Monday, March 31, 2008

We have ourselves a munchkin

A quick update: our little bundle has arrived, and she's a girl-bundle, I'm delighted to report.

She came a month early and quite underweight because I had a pregnancy condition called pre-eclampsia, which is dangerous for both mommy and baby. They had to induce me and deliver her, which is the only treatment for this condition.

We spent 11 days in the hospital, but I'm happy to report that we're now home, our little feeding machine is gaining lots of weight and growing stronger every day. She's cuddled up on me as I write this. I never imagined I could love something this much.

I'll post more when I can. Take care!


Thursday, March 13, 2008


(As an aside, I seem to have pulled my neck simply by standing. Boys and girls, this is the sad reality of ageing. And also the sad reality of the last trimester of pregnancy, when your ligaments are turning to so much over-cooked spaghetti so as to ease open the pelvis for the emerging newt.

I had to teach Monday and Tuesday, was on my feet all day both days, and was visited by more aches, pains, strains, and physical problems in those two days than I normally endure in an entire year. The first day, I got a visual migraine in the middle of lunch and completely lost my vision for about 45 minutes. As soon as I could see again, I realized I'd eaten something indigestible at lunch and the abdominal pain and swelling nearly ended the class with a bang.

After a night of moaning, groaning, suffering, and little sleep (I'll be 9 months pregnant next week and sleep is a distant memory), I hobbled back to class. Mid-morning, I suffered a spontaneous neck strain that, two days later, seems to actually be getting worse rather than better. I have no idea how I did it. All I know is that by mid-afternoon, I couldn't move my head at all. Also, my feet and ankles have swollen to about the same size as my neck, and I can't move those either. I have become a statue of elephantine misery.)

Just about the only part of me that's not uncomfortable is my fingertips, so I've been doing some surfing around. I found this neat blog, IKEA Hacker, featuring the creative ways in which people have MacGyvered (not sure you'll know what that means if you're not from let's say "Frankensteined") IKEA products into wonderful custom creations, and they show you how you can do it too. Because, let's face it, if you're going to buy furniture from IKEA, you're probably looking for a quick fix to a household problem--so why not make that a custom fix instead? It's not like cutting into your grandmother's 500 year-old harvest table, after all. We're talking about pine and particle board, for the most part. If your hack goes wrong, you don't have to feel too bad.

Pics above are all from IKEA Hacker:

1. A MALM bed someone customized with over-sized digital prints from a design shop's scrap pile.
2. A customized SISKAS chandelier.
3. A MAME dinner table turned into a Ms.Pacman game!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Can't talk now, making the switch to minimalism...

I've been posting with the consistency of a 20-year-old Promises outpatient. (It's that rehab clinic the celebribrats go to...Britney, Lindsay, etc....nevermind.) So no comments lately...Well...that's okay. I came into this blogging world alone, and alone I shall wander. Plus, I know there be lurkers.

It's just that I've been decluttering, you see. Well, half decluttering and half reading decluttering tips online, which allows me to virtually experience the release of decluttering without any pesky necessity for getting-off-my-ass-and-actually-doing-anything.

We have gotten rid of a mound of stuff in the run-up to baby's arrival, though. Mountains of clothes. Piles of old batteries (those can just go right in the garbage, right? :^) Entire cities of CD jewel cases, old knicknacks, paperback books, and reams and reams of paper, magazines, and old phone bills.

I've got to say...IT FEELS SO GOOD to get rid of all this crap. I'm not saying we're anywhere near crapless, but our crap quotient has dwindled to a shadow of its former self. And as a bonus, we might be able to squeeze a newborn infant into our house now.

Something magical has happened while we've been going through this process: my husband and I have become habitual declutterers.

I was the first to make the evolutionary leap, deciding to get rid of anything I haven't used in more than a year. At first, my husband had a hard time with this. He's more frugal than I am and doesn't like to part with purchased goods. But just last night I caught him going through his closet muttering to himself, "Now what else can I get rid of in here?" It nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Something else I've noticed since this process started: I'm really hesitant to buy new stuff now. I mean, heh heh, don't get me wrong. There will always be room for shoes. But now that we have all this glorious space, the thought of clogging it up with junk seems abhorrent.

Here are a few GREAT decluttering blogs I've come across on my journey:

Unclutterer (a fab site for decluttering tips and tricks)
FlyLady (a great site if you have trouble establishing a cleaning routine)
ZenHabits (philosophical approaches to simplicity and minimalism)
LifeHacker (technical tools to make life simpler)

And for you writers out there, check out these old-school detechnifiers that reduce the mental clutter and formatting temptations of Word and Wordperfect:

Writeroom (a writing application that emulates old black-and-yellow screens with no formatting, etc., so you can't be distracted from the pure act of writing)
AlphaSmart (a keyboard that operates like an old-school typewriter so you can't go back and edit that last sentence into oblivion)

Stay tuned: I am now one step closer to posting those photos of the mailbox trip...

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