Saturday, November 29, 2008

Existential Waitress

YAY! K has a blog...

http://existentialwaitress.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FUCK!!! Part Two

So, after a general urinalysis ordered from my GP showed I had a UTI and she wanted to put me on an antibiotic, I barged into my OB/Gyn's office demanding a culture. They of course thought I was a nutjob but did the culture and it showed negative. So, no UTI or should I say no UTI????

Also, the general concensus for my thrush situation is best summed up by the GI specialist we saw today who said, "I'm not convinced that is thrush." Holy hell. And her pediatrician is kind of like well, it'll go away on it's own. And my ob/gyn and GP don't think it's thrush. So, WTF????? Why can't someone say yes or no? I hate doctors.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FUCK!!!!

I think I might have a bladder infection. Which means antibiotics which leads to yeast. I'm in hell.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yes Means No

I am still having trouble digesting this Prop 8 decision in California. Maybe I am in denial but I really think people thought they were voting "yes" for upholding gay marriage and voted incorrectly. So, by mistake, Prop 8 passed. I therefore think it needs to be tabled. Am I delusional? Well, it's quite possible. I am stuck at home most days nursing and fighting thrush.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hope

Hope. I am stuck in the house trying to clear myself and my baby of thrush. From what I've read, this could be a long road. Sometimes I feel so down I feel hopeless. I can't believe that this is what my baby's first months of life are like. This isn't how it is supposed to be. But every now and then throughout the day, I remember that we just elected Obama, and maybe I am crazy but it gives me hope that things can change.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

California, WTF?

What happened on prop 8? How very un-California. For shame.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Won The Country Back!

OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thrush

I am so depressed over the thrush. As if the overactive letdown wasn't enough for this poor little baby to deal with, now I have given her thrush! I feel like a shit. She is uncomfortable all the time. And I think our doctors have given us an aggressive enough treatment. So now I have to call my doctor again and ask her to give us what we need. This is so frustrating.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Part Two Summary

The next part of the labor story is more difficult to write. Partly because I get a bit hazy on the details because the last five minutes or so are really all that matter in the end and partly because much of it was painful and scary. It involves having to wait in a tiny triage room for three hours until a labor and delivery room opened up. Having insane back labor, throwing up, and not getting the epidural I requested for an hour and half. Having the epidural wear off when I was at eight centimeters, having to wait an hour to get some relief and then finding out the machine delivering the meds to me was off! Then pushing for over three hours. Then there is also a side story about how I got wickedly constipated--actually impacted and had to go to the emergency room the evening after we went home from the hospital. At about the same time my milk came in and I was engorged I had a nurse (my hero) pulling shit out of my ass which was more acutely painful than the labor itself.

OH Lord

We have thrush. Fuck!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Labor Story (part one)

Monday September 8- My mom comes to stay with us. I feel vaguely crampy but have nesting energy.
Tuesday September 9- Have some brownish spotting. Call doc. They say to come in for a check. See my doctor's partner. My cervix is starting to efface but I am not dilated. My mom and I run errands all day. I feel the need to stock up on food at Whole Foods. Still feel crampy. Like light period cramps. Go to bed.
Wednesday September 10- Wake up about 12:30 AM. Go to bathroom. There is blood. Is this the bloody show? What should I do? Call the doc? Ok, call the doc. Doc's partner on call. She says it's probably bloody show. Thanks. Go back to bed. Crampy. Oh wait, these cramps seem to be coming and going. Am I in labor? Get up. Pace a little. Big D is sound asleep. I'm alone in this. I am struck by this realization. I sit on the chair. Yeah, these are coming every 8-10 minutes. I think these are contractions. Go to my mom. Tell her I think I might be having contractions. She gets up and we start timing them. I sit on my birthing ball. The pain starts to concentrate in my back. Damn this hurts. I try back labor positions. They don't help. Actually, they hurt. The only thing that helps is to sit on the ball and try to breathe through it. They are now 5-6 minutes apart. Wake Big D up. Call doc. She's not very happy about being woken up again. Yeah, go to the hospital like I told you before. Ok, bitch, this is my first time doing this and you chose this profession not me so I don't need the attitude. The breathing isn't helping anymore because the pain is all in my back and I can't seem to wrap the breathe around it. We get the two bags. I throw some things in because they weren't quite packed. The three of us get in the car. Here we go.

I Want My Mommy

I am in tears. My mom just left for the airport to go home. She has been here since two days before the baby was born. I don't think I can do this by myself. I have never wished I lived close to family more than I do now. I feel like I am all alone in this and terrified.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Baby

My little one is five weeks old. Breastfeeding is still challenging and it breaks my heart when she struggles with my milk flow. Something miraculous happened last night. She went five hours between feedings which meant that I got about four hours of straight sleep! Hallelujah. She is still very gassy most of the time. She is starting to recognize faces and voices which is amazing! Oh and she is the cutest baby ever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Pump and a Weight Check

So I bought a pump last week. I am afraid of it. I don't think I'll offer her a bottle yet but I have a fear of having no stored milk in case of an emergency. I have been working to try to get the whole let down thing under control and fear that I could just sabotage the whole thing with the pump. On the other hand, pumping a little might actually help.

I took her for a weight check yesterday and she is right on target for weight gain. She is now 8 pounds 6 and 1/2 ounces! She was 7 pounds 14 ounces at birth and went down to 7 pounds 3 ounces. Last Tuesday, she was 8 pounds which means she has gained an ounce a day since then!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life Has Changed

So, breastfeeding is way more difficult than I thought it would be. And I expected it to be difficult. I can't believe the pace. My life has been turned over to nursing. Every two hours. Sometimes 2 1/2 to 3. And that is from the beginning of the the last feeding. And I have an overactive milk let down which makes my little one is fussy and uncomfortable at the breast. We are trying to work through it but it makes me feel like crap. On top of being exhausted.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

She's Here

The new girl in the room was born on Sept 10. She is the most beautiful baby in the cosmos. And I'm not just saying that because I am her mother--it's a fact. I'll write more about the birth at some point but right now all of my world centers around breastfeeding and my brain is mush.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two Good Things-Shoes and Babies

I miss clothes. At this point my maternity clothes don't even fit. I miss shoes too. Shoes with heels.

I made this polyvore back in December. It seems like years ago. Part of me feels like pregnancy is my new body and I could just stay this way. What will it be like to not have a baby squirming around inside me? Will my intestines be lonely? It will be so strange to have an empty belly. I am so used to the heaviness now. I am so used to having her inside of me. Pregnancy is a long time. I can't wait to have her in my arms but it will be strange to no longer have her in my belly.

More Fear Mongering from the Right

Sarah Palin's speech last night was nasty in tone, cynical, and downright ugly. So, it was a typical Republican speech. Having absolutely no platform or any real plan for transforming our economy it concentrated on, just as Giuliani's speech did, fear mongering, divisiveness, and blaming the media. Business as usual. Did the speech enlighten us about Palin? Not really. She's a hockey mom from Alaska where she was mayor of a town of about 9,000 and put that town into debt. Then she became Governor and her big moment in politics was selling a plane on e-bay. We then heard more about how John McCain was a prisoner of war some 30 years ago which apparently gives him the expertise to have his finger on the button to start a nuclear war. There was also a lot of talk about small town America versus big city America. McCain and Palin apparently hate big cities and only care about people who work in small towns. So, I guess if you are one of those people who lost your job in Chicago or Cleveland or Detroit, the kind of people that Obama has spent most of his career working for and helping, you would be screwed under a McCain/Palin presidency. But then again, these war mongers would probably start a nuclear war just so they wouldn't have to worry about things like jobs, retirement, or health care. If you want war, elect war mongers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

McCain is a Typical Republican Not a Maverick

McCain is a maverick? What does that mean? A dissenter? I just don't see it. The biggest issue of our time is the VietIraqNam War. Actually, the US had more reason to be in Vietnam than we do in Iraq. Yet McCain is gung-ho about this war. He goes along with Bush's oil war and is willing to put our young men and women in harm's way to line Cheney and his friend's pockets for the next 100 years. How exactly does this make him an independent thinker? A dissenter? A maverick? On the most important foreign policy issue of our time, he is a foot soldier for Bush. A servant to political status quo. Furthermore, on the domestic front, he thinks Bush's ideas on domestic oil are right on. We are at a moment in time when we can truly innovate our economy with the transition to other forms of energy. McCain thinks the Bush Administration's "just domestic drill and that'll solve it all" approach is right on the mark. Again, exactly who is going to benefit from this approach? Oh yeah, the Bush oil family and Cheney and his buddies. I don't see a maverick here at all. Finally, his pick for VP shows that he is trying desperately to get in bed with the Christian conservative right wing base just like Bush. How exactly does this make him a dissenter? A maverick? An independent thinker?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain is a wacko

OK, does anyone need any more proof that McCain is certified nut job after his ridiculous pick for VP?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

36 weeks

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are You Ready?

People keep asking me if I am ready. The baby's room? Ready enough. The hospital bag? Thinking about it. Birth? It's not really up to me. A baby? Well, My boobs and diapers will be the most important things at first, so I guess I am as ready as I can be at this point.

Oh, and the carseat. We have the carseat. Though it is not in the car yet.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Death of the Remote

Is the world conspiring against me? Friday evening we watched a DVD. When we awoke on Saturday and went to check in on our best friend, TIVO, the remote wasn't working. We changed the batteries and tried again. Still nothing. Big D called Direct TV. There was nothing that could be done. Remotes have a shelf life. They'd send another. My plans for the weekend were crushed. They involved me, the couch, TIVO, and the remote. I always thought it was TIVO that I loved. But TIVO isn't really TIVO without the remote. It's like if your lover got a lobotomy or maybe it's more like a castration. Just wouldn't be the same. I've been turning channels with my toes because I am too big to bend down and I can't speed through the commercials. Oh TIVO, this is definitely a rocky time in our relationship. You've let me down just when I needed you most.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Why Can't it be the Weekend Yet?

I thought it was Saturday when I was waking up this morning. That sucked. I dreamed I had the baby but kept forgetting and then couldn't find where I put her down. I knew I needed to feed her but I'd forget and there was something about driving around with her on my lap Britney Spears style. Oh lord.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Actually Watch These Shows

Top Chef
Project Runway
Jon and Kate Plus Eight
Tori and Dean
Flipping Out
Ashley Page
Must Love Kids
Mystery Diagnosis
Diagnosis X
Forensic Files
Secret Diary of a Call Girl
Sheer Genius
Intervention
Denise Richards
What Not to Wear
Locked Up Abroad

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Experience Beyond Words

Big D and I have been together a long time. I mean a loooonnnnngggg time and by LA standards even longer. When you have been married as long as we have or, to be more exacting, when you have been a married woman without children for as long as I have been you hear a lot of comments such as,

"I thought people only got married to have kids"

"When are you having kids?"

"Oh you have to have kids, it's the best."

"When are you getting pregnant, it's the most amazing thing ever!"

I could go on but you get the idea. When people who I know and care about inquired, I generally didn't mind the probing. In fact, whether or not you are going to have kids has been and continues to be a topic of conversation that I have with many of my close friends and family members because it is such a big part of the human experience. But when people who could care less about who I am as a human being, like women from the work pit, asked, I often wanted to retort something like, "Well, I'm infertile, if you must know" or "Well the cocaine habit isn't so great for fetuses I've heard and my husband has low sperm count" I mean, what if I really did have a fertility issue or a drug habit or my husband had low sperm count? Wouldn't these questions then be considered incredibly insensitive? Fortunately, none of these were an issue for us. In fact, having gotten pregnant after one cycle off the pill after being on it my entire adult life pretty much squashed my long held fears of infertility and Big D is clearly a stud in the sperm count department and my drug habit was generally limited to red wine and dirty martinis.

But now I realize that there is something more to the questions. Pregnancy is something you can't quite put into words. You can talk about the growing belly, the morning sickness, the aches and pains, the kicks and turns, but it is impossible to fully explain what it feels like to have your body become an incubator for another human being. Before I got pregnant, I knew it would be something to experience but I didn't get the glow in the eyes of mothers asking when I was going to have a baby. I never really got the way they would tear up when recounting their own pregnancy and motherhood or why they would have such an interest in my own reproduction timeline. But I get it now. My cynical rational side tries to keep me in check...It's something any woman can do. It's not like it's finding a cure for cancer or running a business or being a gold medal athlete. But I am in the club now and I get it. It is powerful beyond description and women inquire about other women's pregnancy status because it is their way of sharing this experience beyond words.

I have to admit that I have caught myself recently doing the same thing in conversations with couples who don't yet have kids. I've actually heard lines such as this come out of my mouth:

"Do you guys think you'll have kids?"

"Pregnancy is the most amazing thing ever"

"It's really something you have to experience"

I've limited the conversation to those people that I actually know and care about and who are interested in taking part in a conversation about this. I'm not running up to recently married co-workers and asking them to get on the baby track. Although I did give an extra copy I had of What to Expect When Your Expecting to a co-worker who was just about to get married. But she had informed me that she was on the baby track before I offered so that's OK isn't it?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wall Street Journal--Tell Me Something I don't Know

Wall Street Journal selected my friend M's blog (see it in my links?) as one of their favorite expat- in-Paris blogs. And while I agree, I'd take it a step further and say that she is one of the best bloggers--no scratch that---writers in the blogosphere. And while her blog is filled with life in Paris imagery and anecdotes, it is her command of language and her ability to balance sadness and joy with deep personal introspection that makes me laugh, cry, and think with every post. I keep telling her to write a novel because I am greedy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121510408347526897.html?mod=At-Leisure-Main

From the Wall Street Journal...

The Parisian Expat Life

Can't find your Passport? Pas de problème! More and more expats are blogging about their lives in France. Here's a selection of our favorites. --Lauren Mechling

Les Confessions Douces-Améres D'une Femme Dans La Trentaine: A single, literary, thirty-something, living cheaply and thinking deeply on the banks of the Seine. http://www.bitterlovesweetsex.blogspot.com/
Les Confessions
This American in Paris chronicles her days of racing down Avenue de l'Opera to meet a deadline, entertaining an inebriated man named Fabio at 2:30 a.m., and turning down a marriage proposal from an eligible Canadian who failed to make her heart skip.
Sample passage: At dinner yesterday my friend Marie Pierre, a fifty-something, listened to me as I complained about how difficult it is to be a woman alone in the world as I downed three ice cold shots of Polish Bison-flavored vodka at her apartment in Montreuil to the East of Paris. I had wanted a whiskey and Marie Pierre was ready to pour me some, but her husband, Claude, a curmudgeonly law professor with red hair and a complexion that betrays his seething anger, shouted to her that whiskey is a digestif and we shouldn't be having that before dinner.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

movietime

Half-Life has been such a long journey for everyone closely involved in it's making. When Big D sent out the RSVP to the LA premiere of the movie at LAFF, I was surprised by how many family members decided to come into town to see the movie. They have heard us talking about it for years and followed the ups and downs and ups and downs and ups and downs and ups of making the little indie film that could along with us. It is really cool to have both sides of our family show up this week to support Big D, the film, and ultimately our vision for how we want to live our lives--as creative people who are not afraid to take risks and to share our successes and failures with friends and family. Ultimately, it's the connections with the people in our lives that create the meaning behind the work.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Belly

27 Weeks


28 Weeks


Sunday, June 22, 2008

liquid gold


This is my triumphant return to liquid makeup. For the last few years I have not been able to use "real" makeup. Bare Minerals is great but I really missed the look of liquid foundation. This is the best foundation I have ever used and it is a mineral makeup so it doesn't irritate, itch, or aggravate my skin at all. And you can get a pack of of samples that comes with the three different kinds of coverage level foundations in the most popular shades--that is brilliant.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Belly As It Was

This was my belly at 21 weeks. I'm now 26 weeks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sundance

So I am finally getting around to posting some of our picks from Sundance. January was a crazy month. I found out I was pregnant right before we left for the festival so the whole trip took on monumental status for me. It was the culmination of the project that Dylan had worked on for so many years, the fulfillment of the dream of every young film student to get a movie into Sundance and, on top of that, the beginning of my pregnancy.

After Sundance I got outrageously sick with the flu and that merged into morning sickness and extreme exhaustion. I am now climbing out of that and entering the "golden" trimester of pregnancy. I have a belly now---a nearly perfect basketball. And I have found out that I am indeed not carrying a chihuahua but a little girl! The main problem with work at this point is that I just don't care. I am daydreaming about a pink and green nursery, longing to hold this sweet little baby, and waiting impatiently for every kick and swimmy movement in my belly.




Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dancing Queen

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig the dancing queen

Dancing Queen is one of the saddest songs ever written. She's only seventeen and she is having the time of her life. What is left for her? She falls for some cheezy disco dude. She gets knocked up. They get married. He turns out to be a greasy alcoholic. They live in a trailer. She drinks a lot of bud lite. She goes to bars every now and then. She dresses in tight jeans and a halter top and shakes her muffin top all the bar, stumbling drunkenly into the barstools. Her kids hate her. She hates herself. She is the Dancing Queen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lysol




Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Totally Pregnant Posting

Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."


This article is from ASPCA. Visit www.aspca.org


FIGHT ANIMAL CRUELTY

Talking to Kids About Animal Cruelty

From cats to canaries, from Dobermans to dachshunds, our pets often seem to know how we feel. They comfort us when we're hurt, and make us happy when we're sad. They share our joy, and stay by our side when times are bad.

But, sometimes, some people are mean to animals. How do you explain this to a child?

What Is the Impact of Animal Cruelty?
Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Animals feel pain and fear like we do, but they are often helpless victims because they can't say what happened to them. In fact, some people choose to abuse animals instead of people for this very reason! If we wish to create a humane society, we must stop cruelty against those who are most vulnerable-like animals.

Cruelty toward animals does more than cause other living, feeling beings to experience pain and fear. Like the death of a canary in a coal mine, violence toward animals can be an indicator that people are also in danger. Someone who commits animal abuse may have serious psychological problems. Studies have found that many people convicted of violent crimes had a history of animal cruelty. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Andrew Cunanan, David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, and Albert "Boston Strangler" DeSalvo were cruel to animals before they started hurting people. Adults are not the only ones whose cruelty to animals can be a sign of deeper troubles. Many murderous children and teenagers-such as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine High School-also have histories of animal cruelty.

Animals in homes with family violence are also often victims of violence. One study found that animals were abused in 88 percent of the homes in which a child was abused. Another study found that 83 percent of families reported for animal abuse also had children at high risk of abuse or neglect. Although most of the abuse toward the animals came from the parents, about a quarter of abused children abuse animals.

What Can You Do About It?
"Animal cruelty is a national problem," says ASPCA Supervisory Special Investigator Annemarie Lucas. "Violence towards animals crosses all racial and socioeconomic lines and reaches from coast to coast." No matter where you live, there is a lot you can do to stop animal cruelty.

One of the most powerful tools we have for preventing cruelty to animals is education. It is important to plant the seeds of kindness in children early, and to nurture their development as the child grows. Children not only need to learn what they shouldn't do, but also what they can and should do. When children see that their pets are happy and loving, it will make the child feel good, too. This in turn will help the children care for their pets' feelings.

However, since people don't always realize that they are being cruel, adults need education, too. If you are not a teacher, please urge your local schools to integrate humane education into their curricula. If you are a teacher, bring humane education into your classroom. To help you, your local shelter may have outreach programs, education materials, camps, etc. You can also find plenty of humane ideas and activities on our children's website, ASPCA Animaland, and our site for humane educators, ASPCA Education.

Every child is unique, and adults should use caution and careful thought when discussing cruelty with children. In general, children under four simply should not be exposed to cruelty. Two-year-olds can begin to learn that their actions make others-including animals-happy and sad. With two- and three-year-olds, discuss their own experiences and how they would feel if they were treated the way they treat their pets or other animals in their immediate lives. Help them relate not only the ways they would feel hurt, but also the ways they would feel happy.

With all children under six or so, you may wish to help guide their hands so they can learn how to pet and hold their animal companions. Children do not have fine control over their movements and impulses—they will want to treat their pets with love, but will need a little help from you to do it correctly.

Children who are between about four and six often begin to understand basic moral concepts, such as fairness. These children can learn to be kind to animals because the animals "deserve" it. Children may discuss injuries they have had themselves, but do not introduce discussions about other types of injuries. Try to limit discussions of animal cruelty to the simple fact that animals can be hurt; do not describe how they can be hurt (e.g., starvation, physical abuse, etc.).

With most children who are six to ten years old, you can begin to discuss why someone might be mean to an animal-as long as you make sure the child always keeps in mind that it is wrong to hurt animals. In addition, do not let discussions of animal cruelty satisfy the morbid curiosity some children of this age may have. Children of this age often form some of their earliest memories and impressions about the state of the world beyond their families. It is very important that adults filter what these children perceive! Even if children witness violence as a "bad example" or as a way NOT to act, they are still witnessing violence, and can be strongly affected by it.

Many children between 10 and 14 are exploring their self-image and reflecting upon their relationships with others. Studies indicate that children of this age are still strongly affected by violence, so discussions about animal cruelty should still be kept free of details about the violence. Nonetheless, the issue can be raised directly—if delicately—with most of these children. Adults should make it clear that they do not condone violence in their own thoughts and behavior. Children of this age are finely attuned to the words and actions of adults, and still rely on them as role models.

Parents, teachers, and trusted adults can also discuss with 10- to 14-year-olds how they would act if their peers or friends treated animals cruelly. By couching the advice in terms of what you would do if you were in a given situation, you can help children overcome peer pressure and follow what they know is right. These children may encounter others abusing animals—knowing that they are in the right and will be supported for standing up to it is very important at this age of strong peer pressure.

Again, with all children-even older teens-keep in mind the importance of modeling appropriate behaviors. Our children do emulate us, even if they wouldn't admit it. If we treat animals cruelly or as unfeeling machines, our children will probably think that this is right or, at least, normal. The more a child identifies with an adult, the greater an impact that person will have on the child-in both good ways and bad ways.

Children who know of animal cruelty should tell an adult about it. Make sure children know who they can trust—such as parents, teachers, police officers, etc.—and nurture their trust so they can tell you.

For an in-depth explanation of animal cruelty written especially for older kids, please visit the Real Issues section at ASPCA Animaland, the website for kids who love animals.

RESOURCES

DeViney, E., Dickert, J., & Lockwood, R. (1983). The care of pets within child abusing families. International Journal
for the Study of Animal Problems
, 3, 321-329.

Ascione, F. R., Weber, C. V., & Wood, D. S. (1997). Animal welfare and domestic violence: Final report. Logan, Utah: Utah State University.

Further Reading:

Ascione, F. R., & Arkow, P. (Eds.). (1999). Child abuse, domestic violence, and animal abuse: Linking the circles of compassion for prevention and intervention. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

14 Weeks

So, yeah, it's been awhile since posting anything. I'm 14 weeks---YAY! The first trimester was really difficult. I had a horrible scary flu at 7 weeks and was out of work for a week then felt like a zombie for another. The flu just merged into morning (all day) sickness and incredible exhaustion. Then I started having spotting episodes. I found out at 10 weeks that the spotting can be attributed to the fact that the placenta implanted in the wrong place and is covering my cervix. This is not considered a high risk situation this early in pregnancy but it is enough of a concern that I have to go to the doc twice a month rather than the regular once a month visit. I am also supposed to rest as much as possible and considering the insane business of my job that is a laughable idea. By the time I get home, I am so tired that I crash out and then can't sleep well through the rest of the night. Not to mention that my bed has become so incredibly uncomfortable that it is something akin to a torture device. I need to get a mattress pad to give the mattress support but the decent ones are outrageously expensive and I can't afford anything right now because Big D is still unemployed. I also don't fit into ANY of my clothes anymore and again, can't afford to buy anything to fix this situation. If I stayed at home this wouldn't be a big deal but the two pairs of sweats that I can fit into and comfortably wear at home would not go over well at the office. UGH.

I am so looking forward to the second trimester and thrilled that I finally hit 14 weeks. I wish I could just run away from the rest of my life and just enjoy being pregnant for a while.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Weeks of Our Lives

My life is being measured week by week at the moment. I'm at nine weeks or am I supposed to say in my ninth week? I haven't quite figured out that nuance out yet. Week seven was scary because I had the flu and was sick for ten days. Then during week eight, I had light brownish spotting on Tuesday and totally freaked out. My doctor's office was not concerned and told me this is pretty normal during the first trimester. I haven't had any spotting since and my other pregnancy symptoms (nausea, sore boobs, extreme exhaustion) seem to be progressing right along. One of the weirder aspects so far is that I welcome things like nausea and indigestion because they are my only markers right now that everything is going right.

Jason brought his one-year-old daughter over yesterday afternoon. We sat outside (well we sat and little A explored our yard--she is fearless) and enjoyed the SoCal weather--70's and clear blue skies. They are moving out of state soon, which makes Big D and I pretty sad, but we are really happy for them. Big D and I have also had some serious conversations about leaving Los Angeles. My work schedule is so crazy that I know things will have to change. And frankly, I've waited long enough to have kids, I really have no intention of turning my baby over to a stranger for ten hours a day while I go off to a job I hate. The main reason that I am still there is because my health insurance is through my job. Our hope is for Big D to find a new job with health insurance so that I can be on his plan. But even still, Los Angeles is so expensive and our modest home i.e. mortgage combined with outrageous student loan debt make it necessary for both of us to work to survive. Out of state, we would have so much more wiggle room financially plus the possibility of living near family, which is something that I crave more and more the older I get. With many of our friends leaving Los Angeles, it's starting to get a little lonely around here.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Eight Weeks

Well, it's been a month since returning to work so that accounts for my absence from blogging. I thought my first posts back would be about Sundance. And I'll get to that eventually. But the big news for me is that I am pregnant. I am very early--eight weeks, and I know that means that I am not yet supposed to be sharing the news. But the fact is it is all I care about right now. As you know, turning 34 was a huge wake up call for me. In light of everything I read about infertility, I got really concerned about having been on the pill for my entire adult life and having no sense of what my cycle was like without hormones artificially regulating it for me every month. I worried about difficulty getting pregnant and figured it would be best to go off the pill and get real with my body. Well, I had one cycle off the pill and then got pregnant. I took a pregnancy test in January and it was positive. Last week, I had the first ultrasound and saw a heartbeat. I am feeling nauseous and extremely tired. My doctor says these are good signs.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Last Day of Freedom Blues

I made this salad on Friday. I usually make this salad by layering slices of mozzarella, leaves of basil, and rings of red onions then drizzling balsamic vinegar and olive oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper and a little oregano. However, I picked up these miniature mozzarella balls by mistake so I chopped everything instead. The photo is taken before I let it sit in the fridge a while and marinade which makes all the flavors soak into each other. This salad is delicious on a baguette or could be tossed with pasta too. I ate it on it's own.

I almost made the resolution to continue making lunch even though I am going back to work on Monday. But with the 6:30 AM departure from home and the brain dead state when I return back home at 6:00 PM I know this won't happen and why set myself up for failure? So instead I'll just have pleasant memories of my salad days.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Recycled Beauty

I love this bag. I keep it in my purse and use it for all the little odds and ends I need with me throughout the day like lotion, motrin, a nail file, chapstick, and mascara. What I love even more is that it is from one of my favorite stores in Eagle Rock, Regeneration and it is made of recycled bags from a fair trade company.
Viterra pouches & totes:In urban India, the plethora of plastic bags that blow through the streets are gathered by the homeless and traded in for money. The bags are then processed into the raw material used to create these bags. No dyes are used to create this innovative fabric, as the earthy bands of color are actually derived from the bags themselves.

The Luxury of Time

This is my last weekday of freedom before returning back to the the cave. One of the greatest aspects of the luxury of time is to be able to make and eat lunch at home. I love to step into the kitchen to eat when my body wants to eat not at 12:00 PM or as is most typical when I can step away for 5 minutes to pop something from the lean cuisine line of tastes almost like food products into the microwave and then scurry with it in hand back to my hallway excuse for an office. At home, I use fresh ingredients and eat what sounds good to me on a particular day not what I happen to have left in the office fridge. Yesterday I made a Greek salad and nearly cried. What happened to civilized living? This morning I woke up and felt human again and it only took two weeks to return to my species.


Cucumber
Tomato
Kalamata Olives
Red Onion
Feta Cheese (get the real stuff)
Red Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

All ingredients chopped and seasoned to preference

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Revelations and Resolutions

There are a few self-realizations that have crystallized for me over the last year. Some of these come from the blogosphere, filled with wise souls and silly personality quizzes. Others I have figured out through talks with friends and one sage. Still others resonate with me like a mantra on my hour-half commute. My life has become one monstrous carbon footprint driving down Alvarado to Washington then scooting down Venice through Palms to the edge of Santa Monica then home on the 10 to the 110 to the 101 through Echo Park and over Baxter to Allesandro then back on the 2 to Verdugo. This life is punctuated by lack of daylight inside my accidental career cave and then off to sleep in my neglected bedroom. The floor of the hostel in Istanbul had more charm and warmth than my bedroom. How could I even think I could wrestle contentment out of this?

1) Kindness begins with one's self.
2) I spend most of my time preventing failure rather than succeeding.
3) I don't trust others.
4) I prefer sleeping to being awake on most days.
5) I need to not keep doing what I am doing even if it creates some financial difficulties.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Profiles in New Year Realities and Dreams

So I decided it was time to take Investment Banking off my profile listing for occupation. I am not sure how it ended up on my profile and I noticed that it was there several months into writing the blog. And when I noticed it, I thought it sounded cool and nobody looks at my profile anyway. Something about it made me happy. But really, I am so far from an investment banker and any one of the group of bloggers that I can count on my right hand that read this blog would find that pretty obvious. But I couldn't bring myself to list my current "career" so I just left it with Arts.

DNA of a Concerned Artist


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Soap--I'm Watching Tivo


Getting the Dish On Soap (this is from Fine Living)






Although most soap is made from the same fundamental ingredients, the basic formula has been modified to create thousands of products with different specific uses. Some soaps help to moisturize dry skin, others aid in controlling oily skin, and still others are designed to make bath time more pleasurable and soothing. So which soap formulas are best for which purposes? We asked an expert for the inside scoop on soap.

While working for a commercial real estate firm in Los Angeles, Texas native Shelley Maxwell began reading and experimenting with aromatherapy, creating scents and products that she was unable to find in stores. With a friend, she started the successful natural bath products company Soap scum, which led her to a new career path. Two years later, she founded a new boutique and a bath products company called Luxury Laboratory, with product lines selling in stores throughout Los Angeles and the United States. We asked Shelley, what is soap really made of, and what makes one kind different from another?

* Basic ingredients. According to Maxwell, all true soaps contain the two basic ingredients of fat and alkali. The alkali is usually lye.
* Animal. Most commercial soaps are made from animal fat, also called tallow. Tallow results in a nice hard soap.
* Vegetable. A better type of fat to use, in Maxwell's opinion, is vegetable fat, in the form of palm oil, olive oil, coconut oil or other vegetable sources. Soaps made from these fats, rather than tallow, tend to be creamy and give a good lather.
* Glycerin. Glycerin is a natural byproduct of soap making, and all true soaps contain it. The clear glycerin soaps that you get at the store, claims Maxwell, are not usually pure glycerin, but regular soaps mixed with ingredients, like sugar and alcohol, that make them translucent. Sometimes these soaps have more chemicals and additives that regular soap and can be more drying to your skin.
* Additives. Not all additives are bad, of course, and some can be quite benign. Many shower gels and bubble baths, for instance, contain sodium laurel sulfate, which is a surfactant that creates extra bubbles. Maxwell sees nothing wrong with synthetic additives like this.
* Preferences. The key is to look at labels and decide what you want, and what you don't want, from your soap. Once you find a soap that you love, says Maxwell, use it as often as you like.

Now that you know what goes into soap, how do you know which is right for your skin type? To help you decide, here are some basic types of soap and their uses:

* Milk. Before you buy soap, you should know your own skin type. If you have dry skin, says Maxwell, milk soaps may be a good choice for you. Milk calms your skin down and makes a nice, luxurious soap.
* Oatmeal. Oatmeal soap is another good choice for people with dry or problematic skin.
* Almond. Almond soaps, claims Maxwell, are great for exfoliating and won't clog your pores.
* Tea tree oil. If your skin is on the oily side, soaps made with tea tree oil might be a good choice. This ingredient can help cut skin oil and is good for those with acne and eczema.
* Alcohol. Soaps with fragrance oil are fine, says Maxwell, but you should stay away from anything that's alcohol based. Alcohol can dry your skin out, so look for it when reading a product label.
* Normal skin. If you're lucky enough to have "normal" skin, you can choose from a wide variety of soap products. Look for something that smells nice, or makes you feel good when you use it. Once you figure out which ingredients you really like, you can look for them whenever you buy soap.