An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

18 weeks

18 weeks

Today marks my 18th week of pregnancy, and the look on my face has a little to do with the way I’m feeling, although it’s more about the fact that Jon was trying to get me to smile. Nothing to me is more obnoxious, except maybe someone calling me sweetheart or darling with a Boston accent. That look is a warning, it’s me going dude, if you would like this kid to grow up and know its father you had better shut it. I will smile when I am damn good and ready, thank you very much, just take the photo before things turn ugly and I start using your middle name.

The past couple of weeks have physically been a breeze, but emotionally I’m a bit of a wreck. I think it has very little to do with pregnancy and everything to do with the weather. It’s a seasonal dip I struggle with every year at about this time when I crave warm weather, sun, and late afternoons on the porch but am living day after day of cloudy skies, snow, and 4:30 PM sunsets. This is probably the hardest thing about living in Utah, and I know there are far colder places than Salt Lake City, but when I stopped to pinpoint exactly what was making me so sad I realized it was just a matter of not seeing blue sky in fourteen days. And the constant act of bending over to towel off the dogs so they don’t drag snow into the house. Nothing tragic, no, but it was enough to make me start yelling obscenities at a carton of orange juice because I couldn’t get the safety cap off.

There’s not much I can really do to combat this other than get out in the sun on days when that is possible and continue my exercise routine. Yes, I’ve heard about those lamps people use to treat themselves for seasonal affective disorder, and while I do think I am sensitive to light, I’m willing to bet that my case has more to do with actual sun and warmth and the smell of fragrant, blooming plants in the air. Which is why we’ve planned a trip to Southern California for the last week of February. Which is why we should move to Southern California in February, except for all those other mitigating factors like “house” and “family” that routinely tell my winter mood to suck it.

In other news, I have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday morning, and our plan is to find out the sex of the baby. We have been referring to it as Stretch, although Leta thinks that’s horrifying. I asked her to suggest a name then, and what do you know, she’s now calling it Princess Aurora. I told her we couldn’t name the baby that if it’s a boy because, you know, middle school, and she said, not a problem! No worries! If it’s a boy we’ll just call him Prince Aurora.

  • You look smaller here then you did at 18 weeks.

    I’ll be seeing you in March in Portland OR and just know that it wont be snowing but it will be dark, cold and rainy. We get sun again in June. At least in UT you see it in April!

    Hang in there.

  • Despite the warning expression 🙂 I think this is a lovely portrait of you and your cute lil’ belly!

  • Oh, c’mon. Call it Blanket. I hear that’s toooootally a gender neutral name.

  • Holy crap, I am almost 20 weeks and 3 times as big as you!

  • Oh, how I wish I could transport you here to LA, where it was 88 degrees today. Are you sure you guys can’t move back? Houses are crazy cheap right now. Heck, ours is nearly $100,000 less than it was 2 years ago when we bought it. Times are great here! Wait, who do I hear crying? Oh, that’s me. Sorry.

    Hang in there…

  • Daisy

    We are going in for our ultrasound on Friday too! I am due on the 23rd of June. My daughter refers to our baby as Cheeto Galaxy, yep..I think princess anything would have to trump ours at this point lol

  • On the bright side, you could have been in sunny Mexico with Maggie…Plus, you look so wee for 18 weeks. Lucky you.

  • The Cake Lady

    Dude, my husband knows that face. Its the “everyone I know is pregnant except me, so why’d i sell my business to get pregnant if every time I mention gettting pregnant you squirm ” look. We live in Virginia where they threaten snow every other day and it doesn’t happen. It is suppossed to be -10 degrees Friday and I swear to God if it doesn’t snow when it is that freaking cold I will hurt someone. Seriously. If it is that miserable I would like a reward. Like the pleasure of throwing a snow ball at unsuspecting by-standers. Or my husband.

  • Liz

    Re: bummed out mood: it might be the moon too… it’s supposed to be closer to the earth than usual & it was just full… it’s working it’s moon voodoo on you!

    I’m also in SLC so i feel your pain about the dreariness. this is about the time of year where i have to drive to evanston just to get out of the inversion cloud!

  • sj

    I’m very much hoping you’ll have a boy because, as a mother of two boys, I really need someone to point me to online retailers and/or Etsy shops selling toys and adorable clothing for boys. 🙂

  • Kathy

    Congrats on the baby and the belly looks great, but what about Leta’s monthly newsletter? Last one was December 11. Horror of horrors are you falling into that trap when the second babe comes along and no more letters, no more pics, baby book pushed aside, mementos are thrown in shoe boxes to scrap book later…say it isn’t so!!!!!!

  • I love the nickname for baby. When my friend Michelle was expecting we were at a loss for what to call the wee one until he/she was born. They were folks who wanted to WAIT to find out the sex of the baby. I could not do that, I don’t think. But a few friends decide we should try to come up with a nickname using product names or random things like that … I can only recall someone suggesting butter bean and me thinking “cinnabon” and we almost died when my friend Sarah, who was flipping through a magazine looking at ads, suggested “hummer.” 🙂 Oh well. Congrats. You look lovely and I’m glad you are feeling better physically. May you have sunshine soon!

  • I have one of those lamps.. its actually a bulb.. my MIL got me last year for Christmas.. it’s in my side lamp next to the couch and it makes such a huge difference. I feel like I have a lighted window pouring sunshine down on my face…. it honeslty makes me feel so much better. It’s called a full spectrum light or something like that… well worth it! 🙂

  • Jess

    The orange juice thing: we struggle with that all the time (and then I silently cry when my son spills half of a $7 jug of oj on the floor when he finally succeeds). But, does anyone else curse at the spaghetti sauce jar when they can’t open it? It makes me so mad to think that if I lived alone, I’d never be able to open a jar. Who designs these male-dependent devices?!

  • Jessica

    boo freak’n hoo.

    as someone who follows your blog AND has had major fertility issues AND lives in the great white north (so i know something about waking up in the dark and having the sun set at 4:00 pm)…. boo.

    honestly, i was happy for you when i found out you were pregnant. unfortunately, your progressive photo updates of your belly and the consistant sour look on your face turns me right off. boo.

    i am due to have a baby this saturday if all goes well, our other child is 7. yes, 7. 7 long years of struggle and sad times and if i even THOUGHT about going where your face and attitude go in those photos i would be the most ungrateful person on earth. boo.

    get it together. i personally think you are better than that, or whatever you are portraying.

  • I won’t taunt you with reports of Southern California temperatures in the mid 80s ’cause I’m sure you know all that.

    Frankly, I’m longing for some cool nights, a hearty pot of stew and a fire in the fire place. But, for your sake, I’ll hope for blue skies, sunshine and warmth for your Feb. visit.

  • Hi,
    Many women, especially pregnant women, are deficient in Vitamin D. Besides for the fact that your growing baby needs vitamin D to have healthy bones/teeth/brain growth, vitamin D might also be related to Seasonal Affective Disorder (Winter blues). The VitaminDCouncil recommends: “If you suffer from depression, get your 25(OH)D level checked and, if it is lower than 35 ng/mL (87 nM/L), you are vitamin D deficient and should begin treatment.”

    The amount in your prenatal vitamin is almost definitely not enough (which prenatal do you take?). Check out that site for more info, I also hope to post about this soon. It is becoming a really important topic for pregnancy, lactation, and children.

    Good luck! Debra

  • Nice to know she’s flexible.

  • you could move to seattle and NEVER see the sun!?!

    just a suggestion. 🙂 xoxo

  • Jessica

    My Gram let my 4-going-on-5 cousin Ava name the new kitten. Yes, now Gram has a kitten named Princess Aurora!

    Oh, and I am not the bitchy Jessica from comment #65. Did she even READ YOUR POST? Ooops, sorry ’bout all those caps =/

  • Joe

    You look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Heather!

  • Another shout out for the Vitamin D and Vitamin B. My dermatologist told me to take the D regularly now that I’m slathering on the sunscreen. I’ve had a couple of “bullets” (as my kids call my cancerous mole scars) removed too. Seems the sunscreen keeps out the Vitamin D as well as the UVA/UVB rays, which is why so many are people are vitamin D deficient these days.

    You’re looking great these days, even with the scowl…

  • My favorite princess is Aurora, too.

    My spam trap words are Aimee Tomlinson. There’s your name right there. See what Leta thinks.

  • RoseBelle

    i’m definitely not pregnant and i wish i was that thin now 🙁

  • here’s hoping the sun will come out tomorrow!

    you and aurora look just fine. good luck at the dr.
    nice to know leta is welcoming the possibility it could be a prince.

    personally, i like stretch. better than my brother’s idea of calling his unborn “cletus (the fetus)”

    much luck to you.

  • Anonymous

    You can afford it, so get a damn light box, and don’t knock it until you try it. If it doesn’t do it for you, sell it on craigslist, or better yet donate it to someone in need.

  • amy

    When my SIL was pregnant with her son, her daughter (my niece), who was 4 at the time, named the baby “Clickery”. No one knew where that name came from, even she had no idea, but she was adamant that she would soon be a baby sister to “baby clickery”.

    Now his name is Owen. Once he was born “Clickery” was never heard again.

  • Trust me, I am *trying* to send you some of our warm weather from here in So Cal. I would talk about how downright sweltering it’s been this week, but I’m pretty sure that face can reach out and slap me.

    So instead I’ll just say I’m crossing my fingers for tropical temperatures for ya in Feb.

  • Seriously, would it kill ya to smile or at least not look so horribly miserable?

  • Meg

    I say you compromise, and call him/her Aurora Stretch, regardless of gender.

  • Kate

    I’m not sure why folks are complaining about your scowl… a dark, cold winter seems like the best place for a frown!

  • I’m certain others have already said this, but COME ON. You do not look 18 weeks pregnant (I know we’re not supposed to say things like that). You look great, even without a smile.

    Good luck with the ultrasound – you know we’ll all be waiting to hear if Stretch is a Prince or a Princess.

    PS: I’m in Utah County and experiencing the same emotional “dip”. This too shall pass.

  • I totally don’t think you are implying anything negative with your faces. Not everyone has to look so HAPPY all the time. I wear a sour face pretty naturally, so Ive gotten used to people asking me whats wrong all the time.

    I think you are beautiful and I am pumped and feel privileged to be able to read all this.

    Leta rules. Aurora has always been my fave DP.

  • Jennifer

    Okay, I was totally skeptical about the light boxes too, and then my husband bought me one for Christmas. So I used it kind of grudgingly for the first week…and now I am a believer. It’s now the middle of January and my typical cranky-mid-January mood has yet to surface. I’m not saying it’s a magic cure, or anything, but I can definitely tell the difference. You can order one for about $150 online; you don’t need a prescription. Just a thought….

    You look fabulous, by the way.

  • Sarah

    The weather could be worse. Here in Boston it’s 55 and sunny one day and the next we’ve got 10 inches of snow. It’s such a tease.

    Sorry to hear the accent bothers you so much! I was in New Hampshire the other day and asked for a starter log for a fire. The cashier couldn’t even understand what I was saying.

    Hope the naming process goes well!

  • Amy

    You’ve got a long way to go before your stomach is as big as mine.

    Yours however will end in a baby. sigh

  • Anonymous

    I hate to be the one to tell you this… but it’s going to be a boy. My “scientific” studies have shown that when a person goes from a relatively good pregnancy to one where morning sickness is much worse, it’s because of the change in the sex hormones of the fetus. In other words if the first was a girl, the second will be a boy, and vice versa. Please don’t let Leta be disappointed. Also, if it’s not a boy… well, many scientific hypotheses are proven wrong! 🙂

  • As a resident of the “Great White Northwest” (dubbed that I believe because of the extreme lack of sun and all the paleness it results in) aka Washington state…I feel for ya man…I really feel for ya. I have no good suggestions because nothing I have tried works other then the occasional winter trip to California which kind of perks me up. Best wishes and you can do it man!!!!

  • Jennifer

    You look wunderbund! Girl, i have stretch marks on my tummy and am not (and have never been) preggo. You’re looking great! Hang in there and try not to kill the housemates 🙂

  • Leta’s name suggestion reminds me of what I had wanted my parents to name my sister: Princess Amidala. It was right when that Star Wars came out, and I though she was so cool.

    I can justify myself by saying I no longer am enraptured by Princess Amidala, or Star Wars. But man, would middle school have been hell for my sister with that name.

  • Ellen

    geebus! Be happy. I have one child – she is now 20. I tried with my 2nd husband for 4 years to conceive. We are still barren, and I am now 44. It ain’t happenin’. So, I’d trade places with you in a second. I’d barf all day and pace all night for the priviledge of another baby to raise. And this time it would be with the *right* man. Quit ‘yer bitchin!

  • it was near 75 here in san francisco today. i’m quite sure you meant NORTHERN california, not southern. you would fit in so much better in sf.

    happy birthday to meeeeeeee!

  • Lisa M.

    At least she acknowledged the possibility that it might be a boy. That’s progress, right?

  • Aww! I can’t wait to hear what the wee bebe is. And Stretch is a great nickname. Mine was Fuzzball – because that’s what she looked like on the ultrasound.

  • Cee

    You’re almost halfway there and you still look like you just had a big lunch.

  • The special lights don’t do much for me either, I tried them long ago for SAD… A nice fire in the woodstove helps (or just keeping the temperature about 72+ and lots of bright and cheery colors in the house! Although, it is not as cold temperature-wise as in Utah, here, we can have weeks of never seeing the sun because of fog… causing me to paint the inside of my front door red. (The woodstove is fire engine red, too). I think your house is a 2-story one, isn’t it? I’ve often thought of sleeping upstairs in the brightest room in the house in winter time because it is so much warmer and brighter up there.

  • Lynn

    Apparently there is a baby dinosaur named Chomper in The Land Before Time movies. So, my friend told her toddler that she was having a baby, like Chomper. They referred to it as Chomper the whole pregnancy. Ultimately, big bro was all WHAT’S THIS on the day they introduced him to his baby brother. “Where’s the baby DINOSAUR?” he wanted to know.

  • MJ

    More than 20 years ago we had a kid and named her Aurora, unaware of the Disney link until my teenage siblings filled us in. Can’t imagine naming her anything else (hi, Ror).

    Also, another vote for the light box.

  • Ok, this is pathetic, but if we had a girl for our second, we were going to name her Aurora. Not for any royal reasons, but because it was my mom’s name — she died 10 years ago. Reading this thread, as a mom who is clueless about Disney Princesses, I am so relieved that we had a second boy rather than a girl whose name would forever be associated with Princesses (but maybe the envy of her friends!). P.S. we chose Rory ’cause it was Aurora-like but boyish. No “Prince” thank you very much.

  • I couldn’t comment on flicker because I don’t have an account and somehow at this minute setting one up seems like entirely too much work, but that picture of Leta with the shoes on the wrong feet cracks me up and reminds me of my favorite game. I dare you as an adult to put your shoes on the wrong feet look down and not fall into an immature fit of laughter. It is the best cure for a bad day ever! maybe even better than Prozac.

    Katie Lauren

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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