Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today was our second ultrasound to ensure that my placenta had moved to the proper position. Thankfully, it has. Praise God!

It was such a joy to see our baby girl again. She looked healthy and is growing really well. The doctor said she has lots of hair, which explains my current Tums addiction. He lowered her weight expectation to about 7.75 pounds, and confirmed that he still agrees with our general due date.

Every time the doctor tried to take a picture of her face, she had her hands up. I'm praying that she will put them down in time for the delivery.

It was so fun to see her nose and her lips. I love this picture and how her lips are squished up on her arm. She looks like she's sleeping happily.

I am doing well, although I miss the ability to roll over in bed. She is due in 51 days, although I would be just happy if she wanted to come a little early. Well, not too early, our to-do list is still quite a bit longer than I'd like.

Beautiful Brrrrr

This weekend hubs and I went with our church's youth group to chaperone their annual snow camp retreat. The camp is just 3-4 hours away, but seems like a whole different world. They had so much snow! If you walked out in the field in front of the cabins, you would sink down to your waist in snow. We got there Friday night, and hubs went out to get something from our car mid-day Saturday. The car had about 6 new inches of snow on it.

The kids had so much fun. They had the option of cross country skiing, snow shoeing, intertubing, but of course, their favorite activities were playing football in the snow and playing games or reading by the fire in the lodge. I was the lodge chaperone. =) At 32 weeks pregnant, I didn't have much energy to do anything, let alone activities that involve falling. Besides, I don't have any maternity snow clothes. I mostly read, rested, and talked with kids in the lodge

The most wonderful thing about the weekend was seeing how gentlemanly our youth group guys are. There were several youth groups at the camp, and our guys were awesome. They carried the girls' bags, opened doors, brought us fire wood (wood burning stoves in the cabin), etc. On the last morning, they were selected to go first through the breakfast line, and then choose the table to go 2nd. They got up announced that they wanted one of our girls' tables to go 1st, and then all of the girl sin the room to go before all of the guys. Aren't they so sweet? I was so proud of these young men.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I haven't been posting very much here lately, which I think is odd. My life is going through so much change, it's not as if I don't I don't have things to talk about! I'm definitely experiencing a NEW DAY every single day (ok, obviously, we all experience a new day every day, but I meant that in the more figurative sense, not literal).

And yet, this much change, and such public change, is a bit overwhelming. I find myself becoming a bit more introverted and private. People continually have questions for me, and I love that they want to know how things are going. Yet, I've found most of these conversations to be extremely frustrating. The typical scenario is that someone asks me a question (is the nursery ready? Are you ready? etc...), I share my answer honestly, and as they respond, I've found that 90% of the time, they have some judgment in their response back to me. Very few people ask me questions just to find out more about me, my life, and how I plan on doing things. I don't mind someone sharing how they did it and why (I welcome that!), but a surprising number of people are actually shocked by my answers and then will proceed to tell me why I'm wrong. And I can't win... I never know which side of shocked they will be on.

Some people think I'm planning too much, some think I'm not planning enough. Some people think I'm ridiculous for preparing for an early baby (because don't you know that all first babies are late?!), while some people think I shouldn't plan for a late baby (because, well, you really don't want to be late!). Some think I shouldn't get the nursery ready yet (because the baby usually doesn't sleep in the nursery for a while), but others think I'm being too flexible in knowing that the nursery doesn't HAVE to be ready...because I might decide that I want her in the nursery after the first night. It goes on and on and on. It's enough to make me scream (and I think I have)! Why can't people just love me, and ask questions to know me and support me, and leave it at that? It makes me sad. I'm a very social person and need that support from my friends. Yet, with all of these judgmental opinions, it makes me want to clam up and not share a bit. I barely want to go to social functions, and if I do go, I find myself keeping my chit chat really impersonal and unspecific.

I had coffee (decaff!) yesterday with an acquaintance from work who is also pregnant. It was so refreshing. We got to talk about all the things we are going through, and all the things we're busy doing, and she wasn't judgmental at all. There are some things we have different opinions on, but there is no judgment. It was soothing to my soul. Doesn't everyone just want to be known? Truly known?

I HAVE been busy, very busy getting ready. I'm trying to take a very balanced approach here. We've got a long, prioritized to-do list, and we'll just see how far down the list when baby girl makes her arrival. She is due in 58 days, but who knows... I could go into labor now, or 58 days plus 2 weeks. Only God knows. I know that whatever is done or not done when she comes is ok, and we'll just figure it out from there.

So, what have we been doing?? We've been busy painting her room (sage green), putting in another light in her room (yes, it's on a dimmer), installing a pull-down shade in her room, going to our birthing classes (so good!), hiring a doula, making a list of stuff to put in the "hospital" bag, making a list of people to notify, etc. Our biggest time thing lately has been working on our future one-income budget. I had a draft budget done a long time ago, but much has changed. It's much tighter than I had planned. It's going to be a faith-building change, that's for sure! In the meantime, we're both eating homemade lunches more, eating dinner at home more, and decided not to put beadboard in the nursery in order to save the $150 it would have cost. There will be plenty of things to spend money on, so I'm trying to cut back where I'm ambivalent.

Have an opinion? Feel free to comment... just leave out the judgment, please!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Off Target

Over the last few weeks, in the post-Christmas clean-up, I have run into a few return policies that I take issue with. A bad return policy eats at my core - I hate the feeling of a good and loyal customer not treated as such.

This one takes the cake. My problem is with Target, and I am even more devastated by their utter lack of customer service and loyalty to their loyal customers because I do LOVE (and I mean love) Target. But, their return policies are getting worse and worse... they are just off target in this respect. Even if they generally need a tight return policy, they really should have a more flexible one for their loyal customers who register for wedding or baby gifts at their store.

A friend of mine was pregnant last year and was really frustrated at their return policies even then. But still...people love baby shopping at Target, so I setup a registry there. However, their policies have regressed in the last 9 months. They've gotten even worse, which was barely possible. I've since taken down my registry. I'd like to beg people to NOT buy me gifts at Target.

First, I was surprised to learn that if someone gives you a gift with the gift receipt, you can only get store credit back, not cash. Granted, I spend plenty of money there so it isn't the end of the world, but it's the principle of the matter. If you have a receipt, and the item is clearly unused, you should get cash. I just think that's really annoying, although it wasn't enough to make me cancel my registry.

Returns without a receipt are the problem. If you don't have a receipt, you can make two returns per year (for the whole store, not per department), and each return can not be more than $20. Per year. It does not matter one bit to them if you have a registry, or if the item was on your registry. I received two of the same crib mirror, which was an item on my registry. I didn't get the gift receipt for either gift. It doesn't matter one bit to Target that the item was on my registry (and marked as fulfilled).

To make matters worse, the woman at the customer service counter was incredibly rude to me, which was absolutely undeserved. I wasn't being rude and hadn't raised my voice. I was confused, since this policy is different than when my friend was returning things 9 months ago, so I was trying to make sure I understood correctly... and she was just very, very rude to me. Hubs and I just left. I'll figure out if I want to keep my second crib mirror or return it (one of my two per year!) later.

A customer who brings in other customers should be treated like gold. This is a marketing golden ticket - when you can get customers or donors to get other customers or donors for you. It's the ideal scenario. If you have a registry somewhere, you are bringing them business, and we all know that shoppers will almost always buy more than they came in for. They are treating their "registry customers" entirely wrong. They need to make the process smooth and easy, and make these people feel appreciated for registering their. It's especially tricky because when someone is engaged or pregnant, they've got a lot on their plate already... we really don't need this hassle. Do they really want to mess with my hormones right now? That horrible customer service lady is just lucky that I didn't start crying right there on the spot. Running out of milk or bananas makes me cry right now, so that wouldn't be a long shot.

In the end, I actually couldn't figure out how to cancel a registry (they don't make it easy, which I wasn't too surprised about), but I took all the items out of it. I will not encourage any more friends or family to buy me any baby items there... in fact, I'd rather they didn't (especially if there is no gift receipt!).

In some ways, I think it sounds horrible...as if you are planning on returning the gifts people give you. It's not that (although the option is nice!) as much as it's so easy to get duplicate items! I've received two of the exact same bouncy seats, ear thermometers, crib mirrors, and a particularly cute sleeper. It's not that I don't want them, I just don't need two! But, I do want to be sure that my friends' money isn't wasted and that I can get an equally needed and desired item...just one I don't currently have. Also, I am likely going to have two or three more baby showers, so we'll see what duplicates are to come!

My advice: don't register at Target, and encourage other people not to register at Target. AND, if you love your friend, always include a receipt or gift receipt.

Friday, January 11, 2008


This baby thing is surely getting closer (70 days!).

Wednesday night, I came home from helping at our church's youth group when hubs pointed out that that I had had some bodily...excess which was displaying itself on my shirt. I can only pray that my sweater was on at all the right times and I didn't scar any of the kids. I don't think I did, but the thought of it was horrifying. So, the first thing on my to-do list yesterday was to stop at target and get an absorbent solution for this problem.

10 weeks until the due date... let the bodily fluids reign. I think I've just crossed a milestone that is only going to get messier for the next many months.

And then I received some confirmation of this fact. Last night at our birthing class, after talking about active labor, transition, relaxation exercises, (snack break!), and watching some birthing videos, we ended the evening by discussing pushing and bodily fluids.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

WFMW: Preparing for baby?

For today's backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday, I was hoping you could give me advice about preparing for mom-hood and bringing the baby home.

Baby girl is due in 72 days...right about at the 10 week mark. Holy cow! My to-do list has about 72 items on it! Ok...maybe not 72, but definitely more than 10. This is coming quickly!

What did you do to prepare, and what did you later wish you had done to prepare? Both for bringing baby home, but also for the change of becoming a stay-at-home mom? What did you do that was smart, or unnecessary, or what would you have done if you could do it all over again?

These can be anything from preparing a bag for the hospital (good advice on what to put in it?), special things you did w/ hub, buying a _______ that turned out to be so useful?

Thanks internet!