Archive | July 2012

Overwhelming

The final countdown to baby is on.  Within the next couple of weeks our family of two-point-something will become a family of three.

I’m not scared of labor.  I always figured I would be.  When my sister in law went into labor with my nephew many years ago she admitted to me that she was terrified and just wanted it over with.  I thought I would feel the same, but I don’t.  I feel very zen about labor: baby girl and I have to go through it to be together, so we will.  That’s that.

Pregnancy is such an emotional time, full of hormonal peaks and valleys.  I’ve been experiencing them a lot lately.

Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregn...

Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregnancy(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prior to this pregnancy my life looked like this:

TEENS – Lost my virginity at 17, worked very hard from that point on to prevent pregnancy.

20s – Dated a lot but was always very careful when it came to birth control.  Was husband hunting but wanted a good man who would also be a good father.

30s – Ended a long term relationship, decided to become a cat lady, then met the man who would be my husband when I was 32.  We started trying to have children while we were dating but were unsuccessful. This continued after we were married and we received inconclusive fertility testing when I was in my mid-30s so we gave up on having children.

38 – Almost 39!  I got pregnant totally out of the blue, just after starting a new job.  I was terrified and then thrilled.  And then we lost the baby at 15 weeks gestation due to a major structural defect.  Devastated, we started trying again right away.

39 – Got pregnant with our current Little Miss, and I have since turned 40.  She’ll be here soon.

Prior to my pregnancy at 38, I never thought I would be a mother.  It was something that really rankled me, something that separated me from almost all of my female friends and from all of my female family members.  I felt like a childless mother, and with the loss of my very much wanted pregnancy I knew that is what I was.

It has been a long road from there to here.  I am so grateful for every step of this pregnancy, from the nail-biting testing days to the sleepless nights when she won’t stop kicking.  There are no words to describe just how much this experience has meant to me.  I have always wanted to be this hugely pregnant woman with a life growing inside her, and now I am.

Every little thing makes me cry.  Her memory book arrived in the mail the other day and sent me into sobs.  When I was at my 35 week OB appointment and had to sign the paperwork authorizing the doctor to deliver the baby, I cried.  Seeing the baby’s stroller and car seat sitting out in the garage waiting for her little self makes me cry.

This is Actually Happening.  I’m about to be a mom.  Wow.

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The Honest Company

I’ve been thinking about ordering something from The Honest Company for a while but I haven’t been able to justify spending the money on products I don’t really know a lot about.

PlumDistrict came to the rescue today with this offer for $20 for $40 worth of products from The Honest Company.  You can use it for individual products or for bundle packs, and the voucher doesn’t expire until October 25, 2012.

Now what am I going to purchase first?

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$20 for $40 Toward Eco-Friendly Diapers, Baby Care and Home Cleaning Products from The Honest Company
$20 for $40 Toward Eco-Friendly Diapers, Baby Care and Home Cleaning Products from The Honest Company. Plum District Everywhere: find deals for moms on restaurant, baby, beauty, health, fitness, &am…

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Job Situation

My husband and I relocated this past spring to a new state.  My husband had been out of work for two years in the prior state with no hope of finding work in his field, so he started looking in other states and found one in the place where we are now.  It’s a fairly large company that has been in business for many years.  They paid for our move here.

He was hired into a very small department in a satellite office, just him and his supervisor in this office.  The main department is in the main office about 1.5 hours away.  He has really enjoyed working with his supervisor and we love the city where we live.

highway

highway (Photo credit: scot63us)

Well, a couple of weeks ago his supervisor tendered his resignation.  He was offered a job with another company paying an extremely generous salary and couldn’t possibly turn it down.  So that leaves my husband alone in the office in this town.

The department boss immediately requested that my husband come to the main office to do some work and so they could discuss the situation.  My husband is an older employee, very technically skilled and has been working in this industry for a long time.  He went to the main office expecting things to remain somewhat the same, but with an open mind about what might happen.

The department boss said that he thinks that my husband needs to be working in the main office now, the one that is an hour and a half drive from our house.  Of course, my husband is not too thrilled with this idea, nor am I, since I am due to give birth in the next 4 weeks and we just got settled in here a few months ago.  The boss is also saying that my husband gets paid more than others in the department  and that could cause some friction with the other employees, so it sounds like he not only wants my husband to be traveling 1.5 hours each way per day, but he wants to cut his pay by 10% to be in line with other employees pay.

Um, no.

There are people in his office here who are saying they want him to stay here, would like the department presence in the office, but it’s just not looking like anyone is saying anything about it.  His department boss keeps making noises about him making the permanent switch to the main office after the baby is born.

I’m willing to compromise, so I went to the map to see what towns were between here and there where we could settle sometime in the next few months when our lease was up.  Between here and there? Nothing but highway and swamp.  No small towns, nothing. So frustrating.  The town where the main office is leaves a lot to be desired in terms of traffic, culture, etc.  We love where we live now and the opportunities available to us here.

So what would you do?

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Strange Days

English: Close up of the belly of a pregnant w...

English: Close up of the belly of a pregnant woman, near term. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m at the stage of weekly appointments for baby girl, and included with my regular OB visits are biophysical profiles (BPPs).  If you haven’t had one or don’t know what they are, this is an ultrasound where the baby is checked for fluid, body measurements, heart rate, body movement and practice breathing.  They are kind of cool, unless your little one is stubborn (ahem) and refuses to practice breathe and has to be prodded into it.

So the other day I was sitting in the waiting room at ultrasound and watching the people around me.  I’ve noticed that just about every woman waiting generally brings an entourage with her that has a minimum of 3 people in it (my husband works and we’re new in town so it’s usually just me) and she usually has very swollen feet.  This makes me feel bad for them.

I’ve had a very lucky pregnancy in that I’ve had no swelling, my hair is thick and lustrous and my skin is clear and glowing.  I wish I could keep all this good luck after the baby gets here!  (I should probably feel bad for “crowing” about my good fortune, but my first pregnancy was horrible and ended tragically, so I’m considering this a bit of payback.)

The thing that makes ME different from THEM?  I seem to be the only one talking to my baby.

Maybe it’s because I’m there alone?  I’m not sure.  I tend to keep up a running commentary to my unborn all the time: in the car, at home (even when hubby is home), in waiting rooms, at the grocery store.  Sometimes I just coo to her and tell her I love her.  I also describe where we are and what we are doing.  Sometimes she gets fussy and I find that talking to her, explaining the situation, calms her down.

After my ultrasound and OB appointment the other day I had to go down and complete my pre-admissions paperwork.  There was a wait there, as well, and I kept getting the stink-eye from an old lady sitting near me.  I didn’t think I was being that loud.  I also didn’t stop.

When you were pregnant did you talk to your baby?

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Update on the Dryer Balls

I posted recently that I bought some wool dryer balls from an etsy shop called CleanSypria. The intention was to use these mostly on our cloth diapers, but also to stop using dryer sheets whenever possible and to (hopefully) shorten drying time.

When I got the balls in the mail I was almost done doing laundry so I only used them on a half-load of clothes (my delicates, as I was afraid my husband’s work clothes would end up smelling like pearberry).  I didn’t have any other laundry to do so I was waiting for a pile-up so I could try them again.

Dryer balls at the Soap Dispensary

Dryer balls at the Soap Dispensary (Photo credit: Christine Rondeau)

I was impatient so the next day I decided to wash our bathroom rug.  We only have one rug in our master bathroom, a Better Homes and Gardens Memory Foam Bath Mat.  I love the bath mat but it has one major drawback: it can take FOREVER to dry when it is soaked.

The first time I washed this mat I stuck it in the dryer for 70 minutes on high and it came out feeling dry to the touch but when I put it on the floor and stepped on it, it was still soaking wet, so I dried it once more and had the same issue, but left it on the floor and it eventually dried out.

The second time I dried it, I put it on the maximum setting, 100 minutes.  I dried it 3 times for 100 minutes on high and it was still wet when I stepped on it, though not soaked.

The third time I dried it, I put it in the dryer for 70 minutes, then put it out in the sun to dry for the rest of the day.  That got it completely dry, but it took the whole day and I hesitate to do that very often because it is a luscious dark brown color and I don’t want it to fade.

So today I tried the drying it with all 4 of the wool dryer balls.  I dried it on high for 70 minutes (the length of a webinar I was attending) and when I pulled it out, it was dry to the touch.  I put it on the floor and stepped on it, and it was DRY!  Complete dry.

To say I’m thrilled would be an understatement.

I don’t know if all wool dryer balls are created equal, all I know is the ones from CleanSypria were the best deal I could find online.  I did look at a couple of natural stores in the area and didn’t find any that sold them.  You can also make your own with this tutorial, but frankly, I’ve got better things to do.

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Recent Purchases for Baby & Me

I love to read blogs about people’s recent purchases.  Often I find cute items or great deals that I wouldn’t have thought to look for otherwise. (That being said I am a lot less of a consumer these days, but these items were things I wanted/needed.)

For the Baby

I still need to pack my hospital bag!  Hopefully by the time you read this I’ve done that, but as I’m writing it is still not packed.  I feel that minimalist is really the way to go, so I plan on packing toiletries, a nightgown and robe, clothes to wear home, chapstick, cell phone charger, camera and a baby book.  I’m so glad someone on another blog mentioned a baby book because I wouldn’t have even thought of it.

I purchased the baby book last week.  A friend of mine had her baby recently and bought for him the CR Gibson Zoom-Zoom Memory Book.  She recommended it to me, and I made a note of it since at the time we didn’t know what we were having and were convinced it would be a boy.

Since she’s a girl, I opted to get her the C.R. Gibson Loose-Leaf Memory Book, Happi Baby Girl.  I love the owl on the front cover and the very pinkness of it.  They have the book in both bound and loose-leaf versions.  I chose the loose-leaf because I want the option of adding things to the book that aren’t already there, including a massive letter I have been writing to her since the beginning of June.

For the Baby

As I have mentioned ad nauseum we are cloth diapering.  I am always looking for good deals on cloth diapers because we want to minimize our out of pocket costs, which is one of the reasons we are using cloth.

One of the ways I do that is by going on daily deal sites.  A couple of months ago I bought a certificate on Plum District for a website called Ecomom. (The certificate cost $20 for $40 worth of goods at the site, but with my sign up bonus of $10 it only cost me $10 – score!)  The whole point of the certificate was to purchase a Grovia kit, but as it turns out the certificate was not valid for Grovia items (of course!).

I kept going back and forth on what to buy, and eventually ended up buying three Kissaluvs Organic Cotton/Hemp Fitted Diapers to use for night time.  I got them in the mail the other day and prepped them, even though she won’t fit into them until she’s at least 15 lbs.

For the Home

New Wool Dryer Balls

New Wool Dryer Balls (Photo credit: Dazed81)

 

 

As I’ve researched cloth diapers, many of the mothers I have been learning from keep recommending wool dryer balls.  Apparently wool dryer balls can replace dryer sheets in making clothing soft and virtually static free.  These are recommended when using cloth diapers since you’re not really supposed to use dryer sheets since they will make diapers less absorbent.  I thought it sounded interesting but it wasn’t a priority for me to buy them.

Two things happened that changed this into a priority for me: (1) I got the Kissaluvs diapers and prepped them and they took forever to dry in the dryer – about 3 hours and (2) someone on a message board mentioned that she loved her wool dryer balls because they drastically reduced drying time when she was drying her cloth diapers.

The wool balls everyone was raving about were from an etsy shop called CleanSypria.  I checked out the shop and the price for four balls was the best I’d seen, plus shipping was cheap.  You can buy them unscented or scented with quite a few different scents.  I opted for the Autumn Harvest dryer balls (set of 4) scented (for free) with pearberry scent.

I ordered the balls on Sunday afternoon and received them in the mail on Wednesday.  I had already done almost all the laundry but I put two of the balls in with my delicates (a dress, maternity leggings and a maternity top) and everything dried quickly, and there was no super lingering scent of pearberry.  The balls smell good but don’t leave a ton of smell on the clothing, which is good.  They also left the clothing soft and static free.  I cannot wait to use these balls on the rest of the laundry.

 

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Six

Eight years ago today I was sitting in my office.  It was summer, the quiet time for our company, and I was bored.  I logged in to ICQ and put up a chat request, looking for someone new to chat with.  Actually, I thought about it for a while because in the past when I had done this I always ended up talking to perverts and foreigners who wanted to get married within 5 minutes of conversation.

ICQ

ICQ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to put the chat request up, and a few minutes later I was bombarded by chat requests from perverts, lovesick foreigners, and a guy whose screen name was “Roger”.  Roger turned out to be funny and intelligent, and we chatted for quite a while.  He seemed to find me charming and funny, too, so I agreed to add him as a friend.

Two years later, six years ago today I married “Roger” (aka Terry) at a courthouse in Florida.  I was 34 years old, happily in love, but still scared of taking such a huge leap of faith.

In those six years he has put up with my crazy, we survived two years of unemployment, several years of infertility, the loss of a very much wanted surprise baby and the insanity that comes with a pregnancy soon after a loss, as well as living apart for two months after he found work, and a cross country move when I was 21 weeks pregnant.

It hasn’t been easy, but all things considered, it has been worth it.  I like to think that chat request ended up netting me a great husband, and my daughter the best possible father.  We are lucky to have him.

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