Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pregnancy Fail #999,999,999

So much fail in only 9 ish months.

Now, I get two doctor's appointments per week instead of one until baby comes. Now, I get to get two NST's per week.

The insulin is only working part time, because I APPARENTLY build up a rapid resistance. The solution? Keep upping the dose blindly every day.

My God. This needs to end. Please, thoughts and prayers that this baby comes before January 3 so that I don't lose my ever loving mind.

Also? The dog found huge stacks of baby clothes in one of the spare bedrooms--FRESHLY WASHED BABY CLOTHES--and proceeded to spread the clothes all over the house today. Upstairs, down stairs, the main level, in every bedroom, in every hall way. There were a lot of clothes (lots of hand me downs ).

Did I mention that a few weeks ago he got ahold of a brand new, full box of tissues, and proceeded to take out each and every tissue, one by one, and spread them all over the floor? He didn't even chew on them. He just took them and out them on the floor.

I can't wait to see how he reacts to baby. This should be epic.

Also, why did my font change mid post? I didn't touch anything.

FAIL.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Name Game

So long with no posts, and then two posts for you! This one is out of my drafts.

Names. Let me start by saying, we have a name picked out, and we can't/won't change it because:
1. We love it.
2. We bought letters and hung them up.
3. There are now two savings bonds in her name,
4. We love it.

Mama Vor and Vor's sister. We hung the letters of her name up in her nursery, and then we promptly put Christmas wrapping paper over the name. Mama Vor lives here and Vor's twin sister is coming into town this weekend, and well... they are curious people. Let's hope the wrapping paper stops them.

My Mom and Dad. More specifically, my mom. Dad doesn't really want to know. My Mom calls in this sad pathetic voice and tells me she is feeling down in the dumps today, and you know what would brighten her day right up? If I told her le bebe's name. No? What do you means no? How about her initials? The first letter of her first name? GOD GRACE YOU ARE SO UNREASONABLE.

My sister (and my nieces and nephews). My sister and her kids and husband are trying something new this year--they are all going on a cruise together for Christmas. Except... well, it's likely baby will come. My sister has invented this elaborate scheme where she stands by the captain of the ship, while it is pulling out of the port, blowing its departure horn, and then I
(A) Tell her the name;
(B) Tell her three possible names;
(C) tell her the initials; or
(D) tell her the letter of le bebe's name, and she can play word scramble on the cruise ship.

I am really tempted to do (D), because what she doesn't realize is that I will send her all the letter of all the names. First Name, Middle Name, Middle Name, Last Name. That's right, le bebe has two middle names, just like her daddy. I don't think my sister would ever figure it out, because I am not telling her that she has two middle names. And her first name is kind of long. Heh.

Me. I love her name. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to change it, and its how I think of her. But there is this little space in the back of my head that really wants this other name. I wanted to name her after my friend who was killed in the plane crash. Because she was funny and smart with a crazy sense of style and sweet, and because I miss her. Because it's a pretty name. I think it goes into the name drawer, if there's ever another baby. It stays on the top. I love the name and I want to use it, but it's just not le bebe's name. The name we picked out IS her name.

Besides, it's a name from my favorite Jane Austen novel, so how could you go wrong?

And thus, I give her a name for you--her blog name that is. You don't get her real name.

Her name on here is Lis.

As in L.I.S. As in "Little Irish Souvenir." That's my girl.

Sweet Sugar Baby

Still here. Still pregnant.

Just now, with gestational diabetes and taking insulin shots, which as I am sure you can imagine, has caused a several minor and major meltdowns on my part, since I am the no sugar queen.

There has been lots of "how the $&%@ did this happen to me?!?" which has resulted in two doctors and one nurse and one nutritional specialist telling me with a shrug, "It just happens. You couldn't have stopped it. Not your fault."

Sigh. Insulin shots it is, for the two weeks that is left of this pregnancy.

Funny thing is, I don't look like I have GD. I am not swollen at all. My face is really thin, thinner than usual. My rings fit, my shoes fit, I still have my regular ankles--hell, I still pretty much have my regular legs.

My sugar numbers are so borderline that my doctor was really hesitating to put me on the insulin at all--diet was controlling it just fine, except... except... except. There's my favorite word.

Except at night. My hormone levels would spike, which is the problem--I am producing some hormone that is blocking my insulin. So, after fasting for however many hours, I would wake up and my numbers were HIGHER than they were after dinner. Shoot, I could eat a piece of cake and I was fine! But let me go to sleep, and man, those number would shoot right up.

So, if I delivered le bebe during such a spike, it would be dangerous for her, thus insulin.

My placenta is trying to poison us.

I am supremely peeved. I tossed a mini fit last night about this whole thing. Vor, bless him, has been so patient and understanding.

My parents... meh. They've been okay. I can explain it to them, and they're like, "Oh. Ok. Whatever keeps you and baby healthy." But if I dare breathe a word of complaint (I mean, I am 8 1/2 months pregnant. I am allowed a small whine now and then, right? Especially if it is a whine done in good humor?), then I get from my mother one of the following options:

IT COULD BE WORSE JUST BE GRATEFUL.
IT COULD BE WORSE YOU COULD BE ON BEDREST BE GRATEFUL.
I ALMOST DIED AFTER I HAD YOU BE GRATEFUL.
THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN IN AFRICA BE GRATEFUL.

Which, okay. But it makes me not want to call my my own mother and talk about my pregnancy.

I will say, I am impressed with the way technology has advanced since one of my great uncles had diabetes. I remember really long scary needles and lots of blood all the time. The jabber I stick myself with to test my numbers barely even registers as "I am being stuck" and the needle for insulin--I can't even feel it. It's kind of creepy, actually.

It's just that I have to do it at all.

I suppose the good news is that if le bebe has not shown her pretty little prune face by January 3, my due date, on Jan 4, baby will be making her grand entrance, like it or not, since they don't let people on insulin go late. I am still hoping for a December baby. Vor is hoping for a December baby. Our tax forms are hoping for a tax deduction December baby.

In other news in one paragraph, there has been lots of upheaval in my work life, which has resulted in a very busy very stressed Grace, but stressed in a good way. In fact, the last month and a half has been a complete blur, all thanks to work.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Office

I've been working more at the main office, and less at our satellite office, for a wide variety of reasons. As much as it is a satellite, because it's about two blocks away. We just ran out of space for our expanding little group.

Anyways, I was heading over to the main office. I had everything I needed with me. Then I thought--No. Let's go to the satellite office first, do some work there, then head over.

I got to the satellite office at 8:05. If I had gone to the main office, I would have gotten there between 8:08 and 8:10.

At 8:10, one of my co-workers was attacked by a guy with a gun who made off with her car.

The what-if's are going crazy in my head right now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wild West Honeymoon

Well since people are writing about their honeymoons, I didn't want to miss the party.

Especially since this is my space to remember nice things, and you know what? Today was not a nice day. In fact, it was downright crappy, and if I wasn't pregnant, I would find a bottle of wine and open it. On a weeknight. That's unheard of for me.

We had picked out crazy fun places, like Ireland or Paris. Promptly after picking those out, we decided we did not want to spend that much money. So, in the spirit of saving money, we shifted our thoughts of Hawaii.

You're laughing, right? You know you can fly to Paris or Ireland for less money than Hawaii? Yeah. About that. Well, we bought guide books, and picked out which island we wanted to go to, and thought about the stuff we wanted to do, and tallied up the cost.

We realized we could go to Hawaii and sit on the beach and do none of the fun things we wanted to do, stay at no place we wanted to, and probably not eat unless we found a pineapple on the beach.

We huffed and we puffed, and then decided that we would like to save Hawaii for when we could do it right. We then decided to redefine our criteria:

1. No cell phoen reception, or easy to pretend there is no cell phone reception.
2. Continential US.

Easy right? I promptly looked up the tourism websites for Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado. After no debate at all, we used telepathy on each other and selected Colorado simultaneously, without looking back. Mountains. Warm. Pretty. Meets #1 and #2. Perfect.

We stayed for a few days in Manitou Springs, a small town outside Colorado Springs. Our B&B was lovely, and overlooked Pike's Peak. We did Pike's Peak, and Garden of Gods, and explored the town. Oh, and we totally did the Flying W for dinner and their entertainment.

Then we went up into the moutnains, and stayed at Estes Park. The B&B we stayed at is still one of the best we have ever been to, and we go back repeatedly. The owners are great, they cook amazing well, they have a wine cellar, the rooms were insanely comfortable, and they know the town inside and out. We saw a black bear climbing up a tree about fifty feet away from the huge wrap around porch, and when we pulled up to the B&B, there were elk in the driveway.

It was relaxing. There was nothing we felt like we had to see or do, because we would never be able to come back. It's Colorado. It's not hard to get there. It wasn't expensive. It was just right.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Too Far Gone

DISCLAIMER: I rarely write about specifics at work, but this is really, deeply bothering me. There are two cases that are very similar, so I am going to combine them, change all the identifying and non identifying details while still leaving it accurate, and sigh deeply over this.

So, there’s this kid, B. B ended up on my case load because B’s guardian threw up his hands and said I can’t do this anymore. B is a danger to me and my family. I’m looking at B, who is still single digits in age at the time, thinking okie dokie. B seems like a sweetie to me. And you know what? B is a sweetie.

Until a switch is flipped, and suddenly, B goes from happy go lucky, kind, and loving to angry, withdrawn, and then violent. Really, truly, glass breaking, table flipping, punching bag violent. These episodes can last minutes, or hours, or even days. Then, all of a sudden, sweet B is back, devastated at what happened, and is begging for help. Why do I do this? Why can’t you help me? What do I do to make myself stop? How do I get better? Then, B is so devastated at the answers, or the lack of answers, or how the answers don’t seem to help, or how slowly B makes progress, that then there’s the self harm problem.

B was exposed to all kinds of highly controlled substances while B's mom was pregnant with B. Then, somewhere along the way, B was neglected and abused, but we don't know when, how, or by who. B's parents are little fizzy on the details of B's life, oh say from birth through the age of 5, when they finally cleaned up. B’s behaviors are classic, textbook perfect symptoms of some of the worst kinds of abuse. But, given the circumstances B grew up in, we will never know what exactly happened to B.

Now we’re approaching puberty, and all those deee-lightful hormonal changes. Now I am seeing B with less sweet moments, and more anger, more outbursts. But even still, when B has those moments of calm, it’s like clarity descends, and B is begging for help again. Why do I do this? Why can’t you help me? What do I do to make myself stop? How do I get better? …I don’t want to be like this.

What’s scarier for me, and for B long term, is now I know B is having auditory hallucinations. B is getting paranoid. I am trying to move as fast as I can to B evaluated and into a placement that is good and helpful for B—because B’s current guardians can’t help B anymore. And they’re right—they and their family are not safe with B in the house, given some of the things B has tried recently.

So we’ve landed here. B’s school is offering a referral to a placement in a therapeutic setting, and B’s insurance is going to pay for it. I just don’t know if it will help. I mean, I know it will help, but can B ever be… I don’t know what words I’m looking for. Normal? Functioning? A productive member of society? They all seem too much, too trite, and not enough for what I want for B, all at the same time.

B has been on my caseload for years now. I can’t help but think that on some level, B is looking at all the adults in B’s life, and is thinking, all of you have failed me in some way, because I am still the way I am. And who’s to say that B’s wrong? I’m not sure I can.

Because I Make Lists, It's What I Do

My list of things that I just can’t wait to do again once I serve le bebe with her eviction notice is increasing, day by day. Let’s examine the list:

1. Eat sushi. At this point, my brain and stomach and my very soul I tell you are clamoring together suuuuuuuuushhhhiiiiiii. suuuuuuuuushhhhiiiiiii.

a. See also—lunch meat, unheated.

2. Work out. Riding a bike, sit ups, high impact exercise, jumpies, mountain climbers, for the love of Pete, anything but the stupid, useless boring exercises that seem to be the only ones okayed for the pregnant lady.

3. Drink champagne. I might drink a bottle by myself. Normally, I am a wine person, red or white, with a fierce love of champagne, so I will skip right over the wine and go for the good stuff. And mark my words, it will be the good champagne. Expensive. Good. Smooth. Champagne.

4. Stomach sleep. That’s the only way I’ve ever slept. I can’t wait to go back. It will be glorious, even if it is more only an hour at a time. I hate side sleeping. It is most uncomfortable. I’m not sure I ever really fall deeply asleep anymore, because I am constantly balancing on my side, even with the aid of the pillow. On that note, I can’t wait to ditch the body pillow.

5. Hot bath. Sign me up for my Jacuzzi tub. I can’t wait to get back into that baby with a just below boiling temperature and bubbles.

6. Skin reclamation. This bit about the great skin and the glowing look is a LIE. I look like a teenager again. Le bebe has had me all broken out since around the time she made my morning sickness appear. It is only with extreme diligence that I can sort of keep it under control and kind of not looking like I have small pox or some God awful thing.

There you go. Six more reasons besides le bebe herself to be excited about the end of this. And when is this over? Not for a while, friends. Not for a long while.

PS Did I mention that one of my favorite colors to wear is orange, like the rusty kind of orange (though I can wear any shade of orange, including neon)? It goes great with my skin tones. Imagine my dismay when I put on a stretchy orange sweater and saw myself in the mirror. It looks like I’m holding a pumpkin in front of me (much to Vor’s relief, I just restrained myself from typing “It looks like I am a pumpkin” …except! I just typed it! Woops!)

PPS It’s not a thing I’m excited to do, it’s a thing I’m excited not to be. Sick. I’m usually a healthy person. Pregnancy has given me migraines, all day sickness, a surprising susceptibility to strep, and now, major GI problems. I have never had such issues until I got pregnant. Coincidence? Hardly. Anyways, things are bad enough that I have to go see a GI specialist because I am not gaining enough weight. It’s not like I’m not trying here, people. I am eating. In fact, I am about to go eat more. But it won’t stick. The pregnant lady can’t gain weight. Pathetic. Constantly sick. Nothing stays with me. At least I’m not on bed rest. Why do I even type these things out loud? That’s like asking for it at this point.

PPPS I fail at being pregnant.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Am Not Buddha, Nor A Magic Lamp

The collective pregnancy rants topic of the moment: unauthorized belly touching.

I am not in favor. I need to end this ridiculousness.

I am totally fine with Vor touching. He should be touching. He touches all the time. My mom did it without asking, and while it made me uncomfortable, hey, it’s my mom. It has nothing to do with my mom, but the fact I have issues about being touched. So, my mom and dad his mom, and our siblings get free touches.

There was no holding off my cousins and second cousins and aunts and uncles when I went to my family reunion. But I am pretty close with all of them, and they’re family. Again, I know I have touching issues. I made the decision ahead of time to be okay with it, and overrode the uncomfortableness.

People who are friends either know me well enough to know that it is not okay, have been given permission, or have been told that it is unacceptable.

Not okay are complete and utter strangers. For example, the random creepy guy on the street who comes at me with his hands out. I used my best rude aggressive lawyer voice, asked what exactly he thought he was doing, and he stopped dead in his tracks.

Here’s the category I have a hard time with: the acquaintances. The people I have to interface with to get my job done. Okay, fine, specifically, the court clerks and bailiffs and court reporters. I have to be really really fall down friendly nice to these people. They make the wheels go around in the courthouse and if they don’t like you, those wheels grind to a halt. I am more than happy to tell them fun details, spin around in a circle so they can see the increasing size, and tell them due dates, what the room looks like, etc. Rubbing my belly? No.

There have been two offenders so far. First, is one who came up and more scratched my stomach rather than rubbed it. I smiled at her and stepped back, but I really don’t dare do anything more than that.

The second one is worse and is getting on my nerves, because there have been two touching offenses. The first time she rubbed the bump, I was so shocked that she was doing it, I didn’t react. Then she proceeded to tell me that I should name the baby after her. I left pissed, and Vor had to hear me rant about it.

The second time, she caught me unaware again, as I was having a conversation with opposing counsel—you know, those crazy things we lawyers do and WE DON’T LIKE TO BE ITNERRUPTED WHILE DOING THEM?—and she cut in between us and stood in front of me, rubbed the belly and told me it must be a girl because I was carrying low and wide.

I was all (in my head) Listen b!itch, it’s a girl because her daddy’s sperm’s DNA said so, and for no other reason. And she’s low because I’m freaking short. And she’s wide because I have no torso, I’m all leg. Outwardly, I smiled and backed up. Then she has the nerve to say (1) that I should name her after her, again, and (2) you can really only just tell that I’m pregnant, not fat.

BUT SHE IS A CLERK AND I CANNOT DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN SMILE.

The normal side of me wants to say, Please don’t do that. The hateful side of me wants to slap her hands away next time. The passive aggressive side of me wants to rub her stomach and see how she likes it. The really non confrontational side of me wants to just ignore it and seethe underneath. The balanced side of me is thinking about lying, and saying the doctor said no rubbing, because it is starting to cause Braxton Hicks.

Then, of course, God struck me down for thinking that, because now I have to started to get Braxton Hicks contractions.

She is clearly going to do it again. I am less annoyed by the somewhat rude comments than I am the fact she thinks she is free to touch MY STOMACH. Not hers, mine. And because I need her to make my job easier, and she could make my life a living hell, I don’t know how to deal with it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Before, Then, Now, Therefore

Is it possible that ten years have gone by? That I was seventeen ten years ago? That seventeen years ago, very early in the morning, the biggest problem I had was my upcoming volleyball match against our arch-rival, and the fact our class dues were so high I couldn’t pay them all at once?

A friend of ours once said that he read some study about memory and false memory, and how 9/11 fits into that. According to this study, most of what we remember about 9/11 is not really what we remember, but more of a collective memory of our memory and the things our friends, families, and even strangers told us.

When he said that, I thought, screw that. That day is horrifyingly crystal clear.

Tuesday was current events day. I remember listening to the news on the way into school. I got to drive my Dad’s car that day, because I had an early meeting for our senior class before school, and a volleyball game after school. I was waiting for some interesting piece of news that could be mine to bring up in class. Nothing came. It sounded like some of the most boring stuff on earth. It was about 6:15 in the morning, and I was rushing to get my college level statistics class that I took before school even started.

That statistics class dragged. Our senior meeting dragged. Then, thoroughly tired already from being up so early, I dragged myself to my first high school class of the day. AP Gov, with Mr. Ashley, our narcoleptic teacher. I kid you not—he had narcolepsy, and would randomly fall asleep. Since I was in the AP class, we would sit there quietly, working, until he woke up. I make no promises for what the other classes did, but I’ve heard they were, uh, creative.

AP Gov class started at 9:45. We flicked the classroom TV on, as we usually did for current events day. We were the first ones to find out about what was happening. We all stared at the TV in disbelief. I remember I had the seat closest to the window, and I was sitting on my desk so I could see better.

I stood up, and the teacher looked at me. Go tell the principal, he said, in a monotone voice. And then he made eye contact with me. Go call your brother, too. He knew my brother was a fighter pilot, and spent a lot of time at the Pentagon for this particular assignment. I rushed out, and dropped the news on the principal. I scrambled down to the payphones. As I did, I could hear the vice principal getting on the PA system, turning on every TV in the school, and tell people that something terrible was happening.

I dialed. Mom? Where is Pilot (my brother)? Do you know—She cuts me off. I know. I got a call a few minutes ago from him. He said, Don’t talk. Just listen. Turn on the news and watch. I want you to know I am safe, but you will not be able to reach me for a few hours. I love you. Tell everyone else I love them. Then he hung up.

I staggered back to class. Although he’s never told me, I suspect he was one of the fighters scrambled in the air that day. I got back into the class room in time to see the first tower fall. I sat back on top of my desk, and rested my arms around the around the girl in front of me. She was sitting on her chair, shaking, and I remembered that her dad worked in the WTC, in the only remaining tower.

Like little robots, we eventually stood up, knowing it was time to change classes. Just before 10:30, the bell rang. Just before 10:30, just as the bell was ringing, the second tower collapsed. The girl I had been hanging onto collapsed onto the floor, knowing that she had just seen her father die on TV.

The rest of the day, we were mostly silent and on automatic pilot. Our principal, a kind but often impractical nun, decided it would be best for us to go about our day, and told everyone to turn off the TV’s, and essentially, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. The vice principal, a more practical and more forceful nun, scoffed, and went around turning the TVs on manually, saying, this is your history now. Watch it.

My volleyball game was canceled. Which was unsurprising, but we were all upset, because it was normal and distracting, and we wanted normal and distracting.

I drove my Dad’s car home from school, and people everyone where beeping at me and waving. It took me a few times to figure it out—my Dad has Army National Guard Plates on the car, because he was in the service for 30 years. He had just retired two months before. A guy at a stoplight pulled up next to me and rolled down his window, so I did too. Have you been activated? I was just activated. No, I answered, this is my Dad’s car. I have to get it home to him. Good luck. Be safe.

My Dad was already home. He had been furiously calling everywhere he could, trying to get himself reactivated, even though he had retired. My Mom and I (and I suspect the rest of the family) were relieved. We already had enough family members in the service. Dad was frustrated. I trained for this for years, he said. And now I can’t help.

Swim practice with my synchronized swim team was canceled. My sister and her husband and kids came over, and we spoke with my sister in law on the phone often that night, and waited for my brother to call and say he was okay. At that point we knew that many of his friends—people we had known since his Academy days—were dead. They had been at the Pentagon.

It’s been ten years, but I wanted to write this all down. I don’t know that in another ten years it will all be as clear as it is now. I wanted it written down for me, and for my daughter. I wanted it written down for E, the girl I held and rocked as she saw her dad die on television. I wanted it written down for my family, my brother, and my nieces and nephews, who were so young. I wanted it written down for B, a woman I knew who managed to survive the attacks in NYC, only to die in the most senseless plane crash, along with many other people I knew. I know its long, but isn’t everyone’s story?

Where were you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

NFB

There are two random things swirling around in my head: (1) My niece Prada started college this week. (2) My grandma used to write checks for us for Christmas, and on my brother’s, in the memo spot, it always said “NFB.”

I swear, these two thoughts are very related.

First, the checks. We would get checks for Christmas, and they were in small little stockings, hanging over the fireplace at my grandparents’ house. It was generally understood that they were for the down payment on a house, the college fund, or in my case, the high school—college—down payment on a house fund. My sister’s memo and my memo always said Merry Christmas! (at least, from the time I could remember—I would have been about five and my sister would have been 21). My brother’s always said NFB.

Have you guessed yet? NFB = Not For Beer. My brother, away from home starting at age 17 at the Air Force Academy. Even after he turned 21, it remained a family joke, and his checks always had NFB written on them. My brother would always look at it, thank my grandma and grandpa, give them kisses, and then say, “Not for books, right, I promise NOT to spend any money on books!” My grandma would faux pull out her hair and my grandpa would shake his head, while my grandma gave my brother a faux lecture on beer. It was all in good fun.

Fast forward to July of this year, when I went to Prada’s graduation party. I still can’t believe that the tiny squishy niece my sister and brother in law brought home from the hospital and plopped in my 8 year old arms is almost 19 and at college. She’s taller than me. She is beautiful and kind and wonderful. She’s my niece, but she’s also like my sister.

Anyways, my mother has taken up knitting stuffed animals. Vor and I have a veritable menagerie for le bebe Hershey—giraffe X2, elephant, turtle, fish, owl, bird, mouse, pig, lion, and monkey. We also have a teddy bear. So I go into to my sister’s scrap book room to drop off Prada’s graduation present

(a very entertaining present, by the way. I made a list of everything I could remember running out to a store to get at an ungodly hour because I ran out or no one had or it was vitally important that I have a back up, etc. This resulted in a very big bag of individually wrapped presents: umbrella, blank notes with envelopes, thank you notes, post it notes, tape, staples and a stapler, hole punch, storage cubes, expandable file folders, highlighters, flashlight and batteries, and so on and so on. I also had a list in there of things to remember—ALWAYS keep a pair of slippers under your bed and a very warm LONG bathrobe nearby, because we live in Buffalo and you never know who is going to burn popcorn at 2 am in the DEAD OF WINTER and set off the fire alarm.)

AHEM … into to my sister’s scrap book room to drop off Prada’s graduation present, and I see a little knitted stuffed teddy bear sticking up out of a bag. I recognize it as one of my mother’s knit jobs, so I take a peek, and there he is, and darling and purple and white, the colors of Prada’s new university. He is knitted to make it look like he is wearing a varsity jacket, and it is TOO CUTE. Attached to his hand is a small envelope, so because I am nosy and inappropriate, I also take a peek. I know my parents gave her money that is going directly to her account at the bookstore, and they plan to cover her textbooks for college. I peek.

There’s the check to Prada, and in the memo line it says NFB.

I cried.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

White Polka Dots

Seriously? Strep throat while pregnant?

You have got to be kidding me. Sigh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Less He, A Lot More She

Um, long time no write.

That would be because:

A. It was our anniversary on the 16th;
B. We did yard work all day in anticipation of Vor's birthday;
C. We had an amazing steak dinner downtown during Devor Downtown that Vor had to roll me home from;
D. We went to a birthday party;
E. We agonized for hours at Babies R Us and then bought a crib;
F. We painted le bebe's room;
G. We bought bookshelves for the office, and took all of our books out of the previous bookshelves... alas, that task is not done yet and our "library" is on the floor; and




H. We went to our sonogram, and Hershey was not modest. At all. Hershey proudly displayed the fact that Hershey is a girl.



A baby girl! Vor and I were just sort of absorbing it at first. Stunned, like. Not because we were expecting one or the other, just because it was a bit more real. We were excited, but dazed.

But! Now! A few hours later! We are bantering names back and forth, we are imagining little baby girl cheeks, and we are picking biographies on interesting women to pick out of the library. We are full girl steam ahead. Hershey is no longer a variant of "he or she." Hershey is now "her/she."

We are so freaking excited.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Plans, and Nowhere To Go But Out

I finally got to have my conversation with work about maternity leave, leading up to maternity, and how the return shall work. Basically, they love me, and want to keep me. Therefore, the princess receives what the princess wants.

If it's a slow day, and I have a well behaved kiddo (no chance, given Hershey has half my DNA) I could let the kid chill in the office with me.

Vor's birthday is the 27th, so this cake thing is happening. The ultrasound (I hope Hershey cooperates) is happening on the 22.

Bedrooms are being painted. Clothes are starting to appear. A MINIVAN has appeared in my garage, and it appears to show no signs of leaving. I am now the owner of a minivan. My mom is knitting the baby blanket.

There are plans, you see?

________________________________________

I will get to why this matter in a moment, but here it is: I have no torso. By no torso, I mean I am mostly leg. My wait is very high, my hips are way up there, etc.

I am fairly short. I suppose I am average height for a woman, but my family is comprised of the towering giant sort, and then I went married another towering giant (hello Freud), and then I went and participated in tall people sports (volleyball, synchronized swimming, crew), so I am pretty much always the shrimp of the group.

What I lack in height, I make up in leg. It's what allowed me to participate in, and even excel at, tall people sports. My mom is 6 foot, but my legs are the same length as hers.

Do you see the problem? Probably. It just dawned on me today when I was at the grocery store, I received my first "you're only HOW far along?" look. That is quickly followed by the "you'll never make it that long" look.

I have no torso. There is no place for this kid to go but out. I have gained very little weight at this point (thank you all day throwing up extravaganzas). I'm a cute size right now, but I am rapidly going to go past that into uncomfortable looking, and then straight into the size where people avoid you, just in case they might have to be a good Samaritan.

I just have no place in my body for this kid! So, onwards, and... outwards...?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Daycare Drama Starts

Here's the thing. I HAVE to go back to work after le bebe is here.

I know I've said I would want to do that for me, for interaction, to use my degree, for my sanity, blah blah blah.

I have to go back because I have a mountain of student debt from law school.

I rocked ungrad. I left with no debt. Between my parents' smart moves, my scholarship, and my athletic scholarship, all I had to do was pay $100 a semester towards my meal plan. And I paid that by myself, thank you very much.

Law school was a different story. I had always known I would be on my own for grad school. And in the end, I was--sort of. I took out all the federal loans I could that had no interests attached to them, and the rest... well, I borrowed from the Bank of Mom and Dad. Legit borrowed, with an interest rate and spread sheets and everything.

I have to pay it back. Because if I don't, my siblings will come break my legs. They are my parents' enforcers. Just kidding. Kind of.

So anyways, this debt to my parents makes me feel the need to pay it off faster and even more diligently than I would to Sallie Mae. But it is huge. HUGE. It is made even HUGER (it's a word now) because of the fact that my salary is small. I am not tapping Vor's salary for this, because (1) he has his own law school debt (2) we have a house (3) we have a new mini van (Did I mention that we bought a mini van? No? Well, while I do my walk of shame to the mini van, let me tell you how much I love it) (4) we have bills and (5) BECAUSE. It's my debt, and my problem.

We see the problem of course. We need my salary, however small. My loans must be paid. Le bebe is coming. I can take some time off, but I must go back. Because... well, start this paragraph over.

So, I did what any lawyer in the children's law area does--looks at Carefinder Indiana, the Indiana government website that tracks all licensed day care providers, complete with enrollment info, complaints, and inspection and enforcement information.

And then I did what any mother to be does--I completely freaked out reading some of the complaints, inspection discoveries, enforcement actions, etc. Even some of the best palces did incredibly stupid things. Poor Vor is working at his desk, and was listening to me sniffle and moan.

But what can I do? We need the money for the bills.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Hershey

Dear Hershey,

We have arrived at 17 weeks. That means we are in the second trimester.

WHY AM I STILL THROWING UP? Please advise.

Love,

Your Mama.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bliss

...is picking up my mother from the airport and having her stay with us for a few days.

...is working from home with the dog at my feet, occasionally thumping his tail.

...is the squares of chocolate and roses Vor brought home for me.

...is the sleepy Vor wandering over to me in the morning, giving me a kiss and patting the baby belly.

...is apparently, my family.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Imma Cut Choo

First, I had a delightful hearing on Wednesday, full of domestic violence in front of the kids. It all revolved around beer, beer bottles, broken beer bottles, throwing the broken beer bottles, lacerations, stitches, protective orders, battery charges, and of course, failing to appear in court to testify against the perp because, well, it probably is pretty damn scary to face the guy again.

On the other hand, it makes my job harder, because he sits smugly on the stand and informs the judge that none of it was true, and look, it was dismissed, wasn't it? Well, yes, you asshole. It was dismissed, give me back my kids. Well, no, my dear, because I have a few tricks up my sleeve too.

What tricks, Grace, you say--we are waiting with bated breath (it IS bated breath, not baited breath--you are not a fish or worm--nor is it abated breath, because, really?).

Well, my dears, I play sweet. While he is looking at me, I twirl the hair (okay, not literally, but you get the idea). He then leers at me, calls me honey/sugar/sweetie. Then I get nasty, and starting reading down the list of everything he has been charged with and not letting him answer with anything other than yes or no. He gets pissed.

Then, I toss out an oh, BTW, you leave your kids with a child molester on a regular basis, right? Yes? Just checking. Thanks!

He is furious. When he gets off the stand, he walks by his former significant other and says loud enough for it to be on the record, Imma cut choo! Which, for those of you not following the red neck accent in my head, is I'm going to cut you. BRILLIANT! My work here is done.

___________________________

In slightly less disturbing knife related news, my MIL is doing peachy keen--no sign of the cancer returning. Of course, after a double mastectomy, there is no medium left for it to return in... which leads me to the fact that her reconstructive surgery is coming up soon.

Everyone has been kind, gentle, loving, and supportive of the mastectomy and the reconstructive surgery. Vor asks his Mom if she wants to go up a cup size or two. Personally, I think she needed the laugh more than the kind gentle support.

___________________________

In relaxing knife related news, I just cut up four slicing tomatoes, garlic from my garden, onions from garden, and cucumbers. Tossed it all into a massive zip lock bag with some home made marinade with basil and oregano from my garden (see the theme? I love my garden!) and olive oil and vinegar. Just a pity the tomatoes from my garden aren't ready yet. Swoon.

This will be my summer veggie salad contribution for the huge 4th of July neighborhood party that is actually happening tomorrow. Love my neighborhood.

___________________________

In fun knife related news, I have scheduled a a cake cutting. Huh, you say?

It goes like this: I have an ultrasound scheduled for the end of August. We should/might/maybe/hopefully be able to tell if Hershey (did I not explain we call this kid Hershey? See paragraph below) is a boy or a girl. This happens the Monday before Vor's birthday, so on Saturday, his birthday, we shall have a cake that is pink or blue on the inside, and frosted in a neutral way on the outside. A double fun party! Actually, a triple fun party, since Vor is a twin.

We did not like saying it when referring to le bebe. So, for a while, it was he or she, which gets very cumbersome. Vor, who talks fast anyways, kept saying he or she so fast, it came out sounding like Hershey.

ALSO, in Richard Russo's Straight Man (HILARIOUS, especially for English majors, so go read it), there is a character who does not like to be defined by gender, so to make fun of him, the entire English department calls him HeorShe, which comes out sounding like "heeORRshee." My baby stressed bladder freaks out a little every time of think of it, because I start laughing.

So, hopefully armed with XX/XY knowledge of Hershey, I shall say to the cake on the fated Saturday in August--

IMMA CUT CHOO!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clearly Monday

Dear Mother Nature,

Thanks for flooding my neighborhood this morning and making it impossible for me to go to work. Did you know I have a 10 am hearing that I had to get someone to cover because the water is OVER THE HOOD OF MY CAR?!? Seriously. Thanks.

Signed, Grace Who Is Soaked From Taking the Dog Out to Pee

_______

Dear Baby,

I thought we had an informal, if not formal, truce after this weekend. I go easy, you don't make me puke. So, what is with the sudden puking this morning after I call work and tell them I am flooded in? I mean, you're just lucky I had to cancel... oh.

Signed, Grace Who Now Adds Oranges to the List of Things She Will Never Eat Again

_______

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you for flooding me into the house. Seriously, and without sarcasm.

Signed, Grace Who Now Appreciates Your Flooding Wisdom

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Once More, Then I'll Stop

This is not going to be a blog all about le bebe. Seriously. Not my thing.

It's just that this puking and nausea thing is completely overwhelming my life right now, and when I say overwhelming, I mean like WHOA.

Yes, I got the meds. Without the meds, it's terrible, and I wind up in the hospital from dehydration with burst blood vessels in my eyes. With the meds... well. It's not great.

Like yesterday, a full day of hearings. I warned opposing counseling a head of time, and I warned the judge. Sure enough, I had to make a break for the bathroom. Screw people and their "eat something right away when you first wake up--eat crackers--eat ginger snaps--drink ginger ale" advice.

I crawled back to the office, only to have it happen again and again and again until finally, I made the call and handed off my afternoon case to another attorney. Gah. That was with the meds, my friends. It is much much worse without them.

There just seems to be some days where le bebe overwhelms the meds and has me puking, no matter what. I hate doing it at work. It makes me miserable and vulnerable to people I cannot show that side to, becasue at least one of them is a freaking vulture.

At least the dog is adorable during all this. He comes in and lays down next to me. He licks my hand and sometimes my feet (which I find gross, but I take it in the spirit it is meant), and he won't leave until I can stand up again.

So, there you have it. It was scary terrible and now it's just normal terrible.


PS--I renew my plea for info on where to go on cloth diapers. Seriously. I am at a loss.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Can Haz Help?

Oh my dear Lord I just googled cloth diapers and got instant information overload.

Is there a helpful website that I can go to for beginners? Seriously, I know NOTHING except they diapers made of cloth. I was overwhelmed with technical terms and liners and wet bags and detergent and I shut my browser and took a deep breath. I know what none of these things means and no one seems to explain it. Is this a cult I have to be born into?

They are not really helping me overcome the genetic knowledge of my family that cloth diapers are BAD. My grandparents hated them and loved the disposables. My mother hated them. My sister had leak and disgusting leak after leak, and quit. So, needless to say, I am not really inclined, and neither is Vor.

But, I've heard things have improved. The most recent one to do this was my sister that was about 18 years ago. I have to think things have changed since then.

But Internet and cloth diaper websites, you are not doing much to make me change my mind.

So, in summary: a helpful website please that explains everything in simple words.

Count The Hours, For They Will Surely Pass

It was May, and then all of a sudden it was June.

Which means it was my birthday (happy birthday to me), and that it's getting ridiculously hot outside, and that I'm about 10&1/2 weeks along, and that my oldest niece is graduating from high school and going to college ACK.

She was a tiny baby with lots and lots of hair that stood up like a mohawk or went out to the sides like someone had put a graduation cap on her head. Then she was five, and had a crush on my boyfriend, then she was ten, and copied everything I did, and then she was fifteen and a somewhat moody teenager, and then she was 16 and driving and crying over the fact I was going to get married and leeeeeeeeeeeave her, and now I have senior pictures and prom pictures and she is stunning and almost 19 and picking out her dorm room bedspread.

The other nieces and nephews aren't making this any easier, as my oldest nephew is at one of the military academies right now (yes I know which one, and no, I'm not telling the Internet), for what I gather is a scoping out session. He has wanted a military academy since he could articulate the word academy. My sister protests that he is not built for it or cut out for military life or is too much of a wimp or something. I beg to differ, I think silently as I watch him take what I think amounts to physical assault at Krav Maga class and bounce right back up, then give as good as he got. I think the problem lies with her--having family members in the active armed service is nerve wrecking. I don't think she wants anymore of that after my father and my brother. I don't think I blame her. I don't think I blame him either for wanting it.

My brother counted it up one time--all the hours that my dad served, that he served, and got some ridiculous crazy number that became years, not hours. When you added in my uncles and the occasional aunt, the number was to the stars.

The others are still young--Jeter is 13, and an avid athlete. Jedi is now 11, and is my mom's little buddy as well as a mathematician. Blossom is also 11 and is a shopaholic, Brick is 9 and well... he's a 9 year old boy. What can you say? Bringing up the rear is Petunia, who at 5 is the consummate flirt. Who knows what they will all be.

I am compulsively, obsessively, annoyingly, heart-wrenchingly proud of my family. They make me crazy most of the time, but only I am allowed to say that. They hurt me deeply and infuriate me when they hurt Vor, but they can do such good things that I could cry with love. I'm sure I do the same thing to them.

There are just moments where I wish I could freeze the clock and stare at them all for awhile.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Enough.

I was okay with the nausea. I was okay with the room spinning, and the gagging at everything. I was even okay with the occassionaly throwing up.

I am not okay with the following:

1. Not keeping a single item of food in me since Tuesday night.

2. Throwing up 30 minutes after I eat anything, even those things that are supposed to help calm the morning (MORNING! HA!) sickness beast.

3. Throwing up for no reason at all, when I haven't eaten anything.

4. Throwing up in the morning, during the day at work, at night, and forGodssake, in the middle of freaking night. 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, whatever.

I literally ate 3 Cheerios this morning. 30 minutes later, they were hanging out in the toilet.

Nothing works. Nothing helps. And now, my ever-delightful body is starting to name WATER as the enemy. WATER. I am freaking hungry and thirsty, but nothing stays down. I am exhausted. I blew up at Vor last night, poor man, but I have no temper control. It's not hormones--its the no food, no water, all regurgitating thing that is going on.

We got to see and heart the heartbeat of the little booger yesterday. While it was very cool, the only thing I could think during the whole thing was don't puke don't puke don't puke oh no--!!!

So, enough. I am calling the doctor and getting some of this anti-nausea medication for myself.

I mean, this is not normal, right? I should be able to eat and drink SOMETHING. My sister, who was a thrower-upper too, said hers was never this bad and I needed to get help before this got even uglier.

I swear on my family Bible, I am not joking. It is actually this ridiculous. I am not to the point where I can't open the refrigerator (not like I'm eating anything out of there anyways). Some one make me feel better and less like a weak cop out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jumble

In no particular order:

1. Dog. The entry before this should be updated to be named Very Bad Dog Does Worse. I managed to pass the critical point of 5 pm, the point at which the "morning" (morning! ha!) sickness fades. The dog threw up four or five times in a row. Each time I dragged him off the carpet, he would run over to another spot on the carpet and puke again. I would have killed him if I hadn't then started throwing up. And then he had the temerity to wag his pretty tail at me.

2. Dinner. Tonight was baked potato (or sweet potato) topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and BBQ pulled chicken. Super easy and quick, especially if you cheat and use store bought already made pulled chicken. Has any one ever heard of grilling lettuce? I have a recipe for it, and it sounds kind of good.

3. Food, Hatred Thereof. Screw cravings. I don't want anything. It's all about what I can stand to have near me--raw meat, cooked meat, vegetables. I mean, do you people know what I normally eat? We've discussed this, right? I eat fruit, vegetables, and meat. No bread, grains, no sugar. Except, now I don't. Now all I keep down is bread and cereal and some fruit. Well, in the evenings I can eat some meat--alittle. I feel disgusting, my joints hurt, and my face has broken out. I don't blame the baby, I blame the sugar.

4. Clothes/Belly/Weight. Remember how I lost those 30 pounds by eating right? Yeah. Now I'm eating all the crap I cut out. I am gaining serious weight because of it. Yes, I realize that I am pregnant and I will gain weight. I just want it to be the right weight. The whole reason I got rid of the sugar and bread etc. was because I was borderline diabetic and gaining weight, always. Then I wasn't, and I was healthier than ever. Now my clothes don't fit. I don't think I can blame that on the kid yet. Can I? How soon do you gain weight?

5. Work. Vor said, You don't tell me about work anymore. It's just too stressful. My case load has upped, the cases are nastier and nastier, sometimes brutal and terrible, and I am just tired. I am still getting overwhelmed with passive aggressiveness from X. It just gets more creative every day. There is going to be some serious rage unleashed soon, because my temper is getting shorter.

5. Baby. The "do before baby" list is pretty much complete and impressively long. Cute baby clothes have already started arriving. My mother made a stuffed animal to add to our Mom-made sutffed animal menagerie. Vor is convinced it's a girl. My sister is convinced it's a boy. I keep having dreams about twins, so I don't know if that is a sign or a nightmare. Vor was a twin. A fratneral twin, so slow your horses--that doesn't make me susceptible to having twins. I have colors picked out.



There's more, but truly? Vor has the Goo Goo Dolls on, and well, I'm a hometown girl. I'm going to go have a dance party.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bad! Dog!



Really? Stuffing all the floor? Mind you, it was all over the house.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Yours, Part Deux

So last time, I explained how the cat got out the bag to a good chunk of the legal community. And it turns out I was not wrong--the news spread from clerks to bailiffs to court reporters to judges to attorneys. Sweet.

Then I hear that the same person has been telling people s/he isn't sure I am coming back after I have a kid.

Okay. I was baffled, a little annoyed that "X" told the courthouse that I was pregnant. But whatever. It's good news. It's not like I wasn't (hopefully) going to eventually look like a pregnant woman. It's not like they won't figure it out when I say, "Hold up!" to the other attorneys and the judge in the court room, and then bolt for the nearest bathroom. But most of all, it's good news.

I am ANNOYED about this not coming back thing. It undermines me, whether X meant it to do so or not. It makes them think they should cut me out of the conversation, since I'm not coming back. It hurts the relationships I have carefully built up with the clerks, the court reporters, the bailiffs, the judges, and of course, the other attorneys. I've already had people asking, I've already seen people who are involved with a case on my docket turn to another attorney in my office. Is X spreading this to my bosses? Awesome.

I am going back. Law school loans + husband with law school loans + mortgage + baby + (intangible factor of my sanity X need for rational, non-cooing or screeching interaction) = Grace needs to go back to work. At least part time. Maybe that will change some day, but for me (and I stress, this is only for me--know thyself), that's the way it has to be.

So I tried to talk to X about it. FAIL.

Re: the actually telling of the pregnancy, it was all, "you should have specifically told me not to tell!" "but it's good news!" "but I'm so happy for you!" I would have bought the last two more if the first one had not been said first. While I didn't say Thou Shalt Not Speak Of Baby, I said things to the effect of "so early," "only telling most important people in our lives," "want to keep to ourselves for a bit longer," etc., etc., etc. I shut the door. So, no winning that battle, because anything I said didn't matter.

Re: the telling people I might not be coming back. I said, you should have come to and asked me. I would have told you I am. "But plans change!" Yes, I am painfully aware of that. But I am planning on coming back. "But plans change!" Over and over and over, while I tried to explain this was problem.

It was like beating my head on my desk. Finally, I said, whatever. I knew I'd made my point--and my point is that I don't want X telling more people, and specifically telling more people I am not coming back.

If I hear any more talk of this that is directly attributable to X, I will take the next step. It won't be pretty, but I have worked my increasing behind off to build a good professional reputation, and I will damned if I let anyone undermine it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

But Some Secrets Are Not Yours To Tell

My relationship, personal and professional, to this person is complicated, but for the sake of this, let's call him/her a colleague. Obviously, I had to tell work about le bebe, because there are thin walls and it's not hard to hear the puking girl in the bathroom.

However, I was not expecting to head downtown, walk into the court room, and have all the clerks and a judge congratulate me.

I was not expecting the same thing to happen again at THE NEXT FOUR COURTROOMS I WENT TO. Clerks, judges, bailiffs, even one of the sheriffs.

How does this happen, you ask? A colleague is how this happens. A colleague you tell, because s/he is a person you would end up turning to for either personal or professional support if anything went wrong.

Would I be turning to the entire City/County Court Building for support if something goes terribly wrong? NO. That's why I didn't burst out telling them good news, even though I see these people just about every day. Plus, it's a gossip fest. If the Court knows, the attorneys who go into that Court (read: the entire Indianapolis legal community) will know.

Did you read that? THE ENTIRE INDIANAPOLIS LEGAL COMMUNITY.

Yes. I have been fairly free with the information, because I believe I have a kiddo right now, and if something happened (can you tell we have had really bad experiences with pregnancies lately here?) I would want people those people I told to know, to understand, to... I don't know. Something. Because in some way, I rely on them. I would turn to them.

True, I did not issue an office edict that said, Please Do Not Pass On. Maybe I thought that was somehow implicit in the fact I am only sixish weeks along. Or the fact I said I wanted to keep it to myself longer, but I thought they needed to know. Or the fact I announced it in a private meeting, and I shut the door. I don't know.

THE ENTIRE CITY COUNTY COURT BUILDING.

I'm waiting for the cashier at Kroger to tell me congratulations.

Truly, when this happened, I was stunned. I kept smiling, and said thank you, and told people as little detail as possible. And then I thought, well I had better preempt this, and in the next courtroom I went into, I told the clerk, I have some good news, and she said, we already know you're pregnant! What fun! Ditto, Ditto, Ditto.

I am still a bit stunned. I don't know if I am mad. I don't know if I am okay with it. I am just stunned.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Color Wheel

Here are the colors:













(no they are not all the same color. they are very different. I swear.)

Here is the room:



(room comes with fun loving dog)

Discuss.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Secrets Secrets Are No Fun

Well, I outted myself at work, because it's completely possible for me to have to run to the bathroom in our tiny office without being noticed. Not.

I have a full day, 8:30 to 5 pm, of hearings tomorrow. So, help? Crackers? Tell the judge ahead of time? Beg for mercy from the other attorney(s)?

Also, so much for keeping the news quiet on the family front, because:

1. Mama Vor, while drugged and completely loopy, announced it to various people, when then in turn announced it to others, results in the cashier in Meijer saying congrats! heard you are pregnant! Well, I jest about that part, but truly, all of our family and friends in Indianapolis know.

2. Facebook. I told my neices and nephews--over iChat, 'cause we have regular iChat dates. Nephew A told his cousin (my second cousin) on Facebook, who told her mom (my cousin) who told her mother in law (my aunt) who told... all of my Mom's siblings. Who then told all their children.

Vor thinks people at work will find out, because he told a close friend there (also because his wife is my friend, and she is a NICU nurse, so OF COURSE I had to tell her), but they talk... at work.. with the door open... and people have ears, you know? Who knew.

Oh well. It was no fun as a secret.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Trip to the Dentist

And not in the Veronica Mars sense, either.

I have a rare gift on my hands: a day off from work in the middle-ish of the work week. God bless elections. So, I set up a little trip to the dentist.

I haven't been to a dentist officially in ages. However, my brother in law is a pediatric dentist, so whenever I go home, I beg for a look, and tells me that all is well. But since the little stick of happiness produced a second line for me, my mouth has HURT. It's crazy. I want it to stop. Now.

This little venture in DDS is not the only thing on my list, either. What list is that, you ask? That would be the "before baby" list, and yes, I realize I am not very far along, and I have lots of time, and bad things could happen, and good things like winning the lottery could happen, but what can I say? I am a list maker.

There is pretty much a list for every room. The bedroom? Reorganize to make room for baby. Boot the desk out and upstairs, and turn the desk into a changing table. (Speaking of which, I see no reason why this could not work. It's a pretty desk, lots of drawers, and as long as everything is properly secured and baby is not left alone... how is it different than any other changing table?)

Rooms must be painted (thank you mama Vor), baby gear must be found (what do I actually need? I dislike clutter. Vor HATES clutter), rooms must be cleaned, the carpet either needs to be cleaned or replaced, etc., etc., etc.

I have possessed by an overwhelming desire to make curtains for the baby room. Explain this, please. I have also been super productive in the cleaning area--linen closet redone, all guest rooms straightened up for the impending switch up and painting of rooms, bathroom closet redone, my corner of the office cleaned, kitchen pantry organized. I cleaned out my closet, reorganized it, and prodiuced several large bags of clothes for Goodwill. (I mean, I did not wear that shirt last summer, and it sure as heck is not going to fit me this summer. My rule is one year without wearing it, and it goes. So, it went. All of it.)

Telly is not thrilled with this chaos. Maybe he wil sleep while I am at the dentist... and while I go find some more office organizing material.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soaking it Up

So I grabbed my camera to go take some pictures of my garden. I put my hand on the door--a flash of lightning, a crack of thunder, and I decided I could paint you a picture with words.

There are two circles in my backyard that are 4 feet across. Right now, my garlic, onions, radishes, beets, swiss chard, lettuce, and maybe something else I can't think of right now are planted and growing rapidly. The rest has to wait for better weather.

I already have so many radish sprouts that I think it is going to hail radishes. Anyone live here and want some?

Okay, now it is raining sideways outside. And it's sunny. The weather in the midwest is bizzaro.

***********

We're happy about this whole thing. Clearly, I am not too far along, but I am not a believer in the "keep it secret for alittle, until you're sure" method. Until I'm sure of what? That I'm pregnant? Uh, yes, I am. Until I am sure (in the words of one friend) it's going to stick? (also, I looked at her alittle sidways) Thanks, but whether this pregnancy makes it to the end or something terribly sad happens, it's our baby. And we are not in the mood for secrets.

Not only are we happy, we are surprised. Okay, well I am really surprised. I have had a delightful time with endo and a side of ovarian cysts, so when the doctor said getting pregnant? hmmmm. might be a problem, I believed her.

Of course, at that time, I had not embarked on my year of reformed eating. It's been more than a year now of no sugar or processed foods. I'm sure it doesn't have everything to do with it, but I think it had something.

Anyways, it was a good thing to be able to talk about with Mama Vor the day before the surgery--though we didn't tell, she guessed. That's what happens when you don't order wine and you are a terrible liar. She was hilarious when she came out of surgery all hopped up on whatever they gave her though--she started announcing to the world at large, "We are going to have a baby!" To anyone who would listen. So much for secrets.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Answer Me

There are highly important pressing questions I need answered.

1. Where do I find maternity suits?

2. On that note, for a bebe due at the end of December, would a pantsuit or a skirt suit work better? (truly not interested in having more than one maternity suit)

3. How do I make the in the court room vomiting not happen? Because that is going to get old, quick.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh, and by the way

Surgery is going well. I am home on a"let the dog out to pee" break.










Oh, and by the way:





Yeah, more on that later when I'm not hanging out in a hospital!

D Day

Mama Vor's surgery is today. Prayers please.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Revelations

The first time I went to Ireland, I came back a different person.

I came back more independent, more confident, more aware. For some reason (maybe it was the fresh Irish air), I was suddenly able to admit things to myself that I had scarcely dared let cross my consciousness, and make decisions when I had previously denied there was ever a decision to be made.

For example, I completely threw over my dad's adamant desire that I be in the biology/chemistry field. I knew what I wanted was to be an English major. It was what I loved, and I would see where it too me. Making that change made me happier than I had ever been in college, and led me to law school. Who knew.

Also for example was my longstanding dedication to synchronized swimming. I had been a swimmer since, oh, I don't know. There are pictures of my holding ribbons for winning a speed swimming race, and it looks like I am too young to walk. I kid you not that I knew how to swim at the same time I knew how to walk. I had been a synchronized swimmer since 6, probably, and was nationally competitive at 8.

At age 20 in college, I went to Ireland and suddenly discovered I hated it. I knew before I went to swim Division 1 that I felt burned out, but I had been doing it so long that I could see nothing else. That, and I get a major high from winning. I am a competitive freak. I have struggled long and hard to control this, as it actually can be quite destructive in personal relationships--who knew!

So anyways, for reasons long and short, I came back and quit. I felt like a quitter. I felt awful. My room mates, who were also my teammates, were angry, and helped me feel awful. I had never, never quit. Yet I just did. For however hard and awful that was, I know now that my single minded dedication to it was holding me back. If I could have been someone different, and opened myself up to new things and experiences while still being a synchronized swimmer, then maybe it would not have held me back. I'm not programmed like that. It was a hard decision, a good decision, one that I don't regret now. I had a new horizon.

So here I am, back form Ireland again. Again, I am suddenly seeing things clearer than before I left. Again, I am feeling that desperate need for a radical change. Again, I am ready to admit things to myself that I couldn't before.

1. I want kids. Hear the crickets chirping? 'Cause I sure do. This has been a long struggle for me. More recently, I oscillated between good idea and very bad idea, usually depending on whether a cute smiling baby was looking at me, or a tantrum tossing toddler was nearby. Now, thought, I am sure. I am okay with this. We can do this. It's definitely not a biological craving the way my friends describe it. It's not an overwhelming need. It's a new horizon.

2. This is not my forever job. That's pretty hard for me to say. I love the work, I love the organization. It is a good thing. I help children who are helpless and ignored. It's okay hours-wise. The pay sucks, but it's a nonprofit. It is draining. Really, deeply draining. It is a soul sucker. I come home angry or sad 95% of the time. While I have done an okay job leaving the problems at work, that attitude is not necessarily encouraged. But how else do I survive this job? And while I like the attorney part of it, there are other aspects I don't like.

3. I don't want to practice law full time. The dream, of course, is that I finish writing this novel, and someone swoons over it and me, and life's a fairly tale, yada yada yada. Right. But I am finishing this thing. I will do this thing. The reality is that I would like to practice part time. I don't know if my present employer can swing that. Litigation is a funny business that does not lend it self to set schedules. Ever. What do I want to do that other part time? Write. I want to write this novel, I want to take odd editing and proof reading jobs, I want to content write, etc. Or, maybe, someday, I don't know, I hope, maybe, maybe, maybe... I go back to school. Get my MA, MFA, or maybe even the PhD. I always that fast and duck, expecting, I don't know, the hand of God to reach down and smack me.

4. Food is a problem for me. Since December of 2009, I have tried hard to make better decisions about food. Officially, I eat meat, vegetable, fruit, and very litle dairy. No sugar, no processed foods. And when I was religious about it, it worked great. But if you give me an inch, I take a mile, and I confess, I just ate a grilled cheese sandwhich. And it was good. And now I want more. Is there such a thing as a food addicition? A sugar addiciton? I think I have it. I have not been terribly good about the food (and exercise), and it almost immediately tears at my health.

I am normally pithy on this thing, or at least, I try to be. Below is a moment where I am dead serious.

So: My name is Grace, and I have a food problem, spcifically a sugar problem. I recognize that sugar and all its processed forms is very bad for me, causes immediate and massive weight gain, soreness, stiffness, imflamation, and probably brings me back to brink of Diabetes. I recognize I have no self control when it comes to food like this. I recognize that if we want to get pregnant, I must get this under control, for my health and any potential baby's health. I will find that place in myself that holds the single mided determination, and I will activate it for this purpose. I will not let it control me anymore.

There, I admitted I have a problem. In public. I feel embarassed, but relieved.

I am deeply grateful for this trip. I feel clear headed, rested, and ready. I feel aware. I feel energized.

I feel awake.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

is Golden, Silence

What exactly does that mean, anyways? That your parents want some peace and quiet? That no news is good news? That no answer at all is more revealing than the truth, a half-truth, or a lie? That a picture is worth a thousand words? I am quite sure that I can out-platitude you, sir or madam.

In this case, the silence is golden adage means that there is so much happening and swirling around that golden = a barrel so stuffed full of things that when you tip it over to get everything to fall out, nothing falls out. So my mouth opens, but no words come out. It’s too full.

***

Ireland was…amazing, restful, wonderful, green, beautiful, relaxing, fun, eye-opening, spiritual, everything and more. And that was just the tea!

I jest (surely) but truly, the tea was divine, and Vor and I are nothing if not tea snobs. Well, I am a tea lover, but he is a tea snob. We have special tea equipment and tea procedures for making tea at our house, and he has declared that we can never live in Colorado because of the elevation—the tea is not hot enough when it boils, and it tastes wrong. I do pat myself on the back for making that connection before my engineer turned lawyer husband did—he was staring plaintively at his cup of tea, saying for the umpteenth time on our honeymoon that it tasted wrong, and I finally pointed out that we were in the mountains. High up in the mountains. Isn’t air pressure a problem? He looked at me with even more loving fervor in his eyes than when he had said I do days before, and he knew that this was why he married me (I jest again, surely). Yes! Elevation and air pressure and vacuum and boiling and tea—never these shall mix! He was then off on a tangent, trying to think of ways to create a tea kettle that would allow the water to get hot enough to create proper tea, and he lost me somewhere at hermetically sealed pressure chamber.

Anyways. Ireland. We flew into Dublin, and took the train across the country to the west coast, where we stayed in the lovely, quirky city of Galway for a few days. Our hotel was more of a large B&B, and it was in the middle of everything. We walked everywhere, expect when we took the ferry out to the Aran Islands. I had been to the smallest Aran Island (Inis Oirr) before, but this time, we went to the largest, Inis Mor. We rented bikes and rode around all over the island, encountering cows and sheep and stone fences and beauty and friendly Irish people speaking their supposedly native tongue to our hearts content. We sat on the cliffs that are the complement to the Cliffs of Moher, and listened to the silence.

From Galway, we rented a car—yikes—and drove a manual transmission on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road. It was actually easy to get the hang of, though I think it helps to have a passenger in the case (c’est moi) muttering under her breath: drive on the left. Left. Left. I need to be closest to the shoulder of the road. Left. Left. Left. I was the like the man who rode along side Caesar, whispering in his ear that he was only mortal. Left. Left. Left.

We drove from Galway to Limerick, saw my family for a few hours, and had dinner with them. We then drove to Cashel, and stayed the night there in a B&B, then crawled all over the Rock of Cashel in the morning. From Cashel, we drove to Blarney and crawled all over the Blarney Castle, and Vor kissed the stone. I declined, as I did not want to negate my gift of gab I previously received from kissing the stone by kissing it again. Or, I did not want to dangle upside down off a five story castle with nothing but the strength of my forearms and an Irish man named Paddy holding my waist preventing me from certain death. Again. I love Blarney—a teeny tiny town with delicious bakeries, lots of green, quaint shopping and a castle.

From Blarney, we drove to Kenmare. Kenmare is about 40 minutes away from Killarney, and is a small town situated on a bay. We stayed at a B&B that was on the bay, drove through Killarney National Park, experienced part of the ridiculously touristy but never the less gorgeous Ring of Kerry, and relaxed. After two days, we took a train back to Dublin, spent the night in Dublin, and came home.

***

Home—is where the heart is; is where, when you go there, they have to let you in; see also, you can never go home again. Or maybe, it is you can always go home again. I suppose it depends on the person, and the home.

We know what caused the acute attack that put my mother in the hospital, but we still don’t know what that spot on her liver is. We’re waiting, and we wait and wait and wait, for doctors, for referrals, for appointments, for tests, for results.

As the time ticks by, I think about how short life is. I think about how much fun it has been to be a child was born decidedly late in my parents’ life, and I think about the disadvantages. It has been fun having older, much older siblings, and one of the greatest gifts of my life to have nieces and nephews that I call brothers and sisters, because I am so close to them, in age and emotion.

It is one of the greatest heartbreaks I have that my children will not know their great grandparents, my grandparents, like most of my nieces and nephews did. They are physically long gone, though I fiercely promise myself that my children will know them through stories and my memories. The idea—the knowledge—the practical reality—that my children will not have nearly the time or memories that my nieces and nephews have had with my parents is so breathtaking, so cruel, that every time I try to voice the idea to Vor, I stop. These are words that cannot come out. I don’t know what else will come out with them. It goes beyond heartbreak. Silence is best. So, as I wait wait wait for my mom to find out about this spot on her liver, I think and try not to think.

The opposite of wait is go now go fast run run run. My mother in law has all her tests back from all doctors, and nothing surprising was found—no new news is good news. Thank God, no more surprises at this point. But, breast cancer it is, and so now we are in motion for treatment. We put our feet back on American soil and learned the latest results and the date for surgery. People seem to fall into two camps on this double mastectomy: the “if it saves her, cut them off and don’t look back” camp, and the “it’s necessary, but emotionally costly camp.” The camps clearly agree on the end result, but are certainly different in their emotional approaches towards us—and her—at this point. I, personally, would appreciate some balance.

There was a breast cancer run this weekend in town. I’ve always watched those runs from a distance and thought, yes, supporting breast cancer research is good. I’ve bought the flowers at Lowe’s that sent the proceeds from the sale of pink dahlias to breast cancer research. But as I stood behind someone in line at Starbucks to get some tea for this ridiculous cold I acquired, I saw that she was running in the race. She had the pink shirt on, and the logo. And for the first time, it was not abstract.

Anyways, the surgery is Monday. The day after Easter Sunday, which I hope and pray is good thing. This is no two hour in and out surgery. It is a marathon surgery.

Did I mention that Vor and I were supposed to fly to Florida this weekend? No, not for another vacation, though the weather is undoubtedly nicer there than it is here. We were going to say goodbye to his grandmother, whose health is failing. We were supposed to still be in Florida on Monday. So, changing those plans and tickets has been part of the go-go-go. I hope we get to see his grandmother soon. I hope we get to see her, period.

***

So that’s that. Despite the crazy and the bad, it’s good. Each day I draw a breath and the ones I love around me do the same is a good day. It’s golden.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

in a rushed way

Remember when I was planning that great trip to Paris that then turned out to be a trip around Ireland that was five months away, which is forever?

Yeah, well, it's here, and we're leaving tomorrow, kissing the dog goodbye, locking the doors, and heading out for parts unknown (well, some of them are known to me, but not to Vor).

I am kind of in a hot panic about this--not just about things that need to be done, but the fact we are going. My mother in law (I really hate calling her that--she is another mom to me, in all the best ways) was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago, and we've been dealing with that, and I am truly worried about leaving while this is going on, but everyone keeps me waving me away, saying, "it'll be fine!" Have you ever seen the Italian Job? FINE = Freaked out, Insecure, Nervous, Emotional.

Then, my mother decided to land herself in the hospital, get diagnosed with something delightfully painful and chronic, but fortunately, easily manageable, but then land herself in the hospital again a few days later and come away with the bonus shady diagnosis of, "Hmm. There's a spot on your liver! What could that be? Meh. Who knows! Liver alone! heh." So, there are more follow up tests to come on that, with hopefully a more interested doctor.

There's been work drama, and a child on my caseload was brutally attacked, and Vor has been stressed out at work, and so have I.

And we're going to Ireland. I don't know if I should hide int he closet and miss the flight or run screaming towards customs, saying "Let me in! Where there is no cell phone reception! Where I can't get my email!"

I'm just going to turn on my Enya music on the airplane, and let the peace wash over me. That is what I need--peace.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

never the twain should meet

Two words that should never be put together:

breast cancer.

At least, not in my hearing. Prayers and helpful thoughts for my family, y'all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Six Years

Six years ago, I went on a first date with a man I was friends with. Coincidentally, March 10 was a Thursday six years ago.

I didn't really realize it was a date until he picked me up. He usually wears glasses, but he wore contacts that night. He had on jeans and baby blue shirt, which made his blue eyes stand out.

We went to dinner, and he tried to buy me a drink--I said no thanks, and he laughed, suddenly remembering that I wasn't 21 yet. We went to a debate after dinner. He held my hand during the debate, and kissed me after it, on the campus of University of Buffalo.

Six years later, I rush home to make dinner, and I set the table with flowers and candles. I pet the dog, do the dishes, and straighten up the bedroom. In an hour, that same man will walk through the door, and the dog will beat me to him, but he will gently shove the dog off and kiss me first. We'll have dinner and talk, then walk the dog.

Six years ago, I didn't think this would be possible. I hoped, but I didn't think. Then, when I realized it was not just possible, it was probable, I worried about what it would be like, years later, when we had gotten used to each other. When we first started dating, it was all like a dream, and I was in a state of constant twitterpaption. I didn't want to lose that.

I haven't. It's just deeper, and steadier, and so, so much better.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here's The Thing

How did you know you ready for motherhood?

There are several categories that my general confusion and frustration over the subject falls into right now. Here they are, in creasing importance to me.

The Practical. The whole idea seems crazy. You want to put me in charge of a small being? Dependent on me for everything? I lose glasses on a regular basis. One time, I deliberately yet accidentally threw out my wallet. I need alone time on a regular basis or else I melt down.

The Emotional. I don't feel ready. I feel immature, irresponsible, brand new, like a kid still myself, selfish. I know I am not these things (okay, maybe I am sometimes selfish, but its usually selfish with Vor's time--I always want more and all to myself!)--it's only how I feel when it comes to parenthood.

The Imaginary. I can't see it in my mind's eye. I can see Vor as an amazing parent. But as soon as I try to interject myself into that picture, it fades. I don't see a disaster, I just see--nothing. I've always been able to see myself doing the thing I want to do--whether it was visualizing the routine I was about preform or going to law school, I am a visualizer. I just don't see myself doing this.

Sigh. How did you know you were ready? Do you just take a leap, or did you know you wanted kids?

Monday, February 21, 2011

If You Give Me An Inch

If you give me a car ride, I will ask for a cup of tea (or coffee).

If you give me the tea, I will ask to go to Borders.

If you take me to Borders, I will ask to buy the Fodor's Guide to Ireland/Poetry Managzine/Gardening magazine.

If you let me buy the book/magazines, I will settle down in your office chair and begin to read.

If you then take me home, I will read from the book the whole way home and ask for your input.

If you give me your input, I will make you read the book yourself.

*****

So, that would be how I spent my and Vor's Saturday--and a wonderful Saturday it was. I also made huge progress on my book project, which had the unexpected bonus of provoking a pretty decent piece of poetry out of me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 2

One picture a week for a year.

I give you: Blood Rush to the Head!



Crazy dog.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Long Hot Shower Needed

I would just like to point out that I have spent the last 45 minutes picking up the um, land mines, care of the dog, in my backyard.

And then I discovered that we have some kind of white mold that looks like grits growing on our grass.

I'm going to go take a shower!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Marking Thyme

The finalized plans for my backyard growing extravaganza:

Vegetables! 1. Onions, bulbs and scallions; 2. spaghetti squash; 3. bush beans (basically snap beans); 4. carrots; 5. radishes; 6. peppers; 7. tomatoes; 8. swiss chard; 9. lettuce, and 10. sweet potatoes, if I can get them. If not, oh well.

Fruits! 1. Strawberries; 2. Blueberries, if I stumble across them.

Herbs! 1. Basil; 2. lemon basil; 3. lavender; 4. cilantro; 5. sage; 6. rosemary; 7. chamomile; 8. mint; 9. garlic; 10. garlic chives; 11. chives; 12. oregano; 13. sweet marjoram.

Flowers! 1. Marigolds (to keep away the pests); 2. Nasturtium (because they are edible, taste like pepper, and are gorgeous).

Actually, the herbs and flowers will be fun. You see, there is--was--this stupid magnolia tree that we hacked down. Unfortunately, at the time we hacked it, we didn't have the proper tools to completely take it down to the ground, so there are still some fairly good sized branches coming up out of the ground. Since nasturtium is a climber, I'm going to plant it at the base, and let it have a ball climbing. The herbs are going in a circle around this spot.

I've got seeds, and plans to buy plants that transplant better. I have drawn out plans, and I have lists. Now I am just waiting for the weather to be better!

Project 52

One of my friends from law school started her own fun little project: Project 52. It's one picture a week for a year.

She is a great photographer that I can't even begin to compete with, but I used to be decent, and I miss it.

So, here we go--starting this week!

(and as my camera transfers pictures over, I see that I have 131 new images on my camera... I really need to be better about taking the pictures off it!)

(...slowly... slowly... slowly...)

(yawn)

Garlic:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mightier Than the Sword

I've ranted several times on here about how I lost my inspiration when I went to law school.

My writing really dried up. I used to write poetry--free form to the most rigid verse possible. It would just come out, and it was good. It's hard to say that without feeling like a jerk, but people really seemed to live it, and some pieces were published. I had a dozen short stories going, and a half dozed longer term plans.

Then law school hit and it was all I could do to stay awake long enough to finish my work and then sleep for four hours before it started all over again. I had dreams about my textbooks eating my fingers. There was no room, no time, no place, no juice.

Then I finish law school, and then I take the bar, and then I am a lawyer, and holy crap, I've been a lawyer for more than a year, and we're talking about a family, and what would happen to my career if we have kids, and where did the time go? This then spawns the breakdown that leaves me questioning what I am doing, and why I am stifling my creative side, and how to get back to doing the thing I love.

Yes, that type of thing.

So, about three weeks after that little breakdown, Vor has helped me more than I could have possibly imagined. Yes, there was listening, and talking, and suggestions, but more--much more--he gave me a universe. He created a political universe for me to play in, and my writing has come back with a vengence. I've gotten character sketches, the total plot outline, the back story, the overall political landscape, the future events, the terms, technology, and the science. Next step is just the pure, creative, writing.

God, it feels good.

Here we go.