Friday, May 30, 2008
Home improvement is mostly just home maintenance. In that way, it is like personal fitness improvement. If you aren't improving your home, it will likely have health problems. At the other extreme, you could spend every waking moment improving your home. You could make a career out of it. They're called developers. They used to call those people flippers, but now those people are called broke.
My neighbor Vlad (he's Ukrainian) has a career in construction. He currently has removed all grass, bushes, etc. from his yard in an effort to change the drainage, but only after he has replaced the driveway. Why is he replacing the driveway?...there are a few cracks in it, of course. He built a vinyl deck, which will never rot (unlike my deck), and is planning a new fence between our yards. I'm tempted to ask how I can help in this endeavor, but I don't really want to go "halfsies" on this project. I mean, the guy doesn't go halfway on anything. It could end up as the Great Wall of the Skag. You just never know.
We both have simliar houses and so I can't help but compare my measly projects to his. However, the problem with this is that he does this for a living. It would be like playing Michael Jordan in a pickup game at the local Y. You know he is going to annihliate you, but you play anyway because it is a pickup game and you should be able compete in a pickup game. Seriously, it's at the Y!
If he was ever balancing his checkbook in his backyard....I could totally kick his ass!!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Lately I have been less tired (though still tired), hungrier, and pained. Yes, pained. My hips are getting wider, not in the sense that I am packing on the saddlebags, but in the sense that the bones in my hips and pelvis are actually moving apart. Ouch! This has caused me to have some pretty severe tailbone pain when I sit for too long, for instance, when I am at work. All day. Oh, yeah, and heartburn? We met each other for the first time in the history of me this week. Foul symptom, I knew not what you were, but now that I do, I hate you. Add that to the vivid dreams I've been having and whoa, I am so pregnant! We watched I am Legend the other day and I had nightmares about zombies and dead dogs all night long. I am hoping that after we see Indiana Jones next week I won't experience similarly unpleasant dreams about Nazis.
I think Buster is catching on to the pregnancy thing. He doesn't jump on me anymore, and he has sure gotten cuddly lately. He now sleeps at the foot of our bed (not actually on the bed, but on a dog bed at the foot of it) most of the night instead of his couch. Kinda sweet, but I also miss the frantic, crazy Buster a bit. I've got some good photos I'll post later.
Wish us luck as we go into the whole testing phase in the next weeks (I wish I could study for something like this-- I was always good at tests) and pray that we don't have a Down's Syndrome baby or any other malformity. As if there wasn't enough other stuff to worry about. Like, I had a turkey sandwich today (strictly off-limits due to Listeria possibilities) because I was on a field trip and the box lunches provided included no vegetarian meals (which would not have had Listeria), so not only was I exposed to potential baby-killing bacteria by the mere fact of eating a turkey sandwich, but also the sandwich had been sitting with 45 others under a bus for at least 4 hours. I fail motherhood already.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I tend to reflect and analyze alot. I'm pretty sure I keep it on the sane side of obsess, but I do think alot about how I got where I am. I think we all do this to some extent, but how we see ourselves certainly impacts how we view our journey to this point. As I read through Amelia's list of experiences not to forget, I thought of the experiences I have had that have shaped my life to bring me to this point. I have explicitly done this multiple times. Especially, when I am not sure where I am going, why I am doing one thing or another or who I am/should/want to be. It has helped me to make the right decisions and stand confidently in or change the decisions I have already made.
1) When I was about 11 years old, I quit working for my Dad. This wasn't the sort of thing where I talked to him and we decided I should work somewhere else or I had a better offer...I told him, through tears, "I QUIT!!" I hope, if this happens between me and my child, I have the strength to handle it just like he did. He simply said (to my Mom, because I was in the next room scared to talk to him), "I'm proud of him. He obviously knows what he wants to do or doesn't want to do." He never said I shouldn't have done it, that I had done something wrong or that he was even mad at all. He was proud I had made a decision and stuck to it. I can never thank him enough for that.
2) My last competitive individual race in high school. I ended up breaking the school 300 meter hurdle record. As I was crossing the finish line, I knew I had just finished the fastest race I had ever run and so I slowed up the last two steps. Even though I broke the record, a guy that had only competed once before didn't slow up the last two steps. A photo finish revealed that he had beaten me by four one hundredths of a second. To put this in perspective, the fastest I have ever been able to start and stop a stopwatch is 7 one hundredths of a second. As a result of me slowing up those two steps, I never had a chance to best my own record. As proud as I was of that record, it was always tinged with the memory of those last two steps.
3) The last day of my first season as a captain and one of two times I have ever truly been scared on a boat. I arrived at the dock in the morning and the weather was quite stormy. I ran the smallest boat in the fleet and felt that I shouldn't go out with the weather as it was. However, being young and not wanting to make a rookie mistake, I wanted a second opinion. The other captains were going out and my customers felt comfortable, even though I had done my best to paint a gloomy picture. The office told me I had to go if my customers wanted to. So I let them make the decision against my judgment and we went fishing. Most of the day it was stormy, but not unsafe. However, on our way home the water became so rough I could not make any headway against it without most of the boat coming out of the water on each wave, which was not good at all. I had to wait 20-30 minutes for a bigger boat to come along and knock the waves down, so I could follow. The entrance to the channel was being swept by breaking waves. I knew my boat could not handle being hit by one of these and it was too slow to sneak through between waves. In effect, I had to surf along the front of a wave and make a turn into the entrance. I made it, but, the point is, I should never have been there. Had I made my own decision, I wouldn't have.
1) When you have confidence in your decisions, people will support you.
2) Give everything you have when you have the chance, it may be your last.
3) When someone else makes a decision for you, you still have to deal with the consequences.
There are a multitude of events and moments that have shaped my life and I could go on, but the point is that we are put into our current situations due to decisions we have made. At any point, we can make decisions to alter the current course of our lives just as we have made decisions in the past to arrive at the present course. The three instances above have shaped my decision making and I think of these past moments when making other decisions. A very good friend of mine shared with me a saying his Dad passed along to him: Make good decisions, so that you don't have to deal with the consequences of bad decisions.
None of the instances above I would say are terribly positive, but their impact on my life has been. If they had been handled differently, they may not have had the same impact or even been memorable. I'm not what I would call terribly religious, but I strongly believe that god does not put people in situations which they cannot handle. These are simply tests for your decision making.
I hope all of you have those moments you can point to that have shaped your life and they make you smile. Mine certainly do.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Anyhow, I have decided to engage in the following exercise as self-therapy. These are 100 moments in my life I hope to remember as my life flashes before my eyes when I die. Or maybe just to pull out and look at every once in awhile. In no particular order:
1. Celebrating Tuesday at a bar in France
2. Drinking tequila with my Jazz Band in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition
3. Skipping school to get Corral burgers with my senior class girlfriends
4. Playing in the mud over the broken septic tank with mom's baking supplies
5. Falling out of a tree in the backyard and praying that I hadn't broken anything because, man, I was gonna be in trouble
6. Driving through the Painted Desert with my dad
7. Driving the old suburban cliffside through Arizona in the dark, only to have my dad tell me years later when he and my mom returned that the dropoff was horrible and we could've died
8. Eating Walla Walla Sweet Tacos at the Taco Truck with Tony on his first trip to Walla Walla
9. The moment Tony asked me to be his wife on top of a volcano in Bali
10. Walking down from the same volcano and realizing that the hike was a lot steeper and more treacherous than we could see in the dark
11. Eating real custard at Ted Drewe's in St. Louis
12. A raucous night of fondue and wine with Sarah in Geneva
13. Bungee jumping naked with Tony in Nanaimo on Valentine's Day, 2004
14. Dancing on the bar in Quito, Ecuador
15. Watching Tony enjoy escargots in St. Germain
16. Sleeping in the Wigwam Motel before it was renovated, and being mistaken for a "hired girl"
17. Trying to eat undercooked lamb and washing it down with a lot of wine while camping with Tony, Scott, and Megan
18. Alternating between barfing and catching salmon all day long on Mr. VanOver's boat while Tony jumped around
19. Killing my new (to me) car at a stoplight while I was learning to drive a manual and having my dad jump out and yell at the guy behind me for honking at me
20. Driving the old Suburban until "I" rotted out the exhaust system
21. Making my brother walk from the parking lot instead of dropping him off at the front door of school and watching the gel in his hair melt in the rain
22. My first kiss *blush*
23. Running and sliding in the mud holes on Ankeny Field with Adam, Jamie, and Dave
24. Meeting a bunch of French guys at a tram stop and becoming fast friends
25. Playing Kings in the Sigma Chi house while Timmy fed us burgers bite by bite, from his hand
26. Tripping upstage to sing Karaoke at my birthday last year
27. Riding in a shopping cart around Whitman campus with a silver crash helmet on
28. Playing trumpet with my section in the wheatfields
29. Climbing the tallest volcano in Ecuador - 75 degrees at 10,000 feet, below freezing at 16,000 feet
30. Staying late at school to edit the Golden I with Mrs. Stucki
31. Running the Lake Samish 6.5 mile race and not stopping, not even once
32. Seeing that positive pregnancy test and thinking, Holy Shit.
33. Seeing the ultrasound of the baby for the first time
34. Hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time
35. Convincing the cops, after I returned from the library to find a party at home, that even though there was underage drinking going on in my house, that there should be no citations
36. Drinking at the Heineken factory at 10 am
37. Drinking and dancing with crazy Irishmen in Dublin on New Year's Eve 2003
38. Drinking and dancing to an outdoor concert (cold!) with crazy Austrians in Salzburg on New Year's Eve 2002
39. Rocking to an Audioslave concert with Tony and then driving home while he slept
40. Catching my first salmon with Tony and Liz
41. Watching Tony reel in a 12-foot sturgeon
42. Naked hot-tubbing outside our cabin at Lake Chelan on our first anniversary
43. Drinking and staying out until 4 am the night before Tony's graduation
44. Dancing with Tony at Sarah's wedding
45. Sitting on the beach late at night with Tony, Monica, and Jeremy while Tony played guitar and sang, before we started dating
46. When Tony asked me if he could "call me sometime"
47. Teaching my French friends the term "sausage fest" at their all-boys school party
48. Playing caps in the dorm in Nantes
49. Drinking hot coffee to cool down in 100-degree weather in Athens
50. Scuba diving with a giant Manta Ray in Hawaii
51. The quote board, and how it made us laugh
52. Sandwiching the guy dressed as a nun on Halloween with Heidi
53. All the times Tony makes me laugh SO HARD on car rides
54. Being toured around Fairbanks by my mom after we buried grandma
55. Picking oysters from the rocks with Alain
56. The phone calls Leland used to make when I was a senior in college- when it was 11 am for him but 8 am for me on a Sunday, when he knew I'd been out the night before
57. Pounding shots with Mer H after our dates stood us up at My-Tie
58. Trudging through a massive downpour in our bathing suits in Bali with Tony, Mer, and Jer
59. Visiting a cave in Bordeaux with my parents and translating such lovely expressions as "wine thief" to the short, round winemaker with the distinctly French mustache
60. Driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the narrow roads of England with my dad
61. Skydiving tandem with a guy who had to remind me to breathe during the freefall
62. Staying out all night in Barcelona with Maggi
63. Picking out Buster at the shelter and taking him home- he earned his name on the 15-minute drive as he spazzed out in the car
64. The first time Tony said "I love you"
65. The first day of college
66. Convincing the pledges to steal back the donkey and then hiding empty beer cans in the chapter room (God, that pissed Shana off)
67. The Restaurant of DOOOOOOOOM
68. Being shown my brother in the hospital nursery but not being able to pick him out of the many babies there
69. Studying with Mer in the library so late that we came up with ridiculous poems about Oompa-Loompas
70. Celebrating Valentine's Day with a gift of wine glasses and wine at lunch (how risque-- we both went back to work!!!) from Tony and nudie photos from me :-)
71. Rollerblading and ALMOST DYING several times at the Port of Bellingham
72. Playing hose games with Buster in the yard
73. Tony teaching me to golf at the ghetto course in Bellingham
74. Visiting my brother in Hillsdale
75. Dance lessons with Tony, reaffirming that I am the uncoordinated one
76. Cruising Long Beach with Monica blasting Rick Springfield
77. Walking through the crowded Christmas Market is Strasbourg with the Cauets
78. Speaking at my high school graduation
79. Partying with Jernej in Slovenia and then throwing up into a storm drain in a crowded open-air market the next day
80. Watching the sun rise from a boat in the Galapagos
81. Making myself carsick spinning out and learning to correct in a bald-tire truck at Laguna Seca Raceway
82. Holding my grandma's hand and knowing that when I was saying "I love you" that I also meant "goodbye"
83. Doing "laps" in our cars around the big buoys on the Bolstad approach
84. Visiting Mont Ste Michelle with my mom, a place she "thought she'd never see"
85. Dissolving into peals of laughter with Pascale and Meredith as the effects of our sleepless nights took their toll-- we were PAM
86. Watching my brother begin his new business, full of excitement and pride
87. Riding the giant metal driftwood horse, only to watch helplessly as Liz fell of and then laugh, laugh, laugh (was there an entire bottle of tequila consumed that night between me, Liz, and Mer? Yes. Yes there was.)
88. Watching Tony's mom earn the respect of all the thugs at a Seahawks game for being the loudest one there
89. Playing in the snow on Hurricane Ridge with Tony after Thanksgiving in Sequim
90. Swimming in Lake Whatcom when it was really hot
91. Riding on the back of my dad's motorcycle on Christmas day
92. Watching my mom get all "in-charge" at the Kite Festival with her sunglasses, her visor, and her radio :-)
93. The amazing and exhausting house-warming party we threw last summer that ended so, so late
94. When Tony drunkenly told me we should get married, months before he actually popped the question
95. Seeing that naked guy just walking along the road in Mexico while with a busload of teenagers I was supposed to be chaperoning
96. Watching a drive-in movie, all bundled up in the back of the pickup with Tony
97. That year I collected weird classified ads, including one for a 2500-lb meteor
98. Our entire wedding day
99. The time I couldn't eat Christmas dinner with the family because they had cooked crab and Tony's dad watched TV with me for a couple hours in the basement
100. Mixing Pink Ladies with my mom and deciding that, while they were quite glamorous, the egg white made it taste a little gross
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Seriously, this is the grossest, weirdest thing ever, and it pretty much makes me want to barf all day. And I am over the morning sickness thing!!!
Anyone else have any weird pregnancy symptoms that drove them crazy?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tony generally seems to have much more intellectual things to say on the blog than I do. I really don't have much to say, in general, I think, but I know how frustrated I get with my friends' blogs when they are not updated regularly, so I am attempting to avoid your contempt. I know I am not much funny, either. Some people have the gift. Me, I seem to have the gift of much complaint. And years of training for academic and marketing prose-- which means you can either have the dry facts with big words or the Wonderful! Exciting! Soundbites! of small words and fluff. I choose academic, because the other bores me and sort of makes my head explode.
This weekend was quite the doozy, and I am hoping that the promise of a long weekend to come and a short work-week (proof of God's love, right there) will do much to relax me over the next few days. While Tony mowed the lawn, went for miles-long runs and bikerides in 95-degree weather, and played soccer, I volunteered at a food drive. As you might have read, food banks are yet another victim of rising food prices and the perceived recession, but it continues to amaze me how generous people are if you ask them straight out. I mean, not many people will see an article in the paper, pick up the phone, and donate. But if you stand outside of a grocery store and ask each person who comes in to donate an item or two, you can fill a storage unit in 8 hours. Giving in America is not a lost attribute, people. You just have to ask.
I still look pretty much the same as last week, and I am really enjoying my maternity pants. So I am less-than-adequate when it comes to the "looks" department and I am obviously not "winning" at pregnancy - unlike those thin girls who can wear their pre-pregnancy jeans until the fifth month with just one button undone (I won't name names, but you know who you are, and just remember: for every second that you were admiring your adorable barely-there baby bump, hoping and praying for that day that it "pops", there is some poor girl like me who is crying bitter tears over her lost figure) - but at least I am a bit more comfortable now. Which might make me less of a bitch. I am certain that there is a correlation between tight pants and bitchiness. Now if only I didn't have constant indigestion and feel like my stomach had migrated to my throat (get back where you BELONG, stomach!)... sigh. Also, it would be nice if people would stop saying, "Oh my GAWD, I can't believe you're already SHOWING!!!" Yeah, I know it. Thank you very much.
Buster got a bath last night and a brand new snake toy from his Leland. He is in seventh heaven, and now he smells lovely! This weekend he'll be happy to spend even more time with Leland as Tony and I are heading to the Tri-Cities for some inventory observation Tony has to do on Friday. We'll be coming back Saturday to enjoy the loooong weekend with some gardening, barbequeing, and general good times.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Do you think they make baby treats so I can teach it to sit and stay? We've made so much progress with Buster, I just don't know what I'll do if my child isn't extrinsically motivated. "Little hot dog bits thrown up in the air that you can catch with your mouth if you clean your room!" "Take a bath and then you can have this lovely squeaky toy!" "Mama will rub your belly if you lay on my feet to keep them warm!"
I'm gonna be a great mom.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Do you have any comfort foods, internet? Because chocolate was one of mine until recently. It's amazing how, when I was having a bad day, a small piece of chocolate, just one Dove's square, would relax me... make me feel as if things were gonna get better somehow. But no more. My comfort is gone.
I had to give away my entire Easter basket. Both of them, actually.
There is a drawer full of candy in my kitchen, untouched for months.
The ice cream in my freezer? Probably gonna start growing hair any day now.
The other day I had some small pieces of licorice... I thought that was a step in the right direction. I also had some hot fudge sauce from my friend's birthday sundae on Monday (a sundae on Monday, ha!), and I thought I was making progress. But no. I love the smell, I just don't want to put it in my mouth. So sad.
In fact, my other comfort food was cheese (cheddar, smoked gouda, pepper jack, colby... all are glorious in my mind and abundant in my fridge), and I can't stand the thought of eating a chunk anymore, either. This could partly be due to the fact that my stomach gets full pretty quickly, thus inhibiting my desire to push one more thing down my throat. Damned slowed digestive system! You make me feel as though I am on the edge of puking all the time! Or maybe this baby just doesn't have his/her mother's sweet/cheese tooth. (I have a cheese tooth.)
Oh, internet, what's a girl to do when she can't enjoy food anymore?
Monday, May 12, 2008
My other stats are positive, as well. No wonky issues with blood pressure, my uterus is at the perfect height in my abdomen (I told the doc that I'm an over-achiever), and generally things are healthy. Everyone keeps saying that I will come out of this exhaustion funk anytime now, so I am just crossing my fingers. The yawn feeling that is perpetually trapped in my chest thinks that it will not happen anytime soon, though...
The real highlight of the visit was that we got to hear the little baby's heartbeat, going strong at 150 beats per minute. Then, the baby moved clear across my uterus, and the doctor had to search for the heartbeat again. This kid's a swimmer!
In other news, we had a busy weekend, and we'll be having a busier week. The flowers are really popping up in the yard, and Tony and I have embarked on a large project to create a vegetable garden. Much to my mother's chagrin and fear for her unborn grandchild, I rototilled the garden space, and Tony and I purchased cinder blocks to border the thing. Tony did more rototilling and digging, and Buster enjoyed the chaos. Hmm, we did other stuff, too, I'm sure of it, though my brain is tired of thinking and remembering those things is tough. We washed the cars, shampooed the carpet, took a nap or two (okay, maybe that was just me), Tony played soccer, we went to an 80's party for a friend on Friday night in Gig Harbor...
Here is a tulip in the backyard. Even though the large fields around town have been topped, the residential gardens all over Mount Vernon continue to bloom:
The bricks in the backyard:
Buster is a big help to Tony:
"This is one of my favorite chewies, and Tony just mowed the lawn, and Amelia rubs my belly, and it's sunny, and life is so good."
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tony is being a bigwig tonight at a Washington Society of CPAs event where he will glad-hand the hot shots of the accounting industry as the youngest (at 30! What a stodgy group) board member. He gets to stay in a hotel, always a luxury, tonight. Even though I lived in my parents' hotel for six months during my senior year of high school while our house was being repaired after a fire, I still haven't lost that sense of giddy delight over staying in a hotel. Sheets I didn't wash! Clean floors! A television!
We are headed to Ohio soon for a friend's wedding (on 6-7-8, ha!) and I am debating the merits of staying in a local B&B or a Holiday Inn Express. Right now, I am leaning HIE, if only because I know there won't be any weird smells to deal with there. But Bed & Breakfasts are so much fun, and you truly meet the most interesting people. Not to mention the fact that they usually have killer food. Still, I think we will go with the chain hotel because we are staying one night and most of the day will be spent en route to or from the airport and at the wedding. We are taking a red-eye (as soon as we book, shame on us-- speaking of, what's with air travel? Inconvenient times and horrible prices, blech!) Friday night because Tony has an all-day commitment, and then returning on Sunday. We are nuts. The things you do for your friends...
My dad and brother are here for the week, and boy am I exhausted! I had forgotten, living with just Tony as I do, how many dishes it takes to feed four people a meal each night! Not to mention groceries! I am really looking forward to our kitchen remodel so that I can have more space for more cooking utensils (it's a pain to wash after every meal) and food, so boxes of Cheerios aren't just sitting on the floor. I suppose this is good practice for when we become a family of more than two, but still, I would be ecstatic if I could just get others to put their dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of stacking them in the sink. Seriously, how hard is it to rinse and place in the dishwasher? Evidence points to it being nigh impossible.
And finally, a baby update: I am FAT. Oh, lordy, I can hardly stand any of my clothes. But will I break down and buy maternity clothes yet? No! Other girls do not even begin to show at 12 1/2 weeks-- I refuse to be the fat one (even if I am). Instead, I wear pants unbuttoned and skirts very high on my waist where I am still thin-ish, if my ribcage counts as thin-ish (oh yeah, that's hot). We have a doctor's appointment on Monday and we should be able to hear a heartbeat - unless something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Which, of course, I worry about. You know, one more worry at this point feels like nuthin. Here is a happy list of things I have worried about today:
- Will I flip out at work because all of the frustrations of the past many months are just too much to handly anymore? (likeliness: high)
- Is the baby still alive?
- Will the baby have issues, mentally, physically, developmentally? (I won't list the possibilities, because they are literally endless, but you get the idea. I worry about them all individually)
- Will we have enough money to do the kitchen remodel (a desperate dream), buy a car suitable for baby and dog, and raise a child? (this worry makes my indigestion worse, and it's already pretty bad)
- Will I ever get my energy back?
- Will I be a bad mother? (all signs point to yes... look what kind of person I am! Craziness quotient: high)
- Will I get way fatter?
- Will I be able to get skinny again, and be at least a shadow of the relatively attractive girl I was before?
- Will my baby be a giant? (friends of ours just gave birth to a 9 lb 3 oz, 21-incher of a boy!)
- Cloth or disposable? (which one makes me a better person?)
- Will my eclectic decorative style give this kid a complex? (no cutesy baby rooms for this family-- we're all spaz, all the time)
- Will I have to have a cesarean section and then hate myself for all time because my mom, Tony's mom, and Tony's sister were all somehow able to do it the natural way whilst I might be inadequate? (And THANKS, doc, for telling me that I have suffered these giant hips all my life, even had them called "childbirth hips," but that they don't actually have anything to do with how well I'll be able to shoot a kid out and that I might be screwed and deliver surgically anyhow. Awesome)
- Will my dignity be compromised by this pregnancy? (I don't do embarrassment well-- I tend to hate myself for days on end)
Oh, goodness, I should stop... I am tired now anyway, and hungry, so it is time for dinner and then bed. Maybe a nap and then bed.