Thursday, March 29, 2007

17 Weeks or so

Good morning, Nebiverse audience!

I don't really like this picture, but there it is for your viewing enjoyment. I think my head looks crooked or something. Or I'm smiling too much. (This was right after dinner. Including ice cream.) Do I look... wider? From side to side? I think I look wider.

Pretending I'm not pregnant:
Admitting I am:
You might think in this last picture that I am purposely sticking my stomach out, but no, my friends, that is just my Normal Horrifically Bad Posture, the Bad Posture that is already giving me back problems even though I've only gained about 2 1/2 lbs. (I weighed 144.0 Tues., 144.2 Wed., 143.8 this morning. Not that I'm Obsessed with Numbers or anything.)

And now, enough about me, here's the scoop on Galois:

How your baby's growing: Your baby weighs about 5 ounces now, and he's around 5 inches long — about the size of a large onion. He can move his joints, and his skeleton — until now rubbery cartilage — is starting to harden to bone. His sense of hearing is also developing. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker.

Also: I think we have movement! There has been enough Abdominal Twitchy Activity to convince me that The Baby is Moving (as opposed to just my normal all-over caffeine twitches.) (I know, I know, the words "normal" and "all-over caffeine twitches" really should not go together. I'm in graduate school, okay? That's just how it is.) I haven't felt anything that could only be described as a "kick," but from what I hear the early movements feel more like fluttering anyway (at least, for most people.) The baby moving makes me Very Happy because it reminds me I'm pregnant at random times, like when I'm sitting in statistics class, and it is helping the Bonding process. I love the baby very much. :-)

Okay, that is all for now because I simply MUST work on grading the accumulated pile of Calculus Homework papers... *sigh*...

Sometime soon I hope, a post about NYC.

Love, Neb

Thursday, March 22, 2007

16 weeks and one day, and there is no COFFEE made yet so I cannot be Creative and live up to the high standards of writing you have all come to expec

t in the Nebiverse... although apparently my excessive Titling abilities are not suffering...

On the scale this morning I weighed 145.0 lbs. Thus I have gained 4. Have not worn maternity clothes yet.

I should have taken off my sweater so you could see my Bump. I now have Bump. Galois is supposed to go through a big growth spurt in the next three weeks, so Bump is likely to have a growth spurt, too. Let's watch for it, shall we?

"Mise en place"* in studying for my Statistics test turned into something more like "we're out of time so let's start melting the butter now and try to wash enough dishes so we can defrost the chicken and cut up the vegetables while it's melting, while hoping nothing finishes at the wrong time or burns."** The test was Wicked Hard- I think I may have done worse on this one than the first one (and this was supposed to be a make-up exam for the first one because the whole class did so "badly")- but everyone in the class, even the Smart Cool Asian Kids (which is most of the class) thought it was Really Hard, so I'm not too concerned. Algebra was better. Jesus made the algebra test Okay. :-)

On today's adgenda:
*Drink coffee!
*Write a resume! Apply for jobs for this summer! Yeah!
*Grade Quiz 7!
*Study! Mathematics!

The exclamation points add dramatic tension to my already unbearably exciting life, don't they?

Love you all,

*This is Nate's actual method of cooking in our kitchen, at least sometimes.
**This is usually my method of cooking.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

15 weeks and 1 Day

Well, it is official: I have Gained Weight! (As if I were pregnant or something...) The official 15 week weight is 143.8, meaning I consider myself 2 1/2 lbs heavier than when I started. The baby now weighs about 2 1/2 ounces. That means (for those of you out there who AREN'T so much fans of the Beloved Subject) that the amount of weight I have gained is 16 times as much as my baby weighs! But apparently small intrauterine occupants carry a lot of luggage: there's a placenta in there, too, and fluid, and my uterus itself is bigger ("the size of a small melon" says WTEWYE) and I have more blood, among other things. (When I sit still I can hear my heartbeat swishing loudly. I think this is because of the extra blood, but it gets irritating after awhile!)
This is one of my favorite spring outifts, which I wore yesterday just in case it doesn't fit in a few weeks. I had fun shopping for maternity clothes over Spring Break and got some great things on sale: a nice white button-down blouse for $10, a long black skirt for $13 and a beautiful maroon and black silky-type blouse ($13) that I can wear to church (with the skirt). Everything that I've bought matches really well- I've just realized there's a lot of dark colors which isn't ideal for summer, but it will work. The best thing is my friend Sara's maternity wardrobe on loan- lots of short-sleeved shirts in pretty colors, two pairs of shorts that I will be wearing a lot this summer, and some dresses, too. (Unfortunately her other pants were all too small- I definitely need size L down below.) At the moment my maternity clothes wardrobe is laid out on the sofa because it seriously will not fit in my closet... which (arguably) means that my closet should be pared down somewhat, but honestly it HAS been pared down some, and I really do wear most of the stuff in there. Thrift store shopping creates volume, people. But it is kind of sad to have so many clothes that you don't know where to store them.

In other news, School. School! I have tests coming up again. I wanted you all to know the following weird facts about how testing works in the Nebiverse:

1) When I have a test coming up in a few days, I have this odd internal system of talking to myself about the test. I have a mental checklist I follow:
  1. Read the sections of the textbook covered; take notes on them by writing out all the definitions and theorems (to be memorized). (Ideally this step happens as the semester moves along, not right before the test.)
  2. Reread all class notes; any details not understood? Ask in office hours.
  3. (Sometimes) cross-reference theorems in class notes with those in the notes from the book. (This only works if the lecture notes are really, really good, which happens if and only if the lectures are really good. My class notes are essentially an exact transcription of what goes on the chalkboard because I can't multitask enough to write down anything the professor says but doesn't write, and I can't process anything while I'm copying what's on the board. It's pretty sad.)
  4. Go back through all old homework problems and practice problems; figure out any that weren't originally solved.
When I talk to myself about these steps, I call it "mise en place," which is a cooking term that sort of means "have everything prepared ahead of time." (As in, "mise en place for statistics test Tuesday.") (No, I can't actually cook anything, but thanks for asking.)

2) As far as I can remember, I have never actually made it completely through the mise en place checklist for a test at Lehigh. Usually I don't even come close. This causes a lot of Stress before an exam.

3) Do you know that advice you read in study skills checklists about how "good students prepare ahead of time for an exam, so that they can relax the night before a test and then get a good night's sleep?" Yeah, never happened in my life. I don't remember ever stopping studying for a test more than about 10 minutes before it starts. And there have been many, many times that something has appeared on the test that I learned within the half hour before the test (because God is so very good to me.)

4) I don't think the people who write Study Skills Books understand anything about graduate level mathematics. They don't understand how thorough you have to be; how everything has to be Perfect. There is no Skimming. You learn the proof of a theorem, or you don't. This makes everything run very Slowly. This means that for a person to make it all the way through the mise en place checklist, he or she must either be 1) Phenomenally Smart or 2) willing to put a Phenomenally Large number of hours into studying.

5) I'm not Phenomenally Smart.

6) I don't know how to (and don't really think I should) say "no" to everything else in my life in order to have that many hours to study. Writing in this blog is important to me. So is taking my car to get fixed, applying for jobs for this summer, doing our taxes, going to Dr's appointments, doing some very minimal level of housework occasionally, going to church, talking to my husband, talking on the phone sometimes, and sleeping. So is doing my TA duties (which apparently take me longer than other people- I guess I grade really slowly. Again, because of the thoroughness thing...?)

7) This tension between school and the rest of life is what makes me perpetually (just a little bit) Neurotic.

8) On almost every test I've taken at Lehigh I have done better than I thought I would. The extreme version of that was my Theory of Probability Final last fall; I was virtually positive I was going to fail it and I got a 100 (becuase God is So Good. There is no other explanation.)

9) Doing well at Lehigh has given me a very unhealthy attatchement to my GPA. My GPA is perfect. My GPA is also (as far as I can tell) completely meaningless. It is arbitrary and magical and a gift, not an earning. It won't, as far as I know, do anything for me or have any significance in anything I do in life. I fight with myself about it a lot now. I am fighting to be able and willing and happy to let it go, if that happens this semester, or to learn to accept it with grace if in fact it remains.

10) And when I look at this list I think, when we take the sum, find the integral, add it all up, compute the result, I don't have any questions or doubts about it. If this is it: get a chance to study Mathematics with all of the tension and struggle and stress and neuroses and issues and fights, vs. not study it at all I am not at all in dobut about the outcome. Yes, it is Worth It.

Love, Neb

PS We are thinking about naming the baby "Madelaine Elimae" if it is a girl.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Note for NE(B)

You know, honey, you really need to log out when you're done using things :)

You see, I have the computer in my office for maintainance (you know that, because you drove me in). I updated iTunes for you, and then I came to blogger without realizing I was still in your account.

I will now go back to my account to take care of the rest of the maintainance, including installing LISP in a Box and some windows updates.

Love, Nate

Friday, March 09, 2007

14 Weeks (and 2 days)

Hello! Yes! I am late with this post. I am on Spring Break. I like the Spring Break lifestyle. I could totally stay in school for a long time if it involved collecting a paycheck while perpetually being on Spring Break.

Yesterday morning I weighed 141.8. My pants all still fit. But I am shopping for maternity clothes, to Prepare for the Future.

Monday I had my third pretnatal visit and I FINALLY met my OB (not that he was in any way involved in the visit- the nurses and the perky "Physician's Assistant" lady actually did all the things supposed to be done)- but at least he stopped in to say "hi" at the end. I'm starting to realize he's just kind of a figurehead, like the queen of England, especially because the chances are low that he's actually going to deliver my baby (we might move, and, even if we don't, he said he has "lots" of babies due around Labor Day, which means he'll be off deliving someone else.) He's just there so if someone says, "who's your obstetrician?" I have an answer.

April 20th we are having the 20-week ultrasound that will hopefully reveal our baby's gender. Yay! :-)

Okay that's about all for now, but as promised, some more maternity clothes wish list details: I went through my closet and decided I have at most 2 skirts that might fit most of the way through pregnancy... several loose dresses that will probably work. So the list is now:

*Several short-sleeved shirts
*A few skirts (maybe basic black, denim, khaki, and a pretty floral...)
*Maybe one or two dresses
*Some pants: shorts? capris? (still not sure how I feel about capris) jeans? It's going to be warm weather by the time I'm big enough to need this stuff so I'm thinking maybe I'll stick mainly with dresses and skirts...?

I should wait to shop until I actually start to need stuff, right?

Love, Neb

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A book thing (is this a meme?)

In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

Some of you will be horrified by what I haven't read:

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) (heretical)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) (partially read. I remember Scarlett had a 16 inch waist.)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) (I know! I know! I’m sorry!)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
(partially read; about halfway through I think. Got lost in history.)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) (witchcraft?)

12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) Another Dan Brown. Enough said.
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving).

15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden).

16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King) (horror)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) (wrote my AP English Lit free response essay on this)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien) (I think I finished it…?)
22. +The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold).

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
(whole series)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck).

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert).

32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) (probably too sappy)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) Checked out one of her books (might have been The Fountainhead) one summer in Houston. Read about two pages.

34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. *The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. *The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. *The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. *The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. *Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) (probably too sappy)
45. +Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) (read about 1/3 of it. And the end, of course. The end was good.)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) (read most of it. It was all right- not particularly recommended.)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver).

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card).
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. *The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough).
59. *The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood).
60. *The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy) (okay, okay, I read about the first 100 pages of it, which hardly qualifies as the whole thing. But I was only in fourth or fifth grade. Cut me some slack. I remember being impressed by the vodka-drinking and confused by the endless variations on nicknames.)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice) (scary!)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) (read first five pages or so)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) (Haven’t read it, although I had to think for a minute; I was remembering watching “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
68. +Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo).

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell).
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje).
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) (New Age movement…? J)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) (the movie was good…)
78. *The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. *Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. *Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) (read excerpt in ABecka reading book…?)
94. +The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd). Nate gave it to me for Christmas one year. I didn’t finish it.
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. *The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. *A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce). Peter read the end to me in college. That counts.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I went shopping! For maternity clothes! Want to see what I bought...?

Both from JC Penney... sorry they're kind of blurry... the second picture is from Ebay because JC Peney didn't have it online.

*A Maternity Clothes Wish List*

*Other pants(?)
*Shorts ?
*Shirts (especially white shirts)
*A couple of dresses

More pictures later!
Love, NEB

Friday, March 02, 2007

13 Weeks (and 2 days) (The Beginning of the Second Trimester?!?) :-) (in which I seem to parenthesize a lot)

Well, folks, here we are- the long awaited Second Trimester!*

(* is telling me that the second trimester begins in Week 14. What do they know?? Now that I'm 13 weeks [and two days], I've *completed* approximately 1/3 of the gestational period, yes? Thus I am second trimester.

Oh help. That SO sounded like a proof. I am a geek.)

That attractive man next to me is the one responsible for my current condition (I know, I know! Isn't he dishy? Eat your hearts out, Internets, he's all mine.) (Actually, does anyone read this other than people that know me [and Nate] personnally? Hello family, Bethany, Chris and Jordana, Peter, maybe Kerri, Paul and Sara... anyone else reading? Say hello if so.)

I now weigh 141.4 lbs. This is what my stomach looks like:

Okay okay, this is what my stomach REALLY looks like (note this was right after dinner):

Also, because I am Weird, I wanted Mike to take a picture of my hand:

This is my hand, and that is my Cool Thumb Ring. The thumb ring MAKES me cool. Last week I was playing with the thumb ring while doing homework (I do this a lot) and dropped it (I thought) into the bowels of our recliner; mild panic ensued. You see, I bought the ring right before I started this graduate program, and I will say it has been a Sustaining and Comforting Presence (not that I worship it or anything! you know what I mean!), so losing it now would be very disconcerting. I found it eventually in the pocket of my oversized navy blue velvet shirt. *sigh of relief*.

Okay, yeah, well, what else would you like to know? I haven't worn my contacts in about 5 days because I'm out of conditioner and I haven't gone to get more yet. The morning sickness has definitely improved- I have stopped taking the B6 tablets twice a day because there isn't an urgent need to- although there are still intermittant moments of gagginess. Other things happening nowishly: our credit card number was stolen so we're filing paperwork, etc. I filed my petition for degree (on the deadline!!!) Prof. Stanley told me he's giving me an A in Logic which makes those weeks of torture seem worthwhile (sort of...). We went on a retreat with our youth group last weekend that was really cool- collected canned goods for a food bank. On March 24th I'm going to NYC with my officemate Karen- graduate student bus trip- YAY! Hoping to visit art museum(s) and eat Authentic New York Food (suggestions welcome.) Spring Break is next week! YAY!!!!!!!!!
Spring Break To-Do List:
*Get oil changed in car (been putting this off since Jan. Augghh!!)
*Taxes (always lots of fun. Although we *might* actually get a refund this year! There's hope!)
*Catch up on sleep
*Shop for maternity clothes(?)
*Nate's birthday present
*Catch up on reading textbooks and taking notes
*OB appointment (the one with All The Tests... yay...)
*Email insurance to ask about which tests are covered
(Sorry, were you guys all expecting "beach party in Malibu, skydiving, trip to Paris..."? Yeah, my life is not so flashy.)
Okay I think there were more things I was going to say but I really should go get other things done (like pay bills.)
Love you all!