Archive for March, 2007

Fewer and Farther Between

You poor neglected blog. I used to spend so much time with you, lovingly composing prose that would bring you readers. I would sit for hours to work on your template and think of ways to improve your appearance. Then I would add pictures and make sure you looked nice for the day. Sigh. Those days are gone.

Now I have replaced you with a swelling belly, making meals for events, designing things graphically and working at the office. These are wonderful things but they have slowly edged you out. I’m sorry, little guy. Maybe one day soon, you will once again be the apple of my eye…but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There is too much of a chance that “one day soon” will be months and months away. In the meantime, I will give you snippets of all that has happened.

Jud turned the big two five last week and we had a little party that I forgot to take pictures of because I am totally forgetful of the photo-taking when there are friends around. I did make two cakes – one made of cheese and topped with cherries and the other made of spices and topped with mocha frosting. I loved them both. The spice cake is still sort of with us, but I’m making quick work of saying goodbye to it. Jud got a few presents and some cards and a lot of emails and phone calls, all of which are such nice ways for people to remember you and that is the nicest thing for your birthday, to be remembered.

We had a potluck with our neighbors last week and it went really well…lots of talking and plenty of advice for me from the L&D nurses who live next door (and from the one mama who lives here too). The best part was that the super pretty neighbor, who I believe bears a striking resemblance to that girl on Lost, only prettier, was talking about needing a new job and I was all, ‘how about you come temp for me while I am gone?’ And she said ‘yes!’ And I said ‘Send your resume!’ And then she did and now she is all but hired. Hoorah!

I also took a meal to our Sunday school friends who had a baby the Saturday before. He is very cute and I got some more pointers on L&D, which is fabulous.

My tooth is fixed! But I accidentally gave them the wrong insurance info. They will need the right stuff to resubmit (duh! – This is the squishy baby brain…he is sucking out all my smarts!).

We ordered an interactive dvd to learn all about ‘birthin some babies’ because we waited a really long time to figure out when to take a birthing class and also because they are stupid expensive. We paid a third of that cost for the dvd and then we can refer back to it whenever we’d like, possibly while in the delivery room and my brain flat lines.

We went to the doctor today and he was all ‘you look great’ and ‘you look glowy’ and I was all ‘you are late’ and then in a funk for a while because I am tired of showing up early and then not being seen for 45 minutes. He was all ‘sickness and procedures are not always punctual’ and I was all ‘okay.’ Inside, however, I was all ‘be better at scheduling!’ I was under 150 today, which means that I am fine in the weight world, and frankly, if I wasn’t officially fine according to the scale, I was just going to tell the doctor that I look awesome for someone who is eight months into this process, but then he said so himself. Maybe I should dial down the crazy.


Four D not Forty

Last Friday, while my parents were in town, we drove up to Frisco and got some pretty good looks at the baby. Right before we went in, my chewing gum suddenly became extra crispy and I realized that I’d lost a filling and part of a tooth. That was awesome. I forgot about my tooth pretty quickly once I crawled up on the table and the goo was on my belly.

We saw him in 2D first, and even that is pretty wonderful. He has a big belly and lots of hair and his heart beat was strong and steady. When she switched it over to the 3D/4D the placenta was kind of in the way and he buried his face in my hip, with his placenta pillow for the rest of the morning.

We went to get a bite to eat and that seemed to liven him up, so he moved out of my hip and into plain view. That’s when we got the good shots.

Check him out for yourself…..

Baby leg and foot
Side view with slight distortion from movement.
2D of his profile.
All their noses look smooshed like that for some reason.
Of course, it might actually be smooshed, but it’s not all that likely.
He pretty much kept his hand up by his face like that the whole time.

So that’s him. That’s our baby. He’s still gestating, although lately he’s been taking Taekwondo classes and is practicing most of his kicks on my right rib cage. It almost lost it’s fun for me though. Almost.

Quick Update

In the way of a quick update, I wanted to let everyone know that they can now access our baby registries by clicking on the links of the left side of the page.

Could I Just Sit for a Moment and Breathe?

Life has somehow become nothing but work over the past four weeks. I am in a perpetual state of working. I work at the office. I come home and sit down at this desk and work some more. Sometimes I get up and make us something to eat. Sometimes I force my husband to grill sandwiches made of cheese. Sometimes I eat those sandwiches right here at this desk. Sometimes I work until way past my bedtime. But bedtime is no longer as wonderful as it used to be. Now it is filled with leg cramps, hip pain, acid reflux and a few trips to the bathroom. Who could look forward to that? Anyway I feel like my body will not handle much more of this constant working and interrupted sleep.

I’m cranky. I’m thirsty all the time and I don’t enjoy food or sleep. I’m officially no fun and also getting worse about calling/writing people back. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, it’s just that I’m exhausted and I keep thinking that I will call you right after I do this one more thing. And then I realize that I have something else to do, like mop my kitchen floor.

That floor is disgusting and needs to be mopped at least once a week. I haven’t touched it in a few months now. But I’m going to do it….tomorrow, which is probably when I’ll call you back.

Tournament Challenge

I realize the everyone has probably already filled out about 10 of these things… However, some of you may be thinking, “What’s another bracket? Sure I’ll sign up.” Or perhaps some of you have never done this but you may find it a great way to be interested in all the stuff your spouse or friends will be glued to for the next couple weeks. Others of you may have a lotto ticket mentality, in which case another bracket will only further your chances of being a winner and dawning the title of “Champion.” To sign up for my “Tournament Challenge” go here and register for the bracket. You will need to have the following information:

Group ID#: 10146
Password: password

We’ll announce the winner of the bracket challenge when all games conclude. Once you fill out your bracket, you may want a copy to print out and keep track of your brackets. A printable copy of the bracket is available here. If you have any questions, send me an email.

Per Kit’s Request

We live in Texas, the land of big things and one of the most Republican bastions of the US. If I lean in any direction politically, it’s to the right, and thus I often find myself agreeing with the views of Texans, albeit with some degree of discomfort, given their twang and unshaking belief in their correctness. Back when we voted for the governor in November, though, I just could not bring myself to push the button for Rick Perry. He ran as a Republican, but I think he gives them all a bad name. He’s soft on border patrol. He’s not lowering taxes, in spite of a giant surplus of money. He’s in too tight with the teacher’s union, if you ask me. And then there was Gardasil.

Gardasil is the vaccine for 4 strands of HPV. HPV is the Human Papillomavirus. If you’ve ever had a wart, anywhere on your body, then you’ve been infected with HPV. Although, many times people who have the virus will have no symptoms and will simply carry it until their body recognizes the virus as a foreign threat and kills it off.

Just like every virus, including the common cold, there is no cure for HPV. This is due, in large part, to the fact that viruses mutate easily and are quick to adapt to treatments. You can catch this virus by coming in direct contact with it through skin to skin contact (from yourself or someone else), or even by touching objects that have the virus on them.

Symptoms of viruses, however, can be managed and in most cases of HPV, warts are simply frozen or lasered off of the skin. Warts in the private parts, given their delicate environment, are less likely to be treated by such ‘radical’ means and are most commonly treated with Aldara, a topical cream made by 3M that was approved by the FDA in 1997. Aldara remains the only topical treatment for HPV and, without insurance, the average month’s supply of the cream will cost the consumer around $200.

Until recently, 3M cornered the market for those with HPV infections of their delicates. They had the only treatment. But while 3M had been getting fat off of management of the virus, Merck was assisting researchers in how to vaccinate against it. The FDA approved the vaccine in June of 2006. It covers the four major strains of the virus, two of which cause as estimated 90% of all outbreaks. Essentially, the vaccine has virus-like particles that lack the viral component. Once injected, they trigger the body to create antibodies against their particles, thus building an immunity to the virus. The vaccine is administered in separate shots over the course of three visits.

By no means does this vaccine announce the end of HPV. There are still many more strains that the vaccine does not cover, but it does prevent against the most commonly destructive strains. What kind of destruction are we talking? Cancer. The Big Double C, really. Cervical Cancer. In almost all cases, women who develop cervical cancer have HPV.

It’s estimated that 270,000 women die each year from cervical cancer. And while; according to the American Cancer Society, only 3700 of those women are inside the United States, it is still a gigantic number of women in our country whose lives could have been saved by the vaccine.

Now comes the touchy part. What about you? What about your daughter? What about your friends? I’ve been talking with friends about the vaccine and asking them if they are going to get it. So far, the reactions are pretty much the same. They smile and say ‘no’ because no one believes that they are at risk. One in four American women has HPV. One in four. Not to mention all of the men who are carrying it. Even if you are not, how should I say this, ‘putting yourself out there’ you might end up with someone who has been, and so might your daughter.

Oh, the daughters. This is where Rick Perry comes in again. He gave an executive order last month declaring that starting in 2008 all sixth grade girls have to get the vaccine as part of the required shots to attend school. And the Texans went crazy. Rightfully so.

Even though I am totally 100% behind the vaccine and will get it myself, I don’t think the government should be telling people what do when it comes to their own healthcare decisions. I don’t think any vaccines should be mandatory. I also think people who own restaurants should be allowed to decide if people can smoke in the building that they own, in spite of the fact that I love smoke-free restaurants. LOVE.THEM. But if a restaurant is smoky, I should just vote with my feet and not go there. I don’t think the government should be allowed to tell private citizens how to run their private businesses and even more so their private bodies.

Of course, in Texas, you can opt out of the vaccinations – all of the vaccinations – for your children. You can send them to school here completely unvaccinated if you so choose, even with the Executive Order. But that’s not good enough for, and please forgive me, the crazy Christians and Religious Right, who are shouting around about abstinence. We know already. We get it that people shouldn’t have sex before they’re married so that disease won’t spread. We know condoms aren’t fool proof (certainly not with HPV, because they don’t cover all the parts that need covering), and we know that you think vaccinating our girls is giving them signed papers to be promiscuous.

But reality is that 3700 families would give anything to get one more day with a woman that they loved. A woman who may have made a bad choice at a party in college. A woman who may have been raped by someone with the disease. A woman who may have done everything right on her own; who has been a church-going, God-fearing person her entire life and then married a man who just recently became a Christian, but whose life before that was far from ‘clean’.

It’s not just about our daughters making right decisions now. It’s also about their future. And even though I totally disagree with Rick Perry’s order to mess about in our healthcare choices, I’d like to believe that he sees the issue the same way. That he isn’t just signing orders because of the campaign checks he’s received from people at Merck.

I’ll never know his intentions, but I’m not all that concerned with them either. I’m concerned about you, about your daughter and about women globally whose lives can be extended by a simple vaccine.

What Is there to Say?

So, I haven’t much to say these days. The past week was really busy and many of you may have received some of the work I was doing via email. If you don’t know that of which I’m speaking, I would tell you in a less conspicuous place than this, or at least a place where google would not reach. I’m not into outing the places that employ me here, so that’s why I’m all G-14 classified (to break out the old college lingo). There’s nothing terribly exciting about it, just some basic design work, but it was nice to finally get it out and complete the project.

Meanwhile my full time job is totally time consuming and more than a little overwhelming to third trimester Kim. I’m struggling to stay focused there as it is, but when my inbox fills up faster than I can even think of responding, it just takes all the wind out of my sails and my mind starts to wander towards my bed and all of those delicious blankets and pillows.

I’m feeling fine, except that I’m tired again and my skin itches and burns in certain spots in spite of all the lotions I’m smearing on it and the leg cramps that steal my sleep, and the back pain, and the heaviness of my giant stomach, and all the violent ninja moves this kid is pulling. Of course, I’m glad for all of this because in the end it just means that it will completely remove the fear of pushing a kid out of my body. I’ll just want all of the discomfort to stop enough that I’ll go through a bunch of terrible things to make it all go away to ‘get this kid out of me’ (which I plan to proclaim at least once in mid-may).

That’s enough baby talk. I think I should tell you about other things…but I’m tired and those blankets are calling to me.

I’ll try to find the time this week to review James Cameron’s attempt to, once again, become the king of the world, the unredemptive and boring work that is Music & Lyrics and maybe even the cervical cancer vaccine (those were the the things I wanted to tell you about, but am too lazy to form intelligent words around right now). Um, don’t hold your breath.