Sunday, May 31, 2009


As you may or may not be aware, May 30th, 2009 came...and went. And, Connor just stayed put. Maybe his calendar on his iphone isn't working. Or maybe he's just being stubborn.

Babies are supposed to "drop" lower into the pelvis as the delivery date nears. Unfortunately, it appears that no one told Connor that. In fact, I think he has done just the opposite and has actually moved UP into a higher position. He must have locked his teeny-tiny feet in-between my ribs and pulled himself up to crowd out my esophagus and tonsils in a ploy to make a secret escape through my mouth.

Not so fast, Connor, I'm on to you. It looks like we're experiencing a classic case of baby-boy-doesn't-want-to-come-out-syndrome. And, as well all know, there are only two options here: (1) We induce labor on Monday night or Tuesday AM this week or (2) I am going to be pregnant for all of eternity.

Dennis and I are going to see our OB tomorrow morning and the plan - as it stands right now - is for them to run some tests and then call us later in the day when a bed is ready at Northside. We then check in, and they start the Cervidil. That should get things moving in the right direction. If I haven't had Connor by Tuesday morning, then I will be given Pitocin, which should further help to induce labor.

Once we check in at Northside Hospital tomorrow, we're not leaving without a baby boy. And I'm not talking about kidnapping. I'm talking about OUR baby boy. Connor Dennis Martin. That is the exciting part. The not-so-exciting part is that once we check in at Northside Hospital tomorrow, we're not leaving without me pushing something the size of a watermelon out of my whoo-ha.

Maybe it would be better if he made an escape through my mouth.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Weekend Fun

Some important weekend reading:

  • What happens when you increase taxes on the "rich"? And, by the way, the "rich" do pay well more than fair share of taxes already. The top 1% of income earners pay over 40% of all income taxes. What do you think will happen to the jobs in our country when corporate tax rates are increased and those "rich" companies see other countries (which lower tax rates) as a better place for them to thrive as a business? Just as people left Maryland, these companies will leave the United States. And we may not be able to entice them back.

  • If you, or anyone you know, may need healthcare in the next 10-30 years, please take a minute to read this. And this is a good assessment of the governments attempt (and failure) in universal healthcare. I'm with you, people - I wish that everyone could have health insurance and great medical benefits. But, the government is not capable of providing it for us. And, when you look deeper at the statistics that the media has presented to us, there are far fewer people without current coverage than we've been lead to believe. There is a fix out there - just not the gov't. This isn't about being a left-wing this or a right-wing that, it's about taking care of ourselves and the people we love. Believe it or not, Americas healthcare is what so many other countries want. And we're about to throw it away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grilled Chicken

When we went out to eat in high school (whether for lunch or dinner - and whether with friends or family) I always, always, ALWAYS ordered grilled chicken. My friends teased me and told me that I would undoubtedly hate grilled chicken when I was older since I was eating so much of it when I was young.

Fast forward several years. It's the first night that I hung out with Dennis and his friends and we're in a cab on the way home. Katie asked me what I like to eat. That's a normal just-getting-to-know-you question, so I answered in a normal-just-getting-to-know-you way. I told her, "chicken for breakfast, chicken for lunch, and chicken for dinner." We both laughed and she soon found out that I wasn't joking.

As you can tell, I have a very special place in my heart for grilled chicken. And, up until several days ago, I have never turned it down. But, for some reason, the KFC grilled chicken makes me turn up my nose. It might be a fleeting feeling, but I have no desire to try to much-hyped meal. And, I hope you are sitting down right now because what I am about to say will surprise you... if given the choice, I would choose KFC's fried chicken (gasp!) over their grilled chicken right now.

Speaking of "fried", here is what will hopefully be my last belly shot. This is Connor and me at 39+ wks.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Smiles

Here's a joke passed on by Stephen...

A woman arrived at a party and while scanning the guests, spotted an attractive man standing alone. She approached him, smiled and said, "Hello. My name is Carmen."

"That's a beautiful name," he replied. "Is it a family name?"

"No," she replied. "As a matter of fact, I gave it to myself. It represents the things that I enjoy the most - cars and men. Therefore, I chose 'Carmen'. What's your name?"

He answered "B.J. Titsengolf."

Here's a cute clip from Dennis' favorite TV show...

Dennis has talked about wanting the P90X but I think we might order this new workout instead...

Friday, May 22, 2009

5 Years

On October 17th, 2003, I would've told you that one day prior, October 16th, was the best day of my life. Dennis planned a romantic dinner for us at ChopStix Restaurant. He came over to my apartment after work and I was in a ... uh ... well, let's just say I wasn't in a very good mood. I was vaccuuming my whopping 500 square foot apartment and suggested to Dennis that we postpone that dinner for another night. But, after a little bit of coaxing, I put on my jacket and we were headed to the restaurant.

Dennis said that his stomach was in knots throughout dinner but I couldn't tell that anything was going on. That's probably why I was so surprised - and ecstatic - when I opened the door to my apartment later that evening and found the living room filled with beautiful flowers, 2 champagne flutes, and champagne. I turned around to see Dennis and he was on one knee, holding an unbelievably beautiful diamond ring, asking me to marry him. It all seems like a blur after that... but I think that I said "yes" before he even finished asking the question. It was a very special night and a memory that I will always treasure.

The next seven months flew by as we prepared for our wedding day. It's so weird to think that we got married 5 YEARS AGO because it feels like just yesterday that we were in Columbia taking pictures at Shelter Gardens and getting ready for the ceremony and reception. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way in the world that I could love anyone more than I loved Dennis at that very moment. But I was wrong. I love Dennis more and more every single day. He is my perfect match and I couldn't imagine one minute without him in my life. On May 23rd, and still today, I will tell you that May 22nd 2004 was the best day of my life.

Dennis - Thank you for being my best friend, my partner in crime, and the love of my life. Thanks for being you. And here's to looking forward to the next 5 years...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'll Take Some Pity Cake, Please

A few years ago, there was a promotion going on at some of the best Atlanta restaurants where you basically were able to eat at a very nice restaurant for a very low price. We particiated in the promotion several years in a row. Here's how it worked: Pretend its 2005. Select high-end restaurants in Atlanta offer you a 3 course meal (or a pre-selected meal) for $20.05 during the promotion week. Dennis and I were able to eat some really good food for some really low prices.

We booked a reservation at City Grill and mistakenly went to Capital City Grille. Rookie mistake. We waltzed in there, sat down, and asked for the menu for the "2005 Restaurant Week Promotion" and we got a blank stare from the waitress. After several minutes of conversation to clear up the confusion, we ended up ordering some calamari and a glass of wine. Then we asked for our check. We had in our minds that we were going to spend $40.10 for a delicious meal and we had probably already spent that. The waitress came back to our table with the check. And a piece of cake for us to share. That was the first piece of Pity Cake that I had ever received. I must add, though, that it was a fabulous first piece of Pity Cake.

Where am I going with this Pity Cake story? Well, I think we may have been served another slice today at our OB appointment.

Dennis and I sat there discussing Connor's progress and how ready we are to meet this little man (and I'm looking forward to no longer being pregnant) with our physician and then told her how we are hoping to be dilated this visit. Not just dilated but DILATED.

She told us that I'm 1/2 centimeter dilated right now. C'mon, are you serious? That's all? I think she felt bad for us and was giving us a Pity 1/2 Centimeter. Another serving of Pity Cake!

It doesn't look like the baby is going to make his appearance this week. But maybe next. Or the week after that.

Since Dave, Maya, Josh and Justin went with Dennis and me to Scalini's restaurant last night for eggplant, I am wondering if that contributed to being dilated 1/2 cm today. Being the math genius that I am, I'm thinking that if we go 20 more times we should be fully dilated and I'll be in full labor. Not so sure I can eat that much eggplant, but I'm willing to give it a try...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Drop It Like it's Hot...

Here is my 38+ week belly shot.

Pretty sexy.

Dennis purchased these AWESOME Reebok pants for me when I started to get frustrated with my expanding belly. They expand WITH me, which is pretty much a neccessity. I have modeled them in every belly shot photo so far (and yes, they are reversible - pink on one side and white on the other).

Do you think I'm "dropping" yet? This photo is taken pre-Scalini's eggplant dinner, too, by the way. So it might be a different story later on tonight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Need to home school?

So, I tend to get on my soap box when it comes to more government, bigger government, or ... well, basically anything that is government related. It's not that I think that the ideas behind the programs are bad, it's just that there is not one example that demonstrates that the government can do something - anything - more efficiently or make something better than what was made available by the private sector.

I have made reference to the importance of understanding a sunk cost and a perfect example of how the current administration doesn't understand that concept is how Mr. Obama continues to pour money into the failing public school system. The government has been just dumping money into a black hole thinking that if you throw more money at it, it'll just be fixed. It hasn't worked so far and so why do we continue to do it? Because it's so easy for the government to spend money that isn't theirs. It's yours and it's mine. And according to a recently Obama budget analysis, it's largely money from other countries. It's scary that when you look at this years budget, nearly 50% of each dollar being spent by the US government is borrowed. Now THAT is teaching our children an important economics lesson.

Several of my friends are teachers and some of them agree - while others disagree - with my thoughts on the subject. I think that the reason some teachers disagree with me on this is that they interpret what I'm saying as bashing teachers or the hard work that they do. That's not the case at all. I realize that there are MANY great teachers out there that really WANT TO help children learn, are genuinely good people and are not primarily interested in being a teacher because you get a 3 month summer vacation. The point of this post is not to say that teachers are ineffective because that is not the case. It's the way the government is running the school system that is ineffective. The good teachers are largely underpaid and should be paid according to how their school performs. They should be fired or changes should occur if the school falls below an agreed-upon standard. Competition is a GREAT THING and the voucher system would work wonders for educating future generations. Let's keep the great teachers - - and get rid of the slackers and union workers who don't want to be challenged to be better and to provide more education and tools for their students.

What happened to get me all riled up about this? This is a snip from Boortz's website. I look forward to your thoughts on the topic.

Barack Obama announced yesterday that he wants to see 5,000 failing government schools closed and reopened with new principals and teachers. A few questions immediately come to mind.

Since Obama doesn't have the authority to do this, how exactly is he going to see that local school districts follow suit? Or will he expand his role as president to make sure this happens ... wouldn't shock me. Maybe he'll just withhold federal funding. That seems to work.

What the heck are these schools going to do with these teachers and principals in the meantime? Will they get paid not to work? Will they be fired? Will they be transferred? Fired? Did I say fired? No way. There will be some other government job for them somewhere. You don't expect them to survive in the private sector, do you?

That leads to the next, giant question ...
How long will it be before the teachers unions throw a fit? Unless their jobs are guaranteed ... I would give them minutes rather than hours to blow a union gasket.

My last question would have been how much money is the going to cost the taxpayers? But I managed to find the answer ... about a million dollars per school. Yep, Obama's budget sets aside up to $5 billion to facilitate this type of school turnarounds for failing government schools.

Here's an idea, Obama ... ever heard of a voucher or a private school? Rather than spending $5 billion to build more government schools, why not use that money to give students vouchers to attend the schools of their choice. That's what you and the First Lady did? Or here's another idea .. why not allow that money to be used by private companies or individuals or churches or what-have-you to build and run private schools. Just because you build a brand-new school doesn't mean that the education is going to be any better .. especially when you are dealing with government.

Unions rule in the education world, my friends. They're doing to the government schools what they did to our auto industry. We're just going to stand by and let them get away with it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Words that I've Longed To Say

After everything that we've been through, there are two words that Dennis and I always thought about. And now we're there. And we can say it. Finally.

Connor is ... (drum roll, please) ... FULLY COOKED.

As of last weekend (37 wks), we are considered full term. His lungs, which are typically the slowest to develop for white males, should now be in full working order. Maybe that's why I've felt him having so many hiccups lately. He's practicing breathing.

I have tried and tried to think of something non-baby related to blog about but I can't. All that I can think is WHEN IS HE GOING TO MAKE HIS APPEARANCE? I'M READY. HIS LUNGS ARE READY. WHAT'S THE FRIGGIN' HOLD UP? WHAT CAN I DO TO ENTICE HIM TO COME OUT? So, I did what any eager and expecting mom-to-be would do: I googled it. And here's what I found:

To induce labor, you can:
  • Eat spicy foods. I also heard that Scallini's eggplant parmigiana is known for inducing labor. We might go to Scallini's this weekend. Would it be weird to eat there 3 times in one day?
  • Drinking castor oil. I'm not kidding on this one. I will tell you, though, that apparently there is a castor oil that is used to cook with in addition to the castor oil that I am imagining right now...lubricating the engine in a car. I think I'll skip this one.
  • Sex. Oddly enough, it's not the act itself that induces labor but the prostaglandins in the semen are supposed to help stimulate contractions. Nipple stimulation is also supposed to work.
  • If you have started to have contractions, walking can help with the process. That's an easy one. I'll walk all day if I need to.
So, ladies and gents, it looks like I'm off to walk the dog, eat some spicy mexican food and some Eggplant Parmigiana, chug some castor oil and then have sex with with my husband. He is one lucky man.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Bunny Factor

Just about a year ago, I started to play around with Margaritas on Friday and tried my hand at blogging. My first post wasn't an easy one for me to write, but it helped me. In a lot of ways.

SO MUCH has changed in 365 days but one interesting thing that stayed the same is the appearance of bunnies in May in our neighborhood. This one, in particular, likes to terrorize Echo and actually sits on our back patio looking in as if to say, "I know what you did to my friends last year. I'm not too brave but will sit out here - all day long - and stare at you. I'll make you go crazy. Once the door opens, though, SEE YA."

Since my original post last June, 4 of my neighbors got pregnant and delivered beautiful babies. I'm the first to admit that it wasn't easy for me because I was obviously sad about our miscarriage and wanted SO MUCH to be able to start a family with Dennis. It was really hard for me to see some people seemingly get pregnant without thinking twice while we were really struggling. It didn't seem fair.

But now, 3 (or hopefully less!) weeks away from welcoming Connor into this world, I am realizing that every challenge, every up and down, every progesterone shot, every doctor appointment and every time I cried was such important part of this process because it not only helped us conceive Connor but it makes Connor so much more special to us. More special than I could've ever imagined.

Monday, May 4, 2009

36+ Weeks


It's such a scary word that oddly becomes less and less scary the closer we get to May 30th. Maybe God's plan is to make women really uncomfortable so that the whole birthing process doesn't seem so bad afterall.

The pictures above show my ever-expanding belly from each side. Personally, I like the one on the left best because I have sheet marks that demonstrate my love for anything nap related.

We are now doing the weekly visits to the OB and during our check-up tomorrow we'll learn if I'm dilated at all (please, please, puh-leez) or not (which is normal for being 4 weeks away). I am praying that she'll say, "Hey - you are ahead of schedule and are 4 cm's dilated! You probably shouldn't even go home because you are going to have your baby TODAY! Let's start the epidural..."

My fingers (and toes) are crossed as I'm hopeful that Connor will come early. Maybe the 25th of May. Dennis' guess for his arrival date isn't until June 4th. When do you think he'll make his debut? Please post your guess in the comments section. If anyone says a date later than what Dennis predicted, I WILL FIND YOU AND KILL YOU.