Thursday, January 31, 2013

The waiting game. . . .

Waiting on Little One to get here has been driving me bonkers this week!  Mostly because I decided to take my maternity leave from one job and work from home from the other.  My week has been pretty relaxed, which is probably a good thing since I won't have too many relaxed weeks in the near future.  All that being said, the anticipation of Little One making her debut has been a test of my patience.

The whole family is ready to meet her.  Bonus Baby #1 keeps asking me what I think her personality will be like.  I can see her mentally making notes between my pregnancy and her mothers; particularly some of the choices her Dad and I are making regarding how Little One will be raised (such as cloth diapers (some of the time) and breast feeding).  Her questions are interesting and fun to answer and I can see the delight in her face when she talks about her little sister at Mom's house (even though she reports her little sister cries alot).  Hubby keeps telling Little One to hurry up!  I keep telling Little One to hurry up!  The doctor tells Little One she is NOT allowed to arrive THIS weekend because the Dr. will be out of state and REALLY wants to be the Dr. to deliver Little One.

I am definitely in nesting mode.  I have found myself cleaning and organizing Little One's room around conference calls and work projects.  I have also found that I've taken the time, on the warm days, to get outside and enjoy my horses.  This week I even had the opportunity to get some ground work in with both of them.  I'm also trying to get things worked out with the University so I can return soon and get this Ph.D finished! So--all in all, it's been a productive week while I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Next week Wednesday should be the big day. . . . if Little One is following her "schedule!" LOL.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Playing catch up

In my old blog, I would always do a year in review and then look back on what's different from year to year.  I didn't do one this year on January 1 and I've come to regret it, so I'm playing catch up.  Previous years can be viewed here.  Enjoy the wackiness.  Anyway. . .here is 2012 in a nutshell

  1. Hubby and I decided to have a baby.  
  2. Hubby and I found out I was pregnant!
  3. We lost two horses over the year, Meg and Bree.  This was a VERY sad time for our family.  Bonus baby #1 really loved Meg and really felt confident on her.  Meg will be a very difficult horse to replace and really schooled Hubby and I on what it's like to take care of an elderly horse (NOT easy).  Bree was Hubby's horse and she will also be dearly missed.  She was a horse who needed lots of TLC and was very slow to warm up to people or trust.  She was easily frightened and that made her a difficult horse to have at times.  Many tears were shed for Bree and Meg over the year and we weren't sure we'd continue having horses after we lost them.
  4. We welcomed Hoss into our pasture.  Hoss is big guy with lots of heart.  He is pretty much willing to try anything ONCE he has decided he trusts you.  He is hubby's horse and is fun to ride, but we are worried he has some soundness issues.  When he came to us, he sadly had never been seen by a farrier or a vet.  He had many trust issues with his hooves and has taken alot of work to allow for us to even handle them.  
  5. We lost our farrier and we're STILL looking for another  good one (so. . if you recommend anyone comment below).  Our farrier basically quit showing up for appointments, which was a huge hardship on us because Hoss needed to be tranquilized in order to have work done on his hooves. 
  6. Hubby had his ACL done, which means Hubby has been on recliner duty, which means Hubby is going stir crazy right about now.  Need I say more? 
  7. My brother and sister in law moved back to Wisconsin!  Our family is excited about this.  Hubby, Bonus baby #1 and #2 always seem to have a smile on their faces when they get to visit these folks (me too!) so it's nice they're close again. 
  8. I have had to take a break from school (thus the development of this blog).  Unfortunately, my student loan options have ran out--so I'm going to need to get creative.  I'm trying to save money here and there as I can and get my family's budget in good working order so I can get back to that Ph.D as quickly as possible.
  9. Did I mention we're having a baby?! 
  10. I found new work and was instrumental in the merger between a small and large non-profit.  Career-wise, this year has been AWESOME for me.  
What's in store for 2013?  I hope some goodness!  


It is COLD today.  In fact, we're colder in WI than the folks are in Barrow, AK.  It's nothing record breaking at this point, but I hear we may break a record tonight.  The cold causes me to feel fortunate because despite the challenges which face my family at this time, we do not have to worry if we are going to have a home to live in or warm place to sleep tonight.  We know there will be food on our table and we know that, basically, we'll be okay.

I feel fortunate that my family does not have to count ourselves among the 17,000 (note, 2010 data--report for 2011 and 2012 has not been released yet) folks in WI who are considered homeless.  Currently, the national rate of homelessness is 21 homeless per 10, 000 people in the general population.  A fact which is, frankly, staggering to me considering how wealthy our county is.  In my opinion, NO one in our country should go hungry or not have a place to live considering how, in compared to the rest of the world, rolling in money we are.  I recall, as a Head Start teacher, having more than one child in my classroom who I worried about on the cold days when I knew shelters would be full.  I wondered where these kids would sleep at night and if their bellies would be full after they left my classroom.

Tonight is going to be a cold one.  What will you do to stay warm?  For me, I think it might be an at home movie date with Hubby.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I do not want that thing latching on to me!

As a home visitor, (an in-home parent educator) I sometimes hear some strange things.  Today I had a pregnant mom say to me, "I do not want that thing (meaning her BABY) latching on to me!" (in other words, "there is no way, in hell, I am going to breast feed."  I do recognize that breast feeding is a very personal issue for many women.  Some women feel extremely pressured to try and breast feed their baby and are given the message they are some how "less than" if they choose to formula feed.  Each families decision is their own and I never try and sway a family one way or the other.  I typically will ask what they have chosen and remind them to let their doctor know  their wishes as part of their birth plan.

What was striking about this conversation was not this mom's decision/choice, but how strong she was in it.  She had a very negative hospital experience for the birth of her first child, one which included a significant amount of pressure to  try and breast feed, so I'm not surprised in her response to a very simple question (what is your plan for feeding baby?).  Perhaps she had been asked a similar question repeatedly by her doctor or another ob professional.   Oddly, this was NOT the strangest thing I have heard as a home visitor. Similarly to the way I keep track of the interesting things my husband says to me, I also keep track of the interesting things I have heard along the way in my work with children and families (I have worked as a child care center director, a college faculty member, a preschool teacher, among other education related fields of work).  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Miss R, your butt is too big to sit in that wagon!
  • Miss R is white!
  • Miss R!  I have an emergency.  I need you to call me right away. .  . . . .I can't find my fan!
  • I couldn't call you back. . .I forgot how to dial the phone! 
  • What?  This course has homework?  
  • What?!  I am supposed to use spell check?  
  • What?!  I can't turn my paper in with words written in "Text talk?!"  WTF! 
  • What do you  mean I have to go home and put on "appropriate clothes?"  These (staffer points to VERY short shorts with her hind end hanging out) aren't "appropriate?"  (as a side note, this is when I purchased three pairs of ugly pants--like these--and asked staff to put them on if they couldn't come to work in appropriate attire for a child care center!)  
Are there things about your work that make you chuckle?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Getting ahead. . . .

Right now it seems like I am wading through quicksand and just seem to be standing the in same place while working harder and harder to move forward.  Any of you ever feel that way?  How do you get through it?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Husbands say the darndest things!

Sometimes the things that come out of my husband's mouth surprise me.  Let me preface this by saying, I consider myself a "people person" and my job requires me to work with people on a daily basis.  I hear a lot of interesting things in a day so there is VERY little that someone could say that might surprise me.   We were discussing my pregnancy weight (almost 30 lbs!) and what I wanted to do about that after little one is born.  Mind you, my husband and I discuss EVERYTHING, so this is not really an odd conversation for us.

My weight has really always been an issue.  Those who love me will say, "No, no!  You were a lovely young lady!"  But the truth is--I was a fat kid.  I know, I lived it AND have the photos to prove it.  I slimmed slightly as a teenager and really worked on my health as a college student.  Then, I got hit with Lyme's Disease (read about my struggles with Lyme's here) and slowly, the weight crept back on.  Then I graduated and, wow, I became larger than ever.  But, thanks to a lot of hard work (diet and exercise) I lost quite a bit and really wound up being quite proud of myself.  When all was said and done, I lost (and maintained) approximately 45 lbs.  Here's  a post about when I hit my 35 lbs mark.

So, you might be wondering, what does this have to do my husband and the surprising thing he said to me?!  Well, a lot, in fact.  We talked about how in my life before Hubby, Bonus Babies, and Little One; it was easy for me to loose (and maintain) 45 pounds, because that was what my life was really centered around.  I went to work.  I went to school.  I went to Weight Watchers and I spent time at my gym.  My friends all were either from work, Weight Watchers, or they gym so they all were well aware of my goals and how I was working to achieve them.  I lived with someone who was OBSESSED (in an unhealthy way, in my opinion) with being fit and he expected me to have the same level of obsession.  While I didn't appreciate this, it did make it much easier to stick to my goals.

Hubby listened intently as I explained this all to him.  And then I began to explain the rest.  When Hubby and I got together and I became Step-Mamma to Bonus Baby 1 and 2, my plate became more full.  It was easier  to focus on me before all of this because that was who I had to focus on.  My life, while it seemed full by many, was very empty at the time.  Working on ME was a great distraction from the monotony of how I was living and the relationship I was in.  Suddenly, when I became a part of Hubby and Bonus Babies' world, focusing on my looks (and yes, ultimately my health) just didn't seem like such a big priority anymore.  I loved the idea of being a Step Mamma and I spent a lot of time working hard to foster a good relationship with Bonus Baby #1 and #2.  I loved the idea of being a wife and I spent a lot of time being with Hubby and doing things with him and his friends.  Slowly, as time went on, I attended less Weight Watcher meetings and got less exercise.  And slowly,  some of my original weight loss crept back on.    Then, I got pregnant and the rest of my weight loss crept back on.  So, now I am sitting back at square one and, while it is frustrating to an extent, I would not trade this for anything.

I said this all and then I said, with a sigh and a sob, "If you want your hot (his words, not mine--LOL) wife back, something is going to have to give."   Now, this is where Hubby says the most amazing words to me.  He said, "When you're on your maternity leave, let's look at your schedule.  Let's figure out where you can make time for yourself.  We survived before you came to us and we've gotten so used to everything you do for us.  But, it is important for you to make time for you too.  That is good for you and it is good for us."

While this might not seem like such an amazing thing, to me it was.  It was because it gave me permission to let go.  I could let go of trying to do so much and take the time to focus on my health.  While being "hot" at some point time is a great goal, my real goal is to feel good in my own skin again.  To not have such a difficult time climbing stairs (I forgot how that felt until I became pregnant), to be able to keep up with Bonus Baby #1 and #2 (and Little one when she gets big), to be able to enjoy my horses and not have a tough time lugging around hay bales. . . the list is really endless.

So--those of you in relationships: does YOUR significant other ever say things that AMAZE you?