Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Monday, July 31, 2006

To Make a Statement

Our room was lacking character.
I had this to work with.

And this is the final outcome.

I can honestly say I slept better last night.

Then I woke up to my dog having eaten my retainer! I was so lit up! What can you do, though? I can't make her give it back. It's not like I could just pop it back into my mouth.

Okay, so blogger photo is acting up for the first time since I started blogging. I've got the curse.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mama Mia

My belly has gone from a "high" carrying position to a "low" carrying position. Maybe that's why our waitress very pointedly remarked that I'm going to be having a girl. I only noticed the position today. Stressful week at work. I've noticed very few changes this week. Just too tired!

The baby is using all of it's muscles. I know that much! This baby never stops moving. Always a thump here, or a flip there. Sometimes even bouts of rolling! It feels like a giant flopping fish. We're headed out to take the puppies for a walk.

It's HOT here!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I've been working with toddlers age two to three for about two weeks now. We had a few new kids start this last Monday. In the new group, there's one little boy who sticks out most in my mind. Here's why.

Miss Laura: "Who's poopy?"
Class: Blank stares
Miss Laura: "No one's poopy? Are you sure?"
New Little Boy: Hops up "I am!"
Miss Laura: "All right! Let's get your diaper changed."
Little Boy: "Okay!" Skips over to changing table

~Changing Commences~

Miss Laura: Pulls up little boy's pants

Little Boy: *Fart noise*
Miss Laura: Looks up from buttoning little boy's pants. Looks into his eyes in fear.
Little Boy: Very serious voice, looks Miss Laura in the eyes.
"Don't worry. That's just gas."
Miss Laura: Loudest, most relieved laugh EVER "Good! We don't want to change you again, do we??"
Little Boy: "No way!"

What's fantastic about this story is that this little boy is only two and half years old. His parents talk to him like he's an adult. No baby-talk. On his first day, his dad squatted down so he could see his son's eyes. He says, "All right. I have to go to work now. You're going to work here today, okay? Make sure you do your best job. I love you."

After a hug for his dad, the little boy walks over to the musical instruments and proceeds to tell me what each of them is called.

Except for the scary bell thing. No one knows what that is.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

So, Everybody Says...

...that you go to sleep one night looking overweight, not pregnant.
The next morning, you wake up looking very obviously pregnant. I woke up obviously pregnant. I'd heard it maybe a hundred times. I never thought I'd get to see it for myself. And there it is. I had Brian take a front shot. It was awful. So your eyes have been spared the grotesqueness that is the front view of my belly. Oh, in the "overweight" picture, I'm holding my shirt over my head because it was raining and I'd just spent a long time on my hair. (Something I rarely do.) And I wanted to reuse the hairdo the following day.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Moosed To Death

Alaskans have learned to live side by side with the wildlife. It is not uncommon to be driving on a busy highway and see a huge moose eating some weeds (and/or leftover human refuse) at the side of the road. It's even illegal to shout obscenities at the moose. Seriously.

If a police officer sees you taunting a moose, he can (and will!) write you a ticket. It makes sense, I don't want a pissed-off moose running into my car on his way to ramming the guy who made a joke about his MaMa.

I could die that way.
I don't want to die that way.

We went for a walk with the dogs in a leashless dog-walking park. While there, we passed by a MaMa moose and her two babies. The first time we passed them, we didn't see her babies. We did see them on the way back. Now, MaMa moose are terribly protective of their babies (Understandable!) and will stop at nothing to ensure their safety. That's why the second time I saw the moose, I nearly wet my new maternity pants. Especially when Zoe decided that walking by silently the first time was enough. She yelled at this moose on the way back to our car. I can just imagine if she was speaking english, she would have been saying

"Hey! What are you? Why you so big! Lemme smell you!"

Harmless banter, really. But I like living! And moosies, MaMa moosies in particular, scare me! A LOT! I'll admit it! And you can poke fun if you feel like it. But if you were less than ten feet away from a MaMa moose and her two babies, with your nosy dog yelling at them, you'd be scared too!

Since I'm alive, I can report that the votes are at 5 for boy and 4 for girl. We'll see soon enough. I wanted to share this story.

A little girl in my class noticed me hiking up my maternity pants and vainly trying to tie that "adjustable" string tighter. She looks at me with her head tilted and asks, "Miss Laura? Why are you doing that?" I explain that my pants are too big. "Why are your pants too big?" I then explain that I need big pants so my baby has room to grow. "Oh. Your baby girl is inside you?" I laugh and say, "Well, I don't know if it's a boy or girl yet, but yes. Baby is inside me." She looks at me quite quizzically and replies, "It's a baby girl."

Kids are funny. And I don't know how much credit to give to her "intuition". Her long-time teacher just went on maternity leave after giving birth to a girl. The teacher probably told the kids she was having a girl. So it's possible that this kid thinks that all babies inside tummies are girls. I've had a handful of kids, seeming just as intuitive, pointedly remark on my baby boy growing in my belly. Kids that weren't told that I'm pregnant.

I can't wait to find out. I read a lot into kids' responses because I REALLY wanna know!

NOT knowing is making me itch!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Guessing Game

We find out the sex of Baby on the 8th of August! I can't wait! I tried to finagle an earlier ultrasound. It was a no-go.

Just for fun, comment if you want to guess boy or girl! The general consensus from my coworkers is girl.

Just a few answers to questions that women ask me when trying to guess the baby's gender.

Baby's heart rate is 140.
I'm carrying high, as some might say.
I crave anything sweet.
I ALSO crave anything spicy.
I sleep on my left side.
I have four biological brothers, two older, two younger.
My husband has one older brother.
Little boys flock to me and beg me to hold and cuddle them.
Oh, and little girls scream like I killed their puppy if I go anywhere within a few feet of them. (Okay, okay. It's not that bad. Only with three or four little girls at work. The others just take longer than usual to warm up to me.)

So have fun with it! Heck, you've got a 50/50 chance, right?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I've received notice that my lack of blogging is making some people crazy. To correct the problem, I've posted pictures! Who doesn't love pictures?
On Saturday, we went on a short drive to Fort Richardson, the Army post next door to us. On Lake Otter, they have a little boat rental and snack shack. Brian and Carol got to pedal me and Steve around for an hour for, get this, five bucks. Killer deal! Only, Steve and I had to endure their whining. :) We've been banned from sitting idly in the back while they paddled. Next time we go, we have to put in our fair share. Oh shucks.
Because NOT pedaling made me THIS happy!
Zoe picked a fight with Boozer, a three month old puppy, and lost. Badly. She got that scar between her eyes. We sure hope her hair grows back. It makes her look so mean, I'm scared no one will ever want to pet her again. Her life would NOT be complete without strangers petting her when we go out for walks and car rides.
Look closely. This is a picture of my belly at five weeks.
And this is my belly as of Saturday evening. I'm sixteen weeks. You might think the growth is not enough to comment on. And if you look at week five and then week sixteen RIGHT after it, it's not. But when you see my in-between pictures, you'll see that my belly has gotten remarkably smaller since week twelve. It's because I chase kids around all day and Kinzie has been taking me swimming a few nights a week. Baby is still growing. Don't stress. I'm just firming up. It's rather nice, I'd say.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Just some quick shots of our night-before-Independence-Day shirt painting. (Inspired by Ruthie)
This is what I came up with. The firecracker rests right around my belly button. I'm implying that this baby is a little firecracker. I don't think very many people at the parade/fair got it. I wore it again today to Brian's squadron picnic and again, no comments.
Come on! Little firecracker?? It's funny!

Turns out Carol is quite the artist. She was able to give everyone ideas for their shirts and for the dog bandanas. But she was STUMPED when it came to decorating her shirt. I think she took some of her frustration out on Steve with her scissors. I'm kidding. He came out with only a few scars.
This is my final product after Carol's assistance. She came up with the little yellow dots that add depth to the text. I take credit for the heart. We had a lot of fun making our shirts! It turns out it's a trend up here. I didn't want to lug around my camera at the fair, so I didn't get any pictures. But there were a LOT of people in home-made shirts and bandanas.
We even put painted bandanas on our dogs.
I'm sure I'll get a picture of Zoe's eventually.

On another subject, I'm nesting hardcore. There is no let-up. It's all-consuming. I went back to working full-time, so I'm not sure why my body picked NOW of all times to kick it into overdrive, but it did. And to be honest, I'm having the time of my life. I'm doing laundry everyday. I haven't run out of clean underwear in... well, it's been a while. I'm even cooking dinner every night. I'm using RECIPES. RECIPES! Laura, Queen of Convenience Foods. Using recipes! It's just beyond belief! I hope this urge to cook and clean never goes away.

Monday, July 03, 2006

War is Waging

Our neighbors have a very tiny dog. He's a miniature Pinscher named Hershey. And he is a SMART little cookie. The fence between our decks is in a bricklay pattern that allows him to weave his little body through...to come POOP in our yard.

As you read in the previous post, I HATE STEPPING IN DOG POOPIE!

Since the military housing office issues tickets for having animal feces in your yard, we religiously pick up Zoe's poop with shopping bags and tie it off so it doesn't smell and place it in our donated garbage can.

It's actually quite the system, if I do say so myself. But I digress.

Because Hershey is constantly intruding upon our little system, we got a ticket from the housing office about feces in our yard. Now, granted, at the time we received the ticket, one of the five piles of poop were from Zoe. But the housing office only issues tickets when the feces is a constant problem. (Like if they came by on Thursday and there was poopie, and then came back on Monday and there was still poopie.) So I know we only got that ticket because this little dog goes potty in our yard between four and ten times a day.

To solve the problem, we had to be aggressive. We stapled up some chicken wire and for about a month, this system was FLAWLESS. Then, two weeks ago we got a letter from the managment stating that we would need to remove all items from the deck and away from the fence for a period of one week. They had made plans to refinish the decks.

We didn't think much of taking down the chicken wire, knowing full well we'd only have a week's worth of Hershey poop to pick up. As soon as the wire was down, Hershey pooped with a vengeance!! It was more dog poop than I think he could have created without anger to drive him!

So, we stapled the chicken wire back up during the weekend, hoping for a reprieve. No, No! After his apetite was whetted, he couldn't give up the freedom of pooping in someone else's yard!

He clawed the chicken wire down!
And we stapled it back up.
And he clawed it down!
And we stapled it back up.

We even let Zoe have her fun without intervening on Hershey's behalf, hoping that a serious butt-whooping would deter him from coming into our yard uninvited.


He just waited until she went inside to claw that chicken wire down again.

Well, the weekend ended and the chicken wire had to come down for the paint job. Since he was over in our yard anyway, we didn't even hesitate. We took it down and Hershey had full-access to our yard once more.

And the poop piled up.
(Oh, I forgot to mention in all of this that he also revels in peeing on our deck.)

When I retold our adventures in poopie land to his owner's they said they were sorry, of course, and their answer to the problem was glorious to hear.

They'll be moving in less than two weeks.

Less than two more weeks of Hershey poop. Now, don't get me wrong. He's a cute little dog. And our neighbor's have been nothing but pleasant. But I HATE picking up someone else's dog poop, or stepping in it, or washing someone else's dog's pee off my dog (Yes, he peed on Zoe on more than one occasion.), or having to ignore his WAILS while he's locked in the basement. I just hope the next family that moves in doesn't have a poodle.

I'll fill that fence with cement. I will. I'll do it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

"I've noticed you walk like a duck."

Our friends, Steve and Carol, went out of town for the weekend to go deep sea fishing. We volunteered to puppy-sit their adorable puppy, Boozer. This is him below.
I start the story with him so you know why I'm holding a bag of poop...
Steve bragged about how he was going to catch a 200 pound fish and hold it up for the camera.
Well, this was my catch of the day.
Boozer's poopie.
There is a $115 fine for not picking up your dog's poopie in a park...or anywhere else for that matter! Which makes sense, I HATE stepping in dog poop. At least now I know there's a consequence for those that leave it behind.

While we were walking, sweet Mr. Brian says,

"I've noticed you walk like a duck."

I turn around, all indignant, and glare at him with a puncturing,
"Excuse me?"

He sputters quickly, "No! I don't mean you're a duck. Just that since you got pregnant, your feet point outward where they used to point straight."

I glare at him a bit longer, battling the pregnant rage that seems to boil up at the least opportune moments. And then take it for what it was, a misworded observation.

He didn't mean to make me feel bad. He just wanted to point out a subtle difference.
(Which I normally enjoy, because it shows he's paying attention.)

After we got done with our park walk, we went to a pawn shop.
(My fingers are getting chubby.)
I was wearing one of my emerald rings as a wedding band, since mine was on the verge of cutting off circulation.
But I didn't feel married.

I'd looked into cubic zirconias on eBay. But I like the idea of trying a ring on before buying it. (eBay had a really nice one for a total of $9.99 after shipping.)

After ten minutes of trying on random rings of all sizes, I found one that will work for the next six or so months. It put us out $40, but I think it was worth it.
As an added bonus, it's the same size as the ring finger on my right hand. So when I fit back into my original wedding band, I can wear this one for fun on my other hand.

It's a terrible picture. I'll describe it. Marquis diamond in the center (Hardly what I'd call "showy", I'd say 1/4 carat or less.) and four round cut, channel diamonds down both sides.

It's very pretty. It beats getting my wedding band sized and resized for pregnant versus not-pregnant fingers.
I bought it a bit loose so I could "grow into it"
as Brian likes to say.