what color things to buy for it, and she's not the only one who has made this sort of comment. I definitely don't want to dress my girl all in pink and lace, nor do I want my boy in all blue; I prefer greens and yellows and browns. But at the same time, if it is a girl, it's going to have some pink dresses, cause it's hella cute. And if it's a boy, I probably won't put him in pink. Is this wrong? Have I been so well-trained by society's customs that I'll go along with them even if I disagree or don't understand them? What colors do babies wear in other countries?

My other argument for finding out the sex is to be able to pick out its name sooner, which will make him/her seem more like a real person. But again the issue of gender arises, as the majority of names out there are not gender-neutral. Why is that? Why are there certain labels that we can apply to girls and others to boys? In some languages it might make more sense, when every word has a gender attached to it, sometimes regardless of the gender that the person or animal actually has. But English words have no gender, so why do we apply gender restrictions to naming? Why are we so concerned with being able to identify someone's gender immediately? This is part of the reason for the blue-pink designation. Everyone wants to be able to immediately identify the baby as one sex or the other. Is this because of our fear of sexual ambiguity? Or maybe it has nothing to do with gender or sex and instead is a feature of our language. We want to know whether to say "he" or "she," and there is no in between or neutral term that is not demeaning like "it" would be. Or perhaps it's our brain's natural tendency to categorize everything we come in contact with.

But whether we find out the sex tomorrow or at birth (oh, we're finding out tomorrow, don't worry), I'm going to face the same problems with colors and names. And as my child gets older, will I unconsciously (or consciously) reinforce gender stereotypes regarding what kind of toys he/she should play with or what kind of emotions (or lack thereof) he/she should express? I would hope not. But at the same time I wonder, should boys and girls be treated differently? I mean, after all, they are different. Or are they? Different but equal? Different and complementary? Or only different because we socialize them to be so?

Honestly, I think it's a combination of both. I think many of the attributes that each gender is socialized toward (or was socialized toward in the past) are manufactured by society. For instance, boys don't cry or talk about their feelings. That's clearly dumb. Or that girls don't like to rough-house and only want to play dolls and have a pretend kitchen. Girls and boys should both engage in all sorts of play and all sorts of modeling of adult roles. I think it would be great to have girls grow up wanting to be pro atheletes and boys playing house.

But I do think there are some fundamental differences, whether biological or socialized, that are important to the success of our society. I'm not sure that I could label or define these differences, but I get the sense that they exist. For instance, being pregnant and nursing are two things that obviously only women can do, and they are both crucial to the continuation of the species. I can't help but think that this physical difference corresponds to emotional/mental/spiritual/whatever you want to call it differences that allow women to carry out this task. I think our biology is intimately linked with our psychology in ways that we are most often unaware of. I mean, there are hormones released during and after labor that actually make women forget about the pain they just went through. Our biology messes with our mind.

And like I said, this is all hard for me to define, but part of the reason why I feel that there are differences that are good and natural and should be encouraged is just based on my own feelings about being pregnant. Honestly, there were times throughout life where I thought, it would just be easier if I were a man (periods, leadership roles, practical jokes, hitchhiking with safety), and at the beginning of the pregnancy when I was so sick all the time, that thought flashed through my head a couple times as well. But then (and here's the part where I get sappy cause I'm full of hormones), when I started feeling my baby move, everything was worth it and I felt I could be sick for a year and I wouldn't care. Those little kicks and flutters are probably the best feeling in the world. I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to carry this child, and I feel bad - almost guilty - that Anderson can't feel what I feel and have this same experience.

So anyway. Tomorrow the baby will stop being an "it," and we will know whether to buy it trucks or dolls.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

best husband ever

The boy went out at 9pm in the cold, post-tornado weather to buy grapes and strawberries and pickles cause it's all I want. Nothing better than cold fruit, I tell you. I can't wait for watermelon in the summer.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why, homework, why???

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Anderson tells me that I am majorly behind the times in discovering these two photographs. But they both made me laugh ridiculously every time I look at them, so it's okay.

funny pictures of cats with captions

This next one may only be funny if you're familiar with the commercial it is referencing.
If you're not, check it out here: Wilford Brimley Diabetes commercial
Or for a funnier version, here: Diabetes remix

diabeetus.jpg Diabeetus image by nlatham19

the world of academia

I learned how to make balloon animals in class! Yes, I am still in grad school, thus it was SERIOUS balloon animal making.

1. Inflate a #260 balloon, leaving 2-3 inches uninflated at the end.

2. Use the "pinch and twist" technique to make three bubbles. Twist the bubbles together for the head.

Feel free to contact me for continued directions, or to express your jealousy at my mad skillz.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I bought a full jar of hot and spicy pickles on Saturday, and now I only have two left. I might be unintentionally preserving myself with all this sodium and vinegar.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


For those of you that were holding your breath, I am finally starting to feel less sick! In fact, I had no idea how good mildly nauseous could feel! And the countdown to finding out baby's sex is 11 days. Crazy.

Now, to make sure I do not turn into one of those women that only talks about babies and pregnancy, I will talk about Spring. And Lost. And Peggle. How's that for variety?

Today for Naw-Ruz (Baha'i New Year), a bunch of us went out to Centennial Park for a picnic and frisbee match. As Emily said, two years in row solidifies this as a Nashville tradition. There was a pretty good turn-out, too - about 25ish people, although I am terrible at estimating numbers. I will lose every jellybean counting contest that I enter. It was really great to hang out with people after being antisocial for the past three months.

Oh yeah, people. Also, Anderson's family came up to visit on Wednesday and stayed until Friday. It was fun...eating and shopping and crawling art galleries. [baby reference] The mother-in-law took me shopping for maternity clothes, which was fun and funny and awkward. [/baby reference]

On to Lost...Anderson and I are Netflixing the series...we're on season three. I do enjoy it, but I am also very annoyed with basically most of the characters for not consulting with each other more. Do you know how many problems and even deaths could have been prevented just by consulting and not keeping secrets? Jeez, people, get it together! I'm also annoyed that the characters don't make the choices that I would make if I were in their situation. They never ask the right questions or do the right things. I don't mean right as in morally right, just right as in what I think the best thing to do would be. So annoying.

Peggle is fun.

The end.

Monday, March 16, 2009

this time, it's not just gas

I felt the baby move! For real! I think it's alive. :)

Oh and another milestone - it's officially been a week since I last threw up! Whoo hoo!

Friday, March 13, 2009


“Happy is your condition for you have executed the divine command; and have arisen to fast in these blessed days. For this physical fasting is a symbol of the spiritual fasting, that is, abstaining from all carnal desires, becoming characterized with the attributes of the spiritual ones, attracted to the heavenly fragrances and enkindled with the fire of the love of God.”
-‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pg. 40)

Friday, March 6, 2009

baby update

Whoo, I just posted and here I am writing again. Must be the boredom. Or the procrastination. One of the two.

Today I had one of those juicy moments of, wow, I'm pregnant, that's my baby don't touch it, goo goo, gaa gaa. Sappy, yes. I took a walk because it was bloody beautiful outside for once, and although I walked at a very leisurely pace, I was exhausted after 10 minutes and approximately 1/2 a mile. I don't know if it's all this extra blood I'm carrying around (supposedly, my blood volume has doubled), or just the fact that I haven't exercised regularly in 2 months. But anyway, I didn't really want to walk, but I did it for the baby, which led to the sappy thoughts listed above.

So, for those of you keeping up, I'm entering the 16th week of pregnancy, which is...whoa, the end of the fourth month. The baby's about 4 inches long. You may compare it to the fruit of your choice, although I have been told it is the size of an apple. And on April 1st, we find out the sex! Exciting, though it is a suspicious day to find out new information.

On the hormonal side, I've been paranoid about sleeping on my back because this book said that the pressure of the uterus could block some blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the baby. But it's sooo comfy on my back, and my midwife didn't say anything about not sleeping on my back, and my sister said she slept that way for a while and her baby's fine, and my mom who had seven of us said, c'mon, people have been doing this forever, it's not that easy to damage a baby and if it were, you'd have been given a stricter warning. But still, the paranoia abounds. And I believe induced the following dream:

I dreamed I was going into labor, but it was July, so it was over a month early and I was worried about it a lot. Then I was in the hospital with Anderson and my mom and maybe my sister, and we were listening to the baby's heartbeat on a monitor. Then somebody gave me a brownie, and when I started eating it, the baby's heart stopped beating!! What am I doing to my baby??? Yes, this dream was days ago and I am still fretting about it. The ever-sensitive husband said that I'm officially pregnant and crazy. Although I think he was also referring to my bursting into tears when asking if he'd do the dishes. So maybe he has a point.
In answer to Ashley, in a word: Yes.

In multiple words: Of course, that takes us down the road of is there a "right person" out there for each of us? or do we just fall in love and then make it work? is there any real actual human person with whom a relationship would be easy and constant joy? is the struggle to build and maintain a relationship the very thing that makes it so precious to us? have I been reading too much Tom Robbins?

There are those few couples out there who seem to be just genuinely happy together all the time, and yes, they make me scowl. But perhaps they've just learned not to dwell on the unpleasant, or perhaps they have not yet discovered that they disagree on fundamental things that don't often come up in conversation.

Do arguments keep things spicy? Remind you of how grateful you are to have what you have when you make up? Remind you that nearly everything in life is petty and not worth fighting about?

And as people constantly change, will the two of you grow more similar or more different? How will you react to those changes?

I have to say, knowing the aforementioned pixie is not particularly keen on marriage, that my questioning along these lines all but vanished when I got married. To me, it's a commitment so solid that it doesn't matter whether he's "the one" or whether we argue, because we're in this together for the long, eternal haul, and there's no point in whittling down love with doubt.