Thursday, December 30, 2010

Excuses, excuses.

It's photo time! Late again. Instead of 28 weeks, it's 28 weeks and 5 days. But I have a really good excuse. 28 weeks tolled on Saturday, which was Christmas. Normally Christmas means an early rise, a fun-filled morning, followed by a leisurely afternoon perfect for belly shot taking. Not this year.

This year we arose relatively early to find Jared, my brother-in-law, sitting on the couch with a pained look on his face. He's been up for hours with a horrific stomach ache and needed to go to the ER. Though he was willing to delay his trip so we could get in some quality gift exchange time. Tempting as the offer was, the family decided to delay Christmas. We are pretty good at prioritizing.

Brad and Eva, my mother-in-law, took Jared to the hospital. A couple hours later we found out that Jared had appendicitis and would be undergoing emergency surgery. Those of us remaining at home said mean things about Santa while we threw on clothes and made our way to the hospital.

Despite the fact that the lobby was practically empty (the information stations were manned by rotary phones), my brother made me wear a face mask. He was worried about Tater contracting hospital cooties. I looked like a hyper-paranoid pregnant lady, but I have been fighting a nasty head cold and thought it wasn't the worst idea. I was just thrilled that I wasn't in the hospital for tater-related complications. Something I worry about constantly these days.

Jared made it through surgery in record time and was home by 4pm. Delayed Christmas was fabulous, but I ended the day without having taken a shower. This made day three sans shower, and I wasn't feeling up to posing for a belly shot with my fantastically filthy hair. I've managed to shower once or twice since then, but I kept forgetting to take the belly shots. Oopsie!

Without further adieu, here are the shots:

I think the belly looks smaller in these pictures than it did four weeks ago. Weird. It certainly doesn't feel smaller. Maybe it's the shirt, which I will now be wearing twice as often, just in case. (Thanks, Meghan!) Or the scarf, which was a Christmas gift from Stef, my sister-in-law. I love this scarf. I also love the onesie that Brad's parents gave us. It says "I'm a pretty big deal in Birmingham." So true. So true.

Other than the Christmas Day drama, it's been a pretty uneventful week. One interesting tidbit: I've been suffering from some serious baby brain. On Christmas Eve I was looking at a photo of three ballet dancers, including Brad's Aunt Georgia. Someone commented that she was the dancer on the right, and I asked if they meant the far right. The far right is not applicable to groups of three. I know this, but not when my brain takes breaks. It takes lots of breaks. Lucky for me, my brother Randy was around to point out -- and laugh at -- each of my mental stumbles.

In my defense, I think the baby brain is aggravated by the head cold I've had all week. And once again I decided to forgo medication. Now that Tater is a fully formed tiny person, I'm even more aware that whatever I put in my body goes right into his. And I don't want to pump him full of Sudafed if it isn't necessary. I do not have the same rule for banana pudding, which I've consumed in mass quantity this week. Eva makes amazing banana pudding. Tater loves it.

Tater does not love having his head squished, however. Earlier this week I was lying on my side, next to Maggie, reading a book. All of the sudden, Tater started moving around. His movements were so pronounced that it looked like he was trying to break out of my stomach. I grabbed my phone to videotape it, but the movement stopped. I stared a my stomach for a while, but eventually I gave up and rolled over to return to my book. Suddenly, Tater resumed his calisthenics. It took me a minute, but eventually I realized that when I rolled over, I compressed the right-hand side of my stomach against Maggie. Tater was moving in response, presumably protesting the loss of real estate. Fascinating! I offered to show Brad, but he was not a fan of mushing Tater's head in order to trigger kicking. Party pooper.

Regardless, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring this out. So sad. Patting myself on the back for noticing the obvious. I miss my brain. Just like Jared misses his appendix.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mr. Rogers would be so disappointed

Grumble. I am typing this post on my phone, because I have started my holiday vacation and I am shunning computers. Or at least keyboards. I have an app on my phone for composing and posting blog updates. Turns out the app is not great at running in the background. I had a decent chunk of this post written when I received a text message, changed apps to reply, and learned the hard way that moving away from the blog app deletes whatever draft one is working on. So, grumble. But on with the post!

First thought of the day: pregnancy has made me selfish. Especially when it comes to food, pillows, space on the couch, selecting restaurants, etc. This morning I went into Starbucks to grab drinks. I added a scone to the order, but just one, to share with Brad, because two hours earlier we'd eaten a decent breakfast. And because I've seen the nutritional information for Starbucks pastries. It is not friendly. Except for the eight-grain roll, which is delicious, even with the baked raisins, and relatively healthy, but inexplicably available only on the west coast. You're killing me, Starbucks.

But I digress. Want to guess how much of that scone I consumed? No, not the entire thing. I'm bad at sharing, but I haven't given up on the concept entirely. I ate close to 4/5 of the scone. And to make matters worse, when I admitted this to Brad, I told him that I did it because Tater really likes scones. Blaming my unborn child, whose opinion on scones is TBD, to justify food hoarding. Eep.

In my defense, it was a cranberry orange scone and scrumptious. Also, Brad let me hold the bag. Big mistake. Huge.

But I do not love all things orange-flavored. See, for example, glucose test beverages. Gag. For the uninitiated among you (and count yourself lucky), somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks doctors test to make sure pregnant women haven't developed diabetes. This test involves drinking said beverage and then subjecting yourself to a blood draw exactly one hour later.

According to the label, this drink is best served cold. I put it in the fridge overnight, but then I had to take it to work because my appointment was at 3:15. When I got to work, I considered putting the drink into the communal fridge. But I didn't, because I irrationally feared that, for what would surely be the first time in the history of glucose testing, someone would walk off with my orange-flavored test drink. Who would be such a glutton for punishment?

Regardless, I forced down the drink when it was lukewarm. Thus not at the peak of its palatability. It tasted like a cross between orange-flavored cough medicine and watered-down Karo syrup. The aftertaste was particularly bad, but after finishing the drink, water is off-limits until the blood draw.

The appointment went well. We got to see Doc G. Have I ever mentioned that he looks like a Ken doll? My blood pressure was good. So was my weight gain (always a relief). Tater's heart beat sounded wonderful. Stomach measurement must have been fine, because he didn't say anything about it.

He asked where I'd been feeling Tater's kicks, and I told him on the side and more recently closer to my breast bone. Apparently this is good. Might indicate that Tater is upside-down (that is, not breach).

He also asked whether we'd signed up for classes. Told him we're signed up in January for all of the classes he recommended -- breastfeeding, infant CPR, and the day-long orientation at the hospital. Also told him that we'd be taking a semi-private birthing class with a local woman who was highly recommended so I can learn more about the labor process and pain management techniques. Doc G thought this was a good idea and asked who was teaching the class. Me: "Um, I think her name is Holly." Brad: "HIGHLY recommended. We've clearly done our research." Me: "We're taking the class with my good friend Katie. She's done the research. She's trustworthy." So sad that I know more about strollers and gliders than I do about delivering a baby. Thank goodness for Katie.

I told Doc G about the light-headedness, shortness of breath, racing heart problem. (Yup. That's still going on.) I called the problem "extreme," which apparently is the code word to get doctors to pay attention. Doc G ordered some extra bloodwork to rule out some possible causes (other than large growing fetus jockeying for room in the space shared by my lungs, diaphragm, etc.). I know he ordered a test for thyroid problems, possibly iron deficiency? I am, perhaps, a little too deferential and laid-back about this pregnancy process.

Oh! And we're supposed to start shopping for a pediatrician. I'll let you know how that goes.

So they took four vials of blood from me for all the testing. Then I had to get a shot because I'm RH-negative. My blood type is A-. Brad's is B+. He thinks our respective blood types are amusingly accurate. Har har. Turns out this shot is administered in the toushy. Which makes it the first toushy shot I've received in, oh, 20-something years.

Doc G called with the blood test results this morning, and everything looked good! This is awesome, because it means I don't have to redo the glucose test. Phew. That means more glucose drinks for the rest of the world. That counts as sharing, right? You're welcome, rest of the world.

Monday, December 20, 2010

three months and cleavage

Hi all! Yesterday was December 19, which means we are now less than three months from the due date. I think we've hit the third trimester as well (2/3 of the months and 27/40 of the weeks are finished). But, despite logic and solid math, the experts can't seem to agree on exactly when the third trimester starts. What to Expect and Sprout (one of my iPhone apps, yes, one of four) say the third trimester is a go. Baby Center, however, says that the third trimester begins at week 28. I suppose it doesn't matter, and I like hitting goals, so I'm telling people I'm in the third trimester. But perhaps I should give myself the extra week, because hitting the third trimester freaks. me. out.

There are no more trimesters. This is it. And I am wholly unprepared for Tater's impending arrival. Yes, I have furniture in the nursery. But there are no cushioned surfaces in the room. Nothing soft on top of the furniture (like a mattress or a changing pad), and thus less than ideal for a baby. I don't even own a diaper. We haven't taken our classes at Prentice (they are all scheduled in January).

Last week Meghan asked me if I'd decided on a birthing plan. I told her that I'd decided on getting an epidural, and asked if that qualified as a plan. Meghan did not seem convinced. Perhaps an epidural is just part of a plan. But I don't know what the other components are. I just assumed that birth plans are for those who are going a non-traditional route. And I've already ruled out things like home birth, water birth, squatting birth, birth without an OB/GYN. No judgment here, just a big fan of modern medicine and adjustable hospital beds and not a big fan of pain. But I should look into this. Perhaps that will be my light reading over the holiday break.

I'm confident that by the end of January I'll be in much better shape. Schooled on infants, birth plan aware, stocked upon supplies and necessities. So what's the big deal? The end of January is WAY sooner than March 19.

The big deal is that I have a new worry. Hitting week 27 also meant reaching the good viability milestone -- Tater stands a decent chance of survival if he decides to show up ahead of time. Which means I'm less worried about losing Tater. Happy! But I'm increasingly worried about an early delivery (which could happen) or accidentally squeezing Tater out (which could not happen). I'm not kidding. I have this totally irrational fear every time I sneeze, cough, pee, laugh jovially, etc., that I am going to trigger Tater's exit. It's even worse when one of those things happens while I'm standing up (n/a to peeing, of course). My brain is being ridiculous.

Know what is also ridiculous? My boobs. I realized today that I have cleavage. Many years ago, I had something bordering on cleavage. But then I lost weight, in some places more than other. I still remember bringing home a bag full of pretty new bras in the size I'd worn since high school and showing them my then-roommate and fabulous friend Hallie. Hallie, with her syrupy South Carolina accent, gently said, "Darlin', I hate to tell you this, but you are no longer a B-cup." That was in 2001. For nine years, my boobs remained at bay. Not once did I fret about showing too much skin in the chest area, because there wasn't much to look at. But today I was wearing a v-neck maternity top and when I glanced at myself in the mirror at work, I found the shirt borderline indecent. Woohoo! I've been forewarned by a friend who recently gave birth that my boobs will morph into weeping alien rock formations when Tater arrives. So I'll enjoy this change while I can. And I'll start doing a decency check before walking out the door during the work week.

Oh boy. Boyz II Men is singing with Committed on The Sing Off finale. Brad wants Tater to pay close attention, as Tater is expected to love two things immediately and unconditionally: owls and Boys II Men. Gotta run.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Blerg. Today was not a good day at work. Remember the oral argument I had a few weeks back? The court issued its decision this morning and I lost. This one stings because I really, truly, cared about the issues I raised. This is not the first time I've lost a case, but in the past I've always been able to nurse the wound with a big beautiful glass of red zinfandel. I don't miss drinking all that much, but today I really really miss red wine and its therapeutic properties. The idea of a club soda + fruit juice stand-in is all the more depressing.

So, let's forget about today and talk about the Tatermoon. Charleston was fabulous. It was a little cold and a little wet and we were a little underdressed. But that's my only complaint. We ate a tremendous amount of delicious southern food. (Oh, the cornbread. Thank God for the cornbread. And the sweet tea; if only it was decaffeinated.) The mother-to-be spa treatments were dreamy. Though I enjoyed laying on my stomach less than I expected. They had a large pillow that is supposed to cradle the bump. But it felt like laying in a foam mold which was made by casting some other pregnant lady's body. I've heard rumors of massage tables with elastic middle panels. I think that would be more my style. My absolute favorite part was the facial. My skin has felt somewhat gross during pregnancy, and it needed a good cleaning out. I think the facial brought out that pregnancy glow that everyone talks about but I'd yet to see. I glow! I glow!

I managed to do a lot of walking with only a few episodes of shortness of breath. And I learned that I am awesome at dancing while pregnant. I don't have the stamina to dance quickly, so I coordinate my moves with every fourth beat or so. Brad says I'm slow dancing to upbeat music, but I'm pretty sure that's the rage. Or will be soon.

The biggest surprise of the weekend was learning that one of Brad's groomsmen, one of his oldest friends, was also in Charleston. Nick was interviewing for his residency, and we got to spend Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday morning with him. Nick had spent a month in Charleston during med school, so he showed us around and took us to a couple restaurants that were off the beaten path. One served me a carrot curry soup that blew my mind. Love Nick.

If you are anything like friends with whom I've already shared this part of the story, you may be wondering how hanging out with Nick impacted the romance of the weekend. How can I put this delicately? Babymoon does not equal honeymoon on the romance scale. Especially when one is a few days shy of the six-month mark. There's definitely romance, but there's more room for good friends and good food and good sleep. We'll leave it at that.

Saturday night we took a tour of the haunted jail. I'm a big fan of ghost tours (see, e.g., my bachelorette party). The jail tour had the best reviews online, so we gave it a shot. While we were waiting for the tour to begin, I remembered that pregnant women are not supposed to go to haunted houses. Unfair, but possibly a rule with a reason. Thankfully, the haunted jail tour was not cause for concern. It was amusing, but far from scary. Also, it didn't hurt that we met the author of a book which was published earlier this year on the history of the jail. He was doing a book signing in our hotel on Friday night, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring home an autographed, ghost-themed souvenir. Before the tour I read the chapter rejecting most of the notorious and horrific stories associated with the jail. So the tour guide's scare tactics didn't work on yours truly. I kept whispering "that's not true" to Brad and Nick. They loved having me there.

Sunday night we went out for a fancy pants dinner at Slightly North of Broad. It was amazing. Off the top of her head, the waitress knew which of their cheeses were pasteurized. I got to eat some blue cheese with my salad! I missed blue cheese. It is awesome with caramelized pear, which was also in my salad. Mmmm. Also, I've been craving veggies lately, and they served me an overflowing vegetable plate for my main course (with a side of cheesy grits). I highly recommend S.N.O.B.

While I'm on the subject of the Sunday night dinner, I need to get something off my chest. Brad offered to keep this a secret, but I think it's better to just put it out there. While I was getting ready, I sneezed. And when I sneezed, I peed a little. I couldn't believe it. Brad laughed and laughed. I laughed too, and said a little prayer of thanks that I had yet to put on my tights. But now, every time I have to sneeze, I am afraid. Oh please, oh please, don't let my bladder control go as my belly expands.

But the peeing didn't stop me from getting cute. I wore the dress that my sister brought at Thanksgiving, and I wore it with heels! Here's the picture we sent to Caty as proof that I didn't wear the dress with Danskos:

Cute, right? So cute you already forgot that I peed myself? Rats.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

pj + stitch addendum

How did I fail to mention the biggest beneficiary of the pj arrival and the stitch departure? Brad. Brad wins big. How so, you ask?

Seeing as how I was living in my pumpkin-adorned, hole-ridden pjs, they rarely make it into the hamper. Yesterday I parted with the pants for a desperately needed trip to the washer/dryer. I wore a pair of yoga pants instead.

When it was time for bed, the dryer hadn't sounded. So I left the yoga pants on. The yoga pants are comfortable enough, but not ideal for sleeping. They are tight and a little itchy. After Brad came to bed, the buzzer went off.

Crucial point: the stitch made it hard to get in and out of bed.

So, buzzer sounds.

Me: I need my pumpkin pants.
Brad: (reaching down to confirm the veracity of the statement before speaking) You are wearing pants.
Me: They aren't good for sleeping. I need my pumpkin pants.
Brad: No you don't.
Me: Yes I do.
Brad: Shhhhh. Go to sleep. Go to sleep.
Me: I can't sleep without my pumpkin pants.
Brad: Sleep, sleep. Go to sleep.
Me: Okay. I'll get them myself. (Feign climbing out of bed by moving the covers)
Brad: You are wearing pants.
Me: Here I go. (Moving my left leg closer to the bed's edge.)
Brad: You are nuts. (Retrieves pumpkin pants.)
Me: Hooray! Welcome back pumpkin pants! (Change. Fall asleep.)

See? Brad wins! Brad wins!


It's a good day. I am home from work, which means I have officially begun my mini-vacation. Granted, it will be much more exciting when Brad gets home from work, and even more so when we leave for the airport tomorrow, but I'm going to cherish every moment of this Tatermoon. (Brad loathes the term Babymoon, so we are going on a Tatermoon. Because that is totally different.)

I am also excited for the moment when Brad gets home from work because he's bringing home a package from Gap which contains maternity PAJAMAS. Oh heavens, am I excited. I mistakenly thought that my regular pjs would get me through pregnancy. Turns out the elastic waistbands on most of my pj bottoms are not that forgiving. (Do you know what a blow to the ego that is? I mean, pj bottoms are like the ultimate fat pants. When I couldn't squeeze into my flannel bottoms the other night, I whimpered aloud. . . . But I still ate a huge bowl of Chocolate Cheerios for dessert, possibly two. They call to me.) It isn't just the bottoms. The pj tanks and shirts don't come close to covering the belly, and the pj industry doesn't make halter-top pajamas for a reason. So I'm down to one pair of bottoms that fit. They are adorned with pumpkins and they are beginning to develop holes. If I'm at home, I am wearing my holey pumpkin pajama bottoms. Typically with one of Brad's long-sleeved t-shirts. Sexy? Hell no. Comfortable? Yes. Warm? Not so much. The pants are are made of stretchy cotton and they are becoming threadbare. So it was time to take the plunge. I shelled out a grand total of $30 for two sets of maternity pjs from Old Navy during their after Thanksgiving sale. And tonight I will be able to wear brand new flannel bottoms adorned with adorable Christmas trees and a matching pregnancy long-underwear-ish top. Happy happy joy joy. Still not very sexy, but definitely a notch up on the cuteness scale.

All of this happiness aside, I am in the middle of a love/hate battle with Gap Inc. I love their cheap-ish maternity clothes enough to let little annoyances slide. Little annoyances such as their no-in-store returns policy for maternity wear -- even when the items are carried in-store. Or their $6 fee for return shipping of maternity items. Why must I pay $6 but folks buying Women's sizes get return shipping for free.

But Gap has recently tossed a big annoyance in the mix. They have manhandled their online order processing and shipping processes. It's out of control. Two months ago, I would place an online order, it would ship the next day via UPS, and arrive at Brad's office the following day. And I would think warm and fuzzy things about Gap Inc. But starting a month or two ago, Gap Inc. decided that processing orders in a day was too much trouble. Now it takes a week, if not longer, to process the order and send it out the door. Adding insult to injury, shipping is no longer handled by dependable UPS. They've contracted out to FedEx, which contracts out to the USPS, which makes ridiculous decisions when figuring out how best to get a package from point A to point B. For Gap Inc., point A is in Indiana. Point B is Chicago. Chicago is practically in Indiana. Yet packages shipped by FedEx "Smartpost" (aka, USPS in disguise) leave Indiana and head for Wisconsin. Did you catch that? They leapfrog their actual destination. They skip the giant hub that is Chicago and head north. What used to take one day now takes over a week. Grumble.

This morning I went into Liz's office at work and complained about this issue, and Liz is patient enough to listen and nod and empathize. Sweet Liz. I can be such a raving lunatic these days. Anyhoo, as of this morning, the pj order that I placed the day after Thanksgiving was scheduled to arrive at Brad's office this Saturday. Two weeks later. Meaning no comfy new pjs for the Tatermoon. But the powers that be at Gap must have heard my tirade, because miraculously the pj package arrived today. FedEx website still shows a delivery date of Saturday, and believes the pj package has not left Wisconsin. Genius. I like to think UPS couldn't stand to see such disgraceful shipping practices and swooped in to save the day.

In other good news, the stitch that developed in my side on Sunday finally disappeared this morning. It was unpleasant and made it hard to sleep, walk, sit. I thought for sure it was problematic, but then I did some trusty online research and learned that it's normal. Back in the old days, pre-Tater, when I felt a side stitch while exercising, I would breathe deeply and focus on the stitch and it would gradually dissipate. No such luck this time, perhaps because breathing deeply is no longer an option. Or perhaps because what felt like a stitch was really Tater jockeying for more room in my turduckin tummy. Regardless, I'm just happy that it's gone, as our Tatermoon is in Charleston and we are planning to do a lot of walking. We are also spending Friday morning at a spa, where I'm getting the mommy-to-be package. Prenatal massage, facial, and manicure. Pampering and warm pj bottoms that fit. All in one week. Heaven.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a picture's worth a bunch of words

So. Far. Behind.

I have been a bad blogger. I apologize. Not only have I failed to post in over a week, I missed the 24-week mark belly shot. So, to make it up to you, I will share all of my informative and/or amusing anecdotes from the last week, AND I'll post a 24 week, 5 day belly shot. Hopefully that is the price for forgiveness.

First, the pictures. Because, honestly, that's why most of you are here:

The belly grows.

I also took a front shot, but now that I'm taking the pictures in a tasteful, clothed fashion, the front shot is less exciting.

See? Told you.

Now for the update. Last Wednesday Caty and Jim arrived for Thanksgiving with gifts in hand. Caty was horrified to learn that I wore jeans and Danskos to a club, so she brought me an incredibly cute maternity dress. I think it will look great with tights and Danskos. Don't tell Caty. They also brought a book for Tater. It's the story of an alien tickle monster. It comes with mitts for the reader to wear while tickling the listener. I love it. Brad is not a huge fan of tickling, so he refuses to be the listener. I will likely spend countless hours teaching Tater how to read just so he can sweet talk Brad into letting him be the reader. Don't tell Brad.

Randy arrived on Wednesday. He is still ridiculously excited about Tater's impending arrival, but he is freaked out by my stomach. Randy is married to the stork story and has decided to pretend that Tater will just fall from the sky. It took him a day to work up the courage to look at my stomach, and I think it happened by accident in the end. In all fairness, my stomach is a little freaky. Pregnant ladies develop a line running down their stomachs, the linea nigra, and mine is super dark.

Thanksgiving was fabulous. The family left on Saturday and we went to Liz and Alap's beautiful wedding that night. On Sunday we registered. Oy. Was that an overwhelming experience. It was nothing like registering for a wedding. When I registered for the wedding, nothing seemed essential. There is no such thing as a serving spoon emergency. But when we registered for Tater, it felt like we were wading into unknown territory all the while trying to make sure we didn't forget to scan the one item that would be essential to keeping Tater alive and breathing. I think I stared at the breast pump section for 30 minutes, subtly shaking my head in confusion and wonderment. We spent three hours in Buy Buy Baby. It was exhausting. When we finished, they gave us a gift bag that was filled with free samples that are actually useful. No prunes. And a free issue of Fit Pregnancy. You would have thought I won the lottery I was so excited to pull that out. Good times.

Back to work on Monday. We have awesome office clerks at work. They visit four times a day. On one of his visits on Monday, office clerk O lingered after dropping off my mail. He pointed to my stomach and said, "I noticed you're pregnant, how did that happen?" Certainly that cannot be what he meant to say, but he made no effort to revise his question, so I just said that it was Brad's fault. Awkward.

Tuesday the temperature dropped. It's officially winter in Chicago. After work I went to REI to buy Brad a new pair of 180s. He lost his over the weekend. Though he assured me that he would get around to replacing them, I had a feeling this plan would result in perpetual frozen ears. So off to REI. I also wanted to buy a set of spikes to wear on my shoes to avoid slipping on the ice this winter. I asked a friendly REI employee where I might find said spikes, and he pointed me to the second floor. Then he asked, "how serious are you about not falling?" I told him that I am going to be eight months pregnant in February and live on a street where the residents have inconsistent shoveling skills. So, pretty serious. Apparently REI sells two types of spikes, one of which is for people who aren't all that serious about staying on their feet. People who only like to slip every once in a while. I sprang for the upgrade.

Today was our 24-week appointment. We've hit the mark when we are meeting the other doctors in the practice group, and today was Doc F's turn. He measured my belly, which was a first. Always thought they would measure circumference. Nope. Pelvic bone to uterus top. It was 26 inches, which he said is normal. And we heard the heartbeat (smile). Tater's heartrate is between 135 and 145. Also normal. Doc F seems fully competent, though unwilling to laugh at any of the great jokes Brad and I make during our check-ups. I can't remember them now, but they were funny. We missed Doc G. He plays along. But we'll see him again in three weeks for the gross-drink diabetes test. That will be a nice reunion.

And tonight I got to see my old friends Amy and Charlie, who are in town for a conference. It was wonderful. Amy was one of my very first friends in Roanoke; we met the summer before the 8th grade. Tonight the four of us grabbed dinner at Quartino's, which was delicious. Towards the end of the meal, however, a woman at a nearby table launched her napkin into the air. I'd like to think that she was shooting for the man sitting across from her, but she had very bad aim. Otherwise, she had excellent aim, and was shooting for my large glass of OJ. It made a tremendous mess, drenching the table and my lap. I sprang up and started mopping myself. Turns out a soaked pregnant lady standing up in the middle of a crowded restaurant is a sympathetic sight. Though the offending patron didn't apologize or offer assistance (I think she was mortified and just wanted to make herself as small as possible), the manager rushed over and comped our meal. Another pregnancy bonus!

So that's the skinny on the last week. I'm feeling pretty good these days. Though I am still insanely light-headed and short of breath when I exert myself. Doc F says this is normal for some women and that I should stay within my limits. Will do. Oh, and I have to pee all the time. Seriously. I pee 25 times a day. Sometimes I can't go ten minutes between trips to the bathroom. The other night, I reached my limit. I had to pee, but I refused to get off the couch. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Speaking of the bathroom and large glasses of OJ . . .