Despite All My Rage

Wes and I have been discussing game theory a lot lately, specifically as it applies to online communities like Reddit. Basically put, scientists have noticed that when a person submits an article to something like Reddit, their dopamine levels spike similar to when someone gambles because it’s the same sort of output-with-hope-of-reward type action.

What’s funny is, the number of times the action results in no reward at all doesn’t seem to matter. It’s that dangling carrot that keeps people submitting posts and yanking on slots handles and doubling down at the race track. All they have to do is either experience success once (even if it’s small success) or watch someone else succeed and BAM. Goners.

When Wes and I discussed this in regards to Reddit submission behavior, I was inclined to scoff because I’m inclined to dislike Reddit on general principles. When my book first came out, there were some Reddit community members who were mean to me and now I’m soured on the whole thing, much to my husband’s frustration.

So yeah, I looked down my nose at the people who submit stuff to Reddit all day just hoping for a big upvote payday. I thought of them in my head as helpless lab rats chasing a dopamine spike, comforting myself with my own supposed superiority.

Until I thought about what I was doing at ten o’clock last night. I thought back to how I reorganized our closet, sorting, folding, and putting everything in perfect order. And then I thought about afterward, when everything was in place, how I stood there admiring my handiwork, reveling in the dopamine high that comes from taking satisfaction in your work.

That was when I realized it: Despite all my rage (against the people who were mean to me on Reddit), I’m still just a rat in a cage.

And I laughed. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, because it’s just so dang funny when a false sense of superiority comes back to bite you on the tuchus, isn’t it?

Whoa

I’m currently a little over 35 weeks pregnant and was feeling pretty smug about how organized I was until a whole bunch of stuff I’d loaned to other families all came back at once. Car seats, swings, baby bathtubs, an activity center, it all came back last night.

It was while I contemplated the massive heap of baby supplies in my front entryway that I just had to laugh. Egads, babies need a lot of stuff!

Sure, sure, you could make an efficient argument that babies don’t need that much stuff. I mean surely cavewomen raised babies just fine without a vibrating bouncy seat, swing, and rockable bassinet, yes?

Wes asked me whether I wanted to get rid of some of the stuff and the eternal neat freak that takes up most of my brain was tempted to say yes. I can’t stow everything away neatly in a closet, therefore it must go. I can’t have baby stuff cluttering up my pristine domicile!

But then I took a minute to remember Aidan’s infancy, and what it’s like to have a fussy baby, and I realized it would be sheer folly to get rid of anything at this point. Maybe I’d get rid of the vibrating bouncy chair (which Aidan never liked much) and that would prove to be the one thing on Earth Little Girl likes enough to sleep in.

Right there in that moment I resigned myself to the clutter. And in so doing, I broke through the denial that’s kept me company for the last few weeks. Looking at the baby swing in the corner of my kitchen, I feel myself coming to terms that I really will be doing the newborn rodeo again. The good, the bad, the gory, it’s all coming my way in less than five weeks.

Whoa.

An Explosion of Color!

When I found out my first child was a boy, there was never any question in my mind of what I wanted his nursery to be all about: Super Mario Bros. The colors, the friendly faces, the geeky goodness, it was everything I wanted for my son and more.

The funny thing is, I never had any idea how I would’ve decorated the nursery if we’d been expecting a girl instead. Two years passed by and I found myself expecting again and still had no idea how I’d want to decorate a girl’s nursery. If this baby had been a boy, he would’ve had an Angry Birds nursery, but alas, we’re having a girl.

So, to the Internets for me! I scoured Pinterest, Babies R Us, and Amazon for inspiration and never came up with a theme per se, but did discover two things about myself:

1. Pastels are not my cup of tea.

2. Color makes me happy!

With this aesthetic in mind, I shopped and consulted with Wes and shopped some more until I found the perfect decorations for Little Girl’s nursery. Behold!

It's like pink exploded in here, I love it :)

This room is aggressively colorful and makes me feel girly and happy and relaxed. Aidan loves it too, he gleefully calls it “Baby Sister’s Room” and enjoys hiding under the crib.

So that’s it, mischief managed! The only thing we have left to do is wait for her to finish growing and we’re all set to go for Baby Round 2.

Time Warp

As of today, I am thirty weeks pregnant. Three quarters of the way done being pregnant for the last time. Close enough to the finish line to hear the cheering but still too far away to see the banners flapping in the breeze.

Suddenly, everything seems to be moving at warp speed. Maybe I’m slowing down, or maybe life just really is rocketing along regardless of how I feel about it, but it all seems to be happening so fast.

It seems like we just potty trained Aidan, but then I look at the calendar and realize he’s been potty trained for a month. I keep thinking I have tons of midwife appointments to go until July, but then I realize it’s MAY and that means JUNE IS COMING and I don’t need my knuckles to tell me which month comes after that.

When I got pregnant, July 11 seemed forever away. It is simply amazing to me that it’s May already, because that means soon it’ll be Mother’s Day. And then it’ll be my birthday. And then it’ll be Memorial Day weekend. And then it’ll be June, which means I’ll be able to tell people I’m due next month.

And I really will be. Oh my gosh.

The Last Big Push

Things have been hectic here lately. I seem incapable of stopping myself from scheduling a million things to do each week, which makes perfect sense when you think about how very pregnant I am and how very little energy I have for such grand endeavors.

Nevertheless, the pregnancy hormones will not be ignored. I am swept along on the tide of their demands, crossing items off my to-do lists with one hand while I stifle yawns with the other.

I think we’re nearing the end, though. The two last big looming items on my Big List Of Stuff That Needs to Get Done Before Little Girl Gets Here In July are:

  • Set up her nursery. All the decor has been ordered and is sitting in her room, it just needs to be set up and arranged. I’d like to wait just a litttttle bit longer to do this, because I want to give Aidan time to forget how much he loved his crib before I set it back up again.
  • Potty train Aidan. Oh yes, this is happening. I waffled about whether or not to do this before Little Girl gets here, but I figure he’s ready for the skill and this will be the last time for a long time I’ll have this much time to devote to giving him one-on-one attention.
The potty training is happening on Sunday. I’ve read this book┬áto prepare, taken notes, assembled supplies, and prepped Aidan. Now, all we need is the weekend. It’s so cool to think we’ll be done with diapers soon! At least, done with diapers for the next three months or so. It’s funny. I’m super busy, but with trivial, inconsequential stuff no one really cares about. I talk about my day with Wes and I bore myself, and yet I’m so busy I feel like I should be infinitely more interesting.Maybe when everything is done and I’m finally finished setting Little Girl’s nursery up and Aidan’s potty trained and I’ve finished scouring the house I’ll be interesting…Nah. I reckon by then the weather will be nice again so I’ll probably just be at the park with my son.