Monday, September 29, 2008

Reality Check #17

On Saturday morning we went to the local fire house's pancake breakfast. We rolled in (on our bikes!) around 9:30 am. It was swarming with kids.

After breakfast I went shopping and the husband played video games.

Around 2 pm, we were both lounging on the bed, when I said to my husband: "You know, we only have about 20 weekends left to do whatever we want."

My husband thought about it a few seconds and then said: "That's right. You don't get weekends off with a baby."

That's right, we won't. But, despite our realization, we are both really excited. And the thought of a baby brings a smile to our faces. Can't wait!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

War, What Is It Good For?

I recently had to do inventory at work on a bunch of body armor belonging to non-surviving soldiers from Iraq. Here are my observations.

The equipment arrived in a large wooden crate, with sets of armor in large plastic bags. There was sand everywhere. Most sets of armor had front, back, and 2 side plates. The plates are small, maybe about 10 inches x 15 inches, and weigh about 6-10 lbs. On some of the plates you can see bullet holes.

The helmets were a little harder to deal with. A couple of the helmets had bullet entry and exit holes. I noticed one helmet was quite muddy, and then realized it was dried blood. A few of the helmets were no longer the shape they started off.

As I sorted through the equipment I managed to keep my emotions out of it. It took me a lot longer than my boss expected to go through the inventory. I think I was just handling each piece with the utmost care, out of respect for the dead. Later in the day, when I recounted the experience to my husband, I felt a little more emotional about it.

We are going to try to figure out how the armor failed to make improvements to the armor. I am happy that we are doing something to help, but unhappy that we have to make protective equipment for war.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Sex is a Surprise

We've decided to not find out the baby's sex until the baby is born. So we'll be calling it "it" for a while more. Actually, the husband really wants to know but I have veto power since I'm the one that's pregnant. The weird thing is that I'm the one of us who's a big planner and almost a control freak while the husband is a lot more easygoing about stuff. We have an idea of what the baby will be, but that's not foolproof. My friend was certain she was having a boy and when the doctor announced it was a girl, she second guessed the doctor.

We had the big anatomy checkout last week and everything looks good. The baby moves around a lot. I am barely starting to feel it and probably only feel the really big motions the baby has. When the baby moves, it feels like little (sometimes big) bubbles popping in my lower abdomen. It's a really neat feeling. Although the first time it happened and I realized what it was, I thought I was going to pass out from the sensation. When you think about it, it's really weird - there's something growing in my belly that's going to turn into a person like you and me. Have you ever seen the Aliens movies??? But now I really like the feeling of the baby moving around. It's most pronounced after I eat and when I am not too active.

So we are coming up with both girl and boy names. Some names that have been vetoed include Beau Flex and Chlamydia Rose (we won't have to worry about her in HS) and Therem (a derivative of Theorem). We'll probably pick something more traditional but we are having trouble agreeing. My maiden name will be the baby's middle name.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Random Thoughts for a Happy Tuesday

You know how sometimes you have to move the mouse a lot to try to find it on your computer screen. Well, now I have two monitors at work so it takes me twice as long to figure out where my mouse is.

Did you ever wonder where the phrase “cockpit” comes from? Is it because traditionally it was a pit full of… I don’t even want to think about it.

Pregnant people have a super sensitive sense of smell. The only thing that causes nausea without fail is something stinky, such as the trash or stagnant water in the kitchen sink. Someone suggested that it is probably a defense mechanism from the cavemen days, when, without refrigeration, people would rely on their senses to figure out if food had gone bad. It’s a good thought.

We bought a camcorder last week, for the baby (and the cats). I think the minivan is next. Actually, the camcorder has been fun since we’ve been doing lots of videos/interviews of each other regarding the baby. It will be interesting to come back to them years from now and see if we actually had a clue about what having a baby was going to be like.

I am really annoyed that the government is considering a bail-out for all the businesses and people who made bad financial decisions. Why should my taxes go to help the idiots who jumped into mortgages they couldn’t afford and the scummy business people who lied to them? We are financially responsible people and we didn’t jump in when everyone else did so why should we have to pay for it? I don’t want to think about it anymore.

I am still doing pilates twice a week. All the ab work is getting harder – a lot harder. Part of it is because my lower abdomen is in the way (like when I try to do a sit-up) and the other part is because those muscles are getting stretched out and they are loosing functionality. There’s not much I can do about it.

I take back what I said about Brady coming back in 3 months after ACL surgery. It turns out he tore 2 ligaments. And I spoke to my athletic trainer friend about it and she said that you can’t beat the science with technology. Your body needs the time. The body will “break down” the ligament and build it back up and that takes time. That’s too bad.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend News

We had a good weekend. It was mostly relaxing but I got a lot of stuff done. I finally got back into working on my scrapbooks and I made decent progress over the weekend.

On Sunday my girls played. We tied, 1-1. It was a tough tie since we were winning most of the game and they came back and tied us in the last 5 minutes. We had no subs (again) and everyone was just exhausted. Plus, the other team was playing extremely physical – lots of shoving our players off the ball and slide tackling – but I couldn’t get my girls to step up their physical play. The team was from a less nicer city in the area (if we were from Southern Cali, the other team would be from LA and we would be from Laguna Beach), but still, we should have stepped it up. Regardless, the girls played well and I am glad that they managed to survive the whole 90 minute game. Oh, and my other excuse was that the field was quite dense (the grass hadn’t been cut in weeks) and the ball would often just die in the middle of a pass.

I guess that’s all we did this weekend. Oh, I did go to a party with my friend. It was a kickball/BBQ party with a keg at 2nd base. I missed the kickball game so by the time I got there the keg had been floated and everyone was drunk. The food was really, really good – traditional BBQ with some Phillipino lumpia. Yumm!

I just realized I had a dream where I drank half a beer and tried to justify it by saying that most people say it’s ok to drink a little wine while your pregnant (a glass with dinner on special occasions). But everyone was chastising me because I had drunk beer (miller lite, of all beers) instead of wine.

Another interesting happening this weekend was that I bought my first baby gift. I got a little after-bath blanket (it has a little triangular cap in one corner) made of organic, sustainable, yadda, yadda, yadda, cotton at Whole Foods. It’s a creamy gray color with little animals on it. It’s really cute! I almost put it back because I started wondering if it was bad luck to buy baby gifts before the baby is born. And I almost cried when I told the cashier it was for my baby.

Oh, the lowlight of the weekend was the Patriots game. I only got to see the 1st quarter because of the soccer game. That sucks for the Patriots.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Husband Is Not Very Sympathetic

Instead of gaining sympathy weight while I'm pregnant (as most husbands do), he's actually lost weight. He rides his bike to work every day and is eating healthier than ever (salads for lunch instead of burgers). And on the days he doesn't work, he often lifts weights with his home gym. My doctor told me to be in the best shape of my life and I think my husband took that as his cue to set an example for me. That way he can nag me about working out without feeling guilty himself. Actually, he looks really good and I'm very proud of him. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soccer Weekend

On Saturday night I went to the San Jose Earthquakes (new expansion team) vs. Houston Dynamo (old Earthquakes team that moved) soccer game. The game was at Santa Clara University. Although we got super cheap tickets because of an AYSO promotional, the seats were really awesome. The stadium is small so all seats are really good. The game was pretty good with lots of action and lots of yellow cards (and even a red). The only bad part was that since it was an AYSO promo night, there were A LOT of little kids around us. By the end of the night I had sticky blue stuff (cotton candy?) all over my pants.

On Sunday, my GU19 team had their big game against the other city team. Both teams had won their first match by wide margins (6-2 and 8-0) so this was going to be a good game. And it was. We were down 1-0 at half time with 2 game ending injuries resulting in no subs, and about 3 other players that were playing despite their injuries. The other team had pounded our defense with loads of shots but we had managed to hold them at 1 goal.

I’ve decided to try a non-traditional lineup. Most American teams play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, with a sweeper and three defenders in the back (the lineup notation is the number of defenders-midfielders-forwards). A variation that is often seen in Europe and is starting to catch hold in the US is the flat 4 in the back (without a sweeper). The idea is that there’s always one free defender that can act as the sweeper or last-man back depending on where the play is. I decided to go with a 3-4-3 lineup, with a flat three in the back and two center midfielders – one offensive and one defensive. My idea was that with a strong middle field and lots of forwards, we would be able to maintain most of the play in our offensive half of the field. On defense, the defensive center-mid would come back and act as a fourth defender to help on defense. It had worked great in our first game when we absolutely dominated the match and control of the field for most of the game. But this weekend we were playing a much stronger team and as we discovered once the game started, a much faster team.

I had actually lost some sleep in the days leading up to the game but I consoled myself thinking that we could easily and quickly change the lineup if we needed to. Plus, I was going to play one of my strongest (in skill, speed, and stamina) and hardest working players at center defense. Although, my heart did skip a beat when I got an email from her on Saturday. She was just confirming that she was going to make the game after all (I didn’t know it was an issue).

In the second half we had an unbelievable come back and scored three goals in the third quarter, all off of corners. Due to another injury, we ended up playing the last quarter down 1 player and ended the game 3-2 and with a victory. It felt sooo good to win, especially with such a big comeback.

After the game, as the teams exchanged hand-shakes, there was a bit of confrontation with some name-calling between players from both teams. We tried to resolve the issue from our side as soon as possible with the official “I’m sorry,” but the other player disappeared after the game.

Despite the issue after the game, I was on cloud-9 the rest of Sunday. I even had trouble going to sleep, just playing back the game in my head. I am sooo glad we won!

Last year I coached GU14 and comparing the two age groups is a difference of night and day. The GU14 was fun and mostly relaxing. We never would have had any major issues between players on the same team or between teams. It was usually hard for me to do the post game debrief because the girls were always chatting it up with each other regardless of the score. So far the GU19 age group is a lot more fun for me, despite the drama, which I hope does not become an issue (although I’ve heard the other city team is having a lot of attitude issues). By this age the girls just get it. Most players have been playing for years and they come to the game and practices because they want to not because their parents signed them up. When the coaches tell them something, they listen and incorporate the advice. And they work really hard with minimal complaint. My only complaint is that it seems that at this age they are way busier and so we tend to have trouble having a full roster at practices or games. There’s only 1 player that has come to every practice so far.

I had originally decided to coach the under-19 team because I wanted to be able to play with the girls during practice scrimmages. But now that I’m pregnant, I can’t. Still, I’m having fun. Plus, I have some great assistant coaches that I often feel like a GM. While one coach handles the keepers and the other gets the girls ready for the game, I go over last minute line-up changes and walk around from group to group (forwards, midfielders, etc.) offering advice and trying to get them excited about the game. Too bad I don’t get paid to coach.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brady Tore His ACL

Update: I have a new resolve to watch the Patriots play. I will not be one of these women:

"More than 90 percent of female football fans were lost for the season on Sunday...Brady left Sunday's game against Kansas City after suffering an ugly anterior cruciate ligament tear in his incredibly handsome left knee after being hit by merely average-looking Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard."


As most of your who care have heard, Tom Brady tore his ACL in the first quarter of his first game this season. It sucks. I tore my ACL in my left leg (just like Brady) about 6 years ago. I had a long day of hiking and biking and then played my first coed outdoor soccer game. I was playing right forward and I dribbled the ball down the line and took a cross with my right foot. My upper body turned but my lower left leg did not, tearing my ACL. I'm pretty sure I cried from the pain and I remember it was pretty swollen for a while. I was told that at least it was a nice cross.

After I tore my ACL, I continued to play soccer until my doctor advised me not to since I could cause more damage. So instead I focused on getting the muscles around my knee as strong as possible with bicycle riding and weight lifting, which would help my recovery. I had about 1.5 months to do so before my surgery.

The surgery was a weird experience. As the anesthesia was administered, I remember being told that I would begin feeling a little dizzy. I remember thinking, "I don't feel dizzy," and the next thing I remember was a nurse fussing over my knee. I asked her if the surgery had taken place and when she said it had, I sat up in bed and asked her if she was sure. It was as if I had lost a few hours of my life. It's definitely different from taking a nap and it's probably hard to understand unless you've experience it yourself.

Immediately after surgery my knee was placed in a passive motion machine (I think that's what they are called) which caused my knee to flex and extend in a bike-riding motion. This would get my full range of motion going and prevent scar tissue from building up. My left knee has a few more degrees of motion than my right knee. I also had a morphine drip with a clicker that I could control. I think I was pretty clicker happy but it turns out that I had a 10 minute window so at most I would get a morphine shot (drip?) every 10 minutes. My hospital visitors later told me that I would phase in and out of our conversations.

Anyway, so the whole point of my story was that I think Brady will be back in 3 months. Although my husband just told me that Brady can't come back this season even if a miracle occurred (something about football rules) and we don't really know what happened to his knee. So, assuming Brady did tear his ACL and suffer minor meniscus damage and assuming he can come back this season, he'll be back in 3 months. I was walking without crutches about 2 weeks after surgery (probably shouldn't have) and I was running within 5 (and playing a little hallway soccer instead of studying). I was a lowly graduate student without access to state of the art facilities and doctors as I am sure the NFL has. Plus, I had research to do and I couldn't focus on my recovery.

Another thing, I had a hamstring graft used to replace my ACL. This was a good option for me since the incisions would be small, the recovery would be less painful, and I was only playing intramural soccer. My alternative was a patellar graft which would require a larger incision and make recovery more painful. This would have been a good option if I was play collegiate soccer. There was also the option of using cadaver tissue, but, at least back then, the risk would have been sacrificing the tissue elasticity to sterilize the tissue (prevent the transfer of diseases, etc.). I'm sure Brady will get a graft from one of the many supermodels that are all over him.

I'm almost done talking about Brady, just a bit more. So I keep hearing all this talk about how the NFL lost its marquee player in the first 15 minutes of the season and how that's a really big deal. If Brady is the NFL's marquee player, why the hell are Eli and Peyton Manning in every single commercial on TV?? I am so sick and tired of those guys. I think the biggest fallout of the super bowl, apart from not getting to witness history, is that Eli and Payton are going to dominate commercials for years to come. Ugh!

I really hope Cassel doesn't forget about Wes Welker. Welker is actually my favorite player because he is so under-the-radar and his soccer skills show up in the way he runs and cuts. Cassel seemed to be looking only for Brady at the game on Sunday. Hopefully he worked on looking for other targets this week.

So I go back and forth about being excited for the season. As the husband said, anything can happen and the Brady loss adds excitement to the game and season. The Patriots still have some really good players, so they can still go to the super bowl.

Ok, that's enough. I promise not to take up too much time talking about football.

Monday, September 8, 2008

So Behind!!!

So I am way behind on my weekend posts and I know everyone is dying to know what I do on my weekends. I’ll try to be brief but we’ve had a lot going on.

Over Labor Day my high school friend Linette came to visit. Linette was probably our second highest frequent visitor (after my mom) when she worked in the central valley. However, it’s been at least a couple of years since she visited last so it was nice to see her again. And she is a cat person too (although she only has 1) so the kitties got lots of love from another human. Linette’s main reason for visiting was to go to a wedding on Sunday afternoon. So Sunday morning we went on a bike ride, I took the husband’s and Linette took mine. We were seconds from getting on the trail I take to work when Linette crashed her bike going down an overpass. All I remember was hearing the crash, jumping off my bike, and running up the hill and almost crying with joy when I saw Linette moving around. Nothing was broken thank goodness but she did have some pretty bad road-rash on her palms, elbow, and knee. We are not sure why it happened, but she flew over the handlebars and skidded to a stop on her belly (she remembers thinking “I wish I had gloves” as she was sliding on the asphalt).

The husband came to pick us up so we could take Linette to the hospital and a nice lady offered us her truck to take the bikes home. Even some nice off-duty firemen stopped to talk to Linette and make sure she hadn’t hit her head and was suffering from a concussion. In addition to her road rash, Linette also had a bruised heel (there was an actual bruise on her heel – never seen that before). The emergency room is about 1.5 miles from our place and I was happy to find out how professional and expedient they were. We were there in the early morning hours which is actually the least busiest time of the day (note to self, go to the ER in the morning). Linette had both of her hands bandaged up (kind of like the prewrap boxers wear), with some white mesh gloves over the bandages. It actually matched the dress she was wore to the wedding and most people assumed it was a fashion thing until they noticed the elbow and kneed bandages.

When Linette left our house, she headed east to the central valley for a business trip. Linette is a wildlife biologist and was doing some construction inspection. On Thursday she called me to let me know that her rental SUV had be run over by a tractor. Luckily she wasn’t in it. We think Linette’s luck is about to turn because that’s her third accident in a few weeks (she got rear-ended a few days before the biking accident). We suggested she buy some lottery tickets.

Over this weekend, Linette came back and we went to the downtown art and wine festival. It was very hot so we spent more time inside the local bars and restaurants than outside with the vendors. I got a wood frame that I can use to make a cork board out of the hundreds of corks I have from drinking too much wine. I've been collecting them for over 4 years now. Now all I need is a glue gun.

I'm coaching a girls under-19 soccer team, so basically high school girls. It's been fun so far. The only annoying thing is that only 1 girl has come to every practice and I tend to get only half the team at practice each day, and half of them are late. We had our first game this weekend and we won, 6-2. The team we played wasn't very strong and we'll have a much more challenging game this coming weekend, against the rival city team. I know the coach and I DON'T want to loose to him.

We are fostering a couple of kittens right now. We actually haven't taken any pictures of them yet but I'll work on that in the next couple of days. We wanted another kitten to keep Noodles busy so he would leave us alone but I think it's backfiring. More later.

Well, I'll keep it at that for right now and I'll expand on other stuff later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Morning

I woke up this morning to the sound of the alarm clock. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve refused to use the alarm clock – I need my sleep! I am usually awake by 7:30 am anyway. I picked out what I was going to wear – black (maternity) pants with a green blouse. I noticed the blouse was a little wrinkled so I threw it in the dryer for a few minutes and continued to get ready for work. I had a teleconference at 8 am so I wanted to be sure to have my cheerios before then. When I tried to put my blouse on, I realized it didn’t fit anymore. I don’t know about you guys, but when I figure out what I want to wear in the morning, it’s really hard to change to something else. I tend to know my clothes inventory pretty well (what’s clean, etc.) so I tend to know what I want to wear even before I start getting the clothes out. I even had a dream about the shirt (won’t go into the details of how it was involved in my dream). As is expected, I am having a bad hair day too.

If I were to psychoanalyze my response this morning, I would say that the underlying issue might be that I am having trouble letting the pregnancy take over my body. Even though I am super excited to be pregnant, I could be having trouble accepting that my body has become a baby making machine and everything else is secondary. I may be feeling that it’s enough that I have to give up soccer and drinking, adding disproportional weight gain to the equation could make someone quite depressed. Fortunately these would just be my thoughts were I a psychologist and I am way beyond that.

On a happier note, my BellaBand arrived today. Thanks Sumana for the great find!