Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 8 Bags of Money

Steph complains that I never post on here, so I've decided to rant about the TLC show John and Kate Plus 8 that Steph makes me watch.

I think it is pretty clear that Kate is drunk with fame, and Jon is drunk with money. I wonder how the kids feel about all this? The twins must be old enough to realize what is going on. I wonder what it is like to have a mom gone all the time on book tours and a father who goes to college house parties and night clubs. What happened to the nice family we all use to watch? Don't give me that rubbish about all families having problems. Plenty of us had/have parents who always put their children first (it does exist)! Financially, this family would be set just living off reruns, DVD sales, and book sales for years to come... so, clearly they have become greedy for money and fame.

While Jon has made some poor decisions, I cannot help but place the majority of the blame on Kate. She seemed like a very different person on last night's season premier. Her attitude towards her children reminded me of a snobby teenage girl who's parents have asked her to watch her siblings. She claims that she is doing all of this for her family, and she might actually believe that, but clearly she is disillusioned with fame at this point. They both claim that they didn't sign up for the fame and paparazzi, but at this point, it is clear that Kate is bringing it on herself by seeking out more fame. They both could end all of the stress by not signing on for another year of the show and by not writing any more books, but of course, they want more money.

I wonder how long the show will live. I know it is seeing its biggest audiences ever, since we all like a controversy; however, I think the controversy will become played out, and all their once loyal fans will wish for the show to return to its original style and mood.

Then again, maybe this is all just a scam. We all know that so-called 'reality' TV is generally anything but reality. These controversies could be entirely cooked up by Jon, Kate, and TLC. A way to lift ratings as the show enters its 5th season (shows often times add a twist or introduce a new character around their 4th or 5th season to keep things fresh). On the other hand, maybe the sweet, close, and loving family that we saw in the first 4 seasons was a sham. Who knows... but in my opinion the show is taking a turn for the worse either way.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Prego in the US

I get weekly email updates from babycenter.com about how far along I am and about being pregnant in general. (FYI I'm carrying an avocado this week.) But I couldn't help post some of the latest US prego stats.

*The most popular day for babies to make their entrance? It's now Wednesday. (This is the first year since at least 1990 that Tuesday wasn't the biggest birth day.) There were 15.4 percent more births on Wednesday than on the average day.
Angie and Audrie... looks like you should be praying for Wednesday to get/not get here!

*Twins level off: The number of twins born in the United States was roughly the same in 2006 as in 2005, with 32.1 pairs of twins born for every 1,000 births. While leveling now, the rate skyrocketed 70 percent between 1980 and 2004.

I was convinced that I was going to have twins. And while my family thought this would be awesome, it still makes me nervous to even picture raising twins. It still could happen... next time.

*The rate of triplets and higher multiple births declined in 2006 for the eighth consecutive year to 153 triplets per 100,000 births. The rates shot up by more than 400 percent between 1980 and 1998 but then started to drop, in part because of improvements in fertility treatments. See, everyone thinks that this is on the rise because of Octo mom. It is just more interesting to the public right now, so it is more publicized. All the multiple birth families on tv had their kids before 2006, so I really don't think that the trend will shift when we get the info for 2007-2009.

*Utah continues to beat every other state, with about 21 babies born per 1,000 people. Vermont has the lowest birth rate, with slightly more than 10 babies born per 1,000 people. Duh. Go Utah!

*Boys outnumber girls: With about 1,049 male babies for every 1,000 female babies in 2006, boys are keeping the edge in a ratio that's stayed about the same over the past 60 years.
Looks like I have a slightly better chance of getting a boy than a girl. We'll see...

"Most of the fascinating facts are from the CDC. CDC data is always a few years behind because compiling it and analyzing it is a big job. That's why the latest info –released in January 2009 – is from 2006. We also pulled a few interesting stats from the U.S. Census Bureau reports, 'Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns: 1961-2003' and 'America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2008.'"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Garden Fun

I spent the end of April watching the yard. Ever since we moved we've wanted to plant a garden. Since I'm home, it was my job to see which spots in our yard get 6+ hours of sun. This seems like a simple task, easily completed in a day or two. Unfortunately our yard has enough trees that direct sunlight is rather scarce.
So I took pics of all the best spots at different times of the day, ordered and layered the pics so I could see the patterns of sun, and after hundreds of photos I came to the conclusion that: There is not a single spot in our huge backyard that gets even 4+ hours of sun.
This left either the front yard, side yard, or deck. We couldn't convince ourselves that planting in either the front or side yards were good ideas unless we wanted a big box in the middle of the lawn. Leaving the deck as our last garden option. I guess our other option was to cut a few hundred foot trees down, but this didn't seem like a good idea for obvious reasons.

After multiple trips to Home Depot and Pike Nurseries, we came out with three tomato plants, one bell pepper, various herbs, and three blueberry bushes. Not to mention dirt, shovels, pots, etc.
Did you say blueberry bushes? Yes. Brian grew up with blue berry bushes and has touted the wonders of growing up with them since we met, so I agreed. Plus it was buy two get the third free. After reviewing the photos of the yard, we chose a spot that will probably work. We'll see.

I was not sad at all to see these gangly bushes go.

New blueberry bushes!

I don't think Brian was sad to see the bushes go either, but as he did all the heavy work while I raked leaves and potted tomatoes. So I don't think he could quite see the fruits of his labors till a few days later.

I potted most of these. It was easier than digging up bushes.

Here they are today!!

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Big Stick

From time to time we get some good pee-your-pants storms in Georgia. After a series of such storms, I decided to see what the damage was in the backyard. Various giant limbs had fallen in the middle of lawn, but no downed trees or any real damage.
As I continued investigating, Portland disappeared for a few minuted and emerged carrying a three foot branch. If you've ever been hiking with our dog, you will know how important a good stick is to her. And clearly, this was her new fave as she ran around me in circles dragging it.
It has been a few weeks since the storm, and the stick has shrunk by quite a bit. Today while I was taking pics of our new blue berry bushes, see previous post, I couldn't help but catch her running around with this now stubby yet still the fave, stick.
I know she didn't actually eat the rest of the two feet of the original branch, I think they broke off in a game of fetch. But the remaining two feet hasn't been seen for a while.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Second Trimester Party!

I'm official. 14 weeks and counting!
I figure it is time to let the rest of the world know.

Here's how we told:

Now for the rest of you that are praying for more details....
Yup, we did IUI and it worked on the first try!!!! I had some scary stuff in early pregnancy, so we told parents and siblings, but swore them to secrecy till 12 weeks. At 12 weeks we told grandparents and family, and Brian took this to mean ward/church members, and neighbors. So sorry the rest of the USA, but all of Georgia knew two weeks ago.

I'm due November 5th. I still feel icky most days, especially at nights. But at least today I have tons of energy! So far no weird pregnancy stuff. My only craving happened last week, and it was for syrup. My brain wasn't working because I kept thinking things like, "I could cook eggs and put syrup on them, I could cook tater-tots and put syrup on them, I could cook a ham and cheese sandwich and put syrup on it." So I waited a day till we had the ingredients for german pancakes, and put syrup on those. (secretly I still things eggs and tater-tots with syrup sounds good, but don't tell brian.)