Taking the Scenic Route

Saturday July 23, 2005

23rd July 2005

Saturday July 23, 2005

From Midnightowl’s blog (who got it from Abigail’s blog): 


1. When John F. Kennedy was shot (11/22/1963)
Not even a ‘twinkle in my mother’s eye” yet, but I think my mom was a sophomore in high school

2. Where were you when man first walked on the moon: Apollo 11 (7/20/69)
In my mother’s womb

3. When Mt. St. Helen’s blew (5/18/1980)
I was 10, and remember seeing it on TV.  My uncle, who lived in Montana, sent us a jar of ashes and I thought that was the coolest thing.

4. When the space shuttle Challenger exploded (1/28/1986)
I was a sophomore in high school.  A bunch of us went to our Political Science class early (right after lunch) where there was a tv so we could watch the launch.  I saw it happen live and I remember the silence in the room as we all tried to figure out what was going on.  As the word trickled around the rest of the school, people kept filtering in to our classroom to see what was going on.

5. When the 7.1 earthquake hit San Francisco (10/7/1989)
Don’t remember this one.  I was probably holed up in the theatre at college.  It was a few weeks before I met my dh though, so I suspect I was in rehearsals for “Little Mary Sunshine”.

6. When the Berlin Wall fell (11/7/1989)
In college.  I remember seeing it on TV.

7. When the Gulf War began (1/16/1991)
I remember reporting it on the radio station pre-war.  It was a traditionally pacifist college, so the war news was very interesting.  I think that I was in Springfield, IL visiting Zach, my fiancee at that exact time.  Our “original” wedding date was 10 days before that, but we had long since put it off ‘indefinitely’, waiting for our parents to all support us. 

8. When the first World Trade Center bombing happened (2/26/1993)
I actually don’t remember this very well. 

9. When OJ sped off in the White Bronco.(6/17/1994)
Working at a hotel that only showed CNN, so I saw the whole thing.

10. When the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed (4/19/1995)
I actually didn’t hear about this for a few days, despite the fact I actually knew a few people who had family in there and somebody who worked there.  It was during the week after our wedding.  Since we couldn’t afford an actual honeymoon, we just went to our apartment, didn’t answer the phone, and only watched videos (no tv or news), and didn’t read the paper.  It wasn’t until a few days after the event, when we went to the store for groceries and saw it on a paper.  When I returned to work, I found out that one of our regulars, who I knew pretty well, would have been there except his car broke down and he spent that night at our hotel instead.  He worked there.

11. When Princess Di was killed (8/31/1997)
At work, as a night auditor.  The TV is always on news channels in the lobby, so I saw the whole thing from beginning to end.  I also watched the entire funeral a few nights later.

12. When Bush was first announced President (11/7/2000)
I actually don’t remember this at all.  I can’t remember the exact dates of the gas explosions in Hutchinson, but if it was around that time, I was dealing with that.  If not, I was buried by work anyway.  I was the Reservations & Revenue manager of a convention hotel. 

13. When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center (9/11/2001)
I was 5 months pregnant.  We had just moved to Lenexa, KS within the week and it was my dh’s second day at Sprint NOC.  (not on the main campus, but a couple of buildings referred to as the ‘twin towers’…tallish mirrored buildings)   I was resting from unpacking, and flipped through the channels, and a few channels after a picture of the first tower, I realized that it didn’t look quite right.  (first impression was that it was a movie) and went back to it.  I watched for a bit and was really confused at first, but then actually saw the second plane crash.  I have never felt as alone and vulnerable in my entire life. 

Then the rush to the gas pumps started.  I knew we didn’t have enough gas in the car for Zach to get back to work tomorrow and what little money we had was with Zach (and he was stuck at work).  My best friend who lived pretty close to me called and offered to pay for a tank for us if I wanted to wait in line with her, to make sure we didn’t get left high and dry when he was such a new employee.  So, I waited in a gas line for hours.  I remember seeing those kinds of gas lines on tv in the 70s, but it never happened in the small town I came from that I can remember, so it was a really eerie experience for me.  For a few hours, I was also so scared that I felt an inkling of the bloodlust that initially touched the nation, but it was quickly replaced by sadness.

In the days that followed, what made me the most scared was not the threat of terrorism, but my neighbors.  There were people that stood outside with candles and “proud to be an American” blaring out of truck speakers.  There was a flag printed in the KC Star paper that EVERYBODY hung in their windows.  We didn’t (because I found a paper flag to be a bit repulsive and the growing bloodlust rather frightening) and were angrily approached by neighbors asking where our flag was and had several people give them to me with a rather poorly veiled threat that we better hang them in the window immediately.  We did end up doing so out of fear since I was pregnant and alone for 11-12 hours every day.  I took it down as soon as the colors started fading because I had proper flag etiquette drilled into me when I was in school and it seemed disrespectful to display a non-perfect flag, regardless of the intent behind it.  (unless it is a protest thing, but I don’t think the shredded flags on big ’ole pick-up trucks were meant to be in protest…just somebody uneducated in how to properly display flags) 

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22nd July 2005

Friday July 22, 2005

The day around my Dr. appointment now.

The really good news:  our air conditioner was fixed!  Yeah!  I was SO tired of being hot.  We were almost late to our appt. because the maintenance guys were just finishing up when we were trying to leave.  We didn’t get to experience any coolness before the appt, but we did set it to 70F before we left.

The ‘could have been worse, but still sucked’ news:  After the appt, we went across the road to an Arbys for some food.  In that short drive, our car’s temp went into the red.  The fan wasn’t running.  Mom called Dad drove up from the farm and repaired it in the parking lot.  It was in the 100s outside and the area we were in had no shade to speak of.  Our car is one of those that was definitely designed to make mechanics lots of money…everything is way too hard to get to and hard to replace. It was also not fun trying to keep Zane entertained for 3-4 hours while we were waiting.  It could have been so much worse though…if we would have just gone home, the car would have probably blown the engine and we would have been stuck out on the interstate, in over 100F, with a 3yo and pregnant person who has been on bedrest, and no cell phone.  That would have been much worse on almost every level.

Coincidentally, Mom & Dad’s A/C also went out so they had also been dealing with 85F inside the house.  She was early to the dr appt because she decided it would be much nicer to wait in an air conditioned waiting room.  lol.  Evidently, Zane wasn’t very happy when we went to the appt. this time.   

Upon returning home…at around 8:30pm (dr appt. was at 3:45), we opened the door and were hit with a heavenly blast of cold air.  It was cool and dark and quiet. We all ended up laying down for a while to recover from the heat.  Last night Zach cranked the A/C enough that I had to put a blanket over myself.  lol.  We were just so tired of weeks and weeks of never quite getting cool enough.  It was SO nice.  This morning, the maintenance guys returned and put up the ceiling fan over our table, so now we have good air circulation & better lighting to go along with our cool air.  Very nice!

Oh, yeah…Mom called last night and said that Dad was able to get the A/C fixed over there too, so she was finally getting cooled down too.

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22nd July 2005

Friday July 22, 2005

Dr. appointment went fine yesterday.  He found the heartbeat right off.  yeah!  He certainly doesn’t click with us the way Dr. B does, but it is bothering dh a lot more than me.  I don’t get that “total moron” feeling I got from the Dr. in Great Bend, nor the “egotistical” thing I got from the Dr. in KC.  He is just not as encouraging as Dr. B and doesn’t explain things the same way…Dr. B seemed to know the questions that would bug us after we left his office and answered them before asked (along with accompanying sketches…lol…very good for a couple of visual learners) I sure miss Orva on the nursing staff though.  She was such a gem!  Zach is not thrilled with Sue, and I think that is the one that drove my best friend nuts too (although for her it was because she was rough on the prenatal pelvic exams), but she doesn’t really bother me too much. 

I know that I am not having an easy pregnancy…I am living it.  I know I have been bleeding (although it appears to have stopped as of the day before the appt), but considering that it might be for no reason, do you really need to say things like “I won’t feel good until it’s born”.  Dr. B would have sent me for the same diagnostics, but would have had a more “let’s just see what’s up” kind of attitude.  I have lived with fertility issues for much of my life…I KNOW things can go wrong, I have had them go wrong.  However, worrying about things does not help.  When you KNOW there is a problem or a serious issue, I appreciate being told straight out what it is so I can prepare.  When I ask what might be causing the bleeding, it does not inspire a lot of confidence when you just say “we don’t know”…give me some theories at least.  Let me know that you are watching out for me, don’t just give me the vague “I’m not ready to celebrate yet” thing…makes me think it is most likely something very, very bad.  It is not false hope to say what the most common reason are, before you know the reasons.  I shouldn’t have to go home and goggle to find out what the heck is might be going on.  I know we are all pretty much just riders on this roller coaster, but I can deal a lot better with facts, even if they are bad, than I can with being kept in the dark.  It is certainly not worth finding another Dr., but if this trend continues, especially if we run into more serious issues after the ultrasound, I am going to ask Dr. B. for a consult (in the same office, just doesn’t take OB patients any more) to explain things better.  It certainly isn’t bad enough for me to search out another Dr, by any means.  However, it does make me understand how women get wrapped up in the label of ‘high risk patient’ as a part of their identity.  I refuse to fall into that.  I will take it easy and do everything I can to help this be a healthy pregnancy, but I will not let my mind become a victim to the pregnancy as an illness.  It is NOT an illness, it is a normal stage of life (for those of us fortunate enough to get pregnant).  Some of our bodies aren’t as good at this as others, but that doesn’t mean we have to start having a victim mentality.

I’m 95% sure I don’t want an amnio.  If I do it, it will be after both the quad screen and the ultrasound, and only if it looks like there might be a problem.

I was told the quad screen isn’t very accurate for me since I am over 35, but I also am not convinced that being 6 months past my 35th birthday really makes my body completely different than it was 7 months ago.  If I was in my early 40s, then maybe, but I am not getting the distinct cut-off.  It is a statistical anomaly, should be taken into consideration, but to automatically flip from blood work to a very invasive procedure seems a bit over the top to me.  I still have a few weeks to decide on the quad screen, and I am leaning towards doing that one.

I am being sent to do my ultrasound to a place that specializes in high risk ultrasounds here in town instead of there.  There are only 2 places in the state that have this kind of ultrasound…I think it is called a Level III, but I am not entirely sure.  It is the most detailed kind you can get and the people who read them do nothing but deal with high risk pregnancies.  I hope I get a better tech than last time I went there though.  She just looked, and announced matter-of-factly that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy and then LEFT THE ROOM.  It sucked.  I called Dr. B from the front desk of the office because they weren’t telling my anything at that office.  At least this time I know I might run into somebody who has zero bedside manner and can be more prepared for dealing with that.

So, in 3 weeks, I will have the ultrasound and likely know the sex of the baby.  My next OB appointment is in 4 weeks.

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20th July 2005

Wednesday July 20, 2005

I love to read.  There was a time in our lives (pre-kids, of course) where my dh and I would regularly go to the library, check out a stack of 10-20 books, and then sit all night at a dive of a coffee house reading.  It was our main form of entertainment and if our noses weren’t in a textbook, it was in some sci-fi, history, fantasy, or modern fiction book.  Any one who has ever had the ‘privledge’ of moving us knows we have an insane number of volumes.  Right now there are several hundred in storage at my folk’s place, and we still have 3 full bookcases and another hundred or two in crates in our small apartment and our book buying has seriously slowed down the last couple of years.

I realized when there was a book meme going around that I don’t think I have read a single work of fiction since I had Zane, 3.5 years ago.  Everything has to do with babies, children, discipline, or sociological and psychological books that read as much like doctoral thesis as anything.  lol.  Oh…well I guess I have read fiction, just more of the ‘one fish, two fish’ variety.  No grown-up or semi grown-up books.

For such a bibliophile, it is a wonder that I have never even picked up Harry Potter.  I want to read it some day, but after the Stephen King Dark Tower series, I refuse to read any series until it is complete.  Nothing makes me more irritable than waiting to hear the end of the story.  I rarely spend more than a few days reading a book.  (granted, I read very fast) and the idea of waiting YEARS for a flippin’ ending makes me nuts.  It sucks enough to wait for the next Star Wars movie.  (at least that torture is over now)

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20th July 2005

Wednesday July 20, 2005

My favorite “henchman”

For those that remember my paniced “what the heck does a henchman wear” post, here is the result.  Zach in costume.


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19th July 2005

Tuesday July 19, 2005

In one of those great xanga-chains, I read an article linked on MelissaTulips blog (given to her by Peacefulmama) called Meat Comes from Animals: Deal with It, or Eat Vegetables by Tigers and Strawberries (a new blog to me).

Great essay!  It really does matter what environment you were raised in as to how you view eating meat and death.

My spin-off:  Some of my observations of life and death in small rural communities vs. suburbia.

I was a farm girl.  My folks stopped raising livestock when I was around 4.5 because a tornado destroyed all the outbuildings on the farm and there wasn’t a place to keep the animals any more.  (I think my mom said that none of the animals actually died though…a miracle).  The animals went to other family members if I recall correctly.  (I am sure my mom will write in the comment section if I have any of this wrong…I was only a little thing, and I don’t really trust my memory on this one)

Even though I don’t have any first-hand memories of slaughtering animals (other than fish), I grew up with stories of it, especially when I got interested in the Little House books and started asking about butchering days and such.  It was just after 31 before I even started understanding what PETA was so upset about.  All the meat animals I had seen had better lives than many humans I know.  Lots of fresh air, acres of green grass, ponds (ok, well the chickens I knew didn’t have ponds, but they had everything else and could roam between the chicken house and the outside pens freely), trees, good feed, good health care.  They died much more humanly than most humans do too.  When I was a bit over 30, I lived in Larned, KS and saw my first feedlot.  Thousands, if not millions of cows knee-deep in their own shit, so crowded they could only stand.  Then I got it.  Until then, I really didn’t understand why people were so upset. 

When you live rurally, even without livestock, you are still much more exposed to the life and death cycle than you are if you grow up in suburbia (or urban areas, for that matter.  In urban areas you might be familiar with people dying, but probably more familiar with deaths from violence, not the natural life cycle) 

First of all, you probably grew up having animals dying, both pets and wild animals.  You are likely to have lived with a shotgun someplace in the house to protect you from rabid animals and predatory creatures.  You didn’t take pets to the vet to be ‘put to sleep’, you did it yourself.  (ok, well as a kid you didn’t, but your parents did).  If you had cats or dogs around (and most farms do), you had them leave ‘gifts’ on your doorstep on a regular basis.  It was not unusual to run across dead animals when out playing or working.  It was normal, for better or worse, normal.

Second, you were more familiar with the life cycle of humans.  As opposed to suburban neighborhoods, where people tend to live with the majority of neighbors in a similar life stage, rural communities tend to have a much more realistic mix of people.  Older people are not just people who ‘don’t know how to use their accelerator’, they are people you have coffee with, wash dishes next to after an event, or bring you their extra cucumbers and tomatoes from their gardens.  You grow up going to the nursing homes (the PC name slips me right now) and reading to them and singing Christmas Carols in the halls.  You sit next to them at church.  You help set up the chairs and tables at their funerals.  People talk about death with much more ease than they do outside rural communities.  (it might also have made a difference that the community I grew up in is deeply Christian, and mostly Mennonite).  Death is not taken lightly, by any means, but I think life is seen as precious, treasured and more fleeting, but with the promise of a different life after our earthly death.  Just another stage, not to be feared, but to be recognized so that we live in a way we don’t have the regrets many have. 

On a lighter note, I have always had some problems eating meat that has no resemblance to it’s natural state.  Meat isn’t exactly the height of health food to start with, but when it doesn’t even look like the real thing any more, you know it has been screwed with too much.  lol.  So, the people described in the blog would probably not like to eat at my place very much.  Sausage and pepperoni type things is the farthest away I really deal with, but even then, I prefer the raw sausage the has the intestines used as the tubes to the formed breakfast links you buy in the store.  Of course, some of my preference comes from my allergies to onions…if it is breaded, it is more likely that it has onion than not, and I had enough bologna as a child to last me a lifetime.  lol.

I also have two amusing stories.  First, the guy I met when I visited New York who thought milk was made in a factory and couldn’t understand what farmers actually did, even after I explained it to him.  He just kept going on and on about how horrible it was that they got government subsidies for doing ‘nothing’.    

Second, was some people we helped move from one apartment to another when we lived in LaJolla.  While we were moving, we got on the topic of food animals (when they found out I was from a farm) and they talked excessively about how they would never consider eating meat and it was morally wrong, and on and on, ad nauseam.  After we got their stuff to the new place, they were going to ’pay us’ for helping by buying us food.  They chose the restaurant, a sub shop.  One of them ordered an Italian sub (with pepperoni, salami, and proscuitto (Italian ham) ), the other ordered some gourmet thing with…get this…veal and mushrooms sauce.  Yes, veal.    While they are eating these sandwiches, they are still going on and on about their ethical food choices and glad to see we were also choosing to not eat animals (we both had the Italian subs) after talking to us, and how much more ‘evolved’ we were.  (frankly, they seemed pretty proud of themselves that they had ’converted’ us)   I really had to work to keep from choking from laughter at them.  It was clear they did not realize that they not only had meat, but pork (which was one of their major themes) and I don’t know what they thought veal was, but clearly they did not realize it was baby cow.  (and one of the main things animal activists fight against since they are often kept in close cages their whole lives to keep them from moving around)  I won’t eat veal unless I know the cow had free range, and I don’t have a problem with eating meat. lol.  I couldn’t think of a polite way to correct them, especially since they were probably 20 years older than we were, but I could not believe how uneducated they were about a subject they felt so passionately about.



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18th July 2005

Grandma Zandra and Great-Grandma Jackie, the visit ends

The last batch of pictures from Grandma Zandra & Great-Grandma Jackie’s visit

(Zach’s Mom & Maternal Grandma)

We were sitting around talking on the porch and Zane wrote the word ‘jump’, got our attention, read the word, and then started jumping around while giggling.  He really is learning to read.  We did not teach this to him.

Daddy’s shoes

like father, like son


Grandma Jackie and her favorite food…ice cream.

Attempt to get a “4 generations” picture

Grandma and Zane played some computer games together


A fun visit.  They called last night and they are all home safe and sound now.

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17th July 2005

Sunday July 17, 2005

I am still here, and as far as I know the babe is too.  I am still bleeding some, but it doesn’t seem to be getting worse.  I have pictures I want to post, but I don’t feel like doing it right now, so I won’t.  lol.  The visit with MIL and GMIL ended Friday night with everything going well.  Whew!  MIL and I have a rocky history, so it was a real blessing to be able to spend a week with her and have such a good time.  It was good.

Trying to take it easy.  It is a lot of work to be on bedrest.  lol.  I am much better at it when Zach is here than I am when it is just the two of us.  When I am alone, I have to decide how important it is that I stop Zane from doing something (if I say something, I better be prepared to get up and redirect him physically if he doesn’t listen, or it will cause more problems in the future). 

Why is it that he also seems to not be at all interested in food when Zach is here, but as soon as he leaves he is bringing me grapes to wash, yogurt to open, and cans and can openers.  aaarrggg!  Zach actually comments when changing diapers “how can you poop so much, you never eat any thing!”  I am like….actually, he probably isn’t done if I am judging the volume correctly.  lol.

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13th July 2005

Wednesday July 13, 2005

Good morning, Very bad afternoon, OK right now

The visit with his family went well.  They met him this morning and went to his class.  She even recorded it so I can see him teach later on video.  After the class, he called me so I could meet them at Target to go shopping for a bit.  I was rushing around to get me and Zane ready on time and go out there.  It was HOT out too.  Wandering around the SuperTarget for an hour was more tiring than I anticipated though.

We came back to our place and ate.  Afterwards, everybody was tired, to they left to take a nap and we decided we definitely needed some sleep too.  As Zach was gathering Zane for a nap, I went to the bathroom.  That is when I discovered that I had been spotting.  Well, more than spotting, but not full out bleeding either.

I started crying and shaking uncontrollably as I cleaned myself up and found the phone.  The only good thing…I have my drs number memorized.  I almost couldn’t talk I was so upset.  They said not to break any speed laws, but to come on in right away.

Long, long trip to the dr.  I couldn’t even read anything in the waiting room.  The top number of my blood pressure was 132….the highest I think I have ever seen it.  He didn’t even type the stuff into the machine, just had me lay down and start the sonogram

Found the sac, then he moved the screen so I could see that my babe was still in there, dancing around, with that fluttery little heart.  The tears started again, this time in relief.  Zach said when I came out he couldn’t tell if it was good or bad until I gave him a thumbs up because I still couldn’t stop crying. 

So, I am back on bedrest.  I am supposed to call back if the bleeding increases, but it doesn’t appear to be doing so.  They don’t know what is causing it.

We were sort of crappy hosts though…they were going to stop back by this evening before  they were going to meet a friend for supper and we were asleep to the world when they called.   Hopefully they won’t be upset.  I can’t imagine they would be.

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13th July 2005

Wednesday July 13, 2005

Day 4

Zane really opened up today and turned on the charm.  He sang and danced and giggled.  He was much more comfortable and able to show them his true self, which was really fun.   They were amazed at how many songs he knew and how much more talkative he was.  They said that it was exactly how Zach used to be…it would take some time for him to warm up.

We also looked at some old pictures of Zach and I was able to get some dates for a bunch that I had very little idea of when they happened.  (especially ones where Zach is too young to remember).  It is such a blessing to have people around who know the history of the photos so that I am able to archive it better.

Zach also got talked into a haircut from his mom today.  He gave her a hard time that it must be the real reason she came…she thought his hair was too long and came to do something about it. 

Zach’s haircut

Zane watching the world from his perch

Our little one zonked out from a busy day


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