Reality Check

May 25, 2010

I can honestly say that I never thought it would happen to me.  I was arrogant, I thought I was invincible, but that’s the funny thing about “invincibility” … it doesn’t exist.

In January of this year … January 22nd to be exact, I began a game of Spider Solitaire.  It was innocent enough …  I was bored.  There was nothing on television, and I wanted to use my brain doing SOMETHING.  I had never really understood this game previously, so I thought it would be a great challenge.  Plus, my eyes were hurting from playing hours of Sudoku on the Crackberry anyway.

The first few hands were hit-or-miss, until I found my stride.  Game after game, I improved my skill.  With each win, I saw that my overall Wins to Losses ratio was improving.  After several days of obsessive play I raised the winning percentage to 33%, and I vowed to keep it going. 

So, this has been my ritual.  When I’ve been home on the couch with morning sickness, or during commercials while watching television, or when just wanting to take a quick break from work, I pull up Spider Solitaire and work on my “mad skillz”. 

After much work, much dedication, and way too many hours to mention, I managed to raise my percentage to 35% … did you hear me?  35 PERCENT!!

Until these past two weeks.  Being always cognizant of my game performance, I noticed when it began but hoped I was just having a bad day, perhaps I just wasn’t “on my game”.  I played on, hurt.  The results began slipping, but I ignored it.  Blamed a headache, or exhaustion.  And today, after playing for 30 minutes while watching the Orlando Magic v. Boston Celtics NBA Eastern Semi-finals game and seeing no positive results, despite my best effort I have come to a realization. 

I’m slipping.

My percentage at the moment is a mere 30%, all the gains I had worked so hard for these last few months are nothing but wasted time at this point, and I see no improvement in the near future.  Is it hormones that have clouded my brain?  Am I losing my cognitive skillz that I used to be so proud of?  Will these “skillz” that I speak of ever return?

Oh dear heavens, I hope so.  Or what?  What else is there?  Free Cell?  Pah-lease!  That shit is so easy!!


It Was Only In My Dream

May 17, 2010

I have to tell someone, and even though I know that absolutely NO ONE will want to know the details, I am going to spill them here anyway.  I just woke up (hey!  I’m unemployed, what do you expect?!) from a LONG and strange dream.

Apparently, after attending a routine pregnancy exam AT MY PARENT’S VET’S OFFICE, it is determined that I should undergo a hand amputation.  Somehow, it would be beneficial (and who am I to argue with the veterinarians of Boone County?) to the baby if they removed both my hands via some really cool laser machine, and then re-attach them with about 1/2 inch clipped off the ends of my fingers.  It was very last minute, and a very rushed procedure.  They barely gave me enough time to phone home and let everyone know that I would be needing a ride once I woke back up.

However, when I called my mom she was very evasive and wouldn’t answer the phone.  She just breathed into it, but wouldn’t respond to my yelling and pleading for communication.  Finally, I gave up and just went through with the surgery.  I hoped that someone would start to wonder where I was and come looking for me.

So, I remember very clearly the sensation of having my hands removed by the laser machine.  There was no pain, but LOTS of pressure.  When the laser had made its way completely through my hand, I could feel the sensation of the weight of my palm and fingers simply dropping off.  So weird.  I believe by then the pain medication had kicked in, and I quickly fell asleep afterward.  When I awoke, my hands felt just fine, aside from a very “chapped” feeling on the ends of my fingers, as if I had been handling lots of solvent, or bleach.  The doctors had done an excellent job at re-shaping my fingernails and stitching up my chopped off fingers, and I was highly impressed, even though I still had no idea why this surgery was necessary.

Next thing I know, I realize that I’m not alone in the vet’s office.  My sister, my cousin, my sister’s little tiny baby, and my little brother had ALL undergone the same surgery that day, and we all were coming to at the same time.  There were slight differences in our surgical outcomes, however.  Unfortunately, the doctors made a blunder and had to remove my little brother’s thumbs as well as the tips of his fingers.  My sister’s surgery was identical to mine, although I liked my stitching better, and my cousins seemed less invasive than everyone else’s.  We sat and compared the wounds, the experience as we waited for a ride.

Finally, someone came to get us and took us to a huge party!  It was some sort of Thanksgiving-type holiday party, and they were serving specially made McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches made with turkey sausage, that apparently McDonald’s only sells during the course of this special holiday.  They were supposedly MUCH better quality ingredients in this type of breakfast sandwich.

As my other chopped-up family members and I sat and chatted, I finally got to ask the question: “Why the hell did I just have to get my hands cut off?!?” And, apparently it has been discovered that when you amputate a hand, the regular blood is replaced by a surge of cord blood (as in umbilical cord blood) which eliminates your risk for breast cancer, and is better for your baby.  So … that was the reason for all the havoc.  “But, why then did my baby nephew and little brother have to get the surgery?”  No one seemed to have an answer for that.

And when my dad was angry with my little brother for being sad over the loss of his thumbs I tried to reason with him.  “Dad!  He has LOST HIS THUMBS, and possibly for no reason whatsoever!  Do you have any idea how detrimental that is?  He no longer can play video games!  He has lost his evolutionary edge over all other beasts of the world!”  My dad just got angry with me and started raving, unsympathetically, about what a spoiled kid his son is.  I was dumb-founded.  My poor baby brother!  It’s bad enough to lose your thumbs in a completely un-necessary surgery, but to then come home to an un-sympathetic and angry father?  Unacceptable!

The last part of the dream I was trying to apply Neosporin to all of our hands and fingers.  The ointment was spilling every which way, as if we were trying to remove it from the bottle in a zero gravity environment.  Finally, I just globbed a handful onto everyone’s decrepit hands and instructed them to smooth it on.

When I woke up, my arms and elbows were really cramped, so I’m thinking that my brain created this strange strange scenario in effort to explain the discomfort I was feeling in real life.  Fascinating.  But, I still can’t explain where the McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches came in.  Any theories?


This Is All About Babies

May 15, 2010

After a week of noticing this odd cramping in my pelvis I was informed yesterday that it was actually my BABY that I was feeling.  I am such an idiot (it seems).  All the books and articles I’ve read kept telling me that it would feel like a “fluttering” or “tapping” … but that is NOT what it feels like.  I guess, if I were to put it in my own words I would say that it feels like there is a little trapped bird inside me that is rolling around a very tight space, and pushing on my insides.  “Fluttering” makes it seem like a delicate sensation that is almost easy to overlook … but in actuality, there is nothing subtle or delicate about it.  It feels like something moving inside of you.  And, if truth be told, it doesn’t necessarily feel good, nor does it exactly hurt. 

My baby likes to do its calisthenics in the late evening hours, so I usually encounter the tumbling in my belly as I’m doing my own tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep at night.  I do enjoy the feeling, and look forward to it each day, but I still think it’s important to NOT mislead the public: the quickening sensation does not feel “good” … just “different”.  I would miss it if it ceased though … and of course, I don’t want it to stop.  Feeling SOMETHING is reassurance that all is well in utero.

In other baby news, we have less than 20 days to go before finding out the gender of this little Doozer, and I am ready to crawl out of my skin in anticipation!  I am also incredibly jealous of Dawn, who someone finagled her way into finding out the gender of her little peanut at FOURTEEN weeks!!  Oh, I don’t think she has any idea how lucky she is.  While I’m stuck in “baby planning pergatory” she has already selected the style to use in her nursery decorating.  Oh, the unfairness!!  But, I guess I should congratulate her instead of wallow in my own misery.  Moving on.

Each day I feel like I’m getting bigger and bigger.  I’ve gained approximately 12 pounds so far in the pregnancy.  But, I just took a few pictures of my profile and my bump isn’t as tell-tale as I suspected.  Odd, isn’t it?  I just appear to be a little more frumpy than usual – not pregnant.  What do you think?

 

In preparation for all the upcoming festivities, I have decided that our baby will grow up with the wholesome entertainment of Jim Henson.  Therefore, I’ve burned the series of Muppet movies, and last week rented the first season of “Fraggle Rock” in preparation.  Oh, how I loved that show as a kid, and now after catching back up with the series I have decided that my kids will love it too (or else!) 🙂  I mean, it’s got all the elements of good kid entertainment – music, colors, funny voices, adventure, and slap stick comedy.  Plus, I just LOVE the creativity of Jim Henson.  Are you with me on this?  Holla if you feel it also!


Oh Goodness This Is Random

May 14, 2010

You know, perhaps sitting at home, on the couch, watching Animal Planet and cruising the internet isn’t the best thing for me right now.  I think I may have adopted a dog today ??  Still awaiting a final confirmation.

This week, I’ve been at home … the project has ended, and while I’m in-between consulting assignments, I thought taking a few weeks off would be so great.  And, I guess it is great because it has allowed an enormous amount of tolerance toward my ever growing need for sleep and anti-nausea medication.  But, it hasn’t granted me any favors in the productivity department.  I feel like a slob.

Oh sure!  I’ve got high hopes for my day.  The past two days I planned on visiting the pool for some much needed swimming exercises, but each time I end up staying indoors to avoid the awkwardness of sitting at the pool alone.  Instead, I eat Fruity Pebbles cereal, watch Animal Planet (specifically “Animal Cops of Philadelphia”, followed by “Dogs 101”) and flip flop between feeling incredibly overheated and severely freezing to death in my underwear and t-shirt on the couch.

Today on “Dogs 101” they featured Beagles, which is one of the City Boy’s choices in a future dog.  After seeing the pro’s and con’s of this breed, and weighing that against my absolute boredom and hopelessness of the day, I decided I must find an available Beagle for adoption.  So, I hopped online.  While searching for Beagles, I also included Italian Greyhounds into the mix, because – duh!  Pieter could use a real-life relative.  But, then I remembered my husband wasn’t crazy about IG’s – only Pieter.

Anyway, I emailed a few prospective rescue groups about a few available dogs, and got a response from one.  They’re local.  They’ve got SEVERAL mix breeds available, and not only that but they also are looking for volunteers to assist with weekend adoptions.  I’m such a dork.  I submitted an application to adopt AND I volunteered to help out this Saturday afternoon.

Now that the intensity of rescue dog searching has dwindled some and I’ve returned to my senses, I’m thinking that maybe we’ll hold off on adopting a new pup.  But, I do plan to volunteer this weekend, and who knows?  Maybe in the course of my charitable time donation I will come across the perfect addition to our family.

I’m secretly hoping so … I really want to be distracted by something right now, and it’s obvious that exercise and sensible living isn’t a good option.  Nor is “throwing myself into work” because, well – I’m not working at the moment.  With the City Boy being gone until mid-evening every night, I feel like I’m ready to climb the walls (except that takes WAY too much energy!).  I don’t really want a new puppy.  Just a new dog in the house.  I would be MORE than happy with a 3 or 4 year old dog who is already house-broken and just wants to lay down in it’s own bed and/or romp with Pieter.

***

In other news, I’ve got a meeting tomorrow with my project manager whom I haven’t seen since I’ve been pregnant.  I haven’t told her about the baby yet (will do that once my next project is secured), so am doing a little freaking out about what to wear to our meeting tomorrow.  I mean, seriously!  What should I do?  A friend of mine suggested a flowy dress, but I think that will do nothing but make me look MORE pregnant.  Is there a maternity store that specializes in professional attire?  I know, I know.  If I had done a little more planning I could have found one such store online … but alas, I am a last minute person when it comes to affairs of the wardrobe.

So, I plan to hit the mall in the morning.  I’m thinking black pants, black jacket and some colorful, loose-fitting top.  Any feedback on that idea?

***

And, can I just sing the praises a little bit of the NBC sit-com “Community”?  The movie references are absolutely hilarious.  And, yes, I know … that’s sort of the whole gimmick behind the show, but they really pull it off in an awesome way.

***

And, does anyone else have trouble discerning the correct placement for WORSE and WORST?  Usually I am pretty capable of the usual blunders – like THERE, THEY’RE and THEIR or WERE and WAS, etc.  But I messed up the other day in a Facebook post and used WORST instead of WORSE and my sister called me out on it.  I was so embarrassed, and still am if truth be told.

I mean, how does a person recover from such a public disgrace?  HOW?!?

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Okay, that’s it for me.  Nausea has returned. Fun stuff.