12w6d morph baby

It’s been a slow morning at work, so I thought I would, oh I don’t know, play around on morphthing.com and see what Baby Z may look like if I combined my face with J’s…

The results are not for the faint of heart.

Eerily, the toddler girl does look a bit like me when I was little.  Scary…

What’s your vote?  Which one do you think looks most like future Baby Z?


12w5d soy milk

The other day, when the hubby and I strolled past Chinatown, I bought a cup of soy milk and…oh-my-god, it was delicious.  I’d forgotten how good Chinese soy milk is! Chinese soy milk tastes very different from the flavored, thicker version that you buy in U.S. grocery stores (not that I don’t like me a good glass of vanilla Silk every now and then); the Chinese version is the genuine article made of simply soy beans, water and sugar (the sugar is optional).

Since I can’t run to Chinatown every time I have a craving for soy milk (which is quite often these days), two nights ago, I decided to make my own Chinese soy milk at home.  I used to see my mom and grandma make soy milk all the time when I was growing up!  All you have to do is blend the beans with water, strain the mixture through a cheese cloth, boil and let cool.  Simple, right?  How hard could it possibly be?

Or so I thought.

Um, it took J and I over 2 hours of hard manual labor to pull off half a bucket of milk.  It was a ton of work!  First, the dried soy beans had to soak for several hours so that they become properly hydrated.  I totally underestimated the size of hydrated beans – and soaked more beans than I bargained for.   Who knew they’d get so darn large?!

Second, you have to blend one cup of rehydrated beans to 3 cups of water.  This sounds simpler than it is, especially if you only own one tiny blender (that occasionally leaks water) and have a gazillion pounds of beans to blend.  Then the entire blended mixture needs to be sifted through a cheesecloth, which requires you to squeeze or “milk” the cheesecloth as you would…a cow.   Again, this process sounds a lot simpler than it was.  After 2 hours of “milking”, both my hands and J’s were sore, tired and crusted with soy gunk.   We also lost more beans than we managed to save, so the results of our efforts ended up being a lot less milk than we thought.

On the upside, it was DELICIOUS!  Just like how Mom’s milk used to taste! (Err…that may not have come out right…)

I think it was totally worth the labor, but J said it probably would’ve been easier to just buy a cow and milk it ourselves in our apartment.  -__-”

I’m guessing there is no next time for him.

Whatever.  Baby Z, you love soy milk too, right?  When you grow up, you and Mommy can make it together, and we won’t share any with your lazy Dad.

12w4d oh, weight

It’s official.  I no longer fit into any of my pre-pregnancy pants anymore.  I’ve gained nearly NINE pounds in my first trimester…and according to my pregnancy books, most women gain only 1-4 pounds total during the first 3 months, and 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters).

I don’t get it.  How did I gain so much weight?  I don’t think that I’ve been hitting the fridge more often than usual.  Maybe I’ve been over doing it with the Cheez-Its?!

I asked my OB about it during our last visit because I’ve been paranoid that I’m gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, but she said that since I was a bit under-weight prior to getting pregnant, my body is just building extra cushion for the baby to grow in.   My weight should stabilize and normalize over the course of my pregnancy.

Here is an interesting chart that details where all the weight goes during baby-growing:

Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?


8 pounds


2-3 pounds

Amniotic fluid

2-3 pounds

Breast tissue

2-3 pounds

Blood supply

4 pounds

Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding

5-9 pounds

Uterus increase

2-5 pounds


25 to 35 pounds

I can’t believe that at the end of 9 months, I will gain close to 40 pounds (although at the rate I’m going, it’s looking more likely that I’ll gain 140).  Not that I’m complaining – I’d gladly gain 1000 pounds for Baby Z.  But I’ve been nearly the same size and weight since I turned 15 years old, and it’s definitely going to be an adjustment to look down and suddenly see 40 pounds of extra flesh protruding from my stomach. (And toes?  What toes?)

Call me crazy, but I actually wish my belly were a tad bigger right now!  I feel as though I’m in such an awkward phase at the moment – my pants no longer fit, but I also don’t look very pregnant yet.  If I’m going to gain all this extra weight, then I want to at least look like I’m having a baby, and not as though I’ve been binge eating in Willy Wonka’s factory, dammit!

I guess in the meantime, I need to start investing in these belly bands.  My friends tell me that these sexy things are often used during pregnancy. They are designed to provide belly support later in pregnancy, but they can also be used in early pregnancy by allowing you to wear your pre-pregnancy pants just a tad longer.   You can keep your pants unbuttoned and possibly even half zipped, and the belly bands are tight enough to flatten the pants to “look normal” and to keep them relatively secure at your waist.   Hot, eh?

Until my belly bands arrive in the mail though (and Amazon tells me they won’t for another two weeks), if you happen to see me walking around as though my pants are unzipped and unbuttoned, it’s probably because they are indeed unzipped and unbuttoned.  I’m taking the hobo-look to a whole new (literal) level.

12w3d the greatest gift

Today is my 31st birthday (oy)…and the day of my first trimester screening.  I don’t know what had possessed me to schedule this screening on the same day as my birthday.  If, heaven forbid, the screening didn’t go well, then today would be a double whammy.

But!  Thank goodness, this wasn’t the case.  Our screening went really well – Baby Z had a normal nuchal translucency (NT) of 1.3mm, which means that he is at low-risk for Down’s syndrome.  Baby Z’s heart is also beating normally at 169 bpm, and he’s measuring at approximately 2.5 inches (barely the size of my palm)!

Of course, the true highlight of the screening was seeing Baby Z again!  He was wiggling and moving up a storm during the ultrasound – our technician said our baby couldn’t stop dancing for us.  He’s such a little show-off already! (Takes after his Dad, for sure).

Here are a couple of photos of the newest love of my life.  Until today, I didn’t realize that it’s possible to love someone so much from just a photograph.

Best birthday present ever.

We will find out whether Baby Z is a boy or girl during our next ultrasound on August 20.  Stay tuned!

12w0d Superhero Z

Baby is the size of a peach!

Fingerprints have formed on your baby’s tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you’re having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

(Source: BabyCenter)

Baby Z is 13 weeks old today!  Yay!  This is the last week of my first trimester – I can hardly believe it.   Soon, Baby Z will be going PUBLIC!  J and I are celebrating tonight by going to the opening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.   Just kidding – I think J bought these movie tickets months ago, before we even attempted to make Baby Z.  J has been acting like a kid on Christmas Eve this entire week – he has reminded me at least three times in the last 24 hours to leave work a little earlier today so that we can get to the theater early.   What’s with boys and comic book superheroes?

All I know is that if Baby Z were to  have any superpowers or become any superhero, the last one I would want him/her to be is Batman.  Um, hello, our baby would have to live in a bat infested cave and walk around in an awkwardly tight bat-themed costume that serves zero purpose because guess what?  Batman has no superpowers whatsoever!  Batman is basically Inspector Gadget plus some random martial arts moves.  At least Iron Man has a really cool high-tech robot suit.

No, I wouldn’t want our baby to be Batman.  Maybe Superman?  At least Superman can fly and has awesome hearing and x-ray vision.  But he’s got that noble idiocy thing going on, where he’s always trying to do the right thing, except usually in the most stupid, illogical way possible.  I think WB’s Smallville really ruined me of all good-feelings toward Superman.

Spiderman?  He can hang upside down, shoot web-thingys out of his hands, and he’s kind of dorky-hot.  But he’s too dorky to ever get the girl and he’s always broke…so, no.  I don’t want Baby Z to live at home until he’s 180, even if he’s battling evil as his day job.

Green Lantern?  Goofy outfit and even goofier plot line with the lantern and My Precious.

Wolverine?  No, too violent and unpredictable.

The Hulk?  Too green.

What about women superheroes?

Catwoman?  Evil and…catty.

Jean Grey?  I’ll admit the mind-reading thing is pretty cool, but I swear, the girl spends long periods of time either dead or missing…and the Dark Phoenix thing is a little creepy.

Black Canary?  Her supersonic scream to shout her enemies to submission is just blatantly sexist and offensive.

Wonder Woman?  She’s probably the closest to what I’d want Baby Z to be – minus the whole noble idiocy thing.

I think the bottom line is:  I’ve spent way too much time thinking about this, and clearly, J has forced me to watch more superhero movies than I care to admit.   Also, our baby doesn’t need to be a superhero to be super loved and super awesome.  Don’t be hero, son!  

One last note:  The Dark Knight Rises was filmed right outside of our apartment last year!  J and I (and Henry) have pictures with the Batmobile.  Although I’ll admit, when I first saw all the “Gotham Police” trucks out on Wall Street last year, I had to ask J why NYPD decided to change its name…

Can’t wait for tonight!

11w6d baby miracle

Since seeing Baby Z on the ultrasound yesterday, I can’t stop marveling at the miracle of baby-making.  No, not that kind of baby-making, but the entire process of growing a baby.  In the past few weeks, Baby Z has grown from a tiny single-celled organism to a person with hands, feet, heart, brain, head, eyes, mouth, nose, knees, liver, lungs, and even fingerprints.

If I had to remember to do all of that in a month, I’d probably end up as an exhibit at a museum for human mutants.  Just this morning I had to write myself a note to buy eggs, milk, razor, and…sh*t, I can’t remember the last item.  I can’t imagine reminding myself to “grow kidneys, gallbladder and oh, an immune system while you’re at it!  Thanks!”

It’s both humbling and amazing to think that our baby just instinctively knows what, how, and where to grow.  All J and I did to contribute to this miracle of life was to provide the sperm and the egg.

On a related note, here are some fun, interesting facts that I compiled about babies from various sources:

  • Baby Tuesdays!  The most popular day for babies to make their entrance is Tuesday, followed by Monday. Sunday is the slowest day, with 35.1 fewer births than average.
  • “First” babies are smaller: The first child born to parents is usually smaller in size than babies born later.
  • Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adult we have only 206 in our bodies. Bones fuse together during growth to come up with the new number.
  • No Kneecaps : On birth, babies do not have kneecaps. They usually don’t develop them fully until after six months.
  • Newborn babies may cry a lot but they don’t produce any tears. There is moisture to lubricate and clean the eyes but proper tears don’t start to appear until the baby is between three and twelve weeks of age.
  • Most babies are born with blue eyes: Eventual eye color develops later, most babies are indeed born with blue eyes.
  • Mama is number one: Babies begin to recognize their mother’s voice when inside the womb, and they usually recognize their mother’s face earlier than other people.  (YAY FOR ME!)
  • Peak crying times: You may feel like babies cry nonstop, but in fact, late afternoon and early evening are the most common times for babies to cry.
  • Newborns don’t have the bridge of the nose: This may make it easier for them to be delivered naturally. The bridge develops later.
  • The average size of a full-term baby in the U.S. is 8 pounds. This is an increase from an average size of 6 pounds 30 years ago.
  • Fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date, 50% are born within one week of the due date, and 90% are born within two weeks of the date.
  • Babies have very “poor” eyesight because their brains aren’t able to process information as well.  Their eyes are focused on a spot about eight inches away – so you need to get really close if your baby is to see you clearly. Babies prefer looking at curved lines rather than straight lines.
  • Any hair that is on your newborn baby’s head will soon fall out – to be replaced by permanent hair (which may be of an entirely different colour) at about six months.
  • Contrary to the old wives’ tale, babies are not colour blind. They prefer strong primary colours – particularly red and blue.

11w5d 2nd prenatal visit

J and I just returned from our second prenatal visit with our doctor, and to our immense relief, we received lots of great news!

First, all my blood work from our last visit came back normal and I tested negative for infections and diseases.  I also found out that I have an O+ positive blood type!  (Who knew?)  O+ is the most common blood type, and people who are part of the O blood group are also universal donors, which means I can donate blood to anyone but can only receive blood from people also in the O group.  That doesn’t sound very fair.

More importantly, we saw Baby Z again!  This time, we didn’t have to do a transvaginal ultrasound because Baby Z is now big enough to picked up by an ultrasound directly on my belly.  The first thing J said when our doctor put the transducer on my belly was, “Holy crap, that’s a head!”

It was incredible.  The last time we saw Baby Z he was barely a speck in my womb, but now Baby Z has a clearly defined head and body!  We even saw Baby Z’s hands flutter and his legs kick when the doctor pushed the sensor a little harder.  I guess Baby Z is already ticklish, just like his Mom and Dad.  Our doctor also told us that Baby Z’s heartbeat is measuring at somewhere between 140-150 bpm, which is a little faster than his heart was beating four weeks ago!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to take any pictures of the ultrasound because the screens at our OB’s office aren’t very clear or very large.  But we’ll definitely get photos of Baby Z next Monday when we head back to the state-of-the-art imaging center again so that we can screen Baby Z for Down syndrome by looking at his nuchal translucency (the skin at the back of the fetus’ neck).

Until then, check out this cool image of a real baby at 12 weeks.  Baby Z, is this what you look like inside Mommy’s belly right now?

11w4d old wives tales and baby z’s gender

We don’t find out Baby Z’s gender for a few more weeks, but J and I are taking bets on whether Baby Z is a boy or a girl.

For the record:
I think I’m having a boy.
J thinks I’m having a girl.

We would be excited whether we have a son or a daughter, but it’s still fun to speculate.  I’ve been looking up old wives tales on gender prediction, and here’s how I score:

Old Wives Tale #1:  Heart Rate
If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl.  If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy.

Score:  +0:  At our last appointment, our baby’s heart rate was exactly 140 bpm, so I don’t know where that leaves us…

Old Wives Tale #2:  Shape of Belly
If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl.  If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  It’s a little too early too tell whether I’m carrying high or low, but I think I’m starting to get a low bump, so maybe…boy?

Old Wives Tale #3:  Ring Test
Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly.  You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth  and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle.

Score: +1 Girl.  Believe it or not, I just tested this one out.  Um, what kind of string wouldn’t swing back and forth versus in a circle??  C’mon!  But I’ll play along.  Girl it is.

Old Wives Tale #4:  Shape of Mom’s Face
When your face gets fuller and rounder when pregnant, it means you’re going to have a girl.  If your face is long and narrow, it’s a boy.

Score: + 1 Girl.  Sadly, my face, like the rest of my body, has definitely gained some chub.

Old Wives Tale #5:  Key Test
This test involves a key.  If you pick up a key at the top (the roundest part), you are going to have a boy.  If you pick up the key at the bottom (smallest part), you are going to have a girl.  If you happen to grab the key in the middle, congrats, it’s twins!

Score: +1 Boy.  I always pick up my keys by the roundest part (mainly because I’m always digging for them in my purse, and the roundest part is the easiest to feel for).

Old Wives Tale #6:  Mayan Tale
The Mayan tale adds the mothers age at conception and the year of conception.  If the result is a even number then mom is having a girl.  If the result is an odd number then a boy is on the way!

Score: +1 Girl.  I was 30 when Baby Z was conceived and this is the year of 2012. 30+2012=2042.  Even.  Girl.

Old Wives Tale #7:  Drano Test
The drano test combines a tablespoon of Drano and urine together.  If the mixture turns green, it’s a girl.  If it turns blue, it’s a boy.

Score: +0.  Sorry, I just can’t do this one.  Too grossed out!

Old Wives Tale #8:  Acne
If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl.  It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones.

Score: +1 Boy.  My skin is surprisingly clear these days!  In fact, I’m probably having better skin now than I’ve had my entire adult life.

Old Wives Tale #9:  Cravings
People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy.  If you crave sweets, fruit, and orange juice, you are having a little girl.

Score: +1 Boy.  Oh hello, Cheez-Its.  I’m always craving salty foods, even before pregnancy.  Oh…boy.

Old Wives Tale #10:  Smell of Garlic
If a pregnant woman eats a clove of garlic and the smell does not come out of her pores, it’s a girl.  If the smell seeps out of her pores, it’s a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  This one made me laugh.  I love garlic in everything except maybe ice cream (although I wouldn’t rule that out either since I’ve never tried garlic ice cream before…), but I need at least half a bottle of Listerine afterwards to help get rid of my dragon breath.  Again, this one happened even before pregnancy.  Boy!


Old Wives Tale #11:  Skin under Left Eye
The eye test is when a “V” or “branches” appear when you pull down the skin under your left eye.  If you see a “V” or “branches” in the white part, you’re having a girl.

Score: +1 Boy (?)  I just pulled down my left eye, and I have no idea if I see a “V” or “branches”.  What does that even mean??  Also I see are…the whites of my eyes.  So…I guess boy?

Old Wives Tale #12:  Previous Kids
This tale only applies if you have had previous kids.  If you have and that child’s first word was momma, you will have a girl.  If your first child’s first word was dadda, you’ll have a boy.

Score: +0.  I have no previous kiddos so I don’t know.

Old Wives Tale #13:  Time of Conception
The person that is most aggressive in bed at the time of conception is the opposite of what the baby will be.

Score: + 1 Boy.  In this case, we’ll be having a boy.  Look, I’m not usually such a tiger in the bedroom, but it was late, and I was ovulating, and J had an early meeting the next day.  Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get it done.

Old Wives Tale #14:  Legs

If your legs get really big, you’re having a boy.  If your legs stay in shape and lean, it’s a girl.

Score: +1 Girl.  I think it’s too early for me to tell on this one, but wishful thinking tells me that my legs will stay nice and lean…please?  

Old Wives Tale #15:  Moodiness and a Little Pecker
If you are really moody, you are having a girl since you have another extra girl hormones in you.  Your pregnancy will make you smile and be more happy if you are having a boy because there’s a little penis inside you.  

Score: +1 Girl.  This one made me snort water all over my computer monitor.

Old Wives Tale #16:  Bread
If you eat the ends of bread, it’s a boy.  If you eat the middle of the load, it’s a girl.  

Score: +1 Girl.  Who likes the ends of bread versus the middle?  Not to mention there are only two ends and, like, 50 middle slices.  Another point for a little girl.

Old Wives Tale #17:  Chinese Gender Chart
The Chinese Gender Chart claims to have an accuracy rate of over 90%.  It is based on the mother’s Chinese age at the time of conception and the lunar month that she conceived in.

Score +1 Girl.  This one definitely tells me that I’m having a girl.  In fact, it looks like EVERYONE ages 30-32 will be having a girl in 2012.  Hmm, I have my doubts on this over 90% accuracy thing.

Old Wives Tale #18:  Mom’s Beauty
It is said that a baby girl “steals” the mother’s beauty.  If you think that pregnancy has never made you look more beautiful, you might just be having a little boy.

Score: +1 Girl.  Uhh, other than my skin is looking a wee bit better than before, I just feel fat and tired.  Scratch that, I am fat and tired.  All the effing time.  So no, I don’t think pregnancy is making me look more beautiful.

Old Wives Tale #19:  Dream of Sex of Baby
If you have dreams that you are having a boy, you will have a girl.  If you dream about having a girl, it will be a boy.  Dreams show the opposite sex of what you are having.

Score: +0.  Um, this may be TMI, but I just dream of sex lately.  Is that normal?

Old Wives Tale #20:  Clumsy vs. Graceful
If the pregnant woman is graceful throughout her pregnancy, she’s having a girl.  If she becomes clumsy, she’s having a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  I don’t see how anyone can possibly be graceful while carrying around a bowling ball in her stomach.

Old Wives Tale #21:  Toddlers
If a toddler boy expresses interest in a pregnant woman, she is having a girl.  If he doesn’t show interest, she’s having a boy.

Score: +0 TBD.   I need to find myself a toddler boy.  (That didn’t come out right)

Old Wives Tale #22:  Side You Most Rest On
If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy.  If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl.

Score: +1 Boy.  I usually sleep on my back, but I’ve been preferring my left side lately.  Hmm.

Old Wives Tale #23:  Hands
When the pregnant woman is asked to show her hands, it’s a boy if she keeps her palms down and a girl if she shows her palms up.

Score: +1 Boy.   I read somewhere that women in general how their hands palms down, while men show their hands palms up, but whatever…boy it is!

Old Wives Tale #24:  Dad’s Weight Gain
If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl.  If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  Even though J’s current (beer) belly is bigger than mine, unfortunately, the belly is nothing new.

Old Wives Tale #25:  Breast Test
If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl.  If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy.

Score: +1 Girl.  Whoa!  I just told J the other day that my left boob is much bigger than the right one.  (For the record, he agreed with me, in case y’all think I’m making this up).

Old Wives Tale #26:  Necklace Over Hand
Have someone hold a necklace over your hand.  If the necklace swings back and forth, it’s a boy.  If it moves in a circle, it’s a girl.

Score: +1 Girl.  I just made my coworker do this for me, and we think the necklace moved in a circle…before not moving at all.  Should I be worried?

Old Wives Tale #27:  What Do You Think?
71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having.

Score: +1 Boy.   I think I’m having a boy.  I don’t know why, I just do!

Old Wives Tale #28:  Morning Sickness
If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy.  If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl.

Score: +1 Boy.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, I have been pretty blessed in the nausea department.  Other than a couple of mishaps here and there, I haven’t been spending much time over the toilet.  On it is a different story…

Old Wives Tale #29:  Areolae
If your areolae (the part around your nips) have darkened, it’s a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.   ‘Nuff said.

Old Wives Tale #30:  Protein
When a pregnant woman craves meat and cheese, count on a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  I’m mainly craving the medium rare steak and unpasteurized brie that I can’t have.

Old Wives Tale #31:  Feet
Are your feet colder now that you are pregnant?  If so, you just might be having a boy.  If your feet have stayed the same before pregnancy and during, you’re having a little girl.

Score: +1 Girl.  I’ve always had pretty toasty feet.  But then again, it’s been at least 90 degrees out every day so it’d be pretty difficult to get cold feet, unless you mean the metaphorical kind.

Old Wives Tale #32:  Hair on Legs
If the hair on your legs has been growing at record speeds, you might be having a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  They are growing thicker, longer, and not just on my legs.

Old Wives Tale #33:  Hands are Dry
If your hands are constantly dry, it’s a boy.

Score: +1 Boy.  Dry, leathery, flaky.  Yup, check.

Old Wives Tale #34  Urine
What color is your pee?  If it is bright yellow, you will have a little boy.  If your urine is a dull yellow, plan on a girl.

Score: + 0.  Um, what about neon green?  My urine has taken on the color of my prenatal vitamins…

Old Wives Tale #35:  Nose
Do you feel like your nose is growing and getting wider?  If so, you might be having a boy.

Score: +1 Girl.  My nose is as big and wide as it has always been.  Curse the Asian genes!  Please don’t let it get any bigger…

Old Wives Tale #36:  Headaches
If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy.

Score: + 1 Boy.  I’ve definitely experienced some dull throbbing in my head lately, but that can always be from J’s nagging…

Old Wives Tale #37:  Baby Names
It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby.

Score: + 1 Girl.  Although I think I’m having a boy, J and I can only agree on a name for a girl.  Because I refuse to name our son Johnny Danger.


And the GRAND TOTAL is:


Looks like I’m having a boy!  I can’t wait to find out for sure in a few weeks (and prove to J that I am, once again, always right)!

In other news, our second prenatal exam is tomorrow morning.  I’m counting down the minutes.

It’s a good thing that writing this post killed about 4 hours (of work time).  Oops!