Thursday, October 30, 2008

I did it!

Well, it took longer than last year but I made it through the 50 books for 2008. I am by no means done reading for the year. I have a pile a mile high waiting to be read but I am pleased that I made it to 50. One of the coolest things about it so far...no repeated books. All 50 were books I had not read before. I may add some repeats for the rest of the year as I'm itching to reread Harry Potter and the LOTR. But we'll see how the piles go. I suppose I should add some baby books to the list too. :) But looking at the list does anyone want a review of the books and/or have good books to suggest for me? I'm all ears!

The 50 Book Challenge 2008

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
3. Resort to Murder: Thirteen More Tales of Mystery by Minnesota's Premier Writers by Minnesota Crime Wave
4. Evenings at Five by Gail Godwin
5. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
6. The Pillers of the Earth by Ken Follett
7. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
8. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
9. The View from Mount Joy: A Novel by Lorna Landvik
10. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See
11. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
12. Beware of Cat: And Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier by Vincent Wyckoff
13. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
14. The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
15. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
16. Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
17. People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
18. Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
19. Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
20. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
21. Songs without Words by Ann Packer
22. Those who Save Us by Jenna Blum
23. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
24. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
25. A Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
26. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
27. Peony in Love: A Novel by Lisa See
28. Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father's Counterfeit Life by Jennifer Vogel
29. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
30. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
31. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
32. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) by Stephenie Meyer
33. The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman as told by S. Morgenstern
34. Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
35. Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley
36. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
37. Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
38. Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson
39. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
40. The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson
41. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
42. The Wise Woman: A Novel by Philippa Gregory
43. The Last Suppers by Diane Mott Davidson
44. Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson
45. The Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson
46. The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
47. Bridge of Sighs: A Novel by Richard Russo
48. New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) by Stephenie Meyer
49. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Trilogy, Book 1) by Philip Pullman
50. Certain Girls: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is it Tuesday Yet?

This election may kill me. Is it Tuesday yet?

Let's look at some of the things that have been "taught" to me this week in my attempt to support Mr. Obama for President.

1. Palin is more qualified than Barak because she is a governor and not a senator.

2. The last two years of democratic held congress account for all the problems of Bush's terms in office.

3. Jesus was NOT a political figure (this was particularly interesting for me to learn).

EDITED TO ADD:

4. Oh I learned this today too....Fox News is apparently the ONLY fair and balanced media news source. Did you know that?

Is it over yet? Most days it is all I can do to keep my head from exploding. Add to this that it is a documented Republican goal to stall and prohibit as many people from voting as they can it just makes me sick. Mr. Goat will be at a polling place all day on Tuesday just to make sure that the law is upheld and that any one who is able to may vote regardless of their skin color, income or political leanings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still here

Hi blogland,

I am still alive. I'm just...well, I don't know what I am exactly. Do you remember when you were a teenager and you had a week of insanity? That when you were with people you wanted to be alone and when you were alone you really wanted to be with others? That is sort of where I'm at. I feel emotionally all over the map and while I'm sure it is a result of crazy pg hormones knowledge of that doesn't make it easier to be there.

I'm trying hard to not dwell in stress and worry about it all, and for the most part I do feel like I'm succeeding. Most of the time I'm just working hard to get things done, but when I start to take the time to blog or dwell it all comes back...baby, pregnancy and all that goes with it - health, eating, exercise, not to mention jobs, finances, housing. And then I remember that it does no good to stress about it and I make myself do something else so I don't worry it.

That works for the most part, until I go to sleep. I have the weirdest pg dreams right now. None of them immediately relate to babies, or normal everyday life anyway, but I find that I wake up in the same emotional mood as my dream. The other day I had a dream where I was in a high speed car chase to escape an evil cop trying to get me (the good cop) and I woke up extremely anxious. It took several hours to shake that feeling even though it didn't relate to anything real.

And that's one reason I haven't blogged much. Who wants to hear about all of this. Firstly I don't want to come across that I am anything but thrilled and excited about being pregnant and going to have a baby. But there is also a bit of terror and a fair amount of curiousity about how this will change our lives.

But I do want to blog more. I want to be honest about this time in our lives and I want to share it with anyone who cares. I just don't want to always complain about it either, because it isn't worth complaining about really. I mean honestly, I haven't even had morning sickness!!! WHAT on earth is there to complain about. But apparently I'm good at finding things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Prayers Please...

Please go over to Vanessa's blog and send her good wishes and prayers. She is in early labor at this point with a placental abruption so it looks like her beebee is on his way. I'm sure it is scary and a bit earlier than she'd hoped so send them all the prayers you can spare.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Thoughts

* Why is it that when you go to the gym to walk on the treadmill for miles you drive around the parking lot looking in vain for the best spot? Or is that just me?

* If you are pregnant and happen to hear "I was there to hear your Borning Cry" you may get a little sniffly - Or again, that could just be me?

* In boob-ville they say that Mrs. Goat's boobs grew three sizes that day. Sorry for the poorly written Dr. Suess line but darn. I had to get new bras because of the pregnancy, which isn't surprising. What is surprising is that numbers and letters go that high! I don't know if boob growth is a benefit for the less endowed during pregnancy, but when you are already gifted it is just mind boggling. On the other hand, new bras = good! And now if you must gouge your eyes out due to TMI I understand.

* I'm so much looking forward to the weekend. I love weekends. Plus this one has fun stuff and opportunities for some sleep. Hopefully lots of sleep. The only bad thing is it is supposed to get cold for Sunday and that is the day we have our annual Trunk or Treat.

* Work things have improved. I don't want to have to do over the last several months, but sufficit to say, I did the work to keep my position and defended my skills well. I'm hoping this is the end of the ordeal and I am going to work to move forward at this job. And that makes me happy to know that I succeeded in proving my worth.

* Ooooo, and I cleaned a fair amount of my office today. I love it when I have a few hours to do that. So. much. better.

* I also have an exciting new opportunity for some free-lance work. I'm not authorized to say much about anything but I'll let you guys know when I can and I hope that the little extra income will help the finances as we ready for baby.

* I feel a bit proud of myself when the scale at the gym doesn't fluctuate more than a pound either way. So long as Zy's growth is normal I think I'm doing a good job keeping the weight reasonable so far. I hope to keep up with it. My diet isn't perfect by any means but I'm working on it.

* On the other hand my diet coke this afternoon was SO good and it made me glad that I allow myself one every so often. Mmmmmm....diet coke.

* Speaking of Diet Coke, and everything else related to pregnancy - Why, oh why, is there so much conflicting information out there about what you can and can't do. It can make me (and consequently Mr. Goat) nuts trying to figure it all out. I'm just trying to do what works for me and is consistent with what I read but damn, it can be super confusing and annoying.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gonna Party like it's 19-39!

Mr. Goat and I went to a competitive bridge game last night. There are two forms of the card game bridge...social bridge - aka playing with friends over wine and munchies and duplicate bridge - a structured game where you play the same hands as everyone else with rotating partners to see who can achieve the most success with the cards given. Duplicate bridge also has the master point ranking system for those "professional" bridge players - sort of like the ranking for chess players except in this case most of them are NOT twelve year old prodigies.

Mr. Goat and I went to a fairly beginner duplicate game and had a great time. Of no surprise though was that we were the youngest people there by at least 20 years or so...and that was to our nearest age couple I think. The irony is that it is a great game and I would love to see so many people I know play it because they would love it, but unfortunately it just isn't very big right now. So Mr. Goat and I may have to resort to partying it up on Sunday night with the Golden Girls.

I jest, but it is so much fun and really the age difference doesn't bother me. I was just glad that Mr. Goat and I could hold our own and keep up with the "real" players. We may just have some potential here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blogging mirrors life's mysteries

It is funny. Before I told the world about being pg, when it was still a secret between me and my husband, or even our families, blogging immediately became more difficult. There was this BIG thing that was still too new to share. And yet there was so little else to say because my world was already colored by this news. Immediately thoughts changed and priorities too. Maybe not dramatically, since a family is something I've always hoped for, but it was now a tangible change and not a future hypothetical one.

And now that it is out I want to talk about it...the excitement and fear, the uncertainty and hope and all of the little details that are now suddenly important in my life and future. But at the same time, there is still an internal struggle. Many of my friends have children, many don't. I don't want to alienate my friends without by prattling on about pregnancy symptoms or the search for the perfect baby swing, or whatever. I know that these are important things and that I will blog about them, but I don't want to limit my blog to discussing my new upcoming role as mother.

I never really thought I'd reach the existential dilemma of motherhood, but I see it hovering at the distance waiting to come in. I know lots of people who struggle with it naturally and I don't know why I thought I might be exempt. These smart, talented professional women all wanted children too, and yet there is a moment of "is that all I'll be from now on." I will be a mom, I'll be a blogger...ergo mommy blogger? I don't know. I'll be a mom and a wife and a church worker and who knows what else but does mom trump all now? I don't know yet but it is weird to think about.

All of these thoughts may be normal and my opinion of them and myself may change a great deal before I actually hold my baby in my arms, but is there a way to be fully myself and not lose myself in a mother identity. Is it even something to worry about since it is hard and good work.

I think every new addition to an identity adds some angst to the other parts of you. When you get married you may struggle to still have your alone time. When you go to college some of you is back home still. But then you go home and some of you is still at college. This may be another example of your identity growing and building. I think it can grow to include mother, but I want to ensure that mom doesn't squelch all these other parts of me as well.

In all things balance I suppose, but I do hope you'll forgive me if I mention babies a bit more than normal for a while. I'm still trying to figure out the balance, and I'm sure I'll still be working on it when April comes and I start to figure it out again, with a real baby this time, not just me and my thoughts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So, if you've been pregnant...

Any tips? My clothes are starting to get tight and I'm thinking I need to at least explore some options before I wake up one day without anything that fits. But now that I've gotten to the second trimester I realize that most of my early research has been more about nutrition and exercise and how to tell work and such. But apparently there is going to be a baby at the end of this road and it suddenly seems like there is a lot to do. Not only in terms of figuring out the rest of the pregnancy and the clothes and such but also figuring out how to prepare for the baby and all the stuff and everything. Obviously I'm not going to take care of everything at once but I'm three months in, so I thought I'd poll all of you smart pregnant and parent types out there and see what you all would recommend as this process moves on. Anything you think would have helped you or did help you would be great. Thanks in advance!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I was tagged..

I was tagged by Emilie earlier this week but with the pregnancy announcement and a lot to do at work and otherwise I haven't gotten around to it until now. I tried to do it yesterday but was in a real funk. I'm not sure if it was a natural introverted reaction to the very social part of telling people about being pregnant, or some serious work stress coming in the next week, or just some of the widely fluctuating pregnancy hormones but I have been in a mood. My funk hasn't quite lifted today but seeing as I've got to be productive at work tomorrow and I really want to get out of it I'm trying to think of these seven things to share with you all. So here it is... seven weird/random facts about me.

1. I have only been good at one sport in my life...soccer. I was only a marginal fielder but I was a great goalie. Something about me running and diving at smaller kids feet to grab the ball was intimidating or something I guess. :)

2. I really hate to wear makeup even though I really ought to, but the feel of it on my skin just bugs me all day long no matter what type I've tried. Now being pregnant I'm completely broken out too so it doesn't help.

3. I am a packrat - mostly with regards to books and school stuff. It just seems so hard to get rid of papers and books for me. What if I need my 11th grade geometry notes someday? My growing use of the library is helping me learn to give books away though but it is still a challenge.

4. I love to play games and am willing to learn any game out there. I also know several obscure card games like Sheepshead and games whose popularity is dwindling in my generation like Bridge. In fact I've been offered jobs on the spot at game stores just for the questions about games that I ask. Maybe I should have taken them up on it.

5. I sometimes think that if I could just have the resources to go to school forever that I would, nearly everything I've ever studied appeals to me on some level, even languages which is funny because I'm awful at them.

6. I wanted to be the first person on Mars and while I've given up on that I do wonder if one day we'll be able to go to space without being a scientist or pilot someday. When that happens (minus the multi-million price tag) sign me up for a trip in orbit. To boldly go where...only a few have gone before.

7. I really struggled to come up with these 7 things, because mostly I consider myself to be fairly boring. I so often end up on the lazy-book-tv-game side of the equation that when I look at it doesn't seem like anyone else would find my geeky self interesting enough. I've never really been a go out and party type, I'd much rather go and watch the stars. But deep down that's who I am and some days I'm more ok with it than others.

I hope I didn't end on a downer for people. I'm so excited to be pregnant and to start this new chapter in my life but what with that and the work craziness and such there is some "who am I and what do I want with my life" type dilemmas in my brain. I'm sure they are not resolved today or tomorrow or maybe ever but it makes it hard to focus on what I KNOW I want, and what I KNOW I am. Who knows...maybe tomorrow will bring it into focus. But for now, there are my 7 things. I hope they are a *little* interesting. :)

And I tag...

Kristie Tiffany Kristin Jessica Vicki Carrie Vanessa

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Details

I am so mean. Throwing that random (shocking!) news out there without any details for you all! I'm sorry but I am here to answer all your questions now!

I am 12w6d, or easier, 13 weeks tomorrow. We found out fairly early in August and I apologize for the low amount of blogging since then. It was hard not to share the news with the world because it is so exciting, but on the other hand it is still a bit nerve wracking to share it all now. Still the 1st trimester is winding down so I hope that we are all good. I had an ultrasound around 10+ weeks and we saw a little gummy bear of a baby with a heartbeat so I guess things are good!

I'm sorry for everyone who ever had Morning Sickness, but I have been feeling pretty good. Mostly just tired. So tired. And yet surprisingly unable to sleep well. I wish I could say I was showing already but given my ample um, padding?, I really haven't yet. In fact my doctor said I could gain no weight and have a great pregnancy. Since I've already failed at that I'm just aiming for as healthy as I can and trying to keep up with some gentle exercise.

All the family is thrilled. Zy-Goat will be the first Grand baby and great-grand baby so it is much anticipated. I don't know for sure if we'll find out the sex of the baby but I imagine that we will. We are thinking about names, but no, we won't share them. :)

Oh, and my projected due date is...Tax Day, April 15. It is also just a few days after Holy Week and Easter which is also cool. It does mean that this will be my first Easter in about 17 years that I won't be playing trumpet for Easter services. I just don't think I'll have the lung capacity.

So things seem to be going very well so far. I hope they continue in that way. I am most worried about my blood pressure since I have issues with that when I'm not pregnant, but I'm monitoring it and I know it is on the radar so I'll just trust that we are doing all we can at this point and try not to worry excessively about it. (Easier said than done).

Oh, and in related and unrelated news we found out this morning that Mr. Goat passed the Bar Exam! I'm so thrilled for him and proud of his accomplishments. Now I hope that a great job is coming for him soon!

So there are some details into the craziness that is my life right now. But I wouldn't trade a thing. Thank you for all your good wishes and please keep us in your prayers during this pregnancy. I'll be sure to keep you all posted now! Thanks!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Um Ya Ya

There are places in your life that you truly love. Your first home probably. A secluded spot in the woods. A summer camp. Or in this case...St. Olaf College. I love that place. It is the place where I learned independence. It is the place where I spent 4 wonderful years learning everything I could. It is the place I heard beautiful soul-shaping music and sermons. And yes, it is the place where I met my husband and later got married. So it is a place that I love to visit and reminisce about.

And so when my husband's 5 year reunion, St. Olaf homecoming, and the opening of the new massive science center combine we jumped at the opportunity to spend an amazing day on campus. On Friday night we saw lots of Mr. Goat's classmates at a happy hour in the cities. I was the DD so Mr. Goat was able to enjoy the gigantic beers served!

Saturday we went down early and enjoyed the fall colors and the beautiful day on campus. We caught the dedication of the new building, which is impressive enough to make me want to go back to college to major in a science. We went on a tour later and the place is just cool, complete with loads of green upgrades and a energy reducing roof complete with greenhouses.

My parents were over for the day as well so we got to see them. Then we got to see a comedy physics show - think mythbusters meets improv comedy which was hilarious and ended up with a large oil barrel being crushed like a soda can by air pressure alone. Cool. Then we went to the NASA travelling exhibit that was on campus and learned about NASA's new moon missions they are planning. And we got to touch a moon rock. Very Cool. We also got to meet some friends for WI and meet their baby girl and to see a Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl and Peregrine Falcon from about two feet away. Extremely Cool.

And the best part of the whole day...

Mr. Goat and I made our very first purchase for our latest collaberation. And given that this particular collaberation wouldn't exsist if we both hadn't gone to St. Olaf it seemed like the most fitting first purchase we could make!

No Pressure, but I think Zy-Goat, St. Olaf Class of '31 has a nice ring to it, don't you?