Saturday, October 18, 2008

ER- Goodbye Abby

As a follow-up to my previous "TV Junkie" blog, I wrote a blog as I watched this week's episode of ER- Abby Lockhart's final show. I'd forgotten that it was her last one until about 10 minutes before it started. I totally got bummed out, because she is my favorite! So as I watched the episode, I jotted down notes that I knew I'd want to blog about later. Forgive the random-ness. It's very stream-of-thought writing. Shall we begin:

I'm afraid I'm gonna sob through this entire episode.

It's so sad to watch her admit it to Neela that she's leaving. I don't blame Neela for being upset she didn't know earlier! They're like best friends and have leaned on each other since med school, through all their tough and crazy times.

"Am I being Punk'd?" HAHAHA! Favorite line of the night.

I think Angela Bassett will be an interesting addition to the show. I watched her as the boss on Alias, and at first the characters seem similar. But there's been some hinting about more to her character. I hope so.

I can't believe Abby is leaving! She's been my favorite character for such a long time. Even though she maddens me at times, I still love her. She's so very human. She definitely seems like a real person, not just a fictional character on a TV show.

I don't quite get this whole depressing Bible reading. I don't know if it actually is verse or so from the Bible or just something made to sound like it. The episode is titled "The Book of Abby." But it's rather depressing. Appropriate for her character, but depressing.

I actually like Archie Morris now. He was such a worthless tool when he first came on. But he's rather matured. I trust and like him now. I feel awful for him that Greg died. You can see how hard it's been on him.

Ahhh, classic Abby, awkward and emotionally distant. Cracks me up as she tells Lucian she's leaving.

I've always wondered if this show is actually shot in Chicago. I assume at least part of it is, but I wonder if all of it is. Clearly, I've never cared enough to look it up...

Wow, she's been on 10 years? And what a 10 years it has been! Way to go Abby! Stand up for your bad self!

Here's my consolation. Even if Abby is gone from ER, I'll still have her with me. Both in re-runs and in BECU commercials. I'm pretty sure Maura Tierney narrates them. I haven't confirmed it, but if it's not her, it's her voice-twin.

*sigh* It's still so sad....

I do wish she had dolled up a little more. She looks really pretty with blong highlights and a little makeup. But she only kept that style for a couple seasons.

Preach it Abby! Way to back your girl! Love her chewing out the board. Hahaha. For some reason, I never felt like Abby and Sam had much of a relationship. They seemed to co-exist but not really interact that much.

What a cool wall! I want a picture of it, with all the old locker name plates! I wonder who's been there the longest now. There are some nurses who've been there the whole time, but I can't think of a series regular. Maybe Archie? Weird...

Awwww... Sweet. Abby and Frank dancing.

Archie- I'm right there with you buddy, in your disbelief and sadness.

At least she leave on a smile and a kiss from her big, hunky Croat.

*wailing* Bwaaaa-aaaaaa-aaaaa!!! Why did she have to go?!?!

I love this show.

So there you go. My notes from Abby's final episode. Somethings I remembered later are that on that wall with all the old names, I saw a couple names that I didn't remember as characters, but I did recognize the name. It bugged me until I rememebered that Lydia Woodward was a producer or something on the show, so I would bet that's who the "L. Woodward" is. In fact, the other names (which someone wrote out on another site) are all former producers and a makeup artist. What a nice way to pay homage to them. I wish I could find that picture though...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TV Junkie

It's true. I'm obsessed with TV. I watch it all the time. I have my own little schedule of what I was each day, I have a show for every hour. And I am grateful everyday that we have cable. I would go crazy without it, I think. It was especially useful when Jilly was a newborn and I was up half the night nursing her.

My favorite shows to watch are: ER, Crossing Jordan, Gilmore Girls, CSI: Miami, Without A Trace, A Baby Story, House, Las Vegas, almost anything on E!, Project Runway, Tabatha's Salon Takeover, Nanny 911, Reba, Still Standing, Jeopardy, Friends, Scrubs, and The Simpsons. I can almost always find one of these shows on to watch. It's rather pathetic that I get so invested in them, but hey, I learn something from most of them, or just get pure amusement out of the others.

I love Jon & Kate Plus 8, A Baby Story, and Nanny 911 because I learn about being a mother from them. They cover all sorts of different situations and I like seeing how other people handle things.

Crossing Jordan, Without A Trace and Las Vegas are just fun with a healthy portion of crime/mystery solving. Fascinating characters too. House is the same but with medical mysteries. Plus, it's funny. :-)

Friends, Reba, Scrubs, Still Standing and The Simpsons are just those fun, evening sitcoms that are always running in syndication and I've seen pretty much all the episodes of the first four, and a lot of the last one.

CSI: Miami has got to be one of the best TV shows of our lives. First off, let me explain something very important to you. Contrary to popular belief, marketing campaigns, and network classification, CSI: Miami is NOT a drama. It is a one-hour comedy. In fact, the C does not stand for Crime, it stands for Comedy. This show is affectionately referred to as Comedy Scene Investigation in our house, or the shorter, Comedy Scene. Once you change your perspective to a comedic one, the show becomes amazing! How can you not love Horatio Caine and his sunglasses?! The beginning of the show is always our favorite, when you hear some quippy, possibly ironic or punnish phrase and then it cuts to the scream at the beginning of the theme song. Hilarious!! Calleigh is a sassy and fairly level-headed ballistics expert who is serious about her job, but still a fun girl. Eric Delko is the half Russian, half-Cuban ladies man (though most of the time the Russian thing is forgotten) who always is wearing a flowerly shirt and light pants. He rarely wears a suit. Ryan Wolfe (who we used to call Fake Greg, but now love WAY more) is the former patrol cop turned CSI turned TV reporter turned back CSI. He got shot in the eye with a nail gun, and still manages to look fly in his green shirt and tie with grey suits. ;-) Anyway, the characters actually are friends and work hard at their jobs but are fairly happy people, which means they're funnier. I think they actually care about their boss more and are more of a family. H is a way more charismatic leader than Grissom, he fights for each of his people and for all the victims. He never forgets a criminal, and eventually catches them all. As he said to Clavo Cruz, "In Miami, We. Never. Close." Awesome!

Plus, it is a way prettier show to watch than either of the other two CSIs. They're all dark and gloomy, shot through that awful blue filter. Miami is shot through a yellow filter, resulting in what Entertainment Weekly called "glorious HD porn." (One of my most favorite-ist things ever from that magazine. ;-)) The people are prettier, the stories are glitzier and the locations are flashier. Ooh, and there are most explosions and shoot-outs. It can't get much better than that!

This brings me to ER, perhaps my MOST FAVORITE SHOW EVER!!! I started watching ER when I was in middle school, with my mom. She and I both have a strong interest in all things medical (make sense why she's a nurse practioner and I wanted to be a doctor), so that sucked us in initially. But we stayed for the characters. Doug & Carol! Mark Greene! John Carter! Benton! Elizabeth Corday! Romano! Sam! Luka! ABBY! to name a few. I have favorite episodes of all of these characters. I feel like I know them, like they're family. Now that I watch all the episodes in syndication on TNT as an adult, I get to know them more each time. Hands down, Abby Lockhart is my favorite character EVER on the show. John Carter is next, with Luka right behind, then Mark and Elizabeth. The love stories are the best. All the medical stuff keeps me interested, but I really want to see how they all grow and change. Who gets married, has babies, who dies, who quits, who gets fired, etc. Right now on TNT, we are in the seaons where Carter is in the Congo and knocks up his girlfriend. In a few episodes, we will get to one of the saddest hours of television of all time. I sob every time I see it. So sad. I definitely have my favorite episodes of each season, or multiple episodes. In fact, I started watching the new episodes again on Thursday nights. Poor Steve totally get ditched on Thursday nights. He has to go to bed by himself and I spent a quality hour with John Stamos. ;-)

Add to all this that we watch a healthy amount of ESPN, FSN, and The Soup. We watch a lot of TV. We'll probably change that at some point. For now, I am pretty happy being such a TV junkie. :-D

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Change of Mind

I've been thinking about possbily going with a midwife and a birth center for my next baby. I had Jilly with a traditional OB/GYN and a medicated hospital birth. I was quite satisfied with my experience and didn't see why I would want to do it any other way. I have a friend who has very different philosophies on birth, and I heard a lot from her on them. For awhile I didn't think her ideas would work for me, and I would just stick with what I knew and liked. But then she took me to see The Business of Being Born, a documentary, at the Seattle Film Festival. I still held back for a little bit, but ultimately decided to investigate it.

There are a few things that appealed to me with an unmedicated birth. There seems to be less pressure. Obviously, not necessarily less physical pressure, a baby still has to come out. ;-) But less emotional/mental pressure. Pressure to progress in a certain time frame. Pressure to conform to someone else's agenda or standards, as opposed to following your body's cues. Pressure to allow things to be done, interventions like IVs and medication and such. Having a more relaxed birth sounded really nice! I was also relieved to find out that outside of a hospital, you're not restricting from eating or drinking. Certain movements, which are impossible when confined to bed with an epidural, seemed very instinctual and natural. Really, the whole idea of being more present and participatory in the birth of my baby was very appealing.

When I was pregnant with Jilly, I viewed the labor & delivery as something that would happen to me, rather than something I would be doing. That perspective made me place all my faith in my doctor and nursing staff. That also meant that all the decisions were up to them, and they would be doing all the work. I would just lay there and eventually a baby would come out. I obviously didn't have any problems with that philosophy, but I think it was coming from a place of fear, since I had never experienced birth before. Because I've been through it before now, I know better what to expect, not just the process of birth (and how messy it is) but the pain and rhythm of it as well.

I would say that the most frustrating part of Jilly's labor was pushing. All the issues that I had converged in this one period of time. I had an epidural that worked so well, I couldn't feel anything below my waist. I could feel some pressure, right when she was crowning, but other that-nothing. I didn't know she had come out until my sister started crying. I had NO control over any muscles in my legs. I couldn't lift them at all. It made it really difficult to figure out how to push. I had no way to tell if I was doing it right or not, or how to adjust it, since I couldn't feel. I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction either! The IV was really frustrating for me, because it hurt in my hand. Everytime I had to move my hand, it hurt worse. Then the nurses wanted me to grab my leg, to push and I couldn't because the clenching hurt the worst. By the time I started pushing it was almost 2pm. I had been awake since about 2am, having only gotten 2-3 hours of sleep. I was so tired. I hadn't eaten dinner since the night before, so I was starving. I was so exhausted mentally and physically, that I couldn't even vocalize how I was feeling. I just wanted to a sandwich and a nap, but instead everyone was around me, telling me what to do. But I got through it and my sweet little girl was born.

At the end of pushing, Jilly's heartrate decelerated because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and was being compressed as she came through the birth canal. It was taking a little while to get her past the pubic bone, and when her heartrate didn't go back up, the doctor got worried. She brought in a vacuum and assisted the delivery. Because Jilly came out in such a hurry, there was no time for me to stretch. I ended up with some quite painful tearing that I didn't recover from for a long time. As I learned about natural childbirth, I realized that I didn't necessarily have to repeat that experience. By using better positions to push from (standing, squatting, etc) and not having medication masking me ability to feel and use my muscles, I could give birth more effectively and possibly with less damage. Which means recovery should be much easier. That sounds fantastic! Especially when considering that then I would have two (or more) kids, not just one newborn. ;-)

So overall, I realized that giving birth in a hospital with a traditional OB/GYN would make it very difficult to birth the way I want to. There would be pressure to get an IV, have my membranes artifically ruptured, to be given pitocin, and have to lay flat in bed for hours. The thought of having to either give in or continuously fight with hospital staff over it seemed like it would defeat the relaxed, peaceful birth I desire (an experience my friend had gone through and been traumatized because of.) But I was still very uncomfortable with a home birth. I was worried about not having immediate access to equipment and personnel, in the case of something bad happening. Also, I didn't really like the idea of being at home for the birth, strange as that sounds. I think I would feel very claustorphobic and then associate all that pain and discomfort with my home. Plus, birth is REALLY messy. I didn't want to even have to think about that mess being in my home, even if someone else took care of cleaning it! I needed a middle ground. I decided that a birth center, in close proximity to a hospital, with a mid-wife would be the route I wanted to take. I got online and started looking up places around this area and talking to friends who had given birth without intervention, trying to learn everything I could.

There are fears I have about this, however. I do worry about not being in the hospital, mere yards from an OR if the need for a C-Section arose. I worry about my ability to handle the pain and whether I will get too exahusted to go all the way through. I know it worries both Steve and my mom, the two people I count on to keep me sane and get me through things like this, and I don't want to cause them more stress. I worry that I will have to get in the car and go home before I feel ready. (I stayed in the hospital for 2 days after Jilly was born. Most people go home from the birth center 4-6 hours after birth.) I worry that I won't feel comfortable enough. I worry that I'll get caught in the fear-tension-pain cycle and it will be miserable. And I flat out worry that something will go wrong and hurt the baby or me, and/or that I will end up with more pain and an overall negative experience.

But as I explore this more and more, the more confident I feel. I am going to meet with a couple of midwives and ask them tons of questions. I want to not only assuage my own fears, but Steve's as well, so that we are both comfortable with this. I still reserve the right to change my mind and cry for the epidural! ;-) But I think this is something I can do, and more, something I want to do.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Work whinings

Today we're running into weather issues plus it's a Saturday, which means I am generally grumpy about work. Customers are driving me nuts and I have very little patience with them. And because I'm annoyed, I need a place to vent.

I love it when customers try to lecture me on how my company works. It's hysterical. I've only worked here, at various stations and in multiple positions for 3 1/2 years. What do I know? It especially confuses and annoys me when customers question things that have been the exact same the entire time I've been here.

I get really mad when people start getting mad at me about the weather. It's not like I purposely planned to mess with your vacation and caused this fog or wind just to screw with you! For heaven's sakes. It's not like I want you in my face any more than you want to be here. In fact, I'd probably rather you leave and get away from me more than you want to leave. I genuinely feel bad when people's plans get messed up, but for the last time: it's not my fault there is fog. I didn't do it!

Why bother writing an email back to a company to complain about how long the confirmation email is, when printed? Seriously dudes! If you only need a certain part of it, then use those handy-dandy options in the print menu to select only one page to print. *Rolls eyes*

And I'm sorry, but did I answer the phone saying, "Thank you for calling Aimee's travel agency" ? The answer is NO! This is an airline. We only book flights for our airline. Yes, we do have certain relationships with specific hotels and can book those for you, but we cannot and will not arrange your rental car, your connections in and out of Sea-Tac or call your daughter in Phoenix. So please don't ask me to, and really, don't get mad at me when I can't.

Along those lines, please please please have your stuff together when you call. Chances are we have other customers waiting on hold, and when it takes you three minutes to hunt up your confirmation number or remember where you want to travel or get your passport out of the safe, it makes other people wait even longer and stresses me out. So show some courtesy and have yourself together before you call.

*sigh* Sometimes I just get a little worn out with all the crap we get. It's true what my mom always said (much as I hate to admit it): You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Be calm, and dare I suggest it, flexible, and people will be much more willing to help you, even go above and beyond to do so. If you're rude and mean, then they'll want to get rid of you as fast as possible, either by telling you "Too bad, solve it yourself" or referring you to their mananger, who they've warned that you're a crazy mean old person, so they won't want to help you either. Just a suggestion. ;-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not the shiningest of mornings...

This morning I woke up GRUMPY. Jilly decided that 7:15am was the perfect time to wake up, I disagreed. I tried to bribe her with a sippy cup to give me another hour, and she cried. I let her come lay in my bed, she cried. I threw a pillow at her, she cried. After 30 minutes of fighting it, I gave in, but was rather a bad sport about it. I growled at her and told her to get herself off the bed, while I went to the bathroom. She did so, crying. I think I freaked her out with how upset I was. I'm not usually like that, and almost NEVER in the morning (at least not out loud). Anyway, I then decided that for her safety and my sanity, I would take a shower before making any rash decisions on corporal punishment for a toddler. She got parked on the couch with cereal, a sippy cup and cartoons. She rather enjoyed it. I got my shower, mellowed and decided to take advantage of her fixation on TV and finish the blog about New Mexico.

Awhile later, she got bored with TV and wanted to see what I was up to. She wandered into her room (where the computer was) and mostly amused herself for awhile. I had to keep fighting her to close the desk drawers, but other than that it went okay. Before I knew it, a couple hours had gone by and the room had quite a foul odor. Oops... I was so lost in the blogging world, I spaced out on my baby's basic needs! Dang, I feel like a loser on that one. It got worse. Her pjs were soaked and as I changed her, I found her legs were quite moist, all the way down to her feet. Oh man, I'm a bad mom! Luckily, my child loves baths. So I ran a bubble bath for her, and she happily played in there for another 30 minutes (don't worry I kept a close eye on her).

I ended up spending most of the morning on the computer rather than playing with her. I feel kinda bad about it, but at the same time, I got a lot of stuff done! I figure one day won't kill her. Plus she doesn't seem to have harbored any resentment about it. She was overjoyed with her lunch of chicken nuggets and was quite sweet as I laid her down for a nap. So all's well that ends well, I guess.


Some people may wonder why I feel the need to have my own personal blog. Because I can, I say. ;-) No, really, it's just that I have things I want to blog about, but it doesn't seem appropriate to do so on our family blog. Then Steve started his own blog, so I copied him.

My intention with this blog is to use it as an outlet. It's a place where I can post about whatever I want, positive or negative, funny or stupid (or both!), some of my failings and my triumphs as a mama, as a wife and as a woman.

I feel like I live my life in a blog. I experience certain things and started writing blogs in my head. Unfortunately few of them make it onto the computer, but I'm hoping to change that. Lofty aspirations, I know. But here we go!