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I am eating 13 raw pole beans for lunch. (Well, other things, too.) Previous harvest was 3, so a total of 16 pole beans have made it! More are still little. They are very long - 8 inches - but pretty good flavor. Fortex is the cultivar.

mr. flea wishes me to correct the word "argument" in yesterday's post about Dillo's name and change it to "constructive discussion." I suppose we did get somewhere - we found 2 first names we can both live with.

34 weeks

Jun. 7th, 2006 03:05 pm
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Another very routine appointmment. Weight 169, BP 108/68, baby head down, everything normal. I've had a couple of killer Braxton-Hicks contractions in the past week, really strong, but no more than 1 or 2 a day, nothing like a pre-labor pattern. Dillo had hiccups for the first time last night; Casper used to have them all the time. I am getting a sore back from sleeping now, and have a hard time spending more than 7 hours in bed at night - have to get up and move around. We go back in another 2 weeks for the Group B strep test, then go to every week appointments. Yoicks, it's a comin'. Got my FMLA paperwork done; must call the hospital about pre-registering.

Casper's had some bad times on the potty front. mr. flea went out and bought The Princess and the Potty, which is as much for me and my frustration as for Casper. (The King and Queen go to the royal wise man, who says, "The Princess will use the potty when the Princess is ready to use the potty." And she does.) But over the weekend she ate and drank very little and didn't poop, and we've had two evenings of constipation and pain and some crying (and successful production, eventually). mr. flea is fretting a lot; as a chronically constipated person myself I am a little more sanguine. I'm not sure if it's a psychological thing - holding it in, control - or physical as a result of dehydration and too much dairy in hot weather. We're pushing fruit and juice and relaxation.

Casper is currently the owner of a large herd of horses. It started with the 3 lego duplo horses that were a Christmas present. Then they acquired a mommy, in the form of a dollar-store My Little Pony knockoff from the nanny (purple). My mother got her 3 plastic Schleich horses when she visited, and helped make a stable for them out of a shoebox. They have ropes that they get led around by, made of shoelaces. Two small stuffed elephants are also sleeping in the stable; I'm not sure where they fit in. The horses require a lot of care, and sometimes get lined up. They must not be played with by any visitng friends. Last night they each slept in their own squares on the plaiddish rug in Casper's room.
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Baby names:
Born to a coworker, Xiaoli: Alexandra.
Born to a Park mommy, Christina, and her husband Kyle: Matthew; big sister is Kate.

Another hour-long wrangle on names for the armadillo this weekend; mr. flea found a list of Polish names on the internets and kept reading them off and I kept saying, "These are *pope* names! They're latin!" (They included Ignatius, Clement, and Constanz.) He developed a fondness for Raphael, which led to a discussion of which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle one should name a son after.

On the plus side, we may have agreed on a middle name.


On AIDS at 25, in 1981 I was 9, and AIDS was not on my radar, unsurprisingly. By 1985, 1986, 1987, though, it was. And those were the formative years of my adolescent understanding of sex. I definitely remember thinking, when I was in high school, that soon I would know people my age with AIDS, that we would all have to be so careful about sex. Not everybody my age has been, of course, and I probably would have been anyway, but awareness of AIDS certainly reinforced that tendency in me. I'm still surprised, sometimes, that AIDS didn't become widespread in the American middle-class heterosexual community the way I thought it would when I was 15. I knew only one person who has died as a result of AIDS, and he died only within the last couple of years, from a heart condition (caused/exacerbated by AIDS drugs) after many many years of living with HIV.
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The weather has been wonderful - 50 at night, 75 during the day, a decent amount of rain but no Noah story. My garden is happy. It's great for sleeping. I saw a couple of busquitoes in the yard the other day, but they aren't out in force yet.

Casper has had a big jump in the last couple of weeks, verbally and socially. She speaks in a more sophisticated way all of a sudden - more complex phrasing, dependent clauses. She's also more into stories, developing ideas and playing them out, as opposed to rattling off songs and verses. She's creative. She makes connections. Socially, she is suddenly pretty outgoing, after a long period of shyness with people outside our immediate circle. She talks much more at school, and Monday night was very sweet in making social overtures to a shy Lucy, and Wednesday went over to ask Annabel with a scraped knee if she was okay, and so forth. She's such a marvel. It's amazing how you can keep loving your child more and more.

I'm also all gooshy about the armadillo, since visiting with baby Ted a couple of weeks ago. He was so sweet and open and good-natured, am internally I went "I'm going to have a boy like this." (Okay, who knows if I actually will, but it's a good feeling.) The armadillo is at the peak of activity lately - big enough to really make his presence felt, but not so big that he's squashed in unable to move. He feels like a real little person in there.

We've been doing a good job of spending family time together and making real dinners - last night we had Whole Foods ciabatta bread with homemade pesto and fresh mozzarella, then red lentil soup, then homegrown salad. Then we took a walk around the block, and did a little desultory yard work, before coming in to get ready for bed.

If this is all due to the prednisone, god bless it I say. Or maybe the good pregnancy hormones finally kicked in this time around.

30 weeks

May. 8th, 2006 01:22 pm
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Routine Ob/GYN appointment today: 161.5 pounds (up 1.5), BP 110/78 (a little higher than my usual, but it's been a rough coupla days), height of fundus up 2 cms, heartbeat normal. He's a wiggle boy, and I could probably identify body parts like feet and butt and head if I knew how to do that kind of thing. I definitely have hard knobs poking out at times.

In ohmigod sometimes doctors are wonderful news, mine looked at me, said, "You look awful," and called various dermatologists until they could get me an appointment today! So at 3 some lovely person will make me better, I hope. Dr. D. said steroids can be used, probably pills, and that there are ones that are known to be okay since so many pregnant women with asthma and autoimune diseases need them. So The Internets (which said steroids are a class C drug in pregnancy, i.e. use 'em only if you really really have to) are not always right. Relief may be in sight! A good thing, too - it was a horrible night, and my eye is a complete puffball. I completely did the right thing calling in sick today.

In other good news, we expect a Halloweenie! (I mean, if anyone's kid is everyone's kid at b.org, it's JZ and Hec's - we knew them before they knew each other!)
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28 weeks tomorrow; Had the glucola appointment this morning (i.e. the "I drank the Kool-Aid test" - where you drink a nasty sugary drink, they wait an hour and take your blood, and see if you have gestational diabetes.) BP 100/62, weight 160 (so BACK OFF mother), fundus measurement normal, baby heartbeat normal. Now we go to every two week visits.

mr. flea begins to be worried we are not doing enough to prepare this time around; I told him to go re-read the book from our childbirth class. He wants to hire a doula again, which except for the expense seems like a good idea to me, as it was very valuable to have someone there with us last time (even though the someone there doing most of the support was my mother and not the doula). The doula is really to spell mr. flea, but I think the L&D nurses would have been more involved and supportive last time if we hadn't had my mother and a doula. We need to talk about it in more detail.

A woman at work I don't know well had her daughter, Charlotte, by C-section at 37 weeks on Friday; they did a section because they were worried the baby wasn't getting enough nutrition through the umbilical cord, and indeed at 37 weeks she weighed 4 pounds 11 oz which I think is on the small side even for 3 weeks early. I think the baby may be in the NICU still but seems okay and just needs to gain some weight and figure out how to suck.

We discussed baby names in the car on the way to the appointment, and mr. flea's gut instinct of the moment was David, and mine was Eddie. Either would do, though there are a ton of other things in contention (Theodore, Charles, Marcus/Mark, Anton/Anthony, Idris Elba...)
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We had a 24-week appointment today, one of the routine ones involving only pee in a cup, weight (155), BP (100/66), baby heartbeat (don't know, seemed fine), height of fundus (24 inches, which is normal, but she asked me how tall I was since it's still below the bellybutton - seemed satisfied when I told her I was both tall and long-waisted. Or at least high-bellybuttoned.) Why this all takes an hour, except for ill organization, I don't know, but at least it gave me and mr. flea the first time to talk to each other since Sunday night.

The Armadillo seems fine, normally wiggly.

I am doing fine as well. I get more winded than I'd like to climbing stairs at work, etc. I feel I've gained more weight faster than last time, and while it's not a medical concern, I'm feeling like I have been indulging in treats and not eating enough vegetables. I'm now a full C cup, although haven't started wearing bra extenders yet. I waddle a little. Perhaps the opening of the Farmer's Market this weekend will help with the healthy thing. I also just don't like showing so much so early. It makes it all more public this time around - I was surprising people in my 7th month last time. I know this is normal. I don't have to like it! I have been sleeping okay - still up in the middle of the night some nights if Casper wakes. A little problem with back stiffness and tossing and turning in bed, but no big. No sciatica at all lately, and no round ligament pain either, which I had a lot of last time. Still intermittent constipation and the joys of poor bladder control. In short, easy, normal, healthy pregnancy, which is the way we like it.
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Animals start here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/casperflea/119036041/

To see how I am showing (24 weeks = 5 months), go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/casperflea/119031616

Casper and Silly Alan: http://www.flickr.com/photos/casperflea/119031618

I am a little alarmed by how big I am already. Last time was different. Four more months getting bigger than THIS?
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Yesterday we talked again about the baby growing in my tummy. Casper wanted to see it, so I got out the ultrasounds. She liked them at first and said "this one is mine" and walked off with it, but soon enough was crumpling them and throwing them in the trash. Then we had a frantic little moment with her on my lap trying fiercely to get into my bra to nurse. This was defused by the novelty of a walk outside, in the dark (7pm), barefoot (it was still probably 70 degrees). When things seemed better we went in and looked at all the pictures of Casper as a baby and talked about when she was a baby.

So, normal anxiety. The motif of putting the new baby in the trash is one I hear from so many parents; it's interesting. I'd love it if we could get this out of her system before the new baby is actually here.

Words Casper mispronounces habitually:
amimals (animals)
nackin (napkin)
targo pants (cargo pants)
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We just had a nearly 1-hour fire drill at work (there was an actual fire! in the server room! fire trucks came!) and as you can imagine I have very little desire to continue with the work day. Happily it was a sunny 80 degrees; I hope I don't have a sunburn.

We went out for dinner last night and had The Talk with Casper about the Armadillo. It went like this:

me and mr. flea: "So in the summer, when you'll be almost 3 years old, there will be a new baby in our family. It's growing in mommy's tummy just like you grew in mommy's tummy before you were born. You're going to be the big sister, and there will be a little brother."

Casper: Beat. "Look at my shoe!"

So, it's hard to gather what's going on in her murky little head. We did go on to have a silly conversation about what the baby's name should be (Arthur? Clifford? Max? Ord? - note for the non-PBS Kids addicts - all male characters on "our shows").
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We had our 20-week ultrasound today, and the Armadillo's parts are all in the right places, including the boy-part. mr. flea immediately said, "I can pass down all my little brother annoying techniques!"

I am a little bit back to "Ack! What do I know about boys!" But as mr. flea points out, he has some experience with boys, and really, not that different from girls except for the plumbing. Certainly at first, anyway.

Now wasn't I clever to always buy unisex clothes?

As an aside, my mother has decided to disdain the nickname 'the Armadillo' preferring to call him 'Adirondack.' She also wouldn't call Casper by our nickname, but had a tendency to refer to her as 'Carparthia Rastafaria." Conclusion? My mother is a control freak, also possibly kooky.


Feb. 20th, 2006 03:25 pm
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As an exciting new pregnancy symptom, I has sciatica for 3 days a week ago, and then it gradually got better and was gone, until half an hour when I was coming down the stairs, and it's baaaaack. Again on the right side, basically feels like my hip joint is sore and radiates down my leg. And I was good this weekend and exercised - raked the front yard (some people have grass; right now I have moss) and dug over the pea bed in the back yard. Casper helped with the latter, by pushing the shovel in with her foot SO CUTE and helpful, but she really needs her own, smaller shovel. Need I say that doing the yard work made me so happy, even though it was quite cold. Must remember this. Will plant peas next weekend. My daffodils are still shoots, and I have tulip shoots too, although now many of my neighbors have blooming daffs. Iris look happy and strong. Everything else still pretty much dormant.

Placing that Amazon order for the yoga DVD tonight.

In other weekend news, mr. flea and Casper went on a date together to see Curious George and I watched biathlon (very tense! exciting!) and took a nap. Was so proud of mr. flea - they got to the Mother of All Malls and the theater was sold out, but he resourcefully went to the Apple store and looked up the other local theater's showtimes and locale on their internet, and then killed the ensuing time before the next showing playing educational video games with Casper. (She appears to be good at matching things - he said the only mistake she made was when shown a fish she matched it to the elephant instead of to the hook with a worm on and, and since she's never seen anyone fish, how would she figure that out? I mean, logically, it is sort of odd.)

In other Armadillo news, now that I get wiggles it feels real again (19 weeks tomorrow). We have our sex-determining ultrasound (yes, I know that's not why they do it, but assuming all is well that's the main result for the parents) a week from Wednesday. Early on I was terrified at the idea of having a boy (different! from what I know! has a penis!), but now I think it is a boy, and am happy with that. Amazing how one can work on one's own mind. Of course, I wanted Casper to be a boy and thought she was until the ultrasound, and what we got has certainly worked out fine.
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17 weeks tomorrow, and I'm feeling all belly right now. (Yes, the couple of you who have seen me lately will laff and laff, as I am basically not showing.) But I can't slump in a chair, there's this annoying lump of flesh in the way. It's pissing me off terribly right now, both the current discomfort and especially the thought of the future discomfort this presages are bringing me down.

We had an appointment on Friday, and after being weighed, peeing in a cup, and having my blood pressure taken by the nurse, we waited 45 minutes so the doctor could walk in, introduce herself, apologize, do a doppler sonar thingy on my belly and count the heartbeat, and say "come back in 4 weeks." The wait turned out to be because an earlier patient is 5 months pregnant and discovered her husband has been cheating on her all along, and the doctor dealt with the emotional fallout. Which does reflect well on the doctor and the practice, overall. But still.

No, there will not be a ray of sunshine to redeem this post. None, I tell you.


Jan. 25th, 2006 07:43 am
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In mother news, following a second exchange of emails, she apologized. Without any takebacks, even. I may have to frame it. And of course what's on Morning Edition as I'm drinking my tea but Deborah Tannen talking about mother-daughter communication.

In Casper news, have I mentioned the current addiction to peanut butter bread and bananas (not together)? She eats the latter "like a monkey" as she pointed out. Also will eat whole raw mushrooms. We're doing better on mood - still bad times, but less continuous and catastrophic. Maybe it was a post-illness thing. Alas, the nose is again running today, so maybe we're up for another bout.

In Armadillo news, I was 15 weeks pregnant yesterday. This is a weird phase - most of the oddness of the first trimester that's always reminding me I'm pregnant is gone (the MUST EAT NOW OR DIE moments; I am not one for nausea) but there's not much of the later phases (kicks, round ligament pain, big belly). I keep wondering, "Is this still happening?" I suppose so. In looks, I am at the stage where I look and feel as if I have been eating a whole lot of ice cream lately. That is, I look and feel tubby, not pregnant. I am sure nobody notices but me and my pants. There is a definite difference in how much I can let it all hang out from last time, though - the abdominal muscles definitely remeber this whole process. I have temporaily let go of the worrying about the future and child care and things. I think my current mental plan is to keep Casper in her school and do what we did with her for the new one - a student about 20 hours a week, and mr. flea staying home a lot. That is, if the magic job and dissertation-finishing fairy neglects to visit us in the next 6-8 months.

baby names

Jan. 17th, 2006 12:10 pm
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Born to the Park Mommy clan:

Jasper, older brother Emmett (not sure of spelling). Since to me Jasper evokes a 90 year old New England bachelor farmer, I find it especially amusing that his father's last name is strongly ethnic Ukrainian, and his mother's equally strongly Italian.

Elliot (not sure of spelling), a girl to be called Elly, older brothers Jonah and Evan. Scrubs notwithstanding, I still consider Elliot a boy's name, and there are tons of things to name your kid if you want to call her Elly.

I also met a 3 month old Florence recently, older sister Laura.

Names in Casper's class at school, almost all approaching 2.5 years: Olivia and Delancey (identical twin girls), Isabelle, Stephanie, Jasleen (girl), Chase, Connor, Evan, Ian, Kabir (boy), Lee (boy). Jasleen's father is a Sikh I think, and Kabir's mother is South Asian, and Stephanie's father is British, and I think everyone else is white Americans.

Names in contention for the Armadillo, at least in my head right now:

Flora, Louisa, Laura, Caroline, Shyanne just checking to see if you were reading, Mary/Maria/Maryanne?, Margaret except that's my boss' name, Sasha except that's RF Dad's name ugh, Alice.

Paul, Peter, Ant(h)ony, Joseph but for the misfortune that will be obvious if you know mr. flea's last name and think of Friends, Edward/win, Jeremiah I wish it's an ancestral name and I love it although it's weird but I really dislike Jerry, William but the world is too abundant in Wills right now and I don't like Bill.


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