Monday, March 21, 2011

Feminism shaping the family unit

My husband and I had a chat today. He was telling me about something he heard on the radio. He was telling me that the person on the radio was discussing how feminism has changed so much about our family unit and culture. For hundreds of years it was the job of the man to be the hunter-gather/breadwinner, it was the job of his partner to keep house, raise the children, and feed him. The way my husband put it "Basically, the woman gives the man a reason to come home". I thought that the way he said that was interesting. I honestly didn't ask if those were his words or the person on the radio.

That comment led the conversation to adultery and cheating. The idea that if a woman is not home and taking care of her husband and family the man feels less like he needs to fulfill his role. That if his wife can take on the responsibilities of hunter-gather as well, the man needs to look elsewhere for someone to make him want to come home. Interesting!?!

We also spent some time talking about how there was a time that if you got a woman pregnant you took responsibility for the child by marrying the woman. You may not have liked it, but you (the man) realized that taking care of this child and the mother of your child was your job. Today, that just isn't the case.

I wish that I could put this conversation into words a little more "gracefully". I feel like I'm spewing out parts of it and not getting to the heart of the conversation.

I found this whole thing interesting, because I have always been a work horse! I started working when I was 15 and never stopped. I always went above and beyond what I was asked to do, because I take pride in what I do. I grew up in a family where my Dad was always working. My Mom was almost always working. There were a couple summers that she was not working. I can remember those summers that she did work. It was LONG and BORING! We lived in the middle of nowhere and the nearest pool or park was about 5-8 miles away and not a path that would be safe for a 'tween'.

I remember when I was about 11 or 12, that was the summer that I started watching "Days of our Lives". I was so bored! It was "Price is Right", "Family Feud", Spaghetti for lunch, and then "Days". I remember thinking that the kids that got to go to the pool, parks, waterparks, etc with their parents all summer were so lucky.

As a grew up, summers became much more awesome! I could drive and I had friends that could drive! We found lots to do! In those days, I knew that I wanted children, but I wanted them to be birthed by someone else, because I was afraid of the idea of labor. I planned to work as a teacher and always thought it would be great to have the summers off. I assumed the children would go to daycare like I did. I learned a lot there and had a lot of fun!

Today, I feel differently. I do not gawk at moms that have to work. That is your business, but for me personally, my job is at home. I did not have my son so that I could take him off to someone else and let them raise him. Granted there are bad days and days when I take him to something like a daycare for an hour or two so that I can go to dinner or exercise or visit someone without the constant interruption. Overall though, I feel that the work that I am meant to do is right here with my son.

I hope that it can always be like this.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just over 7 weeks....

When I was pregnant with Matthew, I took the time to journal the entire thing. I wrote something down on my computer just about every day in the beginning. Then, it got to be a couple times each week toward the end. I used some of my journaling in the scrapbook that I started while I was pregnant with him. Sadly, I did not finish the scrapbook and it ends right before my baby shower. What a bummer! I need to put it on my list as something to finish before baby #2 comes along.

In the meantime, I am going to do the same type of journaling on my blog. I hope that you all will find it interesting, funny, and endearing.

Today is March 20th. It is the first day of Spring. Thank goodness, because I am a lover of winter, but right now, I need some sun! My tulips or daffodils (I forget if I planted one or both last year) are starting to poke their noses out from under that ground. Seeing them is like seeing friends that you haven't seen in forever!

I have been feeling sick for over a week now. I have this awful chest and head cold, which might actually be more of sinus issue. Either way, I can't sleep at night because my nose gets all clogged up. I've been getting headaches on and off too and when I'm feeling really stuffed in the head, it makes it really hard to be anywhere that is very well lit.

I keep drinking a lot of liquids and taking whatever medicines I can to help me. This morning, I decided to try out my NetiPot. I was impressed! Although it felt weird, after I did it, I was able to get a huge bunch of junk out of my face! Then, I took my first breath through my nose is over 24 hours! Sadly, that has not lasted all day. By noon, I started feeling clogged again. I hope this goes away soon.

As for my new little bean, last Saturday came and knocked me down hard! I have been so tired that I don't feel like doing anything. I knew this was coming, that's why I made all that food to freeze, but man oh man, this is so much harder with a toddler around. I HAVE to lay down while he naps or else I can't get through the day. I am still going to bed around 8pm, because any later and I feel like crap the next day.

I am grateful that Scott is home in the mornings. As long as I am in bed at 8pm the night before, I can wake up with Matthew at 7am and be ready (sorta) to get him going and keep him busy so Scott can sleep in. By 9:30, I am usually ready to take a nap. At the very least, I need to sit down and take a break. I consider myself a lucky girl if Scott is getting ready to take Matthew out to the YMCA or something around this time.

Twice this week, I sucked it up and took him out myself. On Wednesday, I took him to the YMCA. He went into Childwatch and I sat at a table with my head down trying to just rest with out falling asleep and looking like a moron! On Thursday, we had a Saint Patrick's Day party with our playgroup. It was fun, but I was really exhausted when it was over. I was glad to be able to get Matthew out of the house though. I know he needs the social interaction with other kids and he needs to play outside of our home.

Upstairs, my Dad is still working on the extra bedroom. He has all of the walls drywalled and the ceiling is done! How exciting! I am still trying to decide what that room will be. Will it be Matthew's new room or will it be for the new baby? It could also go back to being a craft/guest/catch all room, but I don't know. I keep thinking that knowing if we are having a boy or girl will make a difference. I think I'd feel more excited about having two boys share the big room and could imagine them with bunk beds at some point. That would be neat!

One think that causes me some almost daily anxiety is not feeling as pregnant as I did in the past. I can remember feeling sick to my stomach both times before. I didn't want to eat anything. I was tired all day and begging to go to bed. This time, I start to feel a little sick and realize that means that it is time for me to get something to eat before I start to feel any more sick. So, I've been eating like it's going out of style! Where normally I would have lost about 5 pounds by now. I have, instead, gained about that much.

There's this big part of me that is expecting to go into the bathroom and have a very devastating moment. I keep praying that everything will be okay, but also telling myself that I can handle whatever happens. I'm still thinking that having that ultrasound at my first appointment would have helped a little. I just wish I knew for sure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Slacking off a bit....but with good reason!

I've been away from my blog more than I have in a long time in recent weeks. I haven't been doing as many really fun and interesting things with my toddler lately. Do I feel guilty about that? OH YEAH! Did I expect this? OH YEAH!

About two months ago, my husband and I had a conversation about having another child. At the time, I thought that the biggest reason that we had for wanting to wait a little longer was our finances. We are getting by on what my husband makes at his job and what I make as a part time nanny pays for a couple things and gives us some extra spending money. In the end, there's not a TON leftover, but there is some!

I guess my main reason for revisiting this conversation had to do with the fact that we were just weeks away from paying off our car loan and one of my student loans. Those two bills would give us an extra $420 a month! I think that knowing that there was going to be this huge chuck of money that would not longer get eaten each month, made me think that we could be okay.

This conversation with my husband literally lasted all day! Primarily because we were not on the same page. While I thought we were waiting because of finances he said the felt that with us paying down those loans and the fact that he was making more money at work, he thought we were really good. So, I asked him what was keeping us from having more children? He said, "Well, things are just getting easy. Matthew is getting more independent each day and it is making it easier for us to find time to enjoy ourselves again. I'm just not really sure that I'm ready to give that up already."

*************Picking up Mouth from off the FLOOR!*****************************

Are you kidding me?! So I looked at him and asked if he still wanted more children. He said "Yes." I asked if he still wanted four children (his idea, not mine!), and he laughed.

The conversation that I thought we were going to have and the conversation that we DID have were totally different! I really expected him to basically cut me off and say "Not yet!" Instead, after talking for an hour, he said "You know, we really should try to have another one. I know that I don't want our lives to change from what they are right now, but I want a family more than that." (Mouth dropping again!)

After we were both on the same page, we decided that we were going to wait a couple days and see if we still felt the same way. We also discussed things that we thought we wanted to change with our second one. Things like, if I would work or not, where the kids would sleep (we have another room, but we talked a lot about having them share a room just because), and what our expectation are for each other.

This was actually one of the best conversations I've ever had with my husband.

After we were sure that we both wanted to start trying, I started in on the pregnancy math. I found out that I would be ovulating over Valentine weekend, so we made plans to have our son visit over at grandmas house. Got home and confirmed ovulation with a test. All systems were go!

Almost immediately after, I was buying pregnancy tests. I think I was able to get myself to wait an entire 4 days before the first test! After that, I was taking them about every other day. It became such an obsession!

On February 23rd, I took an Early Response test. These ones are supposed to tell you 6 days before your missed period if you are pregnant. I was due for my period in about 4. I took the test and waited. Nothing.....more nothing....then more nothing! I was feeling really annoyed! Then, I noticed that if I turned the test into the light there seemed to be something there. Not that it was a pink line, but where the rest of the test seemed to glare off the plastic, this part did not. I thought I finally had a sign that we were pregnant! I got really excited, but knew I had to wait a couple days and then check again.

Friday morning finally came and I took a test...no question! It was definitely positive!

Since then, I have been waiting and waiting for a baby doctor's appointment. I finally went yesterday. It was a long appointment for not really doing much of anything! They talked to me about being pregnant, did the urine test, did the mini physical, and did a pelvic exam to see how big my uterus was. She said that my uterus looked like a 6 week uterus. That was about it.

Now, I have another 4 week wait until I go back. The next time, we will be doing bloodwork, taking in a baseline 24 hour urine, first ultrasound, and meeting with the doctor. It seems like it will be a long appointment.

As for me, I've been soooooooo very tired! In both of my past pregnancies, I was teaching first graders all day while going through this part. I can remember going to work at about 7am, teaching until the kids left, then staying to set up the next day, writing lesson plans, going to meetings, having parent-teacher conferences, finally getting home at about 5 or 6pm and just sitting outside my apartment in the car. I would put my head on the steering wheel and think about how much work it would be to go up the steps. When I finally got inside, sleep was always more important than food. I would most often skip dinner and be asleep by 6:30pm. Then, I'd wake up around midnight, starving and feeling sick. Sometimes I could get myself to eat, but usually not! I'm end up staying up until about 5am. Then, after I'd finally gotten to sleep, it would be time to get up and get ready for work.

This time is so different! I don't know how I did it before! Taking a 1pm siesta seems to be key for me! I can make it through the day and even sleep normal hours at night if I just take a nap when Matthew does.

I'm also really cranky! I can remember being like this with my students. It was just like I had no patience for anything that I would have normally found to be funny. I'm there again with my son and my husband. Oh my poor family!!! Why does Mommy have to be so grumpy!

So, I'm due November 4th, but last time they didn't want to let me go past 39 weeks so I was induced a week early. I'm expecting that to be true again, so I'm thinking we're having a Halloween baby! My mom gave me a gender test yesterday and it showed that I'm having a boy. A boy would be nice! I love the idea of putting them in matching clothes and being able to reuse everything! However, I'm still stuck on wanting a girl for her wedding day and when the grand babies come. So, I guess we'll just be happy with whatever it is this time!

weight: +4 pounds since gyno appoint Feb 9th

cravings: everything at some point, mostly carbs!

belly: doesn't seem to be there, but jeans don't fit! Luckily had size 18s from before I was pregnant with Matthew...working those for now.

gender prediction and why?: Boy, because Mom's gender test says so and everything feels the same as it did with both boy pregnancies from before.

fears: What if it's twins? Am I giving Matthew enough attention? Am I giving my husband enough attention? Why did the stupid doctor person keep saying "Wait to see if this a viable pregnancy". Should I be worried? Is this this worst of my morning sickness and exhaustion or will it get worse?

Things that are still undecided: Will the newly remodeled bedroom be a new bedroom for Matthew, the baby, or go back to being a craft room/guest bedroom. Names! We have no names this time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Eye Buy Direct

If you are someone that wears classes, but can't seem to ever get them at a decent price (read: within the limits of your eye plan), EyeBuyDirect.com could come in handy!

This site allows you to order prescription glasses for as little as $7.95 a pair plus shipping! I have used this site to order about 10 pairs of glasses. When I order, I usually wait until they are having a bogo sale and then stock up on a couple pairs.

I love having so many glass, because I can leave a pair upstairs, by the bed, in the bathroom, and in the car and not have to worry that I won't be able to find them. Also, when my son was younger, he had a tendency to take my glasses and just break them however he could. That was difficult to swallow with a $150 pair of glasses, but now, if I'm only out $10....it's not such an issue.

I wanted to let you know that EyeBuyDirect.com is having a BOGO sale right now. All you will need is the prescription that your eye doctor gives you when you leave their office. If you do not have it, call their office and ask for your eye glass information.

Also, when you buy glasses from EyeBuyDirect.com you can become a member of their loyalty program and earn money toward more glasses. Because I am in the program, I am able to welcome you with an extra 15% discount if you use this code:  IFZKAB498S

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A cheapy deal....

I just wanted to give you the heads up....

This week Kuhns (this is store that is here around Pittsburgh) has Starkist Tuna on sale for 39 cents. There is a coupon from maybe 2 weeks ago where you got $1.50 off 3 pouches or cans. The coupon actually says that it is for some new specific item, but I used it on a few "regular" cans of tuna last week and it went through just fine.

That would mean 39 cents * 3 = $1.17 - $1.50 coupon.....possible moneymaker!!!

Also, I have stocked up on this before when there were other tuna sales. When the ran out, I got a rain check on them. So, don't forget about that!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Matthew signing at 27 months! My Smart Hands!!

This is my sweet little signing kiddo! You can view a few other videos of Matthew signing when he was younger.

If you would like more information about baby signing, go to www.mysmarthands.com. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and interested in taking or hosting a class, leave me a comment or an e-mail and we can set something up.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Free $70 gift from Home Depot!

Yesterday, I went into Home Depot to do a little looking around. I have shown you pictures of the room overhaul. At this point, the ceiling and one wall are dry walled and the electric is almost finished. YEAH!

Before this project got started, I asked me Dad if Scott and I could change the light fixture in the room to a fan and light fixture. He said that was fine. He said that when we got closer to the point of needing it, he would take me to Home Depot to see what our options were and pick out what we want. I love picking out new things for the house!

Yesterday though, I was just in the mood to look. So, I went back to the light fixtures and started looking at the fans. They seemed to range from some cheap $20 ones up to some really fancy $200 fans. WOW! Something as simple as a light fixtures could get really expensive!

Then, I spotted at "final one" display model. It was nice. The fan had 4 lights on it and was 52inches. The price said $17.03! I thought SCORE!!! It was originally a $70 fan. WOW! What a great deal! I had to get some help to have it taken down and the two people that were helping me were so nice and kind. I checked with them to make sure that if it didn't work for the room, I could still bring it back. They told me that was fine.

I got all set up and they get me a big cart and we wheel it up to the front. The woman that is helping me decides that it will be easiest to take it to the service desk to check out. Can you imagine that shock when they tell me that it is ringing up at just 1 PENNY?

So, they don't even check me out. They take me aside and tell me you are "GETTING" this fan. Another person that was helping me walks it out to the car for me...I get no receipt and don't even end up having to pay the penny!

Shocking right? Well, not that I PLANNED this at all, but I have read about this online. Apparently, the way that Home Depot's system is set up after a clearance item has been on clearance in the store for so long (I read elsewhere that it was 8 months and 1 day) the ISBN for the item changes to make it 1 penny. From what I read online, there is a date on the clearance tag that you can use for a guide. However, from what I read online, they do not always give you the item like I got it. If fact, from what I've read they actually use that system to help them find stuff that needs to be taken off the shelves. So if someone brings one of those penny items to the register it is taken from them and literally just thrown away! How sad!

I can't wait to show you pictures of my new fan, but for right now, it is just sitting in wait to go up in the room. I will post pictures as soon as it is up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So tired of chasing!

I, like every Mom, am constantly wondering if I am doing what is right for my son. Today, I decided at the last minute that I was going to take my son to the mall playground to meet up with our playgroup. Oddly enough, I was just having a conversation with a mom from the group last night and telling her that every time I take my son there, I wish that I hadn't!

When you there, there is a decent sized open area with 3 little slides, some huge books that the kids can climb on, and NO way of keeping your child in the area if they decide to run! It's really annoying! there place is enclosed on 3 sides and the fourth side has two giant openings that are perfect for a curious toddler. On top of that, my son knows that the elevator is right across from this play area, so he tries to take off to push the button on that thing a lot!

My son has honestly never been too bad about running away, but today was horrible! Today, he was really testing boundaries and took off 5 times! I have always been a mother that would rather correct the problem than ignore it, so rather than give up and go home after this happened the second and third times, I just put him in time out over and over and each time it lasted a little longer. He was stuck in a little corner each time and after he was finished with his time, I would remind him that if he left the play area he would be back in time out. He said "Sorry Mommy." each time and then took off playing. That would last about two minutes before he would run again.

I really thought I was doing the right thing by trying to nip the problem in the butt and having him be punished for what he was doing. For the times that he DID stay inside, I also praised him. However, I kept thinking, "If I were watching another mother do this with her child, I would be thinking 'BOY! That lady is a really glutton for punishment! She's not getting through to her child AT ALL!'" However, I was also thinking about how well I know my son. He is a fast learner and he picks up on things quickly, so I thought what I was doing was going to be helpful.

In the end, after 5 attempts at changing the behavior, I did not have another ounce of patience or energy in my newly pregnant body (Yes, I'm just 5 weeks, but I'm so exhausted already that I like to sleep the entire day!). So, I picked up my little guy, said goodbye, and we just started walking. I needed to return a shirt so he walked the entire length of the mall with me to do it. There was a little part of me that was thinking "HA HA! You have to walk! With those little tiny legs! You're gonna be so tired soon!"

Have you had days like this? When is it enough? More importantly, how is it that out of a group of nearly 10 moms in our group, I was the only one that was chasing my child around and not enjoying the chatting time with the other moms? That....that REALLY sucked!