Monday, October 29, 2007

Counting Down

I am now 33, the age I will be when Flipper is born.
Next time I see my family (my mom, my dad, my sister) it will be because Flipper has been born.
Next time we change the Brita filter, we will have a newborn (or knowing us, perhaps a toddler...).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grover Friday

Here is our contribution to the Grover party, thanks to an old S*same Street book where he is still featured prominently:

Grover & Ernie

And in the spirit of cheer, here is a funny meme from Sophia (I omitted some of the categories because of my low-profile on the blog):

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car): Rainbow Saturn

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Coffee Chocolate Chip

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Purple Dog

4. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink): The Blue Coffee

5. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers): Joseph Lloyd

6. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Lavender Dark Chocolate

7. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ): Ruth Norman

8. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Skende Seattle or Katteff Kansas City (I had two fifth grade teachers)

9. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Autumn Lilac

10. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”): Grapefruit Shirtie

11. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Oatmeal Weeping Willow

12. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”): The Reading Snow Tour

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Accomplishment! & Our Weekend

First off, if you haven't already done so on this blog or another, please read Cali's story (at her blog or someone else's) and donate to help. I would not ordinarily donate -- let alone ask someone else to -- for another's IVF, but this is an extreme situation, and an extremely amazing person. Cali is a rockstar in the blogosphere, because she is one of the kindest, most generous, authentically caring people I have ever come across. (To wit: she is in this heartbreaking situation in part because she was trying to donate her own eggs to help another woman realize her dream.)

In other news:
We chose a pediatrician (which means I got to strike through the first item on our to do list on the sidebar). She was recommended to us by the ever-helpful LaGiulia, and we really feel good about her. PHEW. Now we don't have to sneak Flipper in to the vet's office.


We went up north for Nephew S's first birthday party this weekend. At one, his new skills include eating by himself (rather than being fed) and standing (though not quite walking). The party was a lovely event; my parents in the same room is always a risky proposition, but they both behaved beautifully. Since we won't see them again until Flipper is here (gulp), my dad gave us a ginormous stuffed dolphin that will be perfect for taking growth pictures of Flipper. (I'd post a picture, but we have yet to shlep him in from the car.) My mom gave me a copy of Confessions of the Other Mother.


We gave S. a drum, which he seems to like. Though he will drum on just about anything...

We also got a chance to peek in on Jude, Jen, & Gus. She has grown so much since we last saw her! (In August)



Beckett
We arrived home a little late to see many bloggers at the local meet-up, but touched base with a few. These cuties are Pepito and Beckett, two of the cutest little tykes you ever did see.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Please, Please Do What You Can

I don't have a lot of words today, so I'll make this short:

Please go here and here to read Cali's story. And then go here to help her. I don't know anyone who deserves it more.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Latest Stats and the Case of the Haunted Breast Pump

So, I had another MW appointment today. They have a nursing student interning with them for the next month or so, so I got to watch a very green, very enthusiastic prospective future MW in action. I was asked if I minded her sitting in and doing some of my exam, and I didn't mind. I never minded having student teachers sit in my classroom either. Prospective whoevers have to learn somehow.

So, my latest stats...
Weight gain in past 2 weeks: 2 lb
Total weight gain so far: 25 lb
BP: 110/68 (lower than last time's 124/68 which I'm sure was exacerbated by my sobbing episode)
Fundal height: 34 cm
Flipper's HB: 160 (I suspect it was on the higher side because he was showing off his Donald O'C*nnor-inspired dance moves)

I found out that the mysterious pain on my upper right side, which is sometimes in the front, sometimes in the back, is probably just because my rib cage is expanding and some muscles might be irritated. Or else, it's a chain reaction of Flipper pressing up on my uterus, pressing up on my liver, or something like that. Nothing to be alarmed about. Just another one of those things.

And one of my neighbors, H., noticed for the first time today that I'm pg. When I confirmed it, another neighbor, J., with whom I'd been talking for about 5 minutes, said, "Really? I had no idea." I am totally showing now--8 months pg and all--but yup, people are still just noticing.

It turns out that H. is a doula and teaches hypnobirthing, so she asked me about where I was taking childbirth classes and delivering. I think it's funny that a doula/childbirth educator JUST noticed I was pg. I see her several times a week at least. It's funny that I've never asked her about her career before, too.

My neighbor, J., said something really sweet, about how she feels like a child can really solidify a couple's relationship and she thinks it's great that Flipper will have 2 loving mommies. J. has an adorable son of her own, who likes to open doors for me and Lo (that is, he likes to ask us for our keys and literally open the doors for us with the keys). He also is a big Maggie fan. Who isn't?

In other news, our car got sideswiped a little while ago on the highway and the jerk in the truck who sideswiped Lo drove off, without pulling over to fill out an accident report or exchange insurance or anything. The damage was substantial enough that it needed to be fixed--not some little ding or dent. So, we reported it to our insurance company and are using our collision coverage to pay for it. I wondered if I'd been stupid to report it to my insurance. Maybe the total damage would be $500 or less--equal to my deductible--and then I'd have wasted my time and alerted my insurance to a reason to raise my rates for no good reason. But it's less irritating now that I know how costly the damage was. The repairs will come to almost $1500. After our $500 deductible, that's almost $1000 that our insurance is kicking in. I know this could mean our insurance rates will go up, but I've been a loyal customer with this company, with no accidents (knock wood), for 7 years now, so I am glad that I don't have to cough up that extra $1000 myself.

The collision described above happened when Lo was driving home from buying our haunted, used breast pump. I guess the car gods looked down on us and said, "So, you want to save yourselves $150 by buying a used breast pump, huh? Let's just see how expensive we can make that pump for you!" So, yes, saving $150 is now going to cost us our $500 deductible plus having to rent a car this weekend to go to the party celebrating our nephew's first birthday and Lo's mother's 65th birthday, which is in a location several states away. Our insurance company *will* reimburse us a bit for the cost of renting a car while ours is being repaired, but I think it's still going to cost us about $165 to rent the car over the weekend, even after the reimbursement, since we're driving it so far and we're going to have to make up the difference added by the mileage and such. (And no, kenneling the dog + taking train/bus would be equally or more expensive than renting a car, so that's not a good solution.) Stupid, haunted breast pump!

Monday, October 15, 2007

MW Appointment

I can't believe I have another MW appointment on Wednesday. I feel like I just had a MW appointment, because... um... I did.

I have one every 2 weeks these days. I can feel that EDD coming up on us fast and furious.

Lists

As Co explained, we have a lot to do. As you all explained, we may not finish it all before Flip is born. But I just want to point out how much we HAVE done:
--Doula selected and deposit mailed in
--Childbirth class has just two classes left
--Pediatrician interviews scheduled (We made one interview with a doctor we think we'll like, and then a backup appointment we hope not to have to keep; the practice of pediatrician #1 was recommended by trustworthy local bloggers)
--Names legally changed
--Lawyer chosen, and wills drafted
--Co's new desk ordered
--Car repair scheduled for this week

Here is what we would like to get done before Flipper joins us:
--Names changed at least with Social Security (Co is concerned with getting his right name on the birth certificate; there's a local SS office with late hours so we should at least be able to get the application in)
--Wills signed (We just need to go over the draft and contact lawyer)
--Call super to do minor home repairs
--Get handy-person to move some furniture around
--It would be great to schedule a 1st home study and start gathering 2nd parent adoption documentation

The hospital tour may not happen, unless Co decides as we get closer that she'd really like to see it. I feel like we'll be able to find the place.

We have everything we would like to have for Flipper's arrival except for his bed/P*ck N' Pl*y, which we plan to order at 36 weeks just so we're fully prepared. I guess we should get some swaddling blankets too (we have regular blankets). (Everything else we can just hope we get as gifts :-)

I'm tempted to put this list on our sidebar and cross out the obstacles as we overcome them. Anyone want to email me code for strikethrough?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

MW Appointment and Me Being Whiny

So, I had another MW appointment... with MW Apple.

Flipper's HB is good: 130.
My BP is fine--higher than usual, but not high.
My fundal height was right on target.
My weight gain was fine: 3 lb in 5 wks which brings me to 23 lb (although it was really 4 lb and she let me subtract 1 lb for my shoes)
Flipper is head-down, which is great. I'm not really surprised, because I don't see how he could keep kicking my ribs like he enjoys doing if he's not head-down. But, still, a huge relief.

Of course, despite all this, I spent the first 20 minutes of my appointment sobbing uncontrollably. I hope that midwives, like R.E.'s, are not thrown by this kind of emotional display.

MW Apple was very nice about the whole thing. I am just a big ball of stress. I was feeling very overscheduled. There just seemed like so much stuff that needed to get done FAST... medical appointments (MW and endocrinologist), doula interviews, childbirth education classes, pediatrician interviews, a hospital tour, finalizing our name changes, scheduling a home study, signing our wills... Some of that stuff we've finished recently or at least started, and the rest still needs to be done. We also needed to buy me a new, very small work desk so we can move my work station to our living room/dining room so our current home office can begin metamorphosing into Flipper's room (not that it's totally becoming a nursery yet... we just don't have room and he'll be sleeping in our bedroom at first anyway). We need to make some home repairs and car repairs. Meanwhile, I have tight work deadlines, am dealing with new work software that is needlessly driving me nuts, and am *hoping* I earn enough to afford me a 3-month maternity leave, but we'll see. I also really need to finish reading a couple of parenting books before Flip gets here, too.

Difficulty sleeping hasn't helped. Leg cramps, backaches, and anxiety have all been making it hard to sleep through the night, and that hasn't been making me feel better.

I've been taking long walks every day with the dog. Exercise and eating well are probably the only good things I'm doing these days.

So, anyway, this is the most boring and whiny post ever, but ... I've just been feeling like there isn't enough time in the world to get everything done that needs to get done. And feeling that way isn't helping me focus and make progress toward getting it done either.

But, since that appointment, I've been feeling better. Lo and I hammered out some compromises so I don't feel so overwhelmed, and that helps. I am also trying very hard to limit unnecessary social activities ... kind of taking the attitude that if something CAN give in my life, I should let it give because I can.

Anyway, that's what's been up with me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Midnight Fetus Party

Last night I was up in the wee hours worrying about all those things that keep you up in the wee hours. I was lying with my arm around Co, hand on her belly (as has become my habit). And I felt Flipper kicking! I whispered Co's name, but she was asleep.

So, Flipper and I had some private time, while he kicked and rolled around, before I finally fell back asleep.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

On the Upswing

This has been a stressful week for several reasons, but it's over now, and I'm enjoying the long weekend.

The good news: I went back to court, and our name change is official!! Thanks to JT for this site so we can get to work on the laundry list of places to change it.

And: I am godmother to a hedgehog. Does it get any better than that?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Famine

Okay, thanks for the advice, although Lo is the one who asked for it.

If you have a response to the original question--what must-have items do we need in our apartment from day 1--and haven't yet commented, please do. Otherwise, it seems like the comments are beginning to venture off on tangents. And some of them have wigged me out a bit.

I am not a multi-tasker. That's Lo. I like to take on one major life thing at a time. Right now, I am mostly focused on preparing for childbirth and earning enough money to have the luxury of a 3-month maternity leave. Lo is focused on getting our home Flipper ready. So, see, that's where we're at.

I will get to breastfeeding, I promise, and I will do so before too long. You don't need to remind me that time is running out. Goshdurned ticker!!!! How it mocks me!!!

In the meantime, please don't go on about breastfeeding to me until I ask... especially if what you want to say could be perceived as scary by a hormonal, stressed-out host organism with a creature living inside her who is currently trying to kick his way up through her rib cage. Wrong direction, little guy. You'll figure it out eventually, I hope.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Feast

This Saturday we went to Co's hometown, where her brother still lives, to meet up with him and his wife and go to the local Italian-American festival. It was a late celebration of his birthday and he wanted us (me, really) to experience the amazing Italian food in the area. Now, it was really, really good; but I was nonetheless amused that virtually every booth declared its quality to be the same as the city where we live. And had just driven 90 minutes away from to attend this festival.

I feasted upon (now, keep in mind this was over five or six hours): sausage and peppers, tomato salad, rice balls, clam strips, cannoli, plus we shared a pizza fritta (fried dough with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese), a bloomin' onion, and mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat. Yum.

*****************

The other feast in my life is my baby bargains. Co eluded to my cr*igslist addiction, but didn't fully explain its scope. I now regularly stalk the list in three different cities (I have willing friends/family in two others besides my own). I have picked up the aforementioned breast pump ($100 for this, people), a nursing pillow for $5 on the street, and tomorrow's pickups: this swing for $25 and a h**ter hider for $5. It's become an obsession. I'm not much of a clothes horse, so I have never enjoyed the hunt for clothing bargains. But now? I get it. We have registries, and I take delight in removing items as I get them for free or cheap.

Recently I realized, looking at all the toddler toy/clothing posts on cr*igslist, that this doesn't have to stop with baby gear. That put a smile on my face.

***Interactive feature: what items would you recommend we *must* have in the house for Flipper's arrival? (Include the smallest things, like pacifiers, bottles...I know we need dipes and wipes!) We're not having a shower, due to the complementary superstitions of our respective cultures, but I don't mind leaving a few items on the registry for baby gifts once he is here, safe and sound.