Monday, August 31, 2009

Change, change, change

This weekend, I felt we needed to make our monthly pilgrimage to Wal-Mart, now called Walmart. Like most trips to Walmart for us, this was mostly based on laziness at not wanting to hit maybe 3 stores for the entire list. We needed Walgreens type items, grocery items that could be bought at Aldi, and a few grocery items that can only be gotten at a name brand store. When I first said to Hubby that I needed him to go to Walmart with me, there was a definite snarl on his face. I have no idea how much of that was "Walmart" and how much was "with me" but it was there none the less. I explained the need for Walmart and then explained that at 35 weeks pregnant, I needed him to help me cut down on how many miles I would have to walk within Walmart.

The plan: I split up the list between the Walmart side and the grocery side to avoid unnecessary mileage between the two. We got two baskets, had our cell phones, and planned on meeting up again at the checkout.

The problem: They've re-organized the whole freakin' store!

After a whole lot of time walking around this new, frustrating layout, the only organizational pattern I could find was that there is now a "frequently purchased \ consumable items" side and a "might only need it once a year" side. Otherwise, why would you put the produce near the health and beauty aides?

The tone of the customers can be condensed into two groups of people: 1- harried people with long lists looking frustrated and a bit angry and 2- whole families who have come to wally-world with plenty of time and are enjoying going down every aisle and blocking traffic for the rest of us. The larger group is the first group.

The whole time I'm searching for the photo albums (never found them - they're not with the picture frames) I keep thinking, "well America, you said you loved change. Do you love this kind of change?!" I wish I could have taken an exit poll of customers when they first encountered the new layout.

"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?"
"I couldn't find a ___ thing?! Do you people even sell cuz-cuz any more? There's six things I don't have off my list only because my feet are tired and I want to go home. Why did you change it?"

"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?"
"Look, you people could at least warn us when you're going to do something like this. It's taken me twice as long to get my regular groceries this week. I didn't have time for that today! I'm supposed to be at church in 30 minutes! Why was the layout changed?"

"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?"
"I walked every stinkin aisle of this place twice today with three now-cranky kids and finally have everything off my list. Plus no telling how much random stuff the kids put in the basket when I was searching for the yeast and baking chocolate. I would have left them at home if I had known you'd changed everything."

"Hello, sir, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?"
"I had three things on my list and it took me 45 minutes in this ___ place today. Pimentos, cream cheese, and beer. I needed the beer by the time I finally found my wife's ___ pimentos, much less the cream cheese. Did y'all just change everything hoping we buy more impulse purchases?"

While waiting 25 minutes in line to check out, (did I mention that I loved Walmart?!) Hubby and I talked about how, in reality, humanity hates change. It causes stress, takes more time, and only about half the time makes anything any better in the long run. Just ask anyone involved in a computer program upgrade at work. But you put a charismatic orator on the TV often enough touting anything, and suddenly America wants it.

It reminded me of the JibJab cartoon that went around the internet last summer. It was before the presidential primary and poked fun at all three (Hillary, Obama, and McCain) candidates' foibles and issues. Obama's part of the song included this priceless line. "There's the change we must change to the change we hold dear. I really like change, have I made myself clear."


Friday, August 28, 2009

Bogus money saving stories.

Is anyone else tired of reading internet articles with "money saving tips" and finding not only that they don't have any NEW tips, but that the people in the articles were just dumb or clueless?

This morning at 5am, I was reading an article in a baby magazine that claimed to have three baby budgeting success stories. For each section of the article, during the first sentence of each family's situation, I thought, "well duh! Of course that works." One family, upon learning that they were expecting twins, suddenly started paying attention to their finances only to realize that they could live on one salary if they just started paying attention to where the money went each month. So they had been wealthy morons for how long? And if they weren't wealthy, then lets hear the nitty-gritty details of how they did that. One family realized that they could save a "ton" of money by not buying specialty coffee every morning and using a coffee maker instead. Is this news to them? I forget the details of the three families, but every single one of them were able to have one parent stay home with the kid or kids and still vacation and/or save money for the kids college. Well isn't that just hunky dory! Good thing they made a ton of money!

How about an article about successful baby budgets that actually has some new news in it? Let's hear some success stories for folks who buy what they can off craigslist, and grocery shopped at Aldi. We don't really have a lot of debt, we own both our cars, and we only have cable TV because it's like $10 more per month than only having internet service. We each spend $20 per week on "mad money" and don't spend more than $25 per week on entertainment. We take public transportation when it's cheaper than driving. My husband cuts my hair for me and he gets his cut where-ever has issued a coupon. We don't use coupons because there are only about 3 grocery items per week that we buy that aren't at Aldi (which doesn't issue coupons). I plan on using coupons for diapers once our bundle of joy arrives, at least until he grows to fit size 3 diapers. Aldi doesn't sell diapers smaller than size 3.

Lately, hubby spent some serious time on the phone with various kinds of insurance people and managed to save us about $1500 per year on our home and car insurances with roughly the same coverage. This is the biggest money saving change we've made in a couple years and I am darn proud of him for it! We got the great rate because of our great credit.

After this wonderful success, he started looking at all our other bills trying to find better deals on them too. The phone/cable/internet/cell phone group didn't go quite so well but we are saving a little money there. We figured out that we are saving $30 per month between the two bills (home phone/cable/internet and then cell phones separately). The annoying part is that for our primary TV, you have to have two remotes to turn it on and we still don't have our favorite channels memorized. We're not sure if we're going to keep the new system.

Some articles suggest canceling your home phone. That would work great if we didn't live in a valley AND we have trouble getting cell phone and radio reception inside the house.

Some articles suggest eating out less. We realized long ago that eating out was a special, expensive treat and as a result, most eating out money comes out of our weekly $20 "mad money" allowance. Otherwise, we spend $20-25 per week on entertainment which may or may not include eating out. I always roll my eyes at these folks who started saving $200 per month when they just started cooking at home more often. Really?! You didn't know you were blowing $50 per week?

After reading this frustrating article, I reminded myself that when we were first married and in our current house, we earned, combined, the same amount that Hubby makes now. So theoretically, we could do that again (if not for new baby costs), right? So what has financially changed for us in those 7 years. Oh yeah, we took ramen out of our diet as a staple. Along with vienna sausages and tuna. We eat real meat now. We've also added the following things to our budget:
monthly saving for our next used car
monthly saving for our next vacation
monthly saving for our next unforeseen car repair (including tires)
monthly saving for our next unforeseen home repair (including appliance repair)
monthly saving for trips to see family (we don't have a relative in the state)
monthly saving for Christmas
adding $100 per month (up from zero) to our budget for clothing

That adds up to $810 for us. And notice none of those particularly frivolous! The new frivolous additions to our budget since then include:
paying someone to mow our lawn ($50 per month that prevents a weekly fight!)
cat expenses (ranges from $12 to $100 per month)
my gym membership (averages out to $21 per month)
paying extra to have unlimited long distance (no more than $30 per month)
keeping up with friends abroad (recently reduced from about $30 per month to $10)
recreational firing range supplies ($200 per year)
masonic lodge memberships ($50 per month)

So where are the money saving articles for our kind of people?! Huh?! We can't be alone in our situation! I'm really tired of revelations that you don't have to use name brand baby wipes. Or that the store brand is cheaper than the name brand and is virtually the same product. Or that bottled water costs money when the tap is right there. Or that the library is free. Or that organics are expensive. There's got to be other folks out there that realize that when money is tight they can live without manicures, pedicures, massages, new shoes, or anything from the mall. Where are my kind of people?! And why aren't they writing frugal articles?!

Or perhaps I just need a nap because I woke up at 5am.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oddly gratified

In preparation for my maternity leave, I'm writing detailed instructions on how to do all my monthly financial reports. I'm actually enjoying this more than I thought I would. I always enjoy writing, even, apparently, technical writing. One of the types of reports necessitates starting with the report from the same month last year, and building on that. I pull up this report only to find that it is obviously wrong. Very wrong. Only one region out of 63 might have paid in more than 100% of their expected funds for the year by August. This report shows that nearly all 63 regions have paid in over 130% of their expected funds for the year by August. How could I have missed this and goofed so very badly last year!? I check through several similar reports for that same month. They're all wrong too.

Did I have a stroke that month? Let's see, these are August reports, so they would have been generated the first week of September. What was going on then? OH! I was in Ireland! I didn't do these reports at all. Either my boss or my co-worker did them.

Oddly, I'm gratified that I consistently do them correctly month after month. (small smug smile)

Quickly on the heels of this little burst of feeling incredibly efficient and useful, I realize that I'm about to be gone again. And for longer. And while the quarterly reports will be generated which always draw more attention than regular monthly reports. Oh crap! And the reports were easier to generate last year than they are this year. Last year, our accounting system had a reporting system tied to these funds and you basically told it to run and then glanced over it to make sure it was right before publishing it. Now, you have to pull the raw data, download it to Excel, play with a pivot table to get the subtotals, then calculate the percentages yourself. This is due to a dubious "improvement" to our accounting system. Certainly sounds improved, doesn't it?

So I guess I better make doubly sure that my instructions are super duper clear, huh? Too bad I can't train my replacement with my instructions on this month's August reports which I will likely generate next week. There's been no mention of hiring a temp for my maternity leave. I hope they don't expect my Korean co-worker to do these reports while I'm gone. And I CERTAINLY don't want to be in charge of training her in doing this next week. She's only been in America for over 30 years and still speaks quite broken English. And she personally drives me nuts. Hmmm.... I think I'd rather do them from home 4 days postpartum while trying to nurse my son than help her try to decipher my instructions next week.

What to do?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carseat installation update

Hubby just called me and said that our cop friend has properly installed the infant car seat into Hubby's back seat! I didn't even have to remind him! The reason we couldn't find the other side of the latch/anchor system on the bottom is because it doesn't exist in that car. That WOULD make it hard to find.


Now I just have to figure out how to loosen those straps and get the kid in the seat!

I feel good today!

Nothing like actually feeling good to point out how often lately I haven't felt good. Yesterday, as soon as I got home from work, I went to bed and slept for nearly 2 hours, feeling much better when I got up. I did get one thing done on my list (I captioned part of a photo album), visited/cuddled with hubby, and at 10pm, took two Benadryl and an acid pill to ensure that I'd sleep through the night. And I did sleep through the night! And today I feel like a million bucks!

I woke up early enough to easily wash my hair, so that feels good too. I left for work a little early and therefore will work an extra 15 minutes today (at least) which will keep me from having to use that as sick time when I go to the doctor this Friday. If I feel good enough to work an extra hour this evening, then that might take care of the rest of the time I wont' have to take as sick time.

I'm being productive, smiling a lot, nothing hurts, and nothing is really bad swollen. This is the best I've felt in quite a while! Yesterday driving home and feeling horrible, I wondered if I was going to feel miserable non-stop for the duration of my pregnancy - a full 6 weeks. Not a fun thought. But with occasional days like this, the prospect isn't so grim! And I'm very seldom miserable for a whole day. Woohoo!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Car seat troubles

On my list of honey-do's this weekend was "attempt to install the car seat" in Hubby's car. Sunday afternoon was even nice and cool here for August (75!), so out to the driveway we traipsed, large box in tow. Hubby takes the base and starts trying to put it in the car. I tackle the child carrier part and try to remember how to loosen the straps enough so that you could actually put a child in there. After about 4 minutes, Hubby says, "well that was easy." I look up in astonishment.

"Does it wiggle?" I ask.

"Well...." he tries to wiggle the part closest to the front of the car and it can swing at least 3 inches each way.

"Ok, so it's not supposed to wiggle, like at all."


So we both get back to work on our project. Soon, cussing ensues from both of us. The part I'm trying to do (loosen the straps that hold the child) I've done before on the duplicate car seat we were given by my parents out of state. They will soon be traveling here with their Suburban and all the big gifts we received at that baby shower in July. When I managed to loosen these straps before, it took me and a friend, three college degrees between us, 30 minutes, the owners manual, and lots of cussing. But that was 7 weeks ago and my brain has deleted that info at this point. My biggest problem is that I can't find the English manual.

After 30 minutes or less, we have made a tiny bit of progress. I finally find the manual attached to the bottom of the carseat. That will be handy later. Hubby found one of the Latch system hooks and has attached it to the base. We can't find the other one. At the point where we're both in the backseat searching, digging, and straining, Hubby says with great annoyance and frustration, "Don't we know anyone who has tried to do this before?!"

"Yes! Remember our cop friend offered to do this for us when the time came."

"Just because he's a cop doesn't mean he knows how to do this."

"When he was here last, he said he had taken a 40 hour course on how to install a variety of carseats into a variety of cars. He offered to install both the carseats for us."


"You were standing 5 feet from us when we talked about it that night! And I sent you an email a week ago saying you should meet up with him at lunch downtown one day and let him install this thing."

"Really?! Then why are we trying to do this?"

"I thought we'd give it a shot." That's not a real answer and I know it. My big reason for the attempt is so we'll really appreciate the gift of having someone else do it for us and for us be extremely hesitant to ever move the thing again. Mostly, I'm astonished that Hubby with the perfect recall on all things verbal (which is SOOOOOooooo fun for me during arguments) has forgotten about this (to my mind) important conversation.

So we toss all the parts in the backseat, haul the box back to the garage, and go inside. Mental note to call our cop friend.

I'm sure that between now and when it is properly installed, some extremely helpfully annoying woman will completely freak out upon seeing that the carseat is sitting sideways and unattached on the backseat of his car and want to either leave a note or hang out waiting for the owner of the car just so she can tell my Hubby how unsafe it is. Like we don't know this. Now why does my devious little heart really want to put a life-like doll into the carseat with it sitting like that just to freak out passers-by? Then I'd want to set up a camera to watch the results. But even if I had a life-like doll, I couldn't get it in there because I never did manage to get the child-holding straps to loosen. A project for another day.

Short list of projects for another day before the big day:
Assemble baby crib
Assemble changing table (possibly with the wrong hardware)
Adjust straps on carseat so it can hold a child.
Assemble the high chair (this could wait a few months!)
Practice setting up the pack and play
Assemble the diaper champ

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wonderful Sunday!

Sunday afternoon, I had a wonderful baby shower! I had done all my icky chores on Saturday so I was completely free to enjoy the baby shower and play with the loot afterward. Four of my friends went in together to put on a beautiful shower for me and my little boy. I had invited all the ladies from my church choir, my next door neighbors, and a couple other friends I've made around town. 19 ladies showed up! The food was wonderful, everyone seemed to have a good time, and I got a lot of really cool baby gifts. I laughed and smiled so much that my cheeks hurt by the end of the party.

The concept of baby showers seems to be as foreign to my husband as if I informed him that women frequently travel back and forth to the moon and that's where we get dinner. He doesn't understand why people would want to come, why it's not rude to invite people to shower one with gifts, or why they are entertaining. After he helped me bring everything in from the car, he was still astonished that so many people came. I was surprised at the number as well, however. On the way over there, I had thought, "even if only like 6 people come, it will still be a good shower." Ha! 19! We got lots of ultra soft baby blankets with Republican elephants all over them. We got 13 wonderful baby books, toys, sheets, bibs, clothes, a home made diaper bag, helpful car seat things, and diapers. The gifters who had brought what turned out to be duplicate gifts handled it with good grace, and everyone had included gift receipts in the bottom of their gift bags. Very thoughtful, all around.

As entertainment, the ladies wrote funny things on the newborn diapers. These really cracked me up. Things like "concentrated evil", "daddy's turn", "nuclear waste", "heavy load", "it won't last forever", "I love you!", "food in, poop out", "download in progress", and "health reform". These will be entertaining at 2am! Another sweet thing they did was each fill out their address on a thank you note. That will make things easier.

The shower was sooo much fun! But really tiring too, with my limited energy of late. I sent pictures to my mom and mother-in-law for them to enjoy.

At the ultrasound appointment last Friday, they told me that my little boy is already 6 pounds! I have 7 weeks left! I'm going to give birth to a toddler!! Ever since I heard that, he SEEMS bigger which is completely mental but it seems he's taking up much more room. But his head is down and it's his feet that are stuck in my right ribs. I'm really ready to see my sweet boy's face and snuggle with him while pointing his little feet away from me and my ribs.

Dreaming of Patrick Stewart

Many months ago, on our wedding anniversary I believe, I had a dream where I really thought I was going to get to have a great deal of illicit fun with Patrick Stewart. At one point I tried to take control of the dream to make sure that it turned out like I wanted, but alas, that didn't work. The next morning, I told hubby about my disappointed dream and he very sweetly said, "oh I'm sorry honey" as only a very secure spouse could say.

Last night, in a dream out of the blue, I got to nibble on Patrick Stewart's neck and ear and IT WAS SOOOOO HOT!!!!! It was like that Junior High first touching hands kind of electricity. Ahhh.....Very fun to think about.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wiggle boy

Even with wonderful Hubby singing to baby boy tonight, he still scarcely let me get to sleep for all his pointy footed wiggling. The singing did calm him down for a while though. I finally got to sleep with my hands and feet swelling almost to the point of pain, but not quite. After dear Hubby came to bed, something woke me up again and now my hands and feet were really hurting. And wiggle boy was still at it with the pointy feet. So now it's 2am and I'm downstairs holding an ice cold Dr. Pepper can to try to reduce the swelling in my hands, and watching one of my "ad nausium" movies and trying to drift off to sleep. Which is obviously working because I turned on my computer to see how the world was faring and thought I'd share the misery. Lucky you!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lessons learned from yesterday

Yesterday, I gave in to my odd craving for a Blizzard with Butterfinger in it. Turned out that was lunch. And at 2pm, I really wanted to eat my Bar-B-Q chips I'd brought from home. This was not a good combination. Then I got itchy for no apparent reason and became so amazingly uncomfortable that I went home at 3pm. A bath and a 2 hour nap fixed me up well. The amazing thing was that I was ready for bed again at 9pm.

So the lesson from yesterday is not to necessarily give in to odd pregnancy cravings one after the other.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

33 weeks pregnant

Our little boy is continually gaining weight and seems to be traveling around my right side. At times I can feel him almost directly below my right armpit, down where my waist line used to be. The kicks and pokes on my left side aren't nearly that far around my side. He continues to bang his noggin or something hard on my lower right ribs, though the "ouch" kicks are decreasing to mostly just "ooof" kicks.

My hands and feet stay a bit swollen now. As a result, my white stretchy sandals and my new 1/2 size too big sneakers are the only shoes I attempt to wear now. I had to take my wedding rings off yesterday which was rather un-nerving. I never take my wedding ring off. EVER! Well, I've had it cleaned twice. It took a good bit of ice water to get it off. As some of you know, my biggest fear in life is to be a young widow, as irrational as that may seem. This morning, hubby is getting on not just any airplane, but a small airplane for a day trip with work. So during my freaking out about that this morning, I managed with some effort, to get my wedding ring back on. So I had to endure more ice water to get it back off again later. A friend has lent me a ring today to wear on my wedding finger so I don't look as knocked up. It's gold with some diamonds and might be viewed as a wedding ring.

Pitiful & Whiny Rant:
I'm starting to really miss my old body and my old activities. I miss the way my belly looked all flat and a little muscular. I miss going to the gym for the weight lifting class. Technically, I could still do this, of course, and my doctor would heartily encourage me to do so, but there's this big fatigue thing involved. Last night when I got home, I wandered around the house for an hour trying to be productive when what I really wanted to do was read in bed. Finally, at 8pm, I just went to bed and did that. I miss knowing I've got a fairly strong back because of the weight lifting. I miss taking our standard 2 mile walk with my husband where we can talk about nothing, get fresh air, and hold hands. I miss being able to sit up in bed without flopping around like a beetle. I miss laying flat on my back in bed without feeling light headed. I miss laying on my belly in bed. I miss enjoying sex without having to figure out logistics. I miss having energy to do what I want. I miss being able to carry heavy things around the house without having to wait for my husband to get home so he can do it. I miss going for daily walks at lunch with a friend of mine. Now I'm more prone to take a daily nap in my car during lunch.

Men at Hubby's lodge have started asking me if I'm really ready to not be pregnant any more, which is separate from "are you ready for the baby". I'm not there yet, but I can see it coming.

Monday, August 10, 2009


If you know me at all, you know I love to make lists. Even more fun is crossing things off the list. Best of all are the lists of things I've already done. These really do help me sleep better at night. My wonderful husband recognized this a year or two ago, when he started verbally listing everything I'd gotten done that day as he was putting me to bed. I always went to sleep with a smile on those occasions. Now I keep a list of everything I've done in a weekend and it makes me feel better. Especially since half the things I get done weren't on any to do list anyway! That closes the gap between "I've been productive but I didn't get to cross anything off a list."

So here's the stellar list that started Friday afternoon and ended at 10pm Sunday:
Returned library books
Bought sneakers and necessary maternity clothes
Bought food for the food pantry at church
started laundry
baked a tuna casserole and froze it
napped (an important accomplishment!)
had hubby help me get the attic stuff into the attic
found the Christmas cards to address
hung some decor in baby's room
made a menu for the week using older stuff out of freezer
sorted the filing to be done (at least a foot tall stack!)
returned the too small suitcase
snuggled on couch with hubby
forcibly removed 4,000 tiny "gift" feathers from the cat from our garage which had, collectively, started smelling like a dead animal. Big job. Hubby helped.
balked at the idea of mopping the garage, though it could use it
sang in choir at church
napped pitifully
addressed all the Christmas cards with the addresses I had at the moment (these will be baby announcement envelopes as well)
ate leftovers (a rare thing for me, it seems)
washed sheets and re-made bed
bought groceries
visited with Texas cousins and Aunt in town only for a day or two

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our fantastic Saturday

This weekend constitutes the last weekend in August that we DON'T have some big event that we need to do. In early September, I hope to have everything critical ready for the arrival of our son (OUR SON!) and my folks are coming to visit. Since I'm due Oct 1st, our baby could arrive (but probably won't) as early as mid-September. So this could, conceivably, be our last Saturday with just the two of us. So we should savor it, right. So what really happens? We're bored.

I tried to sleep late and couldn't. I was really pretty productive in general, but now I'm bored with my list of stuff to do. Hubby played his favorite computer game for a couple of hours, then we watched Mary Queen of Scots together on the couch. Which is really cool because we seldom watch movies together on the couch because we have such different taste in movies. So he held my feet and rubbed things during the uncomfortable afternoon hours. Every day between 2:30 and 6pm, our baby boy is violently active and my belly skin does its stretching for the day. I've finally figured out that the violently active boy wants to be rocked, so I bounced on my exercise ball for probably an hour total. We talked about how we should really DO something. But what? All our usual activities are more active than I can be right now. And it's 91 degrees out, so it's hot. (This is where you Texas people say "oh boohoo you wimps!") So we've just cooked dinner and watched our separate TVs to round out the day.

Perhaps this is confirmation that we really are ready, mentally, for a huge change in our lives.... maybe.... we'll see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Belly stories

Yesterday, there was a little birthday celebration (cake and song) here at the office. I was running late and trotted the last 20 feet to the location, holding my belly so it wouldn't bounce as much. Three women were horrified that I trotted at 8 months pregnant and I said something smart like, "hey look at that, it didn't fall out, did it?" A minute later, I was standing around discretely scratching a spot near my belly button, and they commented on it. I said I was growing a stretch mark and it itched, so leave me alone.

Later that night, I was getting in the tub to soak my belly in a baby oil bath and took off my bella band that I wear for support. That spot near my belly button that itched all day turned out to be a tiny piece of the peanut brittle I ate that morning. Oh! That makes more sense! Me and my husband had a good laugh about that one.

I do wish there was a supplement pill of some kind that encouraged skin growth. I'm keeping oils and lotions and belly butter on it though.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We got a raise!!!

My hubby has recently received his Master's degree and he also did a stellar job with his job during the first 6 months there. Hubby asked for a raise considering these two things and his boss, of course, knows that we're expecting our first child this fall. After our paychecks posted on the 30th, I noticed hubby's was bigger than I expected. Always a nice realization. He got to checking around and sure enough, he was given a 5% raise!!! Way to go Hubbs! And much rejoicing ensued!

Pointy Bouncy Boy

My baby boy has really been getting in his exercise the last day or two! He doesn't really let me slouch at all now, and if I recline backwards he takes advantage of the extra space to really stretch out. Yesterday morning, I was laying on my side with my hand on my belly. Suddenly, a big goose egg formed under my cupped palm and moved my hand, then went back down. "Morning, son!" My husband hasn't gotten to feel any of those huge movements yet, but it's not for lack of trying. Last night, he felt a lot of movement and was really surprised at the non-"ouch" movements. The websites and books say that from now on (week 32 and past) he will have progressively less room to maneuver and the kicks will get less strong. It's hard to gain momentum on a knee punch when your play area keeps shrinking. We'll see.

As far as preparations go, I managed to cook another casserole for the freezer last night and I'll try to get it wrapped up tight for freezing tonight. Right now it's just in the fridge. One of these ingredients for this casserole was chicken broth for the yummy goo part of the casserole. I had found some duck broth in our freezer from the last time we cooked a duck and used that instead. I bet that will be yummy!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Swimming with the belly

This past Saturday night, we went to an engagement party for some friends and it was a luau. They said to bring your swimsuits and be prepared to drink. No drinking for me, so I tried on my pregnancy bikini before I left the house and adjusted things so it would fit better. I was just brilliant to buy a bikini that could be expanded at the hips and bust. BRILLIANT!! It's not a string bikini, but it has strings attached.

We get to this wonderful house with a beautiful pool out back for the party and I find two other pregnant women there. They're both due at Thanksgiving, so I'm a bit bigger than they are. I ask them if they plan on swimming and they say no. I ask why and they don't really have a reason. I tell them that I've realized that when I'm submerged, there's less strain on my body to hold up my belly and everything feels better and lighter. So any time there's a pool, lake or ocean nearby, I'm going to be in it! No response. Ok, whatever. One of these women asked me later if I was planning on delivering naturally and I said enthusiastically, "oh, h*** no. I'm getting an epidural as soon as I can." She looked at me like I was from Mars. Hmmm. Suddenly, the snack table was calling me from a great distance. Maybe she's from Mars and I'm the normal one.

As the party progresses, it unfortunately starts to rain a little. Just enough to be annoying. My husband and one of the guys reason that if we're going to be wet, let's wear our clothes that were meant to be wet and get wetter. There was no thunder, so hubby, me and friend change clothes and jump in the hot tub. (The hot tub was set at 98 degrees which is perfectly fine for pregnant women by the way. My doctor had said no hotter than 103 in a hot tub or hot bath.)

When I first came out of the bathroom in my swim suit, I knew I would get comments about my big pregnant belly sticking out for everyone to see. I wasn't expecting any negative comments and I didn't get any negative comments. For the most part, the comments were along the lines of, "oh how cute!!" and strangers obviously having to refrain from patting my belly. I wasn't concerned about the dimples on my butt. I think that when you're pregnant, you're entitled to dimples on your butt. And fat rolls anywhere else. And you're especially entitled to be weird shaped after the baby is born too! Everyone's reaction to me in a bikini was positive except for one man, who seemed to be unnerved by any of the three pregnant women present. His eyes got big as saucers when he would stare at any of the three pregnant bellies. Some people are just like that.

I had a great time in the hot tub, then pool, then hot tub again. Eventually, there were 5 of us swimming out of maybe 40 people, and I was the only woman who swam. Which I found odd. I asked my hubby later why he thought none of the women swam and his suggestion was that they were self conscious about being in a swim suit. There were a whole lot of hot women there. And no women who would have been terrifying in a swim suit. It just seemed odd to me that no other women swam. I was very glad I had my dry clothes to change back into though. It stopped raining pretty soon and everyone was more comfortable milling around, not under a big sun umbrella. The party continued downtown later and probably went to the wee hours of the morning. I was delighted to not be obligated to that and I was home by 10:30, which is really pretty late for me lately. Fun evening!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

This is new!

Last night at bedtime, I found myself laying on top of the covers with the ceiling fan on while I read a book. After a couple minutes, my head started getting hot. So I went downstairs to lower the thermostat by 2 degrees. I pass my husband along the way and tell him this. His eyebrows shoot up. "Really?! You're too hot and I'm not?"

For years now, the thermostat battle in this house has been based on me always wanting it warmer and him always wanting it cooler. The "happy marriage" blanket on our bed has been this twin size, very heavy, very warm biscuit quilt I made in college. Pretty much year round, this blanket is on just my side of the bed and we can both sleep comfortably.

Last night, for the first time in the history of our marriage, my sweet hubby got up in the middle of the night to add the biscuit quilt to HIS side of the bed. And first thing this morning, I noticed that I had kicked off my covers and he was still under the biscuit quilt! Very strange happenings around here.