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.

  • Girl ditch those end of Feb. plans and get on a plane NOW!! Southern California has been gorg the last several days. We’re rockin’ temps in the 80’s and the Santa Ana’s have blown away the smog. The snow-capped mountains are crystal clear as we sun our bums down below! Hang in there and get here ASAP!!

  • I live in New England. My mother lives in Southern California. She loves nothing more than to call me every morning and ask how cold it is here, then expound on how beautiful it is there. That’s about the time I tell her I’m going to write a Carrie Fisher style book about her some day…

  • I feel ya on the weather thing. And I live in North Carolina, where blue skies are here year round…but still. Winter.

  • I live in the coldest place in the whole damn land (Tahoe) and I definitely have season-itis. If I don’t get down to LA or San Diego for some sun every February-ish, it’s not pretty. This year I’m feeling the itch early.

  • Chris

    Oh I feel ya, I was just writing on my facebook how horrible I feel during winter, and I live in freakin’ Houston! I was born and raised in Miami, I cannot deal with the cold.

    I remember being pregnant with my daughter during winter and I felt absolutely insane. It’ll pass Heather, honestly it will.

  • Andrea

    I’m with ya on the bad-mood-b/c-of-lack-of-sun thing! Ohio has had clouds for about 25 days in a row. I keep telling my hubby that the baby and I need to go visit his Grammy in Florida- for Grammy’s sake, of course.

  • The lamp is amazing. I pull it out every fall and think.. oh I won’t need it this year, things are ‘fine’. Sleeping all day and getting pissed off at every tangible thing in my entire world is probably not a normal reaction.

  • Anonymous

    I can see your boobies thru that shirt. lol ;-0

  • Emily

    I, too, am wondering if you’ll be revealing the sex to us. I can’t remember if you did when you were pregnant with Leta. And I was reading then. And that makes me feel old. Haha. Even though I’m only 22. Hahaha.

    Also — I’m with a couple of others on this one, wishing I was that skinny NOW.

  • Adrienne

    Try the dang lamp. You know it’s not the sun, but the super bright light tells your brain that the sun is out and to make some happy feeling. It’s not sunshine and warm breezes but it’s way better than spending all winter wanting to lay down and die.

  • I think, if you can afford it, you should splurge. Bugger the lightbox (whatever that is)! Airfares are pretty cheap at the moment, why not hop a plane to Australia?

    It’d be totally worth it. Seriously!

    Failing that, I’ll attempt to astrally project some of our summer your way.

  • I was actually born in Salt Lake City, and am very grateful that my parents moved to Louisiana, because it’s 44* here and I am miserable! Just think how bad I’d be if I were up there…. You are far tougher than me.

  • I live in Northeast Ohio where the sun is a rare treat for us. I can totally relate.
    And those lamps for S.A.D.? The one we have is called the “Happy Light”…yeah, it doesn’t work.

  • Well, at least she’s warming up to the idea of it being a boy…

  • Peggy

    I have an aunt named Aurora and she was 85 when she passed away last year-way before Disney used it.

  • Carrie

    I think Stretsch Armstrong is a fabulous name! Loved them. Hope you get some good summertime vibes soon!

  • Angela

    I love the site, but I’m going to be honest.

    You are thinner at 18 weeks pregnant than about 99% of the population when they are not pregnant. And some people (as in me) are bitter about it.

    And those of us who live in true dark places (Alaska, for instance) don’t have pity about living in Utah. Try 60 straight days of rain and no sun, or an entire winter where the sun isn’t up until 9 a.m. and starts to set at about 1 p.m. You think you’re depressed due to lack of light? I’m ready to stick my head in the oven. And those SAD lamps are lifesavers in this environment because trust me, there is NO HOPE FOR SUN.

    You have a job that pays for you both to stay home, a nice house, the skinniest pregnant body I have ever seen, and the extra money to take trips to the sun when you need it. The complaining is getting old. I know you suffer, but JEESUS already.

    You can tell me to suck it now. I fully expect that.

  • Kathleen

    This is how my belly looks when I have gas!

    I’m glad you explained about John irritating you with demanding a smile and the winter blahs. You’ve looked so sad in your belly pics. I hope the sun makes an early re-entry into your life!

  • Jane

    I have always had the same January severe mood dip! In fall 2007 I bought one of those sun lamps and I did not experience as bad a mood dip. Too early to tell this year –but I would recommend it even though you might be skeptical. I was so miserable in Januaries past that I was willing to try anything. A sunny vacation also sounds nice – I am going to Arizona in February and cannot wait!

  • Anonymous

    If it’s a girl, I think you should name her Paige. Leta means “joyful” and Paige means “page.” Certainly your blog has been a joyful page for you. (Yes, there have probably been days you wanted to throw it out the window because of its demands, but for the most part: a joyful page.)

    Anyhow, having your children be Leta (joyful) and Paige (page) will assuredly bring great joy, and days when you’ll feel frustrated with the demands as well.

  • I’m hoping to read that it’s a boy! Only because I have a 14 month old son and would love to read your observations about having a son. Sending you warm, tropical, fragrant thoughts…

  • Dude, you look amazing–scowly face included, because, HELLO, smiles are so not required.

    OH, and I’m with Angela here. We don’t visit this blog to read your witty, hilarious commentary on motherhood and life and all that. Noooo, I want boring, enthusiastic and PERKY dammit!!

    You rock 🙂

  • A.

    I think that’s what they call bershon.

  • Lauren

    I live in the Bay Area and I was actually complaining it was too hot today. High of 68 tomorrow. Move west. Who needs a house?

  • Well, the positive on Prince Aurora is that she is finally admitting that she could have a brother and as long as you name him Aurora you are all set.

  • she is a VERY bright child. but, you knew that already, right?

  • 18 weeks? You look fantastic. I’m pretty sure I made that face at my husband throughout my second pregnancy. In fact, I’m five weeks postpartum, and I’m pretty sure I still make that face at him every day. Maybe if he’s lucky, my husband will live to enjoy that same scowl for many years to come.

  • Princess Aurora sounds like a fine name to me. Prince Aurora is good too. Good Luck on Friday. I think Leta will make an awesome big sister.

  • 1. There are places colder AND darker than Utah (*cough* Fairbanks, Alaska *cough*) but I think the cold and the dark suck no matter where you are so I’m not going to be one of those “Oh my god, it’s SO MUCH WORSE HERE” people.

    2. Yes, I am. We just got done with a 2 week stretch at negative 35/negative 40. But I’m sure winter is yucky in Utah, too.

    3. I resisted the sunlamp but someone gave us one and we started using it in this, our third Alaskan winter. It helps – it doesn’t solve the problem, but it helps. It also casts an eerie glow on your skin, freaking people out when you video chat. And it’s cheaper than a plane ticket to the Lower 48.

    4. Yay on the new baby and I agree – no smile coaxing in photos.

  • That face … I knew Jon was in big trouble even before I read your post!

    And Miss Leta! I laughed so hard when I read her name for the baby. Prepare yourself … I am still in Disney Princess mode myself. When I turned 30 I held a Sleeping Beauty birthday party for myself & some friends at a 4 star restaurant. I made everyone wear Princess party hats designed for kids & had the matching paper plates too …. I loved every minute of it.

    The Tart aka Princess Tart
    ; *

  • Oh #117 Angela, lighten UP already. If you wish you were skinnier work out, if you hate winters in Alaska move, if you wish you had a better job get one! Hating on Dooce because she’s got a great life and writes about it (on her website that you voluntarily visit) is just weird.

    I mean, yes, I pointed out that we have it “worse” but I did it with HUMOR. If Heather’s complaining is getting old read another website.


  • Big, big hugs to you. I’m sending you some warmth and smiles and more hugs.

    Also, since I really think you are having a boy, I kind of can’t wait to find out if my intuition is correct.

    More hugs…

  • keagansmom

    Hey DAHLING,
    I’m from Boston, where we know how to pronounce C-R-A-Y-O-N correctly! so they-yah!
    Can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or girl (hoping for a boy-one of each is a TRIP).

  • SJ

    Ew, you’re so little and tiny and I’m so jealous! I’m 35 weeks now, but when I was at 18 weeks, I was like 200% bigger than you are at 18 weeks.

  • When I see you smile, it’s like a ray of light. Baby. Baby. When I see you smile.

  • Kidnap your husband and child and move it all to California! The dogs can come too.

  • Hey, you look fantastic! I’m not pregnant, but I am suffering through the same January blues…. good to see the sun today.

  • Oh…..sunlight, warm, fragrant, air……I, like you, hit the yearly dip. It’s awful. I literally try to get out of “dodge” at least 3 times during the frigid months. 52 days until the Dominican Republic—wahooo. p.s. The high here (in Maryland) is 22 on Sat., the low…14 (eeeewwwww).

  • Jasmine

    Hey #8, what’s wrong with Aurora as an actual name? I knew an Aurora growing up and I always thought it was a really pretty name for a really pretty girl. Means dawn, and as someone whose middle name is Dawn, I always though Aurora was way better.

    Peace Corps-ing it up in the Philippines over here, and I happen to be on an island with 9 months of rainy season, so I feel your pain. Since I began service I haven’t had a single day where it didn’t rain so hard it shook the concrete foundation. Left cold when I left Buffalo for service, but I don’t think we lowly commentators should hang around Heather’s blog bickering over “who has it worse.” No sun sucks. Only snow/rain/crazy shit falling out of the sky sucks. No matter where you are. Period.

    Congratulations on the baby and making it to week 18! Looking good!

  • My husband has decided that Prince Aurora would later be seen hanging out in a clock tower with a sniper rifle… ha ha….

    You look amazing, and January sucks. XD

  • Shelley

    Excellent. Prince Aurora.

    When we asked our 4-year-old son what he thinks the baby should be named, he said, “Hakuna Matada” (a song from the Lion King). A 6-syllable Swahilli name might be a little much, but it makes for a good story. 🙂

    I’m due 5/21 with a little girl. We already have 2 boys, so it is pretty exciting. Good luck on Friday!


  • Tay

    I think you should at least *try* the lamp, and if it doesn’t work, they’re only like 40 bucks or something (depending on what you get). I live in Utah too and my hate for cold and snow has made me literally violent at times, and the lamp certainly doesn’t bring back the unadulterated joy of turning your face up to the sun… but it does take the edge off. This winter makes me cantankerous and grumbly, but I haven’t wept over not being able to find any clean socks since I got the lamp.

  • You look beautiful. How do you have time/energy/will to keep mascara on your eyeballs?! I gave up life when I was pregnant… irony…

  • Mo

    i just got through my annual first week of january, holiday letdown, this wretched winter will never end freak out. i also booked my ticket to florida for the end of the month.

    you and your blog have helped me time and time again. thank you so much for sharing your life!

    good luck to you and stretch on friday! aurora was always my favorite princess and was at the top of my baby name list when i was 12 😉

  • I love how all the people from the NW are giving you advice on lack of sun! My intention was just to whine about it too and tell you that Mexico is my new home of choice every January and February. It’s much warmer, cheaper (and cooler!) than So Cal. I want to start a tanning salon where there is a noise machine of waves and real sand between your toes. Kinda like the Wells Fargo commercial. I think that would help me. I’m excited to see you at Powell’s in March! You’ll be showing then!

  • You do surly better than anyone!
    Gorgeous… lucky John!
    Enjoy the next few months…
    Or not.
    (If you need to warm up visit me – it’s almost 40 degrees celsius here today!)

  • Jen

    At least Leta is now able to entertain the notion that there is the possibility that the baby is a boy. That’s progress. SMALL VICTORIES!!! Woot! 🙂

  • holly

    Smart of you to plan a trip to So Cal, the winters there are beautiful. Have you been to San Diego’s North county? Anything north of La Jolla is amazing. Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas. The cliffs over look the ocean and there’s something to be said about being on top of it all looking out to the pacific, it can be magic! Also has a cool music scene, shops, restaurants etc.
    Check out
    Make it easy on yourself this trip and leave the dogs!

  • I think that you look great! and Prince Aurora is perfect… I had a friend who let her little girl name her new baby brother… His name is Bacon!

  • Beck

    I know it’s somewhat lame, but when I’m REALLY bored in winter, sometimes I make something retarded out of paper mache. You at least have a 4 year old, which is a great excuse to be all crafty and interesting. Gluing random chunks of wood together and then painting them like something is also fun. I think crafts were invented for winter. Which is why eskimos can build entire, curvy dog sleds, all out of wood.

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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