Notes from the trenches
Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 05:10 p.m.

  • As of yesterday, Micah weighs 6 pounds, 14 ounces. That means he's gained a pound since last Monday. Which might explain why he's been eating every one to two hours, dear God please send caffiene.

  • Holy crap, he'll be two weeks old tomorrow. Two weeks! I have no sense of time any more.

  • Man, just over two weeks ago, I expected to still be pregnant this weekend, and we were trying to decide if going into labor at Big Spring Jam would be an acceptable risk to run in order to see Sister Hazel. My opinion was hey, we'd be that much closer to the hospital AND I'd get to ride on the emergency golf cart. Ah, moot point now.

  • Yesterday during a diaper change, my child's butt exploded. My mother-in-law was in the next room with the doors shut and STILL heard the detonation. We're talking serious firepower here, people. Also, nothing says motherhood like scrubbing liquid poop off of everything in sight.

  • The cats are still undecided if the baby needs to be snuggled or devoured. I keep catching them staring at him intently, as if trying to determine the most tender bit of flesh in which to sink their teeth.

  • I need to go work on getting dinner started, but Micah is sound asleep in my lap and I dare not move. He's been awfully fussy the last two days, and I'm treasuring the silence.

  • At this point, I feel compelled to defend him by saying that his "fussy" state is really pretty mild. So far, he rarely cries, and then only for good reason. Instead he just grunts and bleets with varying intensity depending on his state of mind. He's an awfully good baby, really.

  • But oh, the not-sleeping. It is slowly killing me.

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The long-awaited photos
Friday, September 19, 2008 - 06:14 p.m.

Details will eventually follow, but for those of you who might not have heard, our son, Micah, was born on September 12, 2008 at 3:25 AM. We're all doing fine, but my brain is still pretty fried from the lack of sleep, so I'll just let the pictures do the talking for now.

First Picture

Cackle-fresh baby

Finally

After all the worry, fear, and stress, he was finally here - healthy, normal, and so incredibly beautiful (at least to me).

At home

Me with Micah at four days old. That first night home was a bit like surviving a tour in 'Nam.





Still 4 days old

Outside with Dad

6 days old, hanging out with Dad

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Still not helping
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - 07:18 a.m.

Okay now, there are enough legitimate issues on which to disagree with Sarah Palin, there's no need for these stupid emails that are totally untrue. Just because SHE's okay with lying her face off doesn't mean it's acceptable to lie about her. For the love of god, people, that crap doesn't help America.

Speaking of not helping, the whole "lipstick on a pig" thing the McCain campaign is trying to stir up is stupid. All I can say is, if they're going to take issue with common phrases, it's a good thing Obama didn't say "you can't polish a turd." It's probably also a good thing Obama has more restraint than me when it comes to amusing and colorful phrases, although I think every campaign stop could use "crazy as shithouse rat," because that carries a certain poetic imagery, no?

(Obama followed the "lipstick on a pig" phrase with "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years." Are they also going to suggest he said Palin smells like dead fish?)

The point is, wouldn't it be nice if we could focus on the issues - real, factual, IMPORTANT issues based on things that would actually impact our (own) lives if the elected candidate could get the support he needed for his policies?

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Are we talking about my fridge or the space shuttle?
Monday, September 8, 2008 - 05:18 p.m.

Hey, you know there's nothing like paying American Home Shield $500 a year for five years only to have your refrigerator go tits up and AHS deny the claim.

Apparently our fridge has a freon leak that can't be fixed, so not only are we about to start playing Russian roulette with the yogurt any day now, but now they want us to buy a new fridge out of our own pocket. They say they won't pay because it's a problem with the "thermal shield." I think the problem is really in the equally important firomactal drive unit or maybe in intertial compensator. And we've always had problems with the bioneural gelpack.

After conducting a two-minute search of teh intarwebs, I've turned up hundreds of complaints against AHS. Apparently this is kind of their MO. Not that an insurance company making up bogus reasons not to pay a claim is entirely unexpected, but I'm still pissed. And....hey, their headquarters is in Memphis! A mere three hours from here! If you'll excuse me, the security badger and I have a road trip to plan.

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Woe
Monday, September 8, 2008 - 01:16 p.m.

Yesterday on my (perfectly legitimate, doctor-approved, BRIEF) jailbreak to the new Publix, I accidentally picked up reduced fat Nilla wafers. Today, I am sad. Reduced-fat Nilla wafers are an abomination before God.

(But I'm still eating them.)

In other news, you know what's even more delicious than Nilla wafers? Hypocrisy exposed: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=184086

Oh video, why won't you embed?

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Dogtown!
Sunday, September 7, 2008 - 04:38 p.m.

I love the show Dogtown. I'm not even really a dog person, but I'm totally addicted. It's a series on the National Geographic Channel about some of the dogs that come to the Best Friends Animal Society at Angel Canyon in Utah. Best Friends is an awesome no-kill shelter that does amazing work with animals no one else can take.

The new season has just started, so if you're an animal person at all, you should definitely check it out. It's something you can watch and feel all happy and fuzzy afterwards. But you might suddenly want to drop everything and move to Utah to take care of animals for free. You've been warned.

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Just stop
Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 09:38 a.m.

Okay, this is a political campaign. Stretching the truth about your opponent is just part of the game. Everyone does it, no matter what flavor they are, and I try to accept it. Even though it makes me crazy and so, so bitter.

But what drives me right over the edge is when they straight up LIE. And not even about important things, but TRIVIAL things, things that don't even matter. When they just can't help it, like lying is just something they compulsively do. And it makes me totally batshit loco, because there's just no need for it. And yet, they do it anyway, as if they're just thumbing their nose at us.

LIE: Palin got more votes for mayor than Biden did for President.
FACT: Sure, if 76,165 is less than 1,525, which I'm pretty sure it isn't.

WTF: Why do you even say that? It's so easy to check, it's so blatantly a lie, and it doesn't matter one bit. And yet Huckabee said it anyway. Why? For what purpose? I think it was this one that sent me right over the edge. How stupid does he think Americans are, anyway?

LIE: Palin sold a plane on eBay.
FACT: Palin TRIED to sell a plane on eBay. It didn't sell, and they ended up selling it to a Valdez, Alaska entrepreneur for about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price.

WTF: Again, why lie about that? Why even bring it up? That she sold it is to her credit and should be enough. But to add the bit about eBay, when it isn't true? WHY WHY WHY?

LIE: Obama said the average American family saw its income go down $2,000 under Bush.
FACT: Census figures show average family income went down $348.

WTF: For the love of god, don't these guys have people to fact-check this shit???? And aren't there enough bad things coming out of the last eight years? You shouldn't have to make crap up when there's so much reality to choose from!

LIE: Palin said "the Obama/Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain."
FACT: All that the spokespeople of the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee could come up with was that Obama spokesman Mark Bubriski erroneously attacked Palin herself as a supporter of Pat Buchanan. They haven't attacked her family.

WTF: Why not attack your opponent for something he actually did? Isn't there enough to argue about? They have so many legitimate differences of opinion to go after each other for - why make up anything else? It just boggles my mind.

I just...I just don't understand. None of this helps the country. Both sides distorting and spinning facts is bad enough, but just fabricating a different world and wasting time filling our heads with bullshit DOESN'T HELP ANY OF US.

I swear to god, if I make it to November without my head exploding, it'll be a damned miracle.

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Belly Watch 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008 - 08:40 a.m.

Mah belleh, it is large.

I am officially waddling everywhere I go. Also, getting up from any sort of reclining position is starting to require an embarassing amount of effort.

And just because:

IT'S UNSTOPPABLE!

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I steals this
Friday, September 5, 2008 - 05:34 p.m.

I think I may finally be getting the hang of this work-from-home deal. I didn't expect it to be the easiest thing in the world, but I didn't expect it to be so hard to stay on task and stay productive. I also didn't anticipate just how much I'd miss having all my office stuff at hand - I never realized before just how much paper clips and a hole punch help keep your desk from blowing up.

I've got a decent system going now, though. I have to take a couple hours off after I take my meds, that can't be avoided, but I think I have a system established that helps keep me on task the rest of the day. Rule 1 is WEAR REAL CLOTHES. Apparently I'm useless if I'm wearing pajamas. It must be the mindset.

One downside of working from home? Ocassionally, this happens:

And I'm just weak enough to let it. Even if it does mean I lose the occasional pen.

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Uhm...wow
Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 10:04 a.m.

"Nicole was videotaping....Police in riot gear charged her, yelling, 'Get down on your face.' You hear her voice, clearly and repeatedly announcing 'Press! Press! Where are we supposed to go?' She was trapped between parked cars. The camera drops to the pavement amidst Nicole’s screams of pain. Her face was smashed into the pavement, and she was bleeding from the nose, with the heavy officer with a boot or knee on her back. Another officer was pulling on her leg.

...I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists.

Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges."

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

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Hey, we survived August!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 09:16 a.m.

Holy cow, the last two weeks have been insane. Break-ins, hospital stays, the rush to get everything ready for the baby...I feel like I've been out of work for a month, not just a week. And it's SEPTEMBER? Already???

We left the hospital last Wednesday, and as unlikely as it seemed at the time, things have been good ever since. The new medicine is working, and while I feel dizzy and sick for about an hour and a half after taking it, the rest of the time I feel almost normal. Hugely pregnant, with all the fun that entails, but still pretty good.

(I'm discovering that bed rest is MUCH more difficult when you feel like nothing is wrong. Fear and misery make me compliant. Sleep, energy, and a general sense of well-being make me want to climb the walls.)

During all the excitement, my family and friends rallied around to help out. They fixed up the nursery, bought preemie clothing and diapers, completed a few nagging home improvement projects, cooked several meals, washed and organized clothing, bottles, and other assorted baby gear, and generally made sure that if the baby did decide to come early, we'd all survive. They took care of all the nesting my panic-ridden, drug-addled brain was screaming at me to do. Words can't describe how grateful we are to everyone.

Now, I'm trying to figure out a way to get back to doing work while still taking it easy. Believe me, even though I feel great, I know not to screw around, and I'm doing my best not to rock the boat. My office is setting me up with a laptop with all our software so I can work from home. I just need to determine how much I can do and what sort of arrangements I need to make. I also have to hammer out my maternity leave and short-term disability, all not knowing if this kid is coming in four weeks or tomorrow. Whee, good times.

So, anyway, things are good and getting back to something approaching normal. We're just rolling with the punches now, and we're as prepared as possible for whatever lies ahead. Again, thanks to everyone for all your love and support these last few weeks. We couldn’t have done it without you.

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