Sunday, July 28, 2013

Naming a baby boy

So the Royal Baby has a name! Whew! And it's not the name Jason and I have chose for our little guy. When discussing names, we agreed fairly easily on a boy name. We were still tossing around a few similar sounding girl names when we found out it was a boy. We thought we had a middle boy name chosen.... I was content with this middle name and who/what it represented. But a few weeks ago I decided Nope. Need a new one. And in the matter of two days we had picked a new middle name, (Jason picked it actually), and we love it!! We can't wait for our little man to get here.
 
My uncle came over last weekend and painted the nursery! It is amazing!! It took us 6 different paint samples to get the perfect combo and the look we were going for. We still have to paint the closet and install the closet hardware. Our landlord redid the master closest a few years ago, and the other closets are the old style with just a wood shelf and metal bar. We bought the hardware so the shelves can move, the racks can move, ect. It'll be a lot better and a lot more open. We took the closet door off because it hinders the movement in the room - huge door in small room. I've been rug searching for months, and had found some very perfect rugs for children's rooms. However, I couldn't bite the bullet and spend $300 on any of them. It just didn't seem worth it. We lucked out last weekend and found a rug at Sams Club. A simple tan/spackled with brown for $30. Whew! We have a rug, nothing fancy, and it was a fraction of the cost.
 
My friend Liz is going to make me black out curtains and I'm going to remove the blinds. The curtains will be attached via velcro to a 1-inch by 1-inch wood piece placed above the window. That way if Toddler G decides to scale the curtains, they come down quickly. Using velcro also makes them easy to take down and wash. I have to pick out some material this weekend and let her know what I need.

I recently have been in a lot of pain. When I sit, when I stand, when I walk, when I'm trying to get up from sitting or laying down, when I roll over... my doctor is fairly certain it's related to pregnancy. (Just kidding.) It am already having some round ligament pain, and this new pain is either a little sciatic nerve and/or symphysis pubis dysfunction. I'm learning a lot more about human anatomy than I thought I would during pregnancy. In summary, SPD is because my hip bones are spreading to make room for baby and the ligament between them is stretching or thinning. It's not pretty and sometimes I scream out in pain. She recommend I get an Upsie Belly, or one of those large belts that supports your belly and back. And did I! I was lucky Cotton Babies had my size so I picked one up Friday during lunch. It has already made a huge difference and I am much more comfortable. I am supposed to wear it 24/7. So even though they are expensive, I am going to order 2 so I can actually wash it over the next 5 weeks.

Our latest ultrasound shows a very healthy and active baby boy. It's amazing what you can see on him! I'm 34 weeks today and on August 9th we'll have a growth US to determine how large our Little Man is. I'll also discuss with my doctor afterwards about his size and his due date - do we change it?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dear Non-Pregnant Person

I stumbled across this letter on the babycenter forums. I haven't encountered too many of these boundary stompers, yet. Grandma is getting on my nerves with her "I'm going to hold the baby" comments (not without your whooping cough vaccine!!)
 
Dear Non-Pregnant Person,
I hope you find these guidelines helpful in your interactions with pregnant women as failing to follow them may result in serious physical harm. If you are thinking, surely she doesn't mean me- then you should probably read this twice.

1) The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is 'Congratulations!' with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you an a**hole.

2) Through the wonders of science, we now know that babies are made ONLY by the mother and father- not grandparents. Unless the baby is in your uterus or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not ever use the phrase 'my baby'.

3) On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in 2, the pregnancy, birth and raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it...

4) The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same as any other body. You would not randomly touch someone's stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman.

5) Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight...ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering that you think she is about is pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is 'You look fabulous!'.

6) By the time we are 20-30 years old, most of us have picked up on the fact that the summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don't need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes.

7) There is a reason that tickets to Labor & Delivery are not yet sold on Ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt and genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. You weren't invited to be there when the baby was created, you probably won't be invited to be there when it comes out either.

Like everything else in life, unless you receive an invitation, you are NOT invited. This includes doctor appointments, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital and the parents' home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth or if you will move in with the new parents to 'help out'. If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it.

8) If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more than the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from multiple locations lift a finger in housework is not helping.

9) The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth or ask for you to wait three weeks to visit, appreciate that you are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less.

Budgeting, the McDonalds way

So to discuss budgeting... how are we doing? Eh. We make money, we spend money, we pay our bills.

Dave Ramsey who? <-- Some days that's what it feels like.

Ok, it's not that bad. But we haven't been paying off debt since we spend our extra money on the baby or saving for the baby. I'd really like to make a dent in our debt, if things would fall into place we could be debt free within a year. Just a waiting game on some things.
 
So I guess a few years ago McDonald's put out a budget pamphlet for their employees. It recently made the news and people are tearing it apart left and right. I read through this article and agreed with most of the comments made. There are a lot of holes in the McDonald's budget.  And one of the things is that people can't live on it.
 
As a nerd, I track my paychecks... going back to 2006. And my take home pay during 2006 was around $2k a month. And I owned a house (with roommates) and while I didn't have a car payment or children's mouths to feed, I survived and don't feel like I missed out. I probably spent (aka, charged) a lot more for airfare to St. Louis than I should have for a few years but finally paid off all those flights a few years ago. 

Of course, that McDs budget has you working two jobs to make ends meet. And I'm not sure what type of insurance you are getting for $20/month. Maybe this is a Canadian type budget? And a $150/month car payment? Most people are not that smart to take out a car loan they can afford. And it's not ideal how they pay the bills and then say "spending money." To me, spending money is free money, spend on what I want! The McDs budget wants you to spend it on groceries, toiletries, eating out (probably at McDs with your discount), entertainment, going out with friends...

I don't know what my budget was in 2006 with my 2k income. But I sure hope I didn't spend $27/day. I did have more bills - heating oil, electric, water, and cable/Internet were split 4 ways. I also had my cell phone, car insurance, school loans, a credit card (or two?), and the general things that come with being an adult living on your own. I know I had car maintenance but no car payment.

It was interesting to see McDonald's perspective on a "budget". While it's a start for their employees, especially their younger employees, it's not the most realistic way in my opinion.

In random news - I watched MI:3 the other night. I love having Amazon Prime to be able to catch up on movies that I haven't seen. I forgot that they filmed parts of this in Richmond and Norfolk. And when you get about halfway through and they are driving across one of the bridges and there is a huge car accident on the bridge, my first thought was "Wow, that is going to tie up traffic for miles!" While St. Louis traffic can be horrible - nothing will ever compare to the bridge and tunnel traffic in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. Ever. And I spent a month working in DC. Traffic in DC was bad, but at least it was 6 lanes of bad, not 2.

Here's a picture of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My week in a nutshell

I complained a lot about this week... it wasn't easy.. here's how it all went down.
I went non-stop........It probably wasn't good for my health.

Monday
Awake at 4:30. Might as well get up at 5am.
Work 6am - 10am.
Pick up Monday from boarding 10am-10:45am.
Work - Lunch - Work
Leave for Massage at 5:15pm.
Fall asleep during massage. Must sign up for 8 more before baby. (Or just one.)
Get home at 7:30. Eat steak dinner & Tator Tots.
Paint nursery with sample colors.
Decide we hate the colors we picked.
Leave for Home Depot at 8pm.
Stop at Schnucks.
Get home at 9:45pm.
Crash.

Tuesday
Awake at 5am.
Work 6am - 6:40am.
Hospital for US & NST at 7am.
Get home at 8:20.
Eat snack.
Paint 2 more sample colors on the nursery walls.
Work. 8:30-11:25.
Meet L for lunch.
Work 12:30-5:15.
PT with Dave at 5:30-6:00
Girls dinner 6:30 with D & K.
Home at 8pm.
A little more work and in bed at 9:30.

Note - my husband left Tuesday at 5:50 and got home at 10:45. I saw him maybe 10 full minutes.

Wednesday - my "slow day"
Work at 7:30! This does put me a little behind.
I had a conference call to discuss a report. We tore it up and pretty much rewrote it. I think I've rewrote this report 3-4 times now and I just want to be done with it. Tomorrow I will be done with it.
I crashed at 4pm today. Just became useless after that. I laid down a little bit, then Jason got home and we made dinner and headed to Home Depot for paint and the new closest hardware. I came home to some super swollen ankles and laid down for 30 minutes to elevate them. Then I headed into the office to make up that last 1.5 hours I missed. That's one of the good things of working from home - I can have some make up time.
 
Speaking of work - I am now really juggling a trip to SF. I have bi-weekly NST/BPPs on Tuesdays & Friday. I think I will be able to schedule the Tuesday one at Mercy in Springfield to help me out. The nurses are really pushy about making sure I have them scheduled.
 
Have I mentioned how great MyMercy.net is? If you are a Mercy patient, you can look at everything online, like upcoming and past appointments. I have 9 upcoming appointments already scheduled. And between January (diagnosis of pregnancy) and Tuesday, I have had 10 doctor appointments and 4 ultrasounds. While my upcoming shows US, it doesn't show the past US. I've also had 2 major blood works (the Glucose testing), and a few other minor blood draws. And I'm only 32.5 weeks!

This got really long... so I'm going to publish now.

To do list:
Thursday
Work
1:30 Doc Appt
6pm Baby Class

Friday
Work
4pm Ultrasound.
Uncle Pat will also be over painting the nursery and during lunch we have to run out and get the chair rail for the room.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hungry. All. the. Time.

Some days it seems like I can't eat enough food. The worst feeling is when an hour after eating I am hungry again and I can't eat for at least another hour since I need to take my blood sugar reading 2 hours after eating. I think I've touched on this before.
 
And now... just after eating lunch, I'm trying to figure what else I can eat that is "safe". Another can of green beans? Chocolate Sprinkles? Newspaper? I want to eat a cheeseburger. And BBQ and Chinese food. And other things that'll cause a blood sugar spike. Totally unfair to have GD. Just unfair.
 
Need to go grocery shopping. I have all the important items listed like more Fiber One brownies and Eggos. I am loving Eggos right now. I spread either regular peanut butter or chocolate peanut bugger on it and sprinkle it with cinnamon. It is delicious!
 
Now that I have 6ish weeks to go (or 8, depending on your medical degree and how well you know my body...), I'm starting to think about everything I have to do and schedule into free time.
 
I'm not even sure when I will grocery shop this week! Tonight I have a massage, tomorrow night I have PT with Dave and girls dinner, Wednesday night is River Walking, Thursday night is Baby Class, and Friday is dinner with my parents and Uncle Pat. At least Saturday we have some free time, around Dog Training and Baby Class. Sunday I have my future sister-in-law's bridal shower. Jason and I discussed going to the movies this weekend and to the Zoo early Sunday morning.
 
Other future weekends include:
27th - Daehnke Party (?) We heard about this but don't have any details on it.
3rd - Baby Shower
Ok, so that's not a lot... but it seems like, especially with a lot of things in the evenings.
 
Uncle Pat is painting the baby nursery on Friday. That'll be exciting!  Then we need to finish setting it up, finding a rug (ugh!), and doing the closet. I'll have to pick out fabric for the window also so Liz can make me curtains! Then I have to wash all the newborn & 0-3 month clothes and diapers and get it organized. Good thing Aimee is coming the weekend of the 18th. She thinks we're going to sit down and watch Baseball... ha!
 
I also want to pre-make a bunch of casseroles, some soups, and crock pot meals also. If I start working on them this weekend and do 1-2 meals a weekend, I'll have a stocked freezer in no time. Which is another issue - we probably need another deep freeze. Or a larger deep freeze. We already have a 5 cu ft one... should we upgrade to a large one or buy a 5 cu ft one? The one we currently use is Andy's. We're expecting our Crooked Beef Cow in soon. And if it goes well, I think my parents want to split the next one with us. Or if we have the room and eat it fast enough, might just hog the cow for ourselves.
 
Ok.. lunch over.. back to work. Busy week and some reporting to get complete!
 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Countdown

I'm having trouble staying focused. And I need to get a *lot* done, especially in the work sense.
 
So while I'm not actually "counting down" to my 12-week "vacation", I'm trying to be the all-star I can be so when I return from maternity leave, my job is good standing and my projects have magically managed themselves a-ok while I was out. I do feel bad... who will handle my work? How many projects will I actually have? There's a possibility I'll lose the majority of my projects due to a client selling their sites. That would totally suck. What kind of omen is that?
 
I've already discussed with HR the possibility of logging some part time hours (or one hour) on a weekly basis to keep up with emails and status of my projects. I do finally know most of my projects like the back of my hand. I get a few confused every now and then - mostly in addressing them. Like I have a handful of jobs called "ABC-#" based on what gas station number they are. I have ABC-11, ABC-18, and ABC-19. And I'll be talking about one (and I can see it in my mind), but I'll keep calling it another number. Oops. I did that with my Agriculture projects in Illinois too. A select few were hard to keep their similar sounding names straight. It's like the settlers had no creativity when naming towns in Illinois.
 
I totally digressed. I didn't even have a point. Or maybe I did. Hmmm...
 
Baby G likes to scare his mom. I'm supposed to be doing "kick counts" and paying attention to his movements. 10 kicks/movements/hiccups/roll overs an hour. And time will pass and I won't feel him at all. And then I freak out. I'm very scared and worried something bad will happen. I will be very happy when he is safe and sound in my arms. LOL. Or not. Then starts 18 years of freaking out when he's moving, walking, driving, out late, climbing on things, at the playground, swimming, at the beach... oh my. Am I destined to spend the rest of my life worrying about my kids? Crap. This isn't fun at all! This isn't what I signed up for! Though I have no idea what I signed up for anymore.

I had two doctor appointments last week. My Tuesday one was scheduled and just a check up on my blood sugars. All was good. Then it went to hell and a hand basket and I was calling Friday after breakfast to make an appointment. With travel this week (I'm currently in Springfield), I knew I would have less control and would struggle even more to keep my numbers below their goals. And it is frustrating. It's similar to losing weight. You hop on the scale and you've gained a pound. Do that that after every meal for a week.... that's the level of frustration. Oh, but wait, you aren't just losing weight for yourself. You are under scrutiny to lose weight or lose your child. So yea, when on Friday after breakfast, my normal one toast + 2 egg breakfast that I'd been eating for 3+ weeks was 131 instead of my normal 105, I was pissed off, frustrated, and crying. And that's what it's like to have GD.

For everyone wondering (because I know you all secretly do...) here's a diagram of what the baby looks like. He has run of out room. He has to be completely scrunched up. When he stretches or rolls, my belly very clearly shows it. It's creepy.

Coming up this week  and all weeks after -- very busy! Weekly doctor appointments are on Thursday with ultrasounds on Friday. We also have baby class every Thursday night through the beginning of August. I signed up for Yoga on Sunday nights, and we are still River Walking on Wednesday evenings. I'm in Springfield M-W a handful of the upcoming weeks also. I don't have any wiggle room for more doctor appointments or hormone changes or spikes in blood sugar leading to insulin.
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How GD is saving me....

Today is a Terracon BBQ (for employees, no spousal invites).
 
And the pregnant lady requested I make my mini-Oreo Cheesecakes. So I did. Because she's awesome and deserves them.
 
Jason & I picked up the ingredients on Sunday. And yea, I totally ripped open that family size bag of oreos on Sunday night. I had 3. I had *1* more on Monday.
 
If I didn't have GD, Jason would have probably had to pick up another package of Oreos on the way home from work Monday night. And this morning? Oreo Cheesecakes sound pretty delicious for breakfast. But alas, I'm pretty sure eating a handful of them will send my blood sugar soaring!
 
So... having GD is saving me from some major purging. In fact, while I have stopped losing weight, my weight gain now is very minimal and I haven't recovered from my almost 6 pound weight loss during the first 10 days when I started my GD diet. I am at the same weight gain that I was in the beginning of May, two months ago. However, my stomach is a lot larger, so the weight is being shifted around my body somehow.
 
The recipe for the cheesecakes are available here (along with more delicious pictures.) The ones I made last night don't look like this... I think I over beat the batter. I also didn't do a good job reading the instructions and dumped most of the ingredients into the mixing bowl in a random order.
 
Note - the recipe actually makes 32-35 cupcakes. Keep extra cookies on hand in case you have extra batter! (No, I didn't eat them, I crushed them to mix into the cheesecake batter.)

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

(from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
Makes 30
  • 42 Oreo, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 908 grams (2 pounds or about 3 2/3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 225 grams (1 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 230 g (1 cup or 8 ounces) sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 275° F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  2.  
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in the vanilla.
  4.  
  5. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in sour cream and salt, beat to combine. Using a large spatula, fold in the chopped Oreo cookies.
  6.  
  7. Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled muffin cups, fill each cup almost to the top. Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes. Transfer the muffins tins to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate (in the muffin tins) at least 4 hours (or overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.