Monday, December 31, 2007

Law and Orderererer

Where have I been? Why no blog? Have I been inventing a new way to keep baby socks in place? Sadly, no.

Sunday: Law and Order SVU marathon
Monday: Law and Order CI marathon
Tuesday: Law and Order marathon

Too much Law and Order? Heck no!

Happy Law and Order! I mean New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Memo from Babyville that I didn't get

OFFICIAL BABYVILLE MEMO

To: All Babies

Re: Socks

Importance: High

------------------------------------

Dear Baby,

By now, you will have noticed that your parents insist on putting socks on your feet. It is imperative that you do everything in your power to remove the socks. Please be advised that removal of socks normally results in the immediate re-installation of socks. Should this be the case with your situation, do not become discouraged. Simply remove the socks again. Repeat as necessary.

One Babyland field agent has submitted this tip regarding successful sock removal: wait until the parent lays you down somewhere--your crib, vibrating infant chair, gymini play mat, anywhere will do--and places a blanket over you. In this scenario, you can remove the socks undetected. While sock re-installation continues to be unavoidable, using the blanket as cover can usually extend the period of socklessness.

Remember, socks should be removed from feet at all costs. It is your duty as a baby to fight the sock movement. Together, we can end socks in our lifetime. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

The Department of Socks and Sock Removal

CC: The Department of Hats and Hat Removal

Monday, December 24, 2007

I dare you not to get this song stuck in your head

A couple of weeks ago, my mom sent me an article about bisphenol A. As it so happened, the fancy shatter-proof gas-reducing bottles we'd been using to feed Samson had this horrible chemical in them. Sure, they wouldn't shatter and they'd reduce gas, but they'd also give him all sorts of reproductive cancer and horrible testicular problems. Hardly a fair trade off. Hooray for Amazon.com and overnight shipping. We of course switched to good old fashioned glass bottles. They're a little heavier and require a little more attention during use (I still tend to drift off during the 4 am feeding...), but they look oh so retro cool, and they hopefully won't screw with my only son's long or short term health.

Tangent: speaking of long or short term health. Before anyone rides me for bottle feeding, I will say that I've been struggling with low milk production since the very beginning. That doesn't mean Samson isn't getting breast milk; I take fenugreek and drink beer and pump umpteen times a day. While it's still necessary for us to supplement with formula, Samson's getting a good couple of meals a day of breast milk, and that will hopefully increase with time as I regularly pump into the wee hours of the morning. Of course, this is nobody's business. But this subject tends to make me defensive, and where can I rant and defend myself if not my own blog?

Digression. These glass bottles are very cool looking, and when we first started using them they reminded me of the glass bottles they use to feed baby goats and lambs and pigs and what not. Or, at least, somewhere in the recesses of my mind they do. (OK, really disturbing side note: when I was using Google image search to find that picture, I found this one, too.) I'm not sure where I would have ever seen baby farm animals being bottle fed, but it was probably Sesame Street. Somehow, that reminded me of one of my favorite Sesame Street segments of all times:



I know that there was no bottle feeding in that segment, but if someone did have to bottle feed a baby llama, they would probably use an Evenflo classic glass nurser.

I don't know which is more unbelievable--the prospect of a little girl walking a llama down a New York City sidewalk, or that haircut. Eesh.

Wow, what a long post about essentially nothing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

You like me! You really like me!

It seemed like everyone was catching a glimpse of the elusive baby smile. Everyone except me. Grandparents saw it. Dad saw it. I'm pretty sure Ozzy saw it. But all I saw was the business end of a diaper, the bottom of a slowly draining bottle and the never ending pile of laundry. Until yesterday! Score one for the mommy. I even caught today's encore on the camera.



I know that time flies. I know that one day, I'll wake up and my little piglet will be off to college. All those people who told me to cherish every moment are right. Still, I can't wait until Samson's big enough to hug me, run to me, say those three little, magical words (no, not "buy me that"). I'm constantly exploding with love for him, and every time I look at him I'm put back together and refilled, ready for next explosion. It's all I can do not to stare at him and cry tears of joy all day long.



I am a very very very very very lucky girl.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This blog is laborious

So I added a site meter to my blog last weekend. The reasons were twofold. Mainly it was pure curiosity; I wanted to see if anyone besides my mom and a sprinkling of supportive friends were actually reading this thing. Not that it would matter--I blog for me. I blog because it helps me feel like I'm doing something creative on a fairly regular basis, and I blog to keep in touch with my near and dear ones who may not be as near as I'd like them to be. But I was curious, and I knew that if I got more than 5 hits a day it would be a real boost to my ego, and you can't have too many of them. Second, I'm considering running Adsense on my blog. I've always been opposed to doing this because I think it makes my blog look cheap. Not an entirely logical reason, but, like a fine wine, my blog is to be enjoyed slowly and deliberately and without the visual invasion fo some kind of sponsor. But now that I'm a stay at home mom, I'm kind of sort of running us into the poor house. Rather than go back to work and leave my infant son in the care of someone other than me (seriously, you could be the kindest, gentlest, most well educated caregiver in the Bay Area, and I would kick you rather than see you spend 8 hours a day with Samson. HANDS OFF.), I've begun to fantasize about little tiny ways to earn a little tiny bit of money, just to soften the blow. I'm not looking to get rich or even make a living. It would be more like an experiment: can I earn money doing more or less what I already do? Blog, knit and craft stuff, hanging out with dogs. It's not entirely impossible.

So the site meter. It's invisible (I'm sneaky like that), and it tells me how many people have come to my site and via which search terms. So like that one time with the Paris Hilton entry , I get to see that people come my blog for reasons other than to get updates on my life. And as it turns out, I show up on a lot of searches about labor. See? Complain enough about something, and it will make your blog appear to Google to be a source of information. There are your run of the mill "how to go into labor" and "bouncing to induce labor." But then there are the unexpected "inducing dog labor" and "inducing a dog when in labor." Hmmm. Sorry guys, Nanna's been spayed.

Long story short, it's been fun to see where I stand, blog-wise. I'm no Dooce or Mighty Girl, but there's a chance you'll start to see little tiny unobtrusive Adsense ads here someday. Who knows, maybe I'll even start and Etsy store. Anybody out there need hand-knit beer can coozies?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You're so cute, I could eat you up...how many points are you?

I've gone and joined Weight Watchers. Yup. I'm going to try and get rid of some of this baby weight. Then I'm going to try to drop the "I'm leaving Ireland soon so I better get my fill of curry fries" weight. Then I'll try to loose the Turkey, France, Italy and Portugal weight. Then I'll work on the "I'm leaving San Francisco to live in Ireland for a year so I better get my fill of Raja's Indian Pizza" weight. I mean come on, they have pizza with tandoori on it. It's especially good when dipped in chicken tikka sauce. And they deliver. Sigh.

I've heard good things about people's experience with the whole points system, especially after having a baby. So far, I like keeping track of all of the points. It's like a game. A game where I go to bed hungry and dream about cheeseburgers.

It's working well with the Disneyland trip; I get to set two-month short term goals, like fitting into pre-pregnancy clothes and getting to the point where I eat 3 different kinds of veggies each day. And I can celebrate my inevitable success with cotton candy! Can you say counter-productive?

On a completely unrelated note, I discovered today while listening to Andrew Bird that I only like "blues" music when the part traditionally played by the harmonica is played by a violin or a trumpet or some other horn, but not a saxophone. I found this to be interesting and enlightening.

Monday, December 17, 2007

...aaaaaaand we're back

What, I'm supposed to go more than post without blogging about my beautiful little baby?

Every year, Max's company takes it's employees on a ski trip. This year, instead of a ski trip, the whole office is going to--wait for it--DISNEYLAND. That's right, complete with company-only extended hours after the park closes at night. It's like a dream come true. For me. And I can't go. No spouses, kids, or SOs. Employees only. On the up side, they're making it really easy for everyone to take a couple days off afterwards so their families can come meet them for a late week Disney getaway. So this February, at the tender age of 3 months, Samson will go to Disneyland for the first time! Lots of firsts. First plane ride, first night sleeping away from home, first hug from a giant mouse, first time seeing Mommy go crazy over cotton candy...

There have been a number of firsts recently. Last night, Samson grabbed something for the first time. With his own hands. With the grabbed item being placed into his hand. He reached up to his activity gym and grabbed the hell out of that dangling giraffe's foot. I almost exploded with pride.



Last week, we took Samson to a restaurant for the first time. It was also the first time he wore a sweater. And shoes.



Samson even watched his first Sharks game! He likes Rivet.



We have this awesome baby book where we're supposed to record all these firsts. First holiday (Thanksgiving), first smile (any day now!), first word (I'm sure it will be "bacon"), first trip (Disneyland, here we come!). But there's no page for the first time Mommy dropped the mobile on the baby, causing much screaming and crying from everyone involved, especially Mommy. Because that would never happen. Ahem.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A whole post without mentioning Samson

I love it when commercials try to manipulate me. It's not that I enjoy being manipulated per se, but it's the thought that I'm worth manipulating, that some company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to figure what makes me feel warm and spendy inside, somehow makes me feel, I don't know, important. Real. Valuable. Luck for them, I'm super easy to manipulate.

I knew that something was happening back when Quizno's came out with the singing tree rat commercial. All of a sudden, obscure bands that made me cool were doing commercials for Chevron and Outback Steakhouse. The random pop culture quirkiness that had always kept me on the fringes had become mainstream--and, surprisingly, it didn't bother me. Instead, I felt validated. There were times, more insecure, high-schoolish times, when I would freak if one of my beloved bands, actors, or what have you became popular. It was as if I identified myself through this penchant for obscurity, and mainstream popularity, by definition, negated the individuality that these bands, actors, or what have you provided for me. Now that I am older and wiser and have evolved to a place where I am defined by my beliefs and values and views and other decidedly more grown up things, hearing a favorite obscure band like Pavement in the soundtrac of a major network sitcom (coughhowimetyourmothercough) makes me squeal with delight. It's like the producers knew that I would be watching, and they knew that they had to win me over into their viewership, so they all sat around a big wood laminate table, sent the intern out for Starbuck's, and proceeded to brainstorm about how to get ultra cool urban 30 something professional females to watch their show--and they had a picture of ME up on the their white board. I am honored that you want so very much for me to watch your show or buy your product.

But like I said, I'm pretty easy to manipulate. There's no need to sit around the big wood laminate table or spend hundreds of thousands on the marketing campaign. Want me to watch your show? Pop a They Might Be Giants song in there. (note: I was already a huge fan of this show long before this episode. I mean, a show with Kristen Chenoweth and Audry from Little Shop of Horrors? Come on. Besides, I love Chuck's wardrobe.) Want me to buy your product? Make me feel smart, clever, in the know. And all that takes is a pop culture reference so witty, so obscure that anyone not living under a rock would get it. And I, my friends, do not live under a rock. Now, where's the nearest Hallmark store?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Only one life away

We recently started putting Samson to bed in his own room (gasp!), in his own crib (gasp gasp!). For the first few nights, it was amazing. Longer stretches of sleep between feedings, plenty of room for dogs in and around our bed, and cute little baby barely 10 steps away from me. But the best part is the bedtime routine--thanks again to Maggie for tips and advice on this and dozens of other topics--and it is the best part due in no small way to the best bedtime playlist EVAH. From diaper change to bedtime massage to jammies to feeding my little piglet in the rocking chair, our nightly soundtrack is chock full of mellow sing along goodness.

Forever Young--Bob Dylan
Lazyhead and Sleepybones--They Might Be Giants
I Know Where the Summer Goes--Belle & Sebastian
Town and Country--Chris & Tad
I'll be Yr Bird--M. Ward.
All Out of Love--Air Supply
Involuntary--M. Ward
Oh God, Where Are You Now?--Sufan Stevens

We don't usually make it past Air Supply, although the past couple of nights have involved one very un-sleepy baby so we got to listen to the whole thing. And it rocks.

It does occur to me--rather frequently, in fact--that I blog about absolutely nothing other than the baby. I'm not thrilled about it; I hold fast to the belief that I am more than Samson's mom, and that things other than Samson interest me. He turned six weeks old today, and I'm hard pressed to think of something else that has held even five minutes of my attention in the past 54 days. Even the dogs and and cats are just going through the motions with me--I feed them, pet them, love them, walk them and take them to the dog park, but they know it's not like it was, I'm not like I was. I know I'm a new and improved me, that I'm still finding my feet with this whole parenting thing. I'm looking forward to someday soon when I'll start blogging and it will be all about knitting and Disneyland and that asshole who cut in front of me Starbucks and how I wanted to say something smart and humiliating but couldn't. Maybe after Samson stops being so gosh darn cute. Right.

How's this for bile inducing? Max and I are going on a date tomorrow night. Japanese buffet and I Am Legend while the grandfolks stuff Samson full of sugar and lies about his mother. LIES.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bring it on

This week's theme was social interaction. Samson had three play dates this week, two trips to Target and Family Chanukah! No wonder I'm so exhausted.

First we went to Dave and Sab's house to visit with Isaac who was born 3 1/2 weeks before Samson. Dave and Sab are old high school friends of mine. After years of being out of touch, we've recently reconnected. Having babies at the same time gives us plenty of stuff to talk about (you can only catch up and gossip about old friends for so long, right?), and it's really fostered this feeling of social nostalgia within me. It's the kind of reminiscing that makes me think of old friends and people who I lost touch with--I've always been horrible at keeping in touch with people--and wish I'd been better about writing or calling or emailing because now it's too late, now if I were to contact them it would just be weird. Right? Wrong. I google-stalked some folks from my past and found an email address for an old college roommate of mine. I sent her an email, she wrote back, and we've been corresponding ever since. True story. And she had a baby this year, too--I swear, it's something in the water (or the 30th-31st birthday cake). But I digress.



Social outing number two was the local hospital's weekly infant group. So imagine a room full of mommies and babies, none of which were as cute as my little nugget but that's beside the point. So all of these babies of varying ages from about 2 months to 9 months were laying around doing baby things...like SITTING UP and ROLLING OVER and GRABBING THINGS AND CHEWING ON THEM and it occurred to me, as I sat there wide eyes and freaking the hell out like a deer int he headlights that Samson will eventually do these things also. I mean, I knew that because I have lots of dogs and cats and everyone knows that puppies and kittens eventually become dogs and cats so it stands to reason that infants become babies and toddlers and kids and god help me teenagers and I'm nothing if not reasonable. So I know this. But it was like sitting there watching a coming attraction for all of things my little lump of warm, pink, aromatic flesh will be doing in the coming months. More than a little intimidating. But it also made me impatient, because those babies seemed to be having the time of their lives.

We capped off the play dates with another old-time-friend-turned-recent-parent, and entertained Amy and her 8 month old daughter Draven. Amy and I met in 1980. In kindergarten. Ahem. We've drifted in and out of each other's social circles throughout the years, so it wasn't too weird to see her. Plus her daughter's adorable so it's not like I paid much attention to Amy anyways. It's hard to compete with big eyes, a drool covered chin and a game that involves throwing the rubber ducky so that mommy can pick it up and hand it back to you. That kid is adorable--I really feel sorry for her dad.



And then there was first night of Chanukah! Joined by grandparents, both in person and live via satellite, we celebrated with Samson and bestowed upon him his first, and what will no doubt be his most treasured Chanukah gift ever: a plush ostrich. Yet to be named.

Speaking of the most treasured Chanukah gift ever...I love Max.

Samson turn six weeks old on Thursday, and that truly boggles my mind. The little half smiles have begun, and soon--any day now--the honest to goodness smiles are going to start. Every now and then I wake up to the realization that it's been 5 HOURS since Samson last woke me up to feed him, and it shows. I can form complete sentences again. And carry on conversations with people. It's astounding. And maybe I'll even be able to blog regularly again. Hmm.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Samson: Month One

Wait, what? A whole month has gone by? Or, it's only been one month? I feel both ways, simultaneously. Once again, time has lost it's grip on me. Finally.

Month One kind of went like this:

Me: Damn trick-or-treaters, they took all the candy. Let's go to bed. Wait--ow. No, seriously, OW. OW OW OW OW OW.

Max: Um...

Me: This can't be labor. What happened to early labor? Where's those 4-10 hours where my contractions get gradually more pronounced and I'm supposed to bake pie to pass the time so I don't go to the hospital too early?? OW! Get the car.

Me: OW. Drugs, please.

Me: ...

Me: So this is what they mean when they say it's not so much pain as it is pressure. Ow.

Doctor: Mommy, Daddy, meet Samson.

Samson: Meh.



The above process took about 6 hours, from first contraction to delivery. Yeah, I know. How awesome are my mom's genes?? 400 awesome!

And then we watched Lawrence of Arabia, Chicago, Slap Shot, and the entire first season of Seinfeld on DVD while in the hospital because there's not much else to do while you're in the hospital for two days. Except hold the baby. And cry. And watch the baby sleep. And cry. And feed the baby. And cry.

When we drove Samson home, Max carefully undermined the entirety of my future musical domination over my son by playing Metalica. I'm working to correct this injustice by building the master of all bedtime playlists for the little guy.

And when I say little, I'm not kidding...



He started out as 6 pounds and 14 ounces of cuddlesome fury. He has now reached gargantuan proportions--8 pounds 6 ounces as of last Tuesday. Must be all the Thanksgiving turkey.

According to the website that I check to learn about weekly baby developmental milestones, Samson has recently learned two important things:

1) Being held by mom or dad rocks. It is way better than, say, not being help by mom or dad.
2) If you need something (like, to be held, for instance), cry. Mom and dad will come running to serve you. In fact, try this: let out a sort of squawking cry. Just a little bit. Watch how fast they come running! Now close your eyes and go back to sleep. When they walk away and get comfortable on the couch, try it again! Repeat as necessary.

Seriously. I've already gotten up to hold him 17 times since starting this post.

Another thing Samson is learning this month: all men have beards. Seriously, every man he's met has at the very least a goatee, and mostly a full facial fur factory. When he finally meets a clean-shaven guy, he's going to be all like, where's your purse? Cause you know, you're, like, a girl. Oh, snap.



Mostly, Samson spends his time being totally freaking adorable. Other than sleeping, pooping and eating, his days are comprised of sitting on dad's lap and mimicking various expressions--he's especially adept at the retarded monkey look--and being carried around to look at high-contrast things like trees, shadows and dogs. He's gone on very few outings other than the doctor's office and grandparent's houses, although we did totally bust out and go to the dog park on Friday. So if you were at the Seal Point dog park and saw the sleep-deprived-looking lady with two beautiful dogs and Baby Bjorn full of super cuteness trying ever so gracefully to pick up dog poop without bailing, that was me. I rock.

I'm a big fan of swaddling. I know there are people out there who don't quite get it; they seem to think that swaddling is too restrictive and somehow equate it to the practice of foot binding. I'm not saying that Dr. Karp is some kind of genius--the whole fourth trimester thing smells way too faddish for me. But Samson loves a good swaddle. And it keeps him more or less quiet, so I love a good swaddle, too. Plus it leads to all sorts of cute nicknames--we now affectionately refer to a swaddled Samson as The Bindle.

And then there's the inevitable wobbly head factor. To help Samson learn to hold his own head up, we have daily tummy time. And let me tell you folks, it's a fine line between tummy time and screaming baby.



Max and I thank our lucky stars every single day. Our baby was born healthy, labor was a breeze, and everything seems to be going according to plan. Samson doesn't cry all that much, and when he does it's very easy to soothe him--all it usually takes is a hug, and I mean come on, try and stop us from hugging him anyway, right? If he's fussy, it almost always means he needs to be fed or changed, and he really sleeps pretty soundly. Even the destructive sounds of Halo 3 don't seem to bother him.

Let's hope that Month Two's report is more of the same.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

Check out my sucky baby:



He's like one of those suckerfishes that eats algae off the sides of fish tanks.

My folks got us an awesome camcorder so that we could document important milestones in Samson's life. Day 16: suck suck suck suck suck.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Exhauated and Happy

I know that I'll eventually stop feeling so completely pooped, or that I'll become immune to tiredness, or something. Right?

Every time Samson finishes eating and is either peacefully asleep or laying there, quietly attempting to focus on the stuffed zebra hovering above his noggin, I find myself thinking, "Quick! You've got about 90 minutes to do something! Nap! Blog! Run an errand! Laundry! Shower! Blarrrrgh!" That "blarrrrgh" bit was my head exploding from the pressure.

It's been a little bit more intense the past couple of days due to the Sickness that's been making it's rounds through my family. Max is finishing up his bout, and mine started on Thanksgiving. It's not real bad at all, but it is difficult to keep the snot from dripping on the baby's head while he nurses. Yes, I know, ew. Deal with it.

All that being said, I am 50 jillion times more in love with Samson than I was the last time I posted, and I'm starting to figure out that it's totally exponential, and that there is no limit. I'm pretty damn sure that there's never been a baby this cute before.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed



A clarification: in the title of my last post, Bessie is meant as a reference to a dairy cow. Bessie is by far the most popular cow name, and I was trying to equate motherhood with the life of a dairy cow.

Now that we have that cleared up. Samson slept for two 3-hour chunks last night! Add that to the cup of coffee I just finished, and I can ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING TODAY. Until the next wave of exhaustion hits around 5 pm and I start to get cranky. But before that happens, we're going to do something new and exciting today! All 5 of us (Max, Samson, the dogs and myself) are going to go for a walk! Outside! This is a big event as our life for the last 2 weeks has consisted of little more than eating, sleeping, various visitors, doctor's appointments, Tivo and Xbox. Fresh air! Sunshine! And of course, pictures.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Motherhood, thy name is Bessie



Day 12 of parenting...never has time held such little meaning for me. Twelve days? Twelve days? I've only been doing this for TWELVE DAYS?! Even though I've been relegated to the position of an on call dairy cow, I'm definitely feeling the love. 2007 has been an amazing year, and this culmination of awesomeness has really given our little family a capital F. It's still so early, and things will change big time when Max goes back to work, but we've really established some routine-like behaviors, as much as one can have a routine with a newborn in the house. Which is not at all.

Max is a terrific father (DUH). He's making sure to spend an adequate amount of time teaching Samson the ins and outs of Halo 3 while Samson sleeps curled up Daddy's chest, clenching precious, tiny fistfulls of chest hair. As a long time Xbox hater, I've surprisingly found myself calmed and soothed by the sounds of Halo. The familiarity, the background noise and lights, just knowing that these sounds mean that Max is contentedly sitting on the sofa, playing, make me feel so comforted. It means I have one less person to worry about, one less person/dog/cat who needs me right now at this moment. Someone who I love and care about tremendously is happy and content and it doesn't require anything from me. Not that Max is needy, it's more that I'm one of those over-giver-type of personalities, so just by the virtue of being in the same room as me, Max is entitled to the lion's share of my physical and emotional energy. And now that there's someone around who actually needs that portion of energy, it's nice to be able to give it to him and not worry about Max. Who is a grown up and can take care of himself. And the dogs. And the cats. And oftentimes me. Why do I need to keep reminding myself of that?



So day 12. So far, day 12 has consisted of eating, pooping, sleeping, and peeing on one of our precious few newborn-sized snuggies--the kind of garment that buttons up the front instead being pulled over the head. We learned back on day 5 or so that Samson hates hates HATES having clothes pulled over his head. Looking back, it's kind of like, duh, of course he hates it, but we were not prepared for this hatred and hence had zero newborn-sized clothes that did not induce screams of frustration from our son. Since then, we've remedied the situation but still have to do laundry daily in order to satisfy our snuggy demand. I would buy more, but I have the feeling that he won't be wearing the newborn-sized stuff for too much longer, so I'm holding out.

The dogs and cats have really adapted well to the fleshy pink intruder. Nobody really seems to care about him, even if he's crying. Which is perfect, because the last thing I need is for my already nervous dog to get anxious when the baby cries, or for my prone-to-grossness dog to devote his time to trying to get into the diaper genie. Or for one of my two generally unremarkable cats to decide that warm baby bodies are where it's at and we'd like to sleep in the crib now please. No, it's pretty much business as usual for the animal set, and I hope they appreciate the extra spoonful of wet food they've been getting at night or the very deliberate love and attention we've been trying to dole out regularly. Or the copious amounts of treats.



Later today we've got our 2nd appointment with the pediatrician. I can't wait to find out how much weight Samson has gained! I'm sure he must weigh like 10 pounds already. He eats SO MUCH and looks SO MUCH bigger than he did when we brought him home 8 days ago. We're raising a real prize piggie over here.

How could I not mention the brit? On Thursday, AKA day 8, the mohel did unspeakable things to Samson who was a real trooper about the whole affair. The secret ingredient: wine. They got the baby drunk first, and after watching him sleep ALL afternoon like a perfect little angel, it's really tempting to just dip a few fingers in bourbon before bedtime and let him suckle away.

One last thing. Hands. HANDS. Samson's favorite thing to eat is his own little hands. What's for breakfast? Hands. Lunch? Hands. Dinners. Hands, dammit. Hands.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Samson Update

So the baby. He does things. Really adorable squishy things! Eating, sleeping and pooping mostly, and I'm guessing that nobody really needs to read about that. I'm thinking that I'll take a page from Maggie's book and try to do a weekly update on life in general, which be 99% Samson related. Yes, I know I referred to him as Max Jr. in the last post, but he was Samson for 9 months, and in a way he'll always be Samson.

Did I mention that he has a ton of hair? Furry little guy, that baby. Really takes after Milhouse. Sometimes Max and I have to ro sham bo for who's turn it is to pet him.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Make room for Junior

He's here! Max Junior has officially joined our little family. Our wriggly, cuddly, delicious smelling baby boy was born just before 6 am on Thursday. Of course, he's perfect and beautiful. Max and I are first thrilled, exhausted next. As I get a handle on this whole sleeping-eating-parenting deal, posts will be minimal. But keep checking this spot for updates and adorable baby anecdotes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's not a costume, I really am this pregnant

Ugh. I am the world's largest woman for Halloween. And my ankles are the world's largest ankles for Halloween.

But apparently my body is doing all kinds of unpleasant yet normal things to prepare for labor. At least, according to the nurse practitioner, that's why I got so sick at 4 this morning.

Yay, body. You keep prepping. You, my body, are the boy scout of labor and childbirth. Go ahead and take that extra week if you need it. Double check your list. Do another practice run or two. I'm not going anywhere.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earthquake

We had a 5.6 earthquake about 90 minutes ago. Max and I both felt it, and the dogs totally started to bark and run around the house. It was exciting! See, Samson? if you come out now, think of all the fun and exciting things that await you! Earthquakes! Dogs barking! Pizza!

The grandparents-to-be got us an amazing video camera so that we can forever save treasured moments in Samson's life and share on places like blogs. It's also got a pretty kick ass still picture feature--I think this will quell my craving for a digital SLR for a while longer. It takes pretty nice shots of Ozzy.



That's a handsome dog.

Bueller...? Bueller...? Bueller...?

This baby is officially tardy. True, he has another 7 hours and 10 minutes to show up, but let's face it folks, it ain't happening today. Despite my best efforts. Like wearing my lucky underpants.

Guess I'll practice swaddling the cat again tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How to induce labor the happy way, or, Butterfingers till you puke

Thanks everyone for sharing in this anticipation with me. We all want baby Samson to make a safe and speedy entrance. We all want me to be able to breath deeply and eat sashimi again. And we all want to get to know this little bugger and start teaching him early on that VIDEO. GAMES. ARE. BAD.

I've been following everyone's tips and tricks, from spicy foods (oh, the heartburn!) to daily 20 minute walks (oh, the dog poop!) to bouncing on a birthing ball (oh, the...bouncing!). I've heard that rain makes the baby come (good, cause the sky is clouding over as I type), I've heard that heat waves do the trick (it's been warm and muggy the last few days).

I'm trying my own, new method: finishing all of the Halloween candy in the house (again). Maybe the pile up of fun-sized Butterfingers will weigh on Samson's little tuchas and slowly push him out. Or not so slowly.

For somebody as habitually on-time and punctual as me, it pains me to go past my due date. For somebody as habitually over-booked and always-running-a-bit-late as Max (though good natured and well-meaning, of course), we'll be lucky if the baby's here by Thanksgiving.

If only Halloween chocolate went on sale after the holiday the way Valentine's Day and Easter candy does.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No baby yet, unless you're my cousin in Pennsylvania

Congratulations, Good Family! Throw a little of that labor-loving energy over to the West coast, please.

I'm waiting.

Seriously.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Take it on Faith



As my friend Julie says, "As Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part."

No effing kidding.

My due date is one week away, and I already feel like I'm three weeks overdue. What's it going to feel like next Wednesday when I actually am overdue?

How'm I supposed to carve pumpkins in this frame of mind?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here's to the one-take video

If I ever got a mass layoff notice from a large corporation, I'd probably spend my last day pilfering office supplies. But the AOL France office had a decidedly more web-friendly idea. (The password is "aollover")


L'amour a la francaise from pyc on Vimeo.

You know I love the one-take video.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Babies, Babies Everywhere

No, not here. But a couple of old high school pals have the cutest little 10 day old boy you ever did see. And today I got to hold him and smell his head. Mmmmmm, baby head. It's like crack.

So between them, my brother and sister in law, and Max's old boss from Dublin, that's 3 in the past few weeks. My cousin is due shortly, and hopefully it'll be my turn soon. My turn for baby head crack.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In da House

I'm loving the Fall TV bonanza. Some of the new shows are just really, really enjoyable (Pushing Daisies, Life), and the return of last season's shows is like seeing old friends again (House--Hugh Laurie, swoon--The Office). And since pretty much all I can do is sit, reclining, on the couch and ask Max to bring me ice cream, massive quantities of Tivo are right up my alley.

And nothing goes better with Tivo than a dog head in your lap. Except two heads. And a kitty.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Can has blog?

So I added the I Can Has Cheezburger link to my sidebar last week. I didn't say anything about it because I really can't explain what it is or why I find it so damn hilarious. I'm not sure what an LOLCat is; I mean, I know what a cat is and I know that LOL is internet speak for Laughing Out Loud, so I have the feeling that and LOLCat is a cat that makes one laugh out loud. Duh. But it's more that that. Why does this website and its submission community insist that cats speak with such weirded out accents and strange grammar? And what's the deal with walruses and buckets? And why cheeseburgers? My cats prefer poultry.

Like I said, I don't really get it, but I sure as hell can't get enough. I sit here and LOL at those cats all day long. And their silly dialect. I even found myself telling Milhouse yesterday, "No can has turkey sandwich, iz for me, k thx" as he expertly tried to camouflage himself as part of the table in order to snatch meat out of my lunch.

I don't know what to say. I'm hooked.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Empenadas are the New Cupcakes

Definitely No Tennis



Via Found.

Going Down?

If you've been wondering why I haven't been blogging this week, it's because I want to spare you the monotony of my thoughts. They pretty much consist of "Oof, I'm uncomfortable" and "I hope the baby comes soon because I'm so damn uncomfortable." Also the sleeplessness makes me cranky, so there are usually lots of swear words in there.

I know it's not quite time yet, but it's definitely almost time. The doctor said I most likely wouldn't go past my Halloween due date (as of last Friday, I was 1 cm dilated...TMI?). But I also know that the baby has to drop before he can be born, and I don't think that's happened yet. Not that I would know. But people keep telling me, oh you'll know when it happens.

No, I won't. Other than a few really obvious signs (Huge. Uncomfortable. Peeing every 30 seconds. The medium sized alien trying to bust his way out of my gut.), I only know I'm pregnant because the doctor keeps telling me I'm pregnant. I'm not one of those in-touch-with-my-body, lunar cycle, fasting-for-fun type of women. My body and I don't communicate like that, never have. I mean, I know some of things my body tells me. Like, "I told you not to eat that Taco Bell last night, and now you're gonna pay." But I'm hoping body dearest speaks loudly and clearly when it's time to have this baby. Not that I won't know it when I go into labor, but I'd like some clear direction and maybe a little synchronicity between my body and my mind.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Like it always does

Not the best video ever, but the song is my song today. Because I miss Mir so damn much.



That night lives in infamy. On Mir's car.

Sci-Fi Thursday

We just signed up for this.

So, what if, like, 20-25 years from now, there is a small army of Samsons being trained in Morocco to assassinate foreign dictators? Or maybe there'll be a Samson-cyborg hybrid army, created for covert black ops and other scary military lingo projects? Or maybe I'll be on vacation in Vancouver and a barista at Starbucks who bears an uncanny resemblance to my first born son will say to me, "Maybe you'd like a bear claw with that latte, eh?"

The possibilities are endless. And freaky.

Two against one

Ozzy got tag teamed by two pit bulls at the dog park this morning. He's fine, they're fine, everyone's fine. Now, I'm always the first to admit fault on his behalf when Ozzy instigates some form of K9 skirmish, so please feel the gravity of my statement when I say he was blindsided and attacked by these two other dogs for no apparent reason (there's always a reason in dog land, true, but Ozzy wasn't posturing, protecting Nanna, protecting me, or asserting dominance in any way--he was just minding his own doggie business, sniffing the ground and whatnot.). He never had a chance--they had him on his back before I could say boo and were biting him on the neck, torso, head--it was awful. Luckily, it wasn't the kind of biting that pit bulls are famous for, nor was it even the kind of biting that draws blood. It was more the snarling and snapping kind of biting, the kind that made me run up to the mess and stop just short of sticking my arms in and trying to pull him out. Instead, I poked at all three dogs with my flinger, shouted lots of things like "Hey!" and "Don't do that!" and "Not good!"

The owner of the other two dogs came and pulled them off, and Ozzy stood up looking utterly dazed and confused, but unhurt. Nanna ran up to him and sniffed him all over, and I ran up to him and did the human equivalent of sniffing him all over: petting him and crying, running my hands through his dusty, dirty, slobbery fur, looking for gashes and puncture wounds. Like I said, he's fine.

At least, he was fine, until he learned that those pit bulls were female pit bulls, and he had just gotten his ass kicked by a couple of girls.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dream a little dream



Last night I dreamed that we got our baby car seats installed at Disneyland. Sigh. I'll be here for the next few hours if anyone needs me.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Borrowed Post and My Growing Family

Well, stolen really.



Very funny, Clamhead.

Tonight: OUR LAST FREAKING PRENATAL CLASS, thank freaking god. I can't handle any more information or superlatives ("This is the most important child care tip you will ever learn." "Swaddling is the best way to calm a crying baby." "At least half an hour of skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery is the only thing that will stop your baby from growing up to be the next Adolph Hitler.") Tonight's class is Breastfeeding Basics. Predictably, Max and I are more excited about the Dim Sum place next door to the education center than we are about the class itself. Mmmmmm, cha siu bao...

Important announcement! Trick has a little person to nibble on! Welcome to the family, my very first niece!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Updates on all fronts

Animals:

Nanna got her stitches removed, and the incision promptly filled up will fluid, making a jiggly tennis-ball sized lump of goo. The vet assured me today that this is OK, drained it, and told me to massage the incision site twice daily to avoid fluid deposits. At which point, I swear to god, Nanna looked up at me and smiled.

Miru gets to stay unmedicated for another 6 months, at which point he is gets another cardiogram ("cardiogram" always makes me think of "candygram" which always makes me think of the land shark routine from SNL. And now it also makes me think of this.) to check his rate of deterioration. Fine by me.

Milhouse gets louder and friendlier every day. Has taken to sleeping in laundry baskets full of freshly washed baby clothes.

Ozzy continues to fart frequently. Sigh. Has mastered the art of hogging a California King sized bed. Sigh.

Married life:

Just over one month old. It's great! Both the Social Security office and the DMV were very helpful when I changed my name, and customer service representatives keep congratulating me when I call them to order new cards, checks, what have you.

Samson:

Terrific! We've definitely moved into that super uncomfortable phase of pregnancy where sleep is hard to come by and food must be consumed in small quantities because there's no room in my body for anything but a baby, let alone a full order of garlic mashed potatoes form Black Angus. We won't go into how little room there is for my bladder or it's contents. I did have to make a little trip to the emergency room Friday night when I sliced the bejesus out of my thumb while chopping onions. The thumb's fine, but the tetanus shot they gave me still kills. The ER doctor promised me that the tetanus shot wouldn't cause Samson to be born with horns or wings (although how cool would that be?), and I came to a concrete decision regarding the epidural. I don't like pain at all. I've been whiny and cranky and mopey for the last three days, and I swear my arm is going to fall off or explode at any second. Not to mention my ginsued thumb. Ow.

So all in all, things are good if not a little whiny. Coming soon: something hopefully a little more interesting than this kind of stuff.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Flight of the Conchords: the Bowie Episode

The jury's still way out on Flight of the Conchords. I liked the first couple of episodes OK, but lost interest pretty quickly, especially with the whole moving back the US thing. I had other things on my mind besides TV (shocking!). But I happened to catch the episode where one of the characters, Bret (half of the New Zealand folk duo on whose fictional lives the show is based), is having body image issues, and gets visited by David Bowie in his dreams who gives him deliciously cryptic advice. Bowie is expertly played by the actor who plays Jermaine, the other half of the duo. Behold:



Deliciously freaky, man.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I know somethin' about birthin' some babies

And folks, let me tell you, it ain't pretty.

After nine hours of intensive childbirth preparation classes last weekend, Max and I are officially childbirth experts. That have never given birth. And we expertly know one thing: it looks hard and painful, and it will take many hours. OK, that's three things.

Seriously though, this class left me scared to deliver, which I never was before. It left me unsure of my decision to demand multiple and frequent epidurals, and it left me excited about all of the supposed foot and back massages I'll be getting.

If there are any moms or dads out there reading this post, I'd love you to weigh in. Did you (or your lady) deliver with our without pain meds? What are your experiences? Would you/did you do it the same way the second or third time? If you had an epidural, were you able to move afterwards? Was it hard to know when to push?

I do know that childbirth is natural, that women have been doing it for a very long time, and that in about 6 weeks I'll be doing it whether I want to or not. I know that everything will be just fine, and that at the end of it all, little Samson will be there all goopy and alien-like, and it will be the happiest day of my life. Duh. So I'm not concerned per se, and I'm not scared as much as I am anxious about the exact level of pain we're talking about here. I can handle anything, for I am strong like bull. I also cry when Max has to fix an ingrown toenail on my dainty little foot. So clearly, you can see my dilemma.

I'm also not too terribly concerned with preserving the "natural" experience of childbirth, or making the process seem more "medical." I will go into labor, Samson will be born, the three of us will bond, then he will start pooping and demanding an allowance. Whether I am one with the Earth Mother during this process or I have an IV sticking out of my back is of no consequence to me. Although, considering how much fun I like to make of hippies and new-age types, I'm less inclined to look down on anything that takes away from the whole birthing-from-within concept. It's OK, I'm allowed to make fun of hippies. I used to be one.

There's also no question about whether or not I can go through a non-medicated labor and birth. of course I can. The question is, do I want to?

My poor OB. My normally 7-minute long check up is going to take 45 minutes this week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooking with The Ramones

As some of you know, I recently left my job at The Planning Shop. This way, I could focus on getting the wedding planned and done, and now I can prepare for Samson's immanent arrival. Then, when he gets here, I can spend my days blissfully watching my perfect sleeping baby who never cries. Or, more realistically, I can spend my days washing loads of baby laundry and scrubbing baby poop out of Ozzy's fur.

Until then, I've been finding ways to keep myself busy while Max is at work. Not imaginative ways, but in ways that are perfect for me: I've doing the things that I've meant to do for the last 3 or 4 years and never found time to do. This mostly consists of getting organized in general and completing artsy craftsy projects in particular. Vacation shadow boxes, weaving and spinning projects, massive iPod playlist creations, photo organizing, and the like.

And cooking! I've cooked something ridiculous like 5 dinners in the last 2 weeks. And they mostly didn't suck. I've been baking too, and I've got a new favorite ingredient: music. I've been on a down-swing in my musical ebb and flowiness for the past few years, and it seems to have finally dissipated. For the first time in a long time, I've been choosing music over TV for alone in the house company. Which means that I got to listen to kick ass Ramones songs while chopping walnuts for the apple honey cake I made for tonight's Rosh Hashanah dinner. It also means I've been watching a lot less TV lately. Of course, Max and I still have our shows that we watch together (have you seen Showtime's new series, Californication? That David Duchovny is something else.), and I've never been one to turn down a mid-day Law & Order marathon, but for the most part the TV stays off during the day.

Now, if I can ever get my hands on a Wii, that could all change.

First Crush

I just love this video.



Nanna is healing nicely; stitches come out next Tuesday. Still waiting on Miru's test results. Milhouse tried to eat my granola this morning. Ozzy still smells questionable. Samson is preparing for the world soccer championship, or maybe some kind of martial arts contest. Either way, he's sure to being home the gold.

In other words, not much is happening around here lately, which is good. I'm getting a little more tired every day, and I'm training for the napolympics. I'm hoping to get sponsored by Sealy or Mattress Discounters.

Shower Me



Rosa and my mom's friend Maureen threw me an awesome baby shower over the weekend. It was terrific--games, food, gifts--and cake! My mom made a wonderful cake that actually had ARGYLE on it. How cool is that? 400 cool, of course. Maybe even 450.

It was a great mix of people and a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Then I got to spend the next 2 days washing tiny baby outfits in Dreft and putting together baby toys and stuff. I think the next 6 1/2 weeks are going to be pretty cool--I'm in full on nesting mode now. I even tried to fold the cat. It didn't work.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lumpdate

Nanna is out of surgery and slowly recovering. Miru's heart may or may not be safe for another year. Ozzy most likely has nothing more than a lump on his tummy. Oh, and gingivitis.

We won't know 100% for sure whether or not the cancer in Nanna's lump has spread beyond the bits reoved in her surgery until next week, but the doctor felt pretty confident that she got everything. Even then, there's nothing that says the same cancerous cells won't show up in some other tumors a few months down the road. But for now, she's lying on the living room floor, more zonked out than I've ever seen her before, with another one of those frankendog looking row of stitches running up from her belly to her side. The doc says that this recover will take longer than her previous ones because they had to take a good chunk of muscle out off of her rib (again), plus she's a bit older this time around (11 years old at the end of this month!). Poor, poor dear.

Miru's heart murmur is a clue that he will eventually develop this cat condition that has a crappy symptom: sudden death. But because it was caught before his heart exploded, we can monitor it as time goes by and get him on medication before there's any manifestation of physical symptoms (like suddenly dropping dead). The question is just when he goes on the medication, and the today's cardiogram should give us the answer to that question by next week. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the side effects of said medication are hair loss, incontinence and kitty dementia. He's fine tonight, except for the fact that he's being tortured by his cruel captors who keep him locked in a townhouse when by all rights he should be roaming the streets of Foster City till the wee hours.

Ozzy basically got jealous of all of the attention Nanna was getting regarding her lump, so he said "Look, look! I gots a lump too! Can I have some turkey now?" If any dog could will himself to have a small, non-cancerous, turkey-getting lump, it's the Oz. But We're glad he's OK (comparatively).

Human health: Samson and I had our 32 week check-up today (what, only the pets get to go to the doctor today?), and we are practically perfect in every way. Seriously. I love this doctor because he says things like that. Our fundus is the right hight (31 centimeters), our blood pressure is just right (some bigger number over some other smaller number), and our weight is just right (yeah, as if I'm going to post that here). Hearts beat as they should, movement is present and regular, everything is normal and A-OK. I love it! Now if only they doctor could do something about this heat wave so I could get some sleep...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Trickle pictures



Photos from the wedding are trickling in, like this one from Max's Aunt and Uncle. It's great to see the wedding from all these different perspectives. I'm planning on uploading one more album to Picasa Web, probably a few weeks from now once I've gotten more pictures from people. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Lump for Nanna

And this one's another cancerous tumor. But thanks to constant belly rubs and our daily post-breakfast love fest, I found it really early and the vet thinks it will be no problem to remove the whole thing and get good margins on Thursday. The same day Miru goes in for his echo-cardio-thingy to check the status of his heart murmur. We'll probably have to go in even earlier in the week because we found another lump last night, this one on Ozzy's belly. His first lump. My first 3-animal medical crisis week. Plus, when Miru got out last week, he brought home some fleas. Yay.

But not all news is sick animal news. Some of it is expecting friend news! LDB up in Portland is growing a little friend in her belly for Samson to play with! How cool is that! Four hundred cool.

The portrait shots from the wedding
are up on Picasa Web. There are still some digital photos and a few quick cams to handle, but I think we're mostly set on picture posting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Wedding Album: Part 1

Doesn't that make it sound like Max and I are in a band and we've recorded an album? I tell you, if we ever do form a band, we're ready. We've got a list of dozens of great band and album names. Band name case in point: Fat Like Esther Lerner. And it's got the perfect tiny story behind it so we'll have something funny to say to Letterman in the 7.5 seconds available for chatting after we play on the show. Who cares if we don't really know any instruments?

The first batch of wedding photos are up on Picasa Web. They're mostly from the disposable cameras that we handed out to everyone for use during the weekend, plus there are a few form some of the family's digitals. So I can't really claim responsibility for any of them--and there are some truly stellar shots up there. I may be organized, but I'm not that organized, so they're not really in any particular order. But they're good to the last drop.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happiness is Teal Blue Cream Cheese Frosting



It's a well known fact that I can't cook. At least, it's well known to the people who have listened to me complain about how I can't cook. Can't explain why, and it's not like I haven't tried to learn and people haven't tried to teach me. Although I think it has something to do with patience, timing, and trust. Every so often, I'll whip out a totally edible dish. And I'm just fine at chopping vegetables and preparing ingredients so that Max can cook something totally tasty--Max, by the way, never uses recipes or measuring spoons. He actually knows how to season to taste. I'm impressed every time.

But I can bake. Nothing super fancy, but I can make cakes and cookies and frostings and tasty treats like peach tartine. I can make pies and rugaleh. I can also make the dessert of the hour, cupcakes. If desserts have personalities, cupcakes are the San Francisco hipster who live in the Mission or Hayes Valley and have all of the cutest bags and shoes. Oddly, I don't hate them for that. Cupcakes were deserving of my adoration long before I painfully discovered the concept of "cool," and I will be baking and eating cupcakes long after pirates go out of fashion and cupcake shops stop popping up all over Manhattan.

The cupcakes I made on Sunday were moist and yellow, and topped with pale teal blue cream cheese frosting. They were not diet friendly or low-anything, and they were delicious. I think I'll go have one right now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My boyfriend and I went to Gualala and all I got was this new last name



I'm still too overwhelmed to give a really good report of the wedding. We're back in Foster City and getting to see a lot of our out-of-town friends and family one last time before they return to their homes. And then there's all of the Ikea furniture that poor Max has to build. Poor, poor Max.

I'm expecting there to be 1,000 + pictures when all is said and done, so it will be a while before I get an album up on Picasa Web. I know, tortuous. I thought I'd post a few of the real good ones to tide you all over, but it's too hard to choose. But here's a photo of one of the best parts of the weekend:



Mmmmmmm, she smells like taffy.

I'm still reeling from the whole thing. The weather was amazing, and it was a really terrific group of near and dear ones. Small enough to still be intimate, but big enough to be undoubtedly festive. We really got to use the whole 3 days to catch up and spend quality time with both friends and family. And even though we pretty much broke just about every rule the Sea Ranch has, it was a virtually stress free weekend and wedding. Which still totally amazes me.

The dogs were SO WELL BEHAVED, thanks in no small part to LDB and Heffe who spent a lot of time tiring them out with hikes and stick fetching in the ocean while Max and I meeted and greeted and went on our seemingly endless rounds. It was also a grand opportunity for everyone to meet Samson, by way of touching my belly and making baby talk to it (I'm not complaining--it was freaking awesome.). Samson liked it too, as evidenced by his kicking and movement pattern becoming totally ramped up over the weekend.

The ceremony itself went off utterly hitchless, and my hair looked so damn good thanks to MEH and her magic hands. I won't lie to you; tears were shed, although no vows were flubbed. And Ozzy decided that he would do his patented back-scratch-rolling maneuver in a nice patch of sunny grass, center stage of the chuppah, about half way through the ceremony. Which was, of course, totally freaking adorable.

Then there was the food. And the parties. And the BBQ. And the volleyball. And the beachy sunsets. This will definitely take a few installments.

Monday, August 20, 2007

dks

I'm back from the wedding, complete with a new last name! How exciting. I won't say much in this post, as I am totally and utterly exhausted, but I will say that it was THE PERFECT WEEKEND and everything went wonderfully. It was the best wedding ever, and we have the best friends and families and dogs ever. Pictures and musings shortly. Big ups to my ridiculously helpful friends from Portland, San Antonio, San Carlos, Brooklyn, Minneapolis, and beyond.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Take my sanity, please

Wow, it's really almost time for the wedding. Family and friends started arriving from out of town today, and the chaos has begun. It won't be in full swing until the middle of next week, and by then, I do believe I will have gone bananas. Once the actual celebration starts on Friday, I'll be nothing but smiles--surrounded by friends and family with no prep left to do. But this week it's kind of overwhelming, getting the finishing touches on seating arrangements, flowers, and various bits and bobs. Even for such a small wedding, there are so many little details! And I suppose we didn't have to move into a new place during the same week. Or buy a new car. Or a new bed.

It's been challenging, but it's totally worth it. I am SO EXCITED for this wedding, and I love love love our new place. The transition from Dublin to Foster City has actually gone really smoothly. We kind of treated it like how one treats swimming in Fall Creek in Oregon: close your eyes, hold your breath, and jump in. Then pray as hard as you can that your lungs don't seize up from the freezing cold water. If you just stick your toe in before you jump, you'll never succeed. It's all or nothing, and this week has been an all week.

Other news: my good buddy Tiny Trousers appears to be on the mend! We here at Extra Super Fantastic wish her and her mom all the best.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Life in HD

So here I am, sitting in my new home, blogging from my new laptop, watching our new HDTV, 2 clean dogs curled up next to me. You could say I had a real good weekend. The new place is awesome; it's really coming together nicely. We had 2 sets of extremely helpful parents on hand, and everyone was just great. I've never moved in and unpacked so quickly before, including our marathon trip to Ikea and Best Buy on Sunday morning. and not to mention the fact that I can't actually lift anything! It may not be San Francisco, but it feels really good.

Let's just not discuss the fact that it's now less than 2 weeks until the wedding. Gulp.

Off to the dog park now--these hounds deserve a reward for their good behavior.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New digs

No more apartments for us. Oh, no, we're moving on up. To a townhouse. Mmmm, fancy. We found a nice place in a nice neighborhood that is, sadly, not in San Francisco. We'll be in the proper burbs, where we can afford a yard and a garage and more toilets than you can shake a stick at. Max's commute will be cut in half which will give more time to run around fetching me things like McDonald's french fries and obscure imported root beer. Lucky, lucky, Max.

Expect hilarious anecdotes of moving and going through our storage unit in the near future. and maybe some pictures of the new place. To hold you over for now, here are some pictures of the time a few weeks ago when I went to the Kwik-E Mart in Mountain View with Rosa and Dave.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coming up for air

Mmmmmmm, a conglomoration of life changing events and it's not even August yet. Weddings. Babies. Returning to the US. A dog with an inferiority complex. Finding a home. New job. Old job. Let me say again that I AM NOT COMPLAINING, I am simply making excuses for my lack of blogging. This is so much fun, and I love being home and seeing my family and the weather--holy crap this weather. Long live global warming. Just rest assured that my usually more-frequent-than-this blogging schedule has been usurped by dresses, veils, flowers, bassinets, cake, and a crazy mixed up shepherd. And occasionl cat-naps in the sun.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Medium sized update



So I went up to the Sea Ranch for 3 days last week to get my bearings in regards to the wedding. The wedding that's in exactly one month. Ahem.

The verdict: boy did we pick the right place to start the rest of our lives together. Thanks to mom and dad's scouting skills and their intrepid ability to test fancy restaurants for us in our absence, the food will match the beauty and the intensity that is the Northern California coast and redwoods. And that's really what a wedding is all about, right?

Once again, I'm torn by how happy we are to have a nice, simple, intimate (aka "small") ceremony, one that's more or less devoid of stress and time-intensive decisions about tablecloths and seating arrangements, and my desire to share this wonderful place and this wonderful event with all of my nearest and dearest. Thankfully, our friends and family understand, and they support our decision. And that makes me feel less torn.

On to the story of Ozzylocks and the Three Deer. Well, there's no story really. There were these three deer grazing outside our house, and Ozzy watched them and made deeply primal growly noises. As if, Oz. They have horns, buddy. Horns.



Nanna, of course, had more important things to worry about. Like all of these sticks! Who left all of these sticks lying around here?? How am I supposed to fetch ALL OF THESE STICKS???



Other business: Max will be home in 2 short weeks! The movers will come to pack up the rest our belongings in Dublin in a week or so, then I get my best friend back, my bringer of milkshakes and not-so-secret Degrassi TNG watching pal. Life is good.

Other other business: the AIDS Walk went really, really well last Sunday. Extra super fantastic THANK YOUs to everyone who supported me by donating. I met my fundraising goal, and was able to take part in something really special and helpful to my community. I walked the whole 10K with team captain Laura and her dad, not to mention my four-legged cohorts. Oz and Nanna did splendidly, and were incredible tuckered out by the end of the weekend--three days chasing sticks in the ocean, multiple trips to the dog park, and one heck of a long walk through a fog-filled Golden Gate Park. I think they've finally forgiven me for leaving them for a year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mini Update

I am still here--busy with work, and a fabulous pre-wedding fact-gathering mission to the Sea Ranch. More about this later, and pictures of Ozzy's not-so-close encounter with a trio of deer.

One other thing: big hugs and warm thoughts for my good friend Tiny Trousers (and her ever loving mom). Who knew an Australian shepherd mix (or whatever the lying sack of crap at the pet store said you were), who is almost certainly part mountain goat, could get herself stranded on the dusty crags of my heart and mind for so long? Well, I guess I knew.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back in California

It's good to be home. The dogs are finally starting to remember that I'm the pack leader, which means I get followed around a bit more, and when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee (like, 6 times) I can hear Nanna snoring away on her pile of dog beds. It's always hard the first few days when I come home; the cats hardly come near me and the dogs sleep down the hall with their "real parents." But a few days of cookies and trips to the dog park bring back the natural order of things pretty quickly.

We're heading to the Sea Ranch tomorrow to finalize some wedding details--you know, silly stuff like food, alcohol, and ceremony locations. Even though we're having the smallest wedding known to man, there's still planning to be done and food to be tasted. I got my 30 weeks pregnant wedding dress recently, and I absolutely love it. When I tried it on I felt like a knocked up Cinderella. It's very chiffon-y and flow-y and white--all the things a wedding gown should be, but with a little extra room in the right places. Plus the dress weighs less than 2 pounds--Samson and I will be very comfortable on the big day.

Chances are that I won't be blogging quite so much over the next few weeks--it's just a hunch but we'll see.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The cat came back

Just not the very next day. Six days later, actually. And the word on the street is that he's in one piece, and rather famished. This wasn't the first time Miru ran away. Wasn't the 2nd time either. Or the 3rd. But he's back, safe and sound, and that's what matters.

I'm enjoying my last few days in Dublin, and by "enjoying" I mean packing, organizing, planning, and list-making. Good times! Of course I'll miss Max, but really, this will be the shortest length of time we've ever lived apart from each other. And I'll get to replace one Max with 2 dogs and 2 cats (thankfully).

We had our 23 week OB appointment and scan yesterday. Samson got a great report from the midwife: "Size appropriate for gestational age. No evidence of any structural abnormality." Those are the two best sentence fragments I've ever read in my life. Except for maybe "Salt water taffy half off," and "Kittens free to good home." There's nothing like a box of kittens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Breathe through it

I went to prenatal yoga today. No crying this time--not from me, anyway. The classroom is on the deliveries floor, and there was this weird, high pitched moaning noise throughout the class today--it was hardly noticeable. The midwife who runs the class spent a lot of time today telling us about natural birth (yeah, right) and how yoga will help us learn to breathe through the discomfort--not pain, mind you, discomfort. The entire class became skeptical because by the end of class--you know, the part with the relaxation, feel your body filling up with warming light, blah blah blah--the high pitched moaning next door had become full on screaming. Pain-filled screaming. Was she breathing through the discomfort? It was pretty comical though, like something out of Will and Grace or Seinfeld. Who knew yoga needed a laugh track?

The Varro's visit to Ireland has been immortalized by the Lomo, which happily decided to function last week. Pics are on Picasa Web. No embedded slideshow, I decided I didn't like that feature all that much. Here's a good one though:



I will miss our little Irish roadtrips. Ireland is a lot like the Sea Ranch, though, so there's a number of Irish-ish road trips coming up soon. But with dogs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Showers



I passed a shoe store today with a window display advertising "hip festival fashion"--wellies. Back in good 'ol California, festival-wear (at least in my day) consisted of tank tops and flip flops. Or, being the San Francisco Bay Area, hooded sweatshirts and sneakers. But rarely did one need to wear full on rain gear to Lollapalooza or Coachella. Maybe for the Bridge School Benefit in late October, but never to a summer festival. Here in soggy Ireland, summer music festivals mean ponchos, rain boots, and wet, muddy camping. There have been a few weeks here and there, last summer when I first got here and earlier this spring where the weather here was heavenly--warm and clear with air that smells like fresh cut grass and mild humidity. Couple that with the super long days (sun now sets at 11 pm!) and you've got the potential for an amazing place to live.

Now ask me about how I got caught in a rain shower on my way home from lunch today. Not the warm East Coast-y kind, but the cold blowing-in-off-the-Irish-Sea kind. My pants and sweater are still hanging on the bedroom door, drying out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Varros Come to Ireland

They came. They saw. They drank Guinness. We had a wonderful week with our New York friends, the Varros. The weather didn't really cooperate, but that didn't stop us from doing all of the fun Dublin stuff. We also took a 3 day road trip to Galway and Bunratty Castle and to County Kerry--Sarah's ancestral home (she was a Sullivan until last October). We saw sheep and cows and goats (oh my!) and enjoyed our fair share of Irish goodies and full-car sing-a-longs. Pictures!



That, my friends, is Picasa's fancy new slideshow embedding feature. Pretty cool! I like to embed things within other things. Like embedding pigs into blankets, or jalepenos into poppers. Mmmm, snacks filled with other snacks.

Baby update: we have have movement! Unless it's some kind of weird prolonged bout of gas, I've been feeling Max Jr. squirm around for 2 weeks now. It feels a lot like riding a roller coaster, specifically the part where you go down a big drop and your stomach follows you down a little bit slower than the rest of your insides. But just slightly and only for a second. It's really quite amazing. Nothing like the hiccups and acrobatics that I'm sure will start in the months to come, but enough to bring a smile to my face when I'm just sitting there minding my own business and he reminds me that I'm not alone.

Other than that, it's time to pack it all in here in Dublin. Moving (part one) is less than 2 weeks away, and there's much to do. So I'd better get doing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't know whether I can handle this weather

Stupid rain. Stupid, stupid rain. It's been raining all week, anywhere from hot and muggy rain a la the East Coast to cold pelting rain that makes me frown. Our good friends the Varros are coming to Dublin on Saturday to visit for a week, and there's a lot of rain in the forecast. I've only got 3 1/2 weeks left to complain about the weather, so I guess I'd better get busy.

I wanted to post a song that sort of fit this weather-induced mood I'm in, but I couldn't find an online version (to purchase or otherwise, including iTunes) of the one I had mind. So here's a link to a place where you can listen to it. It's from a Channel 4 Radio ad that plays on our UK TV channels regularly, and it makes feel kind of gloomy-happy.

And here's another song that kind of works for my mood today, too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Halfway there!

Today marks the halfway point in Baby Samson's stay in the Hotel My Belly. 20 weeks. Unbelievable. It really illustrates how time flies. I mean, really.

Last night we had dinner with 2 really nice American and American-Scottish couples. Between the 2 of them, they had a 2 week old, a one year old, a two year old, and a three year old. Max and I sat there, smiling, as babies slept and pooped and ate, and toddlers ran around giggling and being kids, and everything less than 3 feet high was pulled, grabbed, thrown, chewed on, hugged hidden, and eventually handed to Max for evaluation (the kids, they LOVE Max. Big time.). It was kind of like some sort of glimpse into the near and near-distant future for us. And it was only a little scary. Mostly it was 4 adorable children, smiling and learning and playing, and 4 happily exhausted parents, exchanging knowing smiles as I kept thinking to myself, "Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Wooooooooow. Wow."

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm too sexy for just about everything

This commercial has been on here for over a month, so I have no idea why I only thought about posting it today.



Round two of the Turkey pics are up. Underwater cameras, action sampler, fish eye, all the plastic and artsy cameras.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Learning how to breath again

I had my first prenatal yoga class at lunch today. I've done yoga a handful of times throughout my life; there was the kundalini yoga class when I was 15 at the rec center. Verdict: it made me fall asleep, and was basically a vehicle for the instructor to sell his goofy relaxation tapes. More recently, one of my coworkers got me to join her for a drop-in class a couple of times last year. Verdict: ouch! Yoga hurts my arms!

This class is all about the breathing and various pelvic stretching. At 19 weeks, I am the least pregnant in the group; most of the women are 30 weeks and up, a few are 26-28 weeks. I was the only one who didn't really need the pile of pillows that were placed at the head of each yoga mat, not that I didn't appreciate them. I was also the only one who could lie on my back for the relaxation portion at the very end of the class. That's when the weirdest thing happened.

The midwife leading the class instructed us to breath in, thinking of all of the good and loving things in our lives. No problem--I've got lots of good and loving. Then she told us to breathe out, pushing out all of the stress, all of the tension, the negativity, the disappointment...and I lost it. I started to cry. I wasn't bawling, in fact I don't think anyone noticed, but I couldn't stop the tears from coming, streaming down the sides of my face into my ears. I'm not one to bottle things up. I cry pretty regularly, I tell my loved ones when I'm bummed out or pissed off, I've always considered myself pretty much fully in touch with my feelings. So why was I so surprised at this outburst? Why did I have this extreme reaction to breathing out the sadness? It was really weird, and caught me totally off guard. I wonder what there is in my life right now, today, that I'm not dealing with?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Turkish Delight



We had a wonderful week in Turkey, a great last hurrah as my days of living in Europe, and flying at all, come to an end. What? What's that you say? You want to see pictures? Well, I'll have to see what I can do about that. Let's start with 42 of the 143 pictures from the digital camera, and I'll follow up later this week with the 6 rolls of film from various Lomo, action samplers, and underwater cameras. Yikes!

Highlights:

Seeing our friends from Israel. Since none of them will be able to make it out to SF for the wedding in August, we invited everyone to join us in Bodrum for a pre-wedding celebration. Remember, these are the same people who engineered and produced the famous zombie engagement of 2005, so it was no surprise when they surprised us with a mock wedding on Friday night, complete with a rabbi, a priest, and Elvis. It was terrific--and good practice for the real thing! Only 74 days!



Boat trip on a Turkish Yacht. We spent all day Saturday cruising around the Aegean Sea, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun. It was my first time snorkeling and I had such a blast. The water wasn't the most tropical, most of the fish were pretty much sand and water colored with a few blue or orange guys swimming around. But between the snorkel mask and my contact lenses, I think it was the first time I've ever actually seen underwater. It's a whole new world, and I want to live in that world all the time. And then there was the ice cream boat at one of the snorkeling stops. Genius!



Turkey is also the land of meat on a stick. I've eaten enough kebabs in the last week to last 2 lifetimes. And the cherries! The had these really big, juicy cherries at our local fruit and veg market, plus every restaurant and mini market and grocery store has cherry juice--the ice cream vendors on the beach promenade even have cherry ice cream! I got my fill of my favorite fruit flavor in all of it's various forms. Delicious.

Then there was the Hamam (Turkish Bath). What a weirdly fun experience! We skipped the sauna portion of the bath on account of baby Samson, but the soap massage was out of this world and the oil massage was to die for. The whole thing was made even more hilarious by the super friendly Turkish guy in a skirt and a Beckham jersey who dried us off after the soap massage. What a surreal time that was.

It was hard to come back to Dublin, especially considering that the weather was crap yesterday, but it's kind of nice to be back. I'm in the home stretch now, only one more month until I go home. I'm starting to get bigger, and next week marks the half way point in my pregnancy, so it will be great to get back to the Bay Area and be able to start the next chapter of my life. As much fun as I've had living in Europe the past year, I'm ready to be somewhere that we can stay for a few years, to have the dogs and cats back in my life, to go back to the office, all that stuff. Not that the next year will bring anything resembling peace and quiet, I realize that. But it's going to be such a great thing to start our new family, and I can hardly wait.