Friday Free-For-All – 05/25/18

Friday Free-For-All

First things first: MY BEST FRIEND HAD HER BABY YESTERDAY! I am feeling ALL the feelings right now. Mostly a mix of intense excitement and jealousy, haha! I am so proud of my friend for bringing her baby into this world, but I am SO jealous that she already gets to meet and hold and love her little guy, while I’ve still got some time to wait before our baby girl makes her debut.

It has been a WEEK. Oof. Between my entire team being out of the office, training a new employee one day, and trying to make sure everything is wrapped up before I leave work on June 8, this has been an incredibly stressful week! The days went by super fast, but each one was emotionally fraught. Who thought it was a good idea to leave the 8-months-pregnant lady alone to do the work of a seven person team?? The good news is, after today I only have SEVEN total work days left, as I still have a few partial and full vacation days sprinkled in, plus the Memorial Day holiday. I am in the final countdown, and honestly quite happy about it.

We got a new (to us) TV! Our TV has been wonky for years, but we have been too cheap to buy a new one. Who cares if half of every screen is pixelated neon green, it still works, right? Well, after Grammie went into the nursing home a few months ago, Ben’s folks thought they wanted to keep her TV. As time went on, however, they realized they weren’t actually using it at all, and so on Tuesday night they dropped it off at our house. It’s about the same size as our old TV, but it has Roku built in, meaning we can sign into various subscription accounts (not that we have Netflix or Amazon Prime anymore), and IT’S NOT NEON GREEN! Having a fully functioning TV feels like a total luxury.

I saw “Solo: A Star Wars Story” last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Star Wars movie I didn’t like, but this one was extra enjoyable. The actors they got to play young Han and young Lando did an amazing job of inhabiting the characters and keeping the same feel and mannerisms without being carbon copies, and the plot was entertaining, with some good twists and turns. It was also really nice to get my pregnant butt out of the house after work and see my friends. I’ve been quite the homebody lately, and it was great to have a normal night out.

If your TV had been not fully functional for 3+ years, would you have sucked it up and replaced it, or are you a frugal weirdo like me and Ben?

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34 Week Pregnancy Update

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Six weeks to go! WHAT? HOW? I don’t even know…

Hoo, boy. REAAAALLY feeling pregnant these days. The most frustrating/annoying symptom I’m experiencing right now is the carpal tunnel. Symptoms are getting progressively worse, meaning I’m losing more and more feeling in my fingers each day, and my hands are weak and painful doing menial tasks like clipping my fingernails or hooking/unhooking my bra. I also wake up multiple times a night because one or both hands is completely numb. Supposedly wearing wrist braces at night can help, but I’m reluctant to spend the money right now. If things continue to get worse, I may cave and buy some.

Otherwise, it’s third-trimester business as usual. My feet and hands are a little bit swollen, but not enough that a casual observer would notice. I’m quite tired. My right hip still gives me pain at night, but chiropractic care seems to help. Occasional heart burn and indigestion are still a thing, and bending over is no longer an option. Dropped items often stay on the floor until I can convince someone else (ahem, Ben) to pick them up for me. Retrieving items from the floor is usually accompanied by lots of grunting. We had another prenatal appointment this week, which was also very business as usual. We listened to baby’s heartbeat, measured my belly, chatted a bit, and that was that.

Our childbirth education classes continue to be very informative and enjoyable. This week’s class was focused a lot on non-medicinal comfort techniques, so there was a lot of relaxing and massage. Not too shabby! We also had our one-off newborn care class on Sunday. It was taught by my prenatal yoga teacher, and it was very helpful. We practiced things like diapering, dressing, and holding a baby using dolls. We also played with different types of baby carriers, and talked about soothing techniques. I already knew a lot of it, but most of it was brand new for Ben, so it’s nice to have a shared base of knowledge before baby comes home.

Remember the lactation consultant from last week’s update? She never got back to me, which is pretty annoying. That sort of indicates to me that maybe she’s not super on the ball, and maybe I don’t want to work with her after all. Back to the drawing board on that one…

I have started packing my hospital bag, which is quite exciting. I just need to pick up a few more items (a robe and some nursing tanks), and then I think I’ll be ready. I know it’s pretty early to be too worried about it yet, but you truly never know when your baby might decide to come into the world, and my Type-A self wants to be prepared. I would have made a GREAT Boyscout!

Mamas and daddies out there, did you have experience with babies before you had kids? 

Friday Free-For-All – 05/18/18

Friday Free-For-All

I’ve been training my replacement at work this week and it is EXHAUSTING! In every sense. Physically, emotionally, mentally… I’m spent. I have someone looking over my shoulder all day, every day. I’m talking all day, trying to explain complex, quirky systems to someone who has never seen them before. And I’m dealing with the reality that I only have 15 work days left before I go on permanent maternity leave. Thankfully, I get a break next week when she goes on a planned vacation, but that’s also the week the rest of my team is out of the office, meaning I’m basically doing the work of my entire team solo all week. Wheeeeee!

Being so busy at work has thrown my eating schedule completely out of whack. Both in pregnancy and regular life, I need to stay on a pretty specific feeding schedule in order to be ok. If I wait too long to eat I become a) ferociously cranky, and b) nauseous. But with someone sitting my my office looking to me for every minute, I cant always take my usual snack breaks or meal times. It has sucked. A lot. I won’t have my trainee next week so I can get back to normal, but then my last week of work will be more busy and missing snacks and BOO.

We cancelled our Netflix and Amazon Prime memberships. Since we’ll be on a single income for the foreseeable future, we’re really trying to curb spending. Cutting out the time suck of Netflix and the “oh this thing I don’t really need is so inexpensive and easily accessible” factor of Amazon Prime will save us both time and money, which we’re happy about. For now. Talk to me again in three months when I’m home alone all day with an infant and I don’t have shows to binge watch.

Do you use Netflix and/or Amazon Prime? Would you cancel them to save money?

33 Week Pregnancy Update

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According to my Ovia Pregnancy App, Baby Girl is the size of a ferret.

Another week bites the dust! Baby Girl continues to squirm and kick almost constantly. A cool new thing is that apparently now she keeps her eyes open while she’s awake, and her bones are starting to harden up.

No big changes for me this week. The numbness in my fingers and hands (aka pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome) is pretty consistent, and while it’s annoying, I can live with it. I’ve had a few more bouts of very uncomfortable gastric issues, but nothing too awful. Thankfully, I finally got back to the chiro after a full week off (I was on vacation, and then she was on vacation), which has continued to help with my hip pain. I’m not 100% better, but I’m definitely much more comfortable. And with the lovely spring weather we’ve been having, Ben and I have been able to take more regular walks, which helps with both the hip pain and the numb fingers.

Now that the shower has come and gone, we pretty much have all the essentials. I feel confident that if we had to bring a baby home tomorrow, we’d be fine. Obviously, there’s still tons of stuff we need to do, but at least we have the major health and safety items, as well as plenty of clothing. My god, do we have plenty of clothing! I have an entire hamper of clothes that have been washed and just need to be put away, and I have the diaper bag mostly packed to bring to the hospital. Now Ben and I just need to get our personal bags together and we’ll be ready!

We had our breastfeeding class this week, as well as our first childbirth education class. The breastfeeding class was only ok. The instructor was pretty scatterbrained, jumping around from topic to topic without a clear structure, which I found both frustrating and comical. I can tell she’s super knowledgeable and really cares, but I think maybe one-on-one is more her strong suit. I looked her up and she’s highly qualified and well-recommended, and actually one of the in-network lactation consultants I get unlimited (yes, unlimited-we have great insurance!) visits with after birth, so I emailed her after class to start that process.

The childbirth education class, however, was AWESOME. It was the first of a four week series. We love the instructor, the other couples in the class are cool and nice, and I feel like I’ve already learned a lot. It actually made me excited to give birth, which is kind of strange, but there you have it! We’re really looking forward to the remaining classes. In case you’re in the greater Burlington, Vermont area and curious, we did the breastfeeding class with Sally through Evolution Prenatal and Family Yoga, and the childbirth education series is with Rachel through Birth Journeys.

On the work front, I have all of my training materials in order and I’m mostly caught up on projects. I just have a few more things to wrap up and then I will be ready to focus on training my replacement. This month is going to be VERY interesting, and will most likely fly by. My team is only 7 people including me, and there are a LOT of vacations/time out of the office. One colleague was out the first week of May, another has been out since the 3rd and will be out until the 17th. Then a third colleague is going on a cruise from the 18th through the 25th. And then the entire rest of the team except for me is going to the annual conference from the 21st through the 25th, meaning I will literally be the only member of my team in the office for that week. I have my trainee the 15th through the 21st, then she goes on a pre-planned vacation until the 31st. And then I’m out June 8th. And that doesn’t even count the 3.5 vacation days I still have to use up somewhere between now and then. Crazy!

Have you ever heard of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel? I hadn’t, and it stinks!

Friday Free-For-All – 05/11/18

Friday Free-For-All

Our new couch finally arrived! We ordered this couch back in FEBRUARY, and it was just delivered on Monday. Boy, was it worth the wait. It just makes our house looks so much more grown up, and it is comfy AF. I foresee a lot of time spent on this couch this summer with our new Baby Girl. I have already claimed the chaise section as mine.

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I bought myself a three-month unlimited yoga membership. We have truly amazing insurance, which has a program specifically for expecting mothers called “Better Beginnings.” Among the many benefits offered by this program, we get reimbursed up to $150 for pre-and post-natal fitness classes. Since the three-month pass was $175, this was a no-brainer. After reimbursement, it will only cost me $25. Now I can go to as many yoga classes as I want between now and August 8, and I can bring Baby Girl to post-natal classes with me! I’m planning to go as much as possible after I leave work and before she’s born. We’ll see how ambitious I am after she comes.

My birthday was Wednesday. I’m now 32 years old. Holy cow! I took the day off work and just puttered around the house. Did LOTS of baby laundry and putting away of shower gifts. Cleaned up a bit. Made some delicious chicken stock. Spent some time outside. Then Ben took me out to Burger Barn for dinner, and I had some Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream for dessert while watching GoT season 5 (it was one of my presents!) and lounging on our new couch. Not a bad way to start my 33rd trip around the sun 🙂

I foisted all of the leftover “baby” plates, cups, napkins and miscellany from my shower onto my office. They were originally going to do a surprise shower for me, but because I still have vacation days I need to use up, they let me know not to take vacation on May 30, *wink, wink* So I talked to the office manager and told her that she’d be doing me a favor by taking the stuff off my hands. It’s really a win-win-win situation; I get unwanted items out of my house, my office doesn’t have to spend extra money, and less items will end up in a landfill. Yay!

I am feeling like a super functional member of society because I have almost all of the thank you notes for shower gifts out the door. Normally I am TERRIBLE at this sort of thing, but I decided that come hell or high water, I was getting these cards out the door BEFORE Baby Girl arrives, because I knew that if I didn’t, it might never happen. I just have a couple more to finish up, but having the bulk of them done feels AMAZING.

Are you good about getting thank you notes out? 

 

32 Week Pregnancy Update

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Best friend Mandy at 36 weeks, me at 32 weeks

According to my Ovia Pregnancy app, Baby Girl is the size of an armadillo.

As you can see, I switched the “size” theme on my app from “Fruits and Vegetables” to “Weird But Cute Animals.” The fruits and vegetables were just getting strange and not very helpful. I mean, what the hell is a Pomelo, amiright? Anyway… Woah, Nelly! Eight(ish) weeks to go! Time is seriously flying right now.

Nothing new is going on in the realm of baby development. She’s still just gaining weight to get ready for birth. Her movements are definitely less sharp and more like rolls and stretches as she starts running out of room. It is still INCREDIBLY odd to feel a tiny being moving around inside me, but every little squirm is a lovely reassurance that all is well. I know I say this pretty much every week, but she’s moving a lot more these days, and it’s really cool.

A new, somewhat scary symptom I developed this week is numbness in some fingertips. I also wake up several times a night with one or both hands completely numb. I was pretty freaked out by this, but according to the midwives at my practice, this is yet another totally normal symptom that should go away after delivery. Fun fun! I’ve also had some really bad heartburn/indigestion a few times, which was not helped by Baby Girl kicking/pushing directly up into my sternum. Ouch!

When I came back from vacation, I found out that my work replacement has been hired, and she starts May 15. This has absolutely lit a fire under my butt to get cracking and really finish up any extraneous projects before she starts so we can just focus on training. I’ve got all my training documents ready to go, I just need to put together a binder and maybe some sort of schedule so that I make sure we touch on everything. As of this week, I only have six weeks left at work, which is totally surreal.

We had another regular, bi-weekly checkup with the midwives this week as well. Unfortunately, Ben couldn’t come because it was mid-morning, but he honestly didn’t miss much. A blood pressure check, a heartbeat check, a few questions, and I was back to work. The midwife on call was fairly certain that she’s head down, ready to go, which is a relief. Now I just hope she stays there!

My mom and one of my younger sisters also threw a baby shower for me on Saturday. As I said in last Friday’s post, I’m not really into the super girly, over-the-top shower thing, and they did a great job with making it special but not pukey. There were about 20 attendees representing friends and family, and we got LOTS of love. Now I need to sort and wash and put everything away. And do thank you notes. Ugh! And of course, I took pretty much zero pictures because I was just trying to spend time with everyone, but here are a few of the decorations before everyone arrived.

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Mamas, did you experience numbness in your fingers/hands during pregnancy?

Friday Free-For-All – 05/04/18

Friday Free-For-All

It’s my birthday month! Honestly, I’ve hardly thought about my birthday at all, seeing as we’re in the thick of baby preparations. I do think Ben and I will go out to dinner next week, but I’m not planning a party or celebration or anything. I’m debating taking the day off to help burn up a few remaining vacation days before I leave work, but we’ll see.

Baby shower this weekend! I’m very excited to see my mama and sisters and family and friends. Baby showers are not really my thing, but I know it’s part of the experience that I might regret not doing, so I’m glad it’s happening. I just made sure to let my mom and sister who are hosting know that cheesy games are NOT my idea of a good time. NOBODY wants to look at melted candy bars in a diaper and guess what kind of “poop” it is, amiright? I’m just hoping for a low-key event with good food and good company.

I need to get a haircut before baby arrives. Ever since getting my balayage freshened up in February, I’ve been noticing a TON of split ends. And not just little splits at the ends. Some of these hairs have split 2 or 3 inches up the strand! I always knew that lightening your hair wasn’t great for it, but I’m seeing the effects first-hand. While I trim the individual strands whenever I can, I need to make sure I get a good whole-head trim in before Baby Girl comes, because god only knows when I’ll have the time/energy again. I’ve also started using a leave-in cream on the ends of my hair to help prevent any more breakage. Hopefully it helps! If nothing else, it smells AMAZING!

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Do you trim your own split ends, or am I a weirdo?