Monday, June 30, 2003

I broke down and finally told the other girl in the office who's pregnant that I'm do about a week and a half before she is. Lots of squealing and sharing-of-nausea stories ensued. I've warned my girlfriends that we'll probably dominate the conversation for the next 7 months or so (and really, for a long time after that since we're pretty much guarenteed to talk babies after they're born). Sor-ree! But really, what could possibly be more interesting than what's going on inside my uterus?

Saturday the fam packed up in the minivan and headed out to the beach. Joe and his friend Jim, and Jim's dad John, wanted to try their hands at the 22nd Annual Grand Haven Arts Festival sand sculpture contest. Yeah, they won. To tell you the truth I was surprised - not that my husband isn't the most creative, most talented guy out on the beach, but there were some BIG honkin' SpongeBob sculptures! I thought for sure the judges would be carried away by the pop culture jeferences. Joe, Jim and John sculpted a sailboat being carried on kites - see, Grand Haven is a big sailboat town, and they have the kite festival every year...so apparently the judges appreciated good art. I should also mentioned that they took first place in the team division. There were other divisions, such as family and youth, but really, who cares about those except for their mothers? Here's the link to the local site...unfortunetly, no photos.

I ate a lot this weekend. A LOT. Breakfast on Sunday? English muffin (whole wheat!) slathered with peanut butter with a tall glass of orange-pineapple-strawberry juice (added Vitamin D & Calcium). String cheese. Toast (whole wheat!) slathered with peanut butter, but this time topped with cinnamon sugar. Big glass of pop. Vanilla soy shake - for protien, plus it has 100% folic acid, and I had missed my prenatal vitamin the night before. Of course, this is over the course of about two hours, no big deal.

On to lunch: green salad with strawberries, almonds and spinach. Soaked with slurrpy yummy strawberry vinagrette gourment dressing. "Bratburger" on a bun, lots of bright yellow mustard. A cup of fairly bland pasta salad (my husband says "It's guilt free!" when he brings it home from the grocery store, which seems terribly beside-the-point to me). My daughter's bratburger. Two glasses of pop - ack! When I start drinking that stuff I can't help it - especially when there's lots of ice in it, making it so cold and refreshing...Oh, and then after a rousing game of CandyLand, we went to our fabulous local ice cream store, Jersey Junction. Oh, I was good and got frozen fruit dipped in chocolate (okay, relatively healthy), but I have very senstitive teeth, and ended up trading my daughter for her cotton-candy flavored ice cream in a sugar cone. Not a bad trade!

Then on to dinner, served about an hour or so later: two cheeseburgers, a brat, half of my daughter's brat, plus canteloupe, pasta salad and a pickle. Followed closely with my mother-in-law's homemade brownies with cordial cherry ice cream.

Sorry, are you bored yet?

Friday, June 27, 2003

Ah, my interlude of solitude has ended. I didn't do yoga last night. I didn't add an entry to this blog. I didn't get up and walk my dog in the early morning mist. And I didn't get to watch the news this morning. *SIGH*

I retrieved my daughter from her grandmother's house last night. She was tired and slightly crabby and a little homesick. We went home, where we watched a half hour of Nickleodeon before I herded her up stairs where she cried and claimed alternately that she had a stomach ache and also that she was hungry. Since she hadn't eaten all her dinner, I told her she could have some cool water to make it feel better. We read two books, "But not the Hippopotomus!" and "All by Myself", turned on the fan, and then kissed her goodnight. Even though I was certain she would fall asleep right away after the busy week she had at grandma's, she spent the next hour singing made-up songs and playing percusion on her night stand. Oh well.

And as we near the end of the month, we're broke again. Joe, who has been working major overtime this week, is expecting a big check on Tuesday, but we have to wait out the next 4 days on cable TV and scrambled eggs until that becomes available. We thought about going camping this weekend, but we can't even afford the $12 fee. Oh well. Guess gas to run our dryer is more important.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Another night spent by myself - well, the dog is here too. Panting, his rotten breath not much different from the hot steamy air surround the house. But his eyes are so sweet. As I began a yoga routine tonight, he lay down on the mat right next to me, his soft golden body leaning into me in total bliss. I pushed him away - can't do Dog Pose with a dog in repose against your leg. But afterwards, I called him back to my blanket and rubbed his chest as he smiled through his panting.

My belly seems very full lately - could there be a double shot in there? I have no willpower, so I eat crumbling cookies out of the vending machine at work, and help myself to a second bratwurst at my step-mother-in-law's house tonight. But I also eat a lot of sweet, candy-like strawberries and melon. Pineapple, too, tastes like ancient gifts from wisemen. It melts in my mouth, the saccharine juices spilling out between my lips when I bite down. Yum - napkin please.
The boredom has overtaken my most noble sensibilities. I'm considering faking pregnancy sickness, but then I'll have to go home to my sweltering heat trap of a house. Which is worse? Perhaps I'll sit in on my company's refresher courses on GroupWise. Eck. Surfing the endless supply of boring blogs for that one-sentance jewel has got to be better.

Okay, some pregnancy stuff: today I am officially nine weeks along. Three weeks short of telling the Accounting Department. Accounting is the only group of people I interact with on a daily basis that doesn't know. There's a tiny, cute girl that works in accounts payable that's pregnant, her due date 9 days before mine. She told the whole office after one missed period. I've managed to hold off for the 3 weeks its been since I've found out. In the breakroom today I asked her when her due date was - I really had to bite my tongue not to say anything. The chubby, bland accounts recievable chick even asked if we were planning on another one. I said, "yes, that's why we bought a 3 bedroom house." Next subject?

Everyone took extremely long lunches today. I feel like telling on them, but not really. Maybe I'll go through with the fake pregnancy sham.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I feel naked when I write these posts. Naked like at Girl Scout camp, standing in the swimming pool locker room. The building had no roof, so me and the 20 other girl scouts, eyed each other in the blaring June sun, all of us clutching towels around our embarassingly small or misshapen bodies. See, nude showers were required before you could get in the pool, the counselors drilled that into our pony-tailed heads. Still, when one of them walked in and saw us all huddled under our towels on the mildew-y benches, she came screaming at us, ripping the towels from our whitened knuckles, ordering us into the spray. Howling with embarassment and fright, we all ran from her into the ice cold showers, looking away from each others awkward and pointy bodies. It was the kind of life-ripping, shame-inducing experience that scars you for life. And then they made us wear swim caps. Swimcaps! All different colors, depending on your swimming ability. It's a wonder I ever got near a swimming pool again.

Anyways, that's me blogging. Huddling under the towel of the details of the local weather. Or the mundane minutiae of early pregnancy. As I try to understand the world of the living web a little better by reading other blogs, who's authors seem much like those screaming, authority-figure camp counselors, I wonder what I could possibly have to offer in a world whose foundations are built in sarcasm and political serration. I spend a good chunk of my day wondering what makes a total stranger interesting. Maybe its stories about naked girl scouts. Maybe its just someone who's passionate about life. Maybe both.

Hell it is so damn HOT! Whew! Not as sweltering as say, Houston, but hot enough so that even the damn air conditioning doesn't seem to be doing all that much good. I lay in front of the oscilating fan at night, which was just under the a/c, alternating between sweating and chilliness.

Tomorrow I will be about 9 weeks into the pregnancy. Closer to the 12 week mark, when I'll feel more comforatble telling a wider audience of co-workers. My fears have greatly diminished over the past couple weeks. Guess I've started to realize that I don't have a whole lot of control if my body decides to rebel. I am now perfectly happy and content to enjoy this pregnancy, as much as nausea and exhaustion will allow.

Joe is out of town on business making the big bucks, which is fine with me. He'll be back tomorrow. Last night my daughter and I lay in my bed together. I was only planning on putting her down in the air conditioning (only in the master bedroom) until she fell asleep, but I ended up laying down with her at 8:30 and staying there all night. Before we fell asleep we giggled and made funny faces in the dark. She laid her plump, slightly damp forearm on my neck and wrapped her tiny little fingers in my hair and whispered "You're the best mommy in the whole world." Her little carved nose and smooth, porcelin skin smelled so sweet. Just like a baby. And then we fell asleep.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Today is the most beautiful summer day. I go outside, look up into the blue, and just want to float up into that pure azure sleepiness. The breeze drifts thruogh my bare arms and under my toes, and I forget that there was ever such a thing as winter. I smile at as my daughter tells me to jump on the sidewalk - er, the boat - lest I get "wet."

The life that's rolling and swimming in my belly can feel summer, too. I don't know if its a boy or a girl, but I secretly hope that there's two of them. I feel like wanting twins is a little bit like a little girl wanting a pony - realistically, it would be a ton more trouble and sweat and hard feelings than I can even imagine, but guess that's still the little girl that's left in me. Wouldn't mind a pony either, to tell you the truth. Okay, a horse.

I'm tired a lot. Tired and sick, in that order. I don't get as tired at work for some reason. Must be all the gamma rays from the monitor keeping me going. Or maybe being at work is just less stressful than being at home. Between my golden retriever, Abe, who is always wiping his wet, snotty/muddy nose on any bare skin he can find, and my daughter, with her non-stop, nonsensical questions, and Joe, with his hot, stifling headaches and other injuries. Yep. I think work is definetly less stressfull.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Because I'm fairly new to this activity, I can't figure out how to put my email link in my template. I've heard that spammers will send crawlers through web pages looking for random email address, so here's my address: jrw21_at_hotmail.com. Obviously, it's not in "correct internet form" to avoid spam - you'll have to make sure to change it to the regular format. If you can't figure that out, guess I'll just have to remain anonymous to you.
My friend and co-worker Cathy, who is my mother's age, is one of my best friends (though I haven't told her this in case it would bring a new wierdness to our relationship - amazing how this can happen even after high school, in a totally different situation). Anyways, she recently moved into a giant new house after 20 years in a small ranch in a neighborhood that has gone way downhill over the past few years. The day of the move was a big event, where the whole family chipped in and helped she and her husband move.

Cathy's sister, Terri, has a boyfriend named Bart who is completely useless, but that's a whole other story. Cathy asked Bart to wrap up the kitty litter & tray to take over to the new house; it was fairly fresh litter, and she had read somewhere that in order to make the move easier on the feline, that try to keep it as normal as possible. So Bart wrapped up the tray, kitty litter and all, but left the kitty litter scoop out on the floor.

Later that evening, Cathy was doing the dishes, and out of the soapy water pulls the kitty litter scoop. Her first reaction was, "well this is really odd, why didn't this get moved with the tray?" and all of a sudden a montage of images has her choking in horror. First she remembers that her mother brought over a big vat of barbeque to feed to the family members who were helping with the move. Then she realizes that Bart had handed the scoop to her mother without explaining what it was. Cathy's mom served barbeque to 15 of her closest relatives with the kitty litter scoop. I thought I was going to die from a delightful mix of hilarity and nausea, and insisted for the millionth time that she had to write a book about her life.

Since that will probably never happen, someday I'm going to write a book about Cathy, a girl with blue-collar roots who is fiercely loyal and had more than her share of pain in life. Hope she doesn't sue (though in the beginning I wouldn't mind).
Okay, since I'm fairly new at this blog stuff, I've been doing my research and reading others rants and raves posted on the Internet. And most of them have been narcissistic, tedious crap. In order to avoid the same fate for my blog, I've been gathering as much info as possible on others.

In my traverses across the web, I have found a site that, though foul-mouthed, is incredible insightful and most importantly INTERESTING. You should check it out and read it every day. I do. It's called all blogged up with nowhere to go. Check it out - and be enlightened.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Okay, no schnazzy black knee-high boots. Comfort won out, yet again, and I'm wearing a floral skirt with an elastic waistband. Oh, and running shoes with dingy socks. The shoes and socks I added before lunch when I had to take some photos in a manufacturing plant. I haven't gotten around to taking them off yet. God, I'm turning frumpy! Must be a side-effect of the pregnancy...

This WMD issue has really started bothering me over the past few days. I supported the war, thought for a long time that it was the best solution for everyone involved (except for Mr. So-damn Insane - a little nomiker I picked up from the troops). But now I'm starting to feel like I was lied to. That a bunch of high-ranking military spooks went to Bush and told him, okay, here's all the info you need to convice people we should go to war. Go ahead and say what you need to, we're sure it will end up being justified in the end. I have no idea if Bush was in cahoots, but as boss, he should be held accountable. Here's a good article on Slate that I read this morning when I was supposed to be working.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I hate my outfit today. Two very different browns: an orange-y brown tunic top with purlple-y brown pants that are just a tad too tight and short. That's what I get for putting my outfit together at night, without trying it on to see how it looked. Tomorrow I'll have to look killer in knee-high black boots and my dry-clean-only black suit.
Morning sickness...not too bad today! However, my brain has been short circuiting all day. It just shuts down sometimes when it hits a small snag, and I lose everything. Like a PC, except it does no good to save every five minutes like I do on my computer.

Found out from an email my father sent that my cousin Monica is pregnant...and is due a week before I am. I'm not sure why this appeals to me so much, but I just feel like a connection has been reestablished. I haven't spoken with Monica in years, I'm not even all that sure of where she lives. We were so close as kids, or at least, I was close to her. She was my hero, with her long, straight blonde hair and fearless in the face of bucking broncos and dead opposums (now she's a veterinarian - how fateful!). Before I left for the Army, I spent a couple days hanging out with her at the Oklahoma State University, going to cowboy bars and watching Red Sonja and the Beastmaster (sorry, no decent link) while piecing together 70's-era kitten puzzles.

Today, I made my co-worker Cathy laugh so hard she had to lean against the credenza. Too bad she wasn't drinking milk.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Weird celeb notes:

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has signed a business deal with Ford's Lincoln division to design a Limited Edition Sean John Navigator. $85,000 and only 100 will be made. I cannot fathom a bigger waste of money.


Mel Gibson is directing a film about Jesus Christ, with dialogue all in Latin and Aramaic, with no subtitles. How in the heck are we supposed to figure out what to protest?
I feel terrible today. Summer has finally come to Michigan, which is great, except it makes for very hot sleeping weather. I had Joe put in the wall unit in our room last night, and it was so loud I just couldn't relax. I think I slept maybe 20 minutes last night. Maybe tonight I'll sleep downstairs.

This morning I had to be out of the house before 6 am for an interview for the company newsletter I edit. Actually, getting up early felt pretty good. But by 8 am I was dragging, feeling nauseous and wanting to go back to bed. Then as I was checking my email I saw the confirmation message that the Father's Day e-card I picked out had been sent to my dad. I then realized that in my haste to be totally prepared for my early morning last night, I forgot to call my dad. *ACK* What kind of daughter am I?

Yesterday was spent lounging around Joe's Aunt Patti & Uncle John's giant yard out in the country, watching the dogs play. Aunt Patti has cancer, and it's decimating her. Her face was all purple and yellow and gaunt from bruising which I was too "polite" to ask about. It scared my daughter terribly, even though we prepared her before hand. I think she finally got used to it as everyone else was loving and treated Patti with respect.

My daughter also helped me bake quite a bit this weekend. We made blueberry upside down cake (delicious with vanilla ice cream - tasted just like summer!) and banana chocolate chip bars - she smashed the bananas. She also helped scrub potatoes for a pot roast that's simmering in the crock pot as we speak. She then turned her energy on some dirty pans, asking if she could help do dishes next time I did them. I got a picture for posterity's sake.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Dog Peeves About Humans

1.Blaming your farts on me...not funny...not funny at all.
2.Yelling at me for barking ... I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG YOU IDIOT!!
3. How you naively believe that the stupid cat isn't all over everything while you're gone (Have you noticed that your toothbrush tastes a little like cat butt?).
4. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyhow?
5. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose...stop it.
6. Yelling at me for rubbing my ass on your carpet. Why'd you buy carpet?
7. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing ... idiot.
8. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth, you're just jealous.
9. Dog sweaters. Have you noticed the fur? Imbecile.
10. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.
11. When you pick up the crap piles in the yard. Do you realize how far behind schedule that puts me?
12. Taking me to the vet for "the big snip," then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back.
13. The sleight of hand, fake fetch-throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain, you nitwit.
I love the TV show Scrubs - how come they can't produce any more new episodes? Or is it summer re-run time, and I'll have to wait till fall?
My sister-in-law came over in tears last night - she had a fight with her mother over her hair and money problems. She has dyed her hair white-blonde with cotton-candy pink stripes, which apparently is unacceptable to my mother-in-law, who's house she's living in. She's also got herself into some trouble with credit cards. I lent a sympathetic ear, told her there are a lot of people out there who have been in the same situation she is in, and strongly suggested that she go see some people who can help her, because she can't do it alone. We went out for ice cream, then watched some TV. I think she felt better when she went home.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

This morning I was watching a commercial for the Men's Warehouse and burst into tears. I didn't even know it was coming - like falling off the bed in the middle of the night. Thank God no one was around.
Bluh. It's 8:24 a.m. and I already want to go home. For the first time I feel at a real loss for missing the Oprah show everyday.

I'm having a terrible time sleeping, which I think affects Joe's sleep habits. Which makes him toss and turn and makes me feel like knuckling him to death in the middle of the night. Actually, when I first lay down at night (around 9:30) I fall asleep like a ton of bricks - I don't usually even remember falling asleep or what I was doing the 10 minutes before that. But I'll wake up at 3 or 5 am, certain today will be the day something bad will happen.

I'm trying to be more optimistic and less cautious these days - I want to enjoy these early days of pregnancy, uber-crabbiness, nausea and all. It's the miracle of life, stupid!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The squirrels and various stray cats in the neighborhood are driving my dog Abe nuts. In turn, he is driving me nuts. I have a feeling he's going to suffer with a new bean around the house. That's about the size of the little person in my belly: 8 millimeters, the size of a small black-eyed pea.

I'm tired and cranky, and trying to figure out if picking up dog poop in the yard is equal in "housework currency" to doing laundry. My shoot-from-the-hip response is that at least picking up dog poop is outside in the fresh air; when doing laundry, your in the dank smelly, spidery basement. With dirty underwear. But I could be wrong.

Maybe we should get a poop place. And now that I think about it, we could use some of this stuff for after the baby when I need some rest. Love ya Joe, but a not tonight!
Feel like I should add more links to the site. How's this one:

http://davebarry.blogspot.com/

Very funny, time-wasting stuff.
If my due date is January 29, do I have to visit a whole new chat board (Jan. 2004 vs. Feb. 2004)?
My first appointment with a "health care professional" was today - I saw a nurse who confirmed, yes, indeed, I was pregnant. Went over the usual stuff, and I managed to grin and blush my way through the conversation - I don't know why I always want to bond with the nurse/doctor, maybe if they think I'm sweet or funny, they'll take better care of me. It's my father coming out in me.

Afterwards I went straight over to the hospital to get my bloodwork done. The lab there was so weird, filled with photocopies of signs saying things like "The will of God will not send you where you are not covered by the grace of God." There must have been a grainy, lined copy of this scotch-taped every four feet. It was even right in front of the chair with the big arms that you sit in to take blood. I stared at it so I wouldn't risk fainting while the kid took four vials of blood.

Then I had to pee in a cup for the second time in less than an hour. Thankfully I'm pregnant, so that didn't really pose a problem. But when I got in the little bathroom, Joseph's cell phone (which I had taken because he forgets it) started ringing at top tones. I know everyone in the lab could hear me. I awkwardly told him what I was doing and that I'd call him back.

Turns out that the nurse put my due date at January 29 - my mother's birthday. She'll be thrilled.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Ah! I am so cool. I just made changes to a website that has been befuddling me for weeks. I finally asked for help, figuring if IT was going to make me feel stupid, then that was fine, as long as my problem got fixed. Turns out it was THEIR FAULT the whole time. Guess as I make my foray into the technical details of publishing web sites, I'd like to think that if I just work at it long enough, I can figure it out myself.

The website is a professional organization I belong to, West Michigan Public Relations Society of America. It's a sh*tty, sh*tty site designed by a clueless college student more than two years ago. I've offered to work on a new one for them, but I want to make sure all my bases were covered by doing usability research and all that. Until the new design/format is launched, I'm just doing maintenance on the site. More updates as events warrant...
Tonight Joseph and I are going to work out a budget. Seems like the only way we can feel a modicum of control over our financial situation. I knew a couple once that had several different labeled envelopes: Bills, Entertainment, Food. I don't think it will come down to that, but somethin's gotta give.
Tomorrow is my first doctor's appointment. Actually, I think I'll just be meeting with a nurse who will give me a blood test to make sure I'm really pregnant. I'm not sure what to expect - maybe just the usual counseling on not boozing it up or playing the Harry Houidini "hit-me-as-hard-as-you-can-in-the-stomach" game.

I'm feeling okay, maybe a little nervous about the possibility of miscarriage. I didn't realize how common it was - one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage. I'm only 6 weeks along, and it looks like most pregnancies that end in m/c end around the 10th or 12th week.

Other than that, I've been a little uncomfortable with funny smells and food. Stopped all my coffee consumption cold turkey - just doesn't sound good to me anymore. Oh, and I've been extremely irritable. I actually yelled at Joseph for doing the laundry.

If you want to get a play-by-play commentary of what's probably going on in my uterus right now, check out this pregnancy calendar from parentsplace.com.
There just aren't any really good pregnancy sites out there on the web. All of them are filled with the same articles about "10 Signs You're Really Pregnant" and message boards filled with obnoxious emoticons. Wish there was something a little more down to earth and amusing.