Tara Tiger Brown


just prowling around

Pregnancy: 15 Weeks 09/06/09

Time is really flying, but in some ways it’s not.  As I get closer to the time that I should be feeling the baby move it can’t come fast enough.  Having proof other than cramps that he or she is in there and alive and kicking will bring me a lot of comfort.  I also look forward to when the baby can hear.  My friend Hillary said that the baby her wife is carrying can recognize her voice.  That is so thrilling and I look forward to it.

This past week I have been getting stomach aches and haven’t been eating a lot.  I eat about one major meal and I can’t even get through the entire thing.  I don’t feel nauseous, just a constant sour stomach.   I think it has something to do with being constipated :/.

I keep waking up at 4 or 5am and then can’t get back to sleep until after 7. Then I sleep in until I’m pretty much late for work.  I think I should just force myself to get up but then I’m tired for the whole day.  It’s a bummer.

15 wks So far I have gained 4 pounds, from my pic it looks like a heck of a lot more, but I think I’m right on track so I feel good about that.

I didn’t exercise very much last week which disappointed me. I didn’t swim once and that usually helps relax me and help me to sleep.  On Thursday I rode my bike home with Funston and my laptop in my messenger bag and it pretty much killed my lower back for the entire next day.  Sitting on my saddle feels different and uncomfortable and even though I’m only a few pounds more than before I was pregnant, things are shifting around and I need to just not have as much weight on my back when riding.

I feel thirsty all the time and seriously can’t get enough fluids into me.  It has been hot here in LA, so that has something to do with it, but I think my own body temperature is also rising.

I’ve been feeling a little bit faint on occasion – I can’t stand for long periods of time.  We went to a NIN’s concert and I was able to lean against a wall which helped a lot.  I looked it up and there is increased blood flow and all these other things that can cause dizziness so totally normal.

Overall I’m feeling better, but I do have good days and bad days.

The best thing that happened to me this week was when I got home the other day and there was a book on the coffee table If your kid eats this book, everything will still be OK by Lara Zibners, MD.  I asked Sean where it came from and he said he bought it. I was in shock.  As I have said, he is very supportive but he hasn’t really initiated any baby conversations and doesn’t look at my pregnancy books, so I figured he just isn’t ready.  This was definitely a break-through.  He has also taken some very clear stands on some ideas and questions I have had which is great.  I had this idea to come up with a couple of names and then when the baby was born to pick one after we have met him or her.  Sean thought this was the dumbest idea ever because he was worried about birth certificates and all that.  I am very happy when he has a strong opinion because it means he cares and realizes that these are important discussions to have.

We leave on Wednesday for SE Asia. I talked to two of my nurses and they just said to ensure I drink lots of liquids on the plane and get up every hour to prevent blood clots. Easy enough.  We are going to major cities so if there is a problem then I’ll be able to get care.

That’s it from me, here’s what the baby is up to this coming week:

– many women don’t start feeling the baby move until the 17th week (or later), but if you feel a little flutter in your belly this week, don’t discount it as gas or hunger. It could be your babe banging around.

– Baby’s head is now resting on his well-formed neck instead of directly on his shoulders like Igor.

– He’s beginning to grow eyebrows and eyelashes this week.

– The hair on the head also begins to grow

– Will start producing lanugo, which is fine hair that will cover your baby’s body up until a few weeks before birth.

– Although baby’s eyes are sealed shut, he’s now able to sense light. His eyes and ears finally look like real baby features now. As your baby practices sucking and swallowing actions, he may actually hiccup. You’ll know he’s had one too many shots of amniotic fluid by the steady thump-thump you feel.

– Over the next month, baby will grow faster than ever

– Your baby now measures nearly 4 inches, about the size of a Kit Kat “finger” or an apple (if we want to stick with fruit) and weighs more than 2 ounces.


Filed under: pregnancy,

Pregnancy: Week 14 Supplement

I’m growing hair in weird places and I’m getting sunspots. In the good news department my hair is less greasy.

Filed under: pregnancy,

Pregnancy: 14 Weeks 08/30/09

Today marks my transition from the first to second trimester.  In all the literature this is cause for celebration because it means that your chance of miscarriage greatly decreases.  It’s also supposed to mean the start of feeling amazing, although that hasn’t kicked in yet.  I have had my good days and bad days. Here’s how I’m feeling:

Crampy.  I have been swimming and doing yoga and walking which helps (did I mention that last week? I can’t remember, I’m losing my mind).  I really thought that I would get a reprieve from any menstrual symptoms but apparently not.

14 wksBig.  In the last couple days I have popped out and it has even caused me to pop some buttons.  I had to buy a skirt today at REI that just has a wide elastic waistband because all of my pants have become tight.  The button of my shorts went careening through the air at the store today and I had to hold them up for the rest of the day.  I don’t have any sweatpants but I have some Lululemon pants that I think will work for awhile and I’ll probably go to a second hand store and buy some boy jeans.  Maternity clothes don’t appeal to me at all and if Souris can get away without buying any maternity wear save for a pair of jeans, so can I.

Headaches. I got a doozy a week ago and I got another bad one yesterday.  Nothing really fixes it except time.  I imagine it’s the hormones because I haven’t experiences ones like this before.  I learned a couple of techniques at Prenatal Yoga today that I will try out and I have some tea that is supposed to help relax me.

Constipated. I never ever thought it would happen to me. FFFFFFUUUUUU

Still addicted to eggs. I’m over milkshakes though because I had the worst stomach ache of my life the other night after eating popcorn with butter and then a caprese sandwich.  It lasted all night and I think it was all the dairy or fat or something.  I can’t really think of any foods that I absolutely must have.  I get super super hungry but then I eat and I can’t finish everything. It’s a bit strange and annoying.

Thirsty as heck.  I have bottles of water everywhere because I hate the taste of the Brita water. I know I know, I’m horrible. But hey, you want me to be dehydrated?

Out of breath.  I’ve been having a hard time breathing really deep and sometimes I get out breath when walking up the stairs.  I’m not a ton heavier than I was, so It’s gotta be hormones or something.

I think that’s about it for how I feel.  In other news, I met someone at my Prenatal Yoga class today that has the exact same due date as me. How random.  She is super tiny and you can’t even tell she’s pregnant and then I look at myself and I have this bulge like I’m 20 weeks pregnant.  Krikey. Also, my cousin’s wife is due 2 weeks after me.  This is pretty cool because me and him are a month apart and there are pics of us crawling around together. It would be fun if our kids could do the same.

We are leaving in a week for SE Asia and I’m excited. I know I have to be cautious and ensure on the long plane ride I get up all the time and drink tons of water.  I’m well traveled so I’m not going to eat or do something that will be dangerous.  I will of course have Sean and Jason at my beckon call so I’m sure everything will be amazing.

That’s it.  Yaay second trimester!

Filed under: pregnancy, ,

Pregnancy: 13 weeks 08/23/09

I have a stupidly bad memory and now that my little secret is out, I’m going to journal my experience carrying Sean’s spawn so if I ever “decide” to do this again I can kick myself in the head.  My books all seem to give me a weekly play by play so I will do the same.  A new week starts for me every Sunday and tomorrow I will be 13 weeks.

So far, I have felt pretty dang sick every day.  Not throwing up, but just constantly nauseous. I understand feeling shitty is actually a good thing in terms of how the pregnancy is going.  How sweet, the shittier you feel, the happier the baby is.

13 wksI get lots of mild cramps. Apparently my uterus is getting bigger, its about grapefruit size now.  For some reason all the books measure things in fruit, it’s kind of turned me off of it. Maybe they should have picked desserts so we all stop craving those. Mmm, my uterus is the same size as 2 scoops of ice cream. Gross.  Anyway, I was kind of nervous about the cramps b/c it can also mean miscarriage, but I didn’t have any other signs of that (blood) so that was all good.

My snot is different. I’m serious.  It’s a different color and consistency now.  I wake up and its plugging my nose.  No idea on this other than apparently getting stuffed up is common.

Some things taste super horrible to me now, namely the water in our Brita containers.  Sean changed the filters but it still tastes really like metal to me now.  I have to drink it flavored or have bottled water which I feel guilty about.

I absolutely love milkshakes.  I used to have them on occasion for a treat, but now I want them all the time. Oh that and Green Tea Frapuccinos from Starbucks. Can’t get enough.  I’m only supposed to be consuming 300 extra calories so these desires are not helping me try to pack the weight on slowly.

I think I smell different. Or I just get smellier faster. I used to be able to shower every other day no problem, but now I feel like I need to shower a couple times a day.  And its this musky smell that I’m not familiar with.

I’m getting over being really tired now, and instead can’t sleep very well. I wake up all during the night and don’t feel like I get into a deep sleep until after 5 or 6 which sucks because I keep getting up later and later for work.

I got this stupidly bad tension headache two days ago and it won’t go away.  I have had them before but never for this long.  I got a massage, relaxed, rested, got a mani pedi, drank lots of water, etc.  I read that all the extra hormones can contribute to it, so I suppose that’s the deal.  Just sucks because I’m dealing with all this other stuff and it makes me feel like I can’t function.

My boobs are gigantic. We are talking triple Ds. Ya. Apparently they just keep getting bigger and bigger and don’t stop until 3 weeks after I give birth. I’m scared because like, that means I have 30 more weeks to go. Am I going to end up an F? An XX? In addition to the size, my nipples totally look different.  I really don’t understand why all these changes have to happen so fast when I have 6 months to go.

I have a bit of a belly.  I have gained a few pounds so I think it must be bloating or something because there is no way I should be this fat.  The books say that some people will have gained  few pounds so I think I’m OK.  My pants aren’t fitting me very well, but again the book says that might start happening around this time so I’m not super paranoid.  I have been exercising – swimming, biking, walking, etc.  Not as much as I want to, and now that I’m starting to feel a bit better I will do it more.  I am paranoid to end up stupidly overweight, I just want to gain the normal weight so it doesn’t take forever to take it off.  I see women around Venice all the time that are hugely pregnant but also fit.  I want to be that way too.

I’m not going to lie, so far I am not enjoying this at all. The books say that when you go into your second trimester you start to feel great, then in your third you start to feel crappy again, so I will cherish the next 90 days.

As for the baby, in week 13:

  • fingerprints have formed
  • veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin
  • body is starting to catch up with her head
  • the baby is almost 3 inches long and weighs nearly an ounce
  • baby’s intestines are migrating from the umbilical cord into his or her abdomen
  • it’s liver begins to secret bile
  • all twenty baby teeth have formed and are waiting under the gums
  • it has begun to practice swallowing by taking in the surrounding amniotic fluid and passing it back into the amniotic sac through his urine
  • it can now smile and his vocal cords are quickly developing, too.
  • it’s beginning to look a little more human and less like an alien, as his eyes move closer together and the ears begin moving to what will be their normal position.

Filed under: pregnancy,

Baby Bonner: Online Feb 2010

I never thought that I would ever be writing these words, “I’m pregnant.” Yep, Sean Bonner and I are going to have a baby. I wrote a post awhile ago explaining that I have advanced ovarian endometriosis in addition to hypothyroidism and I was told by two different doctors that specialize in fertility that I had about a 1% chance of conceiving naturally. I guess I should have gone for that third opinion because they were both wrong (note to self, contact them and let them know the good news).

As per my post I did make some health changes.  I ate vegan for a little while, but found it too challenging, so I essentially am vegetarian but will indulge in seafood now and again.  I stopped eating dairy for the most part and started drinking rice and almond milk instead.  I upped my veggie and fruit consumption and of course don’t eat meat.  I don’t know if it made any difference or if it was Sean’s Superman Sperm, but we bucked the odds.  I still have endometriosis, but I am told that it might retreat during the course of my pregnancy.

Finding out I was pregnant was a MAJOR shock to both of us.  I had been feeling really crummy and attributed it to my endometriosis and made an appointment to see the doctor.  It was a couple of days before I went to see him that I took the pregnancy test and it was positive.  I started laughing because it was just too unbelievable to me.

Sean and I talked about kids in the sense that one day if we both wanted them we would look at adoption, but it was a very infrequent conversation. Neither one of us goes gaga for kids and I don’t have a ticking clock going off.  In fact, we had just started discussing a year long trip around the world. Getting pregnant was not something we planned or even thought we could plan.  All I wanted from trying to beat my endo was to not be in so much pain and to take back the choice to have kids so that if I decided to, I could.

Despite our apprehension with the situation, we went to the OB-GYN and sure enough, there was the little blob with the flicking heartbeat.  I’m put in the “high risk” category because I turn 35 in November but we just finished some screening tests and the doc said the baby looks healthy.  I decided to let people know after this doctor visit because let me tell you, keeping this secret at work when you are sick and tired is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I am so thankful to my boss whose wife is pregnant because I finally broke down and told him and he immediately started giving me info on doulas (I heart you Bob Moz!).

I am also very thankful to the people who have been supportive of me and it’s nice to know I have friends that are also pregnant or recently gave birth so I can inundate them with questions and be part of another club.  Of course I am the most thankful to my dude Sean who is very supportive despite being incredibly freaked out.  Didn’t we just get married? 🙂

So ya, I’m pregnant, and I’m super scared and nervous but I also have little moments of excitement.  I mean, who wouldn’t want Sean Bonner to be the father to their kid?  He’s badass, adventurous, loves cute things, has a bunch of rad toys, and is pretty dang smart.  I know everyone thinks that their baby is a miracle, but I honestly really think that.  The baby is due on Sean’s birthday in late February and in the Year of the Tiger which is the same as my Chinese Zodiac.  I think that just puts a cherry on top.

Filed under: life, pregnancy,

Twitter is Greater Than YOU

I recently tweeted “I have thought long and hard, and decided to stop following ppl that have no causes other than their own. I’m sorry. and once again, 140 characters doesn’t explain properly what my message is.  It’s pretty simple really.  We all know by now that Twitter is an amazing way to get your message across to many people in a short amount of time.  What I am hopeful for, and asking you to think about, is not just using it to satisfy your own ego.

I have checked most of the Twitter pages of the people I follow and was pretty sad to see that some are just tweeting to get followers and as many replies as possible and replying back to people that reply to them about whatever self-marketing they are spewing.  If all you care about is getting fav’rd then that’s concerning to me.  It is also very heart-breaking to me that many of these people are my personal friends and I know they aren’t heartless, so I hope this makes them think at least for a second about changing their tweeting ways. Take a minute to read your last 10 tweets and ask yourself what their purpose is and if a single one helps someone other than yourself.

It is effortless to take advantage of this amazing platform to help your fellow man, woman, child, animal, insect whatever.  It doesn’t have to be for something great like saving the world from deadly disease, it can be as simple as trying to help someone get a job, finding a lost pet its way home, letting others know about an issue in your neighborhood.

I am fully aware that we all use Twitter in different ways, I’m just saying that if you don’t use it on occasion to help someone or something other than yourself, then it makes me think you are using Twitter as a marketing tool and I really have no interest in continuing to allow you to indulge on my time.

Lastly, just because I unfollow, doesn’t mean that I don’t consider you my friend, just means that I have a different view point than you on how you are utilizing Twitter.  We can exchange phone numbers if we need to text each other.

Clear now?


Filed under: life, twitter

Manners #1: Be a good houseguest and host

I complain about a core group of things that irk me and I figured that I would write about them in attempt to let the bad vibes out and to hopefully give and learn some tips on manners.  To be clear, I’m not saying that I have good manners, and I’m not saying I don’t do things that annoy people, I’m just pointing out the things that piss me off.

The first on my list is overnight guests.  There are some key elements to being a good guest and there are definitely some key elements to being a guest that never gets invited back. On the flip side, I am also attempting to be a better host, so I am exploring what I can do better to have a pleasant experience with house guests as opposed to counting down the minutes until they depart.  Let me know if you agree, don’t agree, have additional suggestions.

Some things that make a good houseguest:
– Be very clear about arrival and departure times
– Ensure that the length of stay is appropriate for the familiarity you have with the hosts
– Do not expect the hosts to be travel guides or entertainment for your entire stay, take the initiative to plan activities.
– Offer to pay for at least one breakfast/lunch/dinner or make one of those meals.  It can be expensive to host someone, extra food, water electricity, etc.  Think about how much you would be paying for a hotel.
– Clean up after yourself and participate in keeping the house tidy, and don’t expect your hosts to be your cleaning service.  If you want that, get a hotel. Don’t leave garbage behind. Leave the area that you slept in tidy. Clean sheets or at the very least fold them.

Some things that make a good host:
– Have a house policy with a clear definition of a guest. This way there is no passive aggressive behavior when they don’t clean their own sheets or help load the dishwasher.
– Know your limits.  As Miss Manners states “never issue an invitation that you do not want to issue.” If you need a lot of space, then limit the amount of time a guest can stay.  For me, I have an extra room that is used as an office, and if a guest stays more than a weekend, I lose access to it and it starts to really bother me.
– Do not propose an open-ended visit.  Be clear about the length of stay and don’t let it go over.
– If a guest asks to stay longer and you don’t feel comfortable, you should talk to them about it and work with them on alternative accommodations.
– Be clear on how much time you can spend with your guests. Something I disagree on with Miss Manners is that a host needs to include a guest in all of their social activities.  I agree if their stay is for a weekend, but if it is an extended stay, I don’t think this should be necessary.  What is necessary is being very clear upfront if you are working and can’t vacation at the same time as your houseguests so they know if they are on their own.

Filed under: life, manners, , ,

My Mum’s response to Cat Workout on CNN…

My Mum sent me an email in response to the article I sent her:

Furry Pals Can Be Partners in Fitness

Well, I’ve told everyone I know about my infamous daughter Cat Flexing.
It is amazing what kind of responses I get.
Some stare at me as if catatonic.
Some give me a pitying/ catastrophic kind of look.
Others act like I … or YOU are clearly from CatMandoo – or otherwise
“out there”/
Some are even a bit catty about the whole thing.
The more optimistic and health focussed individuals think this type of
exercise program might cat…ch on .
Some have asked for a catalogue of cat flexing exercises.
Despondent types think this type of thing might be cathartic. (None of my
Catholic friends, though).
The global concerned types are worried the trend might result in a
cataclysm of cats.
I wouldn’t cater to that kind of thinking if I were you, though. But if
it happened, I am sure you would open a cattery.

I have to say, however, that the funniest cat flexer is Sean. He was a
little catawampus, if you ask me, and almost reminded me of a cateran.
Nearly put me into cataplexy.

Filed under: life, ,

Some of my Microsoft Friend’s take on Bing vs. Google

Does Microsoft’s Bing have Google running scared?

There was some interesting commentary from some of my Microsoft buddies (names removed for anonymity) about this article and Bing vs. Google.


This article would be true in only one case – if Live Search team somehow managed to beat Google on NDCG (normalized discounted cumulative gain – a measure of relevance). Historically they could not, particularly on longer queries. If they pulled this off, that would be quite an achievement, since LS algorithms are purely machine learned, and Google reportedly relies on hand tweaked algorithms. This could mean that GOOG is running out of relevance headroom with their approach, whereas Live could take full advantage of the Moore’s law and deploy more sophisticated ML algorithms over time.

That said, I doubt this is the case. Historically, Google has been cranking relevance up a notch every time YHOO or MSFT would deploy improved algorithms, just enough to beat them both by a narrow margin. 🙂

Looks like a slow news day at CNet.


Relevance is important and i’m sure the bing guys will keep making it better. but the “blue ocean strategy” microsoft adopted was to come at it from other interesting angles as well that google was oblivious about.. the user experience is SO much better with bing..


IMO the only big win that I can see is snippet expansion (this is why Bing is currently my default search engine). This, however, is something that would take Google maybe a couple of weeks to replicate if they wanted to.

Here’s why this is a great feature. The fundamental problem in search is that data labelers (i.e. the guys who label training / evaluation data) make a determination about relevance based on the content of the document, but customer satisfaction will mostly depend on the quality of the snippets, since that’s what the user perceives as the main relevance characteristic. Good snippets are hard to generate, since you don’t really want to go into the hairy (and AI complete, if you want to do it well) topic of document summarization. So what you end up having is good relevance and shitty customer sat, since the users can not determine if the page is relevant or not by looking at search results.

Bing’s new UI sidesteps the problem by providing more snippet text on hover, which is very smart. Of course, I’d prefer to have an intelligently generated snippet, but at this point I’ll take whatever I can get.

D: if you can be converted, then half the battle has been won already 🙂 the others will be much easier to convert..

I’m actually fairly easy to “convert”, since I’ve seen it all, from Windows all the way to Linux and everywhere in between and oftentimes know it for a fact that the grass is _not_ greener on the other side of the fence.

Just don’t be worse than the competition, and I’ll use the product every time I can. Win 7, Office 2007, SQL 2008 (including Analysis Services), Exchange, Bing, Visual Studio, .NET Runtime and Framework – those are just a few Microsoft products that have my complete approval.

That said, I always was very much anti-Koolaid, and while I will be the first to praise folks for a superior product, Koolaid by itself has no effect on me whatsoever.

So don’t expect me to become a fan of Zune, WinMo or MSN (outside of Bing) anytime soon. A lot of work needs to be done there.

Outside of Microsoft this applies to Apple TV, Amazon Kindle and all other eBook readers, single-button mouse (though not to single or zero-button trackpad – those are convenient), iPod Shuffle, Java (and 90%+ of open-source Java frameworks), plastic MacBook, all smartphones other than iPhone and Pre, etc., etc.

Filed under: opinion, , ,

#followfriday is like trekking to the stars, but…

Wow, look at me , writing up a blog post two weeks in a row about #followfriday. For this installment, I bring you a lovely lady that I have never met in person, but feel like I have gotten to know virtually via Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I have attempted to get together with her when I lived in San Francisco but we lived on opposite ends of town and you know how that goes.

I also want to point out that I picked her as this week’s choice BEFORE the Wired article “100 Geeks You Should Follow on Twitter. Yes, I am that good. Plus, as you can see from my comment on that site, she is one of four people out of 100 that I actually agreed with.

I don’t want to distract from the awesomeness, so without further adieu, I bring you, Bonnie Burton (@bonniegrrl). There are so many reasons I like Bonnie, but most of all because she constantly flatters me. Ha! No, seriously, flattery gets you every where. Alright alright, putting my ego aside, she finds the most random articles and scifi stuff and it’s like a gift, 24 hours a day. I don’t think that grrl sleeps. Plus, she is always positive and upbeat, just look at her avatar, how adorable is that?

She was so humble when she got the nod from Wired, stating that she isn’t a web celebrity. Whatever!! She is totally a celeb in my book. She is an Editor and Content Developer at Lucas Film, has a Vlog “Ask Bonnie”, writes for Geek magazine, etc. etc. etc. Just look at this grrl’s resume!

OK, I don’t want to get too carried away here, it’s not like she is a goddess. OK, well maybe she is. Anyway, if you want to follow someone awesome on Twitter or wherever else online that she is (because I don’t think there is anywhere that she isn’t) that you need to go to http://twitter.com/bonniegrrl and click on Follow.

Carry on. Namaste.

Filed under: twitter, , , ,


Flickr Photos