Tuesday, July 28, 2009

work, work, work

So far, hubby's work has not picked up very much. He is still on the job hunt. He went to an "informational meeting" this morning and if this company is going to call him for an interview, it won't be until Friday at 5:00 pm. Meanwhile, he is still applying at lots of random places, and continuing with Reliant.

My work is starting to pick up, though. I still have the financial transcription that I do quarterly, and last week started four weeks of "peak." I am also attempting to jump-start my play food again by offering several weekly free-for-shipping drawings of up to $12/worth of food. I even made a Facebook fan page for it (a work in progress... eventually I will have on there a picture of everything I offer). And so far, the drawings seem to be working, because I have a "real" order that I'm soon to start. (I also have a few orders that I'm going to trade for things.) I also might be able to be a nanny next month for a family, until their day care spot opens up.

I intended to do attempt an intensive few days of potty training with Lydia last week, but will have to put it off for a few more weeks because of the transcription. Meanwhile, though, I am continuing to read my library books on the matter, and am starting to introduce a few concepts to her here and there, to gradually expose her to what we'll be doing with more effort in a few weeks. I'm picking points from several different methods, and will give the training effort three full days of undivided attention, and if it's not completed by then (or very nearly so) then I have no qualms about putting her back in diapers until well after the baby comes. But, if she is ready and just needs a little push, I want to give her that little push, so that I'm not forever asking myself "what if?"

Monday, July 20, 2009

eleven weeks left

Or 9, or 13. I'm thinking that it'll be closer to 9 1/2 or 10 or so. I am moving right along and making good progress on my to-do list. I had a bunch of stuff lined up for today and most of it is done. I started early today and visited my second and third Lowe's of the weekend. Hubby and I went late after church yesterday to get some wood pieces to be the cross-beam mattress supports for Lydia's big-girl bunk bed. I looked up the dimensions of a twin mattress online, and it said 39 inches, so that is what we got the wood cut to. But then when we got home and I measured about where it would actually sit, I needed it to only be 38 inches, so this morning, I took the wood back out to a different Lowe's to get an inch trimmed off. But that Lowe's told me their saw was broken, so I went to a third Lowe's. (both the second and third Lowe's were close to the apartment, and the first Lowe's from last night was close to the church building). But finally, I got them trimmed up and sanded and they are ready now. She is going to move into her big girl bed this week sometime! :D We live in a tiny place, so moving furniture is interesting... there are about 6 items that need to be done in a specific order to get the crib into our room and the bed into her room. All in the short time that she is awake. :)

I had my 29 week appointment and everything looks great. I'm measuring right on and am up 24 pounds total. Heartbeat sounds good and was anywhere from the 130s to the 150s during the appointment. Baby was head up w/ his/her back towards my back, so all of that needs to change sometime before the birth. There's still plenty of time for him/her to flip around, though, and he/she has definitely been doing that in the past several days. Here is my 29-week picture. Quite a bit of difference from my picture at 20 weeks.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

yay for nesting

I don't have the "urge" to nest, but with only 65 to 93 days to go, I finally got on it. The most daunting task on the list was, by far, cleaning out the corner of our bedroom where the crib will go. I had a few totes right next to the wall that held mostly fabric and also a few other miscellaneous craft things, then in front of that was just a huge PILE of lost pajamas and hand me down clothes and pillows and a slip that I had been missing forever that I finally found on the Very Bottom of the pile. I did a ton yesterday to clean out that pile and put everything in its appropriate place, and was really happy with my progress. Today, I plan on inventorying my fabric. I want to sew a few more nursing dresses, and it'll be easier to plan my projects if I have a list of what fabrics I have, and if they're knit or woven, and how much of them I have.

I've also been still thinking about potty training. I've heard that a lot of people had success with the 3-day method, and someone shared their copy with me, so I am going to try it out. I originally was going to try it out next week, on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, but forgot that my seasonal transcription job starts up at that time, so I wouldn't be able to give potty training the attention it needs. But sometime after August 20th, I may give it a try. I don't really have very high expectations going into this, since I've also heard that this method did NOT work for a bunch of people, but as I sit here and wait for Lydia to "train herself," I can't help but wonder if she doesn't need a little push-start. If I don't do this, then I will be forever wondering "what if," so I just need to do it and get it out of my system.

Hubby is still on the job hunt, with no real prospects yet. This week has not been a good one for him at his current job. He had 4 days in a row of zero sales (and therefore zero income), and on the 5th day the streak was broken... but with only one sale. And even the sales that he does might not "count" since the people have three business days to cancel, and if they cancel, then he doesn't get credit for it. This wouldn't be so bad, but it adds to the uncertainty, because we don't know if any cancellations happen until his pay statement is run, 3 weeks later. I am really hoping and praying that something stable comes along before this baby does. Stress and the postpartum period just do not get along very well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

the to-do list continues

Maybe if I write it all down instead of just keeping it in my head, I'll have a better chance of getting at least some of it done before the baby comes. I HAVE been using a daily to-do list, using the night before to write down things to do the next day, and that has been helping some, but there's still usually one item from each day that gets carried over to the next day. Anyway, here's the big items that need to be done before the baby comes, in no particular order.

- continue hoping and praying for Tim's job situation to get more stable before baby arrives
- pack up Lydia's outgrown clothes
- install infant carseat
- clean out corner of our bedroom where crib will go (includes going through craft stuff)
- move small bathroom cabinet into hallway
- move changing table into bathroom
- sew a bunch of newborn gowns
- dye some infant diapers
- move craft supplies into spot in Lydia's room that used to have the changing table
- move rocking chair into our bedroom
- move crib into our bedroom
- get bunk bed pieces from our friends' house
- assemble bunk bed for Lydia
- wash out chlorine buckets and cover with contact paper

It's a daunting list, but nothing insurmountable. I don't have any more out of town trips planned, and my play food business is at a pretty slow time right now. The chlorine buckets will be my diaper pails. Maybe just one of them, I haven't decided yet. We use cloth diapers, and the diaper pail we use now is itty bitty and only fits just over half a days' worth of diapers in it, and that's just not going to work when we have two in diapers, so I'm getting a bigger pail.

And about the two in diapers... it's inevitable. I am continuing to think about potty training, not in a stressful way, but more in a "research" way. I checked out several books from the library the other day and have started reading them. I first opened up most of them to the "readiness" section and realized that Lydia is NOT ready for potty training yet, as much as I was hoping that maybe she'd be ready for at least one of the methods. She never wakes up dry, even if I withhold her fluids. She always says that her diaper is dry, no matter what its actual condition is. She doesn't notice or care that her peers are potty training. She's not dry for hours at a time. She's just plain not ready. So much for the "rules" that girls train sooner/faster/easier than boys, and that cloth diapers make for earlier/faster training. But, when she is ready, I'm hopeful that it will be a quick and easy process.

The pregnancy is still going fine. I'm down to 12 weeks left, and feeling very uncomfortable already. I'm already so big that I have trouble breathing, and Braxton Hicks just will not leave me alone. There are some times where as soon as I do any activity at all, even walking the 10 steps to the bathroom, I will get hit w/ a BH contraction. They're not painful, but they've gotten to the annoying point, mostly b/c of their randomness. I won't be sorry to leave those behind. I WILL be sorry to leave the kicks behind, though. I keep feeling elbows and knees and feet and playing with them already. So much fun. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

twenty-seven week appointment

My appointments continue to go well. This time, I gained 7 lbs in 4 weeks, but am still only up 21 lbs overall. I gained 40 w/ Lydia and feel like I'll be in the 35-40 range with this baby as well. I'm measuring right on track and everything just looks great. Since I'm getting scarily close to the third trimester, we've started talking about the birth, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I am so excited and really looking forward to it.

In other news, I was able to score a twin-sized mattress in great shape off of Craigslist for just $18. :D Whenever I get the corner of our room cleaned out so the crib can fit there, then we'll retrieve our bunk bed from where it's stashed at a friend's house, and that will be Lydia's big girl bed. I have a body pillow that I think I will set up on the floor next to her, though, since she still moves quite a bit in her sleep and isn't perceptive of the edge of the bed yet.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

three big stressful waits

I really am surprised that I haven't pulled myself into two pieces from the stress I've been feeling lately. It just seems to keep piling and piling and then when the tiniest bit of relief thinks about being seen, it all of a sudden vanishes and the pile continues to grow anyway. I know I just need to let things go and rely on the Lord to take care of them all. I KNOW this. But it's hard. Nearly impossible. I have always been a planner and "need" to know the whens, whys and hows. I can't just let it sit inside me, though, so every so often I need to write about it. Writing helps me, just a tiny bit, to keep from going to pieces.

I mentioned on Facebook that I have three major "wait for its" right now: the coming baby, potty training for Lydia, and a stable job for hubby. Each item on its own would be stressful enough, but combined, they are a mountain of which I cannot see the top. I pray, I try to be peaceful, I try to be supportive where necessary, I try to think positive... and then I just end up in silent tears at night anyway.

To keep this post from being too much of a downer, I will also do a "count your blessings" thing towards the end. Because really, it could be worse.

Of the three, I think the most stressful to me right now is Tim's job situation. Ever since we moved to Dallas two years ago, it has been inconsistent and unstable and come & go. Right now, he is in a commission-only, independent contractor position. He's been there for about 2 weeks, and it is starting off very VERY slowly. We need about 10 sales/week to just barely make ends meet, and his first two weeks had 6 sales and 4 sales, respectively. He's in the middle of his third week and has only had 5 sales in it, with the two slowest days of the week yet to come. The hours that he currently works make it impossible to get a second job and nearly as hard to have any bit of time at all to look for a different job. I can't work right now since I'd just have to turn around and quit in a few months (besides, Tim doesn't want me to work anyway). It is massively hard to live hopeful and positive day by day not knowing until bedtime if any sales have been made, and then being crushed when the daily total is 1 or even 0.

The second-highest stressor is potty training. This situation could be an entire blog in itself (not an entire post, but an entire blog, lol), so I will try to keep it brief. It started when Mom said that me and my two younger sisters were all potty trained by 18 months. It continued this past week when they were talking about a friend of my nephew's who is nearly 4 and is "not potty trained at all" and the tone of voice they used when discussing that. Then here at home, I read things where this one's child just magically trained themselves overnight one night. That is the most common thing I read. And it is usually with a child who is younger than Lydia. I read tips and signs of readiness and give a half-hearted try, and fail, and just do nothing for a few months. Then I start to think about it again and the stress roller coaster reaches a peak and we try again, and fail again, and I have thoughts of just keeping her in diapers forever since she "obviously" won't be one of those children who just trains themselves overnight. Every time I talk about it to people, they tell me that she's "only" such-and-such an age, and just give it time. So I give it time, and nothing that I can see changes in her development in that time. I talk about it again, and they tell me again that she's "only" such-and-such an age. But then I see or hear of multiple children her same age or even younger than she is who ARE potty trained, and I get discouraged again.

The least stressful of my "big three" is the pregnancy. I wonder if I'll be able to get everything ready in time, or how the baby and Lydia will get along, or what type of personality he/she will have, or if I'll be able to be a good mom to two (since sometimes I wonder if I'm even a good mom to one). I wonder how my labor will be and if my support people will be able to make it here in time to help care for Lydia. I wonder if I'll be early or will go overdue or will deliver at just the right time. All of these things are "normal worries" for pregnancy, and they would be fine on their own, but they are just more dirt on the mountain when combined with the other two.

There, now that my feelings are "out there" I can count my blessings.

1. I have a husband who loves God and me and our daughter and our unborn child.
2. We have an awesome supportive church family who would do anything for us.
3. We have our health.
4. We have a roof over our heads (with a/c even).
5. We're not starving.
6. All of our parents are still alive.
7. I had no trouble getting pregnant either time.
8. My pregnancy is "boringly normal."
9. God loves me and WILL take care of us, in HIS time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a wedding and a wading, and fun and a falling and a failing

I wasn't sure what to title this post because it is going to be FULL. I've been out of town for a week, and a bunch of fun and funny stuff happened that I have to share with you. (Too bad that potty training isn't in that list. Oh well... someday, someday.)

First, let me get the "failing" out of the way, which seems to be what hubby's new job is doing so far. It is failing to live up to both its absolute potential and to our monthly needs. It's only July 2nd but already we're having a shortfall for the month. There are people who have done what he did in the past, so hopefully he can talk to some of them to get some tips and encouragement. Meanwhile, I think he's going to be on the list to look for something else, again. It's been two years of instability and uncertainty now. I can't even remember what it's like to be normal anymore.

But enough about that, let's get to the fun stuff. We'll start with the wedding. We took a vacation-within-a-vacation to go see my cousin get married. My almost 4 year old nephew was in her wedding as the ring bearer. My sister and mom had been talking up his job for several days beforehand. Sometime between the rehearsal and the ceremony, he made the comment, "my job isn't that hard. All I have to do is carry a pillow." But the funniest things he did were definitely during the ceremony. He and the flower girl walked up to the front fine and got to their places. Then there was a delay while the music got ready for the bride to come down. As soon as my nephew got to his place, he was looking around, and he saw the unity candle tapers sitting about 5 feet away. From his spot, he took a huge deep breath and leaned over and tried to blow them out. It didn't work, and he gave up and continued holding his pillow. The pillow went all over... in his arms, in his hands, on his head... but he stood in his spot for the whole ceremony. At one point, he gave a "thumbs up" to the flower girl across the way. She returned the signal, then he returned it again, and they went back and forth 6 or 7 times. Towards the end, my aunt (mother of the bride) heard him say, "my feet are tired." But he still stood up there and made it through the rest of the time. I think that now he can hire himself out as a professional ring bearer. :)

Next topic is the falling. Lydia had a few gentle falls and some not-so-gentle falls over the week. At home, she still sleeps in a crib. On previous trips to visit my mom, she had set up the pack'n'play for her to sleep in, but for her first afternoon nap upon arrival, we decided to try her just on the trundle bed by itself. She did very well on it. :) But she did not stay on the bed. Here is how she started out that first night:

And here is where I found her the next morning:

And here are another few interesting sleeping positions in which I found her:

After a few days, she did manage to mostly stay on the bed all night. We stayed in a hotel for two nights for the wedding, and she and I shared a bed w/ my mom in the first night, or tried to. Lydia was too wiggly and kicky and so I ended up putting her on some pillows on the floor (which she wiggled off of as well). The next night, mom got brave and slept on the sofa sleeper, so Lydia and I had the bed to ourselves. I had set her down in the middle, and she was already asleep, so I pulled her over to the side a little to give myself some more room. We all went to bed and then I woke up an hour or so later to a THUMP and to Lydia crying. She'd fallen off of the hotel bed. I screamed b/c it was a BIG fall and I didn't know if she was hurt or not. I think she was more scared than anything, though, because it took less than 2 minutes to calm her back down. I put her on the floor for the rest of the night so she wouldn't fall again, and she went right back to sleep.

As for the wading, my mom has a little plastic wading pool that she fills up from the hose so that my nephews can sometimes go swimming after their naps (she watches them during the day while my sisters work). Lydia didn't want to take a nap one day, so we gave her some pool time by herself before the boys woke up. She was excited to put on her swimsuit, and went out to the pool. She stuck one foot barely into the water, then took it right back out again and ran over to me and said, "that's enough."

Mom took her and encouraged her to go down the slide. She didn't want to at first:

But it didn't take her long at all to get into it and start having fun:

Then, all that playing made her thirsty, so she drank the closest water that was available, right out of the pool:

Eventually, she lost her hat in the pool and I gave her a washcloth instead, to play with while her hat was drying off:

Then the fun was really just another couple of backyard pictures. There were a couple of giant croquet-looking mallets that she tried to play golf with, a T-ball set, the old blow-up "hoppity horse" that my sisters and I had when we were little, and a few other random toys.