Here I am at 14 weeks, 3 days! (don't mind the hair--I'd just gotten out of the shower)
When I was at Albion I lived in the dorm with my roommate Mary. Because we lived in the dorm we also ate in the dining hall. The food wasn't terrible (except for Yooper Night, and the once a semester when they served liver and onions and our friend Erik was the only one who would eat them). I can't say it was great, however. We did supplement our food intake with macaroni and cheese (which has become a primary pregnancy comfort food for me--some things never change) and late-night snacks at the student grill, called the Keller, which is now defunct.
Anyway, one month I was experiencing an unusual amount of PMS that manifested itself in insatiable hunger. I have never eaten so much in my life. A typical dinner for that week was two servings of the entree, two or three servings of the side dish(es), two bowls of Special K, and 2 or 3 desserts. And the salad bar. And then later that night we'd head to the Keller and I'd get a cheeseburger with some fried cheese sticks on the side, unless it was Sundae Bar night. Please keep in mind that during this time I weighed barely over 100 pounds. Folks, it was a LOT of food. So much so that that week became legendary for Mary and me.
Well, looks like this month of my pregnancy is producing similar symptoms. I've gone from extreme nausea to extreme hunger. Seriously, I could eat Buick-ful of cake, and then eat the Buick and still not feel satisfied. The bummer? My stomach has been rearranged to make room for other things in my abdomen and as a result, I get overstuffed very quickly. Unfortunately, my stomach and brain aren't big on the communication front these days, so my brain doesn't get the message from my stomach that it's full until I've overstuffed myself to the point of bloating and indigestion. I have to force myself to stop eating even though I'm still hungry because I know if I continue I'll feel like crap for it. And yet, I'm still wanting to put away both entrees, three sides, a bowl of cereal, and a couple of desserts. And the salad bar. Oh cruel, cruel world.
I had a kid at work yesterday whose name was Hunter Green. One can only hope that he doesn't have siblings named Kelly, Forest, or Seafoam.
I've been tagged!
1. What did you do 10 years ago?
10 years ago I had just graduated from graduate school. My God, I can't believe that was 10 years ago! I was about to start my first professional job as a technical writer for a company that made software for big rig truck dealers and repair shops (most repair shops are also dealers, in case they can't fix your truck or something, I guess). I would live in
Misery Missouri for about another year. The job was a real eye-opener and lead to such skills as being able to identify the manufacturer of any big rig by spotting the front of it (a skill I have since lost--shucks) and learning how to communicate with people whose legal names were things like "Rusty Nail." Actually, working with Rusty, albeit briefly, was one of the final straws that made me leave Missouri in 1999. I couldn't help but cry myself to sleep thinking, "Tomorrow I have to go to a big rig repair shop to teach Rusty Nail, who doesn't know how to type, to use the software I have written the manual for. And then if I'm feeling like splurging, I'll take myself to one of the nicest restaurants in town--Chili's." Shortly after that I moved back to California.
2. Five items on your to-do list:
-- Clean my desk
-- Organize my craft supplies
-- Clean out, take pictures of, and list our hot tub for sale online (if there are no takers on Craigslist I'll Freecycle it. It needs a new heater. Anyone interested in a free hot tub? You haul it away.)
-- Grind down Digory's nails with the Dremel (I swear to God, this really works)
3. Snacks I enjoy:
-- Soft pretzels with cheese sauce
-- Cookies (eating one right now)
-- Things that are bad for me
4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
-- Pay off our mortgage
-- Help fund a couple of charities (like Beagles and Buddies, where we got Digory)
-- Buy a castle somewhere in Europe, like this one in Bavaria, Germany, or this one in the UK
-- Go on really cool vacations, like an African safari and a trip to Tibet with a hike to Base Camp of Mount Everest.
5. Places I would live:
-- Anaheim, CA
-- Torrance/Redondo Beach, CA
-- Berkeley, CA (in the nice part in a cool house)
-- My castle in Europe
6. Jobs I have had:
-- Camp counselor
-- Library shelver
-- College instructor
-- Technical writer
-- Jedi Master Bear Builder
7. Bloggers I am tagging who you will enjoy getting to know better:
Oh I don't know--whoever wants to.
I have recently become rather annoyed by extremely restrictive return policies. Target, for example, won't take anything back without a receipt (the exception being that if you yourself bought it there, used a credit card, and have the credit card you used, they can look up your receipt in the system). Even if the item has the original tags on it and the store still carries it, they won't take it back without a receipt.
Because of this, fellow moms have advised me not to do a baby registry at Target. Apparently their registry system is completely unreliable in updating its system, and if you get a duplicate item, they won't take it back without a receipt or gift receipt. Since many people don't get a gift receipt or, like myself, simply forget to enclose it with the gift, you could be stuck with multiple duplicate items. What a pain in the butt.
It was recommended that we head over to Babies R Us, as their return policy is a little more reasonable. That is, until next month, as it turns out. BRU is also moving to a no receipt = no return policy, even if the product you are returning is on your registry. Frankly I think this sucks. If someone brings back a product that they can put back on their shelves and sell again, why not give the person their money back, or at least store credit?
Obviously people are taking advantage of store return policies. I don't see this getting any better. I think we can pretty much guarantee that more and more stores are going to go the way of Target and BRU. So my advice is for any purchase you make that's a gift, get a gift receipt and enclose it with the gift. I think from now on we can assume that no store will accept a return without a receipt.
Many of you have seen the email circulating about Barack Obama the Muslim Non-Flag-Pin Wearing Terrorist. That everything in the email has been debunked means nothing to the people who keep forwarding it. Fortunately there's a solution. Slate.com has created its own email with the real TRUTH about Barack Obama. Feel free to cut and paste into your distribution list (crediting Slate, of course).
Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?
There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.
Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, "WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL." Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.
A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.
Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.
Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.
Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.
There's only one artist on Barack Obama's iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.
Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.
Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.
Barack Obama's new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.
Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.
Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.
Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.
Spread the TRUTH!
Saint Elmo be praised, my morning (all day) sickness has gone away! I'm a believer! For those of you who haven't been in the know, I've had a very rough first trimester. My morning sickness, which lasted all day, was overwhelming. I kept nearly nothing down, was miserable all day, and started to become terribly depressed, thinking I would never eat again. When my doctor discovered that I'd lost 3 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight (the only time in my life I've been upset to lose weight) and was living off of soda crackers, she prescribed some anti-nausea medication. The medication worked, but left me simultaneously tired and jittery. It was not an ideal situation.
However, my doctor (and everyone else I know) assured me that for most women, morning sickness clears up by the end of the 14th week, when the placenta takes over hormone regulation. Here's your pregnancy lesson for today--for the first trimester, the placenta is just forming (in fact, as my friend Wendy pointed out, you are basically growing an entirely new organ in 3 months--no wonder it's so exhausting!). Until the placenta takes over, something called the corpus luteum is in charge of hormone production. Since progesterone helps prevent miscarriage, the corpus luteum pumps it out in huge quantities. It's the progesterone that makes you feel nauseous. However, once the placenta takes over, the corpus luteum dissolves and the huge amounts of progesterone lessen considerably. Thus the nausea is reduced.
For most women.
This happens around the 12th-14th week. Well, halfway into my 14th week I began to despair and wonder if I was going to be one of those unlucky women for whom the nausea continues. But yesterday afternoon, out of the blue, I noticed it was time to take my second dose of the medication but I wasn't feeling desperately nauseous like I had been oh, the day before. I decided to skip the dose and see how it went. I had dinner with no problems and slept all through the night. So this morning I decided to skip the morning dose as well. And...a whole day with no nausea! I think I've finally turned the corner! Halleluia!
I'm surprised that there is no patron saint of morning sickness. There's a patron saint of everything else. However, Saint Elmo seems to fit the bill. In addition to being the patron saint of abdominal pain and stomach disorders, he's also the patron saint of seasickness, which is nausea. Actually he's got quite an impressive patronage resume including:
against abdominal pains
against childhood intestinal disease
against danger at sea
against intestinal disorders
against stomach diseases
women in labour
This dude's got it covered.
So I've started to outgrow my pants and shorts, but I'm in that weird in-between phase where I won't fit into maternity pants (or, let's face it, I'm not ready for the elastic yet). My current clothes bisect my stomach and leave me with a big dent, and are plain uncomfortable, especially when sitting. I suppose I could just buy regular pants in a larger size, but I'm just so against spending money on clothes I'm not going to wear for very long. Yes, I know it's inevitable, but I'd like to put it off as long as possible. Yes, I'm aware that this means that the longer I put it off, the less time of actual wear I'll get out of them, but a pregnant woman's mind is not a rational place.
So my pants don't fit. I consulted my expert friends and was resoundingly recommended Bella Bands. Bella Bands are simply a tube of stretchy fabric. You leave your jeans unbuttoned and/or partially unzipped (or all the way unzipped, I suppose) and the Bella Band covers it up and is tight enough to keep your pants on. So simple! I ordered two and they arrived today, so I pulled on the shorts that don't fit anymore and my new Bella Band and we headed out to our favorite fast-food Japanese place for lunch.
Genius. Sheer genius. Not only did they keep my pants up as promised, it didn't bunch or roll and was completely comfortable. I'll be able to wear my exisiting clothes until my hips blow out! I'm so excited. I declare Bella Bands a Top Recommendation in the Things To Get Pregnant Women category. Buy one for a pregnant woman you love! I got mine from Amazon.
Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes. Special thanks to my parents for hosting a nice, laid-back dinner (Vince's lasagna!). Vince's is a local restaurant with the most amazing lasagna. For years their menu was, "Spaghetti, Lasagna, Spaghetti/Lasagna Combo." Now they've branched out very slightly to include Ravioli and some sandwiches. I truly love Vince's. We had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding there, and that was the restaurant we met at when my and Kevin's parents first met (lo those many years ago).
Also, happy slightly belated Father's Day to the best Daddy-to-be in the whole world!
I've secretly considered getting a Roomba--that robotic vacuum cleaner that navigates itself around your house picking up stuff off the floor, but my primary hesitation has been the dogs' reactions. Given how they are around the regular vacuum (Digory is terrified, Scout bites it) I can't imagine they'd make friends with a Roomba. Well, here's a hilarious blog entry about one woman's Roomba and her two cats--just the scenario I suspected. It's very funny. Almost as funny as Buster, a Roomba, and some Cheetos on Arrested Development.
It's hard to believe, but tomorrow I'm going to be 35 years old (or in Hillary's terms, as of tomorrow I'll have 35 years of experience). Where did the time go? I really don't feel old. At the ob's office on Thursday I was instructed to make a genetic counseling appointment due to AMA, which stands for Advanced Maternal Age. After that appointment and some preliminary tests I've had done, we will then get to decide if we want to have an amniocentesis or not, since that's offered to every mother of AMA. We've decided to see what the geneticist and test results say before making that decision--not an easy one to be sure. The good news is that I have a lot of wacky health issues but no known genetic diseases in my family tree, and while Kevin is missing one grandparent branch, there don't seem to be any genetic issues on his side either. My gut instinct is that everything is A-OK with the baby though. So that's a good thing!
We spent the past extended weekend in the Bay Area visiting friends with their babies--5 friends with 5 babies ranging in age from 6-21 months. The cuteness was overwhelming. Pictures to come.
This morning was our first trimester ultrasound. Biff or Buffy actually looks like a baby now, or like the alien babies that ultrasound babies look like, as opposed to a bean. Is that a Rosiak chin? The famous Hogan Head? Here's Biff or Buffy (no word on the sex yet--we won't find out until our next ultrasound on July 24th) on his or her back. There's a hand in the air.
He or she then decided to do a front flip and curl up in a ball--here he/she is face down. Is that an acrobat? An Olympic diver?
We got a new washing machine today--Happy Birthday to me!! Kevin of course had to "test it out" and ran a couple loads of laundry. Awwww, shucks. It's a front-loader and we'll probably save a million dollars on our water bill alone. Kevin calculated that our last washer used a huge amount of water. Not only will this be a nice savings, both for our wallet and the planet, front-loaders are so much gentler on your clothes. Instead of agitating and wringing, they just toss them around in a circle. Longer lasting clothes are always a bonus, especially with a baby on the way. Plus the capacity is bigger than our old one, despite being a front-loader. It's got an extra high heat setting too for baby items that need that extra oomph. I think we're going to try to sell the old washer on Craigslist. It's a good washer and not really that old. Well, it's 9 years old, but it's a Kenmore and works as well as it did the day I bought it. Hopefully we'll get a few dollars for it. Yay for new appliances!
Last night we went to a Flight of the Conchords concert. FotC is a New Zealand band who also does comedy and has a show on HBO that we love. The concert itself was very good, but not fantastic. It was clear the duo was tired (they had performed another concert earlier that evening) and many of the songs were rushed. Also, their patter was better suited to a smaller venue than the Orpheum in Los Angeles. But overall it was a very enjoyable concert.
Arguably the funniest part of the evening was before the FotC took the stage. But I have to tell you about something that happened before the show started first. We were seated in the balcony looking down at an angle on two of the box seats on the side. There was a guy there with long hair and it became apparent that he was a celebrity of some kind, as various people made their way down to his box, tapped him on the shoulder, and got his autograph and took pictures. He looked only vaguely familiar and neither Kevin nor I could place him at all. At one point I said, "Whoever he is, he seems like a really nice guy." He was obviously very warm and friendly and was completely gracious to the fans who kept interrupting him.
Okay, so the second opening act of the show was stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari, who played the role of a racist fruit vendor on one episode of the HBO show. He was talking about how at Cold Stone Creamery (an ice cream place--YUM!), if you leave a tip, the employees burst into a song. The songs are adapted from popular songs, Ansari pans, using Cold Stone lyrics, "like a retarded third cousin of Weird Al." At that the audience went wild. Ansari paused, because the audience reaction was too raucous for the degree of humor of the joke. So he said, "You laugh like Weird Al is in the audience." The audience went WILD again, so he said, "Wait, is Weird Al in the audience???" The audience goes wild with cheering, the house lights come on, and everyone points and looks at the celebrity we were wondering about before in the box seat. It was Weird Al! After general hilarity, Ansari said, "I thought he had to be here because that joke is not that funny."
All in all it was a very fun, entertaining evening, and I learned that Weird Al seems like a really nice guy.