Thursday, December 08, 2011

Aren't I Just Horrible

I mean, it used to be I couldn't wait to write a new post. I had a folder with topics I wanted to put on my blog. But then, of course, life got in the way what with all the stuff going on, and the fact that now we don't really have a lot of people that read/comment on blogs anymore apparently (and I don't mean just my blog, but the blogs of friends of mine, which are in even more dire straits than mine - I don't think some of my friends even realize that their blogs are still out there!). But I do have things to post, and I try to post updates on my pregnancy so that later I can read them and think, shamed, 'You should have just written a pregnancy journal.'

Of course, I've never once been able to write in a journal on a regular basis, so I don't know how that would be different - but hey, at least I am ahead of the curve on mommy-guilt.

I've now progressed to weekly appointments with my doctor. I'm also having weekly ultrasounds (doctor-ordered) to check on the level of amniotic fluid and little MCO's movements and such. The doctor is being cautious and watching me for preeclampsia - my blood pressure is erratic and keeps going higher than she'd like. I'm now diagnosed with gestational hypertension in fact. Luckily, the little one kicking at my ribs is doing fine and seems healthy. It's just me and my body being frustrating and annoying.

Today it was high again, and so my doctor pulled me off work. I was due to go on maternity leave after next weekend anyway, so it isn't a huge deal, but that means I'm behind on what I wanted to finish and my co-workers have to pick up some major slack in the next week or two before my "replacement" begins in January. It does give me time to obsess about what we do or don't have done for when she gets here and to worry about labor and delivery, but hey- isn't that what life is all about?!

Christmas is almost here - or, Saturnalia or Festivus, or Winter Solstice, or Hanukkah, or... (there are a lot of holidays in the winter isn't there?!) and I'm looking forward to it and yet feel somewhat sad, as this will be the first year I'm not with my family on the actual day. It's that inevitable thing that happens in adulthood, but it's still bittersweet. I'm sure husband and I will have lots of fun together, and with his family, and with friends, but it never seems to feel the same as when you're a kid.

At any rate, I've now posted. Will try to post more as the due date gets closer, cause I really want to see if people will bet on it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving and Pregnancy

How was Thanksgiving for all of you? I spent the day (and the night before) in Great Bend hanging out with my family, eating too much and playing the Wii. I did feel bad because I'm not able to be as active with the nieces and nephews now that I'm all huge and I have to take it easy (more on that later) but I think we all had a good time. Definitely one of my favorite holidays - a good start to Christmas anyway. And yes, I have my tree up already and am slowly decorating with my other Christmas things. In the spirit of inclusion (and because I'm not religious so I can have the freedom to do things like this) I have thought about getting a Menorah and putting that out - but haven't so far.

Slowly, our apartment is starting to look lived in instead of chaotic - books are being put away, we're getting things in their proper places. I always forget how long that takes. Moving is always bad but I think unpacking and finding where things have to go is worse.

Pregnancy update: I am now taking if easy (which basically means not moving as much and reading on the couch more) at least until this Thursday. At my last prenatal, the doctor was concerned about the fact that I had some major swelling in my ankles and feet coupled with erratic blood pressure readings - some were higher than normal. She is worried it might be a sign of pre-eclampsia and I am now having a biophysical profile on Thursday, consisting of a sonogram to make sure there is enough blood flow to placenta and such and a non-stress test, and will probably be seeing her every week (which I would have started soon anyway). I was a little freaked, but I think it's just a precaution, since I don't have any of the other signs and little MCO is moving and kicking like crazy.

I am also about ready to start maternity leave - I plan on talking with my boss and getting my last day settled very soon (preferably this week sometime). I want to make sure I get my two programs in December done and then I think I can relax a bit about leaving my job.

So I think that's it - Happy Holiday season all of you; good luck with shopping and scheduling, and decorating, and baking, and all the rest of it! I am looking forward to all of it, plus, hopefully, an end to this pregnancy (eventually...cause geez, I'm huge!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So I'm perusing my pregnancy website today ( - thank you for asking) and it told me I only have 53 days left until my due date. 53 DAYS! That is a month and a half (if that!). In around four weeks I will be AT FULL-TERM. I am serious - in say, four weeks, it is possible I could go into labor and actually have a newborn. I am not prepared, despite two wonderful baby showers and a host of extremely supportive people. But...

I don't have a crib set up yet.
The car seat isn't in the car.
Baby clothes aren't washed, I haven't pre-registered at the hospital/birth care center, and I haven't packed a hospital bag! Panic is starting to set in - and yet, when you say I'm due in January - well, that is sooo far away - NO, NO, IT'S NOT! That is 53 days away!!!

And I am also starting to realize I will have to actually HAVE this baby, by means of labor and you know, pushing. And pain (at least some, even if I decide to do an epidural). And probably yucky, gross, bodily fluids.
You're saying that clearly, I should have known that, I who have read the pregnancy books cover-to-cover? Who took the childbirth class and SAW the video. Who has older sisters and listened to their stories and asked questions. PLEASE -

Yes, yes, I KNEW that, you know, in a kind of "I KNOW that there are monkeys in South America, but that is so far away" way and now:
The monkeys are here and they're stealing my bananas!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Most Boring Post in the World

I seriously don't think I have a specific topic for this post. It took me like, a minute, to even start typing this incredibly random sentence. Clearly, I have a boring life. Well, boring for blog posts anyway. So I'll just go with the old, boring, dull stand-by of updating all my numerous readers on my life.

1. We are now going to prenatal appointments every two weeks, since I'm at almost 29 weeks. I keep thinking back to my posts complaining about how slow pregnancy is and wanting to kick my own ass for complaining because according to The Bump website, I only have 79 days left until the due date (I'm sure it will be more or less of course, because of the incredibly low percentage of women who go into labor and actually end up with babies on their due date)

2. The husband and I have an apartment - we move in about 3 1/2 weeks and I am so excited to finally get things organized and ready for when we bring the girl home. And to have somewhere to invite friends and family over.

3. I do not have placenta previa at all and am therefore not needing a scheduled C-section. It was definitely low-lying at the mid-pregnancy ultrasound, so my OB scheduled another one for last week and all is good. Also, definitely a girl, which was also a relief since I got lots of pink dresses and bows and things from my shower and would hate to have to put my son in a pink dress with bows.

4. I didn't think I would, but I kind of like the attention and excitement that is coming from me being pregnant. So far I haven't had tons of people rubbing my belly (family and friends). I've only had a few dirty looks when I go to Starbucks for my apple cider (apparently they thought I'd ordered the triple mocha espresso or something). I get tons of hugs and the feeling of contentment knowing people are thinking about me and I almost feel selfish and greedy. So far, no old-wives tales have been told about how I'm endangering my child by doing some random thing; I haven't had a bunch of strangers tell me their labor horror stories (thank goodness, because I already have a bunch in my head that I just made up!)

5. There will soon be a puppy here, which I'm excited about, because they're just so adorable. I think that will be the pet we choose when we finally have a yard and the kid is old enough.

6. I am so much busier at work nowadays and it's so nice. For awhile I honestly thought I was being paid to just sit and not do much, but my ideas are taken seriously and I'm now running programs, and getting ready to do story times and of course, they will miss me when I'm on maternity leave.

7. It is finally autumn! There was frost last night. The nights are chilly and mean I sleep better and just enjoy the season. I love this kind of weather and it's so nice to not have the heat.

8. I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. Because we'll be so close to the due date at Christmas Nick and I won't be traveling to see my family for Christmas (my family will celebrate on our own and then have a family Christmas later) we're focusing on seeing my family for Thanksgiving. We're having a deviled egg contest. We're having tons of delicious food - family favorites and new recipes I'm sure. We've rented a small rec center so we'll be playing games and hanging out and talking and just having a good time together. I love the holidays and I love my husband's family so Christmas should be pretty fun too, even though I'm so sad not to have my family closer. This should give me a good dose of Regan for that.

I really could keep going with more updates: I'm craving more sugar, which annoys me, I find it hard to tie my shoes or put on socks, etc. But I think I'll just end this post.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Trick Or Treat?

Since I'm now addicted to parenting websites and advice, especially the kind that makes me go - "Seriously? You think that's GOOD parenting?!" in my head. But I was reading Yahoo! Shine and there was an article about the age of trick-or-treating. And whether there should be a maximum age - ie. Should teenagers still be allowed to go trick-or-treating? Personally, I fell within the no category. I figured that at a certain age, say, 14 they would be considered too old and should find other ways to celebrate the holiday. There is no underlying reason for my attitude except that I stopped trick-or-treating at like, 13 and I didn't go the complete opposite (as some people suggested in the comments section was the only thing teens did - go trick or treating or end up committing vandalism and horrible party choices) and become a juvenile delinquent. My friends and I had fun in other ways: haunted houses, scary movies, etc.

But after reading the article, I'm wondering if maybe I have the wrong approach? Is there an actual reason for saying that teens SHOULDN'T trick or treat? Why is it only for younger kids under a certain age (whatever arbitrary age people think is okay). After all, we certainly want to encourage kids to be kids for as long as possible, and some teens do still want to be creative and dress up and trick or treat. Obviously, if they show up in jeans with no costume that shouldn't count. And usually by the "right" age for them, teens will choose other options: they won't WANT to trick or treat, they'll want to go to a party, watch scary movies with friends, make their own haunted house, or visit a haunted house.

I am starting to wonder if maybe this is part of the whole demonization of teens in our culture, where we assume that they aren't good kids because of their age. Certainly there are teens out there that would fall under that category. But is it right to assume that once they reach a certain age they are 1) not allowed to enjoy some childish things, within reason and 2) would rather be partying and vandalizing the town rather than having more innocent fun?

So now I'm left wondering: for my own child, will there be an age cut-off that I enforce? Will I leave it up to her and just talk to her about it? Why does it make me feel uncomfortable to think of a 17 year old trick or treating rather than say, a 15 year old? And now I think I have an answer - we hope, that as the years go on, our kids eventually start to assume more adult characteristics. Within reason, of course, but by 17 they are almost adults and should be acting more mature, whereas at say, 15, it's sort of up for grabs. More maturity and responsibility, yes! But a balance between that and innocent, childhood fun.

So, would you give candy out to a teenage who was still trick or treating? I think I would. And how about your own kids or future children? Thoughts? I'd love to have a discussion about this, so if anyone is still reading - seriously, comment!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Is Technically the 7th Month

What a week (and okay, yes, I realize it's not over yet)! You know how you start off thinking one way about something, and then are blind-sided by the fact that you are completely wrong? It occurs just often enough for you to realize that life, despite having organizing principles, must deep down just LOVE chaos? Well, my blog post title describes that kind of thing. September, in the Roman Calendar, was the 7th month (septum meaning "seven" and septimus "seventh" - in Latin).

Well, this week has been like that. I started off Monday with the thought that this would be a boring and annoying week to get through until this weekend, when I had fun plans with friends. And that next week would be way more fun and exciting, because I start childbirth classes, had a dentist appointment, have a baby shower, won't have to work Thursday evening and can watch my shows, etc.

Then on Monday, my dentist's office called - they had a cancellation, would I like to come in tomorrow at 9 for my appointment instead. Naturally, I said yes, because at that point I was totally ready to just get that particular event over with.

So on Tuesday, I go to the dentist (anyone who knows me KNOWS how much I loathe this particular appointment. I am a big wuss, and it's because I hate the sounds at a dentist's office - drills, hooks scraping on teeth, those air nozzles they use. Plus I usually have a cavity or two that needs to be filled). All is fine - I am temporarily reprieved from the whole cavity thing because they don't feel comfortable with x-rays on a 6 months pregnant woman, and don't notice any teeth specifically ready to fall out from rot - so that can wait. Instead, I get a nice cleaning, which wasn't so bad.

I go to work, dreading the soreness my gums will feel later and already looking forward to next week. And then I get this email from my husband saying to call him either at home or on his cell. I already know this is bad, because he NEVER tells me to call him while I'm at work, especially on his cell because he uses that only for traveling and emergencies - he doesn't usually have it with him, even! So I immediately leave the desk and go outside to call. I notice my sister-in-law has also called and kick myself for not setting up voicemail on my phone yet.

He tells me that my dad passed out and they're taking him to the hospital, they think it's his heart. He doesn't have a lot of details, but they're going to St. Theresa's and he'll be going there. I tell him I'll be meeting him there, because there's no way in hell I'm going to NOT be there if Dad has had a heart attack or something. I tell my boss who immediately tells me to take a deep breath, calm down, drive safely, and "Go." Those were her words.

Luckily, I call my sister-in-law back and learn that no, dad's doctor said to take him to Wesley and that my brother is going to be on the way soon.

I realize my husband doesn't know this information. I have forgotten my husband's cell number.

I call my father-in-law, ask him if he has it and could he please call his son and let him know the change. I attempt to drive like I'm in some kind of control, but apparently it was old-man-with-hat driving time and they are all on the same road driving about 20 mph. I do in fact get to the emergency room - and I am the only one there with him, besides doctors. I learn basically nothing, because he has just got there and doesn't really know anything himself.

We wait. My husband gets there with my stepmom (he picked her up). We wait. Finally, we learn it's not his heart, it's not clotting, he passed out because his blood pressure dropped due to an infection. His white count is through the roof and they think it's skin infection turned septic. He gets admitted to Wesley. My brother gets there and stays the night, my older sister is on the way the next day.

My stepmom leaves early because, and I kid you not, she had JUST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL that weekend after having a hysterectomy. She still has staples and is weak. My husband is worried about me getting an infection - or little MCO, which would be worse.

Dad is still in the hospital. I've missed hours of work, not that anyone at my job cared, but still. He is doing better now, but still in pain, still with a fever and a high white count (but dropping), still weak. His leg is swollen and inflamed. My husband is tired (and we're both annoyed with my OB/GYN, though that's another story), I'm tired, my siblings are tired. My dad is tired. And it's only Thursday - the day I normally have off, but because this is a crazy week and chaos reigns, I volunteered to work and have Friday off instead.

So you see - September MEANS 7, but it's the 9th month. And this week began, in my head, meaning 7 (metaphorically) but was really 9. Aren't I clever?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Waning Days of Summer

And let's all just thank nature and/or whatever deity you believe in for the end of all that heat!! Crap it was hot this summer. Things so far are rather good, thank you for asking. I just went to the doctor today for a four-week prenatal exam. I'm already at 25 weeks. Remember when I was complaining about how slow things were going? Yeah, I think that came back to bite me in the butt. Not that I'm complaining now. Anyway, everything looks good. I've gained 7 1/2 lbs. in the four weeks since my last appointment, so clearly MCO is getting fed. N. says that it must all be belly, because from behind I don't look pregnant. He might just be saying that so I don't cry, but I don't think so. Anyway, everything looks good. Next visit is in 3 1/2 weeks and that's when I get my yummy (or disgusting) glucose screening, along with my regular check-up.

It's also when we have our fourth ultrasound. In this case, it's not just us checking for abnormalities - the doctor wants to check to see if my placenta has moved: in the mid-semester ultrasound, we found out it was in front (or anterior) and low-lying. We're hoping it will have moved up, since I really don't want to have a C-section. Like, really, really, don't want a C-section! But I'm trying not to worry about that.

I am doing more at work (and wish I had my own desk - Ha!) and that's really fun. So far, I've come up with two programs - one for parents and one for kids, that are both inexpensive and not too draining. I have to start planning the story times for next year, especially the ones that will happen when I'm on maternity leave. This week, we're focusing on Banned Books week. Then I'll work on Halloween displays and such. I'm also going to be collaborating with a school librarian and going on school visits to let kids know what resources we have at the public library.

Basically, things are pretty awesome right now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paranoia and Book Banning

I got all paranoid today that maybe I was talking too much about pregnancy, parenting, and all that. I never wanted to be THAT woman who can't shut up about herself. Obviously, because I'm talking about it now I'm failing again. But I swear, this post won't all be about the pregnancy, because other than the fact that I'm now craving Cheetos and root beer (caffeine free, made with real sugar, what's not to love?) there really isn't anything new. Well, except that I feel HUGE. That I'm feeling her kick a lot and I think she's learning to kick my bladder, ON PURPOSE, so that I have to get out of bed more often at night. But there really isn't anything new, so I'll settle for talking about all the little things I'm experiencing with the bestie or the husband and go on for now.

We're getting ready for Banned Books week here at the library. I've already started working on the list of kids books to display - the ones that have been challenged. And I realized that maybe my faithful readers (reader?) might like to see some of the ones on the list that people have challenged. Many have been the attempts of banning in schools not public libraries, but there's a fair number that have been challenged in general and I am always surprised because I've never actually had anyone come up to me and complain, even though I try to be prepared for something like that (I live in Kansas, after all). So, here's the list I have (it is by no means complete, I'm just choosing five random titles):

1)Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Mark Twain
2)The Lorax: Dr. Seuss
3)A Light in the Attic: Shel Silverstein
4)Harry Potter: J.K. Rowling
5)A Wrinkle in Time: Madeleine L'Engele

So, new post...light on the pregnancy stuff. Better or no?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

It IS September, and OHMYGOD I Didn't Post

Welcome to the second week of September. I really wanted to post, I did. But I forgot and then got lazy. Will you forgive me?

So here's something fun that I obsess over every. single. day. Pregnancy math. By calendar months (4 weeks each month) I am 2 weeks away from being 6 months pregnant. BUT, each month is actually measured differently, so technically I'm 5 months pregnant - or rather, I'm IN my fifth month.

Then, I get to the fun 17 weeks, I will be finished. In 14 weeks, I will be considered full-term. In 5 weeks, there is a 9 out of 10 chance that if I went into labor, the baby could survive albeit with tons of medical intervention. If I do this in months - ie. 4 months, 3 1/2 months - it sounds a lot longer until I'm all full-term and stuff. That must be why people measure pregnancy in weeks.

I also obsess over what to take to the hospital. What I will eat when I actually deliver the girl. What people will think about whatever name we choose. When will I actually go into labor? All of this, every day, and I'm only what? halfway through the second trimester. Oh, deity help me!

This past weekend I actually had off because it was Labor Day weekend. Oh unions, how I love you. N. and I went to Lawrence on Sunday and had cheeseburgers and really yummy fries and extremely yummy root beer. Preferred the cheeseburger I get at Free State and the fries I got at this place (the name escapes me). But oh, yum, the root beer....*drool*...

We went to the zoo on Monday. The temperature was perfect. Thank goodness for fall temperatures. I can actually sleep more comfortably. I can walk again, thus, hopefully, preventing me from turning into an actual cow instead of just preparing to be milked (HA!) And now, I am at work. Clearly, I am working hard - I hope you readers are grateful for my boredom and love of you that I am blogging instead of say, shelving.

And there - my first, and hopefully not only, September post.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's Almost September

What a boring title...but I honestly couldn't think of anything else. I'm looking forward to the (hopefully) cooler weather, because now that I'm getting bigger and feeling more extreme temperatures, this heat is really starting to bother me. Plus, it'll be nice to go for walks outside without worrying so much about overheating and feeling horrible.

Doctor's appointment went well, I'm gaining weight right on schedule (and luckily not too much so far!), heartbeat was strong, and I only had one complaint about backaches. We reviewed the ultrasound results and found out some semi-worrying news, but only because I'm neurotic lately. The ultrasound itself was great - we've taken every test we could for any anomalies and abnormalities, so we weren't expecting anything like that. But the placenta is anterior (which is why I haven't been feeling a lot, or any, movement/kicks yet) and it's also very low. So far, my doctor isn't worried: she said it's common and will probably move as I get bigger. But it means good news: we get to have another ultrasound in about 8 weeks! We're definitely getting a good collection of sonograms for the baby book.

We're also really starting to talk about parenting and decisions to make: names to choose, for example. Our policy on tv (none until the age of 18 months or so and a strict policy even after that), bedtimes, picky eating (I hope we don't have one but it's pretty probable), traveling (where we want to take her on vacations), babysitters and daycare, school (Montessori if we can afford it), vaccinations and pediatricians (like we'd endanger society by NOT doing vaccinations or listening to our pediatrician) etc. I'm starting a list of parenting books to read or re-read: Parenting Beyond Belief, Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Sears' books, etc. I've even got recommendations from friends and even perfect strangers! LOL...

We're both looking forward to moving out in November to our own place and getting a nursery ready and packing for the hospital. We have childbirth class to look forward to and baby showers too. I think both sides of the family are getting more excited - just like we are.

Hopefully, any September posts will be less about pregnancy and more about, well, who knows. But I am glad I've started trying to keep up with my blog again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Woes of Adulthood

I made a comment a few weeks, maybe a month ago. Being an adult is not as fun as I thought it would be when I was six. Or ten. Or 16. Granted, eventually I learned that I would have to go to school to get a degree, work hard, etc. I was prepared, by 16, of that concept. But all the other things that nothing but life can prepare you for - not just work, but the hours you work (I don't have weekends off and my schedule is not 9-5 - although I chose that, being in the field I love) the pay you get (less than I thought, considering the vital service I do and the fact that we are supposed to be such a prosperous country) all the things you need (or want) that takes more money than you make (and no, I'm not talking about my own jet or exotic vacations...well, okay, maybe the exotic vacations). Bills. And figuring out where to live. And I'm supposed to know how to do all this so that I can actually be a parent!!! I don't think I know enough about being a grown-up to you know, be the actual grown-up. I sometimes still can't believe I'm no longer in high school. Except I look older, bigger, and I don't get up at 6 am every morning to make sure my hair looks good (I don't care anymore).

I've learned though, through mistakes (hard ones to correct) and hopefully that will help in the long run. I'm still young, and so there's time to find that perfect house/condo/apartment. There's still time to save up enough money to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and swim with dolphins. And adulthood isn't horrible - I mean, I get to have a baby - I'll have one in less than a year! I get to eat ice cream or fast food for lunch if I want to (but sadly, my parents have sort of spoiled that for me, because I end up feeling guilty and then want salad or have a stomachache and then they turn out to be right *the horror!!!*).

Now, does anyone have any ways I can make more money from just sitting on my computer, writing a blog? Or something?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's A........!!!!!!!!!

Most of you read Facebook posts more often than blogs anymore. But I'm still posting, because this is one of the ways that I can chronicle my pregnancy without having to resort to keeping a journal (I wish I could, but even with time I still don't do it. Call me lazy or inconsistent, I just can't seem to keep one up continuously).

This morning N. and I headed to the doctor's office for the mid-pregnancy sonogram. We've had all the tests they offer (NT and maternal serum testing), including two other sonograms: one at my first prenatal appointment, very quickly just to see if my calculated due date was correct (it was). Then another at 13 weeks (the NT) to check for increased fluid at the back of the neck.

Both were normal and healthy. And then today was the big day - the day they measured everything, checked the amniotic fluid, and the organs, and we got even more pictures and found out the sex.

It's a GIRL!!!!! We're both excited and everything looks healthy. So, in another 21 weeks I will be the mother of a baby girl. I know the family, and close friends, are excited - even if they guessed boy. And at this point we're just in the growing bigger stage.

I can't seem to drink enough milk or eat enough cheese. Last night I craved fish (particularly smoked salmon, which is off limits, but still sounded so good). I'm starting to really show which is nice. And I'm still waiting for movement or a kick. The sonographer said she was moving like crazy - and we could see some of it - but so far I haven't felt anything.

The name will still be a surprise. And I'm looking forward to hearing all the guesses on due dates. Friends are already planning baby showers and mommy-pampering showers.

And I've told my boss and I'm so, so lucky to be working where I am. Libraries are usually more family-friendly than other places to work, but she was so excited for me (even though I haven't worked there that long) and she's going to work with me about scheduling and maternity leave so I don't feel rushed back to work or anything like that. All in all, it's been a pretty good week. Except for a few hormonal outbreaks of emotion. Which I presume is normal.

Anyway, that's the update. I am so excited for this second half of pregnancy. It's finally starting to really sink in that I'm going to be a mom. I just hope I do a good job.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July Closing Post

Summer, it's winding down: school starts in two-three weeks, summer library programs are ending, my vacation is over. I'm ready for fall, to be honest, and not just because being pregnant in 111 degree temperatures is unpleasant. But it is my favorite season.

So let's see....some things that have happened:

1) South Dakota vacation! - Let's face it, it was awesome. My niece Alyssa tagged along, which gave us an extra driver and conversational partner. The first day we took it easy driving and then saw the Buffalo Bill Ranch in North Platte, Nebraska. It was closed due to flooding, but we walked around a bit and then we saw the Golden Spike where the Transcontinental Railroads met. My sister and her fiance and their boys, my dad and stepmom, and the three of us had a nice meet-up and the new future grandparents started with the spoiling: the little Grandavocado got some outfits and a cute toy. We all went to dinner. It was great.

Day two was spent driving and then we got into South Dakota and unpacked the car. We all saw Grandma Regan, which was great because she just looks so much better than she did and was doing so well. The evening was spend relaxing together at the cabins.

Day three was a free day: we all split up and saw different things. Nick, Alyssa, and I drove through Custer State Park, did some hiking, and saw a herd of bison up close and personal - close enough to touch. Then we spend the afternoon at the lake with relatives and I floated around a cool, clear lake on an inner tube.

Day four we spent the day in Spearfish Canyon, hiking up to Roughlock Falls. We had lunch with Grandma and the rest of the relatives - almost everyone - at the Latchstring Inn. Then we became tourists and walked a bit around Deadwood.

Day five was wonderful - it started out at about 50 degrees (we needed sweatshirts) and spend the day at the park, walking in freezing cold water and watching the kids build a dam, go tubing down the creek, and throwing rocks. Grandma managed to spend quite a bit of time there with everyone - it was the true family reunion day.

We spent the last day just hanging out together, relaxing, and talking. Quite frankly, everything went too fast. We spent Monday driving all day which was terribly exhausting.

So there - a not so quick rundown (not that anyone reads this anymore anyway...)

I had a doctor's appointment today and scheduled the diagnostic ultrasound. Heard the grandfruit's heartbeat. Everything is healthy for me and for the fruit. We'll know in two weeks how the growth is going, and hopefully find out the sex. The gambling going on should subside until we get to the due date countdown. Ha!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I Am So Sad

That I didn't get any comments. I think, thanks to Facebook, that blogs have sort of slipped by the wayside. Oh well. I'll still keep writing. Maybe I'll accidentally say something controversial and people will start yelling again.

My sister-in-law has spurred me on and so I've started baby registries at Target and Babies 'R Us. Since we don't know the sex yet, it's a big difficult but I'm working on neutral things anyway, for the future. Other than clothes, I'm hoping to have things be able to work for a boy OR a girl.

So far, I haven't been craving anything weird but I'm looking forward to the day when I start craving chocolate chip cookies and pickles or something like that. I do miss my chocolate chip cookies. And well, that's really it for my post. I had a day off today and walked around the zoo, which was nice and so fun - I got to pet a baby goat, see a tiger swim, and see the red panda pretty close up. It was nice exercise too, which I am sorely in need of since I know how good that is for me and little bean.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Summer of Taking Forever

I'm sure everyone has felt this way at some point or many points in their lives. But this summer seems to be taking freaking FOREVER. Granted, I have a new job and you'd think that with all the hours I'm there it would make time go faster, but amazingly no. Maybe it's because I have so much stuff to look forward to in the future that I'm not enjoying my time now, which is something I really hate doing, but I can't seem to help.

See my list of complaints. Who can help me out? Who wants to sympathize? Anyone. Is anyone still reading this?

1) I'm sick of this heat. Yesterday my car temperature gauge read 111 degrees. And it's barely July.

2) I'm ready for my vacation in South Dakota with my family. I want the attention from everyone and to talk about my little future Regan (and Wyant). I want to have fun with my cousins and their kids and my dad and stepmom. I want to see how my grandma is doing. And I want the cooler temperatures!

3) I'm ready for morning sickness to stop. Only for me, it's more like evening sickness, and sometimes all day nausea. I hate feeling both starving and nauseous at the same time. I hate feeling yucky. And that's the best word for it. Of course, I've just started my first week in the second trimester, so hopefully this will go away pretty quickly.

4) I'm ready to start feeling MCO (the nickname we came up with that fits all the stages: embryo, fetus, baby) move and kick. I'm ready to find out if it is a boy or a girl so I can announce it and get more hugs, and start buying cute little baby clothes and figuring out how we're going to decorate the nursery. And no, I am not really a girly-girl, totally boy kind of person, but I would like to be more prepared - I feel like I'm floundering right now.

5) I've got a movie marathon night planned with Kay, and Beth, and Nate (I hope) again at the end of July or beginning of August. I'm ready to hang out and laugh and talk over movies and feel glad about moving to Kansas (because quite frankly, except for family and friends I am NOT loving this state - and that's a whole other post)

6) I'm ready to move. I love my in-laws but I'm ready for Nick and I to have our own place, even if it's some tiny apartment. I want to put my books up and my couch out and watch tv in my own living room, and cook dinners in my own kitchen, sitting down at a table with my husband.

7)I'm ready for fall. I romanticize fall. I imagine myself, all cutely pregnant, wearing an adorable sweater and hat, walking in falling leaves with my husband. I love Halloween! I want to trick or treat with my nieces and nephews.

8) Holiday season. Why does it take so long to get here and go so fast! Plus, that means we'll be waiting each day for MCO to appear. Taking bets on the date. Enjoying yummy food and family and friends. Presents, and baking, and Christmas lights and music.

And finally, somehow, I'm not enjoying pregnancy as much as I was determined to - I'm finding it an unreal situation that is both awesome and yet strangely slow and fast at the same time and it's freaking me out. I never really romanticized the whole pregnancy period,I've never been one to be like "I can't wait to feel pregnant and experience it" but I always told myself that once I got pregnant I was going to enjoy each freaking moment of it. And there are some I really have enjoyed: telling my family and friends about MCO. Talking about names. Talking about parenting and what we'll be emphasizing and what we don't want to do if we can help it. Seeing how humans develop in the womb, and starting to feel a connection to the future little person, wondering what he/she will be like. Seeing sonograms at the very beginning and at our first diagnostic ultrasound. Worrying about being a good mom (which I think means I'll be okay). But it just doesn't seem real yet.

I'm ready for us to have an actual baby or maybe just for it to seem more real, for the second and third trimesters to get here (I know, I know, it already has- the 2nd anyway). I'm fast-forwarding in my head and not enjoying the moment. So yeah, it's the summer of taking forever. If I had to label it, that's what it would be. And I don't know why I can't just enjoy the moments I have, to be really present.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You'll Forgive Me the Long Absence When You Read My Post

Has it really been more than a month since I posted? I haven't even been that busy! It's not like I had a full-time job and kids to take care of, and yet time has gotten away from me. But one of the perks of actually not writing a new post every week means that I have stuff to actually write about - isn't that great, oh loyal and bored readers?

First off, I have a new job. While it's not a perfect position (say, head of youth services with a great salary and awesome benefits) it IS a step in the right direction and I'm so excited about it. I'm going to be working at the Haysville Public Library doing, well, a bunch of stuff: cataloging, circulation, children's librarian duties, etc. It's not a full-time position with benefits, but I'll be learning about every department, getting ideas to improve things and hopefully presenting those ideas, and well, basically, working in my chosen field. I had kind of despaired at getting the chance here in Kansas, so I'm really excited. And nervous too, of course, since my first day is today. I'm just so glad that my persistence paid off, and it's such a nice library and the people seem nice and friendly.

Second off, and in much bigger news: I'm pregnant! The hubby and I tried to wait to tell the news -okay, I said at first I wanted to wait 13 weeks to tell people - about 9 weeks since we found out right away at 4 weeks - but of course, being me, I couldn't. We waited until after I had my first prenatal appointment and learned that everything was progressing just fine and had a quick ultrasound. Then the fun began honestly, because I got to tell my family and he got to tell his.

I went to my dad and stepmom's first, on the pretense of delivering cans (it only sounds weird if you don't know my dad). I'm tricky like that. I handed over the bag and then followed my dad into the kitchen and said, "by the way, I have something to show you." I handed him the sonogram showing my little MCO (multi-celled organism) and he's all "ARE you?!" Then of course, I got hugs and kisses and congratulations and questions about how far along, and due dates, etc. My stepmom guessed just from hearing our conversation and I got hugs again. I think they're excited about being grandparents.

I called my younger sister next, expecting to get voice mail cause she's insanely busy - but I actually got her in person and asked if she wanted to be an aunt again. I am pretty sure hugs were exchanged over the phone, lol, and of course, she's very excited.

And then I got lucky - I called my sister-in-law, and found out that the rest of my siblings: older brother and sister, along with nieces and nephews - were all together. I asked her if she wanted to be an aunt again, and I swear, there was shocked silence and then she was all - "You're on speakerphone, say that again." Which of course, I did - "I was just wondering if you guys would like to be aunts and uncles again?" The excitement came through the phone in screams and congratulations, and it was so much fun, I wish I'd had a camera. My youngest niece came on and told me I didn't have to buy her a birthday present because the cousin-to-be would be enough (her birthday is right around my due date).

I will say, knowing I can call my big sister or sister-in-law and ask them questions about pregnancy and what I will need when the baby comes, and knowing how excited they are is just awesome. Not having my mom around is hard, but since I have them, I know I'll get good advice and answers to questions. Waiting would have been too hard. So the family all knows the good news.

In answer to other questions:
I'm doing well. Yes, I'm nauseous and tired, but I have trouble sleeping at night (weird dreams, restlessness, etc). Nothing set, but it's usually evening sickness and sometimes I just feel queasy all day. I've been fairly lucky though, so far. No vomiting and I can usually head it off with certain foods. I am having cravings (just ask the hubby!) but it's actually kind of nice because they're for healthy things: fruit, smoothies, spinach, cereal and milk. I'm apparently avoiding sugar - including chocolate, except occasionally and coffee and tea both turn my stomach. I'm also completely off caffeine, so no worries about weird developmental problems from that.

Yes, we're going to find out the sex. We don't care either way, we both have a theory (I think it's a boy) and we'll see who's right at 16-20 weeks. The name is a surprise to all - including us, though we have favorites. But no one will know until the birth.

My due date is January 9, but it could be a New Year's baby or even a Christmas baby. Or of course, it could go later, as most of you know. We'll just see. I'm really hoping NOT to go into labor on Christmas eve or Christmas day, though I suppose if I could guarantee that I wouldn't have to buy anyone gifts for this year..... LOL.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

I just read an article on Yahoo: Finance about how much the tooth fairy should leave for kids. I have to admit - I was kind of appalled. Apparently, teeth are now going for $5 (the first one) and $1-3 for the subsequent ones. Does anyone else think this seems rather high for teeth that will eventually, probably, be thrown away? I mean, you might save the first lost tooth for a keepsake right, but all the other ones?

And isn't a quarter or fifty cents a better price for that? I just keep thinking that if and when I have kids, I don't want to put a $5 bill under a pillow for a tooth! Am I being crazy? Cheap? I just don't see the value in that? I would want my kids to be excited, of course - but can't they save up from all the teeth? Add it to a coin jar? Don't kids still like to dump out and count their coins to see how much they've saved?

So parents (you know, real ones, not like me, a parent-in-mind-only and doting aunt to my ten nieces and nephews (YES I DO include my honorary niece Nora here!) what do you think? Am I being cheap? What do you do about lost teeth, if you've dealt with it? For non-parents, do you have an idea of what you'd do if you're planning on having kids? What's the trend here?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Redux

I just wanted to put Redux in the title. It's such a cool word, you know? What a weekend it was too! Highlights include:

1) Reconnecting with my mom's family, specifically my cousins. How nice was that?! And how weird to think that at the age all of us cousins (kids) are now was the age that our parents were back when we were young and hanging out together, swimming at Uncle Mike's during his yummy barbecues. I'll miss that cooking!!

2) Kite flying - it's just so much fun and makes you feel so young. Plus, kites are pretty.

3) House hunting. Granted, we can't really afford a lot of the houses, but it's just so fun to get an idea of what we like and don't like, even just on the outside.

4) Zoo going. We have a membership so we get to go whenever we want. All we need is some kiddos to really appreciate how much fun feeding the goats can be and how cute baby chimps are (okay, we don't really need kiddos to appreciate that)

5) A new book. We don't normally buy books, but I got a new one to read!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

To Redirect but I'll get to Part II in a minute

Go Wisconsin, right? Apparently, our country is headed in a way that I think a lot of people don't really like. Oh, I'm sure people are truly concerned with deficits, but I find it truly interesting that it's only now that so many are, when we were sliding rather quickly into them with Dubya. Best quote from this article:

"Democrats help conservatives by not shouting out loud, over and over, that it was conservative values that caused the global economic collapse: lack of regulation and a greed-is-good ethic."

Read this article. Maybe you'll agree with some of it, all of it, or none of it - but when was it that in our society, greed was good and helping others bad. When was it that a government "of the people, by the people, for the people" suddenly became the enemy? Because see, out government is US - well, it's supposed to be. So when did it become the enemy?

Monday, February 14, 2011

I found something! Part 1

This particular post is really long, so I'm going to chop it up into, hopefully workable pieces. I was so excited when I found this. It's something I first encountered during a history class, and then re-encountered during a sociology class, and then lost for about six years or so. Now that I've found it, I can't wait to share it. For those who don't want to wait to read the whole thing, feel free to use the link below.

For those unable to wait

The anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs. In fact, if all of the logically possible combinations of behavior have not been found somewhere in the world, he is apt to suspect that they must be present in some yet undescribed tribe. The point has, in fact, been expressed with respect to clan organization by Murdock (1949: 71).[2] In this light, the magical beliefs and practices of the Nacirema present such unusual aspects that it seems desirable to describe them as an example of the extremes to which human behavior can go.

¶ 1
Professor Linton [3] first brought the ritual of the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologists twenty years ago (1936: 326), but the culture of this people is still very poorly understood. They are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east.... [4] ¶ 2

Nacirema culture is characterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat. While much of the people's time is devoted to economic pursuits, a large part of the fruits of these labors and a considerable portion of the day are spent in ritual activity. The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. While such a concern is certainly not unusual, its ceremonial aspects and associated philosophy are unique. ¶ 3

The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man's only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to this purpose. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls.
¶ 4
While each family has at least one such shrine, the rituals associated with it are not family ceremonies but are private and secret. The rites are normally only discussed with children, and then only during the period when they are being initiated into these mysteries. I was able, however, to establish sufficient [504 begins ->] rapport with the natives to examine these shrines and to have the rituals described to me. ¶ 5

The focal point of the shrine is a box or chest which is built into the wall. In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live. These preparations are secured from a variety of specialized practitioners. The most powerful of these are the medicine men, whose assistance must be rewarded with substantial gifts. However, the medicine men do not provide the curative potions for their clients, but decide what the ingredients should be and then write them down in an ancient and secret language. This writing is understood only by the medicine men and by the herbalists who, for another gift, provide the required charm. ¶ 6

The charm is not disposed of after it has served its purpose, but is placed in the charmbox of the household shrine. As these magical materials are specific for certain ills, and the real or imagined maladies of the people are many, the charm-box is usually full to overflowing. The magical packets are so numerous that people forget what their purposes were and fear to use them again. While the natives are very vague on this point, we can only assume that the idea in retaining all the old magical materials is that their presence in the charm-box, before which the body rituals are conducted, will in some way protect the worshiper. ¶ 7

Beneath the charm-box is a small font. Each day every member of the family, in succession, enters the shrine room, bows his head before the charm-box, mingles different sorts of holy water in the font, and proceeds with a brief rite of ablution.[5] The holy waters are secured from the Water Temple of the community, where the priests conduct elaborate ceremonies to make the liquid ritually pure.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Targeting Maps

So there's been a major uproar about the use of targeting symbols on maps since the shooting. Understandable, and let's all thank goodness that we're at least having a discussion about violent rhetoric and violent behavior and if there is a connection. I guess the murder of Dr. Tiller wasn't violent enough for it, although many of my progressive friends have been talking about this connection ever since then.

But I digress.

Now, the conservatives are screaming in anger because Sarah Palin had a target map on her website and people are rightly, having said discussion. Why a discussion is so painful for them remains a mystery - I realize the press isn't the greatest entity for a thoughtful, interesting, nuanced conversation - but at least it has started one! They're saying that the Democrats do it too and that means they're just as violent and just as much to blame. I'll agree that both parties have wildly sunk to horrible levels of rhetoric.

But let's compare these targeting maps shall we?

Shall we start with the fact that only one has specific congressional districts?
Or maybe with the fact that only one has NAMES that are targeted, ie, people?

Perhaps we can talk about the context - how to win back states lost in the 2004 Bush election vs. how to get rid of Congresspersons who are Democrats and voted for the health care bill.

Which one is more specific? Which one is more disturbing? Which one invokes violence against a specific person and which one targets a state that needs to be won in an election (ie, anonymous voters) Does it even matter - probably not, since the discussion will, hopefully, turn to how violent rhetoric and symbols' use affect political discourse in the country. Which is a good thing.