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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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Saturday, September 19th, 2009
9:06 am - Hey You!
to: letters@ocweekly.com

I was the six-month pregnant lady looking forward to walking the hills in Fairview Park. You were the likely adolescent houligans who had littered its trees, slopes and grass with a case of double-ply Charmin the night before. After parking my car, I grabbed some doggie bags and began to clean up your fun night of ignorant arrogance. At the risk of sounding like an old person, you really don't realize how lucky we are to have open spaces like Fairview Park still at our disposal, do you? I bet you'd be stoked if the whole park was razed and a developer dropped a gigantic shopping center in its place, complete with a security company to boot you out after 10 PM and a janitorial crew to pick up your mess. Not only did you forsake a public resource and break the law, but you didn't even do it in a green-minded fashion. Don't you know that the thin, cheap TP sticks better to the morning dew? I can only hope that the kid in my belly grows up be smarter about his delinquent behavior, and takes his teenage angst out on something other than nature - like, say, his least favorite teacher's private residence.

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
11:37 am - Glowing Discomfort
I will hit 22 weeks in my pregnancy tomorrow and the discomfort at this point is fairly considerable.  Every time I stand up or get out of bed I feel my belly pulling harder toward the earth.  This baby must be getting bigger by the day. 

Some women feel the baby as early as 18 weeks, and although I felt some stretching of ligaments and other growth at that time, I never felt what I would consider the baby's movements until last Thursday night.  I was in bed, reading a book called Raising Cain (protecting the emotional lives of boys), and it finally caught my attention that the bubbles of gas in my lower abdomen weren't gas at all, they were the kicks or nudges of my eggplant-sized baby, just as had been described.  I placed my hand on my belly and waited for it again, and suddenly there it was, a little direct contact from the great beyond.  It was so gentle and subtle, I realized that it probably would get more distinct and aggressive as the weeks go on, and that I should enjoy the ease of his touch while it lasted.  In the frequency of the movements I've felt since then, I'm increasingly aware that as this baby grows larger, he is going to become more and more physically discomforting to me, as he is extremely active when he is "awake." 

My skin still looks good, for which I am grateful.  My sister got what they call the "pregnancy mask", which is dark splotches of skin on her face.  I've dodged that bullet so far.  My appetite is normal if not slightly increased, which explains the rapid weight gain I've experienced over the past 4 weeks or so. Eating healthy food is getting more difficult, as I crave heavier and sweeter things.  No strange cravings yet though; those don't start until later in the term. 

The heat in Southern California is making this time especially difficult, particularly on my energy level.  I went to rehearse with my Dad's band on Sunday at his house in RSM and it had to be like 95 degrees outside.  Still, there was my dear ol' Dad in his livingroom, watching the little league world series with his ceiling fan circulating the warm air and the sliding glass door wide open.  I plopped down on his couch, waited for his usual unbridaled chatter to pause for a breath, and finally said, "Dad, at what temperature do you finally break down and run your A/C?"  Bless his heart, he immediately got up and turned it on for me, sealing up the house and closing the curtains to cool the place down.  I told him it would help preserve my energy, and that it did.  The band suffered enough in the garage jamming for several hours; just coming into the cool house for a break made for a safe haven for us all.  I now recognize why many women plan the timing of their pregnancies so that they are not near the peak of it during summer.  Our body temperatures are already like 1 degree warmer than usual - which can make quite a difference - so to have the miserable summer sun making things worse really adds insult to injury.  I will be glad when mid-September hits and fall starts to show its colors.

No names have been chosen yet, but we are thinking about it.  Every time someone gets that answer from me, they want to know, "Well what names are you 'thinking' about?"  When I acquiesce to their interests and offer up my top three choices, half of them inevitably come back with some sort of personal anecdote to defy my preference.  So-and-so was a real douchebag in high school, or so-and-so is my sister's kid's name and he's got A.D.D."  People just looooooove to feel that they are directly involved with your pregnancy, which is the only reason why I can imagine they offer up these perspectives, along with all the unsolicited advice.  I love the girl who told me not to let my pregnancy stop me from performing in the band.  "You should be able to do everything you did when you weren't pregnant, and this is what you love!"  Yes, but I am not only thinking of myself, here.  There is the band to consider, and do they want a pregnant chick as their front person?  Plus I DO have to excuse myself eventually, and you know, go into LABOR, and then endure the many many nights of little-to-no sleep because of the baby's unpredictable sleep and eating habits.  Bowing out of the band was something I thought about for quite a while before I formulated my plan and began implementing it, and yet I loved how someone who had just heard of it had got everything straightened out for me in an entirely different direction in just a moment's notice.

I have been told I have The Glow, so I try not to let stuff like this get to me.  But LJ, this is the place where I get to rant, too. :)

Moms are planners.  GOOD moms are the best planners.  They think about the things I've been worried about, like finances, living situations, transportation, lifestyle, etc.  If people would give expectant moms a little more benefit of the doubt before offering up their unsolicited advice/experiences, it would go a long way to preserving The Glow.

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Monday, August 24th, 2009
9:36 pm - Momma Milestones
I had to let go of one major piece of my single/no kids life today: I visited my fancy schmancy gym for the last time.

I had cancelled my membership about two months ago, in an effort to cut expenses and knowing that I couldn't take the spin class I loved anymore, because it's too intense for pregnant women. They billed me for my final month at that time, and then reminded me that I had paid for my FINAL final month when I originally signed up. Thus, I still had time to soak the place in and maximize my workouts until the clock ran out. Tonight, I managed to do 20-minutes on the treadmill walking at an incline just below my heartrate peak. Then I did some freeweights and lunges, and I finished off with the end of Randall's spin class. His is a really high-intensity rockin workout, and it's not the same when you sit through the whole thing. I thanked him at the end of the class, and told him it was my last day. He said he'd see me in about eight months. I responded with a smle and said, "Approximately." In reality, though, I won't be able to afford that gym again, possibly for a long, long time. That was one of the perks of living within my means and having money to burn.

Those days are coming to an end, and this departure from the gym today reminded me of that. In preparation for living on a tighter budget with shifted priorities, last weekend I got my hair trimmed at Supercuts and touched up my roots at home, courtesy of Nice N' Easy. This whole endeavor set me back $23, versus the $150 I've been spending at each salon visit for the past five or six years. This is not a dramatic departure for me; I'm not feeling greatly pained over these small revisions in my usual routine. I'm not quite that stuck up, or stuck in my ways. Instead, it is actually going to be kinda fun, at least for a while. I've always been good at improvising with what I have, and I've lived on a budget for long enough to know where the edges can be trimmed, and that there is ALWAYS room for more crunching. I'm currently drafting the budget I will live under for the year during which my baby and I will live at my Dad's, and things are looking relatively manageable. The one X factor that will take a lot of careful management and a bit of luck, is renting out my condo. My goal is to get a tenant in a one-year lease by November 1. The ad will go live on September 10.

Meanwhile, I've come up with a concept for a maternity T-shirt that I am hoping to sell in order to make some cash. I had a professional create the artwork, and the shirts have been ordered and are at the printer. In probably one-week's time, I will have 50 specialty maternity T-shirts available for sale, and I am currently researching online distribution. I know the concept is unique and universal enough to be well-received by at least one of the websites I've bookmarked. Now I am becoming increasingly concerned about trademarks and copywrights for the idea. If I release it and it becomes a huge hit, another manufacturer could easily steal the idea, redo the logo and start creating their own shirt for sale. The "Rock the Bump" T-shirt is one of the best-sellers on one of the top Google maternity apparel sites. Mine will be akin to that, but classier and more subtle in the script. The shirt itself is top-quality material; 100% cotton, V-neck, 3/4 sleeve. It's going to sell, I have no doubt. and people are charging more than $40 per shirt on this site!! I could basically triple my investment based on those figures. So that is cause for optimism.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting my favorite blogger in the world. She was featured on an episode of the Dr. Phil show concerning Stay-At-Home Moms vs. Working Moms. The operative word here is "VERSUS." The front of the audience - of which I was not a part - was divided into two sides. The whole episode consisted of the working moms defending their reasons for having to work against the holier-than-thou designated BITCH for the stay-at-home Moms, who for some unknown reason was given the floor for their side, almost the entire duration. Dooce was relegated to a front-row seat from which she was occasionally directly addressed by the host and requested to provide her thoughts. The whole reason I attended this taping was because she had said she would be a "guest" of the show, meaning someone for whom they would, I dunno, BRING OUT A CHAIR AND TALK TO ON STAGE.

Sorry, just had to do that - the all-caps thing is signature Dooce.

Despite my disappointment at the show itself - and really, what was I expecting, anyway? A quality interview with a charismatic interrogator? I did get my satisfaction after the taping, when I returned from the restroom to be notified by my friend Angie that Dooce was waiting to meet me and was standing at the edge of the studio, apparently anxious to leave, but courteous enough to remain for "her people." I quickly hurried over, and she smiled expectantly alongside her husband as I made my way to them. I immediately extended my hand and introduced myself to her, and she said, "I'm Heather," as though I hadn't been intimately connected to all of the public details of her life for the past 8 years. She then introduced Jon, her amazing husband, and Marlo, her newborn daughter, who was growing bubbles from her lips resting on Jon's shoulder. I made ridiculously nervous small talk with them, asking her if she had been texting Jon during the show ("I wish," he said, but apparently Heather was the only studio audience member who had her phone on hand), asked her if she had gotten to nurse Marlo yet (since she said during the show that when a baby's face was shown on the monitor, her milk came in, and her super absorbant pads saved the day), if they were headed back to Utah today, which yes, they were on their way to LAX straight from the studio, in fact. I told Heather I had brought her book with me, in the hopes that she could sign it for my friend Erin, who had sent her signed copy to me after I already bought her book. She seemed disappointed when I told her they'd made me check the book at the front. I completely forgot to tell her how much I admire her writing, her survival skills, and her commitment to her blog, and to tell Jon thank you for being there for her, and to say how adorable Leta is, and all the other things I have come to appreciate about her presence in the blogosphere. I did, however, take credit for calling out "Number Twenty-Six!" during the commercial break, which had made her snicker in her seat. I also told her to keep up her blog, that it completely makes my day. She was very gracious and thanked me with a sincere smile. It was overall a hurried introduction, mostly because of my own awkwardness, but it meant a lot to me to be able to meet on the same plane as her, for however brief a time. It also gives one new perspective on so-called "celebrity." She's just a person who shares her talents with the world. She's a stay-at-home mom who happens to be a fantastic writer. She now makes her living being that person, and for that, she's an inspiration. It's nothing to drool over or post on the teenager's wall. But it is certainly worth my admiration.

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