Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Stuff in the works!

I keep going to Blogger and staring at my dashboard thinking, I want to write but don't have anything to write about. Maybe it's a combination of not feeling overly creative and a lack of big things going on. Although I haven't been bored, so I don't know what's wrong with me!

However, in the past two days I've been extremely productive and gotten a lot done. Most especially, I think it's safe to say that we found an apartment. Hizzah! Truthfully we found this apartment a few weeks (months??) ago, but we kept sitting on it thinking, is this going to work for us? I've been obsessed with the apartment because I love the layout and size, plus my cousin used to live in the building so I know the building management is dependable. And it is a very sturdy building (i.e. no one can hear the baby cry, let alone the next door neighbor breathe). Rob felt it was a little overpriced and was a little hesitant just because of my current uncertain employment situation. However, I convinced him -- as I always do. Because he loves me. Oh, I forgot he doesn't read this blog, so I don't have to say that. Because he knew I was right.

I called the development company yesterday to see if they still had availability and they told me they had 1 two bedroom apartment available for May 1, and it was first come first serve. So today we dropped off our application and saw the apartment again. The building manager told us that there were 2 other couples interested in the same apartment who had been calling that morning, but unless one of them got their application into the main office before us, we got the place!

I'll find out tomorrow for sure, but the best part of all is that the apartment is ready as of right now, so we can move in during the last week in April. I'm already planning an unpacking party -- i.e. by that point, I may need some help:)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

If everyone else jumped off a bridge...

Fine, everyone else has been blogging today so I might as well do it too. But sadly for you this blog won't be too interesting because I really don't have that much going on! I feel better and have been feeling better for a good week and a half or so. I'm a little hesitant to say that I'm better in the sense of being cured but I'm enjoying each day as it comes. Positive thoughts sent my way have clearly worked, so thank you all!

I went with my mom, grandmother and aunt to Babies R Us the other day. I would like to say that it is now clear to me that my baby will want for nothing. My mom and aunt both spent at least an hour just on the clothing section, while my grandmother stared in awe at sheer wealth of stuff. The purpose of the trip was that Grandma had wanted to buy our baby's crib. Apparently my grandparents had also bought my crib so it was a little bit of an ongoing tradition and I am so incredibly thankful!

Um... other news.... oh, I picked the wrong withholding thing on my taxes (stupid human resources person at work...) so now I actually owe the government money. Bastards! The timing is truly amazing too.

And that's all I got.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Some people are nap people and some people just plain old aren't. This would probably be the biggest difference between Rob and I. Even when I was little, I couldn't nap -- that's why my mom let me watch Days of Our Lives. But Rob. Well Rob could get a full 8 hours of sleep and still drift off for a good 4 hour nap in the middle of the day. And then still fall asleep at a normal time of night for another 8 hours of sleep.

Since I've known Rob he's gotten much better at restraining from naps. Now he really has a crappy sleep schedule where he often gets only 6 or 7 hours of sleep before getting up for work at 3 am. I don't begrudge him naps, but he doesn't really take them either because he wants to be able to fall asleep early. Of course his ability to function on very little sleep is precisely the reason that Rob will be doing a lot of the nightly feedings once our bundle of joy arrives.

Meanwhile, I have realized that I really need to embrace naps. Last night I woke up no less than 4 times during the night and for a period of an hour and a half somewhere in the darkness could not fall back asleep because of a) baby activity and b) complete discomfort. Part of the discomfort is the whole kidney stone thing, but mostly it's just, well, being uncomfortable. Yet somehow when I take naps, I sleep perfectly comfortably. SO from now on, I'm a napper. Newly converted. Just took a nap as a matter of fact. Highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lost and Found

I have to write this blog today just as a means of rejoicing. Throughout the past few weeks I have most definitely had a little case of pregnancy brain. Actually more than the past few weeks. More like the past few months. Truthfully it's probably less pregnancy brain than just what happens when you don't work every day. But when you add in the fairly frequent pain induced dazes of kidney stones, the past few weeks have been worse. Like I freaked out because I lost the car key on Tuesday and then I realized it was in my pocket.

Since Monday or Tuesday I have had sudden flashes of "I'm not wearing my wedding rings. Why is that?" Or I will randomly think about them, getting a visual flash of what they look like. I stopped wearing my rings in about November or so because I had lost finger weight (go figure!) due to morning sickness. With the Buffalo cold weather coming on, I was afraid I would one day take off my glove and the ring would just slip off into the snow without me noticing (like my Dad did!) My rings are platinum so I had decided not to wear them again until after the baby was born in case my fingers swelled. So for Christmas, Rob bought me a chain to wear the rings on.

Thursday, I realized that the reason I was getting ring flashes was that I hadn't actually seen my rings for a while. Normally I leave them on the dresser and they had mysteriously disappeared. I'm going to blame this one:

(He looks unassuming, but beware!)

So hooray! I found them today in Rob's sock drawer. So maybe there are two culprits:

They both look pretty guilty.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Famous Now!!

I'm all excited today because I'm being featured on the Collective! The Collective is my favoritest blog written by my bestest friend Kat and her friends. Most of you know Kat and know that she would never use grammatically incorrect words like the above, but for those of you who don't allow me to introduce you. She is possibly the most creative person I know (including Martha Stewart -- who I don't know, but whose brother is my Mom's dentist, so that counts). But she's creative not just in an artsy-craftsy way. She's creative in her mind! She's creative in the stuff she says and does and in her thought patterns. I bet she's even creative in the way she breathes. And she considers me cool enough to interview me for today's Collective posting.

Last night when I was finished doing the interview (I mean days ago, because Kat would never do last minute research!) I kept saying to Rob, "Do you want to read this now? How about now?" And he kept telling me to be quiet because he had already been trying to sleep for the past hour and that he would read it in the morning like any sane person. Then I fell asleep thinking about how cool it was going to be to read the interview in the morning -- and you know what? It was. Thanks, Kat!

P.S. Kat -- Why IS it that David is totally anti-nets? And I love the title, which no one is going to get but Green Wavers:D

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Um, the evacuation didn't go well. I did have a very nice lunch with Mom and I started registering at Babies R Us. But as I was standing in the aisle of baby monitors thinking, "I just don't care as long as they don't broadcast our business to the neighborhood like my cousin's cousin's monitor did" I suddenly realized I felt like crap. So I turned in the registry gun after adding only 4 items, watched while Mom paid for her "I just can't help myself these baby outfits are so cute!" items and went back to Mom's house, where I crawled into her bed and watched General Hospital with a heating pad on my side.

Sadly enough, I returned home to a message from my landlady saying, "Alex, I have an apology to make but don't worry we can work this out." Unfortunately, the plumbers couldn't make the repairs to our apartment so they have to come again another day. Awesome. At least we have water in the meantime.


Today's my day to be anywhere but my apartment. The plumbers are coming to do their many repairs on the building so the water will be off from x time until y time. That's right, they never let us know what time they were starting so Rob and I both got up at 7:30 am to be able to use the water. I'm about to leave for my Mom's house where I will be spending the day. I think the plan is to register at Babies R Us today. I'll update later!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grace in Small Things

These past couple of weeks have been pretty tough for me and it has been easy to feel sorry for myself, forgetting about the many blessings that I have in my life. My friend Kat has been tracking 5 things each day that she is thankful for. It got me thinking that I should really take a moment to do something of the same.

1. I have really lovely friends and family members. The one thing that makes me feel really good when I am feeling really terrible is the messages I have gotten from you my readers, and my friends. Every time I talk to my mom she tells me about how my Grandma calls her everyday to ask about me, as does her next door neighbor! My dear friend Melisa told me the other day that she prays for me every single night and I'm pretty sure that Kat would actually kick my kidney stone's ass if she could. I'm pretty damn lucky to have you all in my life.

2. Rob. Whenever I talk about how lucky I am to have Rob, I always think I don't need to say anything else because Rob defies description. He is simply Rob -- patient, supportive, caring, selfless, and wonderful. Yesterday he worked an 8 hour shift that he had to get up at 4:30 in the morning for, then he came home and went out in the pouring rain to buy my low-oxalate foods. Then he made me dinner and came to sit next to me in bed and just hold my hand.

3. Spring is coming. We may still get a storm (although I firmly believe we won't) but it's definitely getting warmer. Now with the time change, it's getting brighter. And there are birds chirping outside. I arrest my case.

4. I may be unemployed but in actuality I don't know how I would deal with this health situation if I had to go to work everyday. So I'm thankful that in the morning if I feel like crap, I can stay in bed and rest. I can sleep whenever I can and not go days without sleep. And I can spend all day reading if I want to. I've rediscovered reading lately -- the pleasure of tucking in with a good book and not having to put it down until your eyes don't stay open anymore.

5. Baby F. It's pretty amazing to me that with my body in so much pain and stress that Baby F seems perfectly happy and undisturbed. Yesterday she seemed particularly playful. It's not always the most comfortable thing when I'm in pain, but it's very reassuring. Plus she'll be here in 99 days or less! Let the countdown begin.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What's an Oxalate and why does it suck so hard?

One of the things that I was told yesterday by the specialist was that there are only a few things I can do to aid my current situation. First, drink lots of water. Totally on this -- 2-3 liters a day I can now handle or at least force-drink myself. Second, add lemons to my diet in a big way. Hey, it'll help me drink the water. I could even eat a lemon whole if I had to, no problem.

The third thing however is a little trickier. Limit my high oxalate foods. The ones the doctor specifically mentioned are Strawberries and Chocolate. He also mentioned coffee, tea and soda, but those not going to be a problem for right now since I have already cut out coffee and have never drank tea or soda. But Strawberries?? My favorite food in the whole world? As strawberry season approaches? And Chocolate? You mean, Cadburry Mini-Eggs? During Easter?

When I got home, I did some further searching into what high oxalate foods are and here's a brief list of the things that I now need to limit: Grapes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, bread, cheerios, graham crackers, oatmeal, popcorn, nuts, peanut butter, soy products, beets, celery, escarole, green beans, parsley, green peppers, potatoes, spinach, watercress and canned tomato sauce! That's a lot of food! And a lot of healthy food! I'm a little perplexed because theses are all of the healthy things that I actually LIKE. I have Cheerios with Strawberries every morning for breakfast. And I usually have peanut butter and jelly as my go-to lunch! I have no clue what on earth to eat. This morning I got up went into the kitchen and just thought, what the hell am I going to eat??

Now to be fair, I don't need to eliminate these foods. But I'm thinking that since my diet has until now consisted almost entirely of high oxalate foods, that I need to make some serious changes. A little scary.

God did however give me one blessing. Though he cursed the Mini-Eggs, he did grace us with the wonderful blessing that BACON IS LOW OXALATE. Thank you, Lord.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Specialist Update

I just got back from my appointment with the specialist. Sadly it's a no news is good news situation. So apparently there is nothing that they can really do for me until after the baby is born. The doctor said not to get my hopes up because the stone is too big to pass normally. So basically -- this condition is basically what I will be dealing with for the next 3 months. Unless god forbid the stone puts too much strain on my kidney at which point I get a stint put in my kidney that causes more pain but keeps my kidney from failing. Basically, pray for me to keep the status quo.

I guess in better news, yesterday at the ultrasound there was a tiny hint that my due date may have been overestimated and that the baby might actually be due June 9. Possibly 6 days less of pain. Yea!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Wreck of the Day

What a horrible, horrible day I've had. I didn't sleep that much last night which in itself I can handle. The past three nights actually I've woken up in pain taken my medication and then gotten a shoddy night of sleep. But last night was the worst since I woke up at 2 am and the pain was worse than normal and more persistent. But I was reassuring myself that at least today was my doctor's appointment so I could get a refill on my painkillers and see what the latest gossip was on possible treatments.

So today was my big round of tests. BIG. I had to be at the hospital at 9 am to take my Glucose Tolerance test, then my doctor's appointment at 9:30 am, then an ultrasound at 11:45 am. I was exhausted before I got there, still on painkillers which hadn't totally wiped out the pain. And yes, I broke down in tears before even leaving the house just thinking of how frustrated I was by the whole situation.

The Glucose test works like this. You go to the Blood Testing Center where they give you a drink called Glucola which you down and then exactly 60 minutes later you have to return for bloodwork and a urine sample. I should have know -- I see all the signs now: 1) Nothing has been going my way and 2) It has the word "Cola" in the title BUT THE GODDAMN DRINK IS CARBONATED. Everyone who knows me well knows that I have never in my entire life been able to drink carbonation. It burns my mouth like holy water to Satan. My brother and cousin used to try to trick me into tasting flat 7-UP when I was little just to see the look on my face. You could leave a can of soda open for 2 weeks and it would still be too carbonated for me to drink. And I had to down 2 glasses of this STUPID STUFF on today of all days!! That was enough to almost make me break. Right there, that almost did it.

But I triumphed and went upstairs to my doctor's appointment. I check in at the counter and tell them ok, I have to be back downstairs at 10:15 for the bloodwork. And get told, "Oh well we'll try to fit you in but we changed your appointment to 12:45 after your ultrasound. Didn't any one tell you?"

No, no one told me. At my last appointment I was handed a script for my ultrasound but no one told me that they had changed my appointment to a time that wouldn't have worked ANYWAY because of the stupid already schedule GLUCOSE TEST THAT YOU HAVE ON YOUR APPOINTMENT BOOK that has to be done first thing in the am because you can't eat anything not even a breathe mint without messing up. (I'm not kidding about that part either: my instructions actually say Do not eat anything including breathe mints, chewing gum or flavored toothpaste.)

Everyone at my doctor's office is really nice so it's hard to be mad at these people, but seriously. You know when a good time to tell me this would have been? Yesterday, when I called in to ask if I was still on for my glucose test because of my ongoing kidney stone issue.

Anyway, so they take me right away. Get the basics -- weight, blood pressure, etc... done. And then I sit and wait for my PA Sally. I watch the time tick by, and as I look at old magazines, I'm thinking I am not going to have any time for this appointment. All the questions that I have to ask about the stupid kidney stone are not going to be answered because I am going to have no time with my PA. The nurse periodically checks in with me to see how I'm doing and make sure I know Sally is on the way and assure me I won't miss the bloodwork, etc... At 10:12, Sally comes in. So I have exactly 3 minutes for an appointment and to get my ass downstairs to the blood center. She walked in and I said, Sally, I only have 2 minutes before I have to go do the bloodwork and she says, "Oh, I didn't know!"

To my chagrin, I lost my cool. Sally is just so nice and reassuring that I saw her and I lost it. I started crying and could barely tell her anything. I managed to get out that I had barely slept the pain had been so bad, that I was still in pain and the stone hadn't passed. She was sooo sweet and supportive, going as fast as possible while telling me that it was ok and I most certainly had more right than anyone to cry, etc... She assured me that the baby is fine and that she could get me more meds and we'd do a follow up appointment in 2 weeks instead of 4 to make sure everything was going better. But I never really got to ask her much. And sadly she told me the part of the stone I had passed was .1 mm meaning I have .9 mm to go. She rushed me off for the bloodwork and told me to come back afterwards to pick up the script and make the appointment.

The whole time I'm rushing down to bloodwork (5 minutes late) I'm in tears telling Rob how frustrated I am and thinking, if I have to drink this GODDAMN CARBONATED DRINK AGAIN I AM GOING TO LOOSE IT IN WAYS NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE! Luckily they took me quickly, did their torturous blood letting and didn't think too much about it. I won't know the results but hopefully, the delay didn't screw anything up and hopefully I pass the test because could GOD really BE that mean?

After the test, I step out in the hall to find that my Mom had showed up and was waiting with Rob to see if she could come to the ultrasound. I think I terrorized her because I immediately broke down in tears again, just utterly exhausted, now poked and prodded with needles and still upset about the doctor's appointment. I headed up and got my appointment and script only to be given a message that the doctor wants me to see a Urologist. So I have an appointment with the Urologist tomorrow (who may or may not be covered by my health care). This is one of the questions that I had wanted to ask my PA because I knew the Urologist was a possibility that we had previously discussed we wanted to avoid. At least tomorrow, I can now ask all my kidney stone questions of the Urologist.

The best part of my day, thankfully followed with a great ultrasound. The technician was looking at the baby's feet and the baby kept peeking down to see what was going on. So we would see just feet then feet and face over and over. It was super cute. I asked Mom afterwards what she had thought because she had never seen an ultrasound before (they didn't do those back in the 70s unless there was something wrong). She said she hadn't really been able to distinguish much -- I guess Rob and I are just old pros by now.

We had lunch with Mom after the ultrasound and then I came home and took a nap or tried to. Ironically because of my day of medical fun I haven't been able to get as much water as I usually do. So I'm a little worried about that and feeling some pain coming back as we speak. Hopefully we won't be in for a repeat of last night.

One final word -- I'm really sorry this blog has turned into a Kidney Stone and Baby blog. I keep thinking I'm sure this isn't fun to read right now, but I so desperately need to complain at the top of my lungs. Seeing as that's all I can do right now.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It Worked!

See? I wrote about how March would come in like a lamb and it did for us, at least. I mean we didn't have snow (unlike some people I know) and it's been mainly sunny. It has been pretty cold, but 20 degrees in February and March isn't really that bad right? Remember 1977?* Big difference right?

I have no updates on the health front so I'm ignoring the subject now. I however am having a dinner guest over tonight for the first time since we moved in to this apartment in October. Hooray! That dinner guest is my Mom, so no stress. We're having German stew and I'm already cooking. Plus we already cleaned today because my landlord was coming over this morning to evaluate the plumbing situation.

In case I haven't mentioned the plumbing situation, I shall recap because I find it most amusing. The day we moved in, my Mom and I were sitting in the empty apartment waiting for the movers when we realized we could hear water running. Turns out our toilet was perpetually filling. We told the landlady. She told her maintenance man. He replaced the toilet -- of the people who live upstairs. We called the landlady again. She called the maintenance man who had to be persuaded the problem wasn't fixed, and then who came over and fixed the problem. For two days. A few weeks ago, the landlady got her water bill to find that it was 4xs the amount it should have been and decided there was a problem. She sent someone over to fix the toilet. So today she came in with a different plumber who told her that the toilet was made in 1932 and should just be replaced (despite no longer being broken). Therefore next week, I will evacuate my apartment while they shut off the water in my building.

Ok, that's all I really wanted to say today -- though I do want to point out that I was just looking at the recipe for the stew and noticed that it is advertised as part of "An Early Spring Dinner." See? Spring, it's just around the corner. Promise.

*Technically I don't remember 1977 because I wasn't born yet, but I have heard rumors and I used to play this board game that taught me all about it.