Seth has replaced the header with pictures of pigs being trotted around the ring of the Alameda County Fair. He did this not because we ourselves are especially piglike (hush!), but because we went to that fair and enjoyed doing things like “looking at pigs being trotted around a ring” and “watching in total amazement as a dad insisted his rightfully-concerned children cram their little fingers in pig mouths, all while saying ridiculous things like “Pigs don’t bite! WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF YOU PUSSY.””
HOWEVER, speaking of being piglike. Let me tell you something, people. You spend the first trimester being unable to eat (tragedy! because of how much you like food!), the second trimester feeling smug about your fairly sensible vegetable-to-bacon ratio, and then it all comes crashing down in the third trimester, when suddenly your brain gets very, very interested in food. Some of it must be hormonal (I am clinging to this belief, thank you) but I am also blaming this sudden-onset food obsession on the fact that we just arrived here at Seth’s ancestral homestead, where it is approximately one million degrees colder than it is in L.A. – so I think that my brain is all “HOLY CRAP! Winter is coming on with a fury. We better bulk up and prepare to hibernate.”
I like this theory because of how it explains both my sudden need to eat ALL THE FOOD THERE IS and to sleep 14 hours a day. Seth says polite things like “Well! You’re building a person from scratch. I’m pretty sure eating and sleeping a lot are okay, considering.” – but, you know. I think I’ve been awake about 13 hours today. I was ready to go back to sleep about two hours ago. And I have probably eaten about six times today. Embarrassing! Also I would totally eat like a grilled-cheese sandwich RIGHT NOW if someone handed me one. Like I said… EMBARRASSING.
Here is a picture from our trip! It’s of the (so far as we could tell) Only Rest Stop In Texas. It was INCREDIBLY FANCY. It was clean and new and sparkling, like an airport restroom in a nice, non-crappy airport. It has tornado shelters! It had interactive displays! (It also had signs admonishing people not to “dispose of bags of urine” in the toilets… but I’m guessing that truckers get desperate, so not really the rest stop’s fault.)
It was getting all twilighty, so I failed to get a picture of this, but the rest stop also included a really awesome playground surrounded in lovely rocks-and-native-plants landscaping. Signs inserted in the landscaping warned for rattlesnakes, and urged us to stay away from rocks and tall weeds. Such as those used to landscape around the playground. For instance. You’ve gotta be tough to survive a childhood in Texas.
WHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND:
We will have to find a new doctor here in the ancestral homestead. I find this process almost unbearably overwhelming. It’s like some kind of impossible Venn diagram. So imagine the following as overlapping circles, please:
“TAKES YOUR INSURANCE”
“AFFILIATED WITH NON-TERRIBLE HOSPITAL”
“RELATIVELY LOW RATES OF CRAPPY STUFF HAPPENING TO THEIR PATIENTS”
“NOT CRAZY: ISN’T GOING TO PLAY DEAD BABY CARD UNNECESSARILY*”
And somewhere in the middle is presumably one person who is not awful. I guess?
This is part of the problem with being a young person in a country that has a stupid healthcare system – I don’t really understand HOW ON EARTH you access medical care. And even now that I have this excellent socialized insurance (suckers!) via Seth, it’s still a mystery. We saw midwives in LA**, and only saw an OB-GYN for one visit to be sure that the baby had a head. And we picked that guy basically because his website was really silly and clearly made by one of his aunts. This is probably not really a good method for picking the doctor who’s supposed to meet you at the hospital in ten short weeks. Right? Right.
AHHHHH SO OVERWHELMING. One wishes it were possible to press a pause button and make everything start up again sometime next year, perhaps after one had taken some kind of class on How To Navigate The Annoying Waters Of Health Care In This Country.
BRIEF NOTES ON CHAIN RESTAURANTS:
I don’t really understand Waffle House. I’m sorry! It seems like a dingier version of IHOP, only you can’t get fries, they will only serve you mildly depressing hashbrowns. Also (although I noticed this across the more Southern states on our route), the waitresses pretty much cut you off after two cups of coffee. THAT’S ALL YOU GET, LADY, MOVE ON.
What the eff is this place! They sell rocking chairs by the dozen! You have to walk through a totally bizarre “store” where they sell both chunks of ham and horrible Christmas-themed ceramics to get to the restaurant. The restaurant is dripping with memorabilia of a time that never actually existed – something (I gathered) to do with white people having a good old time in the 1920s raising prize cattle on the farm… and drinking Coca-Cola from glass bottles. Insane farm implements with sharp edges dangle from the walls. I think you could set a wild low-budget horror in one of these places.
Having said all of that, I was kind of impressed by the food. The pancakes were RIDICULOUSLY BUTTERY AND DELICIOUS.
But this waitress, too, cut me off after two cups of coffee.
Dear God, don’t ever eat here! It was THE WORST. Not only was the salad bar made exclusively of gelatinous dressings you had to serve with a ladle and a vat of sweaty baby carrots, it was expensive in that weird way really terrible restaurants sometimes are. Also, our waitress made me feel sad and cringey. She kept coming over to talk to us about how much she wanted to get out of her small town. I was worried we were going to find her in the back of the truck when she left. “TAKE ME WITH YOU, PLEASE I BEG YOU.”
*This is a thing! I am not making it up. Ask some ladies who’ve had babies and some of them will inevitably tell you a tale about how their then-doctor said that if they didn’t induce/get a c-section/eat fewer peanuts THEIR BABY WOULD DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE.
**Midwives are super-great because they always think that everything is totally fine. Your bloodwork: fine. Your blood pressure: goes up and down a little bit, but obviously fine. Your weight gain: fine. Your diet: fine. (Even if you have to lie to them a little bit about how many peanuts you’re eating.)