Through the Looking Glass

And What SM Found There

Dr. Internet, Phd

parental advisory

"It's like putting on a blindfold and poking at a rabid pitbull."



November 15th, 2011

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July 29th, 2011

Finding Out

cheerful jin (amayih)
By mid-February of 2010, I was pretty sure. My husband and I were eating dinner, enjoying a quiet evening, when it occurred to him. He looked up from his plate and said, “Not to jinx it or anything, but….” He didn’t even have to finish the sentence, because for several days I had been thinking the same thing. My period was late, by at least a week.

I said, “I don’t know. I’ll have to check the calendar when we’re done.” For several days I didn’t want to jinx it myself. One time a couple of years before that I had a miscarriage. At that time, I was only seven weeks along. I had only just taken a pregnancy test to confirm my suspicions. I had only just made a doctor’s appointment with an OBGYN for confirmation. Before I even got a chance to have a doctor’s confirmation, however, a heavy period had started up. Turns out I had miscarried. But that’s a long story for another time.

That other time I had announced it to the world, loudly and proudly, the very second I found out and the over-the-counter test showed me a pretty pink plus sign. We were so excited. A major part of our agreement to get married was the dual desire for children. After a slew of medical and financial problems in the early years of our marriage, we decided we were ready to try, and try and try. So of course when the first time we tried without “protection” yielded a positive result, we were ecstatic. There were dances of joy and everything. Then the miscarriage.

So this time, understandably, we were reluctant to tell anybody. I checked the calendar after dinner and nodded to myself. “Yep,” I said. “Almost a week off.” And my period has always been regularly reliable. I never missed a month. I could practically time it to the moon cycle. Four weeks from the first day of my previous menstrual cycle, I was absolutely guaranteed to start up the next one. So when I was late by a couple of days, and because I was “feeling it,” I knew. But just to be sure, this time we took about four over-the-counter pregnancy tests.

Mind you, we didn’t actually take four OTC tests just to be sure. No, we took four of them because the ones we bought were the cheapest ones available for sale. And because they were the cheapest ones available for sale, they were also not the most reliable. Four OTC pregnancy tests, and I still wasn’t sure I was pregnant. These cheap Equate, generic brand, tests had a funky way of revealing the results that could have possibly been “false positives” according to the insert. Every single time I took one of the tests, the — disappeared and only the | part showed, which made absolutely no sense whatsoever. There was a shadow of a nearly invisible — that showed with the | for all of a half second before vanishing like disappearing ink. This happened four times!

So I made an appointment with an OBGYN, a large practice going by the company name of Paragon. I felt like the luckiest woman on the face of the planet, because this group had midwives, and I was super psyched about having a midwife instead of just a doctor. My brother took me to my first visit because my husband was working. He was more excited than I was, I think. Myself? I was more anxious and uncertain than anything.

The midwife I talked to had no idea I wasn’t sure about being pregnant, which is kind of funny in retrospect. Here I was, all nervous and unsure, wanting to be absolutely 100% certain, and she already thought I was. She offered me congratulations after congratulations, gave me a “new mom-to-be” care package. At the end, realizing I hadn’t peed in a cup for them, I asked, “Aren’t you going to do a test?” She stared at me as if I were some alien creature for several minutes and then asked, “You mean you don’t know if you’re pregnant?” I explained the thing about the Equate cheapo pregnancy tests. She sounded surprised. She informed me that really the tests they do in office are the same as you get over the counter, and she had never heard of an OTC test giving up results like that before. Ironically enough, they didn’t even have any tests in their office that day. So she scheduled the lab techs to do a blood test on it along with all the other panels they usually do.

The next day I went in for my very first ultra sound. Everything was really rushed that first month. My husband again was working, so my brother took me again. I know my husband’s a little jealous and disappointed that he wasn’t the first one to see our baby-to-be, but that’s okay. He sees so much more of her than my brother does these days. The very instant I saw that little baby seed in my belly, I knew. It helped that I was told “after 8 weeks, your chances of a miscarriage are practically nonexistent.” Sure enough, I was just 8 weeks along at the time of the ultrasound. But we still waited a few weeks before we made The Big Announcement….

July 26th, 2011

Blogger Revolution

hating me won't make you pretty
Everybody wants to be a blogger, especially after they have children. If you're a woman, you're known as a mom blogger. I get the impression this means that you are somehow magically transformed into a much better blogger than any other blogger on the face of the planet.

I've been blogging since before blogging was cool. Since 2002! Back then, blogs were treated much the same way Facebook is now. Most people used them as social networking tools and hardly posted anything more than single sentence "status updates." The "like" feature didn't exist in those days, either.

In the beginning, I was reluctant to blog. An Internet friend of mine kind of urged me into it, saying essentially that "all the cool kids" were "doing it!" She gave me an invitation code, because back then you couldn't just jump to the site and sign up. Sorry, Google+, but your invitation only idea isn't original. Nothing is.

Blogging wasn't even known as blogging when I started doing it. I'm not even sure there was a term for this newfangled phenomenon. The top dog of blogging services back then was LiveJournal. When I started, I found that I couldn't stop, and for years I was posting something nearly every other day!

Back then, I felt special. I felt like I was important, like what I had to say had some kind of meaning behind it. Of course, I wasn't really posting about much of anything at all. At first I was sucked into the meme craze. I was taking online quizzes and posting the results on what kind of teenager I was or if I made a good girlfriend.

Then I started treating it like an offline journal. Before the digital revolution, I actually kept a collection of handwritten ones. Sometimes I still revert to "the classic." There's something very cathartic about picking up a pen and scratching words onto a piece of paper, something more personal about it. A girl can put a lot more feeling into what she writes when putting those thoughts into a notebook instead of on a screen. Plus there were some things I wrote off screen that I would have never dared to share with the public. Now, I don't care so much.

Sharing the most intimate details of my personal life with the entire world didn't make me famous, though. Nor did it make me any kind of special. Though it felt nice to share my innermost thoughts with my "circle" of friends. It felt even better when occasionally someone commented on what I had to say. My online life was my kind of social circle of friends. I had, and still have, more online friends than I do real physical bodies to interact with in real life. I'm only famous amongst them.

What's funny? When I became a mom, I actually started blogging a whole lot less. Oh yeah. That's right. I'm a mommy now. I already fail at being a mom blogger, because I haven't been blogging about it since the moment my baby was born. Shame on me! Well, maybe I can start to make up for lost time....

Lilah Jayne Miner
October 4, 2010
9:06 PM Eastern Time

April 25th, 2011

Lilah Speaks!

My daughter is a morning person, like her daddy. She awakes pretty consistently at the butt crack of dawn (that is to say 6:00 AM) every freaking day. While she's well-rested and rarin' to go, I'd much prefer to still be sleeping. But I can't, because I'm a mommy. So every morning when I hear her cooing through the monitor, I stumble out of bed and shuffle about to prepare for her morning feeding.

Fortunately, my daughter is not a screamer. She doesn't awake wailing and crying because OMG SHE WANTS OUT OF BED NOW NOW NOW. No. Thankfully, she's a gradual waker. She rolls around and "talks" to herself. She plays with her lovies, a plush monkey her daddy bought her the day of her birth named Monkers and a My First Dolly. She'll do this pretty contentedly for a good twenty minutes if I just let her go. If she gets fed up with being alone, she still doesn't scream. She just rolls over to her monitor and turns it off. This causes the receiver in our bedroom to go off like a smoke detector, which is probably more annoying than a screaming baby. I swear to you, my daughter is a genius.

This leads me to what happened on Good Friday. For us it was a morning like any other. The baby awoke cooing while her daddy was getting ready for work. He came upstairs to get her up and change her diaper for me while I stumbled around emptying my bladder and gathering up the things I'd need for the first nursing session of the day. One of those items I need is my cell phone, which is an awesome smart phone. I play solitaire or jewels on it while I'm nursing the baby so I don't go comatose from milk maker boredom, IF I'm awake enough to use the brain power, which at 6:00 in the freaking morning isn't often, but I always have my phone on hand just in case. It has many uses apart from time-killing games.

That morning I flopped out of bed, wobbled to the bathroom to empty my bladder, and while sitting on the toilet realized that I had left my phone downstairs. Again. This meant that I had to stumble downstairs to get it and then back up the stairs. Mind you, I'm half awake and zombie like, but that's normal for me for the first good half hour after I wake up. When I wobble out of the bathroom, I see China licking her crotch (which she does all the freaking time) in the hallway. I go to take that first step, and out of the corner of my eye I can see Lilah on the floor in her bedroom with her daddy working on changing her diaper.

Lilah has become very squirmy these days. This is likely because she's kind of sort of crawling. I'm reluctant to mark it in her book as crawling, because she's not really using the typical method motor skills associated with crawling. There's no one arm and leg and then the other rhythm going on with her. However, she's become VERY adept at scooting and rolling. She CAN reach her arms out in front of her and pull her body forward now. And she's starting to get really close to the real crawling motion. I've learned that major milestones don't happen suddenly like I had expected. Nope. They're actually rather gradual. Here I am waiting for that "one day" where she "takes off", but she's been pretty mobile for at least a month now. Seriously. I have barriers set up in the living room. Remind me to take pictures.

So anyway! Friday morning there was this split second pause in time where my foot was descending upon the first stair to head down the stairs to retrieve my phone. Out of the corner of my eye I see Lilah rolling onto her side and reaching/stretching toward the cat, China, who is in the hallway a good five feet away licking her crotch. And I SWEAR TO SHIT that I hear the baby say, clearly and distinctly, "CAT." I stopped for a second and mumbled, "Did she just say cat?" Which in my zombified first thing in the morning state probably actually came out as like, "Mmffbugnduck?" My husband didn't respond, so I chalked it up to me still dreaming or sleep-walking or something and carried on.

Two days later, it happened again. Yesterday, on Easter morning, I was holding Lilah in my lap and China came walking by demanding everybody's attention. Because she's like that. The cat is an attention whore. Anyway. Lilah was watching her because OMG CAT IS BEST TOY EVER LOVE LOVE LOVE, and starts vocalizing sounds again. This time it wasn't quite as distinct, but she was working it out like this: "Kuh-tuh. Kuh-tuh. Kuh-ah-tuh-tuh-tuh." She ONLY makes these precise sounds, the hard K and T sound, when she's looking right at the cat. Any other time she's doing the usual "ba-ba-ba" and "da-da-da" babble noises along with the typical pigeon coo.

Is this her first word? Is she actually saying "cat"? I don't know! But I do know that Jamie confirmed that he too had heard her say "CAT" on this past Friday morning. I wasn't just imagining things! He heard it too! He also heard the same "cat"-like intonations come out of her on Easter morning. And we both stopped and stared at each other like O_O when it happened. I don't know for sure if this counts as her first word. Most babies don't actually associate what they're saying with actually being something until closer to their first year. But I SWEAR TO YOU! I heard my baby say "CAT" loud and clear. And she's not even yet seven months old.

April 7th, 2011

Hurr Hurr BOOBIES!

Since my baby girl was born six months ago, I've been a pretty strong breastfeeding advocate. There are dozens of reasons why "breast is best," and yet still in America so many people perceive it as indecent and, some dare to say, gross. I just don't get it. We are the most back-asswards country in the entire world!

Lately I've been following the continued "controversy" over a Spanish baby doll that will be arriving on store shelves in the U.S. some time in the future. Maybe you've heard of it too?

Reactions on The Breast Milk Baby have been ridiculously exaggerated, but I think none take the cake quite as much as the Fox News Network.

All right. I don't know who this bitch is, but I really want to punch her in the face a billion times for her stupidity. She says in the above video, and I quote, "Breasts serve three purposes. They entice a man to sleep with you. They feed the babies that result from that. And then they just prove Newton's law of gravity."


That last one isn't even a purpose.

And then . . . LOOK AT WHAT SHE'S WEARING!!!

It's perfectly okay for her to dress provocatively on national television, but it's indecent for a woman to nurse her baby in public? She doesn't say that in the above segment, but it's a concept I've heard more than I care to. Women get ridiculed and berated on a daily basis, told to leave stores because "hey, lady! You can't do that in here! It's indecent!" What? Like HELL you say!

Her comment isn't even, I don't think, the most absurd one in the entire segment. The shmuck in the dress shirt at the end of the video comments that seeing a woman breastfeeding her three-year-old son at dinner "was like watching dwarf porn."

Double WHAT?

Wow. Just wow.

I honestly don't know what all the outrage is about. I, personally, think it's about goddamn time that the market encourages breastfeeding. They've got that ridiculous Baby Alive doll that eats and pees and poops. I also discovered that there's a baby doll named Baby Wee Wee who, if you ask me, is more disturbing than a baby doll that pretends to suckle at a pretend teat.

Hey, Stupid Bitch on Fox News! The penis has more than one function too! Should we be allowing our daughters to play with baby dolls with anatomically correct body parts that do as nature intended them to do?

Granted, I'm not sure if that doll is still on the market anymore, but hey.

One more video to share.

I ♥ Sara Gilbert, as I posted on facebook. But Leah Remini? I want to punch her in the face SO HARD too. The gagging? Really?

What I really don't get is how in America today women go out of their way to be "strong" feminists. Women are outraged when a man treats them like a sexual object, and yet take all that extra time and effort to make themselves appear sexually attractive. Botox. Breast implants. Tight, provocative clothing that shows as much cleavage as possible without exposing the nipple. Push-up bras. Skinny jeans. Cosmetics. Hair dye. Tons and tons of beauty products on the market. Emphasis after emphasis on breasts being a "sexual organ."

I don't even understand how the breasts are considered a sexual organ at all. They serve no actual purpose in the art of procreation. The eggs aren't stored in the mammary glands. Biologically, they provide no function until after a baby is born. Why are they so sexualized in our society? Why do people gasp in shock and awe, turn away in disgust and disapproval, whenever they see a women using her breasts as nature intended? TO FEED HER BABY!

Personally, I'd much prefer it if our future's children are brought up in a society where women are not viewed as sexual objects quite as strongly as they are now. I'd love it if men looked at a woman not because she has "HURR HURR BOOBIES" but with respect and appreciation for the female form.

God or Mother Nature, or whatever your belief in the origin of the human species may be, made breasts on females to lactate, to feed our offspring. Not to be ogled and fondled for man's (or woman's) pleasure.

January 26th, 2011

Garanimals is Great!

I'm not usually a big brand name advocate, but a recent experience I had with a company changed my mind a little. Just enough to write this document and post it to be shared with all my friends and family. For all of you out there who have young children, newborn babies especially, I'm highly recommending that you put some money into Garanimals.

Now, primarily, Garanimals is a clothing manufacturer. They've been in business since 1972. The most I knew about them before this satisfactory experience of mine is that the only place I remember seeing this clothing line for sale is at Walmart. Then came Christmas.

My husband and I did nearly all of our Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving night. After dinner at the in-laws, we left for home and decided to drop by Walmart on the way to do some shopping while we had an opportunity. We were surprised to find a collection of baby toys in their toys department that fit not only our budget but also our preferences in types of toys.

What I didn't know at the time was that Garanimals had only recently started producing and selling toys, and only exclusively at Walmart. More on this story can be found here: Walmart and Garanimals Announce New Line of Play & Learning Pre-School Toys.

For our Lilah Bean, we grabbed up quite a few of these cheap toys. One of which was the $8 Pull-Apart Shape Sorter. Eight dollars! What a steal, right? We also picked up the $10 set of wooden letter blocks, which is equally amazing in price and quality. Some of the puzzles went into our cart too. Overall, we were highly satisfied with our successful Christmas toy collection. We went home and I could hardly wait to get them wrapped and under the tree.

The weeks went by and we hardly remembered what we had got our baby girl for her first Christmas. Every toy was wrapped, ready and waiting to be ripped open on Christmas morning. When the day came, we had a blast tearing the pretty packages to shreds, even if Lilah herself seemed oblivious to what was going on. After we put the baby down for a nap, we started unpackaging all her cheap loot to take her toys for a test drive ourselves. Ah, memories.

Only one of the bunch came with disappointment: the Pull-Apart Shape Sorter. As it turned out, we were missing one of the sorting pieces! There are a total of eight in the set, and each one is numbered. Amusingly, while we were missing one of the pieces, we had an extra of one of the other ones instead. So, we had eight pieces, but not one of each piece as there should have been.

I stewed about this mishap for a week or two. Christmas came and went. December came to an end. The new year rolled in with January. We started sorting Lilah's toys and again my attention came back to the Shape Sorter. I was annoyed. :/ It annoyed me that my baby girl wasn't going to learn the square shape or the color green because that piece was missing from her toy. She was destined to forever be lacking this one shape and never going to figure out which piece fits in that one square shaped slot. But we had already thrown away the packaging and the receipt, so I didn't know if it was possible to return the toy and get a replacement. Even if I did, what guarantee was there that I'd get a complete set and not another mishap?

So. I contacted the company directly. I didn't expect much. In fact, I didn't expect anything at all. Great expectations only lead to greater disappointments, after all. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to find an e-mail in my inbox one day from a woman from the company. She informed me that she had forwarded my message to their toy manufacturer and that they would contact me shortly. That put a smile on my day, and I happily (anxiously) awaited another e-mail from somebody else.

And I waited. And waited some more. A week went by. Almost two. Then I couldn't take it any more. Apparently these people didn't know the meaning of the word "shortly." So, I wrote this woman back. I told her I hadn't heard from anyone yet and was wondering if maybe she could do something about it or possibly give me the information to contact them myself.

Ten more days went by. Then I finally got another pleasant surprise in my e-mail from another person entirely. Finally! We were getting somewhere, and this time it only took two days to get what I wanted. ALL I wanted was the one missing piece that did not come with our Shape Sorter. I didn't know if it was possible. I mean, I don't know how, precisely, they manufacture their toys. Could they remove one piece from an assembly line? Would they? Just to ship it out to me? Apparently so, because now this woman has promised to mail me out the one piece I'm missing by Monday. :)

Through this correspondence I also learned something else. I mentioned that we had bought our toy at Walmart and in the follow-up e-mail I got yesterday, the woman wrote, "Apparently, several small companies are buying Garanimals toys from the shelf at Walmart and are re-selling them through for an increased price." Further research on the matter proved it true.

See, I had linked to the Amazon page where the exact same toy was being sold so that she knew specifically which toy I had. At the time I noticed that on Amazon it was being sold for $15, and some small part in the back of my brain thought, "That seems expensive." I didn't think much of it at the time, but when she informed me of the above it all flashed bright in my head again. I remembered buying all of Lilah's toys for super surprising cheap. Today I discovered the above linked-to Walmart Corproate article where it states the same toy being sold in their stores for $8. That made more sense. I knew we wouldn't have bought it if it had been as expensive as what Amazon was selling it for. The low price was an immediate draw for me to grab it off the shelf and dump it in the cart. We got most of our baby girl's toys for under $10, which is why she made out like a bandit.

My point is, these toys are awesome. They're sturdy and durable and, best of all, affordable. The people who work for the company (Garanimals) are friendly and courteous too. It really didn't take long at all for me to get a response from somebody. And it took even less time for my issue to be resolved. I expect we'll get our missing piece by the first or second week of February. :)

Buy Garanimals! But buy them from Walmart. Anywhere else you're getting ripped off.

January 13th, 2011

Has Been

Dear LiveJournal,

I'm sorry I've been neglecting you. The truth is I've replaced you with someone else. Yep. That's right. I've got Facebook now. Please don't hate me. We had some good times together, you and I. I poured my heart and soul into you for many years, but it's just not working out as well as it used to. We've shared so much together that I feel there isn't much else I can share with you anymore. I just don't have the same amount of time to devote to you as I used to. Facebook makes documenting my life so much simpler.

Don't be sad. This doesn't mean we're over for good. I'll still come back to visit you once in a while, when I remember you exist. There's still so much I have to tell you. So much more now that I've neglected to tell you about in a timely manner. Such as the birth of my daughter. Yeah. Whoops? There I went mentioning I was pregnant, but I never made the big announcement over here like I did on Facebook. Her name is Lilah Jayne Miner, by the way, and she was born on October 4, 2010. Life has just been so much busier with her in it that I haven't thought about sitting down to tell you about it here. Three months have gone by, and this mention is completely lacking the luster of the original excitement of the life event when it happened. Sorry.

I'll try not to forget you much this year.

Missing you,

♥ - SM

November 22nd, 2010

In Which I Give Thanks

butterfly love
Though I well know that historically speaking Thanksgiving is a primarily Christian toned holiday, it has never felt that way to me. Despite the fact that a large majority of my family consists of followers of that particular religion, Thanksgiving is surprisingly the one holiday in which I do not feel their beliefs pressed upon me. Perhaps it's because of the fact that my Baptist aunt has never attended our Thanksgiving gatherings. Instead she spends the day at home with her own large, self-created family (six kids and fifteen grandchildren).

My memory isn't as 100% reliable as I wish it was, but I do remember well how we celebrated Thanksgiving in my family. For many years we went to my Aunt Kathy's house. Everybody brought their own signature dish. From my house is was date nut pudding, up until my mother died. After she passed away, my aunt made the date nut pudding herself. I don't remember us bringing a dish of our own, though I'm sure my stepmother did whip up something for the occasion.

When I moved out of the house after my father died, I continued to attend the Thanksgiving celebration at my aunt's house for several years. I even dragged my husband along with me for a couple of years, even before he and I were married. Then life happened and the family started drifting apart. My aunt stopped hosting Thanksgiving. There were a couple of years following that in which we held the feast at my brother's house instead, apart from the other family gatherings on my husband's side. I cooked the turkey myself, in his oven, and prepared most of the side dishes as well.

This year won't be anything like the years before at all. My brothers are unfortunately feuding and refuse to be in the same vicinity voluntarily if they can avoid it. My eldest brother even moved out of his house a month ago and into a smaller apartment. Hosting the feast at any location isn't feasible. There just isn't enough room for all of us (me, my husband, my two brothers, two nieces, nephew and step-niece). Not to mention that whole my brothers aren't getting along thing.

This year it feels as if my side of the family has ceased to exist entirely. Apart from having not attended Thanksgiving at my aunt's house for several years, there's also the fact that she's pretty much disowned me now since the baby shower fiasco. She sent us a card that was addressed to my sister-in-law and her husband, care of my husband's name. My name wasn't on the envelope at all. Not a "care of Mr. & Mrs." Oh no. Just "Jamie Miner." And of course the gift inside the card was a gift certificate to Babies R Us, even though she knew full well, according to the invitation we sent her, that we were registered at Target and Baby Depot, not Babies R Us. That's okay. We put it to good use anyway. AND I sent her a thank you card.

But I'm not writing this in order to hold a grudge. I'm sure from her perspective it's all my fault and she's waiting for me to apologize first, where from my perspective it's her who owes me the apology. So we'll probably not speak to each other forever until the Christmas gathering, if even then. If she wants to be a bitch, that's all on her. I can be civil and polite. I can put aside past differences. As I proved last night at my brother's house.

We dropped in for a pre-Thanksgiving visit, because as I noted above it isn't likely we'll be getting together for a family feast this year. No plans have been made and by now it's too late to do so. So we dropped in for a visit and nearly everybody came by to visit and meet baby Lilah Jayne. My brother's step-daughter came by with her toddler daughter. His son came along with her, and to top it all off they brought along their mother too, my brother's ex-wife. I've hated this bitch forever. She knows I don't like her. But I can always manage to be polite and civil in her company despite it all. Nobody who saw us in the same vicinity would know how I really feel about her. Why do I hate her? Well, that's a story for another time. A really long story. Let's just sum it up by saying she's a super rotten fallen off the tree a billion years ago bad apple.

Looking back on all I've written so far may make you wonder if I've any reason to be happy this year. I'm starting to wonder about that myself. I wish more than anything that my brothers would stop feuding, but the wounds in their relationship are too recent for that to happen. I guess it's a bit too conceited of me to hope that the birth of their niece could have brought them together. They didn't even acknowledge each others' existence in the hospital when they came to see her for the first time either.

But this year I am grateful. I do have reason to be happy. I have my baby Lilah Jayne, and I'm thankful for the existence of Paragon and all the fantastic doctors, nurses and midwives we met in the course of this past year. I'm thankful for midwife Nadia's insistence of me having that last ultrasound. I'm thankful that humanity has become so technologically advanced that ultrasounds exist and have become so far improved that they were able to see that there was something wrong. I'm thankful for Dr. Davis calling the hospital and personally speaking with Dr. Kirven about my condition and insisting I get my c-section done that night, no waiting for Wednesday! I'm thankful for Dr. Kirven agreeing to stay later and take me on as a patient and do the surgery at the last minute. I'm thankful for the anesthesiologist, whose name continues to escape my memory, for being such a good-natured, humorous and attentive expert in his field. I'm thankful most of all for my husband who has proven to be a fantastic father so far. But....

Even though I'm not Christian, I still feel compelled to THANK GOD for giving me my little beautiful miracle baby: Lilah Jayne. Though she came much later in my life than I may have wanted, I'm grateful that whatever powers that be allowed her to come into my life at all. I feel as if all this time I've been sleepwalking through the years, and now that I have a baby I'm truly awake. Time has meaning again where it hasn't since my father died twelve and a half years ago. I only wish he were here to meet her too.

September 20th, 2010

So it's been a while. Seems all I have to post on this here journal anymore are complaints and grievances. Why? Because this is the shit I can't say on facebook. Often because there are family members watching me like creepy stalker thought police. Also because most of the time what I really want to say equates to a novel chock full of bitchitude.

Let us review by taking a look at the month of August of this year. There are five relevant entries that month, two of which are friends locked. The short of the long is that basically my extended blood relations are made up of a bunch of catty bitches. They're also a bunch of inconsiderate assholes.

Saturday night my husband got a text message from his brother-in-law, his sister's husband. This text asked me to double check with my family. Our baby shower is now less than a week away, and they (my in-laws) have hardly received any RSVPs. So we ask for a list of who has and has not RSVPd, and not long after I get an e-mail from his sister with a Google Docs attachment. Ps: I heart Goggle Docs.

Looking at the list, I come to discover that the majority of RSVPs have come from Jamie's (my husband) side of the family. This short list consists of his sister (given), father & step-mother, grandmother, mother & step-father, step-sister & family, step-brother, aunt and the in-law-in-laws (meaning his sister's in-laws, who I should note treat us more like family than my own family does). Some of those people RSVPd to at least say they were not attending, which is the polite thing to do in my opinion. A couple of my friends on the list did so as well.

Okay. So my sister-in-law asks me to find out what I can. I tell her I'll make some calls. Trouble with that is that I don't have the phone numbers for half the people on my own side of the family. Those people, the majority, consist of my cousins and their families. The same six children of my Aunt Carol, for the most part. Let me break it down here:

Really, family? Really?Collapse )

So basically what we have here is the fact that NOBODY in my family, with the exception of ONE group, has had the common decency or courtesy to contact my sister-in-law to give her either a yes or a no answer as to whether or not they'll be attending my baby shower. I don't care if they come or not, but it speaks volumes to me of just how rude and disrespectful THEY are for not RSVPing to my sister-in-law. All this bullshit because I said "no thanks" to my aunts? Wow. Thanks a lot, family. You're all really showing me your true colors.

August 11th, 2010

Hypocrisy at its finest.

shika bigger idiot
Latest e-mail from my Aunt Kathy, which she copied to my Aunt Carol. Yet I didn't send my previous e-mail (see previous entry) to Carol at all. So either Kathy forwarded her a copy or has no idea what Kathy's responding to. I bet on the former. This is pretty childish for a woman in her sixties:

Wow, your memory is as pathetic as your attitude, but that's probably someone else's fault also.

Quite frankly, my dear...I don't give a damn

Carol, I am blocking this little twit from my email. Suggest you do the same

I knew that when I checked my e-mail today I'd find something stupid like this. I was all fully prepared to play her game and write back something like "Whatever. Shut up." and leave it at that. But she's blocking me now. Yep. I can see she really, REALLY cares.

This one's just making me lol.

August 5th, 2010

Et tu, cousins?

fuck you pink
Oh, it just keeps getting better and better. We'll continue from my last entry on the saga of just how stupidly catty my family is proving itself to be.

In response to my last e-mail that I sent to my Aunt Kathy, this is all I got:


Again, Grow up

Now. This is where I prove what I said in pointing out that people who truly love me actually KNOW me. And the people who KNOW me, as in you my Internet friends, KNOW that a response like that is the sort of thing I chew up and spit out at breakfast. THAT is a response coming from a woman IN HER 50S!!! A woman with GRANDCHILDREN! What. The. Fuck? So you know what? I wrote her back.

Myself: I find it hilarious that you, a woman twice my age, is telling me, like a teenager, to "Grow up."

Fine. I don't need you to bring negativity into this happy moment of my life. I also don't want whatever gift, that we probably did NOT ask for and don't even need, you planned on giving us anyway.


She hasn't written me back since then. I sent that last night before going to bed and near about cried myself to sleep. I'm extremely upset about all this bullshit, and I can't believe how much they just don't get it. To top it all off, Aunt Kathy's daughter, my cousin, gets in on it, and there comes a point where I suspect Kathy chewed her ear off to make her see only her side of the story. I realize there are two sides to this story, mine and my aunts', but they fail at communication to begin with.

Et tu, cousin?Collapse )

August 4th, 2010

Who needs family?

Remember this entry I made not even fully a month ago?: Hello, life. It's been a while.

If you don't, go back and read it to refresh your memory, because I've got another doozy today that actually made me cry. Yes, it appears as if even my feelings can be hurt. Even when an e-mail is twelve days old. I really need to check my AOL mail more often, because today, when I thought about it and checked, I discovered this winner from my Aunt Kathy.

But first you need to know about the follow-up messages between my Aunt Carol and myself.

Now See HereCollapse )

July 17th, 2010

I think I might have something to add to Yejix's hate thread on Mutual Endeavors. Things that really piss me off. Hm. Let's try "idiots who pose as intellectuals" just because they learned an author's real name.

Stronger Than Dirt: Miles, as long as they stay away from my beloved Dodgson, I am fine.
Delahada: Um.
Delahada: Clearly you haven't seen the Disney movie, Dirt.
Delahada: Or the recent Burton version.
Stronger Than Dirt: Yes to the first, no to the second.
Delahada: Or ... any version ever made save for the 1950s silent film one.
Delahada: Well. I hate to break it to you. But Dodgson's already been ruined.
Delahada: And not just because of crappy movies made of his novel.
Stronger Than Dirt: I realize that movies seldom follow what the book actually says.
Delahada: Novels, I should say.
Stronger Than Dirt: Shall we both claim correct?
Stronger Than Dirt: I have not in the past 20 years seen either novel published as a standalone.
Delahada: So? Technically they are still two separate books.
Delahada: Did you know he also took nude photos of children?
Delahada: And that today people accuse him of child pornography?
Stronger Than Dirt: That I did not know.
Delahada: Then you have a lot to learn about your "beloved Dodgson" yet.

And for those of you who don't know, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is the real name of whom you may better know as Lewis Carroll. You know. The guy who wrote Alice in Wonderland.

July 13th, 2010

Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby -- mushroom! mushroom!

Okay no. Seriously. That's all that has been on the brain recently, which is to only be expected. I've grabbed that bull named Life by the horns and have been wrestling with it non-stop. I almost got it in a choke hold, but then.... Then my Aunt Carol sends me a message on facebook.

At first I was excited!Collapse )

But then I was disappointed.Collapse )

Rant Starts HereCollapse )

June 21st, 2010

gloat, gloat, gloat

not evil
Taking a page from the book of jakethrash, I made this screen shot to flaunt my victory over some guy in Argentina.


Took me 28 moves to 'mate him, and for the better half of the endgame he just kept moving his queen around to put my king in check. The piece I took was a knight which he moved into that position to prevent me from 'mating him with the queen several moves before that. I was about to move my king-side rook up into the same row as the queen, protected by my knight, to threaten her out of the area, but then I saw my pawn. I stared at that pawn for a good twenty seconds, tittered maniacally, and then took his knight. My husband thought that was the most hilarious thing ever. We're so evil.

June 16th, 2010

This notice is for those of you not on facebook but who are on livejournal:

Be advised that the Mutual Endeavors domain name has expired. I apologize for the inconvenience, but circumstances beyond my control have impeded my ability to renew the domain in a timely manner. Hopefully this issue will be resolved this evening. There is nothing I can do until some time after 5:00 PM EST, and even then I make no guarantee that we'll be back in business immediately.

So just be patient and enjoy your role-playing experiences as always.

That is all.

June 9th, 2010

5 Months Today!

no labels
That's right! As of today, we're officially 20 weeks along in the pregnancy. That's five months. Another four weeks to go before we reach six months. Only four months to go before the monster in my belly is completely incubated and ready to pop out to RULE THE WORLD! And given today's ultrasound photos, I think I'm fairly convinced that my baby has Future Overlord of the Universe written aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall over it. If my words don't convince you, this picture will:


Remind you of something, does it? Yeah. Me too.

That's definitely MY baby. Muhahahaha! But wait! There's more!

Ultrasound ExtravaganzaCollapse )

Funny story about the visit today. Of course they verify with us whether or not we want to know the sex of the baby. An issue that has been a huge struggle for my husband, because he's so excited. While he really wants to know, he also really wants to be surprised like I do and NOT know. So we tell the ultrasound technician that we don't want to know, and discover that they still have record the sex for their own records, which is interesting.

While she's taking all these measurements and looking at things, such as the heartbeat, which was really freaky neat to SEE, there comes a point where she says, "Okay. Both of you cover your eyes. I have to note down the sex for our own records. So I'm going to get this shot while the it's legs are spread wide open here." lol! My baby's apparently an exhibitionist. Reflecting on it now, I find it amusing, because at first the little monster was so shy and squirming around so much that the technician had to move the scanner at ultra speeds just to keep up with it. After a few minutes of dodging the camera, it finally calmed down to the point of what seemed like, "Well okay. If you insist." And then we got all those perfect poses as you see above.

My husband tells me it's STILL driving him crazy. That when we had to cover our eyes and look away, there was this little voice in the back of his head screaming at him to JUST LOOK JUST LOOK I WANT TO KNOW! I'm so proud of him for resisting. There was at least one marginal second there where I felt the same urge, but I didn't give in. It's also not bothering me as much as it is him, lol! I'm perfectly content not to know until it's born. But the midwife we talked to today joked and said she'd be willing to accept a bribe for the information. Hahaha! I love these people.

One last thing to mention for my own sake, so I don't forget, is an interesting tidbit the midwife shared with us. I'm going to preface mentioning it with what she told me: DO NOT PANIC and "please don't [go home and] google it." Apparently my baby's umbilical chord is one artery short. I learned today that most babies have three blood vessels (two arteries and one vein) in their umbilical chord. The ultrasound showed that mine only has one artery and one vein, so they're going to need to do another ultrasound either at 28 weeks or 32, just to make sure everything's functioning as it should.

Everything else is fine, she said. And, she said, if she's not concerned then we have no reason to be concerned either. So I'm not worried. But as I told Jamie, there's the at least one thing weird I was expecting. I think the fact that my baby appears to be pointing at me in that top photo is the best part of today's adventure, though. That beauty needs touched up, maybe a caption added, rofl! It's just that great.

June 7th, 2010

You will submit!

I'm going to totally blame this on jakethrash, because he made a post about it himself. Though I suppose I also have my brother Keith to blame, because he told me months ago to sign up on this and play with him. So there's this place....


Many of you well know by now that I'm a chess player. I mean, I've incorporated the love of the game into one of my best known RP characters. I tell people all the time that if they see him sitting at his table in game and want to play chess with him, I'm all for it. Usually I play those games from yahoo, but now I've found a new source of addiction thanks to my brother and Jake.

I realize now why this site is so awesome, and why my brother was trying to coax me into signing up all those months ago. The best part is that the games can be arranged to have a timer of DAYS! If you want to take it slow and easy, you can even set up a game to allow TWO WEEKS between moves, at most. So far I've played two games and lost them both. It's been forever since I've played against anyone with any skill (hi, Jake), and I'm loving it. Today I have four games running, but I want MORE!

So here's where I nudge all my friends and tell them to sign up on so they can play with me! I can be found over there under the user name Ehzoterik, SURPRISE SURPRISE!

Oh. And this reminds me. I was talking to Harris last night about Xbox Live. I keep forgetting to mention it to people, but... We recently got Xbox Live, and my husband and I share a live account under the name of ... Ehzoterik. I know! SHOCK AND AWE, RIGHT? Who would've EVER guessed?


June 6th, 2010

Adventures in Pregnancy

ryuk from the internets
I have things to babble about a little early. Not much. Just some general stuff that's in my head that I have to spew onto cyberspace.

Saturday I went to visit with my brother for a bit. He's almost finished with school, going for a teaching degree and specializing in history. He said he's got about one more semester this fall to do and then all he has to do is apply for student teaching. Once he finishes that, he'll be certified. I'm so proud of him, but he's driving himself crazy with all the extra work he has on his plate.

First there's the fact that he still has a teenage daughter living at home. She starts her freshman year of high school this fall, and the lack of a parent taking care of her is a little stressful on her I hear. My brother works nights, goes to school, sleeps and has little time for anything else. I went to visit to help him with one of his gabillion term papers he has to write in the next couple of weeks, lol.

So it's the first time I've seen them in person since this whole pregnancy thing started. My brother asked me if I was getting any bigger, and I said, "Well, a bit. I'm up to at least 98 pounds now?" He sees me and is like, "Whoa! Look at you. You ARE getting big!" I mean. I'm not phenomenally huge yet or anything, but there's a baby bump. You can't really see it all that well unless I lift my shirt, but the extra weight around my hips is noticeable too I guess.

But my niece... She looks at me and asks how far along I am. I tell her, "I'll be five months on Wednesday." And she just gapes. She's like, "You're five months and still aren't huge yet!?" I had to laugh. I also felt a little embarrassed, maybe even exasperated. I flailed my arms a little and said, "I've still got a ways to go yet! Gimme a couple of months!" I love my niece, though. She's excited about having a new cousin in her own ways.

Today has been an annoying day, though. I woke up with a tightness in my belly. As I described it to my husband, "I feel like the little monster kicked me right here--" and I point to the lower right of my abdomen there, just above my hip "--the whole time I was sleeping." As I explained it to another friend of mine just tonight, "I feel like the little monster I'm growing is renovating." lolol!

I remember the doctors asking me during my first couple of visits if I've experienced any cramping, and I haven't until now. If you can even call it cramping. It's just this tightness, and it feels like I should have a big bruise on my belly or something. Very uncomfortable to walk right now. So I did a quick google search on "five months pregnant cramping" and thankfully found this reassuring bit on a Q&A site:

A little cramping is normal all it is ,is Stretching of ligaments

In the second trimester, the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus stretch.
This can cause a dull ache across the belly or a sharp pain on one side. Many women feel this pain most severely when getting up from a bed, chair or bathtub or when coughing

it can also be cause by

Gas pains and bloating caused by hormones that slow your digestion
The pressure of your growing uterus

This made me feel better. It's nothing to be concerned about, but it sure is annoying. This explains exactly what I'm going through too. It hurts to stand up after I've been sitting down or laying on the couch. Hurts to walk. And if I cough or sneeze, omg ow. Seriously. The baby's renovating down there! Enough with the hammer and nails already! Can't we just move onto the more relaxing and less pounding on things painting the walls stage?

And a month ago, here I was anxiously awaiting the first kicks. My doctor kind of laughed at me, saying, "You say that now, but we'll see what you'll be saying in the later months." lol! I can't help it. It's my first full term pregnancy! The uncomfortableness is nothing. I can't even really call it pain. I've felt pain before, and this doesn't even compare. I don't even know what to compare it to even. Maybe... A stubbed toe? It's nothing severe, but definitely present.

Speaking of movements... I've been feeling flutters every now and then, but nothing like a kick or anything too pronounced. A couple of times I've written the feeling off as maybe just a gurgle in my belly, or gas, but then stopped to wonder. I also noticed that whenever one of my cats is on my lap purring that EVERYTHING relaxes in my stomach region. Baby likes it when the kitties come to purr.

Wednesday is my next ultrasound appointment. As soon as we get back from that, I'm sure I'll be busy scanning the pictures in and showing them off. Stay tuned!

June 2nd, 2010

So I've been having even more cracked out dreams than usual, thank you pregnancy. I think what's even more amazing is the fact that I remember these dreams. Usually I have such a hard time even remembering what the heck day of the week it is. But my dreams? Apparently my brain thinks they take top priority in remembering. (I still remember in detail my Jack & Ianto dream too.) What did I have for dinner last night? I don't know, because I don't remember anything except for what my wild imagination decides to conjure up!

I mentioned it in brief on facebook, but there's so much more to this dream than the single sentence I posted there. Guess we can call that the summary that I usually have such a hard time coming up with when thinking of my fiction. "While I slept I had the weirdest dream in which I gave birth to a baby girl, who at the same time happened to be my youngest cat Zoey, and that we decided to name her Lilah."

There was so much more to it than that, though, and I tried to explain it to my husband when he got home from work today. This dream of mine had three distinct overlapping parts.

1. I gave birth to a baby girl, and I was breast-feeding. Except at some points this baby human was in fact my youngest cat Zoey. When I put the baby on the couch, she curled up into a ball and became Zoey as she looks whenever she's napping. There were parts in which my brother Mike was laying half-naked on the couch with the baby sleeping on his chest. And a there was a part where I stepped out on the front porch -- this took place in my step-mother's house, where I grew up from ages 10 to 18 -- to find my husband and ask him what he thought of the name Lilah. Apparently in my dream the baby said her name is Lilah.

2. My husband was shopping for a new vehicle, and for some reason we still had the old crappy SUV that he traded in to get the new Focus that we have now. And instead of shopping for a new car, he was in this huge used car outlet. We decided on buying one of those big Chevy vans like my dad used to have, with the bucket seats in the front and middle, and the bench seat in the back that folds down into a bed. And! Instead of trading in, we were buying that as a second vehicle so that my husband could drive the van and I could drive the SUV. At least in my dream it wasn't as shitty as it actually was in real life.

3. I dreamed of Gremlin again. :( In my dream I was still in my step-mom's house, and trying desperately to keep Gremlin inside. She kept wanting to go outside, though. I left the basement door wide open for her, but she kept slinking into the garage through the side door that leads into the family room. I had to run out to the garage to close both doors, the garage door itself and the walk-in side door that leads outside, to keep her inside. She wouldn't let me pick her up. Every time I tried, she screamed at me, and her hind end felt especially bony, like there was something wrong with her legs, like they were going to break if I held her too strongly.

And now I reminisce again about my kitty.Collapse )
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