Monday, July 30, 2007

the last few days of "life as usual(TM)"

So this is it - the beginning of the last week of work for me for the next 2 years. 2 1/2, if you still count my 4 weeks vacation and the 16 weeks of extra time around Baby's birth.

My last Monday, and it feels extremely awkward. Not that my opinion on my job has suddenly changed - I certainly still dislike it with a passion - but the thought of just staying home really is starting to slowly hit me in its full impact.

Yeah, so my last day will be Thursday. I will still get my full pay until the end of December - without doing a minute of work for any of it. It's great - it's crazy - it's Austria. It's what it's intended for: being able to rest and to focus fully on the remainder of this pregnancy and to prepare for the impending birth.

It's funny how my attitude has changed... it went from "I will slam the door behind me and my boss will never see me again!!!" right after I found out that I was pregnant to "what I will I do with myself at home for 2 years, I may just go back to this job afterwards, or even sooner than those 2 years are over".

Also? Starting to stay home instead of going to work makes Baby's arrival much more imminent in my own head. HELLO, THIRD TRIMESTER!!!

I will not miss this job, but I think I will miss my regular routine. I will miss having something to do. On that note, I think I have to diss the thought that staying home = being lazy and not contributing to the family. I need to rethink my approach, and start to see "being home" as a different kind of job I am doing. It's not like I am going out of a job, it's just a different one I am taking on, right? Right.

I need to stop associating "being home" with "sleeping until 11 every day" and "bumming off in front of the computer" and "laying on the couch watching TV", ASAP. I need to start regarding the household as MY job, while my husband has HIS job. Up until now the household was OUR job, while we BOTH brought home money. I need to stop resenting if he doesn't do the dishes from now on, because the dishes are now in MY job description, whether I like it or not. I need to come up with a certain routine that I will follow every day, so I don't fall into bumming-off mode, which is the hardest mode to get out of, once it sets in. Sure, once Baby is here I doubt I will find much time to veg on the couch in the first place, but it's still a good amount of weeks until then, and that's the time I am a bit worried about. Sure, I have a move to organize, and baby stuff to buy, and other things to take care of... but those are so easy to disregard, when there is a couch with a TV in front of it that I could just lay on...

It's just that whenever I have been home a day or two while I was working, my mind was set on RELAX! and CHILL! and GET AS MUCH FREE TIME IN AS POSSIBLE WHILE YOU CAN! Understandably so, it's just that I hope I will catch the drift and change my attitude about being home from now on, and SOON.

I just hope that the third trimester doesn't throw me right back into sleep-mode the way that the first trimester had, otherwise all my good intentions will be even harder to keep. :(

Friday, July 27, 2007

truly PREGNANT...

I am starting to understand why very pregnant women tend to complain about certain aches and discomforts they are going through. I mean, come on, as a reasonably early-along to mid-pregnoid, I have had it easy to brag about how well I am feeling, and how great this all is, right? I know it all, afterall, I am miss experienced! I never puked! I am totally down with this pregnancy thing!!!

Uh-huh. I humbly pull my metaphorical tail between my legs, and retract my words. Beat me, all you suffering big-bellied women who've done it all before me! I deserve it. No, wait. Baby is doing all the beating for you, ladies. As I am rapidly approaching month 7 - trimester 3, in other words - and my gut is reaching dimensions I never thought were possible before (- and yes, I KNOW, there's still a LOT more room to grow), I am starting to see how pregnancy can be a tad, well, uncomfortable.

Let's just overlook the fact that my baby seems to have found its new favorite hobby in punching and kicking my bladder nearly 24/7 for a second, and focus on the back ache. THE BACK ACHE! Sure, I had back problems before I got knocked up, but this is really becoming a problem now. Before my pregnancy, I think I moved on the verge of a slipped disk already... and now add sciatic nerve pain to the mix, and you have a whimpering, limping woman who, if not aided to get up from a lying position, assumes the stance of a flipped beetle: HELPLESS.

I can't sit for long (great for the office!), I can't lay on my back, I can't lay on a hard surface. I can't bend over, I can't lift heavy stuff, and the other day my right leg gave way beneath me when I shifted my weight over to the right and bent over slightly to make the bed, and I tipped over. I feel highly handicapped, and like my pregnancy has finally turned into an "ailment", which is the last thing I want it to be. I want to feel good about this, I want to enjoy this, and my back isn't exactly supporting my plans.

Also, because of Baby's new hobby, I have to run to the restroom at least 37 times a day, and 48 times a night. Peeing has turned into an absolute pet peeve of mine now, simply because it happens so MUCH, and it's so disruptive to my daily routine. And do you have any idea what a sore bladder feels like??? Kicked from within???

It's way too hot these days for me to wear my compression stockings, so my ankles turn into the dreaded cankles every night, sometimes bad enough to turn simple walking into a close to impossible feat - or at least a very painful one.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 7th month, my 3rd trimester, and I will spend it walking around ALL DAY in furniture stores, first looking for a bedroom, then looking for a suitable hardwood floor. I wonder by when my back will give in, and I will turn into that whimpering and limping wimp again. After one hour? Two?

And how is this belly supposed to grow for another THREE MONTHS???

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Letter to Booger, 27th Week, 2nd installment

Hey, Baby!

Camera-shy, aren't you? Not that I really mind, for it means that I will get to see you in 3d at least twice for the price of once, for they wouldn't have me pay the insane amount of money that this procedure is costing me until I have the results that I wanted, but I was so eager to get a good look at you regardless!

I guess you didn't like the procedure a whole lot, for at first you were prodded and shaken by the doctor, who tried to make you turn your head a bit and remove your elbow and hand from your face - to no avail, until she sent me out walking for a bit, in hopes that you would change your position. Stubborn little fella - of course you didn't, so she sent me walking again. Did you have fun making me do jumping jacks and other crazy movements in the waiting area of the office, until your Dad sat there with a huge grin from one ear to the other, saying I looked "cute" shaking you up a bit? At any rate, you showed your displeasure with my antics by squishing your face into the placenta, when I was back on the examination table and the doctor checked if you had removed your arm yet. So: no good pictures of you this time... but you don't get off the hook this easily: we rescheduled, and have another appointment in two weeks. Better luck with you next time!

It was really exciting to even get a glimpse of your cute little face, though, little as it was. It makes such a difference to get a blurry black-and-white impression of you, that can only be interpreted as a cute face by the imagination of loving parents - and to see you in a realistic 3d-picture. We now have a face to go with our fantasies and dreams of you - and I can tell you in all honesty and void of all exaggeration: you have the cutest face in the whole world. I haven't seen a cuter baby yet... and I doubt that I ever will. You are beautiful, my love, and you would do well to show us more of your face next time, because your Mommy and Daddy are absolutely crazy about you and can hardly wait to finally see you for real!

Things seem to be going pretty smoothly lately, no matter which way we look. A friend of ours has now definitely agreed to sell us her used nursery furniture for a quite good price (this was something I was worrying about a bit, actually), we have a meeting with our new apartment managers this week, and we even got a moving-in date already, too! And today, which feels best of all, after quite a while of bickering back and forth with the bank, we got our loan approved - and are now 100% ready to furnish our new home, and get ourselves two new laptops as well! Things are looking really great... now if only time would pass just a tad faster, and I could already be out of work (7 more days, not counting today!), and start to really pack up our stuff and move it over to the new and shiny place. I cannot wait to furnish your nursery, and decorate it, and get it all ready for your much awaited arrival!

Baby, you have no idea how loved and wanted you are, how everybody is looking forward to you. We want to provide you with the best start into life(TM) as we possibly can, and now the only thing that's between me and doing just that is just a little bit more time to pass by.

Keep on kicking!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Letter to Booger, 27th Week

Dear Baby!

First things first - I am truly sorry for last weekend. I really tried to avoid the scorching sun, and I can't really say that it's my fault that I got sunburnt even though I spent most of my time in the shadow, but since you are now probably able to open your eyes and discern dark from light, you probably got your share of this summer-weekend at the pool too. I tried to keep us reasonably cool by getting into the pool at regular intervals - I hope I didn't shock-freeze you, you certainly stopped moving every time I dipped you into the cold water. But I wasn't too worried, since first of all I believe you are padded well enough inside of me to probably don't notice a lot of the heat or the cold in the first place, and secondly you picked up your kicking again once I spent some time in the water, so we're cool, right? I am working on healing the slight sunburn on my upper belly... I really hope you weren't afflicted by this exposure to the sun.

But then... you just HAD to come during the hottest summer in history, didn't you? Imagine, last Friday we surpassed the hottest temperature ever measured in Austria since the beginning of temperature recordings. Up until now the record stood at 39.7°C - and last Friday the mercury climbed up to 40°C at some spots (including our city). For your Mommy, that's 15°C above her absolute limit of feeling well, I am really a true winter's child: it can never get too cold for me, and you will never hear me complain about the bitter cold in some winters, but the heat of summer absolutely does me in. I am really glad that I only have 9 days of work left here. The heat is absolutely unbearable, being pregnant with you makes it even a tad harder to deal with, because on more than one occasion I almost fell over with little twinkling stars before my eyes already, and could have hurt you if I did. Now imagine me working 8 hours in a hot and stuffy office under extreme time pressure. I can't concentrate, I can't focus, I don't even have enough energy to hold myself up straight on my chair, much less do something productive. Thankfully, today the heat seems to have lessened, with expected highs to "only" reach 33°C.

In terms of heat-tolerance, I really hope you got that gene from your father. Ha! Imagine you get my resistance for extreme cold, and his tolerance for extreme heat! You'll be all set, no matter in which direction the "predicted" climate catastrophe will tilt in the next years!

Anyway! We've been to our next regular checkup with the gyn last Thursday. Crazy... it's been five weeks already since I have last seen you, and back then I was already thinking: when I am here next time, I only have 2 more weeks to go at work. And now it really happened - and so fast! If time keeps on running like this, you'll be in my arms faster than I can say "labor".

Unfortunately your Daddy's work prevented him from coming with us again, but this time it's not a big tragedy, since today we're scheduled for a 3d-ultrasound with you - and he isn't going to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anything in the world!

Unfortunately my doc's software kind of didn't work as it should have, so he couldn't exactly tell me your weight, but he estimated you to weigh between half a kilo and three quarters of a kilo already. You're getting so big that only portions of you are visible anymore at a time. You had your knees folded in front of your chest, and I could follow your calves all the way down to your little feet and toes. There isn't a lot of detail visible in your face, but today we should see you in perfect clarity, and I am so excited! The photo we got isn't exactly showing you off greatly, but I am very curious about later on today - I really hope that you will cooperate!

Well, I have gained 7 kilos so far, which my doctor told me isn't bad for being at the end of the 6th month at all. My blood pressure looks great, and everything is well within order. I got my papers that will enable me to get my maternity pay once I am off of work, and I got another appointment for 5 weeks from now. It's amazing to think that there'll be only 2 or 3 more of these, before you will be born. One more week left in our second trimester, then we are officially in the home stretch!

I love you, my little baby - be good and cooperate later on, so we'll get a good look at your - undoubtedly CUTE - little face!


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Good Side of looking like a Barrel

You see, in our trains and buses of the public transportation system are certain seats that are reserved for the elderly, handicapped, or otherwise impaired people. Some are specifically marked as such, others are just by rule of common courtesy. That's not to say that "normal" people don't sit there, but it's considered good tone to get up and leave those seats to those who are more in need, if the train/bus is otherwise full.

That said, I usually don't sit down on any of these, because a) I don't like to get up for other people, and b) I would have to get up if somebody in need asked me. It just saves myself trouble or at least annoyance to just sit down on a "normal" seat in the first place.

Last week I started to sit my sister's dog while she went on vacation, so every morning saw me packed with my regular purse/basket on my right shoulder, now especially full with a doggy blanket and other doggy miscellanea, and a dog purse filled with the smallest dog in the world on my left side. I am not one to carry perfectly-capable-of-walking animals around in purses, however doing so saved me from buying a bus ticket for the dog, which otherwise I would have had to purchase.

So, packed as I was, I bluntly chose one of the "special" seats right behind the front entrance, mostly because it was also wider than a regular seat, and unloaded my bulky belongings. Now there is this elderly mentally challenged woman, who sometimes rides on the same bus with me, and who usually loudly and double-righteously demands the seat my ass was currently occupying from whoever happened to just sit there - and people usually comply without a word.

Who wants to argue with a mentally challenged loud obnoxious person in public over a seat in an otherwise empty bus, right?

Right. So I was ready to get up when she barked her demands at me. I am above snapping at a retarded woman and "fighting" for my spot, especially since the bus was indeed empty except for a very few people. And right as another lady sitting across from me watched me gathering up my bag and the dog to make way, she got up herself and started to snap at the challenged woman so loud that the whole bus could hear:

"Jeez, woman... take MY seat, why don't you! The whole bus is empty, why do you want that particular seat anyway?"

"I want to sit in FRONT!"

"BAH - sit in front! Sit down over here and leave the lady alone, can't you see that she's pregnant? She doesn't have to get up for you!"

That did the deed, the challenged lady eyed me, a bit intimidated from the scolding, and under the stern eyes of my defender she trotted over to the other seat behind the driver, without another word. Satisfied with herself, my rescuer nodded in my direction and chose another seat in the empty bus. I thanked her loudly, and spent the rest of my ride grinning to myself: so people see already! Strangers! Not just people who know, and know that I am not just putting on a few pounds!

What a milestone. :) Even more so as it happened again the next day, and one more time the day after: on the second occasion I was only taking the bus for a couple of stops and therefore politely declined the offer that - again - came from a friendly woman, and on the third occasion I was tapped on my shoulder from behind as I fought for balance with my bag and the dog in a grossly overfilled bus, and asked if I would like to sit down. This time I was very grateful for the offer and took it, even though an elderly lady tried to beat me to the seat offered to me, as soon as she saw it becoming free.

This courtesy from strangers is a whole new world to me, I even dare say that people rather get up for pregnant women than for the probably more deserving elderly - maybe because of some inherent protector's instinct? I know not, but I am enjoying this... and by now I sit down on the "special" seats by default, without worrying about taking up the seat of a more "deserving" person. My pregnancy is obvious enough for people to offer me their seats already! Leave me alone, or I'll sick the dog on you.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Glucose Tolerance

Well, whatever hid behind the non-threatening term of "glucose tolerance test" - I didn't think that drinking two cups of sugary water would knock me off my socks the way it did.

Sure, it's important to find out, if my blood sugar is too high and my insulin production not regulated, therefore causing the baby to over-produce insulin and then be born a huge monster-baby that's prone to obesity and diabetes itself during its life (among other issues). I am glad I took the test, I am taking every test that's recommended and that rules out any problems for or with my baby, but DAYAMN, this one was the worst so far.

Not only did I have my blood drawn regularly, I also had my finger pricked and poked 3 times, and if there's anything I hate, it's someone pricking my finger and then squeezing the shit out of the the sensitive finger tip until a reasonably large drop of blood appears. I have issues with having my finger tips squeezed and my fingernails touched the wrong way - and this was DEFINITELY the wrong way! Three times wrong!

So I showed up there with a completely empty stomach, as I was told to. My blood was drawn in this state, and my finger was pricked for the first time as well. Then I was given this sugary fluid - 3 parts glucose/1 part water to be exact, and had to down it as fast as possible. Actually, I am quite proud of myself, considering that out of all the four or so pregnant ladies and Turks present, I drank it down the fastest, and the nurses had to reprimand the others to finish it faster. I am the valedictorian of glucose drinking, yay me.

As soon as I had it down, my baby started to go nuts inside of me. Can we say sugar-high? I was kicked and boxed and thumped in high-frequency, while I had to sit there and hold out in the waiting room for one hour, until it was time to be pricked again. I had a book with me, and I dozed off a little bit, so the wait wasn't too bad. Alas - I had to go through it yet again, wait another hour, and that's when it happened. My stomach started to revolt against the sugary goo, and I asked the nurse if I could go out for a walk until it was time for my final test. I was told no, I had to stay put, but that I could lay down in the back if I wanted to, apparently I was pale as a sheet. I took her up on the offer and was led to a small examination room that wasn't used at the moment, and laid down on the bed there until I felt slightly better. I had three doctors/nurses come check up on me in the 15 minutes that I was there, then I started to feel stupid and walked out into the waiting room again, claiming that I was feeling better.

Which I wasn't. I awaited my last turn more or less patiently. My blood sugar levels went from 84 (on an empty stomach) to 158 (1 hour after the sugar boost) to 124 (2 hours after). I get my official results tomorrow, but the internet tells me that I am well within range of normalcy for this kind of test. I left, and drove myself to work - pretty much all across the entire city. About halfway through I broke out into a cold sweat that had my whole body and my clothes drenched within 2 minutes, and a serious case of the shivers. I am not sure if this had anything to do with the glucose-solution, the fact that I saw my own blood (which I am very squeamish about), the fact that it was almost 11AM, I am pregnant, and I didn't have anything substantial in my stomach yet (but sugar-water!), or a combination from all of the above. I dunno how I made it to the office, but when I got out of the car into the relative heat of the morning, I was shivering in my ice-cold wet clothes. I hurried to the butcher and bakery down the street as fast as my shaky legs would carry me, and bought myself a steaming hot breaded chicken leg with potato salad, a large turkey-egg-tomato-salad sandwich, a curd-pastry and a pack of cocoa, all of which I couldn't devour fast enough once I was sitting on my desk.

I felt better - but then came the big low. I couldn't keep my eyes open in front of my monitor, and I couldn't get any work done. I got the OK from my boss to pretty much take nap at my desk, but that in the end did nothing but to make things worse. I think Baby was feeling just the same way: ever since the crazy bouncing after the sugar drink, I had barely felt any movement at all, and none whatsoever by the time I was in the office. We were both ready for bed, that was for sure.

I managed to stay all the way through until 4:30PM, I dunno how. I also don't know how I got home through rush hour, but I did it. Collapsed into bed immediately, and was woken 2 hours later by the heavy thunderstorm and the wind banging my window shut loudly. Otherwise I would still be asleep. In retrospect, I shouldn't have gone to work in the first place, but I only have 4 weeks left there anyway, and several short days due to more doctor's appointments, I didn't feel like I could leave my boss alone. Especially not after he had promised me the temporary raise, so that I would be eligible for more money from the government during the 16 weeks of full pay while I am home, before the very little maternity money for the next 2 years kicks in.

*sigh* I dunno how all these American women pull it off to go to work pretty much until they pop. I am only in the sixth month, and work is already taking a really big toll on me. Can't wait for my vacation next month!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Letter to Booger, 24th Week

My dear love,

WOW, I haven't actually written you a letter in a long time! I don't know why that is - I guess mostly because this pregnancy with you is going so smoothly right now (and really has been ever since the beginning), and because I am spending all of my days in some kind of content and happy haze that I have never known to such an extent before, that writing about it seems kind of - well, pointless.

You must understand, I am used to blogging as an outlet of bad mood and rants and complaints and displeasure with the world at large, so now that I don't feel any of these things, I kind of "forget" about blogging too, unless something meaningful like a doctor's visit has been happening.

According to common belief, you must be one of the calmest and contentest and happiest babies ever to be born, considering my emotional frameset these days. You know what they say: anxious and nervous mothers supposedly produce hysterical screaming babies, and calm and happy mothers make calm and happy babies.

And really, I marvel at myself, these days. I am usually not too pleasant to be around, my outlook on life is generally pessimistic, and little problems and issues cause major worries and depression-episodes that last for very long times, sometimes. Now I mostly find myself floating around on a pink cloud, nothing phases me, nothing stresses me out, nothing can spoil my day. Annoying people mildly amuse me instead of pissing me off straight-out, there is a smile on my face almost constantly, and I attribute it all to you, my little baby. You are already making me be a better person, and you aren't even born yet.

Your Dad and I are really looking forward to your arrival. Time seems to be passing by so fast, we are already in the sixth month now! But when I think that it'll be another four months before we can finally meet you, I feel like it's another eternity yet ahead of us! But take your time... I want you to be in there for as long as possible, no matter how impatient we are for you. Just do your growing, and do it for another 16 full weeks, ok?

By now your presence is really obvious to people. Somehow, during the last two weeks, you really turned me into a PREGNANT! woman, not a woman who looks like she's packed on a few kilos too many around her waist, and not one who's visually "probably pregnant", either. I feel like I am carrying around a soccer ball inside my tummy, and I guess it was right what my doctor said to me about three weeks ago: in the course of the next month you will pack on weight from about 130 grams to breaching the half-kilo barrier. It shows!

And I can feel it, too. Your kicks and taps are getting stronger and more frequent almost by the day. You've even done me the favor and kicked your Daddy a bit already too. He was so impatient! For a while your little kicks were a secret between you and me, but soon I could feel you from the outside as well, so everytime you would kick I'd call over your Dad, but as soon as he laid a hand onto you, you stopped. I guess he was getting a bit frustrated with your little game, but finally you relented and let him have a kick or two as well. The look on his face was priceless. :)

Even your grandmommy already got to feel your antics! She squealed in delight when one of your body parts punched her hand through my tummy - I am so glad I could show that to her, she's been so excited to feel you already... did you know that the first thing she does now when she sees me is not to greet me, but to greet YOU? She caresses and wiggles you inside my tummy, before I even get a kiss from her. You are a charmer already, aren't you? :)

And what are you doing to my belly button? It's so funny to watch it getting shallower and shallower - can you imagine that before you I was never able to really see the bottom of it? Almost my whole fingertip could fit into my belly button before you started to push it out, and now I am waiting for the morning when I wake up and have an outtie instead of an innie. Just a little more growing on your part, and it'll pop, I am sure. Now I am glad that I lost my belly button piercing along with your sibling - otherwise by now the latest I would have to part with it: the bottom hole is already on the outside, when before it was so deep that I could never wear any jewelry that had some wider ornaments on the bottom ball without getting irritated. And knowing me, I would have tried to retain it for as long as possible, and probably would have gotten hurt by it in the end.

People are also really bugging us about your gender, now that it'd be just a matter of asking a doctor to have a peek. It seems impossible to believe for some that we really don't know it ourselves yet. We are still determined to let you surprise us on your birthday (- well, *I* am, your Daddy really would rather know too, but is too considerate to overrule me in this regard). Lately people have started to ask us "why". Since we have every possibility to know - why don't we take it? But here's the answer within itself already: because we have the possibility NOT to. Look at it this way: pregnant women nowadays have the option to find out EVERYTHING about their unborn baby way before it's born. Prenatal diagnostics have come a long way from since I was born to today: your grandmother still had the doctor listen to my heartbeat inside her tummy with a wooden stethoscope, and ultrasound started to be sporadically used in hospitals for special diagnostics when she was pregnant with your Tia#R. Today we can determine the sex 100% via amniocentesis long before it's even visible to the most sensitive ultrasound devices, and we can have complete genetical analysis done while it's still legal to abort children, just in case there are any health concerns that would make life with the new person uncomfortable to say the least. And I'll go in for a 4D ultrasound with you in a couple of weeks, just because I can! Technical progress has been dizzying, so pregnancy has gained a lot of excitement, but lost a lot of its surprises as well.

Okay, don't get me wrong: I am very glad to have the diagnostic methods available that there are, and I am glad to have taken the standard ones. I am glad to know that you are a perfectly healthy fetus, and seeing you wiggle about on an ultrasound isn't just a kick for your Daddy and me, but a huge relief and mind-easer as well. It'll save me the counting of your fingers and your toes when you are born, because I already had the opportunity to see that you have a perfect little set of 10 each on a monitor. :)

Yet... with all these surprises gone, I want to retain some of the big ones, without having technology spoil them. It's fun to sometimes dream of you with pigtails and a cute pink dress and a doll in your hands, and it's fun to sometimes see you with short spikey hair and dirt-smeared and scraped knees. It's fun to have people do their voodoo on my tummy, trying to foretell your sex by the way I am carrying you, or by the appearance of my skin and hair, or by calculating what month you were conceived in in relation to my age. I have a bet for a bottle of champagne running with my hairdresser, who claims to never have been wrong foretelling a baby's sex. Yeh, it's a 50/50 chance, d'uh. Odds are pretty good to be right all the time, with a bit of luck. But it's fun regardless. Besides, it'll be my extra push when labor gets really tough... it'll be the extra suspense, it'll be my extra motivation: not just to finally get to know YOU, but to see what gender you chose to come into this life cycle with, to see if I'll be a mommy of a little boy or a little girl. Are you my son, or are you my daughter? We'll find out soon enough, and I'll know for the rest of my life - there is no rush, just enjoyment in the process. :)

So keep on kicking and boxing, my little mystery-baby. I am enjoying how you make your presence known to me so much, you cannot imagine. You make everybody around you so happy, and the excitement and love seems to grow the more you do. Oh, and sorry about all my sneezing - I know you don't like it by the way you kick me right after one... I'll try to keep them to a minimum. ;)

I love you so very much,