Monday, January 31, 2005

Back in the swing of things

Feeling much better today.

Chris and I made our first baby furniture shopping trip. Actually, we don't need much. The priority items are a crib, matress (no the two don't come together), and a dress that we can use as a dressing table. The first place that pops into my mind...IKEA! Who needs to spend a ton of dough on something that will be outgrown or fall out of favor in a few years. In the end, we found a dress we liked at IKEA but the crib...well, Chris liked one from Sears (I thought it was OK) but let's just say we're still looking. (Surprisingly, IKEA didn't have much of crib selection and, pricewise, $10 more expensive than the Sears crib.)

Afterwards, since we were in town, we stopped by to visit Addision and his mom Amy. He still seems to be doing fine...just a bit cranky because he's running a fever. No word yet on whether or not they will be able to use Parker's cord blood.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sick as a Dog

So, I've been exploding-at-both-ends sick today. Chris blames the dinner I cooked last night (chicken and broccoli) becuase he feels his stomach is a bit queasy, too. My response (after puking), then it's a sign that you have to cook all my meals. Yeah, he didn't seem to be a big fan of that.

At first I thought if I got some food in my belly it would actually blow over. However, when the pancakes made an encore visit an hour later, I know that I was dealing with more than a case of an empty stomach or even morning sickness. That said, for the first time in my entire preganancy, I called my doctor.

At first we got the answering service, which pissed Chris off a bit becuase the lady answering the phone suggested to Chris that all pregnant women get nausious and that it's probably just morning sickness. Chris' response..."Are you a doctor or a nurse?" "Uh, no...but I've had three kids." Yeah, Chris wasn't buying that, especially since, in my 8 months of pregancy, I have yet to suffer from morning sickness.

Well, my doctor soon called us back. It sounds like a case of the stomach flu...maybe it was something I ate. (No! Not the chicken and broccoli!) That said, I was prescribed a liquid only diet for the rest of the morning and after noon and at lunch I can have a light dinner. No dairy. (But all the good stuff has milk in it. :o( )

So that was my day today. Hope yours went better.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Addison, June 2004

Originally uploaded by Car2nGrl.

Dear Parker,

I've been wondering when I should tell you about your cousin, Addison. He's probably one of the bravest little boys in the world and, along with you, one of the cutest. I don't know if you heard him yesterday when we visited him at the hospital. He hasn't been able to vocalize much lately because he's been sick. But luckily, after months of tests, doctors have been able to figure out what's wrong with him. Here's how your Grandma Jan explained it to me and your dad...

"They think they have an actual diagnosis for Addison, SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) and they think Eric [Addison's dad] is the match for bone marrow donor (all subject to change of course). That means that if Eric can't do it for some reason, he has 4 brothers [including your dad] to call on. SCID occurs in 1 out of every 50,000-500,000 births and boys have a larger change of getting it than girls (1 to 3). It is caused by more than 20 genetic mutations resulting in dysfunction of B and T cells. Any virus or bacteria can be the end of him, but hopefully he will get well enough to have the transplant of bone marrow and that should be 80% successful."

However, we've heard that there may be an even better way to help little Addison and it involves you. See, when you're born we'll not only be able to finally hold you in our arms but we'll get a chance to harvest what's called "cord blood" from the umbilical cord that joins us. That blood is a special because it contains stem cells, which can be used to help you if you're ever sick in the future. I'm sure you won't mind but we've asked Addison's dad to check with the doctors to see if your cord blood can also help Addison, too. Just think of all the good you can do...and all within your first minutes of life. (Momma's little over-achiever!)

I will let you know more when we hear back from your Uncle Eric. In the mean time, I wanted you to get a look at Addison. I was going to attach a picture of Addison that I took at the hospital yesterday; but instead, I've decided to share one that I took last Father's Day...before he started feeling under the weather because I know that's the Addison you'll grow up with.

Love, Mom

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Parker Update

I saw my OB-Gyn today. Parker seems to be still doing fine -- strong heartbeat and all. The only change was that instead of my usual admonishments about weight gain (Hey! It was the holidays!), my doctor looked at me curiously and asked if I was eating. (Me not've got be be joking.) I guess, instead of steadily gaining weight, I lost 2 pounds, bringing me to...dare I even put this in writing?!...178 lbs. (HOLY SMOKES!)

Wanna hear my theory about the weight...of course you do otherwise you would have stopped reading by now. So here are my thoughts...
- weight should be taken at the same period of the day. My usual appointments are in the morning but my last appointment was after lunch...and yes, I ate before the appointment.
- weight should be taken with similar type of clothing...or no clothing at all. I purposefully chose my shoes and clothing this time -- opting to leave the heavy jacket and shoes at home this time.
- weight should be taken after they ask for the urine sample, giving you a chance to evacuate all cavities.

I'm sure you didn't want to hear all of that but those are my thoughts on the subject of obtaining consistant weight readings.

Next doctor visit...February 7th. Next ultrasound, February 17th.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I just thought I'd give you a taste of the game "Fetch"...ala Frankie.

Imagine yourself in my shoes, sitting mid-lenth (about 50 feet) of my backyard. I have his squeezie dinosaur toy in hand and his rapt attention. I throw the dino to my left and he takes off running after it. Then I sit and wait as he runs back to me...then right past me to the other end of the yard. There he turns and runs (not to me but) back to the other end of the yard where he turns and, yes, runs past me to the other end of the yard.

I didn't do an exact count but I would say he easily made six laps of the yard before tiring of the toy, choosing instead to attack on of the plants in the yard.

My response...pick up the dino and throw it again. I can do this all day.

Surfing the Net

Over time, I've discovered that I've become less and less facinated by the internet. There's a lot of garbage out there so I tend to log on and follow the same browsing pattern, which can me online (not including email downloading) for about 20 minutes max.

That said, I figured I'd give you a bit of insight as to what occupies my online time.

My browser opens to my "My Yahoo" page which has headlines, my pregancy calendar, word of the day, etc.

After a quick browse, I start hitting my usual blogs, which I now have listed in the sidebar of this blog (under "Links").

- "The Girls" - my sister's blog dedicated to her daughters, Luxi and Niko. This is the site that inspired this one. Of course, I have no baby yet to talk about but I'm sure, in time, Parker's activities will take over the content of this site. What I love about "The Girls" is that it gives me a chance to know what's going on in my nieces lives even though I live hundreds of miles away. (BTW, if you're just checking out the site you'll discover that both nieces were in the hospital. Note the past tense. Luxi and Niko are now fine. Joanie just hasn't updated her blog.)

- "They're Comming to Get You" - my writing partner's site, which not only deals with his obsessin with horror movies but I guess can be seen as a update on his (and consequently, since we're partners, my) writing progress (or, as it happens at times, our lack of progress).

- "Aimee in Chaos" - speaking of writing, this site belongs to Aimee, the ultimate writing critic -- and I mean that in a good way. Aimee is the go-to-girl whenever Thommy and I need an honest opinion on our writing and, let me tell ya, she doesn't hold back the punches. Maybe we're gluttons for punishment but it's great to have someone one who doesn't waste your time trying to spare your feelings. (BTW, since there's no spell/grammar check feature on this blog generator, I'm sure Aimee will find plenty of errors in this post, which I'm sure she will eventually comment on.)

- "everything eric" - another friend's site, which covers the gammit of everyday insights to Kylie Manogue updates. (BTW Eric, since it's been years since my one html class [the knowledge of which I don't regularly use so it can be pretty much be considered forgotten], I guess I should confess. I stole your "Links" coding for this site [maybe "borrored" is the better word since your site hasn't been altered]. So, uh, Thanks! Sorry I'm such a lazy bum.)

- As lastly, the only "celebrity" sites I read on a regular basis -- Wil Wheaton's and Moby's. I think what I like about both of these sites is that they're not about being famous. Rather they cover issues that I think we all are facing -- whether that be politics, family, and work.

That's pretty much it for my virtual cruising. I guess, though, with this blog, I will be online even longer; however, I'll be writing, not surfing.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Puppy Class, Part Deux

Well, we've once again survivied another puppy headstart with Frankie.

Based on the recommendations from the trainer, we not only walked Frankie before we left for class (to our mail box and back, including an uphill climb, which, if you're familiar with my lack of fitness coupled with my 8 months of pregnancy, means he's pulling me uphill most of the way) plus Chris played fetch with him in the pet store parking lot just before class. And...damn that dog has a ton of energy. He was still a spaz.

Actually, I think of Frankie as a gifted child with ADD. He gets the lessons; he's just way too easily distracted by the world around him. We're reminded that this hyperactivity is common with border collies but holy smokes! I can hear the frustration in Chris' voice. Frankie does everything perfectly at home but when it comes to demonstrating his awesomeness to others...well, he just comes across as a spaz.

This week we learned two more lessons -- walking nicely on a leash (not heal -- that's an advanced lesson for another class -- but rather don't drag your owner down the hill when you're on a walk to the mailbox) and "Down". True to form, you can tell Frankie gets both commands...he just needs more focus. Plus, walking him back and forth down the dog food aisle to practice the "walk nicely" lesson probably didn't help in the concerntration department either. Not to mention, the customers and other dogs he'd see when ever we got to the end of an aisle.

On the bright side, he did, once again, excell at puppy playtime. Mamma's little social butterfly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A sad day

It is sad when you finally try on what's universally considered "fat pants" -- a pair of overalls -- only to discovers that you don't fit them. Yes, I understand; I'm about 8 months pregnant now. But still, it's the principle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Rice Says It's Time for U.S. to Push Diplomacy

"Our interaction with the rest of the world must be a conversation, not a monologue."

As I sit here drinking my (decaf) Freedom roast coffee with my order of Freedom toast, thinking about getting a Freedom manicure later today, and reading this Reuters' headline, I can't help but think..."How French!" Too bad no one thought about this a few years ago...before we got into a war. I think Joe Biden got it right when he responded, "Despite our great military might we are in my view more alone in the world than we've been in any time in recent memory. The time for diplomacy, in my view, is long overdue."

I guess I should be happy that at least a small step is seemingly being taken in the correct direction; however, it's hard not to empathise with those who have lost a loved one or are living lives crippled (and I'm not just talking physical injuries) by this war. It's hard not to wonder who's actually profiting from this war; with the economy in a defict, it's definitely not the American people. It's hard not to wonder where in the bible our leaders are finding their justification for this war. Even from a basic playground point of view, it's hard not to wonder when a teacher is finally going to make their way over to break up this fight.

Hopefully, as this new year starts off, maybe our government is finally tired of fighting over nothing. Maybe we can now focus our energies on homeland issues. It's easy to be a Mrs. Kravitz and get too involved in what our neighbors are doing; it's a whole lot harder to turn inward and try to solve the problems which plague our own homes.

Okay, enough of the ranting. It's not something I do often but I couldn't help it when I saw this article.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Frankie's First Puppy Class

Well, this was class #2 for the humans but class #1 for the pooches. Frankie did fine but he was probably the spazziest dog there. The teacher said it was the border collie in him and suggested we walk him before class. Inside I'm slamming my head against an imaginary wall..."Yes! Tire him out before class. Why didn't I think of that! DOH!"

We practiced three commands; all of which were difficult with the new puppy friend distractions. (Frankie's a very social dog but he particularly like the chocolate lab that was sitting by us. But then, doesn't everyone love labs.)

First we played "Take It", where you tease the dog by holding a treat in their face but don't let them have it until the calm down and act like they aren't interested. It seemed to go well but it was hard to tell at times with all his squirmishness.

We then played "The Name Game" where you teach the dog to respond to his name. Yeah. We have to work on that one. Especially since we also learned that you can't say his name when you're mad at him...only when he does good stuff. (Yes, we're now training the owners. WOOF!) All we had to do, in our happy voice, was say "Frankie!" He would then turn and look at us and we could then say gusshingly "yeeeesssss" and give give him a treat. Let's just say when Frankie's distracted, food incentives don't work. We seemed to be the only owners repeating their dog's name in vain. All the while I can totally hear what Chris' thinking as he says our dog's name. "Frankie. (Make daddy proud!) Frankie! (Stop looking at the #@!*ing lab!) FRANKIE! (Don't embarass daddy in public!) FRANKIE!! (Why I just want to reach over there and grab you!)"

Luckily, the last command was "SIT", which Frankie knows pretty well. Of course he doesn't stay seated but "SIT AND STAY SEATED" isn't the name of the game so there! Look! He did it. Phew!

Finally, the class ends with puppy play, which is what Frankie wanted to do all along. Yeah, he excels at that. Very social. Maybe a bit too rough with the tiny dogs but being so fragile I think he eventually found them boring and moved back to the bigger dogs.

CLASS OVER. Six more to go.

Feelin' better

So I was talking to my friend Melissa who's also 31 weeks pregnant and you know how I was worried about how big Parker's getting? I mean, if he was 3lb 11oz a week ago, he's got to be over 4lb now. Well she had her ultrasound...5lb. And her doctor has her due date around St. Patrick's Day also. Oh yeah. Feelin' better.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Parker Update

Well, I saw my OB-Gyn yesterday. Everything seems to be fine and, as we knew from before, Parker is a big baby. Interesting note from the ultrasound report, based on the baby's size, it estimates delivery at March 10th. But the earliest my doctor will consider is March 14th.

That said, though, my doctor is sticking to his original delivery date -- March 18th. Oh boy! I hope he knows what he's doing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

If there was any doubt...

Trillo Chin2
Originally uploaded by Car2nGrl. to who the father is, all you have to do is look at that chin and know you're looking at a Trillo.

As you can see I've finally scanned the ultrasounds (taken at week 30). The one on the left is a profile of his head and the one on the right is Parker's face.

Parker's next photo shoot scheduled for February month before D-day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

What a difference a day makes...

I'm free. The water's gone and my neighbor, Ralph, plowed some of the road so it wasn't too treacherous to leave "the ranch".

That said, I got to run a few errands today, including a trip to the post office. The Chinese New Year stamps are on sale and I thought it was interesting that they came in sheets of 24 -- not only so you can have 2 full sets of zodiac characters BUT you can pay $8.88 for it. In case you didn't know, the number 8 is considered lucky in Chinese culture. (Yes. Phone numbers with lots of 8's are a hot commodity.)

I just feel lucky that I had to buy 4 more stamps than I had planned on.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Oh, I guess I should mention...

...that as I write this I'm wearing comfy sweats as Friday was (finally) my last day of work. Which means I should stop writing and go Unemployment's website and let them know I'm "unemployed".

I guess I should learn how to drive the tractor

Day 2 Trapped Indoors
The rainy weather has made our road unpassable for normal cars. Yesterday, the wash turned into a roaring creek cutting off the road. (I should have taken a picture but by the time I walked the dog all the way downhill to the fork where you turn off to our house...well, I wasn't going back to get the camera. The walk back to the house knocks the wind out of me. Thank goodness the dog is more than willing to pull me uphill.) At some points, the water (I guess where it was hitting submerged debris) would curl into the air like a sea serpent.

Today, I walked back down to wait for the tire repair guy. (One of the reasons why Chris hasn't attemped to do anything about the road is that on Saturday he ran the tractor's tire off the rim so it's been pitifully sitting in our neighbor's field until today.) While I was down there I checked out the "river" again. The water was much lower. I guess if I had to I could drive out. Then again, who knows what it'll be like when I get back. That said, I've been stuck here with the cat and dog. (Chris stayed the night "in town" since the weather was so bad and we didn't know for sure if he'd make it to the house with all the water.)

On the bright side, the tractor's fixed and my neighbor was kind enough to drive it back up to our house. I guess, though, once the baby's delivered, I should learn to drive that thing. Yeah, I think that will be on the low end of my 2005 resolutions...Learn to drive the tractor.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Someone's been a Baaaaaad Dog

Bad Dog
Originally uploaded by Car2nGrl.
So it was wet and cold...really cold (36 degrees) outside and I had to go to work. Normally, Frankie is outside while I go to work but today...I just couldn't to it. So he got to stay indoors for the day. I'd much rather him relieve himself indoors than find him wet and cold when I got home from work.

Well, this is what I came home to...a happy dog and a very messy bathroom. See the little bits all over the floor? That's the foam innards of what was once Frankie's bed. Not to mention, our laundry (that we've been keeping in the bathtub because it use to be out of his reach).

On the bright side, he didn't go in the house. So I guess the clean up could have been worse.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

What the...?

Originally uploaded by Car2nGrl.
So, once again, Parker refused to cooprerate when it came time to have his picture taken. I can make out an eye. But other than that, it looks like he has a squashed nose and big bubble lips. Actually, the traditional ultrasounds looked better. (Will upload once I get a chance to scan them.)

Okay, aside from a bad picture, here's the rest of the Parker update...

- Apparently, his head his large while his body is normal size. That set off the obvious movie quotes from So I Married an Axe Murderer..."Would ya look at the size of that kid's head! It's the size of a planetoid and it has it's own weather system! Looks like an orange on a toothpick!" "I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Aye, now that was offsides, now wasn't it? He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow."

- As for weight, he's now 3lb, 11oz. According to my online prego calendar, he should be ALMOST 3lb. The doctor also mentioned that while I'm at the 30th week of development, he's more like a baby in it's 31st week. Yeah, once again, BIG BABY.

- Another baby development fact from the prego calendar -- "His eyes open and close, he's able to distinguish between light and dark, and he can even follow a light source back and forth. Once he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open them, he'll respond to changes in light but will have a visual acuity of only 20/400 รข€” which means he can only make out objects a few inches from his face." Sounds like we have the same glasses prescription.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Someone's in the kitchen with Betty.

Oh yeah, it finally came it and it's as I remembered it -- two tones of goldenrod as the plastic for the lid ages at a different rate than plastic for the body. The cards, all in order. Index in the back. And the seller even included the payment receipts that the original order saved when collecting the cards. (And I thought I was a pack rat.)

If you haven't figured it recipe cards have arrived.

And guess what, I'm expecting a 2nd set soon! See, I bid on three different sets on ebay. But when I was outbidded for the first one (which was the most expensive) I thought I should just take advantage of one that you can buy right then and auction. Why not? If someone was willing to up my bid on the expensive set, the other two -- going for $5 and $1 -- would definitely be taken in similar fashion. Well, that was the case for the $5 card set. But the cheapest $ one bought it. Go figure.

Well, we'll see what condition this cheap set is in. Maybe my sister will want it. Or maybe, it'll become another craft project. :o)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Originally uploaded by Car2nGrl.
It's been pouring on the other side of the hill but over here...SNOW! This is the view I woke up to. It was so tempting to call in sick today just so I can hang out with Frankie and watch him chase snowballs. But hi-ho, hi-ho, it was off to work I go.

Of course, it pretty much all gone when I got home. So much for So. Cal snow.

Chris didn't leave for work until late morning...which meant Frankie spent the afternoon (and early evening) in the melting yard. Even though I knew he would be fine, (He has his warm crate to retreat to, if necessary.) I couldn't help envision what possibly could have happened to him in our absence. Namely, his slipping on the icy ground and into the pool. Talking to Chris this evening, I guess he also had the same vision of our poor Frankie -- floating in the pool or wet & shivering in his crate. (And I thought it was just me being a worry wart, like my mom.)

Have no fear though. Our boy was fine. And surprisingly full of energy, seeing as he seeming spent most of his day tearing up his fluffy bed that Chris put outside for added cozy comfort. Yeah, tonight he went to sleep with the deflated reminants of his bed. I guess that's another craft project for me to look forward to when I'm not working.

The Power of the Pickle

Where should I start. Maybe at the very beginning...In 1881 Mathias Gedney began his own pickle company. Since then six generations of his family have continued his quest for excellence. But it's when Gedney meets Vicky that this story takes a special turn. Vicky Gjerde and her Norwegian Dills. In 1991, the Gedney family started picking winning State Fair pickles. "I've never entered or won in the State Fair before! But everybody in my family loves to can. My husband Mark and I sure love to make pickles (when we're not enjoying country living or commuting to the Cities)...Mark calls these 'dills with attitude.' But really, they're just nice and mellow-hot. They won't burn your tongue off or anything -- even if you're Norwegian, like us." Oh Vicky!

We'll let's just say, when the last Vicky pickle was consumed in our house, I was a bit worried. (As I said to the friend who ate it..."You ate the last Vicky pickle in a pregnant lady's house!") But have no fear...Aimee has come to the rescue. I now have 3 jars, straight from Minnesota. PHEW!

From Innie to Outie

No, my belly button hasn't morphed yet but my prego newsletters inform me that the time is soon to come. I can't help but feel like a Thanksgiving turkey waiting for that timer to pop. And then? Well, being one who never fell for that "Sex in the City" nipple craze and wears a bra not for support but to prevent onlookers from using my chest as a weather barometer, what will I do now? I guess I could just put a band-aid over the bump to smooth things over. But do I really want to deal with ripping that thing off every day? Ouch. I hear for really big stomachs they have these support elastic bands...belly bra anyone? Well, I still have time to figure this out. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.