Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If I'm late for work this morning, this is why

I should have been suspicious when the alarm went off and my husband almost immediately sat up to get ready for work. But I wasn't. I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep, figuring that he must have slept better than me.

It's not a hard feat these days, what with waking up to go bathroom, to eat Tums, and to shake off weird dreams that sometimes involve mountain climbing and snakes and other times involve tiny baby farm animals on apartment complexes.

But as I dozed, half asleep and half awake, listening to my husband brush his teeth and clean his face in the bathroom, vaguely aware that it was morning, I slowly started to realize that the alarm was not about to go off again.

You see, my husband and I are one of those couples. We set the alarm for about 15 minutes too early and hit snooze twice every morning. It's helpful for those mornings where you need a few extra minutes of pretending to sleep to start your day. And some mornings, I get up with the first alarm and feel extra productive.

And then there was this morning, during which I apparently slept through that all and actually woke up to the final alarm. The next thing I know, Smiley's telling me that it's seven and he has to leave and I'm confusedly looking around the room, trying to figure out why I still want to be asleep.

Obviously, I'm up now. But I do feel cheated out of my "extra" 15 minutes of sleep.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Am I addicted to the Food Network?

Smiley and I got rid of cable a few months ago now, and for the most part, I haven't missed it. But, every so often, when I'm home alone and the house is quiet, I find myself desperately wishing I could turn on the TV and just have some random background noise. With Netflix, I feel like I have to pick something I want to watch and so I don't just turn it on. Or I do, but then I watch it instead because I feel obligated since it took more steps than just turning on the TV (I have to turn on the Xbox and then sign into the profile - the HUMANITY!)

So, apparently, the cable company has its claws deep within my brain. Luckily, I also enjoy trying to save money, so for now, the battle is not a hard one at all. Just every so often, I wonder if this is what it's like when someone gives up smoking and then a couple months later, has a random craving. I am lucky that getting cable back is not as easy as going to the store for a pack of cigarettes. Also, I see why it's really hard to stop smoking.

Uh, so I guess the moral of the story is - don't pay a ton for cable and also don't do drugs.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cravings suck and cost a lot of money

Have you ever had a craving for something so badly that it irrationally hurts to not eat it? Most of my pregnancy, I've had cravings for certain items and, yes, there was a week that I basically ate nothing but cheese and crackers, but this craving for steak is just driving me up the wall.

The metaphorical wall, of course. I'm much too cumbersome to go up any wall these days.

Now, I've been lucky enough in my life thus far to never really have to worry about dieting in the sense of trying to lose weight. So, before I got pregnant, I'd never been familiar with the whole "when you crave this bad thing for you, eat this good thing for you instead and everything will be sunshine and rainbows."

And I've quickly realized why dieting like that is a lost cause. Seriously, if I'm craving ice cream, a scoop of non-fat frozen yogurt is not going to do anything. Or if I want a plain bagel with some cream cheese, a whole wheat bagel with some peanut butter is not even close to the flavor I'm looking for. Is it pregnancy hormones? Perhaps? But I feel like it's really condescending to read these sort of lists.

Craving potato chips? Why not try a crunchy apple instead? Uh.

Want a donut? How about a whole grain bran muffin with no extra sugar? Blech.

I can understand the sentiment of wanting to provide a healthier choice, but I think I'm going to stick to my not-as-healthy option and practice moderation.

For example, the What to Expect When You're Expecting book has the audacity to compare a cup and a half of ice cream to one cup of non-fat yogurt. Uh, yeah, eating less of an item is going to result in lower calories consumed. So I'm just gonna go for a half cup of delicious ice cream instead of a cup of disgusting non-fat frozen yogurt and - look at that! I've saved all the calories.

There's really no point to this rant. I'm just trying to distract myself so that I don't call and order Chilis fajitas to go. I guess it's working for now. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Just wear your husband's clothes"

So when people approach buying maternity clothes, it's usually with an attitude of "well, yes, it would be great to have a whole new super-stylish pregnancy wardrobe but unfortunately I don't have all of the money in the world." This gives ways to tips on how to make the most out of what you have, how to buy super-versatile pieces and almost always, the tip to "raid your husband's wardrobe."

I just don't get that last one. Unless I'm missing something here, becoming pregnant does not change your body in such a way that you become more like a man. For example, most women I know are anywhere from a few inches to a lot of inches shorter than their husbands. Which means that their husbands are wearing shirts that are several inches longer, but not just in the stomach area that maternity clothes would be. In all the areas. So the shoulder seams are farther down, the arm holes open farther down, nothing works.

Or maybe your husband is the same-ish height as you. But now, that still won't work. If he's slightly bigger than you, his shirts probably won't be cut to accommodate a growing belly and bosum. If he's larger than you, his shirts might fit you in the belly and the chest, but the sleeves are going to be a hilarious mismatched, awkwardly bunched up piece of fabric, with the shoulder seams probably hanging down past your shoulders.

But, I will say I did find one article of clothing I can borrow from my husband - his undershirts. He has some extra long tank tops. The tank top stretches a little awkwardly on the bottom (I'm getting around this by using a black one so the shadowing isn't too noticeable) and the cut is still not designed for women, but it's comfortable. Still, it's hardly the money-saving, wardrobe-stretching tip that's this one's made out to be.

So I guess someone must have had success with this at least once for it to continue to be a thing. Tell me about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In which I reveal that when I get tired, things don't work out so well

The other weekend, my husband and I went to a dinner party at a friend's apartment. We brought along curry and rice, so of course I had to do two pots of curry - one mild and one with spice - and then a third pot with rice so that people could get their personal favorite rice-to-curry ratio. What I'm getting at is there were a lot of pots.

And because there were a lot of pots, and because they were very hot when we brought them over, I wrapped them all in a bunch of towels. I need to look into that cool 3-pot slow cooker carrying station. But I didn't, so there we were, with a plethora of pots and towels and the evening had come to a close and it was time for us to take our pots and towels and be on our merry way.

I had been mildly busy all day and was rather tired at this point. My main goal was to carry as many towels as possible along with two of the pots and to not spill leftovers on my dress. It turns out that my goals were the wrong goals.

As I stood there, yawning and watching as everyone gathered their things and said their good byes, I noticed a smell. It was the kind of smell that you don't want to notice. It was the smell of something burning that maybe shouldn't be burning.

I looked down and noticed there was a jar candle on the table I was standing near. I continued to look down and noticed that one of the towels I was carrying appeared to be on fire.

"Uh, hey, guys."

Everyone was still chatting and not freaking out about the on-fire towel that I was holding, so my somewhat-sleepy brain decided the fire couldn't be that bad. I paused a second and then said, in what I thought was a very loud and firm voice, "I think that I am holding something that is on fire. Please help me put it out."

It took people a moment to turn around and see that, indeed, the towel was on fire. I remember hoping that my dress wasn't on fire and that my hair also wasn't on fire. I considered dropping everything onto the table but I really didn't want to spill the leftovers. Luckily, the towel wasn't too on fire and it was quickly put out. I shifted the pots and towels in my arms so that the burned towel could be brought to the kitchen for a quick dousing of water.

Luckily, the towel I burned was already in somewhat rough condition, compared to the others. And luckily, it was the only thing that I have set on fire in a half-sleeping state. So, here's hoping everything around me stays fire free!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In which I ask my husband "are my arms still attached to my body?"

The other night, I had another migraine aura. I didn't realize it at the time though.

My evening started out very pleasantly. I had been super uncomfortable at work, so when I got home, I took a relaxing bath and listened to music. (I should note that I typically hate baths, but that's a story for a different day). The puppies were so cute and confused because they had never seen the tub full of water before. They kept coming up to the side and trying to drink from the tub, but were too small to succeed.

Afterwards, I got a tall cup of ice water and sat at my computer to browse the internet and sing along to my Pandora station. Eventually, Smiley came home from work and hopped on his computer to check his Facebook. I turned to him to discuss our plans for making dinner.

This is when things started to be a little "off."

I noticed I felt thirsty, so I went to grab my water cup and take a drink. As I watched my left hand pick up the cup and bring it to my mouth, I realized that something didn't feel right. I stared at my arm. In my mind, I knew it was still part of my body, but as I watched it, it seemed to be interacting with my field of vision in a way that indicated it was not part of my body.

"Whoa." I said. "I think I need to eat something soon."

Smiley wasn't looking at me at the moment. "What do you want to eat?" he asked, expecting our familiar back and forth of me not knowing what I want and him suggesting things until I agreed.

Instead, I was using my right hand to feel my left hand and arm and confirm that they were, in fact, attached to my body. I felt a small amount of panic trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Did I relax too much? Was my blood pressure too low? Perhaps I was about to faint.

"Uh, I don't know." I closed my eyes, willing them to look at things correctly when I opened them. "I don't know but I feel weird." I opened my eyes and tried to pick up my cup of water again. It still looked like my arm was coming out of nowhere.

"Are you ok?" Smiley asked, turning towards me.

I stood up and tried to explain how I felt. "Hon, are my arms still attached to my body?"

He looked at me, really looked at me, as if trying to figure out how serious I was being.

"Yes. Of course they are."

"Ok. I mean, I know they are. I'm not on drugs or anything. I just feel like my arm isn't attached to my body. It's like, I look at it and it isn't right."

He shrugged. "Your arms look like they normally do."

I kept feeling my arm as I got up, but I wasn't sure if I was light headed or not, so I went over to the couch and sat down. "I guess, uh, can you look and see if I'm having a stroke?" I tried to remember the tests they say to do to test for a stroke and raised my arms above my head. "I'm talking in complete sentences right?"

"Yeah," he said, as he typed. "Ok. Look at me and smile. Ok. Raise your arms. In front of you. Hold them there." He paused. "Yeah, you look fine. Let's go make dinner."

I nodded, and kept talking as we walked down the short hallway to the kitchen. "Yeah. No, I don't think it's a stroke. I just feel really weird. It's like things aren't - they don't look right."

Once we got to the kitchen, I sat down on the floor, and covered my face with my hands. Wait, wasn't there something about being pregnant and having blurry vision? Something to do with high blood pressure.

"We don't by any chance have a blood pressure cuff, do we?" I asked. Of course we don't.

"What about doing grilled cheese sandwiches?" Smiley said as he looked through our fridge and pantry. "Didn't you want to do those one night?"

"Yeah." I still sat on the floor, and uncovered my face, looking again at the world. Slowly, I noticed that my left field of vision was diminishing further. Suddenly, it clicked. "Wait. I could be getting a migraine. Let me call my mom."

As I called my mom and explained the events of the past few minutes, I could practically hear her nodding on the phone. By the time I hung up, the next part had started - a "c" shaped jagged tear in my vision. It was bright white in the middle, with flecks of color towards the edges and an outline of the darkest black. I closed my eyes. It was still there.

I opened them and looked at Smiley. It was so weird. My brain knew that he should have a face with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. My eyes were reporting that the left half of his face was missing. I had to look away as I found myself becoming nauseated over the sight. It was much easier to focus on the dogs, or to close my eyes.

"Well why don't you go sit down while I make dinner?" Smiley suggested and I nodded, heading to the couch.

"This is why I could never do drugs," I muttered as I looked at the room. I sat down but then remembered that Smiley buttered both sides of the bread when he made grilled cheese, so I got back up.

Vision half gone or not, I only wanted one side of the bread buttered! I leaned against the counter in the kitchen and offered to butter the bread while he got the soup going.

I was pretty certain that I got butter on the left and right side of the bread, but I made no promises. Once the bread was safely buttered on one side only, I went and sat back down with my eyes closed until the food was ready.

I'm lucky to say that the aura went away fairly shortly thereafter and that I did not get the headache - I think that I am very agreeable to only having part of a migraine.

Smiley brought out the sandwiches, soup and some water. I marveled as I watched my hand pick up the glass of water. Finally, it once again looked normal. Everything seemed so much clearer. It was a great relief to know that I wasn't having a stroke, or pre-eclampsia or anything crazy.

Oh, and the grilled cheese had the perfect amount of butter and was cooked to the perfect doneness. My husband and I make a pretty good team, whether it's self diagnosing a lack of a stroke or making dinner.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The First Time I had a Migraine Aura

From what I've heard, migraines are serious business. Many of my family members have been struck by the sensitivity to light, to sound and to smells, often with a heaping serving of nausea and vomiting. I remember migraine days growing up, when my mom would retreat to her room and use towels over the windows to black out the light as best as she could and just try to sleep through the pain.

I know my brother has been "lucky" enough to get the kind migraines where he almost always throws up when he has one.

I have been legitimately lucky enough to never have had an actual migraine. The only thing that I've experienced is the migraine aura, which has now happened to me twice. This is the story of the first time.

The first time had to have happened on a Tuesday or Thursday. I know this because it happened while I was playing WoW and we happened to play WoW on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the time. I don't know if you've ever had a migraine before. If you have, this may sound familiar. If you haven't, you might think I was experimenting with drugs. I promise you, I was not.

I was looking at my screen to see what someone had written in chat, and I noticed that although my computer screen was clearly displaying the text, I couldn't read a certain spot on the screen. I blinked a few times and looked at the chat box again. My brain knew that there were words there, and I could read some of them, but on the left bottom side of the box, the words were non-existent. It was like trying to read something in a dream.

Blinking again, I shifted my focus on the screen. The blind spot seemed to shift with me. From the corner of my eye I could see the unknown letters start to form into words. But when I try to read them, they disappeared again.

"I think there might be something in my eyes," I said tentatively to my husband, who was sitting next to me at his computer. Over voice chat, I told our guildmates that I had to get up for a minute so Smiley could check and make sure nothing was in my eye.

Unsurprisingly, there was nothing in my eye. But what had been just a blind spot was starting to turn into something else. There were flashes of color sort of in the shape of a "c", with jagged, torn looking black edges. I was at a loss for what it could be.

My guildmates had a better idea than I did. I explained what was happening and those who had had migraines agreed that it sounded like a visual aura. I hadn't been freaking out too much before, despite the whole suddenly having dancing color tears on the left side of my field of vision, but now the thought that I could have a migraine and might throw up made me upset.

My brother was online, so I messaged him to ask for his advice, which was to go take ibuprofen and lie down and hope that I fell asleep before the headache hit. That sounded reasonable, and it was getting late.

The next morning I woke up with clear vision and no signs of a headache. And then I pretty much forgot about what happened, until it happened again recently. But that's a story for when my stupid pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel pain goes away and I can write another post!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Well apparently I hit the walking limit

You know, I've heard a lot of stories about moms-to-be in their third trimester who run whole marathons and such, but I've never actually seen it. After today, I know I won't be anywhere near that group of women.

Ever since the end of the first trimester, when I was finally able to pick myself off of the couch and not fall asleep the moment I got home from work, I've been incorporating walking as my basic form of exercise. Certainly, I've done some small amount of yoga here and there, but (and don't laugh, because I know how pathetic this is), I've kept my goal of walking for at least 10 minutes a day.

Some days, I've even walked for 15 minutes!

So you can imagine my surprise when today, after walking for about 12 minutes, I headed back inside to my work building and quite suddenly couldn't walk any more. It was as though my hips and legs had revolted against movement and decided that they preferred to stay put. I sort of limp-walked my way to a small table in the seating area between the two cafes in the building and pretended like I had to check a cell phone message. I tried to stretch my legs a little, covertly. Which is kind of hard to do sitting down with a dress on, so that didn't accomplish much.

I shifted my hips back and forth a few times, but the pain wasn't letting up. I was coming to the end of my lunch break and had to get back to my desk, so I stood up, using the table as leverage and plastering a strained smile on my face.

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is showing weakness to people I don't know. This burst of contrariness got me down the hallway into the sectioned off area for my department. Inside this area, there was no one, and my legs automatically knew it. They froze up stiff again, and I leaned against the wall as I shuffled forward in a motion some may refer to as... shambling.

Once I turned the corner, there were people in view again and so I switched to taking the smallest steps I could, as slowly as I could. I tried to assume an air of nonchalance, as if I always shambled to my desk like this. No one seemed to look, or care. I got to my desk and gripped the armrests as I lowered myself into the chair.

Then I needed to use the bathroom.

I took a deep breath and waited as long as I could before I absolutely had to get up. Sadly, sitting down for a half hour didn't provide me with much relief, and I began to shamble my way towards the bathroom. One of my coworkers looked up at me and asked if I was alright.

"You never move that slow!" she said. "Are you feeling ok?"

I laughed and sort of shrugged as I told her that my legs were just a little stiff today. She seemed to agree that this was reasonable and went back to her work. I got to the bathroom and then, outside of the view of coworkers, my legs froze up again.

Luckily, it wasn't that hard to basically throw myself in the direction of a bathroom stall, take care of business and lurch across the way to the sink. It was just the thought of walking back to my desk seemed overwhelming beyond belief.

I tried to stretch my legs gently, using the sink to balance against. Nothing seemed to help much though, and I started to entertain how I was going to explain to my supervisor that I needed to go home because I couldn't move. How would I leave the bathroom to tell her? Why had I parked across the parking lot like I do every day? Would I have to ask a coworker to bring my car around for me?

Another coworker came into the bathroom and the knowledge that someone might know I was in pain spurred me forward to the door and I seized that burst of energy to make it through the door and back towards my desk. Once back in my chair, I didn't get up again until it was time to go home. Sadly, my legs had not magically healed and my hips still felt like pain.

Still, I managed to make my way down the stairs and out into the parking lot, where I then shuffled oh-so-slowly across the whole damn lot to get to my car. How could I have not predicted that today I would hurt myself walking and that I should have parked right outside the staircase? How could I have been so foolish as to think that I would be able to walk across the parking lot today, like I have every other day this week? I cursed my stupidity and trust me, I had a lot of time to do so, because I had to stop every twenty feet or so to regroup.

Once I got to my car, getting in and driving wasn't too bad. In fact, the overheated leather seats actually felt a little bit nice. Since I've been home, I've been trying to gently stretch out with my yoga ball but it wasn't doing that much to help, so I gave up and shambled over to my desk to write a really long, whiny post about how much my stupid legs hurt.

What bugs me the most is that I didn't do anything any more strenuous than I've done as recently as yesterday! And I have been walking daily so it's not like I suddenly decided to add exercise and then overdid it. I'm currently imagining how I'm going to deal with work tomorrow if my legs don't get their act together and I'm really, once again, amazingly impressed with not only the marathon-running pregnant ladies, but the ones who have jobs where they are on their feet all day long.

I remember back when I worked at Jewel that one of the cashiers was expecting, and she worked until the week she went into labor. She made it look practically effortless and I just can't imagine how at this point.

Well, that's enough complaining for one day. For a week, really. But we'll see.