Archive for June, 2006

Jun 15 2006

Getting Hit On In The Metro Parking Lot

Published by under daily,random

Maybe everyone out there in internet land is a total hottie. Hey. It’s the internet. We’re all hot on the internet, right? But this happened IN REAL LIFE. And I don’t know about you, but strange men blabbering on about my beauty does NOT happen every day. It doesn’t even happen from not so strange men! So this was a little flabbergasting event in my day today:
scene: The Dunn Loring metro parking lot (outside, not a garage). Me walking through the lot (not on the sidewalk, but down an aisle of cars) toward the metro. I’m wearing a snazzy purple skirt with a light purple blouse and black open toed sandals. Headphones on, listening to the Dawn and Drew Show. I’m not wearing any makeup. Even though I’m going to see some of my clients. I know, I know. Oh well. There is a man in a nice suit with a nice bag walking toward me. As he approaches, he stops and starts talking to me and I have to take off my headphones. All I can remember about the man was that he was shorter than me, and appeared to be in his right senses (despite all other evidence to the contrary).
man: *talking, but I can’t hear him so I take off earphones*

man: Oh, sorry, *motioning to the headphones*

me: Oh, no problem.

I am expecting to be asked for directions. I hope he hurries up, because I am running a bit late.

man: I’m sorry to bother you, I just noticed you over there, and I just had to come over and tell you–

(my mind is wandering a zillion miles a minute, still kind of thinking about the podcast I was listening to, and kind of searching through his words in the back of my mind for items I can lock onto to give directions too. I’m just waiting for “I66” or “beltway” or “hotel” or an address or something I can point him to.. and so I can’t remember any of the exact words he says, just the general gist that he is complimenting me in a rather cute, honest way. I mean, no other guys were around to have to pay off the bet, so.. )

man: –your face, and your eyes, I mean, I really don’t come over to strange women, but I would kick myself if I kept walking, and, even from the sidewalk, I had to come over, you just have this presence–

(I am blushing furiously and can’t help wondering if he is really serious or just pulling my leg or if there are hidden cameras somewhere that will jump out and holler, “HAHA!” and maybe this guy needs his contacts prescription checked? I really can’t form any words, and the only thoughts in my head were, “uhhhhhhhh really?? me???” and “but i’m married!” and still i’m kind of checking to see if he’s going to toss in “which way to tyson’s corner?” in there somewhere)

man: — so I hope you don’t mind me asking your name?

me: Uhhh. Amy.

man: And what do you do Amy?

me: Uhhh. I’m a web designer. I’m sorry, I am just in a little bit of a hurry. (I make strange waving motions toward the metro station)

man: Oh, right, of course, Can I walk with you? Would you mind giving me your number? I’d love to–
me: (seriously blushing so much that I beleive they may be able to see my red face from SPACE, because I am so embarassed) I’m sorry, I’m married.

man: (glances down at my left hand. )

(My ring doesn’t fit on my 4th finger anymore, so I wear it on my 3rd. I feel bad and even guilty, like I’ve misrepresented myself to him somehow and all this hoo ha could have been prevented if I JUST HAD MY RING ON THE RIGHT FINGER, but (thankfully) before brain could register all this and send words to tongue to babble on endlessly, the man turns to go)

man, turning to go: Ahh, sorry to have bothered you then, tell him he’s a lucky man!

me, totally flabbergasted, and kind of thoughtless: Sorry- thanks- I will!

On relating this tale to my husband, his primary comment was: “It must be the boobs.”

Could be. I do have nice boobs.

-amy doesn’t swagger or saunter. amy strolls.

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Jun 14 2006

Good-Bye South Central LA Farm

Published by under daily,gardening,likes & irks

I’ve been following this story. The 13 acre community garden in South Central LA got plowed today. Very sad.

I wish it had turned out differently. The garden was located in an area with the highest concentration of impoverished residents county wide and served as both a source for food and a safe place for families and people to spend time in an area surrounded by warehouses and factories. A food bank sits across the street and coordinates food distribution to local charities.

The land’s ownership has been disputed and only recently (it was arranged in 2003) been sold back from the city to Horowitz, the previous owner. CNN reports quotes from the owner that makes it sound as if he has generously let them farm there for the past decade, but in actuality he got his land back and is turning right around and selling it. They were there by permit from the city, not from any boon from him.

The Trust for Public Land, with help from The Annenberg Foundation tried to raise the money to buy the land. When they offered Horowitz the price he was asking, he refused to sell to them.

This just makes me want to cry.

There are other garden sites offered by the city to the farmers. I can fully understand wanting to keep what you’ve worked so hard on for over a decade, however. When they first started, they hauled away barrels and barrels of concrete, glass and metal. Several celebrities joined in the protest and they, along with the farmers had to be bodily removed.

I would have climbed a tree too.

Read more:

April 5 – L.A. Urban Farmers Fight for Community Garden, The New Standard
June 13 – We Shall Over Mulch!
June 13 – Daryl Hannah Removed from Tree, CNN
today, constantly updated – Sheriffs Deputies Evict South Central Farmers, LA Voice

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Jun 14 2006


Published by under daily,gardening,likes & irks,photos

ust in case you’re not keeping track, I have something of a fetish with seeds. I’m very good at collecting. Even germinating! After that though, I’m only good about going about my business and forgetting to water until they are ALL DEAD except for 2 tomato plants, and 1 impatiens plant, which is displayed HERE:lone_seedling.jpg

Sad isn’t it. Couple normal impatiens plants next to it so you can see how pathetic it is. I’m curious to see what color the flowers will be though. So, all in all, me and seeds = kind of a love hate thing. I love them, I forget them, they hate me.

So I don’t know why I got all giddy with excitement when I realized that my columbine bushes have gone to SEED! Just for reference, here is a picture of one of the bushes (I have 2) from May:

These pretty bushes have actually bloomed a few times and I thought that the little bulbs were actually buds waiting to spring forth into beautiful color, but as I was out puttering around, noticed that some of them were drying out, and showing the seeds within. SEEDPODS! Not flower buds! A-DUH! I felt silly. But only for a minute. I just love collecting seeds.

So of course, I snipped all of the seedpods off the two bushes and carried them in to extract the precious seed booty!


Yes. I snipped them all. Why? No reason, I knew I wasn’t going to harvest all of them, but I figured why not. Honestly, I should have waited longer for most of these pods to try out completely, and it would have made getting the seeds a bit easier. But the seeds were done, and I didn’t actually want to get ALL the seeds, just some of them, so I didn’t mind the fact that most of them were still pretty green. Just makes my fingers stickier.


Basically, I could see the seeds inside each little “straw” that makes up the seedpod.


All I had to do with the pods that were sufficiently dry, was hold it over my outstretched palm and shake the seeds out.

Some of the greener “straws” I just sliced open with my thumbnail and then dumped the seeds out.



After about 8 seedpods, I had a little over a teaspoon of seeds.


I’ve now read a bit about columbine seeds, and they require a moist/cold period to bring them out of dormancy called “stratification.” Not sure what exactly I’ll do with my new seeds for next year, but … now I have some 🙂

Next project – fancy seed envelopes 🙂


Jun 13 2006

Pride and Prejudice – A+

Published by under daily

We watched Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley last night. I’m really not big into writing reviews, because I often enjoy everything. Unless it was appalling, I usually like it.

However, I think everyone who has seen the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Erhle and Colin Firth would say that the definitive work has already been done, and done FLAWLESSLY. The movie thus, has quite an uphill battle, at least in my mind, in order to equal the other version. I went into this movie with the intention of seeing if it “measured up.” I mean please, we’re talking Colin Firth, people!

It measures up.

I think it is the casting that does the movie so much credit. I was so convinced that no one could possibly play those beloved characters as well as the BBC version – Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet was perhaps the biggest surprise – so perfect. Miss Bingly, the bitchy sister not only had just the right tone and attitude, but even her sneery face was perfect. Did I saw Donald Sutherland was the biggest surprise? I take it back. Mr. Collins was VERY hard to imagine anyone other than the sniveling, oilly, weasely man from the BBC version, but the actor in this version went in a different, very successful direction of seeming to trying too hard and being uneasy in his own skin.

And of course, there’s Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

My favorite scene was the pivotal moment in the movie, when Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth for the first time, and she reams him out. Lizzie’s rage and even SHOCK that he would be that impertinent as to fall in LOVE with HER comes through so vividly. He tries to defend himself, to no success, of course, but finally he falls still.

And then there is a moment when he is looking at her, and he realizes what he has done, and how much he wants her – you can see the electricity passing between them, anguish, want, desire on his side, anger, shock, pride on hers. Oh, it was shiveringly breathtaking.

You see, there’s a reason why I don’t do reviews. Not very good at them (as you can see). But if you didn’t see this movie because you felt as if you would be …… being unfaithful, if you will, to the BBC version, then I would urge you to see it.

I love it.

I’ll always love the BBC version as well. Now I have another version to love as well.

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Jun 13 2006

Cute Kid Stories

Published by under daily,kids

I haven’t done these in a while, though the johnny cakes could probably pass.

Yesterday for some reason, the traffic gods smiled down upon I-66 and there was nothing like the normal backup from centreville to manassas. Which means I arrived at my kids’ school about 15-20 minutes earlier than I usually do.

There? is the big playground, and then a smaller separated playground specifically for the toddlers. I usually get Ethan first and then Jocelyn because it’s easier to holler at Ethan a zillion times to “Come ON, we’re GOING!” in the toddler playground than to holler at Jocelyn. You holler, but she doesn’t listen, and by then, she’s on top of the huge jungle gym hanging from the monkey bars about to plummet to her Dhoom, and I have to climb up there, in heels and a skirt, in about 2 seconds flat to save my baby girl from certain extinction.


So yesterday, I arrive on the big playground and scan around for my son. He is perched on top of a little play coupe car while his friend, JT, scoots it around. My first instinct is to holler across the playground that that’s not safe, but obviously, they are fine, and obviously the teachers let them do that since there they were, doing it, and me telling them not to is just going to go over like water off a ducks back, and they’ll probably do it again tomorrow when I’m not around ANYWAY.

So I go over and do the family whistle thing and he spots me and hops down and hollers, “SUPER SPEED!” and thus, with his fist thrust out in front of him, he runs over to me, trying to knock me over in his effort to hug me and then swallow me whole.

“Hi honey!” *hug hug hug* “How are you doing?”

“Good! I was on the CAR! I can get up there all by myself!”

“Yes, I saw.” *don’t dwell don’t dwell don’t dwell on your son lying on the ground with his head cracked open* “Did you have a good day? Did you make good choices?”


After a brief talk with the teachers on duty on how he has been doing, we head for the door to go inside and then out to Jocelyn’s playground. On the way there, a voice calls behind us, “Ethan!” And Ethan tosses over his shoulder, “I’m busy! I gotta go!” without stopping. The voice persists though, and I see a little boy from his class run up, so I stop so Ethan can talk to him. He is a smaller boy, I suspect a bit younger than Ethan, and I don’t think english is his first language, so I didn’t quite make out what he was saying until after he said it, and Ethan leaned forward and gives him a big hug. He was asking for a hug, it was so cute. Then a brief, “See you tomorrow!” on both sides, and we again turn and head for the door to the school.

We go inside and then the door peeps open and the little boy sticks his head inside to call out, “I love you Ethan!”

“I love you too, Roberto!” Ethan calls back.

It was just too cute.

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Jun 12 2006

sunday breakfast

Published by under daily,kids,recipes

Sunday morning found us in the comfy bed in the guest room having a bed party, with the kids climbing all over squirming and kicking and generally too wide awake and too crowded to really snuggle. Something had to be done to take their mind off their desire to kick each other (and us) and then point at each other and state, “He/She’s kicking me!”

So I said, “What should we have for breakfast?”

Jocelyn: “OATMEAL!”


Me: Hmmm… how about some FLAPJACKS!

We’ve never called pancakes anything other than pancakes, so this name struck them as funny.

James: That would be good, some johnny-cakes!

This name struck them even more, Jocelyn especially.


Me: Mmmm, I could make johnny cakes. Anyone want some hoe-cakes?

James: Ho-cakes?

Me: Yeah, Hoe-cakes. You know, they used to make them on the back of a hoe, out in the fields for a snack.

James: OOOoohhhh. HOE cakes.

Jocelyn: No. No hoe cakes. JOHNNY CAKES I WANT JOHNNY CAKES!

So off I trekked downstairs and made something vaguely resembling Paula Dean’s Hoe-cakes, except that I tried not to use any flour.* So instead of the cup of flour she used, I used a cup of rice flour. And I didn’t have any of the self rising stuff, so I randomly added a teaspoon of BP and a 1/4 teaspoon of BS into the mix. Didn’t have any buttermilk, and also didn’t want to risk Jocelyn’s nose exploding into a newfound river of snottitude (which happens when she has certain dairy), I used soy milk.

Them there’s a lotta changes to the recipe, eh? I mixed them up thinking, ho boy this has a huge potential to go majorly wrong” and spooned them into hot butter to fry. However, they were delicious.

* Um… by the way. We have recently discovered that James is allergic to WHEAT. Yes. Wheat. Thus, the rice flour. Wheat is in FREAKING EVERYTHING. This is going to be hard. Trip to Wegman’s planned for this week.
Seriously, how bad can something be when it was fried in butter to cook?

The rest of the day, Jocelyn still remembered breakfast and would come over to inform us, “I had JOHNNY CAKES, Daddy, I had JOHNNY CAKES, mommy!”

I told james I should have taken a picture.

“Why?” he asked with a puzzled look.


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Jun 09 2006

mid-week progress report

Published by under amy's head,daily,project skinny

You may or may not have noticed, that since my big “THIS IS IT!” post and then the following week update, I havne’t really posted any project skinny updates.

That’s because I wasn’t being very good.

But this week, I have really buckled down, and have surprised myself with how well I have been doing.

IT IS HARD! But I have been having a pretty good week!

I had a little bit of a touch and go moment Thursday when I was really jonesin’ for some Pad Thai, but Ann, bless her heart, came through for me with some IM perspective:

raine: ann!
raine: i want to go get thai so bad!
raine: but it’s like a zillion points!
raine: ahhhhhhh!
miniann: how badly do you want thai?? bad enough that you’re willing to not lose weight or even gain weight this week over it?
raine: NO!
raine: i’m trying to see if there’s something “good” i could get instead
miniann: lol
miniann: yeah, thai makes that very hard.

She really hit the nail on the head, and honestly, that is what has been keeping me together and helping me make good choices all week – I want to see a loss. That is it, plain and simple, this is it, this is my life, and it’s time to pony up with some changes!

So now that you’re all, “you go girl!” and “You can do it” and “woo to the hoo!” Let me tell you that I totally blew it today.

Today was a good friend’s last day at work, so we all went out for a farewell lunch.

At a chinese restaurant.

And it was buffet.


Yes, there were many things consumed that were NOT good for me. I can try to placate myself with the fact that there were some changes in the way I would have done it before, like only a teeny bit of General Tso’s, my favorite, and also a bajillion points and more of the brocoli beef, but honestly, it was still not a stellar meal.

However, I know that this is not it, I still have, not only the REST of the day, but the rest of teh week! It is going to be hard, because I tend to eat when I’m at home, and that makes weekends the worst, but I can do this 🙂 I want to see a loss this week SO BADLY, so I am just going to keep holding on to that all weekend.

And possibly go stock up on the 3 for 1 pt no sugar added popsicles. Great for when you get hit with that nervous eating urge.

So, not only have I been doing good with the eating, but I have been making a few other minor changes

Every morning my alarm goes off early so that I COULD actually get up, go downstairs and work out before hitting the shower and heading off to work. Every morning, that never happens. But one morning, as I was laying there thinking about how I really didn’t want to groove it to an exercise tape, it did occur to me that I could maybe go for a short little bike ride.

I didn’t hop up and go. I saw you thinking that is where this was going, so HAHAHAHA, oh that’s funny, no, I rolled back over and slept until the alarm went off again. BUT, I did hop on my bike that evening and had a pretty good, fairly strenuous little ride on a beautiful little trail by the creek. It was about 30 minutes, nothing stellar, but I felt great, and it was great to be out in the fresh air. (Not great to inhale gnats though, I learned how to avoid those pretty early on.)

Another little change – started just climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator when I get to work. I’m on the 3rd floor, and they count the ground floor as floor 1, so it’s not a huge amount of stairs, which is good, or I wouldn’t do it. But it’s a step in the right direction, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

So! Just gotta stay really strict with myself this weekend, and no matter what I see on the scale monday, keep hold of this will power that seems to have strayed into my head.

– amy was a fool, she was petrified, she never thought that she could live without you by her side

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Jun 08 2006

Nutritional Information for Subway’s new Tuscan Chicken Sandwich

Published by under project skinny,random

So, I tried out this new sub from subway, but was dismayed that they didn’t have the nutritional info on their website.

So I emailed them, and they emailed me back this info:

6″ Tuscan Chicken Sub

Calories 390
Total Fat 8 grams
Cholesterol 60 mg
Carbohydrates 54 grams
Fiber 5 grams
Sugar 13 grams
Protein 29 grams

The Nutritionals include bread (Italian White), chicken, grilled peppers and onions, lettuce, tomatos, tuscan seasoning, tuscan vinaigrette and American cheese.

I know you were wondering about this. I live to serve you.

2 responses so far

Jun 08 2006

Storytime: The Birth of Jocelyn Grace

Published by under daily,kids,photos

With Ethan, James we decided not to know the sex of the baby, so that when he was born, it would be a surprise. This was fun and all, but when I discovered myself knocked up a second time, I let him know I couldn’t do it again. I needed to know. I NEED THE 411!

So we knew that the odds were pretty good that we would be having a little girl, which suited us both just fine. Even before the 20 week ultrasound when they tell you the sex, I really felt that the baby was a girl. At first we thought, we’ll find out but we won’t tell anyone the sex. But THAT wasn’t going to happen, so we decided we wouldn’t tell anyone the names we were thinking about. Which was good, because there were SO MANY. I don’t think we REALLY decided until pretty close to the birth, at least, *I* hadn’t, James wasn’t too fond of all the outlandish girl names I was dreaming up. We wanted one of our grandmothers’ names which is hard because we liked them all. Coupled with Jocelyn, we settled on my maternal grandmother’s name, Grace.

Early on, I had misgivings about the birth. It is not that Ethan’s birth was a fiasco or anything, but it really wasn’t what I wanted. He was large, and he was breech, so the doctor scheduled a c-section. We woke up one morning, went in, and had a baby. The operation was fine, the anesthesia was NOT. I didn’t really feel mopey or depressed about it afterward – I think that can happen to some mothers who have c-sections, because they have the idea in their head of how the birth will go and then when it doesn’t come out the way they want, they mourn for that lost experience. I totally knew what was going to happen BEFORE it happened, so you could say that I was able to mourn before the birth, so that afterward I was resigned and able to move on.

Still, it was a disappointment, I mean, I never had my water break, never even felt any contractions, it was so clinical. I was determined, DETERMINED, to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarian) with Jocelyn.

My doctors were fine with having that goal, but pretty much told me that the chances were slim. Ethan was born just above 9 lbs, and second babies are generally even bigger. They told me that if I really wanted a VBAC, I could not gain any weight. So throughout the pregnancy, I was very careful and only gained a total of about 5 pounds (I was pretty overweight, so it’s not that dramatic, really).

So much anticipation as the due date drew closer. My mom arrived, as she was going to be the Ethan care-giver when the Big Day arrived. She came a week before the due date and was planning on staying until a week after. Of course, due date came and went with no sign of Jocelyn making an appearance. I began to really despair. Plus, I had to have the baby before my mom left!

I remember going in for my appointment the day after my due date, and not being at all dilated or effaced and the doctor telling me that it was time to schedule a c-section. I started to cry (hey I was pregnant, I was allowed!) and I think that softened him up a bit, and he stopped talking about the c-section. However, when I got HOME from the appointment, there was a message from the nurse telling me they had scheduled me for a c-section in a few days, and if I hadn’t gone into labor by then, then I would come in for the c-section.

I was really devastated, but I must say, that kicked my ass into high gear. I walked. I walked. I walked. I walked. I think I may have even JOGGED. I wanted to go into labor SO BADLY, that I went to the drug store and purchased.. the dreaded castor oil.

Let me tell you, that stuff is VILE. It was pretty difficult to just get that stuff down (and I mixed it up in some juice) but that is how determined I was.

In case you don’t know, the way castor oil works, is it sends an alarm to the entire digestive tract, “EVACUATE! EVACUATE! EVACUATE! CODE RED! EVACUATE!” — that’s the gist of the message. So, while your intestines and bowels are busy evacuating everything, they’re contracting and spasming a lot. So this is where your uterus notices all the hubbub and decides, “Hey, I can do better than THAT!” and begins to contract.

I took it in the evening, and only got a few hours of sleep, as most of the time was spent lugging my huge ass and stomach out of bed and going to spend some quality time on the toilet. And it was on the toilet at about 4am, March 9th, 2004 that my water broke.

At first I was a little unsure whether I was diagnosing myself correctly, after all, there had been a lot of evacuation that night, so who knows what had decided to evacuate, could I be peeing and not even realize it? But as I stood up and walked around, felt the water gush out of my Princess, I knew that this Was It.

I was excited, but still, I knew we had a ways to go. Mostly, I was just SO excited to have HAD MY WATER BREAK and be going into labor with the help of castor oil ON MY OWN and hopefully have NO C-SECTION.

I went in and woke up James, and my only regret is that I didn’t hop in the shower before we left for the hospital. Remember.. no sleep.. night spent on the toilet.. I was NOT feeling exactly daisy fresh, but off to the hospital we went, letting my mother know of course what was going on.

I remember being excited and pleased as a couple of contractions hit in the car on the way to the hospital, but I knew they were nothing too major. Still, I had to concentrate on them because they could sure pack a whollop.

We got to the hospital, hoo-hawed around in triage while they made sure my water had actually broken (“Here let me just stand up for you. Got any rain boots?”) and then was admitted. We spent a little while waiting for my doctor who was finishing up a c-section (this one was a different one that the one who had examined me earlier in the week).

I was given an IV practically before I was even inside the hospital itself and quickly got a baby/ contraction monitor in the belt-thing-around-my-stomach. The contractions were there, but not very significant and were starting to peter out. So my doctor wanted to get me outfitted with an epidural, baby monitor (the kind that goes up my hoo-ha and attaches to the baby’s head) and drip some petocin in me to keep the contractions moving along.

Now, I’ve seen plenty of “Birth Story” on TLC, and I know that petocin can really bang out some contractions, and I was pretty excited about just being there, “Hi, this is me, LOOK, I’M IN REAL LIVE LABOR and OH is that a CONTRACTION I feel? I THINK I MAY BE IN HEAVEN!” – that was me.

Plus… don’t tell anyone, but I was fucking scared of getting the epidural. Don’t get me wrong, I had no illusions of going au naturel or anything, but the last time was so horrific, I really was in no hurry. Once again. Just happy to be here. Please hold your applause until the end.

So I begged and pleaded with my doctor to hold off on all that and let me walk around and try to keep the contractions going, and she agreed to let us do that for an hour. James and I walked around the floor as I felt the contractions start to fade into hardly nothing. 45 minutes later, we were back in my room and had the nurse tell the doctor that we were ready. BRING ON THE DRUGS!

So next came my biggest fear. Epidural-Man. I laughed and joked with him as I always do when I’m so totally flippin nervous and scared, and it was soooo not a big deal. I mean, it was awful, YOU try getting a needle that big, but the local anesthetic he gave me before the big huge needle apparently worked MUCH better than when I got the epidural with Ethan, because I have hazy memories of promising him my newly born child, as soon as I got her vacated – that is how great a job he did.

So I got the epidural which promptly made me lose all feeling in my legs, which made getting comfortable pretty impossible (you try rolling over with dead legs). Things started off pretty good, the petocin was doing it’s trick with the contractions, and I was progressing along fairly well. The morning I remember watching a lot of VH1 with James and wishing I had showered. I was fine with James going off to find food, and pestered the nurses to bring me more popsicles, which was the only thing they’d let me eat: “KEEP EM COMING!” was my motto.

The Epidural-Man was my good friend that I would praise and try to entertain whenever he came to give me more of whatever they had dripping into my epidural. It’s funny to think of how I seemed to want him to like me, and I didn’t want to put him out, whereas later, I believe I may have expressed threats to strangle him with my IV tube if he didn’t give me MORE DRUGS NOW.

So, yes, when afternoon came along, I grew more and more conscious of the contractions. I can’t really offer a lot of specifics, because in that blessed way Mother Nature has of making sure we will do it all AGAIN someday, it’s all kind of hazy. I remember how I tried to work through the contractions in the beginning, which was The Wrong Way. James held my hand, and I told him to tell me to relax, which he did, and I tensed up every muscle in my body as I tried to breathe like they do in the movies, (gasping hee-hee-hee). It took so much energy and yet I could not help the impulse to just…. tense up. I realized that if I kept this on, I WOULD NOT be able to do this, I would collapse in a tired puddle and die, and that’d be it, no Amy, no baby, nothing.

I remember begging the doctor for drugs, and she would consult her chart and nod and agree and then I’d have to wait an agonizing billion hours 10 minutes for the Epidural-Man to come and put more Elixir of Life into my epidural. It would seem to work for a while, if I held very still, and didn’t think about it too much, but it never lasted very long, and I would be back to holding James hand and tensing every muscle.

I remember James getting that funny look on his face.. not like, he didn’t WANT to stand there and say things over and over to me, but I could tell he felt silly, and that he wasn’t sure if he was helping very much. I realized that I really needed help, really needed to change the way I was handling the contractions. I realized this tightening every muscle thing had to go, what I really had to do was figure out how to relax relax relax, and so that is what I told him to do. I asked him to just keep talking, never stop, telling me to relax, and even pinpoint specific areas of my body, like my shoulders, my neck (remember, I couldn’t feel anything downstairs, so those were already relaxed) and he got over feeling silly pretty quickly and I would look into his big brown eyes and listen to every word and try to keep all my muscles relaxed.

It was like, giving in to a fight. As a contraction would hit, my instincts were to fight it, and the only way I could do that was to tense up. My uterus was in control, and I didn’t want it to be in control *I* wanted to be in control dammit, and in a way, when I finally figured out the right way to handle the contractions, it was like giving up, giving control over, letting go of that control. It was hard. I’m a very controlling person, and I wanted to fight that pain so badly, and I would have, if it hadn’t been for James staying with me every minute of it, telling me to relax, let go, breath, you’re doing wonderful, relax, loosen your shoulders, relax your neck, i love you honey, relax, breath deeply, relax your arms…. over and over, throughout every contraction.

I remember our friends Kurt and Ann came over during this period in the afternoon. The contractions had been going on for a while at this point, and when they first came in, I remember chatting with them for a minute, but as soon as a contraction came, it was as if they disappeared, and the world was only filled with James and me and the pain and the fight and the need to control. Then it would be over and everything would snap back into focus and I could ask Ann how work was going, etc. Eventually though, I forgot about them and just tried to rest in between each contraction.

So. Contractions. Tough tough things, eh? I didn’t really think about the epidural. I guess I just figured that the contractions were getting so much stronger.

Evening came, and I could feel the baby descending. It was a really weird feeling, and it gave me a strong sense of urgency. It hurt, and it felt so strange, and I didn’t know what to do, and I remember calling out, “SHE’S COMING, SHE’S COMING!” only to be checked, and told placidly,* “Yes, it looks like she is descending now, I think you might be ready to push in another hour or so.”

ANOTHER HOUR OR SO? I DON’T THINK SO! Not with this pain! Not with this basketball trying to squeeze downward! I begged her for more drugs, but she said no, that the last dose I had should be fine for now.

(My classic TV/Movie moment of the wife yelling obscenities at the husband is coming up. Just so you know.)

Well, I was NOT FINE, and I could NOT HANDLE this feeling, this pain, it was too much, there was no urge to fight THIS pain, all I could do was lay back and try not to move, lest the basketball do.. something.. anything.. please don’t do anything, basketball, just DON’T DO ANYTHING because it HURTS SO BAD.. This is when I begged James to call the doctor.

“Call her! I need drugs! I can’t take this! I can’t!”

He was sweet, and in his simple minded imbecile husband way, knew through the simple logic that the doctor was not likely to agree to drugs now, when she had refused then just 2 minutes ago, and didn’t want to “bother” her. He tried to tell me no, that the doctor had already said no.


James called her. (smart man!) She came and looked at me and pretty much immediately gave the OK for more drugs. It’s funny, because she was right, I HAD gotten a dose not long before, and I should have been good for a while longer. But that didn’t occur to me then. I just wanted the damn drugs.

Very shortly after the Epidural-Man came and gave me more drugs (no effusive efforts to be funny and charming this time. I don’t think I saw him, just the blessed syringe of The Nectar Of The Gods in his hands) chaos broke loose.

I was finally feeling comfortable, after a long time of feeling every contraction, and I had gotten in a position where I was comfortable, when a slew of people came in, and demanded that I turn over onto my side. I tried to tell them that I had JUST gotten comfortable, when they just started pulling and moving me, turning me over on my side and I realized that gee, there were a lot of people in the room. The doctor came in after a few seconds and informed us that the baby’s heart rate had dropped, and they wanted me on my left side to see if that helped her. They watched for a few seconds, and when it didn’t, they put an anti-contraction medicine in the IV and began frantically prepping me for surgery. Relief flooded over James and I when after about 20 seconds (when the anti-contraction meds kicked in) the heartbeat returned to normal.

Still, as she descended, something was cutting off her blood supply, and so into the ER I went.

What did I feel at this poing? Totally fine. My baby’s heartbeat dropped. I wanted to get her out of there, VBAC be damned. Plus, I had what I wanted. My water broke. I spent the entire day in the hospital, breathing through contractions for pete’s sake. It wasn’t the perfect birth scenario, but I no longer felt “cheated” out of those birth experiences, and what mattered was the health of our baby girl.

SO!!! There we are (ok me, but James was right next to me) on the operating table, and there was this light right above my stomach. The curtain is up of course, and I can’t see what’s going on, but I can totally see murky reflections in the cover of the operating room overhead light. I’m kind of jazzed about this, because when I went through this with Ethan, they offered to let me watch in a mirror, but I was too caught up in the awful feelings of the epidural to take them up on it. So I didn’t want a mirror, but I was totally watching what they were doing in that reflective light. I saw them reach down with the scalpel, and so was a little shocked when I FELT THEM CUT INTO MY STOMACH.

“OW OW OW OW PAIN OW PAIN OW PAIN!”- these were the only words my brain could force my mouth to sputter out, and I applaud the brain on such concise coherence!

The Epidural-Man was no dummy, and he saw that I was watching in the lamp, and quickly turned it so that I couldn’t see in it. I think they all assumed I was just watching them and freaking out, but no. I was not. I FELT THEM CUTTING.

“OW OW PAIN OW OW OW PAIN!” – again, yay! go brain!

Every so slowly and calmly, the doctor asked, “Now, do you feel pressure or tugging, or actual pain-” just as she did something with her scalpel.

And I cut her off as I hollered, “PAIN! PAIN!” They believed me this time, because I couldn’t see what they were doing, but hollered just as they started to carve me up again. So, after they finally got it, that my epidural was NOT working (OH MY GOD! THIS EXPLAINS SO MUCH! I WASN’T JUST HAVING SUPER STRONG CONTRACTIONS, I WAS TOTALLY FEELING EVERYTHING WHILE ALL THE DRUG HAPPY JUICE EVIDENTLY WAS FOCUSING ON NUMBING MY TOES INSTEAD OF MY UTERUS!) to their credit, they did spring into action.

The Epidural-Man informed me that there was no time to check/adjust/reinsert my epidural, that instead, I would have to be put out with a general anesthetic. This means that I get to go to sleep during the entire operation. Nothing sounded better to me! With Ethan, I was pretty bored during the whole post-baby-removal, the 40 minutes where they have to carefully stitch everything that they sliced through on the way to get baby. So having a little nap was fine with me, plus, scary epidural needle? Not my idea of fun. 2 babies = 2 epidural needles, NOT THREE.

So out I went, and when I woke up, I was covered up in a blanket for the inevitable weird post-anesthetic shivering, but sitting in a rocking chair right next to me was James with our new daughter, Jocelyn Grace.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

10 lbs, 23 1/2 inches. She came out fine, despite the fact that the cord was looped around her neck TWICE. She was a beautiful pink baby with newborn gray eyes and loads of dark brown hair.

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Jun 07 2006

ahhhhhhhhhhhh…… love her so much.

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

Just finished watching Good Night, and Good Luck.

Liked it just fine.

But the thing that really got to me was the music. If you’ve seen the movie, I KNOW you remember the few scenes of the woman singing the beautiful jazz standards. At first, just sat back, enjoyed, and thought “Gotta find out who that is.”

Then I thought… “Could it be her?”

After a few milliseconds more, I KNEW it was her, KNEW it was my beloved Dianne Reeves – wasn’t sure who that lady in the movie was, but that voice was Dianne Reeves, a voice like a slow drink of whiskey, a voice, that one person stated in an Amazon review, that “has the power to turn any room in your house into a smoky jazz club.”

Oh, I could just sink into that voice forever.

If you enjoy jazz, I highly recommend picking up Dianne Reeves “I Remember” – not a huge fan of the first track, but god, the whole CD is awesome. I swear she has an orgasm on a couple tracks (a musical orgasm, if you will). I’ll play it for you next time you’re over. I’ll even try not to sing along (that’s a very tall order and I make NO PROMISES). However, I predict that the “Good Night, and Good Luck” cd will rival it for first place in my affections.

I was introduced to her when I was in High School. I sang in jazz choir in school, and in the northwest, vocal jazz was IT. We went to festivals all over the state (WA) as well as neighboring states (ID, OR) and provinces (Vancouver & Victoria BC). I still remember when one of the guys in choir mentioned how he had gone to see her downtown one weekend the BURNING jealousy I had for him, and even anger that he did not INFORM ME so that I could go. She was an adjudicator at one of the festivals we attended, and performed in an evening concert, but more importantly, held a Q&A session with only about 20 people. I can’t remember any of it, however.

I just remember she was amazing.

The woman has won four consecutive Grammy’s.? Seriously, I can’t stop wigging out here. She HAS A CHRISTMAS ALBUM! HOW did I NOT KNOW THAT?? (yup, won a grammy.)
My major in college was music, Voice with an emphasis in Jazz. However, I went to college at BYU, in Provo, which is in Utah, where any mention of jazz was met with basketball talk. Not a big jazz sort of place. I didn’t graduate, and while I am entirely to blame, I wonder if I would have stayed interested and hard working if I was in a school that could really take me down the path I wanted to go. Jazz emphasis or not, BYU didn’t have the path. (It didn’t have a lot of other paths for me too, but this post is about jazz, mmmkay?)
I just loaded up a ton of 80s music on my ipod and was on a total 80s kick today, but I think that kick ended … oh… about an hour and a half ago 🙂 Time to start loading up the jazz.

And making an amazon purchase!

Do you like jazz?

I bet you do. Norah Jones? She’s luscious, isn’t she? How about Harry Connick Jr? Or even Squirrel Nut Zippers? Royal Crown Revue? I would even stick Brian Setzer and his fabulous orchestra in there, and guess what, that’s all jazz, baby. All that great music on your Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack – jazz baby! Give Dianne a listen, and I bet you won’t regret it – and this soundtrack is a great place to start.

– amy sings, be still my heart!

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