Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Prayer for Gina

Sorry news for my friend Gina today.

She went in for her first ultrasound and found out today that her baby isn't developing.

It's always to hard to hear of a miscarriage. You always hope that your last loss is the very last one ever, but it's never true.

Lighting a candle with prayers and positive thoughts for Gina today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Best Time At Bryce

I went for a short trip to Utah this weekend to see my friend Teri, who I've known forever (well, since the '80s so it feels like forever. :)

We drove down to Bryce Canyon and had a great time. Here's a slideshow! If you click on the picture, then click on slideshow, you can see the pics from one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Bryce Canyon.2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where No Girl Has Gone Before...

Today's kind of a tough day for me.

The past week or so, I started realizing that at some point I would soon pass the point where my pregnancy with Jacob ended.

My girl this time, as of today, has made it past the 21 weeks, 3 days that my baby Jacob did last year.

I've had earlier miscarriages, and I've known people who had some much later. The hard part for each of us is getting to that last milestone of loss, because we feel that at any point up til then, the same thing could happen.

I've been told that getting past this milestone would make me feel better, but I believe I will worry about this baby til she's out where I can count her fingers and toes.

And today, I just feel a little sad for my boy who didn't make it. Up til now I've been able to compare these two pregnancies and note how much more my daughter kicks me, and how much harder. Our little girl is now passing those things, and off we go into territory neither one of us has gone before.

Jacob's birthday is coming in a couple of weeks on 7/7, and it's hard because I keep seeing that date on TV because people are clamoring to get married on that date, and it just seems to be mentioned a lot and it just takes me back in time.

I woke up early -- at 5 a.m., with my girl kicking me and started thinking these thoughts. I couldn't sleep since apparently she was up for a game of raquetball in there or something, so I got up.

As concious as I am of the pain of loss, here she is, my little soccer star, apparently as my doctor said "trying to reassure you that she's ok".

What a miracle she is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fairwell, Kaiser Peeps

Today was my last appointment with my OB/GYN here in Colorado before our move next week.

We got to take a look at our girl, and if you're a semi-trained observer of the ultrasound image -- you'll see a picture of her alien-looking face on the right as she's laying on her side, two fists in the middle, and the white circle on the left is her abdomen.

We looked for "bits and pieces" again, but didn't find any, so we're fairly sure she's a girl. Don't bust out the pink just yet though.

My Dr. Anita just had a baby of her own, and was very thrilled to see me one more time. To be able to come in with a baby measuring just right and a healthy pregnancy well underway was a thrill for us both.

At one point, I said how surprised I was to finally have a textbook pregnancy, and she said she admired my courage to keep trying after all our losses.

"Trying?" I said. "We weren't trying at all. This baby was made in a wash of Merlot."

I love watching doctor's laugh. They probably don't get to laugh at much during the course of a day.

She gave me a big hug as I left, and we went down to John's office (He's my nurse practitioner/guardian angel) so I could give him a thank-you note and a copy of Jacob's tribute on a CD.

I thanked them both for being so good to us and for all their help.

It is amazing in this day and age how many people I know feel so distant from their health care providers. Or that they never get to see the same ones twice so they don't get any connection.

But for us, Kaiser Permanente has provided us with outstanding docs, nurses and staff who have done nothing but provide us top-notch care and support.

And for that I am truly thankful.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Jules Gives "Knocked Up" Two Thumbs UP.

I'm a blog-o-maniac today, I know...I can't help myself.

Try spending as much time as I do by yourself (without cable TV) and you find ways to entertain yourself.

That, and I can't do anything that will mess up my house, since it's still being shown (long story short, it's back on the market).

So, I blog.

I went to see a movie today all by myself. It was the first time I've done it for as long as I remember. What was funny was that three of us gals all there by ourselves, ended up sitting next to each other. We were all pregnant. We were all laughing at the movie so hard that we ended up sharing the experience.

So I guess I should say I went to a movie by myself, but ended up enjoying it with people anyway.

The movie is "Knocked Up" with Greys Anatomy's Katherine Heigl and some unknown guy with man-boobs and way too much body hair who will surprisingly enough steal your heart. Well, sorta.

The movie is outrageous in spots, but the cutie who married Phoebe in Friends is in it, along with bit parts of parents played by Harold Ramis (think GhostBusters nerd), and the Mom from Family Ties.

The movie is predictable as to its ending, but on the whole, it is quite funny. The end had us three preggos in tears.

And I must said Katherine Heigl's acting sure surprised me. She's better than what I've seen on G.A., but then I've never given that show much of a chance since I don't like hospital dramas, and I'm saving up a couple of seasons so I can catch up like I did Law & Order when it hits the rerun circuit.

It was really fun to go to a movie by myself for some reason. I guess just because it's always been a date thing, or a friend thing, and there's always that "where do you want to sit?", which always ends up being negotiated out...instead I just plunked myself down by the aisle by the door so I could get up to pee at will, and not worry how much of this little lighthearted comedy I would miss.

And I didn't have to share my popcorn either.

A Good Crowd

There's this motley crew that picked me up as a friend when I got here to Colorado. My husband went to college with some of them, some of us married in, some are just friends by "guilt by association". But they're one of the best groups of people I've ever met, and I will miss them a lot when I move.

Last night we got together in Morrison at The Cafe Prague, with a snooty waiter we all had to make fun of after dinner, but aside from one sneer from J.D., who was well within his rights, Snooty Waiter did not ruin the evening.

It was a celebration for Concetta and Anne, two of our June birthdays. It was also the last time I'll see a lot of these guys, since I'm leaving in just a couple of weeks now.

It's hard to believe I've been here for six years. We've had lots of parties with this gang at our house, a lot of fun with girls' nights out, and then of course there's always the "X Annual Attempt To Carve Pumpkins" party at Wendi's house that always results in a lot of drunk women, embarrassing photos being taken, and some wicked margaritas being downed.

Thanks guys, you've been a large part of my feeling at home in Colorado.

You will be missed.

Cat Update

Well, as expected, the Kitten Hopper has esconced himself in my brother's house, and established himself as "home".

Mom said last night he came around while company was in the house, and saw each person, then laid down right in the middle of the floor where everyone had to step over him.

After everyone was in bed, the Hopper went in and slept on my Mom's bed last night, then went to my niece's, then to Brian's. He's quite the tom-catter...he gets around.

Jack, on the other hand, Whiner Extraordinaire, has barely left the confines of the bottom of Brian's bed at my brother's house, only to come out to eat and pee.

What a little chicken.

I guess I don't have to worry about him running away. He's too afraid to even go downstairs!

It is amazing how different their personalities are.

Should...Have...Had...Brian...Install...AC...BEFORE...He...Left

It hit somewhere in the 90s today...and it sounds like we're going to be down to around 80 tomorrow before being 90s for the rest of the week.

I should have had Brian re-install the air conditioner before he left.

I'll live. But much warmer. I went to Lowes to see if there was any new technology that would make a new air conditioner any lighter than the 50-pounder I can't lift in the garage.

Nope.

That's all I'm going to say about that.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Girl Is Kicking Me.

There's just nothing quite like the feeling of my baby kicking.

Jacob never had much strength to him...when he was born at 22 weeks, he measured closer to 18 weeks, and never had the bulk to really punch me and make himself known. At least not like this.

This time is so different. I can feel her punches inside and out, and she really gets going late at night, like now as I sit at the computer.

My busy girl.

I wonder if she's active because she's awake (and will be at this hour too when she's born), or because she had creme brulee for dessert with me tonight (and is a sweets addict like her Mommy).

We're 21 weeks today -- next Thursday is the end of my fifth month, and on to six we go.

Brian and I are considering a lot of names...I like Marley (and secretly want to call her Bob at least till she's old enough to tell me to stop it), Nora (my great-grandmother's name), Elliott/Eliot but we're having trouble with too many ways to spell that one. And a host of others.

The name Jordan has been a favorite of mine for more than 10 years, but now everybody's doing it, so that's out.

It's so hard to pick names! But with her good punches, maybe we should just name her Sugar Ray or Ali.

Cat Hijacks Plane With Constant Whining and Crying

Jack and the Kitten Hopper took off on Frontier Flight 791 this morning at 8:20 a.m.

I was sure the plane would be early on the other end, because I was also sure that Jack would likely drive the pilot crazy.

You see, Jack would NOT shut up with his incessant whining and crying that began the moment I shoved him into his cage/crate/torture chamber this morning at 5:30 a.m.

The Kitten Hopper seemed a little more interested, perhaps even amused by the whole adventure. He had that coolness that is usually reserved for those people with the most extremist of positions, like John Birch Society members, The Mossad, and perhaps Al-Qaeda.

Jack on the other hand, reacted more like we sent a boy in to do a man's job. He appeared at PDX airport where my husband Brian picked him up, simpering, miserable and wet (from the water bowl apparently spilling in his crate during one of which I'm sure were several tantrums/breakdowns).

By the time Brian got them at the cargo area, the freight guy handed Jack over with a look of "I'm sorry, man."

Whereas Kitten Hopper arrived in a style befitting a 21-lb. cat. "What kind of cat IS that?" the freight guy asked Brian.

Just a plain old American house cat, Brian said as he lugged him to the car.

Well, one that never misses a meal (or Jack's either).

Welcome to Oregon, boys. I'll see you in a coupla weeks. The dog won't miss you a bit.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Clean Machine Rides Again...Into the Sunset.


The Mohr family van, which has been in the family since its birth in 1974, rode off into the sunset with a new owner and friend today.

I know there's no way I can write a proper tribute to this van. It has had two owners, first Brian's parents, and then Brian himself over its 33 years.


Long before I came into the picture, it was a family van. Later when I was in high school and college, Brian and I snuck off to McDonald's during our high school lunch breaks, hung out in pea fields in it, went on ski trips and camping trips in it too.

The van had suffered a fire inside once, and I helped Brian replace the headliner and some of the other interior panels when we found a similar 1974 Ford Van in a junkyard in Yakima.

I think one of my favorite memories was right before we got married, when we took the van up on the Mountain Loop Highway northeast of Seattle, and when we realized we had forgotten camping chairs, we pulled the full-size sofa out of the back of the van and had that next to the fire. Oh, the looks we got from the few people who drove by our campsite!

Brian's friends would likely describe being on the road in the van on band tours that covered the better half of the Western U.S., and Brian's friend Tony, who took the van, worked with Brian to put a new engine in it several years ago.

Alas, the van is so old, the prospect of moving it back with us to the West Coast seemed impractical at best, and dangerous at worst. Not to mention the expense of gas, as it gets the classic "10 gallons to the mile" that many vehicles from the 1970s do.

So today, Brian's best friend Tony came up, and after a few hours of working on it, fired it up and took it down to Pueblo.

As much as this van has been an eyesore outside my kitchen window these past 6 years, I found myself getting sentimental as Tony prepared to drive away with it.

Goodbye, Clean Machine.

Your memories live on in our family, even if you're not with us anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I (Heart) the DMV

Today was New Subaru Day at our house.

I bought a newer one (a 2000 with VERY low miles) and sold my old one (a 1995 with HIGH miles).

After all the transactions were through, I called GEICO (my insurance carrier, and if you don't have them, you should), and arranged my insurance.

Then I headed down to the DMV.

Now, last time I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is supposed to be a black hole of time and space, I got out of there so quickly (after blocking out several hours of my day for it) that I was sure my Karma debt was quite high, and there's no way I could possibly get away with that a second time.

Well, this time I not only got out of there in no time flat, but barely had to pay anything to do it!

I bought my used car for just over $10,000. At 7.72% tax, I was looking at about $775 in sales tax and licensing fees. It occurred to me to at least ask for a reduction, since we're moving to Oregon in a couple of weeks, and I didn't want to pay the entire tax if I didn't have to.

Well, the lady told me she would write me a 45-day temporary registration, and that I could wait to title the vehicle once I got to Oregon.

How much will that be?

"Two twenty-two" she said.

"Two hundred twenty-two dollars?" I asked, thinking it was steep for 45 days, but still better than $775.

"No," DMV lady said. "$2.22"

Well, I said. I have THAT in my wallet!

I had the lady laughing as I said I thought I surely owed her more than that. I was reaching into my purse and getting a Tic Tac as I said that, and she said "Well, you could give me a Tic Tac. I had a taco for lunch that just won't go away."

So, once again the DMV comes through for me. I paid $2.22 and a couple of Tic Tacs for my registration to get me going to Oregon...but then I feel an odd sense that I should not be leaving Colorado with this kind of luck.

Monday, June 11, 2007

One Small Step for Jules, One Giant Leap for Bronco Kind...

You can probably imagine how hard it is for me to look at baby clothes and really picture my daughter being here, much less dressed in this or that outfit.

Recently, my friend Delois, who has two daughters of her own, brought up several BAGS of clothes for the first year for my girl. I looked through all of it, and it being the first time, I almost felt Twilight Zone detachment from the whole thing, and couldn't believe I could possibly be looking at anything that would someday touch my child.

Then a few weeks ago, another friend sent over a couple of cute little outfits, and yesterday my friend Wendi gave me two cute little outfits, and a really beautiful little blue sweater.

Now I will admit to this: hard part about knowing I'm having a girl is wading through all the floral, pink, and the worst -- pink AND floral outfits and knowing that I'm going to have to just suck it up because our culture is so obsessed with pink being for girls, and blue being for boys.

I'm more of a RED gal myself. And I'm sure it will surprise no one that I don't wear pink (except that one maternity shirt a friend gave me, and it is OK, this once, temporarily). And it probably won't surprise you to read that I was and sort of continue to be, a tomboy.

So my fear is probably silly, but I can just see it now: my rebel daughter will probably grow up to be a pink-wearing, frou-frou, Republican just to get my goat.

But in the meantime, while she's still in my belly and reliant on me to dress her, I did take a little drive on down to Mile High Stadium today, and bought my daughter a very butch Bronco outfit. One that will make everyone ask me if she's a boy, and I'll be able to say "She's a girl, thanks, but she loves football anyway."

At least for that first year until she can talk and actually tell me "No! No football, Mommy!"

I'm looking forward to that actually.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Road to Rushmore

I took a short road trip up to Mount Rushmore this weekend. It was pretty much a spur-of-the-moment thing, as we're moving to the Coast soon and I have always meant to get up there to see it.

Since I was waiting for the house inspection stuff to come through anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and head on out of town and see a little more of the Intermountain West/Great Plains part of the country.

Boy, was it neat!

South Dakota is stunning -- the Badlands/Black Hills region is so beautiful. I loved the alpine forest, the winding roads, the small towns, the friendliness of the people who say "good morning" to you and expect it back.
On my way up, I drove through Southeastern Wyoming and its bluffs, and I did something I never do -- I listened to Country music on the radio station. I made it through two whole songs! I know I sound like my parents about rock music when I say that it "all sounds the same to me", but it does. I may be from the West, but I wasn't born to love Country, Western, or Country/Western.

After arriving late in the day in Rapid City, I checked into a hotel and got a Subway sandwich, and sat on my bed with ice on my ankle (my sprain isn't gone yet, and yes, genius that I am, I figured a nice long drive wouldn't hurt it. HA).

After a good night's sleep, I drove the few miles back towards Rushmore. I was very impressed by its size...I guess I've heard that it's "not that big" for years, so when I got there, expecting something smaller, I was glad to see it was grander than my expectations. I took a lot of pictures, then discovered the Presidential Trail, and decided to just walk up a little ways so I could see the mountain a little closer. This got me close enough to be able to stand under the Four Presidents and look straight up George Washington's nose.

One of the funny parts of traveling alone is that you pay attention to people around you more for your entertainment.

One Mom was asking her kids where they should go next -- involving them in the trail "discovery", and talking about each thing they saw. Another Mom was scolding her kid for wandering off instead of "coming here right now."

That one made me laugh. Nothing like "Mom tone" to make you laugh and realize how some things never change.
While I was at the mountain, I also realized that it's likely that this is my last road trip alone for a very long time. I can't imagine taking that kind of time, or spending that kind of money again when there's a kid to feed, at least not for a while.

So on my drive back later that afternoon I savored my solitude that much more. So few people get the luxury of being able to be alone, go on a little trip, or listen to whatever they want to on the radio. But for this weekend, I did.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Don't Try This At Home.

I have a friend named Karla who lives north of here and she and I have held the great debate a couple of times (only when we're drunk enough to pull up our shirts) as to who is whiter than the other.

While she wins in the pasty white girl category, only because I think she's got more Irish in her than I do...I do get the pasty white girl's cankles that come from my lovely Danish grandmother, who's thankfully dead so she can't read this and be mortified by my obvious inability to be discreet.

This picture is of my ankle after the fall I suffered a couple of days ago. My ankle bones can't even be seen...and the puffiness is sorta cool. When you push on it, it sorta moves over, then back.

While I am embarrassed by my ankles enough to never wear skirts or shorts outside of a 25-foot radius of my house, I am rather impressed by the bruising and swelling. When I put ice on my ankle and elevate it for a while, it actually looks thin.

And while I'm thinking of long list of hopes and dreams for my daughter, let's just add my husband's metabolism and prettier legs to the list of things I hope she gets from him instead of me.

Oh, and the ability to open a garage door without taking a header off the back steps.

On Days I Fancy Myself A Good Writer...

When I read this blog -- http://www.dooce.com -- I realize just how mediocre a writer I really am.

I know I don't completely suck...but I'm sure those of you bloggers out there know what I'm talking about. There's that turn of the phrase, that smartass remark, that gin-eh-sey-quaw (phonetic spelling of "I don't know what the hell it is" in French) that just makes a blog sing.

The gal's blog started out innocently enough as all of ours do...but eventually she made the news for being at least among the first to be fired from her job for blogging, when blogging was fresh and new.

Let's think back a moment when the word "blogosphere" was just being coined.

OK. Back to reality. Ms. Armstrong's among one of the funnier people I read...so if you'll take a minute to stop on by, you'll see what kind of writing style I find to be the most entertaining, and I'll bet you do too.

Sometimes her entries are long, sometimes short, but always with a joke that makes me laugh and realize that my family is not nearly as screwed up as hers.

Although I can totally identify with her on one thing about family resemblance and the curse that comes with it: I got my Mom's Danish ankles.

But like Mom says "They may not be pretty, but they work."

That pretty much sums up my life.

When Neighbors Are Stupid

My Quiet As A Church Mouse neighbor Anna came over last weekend (like Saturday or so) and asked if I could move Brian's van from her parking spot in front of her house...and I told her I'd be glad to get someone to help me move it, but since Brian was gone and I was PG, I couldn't do it alone.

I talked to Brian about it on the phone and he said he had to put it there because when he went to move it after the street sweeping, there was nowhere else to put it. Otherwise, he never would have parked it there to begin with.

Well, later on Saturday when the car moved that was in our way, and on Sunday too -- I looked for Anna but she wasn't around to help me move it. Then I sprained my ankle on Monday and obviously it wasn't at the top of my mind to move the van, I couldn't even operate the non-power brakes on the thing, much less get someone to push it for me.

So this morning I get a drop-in visit from Denver Police, who say I have to move the van. I told the officer that I had sold the car and had a week before the guy was going to get it. I told him I was pregnant so I couldn't do it alone, my husband is out of town, and that I had talked with my neighbor about moving the van, but then I hurt my ankle (and showed him my ace bandaged foot).

Poor cop felt sorry for me. He didn't ticket it, just let me know that I needed to get it moved today.

I'm SO MAD at my neighbor! DH and I have BOTH SHOVELED HER WALK during the winter storms we had, and DH MOWS HER LAWN in the spring because he's a NICE GUY and she can't wait to get that van moved even though there are spaces on either side of it???

I just wrote her a note and told her I called Brian in Seattle and asked him to get a friend to help move it because the cops were called, and that I'd sprained my ankle...and that I was VERY disappointed that she didn't talk to me again because I thought we had agreed to work together on this and that we we were good enough neighbors not to have be involving the police in such matters.

I tried so hard to be as accommodating as possible and told her I'd be happy to get the van moved as soon as I could. I just never dreamed that she'd call the cops without talking to me first (Yes, even a second time...I thought we were friendly enough neighbors to do that, considering our previous conversation).

There are times like this when I just wonder what is wrong with people. I'm non-confrontational and easy to please with the neighbors. So many have stopped by and said how sorry they are to see us go because we're "such good people", etc.

Then this. As a friend said -- too bad I can't dump all the snow and grass clippings from the past 3 years back onto her lawn & sidewalk to make her see all she's gotten from us over the years.

Harumph.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm a Genius, I Tell You...

OK, maybe I'm not a genius.

Maybe I'm an idiot.

I fell today. Pretty hard, but "just" on my ankle.

It is VERY sore.

Wanna hear how I did this?

I went outside to take care of getting the big recycling bin to the curb, and I got the thing out of its spot, then went up the steps to hit the garage door opener. I thought I'd gone up 2 steps, when I had actually gone up three.

I turned around expecting a few-inch drop, and met with more like a foot. I stepped into thin air, and as I fell, I had that super-slo-mo feeling that simultaneously comes with "oh shit" and CRACK. I landed on my ankle, followed by a knee and both hands.

It actually was quite a nice stunt roll, as I would have chosen to land on my face before I would have hit my tummy.

I thought I broke it for a second. Then there's that lovely rush of adrenaline that makes you feel like you actually CAN get the recycling bin to the curb and be fine.

Then I got back, and realized I needed to lay down, ice and elevate it, which I did.

After talking to the nurse and establishing that nothing was probably broken, since it didn't swell much and isn't purple or out of joint...I'll wait til tomorrow to see somebody. But chances are some damage is done, if nothing else a really good sprain.

It's funny how you don't realize how good you have it til something hurts.

Smart, huh.

I Am Not Alone...



Last night as I tried to get to sleep, I kept feeling a "knock knock" on my belly.

It was in the same spot, not rhythmic at all, just a message from our little girl saying "Hi Mom" and "I'm in here!".

It's been stronger just these past couple of days...Very odd to have that sudden feeling of "Hey, what's THAT?!?" then realizing "Oh yeah, it's the baby."

I'm not alone!

SOLD

In less than 48 hours, my old house has been sold (or at least is under contract) to a friend of my next door neighbors'.

Now we just need to pass inspection, and we're good to go!

So strange to have that feeling of temporary-ness in this house. I do love it and will miss it a lot. Especially now that everything that was broken is now fixed. Ha.

I also sold my Subaru to a friend's cousin yesterday. He'll take it off my hands after I get the new one I'm buying next week.

So far, so good!

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