Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Baby dances

Now, for people trying to get pregnant, the term "baby dance" refers to intercourse. This post is not about that. Sorry.

This post is about the little dance that my Pumpkin baby is doing in my uterus. Which I can now feel, and which is wonderful. I first felt a definite poke behind my belly button last week, while I was sitting at my computer. I'm almost 17 weeks along (as of tomrrow) and feeling Pumpkin move just made her all the more real. Feeling a baby move inside of you is a very surreal experience -- it's moving completely independent of you, and the fact that you are carrying a separate human being inside of you becomes a concrete fact.

I'm very excited that I've felt Pumpkin so early. With Eliza, I didn't feel anything (or at least didn't realize that I was feeling anything) until 20 weeks. So I feel like I have an extra 4 weeks with Pumpkin that I didn't have with Eliza. I'm treasuring every day.

I'm trying not to think about the fact that I'm only 8 weeks away from the stage when I lost Eliza. I'm trying to just enjoy every day, which is easier now that I can feel Pumpkin. I'm really only looking ahead a few weeks -- it just makes it easier to set minor milestones, instead of looking months ahead. The next three weeks should be golden. A diagnosis of preeclampsia very rarely comes before 20 weeks, so I feel like I have a grace period. And on March 21, we have another ultrasound, and we'll get another look at Pumpkin, and hopefully be able to definitively tell which gender she is (the doctor said last month that he *thinks* Pumpkin is a girl, but couldn't promise).

So, for now, I have a dancing baby in my uterus, and I am absolutely thrilled.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If this means I'm old, I'll take it.

This may be a sign of getting old, but is there any one purchase in life that gives as much long-term daily comfort as a new mattress?

Rich and I have had our current mattress for 8 years, and it has served us well. It was one of our first post-college "adult" purchases, and it was such a joy not to be sleeping on Richard's old full-sized bed from high school that had a huge dip in the center (and no, that dip was not me). But it's day is done, and it's time for a new mattress.

So, as this was Presidents Weekend, and every single mattress store in the country was having a huge sale, we decided to brave shopping. Richard had decided to seriously haggle on this purchase, as mattresses have a huge mark-up, and many salespeople have latitude to negotiate.

We headed up to Glendale, near the Galleria, where there are several mattress stores on one corner (the theory being that we could go from one to the other to get the best price). We walked into the first store and the sales guy let us know that most mattresses were on sale "25%-35% off the marked price," not counting clearance models. We found a couple we liked, and then noticed that there were some 2006 models that were on clearance. Knowing that the salespeople would be very eager to get rid of these 2006 models, we decided to make our play, offering to pay 30% less than the clearance. Rich was great, and the sales guy came back with a price that we could live with, which ended up being about $200 less than the clearance price! Here is the mattress we ended up purchasing, it's so soft!

The bummer is that the mattress had to be ordered (no floor sample for us!), so we won't have it delivered until Saturday. I'm counting the days. Does this make me old?

Monday, February 12, 2007

6 Weird Things

Ok, I'm picking up the "6 Weird Things" meme from Catherine. Where do I start?

1. I hate the "I Love Lucy" show. I can't stand it. It makes me physically uncomfortable. I think it's the nature of the humor, which was always making fun of Lucy for trying too hard, and she never got that she was the butt of the joke. There was never a wink at the camera to show that she got it, and it just seems mean. I can't explain it really well, but it's the same reason I can't watch the "Naked Gun" movies.

2. I love old maps. I love how they show how we saw our world at a particular point in time. One of my favorite possessions is a paperback atlas from 1942, during WWII, "Atlas of the World at War." It has a lot of military information, with pictures of the insignia of all the different US & Allied armed forces. But the best part are the maps of Europe, one from 1938 (pre-war), and then one from 1942, showing areas controlled by the Axis. The atlas even had a coupon so that, at the end of the war, you could send it in for supplemental maps showing the new boundaries of countries ("self-revising map service").

3. I have the world's weakest ankles. I swear, my ankles are made out of bubble gum. I haven't actually broken them, but I have sprained my ankles at least 13 times, literally. I first sprained an ankle in the 5th or 6th grade, running laps in the soccer field for PE. Unlike breaks, sprains make the muscles weaker each time. Since I was dancing all the time, I never really gave my ankles the full time needed to heal properly. Knock on wood, but I haven't sprained an ankle in a couple of years. I hope to keep it that way for a good long while.

4. I will eat almost any food product, except for broccoli. Octopus? Yum! Salmon roe? Oh baby. Tripe? Gross, but I tried it. But broccoli? Fuggitabotit. I think it's a smell thing. The smell of broccoli turns my stomach (add brussel sprouts and cauliflower, too). i think it's a remnant of childhood -- bad memories of family dinners at my grandmother's when the whole house smelled of broccoli. Ick.

5. I count music beats in 8s, instead of 4s. It's a holdover from my dancing days (think Debbie Allen from Fame, "and 5 6 7 8!"). It's drives Richard nuts, as he has an actual musical background (playing a variety of musical instruments). I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
6. I am obsessed with finding new objects for my 70's kitchen. Ok, so this isn't a secret, at least not from this blog, but I love the 70's earthenware and the color scheme of brown, burnt orange, and avocado green. Another holdover from childhood, I first identified it when Rich & I were registering for wedding gifts and I picked out a Mikasa dish pattern called Swiss Coffee. It lay dormant until I hit an awesome stash at Goodwill of vintage Mikasa salad plates and bowls in the Avitra pattern. It's pretty much become unstoppable. Moving with this much heavy vintage stoneware is going to be a real bitch.

So, how weird am I?

Friday, February 09, 2007


First, and most importantly, Pumpkin is 14 weeks old, and officially the length of a lemon (3 1/2 inches). I am officially in the 2nd trimester, which is a big relief, too. I feel like I've passed the time when I really could worry about an unexplained misscarriage, and I now have a 6 week grace period before preeclampsia could raise its ugly head again. And that's a good feeling.

Second, I have officially made progress on the Hawaiian quilt!
There will be 4 orange pumpkins at the corners and 4 in the middle section, too. I took a shortcut and used a spray "basting glue," instead of basting the applique down by hand, but whatever. I am hand sewing the applique (and finished the upper right corner last night!) and then hand quilting it all together (hopefully). But I figure if Pumpkin is almost here, and I'm not finished yet, I don't have a problem with doing some finishing by machine. I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't follow the "rules." The hand quilting is nice because, at least at this point when I'm still sewing down the applique, it's portable, so i can take it to Stitch n Bitch, like I did last night. It feels really nice to feel crafty again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Babies & mojo

Please welcome Mark Jerome Goodale, born yesterday afternoon to his parents Melissa & Grant. From the very tired-sounding message we got last night from Grant, both baby and mom are happy & healthy and doing very well. Congratulations! I couldn't be happier for them. They are going to be great parents.

On a completely different topic, I have been feeling like I've lost my crafty mojo. This happened to me in my last pregnancy, too, and I just felt uninspired and unmotivated to knit or crochet at all. So instead of sitting on my butt eating bonbons, I've decided to focus my craftiness on a different skill: I'm going to make Pumpkin a Hawaiian-style baby quilt. Hawaiian quilts are beautiful applique quilts that are designed like those snowflakes you made in grade school, by folding a piece of fabric 3 times and cutting a design out. The design is sewn to another piece of fabric and then the quilting is done in lines that repeat the design of the applique. I'm probably not explaining this well, so here is a photo:
I've made a Hawaiian-style quilt before, for my sister Teresa's wedding. It was for a queen-sized bed. It was my first quilt ever. After finishing it, I said I would never make another one again. Well, now it's been a few years, and I'm ready to try again, albeit with a baby-sized (42"x42") one. But this time, I think I'm going to try to do it all by hand. With Teresa's, I did it all by machine, and since I don't have a quilting machine, I just used my trusty Singer. All the turning was very difficult and I wasn't able to get the degree of precision that I wanted. Hand quilting will take longer, but hopefully, I have another 25-26 weeks to work on it. Hopefully, that will be enough time.

I've already cut out my design, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's based on pumpkins and vines, and now I just have to decide on a color scheme. Hawaiian quilts are traditionally done with a single color applique on a single color background, but I may want to break it a bit by piecing the pumpkins seperately in orange and the majority of the designs (the vines) in green on a white background. That's what I'm leaning to now. I'm actually really excited about this project. And now that I've posted about it here, I can't wuss out.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Baby fever

Why is it so easy for us to get fixated on one thing? For me, it's baby fever. When I first got it, back in the fall of 2005, it hit hard and sudden. I had previously been of the opinion that babies were nice, and I'd like to have one some day, but I wasn't in any hurry. And then, wham! I had to have a baby (no, not George Michael).

Now, I find myself pregnant again, for the second time in a year, still with no baby to hold. But that fever hasn't gone down. Sometimes, it feels like I should be able to just pick up where my last pregnancy ended, but I know that can't happen. Pumpkin is a new baby, and needs a full 9 months to grow on his/her own. I have to fight the jealousy I have when I see moms with their babies -- it's not that I begrudge them their babies, I just want my babies. One will never be here and one can't be here yet. And I have to learn to accept that. I try, day by day, but it's a constant struggle.

But on a good note, we got to see Pumpkin last week during an ultrasound. He/she was very active, bouncing from one side of my uterus to the other. I have a feeling that Pumpkin is going to be keeping me up with kicks and jabs once I can feel her. I can't wait.