I survived a week with the in-laws! We spent the week with KB's mom, who is a snowbird with a condo near Palm Beach, Florida. Her friends and relatives have condos in the same complex, so it's a de facto retirement community. We were invited to play any number of card games, bingo, poker, and slots at the casino. I opted to take naps and read a book by the pool. I think I chose wisely -- the elderly are surprisingly competitive with their games. Those ladies would cut a bitch who beat them at shuffleboard.
And the food...most of these friends and relatives are Italian, so there was an embarrassment of edible riches. Mangia, mangia, mangia! I had to fend them off at every meal. But, sweetly, the first night we were there a family friend made a special dish of homemade gnocchi just for me; well, "for the baby." So I enjoyed it for two. Thankfully, this past week represented the End of The Nausea. Although I wasn't altogether forthright with this fact, since it conflicted with my defense against an excess of food. It's seriously like a geriatric professional eating circuit down there. Every meal requires three kinds of meat and a minimum of four desserts.
My favorite family friend is a 93-year-old Italian woman named Josephine. She was born in the "old country" and still has a lovely accent and talks animatedly with her hands. And...she LOVES professional wrestling. I mean, she leaves bingo early to go home and watch Monday Night Raw. I am in love with her. She is fabulous. She told me stories about coming to the US during the depression, how she saw a picture of an American girl wearing a fur coat and thought that you had to wear furs in America; so when she emigrated she wore fur every day for her first year here. And her father wanted her to marry a cousin, so she came to the US to find a husband because she A) suspected that marrying your cousin might be bad news for the babies (this conclusion was drawn pre-Watson and Crick, so good on her) and B) thought her cousin was a douchenozzle. So she found a man in depression-era Detroit and that was that. I recommend you all find yourself a 93-year-old woman and just listen to her stories. Fantastic.
And then there's Uncle Rudy. He is amusing, if cantankerous. He is very, very, VERY old-fashioned and gleefully listed for us over every shared meal the Things That Are Ruining Our Society. And also, Things That Are Destroying America. These things generally overlap, and include such specific items and most all people, places, and things. Television? Ruining everything. Animals? He's against them, because wives "hug their pets more than they hug their husbands." Women? Don't teach their children anything anymore and don't take care of their husbands. Men? Soft, don't own guns anymore and are too emotional. Lawyers? Root of all evil (he says this in front of a cousin who is a personal injury lawyer -- awkward). I believe no rock with a literal or proverbial noun or verb underneath remained unturned. Uncle Rudy's sociopolitical tirades were borderline annoying, but mostly entertaining.
Everyone -- friends, family, strangers -- told me I am definitively having a boy. They have a million ways of "knowing" this, but mostly they just want me to. Who says gender preference is dead in American society? I may just have a girl to spite them. So there.
On the last day, my mother-in-law treated me to a pedicure that turned out to be...brutal. Of course, she goes to one of those strip mall walk-in joints, whereas I shell out the bucks for a spa, but I wasn't going to say no to a very nice gesture. But...first, the massage chair was out of order, so boo to that. Then, the woman who man-handled my feet was rather rough with her instruments of torture, and was unsympathetic to my ticklish feet syndrome. I kept glancing down to see if she had drawn blood and am currently monitoring myself for signs of peripheral infection. But I did get a nice leg massage and pretty purple toes after all the foot torture was said and done, so I suppose that all's well that ends well.
So now it's back to work. Meh. I am trying to keep my lower-anxiety, lower-stress mindset going; since most of my nasty baby-induced symptoms seem to be subsiding, there's hope. Although I have noticed a new one recently: I am on fire. Heat radiating from everywhere. If my legs are crossed too long, it's firecrotch. And by the end of the day, when I ditch the bra and let the girls roam free, it's boobs a'flame. You could fry a strip of bacon under each heaving teat (perhaps a variation of the pencil test?). (And they keep growing. Sweet baby Jesus. I am only up to an overflowing C cup now, so we're not in pornstar territory yet, but I started as a small B. Where it stops, nobody knows.) I guess the summer weather is going to present some interesting temperature control issues. I suppose I'll have to eat a lot of ice cream. If I must.