Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm trying to think of some Bests

...to recap the year.

Most memorable meal -- spinach salad and chocolate cake, a la Swedish Hospital

Best movie popcorn -- Columbia City Cinema

Most anticlimactic moment (in a good way) -- amniocentisis, August 6

Best 2007 movie -- Sweet Land, with The Namesake as a close runner-up

Best 2007 movie I haven't seen -- Once (hope to rectify tomorrow)

Best character from Harry Potter 7 -- Mrs. Weasley

Best sound -- August's laugh (we just learned she is ticklish!)

Best smorgasbord -- Sheila's annual chocolate tasting party

Best discovery
-- my new earrings embedded in my hoodie after August swiped them off my ear just a little bit ago AND Tamarind Tree (Vietnamese restaurant in the ID...I don't remember who first discovered this)

Most missed -- Luciano Pavarotti

Best nurses -- Swedish Antepartum Unit

Most addictive television -- What Not To Wear, Ninja Warrior, Top Chef, Girls Next Door and of course Project Runway

Best way to kill time on the couch -- Tour de France

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My least favorite holiday

I don't like New Years Eve. Based on previous experience, I have come to dislike what others find as a fun night of revelry. I won't say hate, because I haven't completely denied responsibility for the fate of my own holidays.

There are 3 main reasons for this, and probably more though I've blocked those other occasions out because they're not coming to mind at the moment. Anyway:

Bad New Years Eve 1991: ordinarily nice and docile boyfriend gets drunk, gets in argument with his best friends and brandishes a weapon. Stupid stupid stupid. I had to drive him around and help patch things up.

Bad New Years Eve 1992: new boyfriend gets drunk, hits on other women at a party and acts generally stupid. On the way home he says/screeches random unpleasant things, tells me to let him off on the freeway, threatens me, then leaves the car with a parting "I hope you get AIDS!" Thanks buddy and goodbye. You will be pleased to know that me and my friends now refer to you as Psycho Don.

Bad New Years Eve 1996: roommate with history of anger management problem gets drunk, picks a fight at our house party (which was super fun up until then), threatens my boyfriend and forces us to vacate our own home for a few days. Again.

My resolution for each of these years should have been to avoid drunk, angry men whenever possible (rocket science!), especially on the last day of the year. Now, I like to avoid drunk people on this evening in general as it brings back bad memories of drunk angry people.

For me, New Years Eve is better spent with a G rating: nice dinner, game night, or maybe an overnight at a spa/nice hotel with pool...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"March of the Emperor"

Hilarious! (Short too.)



Ohmygod. Here's "Brokeback Mountain."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Biathlon anyone?

Yes, it's Christmas, and my head is filled with gifts, carols and gingerbread...and summer sports!

I'm totally thinking about putting together a really informal, fun biathlon for those few people who may want to (or tolerate) swim and bike without the run. Any takers? Julie? Sooz? Erin?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'd post something else...

...but since my blog is part motivational tool, part confessional, and part a bunch of other stuff, here goes.

Yesterday I was having an interesting conversation with Ray's dad about his diabetes management. Afterward I went online to find and print out info for him on counting carbs and meal planning. One of the items I came across is the good ol' Food Pyramid. Though this relic of the 70s has been modified to accommodate more varied nutritional needs, it still highlights what we all remember from 3rd grade: eat a balanced diet of grains/starches, veggies, fruits, meats, yada yada.

I sat there looking at the pyramid for a few minutes, and thought about my day. Heck, I thought about most days since I came home from the hospital 4 months ago. My diet, I admit, has nutritionally spiraled to include mostly carbohydrates, sugar, with some veggies, fruits and protein thrown in. Oh, and Bailey's.

Like a million other new parents, I have digressed to easy meal "staples", like cereal for lunch. Readily available treats fill in for proper nourishment quite regularly. My fave summer fruits are long gone, and I haven't quite got into my winter apple/orange groove. We eat salad most nights with dinner, but these green leafy players can't carry the entire vegetable team.

Bottomline: I need to shape up, literally. This week I took August for her first visit to the gym's daycare (she's now old enough!), and I got 45 minutes of aerobic activity. I've gone back to my morning routine -- stretching, followed by tea/coffee and the newspaper -- before August wakes up (so far I've been lucky). And I made a simple little grid so I can mark off how many servings I've taken in within each food category. I'm hoping this will help remind me to eat more from those neglected food categories, and cut the carb and sweet categories down to the appropriate size. Hopefully my gut will follow suit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why

Why do women who show dogs wear such amazingly ugly shoes in the ring?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winner: Worst Restaurant Name

This morning, Sooz, Bretney, Mel and I met for breakfast someplace new. We were attempting to meet at the Longshoreman's Daughter in Fremont, but somehow it's now called Silence-Heart-Nest. That's Silence - Heart - Nest. Huh?

When I walked in to the place, I thought I was lost. I asked the waitress where to find the Longshoreman's Daughter, she explained they'd moved in 2 years ago, adding, "We kept a lot of their menu, except for meat. We're vegetarian, so we have some wonderful soy-based meat products." Wonderful?

Anyway, turns out we had a great breakfast and plan to go back. But I couldn't help but wonder about the name of the place. It really couldn't be any worse. Their website explains...

All of us who work here are students of meditation, and study with the Indian Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy. The restaurant is a reflection of the impact Sri Chinmoy has had on our lives, and it is inspired by him.

Our name is taken from a poem written by Sri Chinmoy on our opening day March 18, 1986.

"Silence-Heart-Nest
Eternity’s silence: The silence that embodies vision, light and delight.
Infinity’s heart: The universal heart that expands and expands.
Immortality’s nest: The nest of birthless and deathless nectar-delight."


Hmmm, deathless nectar-delight. I wonder if that's on the menu.

Anyway, here he is, Sri Chinmoy.

Ray: "He looks like the guy from the Love Boat."

Me: "Wha? Captain Stubing?!"

Ray: "Yeah--doesn't he?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Victorious

Excellent weekend in Victoria.

3 movies
- Dan in Real Life (not bad, not great, some really funny scenes)
- Mars at the IMAX (fascinating!)
- The Polar Express at the IMAX (much better than I expected)
3 swims in the hotel pool
3 grossly overpriced (but decent) meals
and 1 Afternoon Tea (also overpriced, but worth it)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Birthday

4 months today

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A little gift

I've been enjoying a little bit of Bailey's on ice some evenings lately. It feels quite decadent, especially calorically. I finally snuffed up enough courage to look up the caloric content of a small glass. Woohoo! 1.3 oz = 94 calories.

Merry merry hurrah!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jampacked

Woa, it's been a whirlwind around here, but in a good way. I/We have potlucked and chocolate-tasted, craft-perused and skin-edified, with a cpr class and work party thrown in. My car's getting worked on, then we're celebrating Ray's birthday in Victoria for the weekend while August stays with her Nana. Somewhere in there I've got to finish Christmas shopping, send out cards, make cookies and finish painting the living room. Or maybe that will be part of early 2008.

This is a perfect time for August to start sleeping straight through the night. We're crossing our fingers, hoping it sticks!

Friday, November 30, 2007

NaBloPoMo finale

Going out with a bang, or at least a pop: I thought of two things to blog about today.

Number One...I've written before that the most satisfying and enjoyable activities are usually periodically painful and/or not fun while they are happening, such as training for the triathlon, assigned or contract writing assignments, and school in general.

I hadn't been to school in about two weeks because of illness and holidays, and I was kind of not looking forward to going in today for some reason. I guess I've been feeling overwhelmed by the project that I'm helping with...the bottomless chasm of neuroimaging. But I went, and within a few minutes of the start of the lab meeting, I was totally energized by the discussion, even though it was on area of research I'm not very interested in, relatively speaking. It reminded me that if I decide on a PhD (and I'm moving further in that direction), it will be the most intense, nerve-wracking and intermittently painful and exciting experience, yet I think it will be one of the most satisfying experience I could undertake. (Another grad student recently described her doctorate as "the most humiliating 6 years of my life." Am I sure I want to sign up for that?)

Anyway, it turns out that my previous take on the "pleasure formula" is more widely true for me than I thought. The activities that always seem like fun in the moment (like lounging on the couch all day, watching movies and reading magazines) are not very satisfying. The stuff that is ultimately satisfying is often not entirely fun in the moment, and often there's a big juicy goal to be achieved in the end. I'm sure this outlook is true for other people (Ray believes he's wired the same way), but I'm not sure how common it is. Glad I know this about myself, but geez, it took me long enough!

Number two...I had been adding to a list of potential blog topics for this month, and I only got to a portion of them, mostly because they are only partially fleshed out. Here are the leftovers:

Top 5 favorite Seattle food items: palmier, croissant, bread at De-Lite Bakery, chicken fresh rolls at Tamerind tree, wedge salad at Gordon Biersch, steak/black bean/plaintain/garlic entrée at Mojito, little pizzas at Black Bottle, stout mud pie at Rockbottom, Red Mill cheeseburger,
Baby room décor
Photos of eyes
School, potential research areas
5 inanimate objects I’d take if there were a fire: propeller, glass bowl, Baciu painting, Thinker, tree plate
Lukewarm turned recommendation for Angels in America, the Conversation,
Draft posts
Rejected baby names: Torrance, Ramona,
Upload my Miis
Best gifts I’ve ever given: Russ & Daniel “snakey”, Karis’ wigs, Karsten’s “kitty”,
Poem about
Annoying things: paper towels with patterns,
Music picks
5 talents I wish I had
5 best smells: chlorine,
Sammy photo
Addicting things: online mahjong, Ninja Warrior
August’s fall palette (colors)
Weird expressions: “Kick in the pants” to describe August
The pressure of 8 pm...freetime!
Why do my potluck dishes always go horribly wrong

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why hasn't anyone mention this before?

Ray has said I can pick out some jewelry for birthing a small human -- right on! So after lunch at Lee's with Sheila today, we ducked into Menashe & Sons and browsed around. I saw some earrings I liked, so I asked for help. The sales woman said something like (I'm almost positive):

"So is this a gift for the holidays, Thanksgiving...?"

Um, people get gifts for Thanksgiving? Like, jewelry-gifts?! No way! Maybe I can pitch this idea to Ray so every year I can get gifts worthy of popping out a baby...without the baby-popping part.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Favorite directors


Other new favorites include Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding) and Marc Forster (Stranger Than Fiction).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big day

August experienced her first day at the pool today -- and by "day" I mean all of 10 minutes. She seemed to like it, and she even laughed a few times. I could've stayed for hours, but it's probably best to take this a little at a time.

Can't tell you how excited this makes me. I hope she likes the water as much as I do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ouch

Score
Me 1, Dentist 1

Since my victorious trip to the dentist about a year and a half ago, I've been pretty cocky about the state of my teeth. As of today, this era has ended.

I've put off my regular visit for the last several months, and about a week ago, a couple of teeth started bugging me. It began as simple minor achiness on the left side and back of my mouth, both upper and lower. In the last few days the aches have become more persistent and pronounced, like, I can't chew on that side. A good portion of my left jaw is sore too.

Before examining the problem area, the hygientist had some major work to do to clean things up. Apparently those darn pregnancy hormones can do a number on your teeth. (I'm beginning to wonder what can't be blamed on pregnancy hormones.) Then the dentist came in to have a look. After having me bite on that weird carbon paper, looking at my x-rays, and having a poke around, he declared he didn't know why I was having this type of pain. After more or less ruling out good old TMJ teeth grinding, his best guess: I've got "pulpitis" -- which sounds like a made-up diagnosis to me -- and if correct, the inflammation and pain should decrease over the next week.

Meanwhile, it's hurting like a mofo, enough that I had to interrupt dinner to suck on frozen bits of mango. Ugh, this better get better soon.

The good news is...no cavities!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Project for...someday

Just completed my first round of Christmas shopping this evening, which means I've been nooddling with my computer for an hour or two. Somehow I got sidetracked with a baby clothing idea, i.e. August needs a dress with the Union Jack on it. I dug around all over the internet to no avail (though I did buy some Union Jack Babylegs). Jana, this is right up your alley: maybe I can find a Union Jack iron-on, and then a simple cotton dress on which to adhere it. I'll add it to my list of 411 things I'd like to get to this decade!

Speaking of...off to make the apple pie I intended to make Wednesday night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The perfect gift


Friday, November 23, 2007

Pumpkin pie needs its 'just desserts'*

I can't believe I've just now figured this out: pumpkin pie is underrated. Sure it gets a spectacular honor as the dessert of choice at Thanksgiving, but is this favorite only desirable one day out of 365? I admit I take pumpkin pie for granted as I rarely eat it except for Thanksgiving. This year that's going to change. It's just too damn good for an annual sampling.

When I made pumpkin pie on Wednesday night, I had a little left over pumpkin. I threw in the spices and what was left of the evaporated milk and other ingredients. I baked it in little ramekins next to the big pie for nearly as long. They came out more like little custards, and they were really delish, not to mention easy. Must do this again soon, like even later this weekend.

All in all, I guess I have to hand it to Starbucks for coming up with a seasonal pumpkin pie-inspired drink (Ray's beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte). Pumpkin pie is really best all through the fall and part of the winter. Maybe it should be my cold weather alternative to ice cream. (Well, maybe that's going too far.)
____________________________________________

* I looked up the phrase 'just desserts' and found it's actually 'just deserts', which doesn't sound right, but uses a little known meaning of desert. Who knew. But it's cuter here wrong.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

red wine - white turkey meat - gravy - dark turkey meat - mashed potatoes - cornbread stuffing - green salad - yams - pumpkin pie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 21

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frickin' A, People!

Today marks the 97th dog rescue undertaken by one or both members of our household (I think I've only blogged about Rescue #1). I finally got out for a Bob walk with Sam, and a dog who's always on a lead in a yard on the next block got loose. Thankfully this is a really friendly dog, so I didn't have a scary baby/Sammy/crazy dog incident.

So, I went up to the door and knocked loudly. No answer. I tried to re-tie the broken lead. No luck. The dog seemed interested in staying near the house, so I decided to keep walking and come back and re-knock in a few minutes.

The dog followed me, and luckily I ran into a neighbor of his. The guy was nice enough to come back to the house with me and pound on their door a few more times. Then he stayed with the dog while me and my menagerie went home to get a leash. I came back and tethered the dog to the porch.

"I hope he doesn't chew through that."

"Yeah, me too."

Dear world: If you are going to adopt a dog, please be remotely decent doggie parents and keep them from getting loose*. And for god's sake, get some kind of tags for them!

* There is one exception to this rule. You know who you are, Lupe!

Which turkey is bigger?

Monday, November 19, 2007

On the 37th day of Christmas

Woohoo! New washer and dryer delivered today! The delivery people couldn't get them to stack properly, so someone else is coming out Friday to do that, which means that not only do we have the luxury of new quiet and energy-efficient appliances, but we get some new storage space in our closet-challenged house. I couldn't be more pleased!

But why, I ask you, do I always have a bra or two drying in plain view when service people come to install something and not realize it until they've gone? And why do these guys always wear more than their share of cologne? I think it's the strong smells they bring with them that sets Sammy off more than anything else.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adventure Sunday

I have done virtually nothing all day today, since August has not kept anything down since early this morning. This is a little alarming as a) she doesn't spit up generally and b) she is not a complainer, so we can't tell if she's feeling bad or not. I'm sure it's probably nothing, but it's a little funky when your 3-month-old hasn't fully digested anything in almost 10 hours.

So painting went out the window, as did a trip to the gym, and other plans for the day.

Off topic: Here's another old drawing from a few years ago...apparently a study tool from some class I've now pretty much forgotten. Good sign for next year, eh.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sammy's butt

Sammy's butt is a magnet for freshly painted surfaces. She loves to lay down in places where she can lean again still-damp paint. First it was the wall paint, and today the trim. Thankfully, the grooming wipes we have on hand work pretty well on wet paint and black fur.

Rainy Saturday

I am looking forward to getting some rainy day activities done today:

1. painting some trim in the living room
2. digging around journal article databases on a couple research topics
3. baking!

I'd also like to take a Bob walk with Sammy, but this wet stuff has to stop first.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Preciosa"

August had her first experience with a babysitter tonight, and I was excited to have her with a Mexican family for some Spanish-immersion. Watching a baby girl was apparently a thrill for the parents and their two little boys. "She is a beautiful baby! We just sat around her and looked at her."

I think August has a new fan club. And I think her new sitters have some fans too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Handy gizmo

We get an extraordinary number of annoying phone calls, from market researchers, charitable organizations, companies selling stuff, politicians leaving recorded messages (during election season anyway). It doesn't seem to make any difference that we are on the Do Not Call lists.

So Ray ordered this handy little device for less than $10! -- the Zenith EZ Hang-up. When you pick up a call you don't want to continue, you press the little button and hang up, rather than interrupt the person and ask them to take you off the list and have them (amazingly) try to talk you out of it. There is something very satisfying about hanging up on them while they listen to a recorded message, repeated once so there's no question:

"[ding-ding] I'm sorry, this number does not accept this type of call. Please regard this as your notification to remove this number from your list. Thank you."

(Ding-ding is the sound it makes at the beginning of the message, not the cute pet name we have for the people on the other end, as fitting as it may be.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Everyone is sick

My cold is nearly history, but both August and Ray are in the thick of it. Everyone is at home today, wearing pajamas. Miraculously, August is still smiling and laughing despite the coughing, sneezing and runny nose. And Ray is still working.

Speaking of sick, here's a weird thing: you know how music can bring you back to a specific time, place and feeling? Well now, when I listen to cds I bought during the first few months of pregnancy, I feel ill. Don't get me wrong, they're good albums, but because I was feeling pretty queasy for a few months there, I instantly recall that nausea when I listen to Regina Spektor, Michael Franti and the latest Shins. It's a bummer because I'm not really inclined to listen to those albums even though I like them.

Can you tell I have not much in the way of blog post ideas...again. I feel like I'm barely coasting through NaBloPoMo. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New template

What do you think? I finally updated to the latest version of Blogger, and spent a good hour or two messing with the html to get it the way I want it. Sort of. I may keep playing with the format a bit when I get the time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Paint files

I did this a few years ago, based on a guy I saw at the coffee shop. I didn't like it at the time, but now I kinda do.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Note to Book Publishers

In the future, please consider not using teaser quotes like...

"...brings the final curtain down with a satisfying wicked twist..."

...on the covers of your novels. I spent the whole book (The Cottagers, Marshall N. Klimasewiski) guessing about the twist at the end, coming up with some pretty interesting theories, only to be let down by an ending that was not satisfying, not wicked, nor even unexpected. I really liked this book, but a teaser like that is just a set-up for a let down.

Songs for Sunday

Sunday has its own soundtrack. This has been true for years. Maybe it started when I was a kid, and Sunday was marked by going to church in the morning. Music, those Sundays, consisted of C89's gospel show while getting ready for church, the traditional and contemporary hymns while at church, Sunday school songs at Sunday school, and then hearing my brother practice riffs on his guitar in the afternoon.

The soundtrack these days is much different, and I can hardly say it's been informed by those Sundays from childhood. It has, however, not changed much in the last 10-15 years.

- Classic rock, especially Led Zeppelin
- U2
- Classical, like Mozart's Requiem
- Jazz, like Chet Baker
- Ill-titled 'adult contemporary' stuff, like Sarah McLaughlin, Patty Griffin, Neko Case (I'm not saying these artists misnamed their songs, but rather the whole category title, i.e. 'adult contemporary' seems silly and dumb.)
- And overall melancholy mixes, like what appears on the Garden State and Elizabethtown soundtracks

Music that is NOT Sunday:
- Hip hop, like Kanye West
- Reggae (definitely for Saturdays)
- Latin, like Tito Puente
- 80s music, like flashback weekends on the radio
- Fun-loving indie rock, like the Shins

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sick

It's been a week now since I started feeling sick. I feel better, I guess, but not much. Hacking, rattling cough. Stuffed sinuses, runny nose. General ugh. Today Ray woke up with a sore throat. It'll be a miracle if August stays healthy, but so far so good.

We are going to distract ourselves today by going to Fry's and looking at cameras, dvds, and gadgets for Christmas. Plus Ray needs to buy a hard drive.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Uhhhh

I really have nothing to say.


Dinner last night was neither Buffalo, nor wings. But it really did "taste like chicken!"


We got a new dishwasher, installed yesterday. It's like Christmas came early!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What I wish I would've known

I was thinking last night about labor and delivery, more specifically about coping with the pain. I've described it to several people by saying it's like it wasn't really me doing the work. When it got really bad, it's as if someone else came in, took over, and I kind of sat around nearby flipping through a magazine. That person really worked hard and endured some hellacious pain, so I'm very grateful she was available for the occasion. (Bertha, was that you?)

I'm betting that those labor and delivery books I read ahead of time said something about pulling from special coping stores to get through this experience, but I don't remember it. Obviously the same thing happens when most of us (maybe all of us) are in a really traumatic or difficult situation and we do something miraculous to get through it. It bothers me (maybe even offends me, though I'm not sure why) when people say "Wow, I could've never done what s/he did" about experiences like this, like when someone heroically performs CPR, or stands up during a violent crime, or beats cancer with a great attitude. Chances are they can, and probably will do something similar if faced with such a situation. In those moments, there doesn't seem to be any choice, and we get to access this incredible innate coping fuel, a secret stash only available at these times to see us through.

My sister-in-law is having a baby in a few months. I'm going to tell her about this aspect of my experience. I wish someone had told me (or that I would've listened!) as it would've alleviated a lot of my worry about dealing with very intense pain. And I bet Bertha will be back for an encore should I need her, one way or another.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

3 months

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Why is it



Why is it that things I find fun are usually dull to most people and completely useless? For instance, when I made that plaid pattern for my last post -- totally fun. Am I a MSPaint nerd? Geek? Or dweeb? There must be a word for someone who has mediocre skill at something unremarkable. Linguaphiles, get back to me.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Warning labels

I'm fighting a cold and not feeling like posting today, but I'm only a few days into NaBloPoMo, so no way I can stop now.

Here's a stupid thing: The Bumbo chair was recently "recalled." We'd heard rave reviews about this thing from other parents, as it helps babies sit up earlier than they can do so on their own, and they really like this. But some stupid parents did not use their common sense OR read the labels on the packaging and the chair itself and decided it was a good idea to use the chair on an elevated surface, like a COUNTERTOP. What the eff were they thinking! So of course a few kids have fallen out of the chair and endured some serious head injuries from the fall from that height. And these parents are suing the company.

The company is recalling the chairs so they can add a warning sticker to it, since apparently the molded-on warning and and statements on the packaging and instruction booklet that say virtually the same thing are not enough for some people.

I have historically not read warning labels. They say stupid things like: Toaster "Do not insert metal objects into heating mechanism" and Anti-Itch Cream "Do not ingest" and Car "Do not attempt to enter or exit vehicle while moving." Now that I have a wee human counting on me, I've started to read warning labels on things. For the most part, baby-related warning labels are both obvious and inspire some vivid worries about the absurd. Like August's bassinet came with a big warning on the side of the fabric that said something about watching out for baby not to get stuck between the mattress and side of bassinet. Looking at the thing I can't imagine how this would happen, but I'm sure it has happened once or twice, miraculously, and since the parents sued the company, they now have to post a warning about both the obvious and the inconceivable.

Anyway, we will be keeping our Bumbo chair. And we won't be using it on the kitchen counter, though maybe she'd enjoy sitting in it while riding on the hood...
_______________________

Just after I posted this, I walked into the living room where Ray was feeding August and watching a show where a guy on a motorcycle is trying to jump a school bus after setting himself on fire.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Today's project

Who am I kidding. Painting the living, dining rooms and hallway is really this month's project, or maybe even this fall's project. As for today, I'll try to get the hallway and at least one wall in the living room done, including white trim.

We picked the middle color, "Flour Sack White." Sounds so elegant, eh. It was the most pleasant regardless of lighting changes. The other two got a little funny looking depending on time of day.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Weird dream

This was my dream last night: Ray and I were woken up in our house (but actually a house I've never seen before) by a intruder. Ray heard a strange noise and we both got up to investigate. While we were looking around and peering out windows, a tallish, lanky guy walked into the living room.

"Who are you and what the hell are you doing here?!" I said.

"Just give me the equivalent of what you pay each month for your mortgage, and I'll be on my way," he replied.

"Like hell we will!" I said, and jumped him. Never underestimate someone with experience with and unresolved issues surrounding break-ins.

We found some twine and tied the guy up. I wondered if he was bound too tightly, but was so furious it was all I could do to keep from pummeling him to a pulp. We called 911, and I breathlessly told them the situation and our address.

A little while later, while I was still struggling to keep him from escaping, the police arrived. Actually, it wasn't really the police but this Swedish woman who was like a police apprentice, intern or volunteer. Apparently our break-in didn't warrant the real police initially, so she was there to do triage until an officer showed up.

She took the perp to another room to ask him some questions. Apparently he had a sympathetic story and somehow managed to cut his back and then woefully blame me for wound. He was charismatic enough that by the time she was done with him, she was blaming me for my cruelty. "But he's the one who broke in here demanding money! He's done that to himself!" She didn't believe me.

Meanwhile, more people began to show up at the house. Strangely, this guy was actually someone I had met at a party some years back, and was a friend of an acquaintance. His group of friends (who I knew) came to see what the ruckus was all about, and were alarmed by his panicked pleas and the accusations that I had accosted him.

After a while, the media arrived to cover the story. By this time the guy had tried to escape a few more times, managed to inflict several more deep wounds to blame on me, but somehow no one noticed but me. He had also worked himself into such a state that he had regressed to about a 7-year-old -- he literally behaved as if he'd dissociated back to childhood. I could no longer tell if this was real or an act.

Regardless, this was fascinating to the media. The TV reporters' solitary focus was the drama of this distraught young man who found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. The house was now so full of people and camera crews, I couldn't even get to the police officers, who'd finally arrived, at the other side of the house.

Then I woke up. The end.

Funky, eh. For those of you into dream interpretation, enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First day NaBloPoMo

We had 76 trick-or-treaters this year, down 2 from last year. Kids seemed extra polite this year, which is always nice.

I wasn't really sure what August's costume was, but her Nana said, "She's a menehune (a hawaiian fairy), of course." I think she's probably right.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scary Pumpky Fish


Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bob

Friday, October 26, 2007

Decisions -- attempt #8

Every time I think I've come to a final decision about my future, i.e. I've put the PhD thing to rest, it rears its ugly head. This has been going on for 2 years now. Getting the clinical MS is very practical, and I'd have lots of job opportunities when I'm done. On the other hand, I think I'd be frustrated by the neurological "whys" in clinical work, yet with no time or support to pursue them. If I instead research the "whys" through a doctorate, the job prospects at the end are much more challenging to find.

I finally decided to get some bona fide input from one of my old professors. She was very supportive and said they'd love to keep me in the department as a doc candidate. Who I'd work under is a bit in the air, but it looks good if I decide to go for it.

Not only that, the MS program I planned to start next fall seems even more rigorous than I thought. In the last 24 hours, 2 moms who know the program well have more or less said be prepared to not see your kid for a few years. I don't think I can do that to August, Ray or myself while August is so little. Ugh.

So while the chips fall into place here and there, I'll continue to mull over the pros and cons and come to some conclusion that feels right. It's so hard to make a decision when there is no clear right answer -- maybe the biggest challenge of being a grown-up.

MS pros
Practical, flexible career opportunities once done (5 pts)
Likely enjoyable work that stays at the office/clinic (4 pts)
Able to contribute to retirement in a few years (2 pts)

MS cons
Super intense time commitment for 2-3 years (not good fit w/ small children) (-5 pts)
Very expensive (-3 pts)
What if clinical work gets old or frustrating? (-2 pts)

MS NET POINTS...1


PhD pros
Research is fun and exciting mostly (3 pts)
Flexible schedule (good fit for young children) (4 pts)
School paid for plus some income (3 pts)
Can do clinical MS later if need be (1 pts)

PhD cons
Could be challenging finding a job (-3 pts)
What if I don't want to do research forever? (-3 pts)
Will I be able to contribute meaningfully to retirement anytime soon? (-1 pts)

PhD NET POINTS...4

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Serious babytude

Monday, October 22, 2007

NaBloPoMo

I have always intended to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) some November, but I don't think this is the year to attempt it. Instead, I will do NaBloPoMo, as posting each day of November sounds doable. Keeping things interesting will be the harder nut to crack.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Share the friggin road

I am a proponent of commuting via bicycle. I am aware of the cyclists around me and do my best to be a good car-bicycle citizen. But you know what really gets me? Cyclists who do not share the road. I just spent 10 minutes stuck behind two cyclists who used the entire lane down a good portion of California Avenue, riding 20 mph or less. A whole string of cars were backed up behind them.

There is room for both bikes and cars on most streets, side-by-side. Do unto others, dudes, and you'll garner more support for the pro-bicycle position.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hmm, what to post...

Part I
Obvious tip of the day: I love me some foamy soap, so imagine my delight when I mixed up regular liquid soap with water and put it in my empty foamy soap dispenser (1/3 soap, 2/3 H20). Yah...cheap foamy soap.

Part II



New shoes arriving this week.

Sooz: "Those are not mom shoes."

Me: "I know! Aren't they fantastic!"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Move over Palmier

On special occasions (not real special occasions, but rather occasions when I'm in the vicinity and allow myself a splurge) I like to get a Palmier pastry at Le Panier near Pike Place Market. I love these pastries because they are buttery and flaky and just slightly sweet. They have just the right amount of low-resistance crispiness. And they go great with a good cappuccino, which they also serve. The Palmier at Le Panier is probably in my top 5 favorite food items in Seattle (ah-ha, good post for later.)

After reading rave reviews for Bakery Nouveau in our local 'hood, I decided I needed to give it a shot, especially the Twice-baked Almond Croissant.

C'est Fou! C'est Magnifique! Stop the presses!

This is an amazing bit of French pastry goodness. The twice-baked part gives is a stunning initial crispness as you bite down, then inside it's moist and has just the right amount of that almond filling, whatever it's called. It's perfection, really, and now I understand why the chef and owner of Bakery Nouveau is "Champion Du Monde de la Boulangerie" (yup, the World Cup of Baking) as of 2005, an apparently highly impressive win amongst the top bakers in the world, including the French.

You're right, this post warrants a photo, but I snarfed the croissant before I realized it was a photo-worthy event. So instead I leave you with a baguette photo, which we'll sample tonight and report back.

By the way, if anyone wants to wander over to West Seattle and meet up for lunch at Bakery Nouveau, they also have some really elegant and tasty-looking French-style sandwiches, not to mention tarts and yes, chocolates made on the premises. (This place has Sheila written all over it!)

UPDATE - The baguette was superb.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Repentance

Here's how I thought it would go...

Me: Hi. I'd like to get a new library card, but, um...{quietly} first I have some fines I need to pay.

Library Lady: Oh really. Give me your name and I'll look you up.

...
LL: {glancing up from the computer with disdain} Well, it says here that you owe us $75 for books never returned, not including interest. {Glances at library patron waiting behind me, and rolls eyes}. Are you prepared to pay such a sum today, ma'am? These fines are more than 10 years old!

Me: {sheepishly} Uh, yes...yes I am. I'm really really sorry. I've been meaning to come in for ages. Actually, uh...I've been out of town for...uh...a long time so I couldn't return the books. Yeah, that's it.

LL: {disbelievingly} Is that so. Well, it's not my first choice, but if you pay right now and we can verify that this check is good, I guess I'll have to give you a card. {Aside to waiting library patron} Can you believe the gall of some people these days? Taking advantage of the library...the LIBRARY of all places! {Grumbles incoherently}

INSTEAD...

Me: Hi. I'd like to get a new library card, but, um...{quietly} first I have some fines I need to pay.

Library Lady: Oh really. Give me your name and I'll look you up.

...
LL: {glancing up from computer} I don't see you anywhere here. Is this the name you had your last card under? If you received a notice about a fine, we should have you in here...

Me: No, no. I haven't received a notice in years, I just know I owe you guys money. And the card was under that name.

LL: {warmly} Well, we don't have you in our system at all, so don't worry about it. Let's get you started with a new card.

Me: No, you don't understand. I owe you guys money. I never returned some books. Several books. A whole stack really. I have no idea where they are. Are you sure you can't find me in there somewhere?

LL: Let's check under an old phone number ... nope, you're not there. Don't worry about it...you don't owe anything.

Me: But I do! Um...can I at least make a donation?

LL: Sure, let me go get the head librarian and find out how you do that. But first let me tell you about your new library card...

________

The head librarian came down, I made my donation and joined "Friends of the Library" to further dissuade the guilt. I was bewildered that this entire event -- one I had been dreading for years -- ended with the librarian saying "No, no, thank you!"

This repentance thing ain't half bad!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

By popular demand

August is just 4 days away from being 2 months old. Ah, those were the days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The variable year

I had a birthday last week...another reminder that I don't feel my actual age in the least bit. For several years I felt 23, and now I feel about 27, which goes to show that I am actually aging, just at a different rate than the calendar says.

This is interesting to me because I also remember what age felt like as a kid. Remember when it took forever to get to a birthday, and becoming 15 seemed like eons away? Time really crawled by.

So my conclusion: we start out aging in something like dog-years -- seven years rolled into one -- and as we get older our "years" slow down. I'd say from about 15-25 a "year" is an actual year. Somewhere between 25-30, the calendar starts feeling a little too fast. After 30, it speeds up even more. Right now I think I'm aging about 1/4 "year" for every actual year.

If this continues, I should hit 36 when I'm about 65. Let's hope advances in cosmetic surgery keep step with my theory.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Duh-duh-duh-duh

Me: Gawd, I have the weirdest song in my head. Remember in the early eighties, or maybe it was the late seventies, there was that disco version of Beethoven's 5th Symphony?

Ray: Yeah, it's "A Fifth of Beethoven."

Me: Oh! -- A fifth of Beethoven, like a fifth of vodka? I get it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Impressive. Most impressive.

In my book, you are definitely a Jedi if you can run 100 miles. All together. Like, non-stop. No joke.

That's what one of my professor's did last weekend, as a fundraising challenge for the Hearing Regeneration Initiative at the UW. I knew she'd done ultra-marathoner stuff in the past, but I guess she's still active. Uh, maybe active is an understatement. Kickin' ass is probably a better description.

Check it out here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Holy Bunnytail, Batman

I just noticed an interesting trend. In the last month, I've had more random hits on this blog from people searching for info on Hugh Hefner and his girlfriends, just because I admitted my fondness for the E! show "The Girls Next Door." For example, my blog apparently comes up if you Google:

do hugh hefner's girlfriends have contracts

hef's former girlfriend buffy

do hugh hefner's girlfriends get allowance

hugh hefner mii

will hef father holly's baby


I'm sure I've just upped this kind of traffic by blogging about it now, but it's just too funny not to share!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Found

I cleaned out my purse yesterday, and found this great quote from Stranger than Fiction (one of my all-time favorite movies) folded up among the take out menus, programs and receipts. Apparently Ray planted it in my purse months ago, and I didn't find it until just now. Brilliant...

As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction.

And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More music

Music was very important in our family growing up. We all started music lessons early on, with me on the piano and then clarinet, my brother on the flute and then guitar and then bass, and my sister on the violin then piano and a few other things. We all eventually sang in choirs, school musicals and/or bands. My parents always had Classic KING on during the day, or played some of their large record collection, consisting of mostly classical and American and international folk music. All of us developed an appreciation for music, and surprising understanding of traditional Slavic tunes -- my dad kept a stack of records he purchased Yugoslavia in the early sixties which became classic family listening. I may know nothing about Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond or Captain and Tennille, but I can spot Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy a mile off.

I often think about the foundational musical values give to me by my parents and wished that I engaged in musical opportunities more often. First of all, why aren't we attending the symphony, the opera (what happened to our plans to see La Boheme this spring?), Folk Life, etc. Second, I need to expand my classical music collection. I have plenty of international music, but my classical repertoire is stuck on a few cds I like best (Mozart, Copland, Faure, Brahms). Third, there are not enough occasions in which to have good live music. Having a wedding is one occasion. My brother sang Ave Maria during our ceremony and it was a highlight of the event. Ray and I have somewhat jokingly talked about hiring the mariachi band at La Costa for an event, like a baby party or birthday...but who has the space appropriate for that kind of music? I've also been trying to figure out an occasion for an opera singing friend to sing Faure's Pie Jesu. Is it wrong to plan a non-religious baptism/baby dedication just to hear someone sing?

Ray and I have discussed some of the foundational values we'd like to pass to August. Mine are swimming and piano lessons, and Ray has agreed we'll invest in a piano or keyboard as space and finances allow. Ray wants August exposed to martial arts and has plans to introduce calculus as soon as she's out of the bassinet. (I joke, but seriously, he just bought a book called Who is Fourier? A Mathematical Adventure! for her.)

Anyway, I'd like August to have the experience I had growing up...a house filled with lots of music. Thankfully, it's easy to start with the stereo.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

First "swim"


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Things I love

1. Tim Gunn
If Oprah is the new Jesus, then Tim Gunn is the new John the Baptist. But maybe for different religions.

I want Tim Gunn to adopt me as his new favorite niece. Until that happens, I'll just watch his new show on Bravo and wait for Project Runway to start.

2. The Moby Wrap
Genius comes in one long strip of cotton knit. I am not the kind of person who savors spending every moment with a newborn who wants to be held. This morning I remembered the Moby Wrap, strapped it around my body and stuffed August in one of the pockets. She immediately seemed to think she was back in the womb, and now I have two hands to carry on my lengthy to do list!

3. Wee! Wii!
What possesses a person to buy a Nintendo Wii game system as a baby shower present? Whatever the reason, it's a good one! Ray and I have been planning on buying one for months now, but never could justify the expense. Now that we've received one (thank you Mark! and Erin too for considering such a gift!), we are surely going to be better parents. Right? I've found making Miis (gaming characters) is almost as much fun as playing the games themselves. If you use our Wii (yes, this is an invitation), you can play as me, Ray, August, OR Denzel Washington, Cesar Milan, Oprah Winfrey, Chow Yung-fat, Pippi Longstocking, Spike from Buffy, or Bertha, my evil alter ego.

Ohmygod -- I must go make a Tim Gunn Mii!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Guilty pleasure

Since I'm not Catholic, blogging is as close to confession as I'm gonna get.

I admit it, I watch and take great pleasure in watching The Girls Next Door. Heard of it? Seen it? It's a reality show on E! featuring Hugh Hefner's three girlfriends and their lives at the Playboy Mansion.

I know, I know...it doesn't get any worse than this, does it? This is just the kind of show that I would normally rail against, but...but...it's just so good. Okay, not good exactly, but so bad it's good. But really, it's not bad. Hmm, what am I trying to say.

Okay, it's the kind of show that leaves you with as many questions as answers about the life a Playboy girlfriend would lead. Holly, Bridget and Kendra are not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed, but the former two aren't as dumb as they appear (Kendra, is in fact as dumb as she appears). Holly, the primary girlfriend, intrigues me the most as she seems to genuinely love 80-year-old Hef, while the other two seem to have taken on the girlfriend role more as a job than anything else. So I wonder...how does this arrangement really work? Has Hef included all three in his estate plans, or maybe just Holly? How does his daughter, now CEO of Playboy, accept her father's significant otherS? Or maybe this is a nice change from the 7 girlfriends of yester year. Do each of these girls have contracts? What kind of "allowance" do they get? At what point will they "break up"?

I know I could probably find the answers to most of these questions with a little digging on the internet, but I haven't succumbed to such measures yet. I'll just keep watching and see how much I can figure out. Fascinating!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

R.I.P.

Life is all about beginnings and ends. We celebrate the new and mourn the dying. We endeavor to enjoy what we have knowing that everything must change. Saying goodbye, while painful, is as much a part of life as saying hello.

Today, I must say goodbye to some old friends. Good friends. Friends who have seen me through big events and small daily jaunts. I love these old friends, even though I really like making new friends.

Today I will be trying on all my shoes and making decisions about who fits and who doesn't. It seems my feet have made some permanent adjustments and now I have to unload everyone who doesn't make the size cut. Oh this is painful. What if my cowboy boots don't fit anymore? Or my cute green suede flats that I got on sale and will never be on sale again (actually they probably don't even make them anymore). Or my red faux croc boots that have seen me through several fall/winter seasons. Or last year's brown BCBG kitten heels. What will I do without the Dansko maryjanes...they've been my everything for several years now.

Maybe I can get some of those shoe stretchers...those wood and metal things that you slide in your shoes to stretch the leather. That might work...a last reprieve for the dying. But first I need to face the music and try everything on.

After that, if you wear size 9.5, you're in luck. And the upside: I get to make a LOT of new friends.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's called Midwest Country. And it's ugly.

Towards the end of my home bedrest, I discovered the home design channel. Bretney came over to paint the baby room, and flipped to HGTV (I think) before starting on the room. In between chatting with Bretney while she worked, I watched some design show. I thought was the early part of the show...you know, the "before." This woman's sewing room was done completely in mauvey peach -- walls, shelving, etc. -- with kelly green accents on the floral drapery and other upholstery. Hideous.

What's even more hideous, I realized shortly, is that this was not the "before." Oh no. This was the "after."

"Oh my god Bretney. You have to come see this! It's horrible!"

"Yeah...it's bad. You see lots of this in the Midwest."

"But it's beyond ugly...look! Look!"

"Yeah, that's Midwest Country for you."

"Oh my god. I always thought ________ had no taste, but now I know she does. And it has a name?! Good lord, make it stop!"

"You better calm down or I'm going to change the channel. This is not good for your blood pressure."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Must post something

I'm concerned my lack of energy will completely derail any creativity, so I'm forcing myself to blog in an effort to keep the juices flowing. The problem is my experiences right now are limited to babydom, the occasional errand, and drs. appointments. My blog posts, therefore, can be limited to 1-2 sentence post-ettes:

August's first friend (besides Sammy) is the cow blanket my mom gave her. We hang it on the side of her bassinet, with the cow face looking down at her, and she looks and talks to it for longer than she does any other waking activity (minus eating). I don't think she realizes how disturbing a disembodied cow head can be.

The doctor okayed me to swim today!

Ray and I are still talking about the spinach salad and chocolate cake a la Swedish Hospital menu.

Ever since I had a pre-cancerous mole removed a few months ago, I keep finding other moles that I think are also new (and therefore potentially problematic). I hope I'm just being paranoid, as I really don't want them to continue punching out holes in my skin.

Our 140-year-old neighbor has been giving us 3-4 tomatoes from his garden every day. We've had tomato sauce, pasta with tomato, tomato/zucchini bake, grilled cheese and tomato, and are still looking for more recipes. I know: bread salad with tomato and fresh mozzarella.

If August isn't colicky yet, will she become so in the next few weeks? Crossing my fingers on this one.

This is a funny site: who said it -- Dick Cheney or Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos?

This is possibly the best website I've ever seen. It's so Science of Sleep. And the bags they sell are cool too.

That's all I got.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New friends

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Milestones

Today was the 3rd day in a row the mailman saw my boob.

Also today, I got my first non-medically related trip out of the house in weeks. And this quick trip to Barnes & Noble made me realize that yes indeed, those pain meds they prescribed are narcotics.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Quicker than a root canal?

I've never had a root canal, so I don't know if this is true. But whatever...it took 4.5 hours to get August Elizabeth out of the womb. When the "ripening" drugs started working quite suddenly Tuesday morning, I landed in the middle of labor. Three intense hours later, I was 8 cm dilated and the anesthesiologist gave me an epidural. We hung out for about 45 minutes waiting for those extra 2 cm. Then the doctor was back next to my head saying "okay, baby needs to come out right now...we're wheeling you into surgery." In I went and out she came...screaming, though we'd been warned she may need resuscitation measures. She's been making her opinion known ever since, I'm pleased to report.

We're finally back at home. The cat freaks out every time AE cries as she thinks, apparently, we're hurting her kitten. Tomorrow, August will meet Sammy the dog. Maybe it's good that Sammy can't hear a thing.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Here we go

Since the baby's lungs are mature, we're starting in on induced labor. I may need to do a c-section if it doesn't go so well, but we'll probably know that tomorrow.

Cross your fingers and send good vibes!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wi-Fi!

We just found out yesterday that Swedish has wi-fi as of a few months ago. Sweet! Why didn't we ask about this sooner? Only problem is I can't access any blogs using the larger blog services, including my own. So Ray is posting for me.

Tomorrow is a big day, maybe the big day. I'll get an amnio to determine how the baby's lung are maturing, and if mature enough, they will likely induce labor then or on Tuesday. Since I'm early this may necessitate some measures to get my body ready to deliver, which I understand could take a while. Like even a few days. Or they might decide I need a C-section. Or they might find her lungs need a few more days to percolate and they'll keep monitoring me for a week and hope my body stays as stable as its been in the last 48 hours.

So basically, this baby could arrive anytime in the next week, I guess.

Meanwhile, I am trying to stay really relaxed, watching videos and reading. The day nurse this weekend turned out to be someone I knew from the lacrosse team freshman year in college, so it's been fun to chat and pick her brain about different delivery scenarios. She's been an OB nurse since graduation. Seattle is a small town.

It's really weird to be confined to a small room for days on end. Who knows what's happening on the other side of that door...a jungle? a carnival? I have no idea, but it's fun to imagine.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Blogging for Becca

Hey Becca's readers, this is her friend Jana making a post on her behalf. Becca wants to point you all to my blog temporarily until she has internet access once again. I can make occasional posts about her status on my blog until Baby August arrives.

The latest update is Becca will deliver on Monday unless something changes. She is at Swedish Hospital on bedrest until the baby's arrival.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tour over...baby time?

Now that the Tour is done, my body seems like it wants to go to the hospital. I've been feeling lousy on and off all weekend. I want to try to keep this baby gestating for 1 more week at least, but I'm betting the doctor will want to admit me this week and stabilize my funkiness before delivering the baby. At this point she, ie baby, hasn't rotated much, so a C-section may be in the near future. That's okay with me...let's just do what needs to be done.

Time passes weirdly on the couch. I can't believe I've been here for almost 2 weeks. I've hardly watched any movies and only read 1 book. Ray and I had plans for a really nice night out before the baby shows up, but that obviously went out of the window. It's almost as if early labor started 2 weeks ago.

I'd like to have a little time to put stuff into the baby room, fill her dresser with all of her clothes (good god, lots of clothes) and diapers and stuff. I'm hoping that I'll have one more week at home to sneak in and do that kind of thing a little at a time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Need to make it to Monday

Today started with bad news on the Tour front (can someone please figure out how to hold this major sporting event without letting these blood doping egomaniacs participate!), and me feeling kinda peuny (as my mom would say). I'm hoping it's just a sign of days on end of laying down.

If I go to the hospital, apparently they'll give me this nasty stuff to bring my blood pressure down which will actually make me feel really bad. Plus no internet access. Plus I'll have to deliver this baby early and she needs to cook a little longer. So I need to stay out of the hospital for another week. Or at least until they install the carpetting in the bedrooms on Monday. You can see how my sense of logic has gone out the window.

I probably should pack my bag tonight just in case. At least Ray bought me this cool little DVD player thing, so I'm saving up a bunch of movies to watch during "free time from hell."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Blood doping dope

You know, Alexandre Vinokourov was making the Tour so much fun to watch...the ultimate underdog with his stitched up knees. But he had to go and dope up and lose all that respect he was garnering. What an idiot. And what a bummer.

So now I'm cheering for Alberto Contador, the young Spaniard who is back into racing after recovering from a blood clot in his brain. He's 2 in the standings right now, about 3 minutes behind the yellow jersey.

Meanwhile, I am trying to distract myself from the food I'm not allowed to have right now...pizza and fried rice with spicy mustard come to mind. Why is it we always want what we can't have?

Also, I'm realizing that weird people come to the door during the day. This teenager just told me he's trying to win a public speaking contest and can get points for first impressions. He flashed this flimsy Cert. of Authenticity at me. I just don't buy it. "Sorry," I said, "I'm on the phone..."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Narrow miss

Well, thankfully I'm still on my couch. My blood pressure was so high initially at the doctor's office that it looked like I was going to spend some time in the hospital, but it went down again. They are keeping a close eye on me, and it looks like we'll be having this baby sometime in the next 2-3 weeks. Wow. We're feeling more ready for it though. Let's get this show on the road!

Me: "Serves me right. I'd been getting cocky saying I was having a 'textbook' pregnancy."

Dr. McD.: "Well, you are having a textbook pregnancy. This is just a different chapter!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What?! No Santa Claus?!

What the heck was I thinking. I pre-ordered my Harry Potter book from Amazon, and apparently I'd imagined little postal elves dropping it off on my doorstep at dawn with a giggle. I'd wake up, wander to the front door, pick up my package, and settle into the couch to read. But it's not here yet and it's 1 pm. Crisis.

Ooooh! UPS just showed up! I wonder...

YES!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The bright side

1. Our bathroom is done! We can't try it out until the caulk dries, but it looks marvelous. Unless something funky happens, I will gladly recommend Gabino and his crew as contractors.

2. I feel better today and had a great swim (doctor approved swimming as part of my 4 hours of non-rest time).

3. The triage nurse said they'd probably hospitalize me before inducing me...so hopefully no baby next week. Hopefully no hospital next week either.

4. The Tour de France is great company. My favorite rider is Alexandre V. (KAZ) who has 60+ stitches in his knees and is maintaining at 19th place overall. Michael Rasmussen (DEN) is rumored to have tested positive for doping and has been disqualified from the Olympics and something else, though will continue in the Tour (don't understand how this works).

5. Our kitchen counters are done and the whole thing looks great. God, I want to go in and mop and clean for sheer joy.

6. I have the house to myself after 4.5 days of company. It's so QUIET.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

If nothing else, by sheer will

There's a possibility that I will need to deliver this baby next week if my symptoms don't improve (blood pressure mostly). I don't know if it's an outside or an inside chance. However, because I am a contingency planner, I am preparing myself for the worst and expecting the best. But I also believe there's something to setting short-term goals in order to reach the longer term ones.

Longer term -- I would like to deliver this baby no earlier than Aug 15

Short-term -- I would like to make it to...

Wed, July 25...when Bretney has graciously offered to paint the baby room
Sun, July 29...when we have our big shower
Mon, July 30...when the bedrooms will get new carpeting
Tues, July 31...when we finish baby classes
Sun, Aug 5...when Jane gets hitched
Wed, Aug 15...when we take Infant CPR and will be into week 37.

I think I can -- I think I can -- I know I can -- I know I can...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The tub

I have nothing better to do than lay around and take occasional remodeling photos.

--sigh--

Okay, that sounds way too pitiful. What's exciting is that this is our new 'Greek Bath' and while it's shorter than a standard tub, it's about 10 inches deeper. I'm looking forward to feeling very Medittaranean in it! (Whatever that means.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DVD recommendations

The doctor put me on bed rest today, which means that about every couple hours I will be convincing myself that I need to get up and go run around the block.

So while 6 guys work on our bathroom, I'll lay here on the couch, entertain myself on my laptop, and field suggestions for dvds and silly websites to cruise. Next visit to the doctor (early next week) I'll find out when she thinks this baby is showing up. I assume they'll want to induce a bit early at the least. Eeeek.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nerves/superstition

Every day for the last couple weeks, my feet and ankles have been getting more swollen and itchy. My hands have been getting in on this action too. After about 3 pm, I sort of give up on being upright, or at least try to per the nurse's suggestion. It's hard. I'm not a leisurely lay-on-the-couch sort of person for long periods of time (short periods, yes!). Since the swelling doesn't really seem to go down, even after laying in bed all night, I'm concerned this is indicative of a larger issue, one that will necessitate early delivery.

Aside from the obvious, this is NOT a good time for that as tomorrow a crew of guys is showing up to rip up our bathroom. The tub we ordered has not yet arrived to fill the hole they'll create. And the baby room is still an office.

I'm hoping the swelling is just plain ol' swelling gone wild and not a symptom of anything else. And by writing about it here, I bet it will be. I'm superstitious like that!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Survey says

I love surveys, especially when I'm suppose to be working/writing something else. Copying this from ReebeckiSupergirl:

[One] Have you ever been asked out?
Yes. Remember when you getting asked out meant you got a note passed in school?

[Two] Where was your default picture taken?
I don't know what this question refers to, but the "picture" on my blog is one I drew of Sam and Mons.

[Three] What's your middle name?
That's a hard question, since I dropped my middle name and use my old last name as my middle name, but actually I think about it more like I have two first names or two last names and no middle name.

[Four] Your current relationship status?
Taken

[Five] Does your crush like you back?
I think so... :)

[Six] What is your current mood?
Guilty that I'm not writing newsletter copy for this wee contract I do periodically (hopefully this is the last time).

[Seven] What color underwear are you wearing?
Sporty pink with flowers that I bought at REI for our trip to Italy.

[Eight] What color shirt are you wearing?
White tank/pajamas.

[Nine] What happen to it?
Well, I put it on last night, and then I slept in it, and now I'm working in it as I haven't yet taken a shower. I don't understand this question.

[Ten] If you could go back in time and change something, what would you change?
I hate this question because I hate my answer: I would have not gone to grad school and figured out earlier that I needed to study something else. But I regret that I have this regret as my first grad degree compliments subsequent degrees. Ugh, don't want to think about this any more.

[Eleven] If you must be an animal for one day, what would you be?
A tropical fish living in its natural habitat.

[Twelve] Ever had a near death experience?
Not really, unless you count my self-induced dramatization of what could happen while I was parasailing. Ridiculous.

[Thirteen] Something you do a lot?
Talk to the dog. And right now, pee.

[Forteen] The song stuck in your head?
The theme from "Charles in Charge." Why?!

[Fifteen] Who did you copy and paste this from?
Rebecca

[Sixteen] Name someone with the same birthday as you?
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil)

[Seventeen] When was the last time you cried?
Tuesday, when we watched the birthing video in our baby class. At the end of it the instructor said, "Wasn't that just beautiful!" Beautiful wasn't really the word I had in mind. More like, holy shit, this is happening in 8 weeks and it freaks me out.

[Eighteen] Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?
Yes, karaoke and as part of the vocal jazz choir in high school, where my friends would tell me after a performance, "You looked mad."

[Nineteen] If you could have one super power what would it be?
Flying!

[Twenty] What's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Glasses!

[Twenty-one] What do you usually order from Starbucks?
I try to not order from Starbucks, but when I do it's a tall decaf cappucino or some blended icey concoction.

[Twenty-two] What's your biggest secret?
What secret?

[Twenty-three] Favorite color?
Orange

[Twenty-five] Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?
I like corny family sitcoms from the 80s. Why I don't know. And some animated movies.

[Twenty-six] What are you eating or drinking at the moment?
Water.

[Twenty-seven] Do you speak any other language?
Nothing well. I took a lot of German, but honestly I think I understand and speak Spanish better (not that I am any good at that either).

[Twenty-eight] What's your favorite smell?
Swimming pools.

[Twenty-nine] Describe your life in one word what would it be?
Orange

[Thirty-one] Have you ever kissed in the rain?
Yes, and meanwhile the car was on fire.

[Thirty-two] What are you thinking about right now?
I need to go back to work! (Not work work, but just back to the work at hand. Once I'm done with school then I want to go back to work work.)

[Thirty-three] What should you be doing?
Working.

[Thirty-four] Who was the last person that made you upset/angry?
President Bush, when I read today's top story.

[Thirty-five] How often do you pray?
Rarely, and when I do it's not really praying, more like meditating.

[Thirty-six] Do you like working in the yard?
I like to weed for 30 minutes, then I'm done with the whole yard experience.

[Thirty-seven] If you could have any last name in the world, what would it be?
Well, I don't know. But when I was a kid I wanted my first name to be Nancy, like Nancy Drew.

[Thirty-eight] Do you act differently around the person you like?
Unfortunately, I think he gets the more bitchier me. Especially right now that I'm uncomfortably pregnant.

[Thirty-nine] What is your natural hair color?
My mom would say auburn, but I'm not exactly sure.

[Fourty] Who was the last person to make you cry?
Those people in the birthing video...in pain and then having babies pop out.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Contradictions

I was just browsing the Land of Nod website, seeing if there were any items that we can't live without for bambino. It stirred up an odd combination of feelings. First, I generally appreciate but dismiss these kind of higher-end things for babies because they use them so briefly, they are expensive, and I don't want my child born into a world where she has to have the latest and the best. I believe our child will be better served by having a few nice things and learning to appreciate what you have, especially the used and functional. (I believe that most kids, and adults for that matter, will need to learn this lesson in the coming years as our country sees its world-domination sunset and our economy and environment tank, but that's an entirely different topic.)

On the other hand, I really do like nice things. I like well-designed, aesthetically appealing, quality furnishings just as much as the next girl. However, I can't shut off the part of my brain that says Reuse, Recycle, don't contribute to landfills by buying all new everything, don't be the Ugly American Consumer who "needs" way too much. I am proud of the fact that we have bought just one new piece of furniture for the baby room, and it's a dresser we expect her to be changed on, paint when she's a teenager, then take to college, and later furnish her own apartment. So, no...she will not be sleeping in a premium sleigh crib, with 800-count Egyptian cotton bedding stitched by hand by the "Amish" (i.e. an outlet in Pennsylvannia with products imported from China and marked up 8000%). But hopefully, in time, she will learn the satisfaction of reusing, appreciating and protecting material goods rather than throwing them away. And I'm ready to be patient for this particular learning to occur, since apparently the pressures of materialism are more persuasive for kids now than they were when we were little.

On a seemingly very different note...

I was discussing this topic with Ray, who (ever practical) said that saving money on all this baby gear means that we can paint the house sooner rather than later. Under his breath he mentioned the "strange" Russian woman who painted a bathroom in the condo...

"Strange? What do you mean she was strange? Ray, she was hot! I would think you'd want to hire her for that reason alone!"

"But she wore those weird clothes to paint in."

"She wore clothes she felt comfortable in, which happen to be hip and tight, and she had the body to pull it off. Plus, she never spilled and she was fast."

"But I'm a geek...and we don't trust people who dress like that..."

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

For Ramon

In Ramon's personalized heaven, he's chowing his way through a bowl of boiled potatoes right now. I miss you, Mony. You were so...lovable and weird.

Monday, July 2, 2007

This better be temporary

You know, I used to have really great ankles...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Accessibility

One thing I learned by having Ray's dad live with us for a few weeks (aside that our house is too small for three adults) relates to physical disability. Ray's dad has a really hard time walking, navigating stairs or curbs, inclines/slopes, and any bumpy surface, even with the help of a cane or walker. Getting into and out of our house was a challenge for him, even with us driving up on the lawn to lessen the distance between door and car.

Being out and about with Jim highlighted these challenges even more. There are lots of places where you can't pull up right in front of the door. A lot of people have those disability placards for the close parking stalls, but seem to be plenty able to walk well (I realize sometimes disabilities aren't obvious, but there are a lot of people who seem to have no trouble at all.) And the most mystifying observation of all: Jim's new place in senior housing has no loading zone or disabled access from the curb. That means when he wants to get a cab, he has to walk halfway down the block to get into the damn thing, or risk stepping off the curb and between cars to get himself out to a cab sitting in the street. This makes no sense to me! I think we're going to talk to the senior housing people about making the building slightly more ADA compliant on the outside.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And now for a little song

Oh Christmas in July
Will come, and happy am I
For our counter tops will bare
Fresh new "underwear"
(It's just laminate you see,
but who cares -- I'm pleased as can be!)

Our kitchen floors may need glue
Because they'll be brand new
While our bed is getting smaller
I may sleep on the floor and holler
About how much I love the checks
replacing the old floor -- blech

Fa la la, fa la la
Floors and counters to be
Fa la la, fa la la
Happy happy me

Today I sign the papers
That passes the condo caper
To another couple who love
The courtyard and loft above
But I am delighted, you see
Because no more double mortgage for me!
(To be fair, it's Ray who pays
the mortgages, day after day.)

Fa la la, fa la la
Condo goes away
Fa la la, fa la la
Condo money will pay
Fa la la, fa la la
For floors and counters, hurray!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Milk Duds!

All those pokes in the arm were worth it: no gestational diabetes! Bring on the Milk Duds!

(Hmmm, Dairy Queen dip cone would work too.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

You can't always get what you want

For the last 24 hours, all I've really wanted is Milk Duds. Golly, that sounds good, probably because I can't have 'em.

I may have gestational diabetes. We don't know yet because I screwed up the screening test last week. See, the instruction sheet said that I was not allowed to eat anything 3 hours before the test. The whole procedure involves drinking a bottle of Sprite-like stuff, waiting an hour, and then having blood drawn. I thought the blood draw itself constituted the "test". Not so. "The test includes the drinking part," the nurse told me. Therefore, my Cheerios and nectarine were consumed about an hour into the prescribed pre-test fasting period. Ooops. (But damn, who can resist nectarines right now!)

So I get to go back in and do the super test on Monday: after fasting for 8-12 hours, I'll need to sit there and have my blood drawn once an hour for three hours. Ugh...what kind of special torture is it to keep a pregnant person from eating for up to 15 hours! It's my own fault, I suppose. I'll try to keep myself distracted with a couple projects. Lord knows there's plenty to do.

In other gestationally related news, we took Ray's dad to La Costa last night. On Friday nights, a 10-12 piece mariachi band plays in the restaurant, all decked out in their swanky matching mariachi-style suits and boots. They must have a huge repertoire, because we rarely hear them play the same things from night to night. Anyway, I have never felt the baby move around like that before. Both her legs and arms were going, so much so that I had to stop eating as she was jabbing my stomach. She stopped as soon as we left the restaurant, so she must've been dancing along to the music. Hilarious.