Monday, September 29, 2008
Our last vacation, for our anniversary, was spent in Georgia with his family. We got to do the UFC fight which was great, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't exactly the most romantic trip we've ever had.
Our vacation before that was in July. We went to Pennsylvania. With his family. Who I dearly love! And we love Pennsylvania, so the trip was a blast. But to save money, we didn't even get our own hotel room. Again, not the most romantic vacation ever.
The vacation before that was spent in New York in April. And that was the least romantic of them all because it was just me, mom, and Jenn. No boys allowed.
The vacation before that we were alone. It was romantic, it involved doing everything we wanted to do and nothing we didn't. And it was in September 2007.
I think I've made my point.
We are going to Myrtle Beach this weekend, just Saturday and Sunday to stay with his grandparents at their time share. They still don't know that they are great-grandparents, as we wanted to tell them in person rather than over the phone. Better late than never, right?
And starting in December I am cutting down my shelter hours to one weekend a month. I realize my energy is low right now and will probably bounce back, but it's not worth it to me to get so stressed that I hate my job. So I'm doing that for mental health reasons. Anyway, since we decided to leave town, my mood has greatly improved. It's like I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. So I'll just take it one week at a time until November 14, and then I'm OUTTA HERE!!!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Here are the rules.....
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post
4. If you are tagged, just do it, and pass the tag along!!
6 RANDOM things that you may or may not know about me.......
1. When it's rainy outside, I get very grumpy because I prefer being on the couch watching movies, eating junk food, and passing out intermittenly. That rarely happens.
2. I love to alphabetize things. When I have several books I want to read and I can't decide which one to read, I alphabetize them and read them alphabetically.
3. I am one of those people, that when the vacuum won't pick up an object, I pick it up and stare at it, then set it back down and try to vacuum it up again.
4. For over a year now, mom and I (and now retired dad) have eaten lunch together once a week, taking turns cooking soup. I have yet to make the same recipe twice.
5. I really want to run a marathon before I get too old. I may settle for a 5K.
6. I have determined that I was just born to be pale. And now I'm okay with that.
I'm supposed to tag 6 people, but I can't think of 6, so I'm just going to tag dad, Jenn, and Libba. No pressure guys!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I cringe every time I hear someone say there are no homeless people in Moore County. I cringe again when the next sentence is, "If you're homeless, it's your own fault!" I'm here to tell you, that's not always the case. I could tell these people stories about friends I know, people I am close to, who have been homeless, and the circumstances that got them there. But they probably wouldn't listen.
I cringe when people laugh at me or Jenn or others for giving extra food away to people on the side of the street. Why are you laughing? I can go without the food. It probably only cost me a couple of bucks, as cheap as I am, and I'm not giving them money which could possibly fuel their booze or drug habit, so what's the big deal?
But I digress.
I think this is why I love the TV show "30 Days" so much. Two people from opposing viewpoints are forced to live with each other and learn about each other in order to overcome their ignorance. Not necessarily reform their views, but become more knowledgeable about them. One episode was an anti-gun activist who went to live with an avid hunter for 30 days. One was the director of the show living in a minimum wage situation for 30 days. Another was a professional football player who was confined to a wheelchair for 30 days. It's very eye-opening.
I digress yet again.
Stephen embraces my activism and compassion, but has never felt the need to be active in any cause or anything. Which is fine for me - it's not for everyone - and there's nothing he feels really strongly about except for his faith. So I was really proud of him when he told me that he had said something to someone last weekend.
Background story - we have a food bank in Pinebluff, just like there is in Southern Pines, Carthage, Aberdeen... get the picture? Anyway, this food bank is right on our way to work. And when I go to work on Saturdays at 6:00am, the line of cars at this food bank is already down one street and wrapped around the next. Stephen only works one Saturday a month, so I always try to remind him to look at the cars, and he always forgets.
Well, last weekend, he didn't forget. He saw it. And then he went out to breakfast with his dad and his girlfriend? girl friend? I'm not sure. Anyway, he went out to breakfast with them before work. And she just happened to order this big stack of pancakes and then proceeded to eat one and said she was full. And Stephen, bless his little heart, told her about the long line of people he had seen that morning at the food bank, and pointed out that if she wasn't hungry she shouldn't have ordered it.
I was so proud of him! He is an activist! He'd probably kill me for saying that.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Right after work, I went to Rock the Plaza, which was being hosted by our very own Kirby Real Estate Group!!! I got my very own Kirby Koozie! A good time was had by all. I saw a ton of the coolest people in the county - including my fam, Carrie K, Melissa B, and all the Kirbys. I did really well at not spending any money. I had to leave there pretty quickly because Harris Teeter was having triple coupons. And I think we all know that you have to go as early as possible on triple coupon days!! I ended up having to make two trips because of all my coupons. My first trip was the best - I spent $34 and saved $37 in coupons. I think that's the first time I've saved more than I spent. I was pretty proud of myself until I talked to mom, the reigning Coupon Queen, who spent a mere $18 and saved $43 in coupons. That is my goal in life! I'm going to start warming up now for the next triple coupon event.
Is anyone else freezing today? I am so fortunate that Renee and I work in the same office and have the same body temperature. We are so cold. The heater is running full-force and we've decided we want to install a fireplace back here. I told her when she starts having hot flashes I won't be able to work here anymore - they'll freeze me out!!
We are still watching America's Got Talent, and they are down to the top 5. I'm trying to post this video of my favorite of who is left. They are called Nuttin' But Stringz. They are two brothers from NY who play in subways and stuff. They write all their own music and are incredible violinists. I love how they blend violins and hip-hop. I hope the video works, and the sound, because if the sound doesn't work it's pointless!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I guess most people think you are supposed to pop out a baby after a year or so of marriage. I can't even remember when we started being hassled about children - that's how early it started. And I know tons of other couples who were going through the same thing (Jennifer wasn't very reassuring, as her and Matt were still going through that and they had been married longer than us). We are so fortunate, though, that neither of our families were the ones asking what our plans were. It was coworkers, church members, friends of the family that we would see once a year. If our families had been ramming it down our throats, I might have murdered someone.
When we started trying to get pregnant, we were determined not to tell anyone. The only people we told were Jenn, and my mom and dad. We knew that if people knew we were trying, we would be interrogated constantly. And truth be told, we weren't in that big a hurry, we weren't rushing anything, we were just trying. And whatever happened would happen.
But then nothing happened. Over and over again. And before, when people would nudge and wink and say, "So when are you guys thinking about kids?" I would laugh. But after a while, I would just grimace. Or roll my eyes. Fortunately, because we were trying, but not devastated to be having no luck, it was just irritating, but not really hurtful. But I don't think people realize how many couples try to have babies - not for months - for years with no luck. I couldn't tell you how many people I have found out over the past year are on fertility drugs, going to treatments, spending thousands of dollars on doctor bills and fertility clinics... and then someone comes up to them and says, "Aren't you going to have kids anytime soon?"
I realize that people don't mean any harm by asking this question. But I am curious to know - at what point did it become okay to question people about their sex life? Because that's essentially what you're doing. I know that if people realized the stress and pain that so many women go through every month, this topic would not be up for public discussion. This comes from a blog of a friend who has been trying to get pregnant after a recent miscarriage:
"Relax". That word sucks, in case you were wondering. As if telling me to relax will cure our problems. As if by taking a deep breath I will suddenly become pregnant and stay pregnant. The next person who tells me to just relax had better be prepared for a swift and painful kick in the shin.
So, I am stepping off my soapbox. I just want to say that I really didn't write this to offend anyone. And the people who have really frustrated me don't read this blog, so don't worry about that either. And of course, I want to be sure and point out that there is a difference between saying:
"So, are you guys thinking about having children at all?" - see how that is polite, well-meaning, not pushy?
and saying, "So, you've been married 3 years. It's time for you to have a kid." or "What are you waiting for?" - Can you imagine how that feels when you've been trying for months to get pregnant? Thanks for rubbing that in someone's face.
I've just seen a lot of people hurt with "well-meaning" comments, and I just think it would be refreshing for everyone to think first before bringing up sensitive topics. I realize that for most people, the pattern goes straight from marriage to children. But did you know that over 6 million women are infertile? And 25% of women go through some phase of infertility - whether it's 3 months or 35 months. So I beg you, think of what someone may be going through before you open your mouth. And not just about children. Think about the circumstances someone might be in. Before you rant about your husband snoring, think about the woman standing near you who lost her husband 6 months ago. Before you rant about your phone bill, keep in mind that not everyone can afford to keep their phone turned on, and at least you can make your payments. I learned that from experience. Just be more mindful.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
So, this is the long version of the story. That Friday night that Jennifer came over and dyed my hair? I had an inkling that I was preggo at that point, but I've had so many false alarms before (and false hope!) that I ignored that feeling. I had one home PT left from prior months, so I determined to wait until Sunday to test.
August 17 - Sunday morning I tested, and then went on getting ready for church. I did not want to see that dumb one line (negative) another time, so I was just going to ignore the test all together. Well finally I went to pick up the test to throw it away... and lo and behold, there were TWO lines!! I literally just got down on my knees and started crying, and then I would stop and recheck the instructions, and then I would cry again. In the midst of all this I was going back and forth between "Thank you God!! Thank you God!!" and "I wish Stephen was here!!!" See, he was in Georgia that weekend. I had to run, because I was picking Charlene up for church that morning. I'm telling you, it was the longest church service of my life. And then I still had to take her back home, and then I had to go to Dollar General to buy yet another PT (because I was so sure that first one had to be wrong!) I guzzled water all the way home, and got home and took that $1 PT. Sure enough, those two lines popped right up!!! Then I had to begin the waiting. Stephen wasn't due home for a few more hours - the longest hours evvvvvvver.
Okay, long story short, he came home, I told him, and pretty much he was in shock. He just sank down on the carpet and was like, "Are you for real?" Well at that point I became nervous that maybe I had read these tests wrong. Of course I hadn't but I would have felt really awful to get our hopes up and be wrong. Oh yeah, how I told him. Well, every so often, he says to me, "You know, if we had a baby this month, it would be born in "Month"." So what I said was, "Hey, you know what? If we got pregnant in October, the baby might be born near your birthday in July!" And he said, "Oh yeah, wouldn't that be cool!" And then I said, "Or we could just have one in May." And he kind of looked at me weird, and that's when I held up the two pee tests. And that's when he started in with the, "Are you kidding me!?" It was really cute.
August 18 - Stephen wanted me to get a blood test, because I was a nervous wreck that I had had two false positives. My plan was to go to Urgent Care and have it done because I couldn't get an appointment in with my doctor (who acted like I was an idiot for wanting to be sure). So I called Jenn, and I said, "Hey, are you busy?" And luckily, she wasn't. So I was saying, "Do you want to go out with me?" And of course she is like, "Uh, where are we going? How long?" Finally she realized it, because I had updated my Facebook profile to say "Amanda has butterflies!" and she
practically screamed at me, "Come get me RIGHT NOW!" and hung up. So I flew over to her office and picked her up and being the most #1 sister ever she sat in Urgent Care with me for like TWO HOURS so I could have a blood test done. And the next day it came back positive. So that's the story!!
August 19 - I announce to Stephen that our baby is the size of a poppy seed, knowing full well he has no clue what a poppy seed is. He furrows his eyebrows and says, "So it's one of those seeds on a hamburger bun?"
August 22 - At this point, when I walk in the door after work, Stephen says, "Hey babies!" instead of his normal, "Hey babe!" Also, when he emails me, he now says, "Morning you two!" (Note: he is still doing this. I love it! Also, dad did it the other day when he offered to take "the two of us" out to lunch!)
A couple of days after that, he called me "Mommy". I said, "Please don't call me that." He, sounding hurt, said, "Why not?" I said, "You already call someone else Mom. It's too weird." He explained to me that when our child is born, he will want to call me Mommy in front of them. That's fine. You may do that. In 9 months.
This was written at 5 weeks - At this point, I have no pregnancy symptoms except for that positive blood test. And my chest is REALLY tender. And I wish I could sleep more. But I've felt like that for a year now, so that doesn't really mean anything.
I have to keep quizzing Stephen on how to spell the names we picked out for the boy/girl we are having. It is going to be really awkward if he misspells our child's name for the rest of their life.
August 25 - Our baby is officially a sunflower seed. It is also beginning to develop it's brain. I noted that last night on the way home from church and Stephen and I both immediately began gabbing to my stomach. At which point I realized I'm not sure if the baby has ears yet.
How far along? 8 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 3 pounds already!!
Maternity clothes? (at 6 weeks, I answered this question: "Definitely not yet". At 8 weeks, I am trying to find a night to go shopping for maternity pants!
Stretch marks? not yet!
Sleep: I want it all the time, which isn't unusual for me. It's easy for me to sleep still, so I'm taking advantage!
Best moment this week: (I answered this question 2 weeks ago) Gabbing at my stomach with Stephen and then laughing, because we aren't sure that the baby has any hearing organs yet! Best moment this week was telling work, church, and Facebook!
Food cravings: nothing yet
Gender: don't know yet!
Labor Signs: hah. NO!! Hopefully not for 7 more months!!
Belly Button in or out? still in for now
Wedding rings on or off? on for now
What I miss: the occasional glass of wine, and now I've found out I'm not supposed to eat hot dogs? Say what? Nooooooooooooo! Dog Nationnnnnnnnnnn!
What I am looking forward to: playing with the baby! I know that will be quite a ways in the future!
Weekly Wisdom: Sleep late if I need to, go to bed whenever I'm tired, even if I'm in the middle of a very good book. Don't lift heavy stuff. And don't feel guilty for not carrying kids around.
Milestones: we had our first ultrasound on September 12! We saw it's little heartbeat!
August 29 - Last Wednesday, a couple of the youth group kids talked me into playing Wall Ball. Stephen was in play practice, or I would not have been allowed to do this. The game is - there is a ball thrower. Everyone else runs along a wall, the thrower throws the ball at each person and if you get hit you're out. So, there I am, running along the wall with my back facing the thrower, saying, "I really don't want to get hit in my stomach!" and just acting like I'm a scaredy-cat, because we haven't announced my pregnancy yet. Everything's fine, because I obviously suck and I keep getting hit in the arm, the leg, the back. Suddenly, more kids show up and the game gets bigger and more competitive. I go for my last turn, and then I'm going to go inside and get ready to teach. And it happens. The thrower absolutely chunks the ball at me, I turn the wrong way, and it slams into the right side of my stomach. Tears come to my eyes, mainly because it really HURT but also because I am really paranoid of getting hurt. I ended up making some excuse and going inside, where Stephen goes back and forth between asking why in the WORLD did I play Wall Ball and am I SURE I'm okay?? On the way home he also forbids me from riding the mechanical bull in September at Grace Church's youth retreat because "the baby could get bucked in the head by the bull". Okay.
Then, my hormones kick in. I cried three times, three times, during the lesson. And I'm teaching! And it wasn't an emotional topic!! Luckily, no one noticed (because they're teenagers, and also because I had them doing a project) and Stephen said he only noticed one time. But I was able to cover it up. On the way home, we start talking about what we're going to have for dinner and I start crying again. About dinner, I presume.
One day, about a week and a half ago, we're driving along and Stephen asks me how I'm feeling. He asks me that several times a day now, whereas two months ago he couldn't care less. Okay, I'm kidding! I tell him I'm feeling good. He asks me when the morning sickness will begin. I brush him off with a wave of my hand and say, "Pshaw, if I was going to have morning sickness I would have had it by now. I'm good!"
Little did I know. Did you know that many women don't get morning sickness until week 6? Which I have just approached? Did you also know that it's not morning sickness when it lasts all day? But the funny thing is, when I start feeling a little nauseated, I drink a little Pepto and eat something, and that seems to settle me down right away. And I feel fine in the morning. Come see me at noon and about 7pm, then we'll talk about how good I'm feeling. But it's worth it if it means that baby is making itself at home in my belly.
August 29 - Tonight we told mom, dad, Granny, and Granddaddy. We went out to eat and gave them Grandparents Day cards. It was so exciting to tell them! I'm so glad at times like this to be living so close to all of them. Granddaddy bought us dinner, telling us to "save our money for baby shoes!" He also told us how hard it was for him not to tell our cashier! Haha, way cute!
September 3 - Today is our third anniversary. So far, only 5 people know besides us - Jenn, mom & dad, and Granny & Granddaddy. I wish I could tell everyone that even though we're not doing anything that exciting for our anniversary tonight (we have youth group at church), we will always remember this anniversary because of my new belly! But I can't tell anyone that. Today I wore some of my most comfortable black pants. Elastic black pants. I have already had to roll them down because the elastic is too tight. What's the point of elastic if it doesn't stretch to the breaking point?? On the other hand, I have caught myself rubbing my belly today because it's poking out over the elastic. Not drastically, but just enough that I can see it.
Later update - I showed Stephen when I got home from work why I had to roll my pants down today. This was our conversation that followed:
Stephen: (rubbing my belly) Awww, is that him?
Me: Or her!
Stephen: Or... them!
Me: Or my BLT from lunch!
September 16 - Okay, now I'm pretty much updated. Two weeks ago we went to Georgia for our anniversary, and we told Stephen's family while we were there. It is hard to get that many people together in one room at one time to tell them news!! But we did it. They were all so cute - especially Jennifer! She's going to be a fun aunt.
So now, it's public knowledge. We have a pool at work already for the sex of the baby and the due date. The doctor told me April 20 for the due date, but we'll just see. I'm sorry for such a long post, but as you can see, I've been updating it pretty much since the day I found out! So that's a lot of catching up to do!! Kudos if you made it this far.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Chuck got knocked out. BAD. Here comes the oxygen mask!
I know no one that reads this is interested in the UFC, so I won't post a lot of videos. This video shows the huge knockout though, that resulted in Liddell needing oxygen! Shows it from different angles.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Subtitle: Get rid of all the songs on my iPod that are inappropriate, messed up for whatever reason, or I don't even know the song and certainly don't like it.
Have you ever bought a CD and then you were disappointed because you only liked one or two songs on the CD? Me too. Except all those songs I didn't like were on my iPod. Why? Because when I first got it I was just trying to fill it up as much as possible! Regretful now. There were songs that I have no earthly idea how they got on there but the songs were awful. I was happy to get rid of those. And then some songs that I never listen to anyway and they are just wildly inappropriate if anyone caught me listening to them! I don't need to listen to that junk anyway, so off they go. By the end of the process, I was throwing songs off left and right. I don't remember half of them, and in my opinion that means I didn't like them that much anyway. I bet my iPod feels like it went on a diet!!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
But I do have a few UFC pictures I'll put up later, even though you people don't care about it like I do.
So today, I want to talk to you about recycling. I know most of you know the "usual" recyclables - aluminum, glass, plastic. But what about things that you just don't know what to do with? Like batteries? Cell phones? Random odds and ends? Well, listen close, children.
Backpacks - Did you get your kid a new backpack this year - even though theirs is still in pretty great condition? Well, if you're thinking about Goodwilling or tossing that backpack, hold that thought!! You could donate it instead to the American Birding Association. That's right, you can equip a bird watcher for only the cost of postage (probably around $6). Interested? Go to American Birding and check them out. Send donations to the address on the website there.
Batteries - I know, it is so easy to toss old batteries into your trash can. But why not just run them by a local store and let them take care of them for you? RBRC will help you find a local place to recycle your old batteries. For example, I could take mine to Radioshack, AT&T, US Cellular, Best Buy, and actually several other places.
Car - How long has that car been sitting in your back yard? I know there's a point where you need to just let go of it. You don't have the money to rebuild it, and it's just rotting out there! Well now you have another option! Junk My Car is an organization where you go online, enter your vehicle description, set up a removal appointment, and they pick up your car for you. FOR FREE! Or call 1-877-586-5692. You don't need a title, and the car does not need to be driveable. If it is going to cost you anything for them to junk your car, they let you know before they come so you can cancel. This service also goes for motorcycles, RVs, trailers, etc.
Cell phones - give them to me. I will give them to Friend to Friend and they will recycle them by deleting your information and programming them for 911. The cell phones are then given to women who are in abusive situations.
Crayons - Yes, even your kids old crayons are recyclable!! As they state on their website, Crazy Crayons takes "old, rejected" crayons and turns them into "fresh, new" crayons! Leave the wrappers on those old broken crayons and mail them to:
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
And Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister Jenn!! This ensures that I'll always remember her birthday and she'll always remember my anniversary.... or else one of us will forget a very important date!
We won't have the most exciting anniversary ever, but that's okay, because I feel more tired than any other anniversary. We are both working all day, and then we have youth group at church tonight, and then most likely we will come home, eat some dinner and watch about 30-45 minutes of America's Got Talent before deciding we just can't stay awake any longer. We are just party animals. But this weekend will be fun, going to Georgia. I'll probably blog about that later.
I just realized I was going to do NaBloPoMo this month, because it was a month of jokes and laughter! And I've already missed two days! Darn the months that start off not near a computer.
Monday, September 1, 2008
We got 16 books. As you can see, Stephen got a bit carried away, but I let him because I'm able to get books from other venues. I did get some great children's books though, and some Wee Sing books like we grew up with!
It was a beautiful day for throwing the Frisbee, walking Cassie, and just being outside. What an awesome, relaxing day! And much needed! Do I really have to go to work tomorrow??