It's Me, Rich

It's Me, Rich
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

We miss you, Rich.

How ARE You?
This is so not directed at any one person in particular, but rather at the 30 or so who have, in an effort to be kind, have done this.

It's gonna seem weird, since I post so much exciting nothingness here, but in the end I'm quite private. For the zillion things I talk about here or in big groups, there are about 10 zillion more that I don't, and won't. It's a good distance for me, and I feel comfortable sharing what I do here, otherwise I wouldn't do it.

But being pregnant sort of changes that. All of a sudden, people are aware of my body, which is one of those things I Don't Discuss (yes I have one, but that's really enough for most people to know). But now, when I see people I don't see all that often or people I don't talk to a lot, the inevitable first question becomes this very loaded 'How ARE you?'

What they're really asking is how is the pregnancy? How is the baby? But here's the truth about pregnancy: it's really all about waiting. For us, inseminate, wait, test. Cry, inseminate, wait. And then finally, inseminate, wait a few days extra to be sure, test, then walk around in a stunned sense of excitement until the morning sickness kicked in. Now that I'm pregnant, it's really more waiting. Waiting for a doctor's visit, waiting to be weighed, waiting for the ultrasound, waiting for a lame test, waiting until I grow out of more clothes, waiting until I feel okay enough at night to clean out the baby's closet all the way and of course, in the end, waiting for her to be born.

Day to day, week to week, there's just not much to say. I'm just waiting. Waiting for my daughter to arrive, for my body to go back to some semblance of my pre-pregnancy state and waiting for the question to become 'How's the kid?'

I'm pretty sure that hearing that question will inspire me to answer at such a length that you'll be sorry you asked. But I'm her mom. That's my job.

Please Turn Your Heads
Given that very soon, any and all illusions of modesty I once had will be shattered by the arrival of little Murrita (at least for a day or so), it only seems right that my guard come down around my favorite twins.

Every time we're over visiting Sam and Riley, at least once, I ask the girls where the baby is, and they take turns lifting up my shirt to look for the baby. All adults in the vincinity have been instructed to turn their heads for this display, though more than once I've heard Andrea giggle as the girls poke at my dwindling belly button.

Hey Rich!
Is this really how babies are made in Germany? Thanks for that one, Sarah!


How Small The Valley Is
Not only did I used to (until 2 weeks ago and I assure you the suck remains great) work with our old friend Carol, not only does a guy from the World's Smallest Company (long defunct, of course, me being the harbringer of Startup Death no less than 6 times) I used to work at work here also work here, not only did Bubbles work with me at the World's Worst (for me, not her) Company that was filled with the World's Meanest Co-Workers (except Bubbles, who was nice to me when it seemed every day meant someone else out to get me for missing a fucking comma), no, not only all of those connections and a few I'm probably leaving out, but my new boss? She worked with Andrea at a small startup a bunch of years ago.

I wasn't even surprised, there's no point anymore. It's all just one giant reminder to keep your fucking mouth shut at work. And to do a good job, because you never know who will come across your resume 6 years down the road without you even knowing they've seen it.

Canine Cacophony
Half of our merry pack of dogs had a really big weekend. And for neither of them was that big weekend in any way good.

I'll start with Gus (caution: discussion of blood and butts begins now so if either topic makes you squeamish, move it along now). He'd been having bloody poop for a little while, which of course is Not Good. We gave him a bath and cleaned his ass thoroughly, me thanking God that for the most part, my nausea has passed because, somehow, I got the back end in that deal. Later last week, we both got involved in an ass-refresher pick-me-up that involved medicated ass wipes and paper towels, Gus sitting down to avoid our efforts and both Andrea and I apologizing repeatedly to Gus.

After that, it was time to make a vet appointment and for me to do some googling on doggy 'rhoids. Guess what? Dogs don't get 'rhoids, at least not very often. They get tumors. Fuck.

So, Friday night we took him to Adobe (where you can have a regular office visit at 9:30 pm on Friday! Adobe, I heart you soo much) where my fears were confirmed. Our man, who is already prone to growing benign tumors, is growing a tumor right next to his anus.

Yes, finding that tumor required the doctor to reach right up there, involved more of Gus sitting down and of course, more of us apologizing to Gus. The doc was fascinated by Gus' tail, which was cropped WAY wrong when he was a wee thing and bends in a horrible place that's caused it to be fused in place and makes it hard for Gus to sit down like regular dogs.

In short, the only way to completely solve Gus' issue is to remove the tumor. Easy enough, if you have regular dogs. But Gus is by no means a regular dog, he has a serious heart murmur that could kill him if we put him under anesthesthesia, so any decisions about surgery need to be made with great care.

I do not want to lose another dog during surgery, even if we go into it knowing that it's a very real risk. So for now, Gus is enjoying extra fiber to keep things running smoothly back there and we're committed to a weekly ass-maintenence routine. We'll see where it stands after a while.

That concludes the discussion of doggie asses.

Rainie's Big Adventure happened Saturday night, when I was laying in bed, trying to choke down some food and watching TV. The dogs were meandering in and out when I hear a dogfight start, then not end. I grabbed the only thing I had nearby -- my shoe -- and start swatting at the culprits, Rainie and Zeus. Eventually I get them separated and Rainie herded into the big crate in the kitchen. She's still growly and I'm still yelling, waving the shoe in her face for emphasis. At that point, she decides to try and bite the shoe.

Yes, that put me over the edge. She was already on time out for some time, but going after anything other than another dog (not that *that's* okay either), i.e. a PERSON is NOT OKAY. AT ALL.

So I shut the crate and stay in front of it, petting Zeus to make a point. Later, I would give Gus the rest of my mashed potatoes right in front of Rainie. All to show her that I'm the boss, that she's not.

I know that the fight was preceeded by Rainie getting territorial about our bedroom and the baby's room. She's done this a number of times but not to the extent that she went on Saturday. We're doing everything we can to remind her of her place for now.

But it sucks to think that we'll have to watch her like a hawk around the baby. Sigh. Punkass.


Dear Tums
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
  • I love thee at night when I'm trying to sleep and the heartburn sneaks up the moment I turn over
  • I love thee during the day when I realize that coughing to relieve heartburn remains completely futile
  • I love thee when I think that the heartburn cannot be relieved and your healing powers release my pain almost instantly
  • I love thee because Tums backwards is Smut
  • I love thee because I cannot love my old friends Prilsec or Pepsid until after I push a bowling ball through my naughty bits
  • I love thee because drinking milk causes me Great Issue and you have calcium to help me make up the difference
At any rate, thanks for being you Tums!


One Small Victory
The gods of ClearCase decided to help me out here at the end of the day by making Carol's wayward activity go back into the ether from whence it came from. I am no longer stuck in the hellish loop of 'you can't do this because Carol's not here' -- 'but Carol's never coming back! What the hell do I do now?' -- 'you can't do this because Carol's not here' etc.

I should add that seeing that particular error message all week has NOT made the fact that Carol no longer works here one bit easier. It's been more like being taunted 'ha ha, Carol left and you're totally stuck without her.'

Which in some ways, we are. But at least, not in *this* one anymore.

And yes, I'm going home now.

Rough Day At The Office
This is sort of my first official week in my new, nerdier group. In many ways, this is the better job for me, especially since my old job now involves being a slave to marketing and other stuff I don't like.

However, it's a lot different than my old gig. At it's worst, Old Gig was tedious, but I could always figure out what to do with the code pretty easily. Tedious, often, but never hard.

My new gig is, um, a bit different. As in, right now, this stuff is hard. Hard like 'I have a vague idea of how to do this but don't really know for sure' and it's got me to the brink of tears.

Add to that being completely hosed on ClearCase ALL WEEK thanks to a really unique and special string of events that started with CC being hosed and continued with Carol leaving with some CC processes in place. The Issue has been escalated to the VP level and yet nothing has been fixed. So I'm waiting to turn in my final bug fixes for the Old Gig while trying oh so very hard not to bang my head on the wall because of the code that isn't quite clear to me yet.

Yes, it's time to go home. You're right.

About My New Job
You could say that I'm certainly not bored.

A Sad Little Milestone
We have long suspected that this was true, but had avoided doing anything that might possibly confirm it. Until yesterday, when I had no choice.

Our man Zeus? He's deaf. I think he still hears some things, loud clapping or shouting, but for the most part, he's now in his own little world, barking because he thinks nobody can hear him. Rest assured, he is heard.

I was handing out treats to the gang yesterday. Usually just thinking about opening the metal lid of the jar brings them all racing into the kitchen to await their snackipoos. Sometimes, Gus is pretty settled wherever he is and I'll provide bedside service. Sometimes, Zeus is outside sunning himself and I'll go out to call him in/wave wildly with the treat to get his attention.

But yesterday, he wasn't outside. He was RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, diligently licking the beds like he does almost constantly. He was, at most, 5 feet from the treat jar and though I clanged the hell out of the lid, there was no Z.

I brought him his treat and of course he was happy. But knowing that he's hit this milestone sucks. I can assure you, however, that even if he doesn't make it in for treat time, he'll never miss one. We'll make sure he gets it.

Glucose Part Deux: The Revenge!
Yes, I waited to redo my test. I was supposed to do it last week but of course, it was a crapload easier to put it off than to actually go and do it. Besides, I had cramming to do. Samantha had kindly sent me a huge email compilation of things midwives suggested I (well, I think they meant them for anyone, not just me) could do to prepare for the test. This included eating more sugary stuff than usual for a few days so my system could get used to processing glucose. It also included a suggestion to stay active after drinking the Dreaded Beverage, to get it to metabolize faster.

So I got up a wee bit early, had Andrea get the Dreaded Beverage, drank as much as I could (unfortunately, that meant all but about 2 sips, at that point I was gagging WAY too much), then got up to take a shower. In keeping with the stay active theme, I decided it was also a good time to vigorously scrub the shower. The shower and I are now very clean.

I waited around the house (okay, just took my time getting ready) until the last possible moment (which should have been 1 hour after I finished the Dreaded Beverage), then sped down to the Lab, where I braced myself for another interaction with that Very Special Lady At The Lab.

She didn't disappoint, but thanks to my excellent timing, she only needed to keep me there for a minute and before I knew it, my blood had been drained and I was on my way.

I should get the results within a day or so. Wish me luck. I crammed as much as I could!


Oh Hey
I've now been entertaining the Three of You here for 6 years. Thanks for tuning in.

Since I'm Feeling A Bit Sappy
I give you a trip down the Roo Memory lane: Ellie's Puppy Album.

Pat as a wee pup.

Pat at 12 weeks or so. There are my guy's brown eyes and that slightly confused stare.

Rainie as a wee pup.

Rainie at 12 weeks. There is that 'I so own you' look which we know all too well today.

When we first saw these pics, we fell in love with all of the Roos, and Mama too. It's been almost 5 years now that we've had Rainie, almost 4 for Patrick and the intensity of that love (and of Rainie's smartness and Patrick's, well, lack of smartness) hasn't changed.

It's Been Too Long When...
I had lunch with an old friend today. I'd seen her a few times since we last worked together, in 2000, but not enough or for long enough to have shared all that I should have shared.

But you know, when she asked how Alice was, I didn't cry. Just reminded her that we'd lost Alice a few years ago. No, it doesn't mean that I didn't cry later, or that I'll ever forget her.

But it does mean that my grief has become less immediate, and that's a good thing.

Oh How Nice
South Dakota Tries To Outlaw Abortions. Though I've never thought I could have one myself, though I've always been grateful that I never had to face that particular choice, that safe and legal abortion exists is something I'll always support. Because women shouldn't die in back alleys. We're only a small step away from going back to that reality and it's not right.

Just For Fun
I think I'm going to start counting how many times a day I give my computer the finger when something about our development environment doesn't work right.

All Is Hosed
In honor of the current status of my work environment, let me sing you a little song about what's going on. This is sung to the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat.

All all all is hosed
Everything is down
Try as I might, it is just a fight to
Get just one thing done.

Thank you, I'm here all week.


Ode To Mrs. Pepper Lunch
Thank you for asking about the baby again today. Thank you also for not hugging my belly again today. Thank you for bringing me a salad I didn't order "for your baby" and for bringing me an extra egg, also for my baby. We both enjoyed it very much.

More About Our Booty
So, yesterday Susan, Riley, Sam and I spent a couple of hours going through their wee baby clothes (similar to, but different than the toddler clothes they now sport) to see what we'd like for Murray. Here's how it went: I'd pick something up, check the size, then put it into a yes or no pile. One of the girls would come along, pick up something from either of those piles or from the bin where the clothes had been stored, then throw said item wherever she pleased, giggling all the while.

Though at moments, it was frustrating (mostly because getting up from the floor is an increasing challenge these days), it was really funny and sweet. The best way to shop, really. At one point, Riley sat on my lap and I told her the story of how we went shopping right after they were born, before we even met them! and got them some of the clothes I was looking at right then. How Auntie couldn't help but get the little red pants with pink hearts and now, how thrilled I was that we'll be having a little girl of our own who can wear them, too.

Bill pointed out that it was the best way to get clothes -- we knew we liked them since we'd bought them in the first place AND more importantly, we'd already seen them all in action, modeled by the World's Cutest Models. Good point, indeed.

We came home with 2 big bins and 3 grocery bags full of clothes for our kid. I stayed home from Andrea's hockey game to assimilate them into Murray's wardrobe and holy shit, we came away with A LOT. My back was killing me and I was so tired I was about to fall asleep in her crib, but I managed to sort them all and get them tucked neatly into her drawers. Which are now full.

I celebrated by hobbling around like an old woman for the rest of the night, then collapsing into bed and moaning until I finally got comfy. And then didn't sleep, not much anyway, waking up at 5, watching a little TV, then trying to settle back down until of course Murray woke up and started punching the crap out of me.

Good times, I tell you. But at least now the kid's got plenty to wear.

My mom is on a quest to get Murrita a Nice Blanket, you know, the kind of items that Grandmas buy because Mommies are usually too cheap to buy them themselves, even though they'd love to have a closet full of blankets like that. We had our choice of colors -- white, yellow, blue, pink.

I picked blue, then waited for what I knew was coming. The moment of silence where my mom was weighing her words carefully, followed by "but if she has all this blue stuff, people will think she's a boy."

Could someone please tell me why that matters? When our wee child is too young to lift her tender head by herself, let alone realize that she has privates, let alone build a sense of her own gender identity (whatever that may be), why it matters to anyone if she's kept warm by a blue blanket?

I was sorting through hand-me-down clothes from the twins yesterday (thanks to them, Murray is now well stocked on clothes, it's the blankets, sheets and towels we're quite short on now) and noticing how many non-pink items they had. And I said to Susan, how about that? They didn't wear a lot of pink and whaddya know? They're still girls.

It's amazing how that works. Really.


Phase Three
According to every bok out there, I am now officially in the third trimester. Yesterday, my body seemed to get right on that, turning everything into a world of hurt. My back was crazy painful all day and didn't feel better until the end of the day, when I was in bed, on my left side, not moving an inch. Poor Patrick just sat on the floor, looking at me with great concern. All I could do to alleviate his concern was to look in those lovely brown eyes and say weakly, I'm okay, buddy.

But he didn't buy it. He may be dumb but when it comes to his mommy, he's a smart guy.

Eventually, I felt a bit better, but not enough to sit up and work on my thesis. So I whipped (okay, walked very gingerly to the baby's room and picked up the book, praying that the weight of it didn't strain my already-aching back even more) out the new copy of Dr. Spock that my parents just sent and discovered that yep, they are right. It is the only book worth reading (for me, for this little family right here.) when it comes to child stuff because it just makes sense. And doesn't judge parents for any choices they make. I've read some other books and many of them are sooo judgemental about the stupidest shit that I instantly felt defensive when my choice either hadn't been formed yet or differed from the author's.

But that Spock gave a lot of common-sense info without making me feel like in the end, anyone but Andrea and I would be the best parents for this kid and would make the best choices. Because in the end, that's what it's all about. All 3 of us finding our own way together.

When I first told my parents we were pregnant, one of the first things my dad said was that you only need 2 books: a name your baby book (his cost 75 cents and worked just fine for me and my brother) and Dr. Spock. So they sent us the new Dr. Spock and the tattered old copy (which has completely fallen apart, is held together with rubber bands and obviously saw a lot of use) that helped my parents get us raised with some degree of success.

The first part of the book talks about pregnancy and the first few days home with your baby. I couldn't help but wonder if it was hard for my parents to read those parts back then, knowing that they'd missed out on that time with each of us. But knowing them, they just skipped that part, since it didn't apply, and went on to look up whatever was the issue at the moment.

Today, I'm feeling a little better and am attempting to do a little work on my thesis. As soon as I wrap this post up, anyway. But I get it, we've crossed an important milestone. The next big thing to look forward to is giving birth and until then (and of course, during that process) many more things are going to hurt. Which sucks but all of it continues to beat being nauseous.


Yep, I Cried
Sweden Topples U.S. Women's Hockey Team

The End Of An Era

And we bid Carol the fondest of farewells
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

Today at work we will bid farewell to our fair Carol. She's been here long enough that it probably is time for her to move on, but I assure you, it's NOT time for the rest of us to have her move on.

But I didn't meet Carol here at work. No, I'm pretty sure I met her when I came down here in 1994 to visit this nice chick who was (at the time) merely my friend, Andrea. Andrea took me to gay bingo and I'm 90% sure that's where we met Carol and the Famed Deb.

Our friendship with them grew after I moved here, including attending many fine lesbian events. We stayed in touch, slipped out of touch, then got back in touch many a time and always had fun together.

2 years ago, Carol called me out of the blue to tell me about an opening at her fabulous workplace. I wasn't exactly looking to get back into technology, but then again, my part-time job at IKEA sucked, paid nothing, was a daily reminder that retail actually sucks, that the people you meet in retail by and large, suck, and more importantly we were starting to run out of funds.

You know the rest. I got the job, ended up loving the job (and still do, moreso now that I'm moving to new group, where somehow, it's worked out that I'll be doing a lot of the same work I was doing before) and I'm still here, still employed by the same place 2 years later. During much of that time, Carol's been my boss. Which you might think is weird, since we're friends, but it's not. It's been great, excellent and just fine. We're both grownups, I'm pretty self-sufficient and Carol's pretty laid-back. So the work has gotten done and it's been all good.

Until now, when Carol announced she's leaving for the Great Blue Yonder of another job at a place that doesn't use ClearCase. I can't blame her for leaving ClearCase behind, but I'm still way bummed that she's leaving.

In the spirit of a friendship that's gone on for over 10 years, I have faith that we'll still be in touch, that I'll still have the opportunity to say things that make her say 'SHUT UP!' back at me. That we'll still eat ravs and continue our quest for the optimal way to process just about anything. But not seeing her here at work every day will suck.

More than any of us know right now, I think.

All the best to you, Mr. Brady. You've been an excellent friend and a terrific boss -- the likes of which has only been rivaled by Lou Grant. A class by yourself, indeed.


Murray Movement Update
3 hours later and she's still going apeshit, though now it's all over, not just on my bladder. This is going to be one busy kid!

Murrita On The Move
Today has been the busiest day yet for Our Little Friend. All day she's been dancing, kicking and squirming, sometimes right on my bladder and last night, one really special instant fart-inducing kick on my colon. Right now she's doing what seems like a head spin on my bladder.

To all of which, I say, keep on keepin' on, little one. Right now all this kicking is your full time job and who am I to stand in your way? I'll just hope that nobody here at work stands in *my* way to the bathroom.

I Should Add
That I didn't expect gs's story about picking up Syke to be as sweet as it was because all Andrea told me was 'Greg put up a story about getting his new dog' so I wasn't expecting all that I read -- interstate travel, dogs in hotel rooms, kind strangers doing some driving and at the center of it all, a beautiful little grey-faced beagle girl.

Thanks for the unexpected sweetness, gs!

SAN FRANCISCO / Same-sex marriage still a hot topic / Weddings in S.F. City Hall made debate national. I have to ask -- is my desire to have legal recognition of a 10 year relationship really so offensive to people that they'd go to great lengths to prevent it?

Obviously, the answer is yes, but I don't get why. Interestingly, we are lucky in some ways. Here, by virtue of being born, our kid will automatically have two legal parents -- me and Andrea. No extra legalities required. That means we don't have to do a second-parent adoption, we just have to fill out a form.

That also means that unlike me, our kid will only have one birth certificate -- she won't get an original, then an amended later, when her adoption is final. And that means something to me that I still can't quite explain but can only summarize by saying this: legitimacy.

Of course, if she chooses to change her name to RavenLight Moonstone when she's older, she would get a new birth certificate at that time. But for now, she'll just have the one. With both of her mommies listed on it.


Extremely Proud To Announce
I have just heard the following information from Susan:

Sam just said, "Auntie Liz"

The whole thing, very clear.

This, right now, is the proudest moment of my career as an auntie. It only sucks that I wasn't there to hear it.

Took Me A Couple Of Days
But I finally got around to reading gs's account of picking up his new beagle: Skye's Journey Home. I was so not expecting Skye's story to be as touching as it is (she is about 6 years old and has a bullet lodged near her heart that can't be moved) or to be flooded with memories of my own.

I think of all the times I drove somewhere near or far (though, in truth, I think the farthest was somewhere near Fresno, more than once) to pick up or drop off a dog who was being rescued. Or of the times those trips ended up with me bringing a dog home (see Zeus, Rainie and Patrick). But mostly I think about all the times I placed a dog with their new family and how I could have been 10 feet tall and purple -- the family wouldn't have noticed because they were so happy to be getting this dog.

And even though most, okay, all, of the dogs I ever helped rescue had a little mileage under their belt or a few issues to contend with, I did my part in helping them find their way to the right home. Yes, on two occasions, that was eventually being put to sleep (Roscoe and Buddy, I'll never forget you) but in the end, the point is that we all tried to do right by that dog when nobody else had.

And even though we talk about what we'd do if we ever had room in our home for another dog (meaning at this point, that our pack became smaller and that, I don't want to think about), and we say we love how great Rainie is with us and attribute that to the fact that she was a wee pup when we got her, I think it would come down to this: to me remembering the moment we picked up Alice, how seeing her dart out of the front door of her former person's house, then later, when she licked my ear and climbed on me, I'd remember how that day was the greatest day of my life. And even though just 2.5 years later it was the worst day of my life when she died, I would not, not ever, trade one moment of those 2.5 years for anything.

And I'll remember that when it comes to dogs, it doesn't matter how they come to you, what kind of shape they're in when they get there or how long you have with them. It's what you do in the interim that matters.

And yeah, even now, I still miss her like crazy.


Crap. Crap Twice.
I had a lunchtime meeting set up with my esteemed advisor, so I headed down to school, forgetting completely just how many youth are there at that time, getting educations and talking on cellphones. There I am, trolling for parking without luck, so I called my advisor to tell her I'd be late.

Oh, she said. I'm just leaving Half Moon Bay.

Wha? No! I don't have all day for this meeting. And more importantly, I need to have lunch. Right Now.

Eventually we worked it out, I had me some McDonald's and she came to my work. We sat outside and chatted about my thesis and I think I'm still on track to actually finish.

But...while I was at McDonald's, the phone rang. My doctors office, telling me I failed the damn glucose screen. They wanted me to do the 3 hour test, which involves a crapload more fasting and a total of 4 blood draws. At this point (okay, any time during this whole pregnancy adventure) fasting=nausea. So I'm loathe to not eat for that long (all night + 3 hours) if I don't have to.

In keeping with my whole philosophy on medical care -- that I'm the customer and I have a right to be a participant in my care -- I proposed a deal. Since my score was really close to not being over, I'd redo the 1 hour test instead first. If I still fail, then I'll do the Dreaded 3 Hour Test.

If I was really concerned that any of this meant I had gestational diabooties, then I'd just go and do the Dreaded 3 Hour Test (no relation to the 3 Hour Tour that Gilligan and his pals took). But I'm not, so I'll do my best to pass the 1 hour and be done with it.

Across the street from us (and down a bit) is a cute little house. For the last 5 years, a kind-looking but not-all-that-friendly woman lived there, until she got married and moved in with whoever she married. The house was for sale forever and finally, it has sold.

A kind-looking family moved in, mom, dad a couple of kids. Apparently they are fans of The Lord because on both cars, they have the message, "Relax Jesus Is In Charge."

So when I walked out to Betty this morning, and saw their little girl using huge presumably sharp hedge trimmers to trim the ivy on their fence, I thought hey. Relax, Jesus is in charge.


I'm here working on my thesis and I must say that with each sentence I write, you could easily translate it to mean "I just don't give a rat's ass about this anymore."

Because Amy Asked
I will discuss the kinds of clothing we would prefer for our kid. Knowing that many of y'all know us reasonably well, you probably may have guessed that we're not into frilly crap. However.

We're also not assholes about gifts. Which means that the first rule is that our kid will wear whatever she's given. The ONLY thing we won't put her in are those horrid (to us) garter belt things for her head. I have to draw the line somewhere and a product that can double as sexy lingerie or an accessories for my daughter's head is that line.

Anything else is fair game. Yes, we'd *prefer* to keep the frilly things to a minimum, mainly because anything but cotton can be scratchy and if Murrita is anything like me in the sensitive skin department, that could be a problem.

But, I cannot say this enough, we are insanely grateful that y'all think highly enough of us and are excited enough about her arrival to want to share in our kid's arrival this way.

Because we can't wait to meet her either.

Chewie Does It Again
With today's excellent pic of our humble (and poor aim) VP and his gun: UUUHHHGGG-rrrr!

Thanks, Chewie. You still rock my world.

I Have To Say
That my new team at work can process more than any card-carrying group of lesbians I've ever met.


All Baby, All The Time
Okay, that's not really all we think about these days. We've spent a fair bit of time discussing how Gus became so stinky and why an empty water bottle, carelessly left on the kitchen table, remains an excellent toy for basset hounds. Even now that they're 5.

But we did finally get a chance to see our next door neighbor. We used to run into her in the driveway at least once a week and these days, it's been forever. She kindly offered to babysit and then moved on from hearing our good news (which she'd already heard from the other neighbor) she moved on to talking about her continuing court case. Sigh.

But she asked a good question about where we're registered (really, just at Babies R Ush). Good, because she's never been there and doesn't visit the internet. So we beefed up our meager Target registry, just in case. And of course we got a few more items while we were there. Which means that Murray's little dresser is getting more and more full of little outfits. And our shower is still like 6 weeks away!

No real changes at this point, I'm just getting bigger and more uncomfortable. I'm also running out of clothes and that's sad. I didn't really like the ones I had anyway but at least I had more than 3 different things to choose from.

My illness continues and much hacking has ensued. That all adds up to me continuing to feel like crap and not sleeping so well. Awesome!


High Holy Day!
My day started around 7 am, when we woke up and knew we couldn't wait to watch women's Olympic Hockey. We saw Germany play Finland, at least until we went back to sleep. Around 10, we were rudely awakened by the bleating of my cell phone. It was my mom, who was SO EXCITED about having gone to the baby store and finding some excellent (but not too frilly or pink! go mom!) outfits for the wee one. Apparently, she tried to hold back, but my dad pointed out that this is most likely the only time they'll have the chance to do this. So more outfits were purchased.

Buoyed by their enthusiasm, we stayed awake to watch the United States play Switzerland, take another nap, then watch Canada trounce Italy. Ouch. Breakfast, then another nap, then finally, up to see the babies. We took separate cars so I could come home and work on my thesis afterwards, and um, here it is, 11 pm and yes, the document is open but I've done nothing. Nada. Sigh.

Other than the continuing annoyance with my inability to give a rat's ass about my thesis, it's been an excellent day. An unexpected holiday in the middle of a very warm February.


5 = 5, Doesn't It?
I've been putting off the glucose screening test for gestational diabetes until the lsat possible moment. That moment was today. The deal is, you fast for 2 hours, then drink this super sugary drink, then wait an hour, then get your blood drawn. I finished the drink at 3:45, which meant I should get sticked at 4:45. Even with the New Math, that's before 5...

My doctor's office has a lab upstairs, so I took the lab sheet they gave me and headed over after drinking the sprite on sugary steroids that my doctor's office had given me a while back. I arrived in time to hear the tech getting short with a fellow preggo about how she should have had the drink earlier and how she would not, under any circumstances give her the famed beverage to take home.

After she left, dejected and sad about not being able to drink the tasty brew today, I stepped around the corner to announce my presence.

I handed the lady my form and explained in the same breath that though the form was for Stanford, my doctor had given me that form IN CASE I wanted to do the test at Stanford but I was NOT a Stanford patient. Apprently my explanation wasn't clear because she picked up the phone and started bitching about having a late patient, could the Stanford courier come later?

She explained that because I was a Stanford patient, she'd have to do all this stuff, blah blah. Once again I said (though slightly less calmly than the first time) that I'm not a Stanford patient and this time, she actually heard me. Wow, glad I wasted my breath the first time.

This new knowledge set off a series of additional phone calls about a late patient and how she couldn't possibly be wherever she'd intended to be on time because of this late patient. All while I'm sitting right there, waiting until 4:45. Which is still before 5. 5 being the hour they're supposed to close.

I'm just sort of stunned. I don't see how 15 minutes before closing time means late. And more importantly, I don't see how giving a grumpy pregnant woman shit about being 'late' when she's not, in fact, late, is necessary or even okay.

Mission Accomplished!
Thursday night was indeed the time to go and order our rocker. The store was largely deserted and only one other family had taken up residence in the rockers. We found a helpful young sales associate to place our order. At that point, we learned that it would take 10-12 weeks to get the slightly cheaper model in the colors we wanted. While I was discussing this with him, Andrea was sitting on both (no, not at the same time) and discovered that the more expensive one was indeed more comfortable than the slightly cheaper model.

So after we placed our order, we changed our minds and went for our first choice. When it comes to stuff like this, it's worth forking out for what feels the best. So we did and as an added bonus, it will be here in 7-14 business days.

Ready to rock, we are!


Wish Us Luck
Tonight we're going back to the Giant Baby Store down the road to order our rocker and otto-man. This is our second attempt to order the thing. Last week, after we couldn't sit on the ones we wanted to sit on (though we were pretty damn sure we'd already picked a winner in a different model), we hoped to just place our order and be done with it.

Because, get this, these things can take up to 12 weeks to get here. 12 weeks. That's a whole trimester, for Pete's sake. I do not want to have a brand-new baby at home and be waiting to get our rock on. Because I am ready to be a mommy who rocks.

Sunday our ordering plans were thwarted because even though the store has what seems like a zillion helpful (and knowledgeable, which is so odd because they all look like they're 16 and could give a rat's ass about baby items) associates, only 1 is apparently qualified to place rocker orders.

Great. And she was helping 3 other families ahead of us so we bailed. Yep, didn't feel like waiting. Even though the place does have a clean bathroom and we were parked in my new favorite spot, I just didn't want to wait all day.

So we're trying again tonight. Hopefully instead of a shopping cart full of baby items we didn't plan on buying, we'll emerge with a glider order of some sort instead. Wish us luck!

Chance Of Continuing Illness: 100%
Yep, I'm still sick. Sort of worse than before, in a way. Tired, stuffy, sound like crap, feel like crap, not sleeping well, etc. It's really getting old.

The good news? ClearCase has been down ALL WEEK so it's absolutely the right week to sneak out early and go home to my wonderful bed.

Let us not get me started on my feelings about ClearCase. After all this time, it had just started to work with some degree of consistency, we had just gotten a decent handle on how it worked and now, poof! 5 days of downtime, which means that when (if) it ever comes back up, something like 300+ people will be rushing to check stuff in, deliver changes and try to integrate a million spec streams into the main branch. All at the same time. Which means that any code you hoped to check in will be instantly annihilated in a merge, thus making it necessary for you to redo your work. Again.

Assuming, that is, that QA catches your missing code and lets you know about it. Which is possible, but they will no doubt be swamped trying to catch up with testing all the other zillion code changes that are waiting to go into the build.

But I won't talk about ClearCase or my continuning frustration with it. Nah. I think I'll go home instead.


Can Someone Please Explain
Why dust ruffles for cribs aren't sold separately, why they only come in huge packs of random nursery bedding items? This is an item that we were pretty sure we didn't want until we put Murray's crib together and noticed that without one, all this metal crap (yes, that would be the bedspring) was visible and, well, ugly. We didn't register for one of those sets because they tend to include extra crap that we're pretty sure we don't want. Oh and they're like $200.

So at the baby store this week, we thought, hey let's get one. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Wrong. The only one sold separately has little doggie footprints on it, which seemed cute in the package, but now that we've washed it and put it on the manger, it's actually pretty cheap-looking. And though I'm cheap, I draw the line at things that actually look that way.

So I'm trying to find a suitable replacement that might be nicer but they don't seem to exist. At least not by themselves. WHY? WHY? It really shouldn't be this hard to find one that's not all that ugly and just might vaguely match what we're going to have.

This Was Too Good To Pass Up

Andrea and her new friends
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

We were at the Big Baby Store, trying in vain to make sure that our rocker selection was the right one. These Nice People were parked on the models that we wanted to check out. So we waited.

And waited.

And waited for probably 15 minutes. Until one of their friends FINALLY got up and Andrea snuck in there to check it out.

The guy on the left got all worked up once I took the picture and got up all flapping about like the Ca-ca dance but not accosting me for my unpermissioned photo taking. We skedaddled out of that area and headed over to check out ugly bedding items.


When Is Hockey On?
In case you were wondering, here's a rundown of when the Olympic ice hockey teams will be playing: NBCOlympics.com - TV Listings. Good thing I don't have hockey to play right now, so I can watch a crapload.

Illness Is Boring
But right now, it's my life so here we all are. I went to bed at 9:30 last night, hoping to stave off this cold thing getting worse. Which was all good until about 3 am, when I woke up to a body intent on creating a goodly pile of sputnum.

I hacked my way to gestational excellence off and on for the next couple of hours, finally going back to sleep at around 5:30 after entertaining Andrea with said coughing fit. Yes, I imagine that this lack fo sleep is excellent practice for what having a newborn entails.

In the meantime, I feel like ass warmed over. The good news is that ClearCase seems to be down, so it's an ideal day to leave early and return to my bed.


But Better:

See You Tomorrow!
If I ate corn, here's one way to track how soon you'd see it again:

Ugh: The Story Of My Weekend
While I was scorekeeping Friday night, I kept coughing. But hey, I thought, it's cold in here, so no big whoop. Saturday morning I woke up with a horrific cough, the likes of which I've only had while deep in the throes of bronchitis. Huh??

Hack, cough, hack, cough. Pull a muscle in my knee in the process. I have no idea how that happened but OW.

I had enough energy to go to Sports Basement, where some maternity clothes exchange was having a sale. I hoped to score one more pair of jeans because I've pretty much outgrown all of the 4 pairs of jeans that have gotten me this far. But no, all the stuff they had was really expensive (like $59 for the same kind of lameass jeans I was wearing that day, jeans I'd bought at TJ Max for $15) and um, for those fabled small-boned women who are shaped nothing like me.

But I tried on tennis shoes, noted with great sadness the sheer volume of Easton products that I didn't need (though most weren't hockey, I still got wistful seeing the logo), then we went home to nap. I got up in time for us to go eat dinner (which didn't go all that well for me, once again) then return home to watch the first disc of season two of the Mary Tyler Moore show, which Bubbles had given me for Christmas.

There's nothing better than spending time with Rhoda and Mar when you're feeling down.

Sunday I slept a ton, got up, slept some more and then went to Babies R Us to order a rocker. We'd heard that it could take 10-12 weeks to get one in and well, we started doing the math and that's cutting it a little close. But in the end, the place was just too busy to order the one we wanted so we'll have to head back there on a weeknight for the ordering instead.

In other baby gear news, we picked up a bassinet that we bought of craig's list, home of many a baby item bargain. As we were loading into the car, Andrea goes 'I'm glad you're not insisting on getting stuff like this new' to which I replied, hello? I'm cheap.

The arrival of said bassinet means we officially have most of the big items we need for Ms. Murrita. That's utter craziness.

All weekend, I hacked and coughed and debated calling the doctor. But since I had an appointment this morning at 9, I figured I was safe. Until I was about to step into the shower and the phone rang. My doctor is ill and can't see me today. They'll call back to reschedule.

Sigh. So I did what anyone would do -- I got back into bed for another hour. Eventually I got up just as the office was calling back to reschedule for this afternoon. Fine, whenever, just tell me if this cough thing is at all remotely harmful to the kid.

I thought about staying home, but in the end, I was half dressed already so I figured, what the fuck, I'll go to work until my appointment.

So here I am, hacking and coughing my way to gestational freedom.


I actually had fun doing my job this week. The tasks haven't really changed yet but knowing that I'm in another group is apparently enough to significantly improve my mindset. Whoop! Webdev!

I actually had fun doing my job this week. The tasks haven't really changed yet but knowing that I'm in another group is apparently enough to significantly improve my mindset. Whoop! Webdev!

Um, Thanks?
At least once a week Bubbles and I go to Pepper Lunch for some tasty-ass food served on little sizzling platters. We've gotten to know the nice people who work there and finally, a couple of weeks ago, I revealed to the Brains of the Organization, Mrs. Pepper Lunch herself that my growing belly is in fact due to the co-joining of egg and sperm, not, as was rumored, due to a continual overindulgence in donuts.

I figured she'd be the first to ask the question I've been dreading: who's the father. Knowing that<, I really should've had an answer ready, something polite yet snappy. But I needn't worry. Mrs. Pepper Lunch has never let me down.

The encounter went like this: I'm sitting, waiting for our bill. Since we eat there so much, we'd already gotten our 10 punches on our punch card and were due for a whopping 25% off one meal. It was a big day for everyone.

She came over with the bill and before I could tell what was happening, Mrs. Pepper Lunch was full-on hugging my belly, asking how the baby was. Bubbles can attest, I handled this belly-mugging with great composure.

"The baby's very busy today" (this as she's doing her hundredth somersault of the day)

"Oh! It's a boy?"

"No, she's a girl"

"Oh! A girl! She'll be blonde!

(at this point, my brain is spinning. How do I say this without saying this????) After a long pause: "Well, she's half Chinese, so she probably won't have blonde hair."

"Oh! Brown, then."

"Maybe so, yeah."

"She won't need hair dye!"

And there you have it. Question avoided and something (not sure what) learned.

Have You Seen...
My bellybutton? Because what little of it that was left is now gone, sucked into a haze of baby growth and no doubt, cashew eating. It is now but a wee divot on my rather large belly.

For The Record
Andrea told me I'm being a dork by saying 'hey if you want to come to our shower, send me an email' because have started a list (that's pretty long, good thing Susan's house is so cavernous), and chances are, you're already on it.

I just didn't want to miss anyone who wanted to go, that's all.


Does This Really Happen?
One of my message boards has been debating whether or not a registry is futile. Many many folks feel that they are, indeed. They claim that thier friends have said 'yeah, you, register if you want, spend time pondering what you'd actually like, but in the end, I'll get you that cute little corn outfit I saw the other day.'

Some of the women with friends like that have chosen not to register because of such comments. The consensus from the not-first-time-moms is that in the end, they got whatever they needed for the kid, registry items or not.

I guess I'm not that fatalistic. And I'm still kind of beside myself thinking that people are excited enough about this kid to spend time thinking of a gift that would suit her.

FYI, our shower is set for 3/25 at 2 pm. That's right, a Saturday so my hockey friends don't have to even consider missing a game for the Big Event. Unless they play on Saturday afternoons and I don't know of any leagues that play then anymore. We've got a tenative guest list going, if you'd like to be on it, please drop me a line with your real-life address. So we can make sure you get an invite and so our stalker friends can find you.

I Should Also Add
That when pressed during the aforementioned meeting to say something funny about myself and deciding that 'I laugh at farts' was wildly inappropriate, I did go on to mention that I don't eat corn.

I Am So Totally 12
In December, one of my favorite, most effervescent co-workers moved to Phoenix to start a new office for our company there. She also moved to the new group that Bubbles and I are (finally!) in.

I miss her like crazy, our row is very quiet without her. Imagine my great thrill and surprise when Bubbles and I rolled into our New Team Meeting and saw our far and away co-worker dialed in by videoconference.

I screeched "It's C!!!" and spent, no shit, 5 minutes grinning and waving at her. Until she stopped waving back because the meeting started. But even so, throughout the meeting, I waved and made the thumbs up sign sporadically at her, just because I knew she was there.

Yes, I've been on videoconferences before. Yes, I even worked for a company that made the equipment, but the thrill remains. There she is! Hello!


Hello Webdev!

Bubbles Bounces Back Big
Originally uploaded by timmmip.

Bubbles is ready for the move.

It's The Hormones
I'm here listening to Moby and getting all maudlin, followed by this crazy urge (not to push) but to spill the beans about all the crazy sad shit that's ever happened to me, some of which you know already, like Ellie dying, Alice's horrid, untimely and quite traumatic death, a plethora of horrible shit that I didn't (and won't) ever blog about but that changed many things about the way I see the world and how willing I am to trust people, my Grandma dying and not getting pregnant the first 2 times we tried. And some crap you don't know about.

But hey maybe that little blurb was sufficient. Maybe now you know enough, I've wandered the backroads of past pain long enough that it's time to go get a PopTart.


Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

I've eaten half a thing of cashews in the last two days. Murrita must be growing like a weed because I'm eating like I've smoked a lot of weed.

Before I got pregnant, I had this vision that being pregnant means that you can eat as much as you want. And that's true. It just takes ALL DAY to eat a decent-sized meal.

But.... my tolerance for sugary goodness is really low. Any ideas of non-stop ice cream eating are long gone. I have to eat (relatively) good-for-you stuff instead.

Pregnancy myth #105, that you can eat a shitload of ice cream and tasty sweets -- not true.

I Still Just Don't Care
Last night I dreamt I went to grad school. A grad school far away from here that included a mexican buffet with lots of ground beef and cohorts who were actally interested in the study and THRILLED to be there.

It was sort of like that moment at west lake in China where Amy and I ran into some American tourist who was on her Personal Trip Of A Lifetime. That lady could not fathom why standing there in the freezing cold, chilled to my bones, feeling a million miles from home, why I wasn't enthralled with the place.

But we weren't. We were the Jaded Tourists who by that point Had Seen Enough. Though, to be fair, we hadn't yet eaten at Pizza Hut.

That's how I've come to feel about grad school. I'm really not sure why I'm there, why I'm even bothering. At this point, I am 90% certain that I'll never become a Recreation Professional. So to finish is really just to finish, to say that sitting in a library in downtown San Jose, a library that's frequented by many cellphone-bearing students and homeless people, is my finished, bound and possibly relevant to some Future Recreation Professional, thesis.

It's sort of like the way I've always imagined I'd finish a marathon, should I ever start one: 2 days after I started, when everyone has gone home and all the roads are back to normal traffic. I'd be the last straggler to stumble in, dead tired and crawling. But I'd finish, bloody knees and all. And later, they'd make a made-for-tv movie about my experience, calling it the Liz Doughty Story.

So for that part of me that's willing to finish whatever I start, even if I'm long past caring about the end result, I made some phone calls today. I'm meeting with my Good Advisor in 2 weeks to go over my (so far not very substantial) edits to my thesis, with the intention that I'll present to my esteemed committee in mid March. That will be enough to change my Incompletes to Completes (or, I think, to 'Credit') and maybe will be enough to inspire me to get approval to actually do my study while I'm home on maternity leave.

And no, I have no illusions that being home with Murrita this summer will be a carefree event, that my days will be largely unplanned (well, that part is true) and I'll live the Life of Luxury. No, I get it that caring for our wee one will be hard, and tiring. And that said care won't leave a lot of time for bon bon eating. But...trying to do this last schoolwork will be slightly more feasible if I don't have to go to work and deal with Murrita and try to do it.

So here's to giving it my best shot and to taking the advice that I'd surely give myself: you've come this far, you may as well finish. Just so you can say that you did.