Friday, July 31, 2009

Burning Question of the Day: Paying for your Child's College

Burning Question of the Day: Do you plan to pay for your child's college expenses? Why or why not?

Justin and I have talked long and hard about this. And for us, the short answer is no. From about middle school, we plan to be frank with our kids that we will to help where we can with living expenses and/or tuition, but we will by no means be paying for college or housing in it's entirety. If they wish to attend college, they will need to have the grades to support college scholarships, participate in an activity that would help them receive scholarships, or work and save during the time they're in high school.

If they don't wish to attend college enough to make that happen, they can work, learn a trade, or join the military. Will life be harder in some ways if they don't attend school? Sure. But it's their choice.

In college, I knew more than one person whose parents paid for every dime of their college experience, paid for their housing, and even gave them "fun money" on a monthly basis. Not one of these kids did well in school, and were more interested in partying than studying. More than once I heard them say, "Well I'm not paying for it."

My parents were by no means rich--they helped where they could, and I'm forever thankful for that. But the hard truth is that I turned down acceptance to a prestigious university because I couldn't afford it. The hard truth is that I transferred from a private school to a public school after my first year because we couldn't afford a second year at a private school. The hard truth is that I busted my butt to finish in three years instead of four, because I couldn't afford four. The cold hard facts were that my last term in college, I was working four different jobs, taking 22 credits, and planning a wedding. I didn't walk at graduation, because it was too expensive, and I had more important things to spend that money on. And you better believe I graduated Summa Cum Laude, because I was paying for most of it, and it was important to me to do well.

I don't bring this up to brag, or to say "poor me". In fact, I HATE when my husband or family members bring it up to people like I've done such an incredible thing...because really, it isn't all that incredible. I bring this up because to me, graduating from college was essential. And because it was essential to me, I made it work, and did whatever it took to make it work. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always fun, but it also taught me absolutely invaluable life lessons about hard choices, sacrifices, and what it REALLY means to work hard. And it's a hard truth that I expect my kids to learn as well.

I know that my opinion may not be a popular one, and I'm curious to hear what you all have to say. So again: Do you plan to pay for your children's college expenses?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The weirdest thing just happened to me...

Justin had to work tonight, so Kaitlin, her mom and I went to see The Ugly Truth (very funny btw), and as we were walking out to our cars, I realized that my car wasn't where I parked it. I started looking around, and saw it in the next section over. My first thought was "Oh crap, I hope I didn't bump the e-brake out of place" (it comes out easily and I've bumped it with my purse before as I'm getting out as I'm sure some of you remember). But as I walked over to the car, the e-brake was pulled, AND it was in gear.

None of our stuff was missing from the car (including several guitars and music equipment). We only have one key from the dealer, so it isn't like my husband or someone was playing a joke on me. I KNOW where I parked since I parked near a specific car that was still right next to where I had originally parked.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe the prior owners happened to see the car and still had a key? I have no idea...this is so weird.

Why does this stuff always happen when I'm home alone?!?

Edited to add-- And if y'all tell me that I have pregnancy brain and forgot where I parked, I will kick you in the shins. I KNOW WHERE I PARKED DAMNIT!

Pregnancy Post: Week 16

I am now either 16 weeks or 16 weeks, 6 days, which means that either by tomorrow, or by next Thursday, I will be considered 4 months pregnant. I never heard back from the doctor about my NT scan, but that's a good thing because they forewarned me that if everything comes back within normal limits, they will wait to talk to me about it until my next appointment, which is August 4th (Happy Birthday to my brother!).

As far as what's going on with the baby, Parent's Connect says: "Your baby is already mugging for the camera as she practices all sorts of facial expressions, such as squinting, yawning and grimacing, which will come in handy when you introduce her to pureed spinach...Your baby's heart now pumps about 25 quarts of blood per day, and she hasn't even seen Orlando Bloom yet! Also, her eyes are now locked and loaded at their final destination, facing forward rather than to the sides. (Whew!)"

In terms of fruit/vegetable size comparisons, I've heard that the baby is now about the size of an avocado. I do believe we have both a boy and a girl name picked out. I have no idea when we'll be doing the "big" ultrasound, so those are on hold for now....need to just get through the next appointment first.

Honestly, this has been a tough week for me. First of all, it's 110 degrees. Seriously y'all, that's just unbearably hot. And the air conditioner in the court house has been broken, so it's really, REALLY unbearably hot. Oh, and did I mention that one of the other attorneys that I work with in court was out sick all week....with SWINE FLU. Seriously.

And that's really just the tip of the iceberg. I've been an emotional mess lately, because the only real symptom I've got going on is some occasional tiredness and some serious heart burn. I should be thankful, because I was previously in symptom hell, but it's hard to wake up one day feeling like a light switch has been turned off and all your symptoms are GONE. And I'm not at the point where I'm feeling the baby (yet). AND I haven't seen the baby or heard the heartbeat since about 12 weeks. My mind immediately goes to "But what if something is wrong?!?!" even though I know the chances of that happening are slim. It's still something that I deal with all day long, every day. No amount of praying or positive thinking seems to help. Justin is a great help and encourager when I get overwhelmed. Although, I think that he thinks I'm I'm bawling about not having any symptoms, I have a feeling he's thinking, "You have lost your mind...if this isn't a symptom, I don't know WHAT is!"

Also, there's been the added stress of thinking about how we'll make this work monetarily. Since we weren't actually trying to conceive, we didn't really have a plan about this. As I mentioned, we looked into refinancing our mortgage through the Making Home Affordable plan that Obama passed. We were told that we won't be able to refinance because the value of our house has dropped $30,000 and we don't have enough equity. I thought the whole point of this plan was to help those whose house values had dropped refinance, but apparently not. So basically, if I don't work we won't be able to afford to live. If I do work, we won't be able to afford to live, because almost all of my paycheck will be going to daycare. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but it's a frustrating cycle.

Also, we're headed off camping for Justin's sister's wedding this weekend, and I'm a little nervous. I'm uncomfortable sleeping in our BED...I am not sure how well I'll handle sleeping on the GROUND.

In other news, I got The Perfect Pregnancy Workout, which I actually enjoy. Even though it reminds me how NOT flexible I am. A few months ago, I would have thought it was easy peasy, but now, it's hard work!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Favorite Things...

I've been tagged by Samantha at The Long Haul! Since the last two posts were heavy, I thought I'd lighten it up a little with this...

The "rules" for this tag are:
1. Mention and link back to the person who tagged you.
2. List 6 little things that make you happy.
3. Tag 6 other bloggers and let them know they're "it".

My Favorite Things

1. Family pictures by Kaitlin's dad Jon

2. Every once in awhile, getting to play photographer myself
(thanks for letting me Ryan and Renee!)

3. Spring in Oregon

4. Chicken Picatta

5. Wakeboarding. Oh, how I miss you.

6. Cherry Coke. I miss you too!

I'm tagging:
Taryn at The Colorado Desert
Kayla at Livin the Great Life!
Chelsie at Embracing All of It
Kaitlin at My Crazy, Unpredictable Life
Renee at The Unzipped Mind
and last but not least Krystie at This Girl, That Guy, The Dog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Darkness to Light: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

This will be a difficult post to read. The subject matter is absolutely awful. No one wants to think about sexual abuse to children. It's easier to shut our eyes and pretend that it doesn't exist. But I can also tell you that it does exist, and it exists with much more prevalence than many of us realize--the number of sex abuse cases that cross my desk is absolutely mind boggling.

Experts estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Keep in mind that these numbers only account for reported instances of sex abuse

I'm beginning to become more and more convinced that this is something that needs to be at the forefront of our thoughts. I recently went to a sexual abuse training put on by an organization called Darkness to Light. They are a great organization that puts on education classes about child sexual abuse. I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend that churches, schools, and basically any organization that deals with children look into having them come and make a presentation.

I'm going to include some of the information and statistics that I learned in the presentation here in this post, along with a few of my own comments. I hope that you'll take the time to read the post, but if not, I hope you'll visit the Darkness to Light website and review their 7 Steps For Preventing Child Sex Abuse.

7 Steps For Preventing Child Sex Abuse.

Step 1: Learn the facts about sex abuse and understand the risks.

Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.

The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old.

Approximately 20% of the victims of sexual abuse are under age 8.

30-40% of children who have experienced sexual abuse were abused by family members; up to 60% were abused by someone that the family trusts. In more than 90% of sexual abuse cases, the victim knew the perpetrator. People who abuse children look and act just like everyone else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy to gain access to children. Adults who sexually abuse children may seek out settings where they can gain easy access to children such as sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, and schools.

Often, the abuser is abusing more than one child: 70% of sexual offenders of children have between 1-9 victims. 20-25% have 10 to 40 victims. It’s rare for sexual abuse to “stop” at one victim, especially if the abuser didn’t receive any consequences from his or her actions.

40% of sexual offenders report sexual abuse as children.

Step 2: Minimize opportunity.

More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in one adult/one child situations. Understand that abusers often become friendly with potential victims and their families, earning trust, and gaining alone time with children. Remember that sometimes abuse can happen by an older family member or friend. Minimize one-adult/one-child interactions with children other than your own, and also minimize one-on-one child interactions. If your child is left alone with any adult (even trusted family members) attempt to drop in unexpectedly.

Step 3: Talk About It.

It is staggering to me the number of children who will tell you that they’ve attempted to disclose sex abuse to their parents or that their parents should have known the abuse was occuring, but from the parent’s perspective, the children had never told them anything about sexual abuse and they had no idea it was happening. Also keep in mind that there is a lot of shame involved with sexual abuse. Children who have been sexually abused are often worried about disappointing their families—as their abuser is many times a family member or close friend. Some children may not understand what is happening to them, and others have been told by their abusers that it is “okay” or a “game”.

One study showed that fewer than 30% of parents ever discussed sexual abuse with their children. Talk openly and specifically with your children about their bodies, and where adults should and should not touch. Tell children that it is always okay to talk to you if they’re being hurt, even if it’s by a family member or friend.

Step 4: Stay Alert.

Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Physical signs of sexual abuse are not common—emotional behaviors are much more common. Emotional cues can range from “perfectionism” to depression, anger, and rebellion. For some children, there are not signs whatsoever, which is why Step 3 is so vital.

Step 5: Make a Plan.

Learn where to go, whom to call, and how to react. It is absolutely crucial not to react to a disclosure with anger or disbelief. The child could interpret anger at them, and disbelief at what they are saying, rather than anger and disbelief about the situation. Less than 1% of sexual abuse disclosures from children are false. Seek help of a professional who is trained to interview the child about sexual abuse. Assure the child that you believe them, that it’s your responsibility to protect them, and that you will do all you can. Make reports to law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s necessary to make a legal report, contact a local Children’s Advocacy Center. To find one in your community, contact The National Children’s Alliance at 1-800-239-9950.

Step 6: Act on Suspicions.

Sometimes, you may have a suspicion of abuse, but not any “proof”. Thankfully, in most states you can report to Child Welfare if you even have a reason to suspect abuse or neglect. It is Child Welfare’s responsibility to investigate potential abuse, not yours. You can also call Darkness to Light’s helpline at 1-866-FOR-LIGHT or the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Think about it—40% of sexual offenders report sexual abuse as children. If someone had taken action when they were children, would they have received the treatment and help that they needed to prevent one of their victims from being abused?

Step 7: Get Involved.

There are countless community organizations designed to help address the issue of child sex abuse. One major issue is simply education—there is still a major denial in our country that sex abuse is the epidemic that it is.

Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children prevention program discusses many of these steps, and in my community, the trainings are free. Visit for more information.

Fear Not.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my worries and my anxiety. And I've come to the conclusion that it all traces back to fear--fear of the unknown, fear of things going according to (my) plan, fear of death, fear of beaing alone. Fear. D'Oh. How long did it take me to figure that one out?

The movie Facing The Giants says that the Bible says "Fear Not" 365 times, one for each day of the year. Well, that would be nice, but as far as I can tell (and I've done a lot of googling), in any of the standard versions of the Bible like the NIV or KJV, it's more like 170, and even that is pushing it because it includes instances of "take courage" (which always makes me think of "take luck!"), "be strong", and "Be not dismayed". For me, those still have value for my purpose, so I've included them in the list.

Anyway, for those who are interested, here's a list of the verses I've found so far that tell us in some way, shape, or form not to fear. There may be more, and some verses are listed more than once if they tell us not to fear more than once in the same verse. It's my goal to continue reading through the verses, and to pray about them and over them when I am afraid, worried, or anxious. And you know what's pretty perfect about it all?

I have found 170 verses telling us not to fear in the Bible,
and exactly 170 days of my pregnancy left.
What a blessing for me to have an encouraging word not to fear
for the next 170 days!
The List

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love
1 Peter 3:14 Have no fear
1 Samuel 4:9 Take courage
1 Samu 28:13 Have no fear
Acts 18:9 Do not be afraid
Acts 23:11 Take Courage
Acts 27:24 Do not be afraid
Daniel 10:12 Fear Not
Daniel 10:19b Fear Not
Daniel 10:19a Be strong and of good courage
Deaut 7:21 You shall not be in dread of them
Deuteronomy 1:21 Do not fear
Deuteronomy 1:29 Do not be in dread or afraid of them
Deuteronomy 3:2 Do not fear
Deuteronomy 18:22 you need not be afraid
Deuteronomy 31:7 Be strong and of good courage
Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not fear
Deuteronomy 31:23 Be strong and of good courage
Deuteronomy 20:3a let not your heart faint
Deuteronomy 20:3b Do not fear
Deuteronomy 20:3c Or tremble
Deuteronomy 20:4d Or be in dread of them
Deuteronomy 31:6a Be strong and of good courage
Deuteronomy 31:6b Do not fear
Deuteronomy 31:6c Or be in dread of them
Ecclesiastes 8:2 Be not dismayed
Exodus 14:13 Fear Not
Exodus 20:20 Do not fear
Ezekiel 2:6a Be Not Afraid
Ezekiel 2:6b nor be afraid of their words
Ezekiel 2:6c Nor be dismayed at their looks
Ezra 10:4 Be strong
Gen 15:1 Fear Not
Gen 21:17 Fear Not
Gen 35:17 Fear Not
Gen 43:23 Do not be afraid
Gen 46:3 Do not be afraid
Gen 50:19 Fear Not
Gen 50:21 Do not fear
Gen 26:24 Fear Not
Haggai 2:4a Take Courage
Haggai 2:4b Take Courage
Haggain 2:4c Take Courage
Haggai 2:5 Fear Not
Hosea 10:3 Fear Not
I Chron 19:13 Be of good courage
1 Chron 22:13a Be strong, and of good courage
I Chron 22:13b Fear Not
I Chron 22:13c Be not dismayed
1 Chron 28:10 Be strong
1 Chron 28:20a Be strong, and of good courage
I Chron 28:20b Fear Not
I Chron 28:20c Be not dismayed
I Kings 17:13 Fear Not
I Sam 4:20 Fear Not
I Sam 12:20 Fear Not
I Sam 22:23 Fear Not
I Sam 23:17 Fear Not
I Sam 28:13 Have no fear
II Chron 15:7 Take courage!
II Chron 20:15 Fear Not
II Chron 20:15 Be not dismayed
II Chron 20:17 Fear Not
II Chron 20:17 Be not dismayed
II Chron 32:7a Be strong and of good courage
II Chron 32:7b Do not be afraid
II Chron 32:7c Or dismayed
II Kings 1:15 Do not be afraid
II Kings 6:16 Fear Not
II Kings 19:6 Do not be afraid
II Kings 25:24 Do not be afraid
II Sam 9:7 Do not fear
II Sam 10:12 Be of good courage
II Sam 13:28a Fear Not
II Sam 13:28b Be courageous
Hebrews 12:5 Nor lose courage
Isaiah 7:4 Do not fear
Isaiah 10:24 Be Not Afraid
Isaiah 35:4 Fear Not
Isaiah 37:6 Do not be afraid
Isaiah 40:9 Fear Not
Isaiah 41:6 Take Courage
Isaiah 41:10 Fear Not
Isaiah 41:13 Fear Not
Isaiah 43:1 Fear Not
Isaiah 43:5 Fear Not
Isaiah 44:2 Fear Not
Isaiah 44:8 Fear Not
Isaiah 51:7 Fear Not
Isaiah 51:7 Be not dismayed
Isaiah 54:4 Fear Not
Isaiah 8:12a Do not fear
Isaiah 8:12b Nor be in dread
Jeremiah 1:8 Be Not Afraid
Jeremiah 10:5 Be Not Afraid
Jeremiah 30:10 Fear Not
Jeremiah 40:9 Do not be afraid
Jeremiah 42:11 Do not fear
Jeremiah 46:27 Fear Not
Jeremiah 46:28 Fear Not
Jeremiah 42:11a Do not fear
Jeremiah 42:11b Do not fear
Job 33:7 No fear of me need terrify you
Job 37:6 Be strong.
Job 39:22a He laughs at fear
Job 39:22b Is not dismayed
Joel 2:21 Fear Not
Joel 2:22 Fear Not
John 6:20 Do not be afraid
John 12:15 Fear Not
Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of good courage
Joshua 1:7 Be strong and very courageous
Joshua 1:9a Be strong and of good courage
Joshua 1:9b Be not frightened
John 1:9c neither be dismayed
Joshua 1:18 Be strong and of good courage
Joshua 8:1 Do not fear
Joshua 8:1 Do not fear
Joshua 10:8 Do not fear
Joshua 10:25a Do not be afraid
Joshua 10:25b Be strong and of good courage
Joshua 11:6 Do not be afraid
Joshua 1:9a Be strong and of good courage
Joshua 1:9b be not frightened
Joshua 1:9c neither be dismayed
Joshua 10:25a Do not be afraid
Joshua 10:25b Be strong and of good courage
Judges 4:18 Have no fear
Judges 6:23 Do not fear
Lamentations 3:57 Do not fear
Luke 1:13 Do not be afraid
Luke 1:30 Do not be afraid
Luke 2:10 Be Not Afraid
Luke 5:10 Do not be afraid
Luke 8:50 Do not fear
Luke 12:4 Do not fear
Luke 12:7 Fear Not
Luke 12:32 Fear Not
Mark 5:36 Do not fear
Mark 5:36 Do not fear
Mark 6:50 Have no fear
Matthew 1:20 Do not fear
Matthew 10:26 Have no fear
Matthew 10:28 Do not fear
Matthew 10:31 Fear Not
Matthew 14:27 Have no fear
Matthew 17:7 Have no fear
Matthew 28:5 Do not be afraid
Matthew 28:10 Do not be afraid
Nehemiah 4:14 Do not be afraid
Numbers 13:20 Be of good courage
Numbers 21:34 Do not fear
Numbers 14:9a Do not fear
Numbers 14:9b Do not fear
Proverbs 3:25 Do not be afraid
Psalm 27:14 Take courage
Psalm 31:24 Take courage
Psalm 49:16 Be Not Afraid
Psalm 55:19 Do not fear
Psalm 118:6 Do not fear
Psalms 49:16 Be Not Afraid
Revelation 1:17 Fear Not
Revelation 2:10 Do not fear
Romans 13:3 Would you have no fear
Ruth 3:11 Do not fear
Zechariah 8:13 Fear Not
Zechariah 8:15 Fear Not
Zephaniah 3:16 Do not fear
1 Corinthians 16:13a Be courageous
1 Corinthians 16:13b Be strong

Monday, July 27, 2009

Good Weekend and Redeeming Love

It was a good weekend. We didn't really do anything extraordinary--Justin and I were just exceptionally kind to each other. Don't get me isn't as if we're fighting all the time on your usual every day weekend. You could just tell that we each were independently going out of our way to make sacrifices for the other person and to intentionally do things that would be pleasing not to ourselves, but to the other.

For example, Friday night wasn't a great night for me. I didn't feel good--had pregnancy heartburn like no other, allergies were acting up, and I had a headache. All I wanted was to come home and for Justin to hold me and put on a movie. But Justin was supposed to go to a Bachelor party for his soon-to-be brother in law, and they were supposed to all be spending the night. I wanted Justin to go, but I also wanted his support. I was just having a hard time with it, and I tried my best to wait until he left to break down. About 2am, I got a text message from Justin that said, "It's been over 5 hours since I had my last beer. I'm headed home." A bit later, I asked why he decided to come home, and he said something like, "Why would I stay up there when I could be coming home to you instead?" It wasn't anything big, but I appreciated it more than he knows.

And I made a few intentional sacrifices too--like forgoing our "date night" because I could tell Justin was absolutely exhausted and just needed to stay home. It was very much like when we were doing The Love Dare, which I would really like to do again and actually finish this time.

Anyway, on to my book review for Redeeming Love:

Redeeming Love has been a book that I've been told I HAVE to read countless times. And also a book that I had absolutely no desire to read. Not only is it a romance (which I don't really read) but it's also a religious romance (which I REALLY don't read). Amazon says:

In this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God's unconditional love for his people. Redeeming Love opens with the Gold Rush of 1850 and its rough-and-tumble atmosphere of greed and desire. Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, has learned to distrust all men, who see her only as a way to satisfy their lust. When the virtuous and spiritual-minded Michael Hosea is told by God to marry this "soiled dove," he obeys, despite his misgivings. As Angel learns to love him, she begins to hope again but is soon overwhelmed by fear and returns to her old life. Rivers shines in her ability to weave together spiritual themes and sexual tension in a well-told story, a talent that has propelled her into the spotlight as one of the most popular novelists in the genre of Christian fiction. This is one of her best.

I had actually tried to start Redeeming Love another time, and couldn't get into it. Saturday morning, while Justin was sleeping, I laid next to him in bed and picked this book up. And a couple hours later, I was halfway through. A few hours after that, I was done. And I was shocked at how much I actually enjoyed the book! For me, although the subject matter was difficult, it was a happy, sappy, hopeful book. One that I can totally see being made into a movie. It was a quick easy read for me--similar to Twilight--and one that I'll probably keep around and read again someday. It's not an extraordinary book, but not a bad way to spend a Saturday either. And it DID encourage me even more to continue to be kind, patient, and to make sacrifices for my spouse.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shop With Me...

So, over the weekend, one of the things I hope to do is to throughly weed through my closet. There are already tons of clothes that don't fit me, and they just need to be put away in my new best-friends, which are Space Bags. You know, the kind you vaccum all the air out of? Anyway, I've begun to look for a few maternity clothes. I totally envy all of you that were/are able to spend the whole time in yoga pants and comfy tees. Unfortunately, since my job includes court appearances, I also need some clothes that qualify as business-wear. Also unfortunately, my weekend stuff tends to be MUCH more casual, so I also need some super casual stuff that I can wear on the weekends, and will transition as best it can through the hot summers all the way through January.

To make things even more difficult, I am almost 5'11. Finding pants with a 36 inch inseam was difficult and spendy before. Now, it's absurd. I usually wear a 36" inseam. I have only found ONE online store that sells maternity pants that long (RG Maternity). Still, they don't have many options. Apparently, us tall women aren't supposed to get pregnant, or if we are, we're supposed to live in high-waters the whole time. I can occasionally get away with a 34 inch inseam if I only wear them with flats, wash in cold, and never ever dry them. I now have one pair of dress pants and one pair of jeans from Motherhood, but I'm not sure that will be enough.

Whew. Anyway, here's some maternity clothes that I actually like (but probably won't ever buy because they're too spendy):

(Old Navy)

(Old Navy)

(Old Navy)



PS- Why are so many maternity clothes pink and blue?


-I got to watch an adoption ceremony at work the other day. It was the most uplifting part of my week so far. Without a doubt, the adoptions of the older kids make me more emotional and weepy than the adoptions of babies, though I did cry my eyes out at that episode of 16 and Pregnant.


-We are currently examining the possibility of refinancing our home through Obama's Making Home Affordable plan. I'm not sure if we qualify since we aren't having trouble making our payment NOW, but we may have some trouble come January, when we're up to +1 and lots of medical bills. And even if I'm working again full-time, a good portion of my check would be going to daycare rather than housing. We'll see how that goes.

-We did not eat fast food or takeout for dinner once this work-week. Go us!

-My 16-year-old brother is in Japan with his football team right now. I'm used to communicating with him via text, Facebook, or in person, so it's lots of, "Sup, u comin over 2nite?" I've been getting these very formal emails from him about Japan, and it's cracking me up. Here's a snippet.

To get to practice in the morning I take two trains and a monorail. I also walk by a closed theme park. The theme park was shut down ten years ago when the main roller coaster broke, and decaptitated all it's passengers. It is just now being demolished. The architecture here is outstanding! The buisness districts are all brightly colored and interestingly built. For example, today I saw a four story bright yellow driving range.

Who knew he could be so full of helpful and interesting information?! And folks, there's proper grammar! What have they done with my brother?

-I should really get out of my pajamas because I have to leave for work in like 15 minutes. Where I will probably spend all day filing. Woo!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pregnancy Post: Week 15

Today is either 15w on the nose (by LMP) or 15 weeks, 6 days (by ultrasounds). The baby is now about 4 inches long, and weighs about 2.5 oz. For a visual, that's about the size of a Naval Orange. The limbs are now fully functional, and the baby is squirming all around, though I'm not feeling any movement at this point. I hear that's something that I can look forward to somewhere between weeks 16-20 (all you new mommas out there--when did you first feel movement?).

As far as I'm doing, I think I'm finally starting to feel somewhat normal again. After a terrible Monday, in which I went to bed at 5:00pm, I've actually had two days of feeling okay. My congestion isn't terrible, and I don't feel like I need a nap all the time. I've even cooked dinner every night so far this week! I also went to the gym on Wednesday night for the first time since the nausea hit hardcore around 8 weeks.

My boss told me the other day, "Oh, you're at that stage in pregnancy that I hated the most--where you're starting to get a belly, but not one that's totally obvious that you're pregnant yet. And people start to gossip about whether you're pregnant or just getting chubby." Yep. I'm there.

Still, I'm battling with myself, and this time it's all mental. For one, I have a hard time when I haven't seen or heard the baby's heartbeat in awhile. I thought about renting a home doppler since they're so cheap, but J asked me not to after he heard that sometimes because of position you just can't hear the heartbeat. We both know that I would be flipping out if that were to happen, and I could see myself being totally obsessed about it.

The other thing that's hard for me is just this overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Any time I seem to click on a random blog from a blogroll, it's a mother that's lost her baby during or shortly after her pregnancy. Any time I randomly open my Bible, it seems to land on verses about our days being numbered, God being with us in times of grief, or about believing even in times of trial. I really haven't purchased anything for the baby, nor have I started cleaning out his or her room. I'm having a hard time buying maternity clothes, even though I need them. I'm knitting a blanket, but even there I have a hard time actually saying that it's for the baby.

I don't know what the deal is. It's almost as if I'm trying not to get too attached at this point, but I'm already unbelievably attached. Pregnancy has been HARD for me, and I haven't really enjoyed it, but I wouldn't give up this baby for anything. I would be devestated if anything were to happen. I have a hard time keeping my mind from wondering, "What if all this anxiety and these "signs" are to prepare me for bad news that's to come." Now, instead of being physically tired, I'm mentally tired.

My next appointment is August 4th. Even though he really doesn't need to come, Sweet Justin is planning to come with me. Not only does it help to have someone else there hearing what the doctor is telling me, but I have this irrational fear that if something is to go wrong, it will be at an appointment that Justin isn't at, and I'll have to tell him myself. I'm telling you, I'm a hormonal basket case. Anyway, I doubt we will have an ultrasound, but we should at least hear the heartbeat on the doppler, which I'm hoping will ease my fears for a little while.

Maybe it'll all feel more real once I actually feel the baby moving? Or once I start going to the doctor more often?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

I had high, high hopes for this book, which I found at the used bookstore. I thought it would be a good, funny, book to read while J was gone. It was a quick read, but I really didn't find it all that funny. To me, it was one of those books where the author seemed like she was trying too hard. Rather than coming across as your favorite friend who happens to be snarky, she came across (in my humble opinion) as one of those acquaintances who tries really hard to be comically snarky, but just seems like she's complaining all the time.

That said, this book has gotten great reviews from others, so maybe she just hit a nerve with me.

Next, I'm trying to decide which of the books from my "To Be Read" pile to dive into. If only I had a book club to make these decisions for me! Anyway, thanks to Paperback Swap, I have quite a few options for what to read next, including:
-The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
-Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
-The Road by Cormac McCarthy
-Little Face by Sophie Hannah
-Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
-Breaking Her Fall by Stephen Goodwin

What are you reading right now?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend Concert Pictures

Over the weekend, the band had the opportunity to play at this awesome outdoor retreat center with an amphitheater built into the side of the rock. It was a pretty incredible set-up. Even cooler, rather than promoting our own concert, the venue pretty much had their own group of about 80 people that attended. Here's a couple of pictures that I took at the concert:

Now, my sister and parents also came to the concert. It was bloody hot, and my sister was taking a ton of pictures, so I told her that she could go ahead and use my DSLR to take pictures if she wanted. She said sure, and proceeded to fill up my entire memory card, which is hard to do! I did learn a lesson though--it's important to make sure that whoever is using my camera knows how to work the camera. I figured that she did, but only about 10% of the pictures were in focus, and there were quite a few that were shot directly into the sun. I also think I may have left it set to focus to a particular focus point rather than to auto focus. I also didn't show her some of the different modes she could have shot in, which probably would have been helpful. Like I said, it was my fault for assuming that she knew how to work a DSLR without any instruction. Oh well, you live and learn, and she still got some great shots!

Meal Plan.....Tuesday?

Yes, I know this is supposed to be Meal Plan Monday, but I pretty much came home, cooked dinner, and then went to bed yesterday. But, I'm still trying to get better about actually PLANNING out our meals for the week, and also not eating the same thing every night, so I'm doing this nonetheless.

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken
Green Salad with Veggies from the Garden!
Sourdough Bread
Fresh Peaches

Full Meal Deal (a casserole my mom used to make growing up with ground beef, BBQ sauce, corn, mashed potatoes, and cheese--for me, it's the definition of comfort food).

Beans and Rice


Justin will be at a Bachelor Party, so I'll just throw something together, eat out, or eat leftovers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shortest Weekend Ever.

Seriously. This weekend flashed by, and had a whole bunch crammed into it! It went something like this:

-I made banana bread for the first time
-Justin finally rolled in at about 11:30pm. We stayed up at talked for maybe 30 minutes and then crashed.

-Woke up late, let J sleep in even later while I watched some HGTV since my allergies were bothering me. Fell asleep on the couch.
-Finally woke up for real, headed to my parent's house.
-Ate some pizza from the place that I've been craving non-stop since getting pregnant.
-Bought 3 maternity dresses, a skirt, a pair of capris, and a shirt from my sister's consignment store for a total of $6. I love the family discount.
-Said goodbye to my brother who is now en route to Japan to play football.
-Swam in the salt-water now feels nice and soft.
-Left to watch a late Harry Potter movie. I fell asleep despite the stupid kids behind us that kept talking on their phones the whole movie, no matter how many times I asked them to knock it off and be quiet.

-Woke up late, skipped church.
-Had my first panic attack when plans changed and I realized that we'd be out at the concert arena place ALL DAY with nothing in the house to eat, nor anything that I could quickly grab from the store. Get freaked about how much planning it takes to do anything when you're pregnant (Is there a bathroom? Am I going to have to sit out in the hundred degree weather for the next 6 hours? Is there anywhere inside with AC that I can go? When will we be able to eat?)
-Headed out to the amphitheater, where we sat outside in the hot hot heat for like 6 hours. Still, once it finally cooled down, it was a great venue.
-Got home about 9:30, where I watched the last half hour of the Next Food Network Star, and fell asleep on Justin.

-Woke up feeling like I have a hangover, not thrilled about heading to work OR the grocery shopping I need to do today.
-Is definitely thrilled about it being payday.
-10 days until vacation weeks! I'm taking the 31st off for Karla's wedding, and we'll be camping until the night of the 2nd. Then I work Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday, and then I'm OFF until the 11th of August! Woo!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Around midnight tonight, the hubby will be rolling in. I hope, but I'm not sure that's the case. Last time I talked to J, he wasn't sure which one of the following situations would play out today:

A- Work until noon, then drive the 12 hours home.
B-Work today, be flown home (which would mean being flown back up on Monday)
C-Work all day today, drive home around midnight, be home around noon on Saturday
D- Work all day today, stay in a hotel tonight, leave early tomorrow morning.

The boss WANTS them all to just stay up there for the weekend (unpaid, but with a per diem), but all of the guys already had plans for the weekend c'ause they were told that they'd be back. So luckily, it sounds like that option has been taken off the table. Hopefully. Because I will NOT be a happy camper if that's what plays out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pregnancy Post: Week 14

Okay, so due to popular demand, here's the first of my pregnancy posts! Now, depending on how you look at it, I'm either 14 weeks today, or 14 weeks, 6 days. I've decided that I'd rather be pleasantly surprised by delivering before the date that my doctor has selected, rather than be disappointed by going an extra week or two by overestimating.

Anyway, right now my "belly shots" don't really look like a "belly"--it just looks like I'm getting chubby. Oh well.

In terms of the baby, it's now about the size of a lemon.

BabyCenter says that in terms of the baby itself, this week's big developments are: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth.

As far as I go, I've still been feeling a bit nauseous. The one thing that's seemed absolutely disgusting to me is water, which of course I need lots of. I'm still a little exhausted, and I'm having difficulty motivating myself to do the household chores. I still feel like I can't possibly sleep enough hours in a day. I've also experienced hardcore heartburn for the first time in my life--I thought I had it before, but oh no. And as I mentioned, ice cream particularly sets the heartburn off. Bummer. I'm also noticing that I'm really not hungry but once a day, and I'm really having to force myself to eat. I'm just trying to eat when I'm hungry, and not worry too much about eating a full MEAL when I'm not hungry. And at my last doctor's appointment, I had gained 1.8 pounds.

In the next week, I need to get back into the swing of working out. Due to the hardcore, constant nausea, that fell away at about week 8. I do want to get back into it though. I also need to really start thinking about plans for once the baby is born, because as I learned today, due to my history of allergies, I'm essentially uninsurable in private health insurance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Look at that bounty! Fresh-picked, local strawberries always taste so much better than the store-bought kind. The tomatoes are almost ready for the picking as well.

In other news,
-I meet with an insurance guy today to find out a) how much it would cost to put the little monkey on private insurance and b) how much it would cost to put both the monkey and I on private insurance.

-It sounds like Justin is possibly on track to coming home on Friday. The only bummer? He may have to go back up next Monday.

-I cannot believe that Karla's wedding is in two weeks! I can't believe we'll be camping in two weeks! I'm still trying to decide whether or not to haul my camera up there--the red dust/dirt is not something I'm such a fan of, and she's hired a photographer (yeah for Kait's dad!!!), so she doesn't really need me to take pictures of anything. Plus, I'm not sure that Karla and I have the same taste in pictures anyway--it seems like when I'm really excited about a picture, she's...well...not. Sometimes I get a lot of, "Why is the background fuzzy?" and "Why isn't the picture centered?".

-I've started knitting a blanket, and I'm still deciding whether or not to rip it out. For one, the yarn looks a beautiful shade of green with blue least that's how it looked in the store, my house, and at my office. I discovered yesterday though that while it's in the Sun, it's bright royal blue. Not at all what I wanted. And the yarn just isn't as fluffy as I wanted either. Maybe I'll just whip up a quick and easy baby blanket, and then go back and knit this blanket some other time. I'm finniky like that. PS--Circular needles should help prevent a recurrence of the PLU blanket disaster.

-Lastly, I'm trying to decide whether or not to do the weekly pregnancy posts. Are y'all really interested in them, or no?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Sudafed Trials

First of all, let me preface this post by saying that here in Oregon, pseudophedrine is prescription only, opposed to just being "behind the counter" in a lot of other states. This is due to the extremely high prevalence of methamphetamine abuse--which, have I mentioned, is a nasty, nasty drug.

Now, for quite some time, we've had a four-pronged approach to controlling my allergies, which are extremely severe. Basically, if it moves, grows, or tastes nice, I'm allergic to it. For years, I was almost worthless during several months out of the year because I had such frequent sinus infections and just felt miserable. I wasn't following the "plan", and had seen a holistic doctor. Works for some people, didn't work for me. Anyway, the approach is as follows:
-Daily Zyrtec
-Allergy shots once a month
-Sudafed as needed for congestion (which the number one reason I get those week-long headaches)
-And a nasal spray that I'm supposed to use daily, but don't because it makes me feel MORE congested.

When I got pregnant, one of the first things I did was have my allergist and OBGYN talk to each other and make sure they're on the same page. After they did, my OBGYN told me that I would continue with my regimne as usual. I asked a lot of questions about Sudafed in particular (because I had previously heard that it wasn't safe), and he responded that while there was some risk in taking Sudafed, that in my particular case, the benefits outweigh the risk, and that me not being able to take a clear breath would do as much damage to a baby in utero as the Sudafed would ever do.

So that's all fine and dandy. Until I found myself throwing up all morning (by the way, I'd MUCH rather throw up milk and banana than orange pineapple juice), which then prompted me to look back at what I'd eaten over the past week, along with which days I'd been sick and which days I'd been fine. The one commonality was the Sudafed. Within 30 minutes of taking it, whether at morning or night, I was hugging the porcelain.

I called my doctor, who told me to go talk to the pharmacist, and see if they will do a coated Sudafed or to see what over-the-counter product the pharmacist would recommend for congestion. Apparently Wal-Mart does a coated Sudafed, but Target does not. Then, the pharmacist spent a half-hour berating me for taking Sudafed. I tried to explain that I was under a doctor's care, and that he said the benefits outweighed the risks by far. She really wouldn't let up, and kept talking about how she hoped I wasn't hurting the baby, and how lots of tests had shown deformities. I just kept thinking "when did drug testing by the FDA in utero become legal?"

Sigh. This is what women who take depression/anxiety meds during pregnancy feel like. Even though there's a growing understanding that sometimes it's really necessary, there's still such a backlash against it sometimes.

Anyway, I'm going to at least give Affrin a shot as needed, which the pharmacist was pushing the whole time anyway because it doesn't enter your blood stream.

And now I'm off to go crash, now that I've just taken some Benadryl. Druggie mom. That's me.

Easy Dresser Re-Do

J and I have been looking for a dresser for some time. The problem is, that our bedroom is sort of a blue and white themed room, designed to be light and airy--and any time I find a dresser that I think I'd like to paint, J has a heart attack about painting solid wood. Any wood. It doesn't matter if it's birch or knotty pine--he'd happily live in a forest if he could, just to be surrounded by all that WOOD.

So, I thought that while he's out of town would be a perfect opportunity to whip out my dad's paint sprayer, and go to work. I called my dad to let him know that I planned to paint a dresser white. His response, "Um, I just picked up a white dresser that had fallen off the back a truck. I glued it all back together. You could have that."

Free white dresser? With much less work? I'll take it. Here's the dresser as it magically arrived at my house while I was at work yesterday:

It was a little grimy with I-don't-know-what (but it wouldn't wipe off), and a little dinged--which I'd imagine had something to do with falling off the back of a truck. And UGH, it had gold knobs, which are the bane of my existence. I hate gold.

After doing a quick consult with dad, I decided that the paint just needed a few touch ups, and that it would really be a waste of time to sand it all down first. So, I took some leftover paint we had from painting the trim, and added a quick "refresher" coat of white. Then I went to Wally World and bought a cheapo 10 pack of dresser knobs--it's too ironic that the cheapest bunch they had were oil-rubbed bronze. So here's the dresser in it's near-completed state:

Not bad for less than $20, eh?

Although it did make me realize that this probably means that I need to do some decorating on top of the dresser. And I have NO ideas there. It seems like they'd just be dust catchers to me. I'm trying not to just rush out and buy things...although I really wouldn't mind a mirror over top.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Woah oh Woah.

-I was able to speak to J last night for a little bit. The job up north is NOT going as planned. Basically, they're supposed to be using a jackhammer to break through some concrete of an old building to then re-plumb the building for the new dialysis center. Only, the old building also has other active businesses in it, so J and his co-workers are not allowed to "make noise" during the day. However, when the contractor tried to get a variance from the city for hours that the boys could work, the contractor was denied. So the boys are not allowed to make noise (and jackhammers inherently make noise), but they're also only allowed to work from 8am-5pm every day. The boys planned to be home on Friday after working 20 hour days all week, but now that that's not a possibility, I'm not sure when they'll be home.

I asked him how many more of these dialysis centers are left to be built...yeah, there's 150 total. That's nice.

-The weekend was busy, which was good. Karla's shower on Friday night went well! Here's a picture of her opening a present:

-Our bosses are wanting to meet with me to hear about my work plans for December-January, and also what I want to do post-baby. I appreciate the open dialogue, but I really have NO IDEA what my plans are. Sure, I'd love to be able to stay home. Could we feasibly do it? I'm not sure that we could unless J were to work two jobs. He's willing to do that, but I would hate for him never to be home. The other option would be for me to work a couple of days a week or pick up a night job...but I don't want to do that either. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't, but I really don't want to.

-Today, we're giving away free ice cream at work, which means that I'll probably give away an amount exactly equal to the amount that goes in my belly. Which is not good, because ice cream has been giving me terrible heartburn lately. Maybe Kristal and Ethan were on to something about the milk....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TMI Warning.

I just spent a half an hour throwing up a banana and half a glass of milk. Really? I'm 13-14 weeks...shouldn't this nonsense be over by now?

Edited to add--I always irrationally freak out after I throw up and think to myself, "Oh no! I hope I don't have listeriosis!" Especially when I've recently eaten food that's been prepared by other people or restaurants like I did last night.

I KNOW that it's just an irrational worry because now that I threw up, I feel just fine. I have a feeling that if I really had listeriosis, I probably wouldn't be feeling quite so peachy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's Up for the Weekend?

-J left this morning, boo.

-I have a bridal shower for J's sister tonight.

-Tomorrow, I'm pretty much giving myself the day to mope around. I plan on watching some Top Chef Masters, and reading. There's a memorial service at church that I may go to on J's behalf since he's out of town. Hopefully I'll get some laundry in as well.

-Sunday, I've got to head up to a BBQ to see the people that were essentially my second parents in high school. I'm undecided whether I'll trek it to church as well. This past week, pretty much the whole church found out that I'm pregnant (J's mom was busy!), and I know they'll want me to be at church to say congrats, but that feels weird without J.

-Next week, I'm hoping for a girl's night dinner. Too bad I can no longer use my unhealthy coping skills to deal with J being gone, which usually consisted of multiple bottles of red wine.

What are you guys up to this weekend?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today is a bad day.

Seriously, it will be a miracle if I make it through the day without bursting into tears.
  • I still have the migraine that I've had since last Saturday.
  • Justin now has to work all day long (he wasn't supposed to work today) and leaves at 5am tomorrow morning. He has band practice tonight, so I MIGHT get to see and actually talk to him for maybe an hour tonight. If I'm lucky. Then I won't get to talk to him for the next week. And when he finally gets home, there's a band concert, so everything will be centered around that. We won't have a weekend to just the two of us until mid-August.
  • Today is one of those days where I can't seem to do anything right at work today. I've already been corrected for five or six little things, which normally wouldn't bother me, but today I'm super emotional, so it does.
  • Our house is already totally trashed. It's an absolute pig-sty.
  • I still have to get stuff for the bridal shower on Friday and find a gift.
  • And have I mentioned that I am just tired, like I have never been before?

I've got the renovating bug.... WWYD

The other day, J and I were talking about future renovation dreams for our house, and discussing if someday we decided we wanted to live here forever, how we'd expand to make the house have more living space. We've talked about going up before, but I've been worried that the stairs would take away most of our actual living space, which we don't have much of in the first place. Our only other option would be to go out, which would eat up quite a bit of our precious lawn, and would break up the flow of the house. The other day, J mentioned something I hadn't ever thought of before--he suggested turning the garage into a family room. Now, before you roll your eyes, I don't mean just stick a couch in there and call it a "family room". I mean take down the garage door, replace with a window, add siding, finish the room, call it a family room. Here's the nitty gritty:

-The garage is already a "finished" garage, so the only place we'd need to hang drywall would be a half-wall where the garage door used to be.
-Then, J would use his texture gun to add texture to the walls, and we'd prime and paint.
-We'd likely raise up the floor so that there would be a step down, but not actual steps (as there are now) into the room.
-I'm picturing removing the current door and widening the walkway to bring the two rooms together.
-I'd also imagine we'd have to have heating and air vents installed, but I know absolutely nothing about that, and I'm not sure if it's something that J and my dad (he's a contractor) could do themselves.
-Our major cost would be the big old window I'd want in that room, and furniture for the room.
-Not being able to park in the garage isn't a biggie for us because a) we don't park in the garage anyway and b) our driveway fits four cars parked, and we also have RV parking.

This addition of living space would allow us to stay at this house for a significantly longer amount of time, and it would be my hope that in our backyard, J could eventually actualize HIS dream for the house, which would be to build a shop/garage off of our RV parking. So hopefully, by the time we'd sell, there would at least be a detached garage. Still, most people that I've talked to have told us not to do it--that garage additions never actually look like part of the house and that houses without garages don't sell.

So what would you do in our position?

PS- This wouldn't be an immediate project, but one that we're thinking about and considering for down the road...I love this example of a converted garage--smart thinking about the extra wall!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


- I feel a little like the girl that cried wolf with all the times I've told you that J has to go on the dreaded out-of-town-for-work trip that will essentially cut off communication between us for at least a week. Progress by the people that need to finish before J goes up hasn't been on target, so his leaving date keeps getting pushed back. It sounds like he will definitely be leaving Friday morning, and hopefully coming back the following weekend in time for his concert on Sunday. We'll see. It sucks. Completely. I have things to keep me busy on Friday and Sunday, but the fact of the matter is, I just want to stay home in my PJ's and be a lump on a log.

-I have had a migraine since Saturday, which of course, I can only take regular Tylenol for. I missed a BBQ last night with our Bible Study that I had really been looking forward to because of the stupid migraine. I hate flaking on people when we've already told them we'll come, especially when I'm supposed to bring something! At least we called and told them we wouldn't make it...

-On his own accord last night, J chose to watch Legally Blonde 2 and Moulin Rouge. I love the latter movie, and Justin is beginning to, because the music IS pretty awesome. I have to say that I was surprised again last night by my husband's lack of pop-culture knowledge in that he had never heard of Baz Luhrmann (ps- did you know the next movie he'll be doing is The Great Gatsby?!). And seriously, J didn't even recognize the Sunscreen Song! Who in the world doesn't remember that song?

Also worth note is the version of "Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge, which is a favorite of both of ours. Musically, it's incredible. The cinematography is incredible. It's just amazing all the way around.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Baby Question Post.

So, I totally and shamelessly stole this post from Kristal. I thought it did a good job answering the most basic questions. Like Kristal, I also have to warn you that some of this may be TMI. Sorry.

When did you find out?

The day before mother's day. We were about to go out beer tasting with some friends, and I was a little late, so I decided to take a test to put my mind at ease.

How did you tell Justin?
J had been in the shower for like a half an hour while I was pacing around the living room. I finally yelled, "Babe, I need you right now!" and he finished up and came out. I showed him the test, which wasn't digital, and he stared at me blankly and said, "Yeah, so?" I practically threw the test at him and responded, "Um, I'm pregnant." And then started crying. Justin hugged me and asked if they were happy or sad tears, to which I responded, "I don't know!" I was a little overwhelmed.

Was it planned?
Yes and no. After a string of events that prevented me from picking up my birth control pills in March, we decided on Easter morning that this was the "sign" I'd been looking for and that I'd go off birth control pills. We planned to use another method of BC for the next month or two, and figured that since I had been on the pill for many, many years and had extremely irregular periods before hand, that it would take a long time to get pregnant. We were hoping for a positive test by Christmas.

There was literally one time that we didn't use our method of BC. And that was all it took. I appologize, because I know that will be difficult to read for my friends that are battling with infertility. But it's the honest, unexpected truth.

When did you tell your family and friends?
As I mentioned, this pregnancy has not been without it's share of complications, so we told Ryan and Renee, the friends we were meeting for beer tasting, and Kaitlin and Jesse the day we found out. We told our parents and immediate family when I was about 8 weeks, and opened them up to tell whoever they wanted after my NT scan on Monday.

What were their reactions?
They were all quite happy for us, although quite a few of them didn't agree with our decision not to tell extended families until I was out of the 1st trimester.

Will you find out the sex?
Yes. Justin didn't particularly want to, but I told him that while I'm willing to compromise on almost all aspects of pregnancy, this was something that I really wanted. So we will find out for this one, and possibly not for any subsequent children.

What sex would you rather? /Do you have names picked out?
I combined this question because the answers are very much intertwined. We have a nephew named Logan, and Justin has LONG SINCE wanted to name a boy Nolan, because apparently in Louis Lamour's books, Nolan and Logan are best friends. However, he also wanted the first boy's middle name to be Ryan, after his brother. We were not convinced about naming a child "Nolan Ryan LastName".

Since early in the pregnancy, I've been dreaming about having a little boy. Specifically, a little boy named Caleb Ryan. I shared the dream and name with Justin, and he was immediately sold. I would prefer a boy first, though anything would be wonderful, and I don't know if I really have some mother's intuition, or whether my dreams are reflecting my desire to have a boy.

I can't think of a girl's name for the life of me...which is too bad since a lot of my friends think it's a girl due to the heartbeat being in the 168's!

How are you feeling?

Funny story--the doctor asked how I was feeling this week, and J responded, "Well, the morning sickness seems to have subsided, but she is just tired all the time."

The doctor looked right at Justin and said deadpan, "Well, you may not have noticed, but she IS pregnant."

Really though, I've had the gamut. Bad morning sickness, especially when I'm driving, headaches, sore boobs, everything. But I'm hopeful that those will be resolving soon!

Due Date?
January 10-14th

Which means you're how far along?

Gestational Age is 12 weeks 4 days. But I've pretty consistently measured 5-6 days ahead. Ultrasound on the 6th put me at 13 weeks 3 days.

There's this pizza place in my hometown that serves New York Style pizza. It's the only thing I've been consistently craving, but I've only had it twice.

That, and I am DYING to try the Tagalong Blizzard from DQ, but I'm putting it off because I know I'm doomed if I taste it!

It depends from day to day. Beer smells absolutely disgusting to me. As do eggs and seafood, but those two aren't new--just magnified.

Weight Gain?

Pre-pregnancy, I fluctuated between the same 5 pound range. I'm still in that range, fluctuating between pound 3 and 4. I haven't broken 200 pounds yet, but as an almost 5'11 girl, I'm unfortunately sure it will happen at some point.

How are you decorating the nursery?
Well, prior to decorating it, we have to remove all the JUNK from the room! That will definitely be a project in itself, as most of it isn't actually junk that can just be thrown away. Unfortunately. All I know, is that I'll have a painted tree.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Big Announcement Time

So, many of you have guessed or suspected, or wondered, and it's time to finally come clean. You may have noticed that I've been blogging about going to the doctor's an awful lot lately. You may have noticed that I've been a little more onry than usual. And you have probably noticed a lot of blogging about being tired. You may have also mentioned a distinct lack of "Wanting Babies" posts lately. WELL.

I'm pregnant.

I found out the day before Mother's Day, and just got back from the doctor today, and my gestational age is 12 weeks, 4 days, but I've been consistently measuring ahead, and today I was at 13 weeks, 3 days. This pregnancy has not been without many, many complications, and so we are incredibly blessed to know that for once, everything looked absolutely perfect. Well, except the baby wouldn't cooperate with the measurments that the ultrasound tech wanted, so I'll have to go back later this week. We've got a stubborn one on our hands!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

House To-Do's

I have a LONG list of things that I'd like to do in our house. I feel like it never ends! I thought I'd compile a list of things that I'd still like to do, in order to keep track of them!

For J to do:
-Weed N Feed the front yard, then begin edging
-Install transition strips for new flooring (no, this still hasn't happened)
-Re-install trim around baseboards and doors
-Raise up back yard, install sprinkler system, and then lay seed.
-Bring in rail road ties for above ground garden beds.
-Spray for spiders and stupid earwigs!

Other projects:
-Paint the cabinets white. After that, re-evaluate whether or not I still hate the countertops.
-If I can live with the countertops, install a tile backsplash
-Consider repainting dining room
-Finally make my DIY headboard!
-I would REALLY like to repaint the kitchen table and chairs as well, but that may be a bit ambitious. I'd probably have to get them dipped to strip off the current stain and seal.
-Turn our two spare bedrooms into actual usable, functional spaces...not just storage!

The only problem? Pretty much no expendable income to work with! We'll have to see how I do with a budget the size of a pushpin!

Photos from the 4th

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July! Any exciting plans? We are actually planning to hit up a parade this year, with my camera in tow, so hopefully I'll have some fun updates later on!

By the way, my awesome dad came over to look at our AC on Thursday afternoon. Do y'all know what was causing it not to work? Seriously, I wouldn't have believed it unless he left me proof. A stupid EARWIG. I hate these guys, they're everywhere, and they don't even care about the traps I have set out. Plus, they're ugly and disgusting:

Apparently, an earwig had crawled in our AC unit and had somehow wedged himself into the exact place that prevented the connectors from connecting and the AC from turning on. Thank goodness we hadn't called an HVAC guy to come out--I'm sure it would have been a $100 visit to discover the stupid earwig!

In other news:
-I had the BEST DAY out at the lake with Casey, Pete, Kaitlin, and Stump. Floating docks rock my world. If I can do that every Saturday for the rest of summer, my life will be good.
-Justin's out of state trip was put off again, which means that he'll be coming to the doctor's appointment with me on Monday. I promise that I'll clue those of you who haven't figured it out to what's going on sometime next week.
-Stoked about the BBQ at Renee's house today!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

That Figures

It's supposed to be 103-105 this weekend. Normally, I'd be absolutely thrilled about it, except for the fact that our air conditioner broke last night. Why does this always happen over holiday weekends?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Free Chocolate!

I don't know about you, but by Friday, I could use some chocolate. And if it's free chocolate, that's even better! Mars now has a program called "Real Chocolate Relief", where if you go on to this website on Fridays beginning at 9am EST, you can print out a coupon for a free Mars product. It just so happens that all my favorite candy bars are Mars Bars, so I'm extremely happy.

However, only 250,000 coupons will be available--so don't steal mine!

Summer Honey Butter

*Disclaimer---I KNOW this recipe is terrible for you, and really has no nutritional value, but it is SO GOOD, and I remember it being a summer staple when I was growing up. The sweet honey coupled with the tangy spices make this butter absolutely perfect for corn on the cob, or to top freshly baked sourdough bread. I know, I was hesitant the first time I tried it too (granted, I was probably 2), but now I'm hooked!

Honey Butter
2/3 Cups butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 T. lemon pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt (Johnny's or Lawry's)

Combine all ingredients well, and store in airtight container in the fridge. For what it's worth, I don't store mine in the fridge, but just leave it covered on the counter unless it's supposed to be 100 degrees or something.
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