Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow dog

Our dog, Che, is an Australian cattle dog mix, which is another way to say we have no clue what he is. But he was found in the rural countryside outside of San Antonio, so it's a pretty good guess that his background included working dogs of a sort.  He is a sweet and smart dog and, I don't mean to brag or anything, but he is pretty enough that the paper *did* put his picture up on their homepage after a big snowstorm a few years back (when people were no doubt filling their in-box with pictures of their dogs in the snow).

In the neighborhood where we live, people don't know what to make of him, as there are mostly pit bull mixes around here.  People who don't know dogs think he is a wolf. Yes, an honest to god wolf. Because so many of them have been domesticized into pets.  People who do know dogs usually guess Husky. That has always made the Texan and me roll our eyes because if you put him up against an actual Husky, he looks nothing like one. They're bigger, fluffier, and have different coloring.

And yet. Lately, he has turned into a real cold weather dog. He will go outside and sit for hours in our yard, just soaking up the cold air, even though he is getting old enough that he will have to pay the price for stiff limbs later on.  It's 26 degrees on our front porch with a windchill of who knows what, and I had to force him to come in just now. Maybe the Husky enthusiasts were onto something after all. Or maybe Che is just that ready to get a break from La Principessa.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To Scorpios everywhere

Happy birthday! You share your sign with both the Texan and La Principessa.*

Today is La Principessa's 1st birthday and Monday was the Texan's *cough*.  People were asking me if I was going to organize a party for the baby. My thinking is that the 1st birthday is really for the parents and we already were planning on celebrating for the Texan's.**  I did want to have the stereotypical picture of La Principessa wearing a birthday hat and staring confusedly at a cupcake with a candle in it. So after work today, I got some cupcakes and then went to the good CVS by us to grab the rest of what we needed. Their birthday section was decimated. Weird, I thought, so I went to the crap Rite Aid by us. Nope, they were out too. So was the good Safeway and the CVS across the street from it.  Apparently every Scorpio in DC bought birthday hats to celebrate.  So instead, we put a pirate hat on her - which she hated - and dipped some frosting in her mouth - which she LOVED.  At least we got something right!

* I know, having two Scorpios in the house.  We were half-joking when my water broke that all I needed to do was hang on until I reached 32 weeks - that would have gotten us safely to Sagittarius.  Alas, no luck.  As it is, they totally feed off each other. If one is in a good mood, so is the other, which is nice. If one is in a bad mood, though, look out. 

** I picked a restaurant whose happy hour I thought ran from 5-7, so our friends could meet up with us for cheap drinks before our dinner at a South American steakhouse.  Instead, the happy hour ran until 6, at which point the price of our margaritas all doubled. Do I know how to pick them. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

International Preemie Day

Nov. 17, FYI.  Mark your calendars. The only reason why I know this is because my water broke on that day. As I was being wheeled into Georgetown's Labor and Delivery ward, that sign caught my eye. It seemed rather appropriate, since I was 31 weeks pregnant on the nose that day.

For reasons too boring to go into, my doctor was worried that I would give birth early. So starting at 20 weeks, I had weekly transvaginal ultrasounds to keep an eye on things. And yes, they are just as much fun as you might imagine. I learned that the technician can make or break the experience. 

At 23.5 weeks, it started to look like things were going to start moving along despite the calendar, so I underwent an emergency surgery to try to close everything up to buy some time. I didn't go on bed rest, but I was on a greatly reduced schedule, meaning I could get up to go to work but otherwise was not to do anything that involved staying on my feet, including walking the dog.  Plus I got weekly hormone shots to try and slow things down as well.  Pregnancy is fun!

At my last ultrasound, the technician told me that she thought I was going to make it all the way through and that maybe I'm just one of those people who just teeter on the edge of an early delivery the whole pregnancy. That was Thursday, Nov. 15.  On Friday, Nov. 16, I had my weekly check-in with my OB. She told me that she thought I was going to make it as well. We both should have knocked wood.

Sat., Nov. 17, I had planned a birthday party for the Texan. However, I woke up at 4:45 am with fluid coming out of me. I was 90% asleep and 100% confused, but the Texan immediately knew what it was: my water breaking. I called my doctor and she confirmed it, and sent me on to Georgetown. 

Pro tip: just because your water breaks, contrary to what you see on TV and movies, you do not immediately go into labor.  I kept being asked if I was sure I wasn't having any contractions. I kept telling everyone that this was my first baby so there was definitely a learning curve, but from what I understood, you pretty much knew when you were feeling contractions.  So they checked me into the hospital, shot me up with antibiotics to strengthen the baby's lungs, and gave me some magnesium to prevent me from going into labor long enough for the antibiotics to kick in.  They told me that I would be there until I gave birth or until I hit 34 weeks, whichever came first.  I made it to 31.5 weeks.  And the Texan never did get his birthday party, which I'm trying to rectify this year. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

A study in pink*

When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first questions I asked my doctor was, "Can I still ride my scooter?"  (Her response: just don't crash, and you're good. This is why I love her.)  I worried then about what we'd do when the baby came home. Clearly she can't ride on the scooter - for some reason, they don't make helmets in infant sizes. Ahem.  But the Texan pointed out that I could still use it for commuting and getting around town, and by god, I have. 

The Texan loves going on long rides on his scooter; me, not so much. This is partially due to the fact that its seat was emphatically not meant for long periods of use. Anything more than 30 minutes and my ass gets really sore. However, the Texan found a place that could rebuild your scooter seat into one that actually was comfortable, and since they had to re-cover it anyways, he got his done in shades of black and blue that match his scooter nicely.  He kept urging me to get mine done but it was never a good time.

Finally, last week, we pulled the trigger. The Texan picked out the scooter seat colors for me, since I had to stay home with the baby.  He did a fab-u-lous job.  Now my seat is this gorgeous warm pink, with red accents that perfectly match the rest of the scooter. We pretty much guaranteed that no male will ever want to buy my scooter, but hey, wasn't like we were planning on selling it in the near future anyways.  And now I can easily distinguish my scooter from the millions other red Vespas that I see around town. 

* With apologies to both Arthur Conan Doyle and Steven Moffat.

Monday, November 04, 2013

All the animals

Yesterday, G&T and I took our annual walk through the Zoo to see the changing foliage (or "foil-age" as one of her colleagues referred to it) and whatever new cats the Zoo has.  La Principessa came too - her first trip to the Zoo!  She is still stroller-bound, and it was windy, so I wrapped her up well and then put a plastic cover over her to break the wind chill.  But I had forgotten how freaking hilly the Zoo is: it's in the middle of Rock Creek Park and you are constantly wending up and down hills. Fortunately for me, Shrapnel's former owner joined us as well, and she brought her kids too. One of them is obsessed with La Principessa and pleaded for the chance to push her stroller around. I'm not too proud to have an eight-year-old wrangle the stroller for me - made my life much easier.

Because we had other kids with us this year, we decided to see other parts of the Zoo. It had been a while since I'd checked out the various habitats. They've really expanded the America Trail, including a huge enclosure for seals, sea lions, and otters to swim about.  Plus I guess because of the cold air, all the animals were frisky. We actually saw the lions - the adult lions - roar and tussle with each other, plus the zebras surprised us by sounding almost exactly like donkeys.  And the pandas were actually up and moving around.

I'm not sure what La Principessa saw besides the colorful leaves, but it was nice being outside, either way.

Friday, November 01, 2013

The battle continues

For the heart and mind of our daughter, that is.  Will she be a cat person or a dog person?  For her first Halloween, I decided to use my executive authority and buy her a kitty costume well in advance so that there could be no question. Plus it was 50 percent off.  I got it in August, but I got it big just in case she grew. Ha. Hahaha. Ha.  Ahem.  This was clearly going to be a one-time use costume.  She fit into it...but just barely. And I mean barely - I had to really wedge her in to get the kitty ears over her head. But she looked totes adorbs so it was worth it.