Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 15 and T minus 3 Weeks

3 more weeks until we find out the gender.  I don't want to skew the votes, but I just feel like it's a girl.  Would be starting off on the wrong foot of mommy intuition if I'm wrong... I guess I'm going to take that risk.

Whitney and Jerod announced they are having a boy (c:  She said she felt like she knew it anyway. 

So what did you do for Christmas?  Ours was pretty low-key.  I might be sleeping too much.  I get these headaches on the weekends when I sleep 12-14 hours.  Never thought that would be an issue...

Stretching places are itchy.  Not cool.

But bump is ready for pictures.  I think we're there, where it actually looks like something is going on!

Trying to sleep more on my sides instead of on my back.  Sleep is waking, but that is probably due to getting too much of it.  It occurred to me last night while laying on my side that I feel huge.  Oh gosh, how many times have I heard women who are 8 and 9 months pregnant say that?  I don't yet know the meaning of huge.  Must remedy this by staying up later playing more Plants Vs. Zombies (thanks to Wes I can now play the full version instead of just the trial over and over (c:)

New Year's Resolution?  Have a baby.  I'm trying to be realistic this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homeschooling Infographic

Although I wouldn't call this a complete argument for homeschooling, it was interesting to see the academic statistics.  I didn't realize they were that good.

Tons of other factors to consider when it comes to your kid's education but this is still really interesting.


Source

Monday, December 20, 2010

Give Me Your Heart, Make It Real (Or Else Forget About It)

Week 14. I got two pairs of maternity pants and a nice sweater last week. Both sets of pants have decided to be looser than they seemed when I first tried them on and are constantly slipping down (irritating), but this is one situation in life where I guess I will look forward to filling them out... ? The jeans have belt loops though so a belt fixes it for them. The work pants will just have to wait a week or two more though.

Maternity pants are soooo comfortable, lol.

Bump seems to be growing really fast lately. Many people have been asking me if I can feel the baby move. From what I have read, most women can't feel the baby move in their first pregnancy until they're about 20-24 weeks. So I am still a long way away from that. They say if you think you can feel it move this early on, it's just gas. So let's just say I haven't felt anything and keep things less embarrassing (c;

One thing I do feel is pressure. Ever-present discomfort as things "triple and quadruple" in there (in the words of my also pregnant friend, Coby. She is 16 weeks along). Not unbearable pain, but makes me wonder what my pain tolerance is like!

Important to mention that I do believe the nausea has finally gone! It does reappear when I am either extremely tired or start to get hungry. That's another thing: hunger is like WHAM BAM... suddenly it hits me and I must eat, please don't ask any questions, just let me at the food! I wouldn't say my appetite has increased, and I am proud and happy that I have not gained but a pound or two so far, it's just that hunger strikes so fiercely.

Infamous cravings of pregnant women I have not had (yet... apparently that becomes more of a big deal in second trimester), but just about any food suggestion that is made, I suddenly want. So the cravings don't come from out of nowhere. For example, over a week ago I saw an ad on TV for Olive Garden in which they were promoting ravioli. Last night we finally caved and went to Olive Garden and I got my ravioli... it had been on my mind all that time. Dairy Queen commercials get me. I suddenly love french fries. Earlier today, I heard Ms. Jacki telling her husband on the phone, "I'm going out with a friend for lunch, there is some chili in the fridge if you want to heat that up for yourself." And now I want chili.

Going to Temple this week, so have yourself a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mi Nombre es Dora the Explorer

Maybe it's because I grew up in south Texas, but I just really love Latina names. I know we shouldn't limit ourselves if there is a name that is not quite as normal to name a white baby with Irish-German parents, but for some reason I just don't know many white women with Latin names and it's kind of sad to me because they are so romantic and feminine.

Flora
Lorena*
Estrella
Marisol*
Evita*
Lola
Rosita

You'd think we'd see more since south Texas culture is so infused with Mexican spice. The name Lorena came to my attention because it's a town between Waco and Temple on I-35. Every time we drive past the exit for it, I say it in my head. I'm embarrassed to say it out loud because it's flat if you don't roll that R. And I feel like a poser going around trying to roll my R's. This name makes me want to be Mexican just so I wouldn't feel like a poser, lol. However, it is pretty enough that if Ryan liked it then I would break out of my comfort zone and this name would be in the running.

Marisol seems a lot safer for a white girl, but it still has an old world and feminine charm to it. It sounds contemplative yet colorful. She sounds like an interesting person, eh?

Also love Evita and it's meaning - "Life." I might have to check with Corinne though, since she wants an Evelyn, we could potentially have two Evie's. Evita comes to mind as a movie tho... *searches the Internet* - aha, a musical. According to Wikipedia, it's a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) and lyrics by Tim Rice (The Lion King), two talents I have appreciation for. I am liking this more and more already. I might have to see this musical. I will check out the music today on Grooveshark, I'm super curious now.

So what do you think, can two Irish-German kids from south Texas use a name with Mexican roots? I really don't see why not! (Afterall, most people who only know me by name are surprised to find that I am white. Most people assume I'm black)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If Love Were A Whisper, What Could I Give You To Speak?

Hot dog, this time next week I will be on the road to Temple.  Well at least time is moving in some capacity, it didn't really seem like it was. This morning when I arrived at work and took my planner out of my drawer and replaced it with my purse like I do every morning, the mundane repetition of this week struck me.  It seems for the past few weeks I have been storing my planner in my drawer instead of on my desk, ever since the last evaluation and it was made clear that we are to have our desktops cleared off when we leave every day (this sounds really OCD of the execs but in all truth we all deal with papers that should keep at least some level of confidentiality).  But no, wait, the last evaluation was... months ago? 

My days certainly aren't set apart by the way they start.  Every morning, I go straight to my cube and turn on my computer, because ever since they installed the new printers, morning boot-up takes like 10 minutes.  Then I take out my planner and put away my purse.  Then grab my 3 liter ginger ale bottle from under my desk and refill it with water (it is my daily goal to empty it by 5pm each day).  Sometimes at that point I take a stroll downstairs to the break room to grab a hot drink and then to the mail room to check my mailbox.  By the time I make it back to my desk, my computer is awake and thus the day goes forward. 

The highlights of each workday are when noon rolls around and I'm pouring myself another glass of water.  This is only a highlight if I am at least half way through the bottle by then, I like to consider it being on track.  It's odd but having this personal goal to work on while doing other work (the work I actually get paid to do) somehow makes everything else more meaningful. It's multitasking, right?  Lunch is of course a highlight.  Lately I take my red pen and the most recent Internet Marketing Report newsletter and read it over lunch, circling and marking things I think we could use or that are interesting.  The next highlight comes between 2:30 and 3, when time seems to start moving at about 1.5x speed until about 4:50.

Gosh, if you read all of that, thank you for your dedication.  I think it was intended to be boring.  It was definitely way more fun for me to write than I intended it to be for you to read.

Anyway, on to much more exciting things [again, for me], we have tonight and tomorrow night to accomplish two forms of shopping.  1) Christmas shopping.  Still need to get a few more gifts, but looking forward to being done!  And 2) Maternity clothes shopping!  At last I feel like I am ready for those jeans with the big stretchy band.  I got through the more recent weeks using an elastic "ouchless" hair tie to connect my pants' button with its buttonhole, and I was still able to zip up the zipper completely until this past week.  Zippers are kind of all-or-nothing, so when I couldn't zip them up all the way, they gave up and fell all the way down, which isn't good unless my shirt selection is long enough to cover this well.  Talk about being self-conscious. 

There is at least one maternity store in town that I know of [I'm sure there are more but who cares about them] and it's in the mall.  Since I don't have a whole lot of mula to spend and I just need a pair of basic jeans and some work slacks, I'm just going to hit up this place even though it is a little pricier than a Ross might be and make sure those staple items that I will be wearing almost every day for the next 6 months are good quality, good fit, and feel nice (c:

I took photos of my "laying down bump" this morning.  It looks big in pictures, of course I cannot dislodge my head and see what it looks like from the side like my camera can, so I was surprised to see how pregnant I actually look.  I was so stoked I wanted to send it to Mom but my phone wouldn't send it, not helpful.  Oh well, soon it will be worthwhile to take bump pics for Facebook.  Gotta get some with Whitney, too, for sure.

Have a good rest of your week (c:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

10 (Cheeky) Tips for New Moms

Rachel passed this on to me... good job. Thought you all might enjoy it.

Thanks to Jennifer Magnuson
So I'm supposed to make a card for this baby shower I'm attending with a bunch of parenting advice. They asked me to give advice. They have no idea. See below.


Jen's 10


1. Boys invariably smell vaguely of pee and sunshine. Heavy on the pee. Stock up on Febreze.


2. Your boobs, when engorged (this is for the first-timer) will look like something out of a fetish video. Your husband will be intrigued: Practice saying, "If you touch my nipples I will be wearing your scrotum as decorative jewelry."


3. That fun "period" you get after you give birth? Don't worry, that's not your liver in the toilet.


4. When people ask if your baby is on a schedule, tell them the little monkey won't listen and you're wondering if it's too soon to start spanking.


5. With each subsequent child, you will look nine months pregnant for at least two weeks longer after giving birth.


6. Watching reruns of The Sopranos in the middle of the night helps bring down your milk. So does a good gin and tonic.


7. Your older children might be jealous of the attention given to the new baby. This is natural. Just tell them they're not as special anymore, and would they please move, daddy is trying to take a picture of the little princess.


8. Other moms are really, really competitive. Make stuff up. Tell them your baby started muttering the phrase "Einstein was wrong" while thrashing in the crib at night.


9. Only you know when it's time to wean your baby. If you want to nurse until the kids beg you to stop, that's your prerogative.


10. Older people are really judgmental when it comes to things like co-sleeping. Don't get irritated at their antiquated advice. Just smile and tell them you really find that co-sleeping works for you. You just wish little junior would yell louder when you accidentally roll over on him.

Source: http://www.parentsconnect.com/spills/the_advisor.jhtml?xid=240STU/Baby/

Monday, December 13, 2010

All We Want To Do Is Eat Your Brains

This blog may not for the slight of stomach, and not my normal train of thoughts... just warning you.

*****************************************

Wes came in this weekend and I had just gotten season 1 of AMC's new series The Walking Dead from a guy at work. We spent four and a half hours watching the six episodes in this mini-series over the course of Saturday and Sunday. I only half-watched it first, knowing it was at high-risk for giving me nightmares (I have had nightmares after watching Law & Order before). I played the more lighthearted Plants Vs. Zombies on my laptop while the guys watched. I started to lose interest in my game though and watch the show more and more. Eventually I turned off the game and decided I'd deal with the nightmares later, I had to know what happened.

It's not the "jump out and grab you" kind of scare, which I think bothers me a lot more than the gore that the show is drenched in, so I found it to be pretty interesting in that apocalyptic kind of way.

Two nights since I let myself watch the show. While trying to go to sleep, my brain swims with zombies. I can't get them off of my mind. It's a problem, but I wasn't scared. So I am relieved about that.

Since my mind has been on them lately, it has occurred to me that there is a serious problem with zombie facts. Maybe I just need it explained to me. New zombies are made when a zombie bites a human. The human becomes infected, dies quickly by being eaten by zombies or dies slowly from the fever the infection brings. After human death, the zombie awakes and hungers for live human flesh. Based on common knowledge, zombies are ultimately after your brains.

If you have a gun, they are easy enough to kill (provided you aren't overwhelmed by a mob of them) with one good shot to the head. You must put a hole through their brain. In The Walking Dead, the survivors ensure the zombies that they brought down would not come back by putting a pick-axe or an arrow through their skull.

If a human gets its brains eaten by a zombie, how does it come back as a zombie if the brains have been destroyed? Either I'm missing something or someone did not think this zombie concept through very well.

Only Terrorists Say, "Happy Holidays"

Whether you're a Christian or not, the fact is America has a Christian heritage. While I understand if you don't want to wish someone a "Merry Christmas," I don't think anyone should get offended if they are given a Christmas greeting as opposed to the more politically correct, "Happy Holidays." You're in America. Things change and progress and we become more open-minded and accepting of all cultures, and that's all good, but most of us still like to feel the warm fuzzy feelings of patriotism and our nation's founding principles. I feel like anyone who gets offended by this historically Christ-centered holiday (Easter too) is just looking to stir diversity.

So Merry Christmas, and all that that implies.

P.S. I totally stole that quote from a TV commercial, but since I only heard it and didn't see it I don't know what the ad was for. I was shocked it was on TV since it's really so controversial, but it has given me something to think about.

Level 1: Achieved

You guys!!! Me and "Peanut" have made it through the first trimester. I have been waiting for this time since I first found out I was pregnant, and even more so since my first wave of nausea. The nausea is supposed to be fading about now. It hasn't really, which is disappointing to me but I am hoping it will fade into nonexistence soon. Being so tired and blecky feeling is not cool. Social life and housework have suffered but of course those things are temporary sacrifices that really don't matter much in the short-term.

Still not showing, but there has been a definite growth spurt of my "laying-down" bump just in the last 3 days.

When I saw Whit last week I was surprised and thrilled to see how obviously pregnant she is. She said it has all happened in the last week, so I am hoping/expecting to be there in the next 3 weeks. Time for things to start speeding up. She and Jerod get to find out if they're having a boy or a girl a week from tomorrow. I can't wait to know theirs, and I definitely can't wait to find out ours in about 5 more weeks.

That means 5 more weeks to vote - don't forget to vote on the poll on my blog. Do you see a little boy or a little girl fitting in to Ryan and I's family? My sister and my mom think it's a boy. What's your opinion?

Friday, December 10, 2010

#ThingsInMyDreamNursery: Gears


If our kiddo is a boy, I think I would like to give a little artistic shoutout to his daddy's engineer-type bend by throwing in a couple of gears.

For the record, I'm not a fan of themes.  I'm not a fan of matching things (Mom can confirm this is true from her exasperation at trying to make me choose acceptable clothes to wear out of the house). 

I am a fan of having lots of visual representations that reflect who we are.  There's a lot more to Ryan than gears, which is why if we have a boy, there could be some references such as trucks, technology, camo, nerdy Internet meme references, blue prints, musical instruments, country or rock inspired what-have-you, earth-moving heavy machinery, even [play] guns, oh oh, even a Jimmy Buffet cheeseburger.  All I am saying is, if our baby announcement has gears on it, please do not gift us with everything you see that is gear-related.

I am a fan of coordinating, not matching.  I like a lot of colors, I would prefer everything to not be the same color.  Even the same 3 colors.

Sorry, this post really isn't about gears.  Maybe I don't like them now, afterall.  lol, we'll see what Ryan says.

I have not seen a nursery that I am in love with.  I think I can safely blame the themes.  A theme takes over and everything matches disgustingly well.

Time to go... hello, weekend.

The Sound From The Avenue's Calling, Open Your Eyes

I know it's going to sound dumb, but I think I have just grasped a little bit more what it means to compromise. Lately I have been thinking about how I just expect Ryan to do what I want to do. I know that he loves me so much that I have always felt that I could just tell him if there's something I really want and he would grant it to me if he could. Talk about being overly-secure and self-absorbed. It's not just Christmas and giving that has started me thinking about this. It's that we're making plans. I have plans and I have things I really want to do. I know he has preferences too, but I guess subconsciously he just doesn't feel as strongly about them as I do about mine. Doesn't that sound horrible?

I am not really that bad of a person though, I'm sure you couldn't believe I was (c; We actually talked about it and once I realized what I was doing I felt immensely sorry. Right now we have two ideas for what we want to do: his and mine. There is no compromising them in this situation, it's one or the other. I have a good argument as for why we should do mine and up until last night I just assumed that I would be able to win him over with it and in the end we would stick to my plan. But I didn't understand something: he has a deep want. Normally, I think we would all agree (including him) that wants or deep wants are not a trump for what is wise and best. But when it comes right down to it, he's always letting me have my wants, he's kind to me, supportive, scrapes the ice off of my car before he leaves for work, kisses me when I am frustrated because I don't know what to wear, never fails to tell me he loves me at the end of a phone call, listens, stays up and cleans the kitchen/does laundry, the list goes on and on. What he wants, I believe he deserves. Not from God or the Universe or other people, but from me. I am really grateful to him, and humbled and proud at the same time to be his wife.

It's a fundamental concept of marriage, but I am learning it today. Sometimes you get to a point where you want to give up what you want so the other person can have what they want. Duh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 12

Next week marks end of trimester numero uno! Aka pretty much out of the danger zone for miscarriage. This is because the kiddo is fully formed, just has to grow bigger and stronger. It's about 2.9" long now and weighs just under an ounce. That sounds small doesn't it? It doesn't feel small, in fact I have noticed a significant difference in size from last week. I don't think I'm showing, but there is a definite bump by my bellybutton when I lay on my back. My favorite thing is feeling it in the morning.

I noticed last night that I was uncomfortable a lot. Felt uncomfortable pressure on my back and on either side of my uterus, almost like I had been laying in one position for too long and just needed to move. But it didn't go away when I moved. It did improve a little on my right side, but not on my left, which is unfortunate since I am trying to lay more on my left side. It's supposed to be better for circulation. I remembered a week or two ago when mom told Ryan he would have to buy me a recliner that I could sleep in later in pregnancy )c: Tonight I'm going to give the body pillow a try.

So ready to kick out the nausea. Hopefully it will actually gone in trimester 2, but everyone tells me that's not always the case. We'll see *crosses fingers*

I'm really glad that we have managed to not acquire too much baby stuff yet. We have one drawer for it. Some magazines, three books, an array of prenatal vitamins, 1 pack of newborn diapers, 1 sample diaper pack, and a box of assorted preggie-pops. My sister presented us with the first item of clothing last weekend - a long-sleeve 18 month onesie. I don't know if she considered what season it would be when the baby's 18 months, but she got it right. It'll be December 2012. It's blue with pink trim (although she is hoping for a nephew), and it says something along the lines of, "My Aunt is the best!" It's super cute and she got it with her own money, so, I apologize if you're a boy, baby, but you're wearing it for her, haha. Maybe I'll try to sew different color trim on it. Or he can just make sure to wear it with camo pants, lol.

After my 18 week appointment, I expect then we will get more serious about getting stuff. I have made a list of things we'll need and will be asking my mom and mother in law to go over it with me and help me prioritize things. Then I'm sure they'll help me keep an eye out for the larger items at resale shops. Ideally, I hope we can get a house in the spring and I can really enjoy putting together the nursery one piece at a time.

My next doctor appointment is January 4th. Then two weeks after that I will be at 18 weeks and that's when we'll have an appointment to find out the gender, woot! I need to call Whitney - she is only 2 weeks from finding out whether they're having a boy or a girl. So crazy.

It's an incredible process, but I am so glad the first trimester is almost behind me. It's got to be the most boring part, lol.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 11

The kiddo is the size of a large lime now! I can't believe it went from a strawberry last week to a big lime this week. That seems like a huge difference to me.

I have a constant "crowded" feeling in my lower abdomen. Have to be careful from changing from sitting to standing too fast because it can cause a sharp cramp. It seems early for this symptom but I still feel like I always have to pee (only gets worse I hear). Morning sickness (or 4:30pm sickness in my case) has gotten slightly more intense, but I am resting my hopes in that being gone in just 2 more weeks. Bright side: time is floating right along rather quickly. My most recent fascination is laying on my back for a few minutes, letting my muscles relax and gravity sink my guts down towards my back (sorry maybe not very pretty verbiage but it is what it is). After a short while, I run my fingers down from my stomach to right below my bellybutton and there is a definite bump. Yesterday morning while laying in bed at my aunt and uncle's house, it occurred to me to let Ryan feel it. He was awestruck, it was great. Later he said it made it more real for him. So precious. Will definitely want to remember that moment.

This afternoon I have an appointment with my OBGYN and after that I'll meet with their insurance person. I hope they don't have too many questions for me, lol, I really don't know anything. All I can do is give them my card and hope that tells them everything they need to know!

Flying While Pregnant

So I suddenly realized that I have to decide if I'm going to go on this work trip to Boca Raton, Florida. The trip is THIS WEEKEND. Woops, I knew it was coming up soon but now I have to decide, probably today, if I'm going. It might be a whole 4 days. I hear that the place we are staying is very nice, one of the nicest places in Florida. Ryan couldn't go with me and that's the big draw back. But I always learn a lot at these conferences and it would be an experience. I would be able to get a lot of rest in between meetings and eat tasty food. My only other drawback is flying... with all of the controversy with the TSA, plus being pregnant, I wonder if anyone has any recent experience flying and can give me an idea of what to expect, if anything is different from flights I have taken in the past.

Feedback please!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some Will Win, Some Will Lose, Some Will Sing The Blues (that would be me)

If my first Salesperson rant was a tip, it would be: Do not show up unannounced.

Tip #2 is then: Keep your pitch as concise as possible.

I received an email this morning from a YP Rep. The thing is 1,534 words. Printed out with normal margins, Calibri size 11 font, this would be 2.25 pages. This rep also attached 2 spreadsheets and 6 PDFs for my review. The thing I said before about working with them over email eliminating jargon and saving time... that theory has been busted here. Her email explains everything in the spreadsheets and PDFs. One of her spreadsheets shows me 3 different proposals. My temptation is to look at the bottom line of each one, find the cheapest, and just write her back and say, "Go with this one." Seriously, I could care less about 3 different combinations of 10 different ads and statistics for specific areas. I am scared to look and see if she is meeting the financial goal I set... ok I'm going to look...

Let's put a Tip #3 in there: At least try to reach your prospect's goals.

As I feared. Her lowest proposal is at $716/mo. When I first spoke with her I told her I needed to get it down to $400. She has obviously done a lot of work and also written a lot of pitch to back up her recommendations. The other variable is that I like her. She seemed friendly, respective of my time, and she gave me the impression that she was really willing to work with me to meet the goals. Plus, she's pregnant too. I guess the proof is in the proposal...

Maybe it's a tactic. If I am going to offer a rebuttle, I will have to carefully read the cheapest proposal and find out where to trim back. I still haven't finished reading her email, it's just too long and I have to keep referring back to her supporting documents to make sense of it.

Anyway, on a more fun note, have you started/finished your Christmas shopping? We started back in September, thinking we'd really get the handle on it. Well, after one trip and a couple of purchases, we haven't made any more progress. I guess we'll be those who are doing it with everybody else... scratch that. I'm gonna do what I can online! Dont' forget to look for coupon codes before you make your online purchases. Google the store name and "promo code" and check out the top couple of results. You never know what you're gonna get.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Setting My Heart

I had this dream the other night that Ryan and I were in a new (to us) house. My mom and sister were there and helping us get settled. I remember the house so distinctly that I drew a floorplan of it later because I couldn't get it out of my head. I don't know if it has any significance but I thought it would be neat to record anyway.

So we were sitting at the back of the house on the closed-in back patio and someone brought me my baby. It was like the first time I had ever seen her. She had dark hair and eyes and she was calm and sweet. Ryan and I took turns holding her and we were both just amazed at how beautiful she was. We felt so lucky. In my dream, I called her Alvaree. Now I feel like I've attached my heart to that name and if we have a girl I just don't see it any other way.

All would be great except that Ryan isn't crazy about it. Am I going to be heartbroken if we find out we're having a girl and I can't name her what I want?

Is it really an awful name?

Deciding

I'm trying to decide whether or not to go public with my blog.

I'm not looking to have a widely-read blog with ads or anything, I just would like to get more networked with my friends out there who have blogs that I don't know about and connect with more people. However, I do wonder if I would feel more restricted on what I say just because I don't know who's reading it. I am thinking more about the near future when I am trying to choose baby stuff, it would be nice to be able to write out my concerns and get feedback.

Any thoughts on this?

Morning Trek to the Coffee Pot

Haha, love this.

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Weeks

Each week is a milestone this early on. But I thought it worth mentioning that I am now officially considered to be carrying a fetus. Tired, all the time tired. *yawn*

Thanksgiving later this week. Going to Fairfield. That's all I have the energy for at the moment... oh and wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving! Are you going to do the black Friday thing? Count me out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Salesperson Rant

I really dislike meeting with Yellow Page reps. I really don't know how effective yellow page advertising is, but in my gut I don't feel like it's very effective to have a full page color ad vs. a simple free listing. So let's just say the company I work for was spending $XX,XXX.XX on yellow page advertising when I started here, and they asked me to cut it down 30%. I have achieved that goal and simultaneous become cold-hearted towards the reps. It was a necessary adjustment. Many of them get commissions from their sales, and we are probably a bigger account for many of them, so when I have to cut our spending with them in half or cancel completely in order to achieve the overall budget goal (aka do my job), I do imagine the stress they might be going through as they see their paycheck shrinking. I have imagined them having to break the news to their spouse, having lean Christmases with their children, and having small moments of personal despair and failure. Ok, I know my company's account can't mean that much to them, but I did try to have a heart and be understanding.

At first I had a hard time telling them we need to cut back. I would notice that look in their eyes and read into their personal disappointment, but fight to remain professional. I had to build up a callous to it. And you know what, I've decided that if I'm going to do my job, I've got to be stronger, and if their job gets to the point where it sucks that bad, they can find a new job!!!! This realization has helped me build that emotional fence that has now become akin to the Great Wall of China, just in a metaphorical emotional barrier sense. When I meet with them now, I decide ahead of time what we are going to spend with them and I tell them, "We need to cut this down from $1200 a month to $300." I picture myself like a square-jawed 5 star army general. I am not budging on this, all the while knowing if we can get it down to less than $600 we'll be in the clear. Then they feel like you've given them something, you see? Hah.

Although I have grown a lot and become better at this aspect of my job, I still dislike these meetings. Each time having to sit through the jargon of, "We just want to do whats best for your business," and, "We have a great new Internet program that will boost your search engine results!," and, "If you buy this a quarter-column triple line color ad and you put a bold listing in the white pages, you get the discount on this other 1/2 page display ad." (their pricing matrix is a web of confusion intended to hurt you).

Usually, a rep will call and make an appointment to meet and discuss advertising. I always ask if we can just review it over email or fax - this cuts down on the jargon. Some of them say that the company they work for requires that we meet in person (not part of this rant, but, if that is less convenient for your customer, then your policy sucks!). For those, I make appointments.

However, when I receive a call from our receptionist (I can hear it in her voice because she knows how I feel about these people), "So and so is here to see you about yellow page advertising." I glance at my planner. No appointment. I have always agreed to meet with them despite how I shouldn't have to. I think about the company's image and trying to imagine them as customers, spending lots of money at our stores and telling their friends about us in their off time.

Today I gained a small satisfaction. I was on a conference call for over an hour this afternoon. I noticed the receptionist tried to buzz me three times during that hour, but because I was using my phone I couldn't pick up. When my call was over, she brought up a business card and said that this rep had been waiting to meet with me in the lobby but finally gave up. I didn't recognize her name or the phone directory she worked for. IN YOUR FACE! SHOULD HAVE MADE AN APPOINTMENT!!!!!

I just want to say, if I am YOUR customer, I think it's extremely rude to think I am going to drop everything and listen to your sales pitch. End of story.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anatomy of a Cloth Diaper

Wow this is an ongoing topic, isn't it?

I thought for everyone's benefit (including my own) I would post some pictures explaining how a cloth diaper works.  I think I have fallen for a system called Flip.  I have read a lot of rave reviews on them and they seem to be the best value (plus they come in great colors!)  These images and the purple text are all from Flip Diapers.com

The Flip™ Diaper System is a flexible, hybrid cloth diapering system that provides options for every occasion. The one-size cover and three choices in absorbent inserts make diapering your baby less expensive, easy and perfect for where-ever, when-ever.
FLIP™ IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3
1. TOSS the used insert in your diaper pail
2. CHOOSE the best insert for the occasion: Stay-Dry, Organic or Disposable
3. REUSE the cover
FLIP WITH STAY-DRY INSERT
A Flip diaper cover used with a Stay-Dry Insert is perfect for overnight & anytime use. Made of 3 ultra-absorbent layers of microfiber and a smooth stay-dry suede cloth that wicks moisture from your baby’s bum. Flip Stay-Dry Inserts work to keep your baby drier, longer. 





WANT OPTIONS?
Look for other inserts within the Flip System— each customized to conveniently work within the Flip Cover.
••Organic: Perfect for sensitive skin, overnight, and supporting early potty training.
Stay-Dry: Perfect for overnight and anytime.
Disposable: Perfect for travel and convenience.
WASHING INSTRUCTIONS
Before First Use: For cotton products, wash hot (100F/40C) 3-5 times.
Use: Do not use rash creams.
Dirty Storage: Store in dry pail/bin.
Wash: Use laundry tabs if available. Pre-wash cold. Wash hot (100F/40C) with bumGenius detergent. Extra rinse. No laundry additives. Line dry cover. Tumble dry insert. No fabric softeners. Use ¼ cup or 60 mL bleach in the hot wash once per month.
FABRIC CONTENT
Cover Outer: 100% Laminated Polyester
Cover Tabs: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex
Insert Stay-Dry Layer: 100% Polyester
Insert Absorbent Layer: 80% Polyester, 20% Nylon
PACKAGE INCLUDES
2 one-size covers and 6 one-size stay-dry inserts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Diaper Duty

In my preliminary research, I consulted the interwebs to find out what things you need to do cloth diapering.  A quick Amazon search showed me just how many accessories there are.  Different fits, sizes, types, fabrics, fasteners, chlorine-free this, bamboo that... I was overwhelmed!

Still not sure I understand, but from what I can tell, there is the generic cloth part that is next to the baby.  Then a cover goes on top of that (often fun and colorful!).  Then there are the AIO (all-in-one) that are pricey but they are the cloth and cover in one.  I am assuming you would use this when you're out to make the process easier.

Between DiaperPin.com and a few other sites, and pricing the items on Amazon, I put together a loose list of things I'd need or want and an estimated price (I was generous with myself... if I'm going to do this, it has to be the most convenient that it can be and it STILL has to save us money! do I hear an amen?)

  • Diaper pail $12
  • Washable liner $6.50 (could just do trashbag liners if we don't want to be green)
  • Deodorizing disks $2.35/mo. (they go in the diaper pail)
  • 2-3 dozen cloth baby wipes $15
  • 24-36 cloth diapers $45
  • Toilet Nozzle $50 (for preliminary washes where most of the poo goes in the toilet)
  • Diaper Area Wash $9 (I am assuming this is to spray the bum before the wipeage)
  • All-In-One Diaper $20 (they just recommended one to start out to see if you like it)
  • 4-6 Cloth Diaper Covers $75
  • 12 to 24 Doublers $35 (extend the absorbency of the diaper for nighttime or heavy wetters)
  • Diaper Detergent $12 (do I need it?  I don't know!)
Those items plus an estimated increase of $30 to my utility bill due to the extra laundry each month brings me to $311.85 starting up.  I estimate that I'll have to buy deo-disks and diaper-area wash every month in addition to the utilities.  Every 4 months I'll have to buy more detergent.  About every 6 months, new cloth diaper covers in the next size up.  For fifteen months, this adds up to  $1,076.75.

According to the great wide Internet, disposable diapering cost anywhere from $80 to $130 per month.  At the lowest, for 15 months we'd pay $1,200, at the most, $1,950.

So the cost effectiveness is there.  What about the convenience?

The Truth About Cloth

I think I'm pretty sold on doing cloth diapers. The more I hear and read up about them, the more I realize that they have come a long way towards making them convenient. They're supposed to be better for the baby's skin, less expensive, and - of course - eco friendly. Tonight I'm going to look up what I know and do a little math. I have been told that diapers can cost about $100 a month. It's easy to assume that cloth diapers are expensive up front, but pay off in the end. I wonder though, after purchasing all of the accessories to aid convenience, is it really cheaper? And is it worth it? I am surprised with the whole green movement that I don't know more babies in cloth diapers, so what is the catch? We'll find out later!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dreams Becoming A Reality

So today I can totally feel my uterus. It's uncomfortable. Not as soft as I would have thought. Pressure, pinching... the kiddo probably is not too happy about it either. *sits up straighter* <-- that helps. The baby's the size of a strawberry now. Everything's supposed to be fully formed, just a matter of getting bigger and cuter (c: I hope it's got it's daddy's personality!

Morning sickness has gotten worse, but it's the worst in the evenings. However, I did throw up again yesterday. Apparently brushing my teeth was too much for my gag reflex. Taking my prenatals has become difficult for the same reason. I'm doing good if I take one every other day. It's bad, I really should be taking them more faithfully.

I realize I'm not as sick as some women get, and I'm thankful for that. If I could stay in bed all day I'd be peachy.

Last Friday I was lucky enough to get to participate in a little event with Ellen. She set up a booth for her Pampered Chef stuff. There were about 5 other ladies there with similar booths, all representing a different business and products. That was my first time I "exposed" my work in public and had the gall to ask people to pay me to paint for them. That's what it felt like. The turnout was bad, but the response of the 4 or 5 people I did talk to was good. One lady I spoke with is a photographer who is interested in offering my services to her clients. I offered to do a portrait of her 2 sons for half price so she could have a sample. I hope that was enough of an incentive... eek.

My boss asked to see some of my work. I showed him the ones of my brother and sister and he was polite about it. I walked away a little disappointed though, to be honest. I thought maybe he would ask me to paint his two beautiful little girls. I started to see the flaws in my work. I knew they were there and I knew I would have to up my game to do it professionally. For the "show" I had been working on my first non-family member, miss 1 year old Ellie Mae, Ellen's baby. It's not quite finished, but I did feel like I needed to put a lot more into it and really work to make it the best I can do. Feels good to be challenged.

Yesterday, my boss did ask me to paint his girls afterall. In all of this, I have learned I just need to remember to be confident.

One commission before Christmas - yay! The money will make the holidays much less tight!

Friday, November 12, 2010

#ThingsInMyDreamNursery: Hanging Stars

Secured securely to the ceiling, of course (c;

Would You Be Mine, Could You Be Mine? Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Yesterday morning I had another ultrasound.  It was the third one in my almost 9 weeks of pregnancy.  Despite overachieving their instructions to come with a full bladder, and despite the humorously unpleasant process of the technician pressing hard on that balloon while we watched the screen, it was a good time.  I learned that my blood clot is gone (uh, YAY!) and I got to see the tiny person wriggling around.  Got new ultrasound pictures, only slightly more to see than before.  And we're right on track at almost an inch crown to rump.  All's good in this neighborhood.

My evening plans with my coworker got canceled, but it turns out we both had our reasons not to go.  She was getting new furniture delivered and I was not feeling that great.  I went home, cleaned the kitchen, and started to make some cinnamon sugar biscotti.  The dough was so good I kept eating it... sorry.  Once that was in the oven, I started on the Texas BBQ chili.  When Ryan's mom gave us the crock pot, she also gave us a couple of crock pot cook books.  One of them is Sandra Lee's semi-homemade meals.  We have used several of those recipes, but the BBQ chili is one of the best!  It was easy (except for the fact that I accidentally bought whole canned green chilies instead of diced and I had to slice those slimey suckers!) and it made the place smell tasty.  I really wanted to make some perfect sweet corn bread to go with the chili, but I could not find the recipe anywhere!  And the recipe we have really is perfect - it comes out exact every time.  Oh well )c:

The biscotti is for tonight's event.  Looking forward to dipping it in some hot cocoa (c:  (Is someone bringing hot cocoa?)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let This City Take You In (Come On Home)

For the past few months I have been wondering what has happened to my drive.  I used to think of nothing but going home and working on my latest project, whether that be sewing something, hanging something, painting something, whatever.  I loved that motivation and creativity that I felt like I was bursting with, so much to the point of wanting to quit my job so  I could have more free time. 

That would have been a mistake, thankfully I did realize that.  Maybe my evil logical side won out and convinced my creative, reckless self to go away entirely for a while.  It is a pity, but maybe it has what has helped me to keep my responsibilities, lol. 

I am getting a taste of it back, though, this time with some credibility!  It's like my two selves have merged and figured out a way to work together!  My friend Ellen asked if I would like to be involved in a little 'Christmas Bazaar' event they are having.  She is a Pampered Chef consultant and she has several friends with other similar businesses.  Mary Kay, Stella Dot (a jewelry company), Thirty One (custom embroidered bags), Willow House (a branch of Southern Living home decor), and Scentsy (candles? I think?).  I helped them come up with the little promotional invite they had printed and they are going to let me have a table and display my portraits.  If all goes ideally, I will get some portrait commissions by the end of the evening!

This evening, watching Family Feud while I chill.  After that, going to get my paint game on!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

List of Things People Can Do to Help Families With New Babies

This is taken from another blog, http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/. I know it's early to be considering these things, but I thought if you know anyone who will have a new baby sooner than me and you would like to help them out, then these are some good ideas.

I have adapted it for myself, though, haha!

*******************************************

"Let me know if I can help you in any way when the baby is born." … "Just let me know if you need a hand." … "Anything I can do, just give me a call."

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies and countertops crowded with dirty dishes. The myth of "I'm fine, I'm doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar" is pervasive in postpartum land. If you're too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to be missing in every house with a new baby. It's actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what's wanted and needed…

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

3. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there's no laundry to fold yet, do some.

4. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don't ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

5. Put a sign on my door saying "Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family."

6. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It's tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

7. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

8. Make me a giant pot of vegetable or chicken noodle soup and clean the kitchen completely afterward. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.


These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It's easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above. Most of your friends and family members don't know what they can do that won't be an intrusion. They also can't devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house. There's magic in the little prayer "I need help."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 8

Yesterday marked 8 weeks of pregnancy for me, Ryan, and the NiƱo. According to my sources, the kiddo is the size of a pinto bean, but by the end of this week will be more like 1" long crown to rump. My uterus is about the size of a grapefruit, so I like to think there's a lotta space to swim around in there. So far today, I haven't had any nausea medicine and it's going alright so far. My appetite is not good, but that could be because I've been slowly munching all morning (helps with nausea to always have something in the stomach, but bad for lunch appetite). I keep a 2-liter bottle of water under my desk. I fill it up every morning and make sure I have emptied it by the time I go home. I would say staying hydrated is the number one help for my nausea.

I was surprised to learn how big my uterus supposedly is. A grapefruit? Surely I'd notice that!? I can't see a visible difference, but I can certainly feel it. It feels cramped in there, and every so often when I move a certain way, I can feel it pushing against... whatever its pushing against.

On Thursday I have another sonogram. I am excited about it - hoping I will be able to see more than a nondescript little blob. Also hoping that they will tell me my bloodclot is gone - return to normal life! I am so, so, SO hoping for that - if you would pray with me for that, I would be truly grateful.

We saw a lot of Ryan's family at Carolee's funeral this past weekend. Carolee was my mother-in-law's only sister and they were very close. She died very suddenly last Monday when she had a heart attack and it cut off oxygen to her brain. She is definitely in Heaven now, so although nobody expected it, I think now that the funeral is over, the family has some peace about it. We will just miss her very much.

Everyone was excited for us. Memaw told us over and over to tell that baby about Jesus and pat my tummy and tell the baby that we love it. She had 6 children, and she said she didn't know unborn babies could hear. She wished she had known to talk to her babies.

So, now I'm trying to decide if I should go to the breakroom and have lunch or if I should start on tomorrow's work (since some of my tasks today have been postponed).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe You'll Find Something That's Enough To Keep You

So let's just talk about yesterday.

Wow, I felt good. After I got off work, I rushed home to heat up some not-very-appetizing leftovers, change, and open my new preggie pops that I received in the mail (yes!). Putting on comfy pants with a t-shirt, a fluffy hoody and sneakers made me feel slightly invincible. I wolfed down my food while I talked to Ryan on the phone, then I grabbed my keys and headed back out into the drizzly cold evening. I took my time driving, mostly because it was sketchy weather, but also because this was the first time I had been "out" for several weeks. I didn't realize how good it would feel. It probably helped that I felt good... nay, I felt great! I was soaking it up. I'm sure I just felt normal, but returning to ones normal self after feeling weary, sickly, and slightly depressed for a couple of weeks was - by comparison - better than ever!

(As a side note, hoodies really help my mood. I totally feel cushioned on all sides and that just adds so much to making me feel invincible. I am surprised there is not a super hero with a hoodie, maybe that's what the world needs.)

When I arrived and stepped out of the truck, I smelled the sweet, wet pine. It really did smell so good. Didn't realize how much I had been hiding in a hole and missing out on these experiences that I normally took for granted. Plus it was so chilly! In my hoodie, I welcomed it. When I got inside church I was greeted by all those familiar faces. Gail, Molly, Rachel, Pam, Amy, Maddie, Tammy... even Christine showed up with Rachel! Everyone was so caring and it was great to have a few minutes to catch up. Shortly afterwards, Ruby showed up and it was so fun to have her and Christine there. We sat down and got ready to listen. Rachel had something important to talk about: sex! Men talk about sex, porn, and masturbation in small-group settings all the time. Women talk a lot about sex I think. But when it comes to women dealing with porn and masturbation, it is much less acceptable, and women feel A LOT more ashamed. In discussion, Maddie made a really good observation. She said she noticed that girls who had confessed to having premarital sex were far more accepted that girls who had problems with looking at porn or masturbating. For some reason we just get weirded out about that. Honestly it's really out of my comfort zone to post here on my blog about it. Married women even have trouble being open with their husbands about it, which is really weird when you think about it. Someone who is so accepting and sexually open to you doesn't know your sexual struggles. I think everyone agreed that it should be more talked about, at least one on one, women should find someone with whom they can talk to, if for nothing else to know they are not alone. For practical purposes, to eventually be able to get freedom from it. Why? Because it really does affect relationships and your ability to do more for God.

Further than that, homosexuality. Women are more comfortable talking to/being friends with/accepting a gay man. But when it comes to those things with homosexual women, I have to admit, I am considerably more uncomfortable for reasons you can probably understand. But there is a real problem with how Christians treat homosexuals. We treat it like it's a disease instead of a sin. I really want to get to a place where I can understand and love the person better and see them how God does. That's something I've got to work on, and I am. I think about it pretty often.

Anyway, it was a great discussion as you can probably imagine, and one that could have lasted for hours.

Afterwards, Ruby, Rachel, Christine and I met up at Burger King and spent a few minutes enjoying some Davis 1/2-ness. I wish we had more time! And I felt so good!! I really don't know why. I decided not to take my 2nd Dramomine yesterday so that I could give the lollipops a shot if I needed something (I didn't). This morning I skipped the meds again and made it until lunch when I finally took one. I wasn't feeling too bad, just worried it would get worse. I did have a mint lollipop this morning. It was ok... I think it did help though.

Now it's 2pm and I'm powering through! Back to work (c:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Favorite Office Talk Quotes

Ms. Vicki

"Did you see 'Praise the Lord' last night? Girl, go'on!"

"Black pepper? Oh gawd! It's messed up. --- I say! --- She said it was off the train, she like it like that."

"Yeah they got big nice pots ov'dere. How many chickens you cook? --- You a liar!"

"All in the bedroom. Mmmhmm. Crank up the big boy!"

"Oh, naw. LCD. I don't mess with them plasma.-- Nah, I don't even buy plasma. -- Cuz them plasma goes out in them after while and I ain't never heard nobody say it happened but I just know about them plasmas."

"It's just like the devil. It's just like it. He be hatin', you know?"


Ms. Jacki

"Well, I'm sure he liked you, but – you know, just wait and see. – Maybe it's not but maybe it's not you, you know?"

"Did she give you any of them? – Did she give you any enchiladas? – Did SHE give YOU any enchiladas?"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Lull and the Stress

So I guess there are times in every pregnancy where there's not a lot going on. I feel like all I'm doing is complaining lately. I only feel sick and tired all the time. I had gotten so much sleep recently and over the weekend that I thought I'd try to do some things last night that needed to be done. But I got dog-tired before I could finish. Could that tiny person, not even 1/2" yet, be pulling on my body so hard that I need 9-10 hours of sleep? By 8pm it feels like way past my bedtime, and all I can think about is sweet bed.

My days consist of drudging through work, going home and getting on the couch to flip between 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader' and 'Don't Forget the Lyrics,' then, 'Family Fued' and 'That 70's Show' until I take my early bedtime. All the while knowing I should be continuing my munching regiment but too tired to find something to eat. At work, I've been trying to keep something in my stomach without cluttering my desk with munchies and the front of my shirt and lap with crumbs. Even then, I get queasy. Not enough to throw up, thank goodness, but enough to make everything a miserable task. Day after day.

And there's a blood clot in my uterus and fluid on one of my ovaries which means life gets to be even more drab, as most of my closer friends know. I am not worried, but I feel bad for Ryan as he has to endure almost 6 more weeks of this. I feel like a vegetable. I'm no fun and of no use at all. This is not how marriage is supposed to be.

The light at the end of the tunnel is the week before Christmas. At least then my morning sickness is supposed to let up. Holidays with the family will be wonderful. In January we should be able to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. I feel like things will flow from there. We'll start readying our apartment.

I have no idea how life is going to unfold. I don't like the complexity of our situation. It's a puzzle and we can't figure out how it fits.

Ryan graduates in May, he can stay with his job until June.
Baby is due June 19.
Our apartment lease is up in June.

Unless he finds a job here, we will have to move shortly after the baby's born (like... within a week).
When/if we move, I will have to quit my job so I will lose my health insurance, so we can't move until after the baby's born.

Oh God, what do we do?

Luke

Here's to Luke, who gave his life this day 4 years ago being a Marine and protecting our country. We miss you, but we'll see you again some day.

I have to not cry at work so I will just remember one time when I passed you on a back road somewhere. I recognized your little green civic and I was of course in my little black civic. We both pulled over and backed up and just had probably the most normal conversation ever.

I miss you and the the possibility of seeing you when I'm back down in San Antonio. Everyone knows you had your moments, but we love you for them.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blobby Peanut

I found this little ticker on a friend's blog. It is still in a weird looking stage, but anyway, time will make it cuter right?  (c:



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sidenote

This kid photo is awesome!

Better Than Money

I know it's still early, but you know it's one of the best parts of being pregnant - picking out names. I always loved getting new fish or when my guinea pigs had babies because I got to think of names for them. So I figure, why prolong the pleasure, picking out a name SHOULD be a nine-month process. It's a big deal! I want this kid to have a name that is solid, timeless, pretty, easy to pronounce, fitting, fresh, and memorable. I thought I had names picked out at the back of my mind, but when it comes down to it, I've decided I'm going to find something better. I want you, my close friends and family to give me some honest feedback. I want to be able to weigh the pros and cons. I realize one name won't please all.

So, I'm going to tell you the names we're considering, and you tell me what your first impression is. In my next blog I'll talk about what the names mean to us and weigh the pros against the cons.

Boy Names:

James
Seamus
Decklan


Girl Names:

Alvaree
Margaret
Eoin (pronounced Ay-oh-win)

So what's your first impression?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Secret Baby Log

This is to update you on the little secret goings-on in my life the past few weeks.  I am warning you now, there is a bit of woman-talk, so men beware.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Last week I was looking forward to this weekend so much.  When the weekend came, so did the whirlwind of people.  It was wonderful to see familiar faces.  After Wes and his carpooling buddies left after lunch at Butcher Shop on Sunday, Ryan and I went home and settled into our relaxing afternoon.  It wasn't until then that I realized I was 6 days late.

We debated on using the one pregnancy test we had purchased a few months back.  We had a "scare" back then and had bought two of them.  I had felt silly when I found out I wasn't pregnant.  I had even gone to the doctor.  I didn't want to embarrass myself like that again.  But after all, I was 6 days late (and I have always been very routine).  We checked our calendar and counted days and there was just no way, we had been faithful to what we thought we knew was risk-free.  But 6 days?  I decided we had the ability to find out or keep waiting, and I wanted to know.

You are supposed to wait two minutes before determining the results of the test.  I locked myself in the bathroom and decided to distract myself with an Ikea magazine while I waited.  But out of the corner of my eye I saw the moment where the plus sign became visible and I decided to not peek at it again until the 2 minutes were up.  I was shakey when the generous two minutes of counting seconds were up.  I looked at it in disbelief.  There it was.  I unlocked the door and Ryan was sitting outside in his computer chair.  He said he could tell by the look on my face and I motioned him to come over and read it since I felt like I was too weirded out to be sure of what I saw.  

We spent a few minutes hugging and Ryan could only say, "What?!" and grab his hair.  We wanted to be happy but the heavy consequences (even though we were too scrambled to name them) were like a wall between us and the sheer excitement we always thought we would feel at this moment.  We laid in bed and stared at each other.  Not talking very much, just processing.  

I convinced Ryan to let me text Whitney.  We are now in it together and I wanted her to know it as soon as possible.  We're having lunch tomorrow to unload the questions we have for each other and ponder this completely unexpected, but completely wonderful (although certainly consequential) phenomenon.  

I have only told Whitney and Jerod and the lady who does our Health Care Insurance here at work to make sure we're all set up to be taken care of.  I will probably be telling my boss today too since I recently submitted my week's work plan to him and I will want to explain that I have a Dr.  Appointment on Friday at 2pm.  

Yesterday I was experiencing some menstrual-like cramps.  No noticeable symptoms before that.  Today I feel a little crampy still but my nerves have made so shaky.  I guess we will find out on Friday, but my best guess is that I'm probably 3 weeks along now, and that's that.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We told the Brewers and the Oglesbees last night.  I wanted to because I had heard that telling people helps one get more excited about it, but Ryan was on the fence and so I told him it was his decision.  He went back and forth throughout our visit, we even snuck into the kitchen and pretended to be getting more food so we could have a little meeting.  The girls were watching Dancing with the Stars in the living room while the guys played Brass in the dining room, but Ryan came in and said he had decided to do it.  He made the announcement, and Ellen and Lauren practically started planning my babyshower six months away while John made Ryan an extra special margarita.

Yesterday evening and today my symptoms are the same.   I have a cough and my chest is tight, but I don't think that is related.  I still feel crampy in my lower abdomen and perhaps the worst is how sore my boobs are.  I am also tired, but that could be due to going cold-turkey on caffeine.  It's a good thing I cut back on it weeks ago for other reasons.  I have been doing just tea 4 days a week and I usually have coffee on Friday and Saturday and a supplementary dose of sleeping in on Sundays.  My only attempt at an energy-boosting drink is Emergen-C in the mornings.  It has B vitamins as well as vitamin C, so I figure it will be good to help me kick my cough as well.

Today I meet with Whitney over lunch which I am really excited about.  I guess I should write down some questions.  Mainly stuff on what the doc told her she should and shouldn't do.  One of my biggest ones will be asking her to update me on their moving plans since I thought they would be moving before their baby's born, but in her text she said our kids would be buddies for at least their early childhood.  In my imagination, we get to go through our very close pregnancies together.  Sharing tips and experiences, setting up our registries, shopping resale stores for furniture, clothes, and anything else, discussing nursery plans, yadda yadda yadda.  Maybe it's just me.  I love Ryan and he is very supportive and has proven that he is going to go the extra mile to make me comfortable, but it will be comforting in a different way to have someone who is going through almost the exact same thing.  It'll be a story we share for life.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This morning I have had some moments that I thought might be the beginning of nausea, but so far nothing that can really be justifiably morning sickness.  I know it will get old really fast if I am one of those who has to deal with that symptom, but in an odd way I am still looking for confirmation that I'm pregnant.  I keep doubting it, even though the pregnancy test is still sitting on our bathroom counter on top of the instructions and it still reads positive.  Maybe it will be real after Friday when we go to the doctor.  Whitney and I talked a little about her first visit to the doctor and I feel like I know more about what to expect.  

Ryan has moments where he stops and looks at me and goes, "You're pregnant."  He's kicked into a little bit of "take care of you" mode.  While we watched an episode of Bones last night, he put my legs into his lap and stroked them for the entire hour.  It was awesome.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

I am looking forward to tomorrow.  We get to see the doctor at 2 and it will feel good to have her confirm what we already know by now.  I guess at this point I am just wanting to know that everything is going normally and all is ok.  

Still have my cough, but what I have noticed most about this morning is more nausea - yuck!  And I'm already very tired at 10:30am.  I went to bed before 11 again last night - this is my new goal.  I will try to make it 10:30 next week, maybe?  I haven't had caffeine since Sunday at lunch.  I am thinking I might make myself a hot tea in a minute.  If I could perk up and get through this day, then the rest of the week will be a breeze!

I think I know how we are going to tell Ryan's parents.  It's not super creative like I had hoped to come up with, but I haven't read or thought of anything better.  I think we will get two nice bouquets of flowers and give one make one for their anniversary and then hand them the other one that will have a card or something that says, "Get ready to be grandparents!"

28 years of Marriage
25 years of Parenthood
16 months of being In-Laws
34 weeks til Grandparenthood!


Friday, October 15, 2010

At last!  Today is the day we go to the doctor.  In all truth, I have wound down my excitement almost to dread, though.  I will have to have my blood drawn and I always pass out on those occasions.   Plus I'm not feeling very strong-stomached so I don't want to do anything outside of my comfort zone at the moment (even though being at work and not under my covers is out of my comfort zone).  Whit said they will probably call us with the blood test results, but given it's Friday afternoon, I am prepared for them to say the call won't come until Monday.  

My boss speculated that I probably wouldn't be back after my doc appointment and I think I am going to agree with him there.  We could use the time to go home and pack and get on the road early enough to have supper with those other Malones and get this party started.  We can't wait to tell them.  Ryan and I have talked over and over about what their reactions might be like.  We think Donny will have a, "Oh!  Wow..." kind of pondering type of reaction.  Vicki will most likely squee and clap her hands and hug us then follow with torrents of questions.  Wes will make a disapproving face, but he will get over it.  If he says anything, it will be, "Whut!"  I would like to get it on video but I don't know if we can swing that.  Maybe I will ask an innocent bystander to tape it with my phone for us. People like to be a part of this kind of stuff, right?

Anyway, I didn't even start getting ready for bed last night until almost midnight.  In the shower, I felt lightheaded and nauseated.  I wanted to get in bed so bad, but I finished brushing my teeth and when I finally crawled between the sheets I was feeling sick.  I was also extremely tired so I decided to let that take over.  

This morning my cough is worse than ever and I sound awful.  I feel bad for my coworkers when I hack  and you can hear the flem in the back of my throat.  Nasty.  Well, I am going to the doctor so maybe she'll give me something to make it go away.  

....Babies!  0.o


Monday, October 18, 2010

We told Ryan's parents and Wes this weekend.  This morning, feeling overall not myself.  I feel yucky inside, tired, cold.  Nothing like a morning at work to motivate me to get to bed early tonight!

Oh yeah, expecting a call from the lab today with the  blood work results.  I need to remember to ask them my blood type and my due date.  Still wanting to hear them say everything's ok.  It's just too surreal and I just can't wrap my head around this actually following through and resulting in a baby.  When I hear the bloodwork come back normal, then maybe I will be able to internalize it.

I think we picked out a girl's name this weekend.  Eoin, although I think the spelling is problematic.  Maybe Aoen?  Aowen?  Plus, there's the ties back to the Lord of the Rings movies.  Ryan LOVES the name though.  I don't know, what do you think?

Eowin Margaret Malone
Eowin Alvaree Malone
Margaret Eoin Malone

Eoin is Irish, it means God is good.  We do favor Irish names.  What do you think is the best spelling for it?

We've had our boy names picked out for a while.  We like James and Declan and Seamus.  The funny thing is Seamus is the Irish variation of James... hah!  The question is, do we use all names on one child or save one or two for another child?

James Declan Malone
Seamus _____ Malone

If we had three kids, I like the combination of James, Seamus, and Eoin.  The name James seems to stabilize the others, doesn't it?  

I am really liking Seamus right now.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I didn't come into work until 1:30 today.  Last night right before bed around 11, I went to the restroom and found that I was bleeding.  It wasn't much, but it looked like a lot at the time.  Any amount of blood seemed cause for alarm.  I went to my book because I remembered reading something previously in it that might be more relevant to me now.  It said that 1 out of 5 women bleed during pregnancy, so it wasn't unusual, but I should still call my doctor.  I didn't seem to be bleeding anymore, so Ryan and I went to bed.  He hugged me tight and prayed and we both felt a little worried as we fell asleep.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night to extreme nausea, but it either passed or I fell back to sleep.

When our alarms went off this morning, I found that I still hadn't bled anymore.  A relief.  I decided to not go into work until I heard from my doctor.  I thought surely they would say one of three things:  1) stay in bed and rest,  2) come in right away,  or 3) it's no big deal, continue life as usual unless it happens again.  The doctor's office opened at 8.  Ryan reluctantly left to go to class, but told me he'd keep his cell on vibrate in his pocket.  

I waited until 8:05 to call.  The receptionist answered and took down all of my information and reason for calling and said she would pass it on to my doctor's nurse.  I laid in bed and held the phone in my hand for several minutes, waiting for the return call.  After a while I decided to set it on the nightstand and try to relax.  Around 8:30, Dr. Lundy's nurse called me and took all the same information, saying she would ask the Dr. for me and call me back.  This time, I rolled over and let myself go back to sleep to help the time pass.  I woke up at about 10 and still no call.  Concerned, but trying not to worry, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  At 11 I woke up again and felt like I had been forgotten, so I called them two more times and no one picked up.  Finally on my third try, someone picked up on the first ring.  It was the same receptionist as before, and she sounded irritated that nobody had returned my call yet.  She said she would send another urgent message back there and someone would call me back.  

Finally, at 12:30, someone called me back, though all she could tell me was that they had called the OBGYN that was recommended and told them I needed an appointment and that they would be calling me.  I asked if it would be today or tomorrow or when and she didn't know.  I asked her if she thought I could go to work and she said if I feel fine that I probably could.  So I had a quick lunch and came into work.

I got a call a little while ago from the OBGYN's office to set up an appointment.  So I am getting my first sonogram at 8:30 in the morning.  Everyone is assuring me it's not so uncommon to bleed a little, but they do take precautions to make sure everything's ok anyway.  Ryan told me he didn't care what it cost, he just wanted to know for sure everything is fine.  I feel the same way.  So I guess we should just be happy we get an ultrasound so early!?  Even though there won't be much to see!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First sonogram over!  I am so glad that Ryan decided to come with me instead of go to work this morning.  He is under a lot of pressure to get something done at work that he is behind on, so he definitely felt torn, but I am thankful he decided it was more important to be there for the first sonogram instead and take the heat at work if he has to.  I had to have a different kind of sonogram because I'm still so early, but we definitely got a good look at the little blob.  It was so much cuter than I thought!  Haha, ok, so humor aside, she estimated that I'm about 5 1/2 weeks  along.  I am assuming she meant fertilization age and not gestational age (which is 2 weeks longer than fertilization age).  I wish I had asked her.  She could not see any heartbeat but she said we should in a week or two.  That reminds me that we did not get another appointment... maybe they set that up later.  

Well, I got my blood taken again.  You know, it's not so bad.  I'm learning that it's always easier than I think it's going to be.  I hope I can get used to it, it seems pregnancy is a fine opportunity to be stuck a lot.  The nurse said I may hear as soon as this afternoon about the results, but it could be tomorrow.  I wonder what they are going to tell me?  Everything is fine, your baby is normal?  Will they be able to tell me if its alive and growing and alleviate my concerns about the bleeding and the lack of heartbeat?  Or will they just say what I was told last time, "Your blood work looks good."  Surely blood can tell you a lot, and I want to know everything!

So many things you have to be careful about that I didn't know.  No alcohol, that's not so hard unless you're surrounded by people who are drinking.  But thoughts of baby make me feel empowered during those times.  Minimal caffeine - I have had a cup of tea most days, but from what I understand that's completely in the safe zone.  The weird one is Proactive - I had been using it faithfully for over a week, but reading about the dangers of salicylic acid, even applied topically, made me stop using it on Sunday night.  There's not even any salicylic acid in the ingredient list of any of the products, but when I checked online, the vote is kind of split.  Some people say their doctors told them not to risk it since there hasn't been testing through the FDA to determine that it's safe for pregnant women.  Some say their doctors didn't see anything wrong with it since it doesn't have salicylic acid.  So I have been not risking it until I can ask my OBGYN.  With as fragile as I feel, I don't need anything else risky to complicate things.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

I hope, for Ryan's sake, that the rest of my pregnancy is not like this.  I don't feel terrible, but I am always on the verge of sick enough to not be any fun.  In the evenings, all I want to do is sit and watch tv or go to bed.  Last night I overcame that and went to Bible study and when I got home I cleaned the kitchen, put a pot roast on in the crock pot, and started a load of laundry.  I was feeling proud to have gotten so much done, but it was nothing in comparison to what needed to be done.  I looked around downstairs before I went up to bed (exhausted) - clean piles of laundry needing to be folded and put away, shoes needing to be taken upstairs, receipts needing to be filed, mail needing to be opened and dealt with, couch cover needing to be put back on... etc.

I didn't get the call about the blood work yesterday, so I am expecting it today.  I have my phone on vibrate in my pocket so surely I won't miss it.  I also have an office evaluation today and I am wondering if I am going to get the call right as they are in the midst of evaluating me.  It sounds silly when you know everything is fine, but until I know everything is fine, it's really my baby's life that is at stake.  I will want to take that call.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Tonight we are headed out to Temple.  In the morning, we're meeting up with my parents in Buda at Cabella's and we'll tell them the news.  I still don't know how.  I have thought about just telling Ruthie and letting her contagious reaction do it.  I don't know if I've already talked about this, but I think I don't like telling people as much as I thought I would.  I don't like the awkwardness of the reaction.  My family will be the last people I tell in person, then I'm just putting it on Facebook and we'll let the people have their way with it.  That way everyone can know and we can just move on!

I have so wanted to have my mom involved these past two weeks.  I am really looking forward to being able to get her perspective and having her to talk to, especially if there are any more complications.  She is practical and honest, and it just feels weird keeping it a secret from her when we talk on the phone because it's so prevalent in my mind.

With the new estimate that I'm about 5 1/2 weeks along (now almost 6), I re-did my calendar and guessed that my due-date is more like June 6.  No doctor has given me a due date yet.  I am surprised at how much you have to take the initiative to ask.  There is so much to know, though, I guess doctors just make sure they get in the important stuff.

Still no call yesterday.  Surely it will come today!  In the meantime, munching on saltines and drinking some English Teatime.  Love the sweet/salty combo!

My symptoms lately have been a consistent stream of nausea, overall feeling wimpy and noodly, sometimes a little shaky, minimal appetite, and my boobs have increased by about a half cup size and they HURT!  I may be getting more sensitive to smell because I couldn't stand using the white-out this morning on my to-do list - I held my breath.

Ryan and I talked last night about how we are feeling a little disconnected.  All of this has us a little confused about how to think about and treat each other.  No arguments or anything, just like, I don't know myself like this, I am having a hard time thinking of myself as a mom.  Usually, he is at the forefront of my mind and my plans.  Lately, I've been consumed with - not even thoughts of baby - but thoughts of pregnancy and how I feel.  Since we talked about it though I really feel like getting on the same page has restored balance and connection.  This morning he talked through my bellybutton: "I know you can't hear me, but I love you and I think you're awesome."  Precious.


(later)

Finally got that call.  It wasn't what I thought - she had no answers for me.  Apparently when I had my blood drawn on Wednesday it was just one of (I am hoping only two) tests they will do to compare my hormone levels as time goes on.  I just got back from having my blood drawn again, this time, the other arm.  That makes 3 times in 7 days.  Not my favorite thing, but definitely worth doing for the sake of knowing.  Each comes with a nice deductible.  God is faithful though, when I plugged all of our numbers into our budget and all of the estimated numbers, it somehow comes out fine.  

I am also scheduled for another sonogram on Monday at 9:30am, and then I guess I get to meet Dr. Chinn at 11am for an appointment.  I wonder if that's the appointment where they finally tell you what's going on.  I appreciate the process of the tests and the sonograms because it makes sense to me, I am just fighting with the universe over how long it takes to get these answers.  Again though, God is faithful, even in the small stuff.  I will have to take off a half day of work next week for these doctor visits, but it's during a slow time when my boss is on vacation.  So at least I won't have to go back to a stressful day at work afterward!