Children's Journals

This is my journal, with posts mainly about myself. If you want to see posts specifically about Maia or Liam, check out the links to their journals under the "My Interests" section on the right side of my blog page.

Belly Picture Comparison

View Belly Picture Camparison for Second Pregnancy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gingerbread Houses, thou art the invention of the Devil

Seriously. I am pretty sure that whoever thought up gingerbread house kits was dabbling in the evil side of things a bit. Having never made one before, they always sounded fun. Lots of edible things that you use to build something colorful and fun. Totally awesome, right?


So, I had bought a kit to make with Liam, and I finally got around to having the time to sit with him and do it (yeah yeah, I know, it's after Christmas). It was a bit later than I wanted it to be, but I figured we wouldn't try to use up all the candy, so we should be able to do it quickly (ha haa haaaaa). I got the base set up, and pulled out the pieces of the kit, all the while Liam asking if he can eat the house yet. I open the candy bags and dump them into little bowls, warning him to not eat them just yet. I put the pieces of gingerbread to the side. I look for the tube of icing...and instead find only a bag of powdery sugar. A bag that tells me I have to mix up the icing. What?! I have to mix it up? I don't DO kitchen stuff. I have rarely used a mixer in my life. But here it is, telling me to use one, and that I have to get the icing the right consistency. A sure way to set me up for failure. I balk and complain about it for about 5 minutes, all the while Liam asking me repeatedly if he can eat the candy yet.

I finally suck it up and drag out the mixer and a bowl and proceed to mix up the icing. Well, I proceed to blanket the kitchen in a cloud of confectioners sugar, and little blobby balls of sugar/water mixture. It takes way more water than they say it should. Eventually it turns from powdery pearls into sludge that resembles toothpaste. Finally ready to assemble. I let Liam have one little piece of candy in celebration.

I proceed to spoon some of the icing into the decorator bag they provided, and then turn to the directions to see how to put the tip on it. The directions tell me to put the tip into the bag first, then cut a hole, THEN put the icing into the I stand there for a minute, trying to breath deeply and calmly. And then proceed to stick the decorator tip down into the icing with my hands. I get halfway before it's just too much for me to bear. I abandon the tip and clean the sticky slather off my hands and find some pointy skewer-like object to jam the tip down the rest of the way. Then cut a hole in the tip of the decorator bag itself. It seems to work. But apparently you have to twist the top of the bag super, not even just super tight, but fold it over, then twist it again, then fold it a few more times, and then twisty-tie it shut, and then maybe tape it, before folding it one more time...because otherwise I don't see how you can prevent the sugary sticky mess of mortar from somehow making it's way out of the bag from the back end, all over your hands and shirt and tablecloth and chairs and floor and 3-year-old-son.

I manage to glue two walls onto the base, but they won't really stay upright, even when holding them together for the full 3 minutes they mention. So I use soup cans to kind of shore them up, and truck onwards with the rest of the walls. Liam is still asking about eating more candy, so I relent and let him have another piece. I then get ready to put the roof on, and wonder if it will hold. I check the directions. They tell me to wait at least an hour before trying to put the roof on. Gritting my teeth, I read on further in case there is anything else I should have read. I get to the part that says that after putting the roof on, I should wait 2-3 hours before attempting to decorate the house.

After my head finishes exploding and I call my mom to complain about the evil ways of gingerbread houses, I decide I don't really care what the darn instructions say. I glue the roof on (after struggling with getting the icing flowing again, preferably out the tip and not out the back end all over my hand). I use more cans to shore up the roof, sealing in two of the soup cans inside (will have to remember those later). I give it a few minutes to set, letting Liam eat a few more pieces of candy in celebration (and so there isn't as much to put on the darn house).

Finally, I let Liam get down to business. I pipe...hah, pipe...more like blop...okay...blop on icing here and there, and he presses candy into them. They slide pathetically downward. He starts to learn to hold them in place, first counting to three, and then upping the ante by going up to six, and then ten...and then just doing random numbers, ending with 20 most of the time. I think he made up a few numbers in there. Most of them stuck, but a few still refused to disobey gravity and pooled at the bottom of his walls. Still, at the end, he still had something that resembled a house. He wasn't hopped up on too much sugar (shhh, I can delude myself), and neither of us were stuck to the furniture (yet).

He had fun. I, on the other hand, will never touch a gingerbread house again.

Monday, December 27, 2010

24 Weeks

More people are starting to feel the baby move, as we had holiday get-togethers this past weekend. Even Liam finally felt the baby move and looked delighted. And I am noticing more than just the kicks, I am feeling the sliding movements, as well as something round jammed into my side at one point..probably a head.

Here is a baby picture as well as the official baby info:

Your Baby This Week
Your baby is getting heavier to carry, and you may feel the stress. At the same time, you may experience profound joy, knowing your little one is growing healthy and strong!
Your bundle of joy is looking more angelic every day, gaining weight (she's more than 16 ounces or .45 kg), growing longer (over 8 inches or 20 cm) and filling out! Your baby is also starting to produce white blood cells, which will help fight infection after she leaves your body and enters the world. You may be surprised to notice that your baby responds to the sound of your voice or even the touch of your hand on your tummy by quieting down or occasionally increasing activity as a way of communicating with you!

Your Body This Week
You weight gain is beginning to accelerate to about one pound (.45 kg) per week, so symptoms like lower back pain and swollen feet may increase. Periodically resting for 15 to 20 minutes can help. Beginning this week, your health care provider will start monitoring you for gestational diabetes (high blood sugar levels during pregnancy). If you are gaining a lot of weight, blood testing is imperative, as excessive weight gain is typically a symptom. Some women also report feeling some depression around this time. While feelings of sadness usually pass within a few weeks, talk to your caregiver if they don't.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas....and Christmas Heartaches

A very Merry Christmas to everyone out there, to all my friends and family, my loved ones. Of course, this being the time of year to be with the ones you love, it's especially hard this particular Christmas. Last Christmas I had all four grandparents, and a great grandmother. This Christmas I just have one grandmother. I lost three relatives in the span of 2 weeks, and the four just over a month later. And now, it's the holiday season, and I miss them more than ever. It seems surreal that they aren't here. Like a bad dream, like it really can't be like's so unfair that they are not here with us. I want them back and it aches to know I can't have them back. All I can do is remember them, and bury myself in the love of those still around me.

Merry Christmas again, to those around me, and to those I have lost.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slave to the Yarn

For the first time, I probably feel like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee does around Christmas. Too much knitting, not enough time to knit gifts. I usually don't even knit gifts for Christmas. Every now and then I have a neat idea and knit up something for someone. But this year, somehow I decided to do one gift for someone...and then another...and another....and since I made this decision back in October, it seemed completely doable to take on all the projects I planned to do. Most were pretty simple.
Well, don't know what happened, but here I am, less than 4 days before Christmas, knitting like a fiend every moment I get. I have dropped most of the projects I planned to do, and one of them is now being finished after Christmas. And I might have to wrap another still on the needles. But the rest I can't really do that with, and so I am insane, sacrificing sleep and a clean house and my sanity, in order to get it done in time. Will I make it? Check back in a few days...we'll see.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Still pregnant, 23 weeks

The baby has definite periods of kicking, mainly mid-morning, mid-afternoon, late evening, and when I am laying down at night. Pretty neat. And I can feel the baby sliding around more, too, not just kicking. I hope the baby will kick a good amount for people on Christmas Eve and Christmas, so that they can feel it. Still haven't had a chance to get Liam to feel the kicking, since he's never around when it's happening steadily.
I weighed myself....120 lbs! I am right where I need to be, which is good because I've always been about two or three pounds behind. I need to keep up with the weight gain, although I really to work on eating better. There is so much good stuff out there and I have been too busy to make sure I eat it. Shame on me.
I am also a full yard around, a little more actually. So growing pretty good. Even though it's very obvious that I am pregnant, I am still encountering coworkers (that I see on a relatively regular basis) that are surprised to find out I am pregnant. Do they think I look fat? Miss Moo Miller, the fatty mini-cow? *sigh*

Anyway, here is the official info from BabyFit for 23 weeks:

(Baby's Off to Dreamland)
Shh! Baby's sleeping! He or she can drift into deeper sleep, known as rapid eye movements (or REM), and baby can dream, too. Just what is baby dreaming about? Meeting you, of course! (Most likely, baby is dreaming about daily life inside the womb--playing with the umbilical cord or hearing your voice.)

(Your Baby This Week )
Your baby weighs about a pound (.45 kg) and is approximately 8 inches (20 cm) long. No more fruit comparisons--now he looks like a perfect, little doll!
Although his skin is still wrinkled, it's starting to plump out as he continues to gain weight and develop more fat. He looks more and more like a "real" baby now, but sometimes the fine hair covering your baby's body grows a little dark around this time.

(Your Body This Week)
As the weight of your uterus once again shifts to rest on your bladder, you may have more problems holding urine. But be aware that a "gush" of liquid or constant leaking could mean that you are losing amniotic fluid, and you should call your doctor right away. You may also experience some emotional mood swings--unexpected highs and lows and maybe even some tears or fears. Emotional swings are linked to normal hormone activity and should pass as your pregnancy progresses. If not, mention it to your doctor.

Happy Birthday, Dawn

Just wanted to wish my sister-in-law a Happy Birthday.

(yes, I haven't remembered to do that on here for anyone else except my husband since I started this birthday Mom, Dad, Dave, Jackie, Sandy, Rachel, Grandmom, Danamarie, and Cole).

Monday, December 13, 2010

22 Weeks or 5 Months

Today I am 22 weeks pregnant. Or 5 months pregnant, for those that prefer to go by months. I feel pretty much the same as last week. A lot more kicking from the baby, which Matt can feel, but no one else really has since the baby doesn't kick all the time. Mainly when I lay down at night, a lot in the morning, and throughout the day at random times. I still haven't gotten a chance to get Liam to feel the kicking.
I am having more soreness again, I guess from ligament stretching. Ugh. And it's hard to move around and to sit down and get back up. I am having more shortness of breath, and definitely periods of heaviness in my heart, which I remember as precursors to me passing out. Hopefully I won't experience that this time around. *sigh*

Here is the belly picture from this week. I PROMISE that as soon as Christmas is past, I will create a page that shows all the belly pictures together for comparison. As well as updating a lot of other areas of my website that are behind. I just have some gifts to finish knitting for Christmas, so I have no spare time.

Official info:
You and baby are both eager to meet each other! Your baby is kicking up a storm, and you feel like you're getting bigger every day.
Your baby weighs more than 12 ounces (.35 kg) and is more than 7 inches (18 cm) long! Baby's eyelids and eyebrows have developed and her muscles are growing stronger--something you can feel by the strength of the movement in your tummy! Your baby is probably moving more regularly now-not just once in a while! After birth, she'll recognize the songs you sing or play for her now, resulting in a soothing effect.

Although your tummy is growing, you should still feel comfortable and energetic enough to bend over easily and move around. Your sex drive may be increasing, and if your health care provider says it's OK, this can be a great chance for intimate bonding with your partner. If you are feeling exceptionally tired, make certain to get a blood test for anemia, which is common during pregnancy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

21 Weeks

The weeks keep ticking by. Not much has changed since my last post, at least in terms of how I feel, etc. Still tired more than I want to be. The baby has phases of rest, and of energetic kicking (though I know this will get even stronger). I know at this point that others would definitely be able to feel the baby kicking, it's just a matter of timing things right and catching the baby when he/she actually is kicking.

Official info:
Your baby weighs more than 10 ounces (.28 kg) and is slightly longer than 7 inches (17 cm), which is about the size of a large banana--but what a personality! The rapid growth phase has slowed, but organs and other body systems continue to mature. The swallowing reflex is in full swing and your baby will begin to "drink" amniotic fluid, which helps his digestive system to develop.
Your baby's oil glands are also starting to produce a waxy substance known as the vernix caseosa, which soothes and protects his skin in the amniotic fluid. And the buds for permanent teeth are forming! There's no smile yet, but that'll happen sooner than you think!

You're gaining weight and your pregnancy is showing, so stand tall and be proud. You're going to be a Mom! As your uterus enlarges, the outermost abdominal muscles pull away from the center of your stomach, resulting in a condition known as diastasis recti. You may see this as a "separation" down the middle of your tummy. It's completely normal and usually resolves after birth, but take care not to do any excessive abdominal workouts, particularly crunches. (After the baby is born, check out the exercise demonstrations to help correct separated stomach muscles. You may also develop more swelling in your feet and legs, which you can relieve by elevating your feet. If you do not experience relief, or if portions of your legs are hot and red, talk to your doctor. You may have a small blockage in a blood vessel.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Halfway there! 20 weeks!

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant! I have 20 more weeks to go (more or less). I am officially halfway there.
Since I just recently posted about how I am feeling, I'll just leave you with a belly picture and the baby info:

Congratulations--you're almost halfway there! Celebrate by talking to your baby; she can hear you now. Weighing in at about 9 ounces (.25 kg) and measuring over 6 inches (15 cm) long, your baby is aware of all kinds of sounds, from the beating of your heart and growling of your tummy, to songs on the radio and the buzzing of your alarm clock. If you feel a "bounce" in your tummy when you hear a loud noise, it's because your baby hears it, too! This is the start of your baby's active phase. You'll feel every twist, turn, and wiggle. You may also hear your baby's heartbeat through a stethoscope, and it's probably faster than you expect--120 to 160 beats per minute.

If your doctor hasn't already measured your tummy, now is the time. Although the size of every uterus (and every baby) is different, most women measure around 8 inches (20 cm), from the top of the pubic area to top of the uterus. You will continue to grow about half an inch (almost 15 mm) per week for a while. If your measurement is much larger, it could mean your pregnancy is farther along than expected-or that you are carrying twins! If it's much smaller, it may indicate your baby is not growing as expected, or that your pregnancy is at an earlier stage. Either way, most women will have an ultrasound at this time to determine how their pregnancy is going and to find out the sex of the baby.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

From all of my family, to all of yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Congratulations, it's a....envelope!

So, we had our halfway ultrasound today. It took almost an hour, but we got to see the various parts of our growing baby. It was very cute to see the curled up hands, and to see the baby moving his/her arms around. Everything looks good with the baby, right on track for where I am at in the pregnancy (19 weeks 2 days).
As for the gender, well...that's been written down on an envelope and sealed and put safely somewhere in our house. We are still holding firm about being surprised when we finally give birth. So neither of us are looking at that piece of paper until after we come home from the hospital with the new baby.

I gotta tell you, though...having that envelope in the house, right there, makes it VERY tempting. *sigh*

Anyway, here is one of the ultrasound images. The baby is facing up, with his/her head to the right. The bulge on the left is the belly, and the light little dashes above that are the hands/fingers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

19 Weeks

I am now 19 weeks along. Almost to the halfway point.
My belly keeps growing (well, duh), though I am not putting on the weight as fast as I should be. I need to eat more. And sleep more. (and exercise and de-stress and take more time for myself, etc.) The baby is kicking around a lot more in there. Not quite enough for anyone to really be able to feel it well. But soon, I hope. Matt thought he might have felt it a few nights ago. But the baby tends to settle down when Matt puts his hand on my belly...maybe the warmth emanating from him? Heh.

In two more days (on Wednesday), we have our ultrasound appointment. This is the one where they take time looking at the baby, measuring things, etc. And yes, this is the appointment where we could find out of the gender if the baby cooperated and we were interested in finding out. But this time we are going to wait and be surprised. Matt would kind of like to know, but I really want to be surprised this time...waiting until I give birth to find out whether it's a girl or boy. I didn't wait the first time for various reasons, and this time those reasons aren't there, so I see no reason not to wait. We aren't big on girl or boy themes, more into neutrals, and we have lots of clothes and items from Liam, so there is no need to ask for anything from people. If anyone really wants to get us gender-specific clothing/items (pink and frilly, etc), they are welcome to...they should just include a gift receipt with it (or be okay with us re gifting it down the line) in case it turns out to be the opposite. I don't mind this, and I don't mind picking out two names. I think it will be far more exciting to hear the news as a part of that wonderful moment, for us anyway. Hopefully everyone will respect that (I am surprised at how many people are surprised and have their own opinion on how we should run our pregnancy).
We WILL post whatever good ultrasound pictures we are given. So check back soon after, okay?!

Here is this week's official pregnancy info for 19 weeks:

Baby starts growing again, and you can feel it, with backaches and even some heartburn!
Six inches (15 cm) in length and weighing more than 7 ounces (.20 kg), your baby is still tiny. But remember, by the time you deliver, baby's weight will increase by about 15 times what it is now! Your baby's skin has begun to develop a creamy, protective coating called vernix, but on a sophisticated ultrasound, you will clearly see the network of developing blood vessels showing through baby's thin skin.

Heartburn, backache, constipation, leg cramps, swelling of your feet and ankles--these are just some of the discomforts you may experience as baby grows. Dizziness is also common, often due to a drop in blood pressure, so be extra careful when rising from a bed or chair. You may also notice tiny bright red bumps, known as spider nevi, appearing on your body. Not to worry, they are just dilated blood vessels and will also be gone shortly after your deliver. Sometime during your second or third trimester, you may also develop melasma (also known as "pregnancy mask"). These brown spots of hyper-pigmentation (usually across cheeks and bridge of the nose) are related to raging hormones but are exacerbated by the sun. Most often it fades after delivery.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Joy of Fire Trucks

I know...the joy of fire trucks? What is she talking about? Do fire trucks actually bring you joy? Do they bring me joy? Actually, yes they do.

Because Liam loves them.

I never thought that seeing a fire truck on the road would make my heart happier and bring a smile to my lips and even make me exclaim "Ooo look! A fire truck!" to no one at all while driving somewhere. But suddenly, now it does. Because my son loves them so much, and gets so excited when he sees one...heck, when he even just hears one. They bring him such delight. And I love that delight in him so much, that it brings me joy, too. So, yes...seeing a fire truck on the road, as I did today coming home from my yoga class, brings me surprising joy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

18 Weeks

I am now 18 weeks pregnant. Only 22 more to go. I am almost to the halfway point. I definitely have a lot more energy, but still big periods of exhaustion. I am feeling the baby moving a lot more, though not quite as much as at the beginning of last week. He or she is taking it easy, this week, I think. Matt and I need to sit down and start thinking about names a bit more far we each just been jotting down ideas as they come to us.

Here is both the belly picture and the info update:

You're gaining weight and your baby is too, weighing over 5 ounces (.14 kg), and measuring more than 5 inches (13 cm) in length. What an adorable pair you are! Baby's rapid growth period is beginning to slow down, but his or her facial features are starting to form. Your baby can now yawn, frown, smile, and make other facial expressions. Taste buds have developed, and your baby can sense bitter from sweet, and swallowing reflexes are now present. He or she may even start getting the hiccups! Because baby's eyes are still developing, they're very sensitive. If a light is shined onto your belly, your baby might flinch and try to cover his or her face.

Now that your uterus is about the size of a cantaloupe, you may begin to experience backaches. A shift in your center of gravity (upward and outward), along with increased hormone production, can cause some joints to loosen. As a result, you're more prone to twisting your ankles or wrists, so take care when exercising. Your heart is working about 50% harder now, so don't be surprised if you feel a bit out of breath.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little Stirrings of Life

I am a bit late posting but I was away from a computer for the last four days.
On Saturday I was at yoga class, enjoying the various poses and reconnecting with myself after a stressful week at work. Karin asked us to do Legs Up The Wall at one point. As I lay there on my back, I felt it. This little light bump in my lower abdomen. Not a little flicker or bubble that I am not quite sure about. This I was sure about.
I felt the baby kick.
It was amazing. For the first time i was sure I was feeling the baby moving. And so strongly. It was very touching. And special.

These last few days I have been at a spa retreat with my mother. While there I have felt the baby kicking more and more. And last light, after a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip, the baby really went into a kicking spree. It was so wonderful to feel so much of the baby. Sort of a special time, in the middle of the night when no one else was awake or around. Just my quiet time to connect with the baby. And I finally really feel the baby.

I cant wait until the baby kicks strongly enough that Liam can feel it.

Some Details:
Even though I have felt little flutters and bubbles that were probably the baby kicking, I first felt the baby kicking for sure at 16 weeks, 5 days. I am currently 17 weeks and 2 days. Here is the baby info update for "17 weeks":

If you hold out the palm of your hand, your baby could sit in the center! Weighing in at over 3 ounces (.08 kg), your baby is growing a little more every day.
This week, your baby begins to develop fat cells (also known as adipose tissue). As your baby grows, these fat cells are essential to maintaining heat production and body temperature. Right now, water makes up most of your baby's body, but by the end of your pregnancy, more than three-quarters of his or her birth weight will be fat.

Your uterus is really growing. Its shape is changing from round to more oval and it is starting to fill your pelvis. At the top, your uterus will begin pressing against your abdomen, and you'll feel this pressure more when standing up than lying down. You may also feel some pelvic pain, caused by a stretching of the round ligaments that run between the top of your uterus and the wall of your pelvis. You may have pain on one or both of your sides, but it's normal and nothing to worry about. If, however, this pain is severe-and especially if you experience vaginal bleeding or water loss-call your doctor right away. Most often you will be fine, but it's important to let your health care provider make that determination.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

100 Days

The baby is now 100 days old (inside). How do I know this? Well, I have a Pregnancy Journal that Matt reads to me every night...just like he did when I was pregnant for Liam. It's awesome to know what is going on daily with the growing life inside me, and it's wonderful to have something like this to share with Matt. I look forward to him reading it every night. But wait...I have something awesome that I have to share about this.

Some of you might know that Matt is currently in Austin, TX, for a mini-vacation, for a geek-out festival thingy called W00tstock. It didn't occur to me until after he had left the house that he would not be around to read to me for three nights in a row. I pondered about what to do...wait for three nights and make him read four entries all in one night? Read them without him? I decided to just wait for him to get back, because I loved hearing him read them.

As I started to get ready for bed, I texted Matt to tell him goodnight. He sent me a file via text and told me to open it when I was getting into bed. I finished getting ready for bed, figuring it was some video of him doing something in Texas. I opened up the file, and it was a sound file of him...reading that night's baby journal entry. He had pre-recorded it a few days earlier, so that I would still have that moment with him in the evening. In fact, he had pre-recorded all three nights that he was going to be gone. *melt* I was surprised...and so filled with love for him. With all the crazy stuff going on with redoing the family room and getting ready for a Halloween Party, he had remembered that it meant a lot to me to hear him read those entries, and that he wouldn't be around to read them...and he took action on it.
Yesterday his journal reading said it was Day 100. *happy sigh*

Monday, November 1, 2010

Catching up, 14 and 16 weeks

Yes, I know, I am really behind on my posting. I just wanted to throw up a quick belly picture that was taken shortly after week 14, and give the update for this current week (week 16). And yes, I should really be posting a belly picture for this week as well, but didn't get a chance to have Matt take one before he left (where is he? That's for another post). Sorry, things have been hectic.

Week 16 update: As this week begins your baby has fingernails, and the hair on his or her head is starting to grow. Although baby's brain is still tiny, it is beginning to send signals to muscles that allow arms and legs to begin moving. The motion, called "quickening" can be slight or more robust, but don't be alarmed if you don't feel it this week--you will soon enough.

(I am feeling more flicker bubbles that might be the baby moving around. Can't tell for sure yet.)

So, here is my belly picture at 14 weeks.

After I get the next one posted, I will try to also have a page that shows all the belly pix together for comparison, like I had for last pregnancy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

8 Years

Today is a very special day. Eight years ago today my wonderful husband and I got married. We gathered with friends and family, all our loved ones, on a beautiful autumn day, and we promised to spend the rest of our lives together, doing our best to be there for each other and share our journey as one. It feels like way more than eight years. Hopefully it will be many, MANY more.

I love you, Matt. Happy Anniversary.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Second Trimester

Today I am 13 weeks pregnant. Which means I am leaving the first trimester and entering my second trimester. Woo hoo, a third of the way there. Doesn't feel too much different. Well, I guess I have a bit more energy most of the time, and feel less icky during the day (though hunger in the evenings and early morning will still affect me...gotta keep eating). I am definitely getting rounder and look pregnant all the time now, not just in the evenings. Still have a ways to go, but I am in no rush. There is still too much that I want to get done around the house and in my life before I become immersed in babyhood again. *smile*

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Just thought I would post about today, it's particular date. The tenth day of the tenth month in 2010. 10/10/10. And even more interesting/cool? 101010 in binary is 42! Totally awesome. (If you don't get the awesomeness, go read Douglas Adams).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Anyone out there?

Just wondering if anyone out there reads my posts? I never see any comments (aside from the few Danamarie left a while ago...thanks Danamarie!) I am assuming I am sharing with my mind with the ether. Would kind of be nice to know I have a following...just some friends and family taking the time to share in my thoughts and maybe post a few comments in return. I don't expect to have the popularity of someone like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (man she gets a lot of comments), but I wouldn't mind having a few to look help that low-self-esteem issue I tend to have.


Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today I had an OB appointment. I am 12 weeks and 3 days. And today I got to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler. And heard it I did...loud and strong. I also heard the bumping sounds of the baby moving around in there. So all is well. Baby Miller is doing quite fine so far. Can't wait until I actually start to really feel those movements.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 12

I am now 12 weeks pregnant. I am feeling less tired, though evenings still exhaust me. I don't feel as icky, and even though I am having some soreness from round ligament stretching, it's not as sore as it was the first pregnancy. I continue to experience some light Braxton Hicks and sometimes I feel little bubbling sensations that could possibly be very early baby movement. Supposedly I shouldn't be able to feel it this early, even though I know what to look for (or feel for), and it IS still more than a month earlier than when I felt Liam move during my first pregnancy. But you never know. Can't hurt to imagine it.

Here is general baby info, and a belly picture.

The growth spurt continues. The baby's weight is between .01 and .015 kg (0.33 and 0.5 ounces) and he or she is at least 2.5 inches (6 cm) long. At this point, length is a better indication of growth development than weight, so that's the more important measurement. Most basic body structures are already formed, so from this point forward it's a matter of growth. By now, the baby's heart is beating and it can be heard it via an ultra-sensitive Doppler ultrasound. Bones are starting to form, fingers and toes are separating, and nails are continuing to grow. Tufts of hair may even be starting to form! The baby's brain is also at work, with the pituitary gland churning out hormones as the nervous system continues to develop. The amount of amniotic fluid is also on the rise, increasing to about 1.5 ounces. The baby continues to move, but the mother still can't feel it. The tooth buds have begun to form.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Goodbye Grandpop

As I sit here, with my mind still fresh from the other family losses less than two months ago, I am filled with even more sadness over this latest loss. My paternal Grandfather, Robert Ogbin, finally passed away at 5:00am this morning. He was 92 and had been in a nursing home for several years, suffering from Parkinson's and dementia. Even though it felt like he had gone a while ago, not really living in the present world, it still hurts that he's gone now. That they are all gone. That I've gone from four grandparents and a great grandparent to just one single maternal grandmother. The great/grandmothers were sudden, and the one was definitely time for goodbyes. The other two spent last year+ of their lives wasting away, not able to even really enjoy it the way they should be able to. It all seems so unfair, and a waste...and so I cry, cry over the unfairness of it all. The loss of four loved ones, in only two months. Makes me wonder why...why life does this? But I already know the doesn't DO just is. Stuff happens. Life doesn't do fairness or unfairness. You just need to live it while you can. So I am going to quote some words from a new Ozzy song that I am currently addicted to, and tell everyone to go live your life as much as you can, right now...

"Every second you throw away
Every minute of every day
Don't get caught in a myriad
Because life won't wait for you
No, life won't wait for you, my friend."
            - Ozzy Osbourne, "Life Won't Wait"

Sorry for the crappy picture, it's the best I can find right now.
From Sandy and Travis' wedding - he's in the wheel chair.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumnal Equinox

Today is the autumnal equinox. Day and night are of equal lengths. Night and day are even. The first day of autumn. And this one is marked by a full moon. The harvest moon. Pretty amazing!
Happy Autumn, everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

10 Weeks

Today I am 10 weeks pregnant. I'll mark the occasion by posting my first belly picture and some baby info.

Baby: The baby is only the size of a plum, but he (or she) is growing every day. He/she is out of the "embryonic stage" and entering the "fetal stage." Fingers are separating this week, and webbed toes will soon follow. Baby's tail is quickly disappearing, too.

Me: I have been feeling very tired, very worn out. I've had a few icky feeling mornings, but that is about it. No actual sickness. I am definitely showing a little belly, although when I look straight on in a mirror it really just looks like I am slightly fat. *sigh* I want to get a bit bigger so that it's obvious I look pregnant. And I want to feel that baby flutter kick in there.
I'll try to post belly pictures every two weeks. And at some point I'll include a link on the right to a page that just has belly pics for comparison.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some milestones

Yesterday I hit two milestones in pregnancy (well, what I am calling milestones...just things that happen during pregnancy at some point).
First, I started wearing my maternity pants. Gave up trying to squeeze myself into pants that were hard to zipper up and button closed. So I got down the bag of pants (forgot I had so many of them), and threw on my favorite pair of corduroys. SO much better, comfy. And one more step to making it even more real (still a little bit a of a surprise, and surreal).

Second...a familiar feeling. I was sitting at my work desk, noticing a sensation that kept recurring. But I was distracted by work and so wasn't really thinking about it. I've been wondering when I would feel the baby flickering around in there, and so part of my brain kept straying to that. But that didn't make sense with the sensations I was feeling. I finally gave it some more thought. My lower belly was tightening, and then that tightness was kind of rolling down through my belly. Then it hit me. Braxton Hicks! I was having Braxton Hicks! 9w3d (9 weeks 3 days)? Um, isn't that WAY too early? I know I felt them early last time, but that was still at 17w2d. This is 8 weeks earlier than that. So I grew a little concerned and looked it up online...and was relieved. Apparently Braxton Hicks start up around about 6 weeks, but usually they aren't felt until past the halfway point in pregnancy, after 20 weeks. Some women don't feel them at all. Some feel them sooner. And SOME apparently do feel them as early as their second month, which I have just passed out of. So it's not uncommon to feel them this soon. And usually the second time around women apparently feel them a bit stronger. So it all jives. So, it's all okay. And I am feeling Braxton Hicks. Already. Wow! Now THAT makes it a lot more real. A familiar sensation from last time. Kind of neat. I still haven't felt the baby move and can't wait until that finally happens, but I probably have another month before that happens, even my second time around. I'll post when I notice.

YAY! Pregnant!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Too much going on

I know, I haven't really been posting all that much. Haven't been keeping you up-to-date on my pregnancy, haven't been posting about the stuff going on, or the things I have been meaning to post about. I want to post about some of the knitting projects I've done, and some things I've experienced, that occurred before this journal came into being. I want to talk about stuff going on recently (like fixing our foundation and getting a new patio with pavers). I want to keep everyone updated on my pregnancy.

I promise to post more, and to include pictures. Regarding the pregnancy, everything is going well. I am currently 9w 2d (9 weeks and 2 days). Still in the first trimester, but only a few weeks away from the second. The baby is doing well, at least as of my last appointment. Saw the little one moving around, waving its paddle arms, measuring at almost an inch long (about 5 days larger than expected). Aside from really being exhausted and not really having an appetite for much, I am doing well. Already starting to swell a bit and there are some pants that I can no longer wear. Guess I need to break out the maternity wear already.

Before I go, I do want to say/ask one more thing. Does anyone read these? Is there anyone out there actually taking the time to read any of my posts? Or am I just posting to the thin air of the Internet? I know Danamarie reads when she has time and will sometimes comment, but I know right now she is busy with a show. Do any of my family members take time to read my thoughts? I would LOVE to actually see comments to my posts...from family, from friends. So if you ARE reading these...PLEASE leave a comment now and then. Even if it's just a hello because you don't know what else to say.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My little boy

He is no longer quite so little. I can't call him a toddler anymore. Check out his journal, linked on the right, for today's post (September 12th), and see what I mean.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Life

In the course of 2 weeks I lost three family members. A very sad time, filled with regrets, heartache, and many tears. But in the midst of that sadness comes some happiness. Sometimes as one life ends, another begins. Somewhere in the midst of all this loss...I became pregnant.

Pregnant. I am pregnant again. New life is growing inside me. A miracle has occurred. And this time, it happened without a lot of effort, without a lot of fuss, without taking 2.5 years. Life just working as it is supposed to. And maybe helping to somewhat ease the pain of these last few months.

Pregnant. I still can't quite believe it. Even after seeing the little bright circle of growing life on the ultrasound, it seems a little unreal. But I'll take it...such an amazing surprise, right when it was needed most. Thank you.

My due date is April 18th. I am currently a little over 7 weeks along. I will be happy with either a boy or a girl and want to be surprised this time.
I'll try to attach my ticker somewhere on this journal and will post with updates and such.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Memories of Oscar from his grandchildren

Again, I asked my sisters and cousins for memories of Grandpop throughout our childhood. Please share them with us.

We Remember...
…Grandpop’s ribs. They were the best ever, and nothing will ever compare to them.
…Playing in his backyard, under the weeping willow tree, in the hammock, with the horseshoes, and around the pear tree.
…Eating corn on the cob and sitting at that old wooden picnic table outside, trying to avoid the splinters.
…Helping to decorate the Christmas tree at their house, while watching a Christmas movie in the background.
…His Christmas ham dinners, with lots of goodies to go along.
…Climbing over the back fence to get to the playground (the fast way).
…Helping him to make pasta from scratch. He would roll it out and then hang it to try on lines of string in the house. Of course, our helping meant us eating the raw spaghetti dough strands.
…Easter egg hunts in the backyard.
…Playing on his old computers.
…Thanksgiving dinners at his house. The huge long table with everyone squeezing in around it, and the awesome turkey, and of course the little things like olives and pickles. And Grandpop saying grace before we stuffed ourselves, forgetting to make room for dessert.
…That he traveled to many places, and listening to him talk about them always seemed like amazing stories of far-away places.
…Thinking that the upstairs was like a secret attic, because we hardly went up there.
…Going to the zoo together in his little car, and witnessing some rather naughty monkeys peeing on the car.
…Playing out on the front porch, which always seemed huge.
…Flying in his little airplane…at first too afraid to get on, then changing our mind last-minute.
…His amazingly strong sauerkraut.
…The way he listened to what was happening in our lives, and was genuinely interested.
...His humor.
…His deep laugh and his big smile.
…His amazing and loving hugs. Even at the very end.

We love you Grandpop. We will always remember you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Passing of Oscar Semora

My Grandfather was a strong fighter all the way, but he finally lost his battle with cancer this past Thursday (August 12th) at 12:07am. I would have posted sooner but I was away at Pennsic when it happened and am only now just finding time to get on my journal. Again, I don't know that I have the words to express feelings. And I feel so drained with everything going on, I can't even cry all that much. Which feels really wrong. I am very sad that yet another person is no longer in my life, that I will no longer be able to see and talk to this man. All of my regrets from my earlier post titled as such...they are still there, only now it's worse because it's definitely too late. I essentially have one grandparent left with which to share my life with, and to find out more about - my one surviving grandmother. My one surviving grandfather unfortunately doesn't even know I am there if I visit.

Anyway, since I don't know what to say just yet about my grandfather (memories of him are forthcoming), I will post his obituary here.

Oscar W. Semora, Jr., age 79 of Gibbstown, NJ passed away Thursday, August 12, 2010. Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas he is the beloved husband of Eleanor M. (nee Wilson) and beloved father of Susan Semora of Suffolk, VA, Debra Ogbin & husband Robert of Pittsgrove, NJ, Barbara Baran & husband Matt of Little Rock, AR, Linda Morrow of Sherwood, AR, Wayne Semora of Orlando, FL. Lisa Higgins & husband Robert of Media, PA., brother Raymond & wife Chris of MI, sister Barbara Ann of Sherwood, AR, 11 grandchildren & 4 great grandchildren.
Oscar served in the US Army Occupation Forces in Germany. In 1959 he joined NAESU as a Tech Rep. in Washington DC, later transferring to Philadelphia in 1966. He was dedicated to furthering Naval Aviation throughout the years, earning the respect of many. In 1978 he received the NAESU Equal Opportunity award. He was appointed NAESU's first Technical Director in 1994 and retired in 1996. Oscar enjoyed flying his own airplane and was a member of the Masons and the Gibbstown Senior Citizens Organization.

Pennsic Post Postponed

I do plan to post about my Pennsic trip, but right now I have more important things to post about. So check back in the weeks to come for the Pennsic stuff.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Further Loss

Sadly, my Great Grandmother, Gladys Semora, passed away this morning, after suffering a heart attack. She was 95. I am too tired and emotionally drained to find eloquent words to say about this latest sadness. I certainly wish I had known her better. She lived in Arkansas, I lived in NJ most of my life. I remember her mainly from the few visits made over the year, but I haven't seen her since February 2008, right before Liam turned 1. She had the Arkansas twang accent, and she was very self-sufficient. I want to be like her, living so strong and so long. I am sad that she has gone, but I know she has live a long, full life and she has moved on to something new, something different.

For those whom are suffering greatly from this new loss, I am very sorry...and I am here if you need me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Memories of Gladys from her grandchildren

I asked my sisters/cousins to come up with some memories of Grandmom, to add to mine and to share with everyone. They delivered. Here they are (in no particular order). Please take time to enjoy them .

  • Lots and lots of swimming.

  • Doing flips off the side of the pool.

  • Eating watermelon until we were covered in red sticky juice and jumping in the pool to clean off.

  • Using the "window" from the laundry room into the back room for games and the like.

  • Sleep-overs at her house, lots-o-girls in one bed!

  • Gram's variety of pickles. I used to think her house was the only place you could get those cute little pickles. I thought the rest of the world had to have dill, only Gram had variety.

  • Her sweet iced tea; like the pickles, I thought it was tea you could only get at her house.

  • Eating Little Ceasars (Pizza! Pizza!) around her bar.

  • Playing at the playground at Bethel Mill Park.

  • Feeding the ducks at Bethel Mill Park, then racing to get into the pool as soon as we got back.

  • Playing with her touch-lamp.

  • Night-time pool swimming adventures (bathing suits optional?).

  • Eating out at Friendly's.

  • Waiting there overnight while mom was in labor with Sandy. And then being told she had been born (and thinking they had named her after a beach).

  • When we would leave, grandma and grandpa would stand at the front door and wave until you couldn't see them anymore.

  • She was completely fine with tons of people invading her home almost every single weekend in summer to use her pool.

  • Hanging out in the pool under the diving board while we were taking turns jumping.

  • Changing in the smallest, hottest shed ever!

  • Her voice. Can't describe it. Just felt...warm, and alive.

  • Partying up at the anniversary around the corner from Cindy's (it was like a block party).

  • Playing mermaid and never wanting to get out of the pool.

  • Watching fireworks down at the school or from the pool during summer.

  • Having to put on sunscreen in the car on the way over so we could go swimming right away.

  • Being given the priviledge of spraying water into the birdbath.

  • Waiting 30 minutes (an eternity) after we ate to go back into the pool.

  • Trying not to drip water on the floor when you had to go in and use the bathroom (because the chlorine would ruin the carpet).

  • Her perfume (smelled like the "Musky Jasmine" scent from Love's perfume)

  • The candy dishes around the house with different candies in them.

  • Hated the squishy toilet when you came in from the pool, and your legs stuck to the seat. And it was always cold because of the A/C vent right above you.

  • Whitey used to swim with us.

  • Wanting to pop the "bubbles" on the pool cover (like BIG bubble wrap), and wanting to walk across it.

  • The park and waterfalls.

  • Playing the games that she kept in the hot, dark shed.

  • Swimming under the Chinese lanterns.

  • That statue of the little boy holding the lantern in the from of the yard (kept changing colors).

  • Grandmom taking me to Friendly's, and me throwing up all over the table, and her taking me home and giving me a blanket (I was traumatized from Friendly's for a while after that).

  • I remember seeing our Christmas presents behind a chair once...a few Sprites from Rainbow Brite and a Lurkey doll. When we opened them up the next morning, I was disappointed that all my sisters got Sprites and I got the Lurkey doll.

  • Being amazed at how tan she was.

  • Sitting at the bar and thinking it was cool (and grown-up).

  • Mike shattering one of the glass tables by putting the candy back on it too hard.

  • Trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and being terrified of the person next door (I think because of some scary movie inside, or some sort of decoration...or maybe it was the rubber mask with the axe through the head).

  • My (Kim's) bridal shower was held there.

  • Christmas mornings with the whole family. Super-long table in the living room, across from Grandpop's old record player.

  • Gladys Ogbin (04/06/1926 - 07/29/2010)

    Her obituary:
    Gladys M. Ogbin (nee Morris) age 84 years of Sewell died Thursday July 29, 2010 in Underwood Memorial Hospital, Woodbury. Mrs. Ogbin was born in Philadelphia, raised in Pennsville and lived in Oak Valley for many years. She worked as a Secretary at DuPont Repauno Works, Gibbstown and she was a member of the Oak Valley Athletic Association. Mrs. Ogbin enjoyed reading and traveling in her free time. She is survived by her beloved husband of 62 years, Robert Ogbin; her children, Robert G. and Debra Ogbin of Pittsgrove, Cynthia Ogbin of Sewell, Linda and Bud Rendfrey of Dunnellon, Florida, Michael and Lynne Ogbin of Logan Twp., Jeffrey and Nancy Ogbin of Oak Valley and Donald Ogbin of Oak Valley; 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by McBride - Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in her memory to Shady Lane Recreation Department, P.O. Box 275, Clarksboro, NJ 08020 or South Jersey Animal Rescue, 129 Bell Avenue, Mt. Royal, NJ 08061. Memories can be shared at

    Thursday, July 29, 2010


    Gladys Ogbin and Liam, May 2007
    Early this morning, my paternal grandmother, Gladys Ogbin, passed away unexpectedly. I had only just found out 12 hours earlier that she was suffering kidney failure and would be put on dialysis. I was just squaring myself up to the fact that her time could be over soon and that I really needed to try to visit her more. As mentioned in my previous post, I was already suffering guilt at how little time I had spent with my maternal grandfather, Oscar. I hadn't seen my grandmother/Gladys since May, and hadn't seen my paternal grandfather, Robert Ogbin (same as my dad), in...well...I can't even remember. Shamefully it may have been a year or more. He's been in a nursing home for a few years, suffering from Parkinson's and dementia. I hadn't visited partly because it's not all that close, and partly because I know he really doesn't know I am there. But what kind of excuse is that? I should still have visited, and I could have at least gone for the benefit of my grandmother/Gladys, who was there on a daily basis watching over him.
    Both my paternal grandparents had been admitted to the hospital over the weekend. My grandfather/Robert supposedly had pneumonia, and my grandmother/Gladys was jaundiced and feeling poorly, and blood tests showed some issues that needed to be addressed. I was working on figuring out when I could start visiting more often, and the things I wanted to talk about, to ask.
    And then I got the call this morning. Grandmom had passed away early in the morning. They hadn't even gotten a chance to try the dialysis. She was gone. I had most definitely missed out on my chance here. The last one of the three we expected to go was the first to go. Without even a chance to say goodbye really. And I experienced my first real sense of loss. Those first stabbing pains of realization that I will never, EVER have the chance of seeing this person alive again. It almost seems surreal, even having seen her lying there in the if maybe it wasn't really her.

    And I know that in the next few weeks, I will be losing both my grandfathers for sure...and I will have to endure that, too. I knew I would eventually lose my grandparents...people don't live forever. And I was prepared (as one can be) for the loss of either of my grandfathers, at some point. But to have all three go in such close proximity...

    Oh god, I can't even figure out what I want to say anymore. I keep typing and deleting my thoughts. I feel like this moment deserves something deep and profound, but I can't seem to write that way. I don't know what to say. I can just be...I have lost my grandmother, and I am sad.

    Monday, July 26, 2010


    I, like all people, have lots of regrets about lots of stuff. Some is stupid stuff. Some are a bit more substantial. Some have me crying over and over again, causing me to stare through blurry eyes at my laptop screen while trying not to be overheard by my coworkers around me.
    I am losing my grandfather. He was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and over that past year it's slowly been stealing him away. He is nearing the end of his time with us, and I find myself hurting with regret. I think of all those family get-togethers where I said my hellos, asked a few questions, and then drifted over to my cousins or sisters, where I felt I had more in common and the conversations were easier. I know that's what happens, that I am not the only one that does that. But now I am angry at myself about it. I should have spent more time talking to my grandfather. Telling him about the happenings in my life. Find out what is going on with him. Find out more about him, what he liked to do, etc. What DID he like to do? I know he loved cooking. We used to go to his house for Thanksgiving dinners, and the food was always awesome. I remember as a child going to his house and helping him make pasta. I don't mean taking a package of hard pasta and throwing it into a pot. I mean Grandpop making his own pasta dough and rolling it out (or extruding it, whatever that process is), and hanging the spaghetti strands up on line to dry in the kitchen. My sisters and I would help by eating some of the raw pastas.
    What else did he like to do? I don't really know. I know he traveled, at least some. I remember my mom mentioning things he would bring back from some trips. But I don't really know if it was a lot of traveling, or just the basic traveling we all do. I think he was in something military-related, but I couldn't really tell you what.

    I feel like I wasted my time with him. I selfishly told him about some of the things going on with me during those family get-togethers, and didn't even take the time to find out much about him. And soon he will be gone. He is a shadow of who he used to be, confined to a bed and looking like he weighs less than I do now. He still had his humor when I talked to him this weekend, but that almost makes it harder, knowing that he is fully aware of what is going on. Maybe it would be easier if he was lying in a stupor, clueless. But then I wouldn't even have a chance to find out at least something more about him. Darn it, even now I am berating myself for not asking him more things when I visited him this weekend. Not finding out a little bit more about this wonderful man who helped give birth to and raise my mother. This man who I have a little bit of in me. What part of him do I have? What traits are like his traits? I am SO not ready to lose him. I want more time. I need more time.

    I love you, Grandpop. And I am sorry.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Blood, blood, everywhere

    Okay, well maybe not EVERYWHERE. Although it looked like it at first. All over the sheets. On the bed frame. On Emily…

    Oh…what I am talking about? Hehheh. Sorry. No, it’s not a slasher flick. I am talking about Liam’s night-time nosebleed. I had just put him down for bed, and was downstairs for less than 3 minutes (getting ready to finally start some Pennsic sewing) when I heard him call to me in some distress. Sighing, I went back into his room, asking him what was wrong. “Boogers, Mommy. Lots of boogers”, he informed me in a teary voice. I sighed again at how dramatic my son could be over a runny nose and fetched a tissue. Upon handing it to him, though, I noticed dark spots on the sheets in the light of the nightlight. Crap. Sure enough, turning on the light revealed that he had a nosebleed. There were splotches all over the sheets and he had managed to smear it all over his face and both arms, and had rubbed it all over Emily’s face (she is his stuffed ermine…a white weasel for those unfamiliar). He had even managed to get some of the bars of his modified crib. I spent the next half hour cleaning up, as it took a while for the bleeding to stop, and I had to comfort him and give him an ice-pop to help apply ice to the area (or as close as possible) and to give him something to keep his mind occupied, while I changed the sheets on his bed. Then it was back to bed, and I then had to scrub the blood stains out of the sheets and Emily (note: cold water and rubbing salt into the stain works great apparently). And now I am finally done.

    So much for getting some sewing done tonight.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Why the rush?

    On Saturday I was driving home, coming back from yoga in Medford. I came up to the light at Route 38, and as I approached it, I was faced with the dilemma of what lane to get in (as I always am). Both the left lane and the middle lane went straight, but the left lane also allowed left turns onto 38. There was one car in the left lane already (no signal though), and two in the middle lane, one of which I had been behind most of the way and was rather slow. If I got into the left lane, I might be able to pass that car since it would probably start off really slow. But if the car in the left lane was turning left, then I would probably get stuck there waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before the car in front of me could turn. I picked the left lane, and when the light turned green, the car in front of me sped across the intersection, and the two cars in the middle lane slowly churned into action. I was across the intersection before both of them, no problem.

    Fast forward to me coming home from work today. I again came up to a light, with three lanes, all of which go straight through the light, but first the right and then the middle lane go away, coming down to one lane. I usually get in either the left or middle lane, as I hate trying to pass in the right lane, when it's main purpose is to allow people to turn right into the medical facility immediately after the light. And I have to end up in the left lane anyway. Yet, every time I come up to this light, I have to decide which lane is the better one to be in...which has the potential of moving the fastest. And if I choose the wrong one, I get annoyed. And even if I choose the faster one, sometimes there is someone that comes shooting along in that far right lane, past everyone. And I find myself thinking "hey, they were behind me....they aren't supposed to cut in line!"
    And then I I much better? I also try to push it a little...perhaps not as rudely...but I do what I do in the name of speed. So that I can get to my destination just a few seconds faster than I would have if I had chosen the wrong lane. Or, god forbid, I might actually arrive a minute or two later, if I had the misfortune to not get around someone slow.

    A minute or two. 120 seconds. 120 SECONDS. What is that really, in the long span of our lives? Why is it so important that we gain those few seconds/minutes? Is that time really that precious? Is there really anything to gain by getting someplace that much faster? Really? 10 seconds? 20 seconds? Heck, 5 whole minutes? And most of the time we are driving a little bit less than safely (dare I say recklessly) to accomplish this. So, gaining 30 seconds is worth the risk we took in trying to slide our way in front a line of cars in the slow lane right before getting off at our exit. Why? Why is it so important? Why does it matter? Everything seems like this. Got to hurry hurry hurry. No time to stop, no time to think, no time to enjoy or care about those around us. When did rushing become so darn important? So much so that even 5 seconds seems worthwhile? Why the rush? WHY?

    Here's hoping that I can continue to ask myself this every time I get antsy about what lane to be in, and how quickly I can get around that slow person I see several cars ahead. That I will come to the conclusion that a few seconds really doesn't matter...and that that is all I really am saving.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Warning: Construction!

    Just a heads up that you may see some changes on this blog...mainly with the title. I want more than just basic text, so I am having my graphics-savvy husband experiment with some ideas for an actual logo/image. Some of them may get applied to the blog as he/I/we try them out, so I apologize if it gets dizzying to see a new title logo each time you check out my blog. Hopefully we'll have something by the end of the holiday weekend. In the meantime, just bear with me. And maybe put on a hardhat. heh.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Too much stuff

    I have way too much stuff.

    Throughout the years, I have collected a lot of personal belongings, some useful, but some not so much. All stuff I once thought I wanted, or was given. And it's all cluttering my home. And I am tired of it. Tired of owning so much stuff. Why do I need it all? Am I really going to use some of it? Do I need all of it? Some of it I bought myself long time ago. Some of if was stuff I asked for. Some of it's stuff that was given as a well-meaning gift. And some is just stuff that somehow has gotten into the house (yeah, like it just snuck in here, right?). Why is it still here? Because I have a problem with getting rid of things. Some are things that have some sort of sentimental value (and some of those are worth keeping). Some are things that people gave me that I just can't bear to give away, because I don't want them to feel bad now that I no longer want it. Some are things I would gladly give away but can't bear to just toss in the trash because they are still useful/usable and I would rather someone got some use out of it instead of it ending up in a landfill (anyone need a VHS/DVD cabinet, or a simple desk?), but I don't know of how to find a new home for them.

    Regardless, it drives me crazy that I have this much STUFF in my possession. And I realized that I don't really want any more stuff. Seriously. I don't want people to buy me more things for my birthday or the holidays. If people really want to get something, I think I would get far more use out of something that pampers me (like gift certificates for massages or spa treatments, or towards my yoga center, etc). Yummy foods that are gone once I use them. I really don't want material things anymore, adding to the clutter of my home, and my life. (okay, okay...yarn. I won't say no to yarn...GOOD yarn, though...not the cheap Red Heart stuff). I want so much to get up the willpower to just get rid of the stuff that I really don't want around my house/life anymore...but in the meantime, I guess this is sort of a message to those around me't get me anything anymore. Really...I am saying it now, so it can sink in before the stuff. Unless I REALLY ask for it (like yarn). And maybe you should look around YOUR home and ask you want any of my stuff? *heh*

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Summer Solstice

    Today is the Summer Solstice (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). From Latin sol, meaning sun, and sistere, to stand still, it marks the instant when the Earth is at its maximum axial tilt towards the sun and the sun seems to come to a stop before reversing direction. On this day, we experience the longest period of daylight. The sun brings us warmth, light, life, so it seems like a good day to stop and stand still and enjoy the sunshine. Well, at least for a few IS a pretty hot day.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Shuttle Launch Video

    I am going to attempt to post the video I took of the shuttle launch. I was taken with my iPhone, so it's not as close as I would like, and it's a bit shaky, especially in the beginning...but if you hang in there, you CAN see it show up more when the plume starts to become visible. Within 10-15 seconds you can see a bright dot down near the horizon, towards the middle, and then about 40 seconds in the plume will start to become really visible. Awesome. (Ignore me crying and saying stupid emotional things). (Taken on 5/14/2010).

    It apparently failed to upload. I'll have to try something else at some point. Sorry.

    Space Shuttle Launch

    This blog wasn't around when I went to Daytona Beach, FL, in May and saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch, so I am posting about it now. It was an amazing experience and just wanted to share it with people.

    First of all, I didn't even know there was going to be a shuttle launch at that time. I had heard that there was only going to be a few more, so what were the odds that my vacation would time itself just right. But sure enough, it did. We arrived on Wednesday the 12th, and found out on Thursday that there would be a shuttle launch on Friday, the 14th. I had never seen a shuttle launch live and had always wanted to, so I jumped at the chance to see it up close. Even though I was told I would be able to see it pretty clearly from our resort, I still wanted to try get as close as I could (without getting stuck in crazy tourist traffic), so I made up my mind to try to get to New Smyrna Beach, out by the water, and watch it from there...20 miles closer. Well, I misjudged the traffic and we almost didn't make it (we being my parents and sister Jackie stayed back at the resort hotel to watch it from there). We had about 5 minutes to spare when we started crossing the southern-most bridge into New Smyrna Beach, and I figured that it would take us too long to get over the other side, find a place to park, and then get to a good vantage point. So we did what tons of other people were doing...we pulled over on the bridge at the first available spot, and then we walked up it until we got to a clump of people would couldn't get passed, and watched it from there.

    I didn't think we would see much more than a pin-prick of light with thin trail after it. So I was shocked when my mom shouted "Oh look! There it is!" and I saw this bright flame with a white dash above it, and a gorgeous plume forming behind it. It was so much bigger and closer than I thought it would be, and we were still about 40 miles north. Holy crap...I can't imagine how much more magnificent it would be to actually be in Titusville, only a few miles feel the ground shaking afterwards, and hear the roar. As it was, I was so emotionally touched that I actually cried over it...seriously, you can hear me sniffing and such on the video I took. The sight lasted for a good two minutes before it disappeared into the atmosphere and there was only the plume left to mark the passing of the shuttle. Totally amazing. Totally.

    I am going to attempt to include two pictures here. One is more of an accurate size of what we saw for the shuttle launch. And one is a close-up of one of the pictures, where you can actually see the external tank and the shuttle hanging upside down under it.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Baby many baby hats

    It was a little over a year ago that I got the urge to knit something for a friend who was expecting a baby. And so I knit my first baby hat...something to keep the little one warm, that they wouldn't grow out of too quickly, and that was relatively quick and easy to make (since I rarely had time to knit and a blanket would have taken me ages). The first one was quickly followed by a second one, since another friend was having a baby. Soon it became something I wanted to do for all my friends/family that was expecting a bundle of joy. Little did I know that there would be an outbreak of offspring. I love knitting, and the baby hats are enjoyable. But after knitting 14 in as many months, and expecting a few more on the horizon, I can honestly say that I hope there is a few months break in baby expectations after that. You maybe I can knit something other than a baby hat. So, uh, friends and family of mine? Could you go a little easy on the lovin'? Heh. Just for a few months? *eyes all her half-started non-hat projects with longing*

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Expectations and Assumptions

          I love yoga and go every week that I can. Saturdays mornings are my favorite, because those are Karin's classes. Karin is an amazing yoga instructor...she just has a way of bringing the practice alive, of capturing your attention, of encouraging you to push yourself while teaching you to be accepting of your limitations. She is fun and intriguing and someone that I feel everyone should experience. I look forward to her classes and always leave feeling refreshed, hopeful, alive...the world is full of possibilities (and a strange urge to knit lots of fun things).
          This morning I went to yoga class as usual, ready to start my morning...and Karin wasn't there. Another yoga instructor was filling in for her, one I had never met before. And I started thinking that this wasn't going to be the same, that it wasn't going to be as good a class because it wasn't Karin...and felt a little bit disappointed. And then I realized what I was thinking. Here I was, already making assumptions about this instructor, already expecting the class to not be as enriching as usual. I was comparing the instructor to Karin, before she even started the class. I had expected the class to be Karin's and was allowing myself to become let down. Why? I consider myself open-minded, yet here I am NOT being open-minded. We do this all the time...we make assumptions, we pass judgements, we let expectations get the better of us. And most of the time we don't even realize it. We need to become more aware of ourselves and our thoughts, take the time to perhaps think again, and maybe look at things from a different perspective. This class WILL be different than my usual Saturday's, but that doesn't mean it won't be as enjoyable or as enlightening. I need to readjust my thinking and not jump to conclusions. Don't we all?

    Friday, June 11, 2010


    Last night I drove by an open field...and it was covered in fireflies. Hundreds of blinking points of light. It was amazing to see. It was almost as if they were trying to mimic stars in the night sky, one that has come alive. I was half-tempted to pull over and stare at them, to get more than the quick glimpses as I drove by. It's so beautiful, what nature can do.

    un-rav-el [uhn-rav-uhl]

    1. to separate or disentangle the threads of a woven or knitted fabric, free from complication or difficulty; make plain or clear

    I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head, so many ideas and musings just waiting to spill out, dreams I'd like to share. I figured maybe it was time to start writing them down, to give them a voice. In other words, "to make plain or clear".
    Hopefully you will join me in this new undertaking.