Friday, December 30, 2011

Ummmm. . . .Well Damn.

I was laid off today.  Well, not just me.  My entire department and all of my employees were let go today.  There is no more mall customer service.  No giftcards, Ticketmaster, kids club, etc.  The mall just simply won't have those kinds of things anymore.

Which means I am 7 & 1/2 months pregnant and unemployed.  No maternity leave.  No cashing out of my vacation and personal days I would earn come January 1st.  I do, thankfully, get 4 weeks of severance pay.  No word yet if I will get my year end bonus - but dammit I should since an entire year of work went into it!

I'm bummed.  Actually I would say I am more in shock at this point since I have never been fired/laid off before.  I'm not sure what to do with myself.  Unemployment will hopefully help once the severance runs out since there is no way in hell I can get a job when I am almost ready to pop with babiness.  But after that?  I just don't know.

I also feel really bad for all of my employees.  For them this was a part time job to help make ends meet.  Some of them needed the money more than others.  One of them is a single mom of four.  One of them is retired and not getting enough from her benefits to be able to pay all her bills.  And for this to be their reward for working their little butts off thru the holiday season is just wrong.  No severance for part time employees.  So any income they were depending on getting from here is gone in an instant.  I hope they can make it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

30 Weeks

That's right!  30 weeks into gestation!  Only 10ish weeks to go.  Feeling pretty good.

At my Dr appointment this morning I learned that in the past 2 weeks I have gained 4 pounds!  Wow.  And I was doing so good with the weight gain.  Well, I can always blame it on Christmas and all the goodies being passed around.  But really, it was all me and my epic love for hot cocoa and oatmeal choco chip cookies.  Which I also blame for the incredible indigestion I have had lately.  Chocolate seems to irritate it.  Sooo worth it.

I also made a teenager almost cry today.  She looked like she was about 17 and was at the Dr office with her mom.  Neither one looked happy to be there, so I'm guessing she recently found out she is pregnant.  She was in the lab room waiting to get her blood drawn when I was brought over to get my weight taken just outside the door.  I took my coat off before getting weighed, thereby revealing my pumpkin tummy.  Poor girl looked up and saw my hugeness and I think in that moment she realized her life and body will never be the same.  Her eyes welled up, nose turned red, and her lower lip started to tremble.  I felt sorry for her while at the same time trying not to laugh.  Hormones are wicked.

In 2 weeks we have our next ultrasound!  Can't wait to get another look at Mongo and see just how big he is.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Family That Geeks Together, Stays Together

Christmas is over!  I gotta say it was a great day.  So relaxing and timing worked out just right so we didn't have to rush from house to house.  We still visited all 4 houses we normally go to, but it was wonderful to not have to watch the clock and duck out on family.

Now lets get to the fun part.  My brother and his family.  The dork spawn.  He who has 2 girls and is raising the little princesses to be equally dorky.  Please look at this:

Santa brought Ian, Megan, and Claire night vision goggles.  And not the kind that shines a light from the front and you just pretend they are working.  No, no, no.  These things actually give you a black and white video display thru the goggles of what you are looking at in the darkness without any kind of artificial light needed.  Plus they can take photo and video.  The geek squad is going to have so much fun camping this year!

For Reals.

Merry Christmas!  Or I guess for today - Happy Canadian Boxing Day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oops

So I accidentally rammed my belly into the corner of a cabinet today at work.  It was just one of those things, like stubbing your toe.  It happens.  But I really rammed that cabinet directly into my belly.  And it hurt.  And baby was NOT happy.  He flopped around and thumped me in the hurt area for a good 2 hours.  Not.  Happy.

Ever since then (roughly 7 hours ago) he has been so much more active than usual.  The rational part of my brain keeps telling me that baby is in essentially a water balloon and there is no way I could have hurt him.  The freak side of my brain keeps screaming "Dear GOD, now he's gonna have a flat head!"

Anyone else do something as stupid as this?  Anyone out there who can help put more weight behind the rational part of my brain?  It would be helpful.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gum Drop Madness

As holiday gifts for my employees and coworkers I bake.  Cookies and banana bread is the usual holiday goodies assortment that I package up for them.  This year I remembered the Bakerella post about gum drops and decided to give it a try.  So those I work with will be getting a little extra something this year.

Too stinkin cute!  These were time consuming (take a couple of days to make properly - but I didn't let them set as long as you are supposed to) but pretty easy to make.  Although I will warn anyone thinking of making these that when boiling the mix on the stove it goes from gentle little bubbles to OH MY GOD I'M EXPLODING ALL OVER YOUR KITCHEN in about 1.8 seconds.  So be careful.  It's both burny and sticky.  Like sugar lava.

Hopefully everyone likes them!  I flavored them orange or raspberry.  I tried them and think they are too sweet, but then I've never been a gum drop fan for just that reason.  I just wanted to try making something new. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Things I Learned Yesterday

Morgan's Grandpa was awarded a Purple Heart.  He earned it when grenade shrapnel tore into his hip after it exploded near his canteen.  He was lucky in that there was a medic and a jeep very nearby at the time.  Otherwise he likely would have died, would have never come home to have 8 kids, never would have had grandkids, and I would have a different husband cause Morgan would not exist.

My CABL, in a quiet moment between the two of us in the office, admitted that she made a huge mistake in not listening to me about our staffing concerns.  She openly and very straight forward apologized for not listening to my advice earlier in the year and letting me take care of a situation with one of my employees by letting her go.  Had we done this one thing a domino effect of crap would not be haunting us right now.  She admitted that I was right.  OMG.

The owners of the mall I work at have defaulted on their loan.  Meaning that the mall is now for sale.  Meaning that sometime in the next 2 weeks to 3 years the mall will sell and reorganize.  This usually is no big deal, and for 90% of the mall staff it is still no big deal.  But my job position is not one always found on property at a mall.  The previous owners did not have a me.  The future owners might not want a me.  But I planned on job hunting like a mad woman while on maternity leave anyway, so lets just hope they don't find a buyer before I find a new job.

The last thing I learned yesterday is that my husband is still the worlds best baker of cookies.  And that even a very small quantity of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies can result in some stinky aftermath.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pappy G.

Grandpa, Grandma, MIL, Morgan, Oaf Me

Don't you just hate it when you're looking for a good photo of someone and you suddenly realize that you didn't take any?  Have I really been around my husband's family for this long and don't have a single good picture of his grandfather?  How is that possible?  But it's true.  I can't find a single one.  So here's a pretty bad photo from my wedding.  Random chairs, lots of empty space, and one unhappy MIL.  This, my friends, is what you get when you hire the cheapest wedding photographer you can find.
Cropping is a good thing.

Late Tuesday night, Morgan's Grandpa passed away.  He had been in failing health for a while.  The family had been put on notice that the end was near about a week ago.  At the age of 86, after 66 years of marriage, Pete (real name Clyde, don't ask) passed away peacefully in his sleep with one of his many children at his side.  Viewing is tomorrow night, funeral is Saturday.

He was a very kind man with a very firm mindset on the way things should be.  Him and Grandma were the ones who worked to keep MIL involved with the family and refused to let her be excluded from family functions just because she was no longer married to their son.  I credit them with the fact that Morgan has any kind of a relationship at all with his dad, as the divorce was one hell of a bitter debacle and MIL still curses his name to this day.  As you can imagine, Morgan was very close to his Grandpa.  As all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren were.  He will definitely be missed and his loss will no doubt leave a big hole in their family that I don't think will ever be filled.

It's a shame that Simon Arthur Samuel Mongo Eino Delano Dennis G. will never get to meet him.  I wish I had taken more pictures.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stress and Hormones

I'm going to do something here that I normally don't do. I'm going to talk openly about my MIL. See, my MIL is a very sick woman. Lupus, a bum knee, arthritis, chronic pain, etc. The list of all her ailments is long, surpassed only by the even longer list of medications she is on. And she has been in this slowly deteriorating situation for something like 15 years. In fact she has been saying since the day I met her a little over 8 years ago that she is going to die next week.

Hasn't happened yet.

Now combine her condition and heavy narcotic meds with the fact that she went through a horrible divorce and only has one child (my husband) to rely on for help. And I stole him away from her, just like that other woman stole her husband. I think you see where this is headed.

To say we don't have a very good relationship would be an understatement. And she has tried several times over the years to sabotage my relationship with my husband. Including when she called me up a week or so before our wedding and insinuated that Morgan was cheating on me. He wasn't. Or the time she tried to convince Morgan that I like to visit my friend in Cleveland by myself so I can sleep around in a different town where he will never find out about it. Which, no. You get the idea. She does not like to share her little boy.

"Why are you gonna have kids? I thought you didn't like kids! What good is you having a baby gonna do me? I can't hold the damn thing!" was her reaction when we told her a couple of years ago that we were going to start trying to get pregnant.

And now I am pregnant.

Surging hormones coupled with her behavior has led to a very toxic stew brewing in my gut. Now add the thousands of dollars she has "borrowed" from us in the last 3 months. The loan that just keeps getting higher as we help her transition from her old place to her new apartment, fix up her old place, and try to sell it for her. Money that we kinda need since we have an infant on the way and I'll be on maternity leave for 3 months, only half of which I'll be drawing a paycheck for. Oh- and she's been telling the family that we have done nothing to help her and she has no idea how she will make ends meet. Nice.

I feel like the majority of my pregnancy stress and hormone rages have been directed at her. I guess it's kinda a good thing as it means Morgan has not had to suffer any beyond watching me blow a gasket talking about his mom and her issues. He is equally frustrated with her, but doesn't have my way with words and gestures. It ain't pretty.

Long story short, I don't like the woman and I wouldn't be surprised at all if she lives to be 90. She ain't going anywhere anytime soon. And I needed to vent in my typical rambling fashion. Thanks. Sorry. Someone please come swaddle me and feed me hot cocoa.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Second Class Citizen

What is this?  A dutch apple pie with a candle in it?  Why?

There is a running joke in our house right now.  And the butt of that joke is my beloved Lincoln.
Today is his 5th birthday.  Yes, I know what day my cat was born.  Yes, I realize this is not a normal thing to keep track of.  Lincoln has been the victim of my misguided nesting instincts for several years. And the birthday tradition of getting a cake/pie/dessert of some kind and taking a picture of the stinkin cat next to it has been observed every year of his life.
But will this be the last year?  I have this little human in my lady bits that will be born in less than 3 months.  A child to focus my no longer misguided motherly and nesting instincts on.  Poor little Lincoln is about to become a second class citizen.  Does that little peanut of a brain have any clue what is about to happen to this family?  Will it be a rude awakening or a relief that I am finally leaving him alone and not trying to smoother him with snuggles?  Will we remember this time next year that Lincoln is 6?
I don't know the answer to that.  But I do know I love apple pie with vanilla ice cream, so maybe we will remember.  Food is one hell of a motivator.



Monday, December 5, 2011

And Everything Is Okay

Well, now that the weekend has passed I feel it safe to post this.  It's been something I have debated even bringing up cause I don't want to be "that person" who dwells on things that can't be changed or helped.  But Saturday, December 3rd was the due date for the pregnancy that I lost.

It was only March/April when all of this was happening, and yet it seems so long ago.  The weeks of Dr appointments which finally brought on the conclusion that the baby was not developing and the D&C that followed will no doubt stand as one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.  A loss after 23 months of trying to get pregnant, well that was beyond rough.  Depression, panic attacks, yuck and etc.  It was months before I was myself again.  Honestly, I think this pregnancy is the only thing that helped me turn the corner and start getting better.

And there it is.  It's out.  Had I not lost that pregnancy I would be a mother right about now and be looking forward to a Christmas at home with my baby.  Instead I'm almost 7 months pregnant with my little boy.  I would be lying if I said I didn't stop and think about the "what if's" several times over the weekend, but it was much easier to handle than I thought it would be.  I'm fine.  And these little kicks inside of me are the reason why.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What's In A Name?

For months now, even before we knew we were having a boy, the name battle has been raging on. If it had been a girl the decision would have been easy. Alexandra Anne. Done. But Mongo is a boy child and we just can't seem to reach a compromise. And believe me, we are open to suggestions! Baby needs a name. We would really like to talk to/about baby by name at this point. You know, to get used to the idea.

So far my favorite name is Simon. His favorite is Arthur. I also like Arthur, but I hate the nicknames Art or Artie with a passion. And there would be no avoiding people calling him that. Just like there was no avoiding people calling me Chrissy when I was younger. It was just an annoyance we had to put up with.

Other suggestions to this point have ranged from Hinkle to Owen. Hell, my G-ma wants us to name the baby Eino. Eino is her father's real name. His Fin name which was a secret and she didn't even know that was his real name till she decided to visit his home town in Michigan in the 80's. But Eino sounds too much like Anal the way she pronounces it. And if you know our last name. . . Well. . . Anal is a bad idea unless he is going to be staring in gay porn movies.

So yeah, open to suggestions. Please. Cause Simon Arthur is not floating the husbands boat.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Laptop Has Returned

Back in October our laptop needed help and so we took it to a computer repair shop.  They said we would have it back in a week.  That was in mid October.  After ordering the wrong part, then getting the right part, then melting part of the motherboard, then a holiday weekend, we finally got our lappy back yesterday.  Yesterday.

And seeing as I am not the most tech savvy person in the world, I could not get photos to post from my ipad to blog.  I followed the advice of others, but after purchasing 2 apps that did not solve the problem decided it was not worth the headache and I would just wait for the return of precious lappy.

So in the past. . . .what, 6 or 7 weeks - this is a small gathering of what we have been up to.  A randomography, if you will.

It snowed on my Halloween decorations.  Snowoween was pretty awesome, even if it did cancel plans with friends.  But it was all melted and gone by the time the trick or treaters came round.

We started the 8 qts of goodness eating plan.  It all started with veggie soup (see below).  It has been going great.  This week is a giant ass crock pot of pork & sauerkraut.  Man do I love anything with sauerkraut in it!  Not sure if this is me or the baby talking, but I think I could sit down and eat a half gallon of that stuff.

Some more stuff happened that I didn't take pictures of or post about cause at that point I considered the absence of precious lappy a vacation from blogging.  Plus I was busy at work.

Eventually we came around to last weekend when we hosted a feast meal and had a bunch of people over for dinner, drinks, and board games.  It was fun as always.  Although when Morgan & Matt broke out the beer stein Morgan had taken from his moms house I got a little worried.  That thing fits 12 beer bottles.  And they drank almost all of it.  On top of wine and pre-dinner Bourbon.  In that span of time Karen decided to sleep off some of the food coma while everyone else was elsewhere in the house/yard.  Good times.

And that's it!  Welcome back.  Yay for pictures!  Yay for precious lappy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hey December, Bring It!

disclaimer- I work retail and the holidays suck.

Black Friday went off without a hitch. Finally. 2 months of lead up to one moronic shopping event which then transitions to 4 weeks of having your brain slowly rot from listening to Christmas music 9 hours a day. Then you get off work sometime between 6 and 7pm (because customers won't leave the mall) on Christmas Eve and race to your family only to discover you have missed everyone and only your hippie Uncle is still there. It's what happens every year.

But this year will be different! Since the economy has tanked a few more of my relatives have become retail workers. This means there are 4 faces missing from the Christmas dinner table. This means I am no longer the only voice asking for our family to gather at some time OTHER than 3pm on Dec 24th. Praise the sweet baby Jesus that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Or something.

So my family is getting together on the actual day of Christmas, when all the stores are closed. For the first time in. . . I don't know, 12 years. . . I'm going to see ALL of my family on the holiday. I'll get to see them open their gifts. I'll get to see my younger cousins sneak beer in to my G-ma's house while everyone snickers and lets them think they're getting away with something. I get to see everyone, including my hippie Uncle before his 9th trip to the fruit plate.

YAY!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Distant, but Could be Inbreeding

So. . . Yeah. At that party we had for Morgan's relatives last week his Uncle surprised us by giving us a book detailing the family history for my MIL's family. He had to sneak this book to us so my MIL would not pitch a holy hell fit that it was being passed to Morgan instead of her, but that's another story.

The History of the Descendants of John Hottel was published in 1930 and details the lives of everyone involved starting in the 1700's. Pretty awesome. It even gives details of what their weddings were like. This morning we were flipping thru the pages looking for baby name inspiration when we came across a section dedicated to all the Seibert's in the family. No shit.

Seibert, being my maiden name, is German in origin and not overly common. It's not like Smith or something like that. There are a bunch of us in our area, but only because we all decended from one horny man who liked to sleep around and steal horses. Or so the story goes.

So, this means there is a decent chance that my family and Morgan's family has a few roots in the same tree. Good news is that these ancient relatives lived in the early to mid 1800's. Plenty of genetic diversity has been breed in since then. But still, what are the odds of that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More of the Same, Less of the New

Today I had my 24 week Dr appointment. I was shocked to discover I have not gained any weight since my last appointment. So strange considering how much bigger I am. Baby seems to be fine and I go back in a month.

The 8 quarts cooking program is going great! This week we are devouring Slippery Chicken Pot Pie. Something I now realize is not a well known dish. At least that is what the confused and repulsed expressions on others faces leaves me to believe. If you are unfamiliar, just think pot pie with dough patches instead of a pie crust. Kind of like a stew. . . Kind of. Trust me, it's good.

Hard to believe it's only Tuesday. Yesterday at work was stressful enough to make me wish it was Friday. I mean, wow. Hope the rest of the week flies by!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Ramble On

This past week has been a really hard one. I'm so glad it's over.

Crazy Ass Boss Lady was in rare form this week. See, it's almost go time for the holiday season rush. And when you operate a mall, not just a store, the pressure can be a bit much. CABL is a Marketing Director. She is responsible for making the entire mall an attractive place to shop and bring your family. . . and she sucks at her job. I'm going to leave it at that and not proceed to write five paragraphs on the topic of her suckage. Just know that she blows and tends to take her frustrations out on others. It's fun.

But the week from hell is over! Next week looks to be equally stressful as our seasonal staff starts their training and I'm hosting our staff holiday meeting on Thursday. Somewhere between all of that, working till 9 every night, and organizing a 500 piece mailer I have my next prenatal appointment. Almost 6 months! Only 3 and 1/2 more months to go!

On the topic of baby - we picked up some more Craigslist stuff tonight. A snowsuit and a few other clothing items that are super cute for pretty darn cheap. Plus the woman we got the stuff from lives 3 blocks away from our favorite ice cream place, so YAY for an excuse to get ice cream!

Tomorrow Morgan's relatives that helped us move his mother into her new apartment are coming over for a November BBQ. Burgers, deviled eggs, chips, fruit, cake, etc. It's the least we can do to thank them for their time and efforts. Hopefully it goes well!

Monday, November 7, 2011

8 Quarts of Love

Last Sunday we made 8 quarts of veggie soup and it lasted us for 6 days. 6 days of lunches, dinners, and on a couple of occasions both for the day. It was good. Really good. And it cut down on the number of food truck lunches for the husband, and food court purchases for me. Healthy, hearty, and delicious.

We decided to repeat this idea. Hopefully we can do this through the fall and winter season. These one pot cold weather meals are ideal for my eating for baby goals. So now we have 8 quarts of stuffed cabbage rolls. Hmmmmmmmmm. Sooooo goooood.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pregnancy To This Point

This morning marks the beginning of week 23. I am getting closer and closer to that important milestone known as viability. The magic point at which a hospital would attempt to save the baby if something were to happen. It's little details like this that I worry about but never tell the husband about. He doesn't need that thought lingering in his head when he is helpless to do anything about it.

But I digress. Pregnancy up to this point has been pretty good. The nausea and indigestion (especially in the first trimester) has been manageable. I have had a few moments where I thought something was wrong. Like when I pulled a groin muscle while doing yoga and had those extreme cramps. But for the most part I have pushed on and tried not to change my habits much despite my infertility anxiety. And it does seem to be true that the second trimester is easy. I almost feel completely normal.

Now we get to the fun part. Where I list my most important moments of the past 23 weeks. Those little memory nuggets that I hope to never forget.

1. Saturday, June 25th. I was at work at a kids event when I first started to put the pieces of the puzzle together in my head. It had almost been 2 weeks since the IUI and I felt like crap. When I got home I took my husband upstairs with me and took a pee test. He had the most bewildered expression on his face when I told him it was positive. I think he forgot how to breath for a few seconds.

2. Seeing the developing baby on our first ultrasound at Shady Grove Fertility. After the loss of the last pregnancy it was the most amazing thing to see. Proof that things were okay. Mongo was only 5 weeks along at that point, so there was no movement, but there was a heartbeat! A tiny primitive heart that was beating.

3. At 7 weeks I had my first appointment with an OB. It was a horrible experience and I changed Dr offices after what happened. But everything was fine and the OB Dr was wrong when he told me the baby was dead. This experience may have taken a couple of years off the end of my life with the stress of it all, but I never want to forget the way it made me realize how much I loved this baby even then.

4. Feeling those first tiny movements around week 11 or 12. Not sure when I first felt it because I kept telling myself it was gas. But it was Mongo. And it felt like tiny bumps and flutters.

5. The kicks. Wow. The difference a few weeks can make! Right around week 18 all those little bumps turned into definite kicks with some force behind them! It scared me at first.

6. Finding out that Mongo is a boy. We strongly suspected he was. But there's nothing like being told if your life will be all about mud pies or dance recitals! Morgan was so proud. He kept reaching over and squeezing my foot during the long ultrasound because he couldn't hug me. Although the baby skeleton did freak him out a little during the anatomy scan. Which was funny.

7. Week 22. I was sitting at my desk typing when Mongo kicked my side where my elbow was resting. I gave my stomach a good poke right where he had kicked me and a little foot returned a kick to my finger. We did this a few times as I marveled at our first mother/son interaction. Then it hit me like a freight train that I was really going to have a baby and the combination of pride and terror almost made me cry at work.


And that brings us to today. I'm nesting. Gathering baby things and outfits cautiously, but feeling like things are really going to be fine. Trying to pick out a name. Or more truthfully, trying to find a name that Morgan doesn't hate. Sorry, but despite what Morgan may want, Mongo will not be named Tiberius. Besides, I'm pretty sure Matt has first dibs on that one. Yes, I am serious.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Updates

1. We still don't have our laptop back. So no photos of the snow covering our Halloween decorations out on the lawn. The snow that cancelled all of our weekend plans. Grrr.

2. Auto correct is the devil.

3. It's soup season. I love soup. Yesterday we made 8 quarts of vegetable beef soup. I'm curious to see how long this will last us. Especially considering it's damn good and I can't stay out of it.

4. It's Halloween, y'all! Best holiday of the year! Trick or treat is tonight! Hope you have a good one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Can a Fetus Have Anger Issues?

Can the unborn have rage issues?
Can infants have inch long claws?
Can a human female be accidentally impregnated by a groundhog?  (baby was created in a Dr office, you never know!)

These are the questions that roll thru my mind at moments like this.  Moments where I swear it feels like Mongo is trying to burrow his way to freedom.  Surely my womb can't be all that bad.  I have been assured by a few sources that these disturbing movements happen and he can't possibly do either of us any damage.  But Lord, it don't feel natural.

Perhaps all those naughty little fantasies of mine have come true and Hugh Jackman came around to donate his Wolverine sperm to me.  Yes, this is how I will think of it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Has iPAD

Hubby held true to his foolish statement and took me out to get an iPad while best buy was having a special this weekend! The laptop is still in the shop and we hope to get it back by Friday, but that might be wishful thinking. All of this led to my husband saying something so shocking that I could barely believe the words had escaped his mouth.

"In a few years we may have to bite the bullet and just get an apple laptop. I'm tired of all these problems we keep having with windows compatable products. Pieces of crap."

This from the mouth of a diehard "Apple is for Hipsters" man. Wow.

So I is happy and fumbling around on my new toy. And I'm happy to now have my own copy of Plants vs. Zombies!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Score & Fail

Score:  Craigslist is a good thing.  I have started looking for those larger baby items (stroller, pack & play, etc.) on Craigslist since the yard sale route seems to be producing items that are a little too well loved and broken in.  Wednesday night I scored a really nice high chair for $30!  It has 2 dishwasher safe trays, adjustable seat position so you can lean the baby back to sleep if he nods off, adjustable straps and height, and it's GREEN!  I am trying to get everything in a green color pattern so it can be reused.. . you know. . .if we decide to go thru this PCOS journey all over again. 

Fail:  Our laptop is in the shop getting the power supply fixed.  This is really sad considering we just bought this laptop in April.  So we will be without a home computer till end of next week.  Which means yes, I am using my office computer to do this right now.  Oops.  Perhaps this will help ween me off the internets a little bit.  Or the husband can see this as the perfect time to gift me with my gestation gender reward! 

Yes, he was serious when he said girl child would yield me nothing.  So I'm holding him to his promise for baking a boy.  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Pink

As promised, I got rid of the pink blog design.  No more pink everywhere.

Why?

We're having a boy!


Yeah, I'm stupid excited.  Now where's that ipad Morgan said he would buy me if I gestated him a son?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Strasburg Railroad Trip

The annual scenic train ride was this Sunday in Strasburg, Pa.  Amish country.  The land of horse poop and butter churns.  Also the home of this old steam engine and restored passenger cars.
It was a quick 45 minute ride past farms, pumpkin patches, and a park.  Just long enough for the boys to enjoy a drink and for Karen and I to trade cameras for couples shots.  Speaking of which - Yes, Morgan is wearing a Hamburglar t-shirt and I broke out my maternity Halloween shirt early.  Deal with it.  (actually people were stopping me all day to ask about the shirt and take pictures.  Mehe)
I now have a new appreciation for steam engines and the power that is required to move them.  Too bad my camera batteries were crapping out when they first started it.  It was pretty impressive.  But I did manage to get a few seconds of video.


One train ride isn't good enough for boys with gin in them.  So yeah.  This happened.


They also have a really nice train museum which we enjoyed going through.  I'll skip the mind numbing detail and just say they have lots of trains.  And model trains.  And a train yard to walk around looking at old, rusting retired trains.




But no pooping in the retired trains!

Then it was off to The Amish Village.  Which essentially was a tourist trap with sad, sad little animals.  Lets ignore that and look at the gayness.
Love these boys.

Captain of Industry

Yesterday was a hell of a lot of fun.  I'll be able to post about it later, but wanted to share this one thing this morning.  "Nothing like gut rot gin and the smell of burning coal.  Ahhhh, smells like Industry!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Yard Sale Hit and Miss

A month ago I woke my husband up on a Saturday at some god awful hour with the excuse of we were going yard sale shopping.  He was not happy.  An hour later, I was not happy.  That day was a total waste of time.  Oh, there was baby stuff to be had.  If you don't mind poop stains, mold growing on strollers, or food bits from the previous owner still clinging to every surface.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Today, the yard sale concept redeemed itself.  We gave it one more try and walked away with a few gender neutral outfits, a wipe warmer, a fancy nursing cover, and a few other odds and ends.  No large items like pack & plays or strollers, but I still walked away a happy woman.  It's a start.

Hopefully there will be more yard sales happening in the coming weeks.  Cause we find out what this little Mongo is in 3 days!  And then the outfit madness will begin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You Can Buy Funeral Supplies at Costco

I learned this little fact while shopping the Costco website for cookie packs to give away as tenant treats on Black Friday.  You can get caskets, urns, flowers, and other decorative funeral items at very reasonable prices.  Just make sure you order your casket by 12 noon to ensure timely delivery.  Not sure why, but this creeps me out so much.

I also learned, along with my work friend Candace, that our conversations in her office can be heard across the hall in the Director of Operations office.  There's a vent for the AC system that apparently has perfect acoustics.  Oh No.  Candace's office is where most of our bitch sessions take place.  So for the past few years that Director has learned QUITE a bit about us that we normally would not share with others in the office.  It's a good thing we both have a high opinion of this man and I'm sure he knows this by listening to our conversations.  Otherwise, he could easily get us both in a heap of trouble.  Nonetheless, I think we need to find a new location for our therapeutic venting sessions.

And now we have a very touchy subject.  I have an employee who I should have been allowed to fire about 3 months ago due to customer complaints about attitude.  However, Crazy Ass Boss Lady would not let me fire her at that time because she didn't want us to be short handed.  Now we have 3 employees we are getting ready to bring in as seasonal help.  Now she is on the bandwagon for firing the girl.  Now is NOT the time.  This poor woman just got back from Puerto Rico because her mom passed away.  She is grieving.  And CABL wants to fire her as soon as she returns to work.  After an entire day of CABL coming to me every hour with a different approach for letting this woman go, I put my foot down and said I won't be a part of it.  If we ignored her poor performance for 3 months, we can ignore it till we get another complaint about her.  And of course CABL can't get her own hands dirty with such things, so my employee is safe for now.  But damn.  How heartless is that?

And that's all for now, folks!  Let's hope the rest of this week goes by fast, eh?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Which I Question All That is Sacred

I work in a mall.  It is October 11th.  Sears is completely decked out and selling Christmas decorations and gifts.  Brookstone has been blasting the Christmas music all day.  Both The Children's Place and Gymobree have their holiday finest on display in the front window.

I can understand Santa being at the mall before Thanksgiving.  I can see the reasoning behind pre-Black Friday sales.  But not this.  It's not even Halloween yet, people! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MIL is Moved, plus some random stuff

Her new place is much nicer than what she had described it as.  Yes, it is much smaller than her old place.  But it's nicer than any apartment I lived by myself at.
New and improved features include a handicap shower.  No more struggling to get in and out of the shower over the edge of a tub.  No more hurting her leg or risking a fall just to be able to do something we take for granted.
As expected, we had some issues getting her moved.  She was exhausted and moody.  But luckily we had a small army of Aunt's and Uncle's to help.  Thanks to them the entire move from picking up the U-haul to dropping it off later was only a span of 5 hours.  And she happily kicked us all out of her new place so she could go pass out.  So far so good.  We didn't loose any cats and her neighbors seem nice.

Now On To The Random Stuff

You know you're pregnant when in the early morning hours your loving husband offers to make you anything you want for breakfast and you ask him to reheat the leftover Chili Lime Hot Wings from Hard Times Cafe.  God it was good.

Speaking of pregnancy - I had my first really strong baby movement Saturday night.  It shocked me how much stronger that little bump was than anything else I have felt.  I laughed, but I was so grossed out by it at the same time.
And I end with a tiny apple.  Our grocery store was selling these, pictured next to a quarter for size comparison, and I simply could not resist the cute!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Entertain Me

Here is a collection of things that have been shared with me this week that I really liked.  First up - teaching jumping jacks to overseas military.

Next we have Bad Lip Reading.  Bad Lip Reading is a channel on Youtube that is endless fun.  I would try to explain, but it's easier to just watch and laugh.



You're Welcome.  Here, have a tissue to dry your tears of laughter.  Now get back to work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

18 Weeks and Counting

I had my 18 week OB appointment this morning.  Everything is fine and Mongo is bumping around and growing.  She confirmed the leg and hip issues I have been having for a week now are sciatic nerve pain.  I also talked to the Dr about this sharp pain I have been having on the right side of my uterus for a few days now.  She thinks it's just growing pains.  It could be related to the cyst I know I have on the right side, but she didn't check it today.  That will get done at my 20 week anatomy scan.

That's right!  The much anticipated 20 week anatomy ultrasound and gender determination will occur on Oct 18th!

Anyone care to give a guess?  What do you think, boy or girl?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beef Bourguignon

We broke out the cookbook today.  To be more exact, we broke out the Julia Child Beef Bourguignon recipe.  My God.  No really.  I had no idea it was this good.  If you have a few hours to kill do yourself a favor and make this.  If you really want to impress someone have them over for dinner and serve this.  If you want to induce a food coma of ecstasy, serve this.

Let us begin.
You'll need to hit the grocery store and the liquor store if you happen to live in a state where the two can't be purchased at the same place.  Like Maryland.  And pick up some crusty bread for sopping up sauce.  You'll thank me for that one.
You are going to do a lot of cooking in stages.  This seems wasteful.  But it builds a wonderful fond on the bottom of your pan and I think the end result is totally worth the extra effort.  Brown chopped bacon.
Remove bacon, brown cubed stew beef.  See the fond?
Remove meat, brown onions and carrots in same pot/drippings/FOND.
Now you can combine everything together again and deglaze with just about an entire bottle of red wine and add to that some beef stock.  We found unsalted beef stock to control the sodium level and I would do the same next time.
This is what you are left with.  A disgusting purple soup that really doesn't smell very good.  It looks like crap.  I was worried at this point.  But it's okay.  Shove it in the oven for two and a half hours and work on your onions and mushrooms in the meantime.  Cause at the end of that long wait, after you have stirred in your sauted mushrooms and onions, you have this.
Savory from the wine, beefy, sweet from the onion, and bread sopping good.  Eat it as a stew and make sure you have a comfy napping spot ready.  You'll need it when the food coma kicks in.




Saturday, October 1, 2011

Venting is Supposed to Make You Feel Better

We had a big kids event today.  A carnival themed kids event.  We had roughly 300 families come thru the two hour event.  Now I will list the reasons why today made me hate Crazy Ass Boss Lady even more.

1.  We started the event 10 minutes late because CABL disappeared and we couldn't open the event until all the stations were set up and ready.  That would include the one CABL was supposed to be working.

2.  The game that I was working, a Plinko style carnival game, was by far the most popular at the event.  Because of this people were using all of their carnival tickets with me instead of using one ticket at each station.  We had warned CABL that this would likely happen, she didn't listen to us and laughed at the idea that someone would skip other stations.  Well it happened, and I had no back up because she refused to plan for this.

3.  Despite CABL being the closest person to me.  Despite CABL hearing all the yelling going on at my station.  Despite the fact that the event was over and I still had a line 35 people deep.  She decided she was done working and went back to the office to eat her lunch instead of helping me.

4.  The prizes given away at my Plinko game were all inflated things.  I ran out of pre-inflated items and had to inflate each item as it was won.  I had to use a hand pump to do this.  A very difficult to use hand pump that requires MUCH force to use.  Which is something I should not be doing considering I am pregnant.  CABL was eating lunch.  Thank God one of my employees and eventually Candace came over to help and I didn't have to use the pump for too long.

5.  After staying at the event a good 40 minutes after it ended to get thru the line of people who wanted to use all of their tickets at the Plinko game, we were finally done.  CABL was still eating her lunch.

6.  Exhausted, thirsty, angry, and sweaty we all made our way back to the office to pack up and go home for the day.  CABL comes out of her office still chewing on something and asks how things went.  Apparently my death stare wasn't good enough of an explanation.

7.  I explained to CABL that I should not have been using that hand pump.  She didn't understand why me being pregnant would make any difference at all.  You know, cause her pregnancy was the most wonderful time of her life and she never had to do anything differently.  To which I reminded her that I have had complications in the past, that I am an infertility patient, and that I am following my Dr's suggestions very carefully.  She still didn't understand.

Yeah, that was my afternoon in a nutshell.  I still don't feel much better.  I would really enjoy my job and everything about it if only I had a different boss.  One that would listen to reason.  One that was just a little understanding.  One that was not crazy.  I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frustration

I am a plus size pregnant lady.  It is very hard to find plus sized maternity clothes.  Very hard.  Especially since Old Navy just discontinued theirs and now only carries regular size maternity clothes.  Motherhood is one of the few stores I have been able to find that carries plus size maternity and I have picked up a few things from their last season clearance rack that I plan to wear once I get bigger.

So I was pretty happy this morning when I got an email from Motherhood saying their fall line of clothes has just become available and they have free shipping today.  Fall/Winter clothes are something I will need quite a bit of.  I have to keep up appearances in the office and would like to not wear the same 4 shirts over and over again.  I'm going to need some variety in my wardrobe.

Long Sleeve Open Front Maternity CardiganLong Sleeve Open Front Maternity TopLong Sleeve Cowl Neck Lightweight Maternity Top
Look at all the regular sized cute stuff!  These are just three examples of things that would be perfectly fine for me to wear to my office.  But none of them are available in plus size.

Plus Size Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Side Ruched Maternity T ShirtPlus Size Elbow Sleeve Mock Neck Drape Front Maternity T ShirtPlus Size 3/4 Sleeve Scoop Neck Banded Bottom Maternity T Shirt
Oh for God's Sake!  First of all, I am very confused as to why a fat pregnant girl would want to wear horizontal stripes or a casino carpet pattern.  Second, why the lack of long sleeves?  I noticed this in the regular size girl section as well, but in the plus size section there are only a handful of long sleeve items for WINTER.
Plus Size Long Sleeve V-neck Trapeze Maternity Tunic
This would be one of those long sleeve items.  It is described as a Trapeze Maternity Tunic.  Translation = big ass tent of cotton with no style at all.

Why?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Preparing the MIL

On Sunday we went to my MIL's place to help her pack for the big move.  It was a true task to go thru her treasured belongings and help her decide what goes and what she can keep and fit into her new little apartment.  She became exhausted very quickly and we had to push her to keep going while she had us there to help.  I think her exhaustion triggered her anger issues and pretty soon we were packing while getting lectured for not wanting any of her discarded stuff.  Like stacks of cassette tapes, beanie babies, and collectible tins from movies like Space Jam.

In the end we made a decent dent in what is left to be done.  But she has a LONG way to go and I don't see how she will be packed by the 7th since she doesn't seem to have the energy to do it on her own.  And I don't think anyone is coming over to help her pack till we return this coming weekend.

And the awkward moment of the day happened on her front porch as we were saying goodbye.  Morgan hugged her and left to carry things to the car.  I went for my hug only to see her bend over as far as she could over her walker and wrap her arms around my middle.  Her goal was to hug the baby. Instead she face planted between my tits.  I was mortified and very confused as she would not let me back up.  She held me in place while whispering to the baby.  Then stood back up and announced "The baby just told me she wants her name to be Bernadette."  To which I laughed and told her no.  She was mad.  We left.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Which His Will To Live Is Sucked Out

These photos are from a while ago, but I just found them this morning lurking in an ignored folder.  I got Lincoln another shirt.  Too bad I didn't post this yesterday on National Talk Like A Pirate Day.
A cute little pirate skull and cross bones.  I don't remember where I got it from.  It was probably CVS or The Dollar Store or something like that.  But I brought it home and promptly put it on the poor creature and watched as his life force was slowly sucked away.  He hates his shirt.  He pretty much refuses to move when he is wearing it.  Which is also fun to take advantage of.

Poor Lincoln.  But don't worry.  I only made him wear it for about 15 minutes and then the sad little eyes were too much for me to take.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

To Give You An Idea

Just to give you an inkling of what everyone in the office has to deal with.  Just to give you a glimmer of what Crazy Ass Boss Lady is like.  This is something I overheard her saying to the office receptionist yesterday.

"The toilet paper in the bathroom is really hard to get off the roll.  Like, it only lets me take a square or two at a time.  It's really annoying.  Look into that for me.  I don't know what you have to do, just fix it."

Friday, September 16, 2011

12 Weeks Was 3 Weeks Ago

After looking back I see I forgot to post the ultrasound photos from the 12 week NT scan.  So no Aud, you won't have to wait till 20 weeks for more Mongo.  Behold, Mongo Destroyer of Wombs and Miracle of Science!

You can see definite baby shapes now.  But it still looks like he/she has goat legs.  You can kinda make out that his left arm is back behind his head.  Every time I look at that photo in the back of my mind I hear "What?  Just chillin in my womb.  What you gonna do about it?"  

In other baby news, I had my first visit to the new OB office last week.  I like them.  I hope this one works out.  Nothing note worthy really happened.  It was just a very long and detailed appointment since they were making sure they had everything that has happened up to this point correctly into their system.

One really great thing that came out of the OB meeting is some sleep relief.  She said I can stack pillows up to create a 45 degree incline and sleep on my back to help with the tossing and turning issue.  It has made a world of difference!  I only get up 1 to 3 times during the night instead of 5 to 9 times.  I feel so much better.  Morgan refers to my pillow stack as Mt. Oafmore.  He does not like Mt. Oafmore.  I think he is assuming that some night I am going to roll off of Mt. Oafmore and smother him with my gigantic pregnancy tits.  At least we have life insurance.

I'm nearing the end of the 15th week!  And I ordered a belly band yesterday.  So things here are chugging right along.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back To Work

No one likes that first day back from vacation.  You just spent a week or whatever relaxing, maybe going on a trip, reading a book, and not even thinking about the work load you will be returning to.  Then that first day back comes and at some point that day you will look around you in disgust.  It's unavoidable.  I don't care what you do for a living.

Yesterday was my first day back.  I felt really good, well rested, upbeat.  Then my work friend Candace came to talk to me about a problem she had found.  A problem that made me feel so sick to my stomach that I wanted to march into my Crazy Ass Boss Lady's office and yell at her.  I didn't.  But that's how upset both Candace and I were about the issue.

What could be so horrible?  I don't want to bore you with mind numbing detail, but in a nut shell my CABL is a waster of money.  She is notorious for blowing our marketing budget every year.  She is incapable of making reasonable decisions when it comes to money.  I mean, this is the woman who bought a $600 comforter set for her potty training toddler and was proud of herself for finding such a great bargain.  I don't know about you, but I'm not spending that kind of money on something that is going to get pooped on.

Anyway, after 2 years of trying to get CABL to let Candace and I redesign our Santa arrival event (coming up Nov 5th) into something the kids will enjoy more, she finally agreed.  Which means we now have access to the budget files for that particular event.  Which means we now know just how much she has screwed the pooch every year on this ONE event.  For something that should cost X dollars, she has been spending 4 times that amount.  Money that could have been redirected toward other events, events we had to cancel, or even payroll for my employees so they can have more hours.  No wonder the guy who does the lame entertainment for Santa arrival is always so eager to make sure we have him scheduled months in advance.

So that was my moment of disgust yesterday.  I'm also shocked at just how close the holidays are.  For most people they don't have to start thinking about Christmas till mid November.  We have to have all of our holiday events planned and booked by the end of September.  Our first full staff holiday meeting is next week.  And I will start interviewing holiday seasonal hires in 3 weeks.  Wow.  Time flies.  It will be here and over with before you know it!  And then it'll be 2 more months till Mongo shows up!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's a Good Thing I Don't Own a Dog

I have wanted a dog for a very long time now.  We don't have one because we are gone for 9 to 11 hours straight when we are both at work.  Not fair to the poor dog.  Plus doggy day care (yes, it is a thing) is very expensive.  And so I just steal time with my brother's dog Alex whenever I can.

Now enter Target and my endless love for that store.
Oh yes.  It is a very good thing I don't have a dog.  Cause that poor creature would jump into oncoming traffic just to avoid the humiliation of Halloween.  The cats are only mildly safe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Williamsburg, Va

We are home.  We survived.  We really only had one day of bad weather.  Neither of us got sick or broke any bones.  As far as we know neither of us have lost a family member in the past 4 days.  And we had fun!  Yay for vacation!

Highlights!

Lightship Portsmouth is one of the very few surviving lightships.  It's in dry dock and has been turned into a museum.  Which means we actually got to go on board a lightship and see the toilet!  
New Cape Henry Lighthouse, and Old Cape Henry in the background.  This one I was really looking forward to.  However, as we discovered while going thru the military base security check point, the lighthouses were closed to the public due to storm damage.  The website said everything was open. . .but oh well.  We still got to walk around the beach area and take photos.  We just couldn't get very close to the towers and no tours or gift shops.  And you know how much I love a gift shop.

There was a 3rd lighthouse on the agenda - Old Point Comfort - but that base was shut tighter than a nuns legs to civilians.  Something about the base being turned over to the local government or something else that didn't make much sense.  We kinda combined this line with the line we were given about the Cape Henry lights and kinda figured they were convenient excuses to shut down these sites for the Sept 11th threat level.  Stinkin terrorists.
Then we went to Yorktown.  Where we found statues and did inappropriate things with them.  As usual.  Oh, and there was some history and stuff.
Then we went to Jamestowne.  Where it was raining, so I took Morgan's umbrella and made him go buy a poncho in the gift shop.  He thanked me for making him buy the poncho later.
Thanked me because while walking around the storm suddenly intensified.  The umbrella collapsed in on itself.  Rain was blowing so hard it was horizontal.  And we became stranded in this old church with a group of Chinese tourists and a tour guide for half an hour till there was a break in the storm juuuust long enough to scurry back to the visitor center.  Thank you, Smartphone, once again for letting us view weather maps to see the small break in the storm.  Otherwise we would have listened to Morgan and continued on the tour instead of getting the hell out of there.  So we didn't get to see much of Jamestowne.
But I did find the glory hole.