Friday, December 31, 2004

In 2004, I learned....

I posted to a thread like this on one of the BBs I frequent, but I thought it was worth posting here as well. I've also added a few items to the list, as I have been sitting here contemplating the topic a bit more in-depth. In 2004, I learned....
* that being pregnant isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it's no picnic either (particularly in the summer in Atlanta)
* sometimes events that look bad are actually good for you, potentially even better than the plan you would have preferred
* that you are never prepared for motherhood, no matter how much you think you are, until it happens to you (nor can you understand that until it happens to you)
* c-sections are a b*$%#
* the cruelty and disregard for others and their feelings that can be found online is truly amazing
* the love and generosity that can be found online can be even more astonishing
* real friends can be made online, no matter what anyone says
* it is good to have talented friends
* my family is awesome, and I should tell them so much more often
* my husband is tied for the best father in the world (with my own father, of course)
* love is boundless
* babies are simply awesome as they grow and develop and learn
* Luke's laughter can bring simultaneous smiles and tears to my face
* email, digital cameras, and unlimited long distance are the best inventions *ever* to keep first-time grandparents (and uncles) happy! LOL

Wishing you all the best, for 2005 and always!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

My holiday wish for you

I posted this last year, but I love it so much, it is worth posting again, probably every Christmas. May your holidays be merry and bright, and spent in the company of those you love. That's what I'll be doing. See you in 2005!

Believe in Christmas Magic
Believe in Ancient Lore
Believe in a hundred impossible things
The New Year may hold in store

Believe in Heavenly Angels
In Santas and Elves by the score
Believe in a hundred impossible things
In Flying Reindeer and more

Believe in a Babe in a manger
In Wise Men and gifts galore
Believe in a million impossible things
You've never believed before

Thursday, December 16, 2004

For my fellow geeks

Christmas Tree Decorating 101

ROTFLMAO!!! Oh, oh, oh, my sides are killing me, and I literally have tears running down my face. This is absolutely one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Why? Because it is *exactly* what would happen at our house. And people wonder why we don't put up a tree. THIS IS WHY!! Christmas Tree Decorating 101. Thanks to Kerry for the link!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Well, Merry Grinch-mas to you, too! :-(

According to our mailman, we have a real live grinch lurking around in our neighborhood. He came to the door like he usually does when I have a package delivered, and as he knows I now have a baby (thus I am slower getting to the door these days), he waited quite patiently to see if I was really at home or not. I greatly appreciated this, as our spare key is no longer by the front door (gave it to our kitty-sitter for the holidays), so it took some time to fish my own keys out of my purse.

When I answered the door, he told me that he would no longer be able to leave packages on the porch if we weren't home. Seems that someone was parking in the area, watching him deliver the mail and packages. The other day, after he left, the truck drove to three houses where he had left packages, picked them up, and drove off. Someone called the local post office to report it. Our mailman was taking it *quite* personally. "I've been doing this job for 21 years, and no one has EVER stolen *my* mail before! That's just not right, especially at Christmas. I know you'll be getting lots of stuff delivered for your little guy, and I want to make sure he gets it all, so if you're not here, I'll just take it with me and leave you one of our slips. Then you can either come pick it up yourself, or leave that slip in the mailbox telling me when to drop it off again that you'll be home. Y'all have a merry Christmas, okay?" What a nice man! Sooo much better than our old mail carrier, who was constantly folding my curling my stash envelopes to fit them in the box, despite them being *clearly* marked "Do NOT Bend!" (When I called to complain, I was told "they aren't bent, they're curled." ::rolls eyes::) I feel so bad for him that this happening on his route, and I find it quite touching that he is so concerned about Luke getting his gifts.

So as sad as it is that someone is doing that, and as annoying as it will be to have to pick up my own packages (especially considering how many of them will be coming, as I have ordered nearly all of our gifts over the internet), it's nice to know we have our own sort of Christmas angel watching out for us as well. Proof that the worst in some people often brings out the best in others.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device

Received this in a newsletter a month or so ago, and I just laughed and laughed! Enjoy!

Announcing the new Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge device (BOOK). It's a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere--even sitting in an armchair by the fire--yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disk. Here's how it works: Each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper, each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder that keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. The user scans each sheet optically, registering information directly into his or her brain. A flick of the finger takes the user to the next sheet. The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The "browse" feature allows the user to move instantly to any sheet and to move forward or backward as desired. Most BOOKs come with an "index" feature that pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows the user to open the BOOK to the exact place left in a previous session--even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Portable, durable, and affordable, the BOOK is the entertainment wave of the future, and many new titles are expected soon, due to the surge in popularity of its programming tool, the Portable Erasable-Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language (PENCILS)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Congratulations Daddy!

Congratulations to my father! His first year teaching, started in August, and already Teacher of the Month. We know how hard it was for you to leave your other job and be out of work over a year. Glad you're enjoying your new career. We're all so proud of you!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Gaston Family

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Dropped of the face of the planet there

Sorry about that. Sort-of got lost there for a while. Just got busy. And I'll be busy through early next week with family and everything for Thanksgiving, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to blog between now and then. I assure you there will be *tons* of pictures from the holidays, if you're interested.

And I want to say hi to everyone who was at the GSFL get-together on Saturday. It was so great to see everyone and introduce you all to Luke. And to be around adults again having adult conversation, even mostly about children, was wonderful! I'll be coming to as many of the future GTGs as possible. The mental break is good for me. Seeing all of your finished and in progress pieces has really inspired me to at least try to start stitching again. Thank you all so much! You have no idea how much you all mean to me.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Miracles do happen (or, I saw The Incredibles last night)

Yes, believe it or not, DH and I went to the movies last night. First time (besides going to the Fox for the summer film festival) since mid-July! Oh, I have missed it so!!! Since DH was off today, we decided to try the last showing of The Incredibles with Luke, hoping (quite frankly) that no one else would be there. One other couple did show up, but that was it. I saw all of the previews (including Star Wars Episode III), missed the Pixar short (thank you, starving baby), and got to see all of the movie (thank you, wonderful DH who fed and walked him at the 30 minute mark).

And it was so worth it! The Incredibles is just that, an incredible film. I enjoyed it so much (and no, not just because it's the first new movie I've seen since August). It truly was an excellent movie, in and of itself. Add in amazing visuals, great homages to other action hero and spy-type films, and some fabulous humor, and you have one fantastic flick. GO SEE IT!!! Full Movie Musings here.

Monday, November 08, 2004

One month old!

Aren't I just the most adorable thing in the world?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Exciting Luke news (to me, at least), and a cat quiz

Even since Luke was a couple of days old, he's been holding his head up a bit, and it has progressed more and more each day. He's now holding it up more than not when he's being held, assuming he's not laying down. But the exciting news? He is finally consistently tracking things with his eyes! He would do it a little, but not for very long, for a while now, but he followed an elephant back and forth and back and forth yesterday. :-) Okay, so it's one of those little things that only a parent gets excited about, but I'm just thrilled to finally see it.

In other news, I found this quiz at Stacey's blog. Fun!

You are a Ragdoll! You are known for your laid
back attitude. You are the ultimate in
low-maintenance. You'd rather hang out around
the house all day than seek adventure.

What breed of cat are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, November 05, 2004

I did it! I did it!!!

I took a shower today, and DH wasn't even home! I thought this day would never come. Now if we can only repeat it at some (or several) points in the future....

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Chronicles of Luke - October 2004

Greetings family and friends!

Welcome to your first "Chronicles of Luke" newsletter. I'm open to other names, BTW, if you have any suggestions. This is the best I can do under the current circumstances! LOL

So, it has officially been four weeks. Wow, has it really been that long? Some days it seems like just yesterday that he arrived; other days, it's hard to remember life BL (before Luke). Things are finally going really well. They say the first week is the hardest, and they're right, but I need to write a thank you note to the nurse who told me that things don't really start to "click" until day 10 or so. She was so right! Things took about that long to not feel like we were surviving moment to moment. But, we are now starting to fall into some kind of routine, breast feeding is going well, everyone is getting sleep (whether it is enough sleep depends on the day and the mood of the little one). If I can just get the hang of cooking dinner and getting a shower every day again, life will be beautiful!

Luke's first doctor's visit went very well. He went in on his 2-week birthday, and has he ever grown! At that point, he had gained 1 lb 11 oz from his lowest weight, and he had grown 2.75 inches. No wonder he was eating like he had a black hole for a stomach!!! Official weight (at two weeks): 9 lbs 4 oz; Official length (at two weeks): 21 3/4 inches. No idea where he stands now, though I can tell you that he is at least a little longer and quite a bit heavier. Everything else checked out, and I quote, "perfect." His next visit will be December 7.

We've had lots of visitors in the last four weeks. In fact, we have yet to be alone over a weekend (this upcoming one will be our first; no idea what we'll do with ourselves, LOL). Mom, I mean Nana :p, was here for the first 10 days or so of his life. THANK YOU! We never would have made it without you. Her last weekend here, Dad, er, Papa came for his first visit. That same Saturday, Este Mom (my mother's mother) and Great-Uncle Alan (my mother's brother) came for their first personal view of their first great-grandchild and great-nephew (respectively). The next week, Steve was still home with me, except for one day that he needed to attend a class. Special thanks to Valerie for coming to stay with me during that day, since I was still not allowed to drive. Steve's mother, a.k.a. Grandmama, came for her first visit that weekend. The next week was our first "alone," as Steve returned to work. Things went remarkably well, except that I was *exhausted* by the weekend! Thank goodness Uncle Jacob came for his first visit, accompanied by Nana and Papa, and everyone was more than willing to pitch in and help while I tried to get some rest. That brings us to the current week, which except for Tuesday (when Luke was super-fussy), things have been great.

I'm doing pretty well, too. I have officially lost 25 pounds of what I gained. (And no, we won't mention how much that leaves me.) Took about two weeks for more than "just baby" weight (baby, amniotic fluid, placenta, etc) to go, which is longer than I thought, but once my ankles reappeared, I felt significantly better. My incision is hardly bothering me now (the staples were killing me), I can go up and down stairs easily (carrying Luke even!), and just in the last few days, my back where they administered the spinal has FINALLY stopped killing me. (I was starting to think I might have to live with that pain forever.) Give me a couple more weeks, and Luke and I will be going on adventures of our own *outside* the house! ::shock, gasp::

As always, there are pictures available at (the newly upgraded, thus can hold more photos) There are currently two pages worth of albums, ranked in descending chronological order (I hope to do some consolidation soon, though), so if you really want to see everything, don't miss the (older) albums on page two. Several of the albums also include multiple pages of photos, so don't miss those either. I upload as I have time and new pictures. We will take a couple today (4 weeks) and a few on Saturday (1 month), so check back soon, probably sometime Sunday or Monday.

Okay, that's probably way more than you wanted to know about stuff that's not very interesting! LOL I'm having a hard time even thinking linearly, much less rationally and creatively. I hope you got something worthwhile out of this. Hopefully, these newsletters will improve with time and sleep. Until next month!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

We sure did. Uncle Jacob came for his first ever visit with Luke, and I think he thinks Luke is a keeper. He didn't specifically say so, but he sure didn't want to put him down. :-) Spoiled him rotten, too, between Uncle Jacob and Nana, since he now thinks he should be carried or held *all* the time. LOL You can see pictures here, but here's a little taste:

What file extension are you?

I got this from Kerry's blog, and it really made me laugh.

You are .exe When given proper orders, you execute them flawlessly.  You're familiar to most, and useful to all.
Which File Extension are You?

Friday, October 29, 2004

New Luke Photos

See the latest baby pictures. I realize they aren't all that thrilling or different. He's just not doing tricks yet. :-p But there are a few of him on his three week birthday, and some with his Grandmama (DH's mother). Hope you enjoy!

I assure you there will be more (and more interesting) photos after this weekend. My brother is coming for his first ever visit with his nephew, and my parents are coming. Nana will be armed with a digital camera, Uncle Jacob will manage the video camera I expect (not digital, sorry), and Papa is bringing *the* camera, old fashioned and purchased for the birth of *his* first child (that would be me), but still takes some of the best photos around. I'll scan and upload (unless we get them on disc; I'll try) as soon as they are developed.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The (late) two-week Luke update, plus some babbling

Luke had his newborn appointment last Thursday, his official two-week birthday. Per the pediatrician, everything checks out perfectly. She was very pleased with his weight gain, we have official permission to now feed exclusively on demand (which we had pretty much been doing anyway), and he's getting big!

Official weight: 9 lbs 4 oz; a gain of 1 lb 11 oz from his lowest weight
Official length: 21 3/4 inches; a gain of 2 1/4 inches (in just two weeks!!)

No wonder he's been eating like he has a black hole for a stomach! LOL DH hopes it is a sign that he's well on his way to seven feet tall (yeah right; DH is only 5'8", and I'm only 5'2"). Things continue to go well. I even got two blocks of 4+ hours of sleep last night, with only 45 minutes in between for a diaper change and feed. I'm not betting that it will last, but it sure was nice, even for a single evening.

This is day 2 of "going it alone" all day long, and things are fine. I wasn't even sure late last week that I would be able to handle it, but I continued to improve physically over the weekend, and I am now comfortable carrying him up and down the stairs, which is a considerable bonus. I thought I was going to be confined to up or down for a while. Give me another couple of weeks, and we'll be going out! But not yet.

Jacob is coming this weekend to get his first in-person look at his nephew. Mom and Dad will be coming as well. I can't wait!

Monday, October 18, 2004

No more cord

Luke's cord fell of sometime today. We're not exactly sure when. Such a cute little belly button under there! It does make me very slightly sad, in a way. The first true sign he's growing up, and the loss of his last physical link to me. But I'll live. He's asleep. Better try to get him to bed, then jump in myself. Gotta try to get some sleep for me before he wakes up and starts his cluster feeding cycle around 1 AM. ::yawn::

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Ain't that the truth! LOL

This is the card my parents gave us before leaving today:
BA-BY BOY: noun; Handy way of disposing of unwanted cash and filling up free time, while cutting down on unnecessary sleep, curtailing a demanding social life, and curing a neurotic obcession with personal hygene.

Monday, October 11, 2004

And now, a few words from Luke's mother....

Yes, this really is Erin, not her brother posting for her. Thank you all for your well wishes. Not only are we home (we actually came home early Sunday afternoon), but I think we are finally over the hump. There were several minor complications at each stage of the game (labor, delivery, recovery, breast feeding, etc), but they all compounded each other to the point that myself, my husband, and even my mother became overwhelmed, not only emotionally, but physically, above and beyond the already insane yet "normal" demands of new parenthood. We had a pretty good day yesterday (obviously, or they would not have let us come home), and an EXCELLENT day today (Monday), so I think the worst is behind us.

Not sure when I'll be around again, but I promise to try. And for everyone looking for a picture, one is below, and the rest can be found at our Webshots baby album. None of them are labeled yet, and they are often a bit out of order within the album itself, as the photos were taken with different cameras and simply "batch" uploaded. Hope you enjoy them, and I'll get it all labeled, captioned, and arranged to my liking sometime, maybe before he turns 20! LOL

Introducing The Gaston Family!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Busy on Wednesday?

Don't know what your Wednesday plans are, but my day will be rather full. You see, I'll be having a baby! EEK!!! My blood pressure was up again, second straight time in two weeks. It is now 150/78. Not good. Weight was fine (actually down about half a pound), no comment on my urine, so no idea what's going on there. I am 1.5 cm dialated, though; far enough that one finger could reach in and touch the head. (That is about the strangest thing I think I've ever typed!) Oh, and I have been having arthritis-like pains in my hands on and off since Friday. He said that is definitely not good because it means I am sometimes retaining enough fluid to either put severe pressure on my joints or to actually force the fluid inside, causing the pain. "We need to get this taken care of. Let me go call the hospital." They were slammed full tomorrow, so the earliest they could get me in is Wednesday morning. "9 AM; be there at 8:30, and we'll have this baby!" YIKES!!

So that's it then. Unless baby makes his own plans, looks like we'll be parents as of sometime October 6. Be looking for an announcement sometime that night, depending (obviously) on when Baby G arrives and how long it takes to contact my brother to post the news. Wish us luck!!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Tell them you love them while you have the chance

Tomorrow, one of my dearest friends will bury her father. He was in his early 50s, with a wife, two married daughters (the two older kids), and two sons in college (the two younger kids). With no warning whatsoever, he suffered a major heart attack and died at his home Thursday evening. I know that everyone, especially them, thought they had all the time in the world. Of course he would be there at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course he would see his grandchildren. Of course he would see his two youngest children graduate from college. But none of this was meant to be. He's gone, forever.

Just one more reminder to say "I love you" one more time, to hug that person goodbye, to send an email or make a phone call more often, because you never know when you won't be able to ever again. None of us is promised tomorrow, or even another few minutes. Cherish every moment while it here, every person while he or she is in your life, because those moments may never come again, and that person may walk out the door for the last time. If you do all you can now to show and tell everyone that you love them as often as possible, you won't have a reason to be sorry later.

{{{Hugs}}} to Leah and family. Joel Phillips was truly one of the nicest men and most dedicated fathers I have ever met. He will be greatly missed.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

No Baby, No Induction Scheduled (Yet)

I know you are all anxious for news, but there really is none. I had my appointment today. My blood pressure is up slightly, but nothing to be alarmed about. My weight is up just under two pounds, but I know at least half of that is in my feet! Since my hands and face aren't puffy, again there is no great concern. Urine still shows only trace protein, so no worries there.

As far as progress, there has been, and I quote, "nadda." No dilation, no effacement, nothing. Consequently, since no other factors are mandating it, there will be no induction, at least not yet. I will be seen again on Monday, where my progress (or lack there of) will be checked again. They will also do a non-stress test to make sure that the baby is still happy and healthy. If I have made progress, we will discuss induction for sometime next week, perhaps Wednesday. If not, I'll probably be seen back later in the week (I'd guess early Thursday). With all the other factors (possible pre-eclampsia, baby size, etc.), they certainly don't want me to go much more than a week overdue, so if they don't decide to induce next week, it will be the following week for sure, dilation or no. All of this, of course, assumes that Baby G doesn't decide to make his own plans.

So, that's all there is for now. I am almost completely over the bronchitis (I'd say 85-90%). I'm not too uncomfortable (assuming baby isn't using me for a punching bag; see below). I am getting quite tired more often; I go through spells of pretty good energy and exhaustion. But all in all, everything is fine. And the baby's room is all done! Missing a couple of decorative touches, but all of the necessary stuff is in there. Check out my webshots album of the Baby's Room if you would like to see.

Thank you all for your love and support. Just a few more days!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I am NOT a punching bag!

Or a trampoline, or a kickboxing practice dummy. Could someone please explain that to my child? I understand it is getting cramped in there (hey, it's not *my* fault he chose to grow so big before coming out), but pummeling me to death from the inside isn't going to help any. All it is doing is hurting me. :-( Just a few more days, just a few more days....

Then I get to complain about postpartum pain, absolutely no sleep, and no time to myself. :-\

Friday, September 24, 2004

Abstract art, a.k.a. new ultrasound picture

Here he is! Can you see his face? Chin on the left, forhead on the right, upper half of the pic.

Current baby status: Head down (with feet pounding my ribs!), spine against my left side, head pressing *quite* well on my pelvis, making walking, and even sitting, rather difficult at times. Estimated weight: 8 lbs 7 oz. EEK!

Current me status: Urine looks clear of protein, weight has stabalized, blood pressure is back down to 130/68. Yay! We're hoping it was more of a fluke than true pre-eclampsia signs. So, no more bed rest, though I still have to "take it easy." (But I'm guessing they say that to *any* woman 38 weeks pregnant!) Also, no further talk of induction, at least not until my next appointment (Sept 30). They want to give me as much time as possible to get as well as possible before introducing a baby into the mix. This of course assumes he doesn't decide to come on his own.

Current bronchitis status: Still hanging around, but I am feeling better (relatively speaking). Coughing is more congested, but considerably less frequent. Nose is still rather runny, but slowly getting better. My right ear is stopped up, which is driving me batty!! Breathing is easier, overall. But to me, the real sign of improvement is that I *feel* much better. Certainly more alert and focused than I have been for almost a week now. So let's hope I continue to improve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Temari info and links (more info added)

No, no baby yet (thankfully; blood work came back fine, and all of my other factors were actually lower Friday than they were Wednesday), but I have another appointment today. I also think I'm coming down with bronchitis. Yeah, just what I need at 38 weeks pregnant! ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, someone asked me about temari in my most recent set of comments. Normally, I would expound quite a bit on temari, why I love it, and show pictures. But I just don't have the energy right now. So here is the super-short version. Temari is a Japanese embroidery technique done on spherical objects, usually handmade balls of some kind. It involves wrapping the ball with thread, then using decorative threads to create a design of some kind, usually geometric in nature. (You can see why this appeals to the engineer in me.)

I got started with it because a friend of mine learned to make them and brought an example with her to one of our stitching get-togethers. She then offered to teach us how to do it. She first used (with permission) Judy's Temari Tutor which, as far as I am concerned, is still the absolute best resource available. Better than any book. Another very good website, though better once you have tried your hand at a few is TemariKai. Great info, fair to good design instructions (depending on the design, but hey, they're free!), and an extensive links page. They also have a mailing list that has a good amount of chatter.

However, once you get the hang of the concept, the books are pretty useful as well. I use them more for inspiration (both design and color) than I do for actual instruction, but they are still good to have. Here are the three I own:
* Temari: How to Make Japanese Thread Balls, by Diana Vandervoort (she has several books)
* The Craft of Temari, by Mary Wood
* Temari: A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique, by Margaret Ludlow

I hope this helps. You can see examples of temari made personally by me in my temari webshots album. I'll get around to having a real webpage about them one of these days.

Okay, just for Glenda, I'm editing this post to talk about the supplies I use. I use 3 inch diameter styrofoam balls (available at any craft store, often in the floral section) as my base. Haven't gotten around to making my own mari yet. I then use 1/4 inch batting, a yarn layer (baby yarn), and at least one entire 300 yard spool of sewing thread. I think Judy talks about this on her site, but I don't remember for sure. Seems like either she does or Diana Vandervoort does. Anyway, once the base is wrapped, I divide the ball using quilting pins (I like the different colored heads, makes it easier to know what marking pin is what). You are now ready to put something on your wrapped mari base.

I usually divide the ball using Kreinik #4 braid or perle cotton (#5, I think, but I'll double check). For paper strips, I usually just cut the edges off of junk mail! I do most of the stitching (i.e. the actual design) in either perle cotton (again #5, IIRC) or just plain ol' DMC floss, just as it comes off the skein. For a cheaper alternative to perle cotton (that works perfectly fine, and I like it to play with, since it's cheaper), the DMC "craft thread" that is sold in packs is roughly the same weight as the perle cotton. It's not as shiny, but it comes in lots of colors, so give it a try if you don't want to put a lot of mone into it initially. However, it gives more dimension and texture than DMC floss, which ends up much more smooth in appearance. I can't remember what needles I use. Just the longest ones I can find; 2 inches is pretty good. The rubber "needle gripper" discs, often found in the quilting section, are fabulous for pulling the needles under the thread wrap.

That's everything I can think of. If I think of anything else, or if you have any other questions, just let me know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

We may be out of luck

Well, we've been extremely lucky and blessed for 37 weeks, but it looks like our baby luck may have finally run out. Standard disclaimer: no one panic! The doctor is not alarmed, just concerned, saying that "it bears watching." So far, things are still fine. However, I have several factors which show me as borderline for preeclampsia. I had some blood drawn today; should get those results back tomorrow. Assuming that comes back okay, I will be allowed to stay home over the weekend, albeit on all but bed rest. I will then go back to the doctor on Tuesday, and I will probably be going twice a week from then on to have my weight, urine, and blood pressure checked (these are three of the major indictors). Apparently, I am standing right on the line between okay and not. If they can keep me stable at my current levels, they will let me continued as is, at least to my due date, which has been revised to October 2. If I cross said line on any factor between now and my due date, I will have to go into the hospital to be monitored and potentially have labor induced. Fun. So, be thinking of us.

And for everyone who has been asking me how big I am, I'm HUGE!!! Allow me to show you:

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Kitty Inspection Committee

Before I start this post, I wanted to let you know that Jacob's apartment is just fine. The only property they lost was everything in the refrigerator and freezer due to no power for a few days. Not bad, considering.

Okay, now to the actual post. Most of you probably know about the KFC (Kitty Financial Committee) by now. If not, you can read all about them here at a previous post I made. Well, with all the new responsibilities coming to the family with the baby, they wanted in on the action. Thus, the Kitty Inspection Committee was formed.

The real story? With all this new stuff, you don't really think we can keep it away from four cats, do you?! LOL Nope, no way, no how, not a chance. We *have* managed to do quite a good job of keeping them out of/off of the crib, which is our primary concern. They are already accustomed to not going in that room (not that they don't try every time). We have let them come in and sniff around, and we have held them up and let them sniff at the crib, but that's it. There's a door to that room, so not much trouble. But the travel system? That's staying down here, and it had to be put together, which obviously means we needed lots of "help." You don't really think that they were just going to let us "peoples" do it alone, do you? So once it got all put together, it had to be inspected.

Here is Tigger, inspecting the infant seat and stroller (and DH in the background):

And Bengal, inspecting the basket. Clearly it can hold at least 15 pounds. LOL

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

To whom it may concern

I've received a couple of emails, so I thought I would post an update on myself and my family in the wake of Hurricane Frances. Given how far flung we all are now, I find it pretty amazing that it managed to touch all of us in some way. We'll start with Jacob, as he was in the most immediate danger living near Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He evacuated early the same morning that mandatory evacuations were issued (later that morning, so he got out ahead of the crowd). Had he not left when he did, it would have taken almost twice as long for him to get out. He had to go all the way to Macon, GA (an hour or so south of Atlanta) to find a hotel. That's about 600 miles. Took him about 16 hours. Starting about 90 miles south of the FL/GA line, most of the trip was made at around 20 mph. But he was out and safe; that was the important thing.

Next, the rest of my family. My parents live in Brunswick in coastal Georgia, roughly half way between Jacksonville, FL, and Savannah, GA. So, as Frances moved north, they were getting whipped some. Ironically, given the path of the storm, my paternal grandparents were actually getting it worse than my parents. They live about 100 miles inland from my parents in Waycross, but the way the rain bands were arcing, they were going through Savannah, then coming around through Waycross, going around and over Brunswick.

As the storm continued moving north, it started affecting us and my maternal grandmother, who lives about an hour east of Atlanta. As of yesterday, she had received more rain than we had, but I think it was windier here. Been raining almost constantly since around midnight. Power went out here around 1 AM, but only for less than 5 seconds. Basically, long enough that the lack of noise woke me up (it cut off our fan), and long enough that we have to reset all the clocks. ::grumble grumble:: I guess if that's the worst it comes to, we're doing well.

Jacob is still in Georgia, though he has headed a little closer to home. He is currently staying with my parents. Parts of I-95 are still closed around West Palm Beach, FL. He has to go through there to get back to his place. They are currently trying to decide if they should try to take I-75 back instead. The problem at the moment is the lack of gasoline in Florida. Even if they do get back, they wouldn't be able to go many places on a virtually empty tank, and they may have to turn around and leave again next weekend (thank you Hurricane Ivan).

So, bottom line, all of "my people" are fine. We won't know about property until Jacob manages to get home. Keep those who were affected in your hearts and minds, and pray we don't all have to do all this again in a week due to Hurricane Ivan.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

International baby

My friend Cyndi has returned from her three-month work-related trip to Italy. She and I met up today briefly, just to say hi and catch up. She just returned yesterday, so she's still a little, um, spacy from the trip, to say the least, but it sounds like she had a fabulous time. Cyndi is quite the experienced international traveler, having spent a great deal of time in Paris just a couple of years ago during the Ga Tech architecture study abroad program.

While in Paris, she became entranced with what was *the* baby toy for all French children. It's a small plastic giraffe. She said at the time that she wished she knew someone with a baby so she could buy one. Well, upon finding out that I was expecting before this European trip, she decided that our baby would indeed have one of these little giraffes, and she specifically sought one out on her weekend trip to Paris. How many babies can say that? "Why yes, *my* chewy toy came from Paris! Yours is just from Target." LOL Thank you, Cyndi! I'm sure he'll love it.

And, it's just so darn cute, I have to show you:

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Might have to take down the pregnancy ticker

It's been pretty fun to watch, but it's really starting to freak me out now!

Monday, August 30, 2004

GO! Set. Ready?

Given that I can't sleep, and I've been meaning to blog on this topic for what seems like forever, I figured it was about time. How many times have you heard or said the following: "you're never completely ready for a baby." I heard that constantly growing up, and I've been told that more times than I can count since announcing this pregnancy. I know it's true; it has to be. How can you prepare yourself for something you have no concept of in actuality, particularly if you didn't grow up around lots of little kids and babies (I certainly didn't).

It occurs to me that having a child is the one thing we do almost completely backwards, thus the title of this post. Under normal circumstances for most any task, we would do everything possible to prepare ourselves. We'd read, we'd study, we'd practice. We'd "get ready." Then we would set up the plan for how to accomplish whatever it is we want. "Set." Finally, when we feel "ready and set," we'd implement said plan and tackle whatever it is we were preparing for; "go." You can't really do that with having a child. For most people (my personal observations here), the first thing we do is start trying (GO!). Only once we have succeeded do we really start setting out the fully detailed plan. What do we need? When do we need it? How does this whole birth thing actually work (you expect me to do what?! LOL)? Only once we've taken the plunge and there's no turning back do we bother to get around to being "set" for actually bringing a child into this world and into our own home. And then, once we think we're all (or mostly) set, or we hope we are because we're running out of time.... only then do we really sit down and say, am I ready for this? The answer is no. No matter how much prep work we do, we'll never be truly ready. All we can do is hope and wait and pray.

Doesn't really matter, anyway, because it's too late to change my mind at this point. Only 5(ish) weeks left. EEK! Are we ready? No; see above. Are we set? Well, we're getting there. Hey, we have a constructed crib in the baby's room now. Yay! ::big smile:: OMG, we have a crib!!! That means we're *actually* going to have a baby to put in it. EEK EEK EEK!!!!! What the heck were we thinking?! We're not ready for this! ::tries not to faint:: And we're breathing....

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Quite a range

When I had my storybook shower at the beginning of this month, we posted two contests for the attendees. One was "guess the birthday" (using birth time as a tie break, should two people pick the same date). The second was "guess the weight" (using length as the tie break). We got quite a range of answers! I guess that's good. It means not too many people will be all bunched up, so there shouldn't be any close calls. The dates range from 9/23 (two weeks early) to 10/15 (8 days late). Times from 2 AM to 11:23 PM. Weights from 6 lbs. 5 oz. to 8 lbs. 8 oz. (Thank goodness no one thinks I'll be giving birth to a behemoth.) Lengths from 17 3/4 inches to 20 inces even. Should be an interesting contest!

The funny thing is going to be seeing how well my father does at the birthday game. He decided to take the "scientific approach." He looked up the moon tables on his palm and chose the date of the full moon closest to my due date. LOL So he guessed October 13. Given the sheer number of engineers we had there (these were most of my college (Georgia Tech) friends), I'm surprised he was the first person to think of it. Let's see how accurate science is, shall we?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Atlanta Get-Together - a special thank you

I just wanted to thank everyone who came to the Atlanta GTG today at Valerie's house. We had a fabulous time. We just had one three weeks ago, but they decided to hold one again, since this will be my last one before my baby is born. (Next one is scheduled for the last week in September or first week in October; um, no). We had a great time, despite missing a couple of members who had to cancel at the last minute (missed you Stacey and Maria!). Lots of laughter, lots of stories, lots of food, and some stitching. LOL It was so much fun!!

And surprising! That's right, part of the GTG involved a surprise baby shower for me, and not only did the "locals" participate, but several other members of the TWBB as well, some from as far away as England. I was so stunned! And I didn't have a single clue it was coming. I have been promised I don't have to send out thank you notes (bless you), but I did want to publicly thank the following people for making today so special for me: Valerie (the hostess with the mostest), Jana, Lori, Kirsten (who also brought the yummiest cake!), Cris, Ginny, Becky, Cindy, Angi, Teresa, Annette, Margaret, Sue, Jenni, Lisa, Mel, Pauline, and Kay. Y'all are the best!

I understand that at least one package did not make it in time, but Valerie will get any stragglers to me at a later date. So, if you don't see your name listed above but you did send something, it just hasn't gotten to me yet.

Thank you all again! I feel so loved and blessed with friends like you.

-Erin, smiling through happy tears

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Where has Mr. Wiggles gone?

Before I start this story, I want everyone to repeat (and believe) the following statement: everything is fine! Got it? Okay, you may continue. For anyone who gets the baby newsletter, this story is a repeat.

We had a minor baby scare on Tuesday. He had been very very active for the last week or so, virtually in constant motion. He was quiet, though still moving, on Monday. Tuesday, I realized late afternoon (naturally, around 4 pm when the doctor's office closed) that I had felt virtually no movement all day long. Called the office, and they sent me to "OB Assessment" to have fetal heartbeat and activity monitored. Took them a while to find the heartbeat (not uncommon for our uncooperative child), and he still wasn't moving much. After about an hour, they decided to use the accoustic stimulator, which is essentially a buzzer placed on my belly that provided noise and vibrations. Boy, he did NOT like that! I thought he was going to jump right out of me through my belly button. But that was the reaction they wanted, and after that (I think he decided he didn't want to go through that again), he's been moving regularly. Whew! Don't scare mommy like that again please!

Friday, August 13, 2004

The world's strangest favor

Probably my most embarrassing pregnancy moment to date: I had to ask someone for the world's strangest favor yesterday. I had a baby appointment, and when I came out of the office building, the person next to me in the parking lot had parked almost right on the line nearest the driver's side of my car. Granted I was a little closer to the line than normal (not exactly centered), and the parking spaces are narrow (less than a foot from tire to line if you are perfectly centered), but there was not even a foot between the sides of our vehicles. Not only could I not have gotten the door open far enough to actually get in it if I could have reached it, I couldn't even get my hips between the sides of the cars. Turning sideways did no good with this basketball sticking out front, which also prevented me from crawling through the passenger's side. ::sigh::

So I head back into the building, hoping to find someone, someone skinny enough, to help me. Thankfully, an angel was sent promptly. As I was walking in, a very nice man, roughly my age and quite slender (5'10" and 160-170), was walking out. I stopped and asked if he would mind helping me, and he said he would certainly try. When I explained the situation and what I needed him to do, he just smiled. "I'd be happy to help. I hope someone will do the same for my wife if she is ever in a similar situation." As we walk out, he asks where I am parked, and I point off to our left. "Uh-oh, I hope I'm not the idiot who parked too close!" LOL He wasn't; in fact, he was parked directly in front of me. Even he commented on how close the cars were, and even he had difficulty getting in the door (but not getting between the vehicles ::rolls eyes::). He backs it out for me, I thank him profusely, and I leave. Next time, I'm cheating to the right side of the parking space!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Just what I wanted! (not)

This morning, I woke up to another "official" sign of late pregnancy: stretch marks. Now, these are not my first stretch marks. I have plenty from being overweight on and off my entire life, but I've had most of those long enough that they have faded to the pale silvery hardly-noticable type (particulary when I am so pale to begin with). It was just rather a shock to see "fresh ones" glaring purple in the mirror this morning. I know, they are to be expected, but that doesn't mean they are welcome. Guess I should step up my skin care regiment with the stretch mark cream Connie gave me for Christmas. I haven't been very diligent about it to this point; perhaps this is my punishment. If I start now, maybe I can minimize them to some extent. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

David Tippin found ALIVE!

THEY FOUND HIM! David Tippin has been found alive, bundled in sheets in an abandoned house less than a mile from his own home. Scent dogs tracked him all night during the cooler temperatures when tracking is good. Early this morning, they found where he spent Sunday night. A few hours later, a man called police reporting that he had found David in a vacant rental home on his property. He saw a light on in the house that shouldn't have been on, entered the home, and found David sleeping on the floor. The hospital confirms that, other than several very minor scratches and some mild dehydration, he is just fine. His only requests: his stuffed polar bear and lunch (hot dog and french fries).

Thank you all so much for your concern, and especially your prayers.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Please help find David Tippin

David Tippin, the 4-year-old son of a friend of mine, is missing. THIS IS NOT A JOKE! This is someone that I personally know. In fact, I just spent the day with her and a bunch of other stitchers on Saturday. I saw her less than 10 hours before she found her child missing.

He was last seen in his own bed in Stockbridge, GA, wearing an electric blue Finding Nemo t-shirt and gray shorts. He is a white male, 3 foot 6 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He seems to have wandered out of the house before daybreak on Sunday morning, and he has not been seen since. Here is a link to Stacey's blog, which has more information and a photograph of David.

Please, especially if you are in the Atlanta area, please keep your eyes open. Help us bring this child home to his parents. Stacey is one of the most honest and decent people I have ever met. If there is anything you can do to help, even pray, please do so. Thank you.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Friday Five - from 07/30/2004

1) Of everything in your wardrobe what do you feel the most comfortable wearing? Why?
Currenty, maternity clothes (for obvious reason). Under normal circumstances: jeans and t-shirts. I feel that I can go most anywhere in that, and I look relatively decent. In the winter, it's jeans and turtlenecks.

2) How would you describe your style?
Nonexistant! LOL Extremely laid back and comfortable, and very anti-skirt (in skirt only or dress form).

3) How many pairs of shoes do you own and do you wear them all?
How many do I actually own? Probably close to 30, but most of them are piled into a bag in the closet and haven't been worn in *years.* I really need to give them away. I actually wear, um (I'm counting), 5 pair: "real" sneakers, two pairs of Keds (one white leather, one USA stars and stripes), black dress shoes for pants, black dress shoes for dresses.

4) Where do you buy most of your clothes?
Wherever I can find things that fit! Jeans usually come from Wal-mart (seriously; their Faded Glory brand actually tends to fit the best). T-shirts from all over, though the majority are probably from Disney. Turtlenecks from Land's End. Most of the rest of my clothes from Rich's, Sears, or JCPenney. I ordered all of my maternity clothes from JCPenney, and I can't say enough good things about the fit, the quality, the service, or the ease of returns. I have been *extremely* pleased. (No affiliation, just a happy customer, blah blah....)

5) What was the last piece of clothing you bought?
My TWBBWWGTG t-shirt. (That's the Teresa Wentzler Bulletin Board World Wide Get-Together, for any non-board people who may come across this.) I couldn't pass up the chance to have an "official" TW t-shirt, even if I can't attend the event. :( But it's for a good reason (I suppose, LOL). Thank you Margaret for organizing that effort! I can't wait until I can actually wear it!

Friday, July 30, 2004

Not quite according to plan

Okay, so I didn't get around to doing any of the meme stuff I thought I would. Things in my "real life" have been a little hectic. Add to that the "technical difficulties" surrounding the ezboards that I frequent, and I haven't gotten much done. Sorry! I'll either catch up over the weekend or early next week. Hope all of you have a fantastic weekend! Atlanta Stitching GTG, here I come!!! :-D

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Movie Meme!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Erica for pointing me to a meme (list of thoughts or questions to ponder in your blog) on my most favorite subject: MOVIES! If I find one on Disney, I'll be in heaven. Starting tomorrow, I'll try to get caught up on all of his questions (they're all way fun). I'll do probably one a day until I'm caught up, then I'll most likely continue going foward on a weekly basis. So much fun!

New Movie Musings are up

It's been forever since I wrote new Movie Musings (first week of June, IIRC), and even longer since I posted a link from here.  I'll try to remember in the future, assuming there are many/any future musings once the baby comes.  We'll see.  You can read the entire Movie Musings newsletter (which includes all of the below, plus some extra "what's up with the muse" stuff), or you can skip straight to the individual one(s) you want to read:
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
* Spider-Man 2
* King Arthur
* I, Robot

The Friday Five - from 07/23/2004

Seeing as I can't sleep at the moment, I thought I would actually jump into this as so many of my blogging friends (see sidebar) have. I'll catch up from last week and do my best to play along every week going forward (though probably on Mondays, not Fridays). I'll also start on the stitching question of the week next week. So, without further ado, The Friday Five:
1) who was your favorite band/musican when you were younger?
I don't know that I ever really had a favorite.   Most any 80s "hair band" would suffice.  I guess I'll go with Bon Jovi.
2) why?
Something about their music just spoke to me.  Unlike most of the rest of the hair bands of the era, this one stuck.
3) are they still your favorite/one of your favorites? 
Yes, that's why I chose them as a favorite.
4) what is your favorite of their songs? 
"Livin' On a Prayer" is still one of my favories; I smile each time I hear it.
5) are there any specific lyrics you hold dear?
From "Bed of Roses"
About all of the things that I long to believe
About love and the truth and what you mean to me
And the truth is baby you're all that I need

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The ABCs of Erin

I snitched this from someone's blog quite a while ago (Suz, I think) and got it about half done before saving it as a draft. I had completely forgotten until I saw it in Erica's blog. So here it is, a little more about me.

Act your age? Usually. Actually, I think I've finally grown into my age.  I've always been "wise beyond my years."
Born on what day of the week? Saturday
Chore you hate? Chores! LOL Um, dishes.
Dad's name? Mark
Essential makeup item? None! Rarely wear it.
Favorite actor? Oh man, just one? Ed Harris
Gold or silver? Gold
Hometown? Brunswick, GA (born in Riverdale, GA)
Instruments you play? piano, flute/piccolo, handbells
Job? none at the moment, besides parasitic host (i.e. mommy-to-be) ; occupation (when employed): Industrial Engineer
Kids? 4 of the feline variety (see sidebar), one of the human male variety on the way (due Oct 7)
Living arrangements? Married, single family home
Mom's name? Rita
Need? for this pregnancy to be over! LOL
Overnight hospital stays? Too many! Two sets of child ear tubes, knee surgery, gallbladder removal, plus a couple of nights spent in the ER with kidney stones (but not admitted); soon to be again after giving birth
Phobias? Bugs, particularly roaches/palmetto bugs
Quote you like? Serious: "We live in a universe, not a multiverse. Among other things, this means that science, engineering, the search for justice, the search for beauty, and the search for holiness are interrelated." Fun: "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request."
Religious affiliation? Raised Baptist, currently practicing Methodist
Siblings? One younger brother, Jacob, whom I adore
Time you wake up? Between 9 and 10 (the only advantage to being unemployed)
Unique talent? None really, except the woven cording I can make
Veggie you like? Bleck! Um, butter beans cooked with hamhocks, or green beans
Worst habit? Clutter/pack rat syndrome
X-rays you've had? Again, too many. My nose after getting hit in the face with a line drive during T-ball, my chest to check for pneumonia (turned out to be whooping cough), my knee when I dislocated it, and tons for each kidney stone I've had (both traditional and CAT scans) ; plus standard dental x-rays
Yummy food you make? Chicken with Dried Beef, Annette's Macaroni and Cheese
Zodiac Sign? Leo

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I have the bestest brother!

Check out what my brother gave me for my birthday: my very own domain!  Check me out at  He moved all of my code over for me and everything (pages, pictures, backgrounds, all of it!).  Thank you Boo-boo!

Now I can *really* play around with coding and pretend like I know what I'm doing.  LOL

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me

Unfortunately, I am still up (trouble sleeping).  But today is my 28th birthday.  Technically, I don't think it will be official until almost 5 pm, but close enough.  LOL  No big plans, though.  I think dinner at The Cheesecake Factory is about the only thing I even want.  My grandparents sent me some money, and I honestly can't think of anything to spend it on.  (I am expressly forbidden to spend it on the baby.  I have to buy something for *me.*)  Probably some books or DVDs.  Who knows.   I'm sure I'll come up with something.  If nothing else, I'll save it to buy something nice to wear for our first set of portraits after the baby arrives.  :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Buy stock in Charmin

This whole post carries a minor TMI (too much information) alert, and a definite *rant* warning.

To all who like to invest in stock, you should buy Charmin now.  Or whoever their parent company is.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the stereotypical need to urinate constantly has finally hit this pregnant lady.  And it's awful!!  I used to go 6-8 hours (sometimes more) without needing to find a restroom, and I *never* had to get up at night.  Even after getting pregnant, I thought visiting the facilities every 4 hours was a little much, but not unmanageable, and maybe once during the night.  But now, I am literally getting up to go every 60-90 minutes, and it is driving me batty!  Even at night, this goes on.  It's a wonder my husband is getting any sleep (and I know many nights, between the bathroom and my simply being unable to find a comfortable position, he really isn't getting much sleep).  And I've got 11 more weeks of this?!  I'm not sure if I can cope.  Oh, and buying stock in Tums is probably not a bad idea either.  I've had heartburn off and on fairly regularly over the past 7 months, most usually at night.  For the past few days, it has been almost constant!  Ugh.  I just hope I have an esophagus left by the time it's all over.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Yes, the baby has a website

I've been emailed this question a few times over the last week, so I thought I would post it here for good measure.  The baby's website is officially up and running.  Pretty much all that is currently there are the monthly updates I send out.  I imagine it will be much more "hopping" once he actually arrives (well, assuming I have the time, that is, ha ha).  Don't feel compelled to visit or read if you're not really interested.  I just know some are, so I wanted to let you know it was there.  If you want to receive the monthly updates via email, just drop me a line (you can use the email link in the left "star" box).  But again, don't feel like you have to.  I'm not trying to drum up interest.  I already send it to 45 people, but it's easy to add you if you want.  (Am I being wishy-washy enough for you?)
Oh, and it's a Geocities free site, so that means pop-up adds and limited hits per day.  So if you can't access it right away, try back in a few hours or a couple of days later.  One of the prices you pay for a free site.  Maybe when I rejoin the ranks of the employed, I'll actually spring for my very own domain and ad-free hosting.  We'll see.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I have taken the final step

Yes folks, I have officially stepped wholely, totally, and completely into the world of pregnancy. How was I not there before, you ask? Simple. I was still "making due" with regular clothes. But no more, they're just too uncomfortable.

I now have maternity clothes.

Not sure how I feel about that (besides much more comfortable! LOL). There just isn't much selection out there for plus-sized ladies, and when you combine that with the fact that I am not willing to spend $30 for a top or $50 on a skirt or pair of pants, my options become severely limited. To make matters worse, summer clothes are on "seasonal clearance" right now, so finding things in my size becomes even more complicated. How can shorts be "out of season"?! It's the middle of JULY!!! Hello, anyone home in the retail market? It's 95 degrees outside. What the heck makes you think that I'm going to want to even try on (much less buy) a sweater right now?

I figure it will balance out soon enough, though. Every season, the clothes for the next season come out earlier and earlier. Bathing suites used to be in stores in March, then February. I usually see them out around mid-January now. Give it a couple of years, and they'll be out before Thanksgiving. Follow that trend, and eventually, they'll loop back on themselves and all will be right again. I'm just not sure I can wait that long.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Shadow made me do it!

It really is all Shadow's fault. I was off to the grocery store just after 3 pm. Went over to the door, had the list in my left hand, and picked up my keys in my right. Turned, opened the door, realized I didn't have my cell phone. Turned around, picked it up out of the basket, turned back to the door just in time to see a long gray tail disappearing out of it. Now, none of the cats have ever really shown much interest in going out the door. This door leads to the garage, so there really isn't that far for them to go anyway. I was just annoyed.

I thought I would find her being tentative on the platform out there, but no, she had wandered on out into the garage and under the water heater (which stands about a foot off the ground). It's in the corner, no way I was getting down on all fours on the concrete to try and get her out. I thought opening the garage door would scare her back in, but no such luck; she was completely unphased. So, I go back in the house, sit down my phone and keys (both in my right hand), pick up the water gun, go back out he door, and squirt her a couple of times until she goes back in. Go in with her, put down the gun, turn the lock, and walk out the door. The instant I heard it shut, I realized I didn't have my keys or phone. ::smacks head against wall::

Saw my next door neighbor (who I have never met) getting her mail, so I went over, explained that I was locked out, and asked if I could use her phone. She only had a cordless, and I could hear it beeping indicating low battery, but it did have enough juice to get me through to DH to ask him to come home and let me in. Had this happened 30 minutes later, he would have already been at the gym playing ball, and I would have been stuck outside until 6:30-7.

Back to my house to wait in the garage for him. It really didn't take him as long as I thought it would (25 minutes, maybe). I got to flip through the catalogs that came in the mail. I was singing to myself sitting on the ledge, and Shadow had the audacity to come up to the other side of the door and meow at me! Well, you know, if I could open the freakin' door, we wouldn't be having this problem, now would we?! Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I'm here

I've had a post percolating around in my head for a few weeks now, based on WhizGidget's comment in my previous post about never really being ready for a baby. I'll actually sit down and write it one of these days. In the meantime, all is well with life and baby. Trying to prepare for our rigorous travel schedule over the next few weeks. More later.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Half way there!

::doing a little happy pregnancy dance:: I just cannot believe that I am 20 weeks through this pregnancy already. Wasn't it just yesterday that I announced? I assure you we are not half way ready for a baby! Guess I'll have to work on that. My last day at work will be Wednesday, May 26. Should have plenty of time after that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Baby Gaston - all is well!

Well, as much as they can tell, which is pretty well. We were in the ultrasound room for about an hour. The tech did a very detailed analysis to determine fetal age. She put my due date about 5 days earlier than the one that my doctor gave me, but she did say that it's a numbers game and some babies are just bigger than others (i.e. don't get my heart set on an earlier date, LOL). Oh, and it's *definitely* a boy. Both she and the doctor said so, and I have the picture to prove it (I really will get the scanner hooked up this week). The doctor even laughed and said that, although dad's don't like to hear this, sometimes their little, er, parts are not big enough to be seen at this point, "but that's not a problem for your little guy." :-p

Anyway, after doing her analysis, the doctor came in to have her own look around inside. I like her a lot, she was very very nice, and very careful to explain everything she was doing and seeing (something I like in a doctor, but I know some people don't). She asked if this was our first, and when we said yes, she said "oh, so they got you all freaked out about this for probably no reason." She said that the absolute number one most common reason that AFP tests come back high is "just because they do, with nothing to ever explain why." She went over a few other "normal" reasons, including twins ("we'd definitely know if that were the case by now") and fetal demise ("clearly not a problem with your little wiggle worm here"). She also said that my readings were not that high. A reading of 2.5 is considered normal, and mine was 2.87.

Then she went over the defects that could cause it. Missing the top of the skull: everything is perfectly intact as it should be, the brain is developing well. Intestines developing on the outside of the body or the lower abdominal cavity not completely covered in skin: no evidence of that, and it is very easy to detect via ultrasound. Lack of skin covering the spine: she did a "cross section" view of the spine all the way down for as much of it as she could see, and there is skin covering all of it. She did say that it is hard to detect if the very ends of the spine are exposed. The very bottom portion is hard to see because it curls into the "butt crack" (her words), but she seemed unconcerned about that one. The very top portion, where it joins the brain, is also hard to check directly via ultrasound, but if that is the case, it usually causes a clearly visible problem in the cerebellum, and she found no evidence of any such problem. So, as best we can tell, all is well.

Ultrasounds are not 100%, of course. The only way to be absolutely sure is to do an amnio. Then she said almost the same words, verbatim, that I said to my mother last night. Having seen no evidence of a defect of any kind (including a cleft lip, which doesn't show up on the AFP test, but since I was there they decided to check), the likelyhood of him having an undetected defect after four ultrasounds, two in the past two weeks that have been looked at by three people, including a perinatologist, is so much less than the chance of miscarriage due to an amnio, they really discourage the test unless the parents are practically hysterical and absolutely demand to have difinitive proof. The worst possible outcome would be to do an amnio, have it come back perfectly normal, and then to miscarry a perfectly healthy baby. I was in absolute agreement, so we will just assume all is well, since we are as sure as we can be at this point. She also said that unless something else shows up strange at my regular doctor, she has no reason to see me back. Yay!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

And the list narrows

Well, we now have an actual "short list" for baby names. It's down to six (from 43): Brian, Evan, Kevin, Luke, Ryan, and Shane. (Yes, I am perfectly aware that two pairs of those rhyme.) We do alreadly have a favorite, but we're not telling. Actually, the list may not even get any shorter. We won't make a decision until he actually arrives, so there's no point in agonizing over it right now. Oh, middle name will be Warren, my maiden name.

In other news, one of my blood tests came back slightly off from the expected value, so I have to go in for a more in-depth test on Tuesday, May 18. If you could spare come good thoughts for all three of us that day, it would be much appreciated. My doctor doesn't seem overly concerned, and since the in-depth test is an ultrasound (completely non-invasive and risk-free), there's no reason not to double-check, just in case. I'll let you know the results as soon as I have them.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

May's prenatal appointment update, and a huge surprise

Dang, I haven't been here in, like, forever! I am so sorry. Life is just crazy right now, between training job replacements (glad they don't need my position anymore, but they do still think all of my work needs to get done) and my astoundingly busy social life of late. Most of this post is coming directly from the email newsletter I send out to family and friends, so if you already got that update, this is a repeat. (Newsletter recipients got some bits of extra info, though.) I hope to get back to posting here at least once a week in the very near future.

BTW, that little bar thing up there is my pregnancy counter. Shows how far along I am and how many days (theoretically) are left. But you figured that out already!

Everything continues to go completely normal and dull and boring, and I am not complaining at all. I feel great, I've only gained 4 pounds (which, given my starting weight, the doctor says is fine), my blood pressure is the lowest it has been in 6 years (118/70 as of yesterday). Must have something to do with only working one day a week now (soon to be none, as of May 28). I can definitely handle that. People keep coming up to me when I am in the office talking about how good I look. Yeah, it's amazing what happens when you don't have the stress of work and layoffs every 2-3 months hanging over you anymore (it's not like they can lay me off again). It's also amazing what getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night will accomplish! I know, I know, enjoy it while I can, because it will be ending all too soon. Trust me, I'm taking full advantage now. LOL

But that's not really what you want to know, right? You want to hear about yesterday's appointment and ultrasound! We arrived exactly on time, but had to wait a bit, which is actually unusual for that office. Went to the ultrasound room first (again, unusual; I think my doctor was a little backed up). Now, the tech did ask us when we came in if we wanted to know the gender. We said no, she repeated that back to us, and then we started. "Did you bring a video tape?" No! They didn't tell us to. I'd meant to bring one just in case, but it completely slipped my mind that morning. I told her that I could bring her a replacement if she had one we could use. "Oh, we sell them, they're $5." Fine. I figured it was worth it to have it.

Of course, one point of the ultrasound is showing the parents things, but the main point is really a checklist of things to photograph and measure for the doctor. The first thing we saw when she put the wand on my belly was the spine. That's not really the best position for getting all the necessary info, but we figured the baby would turn eventually (nope). The key elements to measure for fetal development and age are the stomach and the femur (thigh bone). Both checked out perfectly for where they should be given our due date. Weight is 8 oz. Got to see all four chambers of the heart clearly. I didn't know they did this, but they also check for direction and flow rate of blood in the cord. (Had no idea you even *could* do that via ultrasound.) When she found a good angle on the cord so she could measure, the cord was in the bottom right corner of the screen. Clearly visible (so clear, we didn't need her to tell us what we were seeing) were two little legs sticking straight out, feet crossed at the ankles. Have I mentioned that this is DH's perpetual state when he is sitting anywhere? Even he recognized it and was a little embarrassed. It was so cute! (So were the crossed legs. ;)) Kid isn't even here yet, won't be for 5 more months, and already taking after Daddy.

I think she was just going along with her standard spiel, and since most people want to know the gender (plus she has to check the development of the, er, organs anyway (trying not to trip anyone's Net-Nanny)), it slipped out before she even realized she was saying it, and she didn't stop in time. So now we know.

Eh, what's that? I'm sorry, I can't here you! You're all yelling at your computers at once, I'm having trouble figuring out what you're saying. Oh, you want to know what we're having! :p Well, it's a....
wait for it....
is it killing you yet?


I was quite annoyed at first (that she told us, not that it's a boy!), and that's not exactly something you can just take back or forget. Though, if she really did need to zoom in and photograph it for the doctor, even we would have noticed! Perfect profile shot, hard to mistake it for anything else, particularly when we knew where the hands were (in front of the face, so we never did get a face shot). Unless our baby has a stray appendage growing on its extreme lower abdomen, it's *definitely* a boy. Between the hands always being near the head and the fact that he never turned (shy, clearly takes after Steve), it was virtually impossible to see his face. Oh well. Got some not bad profile shots, though, which I can't scan yet because our old computer died, and the scanner is not compatible with our new computer. (We did buy a new all-in-one last night, but I haven't hooked it up yet. Probably tonight.)

Anyway, long story short (too late), everything looks perfect, for me and baby. There is really nothing to say about my part of the appointment. Did get to hear the heartbeat on the hand unit this time. 150bpm, just as it should be. Everything for me shows absolutely normal and boring, just like we like it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I am here

Just been quite busy. Funny how now that they've decided they don't need me any more, I'm the most popular person around. All's well with mommy and baby. I hope for a better update soon, but probably not until next week. Hang in there with me!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Didn't get to hear the heartbeat (but don't panic)

Well, I had my April pre-natal appointment yesterday. I'm 13 weeks, so I was *supposed* to get to hear the heartbeat yesterday. I know it is sometimes difficult to find, but I was also in a mild panic because all of my pregnancy symptoms seem to be going away (except the sore chest) and I had been having minor abdominal pains off and on for about a week. So when she couldn't find a heartbeat, I did get concerned. "There's no one in the ultrasound room, let's pop over there and have a look-see, shall we?" Fine with me. At least it was abdominal this time. Still couldn't hear or see the heartbeat. Why? Because the baby wouldn't hold still long enough! S/he was just wiggling all over the place the entire time (no, I can't feel it yet). We could catch glimpses of the heart now and then, but no steady view. The doctor's comment: "Well, generally if they're moving like that, they have a heart, so don't worry about it. We'll catch it next time when we do your major ultrasound." I didn't think I would be having "the ultrasound" until June (21 weeks), but she said that she thinks next time will be fine to check on major feature development (17 weeks), particularly since I do not want to know the baby's gender. So I should have new ultrasound pictures to share next month. Yay!

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The final word - I've been cut

Well, I believe the technical term is "put at risk." Effectively, 60 days from now, I have no job. Just thought you should know.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Final work update until "Judgement Day"

Well, it looks like the downsizing packages will officially be handed out this coming Tuesday, March 30. Many of our people who telework are being told to make sure they are in the office, and several others scheduled to be on vacation are being asked for numbers where they can be reached (that is unusual for this company if you are less than a particular management level, and none of us are high enough). At least the waiting will be over soon. I promise to update you on myself and my coworkers on Tuesday, as soon as I know anything. Until then, please keep us all in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The die is cast

Well, I did it. I bit the bullet and told everyone at work about the baby. My boss seemed to be in a remarkably good mood today, and given that packages are set to be handed out in exactly a week, I figured now is as good a time as any. It has been all "gloom and doom" around here for several weeks, but it was particularly bad yesterday, so I thought some good news (for a change) was in order. It certainly has given everyone else something to talk about besides losing their jobs. Even if it doesn't last the whole week, it has definitely brightened up the office mood for today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Zombie Jamboree Returns!!!

And Rockapella still rocks! We had a great time at Saturday's concert. Rockapella comes to Atlanta every 2 years, and we have been there every time. Hopefully, we will continue to be able to attend in the coming years, because they are just wonderful. You wouldn't think that 5 men alone on stage with nothing but microphones could be that entertaining, but they are. We really enjoyed the "new guy," George. No one can replace Barry "The Bass Diety," but my chest still rattles when George hits those low notes, so I'm happy. Everyone takes turns telling stories (except Jeff, we need to get him out there chatting some) between songs, there is some great audience interaction, and to see them do what they do in person is mind-blowing.

Sure, when you listen to the CDs, you can generally accept that they are using nothing but their mouths to make all the sounds you are hearing. But it *is* a studio album, so you know there is some dubbing going on, or some sound clean-up, or a clap generator in the background (clapping to the beat, not like an audience appreciation clap or anything). On stage, nothing but mike.... it's truly impressive, particularly Jeff, the human beat box. And my favorite part of the concert is when they put down the mikes, and it's just 5 guys singing on stage, with zero technology involved. We were sitting 2/3 of the way back in the theater, and we could still hear them. It gives me chills every time.

But the best moment of the evening? The return of one of their most famous hits: "Zombie Jamboree"!! I could NOT believe it when George started doing the intro spiel. "This next song..... is about an island." Why is this significant? Skip to the end of the spoken intro: "This island called Manhattan!" It's all about New York, and there's a line in it about the "high wire zombee 'tween the World Trades." They had not performed that song since 2001, and we've seen them twice between then and this most recent time (once not in Atlanta, obviously). If the audience started calling out for it, they would immediately launch into "The Star Spangled Banner" instead. I understand their reasoning, I really do. After all, they all live in New York City. I was honestly afraid that the song would be lost forever in performance. Again, I understood, but it made me sad. It's such a great song! I missed it. And even as the song started, I almost couldn't believe it. Are they really going to sing that line? Yep, they sure did, and I think it is a wonderful tribute to New York, NY. We love you guys! Keep on singin', and we'll keep on comin'.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

You should see the other guy

Ready for a long one? My adventure for yesterday:

I left work at a reasonable time yesterday to quite the uneventful commute, I must say. I had not managed an afternoon snack (bad mommy!), so I was rather hungry. I decided I would have a bowl of cereal when I got home to tide me over to dinner. Problem #1 with this plan: got the cereal poured, only to discover no milk. Why? Because we hadn't gone to the grocery store! I was just trying to decide whether to put the cereal back in the box or just eat it dry when the phone rang. Hmmm.... that's odd, it's only 5:30. No way that's DH, unless he's pulled his groin again playing basketball. (He sat out the past two weeks for that.)

Well, I was half right. It was my husband, but he hadn't pulled anything. Instead, he had taken an elbow to the face while playing defense. He now had a self-described "gash" on his forehead that has only just decided to stop gushing blood. Is it going to need stitches, I ask. "Well, yeah, probably. I'll let you take a look at it when I get home." Oh yeah, because I'm a nurse? Call my mom, the registered nurse. How can I tell if a "gash" (that I have not yet seen) needs stitches? "If it looks like more than a scratch, or if it is still oozing blood a couple of hours later." I explained the situation, and given that this is not the first injury of this type he's had, she figures that if even *he* admits that it probably needs stitches, then it probably does. Great, just great.

Naturally, he left at the height of rush hour, so it took him *forever* to get home. At 6:15, he walks in, at least having the decency to look sheepish, and says "I'm going to go take a shower." Um, no. Show me. And he was right, gash is really the best word for it. To his credit, he clots well. I'd still be gushing if it was me. Let me see if I can describe its position. Put your finger at the top of your nose, just where it meets your forehead. Now slide it over to the space between that flat spot and just under your right eyebrow. From there, trace a 1 inch line upwards, tilting towards the center of your forehead. It was probably open an 1/8 of an inch at it's widest point, just above the level of your eyebrow, and narrowing towards both ends. Even this layperson could tell it needed some kind of closure. No shower for you, just change, and let's go.

He does drive us there, holding a napkin to the wound the whole way. It wasn't gushing, or even dripping, but it was oozing enough that it would run down his face from time to time. We parked and walked in. The receptionist starts before she looks up. "What seems to be the.... oh, I see. (That can't be a good sign.) Fill out this form please, then have a seat." Only waited there about 20 minutes (they sure seemed to be hopping) before getting to see a triage nurse. Again, without looking up at first, "So why are you here? (looks up) Oh, I guess I should say how did it happen?" Explain the story, answer some questions. "We're going to send you down the hall to the Fast Track station." Fine with me, as my tummy was already grumbling. It was about 7 pm at this point. I was supposed to be finishing up dinner by now.

Get to the station, turn in our paperwork, and sit down. After 15 minutes, I was *dying* of starvation, so off to the vending machines I go. A bottle of water and a pack of crackers later, I'm doing okay, but not great, but it shouldn't be long, right? And we wait. And we wait. And we wait. No one has gone in our out of the two rooms they have. There is no television, no magazines, no nothing. I guess they figure it's supposed to be fast, so why have all that stuff. An hour later (8:20 or so), there has yet to be any movement. The most entertainment we've had is hearing the story of the guy who literally shot himself in the foot (with a nail gun).

Finally they start calling names. Everyone starts getting excited. We are third to be called, but we pass the other two, headed back to the waiting room. "Okay, let's get you registered." Um, didn't we do that already in the ER? "Yes, that was ER registration, this is triage registration." And you couldn't transfer the registration info because.....? (I think they desperately need to hire an IE to work on idiotic process problems like that, but that's really beside the point.) "Okay, you're all registered. Take a seat back in the waiting room." Hey, starving pregnant lady here! How much longer will it be? "I'm not sure. We got really backed up because we needed a spanish interpreter and a sign language interpreter, and we couldn't do anything with the patients ahead of you until they arrived. They both got here about 5 minutes ago." Great, just great.

Back to the waiting room we go. I had thankfully had some change left, so back to the vending machine I went. Baby decided the pretzels sounded good; glad I listened. They were actually more filling than the crackers. More waiting, and more waiting, but at least some patients were finally being seen. I had just checked the time at 9 when they called us back. A female nurse comes in to check the wound to see if it does need treatment (would we really be here if it didn't, and is there a reason you couldn't do that 2 hours ago when we got here so that we wouldn't have waited 2 hours just to be told it doesn't need treatment? >: ). Yes, closure is needed, though he may be able to do without stitches. You would have thought he had just been told he was the new color commentator for the Atlanta Braves! No needles!! "But you will need a tetnus shot, since it's been so long since your last one." And he comes crashing back to earth. Why, was the elbow rusty? Doesn't matter, just standard procedure for any open wound when the subject has not had a tetnus shot in the last 5 years. And she hastily leaves the room.

We wait another 5 minutes, and the male nurse comes in. "Let's do the shot first." If Steve could have willed himself to disapparate out of the room, I think he would have, but he did very well. I told him he could pick where we ate dinner for being so brave (I had already requested McDonalds as pennance for making me miss a meal.) "Okay, we're going to clean the wound now." Betadine, and since it was going to be around his eyes, he had to hold gauze up against his nose and eyes to keep all the gunk out. "How did it happen?" Took an elbow playing defense in basketball. "Cool." Through gritted teeth: not so cool now! Poor baby. I know it hurt, really I do, but they did have to get it clean before they sealed it up. Don't want to seal in any germs if we can help it. And he really handled it all very well.

The PA comes in and says yes, it will either take stitches after numbing the skin with "several" shots, or he can go with the Derma-Bond. Gee, hmm, tough choice. Well, they left out a few facts. First, since they were having to do this around his eyes, they had to put ointment in his eyes "Just in case some Derma-Bond runs in there. Never happened before, but we like to be careful." You know, we don't want his eyes to seal themselves shut! Have I mentioned how much DH hates ANYTHING near his eyes? You should see them trying to dialate them at the eye doctor. He simply can't tolerate it. He couldn't even watch me put in my contacts when I wore them because it creeped him out. Thankfully, they just put it in the corners and rubbed it on the lids, but still, I know it was not at all pleasant for him.

Then they start applying the Derma-Bond. I had it on my belly incision for my gall bladder, so I just figured it was no big deal. What I forgot was that I was asleep when they applied it. All of the sudden, I hear this extremely sharp intake of breath from the stretcher. More teeth grinding. Is it supposed to burn? "Oh, yeah, it does burn quite a bit." Ya know, it would have been nice if you had mentioned that beforehand. Not that he wouldn't have gone that route anyway (anything to avoid needles), but a little warning would have been good. They managed to keep it out of his eyes, though it did run up his forehead a bit, and some into his eyebrow. "Okay, we'll let that dry, and then you're all set." They walked out and closed the door. He starts breathing very heavily through his nose. "It just burns really really bad." Some hand holding, some head rubbing, and he at least starts to relax a little. "I'm getting used to the pain."

It finally starts easing off about the time they come back in to check on him. They help him clean the ointment out of his eyes, but tell him not to wear his glasses until in the morning (don't want it bonding to the frames or nose pads). Give him care instructions and two perscriptions: Tylenol3 and perscription Motrin (800 mg). *Regular* Tylenol makes him sleepy, so there was no way I was letting him take something with codine in it unless he really needed it. He'd be unconscious! And I was not going to fill a perscription for Motrin when he could just go home and take 4 Advil. No perscriptions for us, just pay our $50 copay and leave. His face should be lovely shades of blue, green, and yellow, just in time for the inevidable family pictures at Disney next week.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Baby pictures!

Man, I am doing absolutely awful at keeping this blog up to date. I haven't even told the Myrtle Beach story yet (it's coming, Fiona, I promise!). I hope you can all forgive me. To occupy your time while waiting for some kind of meaningful writing, allow me to present my ultrasound pictures from yesterday. :-)

Friday, March 05, 2004

Work update

Thought I should post a work update while I'm thinking of it. Turns out the March 8 date the rumor mill was reporting was correct, just not for my organization. Some other poor group will have the ax fall on them that date. Our *new* rumor mill date is March 29. ::sigh:: Don't they realize I'll be 12+ weeks by then? (No, they don't, since I haven't told them yet; I've been waiting for the downsizing to be done with. ::bigger sigh::) I hope I can keep a lid on things that long. This is my first baby, and given that I'm so, uh, fluffy already, no one will notice a few extra pounds for a while (I hope). Yes, I realize there is a slight risk of them finding out by me posting it on the web, but most of the people I work with don't even have computers in their home, so the likelyhood of them stumbling on this is pretty much slim to none.

They did come by Monday and give us our bonus info. Not as much as past years, but certainly not an insignificant amount. The check should hit the day before we leave for Disney! :-) Ten minutes after handing out or bonus sheets, my boss came by to ask "If a package were to be offered in the next day or so, would you be interested in taking it?" I momentarily freaked over the "day or so" part, until I realized they couldn't process the paperwork that fast. There was a meeting with all the managers on Tuesday to "identify candidates." Our division meeting yesterday was completely unhelpful, other than to indicate that we have $25 million in capital budget left for the rest of the year. Given that 3 years ago, we spent just under $300M, that is practically nothing. Not good. His answers to useful questions like "how big will the cut be" and "when will it happen" were some of the most vague I've ever heard: "large" and "soon" respectively. Joy. I'll keep you updated.

Braves radio this weekend!!!

I'm not doing to well on this blogging thing this week. Just way too much, um, stuff going on at work. But I heard some of the best news on the radio this morning: Saturday's and Sunday's Braves spring training games will be carried on our local station. WOO-HOO!!! ::in her best sing-song voice:: I get to hear the Braves this weekend, I get to hear the Braves this weekend....

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Need a laugh?

Work has been simply terrible all week, and I've been feeling really crummy on top of that. I really needed a laugh, and someone on the TWBB provided it. I can't remember who or when (sorry), but it is so good I simply must pass it on. BTW, I do not recommend eating or drinking while reading this (or you should buy a poncho for your monitor). Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

75% correct

I am back from Myrtle Beach. Full report today or tomorrow. I also watched all of the Oscars, though I regretted it Monday morning. I was SOOO tired. LOL Normally, my accuracy on predicting the Oscars (and I mean all 24 awards given out, not just the major ones) runs 40-60%. I managed 75% correct this year! And it should have been higher, but "Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" for Best Original Song was robbed, IMO. But all in all, I did well. :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2004

We're fine

For anyone concerned about us here in the metro-Atlanta area given the latest weather, DH and I at least are just fine. I even drove into work this morning (early!) as planned. It was not the most fun drive I've ever made. My usual rule is that if there is winter precipitation sticking to the road, I don't go in. But I really had to if I wanted to go to Myrtle Beach, and I can't really afford the whole day off. Barely got above 30 mph, but I did make it. Steve just called me from work, and he is safely there, too. Will probably take longer to get to Myrtle Beach than I had planned, given that the east side of town was hit even harder, and the area between Atlanta and Augusta may still be slushy, but as far as I'm concerned, I will still be going. Everyone in the area, be careful and stay safe! See you when I get back.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Work stinks, then you get fired (no, not yet)

Sorry everyone. Work has just been completely bonkers. And since I do most of my blogging from work, I just haven't had the time to come over here to wow you with my writing. (Ha ha) BTW, no word yet on an official date for our "major and devastating" headcount cuts. Rumor mill is reporting March 8. We shall see.

In baby news, all seems to be well. "Morning sickness" seems to be getting worse, but it's still just nausea, and usually comes on worse as the day progresses (guess that should be night sickness). As long as I keep nibbling on crackers or something, I'm okay. Not great, but okay. I'm officially 8 weeks tomorrow, so (hopefully) only a few more weeks of such annoyances to go. Then I get a whole set of new ones! LOL

I'll be out of town this weekend, on my way to Myrtle Beach for a cross stitching retreat called "Stitching at the Beach." Teresa Wentzler of TW Designworks, Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams Designs, and Karen Weaver of Black Swan Designs will each be teaching a half day class with an exclusive chart. I did this same trip with these lovely ladies three years ago, and I had an absolute blast! Given the craziness of work, I am SOOO ready. And for anyone worried about me advertising being gone on the internet, I am leaving my poor husband behind, so the house will not be unoccupied. He'll be fiddling with our new computers all weekend, I'm sure. So, I won't be back here until Monday, but I promise a full trip report as soon as possible. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I sure intend to.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Pitchers and catchers report today!

You know what that means? Baseball is almost here!!! YIPEE!!! I get to see baseball again, in person, in just 4 weeks, and the Braves home opener is in 8 weeks (a little less actually). Ah, I love baseball. Winter is sooooo boring without it! :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Academy Award Ballot

Cool! I found a printable Academy Award Ballot online. Much easier than trying to make up my own. I'll be posting my best guesses (and more than a few WAGs) on Wednesday before the Oscars on Sunday (I'll be out of town most of the weekend), and then we'll see how well I do. I'll probably send them to my Movie Musings readers as well, since I have been asked by several people who my picks are. Just thought I would share the "official" printable ballot with those interested: the GIF version and the PDF version (my preferred). Enjoy!