Monthly Archives: August 2010

Scrapbooking Sucks (and why I need a hobby)

Its that time of year again that I am not particularly fond of but hate even more due to the fact that I’m baking a bun… Jeremy is back in school.  His classes kicked off officially last week and I got my first taste of his studying all weekend (he had to read 400+ pages of material for classes this week).

While I take full responsibility for pushing him to go to Law school (and he may try to say it was his decision… and at the end of the day it was but let’s be honest… I was a bit of a nag until he applied) – I hate it.

When I was in school, his being in school wasn’t so bad.  In fact – his incessant need to be a good student often encouraged me to perhaps do my own homework in a timely manner.  But now that I’m not in school?  I’m fucking bored.

The big problem with boredom for me is that when I don’t know what to do, I go shopping.  So this semester could potentially end up being quite expensive unless I find a better way to spend my time.  But what?

This past weekend I found myself SCRAPBOOKING (you read that correctly).  While I totally dig those crafty scrapbookers with their uber cutesy books – I don’t enjoy this activity. 

However, over 3 years ago I thought I’d get into it some… or at least get into it enough to make my own wedding scrapbook (nevermind the fact that we paid a bajillion dollars for a professional wedding album).  I saved all my random stationary and newspaper clippings (I did the Running of the Brides and was interviewed by the Baltimore Sun) but the actual act of putting together an album was just too daunting.

BUT… I needed to leave the house to give Jeremy some quiet time.  So I went to my friend’s house (a gal who also thought she’d get into scrapbooking so owns a TON of scrapbooking stuff but has yet to actually produce an album) so we could scrapbook together.  And while I love my friend dearly – I just don’t enjoy scrapbooking. 

What I’m trying to do now is just group pictures and items together and glue them down to paper in a sort of artful way.  And that’s it.  I, amazingly, managed to get about half of the book done so maybe I’ll actually complete my wedding album before the bambino makes his/her arrival.

Some other things I can do to occupy my time instead of shopping could include:

- Photography.  I say this all the time.  I even bought a book recommended by my awesome photographer friend.  I even read 2 pages of it!  Perhaps this is my opportunity to read the whole damn thing and actually try to understand how my camera functions (instead of just pointing and shooting… and hoping for the best).

- Learn Korean.  My in-laws gave my Rosetta Stone Korean about 3 years ago (at my request) and I have yet to use it.  I uploaded it to our home computer but that is as far as I’ve gotten.  I’m also hoping to know a few sentences before bambino’s debut because I’d really like for my child to have some knowledge of their Korean heritage.

- Sew!  I would really like to learn to sew but am afraid that if I purchase a sewing machine, it will end up with all the other forgotten devices/appliances in the house (hello, ice cream maker!  I haven’t forgotten you, friend.)  But I could sew neat-o things for the soon to be nursery!  I could mend my clothes!  I could sew obnoxious jackets for my dogs!  Oh the possibilities…

Do you have any suggestions?  While I’d be happy to watch the obscene amount of television that I normally watch – the problem is that the DVR happens to be in our living/dining room… and this is where Jeremy studies.  The dining room table serves as an optimum study desk (since we don’t use it to eat) and the lighting is just better in this room than anywhere else in the house.  So this means I can’t really watch a lot of television… and that is probably a good thing now that I think of it.

6 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Mind Your Own Boobs (and other unwanted pregnancy/baby advice)

Yesterday I tweeted:

Since more and more people are finding out that I’m pregnant, I have been bombarded with pregnancy advice or other comments.

I’ve learned quickly that there are a few hot button topics among parents and they include:

- Finding out the gender of the baby vs. waiting until delivery for the big “surprise”

- Labor with drugs vs Labor with no drugs

- Breastfeeding vs bottle feeding

The Gender Controversy

I really don’t see the big deal about this at all.  The people that are pro waiting until delivery try to argue that:
– Its probably the last big surprise you’ll ever have in your life
– It makes the delivery more exciting for everyone

And to these claims, I say poppycock!  (okay – I just wanted to say poppycock).  The last big surprise I’ll ever have?  Well that just makes me sad.  Plus – what is the difference between the surprise at your 20 week sonogram vs the delivery room.  I think you’re surprised either way… its just a matter of where and when. 

As to the point about making delivery more exciting – I actually find this to be offensive.  I don’t think knowing the gender of your baby makes the overall experience any less exciting and to imply such a thing seems kind of mean. 

The way I view this whole thing – if I can find something out sooner, I will.  I, personally, feel that being able to attribute a gender will (1) help me to get Jeremy to commit to a frickin’ name and (2) help me to create a personality for my bambino.  But that’s just me.  I wouldn’t imply to someone who is waiting that they’d feel disconnected to their baby if they didn’t have this info – just as I would expect people to respect my own personal wishes.

Plus – who’s to say I won’t be surprised at the delivery?  I’m reading and hearing more and more stories about couples who were told they were having 1 thing only to end up delivering another.

The DARE Delivery Issue

Here’s another thing that baffles me.  The women that seem to be pro au naturel seem to be the most adamant about their viewpoint (my mother is included in this camp).

Last I checked, women were not awarded medals or badges for opting to not use drugs.  There were no ticker tape parades in their honor.  I don’t believe when you register your child for school that you have to indicate whether or not you delivered them with the use of drugs.  SO WHO THE FUCK CARES.

It surprised people when they ask me about my birth plan.  Mind your own vag.

And speaking of vaginas… there is some sort of myth about an extra stitch?  It made me chuckle when a female co-worker mentioned it to me, it made me want to take a scaulding hot shower when a male co-worker said the same thing.

The Great Boob Debate

Holy fuck – this is the mother of all controversies.  Breastfeeding. 

It makes me laugh when Jeremy takes it upon himself to answer for me when people ask about our plans to breastfeed (in case you’re wondering, he says, “Yes, absolutely.” as though it was a crazy question to even ask).  Jeremy also took a class in college called, “Nutrition through the lifecycle” where there was a section all about breastfeeding.  Apparently my husband is an expert in breastfeeding.  He could be a lactation specialist.  And I have a feeling that the words, “Do you want to fucking breastfeed him/her?” WILL come out of my mouth at some point.

Anywho.  I just don’t understand why people feel it is their business.  A lot of the comments I’ve gotten from people have been about how I should brace myself for the barage of opinions that will be forced upon me about this topic.  One person even warned that I shouldn’t let the nurses make me feel bad in case I have difficulty (in fact – I’ve had a few people tell me this). 

But people are rabid about this topic.  I had read that a friend from high school was recently approached by a stranger in a restaurant when she was bottle feeding her newborn.  The lady asked if there was breastmilk in the bottle.  What the what?  Oh hell to the no.  Back off, lady.  I would have flipped.

My plan is to try.  I do think it is a natural thing to do (and find it strange when some women note how the idea of it “skeeves them out”) but I also know that it can be a painful and difficult experience for some women.  Am I afraid of the process?  A little but that has more to do with my fear of having my nipples bitten off (think Ted Bundy) more than the act of feeding a child. 

What is it about being pregnant that allows people to cross that imaginary boundary that every has in regards to their personal space / life?   I’m awaiting the day when I get to karate chop a stranger’s hand away from my belly.  Bring it on, motherfuckers.

13 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Running Season

Its that time of year again in Baltimore – people are training for the upcoming Baltimore Marathon (or half).  I’ve seen an increase in the number of morning runners on my way to the office.  I’ve seen running groups pass me as I walk into the office.  Even Jeremy has been getting up early on Saturday mornings to do his long runs (he’s doing the half marathon and is actually training for it this year… unlike last year when he just winged it and still managed to run it faster than I could ever imagine).

And let me just tell you – it makes me feel a little sad.  I miss running. 

I’m still running now but I’ve relegated myself to only running twice a week on a treadmill.  Tons of pregnancy sites warn against running on pavement if you have issues with your knees since pregnancy apparently softens your joints.  Who knew?  Plus my balance is off and I’m prone to tripping and falling.  Its just safer to stick to a treadmill.

While I’m happy that I’m still able to run (only 3.25 miles) – it is a bit disheartening to see my pace get gradually slower.  I can’t even run on an incline anymore. 

I miss training for something.  I miss the feeling of hitting a new mileage.  I remember the first time I hit double digits.  I nearly cried because I was so happy with my progress.  I miss all of that. 

I have declared to a few friends that I plan to run another marathon.  This time, however, I will give myself more than 18 weeks to train for it.  I will listen to aches and pains (instead of running through them).  I have my heart set on running the Marine Corps Marathon next year… partly as an incentive to ensure that I don’t let my fitness fall by the wayside after the baby is born but mostly because I just really miss running.

Anywho… to all of you runners out there (especially those training for something) – good luck!  enjoy!  and please let me all about it because sadly – I really am living vicariously through all the blogs and some of my friends who are training.

3 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Runs

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (or How I’ve Been Feeling Lately)

I am in a perpetual bad mood.  And I have difficulty using the term perpetual without recalling how some girl commented, “Is it just me or is Kim perpetually burned out?” in high school and before I could even get mad, I had to ask my friend what “perpetual” meant. 

Anywho.  If you ask Jeremy – he’ll tell you that he thinks that I’ve been having some very bad mood swings lately.  Or that I’m just always in a bad mood. 

If you ask ME, however, you’ll learn that I am no longer sleeping soundly.  Instead, I get up every 30 minutes to urinate.  Or I’m constantly tossing and turning because holy fuck – I can’t lay flat on my back anymore because I might KILL THE BABY so I’m constantly shifting from side to side while hugging and maneuvering my new body pillow and knocking around 2 dachshunds while I’m in the process.  Have I mentioned that Petie & Emily hate my new pillow setup?  I have a body pillow and a pillow that I keep propped by my back so that I don’t accidentally roll over onto my back and KILL THE BABY.  My dogs are so confused that they basically sleep on top of Jeremy now.

So I’m exhausted.  And my feet have grown a half size so my cute shoes that I wore to my friend’s wedding this past weekend?  There were like chinese torture devices. 

Oh?  And all of my cute fancy dresses?  None of those fuckers would zip up.  I went through all of my dresses and cried as I realized that Jeremy could not zip them up all the way.  I nearly punched him in the face when he suggested I wear one of my WORK dresses to a wedding.  A WORK dress?!  Is he crazy?  I had to borrow one of my friend’s fancy jersey knit dresses but I still felt like a fat ass.  And spare me the whole, “you’re pregnant – you’re going to get bigger” mess because right now?  I don’t want to hear it.

Basically you could say I’m in a bad fucking mood.  I’m tired.  My shoes don’t fit.  My clothes don’t fit.  And my back hurts.  Oh and I have an insatiable hunger… like I will kick this kitten if you don’t hand me that slice of pizza hunger.

At the wedding, Jeremy asked the husband of one of our pregnant friends if he has experienced the mood swings of pregnancy.  I shot Jeremy an “I will stab you” look.  I think the husband was smart when he said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about…” unlike Jeremy who is asking such dumb questions.

I think the other part of my bad mood is that I’m in the phase where I am now TERRIFIED of what is to come.  I obsess over labor, delivery and all that comes afterward. 

I’ve also been crying a lot.  That David Duchovny narrated Pedigree dog commercial about rescue dogs?  Tears.  Lots of them.  Streaming down my face.

Okay – I don’t like being a bitchy / crazy pregnant lady.  I want to be one of those glowing happy pregnant ladies.  So that is what I’m concentrating on this week… channeling the happy glowy lady.  And I’ll also be concentrating on finding Lemonheads.  For the love of god, someone please send me some Lemonheads!

P.S.  I swear I’m trying to limit the amount of pregnancy related posts but I seriously feel like I’m losing my mind these days.  I need a hobby.

6 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Hating on Customer Service

Verizon

I received a phone call earlier this month from a Verizon rep.  I’ve been a faithful Verizon customer for the last 7 years and while they have the occassional billing snafu – I don’t really have many complaints about them.  Until now. 

I noticed I had been receiving a bunch of calls from some weird phone number.  I don’t generally answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize but I had gotten so many from this number (and it was not a 1-800) that I figured I should answer it and see what the fuck was up.  It was Verizon.

The Verizon rep called to talk to me about the unlimited text and picture messaging plan.  I had apparently gone over my allotted 250 text messages for the month and they felt it was a good opportunity to offer me this new (read more expensive) service.  The problem was that the service rep wasn’t able to clearly explain the damn plan to me.

After about 15 minutes, I managed to get her to tell me that it was only an additional $15 to my bill.  Okay – $15?  I can live with that.  ANd she confirmed.  “Yes – only $15″.  I told her to sign me up. 

Well then I got my bill.  And it was definitely more than a $15 increase.  At first I thought it was the number of text messages that I went over but upon further investigation, I was being charged a little more than $30 on my plan.  So I called them.

The rep I spoke to said that the new service I signed up for?  Yes, it was only a $15 increase but that was to each line.  So I was being charged $30.  I asked why I didn’t see the $15 on Jeremy’s line and she gave me some crap about it all being rolled into my plan.  It still makes no sense.  And since Jeremy barely uses his phone, I asked if we could strip him of this unlimited text messaging (aren’t I a great wife?).  And she said no.  It was a package. 

I told them to revert me back to my old service. 

I’m irritated that I was duped!  WTF, Verizon? 

Comcast

I truly loathe Comcast but as a Baltimore City resident, we’re kind of stuck between Comcast or a cable dish.  I’ve lived with a cable dish previously and everytime a storm passed through – the cable went out. 

We’ve never had a good customer service experience with Comcaast.  Lately – our cable box had been acting as though it was was possessed.  We would be in the middle of watching TV and the box would just shut off and appear to reset itself.  At first this was only happening every so often.  It started to become frequent and more annoying.

Jeremy called to get a technician out to our house and they said that there was a known “surge” in the area and until that was resolved, they would not issue a service ticket.  Jeremy protested that this had been happening for much longer.

Finally – he went to Comcast and traded in our old box for a new one.  But this time the new one was resetting itself every 2 minutes.  EVERY.2.MINUTES.

He finally got a service ticket issued and they said they’d be at our house between 10-1pm.  The day of – 1pm rolled around and nothing.  He called and they informed him that it was an “all-day” window and that they had until 8pm!!  WTF?!  The guy finally came around 3:30pm and gave up the new fancy cable box.  He noted that we shouldn’t have received the other box because it was malfunctioning (no shit, Sherlock).

Comcast better not try to bill us for the entire month.  I truly loathe Comcast.  The day that Verizon Fios breaks into the city, we will be the first people to sign up.

But seriously – its like companies seek out people that hate working with the general public to sit in these customer service oriented jobs.
Do you like people?  No?  Great!  You’re hired!  Bonus if you don’t know anything about the product for which you’ll be supporting.”

And I realize that the older I get, the more like my parents I become.  I’ll soon start yelling at kids about stepping on my lawn.

7 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

Some drawbacks of pregnancy

While I am absolutely stoked about having a little bambino… I’m not going to lie about the drawbacks of being pregnant.  For those of you who are fighting off the itch to have a mini-me, here are the drawbacks of pregnancy (well, MY pregnancy – I have some pals that have reported NO bad symptoms during their pregnancy and to them I say, “you suck”).

  1. Food aversions.  People keep asking me if I’m craving crazy stuff.  I’m really not.  What’s happening to me is that I’m grossed out by things that I used to love.  I’m also replacing some of my healthier normal meals with carb-heavy, cheese-loaded food and I’m not liking this.  Things I haven’t been able to stomach that I used to adore?
    (a) Oatmeal.  This was my staple breakfast for YEARS.  I used to eat plain oatmeal with almonds, a banana and flaxseed.  I started dressing it with cinnamon and it was a delight.  It kept me full for a long time and I was able to sneak in some Omega-3 in there.  Now?  Get that shit away from me.  The texture makes me gag.  (2) Pancakes.  Omg… sweet pancakes.  Sweet blueberry pancakes with maple syrup.  There is something about the spongey texture of pancakes that makes me ill and (3) Spinach smoothies.  I know that sounds disgusting but I was really enjoying the spinach, blueberries, banana, milk and Amazing Grass smoothies I was drinking… EVERY DAY.  Now?  The thought of it makes me sick.
  2. Everyone asking me if I’m craving meat.  I get it – I’m a vegetarian and pregnant ladies crave weird shit like pickles dipped in jelly fried with ham… or whatever.  But I’m not craving meat.  I won’t eat meat.  Stop asking me.
  3. Pizza face.  And back.  And chest.  WTF.  I normally have fantastic skin.  But now I feel like I’m fighting break-outs left and right.  I was getting them all over my face but that seems to have subsided (although I still get the occasional pimple).  But now I’m battling bacne and chest-acne.  SO.GROSS.  There is currently a pimple on my back that could be my long lost twin-sister growing out of me.  If I see teeth and hair coming out of that bitch, I’m going to cut it out with a switchblade.              
  4. Old Wives’ Tales.  Everytime I reveal a symptom of my pregnancy – someone has a tale about what it means I’m having.  So far I’ve heard:
    Pimples = girl
    All day nausea = girl
    Fetal heartbeat > 140 = girl.
    Salt cravings = boy.
    Chinese gender predictor = boy.                                                                                                                                                          Over the weekend, a woman took a look at my little belly and said she thought I was carrying low (its a bit soon for this, no?) and said I was having a boy.  Another girl looked at my belly and said I was obviously having a girl.  So… it looks like I’m having a hermaphradite. 
  5. Back aches.  Holy hell – my back is killing me.  I don’t know if its the extra weight on the front or the fact that I have been forbidden from laying flat on my back for extended periods of time therefore I am now sleeping with a thousand pillows surrounding me so that I don’t lay flat on my back… but the pain is killing me.  It is worse in the afternoon after I’ve been sitting in a desk chair all day. 
  6. My boobs are not getting any bigger.  They hurt like hell in the beginning but they haven’t actually increased.  What kind of bullshit is that?  That was the ONE thing I was looking forward to in the pregnancy.  Bigger boobs!  Mother Nature is seriously fucking with me on this one.  I’m constantly grabbing my boobs to check if they feel any bigger (especially after a particularly achy day) but nothing.  I’ve got nothing.
  7. Feeling like everything I could do could kill the baby.  Laying flat on my back?  Apparently it can cut off the blood supply to my baby.  Working out too hard?  I’m taking blood away from the baby.  Eating soft cheese that isn’t pasteurized?  I could kill the baby.  Drinking alcohol and smoking cracK?  Apparently bad for baby.  Seriously – I feel like everything I do might KILL! BABY! 
  8. Rollercoaster of emotions.  Holy shit.  I cry about EVERYTHING.  Commercials.  Songs.  Lifetime movies.  Pictures.  And at the same time, little things can turn me into the Incredible Hulk.  Jeremy left a sock on the floor?  KIM! ANGRY! KIM PUNCH JEREMY!  When we were traveling back from Turks & Caicos, I was ready to throw down with a few people in the airport. 
  9. Big foot.  And what the hell is up with my feet?  Everytime I shop for new shoes – I can’t even squeeze my foot into my normal shoe size.  I’ve had to buy a half size to a full size up (although all of my old shoes still fit fine).  I already have big feet.  Now I’m just getting angry.                            
  10. Abominable Snowman / Yeti.  And where is all this hair coming from?  My hair is growing faster and thicker than ever… and now I’m seeing it in places where I didn’t see it before.  Like my stomach.  MY STOMACH!  I don’t have a happy trail.  I have a happy forest.  It is so gross.
  11. Reading the plethora of other symptoms that will hit me like a ton of bricks later.  I just read a whole chapter dedicated to constipation.  And if that happens to me… I.will.die.  And apparently the exhaustion I was feeling in the first trimester?  Ha!  That is nothing compared to the third trimester.  Oh and dark, large pancake nipples are on the horizon?!  Is that the price one pays for bigger boobs?  God help me. 

8 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Breeds

Please Send Positive Thoughts to a Good Friend

I wasn’t going to post anything about this but it has kind of consumed me lately.

A fellow blogger and a good friend in real life, Kt (From Magerks to I Dos) just recently had a baby girl.  She was due on July 20th (so close to my birthday!) and was about 2 weeks late.  We were on vacation when she actually had Luca (her daughter) but I spent the entire vacation obsessively logging onto the internet to check on the news.

She has been blogging about her journey through pregnancy and I have to say she was a tremendous support to me when I was feeling blue about my difficulties with getting pregnant.  She had a healthy pregnancy and probably has the SAFEST baby stuff around (this gal does her research!). 

Jeremy and I were thrilled for Katie and Ian.  We couldn’t wait to meet Luca.  We couldn’t wait to be a part of this wonderful time in their lives. 

When we got back from vacation (Sunday), Jeremy sent Ian a text message and asked if they were home from the hospital yet (I wasn’t kidding when I said we couldn’t wait to meet baby Luca!).  But that’s when we found out that things weren’t looking good.  Ian told us that Luca was tranferred to University of Maryland’s NICU (they delivered elsewhere) and that Luca was sick.  We were on pins and needles to find out what was happening.

Luca has been transferred to the DC Children’s Hospital and they’ve been able to diagnose her and are currently treating her.  She has a rare type of Urea Cycle Disorder.  Luckily – Katie and Ian were able to spot that something wasn’t quite right before being discharged and they were able to start treatment early.  And it is clear that Luca is a fighter. 

We’ve been calling everyday, visiting them at the hospital and it is just so tough to try to imagine what they’re going through.  Katie has linked to Luca’s webpage on her blog so feel free to check it out to see how Luca is doing.  But please – even if you don’t know her… send them prayers (if you’re the praying type) or positive thoughts.  They could use all the love and support possible.

2 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles