Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why I love my study group (or: quasi-bed rest) (or: how much do you want to know about my cervix?)

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning, and got some kinda-annoying news that is gonna require some lifestyle changes.

First of all, the babies are doing great:-) Both are active and healthy and really good sizes (2 pounds 8 and 2 pounds 7) and are developing right on schedule. And I am doing great, too...blood pressure is the same as it was at my first appointment, no terrible fatigue, no unusual aches and pains (beyond what you'd expect). My weight is good, sugar levels are good, all of my tests have been normal and I have no swelling and bloating. My rings slide on and off super easy.

And then there is my cervix...ugh. Without the lengthy description, here is all you need to know: a short cervix means a risk of pre-term labor. If your cervix gets smaller than 2.5 centimeters, they put you on bed rest for the duration of your pregnancy. As I have detailed here before, that would be a total and complete catastrophe and would be a MAJOR pain in the ass for me. All of my efforts to stay in school this semester are for naught if I have to go on bed rest (and yes, I know this was a stupid idea from the beginning...keep it to yourself!!!).

So, at its first measurement, my cervix was something like 4.0 centimeters. It stayed around that size until about four weeks ago, when it was like 3.5 centimeters. Two weeks ago it was 3.0 or so, which was not a great trend, but not super-alarming. Well, on Friday, it measured about 2.7, and that started to get me worried. It is pretty easy to see where, in two more weeks, that number could be at 2.5 or less, which would require me dropping out of school and losing basically a whole year of school.

After talking with my doctor, we decided on a plan to try and head this off at the pass, which involves putting me on part-time bed rest. Basically, other than sitting up in class, I plan to be laying down essentially all the time. Fortunately, I can do pretty much any work I have to do laying down. It is gonna drive me crazy being that useless, but if it can get me to make it all the way to the birth (or at least close) without having to go totally on bed-rest, then I will give it a shot. One day in, and so far so good...the fact that it was 12 degrees outside didn't hurt.

This will be tough on The Boy, too. I am not supposed to be up much when I am home, and am not supposed to lift anything, which leaves him pretty much in charge of everything around the house. The obvious other complication is that Munchkin is incapacitated, he doesn't have her help, and has two patients to take care of:-)

Final story, though, about my incredibly awesome study-group guys. We have a study room that we can keep stuff in, where we have meetings, and where we keep all of the files and stuff for our semester-long group projects. It is basically like our office at school...only the six of us have to share it. The room has a conference table, a couple desks, and a bunch of office chairs. Usually, after class ends every day, some or all of us convene there to work on either class stuff or project stuff. That is where I do most of my homework before I leave for the day to head home, and really where I spend most of my time at school.

Well, my new plan as of Friday morning was to basically scrap that...and just head straight home after classes end (which is usually like 2:30 or so). I broke the news to my group members when I got to school, and they were bummed. For one, it is harder to do group work if I am not there. And second, I think that they would just plain miss me:-). However, being the resourceful future captains of industry, they weren't about to let a little medical complication get in the way, so they came up with a solution that is actually even better than mine: they stole a couch.

The lobbies outside of all of our study rooms are basically like study lounges with chairs and couches and coffee tables and stuff. So, once I told them that I had to recline whenever I wasn't in class, they figured that they would just take one of the desks and one of the chairs out of the room (leaving it randomly in the and swipe one of the couches to stick in our room. Problem solved! No word on what the facilities department is gonna do when they find all the furniture has been removed from its appropriate places, but we can deal with that on Monday.

In the meantime, I can now sneak away to the study room to lie down between classes, for an hour at lunch, and then all afternoon while I do my homework and whatnot. So now, I will have to be on my feet (or driving or sitting up, which is just as bad) from at least about 7:45 until 10:00 on an average day, which is a lot time. But after that, I will get 15-30 minutes to lay down, then usually another 90 minutes of class, an hour to lie down at lunch, 90 minutes of class and then pretty much lay down for the rest of the day.

Let's all cross out fingers that this keeps me off of full-blown bed rest until it is time to have the babies...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A week or so late...

I bet you didn't know, when you woke up on Monday, that you would get a week-long flurry of public policy and politics related posts from the girl who basically stopped blogging the week before;-). But hey, life is full of surprises, isn't it?

The State of the Union address was on Wednesday, which was much ado about nothing and sort of hit or miss. Scolding Congress: good. Scolding the Supreme Court: tacky. The energy section: good and realistically broad. The brief passage on education: good. A direct call for the repeal of Don't ask Don't tell: good and surprisingly direct. Leaving Health Care until half an hour in: bad. A call to basically pass a bill that is bad and has already been given up on by Democrats in Congress: bad.

And then there was the "fiscal discipline" passage which was, in a word, embarrassing. I wonder how he even delivered it with a straight face. His idea of making hard sacrifices is to freeze spending. Next year, after he increases it again this year. Oh, and not for national security. Or Social Security. Or Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, not for 81% OF THE BUDGET!!!

To put that in perspective: Imagine you earn $50,000 a year. But, you spend $70,000, racking up $20,000 in debt every year. Assume that you spend $20,000 on housing, $10,000 each on food, health care and clothing, and $6,700 in taxes. The other $13,300 is spent on other stuff. One day, you decide that this sort of spending is not sustainable, and you decide to impose some fiscal discipline on yourself in order to fix it. Your grand plan is that you will do absolutely nothing to address housing, food, health care, clothing or taxes, and will just let those continue to rise. In addition, you will raise your "other stuff" spending to about $15,000, but promise to freeze that portion of your spending at $15,000 for the next three years after that.

Solid plan, huh? Well, that is the grand deficit reduction plan. Whoopie!!!

Anyway...moving on...a week ago, we had a monumental election here in Massachusetts, performing the absolutely unheard of act of electing a Republican to a legislative seat. To understand just how odd that is, the state has not had a Republican Senator since 1978, and has had a Republican Representative (the state now has 9) for only a brief period in the mid-1990's. The State legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic (like 80-85%, I think). We have had some Republican governors, but little else of note.

However, Scott Brown, a state Senator, defeated Martha Coakley, the state's Attorney General, by a couple of percentage points last Tuesday, erasing what had been a 31-point deficit in the early election polls. Nationally, this seems to have been portrayed as a rebuke of the health care plan, a smack at Obama and a repudiation of the current Democratic agenda. It seems to have scared the crap out of Democrats nationally and sent them running away from the health bill as fast as they can (that is what Obama was talking about with his little reminded to the Dems that they still have big majorities in both houses).

The national analysis, however, is kind of missing the point, and overstating the lessons of the election. Surely, health care was a factor, and it gave Brown some traction and a clear message that he could consistently hit on, but it was far from the key issue. And, the idea that this was a general rebuke of Obama is way off...fully 12% of the electorate voted from Brown but still approves of Obama which would put his support somewhere near 60% around here.

The national news has also talked about this being "Ted Kennedy's Seat" which is a completely fabricated idea. I don't know a single person who cared, and didn't hear a single person mention anything about the seat's previous occupant. It is an interesting historical note, but it had not an ounce of bearing on the actual election.

There were a couple of more important factors that have gotten less play. First of all, there have been a handful of very high-profile cases of corruption and graft at the State level (this clip has some images from the the great footage of Dianne Wilkerson shoving a cash payoff into her bra) that have the electorate really irritated with the "establishment". In Massachusetts, that means Democrats, regardless of who is actually running.

Second, it is almost impossible to be a worse candidate and to run a worse campaign than she did. To begin with, she just didn't work that hard. The primaries were on December 8 and the election was on January 19. That is, by my count, 42 days...a very, very short time period. Yet she somehow felt the need to take a SIX DAY VACATION in the middle of it. Even the Boston Globe, which is essentially the PR wing of the State's Democratic Party, criticized what they called her "light campaign schedule".

She also managed to come off as incredibly arrogant, which fed into the laziness criticism. The worst offense was, in response to the Globe's criticism of her schedule (and in reference to Scott Brown's spending an entire day outside of Fenway Park working the crowd before the hockey game on New Year's) "As opposed to what, standing outside of Fenway Park in the cold and shaking hands?" Which led to her supporters and critics alike saying a big collective "Um...yes." Throw in some dumb comments about a few local institutions and a shot at Catholics, and you have a candidate who alienated a LOT of people that wanted to support her.

Her ad campaign was awful as well. She ran at least two ads that literally took straight from his talking points. (One had Ted Kennedy's wife saying "This isn't the Kennedy seat, it is the people's seat" which was a line that he used during the last debate. Another warned ominously of Brown being the 41st vote against Health care reform, which was pretty clearly a positive to many voters. Still another sneered the word "Republican" like a dozen times in 30 seconds...and came off as really funny, which is not the tone you want in an attack ad.)

In the final days of the election, her campaign went incredibly negative, including some ads whose veracity was dubious, at best. By that point, the ship was sinking and she began to look desperate. She continually tried to hit him on an anti-abortion measure that would have turned a lot of people off...if it had been a little more true. But it just stretched what we will accept as reasonable truth-bending (I am running long, but I will give you the specifics if you want).

So, in the end, Scott Brown won and it wasn't even a razor thin margin. But, while the national media will tell you that this was about Health Care and about Obama, and while the National GOP will tell you that it was all about the brilliance of Scott Brown, they are both missing the point. The national issues were certainly a small factor, and while Brown is flawed, he is hard working, really likable, very good looking and has a famous wife and a famous daughter.

But, when it really got down to it, the issue that really drove this election was Martha Coakley.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Healthcare, II

Some really good comments yesterday, and I don't really take issue with any of them, nor do I want to get involved in a specific-case discussion, which doesn't serve a whole lot of purpose. Some of the disagreement is really just semantic anyway...most everyone agrees that there is plenty of room for reform, and plenty of room to improve the way we deliver health care.

There were some good defenses of the British NIH and of the Canadian system...but those systems work where they are for a couple of reasons, most notably that England and Canada are not the United States. Americans are fatter than most every other country (and therefore have more obesity-related diseases), more demanding (prescription drug use and doctors visits are higher among Americans than anyone else) and much more litigious (which leads to what many doctors refer to as "defensive medicine" - it is easier to order a test or prescribe a drug than to run the risk of being sued for missing something). Ally did a really good job yesterday of explaining why a lot of our problems are not the fault of government or insurance companies or hospital operators but rather of the American people

The NIH is a total no-go, I think, because I am pretty sure it would require at least one Constitutional Amendment. The Federal Government does not have the authority to nationalize an entire industry, take all of the assets (hospitals, ambulances, equipment, etc.) by edict or by eminent domain, and them inform all of the doctors and nurses that they now have to work for the government. I know that Constitutional limits are flaunted by Congress and the President all the time, but this would be a stretch.

[Here is another dirty little secret: Americans subsidize the health care of everyone else in the world. We end up paying for most of the innovation, and everyone else piggy-backs on the profitability model here. So, for the rest of the world, you should be rooting against single-payer care in the US that would force innovation to either disappear or have its costs shared internationally.]

We have a totally perverted system whereby we pay as socialists, but we still consume as capitalists. As Trigger points out, we do NOT have "market based" health care. Markets involve people making consumptions decisions based on costs and benefits. Cost is nowhere in our health care decision-tree. Imagine that, when buying a car, everyone paid the average price of a car, but you could pick any car you wanted off of the lot. What happens? Everyone drives Bentleys, and the cost of a car rises to $185,000.

Our system of "insurance" is part of the problem as well. Insurance is the spreading of the risk of unusual or catastrophic events...what he do is pay communally for everything. To keep with car analogies: you pay for your gas, tires, oil changes and other routine maintenance out of your pocket, but you have insurance that covers accidents and whatnot. Just a random question...if everything was included in your auto insurance, how much do you think an oil change would cost? Certainly not $19.

We share everything, including routine costs and the costs of self-inflicted disorders, with no allowance for the behaviors of the person involved (except smoking). Because of the way that Americans consume routine care, the costs of that care are astronomical, which then trickles down into the difficulties of obtaining care for the truly catastrophic (and a couple people told good stories about cancer and organ failure and whatnot.)

And that all sort of gets me back to the initial point from yesterday...not that we do not need or could not benefit from Health care reform, just that this current proposal is a disaster. There are certainly some positives (wider insurance coverage, better accommodations for people who are truly just the victims of bad luck), but the overall premise of the bill is flawed. It addresses none of the root causes of our soaring health care costs, it simply promises that the government will pick up the tab for more people. Our government already refuses to live within its means, and this will just do more to continue with our pressing bankruptcy.

In the interest of not being a total negative-nancy, I will throw out the following as a potential solution that would probably work in the US, and would dramatically lower overall costs. I would propose that we go back to an actual insurance model, whereby routine and expected costs are paid out of pocket by the user (or, there is just some limit...say your first $1,000, or $2,500 a year or something) and insurance exists to cover the unexpected and the catastrophic.

Whether that insurance is provided by private companies or by the government is really not as important so long as the principle is preserved: patients and doctors interact directly on most care, without the need for an insurance company or a bureaucrat to determine what should be paid for and how much it should cost. (There is a role for government, as well...most notably for people with serious, genetic pre-existing conditions). However, we do not bankrupt people or families because of an unforeseen and unlikely illness.


Real stuff

I am the worst blogger ever, I know. I owe you things from like a month ago I think...and several from last week, at least.

So, here goes on some real issues:

During my election preview post last week, I made a flippant comment about the asinine health care proposal that the House and Senate were working out, and Ys asked why it was so asinine. Pretty fair question, so here is my criticism of the current proposal (in as much as any of us know what it actually says right now...whole other issue).

The debate started because most Americans have decided that our health care system is broken. The quality of care is outstanding, and access remains better than virtually any other place in the world, but that access is diminishing and the costs are ballooning at an alarming rate. As such, people are looking to reform the system with two basic goals: 1) increase coverage, 2) reduce costs. As a third goal, many more-liberal citizens would like to see a government-insurer that will compete with private insurers where competition is lacking or collusive.

The proposed plan does pretty well with #1: it extends health insurance to many people that don't have it. Unfortunately, the mechanism is poor (and likely unconstitutional): it simply requires everyone who doesn't have health insurance to buy it. All of those people have decided that the benefits of health care do not justify the costs (or else they would have bought it already...duh), so simply requiring them by law to buy into the system seems a little...I dunno...dumb?

On goal #2, the plan is a total failure. While some proponents have made the totally absurd argument that this will cut costs, common sense says that it will cost a fortune (short version: a lot more people will be using a lot more health care.) Various sources put the cost of the plan at somewhere near a trillion dollars. I know that the President is a big fan of unsustainable spending aimed at getting more and more people to feel reliant on the Federal Government, but even by his standards, this is ridiculous.

Side note: any time you hear a politician use the phrase "deficit neutral", you should never vote for them again. You are smarter than that.

Also, for those who support goal #3, this proposal gives you a big middle finger, too. I am not fan of Nancy Pelosi (or of a public insurance company), but she was right on when she called out the President on this two weeks ago...her supporters should have been ecstatic at her doing that.

Here is my question...if the system is broken, then why are we trying to make it much, much bigger? There is very little "reform" in this bill, and a whole lot of expanding a system that we are trying to fix. Anyone who can explain how that works to me will get a cookie...

There are several competing dynamics here:
1) The quality of care (quality of doctors, of equipment, of medicines and of innovation)
2) The availability of care (how long do you have to wait for a doctor? What type and level of care are you entitled to?)
3) Cost

You can maximize any one of them easily, and you can probably maximize two of them easily...but you simply can not have all three. Medical care, like any other good or service, is a limited resource and it is subject to the immutable laws of economics. If we decide that it is in our social interest to have unlimited access for everyone to incredibly high-quality care, then we have to accept that the costs will be astronomical. If we want cheap care, then we have to accept that it will either be limited in its availability or in its quality. Claiming otherwise is akin to arguing against gravity.

I have a lot more on this, and will be happy to discuss it further either here, or via email or gchat, but this is already getting really long, and I also owe you an explanation of why, despite what you read, this was really not the reason that the Republican won the Senate seat last week. That will wait until tomorrow:-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Seems like I have gotten a little distracted from blogging the last...oh...week or Which leaves me very, very far behind on my list of things I wanted to blog about, and bordering on out-of-date.

I have a serious-sounding post about health care and our state's election of last Tuesday (and the misunderstanding of it nationally), but that will need to wait until at least tomorrow. For now, I owe you an explanation as to where I have been while I haven't been blogging (or commenting on others).

There are a couple of intertwined stories here...involving a couple different people. For starters, The Mouth, one of me dearest friends from college is unexpectedly visiting for a bit. To be really frank, she did something kinda stupid, and ended up having to leave her job because of it. She is not real happy about it, nor real proud of it...and I think she came to see me and Smoking Hot Roommate because she couldn't think of anything better to do this week, could benefit from some people reminding her that she is a good person, and she needed to do something.

About the only counterbalancing factor is that she had some help in her actions, and her leaving her job is attached to a very large monetary parting gift. So, she flew out here on Monday and got in during the late evening and it was actually really good to see her, even if she wasn't in great spirits.

Second part of the story...on Tuesday afternoon, Munchkin hurt her foot playing basketball. I wasn't at the game, but she says that she landed on it funny and thought she just had a mild sprain. She has done that before, and didn't think a whole lot of it, even though she was limping on Tuesday night and felt the need to keep an ice pack on it periodically. She has some experience with hurting her ankles, so she sort of knows what to do.

On Wednesday morning, it was pretty swollen and uncomfortable, but she could still walk on it and didn't think it needed anything more than rest. She had already figured that she would have to skip basketball for at least the rest of the week and maybe longer...she also dutifully kept putting ice on it periodically to help with the swelling. At lunch on Wednesday, she called me and said that it had totally blown up and that she could no longer put any weight on it at all.

So, I picked her up at school and took her to the hospital...after a lengthy wait, a quick exam and an X-ray, the verdict was in. Broken bone in her foot. Ouch. Then the orthopedist looked at it and decided that he wanted to consult a surgeon to decide on the best course of action to re-set the bone.

Surgery? Say what?

The good news is that they (in the end there were four specialists) decided against surgery, and think that the bone can heal without any negative effects. The bad news is that she will be on crutches for a while, then in a boot and will have to be very careful while it is healing. Basketball season is obviously done for, and most likely a large chunk of her spring lacrosse and soccer, as well. The concerned parent in me is tempted to just tell her to not play any sports until the fall just to be safe, but I haven't verbalized that yet.

In the short term, that meant that she was in some pain, on some meds, and adjusting to her lack of mobility. For me, that meant the cancellation of my weekend trip to Florida:-( Munchkin was supposed to stay with Smoking Hot Roommate, but SHR was actually super busy all weekend and was really only on kind of emergency supervisory duty (Munchkin is old enough to pretty much take care of herself, even if I won't leave her home alone for two days in a row). However, SHR was way to busy to be around all the time, which is sort of what Munchkin needed this weekend.

Oh...but wait a minute...!!! Who is miraculously around all weekend?

That's right...The Mouth's ethically-challenged ways saved my vacation! She was more than happy to hang out at my place for the weekend, make sure Munchkin was comfortable and allow me and The Boy to get away to some warm weather for a few days. So, we blew out on Friday afternoon, hung out on the beach and enjoyed the heat yesterday and today, and got back after dinner tonight. Not exactly a lavish vacation, but just perfect to remind me that the world is not entirely covered in snow:-).

I am feeling relaxed, a little bit tanned, de-frosted and overall much better than two days ago. And I think The Mouth rather enjoyed having something to

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Random Sunday Stuff

Happy Sunday morning:-) I don't blog on Sunday often, so I guess today is special!!

I was up really early, so I have already been to the gym (more on that in a second), showered, made breakfast and am ready to relax for a bit. Munchkin had two friends sleep over last night, so they are just getting up now, and I will have to get them home.


They have discovered the concept of extensive home skin care, so they spent the bulk of yesterday shopping for skin care products and then giving each other facials. After they finished with themselves, they needed new volunteers, so I happily obliged. Actually, they did a pretty good face cloth, cleanser, exfoliater, a mask, moisturizer...pretty comprehensive! And my skin feels pretty good today, so I am a fan.


When I was at the gym, I read the most recent issue of Maxim, or at least most of it. Amanda Bynes? Not quite a little girl anymore...yowzas. Munchkin and I rode in an elevator with her like four years ago at the Cambridgeside Galleria when she was out promoting some movie or another. Even though it was late, and her "work day" was pretty much over, she was super sweet and chatted with Munchkin the whole way down to the garage (I didn't actually recognize her). So, I always liked her, and have since decided that "What a Girl Wants" is totally awesome. However, it is very clear that she has grown up quite a bit since then...


Big news around here is that we have a special Senate election on Tuesday to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy. It is kind of a funny situation...there is no reason at all to believe that this should be a close race, yet the polls show the Republican leading by a couple of points. The Democrats, who should be winning by 30 points (there are something like four registered Democrats for every Republican in the state, Obama has higher approval ratings here than virtually anywhere else, the wildly unpopular health care bill is still polls about 50/50 here, it is the bluest of blue states, etc.) are suddenly panicked, and have called in all of the heavyweights to try and save the election.

Bill Clinton was here Friday, Obama is here today and they sent a whole bunch of operatives over the last week or so. In addition, the Democratic National Committee has committed like half a million dollars, and the big left-affiliated special interests have spent tons of money, too. The right-leaning interests have done the same, but for them it is with a totally different spirit...they are seeing a totally unwinnable seat that they may be able to win, while the left is panicked over losing something that they absolutely, positively can't imagine losing.

I am a little torn. Martha Coakley is the Democrat, and I think she would make a better Senator than a campaigner (which is good, since she is a terrible campaigner:-)). Scott Brown is the Republican, and while he is super hot, I am not sure that there is really that much substance to him. However, he remains the best and most realistic chance to kill this asinine health care bill, which is kind of the most pressing current issue. So, my question I vote for the person that I basically like more, even though I like the other one better on the biggest current issue?

One thing that may help...given the relative strength of the two parties in Massachusetts, should he win, he will face a very strong contender with lots of money and lots of support in three years when he is up for re-election. If she wins, she will be there for life. So, the idea of voting for him now, and then running him out in three years is not totally implausible.

I understand that this has become a relatively big story nationwide in the last couple of anyone have any thoughts based on what you hear elsewhere?

Friday, January 15, 2010

One of the year's most important days!!

OK, I have to rush this because I have dinner plans, and have been running around all day a little bit.

But...It's Smoking Hot Roommate's Birthday!!! Yay!!! She remains my most favorite person on earth (that I am not related to:-)) and clearly the most important person that I have ever met. Just think...who invites a teenager to come and live with her for two months so her friend's mother-in-law can take her bedroom and watch the babies? Not many that I know of...

Pretty soon, I will fill you in on the travel plans that she and Munchkin have that may or may not include Johannesburg, Milan, Madrid and/or London. Seriously, I can't make this shit up.

One other note, I got a super sweet email from a guy that I sort of knew through work. Maybe a year or so ago, I was talking to him about Munchkin and whatnot, and mentioned our weekly standing date. He thought that was a really neat idea, and yesterday he sent me a note that he and his two kids (boy and a girl...both like 7-9 or so) have been going out to dinner every single Thursday night since then. He finds himself looking forward to it every week more and more...and that made me say "Awww."

He also mentioned that his wife looks forward to being left home alone every week:-)

So, there you have it...the power of chicken finger Thursdays is spreading!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, I just love her more every day

Munchkin, very seriously, asked me if we could take a week off from school and volunteer with the Red Cross in Haiti.

OK, so usually she is a little more rational than that (a 14 year old and a pregnant chick in a disaster zone?) but the sentiment is very sincere and quite touching. She was at a friend's house, and the friend's older sister was preparing to take some time off from work to go, as she has done a few times before. I think Munchkin thought it sounded like a really good, hands-on way to help, and thought it a mighty fine idea.

It is obviously not a real good idea, but I admire her for having it:-). I told her we will figure out some other way to help...and on that note, Brookem posted a link to some things that would be a big help.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What color, exactly, is "Badd"?

Let's talk about sex! More specifically, let's talk about the complications of doing it with a giant extra part of your sticking out of where your stomach usually is, and all kinds of weird hormones floating around. I know I have at least three other pregnant readers, and a whole bunch of Moms, so I expect to get some feedback on this...

First, I have found my sex drive to be pretty much unaffected. I get tired more easily, so in that sense it has waned, but it hasn't gone away entirely, or gone raging off the charts, either. It seems to have been pretty much the same as it always was. I guess, maybe. I am a little surprised that I don't feel any less sexy...I had figured that I would feel bloated and gross and not quite like my little sexpot-self, but that hasn't been the case at all.

I think part of that is due to the weird, sort of foreign-ness of it all. While it is clearly my tummy, it sorta feels like it is not? I am not sure I can really explain it...but I definitely don't feel like "my stomach is huge" so much as "I have this weird stomach thing attached to me." I don't really feel much less sexy, at least not around The Boy, which has been a pleasant surprise.

There is one difference, though...I feel less slutty. Sometimes, and I am sure you can all relate, you just feel a little sluttier than usual. It may manifest itself in saying dirtier than normal things, or doing different things than you may normally do, or in more unusual locations...but there are just times that you feel like the inner porn star needs to get a little air time (I will spare you the details in this forum, but I can elaborate outside of this if you need some ideas:-P). There has definitely been a whole lot less of that, and I really think it is because of some psychological acknowledgment that I want to be more respectable in front of the kids:-P. They can't see or hear me, but they know...

Second, the logistics are getting difficult! I can't lay on my stomach, I am much less flexible, and I can't really lay on my back for too long, either:-). I have always orgasmed fastest and most often from being on top...and that has become kind of unworkable, as it gets a little tough to really get down to all of the really good grinding with a giant belly in the way:-) To counteract that, we have been making better and more use of some of the goodies in my closet...which I am totally OK with... I will come right out and say that I would be one miserable bitch these days if I didn't own a vibrator.

Third, there is at least one advantage to being pregnant...Boobs!!! My boobs are, by my standard, huge. In regular woman terms, that means that I actually have boobs, that they provide an actual filling-out of clothing, and that they carry with them some actual volume. This is a new phenomenon for me, and has been quite fun to get used to. Sure they will shrivel up and go away when this is all over, but I am enjoying them while I have them. They can really be quite useful:-)

In summary, it's been different, and there are some challenges, but I haven't found it to be a huge downer on my sex is pretty easy to work around:-).

Anyone else?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby Pictures

Better late than never, here are the baby girls from last week:-) I also have 3-D ones, but they didn't come out great, and are sorta I like my girls to not look creepy!!! Baby Non-Presenting has her hand right up in front of her little face here...

While Baby Presenting just sorta seems to be hanging showing off her "round head". Yes...the radiologist told me she has a round head...whatever that means. I was really hoping for "triangular"... I believe that is her sister's head in the left hand corner of the picture, but I am not sure.

Anyway, back to school today, so my lovely vacation is over with. You would think that all of that free time would have led to some blogging, wouldn't you?, it didn't. It led to me doing a whole lot of nothing!

I did a lot of cooking...I made lots of cookies and brownies, plus a roast one day, chicken in white wine sauce another day, and a lasagna on another. It all turned out pretty good. I went to Munchkin's school to talk to some of the high school girls one afternoon, and that was really fun. I went to the gym a couple of times, which felt good and allowed me to read a lot (I read books by both Glen Beck and Barack Obama in the same week...that feels like it should be some kind of a record.) And I took my first pre-natal yoga class, which was awesome!!!

Most importantly, though, I talked The Boy into taking me on vacation the weekend after next...Yay!!! Nothing super fancy, just a quick long weekend in Florida to get away from the cold, relax a bit and get some sun. This is, of course, assuming that the weather in Florida improves a little is almost as cold there as it is here! Hopefully, Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis and their husbands will come with us, too:-) Munchkin will either come with, stay with one of them, stay with a friend or stay at Papa Bear's.

Munchkin's friend's Mom called me yesterday to see if I still wanted to come on the annual ski weekend that the girls always go on, and that I have gone on the last couple of years. Obviously, no skiing or snowboarding for me, and I am not even sure I will be able to cook as much as I have in years past, but I certainly hope I can still go! Hopefully another month of growing won't make me totally unmanageable:-)

OK...that is enough for now...I have some stuff for tomorrow that is a little more fun:-)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The gym and traveling

I started going to the gym yesterday, which is something I have never really done much of. When I first found out I was pregnant, I asked my doctor whether I should undertake some kind of a fitness program. She told me not to start anything new, but to keep walking as much as I can (I walk a lot) and to start some basic stretching and stuff.

That worked out fine, and I have felt pretty good throughout most of my pregnancy so far. Unfortunately, it is now really cold, very snowy and quite icy out. Given the balance complications that come from carrying a whole bunch of new extra weight, that is a recipe for disaster! So, I have moved my walking indoors, probably for the duration. Also, my tuition includes access to the gym, so I might as well use it, I suppose, right?

I don't walk so much as I waddle:-). But it is nice and relaxing and I can watch TV or read while I do it. I'll ask the doctor tomorrow if there is anything else I should do as long as I am there. I also think I may start Yoga, too.

One another note, as many of you that have been reading for a while know, one of my favorite times every year is our annual spring trip. Since Munchkin moved here, we have gone away every year in March (during her spring vacation) to someplace warm. She and I went to Disney and the beach in Florida, and then a whole bunch of people, including two of Munchkin's friends, went to Mexico in '07, and then to the British Virgin Islands in '08, then back to Mexico last year.

And, now that I have a spring break that coincides with hers...we should be all set, right? Darn babies and their flying ban!!! Argh!!! How am I supposed to get my winter warm-weather fix if I am grounded? Big Sis, too...she probably won't be able to fly, either (she is more likely to get the go-ahead than I am, though). I really didn't think this through, did I? So, long and short, the March trip is likely a no-go.

Munchkin and Smoking Hot Roommate are scheming on their own travel plans...which are more ridiculous than I could possibly explain. I will let you know if they materialize:-). But that really does me no good!!!

So...who thinks that I should make The Boy take me somewhere for a long weekend real soon! Florida maybe?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Weather Delays

The snow around here is causing all kinds of issues with various travelling parties...

Tinkerbelle was supposed to leave on Saturday morning, but the snow delayed things, and rather than sit at the airport all day, we just swapped her flight to today. And then that got delayed again because it snowed even more this morning. The whole flight pattern became such a cluster that it was unclear whether or not she would get any flight today, so we just went ahead and rescheduled her for tomorrow.

So, she is going to end up missing some school, but what can you do? If all goes according to plan, she will get out early enough tomorrow that she can maybe get to school for the afternoon, unless her Mom just decides to keep her home instead. It does, however, mean that I got an extra two days worth of visiting from her, and I won't complain about that:-). Surprisingly, this is not the first time that a visit of hers has been extended (long time readers may remember that she came to visit in the summer of '08 when her Mom had back surgery and ended up staying much longer than anticipated.)

Munchkin was supposed to get back at about dinnertime on Saturday, but they had all kinds of issues getting here as well. They did, however, make it into Boston around midnight, and I got a very tired Munchkin back not long after that. As I am sure you would expect, she had a great time, and she has a killer tan and looks awesome. Her hair got super blond in the sun am still jealous:-). No foreign boy stories this least none that interested her as much as Frenchie did last year.

The travel troubles also had a nice unintended consequence in that it gave Munchkin and Tinkerbelle some time to hang out today. They really do get along well, so they enjoyed the chance to spend the day together today.

Um...let's see what else...I have virtually nothing to do this week!!! I have a doctor's appointment Wednesday, and I am going to Munchkin's school to talk to a group of the older girls about finance and stuff (I talked Boss Foxy into doing the same thing a couple of years ago...and it inspired my favorite post ever, linked over there to the right -> ). I put in a call to a girl in my class at school whose background is more general management in technology, and hopefully she will be able to come with me.

Beyond that, lottsa trashy TV, reading and enjoying the peace and quiet!!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Welcome 2010

Happy New Year everyone:-) Hoping everyone is feeling happy and healthy and rip-roaring ready to tackle the new year. I know I am!

Obviously, this is gonna be a big year in AM-land, and things will look a whole lot different next New Year's than they do today. Also, I managed to spend New Year's Eve in a totally new and different way...sober!!! Can't tell you the last New Year's Eve that I wasn't completely loaded for:-) Maybe when I was about 16? Not real sure...but it was a new experience:-)

Went to a friend's house that was pretty low-key for a while but was really getting revved up at about 11:00. Tinkerbelle was a little tired, and starting to get a little overwhelmed, so we left at that point...I got my New Year's kiss early, and then got to talk to Munchkin while we were walking home (St. Thomas is an hour ahead, so it was past midnight for her...she kissed no one, which I am totally OK with...hee hee).

It was sort of a reminder of how different my sisters are. When Munchkin was 10, I would have had no problem keeping her out all night (provided she had napped:-)) at a party at someone's house. And, she wouldn't have really even required that much supervision...she is super-confident, really outgoing and comfortable enough around my friends to have a good time on her own. Tinkerbelle, on the other hand, is much more shy and definitely gets overwhelmed with crowds and noise. She also doesn't know as many of my friends or know them as well, but mostly she is just a little more timid. To be honest, Tinkerbelle is the "normal" one...and Munchkin is the weirdo;-)

Tinkerbelle actually rallied a bit on the way home, and since it was not super cold, we stayed out to sort of enjoy the evening and then watch the midnight fireworks. The city was crowded, but not a total madhouse, and we had a good time just sort of enjoying the energy and all the lights and stuff. Kinda nice:-)

I am not making any specific resolutions. My only real goal for the year is to have two healthy little baby girls, and I can't think of anything that I need to resolve to do in order to make that I will pass on resolving anything. it is bed time. Happy New Year!