Sunday, December 30, 2007

Speaking of getting kicks...

The wriggling has started. Definitely the BEST part of being pregnant.

Speaking of the whole pregnancy thing, I am finally feeling outright GOOD most of the time, and am enjoying life. Hopefully now I can try, yet again, to update this place more often.

Know what's fun?

Bringing a bottle of fancy root beer to a neighborhood party - the kind in the plain brown bottle - and standing around with the bottle resting on your increasingly large pregnant belly.

Wow, did I get some looks. And even a few questions.

Really, it's almost insulting. Yeah, I'm going to drink when I'm pregnant - AND in front of a bunch of people. Thanks for your high opinion of my intelligence.

Maybe next time I'll bring a bottle of sparkling fruit juice and just chug it from the bottle in a brown paper bag. Gotta get my kicks somehow.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Maiser Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Celebrity Collage - Geneology

I saw this on Peder's blog and couldn't resist trying it, especially since I'm always told how much she looks like Pete. Well, it seems she looks more like me that I get credit for!! :-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Good Day

This was actually my second good day in a row. I'm eating pretty normally (in fact, starting to get an impressive appetite) and had very little nausea. That's especially welcome because I was up a bit late last night after orchestra and usually it's worse if I don't get enough sleep.

Of course, now I'll worry that I'm feeling too good. Disappearing symptoms can be a bad thing this early on. So here's hoping that I still feel a teeny bit bad. Of course, I'm feeling better but still taking some of the medication my doctor prescribed, so I suppose if I want to feel sick again I could try not taking that tomorrow.

It's very good I'm feeling better because I have a LOT to do to get ready for Carrie's baby shower this weekend! I'm really looking forward to it, and while I've done lots of planning I've done little execution so I've got to hustle this week!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Puking Sucks

We were all signed up to do in vitro again in December, to try for a little sibling for Kate. I was at the point where I was just waiting for my next cycle so I could start the pill in preparation for IVF, and -knock me over with a feather - it never came. I am 8 1/2 weeks pregnant - "the old fashioned way" - and sick as the proverbial dog.

I had virtually no morning sickness with Kate. I felt a bit queasy on occasion, like a mild hangover, which I usually addressed by eating lots of greasy, salty calories. Ha. Now I can barely choke down dry toast. It's really quite miserable, and I don't know how I'm going to make another month or more of this.

So forgive me if I'm not bouncing off the walls with this miracle of miracles. I promise I'll start beaming again someday, when I get my head out of the toilet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Too sick to post

A huge drawback of being a SAHM is having to take care of a rambunctious 22-month old when you fell like hell. Thank GOD for TiVo.

Today is day 4 of feeling like complete and total crap. Hoping to be back posting again soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Apple Picking

On a cheerier note - some pics of our picks last weekend. 80-something degrees while apple picking is just plain wrong, by the way.

Time Heals and Time Forgets

Today Kate and I met a friend out for lunch. This friend is trying to get pregnant and has miscarried twice. She wanted to pick my brains on doctors, the process of getting a diagnosis, support, etc. It's such a strange situation for me now. When I was struggling with my infertility before Kate, I was so overwhelmed by my total grief I could do almost nothing else. I could talk of nothing else. The rest of the world kind of fell away for a long time.

But today I just felt so helpless. I could talk about how I used to feel - but it seems so very long ago. I don't really remember what it was like. It's hard to force myself to remember being so broken and wounded and hurt and lost and feeling like the world had let me down. It's hard to try to look back at that when Kate is feeding me ketchup-laden french fries and blowing bubbles in her milk glass. I want to help my friend. I would do anything to keep those I love from that same pain. But I don't want to look back. I want to look forward.

So I said what I could, but I still walked away afraid that my comments weren't helpful - or worse, that somehow I unknowingly said something hurtful. And it makes me realize how much Kate has healed that big, gaping hole - how she has filled that emptiness to the point where I'm overflowing.

I'm so incredibly grateful.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad Blogger

I can't quite believe how long it has been since I've posted. Holy cow. But really, I've been quite busy. I have very limited blog-time - pretty much confined to naptime and after the Katester goes to bed. And lately I have a few things in the works which are sucking up that time at an alarming rate, so I haven't taken the time to post.

One distraction is that I'm throwing a baby shower for Carrie in November. I'm so excited!! Now, invites are just going out this week, so it's not like it's taken up too much time yet. Just busy picking out the invites and brainstorming yummy, brunchy food to serve.

Another major distraction was our concert this past weekend. I've been doing quite a bit of practicing lately - our music this concert was HARD. I was extremely concerned going into it, but we all must have been freaked so we really focused. It went so well - I couldn't believe it!

There are a couple other distractions, too, but they are surprises related to the baby shower, so mums the word, for now. :-)

On the cute side, Kate's new favorite activity is doing dishes. I pull a step stool over to the sink and she will alternately scrub at dishes or rinse them off. It's sooo cute and we actually have a lot of fun washing and singing and talking. She's becoming such a grown-up kid. And it's a nice break from constant playdough playing.

OK, CSI/Grey's Anatomy time.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Verbal Hangover

We had a cul-de-sac party last night. They're great fun - all of us who actually live on the cul-de-sac as well as most of the "street people" - folks on the street leading up to it. We pull a grill and tables and chairs out into the cul-de-sac. One family provides hot dogs/burgers and we all bring something to share and coolers full of beer and kids run around like mad. It's chaos. And this morning I am still so overstimulated I feel a bit ill.

You see, give me a beer or two and some adult conversation (which I am sorely lacking through the week) and the next morning I'm guaranteed to wake up with a verbal hangover. I feel like I talked everyone's ears off last night. They're probably all rolling their eyes at me and I feel so embarrassed. It's not that I talked about anything inappropriate, it's just that I feel like I talked and talked and talked and talked. I always feel that way after parties. I hate it. I wish I could "play it cool" like I used to be able to. I just get so excited to have people to talk to - I have to make up for days of my biggest conversations revolving around convincing Kate to let me change her diaper or stay seated in the shopping cart. I feel like such a dork.


Friday, September 7, 2007

How cool is this?

My blog is now listed on Cellomania and CelloBloggers. Yep. There's a whole community out there - 151 of us now - of cellists who blog. Whodof thunk it? I actually think it's pretty amazing, and is one of those cool ways in which the web enables people from all over to connect in surprising ways. I can't wait to check out some of the other blogs.

Thanks for including me!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

little of this, little of that

This has been a lost week. Other than some "back-to-school shopping" (for my 21-month-old) I have gotten very little done.

Kate took full advantage of our hot weather this week by enjoying the neighborhood wading pools. Thankfully, at least 50% of the time I actually managed to get a swimsuit on her before she got in the water. Other than that, it's 2-year molar time and she's been perfecting her whine. Oh, and throwing things. Any time I tell her "no" for any reason, whatever is in her little hands gets flung with fury. Any thoughts on fixing that one?

I haven't practiced since Tuesday. Not so good. I've just been really tired this week and not getting anything done. I'm at the point where I've done "good enough" practice on my orchestra music, but that's not "good enough" anymore. We have a new conductor this year, and I would hate to give him any reason to think that he needs to reaudition my chair! The Stokowski is in reasonable shape, although the treble clef runs on the last page are still a bit sticky. We're doing a Mozart flute concerto that is sight-readable. I still have some work to do on the Respighi. I'd never even heard of that piece before, but it is really lush and beautiful. Not to mention the first movement has a really gorgeous cello line - and a teeny solo for me! Sunday we'll finally get our hands on Higdon's blue cathedral. Can't wait to check it out!

I'm enjoying Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Although it really, really makes me want to go shopping. I still want to lose 10-15 lbs. before I do any major shopping, not to mention "major" shopping for me these days doesn't mean much. I need to get back on the treadmill. You know, with all my free time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

From the heart

I have the best friend in the whole world. She's one of those amazing people who has more energy than six of the rest of us put together. She's the least selfish person I've ever met, and I like her anyway. Everyone who knows her considers her one of their very best friends - and that's a lot of people. She has an amazing way of making all those around her feel special and remembered and cared about.

Many of my most prized possessions are from her. The cello cross-stitch she made me in high school. The hand-made scrapbook of our high school years together (LONG before scrapbooking was "in"). The dozens of hand water-colored envelopes from long chatty letters in college. The beautiful hand-knit blanket made for my daughter. She gives so much. And frankly, from me, receives not nearly enough in return. There's no keeping up with her, but I'm worst than most. I'm pretty self-absorbed. I'm not at all crafty. I'm reserved - she's bubbly. I wish and wish I knew how to reciprocate, but again and again I fall short.

All I can give her is my love and my gratitude for all of the life we have shared together. Lots of changes, lots of tears, lots of laughs. I hope she always will be there for me, as I will always be for her.

Happy Birthday, my Carrie-friend. You are one-in-a-million.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New String Heaven

Got my new G & C strings today - hallelujah!! I am now playing with a full set of Larsen strings - Soloist A&D and Wire Core G&C. I just changed the lower today so they're still playing in, but I am already in 7th heaven. I am getting overtones out of my cello I've never heard before - it's astounding.

When I bought my cello (December 2004), it had the same strings I'd always played - Jargar A/D, Dominant G/C (silver wound G, tungsten wound C). I'd never thought twice about it. In fact, I never really thought about strings. Through college, when I was playing at minimum 20 hours/week I only changed my strings maybe once a year. That's just CRAZY! I had no idea what a difference it made.

I've been experimenting the last year or so, and I've changed my strings every 6 months. My last setup was the Larsen Soloist A/D paired with the Spirocore G/C. That's the most common professional cello setup, but I didn't care for the Spirocore at all. My first pair were tungsten wound and far too gritty. I know lots of pros like that gritty sound because it helps provide clarity in the lower registers, but they just didn't sound pretty to me. Then I tried a silver-wound G with a tungsten C and it was better, but still too rough sounding for my cello. Not to mention they went dead in a matter of a months.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to try the Larsen G/C, because they are the most expensive strings you can buy and I was afraid I'd like them! Like doesn't begin to describe it. I can't wait to see what they feel like in a few more days. Ugh - I need to get some freelance gigs going this year so I can pay for my new strings!!

I love new strings! It makes me remember why I fell so in love with this cello!

Do those come in chocolate?

I had a brainstorm idea yesterday on how to make some progress weaning Kate. While there's a part of me that has no issue with continuing, the sad fact is that if we want to get scheduled for our next IVF cycle, I need to wean. In most ways I feel the time has come. It's only going to get harder as she gets older, and I have no intention of nursing a 3 yr old. But I will miss the sweet moments. The eye-gazing, the special smiles. The way her dimples show when something makes her laugh. How she likes me to hold her foot. When she stops for a second to say, "I love Mama!"

If I refuse her when she asks to nurse, it's as though I've abandoned her. Sobbing, curling up in a little ball and crying. It's heartbreaking.

Then yesterday it occurred to me: chocolate milk. If I could offer her something similar that she loves, perhaps that could distract her from nursing. Little did I know that this exact approach was used in Desperate Housewives, which I've never seen!

I tried it today and so far it is working. Not a cold-turkey weaning or anything, but for now to keep her down to 3x/day and then work down from there in the next couple months.

I don't know what else to do. There is virtually no guidance for weaning a child this age. It seems most resources assume that if you nurse past age 1, you are planning to nurse until high school. We really want to have another child, and with me turning 35 this year my ticking clock just got undeniably louder.

However, successful ABC comedies aside, I feel like a questionable mother for doing this. I've struggled with my weight since college. Kids today consume waaaay too much sugar. Childhood obesity is an epidemic. Am I risking her health to assuage my own guilt?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

You gotta start somewhere...

So, here's the deal. I've been wanting to start a blog for, oh, 4 years or so. What's the holdup, you ask? Couldn't think of a title. Yep. Seriously.

I started one last year - with a grand total of one post. Picked a title to reflect my new life as a stay-at-home Mom. It didn't feel right. Now I've been home for a little more than a year and I'm starting to discover that the best thing about being a SAHM is that I'm NOT "just a Mom." If anything, before I was "just an IT Manager." I'm rediscovering who I am. I'd say I'm finding a new identity - without work. But really I find that I'm returning to who I was 15-20 years ago. And dang, I'm happier this way.

I remember in high school they asked us where we thought we'd be in XX years (10? 25? something like that). I remember saying I'd be a professional cellist with a houseful of kids.

House full of kids? Not quite... or not yet, anyway. I'm a proud mom to Kate, who is almost 21 months. But siblings will be few and far between. The whole putting-off-childbearing-until career-in-place-and-financially-secure thing didn't work that great for me. When I got down to having kids, it wasn't so easy. Kate is an IVF baby. Hopefully she's not our only - we were lucky and it worked first try, so we're optimistic we'll get another miracle someday in the next year or so.

Professional cellist? Hardly. I've been principal cellist in a local non-paid orchestra for several years, but haven't done much else. I'm working very hard lately to get my cello chops back to where they were in college, in hopes of starting to do more free-lance work.

So, I'm not quite where I envisioned, but I'm well on my way.

And I think I finally found a title that will stick.