Thursday, November 12, 2009

Something broken

My purse died last night. It's ten years old, black leather, very reliable; I've kept it even though Mom (who's given me every purse I've ever owned but one) has been telling me it's too old for years. I admit it was getting worn. She has trouble getting me to give up coats, too. But it was very useful, full of pockets, the right size, and I wouldn’t consider discarding it for another until the zipper, which has been failing, broke completely. So now I'm using another purse Mom gave me--a handbag really, big enough to hold all my pursing needs plus a camera, knitting project, apple, granola bar, and paperback book. (I've mostly used it for plane flights.) It's a nicer purse, objectively, and I’m sure I'll get used to it in time.

I've been on a writing hiatus since I finished Shoelace, except for a couple of writing exercises. I considered doing another project, code-named Cherry Tree, for NaNoWriMo, but my outline wasn't finished by October 31 and I decided to forget it. It was probably a good decision. My nights are still mostly taken up with feeding the baby and putting her to bed and then going to sleep myself. I've been doing a little baking, and a little crafting (and sadly have been tempted into trying another hobby, due to a freebie I got when I went to the Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor and reading Jen's blog: weaving), and a little goofing off, but mostly during the week it's work, eat dinner, take care of the baby, sleep. I'm kind of okay with this. I feel like the medication is preventing me from feeling bad about it. That's what it's supposed to do, but it's kind of weird anyway. But I'm definitely not getting much done. I'm trying to be okay with this, though I always feel I'm doing something wrong when I'm not getting things done. (Don't look at my floors, for example.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

The unutterable tragedy of instant oatmeal

"What are those?" my coworker exclaimed, looking up from rifling through the Halloween candy someone had brought in and noticing my butter tub.

"Oatmeal," I started to say.

"Oh, walnuts," he said, sounding relieved. "Did you put those in there yourself? Or did it come with them?"

This is the second time someone at work has commented on the fanciness of my oatmeal, which I have every weekday morning (unless I made muffins or something the Sunday before). It's not that hard: two-thirds of a cup of Quaker old-fashioned oats, a spoonful of brown sugar, a handful of Craisins, and another handful of walnuts or almonds. Obviously, today was a walnut day.

I used to bring in the packets of instant oatmeal. But I got tired of the flavors and the cost, and read that you could make your own--then read that putting boiling water on regular rolled oats works just fine. Now I put hot water from the coffeemaker spigot in and microwave it for forty seconds, and it's almost like cooking it on the stove, which is how I like oatmeal best (but never get anymore because eating oatmeal five days a week is enough so I never make it at home).

Anyway, I understand why people ask me where I bought my fancy oatmeal. But it's sad just the same.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's that time of year

Note to self, for Christmas supply order: 9 cups Dutched cocoa.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Shoelace, tied

105,685, and Shoelace is done. Done. And I am dead inside about it. I'd meant to finish it before Chloƫ came, and then finish it on maternity leave, and I guess I have--I go back to work in exactly eight days--but I have no sense of triumph, not even any sense that it's finished. It's been dragging on so long, and I've known there are so many things wrong with it, and I've been writing so poorly, and ugh.

But it's done. Now I will let it sit for a while, and think about my next project, Finity's Edge, which has been in queue for a damned long time now. And in a couple of weeks or months or years or whatever I'll come back to Shoelace and make the changes I know need to be made, because I do think it can be, will be, a good story. But for now it's just done, and for now that's enough.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Nothing but baby

The child sleeps in the swing in a 3 months onesie (she's 10 weeks) and dinner is cooking in the oven. It's a real dinner, casserole with salad and cantaloupe on the side--obviously the salad and cantaloupe aren't in the oven--and bread is cooling on the baking rack. We went to the farmer's market and the grocery store today, and took a family nap. Life is getting somewhat back to normal, or at least settling into a new normal. I'm relieved to find the new normal includes going out and doing things (though always on a two-hour time limit, or at least punctuation) and staying in and getting things done. Like baking and cooking. The quilting and spinning are coming very slowly, but they're also coming. They should come in even better when Chloƫ is older and more independent and can do things like sit in a Johnny Jump-Up, which isn't too far off now.

I'm working on a plan for putting the garden to bed, the better to start over in the spring (though that will be a showcase garden intended to help sell the house), and I've discovered that I can vacuum with the baby in a sling, which is helpful. I'm also taking Zoloft and seeing the counselor for the postpartum depression (which the counselor did diagnose). I'm not totally impressed with the counseling so far--I don't feel like I'm talking about my issues, just answering questions, but maybe that's my own fault. I'm also slightly ashamed about the diagnosis since I still don't think this is so bad, at least in comparison to what I hear other people get, and it doesn't feel like I'm ill so much as that I'm simply a horrible person. But apparently that's what regular depression feels like, too.

So today we shopped; tomorrow I'll bake and cook some more (including rye bread and a smoky pepper-eggplant spread I want to try), and maybe do some garden work, and maybe even do some writing, depending on the child. It turns out she'll sit in my lap and watch me on the computer, but she likes it best when I'm doing something with movement and pretty colors, like World of Warcraft, not simple black-and-white typing. (Babies are supposed to like red. Maybe I should change the font to red and see what she thinks.) Eric's got lesson plans to do, but he can take the kid, too; he doesn't do it enough to make me happy (have I mentioned I'm looking forward to going back to work? Though I'm also unhappy about leaving my child to someone else's care, even though doing the care myself is driving me crazy?) but he does do it. And we're sending her to Mema's (Grandma's) so that we can have a few kidless hours, which I'm going to cherish madly. We've done this twice before; once we went out for dinner and bookstore shopping, and once we did household stuff and I went off to Urgent Care to get antibiotics for mastitis.

M said she hoped I wouldn't be one of those women who talk about nothing but their children. Right now I am, because I'm not doing much of anything else, and I hate it. I'm trying to change it. Keeping up on news would be a good thing--I've fallen way off on that--but getting back to a semblance of a real life will be, too.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

PPD, yeah you know me

The baby's asleep in the swing, Eric's napping in the bedroom, and I'm restless. Motherhood is not really agreeing with me. A couple of weeks ago Eric asked me to go talk to the midwives about possible postpartum depression, and I went, and they're sending me to a counselor--there's been no actual diagnosis, just a sort of a "if you say you're feeling bad let's treat you as if you've got a real problem" attitude, but I guess I can see why they'd do that. I've been having crying fits, mostly over the multiple feeding issues we've been having. (I don't think that's unjustified. These are actual issues, though they're mostly improved at this point.) I've been wondering if I've made a terrible mistake by introducing an element in my life that's displaced almost everything I enjoyed, required almost all of my attention, and given me nothing in return.

Things have gotten a little better in the last week or so; but I'm only just starting to enjoy the baby and see her as more or less mine. I'm hoping they continue to improve. I think they will; I'm still thinking about a second kid eventually and so on, rather than planning to stick to the one or give her up for adoption. We'll see how it goes as she gets older and more fun, and I get more used to this routine.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ready or not

So with Eric going back to work (well, new teacher orientation) and Chloe turning four weeks old this week, I was thinking that it was time to start working on my non-baby life. And someone had contacted me about doing freelance work for a new e-zine about Ohio high-tech businesses, which sounded good to me. But now he's sent me the information and two assignments that he wants back by the end of the week, and I'm realizing that (a) there's a bunch of information he hasn't included, like rates (he's given me general ranges, but the contract he sent has a blank where the fee should be), and (b) it's going to be iffy scheduling an interview, even a phone interview, while caring for a baby who may start crying at any moment. Admittedly Chloe has started taking more of an interest in her surroundings and is less likely to cry out of loneliness at least, but still. I'll see if I can schedule things for when Eric's going to be home. Also, (c) I'm not so sure I'm really ready to start working on things with deadlines yet. But I've already agreed to do this (although that was before he sprung the deadlines on me--he originally said this was starting up around Labor Day), so I guess I'm going to be doing it whether I'm ready or not.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The new normal

Eric has a new job! Again. Ahem. Anyway, he's employed, or will be once he fills out the paperwork, and we have to figure out daycare. I'm not so enthused about the daycare, but we did agree that Eric getting a full-time job was the most preferable option and I don't have to worry about finances anymore (and maybe I can think about getting a netbook/laptop for Christmas, once we've seen the damage of the hospital bills). And I'll be home alone with Chloe after August 24. It'll be interesting. When do babies learn to entertain themselves? Because currently whenever I have to use the bathroom I hand the baby to Eric, but that's not going to be an option in a couple of weeks here and it will be sad to have to put her in the crib and listen to her cry whenever I'm on the toilet.

My parents left Tuesday, and we're getting into a somewhat normal schedule again. It's revolving around the baby and her feedings and naps, of course, but I've actually done some e-mail correspondence and some cleaning, and I intend to go out and pick things in the garden once Eric gets up from his nap. Next week I may even start thinking about my hobbies again. So far I've mostly been reading in my spare time (and eating and drinking; I hadn't realized that lactating was going to make me so hungry and thirsty all the time), but it's about time to reintegrate my old life with the new. And it would be nice to finish Chloe's quilt before my maternity leave is over.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I am a mother.

I've been trying to write about having a baby, and it isn't working. (Also, typing feels weird. I haven't been on my computer in days and days.) Relatively briefly, then: Chloe was born on Thursday, July 23, after 20.5 hours of labor (starting with my water breaking, which seemed to annoy the midwives inordinately--once that happens, they start worrying about infection) and a tech who asked to observe me at the hospital because she'd never seen anyone trying to do a no-drugs labor before. She was eight pounds, three ounces, supposedly 21 inches (but the pediatrician measured her at 19.75 at her four-day checkup). After the delivery, we got to see the placenta and amniotic sac, which was pretty cool, while I got stitched up; and then I was both ravenous and the sleepiest I've ever been; and then I got food and a nap, and so did Chloe.

We took her home, where we adored her and she was fussy and difficult at feeding times and developed jaundice. It and the fussiness got bad enough that we called the pediatrician, and on the next Friday they looked her over, got a bilirubin and weight check, and ended up sending us to the NICU for phototherapy for her jaundice and weight loss and dehydration. As far as we know it was caused by not feeding her enough, which was caused by a shallow latch and tongue thrust preventing her from feeding well. So I've been feeling horribly guilty. But I'm getting better, and it helps that the phototherapy cleared up the jaundice for the most part and we're now stuffing her full of food, so much so that she gained ten ounces in five days and is back to her birth weight at the two-week mark, right on schedule. The pediatrician says if this keeps up he'll have to have the obesity talk with us sooner than planned.

I enjoy her very much, but I'm still a bit ambivalent about being a mother. I hope this is normal. I'm definitely enjoying being at home, except that my parents are staying with us and my mom is getting on my nerves slightly, which hasn't happened before. (Also she's taken over my kitchen, but since this means I don't have to cook meals it's not so bad.) She's two weeks old today, and I'm starting to feel like it's time to get back to a somewhat normal schedule, rather than spending most of my time reading and napping between feedings. Being a mother definitely doesn't change my interest in my hobbies or my attitude towards housework; it just adds an extra responsibility that has to take precedence. It's weird. But I think I can make it work.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All about late pregnancy

I'm up late because we're touring a pediatrician's office tomorrow morning and I'm going in to work afterward. Actually, I'm up late because I'm often up late these days, and I'm going into work afterward hoping not to get yelled at because I didn't get a chance to ask permission to do this so I just left a message on my boss's voicemail at about nine o'clock this evening. I do not think he'll yell at me. He doesn't yell. And he's lenient about letting us come in late or leave early for medical reasons and I do not abuse this. And I'm nine months pregnant. And I probably sounded distressed on the phone and maybe he'll think something's up with the pregnancy and will be extra understanding. I think I said "I have a doctor's appointment," which is technically true, but I don't remember for sure.

Our dining room table is a mess right now, due to a box of awesomeness that arrived from M and a baby present from a coworker that both came today. Admittedly the dining room table is often a mess, because Eric's mom always used their dining table as a "put everything down here and shove it into rough piles when you need more horizontal surface area" space and I haven't broken him of the same habit--and, worse, I think I'm starting to pick it up from him. "Thank goodness you're still here!" my coworker had said, and then, when she was leaving, "Thanks for holding off until I got this to you." She was appalled to hear that my doctor will probably wait at least a week beyond my due date to suggest induction.

In other news, there's a huge beetle under a glass on my kitchen floor. I heard something knocking around down there after Eric had left for his weekly gaming night and when I went down, all I found was this gigantic beetle flopping about on its back. I considered a broom, then put the glass over it and considered cardboard to scoop it up; then I decided I would let it die and see what it was before I got rid of it. Also I didn't want to bend over again.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer fun

We're kicking off the summer food season tonight with tabbouleh and fresh pita bread (for dinner) and sweet pickle relish (for experimentation). I'm quite looking forward to both. I've still got a decent amount of energy (though I'm finding myself getting less and less sleep--presumably my body knows what's coming and is weaning me off of it) and this is becoming one of my favorite parts of summer, the doing-things-with-fresh-produce bit. I'm such an adult. But I guess that's better than the alternative.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


And another interview today. At least places are still hiring. This is good. We've also got an appointment with a pediatrician--we're supposed to interview them, but I really don't know what to say. "Do you have an actual degree? Can I see your diploma?"

Incidentally, one of my friends just asked me if I planned to vaccinate my child. I think it's sad that she had to ask. Apparently one of her other friends isn't--said friend citing not only the autism non-link, but also "Those diseases aren't around anymore, so why bother?" People worry me.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Waiting, waiting

Eric didn't get that job, and is waiting on the results of another interview. They were supposed to call him Wednesday or Thursday, so I'm not hopeful. He does have a very good prospect of part-time teaching at the university, so that's something, but we finally pulled the last of his teaching stuff out of his car yesterday and he got very sad at the prospect of not using it again (even if he does get this job, he probably won't have a classroom of his own). He's been sad a lot. So have I, due to stress and pregnancy hormones, though we mostly do a good job of alternating so one of us is available to handle the other. I guess that's a marriage.

I'm about two scenes away from finishing Shoelace but haven't done it, partly because I'm working on nonfiction writing and the baby bumper, partly because I just plain don't want to work on it. Even though I'm in the middle of the climax. It's very strange. But I must finish it before the baby comes so I can ignore it in good conscience; ignoring it is bothering me now. Maybe this week.

I've gotten to the hard bit of pregnancy, where I can't sleep well and my body aches and people I barely know keep asking me the same four questions (Are you excited? When are you due? Do you know if it's a boy or a girl? Do you have names picked out?--though somebody varied it the other day with "Did you really want a girl, or did you not care about the sex?" and I had to stop myself from saying "Actually, we really wanted a boy and hate the idea of a girl; we're not sure whether we're going to keep her"). I'm told this is nature's way of reconciling the new mother to a completely new life (not to mention labor) by making anything preferable to staying pregnant. I'm not sure I've reached that point yet, but I can see it coming. And of course maternity leave will be lovely, assuming the sleep deprivation doesn't send me (or Eric) into psychosis.

Gah. I'm depressing myself and I really don't mean to. I'm doing a lot of waiting lately, so I kind of feel my entire life is on hold, which is never a good feeling, but it's not that bad really. I probably need to do more and worry less--which I imagine is almost always good advice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Job hunting

Eric has a job interview! This makes me happy. And him happier, of course. It's next Friday, so I've got plenty of time to take down the hem of the pants of his suit (he put them in the wash accidentally the last time he wore it; they seem to be okay except for being too short now, but Mom was the one who hemmed them so there's enough fabric left over to lengthen them appropriately). He's been looking for science teacher openings but only found two so far, and the other one was filled, so he was especially pleased. I admit to being ever so slightly disappointed that we won't be able to move earlier, and that we'll have to look for serious daycare. This is assuming that he gets the job, of course. I'm sure the competition for this job is more fierce than it would have been a couple of years ago. But I'm hopeful, and so is he, and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I'm feeling very restless and dissatisfied. Partly because I took an unintended nap and therefore had less time to do things today than I intended, partly because I didn't want to do the things anyway and was therefore secretly glad for the nap, partly because how can I be secretly anything when all I'm doing is talking to myself in my head? The mind is a strange place to live.

However, we made dinner, and I dug up the part of the garden that needs digging up, and some laundry is folded, and I will get some writing done before I go to bed. Probably also some reading or quilt binding, because my feet are a bit puffy-looking and I should put them up. My new gauge for how to spend my evening is the circumference of my ankles. I'm not sure if that's better or worse than by trying to hide my perfectly audible thoughts from myself.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Demand Studios

I just signed up for Demand Studios. It's $15 an (approved) article on simple topics, no minimum quotas, so it sounds doable; we'll see how it goes in reality. Eric ordered new $400 glasses today, so extra cash sounds good to me.

Monday, June 01, 2009

In the good old summertime

Ants found in the office, which is above the kitchen: one. Ants found in the craft room, which is next to the office: one. Ants found in the nursery: one. Orkin Men cursed out because their oh-so-impressive spraying regimen is obviously totally useless: one.

We tried out the lemon ice cream for real tonight. Our conclusions: no-egg ice cream is too soft, at least the way we've made it so far. Maybe with too much cream. It could use a little more sugar. However, it's also intensely flavorful and even with its faults is a darn good dessert. I do like our work. I'm looking forward to full-on summer, I think; the ants will eventually go away (they seem to come out in the spring and fall), and we'll be making more ice cream, and the garden will improve (assuming I can ever get out to weed and to plant the last of the things I want to plant), and everything will be good.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Trying to relax

Blechh. My calves hurt (three charley horses last night--Eric said, "How is that possible when you only have two legs?") and I'm tired and there's a baby bubbling around in my internal organs. The last bit isn't so bad, except sometimes I wish I could make it stop, and the middle one is a good tired; I went out and worked in the garden and the yard a bit, and that makes me happy. Eric was going to mow the lawn, but his shoulder injury from an old car accident flared up again yesterday (possibly triggered by an irritating episode with his mother and her computer) so he's taking it easy. I'm trying to, too. We went to our first childbirth class on Thursday and I walked out of it crying because the relaxation exercise had triggered a whole bunch of unhappiness I hadn't realized I was carrying around. Eric said, "Apparently neither of us are real good at the relaxing thing," but we're giving it a try.

This weekend we intend to unload the bookcases in the office so that we can replace them with the bigger bookcases in the nursery, and make ice cream. Lemon ice cream. Yummy yummy lemon ice cream. I also intend to make another batch of chai, if there's enough cream left. I made some this past week just because I felt like it, and I think I'm getting close to a good recipe. I'd like to have someone else to get a second opinion (Eric's no good because he doesn't like chai), though I'm not sure why when it's my taste I'm trying to cater to. I think. Anyway, books and ice cream ahead. What could be more relaxing than that?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Chicago is big and interesting and full of toll roads and taxidrivers who love to honk. Even if you're stopped because going forward means running over six or seven pedestrians. Especially then, perhaps. Our last act in Chicago was to get smoothies from Jamba Juice, and since we had our car at the time and there was no street parking available for several blocks and we weren't about to pay $19 to park in a lot for the ten minutes it would take, this involved letting me out quickly at a red light and me calling to read the menu to Eric, then ordering, then calling back when I had our drinks. I stepped outside in time to see Eric on the corner, trying to turn right on a green light but unable to because of the thick stream of pedestrians crossing, and a taxi honking steadily at him from behind. I yelled at the taxi driver, though I doubt he heard me. Then I ran after Eric because he was finally able to turn and couldn't stop, and eventually we met up in an alley halfway down the block. We are not moving to Chicago.

However, the rest of the trip was great. We went to the art museum, which was free on Friday, and laughed at the modern art section--there were a few interesting pieces, but the artistic merit in the majority of them was in the descriptions. A canvas in one or two colors with a couple of big gouges in it: "In Meanderings of my Summer Mind (or whatever), Artist X moved beyond conventional artistic envisioning by transitioning the medium outside of the two-dimensional plane using either of two alternate postmodern techniques--cutting, or [Italian word], and tearing, [other Italian word]--in order to invoke the kinetodynamic realm of motion and shape." There was what looked like the side of a garage, complete with misspelled random words, measurements, and what looked like kids' scrawls, and was described as a masterpiece of modern technique; there was a pile of wrapped hard candy that was described as representing the artist (or artist's friend?) in his struggle with AIDs or cancer; visitors were encouraged to take a piece, thereby representing the gradual eking away of the victim's life; meanwhile, the art museum would restock the candy, representing a "virtual immortality." Eric couldn't get over this one. "Pile of candy!" he would say every once in a while during the rest of our stay.

On Saturday we took a bus to the Museum of Science and Industry and overheard a man haranguing another man about...something; what I really remember is the sentence "Even mammal dinosaurs were feathered, so they're wrong, they're all wrong!" I have no idea whether the second man was a friend of the first one or was just a hapless stranger. We went to Shedd Aquarium--which was okay but not impressive, but our feet hurt so much it didn't really matter--and the Field Museum, which should by rights have taken two or three days, and the planetarium, and the Sears Tower. We walked along the beach and ate at interesting restaurants and had a good time.

And now we are having a good time being home, with our refinished bathtub and lack of need to be standing up for eight hours every day. Contrast is everything, I guess, and vacations are good, but home is very nice indeed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chicago bound

The garden and plants are watered. The clothes are folded. The dishes are mostly done. The snacks are packed. The bathtub is in the process of being refinished. It must be time to go to Chicago. Well, it's time to pack for Chicago. Tomorrow, we take showers at the mothers' (owing to aforementioned bathtub needing three days to dry) and drive away. I'm totally excited. We haven't had a vacation that wasn't visiting family since our honeymoon, which was not a disaster but was not exactly the ideal vacation, what with the panic attack and the severe sunburns and the lack of variety of occupations. (The food was great though.) Yay vacation!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home comforts

I am quite tired--pleasantly so, except for the back. I spent a good four hours out in the yard today--mostly doing garden work, but also weeding around the raspberries and the one rose (which may be getting yanked; we'll see how I feel about it). Eric helped out by Round-Up-ing weeds. While we were both out we learned that the neighbors have such frequent parties (a few times a week) partly because one of them is a Pampered Chef salesperson (whatever they're called). If I'd known that before I would have inquired whether Pampered Chef has angel food pans any better than the Baker's Secret ones.

Alas, I didn't; so Eric got one from Kroger today, because we were bound and determined to have angel food cake with sugared strawberries and homemade French vanilla ice cream tonight. And so we shall. The strawberries are macerating, the ice cream is setting, the cake is cooling. We've just finished dinner, tacos. I don't mind quick meals on the weeknights, mostly, as long as it doesn't descend into "What do you want?" "I don't know, what do you want?" "I don't know. Pasta?" which it too often does. I'm sick of pasta. But I'm really liking a more work-intensive, well-rounded meal on Sundays. Followed by dessert is even better. A dessert that kicks off the ice-cream-making season is better still.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I read Theodore Sturgeon's The Dreaming Jewels over the weekend. It's one of the books I didn't realize Eric (well, we) had but noticed when we moved books out of the nursery last week. I keep hearing that Sturgeon is a fantastic and phenomenal writer, and I've read two of his books now and I'm disappointed. It was a nice book, as was the other one (More Than Human), but they're not mind-bending and illuminating and everything that people say they are. Apparently he goes with Heinlein in my mind as a class of over-hyped writers. I wonder if this is because I'm so used to contemporary writing, or because I have a different viewpoint from the people who admire their work, or what.

We saw Star Trek on Friday (I think Eric was disappointed there was no line or anything to get in, but the theater did fill up respectably) and it's a decent movie as a movie, but not as part of Star Trek canon, according to Eric. The things that bugged him were things I didn't know (ages were off, Kirk wasn't born on a starship, etc.), but there were definitely flaws in it as a movie; there were some logical inconsistencies and not much character development except a little in Spock, and it felt like it was stuck between trying to appeal to the older Star Trek fans (especially bringing in all the main characters, who are all ridiculously young and all geniuses at their jobs despite being ridiculously young, to the ship at the same time) and to newer, young fans (too much flash and fun without logic to back it up). Also, it technically passed the Bechdel-Wallace test, but only technically, and I really didn't like that the only major female character was reduced to a love interest and nothing else, despite also being ridiculously young and a genius at her job. I did think the actor who played McCoy was fantastic, though.

I also made the sourdough onion rye bread and it's pretty good, but it needs work.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mundanely better

Another bout of last-minute kid-watching today. "We'll make it up to you," my mother-in-law said, looking down at my burgeoning belly. "Won't we?" (I've swelled up in just the last couple of weeks or so to suddenly looking distinctly pregnant. It's weird, but I think it's better than when I just looked overweight. More overweight, anyway.) Despite that, I'm feeling quite a bit better. I talked to Eric about my resentment and worry, and I took my glucose test, and I've finally got the tomatoes out into the garden, and I'm working on the thank-you letters. The desk is still more crowded than I like--messy workspace means messy mind to me, so it makes me all scatterbrained and irritable--but I'm getting it under control.

I made bread today, plain wheat sandwich bread, but it was nice to do. And tomorrow I'm going to make sourdough onion-rye bread, which totally excites me. I might have to actually bake it Saturday, as Eric wants us to go to opening night of the Star Trek movie, but that's all right too. We're going up to see some friends Saturday, but not until the afternoon, and in the morning I planned to go to the farmer's market for salad fixings and strawberry plants anyhow, so it all works out. Now the only thing really wrong is that I've got a slight headache from eating too many Nerds.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Grumpy pregnant lady

I was a total grumpy pregnant lady last night, caused partly by wearing maternity clothes to work (they were fairly comfortable physically but not at all psychically. I have issues, I know) and exacerbated by a last-minute all-evening babysitting gig for the eleven-year-old stepsister-in-law for no good reason (and the two-year-old niece for a good reason, but only for a couple of hours and we'd agreed to that earlier) and annoying dogs at the mothers' house. I'm not a dog person anyway, and slobbery tongues and noses all over my pants and hands just as I was finally sitting down to the dinner I had to argue to be allowed to prepare even though everyone else was hungry and wanted what I suggested did not make me any more so.

Ahem. I really am slightly better this morning, though not a lot.

Today Eric has promised to mow the lawn and build a bookcase. I do not actually believe he'll get both of these things done, but I hope to be wrong. We bought three bookcases from Target a couple of weeks ago for the purpose of moving the library out of what'll now be the baby's room while still leaving a couple of small bookcases for the baby's stuff (not to mention her own books--she only has five or six at the moment, aside from the kids' books that I still consider mine, but that will change). Our dream house will have a dedicated library with built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. (And a secret passage.) In the meantime, we're lining the dining room with cheap bookcases. If we ever get them built. There's also a corn syrup slick in the pantry to clean up, and a mouse to poison or track down and shoot, and a whole bunch of other work to be done. Part of my grumpiness last night (and this morning) was also due to the neverending messiness and dirtiness of the kitchen and the house in general. Why are we homeowners? Arrgh.

To be honest, I think I'm disgruntled because I don't think I should have to be the one to work. Or rather, not the only one to work. Not twice in two years. Not when the house isn't any cleaner or better kept than when we were both working. Eric said on the way home from Penguicon that he was wondering whether he shouldn't just stay home with the baby next school year (and maybe teach lab part-time at the university) instead of getting a job. We need to talk more about this--it would be nice if it doesn't drive him crazy and we can afford it, but I wonder if he's really considering it because he's afraid of not finding a job, or of being dismissed a third time if he does--but I'm feeling all kinds of unattractive things when I think about it. I want to be the one to stay home. I didn't have to worry so much about money when I was unmarried. I do all this emotional caretaking already, I don't see why I have to be the sole breadwinner and the household manager too. I want someone to lean on, not someone to support. I'm a woman and a wife and I'm not supposed to have to do everything.

I hate that I feel this way. It's really not that bad; I’m just disgruntled and tired and anxious, and also the baby's hiccups resonate in my bones and I have to go take a glucose test and I still can't eat much cheese so mealtimes are difficult. (Not because I can't cook without cheese, but because our shared meals often involve it, especially in the winter, so if we want to eat something together there's a limited selection to choose from and if we decide to eat separately Eric invariably says he'll just have some chicken nuggets/a ham steak/Testosteroni/a banana and a cookie, and he's lost seven pounds since February so I really want him to eat better than that. And if I suggest making something that I won't eat he protests, like with dinner last night. I'm glad summer's coming, and that we can get to the farmer's market this Saturday.) I'm going to skip the glucose test today--I have no appointment; I just need to show up at the lab sometime this week--and go talk to Eric before I start yelling at him, which I don't want to do. And maybe bake some bread. That might make me feel better.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Penguicon 7.0

We're back from Penguicon, plus a long nap. Penguicon was fun--the hotel was large but not quite large enough, so apparently a bunch of people had to stay in neighboring hotels and the game rooms were smaller than people would have liked, but oh well. They had the consuite on the first floor, which was nice, but it wasn't as well-supplied as the Confusion one and closed before the con did, which annoyed us. And I never did get to the nitrogen ice cream. But there were interesting panels and interesting people, and a live performance of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" (with a few scenes cut out, to dispense with characters, I think). The lead was fantastic--he sang well, he acted well, he interacted with the audience and rolled with technical goof-ups well. The woman who played Penny sang beautifully but didn't have any lines otherwise, and the man who played Captain Hammer did his best but didn't sing nearly as well as would have been nice. He did have the right attitude, though. Somebody in the row behind us commented about halfway through, "If this were better it wouldn't be nearly as good."

The workshop was most of what I did--nine to twelve-thirty on Saturday and ten to one-thirty on Sunday--and was interesting; I've never done an in-person writing workshop before. I now know that I need to write up my critiques differently, at least for presenting out loud--we each had about three minutes (supposedly) for talking about each piece we critiqued, and that called for a summary rather than a detailed description. I learned a lot from doing the critiques, and from hearing other people critique--especially the facilitators, Jim Hines and Catherynne Valente. I apparently have no confidence issues as a reader so it didn't bother me that my takes were different from other people's, but it was interesting to hear how we differed. I got some very useful feedback on my own story (the beginning of Shoelace), which, fortunately, doesn't seem to necessitate giving up or redoing the whole thing, which is nice since I should be very close to finishing the first draft. (Also learned that Festivus is something from Seinfeld? I used it as a name for a holiday but three or four people commented on it, so evidently I'm going to have to find something else. This is the problem with never watching TV: not knowing pop references.)

Tonight I'm unwinding (we ordered a pizza, despite an annoying bill from the OB/GYN, because I just don't have the energy to think of something to cook) and finishing up an article for the business journal I've been doing occasional freelance work for. The source for this article wouldn't do the interview unless I promised to send him the rough draft before sending it in, so I did, but he hasn't responded and it's due tomorrow, so he's out of luck.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bread, someday

I need to make bread. It's been a long time--and my starter is looking awfully dark on top. We have some rye and a baguette in the freezer, plus a loaf of sandwich bread--sandwich bread is all I've been making lately. I'm not sure why. Too many hobbies, maybe--and the kitchen has been a constant battle against the dishes and the mice (all is quiet at the moment, but I'm not sure I believe they're vanquished yet) since the first of the year. But I'm also sick of Wheat Thins and graham crackers (my serial mainstays for snacking at work), and I miss artisan-style bread.

Unfortunately I don't think I'm doing it anytime soon--I'm leaving for Seattle on Saturday, and need to finish a quilt by then, and I wanted to finish Shoelace by Penguicon which means it needs to be nearly done by then as well. I've been doing well with my daily word count and I really am near the end, but not near enough that I'm confident I can do it. (And I've been asked to watch my stepsister-in-law tomorrow, which is when Eric goes to Ann Arbor so it's prime work-on-my-own-projects time.) So spare time is not to be had this week. Maybe late next week I'll make some good sour sourdough...or ciabatta...or garlic-rosemary bread...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Signs of spring

I do believe I'm sunburned. I spent some time in the sun today, working in the garden while Eric repaired the garage roof...and come to think of it, sitting on a bench with some friends at the farmer's market. I forget about sunburn every year (kind of like weeding), but yeah, that may well be why my arms are red and itchy. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and clear and 70 or so. I put out some plants because it's not supposed to get lower than 36 for the next week, and stay reasonably warm except for a few days of high-40s weather. It was freezing last week, so I'm very glad for the change...though as I told Eric, we don't seem to get spring here so much as schizophrenia.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Home again, home again

Back from the trip. It went pretty well, except for my getting dizzy and woozy at the airport (causing my traveling companion much concern, though once she realized I was pregnant and not sick I think she felt better, and I took better care in the other airports we visited), and I met a bunch of clients and learned how we do our sales. I was so glad to be home, though--even though I ate better while on the road than I do at home. Our last dinner was at a Ruth's Chris steakhouse, where I had a wonderful tomato-and-onion salad and potatoes Lyonnaise (?) and a chocolate cake with ice cream and caramel sauce. We had to walk around for half an hour afterward just to get comfortable enough to go back to our rooms. I'd like to go back to downtown Ft. Worth, incidentally. It looked like a nice place, and the manager of the restaurant told us about a number of fun things we could have gone and done if we'd had more time.

We visited some friends on Saturday and met their little son, and got a big bag of baby stuff that they'd had donated to them and didn't want (they also received four bathtubs between friends and showers, so we got one). Today we cleaned the house a bit and spent most of the day with Eric's family, which was nice in that our niece was being adorable but annoying in that most of the entertainment involved watching a few of us play the Wii in a room that was too small to contain everybody. Ah well. It was a nice day, overall. It's been a nice break from work; it's been nine days since I was last in the office. I peeked at my work e-mail from home and it doesn't look too bad, for as long as I've been gone, but I'm in no danger of having a slow day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


My Palm Tungsten T2 is dead. Much sadness abounds. It's not actually dead; I just can't get it to connect to my computer; but for my purposes (writing while on a business trip I'm leaving for tomorrow), that's the same thing. I suppose I should have looked into it before, like maybe when I got my new hard drive...but oh well. I've been coveting one of those hardcover-sized netbooks, like Jen's got, but don't have the money for it, so no replacement is forthcoming. Which means it's up to my notebook and pen and abysmal handwriting, I guess.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cooking up something good

Blechh. I have eaten too much dinner. It's good dinner--I actually cooked, which isn't happening as much lately as it ought--but there were too many carrots and, um, mint M&Ms while I was waiting. I had my first appointment with the new doctor (midwives actually) today and if their scale is calibrated the same as the old one, I really need to knock off the M&Ms (the carrots are probably fine).

I was supposed to go clothes shopping today while Eric's up in Ann Arbor at gaming night, but I didn't feel like going anywhere--and there was nothing quick to grab for dinner, anyway, hence the cooking. Instead I'm reading. I also need to write and to quilt. I was contemplating switching out Here, Fishy Fishy for the next quilt for my cousin (Balloon Flight, I think) because her due date is nearing and HFF was all finished, but now I've got a reasonably firm date to see the recipient of HFF so I've got to have both quilts finished within ten days anyway, so it doesn't really make sense to switch. So there must be quilting tonight, because I'm going to be gone next week on a business trip which will make getting to my sewing machine difficult.

I'm taking part in a writing workshop at Penguicon the first weekend in May, and as part of it I'm supposed to critique the other participants' stories. I've finished two, and finding that a thorough critique really does take a lot of time and concentration. I'm enjoying it, though. I also find it helps me want to write more myself. I'm not sure whether part of it is to reassure myself that I write better than they do; I peeked at the third story and I think it's going to be much better than these two, so we'll see how I feel when I'm through that one. Either way, I may want to give some thought to joining a writer's group, because I think just doing the critiques is helping me--that's why I applied to be part of the workshop in the first place.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Various weirdness

I woke up crying this morning. I'm pretty sure my hormones shifted during the night, causing me to have a sad dream; I don't know whether the crying was from the dream or the sadness itself, since the urge to cry wouldn't go away for quite a while. This pregnancy thing is weird.

I'm also having an urge to share the dream itself, even though I keep tearing up again when I think about it, and I didn't with Eric because it was about him and he didn't ask when I told him why I was sad and solicited a hug. So here it is:

Eric was dead. The circumstances were confusing, in typical dream-fashion, involving the placement of eight long wooden rods over a monkey-bars-like frame, but it had killed him and I knew that it had been either an accident or suicide, but I wasn't sure which, and not knowing was torturing me. I was then given an opportunity to step into a parallel universe for a short time to try to find out. (Do people who don't read SF have these kinds of SF elements in their dreams?)

I accepted the opportunity and found Eric. He was very happy to see me because in his universe we'd had a big misunderstanding (similar to the one we actually had at the beginning of our relationship) and had just figured things out. In the course of talking about this he mentioned the accident he had almost had, so I knew he hadn't been trying to kill himself. He kept apologizing for the time we'd lost during the misunderstanding and saying that now we had so much ahead of us, and I didn't say otherwise because I didn't want to disrupt his happiness, but I knew that soon I'd have to go back to my own universe where he was dead.

It sounds tame, but it was horrible--though much more coherent than a lot of my dreams, I notice, and I could probably make a good story out of it if I were a different kind of writer. I think I'd like to just try to forget it, however, except maybe to note that while I'm quite sure that I love Eric, it tends to hit me most viscerally when I'm feeling I've lost him (as before during The Situation, when I once told him I was severing communications--I meant to do it for six months but didn't get farther than twenty-four hours). This love thing is weird, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A little birdhouse in your soul

I find that I don't have any pictures of the Here, Fishy Fishy quilt. I still have the quilt (sadly, we've canceled three attempts to go see the recipient), so that's okay, but since I still have it and the recipient doesn't, I shan't show it yet. But that's not the case for 2009 baby quilt #2, which has the extremely cumbersome name Build a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul, after a song I've never heard the original artists (They Might Be Giants) play but which Eric sings to me every once in a while for no reason at all.

The background fabric was a bear to work with but I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and my fear of applique is a bit lessened. I'm in the pre-sewing stages of 2009 baby quilt #3, meaning I have the templates ready but haven't sat down and cut things out to try a block yet. It's a fairly simple quilt, nine blocks of the same pattern and simple sashing, so my delay in starting it shouldn't be disastrous, even though the baby that quilt is destined for is due in less than a month. I hope. It depends on how long the delay goes.

I must say I'm loving all these baby quilt projects though. They go so fast! They're so easy to manipulate in the machine! They're only going to get drooled on so intricate detailing is foolish anyway!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Every day an opportunity

My current job has been great for me, skill-development-wise. I'm talking to someone about a potential editing/proofreading gig (my information was posted on the AMA website ages ago when I was doing a lot of editing and proofreading for my job at the time, and it's still up there, and I get occasional queries) and they want some sort of official document mentioning intellectual property rights, and I know exactly what to do--send a prework agreement with their and my contact information and the necessary verbiage, make them sign it before I start work, and issue an invoice afterward. I'm not afraid to talk on the phone anymore, and I know how to sound like I know what I'm talking about without actually giving any information. (Maybe that last one isn't unadulteratedly positive, but it's come in handy before and I bet it will again.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

This week

This week shall be Home Improvement week. We went to Home Depot to kick it off and got a tub refinishing kit, shelves for the craft room (so that the spare bed can go in there instead of in the nursery), new shelves for the bathtub (because the old one was utter garbage), and foam insulation and screening to, along with plaster we already have, patch up the mouse hole. We shall Improve our House, or at least Keep It From Falling to Bits.

We shall also visit hospitals--my doctor would have us go to Toledo Hospital, which would be fine except Eric's mom got all in a lather about Toledo and got Eric worried about it, so we're touring them, and Bay Park, and Flower (though Eric has to call that one because it's far away and has an annoying name and I wanted him to do at least part of the work since I would have been happy to stick with Toledo Hospital, especially since that means being able to stick with my current doctor). And Eric has a bunch of doctor's appointments that all somehow ended up being this week. It shall be a busy week. Maybe it'll be good for us for a change.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dear Diary, he'll write, why can't I have a normal wife?

"I'll be so glad when it's 2011," I said as I sat with my sewing-box in one hand and my latest baby quilt in the other.

"Um?" said Eric, staring intently at the computer (i.e., behaving normally).

"It'll be so much easier signing quilts," I explained. "I hate making zeros."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In the abstract

Eric's been craving bacon for a while now. (I call couvade syndrome. Aren't I the one who's supposed to be having cravings?) He finally bought some over the weekend from Andersons, where he prefers to get meat (and we both prefer to get produce), and fried it up last night. "It smells good," I said, and as he always does whenever I say that about meat, he offered me some. I declined, and something occurred to me that hadn't before: I don't really think of meat as food. For me, that is. It can have a nice smell that reminds me of a good restaurant or (in this case) Sunday breakfasts when I was a kid, but that doesn't make me want to eat it. "It's like the way I imagine a gay man feels about a pretty woman," I told Eric. "Abstract admiration, but no interest in partaking."

I had a long weekend, since I was taking my February days off this week so that I could be here next week while one of my coworkers is traveling, and we spent Monday and Tuesday doing household things (shopping and trying to repair a leaky spigot--we need insulation protection gear before proceeding) and sleeping late. It was lovely. I asked Eric what time he was getting up this morning, since he planned to visit a couple of school district administrative offices, and he said, "We should probably try to get up before nine." I reminded him that I had to go to work in the morning, but I thought wistfully that it would be wonderful not to have to. Would we get tired of each other? I don't know. Would I get more done? I hope so. I did some quilting and some writing and some laundry, so it wasn't a wasted couple of days by any means (not to mention the shopping and household repairs), but I always think I could have done more than I did.

This week: finish the spigot repair, write, quilt, plant broccoli, plan my planting schedule, make sure Eric does something every day. He really seems to want the structure that having work gives to his day; he's not enjoying the time off as I wish he could, though I understand why. Also, the sooner he figures out the substituting thing, the sooner we can decide whether I can buy plane tickets to go visit my family in April.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Possibly one of the sexiest things my husband has ever said.

Certainly the sexiest said while in an all-male World of Warcraft raid chat:

"The misogyny in this conversation is getting to be a little much."


Saturday, February 07, 2009

You go back, Jack, do it again

Eric's been fired. We don't know why--the principal did it, but refused to give a reason and seemed ill-at-ease, Eric says. He asked what happened about the four weeks he was promised and the principal wouldn't answer. He's very unhappy, of course--this is the second time this has happened, though less explicably this time around, and he really liked this job and this school and his kids. This happened after school Friday, so he didn't get to say goodbye to his students, but he did tell a few teachers and the quiz bowl team he helps coach, and they were shocked and sad. He's been apologizing to me a lot. I couldn't figure out how to stop him until he said it again this morning, before leaving to pack up his classroom, and I said, "I'm sorry. I'm not concerned about myself except for you." He said, "That helps." I guess I never actually said "I'm sorry you lost your job." I would say I'll remember it for next time, but I hope there isn't one. Twice is enough.

I am worried about money again, because I was told Friday morning that everyone in the company is now required to take four days off of work a month until further notice. I can cover mine with vacation until the end of March, and it turns out that Eric's paychecks will continue coming until then (since teachers work ten months but get paid across twelve), so we've got some breathing room. We're going to tighten expenses and such immediately, of course, and save as much as we can. I'd planned to go back to Washington in late April for a short trip with my cousin Bev and a baby shower and to see my other cousin Jaime's new baby, and we're going to have to see whether I can still do it. There's every chance Eric will be able to get a job as a substitute teacher, so money may not be a very big issue after all, but I'll be happier once we see the numbers and know what he can expect work-wise for the interim.

On the good side, it's warm here--forties--and the backyard is melting, which means I may be able to get to my garden again to dump the compost bin, which has been moldering under my sink for weeks. And my energy and appetite are returning, which means that we'll be able to tackle some household projects that need doing (though some will also have to be budgeted for--but the cleaning-type stuff will be free). Also, brownies sounded good to me the other day, which means my pregnancy-induced disdain for chocolate may be coming to an end. That's definitely a good thing.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The menagerie

The current baby quilt (Fishy, Fishy) is inching towards completion. It doesn't help that I realized that I cut one of my templates and therefore sixteen pieces wrong, and unfortunately they're all too small instead of too big. I realized I never posted a picture of James's quilt, so here it is on my bed:

(Please ignore the mess on the floor. That's Eric's side.) I like the watercolor technique a lot, now that I know better how to use it.

The kitchen is finally almost clean, but the mice are still around. This despite the twelve (no kidding) traps we laid out around the kitchen. I'm quite tired of having the contents of my pantry piled on top of the chest freezer (for one thing, bread and flour go in there, since there's not enough room in the regular freezer) and of having vermin in the house, but we're not sure what to do. Today I saw one skitter across the floor and climb up a hole between cupboards, and I swear it did it on purpose to avoid the glue trap that would otherwise have been in its way. I moved the trap directly below the hole but I have a feeling the mice are too smart for us and we'll never get rid of them. Until I give up and call in the poison, anyway.

Eric's job may be in danger again...his principal told him that he's giving too many Fs and not enough As, and he should do something about it. Anything. Or else. He's told a couple of people at work and they're highly displeased, but not shocked, so apparently his new employers aren't as much better as his old ones as we'd have liked. He was potentially going to be out of a job next school year anyway, since there are statewide education budget cuts and he's a new teacher, but now we're pretty much planning on it, and working out what we'll do if he doesn't get another teaching job at a different school (which, with the budget cuts, is looking unlikely). We did this last year and were okay, but of course we'll have a baby around this time...but if he stays home and maybe picks up some community college classes to teach at night, we'll be saving some $6000-$7000 on childcare anyway and earning a few thousand. And we've been saving money. And I'm working on the freelancing, though not as much as I should. We should be okay; I just wish adulthood weren't so complicated.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I do not want to

I do not want to write. Or order seeds, which needs doing shortly. Or clean, though I'm starting to hate the filthiness of the house more than the act of cleaning. I want to sit, and read, and eat citrus. (Seriously, two or three pieces a day for the past what, month? except when we run out and I haven't gone to the store beforehand.) I'm starting to get over this, but slowly. As a result, baby quilt #1 is behind. Writing is way behind (though I'm rereading Shoelace, and I'm going to send in the first few pages to apply to the Penguicon writing workshop, mainly because I think critiquing other people's work would be really good for me right about now). I'm not even thinking about knitting or spinning except in fitful moments. I can't honestly say for sure whether it's pregnancy or winter doldrums.

But I do seem to be coming out of it, bit by bit. I've got a guest gardening post to write (and my garden blog to update); I've got an article to write about the National Association of Women in Construction; I've done a lot of laundry and some dishes, and pieced some quilt blocks. Next I need to call Bev, to see whether we're going to arrange a girls' weekend out this spring or if I should just invite myself over for a visit, and clear the old interview notes off my desk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Calloo! Callay!

We have a new president!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New year, old news

I am tired and irritable about eating. (Only four things never sound gross: oranges, grapefruit, crackers, and toast. Of course I'm tired of those things now.) There are twelve mousetraps around the kitchen; we found a missing trap under the stove (dead mouse included) and caught another one, which I discarded, and immediately heard the scrabbling of another behind the garbage bin, which left us only the one from the Orkin man which hadn't caught any, so we cleaned everything and put out more traps. Nothing yet.

I was supposed to go on a business trip today, but the person I was going with injured her knee shoveling snow (we got about ten inches between Friday and Saturday; another three or so expected tonight) and can't drive, so it was cancelled. Probably a good thing. I'm tired and irritable, as mentioned above, and the house is a mess. And I'd like to make some apple turnovers, since I haven't made a treat for Eric in a while and it actually sounds pretty good to me too.

I'm working on my first of four baby quilts for this year. This one's a fishy theme: a kind-of-checkerboardy watery background with some large and some small fish swimming around. I love my little fish. It would make a great bigger quilt, but I'd never have the patience. This one needs to be done by February 1, so there's another reason to be glad I'm not going on the trip. I have no knitting project at the moment, which feels very weird. I'm going to have to decide on one. I'm considering making my niece some mittens, since she came by the other day (her grandmother decided to dress her up for a walk in the snow and brought her over because she looked so cute bundled up) dressed very warmly except that her tiny mittens were falling off because the cuffs were so short. I might also make myself some socks. Or start on a baby sweater. Or even work on the gloves for Eric that I've been planning to do for over a year. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ring in the new

Happy 2009! Other than not having done dishes since last year, things are well in my house. --Oh, and not cleaning up the mouse droppings. We caught another one and I'm hoping that was it, but we're keeping the traps out and I'll see if more droppings appear. I don't know why cleaning was so low on my list of things to do when all I had was a single party and a single article to deal with.

Except that's not true. I also had early-pregnancy nausea and tiredness (not to mention abundant food aversions) to deal with. Our IUI worked on the first try and I'm eleven weeks in. I go to the doctor to hear the heartbeat tomorrow. I'm terrified that I'll go and be told that the embryo (now a fetus) died six weeks ago, but I looked that up--it's called a missed abortion or a delayed miscarriage, depending on how scared you are of the word "abortion"--and it's accompanied by loss of pregnancy symptoms, and green vegetables are grossing me out as much as they ever have (which was not at all until a few weeks ago, when I of course had plenty of them in the fridge because up until then I'd had no food aversions and was delighted to be getting my healthy meals in), so that is probably not really likely. My fingers are crossed anyway.

My goals for 2009 are pretty much the same ones as my goals for 2008: work on nonfiction, work on fiction, have a baby, get the house in shape, don't drive myself crazy with crafts. I think I did pretty well in 2008, especially on the nonfiction side. Not as well as I would have liked, but it's probably good for me not to hit all my goals; it means I didn't set them too low.