Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Fitness Diaries: A Poem and An Update

Update first, to keep y'all on your toes.
No more food journal, because, well, I'm lazy, I don't eat *that* bad, and it's not all that interesting. I am eating better/healthier stuff overall, and a small treat once in a while isn't the end of the world. I have the potential to become very obsessed with calorie counting, and I realized I was very close to getting there and no longer being able to just enjoy my food.

Now onto my poem:

Oh my new jogging stroller
Thanks CraigsList, what a deal
Only 15 dollars
Helping me to real-
ize my goal of running!

Putting a screaming
Wiggling toddler
Into this super cool device
Was certainly not made nice
By two pulley, wired dogs

To go on
We huffed uphill
The dogs saw some bunnies
And strained in for the kill
But were foiled - HAHA!

My lungs, they were burning
My back and my boobs, they were yearning
For the support that was truly lacking
In my cheapo sports bra
But the dogs kept on tracking

Til at last, home sweet home!
The last few yards, saddened I ain't!
Alas, some dumb asshole on his phone
"Walking" his dog, with no restraint
Yapping, and small, nearly upset my boy's carriage.

Mr. Asshole, buy a leash! However
The crisis was averted,
The small dog not massacre-ted,
And now we're all home
Warm and exerted.

The end.

That may very well be the worst poem I have ever written. But, it was fun.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I am posting this here to spread the word about the importance of science in everyday life, with permission from the author.

Written for THE DAILY RECORD, Ellensburg, WA

Jim Huckabay



I hate it when I see a representative of one group of outdoor users taking shots at other groups of outdoor users. It reminds me of something Shari Fraker used to say. When I was executive director of the United Sportsmen Council of Colorado—some fifty different organizations—a few decades back, she was representing one of the bow hunting outfits. Over and over, as trappers and target shooters and trout fishermen and duck hunters and big game hunters haggled over an appropriate position to take on some proposed rule or regulation, she would remind us that we got together to support each other. “Together,” she might say, “we can ensure the future of our various outdoor enterprises for our descendants. Alone, fighting only for our own specific perspectives, we end up eating our young—and tomorrow won’t matter.”

In Tuesday’s paper, you probably read Ted Williams’ “Writers on the Range” piece about lead shot and bullets. He raised a number of points about lead poisoning in various critters, probable causes and the changes which have come about as a result of a variety of studies. His story was initially about improving conditions for condors as lead is phased out in condor range. Unfortunately, Mr. Williams, who is conservation editor of a fly fishing mag, was unable to resist the urge to slam Safari Club International over its “Sportsmen Against Hunger” program (whereby hunters donate some of their game meat to food pantries), even suggesting that the donated game meat was poisoning the poor who received it.

You may recall the reports late last year about the findings of Peregrine Fund board member William Cornatzer, a dermatologist, who collected a hundred one-pound packages of ground venison from food pantries in North Dakota, and used CT scans on the meat to find lead fragments. North Dakota did more testing at the University of Iowa, apparently finding that about sixty percent of the meat contained some quantity of lead. Cornatzer's sampling was not random, and a number of questions have been raised about its validity.

Obviously, lead is a concern for anyone—especially with regard to levels in kids. Still, I’ve been on the planet and playing science long enough that I know how often things are taken out of context and blown out of proportion. This is one of those cases, I think. I did a bit of a search.

The most food- and additive-conscious people with which I have played are the Europeans. Start googling “lead in game meat studies” and you quickly find a 2002 article in the European Food Research and Technology Journal, “Intake of lead from game meat - a risk to consumers' health?” Here’s the gist of the abstract: “…The effect of frequent game meat consumption on the blood lead levels of hunters, who are a high-risk lead exposure group, was studied. Blood lead levels of hunters and control subjects were measured using isotope dilution ICP-MS. …individual blood lead concentrations of the hunters did not correlate with the number of their weekly game meat meals. The blood lead levels were compared with a control group…of voluntary blood donors from the same region. …it was concluded that frequent consumption of wild game meat has no significant effect on blood lead levels. (Check out http://www.springerlink.com/content/bfpm6clj036w3vkw/.)

After the food bank flap, the North Dakota Department of Public Health studied 738 North Dakota residents. Eighty percent consumed wild game shot with lead, including deer and birds.

They found that participants who consumed wild game averaged .30 micrograms/dl more lead in their blood than those who did not. Those who ate game within a month of the study had higher lead blood levels than those who had not consumed it within a month. Here’s the kicker: all participants were well below the 25 micrograms/dl “level of intervention” for adults. And the participant average lead levels of 1.17 micrograms/dl were below the average American’s lead level of 1.60. Give me a break.

Instead of looking for ways to attack those who don’t “recreate” in the ways we like best or use tools we like, we need to be thinking ahead—and holistically—about how all of us are needed to create a future with real outdoor opportunity.

I often think about this poem, attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoeller, about the intellectuals’ lack of protest about the rise of Nazi power.

“First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out--because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out--because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out--I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

[Copyright James L. Huckabay, 2009]

Jim Huckabay chairs the Department of Geography at Central and is the author of "WILD WINDS and Other Tales of Growing Up in the Outdoor West."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bringing Up Our Baby

I realize that I have never really talked much about our parenting style with J. I mean, obviously it's come up but I've never really gone in-depth with it. I have finally started from the beginning in reading the blog of Mrs. Amy in-depth. In some areas, I agree with her so completely I feel that we must be kindred spirits (on an aside, can you tell I just read Anne of Green Gables?). In others, I feel that we could not be more different. I desperately wish I could be living a life like hers- a homemaker, staying at home to raise my child(ren) as naturally and wholesomely as I can. I do not share her views on faith, but I do share her views on misandry (mainly, that it's bad). In reading some of Mrs. Amy's earlier posts, I came across one in particular that made me realize that perhaps I've been harsh in expressing my views, and that those views may not actually have been heartfelt on my part. Having read Anne of Green Gables recently has also contributed to the rekindling- perhaps the further inflammation of- my desire to live simply.

I digress. J is breastfed still, at almost 15 months old, and will continue to be breastfed until he turns 2 or he self-weans, whichever is sooner. My reason for this is that when he turns 2 we plan to increase the size of our family, and I would prefer to be done nursing J during that time. His current nursing schedule, for anyone out there who'd like to know, is that he nurses when he wakes up in the morning, usually around 7 or 8 am. He gets a (~8 ounce) bottle of 1/2 whole goat milk plus 1/2 enriched rice milk at about 10:30, and another bottle of the same at about 3:30 after his afternoon nap. He nurses again as part of the bedtime routine at about 7:30, while I read him a story in the rocking chair in his room. The decision to breastfeed was never really a decision for me, it was just what I was going to do, and I was going to make it work no matter what.

No matter what turned out to be pumping as many as 5 times a day plus nursing when I was home, getting and battling mastitis which turned out to be a nipple infection, recurrent clogged ducts, and becoming desensitized to the pump by the end of 12 months of pumping. It was hard, and it was very painful at times, but I would not have given it up for anything. J has never had formula. Obviously this is not the case for everyone, and in the end, as long as your child is healthy, it really doesn't matter whether they get breastmilk from mom, donor milk, or formula.

J' meals are generally what we eat; he loves a scrambled egg with cheese for breakfast and he loves meat, cheese and animal crackers. He loves oatmeal with a tiny bit of either molasses or brown sugar, and he also enjoys unsweetened applesauce and other fruit as well as most veggies. He does extremely well with fingerfoods and table foods, and we've introduced them according to both his gross motor skill development and the number and type of teeth he's got. He currently has 14 teeth: all 8 incisors, all 4 molars and the top 2 canines. He's had all but the canines since before 12 months of age, so he's been pretty much on table food since those came in. Obviously I cut things up smaller for him and don't give him raw foods. He has a sensitivity to tomatoes so when we have spaghetti or anything else with tomato sauce, J gets a non-sauce version or something else entirely for his meal. In addition to this, J has a sensitivity (I hesitate to call it an allergy, as it doesn't do any more than upset his bowels and result in loose stools) to cow's milk in large quantities. This is why he drinks only goat milk, rice milk, and breast milk. He has no apparent issues with cow cheeses, yogurt, or things with cooked milk in them.

We have chosen to use cloth diapers (CDs) on J. We have used disposables sparingly, for instance we used them until the meconium was passed when he was a newborn, when we travel, and as backups when the CDs are being washed. We had a failed experience with g-diapers while traveling, and according to the other people I have spoken to, they either fit your child and you love them, or they don't and you hate them. For us they were in the second category. Also, they are not so very flushable as they'd lead you to believe, as my dad and his plumber can attest to (and yes, we followed the instructions given to the T). Anyway, back to my topic. We chose to use cloth diapers initially as a way to save money. This has worked very well for us, especially since my mother very kindly gifted us all the kissaluv's size 0 diapers we used when J was a newborn and 9 of the BumGenius 3.0 (a.k.a. BG 3.0) one-size diapers we are currently using, and will continue to use until J is potty trained. Had she not done that, we were looking at an initial investment of about $600 for diapers for the entire time J was using them, and certainly further use for child #2 (and subsequent). My original calculations of the cost of sposies put us at a $1000 savings in the first year alone in cloth diapering vs. using disposables.

Most of J's clothes are "borrowed" hand-me-downs. His cousin Ian is 14 months older than him, so all of Ian's old clothes get passed down to J, then we give them back for baby #2, assuming that Ian's little sibling turns out to be a boy. J also has gotten a number of clothes from grandmas, and aunts. I have almost never paid full price for anything for him, except maybe for his Roobeez knockoffs from Target or BabiesRUs. Most of the clothes I have gotten him came from the clearance racks and the consignment store. Toys have been handed down from other cousins, or given as gifts, or sometimes bought by Mommy and Daddy.

Our parenting style has been largely guided by instinct. I have taken some advice from Parenting and Parents magazines, and some from other moms on a message board I frequent, as well as some of the inevitable advice from my mom, stepmom, and MIL, (as well as some other family members) but for the most part it just sort of happens. J is alive, very happy, and healthy, so I guess we're doing something right. I never had the heart to cry-it-out, so we don't let J just cry for more than a couple minutes. Early on in the "sleep training" process, 2-3 minutes was all he needed and then he'd be out for the night. We don't panic if he gets licked by the dog, or licks them, we turn him away from things that will hurt him with a stern "no" and we let him explore his world. His environment isn't the most spotlessly clean place ever, but it's not a filth pit by any stretch of the imagination. We may not bathe him every night, but he isn't unclean. He doesn't get to watch TV designed for kids/babies very much, and didn't get any of that in his first year. Now, he gets to watch cartoons or "his" show for about 30 minutes once every couple weeks. It's a great way to make him sit still so I can cut his nails. We do have the TV on when he's around, but really only in the evenings, and he doesn't pay much attention to it. We play with him, we hug him and tell him that he's loved. I tuck him into bed each night with a stuffed animal, the quilt that Grandma K made him, and his sippy cup of water. His white noise machine plays ocean sounds, his space heater comes on when it gets below 60-65 in his room. He goes to sleep with little or, more often, no fuss and sleeps until morning.

We just keep taking things as they come. I don't think anyone can do better than their best, and we're giving this whole parenting thing our best shot.

A Self-Inflicted Snow Day

I really didn't feel like going in to work today, what with the snow and all, and I didn't have anything urgent so I took a vacation day to play with my family. We took J out for his first snow experience, and he thought it was some pretty cool stuff (haha). He did try to eat it, and made some hilarious faces because presumably he didn't think it would be so cold. He got to wear his snowsuit from my mom and his cute little mittens with thumbs (not lame infant mittens) so that was fun, too.

As far as my fitness plan goes, I did do the whole pyramid of crunches again last night. No yoga though. Oh well.

Today's meals, etc:
Breakfast: same as previously, with chai prepared with milk and honey

Lunch: Most of a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup, one serving of vanilla Wallaby yogurt (yum!) with a small handful of chocolate chips added

Snack: 100-calorie pack of cookies, small Cocoa Trio (again, YUM. Seriously).

Dinner: Mom's Stew (recipe to follow in a new post)

After dinner: decaf coffee with milk

Thursday, March 26, 2009


After dinner: 1 cup chai, prepared as usual, and 1 crunchy pretzel.

Snow Day! And Misadventures in Dieting

Well, so it wasn't really a snow day. On Tuesday night, I did the entire Ab workout from the Knot. 10 reps each, but I did the whole pyramid! Yay me!


No "exercise" per se, but we did get to make whoopie, which is also on my to-do list. :-D

I made cookies as a thank you for the neighbor and her friend who *very* kindly watched J this morning, and would not accept payment. He had a blast with the neighbor's 4 year old Aiden and absolutely loved Megan (the friend); all the adults involved have daycare experience and it looks like Megan will be a potential weekday morning babysitter for us when we need one! Yay!! She's absolutely great and J actually wanted to go back to her after C went to pick him up. Silly toddler baby!

I ate a fair number of the cookies we had left, but I don't really feel guilty about that, more disappointed in myself for not having more restraint. But when there's a blizzard roaring outside, I want comfort foods! And we don't have any hot cocoa, and cookies with coffee are a decent substitute. It's not like I do this all the time. Usually. *sigh* I am not anticipating having any more baking opportunities in the next week or so, so that should help a lot. I am going to do the ab workout tonight during Hell's Kitchen (LOVE that show!!) and then yoga afterward.

So, onto the snow. We've had a very blizzardy kind of day here in the Denver area...at one point they were estimating that we'd get about 18 inches. I think we've got about a foot at my house. J thinks it's pretty cool, though he hasn't actually been out in it yet because it was really windy. Tomorrow, if I get a snow day from work (which I am hoping for, but not looking too likely at this point) or maybe tomorrow after I get home I will take him out to experience snow, and I hopefully will get lots of cute pictures. The dogs are, of course, thrilled, because it's snow, and for two dogs that hate being cold and wet they really, really love the snow. Athena ran around like a complete idiot making figure 8 patterns all over the common yard area. MacGuyver just sort of jumped around a lot, but mainly stayed in my trail because he is lower to the ground and had trouble "swimming" in the snow. I got a picture of the snow that worked its way between our front door and the screen door (which currenly has glass and no screen parts), piled up on the doorknob and everything.

Also, here's a picture of the remains of Neith's web, made into art by the snow.I have even more admiration for her now, seeing how very strong her web is in the face of all the wind and snow.

I have finished listening to Anne of Green Gables and Coraline (boy was THAT a creepy book...) today, and am still working on the other books I'm reading.

I am definitely in a better headspace than I was yesterday. I've started (well, as of today) eating lunch with the clinic side of the lab, with whom I work more closely anyway. I just seem to "sync" better with them.

That was enough rambling for one night.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So. Very. Unmotivated.

I am sitting here, trying to make myself work, but really not feeling it. I'm just so tired and starting to feel melancholy. The urge to just get up and go home is ever increasing but I can't do that. I just want to go home and clean and do homey productive things. I feel like if I really want to stay at home, I should do something about it to make that happen, but what? It's not like we have money we can just start squirreling away. I think I just need to get up and stretch and walk around a bit, so I am going to go walk the stairs down and up once (the lab is on the 6th floor, so it's a little bit of a hike but people rarely use the stairs, so it will be quiet). Also, I hate C's job. It makes my life more complicated when I have to schedule around it, and then can't find a babysitter. Ugh.
Walking around was nice. I am just not in the most upbeat mood today, perhaps even slightly depressed. But not "real" depressed, just like...well, about a 6 our of 10 with 1 being "in the depths of despair" and 10 being super happy. I just...well, honestly? I am being stupid and obsessing over my coworkers. I know everyone says "don't let it bother you" but that's really a very difficult thing to do. It hurts to be ignored, even by people you don't especially care for. They haven't told me about lunch once in the last week, at least, and they go without me. I am trying very hard to embrace that time as my own time, to read, or listen in peace to my iPod, et cetera, but it is very hard to push the little niggling hurt aside. I don't like being left out. I don't like being ignored. I mean for God's sake, none of them have even TALKED to me today (well, that's not true, they did tell me when I had a phone call, and the new tech said "Good morning"). I don't expect much, but acknowledgement would be nice. I am feeling so lonely, and I know that partially I have generated my own little seclusion bubble. I am so desperate for connection to another woman, but I just don't know what to do about it.

I don't even like my coworkers that much. We're just in such drastically different places in our lives. The other techs don't have families of their own, and two of the postdocs have families, but their positions seem to create a natural separation. The Chinese postdoc is a very sweet woman, and her daughter Sophia actually is only a few weeks younger than J (I joke that they'll marry someday), and we talk sometimes, but it really isn't the same as a genuine friendship.

I miss my old lab. I really, really do. I had Susan and Paige and Jule, and we were all friends, regardless of our "status" in the lab. There was no drama. We'd go out to happy hour on Fridays, we'd go out to lunch together or even just eat together nearly every day. The guys in the lab were great, and everyone got along. Even the boss man would host a Christmas party and join us in our forays. People's birthdays were celebrated by someone bringing a cake, and I usually made the cake unless it was my own birthday. I miss the comraderie. Paige and I once took a cat she'd found and a chihuahua I'd found to a shelter, just before Christmas of 2006. Paige cried when we had to leave the cat. The chihuahua came back home with me because he was so old I wanted to take care of him til his family could get him, rather than have him stuck in a shelter all alone. We called him Lucky and MacGuyver didn't have a clue what to do with him, since he was so small. I think the dippy beagle was actually more afraid of Lucky than Lucky was of him, size difference be damned. Lucky went back to his family, an elderly man, a few days after we found him.

I went to a movie once with the other women in that lab, it was "Thank You for Smoking" and we had a great time. I seem to think we did happy hour before this because I remember being somewhat tipsy. I miss girlfriends. Jule has 2 kids, she would have been such a comfort to have around during my own pregnancy. And Margaret, and Helena, and Cristy. I miss them, too. *sigh*

This is so pathetic. I really should be working. It's really hard to work when you feel like this though- no motivation. Facebook helps, I suppose, but that's not "real" interaction. It vaguely keeps me in touch with people, but only if those people check it, and use it to keep in touch with me, too.

I did have a fabulous time at book club the other night. We read a silly book, and probably talked about it for 10 minutes, total, but it was so nice just to have some girl time. The other ladies knew each other already, so I was the "new kid" but it was still really wonderful. I am absolutely going back, even if it is far away (30 minutes from my house).

That was long and rambley, but there you have it. I'm going to go count cells now. Get away from this damn glowing box for a few minutes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Yes, I have blogged a lot today. I have, however, just come to realize why I misspell exercise as "excercise." Excited, excite, excess, and so on all have "exc" at the beginning; most other "ex" words have another consonant after the x. Exit and exert are the only other ones I can think of that don't. Yeah, it's lame. But there you go. Anyway, I think that I just expect (see, there's another one!) that "ex" words should have a consonant after the x.

C is sitting here being a smartass and blowing holes in my revelation. I didn't know there were that many "ex" words that didn't have a consonant right after the x. Boo.

I stand by my lame theory.

Woohoo for Craigslist

I am getting a jogging stroller for $15!! I found an older one that's been well loved on Craigslist, and it is still available so I am going to go pick it up after work today. Sweet! Now I can take J and the dogs, or just J, running with me! No more excuses allowed for me.

Day 3

Last night I did my PM Yoga. No exercise this morning, I like sleep too much. Methinks that plan needs some revision.

Breakfast: Oatmeal made with 2% milk and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar. Small glass of OJ, cup of organic chai with some 2% milk and a couple teaspoons honey added.

Lunch: 1 can of Progresso chicken noodle soup (200 whole calories per can) plus 1 banana.

Maybe I can do this after all.

3:30. Snack time. Well, when I get hungry and the whole lab used to go get snack. I can get a little bitty Sundae at GoodTimes for $1.30, but it's almost 500 calories. Yikes. I never realized before how bad it was. But OH MY GOD I want the chocolate. And I don't get peanuts on it because I don't like them...I could get some frozen yogurt in the cafeteria but it's more expensive, and I think the machine's already been turned off for the day. *sigh*

UGH This is hard. I think I need a treat. I've been soo good today, though. Baby steps, that's what I need to do, take baby steps. I have got a jogging stroller in my future, right? That will help!

I want it bad. I am weak. If this is the only bad thing I eat today I'll be set.

That was yummy.

Dinner: 1/2 a bowl of stew, two homemade buttermilk biscuits. Then...a brownie and a glass of milk. I blame my brothers, who were over for dinner, and wanted brownies. But not too bad, right? Ugh. I did print out my exercise plans from the Knot and brought them home, so I'll do the abs workout tonight. Plus, I got the jogging stroller! Yay!! I am seriously excited to use it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Fitness Diaries

March 22:

Mom sent me some photos of J and I on the trampoline at her house, and holy hell do I look bad. Really bad angle be damned, I look chubby. I realize that I have been pigging out way too much, having gotten used to eating whatever I wanted when J nursed full time, and have probably gotten back up to 135, which is where I was when I got pregnant with J. This gives me a BMI of 24.7, just barely under the "overweight" category.

BMI Categories:

Ideally, before I get pregnant with #2, I will be more solidly in the normal weight category, about a BMI of 21 or 22. That would mean I need to lose about 15 pounds. Ok. I need to formulate an exercise plan. (On a side note, I chronically misspell exercise as excercise. If you read my other blog, you may have noticed this.)

C and I talked this over, and decided we both needed to start eating healthier and exercising more. I did a bunch of crunches, then we went to sleep.

March 23:

I can't find my printouts of all the exercises I used to do in preparation for our wedding. I had gotten them all from the Knot, which was great. I had high hopes of being healthy today right off the bat, and I think I get a big fat black star for my effort. Or whatever the opposite of a gold star would be. I am going to chronicle my exercise program (or lack thereof) and keep a food journal on here. I am going to be brutally honest. Eep. Here goes.

Meals today:
Breakfast: Oatmeal made with 2% milk with about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, and a half a glass of OJ.

1 cup of Costco Chai at work, which finished the can.

Lunch: Leftover hamburger (made with 85% lean beef, which really tastes funny to me since I'm so used to lean game meat) with lettuce on a homemade white bun, and a blood orange.

Snack: Coffee with skim milk plus a smidge of 1/2 and 1/2, and a chocolate chocolate chip cookie. Kid myself that the caffiene will burn off the extra calories from the cookie.

Dinner: Shepherd's Pie, made with 85% lean beef, onions, carrots, peas mixed with some salt, pepper, and bbq sauce, with sweet potato sliced on top. On top of the sweet potato is a thin smear of sour cream and some grated cheddar. Had one serving of about 1 cup. J really liked this, too.

After dinner: Nonspecific cravings, resisted until they morphed into a popcorn craving. Made a whole bowl of plain air-popped popcorn and ate the whole thing. Alongside a cup of Swiss Miss made with water and 2% milk.

Wow. I am not rocking this. *Sigh* I would have done so well without the snacks!

At least I found the Knot Shape Up articles, one for arms, and one for abs.

I am going to do my PM Yoga tonight, and try to do it every night, while alternating abs and arms workouts in the mornings. Hah. I am also going to try to take Athena for a run in the afternoon/evenings at least three times a week, though that will depend on C being home to watch J since we don't have a jogging stroller.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Things I Want

I want to write.

I want to be a housewife. I crave the mundane tasks of keeping house, gardening, wrangling a small child and two dogs.

I want to create. I want to use my imagination and make things with the tools I have in my possession, accumulated over the last decade or so.

I want to work. I like having a job, seeing people other than just my family all day. I want my job to be only part time.

I want to do what I love, which takes me back to wanting to write. I want to write while I am at work but that's not really a feasible idea; perhaps I could write on my breaks.

I want to live.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stupid Stupidheads

So, apparently just going to lunch without letting me know at all isn't enough any more. Now, I can be sitting 10 feet away, and if I get a phone call, nobody bothers to see if I'm in the lab, they just assume I'm not. Um, what? This has happened at least 3 or 4 times now, and I am only willing to believe that one of them was an accident. Am I really the only person who actually LOOKS for the one getting a phone call?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Reason for the Suckage

So evidently IBS flare-ups are now part of the PMS routine, at least while I am still on Implanon. This was never a problem (well, not as a PMS thing) until I had J. I really really really hope this is only an Implanon thing, and not permanent. That would REALLY suck. I seriously thought I had caught some stomach bug. Nope, my guts just hate me. *sigh*

This is just not my week...

I was up from 2 til 6:30 this morning with an upset stomach and a cranky toddler. I called in sick again, for the second time in 7 days, because I was just not up to working on that little sleep and fighting off some tummy troubles. Ugh. Did I forget to make an important sacrifice to the gods of healthy backs and tummies? Bleh.

On the upside, I finished reading Contagious. It was just as good as Infected, with a sadder ending. And of course, Pandemic is all set up now. I am excited to read that when it comes out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


So, while I was home from work today, I read Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella. I love that book.

Also, Contagious arrived for me at the library! Yay! I will start reading where the podcast left off, probably tomorrow.

I Love Vicodin

This is so trippy. I can see why my brother thought everything was funny after his appendectomy when he was on Vicodin. But hey, my back doesn't hurt! Wahoo! Plus, it's listed as moderately safe for breastfeeding, so I can even nurse J at bedtime tonight.

I am going to go do something now. I don't remember what, but something. Maybe play on Facebook.

The Dangers of Grocery Shopping

I managed to seriously hurt my back while shopping for groceries this morning. I just noticed about halfway through the trip that my back was starting to hurt, and by the time I got home I was almost in tears from the pain. I called in sick to work, called my stepdad (he's a chiropractor, and will henceforth be referred to as SD) who is currently working out of the house as his office is moving. 30 minutes of work later and I felt somewhat better. C drove me back home where I've been sitting on the couch, alternating hot and cold on my back for the last few hours. I still can't twist at all to either side and I am really contemplating taking advantage of working with a number of MDs...*sigh* What's the fun in a sick day when you're in too much pain to do anything?! I really hope I feel better tomorrow, since I have 3 things that I have to take care of tomorrow at work. Ugh. Stupid back. Who the heck hurts themselves GROCERY SHOPPING?! I wasn't even buying anything remotely heavy! And I don't remember any moments of "hey, wow, that hurt..."

In other news, J now says "Look!" Of course, it comes out more as "Yook" but it's so damn cute I won't complain. He also is really into dogs today- pointing at them, saying dog, and waving hello. Neice Kaitlyn gave J a little Pooh Bear yesterday because she just had to give him one of her toys, and he's been hugging it and carrying it (well, dragging it...) around with him since he got it home. He really likes that bear!

Now, off to find a number for one of my Dr. friends...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Things That Make You Go "Huh?"

DISCLAIMER: Generally, I try to keep my highly controversial rants off of my blog. I'd rather get it out in person. Sometimes, however, writing is just a more effective way to go. So consider yourselves warned: this post is going to contain some controversial stuff.

There is a blog that I periodically read (It's in my blog list, but I'll let you figure out which one) that I react to in one of two ways. First, I like the blog a lot, and sometimes find things that she says very fascinating and something to think about, or something I agree with completely (for instance, her stand on mysandry). Then there are the moments where she goes from being a rational person to saying things like that contraception is a perpetuation of the culture of death, praise the Lord. At those moments, I can't help but think "HUH?!" as this clearly intelligent, thinking individual apparently goes off the deep end.

I get that people are entitled to their opinions, but sometimes those opinions are a little mind boggling to me. I find it interesting that I can have however many views in common with someone, but then they can say something that totally blows my mind and makes me question their sanity. Of course, I am sure I have opinions that do the same for other people. This train of thought reminds me somewhat of my sociology class at in college. The professor was hilarious but he definitely brought out a variety of viewpoints in our discussions.

On Private Practice this week (I love that show), an interesting dilemma arose. The practice added a doctor who performed abortions, and the other MDs involved either sided with her, or got in a tizzy. One of the ones who was completely anti-abortion (I like this better than pro-life, which implies that those of us that are pro-choice are anti-life) was the reproductive specialist. She went on about how she fertilizes eggs every day, therefore making babies, and that because of that she is completely against abortion. This, to me, is an incongruous thought process. First of all, from a purely scientific point of view, a fertilized egg is not necessarily capable of becoming a human being. There is no guarantee that it will implant, if fertilization were to take place in vivo (inside a uterus), and the possibility of early miscarriage (or chemical pregnancy, within 2 weeks of implantation) is fairly high. Secondly, when IVF is involved, there is no guarantee that the fertilized egg will even make it to an implantable embryo (ideally, at the 6-8 cell stage). Does this mean, then, that this doctor would become horribly depressed every time one of the embryos stopped developing? Would this indicate to her that a baby has died? I have a very hard time thinking so. This is also why I am VERY glad that Amendment 48 did not pass.

This is not to say that I am all in favor of abortion. I would never have one, unless perhaps I found out that my baby was anencephalic. Short of that, I would likely carry my pregnancy to term. I am simply not going to tell someone else to keep an unwanted child. I would be heartbroken for the person choosing abortion, simply because I know that it would be a devastating choice to make. I have known people who have had abortions, people very dear to me. I don't judge them for it, I only wish there was a way that I could somehow ameliorate the pain associated with it. My older brother, T, once told me that my not stopping someone from having an abortion is equivalent to my not stopping a murder. Um, no. It's really not quite the same thing. For one thing, abortion is not the murder of a person that has it's own identity and life, and the capability of sustaining that life. A fetus or embryo may have basic biological functions, but before 24 weeks (the generally accepted age of viability) it has absolutely no chance of survival outside the uterus. I would take issue with abortions done later than that, and absolutely take issue with the idea of infanticide, but before the age of viability I will not tell someone else what to do.

I do not feel right telling someone that she should not abort her embryo/fetus because I do not know the circumstances surrounding that choice. Yes, there are people out there who just have abortions because they don't use birth control, but that is a highly irresponsible way to go about it. Why would you put your body through that? Why would you want to go through the emotional hell of deciding whether to "get rid of it" or not? Wouldn't it be easier and less painful to buy a box of condoms, or birth control pills?

My sister, A (eventually I am going to post a diagram of my horribly complicated family...) recently had a role in a film where she played a young woman that slept around, then would track the guys down and claim she was pregnant and needed money for an abortion. I find this amusing given that for the first 24 years of her life, my sister was the least sexual person I knew. She now has a boyfriend, which is comforting, as I was starting to wonder if she'd ever find someone for a companion. I didn't care if she had a girlfriend or a boyfriend, just someone to spend her lonely times with.

While the presidential campaign was ongoing, I read an article about Sarah Palin's family. The article primarily focused on her youngest son, Trig, and their decision not to abort after finding out that he had Down Syndrome. The article mentioned that something like 94% of all Down Syndrome children are aborted because of the chromosomal anomaly. I have recently been hearing talk about people following the same trend for autistic children, when a genetic screen becomes available for that disease, too. I guess it's better to not have a child that you won't be able to care for, but this is very sad to me. If you are going to end your pregnancy, I don't think that aborting a child that was wanted until you found out that it was "broken" in some way is the way to go. People with Autism and Down Syndrome can lead fulfilling and high-functioning lives. Giving up before you even give them a chance to show you what they can do seems wrong, to me. I suppose, by that logic, terminating any pregnancy should also seem wrong, but it's all in the reason. If you didn't want a child and are not in a position where it would be remotely fair to bring a child into the world, or something like that, then fine. Make your choice. But if you want a child, and tried to conceive a child, and then terminate because the baby is not genetically perfect even though it could live a full and happy life? You'd better think long and hard about that one.

While I was pregnant, C and I discussed what we'd do if we'd found out that J had Down Syndrome. We decided that we would not terminate for Down Syndrome. We would not terminate unless the baby had anencephaly (which we already knew was not the case due to earlier ultrasounds), or Trisomy 13 or 18, all of which are incompatible with life or produce very severe problems, preventing a good quality of life. Knowing now how hard my pregnany and delivery was on me, I still feel that way. I would not put myself through that knowing that there wasn't going to be a healthy baby at the end.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I am so grateful that I have a healthy family. My son is growing and normal and healthy. My husband is supportive and handsome and talented, and also healthy. Our dogs are crazy, but neither seems ready to depart this world quite yet. My pregnancy was awful, but it was successful. I had morning sickness for 15ish weeks, but I didn't have hyperemesis. I had gestational diabetes but didn't have to take insulin. I had preterm labor but didn't have to be on bedrest. I was in early labor (contractions every 5-10 minutes constantly) for 2 weeks before my son was born, and I had an episode of bleeding that I am fairly certain was the result of a partial placental abruption, but my baby didn't die. I had 2 failed epidurals when the time finally came, and pushed for 2 1/2 hours, but didn't have to have a C-section. I lost about 1.5 liters of blood (roughly 1/4 of my blood) during labor and delivery (also supporting my theory of abruption), but I didn't need a transfusion or a hysterectomy, and I didn't die. My son didn't die.

I have not lost a baby, and I desperately hope I never do. My sister has lost a baby, and my sister-in-law has lost more than one. I hope that neither loses another, and I wish there was a way to ensure that no-one would ever experience the pain of loss.

I am grateful, Universe, for what I have, and what I have not, experienced. I am grateful for my life and the lives of my family members, those born, those yet-to-be-born, and those who've already gone home. I am grateful that I have had such a positive breastfeeding experience. I am grateful for my marriage and my husband, without whom I don't know where I would be. I doubt I would be in as good a place as I am now. I am grateful and humbled to be the mother of the happiest boy in the world.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Hate My Coworkers Sometimes

I hate my coworkers sometimes. I'm not sure I've made that clear enough here, but sometimes they really piss me off.

My Suburban Garden

I started seeds for my container garden last weekend, and most of them have germinated! I have a container garden on our front patio, which is east facing. It's not ideal, but with the tips I've gotten from Bountiful Container (C got it for me for Christmas, and I LOVE it!) and what I learned last year, I am confident that my garden will be quite nice. So far my tomatoes are all growing well (2 kinds of cherry tomatoes and early girls), and a couple of my yellow peppers are working on sprouting. I am also going to try growing several kinds of basil, just because I never seem to have luck with it but maybe comparing the 3 kinds I have will give me some insight. The basil has all sprouted, as has one or two of the parsley plants. My sage is not yet sprouted...I may try that one again. The chives my mom gave us as transplants last year are already coming up again in my huge container, so I don't have to plant them from seeds. I didn't realize they would do that, but it's neat! I may move them to a new container along with some other things now that I know they're so hardy, but we'll see.

I am also going to do another zucchini, but just one mound this year. Last year I planted two but only one plant ever produced female flowers (that bear fruit). We got just enough for our family from it though, not too much at all. I need to find innoculant for the peas and beans I want to grow, so I'm going to have to check the nursery near our house. Maybe we can all walk over this weekend, if this weather holds up. Or even as long as it isn't snowing or raining.

My other plans include growing Thumbelina carrots and radishes, probably mixed together since the Bountiful Container recommends that. I may attempt big carrots again, but I am not really too enthused about that idea at present. I had great success with the Thumbelinas when we lived in WA. Well, until the hound discovered them and ate them all. Yes, our hound eats carrots. He also picks blackberries. But I digress...

My roses may or may not have survived the winter. I left one in the pot on the patio, and planted the other. C said it looked like the one in the ground had new growth and the other did not. I am going to try to water them both a bit (since the weather has been so warm I think they may be coming out of "hibernation" and be thirsty) and just see what happens. If either or both died, it's really no big deal. I got them at Big Lots for like $3 each two years ago. I can always try to grow new ones.

I also just want to quickly show off my nifty new garden tools. I got them through Lee Valley (also where the pic came from), and boy were they cheap! But they're sturdy and ideal for container gardening.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Moment of Nostalgia

I heard "Buffalo Soldier" on the radio yesterday. J used to kick a lot when that song was on. He really seemed to like Bob Marley in utero. He still likes it, I think, since he sings along. Anyway, nostalgia and melancholy washed over me in this huge wave as I remembered his little kicks and bumps and everything in my belly.

T-Shirt Quilt

I had this great idea to use all those novelty T-shirts that I've gotten over the years to make a quilt. Not just any quilt, but a quilt that will come along on road trips to keep us cozy around the campfire, or in the car. I have a shirt my dad made me when I was 15 (he made one for each of us) that has pictures on the front and back of us completing our "National Treasures Tour." That trip, he taught me how to drive...there was an incident with purple flowers at Craters of the Moon that I'd rather not discuss. We visited Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, Westport, WA, and pretty much every major (and some more minor) natural treasure between Colorado and the Washington coast. That shirt will definitely be a part of this quilt. So will the one I have from band camp the summer I met C. I have one from the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, one from Seattle, and I have one from San Francisco. All of these will be part of the quilt, and I will leave blank squares for the addition of shirts purchased on later family trips.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prayers/Happy Thoughts Needed

My SIL D lost another baby. I knew they were trying again, but I didn't know until tonight that they'd had any success. This one she lost almost as soon as she found out. My heart is breaking for her. I can't imagine losing a baby, let alone two. I feel even worse because I'd just blathered on about my sister N getting pg with her twins kind of by accident... I feel like such an ass! D seemed to perk up when I mentioned that my sister is 42, she said something about there being hope then, but I had no idea at that time about her own baby. She has a daughter from a previous relationship, who is absolutely adorable and a great kid, but I think that makes it harder on her now, wondering why she could get pregnant the first time but now she is having problems. I'm sure it also doesn't help that SIL G is pregnant with her second one now. I so hope D gets a "sticky" (as they say on the Nest) baby soon. If you could just please send some positive vibes her way, in whatever form you feel is right, I'm sure they would appreciate it. I wish I could help somehow, but I don't know if I am supposed to know at all about this second loss...MIL said that D had just told her about it around Valentine's day, maybe with the intent that MIL would use her discretion to spread the word. Poor D. It's got to be so hard.