Friday, December 30, 2005


We've got a few glorious days left of our winter break, and we're making the most of it!

  • Cait's getting in all the sleep she can, and we're pursuing a variety of projects around the house (more on that later).
  • I am indeed having fun with my iPod. I got a multi-disk CD player years ago and thought it was the coolest thing to shuffle 5 or 7 CDs at a time... now I am shuffling COUNTLESS CDs. It's bizarre bliss... from Abba to Beethoven all the way to Zrazy!
  • Sometime yesterday, we made it to 50,000 hits here at AdProb! Thanks for coming along for the ride! I was going to try and figure out who the lucky 50,000er was but you guys were too fast for me (the free version of Site Meter only keeps the info on the most recent 100 hits).
  • I'm also embarking on another knitting project. In pursuit of a particular yarn, I have discovered the BEST STREET NAME EVER. Take a look:

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  • We bought a bunch of cloth diapers from Craigslist. Some of them have a faint odor, and I am trying to get it out. I've washed them repeatedly without soap and they're hanging in the (limited) sun as we speak. I think the prefolds will be fine after this. The covers (Bummis) may prove to be more of a problem. CDers, any suggestions would be welcome.

Well, enough thinking and typing for now. Back to sloth and indolence!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Obligatory Holiday Post

A Merry Christmas was had by all.

Jen has discovered the wonder of the iPod. I got one last year for my morning commute (it's only 15 minutes by metro, but I swear there are mornings where music is all that's getting me there), and Jen has become increasingly interested. Now she has her own and may never unplug. Smart of me to give her another reason to spend time on the computer, wasn't it?

Multiple family experiences were had with no major trauma or drama. Tomorrow we head off to Pittsburgh to see part of my family. We're skipping the Detroit contingent this year since we were just there for T-Day and Jen's body and bladder can't handle an 11 hour car trip. There is bound to be drama, and it any of it is blogworthy, we'll happily pass it along.

Here's wishing all readers of AdProb a happy holiday, whichever holiday that may be.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dan, Don't Read This

I'm just sayin'...

...pregnancy and low-flow toilets don't mix.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sign O' The Times

Cait said to me yesterday, "You know you're pregnant when you run two errands - to Borders and the post office* - and you have to stop twice for food."

And you can see the results. Here's the latest belly pic (23 weeks, 5 days):

Almost 24 weeks...

*about 1 mile apart

Saturday, December 17, 2005

We Now Conclude Our Emergency Alert

Me and my conspiracy theories. It never occurred to me that something could be wrong with Typepad - no, I thought it had to be ME and my links that were cursed. :) Ah, well, in this case I'm glad to be wrong AND glad to be cheap. It was just Typepad that was SNAFUed (and mere coincidence that a few Blogger blogs I read hadn't been updated since December 11) and us cheapskates who use the FREE Blogger host escaped unscathed. Glad things are fixed now. Does anyone know if the Typepad posts and comments that were zapped are gone forever? There were a couple of good ones that will be missed (Bri's "I Am Right and Everyone Else is Wrong" among them).

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Psycho Ward (aka the pre-k/k classroom)

There are those who say that teaching is an easy job. I mean, you get summers off, the workday ends at 3--it's positively slacker-ish. To those people I say HA! Come spend a day in my classroom...

As proof, I share the last 20 minutes of my day yesterday.

2:55 (end of our very short planning time) the phone rings. It's the Movement teacher calling to report that L is naked in the Commons bathroom. Apparently she had an accident again and, well, that requires taking all of one's clothes off, didn't you know? My assistant (who is SO much more than an assistant) runs downstairs with L's bin of extra clothes.

As she disappears down the stairs, half of the class returns from Drama. By the time they're settled in around the circle, the other half returns from Movement. Without my assistant I am unable to lull them into calm with the guitar, so I pull out Liony (our stuffed lion who goes home with a different child each day) and his journal so that we can read about what he and A did last night.

As my assistant and L return from their adventures in the bathroom, I send C to time out for...I've lost track of what. As he walks away, he mutters under his breath "you're so dumb." I shove Liony's journal at my assistant and go over to have a chat with the little darling.

I return to the circle as the class is wrapping up the goodbye song, just in time to call children for aftercare. C is still mad and refuses to leave the classroom. Somehow I get him out the door without too much of a battle, in time to witness S and B arguing over who is first in line. Since they're both line leaders this week, I tell them they can stand side by side, but as B is hopping around, being loud, and bumping into people I warn him he will lose this job if he can't show me he's ready for it. I turn around to further coax C and others into jackets and backpacks, and turn around to see B whacking AD over the head with his jacket. I remove him from his spot and tell him he will be caboose. Hysterics ensue. Parents in the hall are staring.

Meanwhile in the classroom, E is telling my assistant that he and AD are getting married this June. Their moms are getting married, so they are getting married too. A is running laps around the edge of the carpet while explaining that they're picking up her Irish relatives at the airport and telling about all they're going to do with them.

Aftercare is picked up and taken upstairs. B is still howling, but is, thankfully, staying in his spot at the back of the line. Since I've clearly explained to Ms. G why he is there and why he is upset, I guess he has no choice.

I run our younger siblings group down to the commons, since the teacher who normally does that is currently on bedrest. As I get there, I realize I left the tray that M brought muffins on for snack in the classroom. M and I run back up to the third floor to get it and then run back down to find her siblings and her mom. As we open the door to the commons, M looks up at me with her adorable blond curls and freckled nose, and says to me utterly sweetly and innocently, "I know why you have boobies."

Ah, yes. It's a really good thing it's Friday. Oh, and I should add that I NEVER get out of school as early as 3:30. Unless it's to see my shrink.

Groundblog Day

Something weird is going on with my links and it's VERY frustrating. And exceedingly odd. Let me see if I can describe this clearly and succinctly. I doubt it.

Up until now, all of the links have worked with no problem. As of this morning, the first seven links still behave fine.* However, beginning with link #8, The Other Mother, I get a bit of a twilight zone experience. That link, and every one subsequent to it except the VERY last one (Trixie Update) take me to the correct blogs... but only to the most recent post on or before December 11. It is as if time has stopped on December 11 for those blogs only. Yet I know there are more recent posts on several of the blogs. I read the more recent posts -- FROM MY LINKS -- yesterday or sometime between December 12-15. But now I can't get to them, no matter what I do.

Now here's where it gets REALLY weird. I have tried going directly from the address bar, typing in the blog address. Same deal. I have gone from OTHER PEOPLE'S LINKS. Still December 11 or earlier. AAAAAAAGH. I want my blogs. I need my blogs.

My current, incomplete hypothesis is that something in my links is somehow corrupting my browser's date function with regard to those specific blogs. If I go to somebody else's links (like Julie's big list) it's hit or miss. I'll see up to date posts on some of the blogs, others are stuck at that stupid Dec. 11. It does not seem to be host-dependent (meaning, both Typepad and Blogger blogs are affected, but some of both types are UNaffected). Dooce and Trixie Update, which use wicked fancy hosting/scripting, are unaffected.

I don't get it and I don't like it. Any suggestions will be welcomed!

*Except for one link to a blog that's no longer active, but that is as it should be.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Good things come to those who... urinate

I pee all the time now (which I do believe I've mentioned before) so it's no surprise that I ended up using the bathroom in the nurse's office yesterday on one of my many trips. As I walked back past her desk she smiled and said, "Can I ask you a question?" and I nodded. "Are you planning to breastfeed?" she inquired.

"Yes," I said, thinking she was going to tell me how good it was for the baby's health. Instead, she asked another question: "Do you want a breast pump?"

I needed both hands to pick up my jaw and return it to its rightful place, but I got it together and murmured, "Yes, yes, that would be great." And without further ado, she reached under her desk and pulled out a Pump In Style. Just like that.

Made my day!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day

I love DC. Schools are closed for this. The ice is probably what pushed them over the edge, but having grown up in Michigan, I know this is laughable. But at least I'm laughing from the comfort of my own couch!

In other news, our insurance company called us Monday afternoon (the same day Jen had the annoying conversation with them), to say that the waiver had now been approved for her. It appears that we might even be able to extend it to a home birth, since our policy has no exclusion written in for home birth. Even if we just get to use it for a birth center birth, we're thrilled.

To celebrate our good fortune, we plan to spend the day baking Christmas cookies, restoring order to our house, and possibly working on our baby registry. Yehaw! Happy Snow day!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Problems Straight People Don't Have

The insurance madness continues but took a Kafkaesque turn today. Cait called over two weeks ago to request a waiver that would allow me to have prenatal care and delivery through the birth center. They said they'd provide a response within a week. I took a day off work today to sort through all kinds of insurance and mortgage problems, including this one.

I have just emerged from a 40+ minute call (the majority of which was being on hold) in which I had to repeat the entire request process. Here's the e-mail I wrote to Cait as I was on the phone:

I am having THE SAME FUCKING CONVERSATION with them that you had over two weeks ago.
Rep: "What about the Maternity Center in Bethesda?"
Me: "They tell us you do not participate with them."
Rep: "Ok, it will be covered but as out of network because there are participating facilities in network."
Me: "Which ones?"
Rep: "The Maternity Center in Greenbelt."
Me: "It's closed."
Rep: "Well, do you have a facility you want to work with?"
Me: "Birth Care, in Alexandria."
(Rep puts me on hold)

This is AFTER I was on hold for 20 minutes while she tried to find a supervisor to "tell me the determination" because she is "not allowed to". Which kind of makes me think they HAD a determination but now I am starting ALL OVER AGAIN.


Oh jesus fucking crhist. They put it through for YOU.

Yup, that's right, they requested the prenatal and maternity care for Cait.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Darwin Never Got Pregnant...

...but he WAS onto something.

I have spent a lot of this pregnancy thinking about evolution. Perhaps because it's been in the media a lot; probably just because I am a geek. In the first few months my primary thought was, "Pregnancy doesn't make any evolutionary SENSE! I feel like crap. If I were a cavewoman I could get killed by a mastodon really easily!"

However, the longer this goes on, the more I realize that there IS some evolutionary logic to pregnancy. (Oh, if you're my evolutionary biologist friend, you should probably stop reading this now. Or two paragraphs ago. This is just the kind of unscientific rambling about evolution that you HATE. Sorry.) Much of the process of pregnancy is preparing you for what lies ahead. (Don't worry, adoptive moms, none of it's rocket science. It's all stuff one would figure out pretty quickly.) Here's what my body has tried to teach me so far:

1. Just slow down. Those who know me in real life know that I am never happier than when multitasking and zooming through life at 180 MPH. No longer. The first trimester took that right out of me and I haven't gotten it quite back. And in case my second trimester energy burst (which, by the way is a lot more myth than reality, IMO, as I don't feel energetic per se, I just need fewer than 13 hours of sleep these days) might lead me back into my old frantic ways, I now literally need to slow down, as most of the time when I walk faster than a geriatric shuffle, I'm struck with intense pain that can honestly stop me in my tracks. I went for a walk by the Zoo today and was lapped by everyone I saw, including people with double strollers, canes, and crutches. While I was intensely frustrated, I did discover that there was a lot of beauty below my feet in Rock Creek Park that I'd never noticed before. It's all prep for trying to get out the door with an infant or hurry a distractable toddler.

2a. Know where all of the tolerable public bathrooms are. Pregnancy = peeing. I have gotten to know more public restrooms in the DC area than in my entire life put together, and some of them are doggone nasty. If I hesitated to use them myself, imagine my squeamishness at taking kid who's just learning to use the toilet. Ick.

2b. Never pass up a bathroom opportunity. However, skipping a bathroom opportunity can have uncomfortable consequences for an adult; disastrous for a kid. So I've learned never, ever, to turn down the chance to use a restroom, particularly if said facilities are clean and convenient.

3. Always have an emergency snack. Or six. I'm currently eating pretty much hourly.* The lunchbag I pack each morning has grown exponentially and now includes a morning snack, a lunch, an afternoon snack, an emergency snack, and sometimes a late afternoon snack. This is in addition to the rations in my desk drawer for dire circumstances, and the strategic stashes in the car. But as unpleasant as a cranky, hungry pregnant woman can be (and just ask Cait if you need help imagining that one) a cranky, hungry baby will be infinitely worse.

4. It never hurts to have extra clothes. I'm already clumsy and prone to spilling things and dropping food on my clothes. The more body and clothing surface area I have, the worse it gets. Suffice to say that my instant stain stick is now my new best friend. I don't actually keep extra clothes on hand at work, but I may move in that direction soon. Extra clothes won't be optional with a baby, of course, so I might as well get in the habit now.

5. Sleep is very, very good. Of course, as we all know, this one is cruel, since I'm getting more sleep now than I will ever again in YEARS. But my more pregnant friends tell me that the evolutionary preparation should kick in within the next month or so, as I will lose the ability to sleep longer than 45 minutes without having to get up and go to the bathroom. Which is a good lead in to life with a newborn, from what I hear.

6. You can't do it alone. I'm a pretty independent person, but having a kid works a lot better if you've got a lot of support and connections. We've made a lot of new friends, and connected with old ones in new ways, during the process of getting and staying pregnant. I know our friends and family will be very, very helpful in preserving our sanity once the kid gets here.

Heck, it's even made me get closer to my mom, and if that's not evolution, I don't know what is.

*And hating it. Which shocks me. I love to eat, and if you'd ever told me I could eat hourly and be miserable I would have told you you were an idiot. But eating HEALTHY food hourly, whether I am in the mood or place to eat gets old REALLY fast.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Giving the Child Reasons to Hate Us...

An essential part of the nighttime routine at the house of AdProb is trying to feel Harpo move. Jen gets to feel him throughout the day, of course, but I still can only feel anything when Jen is lying still, since the kid's not that big yet. It requires some patience. I place my hand on Jen's belly and then sit...and wait... Eventually I'll feel a sufficient quantity of nudges or bumps to fall asleep happy.

Last night I was a little harder to please. I started poking at Jen's belly.
"Hey, kid! Wake up and play with me! C'mon!"
THWACK! Harpo's reply made Jen's belly bounce.
Jen joined in the game. Poke, poke...
I could almost hear the kid: "Dammit mother, leave me alone! I'm tryin' to sleep in here!"

Needless to say, I fell asleep happy.