Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of a Decade.

I can't believe it's New Year's Eve! While at work today I suddenly realized that I was signing off and dating things with "2009" for the last time ever. Crazy!

And it's the end of a decade. A lot has happened in my life over this decade. I started out the new milennium as a freshman in high school. I'm ending it a (near) college graduate, homeowner, wife, and soon to be mother! A lot happens over the span of 10 years even though it doesn't seem that it takes that long to pass.

Let's talk about goals. I'm not a huge fan of "resolutions" per se, but I do like to have defined goals in my life. Obviously, my number one goal for 2010 is to A) get the parasite currently living in my mid-section outside of my body and B) learn to be a great mom.

My goals for 2009 were actually set in mid-2008 due to the fact that the first half of 2008 was taken up by wedding stuff and it was all I could do to get through that madness. I didn't need to add additional things on top of that! By the end of 2008 we were still working on those goals so they carried over to 2009. After a year and a half we have made slow and steady progress!

On the financial front: I feel that we have spent the last year and a half doing a really good job revitalizing our finances. Our debt is definitely a lot smaller than when we started, but we are still working on it.

We kept up with the goal of putting a weekly deposit into our (what used to be at least...) high interest savings account and not touching it so that it can earn interest for us. Since opening that account we have earned $134.32 in interest. I wish it were a lot higher than that, but ever since we opened our account interest rates have been steadily declining, but that's an overall issue with the economy and something I clearly can't control although I wish I could.

In the next few months we will have Mark's car paid off, but we will also be dropping to a single income as I have a career change coming up so we will need to do some readjusting with our budget. I'm happy to say I have been hired as a stay at home mom once the baby is here : ) I'm sure there will be much more to come on this topic at a later date.

Overall, I'm just super thankful that we are comfortable in our lifestyle. We don't have to live strictly paycheck to paycheck, we have the ability to be somewhat flexible in our spending, and we have the opportunity to make decisions like dropping an income so that I can stay home to raise our baby. I know that we are very lucky and there are many people out there who are not in that kind of position right now.

With that said, one of my goals for 2010 is a continuation of my goal from 2009 in regards to revitalizing our finances. We have laid all of the ground work and have made significant progress, but by the end of 2010 I'd really like to be completely debt free with the exception of our mortgage.

On the organization issue: I feel like we have made HUGE strides with this! Since originally setting this goal we have redone our kitchen and office, we finally got our spare room set up as a guest room and have since started to transfrom that to a nursery!

After living here for more than 3 years we finally unpacked all of our boxes! This is a fairly recent accomplishment actually.

Also, we have donated quite a few things this year in addition to the usual bags of clothing including 2 boxes of towels and linens to the dog shelter, a couch and chair, full sized bed with headboard, a desk, and boxes of miscellaneous items leftover from our garage sale. These donations have really helped us clear out some of the bigger things that were taking up space and I'm so happy we were able to find homes for it all!

Still, I feel like things get cluttered really quickly around here and I don't feel like we are to the point where EVERYTHING has a place. So, I'll be working more with this goal in the upcoming year especially considering we are going to have so much stuff coming into the house along with another person! I would also really like to redo the bathroom at some point in the upcoming year.

And in addition to my old goals and my new goal of motherhood I'm also focusing on being happy and good at being a stay at home mom. I'm both anxious and excited to see how this goes for me. I think 2010 has a lot in store for us!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby Furniture = CHECK!

Last night we ordered furniture for the nursery. Thanks to our very generous families we were able to cover the cost of the furniture with gift cards we got at Christmas! So here's a peek at what we got:


Changing table:


The dresser is actually going in our room and our current dresser is going to relocate to Bean's room. All 3 items are a dark brown color.

Everything should be here in the next couple of weeks and then we can set it up! I can't wait to see how everything looks!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

32 Weeks

I think Bean looks fully cooked, don't you? I'm sure that someone miscalculated and I'm actually going to have this kid any day now. This has to be because I'm certain that he weighs at least 15 pounds!

I saw my doctor yesterday and everything is good - weight, blood pressure, belly growth, baby's heartbeat all good. The only small concern that I had was related to the fact that I have had TERRIBLE pelvic pain for the last week. Yes, the last WEEK! When I'm sitting or laying down it's not so bad, but if I'm standing or walking it's pretty terrible. Sometimes it feels like Bean has a steel spike in there which he is playfully forcing into my bones. Other times it just feels like there's about 15 pounds of pressure in there forcing the bones apart. Either way, it's not a good feeling at all.

I was thinking that it might have to do with the baby's position and if he would just shift then everything would be alright again. Well, I was close, but I didn't quite get the answer I was looking for. Yes the pain will go away... just as soon as the baby is here! Which is supposed to be 8 weeks from now!!!

Apparently, the problem is this, your pelvis is actually two bones held together by some ligaments or tendons or something stretchy. When the baby becomes heavy and begins pressing down on your pelvis it can cause pain. It affects women to varying degrees. Apparently some people are just lucky and get to be in excruciating pain. The cure? Having the baby. The only way to get true relief is to lay down to take the pressure off your pelvis. Super.

So of course for the last week there's been lots of whining about my pelvic pain. And I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get through the next 8 weeks!

In other news, I FINALLY was able to give Mark his Christmas gift! His very own Wii! I'm not sure who was more excited me to give or Mark to get. I told him I was NOT spending $200 on a game, but when I heard that Wal-mart had them for $150 I just couldn't pass it up. 25% off? I think so!

So I made not one, but TWO trips to two different locations and multiple calls to track down a location with a Wii. I think they were hoarding them because they could always tell me that they'd have X number in at 8am the next day, but I couldn't go at 8am I could only go later in the day!

After 1 trip on a SATURDAY (it was terrifying, see below for the whole story*) and 3 days of calling around I finally remembered that there is a Wal-mart right down the street from my office. HELLO! So I called they had them in stock, I ran out on my lunch hour (which I hate doing!) and was able to secure a Wii for $150 and even sprung for Mario Kart with the wheel. Now, I still feel that all the games and accessories are a rip off because they rope you in to ongoing spending once you buy the system, BUT I do feel pretty good about the deal I got on the actual system. I guess it balances out.

This is what pure Christmas joy looks like:

Please note Christmas Vacation playing in the background. I think we watched this like 5 times on Christmas day. I love that movie! Some of the best quotes are as follows:

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.

Clark: Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddam things.
Cousin Catherine: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.

And my favorite: She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.

*My Wal-mart story OR Why Everyone Including Little Baby Jesus Hates Wal-mart:

I fight hellish traffic and pedestrians everywhere to get a spot that's about 3/4 of the parking lot out from the store. I shop. I try not to kill people who in the middle of all the crowdedness just STOP in the middle of an aisle with their carts like they've never shopped in a crowded store before.

I then head back to the Electronics departement only to find out that they had "just" sold out of their Wiis, but will have 10 more in at 8am tomorrow. Perfect.

I finish my grocery shopping and then wait in line for 15 minutes at the express lane where there are people PACKED in around me everywhere. I of course start getting all anxious, and heart poundy, and hot and sweaty. I then had to step out of line to find a bottle of water I could drink while waiting so I didn't pass out.

I finally get to check out and head all the way back out to my car. I load up my groceries, return my car to the corral, and get into my car. As soon as I turn my key in the ignition some idiot starts honking at me because they want my spot. Give me an effin' minute!

I put my car in reverse and look all around - there are people and SUVs and stray children everywhere - as soon as I take my foot off the break some superidiot guy starts screaming and cussing at me to stop. He then starts yelling at me that I was trying to hit him with my car. Where did he come from? Oh yeah, he's the guy parked next to me and even though he must have CLEARLY SEEN that I was trying to back out because someone was waiting for my spot, he didn't want to wait to get into his car so he walked RIGHT behind my reversing car and tried to squeeze into his car at the same time I'm backing out of the spot right next to him.


So, I hit the break again to let him get into his car, he opens his door THEN he stops before getting in and starts yelling at me to "f*cking back out now since I already tried to kill him". Drama much?! I don't know where he learned the rules, but where I'm from, if a car is reversing you wait to get into your car for 30 effing seconds soyoudon'tgetrunover! GAH!

Running over an impatient and rude person averted, I finally back out of my parking spot and off course end up with the poophead behind me where we both get stuck behind a GINORMOUS 70's Caddillac captained by an old lady. She's waiting for a spot and blocking the ENTIRE aisle. She's of course waiting for a spot where they had to load like 6 kids into a van, load up the van, and then ANOTHER person came out of WM to load their purchases into the van also before they finally backed out. Old lady totally waited like 8 minutes while a line of cars formed behind her AND it wasn't even a good spot! And of course, poophead behind me sat there and kept laying on his horn. I guess he was still traumatized from his near death experience. ::eyeroll::

In summary, I didn't get what I originally went there for - BIG surprise! I think I'm emotionally traumatized from my experiences there and therefore, I feel that Little Baby Jesus would also hate Wal-mart because the idiots there suck the Christmas sprit right outta December..

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

I love Christmas! Too bad we're getting rain today instead of snow. It seems like it's been yeeears since we've experienced a white Christmas in Central Ohio.

I'm so thankful to have today off. The company I work for was closed today and will also be closed tomorrow. This makes for a very nice long weekend for me!

I'm still having some pelvic pain, but it seems to be better than it was 2 days ago. I've been trying to rest as much as possible, but I think it's up to Bean to PLEASE move into a different position.

I spent most of this afternoon (with intermittent breaks) wrapping Christmas gifts. I've found the gift wrapping (like just about everything else!) is MUCH harder to do when you're stretching and bending a reaching over your very own Santa belly! But everything is wrapped now and under the (mini) tree! Along with Kitty.

Here's our "special" ornament for the year. This is the one that Mark and I pick out together every year. I can't believe this is our FIFTH special ornament on the tree! Next year, we will have a third family member to take shopping with us for our sixth ornament! I'm very excited for this!

Mark has spent most of his Christmas Eve painting Bean's room! It's coming along nicely. I will get some pics to share as soon as possible!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

31 Weeks Today.

Dear Baby,

I really do want you to be comfy in your little temporary home. I'm sure it's getting kinda cramped in there, but parking yourself on my pelvis for the last few hours is just unacceptable. It causes quite a bit of pain which I would not like to experience so I'm going to have to ask that you relocate your little baby butt to a slightly different location. Thanks in advance.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

We (finally) registered!

For some reason creating a baby registery from scratch was a really daunting task. I put it off for quite a while. Yes I knew it would be fun to go down all the aisles and scan all the cute little baby things, but at the same time we have NOTHING for a baby so not only did we get to scan fun things, but we also needed to make sure that we put everything you need for a baby on this registery! That is quite a task.

I remember back when we needed to do a wedding registery and even then I felt a bit scared for some reason. There's just SO MUCH stuff out there and what you need vs. what the store SAYS you need is a delicate balance. This is taken to a whole. 'novah. level. with a baby registery. Not only are you starting from scratch and need everything, but then there are sooo many options to choose from!

So, we ended up spending a good 3 hours at We B' Babies (a.k.a. Babies R' Us) last Saturday. We probably looked at everything in the store at least once. We registered for bottles, and binkies, and blankets, strollers, bibs, a bathtub, towels, a swing, a bouncy seat, a pack n' play, bedding, clothing, toys, a monitor etc. etc. etc. It was a ton of fun and it was so exciting picking out items for our baby who will be here very soon to use the stuff, but it was a SUPER tiring day! I think I was still worn out on Monday from our excursion.

Now I can't wait to see what kind of goodies we get for our upcoming shower!

Also, big news for the week is I think we've decided on a baby name: Jack!

Now we are debating whether to name him Jack or Jackson (and call him Jack). I like Jackson and my argument is that if he doesn't like to go by Jack then maybe when he's older he'll choose to go by Jackson. Mark doesn't like Jackson as much and would prefer just to name him Jack. And we're thinking Michael for a middle name.

I really don't know what we'll end up doing. I'm surprised we were even able to narrow it down to Jack in some capacity, but of course, we can never just decide on something so the debate continues for a while.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How I Know a New Vacuum Was a Good Investment

I can't believe I forgot to mention this gem!

We have been discussing purchasing a new vacuum for quite a while now. We were using an old (crappy) Dirt Devil that Mark has had for years (pre-dating our relationship) and I'm sure it was just fine when there were no pets or pending children around, but really I questioned what it actually did. I felt like we could vacuum and vacuum and the carpets never got clean enough.

With a new addition coming to our family we both felt like we should probably look at investing some money in a better vacuum since we're going to have a little one crawling around on it soon enough! So, I started doing some research.

Vacuums are not cheap. Not at all. I think we've all heard of the Dyson and understand that it's thought to be the Cadillac of vacuums, but I am not even able to entertain the idea of spending $500+ on a dirt sucker. I did some research and the Bissell Healthy Home comes highly recommened for value, quality, durability, and all that good stuff. It's especially recommended for homes with pets!

So I started the process of trying to justify to myself spending $249.99 on a vacuum. That's a lot of money, but it's something we use often. Back and forth in my head it went.

Well, lucky us a deal came up that I just HAD to act on and snatch this baby right up! Back on the weekend before Thanksgiving I saw in the Target ad that they had a deal that with the purchase of this vacuum you got a $75 gift card. SuhWEET! This brings the price down to a more mentally managable cost of $174.99. THEN I discovered that Bissell was offering a $30 rebate on the purchase of this vacuum before 12/20/09! Which brought the price down to an even better $144.99!!!

Now, I figure that even to buy a less quality vacuum we'd be spending AT LEAST $100. At that point I could TOTALLY justify throwing in an extra $45 to get a great product! So, we raced out to Target and brought our new vacuum home.

Here's where proving the investment as a good one comes in. First I vacuumed our carpet with our old vacuum. Then, we went over it again with the new one. Keep in mind the "carpet" I'm referencing is just our family room and hallway, probably 300 - 350 square feet total.

Here are the results:

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I could knit a damn sweater for our dog with that junk! AND we've only had this carpet since August! THAT is what our old vacuum was leaving behind!!! So gross. After I saw that I was skeeved out just knowing that after we "cleaned" our carpets by vacuuming with our old wondervacuum we were still living among that filth!

So, in conclusion, the $145 was super well spent on our new vacuum. I feel like the carpet is SO much cleaner now and I'm mighty proud of the deal we got!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Few Random Things to Catch You All Up

I've been a bit AWOL lately. We've been busy as always and work is taking a lot out of me lately! I live for the weekends and struggle through the week. No fun, but gotta do it.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving complete with Turkey lunch and dinner with each side of the family.

Bean is growing well and right on schedule. I've gained 5 pounds so far, but I feel like it's been at least 20! I'm into my 3rd Trimester now. I can't believe we have less than 12 weeks 'til D-day!

We have even started on the nursery. So far, we have purchased paint and cleaned out the room, but that's as far as we've gotten. It's a start at least!

At my last appointment I took my gloucose test. It actually ended up being one of the easiest blood draws I've ever experienced, so that was nice. Another plus, the orange drink doesn't taste as bad as everyone says it does. At least it didn't to me. It just tasted like the orange syrup that they flavor icees or "flavor-ice" or whatever they call those things with. It was SUPER sweet and not refreshing at all, but the worst part was downing all that sweetness as quickly as possible! I got my results back on Thursday and my levels were normal.

During the same appointment I also got my H1N1 vaccine - mostly to help everyone else rest easy! - and I even got to get stuck one more time for a Rhogam injection because I have Rh-negative blood and they want to be sure I don't produce any antibodies against my possible Rh-positive baby which can cause problems in any future pregnancies. I'm now to the point where I have to start visiting the doctor every 2 weeks!

Another craft project that I finially finished and which Mark has been bugging me to get done for a while now:

We've been looking for something to go in this spot for a while now, but we couldn't find anything in the color palete we wanted that was a price we liked, so I decided just to do it myself! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

Also, fun story... we went out to dinner the other night and I was nearly too big to fit comfortably in the booth! Granted the booth was kind of smaller than I would say normal booths are, but my tummy was definitely right up against the table! We might have to switch to tables til this pregnancy is over!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas!

We put up Christmas decorations today. Here's a peek!

Disclaimer: I really have trouble photographing anything not in natural light not to mention trying to capture lights in dim light. It's harder than you'd think! So, use your imagination a bit, these things look better in person!


I really can't take any credit for this, but Mark did an awesome job as always!

Our little Christmas tree:

I miss doing a big tree, but the smaller one works much better for us. This way we can have it up off the ground keeping our living space. And the mini-tree is pretty cute! Mark's mom donated mini-tree to us last year.

And I made this bow for the top of the tree:

I'm very proud of how it turned out! it's very hard to find small tree toppers. We saw bows like this at Hobby Lobby and asked if they sold them. Yes, they do, but one of the associates custom makes them, so to purchase one it's the cost of whatever ribbon you want + $10. I was not okay with that. So I bought a roll of $5 ribbon for something else and I ended up making a bow on my own. It turned out just how I wanted! You could also attach long trailing ends, but I didn't want to overwhelm mini-tree!

Here is the top of our bookcase:

And I put this together for the top of our coffee table:

I couldn't get a good pic of it, but it's sparkley brown balls and red bells surrounding the candles.

And last, but not least, the ornament wreaths that I made to go over our couch:

Mark had a super-fun time assisting with this little project! I LUUURVE how they turned out though! And I made the bows to go on the wreaths. I'm just a now!

Now, if I can just get Mark to spell out "Welcome Santa!" on our roof in blinky lights we will be ready for Christmas!