Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Maternity clothes

This weekend I made the transition to wearing just maternity clothes. I had two remaining pairs of non-maternity jeans. I thought they still fit, but I ripped out the pocket on one of them and realized they really don’t fit. So on Saturday evening I went out and bought two more pairs of capris, a skirt, a pair of shorts and three shirts.

Maternity pants are so comfy, but they don’t work very well if they’re a little too big. They’re comfy because there’s no real wasteband, but with no wasteband, there also aren’t any belt loops. So the pants that are too big just fall down. Then again, if there were belt loops it wouldn’t really help me because my belts don’t fit anymore!

Unfortunately there weren’t any full-length jeans. Apparently in summer, pregnant women don’t want to wear jeans. I do, however, because I don’t want to shave my legs every day! But that’s what I’m stuck with. At least they are comfy and cute.

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Unemployment stinks!

I never imagined in January right after being laid off that I’d still be unemployed five months later. But I am. Even more upsetting is the fact that I pretty much have no prospects right now. I thought I had good skills and I got two jobs before, certainly I could handle an interview fine, right? But apparently my snag seems to be getting the interview.

My skills from my college education and six years in the newspaper should have been transferrable to any number of positions. Journalists have a very broad knowledge base and the time and project management, among other skills, should translate somewhere else, I would think. But apparently in this economy they’re not transferrable. I’m going to be in debt for the rest of my life for a degree I will likely never use again.

This week was hard. I had a phone interview for a clerical position at the university. It lasted a whole eight minutes. I suppose it went well enough, but I knew this job was over my head when I applied for it. How I passed a screening to get the phone interview is beyond me. I’m not expecting a call back.

Still haven’t heard back on the job I interviewed for at the beginning of the month. I don’t even think they called my references. I’d like to think maybe they’re still deciding. It did take a long time for them to call me after I applied. I haven’t called them because I think at this point if they haven’t called, either they haven’t made the decision or they didn’t choose me. It would be nice if they would just call though so I don’t need to hold on to the hope that maybe the hiring process is just slow.

Tonight is Rhythm & Booms night in Madision. At least it would have been, but it was canceled because of rain and storms in the weather forecast. This is the kind of night I loved at the Wisconsin State Journal. I had nights like this practically down to a science to get the paper sent to the press on time. Get everything ready except the late story and the plug it all in when it gets in later than it should have. Early deadline I’d work quickly to get it all ready to go. I did good work. I hardly ever missed deadline. But that wasn’t good enough to compete with this economy.

The worst part of being unemployed is the psychological aspect. I still can’t help wondering if I had taken my job more seriously if I’d still have it. If I’d done a better job? Not written a bad headline in December? Been on probation after a rough first year? And worse is the impact this has had on our financial situation. The unemployment system is not user friendly at all.

In reality, I know there’s nothing I could have done differently that would have prevented this. It wasn’t my fault. But its hard to remember. And I feel terrible about the stress this has caused.
I’m about halfway through the classroom portion of my nursing assistant course. Clinicals start in a month and after passing the class I can take the state certification test. But I’m not even sure I can get a job after that because I’ll be nearly seven months pregnant by then, and nursing assistant work is physical work.

I’m not going to lie. This has been a rough year. And I’m not sure when it will improve. But knowing we get to welcome our little Ally toward the end of this year is making everything worth it. We will survive. And we’ll come out stronger. God will provide, he’s just never made us wait this long before.


Embracing my pregnant belly, or at least I’m trying

I’ve avoided taking pictures of my belly. I have insisted that I’m not showing yet and that any belly is because I have a big stomach. But as you can see from this picture, that’s just not the case anymore. I’m finally admitting that I look pregnant. Ally is still down low, the top of my uterus is just above my belly button, but she’s pushing everything else in my abdomen up and out. So yes, I look pregnant. Even at my heaviest time in college, I didn’t have this much of a belly.

But that doesn’t mean I like it. Sometimes I look at myself and think I’m so big already, how big am I going to be by the end? I haven’t weighed myself in two weeks, but two weeks ago I was already up 25 pounds.

Really, looking at this picture again, I don’t look all that bad.

I am already loving maternity clothes, thats for sure. They’re so comfy! But the ones that are too big are tough because since there’s no waist band, which is what makes them so comfy, there’s no belt loops! I have a pair of capris that are too big. And I didn’t realize until I started wearing them that a) they are too big and b) there’s no way to hold them up without belt loops. So they fall down. But the next smaller size would have been too small. Oh well.

One other observation about maternity clothes is that skirts actually are really comfortable. And so cute! I can’t wait to buy a dress or two. My biggest fear was that I would just look really fat instead of looking pregnant. But with the wonders of the maternity panel, my fear is unfounded.

But thats enough about my appearance. Ally learned a new trick last weekend. She started kicking my bladder. Luckily she hasn’t done it a lot, but I usually have to find a bathroom pretty quickly when she does. I’ve heard that the most uncomfortable time is when baby starts pressing on the ribs. So much to look forward to!

Summer came with a vengeance this week after having such a cool spring. The temperature has reached 90 the last three days. Right now at at 9:45, its still 81 degrees! We didn’t have a 90-degree day in southern Wisconsin last year until after Labor Day. Its not supposed to “cool” here until Sunday when the high is forecast at 83.

But I’m starting to understand why its uncomfortable to be pregnant in the summer, even here in Wisconsin. I feel good overall, but the walk from the parking garage to my CNA class is pretty tough when its that hot! I park two blocks away because its cheaper and I don’t mind the walk, but if its this hot next week, I might spend the extra dollar to park in the garage right next door to campus.

I also really need to make sure I stay hydrated well when its this hot. I often get a headache after I work out because I drink while I’m exercising, but not afterward. I’m really trying hard to fix that, and thats been so important this week. But on the downside of hydrating really well, I’m going to the bathroom every hour! I guess there’s a trade-off for everything.

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Its a…


I knew from the beginning, I think. And everyone else thought so too. I already have baby girl clothes! So I was convinced its a boy, but we saw the girl parts clearly on the ultrasound. And the technician wouldn’t have said anything if she was sure. Of course its not 100 percent, but I’ll take it.

Our baby has an identity now! And Doug and I didn’t need to have that fist fight over a boy name. Our daughter will be named Allison Renee.

She’s developing as she should, and there are no defects they could see on the ultrasound. Her measurements averaged to 20 weeks 6 days, but that wasn’t enough to change the due date. I guess at this point its not accurate enough to change the due date. But I remember thinking during the 12 week ultrasound that she was a little bigger than the book said she was at that point. She’s grown a lot since then.

Aren’t these pictures cool? She still looks a bit like an alien, but its so cool to see her face! The next post has a few more pictures. Enjoy!

She’s kicking a lot now, and the kicks are getting harder. The other day I almost jumped in class because she really surprised me.

I’m officially halfway through the pregnancy. It seems like it was just the other day I woke up and realized it was time to take the pregnancy test. It’s gone so fast, but so slow at the same time. And there are still four and a half months to go. I’ve done a lot of cleaning and organizing in the house over the last few weeks and now I’m looking forward to cleaning up and preparing Ally’s room. This is so exciting!

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I have a little person growing inside me! I know, he or she has been there almost 20 weeks already, but I’m really starting to think more about this. I have a little person growing inside me and he or she can be anything. He or she can be a football player or a runner; a water-skier or a dancer; a musician or a genius. Our baby could grow up to be president of the United States!

I just hope Doug and I are good parents and that we can do everything possible to make baby grow up to be whatever he or she wants to be.

Baby’s growing. I guess I’m just starting to think of him or her as human a little more every day. I’m noticing patterns to his or her movements. A little active in the morning, nap time in the late morning/afternoon, and really active through the evening up to bedtime. Its so cool to have these little kicks, these little reminders of what’s going on down in my belly.

Doug and I are talking to the baby a lot. He or she will definitely know who mommy and daddy are. I wonder if baby is as excited to meet us as we are to meet baby?

And in just two short days, hopefully baby will have an identity. We have our girl name picked out, but Doug and I are duking it out over a boy name. Stay tuned to see what it is!

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I went running today!

Despite my continuing knee issues, I was able to run a bit on the treadmill today. I did three 5-minute intervals in between some fast walking. It was tough since its been about a month since my last run, but if felt good during and after.

I think however much longer I run in my pregnancy, it will be exclusively on the treadmill. The treadmill is a softer surface so its nicer to my knee. But more importantly, if I run on a treadmill, I am not far from a bathroom.

With baby’s pressing on my bladder, I don’t think I can run for too long at one time without a break. Today I did 40 minutes and then went to the bathroom three times within an hour of finishing! But since my knee took the running today, I’ll run on the treadmill once or twice a week. Probably no races or anything, but its at least another activity on my slate.

Yesterday I got a 25-day trial membership at a gym in Middleton. It cost me $25, but I think thats a good deal because the cheapest gym memberships around here are at least $40 a month for individual and $60 for a couple, and thats at the YMCA. Others are quite a bit more. Gold’s Gym is normally $50 per person! That’s why Doug and I joined. Our promotional rate is $50 total per month for a two-year membership and after that we can continue at that rate month by month. This trial membership will take me almost up to Gold’s Gym’s opening.

Anyway, this gym has four pools and plenty of classes to go around. I’m mostly interested in the spinning and swimming right now, but I will do some aerobics classes and then also mix the treadmill in here and there.

My goal is to stay active. I hope to curb the weight gain, but even if working out doesn’t curb the gain, it will make labor easier and also make it easier to get back into the routine and lose the weight after the baby is born. Not to mention working out is great me time and stress relief.

So I’m not running any races and I’m definitely not breaking and speed records, but its good to know that my running days aren’t quite over yet.

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My love/hate of swimming

I’m really loving the water right now. Its kind of ironic since last winter when swimming was my only option because of my stress fracture, I hated it. But I’ve started swimming two or three times a week since I’m not running anymore. And since I’m swimming more, I’m getting better at it, so I like it more. Not to mention, I’m just more comfortable in the water right now.

I wish I could run though. My knee is progressing, I think. But I’m not sure I could run even if my knee didn’t hurt. With my uterus growing, baby is putting more pressure on my bladder. I think if I did run, I couldn’t run very far, at least not very far from a bathroom.

Spin class is still OK, though I suspect my days are numbered there too. I have some round ligament pain during spin class, but nothing I can’t handle. I’m sure it will get more uncomfortable as my belly grows.

But the water will be my friend throughout the rest of these nine months. And water aerobics, though somewhat boring, will be my friend too. I’m determined to stay active.

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Active baby in there

I’ve been feeling the baby move for about three weeks now. It felt like muscle twitches at first and I only felt it at night when I was sitting still. As time has gone on I’ve felt the movement more frequently, even some times when I’m in the car or walking. Lately the movements have felt more like kicks. I’ve been feeling them the most at night as we’re going to bed. Its so exciting to feel!

Tonight since dinner, baby has been really active! Kicking pretty constantly for almost an hour and a half now. And some of the kicks have been harder. Doug has even been able to feel some of the kicks too. Its quite an experience to feel something inside me kicking and moving around.

I don’t know if baby really is more active after dinner or before I go to sleep, or if that’s just when I feel it the most. I know the movement will get harder and more frequent as time goes on.

We’re almost halfway through this adventure! I reach 19 weeks tomorrow. Next Thursday is the ultrasound and I can’t wait.

Things are starting to get a little uncomfortable though. Over the weekend, baby started pressing on my bladder, which is making things a bit awkward at times. I also have started sleeping on my side too. I can’t sleep just on my side though, so I have pillows under my right side when I end up on my back. It was kind of tough the first couple nights, but its feeling more normal right now. I’m having more round ligament pain with exercise, which is kind of frustrating. It seems like if I concentrate on my breathing it goes away..

At 19 weeks, my uterus is about even with my belly button. When I go to the doctor tomorrow they’ll start measuring. My bulge is getting a bit more prominent, though not too obvious. I do look pregnant now, but just because of the size of my stomach. I started looking for maternity clothes last week and thats proving quite a challenge.

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New activity on the job front?

I have had more job activity in the last two weeks than I have had in the last four months! Maybe my luck is turning?

I check the state job Web site regularly and apply for any new clerical job posted. About two or three weeks ago I applied for a job at the university in the Division of Information Technology. Its for a program assistant, advanced confidential. This has been a really quick turnaround because last week I got an email asking for my cover letter and resume if I’m still interested. I had to send it in by last Friday. So today after I got home from class, I had a message on the answering machine to call in and schedule a phone interview!

With these state jobs, I have only gotten a further inquiry about one other position, and unfortunately I didn’t get my stuff together in time to apply. So I think I get the follow up application stuff if I pass an initial screening. I must have passed ANOTHER screening to get a call to schedule a phone interview? The phone interviews are being scheduled for June 22 and 23. Unfortunately I don’t think I have much of a chance of getting this job, but I’m certainly going to try. If I were to get a state job, I’d be set for life.

I also had an interview last week for a part time desktop publisher job with a life insurance company here in Madison. I have yet to hear about the results of that interview, and I don’t think any of my references have gotten calls yet.

So I’m crossing my fingers! We could certainly use a break. I’d love to call off the job search and have an income again!