Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Over

This year was, by far, the slackest of slack in terms of blogging. But it was so full in other aspects of life, that I can't really find the desire to feel guilty about it. Like all years, it was full of ups and downs - some that I blogged about, some that I didn't - Finishing the Leadville Marathon will go down as my all-time greatest athletic accomplishment. In addition to that, I PRed in the 5K, 13.1, and 26.2 distances. I didn't run a 10K, but I'm confident that I would have killed my PR in that, too. Leadville sorely deserves an official blog post. Better late than never, right? We *almost* moved to Colorado. I mean, it was so close I could taste it, and the disappointment of still being in Cincinnati is still a little bitter. I'm sure I'll get over it. Unfortunately, events surrounding that near-move caused me to lose one of my BFFs. It was a stupid situation that got way out of hand and both of us were/are at fault. I keep telling myself to suck it up and send a letter, but I feel like I've been on hormonal emotional overdrive, so it hasn't happened yet. I went back to school and then didn't take the prelim exam, a decision that I'm at peace with 90% of the time. I sewed another Halloween costume and a Star Wars christmas stocking, tried lots of new Ben & Jerry's flavors, dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean, and ran along the beach in Maine. I met Todd Park and Joe Biden, and my non-profit won multiple awards at national conferences. I visited SAS headquarters on Pi Day - what's more awesome than that? We went camping, took in one of the longest Yankee games of the season, and finished off the year with a sweeping christmas trip down the northeast corridor, visiting family from New Jersey to Maine and back again. ANDPLUSALSO - we took the plunge and decided to add to our family. Next year we'll be welcoming a baby girl, and I'm so excited to have another baby in the house. I think I'm even MORE excited for Charlie - he is absolutely THRILLED that he's getting a sister. I hope the close of 2012 is as positive for you as it is for me - and I'll definitely be back on the blog more in 2013. I have a lot to talk about. Pretty soon you'll be begging me to stop :)

 

Monday, December 24, 2012

White Wine in the Sun

I know i post this every year, but i love it, so you're getting it again. This year we're celebrating Christmas in Maine, with a second mini celebration in NYC. It's always nice to see as much family as possible.

I'm bundling up for a frigid Christmas Eve run along the bay. Have to keep the habit!

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

Watch "White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin" on YouTube

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Happier News

There's nothing like good friends having new babies to lift the spirits. I got the chance to snuggle with the cutest, squishiest, most adorable newborn baby boy twins today. A few hours later, another good friend had her new baby girl. Definitely a nice reminder that life does go on, and that there are good things happening all around, even in the wake of such horrible tragedy. Andplusalso, makes me so much more excited to welcome our own new baby in a few months! I can't wait for Charlie to meet his little sister.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Voice

I don't watch this show, ever, but this is something not to miss. But not if you're prone to crying.


Monday, December 17, 2012

So Much to Say

In my effort to blog regularly I had a whole bunch of christmas stuff that I wanted to talk about - neat ornaments that have been on my tree for 30 years, holiday traditions that I want to pass on to Charlie, thoughts about how we're going to teach him about the different religions and philosophies and beliefs - and how they're all equally valid and important.

But somehow, none of that seems to matter anymore. I don't want to talk about the awful tragedy that happened last Friday, but the blog post that I had written that day just didn't seem relevant anymore. And every time I logged on this weekend, all I could think about was how there was nothing that I, or any other random face on the internet, could say or type that could possibly begin to make sense out of any of this.

I don't want to talk about how vividly I can still remember the first high school shooting that happened in 1999, just as I was about to graduate from high school. I don't want to talk about how, as an adjunct instructor, I spent the entirety of a three-hour-long night class talking about the hows and the potential whys and the history and the relevant sociological theories after the big shooting on a college campus. I especially don't want to talk about the most recent event - how young and innocent these kids were, how they had their whole lives ahead of them, and how my own son is just about that age. I don't want to talk about how I look at him and can't help but think that this could happen anywhere, to any kid, and that I'm so incredibly lucky and thankful that it didn't happen here, to my own, or to anyone that I know. I want to bury my head in the sand and turn off the news and pretend that these things don't happen and certainly can't happen here, but I know that I can't. There are big discussions that need to happen - things that we clearly need to fix, as a society - questions to ask and solutions to find so that we can limit the chances of things like this happening again.

And while over the weekend I found myself wishing that I could be comforted by the idea of god and heaven and all that jazz, at the end of the day I still think "but even I believed that there WAS that god that so many are able to take comfort in, would I really want to believe in such a god that would allow this to happen?"

I know that everyone is grieving for those kids, but as a parent, my heart literally hurts when I think about it - I can't imagine how one goes on after that. So while society continues to unproductively divide itself on issues of gun control and interpretations of the second amendment, I will continue to be thankful that even when I'm stuck in awful traffic during a downpour on the highway with nothing to listen to on the radio that doesn't bring me to tears because of the coverage, I can look in my rearview mirror and see my own child through those tears, safely napping in his carseat after school.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

HDBD!

Welcome to the first edition of HDBD for Baby Bean 2.0!

For those of you who missed the fun five long years ago, HDBD stands for "Hump Day Bump Day."

We had my company holiday party on Friday, so it was a night of getting all dressed up in fancy party clothes.  Thankfully, my friends are way more stylish than I am and very generous with their maternity clothes, so I had plenty of pretty dresses to choose from. I ended up going with this little number. Ironically enough, I also borrowed a dress from this same friend for last year's party. Non-pregnancy.


 
 
I'm gigantic at 17 weeks compared to where I was at this point last time. Kind of afraid to see how big I'll be at 40 weeks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

17 Weeks - Onion

I don't peel or chop onions, my spectacular husband is the cook in our house so he usually takes care of the dirty work while I concentrate on the green veggies. Did you know that you can get the onion smell off of your hands by rubbing them with stainless steel?




 

How far along: 17 weeks

Total weight gain: According to the OB, 5 pounds. I think it's closer to 7

Maternity clothes: Still just the shirts. Many of them are still a little too big. Back into the bigger bras though, for sure :/

Stretch marks: Nope

Sleep: It comes and goes. The dreams are more annoying than the wakefulness

Best moment of this week: Charlie learning that he can "talk to" his sister. He's been whispering things at my belly about playing XBOX and Star Wars when she comes out to play.

Miss anything: Having some drinks at the company Christmas party

Exercise: Running, P90X - I think I'm done with the treadmill. My treadmill runs are slower and harder, and for no good reason. I also had to stop 1.5 miles in on Saturday to change my shoes - apparently my feet are already growing.

Movement: Still just "pretty sure"

Food cravings: Egg, cheese, and salami sandwiches. We're on four days in a row...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken. Unless it's in nugget form - those sound reeeeeeeeally good right now

Happy or moody most of the time: That song that I just missed last week ("Into the Dark") came on while I was driving home from work yesterday. Cue the tears. The only network TV drama I still watch has the Christmas episode tonight - just watching the preview had me sobbing. If they kill off a main character I'm going to lose it. I don't think this one will be treadmill-friendly!
 
Looking forward to: Cookie Swap on Friday! I LOVE cookies. Doesn't matter what kind. Well, that's not true - I don't like those ritz crackers dipped in chocolate that people try to pass off as cookies. What's up with that? I'll be whipping up a batch of Nutella Chocolate Chips. Nutella is the real reason for the season ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaching an Old Mom New Tricks

Well it's not like I'm THAT old, but anyway.

Today I hit a milestone - I actually started and finished a craft project in a single evening. Well, technically started and finished - I made a stocking for Charlie and then decided that it needed some extra trim, so tomorrow I'm going to put the finishing touches on. However, according to the recipe of the project, it's "finished."

So what? So, I'm the em effing QUEEN of unfinished projects. I get these random spurts of motivation to learn things or do things and then they go unlearned and undone. Take, for example, Knitting Club. My old cube-mate Lynn and I decided that we were going to start knitting once a week at lunch. We were going to teach ourselves how to knit and we were going to make scarves. Scarves for everybody! So many scarves that we wouldn't know what to do with them all. Five years later, and there's still a long, skinny piece of "scarf" shoved in one of my drawers. Maybe I'll get back to it. Probably, I won't. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

My own mother, on the other hand, should have been a children's art teacher - our childhoods were full of art projects and glitter and amazing homemade halloween costumes. I don't think any of us ever had a store-bought costume. So far, with her help, I've been able to keep that tradition up for Charlie - meaning, of course, she makes the costumes. But last year I decided to do it myself, and I ended up with a pretty decent Jedi Knight costume.



And then this year, I decided to step it up a notch when Charlie requested that I make him a Ninja Turtle costume. This one took me about a week, but I was still suffering through the first trimester, so I give myself a pass.

 
 


And then today - TODAY - in addition to finishing the stocking project, I cut little felt christmas trees and let Charlie decorate them with sequins, glue, ribbons, and glitter. Yes, you heard me - GLITTER - the herpes of art supplies.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Agnostic Parenting Fail


I've blogged before about the difficulties I anticipate with raising an agnostic child. Most of my concerns centered around the BIG questions - where does life come from, and what happens when we die. Those conversations have become more and more common, and C is apparently most comfortable discussing the issue on the drive to and from school. It all started over the summer. There's nothing quite like being blindsided at 6:30 on a Monday morning by the voice from the backseat asking "Mom, does everyone die?"

Cue the anxiety and panic attacks.

I knew this was coming, I had read articles and books and stories in preparation. Yet, when my small child finally brought up the topic, I froze. "He's too young!" the voice in my head wailed. "Why can't he just stay innocent forever?"

But obviously, that's not an option, as time marches on. So I stalled and stuttered and finally managed to spit out an answer, but of course a simple "Yes, everyone dies" wasn't good enough, because then I was hit with the "But WHY? WHY does everyone have to die?"

And then I had a lightning strike moment - I told him to think about it like taking turns (a relevant comparison, as it was the focus in school at the time). There's only so much room on the world - only so much space, only so much room, only so many resources - so when people get really old and they've lived their long and full lives (hey, don't beat me up for emphasizing old and looooooong lives. He was only three) then their turn is over so that there can be more room for all of the new babies to be born and to take their turns to live their lives in our world. I tried to frame it as a circle of life, and I swear I could hear the strains of The Lion King soundtrack in the background.

The explanation must have made good sense to him, because he seemed satisfied by the idea and the "Why?" about death didn't really come up too many more times after that.

6 months later, driving home from school at 4:00 on a Thursday, and apparently the issue is weighing on his mind again. It started innocently enough, with him asking whether people can live to be 99 or 100 or more. We got past that part, and the definition of "old" not really being a set number. And then he asked more about when his sister is going to be born, and we talked about how she wouldn't be big enough to come out until May, and she was busy growing, blah blah blah. And I wondered briefly where his big little mind was going, but then decided he was just excited and curious.

Until...

He started asking about how people know when their turn is over, and how they know when it's time to die. And then - the inevitable question - "Who is going to die when my sister is born to give her a turn?"

Well what the hell do I do with that?

I'm ashamed to admit that I kind of side-stepped the question, mumbled something about it not quite working like that, and distracted him with the promise of Orange Leaf for dinner.

 
 
I'm hoping that little trick bought me at least a week to come up with an explanation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

16 Weeks - Avocado

Avocados just aren't my thing. I know they're healthy and blah blah blah, but I just can't get into them. The only good thing about them is that they remind me of my sister, whose favorite book as a kid was "Avocado Baby." And yes, there's a fruit for every week :)






How far along: 16 weeks

Total weight gain: The sad part is that I don't really remember how much I weighed when I started. My best guess now is 5-7 pounds. I feel like I've just gotten huge in the last week. 16 weeks this time looks more like 20 weeks last time.

Maternity clothes: I've figured out that I can wear my non-maternity skirts just underneath the bump. That's going to help a ton. Yesterday I grabbed a short-sleeved maternity shirt that a friend leant me - one of the ones with the tie-waist. I looked in the mirror and thought "holy shit, I'm gigantic!" and then Charlie said "well if you stopped sticking your stomach out you wouldn't look so big." which would be great, except... I'm not sticking anything out. It's just there. Like, overnight.

Stretch marks: Nope

Sleep: The pregnancy insomnia has visited me much earlier this time around. I sleep for 4 hours and then something wakes me up and I can't go back to sleep. I was up at 4 on Sunday and 2 yesterday. Suuuuuuuuuuuuper fun.

Best moment of this week: Picking a new OB - I've decided to attempt a natural childbirth to try to avoid the long hospital stay we had last time. I have my first appointment with them later this month - more to come on that one.

Miss anything: Staying up until 10:00.

Exercise: Running, P90X - ran EIGHT miles on Saturday! It felt great and I could have kept going. Weekday runs are a little slower, because I'm running with my neighbor who is a running Newb. It's really nice to have company, though!

Movement: Still just "pretty sure"

Food cravings: I'm still loving the pizza rolls. Salted Caramel Mochas from Caribou are also a current favorite....

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, but plenty of things still just don't sound good.

Happy or moody most of the time: Varies widely. Poor husband. Crying about everything. I got in the car after school drop-off yesterday and was relieved that the song on the radio was just ending - I'll Carry You by Death Cab for Cutie. Always a tear-jerker, especially since I made the mistake of watching the bunny music video during my last pregnancy. Google at your own risk!
 
Looking forward to: Getting dressed up for a holiday party on Saturday! I have a nice selection of maternity dresses thanks to my more fashionable friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

15 Weeks - Orange

Oranges are another one of my favorite fruits, but man do I hate peeling them. I hate the way it gets all orange and waxy underneath your fingernails. Sometimes I can con others into peeling them for me :)




How far along: 15 weeks

Total weight gain: Two pounds, I think, between baby and thanksgiving.

Maternity clothes: Still trying to get through a few more weeks with the bella band and my own skirts. I'm not quite big enough for a lot of the borrowed pants, though one pair of khakis fits just perfectly so I'm wearing them today. I did also notice that my long-sleeved running shirt and beloved thumb-hole jacket don't really cover the belly anymore. It was just a tad drafty on my run this morning.

Stretch marks: Nope

Sleep: I forgot about the pregnancy dreams. Some of them have been downright terrifying. I don't like dreaming about vampires or pre-term labor.

Best moment of this week: Visiting with the family for thanksgiving and sharing the big news. Also, finally getting my paws on the limited batch of Ben & Jerry's Cannoli ice cream!

Miss anything: Being able to run all the way up the hill without feeling out of breath

Exercise: Still running, mixing in some P90X here and there.

Movement: 99% yes

Food cravings: Pizza rolls

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope, I think that time has officially passed.

Have you started to show yet: Absolutely

Gender: Girl :)

Happy or moody most of the time: Getting better, slowly.
 
Looking forward to: The weekend! I love hanging with the family but I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's A...

I have to admit, finding out the sex of the baby this early feels just a little odd. Last time we had to wait until the anatomy scan ultrasound at 20 weeks. Technology does some amazing things!

I hosted a big chunk of my wonderful East Coast family for thanksgiving and it was so much fun to get to tell them in person. We also finally "came out" on Facebook, courtesy of Charlie drawing a picture of him playing with his sibling-to-be...


 
 
You might be able to see HER in the picture - SHE'S the smaller one drawn in brown marker next to the pink and blue self-portrait inked by Charlie.
 
Charlie is getting a baby SISTER! He was so excited when we told him - ecstatic, even. He asked for a baby sister last Christmas and has been continually hounding us ever since his BFF Alex got a second one over the summer. You would think that we did it just for him! He's been talking nonstop about his baby. It brings tears to my eyes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opinions are Like...

Well, you know the rest. And now I'll be singing Salt-N-Pepa in my head all day.

But really.

So I've been running while pregnant. My OB said that it was fine to continue. Actually, BOTH OBs said that. And a midwife. Not just "fine" to continue, but "recommended." And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other. A little bit more slowly, and with the introduction of walk breaks every mile or so to keep my breathing relatively normal. No more pushing up the big, steep hills.

Not only have I been cleared to keep running, but I've been cleared to train for and run the Pig, should my body cooperate. Of course, no decisions have been made yet, but I went for 7 miles on Sunday and could have gone longer. It was a good run. Except for the tiny nagging voice that has now crept into my head, courtesy of someone saying "oh, I had a friend who ran while they were pregnant and her baby died."

Thanks for that. WHY would you say that to someone? That, right there, is quite possibly the worst thing that you could say to someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder.

Catching Up

So if you're really curious to go back through how the last 14 weeks have gone for me, then check out the posts I just imported under the Bean2.0 tag. I can't promise that they're interesting, but that's what I've been up to :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 19

So I'm a week behind in my thankfulness, but that's not to say that I don't have something HUGE to be thankful for. This makes it Blog Official. Still not Facebook official, but that's coming later this week :)

I've been secretly blogging in another location, set up temporarily until I was ready to share with the rest of the world.

Well will you look at that...


For those of you unfamiliar with the world of cheap Wondfo test strips, those two lines mean that I'm expecting a new little Bean! I won't tell you how many of them I used, just to make sure. Plus a digital. Those things are awesome.

Estimated Due Date: May 21, 2013

The best part is that we've had a new kind of test done that came back all clear for a number of chromosomal abnormalities, and also allowed us to find out really early whether this will be a girl bean or a boy bean. Unfortunately, I can't share that piece of information until I've told the family, which will happen on Thursday when some of my nearest and dearest are assembled Chez Moi for thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13 Weeks - Peach Week!

I love peaches. They're probably my absolute favorite fruit in existence.








How far along: 13 weeks

Total weight gain: I think a pound. Again, it swings wildly day-to-day

Maternity clothes: Realized that all of the maternity clothes I have are stretched out from 9 month bellies, so I picked up two new ones at Target. Still in my own pants/skirts, with bella band

Stretch marks: Not at this point

Sleep: Difficult, probably due to stress. I wake up a lot at night

Best moment of this week: Completing a 6 mile run on Sunday! More to come about that in another post. I'm also headed back to DC on Thursday, so hoping to sneak in a cupcake or a trip to Ben and Jerry's

Miss anything: Running really fast

Exercise: Still kettlebells and running. I'm getting bored with kettlebells and will probably be revisiting P90X soon. Also about to start a team for this year's Undie Run!

Movement: Still not sold on what I've felt or not felt

Food cravings: Cheetos

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still a no on coffee and  yogurt

Have you started to show yet: Absolutely

Gender: My "feeling" varies wildly. I'm so impatient about waiting for test results. I just want to know that the chromosome count is correct, but I'm also dying to know if the u/s tech was right or not

Happy or moody most of the time: Bitchy and teary. I cried this morning on the way to work and now I can't even remember why. Some song, it's probably a good thing I can't remember
 
Looking forward to: Test results from MaterniT21! Waiting for those so that we can tell Charlie. I can't wait to tell him!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 11

Very thankful for freakishly warm November days that allow for fingerprinting and long walks through the woods. Back in the 40s tomorrow :(


Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 10

I'm thankful for a kitchen-creative husband who helped me perfect the homemade peppermint mocha. Also thankful that loves to cook and is actually really good at it, because if it were left up to me, we'd eat nothing but pasta.


Friday, November 9, 2012

NT Scan

We had our NT Scan done on Tuesday. The whole day was super stressful for me - voting in the morning, NT scan in the afternoon, the loooooooong wait for election results - but thankfully, we got good news on both counts. Our NT measurement was 1.1, anything under a 3 is considered good and low-risk. Baby Plum was bouncing around and waving. It looks so much different than it did 5 weeks ago. Human development is so cool. We did get a gender guess, but I've decided that I'm going to try to forget about it. It's very, very early, so it really could still go either way. I don't want to convince myself that it's something and then have to re-think everything if/when we find out it's the opposite. Either way, we should know before thanksgiving thanks to the MaternT21 test.




Supposedly, the results will be ready in 5-10 business days. I don't know how I'm going to wait that long.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We Did It!

Four More Years!




I'm so thankful that women are finally standing up and making their voices heard and taking a more active role in politics. We added FIVE women to the Senate! That's pretty amazing. We still have a long way to go, but progress is progress. Not only that, but we've also elected our first openly-gay Senator. Way to go, Wisconsin! And as if it couldn't get any better? Maine, Maryland, and Washington State voted to legalize gay marriage. I'm so, so thrilled for so many of my friends who have been waiting years to be able to marry their partners. Hopefully this is just the beginning for equal rights under the law.

It was a great night, but I'm really paying for it today because I stayed up so late. I honestly thought it was going to be a nail-biter, even with Nate Silver's (now-proven to be statistically robust!) projections. I was prepared to go the distance and wait up watching until the wee hours of the morning, but there was no need.

Even today, I'm still jumping for joy inside. I hope that this is a sign that people are starting to recognize that treating each other equally and with respect really is a good goal to work toward.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 7

Today I am thankful that we get Four More Years!




I'm also thankful that women are finally standing up and making their voices heard and taking a more active role in politics. We added FIVE women to the Senate! That's pretty amazing. We still have a long way to go, but progress is progress. Not only that, but we've also elected our first openly-gay Senator. Way to go, Wisconsin! And as if it couldn't get any better? Maine, Maryland, and Washington State voted to legalize gay marriage. I'm so, so thrilled for so many of my friends who have been waiting years to be able to marry their partners. Hopefully this is just the beginning for equal rights under the law.

It was a great night, but I'm really paying for it today because I stayed up so late. I honestly thought it was going to be a nail-biter, even with Nate Silver's (now-proven to be statistically robust!) projections. I was prepared to go the distance and wait up watching until the wee hours of the morning, but there was no need.

Even today, I'm still jumping for joy inside. I hope that this is a sign that people are starting to recognize that treating each other equally and with respect really is a good goal to work toward.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

12 Weeks - Plum

I want to like plums. I really do. I love the inside of them, but I can't get past the weird flavor of the peel. It's not really sour, I can't put my finger on exactly what the issue is, it just has a weird bite to it that I just don't like.





How far along: 12 weeks

Total weight gain: Maybe a pound? Not really sure. It swings wildly day-to-day

Maternity clothes: Got a ton of clothes from friends and co-workers! Yay for the maternity clothing swap cycle. Unfortunately, most of it is a little too big for me, still. I may be making a trip to target this week.

Stretch marks: Not at this point.

Sleep: Probably not a good question today, as I was up waaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime watching Obama win the election!

Best moment of this week: Peppermint Mochas and the NT Scan we had yesterday. More about that tomorrow!

Miss anything: Liquor, especially after the election stress of yesterday

Exercise: Kettlebells and running. Finally starting to get back into the swing of things. Went for an outdoor run yesterday morning just for a change of pace, and remembered that treadmill running doesn't equal sidewalk running. I thought I was going to die. I did, however, get the all clear from the OB to attempt marathon training.

Movement: Not sure. I think maybe, once, but I wouldn't swear to it.

Food cravings: I've moved to the real junk cereals this week - Cookie Crisp.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Slowly improving, but yogurt is still a no-go

Have you started to show yet: Yes, but not flaunting it yet

Gender: I have a "feeling," and we got a guess at the NT Scan yesterday. Either way, we'll know in about 10 days

Happy or moody most of the time: Still rather pissy and very weepy. I cried a lot yesterday, mostly about the election. Cried again in my car this morning while they talked about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and how people lined up in the freezing cold and dark just to cast their votes

 
Looking forward to: Waiting impatiently for the results of the MateniT21 test. It's going to be a long 10 days.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

I'm coming to you from the swingiest of swing states. And I don't mean like THAT, I mean like Ohio - the land where they inundate you with campaign ads on TV, on the radio, lawn signs lining the road, mailboxes stuffed full of mailers - THAT kind of swing state.

I'm losing my ever-loving mind. There's so much at stake these days in terms of women's rights and basic human rights, in general. Keeping the government out of our uteri, and all that jazz. Four years ago I had a 12 week old baby. I dressed him up with an Obama sticker, took him to the polls, and dropped him off at daycare while I went to work to earn a paycheck, like so many millions of other women do. I came home that night and stayed up late to watch Jon Stewart and Colbert call the election. It was so exciting. Once it became clear that Obama was going to earn the 270 electoral votes that he needed to secure the Presidency, the phone calls started. I celebrated with friends and family members from all over the country. It was incredible - we had taken a huge step forward.



I hope that we can do it again, today. Sure, the economy is still not as robust as it was in 2007. But, we had a huge hole to climb out of, and we're slowly but surely working our way up. I sound idealistic and naive? Ok, but my husband was laid off as a result of the economic crash - so I'm not saying that from a place of untouchable privilege. We had to adjust to a different standard of living and figure out how to manage without that portion of our household income. But we did it - that's one of the reasons I've always been happy to be a working mom. I knew that there could come a time when I would need to support my family, and I wanted to make sure that I could do it. And to be fair, the husband sure made the most out of it. He started his own business, something that he had always wanted to do, and it has been largely successful. And I do recognize that not everyone has that option - not everyone has the knowledge, the expertise, the second income that makes it possible to live that kind of dream. But not everyone has the option to "borrow money from (their) parents," either, as one candidate suggested during a campaign event.

More importantly, I hope that we can recognize that women's rights are incredibly important and that the government has no business dicking around in our personal business. My contraceptive choice is my business, my reproductive choice is my business, and my hot-button issue has nothing to do with getting home early enough in the evening to make dinner for my family. Moms (women!) need support - we need supportive employment policies, allowances for time to pump breastmilk for our babies, affordable childcare and healthcare options. We need to be recognized as economic and intellectual equals - we need to be paid the same as a man doing the equivalent job. We need to not be penalized or "mommy-tracked" for producing the next generation of humanity. We need to stop the mommy wars, too - stay-at-home-moms and working moms need to come together to make sure that we are all treated fairly and that we all have access to the basic needs of our families. No one should have to choose between feeding their family and getting medical care, and it's a sad state of affairs that so many people do.

And so for those reasons, as well as so many others that I couldn't possibly find the time to blog about, I cast my vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. I want four more years of a party that will fight for what is right and what is just. Four more years of progress, four more years of fairness, and four more years of helping to protect and care for those who need it most. I'm so thankful that we're able to fully support our families, and I have no problem helping to support programs who help others in need.

Now I'm going to hibernate under the bed until the results start to roll in. Poke me when it's safe to come out!

Happy Election Day!

I'm coming to you from the swingiest of swing states. And I don't mean like THAT, I mean like Ohio - the land where they innundate you with campaign ads on TV, on the radio, lawn signs lining the road, mailboxes stuffed full of mailers - THAT kind of swing state.

I'm losing my ever-loving mind. There's so much at stake these days in terms of women's rights and basic human rights, in general. Keeping the government out of our uteri, and all that jazz. Four years ago I had a 12 week old baby. I dressed him up with an Obama sticker, took him to the polls, and dropped him off at daycare while I went to work to earn a paycheck, like so many millions of other women do. I came home that night and stayed up late to watch Jon Stewart and Colbert call the election. It was so exciting. Once it became clear that Obama was going to earn the 270 electoral votes that he needed to secure the Presidency, the phone calls started. I celebrated with friends and family members from all over the country. It was incredible - we had taken a huge step forward.



I hope that we can do it again, today. Sure, the economy is still not as robust as it was in 2007. But, we had a huge hole to climb out of, and we're slowly but surely working our way up. I sound idealistic and naive? Ok, but my husband was laid off as a result of the economic crash - so I'm not saying that from a place of untouchable privilege. We had to adjust to a different standard of living and figure out how to manage without that portion of our household income. But we did it - that's one of the reasons I've always been happy to be a working mom. I knew that there could come a time when I would need to support my family, and I wanted to make sure that I could do it. And to be fair, the husband sure made the most out of it. He started his own business, something that he had always wanted to do, and it has been largely successful. And I do recognize that not everyone has that option - not everyone has the knowledge, the expertise, the second income that makes it possible to live that kind of dream. But not everyone has the option to "borrow money from (their) parents," either, as one candidate suggested during a campaign event.

More importantly, I hope that we can recognize that women's rights are incredibly important and that the government has no business dicking around in our personal business. My contraceptive choice is my business, my reproductive choice is my business, and my hot-button issue has nothing to do with getting home early enough in the evening to make dinner for my family. Moms (women!) need support - we need supportive employment policies, allowances for time to pump breastmilk for our babies, affordable childcare and healthcare options. We need to be recognized as economic and intellectual equals - we need to be paid the same as a man doing the equivalent job. We need to not be penalized or "mommy-tracked" for producing the next generation of humanity. We need to stop the mommy wars, too - stay-at-home-moms and working moms need to come together to make sure that we are all treated fairly and that we all have access to the basic needs of our families. No one should have to choose between feeding their family and getting medical care, and it's a sad state of affairs that so many people do.

And so for those reasons, as well as so many others that I couldn't possibly find the time to blog about, I cast my vote for the Obama/Biden ticket. I want four more years of a party that will fight for what is right and what is just. Four more years of progress, four more years of fairness, and four more years of helping to protect and care for those who need it most. I'm so thankful that we're able to fully support our families, and I have no problem helping to support programs who help others in need.

Now I'm going to hibernate under the bed until the results start to roll in. Poke me when it's safe to come out!

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 5

I'm thankful for leftover Halloween candy. Enough said.

Milk Duds and Snickers are my favorite. Please feel free to send me any extras.

Not sure how i feel about these new Milky Ways, though.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 4

I'm incredibly thankful that the election is almost over. Living in one of the most important swing states is difficult - we're inundated with tv and radio ads, candidates are constantly stopping through, and my mailbox is regularly stuffed with propaganda from both sides. I'll be glad when it's over.

That said, I'm incredibly thankful that i live in a country where i can voice my opinion every November - I can vote on local issues, like the always-important school levies, state issues, like voting against  DOMA, and national issues - my vote helps to determine the president, and that's pretty cool. So thank you to all of the women who came before me, who fought to make sure that our voices speak just as loudly as mens'.

Finally, I'm thankful that, for the most part, my friends and family members don't let politics stand in the way of our relationships. I'm thankful that we're mature enough to respect that we view things differently and that we can hold intelligent, level-headed discussions on important issues. We're the single blue sign in a sea of red in this neighborhood, and I'm thankful that we're even allowed to speak our minds and stake our claims in the form of political lawn signs :)


Saturday, November 3, 2012

I Don't Even Know Me Anymore!

In the past 24 hours I've become a different person.

I had a luncheon meeting yesterday and the lunch was SO horrible. Just disgusting. Mayo-covered turkey sandwiches, limp veggies, and the worst cookies ever. Seriously. So I went home hungry. SO hungry. And thanks to my friend Rachel, I've been craving Sweet Tea. She swears that McDonald's has the best. So I sold my soul and hit up the drive-thru on the way home. I felt so dirty sitting in that line. I figured - while I'm already compromising my integrity, I may as well get fries, too! So I did. Unfortunately, the Sweet Tea did not live up to my expectations. Neither did the fries.

 
 
Second, I've been disloyal to my beloved Dunkin Donuts. I still can't drink regular coffee. Tried and failed last weekend. Tried and failed yesterday. So I've been visiting the dark side - the dreaded Starbucks. But not just ANY Starbucks coffee will do. Just the Salted Caramel Mocha, again something that I was peer pressured into by a friend :)
 
 
So last night Charlie had a sleepover with his grandma. The pickup location was originally Panera, but as I drove down the road I remembered that there was a Starbucks just a little farther up, and the Salted Caramel Mocha started calling my name. When I arrived, however, I was met with the sign-board annoucement that the PEPPERMINT MOCHAS had returned!! And this was the best news, ever. I LOVE Peppermint Mochas.



I feel dirty, but it was absolutely every bit as good as it looks. All $3.75 of it.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

A lighter post for today!

I'm thankful that my mom loves having sleepovers with Charlie, because that means date night at our favorite Italian restaurant.

Even more thankful for the return of Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks! I enjoyed a nice, quiet hour to myself this morning while I waited for my mom to drop off the kid.


Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

I'm thankful that my friends and family in the NY/NJ area came out of Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed. With only one exception, they all still have houses standing. My great aunt and uncle, two of the neatest people I know, have a house on the coast and were completely flooded. But they're safe with relatives, which is all that matters. So many people lost more than just property, and I'm thankful that all of my favorite people are unharmed.

This is Point Pleasant Boardwalk, where I spent lots of summer weekends as a kid.



Seaside Heights - the roller coaster in the ocean was the Jet Star, my first roller coaster ever.


So much devastation. Keeping them all in my thoughts as they begin to rebuild.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ban Me From the Grocery Store. Please.

In the past week, I've bought more random food at the grocery store than ever before. Aside from the Cap'N Crunch Berry binge, that is.

Last Thursday, I went to the Minneapolis Target in a (failed) bid for Holy Cannoli ice cream. They didn't have it, so I ended up with a single-serving of Ben & Jerry's Volun-Tiramisu (which wasn't very good), two mini bags of roasted almonds (also rather disappointing), a cup of grapefruit (lived up to my expectations) and a box of White Cheddar Wheat Thins (I swear, I didn't eat the whole box in 48 hours...). I was home late Saturday night and ran out to Target on Sunday to pick up the Ghostbusters DVD - have to raise the kids right. While I was there, I was lured into the cereal aisle. No Crunch Berries this time - Life Cereal, instead. Now, I couldn't tell you the last time I had Life cereal. It has to have been at least 10 years. But I ate the hell out of that cereal for breakfast and lunch until Tuesday, when I had to run to Whole Foods to get an onion for dinner. While I was there, I again made the mistake of walking through the cereal aisle, and I left with the WF version of Golden Grahams. And a piece of pizza. Again, lunch and dinner.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

I really need to get back into the habit of blogging. I have so much going on in my head, and plenty of things to say, but not enough time to do it. And I find that when I sit down and put fingers to keyboard, I just draw a blank. So here goes. Maybe if I can stick with 30 days of small posts it will be enough to kick my ass back into blogging shape. I have a lot of catching up to do, I hear I missed some really good posts from my Few Clowns Short friend.

I think I tried this last year, and it worked for a while, so here goes.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

I'm thankful for my job. Not only am I thankful to HAVE a job, but it's a job that I love. I always get to try new things, take on new tasks, and learn new skills. I work with awesome people, I have a great team, and we have a lot of fun while we're hard at work. I'm thankful that I don't dread going to work on Monday mornings. I remember how horrible it was at my last job, where a pit of anxiety would start setting in on Sunday afternoons. I didn't want to go - I hated the work, I hated leaving my kid, and I hated everything that it stood for. I don't miss that. Doing something that I find fulfilling makes me happy and proud to be a working mom.

I'm also thankful that I work for a very family-friendly place that allows me the flexibility to go and help with the trick-or-treat parade at Charlie's school. Parading around with 35 3-to-5-year olds was a lot like herding cats, but I'm so glad I was able to go. Not everyone is as lucky.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

11 Weeks: Mojito Time!

I've been craving mojitos since the day before I found out I was pregnant. Should have just waited to POAS until after the weekend ;)





How far along: 11 weeks

Total weight gain: None

Maternity clothes: Bella band, but I desperately need to go shopping. I don't want to stretch out my clothes.

Stretch marks: Not at this point.

Sleep: I don't sleep well when I'm out of town, and then I didn't get home until after midnight on Saturday so I'm still playing catch-up.

Best moment of this week: Good question, it was a very long week. Mostly thanks to the travel. I'm going to go with the Salted Caramel Lattes that they sold at the convention center. Those were A.MA.ZING

Miss anything: Beer

Exercise: Kettlebells and running. It was another lazy weekend because of travel and tiredness. That and the Charlies are sick, so there's been a lot of laying around hoping I don't catch it. My throat is awfully scratchy, though, so it may be too late.

Movement: Nope. Just gas. Which feels the same way.

Food cravings: Let's just say I shouldn't be allowed to shop anymore. I went to Target for the Ghostbusters movie and came home with Life Cereal. Went to Whole Foods for carrots and an onion and came out with pizza for lunch and a bag of the WF equivalent of Golden Grahams.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still can't do leftovers. Poor husband slaved over 40 Cloves and a Chicken on Sunday - I ate it and enjoyed it that evening, but just the thought of eating it again last night made me gag.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, but still trying to hide it at work

Gender: No idea. No guesses.

Happy or moody most of the time: Cranky. Constantly.

Looking forward to: NT Scan next Tuesday! I can't wait to see the Blob again and get the screening results. Hoping that we'll be all set to share with everyone after that. The flip side is that it's also Election Day, which has my anxiety all kinds of ramped up. I'm skeered!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Traveling Blues

I'm out of town for a work conference right now, and not exactly having the time of my life. For starters, I had to leave my house at 3:30 to get to the airport on time. Why so early? The airport I had to fly out of is 2 hours from my house. Why so far? If I flew from the airport closer to my house, I'd be stuck in Minneapolis until Sunday. This was the only way I could get home on Saturday night.

So I left at 3:30 and made the long ass drive. First flight was fine, uneventful, had the whole row to myself to stretch out. Second flight (Detroit to St. Paul) was a train wreck. I had the pleasure of being on a flight with about 100 members of a 55+ travel group headed to Hawaii. Good for them! Except... they couldn't hear the flight attendant's instructions so everything took forever and was delayed. Not just because of the 55+ issue, but because they were worse than a bunch of high schoolers! All giggly and rambunctious and LOUD. It was annoying, but they looked like they were having fun, so I tried to just let it go. It was difficult because I was starving! I only had 15 minutes between flights and the lines at the food places were way too long.

The flight itself finally started, and I thought I was good to go. Not so much. The weather conditions were horrible, so we were bouncing and bumping around the entire time. I've never puked on a plane, but I came very close. Probably because I had an empty stomach. We finally landed in one piece and it took 45 minutes to get OFF the plane, again thanks to the giant travel group. Oh well. At least I got some of those awesome Delta Biscoff cookies.

I used the conference guide to get on the Light Rail, which was fine, except that they neglected to print the directions to the center from the light rail stop. I had a handy dandy map, but it took me a while to find a street sign and then longer to figure out which way the streets were going. All the while, it's 30 degrees and freaking SNOWING. It's a freakish 80 degrees back home, and I'm getting snowed on. Minneapolis is connected by Skyways, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out where an entrance was. I was also accosted by some crazy guy in the street yelling at an invisible foe. It was special.

Finally found my way into the Skyway, but holy cow it's like a freaking corn maze. It took me forever to find my way to the hotel, and when I got there they didn't have the room ready yet, even though I was promised early check-in. At this point, I had been up for 9 hours and eaten four cookies and a fruit leather. I bailed on the first set of conference sessions and enjoyed the tastiest chicken salad bagel sandwich EVER. Plus chips. It was the best tasting food on earth.

Thanks to the hotel issue, I attended the afternoon sessions in yoga pants and my formal coat. Now I'm back in my hotel room on a break, and I need to get dressed. All I want to do is nap, but I had a cup of coffee to warm me up about an hour ago so of course I'm wired. (but it was a salted caramel latte. and it was really freaking tasty. totally worth it)

ANDPLUSALSO, one of the sessions that I really should be at is from 7:15-8:45 this evening. Central Time. WAY past my bedtime. WHO MADE THIS SCHEDULE??

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

OB Follow-Up

So I had my 10-week appointment with the new OB. I'm not sure how I feel about them. I thought I did a decent amount of research - looked at websites, looked at credentials, asked for recommendations - but I don't know how I feel about this practice. It's a bigger practice, multiple OBs and CNMs, and I only met with one of the OBs, but still. He was nice enough, I just felt like he was incredibly dismissive of my anxiety concerns and somewhat judgemental on some other issues I brought up. I scheduled my NT Scan and the MaterniT21 draw with them for 2 weeks out, but I don't know if I'll continue seeing them or not. I know I need to figure it out before I get too deep into this pregnancy, but I feel like I should at least try the other location and see if I like the rest of the staff any better.

They didn't check for a heartbeat, which I was kind of expecting, since we're only 10 weeks in. I'm impatient, though, and I've been searching since week 8. I finally found it last night! At first I wasn't sure because it was kind of blending in the background of my own, but they were definitely two distinct heartbeats, and C heard it, too, so I know I'm not just imagining things. Whee!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 Weeks: The Prune

Yay for... prunes? Really, nest? Couldn't have thought of a more attractive comparison?



How far along: 10 weeks

Total weight gain: still none, I think. Now I can't remember where I started, but I'm 99% sure that the first three numbers are still the same.

Maternity clothes: Bella band still holding my pants up, plus I got a ton of clothes from a very sweet friend of mine to get me through until I feel "safe" enough to buy my own. I've never seen that many pairs of maternity jeans in one place outside of a store.

Stretch marks: Not at this point.

Sleep: I stayed out until 10:30 on Saturday night while I was out with friends. It was awesome.

Best moment of this week: The aforementioned GNO! We had dinner at one of my favorite Italian places - they have the best cheesy garlic bread and the Ricotta Fritter dessert is amazing. Yum!

Miss anything: Coffee and yogurt, still. I've moved on to yogurt smoothies so that I can still get the "Live, Active Cultures." If that doesn't sound appetizing, I don't know what does.

Exercise: Nothing new, just continuing with the Kettlebells and the running. Did have a lazy week, last week, but ran on Saturday (mostly so I could justify stuffing my face at dinner), yesterday, and will run tomorrow morning. There's a "Fun Run" at the conference I'm heading to this week, as well.

Movement: Prunes don't have the moves, either.

Food cravings: Cap'N Crunch Berries and bagel sandwiches. I'm annoyed that husband shared my CNCB with the kid. Those were MINE!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Everything sounds like crap the second time I eat it. Just thinking about popcorn makes me want to puke.

Have you started to show yet: Fo' sho. Hoping to hear the heartbeat at my 10 week appointment just so that I can start telling people. I know it's early, though.

Gender: No idea. No guesses.

Happy or moody most of the time: Still weepy

Looking forward to: I can't decide if I'm looking forward to my conference this week, or not. On one hand, it's Minneapolis, and it's going to be cold. Plus, it's Minneapolis. On the other hand, I can go to bed whenever I want. But then I think about how I have to leave my house at 3:30 in the morning to make it to the airport, and I'm unexcited all over again.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Gots the Lazies

I didn't run on Tuesday because I left my house at 4AM to get to the airport. I didn't run on Thursday because I was still tired from the long day and short rest on Tuesday. I didn't run this morning, even though I had my gear all laid out, because I was in the middle of the best night of sleep I've had in weeks so I turned the alarm clock off.

Tomorrow. Running has to happen tomorrow. There are too many donuts that I want to eat at the pumpkin patch this weekend for it not to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

9 Weeks: Green Olives


It's Olive Week! Not only is my baby the size of an olive, but it's also no longer an embryo/ We have fetus status! It's like magic! Or biological development. One of the two. Engorgio!
















How far along: 9 weeks

Total weight gain: none, I'm back up to where I was when we started. I think. More accurately, I may be back to pre-marathon weight, because I lost a few pounds in there somewhere but I'm pretty sure I gained them back before I got pregnant.

Maternity clothes: Bella band is holding my pants up.

Stretch marks: Just the ones from speedwork. Damn them.

Sleep: Anxiety attacks don't make for good sleep. Neither do single-day work trips to DC and back.

Best moment of this week: Visiting Georgetown Cupcakes in DC :)

Miss anything: Pumpkin things, especially since it's fall. The thought of a pumpkin spice latte seriously makes me want to puke.

Exercise: Kettlebells and running. On Saturday things got uncomfortable when I dropped below 9 minute miles, so I'm going to look into a support band for down the road. Also stick to slower speeds, as hard as it is on my ego.

Movement: Nope. Olives don't dance.

Food cravings: Still on the carb kick, but also cheese and salty things. Ironically, green olives and croutons.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm having a problem where things sound really good and then I eat them and the next time I think about them my stomach feels ew. I'm running out of things to eat.

Have you started to show yet: Apparently I have, because I got two stranger comments at the conference today. Here's a comparison pic. This one was taken in the morning, I'm much huger by the end of the day. Goodbye, 6-pack abs! I hope to see you again soon one day.





Gender: No idea. No guesses.

Happy or moody most of the time: I cry. A lot. I cried multiple times today. Once on the plane when my ipod played Let it Be by The Beatles. Another time on the plane when First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes came on. A third time AT WORK when one of the panelists talked about the importance of breastfeeding and how amazing it was that she knew one woman who pumped and bottle-fed for an entire year. That was ME, yo! I did that! It was horrible and amazing all at once. The fourth time was when I had the privilege to meet one of the founders of MomsRising, one of my most favorite organizations of all-time. Really, if women and family issues are important to you,  then you NEED to know about this organization. I cried while I was shaking her hand and telling her how much I loved what they do and what they stand for and thanking her for being such an amazing advocate for us. It was embarrassing. Finally, I cried during lunch when the representative from Sesame Workshop played clips from the Sesame Street program about homelessness and food insecurity. It was ugly. The rest of the day was relatively tear-free :)

Looking forward to: Eating the cupcake I got at Georgetown Cupcake during a coffee date with a friend. Also, pumpkin picking this weekend, which means cider donuts and apple pie!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wouldn't You Think

If someone comes up to you just to tell you that they made brownies over the weekend, wouldn't you think that they were telling you because they had brought said brownies to work to share? Why else would you plant that idea in someone's head?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Que Sera, Sera

So today I've been having some really awful cramps. Really. Awful. They scare me. To be fair, everything scares me, but these are different, because I don't know what's causing them. Is it normal growth and Ute stretching? Or is it Something Awful? There's really no way to know. You just have to wait it out. And this is the worst thing about having anxiety issues. The waiting.

Like the vast majority of our civilization, I have a love/hate with Dr. Google. I find myself scouring the search results for happy outcomes and then swearing off the internet forever after I find the one story among hundreds that doesn't end so happily. Same thing with my pregnancy message boards and the blogosphere. There's only so much reading I can do before I'm overwhelmed with negativity and have to step away.

I know that statistics are on my side. I'm 8 weeks, we've seen the heartbeat, it was within normal range - but there's always that what-if running through my head. C mentioned that he thinks my anxiety is worse this time than last time. I'm kind of in agreement with him at this point. My next OB appointment isn't for another 2 weeks. It's the day before I leave for a conference a few states away. I want to get down on my knees and beg and plead for a pity ultrasound, but I know that it's just a waste because the NT scan will be coming up a week or so later. Nothing I can do to change the outcome, anyway.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

8 Weeks: Raspberries and Grapefruits

8 Weeks today, and my baby is the size of a raspberry.
Source

My boobs, however, are much larger. MUCH larger.
Source

Broke out the bigger over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders this week. (Bonus points if you name the movie!)

How far along: 8 weeks

Total weight gain: down a pound

Maternity clothes: Not yet, still too paranoid to buy anything except a bella band. Definitely need to do some shopping, as everything else I own is form-fitting and it's getting pretty obvious that I'm pregnant. Or fat.

Stretch marks: Just the ones from speedwork. Damn them.

Sleep: Going to bed at 9:00 is nice! Getting up at 4:45 to run is not.

Best moment of this week: Family photo shoot!

Miss anything: Coffee. I'm not anti-caffeine, but the smell and thought of hot coffee makes me want to puke.

Movement: Nope. Raspberries are pretty tiny.

Food cravings: Carbs, carbs, carbs. Last week I ate leftover chicken lo mein at 10:30 because it was the only thing that sounded good. I also made a meal out of rice and stuffing.

Anything making you queasy or sick: coffee and yogurt, my breakfast staples. Sad!

Have you started to show yet: I'm awfully bloated and I look pregnant. My SIL called me out over the weekend. Still a secret, but I'm running out of tent-like clothes to wear to work.

Gender: No idea. No guesses.

Happy or moody most of the time: Cranky, crabby, pissy, whiny, you name it. And I cry about everything. EVERYTHING.

Looking forward to: Day trip to DC next Tuesday. I have just enough time between the end of the conference and my plane taking off that I can make it to Georgetown Cupcake or Ben and Jerry's. OR BOTH!!

Ten Things Tuesday

Monday, October 8, 2012

Treadmill Running

So I mentioned before how difficult running has been for me. Mostly the crappy hills in my 'hood, but even a surprisingly exhausting route down a relatively flat straightaway. I think I've found the solution - and it lies with the Dreadmill.

When I started running, it didn't take me long to figure out that the treadmill sucked. It was boring and noisy and boring and lonely and boring. I avoided the treadmill like the plague. Then I realized that the treadmill had its place - it was PERFECT for speedwork! So twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'd hop on for a ride. Then I got pregnant and gave up on speedwork, because there's no racing in my future, anyway. And so the treadmill went untouched. But then after 3 weeks of absolutely horrible, lung-heaving, energy-sapping runs through my hood, I decided to plug it back in. And that's where I found my running solution.

The best thing about the treadmill is that I can watch TV while I run. The worst thing about the treadmill is that I can watch TV while I run. Do any of you watch Parenthood? The NBC drama on Tuesday nights? That's my guilty pleasure. It makes me tear up on a regular basis, even without the pregnancy hormones. Which is why my bloated ass was full-out sobbing, complete with tears dripping down my face and snot dripping from my nose, clomping along alone on the treadmill in the basement at 5:00 in the morning.

On Sunday morning, I comfortably passed the five mile mark. Ok, so 5 miles isn't that far, but it's been a while. Yay for the treadmill! Treadmill to the rescue! I've been able to keep up with running three times a week. Hopefully I'll be pounding the pavement again once this 1st tri laziness has passed.

Things I Did (or Didn't Do) This Summer, Part 3

Way back in 1996 I dated this guy named Sean who had really great hair. It was my freshman year of high school and the first time I had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. In honor of the occasion, he bought a gigantic bag of Skittles and separated out all of the purple ones for me. They were in a white paper bag decorated with pink and red hearts. Two weeks later he dumped me. More precisely, he had one of our mutual friends call me and do it for him. Sa-weet!

But I did get a few things out of that (brief) relationship - a navy blue hoodie, my first real kiss, and my love of NOFX. Sean introduced me to punk rock, and for that I thank him.

(Note: I might take some sick pleasure in seeing that he's now completely bald. He really did have some great hair, but that was a really ball-less way to dump a girl)

A few months ago I happened to dig out some old mixtapes. I popped the first one into the tape player in my car and was greeted with the beat to Linoleum - one of my most favorite NOFX songs. I decided to pull up their website and see what they were up to. Well, one of the first links I clicked on was about a 2012 tour, and... they were coming to Cincinnati! Not just to Cincinnati, but to Bogart's, one of my main high school hangouts. Yay! But the problem was, who would go with me? C and I share a lot of musical interests, but punk rock just wasn't something he ever got into. My close high school friends were long gone and the ones who were still in town weren't the type that I could just randomly call up for company. So I decided to take my search to the internet, where I asked begged this super cool internet friend of mine to come with me. I knew she'd say yes, and she did!

Concert day came and we dressed up in our favorite Chucks, because where else can you wear them if you can't wear them to a concert??


 
 
There were a million opening acts. Ok, there were three. But it felt like a million! The website had said there were two, and the show started at 8, so I had calculated that NOFX would take the stage no later than 9:30 and we'd be home and sleeping by midnight. Yeah... not so much. They didn't even set up until after 10, by which time I was already yawning and lounging against the wall. I'm so old! Thankfully, my youthful exuberance returned once they ran out onstage and started playing. I had never actually gotten to see them live, so this was really, really awesome.

 
We stayed clear of the mosh pit.
 
 
They played my most favorite song - Linoleum. I tried to take a video for my sister, but in true to my oldness I pulled a grandma and ended up with just the last 30 seconds



I stumbled home around midnight:30, exhausted and with less than 5 hours before I had to get up to go to work. It was a long night, but so incredibly worth it. Thanks, H!
 
 
In the afterglow, I reminisced about how political music used to be. You know, back in the "good old days." And so, in honor of the current election season, I present one of my most favorite NOFX songs ever - Perfect Government


Friday, October 5, 2012

Pregnancy Brain Sets in Quick

Last week I made an emergency trip to Target to pick up one of their Bella Band knock-offs. It's gotten to the point where I need to unzip my skirts late in the day because I can no longer breathe thanks to my bloat bump. (let alone the fact that I've actually lost two pounds)

I wore it twice... and then lost it. I have NO idea what happened to it. I tore the house, car, and office apart looking for it. I can't for the life of me figure out where in the hell I would have put the damn thing. Of course, this would be the day that I'll be working until 7 for a special event. I'm usually long into yoga pants by that point in the evening.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We Have a Bean!

If you know me from my "real" blog, you know that I'm not the praying type. I don't believe in one all-powerful almighty "thing." I don't know what I believe, as I've explained before. I believe in PEOPLE. I believe in family. I believe in the interaction of beings.

Yet, at times of high stress, anxiety, or emotional pain, I still occasionally find myself lying in bed praying. Praying to something. To what? No idea, but the picture in my head isn't of the slightly-scary bearded man that we learned about in CCD. I can't articulate who (or what) I'm praying to. It's just a whispered plea to the universe. Irrational, but comforting nonetheless. And that's where I found myself last night. Please, please, please, let there be something in there. And again in the waiting room, since they were running late and it was 10:30 before I was called back. Still again scooted on the end of the ultrasound table - at first she popped up a gigantic black hole of nothingness and said "well, there's your uterus!" and my heart stopped. And then she moved a fraction of a millimeter, and there it was.





One perfect bean, measuring exactly as expected, with a heart beating at 150BPM. Life is good.

Big Day

So today is the big ultrasound day. Actually, that's not really true. In the world of online pregnancy discussion boards, the term "big ultrasound" is reserved for the anatomy scan that women typically get at the 20-week mark. For many women, it's the one and only. Then there are people like me, who get themselves all worked up with anxiety. Thankfully my MW took pity on me and scheduled me for a little one this week.

My thought process forces me to plan for and expect the worst. That way, I can be pleasantly surprised when I receive good news. Is it a healthy way to do things? Probably not. Does it work for me? That's debatable.

I talked it over with some very wise girlfriends of mine, and the big takeaway was "that what is already IS. I can't change what has already happened, only deal with things as they are presented to me. I can't control everything, only my reaction to it."

Which makes sense. Really, it does. Spoken by one of the smartest women I know. However, I find myself stuck in thinking of my uterus as a Schrodinger box. And that's just weird.

I know that the statistics are on my side. I spent years working as a freaking statistician, for the love. I just can't apply the same logic to myself. Someone always has to be the statistic.

Anywho. I'm about to jump on the treadmill to run my worries away, and then I'll be working from Panera down the street from my OB office. I'm dying for some hazelnut cream cheese.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

6 Week Appointment

I had my first OB appointment this week. Well, kind of. My current OB/GYN recently dropped the OB services, so I'm being forced to leave my comfortable cocoon and start all over again with a new practice. Thankfully, the current place doesn't want to send patients out into the unknown before they confirm that the pregnancy is viable, so I had an appointment with one of their midwives - the one who delivered Charlie. It was a talking appointment, so there wasn't too much excitement going on. We did discuss the OCD issue and talked about how that could be managed without having to go back on medication in the third trimester like I did last time around. The first step in that direction was to schedule me for an ultrasound so that we can make sure there's actually something growing in there. That happens next Tuesday. I'll be 7 weeks exactly, so there should be a heartbeat but not much else. She said that if I waited until 8 weeks then we'd see something that more clearly represents a baby, but I think for my sanity the sooner the better. They gave me a short list of practices that they were referring out to, and I went down the list and visited websites and made some phone calls and found one who offered the MaterniT21 test. It's a relatively new test, but it's non-invasive and the research suggests that it's an effective screening text for the three big trisomy disorders. I think that having the test done will definitely help with the anxiety issues. Most of what cropped up toward the end were the whole "what if they missed something?!" thoughts. I originally went into trying for baby #2 intending to have the CVS test done, but after reading the risks and benefits Charlie talked me out of it. We'll revisit that if any of the screening tests come back questionable. I have my first appointment with the new practice at 10 weeks, and they'll order the test at that point. I still plan to have the NT Scan done, since that will also reveal any structural issues. The more information, the less anxious I'll be. Right? RIGHT?!?! After that's all over and done with, I can go public :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sucking Wind

This whole running during pregnancy thing is proving to be a lot more difficult that I thought it would be. When I run in the mornings while it's still dark, I really only feel safe sticking to my own, well-lit neighborhood. The sidewalk network is one continuous loop that totals 2.7 miles. I've been running that loop for what feels like forever. It's boring, but it's relatively safe, so I suck it up.

I live at the bottom of a hill. Not a super long hill, only about .4 miles. I measured it with my Garmin once. When you get to the top, there's a .1 mile flat section, then a long downhill broken up by a cul-de-sac, followed by a long uphill. About .6 miles. A little more up and down, another cul-de-sac, and then a steep downhill that you then have to run right back up. Like I said, I've been running this loop for a long time. And I mean RUNNING it. The hills have been great for increasing strength and endurance.

Now? I can barely make it up the first hill without stopping for a walk break. I'm whipped by the top. And the second, longer hill? Forget it. I've been throwing in the towel halfway up. I keep trying to make it "just one more house!" It's just not happening. I feel like a fish out of water. I never thought it would be this difficult to run 3 miles. I've also been running garmin-less, because I really have no desire to see how slow I'm going ;)

I hope things get better in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I Did (or Didn't Do) This Summer, Part 2

In July, I went to an international conference for a Very Important Company in sunny, beautiful, amazing San Diego. It was my first visit to the West Coast, and once I got there I never wanted to leave. 70 degrees and sunny, all day, every day?? Yes, please!

I enjoyed the scenery


  

I ate really, really good food - grilled cheese from a food truck, real tacos, bacon hot dog, and plenty more.



I ran the conference 5K in 21:57, which is a PR and good enough for second place!

2012 Esri International User Conference - San Diego, CA
(Me and Sean, my counterpart in DC)



I visited Coronado Beach and dipped my toes in the frigid Pacific Ocean




I went to an awesome conference party at Balboa Park - they rented the whole park out just for us. Private museums and plentiful desserts!





When can I go back?!?!

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