Monday, July 27, 2009

Crap, crap, CRAP!! $1300!

We've got an 11 year old Lincoln Towncar. I love this car. It drives like a dream, has plenty of room for just about anything, and has several completely unnecessary features that I've grown very accustomed to. Like the programmable driver's seat settings. If hubby has been driving my car, I merely push the #1 button and the seat goes back like I like it. It has a 6 CD changer in the trunk. The CD player is the latest, greatest of 1998, which means that it won't play home made CDs, but still, this means that all the CD clutter is in the trunk, not the front seat. That's marvelous! The back seat is marvelous as well. I once slept for 4 hours straight in that back seat and woke up without any cricks in my body. How many people can really say that about their car?!

The drawbacks of this marvelous car are: (A) mechanics see the word Lincoln and assume we can afford to pay 1/3 more for any little repair. We cannot. (B) people are prone to thinking that we're snooty, rich, or both. We are not rich. I hope we're not snooty. We paid $10k for it used 5 years ago. (C) There's an air suspension system that just fails as the car grows older. There are these huge air bags at the back of each side of the car that keep it from being a low rider, no matter how much weight you put in the trunk. Our very non-PC term for this is the anti-vato device. I once sat very still on the back bumper of my car for about 10 minutes straight and the car determined that this was the new trunk weight and jacked me up 2 inches, making the car look level again.

The problem with these air bags is that after a while, the rubber dry rots and starts to leak. This causes the air compressor to turn on at random to fill them back up. This causes the compressor to wear out after a while because it's working too hard while sitting in the garage. This is why you see so many older Lincolns that look like they've got WAY too much weight in the trunk. This repair is not necessary to the function of the car, but not doing it makes the ride a whole lot rougher, and it causes the car to scrape on uneven driveways or shop entrances. Or in our case, while backing out of the garage. We knew this repair would one day be needed. Our compressor has been doing overtime since we bought it 5 years ago. This was inevitable. But of course the thing would fail right when we're trying to save up money and pay off other debt before our baby comes!

All last week, the compressor was making funny noises, and not coming on when the car wasn't on. Friday, it finally pooped out completely. As in, I'm dropping off a friend at the airport, we notice the trunk is sitting low, we take her bags out and the car does not spring up in response. Hmmm.... that's gonna cost me. Thankfully, it never occurred to her that her bags had anything to do with it. Which they didn't, of course. I drove home feeling every single bump on the highway, and made sure to tackle the slope of our driveway at an angle so as not to scrape. I call the repair guy and ask for ballpark repair costs and am slightly surprised that it will not be $2500, but probably only a max of $1800. We take it in this morning and they quote us $1300. Not as bad as we had feared for the last several years, but STILL!! I've yet to plug this ugly number in to our budget, but I'm sure I'll work up the nerve here in a minute. Happy Monday!!

The good news this morning was that me and hubby managed to carpool into town and did not have a fight! Neither of us are morning people, and we're both passenger seat drivers so this is nearly miraculous! We did discuss our strategy for that last night and determined that we should try to not talk at all while on the commute. It worked!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shooting party

Friday, we went shooting with some friends of ours. The firing range that's closest to our house requires that you have your firearms in cases when you arrive. We don't have any cases for our guns. Well, we have one case for a small handgun. Our friends had a large, hard sided case that could contain our guns and his! Makes for a heavy case, but it got us in the door! After we got there, we saw that you could rent gun cases from the park firing range - something that at least wasn't well advertised on the website or when we were there last year.

We had a whole lot of fun shooting each other's guns! One friend hadn't been shooting in about 10 years so there was a lot of teaching and learning involved. But we had never shot their guns so at least I had to be instructed on how to safely use their guns too. We had a .32, a .22 pistol, a 9mm, a shotgun, and the AK. We only had 5 shells for the shotgun since they didn't want us to shoot anything but slugs with that. Our friend who hadn't shot in 10 years now feels much more comfortable with the guns living in her house which is extremely important.

We shot for a long time! About 2 hours. Usually when me and my husband go shooting with friends, we only shoot for about an hour. The range we used was well controlled and very safe. They had a lot of rules, but all the rules made sense for everyone's safety. Things like, when the range is cold, and folks are changing out their targets and picking up their brass, leave your firearms on the table at your station, step behind the line on the floor, and do not touch your firearm. It's a good way for the workers to quickly see that no one is in danger. The range we usually go to in the Smokey Mountains has no attendants, and is basically a fire at your own risk type place. If you want to go down range and you're not the only ones at the range, holler to the other folks when you want to go down range so they know not to fire right then.

No one said a word, or even blinked at my obviously pregnant state at the firing range. They did glance at the king size pillow I brought with me. But no one said anything. The first time my big belly was exposed to pistol fire, I wrapped the pillow around my belly, and all three attendants at the range said, "oooooohhhhhhh!" Two came up to me and said, I wondered what the pillow was for! Earplugs for the baby! The baby didn't seem to mind the pistol fire even without the pillow and when I was shooting. The rifle fire was another issue. He handled the AK noise (quite a lot of noise) alright for a while, but quickly tired of that. After a while, I got a swift, strong kick after each round on the AK. After I wrapped the pillow around me, the kicks got softer. Our station was pretty close to the door, so after a couple minutes, I stood in the door with my belly outside, past the well insulated wall with only my head really in the firing range where I could watch the action. He liked that a lot better. So, in general, baby boy handled the shooting extremely well!

We went back to our house where our friends completely cooked dinner for us! Quite a treat for the pregnant lady. I was very grateful that I wasn't on my feet and cooking. And they cleaned up afterwards too! Quite wonderful. And the kitchen nazi in my didn't show up, much to my own surprise. I was just so happy to be sitting on my butt telling them where to find a slotted spoon instead of doing it all myself. It's amazing how quickly I get tired now that I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant. Quite disheartening.

Overall, a great day! And I went to bed almost as soon as they left around 10pm.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Ok, ok, ok!!! No more Cool Ranch Doritos for me! My little soccer player had been having a regular day all day, move around in his typical ways. He's been active but not violent in his kicking. Until I started eating Cool Ranch Doritos about 15 minutes go. 10 minutes ago, he starts stabbing me with his feet! I can't help but flinch and say, "yow!" every time! I guess he doesn't like the extra spices in the Cool Ranch kind of Doritos. I've fed him MSG many times before, and the spicy cheesy Doritos go down fine, but NOT the Cool Ranch apparently. Hubby happened to call and I told him his son was over here causing all kinds of trouble and he better come lay down the law. While I was on the phone with him for about 2 or 3 minutes, I got three more stabs. Needless to say, I've given away the rest of the little bag of chips, and am trying to communicate with the boy by smooshing in on the spot he's been stabbing. Hopefully this effect will wear off soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

pinball boy

The last two nights, when it comes time for me to start to drift off to sleep, the boy starts playing pinball with my ribs and my hip bone on the opposite side. Last night, I had the huge headphones on my belly playing him Loreena McKinnnet and other soothing music to try to wind him down. Could he just hate that music enough that it makes him violent? Or does he really like it? Anyway, he nearly kicked the headphones off once. Not that that's hard, really. They have a tendency to slip off anyway. I called my hubby over there to witness the amazing movement of my belly. All this kicking was threatening to keep me awake just because the little stabs of pain were so regular.

I asked Hubby to talk to the boy and tell him to go to sleep. I didn't really think this would work, but why not try it. So Hubby knelt down beside the bed, said hello, told him he was his daddy, and that he loved him, and said very sweetly why the baby needed to calm down for just a few minutes so I could get to sleep. He babbled on for a few more sentences. The amazing thing is, that as soon as Hubby started talking, the kicks became more gentle (the kind I can sleep through) and after a couple more sentences, he became pretty still. He was just wiggling instead of exercising. We were both very surprised and enchanted.

Very cool!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sweet boy

Friday was a rough day for me. I had my glucose test, we had another Ultrasound, and we looked for a daycare. All this, and it seems I've missed one of my depression pills, so I was crabby and sad on top of all that.

For the glucose test, I had to not eat any sugar or carbs before I went to the doctor at 11:30. It seems that all I ever eat before noon is sugar and carbs. So I was starving while rather worried about morning sickness. Last Saturday, I had a rather bad episode of morning sickness - the first in about a month. I finally just went to Arby's and bought a sack of roast beef sandwiches to eat the meat out of. Also, I found an expired Sprite Zero in the fridge at work. Finally, sanity returned. My husband was very grateful as well.

We got to the doctor and I drank my glucola thingy (which tastes like orange drink from Crystal light) and started feeling light headed because of the sudden sugar after 12 hours of no sugar. Not so bad, though.

We got to go see our sweet boy again on the Ultrasound!! That was really cool! The lady took some 3D shots of his little face for us and my husband thinks he can see a bit of my dad in them! Also, he was working his little mouth like he was tasting something. Then his tongue peeked out for a second. We both laughed and were so excited! We got to see his little toes and his little fists. The image was too quick to see if he has any webbed toes - a beloved family trait of my husband's. They estimated from measurements she took that the baby is about 3 pounds 10 ounces. Based on those measurements, he's measuring about the size of a 32 week baby and he's only 29 weeks along. So I've got a good, big, healthy boy! The doctor even said that whatever I was doing to grow this baby, keep doing it, it's working. Kudos to me!

After my blood was drawn for the glucose test, we set out to look at daycares. The good news is that we found a really, really great place that we would love to have our little boy stay. It's a loving, home type environment with a great back yard and two women who are cuddly and warm. They keep about 8 kids, are a licensed daycare, and have a 3 star rating by the state - the best you can get. The kids we saw there were well behaved and a little shy, but as we were leaving, she said, "say bye kids" and they all chorused "bye" and were starting to move around more normally then. We had come in right after naptime was over and just before Friday movie time. There is a bit of a wait to get in there though. We've got another place that we like that has an opening in December, when we'll likely need a spot, that also has 3 stars, but is more of a pre-school type environment instead of a home type environment. We'll need a pre-school later, but for an infant, we'd prefer more personalized care. So we have a plan! And that's a relief.

The bad news is that I cried between seeing each place, even after the wonderful home environment place. After having just seen our little boy's face on the Ultrasound, I think that made it worse. I don't want to leave my baby anywhere! My wonderful husband interpreted my tears as me wishing he made more money so I could stay home. Which is not the case. Well, it is, but I've never really expected him to make enough for me to stay home with our first baby. We pulled over at the dam, overlooking the lake, and went through the logic and the math one more time. If I quit my job, even if we painfully scrimped, stopped any kind of travel, did nothing for Christmas, never had any car repairs, and never had a car payment again, we would still be short by $400 or $500 each month. It's just not possible. And I could very well go stark raving mad with no adult interaction after just 6 months of baby gurgling. We make plenty enough to afford a baby between us, but I make too much by myself to be able to quit. I knew this when we got married. I knew that my husband wasn't in his profession just to make money, but to make a difference. I intentionally married a man, not a paycheck. This daycare situation is the way with most families now. We are not unique in this.

The last daycare we saw depressed us both. Hubby had memories similar to the play yard of the last one. They were 3 star rated (the best) and had some very high-tech security systems in place. There were constant cameras in the rooms that you could view from the front lobby and zoom in on your child's room. There was a keypad where you had to enter a code to be able to go get your child and no one else could get in. The children were very well cared for, but none of them seemed happy. Plenty of play equipment, but when a child cried, they weren't cuddled at all. The attendants made sure they weren't really hurt but then walked off. Thirty seconds of touch with some kind of "see you're alright" babble would have made me happier. They were extremely expensive too.

So we were a bit sad by the time we got home. I was really sad and hubby was down from his giddiness at seeing our baby on the Ultrasound. I cried a little more and had a nap and felt much better. Very emotionally draining day.

Saturday, I got nearly nothing done and didn't feel my usual Saturday drive to even have a list of chores, much less get a bunch done. I meant to dice all the remaining turkey, package and freeze it, and also cook green beans for 8 hours, package and freeze those. That should have taken me 4 hours. It took all day instead. Oh well. This morning, I'm finally cooking a casserole for immediate consumption. So I've cooked a little bit for a lazy day, but I meant to do more. Oh well. Maybe I'll do better today. I'll report more tomorrow!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

waddle waddle

I get the whole pregnant waddle thing now. I always wondered why pregnant women waddle. Not that I thought they shouldn't waddle, in particular, but why do all bigger pregnant women waddle when not all bigger women waddle. I also had wondered why the cliche was to be barefoot and pregnant. Did that have to do with poverty? Did her man have some weird controlling thing where he wanted to keep her home and barefoot, like, "you don't need no shoes, woman, you ain't got no reason to leave this here house."

The waddle has to do with where you're carrying the extra weight. Mainly, straight out in front of you. You have no bone structure nearby to support the dangling protrusion. It's like building a second story porch without putting support columns underneath. When you walk, the unsupported weight seems heavier and strains where it is connected to your body. But if you walk slower, and waddle a bit, there is less strain on each step. Generally, bigger non-pregnant women don't carry all their weight straight out front, but in a spare tire/love handle fashion or along the thighs. With a strong bone structure nearer to the extra weight, it's easier to carry it, and they're less likely to waddle.

The barefoot thing has two reasons, neither having to do with poverty, controlling men, or any other red-neck mentality. #1 your internal temperature is higher and you're just hot all the time, no matter how cold natured you were before. Taking your shoes off makes you lots cooler all over the same way that cooling off your neck makes you lots cooler all over. So you go barefoot. #2 is the fact that your feet have either swollen, or just grown while you are pregnant. So far, I think my feet have only swollen because my sneakers still fit lengthwise. My pregnancy sandals (as I'm coming to think of them) are at times tight along the straps which were very loose to begin with. My pretty sandals with heels don't fit right now because of the swelling. So basically I have 2 pair of wearable shoes right now. In essence, I go barefoot a lot, especially when I'm home. Hence, I'm barefoot and pregnant at home a lot. And it has nothing to do with money or a controlling husband in a wife-beater T-shirt, un-showered and missing a front tooth. My husband is none of these, might I add.

This week, I'm 11 weeks from being a full term 40 weeks. Full term can also be defined as anything past 36 or 37 weeks though. I go back and forth between thinking, "oh crap! I've only got 11 weeks and I've got sooo much to do," and "oh crap! I still have 11 weeks in this uncomfortable body and it's only going to get worse!" I looked it up last night, and after 30 weeks of gestation, a baby born then will still be very underweight, but will probably not have any long term health issues from not being fully baked. So I'm nearly to the "healthy child" point in my pregnancy. Which is a relief!

I've only had one person insist on telling me labor horror stories. Which is pretty good! Everyone else, I've been able to stop and say, "wait, is this story only going to gross me out or terrify me?" and a time or two, the story teller has stopped and said, "yes" and then wisely skip to the "then I got to hold my baby" part. I know things can go wrong. I know gross things happen. But I'm kinda locked in now without an escape hatch. The guy who told me the horrible stories managed to tell me 4 within about 4 minutes. His last name is synonymous with "crazy" or "nuts" and he frequently lives up to his name. I avoid him when I can and advise other women to do the same. This is the kind of guy who will single you out, and cross a room to tell you details about his recent bowel surgery. Really!? Is there ever a time that's appropriate? That's the kind of surgery that you verbally reference only as "abdominal surgery", even with good friends, until someone asks you at least three times what kind of abdominal surgery. This guy also looks like he's nuts, and will stare at you in that way that makes you wonder if he's mentally chopping you into pieces so you'll fit in his freezer better. When he stopped me to talk, I mentally cringed, and very quickly just blocked out everything he said and tried to think of some phrase I could escape with. I think I said something like, "that's a shame those babies were deformed, but I need to get on the road" and then bolted. The odd thing is, it didn't occur to me to be just as rude and simply turn and walk away while he was still talking. Sometimes manners and a good upbringing can really kick you in the tail.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oil stains on blue polo shirts

We've had an ongoing problem for a while now. Once anything slightly greasy touches one of my husband's dark blue polo shirts, the dark stain remains there forever. This kind of stain has stumped me for quite some time now. I finally looked up some advice online and asked around at work. After quite some work, and a $6 investment in some products, I think we've figured it out!!! 4 shirts have now been salvaged from the realms of "just wear it at home", including a dress shirt where a fish oil capsule burst.

First, I made a paste out of some Oxiclean powder and scrubbed that into all the pesky little spots on a T-shirt that a sausage blew up on. Then I dumped it in the washer on hot with our regular detergent and a scoop of Oxiclean. I threw in the 2 other shirts with similar (but fewer) stains. These stains never show up on damp shirts, so we were going to throw them in to the next load of whites (hot) with Oxiclean again. But first...

Hubby had heard that dawn was really good at grease removal. I had seen the commercial where they were cleaning an oil-slicked duck with dawn, too. So I took the dress shirt with the fish oil capsule stain, wet it under the hottest water I could stand, put on about a teaspoon of dawn, and scrubbed it between my hands really hard, occasionally rinsing it with really hot water again. I completely rinsed it out and did that again. Then I added it to the hot load of whites and oxiclean and detergent that also included the one shirt scrubbed with oxiclean paste, and two that were not.

We hung all 4 special shirts to air dry and waited. The two polo shirts with the least serious stains now show no evidence of oil stains! The dress shirt with fish oil had a faded stain, and the oxiclean paste polo shirt with the most and worst stains had faded stains. We're getting somewhere!!

I do the dawn and hand scrub thing to the fish oil dress shirt one more time and throw it and the worst polo shirt in with a different load of hot whites with detergent and oxiclean. This time, the dress shirt came out stain free!!

The worst polo shirt still had some spots, and later got added to a load with a white fuzzy bath mat which I do not recommend! I knew I would have to re-wash it to get off the bathmat fuzz, but this morning I noticed that it still shows 2 or 3 spots of oil. Seeing how there were originally about 10 spots of oil where the poked sausage basically sprayed on the shirt, this is still an improvement of sorts. Maybe I'll try the hand scrubbing with dawn on the knit polo shirt and risk stretching it.

All of these polo shirts had been through the wash AND the dryer before I started trying to treat them. All of these shirts are probably a more faded blue for having been washed hot so many times, but they were ruined anyway. They still don't look too old to wear to work on casual day.

Hopefully someone searching the internet for this info will find my blog and this will help someone else out!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saving up for a lazy day

My due date for my baby is Oct 1st, which means that I'm about 7 months pregnant and will give birth in about 3 months. Who ever said women were pregnant for 9 months was just full of crap. Of course maybe they meant that after you KNOW you're pregnant, you have 9 more months to go from there... anyway.

I know how lazy I am about real cooking right now, before I have a baby to deal with. I recently did an inventory of our freezer because it was loaded yet I didn't feel like we had anything out there. Turns out most of the food out there was not quick food and therefore usually got dismissed as unacceptable for dinner tonight. We had ground beef, pork chops, steaks, tater tots, a whole turkey, a rack of ribs, and raw sausages (as opposed to brown and serve). "This is dumb," I says to myself. "Just cook more you lazy butt!"

So this weekend I did! We put the turkey in the fridge to thaw last Wednesday and I cooked it today. We love turkey and typically cook it for a non-holiday several times a year. Usually, we have some friends over and put on a whole feast and we all take leftovers home. I wasn't up for that this week, or rather my house was not prepared for that this week, so I'm trading some meat for a hashbrown casserole with a lady at work. I don't know how many pounds that huge turkey was, but we've got 9 beautiful containers of harvested turkey meat lined up in the fridge tonight. I've been known to take pictures of my stacked turkey meat in the fridge. And we've already eaten off it twice today! We'll eat on it all this week for lunch and dinner and when we start slowing down on it later this week, I'll package it up to freeze some to use in casseroles later. The big reason I don't cook casseroles more is that they usually call for X number of cups of cooked, diced chicken, which we never have just sitting around. This will solve that problem!

One of the nesting type preparations I'm hoping to accomplish before our little boy shows up, is to have a stack of frozen casseroles in the freezer that take zero brain power to cook, but merely a day's forethought. As in, move it from the freezer to the fridge on Monday night. Tuesday night bake for 30 minutes and eat. In essence, I'm saving up for a lazy day. Another thing I LOVE to eat but hardly ever do, is properly cook green beans. They really are about a thousand times better when they've been cooked with pork fat for 8 hours before you try to eat them. So today, after I wrestled the turkey into the cooker, I put on a pot of green beans to cook all day. Five cans of green beans with 5 slices of bacon in the pot. They sat around on low (or just warm while we were at church) for 8 hours straight. Then I let them cool and packaged them up to freeze. So now I have 5 cans worth (in 5 freezer bags) of really good green beans in the freezer, saved up for a lazy day! I bought a flat (12 cans) yesterday, so maybe I'll do that again next weekend. We'll see (don't hold your breath).

Also I put up some meatloaf this weekend. That sounds odd, but isn't really. I defrosted beef and sausage, mixed up all the raw ingredients, bagged it up again and froze it raw. This way, all the gross part (wrist deep in raw meats) is done! That's the part I always dread. Now all I have to do is defrost the meatloaf goo, form it into loaves and bake for 45 minutes! With 12 minutes of forethought, I can still have a clean kitchen and meatloaf in an hour! Two batches of meatloaf saved up for a lazy day! With green beans if I like!!

I'm so proud of me! I've cooked or prepared food a whole lot of this weekend and my kitchen is still clean at 9pm on Sunday night! Miracles never cease!!!

Now I just have to fold the rest of the laundry, pick out outfits for this week, and go to bed. Piece of cake!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So very much has happened

Since I last wrote, I've had a wonderful visit with my family, a wonderful lake/boating trip, a wonderful baby shower, wonderful gifts, a crashing back to the reality of regular life, and then a whole day of "needle boy" needling with his tiny riverdance feet.

My wonderful visit with my family started out with a cool summer morning getting to sit on the porch and watch the water sprinklers tick. When I was a kid and my parents would watch the water sprinkler, I never understood why that was fun. I get it now! Mom & Dad came out and sat with me and we got to have a good low key visit. One of many throughout the weekend.

On July 4th, we took the boat out on the lake and visited the favorite swimming holes. The water was cool and a beautiful emerald green. Delicious! Not that I drank any of it. There's an old picture of my mom floating in the lake when she was pregnant with my sister with just the baby bump above the water. I wanted a shot like that and we got one!

A cousin of my husband's lives relatively nearby and so does my best friend from high school. They both came to my folks house to visit and we all had a very fun time. Good to see her. It's been maybe 18 months since I'd seen her last! And she got me a camcorder for a baby gift! That's huge! And it's tiny and only the size of a man's fist.

Sunday, our cousin managed to catch a 22 inch bass in the lake cove just below my parent's house. We had never even seen a fish that big in that little cove! He filleted it and ate it and had a blast doing so.

Also on Sunday, off all us ladies went leaving the men to go to a gun show nearby. I'm glad they had a very guy thing to go do, seeing how they wanted to stay as far from the baby shower as possible. The shower was so much fun!!! Lots of wonderful stuff, extremely yummy cake, and I got to see a lot of family and friends that I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years. Mom had made me two fleece baby blankets and a dozen burp cloths with very cute little boy cloth patterns on the back. A dozen is a lot! And I now have plenty of burp cloths. Mom and Dad also bought me a car seat exactly like I wanted. We had to take it out, put 8 lbs of sugar in the carrying part and haul it around for fun. My best friend's mom had made me an afghan, hat and booties by hand with bright yellow and green stripes on white. Very soft and cuddly. My sister gave me a high chair and all the shower stuff. She had the cake made exactly like the little invitations she sent out! And the cake was very yummy too.

The amazing thing (to me) about the shower was that during the probably 90 minutes where I was the center of attention, I didn't say a single embarrassing or stupid thing! I was shocked. My depressive little mind loves to go over things and over them again until I find something to feel guilty about when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning. I can't think of a single thing to feel guilty about. If you were there and know of something dumb I did, please don't tell me. I rather like this little disillusion.

We all had a multiple lovely swims in the cove below my parent's house. Lots of sitting around in the cool mornings or cool evenings with way too many snacks and plenty of healthy food as well. Monday morning, it even rained! A rare thing for where we were in Texas. We sat on the covered porch and watched, letting the dog chase balls in the rain. So wonderfully peaceful.

We packed all the little shower gifts into a huge suitcase and Mom and Dad will drive the rest (car seat and high chair) to my house in early September. The plane ride back was miserable just because I'm 7 months pregnant, but that's how it goes. We got home, and all I had the energy for was sprawling horizontal on the bed listening to the cat lecture me on leaving her alone for 4 days.

As a result of my lack of motivation on Monday night, I didn't have clothes planned out or lunches prepared for the rest of the week. This fact ruined most of Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Then I'm slightly depressed because I didn't get anything done and as a result, don't get anything done when I am at home. Vicious cycle. Finally, Wednesday, my best (camcorder) friend's husband is in town for a work conference and we're meeting him for dinner. The result of this was that I had an extremely productive 45 minutes at home between work and dinner which made me feel extremely accomplished. After our good visit and dinner, I made myself buy three things at the store on the way home and then put in another extremely productive 30 minutes at home before crashing into bed. All this productivity (and getting to bed on time) allowed me to wake up not feeling guilty for my lack of activity and I therefore had ANOTHER 30 minutes of productivity this morning before work. Also, it's amazing how much better my morning goes when I know what I'm wearing and what I'm eating for lunch when my eyes first open. Weird, I know.

The trick for tonight is to try to be productive while my husband isn't home. Something about when he's not there that I just sit on my butt in front of the TV feeling rotten for doing just that. Then when I hear the car pull up, I wish that I had some accomplishment to brag about having done while he was gone. It's not like he's a slave driver and wants to know what good I've been doing and I "better have a good answer, young lady". He's never mad at me if I've just been lazy all evening. The only things he gets upset about are when I STILL haven't mended his pants or I STILL haven't tried to get that stain out of his shirt. I wonder if I asked him to ask me what I've done when he gets home if I would enjoy the recital of chores done, or hate that he asked. Perhaps I shouldn't ask him to start that habit. Perhaps I should just bring up my list when I have a list to recite. If I said all cheery, "listen to what I've gotten done and then brag on me," I'm sure he could do his part by saying 2 sentences of how great the list is. And if I don't have a list of things done, I could just keep my mouth shut. It's never a good idea to start a policy (policy of always asking what I've done) that I could easily resent. It's also never good to start a policy that involves him guessing as to when I want the policy enforced. Never count on a man to read your mind. It will never turn out well.

Oh, then there was needle boy yesterday. For about 8 hours straight yesterday, the baby poked me non-stop. Never any real vicious kicks. More like how you would poke someone to get their attention or wake them up. But it never stopped all day long! So all my guts were constantly giggling all day long. That gets really old after a while. It's like having butterflies in your stomach for 8 hours straight. Walking didn't help. Eating didn't help. Pressing in on a spot he was needling only resulted in about 10 seconds of non-movement followed by more Irish step-dance 3 inches away. And sometimes he would step-dance directly on my bladder. It's really frustrating to go to the bathroom and hardly pee at all, even though you really really had to go. So that's my big complaint about not being comfortable while pregnant. Pretty wimpy, huh. We should all have it so rough.

But I'll focus on all the good things that have happened recently and how productive I've been lately. You know, I've had a wonderful visit with my family, a wonderful lake/boating trip, a wonderful baby shower, and wonderful gifts. A truly wonderful long July 4th weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The holidays

Aren't the holidays wonderful! I of course mean these mid-summer holidays. July 4th, hubby's birthday, nephews birthday, parents anniversary, annual pilgrimage to my folks house for lake festivities, and this year, a baby shower there for me! And most folks at work take advantage of the three day weekend by planning their own vacations for the same time, effectively getting a 5 day vacation while only using 2 days of vacation time from work. My boss is doing this too, which means that I can't start on my next big project until she gets back to do her preliminary stuff. So what am I going to dooooo! Which of my "must be done before baby arrives" chores can be done at my office?

Let's see, I can catch up the 10+ year journal, but that's nearly done anyway. My 10 year journal is this wonderful journal that gives you 4 lines to fill per day for 11 years, all in one book. Filling four lines isn't daunting and I freely allow myself to skip whole un-eventful days or just put in 3 words or whatever. If I have more to say than 4 lines, there's overflow pages in the back. I've been doing it since 2004 and it's been handy and informative. I noticed that I got "sick" every year during the same days that the leaves first appeared in the forest out back. Well, duh, that would just be allergies. And since I've noticed that, I hit the allergy meds pretty hard about that time each year and save myself being sick. Pretty cool! Also, it's easier to keep track of car repairs, when did we get the cat, how long have they been married, which year did the furnace die in February leaving us cold for a week, how old is that child now, and other big important things like that. I've started keeping small weather reports there too. Just the high, the low and how much rain we got. I was completely sold on this 10+ journal while breakfasting with hubby's grandparents one day years ago. Hubby's grandfather reached over during breakfast, took a journal off the shelf at random and turned to that days date. "On this date in 1964, Tom hit his first home run." He snapped the book closed, shelved it, and we talked about that day for 5 minutes. Very cool!

So I could completely finish getting the 10+ year journal up to date. I could address Christmas cards for this year (we've got them already in the attic anyway). Yes, I'm that nerdy. With baby boy arriving in October, how likely is it that Christmas cards will get done if I wait until November to do them? And I plan on sticking one photo of baby boy in the cards this year. Birth announcements and Christmas cards all in one! I could caption all the photo albums. I've got nearly a year's worth of pictures to do that with right now. They are printed and in 2 albums though! That's half the battle! I got the Ireland photo album captioned a couple weeks ago - only 9 months after returning from the trip. Good thing I had captioned the digital versions. There was already a lot of details I'd forgotten.

I still print my digital photos out because media storage is always changing and you never know if jpeg file formats will really be around in 30 years. If you just keep them in your computer, they could get lost, damaged, or technology could move on without them. If you save them to home-made CDs, those don't last more than about a year and then you've got nothing. One thing about preserving photos for 50+ years is that printed photos will stand the test of time. They may fade or turn slightly red (or some other color) but the basic image will very likely still be visible 50 years from now. And you won't need a special gadget to look at it, just your own eyes. You can still see if your daughter looks like your great-grand mother when SHE was 30. And that's what photos are for. To clear up the edges of our mental pictures.

My cold/allergies have gotten better! I think due to the fact that I ran our air filter on high for 4 hours in the bedroom yesterday evening. Much less congestion this morning and I'm coughing up less stuff. That was graphic. Sorry. We went on a 2 mile walk yesterday and my foot isn't any worse! Very refreshing to go for a walk again.