Archive for January, 2009

Video Rental

January 31, 2009

I haven’t gone to many movies or rented them, for that matter, since I entered into wedding bliss. However, I am very disappointed that the local (three blocks away) Hollywood Video store is now closing.


The link above says it has nothing to do with the University purchase, and I believe it.

It wasn’t long ago that the nearby (closer) Blockbuster closed, and I was none too disappointed with that since I do not appreciate the store and thought it would bring greater success to my cherished Hollywood Video.

Now Hollywood is gone. I thought at first the demise of Hollywood may have been due to Netflix, but it seems maybe even that is now becoming obsolete as more people simply download films as rental or purchase. I can only imagine that is a small segment of the home video population, but I’m sure it’s growing steadily.

I don’t want to think too much about downloaded rentals. I cannot bring myself to do Netflix, which is somewhat irrelevant because it wouldn’t be an appropriate household decision, anyway. I wouldn’t do Netflix because I don’t think it would be an economical or healthy choice. I may not be thinking clearly, since I routinely do pay late fees. But beyond a feeling that I would watch fewer movies than I would be paying for, I really don’t like the idea of tying myself to a subscription service any more than I have to (I also really want to ditch the cell phone again). I think I have been told that it is not contractual, which is good, but I think I would nevertheless feel obligated to make use of it once I have started it. I don’t imagine it is possible in any smaller increments than one month, which would necessitate me taking precautions to not miss out on movie viewing time that I have already paid for during that month. And the idea of constantly calculating whether a continued subscription is worth it is very unappealing against the convenience of walking down the street at any time and paying a small rental fee plus any late fees.

I shouldn’t really be complaining when I live in Chicago, the home of Facets Videotheque, with “the most formidable rental catalog of world cinema in the nation,” but it’s not three blocks away…

I want convenience for sporadic video rental, great variety, and a very limited and specific charging of fees, even if I’m overpaying per rental.

I miss Hollywood Video already.



Last Shot?

January 29, 2009

I am on two medications. One is called Love Knocks (aka Lovenox) and the other is called Rat Poison (aka Warfarin). They are loads of fun, but unfortunately, it’s possible that I’ve taken my last shot of Love Knocks. Hence, I’ve decided to document the process in order to entice you to try some out yourself. Sure, you’ll have to take a 24 hour plane ride without standing up once in order to qualify, but after this preview you might just think it’s worth it!

First things first, you’ll have to locate your Love Knocks fun sticks


Then peel back the decorative outer layer to reveal the excitement that awaits within

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Definitely don’t forget the dipping sauce and serving puff


Then locate an appropriate spot to inject the Love.

This one’s been Love’d out already!


That one will do the trick.


Remove the party hat

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When the Love Knocks, let it in, welcome it into your warm home and get ready to party


All done!

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In our next edition, I’ll teach you how to take Rat Poison!


Seriously, I’m hoping the doctor will tell me today that I can stop taking Lovenox. It’s been 2 shots a day since Christmas day, and then all I would need to take is that little pill once a day. Here’s hoping, some more.

Update (3:24p): I called the doctor, and he said my INR level was where it needed to be. I can stop taking Lovenox and will stay at 10mg of Warfarin (I’d started at 5mg, then 5-6mg, then 7mg, then 8mg, and now 10mg). He said to get another blood test next week to make sure it stays at the right level, and then I’ll be able to wait longer and let the therapy be therapeutic.


Room 219’s Name Suggestions

January 24, 2009

Last week Eric’s students gave us suggestions for Little Cap’s real name. Only a few students suggested their own name, and there is a great variety of suggestions. Many students also drew pictures of what a kid with the specific name would look like. (Click on the photos for a closer look.)

Here’s some baby girls, note the eyelashes:


And here’s Brittany, Olivia, Adeline and Caira:


Here’s Joe (looks a bit like a politician, no?):


If we go with Brandon it seems we’ll get a police officer!:


This is one of my favorites. It’s a son named Steven, pictured on the bottom as a kid. But also pictured as a newborn in the arms of a nurse saying, “Here get your baby.” And then there’s me, lying on a bed, crying my eyes out:


And here’s the same scene with a daughter named Nariya:


Apparently not only Joe wants to be a police officer. Here’s Eric Jr. (or is it Erck?):


And then there’s Alice:


Girls:         Boys:

Brittany     James
Adeline     Steven
Olivia        Eric
Caira        Brandon
Michelle    Dameir
Trinity      Jacardo
Brooklen   Terrance
Diana        Jason
Kamren    Brett
Eve          John
Nicole      Johnson
Ericka      Sam
Alice        Tayvon
Nariya      Eddie
Jachiya     Steven
Brianna    Andrew
Marshea   Marcus
Jemiah      David
Jasmine    Ryan
Lidya        Antonio
Haley       Sammy
Alia          Erick
Diamond   Joe
Ashonti     Peter

A few of the names on Room 219’s list had already made it to our short list. So dear bloggy readers, feel free to cast your votes too.



January 20, 2009

In Chicago (and most cities, I think) there is an email list called Freecycle.  This has been a great tool for us to both get rid of things that we no longer want and to acquire things we don’t want to buy.  Recently we got rid of unwanted books and shoes, and we have acquired some great baby stuff.  You’ve already seen the baby changing station.

This weekend we were given a carseat, but it’s more than a carseat!


Here you can see the carseat in one base and an additional base that would be so useful were we to have two cars!  It’s making me think maybe we do need two cars even though Lizzy doesn’t yet drive.  Eventually the baby will need one, right?


Here you can see how one can easily leave the base of the carseat attached to the car while detaching a baby carrier, thus allowing a sleeping baby little interruption and annoyance.  It is not as light as it looks.  These items were offered on Freecycle, and when we replied to the poster, she told us where and when to come and pick them up.  Then we discovered that there were even more possibilities, so we put up a WANTED email on the listhost, and here’s what we got:


It’s a wheelchair that’s gone through a trash compactor!  No, it’s actually folded, and it’s not exactly a wheelchair…


Unfolded it appears to be an elaborate, though small, shopping cart.  But it’s function is revealed:


It’s a set of wheels that attach to the baby holder!  Complete with optional sun and wind blocking accoutrements.


Now, when we have strapped the baby in good and tight, we won’t have to do any re-strapping as we transfer him/her from the house to the street to the car and back to the street again.  I’m sure we’ll end up back in the house at some point.

We tested it, and it only seemed to be big enough to hold a head


though I have word that our baby’s head will be of a slightly reduced size at the time of birth.  Elizabeth’s fingers are crossed.  Here’s hoping!


Developing Bruises

January 17, 2009

You might think a week is a long enough time for a bruise to go away, but it’s the perfect amount of time for it to develop into a beautiful work of art.  Elizabeth commented that one bruise looked like the sunset…

Compare – first photo 1/11, second photo 1/17

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Notice how a smaller bruise on the left side of the first picture has transformed into a massive consumer on the right, and is about to eat the yellowish bruise beneath it, which has undergone relatively little change.

Someone commented that it looked like a war zone.  The war appears to be ongoing.  Stay tuned for updates from our correspondents in the field.

(much better, however, than this woman!)

Little Cap Visits the Midwife, Round 2

January 17, 2009

On Thursday we trekked to Oak Park for Little Cap’s second visit with the midwives. This time we saw Hillary


last time it was Julie and both seem great.

My blood pressure is good and LC’s heartbeat was again deemed “perfect.” I was advised to start taking an iron supplement and also told that I tested positive for Group B Strep. It’s a bacteria that lives in the guts of many people and rarely causes problems. However, in about .005-1% of infants whose Mama’s carry the bacteria, it can cause serious blood infections, or even meningitis. The risks are pretty slim, but the “standard of care” is to give any woman who carries the bacteria an IV full of antibiotics while in labor. The midwife said we could refuse it, but did warn that it wouldn’t be easy to do. Unfortunately, we got this news before hearing the heartbeat, and I was a bit distracted at that point. Admittedly, an IV of antibiotics is no big deal, Eric attests to this with experience! I, however, am NOT a fan of needles. The first time (and only time) I gave blood I fainted. I’m sure it was from the blood loss, but needles have made me feel seriously icky ever since. (It didn’t help that I was donating blood with my Theory of Knowledge class, not the most comfortable scenario.) Thankfully, Eric stayed on top of things and remembered to ask Hillary about our due date. It is now officially, in our minds and the midwives’, June 30th. Plan accordingly, familia! Next visit is the ultrasound / sonogram, stay tuned.

Today I took some time to beef up my Group B Strep knowledge since it would be nice to avoid unnecessary needles. From what I found in a very, very cursory search, it seems that the risk of Group B Strep infection is rare and that on a large scale, the risks of Group B Strep verses allergic reactions to antibiotics are actually pretty similar. Additionally, the use of antibiotics on about one third of women in labor has already made amoxicillin useless in treating Group B Strep. Penicillin is apparently the drug of choice these days. For now, I figure I’ll learn to buck up and deal with the needle. It’s even starting to sound better than arguing out of the IV. I might start viewing Eric’s poor tummy injections more often. And it definitely sounds better than the “what-ifs” that would follow if something were to happen to Little Cap. Especially since we don’t know any heroic one-armed doctors.

My little research stint today made me a little blue. Since taking (or avoiding) the antibiotics can make you a good parent or a bad parent depending on what you’re reading, it’s a bit frustrating. But when Eric came home he brought extra truffles that his class had been eating, drew up a hot bath for me and made some white borscht.

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Coupled with some prayer,


and I couldn’t be feeling better!

After the appointment on Thursday we went to a lecture on St. Basil the Great


by a professor from Loyola. I thought it was interesting and informative. Eric had already read everything that was said, but still enjoyed it. It was nice to be back in a classroom, but I’m not afraid to say that I’m very glad there won’t be a test!

Oh, there was one other disappointment – we ran into more traffic than we expected on the way to the midwives’, and while we made it on time to the appointment. It was too late to stop at the bakery beforehand, and the bakery


was closed on the way out. I was really hoping for a PBJ on Honey Whole Wheat (heavy on the PB, light on the J) with a big glass of milk. Next time we’re leaving even earlier.



January 12, 2009

Our tummies have undergone changes recently. See if you can guess whose is whose!



Celebrating firmness, unbendedness, and especially upcoming Stiffness!

January 12, 2009

Upon hearing that John proposed to Lila, I thought it would be a perfect reason (excuse) to go out to eat and celebrate. We already had a plan to go west to pick up a used baby changing station


so I looked up restaurants in the vicinity. It appeared there were several Polish delis on Archer, so we chose to explore that route. While in that area Elizabeth noticed Bobak’s


where I had once gone before with John. We picked up some white borscht (and a week’s worth of groceries) and sampled the many sausage chunks with tooth picks. At that point it was already 2:00 or so, and it was decided wherever we went for our late lunch, it must include more of these tasty animal products.

I recalled that the last time I had been to Bobaks, I had walked from the other direction across the train tracks but couldn’t for the life of me remember why. We decided to drive that way to find out, and there was a very intriguing looking Polish restaurant called… Szalas.


It appears now that this is a Polish “highlander” restaurant, and I indeed ordered a dish called the “highlander.”

The place said “open,” but to enter one has to pull on a rope by the door for someone to open the place. It was a little intimidating. Then, once we entered, everyone spoke Polish to us – I guess we can pass either as Poles or a Polish/Greek/Irish mix. We chose the right day because there was a huge party


in the same room that I think was in honor of some woman’s birth with some 35 attendees at least. There was a band playing live music that consisted of an accordion, a fiddle, and a cello strapped like a guitar and played with a bass bow.


When the woman walked in, she was greeted with flowers, and every one of the 35 guests got in a line to kiss both of her cheeks and say whatever Polish people say to one another when they seem to be happy.

In honor of John and Lila, we feasted Polish style


and even brought home a special snack instead of ice cream…