Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farmer's Market Weekend

I try to go to the farmer's market as awesome as possible, but I have not made it since my parents were here (the first full weekend of August), so to go yesterday and see it in full swing was very exciting, and I could not resist buying quite a few ingredients. And, being excited by those ingredients, I have not been able to resist eating them all weekend...

Saturday evening and Sunday Afternoon: A McIntosh apple, sliced it up and put it lemon juice with a handful of farmer's markets grapes (nothing like grocery store grapes, but more wine-like), drizzled and mixed the fruit with honey, then added enough Fage greek yogurt to coat. Delicious! Would be even better if I had some walnuts to candy or something.

Saturday night and Sunday Noon: ate some of the fresh salsa I bought premade! Spicy and wonderful!

Sunday Morning: Farmer's Market Omelot - three eggs, a big handful of fresh sliced basil, a solid portion of diced tri-color cherry tomatos, and a chunk of fresh feta chopped up. So tasty!

Sunday Afternoon: Homemade, from scratch Coleslaw (my first ever attempt at Freshmade coleslaw) - I mixed together a couple heaping tsps of mayonaise, sour cream, a healthy dose of apple cider vinager, tsp of brown sugar, dash of onion salt. Let that sit and mix together while I sliced up a mini head of cabbage and a fresh sweet red pepper (not a bell pepper - a much thinner, longer sweet pepper, don't remember the name). Mixed the veggies into the sauce and let it sit for a half hour before digging in. Quite yummy!!

What fresh produce does that leave me with for the next few days? 1 small eggplant (I am thinking some sort of eggplant blackbean casserole?), one green sweet pepper (again, not a bell pepper), more tri-colored cherry tomatos, more grapes, more mcintosh apples (I bet one would mix in really well with that last portion of coleslaw...), and a basket of fresh brussel sprouts.

I love fresh produce.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good: Its Friday. Baby is the length of a spaghetti squash. I am feeling more and more movement. Football is on.

The Bad: Baby's movements add to my nausea. The comp time thing I explained a couple of days ago is not going to work, I will return to work after maternity leave with NO LEAVE. I need to get ant traps.

The Ugly: Our younger dog River is sick. Don't know if she ate something and its clogging things up or if she has a bug. Loads of diarrhea and vomit = fun stuff. She is still eating and defecating though, so hopefully things work out. (yes we have contacted a vet).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Talkative Day...

I tried to do a big "picture catch up" post last night w/pictures from our anniversary, my parents visit, and a couple of other things, but they would not upload and I was not in the mood to give it a second go. I will try again soon.

I am now officially reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - the biggest book on my "read before the baby comes" list that I previously posted. The copy I have is 1455 pages long, which is about average I believe. I am on page 122 - which is both significant in that I am not even 10% of the way through, and that it took me this long to really get into it. The writing is extremely theatrical in nature/narration style. Most of the time, instead of stating what a character is feeling or thinking, Tolstoy describes some physical appearance or characteristic that is a "tell" as to how they are feeling, almost like it is a play and he is describing how the actor should portray the character. I do look forward to continuing it. The story itself is supposed to be of epic proportion - concerning the invasion of Napolean into Russia, but right now it is just your standard society scheming and plotting, courtship and inheritance, sex and death. I do look forward to continuing it and am definitely feeling like I can make it through, which I really did not feel like was an option 1-2 months ago. Therefore, I think my inability to read anything serious in the past couple of months was related to my own psyche - the chaos of friends leaving, stress at work, summer business, and not to pregnancy brain.

DH and I got cable back! They came and reinstalled basic cable for us on Tuesday morning. In the next week or so I will cancel our Netflix. I don't know if I have discussed this decision on here or not. You may or may not know that Netflix announced a significant price increase to take effect Sept 1st. Basically they are going from packages that combine DVD and streaming services to seperate packages for each, that cost the same as what we are currently paying for both. So in other words, we currently pay $9.99 for DVD and streaming service. If we wanted to continue getting the same service we would have to pay $7.99 for the DVDs and $7.99 for streaming, for an overall price of $15.98, a 60% price increase. My response to this was two-sided. The rational/calculating side of me recognized that we almost NEVER use the DVD service and we would probably wouldn't even miss it if we just switched to streaming and continued using Netflix. The less calculating side of me was pissed off big time. A company that's service is totally entertainment can't just raise their prices 60% and expect their not to be a backlash. And in this case, they gave no real justification for the price range - and denied most of the justifications provided by the media (expense increases etc). I felt like the company was being totally scheming and not being honest with its customers. SO, in short. The combination of the price raise itself, the way the company did not explain the price increase, and the impending start of football (which cable is highly convenient for), has made us decide to drop Netflix and get cable again. The expectation is we will keep cable at least through January/the BCS games, and then decide exactly what we want to do. We should have a little wee one then, and we are not entirely sure how that will play out in terms of TV usage. On one hand, DH and I agree that we want to significantly cut back our our media usage when baby arrives (TV and internet crap) - not overexpose them to it, not rely on it, and when they get older, limit their use. On the other hand, we fully recognize that a TV may be our best friend when it is 2am and we are up with a nursing or screaming infant, trying to keep ourselves awake - and that cable will be much more effective at this than broadcast that goes dead at night. So... wait and see wait and see... our mantra on SO many things.

I am clearly in a talkative mood today!! So why not keep it going. Want to hear about my crazy/creepy dream last night? I have spoken to a few people who have "movie" dreams - so I know they are not uncommon, but I am not sure if EVERYONE has them or not. Probably not. What I mean by movie dreams is dreams where you are in a movie - either a character or actor - and are aware of it, but still are experiencing the emotions and realistic feelings of the story itself - or maybe you switch between being a character and an audience member, or a character and a director, or anything like that. This was a movie dream. I dreamt I was in a store talking to the store owner, like a little convenience store. He asked me how things were going and I told him that things were good, that I was going to be in the 3rd Batman movie, and infact my plotline started as soon as I left this store. He seemed very concerned about tis and asked me what role I had and how my plotline went. I told him I did not know how it went exactly, but I was not worried because this was the third movie in a trilogy so I thought there must be a happy ending. He still seemed worried, wanted details on where I was going to start my plotline, what I knew about my role, etc. I gave him what info I had, he just seemed so suspicious, but I thought he was being paranoid. I eventually left the store and walked the block or two to my house where my plot started. I was supposed to go home and meet my husband for a nice datenight in. (Not real DH, a character husband). I went in to the house and something was clearly wrong. All the sudden gunmen appeared holding hubby hostage, and they took me hostage. They were clearly waiting for something, discussing amongst themselves what to do. Hubby and I were crouched in a corner trying not to cause problems. I was afraid, but still felt like things would turn out OK. I thought Batman would break in and rescue us, or perhaps the guy from the store that had been so concerned was actually a hero character. But no one came. The gunmen decided I needed to do something, like call the bank to transfer money or something? Or call the police to try and get batman to come? I am not entirely sure. They took me into the kitchen to make the call. When I came back to the front room, my hubby was hanging dead from the ceiling fan, they had killed him. I freaked out, it was unreal. I did not believe it was happening and tried to get him down, tried to beat up the gunmen, etc. I was yelling at them and too myself that this is not how my plotline went, that it couldn't be. Then all the sudden something clicked in my head and I realized I was not the protagonist of the movie, I was the bad guy. I was catwoman, and this was the little clip at the beginning of the movie that showed how I got to be so hateful and evil. That I was already blaming Batman for my husbands death because he HADNT showed up to save us. I could feel myself turning evil, and I knew there would be no happy ending. Then I woke up. Fun Stuff. For the record- there is a third Batman movie coming out soon, but I don't know how soon. It is the third in the trilogy they are doing, and it does have catwoman in it. That is about all I know about it, so its weird I had such a strange dream. I really don't know what the plot will be and the character of catwoman has always confused me (she just does not seem that evil?). I have not been reading/seeing ads for the new movie and have not thought about it in months, so I have no idea what brought it up. It will be interesting to see when the movie comes out if they do any sort of background for her. Also of interest - this bizarre dream, like earlier mentioned reading issues, is not a product of pregnancy. I know that people have vivid dreams during pregnancy - but really this dream was well within the normal paramaters of what my dreams are like.

While we are talking about dreams, this is actually the second dream of note I have had this week. On Saturday or Sunday night I dreamed that DH got a promotion at work, that he replaced someone above him whose job he was already doing - we were both very excited about it and I was proud. He was a bit worried about the additional stress, but we were both excited about the pay raise. This dream came without obvious prompting. Once again, promotion was not something we had talked about for months and I can't identify a clear trigger. In this case, however, it seems there MUST have been a trigger for it, because on Tuesday DH found out he is getting a promotion! While it won't be to replace someone as in the dream, it will make him so he is getting paid the same ammount as the other people on his team who do the same type of work. Premonition? Possible, but I don't really believe in them for such matters. More likely he did mention in passing something about his annual review coming up or whatever and my imagination did the rest. The point is - congrats DH!!! combine that w/my impending "step up" raise at work and things are looking good for little turtle to come (financially).

Is that enough rambling for one day? I think so. See you some other day...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Sims

Familiar with the game "The Sims"? Basically, you are controlling fake little peoples lives - telling then when to eat, what job to have, when to sleep, when to pee, everything. Once of the most challenging times in the game is pregnancy. The pregnant Sim is very difficult to care for - if you are not careful she could "leave" (the equivalent of dying). The problem occurs if she gets home from work and exhausted and starving - you get stuck in this cycle where she desperately needs sleep, but is too hungry/has to pee to much to sleep more than 5 minutes, but when you send her to the fridge she falls asleep half way through making the meal, etc etc.

In short... this weekend has me feeling like a Sim!

It began with the football game...

Friday night, DH and I, as well as his work friend Eric that I am getting to know and like, left Columbus around 4pm and drove up to Cleveland to attend the Cleveland Browns vs Detroit Lions preseason NFL game. It was a ton of fun! We had great seats, a couple rows in on the South endzone. It was cool to be so close to the field and also made for some great pictures:

So, the result of the game was 30-28 Lions, which made Aaron and I happy, and did not upset Brown's fan Eric too much as it was preseason.

As planned, I drove home. We arrived home at 2:15am.

The problem being... I needed to work Overtime on Saturday. Preferably 8 hours. And the building was only open for overtime from 7am-4pm.

Why you ask? Because maternity leave in America sucks. Seriously. Makes me want to be in Europe more than any time before. In Austria, you get 16 weeks paid (as well as options for unpaid/partial paid). In Denmark, you get 52 weeks as a couple and can divide it between the father and mother. In America? You are at the mercy of your company, with your only guarentee being 12 weeks unpaid if you are somewhere FMLA applies.

The policy with my employer, the state of Ohio, is as follows:

Week 1-2 You are required to either wait through an unpaid waiting period, or use 2 weeks of your own leave.

Week 3-6 70% pay, can be supplemented by your leave if you want full pay.

Week 7-12 FMLA applies.

I was initially under the impression that when FMLA kicked in, I could just at my disgression go unpaid for those final 6 weeks (preserving a little sick and vacation time for when I came back to work with a 3 month old in daycare). However, it came to my attention that there is a clause in FMLA that makes it even more sucky - the employer is only requierd to give it to you if you have no leave of your own to take. In other words, if I want to stay home more than 6 weeks, then I have to use all of my leave up in week 7,8 etc until I am entirely out of sick, vacation, and personal time, and then and only then can I finish out 12 weeks off unpaid. *sigh*. This puts me in quite a bad spot.

Go back to work and drop a 6 week old off with a stranger/sitter (which for me personally seems impossible... so little) OR return to work after 12 weeks, with absolutely NO LEAVE- can't leave early because the baby is sick, can't schedule a Drs appt, can't get sick, have to scrape time together for upcoming family events like my Brother's wedding and sister's graduation that will be coming up. Both seem equally impossible.

There is the possability, the wisp, of hope. My pregnant coworker found a little policy somewhere in the handbook that implied there is ONE kind of leave you can save through FMLA - and that type is Compensatory Time. Paid time off you earn in liueu of pay when you work overtime. We have not yet confirmed this is true, but until we find out one way or the other, we have to assume it is, because overtime is not expected to last. When the Federal Fiscal year ends in October, we will no longer be allowed overtime, that means there are 6 Saturdays between this weekend and when October in which for me to earn comp time... 2 of which I am planning to be out of town. So I could not miss one.

I know. Way too much explanation. BUT that is why, after getting home at 2:15am on Saturday morning, I climbed out of bed at 6:30AM to go to work for 8 hrs. I still have not recovered. My body just doesn't want to sleep to catch up, despite me needing it, and the messed up sleeping schedule has me sick as well ("morning sick") and unable to find anything I want to eat.

I am a Sim. Sleep a little. Try to eat something, fail. And tomorrow is Monday.

DH asked me if the game was worth it, and it was. The real question is... will the overtime be worth it? I really hope that it will... cross your fingers

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Parental Visit 2.0

I feel like I have a gazillion things to say, lets see if I can remember any of them, or have the motivation to try even!

But I want to start by thanking my ILs for their visit last weekend. They arrived Friday night and left Monday morning. We went out to eat - Ruby Tuesdays, Raising Canes, City BBQ. We went shopping, we went to the Crew game on Saturday night to celebrate DH's birthday. We went to see The Help - excellent movie, I highly recommend it!!

Fat - I am getting there. LOL. Rounder everyday. We had our 20 week U/S on Monday! Everything looks great, it was pretty amazing. The doctor kept being like "Oh!! Look at this" with all this technical stuff he found cool, like the pulmonary artery and the way the umbilical chord looked, etc, he said these aren't things you always get to see. It was really cool seeing the little heart beating, the little toes, zombie face. We did not get to really see the hands because the baby was all over the place.. I swear, it was like an octopus squirming around in there. We did get a good picture of one of the feet. Baby was 50 percentile in all domains. The very first image we got of the baby was the top of the head... maybe that means they are a braniac? As planned, we did not find out the sex of the baby. Gotta save some surprises :-)

Yeah... thats all I got. What happened to the million times I say "I should blog about that". I guess my other news is that I am starting to read War & Peace... 67 pgs down, 1388 to go.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Parental Visit

My parents arrived on Monday afternoon for a visit - just in time for my appt, so they got to hear the babies heartbeat, which was a lot of fun! It was 140bpm. I have heard such mixed things about what this means for sex that I am totally going to say it means nothing. I am currently 19w3d. Our big U/S is Monday, Aug 15th. We are still planning to not find out the sex.

Because this was my parent's first full visit to Columbus, I had a list of about a gazillion ideas of options to do - both at my house, around the city, and around the state. They helped us out a ton with the nursery and many many other things around the house - they are crazy productive and motivated!! I don't know where I got my lazy gene, because it did not come from them!! The nursery is now mostly painted except for some touch ups, will post pics soon probably! Our garage is clean, front flower beds planted, law mowed, indoor plant repotted, lamp fixed, cabinet door fixed, and many other little things I am sure I am forgetting. Thank you mom and dad for all of you help!! Also, they made our first baby purchase by ordering a glider for us as an anniversary gift! Thanks so much!!

Along with working on the house a ton, we did manage to squeeze some fun stuff in!! We went out to eat at the Pig Iron, Raising Canes (new to my mom!), Buca de Bepo, and Ruby Tuesday. We also had Hound Dogs pizza, which my mom labelled as some of the best store-bought pizza she has ever had! We did a driving tour of Clintonville, Victorian Village, Downtown, and German Village, walked around on campus, went to the Book Loft in German Village, and found this great craft shop called the Golden Hobby Shop that has awesome prices on lots of handcrafted goods. We did a lot of glider shopping and ended up selecting the perfect chair from My Own Room. We spent a great day at the state fair, where my dad loved watching the kids chase around handle pigs and my mom, despite sayins she did not have a favorte part of the fair, keeps mentioning the pig momma with all of her piglets and the big boar (1200 lbs!). Yesterday we went up to Cleveland and saw my mom's side of the family - all three of her brothers as well as some of my cousins and cousin's children, I believe a good time was had by all!!

Alas, their visit is drawing to a close. They spent last night after the BBQ w/various family members while DH and I came home. In a bit here DH and I will leave for my Grandma's house in Mt Vernon where we are having a BBQ w/my dad's siblings, then my parents will come back here for one last night, and tomorrow morning will head off, back towards Duluth. It has been a really great week and I am not looking forward to returning to work tomorrow!!