Saturday, April 28, 2007

April Showers

Last weekend, my sister and step-mother threw a shower for me, Dr. B and Zizou in Minneapolis. Dr. B couldn't be there, but friends and family came from far and wide (Minnesota, North Dakota and even Montana) to celebrate the future "little B" who's on the way. What you can't see is all the great food I we ate (including a divine crème brûlée cheesecake), the wonderful gifts they brought for our daughter, the great conversations, laughter and all the fun we had. It was a great weekend!!!

Thanks to everyone who joined us in the festivities, and especially to my sister and Pam for putting it all together. I feel so loved.

Check out more photos on my flickr site.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Warning: Found You

I recently got an email, a forward that I didn't mind. It was very frightening, actually.

Seems that if you type your home phone number into the address bar of your browser, Google (or something) will bring up your name, home address and a map to your house. This can also be done with's search by phone. I tried it on someone I know, and it worked.

I guess if you click on further (both versions), you can remove your listing. I would highly suggest you do this. How many times have you had to give out your home phone number? What about your kids? (Likely, they have it memorized, and won't be too hard pressed to give it when asked.) Scary.

Another reason Dr. B and I are glad we are land-line-less. I tried my cell phone number. Came up unknown. For the only time in my life, I am glad to be unknown!

(And then I go posting pictures of myself on the internet, but whatever.)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Google is now "They" and They did it again...

I logged in today to find that I had to change my login, my Mrs. B posts reposted all over Bloglines (sorry, I hate that, too), and the stupid navbar was at the top of the screen again. I tried to fix it, and somehow Google idiot-proofed it so idiots like me can't find the trick to get rid of the dumb thing.

Plus, today I took the day off to drive to Minneapolis. My sister is throwing me a baby shower, and family is coming from far and wide (seriously, some are flying in from Montana.) I feel so loved! It will be a busy weekend, visiting friends and family from both sides. Dr. B isn't coming along, as he flies out Sunday morning for a job interview. (Please think good thoughts for him!)

So, right now I don't have time to mess with my templates, and probably will be a bit lax on printing any comments. Please forgive me.

I'll be too busy chit-chatting, posing for pictures, opening presents, eating mass quantities, and finally wearing the capris and flip-flops I've been sighing over for the past month and a half. I'm at the point where most of my shoes don't fit after about 6 PM, so warmer weather is a blessing, even if it only lasts a few days. (We did have snow last week.) I'm also ready for skirts, because many of my pants aren't fitting quite the same, and skirts are just easier. I did make a home-made version of these to help keep up my under-belly pants, because it just pained me to see them hanging in my closet, unworn. Yet, when I wore them, I was yanking them up all the time, and it drove me nuts. A few mitten-clips from the fabric store, some elastic and velcro (to make them adjustable), and voilà! Saying "No!" to crack!

And the 3rd trimester exhaustion has surfaced--I now make plans and then become nauseous-tired and pass out after supper, about 3/4 of the way through the things I wanted to do. Then I wake up and go to bed. Dr. B says Zizou is sucking the life out of me. Last night was especially difficult, as she decided to take a 3 1/2 hour step aerobics class. She was moving around so much, it was physically painful for me, and left me totally drained. Drained like I thought I might puke, couldn't move enough to pack a few things into my suitcase, and felt like crying but just didn't have the energy to produce tears.

So, last night, I cheated. But it was OK cheating. My doctor said, for allergies, "take Claritin in the daytime, and Benadryl at night." I looked at her, questioning why you'd need more at night, since Claritin is 24 hour medication. She said, "you need to sleep. I'm guessing you're not sleeping very well right now."

Hmmm. I guess she's done this before. The Benadryl works like a charm. I slept like a rock.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


How to get to Paris, France, from Madison, WI (according to Google Maps.)


Madison, WI Drive: 4,712 mi (about 29 days 21 hours)

1.Head south on CR-D/Fish Hatchery Rd toward Catalpa Rd 0.6 mi 2 mins

(blah blah blah, through WI, IL, OH...)

Passing through Pennsylvania
Entering New York
(Blah Blah Blah)
Entering Massachusetts

(More Blah Blah Blah...)

18.Turn right at Long Wharf 0.1 mi
19. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 mi 29 days 0 hours

20.Slight right at E05 0.5 mi 2 mins (A slight right. You know. From the ocean.)

(Blah Blah Blah and many traffic circles later...)

35.Turn left at Place de l'Hôtel de Ville


You gotta try it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Summer Guilty Pleasures

Summer begins, for me, the first warm day that I can drive around in my car, no socks on (bare feet on the accelerator and clutch), with the windows open, a diet Coke at my side (this year, a Sierra Mist with real sugar), sunglasses on and singing along, at the top of my lungs, to a silly pop album, cranked up.

One year, it was Shakira. Another, it was Kylie.
(Even Dr. B has grown to like this one. Not that he would admit it in public, or anything.)
I've even reached way back into the cupboard for a little Pat. Because, you know, I belong to the night.

This year, it's Mika.

Finally, a man who sings in my range!!!

(PS: is it just me, or does he look to be the son of Frankenfurter and Janet Weiss (Vice)? I'm just saying...)

(PPS: you gotta check out his version. The definition of Fabulous.)

Note for Blogliners: there is a video. You can't see it. Click to my page to view. It's worth it--Mika is a fascinating creature.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Great Flood

Ten years ago, I lived in Grand Forks, ND. It was where I went to college, met my husband, and celebrated our first days as husband and wife. In April of 1997, after 8 major blizzards, 16 days off of school, and an ice storm, we had a flood. It was a doozie.

Our river, the Red, flows north. One of only a few in the world that do (the Nile is another), it often gets caught up due to ice floes that don't melt north of your own town. Since GF is located on the glacial Lake Agassiz plane (in prehistoric times, it was a lake bottom), there is lots and lots of flat land for the water to spread out upon.

Unfortunately, that included our town. In 1997, the river flooded, displacing everyone in the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, MN, including me. I distinctly remember driving through foot-deep water to run back to my in-laws house just before evacuating, after a frantic call from my mother in law, who was convinced she left the iron on. (She didn't.) When we got home, weeks later, their house had 7.5 feet of sewage in the basement. Many homes were completely underwater. A big part of downtown had burned to the ground. Garbage piled 8 feet high lined the berms of every street for months, and we worked our fingers to the bone to scrub and clean and try to salvage what little we could (which wasn't much--flood muck doesn't come off.) Thankfully, no lives were lost. Until Hurricane Katrina, it was the greatest displacement of people there has been in American history. Though it pales in comparison to the devastation of Katrina, it still made a great impact on all those whose lives it touched.

This morning, I was able to hear all about it once again on NPR. If you have time, and an interest, please take a listen, or read more about it here. Grand Forks will always be close to my heart, and it did bring a few tears to my eyes, remembering the fear and uncertainty, and the way they people pulled together and helped each other to survive and to build a better future.

This past year, there was another record-setting crest of the river. But this time, thanks to the work of the people of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, the engineers, the builders, and the new, controversial dike, not one sandbag was necessary.

For the time being, a victory.

Congratulations, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. We knew you could do it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Modern Math: a Substitute Teacher in Special Ed Shows You How

Number of inches of snow predicted today: up to 10.

Number of Recess duties I had today: 4.

Minutes spent outside in the snow, slush, wind and cold per day: 80.

Floors in the school: 3.

Floor I'm on: 3.

Flights of stairs climbed: 24.

Minutes of "Lunch hour": 20.

Minutes of break I get during the day: 0.

Number of bathroom breaks I need per day*: 7.

Number of days I have this schedule: 3.

Bowls of ice cream it will take to get me through the week: 27.

Hours it will take me to recover from each day: 12.

Good thing I passed Algebra.

*(The other teachers have been great about covering for me so I don't explode all over their students--thank goodness I'm showing now. I don't even feel guilty about asking anymore.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I reach 31 weeks tomorrow, and my belly is growing exponentially. Dr. B went to a conference about a week ago, leaving me and Lucy and Zizou tout seul for five days. It was lonely, but I kept myself busy planning the baby's nursery, and waiting patiently for the paycheck that would allow me to begin some of our preparations. During this time Zizou flipped, moving from laying across my belly to head down, or at least sort of diagonal. This means that I am sticking out a lot more, people now ask when the baby's due rather than just scrutinizing my middle and looking puzzled until I say, "yes, I am pregnant." The bladder-punching is gone, hallelujah!

But, this also means I am dealing with lots of 'new' symptoms: the heartburn is worse, the allergies are kicking into high gear, the nosebleeds are back, I have pregnancy gingivitis (today's teeth cleaning was not pleasant), I can't sit in very many positions, I have a hard time breathing and my back has become very, very sore.

Thus, sleeping is becoming more of a torture than relief. I get tired so easily, but there is no way to get comfortable. I can't lay on my stomach for obvious reasons, if I lay on my back my leg falls asleep and I can't breathe, and if I lay on my left side a nerve in my leg spasms like I'm being whacked with a cattle prod.


So that leaves my right side. Fine, with a body pillow and pillows between my knees, arms, under my belly, under my head and supporting my back. I'm usually good for about 20 minutes.

Then I am sore and want to move. But there is nowhere to go.

The other morning, after my 4th bathroom trip of the night, I took up residence on the click-clack, using the back for support. Dr. B saw me and thought it would be worth a try that night, hoping I would get a better sleep with a firmer mattress and more support.

I think he just wanted the whole big bed for himself.

He set me up, tucking the pillows and body pillows strategically, covering me with a down comforter, and kissing me goodnight.

And the next morning, I woke up because I had to pee. Not because I was in pain.

I went to wake him (his alarm had been shut off, but he didn't get up), and he grinned at me as he lay, spread-eagled, in the middle of the bed, hogging 4 pillows and all the blankets.

"I can see you slept well," I said, a little miffed that he wasn't terribly lonely for me in our bed, as I had been for him when he was gone (sort of, except for secretly kind of liking the extra room).

"And you," he said. "You look better."

"Yeah, I slept better last night. I'm not in pain. It's rather nice." We figured we had found a solution, at least until the baby's born. Thank God.

So last night he prepared my place once again, helped me in and arranged everything, and kissed me goodnight. "Sleep well," I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm.

"I will," he said, totally seriously. "I don't sleep as well when I'm worried about you, especially I'm worried you're not comfortable. Kind of like it will be with the baby--we'll be worried that she's not comfortable and we won't sleep as well."

"Yeah, that and when I elbow you in the back when you snore," I countered.

"Yeah, well, that too," he grinned.

I drifted off to sleep, and began having very vivid dreams. In one, I was a part of some sort of group that was running from the CIA. They had found us, and we were loading our moving van as fast as possible and trying to get out of there.

Then Morgan Freeman showed up. He was a CIA agent, but for some reason he was giving me a break. We talked about things, and he was very understanding and kind. (Aside: wouldn't it be shocking if you found out he was really a jerk? He just seems like such a nice man.) He said, "You better get going if you're going to get away." "We're not ready," I said and looked around, "We don't have everything yet." He smiled and said, "You don't have time, but it's OK. Just get going." I jumped in the back of the moving van, and we prepared to leave.

The dreams continued, more in the escape vein (which, of course, I have since forgotten), and I woke up when Dr. B headed to the shower, sore and aching once again. Our strategy of pillow placement, back support and firmer mattresses had failed.

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Do you do Firefox?

If you do, you should check out CoolIris. It is very cool neato rad awesome worth looking at. Like a sneak peak, without the commitment of the click. And free. Gotta love that.

What'll they think of next?
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