The Right Perspective

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Emily Sayings

Heard yesterday and today, from the incredibly funny mind of Miss Em:

1. After she drooled a bit while I brushed her teeth: "How lame is it that I just drooled?" (Where she heard the term lame....I haven't a clue!)

2. While asking some questions about Jesus, death and heaven today (during the ultrasound, no less): "Will there be toys in heaven?" and "Will I be able to play hide-n-and-seek with Jesus?"

3. In response to the question from her nightly Bible story, "What was the name of the baby found floating in the basket (from the story of Moses)?" Miss Em quickly replied, "Alcohol". (She knows this term because we've talked about how we don't drink alcoholic beverages and why...I guess this sounded like a great Hebrew name. )

She's a fun little kid, this one. And people wonder why I cringe when she starts to speak sometimes!


It's been a busy week.

Last Thursday I learned that my OB was moving across the country with her last day being June 30th, just about a week before my due date. Thus began the intense scramble to find a new OB who would accept me this late in pregnancy (as though this was my fault!). I began the process of finding the new OB that same day and as of Wednesday morning, I was still jumping through hoops to figure out exactly what I needed to do and who needed what from whom. I finally lost it with my current doctor's office and expressed my deep frustration with the receptionist who, once again, questioned why the new OB's office would want a letter of referral from my current OB. I said, in as firm and unhappy a voice as I was actually feeling..."I don't care why they want doesn't matter....I'm just doing what they asked and I'm getting tired of jumping through hoops and being second-guessed all the time. I just need the letter now." (Those probably weren't my exact words, but the receptionist quickly changed her tune and started treating me a lot nicer.

By yesterday afternoon the letter had been faxed to the new office and the new OB had set up appointments...yes, multiple ones. The first was a medical history at 8:30, followed by the actual exam at 10:10. Add to that the previously scheduled ultrasound appt. at the current OB at 1:30 and it made for a very long day for Miss Em and me. Oh, and did I mention just how eager I was to spend the entire day in doctor's offices during an outbreak of the Swine flu (with a confirmed case extremely locally)? Needless to say, we sanitized throughout the day.

Em was a trooper. We left the house at 8:15 and got back home at 2:30 or so. It was a long...long day.

The good news is that all seems well. We are indeed still having a baby boy, who as yet still has no name. I asked the ultrasound tech to double check before I started painting the nursery. Although I physically measure about a week ahead, the baby is measuring perfectly on target for 30 weeks. When I asked about his estimated size, the tech said he was around 3.2 lbs, which is apparently pretty average. Sounds good to me. My blood pressure was an excellent 110/60 and the baby's heartrate was a great 152 bpm. Everything looks normal, which is exactly what we want to hear. Now I just have to get in gear for painting and cleaning (what's this I hear about a nesting instinct?) and stay strong for the last 10 weeks. I filled out the hospital pre-registration form and need to get that in the mail soon. Time has crept by until now....but I have a feeling that it's going to start moving a little faster soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Emily's Rainy Day Field Trip

Emily's preschool class took a bus ride to a local county park this morning. After a gorgeous weekend with sun and temperatures in the 80's, today, when we were slated to go on a nature walk and play on the playground, it was rainy with temperatures around 50 and generally miserable. Much of our field trip was spent inside, looking at various bugs and animal skins, with a not-quite-short-enough, but wet nature walk.
The above picture is of Miss Em in a very dangerous pose indeed....raising her hand, ready to say something. No one, least of all her parents, have any idea what will come out of that mouth (and rather agile) brain. Sometimes, like at the trip to the firehouse last week, she volunteers that she doesn't clean up her toys like Mommy asks her to. Today, she only mentioned that she had seen a ladybug at Grandma and "Crapaw's" house this weekend. (Someone else had talked about ladybugs.)

The next picture is of Em, very interested in whatever little bug the park lady was showing. It was nice to see that she can actually sit still and pay attention from time to time.

There were lots of animal skins to touch and feel. Emily is holding the skunk. Unfortunately, Mom is not too great with the camera. I only got the backside of the skunk. I'm quite certain that she is telling her best friend Madison all there is to know about the small but mighty skunk....or something.

Emily and Madison, touching some other dead animal that I can't identify. She seemed to enjoy it.

And finally, the way our sweet child could be seen the majority of the time....sniffing the dead carcasses...just in case they might smell. Lovely, no? I think this might have been a coyote. Quite the delicate little flower we're raising here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons....

When life hands you lemons....sometimes, that's just all they are. Plain old sour lemons.

I've had that kind of day today.

First, the good news. I'm 29 weeks, 1 day pregnant with what appears to be a healthy growing baby boy (who should be around 2.5-3 lbs by now, and about 15 inches or so). My weight has changed by about a half a pound since 2 weeks ago when I was last weighed. Still, I am below the weight at which I began this pregnancy....which means that the baby is gaining weight and I am losing it. Now that is indeed good news! I passed my gestational diabetes test and something else I don't quite recall and my blood pressure is fantastic. I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Thursday afternoon just as a follow up to the one back in March (the tech couldn't see everything she normally checks, so she said we could do a follow up...and who honestly doesn't want just one more peek?).

Now the bad news. I am 29 weeks, 1 day pregnant. I am now on the every two week OB visit schedule. I have 11 weeks left to go....and my OB told me that she is moving to California, with her last day being June 30th. I am officially due on July 8th. I was almost 2 weeks late with Emily, and so the chances of going early this time don't look good.

I really like my OB. She is part of a family practice and I've seen her for every appt. except one for both pregnancies. No switching doctors every week, no wondering who will be there to deliver. Even though she went on a week-long vacation right before Emily was born, she still made it back in time to deliver Em. So naturally, I went back to her. And now she's moving back home to be closer to family. I can't fault her for that, but still, the timing is LOUSY.

I didn't panic...immediately....since I knew that there was another OB in that office. In fact, I discovered that there are now two other OB's. One I've seen once (with Emily) and the other who I met for something non-pregnancy related. This would be fine except....that one will be away for a good portion of early/mid July and the other will be away in Detroit around the 4th of July (read: neither will likely be available when I am due).

So now, I need to not only switch OB's, but most likely (and preferably, given the circumstances) switch entire practices. This wouldn't be a huge deal except that, did I mention...I'm 29 weeks, 1 day pregnant, in the third trimester, with 11 weeks left to go? Add to this that neither of the other major OB practices allows you to choose one OB to see and deliver with, and what you are looking at is pure, unadulterated lemon juice, no sugar added.

So, I went to the first choice of the other OB practices just to see what would be involved in switching and allow me to just say, for the record, that I hate the whole deal. Long story short, they need my records before they will accept me or set up an appt. My current practice tells me (over the phone about an hour ago) that they only send out records on Thursday mornings (I was just there this morning) and that I will have to sign for them in person and have missed the cutoff for this week.

[Pausing to yell here] "Doesn't anyone understand that I don't have months to wait here? Time is of the essense and none of this is my choice or my fault!!!!"

I call the new practice back, explain why my records will be delayed and the new practice lady says to have them call her and talk. So I call the current office....the med. records lady (who is never, ever in when I have called) is of course, out of the office until tomorrow. I left a detailed message telling her to both call me and call Debbie at the new office ASAP....but the new office is only open until noon that's probably not going to happen.

CALGON.....TAKE ME AWAY!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Why I Love America

It's Tax Day....and better yet, Tea Party Day!
I live in a section of Indiana that is overwhelmingly liberal Catholic and Democrat. It's kind of an anomaly here, but nevertheless, it's where I live. So naturally, I wasn't sure what kind of turnout there would be for the local tea party planned for the downtown area.
Emily and I did not actually participate, in part because she's 4.5 years old and I'm 7 months pregnant and it's barely 50 degrees, and mostly because well, Emily just isn't old enough to get it and I don't have the energy or patience to try to keep her out of the streets!
Anyhow, we did head downtown to bring lunch to Daddy and to see what the crowd looked like. I first drove by around 11:30 am. (the party was scheduled to begin at 11:00). It was cloudy and barely 45 degrees, but there were at least a hundred people holding signs and respectfully protesting on the courthouse steps. I was impressed, but wondered if this was the biggest the crowd would get, as it might be full of those on their lunch break. However, when we drove back by around 2:00, the crowd was even bigger. It was nice to see.
I really liked some of the signs I was reading like:
We'll Keep Our Dollars and
You Can Keep Your "Change"!
By the way, please excuse the lousy pictures. I was taking them at the stoplight before turning onto the street and one, while driving by. Don't try this at home, kids!

There was patriotic music playing and people of all ages were out.

And even though this picture is blurry, I could still read a great sign with an Obama slogan twist:

"Can We Bankrupt This Country?
Yes We Can!"

Of course, we all know these people are just a bunch of Right Wing Extremists who are super dangerous to America, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Forget about those nasty Muslim terrorists who fly planes of innocent people into buildings full of more innocent people. These peaceful protesters are far more of a threat!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I Currently Would Rather Stick Needles Under My Fingernails than Deal With Babies R Us

Let me start at the beginning, being as brief as possible: The Jardine crib we purchased for Emily about 5 years ago was recalled. I got a voucher for a new crib, which absolutely had to be purchased at BRU, for $219. Other than the Jardine brand cribs and a few other not-so-great quality cribs, absolutely nothing was that price or less.

Fast forward: I made my peace with having to pay extra for a new crib. I did my research. For the money and given the options in front of me, I decided on buying the Baby Cache Heritage Lifetime crib, at the sticker price of $399. I knew I would also be purchasing the bed rails. I have waited....and waited...and waited for a coupon that would work on cribs and finally a darling lady from these boards sent me one that expires on April 9th. I was all set.

Today: I go in, sit at the desk and attempt to order my crib. I am told there are none in the warehouse, none in any local (think 100 miles or so radius) stores and I would have to special order one. My coupon would not work on special orders. It would take at least 10-12 weeks (the guy actually advised me to pick out something else!) and I am currently just about 27 weeks pregnant. So I ask if it is available online. It was, I could use my coupon for 15% off, but then there's the little matter of shipping. It was going to cost $130 to ship the crib, completely negating the coupon and then quite a bit. I call my local BRU and speak with a manager. I explain about the recall, about the voucher, about the crib not being in stock....and ask if the shipping can be refunded (I think something about the voucher program had mentioned this). She said, "I don't know." YOU'RE THE MANAGER!! IF YOU DON'T KNOW, WHO WILL?? Then she gets back on the line and tells me that they just got a shipment in that afternoon (I was in the store around 12:00 pm). So I tell her I'll be back this evening.

This evening: I go in, sit at the desk and attempt to order the crib. The girl (a different person, of course) brings the tag from the crib over and shows it to me. It says "This item is temporarily unavailable." I nearly lose my mind. I ask how this can be possible, given that I spoke with the manager at 3:00 pm this afternoon and she said they had just come in. The girl finally looks it up on the computer and discovers that there are a couple still left in stock. She starts ordering the crib.

This is when I notice the price tag. At noon today (and every single other time I've seen the crib, in the store or online) the non-sale price has been $399. At 8:00pm, the price is now listed at $429. I literally lose my mind. I ask if this is the price. The girl says yes. I tell her to get the manager. I explain to them both why I extremely frustrated at this whole (racket) process and how I am not paying $429 when, through no fault of my own, the price suddenly went up $20 since noon. I am seriously ticked.

They can tell. They agree to lower the price. (How big of them.)

Then I order the bed rails. For every other convertible crib kit, the price has been around $60. The girl tells me, "That will be $129 for the rails and they will take about 12 weeks to come in."


Granted, when all is said and done, I ended up paying around $130 for the crib and $140 for the rails. It doesn't sound bad, but I so dearly despise this whole process at Babies r Us right now.

And heaven help them if, when the crib arrives, something is missing or damaged. They will not know fury like mine!

(And did I mention that this crib apparently will not fit in the back of the minivan and we'll need to rent/borrow a truck to get it home?)

I'm done now.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Signs of Life

I love Spring. May is perhaps my very favorite month, but April is when spring really starts around my neck of the woods. The threat of snow nearly every day is over and the weather starts to slowly warm up (it's a lovely 65 degrees right now...woohooo!!!). But my favorite part of spring? Without question, it's the magical moment when I wake up one day, look outside and there is suddenly color again, in all the places where everything has been brown and gray for so many long months.

Last fall, I actually remembered to plant the spring bulbs I bought. I'd never tried growing anything from just a bulb, so I was curious to see if anything would happen. Apparently, there is hope! Now if only I could remember what I planted...I think this might be the beginnings of a hyacinth, but I'm not sure.

The above picture is of some tulips of varied colors and styles that I do remember planting. If memory serves, I planted around 65 bulbs last fall, and as of today's count, I could see 44 plants starting to poke up out of the ground. I'm still hopefuly for a few more that are just buried under a thicker layer of mulch. I planted the bulbs all along the edges of the flower beds, closest to the sidewalk, so hopefully there will be an explosion of colors in the next few weeks.

And finally, the dogwood trees in our front yard have buds...which means leaves and in this case, flowers, will soon follow! I miss leaves. I miss green. I miss colors....but not for much longer.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happening in My Kitchen

I am not a great cook. I would like to be. My mom grandmother great-grandmother was. I am still aspiring. I have hope. I occasionally whip up a masterpiece. I also occasionally completely ruin something beyond salvaging.

We eat out far too often. I say this, not because I have a problem with eating out. Oh contraire!!
Mostly we just eat out too much because it has become a habit that started in earnest when the crabby and colicky (but otherwise lovely) Miss Em was born. Andrew was working his little rear end off with long hours, I was at home with a cranky baby and cooking was just not happening. And so began our love affair with pretty much any restaurant nearby.

Of course, this was never the intention and so I still did the weekly grocery shopping with the grand plans of cooking at home. It didn't happen much. But I am trying harder now. I'm up to cooking about 3 times a week on average. Some weeks are better than others. This week has been a good one so far. Maybe I've been inspired by the new fridge...or more money staying in the checking account. Either way, I thought I share a pictoral of this week's meals. They were all pretty successful, I must say.

It all started with a 3-qt. dish of completely from scratch four-cheese macaroni and cheese. Andrew and Emily are big fans of this new-to-me recipe. I think it still needs a bit of tweeking, but overall, it's pretty tasty. The top is fantastic; the inside needs to be creamier. Still, we have eaten it for two nights and still have half a casserole dish left. Not bad.

The above picture may not look too tantalizing, but it is...and it starred along with the mac and cheese on Monday night and then played a supporting role in tonight's dish. This picture is of my oven-baked teryaki chicken. I made the sauce myself and I must say that is much better than any bottled brand I've found so far. It's very simple to make, and by baking the chicken glazed with the sauce, it comes out very flavorful, juicy and tender. Next time, I'm going to add some pineapple juice to the sauce, just for fun, and maybe top with pineapple rings.
Tuesday night, the plan was to brown the 2 lbs of ground beef that I had bought and then use half for tacos and the other half for something yet to be determined (maybe spaghetti sauce or Hamburger Helper...we can't be too fancy!). However, a few minutes into browning the beef, I happened to look at the expiration date on my package of hard/soft taco dinner kit and noticed that it had expired nearly two years ago. Now before you get too excited, I do clean out my pantry at least twice a year, but somehow, this one got away. Never fear, however. I had an extra packet of taco seasoning and some tortilla chips, so we had nachos instead. Andrew declared it an "awesome" (albeit, of absolutely no nutrional value) dinner. Emily opted for left-over mac and cheese.

And tonight, I used the extra 3 teryaki chicken breasts and the left-over sauce to make this gorgeous stirfry concoction pictured above. I wasn't too sure of how it would turn out, since this is truly an original recipe. I threw in a little of this and that and tried my luck (which usually isn't very good!). However, I think we have a winner.
I started by adding a little oil to the pan, then the uncooked rice, a can of chicken broth and a tiny bit of soy sauce. When the rice had gotten a good start, I added the already cooked chicken and a bag of frozen stirfry veggies. Once everything had gotten warm, I added the remainder of the teryaki sauce and a can of pineapple tidbits (just for fun). The finished product was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. The only thing I would do different next time is to pick another kind of frozen stirfry veggie mix. I didn't pay close attention with this one and ended up with green beans, pea pods, yellow squash (yuck), tiny red peppers, broccoli and water chestnuts. I would have prefered red and yellow pepper strips, pea pods, broccoli and water chestnuts (for Andrew). I might also add more pineapple and maybe even get really fancy with some toasted almond slivers.
So that's what has been happening in my kitchen recently. Anyone have any good recipes they'd like to share?