Friday, May 29, 2009

Best Craigslist Story

We have a ton of things listed on craigslist. Listing items is free, so why not? It can be a hassle (I'll just say fridge and leave it at that), but getting rid of unwanted items, making a little money, and not having to fill up the trash bin is great.

As I have both bought and sold through craigslist, I have plenty of stories, most of them rather unremarkable in and of themselves. Yesterday, however, I completed a transaction sparked by craigslist that now ranks as my favorite craigslist story and is one worth blogging about.

This was DH's keyboard. It's a nice bluetooth one that came with a mouse as well. We won't talk about the battery-eating mouse, which may or may not be buried somewhere in this house. The keyboard worked fine, but DH wasn't using it and decided to list it on Craigslist for $5.

A gal named Julie emailed me that she was interest in the keyboard. She even brought her laptop with her so computer-guru DH could get it set up. (We weren't able to set it up and the error that was generated makes us wonder what she's got installed on that thing, because it was a very strange error. She didn't mind that we didn't succeed though, and assured us that she had some friends she was visiting this weekend who would relish the challenge.) I remembered to show her my list of other items listed on craigslist (I spent some time on that thing and kept forgetting to show it to people when they'd show up!) and she was interested in the skillet.

This was our main skillet. It's a nice big one, with a non-stick coating and a glass lid. Although heavy, it has the second handle so I can actually lift it when full of food. We used it a lot. But then my mom restocked our kitchen with what we consider to be the highest quality cookware available (if you like low-moisture/waterless cooking). I won't get into Cutco here, but I could. Anyway, we no longer needed this skillet, so it was listed on craigslist, also for $5.
Very cool! Sell off two things to one person! I love it! So I carried the skillet out to her car while she carried her laptop and new keyboard. As she was getting another $5 out of her wallet, I noticed a Safety 1st baby gate in her back seat. The conversation went something like this:

Me: I see you have a baby gate, you must have a little one too?
Her: No, I got that at (some other online something) for $10. The lady who sold it to me said it was easy to use, but it came with software or hardware or something (she shows me a ziplock bag with screws and anchors etc. in it. That would be hardware). I just wanted a little something for my bunny and I think this is more than I need.
Me: Well I think that's about as small as baby gates come, at least height-wise.
Her: Really? Well, I'm just driving around with it. I don't even have a bunny anymore.
Me: (not about to miss this opportunity) Um, do you want to get rid of it? I've got a five right here and and another five on the counter inside - how much do you want for it?!

She was very happy to sell it to me for $10 and I was perfectly happy to trade two items we're not using for one that we kinda really sortof need a lot. And I had just been thinking the other day about finding a baby gate on craigslist! Amazing how things work out. And this is a nice one too! Retail: $40.
The best part (for me) is that the hardware means it can be mounted at the top of stairs, and it swings! (You're not supposed to put pressure-mounted gates at the top of stairs because they can be pushed over. Not good.) So now I just need DH's help in installing it.

Yep, I love craigslist.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jar Doilies

I'm going to refer you to my Twitter feed again: the other night I spent the evening watching Price & Prejudice while working on some crochet. I was making covers for the jars of strawberry jam. Giving homemade jam at Christmas is sort of a family tradition. Especially when budgets are tight. I think we've wrapped the jars in the past, and maybe last year we didn't even do that. I don't remember. But this year I've finally got my act together to crochet lid doilies. How darling is that?

Let's get in a little closer. (sorry the pic is a little blurry) I've made four of these. They're made from 4-ply cotton yarn (same stuff as the market bag). They were so easy to make! I only made four because I ran out of yarn. I think it looks Christmassy, don't you? The green ribbon makes it.

This is the one I was working on while watchinglistening to Pride & Prejudice. It took me about an hour and a half. It's my very first attempt at thread crochet! I love the delicate look.
I've been intrigued with it for a while, but never took the plunge. I took LB to Walmart the other day, and couldn't resist spending a little bit of that Craigslist money on a spool of thread. (I got 1000 yards for under $4, so it's not that bad.) I am very pleased with how it came out. The pattern calls for other colors, but I was just lucky that Walmart carried the thread at all. Maybe someday I'll be able to invest in other colors of thread.

Here's a closer look at the top detail. I really like it. It's more interesting than just rounds and rounds of double crochet. (Uses less thread, too).
Somehow mine came out smaller (as in diameter) than the pattern said it would. I was actually using a bigger hook, so I'm not sure how that happened. I suppose I may have been making the stitches too tight, but I would think the bigger hook would counteract that. My other thought was that it was because of the way I made the ring in the center. (here comes the technical jargon that only other crocheters will understand) The pattern, like most patterns in the round, starts with a chain, then joined with sl st to make a ring, then x number of sc in the ring. I don't start my rounds that way any more because it leaves a hole in the center. I found this amazing website called Crochet Cabana where, among other tips such as the invisible finish, I learned how to make an adjustable ring. So no more holes in the center of MY rounds! But, if the pattern was expecting that hole to be there, it would have an impact on the diameter of the doily. DH said the only way to find out would be to cut out the center design and see if the rest of the doily fit the jar the way it's supposed to. I looked at him cross-eyed, wondered if he understand all the ramifications of such an action, and explained that ACTUALLY, the only way to find out would be to make another one, WITH the hole in the center. He thought there were too many uncontrollable variables in my proposed experimental design, but since I'm certainly not going to cut the center out of this one, he wisely dropped it.

So anyway, my first thread crochet project is a success, so I'm encouraged to continue with thread crochet :)

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What to DO with all these strawberries??

We have a smallish patch of strawberries in our front yard.

Where other people would put in flowers, we put in strawberries. Is that weird? I don't know, but being in a townhouse, we only have so much space. Most of the back is taken up with a vegetable garden, a monstrous rosemary plant, irises, and a peony. The strawberries were originally in just a very small part of this plot, but they quickly filled it in and we let them. We even pulled some things out to give them more room. It's not a very big plot, but those plants produce plenty of strawberries! So, what to do with all those strawberries? Why, make jam, of course!

Would you like to help? Of course you would! Let's begin. First, we wash up the jars, lids, and bands,
and put the lids in hot water until we need them.
We also put the wax on low heat to melt. DH's mom uses wax to seal the jars, in addition to the lids and bands. We have learned from personal experience that homemade treats last longer in wax sealed jars than they do in jars without wax, even though the lids and bands are SUPPOSED to seal enough. So we use wax as well. This is the "wax pot". The wax lives in this pot. It's much easier to designate a wax pot than to try to clean the thing out each time. Besides, as we open jars, we just drop the little wax circles in the pot, all ready for the next canning session.

Next we wash and hull the strawberries.

Put the strawberries straight in the Vita-Mix, ready for processing. Technically, you're not supposed to blend the fruit. You're supposed to crush it with a potato masher or other such tool. Part of the reason, according to my mom, is that blending destroys some of the natural fruit pectin. But blending is so much easier! So we blend, but not puree. So there are no chunks of strawberries in our jam (which I don't really care for anyway), but it still has seeds. (This Vita-Mix, btw, is powerful enough to blend up even the seeds! We've made fruit smoothies before that had NO SEEDS!)

The recipe says we need 6 cups of crushed strawberries. How many do we have?

Looks like we're a half cup short. Back out to the strawberry patch! (This is what's so great about growing your own stuff!!)
Yep, there are some red ones out here. Even though I picked all the ones I could find yesterday, there are red ones again today. I really should be out here every day (or every other day at the very least) picking strawberries.
I discovered yesterday that picking strawberries gives me a rash. It's not too bad and goes away fairly quickly, but it's sure uncomfortable, so I'm wearing gloves from now on.

More washing and hulling, how much goop do we have now?
Perfect! The instructions say to measure EXACT amounts, and I'd say we're doing a pretty good job!

So now we heat the crushed strawberries, add the pectin and sugar, boil the mixture, stir constantly, pour into jars, and we're done! Easy!

Okay, maybe not quite THAT easy. It goes quickly, and gets quite hot standing over the stove, so I forgot to take any pictures of the actual jam making process.

DH helped me, and we got the mixture boiled and stirred, and poured into jars without too much incident. Then DH spooned the melted wax on top, I placed the lids, he screwed on the bands, and then we left them on the counter to cool.

Aren't they beautiful? Eight little jars of strawberry-y goodness. Actually the 8th one isn't quite filled, so that's the one we got into for pbj sandwiches for lunch, then with english muffins the next morning for breakfast, and then there was something else that NEEDED jam, and that little jar is just about empty, already.

As the afternoon progressed, we heard little POPs coming from the kitchen. Such a delightful sound! (It's the lids sealing). They all sealed (well, except for the 8th one. I don't think we left it alone long enough to seal...), so they should last a good long while. I guess now it's okay to open the last one left from last year!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I don't know if you've noticed or pay attention to the Twitter feed in the sidebar. In two more updates, the camping post will disappear, but it's still there for now. Four days ago, on Friday, we had planned on taking LB on his first overnight sleep-in-a-tent camping trip (car camping). Well, it being a holiday weekend we realized that by the time we were going to arrive at the campground (about 2 hrs 45 min from here), we may not get a spot as it's first come, first served. There are several campgrounds near us, but they all require 2 days advance reservation and 2 night minimum on weekends (3 on holidays). So we didn't plan far enough ahead.

BUT we couldn't just give up! So we "camped" in the living room.
It's hard to see his face in any of the pictures I took of him in the tent, but he LOVED it. He was beside himself this was all so exciting!

We had hamburgers for dinner, and then HAD to have a fire, because, after all, we ARE camping.

Is that the saddest little campfire you've ever seen. It's a very sad little campfire. The briquettes (because we didn't have little pieces of brush etc.) were a little wet, and the wood wouldn't catch. Oh well, it was fun to sit on the patio in the dusk. And LB loved staying up late.

So after we gave up on the fire it was time for bed. We spread blankets in the tent for padding and imported some pillows from upstairs. It's just a little two-man tent (great for backpacking because it's so light), but with three of us (incl. one who wiggles and squirms A LOT) it was really warm inside. DH gave up shortly (I think his excuse was that the cats needed to be fed). After a while LB started to calm down and I was able to slip out. About twenty minutes we checked on him and he was sound asleep.

So LB spent his first night in a tent all by himself! Such a big boy! And we got to sleep in our comfy bed (with my comfy pillow, mmm) - it was a win for all of us! lol.

The next morning Lb woke up raring to go. So we went on our hike (because what's camping without hiking?)
Isn't he cute in his hat, camo shorts, and boots? All ready to go!

Group shot. LB doesn't understand to look at the camera unless there's someone holding it. (Silly cats are the same way. Impossible to get good family portraits at home!) We were only out for about 45 minutes, but I wore my boots (because I like them, that's why) and we had our water. And even though it was rather warm and sticky, we were in long pants because of ticks.
About halfway through, naptime hit.
That's when we turned around and headed back to the car.

Look at that little head! That can't be comfy! DH says they're all rubber at that age, but still! So we went home. It wasn't quite the camping trip we thought it was going to be, but it was a good first time, so when we try to go to a real campground, LB will be a little familiar with the tent etc.

So one of the things that we hadn't spent enough time figuring out was cooking food while camping. We have a backpacking stove, but during the Whitney trip (last summer) it wasn't working quite right. PLUS we don't have any fuel. It's all in California. Well, I was browsing the free listings on Craigslist and came across someone trying to get rid of a gallon of white gas! For free! A gallon! DH is supposed to pick it up this afternoon. Isn't it amazing how things work out like that? I mean, it's free! We've been able to sell off a few things (through Craigslist mostly), so we'll use some of that money to pick up a Colman camping stove.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wait, whose idea was it?

"Let's handwash the knives" he says. "Okay, sure" I reply. So I've been handwashing the knives. Last night I made dinner, so he did the dishes. I was putting away the dishes this afternoon and where do you think the knives were - on the drying towel on the counter? No, they were in the dishwasher. I love my husband. I just wish I could understand him.

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Blog Award

Both Laurie at Maybe I'll Blog and Ehart at Hart's Heart gave me this award! I am very honored. Thank you.

Award Rules

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

15 blogs?! I don't even read 15 blogs, so here are my favorites (in no particular order):

Finslippy - A wonderful, satirical look at life and motherhood, even though "She doesn't post much, and when she does, it's just about how crazy she is" ;)

I Am Bossy - Reading Bossy makes me happy. Thank you, Bossy, for getting up at 5 every (weekday) morning so that when I eventually roll out of bed there's a little bit of happiness waiting for me in my RSS reader. You don't know how much I miss you when you don't post something (where miss equals I only spend 5 minutes sucked into an LCD screen instead of 20)

Maybe I'll Blog - Laurie helps me remember that they don't stay little: while I'm changing diapers and singing Silly Songs, she's adjusting to sending her one and only to college. Besides that, she crochets too! (AND she was my first non-family/friend reader :) )

My Husband Stole My Blog - Life with five kids (from ages 11 to 6mos) and a traveling husband leaves little time for blogging, but when she gets a chance the posts are gold. (Truly! I always take something away with me after reading what you've written!)

Hart's Heart - Another mom of five (five BOYS, that is!), Ehart's musings and scriptural interpretations always leave me thinking, even if I don't always comment on her posts :)

Say La Vee - Blackbird lives in a totally different world than I do: tall buildings, commutes, trains, and has a totally different perspective on life, making her posts little windows into a different world.

Thank you fellow bloggers for the time you put into each of your magnificent blogs. Please keep it up!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Snapshots

Friday morning LB and I played at a park near Vanderbilt. (We dropped DH off and had time to kill before my chiropractic appt. but not enough time to go home). There was a middle aged man sitting on a seat in the playground, playing an instrument similar to a recorder. He played several tunes, all of them lovely, none of which I recognized. Then he got up and left. He told me (after I commented how lovely the music was) that he stops for a few minutes every day on his way to work.

That afternoon I thought we should have a picnic, since LB and I enjoyed the park so much and DH had had to go in to work. (He got out before lunch though, so not too bad). Also, it was one of the first days without rain!! (And not only without rain, but WITH sun!) So after the chiropractor, we got home, had a snack, then LB took a nap and I put together our picnic and got everything ready. After LB woke up, we were headed out the door, and (I kid you not) the moment we stepped out the door, very large raindrops began to fall. Very quickly. Well, having gone to the work to pack a picnic, I wasn't going to change my plans for a little bit of rain (little bit, hah!), so we headed to the park anyway (different park). But the covered eating area had been booked for a party. So we opened up the back hatch of our SUV and had a tailgate lunch while watching the rain fall! It was great. There was just enough room for the three of us, LB in between DH and me.

Saturday afternoon, the sun came out again, and since LB had spent much of the morning watching DVDs (it was Saturday after all), we decided to take him to (yet another) park. On the way there, a car with Alabama plates was stopped at a stop sign and waved us past. Wondering if perhaps they were lost, we rolled down the window. They were very grateful for the help and were soon on their way. We continued to the park, pulled into a spot, put the car in park, looked in the backseat, and saw the most peacefully sleeping angel face. I laughed out loud. Then we ran errands (well, DH ran errands while I stayed in the car with LB and played sudoku on my phone.) And then it started raining again.

That evening DH and I finally got the stuff listed on Craigslist that we've been meaning to get rid of. We listed 25 items, including that fridge in the garage that never seemed to work. I mentioned in the ad that I wasn't sure it worked. And because we're not sure it works and because we just want it OUT of the garage without having to pay someone to haul it, we offered it for free. Within 2 hours I had 15 emails. By the time I went to bed I had 30. Twenty-four hours later, I had over 70. (If you've never listed anything on Craiglist before, there are many times that a seller is HAPPY to get 2 emails, and hopes that ONE of them will actually show up to buy the item.) Obviously I wasn't asking enough. So even a broken fridge, as long as it's clean is worth something. Oh well. As nice as it would be to make some money off that thing, at least we can be sure that someone will take it away.

On Sunday the forecast was clear, so we played hooky from church and went to the Renaissance Festival. We got there just after 10 (when it opens) and didn't leave until 4:30 (it closes at 5). So much fun! LB enjoyed it much more than he did last year. I've uploaded the pictures to Shutterfly, and there's a video of the full-armored jousting here.

Tonight I'm responding to Craigslist emails, wondering how many of them will stand me up (two, so far), and getting ready to kick DH off Sacred as soon as I post this :)

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goin' to the chapel....

We finally made our hotel reservations for two nights in Birmingham, AL. We're going to a wedding :) The first of our college buddies. No, I guess we were the first, lol, so the NEXT of our college buddies. But let's go back a bit because I feel autobiographical.

DH is a year ahead of me in school. (was?) We met when I was a junior and he was a senior in high school (different high schools). So my senior year, he was at college. That year, he roomed with Carlos (from the same town, btw), and they hung out with Matt and Scott, who were roommates. The next year (his sophomore year, my freshman year. Yes, I did sorta follow him to school. But that wasn't the only reason I chose Tulane. I majored in French (along with two other majors) and they have an excellent French program and an excellent JYA (junior year abroad) program. In fact, the French program at Tulane was recently rated 6th in the nation!)....where was I? Oh yeah, the next year, the four of them roomed together in a suite: two double rooms (DH & Carlos, Matt & Scott) connected by a bathroom. I was in a different part of campus, in a double room with no roommate because she never showed up.

The NEXT year, the four of them managed to snag an on-campus apartment (VERY hard to get as juniors!): each of them had their own (itty bitty) room, there were two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and a living room of sorts. (There were actually five bedrooms, but they didn't have the same fifth guy throughout the whole year, so that's not important). I got a spot in the newest dorms right across the street from the apts in a suite: a double room and a single room sharing a bathroom. I don't remember the name of the gal in the single, but I actually had a roommate this year. Her name was Julie and she was a year behind me. We didn't really hit it off, and she moved out for the second semester (leaving me alone in a double room, again. This didn't bother me too much, though, as I was rather accustomed to not having a roommate without the higher sticker price.)

That second semester is where you see the connection to the beginning of the post. Although she had moved out of my room, all of a sudden, we were seeing Julie again! In DH's apartment, hanging out with Scott, Carlos, and Matt. Not sure the exact connection, but somehow she became friends of our friends even though she and I weren't exactly friends (not enemies either though, just not buddies). Next thing we know, Julie and Scott were dating, and that's whose wedding we're going to next month. I think it's a fascinating story.

So we're looking forward to seeing all of them again. According to the wedding website, both Matt and Carlos are in the wedding. At first I was a little disconcerted that DH wasn't. But then I realized it's probably because he's already married and isn't there a tendency to not include married folk in the wedding party? Not that it really matters, but I felt better after realizing that.

Julie is half Korean, so, from what I understand, it's going to be a half Korean wedding. We have some other friends where she's full Korean - they actually had more than one wedding ceremony. We enjoyed looking at their pictures and hearing about the customs. I'm looking forward to seeing how Julie incorporates her heritage.

I imagine it's going to be a rather fancy affair. It's at a rather fancy hotel. The wedding invitation highly recommended the hotel for "those in need in accommodation." Um, at $139/night? Sorry, we don't have that kind of budget. We got El Cheapo for $112 for TWO nights. I guess they think their friends and family are making the big bucks now that we've been out of school for 5-6 years? Yeah, NOT US! Or perhaps since they're having the wedding and the ceremony there (and probably the wedding night too), they kinda had to recommend the hotel for guests.

So what am I going to wear? It's in the evening. Exactly how fancy is it? AND, how big am I going to be? Right now I can still fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but in five weeks? I'll be 17 weeks along, and if I remember right, at 17 weeks with LB I was OUT of the pre-pregnancy stuff. I may have to go dress shopping the weekend before (bummer, right? ;) ). At least DH is easy: nice pants, dress shirt, and we'll pack a tie just in case. Oh, two dress shirts - we're invited to the rehearsal dinner. Crud, I need TWO dresses! Or one dress and one skirt/blouse. Prefer dresses though. Well, nothing I can do about it now. No point buying anything till it's a little closer!

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Anybody else have now have the song "Chapel of Love" stuck in their head?

Friday, May 15, 2009


DH and I have a new addiction. It's called Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. It's a computer game. One of the things that we really enjoyed doing together in college was play computer games. Specifically, "Hack 'n Slash RPGs" (role playing games). An RPG is one in which your character "grows" as you continue the game: s/he gains skills and attributes, learns things, increases in level, etc. "Hack 'n Slash" means that you spend a good deal of time killing bad guys. Usually fantastical creatures, undead, etc. You know, fantasy. There's magic involved, and a main storyline, as well as lots of side quests. We play in the same game, on the same "team", killing creatures and accomplishing quests together. We started with Diablo II and have played many since (including Sacred I).

This current one we're actually doing a little bit differently: we're not playing together. We're each playing, but not the same game. (Does that make ANY sense?). It's actually rather liberating. When we play together we have to actually COOPERATE. "Hey I need your help over here." "Wait, let's go look at this." "Have we finished this quest yet?" "Whose turn is it to get the goodies?" And we often found ourselves rushing through the game, throwing our character headfirst into a horde of bad guys because "if I don't get some kills, he/she will get all the experience/gold!" It started to get not fun. So now that we're not playing together, all of that went away. We're going at our own pace, able to take our time, use range weapons, complete quests in any order. Much better! But since we're both playing, we can still talk about it and compare notes, as it were. "Have you completed this quest yet?" "Watch out when you go in this cave." "How many health potions did you have to use against THAT guy?"

So our routine lately has been something like this: during the day, DH is at work, I'm at home. During LB's morning nap (okay, quiet time), I try to get all my chores done. During his afternoon nap, I play Sacred. (And if LB doesn't sleep during his morning nap, he sleeps in the afternoon and I get TWO GLORIOUS HOURS to play!). (When LB is awake, of course, I spend time with him, and finish any work that's left.) Then, after dinner, LB is in bed, DH plays Sacred until his time catches up to mine, and I have two hours or so to myself. I pamper my face, paint my nails, read (well, not so much. I have a hard time falling asleep after reading in the evening), whatever strikes my fancy. It's been really nice, actually. Before Sacred, we would watch a movie after LB went to bed, and then it got late and we were overly tired when we went to bed, which made the next morning hard.

The past few evenings, however, DH has had work to do. So I've been playing Sacred while he worked (keepin' him company, you know?) Consequently, I was six hours up on him! Well, he had a deadline on Wednesday, so he stayed up all night to finish the thing, and stayed home on Wed. Which made it feel like a Saturday. So I didn't get nearly as much accomplished. It just makes the rest of the week harder. But I have my iron supplement and fluffy pillow, so now I'm Super Woman, right?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Pillow

Night One
The Good
I feel like I slept better. My neck didn't hurt this morning - the pillow actually elevated my head off the bed! SO MUCH BETTER than the pillows I'd been using. I like a fluffy pillow that holds its fluff under the weight of my head (and DH's head and often one cat).

The back support was very nice. The pillow curves at just the right spot that it nestles against my lower back. Perfect.

I felt that my knees and hips were being supported and I was very glad to not have to take the pillow with me when I turned over.

The Bad
It was folded in such a way for shipment that much of the fluff in the very center (where my head goes) was pushed away. My head is still elevated simply by the tension in the fabric, but it's rather hard and puts my ear to sleep. This caused me to wake up several times and have to change positions. Not sure how to fix it.

As mentioned in several of the Amazon reviews, the design of the pillow requires the lower arm to be under the pillow. When I'm on my right side, it's fine. Perhaps because DH is on that side and his divot leaves space for my arm (does that make sense?). However, when I'm on my left (which is the side I prefer to sleep on), my arm feels squished between the mattress and the pillow. Again, not sure what to do.

The Ambivalent
The "arms" of the pillow are narrower than standard pillows, so DH doesn't seem as alienated as when I was using standard pillows between my knees and against my back. This pillow is definitely big, but it's really the height, not the width, that's so large. It looks like there's a full-grown person hiding in my bed!

Another common complaint was the material of the cover. I have to agree that it's not as soft as our sheets and pillow cases, but I wouldn't describe it as scratchy. We'll have to see how it washes up.

The last thing that bothers me only a little bit is that the "arm" that's against my back moves away during the night. I have to reach back and pull it close again. But this could be because I don't sleep very still (just ask DH). As my belly gets bigger and I become more limited in sleeping positions, this issue may resolve itself.

So far I'm pleased and just hope I can find solutions to the other two problems and then it would be perfect.

(As for the iron supplement, it tastes like prune juice. Not too bad, though it has an aftertaste. Fortunately the dose is very small, 2 tsp, and it's taken before a meal.)

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Love You, Amazon

I ordered two things from Amazon in the last week, and they both arrived today! I'm very excited about both of them, for similar reasons, come to think of it.

The first one (the one that I ordered first) is my iron supplement, Floradix. According to the results of my bloodwork, my RBC (red blood cell) was low. Not alarming, but low. Which fits with what I've been experiencing: fatigue and general lack of energy; decreased ability to concentrate; and decreased endurance during exercise. So I'm looking forward to bringing that RBC up and seeing those problems DISAPPEAR! Okay, they may not totally disappear. I AM pregnant, after all. But seeing a significant, even a minor! improvement would be great. I just hope it's easy to get down. Sometimes supplements and such aren't so pleasant.

The other item I wasn't expecting so quickly. I ordered it on Sunday, and today's only Wednesday! (I should give that merchant a high rating on Amazon.) It's something I wanted during my first pregnancy, but couldn't quite justify. This time, however, I'm ALREADY sleeping with several extra pillows, so DH decided to give me a maternity pillow for Mother's Day. I was so excited when he told me! I had dropped a couple not-so-subtle hints that THAT would make a GREAT Mom's Day gift. He said he had already pretty much decided on it before that, but the hints convinced him :) Being the smart man that he is, he didn't just order one for the sake of having it to surprise me with on Sunday. He let me pick the one I wanted, after long and careful research and deliberation. I decided to go with this one: Todays Mom Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow. I wanted a U-shaped pillow because I switch sides while I'm sleeping, and I don't need to be flipping over WITH a big tummy AND a big pillow. This had better reviews than the others, and it was in our budget. I can't wait to try it! I plan on reviewing it for Amazon, so I'll be sure to tell you more about it after I've been using it for a while. So, again, I'm looking forward to higher energy levels after more restful nights. Here's to no more (okay, LESS) tossing and turning!

Of course, starting with both new items on the same day means it will be impossible to know which one solved my energy issues, if they didn't both contribute. Not a very scientific approach to trying new things. OH WELL!! Whatever makes it easier to get up in the morning and get my chores done during the day so I can play more Sacred! (What is Sacred, you ask? I haven't blogged about Sacred yet?? THAT I will have to remedy).

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ultrasound Images!

I finally got the ultrasound images scanned! Here's a peek:

Click on the image or click here to see the rest :)

When I arrived at the clinic, the technician called me back to "empty my bladder and get undressed." Um, what? I don't remember having to get undressed for LB's ultrasounds. And I thought I was supposed to have a full bladder? Fortunately, Mary Anne was right there and we quickly cleared up the confusion: being an early ultrasound, the clinic thought they were performing a vaginal ultrasound. But, I'm slender enough, and just far enough along, that we were able to NOT do a vaginal one. Whew! It was lots of fun. LB didn't cause too much trouble. And since Mary Anne was there, the technician felt free to point out things and make comments that she wouldn't have otherwise. All's well. The placenta is partially covering the cervix, so I'm to expect a bit of spotting as the uterus grows, and there was also a small hemorrhage, but it was small and they weren't worried.

Afterward, Mary Anne went over the results of my bloodwork. Everything's great, but my red blood cell count is low. Nothing else was out of whack, so she recommended Floradix Iron & Herbs 17 oz. The best price I could find was on Amazon. So I ordered it and it's on its way.

Well, LB is fussing at the fence and DH has lunch ready. Gotta go!

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Slow and Steady

I was on my way to MOPS yesterday, driving along a two lane road with a suicide lane, going right around the speed limit, which was 40 MPH. In my rear view mirror, the car behind me was right on my bumper. I resisted the urge to slow down (you know, just to see if he'd pass in the suicide lane - wouldn't be the first time). As we neared the intersection, our side of the road adds a lane. The car moved over, passed me, then moved back over in front of me just in time for the stop sign. He turned right, I turned right. At the next intersection, he just slid through the yellow light and I had to stop. (This didn't bother me in the slightest; I needed to put lipstick on.)

Several intersections and minutes later, I was pulling into the turn lane to get on the parkway and who do you think was stopped at the red light, right in front of me? I smiled all the way to MOPS. Just goes to show ya: impatience doesn't get you there any faster!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Where'd they go?

If you are reading this between now and when everything's fixed, I know my background disappeared. It's supposed to come back. Anytime now. Waiting....waiting....waiting.....

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Prenatal #1

I went to my first prenatal exam with a midwife on Friday. The BEST part, of course, was hearing the heartbeat. There really isn't anything quite like it! Lemme back up though.

There are two midwives in the practice - Mary Anne and Daphne. I saw Mary Anne on Friday. Heather is in training, and she's the one who conducted the exam for the most part. Mary Anne tried not to jump in too much, lol. It was certainly VERY different from a prenatal exam with an OB. For one thing, we didn't do a pelvic exam! It wasn't necessary, it's not required, there wasn't any reason to, so we didn't! We were basically in a bedroom, and we just sat and talked for almost two hours.

Another big difference is that I didn't fill out any of my own paperwork. I was very proud of myself for arriving 20 minutes early so I could get all that paperwork out of the way (you know what it's like to go to the Dr's, right?) Well, we got started right away, and Heather filled out the paperwork as we went along. So much more personal! I always wonder if the doctor really reads through all those questions they make a new patient answer. I'm not always sure they do. But midwives do! That was the bulk of the time. They did want a urine sample, and my weight. But unlike at the OB's, I weighed myself. (I think I should have taken my boots off though.)

Then we listened to the heartbeat. At first all we could hear was my heartbeat, she moved the device around, and it was taking just long enough that I was starting to get worried, when there it was! Strong and beautiful. Mary Anne commented that it was really strong and sounded more developed than just 11 weeks. I told her that LB's heartbeat had always been strong too. I grow strong babies :)

Then they drew blood. Mary Anne had more trouble than anyone who's ever drawn blood from me. And my arm is still bruised. It was probably my worst experience in blood drawing, though it wasn't really THAT bad. I'm just glad we won't have to do it again.

Okay, going back to the first part of the appointment, I did tell them about my tummy trouble. They explained that it's probably just due to the hormones slowing down the digestive system (which I had read about). The pain and bloating was most likely caused my gas. However, some women do suffer from gallbladder and appendix problems during pregnancy. Based on my descriptions it's more likely to be gallbladder than appendix, but just to be sure to rule them both out, I'm to start keeping a food diary of what I've eaten before having an episode (is episode the right word?). So one of my tasks today is to dig up a notebook or something to start keeping track. They also recommended adding papaya or papaya pills and/or acidopholus (you were right Laurie!) to my diet.

We talked about water intake. I'm supposed to drink 64 ounces of water a day. I think most days I'm lucky to get 12. And gatorade doesn't count! Bummer. They said putting cucumber, lime, or lemon in the water helps (though not all at the same time!). Do I have water next to me as I'm blogging here? No. Bad girl!

And exercise. I'm supposed to do cardio exercise 3 times a week. And chasing LB and going up and down stairs and doing housework doesn't count. (Which seems silly to me. Seems like anything that gets my heartrate up should count.) So I did some Wii exercises this morning. I have to do it when LB's asleep or all he wants to do is stand on the balance board and I can't do anything, lol. I started with yoga and just holding the pose got my heart pounding. Yoga's not supposed to be a cardio exercise, is it? Maybe I DO need to be doing more exercise...

And we're scheduled for an ultrasound on Wednesday to determine an accurate due date. Even though I know when my LMP is, because I don't know the length of my cycle (28 days? 30? 26?), the calculated due date isn't necessarily right. I've never been good at keeping track of that sort of thing and the only reason I'm sure of my LMP is because I had downloaded an app onto my phone! Otherwise I'd be guessing at that too. (terrible, I know). So, Mary Anne would like a more accurate measurement, which is an early ultrasound. Also, having the clinical data (i.e., early ultrasound) to confirm my due date will also help the care provider I choose wherever we go next - he/she will feel much more comfortable taking me on as a new patient towards the end of her 2nd trimester if it's not just my word they're relying on (did that make sense?) I'm excited to get to have an early ultrasound. We didn't do one until 18 weeks with LB (there was no reason). It'll be too early to determine the gender, but that's okay.

Let's see, what else? They encouraged me to bring LB to the appointments. It will help him understand what's going on ("there's a baby in Mommy's belly!"), though I'm never sure how much gets through! He does understand more than we think he does though, that's for sure! I'm glad they want him to come. It'll also be easier on us: DH doesn't HAVE to be home when I have an appt. (if he can't come too), and if he IS at home and decides not to come, he'll be able to get things done. So that's good.

The bottom line is that midwives are much, much more personal than an OB. We talked through all of medical history. They devoted two hours to me! And I was NOT rushed out the door when we were done, even though another patient had arrived. It was just my first appt, but they're already sad I'll be leaving before the baby's born, and told me if I don't tell them when I deliver, they'll put a hex on me! (j/k, she didn't mean it. LOL, it was one of those times when someone says something because they're comfortable and then they immediately realize it could be misinterpreted or offensive, so she was overly apologetic. I suppose, in retrospect, I'm glad she said she didn't mean it, because it would be a little creepy if someone you've never met before says, "...or I'll put a hex on you" and then they don't say whether they were kidding or not. Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, more personal) And they explained how they'll help me research a care provider wherever we go, they'll help me interview them over the phone, and they'll give me hard copies and a CD copy of my records. (A CD copy allows me to email my records to prospective providers). I don't know for sure, but I don't think an OB would be quite that helpful.

Stay tuned for ultrasound pictures because you KNOW I'll be posting them :)

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