Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gender predictor

If you're pregnant, anxious and can't wait to find out the sex of the baby freestylin' in your uterus, you might want to check out this site.  I did, and my suspicions are confirmed.  I am having a girl.  Obviously.  Because THE INTERNETS DON'T LIE.

These are my full results.

The day you deliver, outside will be bright. Your baby will arrive in the late morning. After a labor lasting approximately 15 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 15 pounds, 1 ounces, and will be 17-1/2 inches long. This child will have medium blue eyes and curly brown hair.

A 15 lb. baby, Madame Z?  Ooooh, I'm hurting just thinking about that! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

oh, the thinks he can think!

"chugga chugga choo choo! train!"

oh the thinks he can think if only he tries... jack's imagination has been cracking me up as of late.  the little bugger is hilarious with his little schemes lately.  the other day, he was eating chips and he picks up one that looks a little like a truck.  he starts yelling "momma! truck! vroom - vroom!"  he was so proud of himself, and  i couldn't help but laugh at his little antics.

he's at such a fun age.  a fun age where an ordinary cardboard box becomes a train station, providing endless entertainment for HOURS!  whenever he'd push the train into the "station," he'd yell, "oh no! train hiding?  where go, momma?"  then he'd push it through and giggle hysterically.  

his other go-to favorite in his bag of tricks is pretending that anything he puts on his head is a hat.  play kitchen plates, baskets, buckets or legos... doesn't really matter.  the same rueful grin, the same proud exclamation... "HAT!"  i love seeing how creative he can be and watching his little eyes light up when he makes those connections.

he's also been drawing some sidewalk chalk and marker masterpieces.  the other day he was making an intricate piece of art with a variety of colors and dots in a circle.  i asked him what it was and he said "flower!"  it did sort of resemble a flower, but i guess i might be biased in favor of my little artiste!

this weekend we made pancakes for breakfast.  when i asked jack what he wanted for breakfast, he kept saying "green eggs, green eggs."  we have been reading a lot of green eggs and ham as of late.  i added a little food coloring and made some green or, according to jack, "BLUE CAKES!"  he loved them and even called grandma on his pretend phone to tell her about it. "hey-row ahma!  ummmm... ummmm... blue cakes! bye."

the blue cakes don't really look that appetizing, i realize, and i can't attest to that because the little grape-sized inhabitant of my uterus has taken a decided dislike of most foods in general, but particularly pancakes and syrup... at least as of sunday.  anyway, my little man ate a whole stack and asked for seconds.  guess all that thinking works up quite an appetite!

Friday, July 27, 2012

reflections from a cynical observer.

i'm not going to get all political here.  maybe just a little bit, for just a minute.  mostly because i just saw something on someone's facebook status that got me all sorts of riled up. 

i know people have been having a hey dey with the chik-fil-a nonsense.  and i've stayed out of the whole bit because while i think the big wig's comments are INSANELY STUPID, ridiculous and completed bigoted, i really do like their chicken salad.  and i can't say i'll never frequent another establishment because ... you know... we sometimes plan fueger family vacations around chik-fil-a locations.

but anyway - upon reading some commentary about this seemingly never-ending chik-fil-a debacle, i read someone's "heartfelt" comment on it.  "i have gay friends.  i just don't support gay marriage." 

ummm... no, you frickin' don't.  i don't believe that for one minute.  i'm sorry - i don't.  if you have a TRUE friendship with someone who is gay, then you support gay marriage.  it's just as simple as that.  because if you truly loved that person, you would want them to be as happy as they could be.  and if happiness meant marriage to them, you'd want that for them.

stepping down off soapbox.  ok, rant over.  i just had to get that off my chest.  hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, July 23, 2012


the last time we talked about my ovaries, i shared some struggles, but the general consensus was that things were looking up.  i didn't really get into specifics, but one of the reasons that i felt so much better when i wrote that post is that i had scheduled surgery to (hopefully) help deal with some of the fertility struggles i had been experiencing. i started the month of june feeling very calm and at peace. there were barbeques with friends, popsicles on the porch and a few water fights with the hose. we celebrated birthdays, father's day and the maritime nuptials of some good friends. we visited with local friends and friends from afar. we shared drinks and jazz music and raspberry beer cocktails. we explored the farmer's market and local nature trails. we drank up summer, like it was a hand squeezed glass of lemonade, poured from a pinterest-worthy beverage dispenser. it was heavenly. it was glorious. it was just what i needed to remind me that even though not everything in my life was exactly as i had hoped it would be, i am truly blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful husband, an amazing son, a loyal and supportive group of family, friends and colleagues who make each day an adventure worth living. it was time of thankfulness for all the good there is.

the days flew by and suddenly it was june 24, the sunday night before my surgery, which was supposed to take place on tuesday. john and i were sitting in the living room, and john was doing that thing he sometimes does when he's very nervous. you can tell he's thinking about something, but he's not sharing his thoughts and he's making nervous "bird lips" (which can't necessarily be described accurately, but are definitely unmistakable if you know him at all). "i'm not going to be able to sleep tonight... or tomorrow night," he noted. i interrupted him with a dose of sarcastic humor, which is how i most comfortably deal with uncomfortable moments. "you better sleep!" i laughed. "i am going to be a very demanding patient after my surgery. i will need you to fast forward through commercials on breaking bad. i will need you to bring me snacks and beverages. i will need you to bring me pillows, and blankets and other provisionals. in fact, you should get to bed now to prepare. you're in for a lot of work." "no, i'm serious," he persisted. "what if we're making the wrong choice?" and i instantly knew what he meant. the surgery wasn't too risky or horribly complicated, but with anesthesia there is always the fear that you won't wake up, that something will go wrong, that a seemingly routine procedure goes awry. i understood what he was saying because i had thought it myself. what if it was better to accept the struggles we'd faced and celebrate our one son than put myself at further risk? the silence in the living room was loud. unspoken words passed between us, and i immediately thought back to meeting john in college, and how much had changed since that time, and how we had been through worlds together. i started to feel teary eyed as we hugged, but somehow, there is this pact between partners, that when one is falling apart, the other needs to be strong, and so i put the emotions aside and said what i really believed, "everything is going to be okay, john. it just is. it has to be. i promise." i wasn't really nervous; more than anything, i was excited to start a new chapter and put some of the issues behind us. i went to bed that night and slept like a rock. i was calm and relaxed and happy. john, on the other hand, tossed and turned and, he told me later, didn't sleep a wink.

when i awoke on the morning of june 25, i laid in bed feeling very refreshed and pondering the dream i had just had. in the dream, i was carefree and laughing and wearing a long maxi skirt. my fingernails were manicured and painted a bright red. i was sort of gracefully prancing across an overgrown field. and i was pregnant. the picture in my mind's eye was a glamorous maternity shoot, the likes of which wistful women pin onto their "pictures to take" boards on pinterest. the message was less fluffy, just a simple feeling that i was with child. it was silly, though, this feeling. we had been instructed not to try to have a baby this month because of the surgery. when my doctor had told us that, i had been relieved. i had felt a wave of calm wash over me. i had been granted a reprieve from counting days and worrying and anxiety and the feeling that i would never again feel a baby kick me from the inside. june was the first month in a year that i had not kept charts with detailed notes, taken my temperature, peed on sticks or worried about "cycle length" and my "luteal phase." i had completely abandoned my campaign to get pregnant, so there was no way the dream was anything other than the result of too much pinterest browsing. i grabbed my bathrobe and started down to the basement to shower and get ready for work.

as i walked past the bathroom on our main floor, i was overcome with a feeling that i needed to take a pregnancy test. i cannot describe it any more accurately than this, but i actually felt physically pulled into the bathroom. i was arguing with myself, like, "THIS IS SILLY! YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT! YOU COULDN'T BE PREGNANT! YOU HAVE SURGERY TOMORROW!" but i thought, "what the heck, i only have 30 unused pregnancy tests sitting in my medicine cabinet." i pulled one out, peed in a cup and dipped it in. and though i've peed on countless sticks over the past year, each one negative, i found myself in complete shock as a second line popped up almost immediately. i shook my head back in forth, the way you do the first time you're drunk and you're all consumed by the weird gravity-free feelings taking over you. i pinched my arm. i scanned the bathroom. was this my house? was this real? surely, this second pink line, the result i had long awaited, had not just appeared without the expending of so much energy to accomplish it. i went racing up the stairs, so fast i almost tripped. i ran down the hallway and threw open our bedroom door and turned on the light. "john! john! john!" he sat up in bed, sleepily, "what's the matter? what is going..." i interrupted him. "HOLY SHIT, I am pregnant." "no, you're not, you have surgery..." i waved the test in front of his face.

we were both shocked.  gleeful, giggling, giddy, completely shocked.  we were hugging, and i was crying and feeling like this couldn't possibly be happening right now.  just a week ago, i had been to the doctor for my surgery pre-op appointment.  i had been put on an antibiotic to prepare for surgery, and after the joyful celebrating in our room that morning, i immediately thought there had been a mistake.  the antibiotic must have caused a false positive.  i turned to google, but nothing was calming my nerves.  of course, i had two court hearings first thing in the morning and couldn't run right to the doctor's office.  WERE THOSE EVER THE MOST AGONIZING THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE!  i was trying not to pee so that i would have the most concentrated urine possible when i arrived at my doctor's.  between the thoughts swirling around in my head ("HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?" "IS THIS REAL?"  "WHAT IS GOING ON?") and the intense pain in my bladder,  i was DYINGGGG.

before i could really process what was happening, the nurse was confirming the pregnancy and giving me the whole "no lunch meat, take your prenatals" speech.  it was insane.  i am serious when i say that i have never been so shocked in all my life.  her words were floating around above me, and i kept feeling like i was going to faint.  i was staring at the "stages of pregnancy" poster on the wall behind her left shoulder, and all of the sudden, i interrupted, "are you sure i am pregnant? are you SURE this isn't a false positive?"  she laughed, and said it wasn't a false positive.  "but i'm supposed to have SURGERY tomorrow!?" i exclaimed.  "well, i guess you don't need it," she laughed. "you are with child!"

her words echoed in my head as i had blood drawn at the lab.  i was having a baby.  john would be a dad again and jack would be a big brother.  wait... WHAT?!  what the EFF was going on here?  it was a wonderful, yet agonizing week.  i was SO ecstatic at this unexpected news, but also worried that it couldn't have happened "so easily" (which phrase i obviously use somewhat loosely since it did not necessarily come easily at all).  i pored over stories on the internet... stories of pregnancy loss, miscarriage statistics and pain.  i agonized over one woman's story: she had tried to conceive for EIGHT LONG YEARS and finally got pregnant, then lost the baby at 15 weeks.  she went on to have four more miscarriages after that.  it was hard to be completely happy because under the surface, i kept feeling like i had wanted this for so long, it couldn't just be happening like this.  there were so many people who were more... deserving? of a baby than i was.  i thought of that woman who had lost five babies.  if she didn't have a baby yet, why did i get to have one?  it didn't seem fair or right.

but also, it was hard to deny that i was pregnant because I. WAS. SICK.  so even when i tried to convince myself that maybe there was no longer a little bean growing in there, a fierce wave of nausea would overtake me and i would feel some reassurance that i was, indeed, with child.

last friday, we had our first ultrasound and heard the heartbeat of the little bean that has taken up residence in my uterus.  jack was sobbing hysterically because he thought i was being hurt.  i would have been crying if i wasn't trying to calm him down.  in the midst of all the chaos, i felt like i had closed the door on a year of worry and anxiety and i could breathe easily.  i am not done with the first trimester yet, so in terms of statistics and horrible stories... i guess you could say that i am not out of the woods yet.  but because of my exuberance (and also my horrible morning sickness), i feel that it's time to share the news.

a new bundle of joy will be arriving on or maybe before march 3, 2013.  thank you for all your well wishes, your kind words and your amazing support as i traveled this road.  i love you all, and i am one big mushy ball of hormones right now.

june 25, 2012. 
only the shock and joy of pregnancy could make me hold a urine-soaked stick so close to my face.

forgive me, whitney, for i have sinned.

a little less than a year ago, my dear friend and colleague moved from dubuque to the sunny skies of tampa.  i could write a few blogposts about that sad day and its aftermath, but that's not the point of this post.  the good news is that since we packed up whitney's u-haul back in september, we've been fortunate enough to have her back for several wonderful visits.  christmas, a moustache bash, a wedding... luckily we've only had to learn to live without each other for a few months at a time.

i love when whitney comes back town.  so, i can't really explain why i treat her so HORRRRRRRIBLY.  i am awfully controlling and domineering (50 shades of estephania RIGHT HERE), insisting that she stay at MY house and spend every minute of her trip with ME.  about fifteen minutes after her plane touches down, i begin exposing whitney to a rigorous boot camp for her liver.  she is forced to drink far too many alcoholic beverages, stay up until way too early in the morning and, undoubtedly, smoke a "few" cheap cigars.  it's awful.  i spend a lot of time wondering why she keeps coming back to be mistreated in this manner.

and the worst of these grievances would have to be the accommodations to which whitney is subjected at my home.  it's not so much the early morning toddler alarm (because hello!) he's pretty cute (see below for gratuitous picture of my sweet boy), and that adorable smile makes up (i hope) for his A.M. antics.

it's more the fact that i forced whitney to sleep in a plain white prison cell with nary a bedside table or a lamp to be found.  can you believe the HORROR?  i am embarrassed.... beyond embarrassed... over the state of my spare bedroom.  my apologies to all the guests (mostly whitney) who were forced into solitary confinement in that room over the past year.

so... i finally shamed myself into doing something about the state of my spare bedroom.  no, there isn't a BEFORE.  picture a white room (white walls, cheap white blinds... completely devoid of any color, furniture, accessories or anything)

and.... the AFTERS...

ok, so i know it's not perfect.... we need some art on the walls and a headboard, but at least i can feel good about forcing whitney back to dubuque, riiiight?

my favorite thing in the whole room (maybe my whole house, at least right now) is this new addition:

it's a craigslist find.  and yes, despite my forewarnings, john was mad at me most of the way home from picking it up.  he just couldn't believe that i would actually spend $10 on that piece of junk.  oh ye of little faith!

so, forgive me, whitney, for i have sinned.  i cannot believe that i made you sleep in that prison cell of a guest room for almost an entire year.  please have mercy on my soul!  for my penance, i will drink any concoction of beverages you choose... but it'll have to wait about seven-ish months.

yes.  i am pregnant. (will be back to share all of that SHOCKING news soon!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

whilst surfing the internet...

I was reading some message boards on BabyCenter.  Because, you know, that's when I do when I need a break from researching anti-stacking provisions under Iowa law.

I happened to read the following:

I hope you know formula has lots of bad things in it, Google the truth behind baby formula. Diapers have chemicals that can cause cancer. Epidurals drug your baby and delay the soul from entering the body at birth. I don't know if your trying to brag or something. I don't know what your intentions are, but do your research first. I'm a full on "crunchy" mom. As mothers we should try and do what's best for our children, not feed them poisons. 
(Emphasis added to highlight the crazy.)

So then I decided to do some digging around the interwebs to find the genesis of this idea... you know that epidurals somehow cause this body-soul disconnect.

I stumbled onto the following from here:

Let us not forget that most hospitals have morgues on the bottom floor. Souls are always leaving bodies in hospitals due to many people dying while in the hospital. Also, believe it or not, there are many discarnates (spirits) looking for earthly bodies to reincarnate or re-manifest in. These discarnates can't accept death or being out of the material body and thus no longer on the material Earth plane. Absent a flesh body, most will wander around as lost souls walking around in between worlds. So many of these souls are looking for new host bodies and souls of new life (babies) enter the body (baby's body) after the baby exits the womb. It takes approximately 17 minutes for a soul to be comfortably situated and acclimated into its new body.
Incidentally, it takes approximately 17 minutes for the mother's umbilical cord to stop pulsating. The soul is really not completely inside its new body until the mother's umbilical cord stop pulsating.
You can allow the umbilical cord to stay connected to mother and child for the full 17 minutes in a home birth but forget about this in a hospital birth. Doctors are on a time schedule and do not care about science or Nature. Doctors are not waiting 17 minutes to cut the umbilical cord and you can believe that! This is guaranteed! Doctors are cutting that cord (or may even allow the father to cut the cord) within minutes of delivery or the baby exiting from the womb. This is insalubrious considering it takes the soul 17 minutes to fully acclimate and situate itself inside the new host body.
Cutting the cord prematurely causes grave injuries on so many levels. Most times a soul is not comfortably in its new body when the cord is cut, especially during a hospital birth. While a woman is pregnant, the soul hovers around (above) the mother. It is still there above the mother during the labor. When the baby's head makes its way out of the vagina the soul begins its sojourn of making its way into the body and again, it takes approximately 17 minutes for the acclimation process to unfold.

I realize the comment above and this excerpt address two completely different issues, but you know I just had to share them both.  
Anyone have on any thoughts on either excerpt they'd like to share?  You know I'm up for a good distraction from my legal research!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

read it, read it, read all about it.

it seems like these days everybody has a blog, right?  they start a blog about cooking a bunch of exotic recipes or about making awesome treasures out of glitter, rusty nails and a glue gun and a month later, they've got ads all plastered down the side and are quitting their jobs to do the blogging thing full-time. 

no, this is not an announcement that i'm hanging up my lawyer hat to blog all the time.  frankly, i don't have enough interesting things to say about ANYTHING to keep this thing going all the time.  now my husband, on the other hand?  that guy should have a blog.  he says at least 1-2 HILARIOUS things each day, either of which could easily form the foundation for a great blog entry, but he only recently joined facebook, so i'm not too sure he'll be graduating to blogwriter anytime soon. 

all of this to say, sometimes i get really irritated with people who start blogs that are so perfectly formatted and designed and marketed that it just seems like they were planning for their big break.  maybe i'm just jealous.  i guess i just prefer blogs that are more real, more raw and less about the editing, formatting and layout.  so anyway, i just wanted to let you know that i've been reading this blog.  it is about a mother of four children who is a recovering alcoholic/meth addict.  it is just simple and honest, and i've enjoyed reading it.  maybe you will, too.

have a great tuesday! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

breaking bad.

i think john and i have been watching far too many episodes of breaking bad.

last night i dreamed that a mexican drug cartel was coming after us, so john and one of my bosses had to kill them and stuff their bodies in hockey bags.  we all took the bags down to the mystique ice arena and proceeded to catfish charlie's to eat out on the patio... as if nothing had happened.

i woke up today in a cold sweat... feeling nervous, but like i had gotten away with something.

maybe it's time to start catching up on all my real housewives i've DVR'ed, but neglected to watch...