I’m glad to be done with long road trips for the remainder of this pregnancy, because not only is it generally uncomfortable to sit in one place for hours on end while a squirming badger attempts to karate-kick every single internal organ in my body, but the Jimmy Leg has officially set in, and the only thing more annoying than craning around backwards to find whatever object that has been purposefully thrown—then immediately, loudly regretted—from a cranky toddler’s carseat is having the Jimmy Leg and being unable to walk it off.

For those unfamiliar with the Jimmy Leg, you’ve probably seen the commercial for a medication purporting to treat oddball symptoms in the legs, like “strange sensations”, “creepy-crawlies”, and “tingling”. This is the same commercial my coworker joked about a while back when we were talking about those pharmaceutical ads where they never mention what actual disease the medication will treat, they just show an uplifting montage of random happy lifestyle moments then rattle off a list of potential side effects, the upshot being that you watch the ad and vaguely feel that hey, you might benefit from the drug, even if it’s for erectile dysfunction and you’re a 12-year-old girl. “Now they’ve even got a pill for something called restless legs syndrome,” he said, rolling his eyes and making those exaggerated air quotes.

I’ll admit that it does sound sort of ridiculous, but if you’ve experienced Restless Legs Syndrome, AKA RLS, AKA the Jimmy Leg, you know that shit is not only real, it sucks. It doesn’t suck in a major, life-threatening sort of way, like getting your leg caught in a bear trap or having it slowly gnawed to the bone by hungry, but myopic beavers. It sucks more in a really annoying sort of way, like having an tiny invisible non-stinging insect rammed up your nose. Where every now and then it buzzes its wings in an attempt to get free, and you have to sit there digging around in your nostril to alleviate the feeling. And everyone looks at you going, why the crap are you picking your nose like that? There’s nothing up there.

Wait, that’s a really bad analogy. It’s more like the sensation that if you don’t move your legs, like jiggle your foot wiggle your toes shake your leg up and down whatever, you will EXPLODE. In a giant bloody meat-spraying geyser of shiny gloppy innards. You can try and not move your legs, but then you will feel this growing freakout happening all over your body, this EXPLOSION IMMINENT feeling, and if you actually force yourself to keep your legs still some other body part will wig out, like your arm will fling up in the air and smack your own face, or accidentally hit “1-click” on a pair of Spanx maternity pantyhose (there can be no other explanation for that purchase).

Anyway, it tends to happen when I’m sitting or lying down, and being stuck in a car for seven hours definitely makes it worse. JB probably has two foot-shaped dents in his dashboard from my increasingly Cirque du Soleil contortions and toe-tappings, but fuck it, it was either that or get out in Central Oregon and jog alongside the truck all the way home.

Other than the travel-related discomfort, it was a really good trip. Riley was in fine spirits the entire time (which of course made it inevitable that once we returned home he would immediately develop a hacking cough, runny nose, and plant himself firmly in the Tantrum Zone for the remainder of the weekend), the weather in Bend was lovely, and our holiday was satisfyingly festive. I hope you had a good one too, hopefully Jimmy-Leg-free.

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A view from one of Bend’s neighborhoods. I would really love to move to this town someday.

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Mt. Jefferson, viewed from the road about an hour outside of Bend.

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A cold, frosty morning in Central Oregon.

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Speaking of cold and frosty, check out Mr. L.L. Bean here, bundled against the chilly weather. The hands in the pockets, could you just die.

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I was really hoping for a semi-decent photo of the three (four!) of us to use in our holiday card, this was the best of the bunch. At least no one is crying or surreptitiously giving the camera-wielder the finger.

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Lastly, some crazy shoe tree we spotted on the way home. There’s something sort of magical and awesome about a tree full of shoes that’s literally out in the middle of bumfucknowhere, you know? I guess a tree full of Nestle Crunch bars might be better, but this was pretty cool.

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mandy
14 years ago

You look absolutely gorgeous! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to see number 4!

I think I want to move to Bend too, so beautiful. You are an amazing photographer!

mandy
14 years ago

You look absolutely gorgeous! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to see number 4!

I think I want to move to Bend too, so beautiful. You are an amazing photographer!

hello insomnia
14 years ago

Shoe tree > shoes on power lines.

paige
paige
14 years ago

We have a shoe tree down here in Northwest Arkansas, right outside the little tourist-y town of Eureka Springs. I’m always curious how it got started. Someone just randomly chucked some shoes in it, the next person to come along thought, “Heck, why not…”? Baffling.

You look so happy and glowy in the family photo. :)

Angella
14 years ago

Those are some sweet photos!

And the one of Riley with his hands in his pockets?

I really could die.

leenie
14 years ago

riley looks like such a little man. this is my heart exploding from the cute.

i’m a perinatal trainer, and clients swear by seriously upping magnesium to help with the RLS. can be miserable though…yugh. best of luck.

Mary O
Mary O
14 years ago

Oh my god, the Jimmy Leg is real and it’s horrible! The only thing that got me through my latest c-section was knowing that as soon as that baby was out of there, the Jimmy Leg would STOP!
I, too, bought those Spanx maternity pantyhose when I was pregnant. I’m blaming it on the Jimmy Leg.

Trina
Trina
14 years ago

I *heart* Bend, OR.

I want to live there some day also.

willikat
14 years ago

dying over riley’s photo, holy crap. also: cute dress!

jonniker
14 years ago

Ha HA! The hands in his pockets! I can’t stand it!

Also, your hair is looking especially spectacular in that family photo.

angelo's mom
angelo's mom
14 years ago

I have never encountered such an apt description of the Jimmy Leg… my mom used to complain about it all the time and I thought she was being really dramatic until I experienced it myself during pregnancy. And to those who don’t know — it really is THAT BAD.

Your pics are beautiful, and I think Riley has a future in catalog modeling… of which I’m sure he would be very suspicious ;-)

stephanie brown
stephanie brown
14 years ago

The Bend area is such a beautiful location, keep the photos coming!
I’m glad you had a good holiday. Mine was nice and relaxing and full of nice memory making with my family.

Janssen
14 years ago

Those hands in the pocket – I could possibly die. Too adorable.

Jo
Jo
14 years ago

Awesome photos as always. Dying here too over the cuteness of Riley with his hands in his pockets, hehe.

Glad you had a neat holiday :)

kalisah
14 years ago

you post the most amazing photos.

fairydogmother
14 years ago

We refer to RLS as The Jimmy Legs of Dread in this household.

Mr. LL Bean sure can strike a pose! Too adorable!

AndreAnna
14 years ago

“I’m too sexy for my pockets, too sexy for my pockets…”

And I know what you mean about the Jimmy Legs – I get it all over – even in my arms. And I make my husband nuts because I will harass him to “squeeze me” because it makes it feel better. Doesn’t make him feel better when he realizes I don’t mean my boobs or ass.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often so it’s tolerable.

I hope it gets better for you soon!

Jeanette
14 years ago

That photo of Riley?….priceless!!

justmouse
14 years ago

several things…when i used to work for a sleep clinic, i think one of the biggest culprits for ppl not sleeping was RSL. never had it myself, but i’ve read enough to know it’s a BITCH! also, the pic of the boy with his hands all in his pockets and e’ything? yes. i could DIE!! that totally should be in a catalog somewhere. and you, are gorgeous. just had to say it.

lastly, and i don’t want this to sound all creepy stalkerish or anything…but if i ever find myself in your neck of the woods…can i take you out for coffee? seriously, you are about THE coolest person i’ve ever seen.

hope you had a good thanksgiving.

sara
sara
14 years ago

dude. okay, so baby #1 – no RLS. not a titch even. baby #2 comes along (yeah, 1 1/2 apart – yoinks) and holy reckless legs. the scary thing? it never went away. and now, not only do i have the reckless leg – i have the freaking reckless LIMBS (yeah, i am saying reckless cause holy fuuuuck). I have read that you can even get it in your freaking face.

meh. i say this all to say that i feel for ya, sister. i really do. and i’m glad you have a safe trip!

H
H
14 years ago

Whoa – the pic of Riley is so much more than just the hands in the pockets. He’s got the whole look down. He could win an America’s Next Top Toddler Model contest!

Also, we tried Josh’s mom’s creamy cherry salad with and without coconut (the husband gags at the sight of coconut.) It scored a 12 out of 10 with each family member and now it is on our menu for this week too.

Barb
Barb
14 years ago

I hate to tell you this, but I had the “crazy legs” start during my 1st pregnancy – 31 years ago – and it’s never ever gone away. Yes, 31 years of that crap! Just last night at the movies it was driving me so crazy I was moving every 5 minutes and bopping my leg up and down and the damn crawlies still wouldn’t go away. Some nights I even have to get up to walk around a bit just to try to get rid of it. It ain’t fun, I agree!

Here’s hoping your RLS leaves when the new babe arrives!

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Wow, no shit huh? Restless leg syndrome is real? I always figured it was total bull shit. But there’s a whole lot of weird crap, especially with pregnancy, that I just haven’t had the pleasure of encountering yet. Like, my friend told me when he had his first kid, due to a long and bizarre series of events, he drank all of his babies milk. Only one time, this wasn’t a regular occurance. And it was real breast milk, not the easy mac kind. And apparently if grown people ingest baby milk, it makes you poo like a baby. I always suspected that was a croc of BS, but maybe when you get far enough along, you could convince JB to down a fresh batch of mommy juice for the good of science. Just a thought.

Yams
Yams
14 years ago

Your holiday pictures are always spectacular!

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

Gosh, after those pictures I want to move to Bend one day. Gorgeous.

anna
anna
14 years ago

i had the leg thing while preggers too. It was some nerve thing apparently from the pressure of the baby, runs right down the leg – sciatic(?)I think….

cardiogirl
14 years ago

I love the look on your son’s face.

It’s like he is surveying the big-ass moose he will surely take down with his own two hands. He’s just figuring out the logistics of it, whilst keeping his fingers warm.

And his raised eyebrows just add to the optimism he seems to feel about the impending take down.

Katie
14 years ago

I really think the American Medical Association could use your description of RLS to explain it to people! That was a perfect description!

I want to move to Bend now, too. It looks so beautiful. I miss the West. Riley looks like he fits in with all the wilderness out there!

We also had Tantrum Crisis Central after returning from a visit with grandparents. I hate coming down off of that. It almost makes me never want to leave the house again.

Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was okay.

I give you a lot of credit for traveling while pregnant, I never did.

Swistle
14 years ago

I have looked at EVERY PAGE of the L.L. Bean catalog and can’t find that child you purchased. Must order one, pls assist, kthanx.

Laura
14 years ago

I had RLS SO BAD with my first pregnancy, not yet with this one. Anyway, someone told me that limiting carbs in the evening (when RLS usually shows up) will reduce the attacks. I completely ignored the advice, because CARBS DELICIOUS CARBS. But the few times I was able to back away from the cookies it really did help.
I always claimed it was a coincidence, but…it probably wasn’t.

Christina
14 years ago

Beautiful photos… I think one day I too would love to live in the Pac NW – every time I see your photos and visit my family I fall in love a little bit more!

I love the photo of Riley with his hands in his pockets – isn’t that cutest dang thing EVER!?

Sorry to hear about the RLS thing – I just had those horrible evil painful I am SO not looking forward to being pregnant leg craps in the middle of the night. Also the nightmares – GOOD LORD, freaked me the heck right out last night! I was twitching painfully around the neck area because in my dream I was hacked up?! Lovely…

Operation Pink Herring
14 years ago

I used to work at a sleep lab focusing on RLS. It’s real, and it’s a bitch. If people were going to make up a fake ailment, they would come up with a better story than having the uncontrollable urge to move their legs!

Tara
Tara
14 years ago

Your pics are awesome! And HELL YES, the Jimmy Leg is real and it sucks out loud. My husband thought I was crazy during the last, uh, half of my pregnancy. And maybe I was, but I didn’t imagine the Jimmy Leg.

Alice
Alice
14 years ago

that is SUCH an apt description of rls! i’ve had it for years, with no pregnancy to blame. i was so happy when i started seeing those commercials a few years back, because i assumed i was just crazy and/or jittery until then.

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

Cool tree.

Kayte
14 years ago

Your photos, as always, are gorgeous…from the flatlands of Indiana, we salute you…and drool over the mountains, etc. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through them!

Great family photo…and the one of Riley…you may have to send two photos on your card this year! Too cute!

Sunshyn
14 years ago

Shoes on power line — that’s supposed to indicate the presence of a drug dealer’s house. Or so goes the urban legend. But out in the middle of nowhere? Dunno… You get restless legs when withdrawing from opiate-type drugs, though. Not that I would know, um, you know…

Jenny J.
14 years ago

at work/can’t read all comments/rudely butting in/sorry if repeating…

But DUDE. Please tell me wko is mocking restless leg syndrome so that I may smack them silly. No, *I* don’t have it, but my dear husband does. If having it is half as annoying as trying to sleep next to it, you truely have my sympathies.

Sundry
14 years ago

Jenny: ha! I’m sure JB would say the same thing. Between my jiggly legs, the laborious flip from one side to another, and getting up to pee 57362959567281959 times per night, I’m surprised he hasn’t moved to the living room couch to get the hell away from me.

Dawn
Dawn
14 years ago

Hi, usually I lurk but I had to say that is the best description of the Jimmy Leg I’ve ever read!

I was in a bad car accident earlier this year and it screwed up the nerves in my legs and arms. Now I have RLS. It’s so fun trying to ignore that urge to MOVE.LEG.NOW. when I have clients in my office.

I hope your Jimmy Leg goes away soon. It really sucks.

At least you have that gorgeous boy to look at. The hands in the pockets. Totally dying from the cute over here.

Sundry
14 years ago

Also, for those of you with long-term Jimmy Leg, have you tried Requip? I just asked my mom about it because she has the Jimmy Leg something fierce (could it be hereditary? I never thought of that before) and she says it works very well for her. Downside is that it can cause grogginess/sleepiness, but that actually sounds good if your RLS gets worse at night.

jonniker
14 years ago

Adam uses Requip (because he’s a 90-year-old with assorted sundry medical issues) and loves it.

Also, FYI, most antihistamines (and Tylenol PM) cause Jimmy Leg wicked bad. The only time I’ve ever had RLS is when I’ve taken Benadryl. So if you’re predisposed to it, oh my God, please please stop with the Benadryl.

Bej
Bej
14 years ago

OMG, is this the drug that claims that increase in gambling is a side effect? We were cracking up over that one. Now your legs can be still as you bet the deed on the house at the casino!

Sundry
14 years ago

Jonniker: I’ve heard that about antihistamines. Then again, I’ve heard that antihistamines are often *prescribed* for RLS. MADNESS.

GJR
GJR
14 years ago

when you’re on long trips with the kid, do you ever sit in the back seat so that you can entertain Riley more easily?

Sundry
14 years ago

You mean so I can be even more uncomfortable AND get carsick? No. : )

angela
angela
14 years ago

reading about your life makes me ridiculously happy. this was just one of those entries! As always, thank you for sharing.

jules
14 years ago

Oh the dreaded RLS – it was bad when i was pregnant but i’ve had it since i was 15 (i used to say my legs were “on acid”, before i knew it had a name lol) i have been taking vitamin E for it for 2 months but it doesn’t seem to help. my husband has slept on the couch only once so far but he complains about my high kicks in bed almost every night. he wants me to try meds but i am afraid of side effects. not sure what makes it worse some nights but carbs/antihistamines/magnesium are worth thinking about!

chan
chan
14 years ago

one of my friends had the rls pretty bad during her pregnancy and she swore by tonic water. her doctor recommended it because of the quinine as a non-pharmaceutical option. maybe that would help?