Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cankles & Corn Dog Toes

Oh, good God, am I swollen! It's, like, pitting edema bad. My blood pressure is still okay so my doc isn't overly concerned. I can no longer wear my size 10 Crocs (I wear a 7 1/2 when I'm not knocked up) and had to pick out a pair of man-sized flip flops from Old Navy. I want to burst into tears every time I look at my fat cankles and corn dog toes. Seriously. My toes look like those tiny corn dog bites you can pick up in the freezer section. Can you say sexy?

Also I think my mom is trying to kill me with all her shopping trips. She keeps telling me that walking is good for me and I keep telling her that walking would be much easier if I didn't have a watermelon pressed up against my hooha. Her response? Quit whining. Also, tonight, we made a run to Walmart and the grocery store and she hit every pot hole and speed bump she could find. I finally asked if she was trying to knock the baby loose. She said no but I'm not so sure...

On the baby front, I had no change in dilation this week but I was 50% effaced on Thursday. This kiddo is taking her sweet time. She still has a few days left until her eviction date so I'm not quite ready to pull out all the stops (evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, castor oil, red hot monkey sex...) We've agreed not to even discuss induction until 41 or so weeks unless there is a medical necessity. I could be looking at another 2 weeks of waddling and sporting the "smuggling a watermelon and two cantaloupes" look but whatever. It's all about the baby. When she's ready, she'll let us know.

Oh, and I cut my hair. I hacked off 24 inches for Locks of Love and another 3 or 4 during the haircut. I'll post pics later. I'm really enjoying the new look. It was way overdue.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Due South

So for the last few weeks, my family has been struggling with the realities of the crappy economy. Recessions aren't kind to the oil and gas industry. Dad's worked for the same company for nearly thirty years. He's risen through the ranks and has established himself as an incredibly useful employee. Thankfully, he was offered a chance to keep his job rather than be laid off--but it comes with a price.

Starting tomorrow, Dad will now work out of Mexico. Of all the places they wanted to send him, this is the closest and makes the best use of his skill set. He'll live on the borderish in a hotel for a few weeks and then move into an apartment or town house until next spring. He and Mom will buy a house some time after that.

Mom will travel between E-town and Dad's new space every three weeks or so. My sister, Tricia, is still in high school and rather than drag her down to a new place, my parents have chosen to make sacrifices so she can graduate with her friends. Joey will take over for Mom while she's gone. It won't be easy but they're going to make it work.

I know it's silly but it's really upset me. I haven't lived with my parents in, what, seven years or so, but it's still hard to think that my daddy won't be in E-town when we go home. I don't like the thought of my dad being alone in Mexico or my mom on the road every three weeks. I hate that my parents won't get to see as much of the baby as they'd originally planned. I know they still plan to make as many trips up here as possible--and we hope to do the same--but it's just going to be more difficult. We're looking into web cams as a possible solution.

For the most part, both of our families are centered in the E-town area so we could take one trip and see everyone. If we planned well, we could even see Dave's far flung relatives who come into town for the holidays. Hopefully Dad will come home from Mexico for Christmas and such but who knows. At this point, the word on the grapevine is that the district Dad's taking over is in dire straights. It's one of the reasons he was asked to go down there. The man is a hard ass capable of whipping people into shape whether they like it or not.

So anywho. That's where we are right now as a family. It's bittersweet. New baby. New addresses. Changes all around.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nesting and Stuff

Nope. No baby yet. I've had, like, twenty emails and texts over the weekend since I've gone off radar. LOL. It's nice to know people care!!!

Apparently I'm nesting and I'm not sure I like it. I freely admit that Dave does the bulk of the housework around here. Cooking and red hot marital relations are my contributions to the household. We clean bathrooms together but that's about it. I mean, I'll load the occasional dish into the dishwasher or unload it once in a while. I've even been known to wash a load of laundry if I'm completely out of jeans or tees or undies.

Over the last few days, though, I've gone insane. I was struck by this relentless urge to Pledge something, anything. So I did. I organized and decluttered my desk. I cleaned the bookshelves. I bought a new table cloth and curtains and curtain rods. I folded and stacked and restacked my cloth diaper stash. I just vacuumed and dusted the living room--and it's one o'clock in the morning! HELP!

My mommy is coming down on Tuesday! I get calls from her, Dad, Tricia, Joey, and Marcos at least once a day. It's odd to have my brothers asking about the state of my uterus. I'll be more relaxed when Mom gets here. She's done this, like, four times. I'm hoping she'll take some time to rest too. The last few weeks at Casa H have been hectic, especially now that we're an international household--but I'll blog more about that tomorrow. Oh, and Ama, my grandmother, assures me I won't deliver until the first week of September because the full moon arrives that week. I'm inclined to believe her. She's never been wrong about this sort of thing before, you know?

I did think I was going into labor the other morning before our pedi visit. I felt like yakking and had some hellacious contractions but the second we stepped into the pediatrician's waiting room everything stopped. Later, at Target, I had contractions again. Some of them bad enough I had to stop walking. I jokingly mentioned to Dave that dropping Zaphod on her head in the shampoo aisle of Target would make a really great blog post--and cement my status as super classy, lol.

Oh! Pedi visit went so well. Dr. S breastfed all of her kids and is super supportive of breastfeeding moms. She doesn't use those ridiculous weight charts that mandate such and such percentage of weight gain by this day or that day. She considers every baby to be individual. As long as Zaphod has the right amount of wet/poopie diapers and gains consistently, Dr. S won't even mention supplementation. She's also a believer in delayed vaccination. Zaphod will get DTAP (because pertussis is prevalent in this area,) HiB, and the polio vaccine and that's it. We'll add in the others as she gets older. I'm a smidge worried about the DTAP because my cousin's cutie, Landon, had a major reaction to it. Like stopped breathing. Yikes. So I'll probably have a mild panic attack when she gets that shot.

We finished the nursery and put a bassinet (Pack n Play, actually) in the bedroom. Bosley is not amused. He sniffs the bassinet and snorts on it. He seems to be coming to terms with the inevitable. We've stockpiled dog toys in the Harry Potter closet downstairs so we'll have things to give him when the baby gets here. "Look, Bosley, a baby! And a new fat duck!" Fingers crossed bribery works with dogs!

I've completed the last of my must-finish projects. I'm hoping to have time to write one more short story for a private invitation by an editor to an upcoming anthology. After that, I'll probably just work on the m/m novel I'm midway through at the moment. I'm finding it difficult to work because the fingers on my right hand have gone completely numb. Seriously, if I were pervy, I could give myself "The Stranger."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Or, um, don't. Dave and I are really struggling with the issue of vaccination. No, we're not those fringe folks who think all vaccines are evil or cause autism. We just have valid concerns about the staggering number of vaccines given to babies in the first twelve months of their lives. I mean, seriously, does a baby really need sixteen to twenty vaccines? I don't plan on allowing Zaphod to splash around in raw sewage, filling her sippy cup with filthy water from the first puddle I stumble across in the Target parking lot, or taking her down to the docks in Houston and rubbing her all over the various folks stepping off of the boats they've stowed away on from lands far and away.

Look, Zaphod is going to be breastfed (at least for the first week, although my goal is twelve months) so she's going to get all of my antibodies from my magic tatas and their fountain of colostrum. If I get the flu vaccine and breastfeed, guess what? Zaphod just got the flu vaccine. So why the hell does she need a Hep B vaccine within hours of being born? I have Hep B immunities from the vaccine. I'd like to think by newborn won't be coming into contact with blood, semen, or body fluids raging with Hep B virus. And rotavirus? She's not going to daycare. She'll be home with me or Dave, like, ninety-eight percent of the time. We're dedicated hand washers so the odds of us giving her the virus are, like, slim to none.

And what's up with the chicken pox vaccine? Since when is chicken pox such a horrid disease kiddos need vaccinations against it? Having the chicken pox is a rite of passage. You stay home, eat ice cream, watch cartoons, take oatmeal baths, and let your mommy slather pink lotion all over your itchy bits. It's like vacation--just with the itchy squirmies.

What happened to letting kids develop immune systems the good old-fashioned way? Dude, when I was a kid, my mom and aunts made sure we all played together when one of us had chicken pox. We all shared the same coughs and colds and bouts of flu. We turned out just fine.

So that's where we are at the moment. We meet with our pediatrician on Friday and plan to discuss our options, namely delaying some of the vaccines. We're sort of interested in the idea of one live virus and one aluminum containing vaccine at a time. Over my dead body will we allow Zaphod to receive four or five or six vaccines in a single visit. That's insanity. How the hell are their tiny little immune systems supposed to react to such a bombardment?

We're gearing up for "The Look" from our family and friends when they find out we're delaying or denying vaccines. I was pleasantly surprised by how supportive my mom and dad were. Mom was stunned to see how many vaccines are required now. My brother reacted badly to every vaccination he ever received so she looks at it from that angle.

We haven't fully researched our options when it comes to enrolling Zaphod in kindergarten. If it comes down to it, I guess we'll look into homeschooling. Then again, with the state of education in Texas, that might not be such a bad thing...

Monday, August 17, 2009


So Bosley has developed this totally amusing and slightly annoying habit of never allowing anyone else to have the last word. No, really. If we command him to stop barking at the fat cat outside or speak sharply to discipline him, he does this hilarious grumble, grumble, bark, bark, grumble right back at us. I have no idea why he does this. He's at that teenage state of Great Dane development so I'm guessing he's reached his sassy age. It goes something like this.

Me: Quiet!
Bosley: Bark!
Me: No! Don't bark at Mama!
Bosley: Bark!
Me: Look here, Sassyfrass! Don't talk back to me!
Bosley: Grumble. Grumble. Bark.

And then he'll dramatically throw himself onto the floor and sigh loudly or snort at me.

Dave and I were struck by how much his behavior mirrors that of Dr. Van Helsing (aka Mel Brook) in Dracula! Dead and Loving It! You know that scene where Van Helsing and Dracula are trying to get the last word? Yeah. It's like that.


*Baby update: Had another visit today. I'm now 3 centimeters dilated and the baby is fully engaged. I'm still having a mix of Braxton-Hicks and holy-crap-that-effing-hurts contractions. Doc A estimates the baby won't make her debut for another week or so. My mommy is heading this way sometime next week.

Oh, and Dave is nesting. No really. He's cleaning carpets on Wednesday and changing linens. The man has lost his ever-lovin' mind. The extent of my nesting? Noticing the dust on the coffee table but being too damn tired to roll off the couch to do anything about it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home Stretch

So we're just a day short of being 37 weeks. The baby is doing really well. Her cord problem doesn't seem to be causing any issues. She's a smidge small but that's okay. My amniotic fluid levels are awesome. She moves all day long and has a great heartbeat. We'll have her kidneys checked out a few times over the first year of her life to make sure they're okay but other than that everything is just fine. Huge relief!

This week I was lucky enough to be introduced to the wonders of prodromal labor. I started having lower backache, cramps and the occasional gnarly contraction on Monday. By my Wednesday appointment, I was nearly two centimeters dilated. The last few days, I've gone maybe twelve or so hours between contractions/cramping/backache. *TMI ALERT* (I lost part of my mucus plug today. Can you say icky? Why the hell don't the pregnancy books tell you about that lovely experience?)

Being in sort of labor but not is tiring but whatever. Dr. A is totally confident I'll have the no intervention labor I want but I'm keeping my mind open and accepting of any eventuality. Emergencies happen and I don't want to set myself up for disappointment. At this point, though, I'm thrilled my body is doing what it's supposed to--just not in the usual way. Most women go through all these labor changes over a few days and get it over with but not me apparently. But, hey, I've never done things normally. Why would my birthing experience be any different?

We attended our breastfeeding class the other day. Our instructor was totally fabulous. She also teaches WIC moms so she's not one of those lactation consultants who thinks you need to buy a super expensive pump and all kinds of gadgets. She involved all the husbands/partners in the class and even taught them how to provide privacy for a mom nursing in public with newspapers hugs and smoochies, and the old standby blanket. Honestly, I think Dave took way more notes than I did. I am so glad he's so involved in this pregnancy. There's no way I could even attempt to tackle exclusive breastfeeding without his support.

Let's see. What else? Oh! Dave put together the stroller and car seat this afternoon. Bosley lost his ever-lovin' mind. You have not seen hilarious until you see a big ole Great Dane barking and snarling at a stroller. Dave probably made it worse by chasing him around the living room with it. Bosley seems convinced the stroller is stamped with Satan's seal or something. I'm really looking forward to our first walk as a family.

We hit up Kroger's today for their super double coupon event. Mama got her save on, lol! I saved $150 in coupons and got $400 worth of groceries for a little over $200. Most of it was pantry stuff. We decided to stock up the pantry for the next few months. I got boxes of Kellogg's cereal for fifty cents a piece and free yogurt, cheese, Miracle Whip, mayo, ice cream, toothpaste and shaving cream. I paid less than a dollar for just about everything else in our basket including Charmin, Bounty, pasta and more.

I was so stoked to go through checkout with my massive stack of coupons. It was fun to see my kindred spirits working through the aisles and sifting through their coupon boxes. I mean, okay, I was the youngest couponer in that store by about three decades but whatever. I'm keeping the art of living lean alive, lol.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Road Trip Rundown

Whoa. So it's been a while since I blogged. I've been swamped. We drove halfway across Texas for our baby shower and then drove right back--all in the same weekend. Can you say exhausting? But it was worth it. It was so nice to see our families. Dave got to spend some time with Kati's kiddos and I got to spend some time with my crazy family. The shower was a blast too.

Once we were back in town, Dave went straight back to work. He's piling up PTO hours for paternity leave and we're trying to finish padding our savings account. We've done really, really well since learning we were pregnant. I mean, seriously, money is the last thing on my mind--and I'm so grateful for that. I really don't know how people juggle the stress of a new baby with the stress of finances. Can you say nightmare?

I had two new releases on back-to-back Fridays (Sparks from Cobblestone and Ultimate Prize from EC). I didn't hit nearly all the promo spots I wanted and Swiss-cheese-brained me forgot to reserve a banner spot on a couple of the review sites I like. Silly, self! Oh well. Advertising two weeks following a release is just as good. Right, lol?

I finished my novel targeted at Silhouette Desire and took the query plunge. I nearly barfed when I handed the envelope to Dave-O for the mailbox. I feel really settled and secure and confident when it comes to writing erotic romance and erotica, like I've finally hit my stride, but when it comes to category, I'm really nervous. I had the fabulous ladies and dudes at Romance Divas run my query and synopsis through the ringer. Fingers crossed!

I'll update on the baby and pregnancy tomorrow. Things are going really well and the umbilical cord scare we had turned out just fine. We'll have another ultrasound next week to take a peek at my amniotic fluid levels. If everything is cool, we'll just keep on keepin' on until Zaphod is ready to make her debut. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge if we get to it.

Anywho. Here's the highlights from our few days in Eldorado.

1) My dad has some swelling problems. (Heat, diabetes, heart stuff, huge-o stress at work) He couldn't find a pair of ankle socks to wear the morning he was getting ready to head out to drag race his beloved car so he took a pair of scissors and cut off a pair of tube socks at the ankle. I thought Dave was going to pass out he was laughing so hard. Mom? Yeah. She wasn't nearly as impressed.

2) Mom and Dad's dog is an outside dog, for the most part. Bosley is an inside dog. Dad got a kick out of trying to stir up animosity between the two dogs. Here's a snippet of a convo I overheard.

Dad to Doofus: Look at that! He's in the house, in the air conditioning, eating scrambled eggs Dorie made! What a rich bastard!

Then Dad proceeded to feed Doofus a hamburger left over from grilling the night before so who, exactly, is spoiled?

3) Speaking of burgers. Avoid, like the effing plague, the DQ in Llano. We had the worst service ever. It was so bad I had to complain. They didn't have what we wanted so we had to change our order. We had to sit in the drive-thru for half an hour while cars backed up behind us. Dave was about to blow his stack when they finally brought our food. It was disgusting. Seriously. My burger was gray and icky. It also tasted like Windex. So yeah. Gross.

4) On the way home, my iPod died so Dave plugged his in and forced me to sit through his musical choices for the rest of the drive. That particular slice of his playlist was country heavy. Garth Brooks, to be exact.

Me: Do you remember those hideous Garth Brooks shirts? You know, the ones with blocks of color, like purple and black, or checkered patterns?

Dave, uneasily: Yeah....

Me, guffawing: OMG. You wore them, didn't you?!?!

Dave: No comment.

It's times like that I enjoy the age difference the most. There is nothing funnier than knowing Dave tucked his black jeans into his white sneakers or rocked out to Garth Brooks while trying to pick up chicks with teased hair and The Claw bangs. He doesn't see the humor, of course, but it just slays me.