Sunday, September 20, 2009


Holy BALLS do I hate it when people in my family get sick.

The kids, I can deal with. Seriously. Bea puts on the usual six year old drama and gets some palliative care (ice packs, Tylenol, fluids, naps, extra Disney Channel) and she's fine. She also gets contact sick -- whenever anyone else is sick, so is she. I have very little tolerance for the princess routine regardless of her place on the homeostatic scale, and getting sick is usually no more than an excuse for getting extra attention and spoilage.

Little Elle on the other hand, hasn't had so much as a sniffle in the past six months. Seriously. Aside from a little cold and some teething pain/fever, she's been healthy as a horse since she was born.

I am not allowed to get sick. I get something that knocks me on my ass about once every 3-4 years. I take my Advil/Benadryl/Robitussin, take a hot shower and drink some tea, go to bed and die for about 12 hours, get up and I'm fine. I don't abide getting sick. I get pissy when people in my house are sick.

And then there's The Boy.

My normally lovely, wonderful husband is horrible to be around when he's sick. He won't take anything, and he won't do anything. He just sits, waiting to get better. He'll take baths, he'll take naps, but he won't do anything to actively cure himself. It's up to me to force fluids, to buy the home remedies, to make him take them, and to get him better.

The worst is when Bea and the Boy are sick at the same time. As is the case right now. Holy crap, but do they feed off each other! Drama, thy name is Thompson. Would you like some cheese with your whine?

I came home to find everyone still in their pajamas, everyone on the couch, the baby in yesterday's outfit, lazy and lethargic, and nothing done. I don't know what it is about this combination that makes me fly into high gear, but I do. Without fail. Every. Single. Time. I turned off the tee vee, took everyone's temperature, determined that my husband was warm (probably from laying around in his bathrobe all day, Bea was slightly warmer (99.3, probably the same, but a gentle diet and some Pedialyte and extra fluids for good measure) and Elle was clearly on the mend (100.5, but happy and playing, an improvement over 101.7 and lethargic last night).

I don't know what it is in the maternal DNA that doesn't abide rest and laziness when sick. Perhaps it's jealousy: the world doesn't stop when I'm sick, so why should it stop for them? Perhaps it's also a lack of understanding: I don't get sick, ever, so I can't relate to what it's like. I don't know what it's like to have allergies or have to take more than a multi-vitamin each day to live normally.

I am grateful and thankful that everyone seems to just have a touch of whatever's going around, that it's not worse, and that they are all on the mend. I'm also thankful that my girls seemed to have inherited my constitution, as neither of them have ever gotten more sick than a 48 hour virus or an ear infection.

But dammit, it still bothers me.

In other news: I either threw my best 800 since 2007 in the pool yesterday, or I shorted myself a lap. I think I shorted myself, but I was still happy with the result. I added a timed lap on the end, and still came out just a hair under 20 minutes. This was a huge improvement over Thursday, and I swam continuously, where on Thursday I had to take breaks. Holla!

In further news, we got this lovely little treat via Twitter earlier this week. All I have to say is... droooool...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Local Celebrity Almost DIES!

First things first...last Thursday's weigh-in. Mind you, it was a 5-day weigh in, not a full week, as we weighed last Saturday too.

The Results
Last week's weight: 285.6
This week's weight: 284.2
Weekly change: -1.4
Net change: -3.8

Then I got on the scale Friday morning and was 280 flat. An overnight fluctuation of 4 pounds. Holy Moses...I think my body is freaking out a little.

My goal is to eat mostly clean, most of the time. I gave myself a free day yesterday. I feel fine about it. I'm also trying to get workouts back into my system, and I'm doing my one and only tri of the season next weekend. I'm approaching it as accomplishment and redemption. My motto? Completion IS success. I'll worry about extending distance and PRs next summer. Right now, I just need to get back in the saddle.

The above results also tell me I'm doing this the right way -- gently, with support, reasonably and being hard on myself only when I have to be. I've converted about half of my meals to vegetarian and have found a new appreciation for black beans (thanks, Jen!)

Baking season is soon upon us... can't wait to pull out the spice cake and the pumpkin bread. I need to head to the farmer's market and buy some zucchini to make zucchini bread, and I want to experiment with squash this year - I've never been much for squash but I had the butternut squash ravioli at the wedding a couple weeks ago and that was some tasty stuff.

After we weighed in, Mara and I watched the latest episode of Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory, and had an absolute blast watching Rob and JM give us the TRUE story behind the tabloid photos -- the first where Rob faked unconsciousness and was dragged out of the club by John and various members of the Johntourage(TM), and the second where Rob and John walked out of the same club a few weeks later, wearing monogrammed velvet smoking jackets, ascots and velvet slip-on shoes

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just The Way You Are

I got a comment on an old entry a few days ago, from an anonymous reader. They wrote: "...every time I hear about love like the one that you have, I can do nothing but wish that I could have the day."

It's true. I'm crazy in love with my husband, and even though there are times we've faltered and failed each other, there are just as many times we've redeemed and uplifted each other. We've made babies together, we've made a life together. With any luck and huge effort, we'll grow gray and wrinkled together too. We have lived with, through, and for each other for almost half our lives. His smile is my comfort, his arms are my home.

Thank you, dear reader, for your kind words.

It's not our anniversary. It's not his birthday, or my birthday, or whatever. This song is for my Boy, just because I am so in love with him, it's not even funny.

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Celebration Anxiety

This past week was amazing and anxiety-inducing all at the same time. How on Earth was I going to start watching what I eat right before a holiday weekend, with my sister visiting, a wedding, a couple of lunch meetings, sending Bea off to school, and any number of other factors and issues?

By just doing it, that's how.

Life happens. There will ALWAYS be weddings and funerals and birthdays and celebrations and life events, and using them as an excuse to start "next week" or have a "bad day" is lame. Here is where I draw inspiration from Sooz: the girl drinks and socializes to her heart's content. She eats (essentially) whatever she wants, within reason. She balances her socializing with training like a mad woman and also being careful about her eating: if she has a sushi dinner date planned, she will eat gently the rest of the day to accommodate. If she wants a crazy insane cheeseburger, she works out to cancel out the intake. She's never minced words about that. If our law school tribe asks her to go out to lunch and we're going somewhere incompatible with her plan for that day, she simply declines. We all know it's not personal with Sooz...while we love her company, and she ours, we just get it. It's not personal to us; it's personal to her, and we all have priorities. I think law school has desensitized us to taking things personally; I am far more likely to take a "no" at face value and move on than ever before.

And so, thinking about Sooz, I approached last week by eating gently whenever nothing was planned, and trying not to worry too much about situations like Jon & Julia's wedding last Saturday, or the State Fair, or whatever. I hate denying myself when I'm out! What's the point of going to a wedding if you're going to feel guilty about eating wedding cake and boozing up the groom? (For the record, I probably need to temper this attitude a *little*. Fuzzy navels all night and three(!) pieces of wedding cake might be considered a little excessive, but I only did one tequila shot with the groom. Only one! And I do love myself the tequila. PATRON, baby!) I also did a little mitigation by choosing the vegetarian plated dinner, which turned out to be a delicious butternut squash ravioli with leeks and a very light cream sauce. NOM.

As for the State Fair, well... let's be frank: there was no temperance there. None can be had, I'm convinced. The choice then, is to go once a year and get it out of your system, and give yourself the day to enjoy, or to not go at all.

My goal for last week was to eat breakfast every day, and I'm proud to say I did it. I hauled the blender out, and when I didn't have breakfast plans, I made a 5-Factor Smoothie for myself, following Harley Pasternak's recipe (below). I plan to continue this, as it really worked for me. Smoothies are quick, portable and tasty, and have enough natural sugar in the fruit to sate my sweet tooth.

Mara had to work late last Thursday, so we put off our weigh-in until Saturday evening (last night), before we went out for her birthday(which...awesome! Donny Dirk's Zombie Den gets two thumbs up, and Psycho Suzi's lives up to its reputation.)

The Results
Last week's weight: 288.0
This week's weight: 285.6
Weekly change: -2.4
Net change: -2.4

Not bad for a busy, social week!
This week's goals: continue with the smoothies/breakfast, and exercise a total of 180 minutes. That's 3x an hour-long workout, or 6x 30 mins, or most likely, 2 hour-long sessions and 2 30 minute sessions. I'm going to make it a point to get baby Elle in the stroller and go for a nice long walk a couple times this week, and we have found a new babysitter, and the school pool opens this week for fall hours, so SWIMMING!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Virtual 5K

I challenged a bunch of Facebook friends to do Couch to 5k with me and do a 5K over the Labor Day weekend. Due to aches, pains, and a general lack of (enough) training, I put off my 5K until today.

I am pleased to report that I survived with no pain, no sore feet, no sore hips, no sore back, and finished in a time of 51:05.

My personal best came in 2006 at the height of my training, and it was a 40:16. I have never broken 40 minutes. A 51 is really slow and I walked except about 5 minutes of it, but I did it, without hurt, and with a negative split (the second half was faster than the first.)

I plan to go for another 5K this week and see if I can't break 50. I'm starting to feel my training come back to me, and it's an amazing feeling.

Today was also eight years since That Day. Unlike years past, I didn't dwell on the details. I remembered what happened, and decided my best tribute to the fallen (on all sides) was to say a silent prayer, enjoy the blessings of my day, revel in the September sun, and give thanks for new leadership and the hope of change.

Although we are healing and moving on as a country from the horrific acts of that day, I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of First Grade

So the school bus came and picked Bea up this morning, and I am officially the mother of a first grader. Child, weren't you born about a month ago?

My sister visited this past weekend and brought her new guy with her. He's very nice, polite, good sense of humor and is absolutely head over heels for her. He's good people, and after all she's been through, a Nice Guy is absolutely what she deserves. We had a wild and crazy 48 hours, including boating on the St. Croix with Kate and a trip to the State Fair.

Oh my, the State Fair. Where food on sticks reigns supreme. I think I consumed enough fat for a month. My only saving grace is all the walking around we did, which probably burned up about half the calories we ate. Seriously: french fries, fried cheese on a stick, cheese curds, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheesecake on a stick, footlong corndogs on a stick, Sweet Martha's Cookies (a bucket full!), lemonade, cotton candy, funnel cake... you name it. We didn't get to try the pot roast sundae or the Nacho Mama, and we saved the hotdish on a stick for next year. But oh my God... I am going to spend the next two days in detox. Fortunately, I think I reigned myself in well enough the rest of the week.

Jon & Julia also got married this weekend, and I ate 3 pieces (yes, three, seriously) of wedding cake (and it was delicious!) and got delightfully drunk at the reception. Oh, are so tasty and intoxicating going down, and so caloric two days afterward...big props to Kate for bringing me home, as I was not in any shape to drive. Needless to say, the wedding feast will be a factor on Thursday as well.

All in all, it was a really wonderful weekend, spent with friends and family, enjoying life and living out loud. I love our life in Minnesota; we have more friends and are more social, our kids are thriving, and I'm beginning to see beyond what brought us here (law school) and what will keep us here. It's starting to feel like home, and though I'll always remember my hometown fondly, and will visit often (as I have friends and memories there as well), I'm starting to picture my girls growing up here, and imagining what that might look like.

I like what I'm starting to see.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Starting Over (Again)

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm restarting my efforts to lose weight. The fact is that I've been fat my entire adult life, and not much has changed that. However, I've never been this fat before, and it has really hit home with me. I can't train the way I want to, I hurt in places I shouldn't, and I'm far too young to be this disenchanted. I should love the way my body looks, feels and moves, and to be brutally honest, I never have. I don't know what it feels like.

But I want to find out.

I can't afford to go back to Weight W@tchers, and I wasn't thrilled with the leader I found here. She always emphasized "size" and "clothes" and yes, those things are important, but for someone like me, emphasis on health and good habits are far more motivating.

We're constantly bombarded with information on diet, and yet we're all still fat. I've come to the conclusion that it all comes down to the basics: portion control, exercise, eating whole foods and practicing everything in moderation, including moderation. In other words, yes, you must cheat in order to succeed. But then, it's not cheating, is it?

This may sound overly complicated, but I'm planning to do a combination of Biggest Loser, WW, Five-Factor and Insulin Resistance, taking the best of each of those programs and making it work for my situation. And I'm going to blog it, because I do well when I am accountable, and writing is my release. I don't want to turn this into a weight loss blog, any more than I wanted to turn it into a pregnancy blog or a law school blog or a triathlon blog or a "whatever" blog. It is meta, but that's okay, because it's me, and this is what I happen to be doing right now.

My dear friend and fellow fangirl Mara and I are doing this together. We are meeting on Thursday nights and she started a notebook for us with goals and weight. Each week, we'll walk two miles or so, and weigh in on her scale (hers is better than mine). I will post my weight and goal, for all the world and Internet to see, because it's embarrassing and public, and what I need to do.

So then. It begins.

The Program and Mission Statement:

I will(loosely) follow the P0ints program to measure food intake. I will watch calories, but I will also listen to my body and eat deliberately, stopping when full and fueling when hungry. I will balance my meals in order to track carbs. I will eat my fruits and veggies and drink my water. I will rest, and I will train.

I will turn to my friends and my blog in times of trouble. I will revel in my successes, and find resolve in my failures. There will be both. I will use the joy of cooking to learn how to fuel my body.

Weight: 288.0
Goal: Eat breakfast every day this week, without fail. This is a hard thing for me, as I've never been a breakfast eater. However, I have adopted Harley Pasternak's 5-Factor Smoothie as my breakfast of choice, and it is both tasty and quick.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Need To Do This

More later, I'm on my way to take the girls to the indoor waterpark. School started 3 weeks ago for me, next week for Bea. My sister is visiting this weekend with her (GASP) fiance (oh yeah, I've been away for a loooooooooong time), Dad came and visited a few weeks ago (!!!)

Yes, Internet. We're long overdue for a nice, long chat. Bring the booze.

In the mean time, I did a false start with WW in May/June, but I managed to keep off 10 of 15 pounds lost. Time to get back on the wagon, without the $20 per week group therapy. More on this too.

Food Diary for Today:

5-Factor Fuze Smoothie (Fage plain yogurt, 1 medium orange, 1/2 Fuze Mango)
5 pts/55 carbs/15g protein

Amy's Tamale Verde frozen dinner
7 pts/55 carbs/ 7g protein

1/2 fuze 2 pts
1 banana 2 pts
Cheese curds 3 pts

No Name Salmon Filet 7pts
1 cup organic uncooked spinach 0 pts

For now, I'm going to follow a combination of the point system to calculate volume, the 5-Factor plan and insulin resistance guidelines to decide what to eat, and in general, limiting the amount of white bread, HFCS, and overall empty calories. I will probably also experiment with a "cheat day" - but I know myself fairly well, and I might start with a "cheat meal" once a week, rather than a full-on cheat day. Believe me when I tell you that one cheat day can be justified and extended into a full-on three day "weekend" of cheating.

I'm also going to be blogging about it. With any luck this will work and I can take a few pounds off before the holidays. Okay, more than a few. Okay, as much as I can. I'm hoping that's in the 25-35 pound range.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I see so much pain in the eyes of so many. I wonder sometimes what I will do with this big fancy education I'm working on. I worry that sometimes my pursuit is futile, because sometimes you can only help people who want help. Sometimes the people who need it most don't know it.

All I can do is be there. I don't know if I can give any answers, but I can be there.

I will help, if only they ask.

I will be the answer
At the end of the line
I will be there for you
While you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty
I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance
If you can't look down

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind
Take me to a
Place so holy
That I can wash this from my mind
The memory of choosing not to fight

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all burned out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind

-Sarah McLachlan, "Answer"

Friday, May 22, 2009


I got tired of waiting, wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you was fading when I met you on the outskirts of town, and I said,

"Romeo, save me I've been feeling so alone, I keep waiting for you but you never come; is this in my head? I don't know what to think"
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring

And said, "marry me Juliet, You'll never have to be alone
I love you and that's all I really know,
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It's a love story baby just say yes..."

'Cause we were both young when I first saw you...

-- "Love Story", Taylor Swift

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Constant Cravings

I went to college in Texas. There are some AMAZING things about Texas: the weather, the people, and THE FOOD. My God, the food. Steak? Check. Best Chinese food ever? Check. (Chinatown Cafe.) Cajun? You betcha. (Razzoo's!) BBQ? Oh, yeah.

And then there's the TexMex. Lord, but do I know why mis amigas hispanas y latinas used to go home on the weekend, and come back with shopping bags laden with Tupperware full of arroz con garbanzos, enchiladas de pollo, chiles rellenos fresh salsa, and of course, homemade guacamole and tortillas. Around the holidays, there was no shortage of tamales, and no holiday party was complete without a big Crock-Pot of queso dip and tortilla chips. Yes, I developed a discerning palate for authentic Tex-Mex food, and it lasts even to this day. Alas, my poor Northern brethren are lacking in true Tex-Mex restaurants. We have a few that come close, but man... when all you want is a sopaipilla the size of your fist, steaming hot from the fryer, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and ready to be slathered in melted butter and honey...

Nothing comes close to the original.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sweet Baby James

Because I did it for her sister yesterday, and because she's always on my mind. This one's for sweet baby Elle. I'm a big believer in singing "real" songs to kids, not just lullabies and kid music. It has its place, for certain, but in the car and on the stereo at home, we listen to Mom's Music. And that is not just John Mayer, but 10,000 Maniacs, Pearl Jam, Dixie Chicks, the Cities Sampler, Sara Barielles, and yes, James Taylor. The song was written as a lullaby for JT's nephew and namesake, and it has always been a favorite of mine. When Elle responded to it, it became special on a completely different level.

This vid is nice because you get to hear the story of JT's nephew, the original "ornery little varmint" named baby James.

There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range.
His horse and his cattle are his only companions;
He works in the saddle and he sleeps in the canyons,
Waiting for summer, his pastures to change

And as the moon rises, he sits by his fire,
Thinking about women and glasses of beer;
And closing his eyes as the dogies retire,
He sings out a song which is soft but it's clear, as if maybe someone could hear.

Goodnight, you moonlight ladies; rockabye sweet baby James...
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose;
Won't you let me go down in my dreams?
And rockabye sweet baby James.

Now the first of December was covered with snow,
And so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston.
Lord, the Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting,
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go...

There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway,
A song that they sing when they take to the sea,
A song that they sing of their home in the sky—
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep,
But singing works just fine for me...

So, goodnight, you moonlight ladies; and rockabye sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose;
Won't you let me go down in my dreams?
And rockabye sweet baby James.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Because I am thinking about my big girl Bea, and this song always reminds me of her.

Blossom, smile some sunshine down my way
Lately, Ive been lonesome
Blossom, its been much too long a day
Seems my dreams have frozen
Melt my cares away

Send the sunshine down my way whenever you call my name
I know what you mean to say to me, girl, its all the same

Blossom, theres an empty road behind
Sit you down beside me
Blossom, theres a sweet dream on my mind
Theres a song inside me
Take these chains away

Now, send the sunshine down my way whenever you call my name
I know what you mean to say to me, girl, its all the same

Blossom, smile some sunshine down my way
Lately, Ive been lonesome
Blossom, its been much too long a day
Seems my dreams have frozen
Melt my cares away

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In The Pain, There is Healing

I was all set to write a fun little entry about my girls; about their general adorablenesses and proclivities, a little compare and contrast of two little people who share parents and blue eyes but not much else. Even a couple of months in, I can already tell: they are two distinctly different people. They look nothing alike, they have two different temperaments, two totally different personalities. They are both feisty in their own ways: Bea is gregarious and outspoken, unapologetic and demonstrative. Elle, on the other hand, is quieter and more laid back. I remember Bea being a very shy toddler; she's grown into her extroversion. I wonder if Elle will do the same, but it wouldn't surprise me if her temperament won't sway to the "strong but quiet" side of the spectrum.

But that's not what's on my mind this morning.

I'm thinking about the fact that we're supposed to have upwards of six inches of snow on the ground starting any minute now.

Bea starts her Level 2 swimming lessons tonight; hoping the weather won't cancel them. Also thinking about the fact that I need to run to the store, and should probably do that before the snow gets bad.

And what I'm procrastinating writing about is the fact that I got an email from my dad yesterday, asking if he could come visit over spring break. He is one of the things I don't write about much. I'm sure anyone who has read my blog long enough or knows me and has talked to me for any length of time realizes what a source of conflict and hurt he's been in my life. I've been working with a counselor in the last year or so to get my head straight, and in doing that I've gained a lot of perspective on my life and capabilities. I've learned to be strong and honest, because if I am anything less, I am hurting myself, and my family in the process.

I wrote this to him (excerpted):

As for visiting... I understand that you miss us, but I need to be honest with you here: I'm not sure about it. The fact is that right now I'm not very confident in our relationship -- such as it is. As I've told you before, I've gotten through a lot of anger and resentment toward you and your actions. I don't know if you know exactly how badly your actions hurt all of us, and it's not as simple as saying "sorry, guys" and picking right back up. This is a big piece of the fallout resulting from your choices, and it is something you are going to have to live with for awhile...

I don't know if you've figured out that it's been over a year since we even talked on the phone, and June will be two years since we've seen each other. I am not sure that a visit is in my deck of cards just yet. If there's something you can tell me to change my mind, the floor's open. I've been open and honest with you regarding my feelings - brutally so, because it's the only way I can function. I need you to return that honesty, without pulling punches or using semantics or worrying about being proper or tactful. I want to find some way of having a meaningful relationship with you, but I can't do it unless I know your side of the story.

I'm listening.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday 2009

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:19

So. Usually for Lent, if one observes it, one must give up something enjoyable for the 40 days of the season. It is a time of reflection and sacrifice, and the idea is to remember what Christ did for us in sacrificing his life for our salvation. It is a recognition of blessings, and a denial of self. A mechanism in humility.

Now, Holy Mother Church doesn't run my life, but I once heard a priest say that he thought Lent was more about self improvement than it was about self-sacrifice. Rather than hurting and feeling pain, he said, a better way to celebrate Lent is to pick an area of your life to improve, and work diligently at it for those 40 straight days.

I like that idea.

Since I've neglected this blog since Elle's birth, I have decided that I will write every single day during Lent. It might be a blurb, it might be a song lyric, it might be nothing at all. But I will write. Blogging means so much to me and it really does help me stay grounded, and I've let that get away in the last few months. It also gets me going; part of my routine last semester was to try and blog or write down some thoughts before I studied. It helped me focus and clear my mind, and that's something that needs to happen more often, especially with the unpredictability of having an infant in the house.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Naming Names

For the last couple of years, I've referred to my firstborn daughter on this blog as "The Girl." Easy enough, right? My husband is "The Boy", and that's also easy enough to distinguish. I do this to maintain privacy -- my name is out there, and if you know me, you know them, and that's fine. However, my husband's business is such that he does not want a social online presence, and I am a lioness when it comes to my kids. Therefore, it's in everyone's best interests to remain nameless.


We now have a second child, who is also a girl. This complicates things. (See, even at birth, women are complicated. L2Deal, men...) How would I distinguish the two? I didn't want to call her "the baby" because she won't be one for very long, and I didn't want to give her a name and not give her sister a name, or vice-versa. So I thought about it (for about ten seconds) and came up with the following.

I have a Big Girl.
I have a Little Girl.

B.G. and L.G.

B and L.

Bea and Elle!!

Therefore! Henceforth, the Girl will be known as Bea, and the baby will be known as Elle. Both are pseudonyms, but easy, namey sort-of things, which are cute in their own girly way. I could send these names to school and the teacher wouldn't look at me in a weird way.

So. There you have it. Hope it's not too confusing for anyone.

Monday, February 2, 2009

32 Days of Ketchup

Okay wow! I just broke my own non-blogging record, and in a big, big way. Of course, I have a tremendous excuse for doing so, since I did the following:

1. Gave birth (and liveblogged it, which I will likely import over here when/if time permits);

2. Recovered from said birth (and still doing so for another ten days; post-partum is officially 42 days long according to the doc);

3. Started back to school;

4. Got the Girl started back to school;

5. Survived the usual January blast of Minnesota arctic chill; and

6. Watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl!

So I've had a busy month!

The birth itself went about as well as I could have expected, considering I had a repeat c-section. I liveblogged it and will probably eventually take that blog down and import everything over here so it can be properly archived.

School (so far) is going well. There are ups and downs to my current schedule. The major plus is that I only have ONE (yes one!) written final this term, for Evidence. I am told it's a major pain, so I will likely take as much time as I need to study for it and then take it when I'm ready. Another major plus: two of my classes are done either shortly before Easter or shortly after it, and these are the classes that meet on the weekend days this term. Score! I can handle two classes on Friday if that's the only day of the week I have to sit in class.

Downside? TWO major writing projects (a motion brief and a paper) and a mock trial to run for Trial Advocacy. I suppose it could be worse -- but it just means that each week I will have a LOT of prep work, rather than pacing through 14 weeks of reading and outlining, then 3 weeks of final crunch.

And then I'm HALFWAY done with law school! How'd that happen, y'all??

I'm sure there's more... like how the baby likes it when I sing Paul Simon and James Taylor ("Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" is a favorite) and how geeked I am that things are looking up in terms of a new JM album this year. I still wish I could have gone on MCC2, but I'll deal. After all, if there is a tour coming up this fall, then Santa will know what to leave in my stocking. And I STILL need to get my autographed copy of Continuum framed and hung in the baby's room.

Until then, it's me doing my thing: studying when the baby sleeps, typing one-handed when she doesn't, looking forward to longer, warmer days and enjoying the sunshine when we get it.

I must say -- I am jealous of my cousin's husband. He got to GO to the Superbowl this year and saw the boys bring home #6 in person. At the very least, he had the decency to take his dad with him to the big game, and he mentioned that it was a childhood fantasy come true. (After that 4th quarter comeback, I hope it was worth it!) I jest in my purported jealousy; it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy in all honesty.

And now I must return to my regularly scheduled day of baby-wrangling, kitchen-cleaning, laundry-folding and general de-cluttering. BBQ crockpot ribs for dinner tonight. Woo!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hospital #10: Cleared for Re-Entry

Got the official word from on high: Bean and I are headed home tomorrow morning, after the docs give us each a last look-see and we get our discharge papers. The unit coordinator was nice enough to come over and get the birth certificate and social security paperwork out of the way, so all we need is our last checks and we're outta here!

The good news is that we're establishing something of a breastfeeding pattern, but the bad news is that she still lost some weight (not uncommon after birth), but she lost a little more than they like to see, so we're supplementing with some formula, and I'm going to be pumping in order to increase my own milk supply. The LC said mixing in an ounce of formula with 2-3 oz of breastmilk will be fine, so it's a true supplement - just enough to help fill her tummy until I can catch up to her. I think my milk should be coming in fairly soon, and the other nice benefit is that I get a spare set of parts for my personal breastpump.

The bags are packed, the Bean is still down (and isn't due for another feeding for about 3 hours or so, and I'm tired, so I think I'm going to try and get some sleep. Next entry will probably be from home (thank God!) I will have my husband bring the camera back so we can post a few going-home shots, and even though it's the end of the birth journey, it's the start of a life journey for us and our new addition.

I'm so glad you are all along for the ride.

Hospital #9: Recovering

It's hard to believe that Baby Bean is barely 40 hours old. I think that the maternal amnesia is setting in: when you have a baby you immediately forget what life was like "before."

Last night the baby and I were on our own, as my in-laws needed to begin their travels home (a drive of about 900 miles), and we wanted to give them flexibility to leave because the weather here is unpredictable at best in January. Also, he'd been with me the last two nights, and our daughter was lonesome for her Daddy. Understandable. Besides, I have a fleet of nurses and staff at my disposal, at a call button's length away. It's all good, even if it means I have to forego my new year's kiss until this morning. (The baby got hers, though. :) )

I am slowly but surely recovering. Hospital time is slow...very very slow. Yesterday I felt great throughout the day, but the night was a bit of a trial, as I was balancing the baby's needs with my own capabilities in terms of getting in and out of bed. I still hurt and am tender in my abdomen, but once I'm up and going I'm fine and generally pain free. However, if I've been laying down for awhile it takes a fair effort to sit up, and it hurts.

Bean so far is good -- they did her newborn screening yesterday and she passed her hearing test. Her bilirubin came back slightly high, so right now we're just working on breastfeeding so she can get rid of as much of it as possible in the natural way. (Pooping. Babies are very good at that.) I'm not worried about jaundice at this point, because she's been doing well with the breastfeeding, and I think it's just going to take some effort to get things moving and shaking. Besides, we've both had a very busy week.

She's very content -- her social smiles are starting to come through and she's generally laid back. I have a feeling she'll get feisty soon enough, but she sleeps a lot, so much so that I have to violate my cardinal rule of parenting a newborn and wake her up to feed her. At least she doesn't have her days and nights mixed least as far as I can tell.

All signs are pointing to discharge tomorrow, probably in the evening. I hope much as it's nice to be pampered, it will also be nice to be home.

And...I'm being beckoned by Princess Bean over there, busily chewing her fist. Time for second breakfast, I suspect.

Happy New Year, y'all!