Commodore Nicole's Blog


Monday, March 15, 2010

No, I hate him.

Posted by Nicole at 8:01 AM

When was the last time you did a meme?

And I've got some time to kill because these files are taking f-o-r-e-v-er to write and move.

What type of day are you having? Not too bad considering DLST seems to be having an opposite effect on my sleep. So tired yesterday, yet unable to sleep.

Was there anyone who "made your day"? Jenny pointed out a wrestler who looked like Quasimoto.

Are you liking how you look today? Hair totally co-operated this morning. It's cute and spring-y.

Do you have anyone crushing on you? Mikko...better be.

Have you ever eaten a bug? No, maybe. But after seeing more spiders in my house then necessary I'm afraid I might with very little to say about it.

Are you vegetarian? No. Loves me some Mickey D's double cheeseburger.

When was the last time you kissed someone? Kissed a toddler, a baby, and a husband so far today.

Have you ever had something stuck between your teeth, but no one decided to tell you? Probably.

Are you a mother or a father? Yes.

When was your last paycheck? Friday. Need Friday to repeat this coming Friday.

How many pets do you have? 1 terrorist dog, and 1 adult cat who needs to get a damn job or go to college - she's old enough.

What kind of toothpaste do you use? God, I wish I knew.

Are you closer to being rich or poor? What's the glass filled with?

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Depends on if the toddler has crawled into bed with me.

What was the last gift someone gave you? I got beautiful flowers for Valentines.

Do you appreciate that person? Immensely.

Did you talk to anyone you didn’t like today? Does my alarm clock count? Cuz that bitch just needs to stop.

Do you like picnics? Yes. Need to plan some this summer.

What book are you currently reading? Pirate Latitudes

What song did you last listen to? "What do you Want from Me" by Adam Lambert.

What movie is in your DVD player? Wiggles.

How many windows are open in your computer? 15 (No, I'm not kidding. And that's pretty typical of my work flow.)

Are you a very stressed out person? No. But I'm getting a little worn down trying to keep up with work, the house, and lack of sleep. Really it's the constant "thinking" that's starting to chip away at my ability to be sane.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tell her I feel fine.

Posted by Nicole at 9:06 AM

The 120-day New Hire probationary period is about to expire. We've decided to keep the Newest Employee as a permanent member of the Kinnunen Corp team. You know, because she's just so darn cute!

Look at the cute baby!!!!

I'd like to say that the first 4 months have been a snap, but I can't. That wouldn't be honest, nor would it be realistic. Bringing a new baby home should never be described as a "snap". Anyone who does say something so ridiculous is either delusional, selling something, or has an army of nannies who do all of the actual work. Did I mention that I think that every new mom SHOULD have an army of nannies to do all the work?

And now for the details. Because who doesn't love a good birth story? Everyone!!! On Nov. 18th Mikko and I arrived bright and early to the hospital and the staff started getting me prepped for delivery. I got a chance to meet all the people who'd be assisting my OB. Oh yeah, there were plenty of people who'd be there - the OB, the nurses, the SENIOR anesthesiologist, the pediatrician, a urologist, a couple of attendings and a few interns who just wanted to hang and see how this all played out.

See, here's the short and sweet of it - the combination of the placenta previa (position over the cervix and over the previous incision) and the acreta (placenta growing through the uterus wall) is fairly rare which makes my repeat c-section a prime teaching moment. My OB has been practicing for a long time - she'd seen 6 (six!) similar situations and all of them "not a piece of cake".

My OB went over what was going to happen: slice me open, get baby out; then try to get the placenta to detach and out long before I lost too much blood. All while leaving the uterus in it's happy place. The anesthesiologist explained to me that for my safety they were going to have me go completely out. This would allow them flexibility to react to whatever might happen. The nurses let me know that because of the baby's early delivery date they would be taking her to the NICU as soon as she was evicted.

And that is pretty much what happened. Oh, except the part where the placenta detaches. That didn't happen. And so...I am minus one standard issue uterus.

I'm not really sure when I woke up later that day. A few hours maybe. I remember the nurse and doctors being very reassuring. I remember being told that everything was going very well; that I was good and that Phoebe was perfect. I remember that I felt very out of it. I remember Mikko telling me about our Teeny Titan. It struck me that she was soooo teeny tiny. I remember that I wasn't going to be able to see her and they promised to get a picture for me. I remember deciding to text my friend Karyn because I just needed something to concentrate on.

I'm sure I was told that the uterus had been removed. But I don't remember. I think because I knew it already - that it really didn't matter. I do remember when they told me I was on my 3rd unit of blood. That was strange to me - I'd never gotten new blood before. I think I had a thought about being a vampire now - but managed not to say it out loud.

A nurse brought a picture of the New Employee at 2am the next day: Via Twitter: Pinchable cheeks, button nose - yep; that's a daughter of mine. 2:06 AM Nov 19th, 2009 via txt It probably took me 30min to key in.

I would meet the sweet little girl the next day. Our first picture together is way fuzzy. Which is pretty much how I felt. I'm sure she agrees. Phoebe took to the training program fast. She slept and she ate in 4 hour increments. Which is about as much as I could handle.

The lactation consultant visited me and set me up to help get the ol' baby feeders started. She said considering everything, I should just do what I could. I got the feeling that nursing wasn't going to go all that well (Let's just say that I provided an pre-bottle appetizer for 4 weeks). Everyone from the Baby side was eager to get me over there - but everyone on the Mom side weren't ready to let me out of their sight. They needed to make sure I didn't take a sudden turn in my recovery. That happens, and it can get really bad.

By Friday, things were really starting to even out. Everyone started their greetings with "You look sooooo good", I could hold onto a thought for more then 5minutes and they had removed 3 or my 5 lines. And with that - they transferred me to the Baby ward where Phoebe and I got to hang out, eat, and rest, rest, rest. We even got a chance to watch the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy!

It wasn't until nearly two months after Phoebe's birth that I'd get back to the one moment I don't remember. Even before Fiona was born, I'd heard of Placenta Previa. But nothing like what I had and certainly not the possibility I had been facing.

At Christmas a close family friend and I talked about her almost exact experience. It being 30 years ago, she did not have the benefit of having known prior to her second sons birth about how exciting it was going to get. And it did get exciting for several days. She reassured me that life was going to be as good as it ever was.

But it seemed odd to me that had I ever seen the condition profiled on any of the dozen or so medical shows that run 24/7 on the Discovery channels. At the end of my Maternity leave one of the traumatic birthing shows featured a mother of 5 who had a similar condition. Watching this, I was perfectly serene - till the moment they showed her in the O.R..

Then the whole pregnancy came into focus. By seeing her under general anesthesia, I saw myself. And yourself does NOT like to see you so vulnerable. In the 7 months that I was aware of the condition I was never blissfully ignorant of the severity of the situation but I certainly wasn't preoccupied by it either. Seeing this women in surgery made me REALIZE the danger. And just what I could have lost, and what I did.

I would later find out that it wasn't just one acreta but two. There really was no chance of me keeping that organ. Which is fine; I'm here, Phoebe's here. We're all fine here - now, thank you. How are you?
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Keep your station clean... or I WILL KILL YOU!

Posted by Nicole at 11:02 AM

So before I got my shit together I managed a little shop in Gibraltar - Jim's Galley (Yep, nautical themed, imagine that). I pretty much worked with one other adult (in age only) and the rest were teenagers.

The shop served pizza, salads, grinders, and so on. There was a moderate amount of food prep to be done and most of it had to do with cutting, slicing, and chopping the veggies.

I being what I would call a NORMAL person would use the appropiate tool for each specific task. Something I picked up HELPING MY MOM in the kitchen and by watching the Frugal Gourmet.

Most of the teens I hired were -uhm- ridiculously uninformed about food prep upon entering the work force. So I developed the Veggie Peeler Test.

During the training period I would make sure a variety of tools were within arms reach and clearly visible before setting the trainee to task. I'd SHOW THEM EXACTLY what needed to be done and how to do it. Using the specific tool for slicing tomatoes, chopping onions, cutting cucumbers, or whatever else was on the list.

On their next shift, I'd set the tools out again and then instruct them to cut cucumbers.

It never failed that they'd pick up a cucumber, completely ignore the peeler as their finger tips brushed over it to grab the largest chopping knife and proceed in committing veggie hari-kari.

The cucumber would go from cylinder looking to completely squared off. The slices would be box like and about a third of the size they could have been.

After thanking God they hadn't taken off a finger in the process, I'd pick up the peeler.

Nicole: What is this tool?
Teen: I don't know?
Nicole: You've never used this before?
Teen: No.
Nicole: How did your Mom make a salad?
Teen: uuuhhhhhh (blank).......

I seriously wanted to call their mothers. One, to clarify that the teens weren't just saying they didn't when they really did. And two - to question what the hell they were doing as mothers if their child hadn't used a freaking veggie peeler ever before in their lives. (This was before I was a Mother so hense my own ridiculous assumptions.)

For the record I tried on several occasions to start with "This is a veggie peeler, we use it to do A,B, and C." It NEVER stuck. The next time I told them to do something that required they use it - they'd just pick up the biggest knife they could find and destroy a poor defenseless piece of produce.

But the Veggie Peeler Test wasn't just useful for gauging their skills, it also gave me insight into their ability to take direction, their maturity, and a huge look at their personality.

For the most part I determined that they were all good persons who would do well (eventually) - but that without a doubt they were all mentally disabled and pretty much unable to process rational thoughts about the future, their well being and the consequences of their actions.

Really the The Veggie Peeler Test was not about choosing the Veggie Peeler - it was about choosing a good tool for the task at hand (I would have accepted a pairing knife as an acceptable choice). Because if someone can't determine how using the biggest freaking knife ever (with a blade that only JASON VOORHEES could wield elegantly) to cut up a cucumber could pose a danger to their well being -yeah- brain action impaired.

FYI - I only ever had TWO employees that passed the test from the get go. And they were girls.

Now, I'll admit that I have in fact used the biggest knife in the drawer to cut up a cucumber. Mostly it was to show those little snots that I could wield the weapon AND produce a beautifully sliced cucumber to adorn the a salad worthy of the Waldorf. But there was a element of putting some fear into them about Nicole's knife skills - can't run a tight ship without the crew being just a little afraid.
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Monday, November 02, 2009

That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff.

Posted by Nicole at 6:43 AM

Until it swallows you up whole.

Yesterday, Mikko, 3 friends (who are basically family) with me directing, moved around our house to make room for the New Employee. This included emptying the contents of the The Pit of Despair (aka the basement) onto the front lawn, then moving most of the stuff (aka Nicole's craft and sewing crap and pieces of her soul) from the office down to the basement, then moving the Master boudoir to the upstairs to leave an empty canvas for what is to become Fiona's big girl room, so that we can re-set the nursery for the new baby.

The garage is now a holding area for some stuff that will be coming back into the house, but most of it will be heading for the curb. The amount of crap that will be going out for garbage and donation pick up on Wednesday is unbelievable (I'll post a picture of the garage later) and it kinda makes me sad - uhg why were we sitting on all that stuff?

I take full responsibility and admit to being a pack rat. I've known this for most of my life. My mother told me this when I was knee high to a grasshopper. I've watched those shows (Obsessed, Horders), and while I am NOT psychologically attached to a lot of this stuff, I do have to work at NOT squirrling things away. The amount of crap that is still hanging around the house in the form of electronics, craft stuff and infant-baby-toddler toys/clothes/accessories/equipment makes one twitchy. It's less then what it could be, but a hella lot more then what it should.


For the next year. I am declaring a state of emergency at Kinnunen Corp. I'm cutting off our influx of stuff. Anything that requires space to exist in my house is going to be scrutinized to the enth degree. If if wants to access for a in-determinate amount of time, then it had better come with a 5 page report of why it's worthy of those inches.

And I'm asking everyone's help in this. So to anyone who thinks we are worthy, please for the sake of my sanity (and Mikko's because if it drives me crazy - he suffers) that all gift giving opportunities are - Not necessary. We love, respect, and think highly of all our close family and friends. The gift of you in our lives is gift enough.

However, since I know I wouldn't be able to hold myself to such a restriction (I do love to wrap a lovely gift), if gifts must be given, we humbly requests gift cards to places that won't encourage us to bring anything into the house. I know that this sounds absolutely like this the worst sort of personality defect known to humans - to request monatary gifts - but I'm desperate. In fact, if you come up with a better idea that doesn't come in a box to be stored, put some place, shelved, and or "-sumed in some way" - I'm all for it. I seriously do not want to ask my family to come help me dig myself out again.

I'm not swearing off being a consumer for some altruist reason, I simply want to take control of the "matter" in the house. And while the economic situation should have something to do with it - furthest thing from my reasoning. Mikko and I are children of the 80's for gods sake, consumerism has been injected into our system, and there is no re-hab for that. And seriously, being a consumer is just so delectable, makes you so so sooooooo warm and fuzzy inside...

I'll be a little flexible on some things, and things for Fiona and the New Employee because I've got my eye on a few toys that they simply MUST have, (and they've got to be indoctrinated to the American way somehow) but seriously - this wave has got to take a break. At least for the next 400 days, Kinnunen corp is going on such a strick zero-waste policy, we*** don't even want have anything to zero-waste.

***By "we" I mean The CEO and Head of Kinnunen Corp. Fellow Board Members and employee's had very little to do with this idea, and while shaking their heads in agreement are problably taking bets as to when I'll break this little derective. Anybody have next week?
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Posted by Nicole at 7:49 AM

Last time, our peppy preggo was left precariously dangling on the limb of testing results, pausing ever so patiently to learn whether or not the stray placenta got it's giddy up and go, and made progress to happier pasters.


I'm not happy to say that the answer is - no. As of the last ultra-sound the placenta had not decided to move on to a better vantage point and may have grown more attached to it's co-hort the Uterus. Between my doctor and a specialist, they are preparing for the delivery to be a much bigger ordeal then just announcing the New Employee into the world. There is a good chance that if the placent and uterus do not say fond farewells, and part ways, they will be leaving me together.

It's a disconcerting thought. Saying adios to your uterus. I'm not overly fond of this organ (especially at the moment), and I don't overly romanticize what having uterus means to me. Yet, we've never had that much of a problem either. For the most part, it did the job it was designed to do, and I provided technical support. What shakes me is that my body routine will not be as familiar as it once was - ever again. Sure there are pros to the cons, but it's change. And while change is good, an adventure - for me, the transition is often bumpy, full of tears, and not all that fun.

Are all you guys uncomfortable with all this yucky plumbing talk yet? Tough, it's good for you.

What does this mean for the New Employee? Means that she'll be evicted a tad earlier then the expected due date. Not really for her sake, because she's all happy and comfy and rolling around, kicking every other organ she can get her appendages on just like an new hire candidate should be. But more for mine. The c-section to deliver the New Employee with all the factors is tense and my doctor would really like to retain as much control as possible. My being in labor makes the proceedure more a reactionary situation and not so much a proactive one.

The other thing is that my doctor would prefer that the New Employee do that last 4 weeks growth spurt on the outside. With the overly romantic relationship between placenta and uterus, all exits being blocked, and the possibilty of the Candidate taking after her 9lbs sister, if allowed full time in uteruo, the integrity of her quarters could be weaked and cause a rupture. When was the last time you saw a Sci-fi movie where the ship lost outer shell integrity and everyone went - "Meh. No problem."

So, to answer that ever so popular question "How am I doing?" That everyone askes with the tilted head and the wide eyes. I'm doing okay. Mikko is probably the same as me - minus the hormonal driven spreading of the hips. Baby is fine. Fiona is oblivious. Whatever happens - happens. We can do what we can to direct and shape the situation but there are things that we just can't. I'm fine with that.

If the New Employee could just come with a name tag letting us know what to put on her paper work - now THAT would really put the whole hiring process at ease.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I like this ship! You know, It's exciting!

Posted by Nicole at 6:23 PM

After a couple of Rants, I suppose I should share something a little more light hearted.

Lets go back a few weeks. On July 30th we headed into yet another ultra-sound, but this one was going to be exciting. This one was going to reveal the much anticipated news of our employee candidate. We would get to find out the gender. Or so we thought. After 45 minutes, some dancing around, emptying the bladder, shifting this way and that, baby was stubbornly stuck in a tucked position. Baby would not reveal the goods. Which in reality is something we want to promote, but later. You know, after we get a look. We left, with another appointment scheduled for 2 weeks. About 2 hours later, Baby decided to do something to make it up to Momma - kick her, roll around, and jump on her bladder.

But the U/S did reveal something that could prove to be more important. The tech noted that the placenta had moved to an undesirable position. Did you know that it travels? Yep, takes little jaunts around the womb. The position it was in was covering the cervix - you know the natural exit. The position does not affect baby's connection to me, but it's just not really a stable place to be hanging out.

Promptly Monday morning, I got a call from my OB's office. The nurse informed me that they suggested I restrict my activity. The main things being no heavy lifting, no extended working out, and no prolonged stress. Mostly, everything was fine, they just wanted me to be cautious until my next regular appointment.

Having heard about this condition before, I was well aware of what was going on. But it does toss a little dust on your happy preggo glow. However, as with most women who are diagnosed with with this condition, there is the chance that the placenta will get a hitch in it's giddy up and mosey along. So yes, it's an issue - but resolvable.

And then I had my regular appointment. Now, let me state for the record that I love my OB. She provides excellent informed care, and relates to her patients with an authoritative but personal touch. I know that I can tell her anything, and she'll take it into consideration and really consider it. I also know to believe her when she says "that's normal". So with that in mind, I trust her when she tells me that everything is good, but things are not perfect. The placenta is not only haunting my cervix, it's also sitting over my incision from my first eviction. If it doesn't move by the next eviction, then things have possibility of going bad. I prefer "get exciting". Doctor made if very clear that "bad" was not what was expected, just a possibility. But she wanted me to understand now that what was expected could go to bad in just a few minutes and I needed to know what that meant. I'm still swallowing the word hysterectomy.

Drink more water, more relaxing, restrict activity, stay out of the heat and no heavy lifting; make another U/S appointment in 6 weeks and I'll see you in 4.

Which brings us back around to the next U/S. On Tuesday we headed back to the U/S office to finish up the appointment we started on the 30th. With in about 10 minutes, and with a lot of prodding, the tech happily announced that the New Employee is a Girl. A stubborn little girl who did not make getting the measurements required very easy. Nor did she pose for pictures at all.

So, big news - Kinnunen Corp has been taken over by girls. We are both very happy and excited. Mikko is clearly not prepared for how frilly, pink and princess-fied this house is going to be. As for current employee, she has been made aware but I'm guessing has no real concept of what it means. However, I'm pretty sure that she'll be as over the moon with arrival of the New Employee as we will.

And here we are. Excited about what will come, and a little apprehensive about what can come.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This ain't no game, flash.

Posted by Nicole at 6:30 AM

Dear NFL-

I'm not sure when I've actually watched a whole game between two of your teams; so I won't claim to know much about your organization.

But I do know a few things. And those things are pretty lousy. I know that a small chunk of your players seem to find themselves in A LOT of trouble on a regular basis. The kind of trouble your fans would have a hell of a time getting out of while these players walk away scott free. To which your usual reaction is to let some sort of PR nonsense dribble from your management lips. I get the feeling that your golden rule is "Bad Press is still Press".

Your reasons for keeping these menaces to society on your payroll start with how important they are to the fans. That the fans want to see these rehabilitated fiends shown some compassion and allowed to make a living and contribution. Which, I'm sure you know, that I know, is a load of crap. You keep them on the teams because their name made headlines and those headlines will put people in the seats, and cash in your pockets.

It's kind of sick, ya know that you parade your players around like heros and do everthing in your marketing power to raise them up to a pedestal of adoration; TO KIDS non-the-less. When a good portion of them are the worst example of the human condition. Thugs, filanderers, rapists, addicts, dealers, violent monsters, and psycopaths. Not to mention the ones that just feel they are infact God's gift to the world.

I'm not sure if you know this but, if you would just fire these scum bags; it wouldn't take much to find another player to fill his shoes. And the newbie might be more inclined to run a better path to keep his job. The fans will love him just as much, if not more then the other guy because he could be a pure legend. The fans just want to see good football between two teams of good, sportsmen.

Recently your former Golden Boy Michael Vick was released from prison and you welcomed him back with open arms. He has served his time and suffered enough.

Really? He's suffered enough? How exactly has he suffered? A person cannot suffer without there being a tragedy. So what exactly is Vick's tragedy? Because everything that has happened to him in the past 3 years has been of his own doing. There was no accident, there was no great struggle to overcome, no unexpected catastrophe. If you do illegal and immoral things, it will come back to you - it's just a matter of time.

I realize that his reinstatement is conditional. Are you still suspending him for 4 games? Which is ridiculous at best - it's kinda like an at home suspension. Which is basically a vacation. A suspension is suppose to work as a humiliation tool. But really 4 games is a drop in the bucket; even IF he actually felt any shame.

Others have commented that he has served his time and has the right to start again fresh. To rebuild his life. And I do agree with that. However, I don't think handing him a free pass back to his old life constitutes "rebuilding" ones life. He needs to make amends, not the public and certainly not to me, but to those he carelessly used for his own gain - the animals. Vick's new life should be ALL about restitution, and not the monetary kind, because actions speak louder then anything. Vick's new life should be dedicated to taking care of and living for animals as a Humane Society or SPCA volunteer. I know it will never happen because as you keep saying, so someone might actually believe it - he's suffered enough.

What exactly would get a player tossed out of the NFL? Come out of the closet - to the public? Nah, too big of a fan base.

Oh, I know - I bet denouncing God would do it.
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