Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I am overwhelmed with life at the moment and have failed to keep updating my blogs or visit Facebook or even keep up to date with my Twitter friends. It seems that trying to work full time, take childbirth classes, exercise and get the house ready for (a) the holiday's and (b) a new little person is taking up all my time. When I am free of my endless "to do" list, I am sleeping...poorly!

It seems that my added weight is causing aches and pains when I stay in one position too long, so I am waking up all night to change positions, which, by the way, takes a massive effort as my belly increases in size. My feet hurt all the time and the round ligament pain is causing a slight limp as I adjust from sitting to standing/walking. I find that I have to cut back on what I can accomplish in a week night or over a weekend each week as I find that my feet start to swell when I over do things. This means that I am lucky to get the "have to's" done each week, let alone anything special, like say getting together with friends or working on a special project.

All that being said, I am overjoyed and full of love and happiness! I am so excited about each stage of this pregnancy and while the little aches and pains sometimes get me down, I am truly trying to enjoy the experience. I am 33 years old and for the first time in my life I feel like I am really becoming Woman.. becoming the person I was always meant to be and I want to relish in the joy of this ultimate expression of womanhood.

I am amazed everyday by how lucky I am. How much I love having my life, my husbands love and this new baby. We made her from our love for each other. She is a living, breathing (well, not yet, but soon) manifestation of our love for each other. Together we have created life! What is more awesome than that?? What is more worthwhile than creating life where none was before??

I am so thankful for all the blessings in my life. I have this huge amazing, wonderful family who love me. I have a steady job that is willing to work with the schedule I want to work after the baby is born. I have a home that I love, and a dependable car. I have a few great friends who each bring something unique and special to my life. I am loved. I love. What more can anyone ask for?

There are hard times in all our lives, and those are valid issues, problems, even catastrophes, but all those little things (money woes, family upset, work trouble, home repairs, etc), seem to fade into nothing when I focus on everything that is good and special in my life.

I also think that when you look at the lives of others, it can help bring the great parts of your own life into perspective. When I look at my brother who is sleeping on friend's couches while trying to get back on his feet, I am grateful for my home. When I see a friend who struggles to find love while kissing frog after frog, I am grateful for my wonderful and amazing husband. When I see a friend struggling to make financial ends meet, I am grateful for my steady and dependable job. When I hear of someone who is unable to have a baby, I am grateful for this little life growing within me.

We all have life lessons to learn while here on this earth, but I currently feel like I have won the lottery, or have received some great honor. I have a wonderful life and I am so thankful for every moment I get to live it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yoga Can Save Lives

The other day I was stuck in a chair, at a computer for 8 full hours without being able to move around at all. I had gotten used to working the last few weeks in another department and being able to stand or move around or work on some other project as needed to keep my legs and back from protesting. Monday was brutal and I really thought that I was not going to make it to the end of my shift.

Well, I lived through it… barely! I was gearing up for the “I can’t work anymore” talk with my husband as I went off to the yoga class. I told the instructor about the low back pain and leg swelling and she tailored the class to help work on those areas and I was feeling a lot better by the end of the class!

We had one of our childbirth classes that evening and while I was still hurting I made it through and by the next day I was feeling tons better! It also helps that I only have to work the marathon chair days two days a week and then I move to another department for half the day three days a week. But the big deal is that I lived and I don’t think that I am going to have to quit or be taken out of work as soon as I was thinking after my day on Monday.

I have been employing some of the stretches throughout this week and I really think that it is helping a lot!!

Today is Thursday and I am feeling really odd, but I think that it has to do with the really late night last night. Since I have to get up at 4:45am, I generally go to bed about 9pm. Add to the time change that I had a childbirth class that is held an hours away from home last night, so I did not get to bed until after 11pm last night (body thinks its midnight remember), and I feel certain that this sickly feeling is simply being overly tired. Thank goodness that we only have one more of the far away classes and those late nights will be behind me!

I am finding that it takes more energy to do even simple tasks now, and I know that part of this is that the baby is growing and taking up more space, causing me less room for my lungs and adding weight and bulk. The other part is that I have not been able to workout as I normally would and that is causing the same issues it will cause for anyone. My goal is to do the yoga class once a week, talk a walk with mom or the hubs once a week and go swim at the gym once a week – so far, since I made this plan, like 3 weeks ago, I only manage to make it to the yoga class!

We must only be honest and let it be known that I seem to have developed a HUGE sweet tooth!! I have always enjoyed dessert, but not normally an entire cheesecake by myself!!! I can’t seem to cut back!

Friday, October 30, 2009


The Finances are currently weighing heavily on my mind. With a new baby on the way my thoughts are increasing filled with all the things I want to do with my baby once she is here. This brings up visions of play dates, fresh baked bread, crafts - all the things that were part of my childhood with my stay-at-home mother. I keep thinking that I can/will work at least part time and be able to spend most of my time raising my daughter.

I have been feeling like something, some opportunity will present itself and worst case scenario, I will keep the job that I have and but back to part time, this will involve continuing to get up at 4:30 in the morning (or earlier to nurse before I leave) and work 6am-10am, them meet my husband with the baby so he can work 10am-6pm.

While this is a workable situation and will allow us the funds we need to keep functioning, it is far from ideal and the more I think about it and the closer I get to having my baby the more I am dreading the thought of coming back and trying to work outside the home.

So, what are my choices? I could start selling something, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Tupperware, etc. or what? My skills lie in my ability to type, organize, handle multiple administrative tasks and the like. I am not interested in selling make-up or making cold calls trying to sell crap to people who don't need or want it. I want to use my own skills and strengths to make some extra money without being tied to set hours, another location or anything else that limits or restricts time with this child I have been wanting for so long!!

I have thought about trying to make some contacts with others who may need after school care for their older children and this might really work for me, except that I don't know how to get started. Older children would be great, they can do their homework and play with each other, while I keep them safe and concentrate on my infant. Again, not sure how I would go about finding people who need this service and if I did, why would they trust me?? They don't know me!

I also think that typing up reports or files would be something that I could do, something that would allow me to work when the baby is napping or when my husband is home. This would be something that I could work on when it suited me and as long as I met whatever deadline was needed by whoever hired me to do this everything would be great! Again, not sure how to make this happen or where to start.

The other side of this is to see what cuts we can make in our spending to decrease the amount of money each month is needed from me. When I look at the bills, we have about $1500 in credit card debt and pay about $100 each month. My desire is to work hard to pay this off before the baby comes, so there is $100 cut from the bills. We also have a gym membership that is $60 a month and we will be canceling that as soon as the contract is up in April 2010, so that will save us another $60 a month. We are members of NetFlix ($9) and LifeLock($9), which can be canceled and that would save us $18 a month - what are we up to?? $178 a month saved.
What's next? We have our mortgage, water bill, electric, phones, car payment, car insurance that are not flexible and with the way that the electric bill has increase 150% in less than 2 years I can't imagine any of those bills are going to do anything but go up!

Lastly, we have our investments, we invest $50 a month in a money market (emergency fund) and $100 a month into a Roth IRA. Now, I could stop contributing to those for a while and save us another $150.00 - bringing the total I can cut from the budget to $328. Now, if I cut down on the food budget and I am not driving as much, and can cut my gas budget, we may be able to squeeze another $100 a month in savings.. maybe!

Now, with all that saving and my husbands current salary, I will still need to bring home about $300 a week to make all the ends meet. That is with nothing extra, no medical bills, no vacations, no Christmas gifts, nothing extra!! Nothing!!

How did our society get to the point where a family is unable to get by on one income? We do not have an extravagant home, or expensive cars, we don't carry a lot of debt or eat out all the time. About our only splurge is our cable TV and even if we cut that off, it would only save us less than $30 a week (and the cable includes the Internet).

The best option would be to have 3 older kids that I pick up from school and watch until their parents get off work. If I charged $100 a week per child, then 3-4 kids would be enough. I guess I am just going to have to pray that I run into people who need child care or some other opportunity presents itself.

I am going to plan on coming back to my company in at least a part time fashion, but I am going to hope and pray that something happens that will allow me to stay home. I just don't know if I can leave my baby.

Any thoughts? Tips? Helpful advice??

Friday, October 23, 2009

24 Weeks and HUGE!!

I am officially 24 weeks pregnant today and weighed in at 198 pounds - YIKES!!! I know that this is only about a 15 pound gain, but being two-hundo is making me slightly nutso!
I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and the like. I had this big plan when I finished my MBA to catch up on all my reading for fun but that does not really seem to be happening.

The reason for this is that I really do want to read about being the best mother and making really good decisions for my baby but also, since the bookshelves are still not built, all my books are still packed up. I have managed to listen to a few on CD and read a bit of something fun before bed, but mostly my head is full of organic baby food, cloth diapers and breastfeeding!
I have said it before, but I really feel strongly that people should make informed and conscious decisions regarding their children. I don't care if you want to use disposable or cloth diapers, breastfeed or bottle feed, home school or public school; just as long as the decision is made on purpose and not "just because".

I always find it funny to watch people's faces when I ask them about why they chose something, like how they decided to send their child to public school. They often look at me like I am nuts! Of course, they would send their child to public school, what else would they do?? It takes them a moment to process that there are other options they could have (perhaps should have) considered.

On the other hand, there are those people out there who get very upset if your choices differ from theirs. It is some kind of personal insult or dig at their parenting if you decide to do something differently and I can't stand that attitude either! I guess that I simply want others to be like me (perfect! Just kidding), and let me make my own decisions.

We have a doctor appointment this afternoon with another ultrasound scheduled to check on the Previa. I am excited to have this check up and be cleared for sex! I had no sex drive for the first part of my pregnancy, but now that I can't have it - I really want it!! My husband is starting to climb the walls a bit too, so I am looking forward to this weekend! I am sure that everything will be fine and we will be able to spend the weekend doing whatever we want! There is a reason there is nothing important on the schedule this weekend! Also, I even shaved my legs!! This is becoming a hard task to do and still breathe, so I have been putting it off longer and longer between shaves… did we just cross that line of how well you need to know me???

I am working in Finance this week and next on a special project and it has given me time to think about what I want to do with my time once the baby is born and I am starting to feel a bit sad at the prospect of working at all. The pumping and being away from Smug-Baby is going to suck ass, and I will not be bringing in that much money working part time. It does not look like the working from home option is going to pan out with my current company, so I have been looking at other options, but this crap economy is not helping matters at all.

I don't want to sell make up or anything like that - I don't really want to sell anything! I want to do what I am good at, which is the admin stuff, reports, Power Points, stuff like that. I am sure that it will all work out, but it would be much better if I could just win the lottery or something… I guess never purchasing a ticket does cut down on my chances somewhat, but not by too much I figure!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Funny and Odd Little Story

Since I was so sick during the first part of my pregnancy I almost totally stopped working out at all. I did the occasional bike ride or walk, but nothing regularly or consistently or organized in an effort to stay in /get into better shape.

Well, I am almost finished with the second part of my pregnancy and even though I have been feeling more normal for a while now, I have not been able to get back into the swing of regular exercise and now I am starting to feel the effects of this lethargy taking it's toll on me.

I am more tired now than I was in the beginning and it is getting harder to get myself up from a sitting or lying position. I tend to get out of breath easily - like when walking up one (yes, just one) flight of stairs. I also have not had a cold or upper respiratory infection in several years, and I am currently still getting over a head cold. Anyway, I need to do something to get myself moving again.

I heard about a prenatal yoga class that was being held last night and would be weekly on Monday nights which are great for me, so I signed up!

I ended up having trouble finding the place and got there about five minutes late, but it was fine. The instructor was really great and had a lovely calming presence. We worked on releasing our hips mostly and ended with deep relaxation and meditation. I was feeling calm and energized as I left the studio.

When I came out the door this little old man who had to be about 75 was walking by. He stopped and made eye contact with me and asked if that was a yoga studio. When I told him it was, he said that he might like to take a class. I told him that the instructor was still up there, but that this was my first class and I did not know about the styles or schedule or costs or anything. He asked what class I had taken and I told him that it was the prenatal class. He looked at me without comprehension so I quickly added that it was for pregnant moms.

He said "Oh, well I hope you have a husband out there somewhere, I am old fashioned and I don't believe in a woman having a baby without being married" I replied that I had been married for a couple of years now and this was my first child. Then I wished him a good night and hopped quickly into my car and locked the doors.

I mostly find this to be funny, as I, even in my lethargic, lazy currently state could have easily taken grandpa down if he had posed a threat. But, there is a slightly creepy factor to consider - who talks to someone like this? I thought later that I could have said that my husband had been killed in Iraq or murdered in a mugging or something else that would have made him feel badly for bringing it up.

Also, what was he hoping to accomplish if I was a single mother? Was I supposed to "repent" my sinful ways and find a man real fast or something?? Oh well, I did actually just laugh about it, but my husband as now decided that I should not talk to strangers. Period. Ever. Which I also find funny. I also find it sweet how protective of me and our daughter he is! I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have him. I love my life!!

Next up? Get my increasingly large ass to gym at least once this week! Let's see if I can manage it...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My family has had about the worst week possible. Last Thursday Smug-Sister woke up in the middle of the night unable to use the bathroom and having massive pain. Her husband took her to the ER and they ended up sitting in the empty ER for about three hours before giving up on getting seen and left. Later that Thursday she went to see her primary care doctor and after explaining the symptoms, was told she probably had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), she was given some pills for pain and sent home.

She spent the next few days and the weekend dealing with the pain as best she could, remarking that the pills seemed to have little or no effect. On Monday, her step-son was sick and she has so many meetings (she works from home) that she felt she would not be able to care properly for him. She drove him to his grandmother's home (her mother-in law). When she was there, she noticed that the pains were worse and she went to the bathroom to see if she could go and thus relieve some of the pain. While there she passed out and when she came to she was vomiting and her mother-in-law was breaking down the door to get to her.

Her husband's aunt was there and drove Smug-Sister to the doctor's office while her Mother-in-law stayed with the sick child. Smug-Sister passed out again on the drive to the doctors office and again before they could get her in the office. The doctor came out to the car and took a quick look at her and immediately called an ambulance. The family was called and we all met up at the hospital to be with her and her husband.

Her blood pressure was 80/44 and an ultrasound revealed an ectopic pregnancy that had caused her fallopian tube to rupture and she was bleeding internally. They rushed her into emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and remove the ruptured tube. Smug-Sister almost died. She was dying for a week and the ER and her doctor did not care enough to do a quick ultrasound and figure out what was really going on.

Here is the thing, she did not really think that this was baby related, but she is not a doctor and they should have found this problem FIVE days before!! While they would not have been able to save her pregnancy, they would have been able to save her tube and keep her from filling up with puss, blood and fluid!!

She and her husband are understandably devastated and she is dealing with so much pain both physical and emotional. I don't know how to help her and I feel like my being pregnant will be like throwing her loss in her face. I did talk to her about it and we figure that we will just need to take it a day at a time. I know that when I lost my baby it was painful to see strangers that were pregnant or had little babies and at the same time I did not want people to treat me like I was broken.

She told me that she is happy to be becoming an aunt and does not want me to feel like I can't talk to her about what is going on with me and Smug-Baby. I just want to help her and not hurt her further.

Monday, October 12, 2009

No More Belly Button…

Well it is about to happen anyway, my belly button is getting flatter and flatter and my tummy is getting rounder and rounder! I need to find some software or a download that will let me create a morphing slide show of all my belly pictures so you can see how much I have changed! When I look in the mirror at night or in the morning when getting dressed, I am amazed by how little my body has changed, I feel like I look exactly the same as I did before I got pregnant and then I pull out those belly pictures and it’s like HOLY SHIT! I AM TOTALLY HUGE!!!!

People are really starting to comment about how I have popped out and even about how my boobs have gotten bigger. I actually think it is funny, but I can tell there may come a time where I will get more sensitive about my size and not appreciate people telling me that I am as big as a house!

We spent my birthday weekend up near Richmond visiting with my aunt and uncle. My cousin who is about 23 has a 2 ½ year old little girl and she is just about the sweetest child on the planet (until mine gets here of course). Anyway, my cousin has saved every bit of her baby and little child stuff for me. She somehow just knew that I was going to be the next to have a baby and that it would be a girl, so she saved everything! There are huge black trash bags full of stuffed animals, toys and clothes. There are still more large zip lock bags of socks, bibs hats, and the like. There are seats and swings, walkers and bouncy things. There are boxes upon boxes of clothes! We packed my dad’s Jeep Grand Cherokee from the fold down back seat to the back of the vehicle all the way to the roof, and my Jetta with the seats folded down all the way to the roof and filled the trunk. We barely had room to fit our luggage and ourselves to get home. You should see my dining room – it is not usable, it is totally full!! I am really looking forward to going though it all!

My cousin’s little girl developed a huge attachment to my husband and was very upset to see him leave. I was so warmed by how sweet he was with her and how much she loved him. He kept looking up at me while playing on the floor with her and saying how he could not wait to do the same with our daughter. My only experience with girls for any amount of time is my other cousin’s child, who is, well, a brat. She is pushy and bossy and demanding and that was the only thought I could conjure up when I thought about having a girl. This actually makes me ashamed of my thoughts, firstly because I should know that my child will not be like anyone else’s child, she will be her own person. Secondly, that I call this other little child a brat, brats are not born they are made and it is not her fault that her family has taught her to behave this way. Regardless, spending time with this sweet child over the weekend has really helped to relieve some of those nagging fears about having a girl over a boy.

Smug-Hub gave me a Timex watch that is water resistant, shows the date and lights up for my birthday. Dad and Smug-StepMom gave me a Visa Gift card (I know just what I am going to use it on – more baby stuff!!). My aunt also made this incredible cake and gave me a little pink sweater and blanket that I feel like will be part of Smug-Baby’s coming home outfit. It was a great day and a great weekend!

This week the plan is to get the nursery painted. It is all ready to go, holes patched, everything sanded, taped up, etc. I think that I am going to try to get the ceiling done today after work. Mom said she would come over and help if she was feeling up to it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sore and Happy with a Touch of Sad

I cleaned my house this weekend and as a result, I am sore. My muscles ache and I feel like I have been though a touch workout. This has reinforced my belief that I have totally let myself go and I need to get back into shape!

It is really nice to have the whole house cleaned and aired out. I shook rugs, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed the tub, toilet and sink, I did 4 loads of laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, and washed dishes. I also moved all the miscellaneous furniture out of the nursery to get ready for painting this week.

We registered for our baby stuff Saturday which was so much fun, but a little overwhelming as there is so much out there and you start thinking things like “do I need a mesh seat for the little bath thing, oh god, I have no idea how to bathe a baby, what the hell was I thinking, I can’t have a baby, holy crap! What the hell am I going to do???” Then you calm down and tell yourself that everything is going to be fine and you will figure it out and move on to the next aisle of baby stuff and have the same exact conversation in your head when you see the baby monitors!!

I really love the bedding set that we picked out! It is called Julia and we found it at Baby Depot, here is a picture:

I just love it and we registered for everything in the picture! We want all the coordinating pieces and actually, Smug-Hub got to the store before I did and had it all picked out. I loved it right away, but we looked closely at everything else they had to offer before making the call that yes, this was the one! I have also discovered that Smug-Hub is totally stoked about having a girl. He now believes that everything we get for her MUST be pink! So we have registered for a pink portable changing pad, a pink diaper bag, a pink cover thing for the car seat to keep her warm, and little pink socks!

We are going this weekend to my aunt’s place to pick up all the stuff that she and my cousin have been saving for me, so we may pull some items off the registry or add more after that depending on what she gives us. I also think that we are going to start getting some of the bigger items ourselves like the crib as we have money saved for them. I figure this way, people know what we need, but we are not waiting until the last minute to realize that no one is getting up a changing table or whatever.

We had a couple, Nikki and Jason over for dinner last night and found out that they are expecting their second child in mid May. Also, Nikki’s sister is also expecting around the first of May and with Smug-Sister due around the end of May all four of us are going to having little babies at the same time. I think that we should start our own mommy’s group or something!

I really love spending time with Nikki – she is very like minded to me when it comes to parenting philosophies. She very much wants to have a VBAC this time and wants to breastfeed longer with her second than with her first, who was weaned at 18 months. She too is not planning on getting the H1N1 or standard flu vaccine and is very much a live and let live attitude toward differing opinions on parenting. What works for one parent may not work for another and she totally gets that! I am going to have to make more of an effort to spend more time with her.

On a sad note, I have hurt Smug-Sister and I feel horrible about it. I have been trying to get together with one of our mutual friends for a couple of months now and we finally made plans to meet at Panera for brunch Sunday at 11am. I e-mailed and invited Smug-Sister to join us. She said that her weekend was packed and if she showed up she showed up and if not, don’t wait on her.

Well, Saturday night I realized that I had so much to do on Sunday that I needed to move the time, so I called the friend and arranged to meet at 9am instead – I never even thought about calling Smug-Sister with the time change. I guess that I figured she was so busy that she would probably not have made it anyway and I put it out of my mind.

The friend and I were saying our goodbyes and getting ready to leave when Smug-Sister sends us each a text asking with Panera we were meeting at. I had to call her and tell her about my screw up and I could tell in her voice that she was upset and disappointed, but she kept saying that it was ok. I felt bad all day yesterday and emailed her again this morning. She admitted she was disappointed but just wants to move on from it. I still feel really badly about it. I would be deeply hurt if someone invited me out and then changed the time and did not tell me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Going Private

Good Morning.

I have hurt someone that I care deeply for by something that I posted on my blog. I was unaware that people in my "real" life were reading my blog and I posted something very private about someone I love. Someone in real life read my blog and rather than keeping the information to themselves confronted the person it was about with the information, thus ruining something special.

Very cryptic - I know!

Anyway, I have decided that I need to know who is reading my blog, so I am making my blog private. I will plan on making this change next Monday, so if you are a reader and would like to remain a reader of my blog, please email me at smugmarried@gmail.com over the weekend and I will make sure that you can still read me.

I love having readers and love that people I had no idea about are reading me, but I need to protect the privacy of the people I love and I don't want to censor myself here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pink, Pink and More Pink

I was watching TV and folding laundry yesterday when there came a knock on my door. I was not expecting anyone, so I headed down and opened the door. There on the porch were my next door neighbors (The wife and two girls, the husband was not with them). The mom, Jen was holding the biggest gift bag you can buy, holding in both arms it was so big and heavy!

Once inside, I started digging into the gift bag and found an endless supply of cute baby girl clothes! There are two pairs of baby jeans, one with pink ruffle at the pockets and at the ankles and the other with scroll designs in pink down the legs. There is another pair of pants in a soft gray corduroy with corduroy ruffles at the pockets. There are several long sleeve onesies, one that says "My heart belongs to daddy", another that says "If you think I'm cute, you're right", another that just says "Princess" and other plain pink. There is also a pink jumper in corduroy with scroll designs in all kinds of colors, brown, green and more pink. There are several pairs of pink and white socks, along with a box of 440 baby wipes, a package of newborn diapers, two bibs (one says I love Mommy and the other I love Daddy) and a pink memory keepsake book.

I can't believe their generosity! They just moved into the house next door about 4 months ago, and while we have been friendly and had several on-the-way-into-the-house conversations, we have not yet become fast friends or anything. I am sure that my being sick and spending the summer locked in the air conditioned house not moving has had something to do with that!

Jen told me that they are going to start the process to adopt another baby as she is unable to have any more children. She told me how excited she is to be able to look at and purchase baby girl stuff again (her youngest is 5 years old). I am just so happy and grateful to have such nice neighbors!

Apparently, Smug-Hub has been bonding with her husband, Neil also. Jen told me that Neil is planning on helping Smug-Hub hang the new storm door this weekend! I have been wanting the door hung, so we can open the door and just have the screen there to project against bugs, but let in a nice breeze. Now that the fall weather is here, this will be all the more sweet!

I have decided that I can't wait any longer for Smug-Hub to get the projects done. I have to move ahead with my projects for getting the office area and guest room areas cleaned up, organized and usable. I also have to get the rest of the crap out of Smug-Baby's room and get that room painted and ready for decorating.

I figure if he gets around to getting the painting and shelving down in the big room (office/guest room) we will just move stuff out of the way. I can't wait until the last minute to get this stuff done. The office has to be done and usable before the baby comes, as I am smart enough to know that nothing is going to get done for a long time after the baby comes! Same with the nursery!

We are going next weekend to my aunt's house to pick up boxes and boxes of baby stuff that my cousin has been saving for me, so we are going to be short on room in the baby's room after that! I would love to get that room painted this weekend, but I don't think that I can do it myself (fumes and toxins and what not), and I don't want to distract Smug-Hub from the bathroom, shelving and storm door projects. I guess I should do some research on paint and if there is some brand that is safe for pregnant women to use.

I am also planning on getting the office organized this weekend. It is a very big job, but I think that I can get it done with some concentrated effort. This will be such a load off my mind to be able to file all the paperwork, shred all the bills, find my birthday's book (I have missed several birthday's since they are all recorded in that book and I CAN'T FIND IT!!!! Not to mention, if we do need to clear the room for painting and such, it will be much easier to move filed paperwork than loose paperwork. I will just have to repack in boxes the books and CD's that I have unpacked over the last 18 months and get them back in the garage until the shelving is built, whenever that is.

Anyway, it is nice to have a plan of action for myself that is not contingent on my darling husband!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Baby is a...

We had to wait almost 30 minutes after our appointment for them to take us and then the ultrasound took a good long time. The baby looked really good, she said that the kidney's looked very slightly enlarged and it could just be that they were full, but they would want to keep an eye on it. The baby was moving all over the place and even seemed to wave at us in one shot (we got a picture of that one!) Then she had us turn out heads while she checked out the lower half of our baby.

After the ultrasound, we met quickly with the doctor. He talked again about the baby's kidney's saying that 99 out of 100 times, it is fine at the next scan and was nothing to worry about.

He also told me that I have something called Plavia (sp?) which means that the placenta is currently covering the cervix, again most of the times that this happens it naturally moves out of the way and everything is fine. He said that the very worst case would be that it would not move and I would need a c-section. He said that it this point it was just something to watch and not something to worry about. I have been visualizing the placenta moving all evening and this morning. I am going to make it move if I have to!

Then we finally were able to leave the office and headed up to the star. It was slightly cold and foggy and misting rain, but we did not care. We poured glasses of sparkling grape juice before we opened the envelope with the little form and all the pictures.

It's a girl, we are having a girl! This is what I had known all along, but it was nice to once again have my instincts confirmed. I knew the weekend we conceived that we were pregnant and it was a girl. I was slightly concerned that my husband would be disappointed, but since he has not stopped grinning since we found out (he is currently grinning in his sleep this morning) I think that he is not too upset about the news!!

We held up the sign we made that said Girl to the web cam, but it was still too small for his family to read, so he just pointed to me and the family got it! They are all so happy - being that my husband is the oldest in his family of four brothers, they have been really wanting a girl in the family and his mother is overjoyed!

Then the cold started to get to us, so we headed home to prepare for the arrival of my family. They all arrived slightly early, so you know how excited and anxious everyone was to hear the news. My nephew headed to the back bedroom with us to hear the news.

When we told him that the baby was going to be a girl, he said that he had guessed girl and so had his mom (Smug-Sister). As we started to leave the room, he grabbed my hand and confessed that he was a little nervous. I asked him what he needed, did he want to hold my hand. He said that he needed my husband to hold him up.

We all came into the kitchen and Smug-Hub picked him up. He looked at the family all gathered waiting expectantly and said "I have an announcement... It's a GIRL!!" Everyone shrieked and clapped and started hugging each other. My dad, who said that it was a girl from the beginning, starting doing fist pumps in the air.

Then it was time to eat, we all ate until we were stuffed and then ate some more. My aunt and uncle from out of town arrived a bit later as they had been a few hours away for my cousin's soccer game and decided to come celebrate with us. We all sat around eating and drinking and talking and laughing for a while.

Mom and Smug-Sister and I all started getting tired and everyone finally departed about 9:30 (I know, we are all party animals!!) I made some phone calls to friends and other extended family to tell them the news and then fell asleep on the couch. Smug-Hub had to get me up and get me to bed about 10:30.

I am up this morning watching the sun rise and letting you guys know the news.

I am not surprised, but I am so happy! I am excited to go out and register today and start making some nursery decisions. I think that this really made things real for my husband - dare I hope that this will prompt him into action on the second bathroom??? Maybe not...

Welcome Smug-Baby to our family. My daughter. My heart. My whole world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Really Hungry

Today has been strange. I have been hungry all day long. I have eaten a ton of food, starting with an apple and a pear this morning, followed by a huge bowl of steel cut oats with brown sugar, cranberries, raisins and sou milk. Then I ate 2 very large slices of pizza and just finished a PB&J! it is not even 1pm yet!!

I am normally hungry about the time that I have the ability to eat something and then it fills me up and I am fine until I have time to eat again (oh, the joys of being hourly - you can eat when they allow you to). Not today buddy! I have been needing to eat all the time. There was only about 30 minutes between the pizza and the sandwich!

I have a bowl of vegetable soup that I will probably need to eat before I head home today at 2pm and more soup and other stuff at the house, so I will be fine, it is just a bit crazy! I guess my little peanut is having a little growth spurt!

On that same topic, I have been feeling some... not really pains, but slight somethings in my lower abdomen, like almost a stretching feeling, so maybe she/he really is growing more this week.

I have some really big (to me) news that I can't wait to share, but I have to wait until tomorrow at least. If all goes well you'll know this news tomorrow. I am so excited about the future and with tomorrow finally revealing the big boy or girl question, my week could not get any better!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Longest Week EVER

It is Wednesday. It is noon on Wednesday. I have most of Wednesday left. I have all of Thursday left. I have all day Friday until 3pm left. I have the whole doctor visit left. I have the drive to the special place left. I may not make it!

On Friday afternoon we will have the detailed ultrasound that will tell us if we are having a boy or a girl. At first I was so convinced that I wanted to wait to find out the sex until birth, but since the hubby really wanted to find out, I agreed (I figure he gets very little say in most of this pregnancy and birth). Now, I am so excited to find out that my head might actually explode. Which would be bad because most of my senses are located in my head and if it exploded I would have a hard time seeing or hearing the results!

We decided to have the technician put the results in an envelope along with any pictures and seal it. Then after the appointment, we will drive up the the Star (A huge star on the biggest mountain over looking my whole city. It is lit up with white and red lights and was (once) the largest man made star in the US - I actually have no idea if that title still holds). It is a very nice place for a special revealing. There is actually a web cam up there, so we are going to tell his family to tune in about 4:45 EST that day and we will be up there and have a sign to tell them the news!

We are going to head up to the star with a bottle of sparkling grape juice and open the envelope together, just us. After we know and celebrate with each other for a bit. We will head home and get ready to have the family over at 6 for dinner.

We are planning on taking my nephew aside and tell him, then my husband will hold him up and he can make the actual announcement to the family. What do you think? I have been toying with the idea of making everyone take bets and whoever is right gets a piece of chocolate or something - dumb?

Did I mention that I am excited??

I did find that Smitten Kitchen has had her baby! He is so adorable that I can hardly stand it! I can't believe that I will be holding someone just as precious and sweet and delicious

On a side note, two of the blogs that I read most days and feel like I have become part of their lives, have been having it rough. Virginia Belle just broke up with her fiance and must be hurting deeply, while Becks has been dealing with her own issues that have her down. I feel so badly that I am unable to help less their pain, while feeling a bit guilty about being so excited and happy when others I care about are feeling down. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys and I hope that things will begin looking up for you both very soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So Much to Watch, So Little Space on the DVR

So, this weeks starts the premieres of all the new seasons of all the shows that I love! I have worked out a schedule of watching in the bedroom (which sucks a bit cause I can't fast forward the ads), recording on the DVR and leaving the TV open at times for the hubs to watch Fox News (yeecch) and sports cause I am a good wife that way!

Monday night is going to be the only night so far that is going to cause us issues. Monday night football is very important and also happens to be the full CBS lineup as well as House on Fox. We got lucky last night and had a meeting with our Doula, so everything recorded without sending my husband into palpitations as he knew he wasn't going to be able to watch anything anyway. I have to find a way to fit everything in next week though!

This does not even begin to cover all the hardships of finding time to watch all the stuff that I have recorded! Even with being able to skip all the ads, this TV watching takes up SO much time! I picked up Castle, Lie To Me, and The Mentalist over the summer and there are a couple of new shows that look like they might be decent (Eastwick, Hank, Three Rivers, etc). When will I watch everything?

What about after the baby comes? I can't imagine that I will have time to watch everything that I want to. I wonder if it will slowly go by the wayside, or if I will cut shows out of my life kicking and screaming.

BTW - change of subject just a bit! I can't tell you all how sad I am that Life was canceled. I think it was one of the best shows ever! I really loved it and I will very much miss it!

Anyway, I had better cut this short or I am never going to get to watching all this TV!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Feeling the Baby

I think that I have been feeling the baby move. I feel little tingles, or popping sensations and sometimes even a bump like feeling, but nothing hard enough or consistent enough to really make me sure that it is the baby that I am feeling.

I was telling someone last night that I never gave my stomach or any of the feelings within my stomach much notice before I was pregnant, so I am not totally sure that I am distinguishing the baby from normal stomach stuff. I think that I will choose to believe that it is my child :)

Last night, I was laying in my husbands arms talking for a few minutes before I fell asleep and he was talking about my work issues and plans for our future when the baby started moving around a lot, more noticeable and more constant. My belly was pressed against his side and I got the feeling that the baby was reacting to his voice. When I told him that the baby was moving now that he was talking, he got so excited and said "let me keep talking" then he promptly could not think of anything to say. It was a nice moment.

I am almost finished with my book on Hypno Birthing and I am looking forward to the classes next month. I have a feeling that I am again on the cusp of great things. We are going to find out the sex next week and I am going to start feeling the baby move more and more. Then we have the childbirth classes and this is all going to start feeling more real than it does now.

I am so looking forward to my future! I don't care about the work pressures of yesterday, everything is going to work out fine and I am going to be successful and happy no matter what!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Need Help!

have been up since 3am this morning. I have been thinking about my job and getting more and more upset. It started with entering my request to have the Friday after Thanksgiving off from work. I have taken this day off almost every year since I have been employed with this company. This is the holiday where all the aunts, uncles, cousins - everyone get together. We try to do this again at Easter, but Thanksgiving is when everyone makes the effort and we are all there. This year will be especially fun because they are planning a baby shower for you.

Well, my request was denied. Due to the fact that my new role puts me at the bottom of the food chain, and Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, no one is allowed to have time off that weekend. So, no baby shower for me. No spending the weekend with my family. No seeing my cousins who have moved away. I am so upset about this.

I know that I could drive up to Richmond Thursday morning, back home Thursday night, and back up again Friday evening after work, but lets face it, that would suck! Besides being a waste of gas and my energy. It never occurred to me that I would not be "allowed" to take this time off. I have over 8 years of seniority! I have been with this company longer, by many years, than ANYONE else in my current department.

This is like the last straw I think. Not a huge big deal but it is the final insult or something. I think that I have to quit. I think that I have to take active steps to get out of this company. I tried to hang in there for things to turn around, for the economy to get better, but things have gotten better and I am still here. I am so unhappy in this position and it really shows! To my new boss, my co-workers, everyone.

This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life! I am having a baby, but I spend all my time upset and angry about this job. Its not just Thanksgiving of course. This is about being told to just do what I am told, about not being able to effect change or make a difference anymore. It's about being close to the top and now being at the bottom. Its about finally having my MBA and working a job the company hires high school students to do. Its about learning that my company that touts customer service ties the hands of its customer service people. Its about the people above me, in control and able to affect some change, being satisfied with the status quo. So, the plan is.... I have no idea!

I need some help! Maybe I could work for a temp service, doing temp jobs, short commitment positions until I have the baby. I have started helping out a few friends who own their small businesses with some bookkeeping and administrative work, perhaps that will turn into something more. Perhaps I could try to watch kids after school. I need something and I need to get out of here :(

I just want to cry...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Very Boring Life

I must have a very boring life. I have such a hard time of think of stuff to blog about. Most of the time, this blog is more like my personal journal, but sometimes I wish that I had the talent to write about important social and political topics. I have to face facts though, I really don't care about most of the social and political topics enough to spend time ranting about them.

I would rather rant about my recent horrible experiences with two separate mothering groups.

Since I will soon be a mother, I want to connect with other mothers. I have been so wrapped up in finishing school (got an A for the last class BTW - ended up with a 3.829 GPA!! Go Me!!) that I have failed to cultivate many friendships with anyone let alone other mothers. So, I wanted to get involved and start making some connections. I want to make friends, I want to hear about how others are making ends meet financially, who likes what pediatrician and so on.

When I was growing up my mother was a La Lache League leader and I have fond memories of playing with the other kids and watching a room full of nursing mothers talking and laughing. So, I wanted to join the local LLL chapter and went to my first meeting on Monday. Yes, Monday, Labor Day.

First of all, the e-mail telling me about the meeting simply said that the meeting would be held at the hospital on the 13th floor - no room number or anything, just the 13th floor. When I arrived with Smug-Sister in tow (she would like to also be pregnant soon and I needed the moral support), the hospital information desk looked at me like I was speaking in tongues and mutely pointed to the bank of elevators - "Those will take you to the 13th floor." Upon arriving on the 13th floor, we found it completely deserted. We found the only conference room, but it was locked and dark - this about 10 minutes before the meeting was to begin.

We wandered down to the Labor and Delivery unit and asked the nurses who again looked at like we were insane and suggested the 12th floor, on which we repeated the same procedure. We ended up back at the locked conference room and I was trying to find the leaders phone number when she and other mother arrived. Since the conference room was locked, the leader spent another 10 minutes locating another room for us. Finally about 15 minutes after the meeting start time, we got settled.

Now, if I had been the leader, knowing that I had three brand new people, would have introduced LLL, had everyone introduce themselves, stuff like that. But there was none of that. She told us that she was just back from being out of town for the holiday weekend and was unprepared, so she wanted to just open the meeting up for discussion.

The new mother had an 11 week old baby and was in desperate need of support and help. The leader attempted to help where she could, but then that left Smug-Sister and I just staring at them. It was strange and uncomfortable to say the least.

I think that I will most certainly go to next months meeting. Being that this was a holiday and a leader that was not the normal leader of this group or time, I hope that I will be more impressed with the next meeting.

Then we move on to the Mothers and More Group. I had never heard of this group, but someone gave me a flier about them while I was in a restaurant one day reading my childbirth book. Anyway, their website for my local chapter stated that they have meetings every 2nd Tuesday. So I headed down there last night and I arrive to find the building dark and locked. I wanted until about 10 minutes after the start time of the meeting and then I called a phone number on the flier and sent an e-mail (the address also being on the flier). I simply asked if I had the wrong day or wrong location or what had happened.

I received a call back last night after I had turned my phone off (which I do, so my sleep will not be interrupted) from someone saying that they had had their big open house the previous week and were not able to do that and another meeting a week later. I actually knew about the open house thing, but it was held the same day and time as my last class, so I was not able to attend. There was nothing on their website about the open house causing a regular meeting to be skipped or anything.

This morning I received an e-mail stating much the same thing. Both were apologetic that I was left waiting and said that I should call/e-mail back to get more information about the group and the next meeting.

I think that I will still give them a chance, but there is something strange that I noticed in the e-mail. She was telling me about some of their activities and she said they had this, this and this, along with play dates and other activities where children were welcome. This strikes me as odd - does this mean that the "this, this and this" are NOT child friendly? How can you have a mothering group and not welcome the children?

I am not too worried about it at the moment, since my child accompanies me everywhere right now, but I am not sure that I want to be part of a group of mothers who use this as an escape from their kids. I am having this baby because I want to HAVE this baby. The last thing I want to do is have obligations that require me to leave my baby or child.

I see this a lot with certain mothers who complain about not getting enough "Me time" it's like they have forgotten that they had "me time" all throughout growing up, high school, college, their 20's whatever! Now, you are a mom/dad - now you have chosen to put someone else before yourself by having and keeping your child.

It is not a sacrifice to be around your kids, its a joy! Why did you have kids if you did not want to be around them, take care of them, do things with them?? I am not saying that by being a mother you should never want to do things without your children, but I can't imagine waiting SO long for this baby that I have wanted since I was 12 years old and then wanting to be away from her/him on a regular basis!!

I personally think that some people have children for the wrong reasons, or perhaps have them too young. They are not mature enough to understand the new role they have taken on. That is just my opinion and perhaps you will see me writing later about my burning need for "me time", but as it stands now, I don't want babysitters - hell, I am not sure that I will allow anyone else to hold my baby until she/he is at least 10 years old!! :)

Anyway, back to the mothering meetings. I was really frustrated by the whole experience. I felt like I dragged myself to make these meetings when I was tired and really needed to be home resting instead because it is important to me. I even refused to take home my leftovers in a doggy bag when I had dinner, because I knew that I wasn't going to be going home until late and they would not have lasted in the hot car.

I will give both groups another try next month, but if they fail me again....well.... I guess nothing :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today is the Day!

Today is the last day of school - forever! At least until my little peanut gets ready to head off on his or her own academic career. Tonight, I will give my final school related presentation, say goodbye to my classmates and instructors. Tonight, will be the first night of the rest of my life!

I have been on this journey for so long. I was telling someone that I started taking general education classes with this day, this goal in mind in 1999. Granted, I was only able to take a class or two at a time, and it has taken me 10 years to get both a 4 year degree and a 2 year degree, but all that will be behind me after tonight. In about 12 hours, I will officially be free!!

I am taking tomorrow off work to spend the day basking in the glory that is being free and being an MBA!

I have plans - big plans!! Now that I have my MBA I just need to win the lottery to be able to pay off the $90,000.00 in student loans that I have accumulated over the last 10 years and enough to pay off my house, so we can afford to live on my husbands income and I can be a stay at home mom for a couple of years. I know what you are thinking - "Man, she is not wasting anytime putting that degree to good work"

I want to do something really big to commemorate this occasion, but I can only think about sleeping in, reading something trashy (since I have been reading nothing but textbooks for the last 10 years), and getting a massage or my nails done. I will probably end up spending the day in bed or something equally as gluttonous!

I was laying in bed, falling asleep last night thinking about today being the beginning of this whole range of great things that are going to be happening the rest of the year and into next.

First, I finish school, 9/22 is my anniversary, 9/25 we find out if we are having a boy or a girl. In October, we have our childbirth classes, my birthday and my Dad's birthday. In November, my brother will get out of jail, and we have Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year). In December we will have some baby showers, the actual graduation ceremony, and Christmas, then there is New Years and Will and Jerrod's birthday's, and then the Baby will be here!! Everything is coming together. I am so happy!!

I have this great life! Even the stuff that makes me unhappy (like my job right now) can't even be considered THAT bad! I know people who have been out of work altogether for a long time and I have read about people losing their homes and living in tents and the like. I have so much to be thankful for and I know that everything financially will work out too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

8 days

I am down to counting the days until school is complete. Next Tuesday, one week from tomorrow is the final class period, the final night, the big celebration!

I have decided to take September 2nd off (next Wednesday the day after the final class) from work. I was discussing with my husband what I should do with my free day and he firmly suggested that I make no plans. I take this to mean that he has made plans for me, which I am sure is going to be totally sweet. He probably got me a massage gift certificate which he knows is my favorite thing, so perhaps he did something totally different to throw me off the trail. I only know that I am excited beyond words!!

I only wish that by finishing this last class, my income would suddenly increase! There are no jobs in the city I currently live in and we have no plans to move elsewhere and besides, no one is going to hire a pregnant woman who wants to only work part time after the baby comes. I think that I am going to have to stick it out at my crappy job that I totally hate until the economy turns around and I can find something that both suits my skill set and my desire to raise my own child.

I have faith that everything will work out as it should and if I ended up needing to use some kind of day care, it will all be fine. I just feel like I have waited for this baby for so long (I am almost 33 after all), that I don't want to hand him/her over to anyone else for any reason. At least not until she/he is like 40!! I want to experience every first, every second, everything!

I know that it will be fine! I just have to put my faith out there and let the perfect situation come to me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quick Update

I am still cover up with school work, but I am down to the last two weeks and things are starting to come together - I am so close I can taste it!!

My brother was "promoted" to the highest level of trustee which means that he lives in a larger pod with only 2 other guys and they have all the TV channels. He works 8-4 Monday through Friday now with weekends off. He is working maintenance, so he is allowed to go outside just a bit (like to take out the trash, but still it is the first taste of fresh air he has had in 2 months). He looked happier than I have seen him before, so I am happy too.

I found a picture online of what my baby is looking like about now:

I can't believe it!! I can't wait to hear the heartbeat next week!!
I feel like I am right on the cusp of everything coming together. Two more weeks of school, 2-3 more weeks of this horrible, humid, nasty weather before things start to cool down a bit. 4-5 more weeks until I find out that I am having a girl! I am almost through the worst of everything (school and feeling sick) and I can't wait to move on and get to the fun stuff!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Letter From My Brother (or a Jailhouse Communication)

Good Morning All!

Below is part of a letter that my brother sent to me from his jail cell. I told him that I would put his thoughts out there online and see what other people thought about the justice system. Following his letter is my response to him – please comment and let us know what you think on this topic

Dad thinks I should join the Navy when I get off probation and I’m really thinking about it, then again I may on the road I am on, I kinda like it here, I’m making a lot of friends and as long as I don’t have shit going for me out there then why not just have fun and if I come back so what. Like I said before, “3 hots and a cot”, but don’t tell Dad that, it would crush him; I really think he thinks that being in here is making me a better person. I hate to tell him that he spent all those years (in police work) breeding more criminals.

This is not the place for small time shit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start doing all kinds of fucked up shit, I’m just trying to prove a point – that being in here is not doing anybody any good. All I want to do when I get out is smoke pot and do all the same things I did before, and everybody else in here is saying the same thing. “Can’t wait to do all the shit I was doing before” nobody is saying “Man I’m never going to do drugs again.”

I really think there is a better way to help people get better and it’s not jail. There is a guy in here that went to court drunk and got 30 days, all he talks about is as soon as he gets out, the first thing he is going to do is go get a beer, he doesn’t need jail he needs AA. I’m sure that I’d be much better off going to NA than jail. What kind of stupid people run this country? Do they really think that jail works? The only reason I’d think seriously about the Navy at this point is if I can’t find a job so I can buy weed.

I even talked to Dad’s friend’s kid who is in here; he is he for drugs too and he is in the drug program here and he even said that he can’t wait to get out and smoke a phat-azz blunt. So, tell me what good is being in here doing, besides learning what not to do and seeing how others got caught. The sad thing is that I think Dad really thinks that all those people he locked up in here, got out and never did anything wrong again. I hate to be the one to tell him that he has been part of the problem the whole time. Sometimes I think that the cops are dumber than the people they lock up.

I’m sorry; I just had to get some of this off my chest. I’d like to hear what you think about all this, is it making any sense? I mean people are going to do what they want to do no matter what. Write me back and tell me what you think put it online and see what other people think – I know I am not the only one who feels this way. I mean, I really don’t want to spend my life in jail, I am just saying that it isn’t helping anyone get off drugs or stop stealing. There’s a guy here who paid all his court fees by stealing and pawning everything and he says that he is going to do the same thing again this time.

Dear David:

I have been giving a lot of thought to your comments about jail not being the way to rehabilitate law breakers. Here is what I think. I think that the system is broken. Plain and simple – I don’t think that the majority of offenders stop breaking the law because they don’t want to go back to jail. I think that some times the people who are more likely to break the law are the type of people who don’t have a very nice or comfortable life, so jail is actually a better situation for them. Even you said that you eat, sleep, read, play cards, workout, etc. There is no work, no nagging kids, no bills to pay – I can totally see how jail might be a better life than being free.

However, there are certain people who do come out of jail ready to make a life change. The only big name that I can think of right now is Tim Allen. He went to jail for a while for drugs and came out ready to change his life and make himself into a different person. He channeled his experiences into a stand up routine and then went onto a successful acting career.

I hear you talking about how things are not changing the attitudes of some of the people you are in there with. I hear that you have ideas on what would work better. I think that jail will be what you make it, you can come out of jail and go back to doing and selling, or you can come out and become an advocate for change. You could get a license and start working on doing some drug counseling and start a grass roots political action group to work to effect change within the justice system. You are a very smart person; you work hard and see the world from a unique point of view. It makes since that people who have never been on both sides of the law can’t fully understand the mindset of the law breaker. They can’t know what would motivate people to make real and lasting changes in their lives. Yes, the system works to rehabilitate some people, but does nothing for the majority.

I will post this letter to you on my blog and see what kind of feedback I get from readers. I don’t actually have that many people who read me, so don’t expect much J

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bouncing Baby!

My baby was bouncing all over the place at the doctor appointment yesterday! It was very sweet to watch and she/he also had one arm up near his/her head - which is exactly how my husband sleeps, so he is tickled pink that his baby is already taking after daddy!

I LOVE my new doctor! He is totally wonderful and I did not pull any punches with him either. I told him that I wanted a partner in this process and not a dictator. I did not need someone taking over and telling me how it is going to be.

I told him that I wanted a labor and birth with as little intervention as possible, I wanted to be able to move around and use a birthing ball or birthing stool if I wanted to. I wanted to have lower lighting and to bring this baby into the world is softly and calmly as possible. He was totally OK with everything that I said.

He is the father of 10 (yes TEN) kids!! The oldest is 17 and the youngest is 18 months! They were all born naturally and without a lot of medical intervention! I was really impressed and happy that he was so eager to make us a team in this process!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today we see the new doctor and hear that our baby is totally fine and doing great!

Today is the day I have to drive almost to my house, where the new doctor's office is located and then drive all the way back to work for a late meeting that will probably have nothing to do with me.

Today is the day that I have to work late after making plans to meet with my study group at 5:00. It may not be a big deal since two of the others have already canceled. There may only be two people there and I may be late or not able to make it at all either.

Today is the day I can see my brother. I look forward to these visits because I get to see him and talk to him and make sure that he is OK. I feel closer to him since I have been visiting him, but I am afraid that once he is out we will go back to being strangers. I really hope that we can get closer and become better friends, but I am worried that we are too different. I am a fairly boring person, I work and live without much drama. David needs more adventure and maybe even danger in his life. I just hope he has a little room for his plain vanilla sister!

Today is the last full day that I will be working on this project. I enjoy the process of this 4 times a year event, and I cringe at the idea of going back to the whole customer service thing full time starting next week. I hate it so much and I am looking so forward to going part time when the baby gets here. I really hope that this working from home thing happens soon, if so, I might be able to deal better with the whole hating my job thing. I hate being condescended to in every way. Instead of trusting us to do our jobs, we are constantly monitored and every possible "mistake" is pointed out. Everyone in that department is an adult (at the moment, that may change when people are hired for peak), and we all know how to do our jobs - I just hate it.

Today is going to be full of ups and downs I guess...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


am really mad about something that happened at school last night. Every class there are certain people who try to negotiate the syllabus with the instructor. They want to have work removed so they “can concentrate on the big project” or whatever the excuse is. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes not. It has always bothered me – we are MBA students, paying for the degree, paying for the chance to learn. We should not be acting like high school kids trying to get something for nothing.

Last night, they started again. This course is 7 weeks long, we have 5 workshops left. There are 2 individual papers (one of which was turned in last night) and two team assignments. They don’t want to do the second individual assignment. Well, I have already done my second individual assignment; I don’t want that work to be for nothing! Anyway the instructor said that she would consider removing that assignment, but that would mean that the 15% of your grade that this assignment would have been worth would be applied to another assignment. I was the only one in the class who voiced concerns.

This means that you have a larger chance of ending up with a poor grade as the grades are now not spread out over as much area. I told them that I did not agree, but I would not hold up the entire group if everyone else agreed. So, now that 15% is added to the huge final team project; now instead of being worth 20% of the final grade it is worth 35%. If this project is a total bust, then you are basically going to get a bad grade for the whole course.

Now, perhaps I would not be so upset about this, if I had not spent 3 hours yesterday proofing and correcting a section of our smaller team project. The two ladies who started the rally for getting rid of the assignment sent me their section of the smaller team project and it was a god awful mess. One chick does not even know how to change it in Word so that you have double spacing, so she just hit enter twice at the end of each line!!!! How is she a director at her company and how has she gotten through 2 years of this MBA program without knowing this most basic of concepts???? Don’t even get me started on the formatting for the APA standard that we are using (and have been using for the last 2 years of this program).

They are the ones going “this will be great, we always do great on our team stuff” I wonder if they would be singing the same tune if I had sent back their corrections before class. Probably – they just want to get out of the work.

Do they go to their bosses and say “you know this project you gave me to do? Well, it’s a lot of work, how about I don’t do some of it?”

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We did it! We made it to that crucial 12 week mark, when the chance of miscarriage drops to less than 1%! I am very proud of my little peanut who, by the way, is about 2 1/2 inches long now! She is getting so big!!

I still have miscarriage fears that loom every now and again, like I am not really pregnant, my brain is just fooling me. Or the baby died, but I have not felt any symptoms and when we go to the doctor this week, they can't find anything. I guess that some of these feelings are normal. There is also this crazy part of my brain that thinks that if I can imagine it then it can't happen in real life how I imagined it. So, if I imagine all the bad stuff, then none of that bad stuff can really happen. I know, I'm nuts!

I talked to my soon-to-be-ex OB last night, she called to check on me because I canceled my appointment with her office. It was so nice of her to worry about me and to take the time to call and check on me, that I feel badly about ditching her for another doctor. Not badly enough to not switch, but still...

I did not sleep well last night and yesterday evening was one of the worst in a while. I am really, really not looking forward to going to class tonight and having to be up late. I hope that she lets us out at 9 or so, that way I can get to bed by 10 and will not be quite as miserable tomorrow. Although, on a bright note, one of my classmates e-mailed to let me know that in about 10 hours we will be able to count the remaining nights of class on one hand. I smile pretty big when I think of that!!

OK, so I have this little guilty pleasure. I like to watch General Hospital. I have been watching it most of my life and these people are like friends, not just characters. Anyway, there are two chicks on there right now that are pregnant. They are about 1 and 2 months ahead of me respectively. Anyway, one of them was in a car accident and her baby died. She actually watched the heart monitor show a slower and slower beat until nothing. She had to sit there and watch her baby die and there wasn't anything she could do about it. The chick is a total witch who only got pregnant to trap someone and possibly save her own life, but it was really hard to watch her losing her baby. She had just realized that she loved the baby and he was not just a weapon anymore and then she had to watch him die. I cried and cried - there was not much pleasure in my guilty pleasure yesterday.

I hate hearing about people losing their children. Three of the posts I have read today are about dead or dying children. I want to bury my head in the sand until my baby is here and safe and healthy. I know it is selfish of me not to want to care about the pain of others, but I just can't honestly think about losing this baby now, not in a real context. I am so sorry for the loss others are having to learn to live with and I pray that no one else ever feels like they feel, but I can't read about them and I can't think too much about them. It is just too scary.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I was inspired by Becky's post on her father to discuss my father in more detail.

My dad grew up in the coal mining town of Beckley West Virginia. His father worked in the coal mines and spent most of his off time drinking his paycheck away. My grandmother struggled to keep enough food on the table and often failed. She worked odd jobs whenever possible, but work was not always easy to come by and having four small children at home did not help her ability to hold down a job.

They had to move a lot, every time they were out of rent money. My grandparents fought horribly over the lack of money and divorced in the late 1960's.

My dad grew up watching his mother struggle and himself going hungry so his brothers and sister wouldn't. He spent his childhood wondering why his dad did not love them enough to provide for them.

My dad grew up and married my mother, when they discovered that I was coming along, he quit his job at Sears and entered the police academy. He knew that a police officer would have a stable career that would give them enough (barely) to live on while allowing my mom to stay home with me.

Once he was trained and an established officer he began taking these security jobs, standing at the entrance of a jewelry store for hours and hours making sure that nothing bad happened, or directing mall traffic during the Christmas rush.

I grew up with a loving and devoted mom who made homemade donuts and took us to the pool every day in the summer. We read together, played together, cooked together and cleaned up together. Once Smug-Sister and brother were born we were all friends and did everything together with mom. My mom and I have always been close and always shared a strong bond.

I hardly saw my dad. I was desperate for time with him and I honestly believe that the back problems he has today are a direct result of all the times I would cling to him, my arms wrapped so tightly around his neck that he was unable to pull away and stand up. When he was home he was working around the house, mowing, fixing something, etc. He never took me to a ballgame or the fair, I can only remember one time that he joined the family at the pool. He was never home, never around.

When I became a teenager, I confronted him, saying to him that he must not love me since he never wanted to be around me. His reply was how could I believe that he did not love me, he worked 3 sometimes 4 jobs at a time to keep food on the table. I could not understand why work was so much more important than I was to him. He did not understand why I did not feel his deep love for me by the way I always had enough to eat.

I was angry with him for many years and while we always got along and there wasn't every any open hostility between us, I was hurt and deeply angry. I always wondered what I had done to make him not want to be around me; why he did not love me.

As I became and adult and had a few experiences with relationships myself and they ways of the world become clearer to me, I began to understand how my dad and I could have seen my childhood in different ways. I also began to realize that my parents were people who tried their best and still made mistakes.

I approached my dad and we talked. He told me how he had come to realize that while keeping food on the table was important, he had failed to find the balance between being the father and being the provider. He told me how sorry he was that he had missed all that time with me (and my siblings) when we were small.

I told him how I had come to put his past together with what he felt was so important. How he had felt that when his dad failed to provide that it meant he did not love his family and how my dad had wanted to deeply to love us better, to provide for us better, to give us a better childhood. I thanked him for loving me so much that he sacrificed his chance to spend more time with us as kids.

We decided then and there to do better by each other going forward. We did not say it in so many words, but we both decided to make more of an effort to be part of each others lives. He began my talking on the phone more, meeting for lunch every now and again. Over the last several years we have developed into good friends. We actually live about 2 minutes from each other and meet for an early morning bike ride every Saturday morning (OK, most Saturday mornings). He has become my friend, my confidant, my protector, my dad, my hero. He is human, he makes mistakes, but he loves me and what more can one really ask from a parent?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not Sick... At the Moment

I woke up this morning, slowly got out of bed and went into the bathroom. All normal so far, feeling OK. I gagged on my toothbrush, just like normal and had a nice shower, just like normal.

It wasn't until I actually got to work that I noticed that I was feeling OK. I had a pear and a peach at 6am and still felt OK. I ended up getting really busy and did not get to have my cereal until close to 9am (I normally eat that around 7:30am). I am actually feeling slightly overfull at the moment, but that is OK. I am also feeling like a nap might be a good thing at some point, but overall I am feeling fairly decent! I am almost afraid to write that, like I will jinx myself by thinking that I might be feeling OK.

Smug-Hub just called me to say that he has been throwing up all morning, including a little blood. He told me that he has the shakes and since getting up everything on his stomach, has only been dry heaving. I feel like I should rush home to be with him, but he is the type that likes to be left completely alone when he is feeling bad. I will give it some time and let him call me if he needs something.

He ate pork last night for dinner. He has gotten sick the last three times he has eaten pork, so I think that I will be putting my foot down next time he wants to purchase it. Perhaps he is also having some sympathy morning sickness for me. All three times have been while I was pregnant - something to think about.

Yesterday was actually a great day and the adrenaline from my activities helped me get through the day.

I finally got a hold of the woman who was the doula for Smug-Sister when my nephew was born. I knew that she was not doing the doula thing anymore as she was focusing totally on being a midwife now. I was hoping that she would recommend another local doula that would be good. Instead she said that she would make an exception and be my doula herself. She also said that while she would be my doula in the hospital, she would like to treat my like a midwifery client also, which just means that she would provide additional information on natural childbirth and nutrition among other things. So basically, I will be getting $3,000 worth of care for the $800 price of a doula! I am stoked!

I also asked her about my concerns about my current OB. You see, I actually see the nurse practitioner whom I absolutely LOVE! The only problem is that she would not be the one to actually deliver the baby, that would have to be done by one of the other doctors in the practice. My doula suggested another doctor, who happens to be in my network, as someone very good. She told me that he does not have the whole God complex, and is very open to this being the mother's experience and if she needs to move around, push on all fours, squat, birthing ball, whatever, he is fine with it. So, I called and made an appointment with him next week.

I kind of feel badly about leaving my current OB, but I really want to form a bond with whoever is going to be there for the actual labor and delivery and I really like the idea of a doctor that is OK with a well educated person who knows exactly what she wants. I am not actually well educated or know exactly what I want yet, but I will be!!

I also talked to the lady who runs a local lactation center, she and my mom have been friends forever, so I have known here since I was a little kid. She gave me some names of people teaching Hypnobirthing classes and told me about some of the great nursing bras and other stuff she has in her shop. I am feeling like I am starting to make some good connections and you can never be too prepared, have too many resources, or have too much support!!

I also e-mailed my cousin who did the Hypnobirthing with her second baby and asked her some questions and am hoping that I will hear back from her soon. I am just feeling like I was really productive and proactive. I just have felt so bad for so long that I have put everything on hold. Even though I still don't feel great yet, I am feeling up to starting to plan my pregnancy and birth. I think that now that I have adjusted to reading the pregnancy books and gotten caught up so that I am only reading about the current week, I have room to start reading about birth and getting a birth plan together and plan when to take the classes and put together an exercise plan and so on. I am so ready to get past this first trimester and into the second, where I hear you have tons of energy and stop feeling sick all the time. That is what I am expecting - even if it is a mind of matter thing! I don't care - this sick feeling will go away.

Which, by the way, is totally back. In the time it took me to write this post, I went from feeling fairly OK, to feeling fairly like shit again :(

Oh well...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why the Dallas Cowboys Showed up at My Anniversary Party

So, as you know I am pregnant; and as such I have been having some really strange and vivid dreams.

So the other time I dreamt that Smug-Hub and I were having a huge second anniversary party, I was in my wedding dress and he was in a tux. We were, for some strange reason, at my mom's old house up in the mountains. We had asked everyone coming to bring a dish to share. Then people started showing up with more people then we were expecting and saying that they forgot to bring a dish.

I was very concerned that we would not have enough food for all the people, so I asked Smug-Hub to run to the store and get some packages of frozen lasagna. I told him to really hurry since people were already arriving.

As soon as he left, my friend Michelle showed up with her husband, who, for some reason, had just started working for the Dallas Cowboys. So the whole team and all the cheerleaders tagged along to the party. One of them was carrying about 50 pizza boxes, so I knew that we would have enough food. So I tried to call Smug-Hub and tell him to come back since we did not need the lasagna, but since we were in the mountains, of course there was no cell service.

I was so worried that he would take his sweet time and totally miss hanging out with his favorite team and especially all the cheerleaders. I finally decided to ask them all for their autographs so that he would have that at least if he missed hanging with them.

So I was running around trying to get everyone to sign, while they were playing a football game in the yard by the way complete with stadium lighting and hot dog peddlers. Finally one of the players said that he would take care of getting the signatures so I could go tend to the rest of the guests. Smug-Hub is still dawdling at the grocery store I guess.

Then suddenly, I am in my own kitchen making potatoes, eggs, grits and the like for everyone to eat for breakfast. Every time I fill a bowl with completed food, someone hands me an empty bowl that needs refilling. I finally hear word that people are slowing down and I can stop cooking. I start to leave the kitchen, realize that I am pregnant and can't stand food smells and am tired all the time and start to collapse.

I am caught by Tony Romo (who is the only cowboy player I can recognize on sight), who helps me to my bedroom. He thanks me for the food and great party. He asks is I need anything. I say "Why did you and Jessica really break up?" Then... I wake up!

I was about to get the scoop and I wake up - dang!

Smug-Hub missed the whole thing and when I told him about this dream, I think that he was actually pissed he missed it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Panic Sets In

I am starting back to school tonight. TONIGHT!! I have not read the chapter or anything. I have just kept putting it off, thinking that I will do everything once I am feeling better. I am not feeling as horrible as I was in the beginning, but I am not feeling all that great either.

Also, I have had this instructor before and while she is the only truly excellent instructor we have had this whole program, she takes the class period of 6pm-10pm very literally. I am used to being in bed with the lights off at 9pm!! How am I going to not only stay awake until the end of class, but function, take notes, drive myself home!!

I am actually VERY excited to get this class underway, it is the very last one and it is only 7 weeks long. This class will fly by and then I will be an official MBA graduate and school will forever be behind me. Well, until Peanut starts school, then I am sure that I will sit outside her/him classroom all day waiting for her/him to be finished... I am not kidding people! Stop laughing, I mean it!

Anyway, I will have a few hours between work and school, should I try to read the chapter? Should I try to take a nap?? Should I attempt to do both??? I am feeling OK today, just mild waves of desire to eliminate all food from my stomach. I am not overly tired, maybe I should start reading the chapter, skim the important points and then try to nap a bit.

Also, since I have to eat something small every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, I am going to have to being a grocery bag of food to school. Eat when I get there, eat again 2 hours later, and again 2 hours after that - which will be, like, on the drive home! Lord, I hope I don't fall asleep during her lecture! I hope that I will be so super charged with learning that the adrenaline will kick in and keep me going!

Oh God!! Tomorrow is going to suck ass.... 4:30Am....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still Feeling Sickly

Well, I have been totally putting life on hold for the most part waiting to start feeling better. I am currently almost 11 weeks, so I am expecting to start feeling better soon, within the next 2 weeks or so. I am managing it better, but only just. I have been putting off school work, house work, seeing friends, everything. I just don't have the energy to sit and talk with someone, I just want to try to rest and not throw up. I have been feeling better today, which is why I am gracing you all with a nice post. Don't you just feel lucky??

My brother is currently in jail and will probably remain there the full 5 months of his sentence. He was arrested for possession with intent to distribute pot. I think that there were several technicalities that should have resulted in the charges being dismissed, but my brother did not have a very good lawyer and ended up pleading no contest. I am actually very proud of him for taking his licks here. So many times you see people passing the buck, blaming everything and everyone else for their problems and he knows he was breaking the law and he knows that he needs to pay for it.

There are lots of the should have done's, like he should have gotten into some kind of drug counseling program and other activities to show the judge that he had really turned his life around, but he did not do that, so when it came time to sentence him, the judge did not feel like David just telling him that he was cleaned and had stopped was enough. However, the judge is making the felony go away. He gave David a massively stiff sentence for the smaller drug charge and if David does anything and everything that he is asked to do, then the felony will go away. This is really huge, and the judge probably did this because he knew our father is a retired cop. David is having a hard time seeing such a long sentence as a a good thing and I totally understand where he is coming from, but he does know that there isn't anything he can do about it now and he is resigned to serving his time, getting out and moving on with his life.

I hope that someday we will all look back at this as a needed adventure that helped David change his lifestyle and become... I don't know... I drug councilor or lawyer or something. Just as long I never have to worry about him like I am worrying now, I will be happy. I just want him to be happy. I think that he longs deeply for true love and a family and I really hope that he is able to find that. It took me into my 30's to find my true love, it may take him that long too, but I hope not.

I have been in talks with my bosses and others within my company about starting a work-from-home program. While I hate the work, if I could do it from home, allowing me to bring in an income while still staying home with my baby, it would be worth it! They all seem to be on board; working from home is the future as it will save so much, from cutting down on sick days, to helping the earth since less people will be driving to and from the office each day. I really hope that sometime next month they will get moving on it. I would like to get settled in at home and get all the bugs worked out before the baby comes. I am keeping all my fingers crossed!!

I went to a couple of yard sales this weekend and ended up finding the perfect rocking chair for me and the baby. It was built by the Amish in Pennsylvania about 35 years ago, if the seller can be believed. It is very sturdy and solid and comfortable and I am very excited about it! I also found a Baby Bjorn for $10. I think those retail for close to $100, so I am stoked about that deal too. I also found a book on natural baby food and other "green" baby ideas. I just love the idea of getting all Mother Earthy and if I can work from home part time, I will have plenty of time to make all natural baby food and stuff like that.

Why, by the way, do people feel the need to criticize if you are thinking about parenting in a way that differs from them??? Why can't people just live and let live???? I want to use cloth diapers, I used them when I changed my brother and sister when they were babies and I used them when I changed my nephew. It is not like this isn't a known quantity, I know the work involved, but I also know about the huge cost savings in the long run and you can't get any worse than disposables for the environment. I also believe that disposables have a time and place, like while traveling. The cloth ones out now are so cool, some of them even some with liners that allow you to toss the poop and wash the rest, they have Velcro just like plastic, so they are even easier than before. Why do people feel the need to roll their eyes at me or say "yeah, we'll see how long that lasts" Do you really care how I diaper my child? Really? Do I bug you about how to diaper or diapered your kid? NO, I don't care - you did it your way, I'll do it mine!

OK, well, sorry about that rant. I guess that this stuff is really getting to me. It's like everyone discounts my thoughts and plans because I don't actually have a baby yet, so I don't understand, but I just don't really understand why people care. It's like the people who, when they find out you are pregnant, like to tell you about all the miscarriages they had or know about. Or about their horrible birth experience - again, WHY? What purpose does this serve besides making my worry or be scared?

OK, I really am finished with that rant.....

I have been connecting with my cousins via Facebook lately, including the one currently on duty in Iraq. He is online a lot of mornings when I am getting ready for work, it is like noon there then, and I bet he likes being able to connect with family at home, and everyone else is sleeping. All my cousins are excited about the baby. A new baby is always exciting, but the whole family knows about how long we have been trying and how hard it has been to get this far. I am so lucky to have such a close family, we make a point of getting together once or twice a year, Easter and Thanksgiving and whoever can make it comes and we all see each other. There is so much love there, even if we don't all understand some of the choices we make, there is never a doubt of the love that we have for each other. It makes me sad to hear about families that don't get along.

I am getting ready to start the last course in the MBA program tomorrow (7/21/09). The last 7 week countdown starts and the last huge papers will be begun. I am dreading having to get back into the late nights, no free time, constant reading way of life, but I am excited about getting it over with and then being able to concentrate fully on being a mom. I will be the first person in my family, both immediate and extended to have this high a level of education and everyone is very proud of me! I am proud of me! I hope that I will still feel that way once the $100,000 in student loans comes due :( Maybe I should enroll in another program of study and keep putting those loans off.... nah, probably best to just get started paying them off... You think?