Showing posts from August, 2007

We're Famous

Earlier this summer, on a whim, I wrote an essay and entered the Metro Magazine "Ultimate Twin Cities Tour" contest. We ended up winning!


I suck at change. (although you wouldn't know it lately) I have owned my trusty little white Subaru Impreza hatchback for 10 years and 110,000 miles. Now I just sold it and watched it drive away. It's the right and "grown up" choice to make, but it's still hard.


I had my amnio yesterday. Patrick and I have no real genetic concerns, but the mere fact that I am 40 means a whole bunch of risk factors (as Patrick likes to remind me as I chafe against the list of things my doctor tells me not to do). So we met with a genetic counselor, and then underwent the procedure. The first part was an extensive ultrasound, which I am sure they do to relax you before the rest of it. The ultrasounds pictures were incredible detailed -- we got to see the brain, the heart, the spine, ribs, arms, fingers, feet, eyes and face! Stubborn baby kept its legs crossed, though, so hard to for sure tell the sex. Everything measured fine, and I relaxed a little when I saw the nuchal fold (a key measurement for Downs) was in the normal range. Then there is the part where, without any anesthetic, they stick a needle in your abdomen and into the fetal sac and pull out a few tablespoons of amniotic fluid. Needless to say, it's really not fun, though it does not last

Taming the Urban Wilderness - or "Thank God for Friends!"

We rolled easily into this weekend last night with dinner last night with my best friends Jennifer and Elaine, and their respective partners Ken and David, plus Jennifer and Ken's adorable children. The food was so good — and we ate so much — and it was so fun just to hang out! We left at the end of the evening with baby hand-me-down loans as well: 2 carseats, a pregnancy pillow, and maternity clothes (just in time, too!) All that was a pleasant prelude to today, when we finally attached the back yard at Patrick's house. When I walked around back this morning and realized how much the recent rain had made the weeds grow, I almost started to cry. It's a large yard, with a big hill, and it was a complete jungle. I exaggerate not. Weeds that seemed like trees, over 10' tall and with thick, woody stems. Big brambly overgrown raspberry bushes (that have never born fruit). Thistly spiky things of all sorts. Long, winding vines. It seemed absolutely insurmountable.

People #1

So this week I am thinking about all the people I am grateful for. Of course #1 is my husband, who is truly incredible. I'm sure there will be more on him later. But today in particular I am glad for my college room-mate, Molly. Molly lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two wonderful sons, and I don't see her enough. Her mother died unexpectedly a couple of years back, and she is a will and trust lawyer, and with that range of experience she has been an invaluable support for me in the past eight months. She always knows exactly what to do, whether it is practical advice or just knowing the right thing to say. And she was delighted to learn I was pregnant, and sent a big box of baby books! With the settlement for the estate coming up, I am dealing with a lot of administrative headaches, and that brings a lot of emotional upheaval with it, and I don't think I could solve it all without Molly.

Thinking of B.

Today my friend B. had a double mastectomy. Just a few days ago, in a routine exam, they discovered she had breast cancer that had spread throughout her ducts. She caught it in good time, thanks to the mammogram (no soreness or lumps or anything), but it's still a scarey and sobering situation. Too much cancer. So please, think of B. tonight and wish her well. And get a mammogram!

The Highly Productive Weekend

Although it rained all weekend (unusual for this summer), we really got a lot done on Patrick's house (laid carpet, finished laying tile, refinished the floor, did some staging, deep cleaned, completely cleaned out the basement, waxed the basement floors, installed the doorbell, staged a the living room and bathroom, etc.). The only things left to do are ones we can't really do in the rain — move over some large furniture and deal with the back yard. Unfortunately, the yard is so bad that napalm is the only treatment that immediately comes to mind, but even with that minor hurdle, I think we'll have it on the market by the end of the month. Know anyone who wants to buy a house? We also spent some very good friend time. My friend Kelly is my birthday twin, and his celebration was delayed a week until last night. He and his professor wife Laura live in Menomonie, and always throw great, talk-y, cozy parties. With so much going on, we haven't made it to one of their


The past few days I have found myself with an irresistable urge to do things around the house, especially in the garden as the heat has broken somewhat. I have put in two low cobblestone border/walls and some tile steppingstones, made little brick surrounds for the boxwood, taken out a dead pine tree, and trimmed/weeded/taken to compost eight bags of plant matter. Some friends gave me a forsythia for my birthday, which may have inspired the whole thing, and it just feels nice to be getting some long-put-off projects done. I may have found someone to install some flooring for us as well in the nursery and front bedroom, and I have some promising paint samples up on the wall. I'm also making semi-reasonable process on a grant, and taking care of some nagging little things, like renewing my driver's license and getting new copies of my divorce decree from two years ago that my re-fi company lost (hint — don't use Title Extra.) And my friend Julie took me out to lunch at

Trying to be Tech-Savvy

Much of the time, I leave the tech things to my husband. He's the computer guy — in fact, that's how we met, when my old laptop died dramaticlaly and my ex-husband had the only back-up and would not return my calls, so I had to pay $2,500 to Drivesavers get my data back and then beg a friend to restore it. The friend then proceeded to ask Patrick to do the re-install, and things took off from there. Romantic, huh? The Drivesavers folks love that story! But in any case, I've been getting better and better at things, even just in the last week. I've started this blog. I learned how to make "pretty" links in my online community (no small task, I tell you!) I have set up plans for optimizing our central server for music and photos (plus we have a back-up drive of a 1-terrabyte drive I won at MacWorld a couple of years ago, and Patrick has set up an amazing auto-back-up system). Some of this was foiled somewhat when we went ot the Apple Store tonight to ge

You Say It's Your Birthday...

40 years old today. Yikes!

"Killing" Time

So I spent much of this morning being annoyed with stupid people and situations: the refinancing agency who lost an important document of mine over a year ago and has still not solved it, health insurance companies (enough said), people who throw trash on my street, you get it, the list seemed endless today. The problem is that, for me at least, all that annoyance just ends up eating away at me — and then I don't get the things I want to get done accomplished — and then I am even more annoyed at ME. There has got to be a better way to let all of it just roll off me and move on. Because if I am going to waste time, I would much rather do so by petting the cats, or reading a book, or even surfing the internet. Then again, my husband had a dream the other night that he had a big truck and ran down people that got in his way, then calmly loaded them in the back of the truck, no fuss, no muss, no gore. That might be a solution too. I'll let you know if I get a truck for my bi

Into the Tempest

"We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again, And by that destiny to perform an act Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come In yours and my discharge." - Antonio from THE TEMPEST, Act II, Scene 1 I've been meaning to enter this mystery-world of the blog for some time, but somehow in the past few days it has seemed an absolute imperative — enough so that I am eschewing the well-written, perfect introduction I had dreamed of and just steeling myself to get the first few words up "on the internets." Because it all gets easier after that, right? The push came from two things — the first being a need to chronicle where I am right now. I am a few days shy of my 40th birthday, just over 12 weeks pregnant, living in a home I love with the most amazing husband one could ask for and two incredible stepsons (plus the pets), and with a complicated yet magical life filled with a bevy of jobs, three houses, wonderful friends and a lot else in the mix