Monday, July 30, 2007

Scary news

When I did my skin cancer series last month, it struck a chord with T and me. I decided to swear off the sun after years of exposure, and T decided he should finally go to the dermatologist to get his skin checked. His father has had a melanoma removed, and T has practically transparent skin. On our honeymoon to Barbados, he burned to a crisp and had to cower under palm trees the rest of the vacation.

T made an appointment and was seen right away because of a cancellation. The dermatologist examined every inch of him and decided to remove a slightly large mole on his back. T has had other moles removed, so this wasn't overly alarming. Though he was a bit surprised they just wheeled him in, cut the sucker out, and stitched him up just like that.

Today, the doctor's office called to give him an update. It's a melanoma.

He will have to go in for surgery to make sure it is all removed. He will be completely fine, and it is still very superficial. It is just scary to think, what if he hadn't gotten checked for a long time? Scary.


New toys

Q got two new toys this weekend. This:

And this:

The pool was quite a challenge to get home. We came out of Toys R Us to the CRV and started trying to bend and squeeze it into the back. That was a fruitless effort. So, then we decided to balance it on top of the car, each of us hanging on to it out of our windows. I wouldn't make eye contact with nearby drivers. Admittedly, not the safest plan, but it was a short drive on slow roads, so we made it safely.
Q fell in love with a similar horse when we were at a friend's house a few weeks ago. They had much cooler toys, and we decided Q was being denied. He is quite the tiny cowboy.

Veggie overload

T and I signed up for a CSA this year. You buy a share of a farm's harvest at the beginning of the season and then get boxes every week until the growing season ends. This was the first year for this particular CSA. It is several farms and a winery. Of course, we signed up for the level that includes wine, bread, and cheese. That's the best part!

Things started out a little sparse with some greens and bread. Now, as the summer moves along, we have zucchini coming out of our ears! Our last box had squash, berries, corn, potatoes, greens, basil, cheese, flowers, bread, wine, LOTS of zucchini, turnips and lots of other green things. To be honest, it stresses me out a little in my futile attempt to use it all up!

T gets home around 8 p.m., and I get home around midnight so we don't generally make dinner during the week. I try to make lunches, and then we go all out on the weekend. This weekend we carefully planned our menus for maximum veggie use. We had pasta with squash and zucchini one day. On Sunday, we grilled zucchini and corn, made a potato salad with basil, and had blackberries over sorbet. T also made two loaves of zucchini bread. I think Q will like that for breakfast, and then we intend to pass some off on our co-workers tomorrow.

Sometimes, there really can be too much of a good thing.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Shun the sun

My special project aired today on skin cancer. It is a relief to have those all behind me. I used all our fancy new equipment to put them together and had a few brief panic attacks last night when things turned red and strange numbers popped up. But, everything came together, and I was proud of the final result.

I think this project has finally convinced me to shun the sun. I was a lifeguard for several years in high school and college and always got tanned to a nice burnt ember tone. I have used tanning beds and basked sans-sunblock on the beach. But, I think it is finally time for me to actually take care of my hide. I bought the nice type of spray sunblock the dermatologist recommended (It is Neutrogena Helioplex SPF 30 if you're interested). Since I still like to actually look tan, I also got some Neutrogena spray tan that looks quite natural. So, now I feel quite virtuous. Hopefully, it's not too late for my poor sun-damaged skin.

T is actually much more at risk than me. He is a pale Irish lad, and his dad has had several melanomas removed. The poor boy just glances at the sun and gets a hideous burn. My stories also convinced T to actually go to the dermatologist and get his skin checked. The doctor removed a mole from T's back and gave him stitches. He didn't expect it to go that far on his little check-up, but I guess it is better that it did. The mole was over 6 mm which is a warning sign. He will hear back in a few days if it is anything to worry about.

Our 11 p.m. producer called in sick today. I have my doubts about her honesty. I hate people who abuse sick days. I had to produce the show then along with handing my skin cancer stuff, so it was a lot to juggle. I just think it is rude when people are willing to call in sick and disrupt their co-workers' schedules. I think we should reinstate doctor's notes.

I turned in my application today for the international exchange program. I figure it is best to be accepted and have to turn it down than to not try at all. Right?


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hello, Jack

There is my handsome new little nephew! He looks like he is two months old already! I am excited to see him next week. Babies are so exciting, aren't they?

My baby is having a particularly hard time pooping right now. He is sitting next to me putting forth a great deal of effort. I'll have to check out the outcome in a few minutes. It might not be pretty.

I had a huge frustration at work last night. I disagreed with one of our managers about how we were covering a particular story. It really angered me. She is relatively new to the business, and I just don't see eye to eye with her often. I wrote her a long email about it last night after she had gone home. We'll see what comes of that.

Our new boss comes on Monday, and I find that comforting. He has a lot of experience and will be able to set her straight I think.

I am having a dilemma right now in the classic work-versus-family battle. I am interested in applying for this international exchange completely funded by the Rotary, but I also am about ready to think about having another baby. I probably can't do both right now, yet I won't know if I will actually be able to go on the month-long trip for at least another six months. You always end up having to choose don't you? At least women do. Men aren't the ones having to dedicate their bodies to the development of their family. And, men wouldn't be judged as harshly for leaving their babies for a month to advance their careers. Such a dilemma. I am sort of just moving forward right not with the application and waiting to see what happens. I hope something makes up my mind for me.

For now, it's time to go see about a poopy diaper.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Cousin

Jack Robert came in to the world this morning ten days late and weighing 9 lbs, 2 ounces! I can't wait to cuddle with the big, little guy in two weeks. He is the fourth son for my sister. They have a wild household, as you can imagine.

Things are pretty hectic in my days lately. I am having one of those months where I am just trying to keep my head above water. So far I am making it okay, and I will feel much better when my series on skin cancer airs this Thursday.


Friday, July 20, 2007


I have just been asked to speak at my high school reunion! How scary is that? It is exciting and flattering, but what an intimidating crowd!

Reunions make you want to dazzle and impress everyone and show how far you have come. I hope my speech won't have the opposite effect. The organizer said they want an "interesting and inspiring" speech. Yikes. That's a tall order. I am not sure I have any interesting and inspiring material.

My 10-year reunion is August 4th. I already happened to be going home that week, so it worked out that I could attend. I have not lived in Wisconsin since I was 18, so this will bring back a lot of memories. Already, all the old prejudices and fears are arising. High school has a weird effect on the brain doesn't it?


Day trip

T and I took a short trip today for work. We went to a town on the other side of the mountains about an hour and a half away. It was a nice drive. I had two interviews over there, then we had lunch with some co-workers and hustled back for the evening newscasts. I barely made it back in time and was a little stressed in the car.

People always ask how T and I manage to work together. I do think we are very professional people. We rarely get angry at each other at work, and if we did no one would ever know it. There was a married couple who worked here right when we started, and they would often have screaming matches, slamming doors, yelling, and crying. I just think that is ridiculous, whether you are married are not.

We have our share of challenges. We have instances of jealousy, competitiveness, and irritation. But days like today, I really enjoy working with my husband. We enjoyed a warm, lovely day together. We shared ideas and made each other better. I love having him to depend on and run things by and vent to. It is an unusual situation, but it works for us.

We picked up Q after a full day of daycare. I missed him after 9 hours of not seeing him! I tried to smother him with kisses, but he squirmed away. He is far too busy a boy for that sort of thing!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Clean and stinky

My home is getting deeply cleaned right now. I just love it. Hiring a housekeeper is the best thing we ever did. Besides, having Q of course, but it is a close second.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, a very, very stinky man got onto the treadmill next to me at the gym. It was awful. I tried to completely breathe through my mouth and kept turning my head to the side. I hate stinky, sweaty bodies. The only thing worse is accidentally rubbing against a sweaty person. Ick.

Q and I are off to swim lessons in a few minutes. I hope it goes better than yesterday.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fussin' and rainin'

The pool was vomitless today, but also rainy. Q and I had a busy and fussy day.

I had to start the day reading stories at a children's festival. I had a nice little crowd, because it started to drizzle, and they crowded under the tent. Some kids couldn't help but rush up and touch the books, and their parents would scramble to their feet to pull them away. It was cute. The organizer wrangled Q when he got restless near the end of my reading session.

He was due for a nap, but we had swimming lessons right away. I let him lay down for about 10 minutes, but then it was into the suit and off to the pool.

It was drizzly and cold out. Q did not want to go in the water, and he made it known. He clung to me and squealed when the teacher tried to put him on the slide. We had to cut the class a little short, so he could wail in the changing room while I washed him off.

Tomorrow, I am planning a pre-swimming lesson nap. Hopefully, we will be more successful.

Still now word about the cousin in utero.

I am starting to feel a few twinges of wanting another baby. T wants to wait longer. What does he know?


No cousin yet

I am still waiting to hear.

Q and I were supposed to have swim lessons today, so we both put on our swimsuits. I packed snacks, towels, diapers, and a change of clothes, then slathered on the sunscreen and off we went to the outdoor pool.

When we got there, everyone was standing outside the pool. Someone apparently barfed in the pool, so there would be no swimming today. Bummer. Tomorrow we shall try again.

Q also went to a different daycare today, because our provider was taking the day off. This provider is closer and charges less. I am definitely have child care envy. I can't stand all the extra drive time ours requires, yet we love her and Q is happy there. I am torn. It is good to have a nice solid backup though. Hauling Q in to work and letting him roll all around the newsroom is not very effective.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Q's impending cousin

My sister's due date is today. I talked to her a few hours ago, and the baby had not made an appearance yet but should appear any minute now. She is hoping sooner rather than later. This will be her fourth child. Her oldest of three sons is four. Amazing isn't it? They don't know what they are having yet, but she has a feeling it is another boy. We all hope for her sake it is a girl. Four wild little boys is a scary thought.

Q will meet his cousins next month for our first family reunion. Considering the path of wreckage Q leaves in his wake, I think my parents house could be a disaster zone. Five children under five years old will be wild. I hope Q doesn't pick up any bad habits from his older cousins.

I felt very content this weekend, which is a lovely feeling to have. Saturday we went to an ice cream social with my mom's group. T met a husband and chatted about cars and other manly things. I love being a part of the group. It is just so nice to have events to go to and people to see.

That night we had a sun-dried tomato, goat cheese angel hair pasta recipe from "Everyday Italian." T made the recipe for the most part and was very proud of himself. He did do a pretty good job. It was quite tasty.

We took a walk late that night, because Q was still awake. He loves it. He sits up stick straight in his jogging stroller and takes in the sights.

Sunday we slept in very late, and then I made blueberry pancakes. I am noticing much of our life revolves around food. What can I say? We like to eat well.

Then I went to a MAC makeup training event at the mall. It was very informative. One of their trainers from L.A. put on a workshop. I learned some great techniques and rushed home to try them out. I was all perfectly made up with no where to go. I did laundry and made dinner looking quite fabulous.

Continuing the food theme, we made two types of salsa with cilantro from our Community Supported Agriculture box. One was a peach-chipotle salsa. The other was cucumber-avocado. T made fish tacos and mine had faux meat made of soy. It was sooooo tasty. I ate four with a Corona Light and felt like I was going to explode.

After a bath for Q, I went for a run just as the sun was going down. I felt a little sick to my stomach admittedly, since I had just drained my beer and was still trying to digest a belly full of tacos. But other that that, it was a lovely run. It was nice and cool and the sky was colorful. I took it fairly slow and went six and a half miles. I was just very content. It's a good feeling. It's not always there, so I appreciate it when it comes.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Technology chaos

My brain is ill-equipped to handle technology. I muddle through enough to have a blog and a Blackberry, but that is about the extent.

Most of the details of our new switchover at work completely elude me. It all went down today on Friday the 13th, unfortunately. It did not go as badly as it could have, but it was far from perfectly smooth. We had some glitches here and there, but our viewers probably didn't even know the difference. We have now leapt into the 1990's. It is good to be catching up to just about every other television station in the country. Now everything is run off a server and no tapes are involved. Everything looks clearer, but there is a lot of room for error. I am sure we will discover all the various ways to massively screw things up in the coming days.

It was nice to have a morning with nothing scheduled. Q and I ate breakfast and took naps. It was lovely.

I got some of my ordered Forever 21 clothes. The purchase is nearly guiltfree, because they are so inexpensive. I got a lovely black and cream tunic, a white halter dress, and a babydoll dress with tiny apples on it. That might have to be worn to our ice cream social tomorrow. I love new clothes.

Three new addictions: "What Not to Wear" on TLC and "Everyday Italian" on Food Network. I have always loved both those shows but have become especially addicted to them lately. Also Parent Dish. Good stuff.

We lost Q's stuffed harbor seal the other day. I was pretty bummed about it, because we got it at the Seattle Aquarium, and he loved to clutch it in his crib. We think we left it at a balloon rally last weekend. T ordered a new one, and it just arrived at work. Unfortunately, it is slightly larger than the first one. I guess it is the 16" model as opposed to the 12". It is going to be as big as him! I guess he will have to grow into it.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

A nap at last

Q and I took nice long naps this morning. Such sweet relief.

We have a huge switchover to an entirely new system at work tomorrow. We will have all new editing and playback systems and tapes will be a thing of the past. It might not be pretty.

I am addicted to Forever 21 right now. So cheap and so cute. This is a bad thing for me.

Also these T-shirts crack me up. Some are pretty disturbing, other hilarious.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Burn out

I feel like I am due for a weekend. I've only been getting about five hours of sleep a night and am trying to cram way too much in.

I try to fit working, exercising, Q's playgroups, and a bit of sleep in, and it is all catching up with me.

We are switching over to this elaborate new system at work. Sometimes I dread learning new things. I wish it would all just get into my brain without me having to think about it.

We have had several trainings at work on the new system, and I have been falling asleep in every one of them. I used to have this problem in college too and even high school. If I am just sitting there with someone talking at me, it is a guarantee I will be nodding off.

In one particular training, I was having little snippets of dreams as I nodded off. That combined with intricate technical jargon left my brain very confused.

Tomorrow, I have appointments at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., but after that I am hoping for a nap as long as a tiny man cooperates.

Next week, I have tons of work things, as well as daily swimming lessons for my little swimmer. I am a glutton for punishment apparently. I feel like I need to overcompensate in the mornings since I am working nine hours a day.

That said, we had a nice play date this morning with my mom's group. I talked for a long time to one woman while our babies were in the swings. Why is it so much harder to make friends the older you get? I miss the playground days when you would say, "Want to be friends?"


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blind as a bat

Soon, I will be able to see much better than a bat. I can't wait.

I started wearing glasses when I was about three. I have pictures of myself as this happy little pre-schooler, and then my first picture with big, brown, plastic glasses shows me frowning. It was a sad day.

I always hated my glasses and anxiously counted the days until I could get contact lenses. I am near-sighted and have an astigmatism, so my best bet was rigid gas permeable lenses. These are literally small, hard pieces of plastic you stick in your eye.

I have struggled with these contacts for years. I have just gotten used to the wrenching pain when you get sand under your contact or the scratchy dryness that comes with allergy season. I often experience the sensation of a fiery needle dragging across my eyeball.

I started seriously considering Lasik surgery a couple years ago, when I finally made enough money for it to be a possibility. You can't be pregnant or nursing, so that forced me to wait another two years.

Now finally, clear vision without the assistance of plastic torture lenses is within reach!

I went in today to get my eyes measured and checked and to get fitted for soft contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable affect the shape of your eyes, so they have to go back to normal before they can be accurately corrected.

The eye doctor examined my eyes from an uncomfortably close distance with one of those mask-like things separating us. "Oh man," he said. "Your corneas are HORRIBLE." Uh thanks? "You must be one tough lady, because those are torn up. I can't believe you are not complaining all the time."

I actually DO complain about my eyes a lot, but had pretty much gotten used to it lately. He even called in the nurse to look at my horrific corneas. "Whoa!" she said. "Look at all those spots!"

I said, "You're kind of starting to scare me a little here." But, they assured me my corneas would go back to normal and would be prime for lasering. They did say if I didn't get the surgery I couldn't continue to wear those lenses because they would do permanent damage. I am sold on the surgery though. I'd do it tomorrow if I could.

They dilated my eyes, so I stumbled out with huge black circles looking like a stoned alien. I hate the feeling of having my eyes dilated. T picked me up and then drove me to work later.

I struggled with the soft lenses this afternoon. It is my first time using them, and they seem very large and floppy. They are also quite blurry compared to my other ones but much more comfortable. I will have to manage the next two months or so wearing contacts on air and glasses the rest of the time.

I had to have the camera operators move the teleprompter forward and forced myself not to squint. I am just trying to get by and dreaming of the moment I can see clearly with no lenses of any sort involved!


Monday, July 9, 2007

Shy, not bitchy

If I could change one thing about myself (besides having a naturally fast metabolism and being some sort of heiress), I would make myself more outgoing. I think people probably assume I am outgoing with the line of work I am in, but that is not necessarily the case.

I went to another moms' meetup today, and I marveled at this mom who could just chat with anyone and offered a story or comment to any conversation. Everyone was drawn to her, and she made you instantly feel at ease. I must say I was quite jealous. She's in her late 30's, just your typical mom but has so much confidence and is so comfortable in her skin. I envy that. I always thought by the time I reached my late 20's, I would be the picture of confidence.

I am proud of myself that I still take chances and attend events like this one, but I tend to be the quietest one there. I worry people will think I am rude and aloof. Maybe I should wear a sign: "Not bitchy, just shy."


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sick lizard

A friend and co-worker of mine has a bearded dragon with diabetes. She is struggling to keep up with his care. I found an organization called IMOM while looking for financial aid for her. I thought it was pretty neat, and thought you might too.


Tantrum time?

It all started on the airplane. T took Q to Boston last weekend, and he said Q was fairly good on the flights. All except one. On that one he woke up to Q screaming. Q pushed everything away and threw his bottle. T spent the rest of the flight hiding in the bathroom with a wailing baby. I'm so sorry I missed that.

It happened again this morning. Q is starting to throw mini-tantrums. He squeals and writhes around and nothing makes him happy. Where has my sweet baby gone? In his place is this impish toddler with his own over-sized attitude.

A friend was in town visiting this morning. She leads a fabulous L.A. life and his happily child-free for the foreseeable future. I think Q's antics cemented that opinion in her mind. I assured her that Q "isn't normally like this" as she nodded skeptically.

I finally put him in his bed and let him cry himself to sleep.

Usually he is so easy to satisfy. A toy, a bottle, or his mama's arms, and he is happy. I must admit, I feel a little tweak of panic when I can't assuage him. I can only imagine what it feels like on a cross-country flight. I hope I never have to find out.


Independence Day

My luggage is back, everything is as it should be and life is good.

I had to work today, but I didn't even mind because T had the day off. We had most of the day together for family time, and I went in to work in the afternoon. We all walked to the parade in town. It was scorching hot, and Q's head was sweaty. He liked the horses, trucks, little cars, and model airplanes.

We ate a little breakfast and then walked home and cooked out on the grill. We had hamburgers and veggie burgers and angel food cake with strawberries for dessert. Q is a big fan of the angel food cake.

I watched a few fireworks from the roof at work, but they were not impressive from a distance. Just tiny little sparkles.

Happy Birthday Sally! (and America, I suppose)


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Lost luggage and other struggles

It's good to be home.

I missed my Q so much. Last night when I was holding him he fussed a bit and reached for his dad. That was saddening to me. Since when does he prefer his dad?? But, I am back in his good graces this morning.

I swear he looks bigger, and even more like a little boy, but he didn't walk or say any first words while he was gone, so that is relief. It feels so good to hold him and snuggle into his soft cheeks and smell his baby smell. I missed his little language and his snaggle-toothed smiles. I'm not going to let his dad steal him away from me again any time soon.

I still don't have my luggage. I think that sums up my travels pretty well.

To backtrack a bit, I left Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. I couldn't get our new coffee machine to work, so I was un-caffeinated after three and a half hours of sleep. That is not good. I hustled to the airport, but didn't make it in the requisite 30-minute window before my flight. The ticketing agent at our tiny airport glowered at me but still "squeezed me in."

My flights actually went fairly smoothly despite two layovers, but then the trouble set it. My luggage didn't make it. I rented a car to drive an hour to the wedding location. My phone died on the way, so I had trouble locating my friends. Then I called the baggage service from the hotel phone. I was on hold for an hour and the hotel was nice enough to charge me $11 for the toll-free call.

I borrowed a swimsuit from a friend the next day. Then I hit CVS to pick up the essentials. I even cobbled together an outfit from the pharmacy rack of tank tops and Hawaiian skirts. It was surprisingly cute. Who knew? Pharmacy chic.

That got me through another day, and my luggage finally arrived Sunday with less than 24 hours left in my trip.

I got sunburned and bug-bitten. But, I also got to see friends I haven't seen in at least three years. My friend's wedding on the beach was beautiful and touching. They are both such good people, and they seem to just genuinely be in love. That is always such a pleasure to see.

My life has changed a lot in the last few years. Some of my friends are still pretty big drinkers and partiers. Though I once held my own impressively, those days are far behind me. I generally nursed two or three drinks and remembered why I don't miss drinking excessively.

I ran on the beach one day (after I actually got my running shoes). I haven't done that in awhile, and it was exhausting in the sweltering humidity and sinking sand. Another day I walked a long way into town in my CVS sandals and got blisters and an iced coffee. I missed T. Those are things we like to do together. I hate going to weddings alone, though in a way, I think it is healthy. I sure appreciated T and Q after this long weekend.

After many hugs on Monday morning, it was back to the airport for 15 hours of traveling. This time, I had four flights and three layovers. I had several delays and read an entire book and a half and a magazine.

My luggage did not make it yet again. This time I wasn't even slightly surprised. I got to the airport so late, and then it took forever to fill out my missing luggage report, that I ended up just waiting the next half hour till T's flight arrived at 1:45 a.m. I was so excited to see the two of them walking down the hall. What a wonderful little family we have.

We compared travel nightmare notes and came home to find the cats healthy and happy and with only half their food gone. I swear they barely wake up when we are gone.

Now I am hoping my blow dryer and makeup arrive before I have to go in to work. Otherwise, I might have to get a little creative.

And to think we have to do this all again next month.

my beautiful friends

It's good to be home.