Sunday, May 23, 2010

Movin' on up

Week 36

On top of graduating, I've had another good thing happen to me recently. As most of you know, I've been working at ACT as a secretary for quite a while now. I started as a temp the summer before I started grad school. I've worked in quite a few different areas during my time here, especially considering it's been just less than two years.

All of the moves I've made up until now have been lateral moves, no increase in pay (except for going from temp to full time employee) or change in title. I'm happy to say that has changed. Last week I was given the opportunity to take a new job with ACT. This is my first promotion. I'm technically not going to be a secretary anymore, my title will be Specialist II. I'll be working for an AVP in research, which is a step up from where I am now. The pay is also a little better, which is nice considering the expensive little bundle we'll be bringing home before too long.

I started at ACT assuming I would just work there for a little while as a temp, but things keep changing. First it was becoming full time and now it's a promotion. I get the feeling they don't want me to leave, and maybe I have real chance to keep moving up. There is a library here after all...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What I've been waiting for

Week 35

So even though baby stuff has been the theme lately, there are other things happening in my life.

I am done with school. Completely done. I got my grades back and ended up with an A+, A, & B+. I'm a little disappointed in myself for the B+, I really should have gotten an A. It was really just a matter of putting a little more time in on my projects. I was pretty distracted throughout this semester though, and I feel like I did alright given the circumstances. I've ended my grad school career with a GPA of 3.81 according to the University website. I've heard GPA doesn't really matter in the real world, but I think most students care anyway.

I decided not to walk at the graduation ceremony. There were a couple reasons for this.
1. I have my mind on other things. I'm trying to put my mommy hat on, and school cramps my style.
2. I didn't want to waddle across the stage in a graduation gown while everyone wonders what I'm hiding under there.
3. I don't need to walk the stage to graduate.
4. I walked at two ceremonies for undergrad... I didn't even have anyone there to watch at the second one. You're welcome, Jamie :)

I don't plan to ever go back to school. At least at this point. I think I'm ready to move on. I've been a student for what seems like forever. Part of me feels that while I'm still a student, I'm not a grown up. I think it's time to tackle the grown up thing now. I'm excited to put more of my energy into being a good wife and mother. It's nice to go home and make dinner without feeling guilty that I should be studying or finishing up a project for school.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Pond

Week 35

Ok, so this is my second post today. I'm trying to write these while I have time since I've been thinking about all the different things I need to cover. This time, it's bedding.

I've been going back and forth a lot about whether or not to get a bedding set. I've heard arguments for both sides. I finally decided that I wanted to get a set so that I could kind of have a theme to decorate the room.

Here it is:
Now, if you look at the last post and this one, you might think that there's an awful lot of blue going on. You're right. That doesn't mean that we secretly know what we're having. It actually means that my favorite color is blue, and that's just how things worked out in certain cases. This was one of the first bedding sets that Blake and I both liked. While it's a little boyish, I think it will work either way.

It's a 10 piece set, which is part of the reason I like it. Here are a few of the other pieces that came with it:




These are the wall hangings. I thought they were super cute. I just need to decide where to hang them.




This is the valance. I also really like this, but I'm trying to find another because we have two windows in the baby's room. If I decide it's really important, I can probably make another one to go along with this one. I made curtains with my mom once that had the same kind of look, so it would give me an excuse to use my sewing machine!

Here's the mobile. Again, I think this is pretty adorable. The crib is dark brown (I posted the picture some time in the past), so I think all of these will look really nice.

There's also a few other things including a diaper stacker, but they don't include the pictures online. I haven't had a chance to set everything up yet, but I'm excited to start decorating the room. If you have any suggestions to go along with this stuff, let me know!

Baby shower

Week 35

Ok, I meant to write this entry a few days ago, but I seem to keep losing time. Anyway, my mom and sister threw me a shower this past weekend. It was mostly family and a couple friends. It was a lot of fun. It was held at the HyVee where my mom works, they've got a nice room for smallish events. We actually had my bridal shower there, too.

We played a couple games. My favorite was a game where I answered what attributes I hoped the baby would get from me and Blake. My aunt Cindy won that one. For a little taste of what I picked, I said that I hoped the baby would have my feet and my smile and Blake's legs and fingers. I've always wished I was taller, and I'd really like our kids to get that from Blake. Also, when I played the piano, I would have loved to have long skinny fingers. There were a lot more, but I can't remember them all. Oh, I thought any of Blake's family who might read this would get a laugh knowing that when I had him answer what he would pick, he would give the baby his feet. For those of you not familiar with Blake's feet, keep it that way :)

Anyway, onto the gifts. I got a lot of really nice things from people. I was going to take pictures to post, but that hasn't been going so well. Blake's family chipped in and got us our car seat along with an extra base. That was one thing I was really hoping we would get. I guess they frown upon trying to take a baby home without one.

Some of the things I don't have pictures to show are the awesome diaper bag my sister got us. It's manly enough that Blake won't be embarrassed to carry it. My Grandma Gilmore made a beautiful little quilt that we can hang if we want to. I'll really have to get some pictures to show off. My Grandma Kaufman got us a swing, I'm super excited to set it up.

What else? We also got a Bumbo seat. I'm try to remember for sure who gave it to us. I think it might have been from my mom's side... I've heard some people absolutely love them, and they're really cute. We'll give it a try.

Another thing I don't have a picture of came from my cousin Brad's wife, Renae. She put together a really cool basket with tons of stuff in it. I've gone through it about three times, and I find something new every time!

My aunt Cindy go us a travel bed, which I thought was really cool. I think it'll be good when we go places but don't really need a pack 'n play.

My aunt Kim gave us a crocheted blanket. It's pink, so I think you can imagine what she thinks were having. If the baby is a boy, we're going to trade her for a blue blanket. Either way, it will be really nice.

I just want to thank everyone who gave us a gift. No matter what it was, they're all great, and we appreciate everything we've gotten. We're a little closer to being ready to bring a baby home. Also, I'm definitely going to try to get pictures of some of the gifts and post them, especially the quilt and blanket. All that hard work should be admired!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two classes down

Week 34

Blake and I have been to two baby classes so far. We actually went to both of them before we had our tour of the birthing center. So far I feel like the classes have been pretty good.

The first one we went to was called Happiest Baby on the Block. There's apparently a book and things out about it, we got a DVD when we attended the class. It was all about techniques to help your baby stop crying the first few months. One of the reasons I wanted to take it was because it taught us how to swaddle the baby. That was kind of fun to learn. I did learn that Blake is more of a natural at it than I am. We also practiced holding the baby on its side/stomach, shushing, and some other things. It was kind of funny doing the shushing, apparently you do it really loudly. At least it seems really loud. I think I've seen people do that before and thought they were crazy. Maybe I'll be one of those crazy people.

The second class we went to was called Baby Basics. It was basically what it sounds like. We watched a video on what to expect from a newborn and practiced some basic care taking things like baths and diapers. Swaddling was also on the list, Blake was done swaddling our baby before she had even explained it. I'll be interested to see how he does with a real baby. He's not afraid to really tighten the blanket with a doll, but I think our baby might be different.

Both classes were two hours long, and I actually thought that they were a good use of our time. With having to get things done for school the past couple weeks, I wasn't sure that scheduling baby classes would work very well. It was a nice break, though.

I've got a breastfeeding class on Monday night. I told Blake he could skip that. The teacher at the last class suggest that all the dads go if the moms had signed up, but I figure since Blake won't be breastfeeding the baby it won't hurt if he sits this one out. The video in the last class showed some women breastfeeding. Somehow I don't think boobs are as fun to look at for guys when they're being used to feed a baby. Also, one of the ladies was weird looking and had a huge mole on her face, it was kind of distracting. After class Blake said he wouldn't mind seeing or watching me breastfeed our baby, but that he'd rather not watch other random people doing it. I think that's reasonable.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tour of the birthing center

Week 34

We finally got to see the St. Luke's birthing center today. It was really nice. I'm almost excited to go there for real! We went this morning, and got a tour from a really nice nurse there. She was pregnant, too. That isn't a super important piece of information, but I thought it was interesting. I think she told us she's having a girl and is due in early August. It was her first baby, too. It was nice to talk to her since, even though she knows a lot more than me about all the hospital stuff, we're both kind of in the same boat.

Anyway, there was something that I was happy to find out and a little surprised about, too. There are no visiting hours, so family or friends can stop by whenever you want them to. I didn't really expect that. Assuming I'll want to see people, that'll be nice :)

There's also really good security, you need a badge to get into anywhere there are babies, and all the babies have sensors in their cord clips that go off if they get too close to a door. If the alarm is tripped, all the doors automatically lock. Shoplifting a baby is apparently not tolerated at St. Luke's. I feel like that's a good thing.

The nursery isn't like I've seen in the movies and things, there's no big window where people can look in, it's actually behind the nurses' station and not easy to see into. I guess that's probably for security as well.

There's a doctor from the practice I go to there 24 hours a day, so there's no chance that my doctor won't make it in time. I haven't met many of the doctors there, so most likely I'll deliver with someone I've never met. I'm not too worried about that though, my doctor and I haven't really bonded or anything. Probably because she's always about 45 minutes late for my appointments.

They also have a good NICU which we hopefully won't need, but it's nice to know it's there. Overall, I think that it will be a really good experience, and I'm glad we only live about 10 minutes away.

Oh, good news for anyone who may be visiting the birthing center, parking is free and right across the street.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Two week appointments

Week 33

Today I had a doctor's appointment. This was my last monthly appointment. Now I have an appointment in two weeks, one more two weeks after that, and then the weekly appointments start. Time is getting dangerously short!

My appointment today went well. I was happy to find out that I've only gained three pounds in the last month. Also, my glucose test came back with good results. I figured it had because they said they would call if there was anything wrong. They said my count was 101 and anything under 130 is good. Speaking of numbers, the baby's heart rate was 150, which it has been pretty much since we heard it the first time at 12 weeks.

So, things are going well. I'm almost done with school (only a week left!), and I am so ready! To be done with school, that is, the baby thing... I could use a little more time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stretch marks

Week 33

I had a feeling this would happen. Since I pretty much knew it was coming, it shouldn't have been much of a surprise. Stretch marks. Puberty was my first introduction to the bastards. That's how I knew that pregnancy would most likely would not leave me unmarked. I was hopeful, though! I got through the sixth month without any stretch marks on my stomach. I put on lotion that I knew wouldn't help if I was destined to get them.

Then, one day, I looked in the mirror, and there it was. The first stretch mark. It wasn't that bad, it was really small and not that noticeable, but I knew seeing one meant more were coming. So far they're really not that bad, there's not many and unlike some of the pictures I've seen, they aren't the bright red tiger stripes that run across some peoples' stomachs. I'm holding on to that little victory for now.

I'm trying to have a sense of humor about it because it really does bother me. Just ask Blake, he's had to endure me showing him each knew stretch mark and telling me that it doesn't gross him out. I think he's telling the truth. Honestly, I've had stretch marks before, but these bother me more for some reason. I know that they'll fade, and I know that in the end I'll have a baby to show for it. I'm just not one of those people who can say my stretch marks are beautiful. I actually think people who say that are either lying to themselves or to everyone else. They're not beautiful, they're actually pretty ugly. I'll just hope my sense of humor holds out and maybe once that baby's in my arms, the stretch marks won't seem quite so ugly.