Friday, March 31, 2006

Wondering Why Your Phone Bill is So High?

I just got a check from BellSouth. Turns out I overpaid my final bill when we switched to digital phone service.

I overpaid by thirteen cents.

They mailed me a check.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

The last few days have been interesting. I'm so pleased that I'm able to get out of the house, and it's turned out to be about once a day, which is LOVELY. Yesterday was especially fun, because I took the little guy (also known as Senor Senor Junior) with me. We had a blast. Well, not a blast maybe, but I got him home alive and well. And that really is all you can ask of me thus far.

First, my friend Jamie came to visit. She spent her lunch break and then some with us, as she came into work way too early and had some time to kill. It was great to see her, and it was just as great to have a visitor. I hope to have more visitors starting next week when Chris goes back to work (hint, hint to all of you who are within driving distance of my house) as I will be completely lonely. Marcus is cute and all, but he is not much of a conversationalist. Most of the vocalizing he does occurs as he is about to poop. And that's only grunts and whimpers. Although it is kind of funny...

Anyway, when Jamie left, I gathered up my Short Term Disability (or STD - ha!) paperwork, the diaper bag, and I grabbed a bottle of water as I was already thirsty. (Breastfeeding means that you drink water pretty much constantly. I haven't NOT been thirsty since before Senor Senor Jr. was born.) I plopped my gear in the car, then grabbed His Highness and clicked him into his carseat. As we hit the road, I looked down and realized I left the freaking bottle of water on the dining room table. ARGH! No matter... we could stop and get one along the way.

I get almost to the doctor's office, and realize that I never checked to be sure the stroller was in the boot of the car. Fortunately, the new stroller we purchased is large enough to be seen in satellite images of the Earth, so one glance in my rear view assured me it was, indeed, there. Whew! The lady with the "H" word wasn't going to have to carry 9 pounds of baby and 20 pounds of car seat up to the doctor's office. Hooray!

Paperwork drop-off complete, we headed into town for the main purpose of our trip... a bra fitting. Well, MY main purpose. Marcus isn't so much interested in bras for himself. Along the way, I get the notion that a milkshake would be FAR better than water, and I map myself to the closest fast-food restaurant with decent shakes. Unfortunately, McDonalds was the only restaurant that wouldn't take me way off the beaten path... except for Wendy's, but Frosty's require a spoon, and I was interested in keeping both hands on the wheel as much as possible.

So we go to my LEAST favorite McDonald's in Cary. It is my least favorite because many of the patrons, good Cary residents that they are, are egocentric morons who can't figure out how to queue up for a drive-thru window. The design of the parking lot has many a Cary driver refusing to drive AROUND the building, and therefore they start a second line that often extends out into a street. Hard to explain here, but if you are familiar with this Mickey D's, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I didn't think this would be a problem as I was going there at 2:50 in the afternoon. I give you the exact time, because it features in to the story in a moment. I pull up, and sure enough, a good citizen of Cary cuts me off from the wrong entrance of the restaurant and gives me yet another car wait for my tasty (sort of) treat. Oh, but it gets better.

After about five minutes, I realize we aren't moving. It's 2:55 pm and I have not advanced in the line AT ALL. there were SIX cars ahead of me. Can we say "late lunch?" THEN I finally inch forward and cut-me-off-at-the-drivethru woman starts placing her order. I can hear her, because both our windows are open and she has a voice that could cut glass two counties away.

"Is your ice cream machine working today?" (A valid question, I think, as if I hear a crackly "No," I too can just high-tail it out of there)

"Yes," the voice crackles back.

"Well, what do you have that's not a sundae?" the voice of anti-matter asked. (Are you kidding me?! It's McDonald's! Not Baskin Robbins!)

Crackly voice says, very politely I might add, "Well, there are milkshakes, and there is the Flurry."

"Flurry? What's that?" (To which I would like to say, "You SOUND like an American citizen. Do you seriously not know what a Flurry is?)

"Well, it's like a shake, only it has stuff stirred in... like M&Ms."

--Mind you, all this time, my son is napping happily in the car, and I know this is just killing precious nap time before he awakens and wants to eat again.--

"Is it on your menu out here? I don't see it!" (The drivethru only has a partial menu, moron... you are expected to know the entire menu by heart before you can graduate from High School. We do have our standards in North Carolina, you know. Mc'D's menu is right up there with passing SAT scores...)

"It's on our menu, ma'am, yes."

"The one out here? Where? I don't see it!"

--At this point, I closed my window and considered just leaving, but decided it wasn't worth sacrificing a milkshake. After all, this couldn't take too much longer.--

Short story long, cut-me-off-at-the-drivethru finally decided on something to order, and it was my turn at the order speaker. I ordered quickly and efficiently, and the crackly voice seemed to be well-organized and pleasant. So I expected it would only be seconds before I had my milkshake in hand. Alas... I did not move again for another five minutes. I finally DID receive my milkshake at 3:15. TWENTY-FIVE minutes in the drivethru at McDonald's in the MIDDLE of the afternoon.

I headed in to the hospital, my final destination. Rex Hospital has a Women's Resource Center also known as "The Lactation Station" where you can purchase (or rent in some cases) anything related to pregnancy and nursing. They carry the best nursing bras in town, and they have people certified to do bra fittings who are also real nurses and know what breastfeeding is all about.

Sure enough, as soon as we got there, Marcus woke up and wanted to eat. Fortunately, I'm in a place called "Lactation Station," so I found a comfy chair and he tucked right in. The nurse/shopkeeper approached and oohed and aahed in the general direction of my baby's head. This is where it gets weird.

She came right up and lifted up my shirt so she could see the action! Yipes! Fortunately, I knew she was a nurse and therefore didn't scream for security, but it was a bit weird all the same. She also saved herself with the first thing that came out of her mouth... "What an incredibly handsome little guy!" Okay, that does it for me. Compliment my baby with sincerity, and you have a friend for life. Watch all you want, lady.

Then, she told me that we were basically the poster children of breastfeeding. She described everything he was doing and why our technique was "spot on." She threw around technical terms like "hind-milk" and "Second Letdown." Sounds weird to the average Joe, I'm sure, but let me tell you, as someone who only recently was able to embrace her inner cow, I was pretty flattered. I mean, this lady is an expert!

She also guessed that Marcus was a month old at least. At first, I thought maybe it was because she spends so much time working with preemies and their mom's and therefore has lost perspective of how big a full-term baby is. But then she talked about how tall he was and guessed his weight fairly accurately. So I guess he's bigger than I thought.

After His Majesty's meal, we got down to the measuring and shopping. I was horrified to learn my new chest size (I won't reveal it here, but I will say that I rank second now among my friends for biggest maternity rack. I'm into letters I didn't know corresponded with bra sizes). The nurse coddled Marcus while I tried on about 8 bras. I selected three, and good old cluster-feeding Marcus wanted to eat again to get rid of a nasty case of the hiccups. This time, the nurse set me up in one of their lactation rooms with a rocking chair, foot stool, changing table, and a machine that looked to me like a modern iron lung. Turns out that machine is a hospital grade breast pump. EEK! My little electric pump doesn't look nearly so bad now. Wait, nevermind. Yes it does.

Soon, we were headed home, three bras richer but $100 poorer. Marcus screamed until I found disco on the radio (his dad is not thrilled with his musical taste thus far) and we made the rest of the trip home without incident.

Finally, after much hemming, hawing, and general irritability, Athena decided to stay home with me last night rather than going with Dad to the hockey game. Fortunately, Marcus slept until after she went to bed, and she was more docile than usual. I swear I don't know how people do it... have a newborn and a toddler and care for them alone day in and day out. I suppose I could do it if I had to, but thankfully, I don't have to.

So that was my day. Long post? Yes. But I had to make up for all my short little ones!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Miss My Daughter

As I feared, the time I need to devote to Marcus along with the time I need to devote to getting better and healing up has all but ended my time to spend with Athena. And I think she maybe misses me a little bit too. I have to find ways to give her some of myself, even with the baby and with the "H" word.

I wish I could go to the hockey games with them. But the place is germ central (bad for Marcus) and the seats are horridly uncomfortable (bad for Mommy).


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Reclaiming My Body

Well, folks, I haven't posted much over the last week because life has consisted of little more than eating, sleeping, feeding, and changing -- not necessarily in that order. The only other things going on of interest are rather disgusting, and I wasn't going to share any of that. However, since there is nothing else to talk about, here you go...

Anyone who is jealous of my short labor should also know that it has caused my body to go into some sort of weird hormonal shock. I'm not suffering from Post-Partum Depression, but there are hormonal changes that are causing me to be a bit moody (going from crying to screaming in 0.2 seconds) and over-emotional (I see a baby picture of Athena and it makes me all weepy for the "old days" -- what? you mean a year and a half ago? wtf?). Also, my body has not regained all its normal function yet, and that is what makes me grumpiest of all.

Basically, you would think that labor + breastfeeding would be enough torture for Mother Nature and she would just leave me alone. But alas, she has once again farted in my general direction. She has determined that my entire bowel system should just shut down. Just stop working. No need to rid the body of toxins... just take it easy for a week.

You can imagine, this is causing me some great distress, not to mention discomfort. I've talked to the doctor. She has me on Senekot plus the Colase I was already taking in an effort to get things moving. No luck so far. And of course, this has caused the most dreaded of all dreadful pregnancy/post-pregnancy ailments... the "H" word. So I also have several pads and creams just so I can function. (Tell a nursing mom that she cannot sit or stand for very long... she should lie down as much as possible. See what she does. If you suffer any bodily injury doing this experiment, I take no responsibility. You were the one dumb enough to do what I suggested.)

So, here I sit, wildly uncomfortable and completely frustrated that despite the fact that the baby is outside of my body, my body is still acting all whiny and mean. Perhaps just by venting my frustrations here, for anyone to read, Mother Nature will be kind to me and wave my systems back into motion. But I'm going to go eat eggs just to help her along. Eggs ALWAYS work. If they don't work today, I may have to go to the ER, just to be sure all my parts are actually still there.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Twins, Separated By Two Years

Here is a picture of Athena at about 2 days old.

And here is one of Marcus.

Is it possible to have twins two years apart? I wonder...

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

'nuff said.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Brothers and Sisters

Okay, I admit that I have seemed a bit unsure about how Athena would handle having a little brother. She is a very loving little girl, so on optimistic days, I knew she would love having a little guy to take care of and look after with Mommy. But she is also used to running this house, and on pessimistic days, I worry that she will hate having to share everything with her younger sibling. I'm still not sure how it will really turn out in the end, but last night was very encouraging.

Daddy had gone off to play games with the boys, so Mommy, Grandma, and Marcus were all home with Athena. I wasn't feeling very well strength-wise, plus the milk machine was open for business, so Grandma was entertaining Athena. Suddenly, soon after Marcus had eaten and I had put him in the pack and play, Athena came tiptoeing into the room. She went right over to the bassinet and peered in. "Baby," she said. "Sleepy baby." I told her yes, the baby was sleepy, and it was nice of her to come in so quietly. She then proceded to put every little baby toy in the room into the bassinet next to her brother. As if this weren't generous enough of her, she even tossed in her brand new Dora doll that Aiden's mom had just given her and that she had refused to part with all through dinner and bathtime.

Inevitably, Marcus began to stir, and Athena tiptoed back over and said, "Shhhhhhhhhhh" with her finger to her lips. She was very concerned that he was upset. He woke up fully, and needed a change, so while I changed him, Grandma held Athena up so she could see what we were doing. She was fascinated, and when he started crying in earnest due to being bared open to the world, she started tearing up as well. But Grandma explained that he was okay, and we ran the hairdryer over him to keep him warm while we changed his diaper so he wouldn't be so upset. Athena perked up a bit, and she watched us, completely wrapped up in her little brother and very clearly concerned for his well-being.

I still feel a bit guilty for thrusting this new circumstance upon her, but she is obviously handling it okay. Even this morning, she came barreling into the bedroom, clearly happy to be alive and well-rested, and she came right up to Marcus, who was once again dining happily, and she stroked his head very gently. I swear this kid is going to make me cry with her sweetness before long.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Milkman Cometh...

Marcus is three days old today. Already, I can tell this maternity leave is going to be a million times better than my first. I actually got out of the house twice today... once completely on my own to take Athena to school, and once with Chris to pick her up. It's not that I didn't have help last time... but last time, with the millions of stitches and the great pain I was experiencing, I couldn't leave the house. I was on driving restrictions, first of all, and then I was so baffled by breast vs. bottle, I was afraid to leave Athena for five minutes in case she got hungry and someone was forced to (deep intake of breath) give her formula from a bottle.

However, with age and experience comes wisdom. I know breastfeeding is the best thing for a baby, but I also know that a bit of formula here and there won't kill him. As long as I can keep up production, all is good. Which brings me to the real topic-du-jour... my transformation from woman to cow.

There is a lot of propaganda out there about breastfeeding, and many organizations will have you believe that it is a magical experience unequal to any other experience you will ever have in your life. In fact, just by the nature of this post, I'm sure I will attract one or two breastmilk zealots who will leave comments to that effect. But let's talk turkey, folks. There is nothing glamorous or wickedly magical about breastfeeding. It is about as "just a fact of life" as you can get. And don't even get me started on the pump... which is really just every torture implement from the middle ages all rolled into one and pushed on poor, hapless working moms who just want to do what's best for their baby. (Okay, I guess I got myself started).

Anyway, today, my milk came in. The factory opened for business. Marcus was able to get a square meal off of me rather than just the "premilk" which is really just oil and fat that he had been previously enjoying. Hooray for milk! Nevermind that now my breasts are achy and there is a lump in one that could quite possibly signify a clogged duct that may or may not work itself out before it becomes infected. Or perhaps I could share with you the burning sensation I get when Marcus hasn't eaten in a while letting me know that he better do so soon or I may explode. No no... let's not talk about any of that. We'll stick to the glamour and the magic.

... um... well, he's pretty cute when he eats. I suppose that's kind of magical. And after he eats, he's on such a milk high that he sleeps with his little mouth hanging wide open. That's pretty neat. um.... well... oooooookay... end magic here I suppose.

So now I am in the full throes of motherhood. Marcus was up every two hours last night, and now I have tender, although large, breasts that may or may not end up leaking. I'm also still bleeding from labor and delivery (that's something they don't tell you in health class... some women bleed for SIX WEEKS. Bah, humbug). So... do you think I'm sexy?!

Fortunately, I am not going through the horrible self-esteem problems that breastfeeding brought on last time. This time, my transformation to bovine beauty happened without so much as a blink on my part. I am cow, hear me roar. Last time, I felt awful knowing that my main purpose in life was to have a baby hanging off my breast. This time, I am able to shrug and just do it without really thinking much about how it looks or what it means. In fact, I'm comfortable enough to share it with all of YOU, and I'm sure you are very glad I did.

Is breastfeeding magical? No. But having a baby and nourishing it and watching it grow and smile those little gassy smiles... that, my friends, is magical. So for those of you about to embark on this whole breastfeeding adventure for the first time... focus on the big picture. If you are feeling down and cow-like, just moo and be happy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Returning Home

As you know if you read Chris' blog, we are home after a very brief labor, delivery, and hospital stay. Marcus is doing well and we are all trying to adjust to our new situation.

I'm having a wee bit of pain, but it's nothing major. A lot of stomach ache and cramping, much of which is probably secondary to my uterus trying to return to a normal size. Marcus is fairly low maintenance, honestly. He sleeps a lot more and a lot better than Athena did in her first few days.

I'm a bit disoriented though. You really don't know how much your home life is routine until you leave it for a few days, then try to return to it with a new person in tow. Even if the new person were old enough to just sort of be instructed on how to work his way into your routine, it would be challenging, but now I don't even know what the routine is any more. I feel a bit like a newborn myself!

With a second baby, I'm finding we aren't nearly as prepared as we were with Athena. At least not physically prepared. Sure, we have all the stuff we need, but much of it is still in closets or scattered around. We spent an hour today looking for two poles for the bassinet that I know for a fact Athena was playing with in the last week. I looked everywhere for them, including places they couldn't possibly even fit and I couldn't find them. Chris ended up getting a couple of dowels at the hardware store.

Oh... I hear my mother is here. I should run. I'll post more when our new routines allow it! (And thanks for all the well-wishes).

Friday, March 17, 2006

Waiting Sucks

Okay, I'm still posting. And I'm getting mildly irritated about that. I know that I'm not due until Tuesday, but people, I have no guts left. Literally. This kid takes up my whole abdomen. It's time for him to be his own abdomen, you know?

After such a crappy day yesterday, I woke up this morning feeling like I could climb Mt. Everest. And I NEVER feel like I can climb Mt. Everest. So Chris went off to work (he had been working from home, but since nothing seems to be happening, he decided it best to go in) and my mother-in-law and I ran a bajillion errands. The highlight was getting my car cleaned (inside and out) at the Scruffy Duck Car Wash. The car was filthy. Athena throws food and other bits of things and her drinks are sticky and my car has therefore turned into a sticky, cracker-crumb laden vehicle. Now it is sparkling clean and fun to be in AND lemony fresh.

We also went downtown so I could submit an application for the job at the library that's closer to my house. And we went to Babies R Us to pick up some last minute supplies. I went into work for about 1.5 hours to make up some time, and we ended our day at BJ's Warehouse store to stock up on bulk items. Needless to say, I'm feeling quite productive.

When I went into work, I talked to one of the ladies in my department who used to be a Navy nurse. She determined, based on how I felt yesterday and then today, that baby would come tomorrow. She has also had four boys, so if anyone should have a sense about these things, she should. We'll see if she's right. Personally, I'm getting beyond caring. If he can just give my stomach a little room so I can eat more than two bites without becoming uncomfortable, and if he could get his head away from my butt... I'd be fine with this whole pregnancy thing going several more days. Well, okay... hours.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Maternity Leave - Day Two

Okay, I promise to come up with more original titles eventually, but for now, I'm sticking to facts. :-)

Doctor's appointment went well, and honestly, that's all I accomplished today. I have been feeling ooky/gross all day, and I suspect the next post you see here will be all the gory details of labor and delivery (can't wait, can you?). The virus I had has settled down for a long spring nap in my chest and larnyx, which means that when I attempt to talk, I barely manage a squeak. Well-wishers have been calling tonight and have been aghast at how bad my voice sounds. It's exhausting to talk.

The doctor poked at my belly and noticed the contraction I was having, which is a constant thing lately. They are just Braxton Hicks ("practice") contractions, but they are constant and they are building. She then checked for dilation and effacement, which is really an uncomfortable thing. For those of you who are curious what it feels like: For women, imagine your standard pap smear, only the "little pressure" lasts for around 45 seconds to a minute. For men, imagine a rectal exam that goes on for about a minute while the doctor is conversing with you and poking around at the same time.

Now that you have a good picture, I'll tell you I'm 3.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. This means that my cervix has an opening about 3.5 cm in diameter and the cervix walls have thinned to about 50% their normal thickness. The pushing begins at 10 cm and 100% effacement. Many women can walk around at 3 cm for weeks. I know for a fact that I was 3 cm for at least a week with Athena before she was born. The major pain and transition comes between 5 and 8 cm generally. With any luck, this labor will be like my last one, and I'll move through that transition phase rather quickly. In fact, the doctor said today that as soon as I feel my first real contraction, to go ahead and call in. My last labor only lasted five hours, and most of the time, the second labor is quicker. Chris was very pleased to get permission from the doctor to basically come on in as soon as we know "this is it," as he would rather put bamboo shoots up his fingernails than deliver this baby himself either here at the house or in the car by the side of the road.

I can't make a direct comparison to Athena as far as where I am in the process, because they checked me a week earlier with Athena. As crummy as I have felt all day and as tired as I have been, I suspect that I am actually going to see the inside of the hospital within the next 24-36 hours. And in all honesty, I think it may be tonight. The doctor was fairly sure it would be before the end of the weekend, and coincidentally, she goes on call tomorrow morning at 7am, so she may very well be the lucky one to deliver our strapping young man... unless of course I go tonight.

So that's the update. I'll keep posting as long as I'm not hospitalized. We should have pictures of the new guy up within a couple of days of delivery, and if the Austins are kind enough to give us some space on their website, we may be able to get a video up (not of labor and delivery... just of the little guy's first few moments.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Maternity Leave - Day One

I will now freely admit that part of the reason I started my maternity leave before the baby actually showed up was that I was sure the mere act of doing so would actually prod said baby into appearing. After all, as long as he's not here, I'm eating through paid leave just so more of my leave can be unpaid, and I'll have to wait that much longer for disability. Plus, look at all the stuff lying around the house that I can do with this time off... surely, fate wouldn't actually allow me to get it done! Well, it seems fate is once again laughing at me.

Since I was sick last weekend, I couldn't do ANYTHING. Kitchen was filthy, laundry was unfolded, beds were not changed out (so were were still sleeping on the sheets we slept on while sick... germ central). Fortunately, my mother came over on Sunday and she and her best friend scrubbed my kitchen top to bottom and even cleaned the living room. So today, my to do list was as follows:
  • Change sheets on two beds and crib
  • Fold and put away all laundry (except Chris' -- his I fold, but he has to put away)
  • Empty and refill dishwasher
  • Pay bills
  • Complete Maternity Leave paperwork (mainly for Short Term Disability)
  • Write final two Thank You notes (well, final for now)
  • Go to Ultrasound appointment
  • Complete paperwork for increasing Home Equity Line
  • Go to bank to turn in said paperwork and make a small deposit
  • Put in four hours of work in an attempt to make up for time out last week
  • Program friend's new numbers into mobile phone so she can be reached when baby is born
  • Clean Master bathroom
  • Cook dinner
  • Pick up dog from vet
Now, here is what I actually accomplished today:
  • Change sheets on two beds and crib
  • Fold and put away all laundry
  • Empty and refill dishwasher
  • Pay bills
  • Go to Ultrasound appointment
  • Take two-hour nap
  • Put in thirty minutes of work in an attempt to make up for time out last week
  • Pick up dog from vet
I suppose one could say that I got a few things done. But alas, picking up the dog gave me new to do items (Get prescription food from Petsmart, Read 30 page article on Cushings disease, make another appointment for more tests to see if dog really does have Cushings, sell kidney to pay for vet bills), and paying bills also gave me another to do item (figure out why I cannot make a single payment to a payee in my web banking if I have them set up for recurring payments. And then how do I cancel the recurring payments?!) And even putting away the laundry gave me another item (continue to pester husband and/or cat to find the damn mouse that the bastard cat obviously brought in but neglected to kill. Mr. Mouse had moved into a throw blanket which I had the nerve to move today, and now the mouse has entered the Rodent Protection Plan and his whereabouts are unknown. So far, the cat's response has been to sleep on my feet, as he is currently doing.)

So tomorrow's list is as long as today's, only the ultrasound appointment is replaced with a doctor's appointment. Incidentally, the ultrasound was ultracool, and the baby's estimated weight as of today is 8 pounds, 5 ounces. The error rate is 15%, which she estimated to be 3/4 of pound up or down. So he could be anywhere from 7.5 to 9 pounds. And still growing. Mama mia!

Fortunately, my mother-in-law will be here, so perhaps between the TWO of us, we can get more done, plus actually both have some time to put into working. So any of you who thought that maternity leave must be so RELAXING... it isn't. Even when no "maternity" has actually occured yet. Going to bed now. Perchance to dream, perchance to labor.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Mystery Arrival of the Mystery Named One

Chris has placed all his bets on the baby arriving tonight (due to the fact that there is a home hockey game, full moon, and my mother is having surgery today). So... in the event something happens, we will call everyone we know. For those of you outside of the country or who we do not have phone numbers for (our blogger buddies), someone will hopefully post the news as a comment on my most recent blog entry (perhaps this one?!) so you will know.

For the record, I don't feel any sort of indication it will happen tonight, but it's early yet...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Isn't It Ironic?

I'll let you guys argue the semantics of whether or not this is actually ironic. My little brain is addled enough, and now that it is also full of even MORE snot (which I didn't think was possible) plus a Sudafed (drowsy formula), I'm going to hope that I don't pass out mid-sentence. I'm certainly not going to worry about whether or not my little situation is truly irony, or just a weird unexpected twist.

I went to the doctor yesterday. (That's not the ironic part). He measured my belly, said it was a good size, poked around a bit to be sure the baby's head was downward in a preferred launch position and that the butt was up by my diaphragm. All was well, he said. And then he looked at my chart and said, "I need you to schedule another ultrasound." "Really?" I thought. This late in the game, they want another ultrasound? I've seen this kid like four times already and he hasn't even been born yet! I'll be over 39 weeks by then (a reminder to those non-parents out there... gestation is normally 40 weeks, so D-Day is imminent.)

Yes, indeed, he wants an ultrasound. Turns out I have only netted seven pounds this pregnancy. Most women are supposed to gain at least 15... and if you are one of the beautiful people who is always at an ideal or lower weight, then you should aim for 25-30 (mainly so those of us not so fortunate as to always look like Barbie dolls can make fun of you for at least nine months.)

Personally, I haven't been aiming for anything, weight-wise. I eat, therefore I live. I have always had problems with weight, so by golly why would I change anything I do as far as eating goes when I am suddenly SUPPOSED to gain weight. But (and herein lies some of the irony), apparently, when I am TOLD to gain weight, I lose it. It happened when I was pregnant with Athena too, although by the end of that pregnancy, I think I netted closer to 15 pounds.

So... here is the REALLY ironic part. Why do they need an ultrasound? Why, to be sure the baby isn't too SMALL, of course. After all the conversations I have had with these doctors about fearing the baby would be too large based on my size and the size of my first-born, now they are testing to be sure he's not too small.

To the doctor's credit, he told me that he doesn't believe for a minute that the baby is too small. Quite the opposite, actually. However, we live in a litigious society that is also run by insurance companies, and if, for some reason, I birth a runt of a child, then someone will look at the doctor and say, "Well, DUMMY, didn't you notice she only gained seven pounds? Didn't you see this coming?" *sigh*

Of course, it's no biggie, really. Just a trip across town and another chance to get a look at He Who Must Not Be Named. I can think of worse ways to spend my time.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Station Break

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. And it will be a while longer before I do. I am not well enough to put together anything coherent, and on top of that, I've done little more in the last week than sleep, cough, blow my nose, and whimper. Not really exciting enough for a blog entry. Hell, it's not really exciting enough to qualify as life at this point.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Baby Shower

I was not expecting any sort of baby shower this time around. After all, it's a second baby, and we really do have most everything we need. Thanks to the fact that all my friends only seem to produce boys (except Brian and Sophie, who will now get all of Athena's old clothes), I have enough clothes to dress triplets. And of course I still have a stroller, baby blankets, toys, bouncy seats, etc. from Athena.

However, the women I work with are so wonderful and caring and social that they insisted on throwing a shower for me this time too. Let it be known that I started my job at the library when I was eight months pregnant with Athena, and they still threw me a little shower then. They didn't even KNOW me very well, but there was a huge box of pampers and all sorts of little baby things (incluing so much bath soap that I will probably be able to pass some of THAT on to something as well) sitting in the break room one day with a big sign and a cake.

So tonight, we gathered at a local restaurant after work and ate dinner and opened gifts. Chris and Athena were also invited and it made it even more wonderful to have them there. The ladies made some suggestions for names, many of which we had already talked about. Still no decision though. *sigh*

Anyway, we were given many books (no surprise there) and bibs and a blanket and pacifiers... all those things that are rather disposable... which means we can really use them. We were also given a couple of gift certificates to Target, which is an extra bonus for us because we live near a SuperTarget, so we can actually buy groceries with those... not just fun Target stuff. :-) Oh, and diapers... we do need diapers. But perhaps my favorite gift was a one-hour massage for me! YAY! I believe I will save that for a few weeks after the baby is born. I can lie on my stomach then, and I can get a deep tissue massage, which many people recommend you not do while pregnant.

So really, a lovely evening all around. We had a wonderful time, and folks were so generous. I am truly blown away by how nice the people I work with are. Guess I should get to those thank you notes...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Krispy Kreme Krack

If you read Chris' blog, then you know how I have come to write about Krispy Kreme. If you haven't read it... or if it's just too "Gamer-Geek" for you, I'll sum up.

Basically, a very popular online comic strip set in the world of gamers and geeks (and created by gamers and geeks) did a strip the other day about a joint venture that has just been announced between Jim Lee (a comic artist and god of sorts) and Sony Online Entertainment. Despite the immense popularity of some of Sony's games (okay, well... EverQuest), many gamers (and employees/former employees) of SOE are not happy with the products they put out. Therefore, this merger between an extremely well-respected talent and a huge corporate evil-doer is a little frightening for some, and downright terrifying for others.

In this strip, an analogy was made between said merger and a merger that would put human excrement into Krispy Kreme doughnuts. (I avoided saying sh*t out of respect for poor Jessey, who I am sure is struggling to rebound from her Lenten relapse and give another go at not cursing. Go, Jessey!) In what must be the best display of huge corporate evil-doer sense of humor EVER, Sony Online Entertainment sent the creators of said comic strip 100 boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That's 1200 doughnuts, folks. That is, as they say, a LOT of dough. Nuts.

So, naturally, since reading this whole issue a couple of days ago... the Krispy Kreme storm has been a brewing in our minds here at the house. We were both thinking about them, but we weren't speaking of our thoughts, lest they become actions.

Well, Chris had to go to the grocery store today for something else (Athena has a nasty cold and we are low on Pediacare), and sure enough, he came home with a beautiful one dozen KK glazed doughnuts. And of course, he and Athena had one each immediately upon arriving home. Then, I had one right after dinner... even though I was quite full. And you know what? I want another. And it has me thinking... what IS it about those sugary, fatty treats that make them so incredibly addictive? I literally am uncomfortably full, and I feel confident that as soon as I post this blog entry, I will probably go eat another one.

So what is it that makes us crave these treats like nothing else? My favorite theory is that we feel the need to eat them immediately because when they are stale, they are NASTY, and they get stale quick. In fact, that's another interesting phenomenon... how can something taste SO good when fresh, and so icky when stale? These are magic doughnuts!

And now I wonder, how many of YOU will have to give into the craving within 48 hours of reading this. I wonder if the government has ever tested these yummies for illegal substances. It's got to be something way worse than sugar... it just has to be.