Thursday, August 31, 2006

Comfort Food

Being pregnant does afford one certain indulgences. Living in North Carolina affords one many opportunities to accomodate the desire.

Today a bunch of us from work went to a friend/coworker's farewell luncheon (she's not going far, just another department, but any excuse to leave campus to eat is a good one). We went to a Southern farmhouse comfort-food place that had nothing on the menu that I'd consider making at home. It was all stuff like chicken & dumplings, country fried steak, meatloaf, chopped beef with onion gravy, BBQ pulled pork, thick-cut ham with red-eye gravy, fried bologna, stuff like that.

Will it make you hungry if I tell you what I had? Oh well, I'm telling you anyway:
BBQ chicken
Collard greens
Yellow squash with onions
Iced tea (unsweetened)
1 hushpuppy


crispy, fluffy buttermilk biscuits with blackstrap molasses.

And some of you just got a panging yearning to be back in the South again.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


They say that if you get the nesting instinct, then labor is just around the corner. Trouble is, I've ALWAYS got the nesting instinct. SNG has laughted about how I get fixated on little around-the-house projects since we started dating 13 years ago. Besides, if that's true, then my cousin, who is 17 weeks pregnant, should have already had her baby weeks ago. ;-)

But anyway, last week as I reviewed and updated my list of "the things in life that have to get done at this point in time" (everyone has a list like that, right?), I took inventory of the minimum requirements for having a baby tomorrow. This was, in part, motivated by the fact that we finished our childbirth classes Thursday night.

They included:
Car Seat ready-to-install
Bag for the hospital Packed and Ready To Go
A bed, diapers, blanket and a few onesies for the baby since I won't be shopping the day after the baby comes home.

Sure, there are a few other things that we'll still have to buy at some point, but we can live without a baby bathtub and a diaper champ (a stinky-free diaper pail) for awhile. After all, she can bathe in the sink and SNG can carry smelly diapers outside every evening. We already had some diapers, blankets, baby bed (we have 3, in fact!) and the car seat. The bag is packed and ready to go. We had onesies and lots of size 3mo+ outfits, but not much in size Newborn. So we bought a new pack of onesies in size 0-3mo. (Aside to PartnerInCrime-- OMG, they're so little. SO LITTLE. so little. And so cute. I was totally feeling just like you said the other day.)

Friday night, SNG got the nesting bug. He carried the crib and changing table upstairs and assembled them in about 1 1/2 hours, totally stress-free. Such a handy boy. Then Saturday we moved the dresser up to the nursery, I washed all the baby clothes and blankets, and Sunday we decorated the walls with the Pooh decals I found the other day (we had already painted the room a week ago). In short, the nursery is ALMOST FINISHED! All that's left to do is move the big eggplant-colored giant overszed chair-and-a-half into there, which we can't do until Fuzzy comes over to help carry it.

Want to see how it looks? Here are some pictures:

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Post That Katrin will be More Interested in than Most People
Tuesday we took The Goofch to The Vet to see whether they had any more ideas about how to treat his lack of appetite, weight loss, incontinence, intestinal distress, etc. In short: our dog was dying right in front of us and there was nothing we could do about it!! The vet agreed, and said it was time for a different tactic.

She took him off one of the antibiotics he was on (Clavamox) and added Prednisone, which is a steroid that makes him hungry and thirsty. Modean was on it when he was sick and I'm certain that's what kept him alive for the last 3 months. So far, it seems to have worked!

So in all, (really only Katrin cares about this) he's taking: Pepcid, Carafate, Metronidazole, Prednisone, and Imodium. Oh, and some eye drops for dry eye.

He's still got the intestinal distress, but he's continent again and most importantly, he's EATING! Not a ton, mind you, but enough to hopefully put some meat back on his bones. Last night we added yogurt (organic, plain, lowfat) to his diet and he slept through the night for the first time in a long while. Today I gave him more yogurt about an hour after breakfast and he has been a happy dog all day. Maybe it'll get his "good" bacteria reestablished and put a slowdown to the intestinal stuff. If nothing else, the yogurt adds more calories (and water).

He also has some energy back. He took a walk the other night for about a mile, which is about twice as far as he was able to go the 2 weeks before. Gooooood Dog!

I really REALLY hope this sorts itself out before the Due Date, because if it doesn't then my mother will be sentenced to Doggie Duty, and I'm not sure she's too excited about the prospect.

That's a good segue to another topic... 29 days and counting!!! Hooray! Mom and Dad have their airline reservations made: Mom gets here the 20th, Dad gets here Oct. 5. Due date is the 23rd. I'm hoping for a Sep 21 arrival to maximize the use of Mom's helping skills. She has MadSkilz for helping. But, if there's any truth to heredity and one's natural cycle (mine is usually 30 days, not 28) then the baby will probably come Oct 2. Has anyone started a betting pool yet?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dreams of Roller-Derby Queendom are Dashed!

Goofch has a certain type of incontinence problem that I won't describe here and so yesterday I was desperate to get our expensive rug rolled up, and there's a BIG coffee table on it, and no one else was home, so I pushed it across the room to roll up the rug. Five minutes later I couldn't stand up from a seated position because I threw out my back!!! What the...? I'm super strong! But the 25+ lbs of extra leverage out front was apparently enough to twing something on my low back, left side and put me out of commission for most of the day yesterday.

It seems much better today after lots of rest, ice, and some exercises my mom suggested (not so much exercises as horizontal dance-moves for an injured back. Kind of funny looking, but it helped. Everyone should have a pilates coach on-call 24/7.).

Goofch goes to the vet this afternoon to see if they can make him continent again (is that the right expression? If you're incontinent, doesn't that imply a lack of continence? What the heck is continence anyway? Yuck.). In the meantime, he's sleeping under the old camper-top from our truck, like a true Appalachian family hound. Anyone got a spare dead-refrigerator we can put out there with him? An old sofa? The guys next door are out of town. Think they'd mind if I jacked up their Porsches on blocks in the yard to make Goofch feel more at home?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tonight we went to see a bout (they're not games, not matches, but bouts) of Carolina Roller Girls roller derby. It was the league championship, and while the Debutante Brawlers put up a strong fight, it was the T'ai Chi-tahs who took home the Golden Skate. SNG held aloft a sign for Eva Lye, and I had a sign to support Elle Anthnofury. Big points were scored by Penelope Bruz, Princess America, and Teflon Donna. Trainwreck and Shirley Temper did some fine blocking, and Julie Jawbreaker slammed a number of opponents right into the crowd.

Actually, I don't really know what I'm talking about, as this was my first-ever roller derby bout, but it was really fun. A coworker of SNG's is a huge supporter of the local league, and I think is in training to try out for a team next year.

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to go to a roller derby bout, I highly recommend it. It's not very long (3 20 minute periods, minimal stoppage), and there's a lot of action. Just don't be surprised at the teensy mini skirts and tattoos on the skaters or the tongue-in-cheek butch-grrrrl culture.

It's actually the kind of thing I'd have loved to do in college. Throwing around 200-pound guys on the judo team was fun, but our costumes were not nearly so fancy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Goofch is home again, but he's still not a well-puppy. The vet school said he's getting better, but I'll just have to take their word for it. He's got 4 weeks of antibiotics in the form of 5 pills twice a day. He's so skinny and still not very interested in eating or going for walks, and what he eats makes a hasty way or another. Yeah, I know, you really wanted to know that about my dog.

But on a happier note, it's 38 days until my due date. Yay! The dog should be better by then. And then he can start work as our new nanny.

In all the craziness of sick dog drama, I forgot to tell about our Sunday. We spent most of the day working on getting stuff cleared out of the soon-to-be nursery (still a long way to go) and then at 5:00 we headed down for a neighborhood cookout in the cul-de-sac at the other end of our street. Well, it turned out to be a surprise baby shower! Our awesome neighbors put together this little shin-dig and managed to get SNG to keep the secret and to make sure I wouldn't have a fit of narcolepsy and try to weasel out of going anywhere. It was so much fun! I was really touched by how sweet and thoughtful that was.

So there was a bright side to our weekend, too. :-)

Monday, August 14, 2006

So many things going on!

The Boston trip was a lot of fun, although I was pretty pooped most of the time. There was an exhibit called Americans in Paris at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts which included works from late 19th-century American painters living in post-revolutionary Paris. It was fantastic. That's not usually a period of art that I'm so crazy about, but the various works were presented as part of a cohesive narrative about life in Paris as an American expat during such an amazing time of transition and it really worked. I'd recommend it if you get a chance to visit Boston before the end of September. Just to see one painting called "Madame X" was worth the price of admission alone.

The trip home on Friday was easier than I had feared. I printed my boarding pass before leaving for the airport, got there at 3:50 for a 6:30 flight, and hardly anyone was at the airport. For once, it was good that Logan airport is such a dump, and that the American Eagle flights go from only 5 little gates with no bathrooms or shops beyond security. It kept the lines very short. I managed to squeak onto a 4:50 flight and got home about the time my original flight was taking off. Yay!

The weekend was a flurry of working on the nursery and sitting around at the small animal hospital of the vet school. Poor Goofch is very sick. Please light a votive for him if you have the chance, because no one seems to know what's wrong with him, but he has lost about 15 pounds since we came home from the Marquette trip and last week he stopped drinking water. Our vet did lots of tests and couldn't nail down any causes and none of the treatments they tried helped. His vet suggested sending him over to the vet school hospital (sort of the Johns Hopkins of the small animal world, as far as I can figure) and we decided to go ahead and try them after K suggested it-- thank you for the advice! We would have hesitated if not for that advice from one of the nations BEST vets (can we send him down to Alabama for treatment?). But really, if anyone can figure out what the problem is, it's the people at NCSU, but it's already cost us a couple of mortgage payments to have no answers.

I just spoke to the vet at NCSU, and after a lot of testing and such, it's starting to look more like a liver infection, maybe some kind of hepatitis thing. TREATABLE! Yay! They haven't entirely ruled out cancer, but he's showing signs of improving since they've given him more antibiotics, IV fluids, anti-vomit drugs and some food he can keep down. He's such a sweet dog that he has a bunch of new friends who are loving on him lots, which is good because I bet he's scared. Hopefully we'll get to take him home soon, all healed and it'll be worth the mortgage payments.

SNG made an astute observation: if the dog has hepatitis, can it be passed to one of us or to the baby? I better ask about that when I talk to them next...

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Quick update: SHE DIDN'T FLIP! Yay! Those are her FEET jamming into my right-side rib cage. Some big feet, it seems. Well, it's both feet at once and I thought it was her head. What had me confused is that whenever she has hiccups, the feet kick out. Bump! Bump! Bump! Bump!

The Neil Diamond reverse-therapy will not be required after all. Thank goodness for that (sorry again, mom!)

SNG and I went to the doctor this morning and she felt around, said she was pretty sure that IHPE is still head-down, and did a quickie ultrasound just to make sure. Sorry, no 3D pictures this time. It was a strictly-business ultrasound.

The doctor also told me that she wanted to revise my travel deadline by about a week, just to be on the safe side since I'm carrying fairly big. It's a shame because I had a trip scheduled for the week of the 22nd, but it's also a relief because as I've mentioned, air travel is HORRIBLE when you're pregnant, and the bigger you get, the less pleasant it is. It's made even worse by the fact that I'm not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds, and so I can't actually carry any luggage. I have to ask strangers to lift my bag for me to get into a car, on a train, through security, etc. So although I would have loved to teach that class, it would have been pretty tough that late in the game.

I'm still going to Boston today, though! I love Boston. Lobster Roll, here I come!!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Cracklin' Rose, You're a Store-bought Woman.

I'm sick of summer. It really is true that if you leave the weather you're accustomed to, it only takes a couple of years to completely de-acclimate and re-acclimate to the new place. I'm certainly more cold-weather hearty than I ever thought I'd be, and I am much less hot-weather-ready than I used to be. Although to be honest, I've never liked the heat of August, regardless of where I lived. August in a record-breaking summer while 8 months pregnant is miserable. I told SNG that if we do this again, we're only going to "try" in July, August, or September, so I won't have to be pregnant (or at least, late in the term) during the hot months. If the pasta won't stick to the fridge* during that time, then it'll have to wait another year.

(* this refers to the old standard for testing done-ness of pasta by taking out a strand and throwing it at the fridge. More reliable than tasting it and certainly more fun.)

When we first moved here, and in fact for the first 4 summers we were here, I thought we were in summertime heaven. I still think it's a lot nicer than NOLA or Texas, since NC does occasionally get a week or 2 in the summer where the temperatures don't exceed the low 80s. But this year has just been uncomfortable.

Tomorrow I'm flying up to Boston, where the news says that the heat wave has broken. Yay! Not like it matters though, since I stay in a hotel at one end of a big shopping mall/ office building complex with skyways and the office is at another end of the shopping mall/ office building complex. Regardless of the weather, I'll be in climate-controlled 76 degrees. Yay again!

Tomorrow is also my 33 week appointment at the doctor. Last time I went in, they were well pleased because IHPE was head-down and in the chute, in an advantageous position for being born. Since she likes to do the Safety Dance and Hand Jive, my bladder was getting pretty well pummeled for the last 4 weeks, but it was still nice to know that if I spontaneously went into labor, say, NOW that everthing would still come out OK.

Over the weekend, while I was dancing to some catchy tune (Cracklin' Rose by Neil Diamond, with apologies to ANYONE with half-decent taste in music and even bigger apologies to my mom for having just said that), IHPE got really wiggly. Dancing, of course. But it felt suspiciously like a "flip." And today, her head is in my right-side rib cage. OH NO! Breech! And she's about big enough that it was probably a Herculean effort to make that flip and I don't know that we can expect her to flip back the right way again. So I guess tomorrow I'll ask the doctor whether we need to pencil in an appointment for a c-section just in case her days as a dancing acrobat are over.

SNG will probably say that she was flipping to try to hide from that song. He was hiding under the furniture but you can't NOT sing and dance to that song. However awful it may be. (sorry, mom)