Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just a quick one

Another crazy busy week=not much time for updating. But here's the condensed version.

-I woke up Tuesday morning, weighing the same as I had weighed three weeks earlier at my last visit and able to wear my normal clothes. I woke up Wednesday morning with a belly, up five pounds, and all of a sudden my pants didn't fit. What is that about? I know I'm at the halfway point now (nearly 20 weeks), but seriously, I expected this to be a little more gradual, you know?

-Along those lines, last night I went to Motherhood Maternity. I was looking for dress pants for my VA clinic this morning (and didn't find any I like that weren't a ton of money). I did, however, buy a dress. I have the first of three weddings in two weeks, and I figured I couldn't wear my maternity tank tops and shorts. Here's the dress (and PS, that's not me in the dress. I wish!):
It's cute, but it makes me look like a tent. But, they pretty much all made me look like a tent. I'm just hoping I can still get into it for the last wedding over Labor Day weekend. I'll be eight months pregnant. There's plenty of room for the belly in that dress, but if my boobs get much bigger, they'll need a dress of their own. Still, it's nice to finally fill out a B cup (no more boobs now, I promise).

-I got a med student dropped off on me for the summer. My boss came by yesterday for about 10 minutes and asked hypothetically if I'd be willing to work with another student on a project tangential to mine. I was hesitant after The Robert Experience, but I said I'd think about it. Today, there was the student, sitting at my bench, waiting for me when I got back from the VA. And my boss was nowhere to be found. Gotta love it.

-We have our anatomy ultrasound tomorrow morning. Theoretically, if the baby cooperates, we'll know the gender. We bought a baby name book last night (finally!). Let me tell you: they advertise that there are 60,000 names in the book--there are really about 100 names, and the rest are words from the dictionary (seriously, who names their kid Guitar?) and random letters thrown together. Anyway, I'll tell you the sex of the baby, if we know it, on Monday. I want to let family know first in a non-internet-related way.

-And even if we know the gender, we're not telling the name until the baby is born. We don't have anything picked out yet, but we don't want to listen to people bitch about a name for four months before the baby is born. Plus, I'm sure some of the names will get taken before then (although, we are officially only counting the name as "taken" if the baby is actually born before ours. No "name-saving" for people due after us will be counted. Especially since we just found out his cousin is having twins. That's two names potentially stolen! She already took one!)

-That's about it. Lots else going on, which I may get to tomorrow or this weekend, but that's the bulk of it.

-I can't believe May is over. What the crap!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


My, how time flies! I had intended to post last week, but life kept me busy. I finally ran the gels I had been procrastinating about last Monday, and then between seminars and the VA clinic and other lab stuff, the week just flew by.

We went up to Tim's parent's camp in Pennsylvania for the long weekend. It rained off and on most of Saturday and Sunday. Monday was beautiful, but we left at 10 AM, so we didn't get a lot of time to enjoy it.

I was at work yesterday afternoon--I found out my cells have fungus again, likely due to the incubator situation. I knew this week would be equally as busy as last week, so I was hoping to get an early start. Not so much with the infected cells.

I had a women in science lunch today with a really interesting female researcher. She's giving the department seminar this afternoon. Then I've got a 2.5 hour mentoring clinic with her tomorrow (not just me--a whole bunch of students). I'm pumped about that, but these long middle-of-the-day seminars just kill my experiment time. Then it's the VA clinic Thursday morning, and my ultrasound is Friday morning. Plus, there's a ton of lab maintenance stuff that needs to be done this week. That means this week will likely end up not being all that productive.

But, if lab is going to be unproductive, it's better that it is due to things out of my control than just me being a lazy bum.

Anyway, I'll try to catch up on life events tomorrow, sometime around the big seminar block in the middle of the day. Adios!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Are these those "hormones" they keep talking about?

Today is officially going to be unproductive for me. Dr. B is gone, which I didn't know until I came in, and that just gave me one more excuse to do a bunch of un-lab stuff.

I've been so weird lately. Yesterday was pretty good--I woke up actually feeling well for once, had a good day at the VA clinic, and tried to catch up on the managerial lab crap I have to do. I met a friend of mine from high school for dinner at TGI Friday's (FYI--the new smaller portion dinners, at least the pasta ones, are pretty much the same size as the regular ones. I got the small, she got the regular, and although she had a bigger bowl, I swear we had the same amount of food.) Catching up with her was good, and I got home about 7:30. The night was young.

When I got home, I found that my sister sent me a package from California. It got me all emotional. She sent me a book and wrote a really sweet note in it, which made me tear up, and she sent Tim a book (it's something like, "what to expect when your wife is expecting") and I about peed myself laughing at how accurate that book was. All kinds of emotions.

Then I got some extended family info about my cousin that made me all sorts of emotions--confused, sad, semi-happy, a little angry, and then back to confused. Long story, don't want to get into it, but I'm wishing she had made a better decision. But, life happens.

Anyway, it was a draining night. Then I didn't sleep well, and when I did sleep, I had these crazy vivid dreams about buying a house. So bizarre--it was actually a double house, with a removable wall connecting the two sides. And I could draw you a picture of it, very detailed. That's how vivid the dream was. Strange stuff.

So then this morning I got an email from a realtor we met a while ago that a new house just came on the market. It's pricier than we are looking, but it's about 1000 feet to the national park. It's a cute colonial on about 3/4 of an acre, with 4 bedrooms. With the exception of the price, it's exactly what we wanted. Add that to the dream last night, and it's all a little bizarre.

But, we decided a while ago not to move. This house is fine for now, we're going to have all sorts of new expenses with a baby (especially child care! Holy crap!), and we don't know yet if we are staying or going for residency in three years. Plus, the real estate market sucks, we've got work to do on our house, and we don't want to have to sit with our house on the market for 6 months to a year (which is pretty standard right now).

Rationally, it all makes sense. And if our current house was closer to work, we would have never started looking over a year ago. But it all snowballed from there--since we wanted to move closer anyway, let's take a step up from our current house. And since we're taking one step up, let's take another. And another. We're not looking at mansions or anything, but moving into a better school district is costly. Sure, our house is cheap, but somehow we've moved into looking at houses that are twice as expensive as ours. I don't know how we got there. We could get a loan for it, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to stretch ourselves right now.

That's all the rational stuff. It's usually my job to be the voice of reason with Tim--he's the spontaneous spender (or at least he used to be). Since the pregnancy, we've had total role reversal. I'm the emotionally driven, irrational one, living day to day. He's the rational planner. I don't know how long this'll last, but it's definitely strange.

I think it's how we are coping with the pregnancy. I'm still in a lot of shock. Happy shock, but shock. I definitely have days where I think, "What the hell did we get ourselves into?" Before the pregnancy, I was the one that crunched the numbers and showed we could afford a child. I made the timeline to show where my windows for babies were in my career progression. I made all the pros and cons lists. He was the one that saw his friends and everyone his age with kids and thought, "I can do that."

And so we decided to go for it.

I'm not saying I regret my decision. When the baby comes, I'm sure I'll be ecstatic. And really, all of those charts and lists I made were true. We have been saving for it since we got married almost 5 years ago (we purposely bought a cheap house to have room to save), we are living near family and friends now who can support us when we have a baby emergency moment (I expect to have lots, especially with the first baby). We've prepared. We should be ready.

I knew I'd never wake up one morning and say, "I'm ready to be a mother." Oh my gosh, I just had a little heart attack even typing the work "mother." Especially in science, I knew it'd be easier to just keep pushing back the date. I swear, around here, the average age to have your first child is over 35. Nadia in my lab was 41 when she delivered. I didn't want to wait that long. Plus, I have two sides of family history of women who don't keep their uterus much after 35, so I knew my window was a little narrow anyway. But to be 27 and pregnant in this science community--everyone thinks you are crazy. And I'm starting to get sucked into that.

I know, deep down, I can take care of a child. I'm confident Tim can, too (after he attends Daddy Boot Camp. Boy's never changed a diaper). But that doesn't silence all the nagging doubt I have that we're too young, we're too busy, we're too unprepared.

I've talked to a few other first time preggos like me, and I guess it's a common concern, no matter the age or financial situation involved. And that part of me that is still rational knows we'll be fine. I've never spent a lot of money on clothes--it's not like I'm going to start shopping at Baby Gap all of a sudden (yes, that's expensive for me). We've planned it out. It'll be fine.

But, I also realize that newly-voiced emotional side of me won't just go away in the next five months. I'm always going to have bursts of crazy (let's buy a new house for the baby!). I've just got to realize I don't have to listen to the emotional side like I've always listened to the rational side.

It's a strange time. I'm dealing with general issues like being all emotional, and I'm also dealing with a lot of personal issues. No need to ramble any more about it, but let's just say that gaining weight on purpose is not an easy thing for some with a body image problem and a former eating disorder. I'm doing it for the baby, but I'm having a hard time adjusting. And this is only the beginning! I can't imagine how I am going to feel when I'm the size of a house. I'm working on it, because the last thing I want to do it surround my child in an environment of poor self-image and negativity. I'm also having to assess how I define myself as a person, and it's been tough. But those are things I'm going to have to struggle through.

Ok, I told you've I've been weird lately. Enough random rambling for one day. I don't need to get all sappy and emotional at work. Especially in this lab, the motto is: Show no weakness!

Bucky wants lunch, so I'm off for now. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A little off

I'm feeling a little off today. Some of it is that I haven't really slept in about a week (although last night was the best of the bunch, by far). Some of it is my personal issues with lab. And some of it is adjusting mentally to the pregnancy. If you don't mind a little rambling, I'll fill you in.

So lab stuff first. The last week or two, I've gotten terribly lazy in lab. I take all responsibility for it. Yes, I'm still doing my cells and collecting samples. And I've got enough administrative stuff to take care of that I'm busy every day (gotta love being assigned all the former technician's jobs). But I am usually pretty good about making sure my experiments are my priority. The last few weeks, I just haven't. I've got four gels with Western blots to run. That's about a day and a half of experiments, and not tough ones at that. I run gels on a regular basis. No big deal.

And yet I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. Sure, I've had doctor's appointments, the VA clinic, and a whole day of seminars that have gotten in my way. But that usually just means I stay late or come in on the weekend to get it done. I haven't.

My boss hasn't really been on me yet, and he shouldn't have to be. I'm pretty self-motivated (although an occasional deadline always helps). I've got my next thesis committee meeting in mid-July, and I'd like to be on my way to nearly done by then. I know I need to run these gels to see how my experiments are progressing, but I just haven't done it.

Like I said, it's all on me. I'm not going to try and pass this one off. I just don't want to do the work. I'm exhausted, I'm frustrated, and I have so many other things that need my attention.

I guess this translates into me being burnt out.

I don't have the luxury of taking a week off to recharge. I only get two weeks of vacation a year, and I already used one in Aruba. With appointments and baby stuff, I need those last five days. I guess I've sort of been vacationing from my experiments while still at work. That's not the best way to do things--it doesn't help the burnout, and it doesn't help me progress in my work.

I get in these funks occasionally. I also have spurts of much activity and progress. I'm hoping to get into one of those spells soon. I know I just need to buckle down and do it. I'm a big girl. I don't need to give the lab the silent treatment to show that I'm angry with it. I can move past that.

Anyway, enough lab venting. I really think the lack of sleep is not helping my mood at all. I can't explain why I'm not sleeping--I'm tired, I've made the bed as comfortable as possible, I do all the stupid stuff (drink warm milk, do the yoga relaxation stuff, etc) they say to do, and I still get maybe an hour or two of sleep a night.

Last night was an exception. I was totally exhausted from horses and just collapsed. I don't know what it was about yesterday that wore me out so much. It's about 7 miles or so of walking/jogging with the horses for three classes, but I've been doing that for a long time. It didn't bother me last week. Maybe it was the fact that it was 88 degrees outside. Or maybe it was that I was already tired from not sleeping. I don't know, but I felt like someone had kicked the crap out of me. My muscles ached everywhere. It was everything I could do to stay up for an hour and talk to Tim (that's not usually a chore, really). I basically passed out as soon as I hit the bed.

The nice thing was, the thunderstorms came through and dropped the temperature 30 degrees overnight. That meant the air was cool and damp. Perfect for sleeping. I only got up three or four times last night, and I wasn't awake for too long. I probably got almost 7 hours of sleep. It made it so difficult to get out of bed that I ended up moseying into lab about an hour later than I usually do. Of course, that's when everyone else is usually showing up, so I didn't feel too bad.

I still feel wiped. I wish I could've stayed home and slept all day. But I came in to run my gels. Of course, now I'm stuck trying to rectify all this ordering crap that I wasn't even involved in, plus I have to clean out and disinfect an incubator. So, that's why I'm here. And that's why the gels will wait another day.

I've got a lot on my mind about the pregnancy stuff too, but I think I want to sit and reflect on that for a day. I want to talk about what's going on in my head without sounding like an ungrateful beyotch, so that's going to take some wording work. I'll try and fill you in on that tomorrow. For now, back to my menial lab tasks for another day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Today has been a good day:

-I woke up this morning and almost felt like a normal human being. Even with very little sleep!

-My commute was only 45 minutes (versus the normal hour-ish). Traffic was sweet!

-I had the VA clinic this morning. I haven't had it in three weeks, since my preceptor was on service. I was nervous headed back there, as I usually am Thursday morning (what if I miss something huge? Oh wait, that's why I'm not on my own! You'd think I'd have learned that by now.) But it was a great clinic, I saw two good patients, and my preceptor took his difficult patients voluntarily. Always a plus.

-It's freaking gorgeous outside. About time!

-I fit into my regular dress clothes this morning. It was a concern. And I had only one baby-friendly dressy option, and I wasn't sure how that would work. But that can wait another week.

-The cafeteria had their pasta bowl stir-fry bar set up. I got whole wheat penne with chicken, tofu, spinach, red and green peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. I asked for onions, not mushrooms, but actually, it was pretty good with the mushrooms. And they had raspberry iced tea. Another plus!

-It's already after 2 PM, and I only have about another hour and a half's worth of work to do in the lab.

-My boss made the rounds right after I got back from the VA, and he seemed busy. So maybe we've had our face time for the day.

-The baby is apparently still ok with the pasta bowl for lunch (unlike the pizza I had at the zoo on Sunday). Maybe the raspberry iced tea is keeping Bucky happy.

-It's almost the weekend! I do have to come in on Saturday, but only about a half day, so that's a plus. And I don't have to come in on Sunday.

-It's just generally a pretty, low key, overall good day. It's nice to have a solidly good day once in a while. I have a lot of partially good days mixed with something aggravating (usually lab) on a regular basis. It's not all storm clouds or anything. But to have a wall-to-wall good day--a total gift.

Here's hoping I didn't jinx the rest of the day. Tim's got finals tonight, and Jen won't be home till late, so it looks like little dog and I will take a walk, and then maybe it'll be Wii time. I played Marvel Alliance for a few hours last night. I didn't realize how much more work it was on the Wii until I stopped and noticed my hands were all cramped (ever see Chandler get "the claw" from playing too much Pac-Man on Friends? That was me). But the Wii relaxed me last night, and I'm looking forward to another night of that.

Maybe I'll even stop at the store and buy more ball-park all beef hot dogs (I have had SUCH a craving for those--especially on the grill!). I'll make my own mini-picnic for dinner.

I love days like this.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Where is everybody?

Ok, my boss must be out of town. I haven't walked by his office to check yet (just in case he IS here--I don't want to talk to him any more than I have to). But it's nearly 11 AM, and I'm the only one in the lab. That's bizarre. I know Ming is out on vacation, but Sriram, Ossama, Kim, and Valerie should be in by now. Something must be up.

Either that, or everyone's playing hooky because it is freaking beautiful outside.

I actually had that thought too. We had a great day at the zoo yesterday (minus the little square of sunburn I got on my chest--didn't think about sunscreen. At least my face lotion is SPF 30). It's supposed to be sunny and warm all week. I'd love to be home, but I'm here instead. Oh well, that's what people with jobs do, I guess.

This weekend was tiring, but fun. We saw my dad's side of the family Saturday at a first communion for my cousin. I wore a maternity outfit--give the people what they want, I say--and that sent the aunts into baby mode. It's one of those shirts that had an empire waist and poofs out below that. Really, it could make a normal person look pregnant (and I am still wearing normal clothes), but I knew they'd want to see the baby pooch. And it made them happy. Although I think it's weird to have people touching my stomach--and I know that's only going to get worse!

Sunday was the zoo, which was fun. We went with Tim's friend from college, his wife and baby, and some of her relatives. It was the baby brigade. That would explain why it took us 5 hours to see the zoo when it usually takes about half that. Still, it was a good day to be out. And I love the zoo, so always a plus. We may go into Pennsylvania to visit them later this summer and see the Pittsburgh Zoo, which I haven't seen in ages. I remember that it had a really cool aquarium, so I'm pumped about that.

Otherwise, not too much going on. I'm trying to convince myself I don't have pyelonephritis. I really don't think I do--I haven't had a fever of over 100, and those only happen maybe once a week or so. The problem is that I have been having these deep,sharp pains on my left side and back, under my ribcage, fairly frequently. They seem to come and go, and nothing seems to bring them on or make them go away. After my last appointment came back positive for a UTI, I've been all nervous. They say women with a recurring UTI have a pretty good chance for pyelonephritis. But it's probably just some weird pregnancy pain I can't explain. I've got an appointment on Wednesday, so we'll see what she says.

Other than that, same thing, different day. I just saw my boss walk by, so there goes my theory. Maybe I'll have the pleasure of speaking with him soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May Fool's?

Last night, Tim, Jen, and I left for Columbus about 4:45. It was an easy drive (note to self: need to keep AC cranked now so as not to get carsick), and we got to Columbus a little before 7. The arena was in a brand new section of the city. It was way nicer than when I came to interview for med school 5 years ago, although the med school is in a different part of town.

After oohing and aahing the new construction (My favorite: Tim saying, "This is the nicest alley I've ever seen!"), we decided to park. There was a surprisingly plentiful amount of parking. We saw a lot of mid-forties business-type people walking around the convention center next door, but no SPKs (Scary Punk Kids, as Jen calls them).

As we pulled into the lot, a helpful bicycle police officer came over to ask us which show we were seeing. We said, "My Chemical Romance." He said, "Sorry, that's been postponed until tomorrow at 7 PM. The band's sick." He asked us how long we drove, and when we said 2 hours, he tried to cheer us up by saying the car in front of us had driven 5 hours from Michigan.

Crappy thing was, we had checked the websites and everything before we left, and there was no mention of the concert being postponed. Of course, no Cleveland radio stations are going to talk about a Columbus show. So, we were hosed.

After debating whether to hang out in C-bus or head home, we elected to head home. There had been a line of thunderstorms headed towards us, so we thought trying to catch it in as much daylight as possible was safer than driving home mostly in the dark.

We hit those monster storms, of course, but Tim did a good job of negotiating them. Thank goodness he was driving--my night vision sucks, and when you add rain to it, I can't see the lines on the road or anything. I would've pulled off and waited for a while. Tim handled it and drove straight through.

We got home a little after 9. It gave me time to stop at the store and get a body pillow, which I've been meaning to do. After some discussion, we decided there was no way we could go back down to Columbus again today. Hopefully we'll get a refund--the company from whom I bought the tickets seems cooperative enough.

I did learn a few things yesterday though:

1. Columbus isn't that far. No farther than Pittsburgh. And yet I haven't been there in 5 years. It's pretty much like Cleveland, but bigger and with no lake, but we have no excuse for not visiting the friends we have down there more often (or at all).

2. I found my new favorite pair of shorts. Since my internal thermostat now runs about 10 degrees above normal people, I figured I'd be boiling at the concert. I tried out the pair of army green pseudo-maternity drawstring shorts I bought. Best $13 I ever spent. I am going to live in these things. I may even wear them after I'm pregnant--it's just a drawstring, not a huge elastic panel--because they rock so much.

3. The body pillow was definitely a good call. I only woke up 4 times last night. At the longest stretch, I was only awake about 30 minutes. Way better than when I net 3-4 hours of sleep the whole night. Now I just have to work on the humidity and the temperature, and I should be all set!

4. I'm old. Not really old, but I was actually a little relieved when the concert was postponed. Sure, it would've been fun, and we did drive all that way. But my first thought, "I'll actually get to bed before 1 in the morning!" That makes me old.

5. I've only had one craving so far, and it's not for food. It's for raspberry iced tea. I like the Lipton stuff out of the fountain dispenser, or the Arizona or Snapple teas in the containers. I was so pumped when they had the raspberry iced tea at the Burger King we stopped at, and I was so bummed when they didn't sell any at the gas station on the way home. I don't know if that's a weird craving, but it's a very specific one.

6. I remember why I don't take Tylenol. I've been getting these killer headaches (lack of sleep and a pissy boss will do that), and all I can take is Tylenol. And it does jack crap.

7. It's going to be beautiful the next solid week. No rain, 60s and 70s, and sunny. Time to start walking the park again!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I've been subscribing to "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Actually, there's been a lot of good stuff going on, which I'll mention briefly, but my boss has been such a supreme pain in my behind lately that it's hard to focus on anything else.

I refuse to talk about him though. On to the happy stuff.

First, in a supreme bit of good luck, Jen and I stumbled on the last remaining Wii at Wal-Mart on Friday. I have been saving my play money for over a year to get one, but they've been impossible to come by. And being a hard core Nintendo nerd (I still have a Super Nintendo, N64, and Game Cube all hooked up and still used at my house), I had no interest in a PlayStation 3 or XBox 360 (not to mention they are more than twice as much as a Wii). Luckily, Jen saw a girl walking out with a Wii at Wal-Mart. Sure enough, when we got to electronics, there was only one left.

We set that up Friday night, and it's totally awesome. The Wii Sports games are a ton of fun. We also bought the Wii Play game (it come with another controller too, a definite plus), Prince of Persia (Tim's choice), and Marvel Alliance (my choice). There's a totally hilarious cow racing game on the Wii Play disc, and we each have our own favorite Wii Sport. I'm waiting to get the Zelda game for Wii until I beat it on Game Cube (another perk--you can play game cube games on the Wii! So now one of us can play upstairs while another one plays downstairs).

Saturday we had two of Tim's frat brothers over with their wives and young kids. We watched the NFL draft. It was a good first round for us Browns fans, and it was fun to get together. We called it the first unofficial Pi Lambda Phi play date. The little girls were really well behaved, and even though we couldn't convince Tim to change a diaper, I think he feels a little bit more comfortable around kids now.

Sunday I was so exhausted from cleaning the house and having people over that I pretty much slept all day (or tried to). I've been so tired recently because I haven't found a way to sleep through the night yet. I think I am going to buy a body pillow and give that a shot.

Last night my mom and I headed out to Kohl's to go shopping. I bought my first batch of maternity clothes, which was a little weird. First, I've only gained two pounds, so I don't need it yet (I'm only 16 weeks, so it's a little early to be showing anyway. And, I wear all my clothes two sizes too big to start with, so I've got room to grow). Second, everything is a bright color or a girly print, which if you know me, is not the way I roll. Third, it's expensive! Everything was 50% off, plus I had another 15% off coupon, but there's no clearance stuff for maternity. I'm used to $7 pants and $4 shirts. Not so much. I did find some early maternity stuff that looks pretty normal (drawstring pants mostly), so I might start wearing that soon. All of the maternity tops are definitely maternity-looking, but not horrible. I did try on a pair of pants with the huge elastic waistband that comes up under your boobs, but I decided I wasn't nearly ready for that yet :)

Today I'm leaving early (hooray!) and Tim, Jen, and I are driving down to Columbus to see My Chemical Romance. I'm sure I'll be the oldest one there--actually, second oldest, because Tim will be there :) It'll be a 180 from Billy Joel, but hey, you've got to try different things sometimes. I'm sure I'll sleep in the car the whole way home, but it should be a fun time.

The rest of the week is looking pretty calm. My boss is in town from now till eternity, unfortunately, but I'm just trying to not let him get to me. I can't believe I have another whole year of dealing with him. Here's hoping I don't lose it and blow a gasket one of these days.

But, happy thoughts. The weather's been gorgeous, the house is still relatively clean from the massive Saturday cleaning, and it's already May. Time sure is flying!