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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
10:58 pm - calibrate map
Every time I try to tell myself that being in a relationship could potentially be just as bad or worse than being single I realize that I am lying to myself because deep down I actually have faith. I believe I can attain the relationship I've always wanted. Somehow. Someday. It could happen. Like anything else in life that I really want, I just have to know what it is and go for it without stopping until I get there. I've been taking too many side streets. Been too easily led down someone else's road. I've meandered and negotiated too much to the benefit of others. I've been the spectator of which I am so critical in others who do not captain their own destinies.
And man, have I let myself be just plain used, which my heart cannot endure. But no more. I've calibrated my compass, consulted the gods and whispered into the wind. It's time to follow the path that was intended for ME, and if I'm meant to be accompanied, let me for once wisely distinguish a travel partner from a stealth hijacker.

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Friday, September 26th, 2014
10:11 pm - Obituary, as Therapy
Jamie Suzanne Bolduc passed away peacefully on Friday at the age of 94. She is survived by her son, Matthew Carter (60) daughter Adeline Grace (52), sister Lindsey Michelle (92), and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Joseph Ryan in 2065. A reputable journalist, songwriter and passionate performance artist in her young adult life, Jamie fronted several rock bands and was credited for writing and producing many indie-pop crossover singles. She started a grassroots news blog in 2015, giving a platform to the voiceless who endured personal hardships and oppression, and won several news critics' awards. She and her husband met during an investigative journalism piece she was conducting on human trafficking in SE Asia. They eloped in 2017 and ultimately settled at his vineyard in Paso Robles. Once their daughter entered grade school, Jamie took her fascination with the chemistry of food to culinary school. She went on to open her own culinary school in Cambria, which developed into a not-for-profit career recovery center for non-violent drug offenders. She and her family traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia in the 2040's and enjoyed frequent weekend jaunts to Palm Springs, Napa Valley and Las Vegas via her son's private jet. Jamie will always be remembered for her dedication to her family, her generous heart, and her thoughtful contributions to journalism and music. Services will be held at her home in Paso Robles next Sunday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Culinary Academy of Cambria, or to the Red Cross.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014
9:08 am - New Day, New Beginnings
It feels good to call today the start of something new. Definitely a new chapter in my life, starting a new job; my first direct sales role, which is bound to be both challenging and rewarding. Yesterday was arduous, and I was emotional in my losses. Today, there is a chance to begin anew, and I am embracing it.

current mood: hopeful

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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
10:48 pm - Before bed

The danger of relying so much on social media relationships is that when you finally experience the kind of feelings and situations that require trust, confidentiality, and the ultimate kind of friend, you come to find that you don't have those kinds of things anymore. Or that the way you used to keep them has changed, and thus the trust is somewhat compromised. Or that you simply haven't made time for such things outside the everyday demands of life. And so you look at how it has become just you and your phone. Constantly searching for some other comment, post, or signal that you aren't really alone, and then knowing in the coldest way that really, you are. Every time you pick it up and get pissed at how slowly it loads. You're really just pissed at yourself. You think, get it together. What do you really want? What is it you expect to find this time?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
10:39 pm - Glad that is over

Facebook seems entirely too trite for the daily events of my life right now. Today I sat in the front row of the church and cried. I presented a slide show at the reception, and a table of Mom's personal keepsakes. I took home a bag of ashes. I'm exhausted, and lost in the complexity of the emotions.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
9:26 am - God rest her soul

I'm generally ok, until I hear music. Of any kind.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Monday, August 13th, 2012
10:16 pm - Mothering My Mother

I can't remember the last time I spent the night beside my Mom. Maybe not since I was a kid. She rarely let me sleep in her bed, even then. I remember a short phase I went through when I was 5 or 6, when I had bad dreams and would climb into her and dad's bed in the middle of the night for comfort. She spooned me and I immediately went peacefully back to sleep. On the third night, she gently refused me and explained that I needed to sleep in my own bed. She walked me back to my room, asked about my nightmares, and suggested I say a short prayer, and ask God to take me through the night without any bad dreams. That worked for me, and I started saying that prayer every night thereafter.

Tonight, it was my Mom who needed the soothing, as she fought strange hallucinations from the heavy doses of narcotics she's been given for the past four days. She had surgery for removal of ovarian cancers on Friday, which was not even moderately successful, and her condition since then has run the gamut of hopeless, to encouraging, to frightening, and unbearable. The cancer in her body appears to be ravaging more than one key organ, and the surgery is rendering her almost unable to fight. And yet, she continues to demonstrate a valiant effort by cracking the odd joke, smiling for the nurses, and making requests for cheeseburgers and sushi. She hasn't had anything but IV fluids for 5 days.

It goes without saying that watching your mom endure excessive amounts of pain and being able to do nothing but sit with her and ensure she is not alone is one of the harder things one may ever be called to do. That being said, there is nowhere I would rather be tonight. Today is the first day that her vital signs approached anything close to normal, as before today she was short of breath, had an elevated heart rate that was making her hot, and was incoherent. She could generally only speak well enough to describe how much pain she was in, and when she could, her answer would change almost by the minute. Today, though, she actually got out of bed, showed improved stomach activity/motion, and was rewarded with a "liquid cheeseburger". Before she drifted off to sleep just now, she was trying to figure out why the word "Why" was repeated in writing all over the walls. Indulging her hallucinations (which thankfully are mild and less frightening than earlier today), I explained that it is more likely a question in her head. She seemed satisfied with that answer. Then she asked why a Japanese man was squatting over there against the wall. Trying hard not to laugh, I thought it might be Dr. Nagasawa, as we had been talking just minutes before about needing a referral from him to another oncologist affiliated with the hospital who could take leadership over her case.

I cancelled a gig and made a second trip down here on Saturday night when we all thought she wasn't going to make it. She was in so much pain she wasn't making any sense, she looked totally dehydrated, about 20 years older, and her lips were curling toward the inside of her mouth. She was talking in slurred speech to Burt about "her party", which amongst themselves they had somehow decided would be tomorrow. It took everything I had not to collapse on the floor and bawl my eyes out, as she asked who would be handling the food, and the decorations, and the music. I left the hospital that night convinced I had seen her for the last time.

Before she drifted off to sleep just now, I told her I love her, and she said, "I love you too, Jamie." Given the kind of weekend she has had, followed by a fairly rotten Monday still in ICU, I was very grateful to hear those words again. I pray that God will take her through the night tonight, without any nightmares. But just a moment ago she told me that there was a big ship outside. "Don't you see it? You have to see it!"

I told her to go back to sleep, and that I would see it in the morning.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010
5:16 pm - Labor Story
Read it here.

LiveJournal is losing me quickly, I'm afraid.

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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
2:37 pm - I didn't accomplish much this year, but I did make a person.
Highlights of 2009:

Playing the Orange County Fair with the band

Playing tons of paid gigs almost every weekend (until end of August)

Visiting the Netherlands and meeting nikkyb, experiencing Queen's Day, visiting the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh museum, and enjoying a space cake with cousin Sarah

Visiting Alaska for the 2nd time and witnessing Josie's wedding

Being promoted to Senior Manager at work and enjoying every other Friday off

Discovering my love for Reposado Tequila

Finding this video on YouTube

Voting into office the first black president and watching the Bush legacy finally come to an end

Buying a condo/home for the first time in my life, on my own (thanks Dad & Mom for the down payment help)

Seeing Blue October, The Pleasant Return, Airborn Toxic Event, Sia (in Amsterdam), Heart, Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band (2x), Tears for Fears, Bruce Springsteen, and Butterfly Boucher in concert

Getting pregnant and deciding to have - and keep - my baby, even though the circumstances are not what I had planned for my life.

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Monday, December 28th, 2009
3:21 pm - Moving Out
Watch this space:

http://rocktomom.blogspot.com/

suesheeme is about to become a thing of the past.
I will not delete her, but she is about to change dramatically, so her blog should, too.

Bookmark or subscribe to the feed accordingly.

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
9:27 pm - In review
2009 has taught me how difficult life can really be.

*ducks for cover*

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Friday, December 18th, 2009
11:56 am - Unto Us a Child is Born
It is a pretty good time of the year to be nine months pregnant. The weather is cool, there is delicious food and treats everywhere, and people are generally in a cocoa-by-the-fire kind of mood (when they're not out shopping or getting sloshed). Plus there is this gorgeous anticipation of the birth of a small child on everyone's minds. Or, is that just me?

Since reaching the nine-month mark, I've made my peace with the possibility of the baby coming early. In fact, I half hope he will. I am ready to be un-pregnant again! Nevermind caring about his future birthday parties or lack thereof. I have never been more motivated to get into shape and be active! I can't wait to push my heart rate to the limit and be responsible for my own flesh, exclusive of another's survival! That sounds so selfish, I know; to think of myself before reveling in the wonder of a new baby, but that's where my mind is at right now. Perhaps everything will change once he is in my arms. (I expect it will.) Be right now, I have succumed to a can't-have, must-have phenomenan. Can't have alcohol. MUST HAVE ALCOHOL! Can't go running. MUST GO RUNNING. Can't wait to go pee. MUST GO PEE, AGAIN!!!

More things I wish I had known about pregnancy:

It can cause carpel tunnel syndrome. Mine is especially painful in my left hand, which I can barely make into a fist now. This has grown progressively worse with each passing week. Typing, however, is still no problem.

I would need to buy new shoes, not just new clothes. Shoes that are not only flat, but slide on and off without the use of hands, and that are AT LEAST one full size bigger than normal. Luckily I bought walking shoes when I first got pregnant, and the size was appropriate, but tying the shoelaces? I am about ready to call my neighbors. I swear I am squishing the baby when I strain to lean forward like that. None of my regular shoes fit me anymore, and even the shoes I purchased when I first became pregnant are tight and uncomfortable. The only things that work effortlessly are slippers and flip flops. The summertime preggers have this advantage over me.

The nesting instinct is in direct opposition to my level of energy, especially in this last trimester. I go to bed around 9 or 10 every night of the week, and am sometimes up before dawn. My energy level is high in the morning (just this morning I scrubbed the toilets, washed the mirrors and emptied the dishwasher before taking a shower), but by evening I barely have enough energy to peel myself from the couch to fix myself dinner. At this point it would be extremely helpful to be married, and have someone around full-time to take care of me and listen to me complain. At the same time, I take up the entire bed with my tossing and turning, and am up four times a night doing the bathroom shuffle. Maybe a friend of mine was right - maybe the whole "teamwork" thing is overrated.

I took pictures of myself on my bed this morning. Sexy, half-naked photos of my pregnant self, feeling rather feminine and confident. I will relish these last few weeks of quiet independence, of having the condo to myself, of going about my routines mostly uninterrupted, of calling my cat my baby.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009
4:21 pm - Progress Report: 33.5 weeks
I am at nearly 8 and a half months, isn't that nuts? On Wednesday I will reach the 34 week mark and take my weekly photo. Total weight gain: 30 pounds. NUTS.

The carpel tunnel syndrome is getting pretty bad. Every night I have it in both hands. My right hand goes numb everywhere except in the pinky. My left hand goes into PAIN, especially when I try to make a fist. My fingers are stiff like a corpse and do not want to bend. As a result, I try to keep my right hand elevated and my left hand/wrist straight. If you have ever tried to do something consciously while you are unconscious, you know that this is not a simple endeavor, and can likely result in half-sleep because of the level of awareness required to remotely pull it off. As soon as I get up and get moving it goes away, but then oddly returns while i am shampooing my hair. I am starting to think that the tidbit I'd read on the Web about keeping my hand elevated is useless.

FYI to the first timer: Maternity clothes are NOT one-size-fits-all. I borrowed maternity clothes from a friend of my sister and only recently broke down and actually purchased my own pair of maternity jeans, after having endured frustration and embarrassment at having to pull up the borrowed pair ALL. DAY. LONG. every time I wore them. Yes, maternity clothes can be too BIG on you no matter where you are in the pregnancy. BUT, what is too big on you when you first become pregnant can be a perfect fit later on, especially with tops. My breasts have become so enlarged that I actually purchased a size 38E bra over the weekend that is too small for me. Maybe it is just a bad bra; the straps were falling off my shoulders and the sides of the cups were curling under and stabbing me. But it is ridiculous how monstrous the breasts have become, and to think they will only get worse is a bit terrifying.

I do like how I am carrying the pregnancy though. When you see me from behind, you can't tell the difference. The baby is straight out in front of me and is curved directly down the front of my abdomen, in a perfect half-moon hump. When I wear a snug fitting top and my new jeans (and put on makeup and do my hair properly), I still feel like my normal self. I don't feel 30 pounds heavier. But I have already decided that in my next pregnancy - whenever that will be - I will be more health conscious and probably keep running for as long as I can, and eat better, etc. The stress of my circumstances caused an early weight gain that could have been avoided, resulting in what my doctor would call a more ideal weight gain. Regardless, I am OK with how my body looks and feels, which I guess says a lot at this stage in the game.

I took a tour of Hoag Hospital yesterday and was very impressed with their facility. I spoke to the nurse who hosted the tour about my concerns for my doctor, and she confirmed my desire to look for another provider. She told me to trust my instincts, even though the nurses will be my primary caretakers for the majority of labor. I will be seeing a new doctor on Monday just to get an idea of whether he would be a better choice for me, and I am looking forward to that. Hoag has 18 private birthing rooms and I will be rooming privately with my baby for the duration of my stay. I am getting more and more excited about the big day. :)

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Thursday, November 19th, 2009
12:45 pm - Surprise Shower
My work friends just threw me a surprise baby shower at work! and boy was I SURPRISED! My friend Rio had told me he wanted to take me to the Melting Pot for lunch, something his Mom's work was sponsoring or something, and I totally bought it. He came by my office at 11:30, I signed out, we walked down the hall and he opened up the meeting room door. We were talking so I didn't even have time to question what he was doing, I just went along with it, and as soon as I walked in, this half-circle of people at the end of the room jumped out of their chairs and yelled "SURPRISE!!!" at me! I swear I was so shocked, I think I caught air!

There was a cake made out of diapers and a cake made out of chocolate and strawberries. There was a huge pile of gifts (tons of rockstar clothes, pajamas, sippy cups, burp cloths, etc.). There was Domino's pizza and soda for everyone. There was an invitation that had circulated secretly and everyone had been bound to secrecy and asked to contribute $5 for the pizza and soda. It meant sooooo much to me that they did this for me - and the company hadn't even paid for it. Everyone was so generous with their gifts, and gift cards. I had no idea I had so many friends at work, but am so grateful for the reminder.

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Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
11:39 am - Brave and Crazy
It is true, I have never broken a bone in my life, and yet, I am intent on having natural childbirth.

Do I have any idea how much pain is in store for me? No. But I DO know that I want to be fully present for the birth of my firstborn child. I want to feel every movement, react to every moment, and have control over my labor. I want to minimize the need for the doctor to intervene with her tricks to pull the baby out. Women have been giving birth to human beings since the dawn of our existence. I want to be one of the women who did it like they did it way back then. I want the confidence of knowing I accomplished this. and most of all, I want the baby to have the full experience, too. His eyes will be wider, his breastfeeding will be more efficient, his health will be more secure if there are no drugs interfering with his arrival.

This would all be well and good if my doctor supported my wishes. But she doesn't. Not only does she keep pushing me to have an epidural, but she keeps "forgetting" when I tell her it is not part of my birth plan.

What's up with this? I am wondering how much a hospital can bill for epidural anesthesia. You'd think it must be a boat load of money, given the hard sell from the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist. I saw this myself, when my friend Becki gave birth at Saddleback Memorial years ago. She had been induced because she had limited time off work and was anxious to bond with her baby. They gave her pitocin. Once labor began, the drug pusher came by every fifteen minutes, offering up the numbing effect and systematically breaking her down, discouraging her from thinking she could do this on her own. She finally gave in and got the epidural, and I remember her relaxing quite a bit after that, feeling great. They kept her on continual monitoring and an IV, and she was bed-ridden the remainder of the day. When it came time to push, she had very little sensation in her lower body and her pushing was inefficient. They suctioned her baby out with the vaccum after performing a routine episiotomy. She had pretty much every intervention known to modern hospital births. and women consider this normal; even preferred.

Becki felt fine about it, and I saw no problem with it at the time. It's just not what I want for me. I want to find out how much pain I can handle. I want to utilize the relaxation techniques and labor positions I have learned. I want to prove my doctor wrong and wipe that smug grin off her face. Yes, I recognize that I will be exhausted after possibly 12 hours of intense pain, but there are breaks within those 12 hours, and I can rest afterwards, in the glow of the arrival of my son. I look at it as a temporary situation, and I will take it minute by minute. I believe in my body's ability to do this the natural way. My pregnancy has been so normal, and in many ways, so EASY, that there is no reason to believe I can't give birth with ease. Again, I'm not saying there won't be pain, but I will have encouragement from Dawnell (my doula) and Jess. I will have positions to work with. They will help me relax and stay open. Hopefully, I will also get good nurses who will stand by my intentions. We will labor at home for as long as possible before going to the hospital, to avoid their interventions (mainly pitocin, which is said to make contractions much more intense for me AND the baby).

I have my plan, and I feel good about it. But my doctor is dubious about the whole thing. I really never thought I would be so bothered by a doctor who was so traditional - but I guess I never realized that "traditional" in the world of today's OB-GYNs means DRUGS and INTERVENTION. This is what modern medicine has become. They've taken what is one of the most normal and natural processes in the world and they've robbed women of all control. They want it to happen on their watch, and they don't want to risk giving up any of the power. Thus, the work that is normally performed by the laboring women gets tasked to the physicians tools and training, and things come out not so naturally. I understand when there is a medical need to intervene, and would never want to stand in the way of my baby's healthy delivery. But to use your tricks on me just to save time? I won't allow it.

I hope to find a new doctor soon. If I don't, I will stick with this one, and use her arrogance as my motivation to stick to my plan. But I'd prefer to have a doctor who believes in me.

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
1:31 pm - Birth Plan

BIRTH PLAN PREFERENCES

 

Parents: Jamie B. & Jess B.                         

Birth Place: Hoag Hospital

Care Provider: Dr. Marralle                               

Doula: Dawnell J.

 

The following is a statement of our desires for the upcoming birth of our son. We understand that complications do arise and in an emergency situation we trust the care providers we have chosen to make the necessary decisions. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in helping us realize our goals.

 

FIRST STAGE OF LABOR:

  • Limited vaginal exams
  • Heplock IV or freedom to move around
  • Intermittent monitoring of mother & baby
  • Freedom to drink clear liquids
  • Access to the shower
  • Use of a birthing ball (to be provided by us)
  • Cold packs
  • Quiet labor room
  • Visitors welcome in the room only if they agree not to interfere with birth plan
  • No inductions or interventions

 SECOND STAGE OF LABOR:

  • Father and doula in room
  • Little talking between contractions
  • Freedom to move around
  • Warm compress and/or massage of perineum
  • Lots of encouragement
  • Quiet, dimly lit delivery room

TRYING OUR BEST TO AVOID:

  • Episiotomy
  • Cesarean
  • Pitocen
  • Vaccum suctim or forcepts
  • Epidural offerings. If mother wants it she will ask, and doula will confirm.

 POST BIRTH:

  • Baby immediately placed on mother’s bare chest and covered with blanket
  • Father to cut cord, donate to Pacificord
  • Delayed newborn procedures until after recovery
  • Breast feeding – no artificial nipples
  • Baby to room-in (and does not leave room without Mom or Dad)
  • Fiber-hearty meal
  • Circumcision

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
10:40 am - Txt

I will teach my son that a text message is not an acceptable form of courtship.  

I will teach him that good communication is something you can hear and/or see and react to in real time.

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
7:46 pm - and she certainly shouldn't have to ask.
I will teach my son that dependability, honesty, and emotional maturity is not too much for a woman to expect.

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Friday, October 9th, 2009
3:03 pm - Pregnancy log

Just a few random notes about my pregnancy so far... for posterity's sake.

Carpel tunnel syndrome - the swelling of the carpel tunnel in my right wrist has caused my hand to go numb nearly every night for some duration over the past month or so, and it is progressively getting worse.  The other night it also started up in my left wrist.  It comes and goes throughout the day, too, and at the moment I don't have full sensation in the tips of all fingers except pinkie on the right hand.  The pinkie is apparently exempt from this syndrome, as he falls so low on the nerve distribution hierarchy.

Potty visits - I haven't kept track, but I would guess I visit the toilet between 10 and 13 times a day - approx every two hours.  During sleep it's currently around 2-3 times.  The really annoying part though is the level of dissatisfaction at each experience.  The "stream" seldom runs longer than 5 or 6 seconds, and there is seldom the feeling of empty relief one gets during a normal restroom visit.  More fluids are hiding in there somewhere....

Exercise - I have this week succeeded at walking four days in a row, and doing three sets of 15-rep squats every other day.  Exercise is just as beneficial for a pregnant woman as it is for a normal person, except it's essential for a successful delivery.  The squats will help in the pushing and pre-delivery stages of labor.  The walking has been good for keeping my legs strong and energy level high, as well as somewhat regulating my heartrate, which seems to get pretty high at night.  I walk in the morning as soon as I wake up, about two miles around my neighborhood.  Weekends I like to walk in Fairview Park, although the hills are more treacherous now that it doesn't take much to get the heartrate up to 140.  I wear my heart rate monitor there.  The more weight I gain, the easier my heartrate is to jump, and the harder my legs have to work to carry me along.

Weight Gain - My sister Amy gained 50 pounds in her first pregnancy.  So far I am up only 18 pounds.  I did weigh in high on my first doctor visit because I had just come from a free lunch that involved fish n' chips as well as a decadent ice cream sundae dessert.  Compared to what I consider my "normal" weight, I've gained about 22 pounds.  If I gain a pound every week from here through term, I will have gained a total of 31 pounds, or 35 more than my normal weight.  My doctor had wanted me to gain only 25, so it looks like I'll go just a bit above that, which is fine with me.  I do NOT want to be the type of pregnant woman who obsesses about her weight gain.  I am an active person who would relish getting back into shape after baby arrives.  There is a person growing inside my belly, so I am going to have a little fun with food in exchange for that.

Food/Cravings - I get a lot of questions about cravings, and nothing unusual to report at the moment.  Some of my favorite indulgences have been donuts and peanut butter frozen yogurt.  I seem to crave all kinds of dairy, especially a plain old glass of cold milk, or a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios.  I have been trying to eat healthy, making sure I get enough protein by eating plenty of eggs and chicken, and getting some leafy greens at least a few times a week.  I am getting a lot hungrier now, as I enter the dawn of the third trimester.  I guzzle water like an addiction, especially at night when I am more thirsty than hungry.  I take my multivitamin every day and have not thrown up even once since I became pregnant. 

Sleep/Rest - My bed is my best friend.  It feels SO GOOD to crawl into my bed every night and, after getting all the pillows situated - to lay my head down and close my eyes.  As soon as I do, I feel him kicking.  I place my hand on my belly and feel him for a while, then drift off pretty easily most of the time.  When Jess is in my bed - usually only about once a week - I can hardly sleep at all.  Partially because he snores, but also I think an instinct of sorts is kicking in; one that remains alert to the sleep patterns of others, in preparation for feedings.  As long as I am alone in bed and have wrapped myself to the proper temperature and pillow positions, I sleep really well, about 8 hours (minus bathroom interruptions).  I must enjoy these times while they last.  If I've had adequate sleep, my energy level is very high in the morning, and I get a lot of things done - dishes from last night, picking up around the house, finishing laundry, watering plants - all before heading to work.  At night I have the energy for little more than watching TV and playing on the computer.

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2:58 pm - Baby Names
I'm getting a lot of questions about names, and so far, here are the ones at the top of our list:

Carter
Andrew
Alex
Caleb
Ryan
Robert
Caden

(Jess doesn't know about or agree with some of these, but I am working on him, heh)

I'll add to/edit this list as needed.

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