High Maintenance Gal Who Thinks She's Low Maintenance Gal...

So, in a couple of days the Fam and I are "goin' on our 'olidays..." 10 days of no work, no pressure, no internets, no t.v. (no fucking T.V.?? what are you INSANE???) Ok, lied about the T.V. part. I'm no masochist, ber-lieve me. However, the no internets part is true, so no posts. Try not to cry. Seriously...

Right now excited anticipation on my part is escalating. This translates into writing copious "to do" lists for getting things in shape at work before I take off, and then promptly ignoring them to obsessively check weather.com and tourism sites for our featured destination. Or just "pop by" a few blogs. Because I just can't focus... I am SO psyched.

And therein lies the rub. For me, the anticipation over an upcoming event often far outweighs the pleasure of actually participating (indeed, as I told you before, I never actually made it to one of my primary school's Christmas Parties because without fail I worked myself up into such excitement that I threw up each year and had to go home...) I still definitely have this trait (with the nausea now tempered by delicious alchohol)... Excitability...

I am excited to go on vacation, but in the past few years I have recognized a trait in me inherited from my mother--an inability to relax once getting to the Relaxation-Destination... I like to think of myself as a pretty low-maintenance lassy. I go with the flow, can see the funny side of anything, rarely take offense, and am generally well-grounded and happy-go-lucky.. (Puke. Julie-Effing-Andrews eat your heart out...)

However, beneath the happy-go-lucky exterior a stressed out control-freak can at times be eager to break free. Vacation is one of those times when my evil twin emerges.... To quote When Harry Met Sally (shuddup) I am the worse type of control-freak--I think I am Low Maintenance, but I am actually High Maintenance... At least when a weekend in a cottage on a lake with nothing to do but relax and have a good time is concerned.

So, the reason I write this is to confront the demon within so it does not happen this time, and to ask for any advice that's going. Does anyone else suffer from this affliction? Find that they are sitting on the beach feeling ancy, or pouring through tourist brochures or over maps planning your day.... Being generally snappish and notverynicereally? It's not really something I can put my finger on, but I really hate it. (oh, and the hubs DIGS it bigtime). And this time tequila shots are not an option to get in the holiday spirit. (Dagnabit...)

Feel free to dispense all kinds of preachy advice or share tips--I need it.


How to Feel Like the World's Best Parent, Spouse and general Human Being

Do you ever question yourself as a parent, and feel that your relationship with your offspring could use improvement?

Do you ever feel trapped in a loveless relationship where communications have all but broken down, and you dream of freedom, of divorce, of untimely death (not your own)?

Well I have the solution. Check out TLC's Shalom in the Home and I guarantee that you will feel like the world's most patient, well-adjusted, and loving parent that ever existed. Your children will be reborn in your eyes as the angels they truly are. Your marriage will never seem so strong, so healthy, so nurturing, so based on mutual respect.

Because if nothing else, if things are bad, you've got NUTH'N on the people Rabbi Schmoley attempts to patch up and heal. Seriously. It's restorative food for the soul.

(Actually, I really do like Schmuley and his advice. He's like the Jewish Rabbi Father I never had. I want to cuddle him)


Ode to (un)Hipness

(Cue flashback music) Early Spring 2002. Newly pregnant 30 yr old self takes solo trip to see Mummy and Daddy in Old Blighty. Mummy, anguished that she will not get to spend 9 months experience with only daughter spoils her fucking rotten and buys shitloads of stuff for the baby and for her, including hip wardrobe of maternity clothes. Including T-Shirt with slogan "Kickin'" emblazoned across the front. (Get it?? Kickin'? Get it??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!)

Joy feels like world's most hip and trendy pregnant lady, and returns to Michigan decked out in Euro-Trendy maternity gear... Kickin' T-Shirt by far most prized possession--looks GREAT with flared maternity jeans and bowling shoes. None of that floral tent-like shit for her.

(Flashforward to Late Summer--50 llbs later, 95 effing degrees. Am permamently in floral tent-like shit as too fucking hot to wear anything else. And these quivering white thighs are NOT seeing light of day in alarmingly enormous pair of maternity shorts recently purchased. I could blind someone...)

Present Day. Faded Kickin' T-Shirt deep source of shame and embarrassment. Relegated to gardening and slobbing about the housewear. Why in the HELL did I think this thing was hip? Spend significant amounts of time dwelling upon why "Kickin'" t-shirt does not have same allure. Is it because I am mature-Mommy type now? Is it because no 35 yr old pregnant woman who wishes to retain dignity dons garment that makes her look like aging skank/Christina Aguilera fan? Is it because Candidate for State Representative who just came to door canvassing, made big showy laugh over T-Shirt slogan, and commented on how it's "so nice to see so many young people in the neighborhood..."? That's Doctor Young Person to you, Lady...

Will the soul-searching never end? Yes, indeed, pregnancy is such a deeply meaningful and reflective time for all women. I embrace the contemplation, the meditative state of perpetual wonder--interrupted only by the joyful flutter of one Kickin' the shit out of my bladder stirring within.


For your listening pleasure....

Her act contains more swearing and sexual references than the entire work of Tarantino and Cronenberg put together... But like a ravenous crowd in front of a table full of cream cakes, they simply scoffed the lot. The Independent

Sigh... One day someone will write sweet words like that about me....
Jo Brand is the UK's number 1 female stand-up. If you've not heard of her, it's because absolutely none of her shit is available in the U.S. Something about her sardonic monologues about periods, gluttony, smoking, boozing, and male inadequacy not quite translating for an American audience. Whatever. I know you bitchez would love her.

But! A small taste of the Brand can be heard here at the BBC, where she is hosting Radio Two's The Music Club. The Music Show for the non-expert. It's just an hour long, and got a great line-up of diverse tunes and a condense history of each genre (Ska, Reggae, Punk, Motown, and even a spot of Jazz) interspersed with her wit. Great stuff for "doing the housework" to or, as Brand has it, "put your feet up and have a cup of tea" to. Oh, and this is not for people who poo-poo the compilation album or a buffet approach to musicology.
(Oh, and do not be put off by the 1 minute of Billy Joel at the beginning--blegh--the show begins about 2 minutes in)

I am a massive fan of Radio Two (which was the channel for Old People when I was a teenager.... Gulp...) and you can listen to any of their shows one week after it originally airs. If you want something else with a bit of British wit and great music, try Jonathan Ross's show which makes me pee my knick-knocks every Saturday morning while I do the ironing (actually the ironing is a ruse to listen to Jonathan Ross. Yes. that does mean I am not kidding about the ironing.)

Potentially Unattractive Namedropping Post...

A long time ago, in a time when "blog" was a term not even invented, and when "cyber," "virtual," and "the net" were terms used entirely unironically and unnostalgically to refer to the content of the "World Wide Web," well I knew a tall young lady with enviable arched eyebrows and a passion for Modernist aesthetics. You know her as Sweetney, but back then she was just Tracey. This was before either of us had kids (both our darlings were born within 10 days of each other) and our lives consisted of English graduate classes and interminable grading. Oh, and a lot of drinking, smoking, and parties that involved awkward small-group dancing in someone's sitting room. I will never hear Captain and Tennille without thinking of Tracey. Or see Showgirls, for that matter.

Circa 1995, Tracey and I were a part of a small group of English Grads asked to be the "judges" for an undergraduate creative writing contest (which on my part, was utterly laughable because I had never written creatively in my life). By far the best entry was by a young man who had written a very serious film-noir-esque short story, which involved a disturbing and erotic dream sequence where the protagonist was visited in his bedroom by his mother who leisurely "unzipped her robe..."

That choice of detail--the zippered robe. It slayed us at the time (unnurturing and bitter mentors that we were). And it still makes me titter now and then. (Chances are the author of this little piece is a vastly successful novelist or screenwriter now, so how do I like them apples?)

Anyway, as I have mentioned before, even though I slogged through English Grad school, I am not one to "curl up with a book of poetry." But long ago when Tracey shared a few poems with me I was quite startled and disarmed by them.

If you want a glimpse into another side of Sweetney and her creativity, check out a few of her poems here. They're.... Well, they're pure poetry...


'Tis Done

OK, I have already spent much too much time piddling around in blogger, and for now this is whachyourgettin' in terms of design. (Like you care). Yes, one day when I am a rich and famous blogger (HA!) I will set up shop on a web-host and introduce other fruit themes to my interface.

But I already spent way too much time having a fiddle with my template, so for now I need boundaries. And for now I like free and easy. So even though blogger makes me want to weep at times, as someone who works "in the biz" I know that freeware--well sometimes it gets sick. Especially when it's getting a real pounding. And chances are there are geek-people over at blogger who felt a touch suicidal last week. Heads may well have rolled...
As someone who has personally received hatemail for widely-used freeware breaking, I can identify. And users have three options--go and get something free somewhere else (oh, what, the competition has it's own limitations? SHAME!) pay for something, or suck it up. (See how I am casting my own laziness over getting a domain as an act of patience and zen-like virtue? I am very sneaky like that).

It's that simple. (I say all this NOW, of course, but I can turn on a dime if I lose posts or can't comment....). So blogger, I am sorry to get so angry. I should know better. It's not you, it's me. (Actually, it's YOU. But I am very magnaminous and giving today)

I have updated my blogroll. Please, if you are not listed and we've had "relations" shoot me a comment, and I'll love you up on my roll. I am a complete whore that way. Actually, if you lurk or if you've commented but I've never been your way (bitch that I am) invite me over (please). Unless you're looking for MILFs or Mature Sluts. Then I recommend googling for something a bit more juicy. Yes, I say "bitch," "ass," "wipes" "poo," and "ointment" a lot, but it's not what you're looking for. Trust me. (the spamments should be interesting on this post. can't wait!)

And if I have been remiss on commenting lately, blame my laziness. blogger, not me. Seriously, sometimes I have to make a pact with myself, "Only X amounts of blogs today" because I can get really sucked into a vortex, and next thing I know I have blogged for 5 hours straight, my job is on the line, and my son has scurvy due to lack of properly prepared and nutritious meals. Oh, and I smell.





Added Later: yes, I was messing with my template. I am not happy with this one but at least it's easier to read. I want to go with wordpress, but they don't let you edit the CSS.
Waaaah. Boo. Sucks. Anyway, apologies for the visual whiplash. I'll get it sorted eventually....

Honey, We're Condemning Our Kids to Mulletts...

Monday Night--'tis the night of forbidden fruit. All Reality T.V. All the Time....
Mondays I am solo parent as Hubs teaches an evening class. This means complete command of remote control after Boyo's bedtime. This means watching all the utter shite Hubs cannot stomach.

Oh, he used to show he cared. He used to watch Reality T.V. with me. But somewhere around 2004 where our weekly line up consisted of American Idol, Amazing Race, The Mole (whatever happened to The Mole? It was awesome shit) Survivor, Trading Spaces (American and UK version) What Not to Wear (American and UK version) Queer Eye for the Straight Guy...(American version, not UK, which is rubbish) Well, he lost his shit and insisted we watch high-minded drivel like Scrubs, The Family Guy, and Arrested Development. Now, he's all like into My Name is Earl and House and Deadwood (humph) so I am royally screwed.

Yes, we could invest in another TV set, so we can watch our own shows without this terrible tension, but we are very conventional in that we like to sit in morbid silence in front of the tube as a couple...

But last night I got to watch Honey We're Killing the Kids. As I watched the trailers of the morbidly obese kids shove pizza in their faces, I was a touch repelled. Maybe I'll watch something else, I thought. But next thing I knew, the show had started and I was lured in with the most morbidly fascinating part of the show--first, they show you a documentary snapshot of just how disgusting this particular family is. Junk for breakfast, lunch and dinner, smoking parents, screaming kids, video-games, bad grammar.... Simply shocking.

The doctor lady then works with her team to "run a series of tests" on the kids, and then bring the parents in for a tough-love conference in her underground lair. (I have NO CLUE where the set design concept for this lair comes from--it's clearly a studio, designed like someone's basement with pipes on the walls and boilers and everything). Here are positioned several enormous flat-screen TVs, each of which has a photo of each Kid-who-is-being-Killed in question. The sorry-ass parents stand quaking in her presence, and are forced to watch the images, "based on their scientific measurements," fast-forward to an image of how the poor kid will look at 40.
"Rocky, Sheila. Our predictions show that if your children continue on their current diet and lifestyle, THIS is what your son will look like at 40....
"Rocky, Sheila. You are killing your kids."

What I particularly LOVE about this moment is the dramatic license taken by the graphic artists. Sure, with a diet like that the kid is likely going to be on the pudgy side. But let's make that image a bit more disturbing. Let's throw in a pair of hideous cheap glasses, bad skin, tons of sagging skin, wrinkles, k-mart wardrobe, very bad teeth, and very bad hair (last night, Junior was sporting a shaved "do" with a hint of mullet behind his vast neckless head).

As an audience, we sit for an hour and watch the family go through 3 weeks of relative purgatory. Parents must quit smoking cold turkey; all refined carbs, saturated fats, and SALT (salt!) are banished from the house. Mom must struggle to create meals for her junk-food junky families. First meal of this family--Seafood paella with hefty portions of squid. And while I am a lover of paella, this dish looked RANK and utterly devoid of flavor (no butter, no salt, no wine, no bread...) *I* would fucking rebel. Especially when confronted with the beany, green concoction referred to as "sloppy joes" on Day 2 (BLEGH).

Of course, the formula of the show is to show everyone rebel, and doomed for failure (and BOY are they set up for failure. What's wrong with a bit of weight watchers ice cream or a low-fat fig newton for gawd's sake???). In the second half we see them come around--many more loving, smiling shots of kids hugging their parents, playfully chowing down a carrot, enjoying a brisk walk. Looks like they're gonna make it...

And the finale--parents are returned to the dungeon, stern doctor conveys her progonosis and the flash-forward images are recalibrated. Miraculously, the 40 yr old versions of their kids are transformed from trailer-trash into to groomed, obviously well-educated suave-types. Junior has shirked his Mullet, and now looks rather dashing in his designer-suit. Teeth--much better. Somehow his male-patterned baldness has vanished. His svelter 40yr old self has a thick head of shiny hair and contacts (or perhaps his diet as improved his vision as well as his hair loss. A Miracle!)
Who knew what a bit of squid could do you for you????

Killing the Kids. It is an unadulterated freak-show where we can sit smugly in our middle class homes and think, "well at least we take a walk now and then," and "at least MY son knows what an avocado looks like..." (note to self--create exotic fruit n' veg memory cards for Boyo tomorrow) and "at least we would never let my kid play violent video games/watch teevee for 2 hours straight..." (surreptitiously shoves plethora of Spy Kids/Batman movies under sofa)

Oh, gracious, I remember there are some fresh organic apricots in the fridge, I think I will put some in a bowl and enjoy them as a healthful snack while I watch...

Yeah, it's classist shit. But like a junky, it's shit I cannot get enough of. Honey, I'm Killing my Brain Cells...


Postcard to Future Bloated Miserable Self

I think I might be a tad unbearable right now, because I feel I am now transformed from nauseated, exhausted, bitchy and wildly hormonal woman into second trimester diva.

And folks, let me tell you, I AM GORGEOUS.
Oh. Yeah.

(and no, you're not getting a picture because taking a pic would likely shatter this all-too-fragile sense of self importance. nothing like encountering one's digital image to be abruptly brought back to reality)

The reason I write this post is to conduct an anthroplogical study on myself, for I write secure in the knowledge that in, oh, say mid-to-late August I will be spewing diatribes about how fricking ENORMOUS and SWOLLEN and BOVINE I am, and OH Poor Me I Still Have Three Months to Go. So it will be interesting to see the contrast. So interesting.

The other reason I write this post is to be insufferable and shove it down your throats that I feel pretty.

Because, let's face it, while all of us can bond over feeling less than happy with our body images (amen) how often do we get a chance to say "you know what, I am sizzlin' right now"? If someone female compliments you on looking good, it is much more appropriate to say "really?" and mutter something along the lines of "you should have seen me try and squeeze into blah-blah" than to say "Yeah, I KNOW." OK, that last one would be a little revolting. But you see my point--us leddies bond over mutual frustration with our bodies. And I am down with that.

So, I am currently inhabiting a very alien (and, I know, brief) moment in my life where I like what I see in the mirror. I am in purdy-pregnancy stage right now, what my friend refers to as "Hollywood Nine Months." I have a delightful excuse to let my stomach flop over my jeans. I have a whole new(ish) wardrobe of stylish (these-will-never-fit-me-in-2-months) pregnancy clothes. (Yay for Maternity Goucho Pants!!) I have lost a bit of weight because of the nausea, and so far the llbs are not piling back on at an alarming rate quite yet. And I battled to continue exercising through the first trimester so I could get back on track when my energy came back again. So now I participate with a certain amount of vigor in my aerobics and interval training class, and feel entirely smug about being the lady-with-the-belly in those classes (commence making red-haired pot bellied voodoo dolls now...)

Boobs--nicely reinflated thankyouverymuch, and I can now fill a bra (for once in my life). I even like to give them a surreptitious squeeze now and then to reassure myself of their bounteousness. (this can be embarrassing if someone happens to stop by your office to check on something, so be warned)

Skin--even-toned and zitfree (for once in my life). I also enjoy running my hands over my cheeks in Aveeno commercial style, reveling in its smooth and resilient surface. Sigh...

And so on and so forth.


So, I write this as a small gift to myself. You were beautiful once, Joy. Hold on to that, 'K? Because, people, I am SO on borrowed time. I know this as I enjoy a lunchdate with my husband and gorge upon Gyros and Fries. I know this when I suggest a "quick stop at World Market" afterwards to buy my beloved English chocolate--Flakes, Double Deckers, Maltesers--and eat the lot at my desk during the afternoon. I know this when I delve into startling quantities of normally forbidden cheese "uh. for the protein, and the calcium..." I know this as I sleep in on Saturday mornings and "oops" miss the 9am "cardio buffet" at the Y.

Yep, this lady is ready to blow, so you've been warned. And let me apologize in advance for all the ensuing posts about water-retention, nothing fits, sleep positions, "I've not pooed in 6 days and I am afraid, very afraid. Hold Me." posts to come... I'm sorry, so sorry.

p.s. I did have some amusing images to add to this little account. pictures of linen-clad, softfocus pregnant ladies. and doubledecker choc bars, but please imagine them instead as blogger is not letting me post them.

p.p.s. Grrrrr... I am ready to break up with blogger, anyone else??


Remembrance of Things Bagpiped...

This "what I did at the weekend" post is one week late, but bagpipes and mild hysteria were promised, so bagpipes and mild hysteria you'll get. Cast your mind back to Memorial Day weekend, Saturday... Being of the class of parents with small child that needs amusing, we now feel that familiar urge to do-something-as-a-family when holiday weekends come up. This "something" should ideally refer to a little more than having a kegger on the back deck while intermittently turning the garden hose on for the kids--though this in and of itself can be a worthwhile and rewarding activity for the whole family.

So, when invited by some old friends to go to Michigan's own "Scotland, USA" for their annual Highland Festival Parade (yes, that's right--Highland Festival. In Michigan. Kilts, Tossing Cabers. The Lot.) both Huz and myself greeted the idea with our trademark enthusiasm--deep cynicism ("what, watch a bunch of midwesterners who take deep pride in their celtic roots prance around in tartan?") Yes, we have black hearts and empty souls.

Anyway, we decided to make the trek up for the good of the boy because "let's face it, what else are we going to do on a Saturday morning?" and even if we think the parade is a bit sad, he'll think it's magic. Oh, and at least I can blog about it in sartorial-style if it's really lame.

When we arrived on the edge of town, we parked and made the trek up Main Street to meet up with our friends and find a spot to gawp. As we picked through people, I was already jealously eyeing everyone's portable chairs and coolers and wondering at how people just seem to be utterly prepared for such occasions (this was a sentiment that repeated itself throughout the event as I continuously asked our friends questions like "do you have any diaper wipes?" "have you got any tissues?" "do you have a spare juice box?" "do you have any crackers?" and "can I borrow that sunblock?" Yes, as prepared parents, we were stellar).

I have to say, the atmosphere of the whole thing was actually quite exciting at this stage. Main Street, like most midwest downtowns is depressingly devoid of much activity ordinarily, but that day it was transformed into a sun-drenched and nostalgic vision of middletown America, exuding Patriotism (Tartan, Stars, Stripes, Mullets) and general goodwill. I even slipped into a diner before the parade began and bought eight homemade cinnamon rolls for 3 bucks (3 bucks!!) and we celebrated that such mom-and-pop rarities still existed as we gorged ourselves on sugar and dough.

My cynicism, utterly vanished as I got caught up in the moment and (as-is-my-wont) congratulated myself for coming up with whole idea and insisting we come because this was just the sort of "family thing" we should be doing more of.

The parade began with the obligatory siren wail of the local Fire Truck, which makes its way slowly and LOUDLY up the street. So what if we're covering our ears and considering the potential long-term hearing loss implications for our wee ones? Our three year olds are eating this shit UP. And the entertainment keeps coming--lackluster county fair queens and their courts tossing candy to the crowd... local politicians and their opponents attempting to glad-hand every single person in the fucking crowd, all while tossing candy to the crowd, decorated floats and cars, some of which displayed great creative effort (Under the Sea, Puppy Love, Family Values/Family Freedom themes--all excellent) and others which should not have bothered (Oh, it's someone in their car. with stuffed toys in the backwindow. Quick!! they're chucking tootsie rolls).

I personally felt that some of the local teenage dance troupes, who did a great job choreographically, let themselves down with the en masse white baggy-t-shirt and black leggings combo. What's wrong with a bit of glitter, for god's sake? Still, it was uproarious fun, and the ecstacy experienced by my son who was having sweets hurled at him left right and center and scavenging on the ground for a stray pack of smarties was something to be cherished.

And then the freaking bagpipes… The first wave of pipers and their affect on me found me utterly unprepared. One minute I am waving frantically at the Shriner's motorcycle formation (also excellent) and the next minute I hear the mournful cacophony of the highland band and I suddenly and inexplicably feel the swell in my chest and begin to sob softly to myself--I was thankfully shielded by sunglass, and so quietly shifted back behind our group to conduct a little bit of "what the fu..?" soul-searching.

Quite seriously. I was utterly overcome with emotion, though I had always maintained that I hated bagpipes. Loathed them, having been made to stand and watch many a British military parade in my youth. I have even been serenaded by a lone pipe player in the enclosed indoor space of an Army Barracks bar--and let me tell you, this itself can produce a pavlovian aversion. And then I realized that this was precisely why I was snivelling. It was a pure Proustian moment, where a mere screeching sound triggered some kind of nostalgic, snot-ridden free-for-all.

I realized that many of the moments of my past have a fricking bagpipe medley for a soundtrack. Though I am not a military brat, my Grandfather was British army-through-and-through--the quintessential retired Sergeant Major with ruddy face, handlebar mustache, and talent for shouting at the top of his voice directly in your face. Weekends with Nan and Granddad invariably involved attending some airshow at the local barracks, where we would watch the R.A.F. Red Arrows streak the sky, and Granddad would tut-tut to himself about the sloppy formation of the marching drills. “Call that bloody marchin’? He might as well be wearin’ a bloody tutu.”

And the bagpipes? Like choirboys and Pavarotti, the bagpipes would always get him going. The cantankerous old sod would not show an ounce of affection to a family member unless soused out of his skull on whisky, but stone cold sober he would staunchly let the tears slide down his face as he stood to attention when the Royal Marine pipers went by. A few years later when he became Chief Yeoman Warder (ok. Beefeater) of the Tower of London, he and Nan lived right there in the Tower accommodations. In case you didn’t know, as well as brilliantly morbid tourist destination bar-none, the Tower is home to an Army barracks that houses her majesty's troops year round.

This means bagpipes at dawn. Bagpipes at the changing of the guard. Bagpipes when the Queen’s got people in. Bagpipes at Sunday Lunch in the Tower Club (a.k.a. beefeater & family watering hole). (Incidentally, also the first place I was officially drunk, Granddad liking to make sure his grandkids are treated “like grownups” by being given liberal amounts of alcohol at the age of 14. Also, not surprisingly, first site of personal en masse public humiliation involving “robotic dancing.” A tale I will not go into here, but will muster the courage to recount another time). All bagpipes all the time.

I am not given to tears. Or at least, I am not given to tears flowing unwarned in public situations (unless you count the time I caught sight of myself 2 months postpartum in a shop window once, but that’s hardly the same thing…). My grandfather was an incredibly difficult man, and is now given over to Altzheimer’s. But my crying was not about that. It was wholly more selfish.

Here I stood in “Scotland USA” on Main Street America, and the tears slid down my face too. Because amid this collective yearning for a simulated past, I suddenly got so fucking homesick. And my life and my golden boy were so quintessentially American and there was no going back to my own ceremonial and warped British past, except through a reminiscence brought on by bagpipes. And I felt sorry for myself.

Or maybe it was the pregnancy hormones and too much sun.