The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Buying a New Car

After many months of lamenting how much we spend on gas, we finally bought a new car. I participated in only two ways: I signed the papers and I test drove my husband’s final choice before agreeing that it was indeed “the one.”

It seems very anti-feminist of me to let the husband do basically everything related to the car buying process, but I truly hate car salespeople and the whole drawn out process that is car buying. I’m convinced that no matter what state you’re in and no matter how nice the car salesperson is, the car buying process is always going to be awful. And they set it up that way on purpose! (Seriously, if you haven’t read Confessions of a Car Salesman, do it.)

If you need a new car, here are my car buying tips for a lazy lady:

  1. Let your husband (or boyfriend, or girlfriend, or best friend, or parent, or sibling, etc.) do all of the research. Inevitably there is someone in your life that loves researching cars. You want a safe, reliable car. Give them your required specs and let them have all the fun!
  2. Let your Person test drive the top three or five choices from tip #1 and narrow it down to their favorite, so you only have to test drive one. Some people love test driving cars. I hate it – you have to make small talk with the salesperson and I’m always envisioning the worst-case scenario of crashing the car during the test drive. And you know the policy: you break it, you buy it. 
  3. Marry a litigator who has no problem walking away from an offer. My husband plays their game even better than they do. He has no issue with walking away from a “great” deal. Car salespeople hate this. I watched with wonder as my husband blatantly told them that until they gave us their bottom line, he would be happy to walk out the door, since we didn’t need to buy a car that day. As I squirmed while the salesman kept leaving to talk to his manager, my stoic spouse sat there patiently, just as I’m sure he does during negotiations at work. 
  4. Walk away from the dealership after finally hearing the bottom line. We left the dealership with a promise of “we’ll talk about it and get back to you.” And we did, later the same day. But before signing the papers, we went home and my husband constructed an elaborate spreadsheet to help us decide which model to buy. And then he called them, asked for an even lower offer, and off we went back to the dealership to buy the car. 
  5. Take a small child with you to the dealership. Even though the process took hours to complete, I do believe it went a tiny bit faster because we had our 3-year old with us. 

And please, let this car last us forever, because even though I was barely a participant to this deal, I’m not sure I can stomach buying another car for at least another 10 years.

 

When a Type A Personality Gets Gestational Diabetes

While waiting in my dentist’s office with horrible tooth pain, I got the phone call: you have gestational diabetes. A week later, I took a two-hour diabetes education class that included horror stories of emergency c-sections, giant babies and the dangers of preeclampsia. It also included meal suggestions and two classmates, the likes of which are the reason healthcare in America is broken. (Seriously: you get a diagnosis of GD, don’t you want to do something about it? Perhaps you should stop drinking 3-4 cans of Pepsi or actually use the testing kit. But enough about them. This is about me, Type A.)

I’m the type of patient doctors love because I hate failing tests. Even if these aren’t “graded,” I am a teacher’s dream. I always do extra credit assignments, even when I already have an ‘A’ in a class. So when my doctor told me this stupid condition could be controlled with diet and exercise and I could avoid taking medicine or insulin, I took that as a challenge. I can do anything for three months after all, including mostly avoiding my beloved ice cream. And the fact that I successfully did the South Beach diet for six months before my wedding gave me hope, considering many of the meal suggestions are South Beach diet friendly. 

140 or less is the target blood glucose number an hour after beginning a meal. 90 or less is the target when you first wake up. After taking the class, I have only been over the target number once and I knew it was going to happen because I finished my son’s banana and toast at breakfast after already eating too many carbs, including a Yoplait yogurt, which had too many carbs than I should consume at breakfast. 

Breakfast is the hardest meal. Most cereal is really high in carbs/sugar and the ones that aren’t taste like cardboard. So I’ve been eating a lot of eggs and cheese at breakfast. I have no idea how a vegan would survive breakfast time with gestational diabetes.

Here are my tips for succeeding:
Do what the doctor tells you. Test four times a day until she tells you that you can cut back to twice a day. Do some form of exercise after each meal, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Eat an evening snack that includes protein and carbs but don’t eat it too late at night. If you miss testing an hour after a meal, test two hours afterward (but your number should be 120 or less). And please don’t test in the car while driving, especially if you haven’t mastered one-handed testing yet. It’s stupid and dangerous and unnecessary.

And it is okay to cry and feel sad, especially when you hear that you will have a 50/50 chance of developing type 2 diabetes as soon as 10 years after the gestational diabetes diagnosis. It’s depressing. But if you think if this as a test you don’t want to fail – or you know, have a 15 pound baby – you can manage. And after delivery I plan to have ice cream and cookies and cake exclusively for a week. And I’m only sort of kidding.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

On Wednesday, I returned from a work trip that was coupled with time spent with two of my best friends and I have concluded that sometimes being an adult doesn’t sick. Because let’s face it: these last few months have been awful. To top it all off, I had a root canal the day before I left.

Do you have friends that you don’t see for a long time, a year even, and can pick up right where you left off? I am so lucky to have friends like this. Some highlights of my trip included staying up late talking with two of my closest friends, just like in high school; swimming with a friend from library school and lamenting about hard pregnancies and navigating the scary world of parenting and careers; making silly jokes about badly named menu items and truck stop mementos; watching terrible reality TV; getting pedicures; and watching a rodeo.

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You know what else is awesome? Realizing again that I’ve made the right career choice. There are many days I wonder why I went to law school, why I didn’t take the bar, why I don’t just suck it up and become a real lawyer, etc. But a work conference with over 1000 other people who made similar career choices is just what I needed to feel confident. I mean, I will be paying off my student loans for eternity, but that’s okay.

Another perk of being away for six days? Appreciating my family. I missed them. And it was a surprise and delight that the house wasn’t a complete disaster when I returned home. To thank my husband for being a single parent, I gave him the new Civilization Revolution for iPhone/iPad. And if you knew how much I hate the phrase “just one more turn” you’d realize that this really is true love.

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Friday Reads

For One Baby, Life Begins with Genome Revealed - a fascinating article about DNA. After having a CVS during my 13th week of pregnancy and being offered additional testing to reveal possible abnormalities that wouldn’t surface until adulthood, I feel very conflicted about this topic!

Two excellent blog posts about organized religion and reasons to stay, maybe: In Light and Square Peg/Round Hole

Have you ever considered taking a sleeper train instead of flying to your destination? I wasn’t sure I would survive the small spaces until I read this.

David Sedaris buys a FitBit and hilarity ensues.

Are You Just Really Bloated?

In the past few months, I’ve been subjected to the following questions and statements:

  • Wow, you’re really waddling!
  • Are you pregnant or just really bloated?
  • You’re sure you’re not having twins? (This by a medical professional.)
  • You look miserable.
  • Are you going to make it through the summer? 

What is it about being pregnant that gives people the impression that they can or should comment on my appearance? At least no strangers have tried to touch my stomach. This mama has just about had it with life, her body and the heat. I’m not sure I could contain my rage if someone tried to touch me without permission. 

And seriously, while we’re talking about rage: why do the receptionists at medical offices ask you to verify your address and phone number EVERY SINGLE VISIT when it’s apparent from your medical records that you visit that office or one in the same practice on a weekly basis? Yesterday I spoke to one scheduler on the phone, who then transferred me to someone else, who asked me to verify my address again. 30 seconds later. Did I invent some sort of time travel that would allow me to move houses that fast? *RANT OVER*

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

I don’t even know what the title of this blog posts really means, but that is exactly how I feel right now.

On Friday I spent the better part of the afternoon and early evening back in labor and delivery. I was having 7-8 contractions per hour before I went in but they magically stopped when I laid down on the hospital bed. They checked me and ran some tests and right now it appears that when I’m sitting or standing, baby is pressing on my cervix. The solution? A maternity support belt. It’s really uncomfortable but if it helps, I’ll wear it.

On Monday morning I was thankful to have made it far enough along in this pregnancy to sit through the dreaded glucose tolerance test. During those 2 hours, I tried not to think of the pain in my mouth. Yes, in addition to pregnancy-related ailments, my front tooth – chipped very badly as a child and since undergone many composites – started throbbing and causing pain up into my nose.

While I was waiting to see the dentist, I got the phone call that my glucose results were abnormal and I have gestational diabetes. So while I sat in the dentist’s chair I tried not to cry because my tooth hurt and I once again failed my baby.

Tooth diagnosis is pending until after delivery unless it gets worse but I will likely need a root canal and have to take an antibiotic now in case there’s an infection.

While I sat in Costco waiting for my testing kit I tried not to cry but could barely see the pharmacist through my puffy eyes when he explained how to test my blood sugar. You know what the worst part of this diagnosis is? That I was told I have gestational diabetes, but besides being told to test four times per day, no one has told me what I’m supposed to do.

Yes, there’s a class I’m supposed to take next week but in the meantime I am left to figure it out on my own. Since I’m a librarian, I know how to find reliable information but nevertheless, I feel like I swimming under water without oxygen.

I am constantly apologizing to my baby and my husband for failing them. What did I do wrong that all of this is happening? Yes, I’m four years older this time around. But what am I doing wrong? Nothing, my husband tells me. It’s not your fault.

And yet here I am, at 25 weeks, praying I make it to 38 weeks, wondering, guilt ridden and scared out of my mind.

Stay With Me, Stay

I’ve been waiting for this day for two weeks. I’m officially 24 weeks pregnant. Twenty-four weeks is the gestational age that experts agree is the earliest chance babies have to survive outside of the womb if delivered, as less than 25% of babies born at 23 weeks survive, whereas that number jumps to about 50% at 24 weeks and to over 90% at 29 weeks.

Why do these numbers matter to me right now? Two weeks ago I spent 6 hours in labor and delivery with painful contractions. Not just Braxton Hicks contractions, but real contractions. During my last pregnancy, I experienced latent labor for weeks before my water broke. But this is way too early for real contractions. I’m not on bed rest (yet) and I’ve been going to work and teaching and doing laundry and making beds and giving my son baths and meals. I’m pretty sure all of that is going to come to a screeching halt shortly as I am still experiencing contractions. They’re not “longer and stronger” than they were two weeks ago, but at my next checkup, I’m terrified I’m going to hear the two words I can’t mentally process: BED REST.

I’m sure if I’ve been instructed by my OB to go on bed rest, I will obey her. I desperately want this baby to be healthy and not spend his first days, weeks or months in the NICU. But I’m so grateful to have made it this far and if bed rest is in my future, I am going to do my best to be a good patient and wait. 

Ideally, baby stays in utero until at least 38 weeks. After that, I’m sure I’ll be begging him to come out. But we’ve made it this far. My next goal is 29 weeks, just 5 weeks away. Please stay baby, just stay.

 

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