Thursday, May 31, 2007

OFF with their HEADS!!!

People don’t get when their comments really make you feel bad… I may smile politely and suck it up, but I just feel like closing all doors and crying until I just can’t cry no more… I get this visit from a co-worker from Aguadilla. She’s due 4 weeks before me. So she comes to see me everytime she comes to the office, I really don’t know why… I can’t stand her. Today she looked for me (as I was not in my office but giving service) and when she found me she started the neverending talk about all the things she has prepared for the baby, yadda yadda. And she asks me what have I done. So nice being on the spot like that. I just smiled and said its only six months, it’s too early for me to be doing anything. And to that followed this thesis that I am not six but seven months pregnant, and that I should have already this and that… That I can give birth anytime after the 7th month. And then people turn to give all details on their preparation experiences… how they did this and that… And offer to give me (of all people, me!) decoration magazines so I get ideas to decorate the nursery… You know, I am so clueless in all that must be done… I have this knot in my throat, and trying to breath in and breath out I smile and go away to my office.

Do I need ideas? Not really. Do I know I could have the girl anytime? Yes. Do I know all that must be done? Yes. I don’t lack creativity or knowledge… And I do want so much to do things… I just don’t have the means to. There is no money. I need to fix basic things to at least make things bearable… I cannot go into whims and pretty things simply because it all requires cash. Do I need to buy everything? No. I can make things myself… but you need the raw material to actually do things… and I don’t even have the baby’s bed. And how you get the cloths to make curtains and sheets and ruffles? From thin air?

Oh, I do have inspiration… I wanted to create an original Skelanimals theme in black and white, getting two or three of the plush dolls for reference… but not even that… I could settle for Hello Kitty as it is everywhere, but it is quite pricey… And I still don’t have the room for Deirdre. (sight) I need to do the cat fence, to put up the A/C, to fix the upstairs bathroom, to fix the room’s window, to fix the stairs ceiling, to get a stairs handrail, to fix the broken water tube… To fix my car this weekend… And on top of it all, we need to eat, I need to get lancets and there are two doctor’s appointments around the corner. If it were not for WIC I could have not followed any diet at all… We barely got me some pieces that may help me survive a bit these last months… At least a co-worker donated something for the baby, so at least I am certain she won’t be naked… But it all is so frustrating and so uphill… It sucks having ideas and creativity when you can actually do nothing to make things happen. And of course, people don’t realize that… They are all for the baby and the pretty in pink side of it all. How can I try to enjoy what is happening, when situations can only trigger anxiety and helplessness… It’s just us, the mage and me… no one else helps in anything at all. And me giving physical help is limited even more by the hours that pass…

Standing everyone with the stupid salute hailing the belly, stating that Oh, miracle! It’s growing! Really! (As if babies grew inwards or something)… Simply smiling and wandering off when all you want to do is punch their faces or strangle them is sometimes too much… Why must people repeat the same crap 10 times a day, each time they see you? And smile stupidly? And use that annoying so-called-cute tone? Especially irritating from two-face people that would like to see you splatted by a mammoth… And the same question, is everything allright… Do I look allright? And, geesh, they all have gone through it, so they should KNOW no, I am not allright, I feel like crap and I really hate being asked the same stupid question constantly!

I wish I didn’t have to be here in this crappy place… I just want to be in peace and quiet, perhaps with less annoying company… just with people that really cared or that at least appreciated me truthfully. My great motivation to show up in the office: It has A/C. Nothing of further interest or meaning. The days get longer by the second… And I get out beyond drained, tired, frustrated, anxious, and sad…

I wish I could do more, to prepare things properly for Deirdre. But I’m tied up in every way. All I can do is hope that she will be just fine, and all I can give can only translate to neverending love. I’ve never had anything material to give… And even if I had hoped for the view to change, it all is getting worst… At least love is completely certain. From both of us.



Body: Swelling and Edema Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
Continuing on those sports analogies (remember, it was a soccer ball two weeks ago), your uterus has swelled to the size of a basketball this week. But unfortunately, that's not the only thing that's swelling. Beginning somewhere around this stage of pregnancy, nearly three-quarters of pregnant women start to experience mild swelling of the extremities, particularly of the feet and ankles (but also your hands, as you may have noticed when you last tried to take off your rings). Called edema, such swelling occurs when fluids accumulate in your body tissues as a result of increased blood flow and pressure of your growing uterus on the pelvic veins and your vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body that returns blood from your lower limbs to the heart). Mild swelling sure isn't swell (especially when you try to squeeze into your shoes at the end of the day, when puffiness is at its peak), but it is completely normal. If your swelling seems to be more than mild, talk to your practitioner. Excessive swelling can be one sign of preeclampsia, but when it is, it's accompanied by a variety of other symptoms (such as elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine). If your blood pressure and urine are normal (they're checked at each prenatal visit), there's nothing to be concerned about. To spell swell relief, avoid sitting or standing for a long time, try to get some pregnancy-appropriate exercise, such as walking or swimming (if your practitioner okays it), and when you rest, do so with your feet elevated (if anyone deserves to put her feet up, it's you). Be sure, too, to drink enough each day to stay hydrated. Restricting fluid intake will not decrease swelling, but making sure to get your eight glasses daily may. And also try to look on the bright side: First of all, pretty soon your belly will be so big, you won't even be able to see how swollen your feet are. Second, edema is a temporary condition — you'll deflate completely soon after you give birth.

Mommy: Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
Call it a Murphy's Bed Law of Pregnancy — now that you need a good night's sleep more than ever, it's getting harder and harder to get one. Getting comfortable in bed isn't easy anymore — especially if your favorite position is tummy-down and your tummy is currently the size of a watermelon (a very squirmy watermelon). But before you flip onto your back to catch those z's you crave, consider this: Experts recommend that pregnant women not sleep on their backs during the second and third trimesters because the weight of the growing uterus and baby pressing the vena cava, the main vein that carries oxygenated blook back to the heart from your lower body region. If compressed, it can interfere with optimum circulation (and circulation is a pregnancy's best friend). So what position should a pregnant woman shift to when you're in search of slumber? Your best bedtime bet is to lie on your side. Though it's less important which side you choose, the left side allows for maximum blood flow (less pressure on the vena cava) and could reduce swelling in the legs. To get yourself comfy in that position, pull out all the stops — and all the pillows. You can try putting one pillow between your legs, one under your belly, and one behind your back — or any other improvised combination that allows you to sleep like a baby. You can try a wedge-shaped pillow for support. Another option is a full-length body pillow (which, when you shift positions with it, actually provides good training for alligator wrestling). Best intentions (and nightly get-comfortable rituals) notwithstanding, you can't always control what pose your body strikes in your sleep. If you wake up on your tummy or your back — don't worry — absolutely no harm will come to your baby. That you woke up in the first place is probably your pregnant body's way of telling you to change positions (and maybe that it's time to pee again). So (after your trip to the bathroom) just haul yourself back into position — which at this point is probably no small undertaking (relocate four pillows, swing over the legs and belly, push out buttocks, rearrange the pillows…are you comfortable yet?). Here's to a good night's sleep (while you can get it!).

Baby: I Sense Something Is Going On
Most babies this age, yours included, still like to snuggle in a slightly curled position inside the uterus (thus the term "fetal position"). Even so, beginning at this stage, your baby's length will be measured from top of head to toe — which makes your baby nearly a full 15 inches now. And at just over two pounds, he or she has doubled in weight from four weeks ago. Your baby's auditory development (hearing) is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures. And even though the sounds your baby hears are muffled (thanks to the creamy coating of vernix covering those ears), he or she may recognize both yours and your partner's voices. So this might be a good time to read and even sing to your baby (or rather, your belly) — and a good chance to start boning up on those nursery rhymes and lullabies you'll need to be repeating (and repeating) pretty soon. And while you're at it, here's another way to have some family fun: If your partner presses his ear to your belly, he might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat. Your baby's taste buds are very developed now too (with more taste buds than he or she will ever have outside the womb, actually). Need a taste test? If you eat some spicy food (you hot mama, you), your baby will be able to taste the difference in the amniotic fluid (but keep in mind that you'll have different mealtimes, with your baby's coming about two hours after yours). Some babies will even respond to that spicy kick by hiccupping. And although hiccups (which feel like belly spasms to you) may seem like they're disturbing to your baby, he or she isn't stressed at all. It's just one more sensation that babies need to get used to.

Safety in the Kitchen
You've already said so long to rare steaks, sayonara to sashimi, and adieu to your favorite French brie. (Fortunately, you won't be apart for long — as soon as your baby's born, you'll be able to welcome them back into your diet with open arms, and open mouth.) Out the kitchen door, too, is a casual approach to meal prep — there's never been a time when food handling has been more important (not that you'd ever want a case of food poisoning — but you definitely want to avoid one now). Fear not: Preparing food safely is fairly easy if you take your lead from the local health department and follow a few common sense rules. (These habits will serve you well when you're trying to keep your child's food safe, too — so consider using them for keeps.) Wash up. That goes for your hands first and foremost, and also for your dish towels, countertops, sponges — everything that's even remotely a part of the food prep process, including the food itself. Anything you plan to eat, and anything that touches what you plan to eat, should be kept spick-and-span. Be extra vigilant about this when handling raw meats, eggs, poultry, or fish — wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after you touch these foods, and be sure to clean your hands immediately after you've finished, along with the utensils, cutting board, and towels you handled along the way. Wash the lids of cans before you open them so dirt and bacteria won't contaminate the contents (and never eat anything from a dented can — but that's true whether you're pregnant or not). Wash fruits and veggies thoroughly before eating them, even the ones you intend to peel. The one exception to the wash before using rule: Don't rinse raw meat or poultry. You won't be washing off the bacteria — only cooking can eliminate that — but you will be splashing the bacteria all over the sink and countertop. Hot means hot, cold means cold. Keep uncooked perishable foods at or below 40°F, and don't let them stay above 40°F for more than two hours. Refrigerate any fresh food that won't be served or cooked immediately. On the flip side, keep hot foods at or above 140°F until serving, and don't leave them sitting out on the table while you linger over coffee. Refrigerate them immediately, and reheat leftovers thoroughly (until steaming or boiling). Having a hot weather picnic? Limit the time your perishables spend sitting out to one hour. Make it well-done. When it comes to meat, fish, or poultry, half-baked isn't baked enough for you. Pierce your cooked chicken — if the juice comes out red, it's undercooked, so put it back in the oven and let it heat up till the fluid runs clear. Cut through the thickest part of cooked meat and chops to make sure the middle is gray or brown, and not a speck is rare. And instead of searing fish and serving it rare or medium, bake, broil, grill, or poach it until it's cooked through. Better still, check the temperature (with a quality meat thermometer, not the back of your hand) of anything you make to be sure it's cooked through. Remember these "fully cooked" temperatures of some family favorites: Whole chicken or turkey: 180oF. Beef, veal, lamb, or pork, roasts, chops, or steaks: 170oF.Chicken breasts: 170°F. Ground chicken or turkey: 165°F. Ground beef, veal, lamb, pork: 160oF. Fish: 145°F. Precooked ham: 140oF. Be "eggs-acting." Choose cage-free eggs, when possible, and only buy ones that have been kept refrigerated. Throw away any that have cracked, and keep even your cooked eggs in the fridge at all times. When preparing eggs, cook until the whites have set firmly and the yolks have begun to thicken. And of course, never consume them raw (in salad dressings, sauces, or mousse-type desserts), unless you're using the pasteurized variety. If you're using raw, unpasteurized eggs for baking, resist the temptation to lick that raw batter.

Dad: Two-Thirds Down, One to Go
Braxton Hicks is not the owner of an NFL franchise. Braxton Hicks are contractions. But before you panic (Oh, no! The C word!) or start packing the hospital bag, here's something you should know: Braxton Hicks (which might start as early as the next few weeks) are not the kind of contractions that bring a baby — they're just a sort of uterine spring training, which helps get those important muscles ready for the big day (or night). Stay calm when your partner tells you she's just experienced that clenching sensation (which will also make her belly extra firm and strangely contorted). Help her change positions — get her off her feet if she's standing; help hoist her out of her chair if she's sitting. But relax (and help her relax) — it's not labor. Yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Story of DEIRDRE

(From the Summation of Wendy Werges and 'Celtic Fairy Tales' collected By Joseph Jacobs, Embellished with a co-mingling of folk stories by Lori Tharp)

Long ago, the King of Ulster was holding his court. In the course of feasting and music, a loud, unearthly cry was heard that stilled everyone in the room. The King's soothsayer divined the source of the cry as the unborn child in the womb of one of the women at court. The soothsayer told the King: "This woman will bear a daughter, and she will be the fairest girl that the land has ever seen-- and on account of this beauty, the greatest amount of blood ever been shed in Erin since time and race began will be shed for her. And the three most famous heroes that ever were found will lose their heads on her account."

The king, King Conchobar, thought on the prophecy for a moment and thought that having the fairest girl in the land would be no poor thing. He then sighed and said that if the girl was to be so much trouble, he would bear the price of the trouble alone. So he sent the girl and her mother to the woods to live in a cottage, alone where hopefully she could do little harm and perhaps avoid the prophecy. He also announced to all in his kingdom that he would marry the girl when she came of age.

So the woman raised Deirdre, who grew like a sapling. The woman taught Deirdre all that she knew, from sewing to the herbs of the forest. But the one thing she did not teach her of was men. The woman did learn, though, from her confinement with Deirdre, that the young pretty thing had also the gift of prophecy, through the means of dreams, not unlike the soothsayer who warned the king of her fate.

One night, Deirdre dreamed of chasing after three handsome men whom she saw in a clearing near her home. Her eyes met those of the youngest, and she fell in love and chased after them. Before she reached them, the three men faded to the shadow of another man, whom she could not see clearly, but who bore a crown on his brow.

It came to pass one fateful day that three hunters came near to the far-off place in which they lived. The noises they made and their presence piqued great curiosity in the young, and now beautiful maiden, who took an interest and watched them. One took aim and shot a black crow to the snow-covered ground. While she watched he turned around, and his hair was as dark as the wing of the raven. He crouched beside the kill and his skin was the color of snow, and when he colored when the other men jested that he had shot a scavenger and nothing for their dinner, his face reddened to the color of the crow's blood. Deirdre was fascinated by the beautiful creature she saw, then realized that these men were the men from her dreams, and she fell immediately in love with Naois, the youngest with the raven hair. She stepped out, a beautiful creature with golden red hair, and she captured his heart as surely as he had her own. She kissed him three times, and then gave a kiss to each of his brothers.

The three were mindful of the King and his oath to marry the girl. To prevent this, so that Naois might marry her, they decided to take her to Scotland. It was unfortunate as they escaped that the king saw her, and was enraptured by her beauty. He gave pursuit, but they eluded him safely and made their lives by the side of a fair lake. Naois and Deirdre, and Naois's brothers, Allen and Arden, dwelled here happily in a tower for a long time, after her marriage to Naois.

At the end of a year, though he knew her married, the King decided to use the sword to acquire what love and planning could not. So he planned a gleeful feast, and sent his kinsman--his father's brother, Ferchar Mac Ro--to Scotland to invite Naois to the feast. There the emissary arrived with his three sons, and pronounced that the King would not rest soundly until the heroes of Ireland were returned to the homeland, and that he hoped the feast would lure them back to their rightful place in their rightful lands. The brothers immediately agreed to return, but Deirdre had dreamed the night before of three white doves with honey in their mouths, and then of three gray hawks, the color of the sea, with blood in their mouths. She begged Naois not to go, but he dismissed her dreams as silliness and not portents of the future.

So the emissary and his sons, the three heroes, and Deirdre, arrived in Ireland again. They were sent to a guest house, for the main hall was not yet ready for the feast, and the King asked Gelban Grednach, son of Locklin's King, to go to the house where they waited and observe Deirdre's beauty. If it had faded, the King said he would leave her to Naois, but if it had not, then by sword he would have her. Gelban spied on Deirdre and the three brothers, and was awed by her beauty. Naois discovered the spy, and took the die from his game with his brothers and threw it so hard as to knock out Gelban's eye through the keyhole. Gelban took himself away to the King and pronounced that he would have remained to look more at the young beauty, had he not been in such a hurry to escape the heroes.

So the three brothers knew that treachery was coming upon them, now, and they prepared. The three sons of the emissary, who had sworn they would guard the heroes with their lives whilst they were in Ireland, were true to their word. And when the King arrived with his men, the six of them cut them down, though King Connachar offered them much to get them to betray their oaths.

So the three heroes and Deirdre left to return to Scotland. The King, obsessed, contacted Duannan Gacah Druid, the best magician he had. He reminded the magician of the money spent in educating him, and of the debt owed. And then he set the mage upon his enemies, so that he could have Deirdre for himself.

The first thing the magician did was set before the fleeing four a wood in which no man would go. But the heroes took hold of Deirdre, and protecting her, proceeded without falter. The King was angry that it did not stop them. So the next thing that the magician did was to create a gray sea before them. So the men of Deirdre's party took off their clothes, and Naois set Deirdre upon his shoulder, and they began to swim. And the King was angry that this, too did not stop them. So Duannan said, "Let us see if this will," and changed the sea so the waves were razor sharp, or had the poison of the adder.

Arden cried that he was getting tired, so Naois said to him to come and sit upon his other shoulder. It was there that Arden died, though Naois would not let him go long after he was dead. Then Allen cried that he, too, was almost done, so Naois said to him to hold on to him, and he would see them through. But then Allen was not long in death. When Naois realized both brothers were dead, he sighed, and gave up life himself. Thus the magician said to the King, "They are gone now, and you may have Deirdre to yourself." And then the magician made the sea vanish, and the three bodies and Deirdre were on dry land.

She lamented for her lover, for his brothers, for their dreams. The people nearby came to her cries and gathered round the heroes' bodies. The King ordered the three be put into one grave, and Deirdre persuaded the diggers to make it comfortable and wide for the three brothers, so they had plenty of room, and would never be apart. So the brothers were put to the ground, and Deirdre taken by the King to his castle.
There, she sat in her rooms and saw no one, sitting silently, dreaming silent dreams, until the day of her wedding. On the night before, she dreamed of Naois; they danced, and his brothers were there. Flowers abounded. Then she woke in her bed, a smile on her face.

On that day, she donned the veil, beauteous gems, and a lovely gown, then was escorted to sit beside her husband-to-be in a war chariot, pulled to show her off, as spoils of war, to all they rode by as they rode together to their wedding. The whole of the time, the King was rude, and described to her what he had waited this long time to do. She asked of the driver to go faster, that it might be done with more quickly, and the King agreed, so the driver raced the horses as fast as they could go. Then the lovely Deirdre gave the King her final look, a harsh one, and put her head out of the chariot, such that the nearest standing stone killed her instantly at the speed at which they rode.

While the King stood dumbfounded, the local people took up her ruined body and laid her in the earth, beside the heroes they had buried. When the King recovered his wits, he ordered her body removed and laid across the meadow from her lover. Thereupon a fir shoot grew out of the grave of Deirdre, and another from the grave of Naois, and the two shoots united in a knot. The King ordered it cut down twice, until, at the third time, the wife whom the king had eventually married caused him to stop this work of evil, and end his vengeance on the remains of the dead.

And so, in the afterlife, Deirdre and her love rest in peace, as they were united forever...

It's a BIG MAC! It's a BIG MAC!!!!

It’s a Big Mac! It’s a Big Mac! LOL Ok… I would have preferred the allegory to be with a Whopper, but hey… Whatever. So, finally the girl decided to show that yes, indeed, it’s a GIRL!!! So, world… meet Deirdre Valeria, at least hear about her and meet her soon.

The doctor says that he expected to have me hospitalized various times, since that is the norm for diabetics, but that so far I have controlled things pretty well. Test results are coming up within the controlled range, and he’s very happy about it. Well, all the veggies, milk, and Cheerios I’ve been digging in seem to be working well enough! Yeah… going to ElMesón and asking for a non-grilled surfer and water is not much fun… but there are results. As long as I can stay away from the hospital, all is worth it.

So… Doctor’s appointment was a treat. The mage was really happy, as his constant efforts taking food away from my mouth are getting great results… And Neverland seems a happier place after all.

The Baby Shower committee seems to be pondering and thinking things, Coriolis, Raven and LightShadow are on the prowl. They will get the needful lists they need soon enough. I made an online baby registry in Babies-R-Us. Will complete one soon at the online Walmart store, and at Capri in Aguadilla Mall and Mayaguez Mall (that one is available 15 days before the baby shower, and will be set up for needful everyday things as lotions, diapers, clothing, and other little thinguies). (Diapers hint: A bulk box at Sams has newborn 92 and stage 1 92 for $25, so I suggest whoever wants to give diapers to buy it there… it will give lots of them and it’s a good deal).

So… That’s the news for now. Keep tuned, as usual.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007



Body: Your Protruding Navel
You're two-thirds of the way through your pregnancy and your uterus is about two and a half inches above your belly button. And speaking of your belly button, have you noticed that it's taken on a life of its own — a larger-than-life life? Protruding navels may not be your idea of forward fashion (especially when you're in a bikini, or when your once innie belly button now bulges through tight clothes), but it's de rigueur for the pregnant set. And it's easy to understand why. Beginning somewhere around the middle to end of your second trimester, your enlarging uterus swells enough to push your abdomen forward, making your navel pop out like a timer on a well-done turkey (even though you have a way to go before your baby is "well done"). Your belly button should revert back to its regular position a few months after delivery — (though it may have that stretched-out, "lived in" look). Until then, you can look at the bright side of your protruding navel: it gives you a chance to clean out all the lint that's accumulated there since you were a kid.

Seeing Straight
Your eyes are yet another seemingly random part of the body affected by those kooky pregnancy hormones. During this time, your vision might be less sharp (Is that you, Honey?) and your contact lenses might be less comfortable to wear. (A wild new pair of glasses may be just the look right now — literally.) Another twist in the eye story: Even though fluid retention may be partially to blame, ironically, your eyes may be drier than ever. So break out the Visine, but don't worry — eye symptoms, like skin symptoms, will disappear after delivery. Just be sure to let your practitioner know what's going on, so he or she can…well, keep an eye on things.

A Smooth Landing
It's not just what you do, it's what you do it on. To lessen impact on your loosened-up joints and ligaments, opt for a wood floor or carpet over tile or concrete when exercising indoors. Outside, choose a soft running track or a dirt trail over a hard road or sidewalk, but avoid bumpy paths, as your balance (you might have noticed) isn't what it used to be.

Baby: Eyes Wide (Almost)Open
Look who's looking. Your baby's eyes — which have been closed for the past few months (so that the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop) — are now beginning to open. What this means is that your baby is able to see what's going on now (unfortunately the view in your uterus isn't all that exciting). But do try this at home for kicks (baby's that is): Shine a flashlight at your stomach. Your baby might kick in response (as in: "Get that light out of my eyes!"). The iris, the colored part of the eye, still doesn't have much pigmentation (that'll fill in over the next month or two), so it's too early to start guessing your baby's eye color. Even the color your baby will be born with might not be the permanent shade; so you may be kept guessing until your baby is close to six months old. Look what else is going on this week: Your baby's brain-wave activity is kicking in, which means your little one can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them. Not in so many words, of course, but with an increase in pulse rate or activity. And talking about activity, at your baby's current height and weight (about nine inches tall and two pounds), and at the rate he or she is growing, your baby will soon be feeling a little cramped in your uterus. Not to worry, there's still plenty of room for your baby to grow. It just means your gymnast will have less room for those somersaults, cartwheels, and other Olympic feats.

Extra: The Karate Kid
Feel like your baby is practicing kickboxing inside your belly? He or she is…sort of. Your baby is actually practicing all kinds of movements that will eventually be used in life on the outside — including pedaling against your belly, a sort of pre-walking skill. As your baby's nervous system becomes more developed, the movements will become much more coordinated. And as the baby gets bigger and stronger, the movements will become much more powerful…and occasionally, even painful to you. If your baby lands a good one, that tiny left hook might hurt — a lot. Another trick he or she may try — stretching that leg out so far that the foot becomes lodged between your ribs (ouch). Next time you come under attack from the karate kid, try changing positions or doing some stretches of your own. You can also gently push your baby back with your hand when your knee-jerker jerks a little too hard. You just might be able to send your slugger back into the corner of the ring!

Daddy: Weekend Getaway
Hurry up and dip into those expiring frequent-flyer miles. Most airlines require a doctor's letter for third-trimester travel, and after 36 weeks some airlines won't let her fly at all. Now's the perfect time (and it may be the last time for a while) for a romantic fling. Plus, it'll never be as easy to travel with your baby again. (Babies give new meaning to the words "carry on.") So get up and go, with the practitioner's okay. Expect to carry the bulk of the luggage (remember, she's carrying plenty as it is) as well as plenty of bottled water for her — that beverage cart can't come down the aisle often enough for her. And speaking of the aisle — make sure she gets a seat on it. And near the lavatory.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Don't you forget about me...

Ah, the little one should be happy. Just spinning around in its warm place, and already many things happening thanks to it.

The painting agenda has been completed this week, so the decór for the party request shall be staged tonight... and I should be able to complete the cash for the nursery combo that I liked... which includes crib, changer and drawers. It will do, I think it's the best choice. I'll take the craddle at Mummy's and put it at Auntie's in my AC room. I will also try getting twin matress to put up the room and make it hospitable... Gotta place the plush dolls in place, but first gotta paint the walls in light yellow or light green.

Will take in the playyards that the mage and Raven donated, one to keep downstairs and one to keep the inlaws. Gotta keep the simple needful things at hand for emergency outings and mandatory enslavement (aka work). Daddy seemed content with these ideas. They seem stressless.

Need to properly close the back place, so the 8 kids have a place to be while giving space for nursery room improvement. That will be next, after putting up our AC and fixing plumbing basics, and fixing stairs/roof thinguie. Maybe the kitchenette thing can be completed... Maybe if all goes according to the mage's plan... We'll see how that turns out. I'm anxious that things are not in their proper place, and we must try to fix that in the next two months.

Maybe there will be a baby shower after all. Raven is in charge of gathering the right people to help on that endeavour... Maybe a pirate rubber ducky theme. Yeah, pirates will be VERY inn this summer! And I am certain that girl or boy, it is a good bet for fun.

We spotted a nice baby book that keeps all mementos of all first things until reaching 5 years old. May get it next week, it is perfect for writing down and keeping track of important events that should not be forgotten... a very precise scrapbook. I saw a ladybug scrapbokk that I really liked for making the official baby scrapbook... but it had a bad hole in its back. Will try to find it, though. It's perfect. Eaither that or one with a rubber duckie... I've always been a sucker for rubber duckies...

Oh, the Piracy and Dragonology books at the bookstore are to go ga-ga for! Oh, well... Dragons and pirates... The best things in Fantasy.

Been trying to get an idea of how or with what to decorate the nursery... Since we dont know the sex it is a bit hard... I know I like dragons... but a mild dragon as Figment wont cut it... Hmm? There is everything for Strawberry Shortcake, but that is what everyone has. Raggedy Ann, Snoopy, CareBears, generic Safari, Nightmare Before Xmas... Don't know which way to go yet. But we are looking, we are looking, ok?

Building up the list of things to look for on ebay... Breast pump, diaper disposal, cartoonish stuff... gothic stuff... Reading lots about breastfeeding, getting a shower of advises on that matter... And trying to visualize how to put together everything basic so it is all fabulous and well. Baby steps. How fitting...

Need rest. After tomorrow at 1pm I will be free and happy... and hopefully I'll just sleep... and sleep... and sleep...


Hey, hey, hey,hey
Watching ooh... yeah

Won't you come see about me?
I'll be alone, dancing and you know it baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving me everything inside and out, out
Love's strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart
I'll get us back together at heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Don't Don't Don't
Don't You Forget About Me

Will you stand above me?
Look my way and never love me
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down

Would you recognise me?
Call my name or walk on by
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Watching ooh..... yeah

Don't you try and pretend
It's my feeling we'll win in the end
I won't harm you or touch your defenses
Vanity and security

Don't you forget about me
I'll be alone, dancing and you know it baby
Going to take you apart
I'll put us back together at heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Don't Don't Don't
Don't You Forget About Me

As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
(As you walk on by)

Or will you walk on by?
Will you walk away?
Come on - call my name
Come on - call my name
Will you call my name?

I say
La la la...

Will you walk on by?
Would you call my name?
As you walk on by
Would you call my name?
When you walk on by?
Oh yeah
Come on and call my name
As you walk on by
Hey baby call my name!
When you walk on by
Would you call my name
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah....

-Billy Idol, Don't you forget about me
from the classic movie The Breakfast Club

Monday, May 14, 2007


The butterfly effect seems a constant by now. Been feeling the butterflies wings at all times. Seems someone is having fun… Feeling heavier and even more tired than the usual (and I am an expert on being tired!) The heat is not helping at all… and seems that days will get even hotter. Not resting well at nights due to the heat, which translates to more tiredness at daytime… Cute… Been trying to cool off, drinking lots of H2O and diet Snapple, got a fan to see if it helps upstairs… Need to install the A/C as soon as possible… Need to control the sugar with a tighter grasp… This week should be so much fun… Divided my clothing so it will be less frustrating getting dressed in the mornings. Gotta start getting diapers, and doing a small stock of baby clothing. Still don’t know about the cradle set… Waiting a bit to see if something else shows up.

Melancholic, a bit sad, but not too strongly… I guess painting does has a positive effect on my mood even if not on my lower back… Would like to have Groundel and LightShadow around a bit more, but I know that so many things complicate what should be simple. Still, every detail is very much appreciated. Raven has too many problems and Coriolis is too far and too busy…

Big weird silence from the people of Texas, still it seems obvious that news have spread since my sister knows… my mother seems to have made a campaign or something. I’m still reserved, I am a reserved person in that matter and don’t feel a need to advertise myself as my sister did… We are both very different. Whatever. I express myself in different ways. Father’s B-day is on Wednesday, it has been strange that he has not called ever since the wedding. I detect a strange ambience for which I suspect my sister may be responsible, but no matter… Let the bee be bee…

Overall blah, bored at work... concerned about everything... Need a KitKat...



BABY: A Breath of Fresh Air — Sort Of!
At nine inches and more than a pound and a half in weight, your baby is taller than two juice boxes stacked one on top of the other, and almost as heavy as four of those little boxes (an analogy you'll find particularly apropos in a few years, when those juice boxes start taking over your refrigerator, your pantry, your car.…). Don't look now (as if you could), but your baby's skin is turning pinker. No, not because he or she's getting overheated (in fact, the amniotic fluid is perfectly climate controlled, keeping your baby at an always comfortable temperature), but because small blood vessels, called capillaries, are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity — and one step closer to taking that first breath of fresh air. But those lungs are still very much works in progress. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after the baby is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when he or she exhales. The lungs aren't the only system that's gearing up for air intake. Your baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open this week. This actually allows your little one to begin taking practice breaths. (Of course since there's no air in there, your baby is really only "breathing" amniotic fluid, but it's the practice that counts, right?)

MOMs BODY: Hemorrhoids
Your ever-growing uterus has now reached the size of a soccer ball. (Hey, look at that — you're already a soccer mom, and you didn't even have to buy the minivan yet!) But while you're probably enjoying your cute soccer ball tummy up in front (and getting to know your growing little midfielder through all those practice kicks), chances are you're not enjoying what's going on in your backside: hemorrhoids. Sure, no one likes to talk about it (especially at cocktail parties), but more than half of all pregnant women experience it. Pressure from your enlarging uterus, plus increased blood flow to the pelvic area, can cause the veins in the rectal wall to swell, bulge, and itch. Hemorrhoids, which are actually a form of varicose veins, can also be downright painful and may even cause rectal bleeding, especially when you're bearing down during a bowel movement. Constipation can aggravate, or even cause, hemorrhoids, so your best prevention is to avoid constipation in the first place (by increasing your fluid and fiber intake, as well as doing Kegel exercises). To soothe the sting of hemorrhoids, try witch hazel pads or ice packs. A warm bath might reduce discomfort, too. Hemorrhoids, which are uncomfortable (they definitely make sitting a pain) but not dangerous, can also develop postpartum as a result of pushing during labor. They usually go away after delivery.

LOOKING GOOD: Expectant Mom Mantra
Repeat after me: I am not fat, I am growing a baby. After a lifetime of watching your weight, it can be unnerving (and sometimes depressing) to watch it go up, up, up. Whenever you feel bummed about your expanding girth (and your expanding bum), remind yourself that there's a beautiful reason your body is changing. To fuel that baby growth, you need to keep your growth going, too, so dieting's never an option when you're expecting. Instead, eat as healthy as you can (remember, you share every bite with your baby), and eat as much as you need to in order to gain at the right rate. (One more time, with feeling: I am not fat, I am growing a baby!)

NEWS: Floss for a Longer Pregnancy
Want to keep your baby safely inside you until term? Put your dental floss where your mouth is. Surprisingly, research links good oral hygiene with longer pregnancies. Sounds crazy — doesn't it? Crazy, but true. Something as simple as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can reduce the risk of gingivitis — a common condition in which your gums become inflamed, red, and even begin to bleed. Untreated gingivitis (that's where the regular dental checkups come in) can progress to periodontitis — a more serious infection of the teeth — which has been linked to premature birth and even an increased risk of preeclampsia. Keep on top of your teeth, and that old (untrue) wives' tale — the one that claims that a woman loses a tooth with each pregnancy — can finally be put to rest.

DAD: Do You Hear What I Hear?
You've probably been hearing your baby's heartbeat with a Doppler at those doctor or midwife visits. But now you can hear that thump-thump in the comfort and privacy of your own home. If the room is very quiet, and you both are very still, you may be able to hear a very faint heartbeat when you gently press your ear against her stomach. If not, try again tomorrow. You're getting closer — plus, this gets you closer to her, too.

EATING WELL: Not Gaining Enough Weight?
For most women, weight gain comes all too easily during pregnancy (make that, during their entire lives). But a few (they'd be called the lucky few during any other time — however, during pregnancy there's nothing lucky about being unable to put on weight) struggle to keep the scale on that vital upward swing. Sometimes it's pregnancy symptoms that prevent the pounds from accumulating (the morning sickness that limited first trimester eating to crackers and watermelon, the exhaustion that makes meal prep feel too much like hard work…and let's not get started on the gas and heartburn). Sometimes it's a body image issue at work (it's not easy to watch your body morph from lithe to lumbering in nine months). Sometimes it's just a matter of a metabolism (the word lucky comes to mind again) that makes gaining a true effort. Not gaining your fair share of weight during pregnancy (a total of 25 to 35 pounds for most women, though your practitioner may have advised you differently), or gaining too slowly (by now you should be gaining an average of a pound a week), can have hefty consequences. Inadequate weight gain can increase your risk of preterm delivery, delivering a low birth weight baby, and a host of other pregnancy complications. So how little is too little when it comes to weight gain? That all depends. When you first got pregnant, your practitioner probably gave you a target weight gain (based on a number of factors, including how close to ideal your prepregnancy weight was). Since then, he or she has likely been monitoring your gain at every visit and letting you know how you're doing. If you've been told to gain the standard 25-to-35-pound total in your pregnancy, by this week you should have put on anywhere from 13 to 19 of those pounds. If you're falling short of that number, or are within that range but it's less than your practitioner has recommended, you'll want to kick your weight gain efforts into high gear. What You Can Do: 1)Eat more calories. It sounds like a duh, but it's a duh worth repeating (and making your mantra). Add quality calories instead — calories that come in small packages. Good options include foods high in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and hard cheeses, as well as higher calorie grains and legumes (denser whole-grain breads, heartier cereals, pasta, beans, dried peas). 2) Eat early, late, and often. Schedule snack breaks at least three times daily — morning, noon, and night — and make them count. Trail mix, granola, cheese, whole-grain muffins, guacamole or hummus with pita chips, bagels with peanut or almond butter, and baked sweet potato fries are good choices. 3) Slow down. Have a vigorous exercise routine? Take it down a few notches If it's your busy schedule that's keeping you on the run (and keeping you from eating enough and often enough), slow that down too.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Drained world...

After the long Monday I was completely off fuel. At night I fall in my bed, the stress thanks to people’s stupidity both at work and within family left me quite moody and drained. The heat didn’t help either. I found myself without strength to get up on Tuesday, being completely exhausted. Heatstroke, stress, emotional turmoil, depression, anger… all mixed up in a nice little bottle. Morning and afternoon passed away. The heat was too strong and didn’t help at all, the more hours passed, the more drained I felt. The mage arrived early, as he was concerned about me and asked for some time out at work so he could take care of me. And so, the night passed away being equally draining and unnerving.

Wednesday morning still felt beyond crappy, but knew I had the WIC appointment so the mage went with me to the small talk… It was to give a small intro to breast feeding… like I have not been reading a lot about that lately… Anyway, it took around two hours. We passed by a megastore to get an A/C so if the stairs/ceiling guy appears he can also install it… hopefully during the weekend. By then I was already feeling dizzy and nauseous again, and so we headed home. Arrived in time to greet the sink, and feeling sick all over just went on to collapse in my bed. Some hours later I got a call from Groundel about the painting issue which at the moment I couldn’t care less about… Later on he appeared at home ready for painting action. Then the mage appeared with bad and good news. Then LightShadow arrived. After the gathering, the elf and the ogre went away, and I tried to get off the heat with a nice bath. The night was a bit more restful, although it was hot at first… I feel as a furnace. I am feeling that the mage is colder than me, and he is always irradiating heat. Summer is just beginning, and it all sucks badly. I’ve read much about pregnant women trying their best to keep their cool, since by the ending months they will feel heatstroke… How can you actually keep cool in a tropical island!? Ugh! For now trying my best to be in my office will have to cut it… as well as trying to put the A/C at home for sleeping… to see if I can have uneventful non-draining sleep… Deirdre is already having fun creating chaos…

Besides the heat, my lower back is killing me, more than usual of course. The frequent visits to the office are very annoying. And although most of my clothing can expand a bit, I’m worried about the last months… For now I have to juggle the little I have, I cannot spend much on clothing and things I won’t use after 3-4 more months… Too many bills, and the ones that will come. Someone wrote “Enjoy your pregnancy”. Maybe I would actually enjoy it if I hit the jackpot or something… Not having the means to complete the basics is NOT fun. I’ve also been warned that I should create a “support network”. How. Give me a good prescription for that. My best friends cannot reach me even if they wanted to: Coriolis is in SanJuan, Groundel has no car, Raven has no gas and no time almost daily, and LightShadow is always on the go due to work duties. I cannot count on my dear family… only auntie is my best bet, and she somehow manages to bring me to tears with her lack of understanding and her complete selfishness. Everyone else glows by their absence, and I suspect that it is a blessing in disguise. It’s just the mage and me…

I worry about what may happen if I get sick while there is no one else in the house. Last week’s fall made me very uneasy about it all. If I had fall actually breaking something in my legs I would have had to stay there in the floor until the mage’s arrival. No one would have noticed, there is no one around. And ever since that stupid fall my right leg bothers much while going upstairs… It will be sore for a while… My mood is not too high due to everything. Feeling awful and sick seems not enough excuse as I must comply to duties that are not really in my hands. Like in Monday, when auntie gave me this big fight just because I forgot to get peroxide for her hair and I said I would get it the next day because I was not feeling well and I just wanted to go home. Big fight because she needed it ipso-facto. Who cares about me actually feeling too bad to even drive? Who cares if I had a long day at work, swallowing up people’s stupidity? Who cares if I have a deep migraine teamed up with nausea? Peroxide comes first. The need to fight me, yell at me, put me down… comes first. I must do everything for everyone, but no one can at least be nice to me just because… or just out of a bit of consideration.

I have high levels of stress built up on me… The constant of feeling helpless and lonely doesn’t do much to change that. The constant struggling and trying to find solutions is burning me out… leaving me with no desire to do anything more… I just want to be in bed forever, isolated from so much crap, away from so much ignorance and stupidity… I’m weary. I’m beyond tired. I’m beyond jaded. I just want to fall in a long sleep, and never wake up. I see no end to all the problems, just more additions. And I am supposed to smile and give thanks for all I’ve got and go on… trusting the sun will shine tomorrow and the birds and the bees will all do a nice choreography with Mary Poppins. Right... I cannot even take a spoonful of sugar, as she would suggest... Just the close substitute, and it's never the same.

Move on. On a lighter note, may get one of those thinguies to listen to pre-natal heartbeat and play Mozart to the fetus so at least it has a higher chance of liking something else besides the crappy music you hear in this place... Been looking for things within Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Chococat, Raggedy Ann 7 Andy and classic Strawberry Shortcake. At least to get ideas for the decorations I would like to do on the child's room. Been looking for craddle sets, and for newborn stuff. Been looking for the breast feeding pumps as well. So, been a bit entertained... In the midst of chaos... All cannot be gloom. Wishful thinking is always around...


Monday, May 7, 2007



Mommy:Numb Hands
Feeling all a-tingle these days? Chances are it isn't romance, or even excitement about the baby — it's carpal tunnel syndrome. If you're like many pregnant women (especially those who work at computers), you may have begun to notice an uncomfortable tingling and numbness in your wrists and fingers. Though it's usually associated with work that requires repetitive motion such as typing, carpal tunnel strikes pregnant women for a different reason (though repetitive motion can definitely contribute). The swelling that's so common during pregnancy can put pressure on the nerve that runs through your wrist, causing numbness, tingling, pain, or a dull ache in the fingers, hand, or wrist. You might feel yourself wrestling with wrist pain more at night. That's because fluids that accumulate in your lower extremities during the day are redistributed to the rest of your body (including your hands) when you're lying down. How can you find relief? Avoid sleeping on your hands, and if you feel numbness at night, prop your arms up with a pillow. Shaking your hands and wrists might also help. Be sure, too, that if you are doing repetitive motions such as piano playing or typing (which can aggravate your symptoms), take frequent hand-stretching breaks. If you're in a lot of pain, a wrist brace might be just the ticket to comfort. Luckily, when the regular swelling of pregnancy resolves after delivery, the carpal tunnel symptoms will diminish, too.

Baby:Sounds Like?
Your baby weighs more than a pound and a half right now and sports a crown-to-rump length of about eight and a half inches (standard letter size!). Wondering what (and who) your baby will look like? If you had a baby cam, you'd almost be able to tell by now. That beautiful face (though still tiny) is almost fully formed. What's still missing from the picture is the fat that will be piled on under baby's skin. Until those fat deposits are made, that very tender skin is still very transparent, which means a close look would let you see clear through to all the organs, bones, and blood vessels. Fortunately, that see-through look won't last much longer. Babies at this point are gaining about six ounces each week — with much of that gain coming from fat, in addition to growing organs, bones, and muscle. What's been playing on your little rocker's stereo system these days? All kinds of sounds: from air exhaling from your lungs (deep breath now), those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, your voice and your partner's (which your baby will be able to recognize at birth), and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs, or a wailing fire truck.

Weren't Expecting That?
Sure, you'd heard that pregnancy comes with a variety of symptoms, most of them not very pleasant (actually, none of them very pleasant — unless you count fast-growing hair, nails, and breasts). But maybe you didn't expect so many seemingly random symptoms — such as the red, itchy palms that have nothing to do with the amount of dishwashing you're doing. The red may spread, too, to the soles of your feet (though you're less likely to notice that once your feet become more difficult to see). As with virtually all the stranger symptoms you'll be experiencing as the months go by (such as the metallic taste in your mouth, skin tags appearing out of nowhere, bigger feet, increased saliva — am I drooling? — and vision changes, to name a few), you can blame your hormones (and throw darts at them, if you like — take that progesterone!). As for getting the red out, there are no sure solutions — besides delivery. Until then, avoid anything that makes the red redder — such as being overheated, taking long, hot baths or showers, or wearing too warm or too tight gloves or socks. You might even try going on a dishwashing strike while you're expecting (good luck with that plan!). Just tell your spouse it's doctor's orders!

Looking Good: Makeup 101
Keep it simple is the golden rule for any pregnancy makeup routine. (This is not the time to channel your inner Cher.) Right now, your new best friends are a good concealer to camouflage blotchy skin and dark circles, and a natural bronzer or pinkish blush to give you a bit of a glow (no need to tell anyone that your glow is coming from cosmetics and not from within). Besides, it's the best time to get used to a more natural look — since your makeup application time will be seriously compromised once your baby begins his or her more demanding life on the outside. One more beauty boost: Switch to a light, fresh scent, such as citrus, since you may be extra-sensitive to fragrance right now.

DAD: Have You Kissed Her Linea Nigra Today?

Chances are that an amazing thing has happened to her abdomen besides that growing bulge: A dark line now runs down the middle of her belly, from her navel to her nether regions. It varies in darkness from woman to woman, but when it's obvious, it looks like a seam on her tummy. Give it a kiss if she'll let you. You never know what it might lead to.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Recap on the date

The doctor’s appointment was funny. We arrived, we only waited for around half an hour and fast enough we were inside the doctor’s office. He was asking the mandatory questions, and it was simply hilarious how the mage ended up sitting down and being asked to shut up. LOL I laughed a lot. As the sonogram was done and the doc was explaining each part of the fetus to the mage it has funny watching the jumping images as I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole thing… Yup, the baby has the mage’s nose, so it’s definitively his… LMFAO! Once again, no sign of which sex it is, but a small higher chance that it’s a girl (54%). I would just love to have a girl to spook people with the name… Deirdre. Even the mage is not so thrilled about the name because he says he has trouble saying it. He even dared to make up Didi as a nickname, and there I draw the line… no allegories to Dexter’s annoying sister Deedee. Hmph!

Anyway… Went to the WIC food place at San Germán. What a difference! Everything air conditioned, well painted, clean, and even a playing area… not the rathole you see in my hometown. I wish I had bought a house in San Germán, it is a city that I love so much… At least the odds are that I will give birth at La Concepción hospital, I don’t think that the doctor will actually go to Perea… LOL Haven’t asked about that or the courses… Gotta make a point of that for next date…

Went to the furniture place where I had seen the small cradle, or as we call it in criolle “moisés”. I was warned against the plastic ones, but this one was not plastic but wicker. Very simple, and I think it is perfect because of the space limitations that I have right now. Dressing it up should be fun, and the fact that it has wheels is priceless. Hope that the mage can make it in time so he gets it today… if not, then I hope they haven’t sold it by Saturday (fingers crossed).

Traveling through memory lane, the mage discovered the only prissiness I may have to show the world. Yes, I am a Hello Kitty freak. Actually, if the baby turns out to be a girl, the decoration will probably lean that way. I was raised within a Hello Kitty world, the red version. And it was from early stages through high school… and even after college I occasionally get something Hello Kitty related (like my favorite pj’s). But, who knows. Kitty makes sense to me for many things, but I know those items are expensive… same as Emily Strange… for gothic cuteness… I may end up with something like a shrine to Sesame St’s Count… LOL And to close the cuteness factor, I am also a sucker for the Muppet Show… a whole room decorated with the Muppets would rule! Plus, Muppets are sexless… in decór mode, you know… And although the mage ain’t so thrilled about it, I love rubber duckies (especially the red ones with horns, and the black ones)… “Rubber ducky, you’re the one”.

Raven was mentioning something about doing a Baby Shower. I did not really thought about that, and although the idea sounds fun I don’t think I will have a budget to actually throw a small party for that purpose. Also, Baby Showers are usually a surprise gathering offered to parents-to-be… so I don’t know why should I be thinking of it… Maybe she should team up with Coriolis and create something… Let’s see, guys… Surprise me if you can. I dare you!
Hmm… as a matter of fact, they still owe us a bachellor’s/bachelorette thinguie. SHAME ON YOU GUYS! Tsk! Tsk!

So… Butterfly Effect keeps on, still feeling tired and crappy… Hot flashes or something not letting me catch z’s because it is simply too hot! Feeling like doing nothing… Feeling like watching the night sky, staring at it endlessly…


Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Well, I'll have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so hopefully we'll get to see if baby is a boy or a girl... If it doesn't insist on being de culo! LOL One of the tests showed up with a twins hint but it just cannot be, until now all we've been seeing is just one fetus. Labs and errors... Still I guess that the doc will send me for more testings, again. Today had brown rice, roast beef and beans, and it somehow skyrocketed my sugar levels to 198... Just great... Sugar has been fine until now, and just today will earn my doc getting bitchy tomorrow... And that's the news for now...

What to expect this week... Let's see... (information from

Body: The Linea Nigra (and Other Skin Discolorations)
That dark line that runs between your belly button and your pubic area is caused by the same pregnancy hormones that cause all the skin discolorations you might be noticing.Yes, the baby you're expecting is cozily ensconced in your abdomen — yet, by now you've probably noticed that pregnancy affects you head to toe, and pretty much everywhere in between. Your head is fuzzy (this is your brain…this is your brain on progesterone), and your toes (well, your feet, at least) are growing. Stretch marks are blooming in vibrant shades of pink and purple on pretty much every available surface of skin and…wait! What's that funky dark line running down the center of your belly? Believe it or not, it's called the "dark line" — or as your practitioner likes to call it, linea nigra. A common emblem of pregnancy (more noticeable in darker skinned women), the linea nigra, which runs between your belly button and your pubic area, is caused by the same pregnancy hormones that cause all the skin discolorations you might be noticing. Like the darker shade of your areolas. And the deeper tone of the freckles on your arms and legs. Some women (again, more often darker-skinned ones) notice discoloration on the face too, especially in the area around the nose, forehead, cheeks, and eyes. It's called the mask of pregnancy (or chloasma) because it appears as a mask-like configuration on the face. Rest assured, you won't be playing masquerade for much longer. All these skin discolorations will fade within a few months after delivery. In the meantime, bring on the concealer (though not the bleaching creams, which won't work anyway).

Baby: All Systems Growing...
At eight inches and slightly over a pound, your baby is the size and shape of a small doll. You've probably heard your baby's heartbeat through a Doppler a number of times, but by now you can also hear it through a standard stethoscope. What a heart throb! At eight inches and slightly over a pound, your baby is the size and shape of a small doll. (But then, you already knew that you were carrying a living doll, didn't you?) This week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain. Your baby's weight in the next four weeks alone should double (and you may feel as though yours is too). You have probably heard your baby's heartbeat through a Doppler a number of times already (though you never get tired of hearing it), but by now you can also hear it through a standard stethoscope. What a heart throb! Your baby's skin is reddish in color now because of the developing blood vessels underneath (remember, the skin is very thin still). It also hangs loosely from his or her little body at this point. That's because the skin grows faster than the fat develops. But don't worry. By the time your baby is born, he or she will be pleasantly plump and filled out — from chubby cheeks to chubby toes.

Food: Eating Well on a Budget
Counting your pennies doesn't have to mean scrimping on nutrition .Worried that your healthy new diet is going to break the bank — just when you need every penny? Not to worry. You can eat royally without spending like a queen; in fact, with a little forethought, you can eat low-cost meals and snacks that are even more wholesome than their pricier alternatives. 1.Balk at brand loyalty. Store brands and no-frills products may not seduce you with pretty packaging, but who cares? (Were you planning to use that cereal box as a centerpiece?) They're likely to have inner beauty to match their attractive price tags; check the labels and you'll see they boast as much nutrition as the bigger brands. From juice and yogurt to bread and snacks, nearly every kind of packaged food (including the whole-grain ones) comes in a generic version, and you'll find an abundance of options in the cereal and frozen food aisles. And here's a little-known secret: In many instances, the store brand is actually a name brand with a store label, so you may be buying the exact same bread you have known and loved — but for a lot less dough. 2. Brown-bag it. Bringing your lunch to work is win-win — you can feed that little bundle in your belly and save a bundle, too. Just do the math: You could spend between five and ten dollars on a take-out sandwich, side, and soft drink (and you don't know quite what you're getting), but the sandwich wrap you made from leftover roast chicken and veggies costs a fraction of that (and water from the cooler is free). Pack your wrap with a wedge of cheese and a piece of fruit, and you're good to go (without going to the deli come lunchtime). Brown-bag often enough and you could save hundreds of dollars by the time your baby is born — a great first deposit in the college fund! 3.Bulk up. By the case or by the pound, buying in quantity can save you big bucks. Seek out economy sizes of whatever is available — from meat you can freeze (why not cook it all first so you have ready-made meals?), to cereals, canned goods, and juice. But make sure your eyes aren't bigger than your stomach — a crate of sweet potatoes may look like a sweet deal, unless they grow roots long before you can bake them. 4. Opt for H2O. The cheapest drink on the menu? Water. It's also the best choice for you and your baby. You can save dollars a day (not to mention considerable empty calories) by sacrificing the fancier drinks. In most cases, no need to buy bottled. Most tap water is safe to drink (but make sure first that there's no lead in your pipes or the water supply). To be extra safe, buy a filter for your tap or use filtered pitchers for your water. You can also make the most of your juice dollars by buying frozen concentrate instead of refrigerated cartons and reconstituting the concentrate with water. 5.Forgo the convenience factor. The introduction of frozen TV dinners revolutionized the way America eats, and not necessarily for the better. While plentiful, these quick-prep options often come with a significant price tag — not to mention the price you can pay in unhealthy additives and excesses in fat, sodium, and sugar. Same goes for bottled salad dressings, sauces, and just about anything marked "instant." Save time and money by making big batches of your own meals and freezing them in individual servings. Dress your salads on the cheap and on the fly by whipping together a delicious dressing from extra-virgin olive oil (also available in bulk, but the shelf life is short), Dijon mustard, and fresh lemon juice (store it in an old mayonnaise jar in the fridge). Take the time (it's only five minutes!) to cook real oatmeal instead of popping those sugary packets into the microwave. You'll save yourself money (and buy your baby a healthier breakfast).

Breathe Deep: Relax
Now's a great time to learn some soothing relaxation techniques — not just because they can help you cope with pregnancy worries, but because they'll come in handy in your life as a new mom Is your growing bundle of joy making you a quivering bundle of nerves? Breathe, Baby! (Yeah, you!) Now's a great time to learn some soothing relaxation techniques — not just because they can help you cope with pregnancy worries (and sooner than you think, with labor contractions), but because they'll come in handy in your life as a new mom (as when the baby's on a crying marathon, your spouse is working late, you just burned the last clean pot, and your mother's on the phone…again). Yoga's a fabulous de-stresser, if you have time to take a class (plus it can help you learn how to focus on breathing, something we too often just do ). But here's a technique you can use just about anywhere, anytime, to soothe your soul. Sit with your eyes closed and imagine a beautiful, peaceful scene (a sunset over your favorite beach, waves gently lapping the shore; a serene mountain vista, complete with babbling brook). Then, working your way up from your toes to your face, concentrate on relaxing every muscle. Breathe slowly, deeply, only through your nose and choose a simple word (such as yes or one) to repeat aloud every time you exhale. Ten to 20 minutes should do the trick, though even a minute or two is better than nothing. Hey, wake up!!

For Dad: The Fire This Time
At this stage of the game your wife just might enjoy sex more than she ever has. The rumors are true: At this stage of the game your wife just might enjoy sex more than she ever has. Her genitals are swollen with hormones and blood, and the nerves "down there" are seemingly on fire. Ask her if she's up for seduction, and if so, go for it — but go slow (read: don't lay into the entrée until you've served up a round or two of appetizers), be playful, and most of all, be appreciative. Let her know how sexy she is to you right now, and how wonderful her body feels to you. As always, don't go anywhere without a green light — the roadmap of what feels good and what doesn't may have changed (even since last week). And go easy on those giant breasts — they still could be very tender now, as they are stretched to their earthly limits.