Thursday, June 18, 2009

We got the beat!

I've been slow to post the past couple weeks. The symptoms started a few weeks ago. I noticed I was much more tired and even needed naps after work. Tim had to step up a bit on weekends and help with tidying the house while I rested. Food lost all it's appeal for awhile because flavors just weren't appealing. The indigestion and light nausea didn't help. I lost a couple pounds from the lack of eating.

I went to the doctor and had a six vials of blood drawn for a variety of tests. The results came back today telling me my blood type and saying that my red blood cell count is a little low; I'll have to retest. Other than that, my tests were clean.

This week, things seems to be better. My stomach growls and I eat. It's such a relief to be able to enjoy food again.

Even better, I went in for another test today. Because the person screening me was a technician, she was not allowed to describe to me anything she was doing or saw, but she implied that it would be easy for us to make the correct interpretation. Tim knew being there to support me was important. I also wanted him to experience things for himself so that he could enjoy the moment as much as me.

In the dark room, with my bursting bladder begging to go to the bathroom, we got to peak at a black and white tv monitor. I could tell by the smile on Tim's face that he saw what we had been hoping to confirm. After eight weeks of wondering and worrying, we got to see our little kiddo's heartbeat on the ultrasound.

I can't tell you how relived we are to be past that painful memory from February. This time around feels much more real. There are still tests to come. Given my advanced age (yes, that's how they refer to pregnant women over 35), the baby is not out of the woods until we complete the first trimester. Also, there are the genetic tests that come between weeks 11 and 15 to make sure our child will live a happy, healthy, and productive life. All we know now is that we have a beautiful human being growing inside me.

It is with this happy news that I must bring a little sad news. It's time to focus on the future, and I feel it's time to close this chapter of my life. My search has been fulfilled with a wonderful husband, home, and future child. It's what I've dream of much of my life. I'm hoping to get myself to return to the days when I kept a handwritten journal and chronicle bits about the new family we'll have come January.

I've met some amazing people here in blogland. You've given me laughs, insight, and support through the years. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective on life and living. I still enjoy peaking into everyone's lives from time to time and still hope to because I always appreciate learning from others. If our paths should ever cross in the real world, I hope that somehow we'll know to connect.

I wish you all much love, peace, and happiness. (Wow, does that sound hippie or what - it must be the blouse I'm wearing ;) )

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Buying into "local"

Living in California, I realize that my view of the world is considered "skewed" and sometimes whacky. What can I say, I've lived here since I was six, so it's just what it is. I'm not an extremist of any sort, but I do understand trying to do little things to keep our world a little healthier.

Amongst our circle of friends, we believe in trading on Craigslist and Freecycle. We recycle and shop at farmers' markets. I can't say that any of us go out of our way to do other things such as buy eco-friendly materials or live more simply.

The one thing that is making me think more is the practice of buying locally and seasonally. Now that foods (except processed foods) must display their country of origin, I wonder if people will make different choices knowing this? When I've browsed the product aisles, I've put things back after seeing labels reading "Product of Chile." I mean, I love blueberries, but do I need to buy them in January from a country 9000 miles away? No, I will wait until they are from Central Valley in June.

Some people rationalize that it's okay because transportation is cheap and we're supporting their economy and creating jobs. But do we really know that? Could we actually be making them too dependent on foreign economies, destroying more land for farming, and discouraging innovation for a quick buck? I also tend to think the importation of cheap goods and government subsidies make people focus on price rather than quality. This is where all the rhetoric is lost on me. I want to do the right thing, but there doesn't seem to be a simple answer.

If you apply that practice to all foods, tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes are pretty much non-existent. How can a kid not have bananas? And man, I'd miss mangoes.

Monday, June 01, 2009

You want my job?

The other evening, I met up with a friend. We're not super close, but we try to catch up with girlfriends for various job and personal chat. She was particularly interested in meeting this time for job search ideas. Her internship ends this summer and it's time to find a permanent job. Since I recently had success with my job search, she was curious to hear if I came across any interesting companies and how I searched.

While we work in the same overall industry, we touch different types of products and are familiar with different corporate structures. At one point, I mentioned something about missing my old job, the one where I was laid off at the end of last year. She asked me to describe what I enjoyed about the job. At the end of my description, she asked if the company was hiring.

Ouch? I must say I was really put off by her question. Maybe she wasn't thinking. Hello? They laid me off six months ago. Wouldn't it be odd if they were hiring? It was awkward responding to that. I mean, if they were hiring, I'd hope my manager likes me enough to give me first shot at an opening. Otherwise, that would be telling me I'm being lied to about why I was let go. That's a fact that I don't want to be true. It was my dream job, and I was there less than one year.

I realize that I've said plenty of stupid things in my life. My friend deserves the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't thinking how it would sound to me. Also, there's part of me that doesn't want to get involved with helping a company considering how cruelly they cut me.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Maximum capacity

The hubby and I hosted a small party last weekend. Besides having people over to help with the wedding favors, we really haven't had a party at our little place.

When I bought my place, the one thing that I didn't realize was how small and inflexible the orientation of my living/dining room is. There are only two ways to fit a sofa and chair with a tv. That means we can't physically seat more than four people comfortably unless people are willing to sit on the floor or on the stairs. Hence why I tend to avoid having many parties even though I enjoy entertaining.

The theme of this gathering was to play board games. I'm not talking about Taboo, Pictionary, or Scrabble. We're talking hard-core, 3-hour, strategy games designed by famous (often German) games designers. A group of us love to spend a day playing games such as Agricola, Power Grid, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan to name a few. We rarely get through more than one or two games before we call it a day.

I invited maybe 16 people thinking we'd get 6-8 guests. What I hadn't expected was for my dear friends to attend with their cutie two-month old twins. Unless one goes to visit their house, there's little chance of seeing them. In addition to them, I had two other couples bringing their babies. Knowing the babies were coming probably drew in many more people than I had counted on coming.

Once more, usually at parties, people come in waves. I figure even with 14 people and four babies that we'd be okay. Strangely, nearly everyone came within the same four-hour block of time. There were people around the dining table, on the sofa, in the kitchen, on the stairs, in the hallway, and in our bedroom. It was great to see everyone, but it was tough to takes three steps anywhere.

For a couple of the younger, single folks, seeing so many babies around was a bit odd. The majority of us are now in our late 30s, early 40s so naturally our interests and priorities are shifting. Sometimes I think back and wonder how much of the old days I miss. Not being a big party animal, I can't say I miss the blaring music and bad dates. I suppose I do miss the excitement of being out on the town.

All in all, however, it's great to be able to sit back and enjoy time catching up with friends and just being yourself.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Ostrich and Mittens

Concealed guns in national parks?

I just get so mad when I see this stupid credit card interest bill making the rounds in the Congress and the Senate. I'm sorry but what the hell is a gun law going in the middle of a credit card law. THEY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER!!!!!

People should not be allowed to tack on such ridiculous ideas onto bills that are completely unrelated to each other. The laws being passed are a long discussion in and of themselves but to stick the two together is preposterous. Any respect for whichever congressman did this is never coming back. If I ever run into this person in a national park, I'll make sure to use my, bought with no background check, gun wisely. (Hint: I'll be the one protecting the bear.)

Rant over... continue with your lovely spring day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to the cube

It's my third day on the job. I hate starting new jobs, not because I don't like the job but because I hate feeling like a stranger. Ever had that strange feeling that people aren't telling you something?

My cube is decent, not fancy. The area is a mix of engineers, strategic planning, IT, and marketing. The cube farm is surrounded by conference rooms and offices. It's very frustrating because *all* the windows are in the offices which means those of us in cubes get no sunlight unless we physically step outside the building. At least in my old offices, they building had skylights which helped compensate.

My new boss comes across as a very quiet, gentle soul. I keep wondering if there's tiger hiding inside that I'll only see when she gets crossed the wrong side. She keeps hinting that we have a lot of work ahead of us so I keep waiting for the big wave to come crashing down on me.

Because this company sells something more technology related, it's exciting and yet foreign. I like that I can walk into the demonstration room and actually play with the equipment we sell. Then again, it doesn't have that same "save the world" feel that my old company had. In my old job I always worried that staying in the field would niche me into a narrow career. I know that this job will give me more flexibility for future jobs. Still, there's something less exciting about it. Maybe it's because the people are less geeky here. (Yeah, I know, that normally isn't a bad thing.)

I just can't wait to get my first paycheck!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gardeners that don't think

I can home today wondering if I'd see the neighbor's cats. As I walked under the pergola to our front door, I realized that I forgot to duck. The little momma finch who's been nesting tends to fly away if we linger too long, too close to her nest. The nest, as I've probably mentioned before, is made from seed pods of some local tree that they intertwined with the jasmine vines that grow up the pergola.

But when I looked up towards the nest, it wasn't there. In fact, once I got my bearings, I realized that a huge chunk of vines had been chopped away! I followed the beam of the pergola to see that they had trimmed back the vines to reduce the dead and overhanging debris. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, they failed to notice the bird nest and cut it away with all the other brown material.

My heart just sank. It was so cute to know there would have been a baby bird chirping away in a matter of weeks. For me, it's also one of those weird omen things that I wanted to believe was a sign of hope for our own desire to have a baby. I couldn't help tear up as I dialed up Tim to tell him the sad news. I pigged out on a generous helping of Jalapeno Cheetos to console myself. (They are yummy!!)

Why couldn't the damn gardener thought of trimming these vines two months ago? You're supposed to cut things back in the spring before things start to bloom. I've also felt the community landscapers were kind of lazy. They never remove weeds or debris from our tiny lawn. They just walk around with the gas-powered blower. So long as the sidewalks and street look clean, the job is done. The day I have my own gardener, I'm going to insist he used only human-powered tools - broom, rakes, push mower.