Saturday, March 29, 2008

Job search update.

4 witty remarks
Well, it's the end of March and we are still looking. Unfortunately it's seeming more and more likely that we will have to relocate. Not that there aren't any jobs for call center managers in Indianapolis, but strangely none of them seem interested in my husband. For example, there was a job he was interviewing for in Muncie (it'd be a heck of a commute, but we'd get to keep the house) and Matt seemed to be doing really well; they gave him three or four interviews and had him do a Power Point and everything and then... nothing. We haven't heard boo from them in two weeks, so either the hiring manager was abducted by aliens or maybe all of his phones broke? That seems to be the trend, though: jobs Matt's applied for, and even interviewed for, and then it's like they've disappeared off the face of the earth. I wasn't a business major so I find that totally baffling. Maybe that is just the way things are done, though.

Jobs outside of Indianapolis, on the other hand, seem to be quite interested in my husband and also they know how to work their phones. We've discussed quite a few likely scenarios that would involve a relocation. One place in Harrisburg, PA is actually looking for a call center manager for student loans, which is Matt's exact area of specialty. Harrisburg isn't a metropolis like Indy but on the other hand it's close to several major cities (and several IKEA stores, which I love). A company in Colorado Springs called Matt yesterday and asked if he could fly out on Wednesday to interview for a job that would start the following Monday. Matt had to tell them that wouldn't be possible, because his wife is about to have a baby. Also, I realized later that one of my old ex-boyfriends lives in Colorado Springs so let's not move there, huh?

One that was interesting was a call center in upstate New York. Now, Matt isn't any keener on moving there than I am, since he served his mission there and remembers the winters. But we were still pursuing it, until Matt got a more detailed description of the company and the position. We had a pretty good chuckle because we realized that they were basically looking to hire Michael Scott. Now, my husband is a talented and competent manager, but he doesn't get his jeans dry-cleaned and he's never taken an improvisational comedy class so I don't think he would be the best fit.

On the other hand, Matt's flying out to Utah on Thursday to interview for a call center out there. He told him his wife is very, very pregnant so he really needs to be in and out in one day. Matt will leave at 6-something in the morning and get back around midnight - even faster than the whirlwind trip he took for Morgan's wedding. So, Matt probably won't get to see his parents on this trip even though the place he's interviewing is in Orem which is right next where they live, but on the other hand, if we move to Utah he'll get to see them plenty. Obviously it's still a huge unknown if they will offer him a position, or if it will be enough salary, but I'm thinking that if they were willing to buy him a plane ticket (and on such short notice it probably wasn't a bargain) then they will at least call him back, right?

Granted, I'm not terribly keen on the thought of moving to Utah, since it's so far away from my family and also it's in the desert. Even more disturbing is the idea of selling this house. For one thing, it's not even vaguely ready for market. We'd need to paint every single room (except Betsy's pink bedroom) not to mention the cleaning, and the cleaning, and the packing, and the keeping the house clean, and oh yes I'd be doing all of this alone since Matt would already be in Utah (or wherever we end up) and call me crazy but that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. Also the fact that I really, really, really like this house. I like my second floor laundry, my kitchen island, the basement, everything... We built this house with the intention of staying here a really long time (which is why we didn't upgrade the kitchen cabinets or anything, which is a whole other can of worms) and I think that if we have to sell it and leave for good after less than two years, I will be consumed by regret. Also, the cost of housing is insanely cheap here as compared to the rest of the country, so I know it will be really hard to get a house that's as good or better than this one if we go somewhere else.

But. A job's a job, and our ultimate goal is for me to stay at home with the kids, and I'd rather not do that in a cardboard box if I don't have to.

Moving on... Have I mentioned lately how much I love Scrapbook Trends Magazine? They are the ones that actually publish me sometimes, and they send a fantastic goodie box as payment (plus free copies of the magazine). I had two layouts in the March issue and one in the Embellish idea book, and I got my box from them about a week ago. Holy cow, it was like Christmas morning! I got this paper pack and this paper pack, and one of these tools, plus an 11x8.5 album and refill pages (I love that they actually seem to pay attention to the pages I scrap when they are choosing what to put in the box. A 12x12 album would have been totally useless, since I never do that size.) and a blank calendar and a huge chunk of cardstock. I can't wait to play with all of these new goodies. (I think I'm going to do a mini album for Cutie Pie with some of that delicious glitter paper.) Also, I got my layouts back and the copies of the magazine and idea book, which are always fantastic - they do a great job photographing my layouts (I just have to look at them and think, Wow, that Joni chick is talented) and the books are always chock full of good ideas. I sent the second copy of the March issue to Rochester, because one of the layouts had a picture of Molly in it. Congratulations, Molly, you're famous! Thanks for being much easier to take pictures of than my actual offspring.

Anyway, yesterday I got an email from them requesting one of my layouts for the August issue. It was my 'I Hate Laundry' page, which is one of my all-time favorites and was part of my 2007 Hall of Fame entry. It'll be really cool to see that one in print. So I'll be making a trip to the post office today. They always look at me funny when I insist on mailing my little 8.5x11 page in one of those pizza-sized Priority Mail boxes, but really, it seems to work well, I've never had a layout get damaged or bent.

Also, I am still pregnant. Lucky for most of you that you haven't had to listen to me complain about this on pretty much a daily basis. I'm 38 1/2 weeks, which isn't even all the way but at ths point with Porter I wasn't even pregnant any more. I put up the bassinet this week and currently Betsy's baby is sleeping in it (she's a really good baby, she never cries). I had a friend of a friend come out yesterday: someone I met at the scrapbook thing I went to in February, she's starting a photography business and wanted to do some maternity portraits for her portfolio. I've never done anything like that before and it was really fun, playing with my big belly and everything. I've made an executive decision not to be self-conscious about my stretch marks, since hey, I came by them honestly. I think she's probably going to Photoshop them out anyway, so as not to scare away any potential clients.

One thing I've noticed, aside from my general hugeness, is that in the last few days I've started to get really annoyed about being touched. And the kids, I swear, are ALWAYS wanting to touch me. Being a human jungle gym is a routine part of motherhood that usually doesn't bother me, but something about the pregnancy hormones... I'm sure it's the same thing that makes me unable to sleep at night and turns my fingers and legs into sausages. (Mmm, sausage...) It will be over soon, right?

So. I'll end this massively long blog post with some pictures from the Children's Museum. Our membership expires at the end of March, so yesterday was probably the last time we'll ever go there. The kids really like the Robots And Us exhibit, so I made sure to take some photos of that. (It has nothing to do with this paper, I swear...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter, etc.

3 witty remarks

I love Easter. I love the pastel dresses, the music, the promise of the Resurrection. And I love the candy (but you already knew that). I wore this dress I bought when I was very, very pregnant with Porter and it's too short, it kept riding up in the back. Poo. I think I'll cut it off and make it into a blouse. Also, my maternity pantyhose sprung a HUGE run and half of my knee - the fat side, not the bony front - was on display from Sacrament Meeting onward. I don't love maternity pantyhose.
We went to an egg hunt at Betsy's school on Saturday. I like how it was set up, where each kid got to pick up exactly 18 eggs - no stress, no pushing or shoving. Also no sunshine, but that's okay. The kids still had a good time (even if I didn't get any pictures because none of the stupid camera batteries worked. Do I not pretty much always have issues?) and brought home some candy. Porter even won a prize - he chose a little blue stuffed birdie which, I'm told, goes peep peep peep. Also, those Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch eggs are pretty tasty. Err, I'm told.
Sunday, we had Easter baskets for the kids, then church. Mike and Mandy came up in the afternoon for dinner, bringing with them both Baby Miles and the tastiest cheese ever. (Actually, Miles is pretty tasty too, what with those fat cheeks and all. Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of him in his festive little outfit. Just take my word for it that he was ridiculously cute.) Dinner was nothing fancy - just your garden variety ham and potatoes and green beans and rolls. What can I say except that I am one hundred and nineteen weeks pregnant, and it's somehow killing my domesticity (probably because Amy is laying on it. No wait, that's my bladder.) I did manage to muster up the energy to make a stabby cake which was quite delicious, especially with a jelly bean chaser.

We also hid some eggs around the living room/dining room for the kids. This year, Porter remembered that there was candy inside so he only picked up about three eggs because he was distracted by the eating. Betsy, on the other hand, seems to understand that you should put all your eggs in one basket because otherwise your little brother will get them.
Umm, could she be any cuter? That's the dress that Mom made for me back in 1985 (although the lady down the street had to do the smocking). I've had it in the cedar chest for the last couple of years, just waiting until Betsy got big enough. I did have to make one small repair to it - the yoke was coming apart at one of the side seams - and again, it was an interesting peek into Mom's sewing techniques. No, there weren't any basting stitches left in this time, but I'm guessing you wouldn't have done those lovely French seams if you'd had a serger back in '85, huh Mom? There's also a matching baby dress out there somewhere, and I'm hoping it turns up by next Easter. Because seriously. Betsy and Amy in the dresses Mom made for Emily and me, when we were kids? Couldn't you just die? I even have the perfect scrapbook paper for it.

*Note to self: Don't try and highlight your own hair, no matter how easy the instructions make it seem. Also, don't try and eat a Cadbury Creme Egg while driving. I don't care if it was half price, just don't do it. (That's right, people, two brilliant ideas for the price of one!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh Danny boy, oh boy oh boy... oh Danny.

6 witty remarks
I don't really get into St. Patrick's Day, and how could I? There's no chocolate involved. I don't have very much green in my wardrobe, and none of it fits my rapidly expanding girth anyway. I can't tell the difference between Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. I've never drunk green beer, and I never will. But THIS is pretty much the funniest thing I've EVER seen.

In other news, Betsy lost her other bottom front tooth last night. It didn't really seem like it was loose enough, but apparently it was. I'm glad that the tooth came out because it's been bothering her lately - I actually had to put Orajel in her mouth the night before (thank goodness I have, like, three half-used tubes of the stuff).

I felt one of Amy's toes last night - how weird is that? She gets really active when I lay down to go to bed, and I like to amuse myself by playing Guess The Body Part. She was kicking, and I got ahold of something tiny and round - I've never felt anything like that before. I can only assume it's one of her piggies. I'm guessing it's the one that went to market, but until modern medical science figures out a way to install a Plexiglass viewing window in my womb, all I can do is poke around a whole bunch. I've also discovered that Amy doesn't really like me using my belly as a table. Whenever I rest a book or a plate or something on top of my girth, she tries her hardest to kick it off. Gee, baby, I'm sorry if I've inconvenienced you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Baby Name Blog Post

13 witty remarks
Of course I had to buy this for my soon-to-be-formerly-unborn child.

It has her name on it. (Also, it was on sale for like three bucks at Babies R Us.) Baby clothes with amusing slogans on them are a recent trend I can definitely get behind. I think our baby needs this, given the history of our relationship. Also, one of my seminary students gave us this and it cracks me up. (Check out their website, it's rad!)

But anyway, the point of what I was going to write about today is what we are naming our baby. As nice as 'Cutie Pie' is, we thought she should have a real, actual name that won't look silly on her drivers license or if she (heaven forbid) decides to go to law school or something. Matt and I have this whole series of complex rules when it comes to naming our children, and while we had a perfectly acceptable boy's name agreed on (George, based on both a documentary I watched about George Washington while I was pregnant with Porter, and a lame joke Matt told me once) we were sort of at a loss as to what to name her if she turned out to be a girl. Betsy was convinced that we were going to have "a girl baby named Sarah" and while she was right on with the gender, no offense to anyone named Sarah, that wasn't one of the names we were considering.

So anyway, back in November I was driving around thinking about baby names, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: Amy Louise. (I can even remember the exact intersection I was at when I had that little epiphany.) I've liked the name Amy for a long time but it was never really a frontrunner, but from that point on, I was never able to think of her as being named anything else. The funny thing was, this was a few weeks before the ultrasound, so it was by no means certain that we were having a girl. (Up until then I was kind of betting on XY. I usually guess my kids' genders wrong, anyway.) So, I told Matt that we could call her something else, but her name is Amy Louise.

A couple of reasons why I like the name. (I told you, we really have a lot of specifications when it comes to this kind of thing. I really can't understand the parents who are like, 'Oh, we'll just wait to see what he/she looks like and then come up with a name!') It works for us because:

1. We like old-fashioned names. Amy is one of the sisters in Little Women. In fact, she's the one who ends up married to Christian Bale, I mean Laurie, so you could argue she has the best outcome of any of the girls.

2. It can't be too popular. A big part of the reason Betsy didn't get named Elizabeth is that Elizabeth was in the top ten in 2002. Seriously, we've discarded names so that our kid won't be one of three or four Michaels or Jennifers in his/her kindergarten class. According to the man, Amy peaked in popularity in the mid-70s (because of Amy Carter, maybe?) and has been on the decline ever since, now residing safely out of the top 100. Yes, I researched this.

3. It must be easy to spell and pronounce. You'll notice that we are going with the traditional spelling and not Aighme'E, or AEmyie, or anything like that. Life is too short to be called the wrong thing all the time. (My favorite are when the moms then go on message boards and complain that no one knows how to spell their kid's name. Well, duh!) Plus, cutesy spellings make me B'Arphe.

So, there you have it. Betsy Alice, Porter Robert, and now Amy Louise. We're nothing if not WASPy. I mean, don't those just sound like blond-haired, blue-eyed names? Which is why I haven't worried too much about whether or not she will look like her name. I think I am entirely capable of giving birth to an Amy (and I am confident in saying that even though she wouldn't move her &%#$ arm off her face during the ultrasound).

And failing that, we can always call her Cutie Pie until she's 18 and moves out and never speaks to us again.

On a completely unrelated note, I just heard a song whose lyrics are based entirely on the movie 'The Princess Bride'... if you can possibly conceive of such a thing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One month

8 witty remarks
Yep, my due date is one month from today. Which means it's anyone's guess how long I actually have left to be pregnant. Betsy was 6 days late and Porter was 19 days early (the funny thing is, they weighed almost exactly the same) so I guess Cutie Pie is some sort of tiebreaker. I'd really like to have an April Fool's Day baby but I think it's sheer optimism to think that, and she will probably have to be blasted out of me with Pitocin like the other two were.

I've officially reached the point where I am SO SICK of being pregnant. I am tired of needing 4 pillows and a Benadryl to get even a little sleep at night. I'm tired of always having Visible Belly Panel because my shirts aren't long enough to cover the elastic waist of my maternity jeans. (I wish it was spring already and then I'd wear dresses all the time. "Why don't you just wear dresses all the time now?" Maternity pantyhose, that's why.) I'm tired of huffing and puffing like an obscene caller every time I climb the stairs. I'd say I'm tired of not being able to see my feet, but that's actually a blessing in disguise as I secretly think feet are really gross. But, I have a semi-permanent sore spot in the middle of my back (I thought it's supposed to be the lower back that gets sore at the end? Whatever, I am so weird) so I am always begging my long-suffering husband for massages. Also, I'm feeling really nauseated and gross right now and I'd better not be getting the stomach flu or anything like that. I never get sick so wouldn't it be just like me to have my twice-a-decade illness while I am hugely pregnant?

Anyway, I suppose that's enough of a pity party to ask any of you to tolerate. Next post, I promise, I will write about the baby's name and how we chose it. Okay, how I chose it...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So cute, it's scary!

5 witty remarks

Doesn't Betsy look cute in that dress? It's the one my mother sewed for me mumble years ago when I was starting school. Betsy wore it yesterday for her semi-official first day of school. (Matt argued that it doesn't count because it's only preschool. I maintain that it's close enough, especially since it meets at the same elementary school where she'll be going for kindergarten.) I wore the dress and all my sisters wore the dress and now we have a whole new generation! Of course, I'm the only one with daughters so far (although I think Miles could pull it off, with his blue eyes and all). I had to replace the buttons because one was missing and strangely enough, I couldn't find an exact match. I also made an interesting discovery when I was sewing a patch into the placket facing: Mom forgot to pull out the basting stitches at the waist, all those years ago! I had half a mind to grab my seam ripper and do it myself, but then I decided to leave them in there, just to embarrass Grammie.
Unfortunately, Betsy's first day of 'school' was short-lived. We thought she was over the cold she'd had over the weekend, but it turns out she was sucking it up because she wanted to go to school so badly. (I can't wait to tell her that story when she's a teenager.) The school called us after an hour or two and had me come get Betsy because she wouldn't stop wiping her nose. This is a problem we've had with her in the past. I'm hoping that the threat of missing school is sufficient motivation for her to break the habit.
I did get to run a few errands while she was there, though, and I scored a pretty good find at Goodwill. I got a brand-new, still-in-the-package-from-Target set of crib bedding for ten bucks. Now, I already had some bumper pads which were sensibly gender-neutral. This new stuff, however, is most decidedly not. It's basically pink with pink flowers and pink ribbons on it. The package had a tag from Target stating that it was returned because it was defective. I spent probably ten minutes going over the whole thing before I found the apparent defect: a teeny tiny spot on the side of the blanket. Oh, no. Like the crib bedding won't be getting horribly stained sooner or later anyway, right?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sick Sunday

8 witty remarks
So, we are all a family of sickies today, we've got kind of a yucky cough thing going on. Also, I'm worried that Porter might have an ear infection, since Matt says he was holding his ear the other night. I hope he doesn't. Our COBRA enrollment isn't done yet so we simultaneously do and do not have health insurance right now, like Schrodinger's cat. Meow!

Anyway, I think that at least Porter, if not both of the kids, will be missing church today. Matt has to go because he teaches Sunday school. (Matt: "Do you want to sub for my class tomorrow?" Me: "Tell you what, we'll just switch our teaching assignments for the week." Surprisingly enough, he didn't go for it.) I feel bad that Porter has to miss nursery, which is the highlight of his week. But I don't want him hacking all over the other kids, either.

Porter woke up about an hour after I put him down last night, and he was sobbing hysterically. He couldn't tell me what was wrong, which is unusual for Porter (he's the kid who goes, "Waaah! I cwying." so he's usually pretty open about that sort of thing). I comforted him as best I could, and then I got Matt to bring in the baby Tylenol. Well, when Matt showed up, Porter mumbled something about Daddy and an alligator, then laid down and went back to sleep. We think he may have had a scary dream about Daddy being eaten by an alligator! Weird, huh? If so, it's probably inspired by this and this, and the fact that he's not feeling well. Don't you always have the freakiest dreams when you're sick? I know I do.

I'll probably take a nap while Matt's at church. I've been even tireder than usual lately, since I've developed the Stuffy Nose of Pregnancy and I wake up constantly in the middle of the night because I can't breathe. Isn't that special? I actually had the same problem when I was pregnant with Porter, only in that case taking Benadryl actually helped. I've figured out that I can only sleep for 5 or 6 hours at a stretch, but I can always get a nap in later. That actually works pretty well since it's more or less what I've been doing all year for seminary, but it does get complicated on the weekends. I just can't wait to have this baby, even though I will still be waking up in the night after she's born.

Speaking of being pregnant, I had my baby shower yesterday and it was lovely. (I took my camera with me but forgot to take any pictures. No worries, one of the hostesses was snapping away the whole time.) We had this whole Pampering Spa thing going on: there were massages, English tea and scones, a Mary Kay lady came in and we soaked our feet and did Satin Hands, the whole nine yards. I felt really, really loved and I think that everyone had a great time. And I am going to have one seriously well dressed baby. The most pregnant of the pregnant ladies in our ward is about to pop any day now, so the showers are done and the baby boom can begin!

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