Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Getting in the Spirit

It's Christmas Eve, and the spirit hasn't quite struck me yet. I, like my brother, really don't celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday anymore (although yeah, "Jesus is the reason for the season," as the saying goes). I choose to celebrate my family, my friends, and the other blessings I have in my life. I enjoy getting together with my family, which in recent years has become both smaller in some aspects, and larger in others. Perhaps that's what makes the holidays difficult sometimes - the change, both good and bad, that comes with them in the passing years.

Mike and I have decided that instead of criss-crossing the state on major holidays, we will flip-flop holidays with our families each year. This year, Thanksgiving was spent with his side, and Christmas will be spent with mine. It's a good compromise, and I think it will work well, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss spending Thanksgiving Day at Ben and Alli's house with my parents, and my brother's in-laws. It was hard. It was a change. And today, although it's Christmas Eve and we will be spending the holiday with my family, it doesn't feel quite the same. Tomorrow Mike and I will head over to my mom and dad's house to spend some time with them and my uncle, and Ben and Alli will be coming to town on Friday to spend the weekend - and Mike will be back at work. It's the same, but it's not the same.

The following years will bring more change, if there's anything I'm sure of, I'm sure of that. Next year, we will have a nine-month old baby to share the holiday with (and who knows, we may be breaking our new tradition and criss-crossing the state anyway - I have a feeling neither side will want to miss "Baby's First Christmas").

Merry Chrismahanakwanzikah to everyone! Hopefully the spirit will strike me soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prenatal Visit #5

Last Wednesday, I had my 5th prenatal visit. Mike was off work, so he came with me. Still nothing exciting, but my nurse did seem pretty pleased when she was charting my weight - that I was finally starting to put more on (never thought I'd have a medical professional be happy about that!). I've gained about 13 pounds since finding out I was pregnant. Of course weight gain is normal and healthy during pregnancy (and at my first prenatal visit they told me I could gain between 25-30 pounds - or something like that), but at 5'2" I don't really have anywhere for it all to go, so I have to be careful. I don't want it to be physically straining, and any more emotionally straining than it has to be, as I've always struggled with my weight.

Anywho... still no defined baby bump to speak of, but at least I found out at this doctor visit that the baby is up higher than I thought he was (so at least when people ask to rub my belly, I can rest assured that they actually are rubbing my "baby belly," not just my "holiday schmorgasboard belly").

In other baby news, we have also decided to hire a doula to help me make it through labor and delivery naturally - yep, no epidural, and hopefully no other drugs or unnecessary interventions. I'll write more soon about our decision and the path that led us there.

That's all for now, my fingers are cold. I think I need these fingerless gloves now!

What do you want for Christmas?/Why I Love Mike

Ah, the ever dreaded question that pops up every year. Nothing. I don't want a thing. (Which really means, "I would love for you to really think about it, and find something you think I would enjoy, because I truly believe it is the thought that counts. Seriously, if you found a rock on the beach that reminded you of me for some reason, I want that.)

Anyway, because that never works, this year I came up with something. Since we are going to welcome our little bundle of joy in a little over three months, I thought the Flip video camera would be great. We could shoot videos of the baby, and send them off to distant friends and relatives. But, since Mike is, well, Mike, he asked several sales people their opinions about the camera, and let's just say they were less than helpful when it came to fulfilling my gift list. So, Mike came home and told me that I would not be getting a Flip for Christmas... so what else did I want? I thought about it, and decided I wanted a jewelry box. (This was on my list last year, too, and he did get me a small one with compartments for rings and smaller jewelry, and a larger one that is all open on the inside - no compartments - which he took over when we moved out to remodel our house.) Last night when I got home from my yoga class, Mike announced that not only would I not be getting the Flip, I would also not be getting a jewelry box. He then explained that he hunted for most of the day, and thinks he found the perfect gift for me, and that he thinks he "did really good."

I love him.

Hands off!

This is a shameless plug for my CafePress store, but personally I think this new shirt is too fun not to share. So, if you know anyone that is pregnant (and they would like strangers to keep their hands to themselves) Christmas is right around the corner! Comes in white, pink, and black.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Making Room

I got to work this morning, and after a 4-day weekend, I had 70 emails. Do you know how many of them were actually relevant to work (meaning, had nothing to do with free shipping, special web-only deals, sales, fancy new shoes, etc.)? I think 4. And that's being pretty generous. So, in the interest of de-cluttering my life, I unsubscribed. A lot. It felt good. I will no longer be tempted by Pottery Barn, or PiperLime, or SoleStruck, or Willams Sonoma, to spend money that I don't really have anyway.

Next challenge: cleaning out our office to convert into a nursery. My husband has very lovingly pointed out recently that since he sold our old home audio equipment, most of the stuff left in that room does indeed belong to me. Yuk. So, when Mike goes back to his regular schedule at work, I'll be spending his first weekend of day shifts sorting, organizing, and garage-sale piling everything that doesn't weigh more than 30 lbs. I really, really, REALLY wish that day could be accompanied by a good bottle of wine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dear USPS,

When can you send this mail carrier to my neighborhood? I've been receiving far too much junk mail.

Thank you,


This year, Thanksgiving will be a little different for me than it has been in the past. Mike and I won't be heading up to Oakland to spend the day deep frying turkey with my side of the family, but will instead spend the day close to home with his grandparents. When you are married, splitting holidays between families isn't unusual, but I think it will take some getting used to. I will be sending my brother his toffee apple pie (actually, it's a tart this year - sorry Ben, I was a little too tired last night to make pie crusts!). And on Saturday, we'll be having Thanksgiving all over again at my parents' house here on the Central Coast. All in all, it will be a turkey-filled weekend. So, on that note, I thought I'd put together a list of the things I am most thankful for:

I am thankful...
...that my family is healthy and happy this year.
...we have shoes on our feet, roofs over our heads and food on our tables.
...that despite the economic troubles, our business is doing very well.
...we beat the odds, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a healthy little boy in March. marriage and my life are filled with more love and support than I could ever ask for.
...for the little things that I often take for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Never Let the Pregnant Lady Pick the Restaurant

Last night, I got home, and I was starving. Mike was walking around in a towel, having just gotten out of the shower, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He said, "Whatever. I've got 50 bucks from the audio equipment Tom just picked up!" I said, "Sweet! Well put some clothes on, Baby gotta' eat!" He laughed and proceeded to finish getting ready. First we had to go to the bank. Then we had to go to Rite-Aid because he was out of Listerine strips (yuk, I know, but waaaay better than a smoking habit). Then, it was on to food!

Again, I asked him what he wanted to go, and he said, "Whatever." I told him he should pick. Really. I pretty much knew his response would be, "Mystery salad* at Embarcadero Grill?" and it was, and I told him that was fine... but I was getting a chicken sandwich and fries. And I also told him, "See, never let the pregnant lady pick the restaurant. If it was up to me, we'd be headed for the Chinese buffet right now!"

We got to Embarcadero Grill, and ordered our food. We were, literally, the only people there besides the two employees. It was nice. We laughed and talked as loud as we wanted, and I didn't have to worry about being judged for my condiment habits, or the bbq sauce that was accumulating on the corners of my mouth. Good stuff.

*This is kind of our inside joke. The "mystery salad" is either the steak salad or the house salad on the menu at Embarcadero Grill. We call it this because it always seems to be different, and it has never contained all the things that are listed in the menu description.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Go ahead, kick me again!

The past couple weeks, the baby has been pretty active - fluttering around, and thumping on my bladder every now and then - but this morning, at about 5:00, we both got to feel him move... from the outside! We were dog sitting for Ruby last night, and the poor little thing has recently been diagnosed with both a bladder infection and bladder stones, so she decided at about 4:30 that she needed to go outside. Mike (because he is the most awesome husband ever) got up with her and took her outside. Naturally, I was awake, too, and as I lay on my side with my hand on my belly, I felt our little guy push against my hand. I couldn't believe it, so I waited a little bit, and there he was again!

Mike stayed up for a little while and watched some TV because he was having trouble sleeping, and I hoped that when he came back to bed, the baby would still be moving around. Sure enough, when he came back, I rolled onto my back and he started kicking again. I grabbed Mike's hand and placed it on my belly. When he kicked again, I anxiously asked Mike, "Did you feel that??" and he replied with, "Hah - yea!" I couldn't see it, but just by the sound of his voice, I'm pretty sure there was a smile on his face. Even though I've been feeling the kicks for a while, it was incredible to feel them from the outside and have Mike feel them, too.

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things I thought about was how weird or creepy it would be to feel a little person moving around inside you, especially to feel and see him from the outside. I can now say it's not weird at all. It is absolutely amazing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Sorry

I apologize in advance, because I may be about to offend you. On my way home from work today, I was behind a minivan with a TV screen mounted to the ceiling. I hate this. I think DVD players for everyday use in vehicles are absolutely ridiculous, especially when they are meant to keep your children quiet.

Now, I must make one small exception to statement: long car trips - as in, those lasting more than 3 hours (actually, more like 5 hours) - because I understand that parents do need a break from the inevitable "Are we there yet?" game.

Anyway, as I drove home behind this mini van, I was just imagining the kids sitting there, eyes wide open and mouths agape, watching Toy Story, while mom talked on her cel phone. I imagined how the conversation went when she picked up the kids, "Hi kids. Get it. Buckle your seat belts. Be QUIET! What do you want to watch?" and contrasted that to how conversations at the end of the day went when I was a kid, "Hey kiddo! How was your day? What did you do? Who did you hang out with? What did you learn? Etc." My parents knew who my friends were, what we were up to, whose parents really would be home when they said they would, and whose were liable to leave us home alone (and those were the friends that always ended up visiting our house).

I don't know, maybe I'm thinking too far into this, and this may sound extremely judgmental (I'm sure some people that are reading this will think "What do you know? You don't even have kids yet!), but what ever happened to talking to your kids? You know, those little people that look like you sitting in the back of the car with their hand-held video games, listening to their iPods, sending text messages to their friends (who you probably have never met), and watching DVDs. I know, I know, times have changed, but kids like to be spoken to, they like to know that you care about what is going on in their life, and they like to know when you approve (or disapprove, for that matter) of their choices. I guess my main point here is this: Talk to your kids. Show them you care about them and the choices they make. Give them advice (whether they want it or not) and share your life with them.

You're probably really busy, we all are these days, but take a few minutes and just ask your kids how their day was. And listen. You just might be surprised by what they have to say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prenatal Visit #4

Yesterday, I had another routine doctor visit, and I found out that our ultrasound scans were free of any abnormalities, and my AFP test came back negative... both very good pieces of news! The only addition to my appointment this month was a measurement of my fundal height (the external distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus - or fundus). The first time I said the word "fundus" to Mike, he thought it was pretty funny (and, admittedly, so did I - c'mon, we never really grow up, do we?). Anyway, despite my insecurities about my lack of a baby bump, my fundal height is right on track where it should be. So, on that note, I decided to focus on the good points of not having a round baby belly quite yet:

1. I only own 4 pieces of "maternity" clothing so far: 2 pairs of jeans, a black babydoll shirt (that quite frankly was cute, and I figured, 'heck, I am pregnant, why not'), and a white cami tank top (which, I swear to you, I picked up accidentally because it was on the wrong rack at Target with the other white camis).

2. I have yet to purchase maternity drawers. Although I have put my cute thongs in storage, so to speak, I can still wear most of my cute full-booty chonies.

3. Unsolicited advice is few and far between. Since I can pick and choose who knows I'm expecting, I haven't had the pleasure of a middle-aged woman stopping me in the grocery store to tell me I'm gaining too much weight and proceed to pick apart the contents of my shopping cart.

4. I have not been rubbed by a stranger like a genie bottle. Thank God! I think I would subject myself to an hour of unsolicited advice from strangers each and every day if it meant my belly would never be rubbed by one. That just freaks me out to no end!

5. I can still wear shoes that tie and paint my own toenails (although I've been slacking on the latter).

6. I can still shave my own legs.

7. The only thing getting in the way of seeing my feet are my boobs, and there's nothing unusual about that for me!

Monday, November 10, 2008

10 Things

Well, since our office server is defragging, and I can't actually do any work, I figured I'd accept the gauntlet Meghan threw down and write 10 things about myself.

1. I am painfully shy. The thought of going anywhere where I don't know people (especially if I have to go alone) makes me sweat. Once I get there though, I'm usually OK. It even took me over a year to be really comfortable hanging out with Mike's family on my own. And I fully admit, it still freaks me out sometimes.

2. I once tried out for American Idol. OK, not in front of Paula, Randy and Simon, but a local TV station held a contest to get you a guaranteed audition for the actual show (it was called Central Coast Idol - how clever). I drove myself down to Wal Mart in Arroyo Grande, and didn't tell anyone I was going. I can only sing in front of friends if I've had a few drinks, or in front of people I don't know, and will likely never see again. I am getting a little better though, as I will sing in the shower when Mike is home, or when we are in the car.

3. I always think I am right unless you can prove me wrong (I will, however, admit if I am wrong). This pretty much got me fired from a job once. My theory: living life constantly doubting yourself is no way to live! Granted, I try not to voice my opinions or offer advice on subjects I truly know nothing about.

4. I hate answering the "hobbies and interests" questions on surveys and the like, because I think my answers are always really boring. The truth is, my interests revolve around cooking, and hanging out with my friends and family, or any combination of the two. Of course I have other interests, like music, movies, reading, but again, all pretty run-of-the-mill. I don't rock climb, sky dive or travel the world (although I wouldn't mind it).

5. I'm often happy with "good enough." Mike and I were talking about school last night, and we were both the type that could go to class, do our homework, not study for tests, and usually pull off B's. If I had put a little more work into it, I probably would have had a 4.0 in high school and probably a 3.5 in college. It's not that I don't have goals and aspirations, it's just that I am happy with my life, and I feel very blessed for the people and the things that are in it.

Don't get me wrong though, I do work hard, and I believe there is no such thing as a free lunch. Case in point: My grandparents scratched lotto tickets for as long as I can remember. Even after my grandma (Google) passed away, my grandpa (Pop) continued to pick up tickets on his morning walks. One day, he got a scratcher that said "TV SHOW" three times. He was going to be on The Big Spin for a chance to spin the wheel. Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to go. My mom took his place, and the whole family went along to be in the audience (all of us wearing pictures of Google and Pop on our shirts.) What did she win? The minimum prize you could get (I think it was about $1200) which was basically just enough to pay for the family's trip to LA!

6. While I am often happy with "good enough" I do love a challenge. Tell me I can't do something, and I'll try to prove you wrong. I love to learn how to do new things, even though I'm not always good at them all, which is why I call myself a "Jack of all trades, master of some." I can fix a toilet, hang a shelf, lay tile, and make a pretty mean apple pie.

7. I knew I would marry Mike about a month after we started dating. "How," you ask? I was moving, and he offered to help. While we were hauling things into my new place, my mom called and said she'd be stopping by. I got off the phone with her, and told Mike, "My mom is coming over, you don't have to stick around if you don't want to." His response was something along the lines of, "Why would I leave? I don't mind meeting your mom." LOVE.

8. I am an eternal optimist. No matter how bad things get, I believe there is something to be learned from any situation. Good is where you find it.

9. I have met a handful of famous people including Sammy Davis Jr., Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and Rachel Ray. I was the most star struck by Rachel Ray.

10. When I tell people we are having a boy, they usually say, "Your husband must be so excited!" I am very excited, too. I have an older brother and I grew up a bit of a tomboy (I played t-ball on an all boys team, and I can swing a hammer with the best of 'em). That's not to say I wouldn't be happy with a little girl, a little boy just seems like more familiar territory.

Whew! I'm glad I didn't wait until tomorrow to do this, I don't think I could have thought of one more! Now it's your turn.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Behind Closed Doors

This was so exciting, I had to copy this post over from our remodel blog:

Our interior doors were finally painted last Monday, and Gregg did a fantastic job. As if that wasn't exciting enough, yesterday when I was having my oil changed, Mike installed our interior doorknobs. It's the first time we have slept with our bedroom door completely closed since we moved back in! Awesome.

Friday, November 7, 2008


It's Friday. I couldn't be happier (well, if it was 4:55, I would probably be a little happier). It's been a relatively slow week at work, and considering how busy we've been, it was a nice little break (hopefully it doesn't keep up this way though).

Things are good.

I finally got a pretty normal night's sleep, most likely thanks to my prenatal yoga class (that I skipped last week). My hip barely hurt at all last night when I climbed into bed (and, another small victory - I didn't wake up to pee once!!). As hard as it is to drag my butt there, and as much as I loathe the downward facing dog, I do always feel better afterward. (Granted, the class is only once a week, and it's pretty pathetic that I have to psych myself up to go.)

Anyway, I started going about a month and a half ago, and after my first class, I felt like I owed all the yoga devotees a big apology. I had always heard what great exercise yoga was, but always had in the back of my mind "how can laying on the floor and stretching for an hour be considered exercise?" Believe me, it is. I am in awe of the women that are at the end of their third trimesters (one that was there last night is actually 4 days past her due date) and can still participate in the class.

When the instructor talked to me about the class, she said it was a great place to meet other expectant moms or moms who have recently delivered, and trade stories, experiences, problems and solutions. I thought, yeah right, this is so not me. I've never been one to gravitate towards things like this (I am actually painfully shy), but it has been great so far. I think the hardest part (besides actually doing yoga!) is seeing all the other women in the class with their cute little bellies. Aside from the woman that is 4 days past due, I was the most pregnant out of all the others last night, and I don't even look like it! This is totally an issue that is all in my head, but it doesn't make it any better when people say, "You are so lucky! You don't even look pregnant!" Yeah, thanks. That really doesn't make me feel better. I know every pregnancy is different, and every woman carries differently, but I'd like a little something to show for the past five months (except a pre-Thanksgiving ten pounds!). Oh well, I know what's really important is that the baby and I are both healthy.

On another pregnancy front, hormone-induced emotions have finally caught up with me. Last weekend, Mike and I were shopping in Fresno, and I almost burst into tears right in the middle of the mall - yep, for pretty much no reason at all. Thank goodness we made it out the door and on our way to the car before the tears started to flow. About a week prior to the mall incident, I asked Mike a question, and he didn't hear what I said, and just the "what the heck did you just say?" look on his face made me cry. Hormones - gotta love 'em.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Measuring Time... in Wine

I just received a call from Zenaida Cellars (that's where Mike and I were married last year) that my wine club shipment is ready to pick up. This is the second shipment since we found out we were expecting, so if my calculations are correct, we should receive one more shipment in February before the baby is born. And, subsequently, by the time the baby is born, we will have about a case of wine to catch up on! Whoo hooo!!

On another note, I finally caved and joined Facebook. Look me up!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bed Time

Typically, climbing into bed at night is one of my favorite times of the day. I mean, what's not to love? A warm, soft bed, big fluffy pillows, and the hubs to cuddle with. But lately, I dread it. Over the past week, my hip pain has gotten worse. It's the worst when I lay on my left side, and now, instead of falling asleep for a while and having it wake me suddenly, it starts right when I lay down. I Googled the problem, and pretty much found the usual explanation, sans solution, of most common pregnancy complaints: It's normal, it may or may not go away on its own, and there's really nothing you can do about it.

I did find one recommendation that said to place one pillow under your waist, and one right below your hip to basically elevate the problem area off of the mattress and take some pressure off of it. So, what the heck. What did I have to lose. I took two small throw pillows and positioned them accordingly. The pillow below my hip was out right away. I am like The Princess and the Pea. I can't even lay on a folded sheet, or it literally hurts. Yeah, I know, I'm weird. So anyway, like I said, the pillow below my hip was out, but I was able to tough out the one at my waist. It was, after all, much better than the searing pain I've had in my hip. So, I was left with an achy waist, and only a dull pain in my hip. Unfortunately, this fix did not last all night, and I spent a least a couple of hours trying to sleep partially sitting up with two pillows beneath my knees.

I'm hoping yoga class tomorrow night will stretch me out a little bit and help with the pain. *fingers tightly crossed* I will report back with results!

'Cuz You Need a Laugh

Here are the top 10 searches on so far today:

Glad to see "Kung Fu Panda" landed right between "Election Results" and "Electoral Maps." At least someone's cooking dinner though (see #10). And who the heck is Terri Seymour? Guess I'll have to Yahoo search that one.

In the mean time, here's my awesome pork chop recipe for those of you looking (just please be sure to turn off your burner or remove the pan from the stove top before you add the whiskey - I will not be held responsible if you burn down your house):

Whiskey Pork Chops

4-6 Center Cut Pork Chops, 3/4 to 1" Thick

Zest of 1 Orange
Juice of 1/2 Orange
1 Sprig of Rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1-2 Sprigs of Tyhme, leaves removed and chopped
1/2 Shallot, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh-Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Shallot, Minced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Whiskey or Bourbon
Juice of 1/2 Orange
2-3 Cups Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Cranberries
1 Sprig of Rosemary, Whole
1 Sprig of Thyme, Whole
3 Tbls Cold Butter Cut Into 1/4" Cubes

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a zip-top bag and add pork chops. Seal bag and massage marinade into meat. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat a large skillet, and add 1-2 Tbls canola oil. Brown pork chops on both sides, remove from pan and place in an oven-safe dish or on a sheet pan. Place pan in oven and cook until pork chops reach desired doneness (5-8 minutes for medium).
  4. Pour off any excess fat in pan. Cook shallots and garlic until fragrant, TURN OFF FLAME OR REMOVE PAN FROM ELECTRIC BURNER and deglaze pan with whiskey. Re-light flame, and set to low. Replace pan on burner and allow alcohol to burn off. Make sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a whisk or wooden spoon.
  5. Add chicken stock, orange juice, cranberries, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Allow sauce to reduce by at least half.
  6. Remove herbs, and season to taste.
  7. At the last minute, whisk the cold butter into the sauce a little at a time until completely melted. Serve over pork chops.
Now make yourself some mashed potatoes and green beans, and you're all set! DO NOT overcook your chops, or they'll be "dryer than a popcorn fart" as Mike's grandpa likes to say.

A Dark Day for Small Business

Well, it's official. Obama is the president elect. It will be interesting to see how America's small businesses are affected. I received the following email forward:

The plans of one small business owner

Dear Fellow Business Owner:

As a Business owner who employs 30 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barack Obama will be our next President, and that my Taxes and Fees will go up in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that our customers will have to see an increase in my fees of about 8%. I will also have to lay off six of my employees. This really bothered me as I believe we are family here and didn't know how to choose who will have to go. So, this is what I did. I strolled through the parking lot and found eight Obama bumper stickers on my employees cars. I have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off.

I can't think of more fair way to approach this problem. If you have a better idea, let me know.
I am sending this letter to all business owners that I know.


Monday, November 3, 2008

(Reluctant) Daddy

Since before we found out we were expecting, Mike has had cold feet about becoming a father. He had, and still has, many concerns that a lot of men do when faced with the prospect of raising a family (and I can't say I don't have my own).

Will we have enough money? Will we have enough room? It's kind of nice just the two of us, how are things going to change? I've never really been a "kid" sort of person, what do you do with them?

Since we found out we are having a boy, I think he has relaxed a little bit. He's in "familiar territory," so to speak. We were at Target on Saturday evening adding some things to our baby registry, and as we picked out burp cloths, onesies, and bibs, I pointed to a section and said, "Sports, or marine life?" "Sports!" he replied, and pointed the scanner gun *beep* to add an item to the list. He even picked out a little pair of blue high-tops.

It may seem trivial - picking out material things for our son - but watching him make sure we had burp cloths on the list was heart warming. It felt good. I know all his fears about having a baby haven't dissolved, and some of them never will. I guess it's all part of being a parent - there will always be something to worry about, and hopefully a lot of things to celebrate, too.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Why I Love Mike

Mike is really good at making me laugh, and he even laughs at my stupid jokes (and believe me, most of them are stupid!).

Here's a little snippet from last night's conversation:

Me: I need a punkin'!

Mike: (Looks at me with puppy-dog eyes and a big smile on his face) You've already got a punkin' right here!

Me: Well, can I paint you orange, put a light bulb in your mouth, and stick you on the porch tomorrow night then?

Both: *giggles*

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Food for Thought

With election day fast approaching, I thought this was a great, albeit simple, explanation of Obama's tax plan.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being Pregnant Vol. 2

I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy, so I thought a "Being Pregnant" update was in order. I'll start with reviewing the things I touched on last time, and hopefully have a couple more to add.

1. Morning Sickness
Gone! No more queasy afternoons for me. Although there are some strong smells that will send me reeling.

2. Fatigue
I'm doing much better with this one. I can actually make it more than halfway through a movie again! Most of my fatigue is coming from sleep issues these days (more on that later).

3 & 4. Cravings and Aversions
Still no weird cravings (although there are some things I eat that Mike has always thought were weird - like dipping French fries in tartar sauce mixed with ketchup. What? It's good, I swear!). My aversions are all but gone, except for tomato sauce (which I guess is actually a new one). It's not that I can't eat tomato sauce, but there is a frozen lasagna that my dad microwaves for lunch every so often, and for some reason the smell of it just makes me gag.

5. Pregnancy-Induced Stupidity/Forgetfulness
This one is only getting worse. Examples: I have trouble typing sometimes. This morning, I needed to turn on my rear window defroster, and sat staring at my emergency flasher button with my finger extended going, "Wait, what am I looking for? That's not it."

6. Boobs
No longer hurt, and really haven't gotten any bigger... yet.

7. Sex (Ben, or any family for that matter, again, skip this section... for real this time.)
Let's just say I haven't been waking Mike up in the middle of the day when he's sleeping for night shift any more, but things aren't bad either :)

8. Sleep
Sucks. Most of the time. Tylenol PM is my savior. I still absolutely hate sleeping on my side, and since I'm almost 20 weeks, I really shouldn't be sleeping on my back at all. I really wish I had listened to all the things I read that said, "If you are not a side sleeper, start training yourself as early as possible. It will only get harder later on." Yeah. True.

9. Child-Bearing Hips
I seriously thought I had a pretty good set of hips for this whole child-bearing thing, but apparently not. I have had a dull pain in my lower back/pelvis for the past week and a half or so, and every so often I get a jabbing pain in my hips (think ice pick straight into bone). The latter of the two is especially disconcerting when it happens in the middle of the night after I have finally managed to fall asleep on my side.

10. Pregnancy in General
I've got to say, being pregnant is not easy. It is physically and emotionally challenging, and although my pregnancy has been relatively "easy," I have had some ups and downs. I see women with 5 or more kids and catch myself thinking, "Why would you do that to yourself!?" Don't get me wrong though, there are some wonderful things about it, too - hearing his heartbeat for the first time, seeing his little face during an ultrasound, feeling him move for the first time, thinking about what he will look like and who he will take after. As with most things, you've got to take the bad with the good.

To answer some of the most frequently asked questions: I'm feeling great now (except for that hip and lower back pain), we're having a boy, we haven't picked out a name yet - although we were getting quite a laugh last night from some of the lists in Meghan's books last night, and I'm just barely starting to show - if you didn't know I was pregnant, you'd probably just think I'm getting myself ready for winter.

I'll officially be at the half way point one week from today, and I can hardly believe it. It feels like it was just a couple of weeks ago that I wandered out of the bathroom with that ept in my hand and tears in my eyes. If it didn't seem real then, it certainly does now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh Boy!

Well, it's official (OK, 95% official - the ultrasound tech said she never gives 100%s) we're having a boy! Mike was unable to come with me to my ultrasound appointment, so when I was finally able to tell him the news at his lunch break, he seemed genuinely surprised - he was absolutely convinced we were having a girl. Since about two weeks into my pregnancy, I have been convinced it was a boy, so of course I had to offer up a light-hearted "I told you so!"

Here's our little man!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Neighborhood Watch

Our neighborhood is on the lookout for a salty bunch of Obama-supporting liberals. Said bunch decided that it would be a good idea to canvas Morro Bay (the north end, at least - I haven't yet had time to investigate the town further) and swipe McCain-Palin and Yes on Prop 8 yard signs. One of our neighbors happens to have a security camera in his front window (due to some previous run-ins with another neighbor who we all wish would either clean up his act or leave - but I digress) and he caught the perps on video.

Anyway, I'll be on the lookout for suspicious VW vans and hybrid vehicles sporting Obama stickers. In the mean time, to those who stole the signs: Grow up! Your socialist democratic nominee is not going to save the world.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Way to Go!

As a business owner, I do my best not to discuss my customers in a public forum (such as this), however, I have one customer in particular who I'd like to highlight.

This particular customer owns a frozen yogurt store in a busy shopping center. There is a pan-handler that hangs out in front of his store, and he has had customers express to him that they are often uncomfortable coming into his store because of this man. He has done everything he can think of, including offering the man a job, to get him out of in front of the store.

Now here's the kicker: This man is not homeless. Every day, he shows up with his cardboard sign in clean clothes. He has refused the offer of a job. He drives a Dodge truck. He has a wife and daughter that have been seen coming out of the grocery store in the plaza with a cart full of groceries which they load up into their car and drive away. People have even heard the little girl ask her mom while standing in a nearby sandwich shop (where people who have been sympathetic to their "plight" purchase food credits so they can eat) "Can we go home now?" This is clearly a scam.

So, our customer decided to fight back. He had us make him two large sign faces to put on a sandwich board that outline the details of this man's scam. I say, way to go! I am tired of seeing "homeless" people on freeway off ramps in clean clothes, holding cardboard signs asking for money while they are sending text messages on their cel phones! Yes, that actually happened. We can't wait to hear how it all turns out.

A Sad Day, Indeed

I came across this blog post today, and I was very sad to discover that Mother's Cookies has closed its doors. No more pink and white circus animal cookies, no more crunchy frosted oatmeal cookies, no more bite-sized variety bags or soft taffy sandwich cookies.

Screw the banks and Wall Street, this is who the government should have offered a bail-out to! It is the end of an era, and I am sorry that I will not be able to share these treats, especially the pink and white circus animals, with my children.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's the story?

I've been struggling a lot with how I am going to vote on Proposition 8. I am not going to present a case for either side, but I do have a few questions about the arguments that have been presented both for and against the measure.

Let's start with the word "marriage." If Prop 8 passes, gay and lesbian couples will still be allowed to form a legal union (or domestic partnership) that carries all the legal rights of marriage. So why call it something else? What's next? Gay couples won't be able to introduce their spouses as their husbands because a husband is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a male partner in marriage?"

Next, apparently, four judges overturned 4,000,000 votes and made gay marriage legal. Now, whether you consider gay marriage to be wrong or right, 4 judges turning over 4,000,000 votes shouldn't really make you too happy, no matter what the subject.

Finally, one of the "Yes on Prop 8" arguments is that churches may lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to perform gay marriage ceremonies. Now, whether or not that's the case, my question is, why do churches have tax exempt status in the first place?

Whether I vote yes or no on Prop 8, I have a feeling I will not be totally satisfied with my decision.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Something I didn't mention in my post about my last prenatal visit was that I decided to go ahead with the AFP testing. I talked to my OB more about the test, and she mentioned that one of the things the test screened for was a particular disorder (can't remember the name) that does not present any physical abnormalities, and therefore cannot be picked up with an ultrasound. She said babies with the disorder never survive. She wasn't trying to scare me, and to be honest, I made the decision based on more of a "better safe than sorry" mentality. Another blood test, and some peace of mind if everything comes back normal.

So, I reluctantly headed over to the hospital lab today to have my blood drawn for the test. It was about 12:45 when I got there, and I figured it would be packed since it was a lunch hour. How happy was I when there were only two people in the check in area! I checked in, and was sent to the lab. I was even happier when I got there and saw that the woman that performed my blood test last time I was there was nowhere in sight. The phlebotomist today was the best I've ever had. No joke. I told her that I had small veins and they were usually difficult to find. She said, "Hmm. Let's start with the left arm." She tied the stretchy thing around my bicep, pressed a couple times, and said, "There's one!" My immediate thought was, 'Yeah right, this is going to hurt."

She took her supplies out of a drawer, and I looked away and tried to keep breathing. I felt her press a couple more times to make sure she knew where the vein was, and then I felt... nothing. Wondering what she was doing, I looked over, and the vial was almost half full! Yep, that's right, the needle was in my arm, and the test was almost over. She even used a regular needle, not a tiny little butterfly needle that they usually use. Now, I said I felt nothing, not 'I felt a little pinch but it was bearable,' or 'she got it on the first try and it wasn't that bad,' I mean I felt nothing! She should get an award or something! If I could, I'd have a circle tattooed around the spot she stuck the needle in. Seriously.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Paper Anniversary

Monday is our first wedding anniversary. It seems like such a short time ago, I can't believe it's already here. Mike and I stopped by my parents' house today to pick up our cake topper (it's cheesecake from The Cakery in SLO, and I can't wait to go into a cheesecake coma on Monday!) and our toasting flutes. As I was looking through the two boxes that held odds and ends from the wedding, I came across a manila envelope with "Mr. & Mrs. Mike & Annie Farrell" written on it, and I could tell it was the handwriting of our minister. I had never seen this envelope before today. When I opened it, I almost cried. In it were our vows that we read to each other, along with a nice print of our entire ceremony signed by my maid of honor, Melissa, and Mike's best man, his brother, Ray.

For the past year, every so often, I would think about the print out of the ceremony - and how I didn't have it. You see, our officiant said he did this for each wedding he presided over, but I had never seen it and figured he just didn't do it. I would also think about the two pieces of paper that we read our vows from, and wished I had asked him to give them to one of our family members so we could keep them. I mean, I could just print them out again, but it wouldn't be the same. But today, I found both things, safe and sound, and I couldn't be happier. The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, and I couldn't have ever asked for a better one.

Prenatal Visit #3

Prenatal visit #3 was yesterday. OK, pick up your jaw, I know you're shocked to see a timely posting (but, sorry, it will be a short one)! It was another uneventful appointment - which, as a friend pointed out, is probably a really good thing. The most exciting thing was that I found out I get to schedule my second trimester detailed ultrasound in about two weeks, and we will *hopefully* find out the sex of the baby!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Heart Craigslist

Craigslist is my new best friend. In the past week, I have found the perfect nursery dresser, and the exact same stroller/travel system we were registered for - I'm talking same color and everything! Best part: we saved over $100 on both things. Hooray for bargains! The hunt continues...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prenatal Visit #2

OK, I've been a delinquent blogger. Work has been absolutely insane (we've been working 10-11 hour days) and, as a result, my freelance work has been painfully back-burnered, and my blog is suffering for an update! OK, enough with the "whoa is me" dramatics:

Back up three weeks... Mike came along with me to my second prenatal visit. It wasn't too eventful, so I'll try to keep it brief: check in at front desk; wait in uncomfortable chair (both our butts fell asleep); get called by nurse; step on scale and try not to look; pee in cup; almost spill entire said cup on bathroom floor but recover quickly and spill only a few drops (yes, I cleaned it up!); go in exam room and hop up on table; blood pressure; wait for doctor; "Any questions or problems?"; just a couple (can I use my topical acne products: yes; what can I do to get some more sleep: Tylenol PM) and nope.

And then, came the good part... well, pretty good. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. It wasn't quite what I expected. At 12 weeks along, the uterus is just beginning to come over the top of the pelvic bone, and man, did that make it hard for my doctor to pick up the heartbeat! It took her a little while (and a lot of breathtaking pressure with the doppler on my abdomen), but she found it - for a couple seconds. A little anticlimactic, but it was reassuring to hear it, nonetheless. Things are good. See you in four weeks.

About a week and a half ago, I also had my first-trimester combined screening. It's basically an ultrasound and a blood test (this one was just a finger prick and 6 drops of blood, thank God!) where they are able to determine your baby's risk for Down syndrome and other possible chromosomal abnormalities. We heard on Friday that the tests came back negative. I honestly wasn't too worried about the test results, since neither Mike nor I have a family history of Down syndrome or other abnormalities, but the results do lend us some peace of mind. Next we decide if we would like to have AFP testing - a second trimester screening that also checks for Down syndrome and other abnormalities - but at this point, I think we are going to decline this next round of testing.

My pregnancy has been progressing well, as far as I can tell! My friend Meagan who is expecting a baby girl on December 1st remarked that I've had a pretty easy pregnancy so far, and despite all my complaining that I'm sure Mike would attest to, I've got to say I agree.

I made it out of my first trimester without throwing up (although we were on a boat in the SF Bay yesterday, and I thought I was going to lose it!), I'm not quite as tired as I have been, and my queasiness is all but gone - and on that note, I no longer have to have a full tummy to keep from feeling nauseous! So far, I've gained about 5 pounds (depending on the day of the week, it's either 5 or 7), and my cravings for processed cheese aren't as strong as they used to be. Hopefully I'll start showing soon, because I've got to admit, I'm feeling a little self conscious around people who don't know I'm pregnant but can tell I'm carrying a little extra weight. I'd say the only unpleasant addition to my second trimester (so far) has been pretty regular tension headaches in the afternoon, but nothing that can't be solved with a couple regular strength Tylenol. Oh yeah, and forcing myself to sleep on my side, ugh.

Hopefully next week, we will find out what we are having so we can start to pick a name and stop calling the baby "it." Mike has decided he's not going to offer up any suggestions until we know if it's a boy or a girl so he can save himself the extra work of thinking of two names. Pretty funny if you ask me.

Our first wedding anniversary is next Monday, and it's kind of odd to think it'll be the only one for quite some time that we won't have to worry about finding a sitter. *sigh* I promise to enjoy every minute of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why I Love Mike

OK, I'm totally stealing this posting idea from Meghan, but it's such a good one, I couldn't resist!

Last night, I came home from work, and Mike came out to my car to greet me (as he usually does if he hears my car pull up). He asked me how my day was, and I said, "Shitty." When he asked me why, I rattled off a litany of reasons - hot, nauseous, headache, hungry, too much work to do and more coming in by the minute, tired because I had woken up at 3am to pee and never really fell back to sleep... just overall shitty.

We went in the house, and I sat on the couch with my classic "woe is me" face on, and Mike said, "I saved you half the pasta." *big smile* from me! After I ate the pasta, I was still kind of hungry, but also still nauseous. Mike said he was going to Chapala to pick up a burrito and asked if I wanted anything - like chicken taquitos (the best chicken taquitos ever). Sad, but they didn't even sound remotely good. He asked if there was anything that sounded good to me, and I said McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce (see item 3 from the previous post) - which I promptly followed up with, "But don't get me any, really, I don't need to eat nuggets." He said OK and left to pick up his burrito.

He was gone longer than I expected (Chapala is exactly one mile from our house - exactly). When he walked in the door, he had a bag from Chapala in one hand... and a bag from Mickey Dee's in the other. Although, calorically speaking, I didn't need nuggets (aka: sweet and sour sauce delivery vehicles), they totally hit the spot. I can honestly say, that is the only thing Mike has ever purchased at McDonald's since I've known him. He is anti-fast food (except for the very occasional Carl's Jr run), and I know it took some effort to enter that drive-thru. Best nuggets husband ever!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Being Pregnant

There are a lot of books out there about pregnancy. A LOT. And while most of them are filled with fantastic reference information, there's nothing like hearing the "facts" straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Basically, some of the best advice I've received so far has come from friends that have recently had kids or are currently pregnant. So, I figured, why not pass on a little of my own experience. I'll touch on some of the most frequently mentioned things about pregnancy:

1. Morning Sickness
As I've mentioned before, and Meghan seconded, "morning" sickness is a bunch of bullshit. I'm almost 11 weeks, and I haven't puked once (although sometimes I wish I just would). Although most mornings I'm barely able to choke down a couple pieces of toast, that's definitely not where the bulk of my nausea has been. It's usually in the afternoon, and is typically the worst if my stomach is growling. Catch 22 - it's pretty hard to eat anything when you feel like you are going to barf.

2. Fatigue
I don't think I've ever been so tired. I mean all the time. If I could sleep all day, I'd be a happy camper. The last time I fell asleep on the couch this much, I think I was about 8 years old. I can barely make it through a movie anymore (and these days, "making it through a movie" usually means Mike didn't catch me cat napping in the middle of it - but he always does).

3. Cravings
I haven't been craving anything too weird. Mainly a lot of carbs and, oddly enough, processed cheese products. I'd say the most specific thing I've had a craving for so far was Mac 'n Cheese the way my mom made it when we were kids - with wide egg noodles and Velveeta. I did want McDonald's Chicken McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce one night, but Mike (bless his heart) wouldn't give in and instead picked me up some Kraft Singles so I could make a grilled cheese instead. My cravings so far have been more along the lines of, "What can I eat that doesn't make me want to vomit when I think about it?" Definitely no pickles and ice cream.

4. Aversions
I think it's safe to say I've had more aversions than cravings. Which probably accounts for my increased intake of carbs and processed cheese products mentioned above. A lot of things that I absolutely love make my stomach turn just thinking about them. And cooking - save for baking, making grilled cheese, pasta or smoothies - has been pretty much out of the question.

5. Pregnancy-Induced Stupidity/Forgetfulness
Well, I think this one is true. Maybe. I can't really remember any specific instances.

6. Boobs
They hurt, they're bigger, and they'll get even bigger - and that scares the crap out of me!

7. Sex (Ben, you can skip this section)
I read in more than a few places that a lot of women just can't get enough of it when they are pregnant. Well, I'm one of those women. And I'm sure Mike doesn't have any complaints about that, although I'm sure he'd appreciate it if I didn't wake him up in the middle of the day when he is working night shifts!

That's all I can think of for now (see item #5), but I'm sure there will be more to come...

I Heart Dish Network

I discovered yesterday that since we have caller ID, and our satellite box is hooked up to a phone jack, we can actually view our caller ID on our TV. What will they think of next? This is awesome.

On to the sad part: No one ever calls our home phone, so I called it from my cel just to see how it works. Whatever. It's still cool. I really need a hobby.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm a Planner

I don't know why, but telling people I'm pregnant is the weirdest feeling. I'm 28. I'm married. So why is it so hard? Telling people I was engaged was so easy. I was excited, and for the most part, I knew what peoples' reactions would be to the news. Perhaps it's all the the other emotions that go along with having a baby that is making it so hard for me to share the news, or maybe I'm trying to prolong the inevitable - the unsolicited advice I'll receive from some people. Don't get me wrong, I am excited about this, too, but when I was engaged to be married, I could plan. Everything. To the minute. There was an itinerary, a guest list, a playlist (including dos and don'ts), tuxes, bridesmaids dresses... And, let's be honest here, I knew people would listen to me because I was the bride, damn it! Of course I was nervous about everything going "right" on our wedding day, but in the end, I knew that even if something went wrong, all that really mattered was that Mike was there and our families and friends were there to share the day with us.

When it comes to having a child, you can't plan. Well, you can, but there are so many variables that can change those plans, both good and bad. Someone can catch the flu and puke on you in the middle of the night, so you're up until 3am doing laundry, calming crying, and you still have to get up and go to work in the morning. Or someone can make the all star team, and instead of going to your high school class reunion next weekend (yikes!) you'll spend the weekend on the sidelines cheering them on and saying, "That's my kid!"

That's such a trite example, but do you see where I'm going with this? I guess what it comes down to is a fear of the unknown. I have about 29 weeks to prepare for the birth of our baby, and - no matter how many books I read - I will never truly be prepared for the experience. And then, when we bring our little bundle of joy home, there will be so much for us to learn, and so much for us to teach. And there will come a day... well, I'm not sure I'm ready to think that far into the future quite yet - because, even I know, there is no amount of planning that can prepare you for the teen years!

I guess when I think about it, all I can do is plan [as much as possible], prepare, take some deep breaths, remember to relax and have fun, and hope that everything will turn out just fine... the same thing I did on my wedding day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prenatal Visit #1

Picking up where I left off... My first prenatal visit was a week ago, and all-in-all, things went good. Most of the appointment was spent with Kathy, my OB's nurse, answering questions about health history. She went through a packet that was probably more than four pages long of things that "if I've never heard of, I've probably never had."

When my doctor came in, I had my annual cha-cha inspection (everything was fine, in case you're wondering), she explained some of the tests my blood would be drawn for, and then she said, "Let me go see if the ultrasound is available." She came back, ultrasound in tow, and I couldn't have been happier. I got to see the baby, and see it's little heart beating. It was pretty incredible.

Find the baby, and you get a cookie!
After my appointment, it was time to head over to the lab at Sierra Vista to pee in a cup (my second of the day, actually) and have my blood drawn. Now, of course I get a little nervous when I have to have blood work done - if you don't, I'm sorry, you're weird. I don't necessarily get nervous because of the pain - I have two tattoos, and at one time had 11 piercings (all above the neck, FYI) but because my veins are almost always hard to find, and I HATE the feeling of a needle moving around in my arm. *shudder* Anywho, the lab was pretty full when I got there, and seemed to be a little understaffed. There was only one phlebotomist in the lab when I got there, so when she started helping another patient, she called in a second for backup. Well, the lady who came in to help her did not want to be there (when she walked into the lab, she said in a thick accent, "I am busy! I have things to do.") And guess who was going to take my blood. Yay for me.

I got in her chair, signed some paperwork, and she tied the rubber thingy onto my bicep. And she rubbed, and tapped, and pressed all over my arm. No luck. OK, let's try the left arm. Rub, tap, press. No Luck. Back to the right arm. "Have you had a lot of water to drink today?" she barked.

"No," I responded.

"Well, you should have known."

Whoa there tiger, I'm sorry I didn't realize I was dehydrated when I woke up at 6:00 this morning to get ready for my doctor's appointment, and still didn't know when I got to the doctor's office at 8:15, sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes, had my appointment that lasted an hour, and headed straight over here to have six tubes of blood drawn so I could maybe get to work before noon.

Anyway, she finally found two veins. One was on the underside of my forearm, and the other was on the underside of my wrist - yeah, as in teenage angst, want to slit your wrist, part of my wrist. And guess which one was a sure thing? She told me it would hurt, but I did not want to get poked twice, so I told her just to go for it. Honestly, the initial poke did not hurt all that much. She used the tiniest needle possible (which was OK with me), so it took a while to fill up all six tubes. And then came the painful part: apparently, the type of needle she used had a button on it that made it retract really fast (I had never seen this before). When she pushed the button, it made an awful noise, and it seriously felt like the needle broke off in my arm. She put a piece of gauze on my wrist, and proceeded to wrap medical tape 3/4 of the way around - oh yeah, she stuck it to arm hair.

So, aside from the crazy lady at the lab, my first prenatal visit was pretty great. My doctor is fantastic, the baby seems to be developing well and we got to take our very first baby picture.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cry Baby

Mike has just read the blog I wrote yesterday, and noted that I made it sound like he cried like a little baby when he found out I was pregnant. Let me go on the record and say, he did not cry, it was me. I apologize for the confusion.

OK, are we good now, honey?

I Love America

Totally off subject, but c'mon, these are flip-floppin' hilarious! Just what I want... Obama and McCain checkin' out my cha-cha.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Knocked Up

I haven't blogged in a while, and it's because I've been keeping a huge secret. And I'm horrible at keeping secrets. Just ask Mike, I don't think he's ever gotten a present from me without already having some idea what it is - except for the last birthday present I got him, but I digress.

Anyway, I've been keeping a big secret. I'm pregnant! Eight weeks to be exact. I had my first prenatal appointment today, and everything seems to be progressing normally. Before today, we've told a handful of people, and their reactions have ranged anywhere from my brother's complete speechlessness, to tears of joy, to total jump-up-and-down excitement. What was my reaction? Well, when I first found out, I was shaking like a hula girl on the dashboard of a big rig... and then I cried. It was a scene straight out of an after school special. I called Mike to the bathroom, and came out, ept in hand and said, "Well, I know why I haven't started my period..." He finished my sentence, "You're pregnant." And that's when the tears came. It was exciting, yet unexpected, and totally overwhelming. This was huge.

Let me back up a little bit here. Before we got married last October, we discovered that we had some fertility issues. I won't go into too many details, but the short version is that we were told by a specialist that we had a 2% chance of conceiving on our own. He had worked with another couple in our situation, and he said that it took them eight years to conceive without any fertility treatments. Well, after we got married, we decided that it would be OK if I went off of birth control - after all, it made me really moody, and with our apparent fertility issues, we weren't too concerned about pregnancy.

Fast forward to late July of this year. I just wasn't feeling right. My boobs were killing me, I was getting cramps, but no period. Hmm. I waited, and waited, and finally grabbed my calendar. I was about 10 days late. On my way home from work, I stopped at Rite Aid to grab some odds and ends, and also picked up a three pack of EPTs. When I got home, I said hello to Mike, and quickly made my way into the bathroom. I peed on the stick, and, well, you know the rest.

One thing that I've learned so far about being pregnant is that there is a lot to learn about being pregnant. Oh, and not to mention a lot to learn about giving birth and raising a child! It's all a bit overwhelming.

Some other first trimester tidbits: "Morning sickness" is the biggest misnomer. Who came up with that anyway? I haven't had "morning sickness," I've had bouts of nausea on and off throughout the day, accompanied by what I like to refer to as "hangover burps" - you know, the ones that make you feel better, but you still feel like you could puke at any moment? But, I haven't puked at all. And believe me, there have been times where I've just wished that I would. Blech. I'm exhausted. At the end of a work day, all I want to do is come home, eat dinner (I'm hungry all the time, too, and when I get really hungry, I also get really nauseous - which in turn makes it hard to eat) and go to bed. At 9:15, I'm usually ready to hit the sack. The other night, Mike said, "It's barely past 9!" To which I cleverly responded, "Uh, I'm growing a person over here. It makes me kind of tired." Ah, hormonally induced humor - gotta love it.

Anywho... speaking of exhausted, I'm done. Brain is ceasing to work. More later... including details about my wonderful trip to the lab for blood work - stupid tiny veins. Ouch!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Commutication" Problems

Q: What's worse than being stuck on 41 behind a VW Vanagon?

A: Being stuck on 41 behind a VW Vanagon atop a flatbed tow truck with a driver who refuses to use turnouts and speeds up when there is any break in the yellow line and destroys any hope you have of passing. Fuckwit.

If there's one thing that sours my mood at either end of the day, it's bad drivers on Hwy 41. It can be a treacherous road, but if you have driven it a few times, and it is not pouring rain or socked in with fog, you should be able to keep your speed at least at the 55 MPH limit (heeding the [CURVY ARROW] 35 MPH signs, of course *smirk*). If you cannot, use the turnouts, and quit ruining people's days. Seriously, some of us actually want to get home at the end of a hard day, or actually need to get to work at a reasonable hour of the morning.

OK, rant over. Anywho, my brother left me a comment yesterday - something along the lines of "3 posts in one day = you must be bored." Yes and no. My husband was working last night, and I figured blogging (in essence, talking to you) is better than talking to myself... like I usually do. :) Oh, and he's working tonight, too, so be prepared for more commentary from the couch.

Speaking of the hubs, when I got home this evening, he said, "Someone called with an unknown number, and when I picked it up I could barely hear the lady and didn't understand a word she said. So I asked her to speak up, and she didn't." Long story short, his hearing is fine for the most part, but he just happens to have hearing loss in the range of the female voice - I call it 'selective hearing,' but he actually has documentation of this from work. Not being able to hear people speak irritates him to no end, and he went from zero to pissed in 3.2 seconds. Apparently, he said "Speak the fuck up!" to this poor woman (who he also said may have just been a recorded voice because she wasn't speaking up, and therefore wasn't listening to him - or couldn't listen to him being that it was a recording... got all that?).

My response to all this? "You said what to her?!? Are you serious? What if it wasn't a recording? What if it was your grandma? Your grandparents are pretty much the only people that call us at home with a blocked number." [BTW... he was 100% positive it was not grandma - if he was sure about anything, it was that, so not to worry.] So, here's me, thinking who could that have been? Who now thinks my husband is a raging a-hole, and what can I do to fix this? I tried as gently as possible to ask him that next time something like this happens to say, "I'm sorry, I really can't hear you, and I am going to have to hang up now." We'll see how that works... please call back.

In food news, starting this Friday, New York restaurants that are not following new law regarding calorie count postings will be fined up to $2000 starting Friday. I've got to say, although there are some times that I just wouldn't want to know, there are many more times where I would probably appreciate seeing these numbers posted in such plain sight. Perhaps it would help me make better choices and get rid of the weight I've put on since our wedding. Does anyone know if there's a clever little phrase for post-marriage weight gain? I mean, you enter college, and everyone tells you to look out for the "freshman 15." I haven't heard anyone say, "Look out for the 'newlywed 20,' it'll sneak up on you!" *sigh* Time to join a gym... again.

And now, I leave you with this. Smart woman with a well-trained man, or sick puppy in need of a vet? Talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Uh, some help please?

OK, last post for the day, I promise. What the hell is this about? New-wave convenience snacks for toddlers. Yikes. What ever happened to a sandwich bag full of Cheerios and some real fruit?

Dear AT&T...

... please stop sending me personal invitations to "try high-speed internet now available in [my] area for only $19.95 a month," as I am already a subscriber, and really, admit it, it's not all that "high-speed." Thank you.

Your long time telephone customer and fairly new subscriber to your Dish-Network, not-so-high-speed-internet, long-distance-phone-service, over-priced-bundle

PS: Are your high prices a direct result of your extraneous direct mail campaigns?

Serendipity or something more?

I caught a hummingbird yesterday. It was one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced. The tiny creature had managed somehow to fly into our shop, into the office, and become trapped between the window pane and the blinds. When I saw it, I immediately thought of how difficult it was going to be to get the little guy out without causing irrevocable damage. As it flew up and down the pane of glass, I slowly raised the blinds doing my best not to catch it's wings or body between the slats. I slid the right side of the window open, and tried unsuccessfully to remove the window screen. The hummingbird moved to the screened side of the window and, to my relief, latched it's little toes (do birds have toes) onto the mesh just as our phone began to ring. I must have sounded crazy talking to the wild bird, telling it to hang on - that I'd be right back. Funny thing was, it did.

I took care of the phone call, and made my way back to the window. I cupped my hands and reached up to grab the bird, but it was barely out of reach - my fingertips just able to brush its tail feathers. Suddenly, the bird released its grip from the window screen and took flight, still trying to get out the window. As I followed it up and down with my cupped hands, I stopped and extended the index finger of my right hand. Immediately, it lit on the end of my finger, and it's flapping wings slowed enough for me to place my left hand over its body. And it was calm. I was so afraid it would start to flap its wings, but it just sat and allowed me to carry it outside.

Aside from it's small feet lightly grasping my finger, it felt as though I held nothing in my hands. I walked over to a bush, set my hands on top of a branch, and took my left hand away. I expected it to immediately take flight, but it did not. It just sat. I was afraid that the experience had been too much for it, but as quickly as the thought entered my head, it raised its wings, and took off for a nearby tree.

I couldn't help but to think that holding a hummingbird is not something many people have experienced, and my uncle remarked that it was probably quite lucky. I decided to do a little research, and I found that a hummingbird is considered a totem animal. It represents energy, vitality, joy, renewal, sincerity, healing, persistence, peace, infinity (it's wings move in the pattern of the infinity symbol), agility, playfulness, loyalty and affection. I'm not terribly superstitious, however, after reading about the hummingbird it got me thinking about what it might mean. It was comforting to think that maybe there was a little more to it than just a bird trapped in our office. Perhaps it was a small message from my grandmother who passed away a little over a month ago - it's time to heal; or something telling me not to give up - be persistent and you will be successful; or perhaps it's a foreshadowing of something wonderful still to come. I may never know what - if anything - a visit from this little totem means, but I'm sure it will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Contents Under Pressure

When you visit this blog, you may have noticed the Content Warning screen. I feel as though I should explain why "some readers may find the content of this blog objectionable." I do not intend to be vulgar or to relay vivid accounts of our between-the-sheets endeavors (my husband and I both agree that most of what happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom). I do, however intend to be as frank as possible, and that may, for example, include dropping the F-bomb from time to time! That being said, posts containing "objectionable" content will likely be few and far between, but you now have fair warning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Filling a Nagging Void

I vowed to myself that I would not post to this blog until our remodel blog was officially closed, however, the nagging void which it occupies on the web has finally gotten the best of me - and, I seriously have no idea when our house will really be "done" (although we have moved back in, there is painting and finish work left to do, and we still don't have a dining table and chairs, or the bed we ordered over eight weeks ago *argh*).

Anywho... this is it. The life of a 20-something juggling a new marriage, a fledgling business, a not-yet-finished home remodel, navigating into mid-life, laughing, crying, fighting, making up... and trying not only to make sense of it all, but have a good time along the way, and maybe even find a little bit of balance in it all.