December 29, 2009

2009? Well, I guess it was fine.

Really? I don't know what to say to you. You definitely didn't suck as bad as 2008 did. We finally got to move in to the house we moved to Bellingham for, and now Sam is growing up in the same home as his Daddy did. We got pregnant, and despite the fact that I barfed for like 20 weeks, the sickness DID go away before the calendar turned over to 2010. We're still poor. We still don't clean our house enough. Oh well. It was an okay year. Kind of unextrordinary in a lot of ways. What I'll remember most...

- Experiencing the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING powers of the internet community and the support it can provide, especially (but not only) in the case of Maddie, Heather & Mike Spohr.
- Figuring out how different my views on birth are now... little did I know it would come in handy when I got pregnant again!
- My Dad being hit by a car and going to St. Louis to help him afterwards.
- Saying goodbye to Justin & my first pet together, our cat Piper.
- Moving into Justin's childhood home.
- Training and starting volunteer work for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services.
- Losing 30 lbs thanks to medication for my hypothyroidism, PCOS and Insulin Resistance and Weight Watchers. Oh, and hard work. Right.
- Getting pregnant ON OUR OWN in August! Never thought that would happen...
- Sam starting preschool in November, and putting him on the bus for the 1st time.
- Some amazing friendships I made online, and especially the support of Kori, Audrey & Enz.

So that's that. See ya, 2009, don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. Let's raise our glasses to an amazing 2010, kay?

Oh, and in case you were wondering...

Thirteen Hopes, Wishes & Resolutions for 2009!
(Published Jan 2009)

1. Resolution: Okay, so my Dad got me a subscription to "The Economist" for Christmas. I admit that I have not read this magazine. So, my first resolution is to actually read every issue of this magazine that I get this year, and to become more knowledgeable about current events and the world in general. Didn't happen. I suck.

2. Resolution: Well, while we're at it... read every issue of Entertainment Weekly, which I also have a subscription to. Did a little better here, but still have several issues in my pile.

3. Hope: I can't wait to see Obama take office, and I hope that he'll be successful in starting the transformation that this country so desperately needs. Slow going, but at least it's not Bush. Can't wait to see what happens next.

4. Hope: I hope that Justin will get to work in a job that he really enjoys and that won't cause him the amount of stress that his work is currently causing him. Um... no new nothin here.

5. Wish: I wish for a less stressful year for everyone I know, I wish them good health and prosperity. In general, it seemed like a better year, but many people are still struggling and I'm still praying for all of us.

6. Resolution: I will get more exercise, I will use the gym membership my Mom got me at least 3 times a week. For the first time ever, actually DID the exercise resolution! I didn't necessarily use the gym 3 times a week, but I did get TONS more exercise than ever before!

7. Resolution: I will arrange for my Mom to watch Sam at least twice a month, on regular days, so that Justin and I can have scheduled date nights to look forward to and spend time nurturing our relationship and not just our family. Dude, my Mom is awesome. We totally got tons of date nights, and she loves spending time w/Sam so it works out amazingly!

8. Hope: I hope to join the Kulshan Chorus so I can sing with my Mom. She quit it. So there was sort of no point then.

9. Wish: I wish for some resolution to our housing situation, to figure out where we're going to be a little bit more long term than just six months, and to head towards settling down. Well, we don't know much about where we're going to be in many ways, but we do have a permanent home now, and it's wonderful.

10. Hope: I hope that I will be able to find a job so that we'll be able to actually pay our bills! Nope. But it became a moot point when I got preggo again, no point in working to pay for daycare. Also, no way I can put an infant in daycare.

11. Wish: I wish for happy and healthy pregnancies to continue for my friends Amy & Jamie! This came true! They both have ADORABLE little girls!

12. Resolution: To sign Sam up for a class with me, maybe a music class where we can sing and dance. We didn't do this, but we did get him in preschool! Money is slightly prohibitive because a lot of classes are pretty expensive.

13. Resolution: I'm going to renew my goal and up it by 2 - read 52 books in 2009! FAIL! I almost made it to 40, but missed by 15 this year. I'm still renewing the goal though, and have a list of 40 for next year already!

I think I'll post resolutions, wishes & hopes for 2010 next week!

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December 27, 2009

My Danny Boy

Dear Danny,

Hi baby. Things are starting to change. I think about you all the time, and it's no longer just because I'm feeling sick. You've been growing inside me for 19 weeks, though that means I'm 21 weeks pregnant. I know it's confusing, but the world is a big confusing place. Don't worry about that right now, you'll have plenty of time for it later.

I've started to feel much better, and I'm really looking forward to the next 19 weeks. This is the wonderful part of being pregnant, the part where I get to know you and love you more than almost anything in the world. My belly is getting bigger now, and I'm crossing the threshold from looking fat to really looking pregnant. I've started taking pictures every week because I wished I'd taken more when I was pregnant with your brother.

I'm finally starting to feel you moving in there. It's not a lot yet, and I can't wait until I feel it strong every day. I know how strong you are because you made me so sick, but you are still so small that I haven't felt you much yet. Right now it's just little twinges, but I've felt you at least once the last couple of days. I'm sorry if you've felt me pushing, I poke at my belly and try to get you to move. Sometimes it works. It's my very favorite part of being pregnant, and I will miss it when you finally come out to meet me.

Yesterday morning I sat at my computer and tried to think of everything we need to gather before you get here. We're so lucky to have friends and family giving us a lot of the big stuff, but we still need lots of clothes and blankets and bottles for you. We have very generous friends, and one of them is throwing us a shower in only a month. I can't wait for you to meet all the people in this world who already love you.

One of those people is Sam. We talk about you all the time. He knows that sometimes I get tired because you're in there. I can't wait to hear him laugh about how big my belly gets. He wants to teach you everything - how to play, how to jump, how to be a little boy. I know that it will be hard for him at first - waiting for you to turn from a tiny baby into a little toddler who can actually play with him. But I know that you two are going to have great adventures together. I know that he will love you.

We finally have a name for you. Well, half a name anyhow. You'll be our Daniel. We didn't pick the name based on it's meaning, but on it's meaning to us individually. It's our family connection, your father's middle name and Grandmother's maiden name. The meaning of the name is from the bible and it's "God is my judge." Thinking about that now, I kind of like it. To me, it means that no man is your judge. You'll be free to be who you are, always. I hope that gives you strength. Your middle name is still under consideration, but in my head you are Danny. My Danny.

I am getting really excited to meet you, and this is all starting to feel really real. I want to enjoy the rest of our special time, this time when you are mine and mine alone. I know that this is my last time feeling a little baby move inside me, and even though I can't wait to hold you, I am going to savor every moment of holding you in my body. I just can't wait... for all of it.

I love you,
Mommy
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December 16, 2009

Baby Pictures!

Today's theme: baby! Finally took my first belly shot at 19 weeks pregnant. I feel like I look enormous in this picture, and I'm not sure why. It also makes me scared because I'm only 1/2 there and what the hell am I going to look like when I am 38 weeks?! We've been talking to Sam about the baby and how Mommy's belly is going to get really big, I can't wait to see his reaction to the growing belly!

Here are a couple of shots from our big ultrasound last week. The first is a shot of the baby's spine. I just think it's really cool how perfectly you can see, and he is healthy!

And, Justin asked for a little video. I like this one because you can see the little dude moving his hand.











So, that's our little dude! We're in the process of searching for names. With Sam it was easy, we decided on a name before we even got pregnant. We had a girl name picked out last time that we would have used with this one, but we never really settled on second boy name. So, we're looking. We're thinking about involving Daniel somehow, which is Justin's middle name and his mother's maiden name, but we haven't decided for sure or on first/middle.
I'm still not really feeling the baby move much, and I can't wait to feel him every day. I am starting to feel a bit more pregnant, and am having to move around a LOT during the night when I'm sleeping. It's really weird because no matter how tired I am before I go to bed, I lie awake for a long time every night becasue I can't stop thinking about this baby. I think about questions for the midwife, the birth, everything, my mind just races.
We have a little pile of clothes on the changing table, and I can't wait to get the hand-me-downs from my friend Liz. Now that we know what it is we can do a real baby registry. I also decided to get the same baby book for this one that we did for Sam, and it came in the mail yesterday!
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December 15, 2009

Have a Little Faith

There were other things I was planning to post today, but something has really gotten under my skin.

Last night, a woman named Sherrie lost her 2 year old son in a drowning accident. After this horrible thing happened, she used her twitter account (@Military_Mom) to post the following: "Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool." Five hours later, she posted a few pictures of her son, and a thank you to the people who had offered support and prayers to her.

Since then, she has been what I can only call attacked. Several people on twitter decided that they needed proof that the child had died, and that they needed to start posting messages asking if anyone had confirmed it, bringing up the balloon boy hoax, warning people not to give her any money. I should say here that as far as I can see, Sherrie herself has asked for nothing but prayers for her little boy.

But that's not the worst of it. When I read the worst of it, it made me so mad I wanted to vomit. Multiple people accused Sherrie of CAUSING HER LITTLE BOYS DEATH. They said she must have been too busy twittering and posting pictures of her pets to pay attention to her little boy. That it was surely her fault he drowned because she was not paying attention.

Let's break this down a little bit... When I see that first tweet asking for prayers? I picture a woman, standing by her pool. Maybe she got distracted by an animal moving. Maybe she blinked. Maybe she looked away for ONE SECOND. Her son fell in the pool. It was an accident. Now, paramedics are there, trying to save her son. She is forced to stand back and there is nothing she can do. She does not have any friends with her there, she is alone. She is scared. So, she reaches out to the one place she can - her online community. It takes less than 30 seconds for her to ask for prayers as the EMTs try to revive her toddler in in front of her.

Just think about that for a minute. About watching your child die in front of you. About the fact that you could not prevent the accident. About how you will ALWAYS feel guilty/responsible about it no matter how many people may tell you it wasn't your fault.

It. Is. Heartbreaking.

Now, I fully admit that I don't know this woman. I am sure there are some people out there who would make things like this up. However, if they were, wouldn't they post about it on their blog? Wouldn't they post MORE tweets asking for things? For attention? My point here is, why not give people the benefit of the doubt?

It is easy to live your life and walk this world thinking the worst of everybody. You can believe that the internet is full of liars, that there is a child molester on every corner, that your child is inches from being abducted every minute. You can believe that people will try to swindle you at every opportunity they get, that people want to steal your money and your possessions, and that you are not safe walking to your car at night. You can. You can live in fear and paranoia if that's what you want.

But WHY? What is the point of living life feeling this way? I know that bad things happen. But I make a conscious choice every day to try and think positively. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I choose to believe that the majority of people are good. I have seen amazing things in my life and in my online life. I have seen hundreds of people support parents who have lost their child, by offering prayers and well wishes and peaceful thoughts. I have seen people in my community support one another. I have seen people provide for others who are having a hard time financially.

What really gets to me is that it was completely unneccesary for anyone to attack Sherrie. If you don't know someone, sure they could be lying. But WHY say it out loud? Whenever I am faced with this kind of situation, I always go first to "what if?" What if it is true? If it's not, what do I lose by offering this woman prayers and sending whatever good vibes I can her way? NOTHING. What do we have to lose by offering people compassion? If what they are saying IS true, perhaps you have given them a fraction of a second of comfort. If it's not... you have not lost anything.

In this particular case, I know that some people will not understand how she could be online. But honestly? What are you SUPPOSED to do if your child dies? If my son died I would be absolutely out of my mind. I would be in shock, and I wouldn't know what to do. I would probably reach out to my friend online too, because whether other people understand it or not, they ARE friends, and they are a part of my life. Who's to say which way of grieving is okay?

I guess the bottom line, to me, is why can't we all have a little faith, have a little compassion? Why can't we treat each other nicely, and as we'd want to be treated? If you don't have anything nice or helpful to say, then maybe you should just not say it. No one loses anything that way. You don't hurt anyone who may be having a really bad day. I know it's a cliche, but I really do think that we could all use a little more love in this world.
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December 11, 2009

I am SO outnumbered

So, we had our big 2nd trimester ultrasound yesterday. The test came back positive... for WEINER! That's right, we are having another little boy. I thought that I would cry if the tech toldmethat, but I actually felt pretty okay about it at the time. I went over to the mall after and bought a couple of outfits for the little guy.

Today I am not feeling so great though. It seems like my pregnancy hormones are working overtime and I got snappy at Justin this morning. It looks like only one person is coming to the playdate scheduled here today and for whatever reason the prospect of spending most of the day alone with Sam feels exhausting. I went out to the garage to try and find a box of clothes that I'd kept from Sam - we got rid of ALMOST everything but I'd kept a box ofmy very favorites from when he was a baby - and I couldn't find it. Ican't think of anywhere else it would be. When I came back in the house, I felt like crying. Maybe I am just having a post ultrasound never having a daughter hormone hangover. And before you tell me the next one will be a girl, I'll say that we are only planning on 2 kiddies. Seems like a good number.

I am still super happy about the baby, of course I am. And I think Sam will love having a little brother. I love them both more than I can say. I have just always wanted a daughter and n
ow I know there are certain things I will never get to experience and I may not quite be used to that idea yet. Soon I will just be feeling him move and feeling super blessed that he is healthy. Soon I will let go of dreams of leggings and ruffles and pigtails. Just not this second.

Please forgive any typos here, I am writing this on my phone because we don't have iternet on our computer until Justin hooks up our new router tonight. When he gets it up, I'll post some pics from the ultrasound, we got a few great ones.
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December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas: 2009 By The Numbers

Can you believe it's December already? I can hardly believe it! A whole year has gone by since my first SITSmas, and I'm super excited it's here again! SITSmas is the annual Christmas bash hosted by the awesome ladies over at SITS - The Secret is in the Sauce. It's all about commenting and bloggy love, and on SITSmas it's about sharing greetings and awesome giveaways every hour! So, if you're visiting from SITS, welcome to my humble abode. Last year I managed to visit almost every SITSmas post, so we'll see how I do this year!

Like the major procrastinator I've become, I have not done anything about our annual Christmas letter or cards yet for 2009. So, for today I've got something else that's been on my mind: 2009 by the numbers!

6 - Months we'll have lived in the house my husband grew up in at the end of this year.

3 - Hours it took my husband to clear all the fallen sticks and branches off our driveway last night.

18 - Week pregnant I am with our 2nd baby.

2 - Days until I get to find out if this one is a boy or a girl (send pink vibes please!).

52 - Articles I've ghostwritten to be published online - one of my favorite things that happened this year!

287 - Blog posts I've published in 2009 so far.

36 - Books I've read in 2009, falling far short of my yearly goal to read 52.

40 - Books already on my "to read" list for 2010.

52 - Movies I've seen at the theater in 2009.

31 - Pounds I lost before I got pregnant.

12 - Pounds I lost after I got pregnant.

10 - Years my husband and I have been together as of December 4.

4 - Years old my sweet son Sam turned in May.

2.5 - Hours that Sam is now at school three days a week!

8 - Friends I have who are currently pregnant and due in the first half of 2010.

1 - Cat we had to say goodbye to this year.

2 - Cats we gained when we moved this summer.

2 - Approximate number of nights Sam has slept through in his own bed since we moved.

125 - Subscriptions in my Google Reader. This number is liable to go up after I blog-hop for SITSmas!

100 - Dollars per month our health premiums were going to go up, forcing us to switch to a high deductible plan. Then I got pregnant. Sigh...

85 - Approximate number of times I have to pee every day even though I'm not even halfway through this pregnancy.

4 - Size my 3.5 year old son is now wearing in pajamas - too tall!

29 - Years old both my husband and I turned this year.

I'm sure there are lots more things that happened this year, but I think that the moving and the writing and the new baby are the big ones!

Merry SITsmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all of you out there. Blessings and happiness for 2010 - may the new year bring only improvement, no matter how this year was!

To go to the next SITSmas post in the linky, Marina at Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports, click here.

To visit the linky with all the SITSmas posts listed, click here.
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December 4, 2009

Mushroompalooza

About a month ago I was out in the yard with Sam and since it's gotten colder and wetter, it's gotten mossy. I looked down and noticed that there were mushrooms growing. Of course I was excited to show Sam, then when we started to look around there were dozens and dozens of them!

So Wednesday morning after Sam got on the school bus I got out my camera and took some pictures. I thought some of them turned out pretty cool, I'd like to take some more when the light is a little different and there are less shadows.






For the full set and full size images, click over to my Flickr set.
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December 3, 2009

13 Things About "Morning" Sickness

I haven't been writing my Thursday Thirteens every week, but a list has been writing itself in my head for the last few days. And, well, if you know me, you KNOW how much I love my lists. You know what one of the worst things about "morning" sickness is? Well, I do. I know a few. But I'm not going to tell you right now, because that would spoil your fun of reading my list. Ha. If you're like me and you love lists, Thursday Thirteen is a great way to get them out into the world. Also, who doesn't like alliteration? And cute pictures of sleeping puppies. So. Cute.


Thirteen Things About "Morning" Sickness
  1. See those quotes around "morning?" There's a reason for that. Whoever decided to call it morning sickness obviously didn't have the pleasure of experiencing the full joy of being pregnant and nauseous. It's more like "all the time night and day 24/7 sickness." At least for me.
  2. If I don't eat enough, I feel sick. But...
  3. If I eat too much, I feel sick! Sick all the time. It's like winning the lottery. I can also win that by not eating often enough. It's a cycle, because the longer you go, the worse you feel but at the same time the LESS you feel like trying to eat anything!
  4. You haven't barfed until you've barfed in public. Seriously. Whether it's the bathroom at your favorite Target or your favorite Mexican restaurant, or barfing in the trash can outside the move theater (see #8), it's a whole new world.
  5. Even when you're not barfing, you might not be able to stop THINKING about it. Like lying in bed at night trying to go to sleep, if you're nauseous you might start to think about whether you're going to throw up, and that in turn may make you MORE nauseous. It's like a neverending cycle.
  6. When the doctor or midwife told you you'd probably start feeling better around 12 weeks? That was a BIG LIE. No one knows when it will end, you might not be lucky enough to have it end after the first trimester.
  7. If movies like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity" with their handheld shaky cameras don't USUALLY cause any problems for you? All bets are off when "morning" sickness enters the picture. Lay off the red vines because you might see them again soon.
  8. It doesn't have to end with nausea. If you're like me, maybe your body will ALSO decide to produce about 10x the normal amount of phlegm so you can spit and blow your nose about 100 times a day.
  9. If you do have to spit a lot, your husband will not appreciate coming home to find a drinking glass full of loogies on the table in the living room because you were too lazy sick to get up and run to the bathroom every time you needed to empty your throat.
  10. If your doctor or midwife suggests that you can take 1/2 a Unisom a couple of times a day to make the nausea better? Don't WAIT to try it. Go get some, like right now. It might help.
  11. There is not much sadder than sitting in the bathroom wretching while your child stands by and tries to tell you to be done because he needs something.
  12. There is one good thing about being nauseous all the time. You won't gain a whole lot of weight, now will you? I'm still down 12 pounds from where I started and don't expect it to be much of a problem during this pregnancy.
  13. Oh, there might be one other good thing about "morning" sickness. In the end, you get to HAVE A BABY! YAY!
Aren't you glad you decided to read my blog today? I know you are. It's possible you're feeling a little nauseous yourself right now after reading about some barf. Well, suck it up sucker. It's worse over here.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants
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December 2, 2009

In Black & White

I am surprised by how much it hurts.

After an e-mail from my Aunt, I ask for the official report. My Dad sends it to me, and I read.

I have to pause several times as tears come and my vision is blurred.

It's not entirely unexpected. At 84 years old, it has been apparent for some time now that my Grandmother is not quite who she used to be.

After my Grandfather died in 1990 and she supported herself as a realtor after that. For some retirement is easy, but my Grandmother was not one of those people. She worked part time until she was 80. She has supported herself and been self-sufficient for a long time.

But lately, we've all known that she can't take care of things as well. It's hard for her to keep that big house clean by herself.

Earlier this year, she got lost on the way to the Ocean City shore house she's been going to for decades. She has bumped curbs and bumpers.

Sometimes, she has to be reminded of who the people are in the pictures around the house.

Depression. Moderate dementia. Alzheimer's.

I guess it doesn't matter what you "know."

Somehow, seeing it in black and white on a piece of paper just makes it real. Somehow, reading the test results and the numbers from a neurological evaluation is just different.

I cry partially because I feel helpless. Living clear across the country, there isn't much I can do to help. I will send a letter with pictures later this week, because I know she'll like it. But I wish that I could be there to just spend more time with her.

She is Sam's only living great-grandparent. Even if he remembers her, he won't be able to remember her how I'd want him to.

I cry partially because I know she will be heartbroken, she will be resistant. She never wanted to see the doctor in the first place, and she doesn't think there is anything wrong. She is stubborn, but at 84, who wouldn't be, really?

Even if she knows, what must it be like to know that you are losing yourself? It tears at my chest even thinking about it.

I didn't expect it to hurt so much.
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December 1, 2009

Tis the Season

I admit it, I'm TOTALLY looking forward to a Christmas tree this year, more than I have in several years, and I love presents as much as the next gal. But I also try my best to remember that the spirit of Christmas all originated with Jesus. At his core, he was an amazing man and his example of love and caring for others is inspiring to me. So today, I'm going to think about all the people I've come across lately that could use a little more love, a little more happiness, a little more support, and a little more lifting up.

Like I've said before, I know not everyone is religious and that's cool with me. But most of us have SOMETHING we do. We pray. We send good thoughts, or good vibes. We type and give out virtual hugs, we hold each other's hands physically or in our hearts. Whatever it is you do, whatever energy you have that you want to give away, here are some people who could use it.

~ Mimi at Screaming Mimi just found out that her mother has cancer. Please pray for a treatment that will work, and strength during the process.

~ One of my absolute FAVORITE online friends, Audrey from Barking Mad, has had a rough couple of years and FINALLY things are starting to go her way! Her husband got laid off, but VERY quickly, especially for this economy, got a new job! Now Audrey is getting ready to move to New York. I was disappointed she's not moving closer to me, haha, but please send good vibes and prayers because, well, moving sucks, even if you're going somewhere cool.

~ I don't know Anissa Mayhew, but a LOT of you out there do. On November 17, Anissa experienced a stroke. She's currently in the ICU. Anissa has small children and a wonderful husband, and she's fighting really hard to be able to wake up and see and talk tot hem again. You can read updates from her husband here. When she had the stroke, there was a huge outpouring of love and prayers in our bloggy community. I can only hope that if something were to happen to me, so many people would care and want to help my family. There are a lot of people praying for Anissa, but a few more can't hurt.

~ Dawn from Must Love Tots has been struggling watching her mother battle cancer for the past 3 years. Now, the cancer is growing and they are almost out of options. The doctors are not sure that anything can be done. Please pray for peace for Dawn in the face of some really hard times ahead. If you'd like to do something, you can find an address here to send a card to Dawn's mom.

~ Guess what? Bee's Mama is preggo! I'm SO happy for her to finally have her good news after trying for quite a while. Here's to a happy and healthy 9 months for her!

~ One of my best friends, Sati, is trying to start a family. She is an amazing woman, and she's waited a long time for this. So far, she hasn't been able to conceive, and just found out her sister is expecting a little surprise. Please keep her in your thoughts and send lots of fertility vibes to her. I struggled with watching friends get pregnant while I was waiting for my turn, and it was really hard.

~ My friend Amy and her husband are looking into possibly buying their first home. They live in a 2 bedroom apartment with their 2 kids, and it would be absolutely amazing for them to have a real place of their own. Please pray that it will work out for them!

As always, my prayer request list can be found anytime by clicking the Pray, Love, Lift link at the top of the blog. Is there anyone you're praying for these dayss? Please leave any prayer requests in the comments for me!
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November 30, 2009

Pieces I Left Behind: Part 2

15 years after one of the weirdest moments of my life, I am wondering about you.

It's been so long since that summer before ninth grade when you tossed aside our friendship. I wonder if I talked to you now whether you'd admit how bizarre it was for you to tell me a tall tale about the baby you'd had with the boy you liked while I was out of state for the summer. Would you acknowledge that this was a strange way to end our friendship? That the fact that you mockingly stuck with this story you'd made up just for me throughout high school was absolutely weird?

Some days I think about emailing you. Not much to lose, but how could I deny that it's a little weird that I'm still thinking about this? How weird is that exactly? The why of this situation is one of the great mysteries of my life, and I wonder if you ever think of me.

The other night, I dreamed I was working with your father and that I was finally building up the nerve to ask him he he knew about what happened between us and if he may have any insight into my perpetual question of what happened there.

As with all dreams, I had to wake and this time to unsettling unanswered questions.

15 years later my memories of the 2 years we were inseparable best friends are mostly fond. Perhaps they still haunt me because I don't' think I'll ever know why you decided not to be my friend, why you chose to realign yourself and forget me. You'll probably never know how your decision affected me, and I don't know if you'd even care.

In the end, it's just another piece of my heart I left behind, a piece I gave to someone and now I live without it. Maybe you still have it, maybe not. 15 years later, does it matter?
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November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


This year, I am most thankful for...

My Family: My wonderful husband Justin who is pretty tolerant of my horrible pregnant zombie-ness, my beautiful little boy Sam who is such a joy in my life, my baby who I can't wait to meet, my Mom and her husband who support us so much, my Stepmom and little sister, and my Dad, my other little sister Kira, who is one of the coolest people I know.

My Home: Despite any hardships, we have a beautiful roof over our heads. We're lucky for Sam and baby #2 to grow up in such a cool place, the house is big and homey, and there are lots of woods to explore.

My Health: It's been almost a year since I finally saw a doctor then an endocrinologist who figured things out. They helped me to have a healthier year than I ever have had in my adult life, to lose the 30 lbs I lost, to eat better, to feel better, and in the end to get pregnant with this baby, which I love despite the "morning" sickness.

My Friends: Most especially for my 'new' friends in Bellingham, Amy, Shalyn, Rowenna (you're still here in our hearts!), Jill, Jillian, Melissa, Angie, Arica, Sarah and the other Moms from our meetup group. For Violet, my bestest friend who knows me so well and is always there for me, for Sati and Xotchil who are two of my oldest friends. And, for Auds, Kori, and Maria and all the other people I've met online in the past couple of years.

Hope that you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving this year!
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November 25, 2009

Sam

So, apparently I have a school kid now. This was his first week, he started on Monday. I can hardly believe it. We had a meeting last Friday to go over Sam's IEP (Individual Education Plan) and register him for preschool through the Mt. Baker School District. His school is called the Educational Resource Center (ERC). He goes on Mon, Tue and Wed from 1:00-3:30, but he rides a school bus, so it'll be more like 3.5 hours he'll be gone.

I am super happy to have him go to school, especially at this school. My Mom knows his teacher, she worked with her at Head Start and she's great. I know he's going to lvoe going to school and I can't wait to see him grow and change. I was super happy when I found out he was put into the afternoon class since neither of us are morning people. Once a week he'll have a 20 minute session with the Occupational Therapist there to work on fine motor skills, specifically around drawing/writing and learning to use scissors. The great thing is that since it's special programs, he'll have people focusing on his specific needs, like improving his listening and attention span. Also, since it's through the school district, there is no cost to us, and with where we're at that is pretty great for us.


Sam has been doing well. He knows about the baby in my tummy, but I'm sure he has no concept of what that really means. I am glad that Amy, who babysits him once a week, has a 3 month old daughter so he is around a baby pretty frequently. Sometimes he talks about things he'll teach the baby, like jumping, spinning, and running.

He's still a total beanpole, he doesn't eat a whole lot, which means his endless energy supply continues to baffle us! he loves to read books and "play" computer games - usually that means I play and he watches. He still LOVES to play puppets with his hands, and now he'll have conversations between his puppets.

Sam still crawls in our bed every night. It's really been a struggle for us trying to work on getting him to stay in his own bed. When he wakes up at 2 in the morning and we're both tired, neither one of us wants to fight with him for an hour about where he's going to sleep. I'm not sure what the best solution is, other than to persevere. It's all good lessons for what we'll do with the next one, but that doesn't really help us figure out what to do right now.

Other than that, Sam is a pretty great kid. He gets distracted and doesn't listen too well, but he's also 3 1/2 years old. I'm really excited about entering this new phase in his life and seeing where it takes us!
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November 24, 2009

Baby, Baby

Guess what? On Friday I scheduled my next ultrasound for December 10! That means less than 3 weeks until we get to find out if this one is a boy or a girl. I can't wait. With Sam I really wanted a girl but always had a feeling he was a boy. With this one, I don't have a feeling either way, though I'm still hoping for a little girl. I'll be 19 1/2 weeks then, and I am SO glad I was able to schedule it for December. If I hadn't been able to schedule it before the 20th, I would have had to wait until my Mom got back from her trip in January.

Things have gotten all straightened out with my midwife and endocrinologist since my last appointment. I ended up stopping at the endocrinologists office last week to pick up some more test strip samples and was lucky the nurse was available to talk to me even though it was lunch time. I explained to her that I was confused and we talked about my treatment. One thing I didn't realize is how linked the PCOS and Insulin Resistance are. Basically, I have IR because I have PCOS. So even though the reason I asked the doctor for Metformin was to help regulate my cycles, it's most likely something she would have put me on at my next appointment in December to help control the PCOS/IR anyway. We also figured out that the reason I felt so blindsided at my last endocrinology appointment was because the nurse thought I'd scheduled the appointment BECAUSE of the pregnancy, but it had actually been scheduled months before that. So, basic miscommunication. She also explained to me that the reason that I'm at risk for Gestational Diabetes is because of the IR, and that women with no IR have zero risk for GD. So, there is no 'what is my risk compared to average women.' Also, she explained that the reason for me to stay on the Metformin throughout the pregnancy is to help control the IR, which will reduce my chances of GD. After talking to her I sort of breathed a sigh of relief and felt like I understood what was going on much better.

I had an appointment last Wednesday with my midwife and she had also talked to the endocrinologist's nurse and to my primary care doctor. I took my blood sugar ever morning for 2 weeks and it was never very high. My highest was 104, and one other day at 102, but most days fasting was below 90 and the few I've taken after eating have been really good. The target fasting number for pregnancy is 95. So, for now we're just going forward, and she seems fine with that. I'll be testing my sugars 2-3 times a week fasting, then after one of my meals. I'm still thinking positive and pretty convinced that GD won't be an issue.

As far as diet and exercise go... ugh! I'm 16 weeks and still feeling like crap a good portion of the time. It really sucks. I felt like I was improving, but the last week has kind of sucked. I've also been SUPER tired again, getting fatigued in the afternoons and feeling like I need a nap. I'm totally useless around the house and feel bad for Justin because there is a giant checklist of stuff that needs to be done before Thanksgiving. We're having people over, but lucky for us (AND our guests) my Mom's husband will be cooking. With Sam my nausea REALLY went away around 20 weeks, so at this point I'm kind of counting down and hoping next month will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

The one upside to not being able to eat is that I'm doing great with weight gain. I lost 10 pounds in the first 6 weeks, and since then I've stayed steady - no gain or loss. With the way things are going and the way my last pregnancy went, I'm thinking that weight gain won't be a problem, which is nice.

I am anxiously awaiting the day I'll finally feel this one move. I think it's the BEST part of being pregnant and I can't wait. I'm 4 months now, so hopefully any day now! I have already abandoned jeans for comfort but I dont' feel like I'm showing much yet. People I know are starting to say I'm looking more pregnant. Once I think I actually look it, I'll start taking pictures - I wish I had more from when I was pregnant with Sam, so this time I'll get Justin to take more! For now I'm just biding my time until I get to the part of pregnancy that doesn't suck.
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November 23, 2009

A Memorable Birthday

29 years ago today, I was born. Here are things I've gotten for my birthday this year: A giant basket, which I fully plan to put my baby in and photograph; a unicorn backpack, a jewelry box, a statue of three monkeys (hear no/see no/speak no evil - Sam picked it out at Goodwill and it's hilarious), and my kid's first day of school.



After he got on the bus, I watched it drive away and I cried. Hey, it's my birthday, I can cry if I want to. I didn't really expect to cry so much, and I can't even explain the reasoning of exactly what I was feeling. I'm not worried about Sam, I know he will LOVE school. There's just something viscerally heart-wrenching about sending your kid off to school for the first time.

Once I got over that (kind of), I realized I will now have 3.5 hours 3 days a week to do... whatever! Today I'm concentrating on laundry in between blogging and relaxing.

This will definitely be a memorable birthday for me. For my birthday, won't you leave a comment and tell me about one of your most memorable birthdays?
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November 12, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Animation Edition

Obviously, having a 3 year old in the house means LOTS of cartoons. Whether it's movies or shows, there are always ones that are more entertaining than others. We were watching "Over the Hedge" the other day and I got to thinking about who my favorite animated characters are. So, I decided to make a list because... well, why not?

Thirteen Favorite Animated Characters
  1. Denis Leary as Diego in the "Ice Age" movies.
  2. William Shatner & Avril Lavign as the opossums Ozzie & Heather in "Over the Hedge."
  3. Patrick Warburton as in "Bee Movie."
  4. James Earl Jones as Mufasa in "The Lion King."
  5. Bob Peterson as Dug in "Up."
  6. Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots in the "Shrek" movies.
  7. Danny Elfman as Jack Skellington in "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
  8. Norm MacDonald as Norm the Genie in "The Fairly Odd-Parents."
  9. Tracy Grandstaff as Daria in "Daria."
  10. John Goodman as Sulley in "Monsters Inc."
  11. Pamela Adlon as Bobby Hill in "King of the Hill."
  12. Robin Williams as Genie in "Aladdin."
  13. Richard White as Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast."
I'm sure I'm missing some, and I'll probably remember them as soon as I hit 'publish', but there are some of my favorites none the less! Who are your favorite animated characters?

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November 10, 2009

TV: Because really, what else is there?

You know how I have been lax on posting? I've been so tired that when I get free time at night when Sam's in bed, all I want to do is relax and when I relax? I enjoy me some TV! Here are some of my thoughts on some new/favorite shows so far this year (sorry Kori! :-)

Supernatural - This is probably my absolute favorite show. I love it so much. This season has not disappointed. I am totally freakd out by Jacob from LOST being Satan, and I just can't... agh! Satan wants Sam! Honestly, I can't believe that this show has gotten so crazy - the apocolypse? One brother who Satan wants as a vessel, and the other searching for God with an ousten angel? That is some crazy shit right there, but somehow they make it work. Swoon.

Flash Forward - LOVED the first episode. I do feel like this one has slowed down some though. Where is the new stuff? I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about how Ralph Fiennes is the most whiny leading man ever. He is kinda whiny. And John Cho doesn't want to do anything because why bother, he's going to die anyhow. UGH! Just man up and live whatever life is left! Anyhow, I still like it, but I kind of wonder if it's going to last if it keeps going at this pace.

Eastwick - I really wasn't sure about this one at first, but I find something compelling about it. What is it? I dunno. Maybe it's partly watching the town square scenes and thinking they are in Star's Hollow because it's the same set. There's just something about the whole story that keeps me coming back. Obviously, it's a totally girly show, it's fun to watch the friendship between the three main characters.

Cougar Town - This is the only new sitcom I kept watching. I like it, it's funny! I think Courtney Cox is pretty great. And I seriously love Ian Gomez as the neighbor/best friend's husband. He's hilarious! It's just a great cast, and I think it's well written.

Glee - My absolute favorite new show! It's got heartbreak, romance, humor and MUSIC! It's just awesome. If you haven't been watching it, give it a try. Jane Lynch is hysterical, as usual, and the kids in the Glee club are talented. It's just FUN to watch, but at the same time it has serious plots and breaks your heart a little. Just the way I like it. Joss Whedon's going to direct an episode later and I absolutely CAN'T WAIT!

Desperate Housewives - Can I just say I am SO GLAD that Mike chose Susan? Plus it left room for the crazy ex storyline, which I have been enjoying. I think this season has been pretty good so far.

The Office - Jim and Pam's wedding? Great. The horror of Michael & Pam's mom? Awesomely awful. Kevin accidentally getting Jim's credit card cancelled? Hysterical! It's great as always!

The Vampire Diaries - A new vampire show, of course I'm watching it! It's a little slow moving, and I AM left with the 'why spend your life in high school if you're immortal' question. Other than that, I am enjoying it. It's a campy, angsty teen vampire show.

The Cleveland Show - I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but I think it's pretty funny. Also, the theme song is really catchy and I periodically find myself singing it around the house.

V - Watched the premiere of V and thought it was good! I didn't know that this was a remake. I was surprised at how much they gave away in the first episode, and I was so sad during the credits to see Alan Tudyk as a guest star because I was super happy to see him (love him! If you haven't seen 'Death at a Funeral', rent it immediately) and I knew he was not going to stick around. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep this momentum going. It's a total bummer they're only showing 4 episodes and then it's not back until spring, and I wonder if that's a wise choice.

Castle - I seriously love Castle. I seriously love Nathan Fillion. And this?



One of the best things I've seen on TV in a long time.

Those are just some of the shows I'm enjoying this season.

Along with the good came the not good enough. I watched one or two episodes of the following shows and decided they weren't worth it: Modern Family, Community, Mercy, Trauma.

What shows are your favorites? Which ones have you given up on?
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November 9, 2009

Teen Angst

Remember when I started that new series, Teen Angst, back in August? Then I didn't ever post again? Well, the baby sickness is calming down (thank the Lord!) and I'm back. So, here we go...

11-27-98 (18 years old)

I wanted to be alone. Actually my real feeling was that I desperately needed to be alone and I couldn't help that feeling. Stuarts* seemed like a good place to be alone. I'm sad. I don't know I guess it could be the holiday season upon us once again and I guess I can't help recalling how I was feeling last year at Christmastime. Right now I can feel that my self esteem is low and that I do not feel like my usual happy, giving self. It's like the best way to describe it is bummed but oh it seems much more profound** than just that. I've been having dreams about someone holding me in his arms. So, I've grown used to this gnawing loneliness that I've carried for so long but it seems that in the past couple of days it just can't stay down and it is gnawing at me. I want to cry so much I feel all bottled up inside and I'm not sure why. I feel awful about the whole situation with Garrett*** which perhaps in the future will seem trivial, but at this moment I only feel that what I did was wrong. Then there's Dad. I seriously am doubting that I'll be able to get time off to go back to Philly for Christmas. I don't' know how I feel about that. And no matter how much deep seeded anger I have in me for Dad, I still miss him and especially if I don't' go for Christmas that will be the longest time I've gone without seeing him. I can't help wising that he cared more.**** I guess that's all I ever wanted and it's just never happened. Is that so much to ask? I don't want to deal with anything and suddenly I feel I have to deal with everything all at once. I don't even see why all this matters, because what do our lives amount to if we are not happy? We just end up moping around taking up everybody else's space for no good reason. I don't really know what my motivation is right now. Don't get me wrong, this certainly isn't any kind of suicidal feeling. It's just some kind of profound unhappiness. I feel I'm just going through the motions and can't be sure where they're taking me next. Maybe I don't even care either. Okay, so let's be honest here. I know that the real reason I cam to Stuart's was because I was hoping I'd run into Garrett here. I mean, it is true I just wanted to be alone (or more accurately, left alone), but when he wasn't home when I called this morning all I could think about was seeing him. It's all I've been able to think about at least since yesterday morning. I don't even know if he's worth all of this thought or not. I almost wish I hadn't come on Monday night and hadn't seen K hanging all over him. I almost wish that I hadn't left that message on his answering machine. But wishing never got me anywhere, did it? If there was a god, if I knew what I believed, I would ask him to give me strength now, I'd rather not spend my time feeling this way or feeling that all I want more than anything is a sweet caress, is to be held and that my strong want (need) for this makes the joy of anything else acquired much dimmer in my heart. So where will I end up? Maybe I'll end up an unhappy overweight addicted to nicotine lonely single old woman. What do you think? I share my every thought with you, wish you were able to give me an answer, I am sure that you would know what would make me happy. And I am sure you would know how I could make myself a better person and to improve my life and the lives of those around me. I play the fool, falling too hard too soon, able to over analyze every situation I get into, every move that is made, every person I meet and every breath of air and word spoken by said person. Able to see life as a silhouette of happiness. Wishing for the shadows of my doubt to disappear. And when I look back at this journal entry will it just be one long cliche to me***** will I have been writing in clips and phrases of what I have already experienced? Or will I have been profound and poetic without even trying in this caffeine heightened state of awareness as my mind outruns my hand and I try to keep up my words turning into unintelligible scrawls? Remembering that writing is a rush for me, the adrenaline flowing through my veins tells me that I feel the words I put down and that there is nothing, nothing in this world that I would trade for a life of being able to write down my thoughts, my feelings and anything to evoke emotion and response in another person****** That there is no praise greater to me than to be praised for my writing as I say thank you with a cramp in my hand and a smile on my face. That there is no better feeling than to page through a book of my work and to know that these are my accomplishments and they belong to no one else but may be shared by all. And that I must let no negative thoughts, no negative feelings, no rejections and no reflections turn me away from this art that they call poetry or prose or some people call shit but I would never agree because these are my sentiments. And that this exercise of my mind has got my heart pounding, my blood flowing hot and my breath coming short as adrenaline pulls pulls pulls feelings and emotions from deep within me flowing down my tired arm into the ink that I guide onto the paper. Thinking of a famous authors thoughts on writing and wondering one day these will too be published on an anthology called authors of the 20th century discuss the art of writing******* or some such thing. And wondering if anyone in this friendly, awake coffee house has noticed my frantic scrawling and the change of my demeanor from sad to nothing but emotional flow a hard concentration and the movement of my lips to the words I am now writing. And if someone was to notice these things or the way I pause to take the knots out of my cramped hand would they wonder what I was writing about?

And that's how I feel.

* Stuart's was an amazingly awesome coffee shop that used to be in downtown Bellingham. It still exists in a different form in our Public Market, but it's not the same. It was my second home when I was 16-19, I hung out there constantly.

** Profound? Really? I like how many times I wrote profound in this entry.

*** Garrett was the guy who ran the weekly poetry night at Stuart's. I had a brief and strange sort of flingish relationship with him. It ended with us talking and me saying 'you play games', his reply 'i know', and my retort 'don't play games with me, or I won't be your friend'. I know he wouldn't mind me using his name here because he'd probably think this was pretty hysterical. I think I'm friends with him on My Space now.

**** I had a lot of issues with my relationship with my Dad, I rest assured now that he totally did care and I love him a lot.

***** Um, probably the cliche thing. Yeah.

****** I wanted to be a writer then, and I still do. If I could make a living off writing, it would be a dream for me.

******* Seriously? This drivel in some kind of anthology about thoughts on writing? No. Just. No.

I chose this one for several reasons. It's almost a perfect sample of something written at that time in my life. I wrote this 4 days after my 18th birthday. I love the embarrassing cliche of it (my favorites are in red), but I also love that even re-typing this I could feel that rush I used to get from writing. I write here because I still love the feeling I get when I am putting words down and something comes to me and makes me feel. I still share my writing because I want it to mean something, and I still want to write a book someday. I wrote this sitting in my favorite coffee shop, I used to go there several times a week and write in my journal, write poetry, and mingle with the other regulars. That was my culture then, it was me. I also see looking back many journal entries where I talk about being sad - I wish I'd known then about depression and that it didn't have to be that way. But I also love what I see here - this outlet I had where I started writing down and in true 'teen angst' and ended on a high, invigorated and ready to go on.
[Continue reading...]

November 6, 2009

Pieces I Left Behind; Part 1

9 years later, I awake one morning to memories of the heartbreakingly real dream you just appeared in.

It's so mysterious to me the way the mind works. I am happy and have a wonderful life. Yet in my dreams and sometimes in waking I see ghosts and I know that somewhere out there, lives go on without me, pieces of my heart I left behind trailing unnoticed in their shadows.

To say I miss you wouldn't be quite accurate. I Loved the time we spent together. The way you made me feel, the friendship and security and honesty of it all. I suppose my heart thinks it might somehow regain those feelings. But my mind knows that the likelihood of there being any place for you in my life now is slim.

You are a vagabond, perpetually moving and society's standards fit you like a wooly, uncomfortable cloak, trying to hang on and failing. I am a pregnant homemaker with a family and a certain future. If we met on the street as I've imagined time and time again, what would you even see in me aside from an overweight breeder you used to know when we were young? In the midst of my probably unrequited fondness for you, what would we even say?

But despite all this, I still dream about you. In my slumber I break your heart in an unavoidable choice between our friendship and my husband, who I know is my almost perfect mate. How arrogant to dream that I have broken you.

I still look, having glanced and seen you twice this year, my eyes scan for you every time I drive downtown. I look, despite knowing that if I saw you I wouldn't stop.

9 years later I carry you with me because I don't know how to let go, my subconscious holds on without explanation and I dream.
[Continue reading...]

November 5, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Should've and could've are words we don't use,
they only depress us and give us the blues.

My mom used to say that to me, and really? It bugged the crap out of me. It's cutesly and rhymes and it's a little annoying.

But...

Like many annoying things in life, it's also true. Part of the reason it's annoying if someone says it to you is because they're right about the fact that you'e holding on to something you should let go of. Regret isn't something I'm very fond of. I think it's a waste of time and that energy is much better spent looking forward, not back.

I had my second appointment with my midwife yesterday and it didn't exactly go as I had planned. She got my records from my endocrinologist and whatever was contained therein indicated to her that I have had high blood sugar levels. And if I have high blood sugars and/or am at isk for gestational diabetes, she can't treat me. If I have high sugars, I have to have a doctor and a hospital birth.

ARGH! First off, I have NOT had high sugars. I have been diagnosed with insulin resistance, but they've never had me monitor my sugars until now. I passed my glucose tolerance test during my last pregnancy without even having to do the 3 hour, and passed again when not pregnant. I specifically asked my endocrinologist after my bloodwok whethere I was at risk for diabetes because it was something I was really concerned about and one of my reasons for wanting to lose weight. She said that I'm not prediabetic or high risk for diabetes. As fa as I am/was aware, I was put on Metformin ONLY to treat PCOS and my irregular cycles, and it had nothing to do with my insulin levels. But it doesn't seem like that fact was noted in my chart.

At my last appointment at the endocrinologist, I met with her ARNP, and she is a diabetes specialist. I thought I was going in for a followup on my bloodwork and instead I was met with a plethora of information about gestational diabetes, a blood sugar monitor, and the distinct feeling that I was being told I was going to GET gestational diabetes for sure. It was fairly upsetting for me, I was unhappy because I didn't feel like it was a positive way to look at things, and I was fine through my last pregnancy. However, she never told me anything about how high my risk was for getting GD or why. Thinking about that, and after my appointment with the midwife yesterday, I find myself wondering if she even knew what that appointment was for, and whether the nurse and the endocrinologist are even talking, and whether I am misunderstanding something about my being teated with Metformin. I'm wondering what my chart says and if it's correct.

I hate being confused about my own medical care, and I think I deserve to have correct information about my treatment and what is happening to my body.

In the end, we scheduled another appointment for 2 weeks and my midwife is giong to call and clarify things with the endocrinologist and my primary care doctor. For now, I've started taking my sugars every morning, but I'm worried. The TARGET level for pregnancy is 95 fasting, ie when you first wake up in the morning. But the normal acceptable range is large, from about 80 to 130 depending on where you look. This morning I tested at 104. So... higher than the target, but not super high. It just sucks that even if my levels are OK, if they're not PERFECT my whole pregnancy and birth plan could change.

She also told me that it would be good if I didn't gain any weight. I've lost 10 pounds since I got pregnant, so it's okay to gain that back, but I'm worried that I'll gain too much weight and that will suck especially since I just lost 30 pounds. I would like to not gain that back during the pregnancy, but I'm already feeling stressed out about monitoring my diet carefully and trying to eat right when food aversions and cravings come and go.

I broke down after the appointment yesterday and cried. I feel betrayed and I found myself almost wishing I'd never been diagnosed with insulin resistance. Of course I realize that without all my diagnoses and treatment I probably would not have even gotten pregnant in the first place. But I'm annoyed that my body can't just cooperate. I've had myself really excited about how this birth experience would be and it's really hard thinking about never getting to experience the birth I really wanted.

Today it still sucks. But I know whatever happens, it will turn out okay and as long ast he baby is healthy that's what is really important. I'm trying to prepare myself for the possibility of letting go fo this particular dream and moving on to just loving and looking forward to my new little son or daughter. For now, it's just 'we'll see.'

P.S. Unisom? Best thing ever. I am still not feeling 100% but in the last week things have GREATLY improved and I've been throwing up once a day or NOT AT ALL! Woo! I'm still tired, but things are definitely improving.

P.P.S. The baby is doing fine, we heard the heartbeat. I can't wait to feel him/her moving around.
[Continue reading...]

October 28, 2009

Reality Roundup: SYTYCD is back!

Top Chef

After Restaurant Wars, Laurine was eliminated. Eh. Not too much of an opinion from me on this one. It was interesting watching a RW show where they didn't have to do decor or anything. I thought the fighting between Michael and Robyn was a little crazy. He is so intense. I am still rooting for Kevin all the way, I just love him!

Project Runway


SO glad Nikolas is GONE. I just could not stand him. I thought Milla Jovovich was such a fun guest judge! She gave actual useful critiques and then at the end when she said something to the judges about how she couldn't imagine doing that every week? Pretty cool to watch. Also, props for Michael & Nina back on the panel. Hopefully they'll be there more often.


So You Think You Can Dance


Adam Shankman breaking down during Billy's last solo? Hilariously awesome. Also, I always like the guys who basicay dance their solos in diapers. I'm bummed because I did read the news that Mia Michaels will not be choreographing for the show any longer. It's a bummer, her routines have been some of my favorites.


First thoughts on the top 20? What happened to Mia's hair. That was my first thought. Seriously. Whatever, she's the kind of person who does that. So. 3 tappers? Interesting. Early favorites? Nathan, Russell, Billy, Ellenore, Bianca, and Mollee.

I liked the showcase hour, especially the hip hop routine. First competition episode? What the hell Billy Bell is gone?! That is crazy and it sucks. And Noelle is out for this week and has to heal by next week? It just sucks, especially for Billy.

Quick thoughts on performances...
  • Channing and Phillip's Jive was okay. I like Jive, and loved her costume, but it wasn't that memorable for me.
  • Ashleigh & Jacob's broadway routine was good. I was more impressed with him than I was with her. Despite her sparkly dress, I felt like he caught the eye on this one.
  • Ariana & Peter pulled hip hop for their first week. I do love me some Italians from Philly. Loved the concept. Props to Peter on the head slide. The dance was pretty good, although I felt like their synchronization was off. Adam said they 'weren't dancing like each other' and I totally agree with that.
  • Russell & Noelle. I love Russell, he's one of my favorites. Russell danced his Fox Trot with Melanie Lapatin since Noelle was injured. I thought Russell was excellent!
  • Bianca & Victor pulled contemporary and Travis Wall is back as a choreographer. Love him. It was a great routine, but I wish the music had been different. The lyrics fit, but the song itself didn't do much for me.
  • Karen & Kevin get a ChaCha, nice for Karen. How FREAKING AWESOME was it that they canced to the version of Push It from Glee?! LOVE it! Karen looked great, Kevin? not so memorable.
  • Ellenore & Ryan puled contemporary jazz. I liked it much more than I thought I would! They danced so well, made it look easy and beautiful. It was pretty great.
  • Brandon & Pauline pull Smooth Waltz. Good luck... Brandon took Billy's place since his illness knocked him from the competition. And... it was beautiful. I was surprised. The judges were not so excited about it.
  • Legacy & Kathryn got Hip Hop. I thought they were really good! I totaly enjoyed it!
  • Mollee & Nathan were last with Disco. Interesting the two really youngin's got paired up. Hm. GREAT way to end teh performances! They were awesome. They looked great. The tricks were incredible. Loved it!
My favorite performances from the first show? As a couple, Mollee & Nathan and Legacy & Kathryn. Individually, Jacob, Russell and Karen. Least favorite? Bianca and Victor and Ariana and Peter.

I totally love Adam Shankman, and am thrilled that he's a regular judge now! Ariana, Brandon, Pauline and Russell ended up dancing for their lives. I was very disappointed about Russell. I love watching him dance, I have come to discover that I totaly love watching people Krump. Funny huh? In the end, the judges eliminated Ariana and Brandon were eliminated. What an emotional roller coaster for him. You're out, you're in, you're out. But, in the end I'm so glad Russell is still around. I need to see him do more.
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October 26, 2009

Sick and Tired

I thought maybe I'd get back on track with posting last week. Obviously, not so much...

The truth is, I sort of hate my life right now. Don't get me wrong - the big picture stuff is fine. The house is fine, we are all healthy, we're looking forward to the new baby. I can't wait until I can feel it move for the first time.

But...

Day to day? I am SO TIRED of being sick. Indescribably tired. At the end of last week I thought maybe things were starting to get better, but I had a fairly miserable weekend. I just felt like crap Saturday evening, and all day Sunday.

I've been throwing up a lot. I'm sure it could be worse, but for me finding myself hunched over the toilet three or four times a day is depressing. I constantly have this feeling in the back of my throat like I need to spit something out, but even hurling doesn't help.

I'm tired too. Physical activity makes me nauseous. I feel like a crappy mom because most days Sam and I just stay in the house and he doesn't get to play with other kids or go to the playground or anything that would be more fun for him. We watch way too much TV and spend way too much time playing computer games, because that's all I can handle right now.

Last night after throwing up for the fourth time and still feeling like crap, I sat on the couch and couldn't help crying. I feel so overwhelmed. I don't know how much longer I can take this. All I want to do is lie here, all I want to do is sleep, all I want to do is not have so much responsibility. All I want is to feel NORMAL again. I just don't want to be sick anymore.

My house is a mess, my kid isn't getting enough exercise, I'm having people over on Thursday to say goodbye to a friend that's moving and I don't know how I'm going to manage to get ready on time. Things are a little out of control, and I don't even have control over my own body and how I'm feeling. Even normal things like grocery shopping are somewhat of an ordeal, walking around the store with a cart for 30 or 45 minutes is enough to exhaust me and send me into the bathroom to vomit again. It's kind of depressing.

It was easier when I was pregnant with Sam, I didn't need to worry about the state of the house so much since we lived in a one bedroom condo and never had people over anyhow. I went to work, came home, rested, and went to bed early. I didn't have another person depending on me every day, and it's hard.

I know I'll get through it. Already I know that things have improved slightly from last week, and the week before. If I'm lucky, they'll continue to improve at a little bit faster pace. I'm 12 weeks now, and usually getting out of the first trimester means some improvement. I just wish that I could see the end or something. I wish I wasn't thinking about the fact that with Sam I was sick for 5 months.

So basically, I haven't been posting because this is all I have it in me to say. I am a sniveling, sick, whining, pathetic, tired, pregnant mess. Hopefully soon I'll have the energy to say something more interesting and worthwhile. In the meantime, I'm finally getting caught up on my reader and I am still here... just not so interesting for the time being.
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October 22, 2009

It's Aliiiiiiiive!!

Um, you guys? I am having a BABY!

Okay, I realize that I told you that a month and a half ago. But for some reason, this pregnancy has been weirdly different than the first. I have been acutely conscious of the fact that I'm pregnant. After all, the morning sickness was acutely real, and fairly crippling for the first month or so. But somehow, it just hasn't seemed real that I'm growing a baby.

This morning? I had my first real ultrasound. As in, the first ultrasound where we could see anything more than a little dot. And do you know what I saw? A BABY!

A baby. With hands. And feet. And a face. And a brain. And a tiny, beautiful, quickly beating heart. Moving, rolling, waving and kicking. I don't remember crying at any of my ultrasounds with my last pregnancy, but when I saw that baby in me today, saw it moving around like a real, living baby? Tears. I controlled it fine, though I'm sure if I'd given in and burst into tears the ultrasound tech wouldn't have blinked an eye. It must happen all the time. I didn't expect it, but I think this is the start of it being real.
So, meet Baby Heiner...
In case you need some help...S/he still looks a little like an alien...

And according to the baby sites, who are very fond of fruit analogies, baby is about the size of a fig.
They measured the little bean, and I'm now 11 weeks 4 days pregnant. My due date (plus/minus 2 days) is May 9. Mothers Day, 2010.

Amazing.
I went to Target today to buy another pair of comfy stretchy pants. Because somehow, even though you can't see any change yet, my jeans are too uncomfortable already. And... I just couldn't help myself, and this somehow came home with me...

Fig photo by The Scootabaker. Photo linked to source (Flickr).
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October 11, 2009

The Blahs

Hi. Yeah, I am still here. Sorry I haven't been around much lately, but it seems kind of depressing and boring to log on and write about how sick I've been and how much this part of pregnancy sucks. I have been so tired and nauseous and just felt bad a lot of the time, I haven't been getting time to get online, and by the time Sam's in bed at night I kind of want to be in MY bed! The good news is that this week was better than last week. Still somewhat miserable, but it comes and goes a little more - I've had several hours where I almost felt normal. So, I'm hoping that this time will be better than last time, and I won't be sick until after Christmas. I had my first midwife appointment and have an ultrasound on the 22nd at which they should finally be able to measure the bean and figure out a due date (I'm guessing around May 13).

Life has gone on and I have tons of stuff bouncing around in my head that would be great to write about. Sam and I are flying to New Jersey for 9 days tomorrow to visit my stepmom and little sis, maybe I'll get more time to write while I'm there.

Sorry for the unannounced hiatus, but trust me, you don't want to hear about much of what's been going on with me! Hope to be around more this week.
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October 1, 2009

Lift them Up

Haiku Friday

Yeah, I totally know today is not Friday yet, but this is going to be up until the weekend at least, and as I've sat here and wrote it, I realized I couldn't wait until tomorrow to put it up.

We all have struggles
in life, sometimes they seem to
have no end, no out

Lately I have had
some of my own, found myself
wishing for... something

Then I reach out, I
take in words and I wonder
how can it all be?

Now I try so hard,
my hardest, to push aside
thoughts of myself

I will sit, I will
pray, I will send anything
I think will help you

I will think of you,
I will spread the word, the world
needs love, needs it now

If you have a prayer
a positive thought, a bit
of good energy

If you have karma
to spare, virtual hugs to
send, now is the time

Now is the time, we
lift each other up, across
the miles we join

Wishing we could do
more, but hoping for now we
make some difference

I've been struggling lately. Between the swine flu invading my household, the ridiculous decision to try and adopt a 9 month old puppy (yeah, say I told you so, the adoption was never official & we couldn't handle him), morning sickness that has reacquainted me with the toilet in a forgotten way, not being able to eat, a house I'm too tired to clean, and pregnancy hormones making me slightly crazy? It's been... interesting. I've cried. I've sobbed. I've snapped at Sam. I've gotten to the end of my rope and wondered where there was to go.

But, I'm surviving. At the end of the day, Sam always falls asleep and watching him like that I can't help falling back in love with him no matter what happened that day. I can get through one day at a time and some days I feel a little better than others. My life has become a question to me. I don't know how we'll do this, I don't know how I'll get through the next 5 months if this sickness sticks around. I don't know how I'm going to handle an infant and a 4 year old. But I'll figure it out. I have my family, and I can't wait until the day I get to feel our new little baby move inside me! We have our ups and downs, but my heart is intact, in fact most days it swells with love and pride and wonder at least once.

I've been behind on my reading around the blogosphere, but I'm getting caught up. Unfortunately, as I catch up, I see that there are other women out there who are struggling too. Is it something in the air? I don't know. All I know is that I am moved to tears and find myself wishing there was something, anything, I could do to help ease their pain. I want to hold them in my arms, tell them that it's so hard right now, but I know it will eventually be okay. I want to cry with them, tell them that I'm sorry, I'm so sorry for what they're going through right now.

In this weird online world, we meet people without meeting them. Some of these women probably don't even know who I am. I read their blogs, I've been looking into their lives for a couple of years. I've laughed with them, I've cried with them. Some of them know me, and have reached out to me in my times of need. Some of them I admire for their strength, their humor, their writing, or their hearts. Sometimes it is hard to care so much about people you've never met. To be allowed into their pain in a way you're not allowed into people's lives sometimes.

With all of that though, the tears I've shed, the pain I feel for them... I wouldn't give it up. I love them. I love the support I've found. I love that there is a world where we can share these innermost scary thoughts, that we can purge ourselves. I love that we can share ourselves and know that we can find support. Today, I want you to support these women. I want you to click, to visit, to tell them anything. Whether it's a prayer you can offer, positive energy you can send their way, a virtual hug, or a word or two of comfort, it matters. They need you, in the same way that I've needed you and you've been there for me.

Audrey ~ If you've been around here, you've heard about Audrey before. She's one of my closest online friends, and an amazing and awesome woman. She has her struggles, but she has a big heart, and she's always been there for me. Auds has actually been having some more up times lately, but there are still struggles. Like Facebook jerks. Seriously people? In any case, she can use your love.

Janet ~ I think Janet is strong. If you read through her archives, you'll see the trials she's gone through, and she almost always handles it with a smile or a joke. She is funny, and she is fiercely in love with her kids. Her pride in them is pretty awesome. Well, sometimes things just get overwhelming. It happens to us all, right?

Mama Bee ~ Mama Bee is hilarious. She is one of the most hilarious women I read, and also somehow manages to title every blog post with a song title. So not something I can do. She's been sick. Real sick. Like me, except without the baby. Which is a whole second reason she should be lifted up. See, she wants another baby. But it hasn't been in the cards (yet). I know how hard that is, I remember the anger and the frustration and the want. So, just love her up, kay?

Adam ~ All right, so it might be true that Adam is not a lady. It also might be true that his life is going all right at this point. However, Adam has friends. Friends he loves fiercely who happen to be having some hard times. So, why is he on this list? Because in reading his post today, I was reminded that sometimes, supports need supports too. Because I think you should read his blog. At first, you'll probably be impressed because it's kinda funny and witty and if you're like me, sarcasm is alwaysa plus. Then after a while, you'll realize that this guy is kinda awesome, and that the kind of friendship he offers to those he cares about is pretty cool, and maybe you'll be happy he's a part of our community and want to tell him so.

Casey ~ I love Casey. She probably doesn't know me, but she is one of my favorite lady bloggers. She is adorable, she is faithful, she is an amazing photographer and she's funny. I hope that I'll be able to meet her one day. Right now, she's going through hard times. I don't know all the details, but I know she is struggling. I know that she is amazing and supportive, and right now she needs to be lifted up.

Britt ~ Britt is the one who really inspired this post. Just read this. It will absolutely take your breath away, and if you don't want to just sweep Britt away and hug her tight and take away her pain, I will eat my shirt. She is a strong woman, she is amazing, but right now she is going through something unthinkable. Even without the details, I cry when I think of her. I know that right now, it's hard for her to see the future, it's hard for her to see that there will be light and love and wonder and things will be okay, someday. So, we need to keep reminding her that she's not alone, that there is love out here, and that she will make it.

That's all for now. Do you know someone who needs a lift? Leave it in the comments. Even if it's you. And thanks for being part of this weird, wonderful little world inside my computer.
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September 25, 2009

Bits & Pieces: Project Runway and Top Chef

So, I basically decided to stop writing my PR & TC full recaps. Why? Because there are people out there who write them better, and I just can't wait to watch the shows until I feel like sitting and taking notes - I NEEDS MY FIX. So, here are some thoughts on the last couple episodes, because I can't just give it up all together.

Project Runway: Costume Challenge

I LOVED this challenge, so much fun! My absolute favorite design was Epperson's western look. It totally reminded me of Firefly/Serenity. I have not always liked his designs, but loved this one. I was a bit bummed that Nicolas won because I just can't stand him, and he now has immunity for next week. He just grates on my nerves! I have been disappointed about Gordana because her garments the past couple weeks have been amazingly put together and well made, but she's just not reaching that place she needs to be in. I hope she can step it up to avoid being eliminated. I was really sad that Ramon got eliminated. It just sucks that he got sent home on a mistake like this, I would have liked to see more of him. I guess that's just the way the fabric flutters.

Project Runway: Newspaper Challenge

Obviously. I mean, really? When they all thought it would have something to do with b&w film it's kine of like... have you SEEN this show? I LOVED Christopher's dress, the feather skirt was absolutely awesome. I was definitely not sad to see Johnny go, I just wasn't getting much from him. I thought Gordana's dress was really pretty, like they said you wouldn't have known it was paper. I was disappointed that they knocked it for being "too wearable" because I feel like that could have just been part of the challenge.

Top Chef: Deconstruction Challenge

I am just gonna go right ahead and say it - I think deconstructed food's a little weird. Whatevs. I was surprised when Robin won the quickfire challenge, her dish was very simple, but I suppose it was good. Mike's Caesar Salad was brilliant - it looked just like something that you'd see in a fine dining restaurant, and I thought it was beautifully presented. I thought it was hilarious that Jennifer was so not confident, and then ended up in the top three. I am totally rooting for Kevin though, I was happy to see him win and he's my favorite at this point. I was sad to see Ron go, this seemed to be the second time that he really maybe didn't quite grasp the point of the challenge, I feel like maybe he didn't reallly understand what 'deconstructed' meant or something. At the same time, the other chefs were trying to help him and it just didn't work out. By the way, if your'e a Top Chef fan, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend going to the Bravo website and reading Tom Colicchio's blog. He writes his own explanation and behind-the-scenes after ever episode and it's awesome to read his thoughts and have him break down the dishes from behind the judges table.

Top Chef: Ranch Challenge

I have NEVER seen Tom Colicchio spit out food, it was horrifying and awesome all at the same time. I can't believe Robin served bad prawns, but Mattin was sent home for mediocre food. Oh well.

So, those are my thoughts. I'll post little things like this weekly most likely so I can get out the big juicy stuff I need to say! How have you been enjoying this season? Who are your favorites?
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