Month 7: I have the plague…again.

7 months Preg - The PlagueI always get the crud this time of year. It starts with allergies. Then my throat starts to itch. Then my body gives up the fight completely and I end up with bronchitis. This has happened every year since 1996.

I am a bit startled that it came on so early this year; normally the plague arrives just in time to screw up my birthday and/or Christmas. Also, it came on so quickly!! I was fine at work yesterday. I got home at 3:30 and my nose was runny…then I woke up at 1:00am convinced I was going to die before the sun came up.

Thank goodness I had to do the gestational diabetes glucose testing thingy at the doctor today, it resulted in my seeing the doctor this morning. I got swabbed for flu, which came back negative – evidently I’m still not out of the woods though. Supposedly, it can take a little time for a flu test to come up positive? I’ve had the flu twice in my life, and I DO NOT relish the thought of having to go through that while 7 months pregnant. Baby G is doing just fine though, he’s a big boy and I’m scheduled for sonos every month from now until delivery. I still haven’t seen my son’s face, because he covers it with his arms every time we try to do the 3D imaging. However, I am convinced, from traditional sono profile pics, that this kid looks EXACTLY like his Daddy. And I intend to prove it before he arrives by golly.

Anyhoot, due to my disease-ridden  plague-infested virally suffering corpus, my doctor made me swear on my unborn child that I would not go to work today, and that I would actually STAY. IN. BED. (fidgeting is a problem for me, as we all know). My doctor also


knows that when it comes to “taking it easy”, I’m a big fat liar, and I will tell her that I will rest and be a good girl – then drive straight from the doctor’s office to my office for work.

This round though, I’ve done what I promised. Mostly. Other than going to pee and acquiring water and food, I’ve stayed in bed – I have done some work, and I did FaceTime the shop to check in – but I’m IN. BED. I’m also drinking chicken broth now (my homemade stuff, which is the GREATEST) and I keep sipping on a concoction that seems to soothe my throat, and clear my nose, simultaneously…

Lemon Honey Ginger Stuff

  • 3 Lemon Slices, plus a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Grated Ginger to taste (I keep mine in the freezer, then just grate it into whatever – it keeps indefinitely as far as I can tell)
  • Big spoonful of raw honey
  • Boiling water

– Place lemon slices, juice, ginger and honey in a mug (I just drop the honey-coated spoon in the mug and leave it) Pour boiling water over all. Stir until honey is incorporated, and enjoy. It’s a good way to push more fluids too!! I feel so terrible, I’ve just been drinking cup after cup…yay hydration!!

Tomorrow was supposed to be a fun-filled day, so we’ll see if this “resting” business is all it’s cracked up to be – maybe I can still go play tomorrow. If not though, I’m going back to my tried and true fidgeting and bustling about. It’s a lot more comfortable than trying to be still.

Update: I fell asleep sitting up before I could hit the publish button and slept for 2 hours. I feel a little better (but I’ve lost my voice since this morning), so I think maybe my doctor had a point about being still- she’s a super smart lady  😉 Now…let’s see if Ninja will go get me some Thai food….


~ J ~

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Haute Noms: Roasted Vegetable Stock

Well, I’ve decided to change my tried-and-true chicken stock recipe to a roasted veggie one. It was a tough decision, but we sat down as a family, and talked our way through it. After much discussion, and a few tears……just kidding. None of those things happened. I didn’t even ask Ninja if he cared. Which he won’t. Because it’s SOUP.

Anyway, here’s my reasoning:

Veggie Stock

What it looks like approximately 12 seconds after having been thrown into the pot…

(A) Benjamin has switched to an almost entirely vegetarian/low-sodium diet, and I of course support his health-conscious decision

(B) If I have a lick of sense in my head, I’ll follow his lead. Because obvious.

(C) The baby will appreciate our good sense, and healthy choices, when it comes to my providing him with the growing fuel

(D) It’s a minimum of $5 savings per 3 quarts of stock, and $5 can go a long way for us these days

(E) Veggies don’t try to kill you if you get stuck in traffic on the way home and the car gets hot. Chickens most definitely will. They’re spiteful when not refrigerated.

(F) I feel sad about the current plight of chickens as a whole. I try to buy free-range, organically fed, non-hormone tainted, “certified humane” chickens/eggs, if at all possible. But alas, those little guys get expensive, and Benjamin and I just don’t have the funds to continue to buy the happier chickens. And I can’t bring myself to accept the alternative.

(G) I have a deep, paralyzing fear of nasty preservatives, added hormones, pesticides, processed/artificial weirdness, and GMO’s in general; and it is infinitely easier to find non-jacked-with veggies at an affordable price than it is to find chickens. That’s a fact.

Thus, today brings us the creation of “Veggie Stock Mark 1” my friends- I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, but here’s what I did (btw, all veggies were super well washed ahead of time because of the produce parasite attacking North Texas – be safe with your produce guys!!):

Things you Need:

  • 2 large onions, quartered and peeled
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/4c Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

    With any luck, I’ll get this gorgeous deep brown on the finished product, like Soup Chick® did when she used her slow cooker. Her recipe’s different than mine too, so click the pic to pay her a visit and check out her approach to Roasted Stock…

  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp-ish Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle (Salt-Free/24 Herbs and Spices)
  • 3 quarts Water + 1 cup

Things to Do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wash, peel and chop your veggies while you wait
  3. When the oven’s preheated, throw them in an oven-safe pan for roasting, and spray/coat them liberally with olive oil
  4. Set the timer for 45 minutes
  5. Dig out your slow-cooker and plug it in (I always forget the latter, so I’m offering a friendly reminder that will save you from the frustration fits) You don’t need to turn it on just yet though…
  6. Pour 1c Water, Bragg’s Amino Acids, and seasonings in the bottom and swish them around a bit
  7. Put the lid on the slow-cooker and hang out until the veggies are finished roasting
  8. When they’re finished, carefully transfer roasted veggies from the pan to the slow cooker. Cover with 3 quarts water. Turn slow cooker on low heat. Let that bad boy cook overnight.

That’s all I’ve got for now folks….we’ll see how it goes tomorrow to determine whether we need any added seasoning, or if my Mark 1 recipe needs to be scrapped in its entirety…

If all goes well, however, there’s some vegetarian Pho in my future that I am craving like nobody’s business!!


~ J ~

Posted in Food is DELICIOUS, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Whoa!! It’s a………

Apologies to all you wonderful folks who have been so anxiously awaiting this news!! I couldn’t figure out how to get screen shots from the DVD of our sonogram…

And I still haven’t. So apologies as well for the ridiculous photo quality. This pic was derived from my having taken pictures of my laptop screen using my camera phone…

Oh!! Also, this sonogram was accurate on gender prediction within 92-95%, so we get our 100% confirmation this time next month!!

And I know I’m being a pain in the ass by not cutting straight to the chase (it’s just too  fun to torture you guys), so without further ado….

photo (3)


Universe, meet our son. Son, meet universe.

I promise that I have an infinite number of things to catch all of you up on, including this baby’s name, but more on that later. This little boy and I need a nap.


~ J ~



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There’s a baby in here: Be it Ninja or Pirate?

lunapic_137150799519076_14Well hi there my long-lost-but-no-less-loved friends. I’m just gonna cut to the chase here, because I have no skillz with the written equivalent of a drumroll. If you’re not a Facebook follower, you probably haven’t heard, I’M PREGNANT!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

I’ve had to wait eight a million weeks to tell you guys and that has SUCKED. So here I go: I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. I’M PREGNANT!!!!!

It’s been a long road for me and Ninja. We had some fertility woes early on, then I hauled off and had a stroke followed by heart surgery, then we had to wait a doctor’s mandatory year to start trying – then wait another 5 months for this wonderful little human to catch hold of me and start that little heart to beating.

We’re 12 weeks as of yesterday, and doing wonderfully!!

Our 1st trimester screening is tomorrow morning, and the doc’s going to do an estimated early-reveal on the sex of this baby – so place your bets ladies and gents!! Is this going to be a little Jamie? Or a little Ninja?

Truth be told, we’ll probably get a small being with epic ninja/pirate skills either way…this child’s Daddy is so smart it’s nauseating for us regular folks, and I pretty much live far to the west of the bell curve when it comes to typical and/or predictable behavior. If it’s true your baby’s personality is your childhood personality x3, Ninjamin and I are in for some interesting days.

But for now, I’m content to have this tiny human hanging out in my belly. It’s WONDERFUL. There are some things that have happened in my short 12 weeks that I didn’t anticipate – either at all or that they’d happen quite so soon:

  1. Food tastes AMAZING. Food has never tasted this good in my life. And I really really really love food. I simply didn’t know it could get any better.
  2. In reference to #1, I will crave something even when I’m way nauseous with heartburn. It defies all known logic.
  3. My pants don’t fit. They haven’t fit since 7 weeks. I think The Bump just lies to people because, according to their notes, I was supposed to get an entire first trimester out of my existing wardrobe. Which my growing belly met with a resounding NOPE. And then I learned there is no belly band, or belt, or what-the-hell-ever that can sub for the ASTONISHING COMFORT AND JOY of maternity jeans. I ordered some below-
    10 weeks in my belly :) Click the pic for a link to my cousin Jell Jell's words about the local baby explosion and this amazing picture that she took!!

    10 weeks in my belly 🙂 Click the pic for a link to my cousin Jell Jell’s words about the local baby explosion and this amazing picture that she took!!

    the-belly skinnies in a dark wash and they go through the laundry almost daily. They’re my favorite thing next to Benjamin and this baby.

  4. I don’t put things back where they belong anymore. This morning I put the remainder of a stick of butter in the oatmeal box and stuck them in the pantry. Fortunately, I discovered what I’d done before tragedy struck. This is not what happened when I froze the peanut butter last week.
  5. My dogs know I’m pregnant, and they know where that baby is. Izzy’s our girl dog, and she’s started building a nest for my puppy in the shower. Wimbledon is our boy dog, and his preferred coping mechanism is to block any doorway that leads to me with the full weight of his body (Ninjamin has to shoulder the front door open when he gets home from work – Wimbledon weighs 80 lbs); and last week he started to nose my belly for a quick status check before he spends any minute not glued to my side. I have doggie samurai. It’s AWESOME.
  6. Tea can wake you up in the morning if you just believe. It’s like the Santa Claus of caffeine. As soon as I’m done breastfeeding, however, I’m sucking down a gigantic Black Iced Coffee made by the closest barista faster than you can say Quidditch. And it will be magical.
  7. My core body temperature is over 800 degrees for 95% of the day. I live in Texas. It’s July. How much does it cost to turn your house into a walk-in freezer? Anyone?
  8. I want to sleep. SO HARD. In a single perfect day I could win a free Pixies concert in my living room, be notified that George Takei and Brad have graciously (and finally) agreed to be my next door neighbors, have Shirley MacLaine call to tell me that she does – in fact – want to be my best friend, and find a treasure chest containing a million dollars with the words “To Jamie from a completely honest and small-print-free beneficiary” on my front porch and I would STILL be like “I’ll call everyone back tomorrow. I just need to lie down for an hour or so.”
  9. I am alternately ridiculously happy, and utterly terrified, on a daily basis. There’s like 4 cycles of joy/fear per day. I have zero fears about pregnancy and/or childbirth. I have dozens to hundreds of fears about raising a functional human and keeping said human alive and living in a bubble of health, safety, and comfort until he or she is ready and able to be self-sufficient. That’s just WAY HEAVY you guys. There are no free online calculators or Excel templates for this. I’ve looked.
    8.5 week old joy/fear inducing magical being...

    8.5 week old joy/fear inducing magical being…

  10. From the moment you get that positive test, your life is changed. I can’t say that it changes in the same way for everyone, I can only say that the change is GINORMOUS. That change though, for me and for Ninjamin, was that our lives just…….found their stride. It’s the most singularly perfect thing that’s ever happened to me. I just….my entire world feels utterly complete for the first time that I can ever remember.

But, despite my now happily teary eyes (I also cried over a Bahama’s casino vacation commercial this morning, so we’ll not get super mushy here people), let’s not forget to make our guesses and bets and comments before tomorrow afternoon my friends!! Because this baby’s ready to reveal those chromosomes!!

P.S. Ben and I know what we think we’re having. But we’re not telling yet. So neener neener 😉


~ J ~

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I say “Ashtanga”, you say “What?”

Attempted a similar pose to this last week. My knee is still navy blue. And there’s a bruise in my armpit. But I almost had it!! Mostly.

I have decided to embark on a journey. And I have no idea where it ends, or what’s waiting for me when I get there. Except maybe some sweet bendy contortionist moves.

Back when I had my stroke (18 months ago now!!) the one thing that I didn’t forsee as part of my aftermath is this crazy chronic joint pain I’ve had since I got out of the hospital. My hips, lower back, shoulders and even my elbows will randomly lock up, pinch, throb, or convince me I have broken something (we’re talking compound fracture pain here). I’ve talked to all my doctors about it…I took over the counter pain relief medicine for a period of time (no more!! that stuff just makes your stomach all wonky)…I even go to massage therapy once a month to keep me relatively mobile. But, without fail, by the end of each month I was feeling like I’d been in a bar fight. A bar fight during which a  big truck drove into the bar and smacked me directly in the back, while my bar fight opponents simultaneously punched me in all major joints related to anything your body does while it’s awake. Yeah. That bad. So at the first of the month I’d go crawling to my massage therapist, begging her to fix me and put everything back where it belongs. She would, and I’d feel pretty good…for about 3 or 4 days.

Me and this dog would so be besties. I dig his purpleness. And I think our rolls have been equivalently slowed.

I’m stretching my budget as it is with the once-a-month massage assist on the mobility front, so having the kinks worked out weekly just hasn’t been an option. I needed another solution, and fast. I thought perhaps increasing my muscle strength would help hold my joints together better (I’m not a doctor. I have no idea if this is a thing. It just certainly felt like all my connected bits were coming apart. Those are wrapped in muscle. Thus, more muscle = more connection between the bits. So there’s my underlying thought.)

Anyway, after researching things I could learn that would give me more muscle, that I could afford, and that would ultimately translate into something I could do at home FOR FREE – I picked a yoga class at our local rec center. For $5 a class, I could go up to twice a week, and reconnect my pieces…hopefully.

Honestly, I had practiced yoga sporadically for about 7 years. And by sporadically, I mean like, 25 times en total…and by practiced, I mean participated in. I just never got into the groove of it. It seemed like there was a lot of waiting around in awkward positions. I’m attention-deficit-hyperactive – awkward I can do – waiting, on the other hand, I definitely don’t do. I needed a more fidgety discipline. Or one with more talking.

I had nothing to lose this round, so I was feeling pretty determined. But I was totally not prepared for the awesomeness that awaited me. The compact power machine that walked in to teach that yoga class kicked my ever lovin’ ass with non-stop flow from one pose to the next. Based on breathing, not counting (I can’t keep a count to save my life…there’s so many other things to be thinking about) AND WITH NO WAITING!! Just constant, joyful motion. By the time we got to the nap at the end (more commonly known as Savasana, or corpse pose) I was wiped out and my muscles didn’t have enough strength left to even think about hurting. I was hooked…and afterward, I had the best night’s sleep I’d had in over a year.

[This video – that for some reason is frozen on a ridiculous boobs&abs shot – is pretty representative of the type of yoga taught at my class. This girl has really put together some great courses if you don’t want to take a class, I’ve used them several times when practicing at home.]

Exhibit A: Bendyness Maximus

It’s been about 2-ish months now of weekly classes with my teacher, which have expanded into a 2-3 day per week practice (with the extra days taking place at home). I still get twinges and pain, but it’s manageable and I see a future without me in a wheelchair at 40 years young. It’s been so inspirational in fact, and I feel so amazing, that I have decided to embark upon the practice of Ashtanga yoga. This is going to require a great deal of dedication, is practiced 6 days a week, and the practice involves much more than just bending and breathing – but I believe it’s the next step for me. I believe there’s something incredible waiting on this path for me. And even if I don’t reach the end of this road, at least I’ll be mostly ouchless and super bendy. Which is okay by me. Really I don’t see how this isn’t a win-win situation.

I have a lot to learn though. Like A LOT. I’m on day 3 y’all. And I’m doing more reading

This is what the pose is supposed to look like (minus the usual head twist). However, I’m saying “do this” and my body is saying “you’re a lunatic, sit down immediately”

than practicing because I can only do about 30 minutes of the hour-and-a-half-primary series…right up to the part where you grab your big toe, stick your leg straight out to the side and look over your other shoulder. This is where gravity takes the mickey out of me, and my leg reminds me that my hamstring is more stubborn and ferocious than a starving hyena. But I’ll get there. Slowly, and with a lot of practice, I’ll get there.

And there’s sure to be some funny tidbits along the way, that I’ll happily share with you guys. See? There’s something in it for you too. It’s a win win win 🙂


~ J ~

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Hi there. I’m not dead.

Despite what you may be thinking, I’m still here. It’s been a bit weird in my corner of the universe lately. And since I don’t exactly have permission to talk about the thing that’s been occupying my time…well…I just haven’t written anything. I’ve also been sleeping. Because I haven’t had much time for that wee bit of necessary since the first days of March blew past.

Just missing the bloggy universe and wanted to say hey. Also, I recently learned to kill stuff (and by stuff, I mean weeds) with vinegar. So we should chat about that later.


~ J ~

Evidently, stress makes your hair grow really fast. You wouldn't think that'd be the case...

Evidently, stress makes your hair grow really fast. You wouldn’t think that’d be the case…

Posted in In The News, Who? Me? | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Florida Woman Shot By Oven While Trying to Make Waffles…No, REALLY. THIS HAPPENED.

This jewel caught my eye this morning as I was reading up on the nasties people had to says about last night’s Oscar’s ceremony (honestly, the day-after smack talk is my favorite part of the whole thing) And I snorted milk up my nose when I read this tender prose of Florida love from our friends over at….

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 11.35.33 AM


Click this pic to read the rest of the article, because, in the words of my cousin's mind bottling...

Click on the picture to read the rest of the article, because, in the words of my cousin Jell-Jell…it’s mind bottling…

Alternate link: Film Drunk – Florida Woman

Thanks Film Drunk. You just made my month.


~ J ~


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