Friday, April 12, 2013

Anecdotes of the Skipper: A Game of Clue

I have a confession to make: this post isn't actually about Skipper.

So, in that sense, I have failed my self-imposed obligation to post anecdotes about Skipper through Friday.

However, it is closely related to Skipper, and I did post today, so I'm going to claim victory!

Unsurprisingly, as a result of our being 'in a family way,' a few stuffed animals have showed up at our house.

On the left is a beanie baby Thunder Ball, in the middle is Mr. Penguin, and on the right is Hello Kitty-Bunny.

(Yes, Sam likes to sing about Hello Kitty-Bunny to the tune of Kitty-Doggy.)

However, each morning, this is what I wake up to:

Mr. Penguin never seems to make it out of the hallway.

And he is usually found near Hello Kitty-Bunny.

This is actually the most PG version I've come across. They're usually in a far more compromising position.

Thunder Ball is almost always in a room by himself. If I didn't know better, I would think he was the culprit, and, jealous of Mr. Penguin and Hello Kitty-Bunny's illicit affair, he kills them each night.

We have, however, after several days of observation, discovered the actual culprit:

As it has been several years since Tiger last owned a stuffed animal, we had forgotten her obsession with them. Every night after we go to bed she's been playing with them and scattering them over the house. Sam thinks she has a tea party each night.

I suspect it's a deranged version of Clue.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Anecdotes of the Skipper: Phantoms

Ever since I learned that Skipper could hear things inside of the womb, I've been obsessed with playing all different types of music for her. No, I don't put headphones on my belly, but I do sing along to the radio or Pandora. And if Sam's home, he likes to turn music up fairly loud.

Since moving into the new house, Sam's project has been to re-rip our collection of CDs. Some of them haven't been ripped since the late nineties, and unfortunately it shows when you listen to the MP3s. A couple of nights ago, he got around to ripping the movie soundtrack of Phantom of the Opera. I expected that if any of the songs would grab Skipper's attention, it's the opening sequence, because A) it's loud and B) just seems like the sort of thing that would penetrate the womb.

Not so much as a tremor.

Ah well, I thought to myself, Sherri will have her work cut out for her.

A little later this song started playing, and Skipper started going absolutely NUTS.

I'm like, Really? This is the song that gets you going?

And then I remember that it's Gerard Butler singing it.

Sherri still has her work cut out for her.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Anecdotes of the Skipper: Rhythm and Blues

About a month or so ago I experienced my very first back spasm.

Allow me to state that I hope to never go through such a thing again--once is more than enough. At the time, however, we did not realize that that is all it was. It occurred at about eight o'clock at night, and after my whining and whimpering for about 45 minutes, we opted to go in to the hospital just to make absolutely damn sure nothing was wrong with Skipper.

First time parent panic: check!

Would I do the hospital trip all over again? You betcha.

We arrived, we explained that it was lower back pain combined with being about 21 weeks pregnant, and they immediately sent us to the labor ward. They got me into a hospital gown, put me into a hospital bed, and then proceeded to wrap some strange device around my abdomen to ascertain A) was I experiencing contractions and B) how Skipper was doing.

I told the nurse what side Skipper seems to favor (my right, for the record) and she quickly found the heartbeat. She then enlisted Sam to help hold the heart monitor in place while she contacted the overnight doctor. While we waited, Sam started talking encouragingly about how Skipper didn't seem distressed at all.

Chka-chka-chka-chka... probably the most reassuring sound in the world just then.

And that's when she discovered the heart monitor.

BAM! went the heart monitor as Skipper kicked where Sam was pressing it down. The noise was extremely loud--so much so it startled Skipper, as her heart-rate kicked up a few notches.




Chka-chka-chka-BAM! Chka-chka-chka-BAM! Chka-chka-chka-BAM!

This went on for a good three minutes before Sam started laughing so hard the heart monitor slipped. He then repositioned it until he found Skipper's heartbeat again, but after that she didn't kick so consistently.

But it's true--my baby kept 4/4 time while in the womb.

(And yes, everything is still just fine. The official diagnosis was that I'd been over doing it. I'm being a lot lazier now, so stop worrying, Dad!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Anecdotes of the Skipper: Right in the Kisser

Sam was fairly skeptical at first that Skipper was doing as much moving and kicking as I claimed. Now, he's a sweet man, and knew better than to actually say that to me, but considering the number of times our OB/GYN told us that anything I was feeling was "most likely just gas," I can't really blame him.

I'm fairly lucky in that my week count for how far along I am rolls over each Monday. This makes keeping track of how far along I am much, much easier. It also means that it's pretty easy for me to remember to check in with a few of my favorite sites to learn what's going on with Skipper that week. That particular week Skipper was able to start hearing what was going on outside of the womb. The noise had to be pretty loud, but she could react to it.

So my beloved husband took to humming or singing or talking to my stomach at random moments. (I told you he's a sweet man.) The third or fourth night after he decided to do this, I complained that she was awfully restless. Trying to be cute, he opted to sing "Fly Me to the Moon" to Skipper to "try and settle her down." Just as he's reaching the final verse, I feel this very strong kick--the kind of kick that if you're watching my stomach you can actually see the skin pop up.

It just happened to be right where Sam's mouth was.

Needless to say, he believed me after that whenever I told him Skipper was kicking me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Anecdotes of the Skipper: Prelude

I realize I've been gone for two months. All I can say is that I've been busy growing a lung.You would think that would leave me with plenty of time to write. And for a more ambitious or dedicated person, you would be right.

Ah well.

However, I do have something lined up for the rest of this week, you special people you. Each day--Tuesday through Friday--there will be an anecdote about the baby from the second trimester. In this case she (yes, it's a girl, in case you were wondering) will be called Skipper, as Sam has decided that is a suitable nickname due to her initials.

All I can think of when I hear that is this doll that was popular when I was a child:

I figure there are worse nicknames out there.

"But how do we know you won't skip out on us like all of those other times you promised us a series of posts?"

Because I have a plan! Bwahahahahaha!

Yeah, I'll probably totally fail at this one too. You'll still love me though, right?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Scanning... Please Wait...

Not long after we moved into Emergency House (post mushrooms), Sam got a new job working for a telecom company. Part of getting the job required him to do 8 weeks of training, 6 of which would be in Dallas.

Facing long, long weeks of no husband, I began looking for a project to fill the time. I'd once spent a winter break in college scanning many of my parents' pictures, but never succeeded in getting through them all.

My parents have a metric crap-ton of pictures. If y'all think I'm obsessed with photography, I don't hold a candle to my father's shutterbug tendencies.

So it seemed like the time was right to return to the project. After visiting my parents, I brought home 4 large plastic tubs of pictures--all of which I'd never touched. Plenty to keep me busy during that cold fall!

Instead, I spent most of the time fighting a sinus infection, and then going to Dallas with Sam.

In the course of unpacking this time around, I once again came across the large tubs of pics. Considering that A) I'm in need of a new project since the house is 90% unpacked (the rest waits until Sam has a day off) and B) I actually have a work space here, I have started the long, tedious process of scanning and tagging,

I'd hoped to show you a few of the more interesting pictures I've come across, but since I'm doing this on my phone, it's not working quite the way I hoped. If this works, there should be 3 pics that appear:

1. A picture with four generations--my great grandmother, my grandfather, my mother, and my brother.

2. A picture of my parents not long after they married.

3. A picture of the same grandfather in either World War II or Korea.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The Internet has not yet arrived at our house, so I'm posting this from my phone. Please forgive typos/errors and this post's scattered nature.

--We have made it into the new house thanks to the amazing efforts of friends and family. They were especially important as I wasn't allowed to lift anything.

Yeah, that makes moving interesting.

--Also, Sam's aunt passed away the day before we were to move, so you can imagine the complications that caused. The family is taking it about as we'll as you'd expect. She will very much be missed.

--The house is livable, but there is still a ton of unpacking to do. Dad keeps reminding me that it doesn't all have to get done the first week... but it would be nice if it happened, non?

--According to Pregnant Chicken, the baby is now the size of a grenade. ("Much more badass than an avocado.") Baby is also able to hear now. So I have Great Big Sea going.

It could be so, so worse.

--Tomorrow we go to the OB/GYN so she can scold me. She likes to scold me. Twenty-three more days until the next ultrasound!

There. An update. :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Story Thus Far

One week from tomorrow, my husband and I take custody of our third house in 18 months.

Our first home here we had to abandon lickety-split due to mold that had progressed to the mushroom stage, which tormented me for the six months after we escaped it with the Sinus Infection from Hell.  The house we chose next was an emergency Dear-God-we-don't-want-to-live-with-our-parents decision because of said mold. We would likely have been happier in the long run if we'd swallowed our pride and stayed with family for a month, since right after we moved Sam got a fantastic new job that had, you know, reasonable pay and actual benefits. But we did not want to be Those People. You know, the couple in their mid-to-late-twenties who boomerang back home. Again.

Instead we chose a house that cost more and yet was smaller than the apartment I had in Dallas. In addition, it ended up being completely flea infested. It took us six months to finally beat the terrors back--just in time to move to our current residence. I swore to any and all who would listen that I was not moving again for at least three years. I was tired of moving. Just as importantly, our bank account was tired of moving. This house came with a roommate--a friend we'd both known for years--and thus would be a chance for us to financially recover from grad school/multiple moves.

Then two very important things occurred.

A) We found out that our family will have a new addition this summer. (Translation: baby!)

B) We were informed after the new year that our current landlady would not be renewing our leases come August, and if we wanted to move out earlier that was A-OK with her. (It's not for any bad reason--she has family moving back this direction and wanted to let'em live here. Completely understandable!)

Visions of trying to move while either 9 months pregnant or with a newborn immediately started haunting me. Nuh-uh. Ain't happening. I told this to Sam, and thus we began what I expected to be a 2-3 month endeavor.

We found a new house within the week.

This is definitely not what I'd call an emergency house, either. No, we're talking full-blown "Hey! Grown-ups live here!" type of house, with plenty of room for us and the baby and visitors. Though no roommate. (He has no desire to live with a newborn that isn't his.)

"Holly, that's great and all, but why are you writing this, here, now. You abandoned us. In July. Of 2011."

The truth of the matter is I've wanted to get back into blogging for awhile. I even told Sherri last November that I was planning to start back up, as I felt mentally and emotionally settled for the first time in forever. (Trust me, most of my blogging at the Flea Trap would have been whining. I prefer to whine in private.) Then I found out that I'm pregnant, and pretty much that's all I've been reading about and thinking about and wanting to write about. I am just paranoid enough that I didn't want to say anything in such a public forum though until I was in my second trimester--which just so happened started this past Monday.

"Oh no. Are you saying you're going to be only a Mommy Blogger now? But what about the cats! And cooking! And D&D! And random stuff from the internet! And series that you say you're going to do and then only do a few posts of!"

No worries, my friends. All of those things will happen as well. But, for the most part, this blog was my way of keeping friends and family up to date with my life. And the new baby will definitely feature in what they're interested in. And, honestly, I'm hopeful that there may be some other expecting or new moms who stumble across what I'll be writing about. But my interests have always ranged fairly far afield, and I'm sure they'll all shine through from time to time. (Aren't you glad you missed my sarcasm and insight during the election season?)

So let's see if I can get back into the swing of things, eh?

Monday, July 11, 2011

This is why I'm so often barefoot...

I shared this picture earlier today on Google+ (I'll be posting my thoughts on G+ tomorrow), but it was cute and thought that the rest of you would enjoy seeing it.

In regards to my NaNoWriMo experiment, I'm a bit behind if I'm going to reach 50,000 by the end of the month, but that's okay. I'm getting through the hard part right now--at the end of this chapter I should hopefully be able to let loose and fly without providing context/exposition every fourth paragraph. That's the hope anyway. Still, I'm averaging not quite 1,500 words a day. I'm happy with that!

Total Word Count: 16,026

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Holly: 1, Shelob: 0

"Watch out, Sam. There's a spider web across the length of the kitchen."

I'd just finished eating the last piece of bacon, tormenting Nala mercilessly the entire time. The cat has on more than one occasion licked up the bacon grease off of a plate if no one's watching.

She's a smart cat.

Sam was in the process of packing his lunch, and I'd looked up just in time to see a single thread of the web glinting in the morning light. Heeding my warning, he came to a dead stop, looking for it. I pointed it out to him, and he tore off a paper towel and proceeded to knock it down, no spider in sight.

"That's weird. Definitely not a cobweb," he noted as he threw the paper towel away.

"Don't tell me things like that," I shuddered. Spiders and I... well, we're not friends. "I'm just wondering how you'd missed it."

Sam shrugged. "It was up pretty high."

Knowing my fear of spiders, Sam proceeds to amuse and distract me as he finished packing his lunch. In the course of cleaning up breakfast, all thoughts of spiders and webs disappeared from my brain. Mission accomplished, he kissed me and then headed to work.

Later in the afternoon, I realized that there was far too much blood in my caffeine system. Understanding the direct relation between my writing and caffeine intake, I walked back into the kitchen to make another batch of coffee. I set it to brew and then tidied a few random things around the house while I waited. Re-entering the kitchen, I poured myself a mug and went to fetch some half-n-half from the fridge.

Walking along I caught a glimpse of black and felt something brush against my hair. Immediately I started batting at my hair, thinking a fly had somehow managed to get into the house and avoid the cats. I look around, surprised that I cannot hear it buzzing.

Now, my eyesight isn't the best in the world. In fact, it's pretty atrocious. Because of this, I often make assumptions based on the general size and color of objects.

So here I am, batting at the air about my head like a madwoman at what I think is a fly, when my brain repeats what it just realized: I cannot hear the fly buzzing. Pieces snapping into place in my brain, I shrieked and ran into the laundry room. I pulled clothes away and ran my fingers everywhere, trying to find any trace of the bug. Coming up with nothing, I turned and looked back into the kitchen.

Sure enough, there in the middle of the kitchen, hanging at about head height, was a spider dangling at the end of its thread. In my delusional state I'd been playing tether-ball with an arachnid.

Blood pounding, adrenaline pumping through my system, my vision tunneled down to where all I can see is this spider. Briefly I toyed with the idea of exiting the back door and walking around to the front of the house and just waiting for Sam to come home so he could deal with it. I discarded the idea, unwilling to call my husband home to deal with a spider yet again. (Yes, this has happened on multiple occasions. I fear, loathe, and hate anything with eight legs. It's irrational and I'm not proud of it, but there you go.)

Eyes darting about for something, anything, to deal with this intruder, they lit upon a broom in the corner. I reached out and grabbed it, not comprehending the fact that the dustpan was still snapped onto the end of it. I spun around, broom in hand, and with a resounding crash I smacked the spider out of the air and to the floor.

What followed was five minutes of me pounding the broom and dustpan into the floor with all the incoherent rage and violence of any murder done in passion. When I finally stopped, all that was left was a shattered dust pan and a messy ball of spider guts.

Breathing heavily, I slid down the wall and sat on the floor, closing my eyes and waiting for my body to calm down. Minutes passed, and when I opened my eyes I could not help but start laughing.

Nala was licking up the remains of the spider, purring the whole while.

Total Word Count: 14,544

Friday, July 8, 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo

At the end of June, Sam started bemoaning how he needed to start working out more than just twice a week. He'd plateaued on his weight loss over the course of the month and was wanting to kick his butt into gear. Completely understandable. Problem is in the past when we've tried to make a commitment to more exercise or different eating habits or [insert good habit here], we typically do well for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon.

I had the brilliant idea of making a one-month commitment to a goal. As this blog has shown, I can usually force myself to do something for about a month. A whole year... not so much, but a month I can handle.

So the last day of June, Sam came home from work and again mentioned a desire to increase his exercise. I found myself saying, "I'll make you a deal."

Deal? What "deal?" You said nothing about a "deal" to us! my inner lazy child started to wail.

"Oh?" was all Sam said, unaware of the internal panic and confusion my words had caused.

"How about for the month of June, you try to exercise every single day. In return, I'll try to write at least 1,000 words a day on a story."

Where did that come from? my other inner voices wondered, flabbergasted.

How should I know? Y'all are the ones who supply my ideas. Just roll with it, I replied.

(Please don't send those gentlemen in their nice white coats after me. I'm not truly crazy. Promise.)

Sam agreed to this experiment, and I'm now supposed to write a story.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, occurs in November each year. I learned of it back when I was college, and while I've always been intrigued by it, I've never participated. Partly it's because November is always a crazy busy time in my life. Mostly, however, I just never felt like I had a story to tell.

Well, apparently I'm not the only one who never has time in November but seems to have plenty of time in the summer, so this year they're doing Camp NaNoWriMo, which I'm trying out. We'll see how it goes. I still don't really have a story of my own to tell, but I'm enjoying my foray regardless. If everything goes well, I may even share it on this blog once it's completed.

Or not.

Either way, we'll see how this turns out. Currently I'm right on target for hitting 50,000 by the end of the month--providing I do today's 1,500 this afternoon. Onward and upward!

Total Words: 11,680
Total Words: 13,062

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just like riding a bike

I promised all of you that I would be back on July 7, and true to my word I have returned.

Yes, I know you have missed me greatly. Rejoice! For the time of parting has passed.

Or something like that.

It was nice to take a break from the blog for awhile and not feel guilty about it. It's probably something I'll do again at some point. For now, I'm excited to be back, and I'm going to try and make it worth your while.

(Notice I've made no promises as to how successful at that I'll be.)

The past month has been filled with good times with friends and family, games, books, movies, and a plethora of happy memories. Hopefully at some point I'll remember to share them with all of you. If not, just know that the past month has been put to good use.

And now, to celebrate my return to the interwebs.... a cat picture!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Leave of Absence

No, I'm not dead yet.

However in the past couple of weeks Sam and I have been kept pretty busy with friends/family coming to town to visit, and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down any for the rest of the month. This weekend is Sam and I's second anniversary, the following week my parents will be down for a day or two, the weekend after that is Hip Gamer's birthday, and then the following week will be my I'm-going-to-be-a-hermit recovery time. That weekend will then be Independence Day, and then Sam's 'weekend' will happen.

With all that in mind, I've decided I'm just going to take the month of June off, since I've already missed a week of blogging goodness due to the (excellent!) problem of a social life.

So, until I come back on July 7th, I'll leave you with this adorable picture:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Too Cute

I find this absolutely adorable for some bizzaro reason. Go to Boing Boing to find out it's details.