Friday, February 29, 2008

memo to this week:

Suck it.

PS Thanks to Melissa for providing one lovely bright spot to the week. The full trailer is out!

Monday, February 25, 2008


I don't know if any of you saw the video Sarah Silverman made for her boyfriend, Jimmy Kimmel, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his show. It was awesome. I can't stand her, and it was awesome. Well, this was his retribution. Even better. (If you didn't see her version first, click on that link and watch it, and then watch Kimmel's version.)

Not for kids, and not suitable for work!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Seven Monthiversary!

Yeah, we're snotty and drooly and fairly gross around here - but not enough to ignore yesterday's seven monthiversary! Whoo hoo!

Friday, February 22, 2008

8 years ago today

Still always missing you, Dad.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

boob tube

If you know me at all, you know television is one of my BFFs. I watch tons of shows, and I don't apologize for it. I never pretended to be one of those people who look down their noses at those of us who need to leave our brains at the door at the end of a busy day, so there's room in our heads for pure, unadulturated junk. And I love it.


There's some evidence that suggests that babies under 2 who spend a lot of time in front of the television, watching "educational" videos like Baby Einstein and whatnot, actually learn fewer words than babies who don't watch TV. Some people believe that throwing the kids in front of the TV can trigger autism and other disorders. Not to mention the poisonous rays shooting out of the screen.

At first I was like, "Eh, what's a few fewer words? I wish most people would talk less anyway." And it's not like I sit Jane down to watch hours of children's programming. Not when I have so many adult shows to watch! Plus I always have the "Today" show on in the mornings, so she's caught up on current events.

But lately I've noticed that when the TV is on, she tends to focus on it and get glazed look on her face (awww, just like her mama!). And all I'm thinking is, "This can't be good for a baby. Greg and I can rot out our brains until they bleed out our ears, but we've earned it." So I've been trying to keep the TV off when she's in the living room with us. It's weird, all this silence. But good. Good for her and good for me. It allows me to focus more on what she's doing - which is what I should be doing - instead of getting distracted by the plot of some "Sex and the City" episode I've seen a kajillion times anyway.

Don't fear. It's not like I'm giving it up. That's what the DVR is for. But I'm thinking I don't want a six-month-old Carrie Bradshaw on my hands anyway.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I'm supposed to be all angsty and stuff about Valentine's Day, all hating on it like nobody's business - sort of like Alan - but I actually have always enjoyed this holiday, mostly because it is primarily candy-centered. I've always gotten a kick out of this little pink day in the middle of gloomy winter - and it has nothing to do with being with someone or not, because I have spent more Valentine's Days single than with someone. But anyway, happy Valentine's Day, dear Blogger readers! And to you I give some candy-coated Jane!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

let's lighten this joint up, shall we?

I invite all of you to visit my friend (and possibly your friend) Melissa's blog and check out her latest two entries. The Barack Obama video, which is all over the place, has inspired me and given me the appropriate goosebumps. The John McCain one - well - is the most hilarious (yet scary!) thing I've seen in a long time. I think I am Melissa's number one visitor these days because I keep popping back to see it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

a bump in the road

One year ago, as part of my regularly scheduled blood tests I had to take during pregnancy, I went in for what is called the "triple screen" test. This is a test that checks for any possible chromosomal issues in the fetus, such as spina bifada or Down Syndrome. I went in for the test, and although I had a nagging fear something might be wrong, I wrote it off as one of my natural fears that something is wrong every time I go to the doctor.

A week later, I received a call from my doctor that my results came back elevated for my age. You see, when you get this blood test, they weigh in a lot of factors like your age, weight, gestational age, etc, to come out with your risk of having a baby with some sort of problem. It is in no way definitive, and there are a lot of so-called "false positives." None of that information helped me when I found out that I had a 1/77 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.

My age at delivery was 33. The risk factor at that age is approx. 1/480 (or something close to that). The older you get, the higher the risk. But 1/480 felt a whole hell of a lot better than 1/77. I was told that instead of a regular ultrasound, I was to have a level 2 ultrasound, which is a much more detailed ultrasound where they look at all of the organs closely to see how they are developing. With a L2, the chance of confirming something like Down Syndrome is about 80%. The only way to know for sure is having aminocentisis, which is, essentially, a huge ol' needle they stick in your abdomen to retrieve cells from the fetus to determine, definitively, if there is a problem. There is a risk of miscarriage with an amnio; some say it's as high as 1/200, but I believe research shows the risk to be much lower than that.

So, my doctor calls me at work and says I have a 1/77 risk of having a baby with DS. They scheduled me for the L2 ultrasound for three weeks later - they had to wait until I was at least 20 weeks so they could see the organs clearly. She told me not to worry; there are tons of women who get news like this and everything turns out just fine.

I can't really remember, aside from shutting my office door, what I did next. The rest of the day was a blur of many, many tears, phone calls, emails, and Internet research. There is a message board on that I read religiously because so many, many women get numbers like I did, or worse, and have babies who are just fine. I remember one woman who tried to reassure everyone with her story: she was given 1/5 odds and her boy was perfectly fine. There were also people who received much worse news from their blood screen and resulting ultrasound: their babies had cysts on the brain, holes in their stomach, tangled intestines, major brain damage - nightmare stories that made the risk of DS seem so much less dramatic.

Over the following three weeks, I did loads of research about DS. I needed to know what our reality would be if the baby did have DS. All I could remember were the couple of kids who had it when I was in high school, but I didn't know what their lives were really like. I found out that with early intervention, people with DS are living much fuller, productive lives than they were even 20 years ago. The kids are part of regular classrooms, just with extra help. There are groups and communities all over the Internet and in real life that give great amounts of support to people with DS and their families. I read personal stories from women who said they were horrified when they got the news, either when they were pregnant or when they had their babies, but grew to have such a special bond and love for their child with DS that now they wouldn't change a thing.

People thought I was crazy for even going there in my head. They said everything would be fine. But I needed to know everything would be fine no matter what the result was. I needed to arm myself with information and support before I knew whether everything was indeed OK or not. Greg and I were faced with big decisions - the majority of people choose to terminate after they get the confirmation. We quickly made the choice that, no matter what, we wouldn't do that. But could we handle it? Were we equipped for this? I asked so many of my spiritual friends to pray hard for us, because I felt like my prayers would never be good enough for such a request - to please let my baby be OK.

I had a lot of dark days during those three weeks. It really took me that long to get right with the whole thing. I was recently cleaning out my email box and I came across a message I had sent my best friend, where I stated that this was the most stressed out I had ever been in my life, and it was true, even after having gone through the death of a parent, and the near-death of my brother in his car accident. This ate at me in a completely different way. In the meantime, I was doing a show - Love Letters - and I was able to pour a lot of my angst into that. It was really cathartic to do a performance where I had to well and truly break down. Because that's what was happening inside.

Something else happened during those three weeks. The baby started to move. I felt the very faint flutterings of movement. All of the sudden, this little being that was causing me so much misery was....real.

The day came for the ultrasound, and we headed up to UConn. The technician who did the procedure was great and answered my many, many questions, most of which were "is that normal?" During a day that was supposed to be so magical - the first day I would see my baby! - I was in a panic. Everything did, in fact, look normal. The genetic doctor came in after and had another look around. Although his bedside manner was for total shit, he confirmed that everything did look normal at that time. He stressed that I should get an amnio to know for sure. He really suggested that I do it right then because that would give me a few days to decide to terminate before it was too late.

But I had had it. I felt like I had aged 20 years in less than a month, and I was ready to enjoy my pregnancy. Maybe I didn't have 100% confirmation that the baby (who we now knew was a girl!) was OK, but if there were any glaring issues, it would have been apparent on the scan. My OB/GYN totally agreed. And so we forged on.

People always talk about the joyful moment they have when delivering a baby. My moment was a bit different. When Jane made her appearance on July 23, I cried over and over, frantically, "is she OK? Is she OK?" It was like they couldn't convince me that all looked well.

I think about that part of my life often, but especially now. Last Valentine's Day was so rough, but Greg and I bonded so strongly during that time, because it was the first hard decision (not that it was really a decision) we had to make together.

I feel like Jane is such a blessing, but I know I would feel that way no matter what. Because it was a year ago that she became a real person to me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

this and that

So I couldn't be happier that it's almost Friday. Sure, I have no doubt that Jane will continue on with The Cold That Would Never End, and Greg is away all weekend at captain school for the boat, but as long as I don't have to do the mad dash at the beginning and end of each day, I'm that much happier.

Not a whole hell of a lot has been going on. As some of you know, I'm part of Facebook nation now, which I've found amusing. How strange to see all of these familiar faces, some of which I haven't seen in 20 years.

Lent started this week, and in years past, I've given up all sorts of things, mostly junk food, as part of the season. This year I decided to really focus on one of my New Year's resolutions, which, if you recall, was to pull my head out of my ass and stop being so cranky and miserable all the time. I tend to get that way during the aforementioned mad dashes in the morning and night. It just feels like there is no time to get everything done, and it all seems so stressful, but if I get some perspective, it really and truly isn't that bad. So, we'll see how I do. I tend to take Lent pretty seriously, but at the same time, I threw a big hissy fit this morning when poor Jane puked up her entire breakfast (which tends to happen these days when she goes on one of her morning coughing jags). I just get so upset for her and tend to, for example, start swearing at the top of my lungs. I might have to consult the "What to Expect" book, but I'm fairly sure that's not good parenting.

I am very pleased with the results of the primaries in CT. Overall I'm just really into the whole political scene these days. Who the hell knew.

Not too much else going on, I'm afraid. Sorry kids - I'll try to be more interesting next time.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

talk about a Young Democrat

rocking the vote

Although I've always voted in the November elections, this year is the first time I'm voting in the primaries. I've had a difficult time deciding who to choose, which makes me optimistic about the idea that in November, I won't be just voting for "anybody but McCain."

Today, however, I'll be voting for the rock star.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

weekend Jane

Well, knock on wood, so far so good this weekend. We've gone to lunch with Todd and Alan (and I'm hoping Alan posts some of his pics, including the one where Jane is proudly waving her token of Canadianship), we went to my friend's surprise birthday party and Jane stayed up and happy way past her bedtime, and we went to lunch with more friends today. She's kind of cranking out now, so I don't know how she'll be at the Superbowl party tonight, but even so, we've had a good weekend. It's nice to be out amongst the people, despite the fact that 2/3 of us are stuffy and sick.

I hope everyone's Superbowl dreams come true today.

Friday, February 01, 2008

weekend? update?

I am very hesitant to write about my plans for this weekend, as the last time I did that, they got totally destroyed due to The Cold That Would Never End. But, hey, might as well record the plans I hope to have this weekend:

Tonight: Awww yeeaaah - I just cleaned the house. I am just. that. cool. After this I'm gonna check out what the DVR has in store, and I'll probably be in bed by 10 (since I now have TCTWNE).

Tomorrow: Since we had to cancel last week, we will be having lunch with Todd and Alan. Since Alan is Jane's Canadianfather, I am hoping he can impart some wise Canadian words to her. You see, Jane is 1/something French Canadian, and Alan, being a Canadian from Canada himself, has been appointed her Canadianfather, so she can, you know, appreciate her heritage and stuff. Tomorrow evening we will be going to a surprise birthday party for one of my theater peeps.

Sunday: Since we had to cancel last week, we will be going to lunch with our friends Matt and Cathy, and their three-month-old, Olivia. Then, it's off to Heather's for our annual Cool Commercials party. Oh, I mean Superbowl party. I know I should be into this one in particular, this being a beehive of Giants/Patriots fandom, but I really, truly don't care about the game. I care about the food and the commercials.

Also, during the weekend, I plan on officially deciding who to vote for on Tuesday.

So, as you can see, I'm busy. All of this is of course very tentative, as it can (and probably will) go to hell in a handbasket due to some nasty-ass daycare-bred bug. Have a great weekend!