05 August 2015

For those of you who are able to plan approximately when you have your baby

Gabriel was born in January, and this baby will be born in September, and I have some thoughts about baby having at those different times of year.

Nice things about having a September baby:
  • All of my baby related healthcare costs are hitting in one calendar year. I hit my deductible early, and my deductible is not going to reset midway through my pregnancy. In fact, by the time I actually have this baby, I'll also have hit my out of pocket maximum for the year, and the entire hospital/birthing portion will be cost-free. 
  • Related to the above, I've hit my deductible! Everyone go make all of your elective appointments! Dermatologist! Chiropractor! Acupuncturist! THIS IS THE YEAR!
  • Gabriel is at his dad's for most of the summer, which was also most of my third trimester, which meant that I didn't have to care for any extra humans and got a lot more rest than I would at another time of year.
  • My leave perfectly covers the winter holidays, and I start back at work in January.
Terrible things about a September baby:
  • You have to be pregnant through the ENTIRE summer.
Things that were nice about a January baby:
  • It wasn't hot during my third trimester.
In conclusion, having your baby in the final quarter/third of the year is cheaper and gets you off work during the holidays, but you have to be hugely pregnant in August, which is terrible.

01 June 2015

Family Vacation

I'm going on VACATION next week. For a whole week!
I haven't been on a vacation in ages. I haven't been on a vacation that was longer than a long weekend in YEARS.
I am excite.
We're renting a house in San Diego. Not a BEACH house, but a house that is within walking distance of a beach.
That's 4 nights, and then two nights in Santa Barbara. We were originally supposed to be Gabriel-less in Santa Barbara, so I had booked a boutique hotel with antique charm, but Gabriel's dad changed his plans, so now Gabriel is coming to Santa Barbara with us, so I cancelled that reservation and instead booked a resort-type hotel with multiple swimming pools.
I'm starting to form my San Diego plans.
We will be there for three full, not-at-all travel days.
I am thinking we will shoot for one (not all-day) activity for each of those days, plus eating, beach lounging, house lounging, and napping.
We are driving down, so we will be mobile.
Gabriel likes both natural history museums and science museums, and San Diego, being a city, has both, so I think we will maybe do that, plus the zoo. Or maybe the safari park which is affiliated with the zoo.
That seems like a good quantity of activities without overscheduling ourselves. We will still have plenty of time to beach and relax.
If the weather is not of the beach-friendly variety, then we can go to the movies, or maybe just spend an EXTRA LONG time at the museums.
I bought Gabriel a boogie board.
I have a very sturdy umbrella and two beach chairs for Quentin and me.
I understand that San Diego has "grocery stores" so snacks should be plentiful.

I also bought a new bathing suit bottom.
You might think, as a person who is is nearly 6 months pregnant, that what I would need is a bathing suit TOP, but no. I have a very long torso, so I look like MAYBE I'm pregnant, or maybe I just have an awkward beer gut.
Also, because *I* know that I'm pregnant and not just letting myself go, I'm more comfortable than usual in a bikini, because whatever, that belly contains a person. 
However, my butt has grown two full sizes.  So I had to do something about THAT.

26 May 2015

What I really want to talk about is poop categories (not my own specifically)

I find myself unsure of which specific pieces of information I need to provide in order to tell the internet about acupuncture, and then poop categorization technique, so I'll just start throwing stuff out there.

One thing is that I'm pregnant!
I'm due 9/20, and I find that being a decade older this time around is....more physically challenging. I think that there's a reason we are at our most fertile in our teens and early 20s, and it has to do with back pain and exhaustion.

So a related thing, is that when I was pregnant with Gabriel, I hummed along just fine until my third trimester, at which point I filled up like water balloon. I gained 40 (or possibly more) lbs, nearly all of it water weight.
I looked like a swollen monster.
I couldn't wear shoes.
It was terrible.
They tested me for all sorts of things, and by all sorts of things I mean they made me do the gestational diabetes test twice, and repeatedly tested me for pre-eclampsia. So really they just tested me for two things, but it felt like a lot at the time.
I had neither.
And then I had my baby and my body decided to drain itself, but I'm left with unpleasant memories and angry stretch marks.

Another thing is that I'm mostly into western medicine. I think it's good to take a holistic approach, and listen to your body, and blah blah, but I believe in doctors and generally trust them to do their doctorly thing. I fretted at my midwife about swollen monster legs, and she recommended acupuncture, as a thing that sometimes helps people, and might work for me. Which sounds pretty nifty. I'm down.

Anyhow, I think those are all the things I need to share.

Oh wait I want to share one more thing. Even after this appointment I still have no idea how acupuncture is even supposed to work in theory. I realize this is something I could google. MAYBE I WILL. 

Moving on. Monday (yesterday, for the layman) I had my initial acupuncture appointment, which included an exhaustive medical history interview/screening, where we went through every medical problem I've ever had in my life, and I'm certain my acupuncturist now knows more about my personal health than any doctor I've ever seen. And it's weird how much I'm willing to forget!
No, no broken bones. Oh wait I broke my foot once.
Hang on I HAVE had surgeries. Several!

And now we are to the question that has been plaguing my mind for the past 24 hours.
If you had to put your bowel movements in one of the following four categories, would it be:
- Sausage
- Pebbles
- Coleslaw
- Oatmeal

I cannot express how fascinated I am by these poop categories.
And how horrified I am by the thought of experiencing coleslaw.

29 January 2015

Electrician update

So the electrician came yesterday to do his initial assessment.
It took us awhile to FIND an electrician because we wanted one who wouldn't be too alarmed by the questionable and most certainly unpermitted work that the previous tenants performed, but who would still assess and fix it. And be reasonably priced!
We went with some local dude my mom knows, because we live in a small town and of course.

There is some really.....suspicious wiring that we're finally taking care of. Like how one of our bedrooms is powered by an extension cord going through the wall. And how the washing machine is also wired to an extension cord. And so is the basement. And basically a lot of extension cords where extension cords really do not belong.
Plus the aforementioned upstairs room issues.
I was at work, Quentin was spraying the undercarriage of his mom's house with orange oil (like the good son that he is), so my mom showed the electrician around. She kept calling me to confirm quirks (oh yeah, that light switch works about half the time, but definitely not always. That switch GOES TO NOWHERE. No I don't know what that does).
I asked if the electrician was horrified. I heard him say, "Don't worry, I've seen worse. Well....not much worse."
So! The electrician is coming back tomorrow to begin fixing things.
Which is very nice because I am newly refreshed with worry about new things to worry about.

28 January 2015

January Assortment

Doing taxes with another person is annoying.
Quentin is self employed.
He handed me a shoebox of receipts.
My job is...a lot right now. Good, rewarding, blah blah, but also a lot.
I'm heading up the implementation of a new financial system (huge).
It's year end.
Oh and our CFO resigned unexpectedly. Last week.
So it's just a lot, and I'm really tired, but on the balance of things, I guess I'm not as tired as I would be at my old job. I'm just used to fewer demands, and whatnot.
Oh here's a thing. The receptionist at my company also works at my gym. Today she ASKED ME ABOUT MY GYM ATTENDANCE. NOTING THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN TO THE GYM MUCH LATELY.
I feel like a sacred cone of silence was shattered.
And now I never want to go to the gym again.
Gabriel's birthday was Monday! He's nine, and fabulous. I took him and his cousins to the arcade after school, which is one of the lower circles of hell, but they had a lot of fun. Then we went to the park, and out to pizza, and by the end of the day everyone was still getting along and not a single tear was shed. My mom made cake.
We're moving Gabriel upstairs, which is....a very strange room. I've written about it before, but this isn't the blogging of yesteryear, so I don't even want to go find the post. Anyhow it's an attic room, so slanty walls down to the floor (A-shaped), so weird to furnish, and then it has some extra special quirks like mystery linoleum flooring, poor ventilation, and random electrical outlets in the floor.
Oh and no light switches.
Anyhow, in order to move him upstairs, we're having an electrician take care of the scary floor outlets and install proper light switches so you don't have to stumble blindly into the dark room reaching for the string to pull the light. Once that's taken care of we're going to have the floors redone, and then we're putting a ventilation fan into one of the eaves. And then because the stairs are strange and narrow, a full sized box spring does not fit up the stairs (or through the window). So we bought an IKEA bed frame situation which we're going to assemble upstairs.
It's all a lot of work and also it's making my head hurt just thinking about the expense, even though I suppose the expense is reasonable. I rent, but from my family (and at a VERY low price), so we have kind of a weird setup with expenses like this. No one is making any money off my rent (it offsets property expenses), and my rent is so low, that it's not like a normal landlord relationship where I feel like demanding improvements. There are some things that I do not pay (when my roof was leaking, my downstairs floors that needed to be redone very badly, replacing rotting deck boards) because the reality is I don't own the house, and that's not my job. But other expenses that would fall into 'landlord' in a more traditional setup, I take on. Basically the line is "Is this a safety issue or a comfort/improvement issue?".
Safety issues: Landlord.
Cosmetic house improvements: Me.
So the upstairs floors are all me. The electrical stuff is sort of half scary (weird wiring) and half cosmetic (hideous fixtures), so we are splitting the cost.
I figured out that my rent is so low that I can spend anywhere between $5-$10K per year on improving my house and I would still be paying below market rent in my (very expensive) area. Of course I don't have $10K laying around, but I really don't sweat things like paying for new flooring in my rental, because it still comes in well under the threshold.
That was boring, but in case you were wondering why I'm worried about the expense of new floors when I rent.
Gabriel will like being out of his tiny closet bedroom, anyhow.

02 January 2015

Pictures from my wedding reception

This was sort of the big deal thing I did in 2014. It was in November, and I just got pictures back on New Years Eve.
Susannah is a deeply satisfying 2-year-old. I'm sharing my lipstick.
This kid is the best kid
Do you SEE how awesome Susannah is though?
This is my sister, me, and my mom. And my sister and I are both making weird faces. But whatever! BE COOL I SAID.
My brother James has a girlfriend, and they're pretty darned cute
Your annual reminder that there are FIVE OF US.
I'm so, SO GLAD there is a photo of this. Because it is the reason that my husband was 2.5 hours late to his own wedding reception. Just think about that for a minute. I'll wait. Just let it process. Yeah. This. Is. Why. He. Was. Late.
And finally, of all the photos taken, this is my hands down favorite. Because...my nephew and my friend's son are very deeply involved in a physical fight. Photographer is DOCUMENTING THE EXPERIENCE. You can see my friend Ashley (that's her son being strangled) stepping in from the upper right. Our cousin who is the same age watching from the foreground. FAVORITE PICTURE.


1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I got married! Haaaaahahahaha that's going to come up over and over again, y'know?  
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any! So yes!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Molly! Had a really cute baby! The cutest! Three questions in and we're already balls deep in exclamation points!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My dad's stepdad passed away in the fall. It...was time. He had been on hospice for some time, and had been in a years long steep decline. He was 89. 

5. What countries did you visit?
The United States of America. I don't see this answer changing any time soon. Gone are my days of frolicking about the globe. 

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Hmmm....a BABY? 

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
10/10/14 - I got married!!!
11/8/14 - We had an after-the-fact wedding reception!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Oh I dunno. I'm a whole lot happier. Oh! I got put in charge of this project at my job! That's pretty cool.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I fell asleep at the wheel and totaled my car and very fortunately did not die. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No! Well I cut open my forehead during the aforementioned car accident, but it wasn't serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I got a lot of makeup that I've really been enjoying. Also the money I spent on trips this year, those were all good.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gabriel is just super rad.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I had some disappointing friend moments, but overall I'd call it resolved. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Life, shopping, travel. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Visiting my niece in AZ, getting MARRIED, painting my living room, seeing a bunch of my friends in November, going to Philly.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Our House

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (like, WAY fatter, this has been a 2014 problem).
c) richer or poorer? Richer. 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
It was Gabriel's dad's year for Christmas, so we did Gabriel Christmas on Christmas Eve, and spent that evening at my grandma's (as usual). Christmas Day we visited with my family and then did dinner with Quentin's.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
90 Day Fiance!  

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
The final Daughter of Smoke and Bone book! I don't remember what it's called. It's good! 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
2014 was musically stilted. 

26. What did you want and get?
It feels like every damn thing I can think of. 

27. What did you want and not get?
I'm still trying to get Quentin to paint the kitchen.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
32. Quentin and I went to dinner and drinks all dressed up fancy-like. 

30. What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know! 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I'm fat so anything stretchy. 

32. What kept you sane?
My boys.

 33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Did you hear JGL got married?? 

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Ferguson, etc. 

35. Who did you miss?
I got to see so many people this year! College friends! High school friends!

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Either my husband (scandalous) or my puppy.

 37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Just go for it! 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands! Exclamation points!

18 December 2014

Hotel Wish Lists

I'm on my second work trip of the year.
I have developed a list of hotel THINGS, both required, and nice to have. I'm writing it down for the next time I need to book something.

Room service. The hotel I stayed at in October didn't have it and it was devastating.
Swimming pool/hot tub. I don't always use it, but I always want the option.
Fitness center. Same as above.
Full service bar that's not weird. On my last trip the bar was an extension of the hotel front desk, at my current hotel the bar is beer and wine only.
Mini-fridge. If you're gone for a week, sometimes you want to have a place for a cold beverage or leftovers.
Free WiFi. Why are hotels that charge for WiFi even still a thing? That's not how 2014 works.
Ice machine on every floor. I guess this is more of a strong preference than a requirement, but seriously? Why is this even an option.
Showers that aren't flawed. I feel like so many hotel showers either don't have good water pressure or don't drain properly or whatever.
Decent bathroom lighting.
A cable/tv system where you can hit a guide button and see all the channels and shows that are upcoming instead of just going channel up/channel down and trying to memorize the ones that you like and figuring out what might be on where and when. This was especially annoying when I was traveling during the world series and couldn't find my Giants. Did I click through the channel and it was on a commercial? WHO KNOWS IT IS A MYSTERY.

My last hotel had gym/pool/WiFi/kitchenette area but had a weird bar and no room service and ice machines on every other floor and I was not on one of the ice floors.
At this moment, I'm staying at a hotel that does have a gym and a pool and free WiFi and room service and an ice machine on my floor, but does not have a mini-fridge or a full-service bar.
Both hotels have had flawed shower situations.

The next work trip I have to take, I will try yet a third hotel chain, in hopes of finding the golden land at a price that my company will pay for.
So I'm crowdsourcing.
What is your favorite reasonably priced hotel? There's no luxury hotels in my future, at least not ones paid for by my job.