Friday, June 29, 2012

It's a...

Girl! At 42 weeks and 1 day, I was induced at 8 am. By 1:15 pm I was pushing, and at 2:15 pm she was here!  She was 9 pounds and 6 ounces and 21 inches long. I was able to have her as naturally as possible, with only pitocin. My mom and *B* were by my side the whole time. *B* was an amazing coach.

When we went in for an ultrasound on Tuesday, I could have sworn I accidentally saw boy parts. I was saying that I was 85% sure it was a boy. What a surprise!

Maybe I'm biased, but I think we picked out a gorgeous name for her. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure yet if I'm comfortable sharing it online. So for the time being, unless I decide otherwise, I think I'll refer to her as Miss F.

We are so blessed that mom, dad, and baby are all happy and healthy! Thank you so much for the prayers and well wishes!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

42 Weeks

Somehow I knew I wasn't going to have this baby on time.  Today, I am 42 weeks pregnant. 

I've been doing non-stress tests (NSTs) twice a week for the last two weeks.  The baby's done well through all of the NSTs.  I've had to have two ultrasounds - one to determine fluid levels and one to determine size.  As of yesterday, this baby was measuring a whopping 10 lbs 6 oz.  And with the second ultrasound, the fluid level almost cut by half.

My doctor in general is pretty easy going about letting the body go through its natural process.  I have had no real contractions at all.  I had about two hours of non-painful, timeable contractions on Saturday, but as soon as I went to sleep, they disappeared.  Given how far along I am, how big the baby is, and the fluid levels, it's just time for this one to come, ready or not.

So tomorrow I'm being induced.  It really isn't what I was hoping for, but I'm still planning on going pain-med free.  We'll see what happens once I actually get to feel a real contraction though.

Thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


As of tomorrow, I'll be 41 weeks.  It really does feel like this is the longest month of my life.  We had a false alarm very, very early this morning.  I let *B* sleep, but my contractions were strong enough to wake me up.  They stopped right after *B* called out of work for the day, and I ended up sleeping in until 9 am.  I went in for a non-stress test, and throughout the test I was having moderate, irregular contractions.  I'm hoping that this means my body's gearing up for the real deal.  Hurry up, baby, we want to meet you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Amazing Savings

Ever since I was little, I've wanted to be a stay at home mom.  When we got married, *B* and I agreed that one of us being home with the children would be the best way to raise our kids.  After I became pregnant, the realities of cost of living in the DC area hit us pretty hard.  I got really upset and anxious and swore it wasn't possible to live on only one income - especially one of our incomes.  I started frantically crunching numbers and came up with a goal.  We would need to save $10,000 by September just so that we could survive the year.

So I read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  I started using a spreadsheet to plan out future spending, and budgeting software to track past spending.  And from December to April, without a huge inconvenience to our lifestyle, *B* and I managed to save all $10,000.  We hit our goal four months early. 

So we decided to make our lifestyle more sustainable and pay off as much of our debt as possible.  We paid off my car and all of our credit cards, which had funded house repairs (that mold issue), course work, and miscellaneous things that really weren't worth paying on like eating out or groceries that I wasn't sure I had enough to cover in our checking account.  We paid off $6,000 worth of debt in one evening, which brought our savings down to $4,000.  It was a scary but triumphant moment.  So our goal now is to save up $12,500 by September, when my income cuts out. 

But here's the amazing part - I looked harder at our expenses and what we do with our money.  Since we no longer had minimum payments and interest, we needed far less per month.  If we live fairly close to our paychecks, not even sacrificing that much, we don't have to touch that savings while I'm home.  We will be living solely on *B*'s income. 

I had already planned to go back to a part time job I had for a couple of hours at night a few days a week.  I want to pay my student loans off early, so I'm going to put all of that second job into student loans.  While living on one income in a very expensive location, we'll still have more savings than anyone I know in my age range AND pay off our debt faster than anyone else I know.  All the while, our child (or children depending on how long I stay home) will have the benefit of a parent home with them at all times.

It's mind-boggling to me that we could have ever wasted that much of our income.  We'll have saved almost $20,000 in less than a year.  Think of all of the things we could have done!  But this lesson is one learned better late than never.   Even though we still have student loans and our mortgage, this taste of financial freedom is intoxicating.  I'm so thankful that we are lucky enough to be able to live our lives as we want.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact) that I had little to do with getting the garden going this year, we're having a great little harvest this summer.

After growing for two years, our garlic is big enough to braid.  I've always wanted braided garlic - it reminds me of the little house on the prairie.  I know that there's no reason for our garlic to take two years to get that big, but that's something I'm going to tackle in the future.

Every two days or so, we get a nice bowl full of snap peas.  We eat them raw, straight off the vine with the ends snipped off.

Our big producers at the moment are mint and strawberries.  I'm a collector of mint.  I wanted enough for tea, so we put one plant in the ground out in our front yard.  We ripped the plant out soon after and put it into a pot, but we're still finding massive amount of mint where it used to be.  It works out - we rip it out by the roots, plant the roots in a pot, and more comes back in its spot.

That harvest of strawberries was about 20 minutes worth of work last night.  We already had one bowlful in the fridge left over from the shortcakes we had the other night.  They're June-bearing, so I know our harvest will be short-lived, but we've gotten at least 6 large bowls of these very tasty beauties so far, and there are still green ones out there on the plants.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

First Day on a New Job

Yesterday was my last day as a teacher.  As far as last days go, it was fairly stressful.  A class that I had a very difficult year with in terms of parent interaction was still hanging on.  It was great to teach them because it helped me and them grow. 

But since they're high achievers, their parents would call my boss (or more often my boss's boss) if they had concerns rather than coming to me.  I thought it would be over since it was the end of the school year.  It turns out they were upset about grades they hadn't even seen yet.  So I spent my last few hours, not with coworkers enjoying our time and the end of year brunch, but putting out fires so that I might be able to come back in good standing to teach in the future.

But today is a new day, and it's my first day on a new job. 

I am a home maker, a (soon to be) stay at home mom, a domestic engineer.  It actually feels rather empowering to have the time and resources to dedicate to ensuring my family's health and happiness.  I'm excited that *B* and I won't "need" to eat out as often because we're both exhausted from work/school/second jobs.  I'm excited to be able to plan healthy meals, teach my child and watch the child grow, and to keep my home (somewhat) presentable.

I know that I really have no idea how the next few months will go, but I'm confident that I can pick it up quickly.  But for now, I'm off to start my new job, with a thorough organizing of my workspace as first up on my list.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I'm Ready, But the Baby's Not

As of today I'm 38 weeks and 3 days.  Our nursery is ready, and diapers are prepped.  Our hospital bags are packed and in the car, and car seats are installed.  I've finished my teaching duties, and I'll be out of work as of Wednesday. 

I know that I've still got a week and a half to go, but I'm ready now!  I'm a little nervous about the whole labor process, but I'm itching to get it going.  At every twitch, twinge, and cramp, I wonder is this it?  But it obviously hasn't been.  This is like waiting for Christmas times a million - and I can't even count down for it!