Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pregnancy Notes

Seeing as I'm about to enter my 3rd trimester later this week (what?!), I figured I better document some of this stuff while I still have half a brain.  For years, all our time and energy was spent on actually getting me pregnant.  So I never really had time to be concerned with what being pregnant was actually like.  I mean, that's the easy part.  Right?  Well, it's a lot harder than I gave anyone credit for.  I'll still give you the stink eye if I hear you complaining about being pregnant, but I get it now.  It's NOT so easy.  It is wonderful, but it's not a walk in the park.  So here are just some of my notes on my experience thus far.  This is really more for me to look back on, but maybe you'll find it interesting too.
- The 1st trimester was a bitch.  Physically, I felt like shit.  Emotionally, it was very tough the first 8 weeks.  We were cautiously optimistic that this little guy would stick, but it was still scary.  I spotted on and off in the beginning and was just completely nervous that things were going to go south.  Saying the words "I'm pregnant" wasn't in my vocabulary yet.  People were asking me about future plans and about the baby and names, etc, etc.  And all I could think was, "I have no freakin' clue.  I'm seriously just trying to stay pregnant right now."  I was finally able to relax a bit and get excited around 10 weeks, when we officially graduated from the RE and were released to my OB.  Since then, time has flown by.  And right around 13.5 weeks, I suddenly felt better.  Second trimester is definitely where it's at!  And it's much easier to get excited about baby stuff when you feel good.  So I've tried to pack in all the planning and doing and whatnot while I'm feeling good.
- I get asked all the time what cravings I have.  Truthfully, they've been rare.  I really don't eat much differently than I did before, with the exception of Moo Goo being thrown completely out the window.  First trimester, it was about whatever I could tolerate.  I couldn't handle cooking meat or eating much of it.  Dairy didn't sit well with me.  A lot of things were just gross.  Eating in general became a chore.  I always thought I'd be a fool for milkshakes when pregnant, but they made me sick.  So not worth it.  I had to keep crackers on me at all hours.  I had a sleeve of saltines by my bed.  The hub would wake up to me snacking on crackers at 3am.  It didn't usually take much, but once a hunger pang hit, I HAD to eat.  If I didn't, I'd eventually vomit.  I did have periodic cravings during the 1st trimester... potatoes being one.  The hub went out at 4am in search of a baked potato for me once.  And there was a week or so where I HAD to have country food.  And overall, I have quite the sweet tooth.  Which is odd for me - I'm usually more into salty stuff.  The hub said he knew I was pregnant when I totally crushed his cherry icee that he got at Target one day.  I usually hate those things - way too sweet for my (normal) taste.  But OMG it was delicious.  So yeah, I know I'm eating too much sugar.  Whatever.  But really the only "must have" thing that has been consistent from the beginning is...  my daily poptart.  Strawberry.  Unfrosted.  And it's usually consumed IN bed around 6:30am.  The hub is my morning poptart delivery boy.  Once again, something I'd never normally let myself eat.  I mean we're talking totally processed, sugary, empty good-for-nothin calories.  But oh.... they hit the spot.  I haven't really had any aversions to anything during the 2nd trimester.  Once my nausea went away, I really could eat whatever with no problem. 
- My Snoogle is my best friend.  I've always been a good sleeper.  But having an alien growing inside your belly makes good sleep more difficult.  And I moan and groan a lot trying to get comfortable - just ask my husband.  I ordered this pillow around week 15 and I can't sleep without it now.  It's probably going to come with me to the hospital.  I still sleep fairly well, but lately I've been waking up around 3am or so and not being able to fall back to sleep.  So I'll sit there for 1 or 2 hours thinking about stupid stuff.  Like a couple of nights ago I seriously laid there and wondered when Elena and Damon were going to finally kiss on Vampire Diaries.  They're certainly leading up to it... and I still like Stefan, but he's all crazy now.  And Damon is just wicked hot.  I'd still like to see him and Spike duke it out.  Buffy could kick Elena's ass.  Damon and Buffy would be hot.  When is Damon going to kiss Elena?  Yep, deep thoughts at 3:30am.  And I've also had CRAZY dreams.  The hub and I have always been good at remembering our wacko dreams and we'll often wake up in the middle of the night and share them.  His are always about aliens attacking.  Mine are usually about being late for class or being chased by someone.  But pregnant dreams?  OMG.  Some seriously crazy shit.  Like one dream had my parents trying to convince me to eat grilled tarantula legs.  High in protein! 
- I really do pee all the time.  I never really thought this would be a big deal.  Because I drink a fair amount of water normally, so I'm always running to the bathroom anyway.  No big adjustment, right?  Well it's a little different when there's a little booger doing the cha-cha on your bladder.  I can seriously go to the bathroom and while I'm washing my hands, realize I need to go again.  If I could get away with it, I'd seriously consider wearing some Depends under my maternity leggings.
- Feeling Sam kick is pretty much the coolest thing ever.  Bladder stomping aside, feeling and seeing our little guy wiggle around in there is crazy awesome.  For one thing, it's super reassuring.  Early on, I hung on to every ultrasound appointment.  Being "special," we got a lot of them.  And it was a huge sigh of relief to see a healthy baby dancing around in there each time.  But now that I can actually feel his movements, I don't need the ultrasound so much.  Don't ge me wrong, I LOVE them when we get to do them.  But they are much less frequent now and I'm OK with that.  A nice punch in the side from Sam tells me he's still doing just fine. 
- Weird skin issues?  I've actually been lucky so far with this one... I've heard of people having horrible breakouts or getting dark spots and such.   Well, knock on wood, but so far my skin has actually been great.  It actually looks better than I remember it looking in a long time.  But I have had severely chapped lips.  Which is weird.  I've always dealt with dry lips - especially in the winter.  So I always have lip gloss or chapstick or something on them.  And at night I've got them smothered with Carmex or something.  But at the very beginning of this pregnancy, I got a really dry area just outside my lip on the top right side.  It wouldn't go away.  And little by little, it has migrated all the way around my lips.  And will NOT go away.  Most days it's no big deal.  I just keep Vaseline on them.  But some days, if it gets particularly irritated, they get very red and burn like hell and it looks like I just got collagen injected.  Sexy!  But hey, if that's my only real skin affliction, I'm A-OK. 
- Weight-gain has been pretty consistent so far.  I started out ahead of the game - I was already up nearly 10lbs before I ever got a positive pregnancy test.  Fertility drugs and all.  So it's hard to say exactly where my starting point was.  But I'm approaching 27 weeks and am about to hit the 25lb mark.  I have no issues with gaining weight and getting a big ole belly.  I just don't want to overdo it.  So I definitely monitor it.  My belly obviously has the bulk of the weight, but my butt and boobs have their fair share too.  Everything seems to be where it should be for now, though.  So no worries.   I have had really swollen ankles, or prankles, as I like to call them, on occasion.  But those seem to come once in a blue moon - it's weird.  Generally, I haven't had much swelling yet.  Yet.
- I think that 2nd trimester energy is starting to fade.  During the 1st trimester, I was worthless.  I would literally sleep through the entire weekend.  Keeping my eyes open was nearly impossible.  The fatigue is no joke.  Second trimester, however, has been great.  I still get tired at the end of the day, but I generally have a LOT more energy.  And I'm trying to take advantage of that while I can.  We've still got some painting projects in the nursery to finish up, so I'm trying to squeeze those in before I can't move as easily.  I'm not that huge yet, but moving has already gotten difficult.  Bending over is really tough.  Getting down on the ground and back up is tough.  And I get winded very easily.  I feel like I have a lot of energy to get things done, but I tire out quickly - especially lately.  So painting involves taking a lot of breaks.  I'm anticipating having to slow down a lot in the coming weeks.  But for now, there's too much to do!!!
- Overall, I think everything is going great.  Sure the first few weeks were tough, but I'd do it a million times over.  I'm enjoying being pregnant.  I love seeing my big belly in the mirror.  It's still so surreal to see that big bump there.  Wow - is that really me?  And I'm big enough now that strangers have started commenting.  Which is weird - because it catches me by surprise sometimes.  Like this weekend I was grabbing a video at a Red Box and the guy next to me in line goes, "Do you know what you're having?"  Well my first thought was, Yeah, I totally reserved the new X-Men movie online before I got here.  No stupid, he means your belly.  "Oh yes, we're having a boy!"  Not sure I'll ever get used to this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dave's Letter to OWS

LOVE this!  Great open letter to OWS from Dave Ramsey.  Just to add a quick insert of my personal thoughts on the matter... I agree - this protest is just stupid.  I fully support your right to protest whatever, but what exactly are y'all after?  The economy's in the shitter - we all know that.  My husband was unemployed for a full year.  But we never blamed the government, never applied for unemployment (even though we could have - and definitely could've used it). No one owed us anything.  We weren't entitled to special treatment.  We buckled down, found odd jobs (yes, there are always jobs - expand your horizons a little bit), and prayed a lot.  We remained faithful, continued to tithe through the whole ordeal, and we made it through.  Recovery begins with ME.  Not anyone else.
Personally I loved Dave's comment to the protesters on his radio show the other day, "Go take a shower and get on the business end of a lawn mower."  But this is pretty good too...
by Dave Ramsey
I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Yeah, that's great. But what do you want? What are your goals? What are your demands? What result are you looking for?
The beauty of being vague is that anyone who has any emotion can get caught up in the excitement and join your crusade. They'll just get mad at something and assume that you're both mad about the same thing. Put a few hundred of these people together, and boom. You've got a crowd, a headline and a lot of attention … but no message.
A lot of people on Twitter are saying I totally agree with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demands and goals. The only problem is that I have no idea what their demands and goals are. And neither does anyone else. If all you ever do is stomp around, yell and hold up signs protesting a million different things, sure you'll get some attention, but over time, you'll just look foolish. You end up coming across like a three-year-old having a temper tantrum.
This is what's happening to the OWS movement. They're being discredited because no one has stepped forward and really stated what it is they're after. The whole group is just coming across like a bunch of jacked-up, jobless, wannabe hippies. That's not going to change anything in this country. You've got to state your goals clearly if you want to accomplish something.
So in the absence of any clear goals, let me comment and offer some helpful advice in some areas that seem to be getting a lot of disorganized OWS attention.

"No Government Bailouts!"

Banks and big companies should not receive taxpayer money for a bailout while their CEOs are making hundreds of millions of dollars. If that's your gripe, then you're protesting in the wrong location. Pack up and head to Washington, D.C., to deliver your message to the current administration. Don't get me wrong—I totally support a company's freedom to pay their leaders well. I just don't believe that I, as a taxpayer, should subsidize those huge salaries in the form of taxpayer bailouts. I pay my own team members; I don't need to pay everyone else's too.
By the way, you may be shocked to learn that the Tea Party agrees with you on this one—and so do I.

"Down With Corporate Greed!"

Gordon Gekko was wrong. Greed is not good. Greed is bad—very bad. It's a spiritual disease, and it is a disease that sadly affects a lot of companies across the country. If you believe a specific company is acting purely out of greed, then don't just get mad—do something. Point out where and how they're greedy and let the world know. Stop doing business with them. If enough people listen to you, the company will get the message because you'll hit them where it hurts: the bottom line. If they don't get their act together, then they'll go out of business and another business will take their place.
But if you're saying that all businesses are greedy and that capitalism itself is evil and ineffective, then I'm sorry—you're just being stupid. You're being misled and misinformed by some of the louder voices around you. Are you wearing clothes? Have you eaten any food lately? Do you have an iPhone in your pocket to check in with Twitter and Facebook while you're out marching around? Good. All of those products and services are brought to you by quality companies dedicated to serving you well in a capitalistic system that works just fine.

"Wall Street Is Evil!"

If you have this painted on a sign, well, now you just look ignorant. Wall Street is a street that people drive on. The New York Stock Exchange is a building where people exchange stocks in New York. This is the flea market of the financial world. Don't turn Wall Street into some terrible monster attacking American citizens. It's just a road with some buildings on it.
But here's what happens. Sometimes when people don't understand something, they start to fear it. And as the fear grows, it turns into anger. But just because you don't understand something, you shouldn't see it as bad or frightening or a conspiracy. You should just think of it as an opportunity to learn something new—something that could actually be a blessing to you.
For example, imagine a group of natives out in the jungle in the farthest part of the world. I mean, picture a group of people who have never seen anyone outside of their tribe and have certainly never seen any kind of machine. What would they think if they saw a Red Cross helicopter land near them? And what would they think of the strange-looking men and women who jump out of the chopper and start walking toward them? They'd be freaked out! They wouldn't know or care if the Red Cross was there to help them with food or medicine. They'd think it was the end of the world or something because their minds would be totally blown!
I hate to say it, but a lot of OWS protestors are just about as uninformed as those jungle natives when it comes to how the American financial system works. A road and an office building. That's Wall Street.

"Wealth Redistribution Is the Answer!"

I've heard a lot about wealth redistribution over the past few years, and I'm sure you've heard it too. Call it whatever you want, but this is how it usually sounds to most Americans: "We are the 99% of Americans who don't have as much as the 1%, so we're mad and think the government should take their wealth and property away so that I can have a piece of it. Wealth inequality is a moral breakdown! We should all spread the money around so everyone gets a fair share!"
I have my toughest critique for those who believe this: You are a thief. When someone takes my money and gives me no say in the matter, that's called theft—whether they're using a gun or the government. At the core of this demand is envy. And that's not the same as jealousy. Jealousy just says, "I want what you have." Envy is a different beast. Envy says, "I don't think I can ever have what you have, so you shouldn't have it either." Decades of horrible economic teaching and the politics of envy have kept this monster alive and growing and moving forward.
This way of thinking makes you assume that all rich people are evil and have scammed their way into wealth. That may be true in the tale of Robin Hood, but I choose to live in the real world. Sure, there are some scoundrels, but the vast majority of successful men and women got that way by working hard and serving people—lots of people. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates changed the world in ways we're just now starting to realize. Their positive impact on the world has helped all of us live better lives, and they made fortunes for themselves by doing so. Why is it that you're holy if you help one person but evil if you help a million? That's just stupid.
A good friend of mine is a country music legend. He's made a bazillion dollars over his career, and he just bought a $400,000 car. He's worked like a crazy person his whole life, spending decades in tour buses, writing songs in the middle of the night, and entertaining enormous crowds of cheering fans. He paid a price to get there, and I'm happy for his success. Would it be right for me to walk into his house and demand my "fair share" of his wealth? Heck no! I'm a terrible singer! I didn't do one thing to contribute to his success, so why would I be entitled to a share of his wealth? He's given me years of entertainment through his music. That's my fair share of his hard work.
My problems aren't his fault. And my problems aren't McDonald's fault or Home Depot's fault or Walmart's fault, either. My problems are my fault! And the more people these companies serve, the more money they make—and that's none of my business! If you don't like McDonald's, then here's an idea: Don't eat there. But don't walk into the restaurant and demand a portion of their proceeds for the day.
When you scream, "I'm in the 99%!" you just look like a whiner. Those of us willing to pay the price to win look at you and shrug. Heck, when it comes to the music business, I'm in the 99% myself! But that doesn't mean I have to tear Toby Keith, Brad Paisley or even Kanye down. Oh, and a special note just for Kanye: Capitalism has been pretty good to you. I celebrate your success, but you look a little hypocritical protesting capitalism while wearing a $50,000 watch.

Celebrate the Land of Opportunity

This is the greatest country on the planet, but even here, you're not guaranteed wealth, talent, fame, a full head of hair or six-pack abs. Those things are not in the Constitution. You are, however, guaranteed the freedom to make your life what you want it to be. And when you do that, when you build your life around your dreams and passions and hard work, you're guaranteed the right to keep it. No one has the right to take it away from you.
So to summarize, I'm not very impressed at the moment. I'm not impressed by your temper fit. I'm not impressed at your lack of goals and focus. I'm not impressed by the fact that the only thing I see about your movement is ignorance, immaturity and envy. Grow up—and get a job.
Yes, there are jobs out there. There are jobs out there that haven't even been invented yet. Go create the next Facebook or Weed Eater. Go pick up so much dog poop that you can start your own fertilizer company. And stop complaining that companies are TOO RICH while also complaining that they aren't RICH ENOUGH to hire you! I've seen a lot of you guys. I wouldn't hire you, either. But if you take all of that energy and excitement and pour it into something new and creative, you'll get the chance to serve a whole lot of people really well, and over a decade or two, you'll get to become the very thing you're now protesting: rich people who actually earned their money.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nursery Goings On

It feels like I've put the nursery on the back-burner over the last month or so... just kinda had to for the most part because work has been so nuts.  September and October have our last big filing deadlines of the year, so it's like a mini busy season for a few weeks.  Meaning, I don't have much time for anything else!

But yesterday was the last big deadline, and I can breathe again!  AND I can concentrate on more fun things, like getting Sam's room ready for him.  Because tomorrow marks three months till his big day!  Goodness... time is really flying.  I thought nine months would be an exorbitant amount of time to get ready for a baby.  Hmmm... not so much.  I feel time slipping away as I find more and more things to add to my to-do list!

But alas, we are making progress!  We finally got going on the bathroom paint this weekend.  We got this gorgeous robin egg blue from - where else? - Home Depot.  Hard to get the true color captured in pics, but it's really similar to this Restoration Hardware color...

We're going to do white bead-board along the bottom (up to chair railing height) - so that's why we didn't bother painting all the way down to the bottom trim.  I did most of this room - my energy is still there for now!  But the hub had to help me with the hard-to-reach spots behind the tub.

This afternoon I finished up with a second coat, and it is looking fabulous!  I just LOVE the color.  And I am not normally big into blue.  But this is truly a gorgeous color.  I think Sam will be pleased!

And I know I probably will regret this... I realize that.  But I'm planning to do a mix of white and taupe linens in the bathroom.  I'm looking for just a simple white shower curtain with a monogram.  May just grab a cheap white one at Kohl's and have a friend monogram it... or I may go with this Pottery Barn one that's actually pretty affordable (only $34 including the monogram)...

I've used several PB shower curtains in the past and they've all been great quality.  So how long do you think we'll go before that thing's covered it projectile baby vomit?!  Hopefully at least a couple of weeks.  I'll, uh... make sure I can wash it easily - whatever we end up with.  We also obviously need a mirror.  Because we (by choice) did a pedestal sink in this bathroom, we don't have a lot of storage in there.  So I'm wanting to do some kind of medicine cabinet mirror, like this one (also from Pottery Barn)...

So the bathroom is definitely starting to come together!  It's one of my favorite parts of the nursery... I adore baby and kids' bathrooms.

Also in the works, a few miles away, are the built-in shelves!!!  The hub's buddy is building them for us at his house and then he'll come install them once they're completed.  I haven't seen them in person yet, but the pics have me SO excited!  This is absolutely the focal point of the entire nursery and a concept I've had in my head for the last six years.  So amazing to finally see it come together... in real life!

The shelves will be painted white and there will also be trim across the top connecting the whole thing so it's one big piece.  Our one window takes up that entire open space in the middle.  Eeeks!  Can't wait to see those installed!

On tap for this weekend is getting started on the paint in the main room.  We haven't done the first thing about paint in there!  I was initially thinking we'd hire someone to do some fancy-pants design that I didn't have the patience for.  Not a mural, but just something cool - some kind of print or design.  But then I got inspired when we were in Home Depot last weekend getting the blue bathroom paint.  I noticed Martha Stewart's metallic paint collection and picked up a little sample bottle of this...

I've mentioned it before - I love me some metallic paint.  We have it in three rooms downstairs.  But they're very bold and heavy.  Martha has this very sweet, soft pearl-like gold paint that I knew would be PERFECT to accent the nursery with.  I was already thinking of incorporating some gold in there somehow, and this was my answer.

So fast forward through several rounds of what-about-this that went through my head, and that brings us to the final painting decision... We're going to do wide stripes on the main walls in two soft shades of taupe.  The ceiling will be painted with the soft metallic gold.  And in between the stripes on the walls will be a line of small coin-sized dots of the same gold.  Let me tell you, it is gorgeous in my head.  We'll see if reality plays along!

Lastly, I'm starting to pull together some accessories like wall decor. Gosh, there are so many little odds and ends I keep thinking of!  But I'm just trying to take it a step at a time.  So this week our two  main pieces for the walls came in.  I didn't know what I wanted to do on the walls for the longest time.  I try very hard not to do what everyone else is doing... I had a longer list of things I would NOT be doing than I did of any real ideas.  But finally I came up with a plan.  Above the crib, I'm using a frameless oval mirror that bestest gave us for our wedding (ahem 9 years ago).  It's from Pottery Barn (yes, I obviously have a thing for Pottery Barn accessories) and hangs by a ribbon.  Never been used.  Always figured we'd use it in a nursery someday, somehow.  My initial thought was to have the mirror engraved if we had a girl.  No dice there.  So recently I thought of getting some wooden letters to attach to the mirror since Sam's name is nice and short.  Which brings us to this...

That's the top of the crib in the mirror's reflection - in case my pic is confusing.  The letters (from PB Kids) came in white, but I'm 97% sure I'm going to spray paint them antique gold.  A bit darker than the gold metallic paint I was just gushing about.  Then we'll hang the mirror by a large blue grosgrain ribbon.  I wanted the letters gold because (1) there's already so much dang white in the room between the furniture and the shelves, and (2) I want them to coordinate with these kick-ass giant safety pins I ordered from Ballard!

Seriously, how friggin' cool are these?  They're meant to gussy up a laundry room but I saw them in the catalog a couple of months ago and thought they'd be awesome over the changing table.  They were very affordable - only $35 for the set.  And they're all metal, they actually fasten and unfasten, and all three have different antique finishes.  Very cool.

So yeah... lots going on in the nursery!  It's really starting to come together, though I feel like there is so much more to do!  I come up with new ideas everyday.  And of course, Gertie is always there by my side to supervise...

Hope to be back soon with more nursery updates as things progress!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another one!

This is getting fun...

Eeks!  Sam is gonna be so spoiled.

TGIF by the way... it has been a looooooong week.  Very glad to see today.  Looking to get some painting done in the nursery this weekend.  More on that later!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Shower Invitation!

Another one of those "is this really happening?" moments...

Back later with more updates.  I'm buried in work for the time being!  Hope you all are having a great week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Birthday Week!

Today's actually my birthday... woot!  But I like to stretch out the celebration as long as possible.  I've been meaning to get on here and post my maternity goodies that my mom got me when we did a birthday shopping trip last weekend, but I've been tired and sick this week.  I know, right? Of all weeks.  Just a little cold, but it has definitely slowed me down.  Work is very busy with another approaching deadline, but I've been doing my best to take it easy at night and go to bed early this week.  Because tonight, we're heading to the Fox to see...

Can't wait!!!  This show has been on my must-see list pretty much since it opened nearly 10 years ago.  So yeah, it's been a long time coming.  The hub got us tickets for my birthday - a BIG splurge for us.  But seeing as this is my last birthday before Sam gets here, we figured we better live it up!  I think we're gonna hit Baraonda before the show for some pizza... mmm... one of my faves!  So fun!  Don't you just love birthdays?  I think 34 is going to be pretty darn awesome.