Friends

4 Months?!? How did that happen?

As I see my little tit-sucker napping in the baby monitor, I’m in awe.  How is it that she’s already 4 months old?  How is it possible that a third of a year has passed us by since she joined us?  Where is the time going?  I have days where I think 6pm (when hubby gets home) will never get here….and then I have weeks that fly by in the blink of an eye.  It’s overwhelming if I think too much about it…I hate the thought of Fin growing up too fast!

We have had a very eventful last month or so.   A few things:

  • We took a trip to Eastern TX/Dallas for over a week (with the baby, of course).  Traveling with a baby is tough!  First of all, we drive any long distances (more than 3 hours) at night so that Finley will sleep.  This works well, except that we are tired and end up unpacking into hotels in the middle of the night.  Fun.  Secondly, having a baby in a hotel room for any amount of time really isn’t that fun.  You have to be quiet after bedtime…you rush to quiet her any time she fusses….you know there are nasty germs everywhere…I could go on and on.  Luckily, Finley did great and slept well and behaved herself while we were there.  She was a little needy…and gassy (probably from me having to eat out every meal)..but she did better than we expected for sure.  When we got home, though, she was awful!  It took a full 3 days to get her back on track with her sleeping/napping/etc….it was rough. Makes me want to keep her home!
  • I had my first Mother’s Day!  Chris totally surprised me and bought me a beautiful garnet (Fin’s birthstone) necklace for Mother’s Day.  He’s really not much into buying jewelry (at all), so it was a big surprise.  I love it!
  • We put our house up on the market…and we have had a bazillion showings so far (but no offers…boooo).  I’m so happy to have it listed, but MAN it’s tough working from home with a baby and two dogs and having to clean up and clear out any time a showing gets scheduled (which lately is every day).  It’s exhausting.  Hopefully this baby will sell fast!

That’s the main stuff.  In fact, it’s all I can think of right now. I need to start writing down post-its when I think of stuff I want to blog, because by the time I actually have any time to do it I’m rushed and just trying to remember whatever I can!

Before I get to the monthly update on Fin, just wanted to put it out there for you all to please send me your good vibes/prayers/energy/whatever.  I’m completely overwhelmed with at the moment and don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Working from home with a baby is really hard, and the help I thought I’d have just hasn’t been around.  And that’s ok, but I need to move on to Plan B because between work, Finley, keeping the house up for showings and having to come and go every day I don’t have anything left to give.  I’m exhausted and trying to hold on here, people!  I think one answer is to find someone who can come over a couple of days a week and watch Finely for me while I work.  I’ve registered on Care.Com to try to find someone, but if you know of anyone (or are someone) who may be interested, please let me know!  I’d even take her to someone else’s house if needed, I just don’t want her in a daycare at this time (not that there is anything wrong with that, I’m just not ready for that yet).  So….let me know if you know anyone.  And pray this house sells quickly, that would help too.

And now..without further adui….the 4 month update:

 

Fin 4 month close-up

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

At your 4 month appointment you weighed 13lbs and 14 oz (56th percentile) and were 25 3/4 inches long (94th percentile).  I’m still in shock that you are lean and mean and not a fat baby!  I mean come on, you started off over 9 lbs, so I just assumed you would continue to fatten up!  I was wrong, though, and it appears for now that you take after your daddy (a good thing when it comes to body type for sure).  Doctor said you are perfect.

What are you eating?

You are still a breastfed baby, and you have gotten to be quite the efficient feeder.  You use to feed for 15-20 minutes, and now you are done in 7-14 on average.  You get in and out quickly most of the time, although at night you prefer to be lazy and take your time (which I don’t mind).  You recently tried some cereal for the first time, but you weren’t too impressed.  That’s ok with me- we’re not in a rush to get you on solids (makes it way easier on momma since I have your food on tap AND don’t have to wash real-food diapers yet).

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day you eat every 3ish hours (I generally sit in the recliner, although I’ve had to nurse in the car, in a restroom, in a food court, etc), and at night you usually wake up once (between 3am and 6am) to eat as well.  You nap (if we are home) in your crib..usually 3-4 times a day.

What do your routines look like?

Eat, Play, Sleep (per BabyWise) is still what we are trying to follow.  A typical day looks like this:

  • Wake up around 6am and eat and go right back to sleep
  • Wake up around 9am and eat.  Play on the floor/in the bouncy seat til around 10:30 or 11 and then take a 1-1.5 hour nap
  • Wake up at noon and eat.  Run errands/take a walk/back in the bouncer til around 2, then a nap for an hour
  • Wake up at 3 and eat…then more play time and another 30-45 minute nap
  • Wake up at 6 and eat.  Then we hang with daddy…take a bath…maybe a walk if we didn’t earlier (mommy is trying to get some exercise, obviously)…read some books, etc.  Little catnap after this until you wake up
  • Last feeding of the day is around 9pm…then straight back to bed.  Finley sometimes wakes up around 12 or 1 (if she didn’t eat well or has gas or something) to eat again, then straight back to sleep

This schedule isn’t terrible for her age AT ALL, but if you have her 24/7 and are also trying to work it’s exhausting.

 What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

Onesies and shirts and dresses are all 3 months or 3-6 months, but pants (because of her cloth diaper ghetto-booty) and one piece outfits with legs on them (because of her height) have to be 6 months.  I actually REALLY need to go through her closet this weekend and pack up all of the ‘too small’ stuff that is still in there (kinda makes me sad).  As for diapers, all of the cloth diapers we have are one size (fit from now until she’s out of diapers since they adjust).  If she needs a disposable on, she’s in a 2.

What are some things you love?

You love to stand up ALL.THE.TIME.  You love to bounce in your little bouncy chair/jumper thing (video on instagram if you are interested).  You love to grab stuff and put it directly into your mouth as far as you can.  You love to be man-handled and scared so that you laugh.  You love to roll from your belly to your back.  You love screens (phones/tvs/etc).  You love being outside (as long as you are not hot).  You love our dogs.  You love your lovies.  You love attention.

What are some things you don’t love?

You HATE diaper changes in the middle of the night.  You hate waiting on mommy to feed you once you decide you are hungry.  You don’t enjoy being held like a baby/cuddled unless you are really tired and ready to sleep.  You don’t like getting to your belly and not being able to flip over right away (sometimes you forget how to flip back over).  You hate getting out of the bathtub.  And you hate getting hot (like your parents).  TEETHING.  OMG we are in the midst of it….you are drooling non-stop….chewing on anything/everything…crabby…and restless.  Can’t wait for those teethers to pop through!

What can you do?

You have really progressed a lot this month.  You started rolling from belly to back at 8 weeks, and at 15 you started rolling from your back to your belly.  You are so proud of yourself!  As soon as you are put down on your back you flip over…it’s so funny.  You are so strong it’s ridiculous!  You are already trying to crawl and get your butt up in the air like you are going somewhere.  It’s comical.  You are really good at grabbing things now (and putting them right into your mouth), although sometimes I wish you were not (like when you get my hair or daddy’s beard).  You can converse if you are in the mood for it…we’ve talked back and forth for several minutes several different times…it’s so fun!

Who has visited and watched you?

We don’t really get many visitors, but we’ve done some visiting (you did meet your great Aunt/cousins in TX)….and only mom and dad have been watching you.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

June looks to be a pretty busy month. Besides the normal craziness of the week that we currently have, we also have an open house coming up….our 8 year anniversary…a weekend with some friends…Father’s Day…a trip to Russellville to see Gran and Pops….it’ll be a good one!

Fin 4 month grinFin 4 month chewing on dogFinley 4 months smiles and pulling dress Fin on diaper changing pad

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Categories: Baby, Family, Friends, Kids, Love of my life, Teeth | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

3 months

I should probably wait to write this update since I’m in a really foul mood and all, but who knows when I’ll have another little bit of time to dedicate to this…so I might as well get it in while I can.  I’m not going to go into the whole story about why I’m sitting here crying at my desk, but let’s just say that I’ve OFFICIALLY learned that I can’t count on the two people (besides my hubby) in my life who I always thought I could count on most. It’s irritating and frustrating and all that, but mostly it’s just sad and disappointing.    I guess I always just expected my friends and family to be there for me…especially when I ask for help…and even more so when they say they will be…but obviously I’m wrong to have those expectations.  Chris just looked at me this afternoon and was like “are you surprised?”  I wasn’t.  Just sad.  But I won’t be again, because I won’t set myself up to be disappointed, at least with these two.  The flip side to this is that I have had several friends and family come out of the woodwork over the past few months- cooking meals/offering help/having us over/coming to visit/etc.  It’s been very surprising and I’ve learned a lot about the loving and giving nature of a select few.  It’s saved me, really….at least my sanity.  And it’s taught me that I’m not the bad guy for having expectations within my relationships…because some people will meet and even exceed them if you let them in.  I’m learning, trust me!

Things in our world are very, very crazy and busy at the moment.  Finley turned 3 months old yesterday, which blows my mind.  Isn’t she cute?

Fin 3 months leaning over laughing Finley 3 months great pic Finley 3 months laughing Finley 3 months pretty Finley 3 months squint eyes

We have also decided to list our house, which is totally exciting, yet totally stressful.  I wouldn’t stress over it too much, but there are a few things that need done before it goes up (May 1st) and it’s really hard to get said things done when I’m working, watching a 3 month old and going out of town every weekend.  Let’s just say that I have a LOT to do this week and I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I need all the luck I can get!  The other stressful part of having the house up is that I’ll have to have the house uncluttered with baby stuff and be gone (remember that I work from home..with an infant and two dogs) whenever they show the house.  Ugh.  It’s gonna be a long few weeks if this thing doesn’t sell quickly!  Again, cross your fingers for us!

This past weekend we took our first big road trip with the baby, and she did great!  We went to Dallas for a wedding reception, and we had a great time.  Fin doesn’t generally do too well in the car, so we left out Thursday night around 8pm and drove straight through…and she slept the entire time.  When we got to the hotel we unpacked and I fed her and she went right back to sleep until 9am…she was perfect!  The reception/party was a lot of fun, and we got a lot of compliments on how well-behaved Finley was the whole time.  I said thanks, but I also let them know that it was just a good day and that she wasn’t always THAT good.  =)  I decided to drive us back Saturday night (10pm to 4 am) vs waiting til Sunday as well, and I’m glad I did…Fin and her drunk daddy slept the whole way home.  =)

My biggest news this month is a big deal to me- we finally paid off all of our debt.  For the first time in I don’t even KNOW how long (I’m guessing 10+ years), we are debt free.  I paid off my 4 runner this month, and we paid off the last of our private loan that we took out about a year ago to pay off credit card debt.  The only thing we owe on now is our house.  Crap…I guess that means we aren’t really debt free?  I don’t really count the house.  Is that fair?  LOL.  I can’t even explain to you the relief and freedom that I feel at this moment!  Whoo hoo!

Now for the monthly round-up…

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

We have not been to the doctor or checked her stats since our 2 month appointment, so I have no idea.  She looks like she has ‘filled out’ some, so I’m guessing she’s around 12.5-13 lbs currently (just a guess).  She’s healthy and happy from all I can tell!

Fin in Dallas outside

What are you eating?

Finley is still exclusively breastfed at this point.  I’m still not doing dairy at this point, but I may start adding some back in here and there to see how she reacts to it.  There are two changes this month- 1) Fin seems to get distracted during some of her feeds.  She’ll be munching along, and then she’ll detach suddenly and turn her head (this does NOT feel good at all).  Then she’ll reattach and do the whole thing over again…and again…and again.  I’ve read about it online and this can be caused by a dozen different things (getting too much milk at once/not getting enough milk/curiosity to surroundings/tired/gassy/full), which sucks because who knows which one!  I generally just pick her up, try to burp her and then switch sides.  When she starts it up again on the other side, we’re done and cut her off for a while. Seems to be working ok.  2) Fin is eating a lot more efficiently, which means it takes much less time.  What use to be a 30 minute feeding on 1 side is now 15-20 minutes.  I like that.

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day Finley eats about every 3 hours. At night, it’s somewhere between 6 and 9 hours now (yay!).  Naps during the day (there are about 4 of them) range from about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the time. She naps and sleeps in her crib, swaddled, for the most part.  Sometimes I’ll let her nap near me on her belly (she loves that).

What do your routines look like?

We are still doing the Baby Wise method of eat-wake-sleep.  Our schedule has tweaked some…..

  • Wake at 7:30-8am and feed
  • Play (tummy time/lay around and kick/swing time/etc) for about an hour
  • Nap
  • 10:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 1:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 4:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 7:00- wake from nap and feed
  • Bath/Story time/etc
  • 9- feed and straight to bed
  • Only one nighttime feed now..usually sometime between 3 and 6

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

Clothing is mainly 3-6 months at this point, especially anything that covers her bum since we are doing cloth diapers.  Disposables are a size 2, but we’re not using those currently.  The cloth diapers are going well (details in a later post) and we currently have them snapped up to their smallest size.

Baby Bumble Bee Fin

What are some things you love?

This really depends on what time of day it is.  If we are talking about morning time (anytime before 1, actually), Fin enjoys laying down and kicking…sitting up in her little monkey chair…swinging…pretty much anything, as she’s in a great mood.  If it’s after 6, though, she mainly just likes eating and being carried around.  And bath time.  Newest love? Her glow-worm from Aunt Beth!  She fell in love with it on our trip to Dallas.  And a love anytime?  Outside time!  Sitting..strolling…walking in the Ergo…kicking on the patio…she loves it all.

Fin yawn in chair

What are some things you don’t love?

Diaper changes before you have eaten or in the middle of the night. Getting out of the bath tub. Getting lubed up after a bath. Having to wait to eat once you’ve decided you are hungry. Car rides if you don’t have someone in the back with you.

Finley on way to Bakers in car

What can you do?

Her newest talent is cooing and talking bath.  She’s quite the morning talker, and it’s totally adorable.  I’ve tried to get it on video, but every single time she sees the camera she deadpans and stops all activity.

Who has visited and watched you?

We haven’t had too many visitors lately, but that’s mainly because we’ve been busy.  We still haven’t had a babysitter to go out together, but we plan to in May for sure.

What are some of your nicknames?

Behind her back I call her ‘the titsucker’ a lot (awful, I know). I also call her Claire Bear…or boog…or diva.  And Fin, of course.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

A lot!  We are going to the Buffalo this weekend, so we’ll get lots of family time then.  We also have a trip to TX planned for May, and a couple of birthday parties.  Besides that, hopefully we’ll stay busy with showing the house!  Wish us luck!

Fin for easter

Categories: Baby, Family, Friends, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Belly Rub….and the 30 Week Update

Before I get into the usual updates, I have to share….I had my first random belly touch this weekend!  I have actually been wondering when this would happen, as I’ve had a few special responses ready for the unknowing assailant.  I figured it would go something like this:

  • Someone (old woman, fellow pregnant person, etc) touches my belly….and I lean over and just put my hand on theirs and stare at them
  • Someone (similar to above) touches my belly….and I slap their hand away
  • Someone (similar to above) touches my belly…and I cup their face in my hands

I didn’t know WHAT I’d do exactly, but I did know that I would make them feel uncomfortable for making me feel uncomfortable.  NOTE- I have no issue with people I know touching my belly.  I thought I might (as I’ve always been overweight and hated anyone touching my stomach), but now that this preggo belly is large and in charge it doesn’t bother me at all.  Anyway, here is what went down this weekend at the game:

  • Chris and I were heading to our seats, about to go through security/etc.  I went in like 1 minute again of Chris so that I could get through the purse check and head to the bathroom as soon as possible (pregnant lady problems)
  • I get through the purse check and am standing in line to have my ticket scanned….when all of a sudden I get a drive-by belly rub from like this 35-40 year old man!  I have my ticket out, and this guy in line beside me just reaches over…rubs my belly…. says “Oh, how precious” …..and then keeps on walking like it never happened.

I was left standing there kinda shell-shocked, and then I laughed a little bit to myself because it was just so bizarre.  Especially that it was a man and that it happened so fast.  I didn’t have TIME to react to him in any sort of way…but looking back I don’t think that I would have anyway.  It didn’t really bother me, just surprised me.  I guess if I was in a bad mood it’d be different?  Either way, so so so so so thankful that Chris was a little bit behind me, because if he’d been beside me to witness what happened I KNOW he would have said something to that guy.  Especially after a few whiskey drinks…

Besides the game, had a pretty lazy weekend this weekend.  Visited my parents and cooked them dinner one night….went to a friend’s b-day part at their new house after the game…and had dinner with another friend last night, but that’s it.  So on to the normal weekly update…..

The baby center is great (my usual updates), but I’m also enjoying Alphamom’s pregnancy calendar.  Here is what she says for this week:

Your Baby:

  • Weighs about three pounds and is 17 inches long. Since most full-term babies are between 20 and 22 inches long at 40 weeks’ gestation, your baby will pack on more pounds than inches in the 10 weeks or so.
  • Is starting to get a little crowded in there, but still has room to wiggle and roll and punch and kick.
  • Despite all the movement, it’s still damn near impossible to tell what position your baby is in for sure (head down, breech, transverse, etc.), but it’s also still too early to be worrying about it. MOST babies settle into a head-down position around 36 weeks, and some still manage to flip themselves around after that.

You:

  • May feel like you’re gestating a pissed-off housecat rather than a chubby wittle baby at this point, with some movement and kicks causing ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN. Some women experience kicks so sharp and unnerving they mistake them for uterine contractions, even if they’ve already been through pregnancy and labor and should really know better.
  • Some of these women may even write pregnancy guides on the Internet

 

Baby is the size of a cucumber!  At week 30, baby already measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds. His skin continues to get smoother while his brain is getting wrinklier – to make way for all that essential brain tissue.  One smart baby is forming!  And while your little cucumber is not even the size of a five-pound weight, he is strong enough to grasp a finger.  Just imagine his itty-bitty fingers clutching your pinky…are you melting yet??

How far along? 30 weeks

Total weight gain: As of last week, +8 lbs total.  Will weigh-in again on the 19th at my next appointment

Maternity clothes? I’m all in.  I have ONE pair of maternity jeans I love, and I find that I am wearing them all the time if I’m in public.  I need to get another pair…and some leggings

Stretch marks?  I’m seeing some new, light ones.  They don’t bother me at all, but curious if they will darken at any point.  If they do, I won’t like them.  If they stay similar, I don’t mind

Sleep:  Getting worse and worse.  I’m doing good if I can get a solid 2 hours in before whatever hip I’m currently laying on starts to scream at me and I have to flip over.

Best moment this week: Had a great time at the game on Saturday.  The weather was perfect, and although we didn’t win it was a lot of fun.  Got to see a lot of people, and got lots of compliments on the baby bump…gotta love that!

Miss Anything? Just solid sleep.  And caffeine every now and then (like when I’m lagging with work)

Movement:  Tons and tons…and changing daily as far as how they feel.  So weird, but so cool

Food cravings:   Sweets, like always

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope

Gender prediction: Girl girl girl!!!!

Labor Signs:  I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple of weeks now, but that’s not really a sign that I’m going into labor or anything.

Symptoms:  It’s official- I have pregnancy brain.  I was convinced it wasn’t a real thing at all, but then I’ve caught myself doing some dumb things.  Like…driving to the wrong theatre and going in to buy tickets when I knew the movie was at the other theatre.  Mainly I’m just really forgetful lately….probably due to the lack of sleep.  Besides that, general fatigue…frequent urination….sciatic nerve pain in them hips….shortness of breath much faster than normal…and those Braxton Hicks contractions.

Belly Button in or out?  In, but shallow

Wedding rings on or off?  On

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy

Looking forward to:  Two friends are throwing me a baby shower this Saturday…and I can’t wait!  Excited to see everyone…especially a few girls that I never see and one that lives a ways away that is making the trip.  So excited.

Next appointment:  November 19th- most likely our final ultrasound and the beginning of every-other-week appointments.  Crazy!

Categories: Blog Games, Friends, Love of my life, Pregnancy, Razorbacks | Leave a comment

Baby Moon

So Chris and I did a ‘Baby Moon’ of sorts a couple of weeks ago.  And by baby moon, I’m referring to our last ‘fun’ trip out of the state pre-baby.  Some couples do very elaborate, exotic trips, but that wasn’t in the cards for us with my work travel and holidays and showers coming up.  Plus, the idea of laying on the beach isn’t NEARLY as enticing when I know that I can’t drink any booze AND I can’t lay on my belly or back.  =)  So….we went to Dallas.

 

Why Dallas, you ask?  Truthfully, I had to go anyway for work….so we just extended the stay to have some fun.  I had a great time!  We got to do a little shopping while we there….specifically for my home office and Baby Hott.  For my office, I got this great corner desk from IKEA (I got the dark brown with brown table legs, not red…this isn’t a picture of my desk, but it’s very similar):

I love it!  Our home is rather small..with small rooms….so I wanted a corner desk so that I could still have a guestbed in the room and not feel entirely too crowded.  I’m kinda OCD and weird with some things, so I knew that if I wasn’t comfortable in my work environment I wouldn’t be as productive as possible…thus the redecorating and new furniture.  The desk is all set-up, and we also got a new bed for the room.  Here is a bed that is very similar, except the shelves on mine don’t go up three sets, just two…and I have drawers under the trundle:

I will post pics of the room in a few weeks when it’s all done and put together.  I’m hoping to have my office completely  moved to home before the end of October….so I’ll keep you posted!

As far as stuff for baby, Chris and I went ahead and bought the stoller/carseat that I’ve been wanting.  I found a really good deal on Amazon ($100 cheaper than any retailer I had seen), and when I told the staff at Buy Buy Baby in Dallas, they matched the price for me (without me having to worry about quality/shipping issues and costs/etc).  We went with the Britax Be Safe/Britax Be Agile travel system in black:

B-Agile / B-Safe Black Travel System

I researched the HELL out of carseats and strollers and this one was my favorite, hands down.  The car seat has amazing safety ratings and has all the extras I was wanting (strap adjusments on the front, base leveling on the base for intallation, etc), and the stroller was by far the lightest and easiest to fold, lift, drive, handle, etc of all that I tried (I honestly drove at least 10 different ones around the store).  While in Dallas, I ran into two different moms who were using this stroller and I was that weird person that stopped them and asked if they cared if I asked them about their stroller, lol.  I only got positive feedback, so I was sold.  It feels good to have bought this!   I’m so excited.

I also went to the Rhea Lana sale in Dallas (I had never been) and had a blast.  I got in early with the ‘new mom’ pass, so I was able to get a few good deals.  I got this Chico travel high chair (which retails for like $40) for $12:

Caddy Hook On High Chair - Red

I also got a whole bag of maternity clothes and a bag of baby clothes….it was fun.

When I got home, I was shocked at some of the presents I had gotten in the mail!  My boss (this one I knew was coming, as he told me) got me the 4 moms MamaRoo as my baby gift…he said that it was the only thing that worked with his newborn a couple of years ago when it came to sleeping:

It’s not anything I would have purchased, as it’s super fancy, but I’m excited to have it because it seems amazing!  We shall see…I’ll do a full review next year sometime.  =)  My work also sent me a gift:

4moms 'Breeze' Playard

It’s the 4Moms Breeze playyard.  This thing is put together with one motion and can be taken apart with the same motion.  It looks modern, which I like, and has a good bassinet for the top which is probably what we’ll have Baby Hott sleep in while she’s in our room for a few weeks.  I couldn’t believe they got me this….it wasn’t cheap!  I think my boss may have had something to do with it…that guy is awesome.

So yeah, back to the Baby Moon.  We did some shopping….ate some good food….watched the Razorbacks play with some great friends..went to a piano bar….and overall took it a little easy.  It was a good trip!

I went straight from Dallas to Houston for work….and I got back late Thursday.  I was totally worn out to say the least.

Ok, back to work….

Categories: football, Friends, Love of my life, Pregnancy, vacation | 2 Comments

A little catching-up- better late than never, right?

Ok ok ok…I know it’s been a few days (cough*cough*) since I last blogged- I’m sorry!  Things have just been so so so so busy. Here are some updates:

  • I just got back (yesterday) from my 2-week trip to New Zealand and Vanuatu.  It was an amazing trip!  I will save the details and pics for sometime later this week (I have to upload my pics anyways), but just know I’m back safe and sound (with a little jet-lag) and had a great time.  It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip!
  • All things baby-related are going very well.  I’m still feeling great (no sickness and normal energy levels), so I have nothing to complain about.  I’ll be 17 weeks this week and will send over a recap of exactly how I’m feeling and all that sometime later this week, promise.
  • I am completely swamped at work (due to the 2 week vacation), which sucks.
  • I REALLY missed my husband while I was gone.  I’ve decided that I never want to go 2 weeks without him again.  May sound lame, but it’s how I feel…it was too long.

That’s about it- I just wanted you to know I’m alive and well!  I promise to update more later on this week when I have a little more free time!

 

Categories: Friends, Love of my life, Pregnancy, vacation | 2 Comments

June 29th- College Highlights

June 29th Prompt- Tell me the highlights of your college years.

Oh man…this one is tough!  I am so very lucky in that I had an amazing time in college…it’s hard to narrow down the highlights!  First things first- location.  I applied for all of the colleges in Arkansas (since that is where I lived), as well as KU. I got accepted into every school that I applied, with full scholarships to anywhere in AR and a really good deal at KU.  I ended up going to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR for two reasons: 1) it was over 2 hours away from my parents…and I really wanted to get away from them, and 2) I could ‘bank’ the most money at this school.  And by ‘bank’ I mean I would get refunded the most amount each semester.  I had a full scholarship through the school, but on top of that I had a lot of local scholarships…a full Pell Grant…a debate scholarship..a text book scholarship…etc etc.  What does this mean?  This means that I had full room/board/books paid for me, and then twice a year I’d get a refund check of around $4k.  Cash money, people!  And coming from someone who drove a $2k car and whose parents had sent her to college with a Bible and a $20 bill, this made me rich!  LOL.  It was the first time I didn’t have to worry about money for going out to eat….money for school clothes…money for my car insurance…etc.  It was such a relief!  I worked as well, so you would think that I would have saved quite a bit of money in 4 years, right?  At LEAST $20k, right?  Ha.  I was so dumb….I blew through all my money each time…but I sure had fun! So….some highlights:

  • For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like an ugly duckling.  I had the most beautiful friends in high school…seriously…so I always felt like the ugly, fat girl.  It wasn’t their fault at all, it was just issues that I had.  Once I got to college, though, I got attention from guys….and I found an amazing group of girls who were always telling me how pretty I was…and it felt nice.  God that all sounds awful and vain, doesn’t it?  I’m just saying that I finally stopped being so insecure…and that was a great feeling.
  • I got scouted out by the college debate coach (oddly, I had never debated…but my speech teacher from high school knew the debate coach and contacted him and told him he’d regret it if he didn’t recruit me), and I got talked into joining the debate team.  And you know what?  It really impacted my life.  I became more knowledgeable about the world as a whole and I got to share my opinions on the subjects.  I..for the first time in my life…was allowed to be as liberal as I really felt and was able to share that with others.  I got to miss classes and travel around with a great group of guys (I was like the only chick on the team), kicking ass.  It was a lot of fun…and easy credit, and easy money.
  • I made so many life-long friends…including a core group of friends I still have in Fayetteville/Little Rock.  Like REALLY good people, people!  Not fake friends…not friends who just have fun with you when they see you….but people you can always depend on and genuinely trust.  I was very lucky to find these people….changed MY life and made ME a better person/friend for sure.
  • I actually learned a lot in my classes, and enjoyed doing it.  I had 3 professors who really impacted my life greatly…and I still keep in touch with them today.

Ok, I realize that this is more of a ‘things I appreciate from college’ or something.  Not what I had intended, but all true.  Let’s get to more of the fun stuff, I suppose.  The highlights:

  • Getting dressed up with the girls and going clubbing.  We were so young and had no intention of picking up guys or anything, but it was always an exciting and fun time.  Lots of memories!
  • Road Trips- I can’t even tell you how many road trips I went on in college (and had never done that before)!  From traveling with hippies (and one hard-core guy with a soft, gooey, hippy inside) to see concerts (such as Phish, Widespread, Incubus, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, etc), to traveling with friends/boyfriends to camp in national parks or go snowboarding, a good time was always had.  Sure, there may have been an issue with cops once or twice, but nothing too bad.
  • Silly dorm events. One event in particular consisted of me and my friend Julie doing a dance/singing routine to Will Smith’s Fresh Price of Bellaire.  And we won, lol.
  • Parties- house parties/frat parties/whatever….lots of memories.
  • I smoked a lot of weed and a lot of cigarettes in college.  We had a group of girls who all did, and we’d drive around on back roads getting high and then just sing songs or make up crazy stories or whatever.  Total ridiculousness…and total fun.  One of my favorite things to do would be to get high and then get back to the dorm and go to Jodie and Julia’s room.  They didn’t smoke, but they loved being around me when I did and laughing at me.  I would go to their room and entertain them for hours…lots of fond memories.
  • The school newspaper.  I don’t remember how I got roped into doing articles for them every now and then, but I did.  Maybe I should say they were ‘rants,’ more than articles, lol.  I had a lot of angst to get out, I guess!  Seriously….they would publish just about anything, and I’d get pissed off about something (like parking or student government  or beuracray or whatever) and I’d just put it all out there.  It was a lot of fun

 

Categories: Blog Games, College, Friends | 1 Comment

June 26th- Advice to a Newbie Infertile

June 26th Prompt- If you could give advice to a newbie infertile, what would it be?

I know what I would have liked to have been told, so that is what I’ll pass on:

  1. Be aggressive.  If you are TTC and really serious about it, then REALLY go for it.  Monitor your cycle, whether that means temping yourself or taking ovulation tests or whatever.  And this means daily…if you skip a day, it could be THE DAY…then the whole point of the rest of the month is pretty much wasted.   Know what your body is doing so that you can help your doctor key in on any issues more quickly.
  2. Tell your doctor everything.  Does your husband smoke weed?  Do you smoke cigarettes?  Are you lying about your exercise?  All this information (and so much more) plays into fertility, so be open
  3. Find a way to vent/discuss what you are going through.  Maybe this is through blogging (such as myself), or maybe it’s just through venting to your spouse.  Having some sort of support system through this trying time is totally needed for your sanity.  Message boards/forums are also great
  4. Look into your insurance coverage early.  This will help you know what you can afford and what you can’t…and knowing this will help you perhaps to start saving more or move on to different treatments sooner.
  5. Don’t give up quickly.  It’s easy to lose hope…especially if you ‘just knew’ that as soon as you got off the pill you’d be knocked up.  Trust me, I know!  I tried to stay positive by always having a next step.  I would go to my doctor’s appointment (say planning our IUI), and I would already be asking the doctor “Ok, if this doesn’t work what can we do next?”  That helped me for some reason…felt like I was making progress.  After a few years it’s harder (as you start running out of options and the available options are very pricey), but I managed to do it til I got my BFP.
  6. Do your research.  I went to my OBGYN for infertility treatment for over a year, and because I did my research I was able to dictate a large portion of my treatment.  I knew what people with qualities similar to mine were successful with, and I would ask for  it.  Most of the time I got what I wanted, which was nice.  Look through blogs/forums and see what other people have done/tried and why…ask questions…and all that information will only help you
  7. Feel free to tell people to fuck off.  Seriously.  All these people who say “Oh, everything happens for a reason,” and “Just relax, it’ll happen,” and “Just stop trying and before you know it you’ll be pregnant!”…..let them have it.  Teach them some etiquette.

Ending a list at 7 points is weird, but that’s all I have time for.  =)

Categories: Blog Games, Fertility Specialist, Friends, Infertility, Insurance, IUI, Negative Pregnancy Test, Pregnancy, TTC | Leave a comment

June 21st- Annoying things

June 21st Prompt-  What annoys you?

This was not the original prompt, but the original one was “tell me about another TTC blog and why I should read it,” and most of my readers are friends (I think) who are not actively TTC….so I changed it.  Plus, I’m annoyed right now, so I wanted to vent.  =)  Here is a list of 10 things that really annoy me.

1.  I hate fighting with the hubster.  It’s really not often that it happens anymore, but when it does it just kills me.  The thing that annoys me the most about it?  No matter what the fight is about…or who is to blame…I am ALWAYS (as in 100% of the time) the one who has to apologize and wave the white flag.  Seriously!  Maybe he didn’t do something he said he would…well, I have to apologize for not acknowledging other things he DID do….or the tone of voice I had when I asked him about it….or the timing of bringing it up….anything, really. It’s not fair, but I always do it because I’d rather have peace.

2.  Men who are rude to strangers, especially women.  The other night we went to the late show, and there was only one lady at the ticket counter.  I would guesstimate that there were around 15 people in line to buy tickets.  DH and I were about 3-4 back, and an older lady was solo in front of us.  Well, another theatre employee FINALLY opened a new line.  The lady in front of me didn’t notice, so I tapped her on the shoulder and said “you should jump in that line since the people in front of you are not. ”  You know…following the system like they do at the grocery store when they open another line and say “I can help whoever is next.”  Well….as we are moving to that line, a young guy from the back of the line jumps into the front of the line and whips out his money.  Normally, I would make a comment….so add to this my pregnancy  hormones and there was no way I wasn’t saying anything.  I just said (loud enough for him to hear me, of course), “Wow, that was really nice…such a polite young man” or something very similar.  He looked back and glared at me….then said “My girlfriend’s pregnant.”  I looked around and yes..there was a pregnant girl standing near him…in daisy dukes and an animal-print tank top.  I replied “Yeah?  Well I’m pregnant too…does that mean I get to cut in lines?”  I wanted to say a lot more, but I didn’t…..so rude.  It’d be different if we were in line for a cab or the bathroom or something….but an elective activity where she’s just gonna go sit anyway?  Whatever.

3.  People at work who cc: a million people on a dumb email.  Please, people….cc as needed, not to cover your ass or try to make someone look bad.  I usually just ignore this, but in cases where someone cc’s my CEO or VP and does anything to even bring into question my job performance, I will reply to all and attach documentation (emails/reports/data) that just makes you look like a dumbass.  It’s actually kind of fun to do that when deserved…but it annoying to have to deal with.

4.  People who constantly are trying to “Keep up with the Jones’s” and always have to know what something costs…or how much money you make…or what your bonus was….or how much your house was….or what you owe on your car…or what neighborhood you live in…or if you have an RV or a boat or a cabin or whatever.  These are the same people who bring up things ‘casually’ in conversation just to make them look like they have a lot more money than they really do.  You know, things like “Man, David’s  (their son) college tuition is just so high this year,” when I know…for fact…that they aren’t even paying a dime of David’s tuition….. but they bring it up ALL the time in groups of people.  These are the people who rarely post on facebook, but when they do it’s things like “I love my life- been at our second home all weekend and it’s been so relaxing”…when the second home is really the home of their cousin and they just stay there sometimes.  I could go on and on, but it’s just annoying.

5.  People who encourage you to do something you are not doing.  Now that I’m pregnant, this is SUPER annoying.  Example- I’m not drinking or smoking or having caffeine.  You cannot imagine the number of people who have practically pushed these things on me, saying things like “I drank a glass of wine everyday, and my baby was perfectly healthy,” or “If you use to do those things and don’t now, it could actually hurt your baby,” or “Seriously?  Caffeine is fine!”  I just want to scream, “You know what?  There are doctors out there who recommend not doing any of those things, so I’m not!  It’s my choice!”  But normally I just sit back and say something like “yeah, guess we’ll see how it goes.”

6.  Loud eaters.  I know, this is petty, but it honestly drives me absolutely crazy.  If we’re in a restaurant and/or there is a lot of background noise, then it’s not so bad.  But if we are having a dinner at our house….or if a couple of us are eating something and watching a movie….then it’s something that will grate my nerves until I just lose it.  Everything from the smacking…to the drinking like horse…to the spoon or fork hitting the bowl over and over and over again as you scrape up your rice….to the crunching….just kills me.  Sometimes I will literally create an excuse to get up and do something else, and sometimes (only to hubs) I will say something like “I know it’s a ridiculous request, but could you PLEASE stop scraping your plate?!?”

7.  Parents who ignore their kids when there are other parents around.  I see this a lot.  It’s like an excuse to let your kids go wild or something….I don’t get it.

8.  People who have total disregard for public restrooms.  Seriously….have some decency and clean up after yourself

9.  People who go to Sonic during Happy Hour and go through the drive-thru and order a large meal.  Come on, people…that line is for drinks/speed!

10. People who continuously (I’m talking like daily) post selfies on facebook/twitter/instagram/etc.  Seriously…you KNOW we know you took that, right?  Did you just sit in your car and think “Damn I look good today, I need to document this!”  Part of it is honestly just hilarous…but the other part is annoying.  Partially because I know what you really look like, lol

 

Categories: Blog Games, Family, Friends, Love of my life, Pop Culture | 3 Comments

June 13th- Most Interesting Vacation

June 13th- what is the most interesting vacation you have been on?

I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit over the past few years.  I will say, though, that the trip I took in January to the Dominican Republic was by far my favorite trip….and the most interesting!  You can read about that here:  https://hottingerhouse.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/and-on-a-positive-note-best-vacation-ever/

Categories: Blog Games, Friends, vacation | Leave a comment

A Crazy Summer

Ok…I admit it…my planning has gotten out of control.  My friend Rebecca and I just emailed each other to find a weekend to get together after May, and between the two of us we can’t get a free weekend until AUGUST.  I am soooo not kidding.  I know, it’s ridiculous!  This Spring/Summer is crazier than normal, though.  I have so many trips planned that I am having a hard time keeping track.  Here is what comes to mind:

  • I have a beach trip planned later this month with my hubby and my parents and my in-laws.  We are going to Gulf Shores for a week…first vacation EVER with my parents!  I’m excited
  • I have a week-long trip to Arizona planned for mid-May with a friend
  • I have a long weekend trip to Dallas planned for a friend’s birthday in late May
  • Wakarusa Music Festival is the first weekend in June
  • I’m spending two nights in KC in mid-June (with hubby/friends) to go see Widespread play
  • I’m going to Colorado in late June/early July for 5 nights to see some concerts/visit with friends
  • In mid-July we are doing a girl’s trip to KC to see Train and Micheal Franti
  • I’m spending two weeks at the end of July/first week of August in New Zealand and Vanuatu.  I’ll do the first week in NZ and the second week in Vanuatu….going with a good friend to visit her family/attend her sister’s wedding.  And yes…Survivor was done in Vanuatu!
  • In mid August I’m going with some good friends to see Justin Timberlake and JZ play in Miami, FL

So yes, just a little busy.  Thank goodness I have a lot of vacation time with my  job!  I’m super excited about these trips…just know if you don’t see me until September it’s not personal!  lol

View from our house in Gulf Shores:

Childers Kokomo Gulf Shores House

Wakarusa Lineup:

Red Rocks:

Categories: Friends, Love of my life, Music, vacation | 2 Comments

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