Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten on Tuesday #35

10 Things that Scare Me / Freak Me Out
Yesterday, on our way home from the perinatologist, I told Shrike about today's topic and said, "That should be easy. I can come up with at least ten things, just about Peeper!" 

She replied, "Maybe you ought to expand your repetoire, so people don't lose interest," so I'll try to throw in a few non-pregnancy/parenting related fears and freak-outs. 
  1. Regardless of what I said above, my absolute #1 freak-out topic these days is "Oh my God, I'm having a baby in two months!" 

  2. Heights. I don't even like watching someone else in a high place. It makes my knees tingle.

  3. There's a human moving around inside me. (Freeek-eee!)

  4. Bugs. In particular, cockroaches. (Ugh, I have to shudder a little bit, just typing it.)

  5. Is Peeper okay? (Which is slowly being replaced with "Is she going to stay put til she's done baking?")

  6. I'm forty years old. When / how the fuck did that happen?!?

  7. Childbirth

  8. Injuries to finger/toe nails. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

  9. Parenting. Pretty much the whole thing. 

  10. Did I mention that I'm having a baby in two months?!?
Learn More About Ten on Tuesday

Monday, September 29, 2008

Peeper Report: 31 Weeks 6 Days

Update 10:00 pm: Photos posted below!

I know it's only been five days since my last report, but I had appointments with both the OB and the perinatologist this morning. 

(My normal Wednesday schedule at the perinatologist will be all wacky for the next few weeks, as my regular guy will be out for the Jewish holidays, so we have to go on different days and see different doctors.)

The main take-away from both appointments is that all's well, and Peeper is looking great, but she did try to make it a bit more exciting for us than usual. 

Yesterday I was having quite a few Braxton-Hicks contractions, around the time that we were working on the border in the nursery. 

After the first few (not painful, not regular, not very close together) I did drink a few glasses of Kool-Aid (sweetened in whichever way you're not going to freak out about), but did not lay down. 

By the time Shrike's dad left, this had been going on for a couple of hours, so I reported it to Shrike, and did lay down for thirty minutes or so. 

Things seemed to settle down, but they didn't go away completely, so after having some lunch (prepared by my lovely, doting, semi-freaking-out wife), I called my OB's office, just for some reassurance. 

One of the doctors called back pretty quickly, and of course he said everything was fine, but to take it easy, and if they intensified to call back. 

I didn't stay in bed, but tried to chill out the rest of the evening. I was still contracting every now and then, especially when I was up and doing things (Like helping to reassemble a changing table. Oops.) but still very random and not painful. 

This morning, I woke up early, and lay in bed trying to go back to sleep while Peeper was dancing around like a crazy-baby. 

I was beginning to thing she'd invited some friends over, there was so much action going on in there!

At my OB appointment, I talked to the doctor (one of the OBs this time, but not one I'd met before) about the contractions, and she basically said, "That's your uterus' way of telling you to go sit down and rest." 

I also (standard at this point in the pregnancy) filled out hospital registration forms and signed the "consent to deliver" form, which basically says it's okay for them to do what's necessary to get Peeper out safely when the time comes, including episiotomy, forceps, vacuum, c-section, etc. 

As the doctor said, "This is giving us permission to get the baby out, by hook or by crook." 

I signed it, of course, but did mention that I'd like to avoid all those things, if at all possible!

I was scheduled to have a non-stress test tomorrow morning, but they asked if I'd like to go ahead and do it since I was there. They were running on schedule (this is not at all a given) so I had plenty of time to get to OldWorkTown for the perinatologist, and decided that made sense. 

A non-stress test basically involves strapping two monitors to my belly - one to measure any contractions (there were none during the test) and the other to measure Peeper's heart rate. They also gave me a little button to click when I felt her move. 

(It was amazing how many other movements we could hear (along with her heartbeat) that I wasn't feeling.)

What they want to see is that when she moves around, her heart rate goes up. 

(Just like any other person, really.)

At first, she was being pretty quiet (resting after her calisthenics from earlier, I'm sure), so they turned me on my side and had me drink some water. 

That woke her up a bit, but she still wasn't as "reactive" as they'd like, and there were actually some decelerations of her heart rate. 

They tech mentioned that one possible cause of that is the cord being compressed for any of a number of reasons. 

(Including, it seems, that the kid is sitting on it, until she moves and she's not any more. Or, perhaps, chewing on it, is it looked like she was doing last week!)

The OB came in and looked at the trace from the monitor, and said that, based on what she was seeing, she needed to actually examine me. 

After asking a few questions, I found out that another possible reason for decelerations is that the baby is "moving down" and that, combined with the contractions I'd been having, was reason enough to check and make sure that I wasn't dilating. 

Needless to say, that got my attention. 

As it turns out, though, I'm not dilating or effacing at all, so whew! 

The doctor wrote up a summary of her findings, and sent me off to the perinatologist, as already scheduled. 

I called Shrike to catch her up, trying not to freak her out too much, ordered up some snacks from home and asked her to meet me at our designated car-leaving place.  

(She'd slept in, since I didn't need her for a "routine" OB appointment. Later, she said, "I thought it was safe to send you over there alone!")

When we got to the perinatologist's office, I gave them the note, so they'd know what was going on. 

The sonographer had lots of questions about what the OB had said, but I really didn't have much more information beyond what she'd written down. 

After waiting forever for the computer to boot up, we got started with the scanning. They did not do the whole measurement thing, since we were just there a few days ago, so we don't have an update on her size, but as I've already said, everything that they did look at was just fine. 

She is head-down today, which at first was preventing them from getting a good look at my cervix, but later the sonographer was able to nudge her little noggin out of the way, and see that everything looks just as it should be down there, with no signs of dilation. 

Peeper was also being much more forthcoming with the cuteness today, and we got some great 3D photos of her face (with no cord in the way - although, she does appear to be wearing it like a boa, but they said it's loose and the blood flow in it is great, so no worries there), her hands and her little ear.

When we saw her ear, I asked for a photo of it. The sonographer said, "We don't get a lot of requests for ears." Shrike then ratted me out for having a bit of an ear thing. Thanks, honey.

Between the 3D and 2D images, we saw her practice breathing, opening her mouth, sticking her tongue out at us, trying to shove her entire hand in her mouth, and sucking her thumb, in addition to lots of other movement. 

The sonographer and the perinatologist (not our regular guy) were both very happy with her movements, and seemed particularly pleased with the breathing and sucking stuff. 

(Both being skills that come in quite handy on the outside, you know.)

I'll have another non-stress test next Monday, and another ultrasound on Tuesday. 

And, of course, you'll hear all about it. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Work in Progress

As I mentioned yesterday, Shrike's dad came over today to put up the border in Peeper's room. 

When they were done, we had him help Shrike move some of the heavier furniture in, and after he left, we moved in more furniture, and reassembled the toybox and changing table. 

There's still a lot to do, but I couldn't wait to show off some photos. 

Shrike and Dad hanging the border


Toy Box - I painted her (real) name on it; Mr. Panda is protecting her interweb privacy

Changing Table

Everything a little girl might need

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Your Opinion?

Shrike's dad is coming over in the morning to help us hang this wallpaper border in Peeper's room. 

(Okay, we'll actually be the lovely assistants, while he's doing all the real work.) 

We're hoping that he'll also help Shrike move the crib in, since it's pretty damn heavy. 

We're almost finished painting the other furniture (just need a coat or two of spray sealer on a couple of things), and then we just have to put the changing table and toy box back together, and it will be ready to start loading in!

Of course, there will still be lots to do, including getting the glider cushions recovered and coming up with some window treatments. 

Which brings me to my question: 

Check out this panda fabric that I found online. I'm thinking of using for the valances, over plain black curtains. 

But Shrike's a little concerned about whether it will clash with the border, which will be right above it, at the ceiling. 

What do you think? 

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Work Plans

A couple of weeks ago, the powers that be at work officially decided to hire two of our current teachers (one of whom is an Associate Director of Education, the other is a regular teacher) to share the Center Director position when I leave. 

I like to say that "They are replacing me with two people," but really, it will be a job-sharing arrangement, and they'll each be working about 25 hours a week. 

Their training should start in a couple of weeks, and by the beginning of November, I'll probably cut back on my hours (to about 20/week), and they'll be up to their full schedule. 

Technically, I'm cutting back to about 32 hours/week, starting next week, because I'm taking off one day each week (except maybe one week?) for doctors appointments. 

Depending on when/whether one of my many doctors thinks that it would be medically prudent to cut back my schedule, and writes me a note to that effect, I think my short-term disability benefits would kick in, which would be a big help. 

In other work-related news, I had a phone interview with Learning Center Online yesterday, for a work-from-home teaching position, and pending them actually receiving the twenty-seven page new hire packet that I faxed today, and assuming that my background check (including FBI fingerprinting) doesn't turn up that man that I killed in Reno, just to watch him die, I'm hired. 

The only downside is that the "tell us when you are available" schedule that they sent has all the morning hours blacked out. That, of course, is when Shrike would be home to be in charge of Peeper, so she's not crying in the background. 

(No crying, barking, TV, etc in the background is a requirement.)

So, we're not quite sure how we're going to manage to get me 20 - 25 hours of quiet each week while Shrike is at work, but I guess we'll figure something out. 

I didn't actually fill out that page; I put a note saying that I really need to get an idea what Peeper's schedule is like, first. 

(That will also be a factor.)

Other than that, though, it looks like it will be a pretty good deal. It doesn't pay great ($10/hour) but there's no commuting and no wardrobe and, the best part (other than doing it at home in my jammies) is that - get this - there's insurance!

It's not great coverage, but it seems like it will be sufficient, if all I'm needing is routine maintenance. 

(Which is all I'm planning on needing, once I'm done with this crazy baby-making stuff.)

And, even the better of the two options, plus dental/vision, would only be about $110/month - as opposed to around $350/month for either COBRA or the Blue Cross /Blue Shield that I would qualify for when the COBRA ran out. 

So, that's a big whew!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meet Peeper's Cousin!

I've been absolutely dying to blog about this since I found out like a freaking month ago, but the information has been embargoed until it was confirmed by ultrasound - which was delayed by that damn hurricane knocking out the power in Houston. 

But, finally, I'm allowed to say it: 

BabyBro and HisLovelyWife are pregnant!

Here's a photo of their embryo from today's ultrasound: 

Based on the measurements, they are officially dating her at 7 weeks, 6 days - which makes her due on May 10, 2009 - Mother's Day!

(And the day before my birthday, and three days before LadyKay's!)

So, Peeper and her cousin will be about six months apart, and will be in the same grade. 

Congratulations, BabyBro and YourLovelyWife!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #69: Peeper in 3D

Monkey Toes!

Monkey Face!
The umbilical cord is right in front of her, blocking the view of her mouth. But how cute is that little elbow?!

Learn more about Wordless Wednesday.

Peeper Report: 31 weeks, 1 day

I'm now in weekly ultrasound territory, so you can expect the updates to be coming fast and furious from here to delivery day!

Dr. Peri says that Peeper is still doing great. He's estimating her weight at 3 lb 2 oz, which is in the 25th percentile, which means that she's holding her own, and continuing to grow at the rate that she should, she's just smaller that your average baby bear.

Again, he said that could be attributed to any of a number of reasons, including Shrike's genes, my history of less than 100% kidneys, the single umbilical artery, or who the hell knows.

My 24-hour urine showed that the protein level is a bit elevated (395 mg/whatever; the threshold is 300 mg/whatever) but just a bit, and we expected that to happen, and my blood pressure is okay (124/82 today) so he's really not concerned there.

He said that the protein levels that worry you are when you start getting over a gram, so that's not a big deal at this point.

They'll keep watching my blood pressure, and watching Peeper, and if we see the blood pressure go up, or the amount of amniotic fluid drop, or her growth slow down, then we'll start being concerned.

All that said, I asked him, "Now, I know you can't predict when she'll decide to be born, but are you seeing anything at this point that might indicate that you're going to want her to be born before she wants to be?"

He said everything looks great now, but with small babies, the growth often does start tapering off around "36, 37, 38 weeks" and if we see that, we'll want to go ahead and deliver.

He said that "the chances of you going to 39 or 40 weeks are less than 50%" - but then it occured to me that 40 weeks is just sort of an average, so probably anybody's chances of going that far aren't more than 50%!

So, we're not going to assume that she's coming any earlier than we expect - but we will plan to be prepared in case she does.

For example - I've decided that I definitely will vote absentee, and will probably suggest that Shrike do the same, just in case Peeper - or Dr. Peri - decides that 37 weeks looks like a good time for birthin' and we find ourselves otherwise occupied on Election Day!

The great thing, of course, is that I'm now at 31 weeks, so even if she were born today, we'd expect that she'd be just fine (after a bit of time in the NICU) and Dr. Peri said he'd feel very good about delivering any time after 36 weeks or so.

I think that's about all the specifics that I remember discussing.

As for me, I've been monitoring my blood sugar (although not quite as regularly as I ought to be) and behaving myself diet-wise better than I had been (but still probably not as well as I should) and my sugar levels have been staying where they should be, so that's all good.

I'm also still feeling quite good, for being seven months (!!!) pregnant.

I am starting to get a bit short of breath at times ("What's the matter?" "I'm pregnant and I'm moving around!") and was having a bit of sciatica (or something similar) over the weekend, but that seems to be better now.

All in all, though, I still feel relatively "normal" (other than that baby moving around in my belly all the time!) - but I do think I may finally be starting to look kind of like a pregnant lady.

(Well, a pregnant *woman* - I'm not much of a lady!)

On Monday, I'll see one of the OBs who works with Dr Brown, and then have another ultrasound. On Tuesday, I'll have the first of my weekly non-stress tests.

So, you can expect another update then, of course.

Check the next post (Wordless Wednesday) for photos!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Manic Monday #37

Hey, the memes are back! Well, at least for today. We'll see how it goes beyond that. 

  1. Pick out the most important item you have in your purse/wallet and tell me why it's important to you.
    Hmm, let's see. . . ID, credit cards, insurance cards, business cards, two dollars. Meh. Aha - my voter registration card! I'd say that's the most important thing in there, because it give me the power to (along with a few million other people) change the world.

  2. What would you take from your house if you knew it would be flooded tomorrow?
    Ew, I should refer this one to Anonymama and LadyKay; they've gotten way too good at answering this in real life, lately. Based on what I've learned from them - people, pets, clothes, food, medications for everyone, important papers, checkbook, laptop, cell phones and chargers. What am I forgetting?

  3. If you were stuck in a room for an hour with a chalk board, what would you draw on it?
    Probably nothing. I'm not much of a drawer.
Learn more about Manic Monday.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another New Thing

Suddenly, this kid is being a (literal) pain in my ass, all around. 

In addition to the "rectal romp,"  as of yesterday evening she seems to have set up housekeeping on my sciatic nerve. 

(Or something that's causing pains to shoot from my butt, down the back of my right thigh, anytime I decide to do something crazy like, I don't know, walk.)

Or, maybe I did something dumb and hurt it myself, but I'd prefer to blame Peeper because: 
a> If I injured myself by carrying a not-too-full basket of laundry across the house (that's when I first noticed it) then I'm a total and complete wimp, and

b> If I've injured myself, it will take a while to get better, but if she's sitting on it, she can move and it should quit freaking hurting immediately, right? 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peeper's Newest Trick

As I've mentioned before, Peeper is quite the active little girlie, and she keeps me entertained with her antics. 

(Seriously, sometime I just sit there with my hands on my belly, feeling her move around, and trying to figure out what the hell is going on in there.)

In addition to your generic wiggles, kicks and rolls, one of her favorite activities is what I like to call "the cervical stomp," which is exactly what it sounds like. 

She's also started giving me the occasional bladder punch, which is great fun, of course. 

But over the past few days, she's added a new move to her repertoire. I assume that it's something she's just now able to do, either because she's getting stronger or because she's getting bigger, and extending her reach (further into my innards).

Let me tell ya, though, you've not lived until you've been kicked in the ass, from the inside out. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Halloween Ideas?

We're hosting a Halloween party in a few weeks, and need to figure out what our costumes are going to be.

I will be almost 35 weeks pregnant at the time, but I don't want to do any of the cliche' pregnant lady costumes. No pumpkin belly, no pregnant nun, no bunch o'grapes a la Fruit of the Loom.

It has to be clever, and something that Shrike can coordinate with.

Your suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Kegel Time, Sprout!

Here's a maternity milestone that there's no page for in the baby book: 

As of yesterday, everytime I sneeze, I pee myself a little bit. 

The sad part is, I got kind of excited about it: 
Hey, just like a real pregnant lady!



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thirty Weeks

Holy crap, I'm thirty weeks pregnant. 

That's like, a lot.

I  saw one of the midwives yesterday, and all seems to be well. Peeper's little heart sounds good, and my tummy is "measuring just right." 

I forgot to take my food / blood sugar log in with me, but I described it (sugars all good, even relatively close to meals - although I didn't do so well with the recording or monitoring over the weekend) and she approved. 

She also to me to start "officially" doing kick-counts, although I've pretty much been doing them for about a month now. I don't have to write anything down, but I need to count and make sure I feel at least ten movements from the little Peepster within an hour, during her "active time."

Basically, when I feel her move (if I'm not in the middle of something and distracted), I generally start counting, and usually get to ten pretty quickly. 

I'm going to be doing weekly non-stress tests, beginning at thirty-two weeks, so we scheduled those, all the way out to my due date. 

We were able to put almost all of them right before a previously scheduled OB/midwife appointment (except the 32-week one, which will be right before our appointment with Dr T), so they shouldn't have any additional impact on my work schedule. 

Good thing. 

As I told her, "If you add another weekly appointment, I'm going to have to go ahead and start my maternity leave - because there won't be any time left in the week to go to work!" 

Which doesn't sound like such a bad thing, actually. . . . 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dream Lover(s)

Have you ever seen an episode of a sitcom in which one character dreams that his or her (usually her, it seems) spouse did something bad, and then takes it out on the spouse the next day, in real life?

And it's all silly and ridiculous, because who would actually do that? 

Me, that's who. 

Well, sort of. 

It was the wierdest thing. 

Once I woke up, I knew, intellectually, it was just a dream, and she'd not actually done anything wrong, but I guess I had my "mad" hormones all riled up, because I still felt, physically, angry. 

But, on the other hand, I was also so relieved that it was just a dream. 

I couldn't decide whether to wake her up and yell at her, or wake her up and tell her how glad I am that she's not actually the asshole that I was dreaming she was. 

Okay, so I didn't actually take it out on her the next day, but I did take advantage of the fact that when I got up to go to the bathroom (because I'm pregnant and I was awake), it woke her up, so then I could I make her stay awake long enough to hear about the whole dream, which went something like, "And then you, you, you. . . . I can't believe you . . . . How could you. . . ?!?"

Oh, were you wondering what it was that she did in the dream that was so awful? 

See the post title. Yes, lovers, plural. She had two of them.

And it all came to light regarding the belatedly-reported-to-me results of her "infectious disease" testing from the egg donor screening. 

(Um, yeah, as though they wouldn't have mentioned that to us at the time! But the dreams, they make no sense.)

So, you can understand why I was so pissed, right? 


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Update

The anonyparents got in to check on their house and LadyKay's.  Both houses look to be in pretty good shape, and over-all the town "doesn't look nearly as bad as after Rita."

They've got a few shingles missing, and some siding, but no roof leaks. The tree in the backyard has finally bit the dust, and is now leaning on the fence and a bit onto the neighbor's roof, but doesn't seem to have damaged it. 

In Rita, the top half of that tree broke off, and landed in the empty patio - not on the neighbor's house, nor on theirs. This time, they were on the opposite side of the eye, so the winds were going the other direction, but luckily the tree is smaller now, so it doesn't seem to have hurt anything. 

They cleaned out fridges at both houses and Anonydaddy's office. They took things like lunchmeats and cheese back with them, but had to toss a bunch of frozen stuff, because they've got no way to cook it and no way to get it to anyone who could cook it. 

They also loaded up their cat, and she handled the trip better than expected. She complained when they stopped or took at sharp turn, but was mostly calm. 

BabyBro reports that his power's been out and back on, and that everything is okay at his house, but "the rest of Houston is in bad shape," including the downtown skyscraper where he works.  

LadyKay thinks she's got school on Tuesday, and is working on figuring out the logistics of that. 

No idea when power will be restored in Hometown so they can go home. 

More updates as I have them.

In Other News

What with all the Ike-talk, I almost forgot to mention my (most) recent boneheaded move. 

On Friday, for the second time in a row, my (roughly) quarterly statewide political meeting in CapitalCity coincided with our monthly business meeting in OldWorkTown. 

OurTown, OldWorkTown and CapitalCity are arranged in a triangle, each about an hour from the others. 

My plan was to go to the business meeting all morning, have lunch with the other directors, then head up to CapitalCity, arriving late afternoon, in time to catch the last training session before the evening activities. 

All seemed to be going well, and I got on the road around two o'clock. About ten minutes down the road, I decided I'd give Shrike a call, just to check in. She ought to be on her way to work, and we'd have a few minutes to talk while we both drove. 

When I opened up my cell phone to make the call, I saw that I had a voicemail waiting. 

(Sometime calls go directly to voicemail for some reason, and neither the call nor the arriving message vibrates the phone, so I don't find out til later. Wierd.)

So, I listened to the message, and it was Shrike: 

"Hi honey. Um, do you maybe have an extra set of keys with you? Like mine? Please call and let me know. I need them to get to work."

I was pretty sure she had just misplaced them, but I reaching into my bag, and the first thing my hand touched was my car keys. 

I looked at the ignition, and there were hers. 

Oh shit. 

So, I called her back immediately, and confessed that, yes, I had, in fact, stolen her keys. 

But, I had a brilliant solution, "Can't you just take the truck to work? We have spare housekeys that you can use to get back in." 

"I put the truck keys on my keyring." 

I looked, and there they were. 

Damn it. 

So, I turned around and drove about an hour and a quarter back home to give her the keys, so that she could go to work. 

The funny this is that Shrike kept apologizing for making me go out of my way to take them to her, when the whole thing was my own damn fault. 

I took a few minutes to grab something to eat and do a couple of other things while I was home, before getting back on the road to drive another hour up to CapitalCity. 

I ended up getting there around five o'clock, and missed all the afternoon training sessions. 

I was there for the reception that evening (Free dinner for all! Free drinks for all who are not pregnant!), a meeting with the Obama campaign's LGBT outreach guy, and lots of hanging out and schmoozing at the bar. 

(Of course, that's when all the work gets done, not at the official meetings on Saturday.)

The whole time I was at the bar, I had one eyeball on the TV that was showing CNN coverage of Ike (with no sound), and I returned to my room a little after midnight (very early for me) to watch it until I fell asleep.

Tomorrow, Shrike plans to go make copies of the keys to both cars and the truck, and we'll put them on a separate ring, along with a house key, which will live at the house for future such emergencies. 

Nothing like being prepared ahead of time, huh? 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Don't Like Ike

Once again, I was away last night and most of today, for a statewide political meeting, and I just got home a few minutes ago. 

The hotel has internet service, so I thought I'd blog from there last night, but something is funky with my laptop and I wasn't able to get it to boot up. 

Ruh roh. 

Anyway, as you saw from the post and tweets (twitts?) from my phone (and would have seen if one other tweet had gone through) I was keeping a pretty close eye on the weather back home, and checking in with the Anonyparents when possible. 

Contrary to what one would think from the network, Anonymama tells me that reports from their local TV station say that their seawall was not over-topped, so there is not extensive flooding in Hometown, although there does seem to be a lot of water in neighboring towns. 

They did not get the kind of wind that they had during Rita, three years ago, so they expect less damage. 

Of course, they are anxious to get in and check things out, empty the fridge and grab the cat. They'll probably have to do that and then head back out of town for a while, until power is restored. 

(They are talking 2 - 3 weeks to have electricity back up for the millions who are without it at the moment.)

I've gotten a couple of text message from BabyBro, but haven't talked to them. 

Anonymama reports that they are, of course, without power, but do have a gas stove, so ought to be able to cook. (Starting with anything perishable, I suppose.)

They think they have some minor roof damage, because there's a bit of a water leak, but not much. They also have a tree down near one of their cars, but don't think that it actually hit it.

No word from LadyKay and the Kiddos, but I assume they're just hanging out in their hotel room, watching the news like everyone else. 

Please take a look to your right, and click on the RedCross.org button in the sidebar to make a contribution to help with disaster relief. 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Multimedia message

Away overnight, doing the political thing and watching weather back home. More mojo please.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On the Road Again

Once again, the Anonyparents, LadyKay and the Kiddos (as well as many dear friends in the area) are under mandatory evacuation orders. 

BabyBro and HisLovelyWife (and many more dear friends) who live on higher ground in the Houston area are preparing to shelter in place (or, as we say in Texas, "hunker down"). 

After the nightmare that was the evacuation of Houston for Hurricane Rita, they are only asking those in low lying areas to leave, and are telling others to stay put, and stay off the interstates. 
Hurricane Rita was one of the first things that BabyBro and HisLovelyWife did as a married couple. Their wedding was on Saturday, and instead of flying out for their honeymoon on the following Thursday, they evacuated to Austin on Wednesday. 

For those who are doing the math, that means that their third anniversary will be next Wednesday. Happy anniversary to them. I hope it will be the wonderfullest ever!
I got an email from LadyKay about an hour ago, letting everyone know that she, the kiddos and their kitties have arrived in Dallas, and are all checked in at "another wonderful, pet friendly, La Quinta."

No word yet from the Anonyparents, who were headed to Tyler again. 

I've been watching the forecasts and reading the predictions and this storm looks like it's going to be particularly nasty, especially in terms of storm surge, so if you don't mind pulling out that no-blow-mojo yet again, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Update: As I was typing the previous sentence, Anonymama called to say that they made it to Tyler, have gone out to dinner, and Anonydaddy is off to check on his nursing home patients. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And Here We Go Again

It's starting to sink in that I really will still have to bring home my share of the bacon after Peeper is born, and that it's not just going to happen magically. 

So, back to the whole job search / application process. 

Didn't we just do this, oh, eighteen months ago or so? 

I just finished updating my resume, and have submitted my application to TutoringCenter's online division. 

I'm also looking at applying for other, similar online tutoring positions (I suppose that would be with our competitors, huh?) and I need to start doing some marketing for my freelance web development as well. 

I'm also open to other legitimate work-from-home arrangements, and need to do some research on that. 

So, you know, if you're of a mind to pay me a bunch of money to do a little bit of work, around and between playing with my baby, or know someone who might be, please drop me a line. 

(Aaaannnddd - let the spam begin!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh, Sugar, Sugar

I had my follow-up appointment with the diabetes education people today, for the dietician to look over my food journal and blood sugar measurements. 

My glucose levels have been great (actually a bit low by the time it's been two hours since my last meal, in fact) and she's mostly happy with what I've been eating, although she did suggest that I might try to work in a vegetable every now and then. 

We discussed the fact that it's been hard to test two hours after meals, because I generally don't wait that long before eating again!

She had me check w/Dr. B on whether I could test one hour after, and just use different target numbers, but she wants me to just test when I get up in the morning and right before bed and pick three more times a day, which will theoretically be 2-ish hours after "breakfast," "lunch," and "dinner," (which aren't really any different in size or content from my "snacks") and don't worry about the fact that I'm eating between. 

I'm writing down what I'm eating and when, and tracking my carbs (and protein) so if I get a funky glucose level, we can look back and see that, "Oh, well, I ate XYZ twenty minutes before I tested; no wonder!"

So, that's what I've been doing today, and my glucose levels have be great, and even a bit low, 
as little as an hour after eating. 

So, tell me again, why am I doing this? 

Actually, I have been eating a lot better (a lot lower carb - in particular, a lot less chocolate and the like) over the past week or so - you know, the way I'm supposed to eat all the time - so I suppose that even if there really is no problem with my blood sugar it's not hurting me to have that little meter ready to tattle on me if I misbehave. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Milestone? Or not.

Friday night, I finally reached the point where my Peeper-belly (and its round ligaments) is a bit more comfy with a little extra support at night, so I've started tucking a flatish couch pillow under / against it when I'm lying on my side. 

Actually, that's only when I'm lying on my left, with my back to Shrike. When I'm facing her, I just squish up reeeaaally close, and let her hold it up for me. 

(Yeah, that's it. It's all about the tummy support.)

So, I was starting to feel more like a "real pregnant lady" for a bit there. 

Then, I had the following conversation on Saturday.

At our monthly Democratic breakfast, I was talking with one woman about baby-related stuff, when another woman (a lovely British immigrant in her 70s) asked, "Who's having a baby?"

I said, "I am! Didn't you know?"

Well, evidently, she'd not gotten the memo (she must be living way off the rumor grid!) because it was news to her. 

After congratulating me, asking if there would be a shower, assuring me that she'll be there, "If not in person, then in spirit - and in gift!" and such, she whispered to me that, "I'm so glad that you're having a baby, and not gaining weight. I was getting worried!"

So, there you have it folks. 

Essentially 29 weeks pregnant, and I still just look fat. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Painty Pup

No, Galoot is not going prematurely gray. He was just "helping" us with Peeper's furniture last night. 

Today, we had enough sense to put up the baby gate and keep him out of that side of the basement while we worked. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Our Friendly Neighborhood Spiderkid

There are several kids living in and around our neighborhood who like to vist with our dogs when we're out walking them. 

BigGaloot, of course, loves the attention and lets them hug all over him. 

(One little girl started calling him "Galoot the pillow." We don't really know why.) 

PerfectPup is not so thrilled with it, and tends to turn her back to the crowd and just sit down and wait for it all to be over with. 

There's this one little guy, in particular, who just cracks me up. We met him and his sister when he was five and she was seven, I believe. I think he must be about eight now. 

Shrike got to know him when she would walk PerfectPup while he was waiting for the bus for afternoon kindergarten. 

(PP was more about the petting from strangers back then.) 

One day he told her, "Don't tell anybody, but I'm really Spiderman."

Every now and then he and his sister show up at our door, wanting to play with the dogs. Sometimes we hide and pretend we're not home, because we are bad people. 

One time, before we got Galoot, Spiderman stopped by when Shrike and PerfectPup  were out walking, and asked if she (PP, not Shrike)  could come out to play. 

I told him, "I'm sorry, she's gone for a walk right now, and when they get home, we have to go somewhere, so today's not a good time." 

"Okay," he said, "Well, tell her I stopped by."

The other day, Shrike told them that we're having a baby. Evidently he was a little confused about that. 

Yesterday, a whole roving pack of children were coming down the street as we were pulling into the neighborhood, Spiderman hung back and came over to the car to talk to us. 

He asked, "How are the dogs? Are they having babies yet?"
Shrike said, "Oh no, they're not having puppies, she's having a baby," pointing to me.

Later, as he was leaving, Shrike said, "Sorry to disappoint you."
"That's okay," he said with a shrug. "I've had worse."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stand Up to Cancer


Tonight, over 50 of the most renowned personalities in TV, film, sports and music will come together to make history. In an unprecedented television event, NBC, ABC, and CBS will simultaneously devote 1 hour of commercial-free prime time to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

A spectacular line up of talent including Jennifer Aniston, James Taylor, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, David Cook, Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Charles Barkley, America Ferrera, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Forrest Whitaker, Jimmy Fallon, Keanu Reeves will make personal appearances on the show. These celebrities and more will educate you, move you and entertain you. They will also be on hand to answer your calls in the celebrity phone bank.

The premiere TV performance of “Just Stand Up” – the star studded charitable single in support of Stand Up To Cancer will be performed by legendary recording artists Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood.
Don’t miss out!

Tune in September 5th at 8pm on ABC, NBC and CBS!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Peeper Picture

Here's a photo from yesterday's ultrasound - 28 weeks, 1 day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh! I Almost Forgot!

Our $8000 refund check from the fertility clinic arrived in the mail yesterday!

As it turns out, Shrike actually did not have insurance coverage for her testing, so we ended up having to pay about $3500 for it (!) but that still leaves us a net refund of $4500. 

Of course, the whole point of paying the $8000 was to cover testing that wasn't covered by insurance, so they didn't have to give us back anything at all. 

Originally, I thought we'd use the refund to pay off the home equity loan, but after having to pay for all that testing, plus some other stuff, plus additional upcoming Peeper-related expenses we now owe more than that on it Of course, we could pay it down alot, but would still owe for quite a while, and would still have the $100/month payment. 

However, we only owe owed about $7300 on my car, and we're we were paying $170/month on it. 

So, we paid off the car today!!!

We debated about which way to go with it, but decided that was the best choice, overall. 

At the moment, the interest rates on the two loans are the same (5%) although the home equity is likely to go up at some point. 

(It's prime - 1, with a floor of 5% and prime is at, I think, 5.25 now, so it won't change til prime goes up an entire percentage point, which doesn't look to be happening real soon.)

So, in the long run, it will probably cost us a bit more than if we'd put all $8000 on the home equity, but given that I won't be working full time after Peeper is born, getting rid of that $170/month payment seemed like the way to go.

So, the bank may still own our kid, but the car is now ours!

Puppy Plunge

One of the public swimming pools in Shrike'sWorkTown holds an event called the Pooch Plunge each year, at the end of the swimming season. 

As the name would suggest, the pool is open to dogs, and all the admission fees go to the Humane Society. 

($5 for each dog/human pair, plus $2 for additional dogs or humans in your party.)

PerfectPup hates that sort of thing (with lots of dogs and people) but Shrike's taken BigGaloot the past couple of years and he's loved it. 

We've had the plunge on our calendar for weeks, and even before today's appointments were set, Shrike had arranged to take off work, and I was planning to leave in time to go with her. (I'd never been before.)

As it worked out, we dropped Galoot at Shrike's sister's house (almost in Shrike'sWorkTown) on our way to Dr. Peri's and he hung out with his doggy cousins for the day. 

Then, after the appointment, we went back over there, had dinner with them, and then we all went to the plunge. 

It was me, Shrike, Galoot, Shrike's sister and her partner, their two kids, a kid friend and their Weimaraner. 

Shrike and Galoot swam in the big pool a bit, but he mostly waded in the kiddy pool. The kids swam everywhere, and the rest of us sat on the sidelines and watched. 

It was a lot of fun, once I got over being a bit tired and grumpy from my long day. 

I did wade in the kiddy pool a teeny bit, but Shrike made me get out, because dogs were peeing (ours!) and pooping (not ours!) in it. 

When Galoot peed in the kiddy pool ("And everybody saw him!") Shrike was rather mortified, but I pointed out that "That's why they do this today and not in the middle of the swimming season. They're dogs. It's what they do."

She felt better when she realized someone else had pooped. 

Oh, but the coolest part of the whole thing? 

Last night, when Shrike went to the Humane Society's website, to check on the times, prices, etc. and saw the (only) photo that they are using to advertise the Pooch Plunge. 

That's Shrike and Galoot from two years ago, when he was a puppy!

Peeper Update

I had not one, but two Peeper-related appointments today. 

First, I met with the diabetic counselor, thanks to my high glucose tolerance test. 

She issued me a glucometer, a food journal and some rather broad dietary guidelines.

Starting today, I'm testing my blood sugar five times a day - first thing in the morning, 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner, and before bedtime.

The tricky part will be that I rarely let it get to be two hours since my last meal!

On Tuesday, I will go back and meet with an actual dietician. I will show her my food journal and blood sugars and she'll let me know if I need to tweak anything with my diet. 

This is my fancy, pink glucometer. Because Peeper is a girl. 
This afternoon, I had an ultrasound with the perinatologist and all seems to be well with Peeper. 

She's looking good, moving well and doing some "practice breathing." 

(After I had some apple juice to wake her up from the little nap she decided to take in the middle of the exam.)

She now weighs about 2 lb 3 oz, which is in the 32nd percentile for her age. 

We did get a bit concerned when the sonographer told us that the ultrasound machine was reporting that she was in the 7th or 8th percentile, but when Dr. Peri came in, he said not to listen to that machine, it always says much lower than the actual numbers. 

The computer said 32nd and he was very happy with that. He also showed us her measurements on the growth curve, and she's continuing to move right along there. 

Of course, I reported to him about my blood sugar, but he didn't feel like 147 was something to be majorly concerned about. He figures that if I were to do a three-hour test, it would probably come out fine, but it's still best to be cautious, since they don't want to give me that one. 

I will go back to Dr. Peri in three weeks, and after that, I'll see him weekly.

We went ahead and scheduled out all the appointments through my due date, but the receptionist seemed a bit hesitant to book the last two or three. She said, "I don't think you're going to make it that far." 

I'm not sure what evidence she's working from, but I told her that I've already told Peeper that she has to stay in until Election Day (at which point I'll be 37 weeks).  Once the polls close, all bets are off, though. 

I've joked that, based on previous election cycles that I've been deeply involved in, once it's over, I figure I'll probably relax so much that she'll just fall right out!

Or, assuming Obama wins, the sudden shift from stress hormones to happy hormones will kick me into labor. 

(On the other hand, if McCain were to win, she might decide she'd prefer to just stay inside.)

Oh, and there were (2D) photos, of course, but we won't have them scanned until tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Wife is a Sweetheart

When I came home from work, this was sitting on my desk. 

It came from our wildflower "meadow."

Belly Shot #4: 28 Weeks

This whole "same outfit in each photo" thing is a nice idea, but I'm pretty sure that the next time I wear these sweat pants, I'll have Peeper in my arms. They were very tight when I put them on for the photo!

Oh, and by the way, this is a nice shot of my "belly sock" which I've been wearing just about every day lately.

Only when I'm in "real clothes" to go out in public, of course, but I put it on for the photo because the pants are tight enough that they were squishing me in a bit and hiding some of my Peeper-belly, so I wanted to pull them down, but no, my naked tummy is not going on the interwebs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Patient Puppy

When I eat at my desk (which accounts for the majority of my meals), the rule is that MamaCat gets first dibs at licking the bowl, then BigGaloot can have whatever she leaves behind.

Unless he's a butthead and runs her off before she's done, in which case he doesn't get any.

(Or at least he has to wait a while for his share.)

Usually, she eats on the desk while he waits beside it, and then I put the bowl on the floor for him, but earlier today he was in the other room, so I put it down for her.

He came in while she was eating, sniffed at her a bit (but she hung tough) and then actually listened to me when I told him to "leave it," "down" and "wait" until she was finished.