Monday, January 31, 2011

Quick Takes - what day is it, anyway?

1. I hate re-learning to use things. I pulled out my sewing machine the other day and had no idea how to use it. I then fought with the bobbin for an hour before resigning myself to hunting for the missing instruction manual. I spent half hour reading it before I could fully utilize the machine again. It’s so annoying!

2. I very much dislike it when people write letters to their kids on their blog. (Dear Baby’sName: You’re six months old today!) If you do that kind of thing, I hope your child really enjoys reading them someday. But I don’t.

3. You know what else I don’t like? Posts in bullet point format. I have nothing against writing that way, but when you format the post that way, the text won’t wrap on my phone, so it’s next to impossible to read. This is my phone’s problem, not yours, but it’s still annoying.

4. Whenever a blood drive comes around, I feel an obligation to give. From the time I was in high school, all the way through college I don’t think I missed one (they were once a year at the high school and twice a year at college). I gave the first year I worked at my office. Since then, I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding and, I have to say, it’s been nice to be able to say I can’t do it and feel no guilt. (Okay, maybe a little guilt while breastfeeding, because I assume breastfeeding moms can give blood with no problem, but I had some supply issues and I didn’t want to mess with it.) I got a reminder for yet another blood drive this week and was excited I had a great excuse for not signing up. I have terrible veins and it always takes FOREVER to get it started. The last time they drew blood at my ob’s office, the nurse tried both arms and had to finally take the blood out of my HAND. The time before that was such an ordeal that I left with a softball–size bruise on my arm. Obviously, when blood donor people are trying to get a whole PINT of blood its worse than when my doctor needs a vial for prenatal testing. They usually poke for a while in both arms, call several nurses over to try, and sometimes even give up. I shudder just thinking about it.

5. We leave on vacation on Saturday and all three of us got sick this weekend. So sick the thought of packing and getting on an airplane seems impossible. At least we’ll hopefully be better for most of the trip. Still, I would have preferred to get this out of the way last week.

6. I almost never turn on my computer anymore. I have my email, feed reader, twitter, and facebook on my phone, so what’s the point? The only thing I can’t do is post here, which is why I rarely do anymore. It seems like too much work to turn on the computer just to write a post.

7. I wrote most of these quick takes at work last week, for posting on Friday, then couldn’t be bothered to turn on the computer and post them this weekend.  Oops.  I'm going to work on that this week. I have a bunch of post ideas and I'm going to try to write AND post them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I wonder if this happens to other people, too.

Last Monday, my parent’s washing machine died, so mom went to Sears to buy a new one. Since then, she’s been having problem after problem with getting it delivered, including cancelled delivery orders, the first washer having to be sent back to the manufacturer due to a defect, her waiting at home for it because no one TOLD her it had to be sent back, rescheduling the delivery, etc, etc. This washing machine has caused a lot of trouble over the last week and since she was trying to start a load when she discovered the old one wouldn’t work, they’ve been running out of clean clothes.

The new one finally came today. The delivery guy installed it. It didn’t work. The guy suggested she check the fuse box just in case. The fuse was blown. In all likelihood the old washing machine was JUST FINE. The outlet it was plugged in to just wasn’t working. Instead of buying a new one and dealing with the delivery service all week, all she had to do was reset the fuse. OOPS. (The guy offered to bring the old machine back in and refund her money, but she kept the new one.)

If YOUR washer stopped working would YOU check the fuse box?? I certainly wouldn’t. I will now, though!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1. We’ll be on our cruise when I’m 20 weeks along, so my doctor let me reschedule my 20 week appointment (the big ultrasound) for 19 weeks! We’re so excited we (hopefully) get to find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl before we leave.

2. I’ve been trying to find maternity summer clothes on eBay, since I need some for the cruise and I figure they’re not quite in stores yet, but I’m not having any luck. Don’t people understand the reason no one is buying their clothes is because they’re listing them for too much? Lower your prices!!

3. I don’t really want to get into the ‘Why Chinese Mothers are Better’ debate. Everything I feel about it has already been said by someone. That said, I have REALLY been enjoying the whole debate. There are so many great pieces about it. A couple of my favorites were Kristen Chase’s article about her experience being raised by a ‘Chinese mother’ and Denene Millner’s article about stereotypes on

4. I just realized my 1 year blogoversary is coming up. One of the first things I wrote about is how Meg crawled for the first time while I was at work. I can’t believe it was only a year ago. It seems like DECADES ago!

5. I learned this week that the fight song of the Chicago Bears starts “Bear down, Chicago Bears.” Every time I hear it, it makes me laugh. When I hear “bear down,” I think woman in labor about to push. How do people sing this song with a straight face?

6. Whenever the cat comes near any of Meg’s toys, she freaks out and runs toward the cat saying “No! No! NO!” We’ve been trying to teach her if the cat can’t touch her toys, she can’t play with the cat’s toys. She started playing with a cat toy today and I reminded her that toy was only for the cat. So she went and got her stuffed cat and had her play with the toy (blurry picture taken with my phone).

7. I think my child is a prodigy –only 19 months old and she can put on her own tights!
 Okay, maybe not a prodigy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The endless hair appointment

I haven’t had my hair cut since last September and that was the $9 special at Fantastic Sam’s.  The last time I went to a nice place and got my hair highlighted and styled (as opposed to chopped) was last May.  Eight months ago.  As I put together Meg’s baby book and saw how amazing my hair was back then, I felt the urge to immediately go to the salon.  I don’t care if it costs $200.  I want to look like that!  Plus, if I only do it every 8 months, that’s only $25/month.
Thomas and I both had the day off yesterday, so I decided to just see if they had any appointments that afternoon (I’m incapable of scheduling in advance).  They did!  I figured 2 hours, $200, and I’d look great.  It didn’t quite end up going like that.
My appointment was at 1.  I arrived at 12:50.  My stylist wasn’t ready for me until almost TWO.  By that point I’d read two magazines, cleared out my feed reader, caught up on Facebook, and was seriously PISSED.  My hair was supposed to be halfway done by this point!  My daughter naps from 1-3 and I’d hoped to be home shortly after she woke up!  NAPTIME IS PRECIOUS and I didn’t want to spend an hour of it sitting in a salon bored out of my mind.
The stylist apologized several times and told me how very, very sorry she was and that she was running late because some mom had gotten caught at the pediatrician’s office and was really late for her appointment that morning.  While I agree it was nice she allowed the woman to still get her hair done, I don’t think she should have.  It wasn’t the stylist’s time the woman wasted, it was MINE and I did not appreciate it.  I’d also like to point out they could have CALLED ME to let me know or even told me when I arrived instead of letting me sit there for an HOUR.  I only live 5 minutes from the salon and I would have appreciated the opportunity to stay home until they were ready for me.
I liked the stylist a lot, but she is not a fast worker.  She takes her time and does a really good job – I brought in a picture of myself from last May and she pretty much EXACTLY duplicated the hair, which is what I wanted – but I think she takes a bit too much time.  To highlight and cut my hair took almost 3 hours.  After I’d waited an hour.  I was in the salon until almost five and by then I didn’t really care what my hair looked like.  It looks absolutely FANTASTIC (worth $200), but I’m still trying to determine whether it was worth 4 hours.  4 hours every eight months is not much time to spend on your hair, but the real problem is that I expected it to take 2 hours (like last time) and instead it took double that.  At least it’s done now and I don’t have to worry about it for a while.  I really did like the stylist a lot and I think I’ll give her another shot next time.  Hopefully the wait was a one-time thing.
P.S.  If you want to know what it looks like, just look at my blog banner.  It’s pretty much the same as the picture from my sister’s wedding (the middle picture), except that my hair parts closer to the middle now.  I got the exact same highlights and it’s the same length.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trapped by indecision

My Dad got a Kindle for Christmas. I didn’t feel an e-reader was something I had to have until I saw it yesterday mornng. I fell in love. I went home with the intention of going right to Amazon and ordering me up a Kindle. They’re only $139! I haven’t spent a penny of my Christmas cash! Amazon has a ton of free books!

Of course, I had to do some cursory comparisons between the Nook (non-color) and the Kindle, just to make sure I wanted the Kindle. Thomas and my brother-in-law both have Nook Colors, although my brother-in-law really bought his as more of a mini-iPad than an e-reader. (Because it is a mini-iPad, which is awesome.) However, I’m still holding out for a real (2nd generation) iPad because I want to watch Hulu and Netflix, which you can’t do on a Nook Color.

I was still going to go with Kindle, until he reminded me you can check books out of the library on a Nook, but not on a Kindle. So I went on the library website to see what they had for e-books and WOW. I have a list a page long of e-books I want to check out (FOR FREE). And that’s just after looking for a half hour. Plus, if I got the Nook, Thomas and I could share purchased books. I was all set to buy the regular Nook, until Thomas began the campaign for a Color.

The Nook Color has full internet. It has an Android operating system, so it can easily be turned into a bigger version of my phone (including all the apps). Doing this is not sanctioned by Barnes and Noble, but they’re working on it. The Nook Color is projected to get Android 2.2 in Feburary and apps in March. (Until then you can just do it illegally.) But since I have all this on my phone, do I need a bigger version? I didn’t think so, until I borrowed Thomas’ for the night. I love the Google feed reader app on my phone, but when I read archives (I’m always working on someone’s archives) the phone isn’t so great. On the Nook Color, it was AWESOME. It’s the perfect size for blogs.

Of course, the reason I want an e-reader is to READ and if I’m actually going to read books primarily on the device instead of paper I think I want e-ink (regular Nook), not a mini-computer (Nook Color). Of course, I probably spend more time reading blogs than books (oops), so shouldn’t I get the device that’s better for blogs? But I still want an iPad. An Android phone, an iPad, AND a Nook Color is overkill. BUT, I won’t get the iPad until my birthday, which is in eight months. AND, with a backlit reader (the Color), I can read while sitting in Meg’s room at naptime and bedtime, which can be up to three hours a day total (a booklight doesn’t fly – you can barely get away with a phone or Nook Color).

I went in circles all day yesterday and I CANNOT DECIDE. I have bought NOTHING because I can’t choose.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week 16 update

As long as I remember to take my Unisom every night, there’s nothing going on in pregnancy land. (If I forget the pill, as I did one day last week, I still puke all day.) I generally feel fine. Not too big yet. My pants are tight, but what else is new? They were tight when I GOT pregnant, they only got loose because I lost a bunch of weight from morning sickness. I “look pregnant” but I looked like that BEFORE. The only difference is now I don’t care. I have a REASON for the big belly. Sometimes I even show it off in maternity tops. Mostly I wear regular clothes and continue to look fat. I’m not even extra tired anymore. I go to bed at the same time I did pre-pregnancy. Essentially, my life is exactly the same as it was before morning sickness, but with less I’m-too-fat drama.

I forget I’m pregnant all the time. When I do remember, I have no idea how far along I am. As in, I can’t even GUESS how far along. Somewhere in the early second trimester is about as good as I can do. I forget the baby’s due date, too. LMP puts the EDD at June 27th, 1st ultrasound puts it at July 2nd, but all I can remember when someone asks me is it’s “June or July.” Rather vague.

Last Saturday night, as Thomas was putting Meg to bed, I thought it would be really fun to make Margaritas and watch a movie. We haven’t done that in FOREVER! It’ll be great! And then (10 minutes later) I realized I can’t drink. Even though I don’t feel pregnant. AT ALL. It was a major bummer.

Sometimes I get a little freaked out that I can’t think of a single pregnancy symptom I’m currently experiencing. But I don’t have any history of pregnancy loss and I feel the baby moving at least a few times a week, so I figure everything’s good. Last night, when I went to bed, the baby started moving a LOT. It was so fun! For a few weeks at least, I get to experience good pregnancy stuff without dealing with unpleasant side effects.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

1. Over Christmas I finished Meg’s first year baby book! I’m so excited. I honestly thought she’d never have one. I ordered little flip books for my grandparents for Christmas and Snapfish sent me a thank you coupon for 25% off everything and free shipping, so I figured it was now or never. Their coupons never apply to extra pages, but this one did, and that was definitely going to be the bulk of my order. I worked night and day on that thing for a week and finished it hours before the coupon expired. We ordered books for us, my mom, and my mother-in-law so the coupon ended up saving us $80. Nothing like saving money as motivation! By the end, though, I swore this was IT. I was only making small books from now on and the next kid will not be getting a baby book. (I’ll probably change my mind)

2. There is an Olive Garden about a mile from my house. I know how some people (and probably some of you) feel about chain restaurants, but I love that place. Their Chicken Gnocchi soup rocks my world (probably because the broth seems to be made entirely of cream, butter, and salt, but whatever). The problem is we can NEVER get into the place. It is ridiculously crowded at all times of the day. We tried to go there the Thursday after Christmas for the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch at 11:30 and there were ZERO parking spots, a bunch of cars circling the lot looking for a spot, and people waiting for tables outside in the Iowa winter. I know a lot of people took that week off, but the real problem is the senior citizens who must LIVE THERE or something. We even tried going for dinner at 4:30 one day a few months ago and there was an hour wait. At 4:30!! (We did wait and I guess 5:30 is a more reasonable time to eat dinner than 4:30 but the whole point was to not wait with an impatient and energetic toddler).

So, I am unbelievably excited a new Olive Garden opened on Monday in another suburb of Des Moines. Perhaps people will go to the new place and open up enough space for me to actually eat at the one by my house without waiting two hours for a table. I hope. The problem is, the senior citizens are much more likely to live in my suburb than the other one and probably don’t want to drive to the new place. But a girl can dream.

3. I really like empire-waisted clothes. I always have, but since I’ve never had a flat stomach I look pregnant when I wear that style. Wearing them and actually liking the fact they make me look pregnant was one of my favorite parts of being pregnant last time. I’ve been pulling out my maternity clothes and washing them and it made me happy to see all the tops.

4. I LOVE Michael Buble’s song “Haven’t Met You Yet.” So much so that it annoys my husband. Every time it comes on the radio at work, it’s almost embarrassing because I can’t stop myself from moving. It’s all I can do to stay sitting instead of jumping up to dance.

5. The other day we were watching Jeopardy and one of the answers was O.J. Simpson. I vividly remember watching the white bronco car chase when I was little. We were staying at my Grandma and Grandpa’s and my bed was the fold out couch, which is in the room with the only TV, so I got to stay up past my bedtime to watch the car chase with all the adults. Isn’t it kind of sad that one of my only memories from when I was that young (I think I was 9 or 10) is O.J. Simpson? (I remember the rest of the night, too. We played crazy eights with Dr. Doolittle cards. How random is that?)

6. Everyone complains about people touching their pregnant belly. I agree it sounds super annoying. But I sort of don’t get what all the whining is about because it never happened to me when pregnant with Meg. Not once. Even my FAMILY didn’t do it. My mom asked, once, to touch when I said the baby was kicking and that was the only time she touched my belly. I believe my sister asked, too, when she saw mom feeling. No one else (except for my husband) ever touched my stomach. Do I walk around with a ‘touch me and you die’ look or something?? Is it a Midwest politeness thing to not reach out and touch strangers? Or is it that it doesn’t actually happen that much, but when it does it’s so annoying people have to complain?

7. We’re going to the inaugural ball tonight and I am so excited I get to wear a maternity dress. Instead of spending days trying on dresses and searching for the outfit that minimizes my fat belly, I get to wear a maternity dress and emphasize the belly. I feel like I’m getting away with something because my stomach is essentially the same size now as it was when I got pregnant, but I don’t have to try to hide it anymore!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Last March, I think, we booked a Caribbean cruise for this February. Since it was so far off, I’ve always had the attitude it would never get here. It was better for my sanity. But now I’ve realized it’s in approximately 4 weeks and I have done nothing to prepare. I spent several panicked hours last Wednesday night searching the house for my passport, which wasn’t in its usual spot. I finally found it in my still-packed carry-on from when we went to Ireland in December 2007. I haven’t been on a plane since.

I also realized I have very few summery maternity clothes. Meg was born in May so I managed to wear my bought-for-winter long-sleeved shirts and jeans until the end. I think I have 2 short-sleeved shirts and that’s it. No shorts. Lots of sweaters and work pants. I’ve gotten to the point where wearing regular pants is pretty uncomfortable, but maternity pants look stupid (I hate this phase). There’s no way any of my shorts or capris will fit in 4 weeks. I think I’ll be doing some major eBay shopping this week. Also, are you allowed to wear pants on formal nights? If not, I also have to find a maternity dress and I just don’t want to.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm Back!

I’m back! Sort of. Maybe. I’m emerging from the I’m–gonna-puke haze, but it’s a lot harder to get back into writing than I thought. I’m filling up the time that used to be occupied with throwing up or laying around moaning with actual household stuff, like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, and doing laundry. My poor husband was stuck doing all of that for a while and he was getting pretty burned out. He still does the majority of the cooking and grocery shopping, but I’m helping.

Of course, I’m only doing those things when absolutely necessary, like going to the grocery store when we’re completely out of food AND have eaten take-out for the last two days, because when its “Christmas break” you have to fit in a lot of lounging. I worked my normal (part-time) hours the week between Christmas and New Years, but Thomas took the week off and it was really nice. He says he enjoys being back at work, but Meg and I are both having a hard time adjusting. Meg screamed every day this week when I dropped her off at daycare and clung to me. She has never done that. She’s a very social child and I think she’d choose daycare over being at home most days, but she got so used to being at home with mommy or daddy (or both) and all her new toys that she didn’t want to leave.

I’m happy two of her favorite new playthings are the two things we bought her. We got her a set of Mega Blocks and a set of play food and she LOVES them. My mom bought her little plates, bowls, and cups and she has a great time putting food on plates and bringing it to us. She also loves her freakishly loud v-tech toys from relatives who must not like us very much, but we’re trying to discourage them. I haven’t yet taken them out of the box (you can play with them without removing the packaging) so I’m praying there’s some sort of volume control.

That’s pretty much all that’s going on around our house. So many new toys they’ve filled Meg’s room AND the living room and three people in a bit of a post-Christmas funk. Frankly, our goal is to just get through January, because we leave for our cruise February 5th. I can’t wait!