Sunday, August 31, 2008

Evacuation Update

Both Anonymama and LadyKay have reported in that they've reached their destinations without incident, and will be staying put while Gustav does his thing.

LadyKay writes:

"They (the hotel) proclaim that they are "Pet Friendly" and they really must be, because they didn't flinch (too much) when they heard "five cats." Oh, actually we have decided that we don't have "five cats," we have "three adult cats and two kittens." Sounds (a little) less crazy. :D

Actually, the motel seems to be full of animal people. We have seen a number of dogs and when we were going through the lobby with four cages other guests were looking in them and oooing and ahhing at our cute kitties.
and Anonymama says:
"It's not the fanciest hotel room ever, or the biggest, but it's 100 miles inland, and it's shelter, so we love it!"
The weather heads are now saying that the storm is more likely to go in closer to New Orleans, and the HomeTown area probably won't be getting too much action, but we're "better safe than sorry" kind of folks, so I'm glad to know they are out of harms way, whatever it decides to do.

Baby Panda!!!

Well, it wasn't our "hometown girl" Mei Xiang (panda keepers at the National Zoo determined in mid-August that Mei had either miscarried early, or was having a pseudopregnancy) but the Atlanta Zoo's panda, Lun Lun, gave birth to cub last night!

The new baby is the fourth panda in Atlanta, joining mom Lun Lun, dad Yang Yang and big sister Mei Lan, who turns two next Saturday.

You can watch mom and baby on the Panda Cam!

And for those partial to the panda family at the National Zoo, you can still watch Mei Xiang, Tien Tien and three-year-old Tai Shan on their Panda Cam, as well.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

Anonymama called this morning to let me know that she, Anonydaddy, LadyKay and the kiddos were about to start packing up to evacuate, in preparation for Hurricane Gustav.

While they are (for now) on the far western edge of the hurricane watch zone, and the storm still two or three days out, it is definitely too big and bad to mess around with, and they've been through enough evacuations to know not to wait until the last minute.

The Anonyparents are heading to East Texas with the staff and patients of a nursing home for which Anonydaddy is medical director, and LadyKay and the kids have a room reserved northwest of Houston, far enough inland to be safe, but close enough for her to get back for classes, when they get the all-clear.

(Oops. Did I mention that LadyKay graduated from college a couple of weeks go with a Bachelors degree in social work, and is about to start work on a Masters of Social Work at the University of Houston? I really should've devoted a whole post to that, and how proud I am of her. Consider it posted. )

BabyBro and HisLovelyWife will be "sheltering in place" as needed in Houston, and I assume they're doing the requisite stocking up on water, batteries and kitty food, in case things are shut down for a while.

As I (or Anonymama or LadyKay) may have mentioned before, my hometown is right where Hurricane Rita hit in 2005, so I think everyone there is understandable gun-shy about such things, and they have definitely lost the "oh, it can't be that bad, they never actually come here" attitude that tends to develop after a few years of lucking out.

Of course, on the other side of the potential strike zone for Gustav is New Orleans. Just a few days ago, I was reading an article that said that no one is sure at all how well the levies there have been restored and strengthened, and that there's no guarantee that they would hold in another big storm.

And right in the middle of the two (where it look like this one is most likely to go) is the Baton Rouge area, where Anonymama's cousin and his wife live. (They are staying put, but say they are far enough inland and on high enough ground to be safe.)

So, as far as I'm concerned, there aren't a lot of good options for this storm, unless it were to just decide to go *poof* away all of a sudden.

Let's hope for that, and in the meantime, I'll post updates from my family as I get them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More About MamaCat

I just got off the phone with the vet, and have a bit more information about MamaCat.

To recap and summarize:

Her kidney functions were all normal yesterday, and her urine was "beautiful."

(Obviously, they did not to a sniff test.)

Her red blood cell, platelet and over-all white blood cell counts were all normal, but her eosinophil (a kind of white blood cells) levels were elevated.

The high end of normal is 0.79; in June hers was 1.22 and yesterday it was 1.21. This is not real high, but certainly worth looking into.

The most common things that would indicate are parasites or allergies, but she shows no other signs of either, and is unlikely, as an indoor kitty, to have an opportunity to pick up parasites.

It can also be an indication of some cancers of the spleen or liver, and the weightloss makes her worry about that, but she did not feel any lumps or masses when she examined her.

She okayed the kitten food, and we can supplement with chicken, hamburger, cheese, canned cat food or other things like that if we'd like, in moderation.

(Kitten food is pretty high protein and can be tough on the kidneys, but since hers are working just fine, it shouldn't be a problem.)

We'll take her back in for a weight check in about a month (and the others, as well) and if she's still losing, then we'll look at doing some xrays to look for a tumor hiding in the liver or spleen.

She would probably check her thyroid levels at that point, too, even though that was normal back in June, just to be sure.

So, no real new information there, but she did reassure me, in that she doesn't think we should rush to xrays and such right now, and she didn't sound especially worried.

I'll feel better when we're able to get some weight on her, though.

Looks like she's going to be eating better than any of the rest of us for a while!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vet Report

MamaCat and GirlCat made a little trip to the vet's office this morning, to follow up on their annual exams from a couple of months ago.

Mr. BoyCat should have gone for a weigh-in as well, but he managed to make himself scarce as we were loading them up, and again when Shrike was heading back over to pick up the girls, so we let him off the hook, since we can weigh him (although less accurately) at home.

Last time I checked, he's weighing the same as a couple of months ago, but that's with a human scale that's only accurate to within a full pound, so it's kind of hard to say.

Both Mama and the Girl had other things to check on besides just weight, so we dropped them off at the vet this morning, and Shrike picked them up before she went to work.

The good news is that GirlCat has lost 1.5 lbs since their diet started on June 30. That's about 6% of her starting weight (of 25 lbs!) which is great.

She also got a professional-quality clean & clip of her backend, and they gave us some special kitty-butt moist towelettes to help with her, shall we say, weight-related grooming concerns.

MamaCat was there for a weigh-in as well, and some follow-up blood and urine tests. She's also lost a half-pound or so in the past couple of months, but for her it's not such good news, as she's also dropped a total of about 3 - 4 pounds over the past couple of years (from around 10 lb to 6.something today).

Her bloodwork in June showed that her BUN (an indication of kidney function) was high, but it seems to be normal now, which is good.

On the other hand, the level of eosinophils (one kind of white blood cells) in her blood is still elevated. There are several different things that might cause that, including certain kinds of tumors.

They examined her thoroughly and felt all over her and couldn't find any lumps or anything suspicious, but combined with the weight loss it is concerning.

We've switched her to "growth formula" kitten food (as of today) and when I talk to the vet myself tomorrow (all this info is second-hand through Shrike, who picked them up) I will ask her if there are any other dietary supplements she'd recommend, to get more calories into her.

If we can't get some weight back on her, and if the eosinophils stay elevated, the vet will want to do some x-rays or ultrasounds to see if there might be a tumor that's not evident from the outside.

I'm not sure what kind of a timeframe she's looking at, but I'll ask about that tomorrow, as well. I'd like to go ahead and set a follow up appointment for no later than early November, because I want to have time to get her checked out and know what's going on before Peeper is born.

That all sounds quite worrisome, and I am worried, but Shrike said that the vet didn't sound overly concerned when she was talking to her about it, and she was very reassuring, so maybe this tumor thing is a worst-case long-shot scenario.

I would certainly think that if the vet thought there was a good chance of it, we'd be looking more closely at her now, rather than giving her several weeks to see if she gains any weight.

I definitely want to talk to the vet myself, though, and find out more about what we might be looking at, in terms of treatment and prognosis.

I do recognize that she's a thirteen year-old cat, which is certainly no spring-kitten, but on the other hand, other than being skinny, she acts like the youngest and healthiest of the three of them.

She certainly does not seem like an old or sick kitty at all, and certainly doesn't seem to be having any kind of pain or discomfort.

I think I'll feel better after getting more information from the vet tomorrow, but it sounds like it will be a month or two before we get a better idea of what - if anything - is going on with her.

In the meantime, some fatten-up-kitty mojo would be appreciated.

(Just aim carefully, and don't let any of it get on the others, who could use their own skinny-kitty mojo, if you've got some to spare!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Pre-Birth Order

For those who are interested in doing something similar, or who are just interested, here's the language of our pre-birth order, which was signed yesterday:

IN RE: Interest of Unborn Child:


AND now this 26th day of August 2008, upon consideration of the foregoing Petition, it is determined by the Court as follows:

The parties to this action, Whozat and Shrike, are the parents of a child anticipated to be born on or about November 25, 2008, at OurTown Hospital (address), through Petitioner Whozat carrying a fertilized egg from Petitioner Shrike.

It is hereby ordered and decreed that any certified copies of the birth records of said child shall reflect the parentage of Whozat and Shrike whenever parentage appears on such documents. It is further ordered and decreed that this Decree and any other documents filed in the above captioned matter shall be kept under seal to protect the confidentiality of the parties.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Other News

The less-great news we got today is that I didn't do so hot on my one-hour glucose tolerance test.

When I got home last night, there was a phone message from my OB's office saying, "We need to talk about your lab results."

I knew that wasn't a good sign. I called back this morning, and left a message asking them to call on my cell, which they did, just as we were going through security at the courthouse!

It seems that they wanted to see a glucose level "under 140" and mine was 147.

Close, but not good enough, evidently.

Normally, they'd do a three-hour glucose tolerance test at this point, and I'd have a second chance to prove myself, but that test is contraindicated for gastric bypass patients, so they're just skipping right to having me behave as though I failed it too, and treating me as if I do have gestational diabetes.

They are faxing over orders to the diabetes counselor / dietician, who will then contact me to set up an appointment to discuss diet, glucose monitoring, etc.

Basically, they are going to make me eat the way I'm supposed to be eating anyway.

The bastards.

(I'm not sure if they are actually diagnosing me with gestational diabetes, or might make an actual diagnosis later, depending on what we see with the glucose monitoring, or just having me do this without an actual diagnosis. I'll have to ask about that.)

So, of course, when we finished up in court, we hit the Chinese buffet for lunch, where I had General Tso's chicken, a sugar-dumpling and ice cream. While I can.

I'm obviously not too thrilled about this development, but Shrike really put it in perspective for me when she said that, "You know, this is nothing compared to the things we were worried about a couple of months ago."

Very true.

We're no longer wondering whether our kid will be able to walk, so skipping the candy bars for the next three months or so is really not such a big deal, is it?

Peeper Has Two Mommies

Things could not have gone more smoothly with our hearing this morning.

AttorneyFriend put me on the stand first, and asked me a ton of questions about who we are, how long we've been together, how we made Peeper, etc.

He also had me confirm the authenticity of all the supporting documents, like our letters from Dr E and Dr T, donor/recipient agreement, sperm donor agreement, name changes, mortgage papers, and so on.

Then he put Shrike on the stand to basically confirm who she is, and that she wants to do this, too.

Then the judge said that she'd seen all the evidence, and it's obvious to her that we're Peeper's parents, and that she feels that she's "obligated" to grant the order to put us both on her birth certificate.

She also said that if we run into any trouble having it accepted and need to have any of the "language tweaked" to just bring it back and she'll do that.

Then she told us congratulations and good luck, and we were on our way!

Monday, August 25, 2008


So, you know how I've said repeatedly that we're confident that things will go smoothly at our hearing tomorrow, and that it should just be a formality, and that we're not worried about it and yada yada yada?

Well, I'm evidently more worried about it than I knew, because I had a dream about it last night.

It wasn't an actual court hearing, but a meeting of probably six or eight people, each of whom was judging us in their specific area of expertise, to decide if we were worthy of both being Peeper's legal parents.

One had even had our cars inspected and told us that we had to put antifreeze in there before we could move forward.

Evidently people who don't put antifreeze in their cars are not responsible enough to be parents?

Deep Thoughts from Little Girls

Our (Shrike's) niece and nephew spent the night with us last night. He's eleven, and she's eight.

As you can imagine, over the course of the evening, there was much discussion of "Baby Peeper" and what she's doing in my tummy (dancing), and what she likes (ice cream), and so on.

In the wee hours of the morning, I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom and feed the kitties (to get BoyCat out of my face) and when I returned to bed, she'd flopped across my spot and I had to rouse her a bit to move her out of the way.

As I crawled back into bed, she snuggled up to me and mumbled, "Do you think Baby Peeper knows she's alive? Do you think she knows she's a baby?"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

There Ought To Be a Law . . .

Against going to Target dressed like this.

The best part?

This person is male, and from the front, looked much like Santa Claus (in both build and facial hair).

And, now, the backstory . . . .

We were headed to the grocery store, but stopped on our way for "a couple of things" at Target. After we got what we needed, of course we had to take a look at the baby stuff.

There were some new, very cute little onsies and such, and after much debate, I decided to go get the "gun" (scanner) so we could add them to our registry.

I told Shrike to wait there, and I'd be right back with it.

Well, of course, I had to stop at the potty on my way, then print out our barcode, then wait for the "customer service" girl to finish texting her BFF and notice that I was there, and then wait for her to find the scanner.

Right about that time, my phone rang, and I saw that it was Shrike. Ruh roh.

I answered with, "I'm sorry, I'm on my way. I had to pee. I'll be right there."

She said, "You have to get back here right now, because I have to show you something funny, and I don't know how long it'll be here."

Well, I knew right off that it would be a someone, rather than a something, but I never could have imagined.

When I found her, she grabbed me and whispered in my ear a description that didn't even do justice to the reality.

So, I mosied over to the aisle where he was shopping, pretended to look at a DVD, then pretended to check a text message or something, and took the photo.

I'm awful, I know, but if you're going to go out in public like this, you are just asking to have your ass plastered all over the internet.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

So, LiPA was right that the glucola tastes pretty much like Sunkist. Not something I'd choose to drink voluntarily, but not too disgusting.

The hardest part about drinking it was getting all 10 ounces down in 5 - 10 minutes. The bottle said to do it in five, and the lab lady on the phone said five, but the instructions from the doctor's office said ten.

There was no way it was all going to stay down if I did it in five (just because of the limited room in my teeny tummy), so I took amost ten minutes, then we headed to the lab.

Surprisingly, it really didn't make me feel very icky at all. I might have "thumped" for maybe a minute or so, while I was getting checked in, but that's about it.

They even had HGTV on in the waiting room, so we got to watch interesting stuff while we sat around for almost an hour.

During that time, Peeper took advantage of her sugar rush and danced a little jig for us.

The worst part of the whole deal was that the phlebotomist had to dig around for my vein, which is never fun.

I was certainly hungry by the end of the hour, but only in the gnawing emptiness in my belly sense, not hypoglycemic at all.

I had a couple of string cheeses as soon as we got in the car, and that fixed me right up.

Since I wasn't shaking or thumping, we went ahead and picked up my car from the dealership, where it was having a tire replaced.

I was feeling so good that I went ahead and had one of the free cookies that they were giving away in the cashiers office.

Now I'm thumping a bit.

What the fuck?

Evidently, I can have all the sugar I want, if it tastes like crap.

Only yummy things make me feel bad.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sugar in the Morning . . . .

I'll be doing my one-hour glucose tolerance test tomorrow morning, and I'm a bit nervous about it.

I'm not so much worried about the results, although I do have a genetic predisposition, in that not only is Anonymama diabetic now, but although they didn't test for it back then, she almost certainly had gestational diabetes with me (10 lb 7 oz) and BabyBro (11 lb) and likely with LadyKay as well (the runt at 8 lb 10 oz).

The genetic upside is that LadyKay didn't have any diabetic-type troubles with either of her pregnancies and her kids were average and actually a bit on the smallish side.

(Kiddo1 was 7 lb 9 oz - one ounce above the "average" of 7 1/2 lbs, and Frappa was in that "6 3/4 - 7 lb" range that Dr. Peri quoted me for 25th percentile.)

So, yes I am a bit concerned about how the test results will come out, but I'm more worried about just getting through the test itself.

Yeah, I know the glucola is going to be yucky-sweet, and all that (although LiPA tells me "It's not so bad, it's just like a Sunkist!") but of more concern is the fact that I'm pretty sure it's going to make me feel like crap.

I tried to talk Dr. B out of it, based on the fact that it's not generally recommended for post-gastric bypass patients, who typically don't tolerate big loads of sugar well, but she wants me to do it.

Actually, for the first couple of years after my surgery, I felt very lucky (or not) in that I didn't have any trouble with "dumping" on sugar, but now I think that I may do a mild version of it, and much more so since I've been pregnant.

What happens is that when I have something real sugary (although lately, it's required much smaller amounts) I feel what I refer to as "thumpy" which, I guess, would technically be heart palpitations.

I don't get nauseated or crampy or anything along those lines, and I don't get sweaty or panicky, as described in the link above, but I feel like my heart is beating way too hard, and a bit too fast, and I feel just generally not-right.

I've described it to my perinatologist and said I thought it was a mild dumping thing, and he basically shrugged and said, "Yep, sounds like it." He was not particularly concerned, so I guess I'm not either.

Sometimes I also get thumpy when I eat things that aren't sugary, usually when I've had a bit more of something, volume-wise, than I'm really comfortable with. My recent research (looking for the link above) says that you can also dump on high-fat things, so maybe that's what's going on then.

Yes, you would think that feeling crappy for fifteen to thirty minutes would be a deterrent from eating this stuff, but evidently, I don't feel crappy enough to out-weigh the yumminess of the food itself.

Also, over the past couple of weeks, I think there's been, in the back of my mind, the fear that I might not pass the test, and if that's the case, and I'm going to be off sugar for the duration of my pregnancy, I'd better get it in while I can.

Yeah, that's probably not the healthiest strategy, is it?

Lately, I've been checking labels of things that have made me thumpy, and the glucola has a lot more sugar than what I seem to be able to handle these days, so I'm guessing that it's going to make me quite thumpy.

The other side of the coin is that sometimes (much less often than the thumpiness) I get what I like to call "the hippy-hippy-shakes," which is "rebound" hypoglycemia when my blood sugar crashes later.

I was getting that a lot for a while there last year, and Anonydaddy actually sent me a freebie sample glucometer from his office, with which I confirmed that my blood sugar definitely was low when I was feeling shaky, and was back into the normal range after some orange juice and peanuts had made me feel better.

So, in anticipation of serious thumpiness followed by a possible hypoglycemic crash, I've decided to do the test on Saturday, when Shrike can drive, and when I don't have to worry about getting to work afterward or doing anything else, other than coming home and going to bed if I need to.

When I'm thumpy, there's not much to be done but to wait it out, preferably in a horizontal position, but when I'm shaky, I need something sugary, but not too much, to bring my blood sugar back up and some protein to help hold it there, so I'm definitely planning to take some juice and peanuts with me tomorrow, in case I need them!

My plan is to get up around 8 am, and once I'm dressed and ready to go, I'll chug the glucola (I have to drink the whole bottle within five minutes!) and then we'll head over to the lab.

The blood draw will be one hour after finishing the drink, so that should give us plenty of time to get there (not very far from home) and get all checked in.

I'm sure I'll post a full report, once I'm feeling better, and then I'll just have to wait on the results.

The instructions that the doctor's office gave me says that "we will notify you of your test results at your next office visit (Thursday September 4), unless they are abnormal and someone from our office will contact you," so I guess that no news will be good news.

Of course, some news would not necessarily be bad news, because "failing" the one-hour test isn't a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, just an indication that the full three-hour test is needed.

That one sounds even less pleasant - more sugar, and then you have to stay fasting for three hours and multiple blood draws.

Let's just hope we won't have to worry about that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Winds of Change

If you're looking for a unique way to show your support for Barack Obama, check out these one-of-a-kind "Yes We Can" windsocks.

They are handmade right here in OurTown, by a woman that we know, and her mother.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Real

Over the past week or so, I've been doing a lot of emailing with my friend who has offered to host a baby shower for us.

(She actually made the offer as soon as she found out about our plans, before we even actually started trying!)

We've set a date (October 25) and a time (10:30 am - 1 pm) and a genre (brunch) and I'm suppose to be getting her a guestlist by the middle of next week.

(Although, I do need her to give me a number, so I know how many people to put on it!)

Holy crap.

I mean, I know we have a crib and a changing table and a glider and a bunch of baby clothes, but planning a shower?

Now that's the real deal!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stinky Pups

I'm not sure what happened while I was asleep on the couch this evening, but when I woke up and let the puppers in, they smelled suspiciously like skunk.

Shrike doesn't have any skunk adventure stories from today's walk, so the only way this could have happened is if the little bastard was in our yard.


And did I mention that BigGaloot ran right into our bedroom and rolled all over our bed?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Who's that Knocking at my Door?

So, I'm lounging on the couch, watching my "baby shows" on TV, and feeling my own little baby show in my belly, when I hear some banging around on the front porch.

At first, I thought it was the wind blowing the storm door around (that happens alot) but then I realized that the other (non-banging) sound that I was hearing wasn't so much blowing as . . . panting.

What the hell?

I turned on the porch light and, sure enough, there's BigGaloot at the door, saying "let me in!"

I don't know how long he'd been out of the yard or what adventures he'd been up to, but he was all excited and jumping around when I let him in.

I went to check on MissThang and make sure that she was still in the yard, and as soon as I opened the door to the sunroom, she came running in to greet Galoot.

I couldn't tell if she was distressed about him getting out, or if she just wanted to hear about his adventures, or what, but she sure was interested in coming in to see him.

Double Digits, Baby!

Check out our ticker over on the right: It's now less than 100 days until my due date!

And, by some accounts, I will be in my third trimester tomorrow. Although by other calculations, that's still another week or two away. I'm taking the average, and going with 27 weeks.

Other milestones coming up:

On Wednesday, it will be six (calendar) months since my faked LMP (last menstrual period) date (Fourteen days before egg retrieval/conception) which "officially" marks the beginning of my pregnancy.

In one week, it will be three (calendar) months til my due date.

I figure at that point, it's safe to refer to myself as "six months pregnant" and nobody can refute it.

(Okay, not like anyone's going to argue with me, but still. I am obsessive about such things.)

Unlike the one weekly pregnancy update that I received at 24 weeks saying "You're now six months pregnant . . . . "

Yeah, well ok, six lunar months maybe - but that's out of ten.

Not nearly as meaningful as six out of nine!

(I really am over-thinking this, aren't I?)

I suppose we ought to get crackin' on the nursery, huh?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In Her Defense

Here's how Shrike mistook her head for her ass in yesterday's photo.

The actual photo:

How she saw it:

It actually does make a lot of sense.

Overheard Today

In the truck this afternoon, as Shrike was driving and I was playing with her hair:

Whozat: What's wrong?
Shrike: Nothing.
Whozat: Are you okay?
Shrike: Yeah, I'm fine.
Whozat: What is it?
Shrike: What do you mean? I'm winking at you!
Whozat: Oh! I can only see the one eye from here, so it just looked like a grimace!
This evening, as she was rummaging in the cabinet to find bowls for leftovers:
Shrike: I believe that all domestic violence is directly caused by Tupperware™.


Last night:

Whozat: While I was sleeping on the couch, BigGaloot came up and kissed me - right on the mouth!

Shrike: So? I kiss you on the mouth all the time.

Whozat: Yeah, but you don't eat shit. Or groundhogs.

That you know of.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Butt Head

Shrike's not too thrilled with some of the photos of her in my recent post about PerfectPup blowing her coat.

Shrike: God, that's a huge ass!

Whozat: Where?

Shrike: On the end of me!

Whozat: (scrolling from the bottom) Which picture? Your ass barely shows in this one. And it's cut off in this one.

Shrike: The top one. God!

Whozat: That's not your ass, that's your head - although, I can understand the confusion.

Shrike: Oh.

Good thing she's got an appointment with the eye doctor next week!

Always Read the Destructions

The new faucet came, not only with installation instructions, but also with some very funny instructions about how to de-install the old faucet.

With a little help from my friend Mr. Google, I was able to find a PFD of them online.


Plumb Crazy - Like a Fox!

Well, whadda ya know.

We went to Lowe's this evening and bought a new faucet for the bathroom sink.

Shrike was going to wait til tomorrow to install it, but she'd removed the old one to take it with us for matching purposes, which required turning off all the water in the house, so she could either put the old one back on again or go ahead and put in the new one so we could, you know, brush our teeth and flush the toilets and such.

I was sitting here in front of the computer, playing with puppy photos and not paying a lot of attention to what she was doing, when I suddenly heard water running, and realized that she was in the basement, turning it back on.

I went into the bathroom, to make sure it wasn't making a mess in there, and there's the faucet, mostly installed, with water coming out of it - right where it should.

I turned it off and - praise be to all that is holy - it turned off - compeletely! With no dripping, no running, no nothing!

Is that plumbing angels that I hear singing?

She does have to go back to Lowe's tomorrow for silicone putty to seal it up before completely finishing the job, but I'm pretty sure the hard part is done.

Look, Ma, no drips!

But wait - there's more!

A few minutes later, Shrike called me into the laundry room, where she was standing in front of the washing machine.

"Look what you cat did," she said. I couldn't figure out what the hell one of the cats could've done to the washing machine.

Then she opened the lid, turned on the water, and told me, "Feel that!" (the water).

On my God - it's hot!

(The cat thing was mostly an elaborate ruse. Although MamaCat had just pooped in the floor just outside the litterbox - right in front of her. But I was really there for the hot water.)

On an earlier trip to Lowe's, she'd picked up a couple of "valve mitts" which are chunky plastic handles that fit over the round metal pipe valve knobs, to make them easier to turn.

She'd put one on the whole-house cut off valve in the basement, and had another left, so she tried putting it on the broken hot water valve that goes to the washing machine.

And it worked!

She was able to turn the knob and open the valve, and now there's hot water going to the washing machine.

I guess we'd forgotten that the whole problem with it was that we'd broken the handle trying to turn it on when we hooked up the washer.

Two plumbing projects (almost) completed in one day!

I hearby do publicly and sincerely apologize for ever doubting you, honey.

Now if she can just do something about the damn running toilets . . . .

Coat Blowin'

Remember a few weeks ago, when BigGaloot was blowing his coat (shedding the undercoat), and providing us with hours of entertainment?

Well, now it's PerfectPup's turn, and she does it much more impressively, because she's got lots more fluff under there to be blown.

Don't believe me?

Shrike combing PerfectPup

See the fluff that she's already removed?

But wait, there's more!

Close up of some tufts

Gettin' plucked is hard work!

Somebody's jealous because we're touching somebody else. That's not allowed.

Two pretty puppies!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Plumb Crazy

We have a few plumbing here issues at our house.

Both toilets run, the sink in "my" bathroom (the one off the bedroom) drips runs continually continuously all the damn time, and there's no cold water going to the washing machine.

(That last one is fine for now, but we will really need some hot water once we're putting things in there that are Peeper-poopy.)

Shrike's been more and more bothered by these things (along with some other fucked up stuff around the house) lately, and today she evidently decided to take matters into her own hands.

Let's see how that went, shall we?

To: Whozat
From: Shrike
Sent: Fri 8/15/08 1:32 PM

Subject: i fucked up really big!!!‏

You no longer have a sink in your bathroom and the water is shut off. The good news is I found the water shutoff. We can go at dinner and I can get you a new faucet. I really think I can handle installing that. After all, I uninstalled this one. I am sorry. I really should have quit when I was behind.

I love you

To: Whozat
From: Shrike
Sent: Fri 8/15/08 2:14 PM

Subject: stand down‏

Your bathroom is still a mess and so is your faucet. But now it is a little closer to when I started. I am going to turn the water off before I leave, just in case. It is really easy (with the thing I bought at Lowe's) to turn it on. You want to move it counterclockwise to turn it on and clockwise to turn it off. I can mess with it more later, but I do think I screwed up the faucet. At the very least, I want to install shutoff valves under the sink like in the kitchen.

Love you

There is no shut-off valve for just the sink, so she'd turned off all the water in the house to work on it. When she turned it back on, it started spraying (a lot) under the sink.

Over dinner, she told me about her "panicked" trip to the hardware store in search of "something to cap it off with" so that she could turn the water back on and take a shower to go to work.

She did manage to get it settled down enough to turn on the water and shower, but turned it off before leaving, just to be safe.

I turned it back on without incident (I made sure she gave me instructions for that, because "Do you have any idea how many times I'm going to pee before you get home from work?!") but we've still got a ways to go before that bathroom is fully functional again.

Later, she emailed to ask "How much trouble am I in?"

I told her that she will definitely have to be punished, and that it will involve public humiliation.

To that end:

This is what I found when I got home.

Note that, even after all that, it's still fucking running!

Actually, I really do appreciate her attempt to fix it (unlike me - who just bitches about it) but, as she pointed out this evening, perhaps it would have been best to save it for a weekend project, rather than trying to tackle it when she had to go to work in a couple of hours.

Oh well, live and learn.

It's Official

I guess I really am pregnant now - earlier today, I made my first purchase from an actual maternity store.

I had some time to kill this afternoon before Shrike was ready to meet me for dinner, and she reminded me that I had been talking about wanting a belly band of some sort, and suggested that I go poke around at the outlet stores while I waited for her.

So I did.

First, I did some looking but not buying at a couple of baby stores. Then I did some sample-nibbling but not looking at Le Gourmet Chef (just looking for more samples!) and finally, I found my way to Motherhood maternity store.

I looked at some shorts and shirts, but couldn't bring myself to pay even their clearance prices, knowing that I can get the same thing for much less at a yard sale or consignment shop.

I ended up just buying one package of what I hope are granny-panties (to pull up over my belly, rather than landing right in the middle and rolling down), and a "belly sock."

The idea behind the belly sock is that you can wear it over not-quite-buttoning-anymore regular pants, or still-too-big maternity pants, to hold them up, or over ugly-panel maternity pants to cover them up, or either over or under your pants, to hide your naked belly when your shirt rides up.

Mine is primarily for that hide-my-naked-belly reason right now, but I'm sure it will serve all the purposes eventually.

Also, unless it gets too stretched out before that (which is certainly possible) I think I can also wear it post-partum for the same clothing-size reasons, to hold things in a bit (hell, I should've bought one years ago!) and to cover my naked belly when my shirt's hiked up for nursing.

(Naked Boobs: Tough shit. If you don't like them, don't look. Naked Belly: Noooo! Don't looook!")

This part was kind of funny, but I'm not quite sure whether I'm happy about it or not:

One of the salesgirls had helped me to find both the belly sock and the panties, and I'd discussed fit and such, so there was no doubt that I was buying them for myself.

Later, I was standing in line to check out behind a couple of girls who were actual pregnant-looking-ladies, feeling like a bit of an imposter.

As one was checking out, the clerk asked her due date (to send coupons - woo-hoo, although I think it sounded like most will be for formula and diapers), and she said December 1.

Holy cow - I'm a week pregnanter than her and she's huge, compared to me! (Strictly in a pregnant-belly sense.)

The girl who'd waited on me asked the third customer if she knows the sex of her baby, and she said, "No, but I'm about 20 weeks, so I will find out soon."

Yikes - she's not as big as first lady, but still definitely bigger than me - and I'm more than a month pregnanter than her!

Then the first woman said that she's having a girl, and when nobody asked me, I volunteered that, "I'm having a girl, too!"

The salesgirl said, "You know already?!?"

"Well, I'm twenty-five weeks. . . ."

"No way!"

"You're tiny!"

"I can barely tell you're pregnant!"

I kind of mumbled something rather apologetic about "Well, the baby is a bit small" and "I think I'm just filling out all over."

(According to one of the moms at work: "I can tell you're having a girl, because of the way you're filling out all over." Gee thanks.)

On the one hand, it was a little bit funny, and kind of nice to be referred to as "tiny" (that hasn't happened in several months) but on the other hand, I'm twenty-fucking-five weeks pregnant, when the hell is someone going to be able to look at me and know?!?

Oh, and speaking of Peeper's size, after my business meeting at the OldWorkTown Center, which is right next door to Dr. Peri's office, I popped in over there to see if I could get an answer to the one question that I forgot to ask on Wednesday - how big she actually is - we talked about percentile and such, but I didn't get an estimated weight.

I told the receptionist that "I was in the neighborhood, and had a question, which isn't really important, but if you could maybe leave someone a note, or if it's something you could find out or . . . ."

(By then I was feeling dumb for even being there.)

She opened a file drawer, pulled my chart right out, opened it up, and said, "Here you go - she's in the 26th percentile, and weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces."

Oh, well that was easy!

Also, very reassuring, in that all my weekly pregnancy updates for 25 weeks are saying "Your baby weighs about a pound and a half now. . . " (and "your uterus is the size of a soccer ball") and she's only a couple of ounces shy of that.

Now, if only all my weekly pregnancy updates could decide whether I've got 0.5, 1.5 or 2.5 weeks left until I (and my not-pregnant-looking belly) am in the third trimester.

More Evidence in Our Favor

I picked up Dr E's letter for our pre-birth order hearing this afternoon. Here it is:

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing on behalf of my former patients Whozat and Shrike. I am the Reproductive Endocrinologist who assisted this nice couple in achieving pregnancy.

Whozat is currently pregnant with "Peeper" the female fetus concieved with an oocyte derived from Shrike's ovaries after Shrike underwent an In Vitro Fertilization cycle to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple oocytes. The oocytes removed from Shrike's ovaries were then fertilized in vitro with donor sperm. The embryos were developed in culture and then two embryos transferred into Whozat's uterus after it had been primed for implantation. Thus, in summary, Whozat is pregnant with the fetus derived from the union of Shrike's oocyte and donor sperm.

The oocyte retrieval procedure on Shrike occurred on: 3/4/08.
The embryo transfer procedure on Whozat occurred on: 3/9/08.
Obstetric ultrasounds to confirm intrauterine placement of the pregnancy and fetal viability occurred on the following dates: 4/2/08, 4/11/08, 4/18/08, 4/25/08.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above information please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at (cell phone) or email at (email address).

I will be more than happy to assist in any way.

Dr. E_____ MD FACOG*

*Fellow, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Thursday, August 14, 2008

They're On To Me

The other day, I bought gas at the same convenience store that I usually go to.

The way it works there is that you get the pump all ready to go, and then somebody inside turns it on, and says, over the loud speaker outside, "Pump One is on for your yellow car. Please pay inside."

Only, this time, for me, the announcement was, "Pump One is on for your yellow car. Please remember to pay inside when you're done."


I think not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Still Not Crazy!

We asked Dr. T to write us (yet) another not-crazy letter, this one to be presented to the judge with our petition for the pre-birth order.

(It also turns out that Dr. E can do her thing by letter, as well, so that's on its way, too.)

Here's what she had to say [with a few comments of my own added]:

To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the pleasure of working with Whozat and Shrike [oh, I'll bet she says that about all the crazy people] in outpatient therapy since October 2006 [wow - has it been that long?!]. They began their journey to parenthood within this context, and are most certainly this unborn child's parents, both biologically (in different ways) and emotionally. [Yep!]

This couple utilizes their resources well, employing this therapist essentially as a life coach. [Great description - I'd not thought of it that way. I like that phrasing, especially in terms of, "I'm their shrink, but they're not crazy. Really!"] They have been striving for ongoing improvements in their individual adjustment to life stressors [such as, you know, life] as well as focusing on continual enhancement of their relationship. Certainly their parenthood is a primary concern to them, in terms of that same endeavor towards proficiency.

I strongly recommend that their petition be approved so that their child's rightful parents are noted on her birth certificate. [Yay!] Additionally, it will offer peace of mind to the couple, knowing that the legal system accepts them both as the parents. [Very true!]

Thank you for your time.

Dr. T
Shrike & Whozat's Shrink

Peeper Report: Perfect Heart Edition

Peeper had an ultrasound, including echocardiogram, today and everything seems to be just fine in there!

The cardiologist checked out her heart in great detail and said that it looks great.

She did talk to us a bit about the kinds of cardiac issues that can develop with any baby at delivery, if the plumbing changes required to make the switch from cord breathing to air breathing don't go smoothly, and said that if there were a tiny defect it might not show up on the ultrasound (her heart is about the size of a penny now) but that's all just CYA stuff.

One funny thing is that the cardiologist is a very young woman, which kind of surprised us.

Later, Shrike said, "That's not what a cardiologist is supposed to look like. They're supposed to look like your dad!"

(I didn't realize that "pediatric cardiologist" meant that the doctor would be a child!)

Dr. Peri was also very pleased with everything that he saw, including Peeper's growth.

I forgot to ask about a current estimated weight, or what gestational age her size equates to (I might give them a call tomorrow to ask about that) but the important thing is that her overall size is at about the 26th percentile.

Her femur length is less than 5th percentile, but he's not worried about that; he's still saying that she's just built like Shrike.

He specifically said that he's reassured by the fact that her abdominal circumference is around 26th percentile, same as her overall measurement.

He said that if that were very low, he "might be worried about a placental problem, rather than just being small like mom, but I'm not."

The previous measurements weren't converted to percentiles, so we couldn't compare that, but he showed us the growth-curve with her measurements plotted on it, and she's growing at the right rate, just on the small side of average.

In other words, her curve is "parallel" to the theoretical growth curve, just a bit lower on the Y-axis.

He said that he expects her to continue to grow at about the same rate and stay around the 25th percentile or so.

(Although, of course, we'll be watching closely to make sure.)

I asked what a 25th percentile full-term baby weighs, and he said that he'd expect "around 6 3/4 - 7 pounds."

Well, hell, that's a quite respectable-sized baby.

Before we left, I scheduled appointments for more ultrasounds at 28 weeks (3 weeks from now), 31 weeks and 33 weeks. After that, he'll want to see me every week until I deliver.

That's going to be a lot of driving, and a lot of schedule adjusting (especially since my OBs office will be seeing me weekly at that point, too!) but we'll do what we have to do to keep an eye on her and make sure that all continues to go well in there.

No 3D photos today, but a couple of pretty good 2Ds (or what would be considered good ones if we hadn't been spoiled by that 3D last month!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freaky Belly Tricks

Last night, I was sitting on the couch, watching some TV, and Peeper was doing her usual acrobatic thing.

I had my right hand resting on my belly, feeling her move around, when it suddenly went very firm and pokey-outey under my hand.

I pulled up my shirt and looked, and there was a very distinct raised area on that one side - obviously where she was hanging out at the moment.

Then, as I watched, she moved again, and it went down.

That's the first time that I've actually been able to see her movements. Or, at least, the first time that I happened to be looking when it happened.

I watched my tummy a while longer, and could see it moving several more times as she bopped around in there.

That was much better than whatever dumb old show was on TV!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hearing Set

LawyerFriend called this evening to let us know that we've got a date set for the hearing on our petition for a pre-birth order to allow us to put both our names on Peeper's birth certificate from the beginning, with no need for a second-parent adoption.

The hearing will be on Tuesday August 26 - just two weeks from tomorrow!

The judge has agreed to allow Dr E to testify by phone, and I've also asked Dr T to write us another "not-crazy" letter, because our lawyer figures that can't hurt, and might help.

Actually, I suggested that she concentrate on the fact that this has been a joint effort all along, and that we are, emotionally, both Peeper's parents.

I figure if we have that from her, and Dr E to vouch for the fact that we are both biologically (each in our our own way) her parents, then LawyerFriend can convince the judge that we should also both be legally her parents and we'll call it a day!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Baby R!

Today, we went to Baby R's first birthday party, which was held in his backyard. Cousin and her partner live about an hour and a half from us, and they have a great yard, including a beautiful deck that they built themselves.

There was a pretty big crowd at the party, including lots of wee ones, and they had a bouncy house (a small one, not the kind that you rent) and a kiddie pool and water balloons.

We had a good time, but left after cake and ice cream, because I was pretty worn out.

Just as we got home (remember, it's an hour and a half away), Shrike realized that she'd left her purse there!

Cousin is going to take it to work with her tomorrow, in CapitalCity (only an hour away) and Shrike will pick it up from her there.

Other than that, it was a lovely day.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Pointless Morning

We had big plans for this morning - we were supposed to start by dropping my car off at the tire place (oops, did I not mention the blow-out I had on the interstate Wednesday morning?), then pop over to the Farmer's Market for some veggies, drop by the Mental Health Center (no, not for our craziness) to place an Angel Food order, then head out to the "HUGE Kid's Consignment Sale!!!" that's happening this weekend.

About half of that actually ended up happening.

First, the tire guy said that they neither sell nor warranty the kind of tires that are on my car, so if I want it replaced under warranty (which it's supposed to be), I'll have to take it to the dealership. Strike one.

We did okay, I suppose, at the Farmer's Market. I got some potatoes, and onion and a cucumber, but the little old lady with the yummy sweet pepper relish didn't seem to be there, so I wasn't able to pick up any of that. Foul ball.

We did place our Angel Food order without incident. (Visit their website to learn more about that.) This is our first time, so we felt a little weird, but it was fine. And we found out that, in the future, we can just order for the next month when we do our pickup, so we'll only have to go over there once a month.

Then, we dropped Shrike's car at home (we've been in two cars all this time, because I wasn't able to leave mine with the tire guy) and headed over to the consignment sale.

We weren't looking for anything in particular (thanks to the bonanza of baby stuff that we received on Thursday), and we agreed to not go crazy with the tiny, pink clothes (she already has tons!) but figured we'd see lots of other stuff that we need, but didn't really have on a list.

Eh, not so much.

We did look at clothes a bit, and I almost bought a really pretty forest green and gold velvety (very Christmasy) dress in a 24 months size, but decided against it. There were some other really cute Christmas and winter things in 18 months - likely to be exactly the wrong size/season for her.

Other than that, we really didn't see anything we were interested in.

There were several tables of vendors selling things that I guess Mommies are supposed to like - like jewelry and candles and smelly things and look-purties, but that didn't interest us too much.

There were two or three long tables with toys, and an other small area with floor toys (kitchens and tool benches and easels and the like) but none of those really struck our fancy, either.

There was one small row of gear, but it was all things we have - a crib, some pack and plays, swings, etc.

We ended up buying a CD (Dance and Sing, 20 hand-clapping, toe-tapping songs!) for $1.50, and calling it a day.

And, we're out!

Then we came home, shared a peanut butter brownie from the Farmer's Market (with no-sugar-added ice cream, of course) and took a nap.

Home run!

Friday, August 8, 2008

By Request

LadyKay asked me to post a photo of the stuffed puppy that we got yesterday, so here it is:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Icing On Today's Cake O'Giftage

Dear Anonygrandma and Anonygrandpa:

Thanks for the "care package" that you sent. I can't see them yet, but Mama tells me that all the outfits are very cute.

She's particularly excited about the one with teddy bear faces on the feet and ears on the hat. She likes anything that will make me look like an animal.

She really likes the stripey one, too, and says the Scottie dogs with hearts will be great around Valentine's Day.

She also tells me that I will love snuggling with the blankie, because it's very soft, and that the socks will keep my tootsies warm in the winter.

She says that she's sure they will fit just right, even if I do have Mommy's prehensile toes, which she tells me the ultrasounds say I do.

(I would check and let you know, but it's awful dark in here, and kind of hard to see.)

Thanks again - I'm really looking forward to wearing them!



Yesterday, my wife drove an hour round-trip to surprise me with a glider.

Today - well, check out today:

This morning, the mom of one of my students brought me a little stuffed puppy-dog for Peeper. She confessed that it was a re-gift, but that's fine. It seems she received it when she was pregnant with her now-sevenish-month-old, but it's awful pinky-purply-lavenderish for him. So, knowing that we've got a girl on the way, she passed it on to me.

She also told me that she's working on cleaning out things, and will have some gender-neutral stuff for me, like plain white onesies and the such.


Then, I got an email from Dr. T, who'd been "checking in on us" here (giving her the link to the blog has probably saved us tons of time/money in "back-story" at our appointments!) and wanted to let me know that she's got an extra breast pump that I can have. A friend used it for a short while, then gave it to her, but she never used it, because she had a better one.

Woo hoo!

√ Glider
√ Breastpump

Now, if we only had a dresser . . . .

But wait - there's more!

The same mom called me this afternoon and asked, "What size dresser are you looking for?"

(A while back, we were talking yard sale / Craig's List / Freecycle and I mentioned that we were in the market for a dresser.)

I told her we didn't have a specific size in mind, and "Well, she's got a lot of clothes, but the room's not very big."

You see, it seems that her dad is moving, and has a five-drawer, about 48" tall dresser that he wants to get rid of.

"It's painted white, but you could strip it and repaint if you wanted."

You gotta be kidding me!

I asked how much he wants for it, but no, he's not interested in selling - he just wants to give it to us.

How freakin' cool is that?!?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sneaky Shrikey

We've been spending a lot of time lately cruising Craig's List, looking for a few more items for Peeper - a dresser, a glider or rocker, a breast pump (I was willing to pay the big bucks when I thought I'd be using it multiple times a day at work, but now I'm thinking a decent used one will be sufficient) and who knows what else.

I've been driving Shrike nuts with my pickiness, especially about the dresser.

("Driving her nuts" is not an exaggeration. This was actually discussed at our last session with Dr T!)

The thing is that, first, I want something that's rather square and flat and not-squiggly, so it matches the general style of the crib.

The second issue that I have with most of the dressers we've seen is that we want the furniture to be white, or black, or white-and-black, and most of them are stained wood, and I just have a thing about painting over nice, stained wood.

(Dr. T's response to that was, "Oh, I live with one of those, too!")

It's almost a moral objection; I just can't bring myself to do it. Maybe because I've stripped multiple layers of paint from furniture before, to get to the pretty wood underneath, and paint it.
But I can't quite explain why it was okay to paint the changing table and toy box, although they were stained wood.

Mostly because the changing table wasn't really stained wood, it's crappy wood-like-substance with plasticky shellacky varnish stuff. And the toy box was old and ugly stained wood. And we paid $3 total for the two pieces.

But I digress . . .

So, we're also looking for a rocker or glider. I hear that a lot of people prefer a glider, so I thought that might be the way to go. Also they seem to be cushy.

But on the other hand, they are usually ugly. Most seem to have cushions in really dumb colors, and the used ones seem to have cushions that are filthy.

Then we realized that we could just have the cushions recovered, in a black and white fabric, to match the room!

So, the goal was to find a white one, or possible stained wood (see crappy wood caveat, above) and paint it white.

A few days ago, Shrike got fed up with my rejecting her suggestions, and told me she was "never going on Craig's List again. If you want something, you can look for it."

Fair enough.

Today, I sent her some links, for a couple of gliders and a dresser, to get her opinion.

She emailed back to say that she would prefer a rocker, because she thinks gliders are ugly.

Um, okay. I thought we'd been looking for gliders all this time, and I didn't think you cared, but okay.

Fast-forward to this evening . . . .

Shrike's just had me help her carry something out to the garage, and I'm headed back inside. She calls me back over to give me a kiss, and I try again to go inside. She calls me back again, and says, "You're not being very cooperative!"

I'm thinking, "What the hell? Is she trying to put the moves on me in the middle of the garage?"

Then she gestures toward the truck, and I see:

This is one of the very gliders I'd sent her a link to today!

It was in OldWorkTown - an hour from here!

And, I found out later, she'd already bought it and had it sitting in the garage when I emailed her the link.

That's why she emailed back, ostensibly nixing the whole glider proposal - she was afraid I'd email the sellers, and they'd tell me, "Well, I just sold it - to someone with the same very unusual hyphenated last name as yours, in fact."

It's already white, but depending on how well it cleans up, we may go ahead and paint it anyway. The cushions are quite ugly, but they come right off, and should be easy enough to recover.

Well, easy enough for someone who knows how to do such a thing.

Someone who is not us.

Probably the same someone-who-is-not-us that will be making our theoretical black and white curtains or valance or something for the windows.

But most importantly, we now have a glider, and I can quit stressing over finding one - and I didn't have to do anything to get it here!

That little shit.

I sure do love her.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Peeper Report

I saw MidwifeK this morning and, as expected, there's nothing too much to report.

My weight is okay (up a total of about 14 lbs), my blood pressure is 120/70 (sweet!) and I guess I gave all the right answers to her questions.

She measured my belly for the first time, and said it was "right on target" whatever that means, we listened to Peeper's heart with the Doppler, and she said it sounded great.

She gave me lab orders for the gestational diabetes test, which I'll do in a couple of weeks (between 26 - 28). I tried to talk her out of the glucose tolerance, because it's really not recommended for post-gastric bypass patients, because we're not so much supposed to have big doses of sugar, but Dr. B wanted me to do it.

Okay, honestly, it's probably no more sugar than some things I eat, so I suppose I'll live.

Yes, sometimes eating those things makes me feel a little yucky, but at least they taste good, and it's worth it.

I'm not so sure about the glucola.

We also scheduled the rest of my appointments, through my due date!

I'll go back in 4 weeks (at 28 weeks), then I'm there every two weeks, until 34 weeks, at which point they'll want to see me weekly.

I'm not sure when the perinatologist is going to have me start coming in more frequently, but I'm guessing it will be about the same time.

(Not sure when I'll have time to go to work!)

So, all seems to be well with me and, as far as she can tell, with Peeper.

We'll get the complete scoop on her and her little heart next Wednesday, when we do the echocardiogram and another growth scan.

I Guess That's a Compliment . . . .

Yesterday, Shrike was having a kind of crappy day at work, so I picked her up and took her to dinner.

Evidently, she felt better after spending some time with me.

Later that evening:

Whozat: I'm sorry work's a pain in your ass.
Shrike: It is, but you're my Preparation-H.
Whozat: You silver-tongued devil, you!

Monday, August 4, 2008


As I might have mentioned before, my family (the Anonyparents, LadyKay and her Kiddos, BabyBro and HisLovelyWife) live on the upper Texas Gulf Coast.

Right now, they're all keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Edouard, which is heading in their general direction.

Anonymama reports that:

Probably a category 1 at the most, but more likely a tropical storm. Saying more around Galveston. We are not leaving for this, of course, but Frappa [The Niece Formerly Known as Kiddo2] went to Walmart and got me several flashlights and some candles.

They keep telling us to not expect any surprises like we had with Humberto, but isn't the definition of a surprise that we do not expect it?

She makes a good point there!

It doesn't sound like it will be too serious for them (although I do have an aunt and uncle in Galveston, who may be in for a bit more of a ride) but your no-blow-mojo would be greatly appreciated!

Bouncing Baby Girl

I've got an appointment with MidwifeK tomorrow morning, but that's probably not going to be anythng too exciting. Should just be pee-in-cup, weight, BP, chit-chat and a listen with the Doppler.

Of course, it will be good to know that Peeper's heart sounds right, but as much as she's moving around these days, at least I don't need the Doppler to prove that she's in there anymore!

Last night, I swear, she was jumping up and down on my cervix* like a trampoline.

I know, you're thinking "Oh, that's hyperbole, she was just kicking a bit."

Uh uh.


Up and down.

I felt whap . . . whap . . . whap down there, over and over - then occassionally a thud at the top, like she'd jump-jump-jumped until she finally went high enough to bonk her little fetal head on the ceiling!

I would've loved to have had an ultrasound handy to see what was really going on in there!

*Those cervical kicks are just bizarre. It doesn't hurt, and it's not especially unpleasant, just kind of freaky, because I feel it in my uterus, where she kicks, but then it's like the impact is conducted all the way out. If you get my drift.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Belly Shot #3: 23 weeks 5 days

Nothing spectacular, but it does look like Peeper (and I) have done some growing over the past three and a half weeks or so:

And, in an effort to convince myself that I do look at least a little bit pregnant, and not just fat, here's a photo from my post gastric bypass series, taken at about the same weight as I am now.

The boobs and belly are definitely bigger now. Logic tells me that something must be smaller, but I haven't quite figured out what it is yet.

Perpetual Painting Project in Progress

Famous Last Words:
"Hey, this _____ will be great for Peeper - we'll just paint it to match her room!"

Shrike's been slaving away on some furniture for, I guess, a couple of weeks now, and tonight I finally put in some time on it myself.

The other day she told me, "You know how I've been all, 'Nothing's too good for my little girl?' - Well, after about a half a coat of primer on that fuckin' changing table, I was thinking, 'Eh, that's good enough!'"

What we've got so far is the two-dollar changing table, a one-dollar toy box, and a (hmm, fifty-cents? twenty-five?) board with some pegs in it, that hangs on the wall.

(We're trying not to think about the fact that we're still shopping for a dresser and a rocker or glider - which will likely need to be painted, as well.)

All this stuff has to be sanded, primed and painted black and/or white before it goes in Peeper's room.

Of course, I had to make it complicated, by wanting to do the changing table and peg board in both black and white, rather than all one color.

The toy box will actually have some white on it, too, but that's probably going to be stripes or dots or something (like the letters) on top of a base-coat of black.

So, because the changing table is getting two colors, and because it's got a bunch of little spindly pieces, it seemed easier to disassemble it for painting.

That probably was the right way to go about it, so that the black and white paints end up in the right places, but it means that instead of standing on its feet for painting, each individual piece has to lie flat - on one of its surfaces that's supposed to be painted.

That pretty much doubles the number of steps involved, of course.

So far, Shrike's sanded and primed the toy box and changing table, and put one coat on the main surfaces of the black pieces.

Tonight, I put in a little time on it, hitting all the edges and in-betweens and cracks and crevaces that she hadn't gotten to yet, and doing a second coat on the body and lid of the toy box.

I also primed the peg board - after taking it apart, because I want the board black and the pegs white. Of course.

Let's see how it's coming along . . . .

Toy box

The peg board (primed)
Changing Table - These are the sides of the little "cage" that will be around Peeper when she's lying on it. What? Is it wrong to describe our kid as being in a cage? Ok, fine. "Guard rails."
Toy box body & lid, various changing table parts

Oh - and if you're worried about me and Peeper and paint fumes, rest assured that we're using all water-based paint, which is okay.

We're working in the basement, because it's about 100 degrees cooler down there than in the garage.

As you can imagine, that's not the most ventilated place in the world, but I left the door open at the top of the stairs, and pointed a fan up the stairs, to blow everything that direction.

I worked for about an hour this evening, and it really didn't get very paint-smelly at all, so I'm sure we're just fine.

Mothra Lives

The other day, I was at the kitchen sink washing dishes, when I looked up to see this on the valance of the window over the sink:

After taking the photo, I ran away and hid in the other room, while Shrike scooped it up in some sort of container and took it back outside.

I'm not afraid of moths, but I ran away in case she spooked it and made it fly away, because I really don't want one that big (this sucker was probably about 2.5 inches from wing-tip to wing-tip) coming at me.

Evidently he didn't take off, but I guess he looked a little nervous, because from my hiding spot, I could hear her saying, "It's okay big fella, there you go. . . ."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Looking Back: One Year Ago

One year ago today:
I saw my first negative pee stick. Followed by a technically-in-the-positive-range-but-way-way-way-too-low beta the next day, followed by a negative beta a couple of days later. Indicating a chemical pregnancy - "Zippy the Zygote" had indeed been created, and even implanted, but that was it.

I am 23 weeks, 4 days pregnant, and Peeper is a dancin' fool.

One year ago tomorrow:
Was my last day as Director of Education at the OldWorkTown Center, before starting as Director in NewWorkTown.

Two days ago:
I turned in my letter of resignation, giving roughly four months notice that I won't be returning after Peeper is born.

One year ago next week:
At our annual Democratic picnic, I was miserable, having awful cramps, and telling myself that it was just the prometrium that was making them so much worse than usual. Since then, I've had four more post-prometrium periods, and they weren't nearly so bad. It was Zippy.

At our annual Democratic picnic, I wore my "Mama for Obama" button, was asked at least ten times, "How are you feeling?" and discussed baby shower plans with a friend who's offered to host one for us.

What a difference a year makes.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, GodzillaBoy!

Today is Shrike's nephew's birthday (he's 11) so we went out to dinner with her family, then over to her parents' house for gifts and cake.

Peeper got active for a little while we were there, and Shrike's mom and sister got to feel her moving a bit.

Our niece would have liked to have felt her, too, but she wasn't doing much moving when she was around.

Hopefully next time.