Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

one less thing to do

So talked to three of the Cord Blood Companies - one of them was playing phone tag and leaving messages for so decided not to go with them as not a good sign for emergencies...

Decided to go with cyrocell - they not only have incentives like

they put 2% of your fee and annual storage fees into U-promise for college fees
$50K –if graft fails if they try and transplant
$10K medical help for transplant if needed
Will pay for doctor procedure up to $175 if charged for collection
No late enrollment and Ship collection kit overnight no extra charge
Accreditation beyond what is needed

Also took $325 off fee so that also helped. I liked the fact they very honest about that in all likely hood will never need the cord blood so more of an insurance. Hopefully will never need it...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cord Blood Banking

So we decided we want to try and bank Hobbit's cord blood. Our hospital doesn't have a public cord blood bank so looking at private ones. Its a personal decision, one that after reading about benefits even from severe enough aplastic crisis which can be a risk with Hereditary Spherecytosis we decided to do. More of an insurance against future as you never know what conditions cord blood can help cure. That and we have spent more on recreation electronic items that balancing out what we spend on Hobbits future is a nobrainer.
There's so many blood banks though its quite overwhelming to research and go through. There's two big ones who advertise HEAVILY in doctor offices, magazines and pregnancy email lists and of course by coincidence, not... also charge the most. Not wanting to go most expensive route who obviously build in large margin for all that heavy marketing they do but also not wanting to go cheapest scrooge route either. So started looking for a Cord Blood company that's been around for a while, is accredited with AABB (the organization that accredits blood banks in states) and got bombarded of course with phone calls from sales folks from the Cord Banking companies.
So last night sat down and went over every inch of a great website I had found that was set up by a parent re information on cord blood banking. There's no advertisements on the site, she lists pros and cons and explains what does it mean that they collect via bag or syringe etc and also links everything you need to know re cord blood banking. Including handy side by side table showing private and public banks, cost, accreditation etc

Its a site dedicated to her daughter Shai who passed away from cancer. She wanted to spread word about Cord Blood Banking and after researching two months its the best site I have seen that answers a lot of questions. You still have to talk to the companies and decide for yourself but I was quite happy to find a lot of information all in one spot.
So I emailed and called a few places and then of course with everything else stopped looking at it for a couple a months and now with end in site knew I had to get it done this week. I know which ones I am not going to use though. I knew I wasn't going to use CBR one of the bigger ones when their person told me on phone - we can only lock in this introductory price for you for next three days otherwise price goes up $350 dollars. What did she think I was buying a copier ;-) Being a sales person myself I cant stand people who are too salesy and don't understand re listening to customers needs. Also Viacord - wasn't as salesy but their aversion to answering some questions about what happens if sample isn't viable or doesn't store well make me think twice re going with them.
Narrowing down list at moment are www.cryo-cell.com who has also been around a while. Also two more I need to speak with in CA as advantage of easier for shipment of the cord blood to them. This one has been around for 10 years and their lab around for 30. www.familycordbloodservices.com . Also the other CA one looking at is www.StemCyteFamily.com
So of course next couple of days I will call and ask them the checklist of questions (which I found from various websites ;-)) let them know I am comparison shopping (being in Sales I can tell you this works to get best price!) and sign up this week.
Wish me luck folks!

email from Brad after getting 132 moon pies in mail Friday

sinead (and jan)
with all the sugar that arrived at my door today, I should be able to just make it to the moon.
you are evil and you should have your online access restricted.
seriously, I appreciate the thought...thank you.
diabetes, here I come.
when is the moon pie party and how many people are coming?

Camp Loyaltown

So while WILFing over weekend (skimming over Internet in a What am I Looking For moment) I typed in Camp Loyaltown. And I found an unofficial website http://www.loyaltownalum.com/ for other counselors , shot some emails off to long lost friends and so far in contact with three of them already! Gotta love the Internet.

A fellow blogger http://dearhomefront.blogspot.com/who's blogs I love to read now had commented on a previous blog re also working at a Camp where all the counselors were Irish or British (and I'm sure as clueless as me about American customs).

So thinking back to camp I had such a great few years there and it was wonderful to go and spend 10 weeks locked away from the world in this small goldfish bowl of reality where you just spent days and nights with fellow counselors from around the world and working with some of the best characters I ever had the pleasure of helping the campers..
Also the culture differences from not being American, my favorite goof ups were us not knowing how to make smores, another one was us not realizing Americans put month/day/year instead of day/month/year. This wouldn't normally make a difference at a Camp where time really doesn't matter or whats happening outside in the world except for the poor campers birthday. We celebrated a few campers birthdays at camp with a look of surprise on the campers faces when the cake came out at dinner time in mess hall and a few campers crying it was their birthday and us telling them it wasn't.... The campers who had birthdays by accident of course didn't tell us, smart enough to keep eating the cake. It was only when we ran into a birthday over 12 in middle date that we thought whats this then...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Imelda Marcos or cinderellas ugly sister's feet

So in clearing out our closet in our bedroom and the closet in Hobbit's room himself noted that I maybe ahem ...had too many shoes. In a good grief there's at least 30 pairs of shoes in this closet. (he didn't see collection in other closet...) Now when most of you think of a woman's shoe collection, you're probably thinking high heels, a collection that Sex in the City would be proud of.
Mine is more a http://www.payless.com/ shoes clumpy shoe collection. Although I do like that I have a range from flowery doc marten boots to hiking boots to various clogs including some furry looking ones. And for those who don't know your AAA card for auto gets you 10% discount at Payless. Yep its true, even cheaper and even when they have their buy one get half off sale. I feel a tear of bargain hunting welling up here...
So Yep its not sexy my shoe collection but sure is comfy. Until late pregnancy when your feet become barges and you cant actually physically fit into any shoes any more. Then I had to move beyond my REI www.rei.com clogs, my doc marten slip on black industrial shoes.. Even my flip flops (which are slip on as having a flip flop strap between my toes is up there on creepy for me. Its like wearing elastic around my ankles or wrists, cant do it. Freaks me out.
Anyhoo. So when I was in the pool store I saw the Crocs or Airwalkers. I decided to try a pair for the pool. And wow and behold, they were so comfy I decided to keep them on and pay the nice lady up front. I joked and said they were ugly but most comfy shoe ever. She said yep look at my feet and she had crocs on as well. She said she couldn't work in anything else.

So then I went to Payless as I had bought my Mum a gift card for Payless for when she comes over. My Mums circuit of stores when she comes to states is Walmart, Costco, Payless and go back and repeat.
Also in those directions is never try anything on even if dressing room available and then go home try on and decide doesn't fit and ask daughter to bring you back again...Once in New Hampshire when Grainne was getting married, we went back to same Walmart 4 times with same pair of trousers. Got to the point security card waved to her when she kept coming in. She'd swap for another size, come home try on and then decide didn't fit... I tried to stop this last time in the Florida Walmart by having her try on the bras and wouldn't leave till she did. I even brought over some different sizes.. What happened, well we get home and she tries on again and decides that even though fit in store doesn't fit now.... So back to store next day we go. Pointing this out now as I'm not that psychic to see what happens when she comes out September for Hobbit. I programmed Walmart, Payless, Target and Costco into the GPS so lets see how many repeat visits we need for returns...

Anyway back to the comfy shoes. So Payless also had these shoes and at $14 with of course buy one and get one half price as well. So bought some more (and used the AAA card for more discount of course!). They look silly. I have a navy pair, a light blue pair and a black pair of mary jane ones and you cant take them off my feet as they are fantastic! My feet even stopped swelling wearing them. Haven't got a clue why but I'll take less cankles any day.
I told Ciara my fellow pregnant friend about them. Yep not wearing those she said. Don't care how comfy, rather be a victim of fashion she said.
I'd be too but there's no fashion ones to fit these plates of meat end of my ankles...

So I cleared out a lot of my shoes for www.freecycle.org , with himself making fun of me as still have quite a collection. However I can only wear at moment the crocs. The rest look like I'm one of the ugly sisters trying to jam a ill fitting shoe on..
So I'm moved on Imelda. I'm moved beyond clumpy to the most comfy shoe ever. Now I like I am a smurf..

But even with my plastic large shoes, I like the sign that says whoever has most shoes wins..

Friday, July 27, 2007

Burrito Baby

So off to the Right foot class we took last night was a hands on how to take care of baby class. Just in case you were up all night wondering what did we learn ... ;-)
So they went over the general this will be how your baby looks after birth and some common skin and cosmetic stuff so you're not going Doctor help my baby has a cone head... Also they did some hand on practice on putting on cloth diaper, disposable diaper, onsie, and swaddling baby - hence the burrito baby title. It was a good class and very hands on. At the start she had us all introduce ourselves, due date and if we were having a boy or girl. Out of 12 couples myself and himself were only ones to say we don't know the sex of the baby.. It has been hard not to find out especially during the scans when the doctors and medical staff are just bursting to tell you.. Himself keeps wondering as our Ob-Gyn changes her pronouns plus he thinks its a girl since we have so many free boy clothes... I don't mind either and just praying for a healthy wee Hobbit.
So himself and myself thought that the all day class Saturday was the class we did last night. So we asked some of other couples at class. Its labor and delivery class they said. Well I thought, I know were not going through that and the c-section I already know whats going to happen so why go sit really really uncomfortably for 8 hours in a class and watch my cankles swell up and feel shite to learn about how to breathe in labor when we know that's not happening.... So we took executive decision and cancelled our class. Sure himself make an excellent labor coach but sure all I need to know is the nice doctor with the drugs will be available when I do the c-section...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

how many !

So a friend Brad is under the weather. His wife Kerensa told us that he has chicken pox poor guy. Never fun and especially as an adult. So in asking if they needed anything she was mentioning how much he loved Klondike ice cream bars and moon pies. Moon Pies I asked -what are they?

So looking up Moon pie
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A moon pie or MoonPie® [1] is a pastry invented around 1917. [2] A MoonPie consists of two graham crackers shaped into round cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center. The confection is then dipped in chocolate (or other flavors).

Reminds me of first time working at a special needs camp in States where we were told we were having a smores night and bonfire with the disabled campers we were looking after. So all the counselors were British and Irish and hadn't a clue what a smore was. So when we went back to cabin and saw the firewood at fire we lit the fire pit but couldn't understand why they had given us bags of marsh mellows, chocolate bars and graham crackers. Not knowing what to do we lit the fire, then passed out marshmellows till all gone, then passed around chocolate bars till eaten and then passed around graham crackers thinking it was the crappiest snacks they had yet given us. Poor campers thought we were the ones low on the IQ scale... So anyway back to moon pies..
Seems moon pies are a big thing in the south where Brads from. So decided to send him some to cheer him up. I found a website that delivers http://www.nationwidecandy.com/ and ordered three each of chocolate, strawberry, banana and two more of larger chocolate one. That should be good I thought and was surprised the shipping was nearly as much at the pies but thought no more of it.

Later on I checked the website to see if the order had shipped. Then I noticed a word I had missed before. DZ.

Standing of course for a dozen. So I called Nationwide Candy who told me the order had shipped. Ummm how many Moon Pies did I order I asked? 11 I said ? She said yes - 11 dozen. Holy Moley...

Little did I know that nationwide candy sells to movie theatres and the like .... not really for single folks.. So now Brad has 132 moon pies on his way over to him.

Hope he likes Moon Pies folks...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh thats what they're for!

So himself declared proudly to all at http://www.zazzle.com/ that he was off to learn how to breastfeed Tuesday night ;-) I was rereading the breast feeding book - Oh that's what they're for so very apt for the breast feeding class we went to.
Good Sam Hospital here has excellent classes for new parents www.parentingandbreastfeeding.com/ and so we did CPR a few weeks ago and Tuesday night was breastfeeding. Run by a great lactation specialist it was a very informative class without us flashing anyone which was a relief....
They had weighted dolls 4 1/2 pounds for us to practice holds on and surprising how heavy they are when most babies are in 8 pounds range now when born. The class was fantastic but the auditorium was hell. The seats are pretty small especially when all the women are at least 35 weeks pregnant and with swelling cankles. That would have been OK as the teacher was good at giving us wee breaks but the AC was also broken and we were all sweating like it was hades... Not a pretty sight. Looking forward to going to the mothers group there post birth though as sounds like its pretty supportive. Also just chatting to women in bathrooms when we were on a constant bathroom breaks it was nice to talk to some fellow mums to be..
We're heading off to another class tonight - Off on the Right Foot. I haven't got a clue what this one is about but sure signed us up anyway ;-) Saturday we have a full day childcare express (instead of doing it over 4 weeks). Its getting close folks and I'm fine with Hobbit staying in till c-section date. That would give us a couple of weeks just to get stuff ready at home and relaxed as much as possible as you can be for whirlwind change.
Also typed up birth plan and check list last night for the trip to hospital. At top of birth plan is my intention to wear my wedding tiara during c-section. Lets face it, theres not many places I get to wear it after the wedding and as I said in plan, the top of me will feel like a princess even if bottom doesn't ;-) Also in plan I let know they can feel free to wheel himself out of OR if he faints in the wheelchair. Lets face it - he cant watch House MD so blood and guts in flesh real time might be a wee too much but lets see.
And only 6 more days left at work. Well since I work from home now anyway 100% kinda hard to switch off but I'll give it a good Irish try folks ;-) We actually had a super month of selling so be nice to get some checks while I'm out on leave from bonus and stuff. Trying to squeeze in training with Whitney who's covering for me as well as finishing up. All is going grand though and I know my boss and Dev are a bit panicked but sure the world will spin without me being at the job... ;-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter wow

So Saturday came my Harry Potter book but I knew that with company coming and going to see the Shakespeare play I couldn't sit and read. Sunday also I knew we would have to organize baby Hobbits room as we've had that on the to do list for ages and getting to close to the due date to take chances. ( Our mate Jason last year learnt hard way when his wife went early with their first baby while they were moving to a new apartment and didnt have anything set up at all). So a brief wee read Sunday morning (since I couldn't physically move anyway with Hobbit changing positions my pelvis locked and all I could do was sit and ice. And if you're going to just have to sit and ice till it unlocks might as well read Harry Potter and enjoy the wonderful cup of tea your hubbie has made you..)

Then my fanny pack was feeling better where I could take steps without winching and crying so I set to work in the baby room while himself took my truck off to clean outside and in and then tackle putting car seat in place ready to go. He also went off to Frys, laundry and home depot picking up some ply board to put in our walk in closet to make more space. Wasn't so much a walk in closet as a good grief shut the door quickly before something falls out. Now its wonderfully clean and we actually know where to find items! (now to tackle my bedroom closet gulp..)

So whirl of activity in Hobbit's room where I opened all the boxes, we cleaned the crib, put sheets on, put bumper shield on, set up diaper/nappy area, organized all the drawers and cleared some of that closet.

Then 9ish sat down to read the Harry Potter. I put it down at 1230 finished and very very happy. Himself was waiting for me to read so he can now read it. Excellent book and you wont be disappointed. Plot wise a little more complicated than her normal fare but still excellent book and was gripping from start to finish.

Of course finishing meant that its now a finished series so sad about that but wonderful to see a series that kept to excellence all way through. (Robert Jordan Wheel of Time - take note - having folks do more than move from one field to another for 600 pages is a good idea, its not the bloody everlasting wheel of time for us mortals waiting for next book in series.....)

In Redwood Glen..

So Saturday night we drove over the mountains to Santa Cruz and took John H my old workmate who just moved to area with Procter and Gamble to the Shakespeare Santa Cruz festival. We went to see Much Ado about Nothing. The lovely part is that they perform in a Redwood Glen on campus so we sat outside under the stars in the Glen for this well performed comedy and had a fantastic time. John is from Strafford upon Avon so for him seeing the plays is nothing new but you dont get to see them outside in Redwoods under warm skies in England!

You can either bring blankets or like us reserve seats and we brought sodas for me and drinks for the lads and laughed ourselves silly. Its wonderful that the comedy of Beatrice and Benedick translates as easily in the 21st century as it did when the Bard penned it.

I had seen the Kenneth Branagh movie version and own it on DVD. The live play is magnificent though and the actors playing Beatrice and Benedick were brilliant in their roles. Also the constable was outstanding in his assertion that no one forget he was called an ass..
Conrade: You are an ass, you are an ass. Dogberry: Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass. But masters, remember that I am an ass: though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.


I was so happy we were able to go. I had worries I would be too waddly (is that even a word?) but all was grand and on way home we stopped at Jack in the Box and the lads had milkshakes and I had myself a slice of cheesecake ;-)

4 ft arms..

So this weekend was another woosh one

Friday night we had Susan and her hubbie Suburta over for Sci Fi Friday. Had never met her hubbie and himself hadn't met either. We all got on like a house on fire and after some Chinese takeaway (poor himself is looking forward I think to having Indian again in house post Hobbit as much as Hobbit coming ;-) We sat down and watched last weeks Eureka for Susan to catch up as well as this weeks and in between chatting telling stories and laughing a lot. Such a great great night, sure be the first of many. Both are so easy to get along with and we all just clicked and had great craic.

I told them one of my most favorite Sinead's Dad stories. Anyone who has met my Dad knows he's a character. Very Dublin, very organized and nearly military in his out takings. When we were teenagers in high school (secondary for Irish folks), my Mum went to a nursing conference. She hadn't left us with Dad alone for a weekend ever and so big test for Dads skills. We came home on the Friday night and my Dad told us to get our uniforms off and in the wash ASAP as he wanted all the washing done that night to dry next day. He was ontop of the to do list and we all changed into our weekend stuff and handed him our school uniforms, gray long skirts and pillar box red v-necked wool sweaters (jumpers as we call them). My Mum had knitted all our school sweaters on her knitting machine and they all matched beautifully.

So next afternoon my Dad proudly declares that all the laundry is done and all it needs now is the sweaters need a bit of a bang of an iron... Thinking it strange I went outside to our washing line. There on the line was our 4 red jumpers but in miniature. I called to Grainne and Fiona and we stood in shock outside looking at the line laughing. All our jumpers had been shrunk, the arms were now 4ft but the bodies 5 inches long. My Dad asked what was wrong and we pointed to the now mini school jumpers.

Nothing wrong with those that a bang of an iron cant fix he declared.. He took the jumper off the line and started pulling the jumper to get it back in shape. When he asked Gra to pull on the other end I started choking with trying to hold in the laughter. You don't laugh out loud at my Dad when hes all worked up. So all of us were silently laughing with shoulders heaving as he and Gra attempted to pull back the jumper into place. Then next he tried to iron them back into shape which of course made it worse.

Mam came home Sunday and saw the shrunken jumpers. What did you wash them at Christy, boiling? Dad said he put them on 60 - hottest wash.. My Mum rolled up her eyes and began looking for alternatives to our jumpers for next day for school.

So next day we went to school and I handed my first teacher a note re my uniform. She burst out laughing and shared the note with the class.

To Whom it Concerns,

My daughter Sinead is not wearing her normal school jumper (sweater) today as I was away for the weekend and my husband took over the washing of the school uniforms. I now have jumpers to fit children with 4 ft long arms and 5 inch bodies. Since my children do not fit these requirements they will be wearing temporary uniform sweaters until I can knit some more.

Yours Sincerely

Pauline McDonnell

We all had notes like this for our teachers...

Here's a picture of what two of the jumpers looked like before Dad took over... An old photo of Gra and Orla in theirs with my brother Colin (on his confirmation I think) and Maeve all sweet in her wee outfit in our back garden.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Follow up soapbox rant

So went to Diabetes program folks yesterday for followup. Surprise surprise all is normal. They marked my following of program as acceptable. (seems that's the best you can do, I did miss taking blood twice in mornings as forgot before I had a nice veggie burger in my mouth with a waffle... Note that they didn't put down all blood sugar tests normal - does she even need this... Only thing I changed was stopped orange juice in morning. Rest of diet is same :-) and my thumb is battered from stabbing it..
So I told nice nurse that I didn't want to come weekly as major pain in the arse getting there with walker and I have enough doc appts already with Ob-Gynie, Physio, Chiro going on. She said that I could come back in two weeks and graduate all going well. So yipee and get the flags out.
She said she wanted me to also see the Dietitian. I asked if she would tell me anything different then they had. Nope. So why see her and my insurance pay for that and I pay for that? Agreed to in end as probably doesn't hurt get more tips but said I'm not seeing the social worker they wanted me to see. (To what - discuss how much it saddens me to see Orange Juice leave my life...) . She said well you're under so much stress with the walker and now this with the diabetes would be good to talk to Social Worker about it. I told her the truth, I don't feel stressed. Yes my pelvis hurts but rest is me is grand and enjoying the pregnancy. I have little or nothing to complain about. Most SPD folks clear up much better post pregnancy so hopefully mine will be same and plan to do Pilate's afterwards to get back my pelvic strength as quickly as possible. There could be a lot worse and moaning about it helps in no way. Also my hair looks fabulous...
They also seem to be obsessing re my drinking a glass of milk every 3 days. I don't even really like milk but started craving it last month so have a glass every 3 maybe even 4 days. I add a sugar free syrup so I can pretend its something else (I have a collection of them from carb free diets). Some are very yummy amaretto, Kahlua, strawberry ;-) So I can pretend having that glass of Baileys...
Then nurse said when I graduate I get lab slips for testing post pregnancy. She said and we'll have you do the glucose sugar test again.
No I said.
What she flustered. No I said. I am not doing that drinking pure glucose test again and especially post pregnancy. Its not a valid test recognized by American Diabetes Association as confirming or denying Diabetes and only thing seems to show is are you intolerant to 100g of pure sugar in one go - so nope not taking it I said nicely with a smile.
You could have caught flies in her mouth.
I told her happy to do blood test for fasting as that's valid but otherwise that's it. Practically no other countries do the glucose test as a valid GD testing. And certainly not post pregnancy.
Don't get me wrong - do I think I am at risk with being overweight and AMA - certainly I do(Advanced maternal age with GD their benchmark is being over 25 yrs old by the way so nearly EVERYONE is then at risk with that age limit !). Do I think eating healthy is better for me and Hobbit - yep and I really did change my eating habits being preggers. I now eat for one thing and snack about 6 times a day instead of that oops forgot to eat and let me eat 6 hrs later and have carbs with my double side of carbs. (example I would think nothing of a ramen noddles in bread, in fact only thing I haven't made into a sandwich pre-preggers is jello...) I want to eat better and so all for that. I now go swimming/walking in pool 4-5 days a week and feel better for it. I'll be keeping that up as well. (especially since nice Y folks will babysit free from Hobbit being 6 weeks old while you swim or exercise for two hours). But I think that unnecessary tests are just that unnecessary and I for one am getting off the bandwagon..
Said bye to the nice nurse who I told very nicely that I understand that's their protocol and she certainly didn't invent it but thanks a million and no thanks. She made some comment about me having strong opinions so maybe social worker visit wasn't a good idea. I laughed and said well since you want me to be responsible for my diet and exercise and well being - I should be responsible for all that but not have an opinion on my own health care? She didn't have an answer and I was done, I picked up my soapbox, loaded it on my walker and rolled off into the afternoon...

Shake it to the left, Shake to the right

So 4.2 Earthquake hit on East Bay this morning about 4am. (about 50ish miles away). I wish I could say I felt it but I was asleep (yeah for being able to sleep this week!). I don't mind all the 4.0 earthquakes - they shake a bit but at least its letting off pressure so we avoid bigger ones. Like letting soda bottle open slowly.

First one I ever felt in California was 7 years ago when I first moved here. I hate to say this but I was in bathroom on loo at the time and just thought a big truck had gone past the apartment. However my cat at the time had its claws practically embedded into the couch in a version of panic so realized something else was going on ... Only time I actually felt one and thought yep that's one was about 4 years ago when I was sitting on my bed with my feet on floor and felt the floor roll and move like a wave under me, very strange.

Hopefully a big one wont hit here but we have our water, tinned food, flashlights and duct tape ready. Haven't got a clue what to do with the duct tape but seems like it should be in your get ready kit ;-)

Heartburn and hair

So in parenting mag I got yesterday there's a study by John Hopkins hospital that set out to disprove the heartburn and baby hair tale. Turns out they couldn't. 82% of moderate to severe heartburn in preggers ladies had babies with head of hair and mild to moderate heartburn had wee baldies.

Now of course wondering if mine is moderate enough ;-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All things Harry

So a lovely email from those folks at Amazon

We thought you would like to know that we are preparing your items for shipment.

Qty Item 1 Harry Potter and the Death...

Brings tears to my eyes... Last time the Harry Potter book came out - I nearly went to the store to buy it but had already ordered it and was waiting on it. Then I went to my patio and saw the mailman had left it there. Oh wonderful mailman.

Himself was at work even though it was a Saturday as they had a big push on stamps at www.zazzle.com. So I got myself a pot of tea and read the book in about 3 hrs. Fantastic book and I think I'll read it again before Saturday before this one comes..

Yeah for all things Harry !

Hair today gone tomorrow

So like most preggie women I have been getting heartburn. Hobbits up near my ribs and pushing my tummy up and Relaxin, that wonderful hormone that also makes my pelvis the fanny pack of trouble its experienceing, also relaxes your top of stomach opening so you get acid reflux or heartburn. Its not that bad if I eat every couple of hours and also the bottle of tums sits beside me on the bed. Always good for a midnight snack at 2am and 5am ;-)

My Mum had it really bad with Maeve the youngest one. We were always being sent to the shops to buy another pack of rennies (Irish Tums version). She ate them like candy. It was such a habit that when Mum had Maeve in hospital my brother who was 7 at the time brought her a pack of rennies with a bow on it thinking she really loved them. Poor wee thing didnt realize that now Maeve was here she didnt need them anymore ;-)

But I digress as usual... So an Old Wives Tale is that if you have bad heartburn then your baby will have a great head of hair and that's what's bothering you. I got excited. A baby with a head of hair. Reason that this is close to my heart folks is that I was very much a bald baby. Who am I kidding - I was a bald toddler and infant. I had NO hair till I was about two and half yrs old. I had fine blonde/white hair about two and half but before then I was a cue ball, I was follicle challenged. This was before Sinead O Connor or Jean Luc Picard made it sexy to be bald. I also had no teeth till I was nearly 18 months old but that's another post.

One of the best things about being preggers is my now thick hair. Even my hairdresser was gushing about it. I said to him, do what you want now, because I know post Hobbit it will all start falling out and I'll be left with my thin looking is that a dead cat on her head look. I don't mind. Its been wonderful to have thick hair and grateful for it while its lasted. Who knows maybe I'll keep some of it. I'm sure I'll keep some of the pounds like most women - so why cant we also keep the good stuff too!

So I was happy hearing this re your baby is supposed to have thick hair if your heartburn is bad - I've been rooting for Hobbit to have himself's hair which is lovely and thick regardless of if its a boy or girl. Mine was so bald that my Mums mate kept putting hats on me when we went out regardless of weather and telling folks that I had treatment...

So I asked my Mum re heartburn and all my siblings as we all have different hair.

I had terrible heartburn on you she said. I remember it being really bad.

And I was bald as a coot so my bubble burst.. Hair today and gone tomorrow..

good bleeding

So some recommendations from mates about pricking side of finger which hurts less for blood testing. They recommended that and doing it. Only problem is the only digit that seems to bleed easily is my left thumb. I think maybe because I have such a high platelet count with the lack of spleen that I'm not a good bleeder, I stop bleeding really quickly. I tried 'milking' my other fingers to get a good blood flow there and the blood drop isn't big enough for their blood strip and I kept getting errors. So back to that one left thumb that bleeds well but is getting a wee bit tired of me stabbing it. I tried the right thumb and that also bleeds but too strange for me as I'm very much a right handed person. So see the docs today at the Diabetes program. Who's not surprised that all my bloods been normal....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Its a scam I tell ya

So I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 33 of pregnancy. I was kinda surprised but went to their diabetes program and met two nurses last week - one who showed me the testing kit and how to use that to prick my finger etc for blood sugar testing 4 times a day and then to a nurse who talked re food.
This is a sample of what the conversations went like
So me- " Can I have a kit that I can test my arm as I type on the laptop for work and with the walker I need to have fingers and thumbs I can use that aren't too sore from testing... (a friend told me to ask for the arm tester as less sore)
nurse - " the blood sugar in your arm isn't as sensitive as your finger so not as accurate"
Seriously... Why cant they just say - this is all the nice insurance people who run the world will pay for.. Why tell me some lie that the blood running down in my arm to that same finger is different...
So Nurse diet lady : " You should have only put on 10 pounds for the whole pregnancy and also you're not eating enough - we have some ketones in your urine so your body is burning off its own fat for baby - so you need to eat more and eat more carbs"
Can anyone spot the problem with that sentence? So I have put on 22 pounds so far that is quite good my Doc says for being 35 weeks preggers. I have mates and family who put on 40-60 pounds. OK they could afford to while I was heavier but I swear most of my weight is in my boobs. Same size but Good Grief they are so much heavier. I feel like I have two cannon balls around my neck. I dread to see what happens when the milk comes in, I'll probably be crawling dragging those boobies on the floor as too heavy to lift upright...
Nurse diet lady: " So you need to eat every 3 hrs and do blood test an hour exactly after the three main meals"
me - " I have been doing OK with the snacks and meals - lot healthier than I was before and now I snack every two hours with a tray beside me near bed (where I work since been put on semi-rest) so I eat something small every 2 hrs (which stops the heartburn as well) and the bigger meals are also then not as big."
Nurse diet lady: " Well you cant do that"
me - "Why - seems good to keep blood sugar level and I eat small portions of things like yogurt, half a piece of fruit, my sugar free Jello etc, My doc is pleased with my little weight gain but healthy intake"
Nurse diet lady :" it will ruin the test results of the blood testing if you eat like that"
So I laughed because its obvious little to do with how I eat or what I should do but what their program is and there you go. She also went on about cooking from scratch. I said you do see the walker don't you. You do realize I cant cook every meal and that's why microwave is my best friend? She seemed shocked that I wasn't Martha Stewart and whisking my own sauces from scratch while knitting myself a cover for the walker....
And I would just put it down to my healthy paranoia of American Health System except EVERY BLOOD SUGAR TEST I have done since last Tuesday, EVERY SINGLE ONE - all 40 odd of them are NORMAL. Every one shows normal blood sugar levels. Fasting, not fasting all all normal!!!
Maybe my diet was already working in keeping it normal - as my friend said could be that only thing that I'm intolerant to is 100grams of pure sugar in a soda for the test.
So far I got another mail shipment of diabetes supplies for my normal blood sugar (as well as bag of them at clinic when I went). I see the crazy folks at Diabetes program Thursday. I'm sure they will think that the normal sugar is something they did. Its bloody not !
I haven't seen Michael Moores movie Sicko yet but sure will ring very true for me. I know I'm really really lucky to have health coverage but I keep thinking that someones scamming with me sending and using all these diabetes supplies. Like when they charge $14 for an aspirin in hospital kinda thing.
Anyway I'm off to prick my thumb which is only digit that seems to bleed easily. I know I'm blessed in that most folks don't get this after pregnancy so I can stop soon but even still - bitch bitch moan moan..
If you prick us do we not bleed... If you tickle us do we not laugh.. If you make us drink 100g of pure glucose does our blood sugar level not go through the roof for two hours and normal there after...

to Heimlich or not to Heimlich

So last week I was coughing after having a crumb go down the wrong way and himself said - after I stopped coughing and it was obvious I wasnt choking.. can you do a Heimlich Maneuver on a pregnant woman? I didnt know - it seems like you shouldnt especially with Hobbit so close to my lungs and more likely to get the squeeze than me.

Well we learnt the answer last night at the Infant and Child CPR class. It was an excellent class and held by the parents class network at Good Sam where we plan to have Hobbit. We practiced CPR on infant dolls and then toddler/child dolls. Glad to see they have made it more uniform so all you have to remember is 2 breaths for every 30 compressions. Last time I took the CPR class many moons ago in NY it seemed to be different for each age group and you had enough to remember and not panic about when administring CPR without thinking - should it be 5 breaths or 2? How many compressions for a kid of 6? etc..

So turns out that you should not do a regular Heimlich on a pregnant woman (same as infants - who should be turned upside down). (good luck trying to turn pregnant lady upside down...) Instead you do a quick compression in chest area to expel the object out for pregnant lady. Not only is the baby residing normally where you thrust in and upwards in the J motion of Heimlich at belly button area but also with a womans organs being pushed up and sidewards during pregnancy you dont want to damage them either pushing hard against them.

They were also offering the test certification at the end of class and I think it says a lot re my growing cankles and wanting to get to a cup of tea that I passed up doing the test. Normally love taking tests and love getting certificates. I passed this one up and went off to get a cup of tea at Effies our local home from home restaurant. (Where they know us so well they had a pot of tea with English breakfast teabags) and a club soda with lemon waiting for myself and himself when they saw us getting from car with walker after the class.. now thats service!).

Friday, July 13, 2007

High Heels for an Irish Summer

Ireland got pretty much 29 days of rain for June...

My sister Maeve sent me photo of high heels for Irish Summer..

Fitting in work

Here was my schedule this week
Monday morning - Physical therapy 2 hours
Monday afternoon - Bra fitting, Lactation consultant 1& 1/2 hrs
Tuesday morning - Pregnancy Diabetes first visit and nurse dietitian 3 hour
Tuesday afternoon - wonderful chiropractor comes to my house and adjusts me - 2 hrs
Wednesday - In San Fran for work - takes half hr to get to & from car with walker to customer
Thursday - Chiropractor - 1 hr
Friday Morning - Ob-Gyn visit - 1 hour
Friday Afternoon - Physical therapy 2 hours

In between all this stabbing myself with new blood glucose testing strips 5 times a day and writing down all meals.. (FYI all blood sugar levels have been absolutely normal which leads me to think only thing I am glucose intolerant to is the bloody 100mg of glucose given in the dubious GD test...)

Trying to fit work into this schedule..


oh what lovely nipples you have...

So maybe a wee bit rude but sure figure if I can talk about farting and being preggers then this title is OK...

So I've posted before about trying to find good bras for breastfeeding and general over the shoulder boulder holders when you're a much more large chested lady. Every time I put in my bra size to look on Internet all I got was a selection of porn sites.. That's another post in itself (aside note a good porn name for me might be Lucky Charms ;-) Americans will get that reference to lucky charms kid's cereal and Irish folks probably won't except from Austin Power movies..)

So a week and half ago while at my Ob-Gyn office I saw a leaflet for the breast feeding network and a nurse who's a lactation consultant and does bra fittings. So I called and heard a message that Judy the nurse was out on vacation her voicemail and left a message to talk to her when she returned. Saturday before the tour of hospital and baby shower Judy called me and we set up an appointment for Monday. Seemed very nice on phone and I was looking forward to getting a breast feeding bra that doesn't squash the auld melons under my armpits the way the ones I got do..

So at Baby Shower one of the girls Michelle who I worked with when I was a IT recruiter 6 years ago gives me a lovely wee pooh bedding gift and also a leaflet. Its her Mum she said and shes a lactation consultant in case I need one. I look at the address and laugh. Is your Mums name Judy I said and was she on holiday last week. We were all camping says she amazed at my psychic power. I said sure don't I have an appointment with her Monday already... Small small world folks. San Jose is still a million people after all.

So Monday I went to see Judy for a bra fitting and general chat about breastfeeding as I wanted to get to know her if I need her post hospital for feeding. She said with my fair skin and auburn coloring that will be a bit sore but shouldn't be too bad. Going around house without bra and very very brief bathing topless should help toughen a wee bit for nipples but don't do anymore than that. She told me about women who take toothbrushes to their nipples beforehand in a mistaken attempt to toughen their nipples up and I just cringed at that... (so no trying that at home folks..)

So got two great breastfeeding bras that also can get bigger as needed in cups when milk comes in. Very comfy and turns out I was right - I haven't got bigger cup size just heavier. Now a 42H - so my bras are also good for doubling up as rugby headgear if needed as well.. ;-)

And then Judy the nurse told me a sentence that you just don't hear that often. She was showing me good holds for breastfeeding and said - you have excellent nipples....

And do you know what with everything else going on, yes I do..

to snip or not to snip

Well we had decided that if Hobbit is a boy we're not doing circumcision. It was done in this country for most boys regardless of religion etc and has slowly been dropping over last 20 years until they said its about 50% of boys who are done and that's dropping as well. There's no medical reason to do it for all baby boys. The medical reason some folks use is for hygiene but Ireland and UK don't do it for boy babies and in all my years and family living there haven't heard of any wee boys penis falling off from not getting it snipped ;-)
So it was interesting when we went to the hospital and first thing on the tour the lady told us is that most health insurance wont either pay for it or have HUGE deductible as its seen as elective and cosmetic only. So we nodded to each other as we already had decided not to.
What really blew our minds though was when we went to the Lutheran Church next day on Sunday to show our faces (figured when you ask to have baby baptized cause both sets of parents will be in town, that its a good idea to come before the date and smile at Pastor so his first words aren't who the hell are you ...).
Well the first reading and I josh you not, was about circumcision and not circumcising and how you are not any closer to God for chopping foreskin off... We just looked at each other and laughed.
Guess the universe is telling us folks that if Hobbit is a boy he keeps all his tackle...

Monday, July 09, 2007


So we took a tour of the baby hospital Good Sam here on Saturday. Lovely hospital and only 10 mins drive away which is great. I had my Gallbladder out there and been to the ER twice (once for the yogurt carton incident and once for my back) and impressed both times. Kinda sad that I can tell you about a hospital like it was a restaurant on the Fodor guide... ;-)
Makes whole having a baby quite real (not that it isn't but when they show you the operating room and recovery and where hubbies get changed to come into c-sections it makes it all quite more real somehow. Thankfully the lady put me in a wheelchair for the tour as with the walker I'm grand at a few feet but they were pounding the halls of a large hospital and would take me a day and half with walker. Nice thing is we have our own rooms here and I can dream of taking a bath. Don't know how realistic that is after a c-section but let me dream folks.... Been so long since I sat in hot water and just soaked. I have to say I miss that more than the baileys ;-)

So good news is that the policy of hospital is that all hubbies are put in wheelchairs in the operating room for c-sections on their partners. When we asked why - turns out saves them trying to get them off the floor when they faint so they can just easily roll out of the way.. I told himself not to worry, I don't mind if he cant stay for the whole cutting into me thingie, more important that he gets used to poopy diapers than blood.

They said most hubbies get queasy... Can we say Timber....

and even more pics

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more pics

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some of pics

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The organizers...

Kerensa, Brad and Ciara in background. They made us a baby coupon book where folks signed up for babysitting etc and they were postcards we could then detach and send as an ahem reminder to folks. Brilliant idea. Brad also showed off his graphic artist skill in the baby frame that folks signed - and yes that's a baby with a Sinead and Jan head.. Also a cake with Elvish writing. Brad was quite surprised that there's so much online about Elvish writing - we're not...

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How nice they made it all look - perfect for elevenses... Cucumber sandwiches
and scones with Strawberries and fresh cream. Yum

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Baby Hobbit's Baby Shower

So the wonderful Kerensa & Brad and Ciara and well all of Ciaras amazing neighbors threw me a baby shower on Saturday and it was fantastic. They did a Lord of the Rings baby shower with Shire style garden - so we had an English Tea Party with A Shire feel. Here is a baby doll with Hobbit Feet (thanks to Kirstin's hubbie who lent his werewolf feet costume...)

They held games including how many times has Sinead been to the ER... 18 on my own and I think a few before that with my Mum when I was younger (not all children can be as gifted as me and stick a pencil in their ear at 2 yrs old...).

Hopefully Hobbit will take after his Dad who has been once. Yes once for a finger caught in a car door.

While mine range from things like falling down lecture hall steps in college, being kicked through a fence by a horse, falling upside down into a luggage compartment on a double decker bus while working as a bus conductor, getting hypothermia in July in England during an Army reserve weekend exercise and of course for swallowing bit of a yogurt carton the night himself was going to propose. (He decided to wait till a much more romantic night 4 days later on top of Mount Hamilton under the stars after science lecture instead of ER where he held my hair back over vomit bowl...)

Back to the shower - I had such a good time and so great to see so many girlfriends I hadn't seen in yonks. I decided to have it July 7th so knowing some folks would be out of town for holidays. If that sounds weird its because Irish folks don't have baby showers so very new for me and this way over a holiday weekend folks I felt would have an excuse not to come. Nothing worse then feeling like you should. All my friends who did come it was brilliant though and we had a good laugh. I was knackered by the end and after yesterday where I washed all of the new and freecycle clothes, crib sheets etc we got for Hobbit I was too tired to blog so my apologies for those waiting for updates.
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Friday, July 06, 2007

my first communion

Originally uploaded by SineadBorg
So Yahoo Photos is closing down and then are moving all old photos over to whatever account you want. Since I have the flickr account anyway www.flickr.com/sineadborg moved them there. It worked overnight so saw what was moved this morning

I had forgotten I had this - its my first communion photo. This is before I got the spleen taken out - you can see I'm whiter than my veil! I look like butter wouldn't melt in my mouth. Truth is I have long socks as I had bruises on my shins from getting into a fight with a young not so ladylike Valerie in my class.

I still hate the name Valerie because of that (another reason why we're not sharing the names we picked for boy or girl Hobbit as folks have these preconceptions - we do !)

Dont ya just love the bowl haircut. At least this one my Mum didnt try and cut. She used to put tape (cellotape) on our foreheads and try and cut under for a straight line. Of course pulling half our hair off in process taken off and was never straight.. I had geometric haircuts WAY before they were cool folks

Hope you had a smashing July 4th or a good Wednesday for rest of the world and have a brilliant weekend

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I can see my belly!

So for folks who haven't met me - I'm very large chested. Lets just say that looking for maternity bras is akin to finding something that would hoist the Titanic. Himself has made murmurs of maybe we should put scuba diving gear on the registry just so Hobbit can breast feed OK...
So my boobs haven't become much bigger with being preggers but they have become much heavier (which I thought was impossible). Last night while standing up himself declared OMG your belly is now bigger than your boobs. I looked down and for first time ever I could see a belly past my boobs. At nearly 33 weeks its probably about time but is quite weird. I have never seen body parts past my own personal shelf there unless lying down. All food that I inadvertently drop lands straight on my chest. I heard that women who get breast reduction surgery comment that the strangest thing about getting it is suddenly having food land on the floor instead of them.. Not happening for me for a while so I'll just keep using my Tide laundry stick for all my messes on shirts and fish for that crumb that just disappeared into my bra...
Have a Happy 4th of July folks.