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.