Friday, November 30, 2007

i is in your bellah, growin real huge

First of all, my mom deserves an award for posting for me last night!

I got home from childbirth class and hauled my sick self downstairs to the computer to do my blog post, and lo and behold, there was no internet connectivity. I think I know why (because Qwest is stupid, basically) but that's a whole other post.

Anyway, after a sick hormonal pregnant lady freak-out wherein I shouted at Brett that "*bleep*-ing Qwest was ruining NaBloPoMo" for me, I decided that I would call my sister and ask her to post. She didn't answer her cell phone so I called the house phone. She lives with my mom, and my mom picked up and said my sister was already in bed.

For that matter, my mom was in bed, too, but she is so fantastic that she got up, turned on her computer, and let me dictate a blog post to her over the phone at 10:30 at night. THANKS, MOM!

And now, what you've been waiting for...the ultrasound update. As I mentioned before, there are really only a few causes for measuring so far ahead: a big baby, polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), fibroids, dates being off, or gestational diabetes.

Apparently, according to the ultrasound yesterday, it's the former: It's just a ginormous baby. No fibroids, amniotic fluid is normal for the baby's size, I am 110% certain of my dates, and we already know I don't have gestational diabetes.

So here's the scoop: I'm 33 weeks today, according to my (correct) calculations. The ultrasound yesterday estimates that the baby currently weighs 6 pounds, 13 oz.
Gulp.
The tech said that they calculate that using the abdominal measurement and the length of the femur. Those numbers are plugged into a formula and that gives them the weight estimate. They claim their measurements as to weight are accurate in 80% of cases...I'm not sure I believe that, but that's what they say.

Every measurement they took is ahead by at least a week-and-a-half of my due date, with a couple items (head, abdomen) measuring about 5 weeks ahead! Even the u/s tech said, "That's one chunky baby!" She also said it was a very, very active baby. (I don't think he/she liked being poked and prodded very much; he/she kept trying to move out of the way of the ultrasound wand.)

That said, I'm not really worried about the baby getting too big. I guess I feel like he/she will come when he/she is ready to come, and that my body will be able to handle it when that happens.

Really, I'm just more freaked out by the fact that now I feel like my due date is not realistic (because, let's face it, if the baby is already that big I can't see that it's likely he/she will stay in for 7 more weeks), and I have no idea how to plan when to go out of work, when to have the temp come in to train, etc. I guess that means I should start getting my ducks in a row here at work so that if I do go into labor early, I'm prepared. I should note here the Brett was 7 pounds, 13 ounces and he was three-and-a-half weeks early...so maybe that will be the case with me, too.

I think my doctor may want to do an induction or scheduled c-section, neither of which I want to do. But we'll see what she says. I'm not going to cross that bridge until I come to it. I have an appointment next Wednesday, so we'll discuss this in-depth, I am sure, at that time.

Anyway, all of that aside, it was really fun to see the baby again, even though due to how big and squished the baby is in there and how much he/she was moving around, the tech couldn't get any good photos. But we got to see hands, fists, feet, the heart, the spine...it's pretty amazing. I can't wait to meet this baby!!!!! It's really weird to think that in a few weeks, we'll have a kid.

So since I don't have any ultrasound photos, here is a consolation prize -- a belly photo of me at 33 weeks. I feel like the baby is a bit lower. (I can actually breathe again!) But who knows?
33 Weeks

Once again, sorry for the crappy quality and the fact that it's in a bathroom...I keep hoping to do some nicer belly shots but it never seems to happen. Maybe I'll get at least one or two before I deliver this baby. I hope so!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

QWest sucks

Hi! This is Kathleen's Mom. Kathleen is dictating this post over the phone because her Internet at home is not working. She had her ultrasound today and will post details tomorrow. Suffice it to say she is growing one big baby.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

giving this a try...

Our internet at home has been really wonky the past couple of days, so I am going to give this post my best try. I hope it works!

I felt totally nasty all day today, so I left work early and came home and slept most of the afternoon. I feel a little better now, thankfully, and hope that the morning brings more improvement.

I had a huge hormonal pregnant lady moment in the drugstore today, though. I stopped on my way home from work to buy kleenex with lotion in it, because I'd been blowing my nose on cheap toilet paper and industrial-strength kleenex all day and my nose was completely raw. Well, of course, the drugstore didn't *have* kleenex with lotion in it. They had a ton of the industrial-strength kind, but that was about it, because in the section marked "facial tissue," was instead a giant display of Christmas wrapping paper.

I got really upset and started yelling at one of the employees, who turned out to be the manager. I feel bad now that I yelled at her, but geesh, come on!! You're a freaking pharmacy, it's cold season, and the only kleenex you have is the $0.89 per box kind?!? Do that many people really need that much wrapping paper that you would not carry the decent kind of kleenex? Apparently not.

There's basically no point to my rant here, other than the fact that it really pissed me off and now I sort of feel bad for being mean, except I do think that it's dumb they didn't carry more kleenex.

Otherwise, the only big thing going on is that tomorrow at 4:15 we have the ultrasound. I'm both excited and nervous, that's for sure. Excited to see the baby again, nervous that something is wrong since He/She is so ginormous. But I'm trying not to think about the nervous part and just focus on how excited I am to see He/She again!

Ok, I gotta get my sick self back to bed now...I'm going to try to post this; hopefully our internet works!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

what do I even title a post like this?

In a post the other day, I mentioned that our weekend had been hard at times.

Well, that stemmed from the fact that Friday morning, we found out that one of Brett's oldest friends, Louis, had died on Thursday in a motorcycle accident.

Brett and Louis met at Cedar Park Middle School when they were in seventh grade. They spent their middle and high school years playing basketball together, going camping with each others' families (a staple event in their summer, even up until the year they graduated from high school, was a trip to Trillium Lake), going to concerts, driving around in Louis' old Impala and causing trouble, playing music together, and, in more recent years, talking about, riding, and working on mopeds.

Louis just visited us from Portland in mid-September, when he and Brett attended a concert and spent a week hanging out, drinking beer, eating steak, staying up late, and working on mopeds. I know they had a great time, and I'm really glad that they were able to spend that time together.

I didn't know Louis well; he was a quiet kind of guy, especially around women. But I do know that he and Brett had a bond that went back farther than, well, than probably anyone else I can think of outside of Brett's family. It's hard to watch my husband process this, to know he's hurting and to know that there's nothing I can do or say to make it better.

I'm not sure what else to say. The facts are this: it happened in the early morning hours (between 2 and 5 a.m.) on Thanksgiving day, the police don't think that another car was involved, it happened in an area that is at a higher elevation and at a point in the road where there is a big curve, and given how cold it was that night, there is a possibility that perhaps there was ice on the road and he just lost control.

We spent part of the day Friday with his family -- his mom, dad, sister and niece. They are, understandably, devastated, and I know they would appreciate your prayers.

I'll close with a photo, which was taken last year sometime when Louis came up to hang out with Brett and ride mopeds. (Obviously, Brett's on the left and Louis is on the right.)



In memory of Louis, 11/16/82 - 11/22/07.

Monday, November 26, 2007

sick

Ok, I'm going to whine.

Know what sucks when you're pregnant? Having a cold.

My throat is sore and my ear hurts and I can't really take much for it at all. And that, my friends, is why you are getting one more in a slew of really, really lame-o blog posts, because Brett and I have spent all evening cleaning the house since his parents are coming, and I'm exhausted and sick and need my bed.

I'm really sorry. I hope that I'll be able to get a few more long ones written this week. I have some topics in mind that I really want to cover but this week is very busy so we'll have to see. Tomorrow night we have our community group for church, Wednesday Brett's parents are coming up from Portland, Wednesday night we are going out to dinner with some of Brett's co-workers, Thursday afternoon we have the ultrasound and then Thursday evening we have our childbirth class. Brett's parents will be here until Friday morning, too. So Friday is looking like the first free day I'll have, and it's the last NaBloPoMo day. *sigh* Oh well. At least I'm posting something, right?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

aaaand, another lame NaBloPoMo post

Because it's late (Ok, it's only 9:40 but I'm pregnant and it's been a long weekend), because we just spent six hours -- instead of the usual three -- driving back from Portland, because my bed is calling me and I haven't been there since Tuesday night...this is going to be the lamest...er, shortest...post ever.

I will leave you with a haiku about how absolutely horrible the drive from Seattle to Portland is:

Always traffic jammed
Nothing much to see outside
I hate driving it

Saturday, November 24, 2007

just under the wire

Wow; I almost forgot to post today. I was about to get in bed and I realized I hadn't yet, although I've been thinking about it all day.

It's not surprising that it totally slipped my mind with how crazy this weekend has been, but more about that later when I have more time to write. It's been crazy in both good ways and some really hard ones, but I'm too tired to go into it all now.

We head home tomorrow and I am looking forward to being back in our own house and our own bed, as right now we are sleeping on twin beds, which is no fun, especially when all you want to do is snuggle with each other and one of you is eight months pregnant and the bed is barely wide enough for both of you to begin with. Yeah, not so much.

That said, I'm exhausted (but hey, what's new?) so I am going to call this a post, even though I know it is a very lame excuse for a post, and go to bed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

a fantastic grandma

Today is Brett's Grandma Dori's 90th birthday. Of course there is a big (surprise!) party for her later today, with tons of friends and family coming in from all over the country to celebrate with her. I am so happy that we're able to be here for this!

Grandma Dori is a very special lady. She welcomed me with open arms into her family when Brett and I started dating 9 years ago, and has loved me and treated me like one of her own grandchildren ever since. That inclusiveness is really special to me, especially as my own grandma passed away in 2001. I remember saying to Grandma Dori shortly after my grandma died that since I didn't have any grandmas anymore, I was glad to have her. She gave me a huge hug.


I love just sitting and talking with her, about her childhood, about the early years of her marriage to Brett's late Grandpa Big Al, about being a mom during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, about her years of traveling all over the world with Grandpa Big Al, about her collection of recipes and household hints -- pretty much anything and everything.


Bottom line, Grandma Dori is funny, and witty, and just a joy to be around. Although she is a true product of her generation, always conducting herself as a lady, every now and then, we'll be chatting and she'll let some extremely hilarious and snarky comment slip. I love it when she does that!


She's also perceptive and intuitive. After a family wedding this year (I can't remember if it was Brett's sister's or Brett's cousin's wedding), she knew I was exhausted and still having nausea and that I needed to go home and lie down. She got a determined look in her eye, winked at me, and started making all kinds of noise about how it was time for us to get out of there and she needed to go home. It was fantastic. We've definitely been allies over the past few months since both of us get tired easily these days.


Ask anyone in Brett's family to tell you something about Grandma Dori and I am certain that one of the most mentioned items would be her pancakes. She makes the best pancakes in the entire world. I'm serious. They are incredible. Brett has looked over her shoulder time after time, trying to observe every little nuance of how she makes them in an effort to be able to replicate them. While his are good, they are no match to Grandma Dori's. Thin, and moist, and steamy, with some syrup on top...mmmm. There is nothing like them in the world.



Even at 90 years old, she still makes them for us every time we ask. We'll all head over to Grandma's in the morning, and when we arrive, we'll pull up a seat at the breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen. She'll pour us a glass of juice (usually we have the choice of orange or cranberry) and hand us a banana to eat while we wait, all the while chatting with us as we drink our juice and read the paper. Then, slowly, batch by tasty batch, she'll cook pancakes for each of us, and we'll take turns having seconds, and even sometimes thirds.


I love those times, sitting at the breakfast bar, talking to her about everything and eating her yummy pancakes. Both the pancakes and the time spent with her are truly a treasure.

I'm sure she'd probably be mortified if she knew I posted this here, but this is a photo that captures the feel of those pancake mornings. Brett took it while we were eating pancakes on the day after his sister's wedding last summer (hence his mom's Mother-of-the-Bride shirt). You can see the breakfast bar in the background.



I'm so very thankful for Grandma Dori, that she was born and that she has played the role she has in both Brett's life and in mine.


Happy Birthday, Grandma! I love you!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. There have definitely been some extremely crappy times over the past twelve months, but it seems like for the first time in about four years, our lives are essentially really, really good overall.

At the top of my list is that Brett and I seem to grow closer every day. I don't know what it is, but after almost nine years together (!), something seems to have clicked in our relationship over the past few months and I absolutely love it. We have so much fun when we're together, we fight better, we laugh more, we talk more, we pray together more. Plus, watching him get excited about meeting this baby thrills me in an indescribable way. We've come through the fire of the past couple of years and are only stronger for it. It's wonderful.

Also at the top of my list is this baby. What can I even say? After experiencing the miscarriage, every kick and every movement feels like a gift, every good appointment a relief, every week that passes a triumph. Being able to push on my belly (like I'm doing now...well, when I take a break from typing, anyway) and feel the baby's different limbs whacking me back or moving around is amazing, and I cannot wait to meet this person. Becoming a parent is a daunting and scary thing to think about, but overall I know Brett and I are anticipating this baby's birth with joy and excitement at the fore.

My third top-of-the-list item is our financial situation. I didn't talk much about it with anyone when we were going through it, but between moving to Maine, the economy there, Brett being in school, moving back, and then Brett not having a job, we've struggled money-wise pretty much since we got married, with it at its worst about this time last year -- basically right through the holiday season and into January. It sucked. There is just no other way to describe it.

A year ago, Brett was jobless, we were financially strapped to a point that I still can't think about it without practically having a panic attack, and life seemed unbelievably stressful. The prospect of not fighting about money and of having enough money to, you know, pay our bills, let alone consider having a baby, was pretty remote. So now with both of us gainfully employed, making enough money to pay down debt, save, travel, and have fun, and with Brett having a job that he loves...it's brought a whole different feeling to life. That's not to say we're suddenly rolling in the dough (not by any means) but it's just nice not to have to worry as much and to be able to do fun things if we want to.

We were talking over dinner a week or so ago about Brett's job, and how thankful he is to have it, and how much he enjoys what he does.

"God really provided amazingly with this job, didn't he?" Brett asked. "It really is the perfect job for me."

And it is. It's perfect in ways neither of us could have imagined, and I am so deeply thankful for it. I know so many people told us when he was jobless that the right thing would come along at the right time. After a while, I couldn't take that anymore. I didn't want to hear it. Rejection after rejection loomed so large in our lives; I sort of stopped believing he'd ever find something. So to look back and see how faithful God was, and how he provided this job at the perfect time (the same week as the miscarriage)...it blows me away.

Anyway, there are, of course, lots of other things I'm thankful for:
  • Our families
  • Our home
  • Our friends
  • Our church

Basically, bottom line, I am beyond thankful for God's amazing provision for us. The glory belongs to him. We haven't done anything to deserve this; it's truly through his grace that we are where we are right now. In the past year, he has fulfilled Ephesians 3:20 in our lives, doing immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I'm so excited to see what he has in store for us in the next year!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

it's days like today...

...that make me want to hop in the car, drive to the mountain, and ski all day. (Of course, that is so not happening, unfortunately!)

When I woke up and looked out the window of the baby's room this morning, the Cascades were silhouetted against the brightening sky. It was perfectly clear, and it's one of those mornings that just looked cold. It was gorgeous!

Now, it's bright and crisp and clear and brisk. I remember once, in my journal back when I was in high school, calling this a "fall on the edge of winter day." And although today is definitely leaning toward the winter end of things, that phrase still comes to mind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

lame post...

...but in the spirit of NaBloPoMo, that's what you're gonna get tonight.

I don't have much time right now; we have community group tonight and have to leave in about 30 minutes and need to change clothes, etc.

So...yeah...I'm lame, and this is what you're getting.

Oh! But I will say that I scheduled the ultrasound today -- it will be next Thursday, the 29th, at 4:15. I am kind of nervous now, thinking about it. I really hope nothing is wrong.

Also, I have a good post cooking about Thanksgiving...but more to come on that in two days!

Anyway, that's about it. I have to get moving if I'm going to be ready to leave in time!

Monday, November 19, 2007

it's a bird! no, it's a plane!

No, it's a GIANT BABY!!!! Aaaaah! *Kathleen runs screaming from the room*

So, I had a regular doctor's appointment today (I'm 31 weeks 3 days today), and there's lots to report. The biggest news, though (ha -- no pun intended. Ok, fine, pun intended) is that the doctor measured my belly and I am apparently now measuring -- are you ready? -- 6 to 7 weeks ahead, putting my belly at somewhere around the average size for someone who is 37 or 38 weeks pregnant.

How is that even possible!?!?

Disclaimer: Yes, I am 100% certain my dates are not off. Without going into total TMI-land, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my due date is correct. Now, back to your regularly scheduled NaBloPoMo post.

The good news is that we get to have another ultrasound (hooray!) sometime next week. The bad news? Well, I'm not really sure yet. There could be no bad news (I just have a big baby) or some semi-concerning news. The ultrasound will determine a lot -- whether the baby is, in fact, gargantuan, or whether I have excess amniotic fluid, or whether something else could be wrong -- perhaps fibroids? I don't really know.

The doctor said we'd cross those bridges if and when we come to them, and after the u/s, we can talk more about whether I'll need a c-section (so much for those birthing classes, right?) or whether I'll need to be induced. I really hope I can go into labor naturally and that I don't need either of those two things. The only positive about a c-section, as far as I'm concerned, is that it would give me two more weeks of paid leave through my company's short-term disability plan. But is that really worth it? I don't know. Anyway -- that said, I'm going to try to heed the doctor's words and not cross that bridge unless I come to it.

One other odd thing is that I've been having pretty regular Braxton-Hicks contractions over the past few days. The doctor told me that if I'd called over the weekend to report what I told her today about how many BH contractions I've been having, they would have sent me straight to labor and delivery -- whoops...guess I should have called. She did do an internal just to check things, and my cervix is closed and firm (so that is good) but the contractions have been pretty steady since Saturday. They aren't too worried yet, the doctor said, since my cervix is ok and I'm not spotting or leaking and since the contractions aren't painful, just uncomfortable.

However, I now have a list of things to look for, and if I see them I am to call and they will have me come in if it's during office hours or go to the triage unit on the labor and delivery floor if it's after-hours:
  • If the contractions start to hurt
  • If they start to happen at evenly-spaced intervals
  • If I have any spotting or leaking
  • If I notice a decrease in the baby's movement
  • If they just feel different or weird or I feel "off" in any way
Until then, I'm just supposed to keep track of them and time them as best I can, stay hydrated, make sure to eat at regular intervals, and take it easy. I think I can handle most of that, although the taking it easy part will be a little hard --the pile of dishes in and next to the sink is calling me, and the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in forever, and I need to change the sheets on our bed and start packing for this weekend... Yeah, ok, that taking it easy part is going to be a challenge! But I know I need to try, for my sake and the baby's.

While the doctor said it's ok to travel this weekend, she did have the nurse make a copy of my medical records for me to take to Portland -- just in case. Yikes. I don't like to think about what that could imply. At least there will be both a doula (Brett's mom) and a nurse who did her internship in labor and delivery (Brett's sister) on hand this weekend...

In other baby news, He/She is head down (yay!) and the heartbeat sounds good (the doctor estimated it at about 130). I haven't gained any weight in two weeks and am only up nine pounds overall, which shocks me, but hey -- I'll take it. The reason the baby is hanging out on my right side so much is that the placenta attaches on the left, so He/She has more room on the right.

And, with that, I am going to head upstairs and try to coerce Brett into helping me cook dinner and wash some dishes. Then I am going to get in bed and start that whole taking it easy thing. It's been a long day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A few of my favorite blogs

I read a lot of blogs semi-sporadically, but there are definitely a few I always find myself coming back to. So I'll tell you about five of my favorites and why I like them. Maybe you'll find something new to read and enjoy!

1. Hola, Isabel -- I am not sure how Isabel (her online persona name) and I first found each others' blogs. It was most likely through each others' comments on Amalah a few years back. I was living in Maine, she here in Seattle, and we just started reading each others' sites, the city of Seattle providing that initial link. Then, when I came back here and began working downtown, we started meeting up for lunch. Now we see each other for lunch maybe once a month or so. It's really fun! We never run out of things to talk about and often wind up looking at the time and having to jump up and run back to work, 10 minutes late. Anyway, her blog is always interesting; Isabel can make a post about the most run-of-the-mill thing interesting. One thing I love about her -- Isabel asks her readers questions. That interaction is great; it turns this monologue into a dialogue.

2. Frema -- I found Frema through Isabel, actually, and started reading regularly during the Tragic Love Friday series, a serial wherein Frema posted the soap opera-esque story she'd written as a young teenager. I remember one day I was bored and spent literally hours reading all the back TLF posts. From then on, I was hooked and would check the site obsessively on Fridays for the latest installment. It's not only funny, but really well-written for someone who was, at the time of writing it, in her first year or two of high school. Then, although TLF (tragically) came to an end, Frema got pregnant and is due only a few weeks before me, so it became fun to read her blog to get another perspective on pregnancy from someone a few weeks ahead of me. I enjoy Frema because I identify with a lot of what she writes about, whether it be pregnancy, her adolescence (as displayed to all through TLF), marriage, writing, or life.

3. Miss Doxie -- I think I found Miss Doxie through the Snarkies, but I can't remember for sure now. Although Leigh (Miss Doxie herself) doesn't post super-often, when she does, her posts are so hilarious and well-written that I often find myself in fits of laughter. Whether posting about her three Dachshunds (hence the name Miss Doxie), her family, her crazy lawyer job, or her childhood, I can't get enough of Leigh's hilarious stories and fantastic writing.

4. Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters -- I found this site through my good friend C over at This Sorta Fairytale. It's a site for all things infertility- and pregnancy-loss-related. It was a very valuable resource to me in the days after my miscarriage, and I still enjoy checking in there. Melissa, who runs the site, has turned it into so much more than a blog -- it's really a community touchstone for those who have struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, or some derivative.

5. The Amazing Adventures of Overshare -- Again, I can't remember exactly where I found this site but I believe it was through the Snarkies. It's the blog of an anonymous woman (aptly named Anonymous) who works with the most obnoxious coworker ever, otherwise known as Overshare. It's hilarious, and over the top, and so much fun to read, mostly because it's just so hard to believe that someone (Overshare) can be so incredibly unaware of social conventions. Plus, Anonymous has a knack for writing the stories in a dry, humor-filled way that will keep me coming back for more and hoping that Overshare keeps on oversharing for a long time to come.

I hope that gives some of you something new to enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

lazy, wonderful Saturday

We've had a really nice, mostly pretty lazy day.

All weekends, in my opinion, should be like today -- a perfect mix of relaxing and doing chores. We slept in, watched several episodes of the last season of the Sopranos (only two more episodes to go!), I cleaned the kitchen, we walked to the coffee shop down the street, had coffee and read, walked home, did some more work around the house, did some laundry, made dinner, I made a cake, and now we are going to go back upstairs and watch the other two episodes of the Sopranos.

I love spending days like this with Brett. We haven't done anything special, but we've had a good time all the same. In fact, there's no one else with whom I'd rather spend a day like today.

~~~~~~~~

Oh! I forgot to mention that I got the results of the three-hour glucose test back yesterday. I passed! HOORAY! I am really relieved. I was pretty sure I would pass, but there was always that nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I might not.

~~~~~~~~

I'm starting to compile a mental list of things we need for the baby and things we need to do before the baby is born. It's inspired by Frema, who is only a couple of weeks away from her due date and has completed nearly everything on her big to-do list. I hope I can whittle away at my list and get it all taken care of as efficiently as she has!

Here's what I've got so far, in no particular order:

-- Find out how to add the baby to my health insurance and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
-- Find out how to add the baby as a beneficiary on our life insurance policies, IRAs, and on my 401k, and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
-- Decide how much to set aside in flexible spending for 2008
-- Talk to my boss/HR about the logistics of taking my FMLA leave
-- Find out what FMLA benefits, if any, Brett is eligible for
-- Confirm our childcare for when I go back to work
-- Renew our renters' insurance
-- Interview and select a pediatrician
-- Pre-register at the hospital
-- Draft some kind of loose birth plan outline
-- Re-activate contributions to our Roth IRAs
-- Start a savings account or 529 for the baby
-- Decide on a girl name
-- Finally finish becoming members at Mars Hill
-- Look into purchasing or borrowing:
-- Cloth diapers / re-usable baby wipes
-- Breastfeeding accessories (pump parts, bottles, etc)
-- More clothes
-- Infant insert for Ergo carrier
-- Another carrier: a sling or perhaps a Moby Wrap

I'm sure I'll add to this list over the next couple of months, but I'm pretty confident I can take care of most of these items easily before the baby is born.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Reason #1,496 that I am glad that I am not in Maine right now

It's way, way too early for this kind of weather.

From weather.com (my bolding):

Local Forecast for Falmouth, ME (04105)
Nov 16
Tonight
Becoming partly cloudy later with any flurries or snow showers ending by midnight. Windy. Low 27F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow
Sunny and windy. High 43F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.
Nov 17
Tomorrow night
Clear skies. Low 23F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Nov 18
Sunday
Sunny. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 20s.

And for a comparison?

Local Forecast for Seattle, WA (98117)
Nov 16
Tonight
Cloudy with a few showers. Low 44F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow
Cloudy. Some light rain is likely. High 48F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow night
Rain showers in the evening becoming more intermittent overnight. Low 41F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Nov 18
Sunday
Showers possible. Highs in the mid 40s and lows in the upper 30s.

As I always tell people, at least you don't have to shovel rain. I'll take rainy and 40 over 20 and snowing (with wind gusts!) any day of the year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

just when you thought I was done talking about this...

Not to continue beating a dead horse with more talk about Coffee Fest and the NWRBC, but Brett called me this morning and told me to go look at Barista Magazine's blog entry about last weekend.

He told me to scroll down about halfway -- and, sure enough, there's a photo of him making drinks at the volunteer-staffed espresso machine in the competition area.

And, of course, he is wearing his ridiculous Meat Loaf t-shirt, one of his beloved thrift store finds that I pretty much hate but he thinks is, and I quote, "badass."

After I saw his picture and the mention of his "delicious macchiatto" and expressed the appropriate excitment that he was pictured on the blog, he said, "You should totally make this your blog post for today."

His ego, it is huge. *sigh* Maybe it will return to reasonable proportions once he experiences his first day of going to work and realizing after he gets there that he has, like, spit-up or baby poop on his pants or something. :p

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

zzzzzzz.

There is a whole list of posts I have in mind to write. But my mind is mush right now and I am so tired and unable to focus that I can't remember any of them, and I don't have the energy to go upstairs and dig them out from the depths of my bag.

So I'll just type the first, let's see, how about the first five things that come to mind and call it good.

1. I'm looking forward to being in Portland for Thanksgiving. It will be a hectic weekend with three family birthday parties in addition to the actual Thanksgiving festivities but I'm looking forward to it all the same. (My mom's birthday is on Sunday, as is my nephew Jacob's first birthday, and Brett's Grandma Dori's 90th birthday is on Friday.)

2. We have got to find a girl name. We can't seem to agree on anything, plus nothing is really standing out and striking either of us like our boy name did. As soon as we put the boy name together with the middle name and our last name, we just knew it was perfect...but we haven't had such a moment with any of the girl names we've bandied about.

3. Brett is a rockstar because he rubbed my back for about 45 minutes last night, which is about 44 minutes longer than any other back rub he's ever given me.

4. There is a pair of Brett's No Sweat shoes in the dryer right now (which is in the next room) and they are really loud in there.

5. I can't think of anything else. I'm that tired and spaced out. So I think I'll call it a night and head for bed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

fragments: dreamy, dizzy, video

I had a dream about the baby last night. It was the first dream in which the baby was a normal baby, and not, like, a cat or a Barbie or something.

It was a boy, and he had red hair, and he was adorably chubby, and so snuggly, and the boy name we have chosen fit him perfectly. (No, we're not telling the name before He/She is born. Sorry!) It was a nice dream.

The only weird part of the dream was that I couldn't remember any of the labor and delivery, and I kept asking Brett and my mom about it, but they wouldn't/couldn't tell me either. Strange.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm feeling really lightheaded and dizzy these days. It's freaking me out. I talked with my doctor about it last week, and she said that dizziness during pregnancy is really common, and to just make sure I'm hydrated and that I'm eating regularly.

I've been really conscious of hydration and eating since she said that, but I'm still having semi-regular dizzy spells -- at least one or two per day.

I notice them most when I'm at my desk, on the bus, and especially in bed at night. Every time I lie down I am dizzy -- especially when I roll over from one side to another. Plus, last night, Brett and I were watching TV (I was propped in a semi-reclining position), and all of the sudden the room just started spinning out of the blue. It was really disconcerting.

Is this just normal, or am I weird? I'm definitely planning to mention it to my doctor again (I have another appointment in a week) but it's just a little freaky to get intense vertigo without any warning. I don't like it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And finally, there's video up here of Brett's performance on Saturday, if anyone is interested. He's still riding high on the ego wave -- someone came into the roastery yesterday with a poster and asked Brett to sign it. HAHAHA!

Monday, November 12, 2007

open letter and random belly shot

Dear Child,

Please get out of my ribcage. It hurts when you're all squished up in there.

Also, I love feeling your different appendages when you move around. It's weird, but super cool. And your dad and I are sorry in advance if all our poking and prodding of you when you are moving is hurty or annoying...we just love feeling you in there!

Love,
Mama

~~~~~~~~~

So, do you ever see a picture of yourself and think, not without a tinge of surprise and embarassment, "Oh, my God, I look like that?!"

That's what I thought when I saw this photo, which our friend Joel took at the barista competition this weekend. Somehow, seeing a candid photo is way different than looking in a mirror at this point...I had no idea how much you can see my belly button. I think I need to start taping over it or something. (And I'm cracking up at our friend Dean behind me, who seems to be checking out my butt...)

30 weeks, 1 day

It's not that I'm complaining about how I look, necessarily. It's more that it is just startling to realize I'm that huge, and that I'm going to get even bigger before this is all over. I don't think of myself as being that pregnant...and then all of the sudden I get a glimpse of myself somewhere and I think, "WOAH. My belly is giant."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

fun day!

Yesterday was so much fun!

I'll start by getting to the point: Brett didn't make the finals. Yeah, it's a bummer, but he's totally cool with that. What matters is that despite that, he felt really good about his performance yesterday -- as he should! He was really amazing! I was extremely proud of him.

However, Brett's co-worker Maki did make it to the finals! We're both really excited for her and hope she does really well! She goes on this morning, actually any minute now; Brett went downtown to watch her. I decided to stay home and take a break but I am going to go back for the awards announcement later this afternoon.

So many of our friends came to support him. It was fantastic to look back and see almost the entire section of chairs filled with people we know -- Zoka people, moped people, etc. The Mosquito Fleet really stepped up and probably about 15 of them rode down to watch Brett compete. That made both of us really happy.

I could tell Brett was nervous when he was setting up, even though he hadn't really been too anxious (more euphoric and excited) all morning. As he started the time clock (15 minutes) and began his monologue, I noticed that his hands were majorly shaking and that his delivery of his monologue wasn't as smooth as it was when he had practiced it at home.

But as hie picked up the pace and got into the rhythm of his routine, the monologue got better and more natural. He was funny, and genuine, and honest with the judges. He kept talking about how badly his hands were shaking -- at one point, he uttered a true Brett-ism: "Man, I'm shakin' like a Texas storm," which prompted tons of laughter from the crowd and even from a couple of the judges.

(Side note: Brett sometimes comes up with these Brett-ism sayings that make 100% sense to him, or if you know him well enough to interpret what he means, but if you don't know him, you might be a little confused. I think he'll now be known as Texas Storm among his co-workers and the Mosquito Fleet for a long time.)

He talked intelligently and genuinely about how he chose the espresso blend he used, and about the different things he was doing with the coffee.

He got a little flustered toward the end, while he was making his signature drink, and miscalculated a few things that wound up costing him later. We watched the video last night and both agree that the beginning of the signature drink prep is where things got off track, causing him to finish about 12 seconds over the time limit, which will result in one point per second being docked from his score.

(He should be able to look through his score sheets sometime today; we're both really interested to see where he gained/lost points.)

Still, overall, he felt really good about his performance, and is excited to possibly go on to the US Barista Championship in Minneapolis in the spring.

Yesterday evening, after the finalists were announced, we went out for dinner at Presse and then went to the Stumptown Coffee after-party, which wound up being a lot of fun. All of the Zoka people just hung out in a corner next to the coffee roasting machine all evening.

People came up to Brett throughout the night and told him how great he was and how much they loved his performance. They would all ask if he made the finals, and when he would tell them no, everyone seemed surprised and bummed. I know that made him feel really good! No matter what, he's definitely distinguished himself among the rest of the coffee world after yesterday.

And, here are the goods: photos of the event. I took these; they aren't great partly because my own hands were "shakin' like a Texas storm" the entire time he was performing. There should be more online this week; his co-worker Nikki took a ton of photos and so did a couple of Mosquito Fleet people. I'm sure they'll be better than mine.

Beginning his 15-minute setup period. Notice the poster version of Brett above him! (People noticed all weekend that he was the guy on the poster, especially since he wore his pink shoes to compete yesterday.)

Almost set up. The clock is at 9:37, so he had about 5 more minutes to check the grind on the coffee and pull some shots.

Making cappuccinos. The woman with the dark, short hair was the head judge.

Giving the cappuccinos to the judges. The four seated judges were the sensory judges; in addition to those four there was also the head judge as well as two technical judges who literally hovered right over Brett's shoulder, evaluating his technical precision.

Making espressos. He was still good on time at this point.

I thought this was a neat photo. You can see not only his reflection, but also the signature drink shot glasses, which he rimmed in 71% dark chocolate. (The drink also included espresso, a bit of milk, foam, and a zest of lime on top. As Brett says, it's "a simple variation on a basic macchiato." As I say? "It's yummy.")
Pulling shots for his signature drink. He had to take the tray out of the espresso machine to fit his glasses under the portafilters, since the glasses were so tall.
Ten seconds left...and he's zesting lime, the final touch on the drinks. We in the front row (me, Lindsey, who was his coach for this whole thing, and his co-workers Rosanna and Kim) were freaking out at this point.

Placing the last bit of lime zest.
After that, he grabbed the drinks and started placing them on the judges' table right at 15 minutes, thanked the judges, and called time at (if I remember correctly) 15:12.

It was among the most nerve-wracking and exciting 15 minutes and 12 seconds of my life, that's for sure. But it was really fun, and despite how hard the past six weeks have been with him working all the time and being really stressed out, I'm very happy that he did it and I'm 100% behind him working to go to the USBC in May.

Of course, that means a whole new routine, a new drink, a new place setting and everything -- but that's the fun part. He has the technique down pat and that is the most important thing. I know that if he does compete in May, he'll do even better than he did yesterday -- and that's saying something, because I think he did an amazing job.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

fashion = pain

Dear Self,

While it was an admirable gesture to wear high-heeled, pointy-toed shoes last night in an effort to look and feel cute and possibly even a just a little bit sexy, it was also really stupid, seeing as you're seven-and-a-half months pregnant, and even on a good non-pregnant day you can barely stand high-heeled pointy-toed shoes for more than a few minutes without being in sheer agony.

So today, as your feet are swollen and your legs sore, just remember: you only have your own vanity to blame.

Love,
Me

PS -- You did look pretty awesome, though, even for someone who is a seven-and-a-half months pregnant. Now if you could just make the effort to do your hair and makeup every day...

Friday, November 09, 2007

quickly

The test was long and icky this morning, but really, it wasn't that bad. I did get to sit and read for about three-and-a-half hours, so that is cool. I should hear early next week...

In other news, it's all chaos here tonight as Brett gets ready for the competition tomorrow. His co-worker Maki went today, and she was fabulous.

The competition is being live-blogged, so if you want to check it out as it unfolds, go here. Brett is scheduled to go on around 2:30 tomorrow. He's getting really excited and after watching several people today, feels very confident in himself that he'll do a great job.

I know this is short but I have a TON of laundry to do tonight, as I volunteered to wash and iron all of the table linens, towels, etc that Brett will be using tomorrow, not to mention the clothes he'll be wearing. That means I have a lot of work to do, not to mention the fact that there is a big party tonight at Zoka for the competitors, trade show attendees, etc. So I have got to get ready to go to that as well -- eat something, do my makeup and hair, and try to find something to wear that makes me feel remotely sexy and not just, well, huge and very, very round.

I will leave you with this. It's part of the posters/t-shirts/promo materials for the competition. It was all designed by Brett's co-worker Nikki at Zoka. As you can see, Brett was her inspiration for this portion of it, right down to the beard, the hat, and the pink converse. She said it's not an exact replica of Brett, but the resemblance is definitely there. Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

failure!

I got a call I was dreading today: it was the doctor's office, telling me that I failed the one-hour glucose screening test, which screens pregnant women for gestational diabetes.

This means I have to go in tomorrow for the three-hour glucose tolerance test, which is (obviously) more thorough. With the one-hour test, I just drank this (vile, foul, putrid) sugar-filled beverage and then they drew my blood an hour later to see how my body was processing the sugar. (Not well, apparently.)

With the three-hour test, I have to fast from 10 p.m. tonight and then go in at 8:40 tomorrow morning. They will draw my blood upon arrival to get a baseline fasting glucose number, then make me drink an even stronger version of the (vile, foul, putrid) sugar-filled beverage. Then they'll draw my blood every hour for three hours. Those results will give them a much more comprehensive idea of how my body is processing the sugar.

I've had a couple of people tell me that they were really sick after the three-hour test. I'm pretty nervous about it...I hope I can make it through the day and then through the evening as well. There are all kinds of events surrounding the barista competition, and they begin tomorrow, so I definitely don't want to be feeling like crap.

I (obviously) don't want to have gestational diabetes...so I really, really, really hope I pass tomorrow's test.

~~~~~~

No update on the moped. :( Brett's bummed, I'm bummed, but we'll live, of course. We've both kissed it goodbye, pretty much.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

not the post I wanted to write today

For that matter, it's not a post I want to write any day.

Brett called me from work around 9 a.m., and it looks like his moped's been stolen. It was locked up there overnight and he didn't notice it was gone when he first got to work this morning, but he went outside around 9 and it was just...not there. He had locked it to a metal staircase and there is no trace of his bike or of his lock.

Pardon my language, but this is really, really shitty.

Stolen mopeds are almost never found. While mopeds should be registered in Washington (and Brett's is), they are not insured. The cops don't seem to care when they get stolen.

It's funny, because when you make a police report for stolen mopeds, the police are nearly non-responsive about it all. Our friends Caleb and Marci had their mopeds stolen about a year ago. The cops came and took a report and basically said, "Yeah, good luck with that." (Marci later found Caleb's moped dumped in someone's driveway as she was walking the neighborhoods a few days later. Hers was never recovered.)
The irony is that when we are out riding around, we seem to get pulled over all. the. time. and peppered with questions about our bikes because the cops are supposedly afraid they're stolen. BWUH? It makes no sense. What I want to know is this: Where are those cops when our (legitamately owned and registered) bikes are actually stolen?

Anyway, it's a huge bummer for Brett and me, not only because it's a fantastic bike that has served him well (it's been really reliable, which is rare in a moped) but also because of all the chaos happening this week with regard to the barista competition. He really needs to be able to put all of his attention and focus into the competition, so it just blows that this happened now. Not to mention the fact that this week is going to be insane and he's really going to need reliable transportation to get everywhere he needs to go.

*sigh*

Like anything crappy, we'll just deal with it. And I know, the moped is just a thing, a possession, and there are more important things in life. But this moped was special to him -- it was a gift from some good friends in another moped branch after Brett brokered the purchase of a batch of mopeds for them and then drove the mopeds from Maine to New Jersey.

Oh, well. I just keep telling myself there's not much anyone can do in this situation. If I had a car, I'd be driving around the area right now, passing out fliers with the bike's photo on it, but I don't have a car and I'm at work so I am just blogging about it instead. Meh.

So, Seattleites -- while I'm not holding my breath that it will actually happen -- if you see this bike around town (or on Craigslist, although I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to put it there) please let me know. We're both pretty much at the point where we've written it off as a loss, but miracles can happen when you least expect them, I suppose. That's what we hope, anyway. Until then, goodbye Magnum. You were a good bike.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

missing

I've mentioned before how much I love crossing the Ballard Bridge, especially in the mornings on the bus. One thing both Brett and I always noticed (and loved) was that on the roof of a building next to the bridge, there was a big sign that said "Mandrake's Antiques," and next to the sign was a creamy-white-colored chair, which looked to possibly be wrought iron or some other kind of scrolly, carved substance, almost Rococo in its ornate, swirly style.

The way it was positioned was such that if anyone ever sat in it (which is something I never saw), they would be looking straight into the faces of all of the drivers passing by on the bridge.

It appealed to me for some odd reason; I liked the incongruity of the ornate, swirly chair against the gritty industrial background of the marina and the surrounding warehouses.

My friend Bree and I were on the bus on Saturday, going downtown to shop and hang out and to kind of pretend we were in college again. (It was great fun.)

When we got to the point in the bus ride where the chair used to be, I gestured out the window.

"Ok, so maybe I'm just weird that I noticed this, but there used to be this chair on that roof there, and -- "

"AND NOW IT'S GONE! I know! I was so bummed when I saw it wasn't there anymore!" she said.

It made both of us really happy to know that we weren't the only ones who noticed its absence, or the only ones who enjoyed seeing it there every day.

I wonder why it was there to begin with. Did someone take it up there to sit and watch the traffic on their lunch break? Did someone put it there intentionally to send a message to all of the harried commuters? Did someone from the company put it there as a way of advertising their antique furniture?

More, though, I wonder what happened to it. Did the company close down? Did the manager finally get tired of seeing it every day and tell someone to take the chair off the roof, for Pete's sake? Did it break and need to be moved?

I wonder, too, how many people notice it is now missing.

I don't think I'll ever know the answers to these questions, although I will admit that the thought of calling the company has crossed my mind. (This is where a background in journalism rears its head.) Who knows; maybe I will call. Or, on the other hand, maybe it's better that I let my imagination run than know the truth. Sometimes, it's more fun to wonder -- the truth about things like this can be a letdown.

Monday, November 05, 2007

it's all relative

An exchange between Brett and me this weekend as we were driving to his work in a borrowed red minivan:

[Scene: Brett and Kathleen are stopped at a light somewhere in the U-District.]

Brett: Don't look too closely at the guy in the car back there [gesturing to the car behind us and to the right]. That dude's intense.

Kathleen: [looking] Brett, it's just a guy in a tux smoking a cigarette with his window down. [Traffic starts to move and the guy passes us on the right.] And he's driving a lavender Camry. He can't be that intense.

Brett: [mumbles] Pussy.

Kathleen: Dude, he's a pussy? I wouldn't talk; you're the one driving the big red minivan.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

convicting

This is going to be brief; I'm exhausted and need to go to bed. It's been a busy weekend. But I wanted to write about this while it's fresh in my mind and on my heart.

At church right now, Pastor Mark is preaching through Philippians. This week's text was Philippians 2:1-11, which, at its core, is about humility. And boy, was it ever convicting, especially verses 3 and 4:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

This is so, so hard for me. I feel like it's something God's been trying to teach me, in one way or another, for quite a while. It's kind of like what I talked about at the end of this post: that my entire attitude needs to shift from one of selfishness and self-focus (almost all of which is made up of self-righteousness and pride) to one of selflessness and humility.

The question we were left with at the end of the sermon tonight was this: where does your pride lie? What area of your life are you prideful about? How do you need God to change you?

And the thought that immediately came to mind was that I am prideful and arrogant at work -- not about what I do, or that I do such an amazing job. More that I am impatient with people to whom I should be providing customer service (especially people who have the same questions or problems over and over and over again) and while I may not be mean or snarky to their face, I am certainly not being the humble example of Christ I need to be. And, nine times out of ten, even if I'm polite to someone's face, I am mean or snarky behind their back regardless.

"How can people be so DUMB sometimes?!" I will rant to one co-worker after hanging up the phone following a frustrating conversation.

"Why can't anyone do anything right around here?!" I'll rage to another.

"How can you NOT KNOW that Suite 2300 is on Floor 23. DUH!" I'll mumble to myself after someone asks me for directions to a suite in the building.

And that attitude of superiority and of frustration with people is not ok. Even if I'm kind to their face, or at the bare minimum polite, if I turn around and badmouth someone after they are gone, it's just as bad, if not worse, than saying what I think of them in the moment. My heart is corrupt and prideful either way, and that is the main problem.

My friend Marci, from whom I am always learning (she is one of those iron-sharpens-iron people in my life), mentioned once in the course of conversation that she used to have a similar attitude of frustration and impatience with the people she dealt with during her workday. But she, too, realized the toxicity of this kind of behavior and prayed that God would change her heart, and He did.

Ever since I heard her say that a while back, I realized I need to do the same thing. For a time, I was diligent in praying every day, over and over, that God would soften my heart toward the people I encounter in my job, and it worked. But as soon as I stopped praying, stopped trying, I found (and still find) myself right back there where I was: negative, prideful, and even bitter at times.

Pastor Mark said tonight that humility is a process. It's not something that we pride-filled humans can fully achieve in this life; we can only pray for God to give it to us and then strive toward it. That idea is comforting, in a way: to know that I am not going to be made perfect in this area while I'm here on the earth. It's the same idea in Hebrews 10:14: by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. I'm saved, but I'm not fully holy yet, just in the process of being made holy. That idea isn't an excuse to go on sinning, but it's good to know that it is a process and that there is grace available when I don't always get it right -- because I know there are going to be plenty of times that I will fail.

My prayer this week -- and into the future as well -- is going to be that God would grant me humility through his grace, so that He would be glorified, not I.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz

I'm sure I've mentioned before how Brett tends to get consumed with projects, ideas, or areas of his life. If one thing is on his mind, he has an ability to focus on that one thing to a really intense point. The way he eats ice cream is one example, the whole moped-building project is another, and the way he gets focused on art is a third.

These days, he's focused on one thing: the Northwest Regional Barista Championship, which is being held here in Seattle next weekend, and in which he will be a competitor.

It's a big deal, partly because his company is sponsoring the competition, and partly because he is just the kind of person who really wants to succeed -- to excel, really -- when he sets out to do something.

I've had a lot of people ask me what the competition entails. Does he have to make drinks quickly? Does he have to make the best drink he can? Does it have to be pretty? Yes, yes, and yes. The whole competition is quite intense. He will have 15 minutes to make a set of four judges three drinks each: a cappuccino, an espresso, and a signature drink, which must be invented by the barista.

He'll be judged on speed, taste, beverage presentation, station cleanliness, technical skills, and overall presentation. If he does well, he could be selected as one of six finalists, and asked to come back for a second round on Sunday. If he were to win on Sunday, he would go to the National Barista Competition, which will be held in Minneapolis in May.

There is clearly a lot for him to think about. Naturally, as the day gets closer and closer (he competes one week from today, next Saturday), the feel of things around here is getting more and more frenetic. Many of our conversations revolve around a few things these days:
  • The place settings he'll use, and every nuance you can think of regarding them -- green cups, black saucers? Black cups, green saucers? These cups? Those plates? Black runner and green tablecloth? Green runner and black tablecloth? What kind of pitchers? What kind of water cups for the judges?
  • The supplies he'll need for the place settings and where to buy them
  • Milk steaming
  • The monologue he'll have to say while he makes the drinks
  • What he'll wear
  • The blend of espresso he'll use
  • How his signature drink will be assembled (and all the associated minutiae regarding the signature drink -- it's similar to the minutiae associated with the place settings)
I'm very excited to see how all of this comes together next week. I tried his signature drink for the first time today and it was very yummy. Also, I got to see how the place settings will look, and I think the overall effect is going to be fantastic. It's really fun to see all the elements of this beginning to coalesce.

As much as I know Brett is excited for the competition, he's also nervous. He's been training and practicing to a near-insane degree, which is all done on top of his regular job. On his most recent time card, he had worked (regular hours + training hours) 120 hours during the two-week time period. It will make for a nice paycheck, sure, but I know he's exhausted and almost to the burned-out point, so it's a really good thing that there is only one week to go until the whole thing is over and he can finally relax. I know we are both looking forward to that.

If you're in Seattle, you should come out and support him on Saturday! The event is free and open to the public. The competition on Saturday runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. Drop me a line or give me a call if you're interested in going. I think there is going to be a decent-sized group there to cheer Brett on. I'm not sure yet what time he'll be competing; I should know more this week.

If you're not in Seattle, send some good-luck thoughts and prayers his way next Saturday. I'm sure he'll appreciate them!

Friday, November 02, 2007

the best-laid plans... and also childbirth class cheesiness

I've been planning to participate in NaBloPoMo ever since last year. I've been looking forward to the challenge of posting every day, etc, etc.

And, of course, what do I go and do but forget that yesterday (being the first of November and all) marks the beginning of NaBloPoMo?

GAH! I'm so annoyed with myself! One day in, and I've already failed. Sad!

I'm still going to give it a shot, though. Since I've already failed, I guess even if I post almost every day that will be better than my posting rates of late, anyway, and that will be a good thing.

Oh, and can I just say that I love the logo this year?

~~~~~~~~

We had our second childbirth class last night. It was pretty good; the class is informative, especially for Brett, I think. It definitely reinforces what I already know (and has helped me learn some new relaxation and coping techniques) and it gives Brett a framework to know that how I'm feeling right now (tired, out of breath, etc) is totally normal and to have an idea of what to expect during labor and delivery.

However, last night, we watched the quintessential cheesy childbirth class video: an unmedicated Lamaze birth from about 13 years ago.

There were moments during the video when I couldn't turn and look at Brett because if I did, I knew we'd both burst out laughing. The big hair, the "hee, hee, hee, hoooooo" breathing, the dad's freakishly strong focus on the process (and the extremely annoying look on his face -- like he is trying so dang hard to be understanding and empathetic and "present" for the mom) (come to think of it, it's kind of like how Nicholas Cage looks all the time -- can't you just see him saying, "You're doing great, honey! Just one more push. You can do it!"), the dad's horrible black wifebeater shirt, the mom's scrunchie...

Call us insensitive, but thus far, we have found the birth videos to be more snarkable than educational. I told Brett after class last night that if, during labor, he looks at me like the dad in the movie looked at the mom in the movie and tells me in a sappy voice how great I'm doing while stroking my arm, I might have to kill him. (Or bite him, which is what my sister did to my mom when my mom was doing that while my sister was giving birth. My sister kept saying not to touch her and my mom did and so my sister bit her arm. The thought makes me crack up. I wish I'd seen that.)

Oh, and one final note: I'm 29 weeks today! My belly button is more protrude-y than ever and the baby has been moving like crazy the past couple of days. I can feel really clearly now when He/She is flipping over; there is much more pressure involved now since He/She is bigger. I can more clearly identify body parts when He/She is moving -- so fun!