Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

Since I'm not sure when the next time will be that I'll have a belly of this magnitude during the month of October, I tried to capitalize on this characteristic when planning our costumes. I present to you...

The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

(and a few other Halloween-related things like a worm, eye ball, skeleton, and bat)


The Spider who is fixin' to be swallowed

So tasty!

Here's a close-up of the consumed items:

We were in charge of bringing fruit to the Halloween party. What do you think of our skewered bloody eyeballs? It's amazing what you can do with a melon baller, cantelope, raspberry jam, blueberry and toothpick!

Happy Halloween!

State Fair of Louisiana

In our continued effort to experience all things Louisiana, we ventured to the state fair last weekend. We went in the back entrance and had the honor of walking past the 4-H livestock holding area. There's nothing quite like the aroma of fresh cow dung to get you in the fair spirit.

Note Dr. Doolittle's proximity to the beast in comparison to our friends', Jeff and Heather.

There were some definite highlights from our fair excursion:

-Funnel cake (I've had more funnel cake in the last four months than in the previous 27 years of my life combined!)

-Great weather. Two months ago I would've told you this place is forsaken when it comes to weather (I think I did actually say that in a couple of posts) but apparently the pay-off of extreme summer heat is a gorgeous October.

-Rigged fair "games." We avoided most of the games due to exorbitant prices, but when we came to the toss-the-ping-pong-ball-in-the-tiny-fish-bowl-to-win-a-goldfish game and it was only 25 cents a ball, we had to try. David made an arrangement (notice how I'm avoiding the word 'bet?') with our friend Jeff that if he made it in, Jeff would eat the goldfish. As a side note, Jeff is also an ENT intern at LSU so prior to entering into the above mentioned arrangement they had to discuss the likelihood of contracting any incurable diseases from eating a goldfish that had been kept in a nasty cooler for who knows how long.

We had a 50 cent budget for this game, so immediate success was crucial. Attempt #1-unsuccessful, attempt #2-unsuccessful. We started to walk away, but the carny in charge, said, "Wait a mint! I got a quata and I wanna see 'im eat dat fish." She handed David one last ping pong ball and he casually tossed it at the bowls. I am kicking myself for not video taping what happened next, but based on the complete failure of his first two attempts I was sure this one would miss too. Wrong! It didn't even hit the rim of the bowl, but landed right in the center. The look on Jeff's face was priceless. I still have to get a copy of the video clip from Heather and then I'll post it, but Jeff made good on his part of the arrangement and swallowed that little fishy down making our day as well as the carny's.

-The final highlight came from David's first attempt ever at mechanical bull-riding. I was reluctant to approve this adventure, not so much because of the risk of head injury or breaking something, but rather because of the "$7 for one attempt" sign posted at the booth. Here is the footage of the ordeal. At the end of his every-so-brief ride, you'll hear me say, "Hey, hang on!" Translation: we just paid $7, so you better get a few more seconds in!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red River Revel Festival and Pumpkin Patch

The last couple weeks have offered some fun times together. First, we went to the Shreveport Red River Revel Art Festival (try saying that three times) with Joe and Afton Perry, good friends from our ward here. Afton is expecting her second baby in a few weeks and I've been asked if she and I are sisters. I guess when you share the characteristic of a giant belly, you start to look more alike:) True to form for an authentic Louisiana festival, there was an exquisite assortment of fried foods from which to choose. My food item of choice this time: fried pickles, a pregnant woman's dream come true. They lose some of their crispness in the frying process, but what doesn't taste good when smothered in ranch dressing?

Captain Jack Sparrow also attended the event and claimed to be the father of both of our unborn children to anyone who would listen while this shot was being taken.

Then last weekend we drove to Dallas for some bonding with friends and family. My 7-yr-old niece, Lorin, accompanied us to Ikea for a furniture run on Sat morning. Those of you who are seasoned Ikea shoppers may be asking yourself, "Why would you go to Ikea on a Sat morning? Are you crazy?" The answer: yes!

Lorin was quite the trooper despite having to stand in line for one hour while waiting to check out. Fortunately, she found one of those paper tape measures (she named it Sneaky Snake) and managed to pass the time without a single complaint, which is more than I can say for myself. Here we are with the Ikea shelf loaded in the back of the Civic and Sneaky Snake being displayed tenderly for the camera.

Also on the list of fun things in Dallas was a trip to the pumpkin patch and play time with the Costley nieces. We love you Lolo, Izzy, and Ryan (you, too, Cory and Kerri:)

David, me, Izzy, Kerri, and Ryan on a hayride; Izzy (aka Snow White) and David building with blocks

Note: Although I'm wearing the same shirt in all of these pictures, the photo montage spans several days. My wardrobe is becoming more limited as my girth increases (assisted by such nutritious snacks as fried pickles:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Compression Socks

Before my trip to Reno in September, my doctor recommended that I wear compression socks whenever I'm sitting for long periods of time (e.g. driving to Dallas, flying on the airplane). My wonderful husband found me a very attractive pair at the local drug store and convinced me that paying $30 for a pair of knee-highs was better than getting a blood clot. Here are a few things I wish I would've known about compression socks and now pass along to anyone who has to wear them some day:

1) Although they look like regular nylon knee-highs, they are made from MUCH thicker fabric which does NOT breath or allow for adequate ventilation. As such, you can expect your core temperature to increase by approximately 20 degrees the instant you put them on.

2) Actually getting them on poses quite a challenge when you have a big ol' belly preventing you from bending over adequately. So if you're going to wait to put them on until after you are in your cramped seat on an airplane, you may want to warn the poor lady sitting next to you that you're going to need to lean into her personal space for a few moments while you contort your legs in an effort to get them close enough so you can hook one end of the sock over your big toe and then pull and shimmy with all your might.

3) These socks squeeze your legs and ankles (they should be called "tourniquet socks" in my opinion) so if you are anything like me and have claustrophobic tendencies this can make you quite uncomfortable after an hour or so. Just take deep breaths and try to remain calm while periodically wiping the sweat from your brow (see reference to changes in core temperature under #1).

4) If you are planning on wearing flip flops on your travels, try to find the open-toe variety of compression socks (not available at the Shreveport Walgreen's). Otherwise, you will be confined to your seat on the airplane despite the fact that your baby is dancing on your bladder because you can't get your sandals on and you would hate to contract a fatal fungus by walking into the airplane bathroom with only a thin layer of tourniquet fabric between you and who-knows-what.

5) Since you will be confined to your seat anyway, it may be better to sit closest to the window as this will enable only the person sitting next to you to cast sideways inquisitive glances about your fashion statement rather than every person who walks down the aisle.

6) After wearing these socks for several hours, large indentations are left on your skin just below the knee. Capris would be a better option than shorts so people don't wonder what happened to your legs. Definitely DON'T go for long pants as your ability to maintain a healthy body temperature for your fetus would be nearly impossible under such conditions!

Those are all things I learned during the Reno trip. Well, we drove to Dallas this weekend and I knew the responsible thing would be to wear my blessed tourniquet socks on the drive. Just before we left, David heard me huffing and puffing in the front room and came in to see what was going on. I indulged him by posing for a picture, but he'd already missed the worst of it (the very difficult toe-hook and shimmy)

Aren't they attractive?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gestational Diabetes...Part II

Yesterday was my full-length (translation: 3 hours at a normal doctor’s office, 5 1/2 hours at the lovely LSU clinic) gestational diabetes test. I won’t go into the details of how inefficient their system is as my previous posts have adequately alluded to my frustration. LSU aside, I do wonder who the genius was who decided it would be a good idea to have pregnant women go without food or water for more than 12 hours for this blasted test.

In any case, I survived the waiting, the drinking of a substance that I hope doesn’t cause fetal damage, more waiting, 4 blood draws, and more waiting all to be told, “Uh, I think you passed.” That’s what the receptionist said after looking up my results. When I asked if she could check with someone to make sure I passed, she got up, walked over to two other receptionists (not exactly the professionals I had in mind), said, “Do this mean she passed o’ she ain’t passed?” The other two receptionists looked at her baffled and then one said, “Yeah, I think she passed.” “You fine,” said the original receptionist in a dismissive manner. I left the clinic with very little confidence in the results, but heard from my doctor later that I did in fact pass “with flying colors.” Phew!

What did I do to celebrate? Well, there’s an art Festival going on downtown that I’ve been wanting to check out so I went and perused the snack booths. The deep fried pickle was tempting, but I opted for a funnel cake topped with powdered sugar instead. Man, was it good! Thank you to all those who were sending good anti-diabetes vibes:)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gestational Diabetes

I arrived home late last Wed night after a two week travel adventure and was starving. I quickly whipped up a gourmet bean and cheese burrito and chased that down with a glass of cran-raspberry juice. Dessert featured a most delicious warm brownie topped with a scoop of homemade chocolate cinnamon gelato. As I brought the second-to-last bite of the delectable dessert to my mouth, I remembered that my gestational diabetes screening test was scheduled for 8:30 the following morning. Notice how I said, “second-to-last” because I didn’t let that thought stop me from finishing the dessert. “I’m sure it won’t be a big deal,” I assured myself.

Jump ahead to hour 3 of sitting at the LSU Women’s Clinic this morning…I was feeling slightly inconvenienced that all of my appointments at this place take such a long time, but was confident that I would pass with flying colors. The nurse pricked my finger, took the blood sample, inserted it into the machine and then said, “You failed.”
“Um,” I said, “What exactly does that mean?” She explained that my glucose was at 142 (unspecified units) and that anything over 140 is a “fail.”

Instantly I was cursing the brownie and gelato concoction that tasted so divine the night before. Now I get to go back in 2 weeks for the “full length” glucose tolerance test to see if I really do have gestational diabetes. They say it’s a 3 hour test, but the one today was supposed to be a 1 hour test so according to my calculations, I’m likely going to be at the clinic the entire day. If only I could find a copy of Breaking Dawn at the library, it might not be so bad! David is already making arrangements to eliminate all sugar from my diet for the three days prior to the blood draw. Wish us luck.