Monthly Archives: September 2019

track and field and qatar

It’s been a great week for track and field, and for American track and field in particular, with both the World championships going on, and the Berlin marathon (one of the top 5 marathons in the world.)

A few of the great things that have happened:

1.) Kenenisa Bekele missed setting a new world record by a mere 2 s.  I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I knew he had it in him!  So yay.   He’s been plagued by injuries but finally had an amazing race.

2.) Sarah Hall, who I’ve been cheering for for nearly 20 years, set a huge PR and ran 2:22 at Berlin.  Basically, as a marathoner, she moved from the pack to being one of the top three or so in the US, and top 10 US marathoners all time.  Awesome!

3.) Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price won the women’s 100 m with a very fast time a year after giving birth by C-section.

4.) Allyson Felix won a relay gold medal 10 months after giving birth.

5.) Roberta Groner, basically an unknown American, placed 6th in the marathon.

However, holding the WCs in Doha, Qatar has been an utter disaster.  Consider the following:

1.) It is way too hot in Qatar.  The marathon was run in 90 degree heat with a “feels like” temperature of over 100 due to humidity.  40% of the competitors dropped out.  This is RIDICULOUS.

2.) There are no fans.  750,000 people turned out for the last world champs, when they were held in the UK.  During the women’s 100 m, there were apparently 1000 people in the stadium, despite the government giving away 10s of thousands of tickets for free.  Absurd.

3.) Qatar is a ridiculously sexist country.  I can’t help but wonder if the *women’s* 100m specifically had no spectators for this reason, though viewership has been lower in general.  The 100m is a marquis event.

4.) Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.  The penal code stipulates years of prison time for sodomy, and there are multiple cases of people in fact being imprisoned for this.

All in all, I think it’s completely ridiculous.

retail therapy

I engaged in a little retail therapy a couple weeks ago and bought this cashmere cardigan in gray from Madewell.  It is probably the most I’ve spent on a sweater, but I have not taken it off since it arrived.  I’ve worn it every single day.  It’s so comfortable!  And looks kind of OK / cute on my round, pregnant shape.

I finally broke down and bought a third pair of maternity pants, in addition to a blue pair of maternity chinos and black maternity leggings.  With my previous pregnancies, I was working in the office and needed to look semi-professional, so I never hesitated to spend on maternity-wear.  This time, I’ve been working from home, so I’ve been dressing like a ragamuffin in all manner of workout clothes, my husband’s clothes, etc.  But my belly is breaking the system down.  You can only wear maternity leggings so many days in a row.  I even invested in a second bra that actually fits.

labor dread

We met with a doula today.  Talking about labor is really hard for me.  I am just dreading it.  I want to have the option of pain relief, and if I don’t get induced, I almost certainly will not have the chance to get an epidural.  And remembering the pain of the last half hour of my last birth just scares me.  It was just so painful and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do about it.  Mostly, I’ve been coping by trying not to think about it, but obviously it’s the kind of topic you have to discuss with a doula.

I am also frightened of the trip to the hospital.  If my parents are here, it should be easy enough.  I will probably be asking them to come at 37 weeks.  In that case, Jonathan and I can just go.  The idea of trying to get the kids to a caregiver or take them with us just makes me anxious.  So, let’s assume my parents are here and H and I can just go.  Most likely, I’ll be in a lot of pain by the time we get there.  I don’t want to go through transition in the car.  I especially don’t want to give birth in the car.  That’s unlikely.  But very painful labor in the car?  Pretty likely.  At least we have a nice car.  I’d much rather labor in our new Suby than our 17 year old Ford Focus.

All of this makes me more inclined to induce, but I’d have to do it around 37 weeks, and that’s not ideal for baby.  If my baby ended up in the NICU because I was afraid of labor pain, I’d have a hard time forgiving myself.  But an unattended birth out of the hospital isn’t safe either, and that’s definitely a possibility if we don’t induce.

Of course, with my current placenta position, I’ll be having a C-section in 6 weeks.  My ultrasound next week should give me a pretty good idea of whether that will happen or not.

Ug.  I wish I was a mentally tougher person.

Princess of Hearts Quilt

I had another go at making a quilt for the new baby, and I do like this one better than my previous attempt.  It’s another Carolyn Friedlander design, and I like to call it the Princess of Hearts for my daughter on her way.  It’s such a simple pattern, but I quite enjoyed making it.


The background is P&B Textiles Color Weave 4 Light in Teal.  The border at the top is Gleaned Parakeet in Spa Blue by Carolyn Friedlander.  The hearts are primarily various Friedlander fabrics, though there are a few others thrown in here and there.  For the back, I used a couple of Friedlander fabrics, as well as a beautiful white fabric with birds on it that I can’t identify.


I’ve gotten a bit burned out on the wool batting, so I used Quilter’s Dream Orient batting.  I quite like this batting.  It’s lightweight like cotton but just has a bit nicer drape, perhaps a touch more weight.  I don’t know – I’m a fan in any event.


Excepting the needle turn applique, I used my usual favorite Aurifil Mako 50 in white.  However, for the applique, I used Aurifil Mako in 80 weight in either white or dark gray depending on the color of the heart.  Honestly, it was a game changer.  It was so much easier to make the stitches invisible.  I’m a convert – for all future applique, I’m using 80 weight thread.


I used a very limited amount of straight-line quilting between the hearts.  I adjusted the pattern a little to increase the horizontal distance between the hearts to I’d have room to quilt there.  I used 12 weight Aurifil thread in variegated blue.


The binding was done in Gleaned Parakeet in Spa Blue, like the top border.  I used 3 inch strips in hopes of making it a bit more prominent, but it didn’t really make much of a difference.  If I want a thicker binding in future, I’ll try 3.5 inches.

I have been feeling a bit better.  A couple weeks ago, the baby shifted and settled in on my bladder, and for a while, I felt like I needed to go, like urgently, pretty much 100% of the time.  It was miserable.  I can’t really figure out why / how this happened, but thankfully, it passed, and that made a huge difference to my comfort and happiness.  I’d also been having a lot of trouble with acid reflux, even waking up at night with my mouth feeling like it was full of acid.  It was pretty rough.  I finally broke down and started taking Zantac (carcinogens or no) and now after taking it every day for a week, I’m really not having any acid reflux whatsoever.  This has also had a huge impact on my general comfort and happiness.

My sister shared her wedding photos, and there are so many good ones.  There will definitely be some going on my wall.  Her photographer did an exceptional job.  I love the tone of the pictures as well.

In other news, I have been really worrying about childbirth, and I don’t know how to just take a chill pill about it.  I’ve done it twice.  Women all over the world have done it once or twice or several times, often without any kind of pain meds.  It’s also not happening for an absolute minimum of five or six more weeks unless something goes wrong, most likely for seven or eight weeks.  I’m just not sure what to do to manage my anxiety about it.

saying goodbye

Today was our nanny’s last day, and I am honestly just so incredibly sad over it.  I am sad because my kids are sad, especially L, who understands the implications of saying goodbye better than her little sister.  I’m also sad because, well, it’s easier having three parents than two, and whenever she’s been taking care of the kids, I’ve just known they were in good hands and well cared for.  She finished her bachelor’s degree while she was working for us, and the kids are in school all day now, so it obviously makes sense for her to move on.  But we will miss her so much.  Four years is a long time, and I have always been terrible at saying goodbye, and being an emotional basket case (blame pregnancy) doesn’t help.

I don’t know what we’ll do about childcare and work with our third daughter.  The thought of starting the whole cycle of back to work, interviewing nannies, etc., is just so utterly unappealing I’ve been just not thinking about it.


Can someone explain to me how a cabin pressure irregularity can cause a plane to plunge 30,000 feet?  I mean, did the pilot observe the pressure problem and decide to descend to an altitude at which pressurization was unnecessary?  If so, why would he “plunge” 30,000 feet?  How quick exactly was this descent?  The whole thing sounds sketchy.  Planes have pressurization problems all the time without dramatic altitude loss.