Two weeks of lessons learned

A few things I've learned in the last two weeks:

1. No matter what anyone tells you, it is completely and totally possible for an infant girl to pee ON you. The art of dousing is not a trick reserved for young males alone.

2. "Lady-like" decorum is not an innate trait. Not showing off your ability to release the loudest and most attention grabbing bursts of gas from (name your favorite orifice) is a learned behavior.

3. A two-year old can suddenly grow huge amounts overnight when you add an infant to your life. I'm not talking about maturity, I'm talking actual size. Yes, suddenly 27 pounds of young male is a hell of a lot heavier than it was two weeks ago. Instantaneously, 35 inches of boy seems towering. And for what its worth, size 5 diapers seem insanely huge - and make you shake your head thinking "Why in God's name is this child not potty trained yet?!" ;)

4. There is no such thing as good TV at 3am. I learned this two years ago and promptly forgot it post-sleep training.

5. The sleep you get laying in your own bed for 3 hours is of much higher quality than the sleep you get laying in the recliner for 3 hours.

6. Those stupid elastic bands with those bows on them can take your eye out if you play slingshot with them. No, I have not actually popped an eyeball out with one of them, but I did slingshot one into B's abs and I've been told it can hurt. ha! Little girl will not be wearing said bands.

7. There are stupid people in the world who will ask how 'He' is doing even if you have your daughter dressed in a PINK FLOWERED DRESS!


The binge before the end

I am eating everything in my path this week. And not good stuff. No. I am eating everything in that "junk" food category I can get my hands on. I know exactly why I am this insatiable - I'm going to start back up on Weight Watchers on Saturday. Counting points. Sacrificing over abundant portions of my favorites. Working out for real. Weekly weigh-ins where someone other than me can see the scale and so the ability to lie about it or say "Oh, well this scale is always a pound or 10 off." goes out the window. Yup, I'm climbing back up on the wagon.

About 10 years ago I lost 30 pounds this way. It wasn't hard at that time really. I worked out like a fitness freak. I ate well. I was happy with just a container of yogurt and a piece of fruit for lunch - yes, I was a freak. Then I started dating B - the man that could devour an entire pizza in one sitting left to his own devices. We ate out a lot. I stopped making it to the gym in order to squeeze in dates. I added a few pounds.

We got married and we kept up our bad habits - plus we added in snacking while watching tv at night. I added a few more pounds. I took fertility drugs and between the depression that often accompanies the process and what I swear is drug induced screwy metabolism I added on more pounds. When we ditched our attempts to achieve pregnancy I went back to WW and I lost a whole lot of weight once again although I never did reach my goal.

That attempt was short circuited by little man. Even before I knew I was pregnant I knew my body was up to something weird. No matter what I did I couldn't break through my weight plateau. My body was at a stand still. When I took the HPT it made sense. I was pregnant and my body was refusing to diet. Well I also figured that a little food for two wasn't a bad thing around that point and so I added on more pounds.

As an infant, L was not a child that believed Mommy needed to eat. No, as far as he was concerned HIS meals were all that mattered and I could drop pounds via the "No need food" diet. If it was meal time, he was crying and demanding to be held. Made meals tough. I fell into a habit of eating a lot of fast food because one could lull the child to sleep in the car and eat a burger while he slept in his car seat. Not the best weight loss plan. Somehow I managed to drop all but 15 pounds of the pregnancy gain that time around, despite my frequent flyer visits to the drive throughs.

Then came this pregnancy. I credit 20+ weeks of morning sickness with my luck this time through. I sit here a 11 days post-partum at the exact weight I started the pregnancy at. A good 40 lbs above where I want to be, sure, but hey, its not as bad as it could have been. I've lost 30 lbs in just over a week. I still have squishy jelly belly that makes my 'pre-pregnancy' clothes a bit snug around the abs, but I can wear them nonetheless. And this time I am also determined to be fit again.

That's what it is really - to be fit. Not to be skinny. Not to be able to slip into something form fitted and sexy. Just to be fit. I want to know that I can run through the yard after my children without getting winded. I want to know that I am in a better place in terms of my own health. I want to know that I am setting a good example for my children. I want to reduce my risk of hypertension.

The day I checked out of the hosptial last week I had a high blood pressure scare. Not once during the pregnancy did I hit levels considered "HIGH" on the old BP scale. I was creeping close to that 140/90 magic number, but I never hit it. Post-pregnancy however I did. Not only did I hit it, I surpassed it. The day I released from the hosptial I had a reading of 152/99. It was scary to see that number. Me, the same gal that normally had readings below the 120/80 average was almost breaking 100 on that lower digit. It freaked me out.

I had an appointment with the OB I love this week to check my pressure. The first read was high. Dr. L almost gave me a prescription to get my pressure under control. Before he wrote the script he checked me again - 110/80. . . no drugs for me. SO I asked the scary question. Does having the pre-eclampsia last pregnancy and coming close to it this time (and going high post-partum this time) put me at higher risk for hypertension as I grow older.

The answer was a resounding yes. Not only yes, but yes by a lot. I have a 30% chance of developing reoccuring hypertension once I hit 35. That's a high risk rate compared to the rest of the general population. Its a scary rate. All I can do now is get in shape and keep monitoring my blood pressure to stay one step ahead of it.


Welcome to the world Megan Rose! Here's our little girl at just 4 days old. This photo will find its way into our hallway across from her brother's gallery of annual black and whites taken around the birthday each year. This first entry to the "gallery" will be in a black frame with a white mat - two 4x6 space cut-outs. The top is the photo. The bottom will be a black stamped footprint from this gal (and I know she will HATE that part!) and her birth statistics. And yes, if you're wondering. . .I took the photo. I've not set foot in a studio for photos since my High School Senior photo. Posted by Hello


Brag and Post-partum fashion

I'm going to drop this here because I really feel compelled to pat myself on the back despite the fact I've done nothing really to get to this point. Well also because its not the kind of thing I'm about to walk around blabbing out in general so hey, what's blog for.

This pregnancy I gained rougly 30 lbs. (I was up over 50 with the last one. I had stopped counting when I started putting on massive amounts of water gain the last few weeks.) A decent amount of the gain this time also came in the waning days due in large part to water retention. Heck I gained 5 pounds in four days and then another 2 pounds in a day this last set of appointments.

The home scale and the office scales are close enough to say that what I see at home is about what I can expect in the office give or take a pound. That said, according to this scale in my little tiny bathroom, I've already (just 4 days post-partum) dropped 20 pounds. I'm so incredibly shocked and so very happy. ;)

What it means to me is that the vast majority of my weight gain was not 'personal gain' so to speak but baby related and water gain. Of course before you hate me totally keep in mind that I still have about 15 lbs of weight from my first pregnancy to drop and another 20-25 lbs of "I'd like to blame this on fertility drugs please but in fact its crap food and a sweet tooth" weight from the years leading up to my first.

On to fashion - when I left the hosptial the first time I spent a wee bit of time in a little horomonal pity-party of tears because I had to go home clad in maternity wear. I didn't expect to slip into the size 10 jeans I had been wearing prior to conceiving my son, but I also didn't expect to still be needing something stamped "MOTHERHOOD" on the tag either. This time I got to thinking - its all really just very much about that silly tag. If the tag isn't maternity - even if the outfit is big, huge, tent-ish thing - I'm ok.

I packed to outfits to come in and tought I'd wing it based on what fit me best. The first was a big, long, loose-fitting, empire-waisted dress. I knew it would fit me because if I could ignore the slight tight feeling across the back the last month and half of this pregnancy I could have worn it to work and church up until the end. BUT, it was not a maternity dress. No, it was a "gone are the bigger days" hand me down that came under the notion that I could wear it in those early transitional wardrop days.

The 2nd outfit was a pair of Old Navy Yoga pants and Motherhood t-shirt that was of the new (and not something I actually was thrilled with) spandex laden variety. It was meant to be tight and fitted around a bulbous preggo belly. I expected the pants to fit because I was wearing them to the gym and to walk into my 6th month. And they did - that's what I wore home. Yesterday was the same - Old Navy Yoga pants only this time paired with an Old Navy long sleeved t-shirt in an XL for the roominess. I prefer my shirts looser fitting that most Old Navy shirt cuts so I tend to buy them bigger. Today I've gotten myself into these cute low-waisted, half a band of belly panel, capris and a t-shirt B brought me back from Australia. I'm committed to have at least one non-maternity item on each day and I have to say, it does wonders for the self-esteem.

So there's my advice - if you're pregnant or planning on being pregnant, get thee to Old Navy and buy yourself their Yoga or Loungue pants. Oh, and big shirts. ;)


She's here. . .

Well we're home from the hosptial and I'm grabbing a quick minute to check in while both kids are napping. Logan should be up soon and Megan just settled in so the break is short. ;)

We're all doing well. Megan's arrival was much easier and faster than anyone - even the doctor - expected considering how much help it needed to jump start. The first induction drug (which started at about 8:30 Sat night and is a 12 hour adminstration) was actually enough to start labor. Around 4:30am Sunday morning I started having contractions and Megan was born just 6.5 hours later. I was about 2cms at 9am at which point the doctor broke my water. Just an hour later we were up to 6cms and thinking that we were going to miss the window of opportunity for the nice man with the drugs to come pay me a visit. Luckily he arrived just moments later with his cart full of fun. A half hour later Megan made her grand enterance after three good pushes. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 3/4 inches tall.

The last ultrasound tech we saw nearly a week ago was off on her weight guesstimate just barely (only 4 ounces!) but on the hair estimate a whole lot. While not sporting a full mane of locks, Miss Megan is far from bald. The hair she has is fine and dare we say almost long for a newborn falling off the back of her head and on to her pudgy little neck. It curls slightly at the bottom most of the time or around her head in various places when its damp. And while you may need the right lighting or more grown-in head of hair to compare it too to be sure, she does in fact have the same shade of strawberry blonde as Mom and big brother. Still too early to be sure what color her eyes will remain - they are that dark steely blue newborns often arrive with for now. When she's awake she's incredibly alert and focuses in on the voices that she's heard most often from the womb. We've already read a few books starting with "My Big Brother" on her very first day - she stares at me intently as I read to her as if she knows its something special to share. When the book is done she averts her gaze to her exploring what's around me meandering.

Logan adores her and we're hoping its something he continues to do as the days go by. He came to visit us in the hosptial Sunday afternoon and without as much as a "Hi Mommy" to me he asked "Where baby Megan!?!" She had yet to be released from the nursery. Once her saw her in her bassinette he started chattering about "My sister Megan" and telling us how pretty she was. She's even cooler in his eyes because she brought him Annie and Clarabel for his Thomas set - something he thought Santa Claus could only bring ("Megan is Santa Claus?!" he asked me at one point.) She also brought him a set of tracks for his trains - which he's now up and playing with as we 'speak.' He's spent a good deal of time this afternoon standing next to the Pack-n-Play staring at her and admiring her hands and feet. He's tickled her and sung for her. He gave her his presents - a bear he picked out and a small soft cloth book he picked out. He showed her the bears nose and mouth after we explained that she couldn't hold the bear just yet only look at it. ("See, bear's nose, Megan. Its cute," he'd say) The biggest hit of his day yesterday was a chance to "hold" the baby. He climbed up on my lap and I helped him wrap his arm around under her just below my arm which supported her head and weight. He was so very proud of himself and gave up holding her only to 'pet' her - something much more fun than merely holding apparently.


One day to THE day

There is so much, understandably I suppose, swimming through my head tonight. So many things I wanted to sit down and write about - the growing nervous energy about facing induction again, the fear that I could face another 38 hours of labor, the abosolute realization that I have no freaking clue how to manage two children at one time, all that stuff. Then I read Moxie's blog entry today and I realized what I needed to write about most. I had to write *the* day.

I am not a New Yorker. I've never lived in the city or stayed there for more than a single night. I don't work in the city on a regular basis - although I have had many a business meeting there. Yet as a Jersey girl when someone says "the city" to me there is only one city I ever think of. New York.

The past two years when I turn my calender pages from August to September my memory starts to take me back to *the* day. I remember what an incredibly perfect, beautiful morning it was. I can see that crystal clear, bright, blue sky in my mind's eye. The drive up the parkway that morning was almost serene as if even New Jersey drivers managed to be courteous behind the wheel en masse because of the day's seemingly traquil beauty. I forced myself out of the car when I got to the office, squelching the urge to just keep driving a few miles more to the ocean. I settled into my desk and started my daily routine of drinking something hot while cleaning out both work and personal email inboxes.

And then the phone rang.

A simple phone call that changed everything. It was a coworker that sat a mere six desks outside the office I shared with the other 'half' of marketing. "Does Sam have on her radio?" she asked. "A plane just crashed into the Trade Center."

Every news site I tried led me to a message that there was too much traffic at that time. I finally found out the hell that was breaking loose just an hour up the turnpike through a group of guys watching cable news channels and posting updates to the baseball bulletin board I had been moderating in 2001. To this day, even though we have our sports related disagreements, there is this weird bond that exists between those of us that exchanged posts that morning. We were a life line to each other at a time when most of us were in a place devoid of informational outlets.

I stepped away from my desk when I heard a plane just crashed in DC. We have offices in that area and major clients. The closeness I had been feeling to it all being just outside the city got even closer suddenly. I felt like I was suffocating. What I will never forget - what will always stay with me and remind me exactly how horrific that day was - was the smell that hung in the air that day. I was standing out the back door of my office building just over an hour's drive outside the city, a train ride away, a distance that allowed me to see the skyline from the shore yet only on a clear day. I was that far away and yet I could smell it. I could see the sky to the Northeast blacken with sickening smoke. The billowing clouds of death rising up. I could smell the burning of jet fuel comingling with bodies and buildings. And it wasn't just there. When I eventually made my way home that afternoon - the parkway moving slower than I've ever seen it move on a day with good weather and no shore traffic - I still saw the smoke. Perhaps it was my mind playing tricks at me that moment but I could also still smell that hideous smell.

Its a day I wish I could forget, and yet I hope I never do.


Update on an update

Just got back from my follow up visit after yesterday's impromtu tour of the new L&D wing at the hosptial. This appointment was actually with Dr. Lopez - the one that delivered Logan and that tends to be laid back, easy going, all those nice things. My blood pressure is still no "high" but it is now borderline along with giant tree trunk ankles and more water weight gain. All of that combined with my pre-eclamptic history of the 1st time through this pregnancy ride indicated to Dr. L that it was just a matter of time before I was offically a Pre-eclamptic patient with high blood pressure. He said there was no way to know for sure, but he was fairly certain if I went another week, we'd be at the point we ended at last time.

So the resolution to this - I'm going in Saturday evening to begin the induction process. Still no real progress in terms of being dilated or the baby's head being low and in the "ready" however. This means the two drug combo for me again. We check into the hosptial Saturday at 6pm and start the first drug. Sunday morning when the doctor on call (this time Dr. L himself) makes his first rounds he'll see how the first drug worked. If it did its thing we'll start the Pictocin drip. If not, I'm guessing based on last time, we'd talk about a c-section. Either way, he thinks that we can expect Megan's arrival sometime on Sunday. I'm going to be cautious and say by Monday we'll have a 2nd child in our family.

I don't expect to be near a PC for a time either. Tomorrow, ahh, maybe. The weekend and shortly after - no way. So this could be the last blog post for a spell. I promise to put baby stats up here as soon as I can. ;)

More on yesterday's Great L&D Adventure

Since I was so focused last night on communicating the joy that was my field trip to L&D yesterday I forgot to jot down a few other things about the adventure that had been percolating in my head.

Perhaps it was the better quality machine, the advanced 'age' this time of the baby or the fact that the tech was so incredibly thorough and willing to talk us through everything - but this ultrasound was so much more wonderful than any other I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, I always love getting a peak at the baby. I find it rather fun to try to guess what body part I'm looking at and to decipher what it all means. Past techs have pointed to specific things and labeled them for us, but this was just different.

This seemed like a peak at not just the outside of this child-in-waiting, but also her personality. For example, in the tech's words, my girl is already talking a mile a minute. Not surprising if she takes after her brother who can literally talk himself out of napping by moving his mouth non-stop for an hour. The entire time we had her face on the screen her mouth was moving. Open, closed, open, closed. It was rhythmic and with the motion her lips would form shapes making you wonder if she was just sucking in and out fluid or was she toying with sounds. I have no idea if such a thing is even possible, but its fun to imagine.

We saw her stick her tongue out too. Something Grandma was quick to point out made her as, ahhh, expressive and possibly stubborn (since Ms thing was refusing to cooperate with the tech long enough to get a decent heartbeat read for a time there) as both her brother and her mother. I saw her sucking on her thumb. Clear as day - the shape of her finger finding her yet again open mouth. It lasted just a moment before we moved away to try to capture that heartbeat thinking perhaps now she'd be calmer and cooperate. I think that was, in fact, about the time the tech did get what she wanted.

It just amazes me to see these images though. I remember certain things pre-birth about the little man that seemed to hint at his personality. Even in the womb he loved music. He always responded to it. He'd kick and wiggle the moment a beat got going. He hated sharing his personal space. He was stubborn as anything and seemingly opinionated by the way he'd react to the ultrasounds, heart monitors and so on. These are all things that have come to full bloom in my two year old. He's got not problems, for example, telling a neighbor that she must go back in her house because Grandma has to take him to see trucks. He'll dance and sing his little heart out. He gets very upset if you invade his space uninvited. And he's among the stubborn folks I think I've ever run into.

SO I wonder what all that mouth motion and movement mean about my little girl. Will she prove to be stubborn like her mother and brother? Will she be another chatterbox or one that is just in constant motion - a ball of energy?

I guess one can't know until she's here and starting to exhibit her true self really. Speculating though is a whole lot of fun.


39 week excitement

It was a long day of baby stuff, but we're still here waiting for Megan's arrival. This afternoon at 3:30 I headed over for my 39 week check-up (for those that aren't keeping score as closely as we are, the baby is due exactly one week from today.) The appt was with the one we call "Dr. Panic." We expected some excitement today and we got it. Long story short, a quick conversation about the baby's movement patterns of late and I was upstairs in the hosptial for a non-stress test and a biophysical. A look at my poofy ankles and he also ordered a re-check of my blood pressure (which has been normal all along, thank you very much.)

One cup of apple juice and an hour later we had a very feisty baby and some nice tracking on the NST read-out. If you've never had one of these before its very simple. I get to lay on the nice hosptial bed with a big belt velcroed around my belly. Two small disks are held in place by the belt. One records contractions if any and the other the baby's heartbeat. For what its worth, her heartrate was a nice steady range right in the middle of what they look for. It would run up a bit when she was getting feisty and then settle back to its baseline afterwards. As this belt does its thing, I get to hold a small clicker and press a button each time I feel movement. At first, not so much movement...then apparently the apple juice woke her up and the constant sound waves emitted from the heartrate thingy bopper got her going. By the end she had taken to punching the monitor just enough to knock it off a good recording spot - not so that you'd see it move, but you knew because of the way accurate readings stopped occuring at the same time I felt a jab at the spot the big disk sat.

From there we took a ride with two of the most hyper-active and insane transport folks I think you'll ever find in a hospital. They wheeled me in a chair down to the ultrasound room. Grandma is very pleased that the nice tech "snuck" her in to watch the monitor. A check of amniotic fluid levels (another thing on Dr. P's check list today) showed that levels are nice and plentiful. IN fact the tech said I could loose half of what was there and still be ok. Between that and my ankles - no wonder I feel like part-camel. She also confirmed, yet again, that its still a girl - and a little girl that was in constant motion. Everything else looked great. We got a big old print-out of the scan We had some better pictures on screen that she didn't get to print out because of the way Megan kept putting her hands up near her face and creating shadows. We do know, according to the tech, that we've got a round-faced, chubby cheeked baby. ;) The last tech we saw at the OB's office said the same thing a month or so ago. Megan is also a baby girl that appears to be bald because the tech couldn't see much 'fuzz.' Actually it was a neat ultrasound to have because the tech - I'm guessing she was bored since we were the only ones there - took a lot of time showing us everything and was willing to look and point out whatever else we had questions about. Based on her measurements she gets a 'date' of Sept 18th -- three days off my due date. Whatever that will mean in the long run. And based on her measurements, she estimates the baby at 7lbs 12 ounces as of today. I keep reminding myself that the day Logan was induced he 'estimated" at 7 lbs 13 ounces...and was born a full pound less. Ack!



I've learned a lot of different things from my mother. I learned how to cook. I learned how to sew, to quilt, to garden, and this year how to can tomato sauce. I learned how to be a good friend and a good mother. Lately I'm realizing that I also learned how to give good advice.

Good advice is a tricky thing really because at the heart of it - the best advice to give comes by actually giving none at all even while it appears that you've given some. The difference is subtle really but simple. There are two kinds of advice people give: opinions and path indicators.

1. Most folks end up giving opinions and labeling it advice. "Well if I were you, here's what I would do." or sometimes digused as "The way I see it [insert opinion hear.] It may come in the "clearly there is no choice" type package or finally the blantant let me live your life for you variety of "You must do xyz."

2. Good advice, however, is a path indicator. Good advice does not say "Do this or do that." It reflects and reframes. It says "what I hear you saying is. . ." and "you are the only one that can make this choice. Just remember to consider these angles/answer these questions." Above all else it says "Know that I am here for you to support you in whichever path you decide to travel. Know that there is no right or wrong in terms of our friendship. We're kosher no matter what."

Don't be fooled, though, by opinions disguised as good advice. I'm not even sure the givers of this realize they do it. Its very subtle. They appear to help light a path by lighting markers in the form of thought provoking questions. . . and then they answer them for you. This doesn't let you do the work to discover your own truth. It just gives you their truth. It doesn't convey the message that "we're ok no matter what path you pick." It says "Hey, this is where I think you need to go" then leaves nagging doubts in your head as to what happens if I head off the other way.

There is a friend of mine in my local mom's group beginning the process of divorce. She's recently shared the news with our group and on occasion has lamented about a sense of total confusion as to where her path in life really lays. Several well meaners have offered her their version of a roadmap. They do have the best intentions but really, their advice is only *their* right path and it may or may not be the right one for her. Some told her their nightmares and horror stories of divorce. Others have told her their survival stories as children of divorce. To me, though, all she needed to know is that she will still be loved and adored no matter what path she ends up on. She needed to be reminded that things may be rough, but in the end ok. She also needed to know that it was ok to make a choice for her, no matter what that was, without feeling there was any right or wrong beyond *her* right and wrong choosen on the facts that only she and her spouse really know all of. She needed to be hugged not directed.

Another member of that group is going through a story that I'm sure Jerry Springer is drooling over. She came to the group with a new wrinkle and was looking for someone to make that choice for her. Its a dangerous thing really. What if you choose wrong - you risk ruining a friendship. You gamble when you advise through opinion because there are only two results available to you: hero or scapegoat.

Its one thing if someone approaches you as a pseudo expert based on your experience. Sort of a "Hey, look, you just had a run in with the airlines, what did you do to get your money back?" or "You're a mom, how do you get your kid to sleep at night?" Even then, you're best off couching replies with "Well, here's what worked for me. . ." TO me its another dangerous tightrope to respond to the "If we do A then we risk B. If we do C we risk D. What should I do?"

The last thing Mom taught me about advice is to never give it unsolicited. Never just start spewing forth street lights or opinions if you don't want to gamble a friendship. This is very hard really. I find myself sitting often listening to someone in pain and just wanting to fix it for them. I hear someone struggle with a choice they must make and I want to help hold their hands and find their way. Yet the truth is this doesn't do anyone any good. It doesn't serve the person and if anything it risk ruining your relationship. You risk offending and creating a wedge you never meant to craft.

In terms of the friend pursuing a divorce, this has meant resisting the urge to say "You picked this path for a reason, stick to your guns if the protests he offers have been wasted breath before." Its meant saying (and meaning) in its place "I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm here if you need anything. . .even just time out of the house, why don't you come over with the kids." Its meant not telling her war stories of other people. Its not meant not saying "Well when my brother-in-law though he could do this without a laywer he ended up getting screwed." Instead I said "Oh, honey, ignore that lady. You do what you think is right for yourself and your family - whatever that is because only you know."

Its hard sometimes, but its right. Its always right. The funny thing is when you are pathlighting advice giver people tend to reach out to you and ask you for your "2 cents." And you smile to yourself knowing that you've not got a penny to spare really, instead you'll just offer some reflection and reframing. You won't direct, you'll thought provoke. You won't answer questions you'll just ask. You won't advise really - you'll just light both paths.


Hope for an easy transition

We've done a lot of planning the last 7 or so months in terms of preparing the two year old little man for being part of a duo as opposed to the solo act he so loves. We've read "I'm a Big Brother" ad nauseum. We've talked about babies. We played with babies. We've looked at his baby pictures and talked about how much he's grown. He's helped us prepare the baby's room. He selected the color for her room (well I gave him a choice of two shades of lavender and he selected from that.) He helped put her dresser together - sort of, he held the knobs while Papa screwed them on and then he followed behind his grandfather with a toy hammer banging the backing in place. He's even picked out presents to give her when she arrives home (That would be a green soft bear and cloth teething book he wants to read to her. We've read it through a few times and he's got the basic "story" memorized when he sees the pictures on each page.) He's been working on learning songs to sing to her. He's got plans on how he's going to help take care of her. He's picked out an outfit for her which he conned his grandmother into buying, or as she puts it: she either paid for the "purple clowinsh outfit" or he was arrested for shoplifting.

He knows the baby is now in my belly and that we'll go to the hosptial sometime soon to get her. Of course he also thinks the really neat construction trucks working on the hosptial's new wing are there to 'build Megan.' Go figure. He knows from the babies we see that they cry. He knows they don't do much when they're real "teeny tiny." He gets the basic concepts but we still have no idea how he's going to handle the real thing. There is no way to know until its here. This child has been the center of the universe for so many folks that its sort of scary to think about how he's going to handle a split in attention. We've got our plans, of course, to still build in "solo" time for him. He and I will go to Gymboree at least once a week - just us. He'll get time alone with Dad. He'll get time alone with his grandparents. But its still going to be so very different. At times I worry about this more than I should. I know that as time passes he won't recall what it was like to be an only. I know that he'll forget life without his sister around. Its just getting him and us to that point that is starting to feel a bit itimidating.

There is some hope though. As I just posted in Logan's blog, we recently told him that when we're in the car with the baby, he can help entertain her since he'll be the big kid in the back seat with her. He thought this over a bit but didn't respond. You can sing to her, we told him, knowing how much he likes to sing everything and anything. He's got big plans of the songs he's going to perform for his kid sister already. He thought this one over a bit too.

"I sing ABC song to Megan because she need to learn it," he said finally.


Technology Hates Me

It does. Technology hates me. Or at least it loathes me enough to want to toy with my sanity. Yesterday it was a problem with burning CDs that gave me fits - today it was installing my new combo 3-in-1 printer. I've needed a new printer for a very long time; we finally broke down and bought one yesterday.

I get this thing home - now the last time I bought anything mildly technical was about 3 years ago back when everything you needed for the hardware to work came in the box. Apparently this is no longer true. No, apparently now you need to buy your USB cables separately. So the new nifty printer sat on my desk next to my PC and waited for a cable.

We bought the cable today. I came home and while boy napped I followed the directions to the letter. . .yet the printer would not work. I tried to find the printer - no printer existed as far as my PC was concerned. I uninstalled the software. I reinstalled the software. And again - we had problems. Of the five icons in the printer's management interface I had two. Try to print a document and the printer wasn't even showing up as an option. This DESPITE the fact that the installation program had actually acknowledged looking for and finding the drivers. I'm telling you, the folks on my IM list must have thought my PC was possessed today with all the opening and slamming of virtual doors. I must have rebooted a zillion times - each time closing out of all programs including AIM that had auto-launched when the computer started up.

Well what does a girl do when these problems arise? Call customer service? No. In my house we call Dad. . . and Dad comes to give it a whirl. If he can't fix it, then you call Customer Service. So Dad comes over this evening. He looks at the computer for a moment. He reads some of the manual. He uninstalls. He reboots (slam that AIM door again.) He reinstalls the software. . . The screen shows the little box that says its looking for and then locating the drivers.

"Yeah, that's what it said when I did it too. And then I clicked there." I said gesturing to the big green check mark saying "Click me."

But Dad clicks it anyway in defiance - as if this time it'll work just because he clicked it. The computer pops up a new window, one to register with HP. One, my friends, I had never seen before.

"Huh, that's new" I said as I took Dad's place at the computer to register myself. "Hey, look it already filled in the serial number."

Dad, trying hard not to gloat behind me said "Guess it recognizes the printer now."

We register. We click open the management program and what do you know - all five icons are there. I open a press release I had been working on and I click the little print icon. It prints. Yes, it works.

"But I didn't do anything different than what you just did!" I protested.

"Guess computers just like me," Dad said.

Like him? I guess so. And hate me. . .


Zero progress

Today was my 38 week check-up. I've decided that I'm particularly fond of the scale in the particular exam room I ended up in because it always has me weighing less than the scale I was on a week prior. :) One of my favorite doctors was in today. My appointment, if you recall, had been originally with Dr. Panic as the other guys were supposedly off. But, Dr. Panic must have paniced about beind all alone or something because yesterday I got a call to move my appointment to an early time with Dr. N who would be in and "helping out" in the morning only. Yipee!

Dr N is a really nice, happy guy. He reads your chart thoroughly as you talk things through with him. He pats you on the back and tells you to hang in there the end is near. He's got cute little alumnium can airplanes that dangle from the ceiling over the exam table that say "Relax and scoot down."

He poked at me. He listened to the baby's heartbeat (just perfect is that little beating heart.) Then he did *the* exam. . . and produced news I wanted to sock him for. No change.



I didn't actually ask about effacement. . .but what I do know is that I have a completely locked tight cervix. Not even a smidgen dilated.

"And the baby's head still a bit high," he added for good measure.

"High?" I said. "But...high? Really? I mean my big ole belly is lower. I can't sit upright. . .high? Are you sure?"

He smiled and nodded. "Well, she's lower. . .but not low enough."

"Crap." I said. Then I reminded him how L had to be forced out -- of course, that was forced out early but we didn't get into that today.

He laughed gently and told me to relax, it was still 12 days to my due date.

"So those darn crampy Braxton Hicks are doing nothing." I said with all the *please pity me* tone I could muster up for my voice.

"They will. I promise. They will. That kid can't stay in there forever." he said.


Then I call B and I tell him this. He says I sound disappointed and asks if I'm sad that she's not coming this weekend or something. That's not it at all. I want the baby to come when its time for her to come. . . but I also don't want to feel like all the crampy aches and tight belly feelings are just pain for pain's sake with no progress. That's the part that sucks. That's what's got me bummed. Is 1 little old centimeter too much for a girl to ask?