Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I (Don't) Vant to Suck Your Blood

So I wasn't sure when I came back from Iraq if I could give blood (like I had pretty regularly prior to going). I had to get the malaria vaccine prior to going though, so I figured it was a pretty sure bet that they wouldn't take my blood. Since they didn't have my address or phone number anymore when I got back, they didn't call, so I didn't try.

But after I'd been at least out of Iraq for a year (although I'd been in Jordan that time a year previously), VNB was going, so I tagged along. Turns out, they wouldnt have taken my Iraqi-tainted blood, although my Jordanian-tainted blood was ok. But then I remembered that I'd just gotten back from three weeks in Nigeria. So it was another year (ending August 21, 2006) before I'd be eligible again.

Fast forward to now. There's no donation center anywhere near my work, so I wasn't really stressing about it too much...but then the building decided to organize a blood drive. Easy, convenient, close...but I wondered if I'd be eligible while pregnant, so before I signed up, I checked out their website.

You guessed it: nope. Come back six weeks after the baby's born.

Now, I gave like two days before either going to orientation or going overseas, but it'll still be February-April of 2003 since I've given blood and March of 2007 before I'm eligible again. Four years of them refusing my blood.

And I'm O+ - not universal, but the next best thing. And it's not at all that I begrudge the Baby my blood or anything...I guess I'm just wondering what I'm being protected from or supposed to learn by not being able to give blood for so long.

And I'm kinda upset because I was hoping to catch up to my dad someday (who's on like his fourth or fifth gallon by now), but a four-year hiatus won't help with that much (neither will the fact that they consistently forget to mark my card).

Anyway...they don't want me, and I feel rejected. Somebody who wouldn't have otherwise given needs to go out and give in my place since I can't.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Language Practice

So while wasting time at work today, I was playing Dominoes online at Yahoo! Games. You play against another person and there's the ability to chat with them while you play. Well, to begin with, someone who was just "watching" threw some Arabic (that I could actually read and understand) up, so I responded in transliterated Arabic (Arabic, but in English characters). They responded, but the font was so tiny, I couldn't make it out.....that was kinda cool though.....

But as time wore on, my opponent dropped out and another one joined. This one asked me how I was in French. I responded and we had a long conversation about what we did and were I lived, all in French! I was very proud of myself, especially when I remembered to ask where this other person was. When I found out they were in Algeria, I asked if they knew Arabic too! They did and asked if I wanted to speak that instead. I said it was fine, but I wasn't very good and I only spoke Iraqi. They asked if I knew the Classical (or Modern Standard) Arabic....I said no, just Iraqi.....and then we switched to English and I got back to work ( after the game ended.

I feel very sophisticated being able to carry on conversations in French, Arabic (well, sorta), and English! :) I'm actually kinda proud that my middle/high school French was as good as it was and that I managed to keep from mixing up the two languages! :)

Anyway, I was proud of myself and thought I'd share.

As Stewart says, "Look what I can do!"

Big, Fat Fatty McFatterson

My father-in-law had some vacation to kill, so he called up last week asking if we had any projects he could come up and help us with. Since we'd bought the paint for the nursery during the Labor Day sales, he came up to help with that. He was tasked (by my mother-in-law, who couldn't come) with taking pictures of me and VNB, the nursery, and our cat (their grandcat) Monkey. Well, here's a picture of me and Monkey (the only way to get her to stay anywhere is to have her "momma cat" (that's me) nearby).

Good Lord, do I look HUGE!!!!!!! And that's just my hips! We're not even talking baby belly. It's like I've grown to mammoth proportions....and there are still FOUR MONTHS to go!!!!

Granted, I'm slouching and that doesn't help, but I don't really look much less house-sized in this pic of me and VNB.

But I'd only gained four pounds this past month when I saw the midwives yesterday, so I didn't get yelled at this time. But goodness gracious....I'm going to be the width of an elephant if this keeps up!

Sir Mix-A-Lot wasn't kidding when he said all those years ago, "Melissa's got a big ol' butt (oh yeah)!"

But the nursery's mostly painted (we've just got a few more touch-ups to do, then a border to put up before putting all the stuff back), and I've got two of my three baby registries up now (Babies R Us for the nursery set and Amazon for books). So now it's just a matter of convincing VNB that we need to take the time to go to Target and set that one up and we're as ready to go as we can get.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Moms & Dads for Modesty

I've had considerable time at work lately to surf the internet and have been led through a friend to (the author had severe morning sickness, FAR worse than my own), which led to (because damomma posts there weekly), which led somehow (who knows how) to (another "mom" blog, this one from a Christian perspective), which led today to her friend Jules' blog

Jules is a mom who has become increasingly concerned about the immodest clothing that stores are putting out for little girls to wear. Since apparently "mom" blogs are very important to marketers (moms buy a _lot_ of stuff), she's starting a petition of sorts. Basically, if you agree with the Mission Statement, you leave a comment on her website saying so.

Here's the statement:

Moms & Dads for Modesty Mission Statement

  • As a Mom or Dad for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

Here's the campaign logo, hopefully linked to her site. You're welcome to take this .gif for your own site, just make sure you link back to hers too for "signing" purposes. I'm gonna try to put this on my sidebar too, but it might take some work.

So, regardless of your religious affiliation or non-affiliation, if you're tired of seeing things written across the bottoms of little girls, even if you don't have any of your own, leave your support for this initiative on Jules' site.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Good News!

It's not often that you hear of hope in Iraq. Most of the stories are about violence or war, simply because war, death, and violence are more sensational than life.

But this story gives you a taste of the life that is still occurring behind the violence. In the midst of destruction, people are helping each other to start businesses and rebuild homes, not to mention trying to achieve their dreams.

The people in Iraq aren't _just_ Shia or Sunni or Arab or Kurd - they're also just _people_ who want to live in peace. And more people are working toward that goal than are working toward civil war and destruction. Unfortunately, LIFE just doesn't sell as many newspapers as death. That doesn't mean it's not news though.