Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm about 5' 8.5". When I tell people that, they always look at me and say, "Oh, that's not that tall," and then I give them this short lecture:

About ten years ago, the National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey, finding that the average height for an adult woman between the ages of 20 and 29 was 5' 3.8". (I looked up the survey info just for this blog post. Feel special.) This makes me about 5 inches taller than the average woman, which, if you think about it, is almost half a foot. Therefore, I am that tall.

(Incidentally, the survey found the average height for an adult man of the same age group to be 5' 9.2", which makes wearing high heeled shoes on dates highly awkward and impractical for me. It's unfortunate because, as a friend in high school who went on to become third runner-up for Miss Hawaii once told me, I actually have really nice legs.)

These are the facts that I must face when I go shopping for pants. The problems don't stop there, though. I've often surmised when shopping in stores, that designers must think women who are tall have 50% more leg fat than the rest of the population. I can't tell you how often I've tried on a pair of 12 Long pants in the dressing room, only to find that while they fit perfectly around the waist, there is enough room in the butt and thigh to fit another one of me!

My solution came two years ago when I went into the Old Navy on State and Washington in Chicago. Not wanting to waste my time looking for something that wasn't there, I walked straight up to the tallest employee I could find and said, "My kingdom for a pair of Long pants that fit!" She didn't miss a beat.

"Here's what you do," she said. "We don't consistently carry our products in Long, but besides length, there's no difference in how our Long pants and Average pants fit. Shop around the store and find some pants that you like, try them on to find your best size and style, and then go to oldnavy.com and order them with the right inseam."

I could have hugged her. I did what she suggested, and when I got online, discovered that in addition to carrying Long inseams, they have a Tall section, where you can get longer shirts, skirts and dresses as well! (Just a heads up, there's a huge difference between "Long" and "Tall." If you order the Tall inseam, order a size up.) Ever since then, when I want a new pair of pants, I just go online! I find something that looks cute, order it, and it fits perfectly! And that's how the story ends, or so I thought...

College makes you gain weight. No question about that. So before my first trimester of pregnancy was over, I needed new jeans, desperately. I made due for several months just wearing lounge pants (also from Old Navy) and skirts most of the time, but I really needed a new pair of jeans. I looked everywhere, but not only were Long maternity pants lacking, so were the maternity sections themselves. I stopped looking for it when I went into a store. I'd just find an employee and ask if they had one.

I did find an excellent maternity section at Kohl's, and made out like a bandit thanks to my Aunt Marie, who had Kohl's Bucks and various coupons she wasn't going to use but, still no Long pants. Finally, it dawned on me. I hadn't checked Old Navy.

Old Navy has an entire maternity section online. The clothes run a bit too big, but knowing that has made shopping for new clothes a piece of cake. I just order a size down. I now have two pair of Long maternity jeans, not to mention some adorable shirts and a pair of comfy burmudas. I've also discovered the Roll-Over Jersey Skirts, which have no elastic and are nice and stretchy to accomodate the ever-growing me.

So in summary, Old Navy rocks!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It Has Begun (doom!)

Yesterday and today were good days. I got up at a reasonable hour (quite early for me, actually, before 8), got around and going, and spent almost the entire day out doing things. But today, sometime between washing windows at Grandma's and the Relay for Life team meeting (my aunt heads up Team Zebra, ironically enough), I hit a mood bump.

I was pulling up my pants in the bathroom when I noticed in the mirror, the first of the fresh purple stripes. (I wish there were a good word to describe it. "Blossoming" sounds like something so pleasant and delightful, but "eruption" or "outbreak" would be too strong.) An hour later I discovered another stretch mark forming, going right up the side of my stomach. Maybe it's because I went from doing very little to doing very much in a short period of time that it happened so suddenly. I must admit, ever since these discoveries, I've been just a little depressed.

I blame my mother. She blames her father. I never got to find out who he blamed. I've been using so much lotion since I've become pregnant, knowing that it would be coming, hoping maybe I could be spared. I've mentioned before that I have a lot of stretch marks already just from growing too fast for my skin. Now that it's started again, I feel very unpretty.

(This is not a time for you to get all touchy-feeley, "Oh, but you ARE pretty," trying to make me feel better by telling me all sorts of nice things. My emotions have nothing to do with what everyone else thinks. It's how I feel, and I'll get over it shortly.)

Hundreds of thoughts are buzzing around my head. "I need to find a stretch mark cream that doesn't feel oily." "All the scars I got in middle-school are still visible. These will take so long to go away." "Now I'll never look great in a bikini." "What if he no longer finds me attractive?"

The bikini one might be the most depressing, honestly. I grew up on a mission center, and a one piece was the only option up until college. By that time, I was too self-conscious to actually wear a two-piece. Not to mention the fact that I have a hard time finding bathing tops that fit me.** I finally found one that suited me, but never wore it because I couldn't find a bottom I liked. So I've never actually worn a two-piece in public. And now... (I refuse to wear a two-piece to the beach now. Lots of things happen on the beach that shouldn't. I will not be one of them.) When I'm back to normal size again, I'll be the sexiest purple-striped zebra-fish in the sea. *slump*

I fully intend to wallow in my depression for the rest of the night, possibly in the morning also, depending on how many more marks I find when I get up. You can't stop me. Then I plan on getting over it, buying stretch-mark cream (we all remember the Bio-Oil was a fail), and moving on with my life. As long as no one tries to interfere with the coping process, everyone will be fine.

**That could be a rant in itself. Why don't bathing suits come in cup sizes, instead of "small, medium, and large?" Also, I've overwhelmed every halter top I've ever tried on. I can't wait for the halter fad to die so that I can buy a new bathing suit. Before my maternity suit (remarkably similar to my "normal" suit, found at Target), I've used the same suit since I was a freshman in high school, because it's the only one that's ever "held me in." The world is unkind to busty women.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It was time to update the background. I tried the new blogger template designer thingy and I like the results. The only problem I have is that there are a lot of options, so I'll probably be changing it again (and again and again) over the next few days. "Where she stops? Nobody knows!"

I actually wish I could upload a picture that I've taken into the background, but no such luck yet. At least, I've not figured out how.

I considered for a brief time, changing the name of my blog, since I'm actually no longer in college. But I started this thing in college, and I plan on auditing a class next semester (Mandarin 101!), so it's staying.

Really nothing about this blog looks collegiate or adolescent, but hey! Pregnancy is supposed to be a transitional phase, right?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Every day I am astonished at the number of young, unwed mothers around me. The last time I went to Meijer, I saw at least five. Six, if you count when I went down that aisle with all the mirrors. I guess I just never noticed them before.

It reminds me of when my parents and I were traveling through Pennsylvania when I was in middle school. There was a gas station robbery one town over from where our hotel was. The offenders were last seen exiting the scene in a white, unmarked van. You would be amazed at how many white, unmarked vans are on the highway! It was kind of creepy, actually...

Not that seeing young mothers around me is creepy, but you know what I mean.

You know what? As the song says, "Pregnant Women are Smug," (Garfunkel and Oats). Particularly, young unwed ones. This came to my attention last week when I went for another 1 hour glucose test. (I've not heard from the doctor's office, so another 3 hour test is not in order as far as I know.) I'd been waiting for about 15 minutes when an extremely pregnant girl and her friend came in. They couldn't have been much older than 12 or 13. My first impulse was to be protective of this girl, who must be so terrified and confused, from the little old ladies across the room who were looking at her like fresh gossip meat. Within five minutes, that impulse completely disappeared. She kept on looking at her belly and sighing, waiting to see if someone would notice. When someone did notice, she did her best to look as uncomfortable as possible, at which point her friend would say something like, "Are you having a contraction?" (she wasn't) or "I just can't believe there's a life inside of you!"

(I'm not putting down people who like to discuss the miracle of life, but saying the same phrase 20 times in a short period of time does not qualify as deep thought.)

From what I've observed in the last few weeks, four out of five young, unwed mothers are melodramatic. From the busty blonde buying hair-dye to the bursting-at-the-seams teen in pajama pants, all display airs as if their lives are just so much nobler than everyone else's and no one could possibly understand.

I have no problem admitting the fact that I'm judgmental. But if you ever see me put on airs like that, feel free to hit me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby Says Jump

Lately I’ve been observing, with increasing curiosity, the miraculous little being inside of me. I wake up in the morning to the indescribable sensation of her little body stretching, growing, and dancing... on my bladder. Every day she gets stronger, and in the mornings she’s difficult to ignore. The problem isn’t just that I’ll wake up to her kicking my insides. After I get up to relieve myself, she keeps kicking. I have a feeling that early mornings are about to be a regular thing for me. What I don’t understand, what is truly miraculous about this child, is how she knows that it’s 6:00 in the morning without having windows...

God is up there smirking right now, and if you’ve ever tried to wake me in the morning, you know why.

I’m beginning to see little tendencies here and there. I can tell the difference between a kick and a hiccup, a “hello” kick and an “I’m not happy” kick (it’s rather like the difference between a pat on the back and a dope slap, just in the lower abdomen and from the inside), and a dance and a squirm. Dances are the best, and usually happen when I’m playing music for her (I put an earbud in my belly button—genius). Squirms amuse me, are usually accompanied by annoyed kicks, and happen most often when I play Mozart. (Irony?)

Baby also has this curious tendency to be completely quiet and behaved whenever her (very dutiful and responsible) father is around. Maybe it’s just me, but it really seems like, no matter how hard she is kicking beforehand, the instant I say, “Mengyao, want to feel the baby?” she stops. Meng thinks this behavioral trait is going to continue post-partum.

Besides the little one’s constant growing, there is really not a whole lot going on. My main source of income is being a professional granddaughter (they pay me to take them places), I‘ve managed to keep my room tidy on a daily basis, the nursery is more like a room where things are getting shoved, and last Monday we shaved the dog. Not much excitement… except for the dog.

Well, I just saw the mailwoman leave a box on our doorstep (my new room’s location has it’s advantages), which means that my package is here! (There’s something exciting. I cashed in some banking points for an Old Navy gift card and bought some more maternity stuff. My next post will probably be about pants.) I’m going to go see what the magic mailwoman has brought me!