Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 years, the better edition

Wow! I was in a bad place last night. I'm feeling much better now, thanks to a good talk with my husband, a sweet and funny little offspring and a good night's sleep.

My job is extremely stressful, for the reasons I mentioned last night. It's also rewarding, and fun, and wonderful. I think I've been having a "can't see the forest for the trees" sort of problem, and John just happened to pick the right moment last night to point that out. He's a great guy, really. So in addition to a change in attitude, I'm also going to move some furniture around on Super Bowl Sunday. That should keep John busy while he's waiting for the game to start. Have I mentioned he's from the Pittsburgh area? Yep. And he's decided every time I'm knocked up or have just given birth that the Steelers will win the Super Bowl. Our friend wants to capitalize on this theory with a series of four to five bets. I told him 1) to talk to John about that, and 2) to blow it out his ass. Because I'm not sure how many more pregnancies I can take. It's not the pregnant part so much as the getting pregnant and staying that way. Oh, and the hoard of children my pregnancies would produce. Dude. Hair is already going white. Nuh uh.

In unrelated (isn't it always?) news, I took E to get her first hair cut last night. It was at a local chain store, but I don't think she would have been any more impressed with an actual fancy pants beauty salon. It had to be a beauty salon, by the way, because the poem said "barber shop," and that, therefore, is where they might cut off your ear while cutting your hair. We both got our hair washed, and then I got my hair cut first. By the time I was done, she was making faces in the dual wall of mirrors, talking up a storm and saying "I think I DO want to get my hair cut, Mama!" She did a fantastic job! On the way home we stopped and bought her some new headbands, since she goes through them in droves. She loves wearing several at the same time, too. She came home so excited and proud, as did I. I even saved a lock of hair, because I am that nuts. John almost cried. We are a sappy bunch, sometimes. The woman who cut her hair warned me that the curls, now free from 3 years of split ends, would bounce and curl even more. She was right. kid looks like a lion again! I forgot to take a picture...I know. You're shocked. But I will get one, and show you the cub. This morning she asked if we could go get our hair cut agian. And if I could get my hair cut like her best friend's mom. Daddy, she informed me, already has his hair cut like the dad's. So he was OK.

In a few moments I'm off for my massage! My Mom is running a more than typical nearly hour late this morning, so I hae a feeling we're not going to make it to lunch before the salon. Ah, well. Maybe after. Either way, I'm geeked to spend a few hours with my Mom and sister, who came into town just for our girl's day. I hope your weekend is fun and relaxing...

Friday, January 30, 2009

2 years

Sunday marks my 2 year anniversary of opening the daycare full time. Today was so very stressful, with a boy that has a ridiculous temper screaming about every motherfucking thing, and another boy just being damn whiny, climbing on everything and getting into all things he knows he is not supposed to when other parents were here. I have a 2 year old that refuses to count, or answer questions, or do much of anything but stare at me sometimes. Sometimes she's great. My kid started great, turned into a demon, then finished great. The 4 year old was a superstar today.

I am so fucking stressed out from this job right now. It's so personal, having other people's children in your care. Especially when it's in your house. There's no leaving work and driving home. Most of the time there's no leaving the house for days at a time. In the winter you don't even go outside. I don't get breaks, or a lunch break, or time off, except for my two weeks of vacation a year. Sick days require insane amounts of organization, which is wrong. On the other hand, I do get naps. I get to see my little one grow. I get to participate in children growing up, and I get to be home. I can garden while I work.

There seems to be a trend with me and jobs: two years. I have two years of any job in me, then it all goes to shit. I have worked really hard at this one, and perhaps I am not suited for this job? Or perhaps this is just a hump I need to get over. I don't know. But this job is like parenting to the extreme, and parenting to the normal is a hard job. I was hoping by now that the Etsy shop would have taken up some of the slack and I could reduce the number of kids I have to watch, but no. To be fair that was a magical wish, I haven't busted my ass to get the shop popular, etc.

I just took a break and talked to John. Taking a second job is not an option with him in school...at least not a good one. He reminded me that I'm not the children's parent, I am a provider. I am not raising them, I am caring for them. I'm going to call the family with the infant in a few minutes, when this latest temper tantrum stops. It's an infant, but it's additional money for the next 6 months until the baby is born. It's something we can squirrel away in case. Wiggle room.

I feel better! But I'm looking forward to being back on meds. This worrying shit is horrible.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

18 weeks

According to Baby Center:
Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

At the bottom of the page it mentions scheduling birthing classes. I think it's too soon for that, but I guess I better check. After next week, when I meet the potential new OB. I hope she is as wonderful as my Doc says she is. And that she believes in drugs. Fuck natural childbirth, I'm a wimp.

I was getting a little worried about baby last night. I'm going through round two of this damn stomach flu, and I just haven't been hungry. It's been over a week that I've been forcing food into my gullet for the baby. It's not even much food, just some applesauce here and a peanut butter cracker there. My appetite seems to be coming back a bit, so I had cabbage and noodles last night with John and E. Baby seemed to like it, because I suddenly wanted MORE! I took it easy, though, just in case. Good thing, too. Anyway, after I laid down last night I felt some kicking, and that made me feel a ton better. Even slept a bit!

I've been thinking about how this pregnancy compares to the one with E. Last time I felt ravishing. This time? No. Last time I could lay down and rest whenever I wanted to. No. Last time John leaped about, Super Hero like, attending to my needs and wants. This time I had to beg him to get me Ginger Ale when I was barfing. (He'd had a couple of drinks and had fallen asleep, but still.) He made up for it by getting my chocolate chip cookies, though, so he's OK. The differences in how I feel are pretty striking, too. I haven't been as sick with morning sickness, but I've had two stomach flus at this point. I am not the pink happy floating ball of fluffy joy I was last time, but I am confident in my ability to care for and love a child. Even a tiny baby. I know pretty much what to expect as far as birth, nursing and the like. It evens out. I AM very happy, though. The weirdest part of this pregnancy is how unreal it seems. I keep feeling my belly, and each time I am surprised that my stomach is popping out. Even hearing the heartbeat hasn't cemented the baby. Perhaps knowing the gender will? Or seeing an ultrasound of something that looks a little more human than blob? I don't know. I already love this baby; I am dreaming of things to make it, cuddling it, loving it. It may be that reality doesn't hit until the baby is in my arms. That's OK. As long as baby makes it, he or she can seem like a dream until birth. It's a wonderful dream.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Don't eat the yellow snow

I still have no appetite. I tried to eat some red lentil curry last night, but it was a no go. I ended up eating an apple instead. I am not hungry, which I would normally be very happy about, but there's this baby. And baby needs an extra 300 calories a day that I am just not getting in. Ugh.

In snow news, we got a few inches last night, then it just iced over. It's been falling hard and heavy since this morning, however, and nearby counties are under a level 2 snow emergency. Our stupid ass sheriff in our county won't take the level above 1, despite the 5 + inches of snow since John shoveled this morning and no snow plows in sight.

Really, I just want the level up so that John can come home! I want my damn snow day.

Nothing much is going on aside from that. Two of the kids are here, and we're going to bake bread as soon as they finish their bananas. I'm tired, which sucks. One good night of sleep would be lovely. Apparently I may only sleep during daylight hours, which doesn't bode well for the future. E went to Grandma's last night and got to watch Mary Poppins. She liked some parts, didn't like others. Can't blame her. The movie is kind of an acid trip, like a lot of Disney from that time frame. I watched Monty Python's Flying Circus last night. I also got a call about day care, which is good. I'm not sure if I'm going to take the kid or not yet, but at least it's a call. The child is 7 months old, and has one of my favorite names. So maybe. Extra income right now would be nice...

I'll stop boring you. Time to make the bread!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's like a see-saw

This morning I woke up in the little known or mentioned "Mood of Death." This mood was made possible by the fucking kitten, who fucking woke me up every fucking half hour last night. She jumped on my feet, attacked my head, knocked crap off the end tables, played with loud things on linoleum and generally made an ass out of herself. John thought this was hilarious. He will be hit in the head with a frying pan when he gets home tonight, unless he comes bearing flowers. Not likely.

The children were tough today. One little guy has had two baths. Because he exploded with poop. Twice. Note: If you plan on having kids, you should know that from time to time they explode with poop. It gets less common as they get older, but it still happens. And it is disgusting. End Note. One little girl, that I spawned, decided to test whining as a communication tool. One has refused to eat, and the other's Mom has been calling a lot to see if he's OK. She's a good mom, but sometimes kids are fussy at night just because. JUST. BECAUSE. There's no Major Ailment causing it. Sadly, this was me with E at the same age, I think. Then again, I've managed to forget all but the wonderful parts of life with her up until now, so I can't be sure. But I remember feeling just like that. I've since chilled the hell out.

And then, when I was feeling like a big jerk for getting on the kid's cases about not throwing, fighting, etc, my Mom shows up. She came over to give me a break for nap time, and ended up taking E home with her. She did laundry and dishes while I slept. She had tea with me. She cheered me up, although I'm sure the sleep helped a bit, too. And then she offered to take my darling little one home so that I could have some alone time tonight. I'm trying not to cry out of gratefulness as I write this. Mom just knows when I need a break. I hope I am this good of a Mom someday. I really, really do, because this woman has been the life saver I have needed so many times, especially after children entered the picture. So now I'm on cloud nine, and I would have been even if E was still here. (I was kind of looking forward to some Mommy time tonight with her, but tomorrow and Thursday will do.) TGIMom.

The Idiot Weather People have once again been predicting the WINTER STORM OF DEATH!!!!! I've been predicting that we will once again get nothing. Funny, though, as soon as Mom pulled out of the driveway it started snowing. I'm glad I sent the snowpants along. John's hoping for a snow-day tomorrow. Me too. But it'll stop snowing by 9, and we'll have just a dusting. Stupid hopes-getting-up weather jerks.

In all this blather, I have some exciting news! I've not mentioned it, because why would I , but E has never had her hair cut. She was born with a full head of curly red hair, and so far we haven't dared to touch it. But lately brushing it, even after a bath with full conditioner and de-tangling spray, has become difficult. Then we (by this I mean I) made the mistake of reading a poem in her children's poetry book to her without reading it first. The poem made mention of how you'll lose part of your ear if you don't sit really still at the barber shop. She freaked out. So now we need to get her hair cut, less we let this develop into a phobia. So tomorrow or Thursday, depending on when my lady is working, we will go to a Beauty Salon (not a barber shop, see how that works?) and she will watch me get my hair cut. And if MY ears are fine, she's going to get a trim, too. Her hair, when wet, is past her butt now, so it's probably time. I'm going to be a dorka nd keep a lock, too. No idea what I'm going to do with it, but as long as I can keep myself from grabbing handfuls from the floor and weeping, one lock will do.

And that's my super long post for today. I have pictures of the knitting needle case, but I haven't uploaded them yet. I'm going to try and add a picture of my pantry. Because Indie Home Ec has a picture of a pntry that looks like it's out of a magazine, and this will not stand. I wish I could post a picture of what the pantry looks like after 3 weeks of John messing around in there and putting stuff "away," but you would die. The mess, it would kill you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

not a lot to say

I had the stomach flu over the weekend. I've slept a lot and eaten very little. My sainted Mother came over to help me with the few children remaining who are not also ill.

It's 6:30 pm and I'm going to bed.

17 weeks! hooray!snkkkkzzz

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stupid anxiety

I just stopped a discussion I was having over the phone with John, because there wasn't enough time for me to say what I needed to. We were talking about panic attacks. A very good friend sent me an article about dealing with panic attacks, and I was telling him that while I really love the fact that so many people are looking for solutions for me, the constant "Relax and breathe deeply" mantra is frustrating. Because it doesn't work. If that's all it took, Xanax wouldn't be on the market. Yes, breathing deeply can help you calm down. Frankly, however, it does fuck all for a full, real anxiety attack except keep you from hyperventilating and passing out. It doesn't help you calm down in that situation. It may give you the appearance of calm, but it does not actually calm you down.

John then told me that breathing deeply helped him keep from getting too worked up last night. I'm guessing on his Math test. I'm happy about that. But it's not the same thing.
"They're similar." He said.
At this point I knew we'd have to talk about it later, because no, no they are not. I have contemplated living with panic attacks vs. not, because there is very little I would not do to end them. Having an attack makes me want to die. No exaggeration here. I don't want to kill myself, I just want to not exist. (Note that I am still alive, I very much like living. It's the overwhelming desire to get the bad feeling to stop that is at issue here. Xanax is a far better solution to the problem than not existing. Or a gallon of vodka, that also works. But I am being honest about how these attacks make me feel, i just don't want you to get the wrong idea about my sanity!)Anxiety attacks are that bad. They are not a rational reaction to the situation, they are a full body experience of fright, flight, fear and doom. I love my husband, and I know he tries to understand. However, if you've never had a panic attack, you don't understand. You just don't. Bless you for trying.

One of the more frustrating things about having anxiety attacks is this very issue; no one understands how you feel unless they've been there. The severity of the attacks also varies from person to person. My Mom, husband, and most of my friends have no idea what this is like first hand, and try very hard to be helpful. Telling me to "calm down, stop worrying, breathe deeply" and "just relax" however, are like throwing a glass of water at a house fire. I'm improsioned in my body, which is imprisioned by my mind. I have to ride out the feeling that my life is about to end, that I am about to die. I don't think I am about to die, but that is how my body reacts. That level of fear and panic. I can't escape, because there is no where to go. I can tell myself that I'm not being rational. I can know this. I can't stop the feeling, however. And no matter how hard I try, I can't quite explain to anyone what the attacks are like. I'm willing to try anything, but hearing the same things that don't work over and over again makes me cry from frustration and despair. Despair! (Dramatic, I know.) Because I want this to never happen, or a mental button I can press to make it stop if it starts. There's nothing but time. Slow, horrible, endless time until the panic subsides. On the other hand, great days fly by. Oh life, you are unfair.

Thanks for listening to that. It helped me get what I want to say to John a little straighter. It also let me vent some frustrations, because I can't take me emergency medicines while pregnant. I'm going to see the drug shrink next week, and get some info about behavioural thereapy for anxiety attacks, etc. I know that I'm going to have to deal with this issue for years, and like I said, I'm open to all attempts at dealing with this. I want to get to the point where I am confident in my ability to deal with this crap. I'm very lucky to have the wonderful friends and family that I have, whether they understand this condition fully or not.

Well, that was pleasant for a Friday, no? No. Sorry. But I hope you have a good weekend, and the knitting needle case is done, so I'll post pictures of that later today. As a make-up for the crap from my head falling out again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bait and switch

Today has been like this:
I can get to Yahoo, but not to Yahoo Mail to check my email.
I can get to All and Sundry, but not Dooce.
I can get all the day care kids to get along, but my child had a 45 minute fit because music was on.
I can hear the heartbeat of the baby, and feel it kick, but that damn doctor said something along the lines of "I know I said we'd do an ultrasound and find out if this is a boy or girl this time, but now I think it's too early." Which translates, for those of you not in the office with me, into "I have this attractive young intern with me and I've just had my eyebrows waxed, so I don't feel like doing this right now."

I'm disappointed, to say the least. There was a point today, before the OB even, when I was so frustrated that I wanted to call John and just start swearing at him. Not because of anything he did, mind you, just because it would have been so cathartic to just start yelling and swearing at someone, and it's not nice to call random strangers and do so. Instead I bought myself some caffeine free coke on the way home and called it even.

Oy. Well, the baby's heartbeat was 150 and 153. Mine was in the mid 60's. As soon as the fetal heartbeat monitor thingie touched my belly, the baby kicked! Apparently the thingie, as well as ultrasounds, sound something like an F-15 flying next to your head. I would have kicked, too.

This morning John grabbed a baby name book from the Library. We seem to have sold ours, or given it away, after E. Someone had marked names in it, so we had fun waiting for the OB by looking at the previous holder's choices. (Let me just say as an aside here, that if you have ever been to Dayton, Ohio, you would not want to name your child after it.) Some interesting choices were made, such as Keegan, and Kelvin. Quinn, Lane, Merritt, Wade and Xavier were also marked. We made a game of putting the names together. It passed the time.

Well, I'm beat. I'm going to spend two hours on the phone with Verizon later tonight, so I better get my rest. Hope your day is going great!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hobbit Land!

I got a compliment on the pictures, which explains why there are so many today.

These are from our last trip to Hocking Hills. All of these are from the Old Man's Cave area. When we went, just after Christmas, it was on a crazy day when it suddenly went up to 71 degrees after some seriously chilly weather. The floor of the gorge was still cold and icy, when at the top people were wearing t-shirts and driving around with their windows down. Too cool.

With the weird weather, the mist and the rolling fog, the whole place was more of a fairy land than usual. We took a lot of pictures while pretending we actually were in an enchanted place. Can't say for sure we weren't.

I want to live in this place.


These are my bears!




Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Voting time! And pictures!



OK, let's tally votes so far:

Boy:
Beck
E
friend Gwen
niece
nephew

Girl:
My Dad
John
friend Steph

On the fence:
Me
My Mom

Put your guess in comments! I'll let you know as soon as I do...


I'm sitting here eating vanilla ice cream with magic shell and whipped cream. This is not a good idea at all since a stomach bug is making the rounds and I've been feeling rumbly. And yet. I can not stop the ice cream. In the winter. When it's in the single digit temperature arena. I'm a rebel!


Lazy me is currently uploading pictures to post. It's taking long enough that you'll probably see them tomorrow...but they are fabulous!(EDIT: more tomorrow. I had to put some in!) Well worth the wait, I promise. I'm also working on a sewn knitting needle roll made from a gorgeous black batik with rich rainbow tones. I saw a picture of one in a knitting magazine and it seemed like a good idea, especially since I can see a lone lost bamboo needle from where I am sitting. It's half under a table, almost under the couch. A neat pouch would stop this madness. And then, in six months, I can finally get around to posting a picture of that, too. I kid! I'm going to try to get both the case finished and the picture up by next week. Goals are good things to have, yes?

Thanks for comments! My fragile self esteem has been rebuilt. Perhaps I need a life.
EDIT: a few pictures to appease your need for pretty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week 16, I've gone and chased you away, new plans

Have I been bumming you guys out? Sorry! Please come back, I have good stuff! I'll post pictures again! I'll write short stories! Wait! Where are you going?

Really, those are my plans. To get back to the craft side a bit more, to start posting pictures again (I've really just gotten lazy) and to post a few short stories that have been bumping around my tiny brain. You can skip those with no hard feelings, I'd just like to have them out there somewhere.

I started this journal as a way to vent. It changed and turned into a place to talk about crafting, because John could care less about sewing, knitting, embroidery, et all. Then it went back to vent, to life in general, and finally it has become crap falling out of my head. Let's try to regroup! I'm still going to baby post, though. Gotta.

Week 16!

This week the little one is the size of an avocado. Finger and toe nails are formed, and the neck position is straighter. Sex can be determined via ultrasound, which we are having Thursday. Tomorrow I am asking for formal guesses, but I'll accept them at any point. What do you think? I'm on the fence, Eleanor thinks a boy, John thinks a girl.

Hormone-wise, things are sticky. I'm having panic attacks again, but getting through them without meds. I've been crying at stupid things, which is normal for my condition. Smells! Oh, how I hate them. The diaper pail made me hork today. On the other hand, Ice Cream! With whipped cream. Oh, oh how I love them. Add hot fudge magic shell...mmmm...

Have I mentioned I'm breaking out like a 15 year old before her first date? It might have something to do with the last 4 sentences of the above paragraph. I do not care. Ice cream...

I've felt the baby move a bit, but I know it's just starting. Today I was surprised awake during nap time by a phone call and felt the baby kick in response. Hee hee! I love those. If you ever want to see something funny, watcha newborn when its mother sneezes. The little one will skrunch up! Good luck organizing that, but still, if you ever get the chance, it's hilarious.

Boobs: huge and tender. I'm officially making colusturum at this point. E has been accidentally beating them constantly, so I've taken to wearing a sport bra with extra protection. She's also been telling the baby she hopes it has a good nap, too, which melts me. She's going to be a great big sister!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Waking up and weekend

Sorry if the past few posts haven't been...uplifting. At all. It's been mighty stressful round these parts. The good news is that I got a great night's sleep on Friday and woke up yesterday feeling much more sane than I have in a while. It might also have something to do with my return to sewing, and thus my return to sitting under the full-spectrum light for a few ours at a time. The skies here go gray in the winter. Clouds cover us from east to west, and stay that way from early December to late March. If we're lucky. From time to time we'll get a day where the sun breaks through for a few glorious hours! Usually on those days it's too damn cold outside to go stand in the sun, so we shiver by our windows and dream of summer.

We also spend this time going stir crazy. I can't imagine living somewhere the winter lasts longer. Like the very north or south of the globe. Cabin Fever? No. Cabin psychotic urges, I'm sure. And also? NO THANKS! I dream of moving to warmer zone sometimes, one where the growing season lasts for somewhere around 10 months. I'd miss the big snowstorms, sure. But the rest? I think I'd be just fine without having the stuff in my nose freeze on my way from the car to the house. In the garage. All of 12 steps. Uck.

In response to this winter yuck, the marketing people at gardening magazines have pushed their distribution way up, and I cracked and bought one a few days ago. It's wonderful and brutal: I'm sitting inside under covers, looking at pictures of gloriously green gardens and flowers, planning what I can put where and how long it will take to look the way I want. I plan out my herb and veggie gardens, because every year they are different and every year I have new bunnies and other animals to contend with, feed and outsmart. I dream of the bird feeders and baths I'd like to put, the trellis(es) I'd like to buy and what I'd like to climb them. I'm in a green growing haze of the good warm smells of dirt and flowers and freshly watered earth...and then I look outside.

It was snowing outside when I woke up this morning. We got another couple of inches overnight, which means that out of the two separate visits from friends we were supposed to get this weekend, we are getting none. Which stinks. On the bright side, however, it dean means I might get help with laundry and manage to get it all done! Which would be a miracle! i might also try and talk John into dinner or lunch out, but I wouldn't put any money on it. I hope you are basking in warm weather, or at least keeping warm. I'm gong to go put some covers on and start laundry.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Giving up and giving in

That's it.
Yesterday I handled the concussion extremely well.
I've been through a week of shootings and rumors.
I've been doing domestic work and keeping us running, except for dinner, mostly.
I've been dealing with teething, testing and tired.
I've been tired, too.
We've had snow, temperatures well below zero and ice storms this week.
Every day this week one of the boys has woken up from his nap screaming.
Today he woke up, started screaming and held his breath. He now has petechiae caused by his fit. This caused me to burst into tears.

This boy has done this since he was a baby, and it's OK. It has, however, been a long time since he has had it here. It's was just one thing too many.

Now, I can't smoke, drink, take most OTC or prescription drugs. That means stress relief is limited. I choose exercise and chocolate. At this point I don not care if I am sperm whale sized when this baby is born. I am going to self-medicate in the only way I have left.

What a fucking week, man.

Perspective and forced perspective

I had a hell of a day yesterday.

It culminated with one of the boys chasing the other one, tripping and hitting his head on one of the (thankfully) rounded edges of the coffee table Beck made us for our wedding. The bump looked like a blue new potato cut in half. He has a mild concussion. He's OK; he gets Tylenol every 4 hours, has a big bruise and is otherwise in a better mood than he's been in for weeks. And I have a new definition of what a bad bruise looks like. So my perspective has changed.

Perspective is a funny thing. I was listening to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Greenday the other day while driving, and I realized that the song didn't speak to me the way it might have once. To be honest it's not my favorite album; it just happened to pop up on shuffle. But it would have spoken deeply to my angsty teenaged self. But I am no longer on my own, and I do not walk alone. I walk with at least one small person with me nearly all the time. I don't even go to the bathroom alone most of the time, and while my dreams have changed, I think it's a natural thing. My perspective on what "alone" is has changed, because while I can not take a whiz solo, or get any quiet at all during the day, I feel quite alone most of the time. I have very few people to talk to that are aware of compound sentence structure during the day. My main concern is whether nor not someone is 1) pooping 2) washing their hands properly 3) doing something dangerous 4) eating that 5) what the hell is on your mouth?!

This is vastly different than 2 or 3 years ago, let alone 10 or 15. My perspective on success has changed. I no longer feel that I am a failure for not being nationally known. Owning my own business is enough. Having a family, a loving husband that I love too, a warm house and friends I can depend on is enough. It's freaking great, actually. Re-discovering sewing, learning to make things with my hands and the the other crafting stuff I now know has made me feel, to use a horrible word, empowered. I can learn to do anything, almost. I may even make a sweater soon, just to go a little crazy.

Lately my perspective on violence has changed, too. I found out this morning that there was a shooting here in our neighborhood, too. Not just up the road. There is more going on than just red cloths being left on cars. It's getting scarier. Even before I heard this news, however, my perspective had changed. I'm nervous about where I live now. Not as nervous as when John and I lived next to a psycho in the ghetto with helicopters flying overhead with searchlights all the time. But I knw that place was bad. This is a nice neighborhood, which is I'm sure what "they" all say.

As I thought about our nice neighborhood, I also thought about war zones. I thought about Iraq, Palestine and Israel, Afganistan, Iran, and inner cities across the country. I've never liked war, or the idea or living in fear. I believe no one should have to live in constant terror. Children should be able to walk down the street and play outside without worrying about stray bpmbs or bullets. But having these isolated incidents in my neighborhood has changed my perspective a lot. Not about wars and gangs and violence, not at all. It changed the way I feel about what's going on. If I found the person who is cowardly enough to randomly target our neighborhood, I'd laugh at him. I'm glad he or she is an amateur. Then I'd ship that person to a real war zone, and give his or her place to a woman and her family living in fear of the Taliban. I'd give them this chance for education, for a relatively peaceful and free life. I'd give that place in the world to any man or woman fighting daily for the strength to go out of the house to get food, not sure if they'll make it back. Fuck the red cloth asshole and the horse he rode in on. Is it scary? Yes. I can't lie about that. But taken in perspective, it's nothing. My heart goes out to the families this has more directly affected, but the truth is that they'll live. They'll probably move, but they are intact. These are isolated incidents that suck. In reality, we are lucky. I'm not going to forget that.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I hate teeth

3 kids are teething. All 5 are in a testing phase of development, although to be fair I'm not sure a child is ever not in a testing phase at some level.

The 18 month old boys have already broken a curtain rod today, and one of the two is in the playpen at all times. So they don't harm themselves or others. The girls are doing better, but to encourage this we'll be doing yoga next.

I got an email from my Mom this morning letting me know that our mortgage payment is going up around $50. (Long story-we have a private Mortgage Holder-not a bank. We are lucky!) The additional money is going to the schools, though, so I don't mind. It does mean that other things are getting reduced, though. It could be worse. We have things we can easily cut.

John was really late to work thanks to people who have no idea how to drive. He didn't have his cell phone, so I was worried. He's fine.

It's just going to be one of those days where it's frustrating. I hope it doesn't get to anything worse, but what can I do? I've made some calming pregnancy tea, I'm going to fold laundry, and with any luck naptime will go well. I did manage to get a lot done on my craft room last night, so I can hold on to that today.

May your day be serendipitous, and happy and joyful and all that great stuff. Because dude...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post 255

Let me preface the following: I love my husband. Adore him. Couldn't live without him. However, the cop that came by yesterday to talk to every household in the neighborhood was so cute in his little floppy-eared cop hat that I almost tried to make out with him. I think those hormones are really starting to kick in.

Aside from my 10 second cop fantasy, the incident was pretty low key. The local police are trying to find anyone who saw anything, but there is so much construction going on in this area that we wouldn't know. He told me that there was nothing to worry about, and then in the next breath said to call immediately if I noticed anything unusual. Ah, floppy hatted cute man, you are so full of crap. But I'm happy you and your dudes are around, which is honestly the first time I have said that about the police. (Refer to any of my writings about college and my pastimes there if you have questions.) The story of the shootings and the associated oddness has been in the local media now, so my street is a minor celebrity. Maybe now they will freaking plow it.

We are coasting along at about 4.5 inches of snow, give or take in places. Another couple of inches expected tonight. I'm pulling for 6 to 10 and a level 3 snow emergency so that the kids will stay home and John can, too. Very little hope of that, but I'm an optimist. I'd really just like a low-key day at home with my family.

Have I mentioned that 3 of the 5 kids are teething right now?

Tonight my big plans are to work some more on the craft room. And go to bed. That's about it. You?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why the cops were trailing me last night

A few weeks ago I woke up at 4 am, because there were lights flashing in my room. (I am a light sleeper sometimes.) I looked out the window and discovered 3 cop cars in the cul-de-sac across the street from my house (*C). Since there has been a LOT of spouse-swapping apparently going on in the houses across the street from us, I just figured a few people got drunk after the football game and were having a good old-fashioned domestic disturbance. Or that someone had broken into the construction trailer and stolen some copper. No biggie.

I called the police station the next day and asked about the incident. The guy at the desk (I want to call him a desk sargeant, but who knows if that's just a TV thing?) had no idea what had happened.
"That's a good thing, though." He told me. If it had been anything major, he'd know about it. So I could call back after 11 pm if I wanted to, but not to worry.

Turns out he's a either a filthy liar, a douchebag, or a very smart cop.

It seems that a few days before the 4 am disco across the street, there was a shooting down the road(*B). Actually, it was on a road behind or neat a Wal-Mart, which adds no love to that place for me. Anyway, the dude left something on the windsheild of the car he shot through. A guy was shot in the neck, and I have no idea if he made it or not. The cops are being very stingy with details right now. So, dude left a calling card of sorts and then made a hasty get-away. A few days before that, he left the same calling card on some cars around the subdivision(*A). Once B got connected to A, C occured because the going theory is that there is a pyscho on the loose and targeting my low-middle-income boring-as-Wonderbread little subdivision. And yesterday, when my Mom came over to take my vitals, she mentioned that a house in the other part of the subdivision was surrounded by crime-scene tape and there were cops everywhere. Questioning people, even. I still don't know if that was connected or not.

So last night, on my way out to run some errands, as I was having a my first panic attack in quite a while, I couldn't remember if I had shut my garage door or not. I went back to check, and a cop immediately started following me. He was not subtle. And I think he was trying to be, which is sad. Anyway, after finally reaching someone to talk to on the phone in order to calm down, I stopped and asked him what was going on. Between what he told me and my neighbor, who's neighbor was one of the afforementioned marked people, I gathered the story above. Crack Journalist, Me. Guess how much that helped the anxiety attack? Lots, actually. Phantoms are much less scary when real scary is on the loose.

I'm hoping our neighborhood is a decoy. Or something. It just doean't make sense for this to happen here. Nothing happens here. There's no connection between dude that was shot and the people in our burb. After I finish here I'm off to the internet to see if I can dig up the story of the shooting and anything else related. Then I'm going to knit and call one of the newly recommended OBs and set up and interview. THEN I'm going to lay the hell down, after one of my munchkins goes off to preschool It's her first day back and she is SO excited! E is off with her Grandma to see Marley and Me, ugh, and then to stay the night. I'm going to a art supply store that is going out of business, and then back here to get the mountain of putrid laundry started. Jonn has class tonight, so I might even get to bed early!

And now you know. Weird old world, isn't it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Old school is out of style

Internets, there is a strong possibility that I will be changing OB/GYNs soon. This feels a bit like changing horses in the middle of a race, but I, for one, do NOT believe in "staying the course."
look where it got us in Iraq.

The only reason I am still with this dude, who is old, prescribes drugs for any and everything, and will talk to John instead of me if John is in the room, is because he found the serious neural tube defect in our first baby crazy early. There's his plus. Oh, and I have E. So call that 2.

On the other hand, after I had E he prescribed Welbutrin for anxiety. 1) Welbutrin does not treat anxiety. 2) I was breastfeeding. Welbutrin is not recommended for breast feeding mothers, WITH GOOD REASON. As we found out. It increases dopamine levels, which are your "get up and go" hormones. Now imagine a baby that can't sleep. The screaming was legendary.

When E was born, he started recommending suplementing with formula within a few minutes of walking into the room. Despite the fact that she was nursing fine, gaining weight (unusual) and doing fine in general. Strike 2, doctor man.

As our relationship has continued, he has advised me that "there is no reason not to go right back to work" after a miscarriage, he told me to stay on Lexapro while pregnant despite what all the other doctors and the drug manufactuer say, and etc.

The topper was today. I called for two reasons. The first was because I was feeling funky: dizzy, confused, like I could feel my heart everywhere, really tired. The second reason was to make sure that it was OK to take an Omega 3/DHA supplement, since I've been craving fish but do not wish to eat them. His response to my first concern: take some Tylenol PM and get some sleep. Call back on Friday if I don't feel better. His response to my second concern: Take some fish oil.

Fish oil. Which comes from fish. That die. I might as well eat the damn fish then, eh?

He doesn't get it. He doesn't listen. And I sure as hell can't trust him with medication. Why am I still waiting an hour every appointment to pay him? Because I am more afraid of the devil I don't know? I have no idea. I also have no idea why, with every other thing he has done that I haven't liked, why sleep and fish oil pushed me over the edge. Perhaps it was the amount of not listening to me, and discounting my basic principles. Don't get me wrong, if I needed to take fish oil, or eat fish, or freaking cow's tongues eyes and livers, for the baby's health, I would. But instead of a perfectly fine vegetqarian supplement? Fuck you, old man.

Incidentally, my Mom came over and took my blood pressure. It's high, for me. My blood pressure is crazy low/great most of the time, so the 120 reading made sense with the symptoms. She also kindly suggested that I consider looking for a new OB, since this guy wasn't doing so hot. Apparently she's been keeping score, too.

So there we go. John agrees, I'm just waiting to hear back from my beloved family doc to get the name and number of her OB. Then I'm going to start scheduling interviews. This is going to be interesting.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hole in the ground

Forecast: no snow. Maybe ice.

Actual weather: Big snowflakes. No ice.

WTF?

Also, I am not hungry. After weeks of total starvation no matter how much I ate, I now want nothing but light salad. I think the food at Russian Christmas killed me.

Second Trimester = excess saliva (read I drool when I read out loud and sleep now. Sexy!) I dream about monsters, food and sex. Nothing else. And no, not all at the same time. I am getting short of breath earlier this time, due to baby being positioned way the hell up my uterus. The tired is getting better, but I did a bunch of cleaning in my craft room today and now feel like I could pass out and sleep for days. Early bedtime ahoy!

Things to sew: Knitting needle holder. Table cloth and shower curtain for sister. Hot pad cover. Baby blanket (YAY!)

Tomorrow night I am going out to purchase a new shower caddy; there is nothing as fun as having rust in your soap every morning. The new caddy will not be made of material that rusts. I may also purchase organizational materials, i.e. storage bins and the like, but only if I am feeling kicky and they are cheap.

Any organizing hints and tips guys? I need some. On any topic. How do you store your crap?!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meteorolgists don't know their ass from a...

OR I could say they can't tell the difference between dandruff and snow. Russian X-mas was canceled due to the dire warnings about horrible weather. 3 to 5 inches, at the least, on the swath of earth between where we live and Uncle Fred lives. This mysteriously showed up yesterday morning on all the forecasts.

Fast forward to today: Nothing. No snow. No ice. It's not even mildly slippery out there. Now, universe, I appreciate the not having to drive, but COME ON. A token snow would have been nice.

Instead we had our own vegan Russian X-mas meal, made popcorn and watched Star Wars with E. It was her first time, and she is now R2D2. John is C-3PO, and I! I am Princess Leia. All my childhood dreams have come true.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The weekend is going to be interesting

This weekend we're going to Russian Christmas at John's Great Uncle's house. We're leaving at some point before dawn on Saturday, driving 4.5 hours (give or take) to Uncle Fred's house, having the worst meal you've ever heard of, waiting for his %$%@#^ sister to show up late because her two kids under the age of 10 have sports games THEY CAN'T MISS, and getting home sometime around 2 am. I AM GOING TO SHOOT SOMEONE THAT DOESN'T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN PA BECAUSE HE HAS ISSUES. His solution to the drive was "We'll just drink lots of coffee and take turns driving home." I then hit him in the head with a frying pan. I love him, but he deserved it.

I am actually looking forward to the visit, because I've only met Uncle Fred once, maybe. And every year he sends us a very nice live Christmas wreath. He seems like the sweetest old gent ever. Watch him be shooting puppies or something when we get there. Oh, well. The whole point of this visit was not only to meet UF, but also to get to see the people we missed during the holidays proper. We have gifts for the kids, one we forgot for John's Mom, and our own version of the horrible food to bring along. In truth, I actually love John's sister, but the whole Russian Christmas thing isn't a surprise, and waiting on her and the kids is the whole reason we'll be getting home so late. Three hours or so later than we would have. It's a difference in opinion. I think that these are games and are less important than family. She sees them as commitments already made. I'm hoping. Truly, I'm just pissed that I have to be inconvenienced, and by a game. Not even a Big Game. Just a game. Obviously I'm not a sports fanatic. AT ALL.

Once we get home, we'll be able to sleep until 6:45 am, when E wakes up. Then we'll get ready for John's D & D game. Lots of friends coming over, which is good. It goes without saying that we would have postponed it for Family (SNIDE REMARK). That's my weekend. Honestly, I am not looking forward to it, and am going to try my damnedest not to let it show. Not my strong suit, honestly. But I'm going to try. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tonight John has a quiz in Algebra II, A Graphing Approach. Stupidest. Class. Ever. I'm sure X-Ray techs all over the country stop to graph the fucking equations before pushing the radiation button. He's nervous as hell about this class, and I just hate it on principle.

Wow, ray of sunshine today, aren't I? I need a candy bar.

In good news, I've been feeling the baby move at night while I'm not sleeping. Very cool! need sleep, though. Perhaps that's why I'm so cheery today. That and the damn knot in my left shoulder. I think I'm going to go make a grilled cheese, thus ensuring that I am the size of a Sperm Whale before giving birth. May your day be brighter than mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shitburgers

We started off having a good morning, but the arrival of one little girl and her brother has shot that all to hell. It happens every morning: the girl arrives and starts antagonizing the other kids until they cry. The brother starts whining, grabbing other kid's toys and screaming and my head starts to ache. I love these kids, and their parents, but we now have an instant corner thing going on. I wish the morning didn't start this way, so I'm doing what I can to stop it. It's not like I'm a morning person to begin with.

John had his first class last night, and stupidly I got lost on a LJ Bulimia help community. It was nice to find a place where people are getting help instead of it being a pro-puking site. I've never had an eating disorder, and I have no idea why I am so fascinated by the people affected by these diseases. Anyway, an hour and a half later John got home and I realized how late it was.

It looks like there are going to be some major changes in the way we do things around here. John may not be ready to accept it yet, but he needs to start studying pretty soon after he gets home instead of staying up late every night. He also needs to let me make dinner more often, and relax a bit. I know he can do this, but he's freaking out right now about how much work this is going to take. Going back to school when you have a family and a full time job is completely different than going back to school with one of those elements missing.

So for now, craft night is on hold. I'm going to plan a few more classes for the arts castle, and then see how it goes. This may not be the best time to be planning, since I need to do laundry, dishes, get John's work shirts unwrinkled to an acceptable level, clean and get ready to submit an entry to an arts fair. Plus I'm tired, because I was an idiot and stayed up late last night.

Mama is tired! I'm going to get my stuff done as quickly and early as possible, so I can play with the kids and relax. All this will get done, and everything will work out. Man, I ADORE these second trimester hormones!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cracks

I ran errands last night, after eating all but one piece of a 10 inch cheese pizza by myself. I then got almost everything on my list done, including getting a book on knitting scarves that doesn't suck. Between stops I listened to "Who Killed Amanda Palmer."

I've been thinking about this album a lot lately, especially when, like last night, I am sobbing by the end of it. Palmer writes songs that are so different from the popular music today, in that she writes about the people who are in the cracks. She may cross the line to melodramatic on her albums, but the stories of the broken ring true. I get goosebumps when I listen to several of her songs, and many remind me of people I know and or knew. And while some of the songs do rattle me, most of the album has me singing along, whether I cry or not.

Perhaps the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and the rest of the kids today just haven't lived long enough to know what it's like to have a abortion or help a friend who needs one. Maybe they've never met someone who is well and truly psychotic, or had a friend commit suicide. Perhaps they don't know what it's like to have done something you'd give anything to take back; or to have struggled with a life or death decision. They probably have never dealt with a serious loss. Perhaps when they do their music will take on some of the depth that Palmer seems to have. Either way, it's refreshing to listen to songs that deal with these issues; sometimes with humor and sometimes with brutal honesty. And yes, sometimes with melodrama. It's all worth it, however, to hear such haunting and well composed songs and music. And to hear thoughts on those people, the broken, who compose so much of our world but are ignored by mainstream media, unless it's a pity or exploitation piece.

And that's about all I have for now. Time to change diapers!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why, internets, WHY?

Our internet connection seems to be on the fritz. It keeps doing this thing where it will connect to some pages, but not others. My email, for instance. It's irritating to say the least.

But hooray! Thanks for comments. I need them. I am a comment addict. It comes from spending all my time with people under five! It's going to be interesting to see if I can save up enough money to get the machine I want. Not a skill I'm known for. I'd like to have the new machine before I have the baby, but we'll have to see!

Baby is the size of a lemon this week! I am the hungriest person that has ever lived. Sarah Lee ice cream pie is WAY better than Edwards ice cream pie. I could sleep for days. John starts school today (he actually started himself last night) and it's going to be weird around here for awhile.

I am going to go fold laundry, while trying not to fall asleep. Tonight I need to drop a bunch of stuff off at Goodwill, get some mattes for a few pictures I bought, maybe even some frames! and exchange some maternity pants John got me for Christmas. Happily or sadly, they are really big on me and fall off. Then it's early to bed!

EDIT: After 2 hours on the phone with Verizon, at least one of my internets is fixed. By the time it was fixed I didn't care what had been the problem, I just wanted lunch. Now, off to deposit checks, recycle the #$@%#$ plastic grocery bags and pick up my cheese pizza. And more. Ugh, SO HUNGGRY!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

In the morning

Last night's very first sleepover for e seems to have gone well, based on the fact that we've had no phone calls or exhausted parents showing up at our door. I can't believe she's already big enough to have a slumber party. I hope she had a blast!

Last night John and I went out for a nice quiet dinner, and then to our neighbors house to watch "Night Watch." It's a Russian movie, and really, really awesome. It's a story about dark and light, good and evil. And choices. I'm doing it no justice. Anyway, we had a great time. Then we came home and I went to bed while John played Guitar Hero until 1 am. He starts school Monday, so his days of playing Guitar Hero until 1 am are now limited. I'm glad he got it out of his system.

I've just finished cleaning up our closet, and am proud to report that I can now walk into my walk in closet. In a minute I'm going to start laundry, then go dye my hair purple again. This afternoon will be spent trying to get my craft/sewing room back into order, and maybe making some pillowcases. Oh, and on the sewing machine front? I'm saving up for the more expensive machine. I'll pay for half up front and the rest on a credit card. That way I'm building credit, but still paying for a big chunk up front so it's less scary. I decided on the machine I really liked (either the Project Runway LB6770 or the 900D) because they have the stitches I want plus embroidery. Once I checked out the prices for the embroidery cards, and the other stuff I'd need to buy in order to do what I wanted with the SE 350, I'd be spending the same amount. So the better choice is the better machine, I guess.

And I'm off to be domestic.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bump in the night

Our internets are acting funky today ~ I can only get to Blogger sites and the main page of Yahoo. Which is frustrating, because starting your day off with POE News really is the way to go. John thinks it's because of all the sports this weekend. I don't care why, there should be plenty of internet for all of us. Need to visit LOL cats!

I have some very lovely news: I felt our Wee Baby last night! It's really, really early, but I was laying on my tummy, and I felt the push-back. There's no other feeling like it. It's just like there's a very tiny leg pushing on the inside of your body! I felt a couple of bumps, then passed out. (It had been a long, hard night of Guitar Hero in co-op mode. I was beat.) But I cried a little before I fell asleep, because, well, the happy! My little Nutter Butter is doing fine, deliciously fine.

Today I have the first of 3 knitting classes. This is the 101 class, and the last two Saturdays in January I have the 201 classes. I may finally be able to purl! After I get home E is off to her first sleep-over. I'm wondering how that's going to go. My guess is tomorrow she's going to be a demon, but I'm so happy she gets to spend the night with her best buddy anyway. My little girl is getting so very big! Time keeps on slippin, into the future....

Hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Echos and waiting

I'm guessing that all the people that leave comments are on a vacation, because my typing is echoing over here. Enjoy yourselves! I'm lonely on the internets...

Enough whining. Let's talk about sewing machines and my lack of patience. Once I make up my mind, I really stink at waiting to do what I've decided to do. John can wait for days, months or longer, as evidenced by his waiting 10 years for me to agree to date him. I decided to date him and informed him the next day. I though I showed incredible patience by not telling him we were on a date until it was over, so you can see the difference in our styles. All this is leading up to the Great Sewing Machine Purchase:

I've been thinking about upgrading my machine for nearly a year. Just before Christmas I got serious about it, and started looking at what was available. I initially started with the Husky line, specifically the Emerald 183. It was the closest to the discontinued machine I wanted, but it starts at $500, which was more than I wanted to spend. The big seller on the machine was the number of stitch options and the alphabet. I later found out that the alphabet sucks, and is mainly intended for labels. The sales person then pointed out the Brother machines, which now have a lot of combo embroidery/sewing options. The machine she was trying to sell me on was the 900 D, but again the price was too high ~ $600! It's a really lovely machine, but I just can't bring myself to spend that much. That, and the amount of time it would take me to save up that amount would kill me. Kill. So I went online, called around to local Brother dealers, and finally found a machine online that I can deal with price wise, has what I need but not too much, and has the option to upgrade with embroidery options later.

I introduce the Brother SE 350! The problem now is that I do not want to save up for the machine. I'd rather use my credit card and pay it off early. That would be my lack of patience asserting itself again. I've made up my mind; why wait? On the other hand, my current machine still works, what's the hurry? Meh. The internal haggle is driving me crazy! What would you do?

And now, Baby Update! We're almost at the end of 13 weeks, and the internet has informed me that my baby is now the size of a Nutter Butter. Last week it was a small lime, so I'm not sure who's dong this size thing, or what they're smoking. But that whole Nutter Butter thing made me hungry, and does every time I mention it. In fact, I'm hungry a LOT right now. The nausea is gone for the most part, although food aversions are not. I'm not sure exactly what I don't want until I hear or smell it, but I know what I do want: everything else. Last night while I was laying down to go to sleep I made a list of foods I'd like to eat, and it was long and luxurious. There was a lot of ice cream and potato items, as well as cheeses, salads, hummus, garlic and chocolate. No eggplant, though. Eggplant and okra are evil right now.

I have more energy when I'm awake, but I could sleep 18 hours a day and still be happy. E has started talking to my tummy, but only in a funny deep voice, so that the "baby will know I'm silly!" Could I love her more? She has also decided that while I have a baby in my tummy, she has a kitten. I'm not sure what to do with that, but I'd rather deal with kitten in tummy that how the baby got in my tummy right now. John's been getting teary eyed at little clothing again, which is sweet. He's also talking to my stomach, but in his regular voice. The almost daily "Giver her hell, kid!" is OK now that food is no longer my enemy. It's really cute watching my husband get all mushy again. He's E's hero right now, which he cherishes. Combined with knowing that a tiny munchkin is coming, the dude has become a squishy ball of happy.

I'm still nervous, mostly because it's too soon to feel the baby move, but I'm feeling better. In my head that means no big deal, but my hormones are screaming about how we don't know for sure that it's OK, maybe we should go call the doctor? Get another ultrasound? FIND OUT FOR SURE SOMEHOW? COME ON! It's kind of like standing in the middle of a see-saw, trying to keep it level. As time carries on it gets easier, which is the good news. The bad news is that I have a Wii Fit now, and the little bastard is going crazy warning me that I'm getting fatter. They really need to install a pregnant option! It's hilarious watching my Mii get fatter and fatter though. I can't wait to see it at nine months! If I can even get on the board at that point.

All in all, our 2009 has started out really well. I'm excited and happy, if a bit nervous, about our little one. I'm waiting, not a t all patiently, to find out if we've got a hamburger (girl) or hot dog (boy) so the name debate can begin. Not that it hasn't alreadt started, it just gets a bit more earnest after you narrow down the sex of the baby. And I'm really enjoying all the dreams about food; the chocolate chip cookie ones are my favorites.

Speaking of food, I've made myself ravenous. Also, would you like to see belly pics, or should we leave that better left to the imagination? Let me know!