27 December 2011


We watched It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve and it was the best thing we ever did. I can't get over this scene. It makes me glad.

23 December 2011

why semi-adults should not wear baby clothes

My friend Britney is doing a series of throwback posts on her blog right now to commemorate her upcoming birthday. Her most recent post about extracurricular activities reminded me of this one embarrassing experience I had in high school. If I ever do a series of throwback posts, I think I'll commemorate embarrassing experiences from my past because I can remember several off the top of my head. (My memory for most other things is not so great.)

Once upon a time I found this tank top bodysuit/onesie, and I was so pleased. It kind of looked like this:

Apparently this is not really a common item of clothing, so I had a hard time finding an appropriate picture when I searched online. But imagine something similar to that hot little red number: a camisole in white with a snap-crotch closure. I loved this thing! I was always having issues with my undershirts coming untucked or riding up or whatever, so it seemed like the perfect solution. An undershirt that would never come untucked!

One day, I was hanging out after school for mock trial, wearing my awesome undershirt onesie, and I went to the bathroom. The thing is, I started getting kind of lazy about snapping it closed when I had to go potty.

You might be able to imagine what happened next. I came back to the classroom we were working in and the back flap was totally hanging out of the skirt I was wearing. My fellow mock trial participant Stephanie Handy (I wonder what Stephanie's up to these days . . . ) informed me of my oversight. She was probably pretty confused, but I appreciate her telling me how weird I looked.

Moral of the story: people who dress themselves should not wear baby clothes.

21 December 2011

sleep monitor, take 3

I wore that crazy contraption to bed in order to get some cold, hard cash, because I will apparently do practically anything for money. I'm participating in a study that requires me to wear a sleep monitor two nights (or more if it fails and you have to repeat) during different points in pregnancy. This study, the sleep breathing assessment, is a subsidiary study to the NuMom2B study, which I've been participating in for these past few pregnant months. Months of being pregnant. Anyway.

The NuMom2B study is rather a massive undertaking, as I suppose many clinical trials tend to be. This particular study is trying to gather data from a diverse group of 10,000 women who are pregnant with their first child to better determine  factors that result in outcomes such as premature birth, low birth weight, preeclampsia, etc. It's interesting and kind of terrifying how unpredictable some of these complications are, so this study hopes to clear up some of the existing uncertainty. The problem is, it seems difficult to really determine the underlying cause of pretty much any outcome.

I recently read an article discussing Milwaukee's campaign against co-sleeping. Have you seen it?

Courtesy the Milwaukee Public Health Department:

Seeing the ad made me wonder about what exactly prompted such a targeted campaign. (Some incident where a Milwaukee mother put a cleaver in her baby's crib?) Apparently, Milwaukee has one of the highest infant death rates in the country (10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2009), and at least some of these deaths are caused by "unsafe sleep environments" for the baby. There are definitely a lot of other factors contributing to the appalling statistics, but my foray into the issue made me realize that it's really difficult to get at the bottom of what's going on here, partially because many of the contributing factors are sociological.

This brings me to a beef I have with the field of social science in general. That may sound really cocky of me to doubt the credibility of an entire set of academic disciplines, but that's not what I'm trying to say, exactly. Mostly what I'm trying to get at is that it seems inherently problematic to subject behavioral issues to research and thereby get at their roots. One of my senior courses was called "Gender and Language," and it sounded really interesting to me, but subjecting the question of how language is influenced by gender to linguistic research proved less tantalizing. The research questions were interesting, but the resulting data seemed inevitably ambiguous. (Did anyone else taking social science classes have this hang-up?)

I'm actually not really sure what the sleep breathing assessment is trying to do, except gather additional data about factors that may influence pregnancy outcomes. But I've wondered how they're going to get any useful data from studying my sleep if I'm not actually sleeping while being monitored.  They are apparently trying to account for the quality of sleep, though, because I had to fill out a survey after wearing it that asks how I slept comparatively: "Much worse than usual," "somewhat worse than usual," etc. Too bad it wasn't a short-answer question; I can think of a lot of other ways to describe it. . .  Anyway, I have to wear that darned contraption again because for some reason the pulse oximeter didn't read when I wore it last week. At least they're giving me an extra $25 for the added trouble. Like I said, I will do almost anything for a little bit of cash.

15 December 2011

sleep monitor

Wearing this again tonight. Happy resting.

07 December 2011


Yesterday I was so proud of myself because I got showered, dressed, brushed my teeth, AND left the house all before 10 a.m.

I'll hold for applause. (It's really amazing how easily I'm impressed with myself lately.)

I went into a work meeting, and people there were so nice to say I looked good [for a pregnant woman]. If they only knew what I look like 99% of the time. Probably I look kind of like how I feel: not well enough to brush my teeth on a daily basis.

Not that anyone needs more evidence of how hard I've let myself go for the past few months, but one of the first things Tim asked me when I arrived back at the homestead was "Want me to get you your sweatpants?"

Speaking of things that I feel proud of myself for, the other night Tim brought me some toast and hot chocolate and I threw up most of the hot chocolate afterward. I've still got it, folks.

05 December 2011


As we often do, we visited Costco this weekend. They had a demo guy there from Vitamix, and I WANT ONE OF THOSE MACHINES SO BAD! I was standing there like a young star-crossed lover, completely infatuated not with the man running the display but the nice blender he was operating. I kept turning to Tim, who was standing beside me patiently, and saying things like "We could make soup! We could make ice cream! We could make smoothies! It's so easy to clean!" I couldn't stop talking about it after we left, either.

There's a couple of questions holding me up, though. (a) Are Vitamixes really worth the money? (b) Where is said money going to come from?

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