Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Houston, we have a heartbeat!

I woke up this morning with the worst case of butterflies. I was SO sure they were going to show me an empty sac again.

But no. I got to see my baby for the very first time! In the picture below, it's the seahorse shape on the left hand side. The round shape in the top center is the yolk sac.

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And...we have a heartbeat. A nice strong one. P and I were both overcome with emotion. I started to cry as soon as I saw that the heart was beating. P just couldn't do anything but stare at it with a lump in his throat. Quite a moment!

I can't believe we're actually going to be parents!

Anyway, the ultrasound tech told us that everything looks great, the heart rate is about 150 beats per minute, and that the fetus is measuring .78 centimeters right now, which is right on target for where he or she should be.

P is now very excited. I think seeing that today really brought it all home for him. He spent quite a bit of time today researching name possibilities and everything online.

As for me, I feel about 100% better. The tech told us that my chances of miscarrying again just dropped from 25% to 3%, so I was relieved about that as well.

So! I stitched on Noah's Submarine tonight as planned. It's time to get stuff finished for my nursery!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Statesmanship and Happy Easter!

This is a pretty cool little exercise that I stole from Erin.

Bold the states you've visited; underline the states you've lived in; and italicize where you are living now. (I have no idea if you should count states you've driven through or changed planes in, but considering that I always have to stop to pee every time, I'm going to count them!)

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa/ Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

Not much to report today. Our dishwasher is a freaking DREAM. After I wrote yesterday's entry, the thing stopped and P called me in to look at this pan we put in it. It is our 10" omelet pan that we use for everything...eggs, sandwiches, hash browns, Boca burgers, and as such, it gets really nasty. We have scrubbed and scrubbed that thing for hours. P even has put hot water in it and put it on the stove to heat it up while scrubbing it.

This dishwasher made it look as new as the day we bought it! We were amazed!

Frigidaire Electrolux. That's spelled E-L-E-C-T-R-O-L-U-X and we got it at Lowe's in case anyone is in the dishwasher market.

So that's the good news.

The bad news is that the hot Mexican neighbor came by to give us the quote on our fence yesterday since it was raining and he can't mow lawns or do anything else. He and P were outside talking for a long time, so I thought that was a good sign. I had prepared P for the fact that the quote might be about $4K total with tree removal and stain. Ha! Good thing he went out and not me. The quote was $5,700 WITHOUT the tree removal and stain. Oh. My. GOD. Talk about a small fortune! We can't justify that on a fence! We would basically have to pick between replacing our cabinets and counters or getting this supreme ultra-deluxe 8' cedar fence.

Gee, I wonder what we are going to do. Either spend our money on a fence that can be destroyed by wind at any moment and that is only covered at actual cash value by our insurance company and that is constantly going to be nibbled on by termites, rot, and the elements, or invest in making our kitchen look like a kitchen of the 21st century and possibly helping the resaleability in a few years when we are ready to move on.

So, I'm going to call another company tomorrow and get a quote for a crappy 8' pine fence like we have now, unstained and with wood posts. I can't help it...I want my beautiful kitchen more than a beautiful fence!

He's still going to remove our tree though which is a good thing.

I finished The Horse Whisperer yesterday, which I picked up in North Carolina in February since I loved the movie, and wow. I was absolutely dazzled. What a fantastic book! If you liked the movie, go get the book...you'll love it even more. The ending is totally different than in the movie. I know that there is only so much movie makers can do with 180 minutes of screentime but it's a shame, because that movie could have been so much more if they had just stuck to the book story. And I LOVED the movie!

I also started a new cross-stitch piece yesterday for Queenie as a farewell parting gift. It's a small saying that I'm going to frame and write a thank you note on the back of for her new office. The saying goes: "To teach is to touch a life forever." Yes, it's cheesy, but she'll LOVE it. And more importantly, it's not going to take very long to complete. I'm hoping if I can have it done by the weekend before her last day, I can spend that weekend framing it and have it wrapped to give to her on her last day of work. I know she'll probably cry, but I want her to always remember how much she has meant to me, both personally and professionally. She's the best manager I have ever had. Anyway, I'm doing it on 32 ct. antique white Belfast (just had a perfectly sized cut of it in my stash!) but I'm out of DMC 501, if you can believe it, so I'll have to pick some up this week sometime.

One meme in honor of Easter...

1) What is your favorite Easter decoration? (rabbit, egg, chick, etc) I like eggs. Coloring Easter eggs was one of my favorite things to do as a child. I loved the smells, the colors, and the fun!
2) Do you like Easter colors or do you wish they were different? Nope, I love 'em! I am a pastelly girl!
3) What did you do today to celebrate Easter? Uh, slept for twelve hours?
4) What is your best Easter memory? My mother made us these gorgeous Easter dresses when my sister V and I were kids...they were floor length gowns with little poofy sleeves. Mine was peach and my sister's was light green. They were too cute. I remember taking pictures in those and it being a perfect happy day.
5) If you are Catholic, did you observe Lent, and if so, what did you sacrifice for Lent? I am Catholic, but I've been bad this year (and last year) and not observed Lent. This year I obviously was getting ready for being pregnant, and last year I was training for my body building competition that never occurred. In the past though, I have sacrified soda and chocolate.

Well! Not sure what we are doing today but I for one would really like to hang out at home, stitch and do laundry. I think P wants to go run some errands, but I'm hoping that our latent lazy streaks will pop up in both of us and we'll stay home. I'm just exhausted all the time now. I feel like I could sleep forever!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Our new dishwasher

Finally, one week to the day we bought it, our new dishwasher is installed and quietly humming away washing our first load of dishes! Yay!

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Now, on to the next home task...our new 8' cedar fence, which we are still patiently waiting for an estimate on.

Yesterday, our Profit Sharing Day, was a GREAT day. We got great bonuses, but I was hit with yet another surprise. Every year, they name the employee in the entire state and the runner up who is the best in customer service. The first place winner is in another office, but I got the prize for runner up! WOW! I never imagined when I woke up yesterday that I'd be accepting an award in front of every employee in five offices! My only sadness was that Queenie wasn't there to see it, but since they announce it at every Profit Sharing meeting in the state, I'm sure she got to hear it at her meeting in Austin. Anyway, it was really cool. When they started talking about the award and who they were awarding it to, my friends sitting around me were like, "It's you! It's you!" and I was saying, "Oh, no, surely it's not me out of all these hundreds of employees!" But sure enough, my manager called my name and told me to come up there. It was crazy. I got another neat award to display on my desk and everyone in my office came by to congratulate me. It was so cool! In a lot of ways, that award meant more to me than the bonus, although the award won't be buying my fence, so there is that. Anyway, it was quite a day. I couldn't stop smiling after I won it. It made my not winning anything in the raffle and being defeated at Jeopardy pale in comparison.

What was also kind of cool was that the manager that hired me was working the projector for the video presentations up at the front and when I walked by after accepting the award, he kind of gave me this little wink as if to say, "See, I was glad I took a chance on you!"

So, wow. Second in the STATE of Texas for customer service. What an achievement! Too bad I can't show that award to that turkey that threw me out of his house back in December.

After the Profit Sharing meeting, I went out with two coworkers to get something to eat and hang out, and then I came home and showered (again) to go out to a dinner party for my sister-in-law at this Mexican restaurant in Addison, Gloria's, that hosts salsa dancing after hours. I guess yesterday was a longer day than I had thought, because I really was not hungry for anything, picked at my dinner, and by 10 pm, I was begging my other SIL, S, to take me home early so P could stay and enjoy the band. Thirty minutes after I was home, it was lights out. I was exhausted!

Today is a nice rainy day in Dallas, and a perfect day to stay home, although I think we will be heading out to run some errands. I really need some new jeans at Old Navy since I busted those other ones last weekend.

Hope everyone enjoys their Easter weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Finding Nemo

I think I've pretty much decided that I'm going to take the ocean theme one step further with my nursery and use a lot of Finding Nemo stuff. I had bought a stuffed Dory and Nemo at EPCOT back in November when I was there with my dad and stepmom, and Saturday, when we were at Home Depot searching for a dishwasher, I saw the cutest Finding Nemo wallpaper border. THEN, Sunday, we found the movie for $11.99 at Wal-Mart.

It's a sign.

Plus, Noah's Submarine would go SO well with a Finding Nemo decor.

I'm not buying nuttin or stitching a stitch on Noah's Submarine until I see that heartbeat on the screen Tuesday, but I did do a little surfing tonight online. There is some really cute stuff for Finding Nemo out there. I found this really adorable lamp at the Disney Store...with a wonderful little disclaimer under it: WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Sorry, no gift boxing available. Yeah. Just what this paranoid mother-to-be wants to read! It's probably something wrong with the paint.

So, I took a pass on the lamp. But I'm still looking, so if anyone finds any cute stuff that is in a Finding Nemo theme, let me know!

Let's see...what else is going on. Well, I have discovered some more charming little side effects to having an alien growing inside me. The bottoms of my feet get really hot right before I go to bed every night...so hot that I have to rinse them in ice cold water just to be able to go to sleep. My hands are hurting when I do odd things like open a pickle jar, plug in my hair dryer, etcetera, and P pointed out to me that pregnant women are susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome, which I have suspected for years that I have because of the endless hours I spend typing and stitching.

And today, I chewed out this contractor that called our office "stalking"...meaning that she was looking for work. She called up there asking for the name of the after-hours adjuster this week. The clerical that answered the phone didn't know what to do and I overheard her asking one of the supervisors. Yeah. I was itching to get this woman! So I told C to transfer the call to me and basically in a professional way told this woman to STOP STALKING US and to let us call her if we need her! Grr! One of my biggest pet peeves is contractors that actively solicit work. I can't stand that. It's basically the equivalent of someone cold-calling me at home to sell me something I don't need. Grr! Anyway, the clerical and the supervisor that were there to overhear it got quite a kick out of the whole scene. Hardy har har.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day at our office...it is Profit Sharing Day! It's the best and most fun day of the entire year at our entire company. It's starting tomorrow at 11:30 with a catered lunch. Then, we are having Jeopardy finals. Our office always plays email Jeopardy during the week of Profit Sharing with the finals on Friday. This year, yours truly is one of the finalists! How I managed that, I have no idea. I'm sure it was because Queenie is out of town...usually she wins. Then we are having a catered lunch, a raffle for a bunch of gift cards, and then we are caravaning downtown to listen to a taped presentation from our CEO, get our bonus checks, and then it's party time! Usually we all head out for Happy Hour since our company closes down at noon...no new assignments after noon on Friday! Of course, this year I won't be drinking! But that's okay...I made my friends promise we'd go somewhere that I can get something to eat!

So, that's my day today and my day tomorrow. I'm off to bed to read for a bit before I slip into my nightly coma.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Rounding first base, heading for second!

What is a beta level?

Apparently a beta level is the level of human growth hormone that you have inside you, and during early pregnancy, the doctors like to see the number, whatever it is, double in 48 hours.

So last Tuesday, I go in and have blood drawn, and then again on Thursday. Today, after much persistence with my doctor's office in calling, they finally give me the results:

Tuesday: 1508
Thursday: 3608

VERY good signs, indeed. And my progesterone is NICE and high. (Their words, not mine.)

So, score one for the panicked pregnant one. First base is mine! Second base will be if I see a heartbeat, third base will be making it to the second trimester, and home, of course, will be holding my child in my arms.

I'm still feeling great. No morning sickness other than a general icky feeling first thing in the morning that could be caused by I-don't-wanna-get-out-of-bed-itis, and I'm starving. Today after my first inspection, I burned rubber getting to a Subway for another one of those roast beef sandwichies on Italian herb and cheese bread. (Very tasty, by the way.) Then, it was off to Fort Worth to look at a nasty house with sour milk in the fridge, a smell that I still can't quite seem to get out of my nose. I need a shower.

The good news from the dishwasher search...we managed to find one, a stainless steel Frigidaire Electrolux, for not very much and it is going to be delivered and installed on Friday.

The next home task is having our diseased willow in the back removed and a new fence put up since ours gets more and more deteriorated every day. It looks like total crapola, and it's only a matter of time until a strong wind (storm season is upon us) blows it down or shreds it. We asked our very cute Mexican neighbor who runs a landscaping and fencing service out of his home to come give us an estimate. He is a sure bet...he has put up three fences on our street within the last two years, and we've gotten to watch how each one of them has weathered and lasted. It was enough for us. He quoted us $1,000 to remove the tree (YIKES), $600 to stain and treat the fence, and the rest of the quote is forthcoming once he completes his measurements. I can't really blame him on the tree...it's 40 feet tall, it is very close to our house and our neighbor's, and the branches stretch over both houses. The last quote we got two years ago was $1,250, so this is a bargain. He's going to come tomorrow to measure and then will call us with the final price, and then I need to hike down to the city office and get a permit.

I've said it a million times...it SUCKS being a Texas homeowner. Hopefully, this will be the only fence that we buy in this house.

Anyway, that's it for now. Off to walk on my treadmill, await the yummy Chinese food that is on the way, and then shower off the nasty sour milk feeling and stitch quietly until bedtime. I have nowhere to go tomorrow other than lunch with a contractor pal...oh, what bliss! So what if it's going to be insanely busy?!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Queenie's gone...

She's moving on up! She called me Thursday and told me that she did get this huge promotion to be an office manager at one of our offices in San Antonio, and that April 15 is her last day with us. Her last day as my boss! As much as I have griped about her over the last two years, now that she is going I'm really filled with a sense of sadness. She and I have worked SO well together over the last two years. We really knew how to predict each other's thoughts and I have learned so much from her. I'm so happy for her, but yet at the same time, I'm so sad and wish that she weren't going.

And now, in four weeks, I'm getting a new supervisor. Sooner, if they decide to make the organizational changes that I anticipate before that. It's just going to be so hard. She knows my claims so well, and now the new person I report to is going to have to become familiar with everything I've got, everything I've done, and my working styles and habits. There is one man in our office that has EXCELLENT construction background, and I'm really hoping that they assign me to him. I can work for anyone, but I really need someone that has strong estimating skills that can help me and really knows insurance. The one guy that I am eyeing has been around claims for a long time and according to Queenie, has very strong construction knowledge. Apparently she reviewed one of my estimates with him during an audit, and he picked up several errors that I (and she) missed. That's impressive considering that Queenie doesn't miss much!

It's going to be hard. I know that I am no stranger to change, being that she is my eighth boss that I have had since I've been in claims, but I have never learned as much from anyone as I have from her. And now maybe I can learn from someone else. I guess I have no choice in the matter...I kinda have to!

Good luck, Queenie! (also known as K)

In other news, we are heading out today to buy a dishwasher. I thought this week that we had a drain line leak under our slab, so we got a plumber out who diagnosed the problem as a leaky pump. I'm so relieved. Buying a new dishwasher is MUCH cheaper than jackhammering my slab to access a pipe in the ground, and I've wanted a new dishwasher for, well, ever since we moved in. We have this old antique HotPoint dishwasher, which I am SURE is the original to the house, and it is so noisy. I can't wait to go buy a new one!

My fabric for the Kiss in blue arrived Thursday, and last night I made my working copy at Kinko's and got started. I ended up going with the Charizma after all...and I'm glad that I did. It's lovely! I only stitched for about forty-five minutes before I conked out, but so far, it looks nice and I think it's going to be great. I am SO torn about what to do with my rotation this next round. I love my fifty projects, and I don't want to put any of them on hold, but at the same time, I really really want to get my three baby projects done, being Noah's Submarine, the Precious Moments Noah's Ark and my baby afghan. So I think what I've decided to do is to continue rotating with my rotation, but work on my baby pieces as much as I can stand to do so. My MO during this last rotation is to have four pieces at one time up on Q snaps (as you've seen from my Currently I'm Stitching section of my blog) and then I just work on whatever piece I feel like of those four at that time. It has worked wonderfully...I feel like I have such variety and there is never two nights in a row that I work on the same thing. So, when I start my new rotation next weekend (or earlier, if I can stay awake), I'll just put the first three projects on snaps plus Noah's Sub, and try to work on Noah's Sub as much as possible. I'm estimating that I have about 200 hours to go on Noah's Sub, about 60-70 on my Precious Moments Ark and about 30-40 on my baby afghan. Working on Noah's Sub won't be a problem as I LOVE LOVE LOVE that piece, but the Ark and my baby afghan will be slightly more problematic being that the Ark is boring as hell and the afghan is the crappiest fabric I've ever had the displeasure to stitch on. But they must get done. I have a bunch of other baby charts in my stash, but those are just going to have to wait as I'm not willing to drop my current rotation for a year. Besides, like a newborn is even going to CARE that his mommy got her stitching done in time so his/her walls would look nicely decorated! All he/she will care about is that the milk machine doesn't break down. Ha ha!

Anyway, so that's my plan. Hopefully, I'd really like to have Noah's Sub finished by June so I can take it to my new framer in Watauga, and the Ark finished by October at the latest. We'll see how it goes.

No news yet on my beta levels, although when I went in for my second blood draw on Thursday, the nurse told me that my levels on Tuesday were 1,500, which I guess is pretty high? I guess what they like to see is the beta level double in 48 hours, so hopefully my level on Thursday was at least 3,000. I called Friday morning and they said the lab results wouldn't be in until the afternoon but since their office closes at noon, I couldn't get them until Monday morning. So, I'm going to call them when I'm on the road to my first claim.

I feel pretty good so far, except for the tiredness, and no morning sickness yet for the most part other than a icky feeling for about fifteen minutes each morning. I went out to dinner last night though and when I was getting in the car after a trip to Paciugo for Italian gelato, the butt of my jeans split! I can NOT figure out how that happened. These jeans are loose. They are stretch jeans. I just bought them about six weeks ago. Why they decided to split, I have no idea...P thinks it was just the way I sat down. I examined them up close last night and there's no way to fix them, and I don't have the receipt, so I guess I'll be going to Old Navy this weekend to pick up some new ones. And some new shirts too...my porn boobs are making wearing all my old shirts impossible. They are WAY bigger this time than they were last time...I don't remember them feeling really big until I was about ten weeks last time, and I'm barely five weeks now. I'm probably going to have to buy some new bras too...I'm still going to try to hold off on buying any maternity clothes and bras until mid-May, but this is ridiculous! Thank god for sweats.

Ok, P's poking me to go shower so we can go get our dishwasher and some breakfast...later, gators, and happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Not-So-Red Carpet Treatment

More like a pale shade of pink.

I had my first doctor's appointment today. They confirmed that I am definitely pregnant again, took blood to do my first beta and bloodwork, and I made tons of appointments. I didn't get QUITE the red carpet treatment that I anticipated. I had to remind them that my doctor suggested checking my beta levels in 48 hours, and practically had to argue with them about the sonogram that she suggested at seven weeks. They were like, "Uh, are you sure that you started your period on 2/11?" I was like, "Duh, I'm CHARTING, you idiots!" Whatever. Anyway, I'm going back for my second blood test on Thursday, first ultrasound on 3/29, and my first real appointment with my doctor on 4/18. I never got to that point with her before...my miscarriage happened about four days before. So this should be interesting.

Not much else is happening, although my hormones are totally whack right now. I woke up at 5 am this morning sweating to death, and when I tried to move the fan so it was closer to me, I caught the skin of my left thumb in the crack and really cut it deep. This of course just turned on the tears and a massive panic attack...I was already feeling really bad about myself since I feel like I'm thickening by the second, and it's just hard to accept that I AM GOING TO GET BIGGER THAN THIS. But I'm working on it. Very hard. Otherwise, it's going to be a very long eight months.

I got a very tiny fire today that I'm going to drive out for tomorrow, but otherwise, work is slow as molasses. I'm trying to enjoy it and just relish in what I am getting done and that I have a lot of time to take it easy, but it's WEIRD to be so slow!

Watch, now that I've said this, it'll be hell on wheels next week.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Game Night

I joined Sharon last night for Game Night, and it was a LOT of fun! I played Scrabble, Scene it, Scattergories and Pictionary, and it was a blast. I'm exhausted today from such a late night, but it was totally worth it. Thanks again for the invite, Sharon!

On not such a good note, it was a warm day yesterday, and I decided I wanted to wear shorts, so I tried on every single pair I own, and was left with only one. *sigh* This is the only downfall to getting rid of all my big girl clothes...now I have nothing to wear. It stinks. So after some tears, P took me to Kohl's and I bought two pairs of shorts in the next size up and two pairs of pants in the next size up and a bunch of polo shirts to wear that will accomodate my porn boobs. I'm paying now for that wallowing in the sadness after the miscarriage. My husband is reminding me over and over and over that I am pregnant now, that there is plenty of time to diet later, and that for now, I should not worry about it and just do the best I can with walking and eating well, and that after the baby is born, he will give me plenty of time to go to the gym and work out to get back down to pre-miscarriage size. What a good man. So I'm trying not to worry about it, and hopefully these clothes will hold me until I need maternity clothes in a few months.

Not much other news at the moment. It's a nice peaceful Sunday, and my plan is to do laundry and put all of my skinny clothes in a box for storage since looking at them hanging in my closet makes me upset. Boo. Oh, yeah, and stitching. I have a few more projects to finish in this rotation before my fabric for The Kiss arrives, and then I need to decide what I'm going to do from there. I have a few projects for the baby that I'd like to do, but I really really really want to do another rotation round, so I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do. I'll keep ya posted.

I'm going to finish off today with a meme...I haven't done any in a while! I'm going to try to get back to them now. Here's mine from the Sunday Brunch:

1) Did you go to college? Yes; I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go HEELS!
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2) Did you live in a dorm or an apartment? Dorm the first year, duplex that following summer and fall, and an apartment after that.
3) Who was your favorite roommate? My first one...it was a girl that I knew from my graduating class in high school and she was the best roommate. Neat, clean, not annoying, didn't hog the phone, and best of all, she went home EVERY WEEKEND to visit her parents!
4) What is your favorite college sport? Duh...HOOPS!
5) Who was your favorite professor and class? My favorite class and professor was a editorial class that I took taught by Jim Shoemaker. He is a professor that the cartoon called Shoe is based around...the cartoonist of Shoe, Jeff McNally, had Shoe at Carolina as well. Shoe was an awesome teacher...and SO freaking funny!!! I learned a lot about writing from him...so you can thank him for my blog entries being written somewhat well.

1) Have you ever swam in the ocean? If so, which ones? Only the Atlantic, Pacific and the Caribbean. I've never been off this continent.
2) Have you ever been snorkeling or scuba diving? I snorkeled in Cancun in 1997 with P...the only time I've scubaed though was in a pool when I was in junior high with this Girl Scout water weekend thing. And that's the way it's going to stay, thanks to Open Water!
3) Do you like traveling by boat and have you ever? Yes. I took a cruise one time with my father in 1996. It was fun!
4) Do you believe that Atlantis existed? Yes.
5) If you could live on the coast of any of the oceans, which ocean and which coast? The Carribbean Sea....Mexico.

That's it for now! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

More tests...

...and I'm still pregnant. I took another one first thing this morning just to be sure, and then I bought one of the pregnant/not pregnant ones. I got a pregnant in about twenty seconds, so I think I'm good.

My doctor is seeing me Tuesday morning to draw blood to check my beta levels. Ah, it's nice to be special. Last time she didn't even want to see me until I had missed two periods, but this time, I get the red carpet treatment and the tiara!

I was very well-behaved at work and only told four people. I did inspect one roof this afternoon (already planned, couldn't be helped) but my boss is WELL AWARE that it is my last and I won't be getting any more. If I have to get on a roof for a fire, I'll just have to call a contractor.

Thank you, everyone, for the great wishes. I've been waiting three months, three days and about fifteen hours to see that positive result on my tests. It was truly a wonderful feeling to see it and I breathed the biggest sigh of relief that this hell is over, at least for now.

So, how am I feeling, you wonder? I feel pretty good. Not bouncing off the walls excited like I was last time, but I knew I wouldn't be...that first-time pregnant innocence is gone. I am a tad worried, and I'm reserving the really happy happy joy joy excitement for when the first trimester is over...or at least, until I see the heartbeat, which, if my calculations are correct, will be in about three weeks.

The one thing I AM doing though is giving in and going to buy some bigger clothes this weekend. I've been fighting with my tight fitting low-rise work pants and tight fitting low cut t-shirts for a few weeks now, and last night before I went to bed, I realized that I was retaining a LOT of water. It was quite the panic attack when I realized that I might have nothing to wear for my meetings today. Today when I woke up, it was fine and I could get into my pants with no problem, but I'm not going to worry like that for the next thirty-six weeks. I'm just going to have to accept that I'm pregnant, I'm NOT going to be slim for a while, and just suck it up and be comfortable. There is plenty of time to lose weight and diet after I give birth and start breast-feeding, and in the meantime I want to be comfortable.

Well, I'm off...we rented Ladder 49 and I'd like to get a little stitching done since I didn't do any last night, and then I'll probably fall asleep early. That's the one thing that is returning quickly...the fatigue. I was yawning all day today in my meetings. Oh, I remember those days well...I remember falling asleep at Epcot during the shows!

I'm pregnant!

I kept having more of the same symptoms yesterday, so I finally gave in after dinner last night and took a test. It's light, but it's a line. I took my third test this morning and got the same thing.

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I have to run out to meetings today, but I wanted to be sure and share my good news with you! I would have shared it last night but Blogger has been cranky lately!

I'll write more later.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Am I a hypochondriac?


I'm sure I'm imagining these symptoms, but I swear I am feeling the same way this week that I did the week when I tested in October and got pregnant. Sore boobs, nausea, headachey, the whole nine yards. Must...resist...urge...to...test. Plus, my temperatures are still staying high...this is now twelve days past ovulation. If they stay high for another six days, I can safely assume that I am pregnant...but of course, hopefully a test will tell me that in a few more days.

Could be PMS...or could be a bean digging in.

Not much else going on right now. Just stitching, watching movies, and working. This is the third day in a row I've had with no appointments. I had a lunch date Monday, lunch date yesterday and a coffee date this morning, so I am definitely catching up on my social engagements with vendors and coworkers. Tomorrow I have meetings all day...one in the morning with Queenie and one in the afternoon (a lunch meeting) with my team. Friday, I am sure I will be at a fire.

That's about all for the moment. More later!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Counting time is not as important as making time count

Ha. Easier said than done! That was the pearl of wisdom in my fortune cookie tonight that I got with my Mongolian beef for dinner.

I don't really have any news to report other than that I ordered a fat quarter of the Charizma for the blue Kiss...and I'll be patiently working my way through the rest of my rotation, reading, doing laundry and working busily to pass the time.

*sigh* I'm SO restless!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Blue Kiss

Being that I have achieved maximum stash expectancy on my cross stitch patterns long ago, I don't really get that excited about new patterns that come out. I look at them and I'll be like, "Hey, that's pretty" but I don't really get jazzed up about them. I just think, "Well, maybe someday!" My favorite designers are just designing way too fast. What is a girl to do? I am in the process though of making a shopping list for when I go to Tulsa with my friend T in April...there are several things that I want to pick up and since there is no local shop now near me really, it's a perfect opportunity to pick up the stuff that I need.

My rotation is enormous. I had kind of told myself that when I finished new projects, I would add in small pieces from my hatbox where I keep miscellaneous projects until I had that box emptied out, and then I would start some new stuff.

That all changed when I saw this on the internet this week:

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That is actually an older Mirabilia pattern called "The Kiss" and while I've had it in my stash for quite a few years, I never really thought seriously about doing it until I saw this blue conversion done by a very talented lady,
Jenna, on the Mirabilia bulletin board. But how LOVERLY it is!

So, yesterday I bought the floss for this. Today I'm going to do a light check of my own stash and make sure that I don't have anything that is perfect (although I don't think that I do) and then order a fat quarter from Silkweavers. I was going to use 28 ct fabric to make it little easier with the beads, but on 28 ct, the design size goes about an inch over a fat quarter, which is a $20 difference with those hand-dyed lovelies, so 32 ct it is. Not sure which color I'm going to use yet, but I have it narrowed down to Charizma or Blue Dynasty.
Here's the page if you want to voice your opinion...but I need to order it tonight so I have it soon. I only have seven projects left in my rotation before it's time to start over! And I can't wait! It'll be awesome to touch all those new projects again and put another block on each one of them.

In other non-stitching related news, I was a very bad girl last night and took a pregnancy test. (Sharon, resist the urge to throttle me please.) I stopped last night at the store to pick up something and found myself walking towards the family planning aisle like a moth drawn to a flame. I had every intention of just putting them away for later in the week, but oh, no, as soon I got home, I ripped one open. And of course, it was negative. I'm a dummy. Duh, implantation occurs at eight days, and I'm nine days today. But at least I got it out of my system. I have two left, and my plan is to take the second one next Saturday morning if my period doesn't show up as it should show up this week.

So, not much in the works for today. I am going to walk the dogs, get some laundry started, put in my three hours of overtime that I have coming to me today and try valiantly to get one of the huge estimates I have pending done and emailed to my boss, and then I'll probably stitch for the rest of the day. We rented the new Exorcist movie to watch tonight, so that should be entertaining.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Superior Service Award

Yesterday I received a Superior Service Award at work for my exceptional customer service. It's a huge deal...you have to be nominated by your supervisor, and then approved by all managers in the office and then our zone director has to give the final stamp of approval. I got it due to an unsolicited email that one of my customers sent in after I helped her with her house after a drunk driver drove through it. I got this huge plague thing set in marble and a $25 gift card to Target. I also got another $20 giftcard to Target for being 1st in our office right now in customer service surveys. And, due to the fact that I received two fire assignments this past week and have another on the way on Monday, my managers approved five hours of overtime. I worked two of them yesterday, and get to do the other three anytime this weekend in the quiet solitude of my office. I may actually knock them out this afternoon...I think P is going fishing and it would be wonderful to have a nice quiet house to work in.

All in all, a very profitable day! Those Target giftcards will be put to good use on DVDs. Our mission to replace our VHS collection is fully underway...it's fantastic.

But of course, with everything good comes something bad. My boss, Queenie, emailed our team on Thursday that she is applying for another job out of our office. I'm sure whatever the job is, she'll get it, as qualified as she is and as great technical expertise as she has. This of course means I'll lose the best mentor I've ever had. She'll still be with the company, but that's not the point...the point is, I'll be getting a new supervisor that I'll have to get used to. Since I became an adjuster eight years ago, Queenie is the eighth supervisor that I've had. I'm no stranger to adjusting to reporting to different people, but I have really developed a wonderful working relationship with this woman, and we work GREAT together. I can predict what she's going to say before she says it, I totally trust her judgement, and most important, I know she's going to back me up no matter what, even if later she comes to me and says, "You know, maybe you could have done this instead..." She's truly the best mentor and supervisor I've ever had.

And now I'm losing her! Not today, not tomorrow, but eventually. Even if she doesn't get this job, she'll apply for another one. I knew she was too good to stay in this position forever and I figured after some time she'd move on. She's been my supervisor now for two years. I'm sure she's learned a lot from me too...I'm the only employee that she started with that she still manages, so she has supervised me the longest.

And my next question is, who in the world will take her place? My team right now is comprised of five adjusters...one trainee, two fire adjusters and two theft adjusters, and we are the highest performing team in the office with the hardest files. There is honestly no one else in our entire office that I believe has the technical expertise to manage us, although I am sure that someone will step up and offer to do it since we are the highest performing team in the office and the supervisors' performance ratings depend on how their people perform.

Anyway. Queenie should know in about three weeks if she got that job or not, so I'll be waiting on pins and needles until she tells me.

In other news, I am still waiting patiently for the days of my luteal phase to tick by. I'm now eight days past ovulation, and I actually took a route out of my way past a Walgreen's, intending full well to stop and get a pregnancy test. *sigh* It's way too early to do that, and I know it...if I bought one, I'd just be wasting money because it's too early for any levels of human growth hormone to be showing up. So, I'm just going to be patient for a few more days, keep watching my temperatures (which are staying nice and high), and pray that Aunt Flo doesn't make an appearance.

P and I went to a party last night that a friend of mine from work, J, hosted. It was a lot of fun, even though I didn't drink one drop of alcohol. I drank about five diet Cokes and a diet cherry 7up, but I was really good to abstain from drinking any alcohol, and she had hundreds of really yummy Jello shooters that looked good. Philip had about six beers, so I appointed myself the designated driver. It was fun though...there were lots of people there that I work with, and a lot of new friends that I got to talk to, and it was a good time all around. Something weird though later...after we got home that night and crashed on the couch, I woke up around 2:30 am with a swollen tongue. This morning it is not as swollen but it hurts, like it's been rubbed raw. Philip's tongue feels the same way. The only thing we can surmise is that it must be from inhaling all the cigarette smoke at the party since we are not smokers. But at any rate, it was a fun fiesta. It's nice to get out now and then!

I guess that's all that's going on in my world. Today I'm spending the day having lunch with Sharon at Chili's, running to Michael's to pick up some floss for my stash that I need very badly, and then stitching for a bit at her house. Tonight if I feel motivated, I'll get that three hours knocked out. Tomorrow we really really really need to work on our cabinetry, but I doubt we'll do it.

How many weekends am I going to type that sentence about the cabinets???????

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Dooney Dilemma

Today around 4 pm, I got a call from my doctor's office. One of the nurses was calling to tell me that my doctor had looked at my chart and she only saw two follicles per ovary on my u/s, not the ten that the tech had pointed out.

She also said that since there were so few and the arrangement was such that it was not in a circular pattern, she is not inclined to recommend testing for PCOS at this time and doesn't believe that there is any reason for alarm, especially since I don't really exhibit the other symptoms much. I didn't become obese until I was in my 20s, I didn't have the hirutism problem until I became pregnant, and my cycles have always been like clockwork.

The sweetest words I could have ever heard today. I could have kissed that nurse.

She also told me to stop believing everything I read on the internet. Snerk! He he he.

So, I'm going to see what happens, and see if I have any trouble getting preggers again, and if I do or if I have a second miscarriage, then I'll go from there, but there is no point in getting myself all worked up over something that may not be.

So! On to a more silly subject...my Dooney purse. I am referring to the periwinkle barrel bag I bought last summer that I dearly love.

About four months ago, I realized that the handles were...um, cracking. I thought it was discoloration, so I bought some saddle soap and tried to clean the handles. No way. It didn't work. So, since D&B has this fantastic guarantee, I sent the bag back to them for evaluation.

Apparently they have decided that it is wear and tear, and have offered me three choices, none of which involve repairing or replacing the bag for free. Which vexes me a bit, but what can I do? I did use the bag for about eight months before I sent it back to them!

Choice #1: Have bag returned as is at their cost.
Pros: No cost.
Cons: I get my bag just the way it is. Blah.

Choice #2: Have bag repaired.
Pros: This is cheaper as they have estimated a cost of $40 to repair the bag.
Cons: The cost to repair the bag is almost a third of the retail cost of the bag, and since the handles will be brand new, they will look different than the rest of the bag, something that I was fine with if the repair was free!

Choice #3: Buy replacement bag for half off, or $82.50.
Pros: I get a BRAND-NEW spanking bag and can pick a different color or style if I want!
Cons: $82.50? Considering that I paid twice that for the bag in the first place? And they destroy my old bag, so it's not like I get a new bag in addition to the bag that I had.

Ugh. What to do, what to do!

I am leaning heavily towards Choice #3 because the thought of having a new bag is a good one, but I'm debating whether or not I should pick a different style and/or color. I would probably be more likely to pick a different style since I so love the periwinkle, plus there's the whole matching wallet thingy.

I guess that's food for thought for tomorrow morning when I'm driving to Fort Worth. I got TWO fires this week, and my second one is tomorrow. Not looking forward to it much, I'll tell ya.