Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Pile of Thoughts

No theme today. Just various updates on mostly unimportant things.

We had a couple of friends over for dinner, and they brought flowers. I LOVE them. It makes me want to bring amazing flowers every time I go to someone's house for dinner.

Here is my belly.

This is actually last week's photo, but I can't see any difference between this one and the one I took today. Actually, I think my belly looked smaller today than last week. So you get last week's. It seems to be growing kind of slowly, in my naive opinion. The ultrasound 3 weeks ago suggested that Blueb is slightly bigger than expected, if anything (but not outside of the norm). So she's not the problem. At church today, two people volunteered that I definitely have a belly now, and one of them said so upon seeing me across the yard. But another woman hadn't heard that I'm pregnant and when she learned this, and that I'm 24 weeks along, she said "Wow, I can't tell at all!" So I don't know.

We have a coffee problem.

Normally we have one opened one and one or two on standby, but things kind of got out of hand because we sometimes had to pick some up on the fly if we forgot to bring it with us for camping, and sometimes it would be on sale so Stanley would buy a couple. Also, I stashed it at various places in the kitchen so it wasn't clear how much we had until I called a coffee summit. Thirteen bags. And only one of them is decaf. And neither of us is supposed to be drinking much coffee.

And Dale, bless his heart, is driving me insane with constant meowing and pacing. Actually, it's only constant when I am in the kitchen, working. It's particularly maddening when I am trying to focus on a recipe. MEOW. MEOW. MEOW. It's really tough to measure out 13 half-cups of flour when he's meowing and pacing. When I'm not in the kitchen, he stops. He has food and water. And cat grass. And plenty of time with me when I'm not in the kitchen. But when I'm on the sofa, he naps on the sofa table. No interest in me at all. I have tried throwing water in his face each time he meows, but on one occasion, I threw water at him 5 times in 10 minutes, and he was totally soaking wet, as was the floor and cabinets, but the meowing and pacing continued, and I don't believe it, but it was almost as if the water encouraged him. I don't get that at all.

So my plan is based on an internet search and consists of ignoring him when he's in the kitchen or meowing and paying extra attention to him when he's not. This has been our second full day of treatment. Ignoring him is rather difficult when he does things like jump on the counter and walk toward the stove when it's on, or jump on the refrigerator and push a glass vase toward the edge, but instead of reprimanding him, I quietly get him out of the situation and pretend like he's an inanimate object that I'm putting back in it's proper place. It's not working so far. But it took him years to develop this behavior so I'll try to be patient.

Ever since I saw an ad for Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30 (APRTMSPF30), I have wanted it. It's a moisturizer, it evens out your skin tone, it makes your skin glow, and protects it from the sun.

Four products in one. My current moisturizer only moisturizes and protects from the sun. What a waste!! The APRTMSPF30 costs $15 for about 3 oz., which is four times more than I have ever paid for a beauty product. So I just tried to forget about it, but I couldn't. Then I went looking for it every time I went to Target or the grocery store, but sometimes they didn't have it, and if they had it, I lost the nerve to buy it. So I tried ebay, and on Monday, Sept 14th at 10:04 a.m., I outbid, outlived and outlasted 4 other bidders and got two bottles for $10 apiece, taking shipping into account. I was so jacked up when I won. I love winning. The lady that sold them had opened one and realized they were too light for her skin. So one of them was "used" but not really.

I put it on today for the first time and the same people that said they could definitely tell I was pregnant, made a point to tell me I was "glowing". Yay I finally have that glow. I don't plan to tell anyone it's artificial. Except you all, and you can keep a secret.

Dinner's ready. Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fun Facts

Lots on my mind. I guess the most prominent thing on my mind is the fact that we just had the first ultrasound and we found out that Blueberry is a GIRL!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAY!! I had been wanting a girl but expecting a boy. So I was bound to either get my wish or have my intuition validated. Either way, that's good. Stanley had been expecting a girl until we were actually undergoing the ultrasound, when something about the ultrasound tech's behavior led him to think maybe it was a boy. We asked her not to tell us at the time, and have her put the gender-relevant images in an envelope, and we took the envelope with us to one of our favorite restaurants, and opened it just after the waiter brought the salads. It was quite a moment. I wish you could have been there. Fun Fact: Both Stanley and I had blueberries in our meals, just by sheer coincidence. Or, the chef at Muffuletta on Como Ave. in Saint Paul, whose name is Jason, puts blueberries in everything. But that would still be a nice coincidence.

Here are some of the ultrasound images of Blueberry. If anything is unclear, and you want me to show you where stuff is, I could draw it on the images and email it to you. I don't have much going on work-wise these days. Unfortunately the tech was not able to get a whole-body image. So please enjoy the following body parts.

First, her nose and upper lip, and upper teeth buds.

Tilt your head to the left. It's a very small part of the image, between the two largest dark blobs, and looks like a spinning top, laying on it's side, with the top of the top on the left, which is her nose, then the middle of the top in the middle, which is her upper lip with some barely visible teeth buds below that, then the sharp point of the top on the right, which is I don't know what. Her chin? Her uvula?

Well that was fun.

Here is her leg!

It looks really strong, which is partly what led Stanley to think it was a boy. Heh heh heh. Her thigh is the big blotchy rectangle in the middle, her knee is bent, and her calf hangs down from the left side of the rectangle.

Her heart (and lungs?).

The large roundish thing that is offset to the right is her lungs, I believe, and her heart is nestled inside it. You can make out the four chambers of her heart. Stanley was very impressed by the resolution demonstrated here. We could see it beating. Yay. :)

Her hands! And a forearm! The tech said she is pointing with one hand and sticking up her ring and middle fingers of the other hand. Try it. It's not as easy as it looks.

Her foot. It's tiny, right in the center of the image. You might have to click on the image so it will zoom in.

Fun Fact: I love baby feet. I always touch babies' feet when I'm near them, and they always pull away. I'm going to touch my baby's feet all the time so she gets used to it. Unless she fusses at me, in which case I will stop.

Her brain!!! Can't wait to fill it with Fun Facts.

The tech said everything looked good and healthy. She doesn't have the final word. But I feel pretty confident in her judgment.

I left out the gender-relevant images because I would like to preserve Blueberry's modesty. She will thank me when she's old enough to browse the internet.

I know that there are pluses in having either a girl or a boy, and if it had turned out to be a boy, I would probably be excited about that, too. It is the case, however, that one of my long-shot desires, right up there with having an ocean-view home and a live-in masseuse/maid/chef, is to have 3 or 4 girls, and no boys. This is silly, I know. It's all based on a picture I saw in a magazine of a mom and her four lovely teenage daughters sitting on their front steps. Little did those people know the effect their smiles and perfect clothes would have on my life's ambition. But I would be happy with a boy. I really would. I'm happy with Stanley, and he is a boy, after all.

The big thing with the gender reveal is that we KNOW and we can move forward with name choosing, clothes buying, and nursery decorating. The nursery decor was already planned with a neutral theme in mind, which I should share with you at some point, but it's just nice to be able to accessorize with items that don't land dead-center on the gender stereotype continuum.

Here is a picture of my belly, taken this past weekend. It's bigger than it was 20 weeks ago, but it's not that impressive at this point. However, I think it is just about to pop out prominently. So think of this as a before picture.

My friend Amacrine*, who was visiting from Texas, and is also pregnant, joined me for the photo. She also posted this photo on her blog, so I hope she doesn't mind that I copied her. She's five weeks ahead of me. Actually, Fun Fact: the ultrasound tech said it looked like the baby is 5 days older than I thought. She could be wrong, and I could be wrong. But if she's right, then Amacrine is only four weeks ahead of me. So it's even more possible that we could go at the same time. Exciting!!

I've been taking a belly picture weekly for the past 4 weeks. I'm glad I started when I did, because I didn't start to show until maybe this week.

This is already getting kind of long but here's another Fun Fact: I'm feeling kind of daunted about picking names. Here are the problems:

1. No name sounds perfect.
2. How can one person name another person???
3. There are thousands of names and they all crowd each other out.
4. Should we go with a popular name or a unique name?

Here's my strategy: I've made an Excel spreadsheet with a list of possible first names. We'll worry about middle names after we've narrowed it down to 1-3 first names. We'll keep adding to the list as necessary, and there is a column for Stanley to rate a name 1-10 for how much he likes it, and another column for me. I'll hide the other person's column so as not to bias things. The third column will be the average of our ranking, and the fourth the standard deviation (so as to avoid choosing a "7" over a "6" when perhaps the "7" is highly disliked by one of us, and highly liked by another, whereas we both gave the "6" a rating of "6").

Before rating a name, we each have to say the name out loud to ourselves three times, but not three times in a row; there needs to be some time between each verbalization. We should imagine the name being yelled from across the street, being whispered, and being announced (first and last names) as the CEO of a major company, and as a famous Broadway actor. If she wants to go into something we don't approve of, she's just going to have to deal with having an inappropriate name for that profession. Then, simply rate the name 1-10. What could be easier.

Fun Fact: Gotta pee.

*Names changed.