Thursday, December 31, 2009

Most Wonderful Events of 2009

10. Baby!

9. Baby!

8. New Orleans for C's birthday

7. Baby!

6. Oregon Country Fair before the rain came

5. Visits and holidays with family

4. Baby!

3. Our first anniversary

2. Baby!

1. Baby!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 09

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family near and far. I hope your day is full of good food, great companions, and plenty of holiday cheer in whatever form you enjoy most. My little companion keeps wiggling to remind me that by next year, our holiday will be completely different. I think we're ready for the change. Have a lovely day everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Rush

Today I am getting my proverbial ducks in a row. I took my car to the tire place this morning to have the three seasons swapped for the winter ones. While it was there, I ran over to the mall and bought the last few gifts I need before Christmas actually arrives. Next up, I'm taking the car over to the mechanic to have a regular service plus a tune-up. Last, but certainly not least, I need to head to the grocery store to stock up on the goodies we will want for Christmas dinner and the holiday weekend. I wish there had been time to fit in a hair cut somewhere in there, but I just couldn't cram that in. On the plus side, being on vacation is allowing me to do so many more things than I could in a normal work day. On the other hand, this is not exactly my idea of relaxation. Nevertheless, by the time the holiday actually rolls around maybe I will be ready to sit back and enjoy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Needless Markup Christmas

Not long ago, a town near ours acquired a new store. Normally this would not be such a big deal, but the store that opened its doors only a short drive from our house is Neiman Marcus (or Needless Markup as my brother likes to call it). Now don't get me wrong, I would never actually set foot in such a silly place (I have an allergy to certain kinds of conspicuous consumption). However, driving by recently made me remember the existence of said store. I had to do an internet search to see if my prejudice would be confirmed. I was NOT disappointed.

Here is a sampling of some of the "indulgences" offered by the gift section. Were I to win the lottery, my friends and family could suddenly find themselves getting much more exciting gifts! For example, I could buy my brother a $2200 folding bike, or perhaps my mom needs a $3500 cashmere robe? I'm sure my Auntie D. would just love a $4800 elephant clock. Have these people not heard of the "new modesty?" Or perhaps this IS their version of restraint. Maybe the fur trimmed cashmere cloak is meant to make up for the fact that you aren't getting a new Beemer?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pregnancy Eating

Food and I have always gotten along well. In fact, you might say that we've been a little too close in the past. Often I've had to fight off my desire to spend more quality time with food than is technically good for me. Fortunately, we had reached an uneasy peace in which I usually ate carefully, but still very much enjoyed my meals.

Then along came pregnancy, and everything just went crazy. Now the relationship is not just between the two of us. Somebody else is very much impacted by the choices I make, and, as if that weren't complicated enough, she likes to make her wishes known as well. Sometimes, I feel as if the three of us have reached an eating impasse.

Early on in my pregnancy, the food thing was the most complicated. At the time in my life when I most needed to eat well, I had the least interest in food. Nearly all vegetables, formerly some of my most favorite foods, became unpalatable. Many strong flavors were unappealing, and the only things I really wanted to eat were plain pasta (the whole grain kind at least) and fruit. I forced down so much non-fat dairy and ginger (not together) during that time that I still have trouble with those flavors.

Now that the nausea has gone away, I find that food is easier, but still not the same as it was in the before times. For one thing, I'm now hungry all the time. I can't eat much at any meal, so I have to eat constantly. However, just because I'm hungry doesn't mean anything sounds good. There are times when I know I should eat, but it is very tough to get motivated about anything. I keep a running tally of protein, iron, and calcium in my head, and I keep less careful track of fiber and other goodies. This should allow me to bulk up on one or more items if I'm running low. Often it works, and I eat good healthy things.

Then there are the cookie times. I don't think I've had any actual cravings, but I am having more trouble resisting the call of some kinds of goodies. The old me frequently passed up plates of holiday cookies. The new me is far less disciplined. Let's just hope that our little darling gets everything she needs to grow up big (but not too big!) and strong, and that I don't become a spherical object in the process.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Buzzwords 09

He, he, he it seems the word "unfriend" is the New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year. Not to be outdone, MSNBC provided us with an entire list of buzzwords from the year 2009. Most of their list comes, not from Facebook, but from the plethora of words and terms relating to the financial crisis. Here's a random sampling:

-Great Recession

-Shovel Ready





-Credit Crunch

-Cash for Clunkers

Monday, December 14, 2009

We're Having a Girl!

Yes it seems that the pink wagon will be stopping by our house. Our most recent ultra-sound just confirmed that our little hummingbird is a she. Personally, I am not at all surprised, since that was my feeling since early on. Nevertheless, it is nice to have confirmation.

It was also great fun getting to tell some of the immediate family. I had the day off of work due to the doctor's appointment, and so I got to have lunch with several family members. I slipped away from the lunch, walked over to the doctor, met M, and then did the ultra-sound. When the appointment was over, I was able to walk back to the lunch group and deliver the news. The nieces are especially excited. They only have one cousin, a much older boy, so they are very happy with the news. Me too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ten Stupid Holiday Ideas

M and I had the misfortune to watch a holiday decorating program on TV the other day. The premise of the show was that two professional designers would offer tips in between segments of viewer suggestions. I thought it might inspire us to do a little holiday decorating of our own, but I should have known better. All we did was laugh and groan during the entire thing. Here's a helpful list of wonderful decorating ideas:

1. Instead of a real tree, make one out of pillow stuffing.

2. Instead of a real tree, make one entirely out of teddy bears

3. Instead of a real tree, cover a Styrofoam spike with candy using a hot glue gun.

4. Instead of a real tree, hand a branch upside down from your ceiling

5. Instead of a real tree make a green triangle on the wall using strings of lights

6. Get an old metal gate, hand it on your door, use it to hang all your Christmas cards

7. On a bare table-top make an "arrangement" of branches and candles. Light candles. One assumes you then have to buy a new table when finished.

8. Cover every inch of mantle with ribbons and bows such that you cannot actually have a fire.

9. Fill your bathtub past the top with mounds of round glass ornaments.

10. Make a ten foot high Star of David, and use it as the entry way to your party. Also, make a menorah costume for you (the host) to wear.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Winter Cold 09

No, no, not the sniffling sneezing kind. I've had one of those recently, but I hope that is not blog-worthy. Though I do usually have a rule against weather posts, I often set it aside in extreme cases. The last few days represent an extreme case of weather for those of us used to more temperate climates. No, no, again it's not what you are thinking. We haven't had any flooding, wind storms, or feet of snow. All we have in the PAC NW these days is cold.

Right now, it is around 11am, and it is 24 degree Fahrenheit outside. That's warmed quite a bit from the overnight low of 14! 14! We are not used to those kind of temperatures around here. On the bright side, we haven't had much trouble with ice since everything is so incredibly dry (including my skin), and the sun is brilliant every day. On the down side (from my POV) we haven't seen a single flake of snow with all this cold. For a while they were predicting some, but now they expect to see things warm up and skip the snow step entirely. Fingers crossed for some sort of white December.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Modern Christmas List

Recently I asked both nieces to write a Christmas wish list. This is nothing new, I ask them to do this every year, and this time, like always I received a hand-scribbled note with very cute spelling. After they left, M and I had a great time deciphering their wishes. What do they want? Toys, video games, art supplies, and "books, books, books." Nothing very new there either.

The surprise came the next day when I received an email from Younger Niece. It was an invitation to share a Google doc with her. What do you think was on that doc? You guessed it, a perfectly typed and spelled copy of her Christmas list. This is a person who knows how to maximize her opportunities.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Baby Moves!

Last night, for the very first time, I had my hand on my stomach when the baby moved! I've been feeling little fluttery nudges from the inside for a few days now, but this was pretty incredible. There is something absolutely astonishing about that feeling even when you've been expecting it for some time. I absolutely love having the reassurance that she's still in there and still doing well. Of course it seems cute now when she doesn't have much power behind her kicks and punches, but I wonder how I will be feeling in another month or two when she's keeping me awake a 2am?