vaya con pance

Halftime March 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 7:12 pm

I’ve reached the halfway mark. Twenty weeks. Notable things in my life include:

1) Whenever I feel flutters of movement I am compelled to stick my hand down my pants to get a little closer to skin. The baby is still mostly below my belly button. It doesn’t really matter where I am, who I’m with or what we’re doing. All public spaces are now subject to my sexy Al Bundy moves.

2) Most spoken line = “No, we are not going to find out the gender.” (Until July, that is.)

3) Second most spoken line = “I feel fat.” (Followed closely by, “I’m hungry.”)

4) I’ve added aqua jogging and pre-natal yoga to my run, spin, repeat exercise routine and both are rather strange in their own unconventional ways. “Running” suspended in water with an adult floatie around your bulbous belly and “oooohhhmmming” out loud to the baby are two things you just don’t want other people to see you doing. (Odd that I’m totally fine with other people seeing my hand down my pants, however.)

5) My bladder does not like the baby. I mean really. Would you if something squirmy, alien-like and covered in weird fuzzy stuff was sitting on you?!?

6) A fondness for the fact the baby is always equated to a type food to communicate size to me. Goes appropriately with #3’s nagging hunger me thinks. Blueberry, kidney bean, fig, lemon, avocado, can of soda (that was more for a weight comparison actually). And this week… drum roll… the baby is the length of a banana. Hot damn I’m ready for dessert!

7) I sometimes need to consult “The Book of Fear” to find out what-the-hell is going on. Titled in bookstores everywhere as, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

Speaking of twenty weeks. I always found it annoying that pregnatarians counted in weeks when the rest of the upright world understands that cooking a baby takes nine months. Weeks mean nada. Alas, I have become one of those women. I have no idea how many months pregnant I am. But I can tell you right now, today, I am 20 weeks and one day prego. Everyone asks, “How far along are you?” And naturally I  answer in my terms because it’s all about me.

Some folks are polite and say, “Cool” and move on. Others lose all focus behind their eyes and stare off with a look that either says, “I have no idea what that means” or “Quick math. Quick math. Quick math. OH! Xxx months.”

Still others will flat out ask for a translation, “Soooo, how many months is that?”

I dunno, ask Hugh Grant.



Hello, My Baby March 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 1:50 pm

So it’s the weirdest thing to hear a heartbeat coming from your gut. It’s kind of the last thing you want in that area actually. Some digestion sounds, maybe. A little gas turnover here and there. But a heartbeat? Who put THAT there?!? We all remember the alien scene from… well, “Alien,” that was later more humorously recreated in “Spaceballs.” We don’t want that. But as I was stretched out on the electronic bed the nice lady slapped a little goo on my mid-section, rubbed this wand thing around below my belly button and viola(!), out from the handheld box came a racing heartbeat.

There’s something alive in there. Somebody call somebody.

We got to see the heartbeat at our first doctor’s visit back in December. But that little glimpse – in all its kidney bean with a flashy spot glory – wasn’t nearly as impactful as hearing the loud, squishy thumpthumpthumpthump.

Hi. My name is Nancy and there’s a heartbeat I’m told belongs to a certain baby that’s taken up residence in my gut. The baby will emerge calmly and gently into this world the later side of July. Lord help us all. And by all I mostly mean me.

I traveled through all the typical stages of grief during the first few weeks of baby awareness. That might sound horrible, but well, it’s the truth. And letting oneself go on that journey at all just leads to a stronger, more confident and peaceful stance on the other side.


Denial (“It’s possible 53 pregnancy tests could be wrong! Cheap pieces of plastic! And, besides, I had asparagus! My pee was tainted!”). Anger (Hmmm, I actually don’t think I ever felt angry, but Jim might say otherwise.) Bargaining (“Here, babe, you pee on this stick and I’ll pee on mine and then we’ll swap for the real results!”). Depression (“We’re not supposed to talk about this to anyone yet so, damn, this feels pretty lonely. And I feel like crap.”)  Acceptance (“Baby! A Mini Us! Miracle! Blessing! Weeeeee!”).

Acceptance was escalated for us, and especially me, when we could start living outside our own cocoon and actually see people smile and hear them say “Congratulations!” when we told them the bignews. Congratulations? Huh? Oh! Thanks!

My first of which was when I almost passed out being a lunch lady one day (see previous blog post on spaghetti rowing). I was scooping peaches into little plastic cups and the world started to go tingly. I looked at my peach partner who was “lidding” for me and I said, “I’m sorry. I have to go outside. I’m gonna pass out. “ And for no other reason than feeling like I needed to validate the whole dramatic episode I added, “I’m pregnant!”

She looked at me with wide smiley eyes and said, “Me too!!” and then kindly let me run out the back door. When I came back a little less ashen she said, “By the way, congratulations!” and she was genuinely excited about it. I returned the salutation feeling strangely giddy to hear myself speak out loud to a stranger about the whole thing. Turns out we’re due the same week. The odds.

It all really just boils down to one itsy bitsy thing – that second heartbeat just below the surface. It recently occurred to me, after a tornado of thoughts and feelings and crazy physical changes and more thoughts and more feelings, that for the rest of my life there will be a heartbeat in my gut. A heartbeat I will love and [no doubt] worry about deep down in my soul of souls, in my gut of guts, forever and ever. It doesn’t matter where that heartbeat is in the world, it will always be inside of me. This thought terrifies me and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Other people have done this and survived, right? But… honestly, I can’t think of a better, more exciting adventure to go on. So I’m gonna start packin’ my best fat clothes and prepare to GoGo down roads I’ve never GoneGone on before. There’s certainly no stopping now.


Day #2 Big Bend February 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 1:55 am

We started out the day with a 5 mile hike along the Lost Mine Trail, an up up up then down down down adventure. There were pretty spectacular views the entire way.


Then we drove over to the far east end of the park to hike into the Boquillas Canyon, yet another attraction carved by the mighty Rio Grande. Mexico is fully accessible from this hike by a mere wade across the river (pictured). And, naturally, vice versa. We were told by our casita host to be aware of trinkets that the children of Boquillas del Carmen sneak over and leave for sale to Big Bend tourists. We found several piles of beaded goods, all with a menu of prices.



Big Bend, I didn’t know you existed, you are not easy to get to and you are a little risqué in your proximity to a foreign country (we needed to confirm our US citizenship to border patrol twice). But in two short days I managed to pack out a lot of awe, a curiosity for the miles of trails left unxplored and a longing to visit you again.



Across the Plains of Texas February 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 11:25 pm

So the Toro Dealer conference ended with lovely dress-up-required awards banquet on Friday night. So don my best bib ‘n’ tucker I did and it was either because of or in spite of that (Mow Power close your ears), that I was one of four to win a $1500 lawn mower. It will of course be resold and the monies allocated to the “Texas in February” trip fund of 2013.

On Saturday, one piece of crimson power equipment richer, Gemini took to the side roads heading West with a final destination of Big Bend National Park. In Del Rio we drove up to the Mexican border just to see what it was like. Check!


Several hours later we arrived at our Casita, our “small house” for the next couple days, located in the town (used loosely) of Terlingua, Texas.


Today we spent the entire afternoon exploring Big Bend. We hiked about a mile up into the Santa Elena Canyon which was cut sometime before this year by the mighty Rio Grande. It was an overcast day, ideal for hiking in the desert, but blue sky started to peak through long enough to provide some cool visual contrast and afford us a pretty descent sunset (not pictured). Spending time in the desert is kind of amazing. I never think I’ll like it or deem it pretty, but it always humbles me in ways nothing else really does. In the East it’s very rare, if it even exists at all, to look all around you as far as the eye can reach and *not* see another man-made structure. It’s rather claustrophobic actually. Don’t worry… I’m not gonna up and move across the Mississippi any time soon, but I think I need to de-East myself on a regular basis. If only to remind myself how very small I am and how very quiet it can be.




San Antonio February 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 11:51 am

So here I am in San Antonio, Teyhas soakin’ up some 70s sunshine, lounging poolside with my book whilst my SWVA brethren are flooding from torrential amounts of rain. Speaking of this week’s storm, Gemini flew *over* the rain + winds + tornadoes two days ago from CLT > ATL > SAT. Never in all my ever have I experienced turbulence like that. I closed my eyes, pulled the window shade and said my last prayers, hoping only to be visiting that open bar in the sky quicker rather than slower.

Alas. We made it. Wiping brow.

The view for me has been mostly inside the resort compound, which is cool since it’s about 300 acres in size and has multiple pools, walking/running trails and a gym. All of which I’ve utilized. I’m a +1 at the annual Toro conference, so while I’m rocking in the sunshine on the back deck between free meals I also get a view of lawn mowers. There’s even something called a “Lawn Mower Rodeo” on the itinerary this afternoon. I’m intrigued. I may just have to tear away from reading to see what that’s all about.

lawn mowers

Last night we were shuttled down to San Antonio’s claim-to-fame River Walk for dinner at The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, home to the Texas Ranger Museum and over 500 species of taxiderm’ed wildlife. Having hundreds of marbled eyes watching you eat plates of meat is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime treat.


For a nightcap we used the restrooms in the famous Menger Hotel and then strolled by The Alamo. The Alamo is tucked downtown inside modern day San Antonio which usually results in everyone exclaiming disappointedly, “It’s so small!” But really, people? Do you think they had  high rises in 1836? Me thinks it’s quite ironic (ironic?) that the beloved “Shrine of Texas Freedom” is by popular opinion considered small.



pressure cooking January 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 9:47 pm

Nothing says, “Boy, you better have super awesome plans to spend time outside this weekend” quite like a forecast for 70 degrees January. Perhaps a trip? One of guilt, that is.



You Know You’re a Redneck If… December 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 3:39 pm

…your method of Christmas tree acquisition includes a pick-up truck, sneaking onto private property and a shotgun. Backing up a little, before any assumptions are made, Gemini got a tree the old-fashioned way. We followed signs to a tree farm, picked out a respectable specimen and had it lovingly chainsawed down for us; afterward enjoying hot chocolate and seasonal cookies with the farm owner-operators. Et viola, merriment.

But last Saturday I was witness to a crime of unfathomable proportions, hunting for and shooting down not one – but two – trees. After a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs, bestgoodfriends Jon, Cathy and I drove in Jon’s pick-up out onto 70ish acres of private property (yeah, OK, we went to high school with the guy) near Radford in search of two living room worthy trees. They were found and promptly killed. (Which actually only gives additional ammo (pun?) to my Christmas Tree Bodies analogy from my past city life.)

Good times had by all, really. Just when I thought my days of exciting adventures might be slowing down to visiting Waffle House past midnight or 20-cents-off gas day, I get invited to shoot down a Christmas tree. Take that, big city. And next year we plan to use the Uzi. Uuuuz jealous now?!