Monday, October 31, 2011


I ran the 5K race at the 2011 Duke City Marathon. I ran the whole time. My time SUCKED!! It took me 40 minutes. But that doesn't matter because my goal was to run the whole race and not walk, and I DID IT... in 40.00 minutes. I could have run faster and walked a bit, but I wanted to run. And I did! FOR 40.00 MINUTES.
I would post my finisher's picture here for you to admire, but it's $39 to download your finisher's picture. Ridiculous. The Duke City Marathon benefits the New Mexico Cancer Center, but the photo purchase benefits only the photo company.
I imagine they make a killing on this sort of thing.
I came in 716th place overall out of 852 runners in the 5K, and 44th out of 56 in my age group for females.
I want to do another one...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Little PIggy

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I signed up for the Duke City Marathon 5-K race. I don't think that I'll actually be "racing" so much as "hoping that I can run the whole time, and finish."

I started this week with walk/runs for 25 minutes, taking Bryce in the jogging stroller. Downloaded a nifty little app (free!) to use on the iPod. It basically just shouts out when to walk and when to run, and it will gradually up the running time and lower the walking time until I'm running the whole time. It feels so good! The only challenge is, of course, finding time to go do it. There's no way I can get myself out of bed before 6:30 a.m., so running on weekdays gets tricky.

This, and Ty and I finally hooked up the kid-trailer to the bicycle. Bryce enjoyed his ride and Ty felt pretty good afterward too!

Bronwyn chats

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bryce as a horse

Click to see Bryce as a horse! It may be a little early for Halloween...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bronwyn in the bouncy-chair

L & D

I had to go to OB triage the other day because I was incredibly ill with whatever horrible virus has been circulating, and I just needed to see a doctor (or, in this case, a nurse midwife - just as good, if not better). All the rooms were full, so I had to wait in the waiting area, which is between OB triage and the Labor & Delivery unit - L&D.

I watched all the people in the waiting room, they were there waiting for new grandchildren or brothers, or sisters, or nieces, nephews, etc. They were patient and happy. One older gentleman and his wife looked a bit concerned. I saw them wheel a woman and her brand new bundle out of L&D to the elevator that takes you down to the Mother/Baby unit. She looked exhausted and happy.

I started to feel sad that I'm not going to ever go into an L&D unit again as a patient. Sad, and at the same time, totally relieved. But still there was a sadness I can't deny. I did like being pregnant for 6 of the 10 months, but I am also really happy to be not pregnant. So much ambivalence!

So the child-bearing part of my life is done, and I'm working for the next 20-odd years on the child-rearing part.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bronwyn, hungry

My little girl

Stuff Bronwyn does at 6 weeks:
1. She smiles a lot - though not always at what we might consider "appropriate" times. Her favorite thing to smile at is a picture of me and baby Bryce hanging over her changing table. She also loves to smile at Mimi and Nonny.
2. She sleeps a LOT - still. I forget that infants kind of ease you into raising a kid. They spend their first couple of months just sleeping and eating, with occasional wakeful periods.
3. She coos! Baby coos are the cutest sounds.
4. She hollers. She doesn't really cry... she kind of shouts.
5. She "plays" with toys. She has started to notice the stuff dangling over her changing table, bouncy, chair, and swing. She takes swipes at them with her hand, her mouth wide open in concentration. She kicks her feet when she actually makes contact!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love Bronwyn...

...and she is starting to notice me!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Holy cow, is it ever hot!

Today, it's 102 degrees in Albuquerque. Inside our house, it is currently 85. This is, indeed, 17 degrees cooler than outside, but my god, my god it is hot.

And here I am with this 2 day old baby who wants to be right up against me, skin to skin, and I can't take it and it looks like she can't either, given how red and blotchy she gets after just a few minutes.

We're closing on our house on Thursday and take possession on Friday. The new house has a new swamp cooler. We'll try sleeping there on Friday.

Anyone got a pick up truck?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New pictures of Bronwyn Rose

As promised, some better pictures of Bronwyn and the run up to her birth can be seen at our Picasa album. Just click the photo above!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Presenting Bronwyn Rose Bannerman

Artificial membrane rupture (crochet needle to the amniotic sac: pop.) No pitocin during labor. 10 hours of significant labor. Epidural in the last two hours. Vaginal birth. I caught her and cut the chord. With my teeth. With an appropriate medical implement.

8lbs 5oz. 20 and 1/4 inches long. Long black hair. Alert, good disposition. Beautiful and clearly a genius.

Better pictures tomorrow. The good camera is out of batteries and can't upload; she's hungry and we're tired.

Epidurals are kind of awesome

That may be a controversial a statement, and maybe for good reason, but when the white knuckles and clenched teeth give way to a serene nap, I just can't help but reflect positively on the wonders of modern science.

The contractions, obviously, reached a high level of intensity about an hour ago, and Courtney grimaced her way through them until she decided to say "screw it" and call for the comfort men. All went well, and continues to go well.

Sometime soon?


Hard, slightly painful contractions coming at about 3 minutes apart!

Passing the time

A few hours after the water break, Courtney bounces on the ball and feels something.

For real this time

Suited up, brought the computer, the iPad, the camera... but forgot the camera cable, so I'm afraid you're just going to have to visualize Courtney in her pink gown, reclining in the wood paneled birth room, monitor sensors affixed to her bulging, rippling belly.

Sometime in the next few minutes, the midwife will flutter in and break the water (we swear!) and give Bronwyn her notice that the time has come to vacate the premises.

Will update!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fog of war

Well, it turns out that pregnant ladies sometimes think their water breaks when it doesn't. After about half a day of waaaaiting for something else to happen and getting nothing but some very low-grade (but noticeable!) contractions, we went to the hospital to see WTF, man. A bit of poking and prodding and a few tests later the midwife determined that no, it hadn't really happened after all.

How could such a mistake have been made, you ask? My answer is simply "fog of war", as anything else would be TMI, which probably still exists somewhere out there beyond the boundaries of pregnant land (or so I've heard it rumored.)

Anyway, so other than the aforementioned low-grade contractions, not much is going on, and here we sit, 10 days after the due date. Tomorrow, then, we will go back to the hospital and magic Dympna the midwife will start to... um... nudge things along with a series of increasingly serious intervention techniques.

Unless, you know, a certain infant girl would like to surprise us all with an earlier appearance? HINT HINT

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Something else broke.


WAIT! The situation is developing... Turns out that there is now an induction slot open on Saturday, which was the day we wanted originally anyway, mostly because our midwife is on schedule then. And if you're going to submit to medical inducement of unknown complication and length, you may as well do so with the assistance of an English cunning woman with a Blue Peter demeanor and Christopher Eccleston's accent. Also, it will give kiddo another couple days to shake herself loose.

So now we are sitting at a table outside the Pete Dominici Building, drinking coffee and eating donuts while we wait for a "non-stress test" to determine Bronwyn's current health.

And then the fridge broke...

It's been a hell of a week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Induction tomorrow

Tomorrow, the midwives will break my water with a crochet hook (sort of) and then time me to see if I have contractions. If I don't I'm going with epidural + pitocin. Epidural + pitocin worked beautifully for me with Bryce, after 20+ hours of trying to do it myself.

Going in at 7:30 a.m. Feeling a little anxious about it all, but it's also really good to know that there is a foreseeable end to this pregnancy! Besides, I have wasted a lot of days of my leave time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Had an excellent birthday today! Started out with a long walk through the zoo with Bryce and Ty. I really like the Albuquerque zoo - but of course I had an ulterior motive... shaking this baby down was definitely on my mind. Bryce was freaked out by the spider monkeys, but he really enjoyed the parrots today. He also was REALLY into the crocodiles. He was also a little unnerved by the duck following him around, wanting to be fed. Poor kid has PTSD from his own chickens, I guess. When we got home, I had a lovely nap.

Had a little lunch, then off to my birthday midwife appointment! Dympna asked me whether we wanted to go ahead and schedule induction. I asked a lot of questions about how it would go, and she figures the best option is to artificially break my water, then give me some time to hike around the hospital and see if we have any progress. Then, I'd opt for epidural + pitocin if nothing happened. We talked about what the most current research indicates for outcomes with labor induction. Apparently, it increases risk for emergency C-section for only 15% of women whose cervix is not favorable. OH! Well, mine is apparently favorable, so sounds like decent odds. She then stripped my membranes - a charming procedure that I won't describe in detail today.

Back home, mom and I took Bryce for a tricycle ride around the block - in 98 degree weather. He did a great job! Mom only had to push him about half the time. When we got home, I had a lovely nap.

Had dinner with mom and Julie at St. Clair Winery, and it was great. Lemon meringue pie at home after, and I probably don't need to spell out my wish.

Right now, I am having braxton hicks contractions, I think. Everything's getting all tight and hard every 15 minutes or so. Also feeling crampy in a way that reminds me of the very earliest part of labor with Bryce. We'll see... certainly, this kid and I will not share a birthday, but hopefully she's coming soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Waiting, still.

No baby yet! She is quite comfortable, apparently.

Back at work today.

Friday, July 08, 2011

At work

Well, I am back at work today, because really - why not?

There's no indication that this baby will EVER be born. I have already cleaned the house and all of her clothes and receiving blankets. My bag for the hospital is all packed and has been for over a week. I even organized all the baby clothes into piles: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6+ months. The diapers are loaded and ready, and the diaper champ pail is in its designated location ready to receive the inevitable.

I know that she WILL be born, I just can't stand not knowing when. I used up 3 days of my leave to get the house ready, and that was good. Now if I stay home I'll just be sitting around waiting (and probably driving Ty nuts), and that's not productive. So, here I am at work today trying to get some manuscripts up to scratch, pounding out a conference proposal abstract, and... well... sitting around waiting. But hey! At least it's air-conditioned in this building. It's been getting up to 83 degrees in the house every day from 3:00 until about 7:00. Misery for a huge pregnant woman.

Really, Bronwyn, you can come any time. I want to get a look at you, love.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

These entries will all be entitled "Waiting"

Because that's all that we're doing. It's like life has stopped. Courtney is off work and more or less paces the house with a weary look in her eye. I spend way too much time on the computer, sometimes working, sometimes "working", but really, all we are doing is waiting.

Waiting means that we have more time to consider this coming child than we seem to have had the whole pregnancy, distracted as we normally are by Bryce and work and school. Unfortunately, that mainly means we have time to whip up anxieties and full blown fears, pausing from time to time to take a few breaths and realize that everything will probably be fine, but what if...? And back to the breathing.

This heat is ridiculous and really not helping. I suppose that when we get tired of waiting for a baby we can start waiting for rain instead, and then when that gets old we can try waiting for the closing on our new house. It's a sweltering sort of limbo.

Good lord, are there people out there actually living their lives? Getting things done? Could that be possible? Please tell me what it's like.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


It's a hot, hot day in July and Courtney is due tomorrow. Of course, that doesn't mean a darned thing about when the baby is actually *coming*, but July 6th has a symbolic importance. It means that shit is about to get real.

And this baby, Bronwyn, she's ready. I see the ripples moving across Courtney's belly and I can't help but think that she's going to arrive not only walking and talking but also ready lead to a world wide revolution. Consider this fair warning: the kid's going to be trouble.

In the meantime, yes, it's so goddamned hot and the whole state seems to be bursting into flame every time I turn around. This is an antagonistic summer, no doubt, one that leaves you no choice but to hunker down in place and wait for it to swelter itself red and bursting until the fabled monsoon season sees fit to send a rain shower or two. But no, as of yet, only heat and fire and smoke and waiting waiting waiting...

Introduction to Sewing

I took a sewing class through the University of New Mexico Continuing Education program. Unfortunately, they've decided that this will be the last year employees can use their tuition remission to cover "personal enrichment" classes, so it was my last chance to take the class for free. I made a single-strap, drawstring bag with a front pocket and inner zipper pouch. It turned out pretty well! I selected a really loud fabric to hide my less-than-perfect stitching. Hey! First thing I make - it's functional and pretty neat! I learned to make button holes, sew in a zipper, use fusible interface, and do binding. Behold! My creation!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Courtney and Bronwyn

Here is a picture of me and Bronwyn Rose. Hopefully, there won't be many (any) more opportunities for full-on belly pictures before the big event. Everyone think positive thoughts. About evacuations, expulsions, etc.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long, hot summer

It's going to be a rough summer. We haven't had any rain for a couple of months. This month we've had absolutely 0.0 inches of rain - average is about 1 inch. The "monsoons" don't seem to be coming any time in the foreseeable future. It's hot. We've had 100+ degree temperatures for the past few days, with no relief in sight.

And we're on fire.

Today as we drove up to Santa Fe for a belated Bernice birthday lunch at Harry's, we saw a plume of smoke from the Pacheco fire in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It was impressive. By the time we left Harry's there was a new, enormous plume of smoke rising from the Jemez mountains. I told Ty and Julie that it looked as if the Valles Caldera was erupting, the plume was so large and intense.

This is called the Las Conchas fire, and as I am writing this it's already burned about 6,000 acres and is growing. It's about a mile outside the boundaries of Los Alamos National Labs, and they're closed tomorrow as a result.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here are some updates for June 23, 2011:

1. Bronwyn - The baby has not arrived. She is taking up the bulk of my midsection at this point, and I'm finding it difficult to sit, sleep, digest food, and breathe. She's due to arrive in a little under 2 weeks. I wonder whether it's even possible to make it that long. We have most of everything that we're going to need for her now - we've received so many wonderful presents from so many wonderful people. We have very kind and generous friends, for sure. In fact, I have a SECOND work baby shower scheduled for next Wednesday in the department of emergency medicine. There's a lot of love going on over here. Let's see if she says put until then.

2. House - Well, we have put an offer in on a house, had the back-and-forth and reached an agreed upon price with allowances and closing date. During the house inspection, we discovered that there are in fact termites in the house, and some damage in one of the rooms from them. The house needs to be treated, and the damage repaired. The current owners of the house do not want to do any repairs above and beyond the $1,000 allowance they (begrudgingly) agreed to in the first place. Thing is, the termite treatment (not really a repair so much as a treatment) is going to cost close to $750.00. They hadn't anticipated this I guess, and they don't really want to do more than $250 in other repairs. The other things we're requesting are things like bringing the electric box up to code, the line from the city up to code, the outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms up to code, and to fix some plumbing problems. These are things that will cause them to have difficulty selling the house to ANYone - we're not just being extra picky. So, we responded to their refusal with a, "no, we really need to have these things fixed." We'll see what they do next.

3. Jobs - I am currently in employment limbo. the great news is that I have the opportunity to stay in the emergency medicine job now through November, so my pay is guaranteed not to go down at least until then. AND, my other fabulous boss at the PRC seems to value me as an employee and is considering posting a position at the pay rate I'm currently earning (the average between my two departments) so that I can just come over here full time and not lose any income. The only "problem" is that she'll have to post a new position and hire for it competitively. I can't believe my good luck at having two really kind bosses who seem to appreciate my work. It makes me want to work extra hard for them both. Who knew? So as far as employment limbo goes, I'm still in a pretty good position.

4. Us - We're all doing okay! The chicks have stopped trying to eat each other, and the hen seems to be okay with them now, too. They sleep at night in the hen house all together, but we keep the chicks in the chicken run during the day while Audrey gets the run of the yard. The dogs have a brand-new bark deterrent device in their run, and I swear it has reduced overall irritation in our household by at least 50%. Bryce is in school 3 days per week, and Ty is working on a piece for NPR. I plug away here at my two jobs and wait for Bronwyn to arrive. It's hot out. That's pretty much it! We hope all of you are doing super as well.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

36 weeks pregnant...

Wow, they're not kidding when they say that your organs literally become displaced by the growing fetus/expanding uterus. Check out the liver in this picture...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Overdoing it...

Well, we officially have a lot going on.

Baby is due in 5 weeks. She has officially relocated all my internal organs and is working on expanding my pelvis. She evidently enjoys interior design. All the organ rearrangement is causing me a lot of pain in my back, my left side, and - well - my pelvis. We still need to get a car seat and a few more things for her before her arrival. Thankfully, as a result of the surprise baby shower I had at work, we're far more prepared than we were a week ago.

We put an offer in on a house, and it was accepted, and now we are in pending status. We're due to close on July 21st. This is good - the original counter-offer was for us to close on the 7th, the day after Bronwyn's due date. Still, it means a whole lotta crazy and not much sleep in July, and then having to move in the midst of it all. I'm a wee bit terrified. I'm sure it will all work out, and sometimes I actually wish I could get in there early and get a nursery ready.

My job in the emergency department ends in August. That's actually okay, as my fabulous other boss has offered me full-time employment working on her studies, and my emergency medicine boss has offered to help me find hospital social work employment to keep me in the ED. It's good to know that I'm appreciated and looked out for... only a little bit stressful to not know for sure what is going to happen.

Bryce has recently decided that he doesn't want to nap anymore. This leads to extended and heightened temper tantrums because he's constantly tired. It also means a more difficult and demanding bed-time routine, because he's over-tired by 8:00 and practically inconsolable.

Thanks to the guilty feelings we have about the untimely death of Bess, we got two more chicks to keep Audrey company. They were supposed to be pullets - pre-teen kind of chickens, but really, the dude sold us chicks. One of them is really small, and the bigger one has decided that she would really like to eat the small one. The bigger one constantly pecks the little one, who has lost about a third of her feather covering on her back and her shoulders. We've read that they sometimes actually will eat each other. So, we separate them and they both cry and cry and cry, because being babies they want to be among other chicks. Then we put them back together and the whole violent spectacle begins anew. Not sure whether to just "let nature take its course" or to make them both miserable by keeping them apart. I think I'm going to rig up a box with chicken wire on it to keep them separated, but make it possible for them to see each other. We'll see how that goes... assuming the big one doesn't kill the little one over night tonight. They've slept together two nights in a row so far without incident. It's when they're awake that they have problems.

Right now, I kind of want to go back in time 5 years and just stop at the one dog - no Tesuque, no kids, no chickens, no house. Too late now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surprise Baby shower

So, it turns out my co-workers love me. Today, they threw me a surprise baby shower!

Monday, May 16, 2011

House Hunting - Day 3

We saw something sad today. A cute little house that was almost completely trashed by the three dudes renting it. They were growing a little something interesting in one of their closets, too. Do they not think that prospective home buyer would, you know, look in the closets??

We saw a really neat house in a really nasty neighborhood. That was also pretty sad, because the asking price on that house was WELL within our means. We'd have been able to do some serious renovations to it, too.

We saw a house that is a real contender. It's in a GREAT neighborhood, and it has a very doable floor plan. There will need to be some work done - one wall between the kitchen and living room will need to be taken out, and one wall between the living room and what will become a master bedroom will need to be re-built. Otherwise, it's got a lovely view of Sandia from the front yard, and when we pulled up, a nice couple taking a walk stopped and said, "it's a great neighborhood, you'd really like living here!" That's always a plus.

The last house we saw today was awesome for sheer kitsch value. It was obviously decorated painstakingly in the 1970s, and it still looked catalogue-worthy... for 1972. Well-maintained and awesome. It even had big yellow tulip floral wallpaper in the kitchen. Loved it, but would need to renovate it, and it's priced at $200K.

So far, I've got one favorite from each day of house hunting. They range in price from "just-what-we-can-afford" to "probably-more-than-we-can-afford"

We talk to the loan lady tomorrow, so we'll see what she has to say about them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

House Hunting - Day Two

On Friday, our realtor took us out again. We actually saw 6 more houses today, again in a two-hour time frame.

Gloria is a machine!

The houses ranged from oh-my-god in a good way to oh-my-god in the worst possible way. Imagine a little beat-up house, inhabited by college boys, bedecked by posters (including one of Michael Jackson with a panther), and furnished with futon mattresses and a Foosball table - with a city housing project across the street. We saw that house yesterday.

We also saw the most amazing, cozy, wonderful house in an incredible neighborhood. Sadly, it's about $20k outside the high end of our price range. Drag.

We also saw a house that has a lot of potential but needs a complete interior overhaul. There was a double oven that I swear was older than I am. It was pea-green, along with the dishwasher. The bathrooms were ancient and in a sad state. The crowning glory was an enormous brick fireplace with flagstone shelves scattered about here and there. The place could, in the right hands and with an additional $50k, be really impressive. Sadly, they are asking wayyyy too much for it. Plus, I wouldn't want to have to keep paying rent here while the contractors tear it up and rebuild it. Still, I gotta say I liked that house and found it intriguing. The sad thing is that it was obviously the former home of some little elderly person who probably passed away recently. Ty found it depressing, but I felt like someone really loved that house for many, many years. The yard was filled with roses.

So, day two down. Probably a third day of looking next week. Talking to the loan lady on Monday, too...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

New House Hunting: Day 1

Our realtor took us out today to look at houses. She had five to show us in one afternoon, and we saw them all in a two-hour span, even with Bryce in tow.

The first house was in an unexceptional neighborhood - perhaps a little too close to one of the busier streets in Albuquerque. When we got inside, the house was really lovely. There was a nice, open floor plan but only two bedrooms. The kitchen was great, and there was actually a garage (which, I suppose we could turn into a bedroom like everyone else in Albuquerque does). But the yard... my god the yard...

I've read "park-like setting" on descriptions of outdoor living spaces before, but I've never seen anything quite like this. There was a pond, a little acequia, a chicken house with a pen, and just about a full quarter-acre in the back.

The second house was in a gorgeous, stunning neighborhood, in the right school district, and had three full bedrooms. The yard was really nice with excellent shade trees. The only problem: no dining area. There was also a really sketchy garage - though it is detached. I think that we would have loved that house more had we not just been thoroughly wowed by the previous home's yard.

The next house we'd actually seen before. But the fourth house was like nothing I've ever seen.

As we pulled up, Ty pointed out a huge 1980s era RV parked in the driveway. He asked the realtor, "Have you ever seen Breaking Bad." She laughed and said, "I KNOW!" Well, turns out it wasn't too far from the truth. The place was littered with old furniture, the cabinets were falling apart, you could see the wood frame of the house in several places where the plaster was falling away from the walls, and there were some very creepy, dark stairs that we didn't end up venturing up. A shirtless man was in the house, evidently "fixing it up." Our realtor found this confusing since the house wasn't supposed to be occupied. Yeah, that place was a mess. So sad, too... you could tell it was once a very charming bungalow - and a rare thing in that particular neighborhood where most houses are the pueblo-style cinder block variety.

That was exhausting and pretty enlightening. Our realtor didn't seem wowed by any of the homes we saw. She told me to keep my eyes peeled because once school ends, a lot of homes evidently go on the market. Day one: down.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bronwyn Rose

The baby's name will be Bronwyn Rose Bannerman.

Unless she just absolutely doesn't look like a Bronwyn... then who knows what we'll call her.

I discovered the name Bronwyn in 2003, about six months before Ty and I got married. I was in an accident (documented in the Emergency Dept. as "bicycle vs. auto") on my bike en route to Kyle Zimmerman photography to see whether I wanted to hire her for my wedding photographer. Cars were passing on the left, I got over to the right. I remember thinking, "uh oh, car door," and then nothing. Though I was wearing a helmet, I still got knocked out. I lost my short-term memory for about an hour or so, as evidenced by transcripts from the ambulance ride - every fifteen minutes or so, I asked, "what happened?" I had a lovely gash on my face, just below my left eyebrow. A resident called Bronwyn Head sewed up my face while I stared at her name badge. Bronwyn. Wow, that is a really cool name. I bet nobody else you knew had that name, did they? No. ...and she was really beautiful and really smart and very kind. Bronwyn. The name stuck with me.

We're getting mixed responses to the name "Bronwyn." Our midwife, Dympna (obviously biased from having a very unusual name herself), adores that name. She thinks it's "just lovely" that she'll be the only Bronwyn and that's so special! My dad thought that the name was "beautiful... wow." Ty's mom likes it, and Bernice, who is never shy about sharing her opinion, has also given the name her stamp of approval.

My mom isn't convinced.

When we told her the name, she said, "Oh, that's interesting... Here are some other names you should consider..."

But her name will be Bronwyn. We're already calling her that. If you ask Bryce who is in mommy's tummy, he will tell you it's Bronwyn. He kisses her sometimes. He likes to play with her Haba teething ring, promising that he will give it to her when she is born.

She'll be here in 10 weeks or so.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shameless Baby Registry Promotion!!

Here is the link to our Amazon Baby Registry. I know, I know - technically you're not supposed to register for the 2nd one. But I figured - hey, just in case people want to get her some presents... right?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Baby BannGerald 2

We had a follow up ultrasound to check up on the fetal pyelactasis. Baby's earlier measurement was 4.1mm on her right kidney, and they like to double check for anything over 4.0mm. Today, she had 3.0 on both kidneys! So, issue apparently resolved. Yay!

Here are two of the 3-D ultrasound photos.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Bryce on a hike

During the last days of winter, we took a short walk at the Rio Grande Nature Center. Bryce enjoys "hiking."

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Robert cooks!

For Robert's birthday this year, we went out to have barbecue at Johndi's, which is the best stuff we've had since living in central Texas. We highly recommend it, if you happen to be in Albuquerque long enough to have eaten your fill of New Mexico cuisine, and you crave some meat.

The next night, we cooked in. This ended up being a LOT of fun, and (quite frankly) even better than what we'd had the night before at the restaurant.

Robert altered a recipe for Chicken-Parmesan Bundles on We used ricotta cheese, added sun-dried tomatoes, and grabbed some fresh oregano from the garden to give it more flavor than what's promised in the original recipe. The recipe calls for breading the chicken with ritz crackers, which is excellent because the butter in the crackers helps make the breading brown and wonderful. The result was FINE!!

End product, sliced, served over pasta with sauce and some zucchini. It was really, really good.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Pure Evil

So, I don't know whether I have a cold, or just really REALLY bad allergies. In New Mexico, the most evil of all evil plants for allergy induction is the Juniper. Here he is in all his glory:

And god, it's been windy here. And dry.


Things are so different for this pregnancy than they were for the last one.

For one thing, I mostly forget that I am, in fact, pregnant. I spent a lot more time thinking about it when I was pregnant with Bryce. I could sit alone in the bathtub and watch my belly move, or spend time alone while Ty was writing to decorate the baby room or shop for little clothes. If it weren't for a growing belly (and I swear that this time I am much bigger than I was with Bryce, though Ty disagrees) and some serious rockin' and rollin' from time to time, I wouldn't remember that there's a baby in there. And, this time, we know it's a girl. We refer to the bump as "she," and "her," sometimes "Bronwyn." That's different, too. Bryce was "Whoozit" for the whole nine months pre-birth.

Another difference has been that with Bryce, the early pregnancy was wrought with drama. There was the previa - nights in OB triage wondering if I was miscarrying. With this baby, the early part went really well - with the exception of nausea of course. Now we learn that she has fetal pyelectasis on her right kidney. It's slight - only 4.2 mm - but enough to require a follow-up ultrasound to make sure that it's not getting worse. The worry about it is that it does have a weak association with Down Syndrome. I am really, really hoping to avoid that - our risk came back in the "very low" group in the ultrasound + blood work testing - 1 in 10,000 - so we are probably okay. Still, it does kind of weigh on the mind sometimes. Not the best way to remember that I'm pregnant.

Of course, the biggest difference is that Bryce is here already. He is excited about having a sister on the way, but he is also dealing with the realities of being a three-year-old. He wants the world to work the way he wants it to work, when he wants it to (which is typically RIGHT NOW!). Poor guy. He has his tantrums, he yells, he becomes inflexible and uncompromising, and he has melt-downs. In all, though, that typically happens when he's tired or hungry or not feeling well. Still, it's a rough patch to get through, developmentally - for him and for us! I certainly have my "what-was-I-thinking?" moments sometimes when I consider the impending reality of having 2 kids.

The lack of personal space that comes with the three-year-old is tough. We can no longer just lounge around. Can't go out whenever we want, wherever we want to go. I don't think that we've seen a movie for over a year. Certainly preparation for this second child isn't as "magical" or romanticized as was prep for Bryce. I know I'm going to be covered in puke for the first three or four months. I know that I won't get any sleep for at least that long. I know that I'll have to find time to pump while I'm at work, that Ty will be doubly exhausted when I get home.

But still... still, I can't wait to meet her. It's different, to be sure, but it's still pretty awesome.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bryce's birthday wish

Bryce turns 3

Our little toddler is no longer a toddler! He's an honest-to-goodness train!! Er, I mean boy! Though he is still obsessed with trains, and often insists upon being called a train: "No, I am NOT Bryce, I'm a train!" Of course, on his birthday we got to go train crazy. Here he is with his train cake, made by his Nani. It was delicious.

Fitzerman Baby 2

Here are the ultrasound images from February. We're having a little girl!

Life goes on...

So things keep on changing. Should really update the blog more often - it's a much better record than facebook. It's quieter, too...

So, stuff that's new:

I have two new jobs.
I work 40% at the UNM PRC still, but on a new project. I am co-coordinator for the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS). It's part of the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS), and it basically asks questions about health behavior risk and protective factors among students grades 6 -12. For example, New Mexico kids have the 2nd highest cigarette smoking rate in the nation. My job currently entails contacting superintendents statewide and requesting their districts' participation in the survey. It will get busy in August when we start coordinating the survey's implementation in schools - scheduling and packing and shipping and receiving... it's gonna be awesome. I myself am looking most forward to getting results in and doing analyses!!
I also work 60% at the UNM Hospital Emergency Department. I go from room to room and screen patients for a study about drug use. If they screen in, I recruit them and enroll them, and sometimes I get to do a brief intervention with them using a technique called Motivational Interview. It's been demonstrated to be effective for people dealing with alcoholism, but not with drug use so far. It's a really interesting study, and I REALLY enjoy doing MI. I also like talking to drug users. Who knew?

Ty is in his second semester of graduate school. I think that he's finding this semester somewhat less challenging than his last. I'm sure he could probably say more, and that I should probably leave it to him to say it...

Bryce is 3!! He had a great birthday and I totally need to post some pictures of it. His birthday wish before he blew out his candle was, "I wish for train cake." Lucky kid! Said candle happened to be atop a Nani-made chocolate frosted train cake.

Tomorrow Ty and I are going to Seattle for three days. Mom is being super kind and watching Bryce for us! Last big trip for me and Ty with just the one kid to need a sitter for!

Friday, March 11, 2011

New car. Welcome home, 2005 Pontiac Vibe.