Monthly Archives: November 2011

just relax

I’m excited about the GX1 from Panasonic. It’s essentially the successor to my current camera, the GF1. While I’m not in the market for a camera now, or anytime soon, it’s nice to see the camera-line continue in what I consider a good direction.

B and I ordered the the crib and changing tables / dresser we liked over the weekend. We figured out by calling the store that they could order it for us to the store without shipping costs. This is impossible to determine from their website. Anyway, they were having some kind of sale, so we got a decent discount as well. Overall, I’m very pleased. Now, if we can just get it home in one piece when it arrives in a couple of weeks, we’ll be set. This was really the last of the major items we needed – crib, stroller and car seat – check, check, check. A friend is giving us a co-sleeper bassinet, so we’re set there, too.

We installed the car seat in both our cars last night, a process which made me somewhat grumpy. It was actually easy to install the car seat. (Supposedly 90% of people install car seats wrong – a statistic that is either wildly inaccurate or reflects terrible design practices on the part of the car seat companies.) B and I both have 2002 cars, but mine had the Latch and B’s didn’t. (The Latch became standard in 2002.) The annoying part is that it significantly restricts the space for the person sitting in front of the car seat. To me, this is insane. They can’t design a car seat that allows a person to sit comfortably in front of said seat? That’s nuts. I’m sure this varies from car to car and from seat to seat, but seriously, the vast majority of car seats in the majority of cars should permit both a front seat passenger AND a baby, in my humble opinion. The other thing is that B’s car is two-door, and it’s going to be a major hassle getting the baby in and out of the back seat. We knew this, obviously. B was not thinking about babies when he got the car nearly 10 years ago. Nevertheless, it was annoying to realize exactly HOW difficult getting the baby in and out of the back seat will be.

I’ve been starting to read books about labor, something else which is inevitably making me grumpy as well. I mean, this is just a fact of life. It’s documented in the Bible for goodness sake. Still, I obviously wish I didn’t have to go through it. The unknown is as bad as anything else, I think. I just have this desire to emerge with – in addition to my baby’s and my own health intact – with my body intact – ie, not sliced up! In addition, I’m just not sure how I’ll handle the fear of labor. I get VERY nervous sometimes, often in an unanticipated fashion. For example, on the day of a half marathon, I generally am freaking out with nervousness. I feel fine in advance, but I wake up that morning a bundle of nerves. When I got married, I didn’t expect to be nervous, but when the event arrived, I wasn’t able to sleep for the 2 or 3 nights prior to the wedding – at all. Right now, I feel perfectly calm about delivery, but I predict I’ll be nervous / scared as hell when it actually happens. Naturally, everything you read emphasizes the importance of relaxing, which rather pisses me off. I mean, you can’t just make yourself relax.


Bank of America gets bashed a lot. I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve been banking with them for nearly 10 years now, and I’ve never had any problems. I have never been charged a fee for anything ever to my knowledge. That’s pretty good, right? I have a Savings account, Checking account, credit card (for emergencies – haven’t used it in years), and mortgage with them. At Stanford, there were two banks competing for students on campus – B of A and Wells Fargo. B of A was free, and Wells Fargo charged a monthly fee. That made the choice pretty clear for me. Since then, I’ve gotten good customer service at banks on the rare occasions when I go, and I’ve had good customer service on the phone on the rare occasions I’ve called them. Their website is excellent and they have lots of ATMs. I didn’t have to change banks when I moved here from California, and won’t have to change basically anywhere we might move. I don’t have that much money with them, and Schwab offers better interest rates for savings, but for my day-to-day checking, I’m definitely a fan.

B banks with a local credit union. They have barely any ATMs. He has to drive across town to get to the nearest branch, and their website isn’t as good as B of A’s.

I was annoyed by the $5 debit fee, but I decided I’d wait and see if they’d actually impose it on people with a balance and direct deposit. I really didn’t expect it to happen – and surprise, it didn’t.

To me, a bank offers a service. It seems like a no-brainer to go with the company that offers the best service at the lowest cost. I don’t care if B of A is “nice” or not. Apparently groups are urging people to switch banks because of fees – but B of A has yet to charge me any fees for anything ever. (In fact, the last time I did something that normally has a fee – got a cashier’s check for my mortgage – they waived it without me even having to ask.) Basically, I don’t get it. If I ever did get charged a monthly fee for any reason, of course I would change banks (most likely to Schwab) – but I certainly wouldn’t need to tell me to do it.

weight gain

I find the baby’s growth progression really interesting. First of all, if you look at the chart, the baby gets really long and skinny really fast. It reaches 50% of its predicted birth length by 20 or 21 weeks. However, it doesn’t reach 50% of its projected birth weight until 32 or 33 weeks.

In general, I think it’s interesting to look at how often the baby’s weight doubles. Starting from week 8, the weight doubles at the following times:

Week 9 (1 week) 0.08 oz
Week 10 (1 week) 0.16 oz
Week 12 (2 weeks) 0.32 oz
Week 13 (1 week) 0.64 oz
Week 14 (1 week) 1.28 oz
Week 15 (1 week) 2.56 oz
Week 17 (1 week) 5 oz
Week 20 (3 weeks) 10 oz
Week 24 (4 weeks) 1.25 lb
Week 29 (5 weeks) 2.5 lb
Week 35 (6 weeks) 5 lb

I mean – it’s crazy. The baby is just growing at an incredible (though slowing) rate. Can you imagine doubling your weight in 6 weeks???

Anyway, at my gestation, the baby is about 1.5 pounds. That’s pretty light compared to an expected birth weight of at least 6 pounds and more likely 7.5 to 8 pounds. I feel enormous already, and the baby is going to get a heck of a lot bigger before we’re done.


25 weeks – 62.5% done.

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but she’s beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. She’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.


When I first heard the allegations against Herman Cain, I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. I heard “two decades ago” and thought – OK, maybe he did something, maybe he didn’t, impossible to know. Therefore, I have to assume someone is just trying to trash him.

Then I read that one of the two women was paid a full year’s salary basically to go away and keep quiet. People don’t get that kind of payoff in sexual harassment suits unless there’s something going on.

Now I’ve always thought Cain was a bit of a crackpot (the 9/9/9 thing – really?), and I didn’t get all the media coverage he was getting. (Please tell me he’s not really a credible candidate!) Now, I really just want him to go away.


I’m annoyed with Google right now. They’ve messed around with a bunch of their free software to no good end. First, they’ve screwed with Google reader, and the “Note in Reader” function on longer works. They’ve re-designed their e-mail, and basically, as far as I can tell, the only major change is to make the ad more prominent. When companies start focusing on making their ads bigger, it’s kind of a turning point. In addition, on and google reader, they’ve messed around with the scroll bar on the right, and it’s really annoying.

While on the subject of annoyance, I’m definitely not a fan of the new Facebook. I used to like to scroll through updates in chronological order. I don’t have that many friends, so it’s totally practical for me to read ALL the updates in a very short period of time. Now, however, Facebook of course is picking a small subset of updates for me to read, and then if I want to see them all, i have to use that small scroll box in upper right hand side instead of the whole screen. Annoying!!

However, it doesn’t make me want to use Google+. Social networks, in my opinion, work best when there’s only one. I have no interest in having to look at Facebook AND Google+ to see what’s up with the people in my life.