Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Feel Lucky Today

I love being pregnant! A lot of people have really miserable pregnancies for the whole 9 or 10 months and I feel lucky to have made it to the third trimester without any complaints (except that damn Quad Screen BS). I've had little bits and pieces of nausea and heartburn and even a few false contractions but all that does is remind me how lucky I am to have this LO inside of me. I'm honestly one of those annoyingly perky people who says, "Honey, I think I had my first Braxton Hicks this morning! It hurt so bad I had tears in my eyes and almost threw up! Isn't that exciting?" LOL,

I don't have to worry about BC (Baby Cramer) anymore now that s/he is so active. BC moves all day long. Not exactly like kicks and punches, but it feels more like baby is rotating like a rotisserie chicken in there. Brian can even feel it when he puts his hand on my belly and pretty soon we'll be able to see BC moving around when we look at my belly!

Our childbirth classes start on April 5th and last for 6 weeks. I know some people say they are a waste of time because anything can happen during labor but I think it'll be a fun thing for us to do together and it also gets us out once a week.

Brian was hit with the nesting instinct this week. For those of you who've never heard of nesting, it's when a soon-to-be parent realizes that baby is really coming and starts getting the house organized and cleaned from top to bottom. My instinct hasn't kicked in yet but he's like a maniac with a duster even cleaning things I never noticed were dirty, like the tops of the ceiling fans (I didn't even know we had ceiling fans!). He also started organizing all of the free samples of baby stuff we've gotten thus far and he came across a few breast milk storage bags. It was the cutest thing. He says to me, "Did you know you can freeze breast milk in a deep freezer for a year and in a regular freezer for 4 months?" Apparently he didn't know you could store breast milk at all! He thought if I ever used a pump it would be to fill a bottle or two for when I was working and that's it. Now that he knows I can exclusively pump and we can try to build up a stash that both mom and dad can use, he's all for it! He's so excited about BFing now that it's made me excited about it, too, and support is very important.

Now that he's realized there are a lot of things he doesn't know, he's trying to learn everything he can. He got out all of the magazines and paperwork I've been collecting and next thing I know he's telling me his thoughts on different brands of diaper rash cream, talking about washing BC's clothes in a gentle, unscented detergent and reminding me not to drink too much caffeine. Ever since I've been pregnant I've been a total knowledge whore, reading everything I can get my hands on and he's kind of been rolling his eyes saying these things happen naturally. Now he's getting on the same page and I love it!

Right now he has all of the stuff we've gotten for BC spread out on the dining room table to access our stash and get it organized before the shower. He can't believe how tiny the newborn diapers are, lol.

I know I complain a lot about not having enough money but I eventually relax and realize what's really important. I love my husband, he loves me and we both love our baby. I'm going to join him in the dining room now so we can ooh and aah over the itty bitty diapers together!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looks Like We Made It...

...To Spring!

...To the third trimester!

...And we're still happily in love

Remember that blog I wrote in the fall about all the mistakes we'd made with money and how we were going to make sure those mistakes weren't made again and then we would live happily ever after on a bed of cash?

The good thing is that we made the changes. We did what we said we were going to do.

First I quit smoking when I got my BFP.

Then we stopped eating out. We had fast food twice this winter and that's only because we were far from home and baby was hungry (I swear!). And as sad as I am to tell you this, we haven't ordered a single pizza.

Then Brian talked his boss into letting him work on this side of the bridge, saving us about $100 a month in bridge fare! He also got a yearly raise and was authorized to work 20 hours of OT a week!

We got one of our credit cards balance down to zero! (It's not anymore...but still).

And then, after 6 failed cold-turkey attempts, Brian managed to quit smoking, too! He bought $35 worth of Nicorette lozenges at Sam's Club and they worked. Honestly, I didn't think he'd ever quit smoking and it ended up being so easy. Anyone looking to quit should definitely try the lozenges!

So after all this we're feeling pretty good about ourselves and all that we've accomplished. And since Brian returns to work in just 3 weeks we felt like we'd really made it! Our struggles were finally over! In November we were underwater gasping for air without a life raft in sight! Now we were floating peacefully towards shore.

I woke up on Thursday and my weather widget said 54 degrees. I was ECSTATIC! Not only were all of our bills up to date but it was nice out, too???? I jumped out of bed, ran outside and spun in circles on the front porch with my arms in the air to thank Mother Nature. I didn't care if the neighbors saw me acting cheesy like Molly Ringwald in a 80s teen movie. It was warm out! I went back inside to change my clothes and get ready to pull some weeds. But first I sat down and made a phone call. I made an appointment to get my hair dyed at a hair salon, something I haven't done since our wedding, something I thought was ok to do since the finances were slightly above water and the stress of it all had turned my hair gray.

Well, I don't know if the Frivolous Spending Gods (FSGs) were pissed at us or what but about 5 minutes after I called the hair salon our landlord came over and told us he was raising our rent $150 a month! Wow, that's big difference. But the FSGs were not done yet! Twenty minutes later the gas company dropped off a propane refill and a bill for $633! Yeah, remember how the landlord "didn't know" that the propane was set to automatic delivery and said he would change that? Guess he didn't.

So yeah, I was a miserable mess on the first nice day of the year and instead of doing yard work I sat inside crying...and then laughing...and then crying...and then crying and laughing at the same time. This has become a normal routine for me, bad news or not.

And BTW, we just put $600 into the gas tank at the end of January. Is this house insulated at all? Is there a leak? Is one of the neighbors tapping into our gas line? Seriously, WTF?!?!?!?

Brian is giving me that whole "everything happens for a reason" bullshit. He says we have a tendency to get too comfortable and we could have stayed here for another 5 years just because it was easier to stay than to move and start over again. But thanks to the landlord and this insanity over the propane, it's not easy to live here. And that will be what we're thinking of this summer when we're saving every penny so we can get a place with an electric furnace!!!!

Oh, and that 54 degree day was a total fluke. It's been below freezing everyday since then and there's a snow/ice storm coming tomorrow night. So much for Spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Week

Apparently it is a tradition here in MC to guess when the ice tower will melt. This is the ice tower in January when it was built...or dripped...or whatever form of construction took place to create it.

I stole this pic from
Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry. I hope if you ever need to get to Mackinac Island in the future that you'll let Shepler's take you there. It's a clean, fast ride provided by a very friendly staff and I'm not just saying that because my husband works there!

MC has a Winterfest every January with fun things like euchre tournaments, snow-sculpting contests and something called Outhouse Races???? We were in the Caribbean during the ONLY EVENT IN THIS CITY ALL WINTER so we missed out (cough) on all the fun. Rumor has it that the city sells "guesses" at the Winterfest. For $5 you can guess when you think the ice will melt and the person closest wins the money. According to these rumors, there is a device inside the ice with a timer on it and when the ice melts it falls to the ground and the timer stops. Neat, huh? For some reason they didn't sell tickets this I hear. I have to stress that this is all handled like everything else seems to be handled in this city - by word of mouth. If there's a newspaper, citywide memo, newsletter or monthly calendar of events, I haven't gotten a copy in my mailbox yet. The only thing I've ever received in the mail from the city was the school's bus schedule, which, by the way, is not by street name or intersection but by -get this- NAME! It clearly says the bus will be at the Smith house at 7:02 and the Jones house at 7:03. CRAZINESS!

It's kind of disappointing to me that a city with 300 people doesn't get together more often than once a year. That's really not much bigger than a large family so it should be relatively easy to get people involved. And it's only fair. We entertain tourists all summer long, so why shouldn't we have fun in the winter?

If I was in charge there would be fun. (I now have Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" in my head but I've changed the words to "there will be fun." Feel free to sing along!) We would have euchre tournaments at least once a month. We'd have poker runs, bake-offs, cook-offs, art exhibits, a Mackinaw Idol talent competition, open mic nights, a craft fair, tarot readings, a cake carving contest, a mini-Mardi Gras, scavenger hunts, amateur stand-up night, and definitely some kind of film fest at the theatre. Along with the ice tower we'd have an ice slide, you know, for people to go down with their sleds! We'd heat a room to 85 degrees, throw some sand on the floor, rent a surf simulator and have an indoor BBQ complete with grass skirts, leis and a roasting pig with an apple in its mouth!

Certainly there is fun to be had here so why isn't anyone having any? I suspect that people are having fun somewhere and just not inviting me....and all I have to say is that if there is a pig roasting somewhere in this village (and believe me, I will smell it), and I wasn't invited to the "pickin," I'm gonna be pissed.

Ok, now back to the ice tower - you saw what it looked like when it was dripped 2 months ago. This is what it looked like when I drove by on Sunday.

It doesn't look like much, but every little bit gets us closer to SPRING!!! We are only one week away. A lot can happen in one week, you know. There's another rumor going around that all of Heaven and Earth were created in just 6 days so certainly we can melt this tower! If gas wasn't so expensive I'd drive by the tower everyday just to watch the SOB fall. I might even kneel at the base and pray...

Oh, and speaking of spring, I heard Little Miss Sunshine in the kitchen yesterday screaming the way she does when someone eats tuna and doesn't share with her. I went in there to investigate and what did I find? A fly. The kind that goes buzz buzz! The kind that doesn't hang out in the winter! That kind of fly! Never thought I'd be so delighted to see a bug!

I've almost made it, people! Just one week.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturdays in the Park

I woke up crying today. I had been in the middle of a great dream. In my dream I still lived in Wilmington. I was having lunch on the patio of a restaurant on Carolina Beach with some girlfriends. Yes, I actually had friends in this dream as well! I could feel the sun on my bare shoulders and hear the waves hitting the shore. The seagulls and pelicans were squawking in the background. I was tan, happy and didn't have eczema. So I woke up crying because I'm not there anymore and that means I'm not tan, I'm not happy and I do have eczema. Maybe I shouldn't say I'm not happy, but I can say I'm not as happy as I can be. As I should be.

I feel more homesick for Wilmington than I ever felt for MI. The 3-month-long winter with mild temperatures and hardly any snow was still a downer for someone like me who needs to feel heat like an anorexic needs a bologna sandwich, but even in the winter I had an abundance of things around me to keep me occupied. If I needed retail therapy I could be at Old Navy, Target or Victoria's Secret in 10 minutes (I wouldn't be buying anything from VS right now even if there was one around but that's not the point!). If I was in the mood for live theater (and when am I not in the mood for live theater?) there were always a few shows going on. There were 20 movies playing at the cinema if I ever felt like wasting $60. And the good news is that the winter was over before we knew it and it was time for spring!

Spring is a wonderful time down there. Brian and I would wake up on our one day off a week (always Saturday) to the sun shining into our bedroom window and the sound of kids playing outside. Spring is the best time to do something outdoorsy. We would go to Greenfield Lake to have lunch and look for alligators, or go downtown to get ice cream and walk along the river. Just driving around town with the windows rolled down looking for blooming azaleas and Spanish moss trees made me a hundred times happier than anything in Mackinaw City has this winter.

Sometimes Brian and I would take a spontaneous Saturday afternoon drive down to Myrtle Beach. One particular Saturday really stands out in my mind because it was the day after he proposed. It was in March. It was 85 degrees (which is not considered hot down there). We stopped at a fruit market off the side of the road and got some pears for breakfast. We walked through an outdoor flea market. We got some fresh cut french fries with malt vinegar on the Grand Strand. We went to Broadway @ The Beach and got a pound of bulk candy from It's Sugar. We went to the outlet mall where I got my very first real Kate Spade bag and a pair of K-Swiss with baby blue stripes that are still my favorite shoes 3 years later. And then we topped off a great day with a great dinner at Red Lobster. Here's a picture of that day.

See how happy I was? I guess my life in Wilmington is kind of like an ex-boyfriend. You know how as the time passes you tend to focus on the great times you had together and all the sweet things he did and totally forget about what a douchebag he was? That's my problem here. I only think about the great times. The Saturdays. I don't think about the Sunday through Friday when we were both absolutely miserable and filled to the tops of our heads with hatred. I think about the sun and the flowers and the beach and forget about the fat bitches in tight t-shirts with really long fake fingernails. I remember the gorgeous 80 degree days and forget about the 3 months of 105 degree days when you're risking your life by going outdoors. And just to prove to myself how Wilmington was not perfect, I found this entry in my old blog. It was written on Superbowl Sunday of 2008:

Superbowl of Vanilla Pudding Sunday
Brian and I had to work a double shift today. We both had our lunch hour at 2 and it was such a beautiful day. Perfect 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We decided to take our chicken strips and vanilla pudding to Greenfield Lake and we ate our lunch and watched the canoes and the birds and looked for gators. Then we slow danced in the gazebo to the music of our hearts. Lol, am I making you cringe yet?!?!?!? Then on our walk back to the car we saw a guy and a drag queen in a very disturbing position (think genitals to genitals) that almost ruined my whole mood, yeah, Greenfield Lake is stunning and beautiful but it's also the place to hang out if you're a lowlife drug user/gun-toting hoodlum/homeless person/married man trying to hook up with a drag queen hooker.

Lol, I was pretty funny back then. Don't worry about me, peeps. Summer will be here eventually. I'll keep my spirits up long enough to see it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nothing Good Happens After 2am

We were out of town for 2 weeks over the holidays, and another 2 weeks for our babymoon, then another 2 weeks watching my cousin's pets and we couldn't wait to finally get home and live a normal life. It didn't take us long to realize that a so-called normal life in northern Michigan in February SUCKS!!!!!!

We fell into a routine quickly. We would take turns with the laptop and the TV. I didn't ever do my hair or put on makeup and I wore pajamas all day. Since we had no reason to get up early, we would stay up late and sleep in late. Everyday we would stay up even later than the night before and sleep even later the next day. It got to the point where we were waking up at 7pm and refreshing web pages and watching Rachael Ray off the DVR for like 12 hours in a row! I didn't like what my life was becoming. There's an entire episode of my favorite sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, based on the fact that nothing good ever happens after 2am and I believe this. Going to sleep in the daylight was starting to make me feel like a crackhead. The freezing temps, grey skies and wet roads weren't doing anything to boost my morale, either. I became depressed and angry. I felt like punching walls. I think I have SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder, a clinical term for the "winter blues." I need to shake myself out of it before I become homocidal.

I can't change where I live right now and I can't change the weather but I was able to change our sleep schedule. We decided not to go to sleep at all one day and it worked out really well. We've been up early everyday for a week now and it has improved my mood a little. Brian has started painting the nursery in bright cheerful colors so that's a little improvement, too.

We also took an impromptu trip downstate to see my family and it was a great weekend! I got to wear real clothes! We were out and about from morning til night. The weather doesn't seem to affect me as much when I stay busy.

Never in my life have I thought pulling weeds sounded like fun but I honestly can't wait until the weather is warm enough for me to get out there and do some yardwork! Brian thought it would be nice to have a little garden, too, so I'm excited to start work on that as well! We couldn't spend a lot of time in our yard last year because it was infested with gigantic spiders. Now that we know about the spiders we'll be getting sprayed this year so it shouldn't be a problem. I definitely have high hopes for this summer. Sunshine, baby and coffee! Oh, I can't wait for coffee.

Speaking of baby, we reached the 24-week milestone this past weekend! For anyone who isn't familiar with pregnancy stuff, this is known as "viability." What that means is, if something bad was to happen, like if I went into premature labor or got into a car accident or slipped and fell on the ice or something, and the baby had to be born now, attempts would be made to save baby's life. If I had the baby at 23 weeks, attempts would not have been made. So it's a pretty big deal. Everyday I get closer to having a live healthy baby!!! And everyday I get closer to spring.