Summer Time Blues

Summer Time Blues

IMG_4163It’s crazy how fast they grow. Evangeline has been changing leaps and bounds since we returned home from Key West! It’s almost as if she’s hit her stride with talking and is learning new words every single day. She’s almost stringing them together, too. She’ll repeat phrases we say, long after we’ve said them, like: “I get you!” is her version of “I’m gonna get you!” It’s cute.

There was a dog waiting at the in-laws when we they got home from our trip so we took Evangeline to meet her. Snoopy passed away in June and he was Eva’s little buddy. She was super excited to meet the new dog–who is on the tail end of being a puppy! The dog is super sweet and very affectionate. She’ll make a fantastic little companion for Evangeline. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Snoopy will always be missed, but it’s like he sent a little friend so Eva wouldn’t notice his passing…

I’m so proud of the way she treats the new dog (and all animals, honestly!) She’s so gentle and caring. She doesn’t slap, hit, or pull their tails. It’s been a long, hard road of trying to reinforce the behaviors we want her to have towards animals, but it’s paid off immensely. I’m not really a believer in allowing children to do whatever they want to animals because “they’re just kids.” No way. Respect for animals and the things around you is definitely something you teach early on.IMG_4174

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost to the winding down part of summer already. We still have so much more swimming to do! We’ve been trying to take Evangeline to the local park, too. She loves it. It’s got all sorts of swings and several things to climb on. It even has a parent/toddler swing where you can swing with them and see their face. The husband loves that one.

It also has a splash pad, but we haven’t visited it yet. We didn’t even know about it until we arrived at the park! We’re definitely going to try it out. We’ll exhaust the park activities until it’s too cold. Evangeline is on the heavily active part of the scale when it comes to toddlers and if you don’t exhaust her energy, you’re in for a very grumpy little girl. She craves stimuli, whether it be new places, lots of new faces, or fun things to do. She’s going to be interesting as she grows up!

I’m trying really hard right now to get my albums caught up and all of her baby stuff cleaned and packed away. We’re working on our walkway now that we’re back from vacation, too, so that’s taking up a lot of time. The house never really had the chance to get itself into order since we got pregnant within months of moving in, so it’s definitely something I’m trying to continue now. We’ve spent the past year slacking hardcore and I’m ready to get back to fixing things up, etc. The husband has been murmuring about perhaps having another kid and I just can’t even think about it with so many tasks left…

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Never mind the fact that I’m an only child (as is he) and it’s difficult for me to realize that you can love more than one child… I’m trying to imagine it and it’s just so hard. No to mention the lack of space currently, the time we’d lose with Evangeline… arrgh. It’s a discussion for another time. She’s still not even weaned!

The Longest Wait

My doctor’s appointment on Thursday was disappointing. I’m barely dilated, if even at all! He really had to get up in there, which was immensely uncomfortable. They asked me what the baby weighed at my last ultrasound and I had no idea, because no one had explicitly told me. All they usually say is, “she looks good, everything is healthy.” Which, you know, is great… but details would be nice!

After the exam, we had a minor scare that he’d broken my water. I was sitting in a literal puddle. My husband ran and got the doctor back. He tested it, but it wasn’t amniotic fluid. It was a lot of discharge, mixed with a tiny bit of blood, and possibly some urine (gross!) Being pregnant is truly nasty at times. I’m glad it wasn’t my actual water breaking, as then I’d be confined to a hospital and induced. I really don’t want to be induced!

We spent yesterday out and about for around eight hours. I did a lot of walking and some minor shopping, just enjoying time with the husband and trying to hopefully get things going. We’ve been doing everything we can think of to naturally progress labor along. My next appointment is, again, Thursday… which is also my due date. I’m really hoping I’ve made some progress by then. I’d love to be able to labor at home instead of being confined to the hospital and bed, hooked up to a bunch of monitors. I also have an irrational fear of hemorrhaging out and dying… it’s rare, but it happens, and it happens more often with inducing.

We have pretty much everything ready to go. I’ve been buying small things here and there. We went out for my very early Birthday lunch last weekend (it was delicious!) I haven’t actually gotten a present, but there’s nothing I really want right now. I think the husband has forgotten, because he was being really persistent… which is good. I don’t want to waste money we could be using towards the baby and truly getting her room ready. I’d love to get a bookcase. I’ve started getting things together for my plan to have her simultaneously exposed to both English and French from day one. Husband is in charge of the speaking part of French… he took it for seven years and could have had it as a minor, whereas I am hopeless. ;)

The plaques haven’t worked out, but we’re persisting. We may end up just getting wooden letters and decorating them! I want something on the wall above her crib. Letters or plaques would look great there. I really wish I were more crafty and gifted in that area. Sigh. I’m so jealous of all the other people out there who are! Pinterest is just a website of things I’m incapable of doing probably, haha.

I’m not sure how ready I am to truly be a mother or have an infant, but I definitely know I’ve had enough of being pregnant! Labor is kind of scary, but I’m doing really good with not panicking or anything. I’ve educated myself as best as I can, the husband knows what I want (as does the doctor), but I’m also willing to do whatever we need to. This pregnant gig, though, is getting old. I want my body back! I’m tired of feeling like a turtle on its back and the constant discomfort is just too much. If I gain anymore weight, I think I’ll have a nervous breakdown! The scale is not my friend. I had such high hopes of being active and amazing, but it just didn’t happen. I truly had no idea how uncomfortable I would get. Ugh.

We may go out a bit more today and get some things. We’re putting the closet off until after she’s here. I really want to get a little organization kit and we found a bunch of stuff at Home Depot that’s perfect… but it may be better to wait a bit. The setup we have now works well enough and we still need proper doors. The ones we have now don’t fit after the drywall installation and I still want to buy a bookcase, which costs a bit more than I had anticipated. I’d love to at least have it ordered before she’s here! I need something to set the awesome dragonfly globe my aunt bought for me on.

The husband has declared that tomorrow is my last day at work. I had every intention of working until I went into labor, but husband wants my time to run out in December when people can donate leave to me. So now I get to spend Monday figuring out all of that fun stuff! I have enough SIQ and AWL to ensure I get paid until December 16th… hopefully we can get enough donations to at least make it into the new year. That only give us two and a half months or so without my pay.

I don’t want to not work and lose out, but I’d also rather be here getting stuff done, anyway. I’m benched at work, so all I am right now is a glorified secretary. It’s really pointless and boring. I mean, I’m thankful my job isn’t difficult and the people I work with and for are all understanding, but I hate feeling like I’m not actually contributing. At least if I’m home, I can get stuff done here. We’ll see what happens.

Best Laid Plans…

Best Laid Plans...

I’m not going to lie, I thought I’d have a baby by now. Apparently, she’s quite stubborn and has no intentions of coming before she’s ready! Everyone else I knew who was pregnant with me, both those due before and after me, have all given birth already. Of course, they all had boys. Boys have little issue coming early it seems. My doctor’s appointment is tomorrow and they’re going to check me and see if I’ve made any progress. I’ll be 39 weeks.

I had these amazing plans of making my own little wooden placards with her name on them. Buying one would cost nearly $300 due to the length of her name. Of course, I got all the stuff… but I’m not terribly crafty. Unfortunately, we’re having issues with the stencils involving her name. Husband was going to cut them out… but they’re not coming out as smoothly as we’d like.

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It doesn’t help that I bought some cheap acrylic paint for the lettering and it turns out it is way too runny to use! I’m not sure what we’re going to do now. I feel so defeated. I wish I were crafty. I really wanted her nursery to look nice and not just a room. Sigh.

I’ve been doing my best, but I’m still not happy with it. I’m a perfectionist, so none of this is… it just feels extremely “bland” to me. I feel like everyone else pulls out all of the stops for their first child’s nursery and it took us forever to even get the walls finished. We’re working on organizing her closet now. I’ve got everything mostly washed, just a few odds and ends left.

We’ve been leaving the the nursery room open to air it out and get Loki used to it. It used to be this mysterious room we kept a bunch of crap in, but now it’s got furniture and more importantly, stuffed animals, so he’s interested. He didn’t bother it much at first, but adding those seemed to pique his interest. The husband was in there measuring when Loki jumped up into the crib and tried to abscond one of her stuffed animals!

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He really likes the little husky I just got at Carter’s over the weekend. We went out shopping a bit with the mother-in-law since the father-in-law was off hunting and she was lonely. I got some sweaters and hoodies because they were having a sale. The husband pointed out the husky dog and I grabbed it. I love huskies! Apparently, so does Loki… well, he loves anything that’s fuzzy.

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After I shooed him away from the husky, he started nosing into all the other soft things. There’s a bunch of stuff piled on her crib because I’m still sorting and organizing. Loki decided that he liked the comforter and flopped down. It’s like Loki heaven–surrounded by stuffed animals and soft, cushy blanket to enjoy. Sigh. When I went to remove him, he tried snapping at me. Naughty kitty!

I don’t encourage him to go into the crib because I don’t want him doing that when she’s actually asleep in it! He’s not malicious to children by any means, he likes to cuddle with them… which is the worry. I don’t want him smothering her on accident.

As we approach the due date, I’m suffering from a lot of insomnia and just major discomfort. I haven’t had any “nesting’ vibes yet, but I’m still forcing myself to organize and clean as much as I’m able to. I fell down the steps over the weekend and while I didn’t hurt my belly, I did take the entirety of the fall on my left knee. Since then, I’ve been swelling like crazy in my legs. It’s horrifying! I’m a little worried my doctor is going to write me off work, so I’ve planned my leave out for my last day being the third. We’ll see what happens…

I’m really ambivalent about my family lately. My mother isn’t respecting my “no contact” request and my grandparents are being overly pushy about the whole situation. No one on that side is being understanding in the least. As I told the husband, as per usual, no one cares or thinks about me, they’re only worried about themselves. Thinking about it just agitates me. I don’t even know if I want to tell them when she comes, because I don’t want to deal with the stress of them coming down and wanting to bring my mother. She’s taken to calling my mother-in-law, which is just completely inappropriate!

At least my dad and that side of the family is being good. It’s like a seesaw. Annoying.

Working On the Nursery

Working On the Nursery

Yesterday, we spent the first part of the day at our birthing class. It wasn’t so much a “birthing class” as “here’s all the medical ways we can help you birth a baby.” Then they showed us some videos. Hilariously enough, the videos were all of natural births! The teacher/nurse asked us if anyone was planning on not having an epidural or at least trying to abstain from one… I was the only person who raised my hand our of nearly twenty women. When I asked about how many natural births the hospital had, she said they didn’t have many, but that they did happen and the nurses tried to be respectful of everyone’s choices. Well, at least there’s that.

I didn’t really learn anything because I’ve spent the past few months reading birth stories, books, and talking to people in person about their experiences. I know I can’t guarantee what my birth would be, but going into it, I have a better idea of what I’d like to try for. That’s what is most important. Whatever happens is going to happen. I still have some questions for my doctor, though.

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After that, we met up with the in-laws and went to this huge home/etc outlet that’s about twenty minutes from their house in Ohio. We needed a ceiling light for the baby’s room and ended up leaving with about $150 worth of stuff… we got three ceiling lights, each originally around $80-90 for only $35 all together! We also got a set of curtains (originally $30 each, we paid $5) for her room, a curtain rod (originally $55 we paid $15) for her room and one for my vanity room… and we even found a bouncer/swing combo that we’d been looking at! It was originally priced around $160 or so… we got it for $50. In the end, we made out like bandits!

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Today, the husband has been working on putting all the furniture together… which is super exciting! They finished the drywall and painting last weekend. There’s still some touch-up work needed, but we were both too excited about the furniture. I’d still like to get her a rug, but the husband ran the carpet cleaner over the carpet, so it looks better… but still.

We’re waiting to install all of the new lights because husband isn’t confident in his electrician skills yet. I’m definitely glad I bought him a screwdriver to replace the crappy one that his dad had given him. Makita apparently does a deal on some things around Labor Day every year, so I grabbed him a drill priced originally $200+ but marked down to like, $99. I added in some contractor-grade drill bits, too. We’re on a spending freeze due to buying a car very, very soon… but this was a necessity. It’s definitely come in handy!

I’ve been working on getting her clothes sorted and washed, which has been an experience. She has a lot more clothes than I thought… but next to nothing that’s newborn sized. We might grab a few cheapie things, but otherwise, we’re not really worried about it. Newborn clothing is so odd. If she’s a “bigger” baby, she likely won’t even wear any of it!

So far, this three day weekend has been amazingly productive. I love it!

PANIC! It snowed.

When I first moved here, I often complained about the lack of actual seasons aside from “hot,” “slightly less hot,” and “holy God where did all the moisture in my body go?”  That was when we lived with the in-laws in their weird little ‘tropical’ tri-state area of HELL.  That entire area is strangely tropical and we do not know why.  Something with wind patterns and fluctuation and all sorts of other, smarty-pants words meteorologists use to confuse us.

Well, the past two winters have been quite snow-filled.  What was once just a season of rain with a tiny bit of mild, gone the next day snow fall, has been toppled with snow, snow, snow.  We’ve had four major systems move through here in less than two month’s time!  Not all of them have hit us, specifically, but the mountains are suffering hard right now.  The horrible picture above was taken as we left work yesterday (we were walking and not stopping as the snow was quite heavy).  The ground was clear when we arrived at 8am.  It only took two hours of wet, sticky snow to get the ground covered.  Of course, because it was so wet and heavy, power outages EVERYWHERE!  Unfortunately, our building has a back-up generator.  Lame.

Seriously, though… every has been freaking out anytime the news so much as mentions snow.  Even worse, ice.  Snow + ice = ARMAGEDDON!  When I first moved down here, I figured that this state was used to snow.  I mean, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are Appalachian bros, right?  Wrong.  I’m sure the folks who live out in the middle of nowhere are a bit more resilient… but the majority of West Virginia lives in cities.  It’s such a task explaining this to my family!  Essentially, West Virginia has a LOT of hugely huge mountains that you can’t live on.  So, everyone clusters along the river or what valleys they can find.  There are four major areas in this state… and a bunch of smaller, dependent places.  If you look at a map, all of these big places are on the borders of other states.  Ha, go figure on that one.  There are also the completely disconnected from everything communities out in the hills.

Also, fun fact, if you want to see the horrors of mountain top removal, come visit West Virginia.  It’s gorgeous, I tell you.  Who doesn’t want some sludge?  Mm, good.  We have to look at one every time we leave for Pennsylvania and it makes me boil with rage.  My husband has considered going the long way around in an effort to be spared the next hour of my ecological hippie ranting.

Anyway, it’s like stepping into the Twilight Zone.  Where I grew up, snow was something that happened… a lot.  I remember digging my way out of our front door.  I remember having a small, child-sized snow shovel when I was little so I could help my dad.  I remember getting two weeks worth of snow days every school year (I didn’t start home schooling until 8th grade) and being thrilled when the rare case came up where we didn’t use them all and we were out of school before mid-June!  Imagine my shock when my husband said they always got out in May.  May?  MAY? That is unheard of where I come from.  I remember the time when we had that huuuge Blizzard and we were scared we’d be in school until JULY!

So, when everyone around me is freaking out, I’m looking at like, three inches of snow and trying not to laugh.  I am surrounded by ridiculous people and sometimes I love to call my family back home to make fun of them.  It’s what we do.  I have to get revenge on my husband teasing me for never saying the ‘G’ at the end of any word ending in -ing.  Like, instead of reading, I’m readin’.  It only happens when I’m comfortable enough with people to let my Pennsylvania Dutch shine.  I don’t know why my area does this, but we do.  We don’t have time to waste on silly G’s are the end of a sentence, damn it!  At least I can say color properly!

Anyway, it’s been snowing a lot here and probably will continue to do so, just like it did last year.  My mother-in-law will call us, every single time, and say “we’re gonna get some snow” like snow is the equivalent of a small pox outbreak.  Every school will call off, before it even starts snowing.  We will probably get like, two inches.  There will be twenty bajillion wrecks on the interstate because stupid people can’t drive in the morning.  The news will talk about “black ice”.  Walmart and every grocery store will run out of milk, bread, and eggs.

As for me?  I’ll be hanging out, enjoying the lovely view from my computer room window.  The mountains look awesome with heavy, wet snow on all the trees.  It’s my favorite.

Just look at those twiggy little trees.  They look ugly all dead and dormant, but pile some snow on them and they’re a masterpiece.  I wanted to try and get some macro pictures, but the husband refused to cooperate and so I only got this, outside of our apartment building.

Oh, and my closet is now gloriously clean and organized.  I have never had a closet this clean and organized.  I am hoping I can keep this trend up, because it’s cut down my time to get dressed in the morning exponentially.  I am not a morning person.  I was one of those kids who wore their clothes to bed in an effort to get up later for school.  Ha.

Yes, that is my wedding dress in the back. No, it has not been properly stored or packaged.

This is what our walk-in closet looks like.  It has a floor!  It has a glorious, clean floor!  Of course, the husband’s side is pretty sparse and I cut off the top parts.  His side has all of our ridiculously large suitcases and shoulder bags; mine has shoe boxes and shoes thrown willy-nilly.  Oops.

I actually sorted my closet, too.  All the stuff on the left side of the shoe container is the stuff I can wear to my secondary workplace, which requires black as a main color.  All the stuff to the right is all my other stuff.  I don’t need that stuff sorted, I know it by looking at it, but black tends to blend together and finding something for work when you’ve only got twenty minutes to get ready?  A pain.  Now that problem is solved.

I love my little coordinated containers.  I already had the two brown ones from Walmart, so they don’t completely match, but oh well.  The green ones are from Target.  We had to go back and get more because I ran out the first time.  Now there are two spare ones hanging out in there–a little basket and a large container.

The large blue tupperware stores our off-season clothes and unused stuff in large, vacuum sealed, space bags.

The two brown, Walmart baskets I got awhile back.  I originally got the one with the lid for my questionable items and my swimsuits.  Well, I had to throw a bunch of stuff out, so now it just holds my questionable items.  The big basket was never used, but now it stores all my hoodies.  I.  Love.  Hoodies.  I wear them almost everyday I work at my main job, because I work in a full lab space with acid and fancy clothes + acid = not allowed, even if I never touch it.  Not quite sure how jeans are any better.

The green containers with leaves (at least, I think they look like leaves) have my bras and my sleepy items.  Why do I have so many bras?  I have about ten, but some are C’s and others are D’s because my boobs can’t settle on a size.  I also have to rotate them due to elastic wearing down.  It’s a busty lady thing.  I can’t imagine what people with truly huge boobs do.  Yikes.  The empty container on top will be used for whatever.

The thin container has my swimsuits and the empty basket will, again, be used for whatever.  The large green basket has all my tights and hosiery.  Welcome to working for a pretending-to-be-classy department store!  Also, I cannot stand wearing ‘career’ pants or nicer dresses/skirts of any kind without hosiery on.  It looks tacky without it and I can’t understand why people continue to do it.  Maybe because they have prettier, less bruised (and transparently pasty) legs than I do.

The bedroom is fully cleaned and now all that waits is the computer room… which will be a long, arduous process because I’m making my husband in charge of it.  He takes forever to do anything, which is why I don’t typically let him clean.  It’s happening, though, albeit it slowly.  I even made him a list.