Thursday, January 31, 2008

See Ya Later Al-agator!

Well, today is the end of an era here at work. My friend Al is retiring after being here 10 years. Mind you, this wasn't his first career... he's done all kinds of things including being in the Army and a Philly cop for 14 years. Today was his last day. We just had his retirement lunch.
Al and I don't exactly see eye to eye on a number of political issues, and those we do, we don't always agree on what to do about them.
That's OK though. We enjoy our conversations.
I must admit though, it did take a little time for me when I got here to warm up to him. But, he's a great guy and a good friend.
I will miss him.
He definitely brought a lot of life to this building. His wife is a saint to have not killed him yet. He's always got a story or something to say. If you needed help understanding something, he'd take the time to explain it as best he could, which was often just right. He would willingly give an ear to listen and come up with some creative (sometimes very) solutions to things. Although, I think mostly he was here for the cookies... especially my oatmeal cookies. (I made a batch just for him last night... well, gave him half and the rest that Gak and I didn't eat are for the rest of the office.)
I wish him the best of luck and the enjoyment of his 7 grandkids. I'm sure they'll be keeping him busy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Love (?) AT&T

Well, that was an exercise in extreme patience and almost futility.
I just spent over an hour on the line with AT&T trying to straighten out something I should have taken care of over a year ago.
Yes, that's right, a year ago.
Back shortly after we moved into the new apartment, Gak and I got new phones. I forget the whole story, but for whatever reason we couldn't transfer Gak's old number to a new phone. Something having to do with the AT&T/Cingular merger. Anyhow, we were able to keep mine (thankfully!), but this whole thing required us to close out the old account and open up a new one with my number and Gak's new number. No big deal. My bills have been automatically billed to the credit card. I noticed two bills each month from AT&T, but as the company was paying, I kept saying "I'll take care of this next week." Well, next week finally came. (I'm truly embarrassed at how long this took me...)
What really prompted this is Gak's phone started acting up yesterday (it's better today) and I figured I should probably get all this straightened out.
I called the 800 number given to me online on my account. I even got to talk to a real, live human being pretty quickly. It all went downhill after that.
Once I got through to him that my number is actually on two accounts he transferred me to his manager because he couldn't find the second account. I then had to repeat the entire story to the new guy. He did find the second account, but it was on the "old" billing system. He then transferred me to some chicky who talked too fast who was on the "old" system because he could only access the "new" system. So, yet again I have to try and explain everything. She muddles her way through for a bit and then transfers me to another woman. Well, it turns out that this woman was also on the "new" system. I almost didn't find that out in time. I almost accidentally got Gak's new number canceled! Eeep! He would not have appreciated that.
Well, she transfers me to another woman. Yes, that's right, this is person number 5 that I've talked to. She quickly figures out she can't help me. I'm trying very hard not to loose my cool at this point. I mean, I worked customer support for power plants for 4.5 years and have been traveling with the wonderful airlines for the last 3. I know a lot of these problems aren't their faults, they can only do what their systems tell or let them.
I have to remind myself of this several times.
This woman was nice enough to stay on the line with me while she connects me to person number 6. Person number 6 makes sure she understands what's going on and I double check to make sure she's talking about the right account. By now all kinds of numbers are getting mixed up in my head and I can't read my own writing any more. (Not like it's that great to begin with...) I'm pretty sure it was this 6th person that was finally able to cancel my old account.
This whole adventure took over an hour.
It's a good thing I'm not overly busy at work.
Of course, I hang up the phone and about 5 seconds later Gak calls to tell me he's still at work and to pick him up there. I relay the outline of the adventure and he just groans.
All this because we need to get Gak a new phone soon.
And from what I've heard, AT&T has slightly above average customer service for the cell companies. At least everyone I dealt with was polite and I'm pretty sure were native English speakers. (Hey, I have nothing against someone in India or elsewhere being support, if I can understand them, and they can understand me. They've got people just as bright, if not brighter, than people here... I don't care who helps me, but I shouldn't have to ask them to repeat themselves 10 times to understand they told me to reboot the computer.)
Well, I'm going to get a few emails sent out and turn off my brain and go home.
Peace to all and may your phone bills be simple, and your customer service needs few.

Monday, January 28, 2008


... Well, sort of.

Yesterday was a very, very productive day.
We found the closet!
There are no more packed boxes in the apartment!
We took 6 boxes of trash and 2 boxes of stuff for Good Will out of the apartment!
I'm exhausted.

Mom came up around 11 and other than a break to go grab some lunch, buy some fabric and yarn and a photo frame, we worked almost non-stop from then until about 5:00. There is so much room in the closet now! There is actually empty shelf space. Mind you, the back bedroom is still a disaster area and a half and I don't want to think about our current bedroom at the moment either, but we're getting there.
Mom was great about getting me to make decisions and go through stuff. Some days it is the getting started and the keeping going that's the hardest part. When you've got someone to talk with and hang out with who isn't invested in what you're cleaning up, it helps. I mean, doing this with just me and Gak would be pretty hard, we don't push each other enough to get rid of things or make the tough choices. We just shove it aside and pretend to do it. I'm just as guilty, if not more so, of this than he is. Therefore, we're not much help for each other in this.
I really do need to get better pictures of the dinning room, and the picture wall in the hall. It finally looks like a real dinning room and put together. That's good because it's right inside the front door. We also even ate dinner at the dinning room table last night!
Hopefully this week I'll be able to go through my yarn stash and get rid of some *gasp*. Hopefully I'll get to the point where I can put the "unspoken for" yarn into the storage thing and put the yarn for specific projects together into bags and get it all into the closet. I think I have a lot more yarn than I thought I did. Unfortunately, not much of any one thing. Well, I do have enough for mom's afghan, but that's only because we bought it on Sunday.
I still have to finish the border for Boo's blankie and then I'll share it. I still can't find my pattern book of edgings and borders. Oh well, I may just have to wing it or find one from another afghan that I like and steal it. I need one big enough to add an inch or two to each side. Not too difficult when working with double-stranded yarn. I also need to measure my one blanket and make a plan of attack for Mom's. I'm going to try and make it 5 squares by 7, but it may take some fancy math. I guess I should figure out if the green or the blue should be the "main color" as there is definitely a difference in amount of yarn of each color needed.
Ok. I'm totally rambling about yarn. I guess I should stop. Sorry, it's on my mind as it's the next part of the mess that needs tackling and something I enjoy any how.
Hopefully in two weeks when Mom comes back up, we'll be able to make some real progress in the back room. Then we can move the bed into there (I really need to pick up new curtains first...). Then I can clean out the other room and start getting it ready for Boo. I've already got some stuff for him floating around the apartment and it would be nice to get it all in one place.

I hopefully will be this productive at work the next week or two. I'm still frustrated by the lack of movement on what's happening to my position (and me for that matter) after March. I've got some other projects that are keeping me busy, but it's mostly busywork. The only reason it's getting done is that I've got people hounding me for it and I can't ignore it.
So, on that note, back to the code and the issues at hand.

Peace to all and may you have productive weekends, good weeks and much less clutter in your lives!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Totally Random

Well, this is going to be a bit of a chaotic post. I've got several things I've been meaning to post about, but just keep forgetting to or haven't gotten to yet or whatever. I'll try and keep it in some kind of coherent order, but no promises.
I'll start with this picture at the top. I've been lax in introducing you to two new members of the bear clan. The one on the left is DD. She came to us the week of Thanksgiving. You see, DD was given to my great-grandmother, Mum Mum, by a close friend over 20 years ago now. The friend's name was Dot Davis, therefore, the bear was named DD. A few years after DD came into her life, Mum Mum passed away. Therefore, Miss. DD stayed with Gram. DD enjoyed her status as only child. Sure, Jon and I spent a lot of time there over the summers with our own zoo of friends. But mostly she's been content to be the shoulder for a couple of older women. When we were down in Maryland visiting Gram the week of Thanksgiving, she asked Gak if he would adopt DD. She said that DD needed a good male role model, as she's never had one of any sort. Of course, Gak couldn't say no. I was planning on bringing her home with us eventually anyhow. She's adapting well. Having lived a quiet life, living with Mum Mum and Gram. She's not used to being one of several, especially some young rambunctious ones. She spends most of her time hanging out with AT and Sally.
The other little girl in this picture is Angel. She came to us the day that Gram left us. She's a very sweet little girl and has been a wonderful addition to our family. She loves coloring and playing all kinds of games. She is, however, very good at getting into all kinds of trouble with Scout leading the way. Usually this involves them ganging up against poor Sam. Well, he does deserve it, as he is the big brother and all. She's really been a bright spot around here since she came to us.

I got some, in my opinion, sad mail the other day. I found out that my advisor, former head of the biology department and head of the faculty at LVC, Dr. Paul Wolf is retiring at the end of the year. I learned a lot from this man and he's touched the minds and hearts of many, many students over the years. He even taught the son of one the biology teachers at my high school. He has a really gruff exterior, but inside, he's a real softy and cares a lot about his students. Most of us referred to him as Big Wolf, not usually to his face though even though he knew we called him that and I'm sure secretly enjoyed it. You see, there were two Wolves at LVC in the biology department. Big Wolf and Little Wolfe. Big Wolf is just that, a big man with a big presence. He was a marine in Korea and some of that drill Sargent-ness still hangs about him. Like I said, he is a real softy and cares a lot about the students though. Then there was Little Wolfe. He is a much smaller man in stature, not a whole lot taller than me, and a little scrawny. He's about the same age as Big Wolf I'm guessing. Little Wolfe is a much more soft-spoken, academic kind of person. He rules his class and lab with a quiet efficiency. Very different professors, but both very good at what they do. LVC is loosing one of it's best to retirement. I just hope that, in the far future, Big Wolf gets his wish... that he just keels over while working out in the salt marsh and they just leave him there. I'm sure they won't just leave him there, but that's what he wants. I know this because I took two semesters of Ecology with him and both semesters we did a marsh study. That and I did an independent project with him in the Delaware marshes. Hopefully now he'll have time to fiddle in his garden, hang out in his beloved marsh poking and prodding at things. I wonder if he's completely given up working with U of Delaware as well. Anyhow, I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to go out to school for his retirement party in the beginning of April. It's only 1.5 hours from here and it would give me a chance to see what all they've done to the Neidig-Garber science center. I'll let ya know.

Man, this is getting to be a long post and I've still got stuff to talk about.

Anyhow, Friday Gak picked up a used X-Box 360. A lot of the guys from work have one and play online with each other. We'd talked about it several weeks ago and told him then, not yet, there are other things that need done first. Well, he didn't eat as many lunches out and didn't buy any Warhammer stuff, so he had enough discretionary funds left over to pick one up this week. It's quite funny to watch him try and play it. Especially since the one game that the guys from the office play is a shooter, Call of Duty 4. He, quite frankly, stinks. He always has at these kinds of games. (I'm even worse, so we won't go there...) He did pick up a really cool game by Bioware, Mass Effect. It's an RPG and man, the graphics and the story line both blow me out of the water. It's great. Hopefully I'll be able to master all the million buttons on the silly controller so I'll have a chance. The one big thing I hate about the X-Box is that it isn't wireless. I'm spoiled by the Wii. The controllers are wireless. It connects to the network wirelessly and it comes that way. (I think he payed almost as much for a stripped down X-Box without a hard drive as we did for the Wii... He got a free hard drive from a coworker.) The X-Box does have wireless controllers, but they're extra. You can also get something to connect to the wireless network, but that's extra too. Hopefully Gak'll remember to pick up an extra long Internet cable today so he won't have to keep unplugging it after he's done, since the router and the X-Box are across the room from each other.

Well, I was going to share some crafty stuff I've been up to and pictures of the dining room, but I think I'll save those for tomorrow.
Mom is coming over today and I should probably get a few things done before then. Peace to all and may you have good weekends, even if they are a little random at times.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Well, today is Friday. I haven't posted since Tuesday. Not much has really been going on. I've been pretty tired in the evenings, work has been work (still no clue of who/what's going to happen in March...) and everything else has just been the same as ever.
I guess that's a good thing.
I just got back from my latest poking and prodding session, aka prenatal appointment. Everything looks good. In 4 weeks I get to have the sugar shock treatment. That is, drink some sugar water an hour before your appointment, get some blood drawn and see how well you handle the sugar. It's basically to check for prenatal diabetes. I'll probably do fine, but you never know. It doesn't help that I'm heavier than I should be to begin with (although my weight gain so far is well within reasonable). We had a hard time finding Boo's heart rate today. He was squirming all over the place, not wanting to be heard. My kid, shy? Well, more than likely. Neither Gak nor I love overly social situations and neither one of us likes being the center of attention. Especially a doctor's attention. Oh well, it sounded good when we could hear it.
I do feel him squirm about quite a bit more now. Of course, this is usually when I'm in the middle of something important at work and then Boo lets me know he's there and I loose any connection to my previous train of thought.
Not that that's a bad thing, but at work it's not always a good thing.
Well, I'm rambling. I'm working from home today and should probably get back to the email stuff that needs my attention. I'm going over a permit for someone so I can give some intelligent answers to the customer. (I'm not sure it'll really help, but hey, it's worth a shot...)
Peace to all and may you have the occasional "normal" weeks where not much happens.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Baby Pictures!

I finally have the ultrasound from last week to post. Dad was able to scan it today and it actually looks good. Almost better than the glossy printout, since you're not competing with the glare on the paper. You can clearly see his spine and skull, almost see his ribs and get a hint of his face. Yep, he's a cutie and he's all mine and Gak's.

Today was a good day at work, or at least not a bad day. Somehow, and I'm still trying to figure this one out, I got roped into this conference call with a customer. I think it has something to do with the fact what they were calling about were initially problems/issues they showed me while I was at their site training and had brought back to the engineer and software team here. Anyhow, after an hour and a half, I ended up with a bit more work to do. Actually, it's a lot of investigative work on my end figuring out why we did certain things and working with the engineer to check out some stuff. It shouldn't be that bad, almost fun even. I'm just glad they didn't ask about me coming back for more training, since they're out near Bakersfield, CA and I really have no intention of wanting to go back any time soon.

Gak surprised me when I got home this evening. Not only was dinner ready (and not spaghetti!) but he'd attacked the closet of doom earlier. Mostly he'd rearranged stuff and put boxes up on shelves and the like. It's wonderful, I can actually get into the closet. Sunday I'll probably have him take down several of the boxes as I want to go through them and get rid of a lot of stuff that's just been sitting there not doing anything since we moved or before. I also want to try and organize some of the stuff that's in there, like the paper/computer stuff and the yarn bin. This is where I need Mom's help... to make me get rid of junk. She's merciless and will make me deal with it. Some days I need to be beat about the head and shoulders with this stuff. That's been her job for over 32 years now and she's good at it. I love her for it too. (Even if I used to complain loudly as a child...)

Well, that's it for today. Just a brief little post. Mostly I wanted to share the picture of Boo.
Peace to all and may your days be easy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Productive Day!

Now, if only my days at work could be as productive as today was...
This morning after dropping Gak off at work, I managed to get the laundry done and most of the grocery shopping. I did forget a few things because I didn't remember to bring my list with me, but I pass at least 3 stores on my way to and from work each day. I think I'll be able to stop and pick up the odds and ends. It wasn't anything urgent like bread or milk.
this afternoon my mom came up to help get the dining room together and some other odds and ends. There were only a few boxes of things that we brought from Gram's dining room that we needed to take care of. Most of that was taken care of quite quickly. We then looked at the shirts I bought. Mom loved them all. One we're putting aside until next year because it's cut a little too straight for now. But that's OK, it just means that I'll have something new for next fall. Three of the shirts needed a little attention to the sleeves and she's being a saint and taking care of that for me this week. (I can't quite get at my sewing machine at the moment, I've got a table and several boxes in the way...) Then we decided to tackle putting up the new pictures that I brought home from Gram's as well as the pictures she and Dad gave us for Christmas.
This became a fairly big project as there were well over a dozen pieces that needed our attention. One thing to remember is that we have plaster walls in this place and no idea what's behind them. Therefore, we decided we needed to go to Target (oh... darn...) and pick up some of those 3M Command hanger thingies for pictures and the like. We found something new by them that's essentially Velcro for pictures. It looks like it's going to work great for a few of the smaller pieces. Of course, we didn't just by the Command hangers. No... I needed to pick up laundry soap and we just had to wander through the baby stuff. We'd put a hip sling carrier on the registry and Mom thought it looked neat. Target had it on sale for half off. She picked it up. I also picked up a neat mirror that attaches to your rear view mirror so you can see the baby in the back without adjusting your mirror for traffic. I'd used one with Zoe a few times when she was little and I loved it. I would have put this on the registry right away, but BabiesRUs didn't have anything like it. I hope this one works as well as the other did. It was pretty cheap too. Of course, by the time we got done at Target, Mom was getting hungry as it was 5:00 and she'd only really had breakfast today. (She went out with some people from her water aerobics class...) Of course, there's a Red Robin (evil, evil place) across the parking lot. So, we ended up eating there instead of me fixing supper. (I did cook off the chicken for leftovers when we got home...)
Today was quite productive. We've got almost all the pictures hung, just waiting on a few Command strips to cure before adding weight. Although, the dining room almost looks more of a mess than when we started. That's because there's some picture debris there and a few odds and ends that need to be put away. That'll happen. Soon.
Mom will be coming back up on Sunday to help me some more. There's a boatload of work that needs to be done to this place. (I, and Gak, have really let this place turn into a major disaster area the last 6 months or so...) We've got to rake out the hall closet first, so we can rake out the back bedroom. Once this happens, we can move our bedroom into that one and get the other one set up for Boo. We need to get furniture for Boo, but I'm not even going to think too much about that until we've got our bed moved. Hopefully in the next week or two that'll happen. I just want to reclaim my space and get rid of the junk and trash that's accumulated while I wasn't looking. Yes, I'm nesting. But... this has been a long time coming. I've been very cranky with letting myself let this place get this way for several months. It needs fixing and thankfully, Mom's here to help kick my butt into gear. (That and she'll actually make me throw stuff out/send it to Good Will...) I can't wait to get organized. I'm sure it'll last all of about 2 weeks, but hey, it'll be nice while it lasts.
Ok. I'm rambling now. Anyhow, if you really care, there's a link to Boo's registry in my links now. (No, I'm not above pointing out the fact that I have a gift list and wouldn't turn down any gift...)
I'm off to play with yarn or the DS for a bit before I crash. I have no idea when Gak'll be home, as this is his Warhammer night.
Peace to all and may you have productive days and reduce the unwanted clutter in your lives.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Good Weekend

Well, so far it's been a good weekend.
Friday night Gak and I went over to Kat's. Scott, Chris and Dianne were there as well. Steve even showed up for a bit. We had Pizza, played Apples to Apples and had a generally good time. Well, Scott's brain nearly exploded. I'm good at doing that to him though. I'm not exactly the most predictable person on the planet. I think towards the end I was doing things just to see the gears spin and break in his brain. It was quite fun overall.
We also got lots of mail on Friday. Gak got a bunch of Orks he'd ordered and they look great. We got a nifty package of stuff Michelle had picked up for us from Puerto Rico when she was there in the fall and I got 6 new shirts! Six! And all but one fits really well... one I'm still thinking about. And for just under $70! They were ordered from They were cheap, but decent quality and look great. They weren't even maternity shirts, but regular ones that I'll be able to shorten a bit after Boo is born.
Yesterday I didn't do diddly squat. I didn't sleep well, and I was just out of sorts. That's OK because I have a three day weekend. I slept a bit, fiddled around with yarn a bit and was just mostly out of sorts. Gak had to close so that meant I had the whole afternoon and evening to myself. I enjoyed it in a grumpy kind of way.
Today was a productive day. Gak and I finally went down to BabiesRUs to register for stuff. If anyone cares, you can find it on the web here. There's lots of stuff on there. I'll probably be making some adjustments and additions over the next week or so, when I get a chance to really look it over again and add some stuff that's available on the web only. I think Gak was having a bit more fun than I was with some of it. He really, truly is excited about all of this. In a quiet way, which is his way. He was quietly excited and terrified about the wedding. He's the same way now. We're both really excited about this journey. I just hope we can get through with as few big mistakes as possible. (I know we'll make lots, all parents do... just hopefully nothing huge.)
Tomorrow I have off. Mom is coming up in the afternoon and we're going to alter a few of my new shirts and tackle the dining room. Hopefully I'll be able to get pictures of the setup dining room by the end of tomorrow. We'll see. I may be able to convince her to give me a hand with some of the stuff in the back bedroom or hall closet as well... I need a swift kick in the butt to actually deal with it, not just complain and worry about it.
Well, I'm off to go fix supper. Gak's beginning to gnaw on his arm, so I guess I'd better feed him.
Peace to all and may you have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Subtitle: ... and other sundries

Well, it looks like the snow we were supposed to get Sunday night/Monday morning has finally shown up now. Actually, they were calling for snow today earlier in the week as well, so I guess this isn't related. It's just beginning to stick to cars and stuff, but the roads are still mostly just wet. That's good. I don't need ice. No, I don't have a picture yet, my camera is at home and there are no windows in my part of the office anyhow.

Other than that, this week's been mostly boring. I've been pretty tired all week, but that's because I'm not sleeping overly well and I can't take a nap at the office. I really wish I could. It would make the day go by so much faster. It's mostly my normal insomnia waking me up at night, but sometimes it is beginning to get tougher to get comfortable. Although, that's the joy of a waterbed, it conforms to you as best it can. That definitely makes things more comfortable. Gak and I played around a little bit in Norrath the other day, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open and it was only 8:00. I tried playing with yarn a little bit last night, but I don't really have a comfortable place to do so. My computer desk is too crowded and not a good place to work with yarn, I can't get comfy on the sofa without lying down and this makes using your arms hard and since I still don't have a headboard (don't ask) I can't easily prop myself up in bed to work. Oh well, I'll figure something out. I've got too many half started projects and ideas to completely put away the yarn. (I don't dare bring anything into work or else even my vague attempts at productivity will go out the window!)

I have no idea what's going on the rest of the week or the weekend. Hopefully I'll get the Tree down so I can start trying to tame the back room so we can move the bed into there soon. I really need to get better curtains for that room though, the ones we've got in there are mostly for show, they don't really block out any light and since it's a south facing room, boy does it get bright in the morning!

Ok, I'm just so totally rambling. I'm tired. I'm avoiding real work. I'd better sign off now before I totally loose any semblance of intelligence.
Peace to all and may your weeks be good and the weather pretty.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Boy oh Boy!

This morning's ultrasound went quite well. Boo is stubborn, but we expected that, look at Gak and I.
It's so very hard to put into words the wonder of seeing this little life that's growing in your belly up on a screen. There was so much detail and you could really see what different parts are. I could count ribs, see the tib/fib and the radius/ulna as separate bones. You could see all four chambers of the heart, see the eyes and even the split in the hemispheres of Boo's little brain. It was just so amazing. If if weren't for the fact they had to press so hard to see, I could have stayed there all day looking at those pictures. Of course, listening to the heartbeat is always such magic. It was sooo cool to be able to see Boo. Know that everything is well and growing nicely. Everything appears to be in place and about where they expect developmentally. Of course, there wasn't any way to clear up the due date, since the various measurements that they take indicated between 18 and 20 weeks. 18 weeks is my guesstimate, while 20 weeks is what my OBGYN is saying. Even though the timing is a little funny with 20 weeks, I'm not going to fuss over 2 weeks. Boo will get here when Boo gets here.
Oh, you want a picture? Well, they only gave me the one and it's on really shiny paper, so it doesn't copy well. I'll see what I can do, but my scanner is still at my parents' house and I don't have access to the one here at the office. I wish they'd have given me a few of the other stills that they took, there was a cute one of Boo's hands and face, and such cute feet!

Oh, you want to know boy or girl?

Should I tell you?

Have you been good?

Maybe I'll just make something up?

Am I being evil yet?


How about now?

Not yet?

Ok, How about now?

Enough already huh?

Can you tell I'm enjoying this?

I guess I'll tell you then... but only since you've been good.... and let me have a little fun...

When we went in there, we told the technician she didn't need to go hunting for it. Well, the longer the ultrasound went on, the more curious I became. By the time the doctor came in to take his look, I was really curious.
Now mind you, my niece Zoe swears up and down I'm having a boy. So does my buddy Al at work. One of my online friends thinks it'll be a girl, but I think that's just wishful thinking because she had girls.
So, I had the doctor take another look. Just to appease my curiosity mind you. You know what curiosity does to Rats... gets us eaten by cats... In his opinion, and I believe him from what we saw, Boo is a boy.
Yep, Gak and I are having a son, more than likely. I mean, there's always a chance for error, but usually a little less so claiming boy than claiming girl. (Girls don't have any obvious parts, and while boys can hid them, if you see them, you know what you're getting.)
So, Boo was being a little shy today. (His momma is notoriously the one behind the camera instead of in front...) He also wouldn't cooperate and turn around so that it was easy to measure his heart. We did eventually get all the measurements we needed though.
We have another ultrasound scheduled for March 11th. We'll have a much clearer picture then confirming Boo's boy-hood. (I almost hate to admit this, but I'm really not surprised by the results... it's been increasingly difficult for me to think of Boo in a gender neutral or girl kind of way the last few weeks...)
So, now I've got to get some more emails out of the way here at the office. Then I can go home and enjoy a night to myself. Gak's off playing Warhammer tonight. Maybe this means I'll get the "New Year's" letters stuffed tonight. I'm not going to hold my breath, but hey, it's worth a shot.

Peace to all and may your days be filled with wonder and joy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday

Today has been a good day. I'll get to it in a minute though. I want to talk about Friday first.
I meant to post this Friday night or yesterday, obviously it didn't happen.
I dislike my HR chicky. She's not helpful. She's a bit snotty. And well, she just wasn't very nice. The meeting was a lot of hot air like I suspected. The first thing you need to know is that there is no HR person in the building. Sure, Melissa does the time sheets and tracks vacation and the like, but she's not HR. We haven't had an HR person in the building (officially) since Adrianne passed away in 2001 or 2002. This person is based out of Illinois. She doesn't know me from anyone and doesn't give a rat's behind about anything other than making sure that she enforces the "neutral headcount" that we've got. (Corporate speak for hiring freeze.) Basically her attitude is that if I won't travel, I have to resign. I knew I'd have to resign the job, but she was about as helpful as taking a drill to my head to figure out what to do to keep me. She doesn't care. Actually, if I leave, that means she'll be ahead in her headcount, which would be good. My boss, on the other hand, wants me to stay and is going to try and work the system so I can. I hope it works. At least in the short term. I want to make it through to August and then we'll go from there. If anyone has any brilliant ideas for a job for me that will keep me local and challenge me and keep me earning at least as much as I am now, I'm all ears.
Ok. This is way more stressful than today has been.
Today Gak had off. We were supposed to try and get some stuff done around the house. We were going to take down the Christmas tree and some other things like that. We were going to go see National Treasure this afternoon.
That didn't happen.
Instead, we spent the entire day, and I do mean entire, in Norrath. We logged in by about 9 and we just logged off at 6. That's a full day. We ended up in a really cool group with his guild Despair and got a lot don in Kunzar Jungle. We had a lot of fun. They're good people and good players. We then tagged along on a raid. I got a cool earring out of it. Yes, it was back to Labs, but I hadn't been there in almost 6 months and 6 levels. It went pretty smoothly and we only wiped twice. Not bad for only having one plate tank with us. That would be Gak. He's not usually the main tank for these kinds of things, but he did just fine.
So, I'm off to finally put some real clothes on (I've been in my PJs all day) and go out to the diner. I was going to make a cheeseburger calazone for dinner, but they didn't have any prepared pizza dough at the store yesterday and I didn't stop and put any into the bread maker earlier. Therefore, it would be at least 8:00 before we would get dinner. Not all that helpful when we haven't eaten much today, at least no real meal. I should feel bad about not getting anything done, but I don't. (The New Year's letters are sitting here staring at me reproachfully...) I know that my Sundays like this are numbered. As in less than 20. I'm going to enjoy a few now and again while I can. Then I'll be working my tail off trying to be the best momma I can be.
I'm both nervous and excited about tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have lots to post.
Peace to all and may you have a few lazy days now and again.
Like I said, today has been a good day.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Boring Week.

Well, I just realized that it is Thursday and I haven't said anything since Sunday night. Oops.
It's been one of those uneventful weeks really.
Go to work.
Try and motivate to do busy work.
Go home.
Fiddle around on the computer or with yarn.
Go to bed.
The hard part has been the whole motivation thing. It just isn't happening. I've accepted this, but I don't like it. I don't like not doing my job. Wait, there isn't much of my job to do right this minute. I guess that's part of the problem. I'd rather be drowning in real work instead of underwhelmed by busy work.
I still haven't had that meeting with my boss and HR. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, but the HR chick complained she was too busy and wanted to push it off to next week. I flat out said no, I've got to get information to marketing and time is waisting. Therefore, there was a compromise, tomorrow afternoon. I'm not really looking forward to it because I know it'll just be useless hot air and not really solve anything. I don't have anything to transition to, I can't continue the job as it stands and my boss isn't allowed to hire even half a person. Yes, I'm being pessimistic. It's the general atmosphere of this place. It's pretty poisonous.
Despite the success we had Sunday, I'm still feeling a bit down about that too. Mostly it's because I don't look pregnant. I mean, sure, I've got a belly, but I've had that for years. Sure, my pants are fitting a bit tighter around the waist, but I don't have that classic, beautiful expecting look. Normally I'm OK with my lumpy, bumpy, squishy body. Right now, I wish I was half my weight so I could show off that I'm working on bringing new life into the world. I'm really happy about it. I'm excited and terrified and thrilled all at the same time. Maybe it would be different if I was feeling Boo more consistently. I sometimes get an echo of what I think is Boo moving around, but it's very vague and not very often. Sometimes I think it's just wishful thinking. I know, I know, in a couple of months I'll just want Boo to stop kicking me in the ribs and kidneys and to stop dancing on my bladder. I'm impatient, I want it now! (At least now I'm 99% sure I can actually feel my womb when I press on my belly...)
Maybe I'll feel differently about it all after the ultrasound on Monday. I guess deep down, part of me is worried and scared. I mean, we've made it this far and I did get to hear the heartbeat again just two weeks ago, but still... this is a scary ride.
I'm sure some of you out there are going "it's OK honey, this is just first-time mom jitters" and you're probably right. But if you think back and remember, I somehow doubt when you heard those same words it made all the fears just disappear. I've been trying very hard not to take it out on Gak. Some days I succeed, some days I fail miserably and spectacularly. (It really is a good thing he loves me... and knows that I truly do love him, at least I hope he does.)
So, I'm thinking that most of this that I'm feeling is due to normal pregnancy anxiety, a crappy work situation and this weird weather we've been having... that and getting over that stupid infection, ugh. (I didn't tell you, but my business only gives you 6 weeks of maternity leave. 6! After that you have to go into vacation time. Thank heavens I have 3 weeks now. You'd be hard pressed to find a day care center that'll take one that young! This means if I deliver the day I'm due I'd have to go back to work the 5th of August. Almost makes me wish I was having a December baby because then I'd have all those holidays as well!)
Ok, enough rambling by me. I'm sure most of this will go away soon. Maybe tomorrow afternoon if the meeting goes well. (I'm still not holding my breath on that one though...)
Peace to all and may you have sunshine in your days.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Well, today was a success. I had a good time just hanging out with mom today. We don't get to do that nearly often enough. I think the last time we had any time just the two of us was when we were in California back in August. That seems like a life time ago now.
The first thing we did was have a good laugh at the pants Michelle and I got last week. She pinned them for shortening, which will be a great help. (It's a royal pain to try and shorten your own pants because you have to keep pinning and trying on until you get it right.)
Then we went adventuring to the mall. Our first stop was Ruby's for lunch. Actually, I had lunch, Mom just stole some of my fries and had a vanilla malted. She'd had a fairly late and large breakfast.
We had some interesting adventures in clothes shopping. The first store we went into was a very high-end maternity store. Like, they had $200.00 cashmere sweaters. Or $150 dresses. I don't pay that much for clothes I wear every day for years, let alone something I'll wear a season or so and then never wear again. I guess some people do though, it was semi-crowded. We tried a couple of the higher end department stores as well. That was also funny. We finally ventured back into more sanely priced places. There were a couple of really cute shirts at JC Penny's in the plus sized section, but I can't begin to tell you how they were wrong. Well, I can start by saying the fabric was about as cheap and icky as it comes. Then trying them on was hilarious. The bottom part fit, I think, but the shoulders and arms were quite comic. The sleeves were either too small or the shoulders too narrow or to high or something. I have no idea. Needless to say it was quite comic and we didn't purchase anything there. On our way back out, we decided to give Sears a shot. For grins and giggles mostly I tried on some elastic waist pants in the regular plus size section. Amazingly enough, going up two sizes worked. They hips, butt and thighs don't look silly and there's plenty of room in the belly for expansion. And they were only $20 each! Our original thought was if they fit well enough, we would pick them up, get the panel fabric from JoAnn's and then make our own maternity pants. Well, we don't need to, at least at this stage. We may have to later on, but for $20 I'm not complaining. I mean, my regular jeans cost more and maternity pants are even worse. We got one denim and one khaki pair. I should be set for a while. (We shortened all three pair of pants when we got back to mom's... knowing full well if I had to do it, they'd sit on the sewing machine for several weeks until I really needed them, I'd pull the pins out and wear them anyhow.)
So, amazingly enough, today was quite successful. I also got a fabulous 50% alpaca/50% acrylic poncho that isn't too long! It was on major sale because the store was only in the mall for the holidays and they didn't want to have to pack everything and ship it back. I still could use a few shirts eventually, but I'm not too worried at the moment.
Well, I'm off to rot my brain on the DS for a while.
Peace to all and I hope you had a good weekend.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Well, I guess I should post something.
I can tell when I get into a funk, I stop writing.
Yes, this week has been a bit of a funk week. But that's OK. We all have those. Part of it was being sick. Part of it was going back to work and part of it, I have no clue. Since I'm pregnant, I'll just chalk it up to hormones and leave it at that I guess. Who'd know the difference? Not me.
Work went well, for work. I didn't get a whole lot of productive work done, but nothing new there. I was supposed to have a meeting with my boss and HR Friday, but that didn't happen. My boss is even better at not getting meetings done than I am. Oh well. I told him we really need to have it this week because I need to know what we decide about regionals so I can get marketing done and time's slipping by fast. Maybe we will, maybe we won't. I don't really have a lot of control over it at the moment, so I'm just not going to worry.

Ok, shift in subject time.
Can I tell you exactly how annoying it is to be plus sized (and not really all that plus sized, but enough) and pregnant? I don't look pregnant at all and I'm at about 19 weeks. My Dr. said my womb is about 2" below my belly button, but I'll be damned if I can tell. It looks and mostly feels like the same roll of fat that's been there for years now.
I do feel a difference in my jeans. One pair is right out, the other two fit fine most of the day. I have put on some weight, but to me, I just can't see or feel the difference.
I guess it's not a bad thing, not looking pregnant, but for once, I have a reason to have a belly and it doesn't show.
That and shopping is horrible. Target only goes up to size 18. I, unfortunately, need a 20. Koles is even worse. Good Will didn't even have a single stitch of maternity clothes, let alone something approaching my size. Last week Michelle and I went shopping at the mall. We struck out at all stores except the one maternity store. In reality, we struck out there mostly even though I did buy a pair of jeans. There they went up to a 3X, at least on the tags. According to their online (I think it was theirs) sizing chart, I should be in a 1X. Nope, the jeans I got were a 2X. And at that they expect me to be at least another 4-6 inches taller, have no thighs and massive calves. (I happen to have large thighs and respectable calves...) That and the rise is too short and they barely come up over my butt in the back. You want to know why. Spandex. For some reason, most designers think that if you're using a stretch material, you can cut it 1 size smaller and it'll fit right. No, the spandex is there to give you a little bit of ease, not forgive an entire couple of inches! Oh, I do like the fact that there is a drawstring on the spandex belly cover bit, but, while I understand why, the tie is on the side which makes it very difficult to pull and tie off.
I'm sure a bit of my crankiness has to do with hormones or the like, but most of it is due to society and stupid designers. I'm not a size 6, I haven't been since the middle of high school. I was a toothpick growing up, but when I got boobs, I got hips and thighs to go with them. (My brother on the other hand, went from slightly husky to stick thin... some days I hate him...) I honestly don't mind being the size I am. Sure, I'd love to be a size 14/16, but at this rate, that's never going to happen again. I can live with that. Just because I'm a little rounder than "average", doesn't mean I'm 6' tall to go with it. If I was 6' tall, I'd only look a little heavy, not round. I'm 5'3" (4 if I stretch real tall), which puts me just an inch or so shy of "average". I want nice clothes. I want things that cover my butt and don't make me look like a sausage squeezed into a casing. Heck, I'd be happy with things that didn't look like they were made with the cheapest material possible for a colorblind hippo of a grandmother. (I apologize to any overly large grandmothers out there who actually do have fashion sense!)
I just hope tomorrow goes better than last week did. I somehow doubt it, but I'm willing to try. (Not that I have much choice if I want to remain clothed for the next 6-8 months until well after Boo is born...) You see, mom is taking me shopping. She wants to get me some pants and tops. I have no doubt we'll be able to find tops. I usually don't have a problem in this area. A 1X fits me very well, but an ordinary XL will work too. A 2X is nice and roomy, without looking too bad. Therefore, I'll be able to find something to wear on the top. Maybe I should just get over hating skirts and make myself several. Scratch that, I looked at the 3 maternity patterns they had at JoAnn's last weekend and they were all about as flattering as a mumu. And that was on "normal" sized models. Just because I've got a growing belly doesn't mean that all shaping and style has to go out of what I wear.
Well, at any rate, wish me luck tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have a happier post soon.
Maybe I'll actually get around to unpacking the dishes that go into the china cabinet and get pictures of the dining room furniture. I forgot to mention it, but last Sunday Kat, Andy and I went down to MD to load up the last of the stuff from Gram's apartment so Mom could turn it back over on Monday. I came home with a few extra pieces, but that's OK. Andy also picked up a few things, and I'm glad he did. He got the old radio my Pop Pop (Gram's father) turned into a curio cabinet. I'm very glad he did. He told me he was going to replace the bottom and add some lights to the inside. I know he'll do it respectfully and neatly. He may be a bit of a jerk at times and a royal pain, but he understands and respects history, especially family history, and hand made things. He also told me that whenever Gak and I get our own house, when we want it back, it's all ours. For now, I'm just glad the piece is staying in the family and will be well taken care of.
Well, I've been rambling and ranting long enough. I've got to get my butt in gear and go pick up some groceries before I go pick up Gak from work.
I have no idea where the day went, but it's not here any more.
Peace to all and may you have clothes that fit and funk-less weeks.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Just a quick little update. I was fiddling around a bit at work today and found this neat site where you can make these count down graphic things. On the right you will now see a ticker counting down until Boo's arrival. I went with the Dr.'s due date of May 30 when setting it up. (Personally, I think Boo will get here closer to the 10th of June, but that's just me...) I'm not sure if it seems like such a long time or not enough time...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Sorry for the lack of postings the last several days. I've been sick. Ask Gak. I'm sure he's tired of listening to me cough. That and he's coming down with the crud I've got. So much for starting the new year healthy!
Yes, I did go to the doctor yesterday. She put me on some antibiotics and told me to take regular Robitussin. I haven't taken too much of the cough syrup because it doesn't really help me much on a good day and wow does it taste nasty!
Yesterday was good otherwise. Michelle came up from Virginia. We did a little shopping, ate some and just hung out. Well, mostly she and Gak hung out, I took a nap after dinner and crashed early. Or at least I tried to, stupid cough.
I'd made some beef stew in the crockpot for dinner because it was easy. She'd brought up this caramel/chocolate popcorn stuff from her mom called Moose Munch. That was yummy while we were watching Transformers. (Michelle hadn't seen it.) We also finally used the S'mores thing Mom got us a while back. They were yummy and you could get nicely melty marshmallows, but it just wasn't the same. Cooking over an almost invisible blue flame in the kitchen just isn't the same as a camp fire. They were yummy though, and we may have had a little more fun with it if two of us weren't feeling icky. It was a very quiet evening. It didn't seem like a holiday or even any fun. But it was good to have Michelle up.
Ok, I've been rambling enough. I'll sign off now. Poor Gak's leaving for work now.
Peace to all and may your new year be healthy, happy and suicidal air conditioner free.