January 30, 2007

So tired . . .

Have you ever had one of those nights where you are so tired, but as soon as your head hits the pillow you're wide awake? I'm having one of those nights. All I can think about is how little money we have, how many bills we have and how we'll never have enough money to retire. Then I wonder if we'll ever have a name that we both like for our baby. Then I'm on to worrying about whether or not we'll have enough quality staff for the summer . . . especially how it will work if we have all new staff with a new baby to care for. I know that if my mom were awake right now, I'd call her and she'd tell me to listen to one of her relaxation MP3s.

Instead, I'm cleaning the tivo of the programs that are building up that I don't have time to watch. Do you think that they'll put the last season of the O.C. on dvd even though they're only airing 8 episodes? I wish they weren't cancelling it.

I'm gonna go try and sleep again.

January 29, 2007


Our first winter retreat was this past weekend and it went a lot more smoothly than I expected. With 139 in attendance, I was a little nervous. This upcoming weekend we only have 47 plus staff, so that will be a nice break! Last night after everyone had gone home I crashed. Honestly, I was ready to turn in my resignation. Not because it was a difficult weekend, but just because I was hormonal, emotional and felt really old. I made the mistake of reading the evaluations immediately after everyone left and I have a tendency to dwell on the criticism rather than the compliments (and the compliments far outweighed the criticism). I'm doing a lot better today and feeling a lot more stable. I've read that if possible, you should never make important, life-altering decisions while you're pregnant. I'm beginning to see why.

Speaking of reading, most of you know that I've been doing a lot of it. I've read a lot of books on babies and pregnancy. I want to be informed. I joke around a lot about how I'm going to ruin this baby by reading so much (which I honestly don't think is true), but that's how I approach everything in life. I want as much information as I can possibly gather. I know that information and knowledge can never outweigh common sense and instinct (especially when it comes to parenting), but doesn't it make sense to know as much as you can before you have a baby, even if it proves not to be true for you? I don't plan on using these books as bibles, but just as guides for when I need guidance. Maybe I need to keep what I'm learning to myself. No one has directly criticized me for it, but I think a few people wonder if I've taken my research to far.

I've gotten tired of people telling me how it will or won't be after the baby's born, as if they've already met my baby or know what kind of parents Kyle and I will be. I know it's all well-meaning, but even I have no idea what this little boy will be like (or even when he'll come), so I don't even pretend to be able to plan out the first 6 weeks of his life right now. It seems that everyone assumes that my experience will be exactly like theirs or that I'm going into parenthood blind. Kyle and I have to learn as we go just like everyone else does. I appreciate hearing how other people have done it. I especially value it from my friends who have had children recently, though they're more careful not to say anything because they've had people over-advise them and are worried they'll do the same thing. Every situation is different.

Kyle and I are unique parents having a unique baby and I know we'll be great parents with our own unique parenting style. I'm ok when people say, "You might want to consider . . ." or "When my child was born . . . " It's just frustrating when people say, "You have to . . ." or "You can't . . ." or speak as if we're complete idiots who don't know that it takes a lot of work to have a newborn. We're not naive. I'm just having to learn how to tune people out.

If I didn't know better, I'd say that my son has taken up kickboxing. He's gotten a lot stronger and much more active over the last few days. Granted, I allowed myself a little more caffeine than usual over the weekend so that may add to it. Last night, Kyle felt him kick for the first time. Up until this point, every time I called Kyle to come feel, the baby would stop. Last night he finally was there at the right time. I think Kyle's exact words were,"So he does like me."

January 23, 2007

Hickory, dickory, dock . . .

Hickory, dickory, dock . . . the mouse ran up the . . . cupboards and into the silverware drawer? It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as the original nursery rhyme, but it rings true to what we found this morning.

Let's start at the beginning. We started noticing on Thursday that Murhpy had been eating all of her food and was hungry for more. We were amazed. She rarely ate a whole bowl in a day and she was always too distracted to finish it all at once. All weekend, she acted like she was starving, so we kept feeding her. She takes forever to eat, so we never stayed there to watch her eat the whole thing, but we'd eventually notice it was gone so we figured she had. When she pawed at the food cannister we thought she must be hitting some sort of growth spurt because of how hungry she still was.

This morning, Kyle opened the silverware drawer that holds the silverware that we don't use very often. I think we were out of spoons in our normal silverware. In it, he was shocked to find about two bowls worth of dog food. We sat there trying to figure out how that could have happened until we saw that there were also . . . mice droppings everywhere. The cupboard of kitchen appliances below also had mouse droppings. Sick.

So, we have mice. Our A rat. Either way, I'm disgusted. Kyle's pretty sure that they live in the attic. But also, we've been parking in the garage and the door between the garage and the laundry room hasn't been shut tight every night. So who knows. I was pretty sure we had mouse traps somewhere, but we don't, so Kyle's got to get some of those on his way home from school today. Sick, sick, sick. Needless to say, I'm a little grossed out by the whole "living in the country" thing. We did have mice once or twice at my parents' house in the city, but never in the kitchen. It's going to be a while before I'm ok opening the cupboards when I'm home alone.

On a brighter note . . . we got a GREAT package from my mom and dad yesterday. It had ton of baby stuff including onesies, bibs, blankets, a car changing pad, a baby book and more. I feel really blessed.

It also had a really nice card signed "Love, G & G." It's weird to think of them as "Grandma and Grandpa Wietholter" because I will always think of my Grandma and Grandpa Wietholter when I hear it. We'll have to come up with something new for my parents. Maybe "G and G-Funk."

January 22, 2007

All by myself.

Kyle was gone this weekend with some guys from our small group. It was a great time for them to get away and relax a little. Of course, my idea of relaxing is going to a nice hotel and spa . . . and their's is going to a one-room cabin in the dead of winter with no electricity or running water. Hey - who am I to judge?

I really struggled with him going. Isn't that weird? I used to love weekends that he went away when we were first married. Not because I didn't love him or love spending time with him, but just because I needed some time alone. Afterall, I had just recently gone from living all by myself in an apartment to living with someone else all of the time. Now, I don't know if it's the hormones or the fact that we've been married for four years but I think I would have done anything to keep him here. I was especially nervous when he was driving up by himself in the snow late on Friday night. On second thought, maybe I just didn't want to work on the things I knew I needed to work on with him gone.

All of that to say, it was a hard weekend. Murphy was obnoxious and I struggled to get anything done because I was so restless. The baby was pretty active . . . especially in church! I think he really likes the music because he goes nuts during the songs.

Our winter retreats start this upcoming weekend. I'm excited that we have snow and that the lake is frozen over. I'm also excited that they're full. I'm nervous that Kyle has basketball games on Friday nights and I'll be on my own those nights, but I think the next couple of weeks are going to fly by.

January 17, 2007

The flu shot

I don't remember if I mentioned this already, but they force pregnant women to get a flu shot. When I say force, I honestly mean that they gave me no option. I probably could have fought it had I been given more time, but the nurse was shoving the needle into my arm before I knew what was happening.

A little background information: The only years that I've had the flu real bad are the years that I've gotten a flu shot. I know that it's unreasonable and probably medically impossible to think that the flu shot gives me the flu a few months after I get the injection, but it always happens. The last time I had a flu shot was the year Kyle and I got married and I was out of work for two weeks because I felt so sick. I haven't had a flu shot since then and I've had mild colds, but no major flu-like illnesses.

However, the nurse forced the shot on me (and, by the way, charged me A LOT for it) and now I'm feeling sick. Achy. Feverish. Downright blah. There's no real point to the story other than to complain and get a sort-of "I told you so" in there.

As of today at noon, I hadn't felt the baby move for about 48 hours. I wasn't really that panicked because I'm at 21 1/2 weeks and feeling movement can be random at this point. But, my doctor said to call if I go a day or two without feeling him, so I decided I'd better call. Kyle went home for lunch and he called the office. I honestly expected the nurse to say "Let's give it another day and see what happens." Instead, I got a call at work almost immediately after Kyle called. The nurse kind of scolded me and told me that I should have called yesterday and to get to the office within the hour (we're about an hour from the hospital). It was at this point that I started to freak out a little. That hour drive felt like three hours . . . especially since I hadn't eaten lunch and was starving. Thankfully, they found a strong heartbeat and told me to start doing kick counts a couple of times a week. They also told me that I should be drinking 4 liters of fluids a day. 4 LITERS! I really don't think they understand that I don't have a bathroom in my office and have to walk in the frigid cold to get to one.

The power is FINALLY back on at camp, but because of my hospital trip, I didn't get anything done again today. Everything around here is still covered with about 1/2 inch of ice. With the sunny days, it's been BEAUTIFUL! Don't be fooled though . . . I still hate cold weather.

We had been so excited about how well our dog Murphy (her biblical name is Legion) had been doing when we left her out of her crate during the day when we were at work. She slept, didn't pee in the house and didn't chew things up . . . until . . .

Yeah. THat's what I came home to. A few days later, we came home to a hole in the corner of one of our nice living room chairs and the stuffing from inside all over the floor. Needless to say, she's back in the crate when we're gone. Why do we still love this dog so much?!

Here are a couple of pictures for you to enjoy!

Me at 21 weeks & 5 days:

Here's one of Murphy enjoying the cigar that Aunt Joy got her for Christmas:

Me trying to make Murphy-Legion be in a picture with me:

January 15, 2007

But if not . . .

The sermon in church yesterday is still on my mind. At risk of making an excellent sermon much shorter and more mediocre, here was the message in a nutshell: Pastor Mark was preaching about the three Hebrew men thrown into the blazing inferno at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar because they wouldn't bow down to his gods. There names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah before there names were changed by Nebuchadnezzar to the more recognized names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

The whole sermon hinged on Daniel 3:16 - 18:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

S, M & A all recognized that God was powerful enough to save them from the furnace. The phrase "but if not" showed their willingness to surrender to what God had planned, whether he saved them or not. We've all been in situations in which we're thrown in the proverbial furnace . . . and the challenge to trust God whether he saves us from it or not was a huge one. I really haven't done this sermon justice, but stick with me.

After church, and after a discussion in small group, I feel disheveled. Am I ok praying for God to have his way in any situation, even when times are good? I think it's easier to pray for that when times are bad and can only get better. But can I honestly surrender to his will, when that might mean going down a harder road than I'm on right now? I guess if I'm honest with myself, I ask for God's will in my life all the time when I pray. But do I mean it? What if total surrender means that I lose my home? Or my job? Or my family? Or my baby? Or my husband? When faced with a furnace, can I say "but if not . . . "? The story of Abraham's obedience in taking Isaac as a sacrifice suddenly becomes newer and more painful.

Are there things that I would be completely unwilling to part with as part of my surrender to God? Can these good things be the idols that I worship?

At the end of the sermon, right before we started singing, the baby started throwing a little party in my belly. He was kicking and moving and flailing like I've never felt before. It was kind of like he was worshiping right along with us!

We had a pretty big ice storm last night. I'm actually surprised that we didn't lose power. Neither Kyle or I could sleep, so every hour or so, we'd get up and look at what was going on outside. It was a very peaceful rain . . . not much wind or blowing. The rain just fell and iced over everything that was exposed.

Kyle and I drove to camp this morning (before we realized camp didn't have power) and there are a lot of trees and tree branches down this morning. The branches that aren't down, are bent so far that they're close to the ground. It really is an image of all creation bowing down before the Creator.

We had an ice storm like this about 5 years ago when I first started at camp and I hiked around the lake and took some beautiful pictures of trees with ice on them. In retrospect, I realize that was kind of dangerous . . . hiking through the woods full of ready-to-snap branches. Maybe I need to go out and get some pictures of this ice storm too . . . when it's safe, that is.

January 14, 2007

Lots of Stuff

There is so much stuff that we need to get for this baby. We started our registries for baby showers but that has been frustrating. We've registered at Babies R Us, Target, Pottery Barn Kids and The Land of Nod. We're going to the Toy House in Jackson today to see if we want to register there. It's just hard to find the specific things we want all at one store. We've done a lot of research on items. Probably too much.

The biggest mistake I made in researching was falling in love with the Bugaboo stroller. Strollers have been one of the things I've wanted to invest the most money and research into because of the likelihood that it will be used a lot on the dirt roads at camp. Seriously, the Bugaboo is amazing. It's also about $850.00. Way more than we could ever afford. But I can't find a stroller that I like even half as much . . . It's high quality and is the best. SO, We haven't put a stroller on the registry yet. I need a little time to get the Bugaboo out of my system.

Registering at Target was probably the most frustrating. We went to pick up our scanner and she said, "Be sure not to scan anything on clearance." It would have been nice if she had added, "And by the way, everything in the infant and toddler section is on clearance." Seriously.

When we were out registering, we decided to get the bedding set that I really liked from Target. It was a $99.00 Amy Coe crib set on clearance for $39.98. BUT, when we got it up to the register it rang up at $9.08! I couldn't believe it! Even if I find something I like better, I could sell this more on ebay for more than $9.00. The only thing that would have made the trip even better would be if they hadn't run out of their gliding rockers which were on clearance for $49.95! THey even came with the ottoman. That would have been awesome.

We went to the Pottery Barn Outlet at Birch Run to see if there were any good deals on cribs and changing tables. There was nothing. Lots of kids stuff, but no baby furniture. We're trying to decide if we want to do furniture in dark wood or white. I'm not a fan of the honey colored furniture, but I guess I wouldn't turn it down if it were a good deal. If we did white, we could use the existing dresser in the room we're going to use for the baby and just paint it white and slap a changing pad on it.

When we were out I did find some great deals on maternity clothes. I got three pair of pants and three shirts for $40 at Old Navy. I also got some pants and a shirt and the Gap Outlet and used my giftcard at the Motherhood Maternity store. I'm hoping what I have will get me through most of my pregnancy, but unfortunately, it seems that more than just my belly is growing. Speaking of which, it is growing a lot.

We had our Doctor's appointment on Wednesday and everything still looking A-OK. I think I'm going to start stepping on the scale backwords when they weigh me though. I know that weight gain is normal, but it's still depressing. We saw a different doctor and were pleased to discover that we like her just as much as the other doctor we'd been seeing. She found the heartbeat right away but said that he kept running from it. Seems to be par for the course.

This baby's been moving a LOT lately. We're struggling with coming up with names for this kid. I wonder if there's a name that means "active one" or "one who never stops moving."

January 7, 2007

18 weeks

The baby starting to show at 18 weeks:

My belly at 19 weeks:

January 2, 2007

Meh . . .

The subject line is the sound I would make if you asked me how my day was today. It really wasn't that great. First of all, taking down the Christmas decorations is not fun. It's downright depressing. As I was trying to take the lights down from the CHristmas tree (an activity that is making me strongly consider buying a pre-lit tree for next year) there was one string of lights that was caught tightly on a branch. As I struggled with it, I stood up quickly from my hunched over position and wacked my head hard on the mantle. My head is still sore and it throbs whenever I stand up.

My back is KILLING me, and of course I didn't go to the chiropractor in 2006 when my insurance deductible had already been met. I decided to wait until 2007 when I have to pay full price until I meet the million dollar deductible. Ok, it's not that much, but some days it feels like it. And my heartburn is awful. I've never had heartburn so bad that I cringe in pain, but I do now. I need to buy stock in Tums. In addition, I feel like I've gained about 100 pounds and my face is breaking out like I have never seen before. I guess this is payback for my clear skin in jr. high and high school. Pretty much, I feel like an 80 year old pregnant woman.

Plus, I haven't felt the baby move at all yeseterday or today. I know that it's uncommon at this point for me to be feeling him every day but he moved so much over Christmas break that it scares me that he's not anymore.

Speaking of scary, I had awful nightmares the last two nights. I read last week that hormones can make you have crazy dreams when you're pregnant. I don't remember the two I had last night (and luckily Kyle doesn't remember me waking him up after each of them because I was too scared to be the only one awake), but the one the night before was disturbing. I dreamed that my baby could walk and talk and had the face of Arvin Sloane (probably thanks to my Alias Season 5 marathon over Christmas break) and was trying to kill me. So I was trying to take care of him without him knowing that I was there so that he wouldn't be able to "get me." It sounds ridiculous now, but I was really scared in my dream. I really hope that my dreams aren't prophetic . . . about the killing thing or about the looking like Arvin Sloane thing.

Plus, I balanced the checkbook and worked on my thesis today . . . two things which are always depressing.

I know I'm complaining a lot, but it's just been one of those days. And if I'm not free to complain on my own blog, then where can I do it? Right?