Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Peanut's Birth Story

On Thursday, November 18, I awoke at 5:15 am to a loud pop. I had a feeling I knew what it was, but couldn’t believe it. In my semi-awake state I had a dialogue in my head “Did my water just break? I don’t feel anything. But I definitely heard something that woke me up. Maybe I just dreamed it. Maybe I had really loud gas.” I went to the bathroom and felt no leaking, but did feel slippery when I wiped and noticed some pink spotting on the toilet paper. So I grabbed a towel and went back to bed. A few minutes later I got up to go to the bathroom again and began to leak fluid.

I called hubby, who was 4 hours away at a class for the week. We debated on what to do, so I said I’d call the doctor and call him back. I spoke to the on-call doctor who told me to go to the hospital. I called hubby back and we decided he should make the drive home. His partner, who was at the class with him, called his wife and asked her to drive me to the hospital. I woke up my mom, who coincidentally stayed overnight with me so I wouldn’t be alone, and told her what was going on. I decided to take a shower, since I wasn’t sure if it was a false alarm, and started having contractions while in the shower – this was only 20 minutes or so after the water broke. I got dressed, threw together a bag of stuff to take with me, and we were off to the hospital.

I never did time the contractions, but they were 5-10 minutes apart from the start. By the time we got to the hospital, they were getting uncomfortable and I was beginning to feel nauseated. Once in triage, the nurse checked my fluid – it was definitely amniotic. Next she checked my cervix – I was already 4-5 cm dilated – and this was only about 3 hours after my water broke. No going back now. I began vomiting, so she gave me something for my stomach and moved me into a delivery room. Mom was there the whole time.

Hubby made it to the hospital by about 9:30…a record 2 ½ drive. The contractions were very painful, I was vomiting again, and opted for the epidural. I felt wonderful once it took effect. The anesthesiologist also gave me something strong for the vomitting which made me sleepy, so I dozed on and off. I could feel pressure with each contraction, but no pain. By 11:00 I was fully dilated and effaced…but I couldn’t feel enough to effectively push. The anesthesiologist reduced the medicine and finally turned it off, but I didn’t feel enough to push until about 1 pm. I had a hard time pushing effectively since I still wasn’t feeling a lot of pain. The baby also had his head turned at an odd angle, so they had my roll onto my hands and knees to push for a while. Hubby had to lift me onto my knees because my legs were so weak from the epidural. He had to help me back onto my back once the baby had turned into a good position.

I pushed and pushed. Hubby and I pulled on a knotted sheet as I pushed. He kept encouraging me. The OB kept telling me I wasn’t pushing hard enough and that a vacuum extractor was not an option with such a fragile baby. I knew I was getting close to needing a C-section and was determined not to have one, but I was losing strength. She kept stretching my vaginal opening and telling me there was plenty of room and that I needed to push harder. Finally she cut and episiotomy, and as I was just about out of strength (I couldn’t hold the sheet any more), the little guy popped out. Almost immediately he started crying. It was the most beautiful sound ever.

The neonatal staff took him and worked on him in the room. He scored a 9 on the APGAR! He did so well that they let both hubby and me hold him and take pictures before taking him to the NICU.

Later that evening, we visited him in the NICU. He was so beautiful. Within 3 days, he was off the feeding tube (eating from a bottle and trying to nurse but unable to latch on) and was off the IV. Hubby and I visited once or twice a day, and I was pumping breastmilk like crazy for him. He only stayed 9 days in the NICU, mostly because of jaundice and the inability to regulate his body temperature. We roomed-in with him on Thanksgiving night and hoped to take him home Friday. He temperature was 1/10th of a degree too low, but he came home the following day.

He’s been home for 2 weeks now and we still can’t believe it. We’re so thankful he’s healthy and pray he stays that way. He’s the best Christmas present ever.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Peanut is doing very well. Hubby and I are still very nervous parents, and I wake up to every little sound he makes. (Was that a spit-up gurgle? Is he choking? Is he hungry?...) I'm still adjusting to the feedings every 2-3 hours...I generally need 8-10 hours of sleep.

We've been working at breastfeeding and it's been a struggle. I've met with several lactation consultants and gone to a La Leche League meeting. I was worried about LLL, since I've heard some chapters are very hard on women who do anything but breastfeed and I've visited their boards and been disappointed in how harsh they are to women who are considering supplemental feedings. It turns out the chapter here is wonderful and the leader had some great ideas. At her prompting I contacted a new lactation consultant. She got me started with a nipple shield and supplemental nursing system. The supplemental system worked wonderfully with her help and for all of 3 or 4 feedings at home. The tube kept slipping out of Peanut's mouth or plugging up. He was getting frustrated and crying which made me want to cry. So, we went back to the bottle for about a day, then I tried the shield alone and it worked! He still gets a little frustrated since he expects instant milk, but at least he's getting something. I let him nurse until he's sleepy, then hubby gives him a bottle of breastmilk just to be sure he's getting enough. Hopefully we'll eventually be able to wean off the shield.

It's amazing to see him at my breast. Once he's latched on and comfy, he looks so happy.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I've had very good reason for negleting the blog....I promise!

Peanut arrived 6 1/2 weeks early on November 18! He was born without complications and has done very well since. He spent 9 days in the NICU, never needed assistance breathing, had the feeding tube and IV out within 4 days of his birth, and came home last Saturday. Hubby and I are on cloud 9....well, a very tired cloud 9.

I'll write the birth story soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Had my regular 2-week OB visit yesterday. Everything looks good except the fact I gained 7 lbs in 2 weeks. Not so good. My feet have been swelling like crazy and I'm starting to feel like my legs are swelling, too. I've been watching my salt consumption for the past couple of weeks or so, but apparantly not carefully enough. The doctor didn't seem alarmed, but I know if things continue the same, then she will be. Her suggestions: limit salt (doing that), drink lots of water (doing that, although I may try to drink more. I'm already at 8-10 glasses a day, so I don't know if I can handle any more), and lie down on my left side for 1-2 hours every day. That's the toughie. I sleep mostly on my left side since it's better for my reflux than sleeping on my right. If I go home and lie down, then I'll eat dinner an hour later which will mean more reflux at bedtime (and I'm already up at least 2 or 3 times a night for Tums). If I lie down for an hour after eating, I'll have horrendous reflux.


Best Friend (I've blogged a good bit about her in the past, but am too lazy to go through the archives) and her husband are trying to get pregnant. I'm a horrible person because I just can't get all that excited for them. They've been trying for about 6 months or so with no luck. Her gyn is doing tests and she seems to be ovulating although she has a cyst and possibly endo. I do feel bad about those - I've dealt with cysts before (they hurt like hell when they rupture), and she may need exploratory surgery to see if she indeed has endo.

The reasons I can't get excited are as follows:

Their little girl was a surprise. BF had gone of bc pills due to blood pressure problems, and they didn't like any of the alternatives, so they used NOTHING. She got pregnant within a couple months of stopping bc. She was miserable during the whole pregnancy and made sure everyone knew about it. I'm not saying pregnancy is all roses, but I think her main problem was that she and hubby were comepletely not ready to be parents. I understand her needing to go off the pill, but if you're not ready for a kid, you really ought to use some sort of protection.

They have big money issues. Always complaining about bills, collection agencies, or their daughter's medical bills. It's only going to get worse with another child. And I'll hear all about it. Then when her parents bail them out of yet another maxed out credit card, I'll her about how "guilty" she feels that her parents have bailed them yet again.

They bugged the ever-living shit out of hubby and me for at least a year or two before we decided to try and start a family. Every time I saw or talked to them, the first words out of their mouths were "So, when are you guys having a baybeeeee?" They even got their daughter in on the act. Nothing warms the cockles of your heart like a 3 year old asking if you're pregnant yet.

One small consolation: their daughter really wants a little brother. She tells them so all the time and even has a name picked out. She also announced it to everyone at the last party we were at. BF was mortified and I had to stifle a laugh. It didn't bother her any to do the same thing to me.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Things have been relatively calm on the not much blog material lately.

Lily seems fully recovered from her surgery 2 weeks ago. Other than the Frankenstein scar on her belly, you'd never know she had surgery. Starting tonight, we'll resume our daily walks. She's been so unhappy without them. The other night she sat up and begged to be walked. I felt like a meany for not taking her. We also found out she has doggy acne. We've been noticing lumps all over her body and at first thought they were tick bites (she gets similar lumps from them.) Nope, the vet says she has clogged sebacious glands aka zits.

Hubby is out of town this week for a homicide investigations class. I'm worried about being in the 3rd trimester with him gone, but at least he's only a few hours away and we have a list of friends I can call if necessary. Mom may even spend a night or two with me, although I'm not sure how well her roommate will handle it. It may not be worth the trouble.

Last night I had difficulty sleeping. It's weird not to have Hubby in the house, I wasn't feeling well with lovely intestinal cramps, and at one point, one of the cats woke me up and scared the bejeesus out of me. I woke up to weird staccato meows - she rarely meows unless hungry or upset, and a strange crinkling sound. I was afraid she was sick or distressed and had visions of another emergency vet visit. I bolted up in bed and realized she had sat down next to the bed purring. She had dragged her toy mouse into the bedroom for me and apparantly was announcing her catch. The weird sound was the bell on the mouse's tail dragging across the hallway tile.

The most recent big even was getting maced. Not directly, but close enough. Hubby and I were at another couple's house when it happened. Their son was in the den and started coughing and sneezing. The dad went to check on him, assuming he had sprayed some sort of cleaner. He told the kid to get to the shower and get ready for bed. Shortly after, the rest of us started sneezing and coughing, so the dad went back to the other room for further investigation. The "cleaner" turned out to be pepper spray/mace combo. And this isn't the first time the kid has maced himself.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Lily seems to be doing fine after her big surgery. Honestly, I can't believe it. She has a good 8" long scar on her belly and acts as if nothing happened. She was a little sleepy the first couple of days, but has been running around and launching on and off the furniture without any trouble. We've even taken her for walkies around the block because she was so pitifully begging to go.

We had a baby shower this weekend. Both our moms were there - hubby's mom drove down for the weekend just to come. It was so nice to have them both there although I wish Dad and Stepmom could have made it, too. Since his mom was there, there's no way his dad and stepmom would come. I wish they'd all get over it already, but I guess they never will. I enjoyed hanging out with everyone and had a chance to talk with the wife of one of hubby's coworkers who is also due around the same time as me. We don't know each other that well, but she seems like a real sweetheart. We're both having similar discomforts, so it was fun to talk about all that.

I'm finding that I'm cranky almost all the time now. I wonder if it's because I'm not sleeping well (I'm up at least 3 or 4 times a night now to pee or take antacids) or if it's just "hormones". I'm trying really hard to be pleasant but I nearly lost it yesterday at the gas station when a jackass pumped gas into his SUV with the motor running. Um, they have signs all over the place that tell you to turn the damn engine off.

My big event yesterday, though, was calling in a possible drug dealer. As I was leaving work, I noticed a suspicious looking guy hanging around outside the parking lot. Work is in a fairly rough neighborhood with a history of drugs, so I wasn't all that surprised. As I drove out, he leaned over (my windows were open) and said something like "Hey baby" whole holding his hand out. He had a baggie of something, and I kept driving. Once I got about a mile away, I called it in to the Sheriff's Office. Who knows if anything happened, or if the guy was even still there, but we've had 2 situations in the past 6 months where we've been ordered to lock down work while the cops look for armed suspects in the area. I'm getting damn tired of it.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Yay!! Lily is on her way home. Hubby just called and she's doing really well. She was so excited to see him, that she dragged the vet tech over to him. She also was able to hop into the car all by herself (she has a build like a basset hound, so it's a jump). Our only care instructions are to try to get her to rest for the next 2 weeks (Haha. She's a hyper mutt.) and not to bathe her during that time. We also have to be careful of viral infections. I'm bummed that we won't get our evening walkies for her recuperation period as I'm sure she will be, too. She absolutely loves her walkies.

The vet showed hubby the piece of toy from her intestine. Apparently is was a pretty good chunk. I hope she's learned what not to eat.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

How could I have forgotten to post about Lazy Coworker (LC)? The drama continues...

Every year, LC takes approximately one month off to work for his family's business. It's a pretty sweet deal since most employers wouldn't be so accomodating. Last year he got into a bit of trouble for using unofficial comp time during his vacation. We were techinically supposed to record any overtime on our timecards and it would be officially accrued. Boss allowed us to keep an informal log of comp time instead of reporting it and then deduct any time we'd take off. Last year, the personnel office got wind of it and told LC he couldn't do that anymore.

This year we switched over to a computer-based timecard system mid-year, so LC began recording his comp time officially once we switched over. But he had about 2 weeks of "unofficial" comp time from the first half of the year, and Boss wanted him to use that up.

Well, personnel got wind of it again this year and called us on it. Boss and I discussed the situation and changed LC's time to vacation time and will make other arrangements for him to get the comp owed to him (which I personally think is an exaggerated amount. But I can't prove it).

That's not the big issue, although he had already been warned by personnel last year.

This issue is that LC also works part-time for 2 other bosses. Personnel notified me that on one of the positions he entered in time as if he's working while he's on vacation. I checked the other position and sure enough, he entered time there as well. So he's trying to get paid for time he won't be working - to the tune of about 40 hours - a week's worth of pay. I don't know if personnel is aware that he fudged on both jobs, and I don't feel it's my place to rat him out, but I am soooo tempted to bring it to the other boss's attention. I'm sick and tired of LC's bullshit. He cops an attitude when I or another person ask him to help us. The other coworker has caught him out driving around town when he's supposed to be at work. He's lied to one of the other bosses about being at work when he wasn't (and probably has to our boss, too).

The clincher: when checking to make sure if he had enough vacation time to cover his month off (he does - to the tune of about 200 hours - last year he claimed he didn't have enough hours, so I don't know where they magically appeared from) I also saw his pay stub. That stinker is bringing home as much money as I am. Granted, he's "working" the extra part time positions (although I very much doubt he's putting in the hours he claims to be), but I have an MS and busted my ass to get where I am. I'm not sure if he even has a high school diploma, slacks off at work, and cops a 'tude, and gets away with it all.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I am feeling so fucking overwhelmed.

Lily had her surgery and seems to have pulled through OK. Her spleen was very enlarged and needed removal. The vet doesn't have a clear idea as to why, so it will be biopsied. He was afraid it would rupture if he left it in, which could have led to severe internal bleeding and death. He also found a piece of the toy in her colon and removed that as well. The estimated cost (given before surgery) ranged from $250-$500+, so we asked if we could make payments if it ends up at the higher range (which looks probable). The vet said he'd keep costs down as much as possible. I'm feeling bad, like we're scamming the vet, but we just finished paying $600 to the OB in September (which she required 3 months in advance of the due date) and we still owe $1000 of our $1500 deposit to the maternity hospital. Plus the $400 deposit to the anesthesiologist in case I need an epidural (I'm praying I don't).

Hubby was just called back out after being home a whopping 20 minutes. The fuckers at his work called the house again after he left. That's what his cell that we pay out the ass for and the work pager are for. Don't call the house at 11 pm. I was trying to sleep which now won't happen. Thanks a bunch.

Hubby and I both have been stressed about money. He's talking about picking up more work details when the baby is born, which seems like a good idea. We'll need the money for childcare and to pay off the hospital/doctor bills. What I'm getting annoyed about is his little comments about how he doesn't think we can afford a couple months of me going back part time before I go back to full time. Here's the deal: I have enough leave time to take 3 paid months off. From what I've heard from all my mom friends, I'll need it. Then I plan to use FMLA and go back half-time (at half pay) for a couple of months to transition back into full-time work. Hubby is very stressed about this and brings it up every so often. I'm so damn tired of it since I tend to be more conservative about spending money - he's usually the spender. This is one time when I know I'll need recuperation time and I'm gettting shit for it. Never mind that most of the maternity clothes I've bought, including the goddamn maternity bras I've had to buy because my regular underwire bras were digging into my ribs, have come out of my allotted spending money. Never mind that there have been several paychecks lately where I've spend only part of my spending money and used the rest for bills. (Not to say that I'm perfect and always strictly stick to our budget, but I really try.) This past weekend he bought a router and router table out of his spending money. He admits it was more than his allotted amount, but never actually said how much. Somehow his spending money seems to stretch a lot further than mine. I don't even want to mention the router to him because I know he'll offer to take it back, I'll say no, then I'll feel like the shitty bad mommy for not letting him have his fun toy. Yet two fucking months of half pay in order for me to cope with going back to work and being separated from the baby are this big sore spot for him.

Then there's the stress about the actual labor and delivery. Hubby did go to most of the birthing classes with me, but I don't know how much of it he really learned/payed attention to. I'm going to need his support, but I'm not really sure how much he'll be able to give. We're supposed to do a relaxation exercise every day and I don't even know the last time we did it. He will give me back rubs or foot rubs when I ask, but it usually seems like a big hassle for him. Never mind that my feet are swollen and hurt and I can only fit into 1 pair of shoes now. Never mind that my hip joints and legs hurt most of the night because of the strain of lying on my sides. And never mind that those relaxation techniques we're supposed to do may keep me from needing pain meds during delivery. Pain meds that I want to avoid.

That was a load off. Maybe now I'll be able to go back to sleep.

Hubby, if you read this: don't bring it up. I've had enough talk about the money situation. I'm cranky tonight and I'm sure I'll have a better perspective tomorrow. But the next time you want to mention my leave time think about it first.
Hubby spoke to the vet a little while ago. Lily is going in for exploratory surgery. Poor little (well, not-so-little) mutt. The vet said her spleen felt enlarged and also wants to make sure she doesn't have an intestinal blockage left over from last week's toy eating. As far as the spleen goes, he said it could have twisted and interrupted the blood supply, or she could have a growth of some sort. He doesn't feel that cancer is likely since she's in good health and is on the heavy side.

We're keeping fingers and paws crossed that all will be OK.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Poor doggie.

Hubby called the boarding place last Monday and they were not at all helpful or friendly. Their response to her belly welts was "Well, maybe she had a reaction to something here. You can bring her back for the vet to check." When hubby asked if they would do the check for free, since Lily went in sans welts, they said no. So we won't use them again. And we're 99.9% sure the welts are from fire ants, not a "reaction". If they have a fire ant problem in their kennel area, they need to take care of it. Period.

Monday morning, we woke up to a very sick Lily. She had torn apart and eaten one of her squeaky toys sometime in the night and it made her very sick. I took her down to our usual vet and she spent the day under observation. Luckily by the end of the day she was all better, was able to eat and poop, and came home with medicine to help keep the tummy spasms down.

She was fine all week.

Until yesterday. We woke up again to a very, very sick Lily. I can't believe how much puke a 60-lb dog can produce. It's nasty. And we need to rent a steam cleaner. I got so grossed out, I had to put her out on the porch for a few hours. She proceeded to puke all over the porch, but at least we can hose it off. This time around we don't know what made her so sick. She's still on the tummy meds, but threw both doses back up. We gave her Kaopectate (at the vet's suggestion) and it didn't work. The only guesses we made are that either A) someone accidentally fed her something like chocolate on Saturday night when we had friends over or B) she has a tick-borne illness. Hubby and I pulled a tick off her on Saturday, after hubby accidentally squished the tick while trying to extract it. I know ticks can regurgitate nasties into their host when traumatized, but I don't know if 15 hours is a long enough incubation period for said nasties to cause symptoms.

So, back to the vet again today. Fingers are crossed.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Random thoughts...

Last night hubby and I saw a preview for a newish show about a law firm (I can't remember the name). One of the characters has lost his mind and in the clip they showed him in court, sitting at the table, obviously without pants on. Hubby starts laughing, and I say "Hey, I shouldn't laugh. I almost forgot to put shorts on this morning." Hubby responds "Oh, you weren't kidding this morning?" Nope, I wasn't. I got distracted while getting dressed and nearly went out without shorts on.

We went out of town this weekend to celebrate our anniversary and to have a last little vacation before Peanut's arrival. It was great. We stayed at a quaint, quiet B&B with awesome breakfasts. We wandered through the historic part of town, did some Christmas shopping, went to the beach, ate a bunch of awesome food, and relaxed.

After picking up the dog, I noticed she has fire ant stings all over her belly. We boarded her at new vet's closer to home and will not be taking her back again. They were fucking anal about her having a fecal test to make sure she's parasite-free (since the dogs share a common yard), but they can't control their fucking fire ants. She's been scratching and licking like crazy. Hubby will be making a not-so-happy phone call to them.

I also talked to my parents last night. For some reason, every time I talk with them, I have to poop before the phone call ends. So this time I made sure to go to the bathroom before calling. Sure enough, near the end of the phone call, I got that urgent gotta go feeling.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

This is too funny. It's a long read, but worth it. In a nutshell: a guy was trying to sell a powerbook on e*BaY and a scammer tried to hook him. So, he scammed the would-be scammer. Immature and childish, but funny as hell.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A few weeks ago, hubby and I took a trip to the mall. I had some birthday money to spend, and by golly, I was gonna spend it.

As we were driving around the access road, hubby commented on the car behind us. It was a police-style Crown Vic (unmarked) with lots of antennae. Hubby had a feeling the driver was either A) going to rear-end us or B) pull us over. Apparently the guy had been behind us for a mile or so and at one point was talking into a hand mic as if calling in our tag. Hubby pulled down a lane of parking spaces and stopped, but the car tooted it's air horn at us and zoomed along the access road. At that point hubby got very suspicious (most unmarkeds in our area are not the color of that car), so he pulled back out and got behind the other car. It had a vanity tag - big red flag. Unmarkeds either have generic or state tags. So we followed the car. Eventually he pulled into a lane of parking spaces, and as he was backing into a space, put on the strobes in his taillights. So hubby pulled in a few spaces down, gave me the cellphone, and jumped out to ID the driver.

Hubby pulled his badge and asked the driver for his. At which point the driver pulled out a driver's license. He admitted that what he did would give the impression that he was a police officer, so hubby grabbed the guys handcuffs (which were hanging in cop-like fashion from the spotlight handle) and hooked the guy up. Hubby had me call 911 for backup. Once hubby got things settled down, I went into the mall, skirting around the suspects car. (I'm very paranoid that way and try not to be seen when hubby pulls anyone over off-duty. Just in case they hold a grudge.)

Later, when I came back out, hubby was calling his sergeant to ask a couple of questions. When he mentioned handcuffing the guy with his own handcuffs, I could here the sergeant laughing his ass off over the phone. Anyway, hubby arrested the guy for impersonating a police officer, which is a felony. The guy had a bullet-proof vest and baton in his backseat and apparantly aspires to go to police academy. I'd say his chance at that is now nill. This guy and a friend had purchased 2 or 3 of these cars off e*BaY and seem to get off on scaring people. They picked the wrong person that day.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Yesterday I was watching a BloodMobile set up. As they were waiting for donors to show up at the donor bus, there were 3 nurses outside having a smoke break. I had to laugh.


The shit hit the fan at Mom's last night. She called us just after dinner to ask if we could take Cindy (her elderly roommate) to the hospital. Cindy was having difficulty breathing, may have had a minor heart attack (she has congestive heart failure), and the only way she would agree to go to the hospital was if hubby took her (she just adores him). Earlier in the evening, Mom had called 911 and Cindy hung up the phone on her. So a deputy showed up, as they do with all hang-up emergency calls. He convinced Cindy to let the ambulance come and have the EMTs check her out. They wanted her to go to the hospital and she refused. She was convinced that if she went to the hospital, the doctor would put her in a nursing home or back at the shitty assisted living facility.

We grudgingly agreed to take her, then started to really think about it. We live 30 minutes from them, plus there would be another 15 minute drive to the ER. Seriously bad shit could happen in the span of 45 minutes. Hubby, as a cop, is a First Responder, meaning he's had basic CPR and first aid plus some extra training. He began to worry that if something happened to Cindy on the way, he could be held liable and sued. So we called Mom back to tell her our concerns and and ambulance was already there. During the time Hubby and I were hashing things out, Cindy needed Mom's assistance to go to the bathroom and could hardly breathe. Mom decided to call the ambulance, and this time Cindy agreed.

So now we need to figure out what to do. Mom can't take the stress of Cindy refusing medical care when she obviously needs it. Mom was so afraid that Cindy was going to die right there before the ambulance arrived. I suggested that Mom talk to Cindy's doctor and explain to him that she also has health problems, including bipolar disorder, and can't take that kind of stress. I'm hoping that he'll get Cindy hooked up with a visiting nurse who can stay with them. Otherwise I'm afraid Cindy will have to go someplace that can provide more care.

I also can't handle the stress of taking care of both Mom and Cindy. Mom's been pretty stable lately and the most she's needed are rides to the grocery store and financial help for some plumbing repairs. If she crashes, I can't deal with getting her to doctors/the psych ward and getting Cindy to doctors as well. Hubby's still playing catch-up at work with all the cases that piled on while he was doing emergency relief after the hurricanes. I work in a town 45 minutes away and am planning to max out all my accumulated leave when peanut arrives, so I can't afford to take a lot of time off. Besides the fact that I'm trying to avoid stress like the plague right now.

I hope we can figure out a solution that works for everyone.

UPDATE: I spoke to Mom shortly after posting yesterday. Cindy was sent home at 2 am yesterday morning. The ER was full, and no beds were available, so they doped Cindy up to calm her down and sent her home with the instructions to see her doctor and get oxygen. Mom tried several times to contact the doctor's office and was finally able to speak to the nurse. The doctor's response via the nurse was that he'd see Cindy next week and made no mention of oxygen at all. Jayzus Effing Christ. What kind of medical care is that? Cindy is 85 and has a history of heart problems - I would've thought the doctor would make time to see her and get her the damn oxygen.

Now Cindy wants Mom to have power of attorney in case anything else happens. Mom and I both think it's a BAD idea since Mom's not exactly stable and doesn't need the burden of being responsible for another person. Mom's been in touch with Cindy's niece in hopes that she or her husband will do it. Cindy wants nothing to do with them, but the responsibility for her wellbeing can't be dumped on Mom.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I talked to my friend who was missing family in the wake of hurricane Ivan. The wreckage of their plane was finally found, with the remains of the 4 missing people inside. It's so sad - a mom and dad and their two teenage children. The family is a mess: not only did they lose their kin, but many of her family also are having health problems and still have major damage to their homes. She said that most of them won't be able to attend the funeral since it will be held in Alabama - too long a trip for most of them. Pensacola (where the deceased lived) is so badly damaged, they can't even have the service there.

My heart goes out to her and her family. I hope her loved ones are at peace.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

One of this morning's stories on NPR was about a tyrannosauroid ancestor of T. rex which had primitive protofeathers. They found actual fossilized protofeathers. What an amazing find!

When I hear stories like this, they remind me of why pursued a career in biological research. The complexities of living (and extinct) organisms are amazing. I'll start to think about evolution, and inevitably my mind will wander to creationism. Don't get me wrong, religion is very important, but I become sad and angry thinking about the school systems that want to teach only creationism and the schools that put disclaimers at the front of their biology books to "clarify" that evolution is only a theory and not fact. Creationism is such a simplification of our complex world. I admit, I'm not 100% sure if there is a God, but I'm pretty sure that if He* exists, He had a pretty awesome plan for things, starting with the Big Bang. When the bible was written, people had very limited knowledge of the natural world and no concept of science. I believe the bible was written in terms they could understand - a simplification.

I hate to hear creationists use the old "I didn't evolve from a monkey". No one said we did. What evolution suggests is that we evolved from a common ancestor. What is so implausable about that? All living things share roughly 99.something% of DNA. Who's to say the Creator didn't come up with a damn fine blueprint for life, that with tweaks, additions and deletions has evolved into the complex world we live in. And continues to evolve.

I've also heard the creationist belief as an excuse to dessimate natural areas and the animals that inhabit them. You know, the whole "dominion over the beasts" thing. I have to wonder if that's how God meant us to interpret it. Did He mean for us to pollute, kill, and destroy. Or did he mean for us to act as stewards, taking only what we needed while preserving the rest? Yes, in natural history, there have been waves of mass extinctions. Should we (humankind) be the force of another mass extinction? I truly hope not, although we seem to be racing along in that direction as we dig, drill, deforest, and develop.

Crazy T'ai Chi instructor (I blogged about him way back) loved to discuss how the endangered species act was a waste, that extinction is natural, blah blah blah. I never had the guts to stand up to him, but I always wondered why God would have made this amazing world if He just intended for us to pillage it. Perhaps all those "unnecessary" species that are going extinct actually benefit us - as things of beauty, sources of knowledge, sources of medicine...

*I use "He" as generic - I'm not convinced that God is a simple he or she. I view God as Mother-Father.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I'm now in my third trimester. Holy shit, only 3 more months to go! Peanut moves a lot now. I feel him kicking throughout the day along with some quiet spells. When I go to bed, he really gets revved up for about 5 minutes with some major belly-shaking kicks, then settles down to little kicks and flutters.

I've been super cranky the past coupla weeks. I don't know if it's lack of sleep (I wake up several times a night to pee, in pain with leg cramps, burning with reflux, or because I'm roasting with 1-3 cats piled on me) or if I'm getting over the hurricane stress. Last night I was ready to strangle the dog within 2 minutes of taking her outside. She begged to go out (which usually means potty time) and all she wanted to do was sniff each and every damn blade of grass. Once I brought her inside, she ran to the front door indicating she wanted to go for a real walk around the neighborhood. It didn't happen, especially since I was already pissed at her.

I've also been super hungry. I can't believe my appetite now. Today I've had:
1 bowl of cereal w/milk
1 pita with tabouli (that shit's crack to me)
1 bag Chex mix (healthy, I know)
1 frozen dinner: fried chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas & c's
1 nectarine

I also have a box of rye crackers that are calling my name and it's still 3 hours till dinner...nevermind, I'm already eating them, too.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Hubby is a sweetie. And funny.

Saturday morning I was brushing my teeth and he walked into the bathroom to tell me about a dream he had the night before. His story went something like this...

"I had this dream where I went back in time. My first thought was: Oh shit, now I have to make all the same choices so I end up with the same future and selzach and I get married. Fucking temporal displacement." (I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to end up in the same present we're in now.)

So I asked when in the past he ended up. It was high school.

His next comment was "Yeah, the first thing I did was cut off my mullet and shave the moustache." I nearly peed myself. See, every chance I get, I pull out his yearbook and show our friends how stylin' he was back in high school with the puny moustache and hick mullet. Maybe one of these days he'll learn to hide the damn book. It's just waaaay to tempting when people don't believe he: A) once had hair and B) had a mullet.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Back to the old grind. Today is my first day back to work after hurricane Jeanne. Work had only partial power until yesterday afternoon, so I had the rest of the week off. I'm certainly not complaining. I caught up on much-needed sleep, got some chores done around the house, ran errands, cooked some decent dinners, and did a whole lot of nothing. Hubby is working another 12-hour shift today (it's his 6th day) and is completely wiped out. Last night he mowed part of the yard and we finally removed all the plywood from our windows. Poor guy has had a physically demanding week. The good news is he has both Saturday and Sunday off!

We were really lucky again. The only "damage" we sustained was losing the door to our mailbox. All our shingles are still in place, and we had no leaks. This storm was much scarier than the others. Jeanne passed directly over us (the other 2 went to our east, so we were on the weaker side of them), and at times our house rumbled with the wind. I've seen a lot of uprooted trees and knocked-down utility poles.

This week I also discovered that a friend is missing family members. Her cousin's family tried to fly out of Ivan's path in north Florida and haven't been heard from since. Civil Air Patrol is doing search and rescue, but haven't found anything. They don't even know if a flight plan was filed. I actually volunteered with CAP during high school and let me just say, finding a wrecked plane is not easy if it crashed in a remote area. (Thankfully I never did any SAR firsthand, although I heard some pretty gruesome stories.) She and her family have been on my mind and I'm praying they're safe and just haven't been able to get in touch.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Well, the eye of Jeanne is over us right now. So far so good. Amazingly, the power came back on about 20 minutes ago. I'm keeping fingers crossed that it stays on. The backside of the storm is weaker than the frontside, thank God, so maybe we'll keep power. From about 5 this morning until 11 it was pretty damn scary. The house was rumbling with the wind.

I'm so ready for hurricane season to be over.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

A while back I wrote about a friend who was going through IVF - how I had found out about it from other friends and wasn't sure if I should bring it up with her. I decided not to, and this week she told me about it all. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for over two years. She's gone though inseminations and 3 IVF cycles. The 3rd cycle resulted in a pregnancy that she lost at 7 weeks - the same day I told her and my other friends that I was pregnant.

She apologized to me for not really congratulating me. I felt terrible. I wrote her back and told her not to feel bad and how sorry I was that my timing was so awful. She hadn't told any of our other friends about the pregnancy and miscarriage until about a week ago. I also told her that I hadn't brought any of it up with her because I wanted to respect her privacy. I'm glad she finally felt able to tell me. She also was kind enough to ask about my pregnancy - I've purposely not mentioned it when I e-mail her. I can't imagine how especially hard the past couple of months have been for her.

I keep praying that she'll be able conceive and birth a healthy baby - as I'm sure she and her husband have been. They are an amazing couple who will be wonderful parents. Life can be so unfair.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Yesterday I posted about my recent fixation with mortality and the safety of my family. A few hours later, Stepmom e-mailed me to tell me about a horrific double murder of a mother and baby that happened a few miles from her and Dad's house. She said the helicopters were searching for most of the night, and she received a call from the police to lock the doors. Dad is out of town, so I got worried. Another woman was murdered nearby about a week ago. At first I wondered if they had a serial killer on the loose. My second thought was that the woman and baby were killed by her spouse/boyfriend. Thought number two was correct. It's a sad fact that the majority of women who are murdered are killed by a husband/boyfriend. Police arrested the boyfriend yesterday, but still have no leads on the week-old case. Scary stuff.

I just don't understand it. Laci Peterson, the woman in Utah, now this...and I'm sure many others that never make it as big news. I just can't understand the power trips that these men are on...that they think they "own" their families. I wonder if the boyfriend was abusive and if she was trying to leave.

Below are excerpts from today's story in the Hartford Courant. Warning: It's detailed.

Man Arrested In Double Slaying6:32 AM EDT,September 23, 2004 By JESSE LEAVENWORTH And DAVID OWENS, Courant Staff Writers NEW MILFORD --
A man whose infant son and girlfriend were found stabbed to death Tuesday has been charged with the gruesome killings.Police arrested David Stone, 29, of New Milford early today. A law enforcement official said he had confessed.Local and state police on Wednesday night said they also planned to search the Valley View condominium where Stone lived with Lisa M. Aviles and their 4-month-old son, Damion E. Stone.Fishermen, responding to screams, found the bodies of the baby boy and Aviles, 31, in a wooded area Tuesday at about 8 p.m. Damion was still strapped into a baby carrier. Aviles was found about 12 yards away, state police Sgt. J. Paul Vance said. Both died of multiple stab wounds, according to the state medical examiner's office in Farmington.Police said the killings were particularly gruesome. The infant was stabbed 10 to 15 times, while Aviles was stabbed more than 30 times, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."In my 30 years as a state trooper, I've never seen a scene that was so horrific," Vance said.

Stone worked as a manager at the Dairytown Drivethru Convenience store in Danbury. Store owner Kevin Paige said the man came to work Wednesday morning and told him that his girlfriend and son were missing. The man had seen newspaper stories about the killings, Paige said, and said he was concerned about their wellbeing."I said, `Let's go and make sure it's not Lisa,'" Paige said. "He was upset over the thought of it possibly being his son."Paige said he accompanied his employee to the police station. Stone went in to speak with officers, Paige said, and that's the last time he saw him.He said he would be surprised if his employee were involved in such an awful crime. He was a reliable worker who seemed to love his son, Paige said, and he and Aviles did not have any troubles that Paige could see were out of the ordinary

Lynne Vogt, who lives near the couple in a condominium complex on Upper Valley Drive, said she and her family tried to keep away from Stone."He just didn't seem to know his boundaries. We didn't care for him," Vogt said.She recalled one day this past summer when the man, driving a car, "came flying" into the pool area of the complex and almost drove up over an embankment and into the pool where Vogt's grandchildren were playing.But Stone did seem to be "very into the baby," Vogt said. She said she had not seen Aviles or the baby for about a week before the killings.Another neighbor, Evelyn Travis, said she met the couple and their child this past summer at the swimming pool and often saw them walking the baby around the condominium complex."They both seemed like very happy parents," Travis said. "He seemed very proud, very proud of his family."

Aviles' parents, Irene and Thomas Andrews of Daytona Beach, Fla., said Aviles grew up in Highland Mills, N.Y., and had worked in retail. They did not know much about their daughter's boyfriend, but Aviles had told them that he had a criminal record, Thomas Andrews said."We didn't approve of him," Thomas Andrews said."She was a good kid," he said. "We don't know why this happened. We're absolutely befuddled by this."

Tuesday's killings are the second and third in a week in New Milford. Maria Rojas was found dead Sept. 15 behind her husband's flooring business off Route 7. The mother of two young children was killed by a blow to the head. No arrests have been made in that case. Police said Tuesday's killings and Rojas' death are not related.

Courant Staff Writers Dave Altimari and Katie Melone contributed to this story. An Associated Press report is also included.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Things checked out OK at the doctor's appointment. According to the OB, it's physically impossible for the baby to be kicking against my intestines or rectum, but things are getting squished by my ever-growing uterus. Since I'm short, I can expect a lot more discomfort.

I do wonder how much the doctor really knows is going on. The visits are short and consist of: urine sample, weight, blood pressure, listening to the baby's heartbeat for maybe 20 seconds, and measuring my belly.


Being pregnant has brought my own mortality into the forefront of my thoughts. Of course, I worry about the baby - that he'll be born healthy and without complications, and that he'll go on to live a long, happy, and healthy life. The thought of bringing a child into this world has confirmed that time goes forward. That's it. No going back. Only forward and getting older.

I've also thought a lot about hubby and my parents. I can't imagine what life would be without hubby. Sure, I could survive on my own, but I wouldn't want to. It would be sad and difficult. I pray our child can have both of his parents around, hopefully well into adulthood.

Then there are the parents. I wrote about Dad recently. I worry about Mom and Stepmom, too. Besides the mental health issues, Mom has high blood pressure and cholesterol, degenerative arthritis in her back, is somewhat sedentary, and doesn't eat too well. My grandfather died of a heart attack when mom was in her late 20s. I know he was older than she is now, but not that much - maybe 10 years. Stepmom's family has a nasty history of cancer - her mom and aunt both were heavy smokers and died from lung cancer. All three of my parents used to be heavy smokers.

I try not to think of all these things, and I know it's not worth worrying about - mortality is something we have no control over. But the thoughts creep into my head anyway.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I had a wonderful weekend – my dad was in town so I was able to see him both Saturday and Sunday. He came out to our house on Saturday and spent the day. Hubby was called out on an attempted homicide, so Dad and I had some good catching-up time together. Yesterday I drove out to his hotel and had lunch and spent the afternoon with him. We talked some about Mom and the whole situation with her. I told him how I’m still having a difficult time dealing with her and what our relationship has developed into. He helped me feel a little better about it all and shared some experiences he had with her when she was first diagnosed and was unstable for over a year.

It’s funny…as a kid I didn’t feel all that close to him. I loved him and wanted to be a part of his life, but I also was afraid of him and felt that I was part of his old life, second to his new life with Stepmom. He also was away on business a good bit of the time which didn’t help. Sometimes I’d go 2 or 3 months without seeing him. Now I’m close to him and Stepmom and have a better relationship with them than I do with Mom. I really wish they lived closer to us. It would be nice to have them drop by for dinner or spend the day shopping with Stepmom.

This morning I had a meltdown. I’m already missing my dad (shit, I’m gonna start crying at work). He’s 66, dealt succesfully with prostate cancer last year, and I know he’s not going to live forever. Since I only see him once or twice a year, he usually looks older each time I see him and it’s really hard to take. I’ve also had a cold/bad allergies kicking my ass for the past week and have been very tired. Then last night I got really bad intestinal cramps and pressure, but could not take a poop. I convinced myself I was going into early labor and got freaked out. Hubby talked me down this morning and suggested that maybe Peanut was pressing against my intestines. Thankfully, I have an OB appointment today, so I’m going to unload all my pregnancy anxiety on her and see if she has any answers.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The war against ticks rages on. Last night I vacuumed the ever-living shit out of the house. All the carpets, the couch cushions, under the cushions, under the dog bed, the baseboards and windowsill by the dog bed, the tracks in the sliding glass door.... Today hubby took on round 2 by spraying the ever-living shit out of our furniture and the dog bed. We'll wait a few days for the chemicals to dissipate, then we'll give the cats their tick treatment.

After hubby waged his battle, he gleefully told me he found a dead tick. Belly-up with feet in the air. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Things are finally getting back to normal. Last workweek was a complete clusterfuck. Monday was the holiday/tail end of Frances. Tuesday and Wednesday were actually productive. Then the power went out at work Thursday and half of Friday which meant I could get little accomplished. I ended up only working about 3 hours on Thursday. First thing Friday was spent hurricane-proofing the lab (again). The power was still out, so I said "fuckit" and went to renew my soon-to-expire driver's license. I'd have to take time off to do it anyway, so why not do it when I couldn't work anyhow. By the time I got back, the power was on, so I got cracking.

Monday was another day off (sort of) because of Ivan. The Powers That Be decided on Friday to make Monday a hurricane day. It seemed a bit early for that call, but whatever. Ivan thankfully decided to head away from us (not so fortunately for folks from the panhandle to New Orleans), so they decided to make Monday a work day. I didn't hear anything about it until yesterday, so I never came in. At least they decided not to penalize those of us who took the day off at face value.

Yesterday we had no a/c, as is always the case after a power outage (which happened LAST WEEK). After complaints from several of us, we have partial a/c now and the system should be fully functional next week. Let's just say that an 88 degree lab + a pregnant woman with nasty allergies and a raging sinus headache = a very unhappy situation.

So, on Monday, I was busy registering at the maternity hospital and by chance ran into a co-worker and her new baby. So cute! I also dropped $70 at the vet's for tick treatment for the dog, cats, and house. We are having a tick invasion and it's horrible. I cannot express how much ticks gross me out. I picked 2 out of my clothes last week and started getting concerned. Then I found an engorged one on the couch (ohmygod it was sick). After that, I made hubby help me inspect the dog. We found 5 more ticks in between her toes. I've been doing daily feet checks on the dog and generally find 1 or 2 every time I take her out for a walk. Monday I also tore apart all her favorite sleeping places and did several loads of laundry, including the doggie bed. I found two more engorged fuckers hiding under it. Monday night I was stretching out on the floor and found yet another tick crawling along.

I've been researching outdoor tick controls and may try some neem oil if I can find it. If that doesn't work, we may make the move to chemicals, which I would prefer to avoid. I generally don't use chemicals, and am worried about Peanut and the cats. Most tick controls have pyrethrins in them, which can be fatal to cats. We're also going to be more diligent about cutting the grass. It'w weird, though, because our neighborhood is fairly sterile as far as wildlife goes. We have no large trees and few bushes for hiding places.

On a happy note, Peanut was really active last night. Hubby and I were on the couch watching TV, so I put his hand on my belly. He couldn't believe the strenght of Peanuts kicks. As usual, he kicked once or twice, then stopped...It never fails. So, we tried talking to Peanut and it worked! He responded by kicking some more. Hubby kept grinning.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

We survived hurricane Frances unscathed. Phew. 2 hurricanes in 3 weeks. And Ivan may be headed our way.

I am so very glad we don't have any large trees around our house and that the retention ponds are at the other end of the neighborhood. One of the ponds flooded into the road, but luckily not onto anyone's private property. We did lose power for about 38 hours and had to toss all the fridge perishables, but amazingly the frozen stuff stayed frozen. The newscasters kept repeating that a full freezer can keep for 48 hours, and thank-the-lord, ours was PACKED.

Thursday night, friends came over and helped hubby put plywood over our windows and slider. Friday night, we went over to their house and did the same for them. Well, by we I mean hubby and the husband of the other couple. Wife friend and I hung around and ate while the guys worked.

Saturday, I picked up Mom, roommate, and the cats. Between Mom and her one pissy cat, I was ready to crack. The cat hissed at everything and everyone. Constantly. Mom was full of helpful advice like telling roommate not to flush in case we ran out of water. Umm, as long as there's water, we're flushing. Besides, we had filled the bathtub just in case. Roommate then got all stressed out about going to the bathroom. I think she held it for most of the day because she finally asked if it was OK to go. She's 85 and has a history of UTIs and kidney infections. Not a good plan on Mom's part. After the power went out, Mom was full of gems like "It'll probably be a week before you get power back." Actually, crews were already out the night of Frances fixing traffic lights and such. Our town had minimal damage and everyone around us had power (I swear our neighborhood was the only one in the area without) so we figured it wasn't that bad. And it wasn't.

On my first attempt to take them home, a tornado warning came over the car radio. It was headed straight for the area where they live. So back home it was. Finally, the weather calmed down enough for me to take them home around dinnertime last night.

Hubby and I celebrated having our house back by making grilled potatoes and homemade sloppy joes (aka shit on a shingle) on the grill. By that point we said fuck the fridge and rescued whatever we could. It was pointless in trying to do the old don't-open-the-fridge routine. Anything that was going to spoil already had, and the meat came from the freezer. We ate on the back porch, the coolest room in the house, and let the dog lick the pan after we had our fill. Finally at bedtime the power came back on. Hubby did a happy dance and the neighbors hooted with joy.

Now I keep hearing about an "Ivan". Shit.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

It looks like hurricane Frances is heading for us. The county just got back to normal last week and now it looks like we'll be hit again. Oh joy.

I think I was uninvited to a cookout. I'm trying not to take the whole thing personally, but it's hard not to. The coworker who's hosting it casually mentioned it to me last week. He has out-of-town visitors here for a wedding, so they all rented a big house in a really nice community with a pool and other amenities. Yesterday I overheard him talking with another coworker and I think he was giving her directions to the house - here's the part where I'm not exactly sure - both of them are bilingual and weren't speaking English. I can pick up a few words here and there and I'm pretty certain he was giving directions. He's on vacation till the guests leave, so it's pretty obvious that I won't be receiving any directions. Anyway, I'm bummed about the whole thing. They used to invite me to lunch every now and then which stopped. Granted, I usually rest or take a nap during part of lunch, so I stay in the office, but it's nice to be included. And most times I did accept when invited.

I've also felt some awkwardness around his girlfriend. She's really nice, but very shy. I'm not good at making small talk, so she and I often have awkward conversations, and I'm getting the feeling that she may not like me. I don't plan to bring any of this up, but it's made for a bit of a weird work situation lately.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Flea's most recent post is about Hell Houses. If you don't happen to be from the bible belt, you may never have heard of them before. I never heard of one till I moved here several years back. No, it's not a haunted house like the scary ones with goblins and witches and chainsaw-wielding psychos. It's a church version, complete with sinners going to hell.

I was introduced to this phenomenon by a co-worker. Every year she'd try to get us to go, and none of us ever did. Honestly, it sounded creepier than the haunted houses we used to go to as kids. I can't remember what exactly theirs entailed, but I know it involved a drunk driving accident and the bad drunk kids going to hell. Drunk driving must be good fodder for hell houses, because a church near my house has one each year and they always manage to get ahold of a wrecked car and a crunched-up utility pole. Pretty cool props, but creepy nonetheless.

One of the things about the hell house thing that really bothered me is that the church would involve the youth group to act out the parts - including the little kids. They'd generally be angels in the "heaven" part, but still, I wouldn't want my 6 year old involved in that. I guess if your church is all about hellfire and brimstone, they start the scare tactics early on.

My family wasn't a big church-going family. Mom and I attended the local Congregational Church fairly regularly, but we weren't really that involved in the church. Which, by the way, I've been informed by some of my more God-fearing and pious Christian bretheren, isn't truly a Christian church since we're open and affirming (we welcome anyone who wants to worship regardless of race, sex, ability, or sexual orientation. Yep, we even welcome them homo-sekshuls.) And we ordain female and gay ministers.

Oh yeah, every year my church also had a big Halloween party complete with a haunted basement, costumes, and lots of candy. Maybe I am doomed to hell after all.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I just read Dooce's most recent post. I hope she is well again soon, that the doctors can quickly figure out the right meds to quell her anxiety. Anxiety is a demon I've seen my mom battle, and it's a nasty one. But I also know that with time and the right drugs, it can be tamed.


This week, the critters have been keeping me entertained.

One of the cats has been occasionally shitting in the tub. I busted her hopping out of the tub the other morning, with a freshly laid turd inside. So, I did what any good pet owner would do and screamed at her. I guess she got the hint, because last night I found shit on the mat in front of our shower. Great. Crap in the tub was definitely better than crap on a floor mat that now needs to be bleached. I pray it doesn't decline into shit on the carpet.

Yesterday hubby bought a new brand of dogfood for Lily. She wan't at all enamored with the old kibble stuff, so hubby decided to try Pur!na Beneful. She ran happily to the dish when he poured it in. The cats were also interested. All 5 surrouned her like pirrhanas after a hapless monkey fallen into the Amazon. She cowered in front of the food bowl and looked at hubby as if to say in a whispery, scared voice: "Help me." Hubby tried for a repeat performance this morning, since I missed yesterday's matinee, but only 2 sharkcats were attracted to the bleeding bait. Lily still got the same sad look and it was priceless. I think she would've asked: "I don't have to give my food to them, do I?"

Our street has a new resident. A hawk. I think it may be a red-shouldered, but I'm not sure. I can never tell one raptor from the next. It's brown and mediumish sized. Yesterday, it was perched on the speed limit sign at the end of the street. I tried to get a picture, but I couldn't get close enough without scaring it away. This morning it was perched on the roof of a nearby house.

The folks from another lab came back with a tiny tortieshell kitten today. They had discovered it at a field site. No momma or other kitties were in sight, so they brought it back to the lab. Oh, it's a sweet little kitty. Hubby would kick my ass if I brought it home, and it's full of piss & vinegar and would probably tear the house apart, but it's so cute, dammit. The PI from that lab said he'll take it if noone else does. It's nice to know that some of the faculty are as big softies for critters as I am. I could her the little thing wailing earlier, so I'm going to sneak some meat from my lunch over to their lab. Shhhhh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Freakin blogger ate my post. Here goes again....

On Monday we had our sex scan - Peanut is a little boy! Daddy was very proud and took the pictures of Peanut's "peanut" to work to show off. Men are such goofs. He didn't care to take the other pictures, only the important one.

The scan was amazing. What a difference between a 10 week-old fetus and a 21 week-old. In the first scan he was just a bunch of blobs: a head, a body, and leg buds. This time around we could make out the whole body and limbs. Bones are visible all over the body: face, arms, legs, ribs, spine, feet, toes. The toes were incredible. We saw the chambers forming in the heart and the heart just beating away. We saw the kidneys and bladder. During the scan, Peanut was bouncing around and waving his arms and legs.

I was elated all Monday afternoon and yesterday. Today I've been having mild cramps all morning, although they seem to have subsided, and it's stressing me out. The doctor said it's normal to have some crampiness, but I haven't had it last so long since the very beginning of the pregnancy - before I even realized I was pregnant. I'm trying to relax and will see how I feel later in the day. I know I can always call the nurse.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I have been in a shit mood this morning. I guess it's one of those moods pregnant women are notorious for. I've been stressed, missing hubby (who I've seen for a total of about 1 hour this week), and I'm worried about the baby. Lordy, am I worried. The peanut was really active for a couple days this week. Peanut kept pushing against my bladder and was bouncing around like a cranker on a trampoline. Then yesterday, Peanut didn't seem quite as active and the movements didn't feel as forceful. I'm trying not to stress over it since I have an OB appointment and ultrasound on Monday, and honestly, if something is wrong I don't think there's much that could be done at this point anyway. Peanut is too young to be viable outside the womb. Peanut is definitely still moving, and may have shifted position to where s/he's punching instead of kicking...that's what I'm hoping.

Then I started thinking about labor & delivery and caring for a newborn. Holy shit, am I scared. Can I survive labor? I'm petrified of having an epidural and want to avoid one unless it's medically necessary for a C-section or something of that magnitude. I decided I'm going out this weekend to buy a copy of "What to Expect the First Year". I'm so worried I won't know how to do anything for the baby. Will I put the diapers on too tight and hurt Peanut? How will I know if Peanut is too hot or cold? What if Peanut constantly screams? What if Peanut can't/won't latch on? How do I know if Peanut is sick enough to need a doctor? I have all those What If's and more roaring in my head.

The big stress this morning, though, was the experiment I'm setting up today. It's a chemical trial in the greenhouse....involving nasty chemicals. Of course the MSDSs provide no information regarding teratogenicity (my big concern) or carcinogenicity. Only the general crap that's on every MSDS like: "May be irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Avoid contact". Well, I'm not going to sprinkle the shit on me like baby powder or snort it. My sweetheart of a coworker offered to weigh my experimentals out for me after he saw me at the fume hood suited up in a dust mask, apron, and gloves. I wrangled our lab helper into actually applying several of the chemicals in the greenhouse, so I've been able to pretty much avoid any contact.

I'm still stressed, though.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

This week has been an off week. I feel like I shouldn't even be complaining - my home, family, and friends are all safe. Many other people weren't so lucky in the wake of Charley. Several coworkers had severe damage to their homes, and a friend at work has her house full of family whose homes are currently uninhabitable.

The a/c hasn't worked all week in our building. All the other buildings are fine, it's just ours. Facilities just can't seem to get their brain around the idea that everytime the power goes out, our wonderful, 2-year-old a/c system goes down. They didn't even realize until Tuesday that it wasn't working. Hello? 95 degrees inside? Lightbulb, anyone? So yesterday the repair people came out and it was "fixed". It ran for, oh maybe half an hour, then quit. We actually cooled down to about 80-85 degrees. When someone from my lab called facilities their response was "Oh, it's fixed and working now. The repair guys were there earlier." How about you come and work in our sweltering lab, then you'll see how "fixed" it is.

Hubby is still working 12 hour night shifts directing traffic, guarding donated ice and water, and distributing said ice and water. Actually, nights are better than days because it's not as hot. Unfortunately, people drive like assholes day and night and he's nearly been hit several times. He gets Friday off, which of course is a day I'm at work. He probably won't make it to birthing class again this week and I know the teacher will have something to say about it. Sorry, but there are people in pretty bad shape, and our county needs all the help it can get to maintain order and get supplies to those that are without.

The final straw was last night when I got home. The dog had puke all over the livingroom. OK, it wasn't all over, but two huge puddles. The house stank. I got gaggy cleaning it up. Then I noticed she had also pooped on the carpet. I couldn't be mad since she was sick, but YUCK! So I took her outside where she pooped some more, then left her on the porch with water. I could tell she was still nauseous since she kept swallowing and smacking her lips and the porch is easy to hose off. I let her back in after an hour or so and we made it ok through the rest of the night. She's fine this morning. Hubby hadn't fed her any weird stuff, so we think she ate a rawhide chew and either choked on it or it just made her sick. No treats for her for a while.

Monday, August 16, 2004

We survived Charley unscathed, fortunately. Unfortunately, many people didn't. My heart goes out to the folks down in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands area, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and all the folks on the east side of our county. Many lost their homes or had major damage, many are still without power and water, and some lost their lives.

It's crazy the chaos Charley caused. The east side of our county basically has no gas - it's either sold out or the pumps have no power, no ice, and little food. Our side is fine, although the grocery shelves are thin, and some gas stations are empty now. Friends are staying home simply because they don't have enough gas to get anywhere.

A friend was visiting her family in Ormond Beach this past week. She was going to drive out and see us Saturday, but they were busy cleaning up the aftermath. She was able to pick up a rental car yesterday, but it didn't have much gas (none of the cars there did), she couldn't find a gas station close by, and had to return the car for fear she was going to run out.

Hubby's been very busy pulling night shifts until things settle down. He was sent out in the wee hours of Saturday to assess damage and said it was horrible. Trees and power lines down everywhere, a broken gas main shooting flames, and roads washed out. Now he and the other detectives are on nighttime traffic details trying to keep people from running each other over at intersections without power. At least he's gotten a little break from his caseload, but I'm sure things will be piled high waiting for him.

Mom and her roommate stayed with us during the hurricane since we all were worried about the safety of her mobile home. They went back home Saturday morning to no electricity and apparently no phone. I asked if they wanted to come back to our house, but they refused. I finally was able to call her this morning and she dropped the bomb that she's asked roommate to move out. She claims roommates moods are unbearable. Mind you, roommate is 85, has heart problems, and her elderly sister just underwent surgery for breast cancer, and the outlook isn't too hot. Of course she's not happy happy. Mom is going to call me tonight, but I'm already stressed. Mom may not like living with the roommate, but I see her spiralling back down into depression if she's alone. She'll end up isolating herself again...actually she basically is isolated - roommate, her neighber, hubby, and me are the only people she regularly interacts with. She has no friends nearby. I told her to make sure it's what she really wants. I can't cope with being her lifeline everytime she crashes. And I have a baby on the way. Once the peanut arrives, my life will take a big shift away from being Mom's mommy.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

This morning I was stupid enough to listen to one of the dumbass morning radio shows for about 5 minutes, which was all I could take without beating the crap out of the radio. The topic was about gender-specific toys for children and whether or not boys should be given dolls or ea$y-bake ovens or whatever. One caller stated that she felt it was wrong because "that's just the way I feel." I wanted to puke. It's funny how it's OK for girls to play with trucks or trains, but it's not OK for boys to play with dolls other than army dolls or superheros. Which basically comes back to the whole ass-backwards thinking that "boy" stuff is better and more acceptable than "girl" stuff - that somehow "girl" stuff is stupid and fluffy and not "good" enough for boys. It's also one of the reasons I didn't want to find out the sex of the baby before birth (hubby wore me down and we're having the ultrasound in another coupla weeks). I know we will be buried in a flurry of gender-appropriate pink or blue stuff from family and friends, and I wanted to avoid that. I also wanted the big surprise at the baby's birth. Oh well. I got so sick of hearing "Well if you don't find out the sex we won't know what to get you." Ummm....last time I checked babies really didn't give a crap about the color of their clothes, blankies, binkies, bottles, etc. Onesies come in plenty of neutral colors and patterns and I have a feeling that's what the peanut will be wearing for a while.

Anyway, back to the whole boy/girl toy thing. It pisses me off. Why should it matter what your little one wants to play with. And why should a child be denied to opportunity to expand her/his imagination by playing with a new toy. All the gender-specific homophobic crap our society presses on us makes me angry and sad.

Oh, and I've been told by a couple of people I'm having a boy since I'm only carrying in the front and didn't actually puke when I had "morning" (haha) sickness. Girls get the bum rap even before birth. Get fat and dumpy and grow a big's a girl! Puke your guts out and feel like shit...definitely a girl! Grrrrr.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I called Dad yesterday since it was his birthday and had a really nice chat with him and Stepmom.

They went to my aunt & uncle's house this weekend to visit with them and my cousin and his family who were visiting from out-of-state. My uncle and cousin (not father and son) are a hoot. They both have amazingly funny senses of humor and are always up to something. Cousin's little boy, who can't be more than about 7 years old, is a super-smart little guy and is a ton of fun to be around. His mom tells me that everytime they go to the library, he always checks out the science section. This year he's into engineering & electrical stuff, last year it was natural disasters, and before then it was dinosaurs.

Aunt and Uncle have quite a character for a neighbor. When he moved in and saw their little fish pond in the backyard, he had to build one, too. They ended up with a big, joined pond that's full of fish. The neighbor also aquired a couple of chickens and a rooster from jobsites/friends. Mind you, they live in the city limits in one of the more upscale areas. Eventually, one of the neighbors complained, and animal control told him to get rid of the rooster, and they he could keep one chicken as a pet and no more. Apparently the chicken is very tame and friendly and likes visitors. When the family sat down outside for dinner, the chicken came trotting over for snacks. She loves beer and steak, and also eats chicken - that little cannibal. Dad was very much entertained by the whole thing.

Uncle also shared some sad news. When Gramma went into the nursing home, an aunt took her dog. The dog was hit by a car a few years ago, nearly killed, and expected to barely walk after recovery. She made an exceptional recovery and was able to run my aunt's lab ragged. A few weeks ago, my aunt was travelling with the dogs on I-95 and had car problems. She pulled over to check the tires, and Gramma's dog got loose and ran into the highway. My aunt called the state police in a panic and a short while later one of the officers came back with the remains of the dog. From what Dad said, the dog ended up splatted over 3 lanes. Gramma probably isn't coherent enough to understand so I'm pretty sure the family won't tell her. I'm not sure if I should tell my mom - she's the one who adopted the dog for Gramma when Gramma spent a summer with her, so she and the dog had a bond.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I managed to keep hubby's gifts a surprise. He never found the hiding place (or at least won't admit to it). He was very happy with the loot he got from my parents and from me. Sadly, his own parents didn't even send him cards, although his mom and dad did call him. I felt really bad for him because I know he took it hard. He's been extremely stressed out with the night class he's taking, and then his parents not even making the effort to send cards was the cherry on top of it all. I know I'd feel really badly if my family did the same.

We finished the day off with take-out from the best pizza place in town, and a copy of The Butterfly Effect from Bl0ckbu$ter. Not a good choice for a pregnant woman, but neither of us knew exactly what the movie was about. Let's just say I won't be checking the mailbox anytime soon.

This week's birthing class was much better than the last. We had a good time and finished about 45 minutes earlier than last time. Mr. Mouth wasn't there (surprise, surprise). We did feel bad - his wife is having severe headaches, something along the line of cluster headaches, and couldn't make it to class. I really hope she can get through them with acupuncture.

On our way home, we stopped at a chain pharmacy for some protein bars for me. I don't generally eat a lot of meat and am not too fond of beans, so I'm not meeting my minimum protein requirement every day. I tried the first bar yesterday and it was vile. I could taste all the nasty vitamin supplements that are in it, and then realized that the added vitamins in it, plus my prenatals may not be such a great idea.

As we were leaving the parking lot, an owl swooped down about 4 feet from our car, in pursuit of a huge beetle. I think he heard us yelling "Holy shit, did you see THAT?!" and got scared and flew up into a nearby was the bug's lucky night. It was one of those amazing, spiritual nature moments. At first I thought it was a barn owl because he looked very pale, but I didn't notice a face disk, and he seemed too big. I was too much in shock to really get a good look. I'm pretty sure there were no ear tufts, so it may have been a barred owl, but I remember them being darker. Regardless, it was awesome. I never would expect to find an owl in a parking lot next to a busy 4-lane road.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Tomorrow is hubby's birthday. For the past week, he's been bugging me constantly about what present he's getting, if I already have it, and where it is.

Hubby, if you're reading, this is for you:

Maybe I have your present, maybe I don't. Maybe it's in my desk drawer, maybe it's in the trunk of the car, maybe it's under the bed, maybe it's at the neighbor's house. Or maybe you're not getting anything at all. :P

Monday, August 02, 2004

We finally took an invite by friends to hang out in their pool this Saturday. It was awesome. They fed us, and allowed us several hours of leisure time in the pool. My back is grateful for the respite! Their 2 little girls swim like fish and kept us entertained.

Last night we finally made it to the birthing class. It seems that we probably haven't missed too much so far. All the couples seem nice, except for one husband who will not shut his yap. We all have questions or comments which is fine - we can learn from each other's questions. But this guy kept interrupting the teacher and spouting off commentary. I started to get really annoyed. Since he's not anyone who will be pushing out a baby, nor is he anyone with firsthand experience to share, I really don't care to hear his bullshit.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

  Last night, the first 15 minutes of my drive home were harrowing.   Rain was coming down in sheets.  I'd get a glimpse of road, then WHAM another gust of wind and obliterating sheet of rain.  There were points in time where I could barely see the road.  In front of me was some poor guy on a motorcycle without a helmet.  I prayed he didn't wipe in the rain.  Finally, just as I got about a quarter mile from the interstate, the skies broke.  I did not want to travel the busy interstate which is under construction, during a storm like that.  It's dangerous enough with all the idiot drivers on a good day.
  After a couple of miles I noticed a gorgeous low, wide-arcing rainbow in my rearview mirror.  I felt as though I had been given a gift.  I told hubby about it as I was saying goodbye this morning and he had seen it on his way to class last night.


The body pillow I bought this weekend is awesome.  I've been sleeping much better at night and having less back pain.  I was worried about it since it was cheap and all the others I had seen online were pricey and fancy with J-shapes or big U-shapes to cradle the body.  Hubby likes it, too.  I put it down the middle of the bed (which also has the benefit of preventing his groping me while he's asleep).  He can cuddle up to it, too and is enjoying it.  Even the cats are in on the pillow action.  They can lie on it and knead it all they want without a ruthless human shoving them off.   Let me tell you, having an 18 pound cat sit on your belly, boobs or genitals (if you happen to be hubby) and kneading is not comfortable.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yesterday was another OB appointment.  I'm 17 weeks now, and so far everything looks good.  Hubby came with me so he could hear the heartbeat since he didn't make it last time.  We had a few tense moments as the doctor tried to locate the baby, then all of a sudden there it was, loud and clear!  We decided to go ahead and have the optional ultrasound to find out the baby's sex.  I'd still like to be surprised, but we'd really like the second ultrasound.  We'd eventually find out the sex anyway, so it'll be sooner rather than later.


This past weekend wasn't bad, but it was one of those with a bunch of little annoyances that added up.  Hubby has been in classes after work, so we don't see each other Monday-Thursday.   I'm asleep by the time he gets home, and he's sleeping in each morning. 

Friday, on his way home he received a call from the lieutenant wanting to call him out.  Someone else is on call this week, and hubby hadn't been home before 10:30 all week.  LT decided not to call him out right then, but warned he might call back later.

Saturday morning, LT called again wanting hubby to translate.  Hubby was out of the county at the time (a good hour drive away) and is not fluent in Spanish.  He speaks enough to get basic information, but he's not qualified to take an official statement, which is what they needed.  So LT put him on stand-by (which basically means on call but without the pay).  After several hours of sweating it out, hubby called back only to discover they had tracked down someone already on duty who is fluent.

In the meantime we went to a mall that has an Old Navy with maternity clothes...our pathetic mall only has a regular Old Navy.  Both of us forgot that this week is tax exempt on clothing and school supplies, so the mall was insane.  We avoided several accidents in the parking lot, then had to dodge people in the mall.  I did get some cute clothes and a body pillow, but it was a lot of stress in the getting.  **Don't buy the trendy under-the-belly lowrise maternity pants.  I bought one pair thinking they were really cute and had to hitch them back up all day long.  I'm so not into the gangsta-undies-hanging-out look.**

Sunday we drove 30 minutes to the birthing class.  The classes actually started last week even though we had told the instuctor that we'd be out of town that weekend and she said postpone the start date by a week.  Of course, that never happened.   When we arrived, several very pregnant women were already there with their partners.  I got a little worried.  When the instructor opened the door, she told us we had missed our class.  Apparently the folks we saw were on their last class of the series, so the instructor had moved our classes up 2 hours for the first 2 weeks due to the overlap.  She supposedly sent out an e-mail notifying us of this, but I never received it.  She then said that she had some trouble sending the e-mail out (I guess a phone call would've been too much trouble.)  She said not to worry, that new couples were still coming in, but now we've missed the first two classes, and next week I'll most likely go alone since hubby will be on call.  I'll be the loser who missed two classes and is without a partner.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hubby and I had a great time this past weekend on our mini-vacation.  The weather was great most of the time, with a few little showers, but nothing bad.  Our main reason for going was so hubby could attend a seminar at the martial arts school he used to train at.  He had a wonderful time and was promoted by his old instructor.  He's now 1 level away from a black belt.

I'm going to be snotty now.  The style he studies is not one with all the showy spinning high kicks and 50 different belt colors.  Those styles have their purpose, and I could totally get my little ass kicked by someone who studies them, but the style hubby studes is truly hard core.  Low kicks, grappling, lots of bone breaking techniches, and lots of soft tissue and joint techniques.  The style also teaches use of weapons ranging from traditional swords and chains to knives and handguns.   With very little effort, he can lay on a big hurt.  I've been practiced on enough to know.  And I've been able to use some of them very effectively on hubby - who's twice my weight and a lot more skilled than I am.   I'm very proud of him - he's been at this on and off for about 15 years now.  It's not a popular style, so he's often lived far from a school and gone for spells without training.  He's really pumped now, knowing he's almost a black belt, and knowing there's a lot more to learn.

I had a great time with his mom and sister while he was away at the seminar.  We tooled around town and hung out with SIL's little girl (who is adorable and cracks me up).  A family member has a horse pastured above MIL's house, and little girl would yell for the horse, and the horse would canter right on over to the fence.   Little girl would point and giggle.

We went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner with FIL, stepmom, and the sisters-in-law.  That was an interesting experience.  I keep forgetting that anything other than country-style home cookin' is fairly new to them.  Hubby and I started dating long before that restaurant even opened.  So hubby had to order for his parents as they had no clue  to what anything was.  Luckily theyenjoyed the meal.

We also discovered that hubby is going to be deeded 3 acres of his mom's property.  We knew she was divvying it up among the kids, but had no idea she had such a chunk.  Someday we'd love to put a cabin there for a weekend/retirement home.   I can imagine a veggie garden, a few chickens, and a goat to keep the weeds down.  And of course, a pumpkin patch.

One can dream!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Last night I received a surprise phone call from one of my high school friends (she's one of the group of 3 I've mentioned before).  It was such a nice surprise - we see each other once or twice a year and probably talk on the phone about that often.  Most of our contact is through e-mails, so phone calls are a special treat.

She wanted to know about the pregnancy and how hubby and I are.  She's doing well.  She's in the throes of planning her wedding (very exciting) and is doing a lot of cool freelance work on the side.  Her "real" job isn't going so hot, so I won't even go there.   Her fiance's business is also doing well.  He's an amazingly hard worker, and it's paying off for him.

I asked her about our other friend, the one who I knew was having fertility problems (this info had come from the 3rd friend).  Our friend is still unable to conceive, has gone through 2 IUIs and 2 or 3 cycles of IVF.  I feel horrible and it's been weighing on my mind.  I want to talk to friend about it and tell her I think about her often, but she wasn't the one who told me, so I'm not sure she even wants me to know.  Her dad doesn't even know what she's going through - she only told her mom.  She's very private about personal things and I don't want to overstep our friendship, so I won't say anything unless she offers the information to me.   I also know that with me being pregnant, it adds a whole new level of discomfort to the situation.  I wish I knew what to say to let her know I care and am praying they get pregnant.  If any couple should have a baby, it's them.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Hubby and I are leaving tonight for a long weekend to visit his family. I'm looking forward to the chance to relax and to the change of scenery. His family lives in a gorgeous area in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


I saw on last night's news that 2 of the 4 men seen taking the girl from the mall this week were arrested. They were charged with something along the lines of interfering with a custodial parent and with sexual battery. The second charge sadly came as no surprise to me. I'm still very angry about the whole incident. What kind of shitbag lures a retarded young woman away from safety and rapes her? I hope there's a special place in hell for all who commit sexual assault.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Last night hubby and I had dinner with friends. Friend's wife and I joke that hubby and friend are boyfriends because they go out to the movies and for drinks and are always calling each other on their cells. They're a really nice couple and I really couldn't ask for a better "boyfriend" for hubby. We always have a good time and joke a lot when with them.

Somehow, the dinner conversation got onto missionaries/volunteers from friend's old church who used to go to Appalachia during the summers to build churches and whatnot. Friend, who himself is southern and has a very colorful family, stated something to the effect of them going along roads and removing the doors from dump-off refrigerators in order to save the poor redneck children from suffocating. This led to hubby reminisicing about catching a refrigerator on fire with a magnifying glass and sunlight. Yes, the fridge was on his porch. And, no, it didn't work.

Hubby was quite the firebug as a little kid. He got the fridge flaming enough that he had to use the hose to put it out. The inner plastic lining and underlying insulation are VERY flammable. This was the second or third time he caught the porch on fire. One previous incident involved a homemade flamethrower made from a can of hairspray and a match - an effective way off killing those pesky wasps. Unfortunately screening also burns. Another time he nearly burned down the woods behind the house. His dad had put a used propane cannister in the burn barrel without telling hubby. When hubby lit the trash, the cannister exploded, shot up into the air, and caught a pine tree on fire. Again, he was able to get things under control with the water hose.

Lord help me, I hope the peanut doesn't have daddy's pyro tendencies. Otherwise I'm sure hubby will use the same ineffective deterrant his mom used: "Don't play with fire or you'll pee your bed!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Last night hubby and I went to a local mall to pick up a b-day gift for my stepmom and to finally buy the treadmill we've been hemming and hawing over. I always hate to spend a big chunk o'change on something I feel is a frivolous buy, but let's face it, we live in Florida and it's just too damn hot to exercise outside. Hubby's been complaining about wanting to lose weight ever since he re-gained the 30+ pounds he lost a couple of years ago. He worries about getting fat and I know he worries that I'll think he's fat, which is silly, because I love him no matter what. I also could use to get my pregnant butt off the recliner a bit more and the heat has just been unbearable for me. By the time it's a reasonable temperature outsite, the mosquitoes are in full force. I normally don't like to use bug spray and am paranoid about it now, and we've already had a couple confirmed cases of West Nile in the state. So, a treadmill it is.

While at the mall, we saw a slew of cops. Finally as we were getting ready to leave, hubby went up to one he recognized and asked if everything was 77 (that's copspeak for "is everything OK") and it wasn't. A mentally challenged teenager had gotten separated from her family and was missing. Cops were searching the mall and guarding each exit hoping to find her.

Today on the news I heard that the girl was found this morning wandering in a neighborhood an hour or so away, after an anonymous tip was called in. Later yesterday a security tape was discovered showing her leaving the mall with 4 unknown men, one leading her by the hand. Of course, the men were nowhere around when she was found.

I got so angry. How could anyone do such a fucking horrible thing? The men must have known that she was challenged and took advantage of it. The news report stated she was in good health and at a hospital for observation, but I wonder what the men did to her.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The bathrooms at work have been a big issue of mine lately. The closest to my lab has been closed for the past couple of weeks for renovations. They've been so thorough on redoing the bathrooms, that the tiled OVER the old tile walls. Nothing was wrong with the bathrooms (except the horrible ventilation which means when someone stinks up the joint it stays stinky) but our department sold a chunk of property a few years back and the money has to be spend on buildings/facilities or it will be reabsorbed by the state. I'm happy to see the ugly peachy-fleshtone tiles go, but I'm impatient to get the damn bathroom back. I still have to pee all the time and am tired of hiking all over the building.

We have some very nasty, dirty women at work. Twice when I went to use the potty the other day, it had shit smears on the seat. I understand that accidents or explosive diarrhea can happen, but come on. Can't people clean up after themselves? Our bathrooms aren't high volume, so there's no excuse. There's plenty of tp and kill-all alcohol spray in the bathroom, so cleaning up is far from impossible.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yesterday was another work day in the field. The mockingbird nest I found last week with cute little eggs now has 4 cute little fuzzy nestlings. They must be less than a week old because none of the babies even had their eyes open yet.

I learned a new fact about ospreys: they will poop bomb intruders near their nest. Luckily I didn't discover this firsthand.

Monday, June 28, 2004

I heard the peanut's heartbeat for the first time today! I had my 14 week appointment (even though I'm still technically in my 13th week). Ohmygod it was amazing. The heartbeat was so loud and obvious...the doctor found it right away. I immediately started to cry I was so happy and relieved. The doctor also listened for my heartbeat in the placenta which was audible, but softer and slower. In two weeks I go for the triple-screen test. Fingers are crossed. I'm still nervous and worried as heck, but I think hubby and I are going to let the cat out of the bag and tell everyone.

The bad news - Mom's not doing so hot. She thought she needed admittance to the crisis unit last week. Her doctor decided not to admit her, but told her to up the anti-depressant, stop taking the painkillers for her back, to come back in 10 days, and to have a therapist by the time she goes back. I think a combination of things led to her going unstable: she's been in severe back pain since she came back from visiting family a few weeks ago. She saw a new neurosurgeon who put her on painkillers which can (and did) have a downer effect, and her shrink is moving away within a month. She also is dealing with my grandmother's dementia. Gramma is 93, in a nursing home, and when Mom visited, she had no idea who Mom was. She's done that with other family members, and the only ones she really knows anymore are my aunt and uncle who still live nearby and can visit regularly. She has days when she doesn't even know who they are, either. Mom was aware of all that, but actually visiting Gramma and seeing firsthand how far gone she is was hard to handle.

I saw Mom this weekend and took her to the grocery store and she was doing fairly well. She didn't cry and even laughed a little. I hope she can quickly get stable.