Saturday, July 31, 2010

they always said i'd use my degree as a parent

This week, Abe & I drafted our Communications Plan for having this baby. Abe did Public Relations for his undergrad, so this was right up his alley. There are 3 phases to the Plan.

Phase 1: Labor begins
Protocol: Erin contacts Abe when she's pretty sure things are serious. If away, Abe comes home to assume role as birth coach.

Phase 2: Hospital time
Protocol: Contact midwives/hospital, parents and siblings.

Phase 3: Baby is born
Protocol: Contact parents, siblings, friends (email, facebook, blog).

Abe is the CIO in this whole operation. I owe him email contact lists soon. I suggested he draft emails ahead of time and fill in pertinent information ("Just emailing to let you know Erin is in labor and we heading to the hospital. She has been in labor for the last ______ hours and is feeling ______. We'll let you know when the baby is born or if anything unexpected comes up.")

We're not sure if my role is Chief Executive or Chief Operations - I'm leaning towards me as Operations and the baby as Executive, since Executive makes all the decisions and Operations goes through all the work.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

singing in the rain

Yesterday evening there was a downpour right when I was leaving the grocery store. It was bad enough that I decided to wait under the store's veranda until it let up.
"Let up" was sort of a joke. I waited about 25 minutes, and when the rain could no longer quite be defined as torrential, I resigned myself and my cereal boxes to getting wet and escaped to the car.

The 25-minute wait wasn't without interest. I snacked on a box of Crispix while watching people's methods for dealing with the rain.

#1: Don't worry, this 8.5x11 sheet of paper will protect me!
Several people came running into the store with a news ad or a random piece of paper found beneath their car seat carefully positioned over the crown of their heads. They dripped with rain from the tips of their noses, down their shoulders and back to the tips of their shoes. Fortunately, their coiffure was mostly in tact. Unfortunately, many were so anxious to get to dry ground that they pulled away their paper covering just as they were running under the veranda. You know, right where the rain runs off of the roof in big, splattering plops - right onto the noggin.

#2: Oh you silly newspaper-covered people - it's called an umbrella, duh.
These dignified people walked with confidence from their cars, protected by their stiff, black umbrellas. But if you looked down, you could see their shoes drenched and their pants darkened with water around the cuffs, and quickly spreading up to mid-calf range. The best were men wearing suits, with the fabric dripping and clinging around the ankles. But they kept their chins up.

#3: Moon bounce!
Okay, I only saw one person do this one. He was going out to his car with his grocery cart. He didn't care how wet he got, but clearly wanted to protect his shoes. So he pranced out, taking big toe leaps and letting the cart pull him along mid-stride as long as possible before touch ground again. A few times he mixed this strategy with trying to ride the cart with his feet up on the bottom bar, but it lost speed quickly in the 2 inches of standing water on the parking lot, so he usually switched back to the moon bounce.

#4: Please acknowledge the agony of my situation.
There was another woman waiting with her cart of groceries nearby. About every 2 minutes she would wail out "Oh, my gosh!" and sort of clench her hair in distress. She would give a few sidelong glances to other people in the vicinity, receive no response, and then repeat 2 minutes later.

I wonder what people thought of me taking my turn, 9 months pregnant and wearing a white shirt. My only thought was that I was glad to be wearing my soft pink bra rather than the black one. Dignity, always dignity!

Monday, July 19, 2010

me, glorious me!

Highlighting my new hair cut...

And since I'm officially full term (37 weeks as of yesterday), I thought I'd give in and post a belly shot.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Should we meet?"

Every so often I check up on my name on Google. I hold out small hope that the web will have documented something amazing that I've done, or at least list several links that highlight my significant contributions to society. Usually it just comes up with my Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Which is sad because I don't think I've logged in to LinkedIn since 2008.

When I was unemployed, I created a personal web page that has since gone dead because it was hosted through my graduate university and they eventually took away my web access after I graduated. Revamping that (or at least transferring the html files to a live venue) is on my list of things to do once I have tons and tons of time because I'll only be completely responsible for the well-being of another totally dependent human.

In the meantime, I check my Google stats out of curiosity.

Today I discovered that there is another Erin Gong. Okay, I actually already knew that from a past Google search. At that time, I was surprised and disappointed - I had felt so confident in the absolute uniqueness of my multi-cultural name. Darn that industrializing China.

But things have moved to a new level. After following a few links, I found out today that this alter ego actually lives in the same town I live in (population 114,000), now attends the university I graduated from, and has some background in social psychology (my master's thesis referenced a lot of social psychologists).

Do you think we're fated to meet in the near future?

More to the point, will some future employer try doing a background check on me and find this alias self instead (reasonably thinking, what are the chances that 2 different Erin Gongs existed in the same small, midwest town at the same time?). I hope she keeps a clean record.

And maybe I'd better get that personal web site up and running.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the new banana

In June 2008 I posted a bizarre email conversation my family had about bananas. Just over 2 years later, I find myself returning to the same subject. The email conversation thoroughly covers many banana issues - the appropriate ripening stage in which bananas should be eaten (green-yellow to yellow-green), the debate on what the brown spots are (flavor patches or mold?), the nutritional value of banana fiber as well as medicinal benefits to soothe mosquito bites.

But we neglected to mention the banana's important role in creating a perfect fruit smoothie. Bananas provide the cohesive element to make smoothies thick and creamy and therefore delicious.

I've recently re-instituted fruit smoothies as a summer staple. There was a brief hiatus when I ran out of frozen pineapple. My fresh fruit was getting less fresh and I didn't want to waste it. I took a risk and discovered that, as long as a banana was handy, I could have a decent smoothie just with pureed fresh fruit - no frozen elements or yogurt thickeners necessary.

It reminded me of my early years of marriage. I was still learning how to cook a good meal, and Abe and I ate a lot of questionable entrees. But the one thing that never failed was our rice cooker - fluffy, sticky rice every time, never burned. We cut out a blue and white ribbon and taped it to the rice cooker to designate it as Appliance of the Month.

I think I will cut out another ribbon and put it on our bananas (except that I just used the last 2 to make a strawberry-melon smoothie).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

is this called tooting my own horn?

In 3 minutes I'll be walking a few blocks to the bus stop to ride over to our Ultimate Frisbee game. I find this funny because I am walking/busing so Abe can have the car to come to the game late after a meeting he has. Imagine, making the pregnant one walk/bus instead of enjoy the luxury of a 1999 Corolla*.

I really find this funny because 3 weeks ago, we had to do the same thing. Abe was out of town, with the car, and I needed to get to our game. But busing would take a while because to get home I'd have to time everything right and make a transfer.

The obvious solution was to ride my impulse-buy garage sale bike that I purchased a few weeks before. I rode in to work (2 miles), after worked I dressed out and packed up my cleats and disc and biked to the fields (5 miles), played a competitive game to 15 (scored one of the points!), and then biked home (7 miles).

I made this great Google Map showing the complete bike ride, but then realized I didn't want to blatantly display that much of my personal information.

Just to recap, that's 14 miles, 1 game, 1 point at 31.5 weeks pregnant.

So I think I can handle the walk/bus ride today at 34.5 weeks.

*disclaimer: don't blame Abe, it was my suggestion