Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm Living In The Twilight Zone

It's May 31st, and my tabs expire TODAY. So, first I go to the testing place and my car passes emissions (miracle of miracles)...then I go to the DMV and I DID NOT WAIT FOR A SINGLE SECOND! I took a number and it popped up, and the lady who was serving me was actually READING THE PAPER and waiting for a customer!


THEN I bought a lottery ticket yesterday just for the heck of it...I think it's been 5 years since the last one...and I check the numbers this morning and found out I matched 4 numbers, so I won $40!

I'm feeling so lucky, I think I need to go up to Blackhawk and gamble

Scary Clean

I'm not a housekeeper by nature. I'm more of a "uh oh, it's starting to look like a tornado struck, so let's clean" kinda gal.

That said, I don't like dirty bathrooms or dirty kitchens, but the day that everything is clean ALL at the same time is a rare one, and it usually involves my husband Brian doing most of the work. Musician that he is, he's naturally a clean freak.

Yes, that was a joke.

But he really is a clean freak and a musician, and it does seem like a contradiction in terms.

Now, Brian left for parts beyond Colorado last weekend, and left me to get the house on the market. I have cleaned, dusted, touch-up painted, done some major and minor construction, and packed about 80% of my life into boxes and shoved them into storage.

As of today, my house is on the market. There's a big sign in the front yard, and here I sit in Pristineville and I'm afraid to do anything except sit on the computer for fear I'll mess up the house.

I'm tolerating my pets. Who naturally are not going to give a blip if I just cleaned this or that...they like to deposit hair and pee wherever they've done it before, with no consideration to all the work I've done.

I hope someone just buys my house soon. I hate living in scary clean conditions.

Who lives like this anyway? Anyone?

And I mean, Anyone who's not trying to sell their house?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Victory Over Plumbing is MINE.

It all started innocently enough.

But then, doesn't it always?

About five hours after Brian left town on a trip came The Drip.

Then a steady stream coming from the bathroom sink last night.

I knew where the water shutoff was. I figured I'd replace a washer in the morning, and I'd be done.

But NOoooooooooooooooooo.

I started to disassemble it, and before long I had stripped the threads, bent some copper stuff, and lo and behold, I was getting out more and more large tools and ripping the #*%&(@()*@$ out of the sink.

I never did find any washer.

My friend Delois came over and helped me remove the last vestiges of the old fixture because my hands were raw from wrenching on things that I have no torque to remove.

Back to Lowe's with me to buy a new fixture, which I did.

OK, here's a cutie shot of Delois' daughter Abigail who crawled under the sink to "help"!

Actually installation was nothing...but boy howdy, did that wreck my plans for today!

Friday, May 25, 2007

We Have A Healthy Baby Coming!

We have a HEALTHY little one in there!

Heart, Head, Spine, Tummy, Cord, Kidneys, Arms, Legs, It's ALL GOOD. Everything is measuring right at 18 weeks 1 day or so, so we're just a few days ahead.

We are SO RELIEVED! I can't even believe how much that made us feel so much better. DH was CRYING in the car on the way back.











(We didn't have a crotch shot, but the doctor said we should see some "twigs & berries" sticking out, and there weren't they're thinking Team Pink!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

I'd post a picture but I've already packed the scanner. I'll have to shoot a picture of the ultrasound and post it later just for posterity. ;)

Today's Big U Day

This has been a tough week, a tough month, heck, a tough year.

But today is one of those days that could go one of two directions. Toughest ever, or "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I can breathe."


Today is Big Ultrasound Day. It's the day we go to look at our baby with a perinatologist at the Big Ultrasound machine to look at our baby and make sure that everything's ok.

Most people treat the Big Ultrasound as just a chance to see if they're having a boy or a girl. But it's so much more than that. The Big Ultrasound is a Level II ultrasound done between 18-20 weeks (about midway through the pregnancy), where they measure every little thing, from its leg bones, head circumference, to checking to make sure its major organs are in place and that the heart has four of everything it should -- four chambers -- four valves.

When Brian and I went to our ultrasound last year in June with Jacob, we had no idea that within 24 hours, our lives would be completely turned upside down.

You see, we thought we had "made it". After three early pregnancy losses, Jacob was the first to make it past the first trimester. All the literature says that once you get out of that first 12-13 weeks, you have less than a 5% chance of things going wrong.

Well, we were part of that 5 percent. Last time, anyway.

When people get pregnant after a loss (and I say people because Dads are expectant too), they often feel better once getting past that stage of their last loss.

For us, today is the day.

It's 5:45 a.m., and in 15 minutes, Brian will get up and it's Garage Sale day at our house. Thankfully, we'll be busy this morning, and when we go at 2 p.m. today, we'll hopefully see everything we need to assure us that this pregnancy is on track.

I have to say I do believe this baby is ok. I just need some proof and a pat on the shoulder from my favorite perinatologist.

It's not to say that I'll truly exhale until I'm counting fingers and toes on the baby in October, but it sure will help.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Doing The Time Warp

You know how time just bends sometimes?

I was just thinking to myself how it had to have been at least a week since I last blogged, and I looked at the calendar and saw that in fact, it had been all of three days.

Brian and I have worked hard to get the house ready to sell. We have the pokiest plumber on the planet working on the tub surround (thanks to my friend Delois, I have somewhere to shower at will), and that job's snail's pace alone feels like it's taking an eternity.

We've packed a good deal of the house. Right now a mere shell of what was once a crowded house is left. Nearly all knick-knacks, deluxe junk, and clutter has been cleared. Excess dishes, clothes and towels and other items have been packed into the garage and other places for storage.

And someone came to see our house before it's even on the market, and we found out today they're coming back again to see it tomorrow. Very encouraging news that sell a house before it even hits the market would be FABULOUS.

I'm so tired, I feel like I have to watch it so I actually finish my sentences. I feel like this week has lasted forever...and like my layoff 3 weeks ago happened a year ago.

Tired. Exhausted. Ready to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Off to bed with me, but not before I say this:

The baby is doing well -- I feel more kicks and moves every day. And in about 40 hours we'll be peeking at it via ultrasound to see if it's as healthy as we think it is. We have considered checking gender and not checking gender, but so far the kid has not been cooperative, so it may be out of our hands anyway.

All we're praying for is healthy!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary To Us

It's been seven years!

I've known my husband Brian since I was 14. I met him in the summer of 1981, just before my freshman year in high school, and he was a junior. His big brother David and my brother Jeff were best friends, and Brian was "tagging along" when he came over to our house to play D&D or Risk or something equally geeky. I fell for him immediately.

I chased him all through high school and college, and most of the time he ran the other way. I even joined band with my Dad's trumpet so I could have a class with him my sophomore year. We didn't date until my senior year when he came home from college for Christmas Break, and then we dated for years off and on, mostly off, until he went to graduate school in Colorado, and we broke up "permanently". I married someone else the next year.

He showed up in my life a few times while I was married (since his sister married my brother he was in the family), and he played music at my Dad's funeral, but other than that I didn't see him much.

After I got divorced in 1996, DH called me out of the blue in 1998 (yeah, nothing like waiting a good 2 years, LOL) and said he was coming to Seattle for a camping trip and some friend's wedding, and asked if I wanted to have lunch with him. I was dating someone at the time, so nothing happened. Except Brian kept trying to hold my hand the whole time. LOL. We went to a mutual friend's house for dinner, and Alison took me to the store, and we were barely in the car when she blurted out "WHY AREN'T YOU TWO TOGETHER?". I told her I lived in Seattle and he was in Denver, and.. and.. and.. excuses. When I left Brian that night I gave him a hug that he said "lasted long enough that I knew I still meant something to you."

By the end of the summer, I had broken up with the guy I was seeing, and Brian got an internet connection, and before we knew it, we were talking to each other in AOL chat rooms and sending e-mails. By the next spring, I came to see him in Denver, and by the next summer of 1999, he moved to Seattle to be with me and we quickly got engaged.

In the spring of 2000, 5/20/2000, DH and I married in his parents' back yard. It was a beautiful day, and his brother Peter performed the ceremony, and most of the family was either in the wedding or did something for it. The few non-relative friends who came said they felt like they crashed a family reunion, since both sides knew each other so well. Brians sister Judy and my brother Jeff had been married for 13 years at that point.

DH and I have walked through fire together these past 5 years of trying to have a baby. And as you know some things have been rougher than others, but we've stuck together, with a love that's true. This morning he and I woke up and I showed him my tummy, and it MOVED. We both sat there (while I tried holding my breath) and watched the kid go from side to side a couple of times before settling in. We're 17 weeks today.

I love my Brian more than anything. He has proved his love and devotion to me, and I try to do the same. He is, as my mom says, like my father who was "loyal, faithful & true."

AND, I must add, he's a good kisser.

Thanks for letting me share.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home Sweet Dusty Home

I love our house here in Denver.

Not everyone knows the story of how I came to this house...My husband rented it with a bunch of guys for years before buying it himself, then continuing to rent rooms to his friends.

About the time Brian and I were talking to each other, but not really dating, me in Seattle and he here in Denver, he bought the house. And within a couple of years, he moved out to Seattle, we got married, and eventually we moved back to this house in the Northwest corner of the Mile High City.

I love this place in a lot of respects. When we got here, there was a dartboard in the kitchen, a keg fridge on the front porch, and no one had dutifully painted anything, fixed any fixtures, or uncluttered anything. For years.

There were a few guys here sharing our house over the course of a few years. Some were more horrified than others to find a girl among them. One in particular would rather I just hadn't shown up at all, as I immediately took charge of cleaning out the house of things no one owned, and making space for the truckload of stuff I brought with me.

I remember asking as I pulled a large, dark and foreboding painting of a knight in full armor off the wall whose it was, and the answer was "I don't know. It was here when I moved in," by all three of our guys. OK, so it goes to the dumpster, I'd say.

Not everyone was thrilled with my get-the-crap-outta-here attempts at decluttering.
Not to mention the constant construction zone I created when I started making all the improvements.

To make it easy for you to picture how bad things were: When I arrived, the toilet in the lone bathroom was held together by a chopstick.

No joke.

I've painted every room IN the house. I've painted the exterior. I've replaced all the light fixtures except maybe one. New kitchen flooring, new front porch flooring, bad panelling down, new moulding up, new fixtures in all sinks, tubs, and toilets. All things that desperately needed to be done.

I'll never forget Bob Gray coming over after having been gone for a few years to teach in Taiwan, and his exclamation over the house's transformation.

"I didn't think this place could be saved!" he said.

But it was saved.

I can say that I'll miss this house. I love old houses in general, because they're quirky, and the result of many different people having lived in the same space, though not together. There are upgrades that say something about each person, or lack of upgrades, and still others like mine that perhaps someone will notice, perhaps they won't.

But in the midst of all this bragging about what I HAVE done for this house, let me tell you my downfall. I am a horrible duster.

As I'm going through my house deciding what stays, what goes, what sells at the garage sale tomorrow -- I'm finding that my lack of dusting in this house has done nothing but kick up all the dust that's gathered in those hard-to-reach, often-not-perhaps-never dusted spots. And so I sneeze.

But I will miss this home, sweet dusty home.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Things That Need Improvement

I've made a couple of observations lately, namely two products in my life that need improvement.

One: Who needs "medium hold" hairspray? Why do they bother? Are there actually people out there who want to have their hair held in one place, only for half the day? Or maybe just not that well to begin with?

As I'm going through my bathroom "decluttering" it before we put it on the market, I'm finding a number of hair products that I've tried, but that have failed me miserably. Instead of tossing them (because they're practically full), I keep them for that day that I might run out of the products I actually use.

I don't care if anyone touches my hair, so if it doesn't look completely shellacked, but it doesn't move either, that's my kind of hair product. I like Fructis Fiber Gum Putty for a gel (maximum strength, thank you) to get my hair to go where it should. But Garnier makes the crappiest hairspray ever, so I move on to the cheap but highly effective rave 4xmega hairspray. Holds it without looking like it's trying.

All maximum strength for me, thanks. I do my hair but once a day, max.

Two: I'm usually not a breakfast person, except when I'm taking prenatal vitamins, I'm forced to eat something before I down the vitamins, so cereal is the best.

LIFE cinnamon flavored cereal is the perfect cereal, except that you feel like you have 30 seconds to eat it before it turns to mush. There's nothing like pouring milk into the bowl and suddenly realizing you don't have a spoon and knowing you've lost that many more seconds of crunchy goodness.

I don't need that kind of stress.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Bittersweet Mother's Day

Today I woke up to the feeling of a gentle "bump" in my belly. My baby, on today of all days, decided to make sure I knew s/he was here.

It's Mother's Day here in the States, and today I am also 16 weeks pregnant.

It's a bittersweet day for me today. Anyone who has struggled with infertility or loss, or both, knows that Mother's Day can be a tough day.

I took the small heart-shaped urn that has Jacob's ashes in it and held it in the palm of my hand, shed several tears, and told my boy I will always miss him and never forget him.

No matter how many children you have, if you've lost one due to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, new children never replace the ones you lost.

And yet, this morning waking up to the gentle "bump" of the kicks of my new baby, I had to smile, because my future is in there, and s/he has no idea what a gift they gave me today. Instead of just crying, I can smile at the same time today.

And for that I am thankful to my little one.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms, those with children both in heaven and on earth. And for those who have suffered as I have, a gentle hug to you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Home to Oregon

There's this funny thing about home. Home is such a weird idea really. It's not so much a place for many people. My brother the consumate traveller said that "home is where your suitcase is."

But for my husband it's Colorado. For me it will always be the Northwest, specifically Oregon and Washington states.

Brian and I both grew up in the Northwest, but we were also born in different countries. When people ask me where I'm from, it's always been a tough one to answer. I was born in Brazil to American parents who were there for 8 years, then moved back to the States.

We lived first in Eastern Oregon, the Western Washington, and I lived in Seattle for the first 15 years of my adult life, and I finally felt like I had a city that I could call my adopted home.

For years, I felt like an odd-man out, just because I never belonged anywhere. I used to envy people whose roots were deep, whose families had spent generations in one spot.

As early as my Dad's early childhood, those roots existed in my family too. Grandma Peterson lived for 60 years in one house on 2395 High Street in a town not far from Portland, and until she died, it was the house that emotionally anchored me and my family because we knew that was the one thing that did not change in the midst of all our moves.

My Dad was born and raised in Oregon -- mostly in and around Portland, and went to the University of Oregon. Mom always joked that he was such an Oregon Duck that he had webbed feet.

Jokes against the Oregon State Beavers go like this recent line from my brother, who said "I have a friend named John and he might be able to find you a house in the area. Aside from being a Beaver, he is fairly trustworthy..."

My husband accepted a position in Oregon today.

He's actually happy about it now, and seems to enjoy the prospect of a new adventure and a new start for our family. This wasn't taken lightly, given how much we both love it here in Denver.

But in the end, I think it is the best decision. We will be moving soon, from the Rocky Mountain state to the Oregon Territory, a move that I never thought would happen, but now I'm thrilled to say IS going to happen. We'll live within an hour or two of my Mom and brother, and just a few away from my sister and other family.
We'll live near the coast, my gorgeous Pacific Ocean, where I still stand as an adult, feeling so small and delightfully insignificant, and trying to picture Japan and China at the other end of the horizon.

A much as I'll miss Colorado, there will be no more Christmases alone and wishing we could get home. And what really does it for me is that I smile at the thought of my baby growing up knowing his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Anticipation...It's Making Me Crazy

I'm not a patient person.

I hate waiting.

We have a few irons in the fire when it comes to employment. My husband has been offered a job on the West Coast near family, and we're seriously considering taking it. Meanwhile, I've interviewed here for a couple of jobs, and then I sit and wait...because answers never come in bundles. I can't accept something here if I'm moving there. I wait for an answer and a phone call that I know is coming, but nonetheless, I'm not patient about waiting, even while I'm doing it.

I've been in the newspaper business for most of my adult life, or working in some version of marketing and advertising when I wasn't at a newspaper.

I quit working for newspapers in 2001 when I moved to Denver, primarily because at that point in my life it had been ALL I'd ever done since I was 18, and I wanted to find out what the Real World was like.

Once I found out, I was happy to return to the newspaper business. It is unique in a lot of ways, in that it carries isn't just another business selling services, but is part of the social justice, government watchdog class of businesses, of which there are so very few and of which are so very important.

I got laid off from my last job in part because the business itself is changing -- and not necessarily for the better. People are choosing a million other ways to advertise, from Craigslist to CareerBuilder and, instead of running ads in the newspaper. Smaller newspapers=smaller staff, and I was one of them.

I am unsure of whether to continue in what is essentially, a dying business. I consider other options to use my journalism degree (besides blogging), and I wonder what lies ahead.

So I work on the house, I consider what I'd need to sell this place if we do move, and I start working on it, then wonder if I should bother since we're not 100% sure yet. Then I think I need to get moving because if we DO decide to go, we'll need the house on the market and it has to be ready.

Aren't I a fun circular thinker?

Anticipation. That song by Carly Simon keeps popping in my head. I have murderous thoughts of that big mouthed, toothy singer and the stupid Ketchup commercial that stole/borrowed/bought the song.

The one lyric keeps popping in my head:
Anticipation...It's making me wait.

I may be doing it anyway, but it doesn't change the fact that I hate waiting.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mouthful of Cat

My kitten Jack's usual favorite spot at night is to escounce himself right between Brian and me. But this morning, he was on my side, cuddling and purring.

I yawned, bigger and longer than usual apparently, because Jack thought he might check out that new cavern that just opened up in Jules' head.

When my mouth snapped shut, the cat got a little surprise, and so did I~.

Hmm, I'm not sure which is grosser. A mouthful of cat, or the fact that Jack was so curious about my morning-breath mouth.

Friday, May 04, 2007

No Paparazzi, Please!

We saw the kid today. I call him/her Pumpkin because the due date is right around Halloween, in case I haven't mentioned it.

Pumpkin apparently thought that the Lucky Charms I had for a snack before our appointment were quite tasty, because s/he was dancing a little jig on her little sugar high, so we could barely stop the frame enough at the ultrasound to look at it again.

Lots of top-of-the-head shots, a shot of the feet (lounging for exactly a split second, crossed at some point), and well, we tried to see gender since it's just late enough we could see a little wee-wee if s/he was a he...but we couldn't get a look there either.

I don't believe for one minute it was shyness, because that doesn't run in the family.

Pumpkin's head and leg (femur) are measuring at about 16 weeks -- the head 16 weeks 3 days, and about 16 right on for the leg. Considering we're not quite 15 weeks, that's a great thing.

Ahead is good.

We didn't get a picture today for no particular reason except I didn't ask and she didn't offer. But as I stared at the screen, I imagined the arms that come up in front of Pumpkin's face are just one of those movements that say "No pictures, please! No paparazzi!"

It was neat to see the little kid. I never get bored looking at my baby, wondering what's going to happen next in this crazy "routine" pregnancy I never thought I'd live to see.

Another Appointment Today!

I have a 3:30 appointment to peek at the kid today. I can't wait to see the little tyke.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I Need To Know Where We're Going

Brian and I have been having a pretty big conversation lately. I don't usually bring marriage type stuff to my blog, since this is, after all, a fairly public place.

But I feel the need to type this out.

Brian has been offered a job in Washington State, near both our families. He doesn't want it mostly because he doesn't want to sell the house and leave Colorado.

I, on the other hand, have been laid off from my second job in a row here, and feel less connected to this city & state, and would love to live near family, especially with a baby on the way.

The job doesn't start out paying a lot, but it's a living wage and there is a lot of potential for quick growth. It's in a field Brian would even enjoy.

Brian's currently working two jobs at absurd hours, and very low pay. One of these jobs is even temporary, so it will be over in September, and then we'll have one job between us, which is part time. This new job would give him a normal working week and he'd make as much or more than he is now.

You'd think he'd do this for the family, but instead all I get is push back.

I certainly thought a pregnant unemployed wife who wants to go home would trump the "I don't wanna's" coming out of my husband, but that's not the case.

It seems to make sense to everyone else I discuss it with. Yet he still thinks that he is right in resisting.

Never in a million years did I think that if I ever had to say "Take me home" under these conditions (with me pregnant and jobless, with a great job opportunity waiting for him) did I think my husband would balk at me. I always thought he'd say "Sure hon, let me take you home," even if he did lament leaving Denver.

Please pray for us.


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