Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For humans with affinity for elf culture

We interrupt this complaining about Christmas lyrics and general non-blogging to give you my grand gift idea for all fans of Elf:


Now, I'm not generally a fan of cutesy gifts, but I wanted to do something for our wonderful daycare provider. She's got an empty frame on her wall, so I was going to make something for her to put in it, and I came up with this picture. Add in a sandwich spreader, Nutella, Speculoos, fancy jam, etc., and you've got a fun gift. The great thing is that it's scale-able. Your least expensive option is to tie it to a jar of your homemade jam, which I assume you made to give as neighbor gifts. (I don't give gifts just for people who just happen to live near me, but you might. And those people seem to be the kind who make jam, too.)

Maybe you want a little something more, maybe for a Secret Santa, someone from church, etc. Get yourself an inexpensive spreader to go with your homemade jam [or Nutella or what have you]:

Or if you want a more expensive gift, maybe for the foodie sibling you drew this year:


If you're really a high roller, you could get a Cutco spatula/spreader. But that takes planning ahead, since you can't just get it with Amazon Prime. I can't even link to one, besides from eBay or whatnot.

You can adjust the spreads to fit your budget, too. One jar of Nutella or a whole set of small batch artisan jam from the farmer's market. Maybe some fancy soft cheese and a baguette! Put it in a cute little basket, and voila! the perfect gift for spreading Christmas cheer. Plus it's consumable--not the knive, obviously, but you don't even need that--so it isn't more junk to clog up the recipient's house.

Feel free to use my genius idea. You can even use the crappy picture I made! I majored in English here, people, not graphic design.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

We'll have to muddle through somehow

I have strong views about Christmas music (most of it is terrible, it shouldn't be played on the radio before Thanksgiving, etc.) and I think my strongest opinion is on the song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." I am opposed to all versions of the song that include shining stars on the highest bough. Did you even know that there are other, more sensible lyrics? I mean, shining stars are totally apropos of nothing in while merry little Christmassing. The line is supposed to be "Someday soon, we all will be together, if the Fates allow / until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow." Makes way more sense. There's an actual continuity to the lyrics, rather than random shining stars. Who knew?!

Sadly, nearly all versions of this song have the icky, updated lyrics. Judy Garland's is right, of course, and James Taylor has a version, but almost everyone uses Frank Sinatra's version. Gets on my nerves. I like the melancholy of the original version. Maybe not everyone has a merry Christmas? Maybe not everyone loves the holidays? Maybe for a lot of people, you're just muddling through on the hope that next year is better?

So if you ever hear me singing along with this song on the radio, I'm the shmo singing the original lyrics. The good, sad ones.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Birthday 2013

Since our last birthday review installment, I have:
- Been in a musical!
- Made a Thanksgiving dinner (okay, I bought the turkey from the Honeybaked Ham store, but I did the rest!)
- Gotten pregnant!
- Thrown up. A lot.
- Gone to California to announce the first grandbaby (and capture the reaction on camera)
- Gone back to school.
- Had my one year anniversary at work, which generally brings antsy-ness for a new job.
- Done various baby-related decorating things, include an adorable crib remodel.
- Given up on the class I was taking. (At 38 weeks pregnant, I didn't care about failing any and everything.)
- Had a baby! A c-section, no less!
- Kept said baby alive!
- Caught up on a lot of TV, thanks to Netflix and Amazon streaming.
Etc. I knew I'd be busy, so I actually started writing this in June. And now it's weeks past my birthday with finally getting around to posting it. Had to download the app, because I basically do everything with a baby on my lap. I don't mind. It makes me appreciate the little things, like eating at the same time as my husband. With both hands. Little things.
I've never loved my job, but since I had this amazing little girl I really wish I could stay home with her. We're crossing our fingers for Publisher's Clearinghouse. Someone has to win, right? Why not me? I promise I'd do all sorts of great stuff with it. Give me the chance to prove that having money wouldn't change me!

Monday, September 23, 2013

You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

A few weeks before my due date, my doctor warned me that I was measuring large and she was afraid the baby was going to be over ten pounds. She offered to let me schedule a c-section if I wanted, but I thought that was a bit extreme. I'd much rather at least attempt to labor, and if it ends in a c-section, so be it. Anyway, I didn't think the babe was as big as the ultrasound/measurements predicted. It is in fact less accurate the bigger they get, so it was really all a crapshoot. But I was also mighty sick of being pregnant, so I agreed to induce on my due date.

The admitting nurse was pretty impressed that I used the term "macrosomia" when she asked why I was being induced, but by this point I'm kind of an armchair OB. (Ask me about my Bishop score!) I knew that conditions weren't super favorable, but if she really was as big as they thought, putting it off wasn't going to decrease my odds of a c-section either. So we went in at 8 pm on the 8th and got the party started. 

After a lovely evening of nothing happening on cytotec, they started my pitocin in the morning. And I did start contracting--30 second contractions with no rest period. You know what that feels like? One long contraction! It wasn't too bad; on the 1-10 pain scale I was at maybe a 3 or 4. But that's not exactly a good, productive contraction pattern, so they kept upping my pitocin to try to get some normal contractions. I hadn't really dilated much since I was admitted, either, which I suppose isn't surprising when your contractions are being funky. Then around 1pm my water broke. (Fun story: you can hear kind of a blip on the fetal heart rate monitor when she kicked. There was a big blip and I said, "Oh, wow, she kicked so hard I just peed a little." Except it kept coming. I was like, "Uh, I don't think this is pee!" My nurse happened to walk in just as I pushed the call button, and sure enough my membranes had ruptured. It does feel rather like a water balloon breaking.)

Without the cushion of amniotic fluid, I was feeling the contractions more. A lot more. Now I'm still having constant, short contractions, but they are like, two and a half times more painful than before. I was like, "Nuts to this, get me the epidural. I can't do hours of this." They called in the nurse anesthetist (those people are worth everything they pay them and more!) but my blood work from admission was getting kind of old, and my platelet count was low, so they had to re-run it. "How long does that take?" I asked. Usually 45 minutes. Great. So an hour before I can anticipate pain relief? An hour of constant contractions? And what's this about platelets? What if they're too low? Will they still let me get an epidural? "We don't know." At that point, I was like, if they won't give me the epidural, you use general and do a c-section because I'm not doing this.

They cut my pitocin in half to try to get me some relief on the contractions and managed to rush the blood work back in 15 or 20 minutes. Although my platelet count was even lower, I got my epidural. Saints and angels sang. And now that I wasn't in so much pain and things were more relaxed, we were hoping my contractions would normalize. Yeah, no. They did start having breaks between them--not that I cared anymore!--but there was still no pattern. I'd have a few minutes of normal contractions, several minutes of nothing, and then just as she was about to turn my pitocin back up, a few more normal contractions. They never were able to increase my pitocin dose again. We tried a bunch of positional tricks to try to get baby to descend/me to dilate, but nothing was working.

Around six o'clock our awesome, awesome nurse was like, "The doctor is coming in soon, and is going to want to talk to you about a c-section." We knew that was always on the table, and it wasn't looking good. Despite the on-call doctor having something of a reputation of being a cutter, he didn't push it. Could we wait and make the decision in 12 or 24 hours? Absolutely. Baby was never in any kind of distress, so there was no real emergency. But was it looking like I was going to be able to push this baby out? Not so much.

I didn't want a c-section, obviously, but I also didn't want to hang out in the hospital forever. Thanks to the epidural I could have waited it out forever, and maybe another 24 hours would have yielded some results, but because my water had broken we didn't have a ton of time to wait. (Especially since I'm group B strep positive, and even with the penicillin didn't really want to push things.) So I decided, if I'm going to have a c-section anyway, I might as well have it now.

So Monday the 9th at 8:09 pm, I heard my sweet baby's first cries. They lifted her up over the the drape to show her to me, and all I could see was a giant cone head. They assured me it would go away within hours, but you could actually see the ring of how far I had dilated. That head was not coming through.

The recovery hasn't been as bad as I thought it'd be. Sure, it was pretty hard to hoist myself out of bed for a week or so, but the pain was pretty manageable. They kept telling me to not let the pain sneak up on me, but it really wasn't! I was okay on just the Motrin. I did take Percoset once, but it was too much. I get too loopy; can't even hold my head up on 'em. And the difference two weeks later versus one is HUGE. I feel practically normal, and I haven't even had my steri-strips removed. I've also lost nearly all the weight I gained, which is awesome even if there is lots of doughiness and skin in new places. Frankly, after an 8 pound, 10 ounce baby has made double occupancy of your belly, just having them evicted makes you feel tiny.

So it didn't happen exactly how I was hoping, but I have no regrets. I'm not bitter about the c-section--everyone agreed I made the right choice--I'm recovering fine, my baby is the most wonderful thing in the world, and I understand why people would do this more than once...although at this point I'm only willing to do it if I can somehow magically stay home for the entire pregnancy, because working and being pregnant was hard enough in itself and taking care of a toddler on top of that would probably kill me. But that's a problem for another day. For now, I'm enjoying a sweet, beautiful, delicious baby and that's plenty.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Author intent

The problem with Facebook is that it prolongs acquaintanceship longer than is strictly necessary or desirable. In that vein, an acquaintance of mine recently posted a link to her birth story (which I will not link to, but let's just say she uses a blogspot domain to write about My Birth Choice) and it left me in such a wordless, stuttering rage that I've got to complain about it.

I knew she wanted to do it "natural," which already has my hackles up. I'm really fussy about word choice in things like this, because when she says "natural," she actually means "unmedicated." Unless you are sneezing that baby out your nose, all childbirth is natural, and to equate natural with unmedicated then implies that medicated is unnatural. Is it not a difficult enough time without the emotional baggage of wanting an "unnatural" birth?

Don't get me wrong, I'm preparing for an unmedicated birth myself. My reasons are many, but they are my own and not really worth pushing onto everyone else. You have that baby whatever way feels right to you.

What really made me spitting mad, though, is when she defined a natural birth as "the way God intended." SAY WHAT?

Here again is my English degree manifesting, since I learned early and often to avoid assigning author intent. "What Shakespeare means" is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Unless you happen to be friends with the author and can ask them about it, you don't get to say what they meant. (Fun tangential sidenote: the pop culture podcast I listen to recently had an episode where they talked about unreliable narrators, and one person referenced "The Old Apartment," a Barenaked Ladies song which apparently someone in the band had said on record wasn't about a crazy exboyfriend, but totally is. So sometimes the author's intent still isn't what ends up being communicated.)

So the bottom line is who gets to decide how God intends things to be? Should I suffer through a UTI because our bodies are designed to fight infection, so I don't need antibiotics (or that special painkiller stuff that turns your pee orange)? Should we all just get polio and whooping cough because God intended us to be susceptible to the diseases? Where do we draw the line on "this is what God intends" and "this is a miraculous medical advance that God gave to us"? How dare someone imply that using pain killers or having a baby in a hospital or--gasp, even seeing an obstetrician!--is contrary to what God intends? This is where the sputtering rage comes in. Make whatever choices you want, but don't you dare even hint at judging the decisions another woman makes with her birthing. This shiz is hard enough without being judged for having your baby in a hospital bed.

She also basically says that obstetricians make their decisions out of their own legal interests, which I think is pretty small minded and ungenerous. I had no idea they invested so much time and money to get into the business of not getting sued. I'm not pretending that there's no legal concerns, but let's not forget that doctors became doctors because they wanted to help people. It is too dang much work to do it for any other reason. (Many of them don't actually make that much money. In my experience of reviewing paystubs, the real money is in self-employment or Wall Street. Note for the future.)

There you have it, my angry screed against self-righteousness and judging other mothers. I'm sure eventually she'll post something about how terrible it is to use formula...they all do.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Maternity Math

Things you may hear about how long you're pregnant:
- 40 weeks
- Nine months
- Ten months
- Forever (oh wait, that's just me loving being pregnant. :-/ )

All of those are true, but really none of them are.

Forty weeks is based off first day of last menstrual period. But you're not actually pregnant for all of that. That assumes a perfect 28 day cycle (what is that?) with ovulation on day 14. So really you're only pregnant for 38 weeks, but because when you ovulated is hard for most people to pin down, it's easier to make the little spinny charts using last menstrual period.

But. Some of us are special and can tell you pretty much exactly when we ovulated. (Yay, science!) So really, it's more accurate to just count 38 weeks from then, right? Either way, now we've figured out my due date (September 8th ish, depending on what method you use). Go us. And now that I finally look pregnant and not just like I've put on a few pounds, people are asking how far along I am.

Ah, "how far along are you?" Here's the thing. Most people don't want it in weeks. I get that. I was that. To me, the difference between 12 weeks and 14 weeks wasn't that big. (IT IS NOW, for that's when the puking stopped. Mostly.) They want it in months. No one really has any idea how long 27 weeks is, unless they are or recently have been pregnant. It's just a weird measurement.

For months, most people just divide weeks along by 4 (which, incidentally, is how they come up with ten months, since 40 weeks/4 is 10 months), but do we live in some magical land of year-round Februarys? Nay, our months vary anywhere from 4.29 to 4.43 weeks. Okay, not anywhere. It's 4, 4.29, or 4.43 weeks. So based on last menstrual period, I was one month along at the end of December, two at the end of January, etc. At the end of June, I'm 30 weeks or seven months. But if you divide 30 by 4, I'm actually...seven and a half months along? But if we keep going with this, nine months is the last day of August, and I've still got another week until my due date! (And then, if I'm anything like my mother, another two to three weeks until I actually give birth. Fingers crossed that I'm not.)

All I'm saying is, the numbers don't match up and it's really annoying to me. Pregnancy is super frustrating because it totally removes the ability to control or plan. I don't know when I'm going to go on leave, when this precious parasite will vacate my uterus, when I'll be back at work, how the birth will go, what kind of baby she'll be, how I'll end up feeding her, even how well I'll sleep tonight. I like to plan, you guys, and I can't really do any of it. I can't even be specific with how far along I am because the numbers don't match up. It seriously irritates the part of me that loves precision. I guess I just need to channel my "eh, close enough" side. That usually manifests when I'm tired of doing something, which, hey, I totally am!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Peculiar Children

I realize I'm a couple years behind the times, but I just finished Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children this week. The fact that it's only been out for two years is actually pretty impressive; I'm generally not one read a new release unless it's part of a series I'm already reading or it has been out for several years and generally well-liked. (Which still means nothing *cough*Water for Elephants*cough*.) Even an author I already know and love doesn't necessarily warrant rushing out to read something. (I still haven't read Mary Roach's Packing for Mars, let alone Gulp.)

Anyway, I managed to force myself to the library a while back to get a card, and now I can check out kindle books from the comfort and laziness of my own home! (Did I mention it's 1000 degrees outside and I'm 30 months weeks pregnant? I scowl at everyone who tells me the time has just flown by. Maybe for the people who didn't vomit in their sleep last week. So yeah, pregnancy definitely agrees with me, no?) They don't always have what I want, and there's usually a few days' wait, but it is more convenient than actually going to the library, and I'm definitely too cheap to buy a book I don't know if I'd want to read again.

Which brings me to Miss Peregrine. I had a general idea of what the book was about, but it turns out it was very general and not particularly accurate. At any rate, the book wasn't what I expected. Which isn't to say that it was bad, it's just kind of unsettling when you're like, "Oh. So it actually takes the first third of the book to even get to the home for peculiar kids. Okay." I guess I just assumed that it was set there not discovered. Whatever, that's my fault.

You know what's not my fault? The book has the crappiest "Wait for the sequel!" non-ending of any book I've ever read. I get that people want to leave their books (and movies) open for a sequel. It's a business, and this is about maintaining revenue stream. But that doesn't mean each installment can't have an ending of its own. For example: the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie definitely ends. Curse is lifted, Jack's back on the Black Pearl, everybody's happy.  But it leaves it open--Jack's got his compass, bring me that horizon, new adventures, etc. Who knows what madcap thing he'll do next! The second movie, though...la la la, it's ending, everything's great--bam! Barbosa's still alive! (I refuse to give a spoiler alert for a movie that's been out for seven years. If you haven't seen it by now, that's hardly my problem. I'm a big believer in spoiler statute of limitations.) It's opening a whole can of question worms, but oh ho ho, you'll just have to wait and see in the next movie. I hate that.

Unfortunately, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children doesn't have an ending at all. Here's what it feels like. Author spends half the book world-building, trying to figure out what story he's trying to tell. Author finally figures out the story, gets into the action, realizes, "Crap, I'm running out of pages to finish this properly!" Author tacks on a last line that is supposed to be some sort of dramatic, literary ending. It is not. I don't even know what the denouement is supposed to be. I mean, there's a small fight scene, but the purpose of it is actually to inform the main characters of the real conflict, which you won't actually see until book two. I have no patience for this. I wasn't swept up enough with the book or the characters to want to read a whole nother book to find out what's actually happening. If I wanted to read half a book, I would have read half a book and then given up on it, like I usually do!

So that's annoying, and I can't really recommend this book. I mean, I was all on board until I got to the "end." I was like, "Wait, is that it?" and had to click back and forth to check. (The downside to a Kindle is when you still have six percent of the book left but it turns out that's all just end filler and pages from the sequel [which should have been part of the first book to begin with.] It can be rather confusing.) The sequel comes out next month, so I guess if you're interested, you can start reading the first one now and then find out what actually happens when the second half of this story comes out next month. Blerg.

The other thing that bothers me is that I heard the other day that Tim Burton is going to direct the movie of the book. So, that will be terrible. You know why? For the same reason that Helena Bonham Carter gets every "crazy lady with wild hair" role that comes along. Because as they get older, they become more and more hardened into this particular type. Tim Burton did the Michael Keaton Batmans, you guys! Can you imagine the director of the creepy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake doing Batman now? No, because all he does now is weird and/or macabre stuff. There is no Pee-wee's Big Adventure for him anymore. Whether he's put himself in the niche or has been pushed there, the man really only does one kind of movie. And the thing with Peregrine is that it needs a subtlety and nuance that his recent movies lack. If the WHOLE WORLD of the movie is weird, than there's nothing peculiar about these children. Can he really show the dichotomy between the commons and the peculiars if everything he does is peculiar? I dunno, but I don't hold a lot of hope.

So there you have it, a bajillion words about a book that I didn't dislike while I was reading but ended up being seriously disappointed with when I finished it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Babies just look like babies

My sister asked the other day whose nose the baby has. As though I could tell from an ultrasound at 19 weeks who a baby looks like. The 3-D picture looks like a face that was burned off by acid. I'm too practical to think I can determine if a fetus looks like me. Frankly, she mostly looks like Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon. See:



We'll decide noses in September.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Parasite infestation

Presumably people--okay, person--who requested the story of my parasitic infestation is/are still interested. It's bound to be full of TMI-type information, as these things tend to be. So I guess pirates/squeamish ye be warned.


Long story short, I've known for well over ten years that it would take a miracle and medical intervention to have a baby. And I've rather suspected it since I was...oh, 14 or so.

Basically, I don't ovulate. Like, at all. Literally can go years between cycles, if that's at all a useful word to describe something that is entirely inconsistent. Doctor makes me take progesterone four times a year to force a cycle so I don't get uterine cancer. It's not so bad, really, except that for the longest time vacations triggered them. Don't know if it was the relaxation or elevation change or what, but it was super annoying. And inconvenient. Eventually I just started assuming I'd get my period on vacation. Now pretty much the only triggers are progesterone and rooming with another female. (And even that is of limited efficacy.) I could go on about the pros and cons of not menstruating, but let's leave it there.

As to the actual process of getting pregnant, it all started in October 2010, when I took my eleventh and final pack of birth control pills. I had originally tried to convince the hubs that we could rely on my own natural infertility to prevent a honeymoon baby, but he didn't want to risk it. Ha! Served him right, dealing with the side effects of the hormones.

Anyway, off the pill, whaddayaknow, no baby. Technically because of my previously-diagnosed PCOS I didn't have to wait a year before medical assistance, but work was kind of up in the air and stuff and it wasn't necessarily the right time. But in the fall of 2011 we started all the tests to make sure there weren't any other  fertility issues. (Some of the tests, I might add, are rather less pleasant than others.) By the end of 2011 everything else had got the greenlight, and we could start the fertility drugs at any time.

And after all that, it didn't feel like the right time for the clomid. Which is dumb because, hello, I want a baby. Ahh, but then I ended up getting a new job in June, so then I had to wait so I'd be there 12 months by the time I had the baby, so I could qualify for FMLA leave. (And it turns out the new company, for all its many faults, offers paid maternity leave. So it's all working out pretty well.) So at the end of the summer, it was finally time to start the pills. But of course, it takes a while before I can even take the pills, because I have to take five days of progesterone, wait a week or so for them to work, take the clomid days 3-7, wait, get a transvaginal ultrasound to see if there's any eggs, get two trigger shots if there are (in the butt, wooo) have super sexy "timed intercourse," wait another two weeks, do a pregnancy test. I couldn't even do one of those "early response" tests, because the trigger shot would give a false positive and takes two weeks to get down to zero-ish. Of course, a test isn't really needed, because all of these hormones and things make for a super reliable day 28 period.

First month, I got the shots, but no baby. Second month, didn't even get to get the shots. Third month, they increased the dosage and the egg was almost big enough but not quite, so they told me I could come back on Monday and get another ultrasound or try again next month. Boo. I opted for door number one. What's a weekend of waiting and fifteen bucks coinsurance for another ultrasound?

Went back on cycle day 17, which was also our anniversary. Apparently even on super drugs, I've got a slow cycle. But I got the trigger shot, yay! And then comes the longest two weeks ever. I couldn't even take a test until New Year's Eve, but on the 30th I threw up from leftover Chipotle and was really bothered by the smell of someone's basil essential oil, so that was a good sign. Next day I did one of the dollar store tests I keep on hand--you have to, when there's no rhyme or reason to your ovulating--and I was like "Is that a line? Is that a wrinkle in this tiny dipstick? Honey, is this a line?" We weren't sure. Very faint. Did another test the next day. Pretty obviously was a line, but just to be safe (okay, and for funsies) I got one of the expensive digital ones that just say yes or no. Did it mid-day, and...

Turns out I was pregnant. Couldn't really believe/accept it--ultimately it was over two years of "trying," although if we consider time I was on fertility drugs it was more like four months. But if this one hadn't taken I'd have had to go to a much more expensive specialist, so it was a close call--but it's really true. Had the second trimester ultrasound on Tuesday. Totally teared up at the heartbeat. I still tear up thinking about the heartbeat. After all this waiting, my little baby is alive and--hopefully--well. More on that later.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

lessons learned

I clearly didn't feel well in February--look how few books I read! Or maybe I forgot some? I am getting stupider, but I think that's all of them.

But, I did learn many valuable things in February. For instance: Flavor-blasted "xtra" cheddar Goldfish crackers come up almost as nicely as they go down. And Jello? Vomiting Jello is like eating it all over again. Highly recommend strawberry Jello. My friend suggests Lucky Charms, but even Lucky Charm burps have been a little nasty lately. Pepperoni pizza, on the other hand, is so far the worst food I've yet to have the misfortune to experience in reverse.

I've also spent considerable time reflecting on barf bags. You guys, I have the most stellar business idea. I've been puking into gallon ziploc freezer bags. They are awesome for this job! (I poked myself in the eye with a quart size; the bigger opening is nicer.) But no one wants to see the contents of your barf bag! So we get some bags made of opaque plastic, package each one with a mint and a tissue--I've yet to figure out how to vomit without getting any on my mouth, plus it makes my eyes water--and we've got a million dollar idea! Smell-proof, leak proof, light and portable...this is an idea whose time has come. Morning sickness; car-, boat-, and plane-related sickness (the waxed bag on planes? ew); elementary schools (my poor mother!); and did I mention morning sickness? Tell me this is not a great idea, I dare you. If you don't believe me, you haven't spent the last six weeks puking your life away.

Speaking of which, I had a doctor's appointment last week and told her of all the puking. I had gotten a prescription for Zofran at my previous appointment, but even that miracle drug could only do so much. She said she doesn't care about nutrition right now, so much as just consuming enough calories. Which is good, since frosted strawberry Pop Tarts don't have a ton of nutritional value, besides calories. But, those are what I need most. The vitamins and Tums round out most of my vitamins and mineral needs. Besides, Lucky Charms are a part of this complete breakfast.

Let me tell you the best thing about being pregnant (for a pudgy person, at least): for the first time in my life, I've been commended for NOT losing weight. It is an achievement! All that puking and I managed to gain a pound or two in about five weeks. Go me! The other weight-related highlight was when I asked how much weight my OB wanted me to gain, and she said 25-30 pounds. Which means she doesn't consider me overweight--even if the arbitrary government guidelines do (developed, I might add, in the first half of the 19th century)--otherwise she would have said 15-20ish. So, yes. Yay for gaining weight!

Well, I meant to tell the story of my parasitic infestation, per popular demand (okay, one person asked) but this is long and it's time for bed, so...there are stories for another day.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Medical incredible

Well, it's out on Facebook--specifically, if you are Facebook friends with my mother or my husband's father--but I have in fact acquired a parasite. In a few months, after reaching viability by robbing me of nutrients and perhaps even leaching minerals from my very bones, it will exit my body (ideally with less medical intervention than more) and set up shop in the smaller bedroom, where it will continue to exhaust me, but at least not nauseate me. Mostly; there will be some smelly times.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day is also Arizona's birthday

So NPR pop culture blog editor Linda Holmes tweeted a link to a Salon article today, with the commentary "It's sort of odd (to me) how defensive this is. I promise, I don't care if you celebrate Valentine's Day." Have to say I agree. And it is especially odd when you consider that the woman also wrote an article entitled "Why I eloped--and you should too." Sooo...people who dislike Valentine's day are jerky snobs, but people who want big weddings are wrong and ridiculous?

I'm not really interested in Valentine's Day. When I was single, I'm sure people put it down to sour grapes, but it's really not. I don't really see the point in being bitter. You'll be as single tomorrow as you are today, so why are you extra crabby about it today? And anyway, now I've got a really fabulous husband who would cheerfully get me flowers if I wanted them. Even more swell, I came home today to a clean kitchen and note wishing me a happy almost Valentine's Day. "I figured instead of flowers," he writes, "you would like a clean kitchen." Um, YES, exactly. I haven't felt very well the last while, and it rather shows. Spending your lunch hour cleaning? That says "I love you" to me far more than flowers purchased from a tent in the grocery store parking lot. You guys. The grocery store wants you to buy tokens of your undying love from a tent. In their parking lot.

My objection to Valentine's Day isn't the standard "Hallmark holiday, we should show our love every day" thing. My primary objections are: flowers that last week were twenty dollars are forty this week. Supply and demand, I get it whatever. But if you're going to buy me flowers you might as well have done it last week, or do it next week. I'm too practical for this nonsense. Objection the second: the restaurants are unpleasantly busy. There's nothing romantic or leisurely about going to Texas Roadhouse on Valentine's Day. TRUST ME. And finally: what do you get for men? There's not really a culturally established "I love you" gift for men. Flowers and chocolates and jewelry for a woman, sure, but it seems silly to get roses for a guy. I guess there's cologne, but unless the guy in question is A) fifteen, or B) whatever scent-drenched ethnic group is mocked in your region, you can't do that every year. I got the fabulous husband cologne some cologne two or three years ago and he still has plenty. Cufflinks? Not fancy enough. Clothing? He's nearly picky as I am. Engraved flask? Uh...no. TV seasons on DVD that we'll watch once and then eventually sell online or trade in at Bookmans? We'll just Netflix it.

So we agreed to just go out to dinner some time this week and call it a holiday. He's working tomorrow night anyway, so it all works out pretty well. So uh...what are you doing tomorrow? I'm catching up on Downton Abbey and going to bed early. YES.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Books read in 2012


Thanks to Amazon Prime's Kindle owner lending library, I read a lot more so-so books this year than I otherwise would have. Not all of them were terrible; I actually recommend Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy, although be advised that it's in weird almost poetry prose--which I find highly distasteful in bloggers, but it works better here--and of course is pretty emotionally difficult, being about the Holocaust. And thank to Bookmans and apparently someone who sold off their grandmother's entire collection, I've been reading quite a bit of Georgette Heyer, too.

So without further ado, the 45 books I started--and 44 I finished--last year. 

Mark of Athena
Friday's Child
Arabella
Casino Royale
Yellow Star
The Last Justice
Heat Wave
Why Shoot a Butler?
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future
My Mother Was Nuts
Insurgent
Divergent
The Talisman Ring
Up in the Air
Regency Buck
War Brides (did not finish)
The Black Moth
The Hangman's Daughter
Devil's Cub
These Old Shades
Love Letters Inc
Maids of Misfortune
Black Diamond Death
Salt Bride
The Serpent's Shadow
Night Swim
Water for Elephants
Lessons from Jack
Mockingjay (again)
Catching Fire (again)
The Hunger Games (again)
The Millionaire's Wish
Happy Accidents
The Last Battle
The Magician's Nephew

Mockingjay
Catching Fire
The Hunger Games
The Horse and His Boy

The Silver Chair
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Prince Caspian
The Tale of Despereaux
The Secret Garden
The Accidental Tourist