Archive for the ‘Weirdness’ Category

  • Addisonial Crisis

    Date: 2012.04.05 | Category: Dogs, Family, Health, Home, Leela Fish, Mark, Pets, Weirdness | Response: 20

    The verdict is in, and that’s what happened to Leela.

    Her adrenal glands in her kidneys stopped working, her potassium levels went through the roof and slowed her heart rate until it was nearly fatal.  Fluids and steroids and amazing vets saved her life.

    Leela has been to the vet every single day since Sunday. They ran the Addison’s test, and it came back positive yesterday. Since then I’ve started educating myself on the disease.

    My vet, who has been great throughout all of this, is learning as we go too. Yesterday he told me, “Addison’s is one of those things you learn about in vet school, but never actually see.” He’s been in consultation with a local internal medicine vet and she’s been helping us diagnose and treat her.

    Right now she’s getting a cortisone pill every day for two months. Long term she’s going to have to be on something that replaces the steroid that’s not being produced. Our options were to put her on a pill that she will build up a tolerance to eventually, or give her a shot every 25 days for the rest of her life.

    Both options are expensive. The pills are around $60/month and the shots are $85/ month.

    My vet said, “I know this is expensive, plus she’ll have to have regular electrolyte tests. I know you have a new baby and the expenses will be hard. For some people it wouldn’t be worth it…”

    In his questioning silence that followed, I held back the tears and then told him to give her the medicine. Putting Leela down is not an option.

    She will get the shot today. Because no one in town seems to be treating a dog with Addison’s, they had to overnight the medicine in. She will get it as soon as it comes in, otherwise, our vet told us, she will be right back in the emergency vet this weekend.

    The good news is that since she’s gotten the fluids and cortisone, she’s perked up. She’s eating again and wants to play ball and frisbee.

    Last night, as Mark and I discussed budgeting for this new monthly expense, we opened a letter from our mortgage company and learned that our homestead exemption finally went through and our mortgage will be going down by $50 a month and we’re getting a substantial escrow return. My favorite quote from The Sound of Music came to mind, “When God closes a door, He opens a window somewhere.”

    It’s going to be a long road, and the vet, Mark and I all are going to learn and help her along the way. Hopefully with this treatment plan we’ll never have to face an Addisonial Crisis again. My heart can’t take it.

  • Bad Day?

    Date: 2011.09.07 | Category: Baby, Friends, Health, Sarah, Weirdness, Work | Response: 16

    Sometimes I think things are rough, and then I get a jolt of jarring perspective.

    This morning, as has been usual lately, Sarah had me up at 4:00 a.m. I usually go right back to sleep, but struggled to do so this morning.

    Then, right as I was about to leave for work, little bit spit up all over my dress and I had to rush to change clothes.

    On my way to work, I quickly discovered that the main road I use was completely shut down and there were large vehicles completely destroying the road to get to, what I guess, was a busted water line as there was water flowing down the street. This led to a long detour that everyone else was taking. Traffic was backed up and I was late to work.

    Once at work, I managed to spill boiling hot water all over the kitchen counter.

    I then went into a long meeting where my patience was tested over and over.

    In short, it was not a good day.

    And then I talked to my best friend Doctor Susan. Susan told me about a very scary and tragic accident that came in while she was working in the ER last night; a story involving a pregnant mother and her now-born child. As I easily put myself into that mom’s position, it shook me to my core and renewed that lingering anxiety that makes me constantly worry about my own daughter.

    It made me thankful that we have people like Susan who have the strength, determination and knowledge to take care of these people with disaster strikes.

    And it quickly made me realize how petty my “bad day” seemed. Perspective is a good thing sometimes.

    It also makes me want to run home, scoop my little girl up in my arms and never let go.

  • Sleepless Zombie Lady

    Date: 2011.08.15 | Category: Baby, Health, Home, Me, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 17

    I really thought I had this baby sleep thing down.

    At six weeks, Sarah started sleeping from 10pm to 5am. A miracle! I attributed it to the schedule I had her vigilantly following. Things went really great for a while. Sarah slept, I slept and all was well with the world.

    Until she started school. Then, she started waking up at about 2:00 a.m. every night again. I think it was because her schedule got so messed up. After talking to some mommy friends, we decided to let her fuss it out until she went back to sleep. And it worked! All was right with the world again.

    Until we had to go and screw it all up this weekend.

    This weekend we moved baby girl to her own room. She had no problem going to sleep in her crib, but staying asleep has proven to be a problem. At first I just tried to let her fuss it out, but she was not having it.

    Saturday night she woke me up FOUR times. Last night it was only twice. I think that the move from the bassinet to the crib has suddenly given her all this space and she’s unsettled by it. Instead of going back to sleep all snug and warm, she uses her new found rolling skills to turn over and wake herself up.

    Twice I’ve gone in there and she’s been enthusiastically squawking and gnawing on her feet.

    And even though I would happily move her crib into our room, I know I need to stick to it. Eventually she’ll appreciate not having to endure the dog toenails clacking on the Pergo in our room all night.

    In the mean time, I am sleepless zombie lady again.

    Mmmmm, FEET!

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Date: 2011.07.22 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Weirdness | Response: 31

    I’m sorry for my long absence, and I appreciate all my friends who have made me feel missed! You see, it’s been a crazy week. I mean seriously crazy. I’ve started to write this post a number of times, and have stopped, unsure of what I feel comfortable sharing on the Internet. But really, this story won’t make a whole lot of sense if I don’t tell you the whole truth. So let’s start at the beginning.

    Friday, July 15: I went to the doctor to talk about post partum depression. It’s been on and off again since I had Sarah and got worse when I went back to work. My doctor started me on Zoloft.

    Sunday, July 17: I dropped my Macbook Pro on the ground. It still works, but the bottom third of the screen has gone all wonky on me. And since this computer is a source of income for our family, it has stressed me out considerably.

    Monday, July 18, 8:00 a.m.: We’re pulling out of the driveway and our neighbor comes running up to us to tell us she saw a guy, who had been walking around the neighborhood passing out AC fliers, try to break into Mark’s truck.

    Monday, July 18, 8:30 a.m.: We took Sarah to daycare for the first time. I had a melt down. Sarah, however, thought all those other babies were pretty amazing.

    Monday, July 18, 9:00 a.m.: Mark spies and confronts the guy who tried to break into his truck. The guy tells Mark he wanted to get to his garage door opener to put a flier on our door in the garage. Um, wtf? Mark calls and files a police report.

    Monday, July 18, all day long: I call the day care to make sure Sarah is ok (she is!)

    Monday, July 18, 10:30 p.m.: I lay down in bed and start talking to Mark and have a heart palpitation and my vision gets all black. Knowing my mom has had similar problems, I call her. She tells me to lay down and put my feet up. I do. But then I have another palpitation, and then another, and I nearly lost consciousness. I call the OB’s office and talk to the doctor on call. She thinks it’s my serotonin levels surging from the medication, but tells me that if it’s that scary, I need to go on in to the ER.
    I shook Mark awake, panicked, and told him we needed to go to the ER.

    Monday, July 18, 10:45 p.m.: Mom comes over to watch Sarah and we go to the ER. We proceed to wait in the ER for nearly four hours before finally getting called back. In the mean time I have about three more small episodes.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2:00 a.m.: I get a chest x-ray, an EKG and bloodwork. The doctor mentions something called “serotonin syndrome” and I google it. Scary. I also have to listen to all the nurses cutting up and joking about what their favorite things to eat are, before one of them goes and gets them all food.

    Tuesday, July 19, 4:00 a.m.: The other patient in my room gets released. I get told my d dimer level is high and that combined with my recent birth-giving means I may have a blood clot. I go back for a CT scan, where the guy has to stick me three times before he can get the IV in.

    Tuesday, July 19, 5:30 a.m.: After listening to my new patient neighbor do a breathing treatment and arguing with her husband that she WILL go into work that day and trying to figure out how to assemble and use a manual breast pump, I finally learn that they can’t find anything wrong with me. I don’t have enough medication in my system to have serotonin syndrome. Diagnosis? Possible panic attack and advice to stop Zoloft and go to a cardiologist.

    Tuesday, July 19, 8:00 a.m.: Leave message at the OB’s office.

    Tuesday, July 19, 9:00 a.m.: Call Kelly in a panic. Call Cassie in a panic. Call my sister in a panic, who shows up to take care of Sarah while I proceed to have a full on panic attack.

    Tuesday, July 19 most of the day: Enter phenegren-induced sleep.

    Tuesday, July 19 afternoon: Nurse calls to change my medication to Lexapro.

    Tuesday, July 19, 5:00 p.m.: I take the Lexapro, then take a nap. I wake up with heart palpitations again and proceed to have another panic attack. My mom comes over and helps calm me down. I take a Dramamine and pass out.

    Wednesday, July 20: I do some research and learn that possible side effects of Zoloft and Lexapro include insomnia and ANXIETY. I get mad and refuse to take any more medication.I proceed to spend my lunch break nervously and compulsively doing laundry and packing up Sarah’s 0-3 month clothes.

    Wednesday, July 20, 11:30 p.m.: I wake up from a small heart palpitation and, plagued by insomnia, get up and finish my freelance work.

    Thursday, July 21 all day: Constant nervousness, but no panic attacks. I find out it takes Zoloft/Lexapro six to eight days to completely leave your system.

    Thursday, July 21 evening: I feel relaxed and play with Sarah. I lay down for bed and have one small heart racing. I took Dramamine and passed out.

    This morning: I woke up feeling good. I’m not sure if it’s over, but getting off the medication seems to have made things a lot better. I can actually relax and get things done this morning.

  • That Time I Looked Like a Member of the Canadian Swim Team

    Date: 2011.06.03 | Category: Birthday, Life, Nostalgia, OMG YAY!, Travel, Weirdness | Response: 13

    Today is Becki’s birthday. Becki is one of my best friends and we have done some extensive traveling together. So in honor of her birthday, I thought I would share another one of our adventures together.

    ****

    In 2008 I had to go to Toronto for work. Mark couldn’t go with me because of  his work, so Becki, who is always game for any trip or adventure, happily volunteered to go with me.

    Toronto itself was extremely clean and organized. Neighborhoods were organized by sign color and with the help of a map, we were able to navigate the city fairly well. While I spent most of my days at the conference, Becki took bike tours of the city and brought back some bon bons she discovered while she was out.

    Because Toronto is so multi-cultural, the types of restaurants were infinite. It was in Toronto’s Chinatown that I tried (and loved) Dim Sum. We ate at a Greek restaurant, a fancy breakfast place, out of a street cart near the university, in the cool distillery district.

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    The CN Tower

    We also took the time to do some touristy things, like go to the top of the CN Tower and sit on the glass floor (yikes!), as well as nearly crash some big spring break party on the roof of the Wayne Gretzky restaurant.

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    Wayne Gretzky Burger

    But I refused to leave Canada without seeing Niagara Falls. So I booked an extra day and a tour bus trip that would pick us up and take us out to the falls.

    The tour bus was very late showing up. We were starting to think we had been burned. But show up he did, and after a few more stops around Toronto hotels to pick up other travelers, we were on our way. The driver told us stories the whole time about Canada, Toronto and the falls.

    The guy driving the bus had obviously made some business arrangements with various other companies, because along the way we stopped at a winery (which really was pretty neat, I tried ice wine for the first time), a place that took you on a helicopter ride over the falls (for an extra $150 a person, no thanks), and a chocolate store that specialized in chocolate covered fruits. At least the extra pit stops involved wine and chocolate.

    At any rate, we finally made it to Niagara and the weather started getting gloomy. The rain started slowly drizzling down and it got a bit chilly. But that didn’t deter us from seeing the falls. We put on our ponchos and made our way to the “Maid of the Mist” boat.

    We took the 30 minute ride up to the American falls and then over to the base of Niagara Falls. They were stunning and I felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane with the thunder, lightning and churning waters.

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    Shortly after coming off the boat the sun started to come out, but it was still chilly and our clothes were soaked. So, we did the only thing we could think of… we went to a souvenir store and bought dry clothes that were all red and screamed, “CANADA!” We did not care, however. We went to the bathroom and promptly changed into our Canada clothes. We were very patriotic… and wet. Thus we dubbed ourselves the Canadian swim team.

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    When we got on the bus we decided to change into our nice, dry, awesome “Maid of the Mist” socks. Upon pulling mine out though, I discovered that I had purchased a size 2-4 for my size 11 foot. Becki and I got so tickled that we literally laughed for 45 minutes about it. I think everyone else on the bus just wrote us off as crazy. Becki volunteered to put the 2-4s on and I took her 5-7s. Somehow we stretched them on and our ride back was much more satisfying.

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    *****
    Happy birthday Becki. Thank you for always being up for the next great adventure!

  • That Time I Went to Hiroshima and Nearly Had a Heat Stroke

    Date: 2011.05.20 | Category: Friends, Health, Life, Nostalgia, Travel, Weirdness | Response: 14

    The first of my “That Time I Went To” stories. This one is from my trip to Japan with Becki in July 2008.

    Here’s something I bet you didn’t know about Japan: In the summer the heat and humidity would rival New Orleans. Even being a Southerner I struggled the entire time I was there with staying cool. And I was traveling with Becki, who is awesome and trains for marathons in that kind of heat regularly… and surrounded by Japanese people who walk around with their umbrellas and fans in their amazingly high hilled shoes and take it all in stride. I felt like an over heated American loser in my white tennis shoes, passing out on every available bench. Oh, and did I mention I have flat feet and they were spasming in pain from our 8+ mile trek through Kyoto the day before?

    But there was no way I was going to miss a day of touring through Japan, even if it meant I was permanently ruining my feet.

    When I stepped off the train in Hiroshima, I was shocked at how beautiful it was. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe signs of the devastation that leveled the city in 1945? What I saw instead were beautiful mushroom cloud shaped fountains and green trolley cars.

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    Trolley cars! That meant I didn’t have to walk! Well, not at first anyway. As we rode into the city, I was shocked to see the “A-bomb building.” This building was left as it was after the bomb hit. Surrounded by the pristine city, it didn’t even seem real… like an eerie movie prop or something.

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    We spent a good part of the day wandering through the Peace Memorial Park, looking at all the memorials to those who died. The memorials were far from gruesome though, most were decorated with colorful cloths and shaped like animals, such as cranes and turtles.

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    It was during these wanderings that we came across a Buddhist Peace Service. There were Japanese men dressed head to toe in their ceremonial garments, in the 100 degree direct sunlight, surrounding a giant bonfire. I thought I was going to pass out just standing there watching them. Obviously Japanese people are made of tougher stuff than I am.

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    At some point we managed to get back on a trolley car and found this great little hole in the wall restaurant that Becki had researched and it was amazing! The girl that worked there spoke a little English, and as I learned, the Japanese people who spoke English always wanted to try it out on us.

    I also learned that when you ask for water, it’s delivered at room temperature in a shot glass. Not convenient for long term hot weather walking. But the waitress was so sweet and we had these great sabo noodles and vegetable tempura. Then she gave us this awesome guide book (in English, hoorah!) all about Hiroshima and the surrounding areas.

    From there we took the cable car out to Miyajima, then a ferry out to the famous temple on the water.

    One of the big surprises on the island: tiny deer that walk the streets like they’re people. Also, there was the world’s largest rice spatula! I love touristy stuff like that.

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    About half way through the temple I started feeling bad again and the heat snuck up on me. The dizziness set in and poor Becki had to deal with me falling apart. She was so sweet, she went and got me some juice and bought me a fan so that I could function enough to get back. (She probably even did a few more laps through the temple to stay in shape)!

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    View from the hot temple of death.

    Then on the ferry back I started getting motion sickness and took a Dramamine. then promptly got very drowsy… and fell asleep in a packed cable car full of strangers in a foreign country without an apparent care in the world.

    I’m so smart sometimes it’s scary.

    When we finally got back to Osaka, we somehow took the wrong train and ended up at Universal Studios, Japan. When trying to get back we got off on the wrong stop again, this time in a deserted dark location. When we finally made it back to our stop, we went out the wrong exit and ended up over a block away from where we were supposed to be.

    When we finally made it back, I collapsed in my tiny room on a tatami mat.

  • The Secret Club

    Date: 2011.04.26 | Category: Baby, Family, Life, Sarah, Weirdness, Work | Response: 9

    Now that I’m a mom, my eyes are being opened to this whole other world…

    I took a short break today. Mom came by and watched Sarah while I made a 30 minute run to Target. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. The store was peacefully quiet. The only people there were other mommies toting around their babies and toddlers (oh and the random college and high school kid who didn’t have a job). Shopping was painless. I didn’t have to wait in line. And the mommies? They all just looked at each other knowingly.

    I am so used to shopping during the weekends and fighting the after work crowds for everything that the whole experience went much faster than I anticipated and kind of came as a shock.

    Another moment of “welcome to a world with children” came during our first pediatrician visit. As Mark and I sat with Sarah, we watched the other parents filtering in. Some with toddlers, some with babies, some with 12-year-olds. We realized at that moment that we had really left the no-kids world behind and willingly joined this new club. A club where all these people cater to their little people. Their priorities are different and a million to one they would willingly commiserate with us over any problem we were having.

    It’s just so strange to finally realize that we’re really parents. We’re one of those people now. And you know what, I’m happy about it. And I finally sort of feel bad for that parent with the screaming child in the store.

    Too bad I can’t remain a stay-at-home mom. This maternity leave has really tempted me. I thought I would be absolutely stir crazy by now, but I am eating it up. Maybe it’s the extreme exhaustion, but I absolutely love being at home with my little girl (even though some of those days are spent working from the couch). Maybe I’ll be more relaxed when it’s time for me to go back to work in a couple of months?

    In the mean time, I’m just going to kick back and enjoy it.

  • Adjusting

    Date: 2011.04.22 | Category: Angie Cat, Baby, Bonnie Barrell, Dogs, Family, Holidays, Kitties, Leela Fish, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Pets, Sam Cat, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 12

    It’s been nearly two weeks since I gave birth… and it all seems like one big long daze. From a 24-hour cycle to reoccurring 3-hour cycles. It’s hard. Harder than I thought it would be. The sleep deprivation and breastfeeding are difficult, but with the help of Mark, who mostly works from home, we’re doing it and making it.

    The other members of our house have had a hard time adjusting too.

    Leela was very weary. She wouldn’t come within about five feet of Sarah for a week. Leela is slowly getting closer and closer to Sarah… laying next to her, sniffing her and her blankets. And then yesterday Mark blew on Sarah’s belly. Leela HATES that noise with a passion. Suddenly Leela launched to Sarah’s defense, trying to keep Mark’s lips away from Sarah’s little tummy. And then Leela started covering little Sarah with kisses from head to toe, relieved that she was ok. Their relationship has been sealed ever since.

    And Angie Cat has suddenly turned from Miss Scaredy Cat to resident Bad Ass Cat. Out of nowhere she has suddenly started bullying Bonnie. We will hear Bonnie cry, then she come running into our room, followed closely by Angie all frizzed up and hissing. What in the world? When did the dog start being terrified by the weenie cat?

    Sam Cat really could care less that there is a new family member. He’s just happy the changing table is set up so he can sleep in it. I have a feeling that when we actually start using the nursery his attitude will change.

    Bonnie, like Sam Cat, is completely unfazed by Miss Sarah. The first day she met her, Bonnie walked right up and licked Sarah on the head.

    So we’re all adjusting. And when I start to feel overwhelmed, Sarah will flash me the biggest smile and make me melt into a big pile of gooey happiness.

    We’re a team. We’re a family. And we’re figuring it out.
    leelasarah

  • The Birthing Class

    Date: 2011.02.17 | Category: Family, Mark, Pregnancy, Weirdness | Response: 8

    As I have no prior experience with birthing babies, I decided to sign Mark and I up for a childbirth class. I recruited my sister too. Our husbands were skeptical, but supportive.

    On the day of the class we showed up to the hospital. The class was supposed to start at 9 a.m., and when, at 9:30 a.m., there was still no teacher, Mark went in search of finding out WTH was going on. Turns out they had moved the class to a hospital way on the other side of town and failed to tell us.

    Angrily, we three hungry, angry pregnant women who showed up at that hospital got in our cars and drove the 25 minutes to the other hospital. We arrived in a frazzled state to a consoling instructor and a class of about 20 other people staring at us like we were morons. (Turns out, when we registered it was at one hospital, after we registered they changed the location on the website. Early registrars were thus penalized).

    The class itself was… interesting. The instructor was a Labor and Delivery nurse who had no qualms about telling us her personal incontinence stories and insisting we do our kegel exercises regularly.

    Other jewels of wisdom passed on from our instructor:

    1. “Husbands, if you have sex with your wife and she’s having a girl it’s not incest.”
    2. Also, “You will not poke the baby in the head or eye.”
    3. “Who knows where the perineum is?” And to a room full of embarrassed and averted eyes, “Well, how did you get pregnant then?”
    4. The pronunciation of “dilation” as “dah-lation.”
    5. “Men, you may notice that your wives can’t eat a full meal any more now that her stomach is compressed.” Um, what does it mean that I can eat mine and his meal?
    6. “Trying not to poop on the table is like pushing down on the break and gas pedals at the same time. The car’s not going to go.”
    7. “No your stomach will probably never be flat again and those stretch marks don’t go away.” Good thing mine was never flat to begin with. Sheesh.
    8. Apparently if you’re not married your baby daddy has to be present to be on the birth certificate. Also if you haven’t been divorced for more than a year, your ex-spouse’s name goes on the certificate. (What if someone else was the daddy?) These comments actually elicited a lot of questions from the class.
    9. “If people want to come over to visit you after the baby is born, tell them they have to do something like pick up dinner or vacuum your living room. If they don’t agree to said chores tell them, ‘Sorry, maybe another time.’”

    While the class seemed to take most of this in with dull acceptance, my sister and I got as tickled as 7th graders in sex ed and kept stifling giggles.

    Despite that silliness, we really did gain a lot of knowledge. For instance, did you know the baby actually corkscrews itself out of the birth canal? We got to look at diagrams of “pregnant” and “pre-pregnant” bodies and lament over our squished bladders and lungs. And most importantly our husbands were instructed that yes, we really do need help sometimes and no, we’re not making it up. We held epidural needles and baby vacuums; we played with fetal heart monitors and marveled at all the ways babies can position themselves in the uterus.

    And at the end of the class we all got on the floor with our spouses or partners for breathing exercises. And while the rest of the class seemed to be taking to it like champs, neither Mark or I could get comfortable. My back ached and my pregnant self was effectively squishing him against the wall so that he couldn’t breath at all. We resettled about five times and Mark kept doing the breathing exercises in my ear, distracting me from trying to do them myself, because he’ll need to know how to work through contractions, obviously.

    Final conclusions? Yes, it was worth it because we learned a lot and laughed, but I won’t be doing it again for future pregnancies.

  • Still Fighting It

    Date: 2011.01.23 | Category: Me, Pregnancy, Weirdness | Response: 9

    Cassie recently posted about her pregnancy insomnia. As I’ve mentioned several times on here, I too have struggled with getting any kind of decent sleep. This is due to four main causes:

    1. The inability to get comfortable. Even if I fall asleep with pillows all around me, I inevitably end up on my back and in pain, or awakened by an elbow to the pelvic bone (OW baby!)

    2. Having to pee ALL the time. I can now step over the dog, stumble to the bathroom and get back in bed all with my eyes closed in less than one minute.

    3. Getting too hot. The pillows are comforting, but they overheat me. And Leela has taken to sleeping on my feet.

    4. The vivid DREAMS, which are apparently a common pregnancy phenomenon.

    And what am I dreaming about? You would think I would be plagued by dreams of the baby’s arrival, fears of getting things right, labor and delivery… but no. I dream about being killed. And no ordinary killings. Thus far I have been attacked by zombies, pirates, zombie pirates, velociraptors and my best friends and co-workers ala Hunger Games style. Oh yes, and the black plague. And in all these dreams, I am begging them to save the baby if I’m killed. What the heck does it even mean? And the dreams are so real.

    I’ve also, for the first time in my life, had a few lucid dreams. Dreams where I realized in my dream that I was dreaming. And that is a whole nother level of messing with your head. Half way through the dream, I will pause and literally say, “Wait a minute, this is a dream isn’t it?” And then proceed on with it knowing that I’m dreaming. Most of the time I wake up shortly after I discover this.

    This, as you can imagine, has led to very little decent sleep which has made me cranky and overly emotional. Well I’m sure the pregnancy has something to do with that too. But, I’m actually starting to get used to it. Maybe this is all part of the process of getting ready for little girl’s arrival?

    Let’s just hope tonight I don’t awake from another fight for my life.