Friday, February 29, 2008

Level II Load-Mode

The doctor bumped me up to Level II Load Mode, which means I am supposed to be in bed as much as possible. Technology makes it possible to be just as productive in bed as you would be on your feet. I can work on my book revisions, shop for baby-raising supplies, e-mail the office, etc. I can also watch the perpetual America’s Next Top Model marathon on VH1. (I said it is “possible” to be productive, not probable.)

I am 100% sure everything is going to be fine, I think doctors just sometimes don’t know what else to suggest so they just tell you to stay in bed. I don’t know if the bed has any actual healing properties, but it does have the magical effect of causing Tim to tuck in my sheets every so often and offer to run out to get (vegetarian) sushi for supper… so that’s cool. I am hoping I’ll be returning to Level I Load-Mode by early next week. (That is the level where I am just supposed to be "generally lazy".)

Cow and Bear are on sympathy bed rest. Well, Cow is anyway. Bear has discovered he has a fondness for the bamboo plant and has been snacking all morning. Tim finally had to move the plant to a secret place. I can’t tell you where it is because I am pretty sure Bear reads this blog.

So that is all… I’ll keep you posted on such topics as my placenta and spotting whether you want to hear about it our not. One of the first things to go when you are pregnant is your sense of shame. It’s just not an option.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Doctor Prescribed Load-Mode

This could be one of those posts where I am sharing more information than you care to know. If you are embarrassed just thinking about me being pregnant or hearing words like “cervix”, now is the time to step away from the blog.

Go on, git!

Ok, I’m glad you stayed. Those other guys were total dinks, but you are cool and I’m glad you’re still here. Yes, I’m talking to you --- you with the eyes reading these words right now.

Here is the deal. After all that flu and fever drama, I had some spotting. I called the doctor and they got me in for an emergency ultrasound. The baby is doing great, and even waved hello during the ultrasound. The baby looks cross between Skeletor and an alien right now, but I am told that is just the nature of ultrasound pictures and our actual baby may vary. He or she was being shy and keeping his or her legs closed, so we didn’t get to “see the goods” to figure out if Nabisco is a girl or a boy.

It turns out I have placenta previa – which means the placenta is covering the cervix. That sounds innocuous enough and just as weird as any other thing in pregnancy… but it turns out this can be a problem. The good news is that there is a great chance this will resolve itself before we get too close to “showtime”. I also think it is cool that we get a lot of bonus ultrasounds to keep an eye on it – which means plenty of more chances for Nabisco to show us the goods so we know what color to paint the nursery.

The doctor didn’t put me on bedrest, although that is often how placenta previa is treated later in pregnancy. I do have a ton of activity restrictions – including the fact that I am not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds or do too much walking or any strenuous activities. Basically, I am on doctor ordered load-mode.

Tim is taking good care of everyone and lifting heavy objects as necessary… thanks, muffin.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I typed too soon... the fever must have read my last post and angrily decided to make a little comeback.

*sigh* Brady Bunch marathon, here I come!

Steph and Nabisco

Total Load-Mode

I’ve been down with the flu since Tuesday. High fever, no voice, chills, body aches, cough, all that yummy stuff. Not to be playing an invisible violin here… but I gotta say that this sucks. We called the OB/GYN on Thursday and they insisted I come in right away.

You’d think we live in the boondocks, but the nearest hospital is an hour away. This is where we had to go on Thursday, but I honestly don’t remember much of how we got there or got back home. In fact, this event may have happened on Wednesday or Friday, I have no idea. Fortunately, Tim was driving. This is the same hospital that I’ll be delivering in this summer. If my labor is as short as my mom’s (1.5 hours with me), we’ll just have to pray it doesn’t happen during rush hour… otherwise Tim may have to play Dr. Dad on Highway 41. *insert nervous laugh here*

Anyhooo… the important news is that the baby is OK. His/her heartrate was unusually rapid, and that doctor said that was due to the fever… but it sounded strong and healthy. So it looks like everything is OK. Phew! I was instructed to take every measure possible to keep my fever down as it can be dangerous for the baby. So I have been popping Tylenol and Tim was plopping cold rags on my head.

Today (day 5), my fever has finally broken. Hurray!! The doctor said the pregnancy results in a weakened immune system (something about my body needing to not “reject’ the baby). She said the symptoms could be much worse than a typical flu, and I should expect it to last at least twice as long. NICE.

This was my first experience with maternal guilt. I know I didn’t catch the flu on purpose, but I feel so bad that it is effecting the baby. Poor little mini-muffin. It seems unfair that s/he has to pay a price with an elevated heart rate for my stupid weakened immune system. Ahh… so I already feel like a real mother, what with the guilt and worry.

I think Tim is the real victim here. He’s been working at home this week so he could keep an eye on me. He goes to the store constantly because I seem only capable of thinking of the one thing I need at that exact moment in time rather than predicting things I may need in the future. Tim is outstanding in the field of husband excellence.

I’m so sick of being in bed watching TV Land. I love Leave it to Beaver, but I’m not sure this is realistic training for parenthood. So Tim, forever the patient caregiver, brought me this computer. I’m propped up with pillowed typing as both kitties are snuggled up with me. Yarrrr. Hopefully ‘real life’ will resume next week.

Now you'd better go and wash your hands after reading this post. And spray your screen down with Lysol. I don't want you getting this too.

PS- I am still really out of it, so let's just politely pretend that any "typos" you may have noticed in the above blog entry represent stylistic choices. Thanks.

Monday, February 18, 2008

How We Celebrate President’s Day

I’m sure our forefathers would be proud to have laid the foundation for this consumer-driven economy. So what better way to honor our past presidents (except for Chester A. Arthur who remains obscure and boring) than to have a SALE-ebration!!!

Guitar Center is having yet another BLOWOUT SALE (sale … sale… sale…) (That was the “reverb of savings”.) They have blowout sales on a weekly basis, so I have to wonder how effective these “blowouts” really are. It some point, shouldn’t everything just be… blown out?

Tim got a postcard in the mail that made it sound as if all previous blowouts were just a joke, and the President’s Day blowout sale-ebration was “for real”. In fact, they may be closing the store after this sale due to losing money for offering such insanely low prices. Customers everywhere are left with the impression that Guitar Center is in a serious financial crisis, and stockholders are pulling out. It’s a feeding frenzy of SAAAAAVINGS!!!!

So, in honor of our forefathers we are going to Guitar Center today. *sigh* Yep, we are one of those suckers that is born every minute you hear so much about.

If you are inclined to give props, I suggest you give props to Guitar Center for mastering the art of hyperbole when it comes to advertising sales. Here’s to you, Guitar Center, and your consistently over-the-top advertising.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sympathy Morning Sickness

I was sick all day yesterday, which was good times. The cats stayed in bed with me as if they had sympathy morning sickness.

They were very lethargic and even occasionally spit up... clearly sympathy morning sickness and not normal cat-like behavior.

I’m in the second trimester now… so, when does that pregnancy glow kick in again? Maybe by “glow” they mean a greenish cast to the skin, because I think I have that.

Ahhh, it is such a magical and beautiful time.

Fancy Baby Holder

We have made our first major baby purchase – a bassinet. It’s cute now, but imagine how much cuter it will be with Nabisco in it. YARRRR.

(It’s quiet now, but imagine how much louder it will be at 3 am with Nabisco in it.) (I say that only preemptively as that is the sort of thing that all current parents seem to enjoy pointing out to new parents-to-be. I beat you to it!)

We are trying to teach Cow and Bear to stay away from it. Guess which kitty is being good, and which kitty is using the bassinet as a personal scratching pad?

Mail for Nabisco Nicola

In other baby news, Nabsico got his/her first piece of mail today. We decided to ignore Federal laws regarding opening other people’s mail and we opened it for her/him. After a long discussion, we decided that sometimes parents have to break the law in the best interests of their child. (Doesn't it sound like we will be great parents?) So we opened the letter...

It was a valentine from Grandma and Grandpa!! And the “yarrrrr” at the Nicola house continues.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Can you believe it?

We have a plumber here today!! Now don’t make any sudden movements, we don’t want to scare him away.

(simulated plumber, actual plumber may vary)


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CNN does Journalism Nostradamus Style

There are three types of people who work at CNN:
(1) graphic artists with a flare for drama
(2) news anchors who can fill the gaps in any broadcast by reiterating he same information 500 different ways
(3) psychics

CNN broke it’s own record for calling elections early last night. They were calling several states with 0% of the precincts reporting. Really - zero percent.

They had a large digital clock on the screen that would count down to when the polls would close. Literally, as soon as the polls closed they say “We have breaking news.” Then there would be these overly dramatic graphics slamming across the screen. Then they would say “CNN is prepared to announce the winner in Illinois.”

How did they do that? Exit polls aren’t that reliable. Well, meet their new "Polling Expert" for the 2008 election coverage:

It explains a lot, doesn't it? I mean, he looks fruity enough to work for CNN.

At some point will people just stop voting and let CNN call the elections? Do you really want a guy named “Wolf” to pick out our next president?

*sigh* I seem to have a lot of opinions for being generally apolitical. But the truth is, I have a hard time turning off CNN. Those graphics are just too exciting and hearing the same banter repetitively is oddly soothing. This election has become the new hit reality TV show.

From Stubby to Stunning (…or Stupid)

I have lived my entire life with stubby fingernails. It’s not a big deal, I don’t need a parade or anything. Thanks to Nabisco* (*temporary baby name due to living on crackers in the first trimester), my stubby nails are no more!!


Maybe I can be a hand model for the remaining 6 months of pregnancy. I feel so glamorous.

Seeing as we are calling the baby Nabsico, maybe now is the time to hammer out that corporate sponsorship deal. Think the Nabsico company would pay for our baby’s college if I gave them free ad-space on my fingernails?

YIKES..... what kind of a hand is that? I call 'too many fingers'. There should be at least 2 or 3 fewer fingers in that picture.



Monday, February 4, 2008

Coming Attractions

If I can ever figure out YouTubery, there should be a video here to watch.

This how two geeks (that would be us) make a big announcement to their family.

We Are Difficult People

Still no plumbers.

The contractor is becoming increasingly combative, although Tim is being nothing but mellow about the whole situation. It is almost like the more hostile the contractor becomes, the more mellow Tim tries to become as a counter-balance. If he gets any mellower, he will soon be talking like an airline pilot “Aaahhhhh….fifth week without plumbers….aaahhhh… if you look out your windows to your left…aaahhhh… you’ll get a nice view of a rather disappointed homeowner.”

I’ve heard Tim’s end of conversations with the contractor, and I have no idea how the contractor can call it “hostile”, “difficult”, “angry” or any other dramatic descriptors he attaches to my very un-dramatic and calm husband.

Here is an example: we e-mailed the contractor our choice of plumbing fixtures back in early November. We included links to the Home Depot website where they could be ordered online with free shipping or picked up at a store. Just last week (3 months after we sent our request for those of you keeping score) the contractor called and said he couldn’t find our requested fixtures anywhere. Tim offered to go out to a nearby Home Depot that the contractor had not yet visited. Tim found and purchased the requested fixture. The result? Tim was told that he is the most difficult customer the contractor has ever worked with. And the contractor was very ticked off when he said this…like he really really meant it.

I mean… seriously? Tim is the most difficult customer ever? Wow.

Consider this photo montage, won’t you?

This is Tim:

This is Tim being “angry”:

This is Tim being “angry and difficult”:

Seeing as Tim is basically letting the fact that we haven’t had anyone working on our basement for over a month slide by without even raising an eyebrow, it really makes me wonder how most customers react to our contractor. It is entirely possible that most customers bend over backwards to make their contractors feel warm and fuzzy, regardless of the level of service they provide. Perhaps they give the contractor a crisp $100 bill for every day a job is delayed. Or they may offer to do his laundry when he accidentally puts a 3-foot hole in the wall that he refuses to fix.

A second possibility is that Tim is a completely different person to this contractor than he is to every other person in his life. He could be like the incredible hulk, and he tries to hold in his anger around me because “I wouldn’t like him when he’s angry”. But something about his contractor transforms Tim and makes Tim growl “Tim MAD!” This, in turn, makes the contractor declare that Tim is an exceptionally difficult customer.

A third possibility is that our contractor is sort of a jerk.

There. I said it.