December 20, 2007

Travel Woes

Talk about a whirlwind drive! We hammered out 1000 miles on Sunday making it to Lincoln, Nebraska; then pushed 700 miles on Monday to make it to our destination in Michigan. It actually went much better than we had anticipated. KT did fairly well in the car (all things considered) and the dogs were better than 2 years ago when we made the drive.

The bad part of the trip is that KT is sick (bronchitis, bronchiolitis and an ear infection). She literally started coughing less than 12 hours before we had to get on the road. And it progressively got worse the more miles we tacked on the odometer. Which was part of our push to get to Michigan so quickly -- to get her out of the car seat and into a doctor. Considering how sick she was she rode really well.

Her being sick is bad for numerous reasons. First of all, having to take her to a different doctor (and probably one that is out of network); second, her being sick away from home and her own crib; and lastly, how it affects our schedule of visits with others. Yesterday and/or today I was planning on visiting two great friends and their new babies. But there is no way I'm going to take Katie around any other kids until she's better (or unless it's unavoidable) and since there's a good chance I will come down with something I'm afraid that even if I visit alone, I'm carrying nasty germs. This also affects who we might visit with next week. I'm super bummed about this as I haven't seen these friends since KT and I were in Michigan in February. Being a responsible parent (and friend) means the health of our kiddos comes first.

And now...on to the rant portion of this post.

Why is it that gas stations/restaurants/rest areas do NOT have changing tables in the restrooms? There's no way I'm setting my child on the floor to change her diaper. And it even somewhat grosses me out to lay a changing pad down and then put her down. When it's in the single digits though, it's impossible to change her in the car without getting a nice chilly draft on her bare cheeks. Seriously though. Nebraska was the worst.

After driving along at a 75mph posted speed limit on I-80 through Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa it feels like you've moving in slow motion when you hit the Illinois border and the speed limit drops to 65mph. It took almost two hours to get used to driving slower.

And C and I have come to the conclusion that I have become a homebody. Which is sad in itself as I love traveling. But I've learned that I miss the comforts and familiarity of my own home. There's just something about my own bed, my own pillow, my own shower, getting ready when all of your stuff is in the bathroom (versus digging through a bag for it), my own coffee pot...you get the drift.

But despite the things that have bugged me, it has been great seeing KT interact with her grandparents. She's developed so much since the last time they saw her. I think that will be the best part of this holiday -- watching her interact with the people that love her almost as much as I do.


As this might be my last post until after we uproot and take up residence with my family...


HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!

December 14, 2007

Change in Plans

I'm so incredibly frustrated today that I can barely see straight.

See that ticker above this post? We're leaving on Sunday for our holiday "vacation". (It says 1 day until insanity but it should really say 2.) Due to numerous circumstances we made the choice to make our cross-country trek this year via our own vehicle. Two adults, two obnoxious dogs and a 13 month old crammed into my SUV for 1800 miles. Yeah. We're nuts. But we didn't go to Michigan last Christmas because KT was only 6 weeks old and we felt it was important to spend the holiday with family.

I've been stressed for weeks getting ready for this trip. Making lists of things that need to be done; putting together listings for pet friendly hotel accommodations along I-80; fretting over Christmas gifts and where to send them when ordering online; continuously adding and crossing things off of packing lists. I think I've mentioned before that I have OCD. Trips like this are very hard for me to prepare for. I don't ever relax until I'm back home and everything is unpacked.

Yesterday I had a meltdown. I'm not sure what triggered it but I sat here at the kitchen table and cried for almost an hour. I've been so busy with work, KT and everything else that all the sudden I realized this trip starts this weekend. I probably would have sat here crying for longer had it not been for an infuriating email I received from work.

Many of you know that a good part of my salary is paid for by a grant. For this grant we are required to turn in yearly reports that detail our progress. It's due at the end of December. You don't have to be a genius to figure out what's coming next. Yesterday around noon, email reminders went out to the main investigators listed on the grant that this report is due in a little over two weeks. So people are immediately concerned about the deadline and ensuring this report gets completed on time.

I'll tell you how it's going to get done on time. I'll work my butt off today and tomorrow to get as much done as possible. When we pull out of our driveway on Sunday, my laptop will be packed in the vehicle. Upon arriving in Michigan, my plans will be shifted around to make sure this stupid report gets done in time to allow people to review it before it needs to be submitted. It will need to be finished before Christmas, to give the reviewers a couple of days after Christmas to look at it. I'm unavailable to work from the 29th on, so I'll have to submit it the 28th. On my mom's horribly ssssllllloooooooooooooowwww dial-up connection.

So much for a vacation.




**This also means that I might have to adjust some plans I've made with some of you -- especially those I was trying to see next week. I'll keep you updated and we'll just have to play it by ear. Sorry.**

December 12, 2007

Possible Change in Address

I've been toying with the idea of moving this blog to another host. Something still free, but with more features than what I have available now.

Anyone want to offer up their experiences on other hosts? The good, the bad and the ugly would be appreciated.

December 11, 2007

Automobilist Grievances

In no particular order:


- blue hairs that can barely see over the steering wheel who inevitably pull out directly in front of you, causing you to slam on your brakes, then proceed to weave within their lane and drive 10 mph under the speed limit



- vehicles that drive 15 mph on icy/snowy roads that warrant 35 mph and have a posted speed limit of 55 and the sporadic enough oncoming traffic that prevents you from passing



- gawkers who are oblivious to signs that designate a lane as a turn only lane and then have the audacity to get pissed at you when their lane no longer exists and they can't merge into traffic



- those who think turning on their blinker automatically creates free space in the adjacent lane and merge without checking to see if the lane is occupied



- impatient drivers who see parents removing children from carseats and sit, waiting not so patiently and even going so far as honking, for the parent to shut the door so they can pull into the empty space when there are free spaces on the other side of the vehicle



- tourists/visitors who are unsure of where they need to go, continuously slowing, braking, signaling and weaving in and out of turn lanes



- dimwits who forget that by law they are required to use signals



- car jockeys with vision abilities that make void the need to use headlights in foggy/snowy/dawn/dusk conditions



- he/she slowing down succeeding traffic by not realizing that far right lane is designated a turn lane so they may slow/brake in their own space without disrupting the flow



- cretins with blatant disregard for traffic laws but the consideration for flipping other drivers the bird when they are themselves at fault

December 6, 2007

Internet Relationships

It leaves little to be said in that I spend a fair share of my day on the internet. My email for work is constantly receiving new messages; my personal email receives its fair share; and I'm involved with a handful of internet groups.

These internet groups have brought many incredible people into my life. People that I'm very grateful for and that have seen me through some of the best and some of the worst times of my life. Some of the people I talk to the most on a daily basis are those that I've never spent time with face to face. That doesn't affect our relationships at all.

But internet friendships/relationships can have many dangers as well. It's obvious on this blog that I'm somewhat careful to maintain some anonymity. You can't google my name (or my husband's or daughter's) and have it link to this site. It's more for personal protection than anything else. There are some weird people on the internet and I've had acquaintances have really bad things happen to them because of information they had online. I don't want some weird person to figure out who I am and then show up at my doorstep. It's possible that if someone dug hard enough and long enough they might figure out who/where I am.

I've tried my hardest to express my sincerity towards others I've met online. I want people I make contact with to know that I'm genuine and that I'm not trying to cause drama in their lives. My sole reason for being involved in these internet groups is to find women who understand the different facets of my life. I want girls to talk to that understand what I'm going through and what I'm dealing with.

Unfortunately there have been cases lately where people are withdrawing. I want to maintain friendships with these people but I understand their skepticism. I don't want to appear pushy or desperate (perhaps this post itself is polar opposite of that); I just want to maintain friendships.

I'm finding though that maintaining friendships through a computer screen and modem appears to be much more difficult than just typing words and sending them. Although technology provides so many great aspects to our lives, it obviously has as many disadvantages.

November 29, 2007

Serenity

The house is totally quiet this morning as I sit here, working through some emails. All I can hear is the hum of my laptop and KT's humidifier over the baby monitor.

For me, this is the most productive, and relaxing time of day. I can sit here with a cup of coffee (or two) and actually get some work done. There are no interruptions as my phone rarely rings before 11am and the dogs are still nestled in our bed. I can fully concentrate on the tasks that I need to accomplish instead of simultaneously trying to write an email and keep my toddler from banging on the TV screen in the living room.

It used to be that 80% of my day was like this. By 6pm I could close the cover on my laptop and be done with work most evenings. Now, 5 out of 7 nights a week, I'm working at 11pm.

Is it bad to say that this quietness is one of the things I miss the most from my pre-baby life?

November 25, 2007

Taking Care of Business

I knew that if I was going to find myself again -- and subsequently get back to being "Mandy" -- that I needed to make some changes. I needed to put myself in a better place and figure out how to more effectively juggle everything that I have going on. There are 3 things that I've done that have helped significantly.

#1 -- Put my life on a schedule. This includes a daily chore chart. It may sound crazy but it ensures that my housework is done and it spreads it out over the week. The thought is that my house is always in a decent state and I'm not trying to cram everything into a single morning or afternoon. So far it's been working well, although I will admit that the chore chart has been partially ignored lately. Oops. One of the benefits is that my house is usually tidy enough that I'm not embarrassed to have people stop by unannounced.

#2 -- Signed up for a gym membership and have committed to going 3-4 times a week. I even went so far as to sign up for 12 weeks with a personal trainer. Although my results leave a lot to be desired; working out has helped to decrease my stress considerably. It's amazing how much better I feel after pounding out an hour on the treadmill. Part of the benefit too is getting some time to myself. I forgot how nice it is to focus entirely on me for 2 hours.

#3 -- I found a local Moms group. We try to schedule a playdate once a week for our kids. It's forces me to get out of the house with Katie one day a week to do something fun. Most of the time we just go to another mom's house, but sometimes we try to do something more fun. And it's been wonderful to meet some local moms with kids similar in age. These new friendships have helped to fill a void (somewhat) in my inadequate, local circle of friends.

Although all 3 things seem to be small, they have helped tremendously. There is still plenty that I want/need to work on but all in good time.

November 19, 2007

365 Days

We've all heard over and over again that time goes by so much quicker, the older you get. Even though I'm experiencing this firsthand it's just so hard to believe. This time warp seems to increase exponentially once you have children. I'm not sure if the sleepless nights quickly blur the distinction between days or if the smiles and laughter fill in the space that might have laid idle.

Whatever the case, I've come to learn that you really do need to cherish this time. As my friends prepare for the arrival of babies I tell them to enjoy it while they can. As hokey as it sounds (and as much as I scoffed at it when people tried to tell me the same) -- they really do grow up so fast.


19 November, 2006


19 November, 2007


November 14, 2007

75 Days...

...have passed since my last post. Although not 100%, I am in a MUCH better place than I was 75 days ago.

It's time to come back.

August 31, 2007

Totally Unexpected!

I just got a very, very surprising phone call from D -- husband to Sami over at A Cop, A Nurse, 3 Dogs, and Maybe Baby !!

Sami's water broke at work last night and with baby Sam still breech, he was born via c-section about 11 am EST this morning. Mom and baby are doing well all things considered. Sounds like everyone (especially Dad) is slightly in shock still.

August 21, 2007

Over and Out

Thanks for the comments/suggestions. I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

MY MILK IS GONE. KATIE IS NOW 100% FORMULA FED.

Katie refuses the bre@st and has done so for over 24 hours. There is nothing that I can do to get her to stay latched on long enough to stimulate a letdown. All she does is bite (and draw blood) in frustration. In an attempt to not go 100% to formula immediately, I've tried pumping and get less than 1/2 an ounce total, even with a letdown. I've been battling supply issues for a couple of months now and have tried everything possible. There just isn't any more milk for her. The icing on the cake was this morning -- absolutely no engorgement after not nursing in 24 hours.

We're done. Now I just need to deal with the emotional aspect...

August 20, 2007

Quick Question

Technically, I'm still on hiatus. Still trying to sort through a bunch of stuff but I need some suggestions. I know that some of you that read this might be able to offer better advice than I can get in other avenues.

Without going into full detail, I've got 4 questions that I need some answers/opinions/suggestions on.
  1. What's the most effective way to wean completely?
  2. How long will it take until my milk dries up ?
  3. How do I get KT to take a bottle from me when she's used to the "good stuff"?
  4. How do I get through the emotional aspect of weaning sooner than I originally hoped to?
And thanks, I appreciate any and all comments.

August 1, 2007

In a Rut

Pardon me, all my wonderful internet (and real life) friends. But I think I'm going to take a break for a while. It's not like I've been posting often enough that I'll be missed but I wanted to give the head's up to everyone.

Life is just crazy right now. Work isn't going very well and it's dumping over into the rest of my life. I feel like KT isn't getting the attention she needs, nor is C and the rest of the stuff around the house.

I sit down to blog and I just can't find anything to say that isn't whiny or full of complaints. I miss myself and I feel like my family deserves a better Me as well.

So when I can get Mandy back, I'll be back.


See ya later, alligator.

July 27, 2007

Perfect Timing

I haven't been to Provo to see friends since we moved away in May 2006. C saw some friends when in Salt Lake City for work last August, was down there once last fall to elk hunt, and just went fishing with a friend of his about a month ago. We've continuously been saying that we need to make a trip. Not only for us to see the friends we miss, but to give everyone a chance to meet KT.

With family coming to visit this summer, trips for C for work and other random "stuff" it's been difficult to find a weekend that works. Two weeks ago we committed to making the 4 hour trip today.

For the past couple of days, Miss KT has been super cranky. I just chalked it up to me being stressed and her playing off of that. Yesterday KT started to run a low-grade fever and was drooling like mad. With flashlight in hand, I pried her mouth open enough to take a look (which she totally hates). Sure enough--the top right tooth is RIGHT THERE about to bust through the gumline. Hopefully lots of teething tablets, ibuprofen and attention from gads of friends will help with the crankiness this weekend.

Because I highly doubt that tooth is going to break through before we strap her in her car seat at 12:30pm.

July 26, 2007

Cherry Wine

I have found a new favorite drink -- homemade cherry wine! A friend of mine started making her own wines back at the first of the year. So far she's made elderberry, raspberry and cherry. We bottled the cherry last night and WOW! Fantastic. It's a nice light wine that has a strong cherry taste and is slightly sweet. Very good for just sipping after dinner. The best part about last night was that she sent me home with 2 bottles just for helping. Woohoo!




I'm thinking that maybe it's something I'd like to start doing myself. The one drawback to it is the space that you need to have for the equipment. It's doesn't require you to dedicate an entire room in your house to the process but whenever you have a batch going it's either in a five-gallon bucket (to get it started) or in these monster 6-gallon glass containers. We have limited counter space as it is and I'm not sure how having the baby would factor in. My friend said that I could keep the stuff at her house but I hate to clutter her house/basement with my crap.

And it's not like I need another project to embark upon. I've got enough stuff to keep me busy for years right now as it is. Stuff that just sits in our guest bedroom waiting for me to work on it and finish it.

But it's so tempting. The initial investment is a little pricey but after that (minus the cost of fruit) you spend less than $10 on a batch and it yield about 24 bottles of wine. I don't know. Maybe I'll just keep helping my friend in the hopes that she pays me with the "fruits" of our labor.

July 19, 2007

Diagnosis Determined

The summer before I went to Nepal and met C, I worked at a nursery in my hometown. The pay was okay, the hours were good and it let me play in the dirt with flowers/trees all day. I also dated the owner's son but that's another story (*pausing for a brief second to think back*).

When I worked for Dale I started to get these horrible little spots on my hands. It wasn't a rash per se because the bumps weren't red, they were clear. The easiest way to describe them is that they remind me of tiny little blisters. They'd show up all over my hands and itch like the dickens. When they would break open they'd be filled with liquid, similar to a blister. My first thought was that something that I worked with had irritated my skin, causing the condition. I saw my family doctor for them and he diagnosed it as contact dermatitis. He told me to start wearing gloves at work, to watch coming in contact with certain plants and to be extra careful when working with the fertilizers/herbicides/insecticides. It was weird though because we couldn't figure out exactly what was triggering the outbreaks.

Over the last 9 years the bumps have come and gone. I found that they got worse when I was stressed or sick. The scientist in me figured it was due to a compromised immune system and blew it off. When KT was born my hands broke out horribly and it's been pretty constant. Just before my mom visited a month ago I had a major flare, the worst one to date. The blisters manifested themselves into scaly, rough patches of skin instead of just disappearing. Unfortunately the quickest I could get in to see a dermatologist was yesterday. Almost 5 weeks after the onset.

Thankfully, the dermatologist I saw yesterday knew exactly what the problem is. Come to find out I have dyshidrotic eczema. The good news is I finally have a diagnosis. It's a skin condition that affects about 20 people out of every 100,000 characterized by small blisters on the hands and feet. Bad news is that it's not preventable but instead something I'll always have to deal with. I can use corticosteroid creams and antihistamines to help with the flares but most times the cause itself can't be pinpointed. Other piece of bad news is that one of the worse things for it is contact with soap and water.

As a mom of an infant, that part is the hardest to handle. It's not like I can just quit washing my hands. I figure, on average I probably wash my hands AT LEAST 20 times a day now. Be tween using the bathroom, changing diapers, fishing stuff out of KT's mouth and making meals I always have a need to wash my hands. The dermatologist recommend switching to a gentle hand cleanser, instead of soap. Preferably a type that doesn't need water for us. He sent me home with some samples, a script for a steroid cream and instructions to come back in a month.

So there was plenty of good and bad associated with the diagnosis. I'm so glad to finally know what's going on. But yet it's difficult when something so routine such as washing your hands needs to be changed.

And to thwart the suggestion -- wearing gloves when washing dishes, making dinner, changing diapers, etc. is completely out. That's a common irritant as well.

July 16, 2007

House Guests

House guests here until Wednesday.

So far so good -- just very little time to log into Blogger.

Time at the computer is heavily dedicated to "real" work right now.

Will update soon.

July 10, 2007

Late Night Late Blight Plight

I try to stay away from controversial topics here on my blog. There are many things that I have very strong opinions on but I don't ever want to seem as though I'm forcing my ideas on people. I believe the things I do because I believe in them. Not because some celebrity or famous person holds the same views. I've done the research behind them; I have the education and evidence to defend what I say.

I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. To me, it goes hand in hand with the First Amendment. Free speech means that we can believe in whatever we want and voice those beliefs. What bothers me though is when people go overboard. When they become slanderous, destructive with their First Amendment right. Also when they just spout off about an issue that they haven't fully researched.

Last Saturday, protesters in Cambridgeshire, UK scaled fences and destroyed some research trials of potatoes. This bothers me on many levels (trespassing, destruction of property to name a couple) but as a researcher it really hits home. You can read the full article here, but the nitty gritty is that the trial was researching the resistance of genetically modified potatoes again late blight. Late blight is a fungal disease that infects spuds and can wipe out an entire field. It is the most economically important disease in potatoes because of its difficulty to control. Currently, there are few (if any) organic controls so massive amounts of chemical fungicides are applied. Genetically modified plants are being researched for their natural resistance to the disease. The protesters were obviously in opposition to the genetic modifications.

I see both sides of this issue. For many reasons, I'm not going to even talk about my opinion on the topic. My main complaint with the story is that the protesters were illegal in their actions to express their freedom of speech. They could have held lawful protests, boycotted other products of the research company to show their opposition, but ripping up entire research trials is way beyond freedom of speech. It takes a great amount of time, money and effort to design and implement research projects. I spend countless hours trying to take care of tiny details that will ensure "sound" scientific procedure. I can't even imagine how upset I'd be if something like this happened to something I coordinated.

Anyway, that's all. I am supposed to be working. This news story was in my email this morning and it triggered a random work-related post.

July 8, 2007

Sunday Synopsis

The last 24 hours around here -- a picture really is worth a 1000 words.

Style Help Needed!

Okay, all my fashion forward friends, I'm recruiting your help! I need some fashion advice and who better to turn to than my wonderful internet buddies. (Granted, quite a handful of you actually know me in real life too. That's partially why I'm sending this plea out because you know my personality, body type, sense of style, etc.)

This is going to be a long post, so strap in and hold on.

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My "baby" sister, A (in the green in the picture above) -- who also goes by Stinky -- is getting married in September. Stinky can be quite opinionated (it's not a bad thing) about people and their fashion choices. Which is probably why both of us get along so well. Neither one of us has a terrible lot of money to spend on clothes but we always try to look our best. We pick pieces that are flattering and appropriate for the situation. So I want to look my best at her wedding. As vain as it sounds, I have to redeem myself for being huge and pregnant at my other sister's wedding last summer.

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This is my dilemma. Shopping here in Idaho Falls is very limited. The mall is one of the least diverse that I have seen. What stores we do have very limited selection as well. Many of you whom have been around since last summer remember how hard it was for me to find something for Stretch's wedding that I was happy with.

I bought a dress last night while KT and I were at the mall. I LOVE the dress. I'm just not sure if it's dressy enough for Stinky's wedding. THIS IS WHERE I NEED OPINIONS!

To preface this next part, let me give some details about Stinky's wedding. My main goal is to find something for me that will coordinate with the rest of the bridal party, then match C and KT to my outfit. That way we don't clash in wedding pictures. Stinky's bridesmaids will have on dresses that are a cinnamon/nutmeg (dark orangish-brownish) color. So my intent was to find something in dark brown so that it would go well with the bridesmaids. There are a couple of main criteria that I want the dress to fit: an empire waist, an a-line skirt that falls about knee length, and halter or spaghetti straps (so that I can try to nurse in it if need be). I also would like it to be slightly more dressy than what I'd wear if I was going to a friend's wedding since I'm sister of the bride.

I've had my eye on a dress online but was hesitant to spend the money they want for it. Plus I hate to order anything online without being able to try it on. My body is so weird to fit that it's hit or miss with online shopping. This is the dress that I like. It's solid brown like I want, fits all the criteria that I'm looking for and is dressy.

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Here's some pictures of the dress I bought yesterday. Sorry they're not the best quality. I couldn't get good shots without the flash on. It does meet the criteria I wanted style-wise and as an added benefit it makes my chest look huge and my waist look tiny! It's not solid brown which is what makes me think it's not dressy enough. I originally thought it was brown and beige but it's actually dark brown with light tan.

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These are the shoes that I ordered to go with the dress. If I did decide to go with the solid dress, I don't think these would be dressy enough to go with it. So I'd have to find something new.

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Now that I've laid it all out. What do you think? Here are your options:
  1. Buy the solid brown, expensive dress and order new shoes.
  2. Wear the brown/tan floral dress with the shoes above.
  3. Do both! Wear the solid one to the wedding, the floral one to the rehearsal.

For what's it worth...here's the dress I'm thinking about getting for KT. Not sure if that helps sway your opinion one way or another.

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July 6, 2007

In Memory

It's not often that something shakes me enough that it render me speechless. A message from a friend this morning brought upon one of those rare occurrences.

When I was an undergraduate at BYU I became good friends with one of the graduate students in our department, Laurie. We had a "Michigan connection" that I so desperately needed at that time in my life. After she had graduated and left for BYU her parents had bought a house just outside of East Lansing -- where Michigan State University is located. She was familiar with the area around MSU so we would chat about the campus, the climate, etc. Laurie also ran the Horticulture program at the Senior Center in Provo. Once a week she would teach a class on various gardening topics, using students in our department as volunteers. After volunteering once with her, I was hooked. I spent a good part of the summer of 2001 helping her with the program -- even teaching the classes myself when she was unable to.

After she graduate with her M.S. degree she moved back East for a while. The last time I saw her was the summer of 2003 when I was working on my M.S. degree. She had since moved back to Utah and was teaching special education. We hadn't spoken to one another since C and I moved to ID last summer.

This mutual friend of ours sent me a message to let me know of Laurie's passing. A month ago she was killed in a rafting accident on the Green River in Utah.

I truly am saddened by this news. Laurie was the type of person we all should aspire to be and will be missed greatly.

July 5, 2007

Where Did My Baby Go?

Silly me, there she is...halfways across the room ALREADY!


Some New Bling

My grandma (my mom's mom) was always known for her jewelry. Marge loved gold, plain and simple. I can't ever remember a time when she didn't have her jewelry on. She always wore 2-3 necklaces, rings and multiple bracelets on each wrist. Every time you'd see her everything would be tangled together. My sisters and I would always untangle her necklaces and make them look "pretty".

When she passed away in 2002 I received one of the tennis bracelets that she constantly wore. The week after her passing, I was at meetings in Indianapolis and the bracelet broke. Thankfully I was standing on concrete inside the exhibition hall and I heard the bracelet hit the floor. I was devastated that it broke but so thankful that I noticed when it did. I would have been heartbroken had I lost that gift from my grandma.


At the time I was a graduate student and we didn't have much money. I took the bracelet in and got it soldered back together. The jeweler told me that it was in fragile condition -- mainly because of it's constant use when grandma was alive -- and it shouldn't be worn all the time. Although disappointed I understood and put it away for safe keeping. Over the years I've thought about the bracelet over and over again. It was such a shame for something so beautiful, and treasured, to sit tucked away. Once I took it into a jeweler in Provo and talked with them about doing some custom work. My thought was to pull some of the diamonds out of the bracelet and set them in an anniversary band that would be worn with my wedding set. I was told at the time that the diamonds wouldn't withstand being removed from the settings in the bracelet and was quoted an exorbitant amount for doing said work.

Since KT has been born I haven't been wearing my wedding set all that much. Although the diamond from my engagement ring isn't overly large (about 0.5 carat), I found myself scratching the baby when changing her diaper. So my ring sat, unworn, on the nightstand next to the bed. Many times I would walk out the door to run errands and have a bare ring finger. I admit that it's somewhat vain to think, but I would find myself so self-conscious when I was out and about with no ring on. Especially when I had KT in tow.

So I decided to try my luck again with a jeweler here in town. I took my grandma's bracelet in and the guy I talked to thought it was a fantastic idea. He said there wouldn't be any problem removing the stones and they'd do the work for $200. TOTAL. That would include the new ring and all the labor. Plus it would only take a week to do since they did all their work in-house. No second thoughts this time, I left the bracelet with them and told the guy I'd be back in a week.

It's nothing flashy, but it's perfect for my taste. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Now I can carry my grandma's beautiful jewelry with me everyday.


June 29, 2007

Frickin' Fabulous Friday

I was on my 2nd rinse cycle of cloth diapers when I stuck my head in the laundry room just now. There's an inch of water on the floor. Heaven help us that it was just a fluke and I don't need to either repair/replace my washing machine. That appliance is used WAY TOO MUCH to be out of commission.

What a wonderful start to the day.

June 26, 2007

Teeth Times Two

I knew that it was only a matter of time before tooth number two poked through. This is what we woke up to find Sunday morning...




Kudos to C for such great picture taking!

June 25, 2007

Big Bad Dog

Our two dogs couldn't have more different personalities.

Dakota is lethargic; Logan annoys the hell out of you until you play.
Dakota spends the day laying on our bed; Logan is within 3 feet of me.
Dakota is tall and lanky; Logan is short and "solid".
Dakota ignores KT; Logan loves to give her kisses.
Dakota puts up with KT pulling fur; Logan moves when KT reaches.
Dakota is quiet; Logan is loud.
Dakota runs when not leashed; Logan stays within shouting distance.
Dakota ignores commands; Logan returns when called.
Dakota is a wuss; Logan has been nicknamed "B.A." for Bad Ass.

Dakota's wussiness was in full force this morning. C sprayed ant killer in the backyard last night in an attempt to overthrow the ant colonies that were threatening to take over. The grass was still wet this morning so the dogs needed to be walked out on the front lawn. Walking both of them, on leashes, at the same time is not an option. Logan went out first with C and did his "business". C then switched them out and took Dakota for a stroll. As they exited the garage door, C saw a bohemuth of a Doberman running loose in our cul-de-sac. C grabbed the push broom from the garage to use as a weapon. (You can start laughing here. Heaven knows when the story was retold to me, I already was.) The Dobie kept coming increasingly closer to C and Dakota on his laps around the cul-de-sac. Each time he did, C yelled at him and waved the broom. (Laughing even harder now.) Dakota ever so stoically stood BEHIND C's legs and peaked out around them to watch the Dobie. Logan would have been charging at this dog, barking his fool head off. Dakota just cowered behind C and let C fend off this monster dog. C turned around to make mention about how great of a guard dog Dakota was. When he did, he realized that Dakota had raised his leg and peed on the SIDE OF THE HOUSE!! (Laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes at this point.)

Big Bad Dog hides behind C for protection, but makes damn sure he marks his territory. I'm sure if any of the neighbors were watching out their front window(s) they just about put their morning coffee (or juice for our Mormon neighbors) through their nose. What a pair, those two.

June 22, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away

These are the days that I wish I had family closer...the days where I wish that I had a daycare where I could drop KT off at for the afternoon...the days where I'd like to just shut the door behind me and take a break from being a mom, a wife, a pet-owner and an employee.

Work has not let up at all since my "AHHHHHHH!!" post the other day. I still can't get phone calls or emails responded to. I've been leaving voicemail after voicemail for people (The Boss Who Jumped Ship being one of the main targets) to no avail. But when he goes to Oregon next week and details are ambiguous, it will be me who gets the phone calls to deal with them under frantic circumstances.

KT's 2nd tooth is about to break through the surface as well. The first finally grew into a nice white bump that is visible from a few feet away. That 2nd is lurking beneath the surface, grinding through the gums as it pushes its way towards the chasm that is KT's mouth. The combination of the two teeth has made KT even more difficult. She throws tantrums, screams for no reason and doesn't want to sleep. The only place she's content is on my lap. Which equates to her slapping the keyboard, sending emails when they're half composed, pulling on the power cord to the laptop and throwing the mouse on the floor. Add that to the work frustrations in general and my patience is stretched VERY thin.

Post morning-meltdown found me setting KT in her highchair with a couple of wooden spoons so that I could move some laundry around. I could hear the distinct puttering and grunting that now accompanies the filling of diapers (thanks to the addition of solid foods to her diet). I rushed through the laundry and grabbed her out of the highchair, not paying any attention until I felt something warm and squishy on my hands.

Yup.

Her diaper blew out the leg. There was baby poo all over her leg, the ruffle skirt she had on, the highchair, my hand/arm, my t-shirt and my yoga pants. Gotta love that. So I stripped us both down; threw the dirty clothes in a heap on the bathroom floor; threw the dirty cloth diaper in the toilet to let it soak itself clean(er) for a few minutes; plopped KT in the bathtub and drew some bathwater. All along I'm trying to keep two nosey dogs out of everything poopy.

At this point, I'm frazzled, frustrated and verging on being pissed off. I get KT cleaned up and out of the tub. We're battling to get a clean diaper on her (she's learned she can roll over while on the changing table) when the phone rings, first my cell, then the landline. A glimmer of hope fills my mind that it could be The Boss Who Jumped Ship so I grab the phone next to our bed, struggling to keep KT's fingers from entangling in the phone cord.

It's C.

I should have said, "sorry, can't talk. Call me back in 15 minutes". But I didn't. Dumb, dumb, move on my part.

Last weekend (Thursday through Sunday), C took the boat and went fishing down on the Green River with one of our friends from Utah. It's was a quasi-Father's Day present. A weekend away from the stress of life; a time to relax and catch up with this friend. Because of his weekend away last weekend, I vetoed his Boss' request that C take the boat out tomorrow morning to fish. It's a handful for me to wrangle KT and the dogs by myself. I do it all day long during the week. The weekends, I feel, should be a break for me as well.

C proceeds to tell me that since he "can't" take Boss fishing tomorrow, that Boss has decided they'll go this afternoon. Skip out of work to go fishing. C, Boss and one other co-worker. Must be nice to just be able to up and walk away from work to go play for the afternoon.

When he said that, he casually said that he wouldn't be home any later than if he was at work this afternoon. Like that in itself would make it okay with me. I told him "whatever, I don't care anymore". There was no way he could miss the contempt in my voice. I'm sure that you could see the steam pouring out of my ears. My disposition had quickly been shoved from teetering on the edge to full on pissed off.

Is 11 o'clock on a Friday morning too early to start drinking??

June 20, 2007

They're Here!

Many of you know that I've been on baby watch over at Expecting a Baby Someday...Here's the scoop -- I don't have much, for some reason my cell didn't ring, so I just got a voicemail from Bryan.

The girls are here! Not sure what time, officially.

Gracie weighs 5lbs 14oz;
Abby weighs 4lbs 14oz.

Both girls are in the NICU right now because of their sugar levels.

Kristen is doing well, all things considered.

Will update when I get more info.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just as I finished typing that, my cell phone rang and it was Kristen herself! So here's more info...

Abby: Born at 9:31am, weighing 4lb 14oz and about 17" long.
Gracie: Born at 9:32am, weighing 5lb 14oz and about 19" long.

Both girls are breathing well on their own and didn't need any oxygen at birth. Their sugar levels are a little high, hence the stay in the NICU. When they were doing the section, they think that Kristen had some cysts rupture so there was more bleeding than they wanted. They ended up calling in the perinatologist as a precaution, but everything is okay now. Kristen has been up once to see the girls but was unable to hold them because she couldn't sit up due to the incision. The nurses told her that she'll be allowed to go back up in the morning and should be able to hold them then. She's a little bummed about that but looks forward to seeing them tomorrow morning. Hopefully the girls will only be in the NICU for 24-48 hours. The nurses are optimistic that they'll be in Kristen's room with her by tomorrow night.

There isn't any internet access at the hospital but Bry is supposed to send me some pics from his camera phone. As soon as I get something, I'll make sure to post them!


WELCOME GRACE & ABBY!! WE'RE SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE SAFE AND SOUND!

June 19, 2007

AHHHHHHH!!

No real specifics to talk about...I just needed a place to vent some frustrations.

Work has been incredibly difficult the past couple of days. The project that I've mentioned in past posts has really thrown me for some loops yesterday and today. We've got fields that we're using for the study in Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington and Western Idaho that will be harvesting much sooner than those in Southeastern Idaho. Because of this I'm facing surmounting logistical problems. These problems weren't considered when the original proposal was written. Since I'm the coordinator of the project, solving these logistical glitches falls primarily on my shoulders. Once again I feel as though the brunt of everyone's frustrations are being directed at me. I'm just scrambling as best I can to solve problems. And as always, getting in touch with people to conjure up solutions is difficult as most of the cooperators are busy with fieldwork and won't/don't answer cell phones.

Why couldn't I face these challenges last week when I had my Mom here to help with KT??


June 18, 2007

Whew...

Hi there! I'm back! *waves hello*

KT and I had a fantastic time last week with my mom here. Thankfully, KT was FANTASTIC for grandma. We'd been dealing with some separation anxiety "issues" and I was terrified she'd scream every time my mom tried to hold her. But she didn't. At times I think she was actually better behaved for my mom than she is for me.

Big news around here is that KT's first tooth is breaking through!!

Hal-le-frickin-lu-jah!

You can barely see it (and she clamps her mouth shut when you try to look) but when I can get my finger in her mouth I can feel the sharp edge of the corner poking through. I've been dosing her up with Ty!enol to help ease the discomfort. Hopefully it will be through entirely through the surface within the next couple of days.


I've got a bunch of posts that I want to write and stuff to update about. I'd love to get to it today but I have a ton of things on my "To Do" list that need to be crossed off as soon as possible. So...I'll make an effort to get to them within the week. If I don't hold true to that statement, bug me until I get on the ball!

June 12, 2007

Here

I feel like I'm constantly apologizing lately for my lack of new posts...and I'm sorry for that as well. The days continue to fly by and the posts have been short, few and far between. There's not much going on to update everyone about.

Grandma is here for the week and LOVING the time with Katie...
Dealing with KT's crankiness and impending (although who knows when) arrival of teeth...
On baby watch with Kristen...
Hoping that Jess finds the bastards that did this...
Waiting for Sami to get answers on NN's heart...

So, just living life and trying to be there for support in everyone else's lives...When my mom leaves I'll try to post a more in-depth update.


June 7, 2007

Explanation

First of all, thanks for all the comments on my last post. Many of them made me chuckle and it's nice to know that I'm not alone in how I feel!

We had company last weekend (Friday through Tuesday) -- one of C's college buddies was here for the weekend. It had been almost 3 years since they had seen each other so a visit was much needed. Buddy is a great guy and a ton of fun. However, when the two of them get together they tend to feed off of one another and act like pre-pubescent teenage boys. At 30 and 31 years old, this is not something that amuses me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that the two of the got to spend some time together.
It's just different now that C and I are parents. Usually I'm fairly easy-going and can roll with the punches. Before, if plans changed mid-trip and we ended up heading towards a new destination, no biggie. Before, if it was 9:30 when we finally got around to go grab dinner, no biggie. Now that KT is here though it's impossible to be as flexible.

Suffice it to say that more than once over the course of Buddy's visit both Mandy and KT were extremely cranky.

June 4, 2007

Random

Do boys ever grow up??

May 30, 2007

Tired

In the last hour, I've:

  • Nursed Katie
  • Changed her clothes after she spit up all over
  • Changed my clothes after she spit up all over
  • Pulled the sheets off of our bed and put them in the washer (see above...)
  • Folded two loads of laundry
  • Changed a horribly poopy diaper
  • Made a pot of coffee
  • Checked my email.
And I wonder why I'm so tired at the end of the day.

May 28, 2007

In Memory

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 2007-05-28). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.


For me (and I think many others), Memorial Day is also a day to remember important people who have passed on, regardless of military experience. It's a day to visit cemeteries and to revisit memories you acquired of said people. It's a day to reflect on how they impacted your life and how much they're missed.

My grandfather is one of those important people that I think of on this day. He was in the Air Force and served for many years, but was not killed in the line of duty. I was lucky in that he passed away after living what I hope he found to be a very full life. He was my inspiration to do many of the things that I have done. From an early age he always encouraged me to work hard and to do everything I wanted to do. After my Mom, he was the one I called with all of my accomplishments -- ACT scores, acceptance to Michigan State, scholarship awards. He'd always tell me how proud he was of how hard I worked and the things I was accomplishing. This spurred me on to work even harder. It meant the world to me that he and my grandmother made the trip from Florida to Michigan for my High School graduation.

Unless you knew him, it's hard to understand why he was such a role model. For me, he was the epitome of strength and perseverance. He was a diabetic who had to give himself insulin shots everyday; he survived numerous open heart surgeries, a stroke and had a pacemaker put in while I was a senior in High School (that trip in itself will never be forgotten -- "I can't believe we're in Cincinnatti..."); he lost one kidney to cancer...But he never let any of this slow him down. He was an avid hunter who won many awards running 'coon dogs. In the years before his death, he worked as a golf course ranger in the sticky Florida summers.

To this day I remember vividly my mom calling me at work that summer day in July of 1997. She asked me to meet her at home and in my heart I knew what was wrong. I remember driving, literally about 90 miles an hour to get home. My sisters were there and were surprised that I was home and that I was so shaken up; I don't think my mom had called them. I don't remember much of the conversation but as my mom made arrangements for us to fly to Florida, I drove down to my Dad's to tell him. My body was racked with sobs and I could barely get the words out. He held me tightly and let me cry. I still had on my work clothes and I ended up with grease on my dress from my dad -- he'd been working on a tractor when I pulled in. I flew all the way from Detroit to Florida with that grease spot on my shoulder. It never did come out of the fabric...Funny the little things you remember...

He wasn't around physically for my wedding, for my graduations from college, or for the birth of my daughter. But I know that he was there. I know that he is proud of me for the things I've done. I just hope he knows how important he was, and still is, to me.

Memorial Day is also a day that I remember the babies that I've lost. Two years ago, through many tears, I acknowledged my heartache with this...


It had only been 4 weeks since that dreadful night in the emergency room but the wound was still very raw. The pregnancy had started out very well. I conceived on my 5th round of clomid; initial bloodwork showed my hcg levels to be increasing perfectly. On Thursday, April 28th, I had my first prenatal appointment in which everything looked great. My body was still showing all signs of a perfect, healthy pregnancy. I tried to push for an ultrasound that day but the doctor dismissed the idea since my history didn't warrant it. He warned that I might experience some spotting after the exam but that it wasn't anything to be concerned about. The next day the spotting began, but was light brown, old blood. No need for worry. At least that's what I tried to tell myself. It got heavier as Friday progressed, heavier yet on Saturday, but still brown. Sunday early afternoon it turned red. I laid on the couch, not saying much to C, and cried. In my heart I knew. About 8pm the cramping began and through a veil of tears, I told C we needed to head to the hospital.

At the hospital they tried finding a heartbeat with the doppler and were unsuccessful. At just over 8 weeks gestation, this was a long shot as it was. They drew blood to check my hcg levels and ordered an ultrasound to see where the bleeding was coming from. Since it was a Sunday and a small hospital, we had to wait for the ultrasound technician to arrive. They wheeled me down the hallway and I was numb to the sounds around me. The ultrasound room was set up horribly. The bed was next to the wall, with the machine on the right hand side. There was no room for C to stand next to me and hold my hand. He stood at the foot of the bed and watched the computer screen intently. The only sound in the room was the clicking of the machine as the tech measured the size of the baby...

Click, click, click...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...
"Are you sure that you're 8 weeks along?"...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...
click, click, click...

I couldn't see the computer screen so I stared at C's face to watch for a sign. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and shook his head. The floodgates opened and I began to cry.

The tech told us that he couldn't find a heartbeat and if my dates were correct, there should be one at 8 weeks. The baby was only measuring 5 weeks, 3 days. He kept saying that perhaps my dates were wrong and everything would be okay. Back in my room, the doctor kept repeating the same thing. I tried to tell him that I knew my dates were right, not only because of the clomid (and tracking my ovulation) but because of the initial hcg levels. But he wouldn't listen and I was too exhausted to try to get it through his head. They diagnosed me as a threatened miscarriage and told me to call my OB in the morning. I didn't say a word to C as he helped me get dressed and into the truck. I knew that if I looked at him, I would completely lose it. At home there was a message from the ER doctor on our machine, telling us that my hcg levels were only at 3300 and they should be ten times that by now. He expressed his sympathy and said that a loss was inevitable. I hung up the phone and collapsed on the kitchen floor.

Monday morning brought the most difficult aspect of all -- making phone calls. I called my boss before she was in the office and left a message on her voice mail, telling her what had happened and I'd be out for a few days. Then came the calls to my parents. My mom was the hardest, my dad being only slightly less difficult. I asked them to pass along the news to the rest of our family. C fielded calls to his folks, asking them to relay the message as well. After that we shut off the phone and let calls go to voicemail. My OB's office got me in that afternoon and we scheduled a D&C for Wednesday, May 3rd.

4 weeks later, I was still consumed by my grief. I longer to find a way to help ease the pain. The tattoo is one that I designed myself, with my angel in mind and was placed on my left hip. I cried the entire forty-five minutes it took to get done. I'm sure the artist thought that I was just a wimp who couldn't handle the pain. I guess in some ways, that was the truth...

May 25, 2007

Big Girl Bath

I'm sure that one day she'll hate me for this, but it's just too cute to resist...




Quiet Time

Why is it that the best thoughts come to me in the middle of the night when I'm lying in bed listening to KT through the baby monitor? I think of beautifully written, eloquent posts and catchy titles to go with them. Topics that are interesting, witty and funny. But when I drag myself out of bed the next morning they disappear as fog does when the rays of the morning sun hit it.

I've really had stuff to say lately. Stuff that doesn't involve cranky babies or random tales of parenting. When I log in to Blogger (which I have done 2-3 times a day for the past week) it all just disintegrates. I can't put together sentences to save my life. It sounds like boring, mindless drivel that no one would want to read. Stuff that I don't even want to read, heaven forbid think about posting. So I haven't. Instead I tab back to Out!ook Express and hope that something for work has come up and will occupy my thoughts.

There really is a lot going on right now. A lot that's bouncing around inside my head. I'm just not finding it easy to get the thoughts out. Why is it that when you have things to say you often have the hardest time saying them?

And like always, I can hear the baby stirring in her crib...

*sigh*

May 22, 2007

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

There hasn't been much that I've bought for KT that I could classify as having "splurged" on. Most of the time when I've bought her clothes I've shopped at Target, Old Navy or Wal-Mart. When I wanted stuff that was a little bit better quality I've watched for them to be on sale from places like GAP, Children's Place, Gymboree, etc. We bought her a middle-of-the-road crib from Target. Same with everything else that we registered for -- infant carrier, stroller(s), pack 'n play, swing. Everything is of good quality and had really good ratings and reviews but wouldn't break the bank. (Excluding our bike trailer purchase last weekend; but I'm classifying that as C's splurge. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket)

So anyways, when Cris got some unexpected bonus money a month ago I decided to do something very atypical of me. It was delivered yesterday and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE it! I also bought the matching changing pad and diaper carrier, but didn't get pics of them.


Based on KT's taste test -- looks like a winner with her as well!

May 19, 2007

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Technically, it's not a buggy. It's a bike trailer.



And now it resides in our garage.




May 16, 2007

Some Sleep

KT seems to be doing better today. She slept almost 11 hours last night, with only one brief interruption for a pacifier reinsertion. KT, C and myself all woke up in much better spirits today. We were all suffering from the lack of sleep. Her nose is still stuff/snotty but she's not sneezing anymore and isn't very cranky at all.

Me on the other hand -- I feel like I got run over by a truck. I can feel the head cold settling in nicely. Hopefully we don't just pass it around the family.

May 15, 2007

Crankiness^10

After posting last Thursday, I made the executive decision to get KT into the doctor's office a day early. A quick check of her ears and throat and I was told that she does indeed have a sore throat (and a low-grade fever) but her ears looked okay. It didn't look like strep, yet, but to give her Ty!enol if she was uncomfortable and make sure she got plenty of fluids and plenty of rest.

Constant doses of Ty!enol on Thursday and Friday gave us a fairly well tempered baby again. Saturday brought the beginnings of a snotty nose and some sneezing; Sunday was full on congestion, runny/snotty nose, sneezing, some coughing and difficult breathing. Naps have been frequent, although very short in duration. The congestion makes it difficult for her to breathe so she snorts and gasps for air, while thrashing about in her crib. 20-30 minutes it about all that her little body can take and she's back up for another stretch.

Nighttimes are horrible. Last night she went down easily at 8pm and slept until 11:30. From 11:30 until about 4am she slept in fitful bursts of about 15 minutes -- thrashing about and struggling to get a good breath. Every time she woke she'd cry and need me to get her calmed back down. About 1am I headed to the guest bedroom and laid her in bed next to me. I figured that it would be easier to console her if she was next to me, than to get up out of bed every 15 minutes. I dozed off an on the entire time. Each of her movements would jar me awake. Somewhere around 4am, exhaustion overtook both of us and we fell asleep. Perhaps it just overtook me and I was too comatose to notice she still wasn't sleeping well.

C woke us up shortly after 7am. Technically Logan woke up up. C was coming downstairs to check on us and Logan didn't listen to his "stay" command and bounded down to the guest room, waking both KT and I. After a diaper change and a somewhat fully belly we both snuggled back into another cycle of fitful sleep until 9. We're both beat today. I can see it in her eyes. But I also see a hesitation to give into that exhaustion because of the difficulties of last night.

I've got a call into the nurse at the pediatrician's office but am waiting to hear back. At what point do I just demand an appointment?

To top it all off, my body has decided to play a cruel joke on me and is trying to kick start itself again after 15 months (to the day). So now I'm dealing with a cranky/sick baby, exhaustion, cramps, a headache and a drop in my milk supply. Fun, fun, fun...

May 13, 2007

To My Wonderful Friends!

May 10, 2007

SAS and Crankiness

As in SAS, I don't mean the kind where you talk back to your mom. I mean the kind (Statistical Analysis Software) that makes you curse at your computer, curse at yourself and curse at the data. That's a whole lotta cursing going on! SAS is a very powerful statistics program and it's generally used by people in sciences. Unlike doing statistics in other programs, i.e. Excel, Minitab or possibly SPSS (I'm not exactly sure about how this program is run), you have to write the programming code in order to get the data. Like old school web page design where you had to write out all the HTML code. It's not a "point and click" kinda thing and small syntax errors cause huge problems when trying to run data sets.

The past 3 days I've been muddling my way through data from two experiments that concluded last fall. Both were projects that spanned multiple growing seasons and there is some dissension among collaborators in regards to how the data should be handled. I've struggled to get my ideas across to others; struggled to get the stupid program to run how I want it; and struggled just to find chunks of time where I can actually work on it. Unfortunately, SAS is the type of program than in order to be proficient in it you really need to work with it routinely. More routinely than I do. Plus I always need 10-15 minutes to get my mind back into what I'm doing. So when I only have chunks of 30-45 minutes here and there to work on stuff, it isn't very efficient.

As for the crankiness. Holy cow! KT has been a bear the last few days. So bad that last night C remarked that he didn't know how I dealt with her all day -- he'd only had 2 hours with her last night before bed and he was at his wit's end. She's still sleeping for 45 minute stretches at a time. But that's only when I can get her to sleep. She'll usually take a quick morning siesta, but then fight naps the rest of the day. Going from 9:30am on with no naps does not make for a pleasant KT or a pleasant Mommy! Yesterday was total hell. She screams when you try to lay her down but you can tell just by looking at her that she's so tired. I've tried everything I know to do and she just won't sleep. I'm unsure if it's just a phase, if it's teething or if it's an ear infection. Her 6-month checkup is tomorrow so we'll see what the doc says when we're there.

How come babies don't come with an LCD display that tells you what's wrong before they can talk??



By the way -- between the SAS and the crankiness -- that's why I haven't been "around" much the last few days.

May 5, 2007

No Way, Jose!

Today we had planned as a family to do the March of Dimes Walk in honor of Katie's friends, Victoria and Avery. I woke up an hour ago to hear the wind howling and see the snow blowing.

Yup.

SNOW!

The first weekend of May! Sorry guys, but this baby girl isn't gonna be walking today. We'll still send C in to submit our money. I think though we'll have to find another way to have fun on Cinco de Mayo!

May 3, 2007

Reversed Gender Roles

I'm sure that last night solidified the fact that most of our neighbors think we're nuts. (I'm sure they also think we're irreverent heathens, but that's besides the point.) Why do they think we're nuts? Because after C got out of work last night, I was outside mowing the lawn while he was "parenting" the baby. Most people would think this was backwards. That I should be inside tending kids while the man of the house is outside doing manual labor. Not how it works around here.

And no. I didn't lose a bet. I asked to mow the lawn. He gladly conceded the responsibility (C hates to do the mowing/trimming). Part of my desire to mow lawn stemmed from the fact that I didn't mow at ALL last summer because of the pregnancy, hyperemesis and modified bedrest.

I've always really enjoyed doing yard work -- even if I didn't show it as a kid growing up. Must have to do with that whole "being one with nature". I think it also has to do with being able to see tangible results of your hard work. When you start, the yard is a mess; when you finish, the yard looks pretty.

Both of my parents have big yards. The kind where it takes a good chunk of the afternoon and you have to use the riding mower, the push mower and the trimmer to get it all done. I always found that time so relaxing. I loved being by myself with my own thoughts. Being able to sing at the top of your lungs and no one could hear you over the engine of the mower/trimmer. Seeing the results of your hard work when you were done. Last night I just really needed some time by myself with my own thoughts. I also needed to see immediate results of my efforts.

I feel like lately I'm spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I also have a ton of things bouncing around in my head that need to be sorted out. I'm not sure if I got anything sorted out, but after two hours the yard looked fantastic and I was too tired to care.

May 2, 2007

Correlation?

KT's been rolling over like a madwoman today. 5-6 times for me this morning; twice for Cris at lunch; 2 more times for me just after he left. Anyone know if there is a correlation between developmental milestones and sleep regression? I thought I had read somewhere that there was...





The Tables are Turning

(Nah -- she's still not napping well. Almost got ya, didn't I?? *wink*)

Over the last 8 years that C and I have been together, we've slowly been purchasing "good" furniture. Not the kind you'd find in a dorm room or college apartment but real, expensive furniture. It's been piece by piece and has slowly come together. Moving into the house last fall pushed us into purchasing the furniture for the office and buying a new dresser for the master bedroom.

The only major item we had left to buy was a new kitchen/dining room table. We don't have a separate dining room so we just have one table. No need to have anything fancy. The table we had was quite a piece of work. We had bought it at a garage sale back in the summer of 1999 when we were living in Wisconsin. The couple we bought it from were older and were selling their house and moving to an apartment. They'd had the table for years, so there is no telling exactly how old it is. It's in pretty sad shape too. The dogs (while in their destructive puppy years) chewed on the legs of the table and the chairs. So everything has teeth indentations and scratches. Of the four original chairs, only 2 are still "alive". The table top also has those white marks on the wood -- the kind that develop from having something too hot placed on it. Years ago when I was canning one fall I put my hot canning jars on the table to cool. I had 3 layers of heavy bath towels on top of the table but it still left nice white rings from the jars. At one point I had discussed refinishing the set so that it looked nicer but quickly decided it wasn't worth it for a table we bought before we were married for $50.

With our tax return this year, I made the executive decision that we would finally buy a new table. This would complete our furniture collection (with the exemption of a couple of end tables and night stands that are needed) and bring everything in our house up to date. And up to our taste. After being on order for four weeks, this is what we now have in our kitchen!



At some point too, we can finally host family dinners as it extends out to 96". All we're missing now is enough family to fill all that space!


May 1, 2007

Nap Regression

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all ended up with the same results: one morning nap that lasted from 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the rest of the day's naps were about 45 minutes each, occurring about every 2 1/2 hours.

Yesterday and today, we're back to our old schedule. No more than 45 minutes of sleep at a time. There has been no change in anything we've done. Bedtimes are the same; morning wake up times have slowly been creeping earlier and earlier. She was wide awake at 6:15 this morning.

I'm totally confused and out of ideas. I thought that maybe we had set a pattern and we were on the right track. Guess not. Looks like we're back to square one and we'll start all over.

This must be one of those "trying" times of parenthood that people talk about.

*sigh*


I know, I know, if this is the worst I have to deal with, I'm lucky. Still stinks though.


April 30, 2007

In Remembrance

One Day Blog Silence

April 28, 2007

Friendships

There are times in your life when you sit back and ponder the friendships that you have had through the course of your years. For me, I take the time to think about all the wonderful people who have walked along next to me through my life. Although I don't show it nearly often enough, I'm incredibly grateful for the friendships I have been blessed with.

Some friends have walked for a few steps and have now gone another direction.
Some friends have walked for many steps and have now gone another direction.
Some friends have walked in the past and are now walking with me again.
Some friends have walked for only a short journey.
Some friends have walked around the block and back many times.
Some friends only walk when the weather is nice.
Some friends walk no matter how beautiful or ugly it is outside.
Some friends quit walking due to something stupid I said or did.
Some friends continue walking but chew me out as we go.

All of these friends are part of me. They're part of my life. They make me who I am today. And for that I will always be grateful.


So -- to my friends (including those who are forced to be my friend because you're family *wink*):

I thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to share my life. I thank you for the support, the companionship, the laughter, the tears, the heartaches and the joy. I thank you for sticking by me when I've said or done something stupid. I thank you for sticking by me when I had little or nothing to say. I thank you for comforting me during times of sadness and celebrating alongside me during times of joy.

I thank you for being who you are. For being my friend.

April 27, 2007

A Solid 121

I'm beginning to think that I might only get one long nap out of KT per day.

She slept again this morning from 8:45 until 10:46. Today wasn't quite so easy to get her to sleep but there was plenty of "happenings" in our neighborhood at 8:45 this morning. Lawn mowers, kids and airplanes to name a few. With the window open in the nursery it provided plenty of distractions.

But I digress...

So I got two SOLID hours of sleep out of her. She was out within about 10 minutes of laying her down (she went down at 8:38) and didn't make a sound--after she fell asleep--until she woke up at 10:46. The one thing different with today is that this was the first nap she had since she woke up at 6:45. Usually she falls asleep after nursing. Either immediately after or within 45 minutes of finishing but only catnaps for about 30 minutes. This morning she didn't go back down right away; I tried keeping her up until it had been 2 hours since she first woke. Maybe that's the secret to a two-hour nap in the morning.

Granted, the rest of yesterday afternoon and so far today have followed a pretty "normal" schedule for her. Right after lunch and then again around 3 or 3:30 she's gone down for naps again. I've tried doing the same routine but she'll only sleep for about 45 minutes or so. When she wakes up I'll let her entertain herself for a little bit in her crib to see if she falls back asleep or is truly awake. Within about 10 minutes she's crying for attention and I know that naptime is over.

But that's okay. Even if she only takes one long nap during the day, I'll take it! It's definitely a huge improvement over where we were before!


In between naps today we tried a new hairstyle. As cute as it is--you can see from the progression of pics--Katie didn't like it for very long!