Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Last Day!

Today was my official last day of work. I still have a couple of things to take care of here and there, but I can officially stop feeling bad about not doing work. Things will get done with or without me, and it needs to function without, since I don't plan on being back to work until Mid November (or later, depending on the circumstances). OK Baby - you've officially got clearance to make your entrance into the world now. AAAANNNNNYYYYY time would be great!

Boy, was it a doozy of a last day! I was up at 5:30AM, for no particular good reason at all......Pat got up just before 6AM to run, and I joined him for a cool down walk around 7AM. We got into the office sometime after 9 (or was it 10? I forget) to do our semi-mid year reviews with our boss. Then, after about 2PM, we headed back into the city for an ACI Illinois Board meeting....followed by our monthly dinner meeting.......which got us home sometime around 8-ish or so.

I spent the day kind of sitting, but really it was a significant amount of up/down/walking kind of stuff too. We scooted out of our meeting a bit early.....I was trying to be a trooper and tough girl and stick out the whole time, but now I'm glad I didn't. I'm actually in a lot of pain now - my hips and back hurt tremendously, and I'm overall really achy. I realized how much I over did it when I took off my socks and shoes and my legs/feet were super Stay-Puft Marshmallow Girl. That doesn't oft happen to me.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm up right now - its a combination I think of me being overly tired, my body hurting, heartburn, and just this inexplicable insomnia that seems to plague me every time I try to go to bed. OK, maybe it doesn't help that I had a cup of coffee after dinner tonight, but should one cup really effect me that much?

Its a no win situation - I try to relax myself and clear my head, but there are always a million thoughts that run through my brain - so that "self relaxation" method doesn't work. Then, I tried keeping the TV on to at least keep my mind from racing, which actually works by distraction, but keeps me up because I get engrossed in the shows. Pat doesn't mind when I watch TV in bed (it takes him all of 2 minutes to fall asleep) but on nights, such as tonight, when I'm particularly restless and the TV doesn't even keep me occupied, I come out into the living room. I'll give myself over an hour or so. Ick. I'm just so tired.....and I really, REALLY want to sleep!!! My body won't relax though - and the baby certainly isn't in any mood to relax.....its been a tossin' and a turnin' all STINKIN' DAY!!!!!

OK, maybe I'll try to lay down and get semi-comfy, or at least as comfy as I can surrounded by pillows on the most uncomfortable couch on earth...please send either labor vibes or comfort vibes.....I just want some type of relief!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Ode to My Husband

OK - so its not an official ode. This isn't even an official post. I just want to say publicly, for the record, that my husband is amazing. He's taken over 90% of the cleaning, cooking, and 100% of the taking care of me - all without even a teeny tiny bit of anger or resentment. I can honestly say that I've never had to post an "OMG I'm Going To Shoot My Husband" thread on my pregnancy message board - because he just hasn't done any of the insensitive, ridiculous things that many husbands apparently do. (Well, there was that one comment about "eating the apple**"...but I'm pretty sure that was in jest.) He's been really good throughout this whole pregnancy, and in particular, these last weeks where I've had the pleasure of getting really uncomfortable.

I feel guilty I'm so tired that I just want to rest my weary feet/hips/back etc. - I feel guilty that I can only get the kitchen cleaned in about the same time it takes him to clean both bathrooms & mop all the floor. I feel terrible that when I'm finally comfortable after 10 minutes of adjusting, then deciding I really need a drink of water, that I have to ask him to retrieve it for me. But those feelings are often short lived for me, because I don't need to dwell on them. Pat makes me feel like its OK to take the time to rest, to take it easy...because its tough making a human being! I'm not sure if it comes natural for him, or if he has to work hard at it, but regardless, it never ceases to amaze me.

I know its because I'm pregnant, and its only temporary (although, if I'm not careful, I could get used to this Royal Treatment). But the way he does it....it just makes me appreciate every ounce of his being, and makes me love him so much more.

So thank you, Patrick, for being so amazing. I love you tons!

** I was particularly whiny one day about the lack of energy and achiness and the overall suckiness of pregnancy (maybe sometime in the first trimester), and asked, rhetorically, what I did to deserve that kind of malaise. To which my darling, witty husband replied "Well, I guess you guys shouldn't have eaten the apple" - referring to the actions of Eve. I'm pretty sure I shot him daggers with my eyeballs. Nice, Pat. Real nice.

Latina & Carlos Santana


Its no secret that I'm of Mexican decent (along with Welsh & French Canadian, so far as I know).....I've been a subscriber of Latina magazine for the past few years. I think I discovered it a year or two after its inaugural year. It has much more substance than Cosmo, but still has a little bit of trash in it to keep it light :) And, of course, I love it because I can relate to sooo much in the magazine. Its so inclusive - showing that there are Latinas of all sizes, shapes, colors and backgrounds - it really is a celebration of all things Latina!

I normally receive it and read it cover to cover right away, rarely skimming over any articles - and this month's issue was no different (the cover shown is actually from last month, this month features a stunning Judy Perez - the nurse from Scrubs!). I came across a one page feature on Carlos Santana...where one question and answer in his interview struck a chord with me. It shows a bit of his, well, spirituality? Quirkyness? 60's peace love and music man? I can't really explain it, but I thought it was poetic and beautiful, and I just wanted to share.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Q (Latina): You recently said in an interview: "I have the courage to say that I have transcended and graduated being American or Mexican...My only alliance is with the heart of humanity." What did you mean?

A (Carlos Santana): I'm a beam of light that comes from the mind of God, and while I'll always remember being born in Mexico, the sabor and all the music that is in my DNA - that's not all that I am. I would rather be like water and like the wind and be of service to everybody. I don't like the conflict that I see between brother and brother because they invest so much in a flag or in patriotism, which to me is an illusion. God doesn't see flags or patriotism - only compassion, mercy, forgiveness, unity and harmony.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm environmentally friendly :)

Yes, ladies and germs, I am now officially a LEED Accredited Professional. I can't believe that I actually passed, seeing as how the practice test I took earlier in the day I scored 8 out of 18 correct.....I guess it doesn't really matter how it happened though, eh?
In celebration - Pat bought me a surprise plant with a cute sign that says "Congratulations! Karin - you ROCK!". That totally made me smile!

Get it - its a plant, because it was a Green test? HA! I did the same for him when he passed back in June......his plant is doing fabulously!Seriously though - I'm so relieved I passed it. It was a goal to have that accreditation before I went on maternity leave.....and, I didn't want to take it again - and I didn't want to admit that my lack of performance was probably due to my lack of concentration and memory retention.....which is directly related to me being knocked up.


No matter now. I Passed! So go celebrate for me and hug a tree - or hug your nearest LEED AP!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stress-O-Rama

You wouldn't think I'd be stressin' - I've only got one more week left of work before I begin my maternity leave.....and I've been ramping work down for a while, so it should be an easy transition to nothingness :o) But, like the big dork I am, I had a personal goal of taking and passing a test before I leave. I'm taking the exam to become a LEED AP - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional. (Pat took and passed this exam back in June, if you recall) Which normally wouldn't be a huge deal, but, again, like the big dork I am, I procrastinated and procrastinated studying for this exam, and I've been cramming since last week. Now, I know I'll have enough time to cover the subjects, but I'm not sure I have enough time to keep all the information in my head. Especially with my pregnancy brain. I feel like I can't retain any knowledge in there at all! Needless to say, I'll be very disappointed in myself if I don't pass, but if I don't pass, I have no one to blame but myself. I've got a half a day tomorrow to study, and then I take the exam at 4:30pm....keep your fingers crossed.

I'm not sure if I'm giving myself physiological symptoms from stressing about the test, or if I'm just stressing because of the baby. But my neck is KILLING me!!! My massage therapist says people carry a lot of stress in a muscle that goes from your head to your shoulders....and I think I'm carrying it ALL there right now. I would go get it massaged out, but he's sooo good at doing that - so much that it feels like I was hit by a truck the day after before it actually feels good. I know I'm stressed, because when I'm waking up 1,000 times a night I can feel myself really, really clenching my teeth. I try to relax myself but I usually notice it during that semi-conscious state between sleep and wake, and I can't always do it. At least I have a mouth guard so I'm not wrecking my teeth. Apparently Pat's stressin too, because he's been telling me his jaw hurts, presumably from doing the same nightly teeth clenching activities. I wish there was a way to avoid that.....maybe some relaxation techniques before bed time?

Speaking of bed time, mine has not been very kind to me as of this last week or so. Sleep pretty much eludes me - either because I can't fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning (2:30AM on Monday Night), or because I'm getting up every two seconds to pee. OK, maybe not every two seconds, but at LEAST (last night anyway) every 1-2 hours. I can't cut down my water drinking any more! I get thirsty!!! It just dawned on me, as I was in the shower, that maybe the baby dropped a bit, which would explain why I am peeing so much with increased pressure and less capacity in my bladder. But I can't really tell, you know? I don't think I have any noticeable increase in lung capacity, and my hips/pelvic area don't seem to ache or hurt any more than they usually do......but I suppose its possible. I have noticed a considerable increase in activity with the little O'Brien this week though - he/she's been a super wiggle worm! We'll see what the powers that be say at my doctor's appointment tomorrow (it was rescheduled cuz I have a customer meeting on Friday).

On Monday night, when I couldn't fall asleep after laying in bed for an hour.........I came out into the living room and turned on some HGTV to watch me some Color Splash and House Hunters. It was fantastic. Then, I got the urge to whip up a batch of blueberry muffins - old school Jiffy style (my favorite!). So I did - and yes, it was about 1:30AM. I'm surprised Pat didn't wake up, because they smelled sooooo good! I did leave him three to eat the next morning - so that was a nice surprise for him :) Anyway, apparently, hot fresh from the oven blueberry muffins with a dab of melty butter was apparently just what I needed - because after I ate a couple and laid down on the couch supported by a mountain of pillows, and I finally fell asleep......then I woke up a few minutes later to go back into my comfy cozy bed.

OH, one more thing - I met the other preggo-pants girl who is floating around in our building. She's Polish (like, straight from the motha-land) and due one week after I am :) I gave her a high five and said "Yeah girl - we're almost there! We can do it!". Cheesy, I know, but that's how I roll.

OH, and one more thing (seriously this time). I love 50 degree weather. Pat and I took a nice walk this morning, and it was so awesome to wear pants, a long sleeve shirt and a fleece vest. Just so crisp and fabulous! I love fall!

OK - that is all - more to come later.........

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I give up.

I've decided that I am resigning to the fact that this baby isn't coming until October. I seriously had high hopes that he/she would come early. And when I hit 37 weeks - I really felt like it could happen at any time.

But people, I'm driving myself CRAZY looking, waiting, feeling for ANY sign that I could be going into labor. So, instead of driving myself crazy - I'm just giving up. Fine, body. You win. I will not die from being a giant huge manatee - I will not die because I can't bend over and pick up anything on the floor without making a huge scene - and I will not die because my feet swell up like giant balloons. Yes, I realize there are women out there who have been dealing with these ailments a whole helluvalot longer than I have (since they've just really started bothering me the last week or so). It doesn't make me any less misearable, but I won't die, so I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it until October. Because if I don't plan on the baby being late, I'll just spend a whole lot of time crying, lamenting why this baby isn't out yet.

Oh, in case you haven't figured it out - no new news at the doctor appointment yesterday. In fact, I saw a different doctor, and she said "yeah, I'm not even sure why he had 1 cm dialated in here two weeks ago - because you're about as high and closed as you can be". Great. Not to mention that I hit the dreaded weight I didn't want to hit. 200. yikes. I weigh two bills right now. ick. That makes a girl feel good too.

But, blood pressure is still good (110/70), head is till down, measurements are right on, so I've got that going for me. Oh, and I found out last week I was Group B Strep negative, so I won't need antibiotics during labor, which is cool.

::::::::::::::: WEEKEND PLANS :::::::::::::::

St. Gregory's (our church we are now official members of) is having a music / BBQ gig that we're headed to this afternoon. Our friend Sean is part of the planning committee. Pat helped to set up most of the morning, and he'll probably work the beer tent when we get there (because then you don't have to buy beer tickets). I'm sure they'll put me to work when I get there too - as long as I can sit it shouldn't matter too much what I do. Until we head out there we'll be chillin' at home watching college football! I'm excited, and kind of sad, to not watch it in a Sports Book (namely, Caliente) which was the hang out place for Keith and I during College Football season last year in Mexico. And, another cool thing is having The Big Ten Network as part of our Direct TV package - so we get all sorts of Big Ten football action....in addition to coverage of every obscure Big Ten sport you can think of. I wonder if we'll get some curling action.

Tomorrow is Sunday. And since we have Direct TV now (just installed yesterday) we have NFL Sunday ticket. So our Sundays from now until January are booked :) It just means I'll get a lot of scrappin' done while I sit out here in the living room while Pat watches the million games on TV. I kind of enjoyed having the NFL Snday Ticket last year....it was cool to keep tabs on my fantasy football dudes. And, it was nice to have plans every Sunday :) Even if it means we'll get to experience the pain of the Detroit Lions week after week. Maybe they'll be so bad that they'll send me into labor. At least they'll be good for something.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tee hee....

Courtesy of my cousin, Cindy :) She lives in New Mexico. Which we all know, is way better than Old Mexico.


video

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Full Term Party!

WHoooOOOOoHHOOOOOOOoooooOOO! Baby and I made it to full term. Yup - at 37 weeks baby is no longer considered a premie! Lungs should be fully developed, most systems are ready for launch....I can officially say this baby can come at any time. Here's some belly pics to celebrate!



I decided to include a front shot just so you can see my stretch marks that are officially forming. They're under my belly, to my right side a little bit. Still little, but they kind of itch, which is annoying. Also, another stretch mark is coming off of my belly button ring mark too. Eh. Whatev. I think they are kind of cute! Hopefully I can get one last shot in before I go into labor (or at least before I go to the hospital) so we can see the full progression.

Other fun things that have shown up are some toe swellage - that is kind of sucky. I just have to be more aware of how long my feet are below my body. If I can sit on the couch with my feet up for a bit in the middle of the day, I think it will help tremendously. I can't drink any more water (I'm already at two liters daily) or I'll be peeing every 3rd second instead of every 4th. I did an experiment last night....I stopped drinking water at about 7:30PM, with the hopes that I wouldn't get up every two hours to pee. It seemed to work - I only got up at 2AM and 5AM.....instead of 12, 2, 4 & 6. So I'll be implementing that tonight as well. Also, I feel like I'm waddling more - I'm not sure if the baby has dropped per se (although I guess I do have a bit more lung capacity) but it definitely feels like my hips hurt more and I have more pelvic pressure than normal.

I also got some final preparations in order - I sent my parents directions to the hospital with instructions on how to get to me once I'm in labor. I set up an email list so Pat can email everyone after the baby is born with the stats and specifics. The announcements are semi-designed and ready for a baby picture to drop in. In the mail today I got a couple nursing bra's that I ordered a few days ago - they fit amazingly, and they still have lots of stretch to accommodate any engorgement that occurs when my milk comes in. I also went in for my final Brazilian & eyebrow wax today too.....it will probably be a while before I can start that back up again, LOL! Now, I just have to find some time to get a manicure & pedicure, and I'll officially be ready for labor!

That's about all for a preggo update for now. I have another appointment on Friday, so I'll give another one then!

Labor Day Weekend photos :)


OK, as promised here are a few from this weekend. To see the full set, check out FLICKR My apologies for the overexposed ones......I tried my hardest to not shoot in full auto mode, and I'm still getting the hang of the light exposure/aperture thing.......






I think this is my favorite one......mostly because everyone is chasing little Michael, and every single one of them is smiling! Its just a good, wholesome, family fun shot!

Pat was trying to juke out his brother, and apparently the ol' legs aren't as limber as they used to be......so he took a little schpeel. Makes for a funny photo montage though :) Click on it to make it larger and see how silly he is!





These pics are also from this weekend (I made Pat do a mini-photo shoot with me. He loooooves those :) ) But I already scrapped them......came out pretty nice I think! You can see the credits HERE.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another perspective....

Here's an entertaining blog for you to sink your teeth into. Pat found it online somewhere - its called THE WAYNE FONTES EXPERIENCE - and it talks about all things sports in Detroit & Michigan. His banter regarding the two recent suck-fests of Detroit (namely U of M football, and the Tigers - they lost to the FLIPPING WHITE SOX - AGAIN!!!) is relatively entertaining.......go check it out!

WTF?

I'm glad the game wasn't on TV. I might have actually tossed my cookies. It was heartbreaking enough watching the final plays on ESPN's play by play gig.

Michigan's loss to Appalachian State was as big of a suprise for me as it was for everyone else. I mean, I know the first game of the season is normally a fluff off game, but guys, you HAVE to show up enough to WIN. For PETE'S SAKE!!! *sigh* I can't even talk about it anymore because its making me upset.

::::::::: WORK DRAMA :::::::::

The past few weeks have been difficult for me with regards to work. I can't remember if I've posted it before, but my job responsibilities are changing - from less of a sales role to more of a promotion/education role for other architects and engineers. Which, in theory, is fantastic - because I've always loved that part of the industry, and I know I'm very well qualified and it will work out well with my new role as a mommy too. But, the whole thing is kind of cloudy - ill-defined - if you will, and has left me in a bit of limbo.

To tell you the truth, I was just starting to find a groove with the sales role. And I was really diggin' it. And I realize now why some other sales guys I've known through the years showed a bit of territorial-ness when it came to their customers. Because they are YOUR customers! You spend the time to get to know them, determine their needs, and its really tough to just hand them over to someone else!

So the issue I've been having is this transition period between my old and new job, and the transition of handing off my customers to the new guy (who, by the way, is SUPER cool, and very knowledgeable - especially for being right out of college!) while trying to prepare for the new role that I will enter into after maternity leave. The whole thing just wasn't/isn't very well mapped or planned out. I tried and tried, on various occasions, to put together a formal plan with my boss to try to avoid some of this confusion, but I couldn't come up with anything super specific (being new to the sales role as I am - with 6 months under my belt) so we had more of a general umbrella of who would be covering what.....etc.

Without a firm plan in place, the resulting feeling for me is inadequacy. Basically, I feel like I can't complete my job roles because of my pregnancy (I'm restricted to stay in the Chicago Metro area - which cuts off about 75% of my territory), which is making me not able to visit customers and in general, I feel like (at least in my eyes) I look incompetent.

I will admit, its a bit tough to be a woman in this industry...not superficially...people aren't saying rude comments and telling me to get back in the kitchen and bake some pies. But its like this semi-transparent, looming black cloud. Its like a stereotype that is baked into people's heads that a women sales person isn't as good as a man, isn't as easy to talk to, relate to, etc. Its not anything that can be helped, I don't think. And being pregnant on top of that, is just adding to the stereotype. Its not just the customers, either, but I think the thoughts of management as well.

The only analogy I can think is this: If I were walking at night down an alley, and saw a big scary looking tatooed up shaved head man walking toward me, I would definitely be a tad bit alarmed, automatically thinking this person would attack me or rob me. Not that I'm predjudiced against big scary looking dudes, but its just where the mind is programmed to go.

I realize that additional effort needs to be made to make up for this thought process, but its tough to go the extra mile when you're not even sure what your responsibilites are. And dammit, sometimes it just gets hard to slather on a smile and pretend like everything is going great.

This makes me cry (thus further adding to the stereotype) and that, my friends, is never a good thing for a pregnant woman to do....because sometimes its really hard to stop.

::::::::: ON TO HAPPIER THINGS :::::::::

Pat and I had a great weekend in Indiana. And just in case you're wondering, I would still consider it Metro Chicago, seeing as how its only a 45 minute drive from my hospital (gotta respect doctors orders!). It was just nice to hang out and have fun with family. Even nicer to feel like its my family. I took about a zillion photos of the goings on (namely a game of bags, and two hand touch football), of which I'll post a bit later when I get a round to it. A million thanks to Mike & Kristen & Family for putting up with us and feeding us for a couple of days. You guys ROCK.

::::::::: LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST :::::::::


Happy Birthday Glitter Graphics from Dolliecrave.com


A giant happy birthday wish to my dear dear little baby sister, who is now officially 16 years old. Sweet LORD! Where did the time go??? I hope you have a fantastic day Karli-girl!

Saturday, September 01, 2007