A year of pictures

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:27 am

I finished my 365 Days of Self Portraits today.

I’m a little sad it’s over but also relieved. I think it’s important to do something creative every day; it keeps your brain funky fresh. I hope I still take pictures every day, though I will be moving on to other subject matter (thank goodness; one can only look at oneself so much). I’m excited to learn more about the 20D my dad has given us on long-term loan.

The 365 Days of Bisquito project will start in February. That should be good, because babies change so much in the first year. It will be fun to look back and see that squishy little blob turn into a person who can walk (a little) and talk (a little).

What you see here is my “One per Week” selection: 52 photos, the one I liked best or found most meaningful from each week. Click the mosaic to see a slideshow. If you’re really bored, you can check out the entire set of 365.




Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:25 pm

So, I see it’s Friday. That’s a pleasant surprise.

Very peculiar things can happen to a person when pregnant. I’m going to decline to go into detail. Everything’s fine, just…unusual.

Anybody have any good dinner plans for New Year’s Eve? I always like to go out for a fancy, multi-course situation. I looked at the menu at 126 today, and their NYE special looks good but not great. The Lincoln Cafe is closed. Does Taste do a NYE menu? What about Cafe Dodici?


Good news and bad news

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:04 am

The good news:  I submitted our doula fees to my flex spending, and delightfully, they were reimbursed.  I wasn’t sure that was going to happen, since the language in the documentation about what’s covered is kind of wishy-washy about it.  It was a pleasant surprise, and it was also nice that she let us pay in advance so it could be applied to this year’s credits.  Our insurance is changing next year so we’ll get fewer flex credits, so it was good to get it done before the end of the year.

The bad news:  Benazir Bhutto got assassinated.  Holy crap.  She was the first female elected official in the Muslim world, and bam.   How horrible.

I think the bad news outweighs the good news here.

That kind of reminds me of a conversation I had over the weekend.  We arrived at Denny’s aunt and uncle’s house, and they had gotten some snow so things were a little slick and sloppy.  Denny’s other aunt (there are a lot of aunts) greeted us, and I said, “Looks like you got some weather here.”

She said, “Yeah, it’s like our 9/11.”

I blinked a few times and said, “That sounds like a huge exaggeration.”

I hope she wasn’t offended—I don’t think she was; she’s a pretty jolly person—but seriously?


Holiday roundup

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:35 am

Despite some weather-related challenges, we got where we needed to go safely.  It was nice to see everyone, and we ate a lot of good food (although my stomach is so squished I can’t eat the quantities I’d like to, which grumps me out) and gave/received many lovely gifts.  We ended up coming home a day early because Denny came down with a cold, I was getting over a cold, and I’m 8 months pregnant.  We both thought we’d benefit from a quiet day of relaxation.

Some highlights:

  • Denny’s cousin’s wife gave me a hand-made baby sling similar to this one but in nicer colors.  She put a lot of work into it, and it was so thoughtful of her.  I put the stuffed frog into it yesterday and wore it around the house for a while.
  • Denny briefly caught fire but was uninjured (I cannot say the same for his sweater).  It was an unfortunate incident involving a candle, a window seat, and leaning back too far.
  • We ate sushi on Christmas night and got fawned over by the waitress and saw a cute toddler sushi patron.

Look what I got in my stocking.  Yum yum/pretty pretty.


Change of plans

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:54 am

After several years of mild Decembers, Iowa appears to have reformulated its weather patterns and turned this one crappy.  It hasn’t been crazy-cold, but it keeps hovering right around the freezing point and precipitating, which those of you who’ve ever experienced it know is about the worst possible driving situation.

There is freezing rain predicted for tomorrow, so DC and I have decided to hit the road tonight.  We’ll be going to Ames to see my family, then maybe to Des Moines tomorrow to do some stuff with one side of his (weather permitting), then the actually-planned festivities with my family on Sunday, and to Albia on Monday for the other side of his family.

How did it happen that our families have three sides, when there are no divorces/remarriages in our immediate circle?  Through prolific procreation, that’s how.  Both of Denny’s parents have 11 siblings, so his mom’s side and dad’s side can each easily fill a house.  My dad’s side is getting bigger, since there’s a handful of us who’ve recently added spouses and kids, but we are still nowhere near competing with the Cralls and Bearys.

So, yeah.  My blogging will be limited in the upcoming days unless something seriously exciting happens.  Happy holidays, everyone.


Morning treat

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:30 am

You know what’s good?

Hot chocolate with peppermint syrup and whipped cream. Thanks to coworker Rita.

Peppermint schnapps would have been better, but a) it’s 8:29 on a workday, and b) I want Bisquito to get a phat academic scholarship so I don’t have to pay for a fancy college.


More Huckabee

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:16 pm

In the “things I never thought I’d write” category:

It turns out Fox News, the president of the Catholic League and I all feel the same about that Huckabee ad.  I hadn’t noticed the “subliminal” cross, but now that I watch it again, it seems pretty blatant.
Here’s the story.

Thanks to map for pointing me to it.

I anti-heart Huckabee

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:31 am

Oh, man.  I caught a campaign ad for Huckabee yesterday that really burned me up.

All wholesome-like, he smiled at the camera and said it’s time to put politics aside and remember the true meaning of the season, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Hold up.  What?  Did he really say those two things in the same sentence?

I am not naive enough to truly believe that there’s separation of church and state in our nation. Sure, it’s in the constitution and whatnot, but I think it’s very telling that our nation has a woman and a black man as serious presidential candidates, but zero non-Christians.  Still, it’s downright insulting for Huckabee to stare out of a TV screen and strongly imply that Christianity is a given and apolitical.

There are a lot of smart, thoughtful Christians out there who should (and probably do) feel outraged by this man using their religion to further his political goals.  Speak up.  Iowans, caucus.  Also, if you see an 8-month pregnant woman (or an elderly person, or a person with no feet whose armpits are getting chapped from the crutches) at your caucus site and chairs are in short supply, please be charitable.  That’s the kind of Christian value I can get behind.

That reminds me:  what do people with only one hand do when the toothpaste starts to run low?  I was doing an experiment in multitasking this morning that required me to put toothpaste on my toothbrush with one hand, and it’s harder than you might think.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:23 am

Last night I lifted up my pajama top so Denny could sing his nightly song to Bisquito, and he said:

“You are round.  You are rotund.”

How nice of him to notice.  Now if he could just haul it around for me for a while, everybody would get to live the joy.


I survived Coral Ridge Mall

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:28 am

Well, I did it.

I didn’t like it, but I did it.

One lady walked past me and said, in a really loud voice, “She is PREEEEEEEG-nant!”

Yeah.  Thanks for clearing that up for me.


Coral Ridge Waddle

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:40 pm

Whoops, I forgot to post yesterday.  I need to be careful about that these days, or people are going to assume I went into labor.  I did not.

This week is all weird-feeling because of the unusual Tuesday.  Friday has come as a pleasant surprise.  I think I need to go to the mall tomorrow (horror of horrors) to finish up some holiday shopping.  That’s not very fun, but since I did 80% of my shopping online, it’s not so bad to just duck in and pick up a few things.  We’ll see if the fates agree.  Normally my strategy would be to get there right at opening time, but Denny’s mom and cousin Shannon are going to be in town for Shannon’s graduation (congratulations on the MBA, Shannon!), and I think we’re having breakfast and/or lunch.

That’s okay.  I will be brave.  I will make a strategy for getting through the mall without having to do any unnecessary doubling back (a technique I employ at the grocery store, and it makes a huge difference in my time spent shopping and my general attitude).  I will wear comfortable shoes.  I will not get overly annoyed by slow walkers because nowadays I am, in fact, a slow walker.

Or maybe a slow waddler.  I fear it has come to that.


Ice photos

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:15 pm

I realize everybody in the midwest is posting the same photos these days, but I liked how these turned out:

Power to the people

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:10 pm

Denny and I spent last night in a hotel, because we lost power around noon, and we found out today from our neighbor/coworker that it didn’t come back until 5:30 a.m. I’m really glad we got the hotel room, because that would have been a long and chilly night.

I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror before we left the house and I looked funny, like a cat burglar. It’s not the sharpest shot (very poor lighting conditions, doncha know), but you get the idea.


Icy day

Filed under: — Aprille @ 7:58 am

My fair city is covered in a sheet of ice, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  I felt like a wuss doing it, but I decided to work from home today.  This is informed largely by my health care provider’s warning that any little fender-bender or slip on the ice warrants a trip to the ER, and that sounds like a fat lot of trouble.

Work is more fun with daytime TV on in the background.  Woo!



Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:13 pm

So much holiday shopping left to do.

So little desire to actually go anywhere.

So seriously considering expensive shipping options at online stores.


Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:10 am

I got a thing in the mail last week about the Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation. It’s an official-looking form asking me to fill out information about my international travel between 1996 and 2006, because I’m eligible for a refund due to a class action lawsuit against Visa, Mastercard, and Diners Club due to overcharges in currency conversion.

Here’s the official website: http://www.ccfsettlement.com/

It sounded awfully hoaxy to me, but Snopes says it’s for real:


I thought that might be of interest to those of you who do a lot of international travel. I estimate that I spent 134 days abroad during that time, so we’ll see what comes of it.

It’s times like this when being a meticulous blogger really pays off.  I was able to go back through my blog for much of that period and be reminded of all the trips I’ve taken, as well as the duration, because I always post “I’m leaving tomorrow and I can’t wait to get out of here” and “I’m back, here are my pictures” entries.


Quick survey

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:12 pm

If you got a Christmas card with just the words “Let nothing you dismay” (along with a photo and a “Love, Aprille and Denny”) on it, would you get it?

Denny and I are having a debate.

I like the kind of esoteric, out-of-contextuality of it. He thinks it will go over people’s heads.


Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:43 pm

I’m having trouble feeling motivated at work.  I realize I have two more months before Bisquito emerges, and that’s plenty of time to get stuff done, but it’s really hard to get too worked up about anything happening at the office.

Whoa.  The comedian Richard Jeni died some time ago and I had no idea.  I wasn’t a big fan of his work or anything, but I wasn’t a big fan of Anna Nicole Smith, either, and I heard all about her.


So silly

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:29 pm

I was doing some online shopping at a site I haven’t used before, but I figured I might again in the future, so I went ahead and set up an account.

Part of that process involved setting up a security question/answer in case I forget my password or something.  I chose the first of the pre-selected questions:  “What’s the name of the city in which you were born?”

I put in my answer, submitted my account info, and found it summarily rejected.  Apparently only answers of 6-12 letters are allowed.  Um…I don’t see Ames getting any longer any time soon.  Okay, fine.  I moved onto the next security question:  “What is your mother’s middle name?”  Normally this kind of process asks for one’s mother’s maiden name, which would have fit the criteria, but again, Ann didn’t make the cut.  Nor did the next question:  “What is your father’s middle name?”  Dean = NOT ALLOWED.

All the other questions were these ambiguous things, like “What’s the last name of your favorite author?”  How on earth am I supposed to decide?  I like all kinds of authors.  If pressed, I’d probably say Hemingway, but I like a lot of other authors too.  Most of them probably meet the 6-12 letter criterion, but I’d be likely to get it wrong because I’d be in more of a Garcia Marquez mood that day.  And, never mind, Garcia Marquez is 13 letters, so he’s out too.

Another option was “What’s your pet’s name?”  I don’t have any pets.

I finally found one that sort of worked, but let me tell you, I’m a lot more likely to forget the answer to that question than I am my password.


Almond cupcakes

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:31 am

I made these cupcakes for our office holiday party. They have a blob of marzipan inside and are injected with almond cream.

The recipe is a slight variation on this one. Cupcakes are easier for a potluck than a whole layer cake.

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