Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A hermit, a bonnet, and Stephen King

Can pregnancy accelerate your imagination? I'm beginning to think so. (I'm feeling much better by the way. No nausea! Yea!)

Karen is teaching in Seattle this week and I have tagged along. Karen travels about 1/3 of the year and I have been fortunate enough to travel with her many times. When I first started accompanying Karen on her business trips, I would keep our rental car and see the sights of whatever city we were visiting. But then one day it dawned on me that I was driving around looking for some famous views, not because I really wanted to, and not because I really enjoyed doing it alone, but because it was something I felt I was "supposed" to do.

It would be foolish to be in a new city and not see some landmarks, right? Well, I quickly got over it. Now when I travel with her, I usually stay within 20 miles of our hotel. I'm a hermit by nature and traveling doesn't really change this fact.

And I really enjoy being a hermit when I have a new, exciting book to read. I purchased Stephen King's newest book, "Lisey's Story" last week and started reading it on this trip. I love Stephen King. I've read almost all of his books. I'm not a horror buff but I love his style. I enjoy how King writes about the inner dialog that goes on in most people's heads (including my own). I think his insights on human nature are scary yet true. Nobody can pull me into a story or scare the beejesus out of me like King.

But it's easy to get pulled too deeply into his stories. I begin to suspect complete strangers of being bizarre (and maybe evil?) and start jumping at every sound.

Case in point... yesterday afternoon, I was lounging in our hotel room, reading King, when the housekeeper knocked on the door to see if she could clean our room. I agreed, thanked her, gathered my book and went to the lobby to read some more. Several housekeepers walked by and made their hellos.

One housekeeper scared the crap out of me. She sort of snuck up on me and when I looked up from my book, I must have jumped a foot. She had the typical housekeeping uniform on but she had a bonnet on her head. An honest-to-God BONNET. Like a Little-House-on-the-Prairie bonnet. And she didn't look Quaker or Amish or any other kind of person who wears a bonnet for a cultural/spiritual reason. She looked like she wore a bonnet because she was crazy as a loon!

"You shouldn't read Stephen King," she announced, hovering boldly over me and leering. "Oh yes?" I croaked, trying to keep my voice level and not squeak.

"Yes", she firmly stated. "You should read CS Lewis" she said.

"Oh sh*t!" I thought to myself. You look like a character right out of one of King's books! Some bible-thumping crazy lady who will attack me the moment she realizes I'm a child-bearing, King-reading lesbian. You are a bonnet-wearing, greasy-haired loon like Kathy Bates from King's "Misery" book.

"I've read CS Lewis", I said, trying to appease this crazy-ass*d Nelly. "He's good," I add.

"Then stop reading King", she commands once more and walks away, looking back at me with a horrid grin at my wide-eyed shock.

At this point, I got up (looking over my shoulder the whole time), went back into the hotel room and double-bolted the door.

For the rest of last night and today, I've been as jumpy as a rabbit. I keep expecting her to lunge out at me as I'm walking down the hotel hallway. "No more King!" she'll scream as she goes at my throat with her claws.

Sigh... I should know better than to read King on Halloween. My active imagination is scary!

[14w, 1d]

Friday, October 27, 2006

My first experience

Today I had my first ever experience with getting a bra that was "custom fit" to me. You can bet there will be no pictures included in this post! But wowsa...what a difference a "real" bra makes!

Good friend Heather mentioned a place called Just Like A Woman that Wendy might want to consider for maternity/nursing bras when she's ready. When we looked at the web site, I noticed that the place did not just cater to maternity needs but to women of all hard to fit sizes. Since I recently noticed that a picture Wendy took of me while I was sitting in our new glider for the baby's room looked as if my boobs were sitting in my lap, I thought maybe this place might be worth a look. So, today we made a visit.

Now, first let me say that I'm relatively modest (more so than this post may lead you to believe), so this little adventure was going to be out of my comfort zone if I really decided to go for it. I'm tall and a good sized woman (although as I noted in a previous post, there's about 50 lbs less of me these days than there used to be) and for the last decade I've worn "Just My Size" bras. I think these are made to try and make us women of size feel a little less sizey because with that brand I have always bought a C cup. But in a "real" bra, I had no idea what size I might wear.

Well, after we drove all the way over there, I figured I may as well go for it so I put myself into "gyno mode" (I kinda go someplace else in my mind in an attempt to forget about what's actually going on down there while the doc does her annual probe and poke) and allowed helpful salesperson Erin to whisk me into one of their private sizing and dressing rooms. She asked me about my preferences and what I thought I was looking for. I told her I was basically clueless, but that I'd really like to give the girls a little lift (if possible). After a few more questions, I was then measured (no shirt and wearing only my current bra). This wasn't too bad as I simply stared at the wall over Erin's head until she finished. She then slipped out the back (employees only) door and said she'd be right back.

She reappeared within a couple of minutes carrying a boatload of different bras. She looked a bit surprised when she returned to find me, once again, fully dressed and had to ask me to remove my shirt and my bra this time so "we" could try things on. While I'm quite sure "we" weren't going to be trying things on together, I complied as she readied the first of about a dozen different bras for me to try. She'd simply pull out the straps and have me slip my arms through and allow me a moment to adjust the girls then she'd lock me in and point me toward the mirror. She'd then make a comment here and there about look and feel, tighten or loosen a strap or make a suggestion to "just lean over and shake 'em into place" and then we'd assess and move on to the next one.

I am fully certain that while this is likely the best way to try on bras (i.e. have someone size you then fetch a bunch for you to try and provide helpful commentary), I have to tell you, it was still a bit unnerving. I mean, nobody other than Wendy has seen my girls in all their radiant glory (other than my gyno) recently. So, to have this professional bra saleslady going about her work in a very easygoing yet clinical way while I slipped in and out of all these different apparatuses was well...odd.

In the end, she left me with a room full of choices and told me that if I wished to wear one home, to just remove the tag and bring it out to her at the register. It was at this point as she first left me alone, that I actually glanced at the cup size of what I'd been trying on. Oh my sweet Dolly! There were D cups of one style, DD of another and even a E or two in the pile. That'll make your head swim to walk into a place in a C cup and within minutes be moving through the alphabet of sizes like nobody's business!

So, with a gulp and a grin, I called Wendy in and had her check things out with me...or check me out in things as the case may be. In the end, I settled on two for daily wear and two for workout wear (oh...by the way, this is also the very first time I've ever owned a "sports" bra even though I was a collegiate athlete way back when and now workout regularly). These new sporty models actually hold the girls still! I've gotten so used to seeing the girls bounce up and down (usually in the opposite direction I'm bouncing) that I'm not sure what I'll do when I next bounce up and the girls actually go with me! I even chose to wear one out! I did pick all D's as they really were my favorites and I just don't think I was ready to be the owner of a DD or E cup!

Now here's the best, most surprising and wonderful part for me. My girls are "perky"! Yes by dickens, my girls have lift! I don't think the undersides of my boobs have had air in 15 years or more and today as I strode out of bra nirvana in my new bra, I felt the breeze, looked down and saw the ladies lifted high and proud as never before! Can I tell you what a fascination this was/is for me?!?!?! I mean, who knew my breasts could live 3-4 inches higher up my body (OK..maybe that's a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea)? So, as we drove home I kept commenting on my new heights and told Wendy she'd just have to put up with me talking about my boobs for a few days until I got used to things being relocated. It's truly like having a whole different set of knockers in place...and it really feels good!

OK...now that I've likely shared way too much I'll close with just one last thing. Ladies, if you've never been custom fit for a bra...go do it....especially if you're particularly well endowed or of slightly different proportions than the average gal. The brief embarrassment is worth the result. Trust me!

- Karen


Knitting News

On Wednesday, I finished knitting my clapotis scarf/shawl. Strange name, I know.

The pattern was inspired by French women's scarves (which are big enough to also be worn as shawls). It is knit on the bias so the variegated yarn makes diagonal stripes. And stitches are carefully dropped to make a pattern in the opposite direction. It's named after an ocean wave pattern.

This scarf was all the rage in 2004. Groups and groups of women all joined together in person and online to knit their clapotis. (Sounds kinky doesn't it?) I was just a beginning knitter at that point and the pattern intimidated me. So I'm really pleased that I was able to knit it now.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb (50% silk, 50% wool) color: embers
Needles: Size 8 circular
Pattern: Clapotis on Knitty.com
Finished: 10/25/06
More pictures here

It's amazing how eating two packs of Little Debbie doughnuts will inspire you! I had been dragging around the house all day. But after wolfing these wonderfully sugar treats, I put on my new maternity outfit and asked Karen to take some pictures of me and my newly finished shawl.

One last thing...after my shower today I called Karen to the bathroom. "Poke around my belly button!" I asked/demanded. I was shocked at how hard and taught my belly is. I knew my uterus was growing but feeling it today and seeing today's pictures was shocking. That little mound isn't belly fat... it's a baby! WOW!

[13w, 4d]

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mommies to be

Do we look like naturals or what?!? Next door neighbor baby Ethan joined us for a photo opp this afternoon outside in the sunny Oregon fall weather. Cute, huh?

- Karen


Pillow talk

At my last doctor's appointment, I was told that I would need to sleep mostly on my side from around 20 weeks until I delivered. This is to maximize the blood flow to the baby while I'm sleeping. I'm comfortable sleeping on my side but I mostly sleep on my back. So I've been thinking about sleeping pillows.

Babies R Us has "snooger" and "snoozer" body pillows. These pillows aren't very thick. I think that I'm going to need a dense pillow right against my back to keep me from sleeping on my back. Maybe two long body pillows? I also want to be able to turn from side to side without having to shift a bunch of pillows and wake sleeping Partner.

Any pillow suggestions?

In knitting news, I finished Ethan's stripped baby hat. It's made of Cascade Yarns Cotton Rich yarn and knit on size 3 double-pointed needles. I used the pattern from the "Simply Baby" book by Debbie Bliss. Karen made the adorable pom-pon. (I tried to make a pom-pon and ended up with tiny pieces of blue yarn all over the house. I blame the placenta brain!) I think the blue yarn brings out Ethan's blue eyes. Here's Heather and Jeff's little boy:

[13w, 3d]

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Parenting critique

First of all, let me say that in my role as a parent, I will at times be frustrated, irritated, irrational and impatient and make mistakes. With that being said, there are days when I can't help but to critique the parenting style of others.

It's one of my little idiosyncrasies that I'll witness a scene between two people at a restaurant or store and become fascinated. I'll take that little slice of someone else's life and look at it from all angles. What was the message they were trying to communicate, could they have said something a better way, what emotions did I witness, and so forth and so on. Patient Karen has heard me conduct this amateur analysis lots of times and gets tickled at how excited I get. Am I the only one who does this?

Slice of life story:
Yesterday I was browsing in the bookstore when I came across an older woman (probably a grandmother) and a little boy. The little boy had found a book in the "bargain book" section of the store and was very excited. He told his grandmother that they had this book at his school and how much he enjoyed reading and playing with it (it was one of those books that has buttons with electronic voices and sounds). And he asked, "Can I have it?"

His grandmother told him, "No, you can't. You can pick another book, something you don't have at school." The boy cried, "But I want one of my own!" Actually it was more like, "Ooowwwwnnnnnn".

The grandmother took the book away and led the boy back into the children's book section. The boy turned around, went back to the bargain book he loved, and started playing with it again. (I have to say that I admire his single-minded devotion). Grandma followed. The boy asked again. The grandmother tried to reason that he should get a book that he didn't have it school. The boy kept saying "I want my own!" The grandmother kept reasoning. The boy got louder. So did grandma. And then the boy began to scream with frustration.

At which point, I bought my new Stephen King novel and Stitch-n-Bitch calendar and left the store.

I have to side with the kid on this one! I don't understand why Grandma didn't buy him the book. Sure, he has access to the book at school but he probably has to share it with other kids or maybe his reading time is limited. The bargain book was under $5 so I don't think it was a matter of cost. I just don't think that Grandma could wrap her head around the fact that he wanted it when he had the same one at school. But Hello!! It was HIS book not hers. He wanted a book for his reasons - not hers.

And I could understand if she said something like, "Bad behavior (screaming in a store) means no book and we go home". But she didn't do that. She tried to reason with a child about the merits of his book. And their back and forth yelling filled the entire store.

In the end, it was a good example for me and gave me some food for thought on how I would do it differently. I'm open to looking at it a different way so if you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.

[13w, 2d]

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just when you thought it was safe...

/cue Jaws theme/ Duh duh.. duh duh.. duh duh daaaaah

Well...the brief respite Wendy got from the nausea has gone bye-bye. No sooner had she posted about the nausea subsiding when it hit again with a vengence! She spent the better part of yesterday hanging over the edge of the toilet with me running back and forth with cool cloths, 7-up and saltines. Then this morning when she got up, she was hit with a massive case of dizziness. She collapsed back on the bed and grabbed onto me in an attempt to stop the spinning and ended up finally going back to sleep for a couple of hours before it passed. Sigh....

The good news is that she did feel better this afternoon and we even went out for a bit. However, I do think she was spurred on to feel better by the call from Babies R Us that our baby room glider was in! We ordered it expecting it to not arrive until the first of the year (based on their estimates). So we were surprised and way excited when they called to tell us it was in today! We went over to pick it up and brought it home and set it up immediately. It is soooooo awesome. I think Wendy may just park in the chair until the baby comes. She just looked so peaceful when she sat down and started to rock (um...I mean, glide). I'll let her post her own pictures of her in the chair, but here's one of the glider and then one of me and Phoebe (the older of our two kitties) enjoying it.

Wow! We really didn't expect to have this so soon, but it was a nice surprise and a great thing to take Wendy's mind off her renewed nausea and dizziness. We're really hoping these episodes are the "last hurrah" of the end of the first trimester and that brighter, less nauseated days are ahead!

- Karen

[17 Babies R Us visits]

Monday, October 23, 2006

Woody weekend

Karen and I went for a drive up the Columbia River Gorge on Saturday to view the Fall colors. It was one of those perfect Fall days when the sun is bright, sky is blue, wind is blowing, and there's that wonderful smell of freshly-cut grass and leaves. We stopped at a park near Rooster Rock and watched some 30-40 wind surfers do their crazy, thrill-seeking moves on the choppy and cold Columbia River.

Karen and I don't go camping. But as a kid, my family went tent camping all the time. As I walked in the woods on Saturday, I made a mental list of all the woodsy things to teach the Biscuit:
how to walk in the woods,
how to cross a stream,
how to recognize poison ivy and oak,
how to collect kindling and wood and make a fire,
how to whittle a stick,
how to roast marshmallows,
and how to fish,
and the list goes on and on. All the wonderful things I'm looking forward to sharing and teaching him/her.

Our friend Heather brought us baby clothes that her son Ethan has outgrown. She GAVE us over 30 gender-neutral outfits for the Biscuit. And there are twice as many more clothes for us if the Biscuit is a boy. It was an incredible gift. She also sold us her papasan chair at a great price. We are very grateful for her generosity.

You know us, the weekend wouldn't be complete without a visit to the baby store. But thank heavens we went. We purchased the very LAST pack and play of our chosen pattern. It seems that our pattern has been discontinued so the store put them on clearance, discounted the price and the suckers were flying out the door! We snatched the very last one.

I'm 13 weeks today. The nausea is subsiding- hurray! The fatigue still hits hard most days between 3 - 5pm but I feel refreshed after napping. There are moments when I could swear that I feel my uterus stretching and when I sneeze I can feel some round ligament pain. I may start wearing some maternity clothes to celebrate entering the 2nd trimester. I can still wear my regular jeans but I'm tired of looking baggy and frumpy, I'm ready to show some curves!

[16 Babies R Us visits]

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A sweet day and mom thoughts

Wendy made it through the whole day without being sick and didn't even have much nausea...yea! I don't want to jinx it by saying so, but we're hoping she's on the backside of the nausea curve and that she'll lose it entirely as she moves into the 2nd trimester. Keep your fingers crossed!

We had the joy of once again keeping neighbor baby Ethan for a couple of hours while his mom went out and about. The kid is growing up so fast! He is getting more and more social and smiles and coos alot. We put on some music and danced around with him and played...it was so fun. We love that we get to get all this baby time with Ethan and it makes us even more excited about our little one's arrival!

I think Wendy is going to make such a great mom. Watching her cradle Ethan in her arms and dance and sway and sing was just delightful. She gets so engaged with him and it is truly a joy to watch.

Ethan's mom, Heather, spent this past weekend in the hospital getting blood thinners and attention for a blood clot in her lung and we're just so relieved that it was found and treated! She's had a rough few months what with Ethan's arrival into the world being early and not without a few complications for her but she's such a great mom and a great friend. We love you Heather!

I was also thinking about my mom today. My mom is a pretty awesome lady and the older I get and the closer I get to becoming a mom myself, the more I realize how wise and wonderful she was (and is) as a mom. There really wasn't anything specific I was thinking or remembering about my mom today, but thoughts of her were just very present in my mind as Wendy and I enjoyed our time with Ethan today. Love you mom!

To all moms out there - moms to be, moms in waiting, belly moms, heart moms, grand moms, old moms, new moms, every mom there is - here's to you!

- Karen


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

OK...I have to shout hooray!

In January of this year, I was wearing size 26-28 L*ane Bry*nt (or as I semi-affectionately refer to it - the "Big Girl" store) clothes. Today, I bought a pair of 18 tall jeans! I've lost a total of 15.25 inches and over 50 pounds. My waist is down from 44+ inches to 38. I have been feeling smaller for a while now but until Sunday and today I didn't really let myself in on the reality.

On Sunday, I went through my entire closet and found that 75% of what was in there didn't fit me anymore. I literally could swim around in many of the things I tried on. Heck, Wendy and I both could've fit in a couple of pairs of my larger sized pants! This picture shows much of what I pulled out of my closet that didn't fit anymore...amazing huh?

I ended up taking about 15 garbage bags of clothes and about 25 items on hangers to G**dwill!

Anyway, I still want to lose some more weight, but I'm taking time to pat myself on the back for how far I've already come. At 6'4 I can carry *alot* of extra weight and I had really allowed myself to pack it on over the last 10-15 years. As a one-time collegiate athlete, I was thin and toned and I honestly thought I'd never see those days again.

But now, I'm feeling confident that by the time our child arrives, I'll be at or below the weight I played ball at my senior year in college (that was 1986!). And.. I'm feeling pretty good about that!

To celebrate I bought 4 new shirts and a pair of jeans to hold me over until I lose the rest of what I want to lose. If I could get into 16's by the end of it, I'd be ecstatic. For those of you in the single digit sizes, 16 or 18 may sound huge to you, but it's beanpole sizes for me! I can hardly wait!

If you're wondering how I did it, it's been two things: Jazzercise and portion control. I finally found a way to exercise that I love and can stick with (I go 5-6 times a week) and I'm eating smaller sized meals and watch the snacking and sweet stuff. That's really it.

So...HOORAY for me!

- Karen

[15 Babies R Us visits]

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am a beast

All I do is eat and sleep. I am a pregnancy beast.

I would like my energy back now. Please.



Oh Baby

A big shout out and thank you to Karen's sister, Amy, who sent me this beautiful maternity top. I love the shirt and love the fact that Amy is thinking of me and wishing me and the Biscuit well.

Today was my first day back to Jazzercise in over a week (the cold and the nausea were too much to consider Jazzercising this past week). My friends from class all petted on me and showered me with a wonderful amount of "poor baby's".

I'm beginning to groove on the attention one gets while pregnant. It's a "welcome to the club" kind of feeling when others begin to share their pregnancy experiences with you.

While laid up, I read "The Miraculous World of Your Unborn Baby" by Nikki Bradford. I tore through it in a day.

I learned a few, new, interesting factoids such as :
  • A baby starts off with two internal tubes or ducts called a Mullerian duct and a Wolffian duct. In girls, the Mullerian duct becomes a girl's reproductive tract and the Wolffian duct dissolves away. In boys, the newly formed testes start sending out the male hormone testosterone, turning the Wolffian duct into the reproductive tract and destroying the Mullerian duct.


  • Labor pain does not come directly from your womb, but is due to ischemia, a lack of blood in the uterine muscles produced by the womb working hard. This hurts for the same reason that a heart attack or angina hurts: lack of oxygen to the muscles, and a buildup of cellular waste products which irritate nerve tissue.

    And there was a fascinating chapter titled "Does your unborn baby feel your emotions?"

    So at 12 weeks, with my uterus the size of a cantaloupe and the baby the size of a peach pit, I'm beginning to relax a bit into this pregnancy. I don't check the tissue every time I go to the bathroom. I pat my lower abdomen more frequently. I gaze at my ultrasound picture frequently. It feels as if my heart is expanding physically and emotionally. Sh*t, I sound like a Hallmark card.

    Lastly, I want to send a shout out to Heather who came home from the hospital today. I hope you have a speedy recovery.


  • Thursday, October 12, 2006

    How do you *not* pass it on?

    Wendy now has the cold thingie I'm just now getting over. Yuck! This germ passing thing is really a bummer. How do you *NOT* pass on your germs/sicknesses to the people you live with?!?!?! (Especially the pregnant woman!)

    We really did go out of our way to be careful to be as free from germ-swapping as possible...really. I barely hugged Wendy for days while I was feeling the worst. Hand-washing, not drinking after each other...you know...all the things you're supposed to do...and STILL, she's got it! It really is a huge downer. She's not only dealing with all the pregnancy nausea, but now she's all stopped up with a sinus cold. It sucks...

    I feel so bad and guilty about her getting it that I've asked her about a zillion times if I can do anything for her and have apologized at least two zillion times for infecting her. I think at this point, she just wants me to shut up already (OK..I will)!

    So, the question is this: is it really possible to not infect your family members when you bring home some yucky cold or flu or whatever? I know my sister's kids have tended to bring home bugs they caught from kids at school and it seems that when one kid brings something home, everyone in the family ends up with it before it's over. I'm already dreading the day we send our little one off to daycare/kindergarten/school and she comes home with the plague-of-the-week to share with us. But...I suppose we can't live in a bubble (well, I guess we could, but what fun would that be?) so I'll just have to deal with whatever comes.

    But don't you ever wish there was some big germ-killing sanitizer machine thingie you could pass through when you come home? You've seen those viral decontamination spray units they show in movies when there are horrible virus cells in quarantine and people go in and out of the "safe" room to study them, right? Well, why doesn't somebody invent one for home use (or office use or school use)? That way, whenever you leave (and/or enter) a place, you simply go through a decontamination spray down and come out on the other side germ-free!

    Ah...one can dream....

    Stay healthy out there!

    - Karen


    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    The biscuit says howdy!

    Clocking in with a 150 bpm heart rate, here's our little one! The appointment went very well and the doc says everything looks great with both Wendy and the baby. The baby did a few barrel rolls and waved at us during the ultrasound and then faced the camera for the photo opp. We're so tickled with the good report. Wendy was restless all night and got a blast of morning sickness and threw up her breakfast just before we left to go to the doc's office, so the good report made her feel better and more relaxed.

    This will be our last view of the biscuit until our big scan around 20 weeks. So, like the proud parents we are, we've already framed the ultrasound picture and have it sitting on our dresser!

    In other good news, I'm finally feeling better and can actually breathe today...yea!

    A very, very good day indeed!

    - Karen


    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    The 7 (make that 9) Dwarfs

    It's official...Wendy and I are the two newest dwarfs. You'll remember Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sneezy and Sleepy from Snow White fame. We'd like to introduce you to Pukey (W) and Snorkley (K).

    The past 7 days have been quite fun around our house (well, OK...not fun exactly). Wendy has been an urking machine and I have been waging war with a heavy duty chest cold/sinus infection. Between the two of us, we make one really pitiful human. I've been trying to keep some distance so she doesn't catch my crud while trying to uphold my sherpa duties but we've decided that overall we've been virtually worthless except for the necessities of existence for the past few days.

    We have a OB appointment tomorrow and will post the visit details. But for now...Heigh-Ho! Heigh-Ho! it's off to bed we go (again!). We hope to be more atuned to the land of the living soon.

    - Karen


    Monday, October 09, 2006

    What's up with the belly?

    I've had a potbelly since college. I'm one of those women who carry their weight around their middle - on the belly and around the hips. And even though I've been up to 25 pounds heavier than I am now, this extra potbelly weight has never jiggled. It's been taut. I once had a personal trainer tell me that it was taut because it was vascular (veins running through it) which makes it particularly hard to lose.

    Well now....it's jiggling.

    Last week when I was Jazzercising, I felt it jiggle and wiggle. "Holy sh*t", I thought to myself while "grape-vining" across the gym floor. "Just like Santa....jiggling like a bowl full of jelly".

    I've only gained two pounds since conception (not great but not awful either). So I don't think it's weight gain, or extra cellulite, or water retention.

    Sherpa Karen had a lovely explanation. She thinks that my body knows that a baby (uterus and all) will be moving into the lower abdomen and that the fat composition may be changing to make some room.

    I don't know whether she really believes this sentiment or if she's just pacifying the crazy pregnant lady, but I like this explanation. I like this picture of a cartoon character representing my body's foreman shouting to his crew, "All right boys. We've got a baby moving into this area so we need to break up this solid piece of blubber into some smaller more manageable pieces".

    I think too much rest affects the stranger side of my imagination. Anyway, if anyone out there has noticed or heard of this fat rearranging phenomenon, drop me a line and let me know.


    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    We won! (no...not the lottery)

    Our home town boys beat the dawgs 51-33 tonight....yea! We watched the whole game and loved the high scoring. I called my folks back in TN late in the 4th quarter after TN intercepted a pass to pretty much put the game away and got to share the yippees with my dad. My dad loves (I really mean l-o-v-e) TN football! He was an usher at the stadium for every home game for around 30 years and only stopped doing it a couple of years ago. I think I told you before that TN football is some kind of genetically inbred condition of pretty much anyone born and raised in east TN....so I come by my addiction honestly!

    At one point after a great score, the TN band started playing the fight song (Rocky Top) and I reached over and gave the biscuit a pat and made sure the song was identified clearly for her/him. Our child may be born and raised in Oregon, but I'll be willing to bet that there'll be a little part of TN hardwired in---particularly the part of TN that is related to football Saturday's!

    Go V*ls!

    - Karen


    Funny post to share

    I had to laugh over today's post at the Dilbert blog. I love Dilbert as I'm a big computer geek myself so I keep up with this blog (which is different than you might think). Give it a read...it made me laugh and maybe you'll get a chuckle too.

    - Karen

    [14 Babies R Us visits]

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Mind candy

    This morning was my worst bout with vomitting to date. I'll spare you the gory details. Thanks to those of you who have commented that it will pass upon entering the second trimester. I hope and pray that this will be true for me as well. Of course, I also hope you mean 13 weeks instead of 14.

    So when I'm not puking, I've been knitting like the wind and reading some pregnancy fiction.

    I've read "Bed Rest" by Sarah Bilston. This is a story about a busy attorney who is ordered to bed rest halfway through her pregnancy and how she freaks out in having to stay still.

    And I've read "Notes from the Underbelly" by Risa Green. This one's about a materialistic, body-obsessed, high-school guidance counselor who has her own meltdowns as she progresses through her pregnancy.

    Both are light, fast, mind-candy reads. I laughed more at the Green novel.

    There is a memorable, funny line from the first time she encounters a bunch of pregnant women and new moms at a birthday party for friend's one-year-old. Here's the quote:
    "I just have no idea how my body is going to respond to pregnancy - or how hard it's going to be to lose the weight afterward- but if the butts on the mothers in this room are any indication, I am totally screwed. Honestly, every single one of them is larger and fatter and more cellulite-ridden than the next, and I suddenly begin to think that I've been brought to this party for a reason. Like the Ghost of Asses Future is trying to show me what's in store".

    I'm also concerned at how much weight I'll gain and how long (1 year, 2 years???) it will take to get it off. Another reason I'm looking forward to second trimester is I hope that I'll start to eat more nutriously (hopefully better for the baby). Lately all I can seem to eat is carbs and fat and the Ghost of Asses Future has started to laugh in my ear when I look in the mirror.

    Do any of you have recommendations for more pregnancy fiction?


    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    IM speak - a brief rant

    There have been several blog entries of late that have discussed the pro's and con's of abbreviations. Some hate 'em, some love 'em. Me, I'm fine with most of the common ones (TTC, TWW and the like), but find myself needing an abbreviations dictionary to make out some of them. It makes me feel like I did when I was a kid and I asked my mom how to spell something and she'd say "go look it up in the dictionary". Duh! Don't I have to know how to spell it to look it up?

    Anyway, I thought I'd share one pet peeve of mine that relates a bit to the use of abbreviations. My pet peeve is "IM speak". It's when someone uses the abbreviations you might use to send a text message on your phone or in an IM chat BUT it's used to convey information in a forum, email or any professional communication. I cruise quite a few technical blogs and forums that relate to my job. The amount of IM speak I find is astounding! It gets so bad at times that I need a translator to be able to decipher what the person is saying. And...it annoys the crap out of me. I actually found a site that can do translations from normal text to IM speak and back. I'm sure this site was meant to be a funny thing but I actually find I use it from time to time to translate IM speak into something I can actually read!

    The worst case I ever encountered was on a resume I received for a job opening with my company. The guy had sent in his resume via email. The email (his substitute for a cover letter) was totally overflowing with IM speak. Things like 'I wud b a g8 aDitN 2 yor team' and 'I M avail. 2 spk w U @ yor earliest convenience' were in the text! Can you even believe someone would send a professional resume with that kind of crap in the introduction? Needless to say the whole thing went into the trash without a glance at the actual resume!

    Anyway, I just finished adding a few new technical blogs to my daily surf list and noticed in many of the comments on a couple of them in particular the excessive use of IM speak and it sent me on this rant.

    I'll now return you to your previously scheduled preggo and loving it blog content...

    Wendy has been pretty sick recently and is maintaining a pretty good humor despite the daily battles with nausea and barfing. She still is able to smile and say "I think the baby is just fine". That's my girl! Hang in there honey!

    Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes my way. Wendy took me out for dinner and ice cream and I had a good day all in all. I'm certainly looking forward to being able to celebrate birthdays and holidays with our new little one. Every "special" day seems so much more enchanting and fun through the eyes of a child!

    - Karen


    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Hand gestures

    No...I don't mean the one finger salute! I recently learned something about myself and my use of hand gestures that I thought I'd share. Perhaps some of you are like me and find that you talk, in part, with your hands. I speak in front of people quite frequently and I am always pointing, waving, quoting and "drawing" my spoken words with my hands. What I didn't notice until Wendy pointed it out to me is that I gesture with my hands in a very odd way when I order food at restaurants or ask a waiter/waitress for something. For example, if I am ordering a salad and want the dressing to be on the side, I will form a little circle with one hand and point to it with the other (I assume that gesture is supposed to indicate a little ramekin of dressing). I do this without conscious thought it seems because I always do it.

    The sad thing is that I even gesture at drive up windows. I pulled through the KFC to pick up some chicken recently and actually started to gesture to the invisible drive-thru order taker (insert a descriptive gesture of your choosing to represent ordering a breast). When we pulled up to the window, I was told they didn't have any breasts in extra crispy so what would I like to do. I promptly made a hand gesture that was supposed to represent that I wanted a thigh instead. Perhaps you can imagine the laughter that ensued from the passenger seat as Wendy mimicked me and then proceeded to ask me to demonstrate how I'd order all the various chicken parts. We had a good laugh.

    What I have realized is that I only do this descriptive hand gesture thing when ordering from certain places. I do it at fast-food type places; I do it at places like Chilis or Red Robin. I don't do it at fancy-shmancy restaurants; I don't even do it at Starbucks. So...I have decided that I am a prejudicial hand gesturer. I only gesture when I (subconsciously) believe the person I'm talking to won't be able to understand without the added gesture to accompany it. I mean, if I order at Starbucks, I'm not about to question or be concerned that the barista will not get "grande decaf no whip mocha frappuccino" absolutely correct. But, if I ask for dressing on the side or order a chicken breast, I feel the need to assist with a gesture. Sigh...

    Oh well, I guess we all have our faults. I guess this one isn't as bad as some and at least it gives Wendy something to laugh at me over!

    Speaking of Wendy...it sounds like she's in need of her sherpa. Must run!

    - Karen


    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Birthday and the Borg

    Only Trekkies will get this first paragraph. I have found that my nausea has amazing Borg-like qualities. Drinking ginger tea worked for two days and then stopped working. Preggie Pops and gripe water did the same. It worked long enough for me to have a brief euphoria of "This works! I've found the cure for me" and then boom...quits working and the nausea and vomiting are back full force. I have decided that my pregnancy nausea can ADAPT. Just like how the Borg can adapt to weapons-fire. You can shoot and hurt them 2-3 times but then they quickly adapt their defense mechanisms. That's my nausea now.

    I've also found that when it's time to eat, I can only think of only 1 or 2 things that I could possibly swallow. And usually these items are full of carbs, grease, fat, or salt or all four. You would think that since food is not really appealing that I wouldn't be eating much. Not true! Eating all the time! And hoarding oatmeal cakes like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter.

    Now the great thing about today is that it is Karen's birthday. Happy Birthday, darling one! And later we will have cake and ice cream! Hurray!

    [13 Babies R Us visits]

    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    I'm a sherpa...and I love it!

    It feels so wonderful to be home again after being gone all last week on a business trip. We spent two wonderful mornings in a row sleeping in and just lazing about which was wonderful. I've got to catch up on all my blog reading. The kitties were also glad to have me back at home and even wildcat Chloe has been a lap cat and loverbug (which she usually isn't). Sigh...home sweet home.

    The other wonderful part of being home is being here to help out my dear Wendy. She was so ill this past week and I hated being away and thinking of her here fending for herself alone. She's in the phase where she gets about an hour after a meal to feel pretty decent before the nausea kicks back in and it's just a battle to keep from throwing up. I've been able to provide cool, damp cloths for some relief from the huge body heat swings she has and fetch whatever she needs when she needs/wants it.

    I read a post over at Lesbian Dad that rang true for me in regards to my role as the non-pregnant person in this journey. The post was talking about how a male friend had asked how she dealt with the moodiness of her partner (in not so nice terms) and she gave him a verbal spanking for his attitude. The analogy I liked so much was that being pregnant was like climbing Mount Everest and she was just honored to be the sherpa! I have to say I'm proud and happy to be Wendy's sherpa along the way. I can't experience just what she does, but I want to provide her with whatever I can within my ability to deliver that she needs.

    Here's a sherpa story from today: We were finishing up an early dinner just a bit ago and Wendy had grabbed her dessert - 2 Little Debbie oatmeal cakes. Imagine a leprechaun standing guard over the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that may come close to Wendy's passion for her oatmeal cakes. Well, I asked her for a bite of one as she opened it up. She took a look at it, turned it in her hand and held it out to me with just a slight hesitation. The side of the cake that she presented to me was, shall we say, without middle. It was a place on the cake where the icing hadn't quite made it to the edge so that only the oatmeal portion was there...no icing. I took it from her and turned it to the other side where a big fat icing patch was protruding from the side. As I turned it, I noticed this look of near abject horror that crossed her face and I slowly turned it around and took a small bite from the icingless portion she had presented me. Relief flooded her features as she reached to pull back to safety the remaining cake. We cracked up! Busted! She had tried to slip me the empty side and hope I wouldn't notice and then had totally given herself away when he looked mortified that I turned it around and found the good stuff! And... I have to admit had she not been pregnant and constantly fighting nausea and all the other joys of the first trimester of pregnancy, I'd have taken a big ole bite of the gooey part just for fun! That, my friends, was one of my sherpa duties for today. :)

    Oh...and we actually made another trip to Babies R Us today to do a little touch and feel testing with some of the bedding. Just another excuse to be in baby nirvana for a few minutes. So...that makes an even dozen trips so far!

    Sherpa's unite! Have a great week all!

    - Karen

    [12 Babies R Us visits]