Monday, October 26, 2009

The wind is blowing...

has anyone seen any tumbleweeds around these parts?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm still alive!

Has it really been 3 months since my last post?! I guess life has certainly been a bit crazy and turned upside down and sideways, so posting has been on the bottom of priority list. Heck, I barely even check my Facebook anymore, if that tells you anything!

We are alive and well. Maggie is my little phenom.

I'll try to post something of more substance in the next couple weeks. Family and life takes priority of blogging for me right now. I know you all understand. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Two Months and Thensome

Maggie's two-month checkup was on Monday, April 27. It has officially been confirmed that not only do I have awesome baby-growing breastmilk, my baby is off the charts...literally. She has grown so much in just one month, it is almost unbelievable. She weighed in at 15 lbs. 8 oz., measured a whopping 24.75 inches, and her head circumference even gained some centimeters at 44 cm.

There have been some tough days over the past month...namely when John went to NYC for a manly men baseball trip, and then was supposed to head to Buenos Aires from there. During that time, Maggie either got sick (she was running a slight fever and not sleeping at all) or was in serious growth mode, leaving me with about two hours of sleep over a 4-5 day period. John made the decision to postpone the trip to BA since it wasn't critical, and now we are considering going down as a family sometime in the next month or so. We need to get Maggie's passport before any plans of us leaving the country really happens though. I'm also just really unsure about leaving the country already; well before she hits the 6 months old mark. I am thankful J opted to not postpone the trip and has even volunteered to take baby duty for several nights since he's been back from NYC. Not many dads volunteer themselves for that duty, and I definitely do not take it for granted.

Motherhood thus far has been such an incredible period of adjustment. Margaret is a really easygoing, mellow baby, which is why it completely freaked me out when she was seemingly so ill a couple weeks ago. And which is also why it stresses me out so much when she gets fuss budgety or has a serious crying jag. Margaret is just so amazing to me, and as each day passes I see her little personality starting to come out and her physical appearance morphing from that somewhat stock newborn look, to more of an individual, I'm my own baby, look.

Maggie started sleeping in her crib last week and has successfully slept through the night for a grand total of five nights now. Can you believe it? This recent development has surprised me being that she is only 10 weeks old, oves sleeping with her mama and/or in the bassinet next to the bed, but with her getting to be so long, the bassinet was really no longer an option. She's just a bundle of surprises. I've been told her all night sleeping jags are going to change back to getting up every few hours once she starts teething, but I'll definitely take the 6-8 hour stretches of sleep she is granting me and John. My sleep schedule is still totally out of whack, but it is nice to have a couple hours of calm for myself to catch up on household things, read a book, or hang out with John before I am able to crash myself.

Margaret smiles all the time, speaks and holds baby cooing conversations with me throughout the day, she can gaze at faces in mirrors for long periods of time and gets very excited about it, loves being read to, and absolutely loves Beethoven - dancing to it and just listening to the music. She is so curious about everything and I often worry I am overstimulating her, but I think she lets me know by getting fussy if certain activities become too much. Margaret recently discovered her hands and has since been putting her little baby fists into her mouth and sucking on them every chance she gets, which makes for a very drooly baby. :) She's also a very active and social baby, which is good to see, and is also interesting because I just knew she would be active while I was carrying her. And the most recent accomplishment is that she rolled about halfway over last week, but hasn't done it again since then, so I'm thinking it was a fluke, but who I said before, Maggie is just a bundle of surprises.

As I kind of talked about already, we have had some stumbling blocks, but nothing major. There was the mystery bout of sickness and/or growth a couple weeks ago that I already mentioned and a couple other somewhat minor things. We've found out that Maggie definitely has her dad's sensitive skin, with a couple pretty serious cases of diaper rash she's gotten even though we are vigilant about changing her and keeping her bottom dry. It can be so painful and my heart hurts when I think about it. Then there is the fact that Maggie abolutely abhors tummytime. I've tried it with her several times over the past two months, to no avail. She is having none of it. It makes her unbelievably cranky and hysterical. We've tried tummytime on the floor, on the couch, on her gym mat, and in her crib. Still not having any of it. The only other stumbling block we've really had to deal with is when Maggie gets herself all worked up over not getting fed fast enough...that's where the highly active baby thing becomes a curse. She will squirm and wiggle to the point where I can barely keep her both in my arms and on the Boppy to feed. Then she will also start smacking her face and pulling on it so aggressively I get scared she's going to hurt herself. Luckily these events are few and far between, but can definitely take their toll on my heart.

I'm just amazed at what an awesome baby I was blessed with. This is one journey I never really knew I'd be able to make, but I am glad it worked out that I am able to do this. Being a mom to Miss Margaret is everything I hoped it would be. At least so far. ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have I mentioned

that I can't wait to get the For Sale sign in the front yard? No? Well, I can't wait. I'm especially agitated with the state of the house today. Probably due to the apocalyptic rainfall which means the house probably sprung another leak somewhere. Or maybe it's being confined to one main living space with baby, kitty, and mommy to cavort. One main living space with hardwood floors and mommy's sciatic nerve flaring up, so not much fun to be had on the floor. And man, that cat is driving me berserk today. Quarters are too close. I sure do hope this house sells within a year. For the sake of not only my sanity, but for J, Maggie, and Lucy. Because living with me when I am like this sure can be challenging.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Speed Racer

I got my first ever speeding ticket tonight. I was by myself, luckily, but I still feel like such an idiot. I'll probably be beating myself up about this for the next several weeks...if not months. *sigh*

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yet another reason I can't wait to move within the next two years...

I haven't posted a super venty (not to be confused with venti chai tea from the sbux) blog lately, and today seems to be the opportune time to do so...So I was poking around online earlier today and found that somehow our address was reported in some 2008 report the city of Blankity-Blank-Blank Blanks posted online. This mysterious report listed a number of people who were fined for having "noxious weeds affecting the public safety, health, and welfare." Say whaaaa?!?! This is the FIRST I had heard of this. The report contains statements saying individulas listed were given notice to rid the property of said weeds prior to being fined. I'm sorry, we were never notified. EVER. I'm militant about taking care of things and keeping current/abreast of bills, mail, you name it, so I know this is true. We NEVER got a prior notification. I looked and haven't been able to find anything in our files about notifications regarding noxious weeds.

The only thing I can think of is when we were out of the country for several weeks last spring and upon our return we received some mysterious fine from the city via USPS for them supposedly doing some grass cutting. No one from the city had actually cut our grass and we received no prior notification. Just a fine with no details. We refused to pay the fine when no one at city hall could tell us what exactly it was for, who cut the grass, and why. The whole idea of being fined is/was totally ridiculous because we had already paid someone to mow the lawn and care for our kitty while we were gone and it was done, so it couldn't have been that.

We have a huge property - an acre and a half - and I haven't seen any noxious weeds on it since I moved in, so I was thinking maybe the city was trying to stick us with a bill for the ravine on the lot next to ours, but is certainly NOT OUR PROPERTY. Then when J went to pay the property taxes last year, again there was nothing said or written about the mysterious fine by the city. We thought it was gone since there was no actualy proof of anything when J called to inquire about it, it was resolved, and we didn't have to pay, aaaand we didn't receive anything else in the mail regarding the mysterious grass cutting caper. Now I see this report online. What the heck?! This really chaps my hide. I just emailed J about it, but don't expect much in return for the next several days since he is out of the country until the end of April.

I tried to like this suburb of Cleveland, this house, and this neighborhood since I moved in with J, but it just hasn't worked out that way. The people are rude (i.e. If I wave to you, you should wave back. Or if I say hello, maybe you should as well.), or the people are a lot older than we are with no kids or their kids are all grown up, there aren't any sidewalks, people drive down the road like bats out of hell, somehow garbage ends up strewn on our lawn at the end of our property line bordering the street at least once a week, and I plain don't like living in a house I had no choice in choosing...just to name a few reasons why I don't like it.

I've wanted to move to a different area/suburb that better fits our needs for quite some time now, and just recently got J to commit to moving the family out of this fixer house from his previous marriage to a new house within the next two years. We are going to make the necessary renovations and then hopefully sell the house even stevens. I tried, I really tried, but it just isn't going to work out. It really is/was a little too much baggage for me to handle. Then reading that report today just added fuel to the fire. UGH.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Big Baby

It's official. As of last week, Maggie has outgrown all of her 0-3 months clothes. She's not even two months old yet! That is one big baby!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One Month Stats

With my computer deciding to go up sh** creek without a paddle a few weeks ago, I was unable to post the CRAZY stats my daughter had during her one month checkup at the pediatrician.

Well, I think they are crazy stats, especially considering that I had to box up Margaret's 0-3 month clothes today. Seeing as how she has outgrown all of them. That's right. I did not stutter. The 0-3 month clothes are out and the 3-6 month clothes are in...And I probably should have boxed her small clothes up a week or two ago, but alas, I was holding on to the fact that she is just so young still! I mean, barely a month old and outgrowing your 0-3 month clothes...NOOOO! NOT YET!

One month checkup stats: Weight: 12 pounds even. Height: 22 1/2 inches long.

That's one big baby!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Computer Woes

Two weeks with no computer. TWO WEEKS. Talk about unplugging.

Well now that my new laptop is theoretically fixed, I'm hoping I'll be able to pop online a little more often...especially now that Margaret is getting older and is supposedly going to start sleeping more often and regularly.

This whole experience of my new laptop going on the fritz has been quite frustrating. Considering my old laptop was almost three years old before it started dawdling and acting up. My new laptop had problems from the get-go. I got it in December and had issues from Day 1. This last time it decided to crap out on me was the third time Dell had to be called in to intervene. John got a service tech to come out and fix it - apparently my motherboard was fried for some reason - which is beyond me considering I hadn't installed anything on the new laptop other than Office.

If this thing keeps acting up, I'll do as John suggested and just get a Powebook next time I need a laptop. I know John has had minimal problems with his, and that seems to be the consensus with everyone else I know who had/has one.

Needless to say I'm glad to have a fast-functioning computer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stroke

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of my mom's horribly debilitating stroke. I just want to say that I am so happy she survived and is still alive and kicking. I hope she continues the good fight and will be around for many more years to come. I love you, Mom.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Baby Arrived!!!

I've been so lax in posting since I had the baby. But she did finally arrive! After 20 hours of labor, then having to have an emergency c-section, she joined the ranks of the Swanson-Headlee household. Hooray! She was a surprising baby, and I even ended up naming her something different than I had initially anticipated. And while I don't plan on having any more babies, if I do end up with another little girl somehow, I still have another name at the ready...

Margaret Elizabeth was born on February 18, 2009 at 251PM. She weighed in at 9lbs., 5oz., and was 21.25inches long. Her head measured at 40cm. Her ranks were as follows: Weight: 90%ile, Length: 97%ile, and Head Circumference: 99%ile.

I just knew she would have a fairly large head based upon both mine and John's noggins. I also knew she was going to weigh more than the 6.5-7.5 pounds my OB projected. Yep. I was right in both respects...and that makes me feel good because even though I've had a severe case of placenta brain since becoming pregnant, my intuition didn't completely suffer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day and Still No Baby

Well baby, you were supposed to be here by today, but apparently you are not quite ready yet. So here I am. Still. Waiting.

We can't wait for you to get here already!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Any Day Now

Last Thursday night I went to the hospital because my doctor thought I might be in labor due to my intense back pains/spasms. As it turns out I was having contractions and they were 1-3 minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds to a minute. This had been going on throughout the course of the day then continuing along the same path for a couple hours at the hospital. But then something happened. The contractions started to wane. 3-5 minutes apart. Then 7-9 minutes apart. Then back to 3-5 minutes apart. My dilation had made some progress, but not enough to induce, so I was told that I could get a morphine drip and stay in the hospital overnight and take it from there, or I could go home and brave it with some Tylenol. Being that I was starving from not being able to eat since around 100AM earlier that day and not wanting an IV of anything unless absolutely necessary, I opted for the latter. J and I left the hospital around 1145PM and then headed directly to the closest 24 hour restaurant establishment we could find - which happened to be the Eat and Park. It was a decent breakfast meal, although I could have done without the table full of idiot redneck types sitting next to us. I mean seriously.

There were six of them, all at least in their late twenties, and not only were they obnoxiously loud, their conversation revolved around things like, "You know what they say about a guy with big feet..." ARGH! Not such good ambience EVER let alone for a ravenous, angry pregnant lady who is in the midst of still having contractions and wants nothing more than some delicious eggs over easy and french toast. And it didn't help that what I really wanted was IHOP deliciousness instead of the Choke and Puke. The IHOP I speak of is about a block up from the hospital, but it was mysteriously closed that night...and now I am hoping that it hasn't permanently closed. That would be a travesty for me while I'm in the hospital. You see, I have already told John that my first meal after I have the baby will be pancakes with strawberry syrup from the IHOP. Oh yes, my mind is oh so often still on the pancakes. Has been for several weeks or is it months now. Talk about a craving. So let's just hope the IHOP isn't, in fact, closed permanently.

Fast forward to today. Tuesday. My front labor pains have pretty much ceased, other than a few an hour, and I am still waiting. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm hoping everything will be a go to induce this weekend. With my family history, I am really hoping I won't need to have the dreaded c-section, but with five out of six sisters needing them, the odds aren't really in my favor. What I am ready for is for the baby to be here. Everyone keeps telling me to enjoy the time I have now, but it is a challenge to enjoy this time when I feel so isolated and incapacitated. And then it didn't help today when I literally walked into a wall in my house, then about 15 minutes later proceeded to fall down about five stairs. Yeah, I would definitely say I am ready for the baby.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Books Read - January 2009

Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Stephen King, Just After Sunset
Henry Kuttner, The Last Mimzy & Other Stories
Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island
Stephanie Meyer, New Moon
James Patterson, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Well, That's That

I joined facebook today. As my friend, John (a la HIDEOUS KINKY), said, "The mighty have FALLEN."

Try not to judge too harshly.

Fourteen Days Until D-Day

I'm due in 14 days. At my doctor's appointment this week, I found out my dilation and effacement had no change from the previous week. Well then. There went my high hopes of having the baby before the due date, but still full-term. I feel kind of bad for saying this, but I am ready to be done. I can barely get up off my couch without help, and let's not even talk about what an ordeal it is for me to get out of bed at night for the billionty times I have to pee. Then there are the mysterious migraine-type headaches I've been getting for about a week now, generally feeling like a pile of dog poop, the OHMYGOSH my left foot is so swollen I can't get a shoe on it, the surge in my weight (again), and the swollenest face I've EVER had - IN MY LIFE. My doctor mentioned the weight herself because she was surprised at just how swollen I was at my 900AM appointment and she thinks I might be showing signs of toxemia, but since my blood pressure is still in the normal range for me - even though it's higher than my usual 90/60, and my proteins are still normal, she doesn't think it's toxemia quite yet. I am monitoring the blood pressure daily now, and have been relegated to "no more manual labor" and "resting with your feet elevated above your heart."

I have entirely too much stress on my back from the baby, which we also found out earlier this week when I was scrubbing the bathroom and it literally took me twenty minutes to get myself switched from all fours on the floor, to propped up against the bathtub with my butt on the floor, then heaved up onto the edge of the tub to sit, then miraculously to my feet. No more manual labor. I don't know how I will be able to handle this. I am, by nature, an obsessive person when it comes to keeping things tidy and clean. It's taken me a long time to be begrudgingly, but somewhat okay with John's love of stacking piles of stuff, which I call stacks of crap, and I don't know how I am going to handle not really being able to do all the cleaning up type duties that I perform on a regular basis. Cleaning is cleansing to me. Cleaning is catharsis.

From previous experience, I know I can't relax when chores aren't done and everything is more or less cleaned up and back in place. And I also know from previous experience, that I have greeeeeeeeeeat difficulty in relying on someone else to shoulder the responsibilities and that when I do, things are never done as efficiently, effectively, or as well as I do them. Heck, we used to have a cleaning person, but we stopped that after I noticed that the shower had gone one too many times without the proper cleaning. My standards aren't/weren't met. J says I hold myself and others to ridiculously high standards...I don't know about that. But I guess I will find out more about my standards and limits over the coming weeks when I have to rely on him more than I am used to in order to get the regular chores done around the house. I don't know how I am going to react to this change, but I am hopeful that we will able to cope. That I am able to cope.

I've been told that my world is going to be turned upside down once the baby gets here. Maybe I will change and be able to let messy rooms go for longer than I'm used to doing. Maybe I won't. And while I believe others when they say my world is totally going to change, at least I'll be able to get on my hands and knees to clean the floors again.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2008 Recapper Meme

I wanted to post this before January somehow slipped away from me.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
-- Switched career paths. Got pregnant. Worked on my commitment issues and devoted myself to my relationship with J. Lived in Buenos Aires for 6/7 weeks.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
-- I don't do resolutions, but I make annual goals. And yes, I made some goals for 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
-- Yes. A couple people, actually.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
-- No. Thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
-- Argentina

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
-- Being more spiritually connected.

7. What date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
-- April/May: Argentina trip. AWESOME time. Professionally and personally. June 28: Took some home pregnancy tests. Was 99.8% sure I was pregnant. August 11: Saw the Flash on ultrasound for the first time at 13.5 weeks along in my pregnancy. September 26: Got the 3D ultrasound and found out we were having a girl.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
-- Commitment and perseverance

9. What was your biggest failure?
-- Not exercising as frequently as I needed and wanted

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
-- Five months of debilitating 24/7 morning sickness

11. What was the best thing you bought?
-- Geekery: the new camera (Canon G-10!) and the tv

12. Where did most of your money go?
-- Besides the usual cycle of bill payments, the other money went to getting rid of all credit card debt, dental work, all things baby, MINI maintenance/repairs, travel, and geekery

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
-- Having a baby

14. What song will always remind you of 2008?
-- Even though it's a few years old, "Everybody's Changing" by Keane

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? Fatter and pregnant
Richer or poorer? Richer and in less debt

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
-- Work, exercise, practiced more spirituality, and relaxation

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
-- Being sick

18. How did you spend Christmas?
-- Christmas Eve, went to Cambridge Springs, PA for celebration with my immediate family. Christmas Day, hung out at home in Cleveland, OH.

19. Did you fall in love in 2008?
-- I did.

20. How many one-night stands?
-- Zero

21. What was your favorite TV program?
-- Top Chef, Project Runway, Big Bang Theory, and all five seasons of Six Feet Under which I watched maniacally for the first time - and yes, I could see what all the hype was about

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
-- Gee whiz. Hate is such a nasty word. I don't think I hate anyone.

23. What was the best book you read?
-- Geek Love and The Road

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
-- That the baby really gets moving inside of me when I listen to Weezer, Arcade Fire, Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart

25. What did you want and get?
-- J to get a new car.

26. What did you want and not get?
-- A chest freezer and a pair of Crocs for my aching feet while shopping on Black Friday with two of my sisters.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
-- None of these came out in 2008, but were nevertheless my faves of the year: Ils (Them), The Savages, El Orfanato (The Orphanage)

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
-- I stayed in as J was out of town and the weather was pretty horrible. We got takeout and celebrated when he got back. I turned 31.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
-- Not being so sick for several months

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
-- Comfort. Growing the Flash has been an exercise in putting total comfort first. Can we say yoga pants?!

31. What kept you sane?
-- Family, friends, the support system

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
-- None?

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
-- Economy

34. Who did you miss?
-- My Knoxville family

35. Who was the best new person you met?
-- Ana down in BA

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
-- You need to practice honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, and diligence in all aspects of your life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Insomnia Returns

I thought I was supposed to lose sleep AFTER the baby was here. Nope. This is sooo not the case. I've recently found out the loss of sleep starts early. For the past month or so, I've had terrible sleep. Terrible as in the insomnia I used to experience in high school, college, and into my mid-twenties. I don't think I've written about my battles with insomnia on here, but let me tell you one thing, insomnia is definitely not something that will maximize your productivity (unless you are hopped up on something). And insomnia is certainly no fun. No fun indeed.

In order to conquer the worst bits of my insomnia, it's really taken a lot of time, money, and energy to get to a point where I can sleep for more than a couple hours at time, but with help, I found a solution...well I used to have one, that is until the past month or so reared its ugly head. Over the past couple years, I've grown accustomed to a good solid 7 hours of sleep a night and the recent disruption in my sleep patterns has really messed with my mojo. If I'm not getting up to pee every 40 minutes, I'm only sleeping for an hour (two, if I'm lucky) at a time. Totally unfair.

And while I am trying to look at this disruption as preparation for when the baby gets here, it's hard to keep an objective mind about it when I can see my fuse getting shorter and shorter every day. I thought pregnant/mom brain was bad enough, but combine that with lack of sleep, and you get one majorly bad case of goofy brain. I say this as I am on Day 3 of getting less than 2 hours of total sleep in one night. I just want one more night of good solid sleep before the baby gets here. But I think that may be too much to ask.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Made It!

I am officially full-term today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goals 2009

1. Make necessary doctor's appointments that I have been avoiding; Go to scheduled appointments and proceed as advised.
2. Acclimate to motherhood positively and to the best of my abilities, relax a bit, and ask for help when I need it after the baby gets here; Enjoy and make productive use out of the time I have with my new child; Make appropriate decisions regarding going back to work on a full-time, part-time, or on a purely per project-based schedule.
3. Travel to and live in Argentina for one month with the new family unit.
4. Continue to learn how to better manage finances and stick to budget; Put together a financial action plan and make forward progress with our goals.
5. Decide whether to keep or sell the MINI.
6. Find my way back to a workable workout regimen after the baby arrives; Workout 4-5 times a week as long as it is not detrimental to my recovery; Decide whether or not to join a new workout facility, purchase cardio equipment, and/or join CrossFit with J.
7. Practice proactivity in my recovery; Recognize when I need help and ask for it since that was somewhat of a struggle for me in 2008; Continue to use the support system I have in place.
8. Make the two most vital home improvements to the house: 1. New roof, and 2. Start gutting and remodeling the second floor of the house in order to have more functional, livable space for a growing family; Complete the finished room in the basement and get the new home office completely set-up and useable; Get better organized and rid our lives of unnecessary clutter, donate and/or throw away items we no longer need or want; Finish landscaping the front yard of the house; Start making decisions on how to proceed with future improvement projects.
9. Maintain current healthy relationships, purge the unhealthy relationships, improve relationships I want to keep but are currently suffering, and develop and grow healthy new relationships.
10.Work on the spiritual side of my life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Review of 2008 Goals

It's a little over two weeks into the New Year, which means it is time to post my thoughts regarding the goals I set for myself last year. I mentioned some intitial thoughts about these goals in my NYE post, but today I will delve into each individual goal more thoroughly to see what I actually did well and the areas I could certainly use some improvement. I annually review my previous year's goals before I post a new year's goals, and while I haven't posted my review(s) on blogger before (typically keeping my reviews personal), there is a first time for everything. So let's get started.

Review of 2008 Goals

1. Train, run, and complete the Cleveland Half-Marathon. Goal not achieved. While I did train for the half-marathon for a few months, I stopped training when I realized we would be in Argentina for 6+ weeks in April and May, not returning until a few days before the marathon. This being my second lengthy trip to Buenos Aires, I knew going into it that my abilities to train properly would be just about nil. For starters, when down there the work hours tend to be very long and productive - I'm talking 65-80+ hour work weeks. Then there are the social aspects - spending time with friends and co-workers, going out, being entertained and entertaining, etc. And the timeframes for things such as meals are quite lengthy - example, the typical dinner hour starts between 9 and 10PM and lasts a good 2 hours. After working a 12-16 hour day, then going to eat, not getting home until after midnight, generally means not a ton of time to train - and if you have trained for a long race before, you know it takes up a decent amount of time. So that trip was where I fell off the wagon with training. I did end up getting a lot of exercise down there as walking to various destinations is so easy, but I did not get the half-marathon training in and I was okay with it; Since I knew going into the extended trip to Argentina, that if I was honest with myself, I really wouldn't be racing in Cleveland when I returned.

2. Begin development on my first book; Write at least thirty minutes a day, five times a week. Goal not achieved. I began development on the book, but it fell to the wayside. And I'm not sure when I'll get back to it. Inspiration eluded me on it, so I gave up. The writing 30 minutes a day, 5x a week also didn't happen AT ALL in 2008. I lacked the internal drive and structure to force myself to actually do it. Again, inspiration also eluded me on this one.

3. Broaden freelance network base; Forge ahead with career change; Do rewarding work. Goal achieved. Work was steady this year. I switched gears from the Human Resources and Recruiting realm to the Technical Writing world. Suffice it to say, I have not totally abandoned HR, as my advice and expertise does get called upon from time to time, but I would say I have begun to make a successful career shift. This was a pretty huge change for me as I had been in the HR/Recruiting world for almost eight years if you include the work I performed as an undergraduate out in Arizona (six if we're talking purely business world and not academia). The change has been nothing short of challenging, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time.

4. Learn all the ins and outs of CSS; Finish website; Develop and launch two new websites; Become more well-versed in the tech world. Goal partially achieved. Regarding this goal: I read some books, did numerous practice exercises, but never got to the ultimate goal of actually launching one website, let alone two. And while I might still eventually launch my website, I might also just plug it into what I have here on blogger. I know, I know. It's the lazy man's route, but the website launch became less of a priority as the year progressed. As far as becoming well-versed in the tech world, I must say I am getting better as each day passes...even with pregnant brain.

5. Continue to circularly practice proactivity in my recovery. Goal achieved. While I did fall off the horse during the first half of 2008, with not necessarily eating adequately, exercising a little too much, and not necessarily listening to the experts and people who love me when it came to my recovery, I did manage to hop back on during the second half of the year. This was probably largely due to me finding out I was going to have a baby in 2009. Let me just say, that finding out about the babe's impending delivery was the swift kick in the pants I needed. I never thought I would actually be able to conceive (let me say it was quite THE surprise when I found out I had), and while the timing wasn't ideal, conceiving the Flash is/was an unexpected gift - a gift not to be messed up. From the moment I found out, I knew I had to get back on the horse, and continue to work hard and do what my doctors advised me to do in both the best interests of the baby and myself. So while the first half of 2008 was difficult with recovery, the second half became that much easier because I felt I had more of a purpose to keep forging ahead. It all started to make sense to me, I guess. That's the only way I can really explain it.

6. Learn how to better manage finances and stick to budget. Goal achieved. YES! All credit cards are now paid off. J and I are still working on some imbalances with the spending, but I think that we made some seriously positive steps in the right direction dureing 2008, only setting ourselves up for a better 2009. The most important thing I think I learned from this goal was that when there are two or more people involved in a household budget, honesty from all parties involved is key as well as being able to openly discuss finances. If J and I hadn't been honest with one another, I don't think we would have gotten the credit cards paid off, and we wouldn't have plans on how to tackle our next debt goals. I know having a baby in 2009 is certainly going to throw us for a loop, but I feel better prepared to deal with it since we have an open line of communication.

7. Travel to at least three new places this year; Continue to save money for trip to Sweden. Goal partially achieved. I technically travelled to at least two new places this year: When we went to Buenos Aires, we stayed in a new neighborhood and also did quite a bit of exploring in areas of the city I had never been to, and I also took a trip to Charlotte, NC back in August to visit with one of my oldest friends and best people, Dayna. I didn't get to a third place, I don't think. And as far as saving money for a trip to Sweden, that didn't happen either. Money that was going to be saved for a big trip like that was spent on getting out of debt and the impending baby arrival. I'm thinking we won't be able to take a good, long trip to Sweden for at least four or five years now, so that's going to the backburner for awhile.

8. Train, workout five-six times a week as long as it does not adversely affect my recovery; Begin regular pilates classes. Goal not achieved. Well, I was working out about 5 times a week for say, the first quarter of the year, but then that stopped when we went to BA. And while I did get a decent amount of exercise down there, it wasn't "dedicated" workout time. Then after we got back from the trip, I started working out a lot again (somewhat to the detriment of my recovery), until I got the mystery 24/7 morning sickness. The sickness lasted 4 or 5 months (I block it out), and I was pretty much rendered useless in most categories of my life during that time. I was none too pleased. Once I was out of the woods with the sickness, I did start to workout with my Core Rhythms dance dvds and do some power walking, but never officially made it back to the gym regularly. I think it was hard for me to find my way back to the gym because the gym I've belonged to for the past three years, has lost its luster with me - not offering the classes I want to take and the service has gone downDOWNdown. And now with a baby on the way, my gym also doesn't have childcare unless I drive 30-45 minutes to the one branch in the city that does have it...So I pretty much need to find a new gym with everything I am seeking or bone up and buy cardio equipment for a home gym and get my butt started at CrossFit (which I had planned on doing before the dreaded sickness).

9. Locate, research, and visit various geographic areas where relocation would be possible in the next three years, so there is a geo-pool from which to choose. Goal partially achieved. Goal was partially achieved in that I would still like to find a way to live in Argentina for 6 months out of the year. There is a small, but feasible chance that we could make a half-year abroad move happen until the baby is of age to enroll in school, but otherwise, I don't really see any other options for relocation for quite awhile. So that goal was kind of pushed to the wayside.

10. Maintain current healthy relationships, purge the unhealthy relationships, improve relationships I want to keep but are currently suffering, and develop and grow healthy new relationships. Goal achieved. I don't think this goal will ever be eliminated from my annual goals. I did work a little harder on this one in 2008, and I have to say, I am pretty happy with where I am at with my relationships.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


As I grow larger and larger, I find it is getting harder and harder to put on my pants, socks, and shoes. It is actually becoming a multi-pronged process. This is somewhat disturbing to me. Just a few more weeks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

36 weeks

35 weeks
Originally uploaded by .karoline

I had my 36 week appointment yesterday, and it is safe to say that all is looking great at this point. J was able to make it to this one thankfully as I was having my first internal check since the first trimester. I am already dilated 1cm. Can you believe it?!

So what does this dilation mean to me and the baby? My doctor says that I will likely be delivering between 38-40 weeks. So pretty much on-time. How's that for my body doing some lean manufacturing. Guaranteed on-time delivery. Hahaha. And here I was thinking the baby would come out late, but apparently she's ready to greet the world on-time, and that makes me very happy.

What else? The babe moves around constantly, the heart rate is normal, growth is good, she's still tilted head down, my weight gain is normal this week, and my blood pressure is low. Going into Monday's appointment, the only thing I was really concerned about was my weight because at my last appointment I was told I had gained too much poundage between appointments. Seven pounds total weight gain. Five pounds "more than necessary."

You see, my doctor's nurse was out so a different doctor's nurse in the practice weighed me in and told me I gained about five more pounds than I needed to between my appointments and that I needed to watch that. I was completely bent out of shape about that being said to me. One reason being that my medical file says that I am to get blindweighted because of my ED history and I ALSO mentioned it when we got to the scale, and then the second reason being was that if she actually glanced at the progress I've been making, my weight gain has been below-average to average (you may remember that I was told I needed to be eating more for awhile there and that I was put on a more structured plan for that), so a five pound surge shouldn't have been too alarming.

So I talked to my doctor about it, she apologized for what happened and told me that my one little piece of extra weight gain was perfectly fine, especially since my weight gain has been healthy and I'm pretty much all baby. Yes, you see, I am not only The Stubborn Swede, I am also the Short-Waisted, Stocky Swede. At this point there is nowhere else for the baby to go but outwards. I am somewhat convinced I am growing the Sasquatch baby. With John being so tall, I am really beginning to wonder. I suppose we will know in just a few weeks.

Ack! My due date is one month away!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Paid Off

As of January 15, all of my credit cards will be paid off! Euphoria!

Now we just need to get the personal loan J took out before we met, and the balance of the MINI loan (or sell it, as I am pretty keen on at the moment with baby arriving soon) paid off, and then all of our higher interest debt will be gone.

When all is said and done, as long as we stick to our guns, we should be totally out of what is considered higher interest debt within the next 1-2 years, leaving us only with the house and remainder of my student loan debt to then tackle moreso than we already are.

I do still need to put the complete action plan together as I am guesstimating on timeframes right now, but two years seems to be a fair estimate.

Have I mentioned I am euphoric?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Books Read - December 2008

Charles Bock, Beautiful Children
Gigi Levangie Granger, The Starter Wife
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Paul Shepherd, More Like Not Running Away
Jean Thompson, Throw Like A Girl

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello 2009! I hope this year is full of happiness, health, and success for all of you, friends!