Friday, September 27, 2013

but, i still love technology

i tried to make this blog private, only for invited readers, but due to browser and workplace firewall issues, that just isn't gonna work! so, we are back to normalcy for the blog, but i'll work on maintaining some anonymity to try to keep our family safe-ish on the internet. mostly i get creeped out by the strange comments i get from people i don't know, but the reality is that most of those comments are from robots, so maybe i can change the comment settings? (if anyone knows how, i would love a comment tutorial!) ah, technology.


we spent last weekend in kentucky, visiting friends who welcomed their first son into the world this past june. meeting oliver was a treat--he is at such a great stage, where he takes in the world with his big, brown eyes and is quite happy in just about anyone's arms (provided they also offer him a bottle!).

we went to a bourbon distillery on our trip, because bourbon and thoroughbreds are apparently the two commodities of central kentucky (and no one in our group can afford a thoroughbred currently). at the gate we learned that tickets for the tour were in short supply. at $7 per person--with two people who couldn't even participate in a tasting--none of us were eager to get in on the tour, so we opted to walk around and look at the grounds. picture a 7-month pregnant me, plus a new momma toting her tiny baby, and two hippy-looking guys wandering the grounds of a fine bourbon estate. we casually traipsed down the lawn towards the creek before i turned around to see a very prim middle-aged woman rushing towards us, walkie-talkie in hand. after politely indicating we were not to be in that area without a tour guide, she repeatedly stated: "i just can't believe you made it this far. i just can't believe it." what? did we saunter past the armed guards or something? 

we honestly didn't know we had done anything wrong, so we apologized and told her we would walk back to our car, which she said was not permitted. no, we had to wait for a bus to pick us up otherwise the very same bus might run us over on our 100 yard walk back to the car. perturbed, alex inquired about using the stairs marked "visitor center" but the oh-so-kind woman told us that the "visitor center was currently off-limits to visitors." oh really? the woman radioed for a bus to remove us, but got no reply, so she insisted we wait with the tour group and ride the bus with them. we felt like convicts getting on the bus, which, of course, traveled at a top speed of 7MPH. i could have waddled up that road quicker than the bus! 

you can imagine we didn't exit through the gift shop as they would have liked. no, instead we rushed to the car, laughing about how unsophisticated we all are. some things never change, even with the advent of parenthood. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

the woes of gen Ys

at a retreat following the conclusion of high school, i remember this older guy i respected telling me i was going to move to seattle and turn into a yuppie. (he also predicted brandon would turn in to a hippie since he was moving to bozeman and that one day we would go on to have yippie children.) while i may live in a highly libertarian, gun-toting, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps state, if i'm honest, i am a bit of a yippie. a friend of mine shared an article about why folks from the gen Y generation aren't happy:
i'd say that about sums it up: my general dissatisfaction in all areas of life seems to originate in my expectations. the first year of marriage didn't look exactly like i thought it should look, therefore something must have been wrong. my score on my licensure exam wasn't as high as i expected it would be, therefore i must not be smart. i wasn't radiant and glowing in my first trimester of pregnancy (rather, i was pukey and green), therefore i wasn't "good" at being pregnant. (who is the standard of pregnancy goodness anyway? ah, the lies we tell ourselves.)

anyhow, the article is long and includes a lot of poor graphics from microsoft paint circa 1990, but it concluded with this advice for those of us caught in the "woe is me" cycle:
1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it'll work itself out -- just dive in somewhere.
2) Stop thinking that you're special. The fact is, right now, you're not special. You're another completely inexperienced young person who doesn't have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.
3) Ignore everyone else. Other people's grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today's image-crafting world, other people's grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you'll never have any reason to envy others.

big laramie river trip

i have a love/hate relationship with whitewater kayaking. for the first 10 minutes i am on the river and anytime i am not kayaking, i am filled with dread and fear. all i can think about is the terror of missing my roll and swimming in frigid waters, scrambling to collect my gear and get to shore. but once those first 10 minutes on the water pass, i find myself actually having fun, smiling even. poor brandon, he knows that this is my pattern (heck, even i know this is my thought pattern), but all the logic and rationalization in the world has yet to shake me out of this vicious cycle.

i honestly cannot recall the last time i was in my boat, but i think it was about 2 years ago. i know i had fun, but my non-rational brain says, "yeah, you were happy at the end when you weren't dead, but don't fool yourself, you did not have fun in your kayak." and so, i avoid and avoid and avoid. once i even started a kayak journal so i could have evidence of my experiences and of my enjoyment of time in my little blue boat, but it has done little to override this sabotaging voice of doubt.

for our friend heath's birthday we decided to take our kayaks (and their stand-up paddleboards) on some easy whitewater. i was pretty nervous about the experience as i had been on the same river once before, at flood stages, but i tried to hide my fear because i wanted to a) look badass to my friends who had not seen me kayak before and b) not make them afraid, considering they hadn't been on whitewater before. somehow needing to pull it together for other people helps me get over my own stuff better than any other source of motivation. 

you know what, we had fun! it was the first sunny day in weeks, the canyon was glorious, and i remembered how to maneuver my kayak. i only did one run (the others did two, but i was so tired from hauling myself and the babe around the rapids and rocks with relaxin hormones running through me, making all my muscles operate sub-par).
amazing day on the laramie river through jelm canyon.
our laramie family. we honestly would not make it here without them.
so, so grateful for heath and emily!
and this is the point where i got stuck in my boat at the take-out. brandon had to come heave me out because i could not pull myself out of my boat. ah the joys of having completely relaxed ab muscles!

how far along: 25 weeks
total weight gain/loss: not sure, but close to 15 pounds (if not over).
maternity clothes: yes! i have had to wear maternity pants for a while now, but recently discovered that most of my non-maternity shirts no longer cover my belly and the panel of my maternity pants, which means i have about 4 shirts to rotate through. creativity is in order each morning!
stretch marks: still none, but i recently learned that for some people they aren't visible until after delivery and your stomach starts to try to resume normalcy, so i am staying on top of the cocoa butter/coconut oil. 
sleep: i am incredibly resentful of the fact that i cannot go through the night without getting up to use the bathroom. yes, i know i am going to be getting up a lot in the night once this baby is out in the world, but i have never been one to get up in the night to pee before and it is not a change i am embracing. i now take 1/2 tab of unisom at bedtime and a 1/2 tab at 3AM when i get up to pee, which seems to be working for me, because i have had a heck of a time falling back asleep otherwise.
best moment this week: going paddling with brandon, heath, and emily!
movement: more and more! brandon felt her the other day and said, "whoa, it feels like you have a fish in there!" (the thought of which creeped me out).
food cravings: tuna melts, olives, and fruits (not all together though).
gender: female.
what i miss: ingesting whatever i want without a second thought. for instance, i feel a cold coming on and want to take extra vit C and echinacea, but i have to go to our providers' website, search for each of these supplements in their guide, and make sure they are "safe" for me to take while pregnant.
milestones: according to fetus development websites, the baby can now tell which way is up and which way is down. hopefully the kayaking i did this past weekend didn't throw her off too much. she was wiggling a ton at the put in and then settled down until i sat in the sun at the takeout. whenever my belly gets direct sun, she moves so much--i think she is a little sun worshiper like her grandma and her momma!

brandon could not have been happier to have a day in his boat with his family and best friends. this guy is generally pretty satisfied with life, but at the top of his wish list is more paddle time with me. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

changes here & there

i have had a difficult adjustment back to work from my "summer break" schedule. even though i worked a lot this summer and was very busy, my teaching load of 4 courses this fall has me feeling incredibly bogged down. i have to take it a week--or really, a day--at a time in order to keep from losing my mind. add to the situation that i have a new boss, who while great, still requires some adjustments. the semester has had a bit of a rocky start from my perspective, but i think each semester begins this way, i just tend to forget the initial challenges.

after passing my licensure exam in july, i now only have 5.5 hours of supervision left until i can submit my paperwork to become a fully licensed social worker. while i am eager to complete this process, i will miss my once-a-week visits with my supervisor, who has been so incredibly kind and supportive. 

the midwives changed our due date once again, this time to christmas day. to make a long story a bit shorter, the lovely midwife/cattle rancher told us that any changes to a due date should be based on first trimester measurements because there is too much variability in second trimester ultrasound measurements. she was agitated that it was changed inaccurately and it felt nice to have someone else acting as my advocate in a medical setting, considering that is often my role at the hospital. i really hope we get the chance to deliver with this particular midwife, because she is so comfortable to be around. i like them all, but i feel especially at ease with her.

how far along: 24 weeks
total weight gain/loss: not sure.
maternity clothes: almost entirely. 
stretch marks: still none. (yet.)
sleep: pretty rough after 2AM, so by 2PM all i wanna do is nap, but on tuesdays and thursdays i have to teach introduction to social work. i'm sure my teaching evals are going to be less-than-stellar this term. poor students.
best moment this week: getting out on my mountain bike today with brandon and being able to climb up some steep ascents that i can't always complete when i'm not pregnant.
movement: i feel her wiggling around just about every time i sit still and brandon finally got to feel her move, which was awesome.
food cravings: i had to do my glucose test on friday afternoon, so i work up friday craving every fruit and sweet thing i saw. in general i crave fruit, but having it be off limits that day made it especially appealing. 
gender: female.
what i miss: being able to get up off the floor without having to flip over onto my hands and knees or have someone give me a hand.
milestones: i realized today that our baby has passed through the "viability threshold" so, heaven forbid, she comes early she now has a pretty good chance (50-70%) of surviving life outside of my body. mind blowing!