Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Long time, no post. Again....

It has been several months since either one of us posted on this blog and shamefully, I don't have a good excuse. We were trying to sell our house and my husband was starting a new job, so life got in the way of blogging. But, things have calmed down, so now hopefully I can get back to it.

I will start out by saying that now Mary and I have both felt an earthquake for the first time, as here in Rochester we felt a tremor from the 5.5 earthquake that hit in Canada. Totally wild feeling and I felt dizzy for quite a while after wards. But, I can check that off of my to-do list for my life and move on to the next!

I have nothing to add on the movie front since there is jack shit at the theaters that I want to pay to see. But at home, I am entrenched in the HBO series The Wire, and just started season 4. If you have never seen this show, you must. Like, stop what you're doing, stop what you're watching, and go get the first season. I actually bought the entire series on deal at Amazon before I finished it, it's THAT good. I digress, as I could go on and on about the sheer brilliance of the show.

More to come, I promise.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Earthquakes and Tsunami Warnings

The month I spent in Costa Rica was quite awesome. Not only did I accomplish a few of my writing goals, (the most important thing), it was filled with unusual occurances, amazing weather, interesting people and beautiful (and unbeautiful) landscapes.
The start, middle and end of my trip were marked by earthquakes. I flew into to San Jose then took a small regional flight to Quepos where my friend, Frank, picked me up. We drove down to Ojochal where I spent the majority of my trip. As I laid down to sleep that first night, listening to the ocean waves, the crazy loud cicadas, night birds and whatnot, I thought I heard the slightlest rumble. I passed it off as thunder, as it rained soon after, and went to sleep. The next morning, Frank tells me it was an earthquake that was centered up in Quepos. I thought it was pretty neat (no one was hurt or anything) that something like that happened on my first night in Costa Rica. Kind of like that country was saying hello to me.
A few weeks later, Wheat, my boyfriend, joined up with me at Frank's and we were preparing to head out to the Osa Penninsula. We got up in the morning and headed down to get some coffee and breakfast. Frank tells us about the big 8.8 earthquake that hit Chili earlier that morning and that now our side of Costa Rica was on a tsunami warning. We immediately look out at the ocean for any signs of big waves. It was low tide and Frank is confident that he is high enough up from the beach that it shouldn't be a problem if it does occur. I stared at the horizon, wondering what such a wave of water would look like, bearing down on me, and hypothizing what I would do in such a situation. Then it was time to go and we headed to Sierpe to catch a water taxi down the river into Drake Bay.
My last night in Costa Rica found me and Wheat in a little place in San Jose called the Elvis Hotel. It had such a funky ambiance but we both liked it a lot. We had nodded off for the night when I suddenly hear a sound that I at first associate with a passing train or a very low-flying jetliner. Then the bed starts shaking and I suddenly realize I'm actually experiencing what an earthquake feels like for the first time. It only lasted a few seconds and I was most impressed with the noise. We both had an adrenline rush from it and I could hear other occupants in the hotel opening their doors and talking to each other about it. The next day, the owner of the hotel, who may or may not have been actually named Elvis, told us that such earthquakes are quite common, especially during the rainy season. They do, after all, have five active volcanoes in the country, but even the non-active ones contribute their share of quakes due to faultline issues.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Music and tv

Brad and I have been watching the SyFy series Eureka via Netflix. It's always looked fun/interesting and we are in the middle of the second season. It is just a flat out fun series to watch. I do recommend catching it at some point.

On my own I have finally started watching the AMC series, Breaking Bad. Holy. Crap. It's hard to find the right words to describe this show. Weird. Ballsey. Insane. Fucked. Amazing. Awesome. I think that about wraps it up. Bryan Cranston is simply amazing. It isn't a show for everyone, but if you like something different, dark, and crazy, this is definitely one that you need to check out. I am aiming to get through the first two seasons in time for the start of the third season, which is March 21st. Yup, I am THAT much of a dork. It has one of the best series opening scenes I've seen in a very long time:

For music, yesterday I became very excited when I read that The Hold Steady will have a new album coming out in May. Thanks to my friend Mike, I have become a huge fan of them and I hope to see them live one day. They are a different sounding band, or mainly the lead singer's voice, but after giving it a couple of tries, I was totally hooked. So I am eagerly awaiting more music to add to my ever-growing library.

Next month I am super excited for the second album from the band She & Him. I have always been a fan of actress Zooey Deschanel and when I heard she was in a band, I definitely gave it a listen. Her voice is beautiful and the music has this fantastic old timey feel to it. I had the first album on a continuous loop for days after I downloaded it and assume I will do the same with Volume 2 when it comes out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The start of another stellar week

After a rip roaring family (and fun) filled weekend, we are off to another stellar start to another work week. I'm hoping you catch the sarcasm there. We had our first two showings of our house on Saturday, one looked promising, but they needed a little more room, and the second one was, well... interesting. It was a mom and dad buying a house for their newly engaged daughter. Apparently their cap was $300k. When our realtor asked if they were pre-qualified for a mortgage, the response was, oh, they will be paying in cash. ??? Wha? Huh? That actually happens? Apparently so. So our meager little house didn't make the cut. Say la vie!

Saturday after a family baby shower, my friend Laura and I grabbed some food and went to a local theater (The Dryden) to see a new movie titled The Missing Person starring Michael Shannon. Most people would know him for his role in Revolutionary Road as the somewhat "crazy" son of the next door neighbor. We wanted to see the movie, but the extra pull was that Michael Shannon was going to be there in person to introduce the movie and do a Q&A after wards. He walked up to the podium in a pair of jeans, hoodie, and big ol' winter coat and thanked everyone for coming, that the movie meant a lot to him, and enjoy. We watched the movie, and it was a great take on past detective noir pictures. Lots of subtlety, great shots, great editing, and great acting. After the movie finished, the assistant curator, Michael Shannon, and the film editor came on stage. Now, I love what The Dryden offers, I love going there. But the curator and some of the other people who work there and introduce some of the movies just... talk out of their asses. They make me cringe with the types of ridiculous questions they ask. While listening to and watching Michael Shannon answer questions, Laura and I were like, is he drunk? High? Then after a little bit I leaned over and said, none of the above, I think he is just one of those mellow, laid back, eccentric kind of guys. He had some great, hilarious stories to tell and was just a really interesting person to listen to. I really love going to events like that, it gives you just a little bit more of a peak behind the curtain of movies.

Last week Laura sent me the link to the absolutely amazing interview in Esquire magazine with Roger Ebert. If you haven't read it, go do so immediately. Here it is: Roger Ebert: The Essential Man. As a regular reader of Ebert's movie reviews, I am a big, big fan. This is such a phenomenal look into what his life has been like since his cancer diagnosis and how he has pushed through. You can read Ebert's response here. Seriously. Take 20 minutes and read them both.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Updates, things, blah

Yes, it's beeen yet another hiatus, but I am vowing to be a much more diligent blogger. Er, something. Mary is in Costa Rica for the second time and I eagerly await her fun tales and amazing pictures. Some day, I will be able to go with her.

It is still miserable, grey, cold winter in Rochester. This week I have determined that I am finished with winter. I'm tired of bundling up, lacing up my boots, and shivering whenever I step out of my house. I want to see the sun again, maybe some green on the ground, and maybe wear a lighter jacket. When in reality, we have a couple more months of this.

The biggest thing on my end is that we are selling our house. The shit economy has officially hit our family in that Brad is still struggling to find a full time job and we have determined we just can't do it anymore. So we here we are, 2 1/2 years later, going on the real estate roller coaster again. It took us six months to sell our last house and with the economy being even worse than it was then, I am fearful of what that will mean for this time around. But, one day at a time and all that crap.

My birthday is approaching, which I somehow keep forgetting. I will be 33. Hmmm, ok. I'm thinking I won't really care about that number until it's one or two shy of 40. Since I've had Dominick, I tend to forget about my birthday because his birthday is at the end of March and I am always thinking about his party and what to do for him.

I am also gearing up for the Oscars. My friend Laura and I are finally watching the show together this year. Much food and wine will be consumed. The Oscars are like our SuperBowl. We know we are dorks, we fully embrace our dorkdom and flip off anyone who rolls their eyes at it. We all have our "things", this is ours. We are both pulling for The Hurt Locker for Best Picture and Kathrun Bigelow for Best Director. It would be quite an achievement since she would be the first female director to win in the history of the Oscars. So woo hoo, go girl power, or something.

More updates to come...

Friday, December 18, 2009

The story of Zoe

This is... almost six months overdue, but it is very slow at work, the week before Christmas, and I don't have any motivation, so why not tell the story of Zoe.

My pregnancy with Zoe was much different than my pregnancy with Dominick. The insane amount of sickness being the main difference. Once I hit the six week mark, it was like my body said, yup, you're pregnant! Whammo! It got so bad I couldn't keep water down, so I went in to my doctor and they did an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay and to see if there were multiples. Obviously, there weren't. They gave me a prescription for Zofran, which is a drug they give cancer patients to help prevent nausea. It didn't do this for me. It just took the edge off of it. Two highlights of these weeks full of sickness: 1. Dominick hearing me wretch into the toilet so much he started to pretend to do it; 2. Throwing up in my car on my way to work. Luckily I had a plastic bag with me and I was right by mom's house, so I could turn around and get cleaned up.

The sickness began to pass around the holidays and I started to feel more like myself. Then we got hit with a double whammy: Brad lost his job and my doctor thought there might be something wrong with the baby, all in the same week. Actually, all in the same DAY. I will spare the details and say that these were several weeks full of anxiety, fear, and support from family. We ended up having an amniocentesis as this is the one test that is 100% accurate. The procedure was... uncomfortable and I never looked down to see the needle, I just kept my eyes on the ultrasound monitor and watched my daughter bounce around. Two more weeks of waiting and my doctor called me saying, NORMAL! EVERYTHING IS NORMAL! Sigh of relief doesn't cover it. But my mother's intuition was telling me the entire time that this baby is going to be fine. While Brad and I dealt with what happened with his job, the rest of the pregnancy progressed normally. I had some bouts in the hospital because of contractions, but nothing too severe.

July 2nd was my due date. It came and went and I was swollen, uncomfortable, and just wanting my baby to be here. Plus, I'm impatient. Patience might be virtue, but it's not one of mine. So we said, screw it, let's plan life like she isn't coming for a while. So we went to our friend's for July 4th, ate a lot, watched the fireworks, and went home around 11. I was starting to feel uncomfortable and figured it was from standing and being up and around so much. I just need to lay down, I thought.

So begins the roller coaster.

We get home and I felt a few contractions, but figured they would stop once I laid down. I think I closed my eyes a little after 11:30 while Brad was downstairs. I awoke at 1:30 a.m. to a very sharp pain. I woke up going, okay, here we go. I woke Brad up and said, start timing. So they started getting closer and harder, so we called my mom to come over and watch Dominick. I got up and started to pack the bag, get dressed, etc. Then some brainiac started lighting fireworks off in the street. It was 2 a.m. at this point, so Dominick wakes up and comes in our room. I'm sitting on the bed and going, what the, I just WENT to the bathroom. I go again and realize my water broke. Brad was on the phone waiting for the doctor, so she asked to talk to me and I told her what was happening and she said, okay! I'll get dressed and head in! My mom came and so Brad and I kissed Dominick good-bye (I cried), and we headed to the car. It hurt to sit down. A lot. So I put the seat all the way back and laid down all the way to the hospital. On the way there I had to tell Brad to go a little faster. Then to slow down so we didn't get pulled over. We get to the hospital and take the long journey up to the maternity ward. The hospital I delivered in has a Triage unit that you have to go into first, and then you are put into a birthing room. So I sign in and I'm getting... grouchy. It's only tolerable to stand up, so when the nurse tells me to lay down so she can put the monitor on my stomach, I said, NO, IT HURTS TOO MUCH. I manage to get on the bed and the on-duty doctor comes in. "Well, it's a good thing you got here when you did! You are 7 cm and 100% effaced!" My first thought is, Oh. Shit. No time for an epidural. The contractions are on top of each other now and get more intolerable. I'm having a hard time remembering how to breathe and practically breaking Brad's hand. I kept asking for an epidural and God bless the nurse, she was really trying to get an IV in my arm. I also told her to get me a basin because I threw up when I had my son. The contractions and coming, harder, faster, and lasting longer, and I'm moaning, groaning, and swearing. I'm trying to retain some sort of composure, but the nurse tells me to let it out. Then suddenly a wave of fear comes over me. I tell them I'm scared and the nurse and Brad get me to refocus and get through it. Then the feeling of going to puke came right as a contraction was ending, so I tell Brad and he is holding the basin while I'm puking, which was not pretty. So I'm on my side, heaving and puking, and it was like pushing. As soon as I stopped puking, I yelled, SHE'S COMING. IT BURNS. The nurse runs and gets the doctor and they both come in and say, she's crowning, we have to get her out of here. So monitors, tubes, wires, my IV, all come flying through the air and I'm literally trying to hold Zoe in. Meanwhile, still moaning and groaning I am being wheeled through the triage unit, Brad trying to hold my hand, the nurses trying to make it through the area and saying, "Where can we put her?! I think the OR is the closest!". We get into the hallway and the nurse tells Brad that he has to put on a gown and cap to go in. In the meantime they wheel me in and Zoe was RIGHT THERE. Brad comes in, walks up, grabs my hand, and just as the door to the OR was closing, Zoe came out. I think I pushed once. I leaned against Brad, looking down at our daughter, and kept saying, Holy shit. Holy. SHIT. Ten seconds later, my doctor walks in and says, "What the HELL is going on in here?!" I love my doctor so very much, she is so fun, yet cautious, thorough, and full of knowledge. We all probably shouldn't have been laughing as much as we were. I was on a natural high. I just gave birth with no pain medication and when they said what time it was, 3:30 a.m. on the dot, I realized it was only two hours. While my doctor started to do her work, Brad called all the parents and uncles and sent a text to our friends so they would see it in the morning. I was in the OR for about two hours before they were able to put me in a birthing room. We didn't care, Zoe was awake, alert, and nursing and Brad and I just kept talking.

Zoe Vera
July 5th, 2009, 3:30 a.m.
3 days late

The nurses were in and out, apologizing, etc. We really didn't care, the hard part was over!

Around 5:30 a.m. they finally had us set to go into a room, so away we went. The difference between giving birth with an epidural with Dominick and naturally with Zoe was obviously very different. Aside from the pain of the delivery, I could really feel the extreme cramping that happens after giving birth. I tried waiting as long as I could and then I really needed something for the pain, so I buzzed the nurse for my Motrin. She apologized as Triage got slammed so they were busy. I didn't care, Brad was trying to nap, Zoe was in my lap, and I was still in a state of, HOLY SHIT I JUST GAVE BIRTH. WITH NO DRUGS.

The grandparents were the first to arrive and unfortunately, because of the Swine Flu, no one under the age of 18 was allowed on the maternity floor. So that meant I couldn't see Dominick and this bothered me immensely. I was out of the hospital in a day and a half, so that was a huge help for me. Dominick was more excited to see this Zoe we have been talking about for so long and could've cared less about me. But he has been great since Zoe came home. Sure, he has had his moments, but he has gotten over them.

It was a whirlwind of a summer, but our family is now complete. The transition from one child to two was much more than I thought it would be, but we did it and now that we are both back to work, feel like we are finally in a routine. Now we are in the midst of our first holiday season as a family four and it is fun. Dominick fully grasps Christmas and Zoe is infatuated by all of the lights, and although this year was full of plenty of bad things, Zoe is what pulled us through and gave us all something to look forward to. I'm a sappy mom who loves her kids, what can I say. When she is older, I look forward to telling her about the year she was born and how much her presence (inside and out) helped everyone in our family.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back from the dead

Okay, so not sure if anyone is even reading this anymore, but I am back from the dead and back at work. Therefore, I am functioning on a more normal level. I have many tales to tell; mainly about the ridiculous story of my labor and delivery with Miss Zoe (or ZoeZers as her brother calls her). It has been a crazy few months, but as we settle into a new routine and bring this horrid year of 2009 to a close, I vow to post regularly. Even if it's about... nothing.