Friday, March 28, 2008

Losing my DINK status

DINK = dual income, no kids.

That's been Steve's and my status for almost 6 years now. Granted, we've gone through some patchy times, where he's been in grad school and I've been unemployed, but we've still made it work.

Since about 2004, when Steve was officially out of grad school and we bought our house, things have looked pretty good for us. We both have had good jobs with good pay. We are able to pay all of our bills with no problems, and enjoy eating out a few times a week. We also have been able to purchase new cars recently, as well as enjoy a couple of cruises.

Now, by no means are we rich (I don't want anyone to think I'm using this blog just to talk about how well off we are) ... we are just "comfortable".

And, we have certain freedoms. Like, if we decide we want to go somewhere last minute, it's not a problem. Aside from making sure the kennel can take our dogs, we can usually finagle it. Or, if someone calls and wants to know if we can do something that same night, it's normally okay.

Any moment now, this is all going to change.

And, I don't know how it's going to be. I'm actually a bit frightened to tell the truth.

Not that Steve and I go out a lot per se, but I am losing this option almost entirely. Honestly, I don't see how we are going to be able to go out, even if we can find a babysitter. I imagine we'll be too exhausted. Plus, Brett is going to be so small at first that I don't know how I'll feel about leaving him, even for a short time.

And, finances are totally changing. We've actually been a lot more frugal over the past 6 months or so, saving up for me to take maternity leave. I've requested 12 weeks off, and I plan on taking them! However, these are UNPAID weeks, so we've had to save every spare penny.

But, here's the thing... even though we've been frugal, we've still enjoyed eating out and running to Starbucks and not questioning random purchases on our weekly Meijer runs. I know, it's sort of sick in some ways. We need to reign EVERYTHING in, and I have a feeling that it will kind of happen automatically whether we like it or now.

So, here's "goodbye" to our DINK status. I hope that it's worth it. I know it has to be, because I know parents who have sacrificed a lot when they had kids and they wouldn't change a thing. I just haven't quite been on "the other side" yet. Soon, I'm hoping this will all make sense!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Childbirth Classes, and why I (heart) Stork Parking

So, in my last blog I mentioned that Steve and I were taking childbirth classes. My doctor recommended taking them through the hospital (Community North if anyone cares) when we first found out we were pregnant. So, way back in November we signed up for March classes. It seemed like forever before they got here, but for the past 3 Wednesday nights (and we have one more this Wednesday), we have been educated on the whole childbirth experience.

I've been kind of a bookworm during the pregnancy. I've read like 10 books about the experience, so it's not like I had no education on the subject. But still, classes can be a little overwhelming/frightening.

Take class #1. Basically it was all about labor and delivery. Now I've sort of read about labor and delivery (but honestly, I haven't read all that far ahead of where I am in the pregnancy), so when the very well educated nurse zipped through everything I wondered if I had absorbed it all. I know that we covered timing of contractions, but I'm still not sure what the "formula" is.. I think it's 5..1..1. But, I don't quite know how that breaks down. I think Steve got that part. Anyway, and then every week we seem to watch a childbirth video. And, note, they don't show attractive Katherine Heigl giving birth... they seem to pick (how should I put this) couples who wouldn't be anywhere near People's 50 most beautiful list. I, who under normal circumstances, is of average size would be mortified to have anyone filming me during childbirth. Maybe if I'd tack on 100 pounds to my frame I'd be less inhibited? I don't know, but these women sure don't seem to care!

Anyway, so the second class was a little better. It went over pain management. We learned the breathing (which I'm still a little confused about, but I guess I'll figure it out once I'm in extreme pain), and the best part of the whole thing....massage techniques. This part right here is worth the $70 enrollment fee. Steve learned some awesome backrub techniques, as well as how to massage my hands and feet. And, trust me, I've made him practice waaayyy before the onset of labor :). I do plan on getting the epidural however (and especially if I might require a C-section), so that's how I plan to get through most of it.

Third class led us through a tour of the maternity suites. I was pretty impressed. Community North just opened up their brand new maternity ward less than a year ago, and the rooms are more like hotel rooms than hospital rooms (see below). And, in addition, there's a living area attached which has a couch that pulls out to a bed (for Steve) as well as a refrigerator, microwave, extra chairs, 2 plasma tv's, etc. And, as long as you don't have a C-section or emergency surgery, you deliver your baby in the same room. How cool is that? Anyway, it seems so swank... I'm a little afraid to get the hospital bill :(.

Last class is this Wednesday... we go over post-birth. This will be probably the best class for me. What do you do with the kid when they come home? I don't know! And, in fact, it's probably been at least 10 years since I've changed a diaper. I've definitely got a lot to learn. Steve and I aren't kid people, so we really have to figure this all out.

Finally, I have to end this blog with what might be the greatest thing for pregnant women. Stork Parking. Only offered at Babies R Us, unfortunately, but it is amazing! It got me thinking, why don't more places offer this option? Like, we were at Meijer yesterday and I was asking Steve why we couldn't use Stork Parking. A parking lot like that is huge, and when you are waddling, it is a chore to get to the door! These are things that I think more places need to consider. And, in fact, they can limit it to women in their third trimester. I didn't really "need" it until recently. I've seen handicapped people dart out of their cars much faster than I can these days.

Just something to think about. But, really, if you are pregnant, check out the Babies R Us Stork Parking. It's just about the best thing since sliced bread.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Showers, and "Is This For Real?"

Well, this last past week brought quite a bit of excitement about our upcoming bundle of joy.

First of all, last Wednesday the girls at work, as well as the girls at our sister community threw me a suprise baby shower. I was very suprised as I didn't even see it coming! They planned it very well...they even lucked out that my boss decided to come to town for a visit the day they were throwing it, so I was so distracted that I didn't even notice them getting the cake and balloons and everything together while he was here. I was just so touched that they thought to do this for me! We got lots of stylish clothes and accessories for little Mr. Brett, which are very much needed because otherwise he doesn't have much of a wardrobe!

Then, this weekend, Steve and I drove up to Chicago for a baby shower/luncheon and Easter. His aunts threw a very cute teddy bear themed shower for me at a nice local restaurant. We had teddy bear favors and cookies, and Brett even got an awesome huge teddy bear that doubles as a chair. It looks just like the bear theme from our nursery! It was all very nice and we again got lots of great wardrobe additions for the little man, as well as some cute nursery additions and accessories.

But, we almost didn't make it Chicago this weekend. I had a heck of a time sleeping on Friday night, and when I woke up Saturday morning I had abdominal pains and my back was hurting. Thinking that this didn't seem quite right, I immediately grabbed my pregnancy books, and instructions from our childbirth classes that we've been attending. As I thought, these were pre-labor symptoms. Once I started to realize that my lower back pain was gradually getting worse and then it would feel better I began to suspect contractions. I tried to time them, but, alas, they weren't consistent.

Thoughts that immediately ran through my head included the fact that we hadn't assembled the carseat yet, we aren't done with our childbirth classes (we finish number 4 of 4 this Wednesday), I hadn't thought about packing my bag, and we need to launder everything so it's ready for him to come home to. Plus, we don't have his pack n play yet, which we are planning on using as his basinnet when he gets here! Basically, we aren't quite ready yet.

So, I keep reading, and my doctor's instructions say that if I experience these symptoms to immediately drink 3-4 glasses of water (yeah, right, my bladder can't hold that right now!.. I went for 2) and lay on my left side for 30 minutes. Luckily after about 30 minutes they started to subside. I went ahead and called the doc anyway, who said that we could still travel, as long as I stayed hydrated and got up and walked around every hour or so. Still, I was a little freaked out about the whole thing. I mean, travelling 3 hours away from the hospital after that seemed a bit risky to me, but we went ahead with it. Luckily all went well.

But all who I saw this weekend indicated that they didn't think I had that much time left. I am 34 weeks pregnant (measuring 37), and I am freaking HUGE. Like seriously, you know people who have twins? Yeah, that's me, and I'm only carrying ONE. One very large boy. My mom saw me last night after not seeing me since the first weekend in March and one of the first things she said to me was that I am going to have to have a C-section. Yeah, I don't know it for sure, but I am kind of in agreement with her. I bet I have a 10 lb. baby... and technically I still have 6 weeks to go... (which I PRAY doesn't happen).

So, plans for this weekend include getting our butts in gear. We plan on getting as much together as possible because I have a feeling that Brett is going to be coming, and SOON, and on his terms, not ours!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

33 Weeks

Here is the most flattering picture I could take at 33 weeks. Steve miraculously managed to not catch my double chin or my swollen ankles in this shot.

After a totally exhausting weekend in which I barely got out of bed, today I really began to think about when I should take my maternity leave. Originally I had planned to work up right until labor, but now I'm second guessing myself. I go to the doctor tomorrow and I think I'm going to get her input on this!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another blog from the father-to-be


This blog has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy or the like. However, Steve wrote this blog on his myspace profile last year and was so proud of it that he wanted me to re-post it this year on my new blogspot blog.

I guess it kind-of ties into "us" in that this blog has to do with our time at Butler together and of the heartbreaking NCAA tourney Butler-Florida game that we were both in attendance at in 2000. So, in honor of our Bulldogs dancing again this year, here is Steve's blog in all it's glory (note this was written after they advanced to the sweet 16 last year)...

The revenge game: Why I'm excited that Butler will be playing Florida

And here we are. My Butler Bulldogs are in the sweet sixteen for the second time in five years. I couldn't be prouder. I really thought at the beginning of this season that it would be tough this year, losing Brandon Polk and Avery Sheets. Then I worried that winning the Preseason NIT would end up being the highlight. No, this team surpassed even my highest expectations for this season. Now, we get the game I've been waiting seven years to get. Time for revenge!

First, a little background: in 2000, I was a junior at Butler and a proud member of the basketball band. Me, Carrie, and about a half-dozen other people who are now on my MySpace friends list were selected as members of the condensed basketball band that would travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to cheer on Butler as they took on the fifth seeded Florida Gators. As soon as the brackets were announced, I was excited. Florida had come into that season with high expectations, but had never really matched them. They seemed like an over-hyped BCS school (except there was no BCS at the time) that would be ripe for an upset. Plus, Butler was on a roll. After a sluggish start to the season, Butler cruised down the stretch and eventually won the conference tournament. I was confident. We were all confident and hopeful. This was the year Butler would finally break through.

I had a front row seat for the game, underneath the north goal. If the game is ever on ESPN Classic (as it sometimes is) I'm the one in the white Butler hat. Sitting next to me was my buddy Utah (now Brodie). Carrie was a few spots to my right, in one of those fishermen's hats that were popular at the time. You can see her in the ESPN Classic footage too. I remember that I bought a water bottle from the concession stand at the arena, but representatives from the NCAA told us to hide it because they didn't want the TV cameras to pick up the label on the bottle (that particular water company wasn't a sponsor of the tournament). That's how close we were to the action.

From early on in the game, I knew Butler might be in trouble. I remember seeing Udonis Haslem, the Florida power forward (now with the Miami Heat). Dude was legit 6'9" 260 at least. Butler's power forward was Mike Marshall, 6'4" of pure muscle and heart. If competitive fire alone were enough to make it in the NBA, Marshall would have been an All-Star. Butler's center was Scott Robisch, lanky and awkward but nonetheless effective. He was a transfer from Oklahoma State who had gained eligibility midway through the season. His arrival was a major reason for Butler's turnaround. But neither Robisch nor Marshall was going to be able to stop Haslem in the paint. Dude was a monster compared to everyone else on the floor. What's more, Florida also had Mike Miller, Wooden Award candidate and future NBA lottery pick. So early on, I had a bad feeling.

But Butler keep hanging around. Then we took the lead…and we kept the lead…and the half kept winding down…and we still had the lead. Excitement was building. It started to look like Butler was about to pull the upset. I remember looking up at the game clock during the second half and seeing just over 5 minutes remaining. I had watched the tournament since I was a kid, I knew how CBS' coverage worked. And as I looked at the clock, saw the time, and saw the score, I knew that every CBS affiliate in the country was tuned to this game right now. No other game was close. All eyes were on the 12th seeded Butler Bulldogs, from a school of just over 3,000 in central Indiana, giving the University of Florida all they could handle.

The Bulldogs couldn't hold that lead though, and the game went into overtime. I remember everyone around me being beyond tense. Excited. Ready to explode. By this point, there was absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Butler would prevail. The halftime wore on and as time wore down, Butler had a one point lead as Lavall Jordan approached the three point line. This would be to ice it. He missed the first. He missed the second. Florida grabs the rebound and gets the ball into the hands of Mike Miller…

My seat was on the opposite side of the court from Florida's goal. I had a bad angle, so I never actually saw the shot go in. But I knew it did. I saw Miller jumping up and down. I saw the Florida bench clearing and mobbing him at mid court. I just stood there; stunned. We lost. It seemed utterly impossible only a few moments before, but we lost. I was deflated. The energy had been completely sucked out of my body by one simple basket. In the words of's Bill Simmons, it was a level 2 stomach punch game. In my entire life as a sports fan (which means basically as long as I can remember), no loss has ever hurt more.

The band played "Back to Butler" after the game, just as we did after every game, win or lose. But this time, the song had a different feel to it. Nobody wanted to go back to Butler. We wanted to keep on dancing. On the bus back to the hotel, the band's bass player went down the isle giving a hug to everyone. I know that there was a 12 hour bus ride back to Indianapolis at some point after the game, but honestly I don't remember any of it. The rest of the trip was just a blur. Florida eventually advanced to the National Championship game, where they lost to Michigan State. Everyone at Butler was happy when Florida finally went down. All I could think was, "what if?"

Fast forward seven years later. I now work at Ball State, but remain devoted to my Dawgs. People ask me all the time "who do you root for when Butler plays Ball State?" I say "I spent four years having floor seats and screaming my head off for Butler. Some people might be able turn off that kind of passion like a light switch; but I'm not one of them." Most of the principal players in that game have moved on. Butler coach Barry Collier went to take a job at the University of Nebraska after that game, but later returned as Butler's Athletic Director. Two Butler players from that team (Jordan, along with Joel Cornette) are now assistant coaches at Butler. Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are enjoying productive NBA careers. Florida coach Billy Donovan now has a National Championship. Butler has won their first round game in each of their last three tournament appearances. Most people seem to have forgotten that game.
But I haven't forgotten. I'll never forget that game. And even though much has changed since 2000, I would still love a shot at revenge. That's why I want Florida so bad.

P.S. Here's a link to a recap of that 2000 Butler-Florida game.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Okay, so I'm guilty. Really guilty. Of not blogging for well over 2 weeks.

In all honesty, I have been so tired that as soon as I get home, I am looking to eat and and to put a pillow beneath my head. I also have trouble staying awake at work. Today, for example, I feel like Brett is sucking the life out of of me... any bit of energy that I would normally have is being used by him. Which, I guess, if he needs it, is fine. He's actually been squirming around quite a bit today, so I know HE'S doing great. It's funny how I can just stare down at my belly and see the whole thing just shift from side to side. In one sense it's very strange, but in another sense it's really cool.

I've also been sick. Luckily I was able to avoid getting sick most of the winter. In my business I am around sick people all day, and somehow by the grace of God have avoided getting sick. But Steve got sick on the 29th, and well, you know the rest. That weekend brought the last bit of energy I've had in awhile. We went that Friday night to Purdue to see Ben Folds (excellent, wonderful show by the way... and I will be there next time he comes to town) and then to Lexington the next morning to visit Steve's brother. And then, whammo, the following Tuesday I felt like a Mack truck hit me. So, I've also been getting over this cold since then. I'm hoping to re-coup this weekend.

But, that kind of explains where I've been... sleeping and eating. I feel like Garfield. Work is getting harder for me too. It's so hard to stay focused and alert while trying to lead an office. I don't recommend being the boss and being pregnant. Not an easy task.

Well, that's all from my pregnant corner of the world today. Now, back to trying to stay alert and focused. I'll try to get an updated picture of me on here one day. I think that Brett must be growing a pound a day... I don't see how my belly can get any bigger!