Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell 2011 - The Year of the Pregnancy

With each passing moment, it becomes more and more likely, and is now almost entirely certain, that this baby will not arrive in 2011. I find this a bit unfortunate both for the normal reasons (I am ready to be done, people are waiting on this baby, I want to meet the baby, I want the tax deduction, etc), and for the reason that 2011 has been "The Year of the Pregnancy" for us and it would be fitting if it ended in this year. The process of us getting pregnancy started in January. I started taking medication in February, and we got our BFP in April. We spent the rest of the year doing plenty of things, but everything was shaped around this pregnancy - planning for the baby, enjoying our time left as DINKS (duel income, no kids), preparing the house, the pets, and ourselves for this next adventure. Needless to say the year flew by. I am sure the next year will go even faster.

So what is this post really about? It is my last post of 2011. It has been a year full of good anticipation and preparing for change to come, and lots of good fortune. I am hoping our fortune continues into 2012 and this child comes into the world of its own accord very shortly, very healthily, and without too much drama.  Thank you 2011 for being a good year, I will toast to you tonight before toasting to a great 2012!

2011 Recap

January - I started the year ambitiously with several New Years resolutions and made steady progress on them.

February - Things went south at work as new policies began to be introduced that did not make sense in terms of productivity, and morale started to go down the toilet. We hosted our traditional Super Bowl party and had a good time.

March - I struggled with motivation, mostly because the medications I was on, but I couldn't really tell most people that. Morale continued to worsen at work. Aaron got a motorcycle. We went to see Les Miserables

April  - We got our BFP (Big Fat Positive!) - the news that we were pregnant, though we did not feel very secure about it. We went to my coworker's wedding. We hosted a massive formal dinner party that involved a murder mystery as well.

May - We started/continued to announce to the world that we were pregnant. We visited our friend in Illinois and spent my Birthday in St Louis.

June - DH flew to Duluth for an interview.  Because of this uncertainty, our social calendar was on hold, though I did go to the big Short North garage sale. We made it to the second trimester. I narrowed down my expectations for completing New Years resolutions, and then totally failed to continue working on them.

July - We spent Independence Day with our friends in Columbus. The final Harry Potter came out. .I felt baby move for the first time.

August - My parents visited for a nice long week. My In-Laws visited. I enjoyed ample use of the Worthington Farmer's Market. I took up swimming.

September - We went on a great Baby Moon to the East Coast! Then I got really sick and was hospitalized overnight. I spent the rest of the month recovering from this.

October - We hit the third trimester. I had my baby shower and lots of people came in for it, it was great seeing everyone!! I dressed as a wrecking ball for Halloween.

November - We took our birthing class and really cracked down on our "to do" list for baby. My ILs came for Thanksgiving.

December - DH applied for and received an interview for the job in Duluth. DH and I decided we were taking the plunge to move to Minnesota. We celebrated Christmas alone, "Jewish style". My ILs visited for the New Year with the hopes baby would arrive... so far, no go.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Not the News You Expected, but Awesome

Everyone is anxiously awaiting to hear when I have the baby, that they are healthy, how big they are, whether they are a boy or a girl.... well I still have not had the baby. I hope to go into labor any day and satiate this anxious waiting and excitement for you all, but it has not happened yet and as I am new to this, I could not even guess if I am getting close or not. My doctor does want to induce pretty quickly with the due date past, but the date is not set and we would prefer to avoid pitocin.

That said, I do have huge, life changing, giant, exciting, nerve wracking news that has nothing (or very little) to do with baby. DH and I have accepted a job offer for him in Duluth!! He starts on January 30th. Yeah. In case you were curious, we are insane. Who decides to move to Northern Minnesota in January with a four week old kid in one of the worst housing markets ever? On top of that, it is a pay cut for DH and I will be temporarily unemployed once my maternity leave ends. But it was sort of a "take the plunge" or don't moment. We have talked about moving to Duluth for a long time, and we knew it would be difficult, that DH would have a paycut. It is sort of like if we did not take this particular job it meant we were deciding that Duluth was not an option based on the general Duluth economy. We considered carefully together as a couple and ultimately decided that we want to give it a shot. We know it will be really tough financially, and the timing is poor, but it will put us in a location where we are surrounded by family and friends, where we have at least 7 adults who will drop anything to come to our aid if we need it (my parents, siblings and siblings spouses). We just imagine being able to go to my parents for dinner on a random weeknight, having people to call when our car breaks down or we run late and need the kid picked up from daycare, or having people to swing by with groceries when we get sick... etc etc etc. The decision was money versus everything else, and everything else won. If we are young and naive and it is the wrong decision, well, I guess you live and learn, but its a mistake we are willing to risk.

So of course there are a million new stressors. We need to replace at least one of our cars - the 300c is rear wheel drive and it won't work for the Minnesota winter we are jumping into. We have to sell our house, which of course has lost value since we bought it and is a mess. We have to figure out where we are moving to, where our stuff is moving to, where our pets are moving to, and how it all is getting there. I need to start looking for a job that will let me start in mid February to March. If I do find a job, we will need to find childcare. All of this on top of the fact that any day, any minute, I could go into labor and start the biggest adjustment of our lives as we welcome our first child. Exciting times, stressful times. Wish us luck :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night

Today was DH and my first Christmas with just us two, and probably if we are lucky our last - not because it was bad, but because we will have a child to celebrate with from now on.

We got up at our leisure. DH walked the dogs while I cooked breakfast sausages (sort of) like my Dad was doing back in Minnesota. While the sausages were baking we both wrapped presents. Then we made hot chocolate and sat down and unwrapped gifts and ate breakfast. After this was done, we looked at each other and were like "what now?". DH suggested we go to a movie, so after reading all the possibilities, we decided on The Descendants, which is "that one with George Clooney in Hawaii". So we headed down to Lennox and enjoyed the earliest showing. For the record, it was quite a good movie and I really enjoyed it. We made a bet - DH thought I would cry, I thought I would tough it out. He was right. His prize? Making me figure out where to eat. When the movie ended at like 1:30 we were both hungry so I said we should try China Dynasty. We drove over to it, and it was packed, had an hour wait, and a set menu/buffet for $30. No thank you on the wait or price. So we googled what was open but only found a list that was from 2010. We drove down through the Short North to downtown w/out finding anywhere open that was supposed to be. We figured out a lot of the places were opening later in the day, like 4pm. So, we decided to go to another movie. We went to Arena Grand and saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It was very entertaining, much better than I thought it would be, but my standards were very low. After the movie we drove to Tip Top and had dinner there, then headed home, walked the dogs, called our families and friends, and settled in for a typical evening of internet and television.

Overall it was just a really relaxing day. We enjoyed spending all the time together and just going with the flow of things. Of course it would have been nice to be with parents and siblings and such, but since that was not an option we made the best of it and had a good time.

Now if only these occasional Braxton Hicks would turn into real labor. LOL

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quick Update

DH has been out of town since early yesterday morning. I am about 50% of the way through his trip, crossing my fingers (and legs, lol) that I don't go into labor. Obviously it is still early but I can't help but be paranoid, especially since I have had a lot more cramping etc (which could be early contractions) in the last couple of days.

I came home from work at 11am today. Used sick time for my own mental health. The ridiculous pregnancy hormones were messing with me. I also was really tired, and I have no idea why. I mean, besides the obvious "I am 38 weeks pregnant", I got plenty of sleep last night and it was good sleep.  (Only got up once overnight to pee, only woke up once because of being uncomfortable). So I am home napping this afternoon.

I  thought I had a bunch more to say, but that is it for now!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Year Has Passed (2011) - 3

Exercise #31. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
- experienced pregnancy
- stayed in Cbus for Christmas

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I will write a whole other post about this!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2 cousins... welcome Graeme and Maggie!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close enough for us to go to a funeral, thankfully.

5. What countries did you spend time in this year?
Just America. We did take a trip that took me through some new states though!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A child!! Jobs in Minnesota.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I am hoping the birth of my first child, though it is still upcoming! Seeing the heartbeat for the first time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
carrying a child for 9 months

9. What was your biggest failure?
I totally and utterly failed at my New Years resolutions in general, because I got distracted
I was not always as good of a friend as I could have been
I was self centered.

10. Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?
GI Bug leading to Dehydration resulting in an overnight hospital stay, but it was all OK

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A baby moon with DH. Priceless time together!!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
DH has been awesome taking care of me this year.
Everyone who has been so great and generous in helping us prepare!!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
The tea party
The media

14. Where did most of your money go?
baby stuff, medical stuff

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The upcoming birth of our first child! Smaller things - visits from my parents, ILs, the baby shower, Harry Potter 7.2, Twilight 4.1 releases. Baby moon to Boston. Hosting Thanksgiving for the first time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
That song that hamsters dance to in the Kia Soul commercial
Baby Baby Baby

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter!!!
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Laughing (can you ever do this too much??)
Cleaning. People say this never makes the list of things you wish you had spent more time doing, but really our habits are abominable.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing, internet using (ironically)

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We will be in Cbus, but not sure what we are doing.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I am totally in love, there is no more need for falling :-)

22. What are the main websites you used?
Gmail, Columbus Nesties message board, facebook, blogspot

23. Did you write anything worth reading this year?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
My normal reality trash. Top Chef Just Desserts, Project Runway, Chopped

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try to avoid hating people, it never brings anything good.

26. What was the best book you read?
I hardly read anything this year, and none of them were master pieces, so I will go with "Already Dead" which is a vampire book that was quite entertaining.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
At the beginning of the year I listened to a lot of classic rock etc and learned that I like some of those old classics, like Pearl Jam and Guns N Roses

28. What did you want and get?
a pregnancy

29. What did you want and not get? Jobs in Duluth, a lottery win

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter 7.2

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27. I have no idea what I did. I think we were in st Louis with the ILs and went out for dinner?

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A healthy birth before the year ends hopefully!! Nothing else comes to mind

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
maternity cute

34. What kept you sane?
DH, friends and family

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
It does not really change.Johnny Depp is always on top

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was pissed at everyone in congress for their general lack of progress and cooperation.

37. Who did you miss?
Everyone who does not live in Columbus!!

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Some new nesties!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011?
Stay on the sunny side

40. What word or phrase sums up this year?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Anothe Year Has Passed (2011) - 2

Exercise #2
 The instructions are simple:
Post the first lines of the first entry of each month of the past year.

Of all the ways I thought I would spend my New Years Eve, sick with sinus yuckiness and a massive headache that would send me to bed by 10pm was not one of them. It was a perfect storm of various headache catalysts, and probably the first time I have not stayed up until midnight since I was a toddler

I'm an icey girl, in an icey world... liking plastic (scrapers), its fantastic...

Things I learned in the last few days:
"paczki's" are polish pastries (sort of jelly filled donuts) that are served on Fat Tuesday.

HP1 - warm, cheerful, comfortable, wondrous, embracing HP2 - mysterious, curious, naive, confused, youthful

Things that did not get done over the weekend: starting my sewing project, straigtening the disaster that is my office.

I know. Its been a while. And its not like things have not happened, because they have. I am not sure exactly why I have been avoiding posting.

I was thinking about how the U.S. is far from the only country with red, white, and blue as their flag colors - the other obvious ones are UK, Australia, and France. However, the U.S. is the only country to become so fixated, but that is relatively common.

My parents arrived on Monday afternoon for a visit - just in time for my appt, so they got to hear the babies heartbeat, which was a lot of fun!

As Promised - the picture "catch up" session!!
M, R, and I at the Farmer's Market in July. We snapped this pic because we were not sure when the three of us would be together again, and its good we did. Since the pic was taken M went to Mexico for extended research and R moved to L.A.!
I know, I know.. I spent SO LONG "catching up" on the trip that I now have not had a current post for three weeks... But this is the only place I have that detailed account of my trip because I did not keep a journal on the trip like I normally do, so it was really more for me than for you.

If you are sick of me only blogging about pregnancy, then you probably should not bother reading this post. I can't help it, it of course dominates my life. I feel like I am a very boring person right now as most of my energy and thoughts are pregnancy related, whether it be what I need to eat, how tired I am, or something I need to ask at my next appointment.

I am pretty sure the answer is "yes!" to all of them... but this is what is new with me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Year Has Passed (2011) - 1

If you read this blog regularly you may recall I have three end-of-the-year MeMes to complete, not to mention resolutions to discuss. Here is the first.

1 minute ago... I was trying to load my Cbusnestie message board, which is down.
1 hour ago... I shopping with DH for a new digital camera.
1 day ago... I was watching Giants vs Cowboys on Sunday Night Football
1 month ago... It was Veteran's day weekend and I was relaxing, trying to get stuff done for baby.
1 year ago... I was enjoying a random day off with DH before heading to Duluth for Thanksgiving
1 decade ago... I was a senior in High School, waiting for college acceptance letters.
1 lifetime ago... I think I was in revolutionary in Russia

5 minutes ago... I was on facebook discussing my new camera purchase
5 hours ago... I was on the phone with my friend in Georgia
5 days ago... I was 37w pregnant, feeling as miserable as I have this entire pregnancy
5 monthes ago... I was super excited because Harry Potter 7.2 was about to come out!
5 years ago... I was celebrating my first Christmas as a married woman, living in an itty bitty apartment by OSU campus with our tiny Christmas tree and our one cat, Nox.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Changes Ahead

There is so much going on here, and so little at the same time.

DH is interviewing for a job in MN this upcoming Friday. He will be gone Thursday-Saturday. Hopefully baby does not come. I don't think the baby will come, there are not many signs of progress, but I can't help but be nervous about it. We will see how contrary this baby is I guess!! We will have even more stress if DH is offered the job, some big decisions to make as it could be a very stressful move, and would also be choosing to lower our income significantly, but we would be where we wanted to be, and closer to a family support system.  There are SO many variables and some big decisions upcoming.

Because of this interview, a lot of stuff that was on my baby "to do" list is being put off, because its things that are counter productive if we end up moving soon, like finishing hanging decorations in the nursery, assembling the crib (we have the pack&play up and running for those early months), getting the second car seat installed, etc. Its a holding pattern in many regards.

I know I have not been posting much. I don't know when I got out of the habit of posting, but I did, and I definitely want to get back INTO the habit as this blog is about keeping people up to date on my life, and with the baby people will want even more updates. I am pretty sure this will be one of my New Years resolutions.

Last weekend we went to get the Christmas Tree. I have pics from this, but our camera has died, so I can't get them  off easily. I will need to borrow someones camera to switch memory cards with, or find someone w/a card reader. Also, we need to replace the camera ASAP. Its a horrible time for it to die. We are debating getting an SLR, but I think we will end up with a point and shoot for now, especially with all the uncertainty. Its difficult to decide. But, the house is all decorated for Christmas. I bought stockings for DH and I since we don't have any here in Columbus, having never spent a Christmas here.

If the house decorations are not enough to get us in the Holiday Spirit, I also had a number of Christmas celebrations this week, the two most notable being our Annual Holiday lunch on Friday with my work unit, and the Nestie Christmas Party on Saturday night. Both were great and I got great secret santa gifts.

In one final note, I wanted to comment on something that won't matter to anyone except the nesties that read this. So a few months ago (August/September), there was a huge bit of drama on my message board I use and it split into two. The new board was meant to me more welcoming and inclusive than the old board had become. I am still a member of both boards. This week there were parallel posts that allowed real insight into how different the two boards are even after such a short time separated. On both boards there was a post about the Duggar's - the TV reality stars of "19 Kids and Counting" who just experienced a very late (20week) miscarriage on their 20th pregnancy. On the new board, the response was overwhelmingly and exclusively "that is so sad/tough, would never wish that on anyone, its making me tear up, can't imagine how hard that is for them" etc etc etc. On the old board the response was "that is sad, they really shouldn't be trying for kids, they are not being good parents" etc etc etc. I am pretty sure when I need support I will be posting on the new board, thank you very much.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is this Normal?

I am pretty sure the answer is "yes!" to all of them... but this is what is new with me.

Is it normal that....
... I have to pee every time I go from seated to standing position?
... my ankles are routinely the size of large oranges?
... my "morning" sickness and related food aversions are back?
... I keep getting anxious for no reason, or about things that I can't control, like hospital bills and the baby's position?
... my hands swell, especially at night, and the finger joints hurt?
... I am feeling like we need to get everything done for the nursery NOW, even things that don't really need to be done before the baby arrives?
... after never questioning it for one second in my entire life, I am NOW questioning if I will like being a parent?

I think that about sums it up. As I said, pretty sure this is all normal for 36w2d pregnant. 25 days to go. I am trying to get a lot of walking done, keep that baby weight where it needs to be to naturally progress towards labor. I may even get a yoga ball for work. As mentioned I am a bit "morning" sick again, which sucks by the way. DH is doing good though in taking care of me. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Its that time of year where the whole country pauses to "give thanks". Being thankful, or giving thanks, is all about recognizing and appreciating the good things in our lives. We spend so much energy on a normal day thinking about what we do not have - time, money, health, sleep. It is good to take a day to think about what we do have. Thankfulness is inherently a positive emotion, it is essentially taking the time to focus on the positive things rather than any negative things, and really we all would be a little happier and healthier if we made a daily effort to remember what makes life good.

So, what am I thankful for? What makes my life good? There are so many things. I am very fortunate. I have a loving and entertaining family, great in-laws, a wonderful husband. We all employed and healthy. DH and I have our own house and space, and things to fill it with that keep us safe, well fed, and entertained. Of course this year, the big thing is that I am so happy to be pregnant and be waiting on this child to make its appearance (in due time!). These are all pretty stereotypical. But the general theme here is - there is almost nothing in my life that is bad. Of course there are some minor things we would like to change, but ultimately they are minor things, ultimately I am probably one of the luckiest people on earth, and it could change any time, but for now, I am thankful for it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I

As you all know, I am a Twi-nerd... a twilight fan, soon to be a Twi-mom. Today is the opening day of the fourth Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part I. As it opened today, the midnight opening was at 12:01am this morning (last night).

I love midnight openings. There is something in the air! The excitement, the joint purpose, the celebration. Its a crowd experience unlike any other. I have been told that I should take advantage of midnight openings while I can, as when the baby arrives they will become an impossibility. I am not sure if this is entirely true, but they certainly are much easier now then they will be in a month or two. So, I took yesterday and today off work and indulged my addiction. Why two days off? Because when I went to the HP8 midnight showing in July at 16th it took my ALL weekend to recover afterwards and I thought a little preparation would shorten the recovery. So, yesterday I spend the day relaxing, napping, laying down, I went swimming, walked the dogs with DH, basically trying to be as relaxed, comfortable, and well rested as possible. Then, at 8:30pm I headed over to the theater and met up with my aunt and cousin. We had tickets for "The Twilight Experience", a special double feature where they showed the third Twilight movie, Eclipse, at 9:30pm before the midnight release. It was a ton of fun! It was good seeing Eclipse on the big screen again and having all the crowd reactions, oohs, ahhs, and applause. The midnight came, and the real excitement!!


In short, I loved the movie!! I recognize a million flaws in it, a million things that people who see and think "wow, is that cheesy" or "what?!?", and I still love it. I recognize some significant and substantive changes from the book, and I still love it. Where to even begin? The movie starts out with the wedding (or pre-wedding events) of Bella and Edward. The screenplay filled this with good laughs and sentimentality, punctuated by some serious moments that indulge us with some of Edward's history and Bella's subconscious fears about the upcoming events. Everything is very well done visually. In the actual wedding/reception, they add a lot of little tidbits that were not in the book, but they all are fitting. The most important scene from the book, Jacob's visit, is very well done. I feel like in general, Taylor Lautner's acting was much improved in this compared to the previous three movies. The wedding scene between Jacob and Bella is awkward even in the book (WHY oh WHY is she talking to him about her sex life with his rival??), but the movie makes it work somewhat naturally. Wedding accomplished, we are off to the honeymoon, where Kristen Stewart and the directors do an excellent job conveying the wedding night jitters and Bella's "morning after" fantasies, which are perfectly interrupted by Edwards sullen self-deprication. There are some CGI issues with some of the water scenes, both the wedding night in the ocean, and later a waterfall scene. While they cut some to get to the pregnancy reveal, the reveal itself is spot on, with Edward freezing up, and the realization of both the positive and negatives of the situation.
The transition to Jacob's perspective is somewhat rocky, but I am not sure what they could do better. You can't exactly have a section break in the movie. Everything surrounding the pregnancy and Bella's declining health was masterful. Another moment of CGI awkwardness came w/the wolves. Here though I am not really sure what they could have done better. How do you make giant telepathic wolves communicating and fighting with each other not see cheesy? LOL. Because it was consistent with the movie, I loved it despite the difficult execution.
Here really is the major plot change. In the book, the main source of conflict through this section is (1) suspense about Bella's fate, and (2) Jacob's internal struggle about what to do - his torment over losing Bella but inability to let her die. Neither of these is sufficient to drive a movie plot as they are both extremely low key/internal, so the screenplay adds a level of drama by having the conflict between the two wolf packs drag out extensively and even come to physical blows at the birth of Renesme. I am not a huge fan of this but I understand entirely why they did it and think that they managed to pull it off decently.
Ok, think that is enough review. They are releasing Breaking Dawn Part II in November 2012. Don't know why they are waiting that long, but they say they are. We will see whether I get to go to this "last" midnight release, as I am uncertain what movie will warrant it for me once Twilight is over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

All Positive

A couple of my coworkers were talking about pregnancy and two of them said they hated being pregnant. I chimed in and said that I loved being pregnant, which seemed to catch them off guard. I can't imagine hating it. One coworker responded with "well, if you have an easy pregnancy..." And while I certainly have not had a hard pregnancy by any means, I wouldn't say its been easier than average either, with the extended nausea well into the second trimester, the hospitalization, sciatica, swelling, etc. I have spent much of the pregnancy physically unwell or uncomfortable, which I think is pretty normal. But I still love it.It is a brief 40 weeks that I have no idea if I will ever get to experience again, a time when  the external world smiles upon me and wishes me the best of luck, when everyday is full of anticipation and preparation for a coming joy. I don't have to worry about whether I look chubby, I have an excuse for everything - acting stupid, being overly emotional, making mistakes. It is 40 weeks of precious memories - feeling babies movement, the look on Dh's face when he feels the baby move, laughing at myself for crying over ridiculous things, being able to snack and eat without feeling guilty, outgrowing my clothes, outgrowing my maternity clothes. I get to buy tons of stuff w/out feeling guilty. Its a pretty awesome time.

From a deeper, less materialistic perspective, while pregnancy is physically difficult, it is psychologically awesome. There is always something good in your life. If your work is frustrating, your house dirty, if you are tired, or throwing up, or the weather is not what you want, you still have that buzz, that knowledge, the idea in the back of your head that there is a little future child in their growing, and as the pregnancy moves on, the baby is moving and kicking and reminding you of its presence. What is not to love? How could I not be happy? How could anyone who wants to be a mother not be in love with this time?

Sometimes I wonder how much the difficulty I had getting pregnant contributes to this optimism and, well, basic underlying joy. If I had gotten pregnant easily, had multiple successful pregnancies, would this just be "another pregnancy" where I had to put up with morning sickness? Would I focus on the loss of brain cells and the physical discomfort rather than the amazing thought of a coming child and the scientific wonder of the baby's development? If I did not have the contrast of the dark months (lets be honest, dark years) of waiting in uncertainty and hopelessness, would I appreciate the pure hope and anticipation that pregnancy is?

I don't know. I like to think I would have loved being pregnant no matter what, but I also recognize that my perspective might be a little different than some. Imagine spending years trying to get something, trying to find something that you hoped would be the best part of your life, something you seem to have no control over, never knowing during those years if it was even possible. And then it happens. It comes with some negatives, some pain, some crying spells on the kitchen floor over ridiculous things, with new anxieties and stresses, but it comes with the knowledge that what you thought might never be, will be.

That is why I love pregnancy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Childbirth Class

If you are sick of me only blogging about pregnancy, then you probably should not bother reading this post. I can't help it, it of course dominates my life. I feel like I am a very boring person right now as most of my energy and thoughts are pregnancy related, whether it be what I need to eat, how tired I am, or something I need to ask at my next appointment. Despite my efforts not to always be talking pregnancy, it comes up more than I intend, sometimes simply because I feel like I have absolutely nothing going on. This does not bother me too much for the most part because I am happy to be pregnant, but it occasionally worries me that other people are annoyed. Oh well!

So DH and I spent all day on Saturday at a Child Birth class at the hospital where we plan to deliver. It just happens to be the same hospital where the popular Lifetime series, One Born Every Minute, is filmed. Anyways, it was 9am-5pm, plus a hospital tour. Unsurprisingly, it was a bit overwhelming. The morning was spent discussing the anatomy/physiology of childbirth, how baby's position affects it, how mothers positions before and during labor effect it, positions to use during labor, and relaxation techniques for labor. In the afternoon we looked at medical procedures and options that might come into play - both what possibilities were and when they might be used. We also talked about post-postpartum recovery and the hospital experience. I liked the class because it seemed to start out with the assumption you would not be having pain medication.

I am not really one of those people who is afraid of labor or childbirth. I guess I fall in the "woman have been doing it for a million years" camp. In fact, most of my fears are more related to the people and society surrounding me than to the process of childbirth itself. I am not afraid of labor pain, I am afraid of doctors and nurses "forcing" medical procedures on me I don't agree with.(I know they can't literally force me). This ranges from trying to get me to induce when I don't want to, to trying to get me to use pain meds I don't want, to moving to a C-Section before it is actually medical necessary, either because they are being over cautious or because it is convenient for them. Riverside is a great hospital. We chose it because it is level 3 both for adult and neonatal care. That means that if something goes wrong, if either I or the baby need surgery, emergency treatment, etc etc, we will be right there able to get it and not have to deal with being transferred anywhere else. However, it is also a hospital where 85-90% of mothers get epidurals. When I told one of my friends I was delivering at the hospital where One Born Every Minute is filmed she was horrified. She tried to play it down, but it was pretty clear her opinion on the matter. She related to me an episode where a mother wants to have a natural birth and the nurses are making fun of her in the nursing lounge. It does not exactly inspire confidence.

Perhaps you are reading in between the lines here and thinking or asking "is she saying she wants to go for a natural birth?". I guess the answer is yes. The more I learn about picotin, epidurals, and other interventions, the less I want them. But I am not some crazy hippie "natural is best" chick. I don't want a water birth, the idea of home birth terrifies me, and I don't have an elaborate birth plan with meditation and breathing routines planned to make it some "holistic emotional experience".  Its more like I land on the option of going "natural" when I consider all of the evidence. I guess it is also a continuation of the "woman have been doing this for millions of years" theory as well. Really I guess it started with my general dislike of the entire concept of an epidural. I am by no means criticizing woman who want one - as with all medical procedures, its a cost benefit analysis and for me the costs out weigh the benefits. They are sticking a needle into your spine and numbing nerves that give you motor control in your legs. That sounds like a procedure I will avoid if at all possible. It probably helps make the decision easier considering I have read the medical records of 1 or 2 women who have had long term effects of epidural. I just don't want to mess with my neurological system if I can at all help it. The statistics about slower labor and increased c-section rates, plus unknown ultimate impact on the newborn are just icing on that cake. So once I decide no epidural, it does not take much to conclude that most interventions are bad for me. For example, Picotin, the drug most commonly used to induce labor or to speed slow labor, causes contractions to be much stronger than natural and thereby increases the need/desire for epidurals. I guess when I look at everything combined it is not any one intervention that bothers me, its the fact that once you start with one you get wrapped up in these cycles of possibly needing so many others, and ultimately significantly increase your risk of requiring major surgery (caesarean). I don't want any of it, its not for me. In an ideal world, I would be able to deliver in a hospital, but not even have an IV. I know this is not an ideal world though (as evidenced by my desire to be in a hospital!). I know that a lot of times you end up with little choice. Your baby is breech, or in distress, or your labor just stalls out, etc etc etc. But I will do what I can on my end to make this happen "the old fashioned way". I just really hope that I only end up fighting mother nature and my own weaknesses on this and not my doctors and nurses as well.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baby Showers All Around

Last weekend my Aunt threw me a wonderful baby shower. It was at Biddie's Coach House in Dublin. I can't thank her enough for being so great. My sisters and mother also assisted.  They made a Dr Seuss theme to go along with my primary colors. There were a total of 14 of us there and I think everyone had a good time. We had high tea, lots of games, and great presents of course.  Thank you to everyone who came! It was so nice to have everyone there, it is probably my over-emotional pregnant self, but I just am very happy with how it went and how much fun it was.

On top of the excitement of the shower, it meant that my mother, mother in law, and two sisters all came. It was a packed house, but a lot of fun. I wish they all could have stayed longer and I hope they all come back soon.

The week was uneventful. I had book club and I carved some pumpkins. I want to post a review of the book club book as well as a parenting book I am reading and loving, but not tonight.

Today I went to a baby shower in Cleveland for my cousin who is due right at Thanksgiving. Time is flying by! I am now 31 weeks, 2 days along, only 60 days to go, and that is assuming  baby does not decide to come early. I want to post about some health things, and about my lovely stretchmarks, but not tonight.

I am going to bed now. LOL. I am SO exhausted from the trip to Cleveland it is ridiculous. Who knew driving could be so tiring?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pregnancy Update

(1) I don't have gestational diabetes!! Yay!!

(2) Baby measuring right on track.

(3) Feeling TONS of movement, and freaking DH out with it.

(4) I got stretchmarks literally overnight. They were not there when I went to bed and they are there this A.M. Coworker states same thing happened to her. I swear I am bigger than yesterday too. If I have stretch marks at 30 weeks, that does not bode well for the total amount I get!! LOL

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hospital Bills and Health Care Issues

I know that lately this blog has become just a list of what I do each day, I apologize if it is boring you. I think it has been like that for a few reasons. First, it is what some of my blog readers are looking for I think, the people like my parents who I don't talk to all that often but want to know what is going on in my life more. I may put something here that they did not know about in our phone and text conversations. Second, its easy. Its much easier to post about the random things that happened over the weekend than to delve into various thoughts and questions, some of which are controversial. Third, it is just how I have been feeling. I have not had time or energy to mull over anything really interesting lately, I spend a lot of energy just making sure I am doing what I can to be healthy for baby and to not feel like crap.

So, how about a ranting post for a change? 

We got our bill from the hospital. Looking at the itemized list is ridiculous. There is something seriously wrong w/out hospital's charge people. I am not saying we got charged too much either, I am just saying that the itemized list is all wrong. I mean, the point of an itemized list is to explain why your bill is what it is, not to list random prices the hospital has assigned to things. This is how you end up getting charged $56 for a dose of Tylenol that, as they bill even stated, I administered to myself. What is costing money is not the tylenol, but rather the record keeping, and the nurses care and the doctors expertise, and the well equipped hospital that was ready to deal with me if things got worse. So why doesn't my bill even mention these things? Instead it has all of these physical items, like "IV Therapy, $2780.80". Really? The IV cost $2780? I don't think so. I would much rather see "IV equipment use 24 hrs $1000, Nurses IV monitoring $1780.80" than this, or however they actually explain the expense when they come up with these prices. I know its a matter of semantics, but I am just saying whats the point of an itemized bill if it does not really tell you how the costs are incurred?

Of course we are among the lucky who have health insurance and we will be paying much less out of pocket than this itemized list totals, which is another can of worms I am not going to get into involving just what is broken about our healthcare system in America. I have to say seeing this bill gives me a little more sympathy for the plethora of claimants I have every week that say things like "I can't afford to go to the doctor every time my condition acts up because I don't have insurance" or  those who beg us to expedite their case because of the medical bills they are facing. The fact is that not getting medical care can affect your ability to get disability, because if you don't have your own treatment then all we have to go on is a one-time exam. This one time exam will be pretty good for things like back problems, chronic lung disease, etc, but it will not give us any real perspective if you have severe seizures or migraines or asthma attacks or anything like that. Or lets say, if you have cancer that you have not been able to get treatment for because you don't have insurance. There are some really sad things that happen to people in this country that do not have insurance. Back when we were in training we worked on a practice case (using a real person from a long time ago), who was diagnosed with cancer and told to report for tx. She did not see anyone for six months because of money problems/lack on insurance. When she went back to the doctor 6 months later they told her there was nothing they could do for her as the cancer was to advanced. Of course she got disability at this point, and then died shortly after. Yet we are supposedly the "best" country in the world (or thats how many American's view it!).

I recognize there is no perfect healthcare system, and I also recognize that there is not enough resources in the world to give everyone perfect healthcare, but there has to be something that makes more sense than what we are doing now.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Productive Yet Relaxing

It has been a very good weekend, both relaxing and productive. Friday we went out to eat with a friend. We went to Mac's Cafe. It was quite good and had good prices! On Saturday I got up and headed to the farmer's market, then rescued DH from the gas station he was stranded at (he forgot his wallet and ran out of gas while trying to go buy dog food). Then I ran errands - pet food, fabric store, maternity pants, Great Harvest Bread, Target.

Everyone keeps talking about rising grocery prices... I have not noticed these too much, but what I have noticed is the increased PET SUPPLY prices. Says something about my lifestyle, eh? Cost of our dog food, cat food, and rawhide are all up. The correct size of rawhide has become difficult to find- Target used to have a bag of 5 bones of the correct size (about 5-6 inches long) for around $10. They have stopped carrying that bag entirely and have raised priced on all of their other packages/sizes. Its a bit frustrating, but such is life.

After all those errands, my feet and legs and back were killing me, so I went off to the pool and floated around for awhile, stretched, swam. It definitely helps! Getting in the water relives the pressure on my joints, especially my back, and gives me the freedom to move and stretch in ways that my balance and strength won't allow me to do on land. I don't do much cardio, but I do a little, and the water keeps me cool so no worries about overheating, no jolting motions, so its all good. Anyways, I came home feeling much better, though admittedly my feet still hurt!!

I spent the evening watching football and baseball. It did not go so well. While OSU came out fighting, especially Braxton Miller who had way more confidence and better decision making than we have seen, things went downhill in the second half. Braxton Miller unsurprisingly got hurt. Let's call him (setting aside legal/moral issues) Mike Vick Jr. He is small, good at scrambling, he can really make plays, and gets hit WAY TO OFTEN and WAY TO HARD to not have injury issues. Also in the evening I taped off the last little bit of the nursery that had a mistake in the paint and started painting it.

Sunday we did a little house cleaning, watched a lot of NFL football, finished the painting, spent a bit of time working on cleaning out the second guest room (or what is going to be the second guest room...).

Today, Monday. I have it off. I don't really like the hero worship of Christopher Columbus. He did not discover a new world, other people had been here, and he did not make good decisions or smart decisions about his discovery (uh.. like why do we have "indians" in America? Because he was clueless....). Despite all of this, I don't mind taking the day off! These random holidays off is one of the very few remaining perks of being a state employee. My plans for today? Well, I got up early and did Laundry and some dishes. I have a handyman coming in to re-install the closet doors in the nursery (That we took out while it was being used as an office), and when that is done, I am going to head out to see a friend I have not seen in 3 months (she was on field research in Mexico). Should be a good day, followed by short week!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Baby Baby Baby Oh

I know, I know.. I spent SO LONG "catching up" on the trip that I now have not had a current post for three weeks... But this is the only place I have that detailed account of my trip because I did not keep a journal on the trip like I normally do, so it was really more for me than for you.

I recently turned one of my old blogs into a book - - into a book. Specifically, the section that talks about my time in Europe, and it sort of reminded me exactly how cool a detailed account of trips and such can be. It jobs so many good memories that I have not thought about in years.

As for the past three weeks since I got back... first, I can't believe it has been that long. My appetite returned about a week after I got out of the hospital, which was really great since I was having to force myself to eat even near 2000 calories for that week. Now I am eating everything in sight, which is good for the most part, though I still have nausea sometimes (mostly in the morning). I also have lots of heartburn. I read in a magazine that I should "eat small meals, avoid spicy foods," etc. I don't follow these rules because they don't actually help. I can eat a single yogurt and get terrible heartburn... so why should I avoid food I want? Thats about as small and mild a meal as you can get...

DH and I went to a baby sale last Saturday (a week ago today). It was a lot of fun. We bought some books and toys and clothes. We even bought a little Christmas outfit. We don't expect the baby to be here by Xmas, but if they show up early, we are ready for an adorable Christmas picture! And since it was all used, it was all nice and cheap. I still need to wash it all, and we need to get somewhere to put it, like a dresser. Its time to really crack down and start getting baby stuff done. So far, our baby items consist of 1 carseat and stroller (will need a second car seat), and the little stuff described above (from the sale). I also got an adorable stuffed elephant from a friend. My shower is set up, which is exciting. I am not planning to register, which I have a feeling will throw some people for a loop. But, I just don't feel the need to pick out every toy and piece of clothing and washcloth etc, the ladies that are coming know WAY more about baby stuff than I do. I don't expect to get any really big items anyways.  I hope people don't get annoyed and feel "set free" instead, but we will see what happens. Its all gifts and we are not counting on it to set us up, so I will be thankful for anything I get.

Now, off to watch football for the rest of the weekend. Though if I am good I will spend at least a couple of hours trying to clear out our red office. When we cleaned out the nursery to paint it all of the crap that had been stored in there, a lot of holiday stuff for example, got moved to the red office. Now we need to clean the red office so that we can put the futon in there and have two guest rooms instead of one. I have a feeling that the shower (10/22) will be the first of many times we have multiple guests staying here in the next year or two.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

East Coast Babymoon (Park 4)

Thurs, Sept 8th 2011, continued: So DH drove us into Philadelphia. Our hotel was booked on hotwire again and was sort of a chic modern number, great location though, right next to city hall. Unlike the Sheraton and Boston, which was the kind of 4 star hotel that is 4 stars because they take great care of the guest, it was the kind of hotel that is 4 star because it has artwork on the key cards, perfume at the entrance and customized music track in the elevator. As soon as we got checked in we headed back out walking. We walked over to a large indoor market, similar to the North Market hear in Columbus, and I got a Philly Cheesesteak, which was tasty. All filled up, we headed out to walk to the Museum of Art, which is famous mainly for being the stairs that Rocky runs up. The walk to the Museum of Art is all tree filled boulevard, its supposed to have international flags out lining it, but none of them were up. The weird thing about this walk was that while the trees and museums and fountains implied they expected people to walk this stretch, the traffic and pedestrian traffic layouts were total nightmares. You frequently had to wait at 2-3 cross walks to make it across one intersection. We did eventually make it and got some good pictures on the stairs. By this time the sun was setting and we headed back to the hotel to watch the NFL opener.

Friday, Sept 9th 2011: We got up on our own schedule, got moving, grabbed breakfast and walked over to Independence park to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We got our tickets for the Independence Hall tour and as we walked over to start it I started to feel quite unwell. DH considered just booking it outta there and letting me rest, but I wanted to stick it out and figured it was just pregnancy nausea crap. We did the Independence Hall tour, it was pretty neat, impressive how small the room was that the Declaration was written in, we both thought it would be bigger. Then we headed to the Liberty Bell that had a huge line to get through security. DH and I realized while we waited in line that we had NO idea why the liberty bell was significant. Turns out there really is no reason! LOL. What I mean is, does not have that much historic relevance. It was used as a symbol, and that is the bigger deal. As soon as we finished this we headed back to the hotel to get our car and head out of town as by this time I was feeling quite unwell. We took the Subway back to quicken the process.

A final note on Philadelphia - it is called the city of brotherly love, but their reputation, as sports fans for example, is of being anything but compassionate. I have to say that pretty much everyone we dealt with enforced the reputation rather than the motto. People were rude, you heard people swearing at each other on the street. There were homeless people everywhere. It was not exactly a friendly place to be.

As discussed in my previous post, I felt worse and worse as the day progressed. We went down to our friend's house in Baltimore and I tried to act like I felt OK. We grilled out, I got eaten by mosquitos, we hung out, talked a lot, watched a comedian, and went to bed early.

Saturday, Sept 10th 2011 I was feeling even worse in the morning, but did not want to wreck our limited time in Baltimore and limited time with our friend, so we went ahead and went down to the inner bay, walked around, saw all the ships, looked around the lighthouse. We almost went to the aquarium but DH could tell that while I said I was up for it really I was not, so instead we grabbed "lunch" and then headed out. I feel bad that I felt so cruddy while I was there, but it was still nice seeing our friend. DH drove the entire way back to Columbus because I was feeling so bad. We made it back around 9:30PM and I hit the sack. See my hospital post for what happened the next day...

Overall, it was a great trip. We are REALLY glad that we spent the money and time to do it, because we will not have that kind of freedom (in either regard probably) for a long time to come. It was just nice to concentrate on us for a bit without the stresses of work and pets and house and baby prep. We also got to see tons of new things, go to new states, and explore part of the country I have never been to. DH pointed out that we hit 20% of the country by states, lol: OH, PA, NY, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, WV

Friday, September 23, 2011

East Coast Babymoon (Part III)

Tuesday, Sept 6th 2011
Unfortunately, DH woke up feeling not great on Tuesday. He had allergy symptoms. He thinks they were due to the "dead bodies" he breathed in during the tour of the crypt. Much more likely it was just the weird and new pollen, or perhaps some dust from the old sites we visited. He dragged himself out of bed anyways and we headed out on foot from the hotel to locate the nearby Boston Public Library, which was only about 3 blocks away. We went in and started to walk around and it was super unimpressive, just modern functional library, not even that big. Then I noticed this through way and we walked through and BOOM, beautiful courtyard, big sweeping staircases, murals and statues, and awesomeness. We wandered through it all, very neat, but they are not using all of the neat rooms for actual books, so that was a bit less exciting. Kind of a strange set up in my opinion. When I had got my library fix we walked across the street to look at Trinity Church. We did not go in, but it is really cool architecture. I was totally starving so we stopped at a place called Finagle my Bagel and I had breakfast. We walked back to the hotel and changed, then walked over to Fenway to take a tour. It was pretty neat! It is a very old ballpark, and while I am not a huge baseball fan, its still neat hearing all the history and legends associated with the place, and I always like getting in press boxes of pretty much any sports venue, such a different perspective. After the tour we walked back to the hotel, stopping for a slice of pizza along the way. DH was really not feeling well, so we decided that he could go nap while I went off and explored a few sites in the city he wasn't interested in. I hopped on the subway and headed to Harvard University. When I got there I stumbled upon the start of a student-lead history tour and joined in. I went with the tour for about 15-20 minutes, but I was not really enjoying it. It was raining, and the tour was so, I don't know, pretentious? Self satisfied? All of these historical stories about how Harvard screwed over Cambridge or any of those things. I wandered around campus a bit on my own, and then headed back out on the subway. I took it to MIT and wandered around their campus a bit. It feels so full of potential. Walking their halls was a bit like being in a science college commercial, because you really would just walk by a random window and there would be a nanotechnology lab behind or other things. From their I walked across the river, looked at the sailboats, and up the hill to my hotel. It was quite a long walk, especially in the rain, but I had realized that we only had one more full day in Boston and it would probably be rainy then too, so I better see what I can! Back at the hotel I went swimming, then crawled in for a nap. We went out and got a quick dinner from a place called Boloco (boston local) that was sort of chipotle-esque , with a bit more variety, and the coolest soda machine ever. We spent the night in bed watching football and relaxing, hoping DH would feel better the next day.

Wednesday, Sept 7th 2011
Luckily, DH did feel better after his afternoon/evening of rest. We went to breakfast at a place called The Pour House that was recommended by the concierge. It was a casual place, delicious hash. I think DH liked his pancakes as well. We then took the subway over to the same stop that we had ended our Freedom Trail tour on. It was a rainy day, but neither of us really minded. We walked over to the U.S.S. Constitution and the navy yard it was located in. We walked briefly through the museum, explored a WWII destroyer that is dry docked there, and then took a tour of the USS Constitution. It is the oldest commissioned navy vessel afloat in the world. Commissioned means it is manned by active duty navy, afloat means that they can still sail her, and do so a couple of times a year. There is a boat in England apparently that is also commissioned, but is dry docked. It was pretty cool to see it all, hard to believe how old it is and how much action it has seen. It is most famous for a battle during the war of 1812. It is nicknamed "Old Ironside" because the construction of the sides, using a combination of woods native to the U.S., made them virtually impenetrable to cannon balls of the period. Of course it has seen lots of restoration, but they keep as much of it original as possible. After the tour we walked up to the Bunker Hill monument and looked around their a bit. The combination of my pregnant status, the long walk we still had to our next destination, and the poor weather (very thick fog) made us decide NOT to climbed the 100+ steps to the top of the monument. We wound our way back across the river to the North End (remember, the Italian District), and had a nice, slightly late sit down lunch at a Italian place, which was tasty, then picked up a canolli from Mike's Pastries. We had both kind of had it with being on our feet by this point, so we headed back to the hotel and then decided to go see a movie. We went and saw Crazy Stupid Love. It was quite good, funny and sweet, and neither of us saw the "twist" coming at all! Well executed, definitely a feel-good type film, not so realistic. After the movie we walked back to the hotel and just relaxed, watched some TV for awhile, then went back out for a late dinner. We just walked from our hotel and looked for a place, ended up at Mass Ave Tavern. They were nice and casual, they had a live trivia game going, but we did not join in, which turned out to be good because the question structure was very odd. The food was delicious! I had hummus w/veggies, mac&cheese, and half of DH's burger. I would go back for the mac&cheese alone in a heartbeat!

Thursday, Sept 8th 2011
We got up, had breakfast a quick breakfast, and checked out of the hotel. It was pouring cats and dogs outside! DH started out driving, got us out of the Boston w/some traffic delays, then out of MA. We went down through Rhode Island, which was cool, right through Providence. I took over driving and headed out of RI, into Connecticut. I was surprised by how pretty the area is, hills and trees, quite nice. We headed down through Connecticut into NY, actually right into NYC! I drove though the Bronx and the northern edge of Manhattan! Impressed? I am. I am very proud. Anyways, across the George Washington bridge, down to New Jersey, switched drivers again, and DH took us into Philadelphia. (more to come on this evening later...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

East Coast Babymoon (Part II)

Monday, Sept 5th
The weather was gorgeous. We took the subway the short distance to "downtown" Boston. It was not a far walk, but as we were planning to walk all day, we did not want to add on a mile at the beginning. We headed to Boston Commons where we met our tour guide. He was dressed as "Bully", a cooper's apprentice who actually witnessed the Boston massacre. He was dressed in period costume. What were we touring you might ask? It was a walking tour of the first half of the Freedom Trail. It is basically a walking path through old Boston marked by a red trail that goes to many of the major historic sites. Boston is old... really old. It seemed just about every other corner had the oldest of something. Boston Commons is the oldest public park in America. It was originally a literal commons, grazing pasture for the town's livestock. From there we walked up to the Old State House, which is this gorgeous gold-domed building. I thought it was crazy that the entire dome has only 12lbs of gold leaf on it, stretched so thin! I would think they would need repairs all the time. From there we walked to the Old Granary Cemetery. It has many famous graves in it. We learned about how John Hancock was the "King of Boston" because of his wealth. He funded pretty much anything that needed funding in the days of the revolution, including the poor Sam Adams (also buried there), who might be considered the first career politician, as he really  had no other trade and no money of his own. Also, Sam Adams was short, ugly, and very anti-alcohol. He believed the revolution would usher in a recurrence of earlier puritan ideals and called himself the last puritan. This makes it especially hilarious that there is a beer named after him. That picture on the beer is actually of Paul Revere, who was also buried in this cemetery. Paul Revere is an interesting character because he is so over-hyped. In all reality, it would seem he had very little to do with anything. Not that he did NOTHING, he is just way more famous that he deserves credit for. Also buried in this cemetery was Joseph Warren, a name we don't really hear about, but he would likely have been the first President of the U.S. if he had not died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Another famous grave in this cemetery is that of Benjamin Franklin's parents. From the cemetery we walked to the old city hall, which has a few interesting features. First, it is on the site of the first public school, which John Hancock and many other revolutionaries attended. America had a ridiculously high literacy rate for the time period and public school availability is one of the major reasons. Second, it is right next to the King's Church, which the representative of the king so considerately built on a puritan graveyard. Third, in front of it is the oldest statue of Benjamin Franklin, which he actually posed for during his lifetime. From here the path wondered by a couple of other sites which significance has honestly slipped my mind at this point. We walked by a church that was one of the largest public spaces in the town and therefore served as a meeting place for many of the revolutionary meetings, including the one that started the Boston Tea Party, which by the way is one of the earliest examples of nonviolent protest. Eventually we ended up at the square where the Boston Massacre occurred, and we learned all about how it was not really a massacre so much as a riot. I never did quite decide if learning about all of the propaganda, lies, and exaggerations used to start the revolution were reassuring or disturbing. On one hand, disturbing because we tend to put the revolution in such a pure light when really it was full of all of the normal political corruption. On the other hand, reassuring because maybe, since that all turned OK, we really have not strayed that far from our roots with what goes on in politics today. Our tour ended at Fanuiel Hall and Marketplace, where the tour guide revealed that he really was the decendent of the Bully character was playing and had researched him through letters he wrote his mother during the revolution, which was pretty neat.

After tipping him handsomly, because it really was a great tour, we walked into Fanuiel Market. It had come highly recommended, but it was way overwhelming to me, and DH does not like food markets that much. I needed a seat and a I needed it NOW, which was not going to happen with the chaos in there. It was labor day, and it was packed. So, after walking through it quickly we exited and found a nearby sit down restaurant where we sat out on the sidewalk in the shade and ate yummy fish tacos. Feeling much rejuvenated, we continued our Freedom Trail walk by going into Faneiul Hall, "cradle of liberty", where many of the original meetings leading up to the revolution took place. It is well preserved and pretty neat. After that there was quite a hike to the next site. On the way we walked by the country's oldest continually operating restaurant, through an old market place that had fake bronzed refuse (like tomatos and lettuce etc) on the crosswalks, into the North End, the Italian district.

This is when the weirdest, coolest, most random part of our entire trip happened. The whole area was packed because the weather was great and it was a holiday. We were walking up the main street in the North End when we heard cheering ahead, then out of nowhere a bicycle rickshaw comes out of the crowd, and in the cart is a man in a yellow shirt holding the Stanley Cup. I kid you not. The Stanley Cup. In a rickshaw. We were in total shock. Was that really the Stanley Cup? What just happened? We spent the next half hour (and indeed several days) just looking at each other at random and saying "in a RICKSHAW". We watched the local news that night that confirmed that the guy we saw had the Stanley Cup in that neighborhood that day. He was taking it to a local Children's rehab center near the arena and then left on a bicycle. Wow. In a rickshaw.

So, after slightly recovering ourselves, we continued on the Freedom Trail, and found the Paul Revere house, where he lived for quite a while. It had been restored to be like what it would have been like when he lived there. We paid to get in and take the mini-tour, and it really was not worth it. We wanted more info about the man and his life, what we got was random minutia about life during that time period. We moved on and next toured the Old North Church, famous for being the steeple where 'one if by land' was lit. We got in on a tour of the bell tower and crypt, which was pretty interesting but not as historical as we would have liked, though it was neat seeing how the bells work, and its really complicated. From here the Freedom Trail took us to another cemetery, most notable for the fact that the British troops took up post there during the Battle of Bunker Hill. From here the trail took us down off of the hill the North End is on and across the river. By now it was 3:30 and we had been walking and touring, minue the 45 minutes for lunch, for about five hours. We both admitted we were tired and ready to head home. So, we found the nearest subway and headed back to the hotel, where I took advantage of the beautiful pool (with its retracting roof open, looking out at the prudential building and other nearby sky scrapers), and DH took a nap. All rested and cleaned up, we ventured back out for supper to the Top of the Hub, a fancy restaurant at the top of the Prudential Center. It has a gorgeous view to say the least, and the food was quite good. We did not get dessert there because nothing stuck out, so when we finished dinner we spent the next hour or so just walking around the area in search of dessert. We tried to find something local, but nothing popped out, so we did Cheesecake Factory, which was delicious. It was a really long but great day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

East Coast Babymoon (Part I)

Friday, Sept 2nd: We were going to try to get out of town early, but DH had some issues at work and was later getting home. I tried to relax and not stress about it, because as he pointed out, whats the point of stressing about it when the purpose of the trip itself is relaxation? So I chilled, straightened the house etc until he got home, then we headed out. We drove up to Erie, PA; I really wanted to at least cross the state border to feel like we had made some progress. There we checked into a really overpriced Comfort Inn with the most unprofessional lady, "Tina in Training" (that is what her name tag said). The real moment of hilarity was when we walked into the room - it had the queen bed we requested - and a set of bunk beds, completely decorated w/marine life! So we spent the first night of our vacation sleeping under the watchful eyes of a manatee...

Saturday, Sept 3rd: Got up, had the complimentary breakfast and hit the road. We drove up Buffalo NY and then crossed into Niagara Falls, Ontario. I don't know if it was just because we were only planning to stay the day or what but our customs check seemed to take about 1/4 of the time everyone else's was taking, and I am totally OK with this. We circled around and found parking, hopped out of the car and headed for the falls. I have been to Niagara before, but DH had not. Comparing them to my memory, the horseshoe falls were the same as I remember and the American/Bridal falls were bigger. The real difference though was that I don't remember all of the build up - hotels, restaurants, etc. I remember it being much smaller/more open.  Not sure how much of that is in my memory and how much is things actually changing. Anyways, we looked at the falls for a while then went down and got in line for the Maid of the Mist. It was quite the line, but luckily mostly in the shade, and it moved faster than I expected. The Maid of the Mist was WAY better than I remember. In my memory, it did not get close enough to the falls and I couldn't see anything, just mist. This time we definitely could see things! It was really cool, and so refreshing to get covered in mist since it was a pretty hot day. After the boat ride I was totally exhausted and just wanted off my feet and wanted nourishment, so we went to the first sit-down restaurant we could find, which happened to be Hard Rock Cafe. I had never been to one, so I guess I can check that off the list. It was kind cool seeing some of the memorabilia, but I am just not a big enough music fan to fully appreciate it. Feeling very much refreshed we ventured back out into the heat, which had dissipated somewhat, and walked all the way up to the head of the falls, stopping for photo ops along the way. We got tickets for the Behind the Falls caves and then walked around a bit waiting for our turn. My feet were starting to get very tired by this point. We went down and saw the falls up close, also way better than I remembered. At this point we were both ready to get off our feet, so we headed back to the car and looped back to the United States, waited a LONG time to cross the border but it went smoothly. We stayed in Batavia, NY at a Clarion Hotel that beat the Comfort Inn both in price and comfort. No evil sea life! We had good local pizza. We also saw an "Antique Archeology" truck at a gas station, I don't think it was being driven by the guys on the show (American Pickers), but DH does not think they have any other trucks.

Sunday, Sept 4th: We took our time getting going in the morning, but did not sleep in too long. We were taking 90 pretty much all the way across NY, which was kind of annoying because it is a toll road, and therefore you have really limited access to rest stops and food. This was not good for my picky pregnancy stomach, but we managed. It was weird also, as soon as you hit Albany or so (still a good distance from the coast), you could just feel the population density increasing. More traffic, more people, totally different feel. We made it into Boston around 4pm. I was driving and DH was navigating. We sort of got a mini tour of the area thanks to this fact, as we had to circle twice through the greater area before making the right turn to end up at our hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton in the Back Bay area. I wish I could take full credit for booking the room, because it was awesome, but I used Hotwire, which means I did not know which hotel I booked until I had paid (I knew the neighborhood, the rating, etc). Anyways, they put us in a river view room on the 25th floor that was just incredible. Additionally, the hotel is attached to the Prudential Center. Prudential Tower is the second tallest building in Boston and has its own mall pretty much. This proved to be highly convenient throughout the stay. Anyways, when we got into Boston I was STARVING, so we just ate in the food court there, they have this great fast food place "Cheese in a Box" that does grilled cheese! From your basic white bread and American cheese to gourmet piles of meat, veggies, spices on foccacia or something. Stomach satisfied, we just started walking. We walked and saw the Christian Science complex, which is very pretty. We walked over to the fens and to Fenway (baseball stadium), then looped back to our hotel, stopping for frozen yogurt along the way at a place called Berry Line. I thought it was great, DH thought it was too much like real yogurt. LOL.

Ok....  I don't want to inundate you with a post so long no one reads it, and these were really the "short" days of our trip! Perhaps I will write about Monday, our busiest day, tomorrow!

Also... there are pictures on facebook, so I did not feel like reposting here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My First Hospitalization (in my memory at least...)

If you read this blog regularly you are probably either waiting for me to post about my trip to the East Coast, or depending on how you know me, you may be waiting to hear more about my recent hospitalization and how I am feeling. Let me get the bad out of the way before the good, and also talk about what is more immediately relevant to how I am doing at the moment. Don't worry, the story is not that bad, just sucky. gross too probably, TMI, but its what happened.

On Friday we were in Philadelphia. In the morning after waking up normal and a normal  breakfast we walked from our hotel by City Hall down to the Independence Hall area. I did fine with that walk, we got tickets for Independence Hall and began to walk over there, and while we were waiting for that I began to feel week and tired. We went ahead with the tour, swung by the Liberty Bell, and then took the subway back to the hotel to get out of town since I was not feeling well. We thought it was just normal pregnancy fatigue. We drove to Baltimore, stopping at Cracker Barrel along the way where I forced some food down, but it did not help like it normally does. We got to our friends house in Baltimore and I was still feeling gross, but I thought it was still just pregnancy nausea and tried to hide/downplay it, made plans to grill dinner, hung out, but then when dinner was set in front of me (a burger), I could only eat a tiny portion of it. I felt gross all night, went to bed early, got up and vomited the burger and juice/soda I had eaten back up at 6am. Got up feeling horrible. I thought by now it might be something more than just pregnancy nausea, but still nothing so extreme that I was sure. I sipped some juice but couldn't eat any breakfast. I did not want to wreck our plans so we went down to the inner harbor in Baltimore and walked around. I was very fatigued and the smells of food were killing me. We walked up and down and saw everything without touring anything, then went to a food court for lunch. I got a mango smoothy and sipped at it, and ate 1 or 2 of the fries. After lunch we dropped our fried off, packed up, and headed out of town. I slept some on the way home, but was really miserable, feeling nausea and muscle soreness and general miserableness. I kept trying to sip juice and water because I knew I must be dehydrated. When we stopped around 4:30, everything I had eaten/drank all day came up again. I continued to try to sip water and we got home around 9:30pm, I pretty much went straight into bed and laid/slept, sipped water a tiny bit, took a Tylenol for the severe muscle pain and eventually fell asleep, until I woke up with diarrhea at 3am, then for diarrhea and vomiting at 5am, 6am I just stayed up and kept getting sick. I was SO THIRSTY, my mouth was so dry, and I just felt miserable. I tried to sip water, and it just came back up, I tried to suck ice and it just came back up. I was so thirsty I did not care it was going to come back up, so I tried a caffeine free Pepsi because it sounded good and used it to take my thyroid meds. I very slowly drank like maybe 1/3 of the can and it seemed to be staying down. By this time DH was up and asked if he could do anything/get me anything. I told  him I was going to call the OBGYN as by this time 36 hrs since I had kept any solids down and hardly any liquids in the same time. So I called and they told be to head to labor and delivery at Riverside assessment for dehydration, so we headed straight there. When we got there I was off the charts for keytones in my urine and dehydration (a positive sample ends up as making the strip dark purple, mine was instantly dark purple and ended up turning black). I also had elevated BP (which is the opposite of how my BP has been trending during this pregnancy). They hooked up a monitor to my belly and found the baby right away, the baby had super active throughout the entire illness or I would have been to a doc sooner. Anyways, the baby was doing great, so they took those monitors off and hooked me up to an I.V. and gave me Zofran, then after I had two full bags of IV fluids they asked me to try and drink a half can of pop over the course of an hour and eat a saltine. I didn't make it and managed to throw up the pop they gave me, the pepsi, and loads of other fluid that I had no idea where it came from. At this point they gave me something stronger for the nausea and omitted me. The new med knocked me out for awhile. When I woke up my mouth was SO DRY, I asked and received ice chips and very slowly had some of those. I laid there all day eating an ice chip at a time and watching football with DH, pretty miserable, later in the afternoon I asked for more and was given a Popsicle, which went OK, then cranberry juice. Around the time DH went home to walk the dogs my fever suddenly spiked (it had been very mild). They gave me tylenol, but it still had not broken after an hour. It got up to 101.4F, and then suddenly dropped. I was still physically miserable and had a rough night with diarrhea, chills, hot flashes, but I did not throw up. They came and drew more blood at 5:30am. I woke up with a really bad sinus type headache a bit later and turned the TV on. They came in and said my labs were OK and my temp was fine, so if I could keep down a solid breakfast they would release me. I managed to eat oatmeal, bacon, and orange juice and while it was not super appetizing to me, it did not come back up, so after checking the baby again (still doing great, kicking the monitor, etc), they released me home. They said that there has been a GI bug going around that the OBGYN warned them about and it was probably just this as my other labs came back normal (no infections or anything).

Since getting home I have been trying to eat every couple hours and making myself drink even though I still don't feel great. I have had really bad headache/sinus symptoms but I think they are resolving now. I feel so crazy weak and fatigued, and I feel like its improving so slowly (along with my willingness to eat), that it is going to take me weeks to feel normal again. I hope I am wrong. I am just glad baby has been OK through all of this and I am doing my best to not end up at L&D again. I know I won't feel like going back to work tomorrow, but I am going to try and at least go in for awhile because our sick policies put up a bunch of paperwork/bureaucratic crap if you stay out three days in a row straight. I can always come home if I feel weak or can't keep up with hydrating etc while there. I have plenty of sick time. The only good thing that came out of this? We know our way into Riverside now, so DH will know exactly where to go if there is another emergency or hopefully when its time to deliver!!

What a sucky dramatic ending to a great week... a great week I will hopefully tell you about it soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Picture Catchup!

As Promised - the picture "catch up" session!!

M, R, and I at the Farmer's Market in July. We snapped this pic because we were not sure when the three of us would be together again, and its good we did. Since the pic was taken M went to Mexico for extended research and R moved to L.A.!

I took my parents to see the giant corn, always a good time! LOL

Aaron and I on our 5th Anniversary

My parents when they visited, love this pic!!

So, I picked this picture using a thumbnail because it looked like it showed my belly best... so look at the Belly and not my face! This is also from our anniversary, 7/22

And this too, anniversary again!

DH sent me flowers on the day I turned 20 weeks! It was so incredbly sweet, I have been meaning to give him kudos on here forever!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farmer's Market Weekend

I try to go to the farmer's market as awesome as possible, but I have not made it since my parents were here (the first full weekend of August), so to go yesterday and see it in full swing was very exciting, and I could not resist buying quite a few ingredients. And, being excited by those ingredients, I have not been able to resist eating them all weekend...

Saturday evening and Sunday Afternoon: A McIntosh apple, sliced it up and put it lemon juice with a handful of farmer's markets grapes (nothing like grocery store grapes, but more wine-like), drizzled and mixed the fruit with honey, then added enough Fage greek yogurt to coat. Delicious! Would be even better if I had some walnuts to candy or something.

Saturday night and Sunday Noon: ate some of the fresh salsa I bought premade! Spicy and wonderful!

Sunday Morning: Farmer's Market Omelot - three eggs, a big handful of fresh sliced basil, a solid portion of diced tri-color cherry tomatos, and a chunk of fresh feta chopped up. So tasty!

Sunday Afternoon: Homemade, from scratch Coleslaw (my first ever attempt at Freshmade coleslaw) - I mixed together a couple heaping tsps of mayonaise, sour cream, a healthy dose of apple cider vinager, tsp of brown sugar, dash of onion salt. Let that sit and mix together while I sliced up a mini head of cabbage and a fresh sweet red pepper (not a bell pepper - a much thinner, longer sweet pepper, don't remember the name). Mixed the veggies into the sauce and let it sit for a half hour before digging in. Quite yummy!!

What fresh produce does that leave me with for the next few days? 1 small eggplant (I am thinking some sort of eggplant blackbean casserole?), one green sweet pepper (again, not a bell pepper), more tri-colored cherry tomatos, more grapes, more mcintosh apples (I bet one would mix in really well with that last portion of coleslaw...), and a basket of fresh brussel sprouts.

I love fresh produce.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good: Its Friday. Baby is the length of a spaghetti squash. I am feeling more and more movement. Football is on.

The Bad: Baby's movements add to my nausea. The comp time thing I explained a couple of days ago is not going to work, I will return to work after maternity leave with NO LEAVE. I need to get ant traps.

The Ugly: Our younger dog River is sick. Don't know if she ate something and its clogging things up or if she has a bug. Loads of diarrhea and vomit = fun stuff. She is still eating and defecating though, so hopefully things work out. (yes we have contacted a vet).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Talkative Day...

I tried to do a big "picture catch up" post last night w/pictures from our anniversary, my parents visit, and a couple of other things, but they would not upload and I was not in the mood to give it a second go. I will try again soon.

I am now officially reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - the biggest book on my "read before the baby comes" list that I previously posted. The copy I have is 1455 pages long, which is about average I believe. I am on page 122 - which is both significant in that I am not even 10% of the way through, and that it took me this long to really get into it. The writing is extremely theatrical in nature/narration style. Most of the time, instead of stating what a character is feeling or thinking, Tolstoy describes some physical appearance or characteristic that is a "tell" as to how they are feeling, almost like it is a play and he is describing how the actor should portray the character. I do look forward to continuing it. The story itself is supposed to be of epic proportion - concerning the invasion of Napolean into Russia, but right now it is just your standard society scheming and plotting, courtship and inheritance, sex and death. I do look forward to continuing it and am definitely feeling like I can make it through, which I really did not feel like was an option 1-2 months ago. Therefore, I think my inability to read anything serious in the past couple of months was related to my own psyche - the chaos of friends leaving, stress at work, summer business, and not to pregnancy brain.

DH and I got cable back! They came and reinstalled basic cable for us on Tuesday morning. In the next week or so I will cancel our Netflix. I don't know if I have discussed this decision on here or not. You may or may not know that Netflix announced a significant price increase to take effect Sept 1st. Basically they are going from packages that combine DVD and streaming services to seperate packages for each, that cost the same as what we are currently paying for both. So in other words, we currently pay $9.99 for DVD and streaming service. If we wanted to continue getting the same service we would have to pay $7.99 for the DVDs and $7.99 for streaming, for an overall price of $15.98, a 60% price increase. My response to this was two-sided. The rational/calculating side of me recognized that we almost NEVER use the DVD service and we would probably wouldn't even miss it if we just switched to streaming and continued using Netflix. The less calculating side of me was pissed off big time. A company that's service is totally entertainment can't just raise their prices 60% and expect their not to be a backlash. And in this case, they gave no real justification for the price range - and denied most of the justifications provided by the media (expense increases etc). I felt like the company was being totally scheming and not being honest with its customers. SO, in short. The combination of the price raise itself, the way the company did not explain the price increase, and the impending start of football (which cable is highly convenient for), has made us decide to drop Netflix and get cable again. The expectation is we will keep cable at least through January/the BCS games, and then decide exactly what we want to do. We should have a little wee one then, and we are not entirely sure how that will play out in terms of TV usage. On one hand, DH and I agree that we want to significantly cut back our our media usage when baby arrives (TV and internet crap) - not overexpose them to it, not rely on it, and when they get older, limit their use. On the other hand, we fully recognize that a TV may be our best friend when it is 2am and we are up with a nursing or screaming infant, trying to keep ourselves awake - and that cable will be much more effective at this than broadcast that goes dead at night. So... wait and see wait and see... our mantra on SO many things.

I am clearly in a talkative mood today!! So why not keep it going. Want to hear about my crazy/creepy dream last night? I have spoken to a few people who have "movie" dreams - so I know they are not uncommon, but I am not sure if EVERYONE has them or not. Probably not. What I mean by movie dreams is dreams where you are in a movie - either a character or actor - and are aware of it, but still are experiencing the emotions and realistic feelings of the story itself - or maybe you switch between being a character and an audience member, or a character and a director, or anything like that. This was a movie dream. I dreamt I was in a store talking to the store owner, like a little convenience store. He asked me how things were going and I told him that things were good, that I was going to be in the 3rd Batman movie, and infact my plotline started as soon as I left this store. He seemed very concerned about tis and asked me what role I had and how my plotline went. I told him I did not know how it went exactly, but I was not worried because this was the third movie in a trilogy so I thought there must be a happy ending. He still seemed worried, wanted details on where I was going to start my plotline, what I knew about my role, etc. I gave him what info I had, he just seemed so suspicious, but I thought he was being paranoid. I eventually left the store and walked the block or two to my house where my plot started. I was supposed to go home and meet my husband for a nice datenight in. (Not real DH, a character husband). I went in to the house and something was clearly wrong. All the sudden gunmen appeared holding hubby hostage, and they took me hostage. They were clearly waiting for something, discussing amongst themselves what to do. Hubby and I were crouched in a corner trying not to cause problems. I was afraid, but still felt like things would turn out OK. I thought Batman would break in and rescue us, or perhaps the guy from the store that had been so concerned was actually a hero character. But no one came. The gunmen decided I needed to do something, like call the bank to transfer money or something? Or call the police to try and get batman to come? I am not entirely sure. They took me into the kitchen to make the call. When I came back to the front room, my hubby was hanging dead from the ceiling fan, they had killed him. I freaked out, it was unreal. I did not believe it was happening and tried to get him down, tried to beat up the gunmen, etc. I was yelling at them and too myself that this is not how my plotline went, that it couldn't be. Then all the sudden something clicked in my head and I realized I was not the protagonist of the movie, I was the bad guy. I was catwoman, and this was the little clip at the beginning of the movie that showed how I got to be so hateful and evil. That I was already blaming Batman for my husbands death because he HADNT showed up to save us. I could feel myself turning evil, and I knew there would be no happy ending. Then I woke up. Fun Stuff. For the record- there is a third Batman movie coming out soon, but I don't know how soon. It is the third in the trilogy they are doing, and it does have catwoman in it. That is about all I know about it, so its weird I had such a strange dream. I really don't know what the plot will be and the character of catwoman has always confused me (she just does not seem that evil?). I have not been reading/seeing ads for the new movie and have not thought about it in months, so I have no idea what brought it up. It will be interesting to see when the movie comes out if they do any sort of background for her. Also of interest - this bizarre dream, like earlier mentioned reading issues, is not a product of pregnancy. I know that people have vivid dreams during pregnancy - but really this dream was well within the normal paramaters of what my dreams are like.

While we are talking about dreams, this is actually the second dream of note I have had this week. On Saturday or Sunday night I dreamed that DH got a promotion at work, that he replaced someone above him whose job he was already doing - we were both very excited about it and I was proud. He was a bit worried about the additional stress, but we were both excited about the pay raise. This dream came without obvious prompting. Once again, promotion was not something we had talked about for months and I can't identify a clear trigger. In this case, however, it seems there MUST have been a trigger for it, because on Tuesday DH found out he is getting a promotion! While it won't be to replace someone as in the dream, it will make him so he is getting paid the same ammount as the other people on his team who do the same type of work. Premonition? Possible, but I don't really believe in them for such matters. More likely he did mention in passing something about his annual review coming up or whatever and my imagination did the rest. The point is - congrats DH!!! combine that w/my impending "step up" raise at work and things are looking good for little turtle to come (financially).

Is that enough rambling for one day? I think so. See you some other day...