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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!


As you can imagine, things are still a bit nutty around here, but we're doing well. Evan is making giant strides - his weight is back to what it was at birth and more (he was 6 pounds 6 ounces on Thursday, and today he was 6 pounds 10 ounces!). We're settling into more of a routine at home, and sometimes have time to do things other than changing diapers, feeding, or bathing Evan :) DH even raked all the leaves in our yard today and I managed to have a long bath!

I'm hoping to get this blog more regular again in the nearish future, but in the meantime I'll try to at least post updates on how we're going.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Home!

Just a quick update to say that little Evan came home with us last night!! He's doing so well here - much better than at the hospital. Probably because his parents are much less stressed :)

He was one week old yesterday - welcome home little man!

Fig. 1 - mommy happy to be home with Evan. Yes, that might be the dorkiest shirt ever (or at least that I own).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby Update

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and words of encouragement! I love my readers :)

Evan is still in the hospital, but he is doing really well! He was taken out of the NICU on Wednesday night, and put in what they call the NPCU (basically a step down nursery for healthier babies). His glucose levels evened out, so he is being fed either by breast milk (either directly from me or a bottle), or formula - no IV.

He has a bit of jaundice, so they've been using lights to treat that. He was under the lights last night and the night before, but hasn't been under them during the day. We're hoping his levels stay down now, but it's a waiting game.

The biggest reason he's still in the hospital is because he's young and can sometimes have trouble feeding. He gets tired and falls asleep (which is so cute, but of course we'd rather have him eating enough!). So, we just need to get that to be consistent and then he'll be closer to coming home with us.

Emotionally, it's been a roller coaster for us. It's hard because we weren't expecting him to come early (of course), so weren't really prepared for him to have to stay in the hospital. Another reason it's hard is because he's such a big boy, so it's difficult to keep in mind that he came 5 weeks early and needs to develop more. Leaving him at night to come home is really sad, but we know it's for the best that he stays where he is right now.

Will post another update soon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surprise!

Well - Tuesday certainly turned into an interesting day!

At about 2pm I felt this gush of fluid, and by 6pm Evan Michael was born!!! It went crazy fast - I called DH and my midwife at about 2:30. DH came home, packed a bag for me, and we met my midwife at the hospital by 3:30. They did a bunch of checks, and sure enough I was in labor. By the time the on-call OB checked me (I don't remember what time) I was 8cm!! They asked if I wanted an epidural, but I figured if I got through to that point without one, then I'll just go for the glory. That was the only interaction I had with the OB.

Let me be frank - labor SUCKED!! It was excruciating, and pushing was really really difficult. But, I didn't have the choice and just kept plugging away. I think I must have said (and by said, I mean screamed at the top of my lungs) "I can't do this anymore!!" and "I just want him out!!" about 1000 times! But, I did it, and he came within 4 hours of my water breaking.

He weighs 6 lbs 9 oz (2980 grams), and he looks to be doing alright for the most part. He had some initial problems breathing and his glucose levels were low, so he was put in the NICU. However, his breathing is great now and his sugar levels are getting better. We don't know right now how long he will need to be in the NICU. Will keep everyone posted on that.

Phew!! What a frickin' crazy day!



So, let's see - for the pool I'll take all the entries that are in there as of right now (11:30am Eastern Time on Oct. 20th). That means the winners are:

Birth date: October 19th - closest guess was RB with November 11th!!

Weight: 6 pounds 9 ounces (2980 grams) - closest was Nicole with 7 pounds 4 ounces!!

Length of labor: 4 hours - closest was RB again with 3 hours!!

Congrats to the winners (and I'm sure thankful some of you lost with your huge weight and long labor estimates)! Please email me at mrscomethunter "at" rogers "dot" com to claim your prize (of course, it might take a while before we're settled over here to get it all done, but you will be getting them!).

Monday, October 18, 2010

35 Weeks

Tomorrow I will be 35 weeks pregnant! I can't believe how fast the past 8(ish) months have gone by.


Fig. 1: (top) Me at 34 weeks and 6 days (photo includes me in a pink top as per Cath's suggestion). (bottom) Mr. Greedy of the Mr. Men series. Does anyone else see a resemblance?

Not too much new is going on pregnancy-wise, although my symptoms seemed to have reverted back to what they were in the first trimester: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.. Otherwise, right now I just feel like it's a waiting game to see when Baby G will make his entrance into the world.

So, with that in mind, I thought it might be fun to run a pool! Here are the categories:

1. Birthday (the due date is November 23rd)
2. Weight
3. Length of labor

Prizes will be given out for each category ($10 gift card to your favorite online store).

Here are the rules:
  • Prizes will go to the first person who guesses closest in each category (this is so I don't end up with a 10-way tie and have to spend hundreds of dollars on prizes. It also makes it advantageous to enter early!)
  • No "without going over" rule
  • You can win in more than one category
  • Enter your official guesses in the comments of this post by 5pm Eastern Time on October 25th
  • You must use some sort of identifying name when you comment (i.e., don't use "anonymous")
  • In order to receive the prize, you must be willing to part with the contact information needed to get the gift card to you (I imagine this would be different depending on the store)
  • If you do not claim your prize within 5 days of the announcement (or decline the prize), the prize will go to the next closest guess (and so on, until someone claims the prize!)
I'll announce the winners as soon as I can after the birth! Have fun and good luck!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Update to "B.Ed?"

Thank you all for your comments on yesterday's post. I did respond to everyone, but wanted to write a separate update here as well because many of the comments were based around a couple similar themes. There is also some new information regarding the outreach position.

1. If I don't accept, can I defer or re-apply?
As far as I know, I could not defer my acceptance until 2012. A friend of mine emailed me yesterday about the second issue (she is also applying to B.Ed. programs, but not here), and said re-applying after declining might very well hurt my chances. Something to think about for sure.

2. Daycare for Baby G
It's not putting Baby G in to daycare that I am worried about - he will be going if I attend this program or if I get a job (and, at this point, it will be one or the other). It's the cost of daycare that I am more worried about (because if I go back to school, we will be living on one income).

3. Future Job Security/Family Life
Even though the job prospects right after getting the B.Ed. may not be ideal, once I get a teaching position it would be pretty secure. Also, being a teacher means I would get the same holidays/time off as our child(ren), which is good for our family. These points are definitely something to think about. The program is only 8 months long, but the long-term benefits could be really great.

4. Flipping the Coin :)
I love EGF's advice! The problem is I would love to do both sides of the coin (do the B.Ed. and take the outreach job).

5. Waiting
The friend who emailed me also made another great point - it would be easier to go back to school once the kid(s) are older. Daycare is less expensive for older children, and of course they start school these days at the age of 4 (or younger?). This would give me the opportunity to try out the outreach position to see if I really like it, while not hurting my chances of getting in to the program and saving up money so going back to school wouldn't be such a kick to the pocketbook.

New information: I received an email yesterday from the professor who is applying for funding for the potential outreach position: he has received official word that the money is coming through!

What does that mean for me? Well, the outreach position is pretty much (99%) guaranteed to exist next spring. However, even though the people involved have said they would like me to take on the position, there is nothing in writing --- and there won't be for some months, I'd imagine.

What it comes down to: the outreach position is pretty much guaranteed, but not quite. If I have the choice between taking the job and going back to school for a B.Ed., at this point I would take the job. BUT, the position is not 100% guaranteed - should I still apply for the B.Ed. program?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

B.Ed?

Around this time for the past four years I have contemplated applying to the Bachelor of Education program so I could become a primary/secondary school science teacher. The applications for the September start date are due the December before, which means one must really think ahead to what the upcoming year will bring.

I first considered it about half-way through my PhD when I just wanted to give up. But, my (stupid?) pride got in the way of that. I just had to finish what I started.

In my last year of my PhD (2008) I didn't apply for the 2009 start date because I was sure DH and I would be moving out of the city.

In 2009, I decided not to apply for the 2010 start date because I was sure we'd either have a baby by then, or at least I'd be pregnant and wouldn't be able to finish out the year (which is true).

So, here I am again. Should I or shouldn't I apply for the 2011 start date? I keep going back and forth on this, but I really need to make the decision soon so I can put together the application before December 1st if I decide to apply.

Reasons For
  • First and foremost, I would love to teach science! It's been a passion of mine for many years now, so to be able to officially teach would be wonderful.
  • As of right now, I have no job to go back to after Baby G arrives.
  • My (paid) maternity leave would last until next November, meaning I'll at least be bringing in some sort of income for the first couple of months of classes.
  • The program is only eight months long, so it is not a huge time commitment
Reasons Against
  • Finances: yes, my maternity leave would last until November, but what happens after that? With our expenses right now we would just get by on DH's salary alone, but if I went back to school we'd also have to pay for tuition (ugh!) and daycare for Baby G.
  • Because of the above, I would probably have to find a part-time job (perhaps tutoring?) in order to supplement our income. That would mean I would be in school full-time, then have to work as well. That's a big time commitment, especially with a little one.
  • There is no guarantee I would get a job after I finished the program. It seems to be a struggle to even get on the supply (substitute) teacher list, let alone getting a permanent position.
  • There is a very good chance that there will be an outreach job at the university for me in the spring/summer. Even though it's not teaching in an official manner, it would be education related.
I guess the question I need to answer is does/should my passion for teaching outweigh all the logical arguments against it? Lots to think about, and very little time to decide!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Week 5 Winner!

I won this week's NFL blogger pool, getting 11 out of 14 games correct! Here is my prize:

Fig. 1: The illustrious NFL blogger pool trophy.

I'm pretty stoked about this win because a) I've been doing pretty crappy (only 5-6 points) until now, and b) I smoked the rest of the pool by at least 3 points. This allowed me to jump from 15th place overall to 9th. Hopefully I can get another few good weeks in!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Knitted "Felted" Tote

Way back in March I started knitting this tote bag. Well, after making small dents in it over the past few months, I sucked it up the last 2 weeks and got all the parts knit up. I even bought nice bamboo handles for it:

Fig. 1: All the parts knitted, ready to be felted.

As the caption for Figure 1 says, all I had to do was felt the pieces, then sew them together. One felts a piece by putting it through a hot cycle in a washing machine. This causes the stitches to blend together and the piece to shrink.

Usually a top loading washing machine is recommended, but I have a front loader. So, I Googled how to felt in a front loader, followed the directions, and after four permutations, nothing was happening to my bag!

After posting my mishaps on Facebook and Raverly, asking advice from my knitter friends, I figured out that I had used the wrong type of yarn. Apparently acrylic yarn can't be felted - one is supposed to use, you know, real wool. Duh.

Well, I certainly wasn't going to let almost 8 months of work go down the drain. So, I decided to knit up the bag as-is, but with knitted handles (I figured I would save the nice bamboo handles for when I totally don't screw up a project). Figure 2 below shows the final product - not bad, I suppose. It is cute, but it's not very sturdy. So, I will have to figure out what I can tote around in my tote bag that's not too heavy.

Fig. 2: The "finished" product (or as finished as it will ever be).

Next project: a baby hat for Baby G, using this pattern as recommended by Wool Free and Lovin' Knit!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Eyes! My Eyes!

A couple weeks ago, DH and I went to a local antique mall searching for a bookshelf or something for our front entrance. We didn't find anything that would work, but we did find this (those of you on FB have seen this already):

Fig. 1: Quite possibly the ugliest couch ever.

Have you ever seen anything like it in your life? The shape, the fabric, the random wood circles - it all just comes together, doesn't it? The best feature is that part in the center of the couch rotates, so you can store stuff in there! How convenient! Oh, and those round cushions? They're reversible, so you can choose to have the patterned fabric, or be a bit more conservative and keep the yellow going.

It can be yours for just $800!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In Which I Say "Screw It" and Give Up

I'm done.

I'm giving up on the observatory thing.

I've been thinking about it since the meeting with the department head. There is just no point to continue to work so hard for something no one else supports. As much as I would like to see the observatory remain open and used for public education and outreach purposes, there are so many other ways I can use my time in this way.

So, that's it. The observatory is closing its doors on December 31st, and may not ever be open again. I put a year into this project, on top of my full-time workload, for no pay and definitely no recognition. I wrote up a business proposal, I put together a steering committee, I organized two very successful events, and got the word out there about the observatory. I did my best, and although I'm disappointed, I don't consider any of it a failure.

If I end up getting a potential job (that I'm still not going to write about much until it's set in stone), we might revisit the idea. After all, the observatory isn't going anywhere, is it?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Misery Wars

Misery wars are awesome, aren't they? People sure love to one-up each other, or to downplay the excitement of others.

These misery wars tend to fall into a few categories (if you can think of others, please share!):

The "my-life-sucks-more-than-yours-so-ha" war: in which the second complainer "tops" the first complainer.

"Ugh, it's so hot here!"
"Well, at least you only have to deal with dry heat. The humidity here makes it so much worse!"

The "know-it-all" war: in which someone who has been-there-done-that relays stories about how horrible what you're about to go through will be.

"I didn't sleep very well last night."
"You should enjoy your time to yourself now - just wait until baby arrives!!"

The "I-can-make-anything-about-me" war: in which someone twists your innocent comment into a tragic story about their life.

"So excited to go to Vegas this weekend!"
"Flying sucks though - the last trip I went on they lost my bags and I didn't get them until I got home. Totally ruined the trip. I hate traveling."

The "mwa-mwaaaaaaaa" war (aka Debbie-Downer war): in which someone totally rains on your parade.

"We just bought a house!!"
"Sure, you're excited now, but just wait until you get a leak in your basement, find mold in your attic, and have no money to spend on anything else."

This competition has become even more evident in my life now that I'm expecting my first child. People just LOVE to tell me how much life is going to suck once the little one arrives. Here are just a few (real) examples:

"Only two more months of work left!"
"You think raising a kid won't be work?"

"It will be so interesting to watch their development."
"Yeah, until they're teenagers and they're telling you they hate you all the time."

"You're house is really nice. Just wait until the baby comes though - you'll never live like this again".

I want to get little trophies to give out to people who just love to win misery wars.