Sunday, December 28, 2008

jiggidy-jog

"Home again, Home again, Jiggidy-Jog..."  This is a phrase that's very familiar to me, but I can't place where it came from.  I'm thinking it's something related to Dr. Seuss or another children's book, but I could be wrong.  Maybe The Diggingest Dog?  Mother Goose?  I can't remember; if you recognize it, let me know!  Think of it as your contribution to my sanity.

Wherever it came from, our trip to TN and back to OKC was great.  As always, it's both way too long of a trip and not nearly long enough.  It's hard to relax when you have to cover the whole state and spend more time driving to get to who you're going to visit than actually visiting with them.  Nonetheless, it was great seeing everybody.  (Although there were several people we didn't get to see while we were home...)

Santa was far too good to us this year.  My family also had a baby shower for us while we were home.  We have enough receiving blankets for triplets, and some of the cutest onesies you've ever seen.  

I've found there are some definite perks to being pregnant over this holiday.  Perhaps the most important is the total lack of guilt for having another piece of Nana's Pumpkin Chiffon pie - or anything else that's exceptionally tasty.  Also, you don't have to worry about people trying to give you clothes... that was especially nice.  Next, The Hater didn't huff at all when I announced the need for pit stops along the way (which were not nearly as often as we had feared they would be).  Next, it's no big deal to just announce that you need a nap when really you just need a break from family time.  

Between ham sandwiches, honey baked ham sandwiches, a Rick's BBQ pork sandwich and country ham biscuits - I'm pretty sure we ate a whole pig while we were home.  

And I'm pretty sure that it won't matter how well I've done the last four weeks, how much I've walked, or how many better choices I've made...  when I go to the OB tomorrow the scale will doubtfully be scooted further to the right than I had planned.  We'll see how that goes.

The Hater has another week off of work, and I have to go back tomorrow.  Let the mourning begin... although the most bitter part will happen tomorrow morning when I have to get out of bed and he gets to stay where it's warm and comfy.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

odiferous violations

Our pregnancy farts are back.  Technically they're all mine, but The Hater gets to enjoy most of them, too. 

He says that I am a frequent violator of the prevention of biological and chemical weapons treaties.  Even when I try to get down wind if even a tiny bit gets wafted his way, he says that I'm making the US look bad by both creating biological weapons and testing them.

Mostly I like to fart when we're in public places, like the grocery store.  I like to fart at the end of an aisle that we're leaving so nobody will know that it's us... but it'll linger for them.  I'm more like a Secret Santa than a biological warfare specialist, but it's all semantics.

Yesterday we were at a drugstore getting some OTC goodness for my newest head cold.  I could tell I had a fart brewing, and I really thought it would be a small one.  If I had known that it was going to be one of those that toot along with you for several steps, I really would have warned The Hater, who was walking behind me.  Well, they were silent and more of a blitzkrieg of farts than I had anticipated.  And then The Hater jumped all over my case for not warning him and then gave me a lecture about friendly fire.  He said next time I should warn him and say, "Charlie!  Charlie!  Move left!"

A little later we were leaving another store and I thought I'd fart before I got back into the car to protect the man that I love.  Well, it apparently lingered longer than I thought it would, and I had just enough time to explain to him that I really was trying to be nice by farting outside before I got into the car.  And then he smelled it.

He's really looking forward to our trip home next week.  Maybe Santa will bring my poor husband a gas mask...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Dear Coach Kiffin-

We are excited that you have joined the Volunteer family in Knoxville!  

Hopefully your Dad will, too, after the end of the NFL season.

Don't get us wrong - we don't like you just because of your Dad, but you have to admit that's a hellofa bonus.  He is, after all, one of the greatest defensive coordinators in football history.

We're also excited to hear that Mike Hamilton called Peyton to okay your hire before you were offered the job.  I'm sure you're new to my blog, but that alone scored you some major points in our book.  

You did a great job at USC.  We understand the Raiders situation had less to do with your coaching ability and more to do with Al Davis' lunacy.  

We're excited that you've already hit the recruiting trail hard.

Unlike the comment Phil Fulmer made, we don't expect you to win every game next year.  We do, however, expect improvement.  That's what we're looking for -- consistent improvement each season.  In 3-4 years we expect UT back to it's old glory.  We hope the media will once again flood with images of UT player directing the band in Rocky Top after another SEC championship.

Welcome to the family.  You're a Volunteer now.  Your transfusion has begun, and we're hoping it won't be long before you, too, bleed orange.

Sincerely,
The Hater and genderist

PS:  Don't make me hate on you.  Everyone on the UT staff that I've hated on has been fired.  No pressure.  The Hater.

Friday, November 21, 2008

it's so hard to be The Hater

The Hater is the son of a registered nurse who married a registered nurse. His Mom is coming to our house for Thanksgiving; she sent me an email asking if she needed to bring a flu shot with her for The Hater. That's really the only background you need for this post, which was my reply to her:

Your son is so bad. Don't let him reply to this email and love-y you up to his side. Don't let him give you those soft brown eyes and try to convince you otherwise, either. He's a pro at this and you need to be aware to stand your ground.  When it comes to flu shots, he has a mental block. Want proof?

The Hater's Flu Shot Saga

The first flu season we were married he thought I'd just be able to sneak him a flu shot from work.  You are partly to blame for this because you've always brought one home for him, and he has no concept that we work in entirely different venues.  That's nothing personal, it's just what he knows.  Of course, this conversation came up after he had already missed the flu shot clinics they offered at his school...

So the second flu season we were married he thought I'd be able to sneak him one home from work.  This was, of course, after I had already gotten all over him the previous year where I didn't work in a place where we just had flu shots sitting around for the taking.

The third flu season we were married I started reminding him in September that he'd have to take a flu shot when they were offered at school because I couldn't steal one for him.  I brought this up at least once every other week, then nearly daily after the hospital started posting flu shot reminders.  One day he came home from work to tell me that he forgot it was flu shot day until after it had already happened.

By the time the fourth flu season we were married rolled around I had changed jobs.  I worked in a clinic where I could steal him a flu shot.  But I knew I wouldn't work there forever, and I really wanted him to learn to associate getting his flu shot at school, to plant the seed so that next year he might remember.  It didn't make any difference because he forgot again.

It probably won't surprise you that I went through the same reminder system for the fifth flu season of our marriage.  Except I added writing reminders to him on sticky notes and sending random emails to his work address.  He was so ready.  And then a work-related trip landed on flu shot day, and he had to miss the clinic to take the kids out of town.

Which brings us to this year, the dawn of the sixth flu season of our marriage.  This year he came home and started the "hey, they're going to offer flu shots again this year at work" conversations before I even prompted him.  He knew the date by heart and would tell me "in three weeks I get a flu shot"; "in two weeks I get a flu shot"; "next week I get a flu shot because you can't steal one at work for me"; and, yes, even "flu shot today!".  I was proud because we had come so very far from the first flu season of our marriage.  It actually looked like he was going to get his flu shot at work.  I called him on his lunch break, and he was quick to tell me when and where he needed to be to get his flu shot.

Around 4-4:30pm that day I left work for home.  I called him to see if he'd left school yet to see if he could stop by the grocery store for a few things I needed to cook supper.  He said he was leaving and would stop by on his way home.  He came home with a bag of groceries, and while I was putting them away I asked him if he needed any Tylenol after his flu shot.

He made a bad face and squinched his eyes before answering, "I forgot my flu shot today."

me:  What?  But you were so ready!
him:  I know, but I forgot!  You asked me to pick up the groceries and I totally forgot about it.  Can you get me one at work?
me:  You know I can't do that.  You'll have to go to one of those community clinics to get it.
him:  Fine.  Then I won't get one this year.
me:  What?
him:  Or I'll just wait until I'm home for Christmas when Mom can bring one home for me.  She can do that.

So, to answer your question:  No, your son has not had his flu shot this year.  It would be wonderful if you could bring one with you.  We'd really appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to go about the flu shot campaign for the seventh flu season of our marriage.  I really have a good feeling that next year may be "the one".  At the top of my list is, obviously, to continue the reminders without asking him to deviate in any way from his usual routine on the actual flu shot day.  Maybe you could also bring a square, 18 ga needle for me to use to give him the flu shot this year; this might help him to remember.  Any other creative and/or painful ideas are welcome; please let me know if you think of any.

Sincerely,
genderist and your grandbaby, who has been especially squirmy today 
(and who, incidentally, have already gotten their flu shot)

Her reply went something like this, "Well, well, well...  I will bring the supplies and not tell him we're going to do it.  Next year he'll have to get a flu shot because he has to think of his baby first, who can die from the flu."  She didn't realize that I'd cc'd The Hater to my reply, so I quickly emailed him and told him he'd have to play along at Thanksgiving when she brings his "surprise" flu shot.  I'm secretly hoping she'll also bring a "surprise" 3" needle to attach to the syringe.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

they said the wrong thing to me

I went to a four hour work-related meeting today.  

It turned out to be a big picture, brainstorming type meeting.  A "let's envision the future we want and figure out how to get there" meeting.  A "let's be a national trendsetter" meeting.  A "let's talk a lot to sound like we're doing a lot" meeting.  A "look at us, we're collaborating with everybody else" meeting.  Quite frankly, a "why-in-the-hell-was-I-invited-to-this-meeting" meeting.

The first two hours we talked about how great we were, the things we'd done, the difference we've made, how much we rock.  Several people had color-coded slides to prove it.

After lunch we divided into smaller groups which became committees.  We then talked about how we could be greater, what things it would take to reach more people and do bigger things.  This was a very open discussion, lots of people throwing ideas into the arena.

I know I'm partial, but I had a fantastic idea that I shared with the group.  Some people nodded their heads at how good it was, but one guy next to me had the gall to tell me that would never work.

Excuse me?  Nobody poo-poo'd on your idea.  Besides, if the purpose of this group is to build castles in the sky, why can't mine have solar panels?

Needless to say, I've already sent out three emails to figure out how to make this happen, even if it starts on a much smaller scale.  I am a self-declared committee of one.

You don't need a group of executive-directors-of-this-and-that to foster change.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Dear Honorable Vet:

Even though most people act like they don't care, and sometimes the government pretends like they don't remember...  I appreciate your service.

Thanks for taking your turn to play the role of the hero.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

baby's first election

It took over an hour and ten minutes to vote this morning.  The Hater waited with me for about thirty minutes before he realized that he would be late for work if he didn't leave.  He was convinced that they should have let us through line quicker since we were obviously more uncomfortable standing, but no such luck.

He had to go back after work and stand in line all over again.  All in all, he ended up staying in line for about the same amount of time.

Which means our two votes took about two and a half hours to cast.

Baby's first voting lesson??  Don't forget to pack snacks.  Or, better yet, eat a snack before you leave the house with plans to "beat the lines".  


Sunday, November 02, 2008

another laundry adventure

I'll give you three guesses as to what I've been doing all afternoon...

The Hater really gets brownie points for helping me to fold clothes after they're out of the dryer... because he's gone this weekend, and it never takes me very long to remember how much it sucks to do laundry by myself.  

Today's laundry adventure is compounded, as adventures almost always are.

Yesterday I had to break down and buy some official maternity clothes.  I had a pair of mat jeans and mat pants and a couple of shirts, but they weren't things that I could wear to work.  The dilemma was that my scrubs are not comfortable any more.  I'm having to wear them under my baby roll, and even then they saw me in half.  This is an unwanted complication in the life of a nurse who is called to be on their feet all day, attending to people who really have been or figuratively been sawed in half.

I think that I spent more on clothes  yesterday than I have on clothes over the past two years.  Ridiculous...  but I've got to have clothes to wear to work.  The CDC gets all in a knot when you go to work naked.

The new clothes smelled like store, so they had to be washed.  As did everything else for the week.  And my special helper is in St Louis on a work trip.  This left Zoloft and I to tackle the hamper.  Except she runs every time I open the door the laundry room.  

Which brings me to bending.  I have to bend over the washer to get the wet clothes out and bend to pull clothes out of the dryer.  Trouble with that is that my bender hasn't been bending so well this week.  Baby is in the way.

Seeing as how I'm only about halfway through the baby incubation adventure, I'm thinking that solo laundry runs in the future will either be moments to induce breakdown -- or an excellent argument as to why I should wait until The Hater is back in town to wash clothes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Danny- This is Safe To Read


We had our 18 week ultrasound today and have only good news to report:

1.  Baby gave up the goods and let us see their parts.  
2.  All of baby's guts are in the right places, the right sizes, etc.

You'll have to email me or call The Dorks if you want to know baby's gender.  And then you have to promise not to tell Danny, who wants to be surprised next March.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the joy of tenacious throat boogers

I've been up since about 3:30 this morning, still coughing and hacking.  This morning's episode was especially exciting because the coughing fit was paired with a nosebleed.  It was good times.

I'm medicating with the two drugs in my pregnant repertoire, but with minimal relief.  I've gone through two boxes of tissues in four days.  I wake up countless times either coughing or wincing because the coughing has irritated my round ligaments.  My voice is raspy and virtually gone by the end of the day.

I'm obviously the picture of health because people keep telling me that I look pale or cock their head to the side and ask how I'm feeling.  These are usually well-meaning people just passing through who haven't heard me hack up a lung yet.

I asked one of the physicians today to go back into the recesses of his mind to that one semester in medical school that he did his OB rotation, then quizzed him to see if he could think of anything else I could take.  He laughed at me and said that he wouldn't give me anything if I was pregnant in 1972, but encouraged me to call my OB to see if anything had changed since then.

I had planned on doing that anyway, so I did.  I explained my dilemma to the secretary who takes phone messages.  I explained in a broken voice what was going on, and ended it with "just tell them that I am dying".  She laughed.  I explained that I was very serious and to please write exactly that on the message.  In no uncertain terms, I need some kind of cough medicine that will work.

About five hours later his nurse calls me back.  By this time I sound incredibly awful.  I pointed this out to his nurse, who agreed with me.  And then laughed at me.  There's nothing else I can take.  At this point I laughed because I was sure this was some kind of joke.

It wasn't.

So now I've been blessed to add benadryl to my arsenal, which I've been told will probably not make any difference.

By this time of the day, which is still early to everyone in the universe except my father (who has undoubtedly been in bed since 7), my voice is gone.  When I think about talking, I cough.  The Hater and I have taken up sign language, which is special because his ASL database is limited to "more", "help", "all done", and "I love you".

About an hour or so ago, when I could still talk, I offered again to sleep in the other bedroom so I wouldn't keep him up coughing.  He's still holding out, insisting that I don't bother him... but I know I do.

I've learned a very important lesson out of all of this:  
I don't think I would have made a very good pioneer woman.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

throat of fire

So my pregnancy congestion nose combined with the weather change has ended up in a raw throat and coughing fits.  It's fabulous.

I don't feel nearly as awful as I sound... but I must sound pretty bad because The Hater is always telling me to sit down and rest.

Which is a problem, too, because I've not slept well for about a week.  I don't know if that's driven by hormones, the pregnancy, the cold or some kind of awful combination of the three.  Whatever it is, I don't really care.  

I'd just like my non-raw throat back.  (at least, that's my first demand of the universe)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

lock down?

MTSU was on lock-down today.  Local police, Homeland Security and the FBI were all involved.

Here's a link to info about it from The Tennesseean.  Looks like in the last hour they arrested the only suspect, who they think acted alone.  

Awful.  I know it's too early for details or to know what's going on, but if it's as bad as it potentially could have been, I'm glad for the swift action.  

I'm happy with Blue Raiders flying below the radar.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

placenta brain

Since I have a lifetime of experience to draw on here --  I think I'd like to officially say that feeling pregnant isn't as bad as feeling hypo.  Both conditions have several things in common:
  • I'm not nearly as efficient as when I feel "normal".
  • I can sleep anytime, anywhere, with anything in the background.
  • Diet is restricted.
  • I can't remember words that I want to use, and I use the wrong word without realizing it.  (Yesterday's word was "feather".  Today's word was "wrench".  Any noun I couldn't place became a wrench.  Example:  (in the lunch line, pointing at the plastic cutlery - "I forgot my wrench.  Could you pass it to me?")
  • Constipation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Short mental fuse.  My tolerance for stupidity is greatly reduced.  (The difference between being hypo and pregnant here is that when I'm pregnant I have a little more energy - unfortunately, enough energy to verbalize my dissatisfaction with said stupidity.  This is why we couldn't watch the Presidential Debate very long last night.  I think The Hater was afraid I'd bust something while yelling back at the tv.)
  • "Hypo brain" and "placenta brain":  Both cause me to be sound stupid when in actuality I'm really an educated person who knows how to speak in complete sentences.
  • When people find out why you don't feel good, they look at you and say "awwhhhh".  (The difference is that when you're hypo, people give you a sad face when they say it, and when you're pregnant they give you a happy awwhhhh.  But it's the same exact sentiment.)
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Both of these things help me to realize what a wonderful, supportive husband I have to take this roller coaster ride with me.  I am so very fortunate to have him.  He's all protein, no artificial sweetener.  
I'm a little bit excited that I was able to come up with 10 points, even sporting stupidbrain.  

Sunday, October 05, 2008

the new alphabet

We continue baby's indoctrination into football culture today.  We've discussed fantasy strategy and are currently watching Peyton play.  These lessons follow yesterday's lessons of SEC football.  I wanted to talk about Sunbelt football, too, but The Hater said that would make things more complicated than they needed to be.

We may go to the political HQ tonight to get a yard sign for the yard.  Our neighbors have the opposition in their yard; so now it's like our obligation to represent for the other party.  I think the office is open until 8 tonight - we'll probably venture out after Peyton's game is over.  We're also teaching baby the importance of good prioritization.  

Monday, September 29, 2008

the miraculous wedge

I want to stand up and tell everybody I know how wonderful I have slept since The Hater found a wedge pillow for my growing bump.  He wins "Husband of the Year" award again - this time for solving the problem for difficulty sleeping while pregnant.

It was tricky because I didn't want a fancy, convoluted body pillow.  I already had a knee pillow that makes me happy, and I wasn't interested in changing it out.  I had tried three or four different kinds of pillows in the house to no avail...  but this wedge...  it's exactly what I needed, the right amount of support for a pulling tummy.

And I slept most of the weekend to further test it.  It passed.  

I don't believe in free advertising, but for the sake of the comfort of other pregnant mommies, here's the link to the wedge that made the difference for me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

so much for Harvard

This baby has obviously not been reading the same pregnancy information that we have been.  There are things that are supposed to happen in the second trimester, and baby must be confused.  

First, last weekend was awful.  I felt worse than each bad day during the first trimester plus about 7 dozen.  Found a wedge pillow, which really helped, and slept so much that it's more than broken-in now.  Still, those reindeer games were supposed to be over last week.

And this morning?  I yaked.  Yep, yak fest.  Where did that come from?  Give me a break.  The only silver lining to that story is that I kept down my Synthroid for the morning.  Go team.

Baby, we're going to stop with this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star business and swap over to the Mayo Clinic's pregnancy guide to catch you back up to the learning curve.  It's too early to start falling behind.

Yes, I know "this too shall pass".  Please don't patronize me.  I'm really not in the mood.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Fat Lady is Singing

Dear Coach Fulmer:

It ain't over until the fat lady sings, and the fat lady is belting out right now on your football coaching career.  It's a tune we've not heard very often this year - Rocky Top.

UT football has been on a steady decline for the past seven years with you at the helm leading us down the mountain of excellence into the valley of mediocrity.  We can rationalize that it's the assistant coodinators, specific players, sloppy fumbles, ill-timed penalties, unfortunate injuries, "spoilled fans", off-field troubles, the weather ... but no matter what, all these things are situations that every football team must deal with.  We are not unique in experiencing these things.

The one constant in the recent decline in UT football quality over the last few years is you.  You are the one thing that has remained constant on the ever-changing team with endless excuses from year to year as to why we are not performing better.  Players change.  Assistant coaches change.  Injuries happen.  But you and your weak leadership style remain the same.

The college football game has changed.  It's not like it was back in the day anymore.  Your coaching has not adjusted.  It's very similar to how UCLA adjusted their offense in the second half to beat us two games ago -- and we adjusted nothing to succeed only in losing.  

Don't worry.  We're not forgetting your great service in the past.  The national championship was great, and recruiting that Manning kid was the crowing glory of your coaching career.  But those days have long past.  

It's time for things to change for the University of Tennessee football program.  Since you have been the one constant factor during the decline, we contend it is you who needs to leave the university and move on.  You're not learning from your mistakes, and you're damaging Tennessee's football credibility as well as your legacy with every mediocre season you coach.

We've pleaded in the past to "Fire Phil Fulmer" and see that's gotten us nowhere.  Instead of that plea, this year we ask for you to humbly consider retiring at the end of this season.  You're taking our football team down with you, and we don't like it.  Do the right thing and get off our field.  We'll even let you pretend like there's a reason to hold your head high.

I don't know who we will find in the interim, but we do hope that 10-15 years from now we'll be able to say that the great Peyton Manning returned home to the University of Tennessee to be the head football coach.  That would be your greatest legacy to us.  Please don't make it even harder on him by taking that legacy further into the hole.  If you retire now, there's a good chance we can get someone good to replace you.  The longer you stay, the harder it is going to be for the new guy to get us back up that mountain.

Please retire.  We look forward to hearing this announcement spring of 2009.  Please consider it our first wish on the baby's gift registry.

Sincerely,
genderist and The Hater


Friday, September 19, 2008

thunderwear

Tonight at supper The Hater announced that he wanted to look for some thunderwear this weekend.

(blink)

That's right.  He said "thunderwear".

I had visions of some kind of adult underoos that I'd not heard about yet.

Thunderwear.  He said it again.

Underwear?

No, he explained.  He wanted to see if the mall had any clothes with the new OKC NBA team's logo on it...  the OKC Thunder.  Thunderwear...

He came up with that one himself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

hunting wabbits

It's been another lazy, quiet weekend.  It's been wonderful.

The Hater is out of town again.  He'll be back either crazy late tonight or tomorrow afternoon, depending on how things go.  I hope things go well.  The one really great thing about him being out of town is that we'll make every effort for the next weekend to be quiet and uncomplicated, too.  

The church had a program yesterday to bless the pets.  I wanted to take Zoloft so bad I could hardly stand it.  We tried taking her out in the back yard one day last week, just to see how she did... needless to say, it didn't go well.  So we had a homemade blessing at home yesterday.  She must have sensed that she was really getting off easy because she was extra attentive and sweet.  The poor girl just can't help it that she suffers from crippling feline social anxiety disorder.

Sister mailed me some new scrubs that were too big for her.  They're still a little too big for me, but they're way more comfortable than the ones I had been wearing.  So I'm tickled about them.  And they're different colors from my current stash, which is exciting.  My Sister is the greatest in all the land.

I'm trying to stay awake long enough to eat lunch and finish laundry.  My big afternoon plans consist of reading for pleasure and taking a needed nap.

Why can't every day be the weekend?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

you, too, can have a UTI

May I suggest one that's more fun than mine?

unique transylvanian iceberg
ultimate thunderous instruments
uno tittilicious industry
utterly tenacious ivy
unidentified tangential irony
umbilical twisted igloo
ubiqitarian tactful information
unclean tattered ivory
universal taboo ink
understood terrapin instincts
unctuous tardy ignoramus
uncertain tainted incense
unanimous treacherous infantry
unadorned turquoise icing
ukranian trained iguanas
uxorious timid imbecile
unequivocal traumatic incident
urban tropical island
ugly trapeze imp
uniform tango india

(Think of it like a Choose Your Own Adventure... without the hot air balloon.)


Monday, September 08, 2008

the 12-week bump hump

The Hater was gone for about 2 days, and I'm convinced that the baby grew at least twice its size in that time.  I have no tangible ultrasound to prove it, but my belly has certainly declared its pregnancy state.  We have the makings of the bump.

I have a friend who is also pregnant, about 6 weeks ahead of us.  This is her third pregnancy.  She had some maternity pants that didn't fit her - and did fit me.  Wow.  The comfort difference was astounding.  I couldn't believe it.

So while The Hater was still out of town I went back out Saturday night to look for maternity clothes on sale at Ross and Old Navy.  I came out with a pair of khakis and jeans from Ross, both at great sale prices.  Then I found two shirts (one short sleeved and one three-quarter sleeved) on clearance at Old Navy.  I was super excited with these finds because I had looked at maternity clothes at the mall on Friday, and the prices were outrageous.

I can still wear most of my scrubs, but they're getting tight in the middle.  Prior to now I really liked the drawstring pants, but now there's really no need for a drawstring.  I can hold them up just fine on my own.  Pregnancy:  for people who hate to wear belts.

This week we're working on the 12th week.  I figure we're 2 or 3 days into the 12th week.  So far so good.  No awful symptoms to report, other than fatigue, which I already knew too well.  

I do have one amusing symptom that drives The Hater nuts.  I have had some especially aromatic farts since before we knew that I was pregnant.  I'm talking eyes-watering-clear-the-room farts. These usually happen at night, which is good for me - bad for him.  It's quite possibly my favorite symptom of pregnancy because he can totally share it with me.  Over and over and over.

Friday, September 05, 2008

workin' for the weekend

I'm so glad it's Friday I can hardly stand it.

The Hater will be out of town, but that won't rain on my parade.  I've worked so much OT this week that I'm leaving shortly after lunch.  I think I'll go to the mall and do my walk there; you know, mix up the scenery.  Maybe I'll find some sweetheart deals.

And maternity support hose.  My legs have been aching this week.

I'll have to stop somewhere and get some of the shampoo that we like (and my conditioner).  We've been scraping the bottom of the bottle for about a week.

I'm a little over halfway through reading S. King's "Dreamcatcher".  If I feel especially froggy I may try to finish the last 400+ pages before The Hater gets back.  That is, if it doesn't delve too far into my very important schedule of sleeping as many hours as I can.

Meanwhile, last night I pulled out some genealogy info to look at names.  We have some real winners up our family tree.  If it's a boy, we're thinking "LaFayette Fuqua", except we want to pronounce it not like the famous guy, but the place in TN, where the "fay" part has the accent.  The girl names weren't nearly as fun to mix and match - we're going to have to dig much deeper to come up with something that will make all of the grandparents wince.

Monday, September 01, 2008

first real football post of the season

Has anyone else noticed that the SEC teams have rocked out this weekend?  

(Except the Gamecocks... who The Hater says we have to cheer for so long as they're not playing against us because they're in the SEC.  He says this doesn't always apply to Florida or Alabama.)

We're eager to watch the game tonight.  I wish it was a little earlier in the day; I'm hoping to stay awake through at least the first half.  I've just had a really hard time being awake after 8pm for the last couple of weeks.  

I've been telling The Hater that it's time for us to write another letter to Phil Fulmer.  We're tardy on our pre-season set of expectations.  He wants to wait until we have something to critique, which I guess is fair.  All I'm saying is that I still have an itch to address the whole "Vol fans are spoiled" comment he made, but I can wait.

Meanwhile, we've started singing Rocky Top to the baby at night.  They say that infants can recognize tunes they heard in utero for a year after their birth, so we want to make sure that baby knows it was a Vol before it was even born.

It wouldn't be the first football post if I didn't at least mention Peyton, who is excited to be my fantasy QB again this year.  We've talked about it, Peyton and I, and we both feel that this will be a great season.  

Sunday, August 31, 2008

our choice

The Hater and I declined genetic testing for the fetus.  We decided that the results, no matter what they may be, would not change our minds about going through the pregnancy.  For us, it wouldn't be right to abort, and it makes little sense to consent to a procedure that carries a 10-15% chance of losing the baby.

That was our choice.  Fundamentally, I'm certain that the choice could have gone no other way.  But again, that was our choice to make.

We don't pretend to know the complications of strangers' situations.  We're not going to judge them by our set of preconceptions of what is right.  But we do respect their autonomy to make choices for themselves.  That's why The Hater likes to say that we're "pro adoption" when painted into a pro choice vs pro life argument.  

Unfortunately, society twists lots of issues into unnecessary dichotomies.  

Sunday, August 24, 2008

boy named Sue

I'm really pulling for Sue if it's a boy.
 
The Hater is adamant that this is a terrible idea and won't even entertain the thought of it.
 
I reckon he's afraid that the kid will grow up mean and hit him hard between the eyes.
 
Still, it has a great ring to it.

boy named Sue

I'm really pulling for Sue if it's a boy.
 
The Hater is adamant that this is a terrible idea and won't even entertain the thought of it.
 
I reckon he's afraid that the kid will grow up mean and hit him hard between the eyes.
 
Still, it has a great ring to it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

new season, new plan

The United States Federal Government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States.

The Hater says I can't discuss our secret strategies, but I will share this year's CX resolution.  

I'm excited about the resolution because my favorite default is voting for the team that stops the most nuclear wars.  

Our poor baby has no chance.  They're destined to a life a nerddom.

Monday, August 18, 2008

first portrait



We are go for a heartbeat people (176 bpm).  Everything is on par for the course.  My estimated due date is March 29, 2009.  We are excited, but still a little hesitant until we pass the 12th week.

We're in the 9th week today.  Actually, he said we were 8 weeks and 3 days, but we're not that into details.

The Hater is taking me to supper tonight to celebrate.

Okay, so baby's head is the bottom circle, and the feet are angled up to the left.  And yes, it has my eyes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

...---... ...---...

This is a test.  This blog is conducting a test of the non-blogger posting system.  The author of this blog in voluntary cooperation with the Fedearl, State adn local authorities has developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.  If this had been an actual emergency, such as a baby fiasco, weather-report or Manning injury, the Attention Signal you may have noticed would have been followed by official information, news or instructions.  This blog serves the literate and web-friendly areas.  This concludes this test of the non-blogger posting system.  

echo of a post

It's been busy.  I know that's not a great excuse, but it's the one I'm going to roll with today.

First thing's first - -  we see the OB tomorrow for the first ultrasound.  We're hoping for a heartbeat in the right place.  I think we'll relax a little after we pass that benchmark.

I've not been throwing up, which is nice.  Mom said she never did, and I'm really hoping that I've inherited those pregnancy genes from her.  However, this week I have been feeling "not right" in the mornings - from about 8:30 or 9am until 1 or 2pm.  It's not really nausea or queasiness, but what I would imagine about a half step below that would be.  I'm still able to eat, but nothing sounds good during those times.  I'm hoping this will pass in a week or so.

I've also been exhausted.  More tired on top of my standard tired makes for a super tired girl at the end of the day.  

Fabulous news - The Hater and I have been offered a crib and changing table hand-me-down, and we're tickled to be in line for it.  They'll also throw in the sports-themed baby boy bedding, if we end up with a boy.  That would be great... although I think it's imperative that we find some kind of Vol mobile to go with it.  Start them singing Rocky Top really young.  If it's a girl we'll have to find someone else who wants to get rid of their she-themed bedding.  

We have plenty of time for that stuff.  It'll be a while before we know what it is.  Our preference is a healthy full-term baby...  we're not hung up on the details yet.

The Hater and I have already started asserting our name preferences.  Although kids will always find a way to pick on other kids, we really are trying to come up with a name that won't assume playground taunting.  That goes the same for initials -- although I'm tickled at some of the three letter words we could spell with baby's initials, we really will try not to come up with a name that also spells a target word.

We saw the OB a couple of weeks ago.  I'm pretty sure he calculated my due date wrong... so it'll be good to get the right date tomorrow.  I'm thinking it'll be late late March or early early April.  Maybe it'll fall on Sister's birthday.

The Hater's Mom called last week to remind us that his family has a history of lots of twins.  That's a can of worms we're not even considering right now.  At this point we're hoping for a heartbeat in the right place...  We'll post when we know more.

Meanwhile, other exciting things in our life include the upcoming football season.  Phil has really stepped on my toes, and we'll fire off another preseason letter to him soon.  We've been watching preseason Titans football, which is fun -- but we really wish that Vince had some good WRs.  Not drafting a WR has really hurt The Hater's "five year plan" predictions.

I want to see if I can figure out how to blog from my cell phone.  Maybe we'll play with that feature this afternoon, between naps.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

nervous wreck

I'm pregnant.  I think I'm about 6 weeks along, but won't see the GYN until next Monday.

I've been spotting off and on, but yesterday it became a little worse.  I called the GYN office, who sent me to get a progesterone level drawn.  I also started progesterone last night.

***
This past weekend I attended the second LIVESTRONG Summit at The Ohio State University in Columbus.  If you've never been to Columbus, you've not missed much.  I've come back with some new ideas to try, but my heart just isn't in it right now.

***
I'd applied and interviewed for another job since the last post, but didn't get it.  It was one of those situations where I wasn't necessarily looking, but thought I'd be a fool not to apply for it.  It would have been a nice raise; that I'll miss!  

***
The Hater and I spent the 4th at home.  It was great seeing everybody again, and we brought the best souvenir back with us.  Hopefully the progesterone will be exactly what we need to push forward.

***
Meanwhile, I'm really not excited about going to work today.

Monday, June 30, 2008

empty nest

My babies have flown the coop.  Just look at how excited they were to say goodbye to me this weekend.  

Zoloft was very disappointed that she didn't get to play with her sisters.  So if you see the cat, please don't rub it in.  It's still a sensitive subject.

We have an exciting trip home planned for the end of the week.  I'm going tonight to print off 43 of the best chronological birdie pictures to share while we're home.  You'll have to remind me if you want to see them.

I need to pack, but I hate packing.  Abhor it.  It's the one thing that I always procrastinate.  Maybe The Hater can talk me into doing it tonight.  

He's out getting new tires for the car.  Which is more gaggy:  sitting in a waiting room all afternoon while they're working on your car -OR- changing a tire on the interstate nowhere near people you can call to come help you? ...

I think so, too; I doubt The Hater will agree with me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

tense mommy & vocal babies



I think they're really starting to hate the big orange ladder. Today was my fourth trip lugging it out to the nest, and this time Mommy swooped off before I could get her picture. She's shy.

I love how my babies still have little bits of white feather fuzz. This is the first day they've been eagerly vocal. Much to their dismay, I did not regurgitate my supper for them. Don't get me wrong --- I would have, but I'm not so sure they'd like whole wheat pasta with spinach and pumpkin pie.

Meanwhile, I keep mentioning to one of my coworkers that they really need to bring their kids over to see these birds before they fly away. She lives maybe 3 miles away, so it's not like they'd be out all night to come see them.

I guess she's just not into cultivating those types of kids.

Sister and I grew up watching box turtles hatching, playing with snakes, catching chicken-chokers with onion grass, feeding hummingbirds sugar water through an eye dropper, and cradling baby flying squirrels and baby birds. We watched Wild America every Sunday morning before church. We knew the names of all the trees in the yard, as well as most of the flowers. (They were always planting something new.) I think we turned out okay, but I concede that I'm biased.

My kids will see the baby birds.

More pictures in a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

flight of the scissor-tailed flycatcher






It's more of a progression than a flight, but it will end in flight -- so I'm going with flight anyways. We don't have scissortails at home - so I was extremely excited when I saw Mommy protecting her nest. These pictures have been taken over a course of several weeks -- the last ones were taken yesterday. I'll continue to update as they get bigger and more interesting.

Mommy bird has not flogged me yet, which I consider to be a good sign. Although she is never excited when I hike over to her nest with the big orange stepladder.

The Hater is out of town for a while, so the cat and I are holding down the fort. She's been a very sweet and vocal companion in his absence.

Speaking of absence, my brain has been on strike lately. One good story before I go to bed:

Last week I was handing out fliers (not to be confused with the flyers, pun not intended). I went into one doctor's office with the flier and mini-speech about how they were welcome to attend, dinner would be provided, yadda yadda yadda. And the lady looked at it and said, yeah, we got this yesterday. Knowing I'm the only person handing these out I said, no, that can't be. She looked at it again, certain that they had it, and then looked at me, and said, "And you brought it to me."

Me? Are you sure?

Oh yeah, she was sure. Then she replayed the whole conversation we had about a movie that I've not seen. I remembered talking about the movie, but not going into the office.

I asked her to let me know if I tried to bring her the same flier the next day. If I did, I don't remember.
I've been misplacing things, too. Dumb things. Forgetting things. Like posting on the blog. I'm too young for some-timers and too old to say Charlie Brown did it.

This is for the birds.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

another exciting weekend

laundry, laundry, laundry...

That would have a much more interesting ring to it if I were involved with the mafia.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

someone loves her mommy

I've not mentioned lately that my cat is the most precious and most brilliant and most adorable in all the land. She is being so very sweet and attentive to me tonight.

Maybe it's because The Hater's not home yet.
Maybe it's because I brushed her earlier.
Maybe it's because she's really the sweetest cat in the world.

Monday, June 02, 2008

"good news"

The Hater and I have made several phone calls eastward to report "good news". Inevitably, after we announced that we had "good news", it was always followed by a gasp on the other line. To which we quickly had to reply, "uh, no... not that".

* The other good news, which everybody acts like is a huge let-down since it'll just be the two of us making the trip, is that we're visiting home early July. Woo.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

the fridge speaks

1. What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator door?
"Raisin Delight- No Melt Suet Dough" (for year-round wild bird feeding) I'm sure it was purchased early last summer.

2. How long do you keep leftovers that end up going bad before you eat them?
We're usually pretty good about eating the leftovers. If they're not worth saving, rather if they weren't very good the first time, we usually don't eat it again later. We try to eat leftovers within a few days from when they were originally prepared -- although I do have some leftover BBQ Lentils from last weekend that we've not touched yet.

3. How strictly do you follow expiration dates: do you toss them as soon as they go past the date, or have you learned how far something can really go before going bad?
This is funny. I learn more towards the first option -- if it's expired, it should be retired to the vertical file. The Hater, on the other hand, was an assistant manager at a grocery store for several years -- and he claims to have the inside scoop that the expiration date is really the "sell by" date and not the "vertical file" date. I'm usually okay with this, so long as there's nothing overtly growing on the product and so long as he is the smeller/taster/decider.

4. Quiz results: What your refrigerator says about you...



What Your Fridge Says About You



You like to be surrounded by things you love. You aren't exactly greedy, but you can be materialistic at times.



You tend to be a fairly thrifty person. You splurge occasionally, but you're mostly a saver.



You are a very adventurous person. You love to try new things, and you get bored very easily.



You are responsible, together, and mature. You act like an adult, even when you don't feel like it.



You are likely to be married - and very busy.





5. What was the last ingredient in your fridge that you cooked something with?
Balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar -- used in a tasty gazpacho. Also, fat free mozzarella cheese/tomato base/pita/turkeyroni for a homemade pizza.

6. If you had to make a meal out of one single item in your fridge right now, which item would you choose?
This is hard because I'm really getting hungry looking inside the fridge. Let's see... Fresh bell peppers, onions, tortillas and chicken -- we'll have a fajita. Open up a can of beans in the pantry and it's a full meal.

(and now I'll make up my own fridge questions-- because that's how I roll)

7. How is the exterior of your fridge decorated?
The exterior of our fridge is faux stainless; its' much easier to clean than the real thing. We have 14 magnets not including: 3 timers, 4 pictures, 1 business card, 2 magnetic bag clips, and 1 list of healthy snack choices.

8. Name three items in the door of your fridge that you doubt many people also have in theirs.
Reduced Fat Mayo made with Olive Oil; 32oz of minced garlic (yum-my); a spray bottle half full with tap water (for the grill)

9. What is one *must have* for your freezer?
Ice cream. Fudgecicles, to be exact. I have one every night for strength and encouragement.

10. What condiment do you keep in your fridge that you use the least?
I just found some light pancake syrup that I have no memory of buying. In fact, I'm not sure we've even had pancakes or waffles in 2008. We must have eaten them once after we moved in last summer - because it's a store brand that purchased before the store was bought-out and all the prices skyrocketed. Just checked - there's no expiration date, so we should be fine.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

c-bomb update: the Q&A

The short version:
It's the best news we could have gotten.
The longer version:
(an imaginary conversation between us)

What did the doctor say?
"It's time to move on with your lives."

How did the scan turn out?
Totally negative. No suspicious uptake was noted.

How about the tumor marker?
Low enough that we don't need to pursue more treatment right now.

So does that mean it's gone?
That's the million dollar question. There are still some stubborn cells present, but we think that they're low enough to continue to be suppressed by the medicine that I take every day.

But if it's still there, then why aren't you treating it?
It's just like cost-benefit analysis... The tumor marker is such a low number right now that the risk of zapping it is bigger than the benefit we'd get from another dose of radioactive Iodine (RAI).

How will you know that it's not getting bigger?
If you remember, this whole time I've talked about thyroid cancer being unlike every other kind of cancer, a horse of a different color. The type of cancer I had grows very slowly. We'll do another scan and draw the tumor marker in one year, May 2009. In the meantime, I'll see an endocrinologist every three months for her to feel my neck and make sure my daily medicine (that suppresses thyroid function) is at the right level.

Then after May 2009 you'll be done with this dog and pony show?
No. This is considered a chronic disease that will be monitored for the rest of my life.

Will it come back?
That's the second million dollar question. This type of thyroid cancer can come back, sometimes as many as 10-20 years later. That's why it's so important to have routine visits and scans.

What if it comes back?
Easy. We do another RAI. If you remember, I had a great uptake after my scan/treatment last November. That's promising that the cancer cells still don't like RAI-- which means we can try it again if we need to do so.

So this is good news? What's the catch?
Realistically, it's the absolute best news we could have gotten.

Are you and The Hater excited?
Of course we are, but we're still in shock with dumbfounded relief, too. We were prepared for the worst and the results have taken us off guard. We're super excited that we don't have another surgery this summer, which means now we'll be able to afford some more plants for the yard!

When is the party?
That's another great question. There will definately be a party, but we've not talked about any of the details yet. Everybody who wants to come is invited, but other than that, we've got nothing else planned. Let me know if you want more info about the shindig, and I'll get a list started for when we start planning.

What else do I need to do?
Remember to ask your doctor to "check your neck" once a year. It's easy, painless and quick. If you can swallow, you can be checked. If you can't swallow, that's really tragic because it'd be hard for you to eat cornbread.

Anything else?
Yes. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you for your continued love, support and prayers. It's been an arduous 27 month ordeal, and we count ourselves most fortunate to have been surrounded the whole time by your good vibrations and the mercy of our Lord. Words cannot express how thankful we are for you, so know that when we say "thanks", it's really about three trillion times bigger than that. Thanks again. And again. And again. You've been the best cheerleaders that we never knew we'd need. You rock.


Again, we thank you for your endearing friendship and kindness-
The Hater, genderist and Zoloft

Thursday, May 22, 2008

waiting waiting waiting

I'm not entirely sure which is worse:
A.  Not knowing any of the results.
B.  Knowing part of the results with no implications or plan.
C.  Finding out the results were the polar opposite of what you hoped they would be.

Lucky for me, I've got almost a week to deliberate on this before I know more.  

Good thing I'm still stuck in slow motion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

thick brain tangly fog

I know when my TSH is up. I guess I'm that attuned to it now. It's like I have several rolodexes in my head, and I can't remember which one has the word I want to find. And if I find the right one, I can't remember how I filed it.

Tangled neurons. Or slow neurotransmitters. Or maybe my myelin went on strike. I'd make other outrageous brain things, but I can't think of a fun way to include the ventricles.

And did I mention that I'm super tired?

Nana has a fantastic assortment of recipes. But only she knows how they are filed. Just because you're looking up "chicken on eggbread", don't bother looking under the "c" or the "e". It'll either be filed under "k" for Kleeman's or "n" since she cut it out of the newspaper.

That's how my brain feels right now. I'm sure this is clear as mud. (Even as I write this, I know it's choppy. But I can't remember how to fix it. So you'll just have to suck it up and muddle through. Just like me!)

Tomorrow is the lab draw. Go team. We're hoping to bat a big fat zero. I've never been so excited and so hopeful to fail. I'm not even going to study for the test.

I zonk now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

learn Latin: deadus kittyus

I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I'm trying to take up wogging. I needed to up the walking, but wasn't good enough to start jogging yet, so I'm doing my own version of combining the two on most mornings during the week. It sucks, but it's working for me. It was time to ramp it up.

Anyway, I was on my wog this morning and happened upon a lady in her pajamas, looking into her flower bed. It's probably good to note that I'm the random person who waves back at the cars driving by, and I greet the other crazy people who are walking at that ungodly hour of the morning. Well, I certainly wasn't ready for the conversation that followed:

genderist: Mornin'
lady: Oh, hi...
genderist: (continuing to wog away)
lady: Excuse me, do you know anything about cats?
genderist: (stopped wogging) A little.
lady: I hate to interrupt your jog. (Man, did I have her fooled!)
genderist: It's okay. What's the problem? (walking up to the porch)
lady: What do you think about that cat? (pointing to the flower bed)
genderist: (looks at back cat laying in the flower bed) (snaps fingers) (notices kitty isn't breathing) I think he's dead.
lady: (gasp) Oh, no! Do you know whose cat this is?
genderist: No. And there's no collar for a hint, either.
lady: (pacing, gasping) This is so sad. (tears up)
genderist: Oh, wait! His eyes are open!
lady: Oh?
genderist: Nope. Still dead, just with open eyes.
lady: That's what I was afraid of. (tells story about the sick stray kitty finding her family last night, kids falling in love with it, yadda yadda yadda) I don't know what to do. Who do you call when this happens? What do I do? (nearing panic)
genderist: (pause) Well, do you have a shovel and a garbage bag?
lady: Why? (gasp) What are you going to do??
genderist: Throw it away.
lady: (gasp gasp) Oh!
genderist: Unless you want to bury it somewhere in your yard.
lady: No. I don't want that. (gasp, pacing again) (pause) It needs a proper burial.
genderist: We can say a prayer if you want, after we get it bagged.
lady: (pause) I can't ask you to do this.
genderist: It's okay. I can do this.
lady: But I've interrupted your run.
genderist: Do you want to do it?
lady: No!
genderist: Then go get the shovel and the garbage bag. I can do it. I've got time.
lady: Are you sure? I can't ask you to do that.
genderist: M'am, I'm from the country. I can do this.
lady: (returns from getting shovel and bags) I don't know if I can help with this.
genderist: It's okay. Let me see if I can get it without you having to help.
lady: Maybe I can close my eyes and do it?
genderist: Just let me try first. (tries and succeeds without having to have the panic-y stray-cat-lover helping)
lady: Why do you think it died here?
genderist: (brags on her flower bed, how nice her kids must have been to the kitty, etc -- suggested that kitty probably died in her sleep. I didn't believe any of that, but I thought it might ease her panic. It did.)
genderist: (hands the garbage bag of dead kitty to the lady)
lady: Do I just throw it away?
genderist: I can take it and throw it away at my house, if you want.
lady: No, I can do it. (bravely takes the bag of dead kitty to the garage)
genderist: (wogs away)

Scene.

* I was going to post this story this morning, but time was too crunched to blog of the wog.
* I've never actually thrown away a dead cat. But our cat used to bring up lots of dead things that we had to get rid of. And I've thrown away dead birds since I've lived in OKC. And I dissected a cat once in A&P (cat: the other other white meat). I thought it was enough experience to muddle through, which it was.
* Please don't call me to come to your house and dispose of your dead pets. I mean, of course I'd come help, but it's not something I plan on taking up as a passtime.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

holding my breath

Next week is a big week. It's time for my 6-month follow up drama. If you'll remember, my last treatment was last November.

Here's the game plan:
Monday= Thyrogen shot #1
Tuesday= Thyrogen shot #2
Wednesday= Lab draw, I-131 Tracer
Friday= Scan
the following Wednesday= follow-up appointment, game plan, etc

So until then, like every other day these last few years, it's one moment at a time.

Mostly I'm trying not to obsess about it. Mostly.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

nostalgia

The Hater has DVR'd a boat-load of Tales from the Darkside episodes. He told me how he used to stay up late and watch these super scary shows when he was younger.

Well, we've watched a few of them... and I'm not impressed.

The Hater concedes that they're not as great as he remembers, but he still likes to watch it.

It's very much a La Siesta experience.

I thought that I'd posted something about our trip back to M'boro specifically for La Siesta, our favorite Mexican restaurant on Greenland across from MTSU... but I can't seem to find that post. Here's the re-cap: La Siesta was our favorite place to go eat. We could split an order of fajitas for cheap, and the service was fantastic. It was tasty yummy goodness.

It was great... until we went back to eat there about three years later. Sadly, the experience wasn't as great as we remembered. The salsa didn't sing. The fajitas were not heavenly goodness. Only the service and decor were what we were expecting; we even had the same waitress. Everything else was a supreme let-down. We were about halfway back to LBG when we admitted that it wasn't as great as we remembered. It was a sad drive home.

It was our first of many La Siesta experiences. And now TFTDS has been added to the list.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

spring sprang sprung

The verdict is in: I sprained my knee. It no longer looks like a grapefruit, so it's a good day.



(That's what I'm talking about!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

10,000 reasons

Yesterday I did it.

I took the plunge.

I exercised extreme free will.

I defied evolutionary processes.

I went skydiving. 10,000 feet. Accelerated free fall. Pulled my own ripcord (and brought it back with me to the ground). Navigated my own parachute.

I saw a sunset that I've never seen before. It was fantastic.

And, yes, I would totally do it again... but not until my knee heals.

I had a great landing, but came down wrong on my left ankle and knee. So today I'm pumped up on adrenaline, ibuprofen, and the magic foursome: ice, compression, elevation and rest.

I'm sore today. But I really don't care. It was absolutely worth it. Next time I'm taking The Hater with me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

random factoids

It's been a while since I was tagged, so I guess it was time for this to roll around again... Today's topics are unknown, brave and stupid things. I added the stupid part myself, because all bravery has an element of stupidity required.

I don't do the whole tag someone else thing. I'm into choosing your own destiny. So. If you want to claim a tag, more power to you. If you want to steal it, even better.

5 Weird/ Unknown Things About Me
  1. I like things to be in groups of five. For example, this meme actually had a list of seven things, but that made no sense to me to follow it with a group of five things. It's only part of my slightly, yet unofficially, OCD tendencies, but it works for me.
  2. When I was a senior in high school I was voted "Band Nerd with the Most Band Spirit" with our unofficial superlatives and also received the John Phillips Sousa Award.
  3. I received a band scholarship for college. Unfortunately, that same summer there was a big hullabaloo at the school of music, money was laundered, people were fired, etc... and I never saw a penny of it.
  4. I have just mastered a new level in Rock Band where I play the guitar and sing at the same time. I've not been this excited about a stupid human trick since I learned to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time.
  5. I still sleep with CoCo, a chocolate brown pound puppy that I received from Santa when I was in the second or third grade.
5 Bravest Things I've Ever Done (in no particular order)
  1. Moved immediately after our marriage to the middle of OK, where we didn't know a soul and were 12 hours away from our family.
  2. Low-crawled under live fire.
  3. Kept a straight, upbeat face when I dropped my c-bomb on my family.
  4. The ice bath 180 that I did from graduating with an education degree (emphasis = literature), then turning around and taking 20 hours of science and math pre-reqs.
  5. Brian Andreas is a fantastic artist, and one of his pieces, Real Hero, hits home for me. My #5 is a total steal from him:
Anyone can slay a dragon,
he told me,
but try waking up every morning
and loving the world
all over again.
That's what takes a real hero.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

stage one

Sunday night I was feeling especially adventurous. After walking, I decided to resurrect a forgotten workout tape that focuses on abs. Sixteen something minutes of torture.

I threw my yoga mat on the floor and cursed my way through the tape. I went through my entire repertoire of every swear word and combination of those words that I have ever heard. The Hater watched from the couch, coaching me and suggesting other fabulous combos to try.

And all the while I was thinking that I was really going to hurt the next day.

I was right.

Actually, I started hurting during the night. I rolled over to pain.

But it's not what you're thinking.

Monday morning I confirmed my midnight suspicion. I have a stage one pressure sore on my tailbone. That's right! The crunches gave me a bedsore. I'm falling apart.

It's still red and achy. I put myself on non-floor-related exercises until a few days after the purple redness goes away. Then we'll try it again with more padding.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

idiot's guide needed

It's getting time for us to talk about what type of plants we'd like to thrive in our yard. Although we're in the same zone as home, it seems like my favorites don't do well around here. I've asked around, looking for indeginous plant-people to question, but so far I've not found a single person who has anything in their yard other than dead grass. I'm currently struggling with online search engines to try to find possibilities for us.

We have a 6' high brick wall in the back of the yard. We'd like to plant something across the back that will be pretty and develop some kind of decorative hedge. Right now we're leaning towards crape myrtles dotted across the back in 5' spacing.

We also have a space to plant a tree in the back. We'd like it to give shade and would prefer for it to have a pretty foliage change in the fall. All of my favorite trees would get way too tall for the small space, so we're trying to think outside the box. The Hater says that shade trumps ornamental factors, and I'm okay with that so long as we have some kind of color change in the fall.

Meanwhile, we need to plant something in front of the AC unit to help give it shade. Our other option is to get one of those fabulously obnoxious AC team covers.

Our front beds are still slim. I need some kind of ground cover for the front beds - something that likes full sun, hot hot, but not something that will take over the place. The front beds are low priority for us right now. The Hater is pulling for the low maintenance of mondo grass, but I'd like to see something with more color and charisma.

Eventually we'd like to extend the back porch to make a place big enough for an outside table. Then we want to create another bed on the back side of the house. We have no idea what we want to plant there.

I have a bad experience looking for green-thumbers at the nursery because we've found that they'll tell us anything to get us to buy from them. That's not cool and makes me jaded to go back for advice.

So if you have any idea where I could go for advice without pressure, let me know. We really don't want to commit unintentional herbicide, but we want to make informed decisions.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the existential bubble bath

I have been on a business trip this week and am now back to tell all of the exciting details. I'll grace over the boring ones...

So somehow I was "nominated" (their word, not mine) to attend this business meeting with some other nurses at the place where I work. We were going to carpool to a place that The Hater affectionately calls "the Gatlinburg of the Midwest". You might think that six hours in a car (both ways) with two strangers would be boring, and you'd be partially correct if that had been your assumption. And although there are tidbits that could be told about three women refusing to make a potty pit-stop, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

We stayed at a super swank country resort while we were at the meeting. Now I've seen lots of mounted deer heads in my life, but I have never seen 30 of them all-together in one room. One big room with every other Midwestern wilderness animal's head that you can imagine. And it wasn't just one room of heads, either -- there were heads everywhere. Goats. Buffalo. Fish. Lots of types of deer. Foxes. Squirrels. Badgers. Birds. Bears. (You get the picture.) I can only imagine that it was the taxidermist's wet dream to land this particular job with a charge to stuff every walking animal to cover every square inch of wall space at this particular location. And although there are tidbits that could be told about walking around corners and being faced with lots of angry looking animals, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

The presentations I heard were nothing short of awful. It was almost interesting content, but you could hardly grasp any of it with the poor, poor delivery. There was some fancy tech, which was nice to break the monotony of boredom, but not even the most techy robot can save the worst public speaking skills. And although there are tidbits that could be told about how many games of spider solitaire I played on my phone during the presentations, I'd much rather get to the protein of this story.

My room, although scattered with at least 5 mounted dead things, was really nice. I had two balconies that overlooked a full lake and blooming redbuds and tulips. I didn't go out to the balcony, mostly because there were more than a dozen mosquitoes looking through the window at me, pleading for me to open the door. The beds were comfortable and the pillows weren't too squishy -- but la pièce de résistance had to be the bathroom.

Specifically, the jet tub. The jet tub that was about 2 1/2 feet deep, 5 feet long, and 4 feet wide.

Do you remember the scene in Pretty Woman (1990) where Vivian (Julia Roberts) takes the hugest bubble bath since the beginning of time (while singing Prince)? That scene was my motivation, but my bath put it to shame.

It was wonderful, even other-worldly. And I emptied the entire bottle of hotel shower gel into the water so that I, too, could have the mountains of bubbles that cascaded over the side of the tub. It was so deep that I practically floated. It was hotter than the center of the sun. The lighting was perfect. It was the most glorious bath that I may have ever had in my life*, and the best part was that I knew I wouldn't have to be the one who had to wash the tub out afterwards.

On the drive back to OKC, the three of us talked about what we liked the most of the trip. I was eager to tell my bathtub story and was shocked to hear that neither of them took their equally heavenly tubs for a spin. Seriously. When I told them how absolutely heavenly it was with the bubbles and the moment and the floating and the wonderful quiet -- they admitted that they made a mistake by overlooking the prize in the room. I think they must have been distracted by the moose heads over the beds.

And although we did spend lots of time together and tell lots of stories, I would hope that they remember my description of how peaceful and tranquil the bath was so that they will learn to take advantage of tubs they don't have to clean in the future. But they'll probably just remember that I was a 4-H chicken judger for two weeks when I was in middle school.

* The only thing the scene was missing was a cool glass of shiraz.

* By the way, if you live under a rock you may not know that the Lady Vols just scored their #8. Pat Summit is the bombdotcom. Wear that orange loud and proud, Vol fans! Cue up a chorus of Rocky Top for the ladies!

Monday, March 31, 2008

mandated hookey

I can't say that I'm a huge fan of serving jury duty, but I do like leaving at 10:30 and being told you're done for the day.  Did I go back to work?  

Heck no.  I'm excused for the day.  No way I'm going to show up and let them think I'm available to work.  Only a fool would do that, and my Mom didn't raise a fool.

Although there was a Fool today who showed up.  He was mad that he had been drafted to civic duty.  And he talked back to the judge twice.  She raised her voice and told him that she "didn't appreciate being talked to like that".  Fool kept mouthing off, and I walked out of the room as she stood up and raised her voice even louder.  I thought, poor Fool.  He's going to be held in contempt...  and we went back to the big juror holding room.  About fifteen minutes later, Fool came into the room.  He didn't say anything else the rest of the morning.

Nope.  I'm hanging out, and the cat is so excited that she left her sleeping perch on the bed and has come to sleep next to me instead.  I rank.

Apparently there were three trials today, but two pleaded out, and tomorrow I have to show up for jury selection of the third trial.  Maybe I won't get chosen.  I'll have to pick out a new book.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

life soundtrack

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
So, here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie

Here's what mine came up with:

Opening Credits:
Rod Stewart, “If You Think I’m Sexy"

Waking Up:
Todd Snider, “Beer Run”

First day at High School:
Hootie and the Blowfish, “I Go Blind”

Falling in Love:
Bob Seeger, “Old Time Rock and Roll”

Fight Song:
Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”

Breaking Up:
Sting, “Fields of Gold”

Prom:
Bread, “Mother Freedom”

Life:
Eva Cassidy, "Imagine"

Driving:
Counting Crows, “American Girls”

Flashback:
Harry Connick, Jr, “A Wink and a Smile”

Wedding:
Temptations, “My Girl”

Birth of Child:
James Taylor, “Sweet Baby James”

Final Battle:
Snoop Dogg, “Drop it Like it’s Hot”

Death Scene:
Disturbed, “Down With the Sickness”

Funeral Song:
John Denver, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”

End Credits:
Dean Martin, “Memories Are Made of This”

Fun, fun. Let me know if you decide to play, too, so I can come see what tunes were decided for you! And no, I don't typically wake up thinking about beer.

PS: We really did use "My Girl" at our wedding! That's what was on when we walked out of the sanctuary.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

toilets that spit

There had been a story in my head that I wanted to complain about a certain aspect of public bathrooms, especially the stalls that are so small that you have to walk in and your pants leg touches the toilet in order for you to shut the door. That's so utterly gross to me that I now have a mental note in my head of restaurants whose Ladies' Room I refuse to use on that principle alone.

And these aren't low-key eating establishments, either. We're talking real chain restaurants.

This can't just affect me. The last time I noticed this I pulled out my handy tape measure in my purse (the one that Mom was sure I needed in my Christmas stocking) to see for myself what kind of clearance they had created. Two inches. TWO INCHES. I don't care if you're a skinny skinny girl, in order to use that stall and shut the door, you're going to have to brush against the public toilet.

Gross me out.

But I think I've found a new gross that's grosser than that gross. This, in fact, could be the grossest of all.*

This afternoon while still at work I decided to make a pit stop in a restroom I don't usually use. I was trying to be spontaneous. After I had pulled and tied my pants back up I turned around to flush the toilet. And that's when it happened.

It spit on me. On my arm. From my wrist to my elbow, and I'm sure some of it got on my scrubs. And not clean water, mind you -- I'm talking about pee water that I had just deposited, not to mention whatever else was growing in there from the last time it had been cleaned.

I stood there for a moment, just a little shocked. Had that seriously just happened? Was it after the clean water had been exchanged? The scientist in me flushed again to verify -- and yes, indeedy, it was BEFORE the clean water entered the bowl. I had, indeed, been unintentionally baptized by pee water.

I immediately ran to the sink, washing both arms over my elbows. Three times. The whole point of pee'ing in a toilet is so that I don't have to wear it, yet that's exactly what I ended up doing anyways.

So now I have a new boycott list in my brain as it pertains to public bathrooms. I will share them with you as part of my duty to provide important Public Service Announcements:

1. No stalls that require you to get up close and personal with the toilet in order to shut the door.
2. If it smells so bad your eyes water, hold it until you get home.
3. If the toilet plunger is obviously soiled and sitting in the sink, hold it until you get home.
4. No toilets that spit.

This is not a static list and will be updated on an as-needed basis.




* Grossest of all: I changed my mind. The grossest of all is when you're in the bathroom with strangers and they don't wash their hands after they have used the facilities... and then walk back to their table to help feed their kid. The Hater always likes to come back from the restroom reporting who did not wash their hands after using the urinal. (This takes place right before he braggs on himself for washing his hands.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

chocolate-covered cancerversary

There's an elephant in the room.  The c-bomb fell in our laps two years ago today.  

It's been a while since we've given any update, mostly because there's not a lot to tell right now.  The idea is that the I-131 I had in November will continue to work for six months, or approximately until May.

My next set of scans and labs have been scheduled towards the end of May.  I see the endocrinologist the week after that to get the results, and then it's just a matter of figuring out what to do next based on what we find out.  

It's been a matter of one day at a time for two years, and I wish I had a better premonition than to say we really have no idea what to expect.  The Hater says that I'm a pessimist, but I would totally disagree.  

A pessimist would claim that the cancer is still growing, that the scans will reveal persisting or new hot spots, but none of it would matter because we're all going to die anyway.  Conversely, an optimist would claim that everything will be clean and my tumor marker will be zero, but it wouldn't matter because life is grand.  

I don't really think I'm an optimist, either.  Not in this situation, anyway. 

I'd like to think I'm taking a realistic approach to this dog and pony show, but I honestly think I'm too close to realistically look at anything.  

This leaves us with few labeling options.  If we ignore the laws of mutual exclusivity, you might say I'm waiting with clouded realistic expectations that have slightly optimistic undertones, except for the pessimistic moments.  That's not to say it's a collectively exhaustive situation either, because some days I don't think about it altogether.  

Some days I just hope that we have fudgecicles in the freezer.

Easter is a time of hopeful optimism, a time to rejoice that no matter what mokeys we're carrying around now, there is hope that someday it'll all be gravy.  And not just any gravy -- we're talking warm chocolate gravy that's simply divine.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

kindness of strangers

My sister's first car was a 1984 Ford LTD, and she ended up driving it for about 5 years. It was a faded butter yellow with a dingy yellow interior. Although most of the cars in our family had official names*, the yellow car was never officially given a name. In high school, sister's friends called it "the tank" or "POS", but those names never really stuck.

One afternoon Sister, who was still in high school, noticed that she had lost two of her hubcaps. Dad went to the junk yard and found two more, neither of which matched the originals or each other. The car was also short one seatbelt, so while at the junkyard Dad found another seatbelt. When Sister asked him why it was red, he answered, "I thought this car could use a little more character."

Poor Sister. None of her friends wanted to ride the strip with her, which was good because she never had to pay for gas. But it was bad because that meant she had to straight-pin the lining of the ceiling all by herself.

This yellow submarine was also equipped with a "princess door" behind the driver's door. You had to be careful who you let sit in the back seat, because the door would not always open from the inside. Usually the driver would have to get out and open the back door, like royalty. Or -- if you were the lucky person who could open the door yourself, we'd call you a princess.

And although all of these things added to the flair of the yellow car, you could argue that at least it would get her from point A to point B. Except that wasn't always true, either.

The yellow car didn't like the rain. This was a big problem for living in middle TN, because Murfreesboro sits on top of a rain magnet. It's always raining. In fact, The Hater likes to tell a story that one semester he had an evening class on the other side of campus from his dorm, and EVERY week he had to either walk to class or back to his dorm in the rain. Lots of rain.

We both lived on campus at MTSU, and Sister and I would frequently call each other to see what was shaking. Sister called many times from lots of different places in M'boro, needing a ride because her car had just stopped in the rain. She learned that she would have to check the weather before she drove home because she was afraid it would die on her out in the boonies. I need to establish that the two of us literally had to push this car dozens of times - it was a constant wet affair.

One time Sister called and said she was outside my dorm. An unexpected storm had hit the rain magnet, and I went down to help her. The drainage system at MTSU was nonexistant... so big rains left the roads full of water. I was wading calf-deep in water when I got to the yellow car. We had to push it to the nearest student lot, which was up an incline from where we were. We'd done this many times, and assumed the pushing positions.

But this time was different. There were the usual gawkers with umbrellas staring from the sidewalk, but this time some guy dropped his backpack on a bench and started pushing with us. Sister and I were surprised - this had never happened before.

We needed the extra muscles getting the car up the incline, but with this stranger's help, we got her to a legal place where she could dry after the rains were gone.

We were all drenched. The rain had been coming down in buckets. We'd had to wade the car to higher ground, and we couldn't've done it by ourselves. We apologized to the now soaked hero, who said it was no big deal, picked up his backpack, and swam on. We thanked him.

But sometimes a simple thank you doesn't seem big enough to cover your appreciation.

A few years later a friend of mine broke her foot. She called me because I was in nursing school at the time, which meant I must have known what to do. We iced it down and suggested she go to the ER. She didn't want to go. We told her to call us when she changed her mind. She lived on the third floor of a dorm that didn't have an elevator - and only outside stairs.

This girl was hard core stubborn. She decided that she'd be able to get to her car herself, and hobbled down three flights of stairs herself on her way to the car. She admitted that by the time she got to the parking lot she'd take a few hops, cry, and hop again.

She reports that a stranger came over to her and asked what was wrong. As she told the story between sobs that she was on her way to the ER because she thought she broke her foot, he put down his backpack and gave her a piggy-back ride to her car.**

I have no way of knowing if it was the same guy who helped us push the yellow car up the hill, but I like to think that it was. I'd like to think that he'll somehow stumble across this post and know that many years later, he's still remembered and appreciated.

I called Sister to verify the details, and she said that this morning she was thinking about the yellow car because she was driving the to grocery store and questioned hitting a puddle. She had to remember that her current mode of transportation would not stall in the rain. We both laughed and talked about how many miles we ended up pushing that car to higher ground.

* Poppy, Buttercup, Walter, Harrison, Trigger, Tonto, Bullet, Elvira, Eleanor, Neyland

In albums of pictures, Sister and I can't remember taking one of the POS yellow car. I stole this one from a google search.

** The girl in this story is Marianne. You can find a link to her page to the right under "Sightseeing". I don't think she'll mind me telling her story.