Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cat Daddy

We don't do much around here these days. Sam works two jobs and is gone before the sun rises (actually not hard to do in Utah, since the sun doesn't rise til like 9am) until it sets in the frozen western sky. I work a few jobs, but all periodically. I can barely move so I don't go places all that often. And when we get to do things together, they are usually boring and involve staying home.

But! This past week we had our second anniversary, so we actually did get out of the house!

We went up to the Humane Society to look at and play with all the animals, then came home and had a frozen pizza (see? boring), then went out for dessert.

The HS was really fun. By the time we left, Sam wanted to adopt 2-3 dogs, 5 or so cats, and a ferret. And possibly some birds and a rabbit named "Biggie Smallz". We spent the most time with the cats, partly because there are the most of them, partly because they have awesome new interactive facilities, and partly because they were a lot calmer than the other animals (except the one that made a jail break and Sam had to chase through the hallways).

Random: apparently you can adopt mice at the shelter. Who would pay $5 for a "used" mouse??

Here are a couple of pictures of some of our favorite cats:

Oh, and I guess we got out one other time this month. I had my first ever legit office Christmas party a couple weeks ago! Fortunately, there are really only 4 or so of us at the company, so even with our spouses, it was an "intimate affair" (pinky up). We met at the Nickelcade and had a ton of greasy pizza, chatted for a while, then were each given two big bags of nickels and released onto the game floor with the direction to get the highest score of some game, or as many tickets as you could (for people like me, who won only at Fruit Ninja, and only because no one else played it). There were prizes for everyone (of course). I won a $25 Visa gift card, and Sam won a $25 Fandango gift card. When I asked him why he didn't pick a gift card for a restaurant, he said he forgot we were about to have a newborn. Go figure. Oh well, he is still the Hero of Guitar Hero.

There was also unlimited laser tag, but by the time we got to it, it was 10pm, and we are all adults with bedtimes after all, plus I didn't fancy getting knocked down by a crazy pre-teen in the name of lasers, so we went home. Deadbeats.

We had a really good time though, even if I didn't get any pictures.

Aside from those things, nothing really interesting has happened around here lately. Sam is currently searching avenues for a different/better job, and there have been a few prospects, but so far nothing has come of it. Oh well.

Maybe next time I will have all kinds of awesome news! (Baby? New job? Lottery winnings??)

The End is Near

The part that comforts me at this point is that I know that within 5 weeks and 3 days, I will have an ACTUAL BABY. Although I'm hoping it's way sooner (because who wants to go to 42 weeks 3 days?). Ahem. Knock on wood.

It has become difficult to do basically everything. Like even typing this is hard because my hands are all tingly and numb and my wrists hurt (pregnancy-induced carpal cool). Putting on my shoes takes about 1,000,005 years because my feet are swollen and I have to wear thick socks because it's cold and I can't bend over to tie my shoes. Moving in general is a Herculean task because at this point whatever SPD I had is like a bazillion times worse. Although I read yesterday that it goes away almost immediately after birth and I am so very much looking forward to not feeling like I'm 85 years old. Until I'm 85. Actually not even then.

Anyway. If you add in pregnancy rhinitis, hormones upon hormones, being kicked internally by a small (but huge?) human who is apparently wearing pointy shoes (even when the baby has hiccups now it's a big deal), and the ever-increasing BH contractions (will I ever get the real thing?), along with every other awesome symptom, I make for one big party animal. Seriously, if they talked a little more about what *really* happens to you when you get pregnant, we might have fewer teen moms.

But aside from all that, I am very ready to be done because everything is ready! Well, mostly. But they are things that can wait. 

We finished our Bradley class last Monday. It was pretty fun over all, and very educational. On the last day we did a "labor rehearsal" where we simulated labor by holding ice cubes and having very loud drum tracks playing (which actually had the unintended effect of making everybody all giggly). Then we used the time to practice a bunch of different methods of relaxation/comfort (which is how Bradley teaches you to deal with labor, unlike Lamaze, where it's all in your breathing). It was, like I said, rather fun. And Sam is now a card-carrying "person qualified to coach a woman in labor"! 

Because everyone is going to ask for proof if Sam tries to coach me...

Something I find a little funny is that people have started asking me if/when I'm going to be induced. The top two reasons I've gotten for this when I ask "why would I?" Are:

1. It's the holidays
2. Everybody gets induced

People have even thrown around the whole tax-benefit-for-the-year thing. Personally, I'm a little perplexed as to why I would want to be induced (I have a long list of reasons why it sounds like a horrible idea to me), but what confuses me even more is that people seem to be disregarding the baby's actual gestational age shouldn't we only be induced out of medical necessity? My midwife (down to just the one, the second has taken an indeterminately long sabbatical and the new-hire midwife doesn't come on until February, when things slow down at the birth center) doesn't even consider induction until you are over 42 weeks. And I guess "they" (scientists?) are in the process of redefining the length of human gestation, since average is actually 41 weeks and 1 day (kill me now). So...just because a baby is "full term" and it's the holidays...? I am feeling I may be getting some people riled up now, so I'll quit while I'm ahead. But, in any case, I personally will not be inducing unless the baby stays cooking until the aforementioned time, which maybe people think is weird, but I don't. I shall abide myself in patience (meaning complaining but not doing anything other than that).

People also think it's weird that I'm not planning on getting an epidural or giving birth in a hospital, but I think I'll save that rant for post-birth just in case something happens and I need a hospital transfer.

Anywho. Babies. Having babies. Let's have a baby. Soon. (Please)

Here's a picture of my (seemingly...I'm unconvinced if I'm actually as big as I think I am) land mass of a self:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lemon Squeezy

We've had an eventful-ish week. Not really all *good* events, but if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Although sometimes you have enough to make lemonade and every other lemon-flavored recipe you have in your books. Woof.

So. Saturday I had my baby shower! It was fun to see and hang out with peeps, especially ones I haven't seen in a while (which, let's be honest, is everyone, because I get out of the house all of never). The food was supah tasty (thank you Megan!) and I was given enough baby shampoo to keep the baby clean til she's in high school. Anyway, I'm so grateful to my family for taking care of putting it on for me. Yay!
Sadly this is the only picture I took at the shower...not even related, but I find it hilarious.

That night I slept basically not at all because I was so worried about being able to afford the baby (sometimes I wonder why these things strike me in the middle of the night...unfair), so Sunday was a very tiring day. We went up to Midway that evening to have dinner with Sam's parents, which was tasty and fun. We watched "His Girl Friday," which I love, and had homemade apple pie. Sam also had a large glass of eggnog (this is relevant). Then we went home and went to bed.

Somewhere between 12:30 and 1am of "Monday" I woke up to Sam being extremely sick to his stomach. Ordinarily, whatever, except that I have never known Sam to be sicker with anything than a cold. We brushed it off for the time being, until it happened again...and again, and again, and again. Etc. Food poisoning, likely from that dang eggnog. I made him call into work when he hit 13 times by 6:45 in the morning. Seriously, stop being tough and just take a sick day. Although I'm glad he's so...dedicated? Anyway, the day proceeded on with Sam throwing up every 10-30 minutes all friggin day. We were able to get him to the doctor in the afternoon and they gave him a shot, which did nothing. Things progressed from bad to worse to worst, and by 12:30am Tuesday he told me he was done and wanted to give up, something that I never want to hear him say again, lemme tell you. It was really hard to see him like that. He literally looked like a carcass, and was having issues every 5-15 minutes. I told him to hang in there and went back to bed. About 30 seconds later some voice or something popped into my head and said very firmly: "Take him to the hospital right now." It was weird. So I got up and we left. Who knows what would've happened if I'd ignored that. Probably nothing. But we are both glad that I didn't. We got to the ER and didn't have to wait at all. They immediately got an IV into him and more nausea meds, and he fell asleep at last. We were there for a few hours while I took care of his insurance stuff and he got a few liters of fluids and some much-needed rest. The doctor told us he had probably ingested staphylococcus bacteria in the eggnog. Then we went home.

The next day was better in that he was no longer throwing up, but he couldn't stay awake long enough to answer a yes-or-no question, let alone drink anything, so it was another (though not nearly as) difficult day. In fact, the whole experience was a little traumatizing for me (see above about him never ever being sick). 

At this point, the dryer broke while I was doing laundry in an attempt to clean up. It just stopped working in the middle of a cycle. Fortunately, Sam's mom was super charitable and came by to take our wet clothes to the laundromat so I didn't have to. She even helped make the bed, which is a challenge when your bed is low and your stomach is huge.

Wednesday Sam had the day off at Vivint, and Dominos told him to go home because he looked "like crap, why did you even come in?" So we went down to the doctor to get an excuse note for Vivint in case there was a problem with his absence, then went to drop it off at the call center.

When we got there, we found out he'd been fired. That's right. Why? Because he didn't show up or call in on Tuesday, and he had called in on Monday. It's a process I could explain, but it's stupid, so I won't. After several minutes of negotiating and waving the hospital discharge papers and the doctor's note in their face, they finally hired him back, with the caveat that if ANYTHING at all happens again in the next three months, he's gone for good. Nice. Especially since I'm having a baby in a month or two. He can't call in, he can't be late for work, he can't be late coming back from a break (we're talking seconds or minutes here), he can't leave early without prior approval, etc etc. It's pretty lame.

So...we are adding job hunting to the to-do list again. Le sigh.

Anyway, on a happier note, Sam is extremely chipper and bouncy now that he's feeling all better, and we are going to be able to go see Catching Fire tonight for free because Vivint gave out tickets to their employees (or rather, one ticket, but Sam's coworker just had a baby so he gave him his unused one). If only they'd be more generous or understanding in dealing with their employees, instead of offering these "perks" to keep them content...

I'm kind of excited for the movie, even though it's really difficult to sit in a chair like that for so long with a melon-sized squirmy alien entity inside me. Ugh.

But! I'm super excited and feeling quite ready for the baby to come. We have basically finished the nursery prep (although she won't be in there for a couple months after she's born, it's something to DO). And I'm collecting the last bits of things that I'll need. I have like 50 lists. I told Sam I need to hurry up and get everything ready so I can sleep since these things keep me up at night. He just raised an eyebrow and said something about "nesting." Pshaw.

There. Proof I have actually been hard at work...sort of.

Anyway, so that about covers what's been happening around here lately. Next week is Thanksgiving, but Sam has to work in the hopes that he will get to have Christmas off. Boo.

And! We are down to a  3-to-9-week-away window for the "safe zone" of the baby being born! Eep!

News: Colonel Meow is very sick! What will the world do if he dies? ]:<

Monday, November 4, 2013

Boo-Radley and the Dreamweaver

I'm now 30.3 weeks. About 3/4 of the way done, or, between 6-12 weeks left! And ready to be done. But I'm also willing to put up with the last of it because I have to and because, as Sam likes to say, "if you take a pizza out of the oven before it's done, you get a gooey pizza, and no one likes a gooey pizza!" (his pizza analogies have increased since he started working at Domino's after work). And I really do hate gooey pizza. So disappointing.

But I take comfort in the fact that we *are* almost done, and that this part of being pregnant has the potential to be the most exciting part, what with the baby room prep, baby shower coming up, birth class in full swing, etc etc.

What birth class you say? Well how kind of you to ask! Sam and I are taking a Bradley Method class that finishes right before Christmas. We are almost halfway through the series, which feels like the apocalypse is right around the corner when I think about it. It's a super interesting class though. We spend most of the time talking about physiological changes, what happens in the different stages of labor, and what we can do with nutrition and "exercise" to make the pregnancies healthy and reduce our need for medically-necessary interventions (ooh yeah, I'm using the jargon)!

We also spend a good portion practicing relaxation techniques (my favorite part, obv). We also occasionally watch birth or birth-related videos. Not the gnarly kind though. Just enough gnarl to be real, but not like quease-inducing.

It's a pretty fun class, and there are a few other couples in it who are also in our prenatal class at the Birth Center, so that's kind of fun (plus our Bradley teacher is also our prenatal class teacher). My only complaint is that while it feels good to tailor-sit (sitting in chairs is so totally taboo in the birthing world), doing it for 2.5 hours with a basketball taped to your front is a wee bit uncomfortable after a while. But apparently so is labor, so I'll pretend it's like practice.

So, besides feeling like I'm channeling a pinniped, I still feel pretty good. Well, ok, I'm tired all the time (sleep for longer than 3-4 hours at a time is almost impossible) and I still have bad pelvic pain, especially after the 5k I walked last weekend...that'll probably be the last 3+ miles I walk this year (time to see the chiropractor I suppose). But overall, I'm not feeling too shabby. 

My dreams have been getting a little freakier and more baby-related too. I've dreamed a couple of times that I looked down and the baby was pressing her face through my skin, à la this poor fellow...

The other night I dreamed I gave birth to a kitten, and I picked it up and snuggled it (and thankfully didn't nurse...what is it with my family and dreaming while pregnant about nursing cats?). Another night I dreamed the baby was kicking so much (and pushing her face through my skin again) that I decided to "take her out" for a while. So I walked around holding her and she got comfortable. I remember she was very pink (but not freaky pink), completely bald, and had a face like an alien. But somehow it was still cute. Then I decided I needed to carry some stuff I was thinking of buying (did I mention this was at a store? Yeah), so I put her back in, by stuffing her under my shirt, after which she dissolved back into the uterus. It was really, really weird. I was relieved to wake up and find it was fake, let me tell you.

Supposedly pregnancy-induced dreams are supposed to be über vivid and realistic. While I've definitely found that to be true, I think I've been getting cheated a little bit. Aside from the freaky baby dreams I mentioned above, I've been having awesomely detailed dreams featuring such mundane topics as shopping at Costco (after which I woke up and wondered why we didn't actually have any food yet), explaining Sam's bizarre pajama-storage habits to my mom, and other scintillating topics. Give me a break. I had more exciting dreams before I was pregnant.

Well, there's not much else to update on, baby-related or not. Nothing interesting ever happens around here, I can tell you that. I'll let you know when it does.

Oh, and in case you never see me in person or have a generally morbid curiosity (or if you're eager to determine for yourself if it really *does* look like I've swallowed a watermelon), here's a picture of me in all my olive-on-a-toothpick glory
(featuring the clown shirt that thankfully I've now outgrown and won't feel obligated to wear for at least 2 months):

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's a Cecret

A couple of weeks ago we hiked with a couple of friends in our ward at church. We did a relatively easy hike near Alta up to a lake called Cecret Lake.

It was really a beautiful hike, and while I was exhausted for days afterward (to be expected maybe), we were really glad to get outside and enjoy ourselves before the weather turns too cold (which apparently it already has...three nights ago it was too hot to sleep and now we need three blankets on the bed. What the heck?) Plus, it was fun :)

Anyway, if you're looking for a local hike you should totes do this one!

Inner Cordage Offer Groin Murder

Oook, I've finally given in and decided to write one of those ubiquitous posts about being pregnant that make people simultaneously want to slap the writer and rub their hands together with excitement. There are just some things you need to write down. I'm keeping a private journal of updates and such to give to the kid later down the road (my mom did this with us and I have loved rereading it every so often). Even so, it's not like I can write "Dear Baby, today you inadvertently caused my stomach acid to burn a hole through my brain stem." Some things you just can't let your poor future offspring know.

So here you go.  Today(ish) I am 24 weeks. I have 2ish (depending on who you ask) weeks left before I hit the 3rd trimester.  I won't regale you with my multitudinous symptoms, but there are two that plague me most. 

The first actually just started about a week ago: the vilest of heartburns that radiates up to my earlobes. And it's not like I need to cut back on the chiles: water does the trick just fine. So does being hungry...which I often am. Ugh.  

The second has been around since about week 13ish, and is slowly getting worse: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Ahem. Everybody get out your anatomical skeleton models. Now, see all the parts where the two illia and the sacrum join? Now imagine someone is trying to pry those joinders  apart with a clam knife. Or a hacksaw, you pick. Now imagine that's what you feel when you sleep, turn over, stand up, walk, put your pants on, stand on one leg, ride a horse, make toast, pick your nose (just kidding, who does that psh), etc. You get the idea.

Other than those things and feeling really tired all the time, I can't (well, let's be honest: I do) really complain. I generally get enough sleep despite the midnight pee breaks. I've gained 21 pounds from the beginning and have nary a stretch mark (knock on myself). Brag brag brag.

My favorite part is probably feeling the baby move. I don't find it creepy. I don't even mind when it wakes me up at night. It's the one sure fire way I have of knowing things are going OK in there, and I'm glad to feel it. Maybe ask me again in another couple of months when the baby is so big it looks and feels like an alien is about to burst forth from my abdomen.

We did get the official results back from our ultrasound a few weeks ago. I think I already mentioned the babe is a girl. The scan also showed all the appropriate number of vessels, chambers, limbs, facial orifices, etc. So everything is just swell. Bonus: she's measuring a little big (hence many of the "ish"-s).

Helloooo baby...

I do feel like "a legitimate sort of huge truck" (come on guys, watch The Hot Rock a few dozen more times), but considering how big I know I'll be later on, I really can't complain. I'll be full term December 14th-ish, so the holidays are going to be just one huge partay.

From a couple of weeks ago (I'm making a slightly less horrible face than the one from this week).

And that's about it for now. I'll bore you with the deets on our upcoming childbirth classes and such later.

Side note:  if I read one more birth story that says the baby "gave a lusty cry" I'm going to give someone a lusty sock in the face.

Also: whoever said none of your hair ever falls out when you're pregnant can go chew on the huge wad that comes as a result of my daily shower.

Man I'm bitter...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Free Love, Baby

I'm almost embarrassed writing this because it's pretty dorky, but with so many people I know right now being pregnant, I figured someone out there could probably use this information to their advantage. And hey, everybody loves free stuff.

So. We are kind of doing this whole "baby thing" on a pretty minimalist budget. Anything we cant afford, we will simply do without.  Fact: it builds character to grow up sleeping in a cardboard box.

We have accumulated a rather small pile of stuff so far, and all of it, outside of a few items we bought "in case of accidents" right after we got married (mostly baby-related medical stuff and a few basic clothes), has been free. 

I took advantage of a free clothing swap my church hosted last month to get more neutral-ish clothes, including some awesome bunting from Baby Gap that still had tags! I'm pretty proud of that one.

Anyway, out of curiosity I started looking around for other possible free stuff for babies that didn't require I sell my soul (or email/mailing address) to the devil, and I discovered the magical gift bags that many baby-related stores hand out like fliers for a blood drive. We've gotten a whole bunch of free stuff this way, and while I think we've pretty much exhausted our freebie resources (besides a few potentially sketchy online subscription freebie coupon-y things), I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.  And here I am to tell you all about it!

Keep in mind I hadn't actually intended to do this initially, so I didn't always keep everything.  Plus with the bucket loads of coupons and "magazines" and junk, there's always more than I'm showing here.

One of the first places I got free stuff from was Motherhood Maternity. I know this place is kind of expensive, but they *do* have the most comfortable maternity jeans known to mankind, so if you're going to get a pair, just get one from here and you're all set. Also keep in mind I think this is only in-store.  Anyway, they send you off with a packet of free goodies, coupons, samples, etc.  What you see here is pretty much all I kept, so you decide if it's worth it.

(I'm doing this on my phone and it usually throws all the pictures to the end, so if you don't see it here, scroll down and see... Pic 1)

That's a 5oz "natural style" Avent bottle (similar to the Tommee Tippee style if you know it).  Ah, free things.

I think I also got similar coupon-y things and a little bottle of Palmer's Shea Lotion for stretch marks for 50¢ from Zulilly.

The most awesome packages, though, come when you start registries, which is pretty fun anyway, so this is really an all-win situation.

I had heard that Buy Buy Baby had the best freebie packets, so we went there first. I doubt anyone will ever even look at my registry at that store, and we only put like 10 things on it anyway since we were mostly there for the free stuff.  But if you can get past the slightly ridiculous store name, hide your face and go in, because the gift bag really is worth it.

(Pic 2)

I didn't even keep all the samples because they weren't relevant (ie little toddler fruit snacks), but there were seriously a bunch, including a few "mom-related" ones that aren't pictured here.  The bottle is another 5oz natural Avent bottle, but I had to mail in for it using a voucher that came in the bag.  It takes a long time to come, FYI, so forget it if you're impatient.

Target also has pretty decent gift bags. Not nearly as much stuff, but still some cool things.  We actually ended up getting two of these because we went back to another Target to add a carseat/stroller thing that they didn't have at the other one, and the lady (perhaps because she was distracted) gave us another packet. But they had different stuff in them, so I'm not complaining.

(Pic 3&4)

Things of note in the first one: lion teething toy, Mam pacifier, diaper samples, and the blue thing is a refill for a diaper genie, which we aren't getting, but we can still use it I'm sure.

In the second one: diaper samples, and a 5oz Tommee Tippee bottle-- I have to say, most excellent. I now have 3 little bottles of super quality and didn't pay for them. Other than the bottle, this bag was pretty scant. Maybe they spent their budget on the bottles.

Anyway, last of all is Babies R Us. I was pretty disappointed by this one. 

(Pic 5)

Yep, that's it.  Wipes and milk storage bags. They also gave us a couple of sample parenting magazines, but who cares about those, really? Oh, and there was a mail-in offer for a free little cooler thing to carry bottles in on-the-go, but obviously I haven't gotten it yet. Hopefully it arrives before this baby graduates high school.

But the store we went to was also having a little game thing at the time (not sure if it's all stores though), where you got a little plastic tote thing  with formula in it if you registered for 150 items in one go.

Of course, we took that as a challenge and pulled it off (umm...nobody look at that registry until I remove all the extra sippy cups and superfluous electronics, mmkay?). But what we didn't realize was that the formula (which we were planning to save as emergency food storage for the baby), was two 32oz cans of liquid formula, which expires a week before the baby's due date.  So I guess if you're going to try for that one, don't get overexcited until you know exactly what's being offered (and we ended up giving it to my aunt, so someone still wins).

(Pic 6)

So I guess that's it. My recommendation is to register anywhere and everywhere (although I don't think Walmart does gift bags, if they do, tell me, and I have found my weekend entertainment), even if you don't plan on telling anyone about the registry, because hey, free stuff. In fact maybe you don't even have to be pregnant one has to know...

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Inexpert

Last week, I went to Oregon with some of my family to celebrate my half-sister Ellen's marriage, and we also got to swing by my uncle's house on Sunday to spend the day with them.

We went to church with their family, and my cousin asked me to go with her to the teenager class, so I did.  The lesson was on dating standards, and therefore simultaneously interesting and awkward.

Why awkward?  Because, being the only person in the room besides the teacher old enough to date, and being married on top of it, I was asked to give "expert insight" on the matter.  And I certainly have never considered myself an expert in dating-- ha!

Afterward, I went for a walk with a couple of my cousins, and talked about how funny the lesson had been for me, especially since I'm really not the best example for successful dating.  One (or both) of them made a comment about how I must've done something right, because here I am, married with a baby (actually, the term used was "possible velociraptor") on the way.

The comment kind of took me aback.  I suppose to someone who doesn't know my whole life story (and believe me, nobody would want to), it might appear like I've had some kind of success in the dating-people world.  But I honestly look back and proverbially face-palm myself as I watch how I stumbled and flopped around like a fish out of water at any and all attempts at romance.  I think the only reason I ended up married is because I figured out the one thing that works: I stopped trying.  And it helped that Sam had incidentally stopped trying at the same time, we became friends, and one thing led to another.

I wasn't "dating" anybody.  I wasn't looking for romance at ALL, you can ask Sam.  It was more that I noticed that trying so hard to be "happy" was making me incredibly UN-happy, and so it was time to quit.

In the time I took to really, legitimately, stop caring about all that stuff, I was probably the happiest I'd ever been.  Being alone, being comfortable with yourself-- that's one of the best feelings there is.  I became more confident and more "me", and that, surprisingly (or not so), attracted someone.  And I put up a bit of a fight, until I realized that while it was good to be alone, I really did want to have someone to be myself with (if that makes sense), so if there was an opportunity where I wasn't making a complete fool of myself, I ought to take it.  Plus, even if you do marry someone, you still need to be comfortable spending time alone with yourself.
Be happy to spend time alone

But that's beside the point.  The point is, I never dated.  I had a few set-up dates, and one date where I plucked up the courage to ask someone out, but nobody was ever interested in asking *me* out.  And everyone I ever "dated" was lame for one reason or another, ie not letting me put my feet on the dashboard, telling me to pick a radio station and then changing it to country after I'd settled, not wanting to talk to me when certain people were around, way more seriously lame reasons, etc.  Boys are fools.  Well, girls are too.

I'm not really sure who I'm writing this for.  So if you get something from it, awesome.  Otherwise, I think it's just to point out something that is kind of hard to see until you step back afterward and realize: "Huh.  I guess I didn't need to stress myself out and try so hard and drive myself into depression trying to make sense of it all, because, well, it doesn't make sense.  And when you quit trying, that's when it comes together."

Of course, this isn't true for everybody.  But I still think it's pretty true.  So stop worrying about it.  If it happens, it happens.  If not, you can still be pretty dang happy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sharing Different Heartbeats

The jig seemed to be up a long time ago, but I guess if this is the first you're hearing of it, here you go: at the turn of the year some time, I will be giving birth to a baby. It's going to be all exciting with fireworks and horns and 21-gun-salutes and whatnot, I assure you.

We won't know whether it is a boy or a girl until approximately August 27th at 3:30pm MDT, but you are free to speculate, place bets, etc (as long as all winnings go to me).

Sam is very, very excited to be a father. He has been a good sport about making sure he is at all the appointments and has even voluntarily read a parenting book. It's kind of cute, but naturally I would think that. 

As for me, I'm 15 weeks and starting to show a little bit, but I still mostly feel like I look like Senor Cardgage (n00bs watch this: ).

But, it's better than a beer belly and a combover, because the baby is adorable. We watched it kicking and punching and battling a fierce case of the hiccups at our last ultrasound, and we all had a funny laugh at the babe's expense.

That *about* sums it up!

PS I have some cute/hilar pictures of both Sam's and our families' reactions (via Skype) when I/we told them the news, but we don't have Internet and they're on my computer, so that'll have to wait. In the mean time, here is a slightly recent (maybe 2 weeks ago) photo of cross-eyed moi:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lately I've Been Thinkin'

Hidey ho!  It seems like everyone is updating their blogs today, so I'll jump on the bandwagon.

Not a lot has been happening around these parts, at least not really.  We're all moved in to our new place, and pretty much everything is unpacked.  It still doesn't feel at all like our home though, partly, I think, because:

A. There is nothing hanging on any of the walls (I'm kind of waiting for either inspiration or money to paint a couple of the rooms so they aren't hideously brown)

B. We don't have anywhere to sit.  Actually, we have a deskchair and a plastic tub that we use to sit around the dinner table.  That's it.

C. Sam and I are never home at the same time.  We see each other in the morning for an hour or two before I head to work, and occasionally, if I finish at work early, for a few minutes before he heads out the door for his night shift.  His schedule becomes more human next week though, so hopefully that will get better soon.

Anyway.  So the house isn't really news, plus it's boring.

But last week we were able to take a trip out to Connecticut one last time before Sam's parents make the move to Utah.  We had a lot of fun out there, but it was really, really hot.  We had a few parties and a lot of guests and everything was totally cray-cray, but it was fun.  I'll miss being able to visit the east coast sometimes, but it'll be nice for Sam's parents to be close for the time remaining we have in Utah.

Also, my parents moved up here!  I'm okay with it as long as I don't think about growing up in a house that no longer belongs to anyone.  But I have the memories, and that's enough.  Plus, I'm really happy that my parents get to be up here all the time.  It's like a party 24/7 (not really, but you know).  Hopefully their house will be built by Christmas, so they can move out of my Grandparents' basement and things will be more normal.  But for now, I'm just excited to have them here :)

Hopefully there will be more exciting stuff the next time I blog.  Until then, here is a smattering of photos I took while we were our visiting last week:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Glad Dad Tie Fad

Hopefully this post will be a little less...disturbing...than my last.

I kind of wish I didn't first think to write this this morning, but maybe now this can make Father's Day like a 2-day party, kind of like the Olympics (which is way longer than two days, but whatever).

I just wanted to jot down some thoughts about the father-y figures in my life, because I think they're all a little under-appreciated.  Or something.  Oh, and I know several people who either never knew their dad, or their dads maybe weren't quite who they could've been, but I think it's important to recognize all father-figures, and even just great men in our lives.  And not like in an all-potential-fathers-stand-up-in-church-for-a-free-cookie type of way, but you know.  La di da.

So here we go.  In chronological order of when I met them:

1. My Dad.
Dad and my half-sibs, as they are wont to do
He is smart, he is patient, and he always makes us laugh.  He's just a silly person.  He cares for his family and loves his children.  I love that he was able to spend so much time with us as kids, racing us up the driveway, taking us on delivery trips to the Bay Area (usually just one-on-one), dancing with us in the kitchen, etc.  He taught us to do so many practical things (he's a great teacher).  He makes the best orange juice.  His nursery made sure we all had our first paying job by the time we were like 6 years old.  And he taught us a lot about caring for plants.  Bonus: I've been able to impress countless people by saying things like "Oh, that's a Phoenix Canariensis."  He encouraged us to try hard things and to keep up with music practice of all sorts.  And best of all, he put up with the antics of his insane children.  I'm very grateful for that-- even though it's partly his fault that we are that way...heh heh.

2. My Grandpa.
Gazing into the beautiful future...
My Grandpa is the best grandpa around.  He's the only grandfather I've ever known (my dad's dad died when he was very young).  He's the father of 9 kids, 40-something grandkids, a dozen or so great-grandkids, and every young person who has ever met him.  He's a very loving, kind, smart, funny man, and is a very hard worker.  He's 80-something years old, and I'm pretty sure he works as hard today as he did any other day of his life when he's asked to help out.  He's a very patient man.  He gives the best hugs, and means every second of every squeeze.  I can see the happiness and love in his eyes when he puts his hands on my cheeks and smiles at me.  I hope he sticks around for a while :)

3. My Husband.
I guess he also complained on this day, but that's because it was 14* F.  Sam, don't be mad about this picture, I can't stop laughing, and you want me to be happy, right?!
I know, Sam's not a father yet.  But like I said earlier, great men too.  Sam is a great man.  I don't think he gets told enough.  He is one of the most patient people I have ever met.  He's very intelligent, and remembers every iota of information he's ever read, probably (unless it's music lyrics).  He is a quiet and diligent worker.  Only once in all my time knowing him have I seen him frustrated from not getting recognition for what he'd done, and it was only when he really deserved it.  He loves people, and treats everyone like family or a close friend (one of the things that initially caught my attention was his willingness to give up something he had to help himself just so someone else could be comfortable, without being asked or even prompted).  Most of all, he loves me, more than anything.  He would do anything for me, and does, without ever complaining.  I definitely need to work on a thing or two to live up to his example.  He's a funny person, and he listens to me.  He's great with kids too, as long as he doesn't frighten them with his beard (it is getting kind of mountain-man-y).

4. My Father-in-Law.
Sam's dad is pretty cool.  I think I lucked out getting such great in-laws.  Sam's dad is a very intelligent man who works hard in everything he does.  He seems to go all-in with pretty much everything he's interested in.  He takes care of his family, loves his children, and really loves his wife.  He's a great grounder.  He likes to try new things, and learn about everything.  And according to his kids he's "pretty fit" and "hip" for being 52.  Best of all, he raised Sam (those other kids too, but you know...).  Sam loves his dad and looks up to him.  Every time Sam gets excited about something happening to him, one of the first things he wants to do is tell his dad.  Sam is also a lot like his dad, in a lot of ways.  And I am grateful that a great person was the one to raise him.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Don't Bug Me About This

Sam and I are currently making our way to California for a week (technology! I can blog from the car in the middle of nowhere!). 

A little while ago, we passed a place infamous in the lore of our relationship, and I realized that very few people actually know this story, and that's a shame.  So here I am to tell it to you.

Lo, these many years ago, when Sam and I were still in field school together and "just friends," Sam decided to take me on a Sunday evening drive in his Volvo that smelled like crayons to his ancestral home, Scipio.

I've passed through Scipio a million times and considered it no more than a blip on the map, but that apparently is where all the Wasdens and Quarnbergs interbred (or inbred) and created the large-noggined species of Wasden.  So it's important to Sam.  And, admittedly, I didn't really care what we were doing at the time, I just wanted to spend a little time with him because I loved the smell of crayons, so to speak.

We took a detour through Goshen Canyon to finally look at that rock art that was always just down the road from the site we were excavating. After a while, we met back up with the 15 somewhere and drove along south.

It was at this point that Sam decided to show off his classy Cruise Control (I love a man with Cruise Control). But it broke the computer, and therefore the car.  We began to coast on the freeway (not really a safety concern anywhere in Central Utah).  We pulled off at the nearest exit, a place called Mills--aptly named, since the only thing besides cows and scrub as far as the eye can see was a towering mill with a few outbuildings.

So we called Sam's mom (my heart a-pounding a bit since it was essentially like "meeting the parents", right?), then spent some time on the phone with AAA, who promised to send a tow truck in about an hour from Scipio (the only reason I can think it might've taken an hour to get to a place less than 20 minutes away is that everyone in a 400-mile radius had crashed their cars simultaneously).

In the mean time, we decided to walk around and get to know the exit. I quickly became aware of a sudden and irresistible urge to urinate.


Sam felt the same and took care of business while standing on a small bridge in the middle of the field.  I searched around a little nervously-- the freeway was right there, and it was a relatively flat area.  I could imagine the eyes of every mill-worker on me as I considered where to hide myself.  Not to mention this boy who I was still getting to know would undoubtedly be judging me.

The only solution I could perceive was to go down into the creek that the bridge crossed and take care of it there.  So I wandered down and felt very fortunate to be wearing a skirt at the moment.

The fortune I felt very quickly disappeared as I realized that creek+summer+exposed delicate parts=what the heck was I thinking?!

Sam called down to ask if I was ok when I started giving periodic shrieks every time a horse-sized mosquito decided to take a little nibble at my soft underbelly.
I looked completely ridiculous waving my arms around, half-squatting in a creek.  But only the thousands of blood-suckers saw me, and fortunately they don't talk.

I ran like a bat out of Hell back to the Volvo and we laughed and cried about it until the tow truck driver pulled up a minute later with a sprig of hay hanging out of his mouth.

I listened amusedly on the ride back as Sam chatted family history with his fellow Scipian (it didn't take long to find out they were distant cousins) and tried very hard to ignore the building itching.

This turned out to be one of those experiences that only draws you together, but every time we pass Mills or talk about Scipio, I shudder to think of that time when I was raped by mosquitos while everyone at that mill laughed at me (which turned out only to be Sam, but still).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ketchup and Other Condiments

Yeah, maybe let's pretend like the last time I posted on here wasn't 3 months and 1 day ago.  I got a job that I signed a million NDAs for and therefore can't really talk about, Sam got busy trying to graduate, and we kind of ceased to have a life in the interim.

But!  Things are happening again, and while I probably don't deserve it, I hope I still have a readership out there, somewhere, in the wild blue yonder...

So.  Like I said, I got a job.  January 17th even.  It's kind of crazy, but this job, even though the circumstances were and are not perfect in every way, has been a huge godsend.  If I'd gotten a different job ages ago, I never would've gotten this one, and I really feel like this is where I was supposed to end up.  Pay is not what I should be earning.  Hours are slim (based on demand).  But the job is great fun, I work completely independently, all of my "bosses" trust me to do things and figure things out on my own, they ask my opinions on stuff I think is kind of important, and I basically help their companies function at their best.  Well, I'm sure they could make it without me, but I think I make it a lot easier for them.  And the best part?  It's fun.  They tease me, we joke.  I love being around happy people all the time.  And like I said, it's right where I need to be.

And Sam is graduated!  I'm super duper proud of him.  He's been there for me through all of the crummy junk life threw my way in the past couple of years, and so I've been trying really hard to reciprocate these past couple of semesters so he didn't have to worry about anything but school.  It really paid off.  He's done really well in all his classes, and I've stopped worrying so much about his education, and now-- he's all finished!  Graduation feels like a huge accomplishment to us both, and we're both on cloud nine now.

Other things have started happening too.  My older sister had a very cute baby girl last week, whom they've named Juliet.  Also last weekend we had the opportunity to join my parents and my other sister and her husband on a camping trip to Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde.  We even stopped at the Four Corners Monument, since most all of us had never been.  Let me tell you-- that place is a straight up barrel of monkeys.  But they have Navajo fry bread!  And I loved that everybody there felt as ridiculous as you doing weird poses whilst trying to be in four places at once.  Solidarity, guys.  (I'm putting pictures from the trip below, so in case you hate images you can just skip them-- and I think most of them are not ones I put on Instagram)

Oh!  And I also shot my first wedding a couple of weeks ago!  It was hard work and I was really nervous, plus post-processing took way longer than any other shoot I've done, but it turned out pretty well, considering the light was bad all day and night.

That's another thing-- somehow things have picked up a lot faster than I expected them to with the photography thing.  People are starting to ask me to do shoots for them instead of the other way around!  I still feel totally inadequate, especially when I see people with amazingly clear photos or subjects' eyes are all lit up like gems, know what?  I'm trying.  And maybe my style is a little different.  And most of all, I'm still learning, and I'm just really happy that people are actually giving me a chance!  I really love getting out there and shooting people.  It makes me really, really happy.

Oh, and I promise not to be such a troglodyte in the future.  I'll keep posting.

Grinding that stone at Mesa Verde

Yo.  Wasdens at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon

Cairns and men

Ascending the Pueblo Alto Trail, Chaco Canyon

Mom hearts Chaco

The 'rents

Cold at Mesa Verde

Short at Chetro Ketl

Ok, this was really cool: Dad's signs at Four Corners!  Woohoo!

A case for the FBI: which state was I killed in?

"Mecca lecca hi mecca lecca hiney ho"

...And descending

Oh, Senior Photos!

Layers of Ommmm