Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Turning Japanese

So I had an interesting dream last night.  I dreamt I was at work.  But our offices were outside in the woods.  This one guy who I actually work with in real life was in charge all of a sudden.  He was not happy with me because I wasn't learning Japanese and it was suddenly mandatory for the job.  (In real life, this guy will only speak Japanese. He may understand English, but he'll never speak it.)

He had many strict new rules for the job.  Not only did I need to speak Japanese, he wanted me to learn how to write in Japanese and was trying to teach me calligraphy.  His desk was embedded into the trunk of a tree, by the way.  He was calling me out in front of everyone and making me feel incompetent.  

There was also a new way we were supposed to sign our emails.  It all depended on your status/class.  I was trying very hard to learn all these new things and wondered how in the hell my world got so turned upside down.  I asked myself if I really wanted to stick with the job or just quit.  Looking at those Japanese characters swimming nonsensically in front of me was very intimidating.

Now I'm really at work, in an office building, speaking and writing away in English. What a relief.

Let the Wild Pregnancy Dreams Begin!

The crazy dreams started a week a half ago, before I knew I was even pregnant. Every night I've had vivid and elaborate dreams that seem to go on and on.  

One night this weekend I dreamt I was hanging out with Apolo Ohno and we were trying to figure out which bar to go to with our friends.  We decided we were going to drive up to Canada to go to some really fun clubs.  Can't remember the rest, but he was just a cool dude to hang out with.

Last night I dreamt that my friends (people I actually don't know in real life) and I were in Vegas partying.  I was younger, more energetic, wasn't married and didn't have kids. At least they never crossed my mind.  I was really drunk and realized that I was supposed to have checked out of my hotel room the day before. So I panicked thinking I better get my stuff before they threw it away/took it.  But I couldn't find my hotel key anywhere and I kept getting distracted from the task. 

There were tons of people milling about and they wanted to go to the next bar.  One girl pointed to some photo that was stored up in the ceiling rafter/attic space and asked me if it was mine.  I looked closely and it was an old black and white family photo of a farm family probably from Iowa probably from the early 1900s.  I looked into the face of the mom in the photo and she looked pasty white, hair pulled back, wearing a farm apron like dress, plain, serious,  tired and all about survival in their new home in America.  I said, "Nope, it's not mine.  Interesting though.  Wonder what it's doing here?"  (In a wild hotel in Vegas).

Some dudes helped me out to get me in my room so I could pack up my stuff.  My roommate's stuff was there too and I knew she had already flown out and left her stuff.  So I had to try to pack up her stuff to and figure out how to get it to her.  Guest services had left a really nice expensive looking lotion gift on the bed too that I thought was super cool.  I tried packing both suitcases and nothing would fit in there.  There were too many shoes.  And everywhere I looked, there were more shoes to put in the suitcase.  

I saw very clearly this one pair of shoes that trips me out - I doubt they even exist in real life.  They are black and white wing top, semi high heeled, knee length boots! Crazy. I thought to myself - those don't look like shoes my friend would wear - she must have really changed her tastes since I last hung out with her.  I was in a hurry to pack up and get it settled so I could keep partying and then hook up with this one guy who was with us.  It never happened since I was so discombobulated with all the packing nonsense.

Then another segment, I decided to drive from Vegas instead of fly since I could get a good deal; $98 to be precise.  They cut me even a better deal if I would agree to drive down someone's dachshund dog to Dana Point.  But I would have to keep it at my house for a week to wait for them to arrive for pick up.  I asked if the dog could stay outside in the backyard without trying to escape and would it get along with a St. Bernard.  They said it might try to escape, but I still said okay, I'd do it.

Then I left the car rental place, went to a big busy place to fill up with gas. I couldn't read the gauge on the car and it kept fluctuating.  Just when I was about to get out and pump, the gauge jumped to full and I took off.  Some dude was checking me out waiting for me to decide what to do.  When I drove off, so did he.  He was wearing an aqua plaid fedora type hat and thought he was cool.  I didn't have time for him - I was in a hurry.  Excited to hit the road.  

So, I'm about to go to bed now and I'm curious to see what dreams I'll have tonight.  It's only a matter of time until the $ex dreams start happening that are common when pregnant.  My hubbie says I should have one about my boss, since I've had one about all my bosses I've had at some point.  I shrieked telling him NOT to even plant that seed in my head!  I couldn't stand it if I had to have a dream about my boss and then have it stuck in my head every time I see him.  God forbid!

The one thing that's annoying me is this reoccurring feeling of anxiety and trying to find things or trying to get somewhere in my dreams.  Then I toss and turn and have a little bit of insomnia.  I'm not that far along - I shouldn't be experiencing that right now!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Feeling Green on Earth Day

So it's Earth Day, and it's fitting, because I'm feeling quite green today. 

Aside from my queasiness, I feel good because I've recycled, drove a fuel efficient car, used cloth diapers, ate organic food, drank from a reusable bottle, didn't use too much water in the bath tub, the girls bathed together, I skipped washing my hair and shaving today.  I am bonified!

But seriously though, it's been a hell of a month!  I went back up to Seattle to be with my mom after her surgery, fully expecting her to have cancer and a grim prognosis.  I learned she has the beginnings of emphysema and she hadn't told me.  She looked like a corpse when I first saw her after surgery and her breathing was so raspy and labored.  She seriously looked like an 80 year old and not a 60 year old woman!  

She wasn't the best patient and the drugs made her really out of it.  She seemed like a crazy woman and I think the nurses were utterly fed up with her.  They definitely didn't get her sense of humor (or lack thereof).  

After four days of committed service to her and we knew she wasn't going to die anytime soon, my uncle pushed me to go home to my own family, work, life, joys.  Hinted around about not enabling my mom and that I'd done a damn good job of sticking by her through the rough days.  I was able to help her get cleaned up, dressed, packed up and released from the hospital and back to my uncle's house.  Then he took me to the airport and I flew home.  

Oh - and not to forget how I got scolded by the TSA guy for not taking my laptop out of its case.  I had words with him to refute myself, he shook his head at me walking away and me shouting, "Don't you shake your head at me!" (and under my breath, "Douche bag!")  I think the pilot behind me thought it was amusing and startling at the same time.

I returned to work the next day against my will and better judgment.  I really could have used a day off with the girls.  My boss' attitude and demanding behavior didn't help my mood.  I felt a familiar anger boil up inside me every time he sent me one of his curt emails and I gave him an attitude right back in every single one of my emails back to him.  I slammed things around, grunted, didn't offer greetings or salutations to him.  It was almost comical, and I had a vague recollection of feeling this way with other bosses in jobs prior.  Usually I can be composed and professional and it's rare to lose my temper.  

These spells of anger were what prompted me to pick up a few pregnancy tests on the way home from work.  It didn't seem plausible that I could be, only doing the deed twice in a month and I have been timing my cycle so faithfully.  But I still hadn't received Aunt Flo and I was on day 38 or so.  (Normally a 35 day cycle).  

So, the next morning, tested and it was positive! SHOCK and DENIAL! Fear and wonder! How? Now what? To be honest, I'm still in shock and denial.  That was a week ago and I was feeling no symptoms.  Now... I feel run over by a truck. Nauseous and exhausted.  Fuzzy brained. Angry and impatient. Weird dreams. Insomnia. Can't concentrate at work. Ravenous but aversion to food at the same time. 

I got on BabyCenter right away to find out my due date (around Christmas!), see what's going on with my body/baby,  read about other moms to be and what they're experiencing.  That's a time sucker right there when you're at work! To be honest, people on those boards can be very obsessed and over-the-top, so it's not somewhere you want to hang out for too long I decided.

So I called OB, they ordered lab work, I had blood drawn for HCG levels and all is good and numbers growing, so next step, an early ultrasound next week.  In the mean time, I've only told 6 people and not telling anymore until I know there's a heartbeat. (Except you know now, dear reader). Shh... keep it on the DL.

In other contrasting and devastating news, my daycare provider and friend, who is only 29, just found out she has ovarian cancer.  In a routine exam, she had a lot of pain when they pushed down on her ovaries.  They investigated further with an ultrasound later that week and spent over 2 hours looking at suspicious growths.  This week she went in for a laparoscopic surgery and they found huge growths all around her ovaries.  She had to have a complete hysterectomy!  

Let me tell you, this girl is a sweetheart who absolutely adores children and has a gift for teaching little ones and nurturing them.  She was the little girl who spent hours taking care of her dollies and playing house - to the extreme.  All she has ever wanted is to be a mom and she was trying to move forward with those steps in her life with her boyfriend - marriage, family.  It is such a shocker.  Now she will need to have chemo and will lose her beautiful hair.  Thank god for her life though - I hope they caught it early.

In a way it's so backwards - my mom was spared of cancer even though she's lived a pretty unhealthy life, smoking since she was a teenager.  My friend, who is extremely healthy, organic, active, fit, young - has cancer and will be robbed of having children.  Unbelievable.  

So, I need lots of prayers, good vibes, comfort and humor sent my way.  Have any advice for preparing for a third child?  Is my life going to get completely unmanageable now?

Monday, April 5, 2010

IMHO: "Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars"

Here's my opinion on new article released today, "Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars"
(Article from CNN Health by Miriam Falco(CNN) -- If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.

Read full article here.

What is even better than the article, is the comments people post at the bottom!  It's a full-on brawl.  Who's right, who's better; breast-feeders vs. non-breast-feeders; working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. 

Personally, I exclusively breast fed both my daughters for over six months, and went back to work at 3-4 months.  Carried my Big Bertha (Medela Pump in Style) double pump everywhere I went, pumped twice a day in the bathroom at work, endured some very embarrassing moments, and I had a freezer full of breast milk to show for it.  It was hard work, that took some good time management and organization, but a choice I wasn't willing to compromise on. 

I'm not a whip-it-out in public sort of girl either.  I don't care if I had a hooter hider, it still made me very uncomfortable. My girls did not like covers over their heads and they would try to hit or kick off the cover and make a scene.  Now, I look back fondly at that special time I had with them, nursing them and providing them optimal nutrition.  It was so all-compassing at the time and now it's a faint memory.