Sunday, December 6, 2015

5. bet on the ponies (33x33)

Finally finished this item! I actually had it on the 30x30 when I was living in Delaware and my mom and I were planning on going to Dover Downs. And then I was going to go with my best friend when I was in Elementary School, Anna Duff, to Charlestown Races. And then Dar Hamil and I were going to go to the Black Eyed Susan Races at Pimplico the day before the big races for the triple crown but her daughter's birthday was always in the way (gosh, children are so needy).

Cristina and I went to Preakness and WON this year! We didn't know the first thing about placing a bet and we only bet once. I can see now why there is gambling anonymous! It was such a rush! Watching the horses and waiting for the results and collecting free money.

Yay free money!
(forgive my terrifying resemblance to Freddy Kruger)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

10. eat placenta (40x40)

When bebe slipped out of me, the doctors told me to keep pushing so that the placenta, an organ also known as the "after birth," would follow. I could feel it, warm and soft, leave my body. They knew that I wanted to take it home with us, so they had a bucket ready to go for it. They put it in a refrigerator somewhere until we figured out how to get it home. I had already researched placenta smoothie recipes, so I knew we had to get it home and into the freezer.  Because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid when my water broke, we knew there would be some on the placenta to clean off. The nurses kept saying that it was sterile though and so it wouldn't be a problem if it was ingested.

Jason vowed to me that he would support my adventures. This one though, was a bit of a gross adventure to support. After bebe was born and we all snuggled for a while, Jason went home with the placenta to preserve it (and shower and smoke).  In the abstract, this isn't a big deal. But hearing him tell the tale of preserving it, you'd think I gave him my lower intestines to put in the freezer. When he got back to the hospital room and told us why it took him so long to return, the abstract idea of eating my placenta became operationalized and very real.
"I walked home in the hot August heat, begrudgingly, with a bucket that held my son's home for the past 41 weeks. Once home, I had to rinse the placenta off. It was fucking gross. There was meconium and multiple blood clots that clung to the placenta. It had a giant vein, veins, running through it. It was grey. It was grayish purple and extra extra extra slimy. I felt I was washing off an eel I had caught in the Cheaspeake Bay that was trying to escape. Even though it was a slippery as an eel, when I was cleaning it in the kitchen sink and had it spread out, it was dome-ish like a sting ray. It kept slipping out of my hands, and it kept trying to slide down into the garbage disposal." 
Three months after he put it into the freezer, I brought my placenta out to eat it.

To make a placenta smoothie put the following ingredients in your ninja:
1 cup Almond Milk
kale from farmers market
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons of almond butter
1 scoop of vanilla Vega protein powder

Unwrap frozen placenta.

 Cut placenta into serving sizes.
 Cut placenta into cubes for future smoothies and store in sandwich ziplock bags. Add one serving of cubed placenta into ninja.
 Blend. Blend well. Blend until there aren't any sinewy pieces left.
 Drink. Swallow without chewing. Ignore that metallic taste in the back of your throat.

Friday, November 6, 2015

7. finish all the thank you cards (40x40)

Getting married and having a baby within the same year has made for the mother-load (see what I did there?) of thank you card duty, which is why I put it on the list. I'm not complaining, I just needed a little extra motivation to get all of these puppies done. People are too generous though and keep giving us the most amazing gifts; I'll never actually be done!



I did make my own cards at the Fab Lab for baby gifts. I think they turned out pretty well.  After sending them out after the showers, there were some leftover that I thought I could sell on etsy. I'm glad I didn't though because after Bodhi was born there was another wave of generosity for which I required them!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

17. watch Survivor Season 30 (40x40)

I can't believe this show is still airing. I can't believe I watched it, but Jason loves it, and I love him, so I did.

Nothing else to report, except let's talk about the millions of dollars wasted for American "entertainment." There was one episode where the contestants performed some community service in the region where the season was located (Costa Rica or someplace tropical). Imagine if a) the money that went into the entertainment industry went to fund education programs across the nation, b) people spent their money on education or fitness rather than cable or movies. It's a worthless hypothetical because its so absurd and unrealistic, but it makes me wonder. There is some irony in that because communities do not accurately value arts education that sooner or later the products of the entertainment industry will begin to show their lack of depth... maybe they are already.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

4. get married (40x40)

"I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?"

Well, at the beginning of last year, I was set to start a new blog called Spinster Is the New Black, and three months later knew that I had found my "it." Apparently, I'll never be a bridesmaid, but I'll be a bride. Go figure.

Jason and I went to Connecticut in July 2014 so he could ask my father for permission for my hand in marriage (because I thought my dad would be tickled by it, since he asked Mart's 75 year-old dad when they got married at the ripe age of 50ish). The way my dad tells it, Jason asked and in his head my dad said, "hell yes!" What actually came out was a more tempered, "yes." Originally, Jason was going to wake me up before dawn and we'd walk down to the beach where he would propose... but it was raining. Next, he thought he could propose on the elevated gardens by the Port Authority in Manhattan... but it was ridiculously crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Finally, when we got back to Baltimore we were starving and went to our favorite diner, Paper Moon, and he proposed on the porch with the most beautiful ring and love in his eyes and it felt perfect. Now, whenever we go there, I remember when everything slowed to a sparkling moment.

then came the particulars.

Neither of us really liked the idea of a big wedding where we wouldn't get a chance to hang out with any of our guests so we decided to break it up into four parties: one for friends and family in New York, one for friends and family in Connecticut, one for family in DC, and the last for friends in DC. the actual wedding was a small courthouse affair with only our immediate family in Annapolis. We of course came to this decision by drawing up a list of pros and cons and deliberating over it for a month.

in the end, this was the moment that really mattered: 

Lovely vows  lovely reception.
Posted by Denise Lyons on Saturday, December 20, 2014



3. become a mom (40x40)



In September when Jason asked me what I'd like for Christmas, I told him I'd like a baby. Then he asked, "Other than that, what would you like?" And I said, "Another baby." And my man delivered!

We found out on December 22, because I had a normally scheduled check up with my new primary care physician at JHU. I told them I was two weeks late, supposed to start my cycle 12/12, but thought that maybe the wedding had stressed me out and bumped me off my schedule.  I told them I was planning on taking a pregnancy test later in the day, which I was, it was on our list of things to do. But they told me they could give me one there. So they did. And when Dr. Patel told me the test was positive, that was all I could write to Jason... in a text... after I sent him a picture of the pee bottle and a joke about drug testing...




There's a pregnancy app that we downloaded and it suggests to keep a pregnancy journal,  so I'll just keep on adding to this.

12/23/14 - woke up and Jason had stolen all the covers. I said, you stole all the covers. He retorted, you stole all the bed.  The Great Pickle Consumption has started.

12/25/14 - We surprised my mom on Christmas morning with the news. She had asked for things for her retirement home in West Virginia, which she called a "grandchild magnet." So we found some neat magnets and wrote a card that read that in order to have a grandchild-magnet of a house, first you have to have the grandchildren.

When we told Jason's mom, he got a little choked up, and so did she. My family just screamed and yelled and laughed a lot.



Adventures in Pregnancy (Like the Baby Sitters Club)
3/29/15 Issue #1: The Trouble with Mart. Mart asked me to put together a list of things her friends can buy for the blueberry. I have NO idea what to ask for and no desire for lots of extra things that someone with 4000 square feet of house has plenty of room for, but which I do not.

3/30/15 Issue #2:  Wherein Jason notices that my rear tire is a little bit lower than normal and attributes it to not pumping it up enough rather than the addition of 20 pounds to my body.

4/1/15 Issue #3: And Then There Was Swelling. My boots are a tight fit now with the extra nice socks I usually wear, and my hands have only just stopped swelling for the day. I could barely move my ring around my finger. I thought maybe I was going to be spared from those side effects, like I was spared morning sickness... oh well.

4/5/15 Issue #4:  When getting ready for yoga, the regression to your inner five-year old's clothing choices make you happy when everything else kind of makes you want to cry.

4/19/15 Issue #5: Feeling Sexy for Two Seconds when husband says you look sexy until husband squeezes your ginormous nipples and makes a honking sound. 




4/24/15 issue #6: my super olfactory uh glands (?) can detect cool ranch doritos from 25 feet away.

4/27/15  issue #7: when your farts sound like a bass-foghorn in the office bathroom and you can't help but laugh out loud. no one laughed with me.

5/7/15 issue #8: wherein the nice man on the metro offers me his seat. It's official, strangers have recognized my belly as a bumpie, not just a fattie.

5/8/15 issue #9: wherein I crawl into bed after Jason has already been snoozing. He rolls over to hug me around the belly, chuckles, and simply says, "baby." Readjusts and goes back to snoring.

5/`8/15 issue #10: the phenomenon of strange combinations has not struck me in the appetite department. It has however struck me in the appropriate work clothing department. Today I combined red peep-toe flats, with black and white square-pattern bootleg pregger pants, with a plum silk pregger blouse, and a dove grey cardigan with soft yellow polka-dots.

5/27/15 Issue #11: wherein Spacin' Jason wishes he could recall what it felt like to be in utero. He instead reenacts what he can recall: one night 20 years ago, smoking a dipper in his mom's house, lying on the couch on his back making the motions of a fetus in utero. In other news, I'm pretty sure I'm going to birth either a terrier or a vole.



6/6/15 issue #12: wherein I can't see below my belly to see if these new shorts give me a camel toe... so in the middle of the breakfast aisle of the grocery store, I asked my mom to check it out. She was unfamiliar with the term. I had to explain it next to boxes of wheaties and cheerios.‪#‎lostinthesupermarket‬

6/12/15 issue #13: wherein someone must have spiked my ovaltine with cocaine, because there is no good reason for me to still be awake this late on a Friday night.

6/25/15 issue #14: played the pregnancy card today. Because fuck airport extortion that makes you buy water on the far side of the security check point. ‪#‎medicalcondition‬




7/7/15 issue #15: wherein the rate of change for my belly > the rate of change for my tits. for the first time in my life I looked at my tits and commented on how small they look.

7/16/15 issue #16: wherein I get up to pee in the middle of the night and Jason bolts straight up and asks what's wrong… maybe he should take the Lamaze class.



8/3/15 issue #17: HOLY MOLY 18 DAYS TO GO... but I walk by my reflection in windows on the way to the metro and this size has become familiar.

Saturday, August 22, 2015 I felt some cramps as hourly contractions, possibly what they call Braxton-Hicks, but how am I supposed to know, I've never given birth before. Baby had his normal dance party from 10pm to 1am but no further progression. Dilated 2cm and 50% effaced.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 While watching Naked and Afraid (an awesome TV show), something strange happened to my vision. I could only see half of the faces on the TV and of a four letter word in a text, I could only see the last two letters. Sada suggested we go into the hospital, so we did. A few neurological tests and an ultrasound later, we were discharged. Dilated 2.5cm and 50% effaced.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 We went to the OBGYN office to have my membrane stripped. There was a little bleeding and cramping but no more contractions.

Thursday, August 27, 2015 I woke up to pains and narrowing contractions, and steady leakage. Jason left for work but came home early at 1:30pm. Sada said leakage could be broken water, so we walked over to the hospital to have it checked out. Not before I got a major nesting case and cleaned the whole apartment. We finally went over to JHHP at 8pm. Sarah arrived at 9pm. They checked my fluid levels and hooked me up to the contraction monitor, but no dice. My water hadn't broken and the contractions were still in the pre-labor levels. We were discharged at 11:30pm with contractions occurring regularly at 10 minute intervals. 

8/27/15 issue #18: wherein Jason Covington inquires about the light saber noises from blueberry movements via the ultrasound machine.‪#‎birthingjedis‬

Friday, August 28, 2015 We both stayed home. I finally got some sleep from 830AM to 1130AM with regular contractions waking me up every 30 minutes or so. I took 6 baths to help the pain, didn't sleep.

Saturday August 29, 2015 we decided to accept Pitocin to help dilate and hurry the birth:
9:14AM Decided to stay admitted. 
11:00AM  Walked around the hospital with such painful contractions that I accepted that I was going to need an epidural.
3:10PM Epidural administered
4:00PM Started 1pt Pitocin and increased the points to 4pts, watched the Ravens and the Redskins play football, slept.
10:20PM Dilated to 5.5cm, slept some more.

Sunday August 30, 2015
2:45AM Over 9cm dilated, water broke on Dr. Owen when she was checking my progress. There was meconium in the water, so the pediatric team was put on call. It meant that when the baby was born, he wouldn't be laid directly on my chest, but examined by the neonatal team first to make sure that he had not aspirated anything. When my water broke, they lost the baby's heart signal so had me flip onto my knees and placed a fetal monitor on his head. We continued to labor, and I tried to sleep but they had difficultly reading my heart rate and the baby's so kept waking us up every 30mins to readjust the monitor.
5:02AM Still 9cm
5:15AM 10cm, waiting for gravity to work, sat up in bed and pushed for more of the epidural medicine.
6:27AM Pushing, we touched the crown of the baby's head.
7:00AM Staff change, Mandy returned. Jason's counts were slower than Kia's. Dr. Terry seemed bored. I pushed for more of the epidural medicine. Pooped on Dr. Terry and Dr. Owen.
7:46AM BORN! I had kept my eyes closed to focus, but I could hear the shift change and the extra neonatal staff when we neared the birth. Jason announced the sex, cut the cord, and then I heard Rodderik's crying and I fell in love and I started crying. The pediatricians cleaned the baby and checked him while Dr. Terry and a student stitched up my perineum (they didn't wait for the extra epidural medicine to kick in, and that was painful). Jason was skin to skin with baby first until I was bandaged up. Mom came to visit and I asked that she return at 10AM so Jason and I could have some time with the baby.




And that was how I became a mom.


Monday, April 20, 2015

40 x 40

  1. Reenact a scene from Anne of Green Gables in PEI
  2. Take a ride on a private train
  3. become a mom
  4. get married
  5. buy a house
  6. PR on a 10K run
  7. finish all thank you cards
  8. go to a Raven's game
  9. learn how to use all the machines at the Fabrication Lab at CCBC
  10. eat placenta
  11. pay a stranger's tab at a restaurant
  12. make glow in the dark bubbles
  13. try moonmelon (asidus)
  14. put books in the Free Little Library on Ann Street
  15. Write a gratitude list
  16. make a clothing donation
  17. watch Survivor Season 30
  18. go to a gallery opening
  19. play duckpin bowling
  20. go on a midnight ride
  21. take a trapeze class
  22. make a time capsule
  23. get a library card
  24. Climb Mt. Washington
  25. Family hike the John Muir Trail
  26. Go Rim to Rim
  27. Family bike ride along the Pacific Coast
  28. Kayak/Camp the in the Everglades
  29. Get naked on top of Acadia National Park
  30. Family hike the Long Trail
  31. adopt a dog
  32. make scrambled eggs in an RV while going 70 mph on the freeway
  33. camp in a yurt
  34. learn to speak French
  35. grow tomatoes
  36. attend a pre-school graduation
  37. go blue berry picking
  38. Hike a 14er
  39. remain employed after current project ends
  40. be the Bad Guy and be okay with it