Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas time is here!

....And now it's gone. Just as quick as retailers put up Christmas merchandise, the holiday came and went. This was Lauren's first Christmas and we had so much fun. At the start of the season, which for most Americans falls on Black Friday, Jeff and I discussed that this was the first and maybe only Christmas Lauren would not care what she got. Heck, she cares more for the wrapping paper than what is inside the package! So, why did our tree look like this:In our defense, we got crazy holiday spirit and wrapped every tiny thing we bought for each other...including socks, hair clips, gloves, bath toys, etc. and on top of that, we both have large families.

So, the reason for the post? I love this time of year, but all the presents, gifts, and spirit come with a bit of stress. When that January bill rolls around, and we realize we spent a wee bit outside our budget. Normally I'm pretty creative when it comes to downsizing and being frugal, but I needed more than just my old tricks.

I saw on the news how a girl went on a "spending fast" for an entire year to get out of debt. Now, Jeff and I in no way, shape, or form are that far into debt that we need to do anything that drastic, but more than anything, it sounds like a good challenge and a great eye-opener for what we are spending our money on.

I will blog for the next 4 months about Jeff's and my spending fast. We decided to give ourselves a realistic goal: 4 months. This weekend we will discuss logistics and the outline to this challenge, and come January 1st, will be a full blown spending fast! In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the holiday season and our presents from Santa!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

True Love?

I've been dying to see Eclipse ever since it came out this past summer. Last year, we somehow tricked Jeff into seeing New Moon, and he's never forgiven us (we/us being me, his sisters, mom, etc.) There was no way he was going to see Eclipse with me, but when it finally came out in the Redbox, we struck a deal. He agreed to rent the movie only after I promised that, together, I would stay up and watch it.

We started the movie around 8 p.m and, although it was an awesome effort, I only made it through half. By 9 pm, I had undoubtedly fallen asleep. So, I don't know if this whole deal qualifies Jeff under the "true love" category, or more than likely, I under the "old age" category!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lots of things I Love!

There are lots of things I love. This week, the top on the chart are 65 degree weather in December, 3 pm hour watching the Ellen DeGeneres show, laughing with my mom all week, to name a few. But, on the top of that list is watching Lauren grow everyday and discover new things. She's trying to crawl, and so far has managed to move backwards and sideways. By far, however, my favorite is her newly discovered talent of her voice. The best happens in cases like today, I laid her down for a nap when she got "rubby eyes". She was screaming and singing away to herself. Finally, she realized I wasn't coming back in and felt tricked. As her voice rose in a cry, she got distracted by her high pitched wails and started singing and jabbering away again.

New discovery is great...especially when it distracts a tired baby from crying herself to sleep for 20 minutes. I'll take jabbering any day over crying!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Something About Grandma's House--Sleep training day 4 and 5

I don't know what it is about Grandma's house, but Lauren slept amazing on night 4. She still woke up 4 times, but each time was able to settle back down with only a pacifier and without nursing. That is one small step to people without kids, but one giant leap to any new parent, I'm sure.

Last night she was a wee bit more restless. I caved (again) and brought her into bed with Grandma and I because Grandma has a California King, and it was after all, a sleepover. With Pavlov in mind (yes, referring to Macy and Nate's comments), a "stimulus" just might be the trick. I don't think a bell, or salivating, is key here; but the "sleep lite" application on my iTouch just might prove a saving grace. In the book I read, they say to have white noise. So, my new approach? Lay near Lauren with the sound of rain or waves playing on the iTouch and each night make my way closer and closer to the door until finally I can lay her down with the white noise playing, and I'll be out in another room getting things done (or passed out from exhaustion in my own room!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not so Silent Night--Sleep Training, Day 3

Lauren had no trouble falling asleep last night. After a bath from Dad and the rest of the routine, she settled into her crib as if she were exhausted. It was as if she couldn't wait to get out of my arms into her cozy blankets. I couldn't believe that by 7:10 pm she was breathing heavily away into Dreamland.

That was until about 8:30 pm.

From that time until Jeff and I woke up at 6:00 am, Lauren awoke at what seemed to be every half hour. We even caved and brought her into our room to co-sleep (which availed to no quality of sleep seeing as she is a tiny "windmill" with flailing arms and grasshopper kicking legs.)

If I weren't a psychology major, I might throw in the towel after last night and try this sleep training thing in a few months down the road. But, because I am a psychology major, I'm smart enough to know that there are things I am doing now that reinforce her behavior to wake up and depend on me and which in a few more months, would be much tougher to break. And, you'd think because I have experience in +/-reinforcement, shaping behaviors, and manipulating situations for the better that I'd have had a great night's sleep by now!

Day 4, here we come!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweeter Sleep--sleep training, day 2

Last night was amazing...well, until Jeff and I went to bed. We went through our routine with Lauren, and she seemed pretty tired in general last night. We started around 6:30 pm and by 7:00 I was ready to put her in her crib. She cried for a little while, but by 7:09 she was out like a light.

It was sweet and serene quiet time and it was the first time in months Jeff and I were able to start a movie before nine...and stay awake for the whole thing! The only issue? Lauren woke up 3 (or 4?) times throughout the night :(

The first two times, she quickly fell back asleep when Jeff gave her a pacifier. It seems like a blur, but I think by 1:30 and 3:30 am I caved thinking she needed to nurse both times to get her through the night. I'm excited to see what tonight brings. As my mother-in-law recalls, she "power-nursed" her babies right before putting them down; making sure they ate as much as comfortable to get them as many consecutive hours of sleep as possible!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sweet Sleep--sleep training, Day 1

I've reached my limit of sleepless nights, interrupted zzz's time, and midnight nursing sessions. Don't get me wrong, I love bonding with my little one, but after 6 months of choppy sleep I'm due for a good night's rest. So, I set out with a few tools to jump start my venture into sleep training.

After talking to multiple mothers, I checked out the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and a few other books about calming and sleep training. I've read several articles on and felt I was ready to give it a shot.

So, tonight was number 1 and for the next week or so, our routine will go something like this:

7:00 pm: Let Lauren burn some energy in the Johny-Jump-Up.
7:10 pm: Give Lauren a warm, relaxing bath and talk in a soft, calm voice
7:20 pm: Have Lauren in a fresh diaper and p.j's, comb her hair, and then bundle her in a warm blanket.
7:30 pm: Read a short story, say family prayer, make sure dad has a chance to kiss goodnight, and nurse if needed.
7:35 pm (or about then): Cowboy up and place baby in crib. Turn off lights, turn on "white noise fan" and sit beside the crib as needed.

We did great tonight. After 30 minutes of roller coaster crying (started out with a complaining cry, escalated into a scream-like cry, then hit a real cry which took every ounce of my will power to not pick her up, then back down, etc.) and me whispering little words of comfort to her, Lauren settled into sleep recognized by her easy rhythm breathing. Then I knew it was safe to tiptoe outside.

All references say Lauren should reach destination Dreamland bliss within a week (9 days max). I'll log our progress with the hopes of getting 7+ consecutive hours of sleep by the time October ends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Every Nursery needs a theme!

I started with a pink and brown theme, and then I tried to add a touch of my favorite animal. Can you tell what my favorite animal is??? Did I go overboard?

Lastly, two very sweet girlfriends donated to my cause! (Or my love of giraffes!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Happened When I Discovered iPhoto Booth

Jeff and I got a Mac a couple weeks ago. I've found some cool applications, Photo Booth is one that has been around, but is new to me. This is what happens when Lauren and I discover something new and cool...and have too much free time!

Lauren wasn't nearly as impressed or excited as I was about this application find....

The Opposite of a Compulsive Shopper

I have been way into A&E's television series, "Hoarders". It amazes me how much people hold onto things and how messy someone's home can be, but it doesn't bother that person. There was one episode that stood out to me because the wife was a compulsive shopper and her husband was a hoarder, so together they didn't quite make a good team.

I almost fall under the compulsive shopper category because I LOVE TO SHOP! I'm at Target every other day and I frequent the mall just about every weekend. Sometimes I just feel better after spending a little money, even if it's just a buck for a Coke...yeah, as if the money was literally burning a hole in my pocket.

I have something helpful on my side, however. "Buyer's remorse". If it's something I don't really need, I tend to return it within a week. The people at Target probably recognize me, and maybe some should even start asking me, "Hey Maxene, do you really NEED this? Or really WANT it? You could always leave it on the rack and think about it..."

So, I'm a Compulsive Returner. Technically, this could be a good thing. That, or I should learn patience and just wait on certain items. My new motto should consist of a 3 step process: (1) Do I need the item? If yes, than get it. If no, than (2) Do I really want the item, like life would be better with it? If no, than don't get it. If yes, than (3) go home, sleep on it, and if I remember the item in a few days, than go see if it's on sale to determine the final purchasing decision.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Maybe cats aren't so bad after all

I don't quite know what it is about me and cats, but we don't get along. I think it had something to do with a black farm cat that scratched my eye (or maybe it was my sister's eye) when I was a little girl. Ever since then (that and the persistent allergies) I haven't been a big fan of cats...until I saw this youtube clip:

There you have it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ring Leader

I wouldn't say I come up with a lot of good ideas. I'm not the dare devil who comes up with a brilliant game plan or activity and gets all my friends to follow in suit. No, I'm definitely one of the many who follows behind that ring leader no matter if it's for good or for trouble! My husband, on the other hand, was born a ring leader.

Jeff has had more broken bones, stitches, and trips to the emergency room than anyone else I know. He's also a "do-er". When there's an idea out there, he's the one up front making sure it's carried out.

A week or so ago, he had one of these great ideas. He got a golf ball catcher a while back as a gift, and since has not had to buy a single ball at the store. Last week, for our Family Home Evening, we had dinner and for our activity, we went to the golf course to go on a "walk". We waited till dark, brought our flashlights, and packed Lauren in the stroller with some blankets. As we walked to the designated water hazards, it was not to enjoy the view nor to appreciate the fairways. We proceeded to fish for golf balls with Jeff's catcher.

We even came up with a game plan if we sensed issues. Jeff was to run out of sight and I would casually continuing strolling on my "nightly walk" which just happened to cross through holes 16 and 17. We would meet up at the old house I grew up in.

I'm sure we looked very suspicious...or very curious. We only had one close call, and 3 dozen balls later proved to be worth it.

It's true, we're getting older but we're not growing up!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lauren, Part-Time Model

My sisters and I all love to take model shots when we're goofing around. One of us will come up with a scenario, we'll all get ready, and then we'll pose for that scenario while someone takes the picture. It's a pretty fun game.

Lauren was particularly playful this morning, so I tried to catch some good mommy-daughter shots.
This first one was supposed to be a regular smile pose. This next one was supposed to be "curiously suspenseful". I went for pure fierce, and Lauren went for her signature, pure frightened look.

After I saw the playback on the last photo I was laughing so hard, I accidentally took this one. I don't know if it's just my baby, but she sure has some big, wide eye facial expressions that would be perfect if she were auditioning to be cast in a spooky Halloween film!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brian WIlliams, My News Hero

I usually don't like to watch the news for two reasons. One, being that most of news is sad, depressing, or scary. As a new mom, I've got my own fears of Lauren choking on something, calling Grandma "Mom" and not recognizing me, and wanting to call the doctor when we've reached the fourth day of no poop; and that is without the news' stories of the negatives. The second reason is because Jeff and I don't have cable so we haven't had the chance to catch much news.

Recently, he figured out how to get a few select channels for free by streaming them from our HD television. We get NBC, ABC, and PBS (and a handful of Spanish soap opera channels.) Tonight, Brian Williams reminded me that there is a lot in the world that is not negative.

I think I can rest peacefully after a story like that. I am curious, however, as to where that chicken came from?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good Murdering Hands

I know I brag about my family a lot, but I really do have an amazing family. Two of my favorite members from that family live in Idaho Falls, my aunt Jan and uncle Ray. They were my home away from home when I lived in Idaho last year. I could always count on them whether it was for a good meal, a bed to sleep in, or plain, good company!

One Saturday night, a year or so ago, my younger sister and I went up to Jan and Ray's to eat dinner and play a card game called "hand and foot". At the table sat me, Macy, Jan, Ray, Joyce (my mom's cousin), and aunt Blondie (her real name is Donneta. She is my Grandma's sister, in her 90's, and has a mind sharper than a new knife!) We had been well into the game when aunt Blondie looked at me and commented on my long fingers.

She said something to the effect of, "Those have got to be the longest, skinniest fingers I've ever seen. Those would be good murdering fingers!"

Alas, not only do I have "daddy-long" long legs, an enormous wing span, and lengthy toes I use to pick up things, but I can add "long murdering hands" to the list!

I would also like to point out that my baby girl has acquired those genes from me. She's already got adorable grasshopper legs, giant toes, and good murdering hands!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You're not the only one learning, kid!

It's been a little over a month, and my bundle of joy comes with 8 bundles of dirty and wet diapers a day! I think I'm getting the hang of things. I'm learning more than I signed up for, but I still have yet to learn how to burp a lot better than what I'm doing! Here are the top 5 things I've learned about babies in one month:

1) Don't wear your nice clothing for the sake of looking good while you're at home. Babies (especially mine) seem to spit up and throw up quite a bit.

2) Stimulation is key: when changing a diaper, nothing holds a baby still better than a musical mobile!

3) Take pictures. I'm not ashamed that I've become "that mom". You know, the one who has 36 photos of her baby's third week of life on her phone alone (I won't count the ones from my digital camera!) They really do grow so fast. She's gained 2.5 pounds in 5 weeks.

4) Really, sleep when the baby sleeps! Week one almost killed me. It literally felt like my body was going to shut down! I tried doing everything when she slept because you really can't get anything done when she's awake. Even if she's not crying, it's impossible to not just sit and stare and watch her little eyes dart around the room, exploring her new world. Babies are so curious, and they're so fun to watch.

5) Anytime you leave the house, it is a production. Jeff and I have learned that we need to start getting ready at least 30 minutes before we actually need to leave (and really, one hour is better!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hey, Let's Have a Baby Today!

I'm one hour away from getting induced!!! I'm soooo nervous, this might hurt...just a little! I called labor and delivery ten minutes ago and they are ready for Jeff and I. In one hour, we will begin the process of pushing a baby into the world. I wonder if she has any idea what's about to happen. Up until now, and into the next few hours, she's just been enjoying a free ride. Eating, sleeping, hiccup-ing, and kicking me when I lay down to sleep. I imagine she's been thinking, "Hey! Mom! Why are you not moving? I need that constant swaying and swishing to rock me to sleep! Wake up! Move around!" every time I did lay down to sleep!

I'm trying to really clear my thoughts and capture the moment, but currently all I can think about is how hungry I am. I would really love to eat some toast, or make a breakfast grilled cheese! I guess clear liquids will have to do. I'm also thinking how much weight will be immediately lost in one day....let me run to the scale really quick....

...I got distracted on the way and woke up Jeff. I told him he's going to be a daddy today and he said he's already a dad!

We're excited. It'll be an interesting first week or 6...or 12....or 52!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May in my Mom Jeans

My goodness, is it really May already? Jeff and I are down to 3.5 days until our lives will change forever. We're experiencing a lot of different emotions, but among the strongest are excitement and anticipation. We're still throwing around names, but have it whittled down to 3 or 4 we really love so when this little, full-grown, cashew arrives we'll see which one fits her best.

I'm working today and Tuesday, then we go in on Wednesday at 5 am to get induced. That would be cool if she was actually born at 5 am on 5/5/10. My older sister said we should name her Five Nelson! My stats are as follows:

1) Pounds gained: About 35
2) Cravings: Crunch wrap Supreme (Taco Bell), grilled cheese, watered-down juice, meat, Popsicles (not all at the same time, tho!)
3) Dreams: The baby being born the size and age of a one-year old
4) Pregnancy Symptoms: forgetting...A LOT! (I asked the same question to the same co-worker three times in one hour yesterday!); minimal swelling in ankles and wrists (nothing to write home about though); minimal mood swings (I can only remember 3 or 4 break-downs/crying for no reasons...don't ask Jeff how many he's counted!); itchy belly and a growing belly!; tired--I think I've taken more naps in the past 7 months than I have in all my college years combined!

Needless to say, I'm ready to have this baby! Am I ready to be a mom? Well, not sure. I think it's like getting married and getting used to the fact that you have a husband and are a wife. A lady came up to me yesterday while I was folding and asked if we had any Capri pants that "weren't so 'mom'". She said she bought a pair last week and they fit her in a "very 'mom' way, you know what I mean?" she asked. Then, after putting the sweatshirt down that I was folding, she got red and said, "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean...not that you''re going to be one of those cute moms!"

I didn't take offense. I told her hopefully it'll be a lot of years before I dress like a "mom-mom"! And hopefully it'll be a long time (if not at all!) before I fall into this category:

While it might take me some time to get used to being a mom, I don't think I've ever been more excited to jump into a new chapter of life and try to be the best mom I can be.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Bunnies

I love Easter! This is my favorite time of year. And, while it maybe should be Christmas, I stand by my differences! I love that spring is around the corner, I love wearing (and eating!) pastels,

I love the weather, etc., etc. I especially love chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies! So, the motivation behind this post? Recently my family threw me the best baby shower ever and I saved their thank-you's for the last. This put mailing those thank you's out a couple days before Easter. So, naturally I decided to mail a chocolate-covered marshmallow bunny in each

Just to be safe, I took my stamped envelopes into the post office, thinking at most it might be a couple extra cents or so per envelope. I was way off. To mail one, 1o cent chocolate marshmallow bunny from area code 80134 to 80016 costs about $1.22! I realize not very expensive per envelope, but do you know how much a marshmallow weighs?! The postal office man said it had little to do with weight and more that it was about 1/16th an inch thicker than the alloted 1/4 inch! Unless I wanted to risk the bunnies arriving as mulch, flat treats, I better just pay the extra $4 for my letters.

Anyway, it was totally worth it. Everyone deserves to have their own chocolate-covered marshmallow bunny for Easter. Even my sister, Kelly, who probably hates them!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let's Compromise!!!

We're in our 34th week and I honestly don't know where the past month went. Jeff and I are getting really excited and trying to squeeze everything into our one bedroom apartment while looking for something a little bigger!

I've learned that with marriage comes some compromising. We don't seem to have issues with the toothpaste cap, which way the toilet paper dispenses (top vs. bottom), which pictures should be hung where, etc. No, for awhile our biggest compromise was which bedspread to have on our bed.As you can see, he loves his classic blue and white checkered blanket and I can't part with my classy green and white duvet covered down comforter. For maybe 2 weeks we had this set up until Target saved us with a homey comforter we both love.

I think the big things in life (marriage, kids, etc.) come with a lot of compromising, but in a good way. Jeff and I have learned a lot about each other, likes and dislikes magnified, and really grown to appreciate our differences. We've also laughed off a ton of things. You have to have a good sense of humor, it's one of the greatest gifts I think God gave us to get us through some of the everyday, sometimes mundane, things.

I wonder what things we'll have to compromise when the baby comes? Already I've had to compromise and share half of my closet! My sisters, mom, and a few church friends threw me the most wonderful baby shower. I feel so loved and supported, it never seems to end! This little one coming into the world will have an amazing family and community she's coming into; and, not to mention, she'll be one of the best dressed babies out there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

23 Pounds, and Counting!

I feel like my stomach is going to explode! I only had 7 small boneless wings and about a medium potato's worth of french fries for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, and I feel like my belly will rip open at any moment. Okay, so that's a little graphic, I understand, but I just want everyone to understand what this feels like by me describing in full-too much-detail what it feels like! (Side note: the Nuggets vs. Cavilers game tonight was A-mazing!)

Other than that, the pregnancy is going great. I seem to be gaining weight right on schedule. And, with 11 weeks to go, I can't possibly fathom how to gain an extra 11 pounds (the doctor recommended a pound a week from here on out.) If the baby wants to gain weight, that's great. But, looking at pictures I find it fascinating, and borderline gross how elastic and stretchy human skin is. The human body is pretty amazing on its' own, let alone with reproduction and pregnancy. A pregnant belly is predicted to double/triple in size and weight in the final 2-3 months...scary!

I'll post more pictures soon! All I can describe is what your belly looks and feels like after an all-you-can-eat buffet: not good! At least when the baby moves around, for some brief moment, I forget that I'm temporarily fatter and fuller than I'd like to be and it makes it all worth it :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday To-Do List

I feel that I've had somewhat of "pregnancy brain" lately and I've been forgetful. So, last night I made myself a to-do list of important things I needed to get done today.

1) Call Comcast and figure out e-mail
2) Pay rent
3) Go to my bank appointment
4) Fix inseam on maternity jeans
5) Take pregnancy pictures

The day had been going really well. I woke up at 7:45 am with my husband to eat breakfast. Once he left for work at 8, I went back to bed and took a morning nap. Then, when I woke up again I got right to work. I fixed things with Comcast, walked my rent check down to the office, and then I proceeded to walk down and across the street to the bank.

As I walked out of my apartment complex, a woman in a car pulled up alongside of me. She rolled down her window and asked me if I'd ever read this magazine before (as she handed me an "Awake" pamphlet). It's really not the Johava's Witnesses that bother me here. I'm all about sharing your religion and discussing beliefs. It was the front cover. The title of the issue was "Abortion: What's the Issue Here?" My sarcastic nature and sense of humor background had me floored.

The rest of my walk was spent on brainstorming which angle to take in writing about this and I can honestly say I'm speechless! I mean, do I look like a person who is even considering abortion?! I'm okay with a stranger wanting to share their message on religion, but why not hand me a pamphlet, "Drinking: What are the Dangers?" or "Chat Rooms: What Should I Know About Them?"

All I can say is, I've never been a victim of real-life irony. Giving an abortion pamphlet to a pregnant woman...I think that's irony? Whatever you call it, I'm laughing to myself now because I'm so excited to have a baby, I'm almost to the third trimester, and now when I look in the mirror I try to find my features that make me look like a candidate of someone to get an abortion.

As far as my to-do list goes, I finished my inseams when I got home and I took a few pregnancy photos. So, this is me around 24 weeks! There's a baby the size of an eggplant in my belly!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Post Recall

Okay, so my sister informed me that my last post might have been a little harsh. Let's just chalk that one up to hormones. I guess the one stranger guy who gave me 20 minutes of advice just rubbed me the wrong way. I really do appreciate advice! I just don't want to be scared going into parenthood. So, keep the advice coming, but keep it mostly upbeat and positive!

I found this widget online through a link from a parenting site. It shows you how big the baby is at certain weeks (see to the right.) For me, it's far more exciting this way because I can visualize how big she is and what shape of fruit she is this week (haha, just kidding! Hopefully she's always in the shape of a baby, but I can still get and idea of what size she is.)

The last I was able to read was about at the 10 week mark when she was the size of a cashew. (My favorite type of nut!) My little cashew baby is growing so fast! I can feel her kicking and moving around a ton...especially at night.

I love her and can't wait to meet her!

Also, I'm now excepting ideas or suggestions of favorite girl names. We have a few picked out, but I'm craving more!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lego' My Prego'

I didn't think it would happen to me, but it did. I was folding clothing at work when a stranger walked up and proceeded to ask me about the various Levi's we had on stock. I politely engaged in some conversation on the difference between "recreational" jeans and the more professional looking jeans-the ones you can wear to work with a nice blazer or suit jacket.

Little did I know, it was just this gentleman's way of starting a conversation in which it continued with one minute of him discretely finding out that I am pregnant and then 20 minutes of him giving me advice. (It's the hardest thing you'll ever do; don't think it's easy; you think one is hard, try having 4; go swimming a lot, maybe even buy a tube and fall asleep in the pool as long as your husband is watching that you don't drown; etc.) I smiled for the first 5 minutes, spent the next 5 hoping my supervisors weren't watching, then prayed for 5 minutes that I wouldn't lose my job over this guy, and the last 5 minutes finding the right exit strategy.

Finally, one of my supervisors did come to my rescue. The man said his parting goodbyes, brought up the jeans again, and then left.

I don't mind pregnant advice from strangers...if: (A) it comes from a woman; (B) it can be summed up in two or less sentences; (C) it's not about how hard it's going to be; and (D) they don't assume that I don't know anything about babies or children. For example, a woman who came through my line a couple days ago with her one year old gave me the good advice to drink a lot of fluids, maybe cranberry juice and definitely water. Simple, polite, woman to woman advice.

The only two significant things I can relay to others about advice giving are keep it simple and it's better and much more appreciated when it's asked for. Think of it like a new sport. I'm an athlete and there's nothing worse than trying something new, and someone coaching you from every angle. Before you can even try it out or try to get good at it, someone's telling you how to hold your hands, correcting your posture, it's all in the hips, follow through, etc., etc. It makes you hate the sport!

I'm going to hate parenting before I'm ever a parent if there's too much advice coming from all angles. Let me try to be a mom first! If I have questions along the way, I'm going to ask my family and family-in-laws, aunts, doctor, close friends, and my husband. I got lucky marrying a guy who's the third of eight kids, having a father who is the fifth of ten children, and having a mother of 5 kids who also did daycare and teaching.

I don't mean to be rude, but I've got plenty of amazing sources for advice. And, who knows, maybe you strangers out there know how to do the parenting thing like a pro. In which case, I fully support you in writing a book, blogging it, or twittering daily tweets all about it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Latest Updates

They decided to keep me on at Costco! I'm excited, but also questioned myself on whether they are keeping me because I'm expecting and they feel bad, or if it's because I'm a genuinely hard worker or good worker? Hopefully it's the latter. So, I'll keep up shop there for the next 3 months or as long as I can before my feet and legs start to swell, my stomach gets in the way of carts and members, or I'm so tired I can't make it through my 4 hour shifts.

I will also add that I've been extremely bored and have gotten several cases of cabin fever sitting in my apartment all week. (Which is why I am even more excited to start part-time this next week.) How have I kept myself busy?

(A) I've watched and almost finished every Mary-Kate and Ashley movie-to-home-videos there are on Netflix; (B) I've searched the world wide web for available early morning jobs hiring for part-time work; (C) I've alphabetized the spice rack; (D) I've stalked 50% of my friends on Facebook (in detail) and caught up on their lives; (E) and I finished a baby quilt! Let me rephrase that, I finished sewing the top part and now all I have to do is quilt the backing, the batting, and the top together.

Stay tuned for a picture of the finished product! Having so much free time is bound to help me find new outlets, new hobbies, and unfinished projects dying for a chance to become a masterpiece.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a Girl!

Pregnancy is an interesting thing. Half the time, the women who are pregnant will tell you they don't want to be pregnant, that they just want the baby to come already, they're tired of feeling like a blimp, and all the extra hormones, cravings, sickness, and weight in new places can all take a hike. But, on top of that, they have the added "oooh's" and "ahhhh's" of adoring strangers.

I have the most adorable sister-in-law who has two very cute boys of her own (2 years and a 5 month-old) who has told me some of her pregnancy stories. The most shocking, yet the most common that I've heard from her and others is when strangers approach a pregnant belly and proceed to rub and baby talk directly to the bloated area.

It's one thing for friends and family to feel, but a complete stranger? Maybe my feelings on the subject are different than others'; but, if a stranger walks up to me and begins to feel my belly, give me unsolicited advice about parenting and breastfeeding, or ask when my baby is due without knowing me, I might just give them a disgusted look and say something like, "Excuse me? That is extremely rude. I'm not pregnant. I happen to have a rare case of IBS that makes my stomach bloat."

It would be fun to see their reactions! But, for all those who haven't heard or whom I have yet the chance to tell, my husband and I ARE expecting a baby in late spring (90% sure of which it's a girl)! So, don't feel bad if you've seen me lately and wondered, maybe even had to ask yourself, "Wow, she's really let herself go since she got married. I wonder if that's holiday weight?"

We are very excited, but please be respectful of feeling bellies with a baby in it. Sometimes it just makes the carrier feel fat, not pregnant!

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