Saturday, February 28, 2009

Welcome to the 3rd Trimester

Counting weeks versus months has never been quite so confusing for me as it is now. I'm 27 weeks pregnant, which officially puts me into the 3rd trimester. One would think that since women are supposedly pregnant for 9 months (read: LIE), that the 3rd trimester would start at the beginning of the 6th month, or week 24. Nope. It starts at week 27 because women are really pregnant for 10 months, or 40 weeks. This lie has to be one of the biggest in the world. Everyone tells it - - even women who have been pregnant themselves! To all of the women out there: BEWARE! I SPEAK THE TRUTH!

Whomever came up with this 9-month-fib must've done his or her research and found out that women would only put up with being pregnant for 9 months. Apparently 10 months was just too long. So this little "fact" was created to save the human race and make sure that people continue to procreate. I guess that's an excusable reason to lie. Maybe.


According to www.thebump.com, Connor is the size of an eggplant now. What a weird analogy. Dennis and I were discussing how much better it would be if the weekly comparisons were food items that we were more familiar with: chicken wings, chicken breasts, icing containers, pizza slices, soft tacos, snickerdoodles, pork chops, or cheese sticks. I don't even know what many of the weekly food items that have been used look like, much less how big they are.

Guess that's a hint that I should probably be eating a more wide variety of foods...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is a good one.

I heard this joke today and HAD to post it since it involves my new favorite restaurant, Ihop.

Jokester: Hey, did you hear that Ihop has created a new breakfast special honoring Nadya Suleman?

Unsuspecting Friend: No, I didn't. What is it?

Jokester: 14 eggs. No sausage. And the next guy pays for it.

Unsuspecting Friend: ha ha ha ha THAT IS THE BEST JOKE THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD!

Once you stop laughing hysterically, I have a question for you (and please post your thoughts in the comment section): What are your thoughts / opinions on the Octumom Phenomenon (trying saying that 10 times fast)?

Surprisingly, I have an opinion about it. It was wrong. For many reasons.

1. I don't care what type of surgery you want to do or have done to yourself until it affects other people. Those poor children and doomed to have developmental problems. And how can any half-way normal person (which she isn't) care for, and raise, a family of 14?

Also, don't do selfish things like this and then rely on the taxpayers to pay for your poor choices. Criteria for NOT having 14 children: living in a 3 bedroom house THAT YOUR PARENTS OWN, not being married (to have a second person to help out), and NOT HAVING A JOB.

2. The doctor needs to be reprimanded in some form or fashion. Maybe a good spanking.

While Dennis and I were visiting with our high risk specialist the other day, I just HAD to ask her opinion on all of this nonsense. Her reply was simple. "When you become a doctor, you take an oath to do no harm. The doctor that did this violated that oath."

I couldn't agree more. I am obviously a fan of the medical technology that has been developed allowing people to use tools like IVF to have a family but this is not how it is supposed to be used. Our doctor went on to say that she never understands why a physician implants more than 1 or 2 embryos at a time. The risk to the baby and the mother are too high when you do that.

Please share your thoughts and opinions. I am excited to hear what everyone thinks.

Oh, and by the way, I can say, "Octumom Phenomenon" 10 times fast. Not that hard afterall.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My kind-of a Holiday

In honor of National Pancake Day, Dennis and I went to Ihop (on my suggestion) to get some free pancakes. He ate a more normal dinner (a sandwich) but I just HAVE TO tell you that the ONLY way dinner would've been any better is if there had somehow been icing on my plate, too. Maybe it could've been hidden between each layer of pancake. Ooohhhhh, now we're talking!

I'm not sure if they are one-in-the-same or two separate "holidays", but today is also Fat Tuesday. So, I am posting the latest belly shot in that vein. Don't feel fat - - go on and eat those pancakes and then when you feel full, look at the picture of my belly. And then go back for seconds - or thirds - on your pancake meal!

This is me (and Connor) at 26 weeks. Compared to 22 weeks and 16 weeks , I am happy because I think that my growing belly makes my ass look smaller. And that's never a bad thing.

Especially after I just wolfed down some pancakes. That were delicious, by the way, did I mention that?

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Belly Laugh

Stephen just sent this video to me and it's hilarious. He said that Dennis used to laugh like this if you blew on his belly. Come to think of it, he still laughs like this if I blow on his belly.

(Yes, I realize that I left the door wide open on that one, so go ahead and let the jokes fly...)

video

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When is a chair not a chair?

Did you ever hear that joke (or riddle or whatever): "When is a door not a door? When it's ajar."? Well, I ran into another situation like that this weekend. When a chair is not a chair.

We went to several baby stores this afternoon. We were on no easy mission. We were searching for the perfect rocker/recliner chair combination for Connor's room. We looked at the wooden Dutailier rockers and pretty much fell in love with them. Then we saw several other apholstered chairs and fell in love with those, too. This wasn't going to be easy, folks.

We (I) wanted something with a high enough back so that we could sleep in the chair and so that Dennis could sit in it comfortably, too, since he'll obviously be up with Connor many-a-night. A lot of the 'nursery chairs' have short backs. Not sure why. Maybe more short people are reproducing than tall people. A reclining option was a requirement but I wasn't too particular about whether or not it was a glider or a recliner. Movement is movement, right? Guess we'll have to wait and see on that one. On top of these few requirements, a neutral color was in order and I preferred something that wasn't ugly.

In each store, we were told that these chairs could EASILY be used in other rooms in the house (most likely an attempt by the sales person to justify the cost). They were all VERSATILE and LONG-LASTING. Of course they were.

That is when I realized that a chair is not always a chair. In this particular situation, a chair for the nursery is like a bridesmaid dress. Everyone says it can be worn again and the bridesmaid may actually believe that herself. But, she never wears it again. Because, afterall, it's a bridesmaid dress. No one wears those things again.

So we purchased a La-Z-Boy bridesmaid dress today. Hopefully Connor likes it... as we will obviously be using it for all of eternity since it is SO versatile. AND long-lasting.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Goodbye, Mike. We will miss you.

Remembrance

Remembrance is a golden chain

Death tries to break,

but all in vain.

To have, to love, and then to part

Is the greatest sorrow of one's heart.

The years may wipe out many things

But some they wipe out never.

Like memories of those happy times

When we were all together.

~ Author Unknown




I have been struggling about what to write or what not to write about Gallaghers passing. It took us all by surprise and we will all miss him so very much. In trying to come to grips with what happened, I have realized that I need to focus not on the fact that he left us but rather focus on what he left us with. There are so many funny stories and great memories.

He meant the world to Dennis and in the few short years that I knew him, he earned a special place in my heart. Gallie, you'll be missed! More importantly, though, you'll always be remembered.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I think we'd agree

I think we'd agree that the current economic situation is less-than-desirable. It's the worst economy that the US has seen since Jimmy Carter's presidency.

If history is such a great teacher, maybe we should look at the state of things when President Reagan took office compared to when Obama took office. In 1981, we were suffering from numerous years of double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates, declining incomes, and rising poverty. Much like now...except to a much higher degree on the scale of worse-ness. President Reagan managed to turn things around in 2 years. And many years of economic growth followed. I like Reagan's results, don't you?

So, how do the turnaround policies of President Reagan and Obama compare? To put it mildly, they are polar opposites. Instead of moving in the right direction, it is only fair to wonder how much of a wrong turn we're making.

The only comfort that I take from this is knowing that we might not have had a Reagan without a Carter.

Is it 2012 yet?



(If you enjoy the back and forth of differing political opinions, please check out the site of a blog-writing friend,
Martyn Oliver. )

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Nursery

This weekend was a busy one. It started off really nice because Dennis and I decided that we should take Friday the 13th off to celebrate his birthday. Then, on Saturday, Dennis drove to Columbus, GA to pick up the crib and dresser/changing station for Connors room. I stayed home to make sure that the guy who was installing the crown molding didn't have any questions or issues.

I was incredibly excited about the crown molding because we were getting a really good deal on this project. Or so I thought. Around noon he asked me to come in to see what he had done. Yes, the crown molding looked great but he was acting like he was finished and he hadn't even started painting, caulking, or filling in the nail holes. Well, I found out that is why we got such a good price: it didn't include any of that stuff.

Painting couldn't be that hard, right? WRONG. If anyone ever asks you to paint crown molding, say NO and run away from them as fast as you can because they are not your friend.

I thought that it would only take an hour or so to caulk, tape off the walls and ceiling, and then paint. I guess I get points for being optimistic. But, I should lose at least as many points for being dead wrong. And I mean DEAD WRONG. So, we're not keeping score on this one.

After caulking, taping, painting, and then re-painting and re-caulking, I am finally finished painting in Connors room. This is one time that I am happy the room is small. Any larger and I might've jumped out the window. Or screamed. Or both.

I cannot wait for Connor to lay on his back and just stare at the crown molding and appreciate every bit of sweat, tears, and love that went into getting his room ready. And, he should appreciate the fact that WE don't even have crown molding in OUR room.




Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Dennis!

Apparently, August is the month when the most babies are born each year. I would've argued that there are definitely more people that have birthdays in February than any other month. But, my very unscientific method of just looking through my list of birthdays on my calendar may not yield the same results as surveying the general population.

Regardless of whether or not February is the most popular month to be born, I want to wish my favorite person in the whole world, DENNIS, a happy birthday today! For a look at what happened the year he was born (1978), please check out this link.

Stephen scanned this photo several months ago and I've been looking for the right opportunity to post it. Dennis is pictured above with Justin Massey (on the left) and Dave Akins (on the right). Dennis - what year was this?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid.

This article was published in the WSJ. The important thing to remember is that all of the countries that have Universal Health Care (or "socialized medicine" or whatever you want to call it) all started out like we are starting out right now. With good intentions. Good intentions that failed.

The government cannot even manage itself (look at the out-of-control spending going on as we speak!) and we are naiive to believe that the government could run healthcare more efficiently than it is being run right now. Yes, yes, I KNOW that we have things that need to be fixed in our current healthcare system and I do not know what IS the answer. I do, however, know what is NOT the answer. Please see below. I hope you are as scared as I am.

'Too Old' for Hip Surgery
As we inch towards nationalized health care, important lessons from north of the border.
By NADEEM ESMAIL


President Obama and Congressional Democrats are inching the U.S. toward government-run health insurance. Last week's expansion of Schip -- the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- is a first step. Before proceeding further, here's a suggestion: Look at Canada's experience.

Health-care resources are not unlimited in any country, even rich ones like Canada and the U.S., and must be rationed either by price or time. When individuals bear no direct responsibility for paying for their care, as in Canada, that care is rationed by waiting.

Canadians often wait months or even years for necessary care. For some, the status quo has become so dire that they have turned to the courts for recourse. Several cases currently before provincial courts provide studies in what Americans could expect from government-run health insurance.

In Ontario, Lindsay McCreith was suffering from headaches and seizures yet faced a four and a half month wait for an MRI scan in January of 2006. Deciding that the wait was untenable, Mr. McCreith did what a lot of Canadians do: He went south, and paid for an MRI scan across the border in Buffalo. The MRI revealed a malignant brain tumor.

Ontario's government system still refused to provide timely treatment, offering instead a months-long wait for surgery. In the end, Mr. McCreith returned to Buffalo and paid for surgery that may have saved his life. He's challenging Ontario's government-run monopoly health-insurance system, claiming it violates the right to life and security of the person guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Shona Holmes, another Ontario court challenger, endured a similarly harrowing struggle. In March of 2005, Ms. Holmes began losing her vision and experienced headaches, anxiety attacks, extreme fatigue and weight gain. Despite an MRI scan showing a brain tumor, Ms. Holmes was told she would have to wait months to see a specialist. In June, her vision deteriorating rapidly, Ms. Holmes went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, where she found that immediate surgery was required to prevent permanent vision loss and potentially death. Again, the government system in Ontario required more appointments and more tests along with more wait times. Ms. Holmes returned to the Mayo Clinic and paid for her surgery.

On the other side of the country in Alberta, Bill Murray waited in pain for more than a year to see a specialist for his arthritic hip. The specialist recommended a "Birmingham" hip resurfacing surgery (a state-of-the-art procedure that gives better results than basic hip replacement) as the best medical option. But government bureaucrats determined that Mr. Murray, who was 57, was "too old" to enjoy the benefits of this procedure and said no. In the end, he was also denied the opportunity to pay for the procedure himself in Alberta. He's heading to court claiming a violation of Charter rights as well.

These constitutional challenges, along with one launched in British Columbia last month, share a common goal: to win Canadians the freedom to spend their own money to protect themselves from the inadequacies of the government health-insurance system.

The cases find their footing in a landmark ruling on Quebec health insurance in 2005. The Supreme Court of Canada found that Canadians suffer physically and psychologically while waiting for treatment in the public health-care system, and that the government monopoly on essential health services imposes a risk of death and irreparable harm. The Supreme Court ruled that Quebec's prohibition on private health insurance violates citizen rights as guaranteed by that province's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The experiences of these Canadians -- along with the untold stories of the 750,794 citizens waiting a median of 17.3 weeks from mandatory general-practitioner referrals to treatment in 2008 -- show how miserable things can get when government is put in charge of managing health insurance.

In the wake of the 2005 ruling, Canada's federal and provincial governments have tried unsuccessfully to fix the long wait times by introducing selective benchmarks and guarantees along with large increases in funding. The benchmarks and the guarantees aren't ambitious: four to eight weeks for radiation therapy; 16 to 26 weeks for cataract surgery; 26 weeks for hip and knee replacements and lower-urgency cardiac bypass surgery.

Canada's system comes at the cost of pain and suffering for patients who find themselves stuck on waiting lists with nowhere to go. Americans can only hope that Barack Obama heeds the lessons that can be learned from Canadian hardships.

Mr. Esmail, based in Calgary, is the director of Health System Performance Studies at The Fraser Institute.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

L-O-V-E

THE SCENE: We are sitting on the couch recooperating after a fun weekend visiting Sallie, Mike, their kiddos, and Jenni.

KRISTA: "Dennis, Connor is moving around. Come here! Put your hand on my belly to feel it."

DENNIS: (He scoots over next to me on the couch, puts his hand on my lower abdomen and turns down the TV. ) "Ok..right here?" (His face lights up with anticipation since he's only felt Connor move once.)

KRISTA: "Yeah, that's the spot. Do you feel him?"

DENNIS: "Yes! I feel him. I think. On the right side?"

KRISTA: "Wait. I'm not sure that what you are feeling is Connor. I think that it might be gas."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Registry

Out of the blue, Dennis and I heard a knock on the door. He answered the it and found a surprise - our first gift from Pottery Barn Kids! Of course, I unwrapped the box as quickly as possible and found a beautiful bumper and bed skirt.

Dennis found the slip with the gift message on it and I couldn't wait to see who sent this to us.

"Who sent it? What did they write?" I asked.

He smiled and turned the paper over so that I could read it.


I'm not lying when I tell you that it took me a minute to comprehend what it said. Not only was this our first registry gift, but it was also the first time that I've seen Connor's name typed up. It's all seeming more real. Exciting. And real.

"It's from your parents," Dennis said.

"Oh...yeah. It is." (And I SWEAR that what followed is due to pregnancy brain.) "Dennis, I couldn't figure out how it was from Grandma and Grandpa Lang...I mean, they both passed away several years ago."

Dennis laughed. "Really? Are you serious? You think that they sent it to us from heaven?"

I am glad that I am going to be pregnant for 40 weeks. It's obviously taking me a while to comprehend everything that is changing.

I think it's going to take Echo a while, too.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pop-pop-pop-popcorn!

I KNOW that all dogs go to heaven but I was wondering... do all dogs love popcorn as much as Echo does?

She starts pacing back and forth in front of the microwave whenever Dennis puts in a bag of Orville Redenbachers finest. She gets to taste a little sample of each batch... ONLY to make sure that each kernel has been fully cooked, of course.

Judging by how she reacts to the popping noise, you would think that the popcorn is laced with peanut butter or cheese or... crack-cocaine.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Feel Good Monday

Ok, so Dooce posted this video several days ago. But, it is totally deserving of a re-post here, on Margaritas. Enjoy it. It's sweet. I love elephants. And, obviously, I love dogs, too.



There is a lot of chaos in the world around us, but there are still many truly generous people out there, too.