Friday, January 30, 2009

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

Cafeteria La Juderia

Yeah, it's overwhelming, but what can we do?
Get jobs in offices, and wake up for the morning commute.

Time to Pretend

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

3 years

For some reason, bloggers feel compelled to mention their anniversaries. I am no different. Nonlinear Girl is 3 years old today.

This blog has mostly been a fun way to navel gaze and show off pictures of my beautiful family. It has also connected me with a lot of fascinating people, some of whom have become my real life friends. Plus, some of the people I have not met in person I still care about in a very real way. Reading their updates and stories is an important part of my day. For the human connections alone, the blog has been worthwhile.

Oh, and the blog has allowed me the space to take a lot of pictures. I have really enjoyed following Ada around with my camera. The blog inspired me to start (and complete) a 365 project, and to begin the one I am working on now. Yay for an excuse for creativity!

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on the blog. I appreciate your input and am always happy to read your thoughts - here, on your own blogs or in person.

01/21/09 Beloved Balloon
balloons for everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bad News, Good News, Bad News

I am a little disgruntled about this whole twin pregnancy thing. It isn't so much my actual twin pregnancy, which is (knock on wood) going well. My frustration is with the rules and customs of twin pregnancy and birth. I can't imagine I am the first to complain about this, but I am still feeling a little shocked about some of what is considered "normal" for twin pregnancies. I feel like I am being constantly presented with bad news that only I see as bad.

Bad news: Twin pregnancies usually go through a doctor, so no midwife for me.
Good news: I asked a lot of people for recommendations and this one doctor's name came up a bunch. Plus, she's the mother of twins.

Bad news: The scheduler who makes my 13 week ultrasound appointment at the perinatology office across town says, "Oh, twins. We'll be seeing you a lot!"
Good news: The scheduler was wrong. I have scheduled my other ultrasounds elsewhere.
Bad news: Scheduling double ultrasound appointments is a pain in the ass. You'd think the schedulers had never dealt with twin pregnancies before.

Bad news: Many doctors are not trained to (or comfortable with) breech delivery or performing a version.
Good news: My doctor is comfortable with this and willing to do it if needed.
Bad news: I have no guarantee that she'll be at the hospital when I go into labor.
Good news: She offered to be back up to the doc in the hospital, in case that person is not comfortable with breech presentation.
Bad news: If I have another fast labor, she might not be able to get to the hospital in time.

Bad news: It is accepted procedure for women delivering twins to labor in an operating room.
Good news (sort of): My doctor says that it will be "normal" with people able to talk, move around, etc.
Bad news: Generally the laboring woman is only permitted to bring in one person with her into the operating room, even if she is just laboring normally.
Good news: My doctor was very open to my doula (my pal Ellen, who, when not helping me labor, is a hospital-based midwife) and says she'll see if she can get some kind of special dispensation/special agreement deal. Ellen is also working on this through her contacts at our preferred hospital.
Bad news: Did I mention that I will be laboring in an operating room? Doesn't exactly scream warm and comfortable.

Bad news: Going back to that whole "some docs are not comfortable with breech deliveries" thing, looking for information on twin c-section rates I find less-than comforting comments like this:

The chance of a c-section increases with the number of babies . . . But many doctors are at least willing to attempt a vaginal delivery if conditions are favorable for both babies in a twin birth.
At least willing to attempt? If conditions are favorable? Strong words there, very comforting.

I have read that as many as 60% of twins are delivered by c-section. This sounds outrageous to me, and I am not over my frustration that because many doctors are not trained to deal with breech delivery, they are not comfortable exploring the options. This can push women (not just those with twins) into a c-section that could have been avoided.

I readily acknowledge that there are lots of good reasons for women to have c-sections. I know women whose labor went on for a long time and failed to progress at key stages. I know babies that were in distress who were saved by c-section. I also know that some women think a c-section is "easier" than a vaginal delivery.

I happen not to be someone who sees a section as an easy way out. The idea of spending a couple of weeks (at least) fairly well incapacitated, plus additional time to really heal - all while caring for two newborns - that sounds a lot harder than delivering vaginally. I recognize that not all women labor as I did with Ada. I had a four hour labor, start to finish, with minimal tearing and mostly just the normal healing. A few days after Ada was born, I was walking (albeit v-e-r-y slowly) around the block. I was achy but not in a recovering-from-surgery kind of way.

I have my fingers crossed that the twins will cooperate by getting their heads down as we get closer to their exit date (whenever that might be). But right now, I feel pretty nervous and unhappy about all the rules for twin delivery, all the (forgive the pun) standard operating procedures. Part of me needs to accept that this may be the way things go, and part of me needs to rail against these rules. Maybe we can bend some of them, and maybe some will hold fast. I need to push a bit so that my sadness does exhaust me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The End is Nigh

(or, further signs of the apocalypse)

My mother just sent me an email saying she'd signed up for facebook.

She has not yet requested to be my friend. I imagine eventually she will figure out how to do that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week


It used to be a hassle to put on underwear in the morning. Now it's kind of easy.

Justin Cobb

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Everything is Puhfectly Nah-mal.

In her soothing accent, my childhood doctor used to proclaim "everything is puhfectly nahmal" at the end of each visit. Lungs, check. Reflexes, check. Blood pressure, check. Whenever I have a doctor appointment that goes as expected, my pediatrician's voice rings in my head, a calming mantra confirming the news.

Monday morning at way-too-early o'clock I had an ultrasound. Not that I had specific reason to worry, but nonetheless I spent the last week or so before a little keyed up about what the ultrasound might show. I am not even sure what I thought the results would be, what bad news I'd learn. I guess it doesn't matter, since all went well today. (Everything except my arrival at the wrong location, annoyance that no one was around, and eventual realization that I needed to be 5 minutes down the road instead. Luckily I got the "fast" ultrasound tech, who turned my 2 hour appointment into an hour. I even walked out "early.")

So everything continues to be normal - twin A (the girl) is the one who seems to have been standing on my bladder on a routine basis. Her brother twin B was a little less wiggly during the scan, consistent with the movements I have been feeling from their respective areas of my uterus.

Now I do have something to worry about. That whole naming thing that Chris and I put off until after this scan can now start in earnest. We've gotten a few suggestions, even some non-sarcastic. We are going to have to get moving on this. If it is true that 97% of twins are born by 37 weeks (something I read recently) we have no more than 18 weeks to find some names for these future bundles of joy. Break out the lists!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pride and Hunger

For months I have been sitting on my hands so that I did not blab about my sister and her husband's project until allowed to do so. But given the okay to talk about it in real life, along with the fact that a ton of other (mostly SF foodie) bloggers* and others are spreading the word, I wanted to tell you how proud I am of Karen and Anthony's Mission Street Food. I am just sad that I do not live in San Fransisco. Otherwise I'd be there every week. Yum.

If you live in the bay area, Mission Street Food is on tonight. You should go. Just don't send me an email telling me what I missed, or I might cry.

*This is not a comprehensive list of the foodie bloggers who are in love with MSF. I just got tired of linking.

**Also, a few months back I tweeted about MSF to a bay area friend. My pal Maggie saw the tweet, and despite living in NY, sent the link to her Mission-dwelling friend, who went there with a date. I am not sure how the woman's date turned out, but at least I know the food was good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The New Guy

Ada: Manu!

Chris: Manu?

Ada: He's someone at school. He's the new guy.

Actually loving the surf
This post should probably have been called "Random Ada Conversation and Unrelated Photo"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

Get Away Van

That's the way we see life: your community is your survival. And if you live in a small community like this, even the people you hate you have as friends.

Carolyn Chute

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Help, Please

There are so many things going on in my life, buying glasses should not even be on my radar. But. My parents gave me money to buy new frames for my birthday, and since I was in LA I got a chance to visit my favorite glasses store (SEE). SEE has great frames, and it has amazing prices. The frame price includes the lens price. If you have really bad eyes, as I do, it is a mere $70 more for high index lenses. This is amazing, as I am used to spending several hundred dollars on the lenses PLUS whatever the frame costs.

When Chris and I lived on the east coast, I had few friends and thus a lot of time on my hands. I was more serious about making art, and I sold a piece to a friend. She vastly overpaid me, of her own volition (out of some desire to help me see myself as an artist and not just a putterer.) I used the money to buy new glasses. Chris and I trekked up to Boston to visit the SEE there, and it was just bout the best consumer experience I have ever had. The salesman, a local student was incredibly helpful and kind. Together we picked out a few pairs and then narrowed it down to one: small orange plastic frames that I wore and loved for years. Finally (under the stress of years of wear plus the attentions of a baby) the frame broke. There is no SEE in Portland, so I bought a pair at a local shop. I like them fine, but they do not make my heart sing as the orange frames did.

SEE is in Los Angeles, where we were for New Years. During Ada's nap one day, we scooted down to the LA store to take a look. While no one pair completely won my heart the way the orange frames had, I found a few I liked. The saleslady wrote down the frame descriptions and numbers so that I could fax an order if I decided I wanted one.

So, can you help me? I need some input on the frames. Keep in mind that I have very bad eyes. No really, worse than yours, no matter how bad you think your vision is. (One eye has a correction of 10.75, the other 11.5. This is strong.) This means that even with the high index (thin) lenses, I tend to have think glasses. Also, they are thicker at the edges than in the center. If the glasses are too big, the lenses are thicker (which means both uglier and heavier).  With this limitation in mind, Chris and I picked out these frames:

pair 1

pair 2
two (see four)
pair 3
pair 3 - primary color
four (I am pretty sure this is the same as two)

Or should I keep looking?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

Corseteria Roman

It's a little-known fact that the Virgin Mary was fond of creamed spinach. And did you know that sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne? That the geneticist Gregor Mendel spent much of his time developing a recipe for fried eggs? Or that "people who use considerable red pepper in their foods are almost immune to atomic radiation"?

Paul Collins
The Oddball Know-It-All

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Look Out Below!

My friends Mike and Ann called to wish me a happy birthday. Mike and I got talking about blogging, and photography projects. We talked about photo hosting, year-long commitments and project ideas. I mentioned how much I enjoyed a year of mornings and a year of evenings and how many great 365 photo projects I have seen.

Mike said he would like to start a year long project on January first. I was very enthusiastic about the idea, and when on December 31 I heard a radio story about this project, I immediately forwarded it to him. Apparently Ann heard the same story, and did the same. Mike, who is a brilliant and professionally trained garden designer decided he would take two pictures each morning, one of his front yard and one of the back. While his back yard has been developed over the past several years, he has yet to tackle the front yard. This means that the front yard pictures will have both a time-lapse seasonal quality, but will also document the work that he will be putting into the front garden this year.

01/01/09 Kitchen Light

Ann, an accomplished photographer who has among other things captured the Dalai Lama laughing, decided to play along. She will take a picture at the same time each evening. (Given their respective up early/up late personas, it is fitting that Mike has an 8 am project, while Ann will shoot at 8 pm. I can just see Mike trying to convince Ann to do a morning project with him.) I am so excited to see their pictures, it is all I can do not to email and call them daily until they start making their pictures accessible to me online. (Hint Hint)

In the mean time, Mike's infectious enthusiasm got me going, and inspired by the first photo above I decided to start a photo project of my own: Look Out Below. I will be aiming my camera down, giving me something to focus on outside of my usual comfort zone of people's faces and silly signs. I will be looking for patterns and abstractions, but also trying to use this as a way to pay attention to a part of the world that gets short shrift most of the time.

01/03/09 Top Stop

As many of the pictures may not be self-explanatory, I will use flickr's description function to include a sentence or three about the picture; where I took it, why it was interesting to me, or some other detail that seems pertinent.

Given my other ongoing project (i.e., the twins) I was not sure I could commit to a year, but at the least I will run this one for 3-4 months. I am adding a link to the set on the sidebar of the blog, and I will try to put up the daily photos on flickr every few days. But first I have to remember to start packing my camera with me everywhere again.

Please let me know if you are starting (or are in the middle of) a photography or other "daily" project. I would love to keep up with your efforts!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Confusion Spawned by the Baby Name Book Stephanie Loaned Us

Our pal Stephanie loaned us a baby name book that includes numerous categories of names, including:

Names that Spawn Nasty Nick-Names
This kind of stumped us. Adolph, sure. But Boris?

On the girls' list: Christopher. Does the teasing come from the fact that the girl has a traditionally male name?

Names Teachers Can't Pronounce
Why worry about this? I have an easy first name, but practically no one gets my last name right. The kids will have Chris' last name, so they've got that easier at least.

Exotic Names
Included on the list: Cherokee, Cheyenne, Pepita  This caused me to wonder whether the book was published in 1984. But no, 2004. Also on the exotic name list: Sequoia. To my mind, this is a name that could lead to bad nicknames, or at least extensive middle-school teasing. Or it would, if we (a 5'9" woman and her 6'5" husband) named a child this.

According to the book, Adelaide and Crispy (both girl names) are Scary/Creepy Names along with Winnie and Uzbek. The boy names include Neptune, Brick, Bruno, Butcher, Sinbad and Elmo. Okay, they do seem right about some of these at least.

Unforgettable Names
Schmoopie, Lindberg and Trocky.  Yup, unforgettable, in a laughing behind my hand sort of way.

Overpowering Names
Aunjanue (Overpowering, or just mis-spelled?)

Old-fashioned names that are cute again
Mort (um, no. still not cute)
Beulah, Ethel, Flo, Laverne, Mabel (maybe Mabel, but Laverne and Ethel?)

At the 13 week ultrasound the tech told us she thought we've got one boy and one girl. We are waiting for confirmation at the next ultrasound before dealing with names, but the news led Chris (who you'll recall is a mathematician) to suggest we name the kids Max and Min.  (Even worse, on hearing this idea, Jiro said: that would make Nora the Maximum and Minimum at the same time.)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Random Quote and Unrelated Photo of the Week ("still not over the latkes" edition)

Beyond this point

A Jew develops from the cradle
A craving for a knish and knaydl.
He'll glorify gefilte fish,
But I, I love the latke dish.
Many a Jew has made his slogan
A pot of kreplah or pirogen,
But I say "kreplah, shmeplah," nothing
Delights me as a latke puffing.

Edward Stankiewicz
Ode to the Latke