Sunday, July 29, 2007

Heartburn: What We Have Learned in the Past Eight Hours

Preface: None of the following information is in violation of the Complaint-Free Third Trimester Initiative. All information below is for educational purposes only and NOT to be interpreted as any expression of discontent or unhappiness on the part of the author. [I love the third trimester!! Really I do!! I love it how I have this urge to spend hours a day cleaning and organizing and Shopping for things and then afterwards how MY WHOLE BODY aches when I move! I love it how my spine cracks when I get out of bed! I love it how I have to groan all the time when I do things like get off the sofa! I love it that my hands and feet ache from being swollen! And that my rings won't come off! And that *TMI ALERT* I might possibly be experiencing some slight problems with INCONTINENCE! (Because nothing screams "I am a Cool Young Person!" like incontinence!!)]

Ahem. Where was I? Back to the educational information about heartburn.

1) If you read in your pregnancy books early in the semester (yes, pregnancy has semesters now... I will never quit being a student...) that you might experience Heartburn at some point and that you should stock up on antacids now so you don't have to run out in the middle of the night, DO NOT LAUGH and say, "Oh, that will never happen to me, I never have problems with heartburn." Because later you will totally have to run out in the middle of the night (or send your sweet, sweet volunteering husband. And, yes, he just scored major Pregnancy Emotional Support Points for doing that, by the way. ;-))

2) If the bottle of generic Tums says, "Take 2-4 tablets," just go right ahead and take 4. (Or 8, or 12...) All the flavors are O.K. And it will help somewhat.

3) Drinking Water, which is normally Good For What Ails You, does NOT help heartburn. (Nate says milk, my favorite beverage, won't help either, although I didn't try it.)

4) There are no "home remedies" for heartburn on the internet that sound remotely feasible/realistic. Instructing your husband to search for such things in a last-ditch effort to avoid the middle of the night trip is futile.

5) When your husband brings home both the Generic Tums and the Generic Pepto-Bismol (per your request), it will not be possible to locate on the internet the following information: "Is it considered Safe for pregnant women to take both products at the same time?" The best strategy is just to Do It And See What Happens.

6) Take Pepto-Bismol the next morning before drinking coffee or eating.

7) Analyze your diet carefully in an attempt to prevent future episodes. The facts:
Dinner Friday night: A small serving of the beef and vegetables Nate made, followed by 4 Krispy Kreme donuts and some ice cream. Aftermath: Sweet digestional bliss throughout the night.
Dinner Saturday night: A moderate serving of "Spaghetti" consisting of: ground beef; whole-wheat noodles; spaghetti sauce; mozarella cheese; fresh onion, green pepper, and tomato; oregano and basil. Aftermath: No problems until approximately 4:30 am, when Digestional Armageddon broke out.

Analysis and Conclusions: Krispy Kreme is definitely the way to go. The dinner of the future.

Love, Neb

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Some Number of Weeks and Days that is Statistically Only an Estimate

GOOD MORNING!! Where is my coffee? Do you know where my coffee is? Have you seen it? You're not HIDING it, are you...?

Ah, here it is. It is All Okay now.

So! We did the ultrasound thing yesterday. And everything was Good. We only got two pictures and neither of them is very exciting- one is of the back of her head, and the other is sort of unidentifiable tissue. But when I can scan them next week, I'll post them. (The technician took a lot more pictures, but I think she has to give them to the dr. to be reviewed.)

The good news: our baby has turned into the right position! She is head down, face down (which is good for labor, but sadly means we didn't get to see much of her face.) Clearly she has been blessed with her Daddy's sense of direction, not mine. :-) The not-particularly-good-or-bad news: she is a little bit on the small side. The ultrasound machines they have now actually give you a developmental date based on measurements- ie, measure the circumference of her head and the machine comes up with something like "33 weeks 4 days," which, to me, is pretty impressive. Anyway, taking all her measurements into account, the technician said the machine was estimating her due date at Sept. 11th (although they won't change my actual "due date" at this point). However, she weighs about 4 lbs 12 oz now, and babies at this stage usually gain about 1/2 a lb a week, so in terms of weight she would probably be a perfectly healthy 7 lbs 4 oz if born on her due date. (By the way: Yes, I realize the slight amount of statistical absurdity inherent in all this. Bear with me. I need something to do to wile away the weeks, and guessing whether I'll be early or late is a harmless enough pastime, isn't it...?)


Last night I ate 4 Krispy Kreme donuts to celebrate. And some ice cream. Yeah, I have been all about the Sugary Carbohydrates recently. I go through phases. Sometimes I'm in a spinach salad phase. Or a beef phase. Really!


Also, I am totally and deeply into Nesting. I flutter around our apartment, collecting small bits of twigs and moss and installing them in the crib. Nate seems perplexed by what I am doing. He does not understand why I reorganize the piles of baby clothes and move the furniture around and so forth. And I cannot explain it to him. I just know that it is Important! Really, really important!

Well, I need to get going. On today's agenda:

Take the car to get inspected. (Pray, PRAY for a non-huge-repair bill!!)
Go to the mall while car is being inspected. Shop for: new sheets (with pillowcases that fit our new large pillows), a waterproof mattress pad, nursing nightgowns, nursing bras. Go to BabiesRUs and look one more time at diaper bags, breastpumps, and slings, in an attempt to make a decision as to what to add to our registry. (I'm seriously leaning towards making a cloth sling at this point. Although I think Nate would like the Baby Bjorn that promises a lot of air flow when he takes Madelaine hiking. We'll have to think about it...) Go to Walmart (?) and buy flowers for our patio. (This totally contradicts the Moratorium on Non-Essential Spending...) And speaking of flowers, here's the picture I took of the Cheap Aldi Flowers I occasionally buy:

Signing out!
Love, Neb

Friday, July 27, 2007

34 Weeks and Two Days

Hi! Yes! I am still here!
In about 15 minutes we are leaving to go to our 3rd (and probably last ultrasound.) Yay! More baby pictures!! (Maybe... if they print some out.)

I weigh 164.4 lbs (as of yesterday.)

Getting ready to have a baby is just a little bit like getting married. There are endless to-do lists and exciting events like registering and shopping, and tough decisions to be made (I'm still debating choices for a breast pump, sling, and diaper bag), and meanwhile, this looming sense that MY LIFE IS NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN!! In a GOOD way, of course... but in a sometimes hard and certainly dramatic way. When I grafted Nate into my life when we got married, it was permanent and life-altering, but, you know, he's an adult. And he doesn't spit up (much). Whereas now, there's going to be this tiny person pretty much totally dependent on me (ME!!) (and sometimes Nate) to meet its needs!! Auugghh!!

Pictures later. And maybe more text. Or not. ;-)

Love, NEB

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More spam for your amusement

In my inbox now:

From "Alternative Alternative," an email entitled: "My name is Choice, please i need your urgent help"

(turns out to be the classical "I want to put 12.5 million USD in your bank account, okay?" from Cote D'ivoire (sp?).)

From FirstPREMIERWebDeals: "You are a real person; you deserve a real credit card."

Thanks! I hadn't known. Thought this flesh was all a hologram. And my credit cards just optical illusions.

:-) Neb

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sugar-and-protein party at Neb's house!!

So, I had an OB appointment today at 1:45. And I was told I should stop wearing my wedding rings. :-( But other than that, it was all good! My blood pressure was Low! There was very little sugar or protein in my urine! (You DID come here to read about my urine, right...?)

To celebrate, I went to McDonald's and ordered a double cheeseburger, hot fudge sundae, and iced vanilla coffee.

The double cheeseburger was supposed to be for Nate, because he hadn't eaten all day.

I ate it (along with the sundae) in between McDonald's and Lehigh.

I saw my obstetrician again! He is still alive! He chuckled and chatted, as usual. I have not asked him The Question(s) yet. Maybe next time. Yes, I am putting it off.

Next time will be in two weeks, on July 31st. And then I will be going EVERY WEEK. When you go EVERY WEEK, it totally means you are ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY.


:-) Love, Neb

Nigerian tutoring spam...?

So, a few weeks ago I posted an add on craigslist for math tutoring. Most of the responses I've gotten so far have been like this:

"Hello, I'm Rev.Yunah Lee that needs a tutor for my child base on your advert.Rapheal is 19 year old and easily watch .Although,i understand you are in United StatesOf America, i've arranged with my cousin living in the state concerning my son staying with him during the whole period of lessons from the Netherlands and he had agreed with me.Below are the following details requested from you for the lesson:
1)Your Picture,Residence Address and Phone Numbers
2)Total Charges of tutoring for 2 months(1 hour per day /3 days in a week)
3)Teaching Experience.
Payment is Via Cashier's Check or Money Order,
Awaiting your response Asap
God Bless"
So, Rev. Yunah Lee- perhaps you misunderstood. I tutor mathematics, not English, which is obviously a more pressing academic need in your family. Though your 19-year-old is "easily watched"...? (or "makes watches easily...?" one really can't be too sure), I can assure you that it would be a much better use of my time to stick to kids that live within a few miles of my home, and a much better use of your money to find a LOCAL tutor for him in your home country (the Netherlands? although you seem to ambiguously indicate that the proposed lessons, not your son, are "from the Netherlands.") Furthermore, though your cousin lives "in the state" and has graciously agreed to host his nephew, I doubt highly that his residence is in any geographic proximity to mine; though it's possible that you searched the correct edition of craiglist close to your cousin, all evidence from the rest of your communication in regard to your mental capabilities and competence would deem it highly unlikely.

No doubt in your next email you will arrange generous payments directly into my bank account- once you've ascertained the account number, that is.

Better luck next time!
Peeved, Legitimate Math Tutor

Hello, Good day to you over there,Hope all is fine there.... I need a tutor for my son (John) for the month of (June) to July, I will like him to start by the end of this month or early july...I got your advert while surfing through the internet and i really want my child to be taught by you...John is 14 year old and easily catch up. He is nice, humble and very easy to get along with. I am living in Canada with my wife (Mary). John is going for a lesson in Romania which he will be finishing next week or probably next two weeks. I will like you to take him on lesson after he conclude on the lesson he is attending in Romania. Kiindly get back to me with......

Mr Roy Smith

Why, hello, Mr. Roy (Smith). How are (you) today? Though (John) has so many admirable virtues- indeed, being "easily catch up" is almost as good as being "easily watch," isn't it?- I would nicely and humbly suggest that you find a tutor for him in Canada. Or Romainia, if that is your educational location of choice. I can assure you that the services I provide are not worth international plane fare, and can be effectively offered by professionals in your local community. Please do get help for your family, somewhere, though, as it is clear that the necessity to ask Question #2 would be removed given an accurate answer to Question #1 and a rudimentary knowledge of basic arithmetic.

Kiindly spam someone else for a change,
Friendly Math Tutor

How are you doing? Hope things are good with you? My name is Michael Jefferson. I saw your advert concerning the coaching/lesson you listed to lecture anyone who is ready or who is lacking the knowledge . I have a daughter whose name is Tonia Jefferson, she is the only daughter that I have. I want the best for her in terms of education. She finished her first school in united states, but she grew up with her step mum in spain because her mum died in a car accident on her way to california for a conference thats why I married another wife so she wont grow up knowing anyone as her mother and I love her so much. Presently I'm still in WEST AFRICA with her and her STEP mum. Im so sorry for saying all this, but im just saying it because I want the best for her , I will want you to me answer these important questions below so I can know the next step for you to start the lecturing...

1. How many months do you intend lecturing her ?
2. Please do you have a degree because i will need someone that is qualified?
3. How much do you charge per hour for lectures ?
4. How much is the charge/fee per month ?
5. I will need a closer Motel/Hotel close to your location, or any in the city ?
6. Do you prefare home lecture or she will come to you ?
7. Are you a male or female ?
8. Most especially, is the space for lecture still available ?
9. Whats the closest airport she can have her flight scheduled to from here?

I want you to answer these questions as soon as possible and I will wait for your response . Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.
Michael Jefferson

My esteemed Mr. Jefferson,

Perhaps my willingness to "lecture anyone who is ready or who is lacking the knowledge" should begin with you. Are you ready? You are certainly in lack of some very basic knowledge. First of all, as mentioned to previous enquirers: it isn't worth it to travel from somewhere like West Africa for my services, really, it isn't! Though it's certainly tempting and gratifying to think that my skills as a math tutor have merited international acclaim, the harsher voice of reason would indicate that a more likely explanation is that you are simply a Slimy, Spammy Toad. Furthermore, as you apologetically admit too late, it is not necessary for you to burden me with the details of your family life, as they are not pertinent to the matter at hand. (One is rather reminded of the painfully intricate and sordid family histories that are recounted on such television programs as "Judge Joe Brown"- narratives that immediately precede a completely logically independent decision about a car loan.) However, as you did choose to unburden your tale of relational angst upon me, I must comment that the lack of reasoning skills inherent in the following statement:

thats why I married another wife so she wont grow up knowing anyone as her mother

really rather make me despair of assisting you or any one of your blood relations with a subject inherently founded on logic.

I am most decidedly Female,
Uncooperative Math Tutor


How are you doing today ,i can read your description and i am very impress and interested in your lesson you advert on ,my son is coming for an holiday pension in your area,he is 16 years old and he know a little about the lesson for private lesson, so i don't want him to be less busy in the time of the day and i have decide to let him atending your lesson ,so he will becoming 2hours in a day(9 am to 11 am) or time that you will have chance,so i want you to calculate the cost for 1 week and send me the total cost and i will be paying you with US Cashier Cheque that will be easy for you to cash in your country,so get back to me with your cost of 2 hours per day.I will like to hear from you soon via my email address.

Best Regard

Looking forward to read for you

Dear Ken,

Clearly you take great pride in your basic literacy skills- indeed, I must say that I am also "very impress" with your abilities!- but really it is such a pity that your capacity to WRITE the English language falls so far short. I must confess that I am wholly unfamiliar with the concept of "holiday pension"...? If you had said that your son was "on holiday" I would understand you to be a speaker of proper British English, but the rest of your message makes me think that your own lack of fluency, not my ignorance of international English, is at fault. Though I understand the desire to keep a 16-year-old from being "less busy in the time of the day," perhaps other occupations of his time would be more appropriate than math tutoring. Might I suggest ESL? Or a first-grade grammar book? If his compositional abilities far exceed yours, his time would best be spent mentoring you in the art of the written word, with prayers from many that you might learn, in time, to not slaughter the English language every time you sit down at a keyboard.

Though you generously express your anticipation to "read for me," I fear that is a pleasure I will have to forego, as I cannot at this time afford the services of a qualified audiologist to repair the inevitable ensuing damages.

Thanks awfully,
Literate Math Tutor


How are you doing today ,i can read your description and i am very
impress and interested in your lesson you advert on ,my
son is coming for an holiday pension in your area,he is 16 years old
and he know a little about the lesson for private lesson, so i don't
want him to be less busy in the time of the day and i have decide to let
him atending your lesson ,so he will becoming 2hours in a day(9 am to 11
am) or time that you will have chance,so i want you to calculate the
cost for 1 week and send me the total cost and i will be paying you with
US Cashier Cheque that will be easy for you to cash in your country,so
get back to me with your cost of 2 hours per day.I will like to hear
from you soon via my email address.

Best Regard

Looking forward to read for you

James David

My Dear Mr. David,

Do you happen to have a twin brother named Ken? Your writing style seems awfully familiar.

Yours truly,
Wary Math Tutor

Sunday, July 15, 2007

32 1/2 Weeks! Which means that my due date is SEVEN WEEKS from tomorrow!!

So! Pat (from church) had her baby this morning, meaning Jolene and I are now the only ones of The Pregnant Six left. And the bulletin said Jolene is due "any day now" (she might get induced tomorrow, her husband told me), prompting about 5 people to ask me "how much longer do you have to go...?" and I thought, hmmm, 40 weeks of pregnancy minus 32ish weeks now equals approximately 8 weeks...? Then I came home and looked at my calendar and realized that my due date is two days BEFORE "40 weeks," so combined with the fact that I'm actually now 32 and a HALF weeks, that puts us 7 weeks and 1 day from D-Day. Yeah!!! [And if I went 3 weeks early like my mom did with her first baby, that would mean I'm having this baby in FOUR WEEKS. Get out!]

I probably won't be three weeks early, will I?

So, yeah! Okay, as you may be able to see from the tiny weight gain chart at the right- well, here, I might as well just make it bigger for you:
I enjoyed a lot of cake and ice cream in Houston. What can I say? Weight was 164.6 when I got home. At least I'm not way ABOVE the pink line...? Anyway, sometimes I look ginormous and sometimes I don't... it must depend on the outfit I'm wearing. When we went to church in Houston everyone said "you look so tiny for 7 months!!" and the next day at the beach, a lady in one of the shops was all like "would you like to sit down? would you like some cold water"? I think she thought I was about to give birth any minute or something. Here's pictures taken today:

Notice that I cropped off my head- bad hair day, weird expression- and legs, which are looking a little swolen I think. Okay okay, you can see:

My belly button is FLAT. It has no place to go but out. And, in fact, when a tiny elbow or knee or foot moves across it, it becomes temporarily distended. At times my four-pound daughter seems overcrowded...? I can never really figure out what position she's in, but we're having another ultrasound July 27th so I guess we'll find out then. Other typical third-trimester experiences: I'm having trouble getting my rings off and on, and reaching my feet to put on my shoes, although at least my shoes all still seem to fit. Overall I'm feeling really good, though- especially when I don't try to do as much in a day as I would do in a non-pregnant state (in terms of things like housework and moving furniture and walking great distances quickly.)

Okay enough blathering about pregnancy (won't you all be relieved when the baby's here and I just blather about her all the time?!?)... in other news...

1) We have a fish now! Nate got a beta (sp?) when I was in Houston. It is as yet without a name- suggestions welcome- but highly adored by its doting owner(s?). He really wanted a guinea pig, but was kind enough to spare me that shock upon arriving home...

2) Real analysis is almost done! I have fourteen problems left, which I really should work on tonight. My mom and I had fun working on the problem I was stuck on while flying to Houston- although I'm sure the passengers in line with us for airport security thought our conversation about bounded divergent sequences was a little odd. I was impressed by how quickly she understood/remembered the terminology and everything... if I can do that much 30 years from now, I'll be doing well!! Way to go, Mom.

3) LCCC cut hours for second summer session! About 24 hours total, for me. Meaning even less money than I thought we would have. Ha ha!! Moratorium on Non-Essential Spending in place. :-(

4) Time to start packing up the apartment soon, I think...!!!??? When I can still marginally reach the ground and put things in boxes...?

5) But we don't know when/where we're moving yet! Because my husband still doesn't have a job offer! Prayers much appreciated!!

6) I read a Legitimate Work of Literature! Well, okay, it was a re-read, but still. My Antonia, by Willa Cather. And I was going to try "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, but couldn't make it past page 6. (It seemed to be one of those books where we're on a boat and there are a lot of vocabulary words I don't know. I got seasick and got off.) Instead of continuing to read this summer I'm probably just going to blog, and take pictures, and sew. Is that okay with everybody? (Yes, I'm asking the Internets' permission.)

Time to go do something productive. In closing, here's a picture from my 27th birthday/last Thanksgiving, back when I was skinny:

Sometime this week when I have access to a computer that's not on dial-up, I think I'm going to try uploading things to Photobucket; I originally was using Snapfish, which is fantastic except for the inability to link directly to albums (the only way to share, as far as I can tell, is to email your friends, then they have to have accounts and log in... too much hassle.)

Time, as always, to go make coffee. :-)

Love, Neb

Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Pictures from Houston

My trip to Houston for my cousin's wedding was a LOT of fun. I love to go back, to revisit the place I will always consider Home. It is such a deep part of who I am.

Sunday morning we visited Bridgepoint Bible Church, the new name that matches the new location of Spring Branch Community Church, the church I grew up in. The new facilities are beautiful and soaring and very contemporary... very different. It was great to see old friends. We went out to lunch at Luby's afterwards- a Houston favorite- and I ordered a Luann Platter, red jello, and chocolate cream pie, just like when I was a little kid.

On Monday my mom and I went (baby-clothes!! and souvenir) shopping at Memorial City Mall, which has been totally renovated- everything was so nice. It has an ice rink and a huge fireplace now- almost like a lodge. Tuesday we drove by our old house- looks like some landscaping is in progress- looking pretty good. :-)

Then we went to Home Depot and got some things for Vivian's patio for her birthday- the rug, table, and potted plants you see here. They MIGHT live... if she remembers to water. ;-)

We picked up Vivian at work and drove to Galveston- I hadn't been there in such a long time. We went shopping on the Strand (fun little strip of shops selling things like seashell necklaces and ice cream).

Plans were to eat dinner at Rainforest Cafe and then go to the beach, but the wait at the restaurant was over an hour, so we went across the street to the beach while we waited. The water was cool and wonderful.

The food at Rainforest Cafe was excellent (once we finally got in...), and Vivian insisted on ordering a "volcano" for us to split- enormous concoction of brownies, ice cream, fudge, caramel, etc. The three of us didn't quite finish it, but I must say I did quite a bit more than my fair share, no doubt contributing to my impressive 4.5 lb weight gain this week!! (Well, that, and the 3 kinds of Blue Bell ice cream, and the birthday cake, and the two wedding cakes... yeah...)

Wednesday was Vivian's 29th birthday, so friends came over- Kelly, Alicia, Katie, and Courtney. My mom and I made brunch for everyone- strawberry pancakes, two kinds of eggs, bacon, and watermelon- and later we ate the tasty looking cake below (which my mom decorated- I'm lucky if I can just get frosting on).

Late Wednesday night my mom and I flew back to Baltimore. The view of the sunset from the plane was spectacular.

Love, Neb

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pictures from Houston- First Edition

My cousins Christina and Carolyn (2nd and 4th) with bridesmaids at Taste of Texas Bridesmaids' Luncheon~

Carolyn, Aunt Miriam, Vivian, me, my mom, Christina~

My parents and Vivian and I before the wedding~

"Heaven on Earth"- location of wedding and reception~

Christina and James~

Bridesmaids and a Very Cute Flower Girl~

Bridal Party Table~

First Dance~

Cutting the Cake~

Saturday, July 07, 2007

31 1/2 weeks: Houston wedding edition!

Text later...? When I have more time?

For the record books: I weigh(ed) 160.0. :-)