Monday, August 31, 2009

Hold the Phones...It's Not Just Me & You?

Ok. So right. This is an obvious one.

In about 3 months Lucille Jean R. will be here. In our lives. Consuming them. And we'll be consuming her with love and kisses and pictures and excitement.

Now here is where I get to sound like the worst soon-to-be-mother ever. What happens to You and I? And by 'You' I mean JasonR and by 'I' I mean LeahC. Jason and I have known each other for over 10 years now. We are both a little on the odd side which we recognize and it's because we walk on that side of weird that I think we love each other so much. In addition because we worked together for so long with a group of people that we didn't really fit in to we spent a lot of time together alone.

We found that we love hanging out with each other. The fun thing about being friends for a year and a half before dating is that we are still best friends. People always have these packed weekends filled with fun Chicago parties and outings and whatevers and when they ask what I did I always say, "Um...well Jason and I went for a walk. Then we sat in the park and read". Or something to that effect. We don't have to have any plans to have a great time together, in fact it is the weekends and the evenings where "we don't do anything" that I enjoy the most. Of course we are doing stuff, but it's not anything that would be interesting or fun sounding to anyone else.

Well what happens when a third party enters the party? Will we have time for just him and me? Will we care? Will we notice? I think what's important is recognizing that this could be a question and is a new situation that will arise. A baby changes everything as we all know. And it changes it for the better. But recognizing situations that could be a little tough or stressful is a good thing. Well that's my opinion anyways.

Ok. Thus ending my worst soon-to-be-mother rant, I'll go on to say that Lucy has been kicking up a storm and I love it. She moved a lot when I was getting my tooth drilled out for a cap that is going on a back tooth and I'm wondering if it was loud for her. Hopefully she get's her father's teeth and not these awful teeth that come down the LeahC line.

Hi there, it's Jason. And yeah, I also hope she doesn't get the LeahC teeth. She can have all the rest of LeahC's traits though (and whaddya know, she does!), but the teeth we can pass on.

I think having a baby is a funny thing. It's like, hey, things are great between us and we're happy so maybe it's time to have a kid. I mean, it's only a decision that will effect our lives UNTIL WE DIE. No biggie. And if we lose us, no biggie, it's not like it's a irrevocable decision or anything.

Oh wait.

And so, yeah, it's a scary concept. I guess I just try to look at the people who don't stop living their lives because they have a kid. The kids just become a part of their lives and joins the fun instead of the parents rewriting their lives completely because they had a kid. I look to the parents who didn't erase who they are and what they enjoy in the name of having a family. Perhaps there are times that has to be done, but I'd hope that's a last resort.

And what I most take to heart is that nobody has ever said that a kid has changed their lives for the worse, which is pretty impressive. So while changing a dynamic that has been working pretty damn well for the last 10 years is certainly scary, I think it's just another challenge to incorporate Li'l Lucy into our family the right way. We just have to make sure we don't lose "us" when we upgrade to "all of us".

(oh, and don't believe a word of LeahC when she says anything about being a terrible mother. It is not physically possible for her to be anything less than a spectacular mother. She just don't have the capacity to be anything other than great. So there.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Week

Wait it's Friday already.

And Hold. The. Phones. Today is August 28th. Ok so then. September 28th = 1, October 28th = 2 & November 28th = 3. Shit. That means 3 months from right now Lucy could be here. Knowing my luck she'll being enjoying herself too much not joining us and so I'll still be large and round and just hoping she comes out soon. Either way. 3 months. That's crazy! I feel like we found out we were pregnant like just a few weeks ago. Time flies!

To ring in her 3 months to go she's been moving like crazy. After the Software Craftsmanship North America conference we went out to a meetup and I stood around and chatted with people for oh about 4 hours. When we got home and I had the chance to lay down the child went crazy. Jason looked at my undulating stomach and then at me and asked, "What the hell is she doing in there?" Who knows...what do the babies do in there. Maybe she's like her father who can never get comfortable (seriously..have you ever sat next to him in a movie theater? It's infuriating.) and so she's just trying to find that impossible perfectly comfortable position.

We also think she's really shy because I'll be sitting there reading or knitting and she'll be moving and I'll call people over to look at it or feel it and then she stops. All together stops moving. So there, she doesn't like to be looked at and already wants to be left alone. When I was a little girl and I would get mad I would always shout, "DON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME!!!!" As if not looking at me would solve all the problems and thus I would win the fight. I never won the fight.

Great day at work yesterday. Finally was able to help the code base a little and fix a teeny tiny part of it. But baby steps is what it's all about. Hopefully people pay attention to the e-mail about where to keep parts of the code so that we can keep things nice and neat!

We have another packed weekend this weekend although I'm about 1/2 through The Hunger Games and I might have to cancel everything to finish it. My cousin Lisa has been telling me to read this for about a year now and wow is it good. I already highly recommend it. Looks like book 2 in the series is coming out soon and I'm already itching to read it. But other than the reading we are meeting friends for breakfast tomorrow morning, then we have a wedding for the rest of the day. Then on Sunday we have the cloth diapering class and that's about it.

So yeah. We bring in the third trimester and we keep up with the busy. I think that next week will be pretty calm which is nice. Also if you live in Chicago start using the Chicago Public Library online holding system. You can search for books and then send them to whatever the cloest library to you is. Then you get a nice e-mail telling you when your book has arrived. I have not taken advantage of the library like I should have been and so it's been a nice find. Also the Lincoln-Belmont branch is very nice and I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good. Long. Weekend.

Jason and I took off early Friday morning for a long weekend trip to Manistee, MI where we hung out with our good friends Jake and LaurA!

Jake's Dad is a sculptor (you can see his work here at and does really amazing things. Outside their cottage they have a deck, called the Artdeck and his sculptures are set out on display. And not just on the deck, but he has things hanging from all the trees surrounding the deck and placed in the woods around the house. It was really really amazing and beautiful. You can catch pictures of the artdeck via that link.

Although it rained most of the weekend we had a great time. The area is beautiful and it was nice to be away from the city for a few days. After we got there on Friday Jake and LaurA! took us to the beach and we walked and chatted and I took this picture of our hosts:

Remember when I said that I have to get better at people and low light photography? No? Well I did. So this is me practicing taking pictures of people. Not bad...or at least getting better all the time. Like with anything practice makes perfect.

We got back to Chicago at about 1:45 and enjoyed a beautiful Day in Chicago. We went for a run which didn't go so well. Did 2ish miles instead of 3...and did some walking in there. Spent the rest of the night relaxing, reading, working on photography and of course a Law and Order was thrown in there for good measure.

This week should be pretty great. One evening we are meeting up with my old friend for dinner. Well she's not old but we met when we were in preschool. Yeah...that means I've known her for about 27 years. Holy hell. yeah. That's right 27 years....cause I turn a big fat 30 in exactly one month from today. Also going to the Software Craftsmanship North America conference on Wednesday which should be a great time. Tomorrow morning I am getting a crown put on my tooth. That won't be fun, but hoping to bypass needing to get a root canal and pulling the tooth by doing some preventative care. Why does preventative care mean big bucks. I guess it does mean that but it probably also means less big bucks that if you wait it out.

This weekend we have a wedding AND I know now this is the really exciting thing A CLOTH DIAPERING CLASS! I know. I know it's so exciting that you just lept off of your chair in happiness. Well exciting for us anyways. Our friend Lydia has already given us lots of information about said cloth diapering but we are trying to get as much information as possible because it's all new to us.

So yeah, that's the recap of the weekend and the plan for the week. And it looks like this build might just about be done so time to look at some tickets for today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So according to that little widget over there ------------------>

There are 100 days left until Baby Lu comes to greet us. Give or take a few days.


That's ... well...that's close. When we got the positive pregnancy test back in March we were in a bit of shock to say the least and it seemed like we had so far to go. But there were milestones to look forward to. Our first ultrasound at 8 weeks to see her little heart fluttering, getting through the first trimester free and clear, the big boy ultrasound at 20 weeks to find out if we would be greeting a son our a daughter and of course making sure that all the parts were in place and 100 days has been on my list of ok, now we can start counting in double digits. After this there is week 28 to start to the last third of the adventure, and then just holding on until she arrives. Well maybe 36 weeks is a good one too....a month to go seems like a good milestone.

When I run a marathon I have similar ways to get through the race. I look forward to parts of the race because I can't think about the whole thing because I'll just curl up and cry at the beginning. But if you just think about getting to the next big thing then it's not so bad.

Oh I have some baby showers coming up that will be fun to start getting the baby's room put together and organized. Not at all terrifying. Right?

This weekend Jason and I travel to the Artdeck and are really looking forward to a relaxing trip. Also always fun to hang out with the Jake and the LaurA! I had planned on getting to the lake front path to take some pictures very early in the morning tomorrow but turns out that even though the sun doesn't rise until 6am, I would have to be set up taking pictures by 4am to get the dark light that I want for the experiment that I want to run. So I'm guessing we won't be doing that. Jason is hoping anyways.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rainbows, Bellyaches and Kicks...Oh My!

I have become enamored with my new iPhone photo apps. They are obviously no replacement for my real pictures (not even close) but I have become much more inspired to get moving with my real photos on a more consistent basis. I use the regular camera on the iPhone and then I use two programs that I mentioned here earlier, CameraBag and Photogene. Then I use Flickit to push the photos up to my flickr account. I don't use flickr for anything except these iPhone photos because it's so fast and it's a nice way to keep a record of places I've been. Or at least scenes I've seen. Like these two:

I took those while I was waiting for Jason at the corner of Clark and Madison for our afternoon coffee meetup.

So with my new found inspiration, Jason and I went for a walk out to the lakefront path after dinner so I could take some photos with my real camera of the rainy evening.

As we were walking out there my stomach starting to hurt really bad and my skin on my belly felt really hard. I was like..hmm..that's annoying and a little worrysome. But it wasn't anything really bad like a contraction or anything so we just stopped for about 5 minutes. Later I was realizing that I ran out of the house right after eating dinner. I'm wondering if my stomach and Lucy's home were fighting for space and the baby had to get pushed to the outside. I have no idea, but I only ever get that feeling after I eat and so that's what I'm saying the deal is.

We almost cut the walk short (because as Jason told me I didn't have to be a hero) but kept going to the lake front and when we got to Sheridan Road we saw a FULL rainbow! It was 180 degrees and amazing! We continued walking to about Diversey and then headed back home. It was a great evening walk even thought things started a little on the rocky side. Here is one of the pictures I ended up with (click on the photo for a bigger version at my photoblog

I need some work with low light photography. I tend to shy away from both low light stuff and pictures of people and so like with everything practice makes perfect. When I got my camera it was hard for me to take any kind of picture with it and I just practiced and tried things until I had the hang of it. I have to do the same thing with low light photography. As far as people goes..well I'll probably start with Lucy and go from there :).

Speaking of Little Lu, she has been a little calmer during the day. I had gotten used to her doing a little dance around 10 or 11 in the morning and I don't know if it's because I've been a little more on edge or what but she hasn't been doing that as much. The last two mornings as I am just waking up, however, she's been a crazy baby. This morning I grabbed Jason's hand and put it on my stomach. He was like. oh holy hell there she goes (I might have been sad the night before because I hadn't felt her move as much). Maybe she's turning into a night baby...or a morning baby. Oh who the hell knows. I just know I love when she wiggles in there.

Tonight I am going to visit my friend Jean who is 35 weeks pregnant. Apparently her baby will stick a foot out the side of her stomach and kick back if you push on it. I hope he does that when I'm there, I'm guessing it's painful for Jean, but fun for spectators!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How Did That Happen?

So I've kept up running throughout this pregnancy but you have probably noticed my posting about said running has gone down. That's because most of the running has really been "running". My usual course of action is to walk to the lakefront path and then run two miles and walk home. But the running part has been filed with leg pain, back aches and this fun pregnancy thing called ligament stretching (or something like that). So it hasn't been fun and more just pisses me off that actually being able to enjoy the time on the path.

On Sunday my Dad, Jason and I all laced up our shoes for a run together. We did the same thing that we usually do, but at the one mile turn around I realized I hadn't stopped to walk yet, nothing hurt, I wasn't laboring for breathing and so I said let's go out for another 1/2 mile and make this a 3 mile run. So we did and I continued to feel good. Still no pain, breathing was good. At the end of the run I realized that I could even pass a group of runners and that always feels good and so I did.

I'm pretty sure we were running about 11 min/mile (I haven't been starting my watch because my runs have been so worthless) and felt really solid. We are also working on gearing my Dad up for some training. His goal is to run the Indy Mini 1/2 marathon in May (so that we have to train through the winter) and then of course the Chicago Marathon in the fall. He's at a perfect place to start training and so we (and by we I mean I) just have to get him a training plan so he can get into a nice rhythm.

The rest of the weekend was great. I'm working on knitting a little sweater thing for Lucy which is making some progress. This picture is from Saturday night and I did a bunch more yesterday:

(Lucy is trying it on....she likes it I think). The bottom part of the sweater and the arms will be in a simple lace pattern and will continue in that purple color.

I'm hoping that I'm done with the body of it by the end of the weekend. Then I can go to Loopy Yarns on Monday when they have a sweater workshop to help me with the arms. After that I will have even more questions about the edging and this little tie thing that I have to these pom-pom things that have to go on the end of said ties. The good thing is that baby clothes are tiny and so none of it should take that long. Just so so so many questions! It's a great way to learn about sweater construction though because again, they clothes are teeny and so I can learn all the parts of a sweater in a short amount of time. This is a kimono style sweater so it should be nice for a baby.

This is short week because Jason and I are driving up to Michigan on Friday to hang out with Jake, Laura and Jake's Dad on the Artdeck. We are going to leave very very early on Friday morning and take our time driving up there. Hoping to find some small highways for part of the drive anyways.

Oh when I woke up this morning Lucy woke up too. It was funny. Hopefully she keeps that same behavior out of the womb. Up when Mom's up. A good rule I think!

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 Apps Worth Checking out

BlogPress - For blogging on the go! Works great for blogger and has other platforms available as well. $2.99

CameraBag - Update your photos to have cool effects on them. Several different effects including the sharp black and white in the previous post. $1.99 (This might be limited as where I saw it listed it was $2.99)

Photogene - Photoshop for your iphone. Lots of photo editing including, cropping, rotating, effects, sharpening, frames, + lots more. ($2.99).

So Yeah, go have fun with your photos.


Is a cool ass photoapp. Take a picture or use any picture on you camera and apply cool effects to them.

Blogpress also works really well

-- Post From My iPhone

Us after 5 years

Testing the iPhone app called blogpress.

-- Post From My iPhone

Write More to Write Better.

An e-mail got sent out at work today with some tips on how to be a better writer without having to work at it. While there was some good tips in it, I didn't like the topic of becoming a better writer without working at it. It's impossible to do that. The only way to get better at anything is to work at it. Want to run a marathon faster? You train harder. Want to get better in your job? Work harder and study. So why is it different for writing? True for all of these things it's nice to have some tips and tricks in your pocket, but in the end it's all about practice.

So now that I am on my high horse about writing making you a better writer, I better work at writing more. So while my code checks in at work, I'll take some time to do some updating here. Jason and I have a goal to write 4-5 times a week. Jason is working on starting a new blog. I'll post it here when he gets more in a rhythm of writing on it, but I can tell you so far it's *very* funny.

It must be funny as a parent when you see your kid acting a lot like you. Even more funny is when the kid realizes that they have so much of their parents in them. My dad is slightly stressed these days as he deals with some apartment renting drama and getting ready to go back into teaching after 4 years of retirement. Jason and I have been laughing because I'll question why he is acting the way he is and Jason just looks at me and say, "Really? You don't see it?" I'll step back and laugh when I realize that there is just about no difference between the way he is acting and the way I would respond to the same situation. My mom called me the other day and told me she fell off her bike and her knee swelled up. Not only did she finish her planned bike ride, but added on a couple miles for good measure. Yeah. How many times have I gone out running injured, just to get 5 or 6 miles out and have to hobble home in pain because I couldn't take the day off.

We are naming our daughter Lucille Jean after my two grandmothers and recently I realized how much of those two woman are in me. Lucille was my dad's mom and Jean is my mom's mom. I was knitting the other day and my dad said, "If my mom was here she would say, oh put that down and let's go to Wrigley Field". I laughed and said, "Yeah well my other grandmother would be fixing all these mistakes that I made." Not that I don't wish that I could be a every Cubs game because I do. My Dad's mom died when I was only 9 months old so I never met her (or that I remember anyways), but from the stories I have heard about her we are a lot alike. My mom's mom was always around when I was growing up and while me and her tended to disagree a lot some of her has seeped into me. Unfortunately, she is doing very badly these days as she struggles with the end stages of Alzheimer's and I think about how much she would have liked playing with Baby Lucy and it makes me sad that she won't be around to see her grow up. Or moreso see me being a mom.

But then I step back and I realize that she is in me. And Lucy will have some of that. And thus it continues down the line. We are all made up of the people that came before us. Now, I wonder what Lucy will be like with the crazy of the LeahC side and the calmness of the JasonR side. Maybe intense but calm about it? She'll be an oxymoron that's for sure and I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 Years Ago

We were getting ready to get married! I can't believe that great days was 5 years ago. So much has changed since then, most of all of course is my ever expanding stomach. So happy anniversary JasonR, I can't wait for the next stage of our life together.

Lucy is kicking like a fool these days which is fun although I think people I work with think I'm crazy because sometimes I'll just lean back and start staring at my belly. I think people are like, what is that woman doing. But since it took me so damn long to feel her in the first place I love it and I can't help it!

So you must all remember the shattered iPhone incident. Jason and his nerd boys at his company thought that they could replace the glass with a $22 kit they got off eBay. Since my shattered iPhone was in a way worse state than Jason's iPhone we decided to try mine first and then if it didn't work I'd get a new one and he would still have a functioning phone. Well shockingly it didn't work. I actually thought it would work, but oh well, it's only money right. So after work yesterday we walked acros the street and I got a new iPhone 3Gs. Oh and a case this time. I didn't get the big case because well it was huge, and I don't want the iPhone to turn into a spaceship. But I got some kind of protecting thing for it...hopefully if i drop it the case will break and not the phone this time.

The 3Gs does seem a lot snappier in speed than the 3G. The battery is already proving to last longer, and of course the camera upgrades are great. Plus there is the video camera. Which is fun.

My dad and stepmom are having a good time in Chicago. They are actually looking for a furnished condo to rent (the deal they had looks like it's fallen through). If anyone out there has a lead on such a place please let me know by e-mailing

I took a bunch of pictures of Jason running at the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon and you can see them all by going to my smugmug gallery here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Bit Short

So I have been a bit short of breath these days. According to my pregnancy book this is totally normal, but no less annoying. It's nothing crazy either like I'm gasping for breath. I'll mention it when I see my doctor tomorrow. Tomorrow is our 24 week appointment where I will do this glucose screening test. I have to drink some orange drink (the doctor said it tastes kind of like Fanta...I say she's not telling the full truth) and then they will draw blood within 1 hour of that. If that comes back negative I'm good to go. If it comes back positive I'll have to do some other kind of 3 hour test where I have to stay there and they'll pull my blood every so often during that 3 hour period. I'm hoping I pass with flying colors on the first round.

My Dad and stepmom are safely in town and already being put on lots of little odd jobs around my apartment. Although they both start real jobs in the next few weeks so they'll be a little busy with that (and a little anxious these days ...not that I'm talking about anyone specific...not you Dad ;) ).

With them here and all the stuff that still has to get done I'm thinking time will start to fly by. They are staying with us for the next couple weeks and then will move down the street to their awesome place on Addison and Sheridan. After they move out we can start getting the baby's room in order (it's very fun calling it the baby's room). We are getting rid of our guest bed and moving a desk into our room and thus need to rearrage our bedroom as well. We are going to paint in the room and we have a lot of things to hang on the wall, and we want to figure out some clever lighting solutions. We thought about keeping the desk in the room and making it a joint nursery/office, but decided that we want that room to be for baby only and a nice room that we can hang with them in if we want to.

Baby showers galore coming up and so we've been working on our registry. Thankfully my friend Jean is about 9 weeks ahead of me and has taken a lot of classes and knows a lot about things I should really make sure I have and things I hadn't thought about.

Jason and I went "running" yesterday. I use the word running fairly loosly these days. We walk to the lakefront path (1 mile) then run out a mile and back a mile and then walk the 1 mile back home for a total of 4 miles of activity. The running isn't easy (for obvious) reasons so I'm just doing my best and walk if I feel like I need to. I figure I ran about 1.5 miles of the 2 yesterday. Since I haven't been as consistant with the running as I would have liked I'm having non-pregnancy issues like sore legs and some shin splints. It really helps to have someone to run with me though as I can make sure I'm not going to hard and I just feel more comfortable knowing if something were to happen someone is there. So we'll go again Wednesday. Now that Jason is done with his training for the 1/2 he is free to run with me full time. And I want to try and run 3-4 times a week and see how that goes.

24 weeks means 16 to go. That's the amount of time from when I found out I was pregnant till the 20 week untra sound. Which went pretty fast....although this time I'm going to be much more whale like and slow so I'm guessing time won't be moving as fast. Good thing there is so much to do before Little Lu gets here!

Monday, August 03, 2009

How Jason Shattered His Time Goal...


The Day My iPhone Shattered.

Jason did really well in the rock and roll half marathon. I did a good job spectating, even though I was pretty sad about being on the sidelines for the race. I stood outside Jason's corral at the beginning and then I ran around so that I could see him within the first 1/4 mile. Then I saw him at Mile 5, Mile 11, Mile 13.05. Then LeahC (TheJackass) arrived. I really wanted to cross the line when he did even though I would only be on the outside of the race itself, but then I could yell at him and be like YAYA YOU ARE A ROCK STAR. So I took off sprinting (and I could have kept up with him for the 0.05 miles that was left), iPhone in my backpocket, giant camera around my neck, back pack on my back..

And I'm moving. For a non-pregnant lady I'm sprinting pretty fast...for a pregnant lady whoah, I was on it. When all of a sudden. That little feeling following by something falling on the ground. It was the iPhone. I have dropped that sucker millions of times so I thought no big deal, it'll be fine. Then I picked it up and saw this.

I am kinda sad about it. On the other. It's just stuff. Stuff is replacable AND the things still works. So until it utterly stops working I'm not going to do anything about it.

Jason ran a 1:55:something and had a goal of 2:00:00 so that's super awesome. He would write a race report but in addition the 45 hours he's working this week he's moonlighting on a C# project as a contractor for many many hours a night so we won't hear from him or see him for the next few days. Even those that live with him. Not that either of us are that upset about it because it's a) a great opportunity and b) extra cash is nice (especially after my trip to the dentist last week...grrrr).

So busy busy times around these parts. Another crazy deadline on a new project at work so lots of long hours for me too.

My Dad flys in on Thursday!!! And this time not only for a month or a week of time. This time it's for 18 months! I am thinking that I'll be able to calm down a bit with him here because when my parents are around things seem to settle down more. Plus with my dad and stepmom around things will really get rolling for Lucy's arrival.

So right. It's Monday. Here's to Tuesday!