Thursday, June 26, 2008

Things have been hectic

I haven't been blogging (or commenting!) a lot this week because things have been a bit hectic. Last Wednesday DH and I had a serious talk about the house and decided if we can move before November, we will. Our house, although fine for us just isn't suitable for a growing family nor does it have enough land for our dogs, so on Friday we met with our mortgage lady that we dealt with last Jan/Feb (of 2007) to see where we stand. She gave us some great options, one of which is to buy land and build a we have been searching our town for land plots ever since AND looking into the three companies her "modular guy" works with. For those of you confused about the difference between a "modular" and a "manufactured/mobile" house here or here to see what we are looking into.

So, we started that process on Friday and have probably physically looked at 5 places so far with 3 or 4 more scheduled for this weekend. Then, on Saturday, DH and I went out of town to pick up our "new" car....a 98 Audi wagon and I LOVE it! Right now we are in the process of making a list of minor repairs to the house (touch up painting, waxing the floors, loose nails on the deck, etc) so we can schedule a "work" weekend (or two!) with some extra hands and put our house on the market. We plan to set it a couple thousand under market value so we attract more buyers and hopefully sell it within three months (which is the length it takes to build our home after we sign the land/construction contract) AND before the big day in Nov.

Now, if everything will just go as planned right?

Friday, June 20, 2008

A day for bread!

So, as promised, I made another loaf of no-knead bread and documented the steps along the way.

First last night around 9pm I mixed all of my dry ingredients into the bowl.

Then the water....and this is what it looked like.

THIS is what it looked like after it had been covered and allowed to rise for about 15 hours.

Next, it comes out of the bowl onto a non-stick surface (I chose wax paper) and then it is folded over on itself 3 or 4 times and ends up looking like this....

After 3 more hours of being covered and rising, it should approximately double in size again, like so...

Then, it gets put into a pan and baked (covered for 30 minutes), in which is begins to brown.

Lastly, the lid comes off and it bakes again for 20-30 more minutes with the finished product looking something like...ta da, rustic bread!

Then cool, cut, and enjoy (I prefer mine with a little bit of garlic and olive oil dip!).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I am NOT a food blogger

But I do LOVE them and I have been cooking a lot lately, so I wanted to share some photos of what I have done.

First....bread. The last time I tried to make and bake homemade bread I was 8 and it turned out TERRIBLE because I got the salt and sugar mixed up...oops! However, this was a rosemary no-knead bread, and it was lovely! You can get the original recipe here.

Next we have some yummy boiled, then baked, criss-cross potatoes. Recipe here (oh, and you can disregard the dirty pan...I'm ashamed, lol)

I also made these lovely beauties. Lemon-berry (cherries, blueberries, and cranberries) scones. Again, original recipe here.

Lastly, I made baby red ranch potatoes, however I didn't get a chance to take a picture of them because they were literally gone about 15 minutes after coming out of the oven. I am planning to bake some more bread starting tomorrow night (since it takes about 18 hours to complete) and I am going to make a blog post documenting the process =)

Things I learned at work

Yesterday my co-worker and I learned of some, for lack of a better word, rude comments that were made about her and I from the program director (think manager for those not in the academia world) of ANOTHER department to our program director. Basically this other PD needed some work done in his department (although I don't understand why because he has 2 full time secretaries and we run on one part time) so he apparently "scoped" out my co-worker and I one day and told our PD that she or I needed to come help him with whatever his stupid project was because we, and I quote, "don't do anything all day". This comment was spurred from the fact that he apparently walked by my office 3 times in one day and I was "just sitting at my desk". Wow, imagine that....someone with an office actually sitting at their desk....whoa, call the compliance department....I'm apparently screwing the company out of money by being at my desk! And as for my co-worker she just apparently "didn't look busy". Well let me tell ya, that woman does the job of a full time secretary in 4 hours a day...she is kick ass at her job!

This conversation bothers me for several reasons. Mainly, this other PD has absolutely no idea what my job description actually is so who the hell is he to say I'm not doing it. Obviously if MY manager thought the same thing, I would of heard of it by now. Too bad I got slightly over the normal 3% raise last year because of all that I do. MY job is to set up the labs (they are always done), make sure the lab is clean (I now get my assistant to do this, but it always gets done) and prepare for the weeks and the semester ahead by making sure our supplies are stocked and the equipment if all of that is being done, I AM DOING MY JOB!!! I will admit that summer is considerably slower than fall and spring semesters (obviously), but that still doesn't give him the right to comment I don't do anything all day by seeing me 3 times sitting at my desk. And I will also admit that I don't like my job....quite frankly it is boring, because when all of above mentioned things are done...I'm done. I don't have phones to answer, clients to deal with, etc so as far as stimulating work....this is NOT it. But still....I come to work, I do my described job, and I go home.

So, if I didn't already know how F'ed up my work is anyways....this is a great example and here is what I've come to conclude:

1.) You never know who is watching your back and trying to screw you over for their own personal gain.

2.) I have now decided to keep my door shut at all times with a sign that says "Knock before entering". It is nobody's damn business how they *think* I should be doing my job as long as I am doing it and everyone who it directly affects (students, professors and MY manager) is be it.

3.) Lastly (and this is the one that bothers me the most) this yet again proves how terribly suited and spineless my manager really is. When this comment was made about me and my co-worker, instead of defending us or telling this other PD he didn't think it was appropriate for him to say that....he said nothing....just nodded his head because Wilton is his friend and he doesn't like conflict of any kind. Thus, leading Wilton to think my manager thought it was true as well.

::sigh:: only 24 more weeks until I get a break from here.......

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I just wanted to say happy Father's Day to all the men out there. To all the Fathers with grown children, for those with young children, for those with angel children and to those who only get to dream of their children yet to be.

I especially want to say Happy Father's Day to my husband. To the man who became a Father the day we found out about the twins, and who lost a little part of his heart the day we lost them. To the man who was supposed to be holding his first babies today, but yet gets to keep holding on to the hope for the day he holds THIS baby. For the man who never stopped dreaming about a becoming a Dad, and cried with me all those times that dream failed. To the man who looks at me every day and says he can't wait until November, and who touches and talks to my belly lovingly and with excitement every night. To my husband.....Happy Fathers Day sweetie, I love you!

I also want to take a minute to talk about my own Dad. Gosh, I love that man.....he was my hero growing up. We used to go on picnics, fly kites, go fishing, and we've made more memories on the beach than I can count. We still have father/daughter dates and I truly like spending time with him. I can't wait for my children to get to know him. He's getting older and I worry about him, but he's still strong and active. He has always loved my Mom and me, and did everything in his power to give our family the best life he could. He truly is a special man, and I'm thankful to call him my Dad.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wow, sorry for the lull....

Quite honestly I haven't had a lot to write about lately (man, that makes me sound boring) but life is just same ol', same ol'. The dogs are good, the weather is unusually warm and work is holding steady with the level of craziness that goes on. I get a "vacation" in about 6 weeks....however this vacation consists of a week long lab safety conference, BUT it's the only time I've taken more than 2 days off work in a row in 2 years so I'm thankful to at least be out of this building, it's completely paid for, I don't have to use my PTO since it is "work" time, the conference is in downtown Charleston (read: near the beach) and I'm going with a friend of mine (who also happens to be my lab assistant) since DH is understandably saving his vacation time for the end of year.

I'm still debating the school in, what to get my Masters in. As some of you remember I opted to drop out (ugh, I hate that wording) of my counseling masters for personal reasons and simply for the fact once I got into it, I didn't like it. There is an OT Masters available where I work now, which seems like a good option...however I really need to get cracking on getting my GRE's done because if I do the OT thing I will need to get all of my stuff in before Sept. or Oct. to be competitive for the entering class of Fall 2009. I really want to get out of what I'm doing now because although the pay is decent (I guess) there is no where to go from here in the company. I've maxed out because my job is the only job like this in the entire college. Isn't it funny how years ago all you needed was that "piece of paper" hanging on the wall to make a good living for your family, and now, to REALLY get anywhere (at least around here) you need one or two or three pieces of paper saying you are qualified for something?

Plus in today's economy (and no I don't think it is getting better) people are bearly getting by! I was watching today and heard a story about generational change. THIS generation of adults are one of the first generations who think America will NOT be better for their children. As someone with a child on the way...I have to agree, and that makes me so incredibly sad. With the sky-rocketing price of gas and food and just, well, everything. I wonder how I will provide a good home for my child....I of course will sacrifice everything I can to make it so, but I still worry. If you would have asked me a year ago if I was worried about the financial aspect of my future family I would have said I was comfortable with it....there was an ample amount of "extra" income after bills and however, it is most certainly not as much. It just amazes me that in the last six months DH and I have done nothing different (as far as purchases, vacations, etc), but yet now with the exact same bills AND a small raise (3%) for both DH and I....there is less money left over. I also read an article yesterday about the correlation between high debt stress (as in the present state for MOST people) and your health. Here are the stats:
  • 27 percent had ulcers or digestive tract problems, compared with 8 percent of those with low levels of debt stress.
  • 44 percent had migraines or other headaches, compared with 15 percent.
  • 29 percent suffered severe anxiety, compared with 4 percent.
  • 23 percent had severe depression, compared with 4 percent.
  • 6 percent reported heart attacks, double the rate for those with low debt stress.
  • More than half, 51 percent, had muscle tension, including pain in the lower back. That compared with 31 percent of those with low levels of debt stress.
You can read the full article here., for today I will open a forum for debate:

~One, in general (obviously there are exceptions here) do you think in today's society you have to have AT LEAST one post-secondary degree to be "successful"?
~Two, what are your thoughts on this generational change? Do you agree or not?
~Three, has the economy affected your household and family? If so, how, and are you affected by debt stress? How do you "deal"?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cardio.....pregnancy mentioned

One of DH and I's friends is getting married in Oct. This was a total shock, but we are happy for him. However, because of the upcoming nuptials he has started working out at the gym with a personal trainer...which is very good for him because he needed a healthy kick in the butt! Well today, DH and I ran into him at the store and we asked how his fitness routine was going. Things are good, lifting weights, yadda yadda yadda....and then he goes:

"Yeah, plus I'm getting in some extra cardio these days. You know (pointing to me), the kind that got Katie pregnant" ::wink::

To which my DH promptly joked, "Oh, you're going to a fertility specialist too?". Ha, gotta love him!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Humor in tragedy

I saw this on Craiglist last night and clicked on it for obvious reasons....everyone who is trying HATES to be asked if they are pregnant yet so I was curious to see what this person had to say, and was really surprised at what played out. Things really aren't always as they seem.....However, it is nice to see this woman is able to stay humorous and sarcastic in the midst of frustration about what was and is a very trying time in her life.

A public service announcement: Please stop asking me if I'm pregnant.

I'm not.

I know that I seem to be more of child bearing age than cancer producing age, and I know that my newly flat chest due to a recent double mastectomy makes my belly protrude and makes me look preggers.

I'm not.

I know also that, despite eating healthfully and exercising a ton, the roids and the hormone therapy I've had the pleasure to experience are to thank for the nice round tummy growing before my eyes. Hell, even I tend to think I look pregnant.

But I'm not.

Yes, I realize too that I tend to wear a lot of empire waist and babydoll dresses these days, further adding to the "pregnant look". but frankly, since most of my pants hide in fear when I approach them in the closet, these dresses are a much better option.

I'm flattered that maybe you think I'm "glowing". I guess 25 rounds of radiation will do that.

But please, PLEASE, unless you see my water breaking, don't ask me "Is it a boy or a girl?". Um, it's tamoxifen, thanks for asking.

I don't want to have to blurt out the truth any more than you want to hear it. But frankly, I'm tired of trying to make you feel better about your dumb mistake. Now, I just answer, "NOPE. It's cancer. Bellies look bigger when you've had your breasts removed." Sorry. I know you're probably driving home feeling stupid. Good.

And of course, the irony that you'll never know, is that I probably won't EVER be pregnant, thanks to all this lovely crap.

Don't you know that you never, unless you're absolutely sure, ask a woman if she's pregnant? You just don't. Ok, maybe if she's got her legs up in the air, is panting like a race horse, and someone with a surgical mask is yelling "PUSH" at her. But even then, you should really be sure before you ask.

And for god's sake, please, please PLEASE don't pat my belly. It's just fat and it's really embarrassing when you do that.

So unless you literally see a baby's head poking out of my vagina, please stop asking me if I'm pregnant.

I kicked cancer's ass. I can certainly kick yours.


PS - To be fair, I should mention that I am somewhat flattered that people think I might actually be having sex.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The End for the Beginning (trigs)

This blog was started because of my miscarriage, and today, June 2nd, is my un-due date. The date my twins were expected to arrive (OK technically, they would have probably been early, but today marked my 40 weeks). I must admit I’m conflicted because today is honestly bittersweet. Today would have closed an interesting chapter in my life. The chapter where I was “supposed” to be pregnant…..the chapter I was supposed to be preparing to become a Mom. It was a chapter that never exactly got to be revealed the way I thought. But see, as most of you know I’m getting the chance to do that again….so maybe this chapter gets to continue in it’s own way, but what I CAN do is start to say good-bye to the reason it started.

First, I do feel the need to say I am so grateful to be able to still have another due date to look forward too, but I think I will always wonder what it would have been like to be a twin mom, to actually have my twins. I will always wonder what they would have looked liked, if they were boys or girls (or one of each), and today I wonder exactly how my life would be different this very second. I love my twins for what they gave me-my first chance to be a Mom in all it’s joy and sorrow, and although I will never understand why they had to leave I do understand that if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be pregnant with THIS baby. This EXACT baby wouldn’t exist, and that is a thought that is almost incomprehensible at times.

To my angel babies: Mommy and Daddy loved you then, and still love you now. We will never forget the day we were told you wouldn't be coming home to us, we miss you often, and you will always be in our hearts. You were our first, and always will be… helped give us your sibling, and for that we are forever grateful.