Thursday, March 29, 2012

How should I handle this? Because, that's no way to live, if you ask me.

I have a friend here at work that I get along with pretty darned well. We used to sit next to each other before the last Big Move that we had at our company, and now she's in a completely different building and we're sad about the distance between us.

However, with the awesome weather we've been having lately, and her complaints about how fat she thinks she is, I've been suggesting daily walks. That helps a little bit.

But then yesterday, she IM'd me about some diet she's thinking she wants to do. She wants me to do it with her. I told her I'd look into it, and let her know.


It's this Medi Weightloss Clinic thing. I checked out their website, and noticed that, of course, they don't mention anything specific about their diet anywhere out there where we can access it without the hard sell, so I went ahead and Googled it. Here's the diet in a nutshell:

Week 1: Eat 500 calories-worth of lean protein (egg whites, non-fat dairy, turkey, chicken...that sort of thing) each day. THAT'S ALL YOU GET.

Week 2: Eat the same diet from week 1 each day, but add 2 cups of veggies, OR 1 cup of fruit and 1 cup of veggies. Not sure how you decide which one you get, or if that's what they consider variety, or whatever.

Week 3: Same diet as week 2, but now you get to add a snack. I'm not sure what the snack is. But on their website, they sell all kinds of 100 calorie protein bars, ready-to-drink shakes, something called a "BBQ Zipper" that sounds, frankly, terrifying.

Anyway, after week 3, you keep eating that same diet until you lose all the weight you're planning to lose.

Oh, and you can also get injections of B vitamins, and they'll prescribe appetite suppresants for you right off the bat, too. And each week, you meet with "medical professionals", whatever THAT may consist of. And the initial payment of $220 to join their program includes a blood test to see where you're starting at, I suppose.

They suggest that you do 30 minutes of some sort of aerobic activity 3 times a week while you're losing the weight.

After you lose the weight, they teach you how to add stuff back to your diet, both foodwise and exercisewise, so you can maintain your weight.

Ok, here's the thing: I can get a blood panel done at my work-related health center for a copay of $10. (I need to do that tomorrow morning, actually.)

I can also starve myself to the tune of 500 lean protein calories per day for a week, add some veggies and fruits the following week, and then add a snack the next week, and eat that way for many, many weeks until I get my ass down to what I'm told by society is an acceptable size.

And all while I'm forcing myself to find enough energy to go and workout 3 times a week for 30 minutes, however I choose to do so.

But I'm not gonna.

Because during that time, I will be a raging hellbeast of a bitch. Hungry, unhappy, likely suffering from a level of food-induced (or lack-of-food-induced, really) depression that makes my head hurt on a constant basis.

Also, I'm sure I would lose weight way too fucking fast for it to be healthy at all.

And did I mention the hellbeast part? Who wants to be THAT?

Anyway, I don't wanna do it. And I don't think my friend should, either. She might be successful with it. But then she might not, and after paying $220 for bloodwork that we get for virtually free at our jobs, along with some "counseling" telling her that she's overweight and needs to lose it fast, fast, fast!, and then being weighed on a weekly basis for the low price of $70 per week, she's more likely to actually lose some weight, get comfy with herself again, and then get right back into the pattern of eating fried chicken and mashed taters too often, and gain it all back (plus some) within the next 2 years.

But of course, I can't say that to her. I like her. I think she's a smart chicky. She makes me laugh, and I don't want that to stop just because she thinks I'm all judgy and shit!

And I'm not trying to judge, really.

But I just don't think that eating like that is healthy in any way. And I don't think it teaches anyone anything, particularly about healthy eating. (I'm of the mind that substituting real food like maybe 3 or 4 cups of veggies and fruit with a snack that is made up of processed oats and fake peanut butter and shoved into a convenient package is NOT a way to teach someone to eat!)

The lifestyle they promote at this weight loss clinic is low carb. VERY low carb. And while I'm all for giving up processed grains and beans and stuff, I don't think that eating such a minimal diet is a way for anyone to live in a healthy manner.

I'm sure that if she joins, she will lose some weight pretty quickly, and I will be jealous, and wish that I could do something like that, too...because my brain is weird like that, and it's something I've come to accept about it.

But I know that while my Primal Blueprint way of living isn't literally melting the pounds off my frame, I still feel damn good. My ass is better. My gut feels better than it has in years. Yesterday I ate an english muffin for breakfast (with cottage cheese), and it didn't upset anything at all internally. So having a random break like that doesn't totally fuck me up, and I don't beat myself up about it at all. Because I only have ME to answer to. Not any "medical professional" judging every bite I put in my mouth.

I eat about 1500 calories a day. I work out 2 times a week with heavy weights/evil trainer lady, and take a lot of walks in between. My upper body is becoming more defined, and while I'm still waiting for my stomach to shrink a bit more ( a LOT more!!!), I know that it will come in time if I keep working at it the way I am.

Anyway, I don't know what to tell my friend. We're the types of friends that tell each other what's on our minds, and try not to judge each other too much. But it happens. We're human. We still laugh a lot together, and that's what matters.

What do you think I should do? Should I just watch her go and do this, because she's clearly craving a quick solution to her ever-expanding waistline, and that's something I can certainly relate to? Or do I remind her that the health center charges $10 for that blood test she wants done, and they'll probably even be happy to talk about a prescription for an appetite suppresant, too, if she asks. I know that what she needs is the motivation of the threat of having to face the scale with someone standing over her shoulder watching every week. I think we all can understand that kind of accountability response.

I'm just rambling now. She and I are walking this afternoon (unless she backs out on me again...grrr...), so what do I tell her?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

OMG, the PMS...the P.M.EESSSS!

Me: Hey, why do we have so much sheet up at the top of the bed like this? Look at all this sheet! It's not supposed to be this far up. It's supposed to be more like [adjusts sheet] THIS.

Leo: My shoulders get cold! So I need to make sure they stay covered when that [points at ceiling fan] is on.

Me: Dude. That fan doesn't move fast enough for it to even barely create a breeze of any kind*. It's on as a placebo, in my opinion. I don't even know why we waste the energy at all on it!

Leo: Well, my shoulders get cold. And then I can't sleep. [Walks out of room.]

Me, calling after him: You know what I'm thinking in my head right now, right?

Leo, calling back from the living room: Yeah I know...I'm a pussy!

I have "real" PMS for the first time in many, many years. It's not terrible, but it's bad enough that I wish I could just hole up in my basement for this week instead of having to deal with the public. I want yummy, fried things for meals, and I constantly have a low grade headache which I keep forgetting to take Advil for before I leave the house in the morning and I can't remember to refill my little Advil bottle in my purse either so I'm just suffering all day long, dammit.

Maybe the fried food would help with my memory issues? Hmm...

Anyway, I'm easily annoyed this week, is my point. So the universe should take this post as an open letter to please try not to annoy me right now. It's just not nice.

(*The fan needs to be balanced. Do you know how much of a PAIN IN THE ASS it is to balance a ceiling fan? Well, it's a pain in the ass enough that we've lived there for 8 months now, and still haven't gotten around to doing it. So the fan needs to stay at a relatively low speed so that it doesn't wobble all over the place, and make an ungodly racket. Hence the placebo-ness of it. It's not doing much, but maybe trying to trick my brain into thinking it's helping keep things cool, maybe. I'm not really sure.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Maybe my brain just needs a good washing.

This morning, my garage door greeted me with a loud BANG! as it opened, and scared me into jumping in the car and slamming the door shut with a scream. When I realized it wasn't falling down on top of me, I went to tell Leo that the door had finally hit it's limit, and the cords had snapped.

Why I chose to jump INTO the car that might've been about to get semi-smooshed by a garage door instead of running away from it is beyond me. My brain doesn't work all that smoothly so early in the morning.

We were told by the house inspector back when we offered on the house that the door needed to be reinforced. There wasn't a safety line on it, which could be dangerous should the cords on the pully snap without any back-up to hold it in place. It just dropped to a low level on our important things to do in the house list because (a) it's been working fine all this time, (b) that list included things like horribly bad gutters, rotting windows, and termites eating our walls, and (c) we just kinda...forgot about it.

The garage door company will be out tomorrow to fix it, and in the mean time, I get to move to Leo's spot in the garage and he gets to park on the driveway. Because that's the kind of awesome husband he is, yo.

And tonight, we'll go watch Jim Gaffigan at the Midland and forget all about our garage door woes for a little while. And tomorrow, I'm taking the day off because I've been exhausted lately, and I need SLEEP. Lots and lots of glorious sleeeeep.

I've been getting cluster headaches again. I've had 2 recently that I've needed to medicate, and I think that's my clue that cutting back on the propranolol isn't actually working after all. This is pretty depressing for me, so I'm trying to work through it by not worrying about it much, and also by remembering that taking propranolol and having a hard time getting my heart rate up during exercise is about a gazillion times less of a problem than getting a headache that makes me want to cut into my skull to remove my brain. It was bad last night. All I could do was lie there and moan after a while. I had to take TWO doses of my pain meds, which is something I've never had to do before. The first dose didn't even touch the headache, though. Which is worrisome.

Anyway, life is good in some ways, and not so good in others. Pretty fucking normal, by my estimation! Watch out for falling garage doors, friends...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maybe if we all just put the energy out there...

I miss Jeffers. I really, really wish he'd follow us to our new house, but it's been 8 months (!!!), and he still isn't there. NOTHING is there.


It's the first time in a looong time that I've lived in a house that isn't haunted. And oddly, it just is making things feel empty.

So if everyone reading could just close their eyes for a quick second, and think to themselves about how Faith and Leo would love to "live" with Jeffers again, I'd really appreciate it. I don't know if it'll do a damned thing, but if it does? I will totally buy all you all presents. :D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some letters to some people.

Dear ladies that were flanking the semi-cute but still not all that worth it guy on Friday night at the bar in Nick & Jake's on 135th St,

You're both really pretty. You're both clearly good at catching a man. You're both very different, and likely well-educated, and I'm sure have great jobs, and dress stylishly, etc, etc...

So little skinny Asian chick who was there first? You don't need to try so hard. Stop putting your hand down a dude's shirt while you're sitting at the bar to scratch his back. That's icky and way beneath you.

And tall, "blond", fun-looking lady? He was there with another chick first. That should have been your clue to STOP FLIRTING LIKE A DIRTY WHORE LOOKING FOR A JOHN FOR THE NEXT HOUR. You should not have (a) eaten nachos from his plate of nachos (especially because you'd already eaten the dinner you ordered for yourself), (b) kept talking all close in his ear while putting your arm around his shoulder in order to pull his attention away from the other chick he was there with in the first place, and (c) started eating ribs from the guy's plate on the other side of you like they were meat lollipops. Because that was gross.

There were about 3 men to every 1 chick in that place that night. Do the math, ladies.

I was just like you, once, and MAN...I will never be that again, dammit!


To all the "shoppers" at Trader Joe's on Sunday afternoon who had a cart and an entourage of 2 adult friends or 3 children and a spouse but weren't really buying so much as just looking around and getting in the REAL shoppers' way,

Try that schtick on a Tuesday afternoon, wouldya? Fucking 'tards.

I'm Totally Judging You. Not Gonna Lie.


Dear super-muscular dude in the tank top being held up more by strings than straps and in shorts that might be a bit too tight for those super-muscular thighs,

Please stop hiking up your shorts so you can look at your quads in the mirror, for whatever reason. We can all see you. And it's disturbing. And maybe you need to shop for clothes that will actually fit you if you plan to keep building the muscles to that kind of degree.

The fat chick who's moaning as she's being tortured by her trainer, and who is not judging your choice of clothing out of jealousy, mind you, but moreso because she doesn't want to see anyone's nipples when she's in the gym.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A new ceramic friend for the Twin.

Hi! I'm the Head Horse.

Last month, the Twin and I turned 38. Not a banner birthday, by any means, but still, I got a random bug in my ass to buy her a present. I was window shopping on Anthropologie's website, and found this really awesome ceramic statue that had a cute face and seemed to call to me, "Pick me! Pick meeee!" So I did.

I ordered it the week before our birthday. Had it sent to her house, and didn't mention it once to her, because I wanted it to be a complete surprise. I had written on the card, "His name is Blue Horns. Happy birthday!" Because they have a 40 character limit on their notes they'll include in the boxes. Or else I would've also mentioned that the Twin's Head Horse seemed like a lonely horse. So I decided to send him a friend for her birthday.

Unfortunately, I also checked the gift wrap option on the gift order. This was unfortunate because it turned out that shouldn't have been an option on that particular order. So the company wrote me pretty quickly to let me know they'd canceled my order for the gift wrap on the item. When they did that, though, it somehow fucked up the WHOLE order in the warehouse. So a few days later, when I still hadn't seen anything about my order being shipped to my sister, I called to see what was up.

It took a while to clear it all up. Like, days. And then, the item got shipped to ME instead. Without the card. ::sigh:: They offered to pay for my shipping costs to send it to the Twin, or they could pay for me to ship it back to them, and then they would ship it on to the correct address. HA! Nuh-uh. I wasn't giving it back to them now that I finally had it! Leo and I were flying to California for a family meeting the following week, so I could just carry it along with when we flew out there. I told them that since I was technically the shipper in that case, they were more than welcome to pay for my plane ticket, if they'd like. ;) They declined that, but they did offer me a gift card for all the trouble instead. That was fine with me, really! It was funny how it all worked out, actually.

ANYWAY, I finally had Blue Horns in my hot little hands, but the TWIN still didn't have him, and that made me sad. The anticipation of the gift was building up, because I'd since told her that she was getting something, but I wouldn't tell her what it was.

I gave her Blue Horns when she and her youngest came to watch a KU game at the hotel with Leo and I. Her youngest liked the statue. Twin also seemed to like the statue. But her oldest apparently thinks he's ugly. WHATEVER. She's broken, or something. Hopefully, Blue Horns and the Head Horse are having all kinds of fun around the Twin's house together, now that Blue Horns has joined their little family.

The Head Horse was an impulse buy for the Twin when she was at Target one day. He was on an endcap, and she thought he was kind of a one-of-a-kind piece, I think. Not sure. Anyway, she took him home to help watch over the house. And he promptly became a main part of their reindeer games right off the bat. This was one way he greeted her one morning soon after he joined the household:

Her oldest had taken the time to stack all those books outside her bedroom door, and then popped the Head Horse on top to be better equipped to greet the Twin when she wandered out of her bedroom at whatever ungodly hour she finally decided to do so. (Just kidding! I'm sure she was up by a reasonable hour like 9:30 or 10, or something...)

So the Twin returned the favor by placing the Head Horse on the pillow next to her oldest while she was sleeping, s when she woke up, she'd find him watching over her very closely...

So you can see why I might've been drawn to pick up Blue Horns for the Twin's house.

Here he is, watching the KU game with us the day I gave him to her...

And here's his cute effing face right up close, so you can see why it is I'd think he'd make a great addition to their household...

We had good times on that trip, too. Got together with an old friend that I hadn't seen in a long time.
And made faces with Leo after dinner and drinks...

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I've been lazy. I have no other excuses unless you accept the general excuse of "Santorum" at all. In the case that you do, let me just repeat that: Santorum.

'Nough said.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The world is getting more and more unbelievable every day!

Just finished reading this little story over on the KMBC website about a Wisconsin Senator (Republican Glenn Grothman) who proposed a law in his state that would make single parenthood equivocal with child abuse.

Let me just sit back while that sinks in.

Ok, yeah...NO. Fuckhead. NONONONONONO.

It doesn't really appear to be an attempt at a law of any kind, but more of a press for certain groups (specifically the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board) to "emphasize" how bad it can be for a single parent to try to raise children on their own.

You know, according to this dipshit, anyway.

The bill would require that some sort of education/awareness campaign occur to help all those single people out there trying to raise kids on their own to realize just how much they're fucking up their kids by not getting/remaining married. It's abusive and neglectful, dontcha know?

::screams silently, and wants to kick things really, really hard::

The Twin is a single mom. I won't talk about her ex/the father of their children here, because he's worth just very little space in my brain, and even less here in written form.

She's been raising her daughters on her own now for, what? Maybe 6 years, I'd think? Is that right, Twin? Anyway, she does a DAMN fine job of it. Her oldest is in high school, and her youngest is in junior high, and they're smart and funny and yeah they have their sassy moments, but they're teenagers so that's allowed. But still...they are nothing NEAR abused. Not even close.

It disgusts me to even think about it that way at all!

I don't understand what this country is coming to. I don't understand the judgement of others that's occurring. I don't understand this semi-gradual descent back into a world where women aren't trusted to be able to take care of their own bodies, or their children, or their unborn children, or whatever. What comes next?

It's sad that I even have to wonder about that. But I do. Because holy hell, what will they try to take away from us next?

Monday, March 05, 2012

This is what happens when I'm this sick.

I have the plague. It was just in my chest last week, and as the results of coughing at all were (a) pain, (b) a truly disgusting flavor in my mouth that made me wonder if I was blacking out and sucking on rusty fences in my downtime, and (c) more pain, in the form of headaches, I went to the doctor on Friday to see if it was treatable, or if I just had to deal with it. Thanks to the rusty fence flavor, she knew it was an infection in my lungs. So antibiotics were prescribed. But she said I was no longer contagious, so I could head on in to the office without worrying about exposing anyone else.

I haven't had any alcohol in around 5 days. I've been taking my antibiotics, and getting lots of rest and clear fluids. And my body thanked me for my diligence by going ahead and adding a lovely sinus issue to the chest problem. All weekend, I kept waking up from dreams where sleestaks were apparently waiting in the wings for their appearance, only to find that the sleestaks were in my nasal cavities. The constant rattling of...whatever the fuck is in there? So. obnoxious.

And it also makes it hard to sleep.

So I'm not much in the mood to write about the stuff I had planned to write about. Thinking is too hard right now. So instead, here's what I do all day long, in between requisite work stuffs...

Have you heard of the Decorah Eagles? That there is a link to the webcam that's on their nest 24/7. I got turned on to them by a coworker friend last year, right when their eggs had started hatching. Then we watched as the baby eagles grew. And then the nest was back down to just mom and dad after a few months, and we stopped watching. They have 3 eggs again this year! Should be hatching in about a month, I think.

Don't make fun of me, dammit. It's oddly captivating to watch those birds. That's all I'm sayin'.

I've also been keeping up on the Rush Limbaugh debacle, following up on all the terrifying tornado news that's coming in from over the weekend/last week, and trying to ignore any and all headlines that involve the name "Snookie".

I have hopes that my body is on the mend. It's never a good thing when I get winded just walking from my closet to the laundry room at the other end of the house with my basket of laundry.

Friday, March 02, 2012

New Ellen ad for JCPenney...CRACKS ME UP!

I saw this for the first time this morning. And I about killed myself laughing at it! (I have a terrible nasty living in my lungs right now, though, so I don't think that's a typical issue for most watching the commercial.)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Mirena Story...don't worry, it's not gross.

I had a new birth control device implanted in my body yesterday. I was ridiculously excited about it, from the time I made the decision to do it right up until the doctor finished the process.

I don’t really know why, but I blame the overexcitement a little on the whole been-on-the-Pill-for-22-years thing, as well as the thought that maybe – just maybe – the consistent addition of those hormones in my body on a month after month basis might’ve been damaging things like my thyroid, my gall bladder, and even my liver. Possibly jacking up all the work I do in order to try to control my weight and keep my stomach in a happy place.

It had to end.

So I ended it! I talked over my options with my doctor, and he encouraged me to give an IUD – either in copper form, or the Mirena which is a plastic version with fewer side effects and lower possibility of pregnancy – a chance to do the job for me. I chose the Mirena because, even though it only lasts 5 years compared to the copper version’s 10, it gives me an even better chance of keeping from getting pregnant than the Pill ever did, and there’s a strong chance that after a few months, periods will completely stop all together for me. Which is my whole goal. There’s just no point to me having them at all. They’re annoyances that simply piss me off to have at this point in my life.

I prepared for the appointment by asking people who had been through the experience of having an IUD inserted what I might expect. The doctor warned me that because I’ve never had a child, it could be a considerably more painful experience for me, since my cervix had never dilated for any reason. I’ve been through some painful experiences in my time, but nothing in that general…um, area. So I went on a message board I’m a part of and asked for feedback from other women that had had the Mirena or copper IUD inserted to find out what their experiences were like. I heard everything from “it wasn’t too bad…just a little pain, but over pretty quick” to “on a scale of 10, the pain was a 9”. So I knew that it would be tough to gauge what I should expect for myself. I simply took the suggested 4 Advil a half hour prior to my appointment, and went in with hopes for an easy process.

The nurse that took me back asked me if I’d had a good day so far? I said yeah, nothing too bad. I got on the scale, and she slid the main weight down to the 150 pound starting point. I was all, “Oh, you’re too nice! But…no.” She laughed and said she’d been a little ‘off’ all day, and she blamed it on Leap Day. I said, “Whoah…dude, that’s not what I want to hear 5 minutes before having something like this done!” And she reassured me that this was a very simple, quick procedure and not to worry. We chatted about how she was looking forward to getting a Mirena herself sometime soon, but had to wait for her insurance to cover it. (That was a mistake on my part…we haven’t met our deductible yet this year, since it’s only February, so I had to pay the whole thing in order to get the Mirena inserted. No biggy…just means that all the rest of our medical stuff this year will be beyond deductible level, I guess, but still. That was $400 out of pocket. But when I consider that I’ve been paying anywhere from $70 per month to $15 for a 3 months’ supply of my birth control pills for the past 22 years, it’s quite a savings for me to have this done, even with the out of pocket costs!) Then she left to get the doc and to allow me to get undressed.

As I sat in the room waiting, I noticed how easy it was for me to hear what was going on in the hallway, and in the room right next to me. It didn't bother me much, really, but I didn’t know how many patients might be around to hear my possible screaming, so it kind of messed up my focus for a sec. Then I tried taking some deep breaths to calm myself a bit, and pretty soon the doctor and nurse came back in, and we got to work.

We had talked about the pain expectations I had, and the doctor reassured me that everyone is different, and there really was no way of knowing how I would feel, so we just needed to get it done. He warned me about the first stab of pain I would feel. “This is going to pinch, and get uncomfortable, ok?” “Ok,” I said, and tried to remain as relaxed as possible so as to keep things hopefully in a less clenched state.

And holy. shit. Yeah, OW.

I gasped, and held my breath, and the nurse heard me and said, “BREATHE.” And I breathed out, and said, “Thank you. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath!” I figured out then why it is that some women are reported as fainting after/as they have the procedure done. That gasp was deep and didn’t really help with easing any pain, but it was unavoidable. The only other way I’d react to that kind of pain, usually, would be to grab at it. And…he wasn’t hurting a totally grabable area!

I told some girlfriends on a message board I’m on that the pain is hard to describe. It was like someone pinched me really hard in a spot that I’d never expect or want to get pinched. EVER. It fucking sucked.

But it was quick. And then I laid still and tried to relax again.

So he was doing some stuff, and then he said that there was going to be another shot of pain, and this would be worse than the last. Fuck. “Ok, good to know,” I said. And as I clenched my fists to try to have control over some part of my body, the pain hit me. I gasped again, but remembered this time to breathe. And as I breathed back out I said, “JEEEEZUS!” almost involuntarily.
But then he was done, and just finishing up some loose ends, and so we chatted about my friend Jackie, and how she practices hypnotism when she goes through childbirth to help with the pain, and I wished that I knew how to do that. My doctor said, “Oh? And how well does THAT work for her?” He sounded like he thought it was a kind of silly idea, but I told him that it seemed to work really well, actually. To the point of where, with her last daughter’s birth just last week, she was apparently too relaxed for the labor to even get to a helpful level. He actually thought that was cool, and then we chatted a bit more about things I should watch for after I went home, and then he left me to get dressed.

I could hear the nurses in the hallway desk area chatting about something, and then one of them imitated my “JEEZUS!” exclamation, and I realized how loud I’d been when I reacted. Oops! They seemed amused by it, though, and as one of my goals in life is to amuse the people around me, I felt my job had been done, and I snuck past their desk and back out to the waiting room to collect my husband and go the hell home.

Cramping continued throughout the early evening, but felt much better by about 8 p.m. By the time I went to bed, I felt perfectly comfortable. Today, I’m working from home, as I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the way of continuing cramping/bleeding, but it’s been a quiet day for the most part.

So I’m hoping for continued success with this thing. It’s so weird having something…well, foreign inside of me 100% of the time. And when I think about it too much, it bugs me out, so I try not to. I expect it to bother me less and less as time goes on, but we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m going to think positive thoughts, and continue to enjoy my baby-free life. I have a lot of other hopes for this thing, but I try not to think about those too much, either. For the time being, I’ll just be happy that the beginning is behind me.