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September 5, 2018

America's Fartland

Because the baby daddy of my dreams lives across the country, we packed up my stuff and drove to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Our hotel from Groupon
To give you an idea of our drive, we started in Vancouver, Washington then stayed at these hotels along the way:

Leavenworth, Washington
It's a German town my mom and I intended to get a Groupon for. The goal was to stop and see Lake Chelan because while my mom was in hospice, she lamented about not traveling more. I asked her where she still wanted to go, and she said, "Lake Chelan." This seemed too reasonable since she had been to Russia, Italy, and the Holy Land. In any case, we didn't visit it because I needed to get poor pneumatic Jason to the next hotel.
View from the Econolodge

Livingston, MT 
We intended to see Yellowstone but spent the day at urgent care instead, which was conveniently located across from our hotel. The diagnosis was a bad case of pneumonia, but bless their hearts for testing him for everything else. Our bill was mostly a long list of tests for illnesses he didn't have.
Then drove past this for a few hours.
Then we drove past some of this too.
These photos were taken hours apart..

Billings, MT
This is where instead of seeing Custer's Last Stand site, Jason ate the credit-stealing watermelon.
They are collectively rolling their eyes at all the red MAGA hats. 
I wasn't the only cougar seen on this trip.
We stopped at a drive through wildlife place where Grizzly bears walked in front of us.
I give Jason credit for not pushing me out of the truck because it can't be easy driving across the country with pneumonia and a gassy pregnant woman. 
The haunted Bullock hotel, named after either nineteenth century lawman Seth Bullock
or gay comedian Jim J. Bullock. We may never know.
Deadwood, South Dakota
Jason began feeling better and even won money playing poker. We stayed in the Bullock Hotel because Jason likes haunted stuff. During the night, I freaked out and decorated the room with icons to protect me from all the syphilitic miner and prostitute ghosts. 
Our Budget rental truck carrying my precious possessions across the country,
like a box of multigrain Cheerios and spaghetti jars with labels scratched off. 
I didn't go in to order a sarsaparilla because a pregnant woman in a bar sucks the fun out of the room.

I ate the whole thing and some of Jason's. 
Jackson, Minnesota
The drive through Minnesota was beautiful. The state is very clean, and I bought homemade pickles at the gas station.
Minnesota after being thawed out.
Wisconsin has so many silos that I eventually ran out of penis jokes.
Libertyville, Illinois 
My mom's brother and sister-in-law live there. They were also her best friends who could make her laugh harder than anyone else in the world. I asked them to be Zach's godparents, and they happily agreed. At this point in the pregnancy, I was in the gassy phase. Despite my best efforts to hold it in, they had me laughing so hard at the dinner table that I broke wind loudly, amplified by the reverberation against the wooden chair. Both nights this happened. The day we left, I walked into the living room as the middle child was loudly passing gas for his brothers. He looked embarrassed and apologized, but I was so relieved not to be the only fart-knocker.
August 1st, 2017
before I learned that a keystone isn't an actual rock.

Pittsburgh, PA
Our apartment wasn't ready, so we had to stay in hotels that grew progressively sleazier as the apartment management kept screwing things up. (At one point Jason had to submit proof that he's not a felon because some background check told them otherwise. I guess be weary of any other Jason Klingensmiths you bump into in a dark alley.) One hotel was so horrible that we now look back on it fondly because of how much comic relief making fun of it provided. 
At the Hilltop Inn where a kindly hooker showed me how to use the vending machine. I'm wearing my "Watermelon Smuggler" shirt.


Arm Pittsburgh

Jason helped me move out to Pittsburgh last year in the middle of summer, when I was nearing my third trimester. He showed up with a bad case of pneumonia, which he blames on my getting him a plane ticket that rerouted him through Newark. Unbeknown to me, it's the armpit of America, and what I saved on the airfare, I ended up paying more than three times that when I forced Jason into urgent care. By that point, we and our Budget rental truck had made it to Livingston, Montana. Despite there being about twelve people in that city, our wait to see the doctor was suprisingly long.

Our next stop was Billings. I went to the store to get Jason soup and popsicles, and when I returned, he sent me back out for watermelon. To this day, he credits watermelon with saving his life while I credit Katt with saving his life. 

This was the first time I had driven across the country, and I'm still torn between thinking it was a great trip or the vacation from hell. For my pregnancy, I went off ADHD meds and down to a low dose of Wellbutrin. Both of them suppress the appetite to a degree, so when I went off of them, I ballooned up. Outside the window of our drive was the beautiful heartland, and inside, I was physically uncomfortable and having a hard time sitting still. Jason was at death's door, so he wasn't chatty. This was the second week we had spent together in person (the first week being February's baby making wild booty adventure).
Papa Jason & Baby Zach

Zach Funny

Zachary Adams Klingensmith home from the hospital last October.
That's a phone charger because I didn't t understand the basic of babyproofing,
yet they let me bring him home. 
My baby is awesome. So are his dad, my stepkids and in-laws. This new life is void of toxic assholery.

As grateful as I am, this came at a cost.  Before Jason (my betrothed) came along in late 2016, my mom died of ovarian cancer. She was essentially my partner in that we did all the things together that one generally wants a partner for. Movies, traveling, dining out, and so on. She also loved me very much and was the muse for most of my comedic writing.

After she passed, I felt very detached from life.  I had no parents, no spouse, no kids, no pets, and no house ferns. Without being tied to anyone, I felt like I was going to float away. At the time I was seeing a guy who seemed nice and supportive, but ended up being such a psychopath, I told him not to contact me again until he made an appointment with a therapist. When he replied, it felt like such relief to follow through with my boundary and block and erase him from my life.

That ordeal lead me to message my friend Jason on Twitter. He played my hashtag games and saw a tweet that mentioned that I'm an Orthodox Christian. He messaged me telling me that he is too, and then from time to time we would check in and chat. On Thanksgiving, we started messaging daily, which lead to FaceTime, which lead to us deciding to marry and start a family. We took the no bullshit path to courtship because, as my mom would say, I'm no spring chicken.

Since he lives in Pittsburgh, we arranged for him to fly out to Portland on February 11th, which according to my ultrasound was probably the day I got pregnant. All of this happened so fast, I'm aware. Yet our home is filled with love and laughter, albeit way too often at my expense. Jason is the funny one at home, and I can't help but wonder if this is my comeuppance for making fun on my mom on my blog for years.

Seeing the pregnancy test turn pink was the happiest moment in my life. Now I suddenly had a family again and people to take care of and love. Ideally, we would have gotten hitched first, but time isn't on my side for having healthy babies. Since it's probably the only wedding either of us will have, we want to save up and do it right, not rush it.
Besides, it's not like Jason is going anywhere. I've ruined him for all other women with my own awesomeness.