Fate Works in Funny Ways

On Thursday, I was having One Of Those Days. It was a day where I wanted to cause physical harm to any poor soul that happened to wander into my little personal space bubble. I was tired and cranky, I was uncomfortable and feeling sorry for myself having to be at work for 8 hours. In other words, I was a massive hellbitch.

At around 11:00 AM, my entire day took a turn… For the better!

For those of you who are unaware, my husband has worked as a brick mason his entire life. Masonry has suited us just fine for the majority of our marriage. A few years ago, work was so good I didn’t have to work. I took an entire year off, and when I got back into the work force it was a part-time job and our income was almost all disposable. Instead of being wise and squirreling away money for rainy days and slow building periods, we wasted it going out to eat, seeing movies and generally just.. Blowing it. Whoops. As I am sure everyone who reads this blog is aware, the economy over the past two years has been one big major Sucky McSuckfest. People have been getting laid off left and right, losing their jobs and the construction industry has suffered horribly. We have been living so tight the last 7 months and it’s been really scary. Joshua had been job hunting since June. Since. June.

About two weeks ago, he got a phone call calling him in to interview at a local correctional facility. We could hardly believe our luck! An actual full-time job, with benefits that had room for advancement. This wasn’t just a job, this had the potential to become a career. His interview went well, because when I got his phone call this past Thursday he could barely contain the excitement in his voice. He said to me simply, “Baby, I got the job.” I asked him if he was serious about 5 times, and almost started to cry. No longer did we have to wonder and worry about where secondary income was going to come from! Gone are the days of watching the weather with bated breath; hoping and praying that the rain would wait until we got a decent week’s pay in. We are no longer at the mercy of this terrible, awful economy. My husband now has a steady job!

As a result of this news, I decided to go ahead and start my maternity leave as of the 18th of January. I was going to work until delivery, but not anymore! My last day is Friday (providing Nellie doesn’t come sooner than that, of course). I am so relieved and happy, it’s really hard to put into words the feeling. This also means that we are one step closer to our goal of having me be a stay-at-home mom. It’s my heart’s desire to be able to stay home with my babies. This isn’t something we’re going to get right off the bat, mind you. I am going to have to return to work full-time until Josh’s health benefits kick in at work (which usually is about 6 months) but after that we’re contemplating dropping me down to part-time hours. Hopefully, as he advances in this job as I know he will, we will be able to cut my hours more and more until maybe one day we won’t need them at all!

So my day was brightened on Thursday, and it only got better. We got notification that due to weather conditions, the university that I’m employed at was closing at noon. EARLY SNOW DAY, YA’LL. It was with excitement and glee that I left work that day, and I relished not having to be stuck in my office for the rest of the afternoon. On Thursday evening around 10:45, I got ANOTHER notification saying that the university was to be closed ALL DAY FRIDAY. Classes were cancelled, and offices were closed. I GOT A FULL SNOW DAY, YA’LL and a three day weekend!

Saturday was my birthday, AKA My Favorite Holiday Because It’s the One Day a Year That’s All About Me. My brother in law took us out to lunch at my favorite hibachi place and I ate myself silly. Josh and I took a nap, and that evening I went for some karaoke fun with the girls from my quartet (and a few other ladies)! It was too crowded, and only two of us got to sing – one time (I sang “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse) – but we still had a blast together. It was a wonderful way to start out my 26th year of life, and I feel really blessed to have such amazing friends.

Things have a funny way of working out. Josh and I were both starting to stress – a lot – as to where our income would come from while I was on leave. I will be getting paid half my wages for 6 weeks thanks to short term disability, but that’s not very much. Now that my husband is going to be working full-time hours, we can breathe easier. So. Much. Easier.

Fate has smiled upon us, my friends. And Josh got the world’s best fortune in his fortune cookie after lunch on Saturday:

A new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed.



The Monday Before Christmas

I can’t think of a more clever title, because I’m really tired this morning. We had a very good weekend, which included a gig singing with my quartet on Saturday and my company’s Christmas party that evening. We went to a murder mystery dinner theatre, and I had an absolute blast. Sunday my brother-in-law took us out to Outback for lunch, and then took us shopping for our Christmas gift..

Which just happened to be a dining room table, and chairs that went with it. Yeah. Pretty much one of the best Christmas gifts ever. We haven’t had a dining room table at all since we’ve been married so it’s pretty sweet. It’s a really nice table, too. The set comes from Better Homes & Gardens from Wal-Mart. Instead of just four chairs, it had the option of getting two chairs and a bench which is what we did. I’ll have to take some pictures of it and post them later.. It really ties our apartment together nicely.

We made Christmas cookies last night. And by “we”, I mean “Josh”. We got a sugar cookie mix, decorated them with green icing and sprinkled red sugar sprinkles on it. Voila, festive Christmas cookies for our enjoyment. I’m very much looking forward to this week. We’re doing Christmas at my in-laws tonight, tomorrow my office is having a party and I’m leaving early for a doctor’s appointment and I’m off work on Friday. I’m feeling so tired lately that I could sleep all day. After going to the mall, Target, and Wal-Mart yesterday I was seriously about ready to pass out and ended up taking a one hour nap. I never knew pregnancy could wipe one out as much as it has in the past two weeks or so. I am tired ALL THE TIME.

Anyway I never did get around to taking a belly picture, so my weekly baby update may be a day late or so. Also, keep your eyeballs peeled as I’ll be doing my very first review and giveaway at some point this week – I might even post it today. I haven’t forgotten the Ask Me Anything post; I’m trying to accumulate some more questions before answering the ones I have. I hope everyone has a great Monday, and don’t be surprised if you hear from me more than once today.

Good Morning, November

Good morning, November! I had originally drafted the beginnings of a post to write yesterday, but we ended up having to go somewhere and I never got the chance to finish it.

Had a good weekend. Halloween was uneventful. We bought a bag of Reese’s cups on the off chance that some of the kids in our apartment building would stop by… Knowing full well they wouldn’t. In the four years we’ve lived there, we have never had a single Trick or Treater. So I guess the Reese’s cups were really for us.

Those Reese’s cups are gone now, a distant memory.
We watched horror movies all night Saturday. Wrong Turn 3 (which was awful), Skinwalkers (which was tolerable), Ghost Ship (which was fine) and the remake of the Amityville Horror, which hubby and I both enjoy. Sunday was eventful; we went to the Halloween store to collect discounted items for our costumes (belated Halloween party), ate lunch at the in-laws’, headed to my chorus friend’s house to assess some foundation work she and her husband needed on a shed and then we visited our friends Ryan and Michelle, whose little boy Liam was born last week about 9 weeks premature. They are all doing well, and I was really happy to see that Michelle looks like she’s feeling a lot better. Liam’s doing well too, we got to see a video of him squalling and crying. It was very cute! We ended up at another friend’s house and played the demo of Left 4 Dead 2, and then Gears of War 2 for a while before heading home and retiring for the evening.
So, it’s Monday again… And November! November will be an eventful month. We’ve got our first baby shower planned for November, and of course Thanksgiving is coming up! And, we will be moving into our new apartment at the end of the month. Very exciting. Speaking of the holidays, a local radio station is ALREADY PLAYING CHRISTMAS MUSIC. WTF? We were driving yesterday and flipping channels and heard “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. DH and I looked at each other like, “Really?” sure enough.. One of the local country stations has made its’ annual holiday switch. They usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving. Craziness.
January is rapidly approaching. I find myself thinking more and more about my due date, and the birth of my daughter. I don’t think it’s really sunk in fully that I am going to have to give birth to a human being. Sooner, rather than later. The holidays make everything go by faster anyhow, and so I know that the day will be here before I know it. I’m really anxious to meet her, but at the same time am having a hard time grasping the gravity of the fact that there will very soon be a tiny human being that my husband and I are responsible for keeping alive and well. I’m not scared at all, I just don’t think my brain’s really “gotten it” yet.

I actually can’t wait for the holiday season to arrive. For some reason since we lost the baby, I’ve wanted very much to be pregnant for the holidays. I guess because we lost green bean 3 days before Christmas, I’ve been wanting to recapture some of the joy we felt that whole month of December before we lost the baby. The Christmas season was heightened so much for us; we found out we were expecting at the very beginning of the month and those three weeks were just that much more exciting. So this year, I’m really looking forward to being pregnant at Christmas. I wish we could see my family as we do every year, but I’m not making a 10 hour trip to Chicago in the middle of winter while 9 months pregnant!

So anyhow, that’s the weekend….. And I say hello, November! You’re going to be an exciting month. I can feel it!
P.S. We are 29 weeks pregnant. Weekly update to come shortly. Stay tuned!

Paranormal Activity and Chili

It’s Monday again! Joy of joys. I had lots of dreams this weekend. One involved the birth of my daughter. It was very strange, because in the dream DH and I were in our new apartment and I was doing something in her nursery. All of a sudden, DH calls to me from the other room, “Natalie! She’s here!”
I looked down at my belly and I was no longer pregnant. Somehow, I had given birth to Nellie and didn’t even know it. We were so wrapped up in her, we completely forgot to tell people she was here. It was almost 3 hours after her birth that we finally started calling people. Strange. At one point, DH was in the bathroom and she began crying. I went to her and picked her up. She was swaddled and snug and once I held her, she stopped crying. She looked at me; she had dark brown hair – almost black, like mine when I was born – and dark brown eyes. She had DH’s nose and chin, but my eyes and mouth.

My other dreams involved Ada, me getting my own office at work, and…. Well, some not so pleasant things due to the fact that we went and watched the movie Paranormal Activity on Saturday. IT. WAS. SO. FREAKY. The hype over it is definitely warranted. I wasn’t terrified like I thought I’d be but it was so, SO CREEPY. Not the type of horror movie that jumps out, scares you and makes you scream and grab someone but the entire time my mouth was open, I was gasping at certain parts and was definitely tense and freaked out. Needless to say, my dreams were a bit interrupted because of the movie.

Yesterday, we headed to the Chattanooga Market for the 7th Annual Firehouse Chili Cookoff. It was fun, and I got to eat lots of tasty chili. It was COLD out, and I should have dressed warmer. My fingers were going numb from holding my chili and walking around.

We’re now into the 3rd trimester! I can’t believe that we are in the home stretch.. It’s crazy. Oh, and I have figured out why I don’t feel baby girl move a whole lot during the day. Friday night I was up until about 3 AM (which is WAY unusual for me, even on a weekend) and around 10:00, she started rockin’ and rollin’. She is DEFINITELY most active in the late evening, which is usually when I am asleep and don’t feel her. It was so funny, right around 10 PM she started kicking and I felt her a bunch for the rest of the night. I love feeling her kick and wiggle and move. It’s the best feeling in the world.

I’m going to go make myself some hot tea in an attempt to warm up. It’s so cold!

Sneezy Pants, Movie Nights, and Potential New Digs

Oh, it’s Monday again. And it’s rainy! Boo for both. I appear to be in the throes of an allergy attack, which is a bummer. It started yesterday and hasn’t let up. I’m sneezing every few minutes which means my poor little nose will probably be raw by the end of the day. I feel fine, just sneezy. I popped a Claritin not too long ago so hopefully it’ll help kill the sneezes in a few hours.

We had a good weekend. We went and looked at a new apartment on Saturday. We had pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we were going to be stuck in our 1 BR for another 6 months, as every place we had looked at had security deposits. Due to DH’s work being painfully dry lately, we haven’t had the ability to save up enough for a deposit so we were searching for a place with a “no security deposit” special. Luckily, we found one not far away from where we already live. A 2 BR place for $10 more than what we are paying for our 1 BR place currently. We went and checked it out, and liked what we saw. It has 2 full bathrooms, plenty of closet space (which is something our current apartment lacks), a patio and a storage closet out on the patio. The appliances are a bit older than I’d like, but they are in fine working order which is what’s important. It has a separate washer/dryer area which is great, and water plus basic cable are included. Score!
We had to put $145 down ($100 to reserve the apartment, and $45 as an app. fee) but the $100 is going to come off our first month’s rent. I’m feeling optimistic; the only roadblock we may run into is needing a cosignor since DH doesn’t get paystubs from his job and providing proof of income is difficult for him. Not a big deal; I’m sure we can find someone to cosign for us if need be. I am hoping that my pay stubs, and our 4 years of good rental history from our current complex will be sufficient.

Yesterday afternoon we went down to the Market, got some kettle corn and looked around and headed to my brother in law’s house. We cooked burgers and watched the Lost Boys.
Last night we went to our friend’s apartment and hung out and watched Halloween-themed movies. We watched Trick r’ Treat first, which was great.. I’ve been wanting to see that movie for about 2 years now. For some reason there was some weird delay on its’ DVD release. I first saw a preview for it about 2 years ago and it was just recently put out on DVD. I enjoyed it very much. We ate popcorn and cookies, and watched A Nightmare on Elm Street which was full of many laughs. I hadn’t ever seen the original Nightmare, so that was fun.

I’ve been getting used to life without Ada. I still get a little sad when I look out into the screened in porch and she’s not there, but I do have to admit my stress levels have gone down quite a bit. I don’t have to worry about where she’s peed, if she’s peed or think about cleaning it up. I hope she’s adjusting to her new home well. I do think about her a lot and hope she’s OK, but I do have to say I am a little relieved and things have been easier.

Okay.. I’m going to work on my weekly update. 26 weeks pregnant. One week away from the THIRD TRIMESTER!!!!

Cold Nose, Warm Heart

I am sitting in my office and FREEZING right now. It’s cold and rainy outside. My body temperature has been elevated since becoming pregnant, so this is rare. I’m actually cold! I am sipping on some caffeine free tea and feeling better.

I had a fantastic weekend. Saturday was so busy for us; usually we are just content lounging around and being lazy on the weekends but this weekend was different! We went to the bank, and then checked out a few apartment/duplexes for rent. We didn’t find anything we liked (one duplex had a $1,000 pet deposit. I almost choked!). Afterward we headed out to Babies R Us and zapped a few things on our registry. We agreed to register for a brand new crib; DH wanted to use an old family one but I just wasn’t comfortable with it and the thought scared me. So he finally said okay and we registered for a really nice one that will convert to a toddler bed, then a big-kid bed. We also registered for a stroller/car seat, a high chair, a swing and a pack n’ play. We ended up finding all of those things in his parents’ storage shed from when his sister had her little boy about 7 years ago, but we figured that we would register for new stuff anyway. If we get those things then great, if not, then we can use his sister’s hand-me-down items. We registered for gender neutral stuff so we can use the things for future babies if we do receive them.

Registering made everything just that much more real for me. I obviously know I’m pregnant as Nellie kicks every day and I am now showing, but registering for those items; looking at the crib and baby swing and knowing that my little girl would be resting and playing in them so soon just made it so much more real. I was smiling a huge smile all day because of it. I’m also really excited about the prospect of a nursery. I know that we may not be able to customize it 100% the way we want as we don’t own our own space, but it seems most apartment/duplex complexes are pretty lenient about painting.. As long as you keep it a shade that’s easily painted over they’re okay.

The 2 bedroom space may not happen right off the bat when we want it, but that’s okay. We can keep baby girl in our room (not our bed) for a few months until we find something that fits us. I am still hoping we find a 2 BR space before she comes.

Saturday night we headed downtown to check out the annual free bluegrass festival. We enjoyed an ice cream treat (COLD STONE!) and watched kids frolic and play. We were all smiles the whole time thinking about next year, when we will have our daughter to take along with us on such treks. I just cannot wait to meet her and have her in our lives; to hear her little babble, see her every morning and hold her. I’m getting so excited and anxious for her arrival.

We are also toying with the idea of doing the 3d ultrasound. We’re waiting on a few things to find out if it’ll be feasible and are keeping our fingers crossed. If we’re able to, we will probably do it around Thanksgiving so we have pictures to hand out as Christmas presents.

We’re almost in double-digits.. As of today we had 104 days until our due date. It’ll be here before we know it!!!!

Trickle Trickle

I am relatively certain that it’s never going to stop raining! I don’t know about where you are in the country/world, but here it’s been raining for a week. I can’t remember a time within the last 7 days that I looked outside my window and didn’t see some form of drizzle; or at least a threat of rain.
Our weekend was good. We went for a walk at our complex’s gym Saturday morning, had lunch with my brother-in-law and went searching for costumes for him to wear at his haunted house. My brother-in-law produces the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern along with his business partner, and he plays a character in it on some nights so he was looking for the perfect costume. After that we headed back home and I took a nice nap. We didn’t do much the rest of the evening; watched movies, played Rummy (DH kicked my butt) and poker (again, butt kicking) and watched some SNL. Yesterday we hit up the market and went browsing for a white shirt for my chorus’s little show on Saturday…. It was harder than it seems, because I wanted to find the perfect shirt. Very few button-downs fit over my belly and I didn’t want to pay a whole lot so we looked at Goodwill, Wal-Mart and Marshall’s. I ended up settling for one that didn’t button down. When we got home I was EXHAUSTED. Absolutely beat. I didn’t want to take a nap, because I knew it would screw with my sleep so we lounged around and had a Coen Brothers movie fest. We watched Raising Arizona, the Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou and started Fargo. We watched some of the Emmys, and hit the hay around 11:00.

It’s billing time at work today. I’m the billing person; it’s what I do. It’s very tedious and tiresome work. It’s entirely on a computer but requires a lot of concentration and working on Excel. By the end of the first day my brain feels like pudding. I have been thinking a lot about my job, and wondering if maybe my company would be willing to let me work from home at least part of the time after the baby comes. Being a SAHM like I really want isn’t feasible right now and won’t be unless DH gets a good, steady job with health insurance by the time Nellie gets here. He and I have been discussing our options a lot and I had just thought of maybe trying to WAHM if my company would be willing to work with me. I feel like I’m a valuable enough person on this team to compromise with, so we’ll just see how it goes.

I really can’t argue with the fact that my health insurance is good. I just got a claim statement from my insurance; if I hadn’t had coverage my last visit ALONE would have been over $500. But since I’m covered, we are only going to have to pay about $30 out of pocket for this past visit. That’s pretty amazing. Seeing what we would have to pay without insurance has been staggering.

I’ve been getting very poor quality sleep lately. I wake up several times to pee, and if it’s not that then it’s the hip pain. Or my arm falling asleep. Or indigestion. I guess my body is just preparing me for the lack of sleep a newborn brings, heh heh.

Anyway. That’s the weekend update… My weekend is never long enough!

Oh yeah… I’m 23w1d. We have less than one week until Viability. :)

Hair Thieves, Wolverine, and Drag Queens

So, with this whole TTC break stuff I’ve realized that I haven’t paid much attention to myself nor have I treated myself great. I’m not saying that I’ve been hating myself or anything like that, I just haven’t really made an effort. I’ve allowed myself to gain weight, with my hair growing long I’ve gotten lazy with my appearance. I almost never wear makeup, my hair was just always thrown back in a pony, etc.

I got my mark. starter kit on Friday and immediately tore into it and used some of the makeup I was given, and I’ve got to say that I’m REALLY happy with it thus far. I’m going to make another post after this one with some general reviews of the things I’ve tried so far. I’ve got another package coming in the mail today with a foundation and some miscellaneous items that I’m really anxious to try but so far, so good.

The weekend was great. On Saturday I chopped my hair off. Well, I didn’t. I let someone do it for me. I’ll post before/after pictures in my next post so you can see the difference! Needless to say, it’s nice to have all those split ends GONE, and that excess hair gone as well. I love having my hair short and shy away from it sometimes because I’m always afraid that I look like a boy with short hair. This stems from childhood experiences (I cut ALL MY HAIR OFF when I was about 6, and people called me “little boy” all the time) and also some unkind remarks from an ex that made me really self-conscious. But anyway, I really like the way the cut turned out.

Saturday night I hung out with two ladies I haven’t seen since my days of working at the Y. It was a LOT of fun. We went downtown to Hair of the Dog and ate and I had some beers. Afterward I went with one of the girls to a party/get together. We hung out there for a little while, I saw another Y coworker I hadn’t seen in almost two years and also a guy I used to work with at Chili’s. After that, the girl I went to the party with and I ended up going down to Alan Gold’s which is the big “gay bar” here in town. I say “gay bar” in quotes, because it’s become a place where straight girls go to dance and have fun, too. I also think a lot of straight guys go looking to pick UP straight girls, which just doesn’t make sense to me because the reason we straight girls go is so we can dance without having to be HASSLED by the straight guys. Whatever.
Anyway we got there and it. was. PACKED. We arrived in the middle of the drag show, and if you know me at all you know I LOVE DRAG QUEENS. I am in awe of them and think they are amazing. So we watched about three acts, and then went to the restroom. When we got out of the restroom the show was over and the dance floor was opened back up. We squeezed our way out and danced (I say “danced” but it was so damn crowded it was more like jumping up and down in place) until we both decided it was way too crowded and we left.

Sunday was a good day also. Josh and I came to an agreement; he would go for breakfast with me at IHOP (he hates IHOP) if we could go see a matinee of Wolverine. I agreed, and that’s how we spent most of yesterday. Later in the afternoon we took a walk along the Riverfront with Dave and Deborah. My dumb ass wore flip flops and now I have epic blisters, making walking very uncomfortable.

So that was my weekend. It was a good one. Now it’s Monday, boooo. It’s not all bad though, I’ve been treating myself to Starbucks on Monday mornings for a few weeks so that gives me something to look forward to on Monday mornings!

Okay, next post: The Great Hair Adventure of 2009!