Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A few things...

Wow ... I have been absent from the blog lately. Sorry. Busy!

My parents came to visit over the weekend, which was really great. We had some good meals, played some good games (they taught me how to play Dominoes ... obsessed now!), and did some shopping. It was a little busy downtown thanks to it being IU Welcome Week, but I fit in perfectly - just another "kid" hanging out with her parents downtown. Ha! Also, I was out shopping with my mom when I was asked what grade I'm in. That was a tough question to answer.

I made a big decision over the weekend ... one that was definitely difficult. Next weekend when I meet up with the lovely d.a.r. and MTM in Chicago, I'll be running the 5k instead of the 1/2 marathon. Sigh. I have been training for what seems like forever ... and yet, I'm nowhere near prepared. I have had a lot of trouble with my long runs, and I haven't been able to run longer than 6 miles. It probably doesn't help that it's been the hottest summer since 1988 ... 95+ degree temps every day has made it really difficult for me to stick to my training plan.

As the weeks ticked by and I got more and more behind on my training, I still thought I would be able to pull it off ... this was a very big deployment goal for me and I was determined to see it through! However, I've been stressing. A lot. All the time. You have to maintain a 13 minute mile during the race, or they pick you up in a "support bus." During my longer runs, I have been averaging around an 11 minute mile. I was having nightmares about being picked up by the bus.

Last week, d.a.r. suggested that we run the 5k instead of the half ... and I said ABSOLUTELY NOT. I can do this. I have to do this! But over the weekend, my parents brought it up and I just burst into tears. I felt so overwhelmed by my training - and about how behind I am. And through my tears (at a restaurant, no less), I realized that running the half this time around was just not realistic. I started to think about it, and I talked it over with d.a.r. She reminded me that running is supposed to be a fun hobby - it's not supposed to be stressful. We decided to run the 5k and immediately, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I think I was far more stressed out about this race than I had realized. As soon as we made the decision to run the 5k instead, I got excited about the race! And most importantly, I felt - and currently feel - confident.

Am I disappointed? Incredibly. And I struggled for much of the weekend with feeling like a total failure. Running the half is something I really, really wanted to do - and I still do. But guess what? I still will. This just isn't the right time. The important thing is that I have made running a habit. I have come a long way from where I started - and I feel better and more confident than ever. Just last week, I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to the half being over so that I could just comfortably run 2-3 miles, three times a week without worrying about increasing my mileage. So? For now, that's exactly what I'm going to be doing. I may train for the Indy Mini Marathon in the spring, or possibly the following spring. We'll see. I still want to do it ... and I'm still very serious about it.

You might be able to tell from this confusing blog post that I'm still really disappointed that I'm not running the half ... and I have a lot of mixed emotions. Still trying to sort them all out, I suppose. :)

On that note ... I'm off. To go running!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Real Housewives?

Is anyone watching the Real Housewives of DC? If so, do you actually ... like them?

I was SO excited for the series to start, but I am not loving it - or the ladies. In fact, the only one I like is Stacie - she seems nice, normal, and funny. Lynda? Is a meanie. Michaele? Well ... I'm not even sure where to start, really. Do we think that's her real name, or do you think she was born Michelle? Or maybe Michaela? Just curious. Cat seems like a royal bitch. I kinda sorta like Mary, but I feel like you have lost all concept of reality when you install a biometric lock on your closet door.

I was hoping this would become a favorite along with RHONY and RHONJ, but I'm just not feeling it. Thoughts?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Overheard from my Office

One high school girl to another: "My counselor is such a f%#&ing b@#%h. She told me there are NO open sections of biology! I was like ... shut the f@%# up, you are so full of crap."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Customer Service

About a month and a half ago, I ordered a new bathing suit from Lands End Canvas - it was drastically on sale, and I've been wanting to try something from LEC for awhile. The bathing suit came and I LOVE it. It's great, high quality, and fit perfectly.

Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks after my suit came, I received the following hand-written - and hand-addressed - note from LEC.

Dear Shaina,
Just a note to say thank you for your purchase and remind you that everything is guaranteed. Period. If you have any questions or need help in any way, please let one of us know. Our email is ----@landsendcanvas.com.

Customer Care Specialist

Um, wow. What a surprise! I was certainly impressed ... what a kind gesture. Anyone else order from LEC and receive this amazing customer service?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Deployment in Review: Month 7

I'm a few days late with this one ... but I guess you'll just have to deal with it. :)

July 17-August 16

Once again, it doesn't really seem like much happened over the past month, but looking back on it I guess I was kinda sorta busy. As cliche as it sounds ... things just aren't QUITE as fun as when Matt is around. Even though I do fun stuff with people I love, I still feel like time is just slogging by. Is slogging a word? Blogger didn't underline it, so I guess it is. It just seems right.

That being said ... I DID have fun this month.

-I went to Canada and hung out with two of my fave bloggy friends and yeah, we had kind of an amazing time!

-That same weekend, my friend Jenn had her beautiful baby girl, Cora Claire, accidentally at home.

-I kept running and kept preparing for my 1/2 marathon - now only 3 weeks away!

-I went on vacation to Northern Michigan with Oscar and my parents, and had an amazing time just relaxing and doing nothing.

-I completed my DSM-IV class ... and got a big fat A!

-I went back to work full-time! School started on Wednesday, and I'm back in the game. Wait - that doesn't count, Wednesday was the 18th. Ignore that. :)

Okay, so maybe I didn't do that much this past month. But I'm SO thrilled that school is back in session. Time always flies from now until Thanksgiving, and this year that's even more important because that's around the time Matt should be coming home! Excitement!

Friday, August 20, 2010


TGIF, y'all! Any big weekend plans? Tomorrow, Kyle and I are heading to Indy so that she can help me finally use the Anthropologie gift card I won way back in March from Jane. I still have no idea what I'm going to get, but of course I perused the website a little bit this evening and found a few fall things that are on my radar ...

Lady's Choice Cardigan - LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS ONE

Which do you like the best?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is dairy the enemy?

Lately, I've had a lot of difficulties with dairy. Stomach issues that I won't get into because you know ... I'm a lady and all. It's really been bumming me out. I started taking lactaid pills with dairy but it does not completely take care of the issues. Plus, half the time, I forget.

Here's the thing. Like most people, I love things like ... cheese and yogurt. Ice cream. Dairy stuff.

But you know what? No matter how much I love dairy stuff, I love feeling good even better. So I am going to go completely dairy-free for the next few weeks and see what happens. Do any of you avoid dairy? What are your tricks? I am going to pick up some stuff like hummus to use on sandwiches instead of cheese, and some almond milk. I want to stay away from soy as well - I had a soy latte this morning and I got just as sick as I get with dairy. PLUS I got a migraine. So - no dairy, no soy. I need help!

If you're dairy free, I'd LOVE some tips. What do you like to eat instead of dairy stuff?

*image found here*

Monday, August 16, 2010

Exciting birth story!

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I pretty much spent the entire weekend watching Season One of ArmyWives and now am going crazy because I can't get ahold of seasons two and three! Does anyone have them and feel like sending them to me? I promise I will send them right back ... probably within 24 hours.

Anyway, I have a very special guest post today! My dear friend Jenn gave birth to a beautiful baby girl just over three weeks ago. She had quite the birth experience, and the whole story is just so incredible that I begged her to write it up for the blog. I know so many of you bloggers out there are pregnant, just had a baby, or are thinking about trying for a baby soon. Trust me ... you will enjoy this story! Thankfully, Jenn agreed to write it up, so ... without further ado, read on for an exciting birth story!

Hello to Shaina’s blog friends! I’m Jenn, one of Shaina’s fabulous friends from outside of the blog world. You may recall my previous role as Matron of Honor at Shaina’s wedding (Shaina's note: I was also Jenn's MOH. Here are some fun photos!).

For years, I’ve been Auntie Jenn to Oscar. Now Shaina is Auntie Shaina to my baby of the non-furry variety. My husband and I welcomed our sweet girl, Cora Claire, on July 25. The story of how she got here is slightly ridiculous, so Shaina thought it would make for good reading on her blog.

Things You Should Know Before We Go Any Further:

-I am EXTREMELY long-winded. This could take a while. Shaina should probably edit heavily or post in many parts (Shaina's note: I didn't).

-I had strong personal opinions and desires for MY pregnancy/birth experience. With my knowledge that this pregnancy was low-risk and the education I exposed myself to, my main desire was to do everything possible to avoid a C-section. I felt like major surgery required more pain and recovery time than an uncomplicated labor and vaginal birth. So, my main goals were to avoid IV/saline, epidural, and induction/pitocin – all things that increase the odds of ending up in the OR.


My pregnancy was generally uncomplicated and uneventful with a due date of July 9. This due date was probably several days off; I’m not one of those women who marks the arrival and departure of my monthly gift in my daily planner. I guessed the date of my LMP, and I guessed a little early to make it seem like I was further along. Don’t ever play mind games like this with yourself and your midwife/OB. It will come back to haunt you.

I knew early on that I was interested in working with a doula. I hoped for an unmedicated birth and low intervention birth and knew I’d need the extra support. My husband wanted the extra support, too, because he was freaked out about birth. If he had it his way, he would have been sitting in a waiting room smoking cigars while I got knocked into a coma and someone besides us handled every aspect of getting this baby into the world. They would then present us with a nicely wrapped, clean, pink baby and my husband would spread the word to our families via telegram. And I’d be wearing my lovely strand of pearls the whole time.

I was assigned to a midwife at the clinic where I received my prenatal care. Being interested in a natural approach to pregnancy/childbirth, I initially thought this would be great! Midwives are friendly to people like me, right? Wrong. The most basic definition of a midwife is: someone trained to assist with low-risk pregnancies/deliveries. They don’t have to be all granola about it. The second I brought up my birth plan, my midwife started telling me how unlikely it was that the hospital would allow my labor/delivery to progress according to any of my wishes. And then she tried to scare me, saying that if I denied all of the hospital’s standard interventions I would end up bleeding to death (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the basic idea).

The day my midwife put the kibosh on my birth plan (I was over 6 months pregnant at the time), I freaked out a little. I called my doula and asked her opinion on other birthing options. My husband is in the Army and we have the basic health care plan that costs us almost nothing. That plan had me receiving my prenatal care at the OB/GYN clinic at the Army hospital at Ft. Campbell; I would deliver there also. I looked into changing insurance plans and paying tons of co-pays to deliver at a different (preferred) hospital, one that might be friendlier to my plan. I considered paying fully out of pocket to deliver at a birthing center that was a two hour drive from our home. I considered paying several thousand dollars to have a granola midwife assist at a home birth. My husband never gave that last option a second of consideration. We ended up sticking with our non-granola midwife at the Army hospital and hoped we’d be able to be assertive enough to stick to our birth plan. We decided to take a series of childbirth classes (beyond the typical hospital 2 hour hospital class) in order to be as educated and empowered as possible. This turned out to be a wonderful idea – my husband gained a greater appreciation for the childbirth experience I hoped for, and we both had increased acceptance of the physical process of labor and delivery (read: we came to terms with the ick factor).

It’s My Due Date – Friday, July 9

And no baby yet. I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions around 30 weeks, and they got increasingly frequent as my due date approached. But, they were never stronger, longer & closer together (the magical trifecta that signifies early labor). At my 40 week prenatal appointment, my midwife warned about “old placentas” that wear out and cease to support the baby, ending in stillbirth. She was so exact with dates and with the baby’s gestational age that it drove me crazy. As if the arbitrary date I guessed as my LMP made my due date set in stone. Keep in mind that a woman isn’t “overdue” or “post date” until after 42 weeks.

My midwife made me “pencil in” an induction date of July 23, exactly two weeks after my due date. She let me know she was being “generous” to go “so late”, because they “never” let women go past 41 weeks, 3 days. My husband actually said, “Well, you can schedule an induction, but that doesn’t mean we’ll show up for it.” You should have seen the midwife’s face – she immediately left the room to consult with someone. When she came back, she informed us that she was transferring my care to an OB because she “doesn’t deal with high-risk pregnancies,” which she now considered mine to be. Since I was past my due date and obstinate about it, she had no desires to deal with me anymore. And she must have made quite the note in my medical chart, because in future interactions we had with hospital staff, they almost always started by saying, “Now, WE KNOW you don’t want an induction…”

I tried almost everything to get my baby out. I joined the 65+ crowd and walked at the mall to avoid the searing July heat. I went up and down the stairs in our house 71 times a day (or so it seemed). I did so much nipple stimulation that I thought they would fall off before I got a chance to breastfeed the baby that was never coming. And my husband and I tried sex until the mere thought of doing it one more time made me cry. But, even in all my desperation, I refused to try castor oil: “The indecency of it!” I thought.

Oh, please. By the end of this whole thing, every last scrap of my dignity was gone.

It’s My Induction Date – Friday, July 23

During weeks 40 and 41, I had several non-stress tests and amniotic fluid checks that came back showing a perfectly healthy baby and perfectly healthy placenta. But, everyone at the hospital was still super anxious to get my baby out while I grew super anxious about the interventions involved in an induction. The night before my scheduled induction, I had more Braxton-Hicks contractions than usual. I called my doula with cautious excitement, thinking this could be early labor. My doula, husband and I decided that we would call the hospital and tell them that I was in early labor and would like to sleep as much as possible, meaning we would NOT be calling at 6am to check in for my induction. We went to sleep, and I didn’t not wake up again until my phone rang at 9 the next morning – clearly I was NOT in any kind of labor if I got 10+ hours of uninterrupted sleep. The phone call was the OB at the hospital calling to check on my progress, as they were greatly concerned about my “past due” pregnancy. Knowing that my labor had not progressed to stronger, longer and closer together contractions, I tearfully decided to throw in the towel. I was tired of being hounded by hospital staff and tired of waiting, waiting and waiting with nothing to show for it.

So, we meandered on up to the hospital for the induction. And then they told us that I didn’t have to have an induction because they knew we didn’t want it. What???? They did another NST and AFI and again found the baby to be perfectly healthy. The OB warned me about the risks of carrying a pregnancy past 42 weeks by saying, “I really don’t want to deliver a dead baby.” Followed by, “But I do want to follow your decisions for your medical care.” I elected to have the OB strip my membranes and to go home. But they wouldn’t let me leave until I scheduled another date for an induction, 48 hours later on Sunday, July 25.

It’s My Induction Date, Take 2. No, Wait. It’s My Delivery Date!

After having my membranes stripped, I had good, strong contractions that were at pain level 3 (you know how they ask, “On a scale of 0-10 , with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable, what is your pain level?”). But those good, strong contractions disappeared after just a few hours.

I watched the clock constantly, dreading every passing minute as one minute closer to an induction. On Saturday, my husband and I went mall walking AGAIN, had sex AGAIN, went through the natural induction list AGAIN, and I still refused to drink the castor oil. Even though my husband knew what the castor oil would do, he still encouraged me to give it a try. And I refused AGAIN. If you don’t know what castor oil does to the human body, Google it. Shaina’s blog doesn’t want those details written on it.

I called my doula on Saturday night and we discussed how things would go with the induction. My husband and I gave the house a once over, rechecked hospital bags, charged phones, and each had a glass of red wine. We were watching an episode of that new spy show with the girl from Coyote Ugly, and towards the end of the episode, I had the first Very Serious Contraction. Out of nowhere. It was 9:30.

I fumbled around for the next 30 minutes, finding it impossible to get much relief from the contractions. I’d give those early ones a 4.5 on the pain scale. My husband did not seem impressed and paid more attention to the Coyote Ugly girl. When the show was over, he decided to mess around on the computer for a bit. I followed him around the house like a puppy dog with my giant exercise ball, having to stop for contractions regularly. Around 10:00, I convinced him that we needed to start timing things. I pulled up contractionmaster.com and we soon realized they were 2-3 minutes apart and 45 seconds to a minute long.

So, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t that when they say it’s time to go to the hospital?” Well, the contractions had only been around for about 30 minutes. Since I had so many starts and stops with contractions, I just wasn’t convinced that I would ever go into labor. So we kept timing things at home. I got in the tub around 10:15 and got a little relief, but the contractions still got more intense. At this point, my mind was doubtful of the seriousness of the contractions, but in my gut I just knew things were progressing quickly. My husband was responding to my requests for help and support, but still seemed oblivious to the fact that this was really it. While I sat in the tub, he was reading an article in The Economist in between timing contractions. Remember, it’s still not even been an hour since the first Very Serious Contraction. And every childbirth book/class will tell you that it just usually doesn’t go so fast.

In the category of “Things They Say You’ll Do But You Don’t Believe Them,” I started vocalizing through the contractions (read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth). My husband (his name is Ryan, BTW) finally clued in and called our doula. She heard the all moaning I had going on in the tub and said, “Yup, sounds like labor! Call me when you need me!” We called her back 15 minutes later.

Our doula lives in the north Nashville area, and we were about 45 miles away from her in Clarksville, TN. So, we knew it would take a while for her to join us. I spent less than 30 minutes in the tub because Ryan thought I was getting light headed from the hot water – I’m going to say the light headedness was from PAIN! Once I was out of the water, things got super serious. Contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart and a minute long, but I’d up the pain scale number to an 8. At this point, I remember saying to Ryan, “How am I going to stand up, walk down the stairs, sit in the car for the 25 minute drive to the hospital, walk into L&D, and actually survive?” I just couldn’t imagine how, but I knew that our doula would get here any minute and save me.

I’m now having Very Very Very Serious Contractions, and I’m going to give them a 10 on the pain scale. In between contractions, I begged for an epidural. As if Ryan could go pick one up from the store or the guy next store is an anesthesiologist. It’s probably around 11:30 by now, and our doula wasn’t here yet. Ryan and I talked about trying to get to the hospital, but I could barely make it through contractions that were almost incessant while sitting on our comfy bed. I felt like we needed our doula’s help to get there. I think Ryan and I still believed we’d somehow get to the hospital; we just didn’t have any idea how that would happen.

At midnight, my water broke. Actually, I’m going to say it was more of a pop – lots of pressure behind it, I guess! I was really paranoid that there would be meconium (more likely to be present the longer a pregnancy goes), but Ryan said the fluid was clear. I felt a lot of relief from the contractions, but I gained an urge to push that was unstoppable. I decided to try to labor on the toilet (I’ll take “Things They Say You’ll Do But You Don’t Believe Them” for $400, Alex), and when I stood up to walk, I realized that the baby was RIGHT THERE. You know what I mean.

Being on the toilet was horrible, so I hobbled back to bed (water still leaking). Ryan threw down a towel over my popped water puddle, and once I was settled on the bed, the uncontrollable pushing started again. I tried to feel for the baby’s head (I was convinced that I wasn’t fully dilated for some reason and that there wasn’t enough room for the baby to come out), but it just felt like a crazy mess. Ryan let me know that he could actually see the head and that the baby really was coming, like, RIGHT NOW. He delivered her, untangled the umbilical cord from around her body, and plopped her down on my stomach. We estimate she was born at 12:15, 15 minutes after my water broke. He called our doula, who was to arrive within minutes, and then 911.

Ryan grabbed stuff out of the linen closet to cover up the baby and keep her warm. I just held on for dear life (SO slippery) in a complete haze. When our doula arrived, she grabbed more stuff from the linen closet for me and the baby – I was majorly shivering all over (a hormone thing, apparently). She tried to coach me through delivering the placenta, but I was having a really hard time. Turns out the thing was massive. Part of it didn’t detach, which can be a concern for possible hemorrhaging.

The paramedics arrived, along with firemen to carry me down the stairs in a stretcher. They were all awesome, assuring us that we did a good job and that we were all okay. They clamped off the umbilical cord and had Ryan cut it with a scalpel, though the spot they chose for the cut left about a foot of cord dangling from poor Cora. My doula was massaging my uterus in attempts to get the placenta to let go. It would have really helped to have the baby breastfeed (to induce more contractions), but for some reason the paramedics asked me not to. They wrapped me and my still attached placenta up in more sheets and towels from my linen closet and got me down to the ambulance. We all decided to go to the local hospital instead of the Army hospital, due to proximity.

Ryan drove behind the ambulance and made a few brief phone calls to our family. The ride was bumpy and seemed so long. I really felt light headed and found out later that my blood pressure was slowly dropping (darn placenta). I was also in a lot of pain from a horrible saline IV in my arm. And I was sad because Cora was sucking on anything she could get in her mouth, looking for an opportunity to breastfeed, which I was still not allowed to do.

When we arrived at the hospital, we were not kindly greeted. Since I got all my prenatal care from another provider through a different hospital, they knew nothing about me. I was also an ‘unexpected emergency’ added into an already busy night for the staff. And, they all thought that I delivered at home on purpose, with insufficient support, and now they had to clean up my mess. As the OB & nurses untangled all the blankets and sheets, I got some pitocin to stimulate more contractions. The OB had to end up applying traction to the placenta to get it all out – so unpleasant! And then the OB started in on a few stitches accompanied by the comment, “Next time you deliver your baby alone, do yourself a favor and support your perineum.” Dislike!

While the OB worked on me, an evil baby nurse worked on Cora. She kept the baby away from me for ages, despite Ryan’s and my constant requests for the baby to breastfeed. She also administered the vitamin K shot and eye ointment without consent, two procedures we were likely going to decline. When I inquired about those procedures, she just said, “Oops! Too late!” I dislike you, too, evil baby nurse.

The Aftermath

I guess that’s the end of the most interesting parts. But I’m going to keep going just a little longer so I can answer the question every single person wants to ask – what about the mess? Because you know there was a mess. Here’s the scoop… Ryan and I were concerned about the possibility of my water breaking while I was sleeping (even though this is statistically a small occurrence in labor). A few weeks before my due date, we put a waterproof mattress cover on the bed. And it did its job. Our mattress remained completely mess-free. Ryan was also very concerned about the path of carpet between my side of the bed and the bathroom, so he bought a cheap shower curtain. The shower curtain was to be transferred to the car to protect the seats during the trip to the hospital . I had to walk on that stupid shower curtain for over a month, and I hated it SO much, but it saved our carpet.

You might have noticed that in the above story, I noted several times that various people raided my linen closet. And, apparently, the most convenient pile of linens was the stack of carefully folded, much loved, wonderfully nice sheets that were given to us from our wedding registry. A stack of beach towels also got ransacked, and one lovely hand towel (also a wedding gift) made it into the massive bundle of material that wrapped up me, the baby, and my placenta.

On Monday morning, while Cora and I tried to get a bit of sleep at the hospital, Ryan left to run home and survey the damage. The sheets on our bed, the waterproof mattress cover, and the shower curtain went straight in the trash. Ryan cleaned up the bathroom and put the furniture back into place (paramedics moved several pieces in order to maneuver the stretcher through the house).

When I got unwrapped at the hospital, the staff kindly set aside the whole mess of linens in two plastic “Patient Belongings” bags. And I was stupid enough to think that I was going to take them home and somehow magically save them. I did take them home, where I opened one up and reached in for the hand towel. Stupid, stupid, stupid. At some point, my doula mentioned to me that there were “some solids” wrapped up in there. She didn’t get more specific, and I didn’t ask her to. But I’m pretty sure this is one more thing that falls into the “Things They Say You’ll Do But You Don’t Believe Them” category. After a bit of gagging, I took both bags straight down to the garbage. Ryan later wondered if the trash guys suspected homicide when they got to our bin.

When I write it all out like this, it really seems nuts. It’s hard to convey (and probably for you to believe) how calm everything felt (except the pain of course; that part was NOT calm). I’m going to give a ton of credit to my wonderful husband. Despite being a little slow to jump on board (seriously, remember the part where he was reading The Economist?), his affect was steadfastly composed and confident that we could handle this. Later on, he admitted to being quite jarred by the whole thing, but I never would have known. As much as I was in pain, I truly never felt panicked or helpless about the situation. I actually remember thinking, “Why am I so okay about all this?” Maybe it’s because there just wasn’t time to get myself worked up. From the time of the first Very Serious Contraction until Cora’s birth, it was less than three hours. Geez, it probably took you longer than that to read all this.

As I sign off, here are three pregnancy/childbirth lessons to be learned from all this:

-Waterproof your couch/bed/carpet/car. Just in case.

-Be careful what you wish for. I wanted an intervention-free birth. I sure as hell got one.

-In all seriousness, educate yourself about your body and your baby. There’s so much to be gained both physically and mentally as you prepare for your sweet one’s arrival, however they decide to get here!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcome back!

Student: You know, I'm a senior this year!

Me: Yeah, I know! That's exciting!

Student: You know what you should do for me?

Me: Ummm no, what should I do for you?

Student: You should bring me a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks on the first day of school
since it's the first day of my senior year.

Me: Hmmm. Actually I probably won't do that. But it's a really nice thought.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Up north = heaven!

I am, sadly, home from my vacation in northern Michigan. Oscar and I had a blast at the lake house and with my parents. It was so great to just relax and not do stuff! Plus ... the lake was just AMAZING. Warning: basically all of my photos are of my dog, or the lake, or my dog in the lake. Sorry. :)
I seriously cannot believe this was northern Michigan - I've never seen a lake look so beautiful and blue!

Looking back up the many, many steps to the house!

On Monday, I went to Charlevoix to meet up with my college friend, Margaret, and her absolutely adorable little boy, Sam. I am MORE than a little bit in love with him.

Beautiful!!! But now I'm back home, and back to work tomorrow. Wah wah!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

First night up north ...

... at dusk, enjoying some wine and playing cards with my parents. It is so gorgeous here!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Up North!

Happy weekend, friends! I didn't get quite as many posts up this week as I wanted to - I had a busy week full of work, a terrible migraine that ruined my entire Wednesday, and packing/getting ready for my VACATION! Tomorrow morning, Oscar and I are taking an eight hour road trip to northern Michigan, where my parents rented a lake house on this lake:
Isn't it beautiful? I am really looking forward to relaxing and spending time outside in a place that isn't 100,000 degrees. I finished my class tonight and, in celebration, went to the library and checked out about 5 books. Yayyyyy reading! It has been really hard for me, not having time to read stuff for fun the last 6 weeks. I will be starting with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - soooo excited!

Anyway, while I'm up north I will get to reconnect with an old college friend I haven't seen in about 5 years ... she has THE most adorable 16 month old son, Sam, and I can't wait to meet him!

I was going to do some scheduled posts for next week, but it just didn't happen. I'm not sure if I'll have internet or not - if I do, you'll hear from me! If not ... well, have a GREAT week and I'll be back next weekend!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Happy Monday, y'all! I thought I would throw up a quick post while I'm watching the finale of the Bachelorette. Isn't it amazing how every final rose ceremony is the most dramatic rose ceremony in Bachelorette history??? Le sigh.

Annnnyway, I am happy to report that Oscar is feeling much better. His tail is still ick and hairless and I tried very hard to get a good photo of the bald part to show you (gross, right?) but I couldn't. He has been taking his pills (in a little cheese and peanut butter sandwich every day) and he lets me put his special ointment on his tail without getting growly. All good things! I have attempted to put the cone on him but ... he takes it off almost immediately. He is a very crafty dog. But before he removes it, he sometimes looks all pathetic and droopy - probably for my benefit.
See? Sad.

Anyway - I went to Holiday World yesterday with some of my SILs. We had such a great time! I haven't been to any sort of amusement park in several years, so it was a total blast. I spent the day going down big water slides and riding crazy roller coasters. So much fun!!!

The class I'm taking is coming to a close - this is the last week. The final stretch! I have one final group case study and one final quiz. Cannot wait to be all done! The class is going great, and even though it has been a ton of work and reading, I have learned a lot - and I'm still getting an A, yay!

On Saturday, Oscar and I are going on vacation! My parents rented a lake house in northern Michigan and we are joining them Saturday-Thursday of next week. I am so excited! Oscar and I are both ready to unwind and hang out and, you know, do nothing. Woo hoo! What's up for all of you this week?