Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January Showers Bring . . . February Babies?

I sure hope so. My charming sister Kaitlin reminded me that I promised to blog my baby shower, which I have hitherto neglected to do, mainly because I look so large and pained in all the photos of myself that you’d think I was in full-on active labor throughout the whole party. (I blame my photographer).

But the food was amazing (you can always count on McKinlay parties to have fabulous food) the Mother Goose decorations were so charming, the mommy advice was flowing, and I got some cute/practical and even really funny stuff for this very lucky little girl. And now I’m ready to have a baby. Any day now.

Sharon was my gift recorder and she christened this one "Bum Picture." Very descriptive. It was given to me by my frined Suzanne, who picked it up at an antique shop. It took about 30 seconds to grow on me, but now I love it. I have the perfect place for it in Babygirl's nursery.

Here's another gem, this time from my sister-in-law Sarah; Furry knickers! I've never seen anything quite like them and I think they're a good laugh. Honestly, if I put eyes on them they could guest star on Sesame Street. Love them!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stalling . . .

I'm working right now--or rather I'm avoiding working right now because I'm supposed to be writing a webpage for yet another used car dealership and they are getting a bit brain numbing. Honestly, you’d think the car dealerships would realize that no amount of online advertising is going to save their businesses when the national economy is bottoming out, and stop making me write new websites for them.

In all fairness though, I have had some rather interesting clients come through my inbox lately. The other day I wrote web pages for a couple of “massage parlors” in California that seem like pretty thinly veiled fronts for prostitution rings. I mean, they didn’t want to mention anything about being professional massage therapists, or being licensed or the health benefits of massage. The marketing angle they wanted to push was an invitation for “gentlemen to come spend some time with the most attractive Asian staff in Orange County.” Sounds just a bit dodgy to me. I emailed our BizDev guy and asked him “don’t we have policies against marketing for this kind of “business?” But he said that since they are claiming to be a massage parlor, we treat them as a massage parlor and do it anyway. So I did. Sigh. I hope I don’t burn for that.

Another eyebrow raiser came in yesterday. A military operations company is advertising to fill some Engineering Systems positions to work with and design WMD and coordinate military space operations. I looked up WMD and it means WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. I’m writing for STARK ENTERPRISES!

That was a bit intimidating. But much cooler than undercover brothels.

And right now I’m supposed to be writing for another used car dealership. Ho Hum.
On the plus side, I officially have only one month (count ‘em, four weeks) left of this pregnancy and then I can take six weeks of maternity leave! Yay! I know I’ll be rather busy and that it won’t exactly be a vacation, but hey, I’ll be able to MOVE again! And I won’t write a webpage for a single used car dealership! This sounds pretty appealing to me right now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Doctors, Hospitals and Emergency Rooms

Pete and I are beginning to feel quite at home haunting the corridors of hospitals lately.

Following my doctor's advice, we started attending a Birthing Class, or Prenatal Class, or whatever those classes are where they scare expectant couples half to death telling you everything that could possibly go wrong with your pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and then proceed to tell you about everything that could go wrong with your newborn and your postpartum body. I'm quite enjoying it. The classes are held at the hospital, and as part of class we had a tour of the hospital last Monday, so when I do start to feel those crippling labor pains I'll know where to go and whom to yell at. I even know where surgery is in case I become one in four mothers to need a cesarean section.

Our most recent experience with the glories of modern American medical care, however, was not a planned one. Pete called yesterday morning to tell me he was on his way to the Emergency Room. He had been at work slicing turkey on the industrial meat slicer (he manages a restaurant, for those of you who don’t know) and his glove got caught, pulling his hand into the whirling blade. He’s lucky it didn’t take a finger off, although I dare say he will miss that chunk of his thumb that’s now gone. No worries, just a flesh wound. It didn’t hit the bone and there doesn’t appear to be any nerve damage. But he is on some heavy painkillers and a bit self conscious of the huge bandages he gets to sport for the next couple weeks. And I don’t think he loves the fact that his eight-month pregnant wife is now his designated chauffer (because of the painkillers). It makes him feel unchivalrous to make me drive everywhere when I am currently struggling a bit to hoist myself in and out of the car. But I don’t mind. I’m just glad he’s okay and that he won’t be a stumpy dad in all the sentimental pictures we’ll have taken for our newborn photo shoot. (I won a free newborn photo shoot at a service auction--Those black and white naked baby photos would look ridiculous if half of Pete’s fingers were missing in the background.)

Seriously, it’s good to know he’ll be alright and that the worst injury he suffered was to his pride. In the meantime, he’s sleeping off the effects of Lortab and making some of the funniest comments he’s ever come out with. (But no mere laceration from the meat slicer could keep him from attending the Auto Expo in Salt Lake last night—we went despite the blood, the pain, the drugs and all).

Oh, but I can’t forget to mention that Pete nearly passed out when the ER doctors took the towel off his thumb to give him the shots of local anesthesia. They suggested he make sure to have juice and snacks on hand when I deliver to make sure that he doesn’t faint and miss the whole thing. I suggested that he just not watch and hold my hand instead. I think he was relieved that I was okay with that option.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tsk, tsk, Resolution Hating Pessimists!

I have read some CYNICAL blog posts about resolutions lately. It seems that no one believes in them anymore, which is rather sad seeing as how none of us is perfect yet.

I am maintaining optimism, I believe in goals and progression and that I can be better than I am, even if it comes in slow--ok, nearly imperceptible increments. I'll tell you why I insist on clinging to a belief in resolutions--I wrote another chapter in my novel last Saturday. REALLY. I don't know how long it's been since I've actually sat down at the computer with what I felt was a good and creative idea, and written a new chapter for my young adult novel. (Okay, I guess I didn't write a WHOLE and complete chapter, but I outlined one and filled in dialogue for the most important points I wanted it to include--huge step.)I even changed the direction I want my novel to take, and I feel it is now a bit less cliché and much more meaningful (to me if no one else).

If I can pick up and keep writing my novel months after I've had any real motivation to work on it, then there is still some hope in this world that I can accomplish my goals and dreams. Take that Cynics of the 21st Century!

On another resolution related note, I taught the lesson in Relief Society on Sunday. It wasn't primarily focused on goals, it was more focused on understanding your eternal purpose so you can set goals that actually lead to progression rather than distraction and disappointment. I think it went rather well, for the most part. I used Elder Holland's famous talk about the Great and Spacious Makeup Kit, girls tend to love that one.

So the lesson was really good except I chose to include a personal story about a time when I was beating myself up for not looking as thin and gorgeous as I wanted to and how I had to learn to keep a more eternal perspective about myself, but instead of coming across as a truly profound and life changing story, I think most of the sisters ended up feeling sorry for me. Here I am, eight months pregnant and larger than life, and I'm talking about feeling miserable about myself for being fat. It was a bit awkward.
Luckily, like I mentioned above, Elder Holland smoothed it over for me. I popped in a DVD and let him say it all better than I could. It was a much more effective way to go about teaching the lesson.

So I believe in setting goals—they just have to be the right kind. Not just wishes for a better life and skinnier you, but commitments to becoming what God has in mind for you. A totally different ballgame, but one you can actually win.