Friday, February 29, 2008


After 37 weeks of pregnancy, four months of gray days, 2 weeks of working many more hours than normal, and leaving a job after 7 years... spending $12.95 on a new mug just because it makes me smile is good therapy. And it does make me smile. Spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A bit lonely

I get so busy doing that sometimes I don't realize how I'm feeling, until that feeling is an overwhelming burst of emotion that topples me.

Last night, as I stood bawling in front of the bathroom mirror, completely unable to form words to explain to my husband what was wrong...I realized something was wrong. It's hard to explain what is wrong when my mind is racing, trying to figure out what is wrong.

I did finally figure it out: I'm lonely.

Pregnancy is such a social time. People always want to talk to me, to touch me. I am having baby showers on many a Saturday, and people shower me with gifts. So, it's shocking to me that I feel lonely. It's not even that I don't want or need this social time. I am a social creature and I really do need social interaction to's how I re-boot.

Yet, the more social this pregnancy gets, the lonelier I am. So why? (...I wondered, as I was bawling into the bathroom mirror...) I know why... people aren't talking to ME. Every single conversation includes comment that I look small for being so far along. (Which is stupid...I feel huge, so that really isn't very encouraging, and besides...I get measured every single week by my midwife and I'm not measuring small. It just isn't true, and I'm tired of hearing it.) Every single conversation includes a question of what we are naming the baby. Every. Single. Time. They ask how I'm feeling, and if I say anything other than fine or good they look shocked and dismayed. How dare a 37 week pregnant woman feel uncomfortable?! She should be basking in the miracle of her gestation and feel like an angel. Mind you, I really do try to look on the brighter side and count my blessings... but I still manage to do that AND respond honestly.

So alas, I spend my day with lots of people wanting to talk about nothing, or about things that really, really irritate me. It's a lonely place to be.

The worst is when I go places where I haven't seen people in a few days or a week. I hate going in to work (I don't have to go to the office every day), because I have this same conversation with every single person I see, every single time I go in. Oh, to just go to work and just work. I hate going to my weekly bible study. Again, every single gal (except for one sweet friend of mine...and I try to just find her and hide!) I see in the hall stops me to have this same conversation. I just want to be a hermit in my house for the next weeks just so I don't have to talk to anyone. I'm done working after this week, and I'm mostly excited to not have these hallway conversations anymore. I'm also thinking of quitting my bible study a couple weeks early.

I just want to wear a big sign (and put one on my front door, too) that says: "I'm due March 21st, it's a girl, I know I'm not carrying like it's a girl, I know you think my belly looks small, and I'm not telling you her name. I'm doing just fine."

Does this go away after the birth, or get worse?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fat feet - help!

I need advice from the moms out there.

I don't have preeclampsia, but I have started swelling. It started small, but has been getting more significant. I took a plane ride yesterday and when I got home last night, my ankles and feet were so swollen I thought my feet were going to pop off. Thankfully, they didn't.

I'm still swollen this morning. I wouldn't care so much, except that I can't get my shoes on. And it's February in Seattle. I have some cute summer slide-on sandals that I was going to wear, but they go too far up my foot and I can't get them on. Well, I probably could if I forced it, but I think I would stretch them out and ruin them.

So, here I am, wearing my plastic Old Navy flip flops in FEBRUARY in Seattle. Burr! They are the only things I can get on my feet. But... umm... I do need to go to work for one more week and have appointments to go to (which involve going outside).

What do you do? Just wear flip-flops in February? Go get bigger sandals? Bigger shoes? Help!

By the way, baby girl is due in 30 days. Oh my gosh!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

False abundance and necessary frugality

With baby's arrival looming, I've been sorting through the details of my "maternity leave" benefits at work and our future one-income budget. Yikes. Somewhere along the line, we became really comfortable with out two-incomes... more comfortable than we should have, since we knew all along that we'd be going down to one. I have such regret over this. I wish I could go back and change our thinking and some of our actions. Yet, regret is only useful to the extent that it changes our future actions. And so, I'm trying to be wise about our future decisions, and not spend too much time wallowing in our past mistakes.

I've always tried to live in a way that wasn't wasteful. Now, I enter a phase (probably a very long one) of necessary frugality.

I've been thinking a lot this week about how, in many cases, you must spend money in order to save money. The bulk option, while more money up front, is often less expensive in the long run. And yet, when you have a limited quantity of something on hand, it's easier to save it and make it last. Buying in bulk only works if you don't consume it wastefully, living with a sense of false abundance.

My husband's favorite snack is crackers and colby jack cheese. We usually buy him pre-sliced colby jack from the refrigerated section of the store - by the deli. A friend lovingly pointed out to me that his cheese is really expensive - something she would never buy. Costco sells a loaf of colby jack for less than the price of two of his deli packages. Ouch. I got him a loaf of the colby jack, and then we hunted for a cheese slicer that would let us adjust the thickness of the slices. Hubs went to work slicing the entire loaf of costco cheese into thin slices. It worked perfectly. We calculated that his slices cost $0.11 per slice, compared to the previous price of $0.37 per slice. However, this is only a good deal if he consumes it at the same rate as he did before. If he starts living on cheese and crackers, since they were cheap and we have a hundred slices in the freezer, then the good deal goes out the window. As a side note, I hate that we had to buy something (the cheese slicer) in order to do this, but it was the only way it would work for us. We'll just have to stick with it in order to make it worthwhile.

We also stocked up on our favorite cold cereal this week. We usually eat homemade Egg McMuffins or oatmeal. I love the protein in the egg breakfast, and the extreme frugality of the oatmeal. Cold cereal is usually saved for days when we eat breakfast separately or when we are in a huge hurry. Unfortunately, the kind we like is normally priced at $4-5 per box at the grocery store. On sale, we can find it for $3. This week, we noticed that the Rite Aid had it on sale for $2.50 per box. I've never seen it that low. When hubs knows about a deal, he's a great hunter! He looked online to see where all the local Rite Aid stores were, and during our errands out and about all week, we stopped at 3 or 4 different stores to see if they had our cereal in stock. I think we ended up buying 6-7 boxes. However, we had the same talk about the cereal. Eggs are still a lot healthier and cheaper, and the oatmeal is a LOT cheaper. We can't just start eating our cold cereal all the time, simply because it's abundant in the pantry. If we do, we will have wasted money rather than saved it.

We've been living for years now with a sense of false abundance. Shame on us. I can't help but notice that as we begin our necessary frugality, the temptation to live in false abundance will be there. Perhaps this is the great downfall of many frugal attempts.