Aug 28, 2008

Word to the wise

If anyone ever asks you to dog-sit for them, the most important thing I think you can ask if you will need to leave that dog while you're at work is "Does your dog have any separation anxiety?" Because if you don't, and you leave them, there is a simple equation.

This dog

+kitchen door


It also equals one highly annoyed wife who had to miss the Doobie Brothers concert because she could no longer trust the dog alone in her house. It equals my right to say "I told you so" until the cows come home (and I don't think the cows are coming home until the first frost). In the variation of the equation where the moody wife is also pregnant, it also equals one husband who's sleeping with the dogs tonight.

She moves

Last night I was lying, collapsed on the couch. I haven't felt the baby move for several days now, but was told by my doctor that's perfectly normal this early in the pregnancy. But then, I felt a good punt at the right side of the abdomen. I placed my hand there, and for the first time, I could feel her move from the outside! It was truly amazing. I reached for Brian's hand and had him wait patiently. Before long, she gave another strong kick. The look of amazement on his face was priceless. It was amazing and I'm still smiling.

Aug 27, 2008

High on fiber

Michigan's Fiber Festival was held on August 16th. It's an annual commitment for me and I look forward to it every year. This year I bought no yarn, only roving. This is in anticipation of the spinning wheel I have yet to buy. (If I haven't bought it by Christmas, I have managed to get Brian to agree to help me with the balance.)

I found some beautiful pink roving with flecks of sparkle in it. I dream of knitting this into a cute baby shrug. The colorway is pink lemonade.


I stalked The Fold's tent until they opened. I usually snatch up Socks that Rock like it's a petoskey stone hidden on the beach. This time I snatched the roving. Perhaps I'll make some sock yarn with this?


Last is a pound of merino wool. It's oh so soft and brilliant deep blue and rose hues. I have no idea what I'll make with this. Any suggestions?


Aug 26, 2008

Don't shake the baby

Today was a busy day. I stopped at 5 day care centers for tours. Thanks to all of your advice, I asked some great questions and found out a lot of information. I've picked my favorites and Brian will go back with me for a second look.

Now that I'm finally back to my own computer, I have access to my photos. I wanted to share the baptism of my first godchild, Amos. We traveled out to the east side of the state for the baptism on the 17th. Amos was adorable in his gown - although some of the family seemed a bit put off by the "skirt." He cried and cried after getting dunked in the baptismal font. I'm sure I would too if you dropped me backwards in a vat of water, not once, but four times.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

I swear, he wasn't really shaking the baby.

Say cheese

Someone get this hat off of me

Proud godparents

Aug 24, 2008

Back in town

Brian and I returned from Chicago tonight. This is my first night back home since a week ago, so I feel like I'm trying to put together the pieces. We had a great weekend with Carrie and Matt. I also bought far too much at Stitches Midwest - but I love it all! I'll share more later. For now I'm off to catch some zzz's.

Aug 19, 2008

Daycare advice

I was informed by one of my patients last week that if I needed daycare by next March, I better get my ass in gear. So I have set up 4 interviews with various area daycare centers for next Tuesday. I will start with centers before I look to any in-home daycares. I'm mostly doing this because I haven't received any recommendations for in-home daycare in the area with anyone who actually has openings. I have, however, heard good things about several centers.

I would appreciate advice from anyone with small children who has been using daycare in recent years. What kinds of questions do you think I should ask them? What did you look for? What do/did you like/dislike about your daycare? Any red flags I should look for? If you live in the Holland area, any facilities you like?

I will likely be using them three days/week. If I have to get on a waiting list for the place I like best, I'll consider doing that and interviewing local Hope college students to fill in as a short-term nanny. I probably wouldn't stick with a student long-term just because I need the reliability that they won't "call-in" sick.

Aug 18, 2008


I'm spending this week in Kalamazoo, zoo, zoo. Kalamazoo is very different and still very much the same. At least they have a Starbucks on Stadium Drive now. I'm at WMU studying for my recertification exam. It's hard to go back to spending 9 hours in lectures, I definitely feel like I'm back in PA school. I'm have picked up on some interesting pearls of wisdom.

Now, I may be the last person to have heard this, but did you know the salmonella scare with tomatoes a couple months ago was actually caused by jalapenos? (Brian knew this, but he knows everything.) So I was denied tomatoes by several fast food chains for no good reason! Of course the major detriment it caused to the tomato community is probably more significant then my two week deprivation from tomatoes.

Also, a nice gentleman with a PhD in infectious disease did an animated job of reminding us that treating strep "immediately" is not necessary. In fact, the treatment of strep throat is actually to limit the transmission to others and risk of post-strep complications. Now how I'm going to try to explain that to puzzled parents looking to me as their child sits there with a 104 degree temp and I say "Let's wait another 1-2 days until my final culture comes back"....well, that's a problem unto itself.

Intestinal hookworms are picked up by walking barefoot through contaminated soil. The worm migrates up through the skin to the intestines, then lays eggs to pass through your feces. True story.

Of course, we learned a lot more than that, but I have to consider that it's probably not as interesting to all of you as it is to me. But who doesn't love a good intestinal worm story?

Aug 15, 2008

My own Olympic race

This week went by in a blur. My boss vacationed in T.C. while I worked hard at the office to keep things together so he could get some much needed rest. We've just taken on a new electronic medical record, so there is a lot of work that goes into that and the transfer of chart information. And, as expected, there are plenty of glitches to add more work to your day.

Wednesday night I had fun making peach jam with some fruit from the farmer's market. It turned out so sweet and delicious! I was disappointed that the recipe didn't yield more since it was a lot more work than strawberry jam. All that is used from the fruit is the juice from 6# of cooked peaches. The rest of the pulp goes to waste. I'll try to make more before the peach season ends.

Tomorrow is the Fiber Festival in Allegan. This is my 4th year going. I still have stash yarn from the first time I went. That should hold me back, but it probably won't. Now that I'm spinning, I have the excuse to stash fiber instead of yarn. What is more likely to tame me is the knitting event I'm going to next Saturday - Stitches Midwest - in Schaumburg, IL.

Sunday is Amos' baptism. Brian and I are the godparents, which is a huge honor for us. I spent the evening trying to find a skirt that actually fits around my baby bump. Elastic is my best friend. Amos is going to be so big by now!

Aug 12, 2008

I can just imagine

I was signing off on some charts at work today and came across a funny transcription from the ER.  Maybe when I have my own child, I won't find this as humorous.  But I have to believe that after the fact, even these parents are laughing at themselves.  In short, the note described a three year old who was brought to the ER, by ambulance no less, for a foreign body in the nose.  I imagine the 911 call went something like this.

911:  This is 911.  What's your emergency?
Mother: My child has a pretzel stuck in his nose.
911:  I'm sorry, I think your phone was breaking up.  Did you say your child broke his nose.
Mother:  No, I gave him three straight pretzels.  One is missing and he's crying.  I'm pretty sure it's stuck up his nose.
911:  Well, did you try to remove it?
Mother:  I don't believe in picking noses.  Anyway, he's crying, and I wouldn't want to hurt him.
911:  I will dispatch an ambulance to your house.  In the meantime, you may want to get him a glass of water.  That pretzel is probably making him thirsty.

Aug 11, 2008

Have you ever...

gone to a concert just because you have free tickets, sit there moderately enjoying the music, and then hear them do a fantastic "cover?" Well, at least you thought it was a cover, and you think they seem pretty spot on for the original.  You see everyone out of their seats dancing, then you realize, "Oh wow, that's your song!" That's what happened tonight when we went to see K. T. Tunstall at the Gardens. She sings Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. Who knew?

Aug 10, 2008

Shopping Partner

What's a girl to do when she finds out she'll soon have a shopping partner for life? Why, go shopping of course! Once I found out I was having a girl, I couldn't help but buy a few adorable outfits at the summer clearance sales. I found some great Carter's stuff at Meijer. Thursday night we happened upon the sidewalk sales in downtown Holland. There is a new store, Tip Toes, with the cutest baby stuff. The only problem is the prices - about $60 per outfit. On clearance, we could actually stand to buy a few. My favorite is the outfit in the upper right corner of this pic - a little tank top with jean skirt and leggings peeking out the bottom. Brian actually was encouraging me to buy this stuff...I think he's just partial to the ones that say "My Daddy loves me." So, just so we don't get too carried away, there is now a new line item on our monthly budget for baby items!

Aug 9, 2008

That's one amazing pig.

Last night Brian and I walked Maggie downtown and got some ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. It was a perfect summer night. While sitting there, we pondered how Maggie spends her time locked up in the kitchen each day. The ordinary dog may just sleep the hours away. Instead, we like to think she practices yodeling. She also works on standing on two legs for extended periods of time. By our estimate, she can now make it two minutes. She knows this because she uses the timer on the stove. When she's feeling more artistic, she writes haiku poetry using a series of "barks," "bow-wows," and "ruffs." She's pretty amazing.

Aug 5, 2008


My sister-in-law, Jacqueline, was thinking in blues the days before her ultrasound. She found out she was having a boy. Last week, while camping, I had taken about 8 balls of leftover sock yarn. When I picked out my ball for some baby socks, this was the color I chose.

Camping World

**Warning - be prepared to be bored if you don't enjoy camping, lighthouses, s'mores or puppy stories.**

Brian and I had an excellent voyage through Michigan last week. I decided to break our trip up into three locations this year, thus cutting the drive in 1/2 on the way to Lake Superior and back. I get painfully bored on long car rides...not so much when I'm riding because I can knit until the yarn runs dry, but sharing the driving is not my cup of tea. Anyway, Saturday through Tuesday we stayed at Cheboygan State Park. This park was small and clean with nice grassy sites. Downside - it's not lakeside. We did manage to hike to the lake, where we got a nice view of several offshore lighthouses. I will never forget that hike, because of the hoards of mosquitoes that attacked us there and back. Brian couldn't understand why I was grouchy. There's nothing like constantly swatting mosquitoes out of your ears. Maggie even had several mosquitoes attack her anus, since that's about her only non-hair covered part.

This light was much further than it appears. Camera zooms are deceiving.

Maggie learned to love jumping along the waves.

View from inside the lighthouse tower of Mackinac Point.

While staying there we visited Forty Mile Point lighthouse, Cheboygan Crib Light, Cheboygan River Front Range and Old Mackinac Point. We could see Poe Reef and Fourteen Foot Shoal from shore, but would love to see them up close from a boat some day.

Tuesday we drove through Tahquemenon Falls to our next site at Muskallonge Lake State Park. It was overcast and a bit drizzly that day, but the falls were still beautiful to see. We only stopped at the Upper Falls this year. Maggie was a champ at climbing the hundreds of stairs, even though some old dude warned us "I hope you're prepared to carry your dog on those stairs." Yeah, like I'm sure her 20 pounds would really break us.

My 17 week bump.

Our reserved camp site at Muskallonge Lake was nothing more than a small gulley with a 45 degree incline. Not wanting to slide to the bottom of our tent each night, we searched out a new site. We were lucky to find site #19, a "non-reservable" site. It was right next to the swimming beach, so we could stake Maggie down and still enjoy the water. We could also watch the mysterious fog roll on and off the lake as the cool breeze from Lake Superior rolled over the hot dunes.

Here's the view from our dining tent....prettier in person, but you get the idea.

We spent the week lounging, learning how to play cribbage (I think I rule at that game), and visiting more lighthouses. We really enjoyed the 30 mile drive down a twisty dirt road to find a nicely rehabbed light at Crisp Point. The black flies were vicious, but fortunately they were more attracted to my stinky puppy. We also visited the two lights in Grand Marais and took a 3 mile hike to Au Sable.

The more we see these lights, the more Brian and I dream about one day volunteering as light house keepers. I told him he'll need to come up with a hobby other than web-surfing before we desert ourselves at a lighthouse. I think he should whittle.

On the way home we stopped for one night in Petoskey. This time we just stayed in a hotel. Let me say, there is a best kept secret at the Days Inn in Petoskey. They have a 24 hour all-you-can-eat cafe at no extra charge. They have soups, chilis, corndogs, sandwiches, snacks of every kind. We could've had all three meals of the day there! I highly recommend it.
We visited the Petoskey and Charlevoix lights. We attempted Little Traverse, but it is blocked in a gated community. This is another one we'll need a boat for. I have an idea that maybe I can sweet talk Carrie's dad into taking us on his sailboat someday.

So, that's the trip in a nutshell, for inquiring minds. Brian, Maggie and I really enjoyed ourselves, but were happy to get back to a soft bed, private bathroom, and dishwasher.

It's a ...

We had our ultrasound bright and early today. Last night I slept well, but I did dream of having a baby girl of my own. This morning, I was nervous about having a full bladder, so I sort of over did it. The ultrasound tech actually had to ask me to empty it because it was in the way. (freakin' overachiever)

We had a great ultrasound experience. We saw (what looked to be) a healthy heart, arms/legs, fingers/toes, and a great cerebellum I might add. When we got down to measure the femurs, we took a close-up view in between the legs.

Low and behold - it's a girl! So pretty much everyone guessed right! Brian and I are so excited! Now we just have to wait patiently until we can hold her in our arms.

Pretty profile.


Feet as big as mom's.

Now I'm off to knit!

Aug 2, 2008

I have not disappeared

To those who thought I've disappeared, I have only gone to the adventure-land of America's high five (otherwise known as the UP). We are gradually making our way back and I will have plenty to post when we do!