September 2011

Someone at work mentioned a “baby pool” the other day. As cool as it would be to have a daycare at work with its own swimming pool for babies, we’re in the midst of an economic crisis, so this “baby pool” refers to a potential revenue gaining event. I wasn’t aware of this, but the person discussing the baby pool with me said that people bet all the time on when someone was going to give birth, and he expects that such a wager will be made regarding the day of Allie’s debut.

Rebecca had already given me a 2-day range of the day she “sees” Allie coming out, so I wondered how ethical it would be for me to join a pool when I’m in regular contact with a clairvoyant. And then I thought, these wagers aren’t even LEGAL so who cares about ethics, right?

The Universe decided to make things more fair. I had an online conversation with Rebecca later the same day I learned what a baby pool was, and she “checked in” to see if she had an update on the birthing situation. That 2-day range was GONE. What she now saw was “could be as early as the 7th, or as late as the 24th.” WHAT?! With a due date of the 21st, any doctor could’ve said Allie could be up to 2 weeks early, or a few days late! This wasn’t going to help me in the office pool!

Me: uh-oh…if it’s the 7th, I’ll go into labor at work.
Rebecca: 🙂
Me: HMMM, that could be fun! I’ll run around the courthouse going, “My water broke! My water broke!”
Rebecca: Well, I’m not sure about that. I have the impression you will not go in to work on the day you are going into labor. You might feel a bit funny and for once you will listen and not go in to work and it will turn out you will be in labor.
Me: HAHAHAHA! “for once you will listen.” it’s like you live with me.
Rebecca: …well…I do “eavesdrop” a bit into your life, but always with permission 🙂
Me: of course, you’re welcome to. I appreciate the good intentions with which you do that. 🙂
Rebecca: Thanks…and I appreciate you more than you know.

On Tuesday, Allie decided she was going to be an upside-down kickboxer on our entire drive home from work. Every two to three seconds, she’d kick up at my diaphragm or my stomach. The assault on my gut was making me feel sick. Mr. W suggested I recline the passenger seat to encourage her to change positions or calm down, or give her more room, so I did that. She still kept at it. Then I turned slightly to my left, which did cause her access to change a bit. But now she was kicking at my left ribs. I rolled to the right. She did it to my right ribs. I gasped for air the entire drive home, and as soon as we got home and I walked out, she stopped. The same thing happened yesterday on the drive home. If she kept practicing her kicking like this, she’s going to be able to walk the day she comes out. That’s probably what she’s preparing herself for. I told Mr. W that she hates his driving. (Who could blame her? haha)

Mr. W took Monday off from work cuz his parents and sister-in-law were still over, and well, he didn’t want to go to work. I still went to work. Mid-afternoon, he called me and said, “Look at the nanny cam.” So I typed in our internet nanny cam’s IP address and saw that in the guest-room-turned-Allie’s-room, that Mr. W had cleared out the queen bed and guest furniture, put together the crib, dragged my La-Z-Boy chenille rocker-recliner up there next to the crib, and was now rocking in the chair looking at his handywork. We have a nursery! He’s such a handyman — when he realized that there was some weird construction screwup and the rails for the drawer at the bottom of the crib were an inch farther apart than the width of the drawer, instead of calling the company (which I would’ve done), he simply went to Home Depot and bought some wood and reconstructed the bottom of the crib and redid the rails so that the drawer now fits in there. We figured it was fine, since that piece only stays there for the first couple of years anyway. When the crib converts to a toddler bed, the drawer has to come out, and when it converts to a full-size bed, again, no drawer.

For a visual, this is the crib (and dresser + hutch) that we got. Mr. W found the company, Baby Appleseed, online and fell in love with their styles. An unborn person now possesses the most expensive pieces of furniture we have in the entire house. We paid additionally for the upgrade from pine to alder, also, because Mr. W felt that when we invest in furniture expected to last 18+ years, that we should get good solid hard wood. I love that the company plants 10 trees with each crib purchased to contribute to sustainability.

I also love that despite the fact that Mr. W had made up his mind long before meeting me that he was done having more kids, he appears to be REALLY into Allie. He’s taken so much initiative on researching and picking out her stuff, and putting it all together. The only thing I’d done for the nursery so far was put all the baby gifts from the shower away in it. He sat in there with me through that, too, playing with and examining all the loot. He’s also come with me to every single baby prep class — breastfeeding, infant care basics, healthy pregnancy, and we have infant CPR, maternity hospital tour, and a series of birthing classes coming up he plans to attend with me, also. As much as he jokes about how I need to have experience changing ALL her diapers and taking care of her cuz he’d already done his tour of duty with his first two, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have some occasions when we’re actually fighting over who gets to take care of Allie’s next need. The stepkidlet is eager for her share of Allie, too. She’s already planning her next semester’s courses so that she could get certain days of the week completely off to take Allie Duty full-time. My mom had already offered to take Allie on Fridays, her weekly day off as she works 4/10s. Hopefully this will all work out to reduce the expense of a nanny.

After we had the nursery cleaned up the other day, Mr. W went and got the stepkidlet to come up and see the room. “How cuuuute!” she exclaimed over everything. I watched for maybe a spark of jealousy that Allie’s new furniture is ridiculously elaborate compared to all the hand-me-downs that the stepkidlet and the rest of us had, but there was none of that at all. Instead, she said toward my tummy, “All right, Allie, your room’s all done. The only thing missing is YOU! Do you hear me? This is your sister! Come out and play!”

Wednesday (yesterday), I had my third chiropractor appointment. I started getting a pinched nerve type of pain on my lower left back about 6 weeks ago, and with every step, I would get a shock of pain. It got so bad that I started thinking maybe it was a sciatica problem, and if I weren’t pregnant I’d twist my back and try to crack it, but since I was, I couldn’t do that motion. I suddenly remembered that I’d met a chiropractor in the super-duper gym’s locker one in the early months of my pregnancy, and she’d given me her card after we’d chatted (technically, she gave me her nail file, which had her practice’s information printed on it).

I looked up her number and called, and she hadn’t planned to go into her office that afternoon, but knowing I was in such pain and remembering me from the gym, she specially went in, met up with me, and had a 2-hour initial consult/treatment. She HEALED the pain with that one visit. There were other little issues that I didn’t know was spine/nerve-related that she pinpointed and treated, also, so I’ve been back weekly for 3 sessions as the weight of the pregnancy gave me more back issues. I was so impressed with her I bought a 10-package session. She also teaches a nutrition college course, I know she works out religiously, and she’s very educational and chatty when we meet, so I knew I’d found the right person for me. Before that, I’d never wanted to go to a chiropractor cuz the crazy cracking adjustments gave me the heebie jeebies. She uses a gentle micro-adjustment tool that “taps” the misaligned vertebrae into place, so I was more comfortable after experiencing that. Oh, and she’s also been trained in some pregnancy something-or-other method for her practice. So if anyone wants an awesome chiro and is willing to drive to Fountain Valley, let me know!

I’ve had a good-busy week so far (as opposed to bad-busy), starting from last Saturday, when Ann threw me the classiest, most beautiful baby shower ever with about 15 of my closest friends and family at her beautiful new house. It was in the traditional non-co-ed style, or she would’ve had to find a bigger venue elsewhere. I discovered while putting together the guest list that I have WAY more male friends than female. We’ll have to use THAT guest list for something else later on. 🙂 It was great seeing people I haven’t seen for a long time. That’s one of the cool things about celebratory events: it gets (most) people together in a jolly mood to celebrate. My parents-in-law and sister-in law (Gamer Bro’s wife) even drove down from Vegas and spent the weekend with us to attend the shower. I’ll post photos when I get a moment to sit down in front of the computer and compile photos. My mom sent me a slew of photos she’d taken the same night. I’m hoping others will process and make their photos available soon, so I can steal some. 😀 (How did we ever survive without digital photos and the internet?)

Vanessa was out of town on the weekend of the shower, but still wanted to celebrate with me, so we met up on Monday at The Melting Pot in Brea. It was her first time there, but she did great with the fondue dinner. This was also the first time I’ve seen her since she’d gotten engaged, so there was lots to talk about. Like, how she’s planning on making Allie a little playmate in 4 years. Yay! It’s funny when I think back to how early on in this blog, when I’d first met her in jujitsu, I’d referred to her as Navy Girl Vanessa to give her some form of identity. I’d also called Ann “Commenter Ann” or “Commenter A,” because that was how we interacted in the beginning — she commented on this blog. And now the both of them have larger-than-life presence and their names alone hold enough meaning and identity to be simply “Vanessa” and “Ann.” Meet my friends, Vanessa and Ann. Of course you know them, I talk about them on the blog.

Tuesday was supposed to be my down-day of the week. I’d planned to do my laundry and get the photos organized to post on the shower. However, one load of laundry in, and the washing machine gave out on me. It refused to spin or drain, so my clothes were just sitting in a vat of dirty water. I turned the dial back a bit and re-ran the last portion of the prior cycle. That worked, but the darn machine stopped again when it got to the same point of the wash.
Mr. W had just received a phone call days before from his tenant describing the exact same problem with the washer at the rental place and Mr. W had given the tenant permission to call a repair guy over and fix the problem on Mr. W’s tab. Mr. W was understandably concerned with how much it was going to cost him, and now this was happening at our house, too. After an initial freak-out period where he exercised his yelling, cussing, hitting and kicking muscles, Mr. W went online to see if he could troubleshoot and find a decent fix. Turns out this is a common problem and most of the time, the issue is the lid switch. In the next half hour, Mr. W took the washing machine apart, found the problem with the lid switch, and FIXED it! We have a working washing machine again!
Of course now it was too late to do the rest of my laundry loads, but it does show one thing: there’s a reason for everything. “WHAT ARE THE ODDS of this !@#$ happening AT THE SAME TIME as the !@#$ at the condo?!” Mr. W had lamented. “WHY would this happen to everybody?!” Apparently, it was to answer his prayer about having to spend hundreds on getting a professional out to fix his tenants’ washing machine. I encouraged him to contact his tenants to see if they’d gotten someone to fix their machine yet, and if not, to see if we (Mr. W) can go over and do it ourselves (himself).
He texted his tenant the next day, turned out the tenant hadn’t gotten anyone yet, so after work and my chiropractor appointment yesterday (Wednesday), we went to Mr. W’s rental property and he FIXED THAT WASHER, TOO! Same part, same problem. On the drive home Mr. W spoke of how he didn’t have the confidence to attempt to fix a washer at someone else’s home, but because it had happened at our home, he was okay to attempt it first on his own. That then gave him the experience and confidence to try it at the tenants’ place. The total cost for the repair at the tenants: $45 for a new lid switch. They were happy, we were happy. I was happy cuz while Mr. W was spending half an hour doing the fix, I hung out with the tenants’ two very nice young adult daughters and played with their two cats.

Today, childhood friend Sandy (she still needs that title to distinguish her from coworker Sandy) and I had made plans to meet up. She moved to Texas about a year and a half ago, and I hadn’t seen her since. She flew back to CA to attend my shower and was staying a week, so we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of being in the same state, and she wanted to come visit Dodo. Because I’ve known her from age 6, I figure she won’t find it rude if I do the rest of my laundry while she visits.

(I didn’t care for that movie, BTW.)

My mom asked me a couple of days ago about how certain privacy settings on a particular social networking site works. We discussed who can see what information, and she said she’d assumed everything I posted on that networking site is open to anyone who wants to see it. I told her no way; there are some limited items (certain photos, for example) I allow people within one degree of separation to see, but just about everything else is restricted to just people within my circle. Turned out she was asking because a relative of ours in Taiwan, roughly my age, had seen something about me through my mom’s social networking page. The relative had told my mom that she’d looked on Google Maps where I live and made the comment to my mom that “Wow, Cindy lives so far from you.” My mom had of course agreed, since she’d always lamented about the 40-mile distance between our homes which, to my mom, essentially makes me equivalent to having moved to Egypt.
“So you must have your address public,” my mom concluded.
“No I don’t; in fact, I was pretty careful to not put my location on that site AT ALL,” I said.
And then moments later it came to me. On that profile, I’d put my location as Nadi, Fiji. You know, the island near Tahiti? I figured ANYONE would know I don’t actually live in that exotic locale, and that I had used it as a place-filler cuz I don’t want to reveal my actual city of residence. I’ve never even been to Fiji, altho there are photos of me and Mr. W from the Paul Gauguin cruise that took us to the Society Islands (Tahiti, Taha’a, Bora Bora, Moorea, etc) near Fiji. But she can’t see those photos anyway.

It somehow amuses me to picture this relative looking at the limited information about me, seeing “Nadi, Fiji,” googling it to see that it’s an island in the South Pacific practically next to Australia, and then thinking, “Wow, that’s quite a commute to Diamond Bar.”

Just got back from my 29-week prenatal appointment. Seems like just a couple of weeks ago that I was there, can’t believe it’s been a month. Mr. W came with me this time.

After my giant weight leap in the 2nd trimester (seemed like 10+ lbs overnight), I was scared to get on the scale at the nurse’s station, but I weighed in less than 2 pounds more than I did a month ago, so that was a relief. The OB said my total weight gain at this point is about 20 lbs, give or take, depending on what I consider my starting weight to be. He still wants me to stay within 25 lbs total, but didn’t give me a lecture or anything this time. He said in Japan, they’re “really strict” and put the max weight gain at 10kg (22 lbs), that’s it. Okay, but their babies aren’t sharing genes with a 6ft+ white guy. Having gone thru the second half of my second tri where the weight just flew on without my having changed my lifestyle habits, I feel like it’s a little out of my control, so I wonder how Japanese doctors enforce their “strict” weight gain guidelines.

My stomach measured normal (by tape measure), and the OB was FINALLY able to confirm on ultrasound that Allie’s an Allie and not a Riley. She’s upside-down in me right now, feet at my ribs (which explains the multi-directional tapping I’ve been getting at both my sides, near my ribs, simultaneously). He focused in on her face and we got a really clear view. She’s sooo cute right now! She’s got these big round eyes, and as we watched, she blinked at us (“WOW! I can’t believe we can see that!” Mr. W said excitedly), then moved one fist up to her face (I felt a little jolt in my abdomen when she did that), opened and closed her mouth, made a sucking motion with her jaw, and then squeezed her eyes shut. “She looks like mom,” the OB said.
“Really? Don’t all babies look exactly the same on ultrasound at this stage?” I asked.
“No, not really,” the doctor said. Hmm. Maybe she DOES look like me. Mr. W said the doctor was joking.

I also got my whooping cough vaccination today, because the doctor said the baby would benefit immediately from the antibodies I make. He strongly encouraged everyone who would come in contact with Allie to get whooping cough vaccinations, because there’s a surge in cases and pertussis could kill an infant. I told him that the Stepkidlet had just told us that a few days ago and encouraged us all to get whooping cough vaccinations. “You have a smart daughter,” the OB told Mr. W. (Mr. W is soon to have TWO smart daughters.)

A few minutes ago…
Me: I wish we’d taken a video of the ultrasound today.
Mr. W: Yeah. I didn’t know it’d be that good.
Me: Haha, it’s NOT ‘that good’; all she did was blink and suck her thumb.
Mr. W: Yeah…that was pretty amazing.

Too bad I can’t take her out early, play with her, and then put her back in. (“But then it’ll be all messy and bloody,” gross hubby pointed out.)

Guess what! I just got photos for Edgar & Ruby’s creative surprise engagement, so I’ve gone back and illustrated the post. I think engagement stories deserve photodocumentation. 🙂 And in case you’re a fan of engagement stories, here are links to some other ones on this blog:

* Edgar and Ruby’s creative engagement, 8-20-11
* College Roommie Diana and Eric’s epic European engagement, April 2010
* Cindy & Mr. W’s bloggy engagement, 8-2-07 (hint: the actual proposal is buried in the comments)

I pretty much only come here to write a post if there’s a lot of stuff I want to say and document. Otherwise the short little ditties just go on the social networking site. I feel a little bad about this, cuz blog readers don’t see my quickies and I lose out on the daily documentation. Stuff like:

Today: “Cindy woke up this morning on her stomach, with Allie trying to tap out. Oops.”
“Cindy indulged in some yummy Japanese treats for breakfast. Thanks, Lauren [court reporter’s daugher working for Disneyland in Japan], Danielle [court reporter’s daughter visiting Disneyland sister], and [court reporter]! =9 Allie’s all happy and bouncing from it right now.”

Yesterday: “Cindy and hubby got Allie what will be the most expensive furniture in the entire house. =P
“Cindy dreamt Riley came out instead of Allie, but as a talking intellectual small child. He had to wear Allie’s pink ‘coming home’ outfit that was too small, but when asked why he hid his gender behind his foot at the last ultrasound (preventing proper clothes from being prepared for him), he wouldn’t give a straight answer.”

Sunday: “
Cats find their sunny perches anywhere, so watch where ur steppin when one’s around.”

Saturday: “Cindy is among a throng of 2000 (& growing) ppl for the raffling of lake spots for the B52 concert tonite. Not feeling optimistic. Come on, blue-8.” (along with a whole album of photos, posted later, of the resulting surprisingly decent spot we snagged on the sand at a diagonal to the stage, but front-center for the fireworks show after the concert, and photos of us there with our guests, Coworker Sandy, her hubby Rich, Gym Trainee, and my growing-like-a-week godson, Gym Trainee’s now 14-yr old high school kid.)

Friday: “Cindy wonders if she should alert plaintiffs’ counsel to the difference between ‘skim’ and ‘scan,’ as he keeps telling witnesses things like, ‘This is a half-inch document, if you could just scan this briefly?’.” Comments on this one were amusing.

Monday brought me to Week 28 of my pregnancy, so I started recording “kick-counts” at my OB’s direction. The object is to see how long it takes Allie to move 10 times. If she takes longer than 2 hours to move 10 times, I’ve been instructed to call the hospital. “An active baby is a healthy baby,” my OB had sung.
Monday, it took her about 13 minutes to jolt me 10 times. Tuesday, under 10 minutes. Wednesday, under 10 minutes. She must be healthy. 😛 Her movements are still relatively gentle, mostly taps. She’d only brought me pain once last week when she did something weird that felt like she was jabbing me out my right side. We were at Maggie’s progressive dinner fundraiser with Edgar and Ruby and I straightened up, giving her as much room as possible, and she stopped.

Speaking of Maggie’s progressive dinner last Saturday, it was fun this year like it was the last time we went, and Edgar and Ruby enjoyed themselves on their first progressive dinner. Mr. W and I, learning from our engorgement last year, paced ourselves and didn’t overeat this time. I wasn’t able to drink this time, so being the kind man that my husband is, he made sure he had enough alcohol for the both of us. What a sacrifice on his part. =P

Monday, Mr. W and I both took the afternoon off work so we could go to my dental appointment at 1pm in Pasadena. After the appointment we explored a new-to-us VIP-style theatre called Gold Class Cinemas. Mr. W had a $75 gift card from his coworker, which we figured would be plenty to pay for our movie tickets and a dinner there. This theatre is larger and fancier than the VIP theatre we’re used to going to near home, the service is excellent, food was pretty good, but after 2 tickets for “Our Idiot Brother” (wait for the rental), two specialty savory martinis for Mr. W, truffle fries, flatbread pizza for me, and 3 filet mignon sliders for Mr. W, we were out an additional $60 + tip. “This movie cost $150,” Mr. W said incredulously. I had to laugh. Our evening continued with a walk around an outdoor mall nearby the theatre, and a visit to Eddie & Michelle’s home, where we got to see their Paul Gauguin cruise photos. We reminisced about our cruise as we saw their pictures and listened to their stories.

Yesterday, our marriage turned the ripe old age of 3 years. I had some fun banter with friends on the social networking site about what to get Mr. W. 3 years is leather (traditional) or glass (modern), according to Claudio. After much back-and-forth, Claudio and I decided the perfect gift would be a gift certificate for getting a hearing aid (it’ll improve our marriage when he can actually hear the sound of my melodious voice instead of my having to constantly repeat myself after his “I’m sorry, what?”s), gift certificate for getting glasses (it’s glass! and it’ll improve our marriage if he can see me clearly and read my expressions of irritation from having to repeat myself too many times), and a leather wallet for all the money he has collected after being with me (Asian –> thrifty). A female coworker disagreed with the gifts, romantic as they are, and said, “I have the perfect gift: you may allow him to continue worshipping you as the goddess that you are. That’s what I get my boyfriend – my continued indulgence of his presence.” I ended up getting Mr. W the latter suggested item. He got me the same thing.
We had a nice low-key evening, dropping by a local Elephant Bar on our way home to share a shrimp noodle in lobster sauce entree and a giant slice of mud pie made with Starbucks kona coffee ice cream, and caught up on the latest episode of “True Blood.” The celebration continues tonight, as we have our second annual co-anniversary dinner with Tom and Maggie. We’re meeting at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine after work.