My online journal.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

32-week ultrasound

Got the all-clear from the doc yesterday -- the placenta is now 4.5 cm away from the cervix, so all is well. The baby looks great, super-cute if I do say so myself. Now we just need to:
1. finish the basement bathroom
2. move the guest-room into the basement
3. repaint and furnish Gus's new room
4. sort through Lucy's old eensy-weensy clothes
5. buy some eensy-weensy diapers the next 8 weeks or so. Aaargh!

Oh, and we're adding a new name to the mix: what about Elaine for a girl? We could call her Laine or Lainey, maybe.

We had a WONDERFUL long Christmas weekend (meaning it spilled over into Wednesday) with both our families. Thank you Gronaus, Dahlheimers, Ryans and Evanses (apostrophes omitted intentionally for grammatical correctness) for making this a fabulous Christmas chock-full of love and laughter. And LOTS of laughter. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I keep my pants up with a piece of twine

Grandpa "Googly-goo" Ryan is up this week, playing super-nanny to his favorite granddaughter. I can see why celebrities feel like they can't live without live-in nannies -- it is AWFULLY nice to have someone around of whom you don't expect anything except to entertain the baby. Whoa, that was some nasty syntax.

Joel and I were able to catch a movie last night (YESS!!) -- Walk the Line. It was good. Really good. But maybe a little long? And not exactly action-packed? But I really like Johnny Cash's voice. Or rather, Joaquin Phoenix DOING Johnny Cash's voice. Yum.
(Aside to Joel: Agent John Doggett! That's who it is.)

Had my 30-week checkup this morning and all is well there, too. I've gained 6 more pounds (17 or 26 total, depending where you're starting from), BP and baby's heart are all good. My doc is a doll and she cheerfully signed my cord-blood donation form and answered my silly questions. She always knows just what to tell me to make me stop worrying. Love her.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Exercise and the Pregnant Minnesotan

What a horrid time of year to be hugely pregnant!

1. Because of all the hat, scarf, coat, etc. I have to wear to stay warm, it is not at once obvious that I am pregnant. HALF THE FUN OF BEING PREGNANT IS IT BEING OBVIOUS. Nay, instead, I just look a little rotund.

2. Speaking of exercise... a simple walk around the block is really tough when your city doesn't plow the sidewalks. Most people do their own, but occasionally you get to a block with lazy residents and you're Out Of Luck. Which, for me, could easily also mean On My Butt, followed by Suddenly In Labor.

3. The wind! My god, the wind. Manages to swirl up under my shelf of a belly, beneath my coat and my plenty-long shirt, and freeze my little lower abdomen. Brrr.

4. The shopping! My god, the shopping. Hauling my burgeoning self from the farthest corner of the parking lot, to the store. Lugging gynormous parcels everywhere. And I'm sure people would be delighted to lend me a hand... see #1.

Well, that was kinda dumb. Sorry, I have to go shopping. :)

Weekend Wrap

Gus is, as we speak, cuddled up comfortably ON MY INTESTINE. And it really hurts. I just want to jiggle him a little to get him to change position.

I had a dreadful episode of sadness on Saturday, precipitated by Lucy's being a total MONSTER for me. The usual, you know: slapping me, pinching my skin, screaming and refusing to sit still for a diaper change, refusing to eat, and general whining and malaise. Made worse, because Joel's been working on the bathroom and I really WANT him to work on the bathroom, and he really WANTS to work on the bathroom, and fer Petey's sake I should be able to take care of my own daughter for one stinking day... right?

Anyway. Turned out what I really needed was just a little nap, and what Lucy needed was to be left alone in her pack and play with 75 different toys and a couple ounces of milk, watching college basketball for about an hour.

We all recovered.

Had my book club's annual cookie-bake on Sunday, and thank God for those girls. I got some ideas for the kids' rooms, lots of "stop worrying, you're doing fine" (which I desperately needed), a few pregnancy workout videos... and it didn't hurt that the cookies were (and are) super, duper yummy. Joel is even eating them with surprising voracity, considering he's never been a "dessert guy."

(Cute aside: because Joel is the Gronau I know best, I often (and sometimes mistakenly) project his qualities onto his family as a unit. Well, once I said something like "Oh, you Gronaus aren't really dessert people!" and Joel's mom was VERY quick to disown this particular trait of Joel's as an anomaly and certainly NOT representative of the family as a whole.)

Thanks also to my Mom (who is probably surprised reading this, since I didn't even actually talk to her) for mentioning to Joel how she is able to enjoy grandparenthood MUCH more than parenthood. It just helped me put things into a larger perspective and realize that I'm normal for not being able to maintain a blissed-out aura of peace and happiness at all times.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

People are funny

So, I have a banana sitting on my desk. It's not the most beautiful banana in the world; it's probably a day or four past its prime. Reminder: I work in a cube. TWICE today, someone has stopped by my desk and told me how "disgusting" the banana looks. And twice, I have responded, "Hey! You're going to hurt its little banana feelings!"

Now, how often in YOUR life have you gotten to say "little banana feelings"?

Think about THAT. :)

Done? Good. I'm going to take it as a compliment that my co-workers feel comfortable enough with me to openly criticize my food.

It's turning into a good day today, despite itself.

Fun With Polls

I'm experimenting with some polls. See the ones at right? You should vote. I want to see if I can make it work within a post, too, so...

How should we arrange the kids' rooms?
Lucy should stay in her own room; it's HER room.
Lucy should move into the other room; Gus can have "the baby's room".


Free polls from

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

15 month checkup

Lulu had her 15-month checkup yesterday. Vital stats:

Weight: 24#, 6 oz. (75th %)
Head: 18.25" (63rd %)
Height: 31.5" (83rd %)

So for all of you who keep telling me she's a peanut, she is NO PEANUT!

OK, fine she's a peanut.

Anyhoo, she had three shots (flu booster, MMD and chicken pox), which pretty much knocked her out for the night. But other than that, she's great! Next appointment is at 18 months, at which point she will be (gasp!) a big sister. Holy crumbs!!

Had my last swing and latin dance classes last night. What a fun experience... but exhausting!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Penguin Pratfalls

Joel had Lucy in her "penguin suit" this morning (her snowsuit, that is, which is pink, not black and white, but which renders Lucy extremely chubby and waddly and therefore penguin-esque)... and Lucy tipped over and cut her lip on her tooth. Ouch! Joel said there was some blood, of course, and he feels terrible. He said if she was a little older he probably would have taken her straight to Dairy Queen. Golly, I love those two. :)

hills and valleys

Well, after the high that was the beginning of last week, there was bound to be a letdown. Nothing is wrong, I'm just feeling kinda down. I don't feel like I finished anything this weekend -- didn't clean the bathroom, didn't put all the laundry away... the usual. I didn't practice my hynobirthing stuff hardly at all (and when I did it didn't feel satisfying) and I spent a lot of the weekend feeling tired and kind of frumpy. Lucy even sprouted a couple more teeth and I'm just not that excited about it. Oh well.
Just reporting... no big deal. :)

Oh, and I had a BIZARRO dream last night, involving my cousin's wife Lynda, my St. Colette t-shirt, an upside-down elevator and a humongous office building.
I should go get some coffee.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Meg in a happy place

Hi. Hypnobirthing totally rocks, is all I have to say today. I don't know what turns Gus's birthing will take, but I am learning to feel completely at ease and prepared for the whole thing. If nothing else, I have learned to relax myself in my daily life (invaluable in my line of work AND as mom to Miss Pants).

It is difficult finding time to practice the relaxation techniques, so I have been taking my CD player into a conference room at lunch. I can honestly say that I think this practicing has helped me focus more on my job, and to handle the problems (which invariably arise) with calmness and professionalism... well, at least as much as I can muster. :)

This weekend starts the holiday celebrations, with the "dice game" at the Gronaus. I diverted from my usual dollar-store purchases of Crap I Hope Doesn't Come Back Home With Me, and instead went for Small Lovely Things Which I Might Find Useful.

One of my clients just spelled my last name "Grouneau." I mean really, I think maybe she's just mocking me.

Monday, November 28, 2005


See, this is what happens when I forget to post. I have to do huuuuge catchup work.

OK, so that one new molar of Lucy's? Turned out to be THREE new molars and one new incisor... all on the right side of her poor little head. She's pleased as punch with her new choppers (or at least, not screaming in agony every evening anymore). She was such a delight this weekend -- I had Lu-duty almost all day Sat and Sun, since Joel was working on the basement bathroom. We ate a lot of leftover Thanksgiving dinner, and she took some gooood naps, and I think she MAY be saying "mama" now. Maybe.

I snuck in a couple baths (for myself) and a few good hypnobirthing practice sessions. And only once did I remember something I forgot to do at work.

We had nice visits with family for Thanksgiving... we celebrated Ellen's 24th birthday... we got some Christmas shopping done... and we moved furniture to make room for a Christmas tree!

Fulfilling Stereotypes, One Pickle at a Time

Note: This post is from last Tuesday. I wrote it and then totally forgot to post it. Oops.

So they're having big meetings at work all week with sales reps and whatnot, so of course they cater in all these lovely lunches from Panera and Jimmy John's which means...
There's a huge box of leftover pickles in the company fridge this morning, and one of the other pregnant women at work is in the lunch room with me so I stage-whisper to her:
Psst! Lisa! PICKLES!!
And her eyes light all up and we grab forks and dig in, and I get back to my cube (where I sit next to yet another pregnant woman) and I say:
Hey! Kelly! PICKLES!!
And HER eyes light all up and she goes, "I LOVE pickles!" and we all giggle together. I'm on my second spear and it's only 8:48 AM. Mmmmmm.

So Lucy is wailing last night about some tragedy in her little toddler life, with her mouth wiiiiide open, and I notice: a MOLAR. The girl had only her front two choppers, top and bottom, and out pops a MOLAR. Poor thing!!

Gramps came up yesterday to spoil the Pants for the rest of the week until Thanksgiving. So cute together.

Gus had a little in-utero freak-out yesterday. I watched my belly shake and bounce for a bit and then realized that she might be a little upset in there. So I petted my tummy and whispered "Mommy's here, it's all right" and what do you know, it worked.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Well, I never!

Just got back from my 26-week glucose screen (where they check for gestational diabetes). I passed... but barely. I got a 136, and 140 is the danger-zone cutoff. I can't believe it! I was, like, at 72 with Lucy. Dang! What did I do? Where did I go wrong?

Obviously, I'm not going to stress about it... but geez. I wonder if this has anything to do with the large amounts of Halloween candy I've been eating. I feel like a failure! Cripes.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Defying Gravity

Quick review of Wicked: IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!
It is so rare to anticipate something as much as I was anticipating seeing Wicked, and actually have it live up to, nay, surpass my expectations. The costumes, the music, the scenery, the dancing, the VOICES were all simply amazing.
We had kind of a scary trip downtown -- we left Mom & Dad's house at 5:45 for an 8:00 show, and the traffic report actually said that the traffic on the part of the Northwest Tollway that we'd be traveling was "horrible and awful" (or something like that, Jean what was the direct quote?). And, I mean, for those of you who know that Chicago traffic is generally horrible and usually awful... to actually hear the announcer describe it that way, well, we were getting VERY nervous about making it down there in time.
Jean set us a goal (apparently having goals is important to nurses these days) of hitting the River Rd. toll plaza by 6:40, which we (barely) made, and then we ended up being about 1/2 hour early for the show. We got our seats (7th row!!!!) and ran into Sarah (Radel) Rudeye (omigosh I have NO idea how to spell that) and her sisters. (Sarah went to WSU and dated Tom Hawbecker for a while, so while I'd never met her, I knew OF her. Joel's the one who recognized her.)
ANYWAY, like I said the show was fabulous. Ana Gasteyer played Elphaba, and who knew she could sing like that?? The rest of the cast was great, and the costumes were totally brilliant (Exhibit A: there was a scene-change where some ensemble members dance across the stage in these extravagant, huge ball gowns that you NEVER SEE AGAIN; Exhibit B: in the "Emerald City" scene there's one ensemble member doing the same choreography as everyone else, but wearing lime-green toe shoes).
The whole show was just gorgeous -- loved it, loved it. All righty, back to work.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Big Lake They Call Gitchigumee

Hi gang!
Happy Thursday. Guess what? I'm 25 weeks preg today. How the heck did that happen? Other miscellany, with links to things more interesting than this blog:
  1. Happy 30th Anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Does anyone know where the love of God goes?
  2. The main thing occupying my mind these days is my job, which I will not be blogging about.
  3. We're going to visit my folks this weekend and we have tickets to Wicked. I CANNOT STINKING WAIT.
  4. I really love MPR's 89.3 The Current radio station. And I am so glad I can get reception at my desk now.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Edge of Reason

Am reading "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" and so inner monologue is in stunted weird diary-speak. So blog entry will follow. Apologies if v. confusing.

Not exactly rollicking, child-free wild fun of days gone by, but lovely nonetheless.

Friday night
Had nice dinner (Green Mill) out with Donna, John, Julie, Jamie, Jeff, and Doris and the girls on Friday night. Dinner enjoyable despite having to navigate "The Shoppes of Arbor Lakes" (obviously a misnomer; "Seven Circles of Hell" much more accurate what with curving streets and approximately 400 different strip malls all crammed into one "shopping experience." V. stressful having to navigate; not sure what insidious, evil force would allow such atrocious monstrosity of commercialism to be constructed.)
Was kind of exhausted after that, so just went home instead of to movie.

Saturday, 7:30 a.m.
Awaken and realize nobody in house is wearing a wet diaper and needing to be fed.
Is weird.

8:30 a.m.
Finally haul self out of bed. Enjoy leisurely bowl of cereal but no coffee since out of creamer. Attempt to create homemade "creamer" by steaming milk and adding shot of hazelnut flavoring. Not same. Joel kecks (how do you spell that?) and refuses to drink it. Later gripes about scalded milk stuck to bottom of pan. Sullen uncaffeinated conversation ensues.

9:25 a.m.
Depart for Roseville to pick up my car from my work, where it was left last night despite driving through Roseville on way home from Maple Grove.

10:04 a.m.
Arrive at Amy Jane's Bridal in St. Paul, approximately 15 seconds before Mandy. Yay not late! Fun wedding-dress-trying-on ensues! Meet lovely girl Karen who escorts us through many levels of dresses hidden in cool old building. Have private fitting room with pretty decorating and cup of sweet tea. Just delightful, v. romantic and elegant establishment.

11:15 a.m.
Except I am not the one trying on dresses. Not as much fun.

11:45 a.m.
And pregnant woman getting a little hungry.

12:00 p.m.
Oh dear now we're going to another shop rather than to lunch.

1:45 p.m.
Second shop less spacious but with MANY more dresses, so not as fairy-taley an experience. Plus mother, grandmother, and friend-of-other-bride-in-store keep piling coats/purses/whatnot on only available chair for v.-weak-from-hunger-pangs pregnant woman to sit on. Pregnant woman having to keep asking if OK to remove said coats/purses/whatnot so could sit down in-between dresses being tried on.
Hooray! Pregnant woman found leftover Halloween fun-size Snickers bar in purse. Gobbled quickly, being careful not to touch chocolate with fingers as said fingers might be needed to fondle wedding-gown-train at any moment.
And Mandy found a dress!! Double hooray!! She was so happy and it was really fun getting to share the experience with her. Will have to remember to call Mandy to ask if she went back today to check on dress. Is really beautiful gown and makes Mandy look stunning. Wish her much much happiness on wedding day and always.
And she bought lunch (actually breakfast foods, yum yum YUM!). Hoorays all around.

2:30 p.m.
Arrived home, dropping off special-request three soft-shell Taco Supremes for Joel and then heading out with intent to purchase SHOES for SELF.

3:30 p.m.
Did not buy shoes; bought new shower curtain and liner. And coffee creamer and cereal. IS NOT ADMISSION OF LOSS OF YOUTHFUL EXHUBERANCE. SHOWER CURTAIN WAS IMPULSIVE AND UNNECESSARY PURCHASE!! Ignoring fact that old one was super-mildewy and definitely at least 5 years old.

12:30 a.m.
Just returned from v. wonderful evening out with JG. Dined at Joe's Crab Shack in Roseville (had been craving shellfish despite having shrimp Friday night at Green Mill... but is not a pregnancy thing as shellfish ALWAYS fave food, next to pie and homemade caramel corn and candy-corn-with-peanuts and what was I talking about?). Right. Went a little crazy, ordering virgin daiquiri and extra crab and even dessert. Could really eat crab from now until end of world and never ever tire of it, as long as neverending conveyor belt of crab periodically punctuated by pie.
Went to see Jarhead after; kind of a different flick; I really liked it. Kind of bummed that Child-Free-Weekend did not coincide with release of Rent or Memoirs of a Geisha or Walk the Line or about six other movies I really want to see.

Met Gronaus and Briners at Bakers Square in Maple Grove (v. grateful this particular restaurant located on very fringe of Arbor Lakes Circles of Hell so did not have to navigate horrid commercialist mess) and had a de-lish brekky. Took Lulu home (v. good to see pudgy little face, missed terribly) and had an afternoon nap. Went to Watsons' for a playdate and watched as Lucy detached self from Watsons' couch and took about eight solo steps toward me before crashing to bottom. Spent entire evening encouraging Lucy to walk from me to Joel and back, which she did with great relish and enthusiasm. Little hoot v. proud of self and rightfully so. Caught a bit of it on video for posterity. But v. difficult to hold running video camera and catch tentatively-toddling 14-month old at same time. But v. v. fun and would not trade for eternal conveyor belt of crabmeat.

Friday, November 04, 2005


What a week. It's a good thing those New Deal guys didn't decide on a 50-hour workweek; I'd be toast.

Lucy's going to spend the weekend with Joel's p's. While it makes me sad, since I get to spend such little time with her all week... I am REALLY looking forward to:
a. napping.
b. taking a bath, or four.
c. reading a book, or three.
d. shopping. Joel doesn't know it but I aim to buy some very cute shoes.
e. wedding dress shopping with Mandy!
f. going out to dinner with Joel tomorrow.


Last couple nights, JG and I entertain ourselves by standing Lu up on her little stockinged feet and then gingerly backing up, to try to get her to walk to us. Just watching her work to keep her balance is amazing -- I feel like she's a Barbie doll, and there's no way she can hold her balance for even a few seconds... but that little inner-ear of hers is obviously working, and I can see her catch and re-catch herself. Super cool.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

One ultrasound more -- 24 weeks

Hi gang.
Had another U/S this morning to check on that placenta of mine. (Or rather, of Gus's.) It has moved (and the tech actually said that "moved," AKA "migrated" is a misnomer, since it's really attached to the side of the uterus, and the uterus just grows (like a balloon blowing up) so that's why it looks like it's moving) a whole nother centimeter away from the cervix. The doctor says it's probably fine, and explained that the "PR" is still in effect but that it doesn't have to be quite as, erm, restrictive as we thought... um, that's too much detail. Anyway.
Everything else looked fine -- Gus was moving around in there and that's that.

Big sister, however, has been a BEAR. Maybe it was too early to think about taking the nuk away -- oi she's been a very large handful the last couple of days. My friend Nikki told me that when you have 2 kids, taking it "one day at a time" is impossible and you just take it "one minute at a time." I guess she's got a point -- I should just worry about the kids being clothed and fed and safe and let everything else just go by the wayside.

I have another headache. I NEVER had headaches with Lucy. If Gus isn't a boy she's going to have a lot of 'splainin' to do.

A farce of stupid proportions

So yesterday my boss comes flying into my cube at like 11:40 -- she's been in a meeting with a Mystery Client all morning. "Have you eaten? Can you be bribed?" she asks.
Me, and free food? Uh, yes. Now, we work in Roseville where there are approximately 5,000 restaurants within a 3-mile radius. But for some crazy reason, Susan and the Mystery Client just had to have Panera. Panera's good and all, but the closest one is practically in downtown Minneapolis. At best, a 10- or 15-minute drive.
But I hop in my car and tear off, my mind filled with all the brownie points I'm earning, and the free lunch I'm getting. And I don't even mind shelling out a quarter for meter parking, or trotting across the city street in my 4" heels, or standing in a line 50-persons-long to order my sandwich. I finally get my food (three sandwiches, one lemonade and six cookies (apparently Mystery Client requires MANY cookies) for the low, low price of $28.13!!) and drive BACK to Roseville.
And I'm dashing down the freeway at 70 MPH and I realize that in order to avoid the embarrassing scene of "Gee, which sandwich is mine?" when I arrive at the office, I'd better take MY sandwich out of the large brown paper sack. So (still driving) I grab the topmost sandwich, and as soon as I have it up out of the bag and over my lap...

It explodes.

And there is sammy EVERYWHERE. My (black) skirt is covered in flakes of cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, friggin' "artisan" bread chunks and mayonnaisey chicken.

Oh... and I had ordered the roast beef.

So I am swearing and laughing and crying and SWEARING and still driving and I have NO idea how I'm going to re-assemble this sandwich so it even faintly resembles the Handcrafted Delicacy which I'm sure Mystery Client is expecting.
I pull into the lot and try to cram the sandwich back together, and get the Artisan Bread with its fancy diagonal cut re-aligned with the other unscathed sandwich half, and wrap the mess in the paper wrapping, and wrap my coat around my mayonnaisey skirt and head on into the conference room.
Where I smoothly and professionally place the bag on the table, then turn tail and run.

And the roast beef wasn't even that good.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I don't even like Halloween that much!

I seriously don't. I mean, I like candy corn (I really like candy corn) and I don't mind scary witches and goblins and whatnot, but I've never been a Halloween fanatic. Like some people I know, PEG! :)

I like to dress up, but I'm not especially entranced by the whole "becoming somebody else" thing -- which is probably why I'm a dreadful actor too. I'm too self-conscious (and I mean that literally; as in, I am too aware of ME being the person in the body in the costume) to really lose myself in a character, or another self. This is probably another reason I don't write fiction. :)

Right, so I've been at my work for three Halloweens. The first one, I didn't realize people dressed up. But they did. The second, I was on maternity leave with Lucy and the third one is today. And there have been some weird things going on at work, some not-happy-vibe things, some layoffs etcetera, but I frankly didn't see that as a good enough reason NOT to dress up. So I dressed up! I'm a pregnant disco dancer, and it's a pretty funny costume for just having come up with it at like 6:30 this morning too. And I am The.



Dressed up.

At work.

Yup, it's a little embarrassing. Kind of a lot embarrassing. Sort of like those scenes in "Legally Blonde" and "Bridget Jones' Diary"... except at least I'm not in a Playboy-bunny costume. I did bring a "biz-casual" outfit to wear, just in case this sort of thing happened... but I don't know, I guess that would be admitting defeat. And ooh, I am stubborn about that sort of thing. But in a way I truly don't care. I'm having fun and my head isn't that itchy... yet... from the wig, and there's a certain pride I can take in knowing that maybe I was the bravest one.

Anyhoo! Thanks to EVERYONE who came to our house for the party yesterday -- it sure was fun watching those kiddos roll all over each other! And if anybody is hungry for any leftover bean soup, we have GALLONS of it at home. Hope everyone has a great day. :)

Josie, Owen and Lucy at our party yesterday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halloween Party

Hey there --
If you didn't get an invitation to our party this Sunday (10/30), I'm sorry, the slight was unintentional and you are more than welcome to attend. It starts at noon-ish on Sunday at our place. Many babies will be in attendance, but there will be beer, too. Wear your costume!

Joel and Lucy and I will be dressing as crew members from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. If you want to agree with us that we're funny (because we ARE, duh), you should rent the movie. It's a pretty good movie.

Goin' through the big PR and I don't mean Puerto Rico

Had my 22-week checkup on Friday -- it was one of those 30-second "weigh-me, measure-me, listen-to-Gus's-heart and go" appointments. So no big shake. I gained 10 pounds in 6 weeks, Good Meggo, and Gus's heart is going just fine.

I also found out that I have an umbilical hernia. Fun! Which explains why my tummy gets so POINTY when I pick up something heavy or try to use my ab muscles. Mine is large, so there's apparently little risk of strangulation (where part of the bowel pops through the hole in the muscles and gets caught and it hurts a LOT). Doc made it sound like it was no biggie.

Because of the location of my placenta (the doctor showed me a photo; it's, like, 1 cm from my cervix, which is CLOSE), I'm still on "pelvic rest," much to Joel's chagrin. When I go in for that next ultrasound next week, they might be able to tell if the placenta is moving the right direction.

Anyway, everything else is great. Having a REAL tough time staying awake for the end of the World Series games, though. Oh! Lucy took about five steps on her own, without falling face-first, the other day. It was SO exciting! Then last night she walked from Joel to a chair, about four feet. She was so pleased. Other than that, she thinks she's a total genius for crawling all the way upstairs and down all by herself. And that's the report! Happy Wednesday.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


My dad called yesterday: "Do you want me to come up tonight and watch Lucy for the rest of the week?"

YES. Holy buckets, yes. I was a puddle, grappling with losing more PTO (vacation/personal/sick) days, and staying home with Lucy, who so obviously needed me. Aggravated with my work, aggravated with having to GO to work, aggravated with Walgreens for NOT HAVING ANY CHILDREN'S COLD MEDICINE, aggravated with myself for not dealing with the whole thing well.

Anyway, THANK YOU Dad for literally flying in and saving the day. You are an angel.

Lucy update: we gave her some Dimetapp Cough & Cold last night and it knocked her right out -- her first night of sleep in 3 days that wasn't punctuated by more than 1 or 2 coughing fits. Thank goodness. Dad says her snout is dried up too (no more face explosions upon sneezing). We've been so lucky that she's been so healthy thus far... I suppose she was overdue.

In other news: my mom's been having trouble seeing so she is going in to have her eyeballs scraped on Monday. Apparently her corneas are waffle-shaped and they're going to file 'em down. Ew ew ew!!! Good luck Mom, I hope it all goes well -- I will be squinting all day Monday in your honor. Oh, Mom I made your cranberry/sour cream scones again the other day and MAN are they tasty.

Happy Thursday, everyone...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sorry no blogging -- Lucy still sick

And as you know, I have no computer at home.
Yeah, so that's another day of vacation I lose AND we're of course still paying for the daycare we can't use this week. I'm so irritated I could scream.

And I might just do that, since I get to get back in my car in about 15 minutes and drive BACK home so Joel can get to his 10AM meeting.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Goofy fact of the day

I just found out that Joel still holds the Monticello HS football record for longest kickoff return (97 yards). That is SO hot. :)

Sick Hoot

Lucy came down with something this weekend; fever upwards of 103 and a nasty hacking, barky, semi-productive cough. Poor little pants! Her fever's down to 100.2 this morning, and Joel is taking her to the doc in a bit. News to come.

However, that was the ONLY bad part of the weekend -- we were in Perham, Minn. for Mark Bensen's wedding (childhood friend of Joel's). It was one of those rare and wonderful occasions when every new person we met was... AWESOME. We didn't know many of Mark's friends very well, but each and every one was friendly, nice, and easy to talk to. Plus, Joel and I were *on*. SO on. :) It was amazing, going to this wedding in the middle of nowhere and coming home with a whole passel of new friends. Just fantastic.

Not even to mention the gorgeous fall weather, the tasty food (real crabmeat on a toasted english muffin smothered with hollandaise... and that was just lunch!), and the wedding itself, which was simply lovely. Congrats Mark and Amanda, and thanks for a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Guess little Gus.

Jump in the baby pool! Click here and post a comment (I know, I know, it's asking a lot) to make your guess as to when Gus is coming, what (s)he is and how big. I'll keep a tally or something.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Caramba! It's the Samba.

OK it's Monday. I start teaching my swing and latin dance classes tonight down at the Dayton's Bluff rec center. Once again, I get myself committed to these things and I have to follow through and I live to regret it.
I had a dream last night that the latin class was cancelled but replaced by tennis. And I still had to teach it. And I remember thinking "well, it's a good thing everybody had to bring a partner!" And I also remember thinking "I'm a lousy tennis player but I can probably come up with something to work on for the next eight weeks. Keep your wrist straight!" I have no idea.
So I'm working on my "syllabus" today at work. I think I've only got two or three couples in each class -- what a bargain for them! $30 for eight weeks of essentially private lessons. Not too shabby. I am REALLY hoping I have enough material to teach them. I hope they're bad. :)

Alley Joel and Cara's wedding on Friday was really, really beautiful and nice. Joel and I gave it high marks overall. We've been to a LOT of weddings, but this was one of the first where I'd known both the bride and groom independently before they got together. Somehow that was especially moving. Joel and I now have to try to remember to feed their fish while the newlyweds are in Acapulco this week -- they might be in trouble.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday Grammar Fun

White House denies Bush God claims

This was a headline on Yahoo! Let's have a little fun with punctuation and word emphasis, shall we? What do you think this means, anyway?

White House denies Bush, God claims
God has issued a rare press report asserting that the White House is denying the existence of George W. Bush.

White House denies Bush, God claims
The White house refuses to accept claims made by both God and GWB.

White House denies Bush God claims
Did GWB claim he IS God? If so, the WH is denying it -- good for them.

White House denies Bush-God claims
The Bush-God (not to be confused with the Tree-God and the Shrubbery-God) is making claims! The White House says No, It's not!

White House denies Bush; God claims
The WH has finally decided simply to up and disown GWB. "He just wandered in here one chilly night," a top WH official said today. "We gave him some milk out of a dropper and told him he could sleep in the rose bushes... well, that was almost five years ago. Now that we've handled him, his mother won't take him back. But we don't actually want him anymore... do you know a good family?"
God replied, "Aw, crud! I was looking for that one!"

Anyway, I haven't read the story yet so I haven't the foggiest what it's actually about.

What must!

Can I even begin to mention how difficult it was to get this uploaded. Kind of akin to saying "Albert Pujols" without giggling. DIFFICULT.
A. Gus DOES have eyes. The 3D ultrasound can only focus on one plane at a time, so here you get mostly nose, mouth and chin.
B. Gus DOES have ears. Ditto.
C. Joel says "Kissable lips, just like mine!"

Thursday, October 06, 2005

New thing you have to do to leave comments

So I've been getting a lot of spam comments and I think the way to fix it is to add "word verification". So now, when you leave a comment, you'll see a semi-garbled string of letters that you will have to type in. It's not that big of a deal, so give it a try, fer cry-eye, and leave me a comment. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ultrasound -- 20 weeks

It's a... baby!

We were strong and decided not to find out Gus's sex, though the tech said "oh, yeah" when we asked if SHE could see the gender. Stinker! My clinic got a brand-spankin'-new ultrasound machine with 3D, so we got some really cool pictures.
My placenta is lying a bit low, so I'll have to go in for another ultrasound in 4 weeks to make sure I'm not at risk for placenta previa. The tech was very upbeat and said everything looked great BUT, of course, the doctor will look at the pix and make the ultimate determination whether there's any cause for concern with anything.
I don't think I'll be able to scan in the photos but I will have them with me, so if you want to see them, just ask! :)
Our crazy week is 1/2 over! The real estate guy cancelled on Monday, we completed our estate-planning stuff yesterday (followed by a simply delightful lunch of soup, tea and a scone at Sweet William & Tea downtown St. Paul; I highly recommend the place), and we had Mandy and Shawn over for a lovely dinner last night, which was punctuated by a SUPER ROCKIN' thunderstorm that knocked out our power for several hours.
So! We just have to get my dad in town, play some volleyball, and get to the Wuertz/Christopherson wedding on time, and get my mom in town, and get to St. Cloud on time and heck! It'll be next week already. :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Welcome Ryans

Hi to anyone who is reading this after getting the Ryan-Family Yo!Yo! -- I'm glad you stopped by! First, a clarification regarding softball -- I play OUTFIELD and not third base. (So Mom, don't worry, I'm not diving for grounders!) I must have mistyped something along the way.

Lucy was kind of a bear this weekend. We think she might be transitioning away from two naps a day, or maybe she's just growing more teeth. She was standing up in her crib when Joel and I went to get her this morning, but she was NOT awake yet -- just kind of swaying there, like she wasn't quite sure how to get back down. He gave her her morning milk in the dark living room, which I think they both appreciated.

It's a crazy week for us coming up here. The real estate agent is coming over tonight (he promised to bring dinner; YESS!), we're meeting with a lawyer to execute our estate documents tomorrow, plus we're having some friends over for dinner... we have our 20-week ultrasound on Wednesday, and then my dad's coming in for the rest of the week... Volleyball Thursday... wedding on Friday (it starts at 4, how the devil am I going to get there?)... like I said, a little crazy. BUT the house is clean and the laundry caught up, so we're as prepped as we could be.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The melancholy of parenting

Of COURSE everyone tells you how wonderful parenthood is. And they will also tell you how hard it is. The wonderfuls and the difficulties are obvious: the former comes when you gaze at your little creation sleeping soundly and cozily; the latter, when they're screaming and you can't determine why.
But there is something else that comes with parenthood -- something more profound and more difficult, sometimes, to bear than the worst temper tantrum. I think it's melancholy.

It starts the instant you find out you are pregnant. Something *snap!* changes; You Are A Parent, and you can never be the same. Whether that pregnancy results in a healthy baby, or in a miscarriage, or something in between, is immaterial. You've felt the tug, the pull, the ache that is the melancholy.
And immediately, you're forced to start letting go of this creation, this little essence you haven't even seen yet. You can take your vitamins, quit smoking, whatever else you can do... but that's all you can do. The main decisions: boy/girl, tall/short, gay/straight... those are beyond your power. (I suppose someday soon, with genetic selection, these will come into our control, but that's another story for another day.) So you let go.
And, if you are particularly blessed, those little essences get born and keep right on growing. They choose their own way right from the start -- they like this bottle over that one... they sleep, or they don't... they get attached to a blanky, or a stuffed dog...
And you start hearing love songs in a different way. You watch the news of all the dreadful things in the world, with new eyes. You listen, breath held, outside the door of that baby's room, weighing ever-so-carefully whether or not to open that door: you might wake the baby, but at least you'll be sure she's still breathing. And you let go, and learn to trust your baby to make some mistakes and learn along the way.

Someday something a little scary happens, and you're reminded of the fragility of life. Or something a LOT scary happens and all you can do is hug your baby tight and let your tears, and her tears, run together.
Last night I was driving home from picking Lucy up at Dee's and I drove past a guy pointing a gun at another guy on the sidewalk, just three blocks from our house. The police were just arriving and I could NOT get out of there fast enough. I didn't burst into tears until we were inside our garage. It was terrifying.
And it just.

But you do learn to live with the constant fear and worry. It isn't always debilitating; it ebbs and flows. The other part of this melancholy is the guilt, the constant wondering which boils down to infinite permutations of "Am I doing too much or not enough?". Moms who work outside the home have to live with the fact that they sacrifice time with their children. Moms who stay home have to live with the fact that they're not contributing to the family income. And so, so many moms in the compromised space between don't have it any easier.
I try to draw a grid in my head to determine where the needs and wants intersect. (I should probably try paper.) X is money. Y is happiness. What's the critical mass, the perfect recipe? What's the right thing to do? Where's my Magic 8 Ball?
And the days slip by, and I keep plugging along... through projects and meetings, through toodling and feeding. I woke up the other day and Lucy was a little girl. One day, God willing, I'll wake up and she'll be a woman.
And I'll still be melancholy.

I'm on a current-events binge or something.

But I think about these things, because what ELSE am I going to do while sitting in traffic?

Anyway, you know, it's all over the radio how the police chief of Louisiana resigned in the wake of the Katrina disaster, and how the governor of Louisiana is also coming under heat for how the whole thing was handled...
These people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I think. I don't believe ANYONE could have handled it any better -- other than possibly never building a major city in such a huge floodplain in the first place. If a disaster like this had waited, say, 20 more years to hit, it would have just been some other people in those same positions. And if these same people had proactively spent billions on having evacuation transportation at-the-ready, then when NO disaster hit, it would look like a huge waste. Look what happened in Texas -- they say too many people evacuated. Give me a break!
So I feel like it's scapegoating to blame these leaders. But maybe that's just the risk you run, when you take a job with such massive responsiblity. It's too big of a job for one person, and if things go right, they're heroes -- and if they go horribly wrong, well, they take the blame.
Whatever. Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong -- I think it's interesting. :)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Rock N Roll Part II

Crazy Kicky Baby Part II has decided to rear its teeny little feet this morning. Yup, I sit down at my desk at work with a lovely mug of 1/2-caff coffee, and WHUMP the kicking begins. As if being in the second trimester wasn't awesome enough, with the gobs of energy and stellar mood I've been in (you know the hormones are playing crazy tricks on me when Lucy's cranky whining just makes me giggle and want to hug her), not to mention, as my mother-in-law pointed out yesterday, that my breasts are filling out (YES, that was a bit awkward)... ANYway, as if I wasn't already on Cloud Nine-and-a-Half, I get to feel all this miraculous movement. I like to peek at my tummy when nobody's looking and I can actually *see* a couple of the big thumps. Just amazing.
Last week I made Joel put his hand on my tummy for a bit and he could feel some flutteries, too. Hi Gus! We love you!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Navigation By Joel, Episode XXVII

...In Which Katie's Is On The Way Home From Roseville
The Storm Created A Vortex And Realigned the Highways!

It was Joel’s birthday yesterday, and he had softball, so he was on his way before I even got home with Lucy after work. Around 7:00 Jean, Ellen and I were TRYING to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” and the storm warnings started.

So Joel calls at like 8:00. “We made it! We’re safe!”

Well, thank goodness, I think, that you managed to figure out you shouldn’t be on a softball field when there’s tennis-ball-sized hail and 75-mph winds coming your way. But what I say is:
“I’m glad you called. Where ARE you?”


Let me pause here for a moment. Katie’s is a bar the guys ALWAYS go to after softball. Don’t let Joel remind you of the ONE TIME they didn’t go (which I have to say I do not have even the sketchiest memory of… it might have been the time the bone popped through Jon’s leg-skin and they had to take him to the hospital)… as a rule, they are at Katie’s every week after the game. Now, to fully understand the hilarity of the guys’ ending up at Katie’s last night, you’ll need a little visual aid. Take your left hand and hold it where you can see it. Look at the BACK of your left hand (so your thumb is pointing right). Make a jazz hand – not a wimpy dead-fish hand, really stretch those fingers out. Got it? OK.
The middle knuckle on your thumb – that’s our house.
The knuckle where your middle finger attaches to your hand – that’s the softball field.
The very tip of your middle finger – that’s Katie’s.
The STORM, all lightning and tornadoes and 75-mph winds and tennis-ball-sized hail of it, is coming from the northwest (i.e. just off the tip of your pinky finger).

Well, I think the visual aid speaks for itself. Essentially, Joel and Pat (who lives 2 blocks from us) RAN FOR THEIR LIVES five miles DIRECTLY INTO THE STORM. Gee, it’s a good thing Katie’s was there to save their hides. Hilarious. I won't even mention the tip I got from an insider that said there was a tree down, blocking their route to Katie's, so they had to take an even more circuitous route. Ooops, I just did.

I'm rolling my eyes so enthusiastically, I almost lost a contact lens.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

September days

We're gearing up for fall here in the Gronau family. The weather is still hot, but the temptation to bust out the corduroy pants and long-sleeve shirts is getting difficult to resist.

Lucy is cracking us up every day, as usual -- either in the funny way, or in the "I'm going to the nuthouse" way, just depending on her mood. She has grown astoundingly in the last couple months -- we even had a stranger comment on her being a "big girl" the other day. She really is taking on the look more of a child, than a baby. It's been an amazing transformation. Not much in the way of new physical milestones; she still won't walk unassisted, and those front teeth are still almost completely hidden. But she LOVES to say "Dodo" (her combination of "dog" and "Hobo") and she gabs and gabs at us all the time.

I'm feeling good -- starting to feel Gus (that's what I'm trying to call the new baby) bumping around in there. I've gained at least three pounds in the last 2 weeks but I admit it is VERY difficult to find time to eat dinner each evening. I busted out my first maternity shirt at work today -- it feels really, really good not to have some belly poking out from under my regular shirts. And thanks to some extremely generous loaners from Carol and N. Watson, I'll be one of the best-dressed pregnant women in town. That's important to me, you know. ;)

We're planning a Halloween party at our house on Sunday 10/30 -- if you didn't get an evite, please email me and I'll send one to you. I promise it wasn't a deliberate slight; my pregnant brain is operating at about 35% capacity right now. Oh, yeah, and I lost my cell phone again.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Albatross -- Week 5 Update

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Albatross that day
We’d been “ten-runned” more often than we’d really like to say

Our injuries ran rampant and our muscles all were wailing
We could have writ a sonnet about all the ways we’re ailing:

(There’s Alley Joel’s eyes, of course, and his bride Cara’s neck…
And Pudwell’s diabetes, which he bravely keeps in check…

With Crazy-legs’ hip all askew and brother James just missing…
And Meg suffering from effects of JG’s hugs and kissing.)

We didn’t have much confidence, no boasting did you hear;
We were not sure if we’d be glad – or crying in our beer.

We started Game 1 at the plate, and much to our surprise,
We’d no idea how the sun would burn our tender eyes.

When Lisa was still running late, and her turn came to bat
We squinted, stared and rubbed our eyes: “Great goodness, who is that?”

‘Twas Mary’s mom, and as it goes, she’s Lisa’s mom as well
Thank all the heavens she was there to fill in for a spell.

The game, it plodded right along, our defense fairly true.
We patched together several runs with tape and mud and glue.

Then from the blue, a short fly ball, out to right-center field
And here comes JG trucking in, his body like a shield –

Into the grass he flung himself – our shouts he sure did hear:
He rolled; he stood, and held aloft a perfect blue-stitched sphere.

And though he, and that other Joel, did bash it o’er the wall
The bout was lost – and yet there was one more game of softball

We carried our belongings far across the dewy grass
Just hoping that this other team’d refrain from kicking ass.

We saw the purple socks, we saw the orange pants of SWAT
The pitcher’s cute but truth be told, they weren’t all that hot.

And then a crash, a burst of light – a clang of angel chimes
And in one magic inning, we scored 10 fantastic times.

Jean made some crazy circus catches; Kevin made one too—
But then our defense went and rolled itself in stinky poo.

And then the moment did arise for us to seize the day
To carpe diem, grab the carp, however you will say…

But there, we had it in our hands, and sue me if I lie…
Oh who’d have thought the dang-ed game would finish in a tie?

Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright
(And let’s hope it’s not in the eyes of fielders on the right)

Oh somewhere children laugh and play and hide each other’s shoes...
But we are joyful Albatri – PETE’S SAKES, WE DIDN’T LOSE!!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm no political commentator, but...

1. ...this item struck me as funny:
No Smiling for Passport Photos in Germany
Those crazy Germans. Always a laugh riot.

2. ...can we talk about William Rehnquist a bit? The man was what, 114 years old? Obviously dying of cancer? Why on earth would he insist upon maintaining his position as Chief Justice of the highest court in the United States? Couldn't anyone have convinced him it was in the best interest of everyone involved if he just step down, enjoy a few quiet months or weeks at home, relax a little, and reflect on his own legacy before heading up to the big bench in the sky? Me, I'd like to take a while at the end of my life to celebrate life's pleasures and encircle myself with the love of my family and the memories I've made. But I guess that's why people like him get to be Chief Justice, while people like me just linger in Cubicle Hell forever. And really, look at that face. Is that the face of someone who'd derive any bliss from tipping his chair back, sipping on a fuzzy navel and flipping through old family photo albums?

By the bye, we just decided this morning that we're going to Chicago this weekend to celebrate Julie Witt's 30th birthday. See? We're CRAZY! Spontaneous! Fun-loving! It feels like the year 2000 again!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

OK no 12-month photos

Sorry, I can't make it work -- probbly because the photog saved them so I wouldn't pirate them. Which makes sense. OK! Well things are good this week. Well, today anyway. Monday night Lu decided not to sleep but to whine and cry all night -- My Hero Joel stayed up with her and eventually gave her some Baby Tylenol. We figure it's GOT to be those choppers coming in! Really, we can actually feel the sharp edge of one now. They're going to be nice, big, possibly equine front teeth and I'm terrified it's going to change her look entirely. That is, unless it changes her to look more like me. MUAhahahaaa.

We *think* Lucy is starting to say "Dodo" for Hobo these days. It is SO hilarious listening to her jibber-jabber. She has these huge, long, involved conversations with the bathroom door (and it's amazing how she never cries when she rams the door into her OWN foot).

I am about to bust open a Ding-Dong and I am VERY much looking forward to it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

12-month photos

Albatross -- Week 4 Recap

Once upon a time, there was a softball team. This team was young, and strapping, and energetic, and... happy. We were happy. And occasionally victorious.

But the season ended, and we went back to our young/strappy/energized lives, and we felt like something was missing. Some team members wisely realized that this something was softball, for Pete's sakes, and went on to play on other teams... or coach... or simply and patiently wait it out until the next season could arrive.

But the rest of us... ah, the rest of us. We grew restless in the off-season, and we sat around and stared at the walls, and thought: Where did we go wrong? What can fill this hole in our hearts? What can soothe the savage beast that roars just under our young and strapping and energetic flesh? Ah! I know! We must need a baby!

So babies we conceived, and babies we had. Boy babies, girl babies... well, girl baby anyway. And those of us who did not have babies? We got married, or engaged, so that some day we could have babies without that pesky social stigma.

And the babies are cute, and the spouses wonderful, but gol' if they don't take a lot of energy to maintain. The diapers! The crawling! The screaming! (And that's just the husbands! Yuk, yuk.) And all that energy has to come from somewhere, and I hate to say it, but... I fear it has come from our defense. Let's face it, we're not the impenetrable wall, the well-oiled machine, the sheer tour de force we may have been a mere 24 months ago.

So there's that. Not to mention the injuries plaguing our marriage- and baby-wracked bodies, and we're a sorry heap of humanity indeed. But! Does the Phoenix not rise from its own ashes?? Does the airline industry not pull itself up by its own plucky bootstraps after the terror of September 11?? Does Terry Mulholland not make a miraculous annual September comeback?? Oh, dear, I've gone too far.

So! We cobble together a team of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and in-laws and outlaws. Of K(C)aras and Watsons and Vanyos and Gronaus and Ryans and Pats and Joels and people whose nicknames could be K-Matt and... er, one guy named Scott Pudwell. And we drag these pathetic, lost selves to the ballpark every week, and we smile and we feel happy to be out under the lights on a beautiful late-summer evening, and we HIT. Holy Moses, do we hit!! We hit and we run and we run and we hit and THAT, my friends, was a beautiful thing. And you can keep your silver and your gold and your league trophies and your first basemen who can do the splits and your sluggers wearing jazz pants... I will content myself with the Beauty.

See ya next week. :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Albatross Week 3

Apologies from Meg: this entry was written last Friday but due to red tape surrounding the Labor Day holiday, is just being published today.

A guest blog by the President of the United States of America, GWB.

My fellow Albatri,
A great tragedy has occurred, and I'm not talkin' about the horrors down in the great state of New Orleans... nor am I talkin' about the umpiring at last night's games, although that was an atrocity-ness of pretty epic proportions as well. No, friends, I'm talking about the fact that our Albatross was slaughtered twice despite playing some damn decent ball.

As I was flying over Roseville Central Park field #4 last night, on my way to flying over the disaster in Missisississsippissis... I mean, down south there, and I WAS planning to get out of my helicopter and walk around the area that Hurricane Katariney hit, but it's darn scary down there, I mean, there are so many PEOPLE and they're all starving and dehydrated and someone said something about SEWAGE, and there's just so much WET that I think I'll probably just fly over it all instead; I'm sure I'll be able to see it just fine from the chopper, you know? Heh heh.

Anyways, so I'm flying over Roseville and there, below me like a beacon on a cool fall evening, what did I see? I saw A Thousand Points of Light, my friends. I saw Karen "Trashtalker" Smiley fallin' flat on her face pickin' up a ball.. and comin' up laughin'. I saw Cara "I can't believe I'm finally getting rid of 'Wuertz' and trading it in for 'Christopherson'; is there no justice??" Wuertz throw her glove up to her face in a self-protective maneuver and pluck a screaming line-drive right out of thin air. I saw four home runs, all by fellows named Joel. I saw Crazylegs Watson turning a good solid Texas-league single into a TRIPLE, by God.

And yet there has been slaughter, and it warn't real pretty, but I'm dern proud of y'all and I want y'all to know it. Eight runs in each game, well, that's nothing to sniff at. The tragedy which I aforementioned, er, afore? Let it not hinder your steadfastness in your fight against the Axis of Evil, i.e. Teams Who Might Not Belong in a C/D League. Hang in there and keep havin' a good time. So I have just one word for y'all's next week's games: STRATEGORY.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Anecdotes from the 1/2 Story

50% goose down, 50% giggling husband
So I trudge upstairs on Saturday night after a lovely evening shower (nothing like showering at night for a good clean night's sleep!), anxiously anticipating crawling into freshly-laundered sheets and resting my head on freshly-laundered pillowcases. I'd sent Joel up ahead to make the bed with said sheets, a task which included the sometimes-onerous task of putting the duvet cover back on the comforter. And I'd taken a nice, long shower so I knew he'd have plenty of time to get the bed made.

So I round the corner at the top of the stairs, only to see Joel's upside-down head peering at me from INSIDE the duvet cover.

"This is harder than it looks," he says, still upside-down.

Yup, he'd crawled inside the duvet cover, comforter in hand, to try to make the dang things fit together... and thought it might work to push the corners in with his toes while holding the opposite corner with his hands... and gotten lost amid the yards and yards of white and blue fabric.

I'm not really sure how he got out -- I was laughing too hard.

Whoops, there goes gravity
Argh! I dropped the baby last Wednesday. OK, she actually fell but it was totally my fault so I'm calling it a drop. I had her upstairs while I was changing clothes after work, and she's so FAST I didn't want her just crawling around up there because the stairs are right around the corner, and very steep. So I put her on the bed... bad idea. I turned away for seriously one second and THUMP she'd slipped right off the edge, forehead first. She screamed like a banshee -- fortunately, everything I read said that if she was screaming that loud she was probably totally fine. Thank goodness Jean the Nurse was coming over and was able to proclaim Lucy concussion-free almost immediately. Man, what a terrible moment in a mother's life. Lucy has bonked her head on much harder surfaces before -- she tips over in her crib a lot, and toodles right into walls sometimes, but this was the first time she'd actually fallen. Well, lesson learned.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The slow and steady climb

For those of you concerned about my health these days, I just went and sat on the postal meter we have here at work that can weigh up to 150 lbs and which I think I'm the only one who knows about, and I believe I have gained at least two and possibly three pounds! (It's hard to tell, there wasn't time to remove my shoes (which are not real heavy) before someone came into the hallway.) So everyone be proud of me, okay?

Albatross Game Recap - Week 2

Well, it wasn't real pleasant for the Albatross out there last night. We managed not to score one whole run in two entire games -- of course, it helped that the games were only 5 innings long apiece, since we keep getting slaughtered.

Aside: I really prefer the term "slaughter rule" to "10-run rule" or, in our case, "15-run rule". It just has a much more dramatic ring to it, don't you think?

We didn't really get off to a good start, I have to say -- despite my best efforts at being All Things to All People, it wasn't really feasible for me to work a full day, run home/change clothes/pack diaper and food bags, pick up Lucy, run up to happy hour for a friend going on a leave from work, and still make it to the game on time. I got to the game OK but then had to make the 200-yard dash from the parking lot to the field, toting:
- Lucy in her stroller
- Lucy's diaper/toy/blanket bag
- Lucy's pack-n-play (for you nonparents, the sucker weighs about 40 lbs, I think)
- my bat bag (which was holding four bats)
- a large brown paper grocery bag containing Lucy's food
- a large brown paper grocery bag containing the waffle fries I hoped to eat for dinner
- my purse

That's a LOT for one three-months-pregnant person to carry, don't you think? I assure you it is. Anyway, I get there pretty much RIGHT at game time. And one of our girls hasn't arrived yet, and the rest of our teammates, bless their hearts, are sort of standing around with lost-puppy-dog looks on their faces. It was like gazing at nine very large, bipodal and significantly less-hairy Hobos. Who could blame them? I've been such a control-freak, they were probably petrified of the unleash of sarcasm they might receive for trying to take charge. I will have to do more to reassure them that will not happen. :)

Somehow we managed to bat, and get out in the field, and thank GOODNESS for the two random "extra girls" who showed up, since Becky injured her quads; we were miraculously able to at least put some warm bodies out there. And I have to say, our defense wasn't dreadful at all -- several nice plays were made. And a few people actually got hits, which unfortunately did not materialize into runs. But after I got home and put a very sleepy Lucy to bed, I cracked into the fresh new Sports Illustrated that had appeared in my mailbox that afternoon, and I was reminded how much I really do love sports. The rush of adrenaline from a sudden sprint, the feeling of fresh outdoor air in your lungs, the highs and the lows -- it really lets you know you're alive.

Anyway, I finally got to talk to Joel (he's been up in Brainerd for three days at a company conference) and Lucy was a doll this morning and we had a great thunderstorm and the world is new. AND it's Friday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You know you've spent too much time being pregnant when...

So I saw this headline at yahoo! news:

Stewart Appears in Court in Breach Suit

And the first thing I thought was: "What on earth kind of suit was he wearing? How do you wear a suit upside-down??"

Right. I need to get a LIFE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Late August

Oi, it's been a crazy couple weeks here!

We're over the initial shock of the REAL PREGNANCY... I think... and are now swinging into our late-summer routine. My parents and my aunt rented a cottage on a lake in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago and we spent 4 nice days with them -- and then they kept Lu for an extra three days! It was a really, really nice break (her first overnight babysitters) and I wish I could say I was delighted to get her back on Saturday, but instead her return unleashed this overwhelming feeling that I am trapped in this life I have chosen and that I'm going to be miserable forever... obviously, I have some trouble with long-range vision.
I talked to my mom -- she promised that when they get to be adults, it's all worth it and so I guess I can manage another 18-20 years of misery. Just kidding... kind of. Lu's at a tough stage where she is realizing there are choices and options out there (carrots or strawberries? crawl or toodle? dog food or mom's shoes?) and yet she still can't make her wishes known. So there's a lot of whining, spurts of crying, bursts of wiggling. And my hormones rage on.

This week's been better. A little more energy and a lot more food have been keeping my spirits up. But it is a struggle, realizing that when I'm done with a long day (or week) of work, I don't have the option of crashing out on the sofa with a bowl of cereal, or even perusing my own mail. I am selfish and those little pleasures used to be vital to my happiness... but happiness is a luxury I just can't afford right now. So we downshift into survival mode, and away we go. See you on the other side!

Friday, August 12, 2005

12-week checkup!

So the new little one is fine. Heart pumping away. Cute photo of the Old Little One from a couple weekends ago at the Science Museum.

So, any big plans this weekend?

You know how, when you're pregnant, some foods make you nauseated? Well, they do. And while I'm apparently out of the food-aversion stage, I seem to have developed an aversion to a few choice phrases, which unfortunately happen to be favorites in the cubicle inferno where I spend 40 hours a week.

"Any big plans this weekend?" Arrrgh! Do you really want to hear how I plan to sleep until 7:00, shuffle downstairs, pee, let out the dog, feed the dog, try to encourage the very-sad-looking dog to eat his food, c'mon boy, go get it! Retrieve the baby, make a bottle, try to encourage the very-sleepy-looking baby to drink her bottle, c'mon, Lucy, yummy milk! I mean, really, this is blindingly boring for ME, and it's MY life. You do not want to hear about it, trust me.

As I type this, I realize that you, dear reader, are probably thinking it'd be hilarious to say to me "So, any big plans this weekend?"... and so you will. And just know that you are VERY original. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Photos from last weekend

Or, rather, photo. More to come, I hope.

Monday, August 08, 2005


A lesson in life.

Part I
Most of you will have some knowledge of what's been going on with me the last month or so. Positive pregnancy test on July 6, ultrasound on the 7th -- nurse practitioner tells us there is a sac but "no baby" and my body will pass the tissue on its own. Fast forward one month: I'm still tired all the time, and my body has passed a whole lot of nuthin'. I'm getting anxious, especially after repeated calls to said nurse practitioner have told me nothing except "sometimes it takes a month... there's no risk in just waiting it out... blah blah blah."

Part II
I am finally able to speak to my Real Doctor on August 3. She tells me to make an appointment to see her on Friday the 5th, just to do a quick check before we schedule the D&C. So she checks me, and says, extremely calmly: "Okay, I'm going to sneak you into an ultrasound to check one more thing. Don't leave here today without seeing me again."
So I go into the ultrasound, and the tech works me up. As soon as the screen pops up, she starts laughing. Laughing. So I demand to know what in my uterus could POSSIBLY be so hilarious, and she says:
"There's a very alive baby in there."




"Look, the heart's just beating away. Look!"

Well, she might have said more after that. I was far too busy trying to come up with variations on the three or four mild expletives in my vocabulary... well, I know I wore "HOLY CRAP" and "OH MY GOD" right out. There were kleenexes and tears and sniffles and finally my doctor (who I swear was lurking outside the door the whole time) finally busted in with a HUGE grin on her face. She hugged my leg and wished me well and told me to start taking vitamins and to make my prenatal appointments. The tech printed me out a bunch of ultrasound photos and when I asked HOW that nurse practitioner could have missed a whole PERSON inside of me, she explained that that is what happens when you have someone who's not an ultrasound tech, doing an ultrasound. Job security for those techs, I tell you what.

I headed up to the front desk, where the receptionist (who is there every time I am in) was all "What can I do for you?" and I said "Well, I need to schedule many, many OB appointments because apparently I'm pregnant!" With a dramatic flair I tossed the photos on her desk. You should have heard the squealing! She called over a couple other nurses or assistants to collude on the best way to tell Joel... and to round up as many free baby-product samples as they could find. I tried to tell them that with an 11-month-old at home, my house is already overrun with baby products and that presenting Joel with "a rattle" would in NO way make him think there was another one on the way -- on the contrary, he would most likely think "Hmm, Meg must really want me to hold this... rattle."

Part III
Now, what I love about my clinic is that everyone there is almost more excited than I am. I think they specialize in infertility, so they take a viable pregnancy as The Best News Ever. When you've got five medical professionals with such obvious delight in their eyes, faces, and voices... well, it's impossible not to join right in. So whereas a month ago, I was not taking the thought of having another baby as particularly good news, on that day, hit with such a walloping blow, well all I could do was grin.

Part IV
I drive home in shock, pick up Lucy from day care (the big sister!! Manny Tanner!!) and get home in time to catch Jean also arriving at our house as we all go away from the weekend. I quickly scribble "Daddy, I'm going to be a big sister!" on the back of one of the u/s photos and attempt to press it into her teeny fist so she can hand it to Joel when we get inside. It doesn't *quite* work that smoothly, but there are several seconds of stunned silence when the news is broken. And then large, silly grins. And maybe a tear or two.

And the fun begins! ...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Welcome to Suburbia

We bought a mini-van!! YESSS! We are so, so excited. I've complained enough, I think, about how PAINFUL it's been to squeeze into the Corolla (which in addition to being a SUBCOMPACT car is also excruciatingly dirty, which of course is no one's fault by my own) for road trips... and no longer. It's a 2005 Mazda MPV, it's silver... it's pretty.

I feel like I haven't seen my baby for three days... softball on Monday and car-shopping Tues. and Wed. Just terrible. I'm sure she hasn't started walking independently or grown another tooth or anything, but I have to say I haven't fed her anything other than her bottles and Cheerios since the weekend. It's Thursday. Yikes. (I mean, she is GETTING other food, I just haven't been the one putting it in her mouth.) I looked at her standing up in her crib this morning and I think she's grown about three inches in the last week. She is exiting Baby County and entering Toddler Land, and it's happening really fast.

Long trip to IL planned this weekend for the Ryan Family Picnic (31st annual, I think?). The Ray Ryans are supposed to be wearing lime green. I know Lucy is set, but Joel and I might be doing some last-minute shirt-shopping.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Unrelated items

Dang the phone for ringing, I forgot what I was going to write.

I did want to say that at certain stoplight intersections in the Twin Cities they are introducing cameras that supposedly will take pictures of people running red lights and then mail citations to the offenders. If the fundamental point is that red-light-running is dangerous and a crime, doesn't it completely defeat the purpose when you mail the tickets?? Shouldn't they send out a squad car to find the person immediately to stop them in their tracks? Because wherever they were going in such a hurry, I guarantee by the time that ticket arrives in the mail, they either got there on time, or were late, and it's OVER, and they're swearing they'll never run another red light, ever, never again.

So I'm wearing my happy heels today. Not real comfortable, but real, real cute. Black heels with black & white bows at the toes. I wore them earlier in the week, or maybe last week, and went home that day without a single compliment! Shocked to the core, I had to wear them again sooner than usual, just to make sure the previous outing was an anomaly. Indeed, it has proven as such, because the gawking and fawning has resumed. It's nice to have balance restored to the universe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hell's Hairdo

Is anyone watching that show Hell's Kitchen? I happened to see about 15 minutes of it last night, and for those of you who haven't seen Lucy recently, you can get a rough approximation of what her hair currently looks like, by taking a quick gander at Jessica.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Love letter for a Monday morning

Dear Joel,
Thank you for totally, totally rocking. For hollering at me to come into the room when Lucy finally decided to crawl, so I wouldn't miss it. For hugging me when she looked at us to see if she should laugh or cry about the huge fuss we were making. For letting me nap when Lucy wouldn't. For doing the dishes, the vacuuming, the dusting, the laundry. For cutting and blending up pears ALL ON YOUR OWN for the baby. For sitting through the Christian-Bale-a-thon that was this weekend's rented movies. For being so sweet and cute and sorry when you A. ripped the antenna off the car backing out of the garage with the garage door only 2/3 up, and B. called me when I was 1/3 of the way to work this morning because you left your wallet in my car and needed me to drive it back home to you. For teaching Lucy to say "uh-oh." For always thinking of me first.
I love you,
your Beefy

Friday, July 22, 2005

I don't know how they do it.

Joel had an unexpected business trip come up so he's in Harrisburg, PA for about 30 hours, returning today. Once again I am floored by the shock of being a single mom -- it is IMPOSSIBLE. Now, I realize I'm spoiled by a husband who's home every evening right on time, and who does so much cleaning and housework and baby-care. But even given that, I have to say I had a really hard time of it last night with Lu.

We got home after work and she wanted to eat right away. Par for the course -- so I whipped up her bottle, which she drank most of, quickly, and we moved on to cereal, fruits and veggies. Well. That lasted through about 3/4 of the cereal (mixed with pureed banana). All of a sudden, she starts grabbing for the spoon. Great! I think... she wants to feed herself! Well, no... she grabs the spoon and FLINGS it. And grabs a fistful of the cereal mess. And then flings that. And it's on her hand, making it all goopy, so she flails her hand a bit to get rid of it. So there's banana in her hair. All over the chair. Everywhere. On her dress. What a mess. I confess.

Right. So we try green beans -- to the same effect, accompanied by screaming. And she's shrugging one shoulder, and I'm thinking: ear infection? teething? Who even knows. So we toodle around the kitchen, and this makes her happy, and we leave green-bean handprints on the stove and the cupboards and we collapse on a heap in the living room until Jean comes over to save me.

Which she does, of course, with flying colors (she even bought dinner!). Which of course is SUPER AWESOME but I feel so pathetic for needing help so badly! I mean, tons of people do this alone, with four or five or more kids, and I'm sure they're just as tired, and why am I such a wuss??

At this point, the idea of having more kids is really and truly more than I can bear. Because I feel like Lu is pretty well-behaved for a baby. But I cannot even conceive (pun acknowledged) of going through this again... and again(??)... especially having the older one(s) to have to amuse too.

Or maybe she's not that "easy" of a kid. How am I supposed to know? I have NO experience with babies until now. She sleeps great, and has eaten just about everything we've given her. I guess those shouldn't be the only measures. Maybe she should be able to entertain herself a bit better... it does seem to be a theme with our dependents (Hobo is extremely needy and clingy too). I need some objectivity on this. Or maybe it's the subjectivity of an experienced mom to tell me it's going to be okay. I need something! Maybe ice cream.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Fun With People-Food!

Now that the Pants is nearing a year (a year!! My heavens, can you believe it!?!), we're incorporating more and more "table scraps" into her diet.
("And it's about damn time," Lucy adds.)
She ate chunks of Joel's burger at Champp's (or is it Chammp's? Chaamp's?) on Thursday, she chanked on a french fry at Chili's* on Friday; on Saturday, she was gumming some well-cooked buffet corn, and she ate almost an entire fork-mashed mango on Sunday and she just could not be more delighted with herself. (That mango was feasty by the way -- I kind of hated to see it go!)
The most fun part for me has been: I can buy produce!! I've spent all of my grownup years so far attempting to buy fresh fruits and veggies, and much to my dismay they almost always rot away before anyone eats them. Joel's too much of a "prepackaged-food" guy (lord love his poor arteries) to ever pick up an apple and eat it, and though I try I generally end up following his sodium-packed lead. But now Lucy and her Tummy of Steel are in town, and I'm steaming green beans, shredding spinach, ripening mangoes and peeling apples to my heart's content. I even whipped her up some "cantaloupe cereal" on a whim at the Gronaus' yesterday -- of course, as a result I'm changing poopy diapers at an alarming rate, too.
The tough part is finding a balance -- I tend to make a large quantity of something, and then she's eating nothing but carrots for a week straight. But I really can't complain; she's devoured everything we've given her.

She's still in "Toodle Town" -- hanging on for dear life and walking all over the place. I can't really say she's getting any better at it. Oh, and the "baby gibberish" has picked up, both in quantity and variety (i.e. less "dadadadadada, abababababa" and more "digividada. op op wog?"). So that's interesting. Happy Monday!

* I know, it looks like we're eating out a lot. This has been an anomaly and we are planning to have more home-cooked food soon... very soon. As soon as softball ends. Really. :)

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Return of the Albatross!

OK, we are managing a co-rec softball team in Roseville this "Fall." ("Fall" because the season goes Aug. 18-Sept. 22 -- hardly autumnal!!) It's Thursday night doubleheaders at 6 & 7 or 8 & 9. We still have a few openings for guys and girls, subs and regular players, so if you want in, please call me or email me!

Dream Interpretation Needed!

Okay, so I was IN the new Batman movie, but we knew it was a movie, and we were running after Batman but I think we were just following him, not chasing him, down a stairwell on the outside of a tower and then I was at work and my whole office was accusing me of making some REALLY inappropriate joke -- like something about a Cambodian prison and a couple other things that really offended people, but nobody told me they were offended until the boss like announced it, and it was a holiday like Christmas and everyone was handing out candy but I couldn't eat any because I was so sick about making people mad and I really thought the joke was funny and just a joke but nobody else did and I was surprised and then we were at a Ryan family gathering and we were looking at big old houses but they were close to a swamp and maybe going to fall in, and then we were sort of in a candy shop in a theme park like Disney World and we walked out of this huge building and got in a tram or carriage and were sitting there and this bronze death-star but smaller floated down and started shooting at people and one of the blasts went right between our feet and then it started machine-gunning at people and I thought "well, it was only a matter of time" and we started to run back into the building but I couldn't run very fast and I was afraid I was going to get shot, and Lucy wasn't in the back of the tram but I remember thinking, what if she was, would I have gone back and grabbed her? And I hope I would have!!

So that was my dream this morning. What do you think it means? :) :) :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Here we go, loopty Lu!

I feel like we're rounding a corner with our little miss... I am just not exactly sure what the immediate future brings. Eventually, I suppose, she'll dine on chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese and jell-o like many little American kids today... it's just hard for me to see the transition as it happens. For the trees... or whatever.

We're still having "liquid issues" -- she hurls her bottle or sippy-cup after just a few sips. So we mix the formula with cereal just to get it in her... but we could use some advice on how to get her to take liquids. Oh, right, I was going to call the doctor. Hm. Well, we're working toward people-food too. She really jaws at just about anything we put in her mouth, so we've experimented with cut-up strawberries, pickle bits, and various other whole foods. Last night I threw some of our dinner (surprisingly good "chicken Stove Top florentine") into a blender and spooned it to her -- our first go with a meat product that actually looked like a meat product when it started. Anyway, she gulped it down, green color and grainy texture notwithstanding. She still only has those two bottom teeth, but she manages to smack those gums around enough to get the food down, I guess.

I gave her a pickle slice the other day and while she didn't eat it, she held on to it for a good 20 minutes, clenched in that little fist. Hobo had a bead on it, though, and managed to extremely gingerly remove it from her grip and devour it himself. I was amazed at how gently (yet determinedly!) he took it from her -- I am hoping theirs will be a symbiotic relationship in the future!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Light-hearted Weekend Round-up!

Hi gang. As promised! It was a gorgeous weekend... to stay inside! Hot, hot, hot (though I don't think it even hit 100... it just seemed kinda muggy). I got a lot of rest on Saturday, and that evening we dressed Lu up and took her out to a friend's birthday party -- SO fun to see all the kiddies (there were at least 10 kids there) running around and playing.
Sunday morning I took Lucy to Cub, where not one but TWO strangers commented on her hair! What the heck! It's just baby hair -- fuzzy, blond, thick, spiky, baby hair. Okay, so maybe I see their point.

We're running into *some* difficulty with our little Pants these days... she's getting, well, kinda whiny. And fussy! She gulps at her bottle but then throws it away vehemently... and then bawls! She NEEDS A CHEERIO and then tosses them all at Hobo. And cries. We just don't know WHAT she wants, most of the time.
I read "What to expect the first year" and THOSE 10.5-month-old babies are all speaking ENGLISH practically... should Lu really be able to say "baba" for bottle, or point to what she wants?? Because she is eons away from that right now. I'm also a *little* concerned that she can't get herself up to sitting from her tummy yet. I think she gets mad that she can't do it, because she's reaching and twisting and squirming and I feel so bad for her! It's very frustrating, not to mention exhausting.

We did buy her a little walk-behind car-toy on Sunday -- she loved riding on it and can sort of toodle along behind it. I think she was surprised to be able to walk attached to something that wasn't Mom or Dad, so maybe it'll open some new doors for her. Poor Hoot!

One day at a time...

Hi everyone --
Well, I hope I didn't make too many people uncomfortable with my last post. It is a very personal thing, of course, and it would be much better to be able to talk about it in person with everyone, but it's the kind of thing that it's good to have support for, while you're going through it. When something similar happened to us two years ago, it was very, very difficult... often because we weren't sure who to tell, or how, and as the weeks went on and life just went on as normal, we couldn't figure out how to bring it up, because it just seemed to really bring down a room, you know?

Do you even want to talk about it?
Of course! You know, I love to talk. When this happened before, and we started to talk to some people about it, I was shocked to discover how frequently this does actually happen. And I thought, man, if someone had only shared their story with me, this experience wouldn't have been half as heartbreaking for me. So I'm game.

Are you feeling okay?
So far, yes. As I mentioned, I was surprised by how NOT ready I am for a second child. The first miscarriage I had, I was emotionally devastated because we wanted a baby so badly. But now all I have to do is look at that little blond head with a Cheerios stuck to her lip and realize how lucky we are to have such a beautiful, healthy baby.
Of course, as I see some friends adding to their families, I think of the (questionable) fun it would have been to have the kids so close together. I worry about when it will feel more "right" to try again. But these are small concerns.
Physically, it has not run its course yet, so my body still kind of thinks it's pregnant. The thought of food still gags me, and I do get tired very quickly.

So, was it, like, a molar pregnancy? A tubal pregnancy? A blighted ovum? Why does Joel keep saying "an egg without a yolk?"
I finally talked to the nurse and she said it's a "blighted ovum." An egg was fertilized (gross!) and my hormone levels were through the roof (hence the tireds and nausea), but there was just no baby forming.

It's so awkward to bring it up! What do I say?
I think this would work: "Hey, I heard the news... how are you doing?"

Is it really a big deal? You seem to be playing it off like it's nothing.
It is a big deal... it's my coping mechanism working overtime to convince me otherwise. :) You think of "what might have been" and even though it's just a blip on a radar screen, it becomes part of your personal history, which will always be a part of you. Plus, I admit I'm a little afraid of the physical pain I still have to go through yet. I would really feel better if that part was over (were over?).

As always, thanks for reading! I promise to have a much more light-hearted "weekend round-up" later today! Much love...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Not ready... and thank God.

Well, kids, for those of you only semi-in-the-loop, it's been a rollercoaster of a last couple weeks, believe me you. I was crying a lot, exhausted a lot, not eating well... why? why? why? Well, it turns out, I was *slightly* pregnant... (!!!) but not.

Long story short: I took a home pregnancy test on 7/6 morning and it came out very, very positive... and I was SHOCKED TO THE CORE. Now, if you'd have asked me beforehand, I would have said "Sure! We could handle another one!" but I was not ready, I am not ready... which we discovered too late... we thought.

So Joel and I went to the doc 7/7 to have an ultrasound to determine how far along I was (since I haven't had a period since November 2003) ... which they determined was about 7 weeks... but it turns out I'm just growing an "empty sac": a pregnancy, but not a baby. So technically I am, or will be, going through a miscarriage -- the nurse expected that my body get rid of the sac on its own in the next couple weeks, though if it doesn't I will have to have a D&C. As always, we will burn that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, I am relieved beyond belief. Finally, an explanation for the bizarre feelings (physical and mental) I've been having for the past month. I mean, you ain't seen rampaging hormones unless you seen me in the last few weeks. I feel like I have a new lease on life. Now, I don't know how YOU get through things like this, but I believe that God has a plan and I really feel like this is what was meant to happen. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Flat-Butt Follies

We knew it was going to be miserable. So miserable, in fact, that we tried to dress it up and give it a name and fool ourselves into believing it was going to be something, ANYTHING other than what it was, which was grueling, exhausting, and ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh! Sorry. Conked out there for a sec. I was talking about our 4th of July weekend -- a lovely, near-perfect-weather, three-full-days away from work, with our baby, enjoying the enjoyments of rural Minnesota.

We set off in a *bit* of a tizzy, from St. Paul on Friday evening. We'd both snuck out of work just a little early, and we thought we could get quickly packed and then just pick up Lucy from day care on the way out of town. Well... Joel got home first and couldn't find my packing list. Or perhaps, couldn't quite interpret my handwriting. So we had the car packed to the gills and I was going "have we packed towels yet?" and he had no idea.

But let's back up. When you have a three-day weekend with more than three destinations planned, it sure would help to have some sort of idea of what to expect when you got there, right? But this is what we knew:
1. Friday night: Driving 3 hours up to Brandon, to Joel's p's lake. Sleeping in the trailer.
2. Saturday A.M.: Driving 1.5 hours to Cushing, to Adam's p's lake.
3. Sunday P.M.: Driving 10 minutes to Motley to visit with family friends. Then driving 2 more hours up to Bemidji, for Joel's "family reunion."
4. Monday P.M. Driving 4.5 hours back home to St. Paul. Sleeping in our own beds.

You'll note that several vital bits of information are missing here, i.e., where we were sleeping Saturday and Sunday nights. And when you don't know where you're sleeping, it's REALLY hard to know:
a. whether or not there will be any refrigeration available for the copious amounts of baby food it is necessary to lug about for a spirited 10-month-old
b. whether or not the following will be necessary to cram into your Toyota Corolla:
- tent
- pillows
- blankets
- air mattress with cumbersome pump
- cooler (well, that was sort of covered in the refrigeration thing)
c. whether or not there will be coffee available IMMEDIATELY UPON AWAKENING. Oh! Sorry. Didn't mean to yell.
d. whether or not there will be any adult food available upon your arrival, and whether or not said food will have been sitting out in the sun for the previous two days.
e. whether or not you will be changing your extremely rolly and squirmy baby's diaper in any of the following places:
- the floor of a trailer
- the wooden slats of someone's deck
- a sand volleyball court
- the grass
- a table in the middle of a SubWay.

So we packed EVERYTHING we could into the poor, creaking, starting-to-rust-out Corolla. And we drove. And drove. And drove.
And then we'd get out of the car and Lucy would want to walk, walk, walk. And eat, eat, eat.
And I was pretty much too exhausted to enjoy any of the time spent with my friends (it was great, gals, really! Sorry I could barely keep my peepers open), or converse with Joel's family (I nodded and smiled a lot -- heck, Grandpa gets away with it!).

So that was our weekend. Would a van have helped? Possibly. Would detailed phone calls with our actual hosts (rather than relying on second- and third-hand info) have helped? Possibly no -- they probably would have thought we were mental control-freaks who can't just "go with the flow."

YOU go with the flow with a 10-month-old, a tick-infested mongrel and a rusted-out Corolla. Call me when you're done picking Cheerios out of your toe-cracks. But leave a message, 'cuz I"ll be napping.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Back in Action

Whoa, I am so sorry, I haven't written in over a month. In my defense, it's been a horrible month:
- almost 40% of my team at work has quit
- we've had water in our basement, a busted garage-door opener, and the washing machine keeps getting unbalanced and jogging across the floor
- my company's been bought out
- I've stopped nursing and my hormones are whacked!
- one of my dearest and most tolerant friends called me on the carpet for not making her a priority
- my softball teams were in gynormous slumps
- I had a birthday

I spent a couple weeks building up to almost a week of crying on and off. Joel was, of course, an angel as always. Go Bonser.

Things are looking up, though -- it's a three-day weekend, and we've been looking at some newer houses in which, when we have people over, they don't all have to stand up crammed elbow-to-eyeball in the kitchen, and it's fun to have dreams! Plus Lucy is keeping us in stitches. She lays on her stomach and "spins" by walking her hands around in a circle -- can't seem to get those hips up into the air, though! She "toodles" now, too -- walking around, holding tightly to our hands. Yelling all the way. She also feeds herself Cheerios -- (and woe to the parents whose muddled brains can't decipher that the "oat-based puff ring cereal" described in BabyTalk magazine actually means "Cheerios or any generic substitute" -- Corporate America is SUCH a thorn in my side!).

Cheerio time is one of the best times of the day. Lu watches as Joel or I spread a very moderate handful of O's on her highchair tray. Then she carefully selects the most worthy O and works it into her mouth, where she has finallly learned to let go of the O so it can actually be eaten. (For weeks she'd just touch it to her lip and look at us triumphantly -- "I'm doing it!! I'm eating!!" No, honey, no, you're not.) When she's full, then one O goes in her mouth, and one goes to Hobo, constantly lurking on the floor beneath. He's delighted.

This morning, she gave us another little hint of fun-to-come. So, it's bottle time -- I fill 'er up and put the bottle right on her tray so she can two-fist it right into her mouth. Buuuut... her little jammy sleeves are covering her hands. And she can't get a grip on the bottle. But would she let me roll up her sleeves? No, way, Jose!! You could just see her stubborn little one-track mind working: "This is MY bottle, I feed MYSELF, I am HUNGRY and I am going to get it in my mouth RIGHT NOW SO STAND BACK." Hoo-ee, you should have heard the hollering. Finally had to firmly grab her flailing little arm to wrestle her sleeve up. Of course it was fine, then -- she jammed it into her mouth, sucked it down in about 5 minutes, and went on with her happy morning.

And Joel and I stared, and watched visions in our heads of future t-ball games, dance recitals, skinned knees, bruised shins, and tears. Lots and lots of big ol' crocodile tears.