Weekend Open Thread

It’s the weekend, y’all!

Have you heard of sonogram parties? That’s where an ultrasound technician comes to your house so all your guests can ooh and aah over a fuzzy black and white image of your unborn child. What say you: yea or nay?

In case you’re curious, I say f*ck nay. But my ob/gyn discovered a missed miscarriage during a routine ultrasound, which made every successive ultrasound I ever had really nerve-racking. So YMMV.

And here’s a quick look at the new members of our incoming Congress. In short, Congress is less white, less male and has more women, people of color and LGBT members.

There are also nine veterans who are newly elected, including the awesome Tammy Duckworth.

Duckworth is better known for making national headlines after becoming the first disabled woman to be elected to the House. The Iraq War veteran lost both legs and severely injured one arm in combat.

“The worst day for me in Washington on the floor of the House is never going to be as bad as me getting blown up. So bring it,” she told NBC News.


What are you up to this weekend? DD goes back to school Monday, so we are trying to enjoy the weekend as much as possible. We all get used to sleeping in, so we have been moving her bedtime up by 15 minutes each night this week. How do you readjust after vacations?

Chat away!


63 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Ultrasound parties? No way in hell, because, um, no. Mind you, I expect that Kim and Kanye will be having one of these, on jumbotron.

    And seriously, how is this even a thing with so many tens of millions of Americans with no healthcare? We’re seriously entering “let them eat cake” territory.

  2. Hell to the no. I am a cardiac ultrasound tech and ultrasound is not a toy. I didn’t even peek when I was pregnant because why subject the baby to more than necessary? Especially the older machines they would be using for these “parties” which are probably not properly maintained. Wth. I also had the sad experience of having a missed miscarriage diagnosed by ultrasound. I wouldn’t want to be surrounded by people if that happened.

  3. We were inspired by LG’s sleep training to get our dd back in the groove. We told her last night if she went to sleep in the pack n play with no fussing and stayed there all night, she could have her crib back. Well she went to sleep quietly and slept in till 7:30! First thing she came running in, so proud of herself, announcing “I slept like a good girl, now can I have my crib?”

    • Fantastic!! M woke up a time or two in the night but we didn’t go down and she put herself back to sleep in a few minutes. Today I’m going to convert her crib into a toddler bed and see what she thinks (it would be easy to put back if M hates it).

  4. First Asian American woman from New York City!! Hooray, Grace Meng, my new Congressperson. It’s hard to believe, given the demographic shifts, that there aren’t more Asian Americans, and I am hopeful about Meng in particular.

    I am slogging to, winding down to, my last day at work. It has finally occured to my ED that I am really really leaving, and (cold shock for them) there is no one internally who can do the stuff I do. Ooops, way to cut a program so it’s so thin that it can survive.

    I will have to work this weekend in order to make sure I’m donedone by Thursday. But then…..done.

    And, I’m fighting a cold. I have no damn time to be sick, so sudafed and advil better keep this bugger at bay!

  5. H slept in his Geobee medal and is sitting in front of the TV this morning in his pjs, no shirt, and his medal. I messed up video taping yesterday and ended up with several short movies instead of one long one, plus I cut off the end too soon so DH didn’t get to see all of the post-win whoo-hooing. He was cranky with me last night about it, so I ended up going to bed early so I didn’t have to listen to him crab about something I couldn’t fix.

    Woke up to find out that one of my old students was killed trying to assist after a car accident. He was wicked smart- the only good Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking kid I ever had and one seriously badass debater. Two kids and a wife.

  6. Sonogram parties? Puke. I don’t want to even know the gender until the baby arrives so why in the hell would I share an ugly alien moment with friends/relatives?

    It’s too effing precious for words.

  7. Yeah…no u/s parties for me. I did have a bunch because of my high-risk status and I usually could discern nothing. I was always impressed wih the tech’s skill a reading he image.

  8. Yay for Tammy Duckworth! I’m so glad she won, and was bummed I couldn’t vote for her since I’m not in her district.

    I’ve always thought those early sonograms looked kind of…gross. Like, here’s a peek inside my organs, people! It’s cool when it’s your own, and when it looks more like a baby at the 20-week u/s, but otherwise, no thanks!

    • TBH, the best and clearest we got was at 12 weeks! Because I was high-risk, I had them at 6, 8, 12, 20, 28, 32, 36, and 40 weeks. At 12 weeks, he was really moving around, stretching out, waving arms and legs, etc.

  9. We’re supposed to be undecorating, except everyone has deserted me. Girls went to the mall to exchange a skirt and DH apparently fell into the abyss that is Lowes Home Improvement.

    Leaving me at home with marshmallow vodka, my fave pandora station, and the internets. Eh, I guess the tree’s not too much of a fire hazard yet.

  10. Ultrasound parties–probably not for some of the reasons mentioned. But I have to admit that I really really liked the ones I got and always wished for more. Not enough to go seek it out and pay for it, mind you, but I was kind of jealous when I read somewhere that Tom and Katie bought one so they could check in on Suri in utero. That was creepy and yet would also be reassuring, I thought.

  11. I need to figure out how to break an insomnia cycle. Rationally I can talk myself through why this is happening – new semester, research pressure, all the stuff with kids, etc. But I’ve not been able to talk myself out of the anxiety in the middle of the night – and the strategies from my therapist have all been failing. Tonight I realized that I had snowballed through all types of issues and totally missed the sleep meditation I had put on to try to help myself… I’ve been getting up between 1:30 and 2 am and then been unable to go back to bed for a few hours for over a week now… I hate this.

    • Ugh…I hate when that happens. Lately, my insomnia has been worse, and not responding to my relaxation and thought-focusing strategies. Eventually, I hit a day/night where I’m so tired that I sleep straight through the night. All that seems to work for me is to get out of bed and read on the iPad. I can keep the light low, and eventually I fall back to sleep on the couch.

      I hope you figure out something that works for you…..being tired and draggy is no fun!

      • I need to find some new books that aren’t related to work and that I can just read for fun – nothing that will depress me or make me angry :-) And that aren’t so good that I want to stay up reading them! I should spend some time on Amazon today searching for some potential options. That’s a good idea – thanks Sue.

      • Insomnia queen here. Assuming you are already aware of basic sleep hygiene rules, here’s short list of ideas to consider:

        Benedryl helps some people. I’m not a fan of melatonin which hardly anyone seems to use correctly, but it can help certain sleep disruption patterns. Though not early wakening, I think.
        Avoid bedtime reading on electronic devices as a general rule. But if the ipad is really the best thing for you, download f.lux – it changes the color of the backlight after dark and reduces the disruptive wavelengths on the blue end of the spectrum.
        I don’t believe melatonin is good for early awakening.
        Daily vitamin D in the winter is always a good idea, and helps certain sleep disturbances.
        I have found the sleep cycle iphone app surprisingly helpful for getting a dysfunctional sleep cycle back on track, but it might be best for my pattern (can’t fall asleep then can’t wake up).
        Only bland carby foods before bed, if anything.
        I like instructive nonfiction when I can’t sleep – good enough to require my full attention, but not compelling enough to keep me awake to a future point in the book. (I’m currently reading Teach Your Children Well, which I love, and when I find I don’t recall what I just read that’s my signal to go back to bed.)
        My anxious insomniac son reads the same comfort books over and over when he can’t sleep. Currently reading Foxtrot cartoon collections.
        Body temperature changes sometimes help me when nothing else will. Allowing myself to become chilled by lying down for a while without blankets, then warmed (bringing a heating pad into bed if necessary) will sometimes jolt me into sleep.

        • Body temp changes is an interesting one – and mine is complicated by menopause. Not night sweats per se, thank goodness, just wild swings in body temp. Cooling off and then warming up definitely helps sometimes!

        • Those are good tips. I have the same issue. I can’t fall asleep, and then can’t wake up. It takes me about 3 hours to stop feeling groggy in the morning.

          I’ll tell you what DOES NOT help — getting an Ancestry.com membership. Oh, was that ever the best/worst idea.

      • Oh… I had forgotten that Advil does their own pm… How silly is that? I still can’t take a lot of medicines – tylenol, any ssri, etc. because my liver isn’t totally back to normal. (Although it’s really much better.) And I’ve tried a few things that work, but none that I can take regularly (e.g. not more than 1-2 days in a row). But somehow through all that I had forgotten about Advil PM (which I’m pretty sure I can take because I can take Advil and the PM part should be ok). I’m off to check the active ingredients and get some of that. Usually if I can do something for 3-5 days then I can knock myself out of the worst of the insomnia cycle so hopefully that can do it. Thanks Katie.

    • Benadryl + motrin. Cozy socks. No intertubes or TV an hour before bed. Go to bed early. If you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, eat a yogurt.

      After relying on my BFF Benadryl for a long, long, long time, I stopped taking it and I now have sleep success 95% of the time.

      Good luck!!

    • Aargh, I hate the anxiety insomnia – hits me when I get too busy and I don’t really kow a solution. I tend to just pick up a book and read until I fall asleep again, but although it keeps my mind from racing it’s hardly a solution. No solutions here, but lots of sympathy!

  12. One more mama brag, please? Yesterday H had his first basketball game of the year. He plays in the rec league and last year was awful- his team lost every game by 50+ points and he struggled to make it down the court without falling over. He had made big strides from previous years, but he was still obviously different. I was against letting him play this year because I didn’t want him to go through that again. He spent the year doing PT and working on his gait and his shot and yesterday he was amazing. He put the first 6 points on the board, had 9 rebounds, and was the first down the court when the ball turned over. I nearly cried. DH was in tears at the end. I want to go back to his PT and his OT and give them each a zillion dollar tip.

    This has been a really, really good weekend.

  13. So very happy to be home. It was good to escape snow and cold for a few days, and the girls were really great travelers. DH’s family is a sorry lot, though (with a few exceptions). After a lazy morning, I’m getting ready to clean and make a list of the decluttering projects I want to do this month. My MIL verges close to hoarder status, and one of his aunts who we stopped by to visit would definitely be a candidate for that show. Seeing that is motivating!

  14. We’re home from a little holiday with the trees in the south of West Oz. It was lovely, although the boy is really pushing my buttons right now. I’ve started fining him $1 for backchat, $5 for hitting, and $1 for not getting the angry under control. To my shock, it’s the first “punishment” that has ever worked. Apparently he’s financially motivated. Maybe it helps that this is money that he already has (from Christmas), so it’s concrete? I’m thinking that I’m going to put all their pocket money for the term in a jar and fine them throughout the school term.

    In other news, the husband didn’t come with us. He managed to get a prolapsed disk while we were camping last week (I barely got him out of the tent and had to call his mother to come rescue him because I couldn’t deal with an incapacitated husband and four children at the same time!). So he spent the few days on his back at home, having meals delivered by his mother. The kids and I had fun, but it was hard without him.

    It’s pouring down rain today, and we have various pottering jobs to get done. Back to work tomorrow….

    • welcome back! Funnily enough, the financial incentive works really well with Jess as well. Jess and RJ are really similar in a lot of ways, hey!?!

      I’m sorry that DH has been in such pain; I sure hope that he is on the mend, for any number of reasons!

    • My boys love being punished by fines. They’ll actually propose new fines for infractions, sometimes because their brother is the greater offender but often for their own chronic offenses. It has to be for small and very specific infractions and our fines are usually in the $0.05-$0.25 range (candy wrappers are $0.05 each, using ‘fat’ as an insult is $0.10, F-bombs are a quarter, etc). It doesn’t work for “don’t hit your brother”. But as soon I make an offense fineable the action magically improves and I rarely have to collect.

      Hmmm. I think I need to go tell them that from now on dirty socks will be $0.05 each. And I’m going to include the neighbor kids in that.

  15. I love the rhythms of an academic job, because every August and January (and sometimes May or June) are brand new. I’ve been excited about getting my syllabi together for spring and making progress on some writing projects. Lucy will finally go back to school Tuesday, and then I have a week to be uber-productive before the semester starts.

    I thought I had a difficult but pretty good teaching semester last semester. Of my 3 classes, I thought that 2 were going quite well and 1 maybe not as much. But now I’m worried because I made the mistake of looking at ratemyprofessor.com and it’s not pretty. There are 4 recent comments and 3 aren’t good. So I really hope this only means there were 3 disgruntled students (out of 60+ total) and that overall my official evals look fine. I know rate my professor is crap, and I also know that it sometimes doesn’t correlate at all with the official semester evals. I know it’s stupid to worry about it, nothing I can do about it, but there it is. I need to get out of this funk in time to get crap done next week!

    • This is why I try to make an effort to publicly call out when things go well! I would concentrate on what you’re saying – it’s three out of 60+, the vast majority of whom did have a positive experience but aren’t motivated to say something about it. It’s a skew and too small a sample size.

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