Monday, December 10, 2007

Little helper?

Gabe, in an effort to help me with SC, came up with this gem last night:

Gabe: I can feed the baby the bottle?
Me: (not looking) No, honey, mommy is feeding the baby.
Gabe: (insisting) Give the baby bottle?

And I finally look up to see Gabe pulling down the neck of his shirt to expose his nipple. A little off on the concept, but a nice offer I guess.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Laugh-tation

Overheard one morning

Gabe: Mommy, what’s that? (pointing to my bra as I’m getting dressed)
Me: This? (pointing to same as I continue dressing)
Gabe: (excitedly jumping) Oh! That holds the baby water!


Dinner on the “hoof”

Gabe: Whatcha doin’?
Me: Feeding the baby.
Gabe: (looking curiously) Baby eats the belly button?


And now we start saving for therapy...

Me: (pumping)
Gabe: Mommy? Whatcha doin’?
Me: Making milk for the baby.
Gabe: Ok.

(a few minutes later...)

Gabe: Mommy? Whatcha doin’?
Me: Watching a video with you. What are *you* doing?
Gabe: Making a baby.

(BTW, now when Gabe sees the pump bottles...whether they are in use or just sitting there...he looks intently into the bottom and says, “Is it coming OUT? Is it coming OUT?” Yeah, I’d better book the shrink in advance.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Back to Work

I am officially back to work full time now, and so far things are going well. In reality, I started back to work last week (ergo the blog silence) and worked half of Monday and all day Tuesday. It helped to take a bit of the shock off of the return. Don’t get me wrong, I am not weeping or gnashing my teeth (I always love that biblical description) at my return to work. In fact, I welcome the structure to my day, the eating of lunch without children pulling at my clothes, and the accomplishing of work. It makes a girl feel all useful and stuff. But needing to get up in the morning, dress, and look human by 7:30 so that we can get everyone out the door is a bit taxing on a non-morning person. Mr. D does help with getting Gabe dressed, although I do need to lay out his clothes to prevent the kid either looking like a) a clown or b) a refugee with clothes that are too small (ok, my fault for not being faster at the season change but my gawd man can’t you see that his pants are just waaaaaay too short?).

SC is transitioning well to the daycare routine. Given that she loves to watch other people, especially when they are in motion, having a room full of one-year-olds must be utterly fascinating for her. The caregivers there are wonderful and I trust them to care for my kid (makes the return to work that much easier). My mom is getting a little frazzled with both kids in her house two days a week, but my dad is there too and gets Gabe out of her hair periodically. It will get easier as SC gets bigger and, oh, actually starts taking naps, but at least she’s a pleasant awake-all-the-time kid. My mom does question the exclusive breastfeeding, though, and thinks that I should just not bother and give the kid formula. “What does it matter,” she asks all the time. Well, it matters to me, and it feels awfully good that I have been able to provide for her this well. She has actually had formula twice (once because the daycare forgot that I brought frozen milk and had run out of fresh...it was an abnormally crazy day, and I don’t fault them...and once when I needed to leave SC with Mr. D and didn’t want to dig into my precious frozen stash at home...see, I dispense it too). She thought it was pretty yucky tasting, but drank it anyway.

Please note that I am not in any way dissing formula. Gabe was only getting half of his daily liquid from me for the first six months and then gave up the boob entirely. And I have already told everyone who might ever feed the kid that if they run out of milk- give the kid formula. The cost savings of the milk is nice, the cuddling is nice. The constant need to eat from ME and only from ME is not necessarily nice, especially when I have many things to accomplish in a short amount of time. So, it’s definitely a two-sided coin, and mine tends to flip many times a day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hallo-wasn't

I know that there are far greater offenses to make one qualify for world's worst mother, so hopefully ignoring the fact that it is Halloween, especially when it is your daughter's first Halloween, doesn't put me in the WWM hall of fame. I think the combination of sleep deprivation and Gabe's lingering respiratory infection just made it that much less attractive to go parading around for candy that we really don't need. I debated dressing the kids to visit a couple of select neighbors simply for the sake of visiting, but then when SC fell asleep, the deal was sealed and we stayed in. We'll get excited next year...maybe.

Twelve days until I head back to work. Part of me is excited by the prospect of a chance to eat lunch with both hands while both breasts are fully contained. (I think SC smells my food and wants her own...Every. Single. Time.) And part of me will miss cuddling with SC for no good reason at any time of day. But given that I have a HUGE grant application due mid-December, I don't have a lot of choice in the matter. As it is, I will have to go into a**-busting mode to get the darn thing done on time.

Ah, the fun never ends. Maybe I should have had the kids score me some candy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

File Under: Natural Selection

For those who did not catch the news today, it seems that there is now a recall on Bumbo seats. The recall stems from the fact that if you leave a child unattended in the seat, they can fall out of the seat if they arch their back or move vigorously. And if you leave the child in the seat on an elevated surface (like a table) and the child manages to wriggle out of the seat...get this...they might fall off the table. I know, I'm totally shocked by the reality of the force of gravity. Aren't you? I mean, it's not like they tell you any of this on the seat. Oh wait. They do.

I feel bad that kids have been hurt, because they are kids and should be protected. By their parents. All children's seats should be used under supervision. Period. Have I placed my child in a Bumbo on an elevated surface? Yep- and I never left his side. Have I left my child unattended ever? Yes- when I was sure that he/she was safe. Sometimes a gal has to pee, ok?

The thing that irks me about all of this is the parents that are suing Bumbo for their child's injury. To me, it is the equivalent of the lady that sued because she spilled coffee in her lap and it was hot. I know, coffee that was hot. There's a whole other world of wonder, huh? Look, I'm sure those parents feel horrible that their kids got hurt. But they got hurt because they parent made a mistake, not because Bumbo was negligent. When the hell are people going to take responsibility for their own actions? Did CYS investigate the negligence, or did everyone just see dollar signs and call the lawyers? I'd be curious.

Ok, rant complete.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One Month

My little one turned one month on Saturday. Amazing. She is already holding her head up well and "talks" to anything that will listen- mommy, pillows, toys. She also manages to track things with her eyes pretty well. I think we have an evil genius on our hands. Just like mommy...hee, hee. Oh, and to help her along, she heard her first Nobel laureate speak on Friday. True, she slept through the talk, but I'm sure that all the nerdy goodness was seeping into her brain.

Still trying to get back into a life rhythm, but we're getting there slowly. I figure if I can get a shower and do a load of laundry, it's a good day. And I finally ordered the birth announcements yesterday using the pic above. I tried to get one with both kids, but it was not happening, so I just went with capturing one of them in a good mood.

I have sleeping baby again and have not yet accomplished a shower (laundry done- yay), so I should run. Toodles!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Little Behind

I'm getting behind in a lot of things these days, including blogging. I'll catch up eventually, but the combination of nursing all the time and the guilt of copious layers of dirt accumulating in my house tends to keep me away from the computer. Oh, and the dialup. That tends to put a downer on the whole internet experience. Since we both have direct access at work and need little from home, we never bothered with a faster connection. But I'm not going to work for a while...(whine).

Anyway, nothing too earth shattering has been going on around here to report. I broke out of the house for a walk around the neighborhood yesterday. It's not that I couldn't have done it sooner, but the good and bad about where we live is the hills. Good because it makes the landscape beautiful and interesting. Bad because when you are healing from abdominal surgery, you tend to not want to climb steep hills (and you have to climb them in at least one direction unless you are ninety years old and then you climb them in both directions in the snow). So, I had been waiting to test myself. We did a one-mile loop and it was just the right distance and steepness that it was enjoyable but not ass-kicking. Oh, and the other problem is the lack of sidewalks in the suburbs, but that's a whole different matter. But I want to keep moving because I seem to have stopped losing weight and I fear that the sproing! of the weight-loss yo-yo will be kicking in soon. I dipped down to 33 pounds lost and then back slightly to 32 lost. Then I stopped. I've been at that point for a week now, and if I stay there for a few months, that's perfectly peachy with me. My body seems to do well with weight loss when starting from solid plateaus, so I'd like this one to establish itself.

And not to reduce the gravity of the topic by placing it after a report on the size of my butt, but is anyone else just horrified by the amount of lead that is being discovered in our kids' toys? And, of course, a lot of my kids' toys are my old toys, which are not part of the testing process. Who is going to realistically test 30+ year old toys? Right. But how far back are they testing? For instance, there is now a recall on the Baby Einstein blocks, specifically the blue block, for ones sold in the last few months. But what about ones sold 2.5 years ago (like the ones in my house)? I need to call. Or do I just toss the blue block as a precaution? Augh!

Must go nurse...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Two Weeks

I am amazed to report that SC is two weeks old. Amazed that we were blessed with an oops pregnancy that actually went to term and also amazed that it has only been two weeks. I think part of the latter is the fact that she is so much bigger than Gabe was at this age. In fact, by the time he got to this size, he was at least two months old- possibly closer to three (based on clothing comparisons). SC is long enough that she is no longer secure within the Boppy on my lap. Luckily, she is taking great naps during the day and it may eventually translate into night (she likes to be held at night). I tried the whole nursing in bed routine the other day and she was not impressed. We'll revisit that one because without horizontal nursing, the next few months or longer will not be fun. At all. The recliner is already getting old, but is still tolerable.

SC has such a personality already. She gets an absolute look of amazement when she hears the snap on my nursing bra. Her legs start to kick and she zones in for the kill. Then, she will get a devilish little grin when she is done actually nursing but still wants to play around with the boob. If you are non-lactating individual, she will give you a glance but really doesn't want much to do with you. Not yet.

And the poop! Oh my goodness, this kid likes to void. Gabe was, at times, a once a week pooper. SC is more like once an hour. Sheesh! I keep worrying that she is going too much, but she seems to be gaining weight, is content, and looks nice and healthy and rosy. Our pediatrician decided that since she had regained four ounces in two days since her hospital release and we were veteran parents that we could skip the two-week checkup. Of course, the worry mom in me (overflow from the worried pregnant lady) wonders if I should call them to schedule a weight check anyway. See? Can't turn off the worrying no matter what. Bah.

Well, I should head off. I have some brown spotty bananas with my name on them. Bread forthcoming! And I should probably eat again. There's another reason I figure she's ok- the scale on me is now down 33 pounds. And the milk just keeps on flowing (I've started my daycare stash...might as well get a jump as I don't pump well). Moo.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back to Baseline?

I was looking through some of the baby pictures the other day and spied this one in the bunch. Mr. D took this right before I got in the car to deliver Gabe to daycare on the 13th before heading over to the hospital for my c-section. (I just loved being able to do that- be a part of Gabe's routine for that day and then see him that night with the new baby. Precious.) Anyway, I saw the picture and immediately burst out with "Oh my gawd- I was HUGE." I don't have immediate access to the picture taken right before I delivered Gabe (it's around here somewhere in the archives...) but trust me when I say that I was not nearly so, well, horizontal. It just surprised me to see my profile.

I am slowly, but surely, reclaiming my body. After Gabe was born, I was so swollen from pitocin that I was actually bigger coming home from the hospital then when I left. I proceeded to lose about 10 pounds and then kinda stopped losing weight. When Gabe turned six months old and decided that he was quite done with nursing thankyouverymuch, I joined Wei*ght Wat*chers and spent the next year losing about 55 pounds. Not too shabby. A couple of months later, I was pregnant, so my body didn't really have a long time to get used to the new weight. Not that I minded in the least.

By the end of this pregnancy, I had gained 44 pounds (belly and feet...and I think 20 pounds was feet). They say that your body will spring back to baseline after you deliver. But what is baseline for me? Pre-WW weight? Pre-pregnancy weight? Something in between? I'm curious. I am waiting a while to be sure that my milk comes in good and strong, and then I plan to start counting "nursing mom" points to get the ball rolling. But imagine my surprise when I got on the scale yesterday out of curiosity to find that I have already dropped 26 pounds! I guess SC really is eating well, because I am certainly not dieting. I'll just keep watching and see where it goes...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Blog Tour: Interred With Their Bones

One of my favorite types of book is the suspense thriller. I’m not so picky about the exact underlying premise, but I love when an author weaves a tantalizing tale that keeps me guessing till the end. That’s why when MotherTalk asked for bloggers to review a new suspense thriller, I jumped at the chance.

Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell is, in a word, exciting. To add a few more words, it is also exhilarating, edge-of-your-seat, smart, mysterious, suspenseful, and compelling. For those who enjoy a great puzzle with a great deal of twists and turns, this book is a must read.

The underlying premise of the story is that a Shakespearian scholar, turned director at the famed Globe Theater, has a brief meeting with a former colleague and ends up on a whirlwind adventure. Using her vast knowledge of Shakespeare and the help of a network of friends and colleagues, the underlying mystery unfolds like the petals of a rose. There is also an element of danger throughout the book that keeps our protagonist running and the reader turning page after page. Each night, I fell asleep with the book on my chest, having succumbed to physical exhaustion long before I wanted to turn out the light.

Given my limited free time between working full time, mothering, and having something that resembles a life, I tend to become frustrated with books that are too “light and fluffy.” Maybe I’m just a book snob. Whatever you want to call it, I was definitely impressed with Carrell’s book and would recommend it to anyone that likes an intellectual suspense thriller. Just be prepared for a wild ride!

In the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for agreeing to write this review, I was provided with a copy of the book and a gift certificate.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She's here!!!!

Sorry for the blog silence, but as you can see- LittleGirl has arrived! She was born at her scheduled c-section on September 13, weighing in at 8lb6oz and measuring 22" long. I now understand why she was so darn crowded in there. Oh, and her name is Sie*na Carmi*na (ignore the *s- her name is just waaaaay too Googleable for my comfort- from here on out she'll be SC).

The c-section was great- no complaints. Of course, not much compares to 4th degree lacerations, so I think my agony from last time might sway my opinion a bit. SC is latching on like a champ, my milk is coming in well, and because I am in so much less pain than last time, I'm taking less pain meds, so I get to skip the postpartum constapation (I know, TMI).

She has already had her first bath at home and seemed less than traumatized. (Those are the curtains I made for the nursery- bold, eh? The tops have lime green ribbon ties.) In fact, the only time she really lets out a good yell is when I change her diaper or when she decides that she wants more boob...NOW. Gabe just adores being a big brother and keeps wanting to hug her. We're going to take a picture of them together this weekend and use it for a birth announcement- I'll post when it's done.
Everyone keeps asking whether I think she'll have red hair eventually. Seeing what my genes are up against (aka dark haired Italian husband) I would say no. But who on earth cares when you have such a cute little muffin to love?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mini Me

Nope, not yet. I was just swamped at work on Friday and over the weekend decided to skip jumping on the internet because I was already cranky (we have dialup...slow, slow, slow dialup). But, I have definitely decided that LittleGirl is a mini me. I am one of those people who will hit snooze as many times as humanly possible and then skid into work right on time (or perhaps a few minutes late). Eating breakfast at home has never been a habit of mine. Breakfast? I do eat it, but I do so at the comfort of my desk. One of my file drawers is fill of cereal boxes, oatmeal, and I work in a building connected to the hospital where they make a lovely ham and cheese omlette. And coffee flows freely and then some in our office. I'm all set.

Yes, LittleGirl has been hitting the snooze alarm as far as I am concerned. Gabe was born at 38w1d, so I have officially become the person that I never met. I kept saying, "I've never met anyone whose second kid showed up more than a day or two later than the first, and even that's rare." And my statement was true. But now I have become that person. The one whose second pregnancy drags on and on. The sanity saving feature is that if she doesn't appear by Thursday...she'll be here on Thursday. The only bad thing about going that long is that people who have had scheduled c-sections at my hospital who are not actively laboring go to the bottom of the heap. One gal waited six hours for hers to start simply because a lot of other "active" cases came in. I certainly don't deny that the active cases take priority, I'm just not looking forward to potentially sitting around, sans food, for six hours. Maybe I can again be the exception and mine will happen right away. Not for an emergent reason, just because no one else needs the room ahead of me. Yes, that is what I will focus on...

I was up for two hours last night with painful BH contractions. Annoying little buggers. I had them all morning on Friday, too. At work. While trying to finish up the last two stragglers on my desk. They make you so darn, well, hopeful. Anyway, I used the time I was awake last night to finish Harry Potter. I know, I'm the last person on the planet to read book seven. And I read none of the spoilers because I like the suspense. And I refuse to post any spoilers, so I will leave it at this. Kudos to JKR for doing a fine job of ending the series. I had nearly forgotten how many loose ends floated around at the end of the earlier books, but she didn't. There they were, all tied up into little bows. Nice.

Well, I am going to finish a few things around the house and then go spend the day at my parents house with Gabe. He slept there last night (no real reason, but it did make reading at 3am a lot easier) and I would rather not be alone if anything transpires around here today.

If it does, I'll make sure you know. Oh, and make sure to stop by and congratulate Olivia Drab (not linking- dialup, remember?) and give a "baby come out" yell to Wavybrains and Indigo Girl who are both just waiting around, too.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just me- still here

I had my checkup this morning. I'm still only 1cm dilated, so no changes on that front at all. My protein was back down to trace levels and my blood pressure never once went up in the last week. So, all is good. The doctor asked how I was feeling and I said fine, except that I feel like I'm carrying around a swimming pool. I actually gained six pounds in the last week (no one got concerned...whatever) and I can tell that it is all water weight (ok, maybe a wee bit from food because I can finally eat without having to stop after two bites...LittleGirl has definitely dropped). My clothes are so tight that as soon as I walk in the door after work I start peeling them off to change into my nightgown. If I had a mu-mu, I'd wear it. And I am not buying any new clothes to get me through, at most, another week. I have one more day of work, and I know I can find something to wear for one more day that looks presentable. After that, I'm going to live in my nightgown. Maybe I'll wear a toga on the way to the hospital.

It feels weird to know that in a week or less I will meet LittleGirl. Wow. I guess we should pick a name, huh?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And the Beat Goes On...

Yes, I am still here. 38w2d. Based on my last pregnancy, I'm running late. You can tell I have a toddler in the house because every time I think of that, my mind shifts to Ducky from The Land Before Time talking to Spike in egg-ero saying, "Get UP! You are LATE! Yep, yep, yep..." It's sad what these kids videos will do to the brain. The adult brain.

If you noticed the comments from last time, anonymous (also known as IRL friend S) had to remind us that his oldest is off to college (go R!). He called our house and left a message to the same effect. It's funny, but I never thought of S as older than me. But now that he wants to keep reminding us that his daughter is starting college at the same time that ours is being born? Well, he now qualifies as OLD. Like dirt. Ha! (Ok, just kidding- we're old like dirt, too, and trying to diaper little kids at the same time. NOW who's the silly one?)

The nursery is done (the camera is in the hospital bag and I keep forgetting to fetch it for pics, sorry). The main projects at work are done (but I seem to get new ones handed to me every time I show up. Hello? People? I'm leaving soon, ok?). And my back is starting to show it's age with the off-centered-ness of my body (I'm actually surprised it took this long considering that a mild breeze from the wrong direction can throw my back for a loop). If I make it to the end of this week, I will officially be on maternity leave.

It's weird, but I keep worrying as if LittleGirl is staying around past my due date. And she's not. But she has managed to hang on longer than Gabe did. Given Gabe's engineer mentality (he tries to take every toy apart and see how it works), I'm wondering if he wasn't just messing around with the water sack and managed to break the thing in the process. It would make sense because I never started to contract on my own. Maybe he really wasn't ready, but curiosity got the better of his in utero environment. It's possible, I guess. Or maybe I'm just making up stories to get through the next few days with some sanity intact.

Only 8 more days until my scheduled c-section.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Holiday weekend

Here at work again, still pregnant. I'm trying to drop hints to LittleGirl that this is Labor Day weekend. Get it, sweetie? Labor. Day. Ok glad we talked about that again.

This will be a quick post because I'm trying to realign my ducks before leaving today in case someone (ahem- you, LittleGirl) decides to make a grand appearance before Tuesday. I already know that someone else will be using my desk while I'm on leave (we're short on space, don't ask), and I have cleaned up accordingly. I have one last project that must be finished before the end of the day and then the rest is icing. Mmmmm, icing.

My BP was just fine last night and this morning. I'll keep tracking...

And if I make it that long, a week from today will be my last day at work. Weird. Having a scheduled c-section removes a bit of the uncertainty of pregnancy. I mean, I still don't think I'll make it to the 13th. But if I do make it that long, that's it. Unlike a due date, which is merely a suggestion. So, in no more than 13 days, I will meet LittleGirl. I'm excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time.

This roller coaster is finally heading down the big exciting hill. Whee!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maybe it was the steak with a side of cow

I went for my checkup this morning and nothing much has changed in the cervical arena. For the first time in months, my fundal height is on target (38w), which essentially means a whole lot of nothing in my book (I don't exactly trust the tape measure thingy to be terribly accurate). The only thing that has changed is that I now have protein in my urine (dum dum DAAAAAH). It's only a +1 (on a scale of zero to +4 for those not in the know), which isn't a terrible amount, but it's also more than none. Add to that the fact that I have been having really awful abdominal pain on the right side in the evenings since Monday. Not during the day, just in the evening. Oh, and for those playing doctor at home, my blood pressure is completely normal (118/82 today...which is the highest it's been for this pregnancy but still is not high.

The doc (I have not conjured a pseudonym, sorry) sent me for bloodwork and a second urine test. He actually just called (I was about to write "post update later") and said that the definitive tests for pre-eclampsia were negative, but some of the peripheral tests were elevated. So, he wants me to take my BP twice a day and if it gets to the high 120's/80's to give them a call (the man was obviously listening when I told him that my normal baseline BP is 100/60). I am also to let him know if the right side pain presents in a higher location as that could be liver pain (but my liver screen was normal). So, I don't have pre-e, but I seem to be just starting to show some possible signs that I might possibly (but not definitely) have pre-pre-e. Nice and vague- love it.

Obviously the kid was not listening when I mentioned that I've had quite enough drama in the outside world over the last few weeks. Drama with the baby is not cool.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And again

I thought that last night might have been the main event. My stomach has become so large that I managed to get a stitch in my side simply by walking to the car. Yeah, I know, so strenuous. Anyway, the pain would not go away and it started escalating into cramps. Then, I decided to try lying down. Sweet relief. Nothing more came of it and by this morning things feel fine.

Remember many moons back when I asked you to send good thoughts to my friend J who was going through IVF after a long struggle? Well, good news- she gave birth to a little girl last night (mere hours before her due date). Congrats J and J and baby S!!! I will be birthing at the same hospital and we had joked about getting adjoining rooms. I guess if I "pop" in the next two days there's still a chance.

My friend sent me a link to this article in the Onion. I thought it was quite amusing, but you might not think so if you're still dealing with the infertility roller coaster. But remember, kids, it's the Onion.

Time for lunch!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Project LittleGirl Continues

Still here, still pregnant. For some reason I had it in my head that today might be the day, but I also had bookmarked today as the 37-week mark, thus removing any preemie labels from the kid after birth. Of course, it is only mid-day, so perhaps today can still be the day. Given that most labor starts overnight, though, I doubt it.

There was a minor wager ($1) between two office members today as to whether I would be in to work this week. I'm here, so the one that started it had to pay up. I told the recipient that she should up the ante, but also warned her not to get greedy because at some point I will actually have to be out of the office to have the baby. Not sure when. Every night as I am trying to relax I figure "this is it" as the kids pushes with all of her might against my cervix.

Along those lines, I had my last checkup on Friday but held off on posting due to the book review (not so fond of the book, but let me tell you about my cervix!). My stats were as follows (on Friday):

36w4d, 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, station -1, fundus @ 38w

So, progress, but not what I was expecting given the level of "get me outta here" action she's been up to these days.

I managed to get the sheets washed over the weekend, so the crib is ready and waiting. No window treatments yet, though. I started working on them yesterday and managed to sew all of the side seams and pinned two of the bottom hems. I will finish pinning and sewing the bottoms tonight and hopefully also get the top hems with ribbon ties pinned. Mr. D keeps asking when he can hang the curtain rods and, unfortunately, the answer is always, "after the curtains are done." Otherwise, I won't know exactly how high to hang the rods. Thankfully, straight lines are easy to sew and we have a HUGE table in our back room (54" square) that helps with laying out and pinning curtains. The biggest barrier so far has been finding a time when a certain two-year-old won't be rummaging through my pins, scissors, and sewing trinkets while I make a seam or two.

As a final note, I could do with a little less family drama. FIL is doing better, thankfully. And I have probably bested the melanoma monster again. Last Thursday, though, my dad had to be admitted to the hospital with a bad infection requiring IV antibiotics. He went home this morning. And an hour ago, surgery began for a cousin who has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. They are going to remove what they can, follow with interleukin therapy, but skip the radiation (this form of cancer does not respond). So, prayers for J and his family are quite welcome. Even with the surgery, the cancer is terminal, it simply prolongs his days. I just hope that we can avoid excessive drama with the arrival of this baby. There's been enough already.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog Tour: Maximum Ride III

I am a reader. I read something for pleasure pretty much every day, even if I can only manage a few pages right before my body and mind collapse into an exhausted pile. I like a variety of genres and I also enjoy interspersing young adult fiction into my reading lineup. Not because of any sort of arrested development but more because it brings back great memories of spending long hours with books as a kid. I have read the Harry Potter series, of course, and in the last year reread a few of my childhood favorites like the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series (ok, not the whole series, just a handful). I love thinking about the books that Gabe will be reading as a youth. He has always been completely enamored with books and with the plethora of books strewn about our house, I expect his love for books to continue. In fact, I have many a book ready and waiting for him to “grow into them” so to speak.

Thanks to MotherTalk’s current blog tour, I had the opportunity to preview (and critique) the latest YA fiction novel from James Patterson, Maximum Ride III: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. I promise not to give you any spoilers, but I do want to give a bit of flavor on the book at the start.

The premise of the story is quite interesting. Genetic mutations have been created that allow for hybrid humans to exist. The main characters of the book are bird kids, humans with avian genetic material. Their bones are lighter than normal, they have greater muscle mass, their metabolism is such that they require food at very regular intervals and, oh yes, they have wings and can fly. The book starts with the classic tale of the mutant’s creators hunting them down to eliminate them because they have outgrown their usefulness. Classic. It’s a model that has worked in the past and has the potential to keep working. I like the model because it includes a bit of the known, a bit of the unknown, and a few twists and turns along the way.

Overall, the book had a great deal of potential, but I felt that it fell short. It seemed that every time there was a chance for the story to delve a bit further into plot detail, action sequences, or expand a character’s thoughts and feelings, it would abruptly move on to the next bit of the tale. Perhaps the author felt that this would be a way to keep the story moving. I found, however, that it made the story feel choppy, disjointed, and superficial. I will admit that I am an information junkie. I love to get as much detail as possible. Meaningful detail. I have read many a story where I kept thinking, “Why are you telling me this? Move on.” In MRIII, I was left thinking, “Is that all? I want to know more.” There are times when the consumer should be left wanting more. It’s a sales tactic that can pay off when used properly. It is not a good tactic for an author to use unless that author is planning to follow through with the “more” later in the story, and leaving out the detail is a way to keep the reader interested. When I started the book, I had hoped that this was the author’s style and that I would be rewarded by continuing to read. I was disappointed to find that my curiosity would not be rewarded and the payoff for continuing to read was to find myself at the end of a not-so-fulfilling book.

Now, I will say that this book is the third in a series and I have not read the first two. Perhaps the other two books expanded upon the characters to the degree that I was seeking. The author does take a moment in MRIII, as the voice of the main character, to bring the reader up to speed if the earlier books were not read or were, perhaps, read a long time ago. In fact, there are periodic “speak to the reader” moments sprinkled throughout the book. I didn’t like them. Would I have liked them as a teen? Probably not. And I also know that as a teen I would have also wanted more detail from the story. But I was not every teen.

Do I think that this book is good as YA fiction to get kids reading? You will be surprised, but yes, I actually think it is. For the right kid. I see this book as extremely light YA fiction, which is suited well either for the very young advanced reader ready to move into novels or for the older young adult (is that self-contradictory?) who has not been a big fan of reading to get a taste for an adventure in words. The straightforward nature and lack of side-tracking with detail might just get that individual to stick with the story long enough to find out that reading can be fun. That’s the thing with reading. Just as we all have our own personalities, we all have our own reading preferences. When I read a story, I want to step into the story and experience it first-hand. Without enough detail and plot expansion, I am really not able to do that. And I was definitely not able to become engaged with MRIII. But, I know others who simply want an interesting story, told in a sparse fashion, and who have no interest in stepping into the story itself. MRIII could be perfect for the latter reader. For the former, like me, it would not be a part of the bedside book pile.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that in exchange for my book review, I was offered, and accepted, a free review copy of the book and an amazon.com gift certificate.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jiggedy-Jig

So, tell me this. Would you walk into someone's office, move their chair, and then leave it askew when you leave? No? Ok, then you aren't the one that was in my office yesterday. I don't think I would have even noticed if it was my desk chair, because I never leave it in the same place. It was one of the two chairs that sit opposite my desk. It was turned sideways. Odd. Maybe I have a poltergeist.

Mr. D is home now, which is a relief considering the level of "get me out" that LittleGirl has been displaying recently. For the past week or so, every evening I would get the distinct sensation that she was pushing off from my ribs with her feet and that her head was aimed squarely at my cervix. The sensation of stretching a tight muscle in the nether-regions is not what I would call pleasant. Today she started doing it in the morning as well. Oh, and at church on Sunday, where I spent the service praying "not right now, please."

I went in on Monday for the re-excision surgery with the dermatologist. Now I just have an achey, pinchy, itchy leg (itchy because I am allergic to the tape on the pressure bandage that comes off tonight- yay). The stitches have to stay in for three weeks, and the dermatologist said that my OB can take them out, no problem. Maybe if we time it right I can get them to sew up the c-section and take these out all at the same time. But if the baby is already here, I'm just going to remove them myself. Been there, done that.

Today was originally slated as a vacation day, but I decided that I feel good and want to get some more work done by the end of this week. I'm sure that by Friday I will be wishing that I had rested today. Oh well.

Gabriel's latest unending banter:

What are you doing? and

What's that?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Movin' right along

I had a checkup this morning with the OB and everything is chugging along nicely. Here are the stats:

35w3d
"Fingertip" dilated (I'm guessing that means at least 1/2cm)
50% effaced
Station = -1
Fundal = 37w

So, the kid is still measuring a week ahead and everything else is getting prepped for her arrival. With Gabriel, I had almost exactly the same measurements at my 36-week visit, and he was born at 38 weeks, leading me to again conclude that this kid will be here by Labor Day (yes, I know the irony). Actually, it would be interesting for her to arrive on that day because on Labor Day 2004, the embryo that would become Gabriel was transferred to my ute.

Next week I will sign the consent forms for the c-section (scheduled for noon on September 13...all together now- laugh!) and for a tubal ligation. The latter form is such an odd thing to be considering. Here I am, infertile Jenn, intending to purposefully interrupt my reproductive system. I'm the one that laughed at my OB for asking what type of birth control we would be using after Gabe was born. Of course, I am also the same one who has managed to conceive the old-fashioned way. It was not an easy decision, but it's one with which I am comfortable. I am currently 36 years old. If I were to conceive on my own again, it would probably not happen until I'm at least 38. Everyone has their own comfort level for maternal age and, well, mine has reached it's prime. Given that this pregnancy resulted in a risk for Trisomy 21 (Downs) of 1:10 and for Trisomy 18 (fatal) of 1:83, I don't think I really want to roll those dice again. The odds can't possibly get better as I get older. Mr. D's only concern is that the surgery would take place when the baby is only a few minutes old. True, but my age isn't going to change regardless of whether we are dealt a bad hand with a newborn (a thought I don't even like to consider). And his swimmers are only getting older, too. I can always get to the big day and say "no" to the ligation, but if I don't sign the papers in advance, then I can't request it that day. So, I'll sign.

Other life updates: My FIL is home from the hospital and seems to be slowly, but steadily, improving. He's still being stubborn, so votes of sainthood for my MIL are in order. But, his improvements also mean that Mr. D will be home on Monday. I'm glad, because the little clock in me says that we'll be meeting this kid soon. I'm not sure why, but the 27th seems to be sticking. Anyone want to wager on a date?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

M is for...

Monkey (Gabriel's favorite)

and Malted Milk Balls (droooooooool)

and Men Without Hats (You can dance if you want to...)

and Melanoma.

It seems that my arch nemesis wants another go-around. Last Monday I had my twice-yearly checkup at the dermatologist's office. Actually, it is at the skin cancer clinic at the local kick-a** cancer hospital, but you get the idea. I screen myself regularly, and I let others screen me twice a year. Shortly after I had Gabriel, I also added to the diagnostic tool of full-body digital photography. Thankfully I did, because the docs at the clinic use those pictures every time I come in to compare mole size, colors, and existence. Well, one of my moles had decided to change just a bit. And the doctor debated on whether to biopsy because the new tissue appeared to be benign. But, given my history (confirmed melanoma in 2002), she went ahead with the biopsy. The results are that the mole is a displastic nevus with severe atypical features and the very beginnings of melanoma. Essentially, had I waited another couple of months, it probably would have made the cut for diagnosis. As it was, I essentially missed the diagnosis by the smallest fraction and the pathologists' report is that it should be treated as though the diagnosis did come back positive for melanoma. And my doctor agrees.

I go back on Monday for a surgical re-excision of the site with 5mm margins (the new standard- in 2002 it was 1cm margins). Given the fact that it was caught in the extremely early stage, I should need no additional follow-up treatment (outside of my screenings). And they can use a local anesthetic (lidocane without epinephrine for the curious) to do the procedure. The mole came from the back of my left calf, so I suspect walking around will become even more difficult. Lovely.

On a good note, my FIL was sent home today from the hospital (probably because he is giving them a headache). I will hear from Mr. D again tonight with an update on the transition. I hope that my FIL cooperates with the post-op discharge instructions and doesn't end up back in the hospital. If he does I'll have to kick his butt (with my right leg, of course).

Friday, August 10, 2007

And Away He Goes

So, Mr. D will be heading off to his hometown on Sunday, leaving his 35 week pregnant wife to the wolves. Ha, don't I sound pathetic? Yes, he really is going away, but, as I mentioned in a previous post, I have plenty of folk here to help with any level of trivial (or non-trivial) matter that might arise. Gabe, the dog, and I will be staying with my parents while he is gone. I really don't expect to go into labor in the next week, but I have been having a heck of a time lifting Gabe, which makes some of the basics (diaper changes, bed time) difficult. All the more reason to happily accept an extra set of hands or two to get through the evening routine.

I have no new news on Mr. D's dad. I think today was to be the next attempt at removing the ventilator, so we should get an update tonight. Perhaps this time around he will start cooperating with the hospital staff. Yeah, right. Who the heck am I kidding? I feel awful even saying that, because one never knows exactly how the healing process will proceed. But when the doctors and nurses repeatedly tell you that your behavior is only making things worse, and then it makes things worse, wouldn't you want to behave in a way that makes things better? Especially when your outbursts are directly related to frustration about being in the hospital? Sheesh. My dad is a stubborn goat, too, but when he had heart surgery a while back, he actually listened to the doctors and was out of the hospital quickly.

Ok, deep breaths...calm...calm...

Have a great weekend. We will be spending Saturday setting up the crib, installing the carseat, and taking any other Murphy's Law-preventing actions that we can manage to keep this kid right where she is until Mr. D returns.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Updates on Life

Many thanks to all for offers of prayers and for thinking that I look good in that dress. You are too sweet (and lie very well). I actually love the dress and bought the same style in a second pattern. And for those still trying to make a maternity wardrobe on a budget? The dresses are from Tar*get's junior's type department. They were a LOT cheaper than the maternity dresses (I got two for less than one maternity dress), were made with better fabric, and can be used again when I am not pregnant (probably with slight alteration as a bought them big, but that's why I have a sewing machine). I think I own all of four maternity tops, the rest are just stretchy regular tops. I do own maternity pants because, well, pant seams can only stretch so far before you get a bit of unintended rear ventilation.

I thought I would write a bit more on Mr. D's dad (MDD), especially since a few of you (Hi S! Hi J!) know us IRL and check here for updates on life. So, a week ago, MDD decided that he had developed a bad chest cold from the A/C because his chest and back hurt and he was having trouble breathing. Luckily, my BIL arrived for a visit and convinced him that it could very possibly be more and that he should see his doctor. After much ado, MDD went to the doctor who ran a few tests and told him that he should go to the hospital. Much, much, much arm twisting and a forced ambulance ride later, MDD arrives at the hospital and my BIL and MIL meet him there. Within an hour, they are getting him ready for surgery on a bifurcated aorta (like an aneurysm but not quite...any MDs are welcome to chime in). To relay the level of seriousness, in most cases they find a bifurcated aorta on the autopsy table. Yeah, it's that bad. Anyway, a six-hour surgery gave him a new 12-inch piece of aorta. Three days later, they were able to take him off the ventilator (yay). The day after that, his lungs were filling with fluid so back on the ventilator he went (bad). As of today, it looks like he'll be on the ventilator two more days and they'll try to get him off of it again.

To go along with all of this, Mr. D is torn about when to go to visit (it's either a long car ride or plane trip away). It would be most helpful to his mom (who doesn't drive) to have him there once his dad is home and dealing with doctor's appointments and innate stubbornness regarding rehab, but given that the earliest anticipated discharge date is around the 19th or 20th, if he waits until then, we're well into the "any day now" stage of my pregnancy. If he goes sooner, it's not a very useful time to be there (not that he has to be "useful" to make it worth the trip, but we might as well do the best we can with the time away). My parents live in the same city as us, as does my extended family and many friends, so I have a strong support network. If the baby comes while he's away, I won't be alone by a long shot. But, of course, neither of us wants him to be absent for the birth of LittleGirl. It's really a tough situation. And if I do go into labor before my c-section date, there would not be enough time for him to get here, so there's not even that option. (sigh)

Anyway, that's our dramatic tale in a nutshell. Continued prayers are welcome.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Belly, Nursery, and Life

I seem to be having trouble getting the true color of the nursery paint to translate into digital, so I decided to just go ahead and post something anyway. This morning, Mr. D decided that I needed another belly shot, so we snapped one in that room.The paint looks a lot more pastel in this picture than it does in person. A lot more. Oh, and the camera seems to have added a lot of bulk to my butt. Yeah, that's it. And the cankles...they're a product of, um, digital exaggeration. Yeeeeeaaaaaah.

Gabriel decided that he would help daddy paint the room and found the ladder fascinating (don't worry, we were both standing right there). The wall color is a lot more true in this picture. And I really love that our house has those floors throughout. Hardwood floors were on the "necessary" list when we were house hunting. The fact that previous owners also kept the window frames unpainted was a HUGE (but lovely) bonus. We haven't touched a one of them (they also exist throughout).

The rest of the room should actually be done this weekend with the exception of a few wall decorations. I will be so glad to have everything in place and I can finally start filling the drawers with baby gear. Ok, transferring baby gear from Gabe's room to this room...technicality.

I don't want to get into too much detail for the sake of others' privacy, but if you could send a few prayers, burnt offerings, or similar good thoughts actions our way it would be most appreciated. We have a few family illnesses that are quite serious and could use a bit of intervention from a higher being. One person is actually Mr. D's dad, and it looks like Mr. D will be travelling home to help with care and logistics around the middle of August. Luckily, we live in my hometown, so I have not only my parents but a whole host of other family and friends to come to my aid if the baby is a bit earlier than we anticipate. Do I want my husband to miss the birth of his daughter? No, not really. But I also want him to do everything he can for his parents because they really need the help right now. It will all work out, I'm sure, but a few extra good thoughts aimed at us can't hurt. Thanks.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Still Fried

My brain is still fried, so I don't have a cohesive post to share. Thankfully, the major report on which I was working is now out the door. Hopefully the agency receiving the report won't need too many changes (or if they do, perhaps they'll have the courtesy to wait until I'm on maternity leave...).

The cankles are ever-present and normally, by noon, are large enough to look cartoonish. My feet retain their swelling from day to day, so I am now unable to don any shoes that are not flip-flops. I guess it's a good thing I bought that cute pair back when Mr. D ran over my foot with the car...

I had my 34-week checkup today (at 33w3d). I have gained five pounds in the last two weeks, but I didn't get a scolding as it is apparent that four pounds worth is distributed between my feet, ankles, and hands. The doctor said that I should try to lie down during the day. Ha! Likely. Fundal height is 34 weeks, which I guess could mean I'm still running a bit ahead or that the little tape measure thingy is not all that exact. (Really? You don't say.) My blood pressure was still normal (120/70) but is actually high for me (my normal = 100/60). I'm going to borrow my dad's BP cuff and monitor over the next two weeks just for my own sanity. I have no protein in the urine, but the progressive increase in BP combined with the progressive increase in swelling make me want to be proactive. It does no harm, so why not?

Gabriel is sporting the most attractive bruise on the middle of his forehead courtesy of taking a nose dive (or, I guess, we should say a forehead dive) in the driveway on Sunday. It looks soooooooo much better right now but still breaks my heart. This morning he decided to pull a bunch of books from the (carefully tethered to the wall) shelves in his room. In the process, the letter "Z" (bookend) fell down square on his foot. Nothing broken, but probably another great bruise by the end of the day. At least I can cover that one with a shoe so as not to get awarded with WWM* trophys throughout the day.

Speaking of letters, Gabe has become quite attached to his "A to Z Symphony" video. He calls it "letters" and will happily watch it over and over (not that we let him, mind you). It's a bit on the cheesy side, but he seems to love the kids, the animals, and has started to name the composers as each song is introduced. I even caught him trying to sing along to Bizet's "Love is a Wild Bird" from Carmen the other day. A two-year-old attempting an operatic soprano is really quite a feat. If you need something in the house to give you a chance to make dinner, do laundry, or pee, this one is at least educational.

I guess I had more to say than I thought. Back to checking things off of the great "to-do" list on my desk.

*World's Worst Mother

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Random Tidbits

We have, of course, been having rather overcast mornings, so I have not been able to recapture the glowing paint moment. I will keep trying, though.

I have decided that LittleGirl is already a blackbelt in something. When I sat down at my desk this morning, you would have thought there was a full-grown Tazmanian devil in my belly trying desparately to get out. My abdomen was being pushed out hard and far, and quickly, too. And then she got to the same activity but from under the ribs. Ouch! I was sitting there at an angle, rubbing my belly, and saying, "ok, ok, I get it- you're cramped in there." What else is a girl to do?

There must be a term for it, but what do you call it when your ankles go from cankles to something that better resembles a bean bag? I mean, by the end of the day, it looks like I am trying to smuggle softballs out of the office. Not pretty.

I have not read the new Harry Potter yet, but I should have a copy by the weekend.

Best day at work: On Monday, I called my parents' house to see how Gabe was doing. My dad answered and shortly thereafter, I heard the extension picking up and clicking down over and over. I knew that Gabe was playing with the phone. I then hear a little, "Hello?" and so I answer, "Hi sweetie!" Gabe immediately yells, "Grandma- it's MOMMY!" in the most excited voice I have ever heard. Melted my heart right there on the spot.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I *Heart* Purple

The nursery has now been painted. If I can remember in the next couple of days, I will take pictures at various times of day to see if I can share with you the changes in the color throughout the day. Mr. D painted the trim on Friday night and the walls on Saturday. And I decided that I love the color. I had been a bit nervous because it is a challenge to know what a small square of color will look like on a big wall. Then, Sunday morning when I woke up, the sun was coming into the nursery in such a way that the room seemed to glow. It was wonderful. The pigments in the paint (which Mr. D said kept coming unmixed) blended in such a way that the walls reflected purple, blue, and rose- all at the same time. They were almost iridescent. I'm not sure if a camera can capture the effect, but I will try.

Two of the three furniture pieces have had their stripes repainted. If Gabe gets to sleep early tonight, perhaps the last piece will be completed. Then I just need to finish the curtains. I am currently in search of ribbon for the top (I'm making them tie tops instead of tab tops), and I may have found what I need.

Supremely boring post, sorry. My brain is fried and it's only Monday. This does not bode well for the rest of the week...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Baby Update- 31w4d

I went to my checkup this morning and everything looked good. For some reason, they did not write down the fundal measurement, so I have no idea whether I am still measuring ahead. But the heartrate is good, blood pressure is great (110/65...my normal is about 100/60), and I only gained five pounds this month. Of course, that means I am only two pounds shy of my prepregnancy weight with Gabe, a number that I decided I would not surpass. Hmmmm- only gain two pounds in the next eight (or less) weeks? Not likely. So, I guess I will be busting past a number I never thought I’d see again. But it’s for a great cause! (For those wondering, I’ve gained 30 pounds so far. With Gabe I only gained 27, but I was also 32 pounds heavier at baseline, which makes a huge difference.)

The c-section is tentatively scheduled for September 13 (I can’t be on the official books until six weeks or less before the procedure). The doctor jokingly said, “Don’t worry, it’s not a Friday.” I responded by telling him that I have no problem with the number 13, and, in fact, I prefer odd numbers to even ones. He gave me the oddest look. Like I was some fruitcake. Hey, buddy, you’re the one that just reminded me that September 13 is not a Friday. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t express my preference for prime numbers, too. Gabe was born on May 17. If this baby shows up on a prime numbered day, it would make me happy (although a living, breathing, healthy baby outweighs any number preferences...).

I don’t see that I will actually make it to the 13th, but I guess now we know the latest possible birth date. Let the countdown begin!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nursery- Stage 1

This past weekend, Gabe and I escaped the house for the day (and then overnight) to allow Mr. D to paint the nursery. Ok, techically he primed the nursery. So, while he was slaving away with a brush and roller, Gabe and I were enjoying the zoo with my parents. As I mentioned in a recent post, he just loved the fish. He was content to stare into one of the tanks for quite a long time. Other kids would run up, take a quick look and run off. Not my Gabe. He would study the fish. Watch their every move. Poor kid's probably going to be an unemployed marine biologist in 20 years.

So, the nusery is now primed, and the ceiling fan has been fixed. Both are positive. Tuesday night we went and actually purchased the paint. The walls will be "purple whisper" and the trim is something like "blissful moment." Essentially, rosy purple and light cream. I did forget to take a picture of the room in the "before" state, but I snapped a couple of the guest room in its current state of disarray.This one is the bulk of the stuff from the other room. Yes, there is a bed under that huge pile. And the scariest part? Everything in this room will now be staying in this room. The baby furniture has been moved out and is either in the center of the nursery or in the hallway. Oh, and the space on the far side of the bed is stacked high with boxes from the floor. Unpacking all of this should be fun. And most of it is Mr. D's.

Here is another shot of the room because there just wasn't enough chaos in the first picture. Please do note that most of the bookshelves are empty. That's where the bulk of the boxed stuff will reside...which makes me a little less nervous about rediscovering the guest bed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

31 Weeks


Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't update until Friday, but I figured a belly pic update wasn't out of line. Gosh, I sure do look like I've consumed a beach ball...

Oh, and I don't have a strange rash on my leg. I was sitting with my legs crossed, and I have VERY pale skin that gets red at the slightest notion.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Not All Gamers Are Evil

Ok, just to clarify, even though we appreciate gaming in our house, we are certainly not these people. I can’t even imagine starving my kids for a game. I will admit that I have not experienced addiction first-hand. And, as someone with extensive training in psychology, I do know that there are plenty of addictions outside of drugs and alcohol (the factors usually associated with that word). But I will admit that the mom in me has trouble with any child neglect, especially one that could put a bad name on my hobby. And although I don’t do video/internet gaming, specifically, we all know that if you damn one form of a hobby, every other form (no matter how close) gets swept into the sh*t pile, too.

Enough about that. Here are some life tidbits to hold you over until I get a minute to write some more on each:

The nursery has been cleared. The walls are primed. A paint color has been chosen. Fabric was obtained for the curtains (tried to find pre-made and nothing spoke to me). Photo montage (as promised) will be delivered soon.

No one in the group went insane at our gaming session the other night (and, therefore, no children were starved or otherwise ignored).

My major work projects will all conclude within two weeks. While this is making my life crazy at the moment, I love the fact that August will be the month of “passing the buck” rather than scrambling to complete big projects.

Went to the zoo yesterday. Fun was had by all. The big hit = fish.

Next doctor’s visit (32 weeks) on Friday. Will update again then.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Shhhhhhhhhhh

I am typing this very quietly so as not to offend the pain gawds.

My back seems to be a lot better today. I did nothing special. But, shhhhhh, don't say anything too loudly or that old lady will move right back into the vertebral column hotel. And that bitch needs to make herself scarce.

Last night I had a whole series of weird birth dreams. Essentially, I was at my IRL gestation (30w2d) and my water broke. I knew that I needed to get to the hospital, but I was completely convinced that without the amniotic fluid in which to float, the baby would crush her own umbilical cord and die. Mr. D kept trying to get me into the car to go to the hospital, but I would have nothing to do with sitting up because I knew that lying on my side was the way to keep the baby alive.

The dream was odd on a few levels, but the strangest was the fact that with Gabe, my water broke first. I was not even the least bit concerned about him crushing the cord now that gravity was pulling him down. Why a smaller, lighter baby would case more distress? Who knows. It's a dream.

Gaming at our house tonight. Cthulhu. Wanna stop by and go insane? Don't worry, Gabe will be busy reading his book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back

I'm back in the old routine, as it were, if the old routine includes searing lumbar pain. The gaming extravaganza was fun, especially those parts where I could sit on my butt and pretend that I wasn't hurting. When I walked, I used the stroller as a crutch. Quite the sight, I'm sure.

The pain has not abated in the last few days and today I finally called my doctor's office (I know, I know) to see if I should be concerned. The doctor did not seem to find the symptoms alarming, but suggested that I stop by in the next few days and leave a cup o'pee to let them check for any bladder or kidney infection just to be sure. I'll swing by tomorrow on my way to work. I'm not experiencing any of the classic UTI symptoms, so I suspect that it is simply my back taking a holiday.

I felt so good at the beginning of last week. Nothing hurt, I had energy...but now I feel like a 90+ year old woman has taken up residence in my lower back and stabs me out of spite every time I lift my rear-end from the chair. I actually have to stop and muster up the strength to deal with the searing hot pokers running through my back in those first few steps. Subsequent steps are not much better, but once I'm moving, I'm moving. And sleeping has become an activity that is conducted while sitting up. Lying down, even with an assortment of pillows is quite painful. And Tyl*nol? Ha! What a joke.

Enough of my bitching. Besides, who the hell let a 30-week pregnant woman go to a gaming conference? Oh, right...me.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer Fun

Many thanks to everyone for your support of my conspiracy theory. We (the neighbor and I) have not done anything yet because we've both been working like dogs this week. I will have to reconsult.

We are off for a short vacation to wild, wonderful Ohio. Yes, the vacation destination of champions. Actually, there are some pretty cool places in that state, but we will be spending the next few days inside the convention center with a bunch of smelly gamers at Origins. Lucky for us, they keep the A/C cranked up to maximum. That doesn't necessarily help when the people you encounter have been sleeping in the back of their van for a few days, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

In the meantime, I leave you with some photos of our summer fun so far.
First, after the adventures in nature with two robins nests in our yard, we decided to take Gabe to the aviary. He made friends with a blue crowned pigeon that proceeded to follow him around the room. He really loved seeing every bird in the place. And now when we ask him what a parrot says, he responds with, "hello," in bird voice. Too cute.

Then, we took a day at the local amusement park. I love the place because it is a turn of the last century historic park that used to be a trolley park (picnic area at the end of the trolley lines). I have a few action shots that I will share once I have had a chance to photoshop out the random folk. In the meantime, here's one that made me laugh. Gabe saw the statue, yelled "doggie lick!" and then proceeded to walk over and lick the dog's tongue. I got there as fast as I could to break off the lurid encounter. I mean, really, who wants their kid to french kiss Odie?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

The gas was finally restored yesterday evening after finding a special plumber yesterday morning. A plumber who could come out the same day and fix the "leak." I use quotes because I am still not convinced that there was an actual leak. I spelled out a few of the reasons the other day (no odor, no dead grass/plants) but there are a few more things to add fuel to the fire. (1) We now have a new meter. The type that can be read by a passing vehicle rather than by a pedestrian employee of the gas company. How convenient. (2) Our next door neighbor's gas was shut off the day after ours because they "suspected a leak in the service line." Again, no odor, no dead plants. The gas company also added that they would need to move their meter outside (currently in the basement) and left a new meter sitting by the front of their house.

I really believe that the gas company wanted to upgrade all of the meters and, at the same time, make sure that the service lines were all upgraded to new plastic lines. How better to do that than to take your house hostage by shutting off the gas and claiming a leak. With outside lines, a leak would be difficult to prove or disprove, making it hard for people to argue. And with them holding the only key to restored gas service, they have us held captive.

I recall quite a barrage of notices in the last few months advertising the line insurance. We considered it and then dismissed it, deciding the the level of small print probably excluded them from having to fix the line anyway. Why pay for nothing? But perhaps they were looking for everyone to pay protection money. You know, mafioso style. "Hey lady, we can offer you protection for your gas lines if you pay a small fee. Cause, you know, leaks. They just sometimes kinda happen."

My neighbor wants to call the local TV station to investigate. I'm starting to think that's a good idea.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dealing with Gas

...or a lack of, as the case may be.

No, for once I am not talking about a pregnancy symptom. Trust me, you don't want to hear about the detailed workings of my digestive system. It's not pretty. I'm talking about arriving home from work yesterday to find the gas meter sitting on the ground, connection pipes next to it, and a note from the gas company saying that they found a leak and have disconnected our gas. Um, what?

Yes, of course I want to make sure my house is not going to blow up. Yes, gas safety is a good thing. But I wish I had the time to describe the sheer hassle it has been to simply find a plumber who is certified by the gas company. Not just regular certified. Special certified.

The meter is right next to my front door. Have I smelled anything at all? No. Do we use the front yard? Yes. Smelled anything there? No. I also see no dead, brown grass in the yard (a telltale sign of a gas leak, fyi).

I will be taking a shower at my parents' house when we pick up Gabe tonight. The cold one this morning was awful.

Just frustrated. Just venting. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Big Belly, Warm Hands

Every morning, Mr. D finds a way to touch my hand while we are in the car. This might sound like a minor thing, but because I am the antithesis of a morning person, touching is often verboten. I have learned to tolerate the fact that he *is* a morning person, and a sensitive, affectionate guy. He has learned to tolerate the fact that his morning affections will, at most, be met with tolerance and not a quick jump in the sack.

But I digress.

Now that I have reached the 27+ week mark, my body temperature has been rising steadily. And as Mr. D finds my hand in the car, he tells me, "you're hot." I know full well that it is not a reference to being mighty sexy or even an attempt to be more like Paris (so, HOTT...NOTT). I am a furnace. So much so that I almost can't stand to be around myself.

The other new development at this stage is SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction for those who haven't been there, done that). Essentially, the pelvis is supposed to stretch while you are pregnant to allow the baby to be delivered. In those whose pelvises (pelvi?) are overachievers, the separation goes above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in SPD. Also known as sonofabitchthathurts. I had SPD with Gabe, but I had been so symptom-free to date that I naively thought I might get to skip it this time. Nope. It's back. With a vengeance. And the most frustrating part is not that pregnancy has its aches and pains. I'm 100% ok with that. It's the fact that I am having a c-section this time, which means that my pelvis does not need to stretch. At all. And I keep hobbiling around glaring at the bitch trying to tell her that her efforts are wasted. All she is doing is torturing me. But does she listen? Noooooooooo.

And the wedding rings are history. Finger puffing commenced over the weekend.

I am just a lovely to behold. So behold:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Getting started

This weekend we will finally, finally be starting to excavate the room that is to become the nursery. If I think of it, I'll take a before picture so that you can really appreciate how much crap we have work we have ahead of us. And I will, of course, follow up with an after shot...eventually...when things are ready.

And I have finally found my anchor piece for the nursery, so I can choose the wall color, which will be a shade of purple. I'm thinking to go with an orchid versus a lavender because orchid is a much warmer shade. And I definitely won't go into the periwinkle family- too blue. (Can you tell that my dream job would involve working with color? Maybe I can be the person who gets to give creative names to all of the catalog colors. Willow! Amber! Passionate Plum!)

Anyway, I knew that we would be using my old childhood bedroom furniture, which has a bit of a floral motif. Therefore, I decided to go with a garden theme for the nursery. Not too girly, but a bit more feminine than neutral. So, I like the idea of throwing in a few bugs (maybe the kid won't grow up with a paralyzing fear of insects like I did), some flowers (but not too many), and a little bit of mommy's crazy. Also on the block for nursery prep is taking the hideous orange stripe off of the old furniture. The pieces are a cream color with two accent colors on the detail work- green and orange. Very 70's. Since the nursery will be purple and green (my favorite color combo) the green will stay and the orange will become cream to blend in with the background.

I smell a photo montage in the making...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grab Yer Pom-poms

A friend pointed me to this comic site and I found one that perfectly sums up musical conversation between me and Mr. D.







Yeah, like you don't jump up and cheer when you hear that song. I know you do. Admit it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Parkaaaaaaaay

Gabe: Butter! Butter! Butter! (frantically pointing to his toy shelves)
Me: Butter? What do you want, sweetie?
Gabe: Butter! Butter! Butter!
Me: You want butter?
Gabe: Yes.
Me: You want to eat butter?
Gabe: No. Watch butter!
Me: (cue lighbulb above head) Oh, Builder? Do you want to see Bob the Builder?
Gabe: (so excited he is probably peeing right then) Butter! Bob Butter- FIX IT!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cute or Obnoxious?

I've never been much of a ticker gal, but I kind of liked this one. I'm not sure if it displays a new "humor" statement each day or if it only has one per picture. I guess time will tell. And I may tire of the darn thing and yank it off the page. I guarantee that if the next text block contains a grammatical error like this one, it's getting yanked.

What's your take on tickers and other such blog decor? Useful, annoying, neutral? Just curious.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Doing the Math

My toe is healing up nicely- thanks for the toe-healing and good-birthday wishes. It's a shame they had to be rolled into one post but...well...life happens that way sometimes. I am still wearing flip-flops, but the swelling has gone down to where I can get a normal shoe on my foot. I just can't move because it will hurt too much. So, the flippy-floos (as I call them) reign on. I did decide to upgrade a bit from the ugly rubber ones, though. I got a pair of these:

They are not too bad on comfort (I only have one spot that rubbed raw and every new shoe rubs my foot raw, so it's typical). And they are definitely cute.

I went shopping at Big Name Baby Store on Saturday to look at a set of nursery prints in their ad. Thankfully I did, because they were quite awful in real life. What I did find, though, was that the lamp I admired online but ignored because it was white, is actually cream and will match the nursery. And it was on clearance. Score. I also picked up the cutest pair of faux-R*beez that are white with a pink and fuscia hibiscus flower (Mr. D's fave). As I was checking out, being the negative Nelly that I am, I asked about the return policy (you know, in case the other shoe drops). I was told that I have 90 days with a receipt. Initially, I hesitated, thinking that it wouldn't give me enough time. But once I calculated that I have about 13 weeks left (going with a 38-week end date) I realized that 13 weeks = 91 days. Ninety-one freakin' days people. Holy crap. I'm well within return policy timelines. Scary.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Limping to the finish line

Today marks my entry into the "late thirties." I turn 36 today, and I figure that 34, 35, and 36 qualify as the mid-thirties. But by turning 36, I have begun my 37th year, thus beginning the slide into 40. See, it's all downhill from here.

My last day of 35 was, well, interesting. We knew that it would be a bit chaotic because all of the remaining houseguests were leaving. We left the house at 7am to take Mr. Dish's* parents to the airport. Well, before we even left the driveway, we managed to start the day off with a bang. No, he didn't run into the house. He ran over my foot. Essentially, I was leaning into the back seat to deposit my purse on the floor before stepping into the car. He thought that I had actually entered the car and started driving away. Wheel, meet foot. It is much better that he went forward, because had he had backed up, the door would have knocked me over or worse. Yesterday my foot was twice the normal size and quite sore. Today, it's almost back to normal and the bruising is minimal. I did go to the doctor (not the ER) as a precaution, but we decided that x-rays were not really warranted given the localization of the pain to my big toe, so we're treating it as a bad bruise/hairline fracture and just going from there. But it's great to tease Mr. Dish over and over about how he might want to give me a different birthday gift next year. And every time we've gone out since then, he has stood next to me and watched while I put every last limb into the car. It's kind of cute. I guess I could be angry, but he's been beating himself up enough about it.

Things are calm in the Dish household now that everyone has departed. I know that Mr. D lives for the chaos, as he grew up with it. I grew up with a bit more structure, with plans that would be made, and people that did not just show up on your doorstep. I like the excitement to a degree because it is a new way to experience family. But eventually the northern European stock comes through and I start to fall apart with the lack of structure. Mr. D's stock response is always, "You're such a German." Nice.

Tonight, weather permitting, we're going to an outdoor concert. Tomorrow, the new dishwasher arrives (I have one of the potentially flaming variety), and Sunday is the group dog walk (minus me, of course...what with the foot and all). And somewhere in there will be cake. Lots of cake.

*No, I'm not sporting a new husband. I've decided that using the initial "A" gets confusing in the body of the text, so he has become Mr. Dish or Mr. D.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Staying Alive

I am surviving the onslaught of guests with the addition of only a few gray hairs. Ok, a few dozen, but who's counting?

Besides the inability of this motley crew to pool enough resources to make a decision on what we might do on a given day, the days have been relatively calm. I made a couple of the decisions and the rest we just threw to the winds. I can deal with that for a few days. My in-laws probably think I am the most anal person on the planet. In fact, I'm not that bad. I like to have a plan sometimes...and then other times I do like to wing it. I just don't like to wing it when we're dealing with, say, when someone needs to get to/from the airport. Or how many people will be staying with us on which days. But with them, flying by the seat of your pants is a way of life. It makes me a wee bit crazy, but then after a few days I just tell myself to let go.

Yesterday was definitely the breaking point. I woke after too many hours of sleep and immediately started excavating my kitchen of clean dishes. To her defense, I have asked my MIL to just leave things out if she doesn't know where they belong...but the plates and bowls and stuff? If you can pull them out day after day, can you not remember from whence they came? I then found that the washer was running with guests' clothing (no problem) but quickly determined that hubby had used fabric softener instead of soap to wash the load. WTF? We have been using unscented, clear detergent in our house since the dawn of time. Fabric softener is blue and scented (I know the irony of it). So, I rushed to spin the load, rinse it, and rewash with actual soap, hoping that none of the clothes were ruined. An hour later, my MIL is relaying the story of how she thought the shampoo in the tub was actually conditioner, went in search of the shampoo, and managed to wash her hair with what she deduced was mens aftershave. ???????? So she had to wash it again after consulting with GFoBIL for help. I'm not actually sure what she found in the closet, because we don't have any aftershave in the house. She thought it was hilarious, and I simply crawled further under my rock.

I go out of my way to clean the house to as great a degree as I can with limited time. My MIL then proceeds to clean the house again while I am at work and announces her accomplishment to me on my return saying, "See, now you have a clean house." And I get offended. I go out of my way to be sure that only the simple bath products are on display to minimize any confusion. When confusion arises, she laughs it off. And I get frustrated. Her intentions are only good, yet I have trouble just going with the flow.

Am I an ungrateful bitch or what?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chaotic Musings

I may be out of the loop for a few days as many houseguests are descending upon our home. My MIL and FIL arrived on Tuesday and today we add BIL, nephew, and GFoBIL (girlfriend of BIL). All five are staying with us until next Thursday. The only saving grace is that I have three toilets in the house. Yes, one is under the stairs in the basement, but I have to pee a lot, and, well, any pot in a storm, right?

It should be a fun, exhausting, and thoroughly chaotic visit. May even generate interesting blog fodder (I already have the fact that Gabe has been given girls clothing by THREE different people this year...um, do you need to actually SEE the penis, people?)

If I survive, I'll give you the gory details next week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have a bit of a rant on my mind today. I am so incredibly tired of the fact that every time I enter or leave a building I am pummeled by cigarette smoke. Let me first clarify that I am not suggesting that individuals who smoke should not be allowed to do so. Really, I’m not. If a person wishes to engage in smoking, so be it. I would certainly not encourage an individual to *start* smoking, but I am also the last person who will insist that another individual *stop* smoking. I feel that it is not my business to screen another person's habits.

That being said, I cannot stand the fact if I want to take a lunchtime stroll around campus to enjoy the beautiful weather, I must endure quite a few lungfuls of smoke on the journey. I also work near a hospital and people lean on the “no smoking” signs at the doors while they puff away. It’s a hospital for crying out loud. Give the sick people a break already.

Those who wish to play devil’s advocate to my complaint may point out that my waistline is indicative of the fact that my life habits are not exactly the healthiest. Perhaps even going so far as to tell me that the slice of pie I ate the other day was not the best choice. True- I will agree. But I also do not walk up to random individuals on the street and shove a pat of butter into their mouth. I choose to sometimes eat an unhealthy food. But I do not force another individual to join me.

I have friends who smoke. And every one of them will attest to the fact that I have never once told them to stop. But they all stay downwind or simply walk away when they wish to light up. No one makes a big deal of it. Each one respects the needs of the other.

I have no idea how to solve the dilemma. Smokers have already been banned from most office buildings and public places. Many regions do not allow smoking in bars and restaurants. So where else is a smoker to go than outside into the great wide open? I get it. The “allowed” places are limited. But I avoid the bars and clubs that are smoky. I sit in the non-smoking section at restaurants. I do what I can to avoid situations that I know will be smoky. But I can’t avoid walking outside. It seems that there is no good way for everyone to get what they want.

Rant complete.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two!

Two years ago today my water broke, the kitchen cabinets were installed, and my life hasn't been the same since (and if you think there are not still random kitchen gadgets boxed up in the basement, you are sadly mistaken).

Gabriel, of course, has no real idea what it means that today is his birthday. This morning I hugged and kissed him, told him "Happy Birthday, sweetie" about 600 times, and sang to him on the way to school. And in return I got a lovely scowl (I took a picture but forgot my usb cable- will post later). Perhaps the school party this afternoon will bring him around. One can only hope.

The last two years have taught me that unconditional love is not a myth; that spit/poo/pee/vomit/snot from another person, while very gross, will not actually kill you; and that during all those years I claimed I would never have kids because I didn't want kids because I would be a terrible mom- I was wrong.

Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Look Ma, No Cavities

But damn, the tartar is WAY out of control.

I went to the dentist for my twice-yearly checkup today, complete with cleaning. With the level to which the hygienist had to dig and scrape to remove tartar, I wanted to ask her if she had dropped an earring and was trying to be casual about the search. Good gawd! I know that mouth chemistry is different during pregnancy, but I don't recall the tartar fairy visiting with such a vengeance when I was pregnant with Gabe.

Gabe also had his two-year well-baby visit this morning. All is well. He is completely average on the growth charts, which makes me happy because he always seems so tiny in my eyes. I was always very tall as a child and am now on the high end of average (5’7”) or perhaps that is the low end of above average. But I no longer tower above my peers. As a child, it is difficult to be much bigger or much smaller than other kids your age. As much as I want to promote Gabe’s independence from “the crowd” and give him room to express himself, if he can at least fit in for his size it might reduce the school-day angst. It sounds terrible in my head to be thinking these things (and then typing them), but I guess as a mother, it is in my nature to want to protect my child. To keep him from hearing the taunts that plagued a tall, heavy, red-headed, smart girl throughout childhood.

Yeah, the kid’s a nerd, no doubt about it. And he’s a nice kid. Just this morning when we dropped him off at daycare, he was walking around the room with a toy and another child came up to him, yanked it out of his hands and declared, “Mine!” Gabe was not even fazed and moved on to the next toy. Is he anti-confrontational? Submissive? Giving? How does one react to these situations? Can you really explain to a two-year-old the nuances of standing up for yourself without going over the line and becoming the bully? I guess the best I can do is instill in him the self-confidence needed to get through the schooling years, make the right decisions, and just be himself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sleep Redefined- Step 2(?)

Battle stations are still at the ready, but I have been winning more than losing on the sleep frontier. A, the lucky bastard, actually got Gabe to go to sleep in his bed without being held on Friday night. I will cut him a break, though, because he credited the evening’s ease on my stellar training the night before. Saturday night he stayed with the grandparents (we had symphony tickets...how adult), and I was told that he slept well. Of course, he also gets to share a bed with grandma when he sleeps over, so that probably helps. Sunday night was another edition of Screamfest ’07. Luckily I was spared, with it being Mother’s Day and all, and tonight I will be out past Gabe’s bedtime, so I get a second night of reprieve. I hope that he is retrained by tomorrow night. Yeah, who am I kidding?

Mother’s Day was an extremely low-key event at our house. Exactly the way I like it. We spent most of the day assembling the screened gazebo for our deck (stupid Chinese instructions), and then proceeded to break in the gazebo by having my parents over for dinner. Gabe thought the “tent” was great and before we knew it was climbing up the corner trellis-like pieces. Gah!

This morning, I read the post on TV and kids over at Jen’s blog. I liked her take on the issue, so if you haven’t read it yet, head over and see what she has to say.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sleep Redefined- Step 1

Last night proved to be a lot smoother than the night before. Was it due to Gabe's obvious exhaustion from getting to bet at 10:30 the night before or because the new system jives with him a little better? Who knows.

I went into the evening with a Big PlanTM. The old evening routine involved giving Gabe his asthma treatment (he sits SOOOO nicely and holds the nebulizer mask himself) while watching a favorite video, transitioning to the bottle (you have to rinse the mouth after treatment, so a drink is non-negotiable), and then turning off the video after about 15 minutes (saying "night-night" to the creature du jour), and then letting him fall asleep on the couch in a dim room. He would get carted off to bed once he was really out for the night.

Lately the plan has been foiled by the fact that even when the video is off and the room is dim, when the bottle is done, instead of handing it to me ("here, mommy") and rolling over with eyes shut, he hands it to me and jumps off the couch to go and play. I was miffed because the plan had given us a step-down from me having to hold him for sleep.

So, the Big PlanTM(as dictated in my head) was to give him his treatment in the company of a favorite video, take him and the bottle upstairs to his room where drinking would be accompanied by two books, and then placing him in his bed and letting him drift off alone.

See- you are laughing at me. Why did no one tell me this perfect plan would not work in one night? Hmmm? What up with the big secret?

Let's now rename the Big PlanTM as the GoalTM.

Step one in reaching the GoalTM went like this:

Treatment with video (smooth)
Bottle with video for 10 mins (concession granted for tired mommy)
Upstairs for two books (smooth)
Two books becomes three (concession made)
Three books is firm limit (protest from Gabe)
Ask Gabe to get into bed and lie down (smooth)
Mommy leaves room (screaming commences)
Mommy returns and promises to sit in chair (Gabe lies down again)
Gabe jumps up from bed and heads for bookcase (sigh)
Mommy holds firm on no more books (screaming and tantrum on floor)
Mommy picks up Gabe and starts rocking (screaming continues)
Mommy explains calmly that it is either chair or bed- no books (screaming continues)
Rocking continues for 10 minutes (screaming starts to die down)
Gabe finally falls asleep (around 8:30)

Mommy celebrates by doing a load of laundry.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Belly Shot

Bethany reminded me that I had promised a belly shot in my last post and then failed to follow through. Truthfully, I kept forgetting to bring in the shot from home, so I went over to a coworker's office and had her snap one a short while ago. I also decided that I hated my pants today, so I cropped it a bit. But you still get the belly (21w3d). I keep thinking that I am just HUGE, and then I see a photo and decide that I don't look pregnant at all.

It has been a rough couple of days. Sleep has become an elusive luxury, and Gabe has entered the terrible twos full-swing. Last night I spent two and a half hours wrestling with him (almost literally) to go to bed. In the process I received a head butt to the bridge of my nose and several body slams. Not fun. He is normally a really, really laid back kid, very gentle- so this new personality twist is quite unusual. I have decided that tonight will be step one of a new bedtime routine because it has become obvious that the old one is no longer working. I'll keep you posted.