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Archive for September, 2012

The State of the Bump

Posted by Lissa on September 28, 2012

In no particular order. . .

- Oof. I’m HUGE. I’m up almost exactly thirty pounds and it takes serious, concentrated effort to roll over in bed at night.

- I’m done with heels. I’ve been wearing Crocs heels that have about two inches of padding under the toes and four inches under the heels, but my knees have informed me in no uncertain terms to cut that sh*t out until some of the weight comes off.

- The doctor said last week that he could feel the head down in the “go!” area. Then, this week, as they started to actually check for dilation / effacement, he said he couldn’t be 100% sure it was the head rather than the butt. So I’m heading for an ultrasound early next week. I’m very, very interested to get an estimated fetal weight on BabyKlarman :)

- Braxton-Hicks! Mike and I have taken a few walks and Baby tends to tighten up when we do. I mentioned that to the doctor and he informed me that Baby’s not “tightening up,” and he’s not “stretching” – that’s a warm-up contraction. Really? I thought contractions were going to hit all the way from my groin to my collarbone, make it impossible to breathe, and last for at least thirty seconds. Apparently I was wrong.

- Baby often goes . . . LOPSIDED. He turns and pokes out and it’s almost always on my right side. Just look:

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My finger’s on my belly button. See how the belly is listing to starboard??

- Both Target and Amazon send you 10% completion coupons to get the last items off your baby registry. I went and picked up a whole bunch of stuff at Target. Then I used my iPhone to try and add every single item in my cart to my baby registry before checking out. Technology is AWESOME.

- I’m really looking forward to Baby being here, but I’m also trying to savor my last weeks of solo independence. You know – stopping on a whim to get a pedicure, or a coffee, or running in and out of the grocery store to get just one item. I do realize that that will be much more of an adventure going forward.

Have a happy Friday, everyone! Two weeks and change till the due date! … and no, I still haven’t decided on a name. Let alone a moniker. :)

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I’m more grateful than ever for the miracles of technology

Posted by Lissa on September 24, 2012

As I laboriously hoiked myself out of bed for my usual two a.m. bathroom run, I thanked the gods once again for Lasik.

Remember this post?

With BabyKitty’s impending birth, I’m more grateful than ever that I can SEE. I’m doing at least one, sometimes two, bathroom runs per night, and I know that will only increase. In about three weeks, those bathroom runs will morph into nursing sessions. It is a magical, wondrous, marvelous gift to NOT have to worry about finding my glasses and shoving them onto my face so as to avoid cats and other impedimenta underfoot.

And once again a huge thank-you goes out to my sweetie, who made it happen :)

P.S. Lasik is wonderful for many, many reasons, one of which is being a great case study for what happens with medical technology that isn’t covered by insurance. I could never have afforded Lasik when it first came out; only rich people could buy that luxury. Over time, enough of them bought it that, by the time I got lasered, it was better, faster, safer, and much, much cheaper than all the trust-fund babies got ten years before. Teh Market – It works!

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Disneyland is hazardous to your health!

Posted by Lissa on September 19, 2012

Well, certainly hazardous to your MENTAL health – ten minutes inside It’s a Small World and I think you’d tell me the recipe to the secret sauce or where the jewels were buried or anything else I want to know – but that’s not what I meant. Look at this pic Mike snapped from his California trip:

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Yes, really. They needed a giant sign to tell you not to drink the bleach they use to clean the bathrooms.

Or take this Starbucks sign, also from Cali:

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Good lord.

Mark Steyn pointed out recently that a free society is not free when it’s regulated to death:

STEYN: Yeah. I think this is not small stuff. And I think there’s a problem here. Again, there’s a sort of element of delusion on the right about how important this stuff is. Because people do get annoyed about it, but again, it — they don’t — I think a lot of people don’t quite fully understand the implications of it. A society in which you need 500 dollars worth of permits to put a lemonade stand on your lawn is not a free society.

You could have the Second Amendment. I mean, a lot of people when I mentioned — I think it was on Rush I mentioned the lemonade — like, half a dozen lemonade stand stories from around the country. And a couple guys e-mailed me and said oh, this isn’t important stuff, Steyn, you shouldn’t be talking about this. We’ve got the Second Amendment, so nobody’s going to do all the — you know, nobody’s going to come and take away our freedoms.

That’s all very well, but you could — you can easily wind up in a situation where you still have the Second Amendment and every other freedom has been lost. A society in which you cannot legally sell lemonade in your front yard is not a free society. A society — you mentioned the hardware store. A society in which a hardware store in Ventura County, California cannot put out complimentary coffee and donuts for its customers is not a free society.

And at some point people have to get real about this. I think this is the way — this is one of the reasons, by the way, where the sort of codification of the U.S. Constitution actually gets in the way of looking at things clearly. Because clearly what’s happened over the course of the last eighty years is that successive governments at the national level, but also at the state and county level, have ridden a coach and horses through the principles of the U.S. Constitution. But because it’s still there on a piece of paper that some guy put down on parchment with ink and quill feather and it’s actually written down, people still think that it’s there and it’s effective even though eighty years of big government expansion has basically driven a coach and horses through it.

I think those two examples are EXACTLY what he meant.

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Um. That doesn’t look like a partridge.

Posted by Lissa on September 18, 2012

Taken a mile from my house:

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(zoom in to see the furry visitor)

Naturally, everyone stopped to gawk. And apparently offer their small offspring as bear feed:

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I was the only one to keep my distance, and I’m fairly sure I was the only one armed (and although 9mm probably doesn’t do much in this case, it’s better than nothing).

What caliber for bear?

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Thoughts on the Middle East situation

Posted by Lissa on September 14, 2012

In no particular order. . .

- Christopher Stephens seemed like a good and decent man (see LawDog for some background). Keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

- I thought of his family when I saw those terrible pictures of Stevens’ body being paraded/escorted through the streets. (If you’re not aware, what looks awfully like a triumphant displaying of the slain ambassador through the streets has been alternately presented as a crowd trying to carry him to the hospital. I fervently hope it’s the latter and think the pictures look much more like the former.) I came down on the side that the pictures are newsworthy, but I shrivel to think that his loved ones saw them and know that the world is seeing them.

- Our ambassador was slain when his poorly-defended and not-so-secret consulate in Libya was attacked. Our sovereign soil in Egypt was invaded. Our official Twitter feed from the Egyptian embassy was full of unbelievably f***ing stupid and craven apologies before and after the attack. And what’s shocking about all this is … that Mitt Romney commented harshly on it? Do we live in bizarro world??

- Also, it’s about as clear an example of press bias as I’ve seen in the last decade. You see, they had no problem with a certain Candidate of Hope of Change took to CNN to blast the current president and his opponent in 2008 directly after deaths of our servicemen. Needless to say, the story did not suddenly shift from the actual situation in the Middle East to What This Particular Candidate Said About It, How He Said It, and Doesn’t He Regret It.

- I think the proper response when asked about that infantile, badly-produced film about Islam that *supposedly* sparked the latest protest party is, “Yeah, it’s stupid and disrespectful. SO F***ING WHAT? We’re Americans! The right of private citizens to say stupid, infantile, offensive things is very well established. Sod off.”

- I say *supposedly* because I find it unlikely to the point of pure gullibility that spontaneous protests arose in two different countries on the anniversary of 9/11 due to a short film with clips on YouTube that practically no one had ever heard of before. Doesn’t it remind you of the Danish cartoon stuff? You know, the event where a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed. . . and not much happened. UNTIL some supposedly pious Muslims decided that the actual cartoons in the newspaper just weren’t all that bad (they weren’t) — so they added a few more that were FAR, FAR worse than anything published and went on a Middle East rage-grievance tour. As far I’ve heard, the imams haven’t had to go into hiding or been attacked by crazies, so I guess when THEY do it it’s okay, but if someone ELSE does it it’s time to burn flags and maybe kill people.

I’m not usually isolationist, but times like these make me want to wash my hands of the whole region. (Except any countries with a proven commitment to rule of law, democracy, free speech, women’s and homosexual’s rights, etc. I can only think of one country over there that fits that criteria but I’d be glad to hear of more.)

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Misandrous Midwives

Posted by Lissa on September 12, 2012

Mike and I went to a six-hour childbirth class on Saturday. It was . . . interesting.

The pros:

- There was a lot of good information
– They went into detail about natural versus medicated childbirth and the levels of pain medication available
– They also detailed the run-up to labor (which, I hope, will allow me to avoid having my water break in a grocery store or – horrors!! – the office of Sunshine Financial)
– They showed a lot of clips of babies being born – and no one passed out!

The cons:

- They were noticeably biased towards non-medicated childbirth. (Mike pointed out that calling it “natural childbirth” is pretty funny considering that only about 10% of women do it.)
– There was a definite anti-men slant.

I really wished there had been one mother-daughter team or a lesbian couple in our class. The anti-men bias was stupid because it was so UNNECESSARY! The teacher would sternly point her finger and . . . . well, here’s how she said it, and here’s how I would have phrased it:

Misandrous Midwife: “Now, coaches, she may want you to talk to her, in which case, TALK! Or she may just look at you and” (slashes hand across throat) “in which case SHUT UP. She may tell the whole room that you HAVEN’T SET UP THE CRIB YET! Or HOW MANY TIMES SHE HAD TO TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT TO THE CURB! Men, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING! KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!”

Hypothetical Instructor Lissa: “Guys, your women are going to be in a lot of pain. Make sure you are very attentive to their needs. If they want distraction, have a story ready and be ready to chat. If she waves you off, keep it quiet for a while – she’s trying to concentrate. She may also say some things that she may later regret – if she remembers them – which she normally wouldn’t. Don’t take it personally and just keep rolling with the punches.”

Both versions get across the same information, but in MY version you don’t have to be a dick about it.

Also, they took the guys aside and made them practice changing diapers and putting a shirt on baby dolls. Twice.

Are women magically born knowing how to change diapers? Don’t you think it’s both sexist and stupid to make ONLY the guys practice that?

Oh well. Five weeks to go!!!

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I haven’t forgotten…

Posted by Lissa on September 11, 2012

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Advertisement fail: THE BABY WILL EAT YOUR SOUL!!!!

Posted by Lissa on September 6, 2012

Oh. My. God.

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I’ve often thought that being a social worker would wear away at your soul, bit I didn’t realize it would be forcibly extracted, offered to Beelzebub Baby and used as a teething toy.

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Lissa’s recipe file: Spaghetti sauce

Posted by Lissa on September 5, 2012

Since guffaw asked so nicely . . . :)

Nana’s Spaghetti Sauce*

Ingredients:
3 large cans crushed tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find them)
1 can tomato puree
1 can tomato paste
3 large cloves garlic
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 package Italian sausages
Meatballs (they’re better if you make your own, though I haven’t thus far)

Directions:
Roughly chop garlic.
Pour a small amount of olive oil into a baking pan and add the chopped garlic. Bake at 350 for a few minutes; watch to make sure it doesn’t burn!
Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan to rinse it out and empty into a large pot.
Add crushed tomatoes, puree, paste and parsley to pot and bring to a simmer.
Put sausages in pan or baking sheet and broil until brown. Add to sauce and simmer uncovered for 1.25 hours.
Make meatballs and broil until brown. Add to sauce and continue cooking for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

*Nana, Mike’s Italian grandmother, never measured anything nor wrote down her recipes. One of his aunts followed her around the kitchen one day and scraped together this recipe. I tend to use it as a template when making sauce but not follow it religiously. Some of my alterations:

- I use a LOT more garlic, including a number of whole cloves
– I also add onion powder, Italian seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper, and any other spice that catches my eye
– I cook it for as many hours as I can manage – 5 or 6 if possible
– I top it with fresh Greek oregano and/or fresh basil when serving
– You can use sweet Italian or hot Italian sausage. I prefer using sweet sausage and adding red pepper flakes to the sauce.

I’ve tried to make this in a crock pot but it comes out very watery. Save this for a weekend when you can leave it burbling on the back of the stove all day! Oh, and keep a loaf of Italian bread on hand so that the hungry people demanding samples can be given a little bowl and some dipping slices.

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Spaghetti sauce

Posted by Lissa on September 4, 2012

It’s a good thing I was home with only Rajah to hear me, because I freely admit to using Language Unsuitable for Polite Company:

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That’s right, I managed to shatter a jar of spaghetti sauce all over the bottom of my pantry.

If Mike had been home I would have swallowed my pride and asked for help. Do you know how hard it is to mop up handfuls of sauce and tiny glass shards while leaning over a beach ball? Or maybe a bowling ball – he is SOLID, y’all!

Six weeks to go. I am READY. (Well, I’m not sure new parents are ever really ready, but we’ll do our best!!)

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