Annual Review
So I'm just now getting around to filling out my part of my annual review. It's kind of weird this time since I was out for the middle half of the year and my return was so goddamn tumultuous at first.

I'm supposed to think of my top 5 accomplishments and so far, all I've got isn't that appropriate:

  1. had a baby
  2. breastfed
  3. played hockey less than 6 weeks later
  4. ??
  5. ??

Not Every First Is A Good One
So far, most of Val's firsts have been great -- smiling, laughing, crawling, sitting up, standing up, pulling up, rolling over, giant poop while in the shower (He-LLO turd!), waving, flapping, clapping. All good.

But then there are the not-so-good firsts. Her first shots (thankfully, I was pretty wacked out on painkillers for her very first one so that one was harder on Andrea than me), her first illness and now, her first real owie.

Apparently she was crawling off the edge of a rug yesterday and BAM! The rug apparently jumped out (in much the same way that the blue line will jump out and trip innocent skaters during a hockey game) and tripped her, sending her slightly oversized noggin over the edge and onto the hardwood floor below. Her brand-new teeth cut her lip and drew blood for the first time in her little life.

Of course, this happened while we were at work. She cried and cried and in the end there's a wee bruise on her now-fat upper lip. Yes, there was blood on her shirt, too. Later she did feel better, well enough to enjoy some spaghetti:

But that doesn't stop my heart from breaking every time I think about her being in pain. It's all I can do to stop myself from buying her a little helmet to wear around the house.

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Good Times, Good Times

Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
This was on the tour of the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. We really did have a good time on that trip, even if the plane ride home sucked my soul.

Note to self: avoid international travel while pregnant.

Other note to self: that Andreatan still makes me grin.

Other other note to self: that Valerietan also makes me grin.


Betty's Replacement
Sigh. We all knew the day was coming where I'll be trading my beloved car Betty in for Something More Practical, it was just a matter of what is practical enough and yet still kind of cool.

Well, you 3, I have found it. It is a Mazda 3, in purple. The purple, it is new and of course already being discontinued because not enough chicks people were looking for that color.

But I was. The dealer had to hunt far and wide but he managed to find The Only Purple Car With A Decent Selection Of Options that was slated to come to this state. It's on a ship somewhere between Japan and here right now and it's got my name on it.

Turning in Betty is going to suck. Suck suck suck. But being able to drive our whole family around, with hockey gear in tow will kick ass.

And the new car? Her name will be Charo. (AmyFB, please note that the pic of Charo is from her playing at the Nugget!!)

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Some Games Just Kick Ass
Or, at least my big toes no longer hurt.

I'd had my new skates for over a month, having secured the last pair of Vapor XXX's in a 5.5 in the entire world, it seemed. But I hadn't had time to get them baked and sharpened until last week when I spent 2 fucking hours sitting at Power Play to do this.

So they were ready and I just threw them on for my R4 game yesterday. Holy fuck they did not feel right. But I didn't bring my other, now old skates so I was stuck with the ow-ness.

First shift out, I couldn't do much except say OW OW OW and watch as we got scored on. After the goal, I said to Mary the goalie, "I'm really feeling my new skates here," to which she replied, "yeah, me too."

So we were down 0-2, against a team that I'm pretty sure had yet to beat us all season (R4 statisticians, do you concur?). They started to get a little cocky, I could feel it.

But that only lasted about a second, until Viv scored a super-ass pretty goal and changed our momentum. My feet still hurt, but my excellent D pair told me to think about my left hand, just to think about something other than my aching feet.

At one point, the puck squirted loose so I stepped up and took a shot, which went the teeniest bit wide. Jackie was RIGHT THERE at the EXACT RIGHT PLACE and tipped it in, just like we all practice in warmups.

That was assist #1 for moi. Woo, I thought, a point! Later, I had the puck just outside of our zone, so I held it because not one, but two people from the other team came to challenge me in the neutral zone (hi, you're ON THE WRONG SIDE NOW, but thanks heaps for doing that because..) leaving 1 extra member of our team open to receive a seriously excellent pass from me that went on to be a really really pretty goal.

That was assist #2 for moi. Holy shit, I've had a very small number of multiple point games in my life. Imagine my great surprise when later, I had another assist, making my total 3. Me! A 3 point game!

We won 10-2. My feet were killing me but as Karolyn wisely pointed out, my new skates, they were great for our team.

I have picked some really fun teams over the years, but R4 has been The Best Ever. I will miss this team so ridiculously much. Thanks for a fantastic comeback season, y'all!

American Family ยป Wow

Welcome, Little L!!!
Half a world away from here,American Family just met their new daughter!!! I'm so excited for them, I'm all teary-eyed about it. I hope that everything goes smoothly from here on out and I can't wait until we visit there this summer and meet Little L for ourselves!!


Yep, She's More Grown Up Every Day

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.
It's sort of stunning, really, how fast it goes. Before we all know it she'll be 16 and borrowing the car to go out on dates.


Yep, She's Funny

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.
And cute too.

I've Been Silent About This Love I Have
For George Takei, but now that he made this PSA about that NBA guy being a dipshit, well, I just had to share.



We went to the park...
Originally uploaded by torturedmommy.
There was a break in the weather and a break in my crazy work that gave me a little free time late Friday afternoon. We got to go to the park with Sam, Riley and Susan. Dare I say we all had ourselves a fab-u-lous time?

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Zeus, at the vet once again
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
Sunday night we got home after a long day of running around. All I could think about on the way home was how much I wanted to be wearing my pjs and sitting in bed, watching bad TV.

Zeus had other plans.

I noticed that he looked kinda fat. We couldn't find any evidence of whatever he'd eaten. Usually there's something that says 'aha! The dogs enjoyed getting (whatever it is) off the counter.' But this time it took me a while.

And then, I found the empty tin of General Foods International Coffee that had mistakenly gotten into our bags while we were out shopping with Susan. She got our batteries, so I'm thinking it turned out in her favor.

I had to pump, there was no real choice about that so I settled in and started googling stuff about dogs and caffeine ingestion. FYI, the lethal dose is 200mg per kg of dog. I could figure out that he's about 14kg, but I still can't tell how many mg of coffee he had, since that shit's printed in ounces. Never mind all the girlie flavorings that offset the coffee and who the hell knows.

But it didn't seem good. So me and Zeus headed up for yet another middle-of-the-night-because-he'd-gotten-into-something trip to the vet's.

This time, he puked on the way, only I didn't notice until I turned off the car in their parking lot. I guess I could have saved myself some cashola and just gone home at that point, but with something that's lethal to ordinary dogs, I figured I should stay.

They made him eat the tasty charcoal featured in this picture. That helped him get so bloated he collapsed a little because his legs had no place else to go.

We headed home, where the man slept it off and had a gigantic poop.

Of course he's back to his normal hippity-hopping now. But I think he's getting down to about 4 lives left.



We Went To The Playground

Live, From The Playground
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
And Val had a blast. I think the girls did, too.
Thank you, nice weather, for letting us all get out together. And thanks to Wendy for Val's badass caterpillar shirt!


2 Years Ago

liz and sammi
Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.
So I was looking through Andrea's pictures and came across this one. I thought, hmm, that looks like the girls were about Val's age now. And then I discovered it was taken 2 years ago today! So they were about Val's age, plus 10 days.

Happy Two Years Ago and happy 9 months to Valerie today.

Because The Lack Of Sleep Is Catching Up To Me

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.
I can only offer you this blast from the past. That thing in my belly there would be Ms. Valerie, at 20 weeks gestation. And that thing on my head, well, that shit's just sexy.


9 Months Ago Today
Was my due date. The date we'd been carrying around in our heads for 40 weeks, the date we'd answered so many times we didn't know what else to say about it, besides, yep, that's the date, yep, it's a girl and nope, we're not telling you her name.

A lot's happened since then. A ridiculously painful labor, a quickie c-section, a beautiful baby who stole our hearts the moment she arrived, sleepless nights, crawling, teeth, standing, flapping, clapping and thank you Jesus, solid foods.

I love being on the other side of that date, when the wait and the wondering is over. I know what's going to happen, I know how she arrived into this world, I know how much labor hurt, I know how big she was, that she had hair (god, I was OBSESSED with knowing if she had hair while I was in labor. Every single person who stuck their hand up my vuh-jay-jay got asked 'DOES SHE HAVE HAIR? CAN YOU FEEL HAIR???'). That I could breastfeed. That she is indeed a rather happy baby. That she looks a lot like me at times. That within 2 days of her birth, I could look at her and think, yeah, sure, we could have another.

I could do this again. She's that powerful. To make me put aside all the stuff that sucked about pregnancy and be willing to do it again.

But that's another discussion for another day. For now, I can only offer you this: my little Val-entine.



Who's looking at Val?
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.
I returned from lunch to find this chance pairing of pics. Fantastico!


Blast From The Past
I was just thinking about this game, a gem from 1997 when I found myself surrounded by a group of people from Germany and playing my own home version of the game. And thinking of Carol, who introduced me to it all those years ago.

It's still good.


Let Me Tell You About My Weekend
This probably won't surprise you, but by and large, Valerie is a happy little girl. Yes, there was the Great Exception Of The Heat Wave Of 2006 but for the most part, she's a bubbly little bundle of self-confidence and joy.

Apparently, Friday was a reprise of that day. Scream, crawl around, pull herself up on things, fall down because she was so tired, scream, repeat. All day.

This included a flat-out refusal to nap that left both of us so frazzled that at more than one point, we were both crying.

The day ended with her finally napping in our bed. I apparently was so tired I fell asleep next to her and woke up in this ridiculously uncomfortable position when Andrea came in to tell me that Susan had been by and delivered toffee crack and french fries.

Saturday Val woke up in a better mood. We were all happy about that.

Thanks, Jennie

In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Not eat cloned meat.

Get your resolution here.

I'm Starting To Wonder
Do you really think that when Val is grown, she'll recognize the benefits that having breastmilk has given her? Do you think she'll thank me for all the work, love and pain that's gone into giving her that milk? Really?

I have no idea. I can only go with the prevailing wisdom that says it's the best thing for the first year of her life.

But man, when she bit me this weekend, not once, not twice but three times with those brand-spanking-new teeth of hers, it was enough to make me want to hang up the boob once and for all.

But. If we did that now, she'd have to be on formula for the next 2-3 months. And goddamn it, I did not come this far to go buy a single can of formula for her. I just didn't.

So. There are more bottles in her life, more pumping for me and she only gets the tap when she's good and hungry for it. Otherwise, she'd rather bite than eat.

We'll see how this goes. I can only hope that the prevailing wisdom holds and that someday, maybe, just maybe, she'll look down at her lean, yet athletic build, she'll take note of the lack of many illnesses for her first year and she'll thank me for my efforts. Because the phrase 'labor of love' doesn't even come close to capturing what it's been.


She's a little bit bigger now

Val visits the girls for the first time
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

The Mommy Coat Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

It was much better than Friday. Much. Better.



Shall I Tell You About My Day?

We are not having the best of days
Originally uploaded by liz2d2.


Today's Adventure
Well, our morning sucked. We got up early to take Val to the cardiologist yet again, in the vain hopes that her heart murmur had closed on it's own since the last time we went to that place.

Val was a total trooper, stayed still long enough to get the EKG (though she did take the little wires off more than once, that's my girl!), get weighed (17 lbs, 5 oz), and measured (28 inches though I think that's an inaccurate measurement, next week's pediatrician appt. will no doubt reveal a different, shorter measurement). She enjoyed waiting for the doc to come in, pulling herself up on just about everything while I tried to put my happy face on for her.

Finally, the hardest part came: the 10 minutes of ultrasound that required her to lay still.

I know, an almost 9-month-old girl laying still? Are you joking?

But somehow, through the miracle of a darkened room, the magic flickering of the ultrasound screen and a pacifier, Val actually fell asleep.

And that's when we discovered that the doc can still hear her murmur when she's calm. Nope, it's not closed.

Here's the good parts: -it's still too small to measure. -she can still be active, play sports and all that.

The bad parts: -it's still there. -since it's too small to measure, the doc didn't know if it had shrunk or not. -the doc started talking less like 'well, it'll close before she's one' and more like 'if it never closes, here's what you have to do as she grows.'

I wasn't quite ready for that last leap. I'm still not.

At least Val had a good time.

The doc wants us back in 6 months but at this point, I have to ask, for what, exactly? It's not something they can fix surgically or with medicine, any future appointments will either say yes, the fucker's closed or no, it's not.

I don't think we can bear to hear no again anytime soon. So we're gonna wait a little while past the 6 months and hope that it decides to close.

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The Miracle Of Caffeine
Thanks to this amazing product I've been able to focus enough to actually get some work done in a timely fashion.

Thank you, mighty cocao bean. You have enriched my life.

Can't. Stop. Thinking.
Right now, I'm embroiled in a couple of small dramas that are really pretty minor, yet really irritating. It's the kind of nonsense that sucks up all my extra energy for NO GOOD REASON and in the end, the kind of thing I refuse to blog about because they're minor enough that I'll forget about them.

But right now, god. Right now I'm just so annoyed and frustrated.

I want to spit.


No Words For This
Friday morning, our next door neighbor called to tell us that a little baby who lived across the street had died the previous night. We didn't know the baby, we speak only in passing to the family. We didn't even know they had a baby.

But still.

Their house was filled with people all weekend. The light was on all night. They had a barbeque in the front yard. The older kids played all day Friday as if having a day off from school was normal. I think that's what kids are supposed to do, though.

All weekend we were in and out of our little house across the street, carrying Val to our cars, carrying the necessary accessories of babydom with her. All things that would no doubt have reminded the family across the street of what they had just lost.

I can't process what their loss must mean, how that must feel. I simply can't. I can only offer empathy.

And hold my little girl a little tighter than I might have otherwise.

These Are Good Times
Me and Val, we shared a bowl of Easy Mac last night. It doesn't get much better than that.

It's true

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.

Andrea took some really great pics this weekend. I can't stop blogging them!

Gettin' comfy in the stroller

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.

This was the first time she really seemed to groove on being in the stroller. For a while, anyway.

And we bought new clothes

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.

For Val of course, not us. We're not growing.

Me and Val

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.

Yeah, we had a good weekend. And we ate chicken.



look at me!
Originally uploaded by cheddah j.

I share my life with two really cute girls.


Guess What?
Even though my early archives are missing somehow (thanks, blogger. Argh!) this month marks the following event:

I Have Been Entertaining The Three Of You For Seven Years Now.

I've said many words here over these years, some funny, some sad, some not all that entertaining. But they're all mine.

To Answer Your Questions
Since you asked a wide variety of things two weeks ago, I will do my best to answer them now.

amy said...
Why don't you eat peas?
Because if you hurl, they look the same.

wen said...
Some silly questions that have already been answered.

heather said...
in a world where there can be only cheese, or roast beef, what kind of arby's sandwich would you get?
A Ruben!

Gandksmom said...
Hmmmm...well I e-mailed you and asked you a question...still waiting!
She wanted to know what kind of Big Girl carseat Val has. Us being us, we have more than 1 but her primary one, i.e. the one in Andrea's car, is a Britax Wizard. It's no longer made but it's replacement is the Decathalon. It was made in June 2005, so we can still use it until Val's 5 or so. And it's blue.

Buddha Bites said...
What is your middle name?
Sorry kids, that I don't reveal.

Wyatt's Mom said...
The burning question I have is this...will we ever eat at Hot Pot City with you guys again?
Yes, we'd be happy to. Just name your date and we're there!

Apparently Wyatt's Mom had that question twice. It was that good.

I Know I'm Biased

i finally captured the scrunch!
Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl.

But man, Val is cute. I get more crazy about her every day.

So I Put Up This Picture
Of Val bathing with the girls yesterday. It was a big deal because all along, Sam has said that no, the baby cannot join them in the bath, because she was too little.

Apparently, Val has now reached an acceptable size and the girls were ridiculously sweet to her during their shared bath.

So I took pictures. And now I've noticed that those pictures had 35+ views since last night.

Most of my pictures get like 10-15 views. Ever.

Which means that it's a little creepy to me. So I've marked those pics (and some other recent ones) for friends and family only. If you'd like to see them, please drop me a line and I'll upgrade you to approved status on Flickr.

Otherwise, you'll just have to wonder.