Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 16

Well, well, well. Here we are, four months pregnant.

Let's do a little pregnancy symptom review, shall we? 

1. The sad. Duuude. I have cried more in the past two months than in the past two years, which, admittedly, isn't much, but I'm not a crier. I'm usually a cusser.

Two times the tears were related to crappy crap that was going on. Stuff that I would probably have gotten angry about pre-pregnancy; instead, I laid my pregnant self on my bed and blubbered.

The other two times were related to my changing appearance. Once because it was all just starting and I had this realization that things, they were about to get real in the biznatch. The second time because I was not so kindly pointing out my belly and R basically told me I would "have to get used to it." He didn't say it in an unkindly manner. And, I'm sure, to his mind it made perfect sense. After all,  I've seen pregnant women. I knew that I would be growing a whole baby in me and that meant belly. BUT, to my hormone addled mind it came out something like this: you are going to get huge and there is nothing you can do about it so stop complaining. My poor husband then rubbed my back in a daze because I was leaking tears trying, unsuccessfully, not to let out great big sobs.

2. The hungry. Basically, I need to eat twenty times a day just to live. My stomach will literally growl while I am eating. If anyone says anything about how I'm going to regret all this eating after the baby comes, I will smile politely, dunk them in chocolate, and devour their head.

(Besides, my doctor's scale confirmed that, as of yesterday, I've only gained 3 pounds.)

3. The aching. My boobs occasionally stab me from the inside. My sciatic nerve has made its presence known. My stomach muscles are being stretched and pulled. Round ligament pain. And you know that unpleasant feeling you get if you poke yourself in your belly button*? Yeah, I've had that feeling radiating up my whole torso for minutes at a time.

*I'm not sure if people with outies get that feeling. I'm guessing not. So let me try to describe it for you: a bit like having the nerve that runs between your belly button and your groin plucked gently by jumper cables.

4. The acne. After the initial bit of acne on my face, my complexion has cleared up nicely. All that acne has migrated to my shoulders and my back, as described via my recent conversation with R:

Me: I have pimples on my shoulders.

R: Yeah? 

Me: Isn't that where boys get pimples during puberty?

R: Yes it is.

Me: So...I'm getting adolescent boy zits?

R: It's not so bad.

Me: It wouldn't be so bad if I was 13 and had a penis.

5. The quickening. HaHa all over you pregnancy! Finally something that doesn't suck. Starting at the beginning of Week 15 I have occasionally felt the baby move! It's very, very, very faint and I can only feel it if I'm laying down and not moving BUT it's there.

This is how I described it to R:
You know when you are staring down into water and suddenly, out of the darkness, a string of bubbles rises to the surface? That's what it feels like, but its happening in my uterus instead of a lake.

6. The hair. All my hair is growing crazy fast. Some women might like this. However, my hair has always grown fast, and it's crazy thick, and now I have to cut my hair ALL THE TIME. Also, I'm kind of a freak about shaving my legs...unless I'm camping I shave every day. [Keep your comments to yourself. I admitted I'm a freak.] I'm starting to feel like shaving once a day isn't enough. But I'm totally not motivated enough to do it twice in one day so I just brood angrily whenever leg stubble rubs against my pants.

7. The growth. If you compare my belly pics across the weeks so far, you will notice that the belly is definitely present. You may also notice that my boobs are trying to take over my torso. I have to wear a bra all the time - including during sleep. This does symptom #4 no good. Also, take it easy boobs! We have 5 more months to go and at this rate you are going to suffocate me!

8. The libido. I've mentioned this before. The libido is like a body snatcher, trying to wrestle away control of my consciousness. My poor, tired husband.

9. The ennui  I'm one of those people who is always doing something: cooking, painting, drawing, reading, etc. Except now I'm like ehhh. What's up with that?

10. The preparing. The only thing I seem to be interested in is getting stuff for the baby (Etsy loves me). Or researching stuff for the baby (e.g., strollers, car seats, cribs, etc.).  That part makes sense.

Okay, and now to wrap up with a picture of my ballooning self from last week:
Week 15.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How I Eat Cereal

Often, I avoid having tasty cereal in the house (especially Honey Bunches of Oats, which I'm pretty sure they sprinkle with a secret addictive compound) because of this reason:

I pour cereal into a bowl and then pour milk over it. I eat the cereal and am left with a significant portion of milk in the bowl. I'll fix that, I think, as I pour in more cereal. But, apparently, I am horrible with estimations. 

NOW the cereal to milk ratio is all off. I need more milk. 

Once I am pleased with the cereal/milk proportions, I eat the cereal. But what is this? I have so much milk left in the bowl! This cannot stand!

Quick! Get the cereal!

Repeat until stomach is close to bursting or all the cereal has been consumed. Nom nom nom.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 15

Hello fabulous people of the Internet. I bring tidings of Joy and Happiness and blah blah blah.

I've just spent the last few hours scrubbing toilets and doing laundry and writing out fifty bajillion holiday cards (okay, so there were 17 cards but it's more satisfying to write how many it felt like). I'm feeling cranky and bloated and my belly is bigger every day.

Back in the day (the day being before I was actually pregnant), I had delusions that I would be able to just wear my baggy clothes through pregnancy. HA! I'm not even half way along and my loose sweaters fail to hide my protruding belly. I am enormous. Bring me ice cream. Actually, make that chocolate covered cherries; surely there are still some out there somewhere that I haven't scarfed down.

Okay, I exaggerate. I only ate half the world's supply of chocolate covered cherries. I split them with Oprah.*

*I have no idea why I said Oprah. She just seems like the type to appreciate a good chocolate covered cherry.

Anyway, as promised, here is a picture of my growing belly from last week:

Week 14.

Not enormous, you say? Well, just wait until I post Week 15's picture. A lot can change in a week. And yes, I know that this is nothing. On occasion, I Google 'pregnant belly week 36' or 'week 38' and then I freak the fuck out. 

As for Week 15, pregnancy is rolling right along. I'm starting to get aches in my lower belly as true expansion sets in. I am looking into prenatal yoga and pregnancy classes. I am outgrowing most of my bras. You know, the usual.

The husband continues to be adorably excited. That definitely helps my mood (take note of that men!). This morning, I walked into the kitchen and was greeted with, "Look how pregnant my wife is!" Followed by belly rubbing and general giddiness. 

And on that high note, I am going to go downstairs and start wrapping some more presents.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fa La La La LaAAHH!

It's that time of year again. Time to evaluate your life and be thankful for what you have. My life has been fairly easy - not born into wealth easy, mind you, but it could certainly have been worse.

My family had little money, but I did still have a family. It wasn't perfect and it wasn't always peaceful, but we had a house to live in and food to eat. We learned to ask for little and be happy with what we had. That was harder to do in my teen years, but then again what isn't harder during adolescence? Adolescence needs punched in the face, but I digress.

I made some very poor choices early on in my romantic life. I allowed myself to be treated badly and I internalized that treatment. BUT, and here's the fabulous part, I actually learned from my mistakes. I'm not bragging. It literally took years of repeat lessons before I caught on. However, I found a great guy who is kind, moral-minded, and honest. I married him and we've been living happily ever after.

I used some of my basic character flaws (specifically stubbornness and a jaw-dropping ability to get over things) to my advantage. I refused to give in and I kept going against a number of personal indignities and I got my PhD. My adviser, Dr. D., is a real piece of shit work. He does have his good points, they are just hard to find under all the conceit, narcissism, unanticipated temper tantrums, and creepy sexual soliloquies. But I soldiered on, reminding myself that I would gain the most satisfaction in succeeding despite him. It took years for me to let go of (most) resent and hostility that I feel toward that man. Yet I think I'm finally in a place where I could smile in his face rather than using my fist. Sometimes that feels better. Like that time I met my husband's ex, the one who had cheated on him and basically stomped on his heart, and rather than acting catty, I was SO nice. She was completely confused. My husband still laughs about it.*

*That's a tip kids. Confuse your enemies with kindness.

I would never consider myself to be wise, neither would anyone who knows me, but I have learned a lot. These are the important things:
  • Some things cannot be changed. 
  • Work hard to remember why the people you love in your life are special and treat them accordingly.
  • Just because something is true does not mean it has to be said. If it is going to hurt someone, even if it feels justified, decide if you want to be responsible for that wound.
  • Being the bigger person rarely feels good but it often means you can put the problem behind you.
  • Find reasons to laugh. Often.
  • Own up to your mistakes.
  • Go outside.
  • Share your good fortune with those who need it: your money, your time, your talents, etc.
There. I think I've drained all the holiday-Sunday-afternoon-TV-special right out of me. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What the Holiday What??

Okay, I'll admit that I must have had my head buried in the sand, or, more likely, books. But, and this is totally true, until two days ago I had never heard of the Elf on the Shelf. The first time I came across it, I largely ignored it, but then it was mentioned in another blogpost I was reading; then another and another, until I had to find out what everyone was talking about.

It turns out that the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon is a marketing scheme to exploit the myth of Santa Clause for corporate gains and to drive many parents bat-shit crazy. You see, first you have to buy a special Elf on the Shelf, which is a spy sent by Santa to infiltrate the homes of suburban children everywhere. The elf is magic, obviously, and so you can't touch him. But you know that he's being a good little spy because every morning he has moved to a new place in the house (thus, parents have to move the elf every night because lying to children and making it look like Santa ate some cookies one night a year was just not enough). And children can be sure it was the elf moving independently because no one can touch him - he's magic.

First of all, I don't hate Santa...though I do have my own internal ethical debates about lying to my someday children about him. Anyway, more to the point, this is a brilliant marketing scheme. As far as schemes go, this is the schemiest scheme I've ever come across! Not only does the elf freak your kid into being especially good because of an implied, or maybe explicit?, threat (why parents like it), but you know that all the kids with elves go to school and tell their friends, who then come home and ask for an elf of their very own to spy on them. It becomes self-perpetuating! No wonder I've never heard of this. They don't even NEED to advertise (that, or my lack of television and interest in said books has once again kept me from valuable cultural updates like shelf elfs and who Kim Kardashian is marrying/dating this week).

ANYWAY, I'll cut my rambling short and end with this. These elves are creepy, it kinda seems like work for parents, and, again, creepy.

I watch you in your sleep...possibly while touching myself (source).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 14

Remember WAY back when I said I would post a picture of my 13 week baby bump?  But I had left my camera in Tacoma and had to get my husband to take a pic on his phone, but first I had to get up the ovaries to let him take the pic, then I had to get that pic from him, and basically getting this photo to you was a quest of epic proportions. So here it is [duh duh duh daaaaa!]:

13 Weeks along: I am literally barefoot and pregnant.

And yes, those are maternity pants. I bought them before our trip to Tacoma because a 6 hour car ride in regular pants was not happening. Besides, wearing your husband's shirt and a pair of maternity pants is the height of fashion...just take my word for it. No need to ask anyone else.

SO, that's my emerging belly. It is even bigger now...but you will have to wait until after Friday to see that, because my husband has declared Friday to be picture day.

Week 14 has been unremarkable, unless you take into account the porno sex...which I won't mention because SHEESH, boundaries.

OH, also our prenatal screening results came back and everything is fine! I have broken The News to my boss and have had my plan to take off most of the summer OK'd. Fortunately, my work is pretty cool about that.

One final thing I'd like to share: R has been placing his head to my belly and calling, "Hello in there!" Adorable. I think I'll keep him.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pregnancy Ups and Downs*

So, no belly picture yet. But soon, I promise. I mentioned the possibility to my husband and he got really excited, like, "Let's do it right now!" And I mumbled an excuse and fled.

The truth is, I'm kind of having a hard time getting used to the whole belly thing. I know this will only be greeted with eye-rolls, but I've never had a belly before. Sure, my tummy had gotten sort of soft over the years but it didn't stick out. It does now. Suddenly, I have a belly and, though I know it contains a baby (or my poor displaced bowels because of the baby), it just makes me feel fat.

R is sure that once the belly gets bigger, and more obviously filled with baby, I will change my tune. I try to agree, but mostly the idea of a bigger belly does nothing for me. Though R is grinning ear-to-ear every time he sees my belly pushing out against my shirt...which, I admit, helps.

The insecurities I'm wrestling with because of my changing body have done absolutely nothing to reduce my libido, however. I sort of wish it did, because WOW. This lady is horny. Not like, "wink wink, nudge nudge" horny, either. More like, "I hope no neighbors were outside to hear me shouting naughty things" horny.

TMI, I know. But when it's all you think about, well, let's just say I could  be a lot more explicit and didn't. Thus, I am a role model of self-restraint. (There you go with the eye-rolling again.)

In other baby-related news, we got to hear the heartbeat on Tuesday. Then R wanted to go look for baby furniture. He's so dang eager about it, it's so cute, I could just rip his clothes off....oops, there I go again.

Okay, I need to eat lunch and get back to work. These days I am pretty much stuffing food into my mouth at all times. The work happens less frequently. It has to be scheduled around more pressing hedonistic concerns.

*P.S. If you didn't notice, the title of this post is innuendo. *swoosh* The more you know.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 13

Hello again, Internet. I hope you have been well.

I for one am doing pretty good, especially because I did not have a big needle stuck into my abdomen. Yes, that's right, the long anticipated CVS did not happen. Why? In short, because we chickened out. As I mentioned before, CVS (a DNA screening of the baby) is highly accurate but poses some risk to the fetus. After talking to the doctor, we decided to take an alternative route to testing, one that does not carry any risk to the baby. When it came down to it, knowing for sure that our baby was perfect wasn't worth the risk.

Instead, we opted to do a CFFDNA test. That stands for cell-free floating fetal DNA. Basically, my blood is drawn, a search is conducted to find which of my red blood cells has gone through the placenta, and those cells are scrubbed to get the tiny bits of the baby's DNA off them. That DNA is then tested for three chromosomal abnormalities that are the most likely to occur.

We'll also go back in at 20 weeks and have a partial Quad test done to look for neural tube issues. It's then that we'll find out the baby's sex. We are disappointed that we have to wait that long, since the CVS would have told us a whole month earlier, but that just gives my mother-in-law that much more opportunity to insist that we are having a girl - she just knows it.

BUT, while we were there, we got a 4D ultrasound and R got to see the baby and we got to hear its little heart beat! It was crazy active (as expressed by the technician who said, 'Wow, your baby is crazy!'). It shoved its hand in its mouth, yawned, did back flips  stretched, rolled over, and basically showed us that it is already super-talented. A damn genius child, I tell you! The quality of the ultrasound was amazing, and we got to see its hands, profile, kidneys and bladder (they were gray dots pointed out to us, so not readily identifiable, but still - they were there!). R kept grinning and grinning.

In mostly not-baby-related news, we went to Tacoma for Thanksgiving and stayed with friends. It was fun, even if everyone else was drinking alcohol and I was the person having to pee every 15 minutes in between staring longingly at forbidden tasty mixed drinks. While there, my friends two year old demonstrated his complete infatuation with me by insisting I pick him up and declaring his desire to give me 'smooches.' He refused to allow R or any other male besides his dadda to hold him, which made R super jealous. At one point, after R's offer to hold him had again been refused, R said, "Fine, I'll have my own baby and it will love me." [ladies, insert awwws here]

That basically sums things up since I last posted. I was planning on posting a picture of my emerging baby bump, which popped out last week, but I left my camera in Tacoma. It should arrive in the post soon, and I'll  upload a pic then. But right now I've got to go. I have another OB visit. Though they have no reason to do so, I'm hoping that they do another ultrasound.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 12

So, tomorrow is the big day. I get my CVS to screen for chromosomal abnormalities. The CVS will involve a giant needle being pushed into my abdomen. Doesn't that sound nice?

As if that doesn't make me nervous enough, I got a message Friday evening that they wanted to reschedule me for the following week. I've had this appointment for a month, my appointment was later in my 1st trimester than I had hoped for*, the day she suggested  to reschedule conflicts with other doctor appointments, many peoples' schedules were altered so R could be come with me, etc. etc. Also, don't leave this kind of message on a Friday evening and make a pregnant woman freak out all weekend long. Thankyouverymuch.

*There is research indicating that the minuscule complications to the fetus are decreased if the CVS is performed earlier. I'm not trying to be all, hey, I'm important and get me an appointment when I want because I want  it.

Anyway, I returned the call. Everything is fine. Tomorrow a big ol' needle will be punched through my stomach and into my uterus...uh, hooray, I win?

Am I nervous? Yes. I have a high pain tolerance and have many piercings; needles don't generally scare me. BUT, for some strange reason having a big needle go straight through my abdomen and into one of my organs is a little disconcerting. I don't know why. I guess you just can't plumb the depths of the human mind.

Oh, and guys, get this. Our baby is humanish now!
Look, it has eyes and a liver and everything! (source)

In non-baby news, the high school drama team that I've been volunteering with participated in Divisions on Saturday. The team did awesome and the pieces I have predominantly coached are all going on to State. That was a great feeling! Not that I can take credit for their success - the kids worked hard and pulled off great performances. But, it does make me feel like I'm not a detriment to the team, so that's nice.

The husband and I are taking off this week to Seattle to visit friends for the holiday. This means I'll be away from the computer for a while. But don't worry, I'll be back with more inane baby updates soon. Happy Thanksgiving people of the Internet. I hope you have much to be thankful for!

Friday, November 16, 2012

There Are SO Aliens!

Seriously, you guys, there are. Before you roll your eyes and leave this page, just hear me out.

There are billions of planets in our galaxy. Billions! That's a lot of zeros. And I'm only counting in our galaxy - that's not counting the untold number of galaxies in our universe, and that's completely discounting the very real possibility of multiple universes. Just look up at the sky and marvel at how many stars there are, and remember we can't even see them all! Orbiting the vast majority of those stars are planets, often multiple planets. ALSO, there are orphan planets that are just floating around, unattached to any particular fact, those wily scientists are estimating that there are billions of these nomadic planets in our own galaxy, too. Orbiting many planets - thanks to gravity - are moons, and let's not get tricked into thinking that all moons are dead rock like ours; moons are simply smaller versions of planets.

We are talking about some seriously large numbers!

Us, a piece of lint next to our sun. Our sun, a speck of dust in our galaxy. Our galaxy, a  molecule in the universe...............                                                           you get the picture.

Let's say the conditions for the emergence of life was very unlikely*. So unlikely that life could only come about in one in a hundred billion planets, that still gives us a pretty good chance that life has sprung up on one or two planets/moons in our galaxy. That pretty much guarantees that there are lots of planets with life on them in various parts of the universe. It becomes a near certainty that existence is swarming with life when you start taking into account parallel universes.

*I am not actually saying that. I'm just humoring you.

Thus, facts + logic = aliens.

I won't get into abductions, crop circles, and anal probing. The likelihood of those acts being perpetrated by regular, run-of-the-mill people is high enough that I don't think we need to bring aliens into it.  I'm just saying that the law of large numbers tells us that there are very likely aliens. They probably look nothing like us, and if we are very lucky they won't act like us either.

If aliens have come down and visited us, I'm convinced that they are masquerading as extremely religious, intolerant church leaders, allowing them to stir up bigotry in an attempt to get us to destroy each other. WHAT? That idea contains just as much truth as any Westboro Baptist sermon.

I hope I made your day a little weirder :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Holiday at a Time You Guys!

It started some time ago. We stopped in at Kohls, pre-Halloween, to shop for my youngest niece's birthday and there they were...Christmas-F*cking-Decorations! Hanging right along side the fake spider webs.
Then three different Facebook friends posted that they start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, which, last I checked, was in October! And now all the grocery stores have Christmas candy prominently displayed. GAAHH, people! The hell?!? 


If I'm feeling particularly festive, Christmas decorations go up at the beginning of December, allowing them to be up almost a month before the actual holiday. I feel that 1/12th of a year is sufficient. Admittedly, decorations seem to go up later and later each year because my enthusiasm for the holiday wains...probably because I've been hearing crappy Christmas music for two f*cking months! By the time the 25th rolls around, the word "merry" is likely to send me into an apocalyptic fit.

I just don't get it. What is it about Christmas that makes people so ravenous for repetitive music and tinsel that they need it around for months? Is it the only thing some people look forward to in the darker months of the year? (If so, that's extra sad because January and February are WAY crappier than December) Are people so depressed that they are grasping for any shred of emotional warmth associated with the holiday? And if that is it, wouldn't it be better to make the holiday special by making it less ubiquitous? 

I know why the stores do it. I used to think that the marketing/displays/consumerism was the tidal wave that pushed the public to sail high on their plastic lawn Santas. Now, I'm not so sure. 

The only thing I'm sure of is this: I am very grateful that my neighbors haven't put out their Christmas decorations yet. I'd hate to risk our neighborhood harmony by sabotaging nativity scenes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 11

And the libido is back! With a vengeance!!

Over the last many weeks, I've had almost no interest in sex. What can I say? Extreme fatigue, nausea  and vomiting just don't do it for me. Weird, right?

As of Thursday, I was starting to feel better. Since Friday night, I have basically been sexually harassing my husband 24-7. It's like my libido is in mega-mega rebound, fueled by all these excess hormones. R is getting noticeably concerned that this might only be the beginning. And before any of you chime in with a 'men love it all the time' type comment, let me say no, no they don't.

I know this because I normally have a very high sex drive. When I talked to my now-husband about this little quirk of mine early on in our relationship, you'd have thought he won the lotto. I like to remind him of this response every once in a while after he tells me he's too tired.

In other, less sexy news, I actually cooked food - another sign I'm feeling more like myself. I normally love to cook, but for the last month or so it sounds like one of the worst ideas ever.

So, overall, Week 11 is starting out great. I have more energy and my digestive system is no longer imitating a hurricane. Hopefully this is a sign that my second trimester grace period is going to be a long one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 10

So far, Week 10 has been marginally better than Week 9. I'm hoping that this means that The Queasy and The Horking are tapering off for good. It's easy to say that right now because I am momentarily feeling fine. That, I tell myself, is a very good sign because I haven't felt fine in weeks. But this might just be a feeble ray of sunshine that's soon to be swallowed up by the storm clouds of nausea. (As I wrote that line, the sun was eclipsed by clouds. That seems like an ominous omen.)

Today is the first day that I am wearing a belly band. Technically, I could button this pair of jeans but it certainly isn't comfortable. So bloat, teeny-tiny baby belly, and my desire for comfort win.

In other baby related news, we have told our family about the baby. After seeing it on an ultrasound it just seemed too real to hide. Also, if anything were to happen, we decided we'd like to be able to talk about it.

The various family members reacted much as I expected. My mother-in-law called me to talk about being pregnant...and to make a number of 'helpful' suggestions, like go find pregnant friends. My mom asked me if I had already gained weight (thanks mom). My dad laughed when I admitted to having morning sickness.

Also, I have an appointment for a chorionic villus sampling in a week and a half. This type of screening will, with a high rate of accuracy, be able to tell us about a number of potential chromosomal and genetic problems that the baby might be born with. Honestly, right now, I am more concerned with the test than the outcome...probably because that whole giant needle part. Instead of the potential problems with the test itself, or the test results, I am choosing to focus on the bright side: this test will tell us the baby's sex!

We are planning on being as gender neutral as possible (read: as our family allows because I know they want to buy pink and blue ASAP) with regard to the nursery and clothes. We'd just like to know the sex because it makes the baby that much more real. And makes pronoun usage easier. Plus, NAMES! We already have a boy name we're 100% set on. We had a girl name too, but recently that first name rose from obscurity and became popular. Now we're trying to decide if that means we don't like that name anymore. Knowing the baby's sex might make that a moot point and I can happily stop fuming because that was OUR name! How dare society become aware of it!

So that's Week 10 and the official baby wrap up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Warning: Political Post

I have not shared my political feelings about this election on Facebook. Instead, I encouraged my friends, whether their candidate won or lost, to urge their representatives to work together to improve this country. I am genuinely concerned about the extremist positions being touted by US politicians these days. Even while Obama was being confirmed, the Speaker of the House was sending out tweets that he would refuse to work with the president on our country's financial concerns. That's disgusting and disgraceful. The House of Representatives has done nothing in the past several years to move our country forward, preferring instead to deadlock it - hurting millions of US citizens and causing migraine-inducing media frenzy.


That said, here's what I really want to say about our country's presidential election: WAHOO! Obama took the win and ran with both the electoral and popular vote. Thank Reason that Mitt Romney wasn't elected!

After the presidential defeat and the smack down in the Senate, I hope that the Republican party has learned a few important things. 1) Stop throwing the word rape around like it's a casual issue; 2) Stop being such bigots! Most of our country believes in equality regardless of race or sexual orientation*; 3) Money doesn't guarantee a political office.

*Dudes, gay marriage is taking the country by storm! The rest of us our happy about it. Take off your pouty pants and be happy with us! If you need some help, swing by Colorado or Washington :)

And no more of this! From either party.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Damn the Time Change!

If you couldn't tell from this post's title, I hate the time change. Strike that. I loathe the time change.

First, now that we're all on board with electricity (admittedly, the Amish aren't with us on that one, but I think majority wins on this one), the time change is completely unnecessary. You hear me time change? No one needs you. So stop messing with us and making us risk going to work at the wrong time.

Second, what about routines and circadian rhythms and dogs? Yes dogs. You see, Odin is all about his routine. His internal clock is amazingly accurate. At 6am weekdays, 7am weekends, dogs are fed and let outside. This should be followed by The Changing of The Beds - a daily ritual of great importance. The Changing of The Beds occurs when the people get out of their bed and move to another room of the house. Odin then moves from sleeping in his bed in the bedroom to sleeping in one of his other beds in another room of the house. Do not overlook the importance of this ritual. It is very important. Just ask Odin. For if the people try to stay in the bedroom it causes much angst and gnashing of teeth (read: whining).

At 1pm OTT (Odin Tummy Time), the dogs receive lunch. At 7:15pm, a dinner of the finest Iams kibble is served in gleaming* silver bowls. At 9pm, the family should start getting ready for bed. If these times are not observed, Odin gets anxious. He will repeatedly remind us of what we should be doing by whining forlornly   sitting and staring at us, and pacing, which is interrupted by throwing himself on the floor (never on one of the many dog beds, because that could be confused as getting comfortable and that's the last impression he wants to make).

Why is no one feeding me when I am clearly sitting in the kitchen and  being impatient??

*Note: the dog bowls only gleam if I have just cleaned them. And let us all be honest, that doesn't happen very often. The good news, this is not important to the dogs.

Now, let's consider how the time change influences the scheduled discussed above. Well, it totally f*cks it up! Try explaining to a dog that technically he's right, it is time to get up/eat/change beds/get ready for bed but it's not really time to do that because the clock on the wall - yes, that circular object we always look at to confirm that you're correct - it says something different today. It says you have to wait.

Commence hour long whine fest.

I imagine that this is even worse with children. However, I also imagine that children get older and eventually begin to understand. Odin is 8 1/2 and he's still not getting it.

Also, also, I have tried to incrementally move feeding times to slowly get the dogs adjusted. I have learned not to do this. It's like jumping into the pool - it's better to commit and get the discomfort out of the way all at once rather than prolong the agony and wade in slowly.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 9, Part 2

So, it's still Week 9. I have found out I like Week 9 even less than the infamous Week 7, with its Queasy. Week 9 laughed at The Queasy and has brought The Horking. If Week 9 was a tangible being, I would punch it right in its Wednesday.

Also, I'm still tired exhausted, and now I alternate between being ravenously hungry and feeling like I'm going to re-enact that nasty scene from the Exorcist. Or, to make things extra fun, I feel both at the same time. Oh, Week 9, you are such a cruel bastard.

I am trying to eat healthy, but my interest in cooking has dropped below zero. So, R is cooking. This means steaks, take-out, or whatever thing can be heated in the oven. I have alternated between being grumpy about this and happily exploring my take-out options.

Then there is the non-existent exercise routine I have going. I was doing my prenatal routine twice a week. But I stopped because The Queasy, then The Horking, and also the ever popular, "screw this I'm tired."

Thus, I feel crappy and guilty. Hooray for Week 9. Let's throw it a party and lace its cake with strychnine.

I do have other things to write about, but I'll take those on later. Right now, I'm going to try and force myself to eat some lentils.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 9

I had my first prenatal visit yesterday and I didn't have to get a full pelvic exam, since I had just gotten one over the summer. Win!! AND, because that left us with additional time, the NP gave me a beside ultrasound!   So I got to see the baby!! SUPER WIN!

I can't stop smiling. I came home and kept telling R how there's a baby in me. Really. I saw it! I saw it's little heart beat. It's totally laying inside me, growing and twitching around and stuff!

Other than that, lots of peeing in cups and way too much blood drawn, and setting up more appointments. I don't know. It all because kind of meaningless really, because I saw my baby!!

I have been thinking about what this means, as far as telling our close friends and family. Part of me wants to just tell them because the baby now seems so real, and even if we got disappointing news from our screening results, I think I would want to be able to talk to someone about how bad that sucks. Or if I miscarry, I think I want to some support...then I remember about how my family is and I start to rethink that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Making A Baby: Week 8

Well, I'm 8 weeks pregnant. Not much has changed. Bigger bloat belly, a single episode of dry heaving, and some serious contemplation about sleeping on the toilet; I'm always peeing and if I slept there I might not have to wake up so many times during the night. Damn, I sound so sexy.

I never looked forward to being pregnant. I expected it would happen, but it's the end result that I thought about most. Kind of like getting married. Before I was engaged, I never considered what kind of wedding I would have. In the end, we agreed to most of what our family wanted/expected because it seemed to matter more to them (with the notable exceptions that there was no church, preacher, or female subservience oath taking). As for my pregnancy, I am trying to do what the various books say is best for me and the baby. You know, eating certain foods (though I draw the line at salmon because blech), trying to exercise, sleeping lots. Mainly I'm good at sleeping lots.

I'm pregnant and only one other person besides my husband knows. We had to tell one of our friends because he kept loudly saying things like, "You're not drinking beer. Are you pregnant??" So R took him out, had a beer, and told him our news - then swore him to secrecy. Now, this friend says things like, "Going for more water? It must be because you drank so much last night, huh?", followed by conspicuous winking. **sigh**

As I've said before, we are trying to keep the baby a secret until we've passed into the second trimester and gotten certain test results back. At that point, we'll feel more comfortable sharing our news. What that means is that I've had to verbally dodge the pregnancy question with several family members. I'm trying very hard not to lie. Basically, I've become a verbal ninja. Them: (out of nowhere) "Are you pregnant yet?"* Me:"Why do you keep asking me about my sex life?" We'll see how long this will work.

*My family has zero tact and they know that R and I are finally contemplating a family.**

**I should have never admitted that.

And that's week 8. On Monday I will have my first OB appointment. I don't know what to say about that. It makes me nervous. Also, I'm one of those rare women who dislike full pelvic exams. I know, weird.

Note to self: Do not look up images of a speculum. The images that pop up will totally erase the humor of adding a picture of the device to your blogpost. Also, you will now know what it looks like inside another woman's vagina.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Freezing Food For The Winter

This summer, I mentioned that we took our first stab at gardening this year. The results were mixed. The weather wasn't good for certain vegetables, like broccoli, but was perfect for other things, like carrots.
Here is an example of our carrot harvest:

We have perfected the octocarrot! Sure to be a huge hit. 
Here's how our mutant carrots came to be: Late this past spring, our neighbor gave me tiny carrot starts (barely the width of a thread). I popped them into the ground because I was grateful for the neighborliness, rather than planting carrots from seed...which would have actually been easier and less time consuming. And, apparently, by accepting this kindness I angered the gardening spirits who viciously twisted our carrots into monstrous orange freaks. That, or the little root filaments got twisted when I popped them into the ground. But it's probably the spirit thing.

Anywho, we learned a lot this year. It was fun and the octocarrots were both delicious and amusing. Amusing because all but one carrot was a horrible mutation...which actually made the normal carrot stand out and you could tell that all the other carrots were whispering insults behind its sad, straight little back.

We learned that we should start our garden earlier this next year. Our peppers didn't have time to change color, so they are all green. Also, because of frost, many of the tomatoes had to be picked before they were ripe. They are currently wrapped in newspaper in a cardboard box in the garage...we were told this would allow them to ripen. We'll see. I may end up with a box of moldy, green tomatoes.

In addition to our own vegetables, we have continued to frequent the two local farmer's markets. That's where we got broccoli and red/orange peppers to make up for our own incompetence. Also, we super love the farmer's market. It's local produce (read: more fresh and therefore nutrient rich) and you get to support your local economy, not to mention meeting a lot of very cool people who will tell you the amusing names of their various crops. My personal favorite, the red onion known as the Red Zeppelin.

For the past couple of months we have been preparing food for the winter. Mostly, this involves cutting up the vegetables, blanching them, and then vacuum sealing them. Here's my favorite website on the topic:

Octocarrots look completely normal once you chop them into bits.

Servings of green beans and carrots, sealed up and ready for the freezer.

This works out really great during the winter. It saves time - all the cleaning and chopping is already done, and it provides summer/fall fresh vegetables. Much tastier and nutritious than the options you get in the produce aisle in December! We've actually gone uber-geek this year and made a spreadsheet of what we have and how much; very helpful for meal prep and for maintaining our nerd status.

In addition to serving sizes of vegetables, we also vacuum seal soup mixes (all the vegetables for a soup - just add broth and spices) and sauce starters (usually diced, cooked tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices) that I can just add meat or additional vegetables to and toss with pasta. This works out really well for quick meals.

I know what some of you are thinking - who wants to spend all that time prepping food now for later?? Well, the husband and I have a system. We pop in a movie (one we've seen enough that it won't be too distracting) or our favorite playlist, and we work together*. In two hours, we can get through a week's worth of vegetables. Totally worth it! 

*I know what you're thinking. How romantic can you get, right? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 7

Okay, I promise that not every blogpost will be about my pregnancy...but most of them probably will, because, c'mon! I'm totally in the process of whippin' up a whole live human here! Miracle of life and all that jazz.

Our little tadpole is not particularly photogenic yet (Source)

So, 'how's it going?', you might ask (or you might not, but I'm going to talk about it anyway). Well, the truth is, I'm less fond of week 7 than the previous weeks. Truth hurts, week 7. Week 7 brought The Queasy  I know I can't complain too loudly. I'm not horking. I just keep feeling like I could. Like my stomach is sloshing around while the rest of my is firmly landlocked. I've been taking deep breaths and avoiding movement as much as possible, and that seems to be working, so far. **fingers crossed** Also, trying to eat small meals every couple hours, etc., etc., pregnancy advice.

Last week, I began my official pregnancy workout routine. Anyway, responsible working out lasted 4 whole days before The Queasy set in and I began relinquishing my nights to reading books and watching Netflix. Last night I decided to knuckle under and go slowly through the routine. Approximately 3 minutes later I was easing back into the recliner with a bottle of water, making sure to keep my chin elevated to keep the bile where it belongs. **sigh** I've promised myself I'll try again today - earlier, as The Queasy is worse early in the morning and later in the evening.

Another weird pregnancy symptom that has arisen is my food cravings for protein, specifically meat. This is odd, as I am not a big meat eater. I've stocked the house with lots of protein rich, non-meat foods (almonds, pumpkin seeds, edamame, flax seed crackers, cheese, yogurt - stuff like that), but instead I'm all, "You know what we should have for lunch?? Hamburgers!" Seriously, I almost lost my mind when we walked past the rotisserie chicken at Costco. When we got one home, I literally ate a fourth of it while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, because NO, the chicken was not for dinner, it was just for eating. Eating with my fingers, hunched over the kitchen counter, probably growling under my breath.

As that last paragraph might underscore, my appetite has not been affected by The Queasy. At least, not when delicious roasted chicken is involved...okay, I better stop talking about it. It's too early to be eating chicken. Probably.

Anyway, that's me pregnant at 7 weeks. My hubby is grinning ear-to-ear every time I mention The Queasy. His reasoning: This is just more proof that I'm pregnant. I might have to slap him around a bit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Making a Baby: Week 6

Well, I'm now 6 weeks pregnant, and so far so good. Things are going about the same as last week: SO very, very tired; pee, pee, pee, - oh wait, gotta pee; bloat; and boobs that are trying to outgrow my bras.

I really can't complain. There's been some mild cramping, my libido is at an all time low because I'm way too tired for all that, and I will start to get a wicked headache if I'm not chugging water all the time. Oh yeah, I'm also sporting two big pimples at any given time. It's not an adolescent takeover of my face, just two big pimples. One goes away, another forms somewhere else. But as far as uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms go, mine seem very mild so far. The only times I've been emotionally unbalanced is when I didn't get to nap. There were tears. Honestly, I felt like an overgrown toddler who missed nap time...which isn't too far off, really.

Oh, and I was tearing up throughout all of the Sixth Sense. Funny thing about that movie is how it's a different movie each time. Time 1: Scary. Time 2: Wow, I can't believe I missed all these subtle indicators of what was really going on! Time 3: This poor child is being tortured and punished and his whole existence is SO unfair!!

Anyway, I'm happy to report that there hasn't been any serious nausea or heartburn yet. I was very concerned that I would be hovering over a toilet for months on end based on my sensitivity to birth control pills (sometimes I threw up). No vomit = happiness, I guess.

However, pregnancy has complicated things somewhat. For instance, this upcoming weekend is filled with things I would normally be excited about, but all I can think of is how tiring it will be.  We will be going to a charity event on Saturday evening; that's after we do our regular farmer's market, shopping, preparing and freezing food for the winter thing in the afternoon. Then, Sunday, we are volunteering to help with the Community Garden clean up. We volunteered last Saturday for a shorter version of the cleanup and, though I tried to take it easy, I hate to think someone else might think I'm being lazy. Therefore, I pulled sunflowers with wild abandon, demolished wilted tomato vines, and carried load and load of frost-damaged vegetation to the compost pile. I was exhausted by the end of the day, didn't get a nap, and cried miserable, pregnant tears of over-tiredness. I'm going to do my best to avoid wearing myself out this weekend. I know I could always bail, but it's for charity! And also, I had so much fun doing it last year. I just need to drink more water and rest more frequently. And get that nap at the end of the afternoon!

Oh, and if all this wasn't enough, I have started volunteering to help coach the high school drama team. My neighbor is the assistant coach and when he found out I was in drama throughout high school he started plotting and scheming to get me to help out with the team. There wasn't a lot of arm twisting because I LOVED doing it and think it was a really great activity that helped prepare me for the real world. Not that I go fully costumed to work or anything, but having the confidence to get up and speak in front of people is a really important skill. So, I agreed to do it (way back before I was pregnant) and never heard back about it. Then, when we were pretty sure that I was pregnant and I had all but forgotten about the drama team, the coach called me up and asked me to come in and help. The drama season is short in this state, and happens to perfectly coincide with my first trimester. Oh, the irony. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that nasty pregnancy side effects pass me by, and that I don't cry in front of the high schoolers while they are doing serious/dramatic pieces. I guess I just have to prevent them from doing a piece based on the Sixth Sense.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's An Embryo!

Well, thanks to pregnancy magic that allows you to count the 2 weeks before you conceived, I am unofficially 5 weeks pregnant! It's unofficial until a doctor waves a speculum over my lady parts and that won't happen for another 3 1/2 weeks.

Primarily, I am VERY sleepy. Like fall asleep with your head on your desk sleepy. Or, fall asleep in the car while your husband is filling the gas tank sleepy. Also, it was me. I farted. There, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest. Speaking of which, whose boobs are these? If they continue growing at this rate, I will look like I'm smuggling basketballs by my third trimester.

That's pretty much it. Oh, except...well, you may recall that I have a bit of an obsessive research and prepare thing. And babies are expensive. And nine months isn't that long to prepare for such a big responsibility...
Gah, I bought some cloth diapers! I couldn't help it! They are so bitty and cute and it's really all my husband's fault for suggesting we look at them. **hangs head in embarrassed defeat**

So, our plan to keep hiding this from our friends is totally going to go great as long as they never look in the back bedroom closet. And that they keep believing I'm just dehydrated and don't feel like drinking beer. Or, R and I get really good at slight of hand and I manage to dump my beer into his glass when no one is looking.

I'm sure it will be fine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I SO Shouldn't Be Writing This

Okay, Internet, this is a secret. I'm seriously. Tell no one.

I took a pregnancy test this morning and it says we are having a baby! Shhhh *looks around furtively*, remember it's a secret. Jump up and down as quietly as possible.

Our plan is not to tell anyone until the end of the first trimester. That didn't seem like very long - it's already 1/3 of the way over and I just found out about it - but now that it's real I want to tell everyone. Except for that part of me that remembers consoling two different friends when they had miscarriages and how people kept asking them about the baby for months and months and they would have to disclose all that pain and disappointment again and again and AHHH! Tell no one! Swear to me that this secret stays between you, me, my husband, and the two billion people with Internet access. Swear!

For now, the plan is to take the other two pregnancy tests and then make an appointment with my doctor. Reread all the stuff about pregnancy, healthy eating, and exercise. Then keep making my husband touch my belly and giggling like crazy.

I think I can do it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Man Loves Babies

Hello again Internet.

First and foremost, I would like to humbly apologize for the lame-ity of my previous post. I'll stop there because if I start critiquing my other posts this will devolve into mumbled "I'm so sorrys" and "I guess it wasn't as funny as I thoughts" and soon I'm hiding under my desk crying.

That said, I'm still tired. I have fallen asleep 3 out of the past 4 afternoons. R is "secretly" sure it's a sign that all that bedroom friskiness paid off and I'm pregnant, but neither of us will actually come out and say that because it would be so damn disappointing if I wasn't. The fact that my boobs are throbbing orbs of stabby pain now makes my husband smile...because he SO wants a baby and not because he's into that whole sadism thing.

But rather than talk about the Possible Baby (Potential Baby has now being classified as Possible Baby!), or the varying levels of uncomfortable I'm carrying around in my bra, let's talk about R's fascination with babies.

My husband LOVES him some baby. When we are in public, I can tell immediately if he is looking at a baby from the big, sloppy grin that splits across his face. A grin that radiates love and oxytocin. My husband is the guy parents dream of sitting next to on a plane. He will not panic when he sees that your infant is going to be sitting right next to him; instead, he will beam! He will offer to hold your baby so you can  get your seat belt on or sip from the tiny cup of juice the stewardess is offering you. He will shrug when you try to apologize for your baby screaming loud enough to break eardrums and will simply say, "babies cry."

He teaches college and I'm pretty sure that the students who bring babies or toddlers to class get bonus points. Extra bonus points if they have to go to the bathroom and pop into my husband's office and ask him to watch their little one for a minute. I kid you not*. R will come home with that same dopey grin on his face and brag to me if he got to hold someones baby.

*Okay, I kid. My husband does not participate in fraudulent or unethical behavior just so he can hold/play with babies. That he admits to anyway.

This is not a new phenomenon. R has been baby-smitten since we got serious, umpteen million years ago. He's so over the top about babies that it was a running joke for me to push him away from them because they are contagious. This happened so often (because he naturally gravitates to them) that several of our friends were under the impression I never wanted kids, rather than, you know, not wanting them when I was in grad school and barely had time to eat food. Now that we are actually trying to have a baby of our own, my husband often comes up behind me and rubs my belly and tells me to give him a baby, or he sees a baby at a restaurant and croons, "Oh, I want a baby."

When I remind him that babies poop, cry, wake up early, don't sleep through the night, and projectile vomit, he just smiles wistfully. When I tell him that he's going to have to sooth cranky babies in the middle of the night (R is practically addicted to sleep), he just grins and tells me he wants a baby. If I ever had any doubts that I wanted to breed with this man, these reactions would have convinced me to toss away the birth control.

Seriously, could he be any more adorable?? I think yes. I think he's going to be head-over-heels for our baby, once we finally have one. And, in my humble opinion, he's going to make 'daddy' a sexy position!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sleepy Mumblings

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been getting very little sleep and have almost entirely cut out caffeine. I perfectly synchronized these two events because I am a genius.

Today, I could no longer take it. I felt that vague, run-down warning my body gives me before its about to succumb to some virus or plague, so I took a nap.

This probably sounds like no big deal to the majority of you. And for normal people it is. But I called this blog Typically Atypical for a reason.

You see, I'm a non-napper. I stopped napping when I was two. Naps are no good for me. But I did it, and now I feel like someone crammed tissue paper in my skull cavity and somehow adjusted my eyes so everything is slightly out of focus. I think there's something wrong with my spine and I feel a bit like a marionette when I walk.

I should be working. I have a report to finish. But if I tried to do anything productive, something that requires focus and an attention to details, I would certainly mess it up. All my graphs would end up being titled, "ZZZZZ," or something similarly idiotic. So instead I wrote this.

I don't have the brainpower to proof read it, meaning I've probably made several idiotic mistakes and no one is reading anymore. Sorry. I don't even remember what I had planned to write. Maybe I need another nap?

I don't know. Here's a picture of some mountains. The furthest ones back there are in Canada - unless I'm so tired that I flipped around Canada and Mexico. Canada's the one with snow, right?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Life Update

So, our long anticipated Labor Day Reunion happened. Five friends from all over the country (read three states) came to our house, bringing a total of two children with them, and awesomeness was had. All the preparations we had made for the visit paid off, and, thankfully, all the things I didn't get done went unnoticed. Honestly, I kept them too drunk and sleep deprived for them to take note that the bathroom rug hadn't been vacuumed and I never did iron the curtains after we bought them and they all have square-shaped creases. Not like I'm one of those neurotic people who would notice that or anything.*

*If you invite me to your house and have never ironed your curtains I will notice. But I promise not to let you know that I noticed.

We had a great time. Good friends, no matter how long it's been since you've seen each other, seamlessly fall back into those old roles. We poked fun at one another and giggled at the barrage of sexual innuendo like we were all in junior high...even though we met each other in our twenties. We're all super immature when it comes to hearing the word butt or boobie.

I got to quiz my two female friends about their babies, pregnancies, and post-pregnancy sex lives. In exchange, they joyfully filled me in on the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding and using cloth diapers. One of their babies was in that super-cute babbling stage and we all enjoyed passing him around and letting him try to rip our faces off with the tiny razors he passes off as fingernails. The other kid is a toddler who is, very likely, a genius. He's not even two and he can count to 10, say his ABCs, and perfectly pronounce words like "excavator" and "succulent." In my mind, this sets the bar crazy high and I now plan to teach our Potential Baby to  recite the periodic table by the time he/she walks...not that I want to start any baby competitions with my bestest friends or anything.

Speaking of Potential Baby, that plan is still on. And by on I mean on, wink wink nudge nudge. We are frantically (that's right) trying to get me impregnated. THAT has led to a complete lack of alcohol and an extreme trimming of my caffeine consumption, which just happens to coincide perfectly with our annual fall sleeping schedule adjustment. So now, my coffee has been replaced by steamed milk which does little to nothing for me at 5:30 in the morning.

...I know that this was going to tie in somehow with something or other, and it was going to be interesting. I swear. But that whole 5:30 in the morning without caffeine thing. Yeah.

So, until next time [insert witty catch phrase here - I'm too tired to think of one]!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Got My VaJayJay Working

As you might be able to tell from the title, this is not a post for everyone. In fact, you should probably turn back now. 

You may (or may not) recall that due to 10 years of birth control, my lady parts forgot how to do their thing. As in, just when R and I decide that now is the time to procreate, my body was all ovulate? The fuck you sayin'? And I promptly stopped having my period. It was kind of like my ovaries broke up with me.*

*Full disclosure: After tossing away my birth control, I had my period for three months, like clockwork. Then, literally the month that we were going to start trying, my ovaries flipped me off and shut down, causing mass confusion. This led to much blood drawing and testing for a bajillion other possible problems because it was not a typical case of amenorrhea. My ovaries are spiteful bitches.

My body was forced through the monthly (read: once every three months) process with hormones. It was super awesome...if you really like acne, and  painfully swollen boobs and weight gain, because who doesn't want that?? 

However, after 9 months of this kind of shenanigans, I finally had my period. I've never been so happy to be cramping and using tampons.

Joking aside, if "it" hadn't happened this month my doctor was going to suggest I get on clomid. That's a fertility drug with side effects very similar to what I've been experiencing while on my hefty quarterly dose of hormones, with the added bonus of increasing your chance of dropping multiple eggs, leading to multiple babies. And of course, multiple babies come with a whole host of increased risks and stress and I'm just happy that clomid looks like it's off the table for now.

So internet, it looks like the plan for Potential Baby is back on. Feel free to assume that any internet silence on my end is due to frantic bedroom activity.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trials and Tribulations of Face Stuffing

So, if you've been paying attention to my ramblings lately you are aware that I've been super, mega, awesomely active. In my head, this has translated to "eat whatever you want!" The results have been disheartening.

IF I had maintained my other exercise schedule, instead of deciding that it was unnecessary because LOOK, I AM AMAZEBALLS! Then maybe I would have lost some weight in spite of the face-stuffing binge I went on. But no. Instead I ate snickers bars and drank extra beer and sat on ass when I wasn't hiking, biking, swimming, etc. because I burned all those calories. Therefore, THESE calories do not count.

It all made sense at the time. Shut up. Don't judge me.

Also, I've been wearing stretchy shorts and so I didn't realize how tight my jeans were getting. Then I put them on. Gulp. Now, instead of feeling all, that's right, I see you checking me out, I'm all Hey, are you staring at my belly?? Mind your own chub!

It's a bit like this:

SO, I am considering trying to pay more attention to what I put in my mouth. Could I sound more wishy washy? Probably no.

I'm going to go back to what I should have been doing the whole time: counting my daily servings of fruit and veggies. This has always worked really well for me because if you're getting your full 6 servings of good stuff, there's not a lot of room for all that other crap. Additionally, I'm going to go back to 30 minutes of daily exercise, rather than trying to rely on exercise binges alone.

I realize this isn't very drastic, but once I start in and start feeling better about my self, rather than sluggish and crabby, I'll consider amping things up a bit. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shallow Thoughts

Well, last week my in-laws were here. We had fun. We saw the view from on top of a mountain, we went out boating, we ate great food. I worked frantically most mornings, trying desperately to keep my head above the growing pile of to-do lists.

And now, R's vacation is over and I have a week to get as much done as I can before our friends start showing up for our big Labor Day Reunion. Which I'm really looking forward to when I'm not starting to panic because I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!! AGGHHH!

Other social obligations are piling up and I really want to tell my next friend who says they miss me and want to chat that, no. I cannot chat. I have to much too do and I'm really not that interesting anyway. Please go away.

Not the worst type of trouble, surely, but it's been a lot to balance. Between all this kick-ass fun and frantic working, the garden has been neglected, the yard needs tending, I have 50 billion things to prepare for our incoming guests, and the laundry. My god, the laundry! I swear it's breeding down there. Multiplying, gathering forces, and plotting to take over the whole house. I can just hear the war cry now, "Down with clean! Our time is nie!" *shudder*

I keep getting even more assignments from work, and someday, I SWEAR, I will learn to say no. That I am too busy. But that time is apparently not now.

So back to it. Work, work, work.

P.S. Writing this post prompted me to take advantage of rare cool temperatures and tend to the garden and the yard (after 10 hours at my desk working). Thus, I can now rationalize my blogging. Blogging = motivation = getting shit done.

P.P.S. That last sentence is pretty much bullpucky. Don't hold me to it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Adventures in Adventuring

Hello, hello. So much has been happening, like this
Zip lining!
and this
and some of this
Not to mention, this
Being frightened beyond all reason!
That's right. That's a moose standing on a bike path. In case you are unfamiliar with animals of the moosey variety, moose are fricken scary. As in, oh I just shat in my pants scary! If you do not live in the part of the world inhabited by moose, you might think bear are scary, or mountain lions are scary, or even wolves are scary. But the truth is, predators avoid people. You hardly see them because they run away. You know what this moose did when we came to a screeching halt on our bikes and discussed the impossibility of continuing because of said moose? The moose started marching toward us, prepared to trample us into little pieces because he had decided that the bike path, and the narrow strip of land to either side of it, and probably the water on either side of that, belonged to him. And if you don't like it, fuck you, I'm a moose. You simply can't argue with that kind of logic.

Let me set the stage for you. R and I had just completed 11 miles on this beautiful bike path that wound over and around lakes that sat between thickly treed mountains. We turned back and were racing (literally) back when I noted that someone seemed to be standing next to the bike path. At least that's what I first thought, until I realized it was a moose, partially obscured by the foliage, eating on the small trees that lined the path. The bike path is a converted railroad, and this section spans a small lake, so there was water to either side of this thick vegetation and no way around*. We came to a screeching halt and while we discussed how long we might be waiting for the moose to leave, I snapped a couple pictures (from a goodly distance away). 

*Not that I would try to ride around a moose through vegetation. But it made the whole situation that much more frustrating.

About that time, an older gentleman who was obviously not from "around here" and seemed to think of moose as large deer, as in timid and not shat your pants scary, came along. He stopped and was confused by our refusal to "ride real fast" past the moose. Now, let me note that moose can outdistance wolves, and are known to get up to 35 miles an hour. Which is super impressive when you take into account that they can weigh over 1500 pounds. Also, they use their long legs for more than running; they are known to literally split skulls with their hooves, which are roughly the size of my face. 

We tried to explain to this gentleman about the scariness of moose. He was not getting it, even though he told us that his friends had been chased on this same bike path by a moose just the day before. The fuck?

Another couple rode up, saw the moose, came to a screeching stop, and reiterated our serious doubts about trying to ride past the moose. I think that having another two people show up and say that, yes, moose were scary, is all that saved this man's life. I'm glad, because I'm not that interested in seeing someone get trampled to death. And I had no intention of stepping in if that started to happen. 

Over the course of these 5 minutes, the moose had been watching us watch it, and decide that we were clearly not taking him seriously. So he started walking toward us. R and I quickly hopped on our bikes and rode a ways away in a you-are-so-right-this-bike-path-is-all-yours kinda way. The other couple followed suit, and then the older gentleman grudgingly came along after it was clear that the moose was serious and still coming toward him.

So we waited. Older gentleman advised that we try scaring the moose. I tried to explain that moose do not run away when scared, they charge. He suggested that we all ride together toward it really fast making noise. I suggested he fuck off (on this inside, on the outside I laughed nervously and again told him that there was no way I was riding toward a territorial moose, thank you very much).

Eventually the moose felt like he had made his point and left. No one was killed and though no one learned an important lesson about messing with moose, I have to say it was way more scary than going down a zip line at 60 miles an hour.

Thus ends the tale of the time I almost saw an idiot get trampled by a moose.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Some of the Things

Well, I've been busy (who hasn't? I know, but seriously, the busy, I has it!).

Since I've wrote last we hiked 5 miles up a mountain, me with a 30 lb. pack and R with a 50 lb. pack. We camped at this gorgeous mountain lake, where snow still clung to the white granite, even though it was at least 80 degrees. We camped on a crest of rock between the lake and this immense, flat bluff of granite that provided a view of the surrounding mountains. The next morning, we broke camp and went fishing, which was more like staring down into the perfectly clear water and watching the little trout totally ignore the flies we tossed toward them. Fabulous. Here, look:

Then, of course, we had to hike back down the mountain. Thankfully, going down is a lot easier than up (way to go gravity!), because we  were pretty stiff that second day.

Then we met up with friends and went zip lining (pictures will be shown soon, I promise). Followed by boating, swimming, being pulled on the tube, and a failed attempt at knee boarding. Then we did it all again the next day - minus zip lining. And then back on the boat again a third day, followed by a bbq, many martinis, and some games.

It has truly been awesome. And also exhausting. And I'm pretty sore all over. Also tired. And did I mention that I did work on several of these days, in between all that fun and exercise? I did. And thus, the busy!

But I'm not complaining. I'm just psyched for the adventures and good times. I must be crazy, but that's okay because I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things That Are Not About Dogs At All

Sup? I've been summering - around all the crappy work I have to do. I become so disenchanted with work in the summertime. I'm all, but I wanna go outsiiiiide! Instead, I sit at the computer and stab my keyboard malevolently.

Anyway, as I am not with child, we have decided to make this summer as epic as possible (given all that damn work I have to do). We made a list of Things That Will Be Done This Summer, and it includes lots of camping. We've gone once with the dogs - that trip involved fly fishing*. We'll go backpack camping this weekend. I'm so excited to hike several miles into the bear-infested boonies to sleep on the ground that many of my friends think I should be committed. And later we'll camp at Heyburn State Park and ride our bikes on this insanely beautiful trail that crosses lakes and railroad trestles and it just makes me so damn happy!

*Note: fly fishing kind of sounds pretentious, so I should mention this was only my second time and, due to an angry yellow jacket, I ended up diving into the river to save my sunglasses. There. Had to get rid of any notions that I'm cultivated.

Also, next week we are going...wait for it...ziplining! R is afraid of heights, so he's got some mixed emotions (though it was totally his idea, so don't think I'm torturing him). I, on the other hand, can't wait to fling myself down a thin cable high above the ground.

Plus, there's been swimming and hiking and lots of walks. Picnics and yard games and reading books. This means that my laundry pile is as big as me and we've eaten just about all the meals I'd stocked away in the freezer. I've also had to do all this while wincing because, if you recall, those damn hormones I'm having to take have given me the most painfully swollen rack. Seriously, I never thought I'd rather have my smallish boobs but damn, I miss them.

Finally, we have friends coming Labor Day...which sounds like a long ways away until we think about the list of things that we need to get done before they arrive. This includes buying a couch so that the futon can be moved into the spare bedroom. This is especially complicated because R and I cannot agree on a couch because he wants something that reclines and I want something that isn't fugly. I'm guessing that they make reclining love seats that don't look like over-stuffed carnival rides, but we haven't seen any yet. So, somewhere in between the fun stuff and my damn work deadlines, we've got to go furniture shopping (again, because we have gone but only to the stores that sell fugly). Aww, first world problems.

Of course, there's serious stuff going on too, but it's neither funny nor entertaining and I'm doing my best to ignore it. Instead, look at this picture and drool over it's glorious outsideness:

The St. Joe River.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dobermans - What It's Like To Own One

I wanted to write something factual about what's near and dear to me - my dogs. Also, as a researcher, I wanted to share what I learned by scouring websites, reading books, talking to Doberman owners, and my direct experience as a Doberman's person, about the Doberman breed.

The Doberman are commonly regarded as the fifth smartest dog breed in the world, and are one of the best guard dog breeds - rated second only to the bull mastiff. The benefit of the Doberman (also the Rottweiler and German Shepard - both among the top 10 dog breeds for both intelligence and guarding tendencies) is that the breed is smart enough to discriminate between friend and foe. Our dogs (one full Dobie, and one Rott-Dobie mix) accept strangers into our home with their tails wagging. They take their cues from their owners (as long as you've trained your dog and they respect your judgement!) and they want people to visit as long as you want them there. Our dogs won't even bark when someone knocks on the door, as long as we've told them to expect visitors (seriously, SO smart).

Though these breeds can be suspicious by nature, training and early exposure to lots of different situations/people/places/noises often produce well-balanced and very friendly dogs. Our dogs LOVE people. However, when they are out of their territory, on walks for example, they go 'on duty.' They will allow people to touch them, but they remain aloof, watching everything to make sure their owners are safe. Even people that they know and love are largely ignored when they are out of the house. But come in our house and it's a whole different scenario. They just want  NEED love, love, love. It's worth noting that some of these dogs are very aloof with strangers, though I've never met any.

You were gone for almost a minute and we missed you SO much!
Both our dogs are bonded very strongly to our family. However, Odin, our Doberman, especially loves his mommy. If someone is at the house, he'll often stand between them and me - in a friendly way, usually trying to get petted. Most people don't even notice what he's doing. This tendency becomes more apparent if the guest is an unfamiliar man and my husband isn't home. This is not something I trained him to do, he does this instinctively. Dobermans do not need to be trained to be guard dogs, they have been selectively bred to guard their people (and property, though that's secondary) since Louis Doberman began breeding a dog to protect him on his tax collecting rounds in the 19th century.

Our Rotten Dobie keeping tabs on the neighborhood.
Though our dogs are very well trained, they are reluctant to take orders from anyone outside of the family. If someone else gives Odin a command, he will either ignore it or look to me to see if it's mandatory that he listen. Karma, our Rotten Dobie, is much more likely to listen to someone besides my husband and myself because she wants the attention. However, you can't make that dog do anything. You can ask, and she will do it because you ask, but she's very stubborn (this is a Rottie tendency).

Speaking of training, these breeds tend to be 'social climbers,' meaning that they are always jockeying to be top dog. As a responsible owner, you have to be consistent with obedience training and do it regularly. If you stop making them do things, they'll start testing your leadership. These are not breeds for someone who is not committed to obedience (if you think it's mean to give your dog commands these breeds are NOT for you!), and are generally not a good breed for an inexperienced dog owner. Training is not optional for these breeds, it's mandatory. If you are going to have a smart dog with strong, protective tendencies that is as athletic as a Doberman, you need to be able to control it!

However, it's worth mentioning that as working breeds, Dobermans and Rotties love to have a job to do and obedience is a good job to give them. Our dogs love obedience! They love the direct attention and they love to please (the treats don't hurt either). The fact that they are smart breeds means that they learn fast, too, so it's fun for both dog and owner.

In this instance, obedience = drooling while thinking about how cruel mommy is. So very, very cruel.

There are other aspects of the Doberman breed that are a little quirky. First, the Doberman needs its people, all the time. They do not like being left behind - after all, it's their job to protect you. This means that some dobies get separation anxiety. This can make it hard to leave your dog to go on vacation or even leave it alone all day while you are at work.Odin, for example, will sometimes stop eating if I'm away for a few days - talk about a guilt trip!

A typical day: one dog on my lap, the other under foot.

Doberman are super smart dogs. They need to be kept busy. They get bored. They can keep themselves amused (and if you haven't trained them well, you will seriously regret this tendency!) but they'd prefer you interact with them. This is especially true if you are on the phone. Basically, it's like having a toddler forever.

This breed is also super sensitive - emotionally. That's right, Dobermans are big babies. You can easily hurt their feelings, and that means that training needs to be upbeat and focus on rewards, not punishment.

Odin needs love...all the time.
Dobermans tend to be super lovey. They really want to be lapdogs, and will be if you let them. They are often called 'velcro dogs' because they are stuck to their owner's side. I am followed into the bathroom, I am watched while I get dressed, and my foot often becomes a pillow as soon as I stop moving. Guests frequently remark that Odin never takes his eyes off me, and that's the truth. Most of the time he doesn't have that far look, either, because if he's not laying on me he's leaning against me. If you need your space, a Doberman is not for you. A Doberman is always going to be all up in your business.

Odin leaning up against my husband while he does the dishes: a regular occurrence at our house.

Doberman are not quiet dogs. Now, they can be taught to be fairly discriminating barkers. Our dogs learn who are neighbors are and do not bark at them (because of that training we've been talking about). We have also taught them to stop barking if we acknowledge what they are barking at and reassure them that it's not a threat (they will bark initially, though, because it's their job). BUT, it's not the barking I'm referring to. Doberman are talkers. Odin grunts, whines, whistles, woofs, yops, squeaks, grumbles, and has a variety of barks to let us know what he wants. He likes to communicate. He'll let you know if he's happy or unhappy. These are not quiet dogs.

There are other random Doberman tendencies that make this breed unique. Doberman generally don't like water and are not strong swimmers. Even though they have tight lips, many Doberman are messy drinkers. They can be finicky eaters. Doberman are high energy dogs, and it's generally recommended that you have a large, fenced yard so they can get plenty of exercise.

Energy, I has it.
Many people are intimidated or afraid of Dobermans, so even if your dobie is the sweetest, best behaved dog ever, there will be people who are uncomfortable around it; this can lead to complications with neighbors, guests, etc.  Like many guard breeds, most landlords will not rent to someone with a Doberman. Many insurance companies have blacklisted this breed. These are important things to consider before getting a Doberman! It's never easy on a dog to be given away by an owner, but because of this breed's strong emotional bonds with it's family, it can be devastating. Please, don't get a Doberman unless you are committed to keeping it for life.

In conclusion, Doberman are great dogs for the right owners. They require a lot of work, especially in those first four years when they are maturing. They are high maintenance, requiring much more of your attention than most other breeds.

 If you would like additional information on the breed, please check out the following sites [] or contact a reputable Doberman breeder or Doberman Rescue near you.