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


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!