Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's hot as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

It's been around 105 degrees here in lovely Corvallis the past 2 days. I bet you're thinking, "Hmm, that sounds hot." Well you would be right! Most Oregonians do not have A/C because generally our summer temperatures are a perfect 85 degrees during the day cooling to 60 at night. Perfect living. But when it gets hot here, you are basically SOL.

Example: the locker rooms at the gym don't have A/C so if you go in to change your clothes you will break out into a sweat before you get your pants down.

The only time I've been happy in the past 48 hours has been when I was sitting in the Willamette River. I literally sat and soaked my entire body in the river for up to an hour each night while Marshall and Bill swam. My body is retaining so much water right now that my workout bag left an imprint on my shoulder for over 3 hours yesterday. I feel like a ham that's been injected with water.

It's 95 degrees today and things are going much better for everyone. Bill installed a window A/C unit downstairs and we've been worshiping it ever since. Time to go worship it right now, it's still too hot to blog.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Swimming is still going well (enough) for me at 7 months pregnant. I swim for at least 1/2 hour three times a week with our master's swim class at noon and the water feels great. I've been putting on swim fins so I can somewhat keep up on the main sets and that worked well (enough) for me until Friday. I had a brilliant idea on Friday: focus on kicking! So I kick-kick-kick-kick-kick-kicked for a half an hour with fins on and then went on my merry way to lunch.

After lunch, I tried to stand up and my right glute seized up in a CRAMP and I seriously couldn't walk for a minute. Of course my lower back kicked in with tightness and by 3 am that night I woke up out of a dead sleep because I could feel the mother of all calf cramps coming on. You know it's going to be bad when you wake up before the cramp even takes hold.

So... lesson learned, pregnancy is not the time to focus on improving your swim kick. I will return my focus to not blowing out the tummy area of my swimsuit which is probably a loftier goal. I like a good challenge!

BTW backstroke is also nearing it's end for me. Apparently I look like Nessie-the-loch-ness-monster with my head and tummy poking out of the water when I try to do backstroke. My husband came up with the Nessie imagery for me. Isn't he helpful? I guess he's not scared of me since he still comes up with these great comments. I must try harder to be a crazy pregnant woman!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A day in the life of Marshall dog

I'm not a morning type of dog. The cat usually wakes us up around 6:30 am and I like to eat and then go back to sleep for a while.

Sometimes people call me lazy. But what's the hurry in the morning? You have all day to do things!
Sweet! I'm in the car with my mom, it must be time to get coffee at the organic place where they hand out organic peanut butter dog treats. I love hippies! Mom usually takes me to the park after we get coffee.

No cameras right now please.
Willamette Park is the best! I can roam off leash here and there is so much to smell. I have to keep my ball out of the blackberry bushes though because they have nasty thorns.

We call this dog beach, it's a calm section of the Willamette River where I can swim and chase other dogs. My dad throws the ball a lot farther than my mom.

Home again, now I can sun myself in the back yard. I love to work on my tan in the morning before it gets too hot.

That cat sleeps in my dog house so I don't go in there. I don't care, as long as she isn't bothering me for attention. Cats are so high maintenance.

Yes! Daddy is home from a bike ride. He lets me lick his salty skin and it's Saturday so we're going for a run now! I love triathlon training!

A post workout cool down with daddy in the pool feels great. That cat better not get too close or she's coming in with us. She needs a bath, she's been rolling around in the dirt all summer and mom complains that every time she touches that cat her hand gets dirty. Time for a nap and I hope dinner gets here soon. I'll probably recover for the rest of the evening because tomorrow we're going to see the ocean!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cheap thrills

My mom bought us one of these reusable bags and you need to know that they kick butt! If you have a Fred Meyers store in your area, go pick one up ASAP, they are on sale for $4 each. The walls stand up firmly so it's easier to load them then the soft bags and you can easily clean them by wiping them with a wet cloth. There are 3 pockets on the inside that are large enough to hold a bottle of wine each (bonus). These suckers are filled with over 40 pounds of stuff from Costco and they were easy to handle and nicer than a cardboard box.

I was thinking about spending some bucks ($60) at REI for these organizers for camping since we are always a mess in the car. Not anymore! These cheap bags will do the trick, I just need to go buy more. MORE!

Do you think Bill will carry around the cheetah print bag?

The roses are for my OB/GYN who we see will see one last time tomorrow. I wanted to do something nice for her, she was there for me when we struggled with infertility and was a source of strength for both of us during those long 2 years. We'll miss her. Maybe I should buy her one of these awesome bags too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Working moms

One of the interesting parts of being pregnant is adjusting to how open people are with expressing their opinions to you. It's a constant barrage of...

You're so big! You won't be able to keep that lifestyle up. You'll never be the same again! Your dog is going to be neglected once that baby comes... (this one is very popular) etc etc etc.

I feel like saying "Calm down people!" I'm going on 37 years old, and as one of my friend's recently pointed out, if teenagers can do it (raise a child) then I think I can. One thing people don't openly talk about is whether or not I'm going back to work. This has been quite nice!

In my community, all of the mothers I know work. Most of them work close to full time hours and this is due partially to their husband's not making enough to support the family and partially due to the fact that most of them have master's degrees and a desire to have a career.

My mom worked and I think this was a great advantage to me. Of course, I don't know any better so my opinion is one sided. My mom worked with people with disabilities and this exposed me to a whole culture and lifestyle I would not have known otherwise. I also learned about my mom's strengths (there are too many to list) and her weaknesses (she literally gives too much) through her work. I watched her evolve from a bookkeeper to running an entire agency. There was always a line of people outside her door, waiting to chat with her whenever I visited her office. I admire my mom and what she accomplished with her life and her career.

I also learned how to build a career for myself with very little in hand. Both my sister and I are self confident women who don't dwell too much on our faults or shortcomings. Neither one of us get along with women who have low self esteem because we don't get it. A lot of women suffer from low self esteem so both my sister and I have to be careful about who we befriend.

I was fortunate in another way, my grandmother was available to raise me and took care of me for most of my young life. I don't believe I spent much time in daycare or with babysitters, in fact, my mom recently told me that I ran away from Montessori school and walked myself home. Daycare was not for me so I took care of it.

I have been working full time for most of the past 20 years and I'm ready for a break. But I'm not planning to quit my job. I am trying to work out permanent part time employment in my current position and I hope it does work out. We're not planning to put our child in daycare right away, we hope to piece something together for at least the first 6 months, then we'll have to make a decision. Grandma lives in Phoenix and grandma lives in Spokane. It breaks my heart. I wish we could be near family so our child could experience the joy that I had getting to know my grandma. The love she gave me has helped me through a some lonely times in my life.

Now that I'm FINALLY pregnant, I was hoping everything else would fall into place. But we might struggle a bit to work this out. I try not to let it get to me, but it does. I wish there were a better solution for all women.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh, I love you too honey!

We were at the car rental place again today, only this time we picked up a cargo van with a plan to drive to Spokane, Wa for the Valley Girl triathlon on Sunday. I just realized that I will be locked in a vehicle with Bill and the dog for 14 hours over 2 days. I don't think we're sane.

My husband is such a good-natured person, which is why we are able to do as much as we do--it isn't me!

This morning Bill dropped me off at work and the dog was in the back seat so I quickly kissed Bill goodbye and then proceeded to coo and kiss the dog and told him how much I would miss him until Bill got pissed and drove off. Well jeez, the dog actually looks sad to see me go. The dog also follows me all over the house and makes sure to snorch me everytime I walk up the stairs. Bill just isn't that into me. I have accepted it and made my peace with it.

So we're off again, I'll try to do something interesting in Spokane to report back on. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flot plaw

We're trying to watch Mickey Rourke in the movie "The Wrestler" and he's in a salon getting his hair colored and he tells the stylist,"Don't leave the foils in too long. My hair started breaking off last time." Ummm hello! He didn't have foils in his hair, the color was applied directly to the scalp and there were no foils. Foils are for highlighting hair, not all over color like he had. Movie making geniuses!

AND how messed up is it to inject yourself with steroids, color your long hair blond, and then spend your days in the tanning salon and gym? Are you a chick or a dude?

This is supposed to be a deep, moving film but I can't get past the hair incident. Why are you still reading this? :) Good night!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't, don't you want me?

Don't get any wise ideas single men! I had to take off my wedding ring this afternoon because my fingers are swollen. Apparently, all of the water that should be in my intestinal tract is instead re-routed throughout my body causing sausage fingers and swollen feet. Too Much Information? :)

Yesterday was the last day for cute strappy sandals. I told Sunny that Bill had to put my shoes on for me that morning and I asked him not to buckle them since I wouldn't be able to get them off. She said maybe I should try Birkenstocks. Skinny b..... it's ok though, we were in the locker room after swimming and I was naked. She can keep that image in her mind for a while. Hugs and kisses!

Who are these women who LOVE to be pregnant? I finally get it now, when inactive people tell me they hate exercise and don't understand people who like to workout. Yes, because now I understand that there are women who love to be pregnant and I don't love it at all. Perhaps those women should carry our children and the rest of us can keep working out?

There's another reason to be excited about my life today! I got to order a size 40 swimsuit. My non-pregnant size is 32 and the size 40 will only fit because there is no backside to this suit. I figured out that the way to find a swimsuit for preggers is to find one that either doesn't have a back or doesn't have a front. People can see my back rather than stare at my belly button which looks like it's about to explode. Of course, this one will be touch and go as far as coverage of my bum. At least I'm not doing flip-turns anymore!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Natural childbirth: the new peer pressure

We slept in on Sunday until around 8am, got out of bed and had breakfast and started watching the Tour de France. I completely fell asleep again on the couch and didn't wake up until after 11am. Dang my sleep is messed up.

I am freaking out less after chatting with my mom friends on Friday but had a hard time this morning. I saw my OB-GYN for the last time today and it was hard to say goodbye to her. She's been with us through the entire process so far and I ended up in tears in front of her thinking about everything she has done for us. Hormones!

We're planning to have a midwife deliver our baby at the hospital. Corvallis has integrated nurse midwives into their hospitals so we can deliver at the hospital and but still have a midwife experience. The reason for a midwife? OBGYNs have tendancies toward C-sections, drugs, and medical procedures while midwives focus on natural childbirth techniques. I may end up with a C-section, which will be fine if it comes to that, but I want to try natural childbirth and see what happens. In my peer group, I don't know a single woman who has had an epidural. Either natural child birth or c-sections have been their results. We'll see what I can handle! It's the new peer pressure and I wouldn't care about that except I can see the logic in it.

We have 14 weeks left until the due date. Yikes! I'll take the epidural now!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Which beast will open the fridgerfreighter first?

Going back to work after a long vacation SUCKS! I haven't slept well since we got home, the stress of getting back into life and then planning for a baby is tripping me out. I don't know how I'm going to keep doing what I do and have a child. The answer is obvious: I won't keep doing what I do. SO WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

I turn 37 in September and in the next few years, before I turn 40, I need to:
  • have a baby and raise it
  • get back in shape and lose as much baby weight as possible
  • get pregnant and have another baby and then raise both kids
  • get in killer shape and lose the hormone boosted baby making body
  • continue to work, hopefully part time, at my desk job
  • continue
  • go back to school and finish my bachelors degree (I have just over 1 year left)
  • ummm save the planet? that's what this feels like right now
It really didn't help when I called the two childcare places I was interested in today and they both told me they have a waiting list over a year long. Apparently, you are supposed to secure childcare prior to conception. STUPID ME! Looks like we'll just leave the baby with the dog and cats and see who figures out how to open the fridge first. Good luck babies!

I watched one of my dear friends go through this when she was pregnant and I thought, "All of this worry and fretting will go away when she holds that baby in her arms." Now that the baby is here... you know, I don't know what she's thinking about, I've barely seen her. That's real good to think about. I'm going to go panic in the corner now.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Central CA coast

The end is near... from the pile of hand-me-downs
some sun shades to protect the dog from the sun

We were sad to leave family behind in Arizona, I like to reflect on life and priorities when I travel and it's always good to hear the family perspective on life. Two of my sisters-in-law gave me a bunch of hand me downs for the baby! I have three large bags of infant clothes and toys and some new stuff too including our first baby shower gifts. Our car was completely crammed to the roof with stuff when we left.

Pismo Beach, CA

But it was hot in Phoenix and time to go to the California coast and cool off. We drove straight west to CA, it was 116 degrees in Palm Springs so no time to stop, we kept rolling until we made it to Pismo Beach CA where it was 70 degrees. What a cute little place!

Heading down to Sand Dollar Beach

Unfortunately, the rest of the CA coast until you hit Carmel is dry and a little boring. Hwy 1 is super windy and tough to drive. We were dodging speeding motorcyclists the entire way which added to the excitement. We briefly stopped at the Hearst Castle, but couldn't take the tour since the dog was with us.


Some surfers enjoying the waves in Carmel, a swanky town just south of Monterrey. You know it's swank when there is a Coach handbag store next to the beach. I loved Carmel!

Pregnant by the Sea

Check out the volleyball in my stomach! I took my shirt off for this photo, don't worry, I wasn't walking around with my shirt off! Carmel is so swanky, I thought I was make a scene with my belly pose. Bill notice one woman gaping at me, mouth open and staring. Sweet!!

Marshall romping with a Great Dane at the beach

Marshall stayed close to us at the beach when this big guy came over to play. It was adorable! Check out the short video below. We ended our time at the coast with an ice cream cone in Monterrey. We had a great day and it was a nice way to wrap up our trip.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pitstop in Chandler

Marshall aqua jogging with me in the morning

We've been in Chandler AZ for a pit stop for the past four days, spending time at Bill's parent's house with the brothers and their families. We've spent our days in the swimming pool and our evenings having dinner and playing cards. It's been relaxing and fun to see everyone, the nieces and nephews grow so fast and they are getting more and more fun to be around.

A million and one kisses for Marshall dog.

The most popular activity this week has been giving love and affection to the dog. He is going to feel neglected when we get home! His cousins (Marshall counts as our first child) always have their hands on him but it's back to the kitties for you Marshall dog!

Bill obligating Hailey before she says "Again! Again!"

On Sunday we head out for the California coast. Our plan is to drive west to the Santa Barbara area and then see where we get from there. Bill has a business meeting in Stockton on Tuesday and then Redding CA either Tues or Wed. Then we'll head home. Time to leave the heat of Arizona behind and all the love we feel from family. Bittersweet! I'm sure the kitties miss us so we better get the dog home soon. Happy 4th of July!

A Near Miss with the Grand Canyon

The only shade in Hurricane, UT

After we left Zion, Bill had to visit a site for his work at Hurricane, UT. It was hotter than hell so Marshall and I drove around in the car with the AC on until Bill was done. Afterward, we picnicked at a school playground, the only place we could find shade in the whole town.

We set out for the Grand Canyon, but as the day wore on, I was getting increasingly car sick from high elevations and windy roads. My brain started weighing options: drive 40 miles in to see the Grand Canyon and then drive back out and get a hotel, or drive to Bill's parents house in Chandler AZ, and get some food and rest and see family...

Road Warrior

Bill wearing my hat and some obnoxious sunglasses I bought for cycling at a grocery store when we were in Kona. I shouldn't buy these things, they come back to haunt me.

These trees belong in Oregon, not Arizona!

This looks more like Arizona

We decided to head to the family home and see the Grand Canyon when I had more energy for it. It is only 2.5 hours from Bill's parents house and we visit there twice a year so we'll see the canyon eventually. I had regrets until we got to the house and then I knew it was the right decision. I was exhausted.

Floaters on the Colorado River

We stopped in Flaggstaff AZ for dinner and what a cool town! It's on my list for places to check out in case we need to move. There were some great looking restaurants downtown and it had an outdoorsy vibe to it that I find attractive.

Bicycle on the streets of Flagstaff, AZ

Zion National Park

Zion is a little bit more dog friendly than Bryce. There is one trail that you can walk your dog on, and it's actually longer than 800 feet. Zion is interesting because you drive through the park and then you can take a bus into the canyon, there are no cars in the canyon. But there are no dogs on buses so we just hiked along the trail for a while, letting Marshall get a turn in the little river that was running near the campground.

Zion was nice, but I could see how it would be seriously hot in the canyon in the summer. I think fall and spring would be a great time to visit.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Bryce Canyon National Park

I love visiting national parks, they exist because they are national treasures and need to be protected. The thing I don't like about national parks is their policy on dogs. Dogs are not allowed on 98% (my guess) of the trails in our national parks. They can go in campgrounds and walk along the road. At some parks, like Bryce Canyon, they aren't even welcome at viewing points.

One of the great pleasures in life is hiking with a dog. A dog brings energy and enthusiasm to everything, especially hiking. I would pay good money to bring my dog on the trails in national parks. I would undergo training, sign a contract, do whatever it takes to commit to preserving the trails and areas in national parks.

For now, when we travel with the dog to a national park, we'll have to rush through the viewing points and skip most hikes unless we board the dog or leave him at home. Most of the outdoorsy people I know own a dog, people who would use the back country trails and spend days in the parks. Bummer for all of us.
As you can see, Bryce Canyon is out of this world amazing. Can't wait to go back and do some hiking in the spring or fall sometime!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Boise ID to Park City UT

Boise ID foothills

We woke up Sunday morning in a cheap motel in Boise, ID. It was 9:00 am and the temperatures were already heading toward 90 degrees outside. Yuck. It could have been worse, at least we weren't hungover. We set out on a mission to find outdoor seating at a restaurant that served breakfast because it was too hot in the car for the dog.

Park in downtown Boise

Since we had no idea where we were, it was a slightly ambitious goal, but we headed downtown and were able to find a cute place with great service. Everyone we spoke with in Boise was friendly and outgoing which made the experience that much nicer. The same could not be said of the people in Provo. That place was strange.

Ski jumps at Park City

Anyway, we drove around Boise for a while to see what it was about, hit a local park to run the dog and then we were out of there. The best thing we discovered about Boise is it's people and the variety of cool shops downtown. When you come from Oregon, land of a million shades of green, it's a lot harder to be impressed by a landscape.

Downtown Park City: do you have a million dollars
to go the private brew pub?

The drive to Park City was awesome! The speed limit was 75 instead of the 55. Zoom! Park City was home to the winter Olympics and it looks exactly how you would expect. Trendy, fancy, yuppie, and all the other shi-shi words that end in a "y" sound. I look at it as a place I cannot afford to play but nice to look at just the same. Sometimes it's hard to shake growing up poor. Hey, I'm still poor when it comes to the Park City lifestyle, let's not kid ourselves here.

The foothills outside of Heber UT

Bill's aunt and uncle reside in Park City so we spent the evening with them and the cousins. We watched a wedding video and travel videos and heard about our cousin's husband losing 40 pounds by starting running. Family is good to be with. The only problem was Park City has a high elevation and I was breathing heavy just moving around.

Yuma Lake: a little too pretty for wading cows

We drove south through Utah (speed limit 80!) and stopped at Yuma Lake for a picnic lunch. The lake was gorgeous and I was contemplating a swim until I heard a "Mooooo!" from across the lake and saw cattle bathing in the lake. Yuck. Marshall dog went for a dip and then we are off again. I enjoy traveling with a dog, even though it's a pain in the butt. You have stop and enjoy the view more and watching a dog romp in a lake brings a pleasure all it's own.

You gotta have Wonder Bread at a lakeside picnic

We made it to Bryce Canyon National Park and I was stunned STUNNED by the beauty. Unfortunately the elevation was so high that once again I was breathing heavy and started to feel sick. We stayed long enough to take some photos and then we had to leave. We will go back when I'm not pregnant so we can hike there. Gorgeous! Photos on next post.