Thursday, January 31, 2008

I will NOT freak out...

So the sellers we are dealing with have been a total pain in the ass, start to finish. We've pretty much given in to all their demands (although not without trying to negotiate first), because we want to sell our house. All that stood in the way was the home inspection. Well, our house might be 35 years old, but it is in pretty great shape.

Or so we thought.

Really, the home inspector found a whole bunch of little stuff (like adding a gate to access under our deck, or insulating the home. Hello, it was insulated just before we bought it!). There were three concerns the sellers had. One, the kitchen sink leaked. We never really noticed until we were getting ready to move, and it leaks about a milliliter a month. Really. But they said they'd fix it.

Two, they found an area that they think may have a mouse. It's in the downstairs closet, which sits under the stairs. Umm, ok, we had cats for six years, and we never had a mouse. Still, we've been gone six months and it's winter, so it's not a big shocker. Both of our parents, who live in the country, have mice all the time. These people are freaked out. We offered to set traps--they want a professional exterminator to come in. For one mouse? Are you kidding me?

The third one is the biggie though. There's a few feet of roof panel in the attic that has some mold. It's not toxic black mold, and it's not even totally covering the panel. When we were getting estimates to get the roof replaced, the guy said that he would just spray it with bleach and let it dry. Well, these people want a professional abatement company to do it. When Tim called the number of the person they gave us, the guy said it was going to cost $1500!!! Are you kidding me? We don't have it. We're already going to have to write a check to sell the house.

I am totally frustrated and overwhelmed at this point. These people have been a total pain in the ass, start to finish. And I'm a little pissed at our realtor. Apparently she's out of town for a few days, and she didn't tell us, even though she knew we would be hearing about the home inspection.

I just want to be done, but I don't want to get completely screwed in the process. In my dreams I wish someone would just walk in and take the house out from under these people. But they can't--it's delisted. Technically this home inspection could break the deal, but even then, it's no guarantee we'd be able to sell again right away. And who knows if the next buyer would be any better? With all this talk about buyer's markets and the crappy real estate markets, I'm not surprised people think they can get away with whatever they want.

I'm just so upset right now. Tim was upset yesterday (even before we knew how much it was going to cost), then I talked him down, and then he had to talk me down. And today, I'm just basically inconsolable. I'm at work, so obviously I'm not letting it show, but I'm totally heartbroken.

I wish these people had looked through more than one other house before they put an offer on ours. We went through so many crappy houses before we found this one. And we took such good care of it--we'll never see that ten grand again. And these people will need to replace the roof in a few years anyway, and this will be a moot point.

I'm just so bummed. More and more, I feel like this might have been a huge mistake--not because our new house is bad, but just because of how badly we're being screwed on the old one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yeargh

Life has been insanely busy the last week or so. Work is kicking my butt, although none of my experiments are working. I just keep at it--the last time this happened, they just started working again for no apparent reason. So I'm trying not to lose hope.

Sophie is growing daily. I really feel like she grows overnight. She is such a sweet, good-natured baby. She smiles all the time, and if she cries, you know something is bothering her. We finally got her to sleep in the crib Sunday night. I wake up several times a night now, just to listen to her and make sure she's ok. When she was in the bassinet next to the bed, I could even hear her breathe. Now, even with the baby monitor, I worry that I am missing something. The monitor is actually really good, way better than when we were kids, but I still worry. The other night, I woke up at two in the morning, convinced I was hearing her cry. She was sound asleep. Go figure.

Things have been non-stop around here. We were busy with family stuff all weekend. It's always great to see people, but it really wears me down. I actually fell asleep in an armchair with Sophie at Tim's family's shindig on Saturday. I'm just worn.

It looks like things will continue at this pace for at least the next week or two. I know at some point I'll have time to just relax. For now, though, I'm not even keeping up with the basics like dishes or laundry. Thank God my mom cooks for us, or we might starve. It's that hectic. Tim's back to classes two nights a week, getting home near 9 or so, and he's been working late the other nights. It's near impossible to get anything done when I'm the only one home. We did make it out to Target as a family on Monday night to get the basics (diapers, diapers, and more diapers). But Sophie doesn't last long in the store, plus we only take her out when the weather is pretty warm (it was near 50 Monday, and it's in the teens today). So that means we don't go out often or for long.

Overall though, life is good. We had the buyers do the home inspection on the old house Saturday morning. We're still waiting to get a copy of the report, but it sounds like there aren't any deal breakers. We may start hauling furniture this weekend.

Anyway, just a quick post to let you know I'm alive. Hopefully, things will give me a break sometime soon, and I can actually put together a coherent post. Then again, why start now?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When it rains, it pours

I've just been having one of those weeks, I think. The furnace crapped out on Sunday. It started with the furnace not being able to get to the set thermostat temp (it was set at 68 but would only get to 65 or so). Then we started getting a burnt plastic-y smell throughout the house. And then the temperature really started to drop. We had space heaters running, and we bundled Sophie up, but we were both so nervous Sunday night that neither of us really slept. About 2:30 AM Tim called the home warranty place. They said someone would be out Monday to fix it. We were thinking we might have to go to the old house, or down to our parents, if it got really cold. Luckily, the house is well insulated, and it didn't drop below 50.

Still, it meant that I had to stay home on Monday and wait for the repairman. Technically Monday was a university holiday, but those don't really exist in the lab. And I had my experiments planned already. I resent the fact that I'm always the one that has to stay home when stuff happens, but I guess I should appreciate the flexibility while I have it. Soon enough, Tim will have to be the one to take off work when she's sick or something happens. The flexibility will be nonexistent during residency.

Luckily, the furnace was covered by our home warranty, with only a $50 deductible. Thank goodness for small favors. Considering this house is seven years old, and the old house was 35, we've had a lot more things to fix in the new house versus the old house, and we've only been here six months! I'm hoping we've hit our quota for a while.

Anyway, I'm trying to stay positive, as much as the little things have really gone for crap over the last week. It's just one of those frustrating times when nothing seems to cooperate. I know it won't last forever, but while I'm in the funk, it sure stinks. Oh well, maybe my experiments will start working again sometime soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bittersweet

Well, we sold the house. The realtor came over this morning, and we signed the papers. It's contingent on a home inspection, so we're not home free yet, but the basics are done.

We got our bell rung. We knew we would. We lowered the price five grand on Monday. On Wednesday, a couple came through, and they made an offer within a few hours. Carol, the realtor, called to tell us there was an offer, but she didn't have any information--the buyer's agent wanted to present the offer in person the next day. We knew that was a bad sign. For all of the offers we've put on houses, even when they are low, we've never made the agent present the offer in person. That meant the offer was really low, or really complicated.

Turns out, it was complicated. They were offering one number, but they wanted 3% back for closing costs, since they had zero money to put down. That meant that the real number they were offering was less that $1500 more than we paid for the house six years ago. They also didn't want to close on the house until the end of March, because they had an apartment lease they weren't sure they could get out of. And apparently they were maxed out money-wise since they had only prequalified for a certain amount.

I didn't see the offer until Thursday night--I had the MSTP retreat all day Thursday, and Tim had class until 9 PM, so even though he had gotten the offer at lunch, we couldn't go over it until late. We called the realtor back on Friday and asked for two simple things: one, that they get 2% instead of 3% back (saving us about $1400), and two, they close at the end of February to save us a mortgage payment. Well, our realtor said she didn't they they would do it (side note: I was fairly irritated with our realtor at this point. She really stopped trying as soon as there was an offer. She's suppose to work with us till the end since we pay her commission, but she definitely was more for them, just to hurry up and get the deal done).

Saturday we talked to Carol, and she said they really couldn't do anything money-wise. We asked her one more time about moving the closing up to February (it's still a 45 day closing. That's longer than average. We did it in 20). We said if they could agree to that, we'd have a deal. So about 7 last night, they called and said they'd do it. And our realtor was "too cold" to leave the house to sign the papers last night, so she came by this morning.

So basically the house is sold, pending inspection. By the time we pay commission and closing costs, we'll have $10,000 less than we paid for it. And since we put in about 10 grand in remodels and fixes, we've lost 20 grand since we bought it.

That just kills me. I'm a total frugal fanny. That was why we bought in the first place--rent was just throwing money away. And here we are, throwing money away. Between our mortgage and the bridge loan we took out to buy the new house, we are actually going to have to cut a sizable check just to sell our house.

Don't get me wrong--I love our new house, I couldn't ask for a nicer area, and my commute is a million times better than it was. But does that mean we should have moved? I don't know. We never would have been able to afford our new house if the market didn't suck. So that's a plus. But losing 20 grand, when we had been talking about being able to pay off the old house by the end of residency? That eats at me.

I am glad the house sold. Having it sit there was really stressing me out. But it's bittersweet. There's the financial aspect that hurts, and then there's leaving all of the hard work we put into the house, and all of the memories we got out of it, behind. It always saddened me a little to go over there when it was empty. It was such a good little house for us. If the commute would have been better, we wouldn't have even thought about moving.

It's hard. Like I said, I am so thankful we were able to get into our dream house. I don't want to sound ungrateful. But it's like I'm giving a piece of myself to total strangers that don't see the value--they just see a bargain. I just hope it can be as good of a house for them as it was for us.

And I am praying it passes the inspection. I don't have a specific reason to worry, but we weren't told to get a house inspection when we bought it--our realtor at the time blew it off--so although everything appears to be fine, there could be something lingering that we don't know about. And if this deal falls apart, that's when I'll be really depressed.

Anyway, for now, we're single home owners. And that's something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Aargh....

Well, I still don't want to get into my crappy week, but today hasn't helped much. I've had a monstrous headache all day that has been totally unresponsive to tylenol. The blot from the gel of my experiment from Monday didn't work (and thus the craziness of taking constant time points on Monday, plus coming in the previous Saturday to treat the cells, is for naught). I haven't had a lot of time to rehearse the talk I am giving tomorrow, so I will pretty much just have to wing it. And I've got a school dinner tonight--while the free food and social time is usually good, this doesn't even start till 6:30, and I just want to go home.

Ok, enough whining. I think I'm bummed in general, and this stuff (plus crappy house stuff, which again, I don't want to get into) isn't helping. I think I just need a nap.

Something fun

It's been one of those weeks so far for me. Rather than rehash it, I though I'd do something a little fun. I found this website where you can trade video games. I've been trading in my old game cube games for new Wii games. Like, I can trade in the game cube Zelda for the same amount as getting the Wii Zelda. They are used games, of course, but they are in good shape (they guarantee the games will play). It's been a lot of fun trying new things out. If you click through this link, you can get 100 points for free, which is enough to get a lower-tier game on almost any system. I just thought I'd share. And hey, it's a free video game, right? It can't hurt. It's been helping my mental health, at least.

Ok, promo over. Back to lab work!

(Note: someone said the points aren't showing up, just a free trade credit. I'm looking into it. When I did it, you got 100 points for free. Now, it looks like you get an extra 100 points for the first game you trade. I'll get back to you).

Friday, January 11, 2008

This is random, but I was checking my email, and they had a little sidebar ad with a pregnant women's stomach in the picture. Can I tell you that I got a little sad? For all of the issues that went with it, overall I really enjoyed being pregnant. Now, that being said, I'm not ready to rush out and do this again any time soon. And I guess it's a little normal to miss being pregnant, from what I've heard. It just consumed so much of my life last year--it feels a little weird to be a normal person again. Weird, I know.

Anyway, Tim is home again, and I actually got to leave the house for about 30 minutes last night. It was just grocery shopping. Still, knowing he was with her made me feel much calmer and more in control of things at home. I picked up, did some dishes, and made a broccoli salad for work today (we're having an impromptu lab lunch--Ming is making dumplings, and I made this broccoli salad. Mostly just because we were both having cravings and didn't want to eat all the food ourselves.) I even got to play a few minutes of Mario Galaxy on the Wii (a totally addictive game, FYI). I know it was a little tough for Tim to jump right back into the baby stuff, but he did a good job dealing with her fussiness. I didn't get a nap--she is so cute, I can't lay down when she is in a good mood, I have to play with her. And Tim's department got a whole bunch of tickets to the Cavaliers basketball game tonight, so there will be no napping tonight either. But hopefully tomorrow we can sleep in and catch up on some zzz's together.

I've got to work on my talk for the research retreat next week, and I finally have cells ready to pass, so I've actually got stuff to do today. That always makes the time move faster.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Tim is finally coming home today. He's been gone six of the last eight days traveling for work. And God bless single parents, but I don't know how they do it. I've even had tons of help from my family. It's just been totally overwhelming. I love Sophia dearly, and she is usually a very easygoing baby, but this cold has really made her fussy. That has meant that from the time I get her from my mom until the time I go to bed, I am holding her. And feeding her, since she only wants one thing when I have her. I love holding her, and to hold her 99% of the time is awesome. But when I don't have another set of hands to hold her for that 1% of the time I need to eat, or pee, or do something else--that's when it is the hardest.

She's usually content to sit in a bouncer or a swing for a few minutes, but this cold has irritated her so much that she doesn't like them. And I can't lay her down flat on her activity mat because the snot drains and chokes her. So it's been non-stop holding. Part of me has really enjoyed not having to share her, but I haven't done dishes, or laundry, or anything since Tim left. I had to take out the garbage last night--a ten minute job--and I had to put her in the swing so she was ok while I did it. And she screamed the whole time. It broke my heart to here her cry, but I knew she wasn't hungry or wet. She's a little young to be letting her cry it out on a regular basis (according to the pediatrician), but a few minutes is supposed to be ok. It still sucks though.

I am totally exhausted from the lack of sleep. It's like when she was two weeks old all over again. But then again, she is smiling so much now (and so close to laughing!) that I forget all about the lack of sleep instantly when I am with her. It's times like now, when I'm at work and she's with my mom, that I really feel run down. I don't have her little face to perk me up :)

I'd like to run out to the store and leave Sophie with Tim for a while, but I might be better off taking a nap. I may even try to leave early and sleep. We'll see. My cells aren't quite ready yet anyway. I know my boss is going to be coming around again, but it seems stupid to hang around just for face time. Unfortunately, that is the way life works.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Take a minute

If you would, take a minute and check out this website. Just by clicking, sponsors provide money to fund child health care. Take a look!

The child healthcare site

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Finally, recaps and resolutions

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now. It actually started when I was pregnant—I thought I should write down what worked and what didn’t, so that when I am hopefully pregnant again someday (many moons from now), I’d remember. Since I was pregnant most of 2007, it worked out as a convenient review of the year. So, without further adieu:

First trimester (February-April 2007)
-I didn’t have wicked morning sickness, but my lower GI tract totally revolted against me. That, plus the more typical signs (peeing all the time, sore boobs, utter exhaustion) were the first real clues I was pregnant. Looking back, I think the first trimester was harder for me than any other time, expect for maybe that last week before delivery. I had insomnia (there was one night in Aruba I didn’t sleep at all) alternating with exhaustion to the point that I would come home from work and be asleep before Tim even walked in the door. I did have nausea, but only minor vomiting. There was a good month or so when I couldn’t eat hardly anything between the nausea and the GI stuff. No fun.

-It was also hard from a paranoia perspective. We had that episode when we thought we might be miscarrying. It was reassuring to get the ultrasound at six weeks, but it meant we had seven weeks (to the end of the first trimester) when we were still at risk. Since I couldn’t feel fetal movement yet, and my appointments were only once a month, there was a lot of concern whether everything was going ok.

-That also affected when we told people we were pregnant. We told immediate family right away, but just before we were going to tell everyone else was when we were worried about miscarrying. So we had to keep it a secret for another seven weeks. That sucked. If we had a similar scenario again, we might just tell people anyway. We were worried about the stress of having to tell people about the miscarriage—we didn’t want to have to relive the pain over and over—but keeping it in was horrible.

Second trimester (April-July 2007)
-The second trimester was awesome. I started to show in May or so, and I had already bought a few sets of maternity clothes, so it was great to “show off” a little. The nasty GI stuff went away. The only thing I still couldn’t eat was tomato-based stuff –spaghetti, chili, etc. That sucked, since most of my favorite foods are tomato-sauce-based. And it lasted through most of the pregnancy. No real cravings though, other than a preference for raspberry iced tea. I think Tim had more cravings than I did. He was always suggesting Dairy Queen or something similar, and I really didn’t have too much of a taste for it. But I humored him on occasion.

-I loved starting to feel the baby move. And we got the anatomy ultrasounds during this time. Between those two things, and starting to show, it really helped me bond with Sophie (or Bucky, as we called her at the time). And it was a great bonding time for Tim and I too. I loved knowing she was there, and she was ok.

-As far as maternity clothes go, I really learned a lot. I got a few shirts and some shorts from Kohl’s first. I did ok there—I think it was buy one, get one free—but I got such better deals later. Mom found some cute stuff, barely worn, at Goodwill. I found amazing deals online, and that’s the route I would do again. Between Old Navy maternity online, where I got some great jeans, and JC Penney maternity online, where I got amazing deals (shelf bra tank tops for $3, a dressy blouse and black skirt for $10 total, a black dress for $9), I think online was the way to go. I should’ve bought the jeans sooner—I didn’t buy the maternity ones until I was seven months pregnant. I had two pairs of regular pants that fit until then (maybe a sign that I should buy clothes that fit a little better), and I had some shorts, but the jeans really came in handy. And I’m still using the tank tops with bras—they are perfect for sleeping now that I’m nursing. I would’ve bought a boatload of those.

-I was still able to exercise fairly well in the second trimester. I would’ve tried harder to walk every day. I thought I’d feel good for a long time, but as I grew out, things started getting tougher. My balance was all off. But it was so nice to just get out every now and again.

Third trimester (July-October 2007)
-Umm, maybe buying a house, moving, and fixing up an old house when I was in my third trimester was not such a good idea. I definitely overdid it on occasion. I remember lifting a few boxes that were way too heavy for me and pulling out my back. I also shouldn’t have been painting (especially when I was standing on beds, dressers, etc to do it) or doing other activities as much as I did. I really exhausted myself.

-On the other hand, while I did overdo it in many ways, moving when I was that pregnant meant we got a lot of help from our families. That made a huge difference. So maybe it wasn’t such a bad time to move.

-I chalk it up to extreme nesting, though. Definitely don’t want to buy another house next time I am pregnant. I love our new house, but the stress of not selling the old one is taking its toll.

-By late September, I felt huge. The last month was unreal. It didn’t help that I had the external cephalic version because she was breech, or that I had regular Braxton-Hicks contractions every five minutes for the last six weeks. By late September, I was ready. I also learned that I should’ve argued my due date more. They pushed it back after our six week ultrasound. I knew the original date was right, but I didn’t think five days was a big deal. IT WAS A BIG DEAL! That made all the difference once I was overdue. I think she would’ve induced me if we hadn’t changed the date. That would have made delivery a lot easier, I think, because Sophie might not have made it to nine pounds.

-That was the other thing—my weight never plateaued. I knew a lot of it was swelling. My socks (which weren’t tight before I was pregnant) were leaving half-inch deep marks in my ankles. My fingers and face had totally puffed up. I know it was mostly water, since there’s no way I could’ve lost thirty pounds in two weeks post delivery if it wasn’t fluids. But I also knew Sophie was still growing. I would’ve been more adamant about how big she was if I would’ve known it would help. I’ll know to go with my gut next time.

Labor and delivery (October 24-25th)
-Actually pre-labor, I’m glad I called on the 23rd about no fetal movement. It turns out everything was fine, but something just didn’t seem right. As much as part of me hates to impinge on other people when things are “probably” fine, I’m glad I called and went in for monitoring. Knowing Sophie was ok made a huge difference. And if things hadn’t been ok, I would’ve been at the hospital, where they could take care of us.

-Now I know Braxton-Hicks can go on forever. Even after my water broke, I never had strong contractions. Heck, even after 8 hours of pitocin, I was barely having big contractions.

-I’ll also know to listen to the nurses about everything EXCEPT how long labor is going to take (and how big they think the baby is). Since I was already very dilated and effaced before my water broke, they kept telling me that things would go fast. Not so much. Even when I started pushing, they said things would move fast. Thirteen hours of labor and three hours of pushing proves that’s not true.

-I’ll be more vocal about the epidural next time. I still had some feeling in my legs after they did it. I thought that was just a walking epidural—and it might have been. However, that light epidural meant I felt EVERYTHING during delivery. And many women have told me they felt nothing with their epidural. I’ll remember to make sure I am totally numb before the anesthesiologist leaves next time.

-Even though delivery was the most painful three hours of my life (especially the last 45 minutes. Good Lord!), Sophie was totally worth it. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to go out and do this again super soon. But the pain fades, and I have Sophie for good now.

Recovery:
-Episiotomies hurt. Bad. I’m sure tears are worse, but that bad boy was rough. I still occasionally have some soreness ten weeks later. The tucks pads, anesthetic spray, and sitz bath were all lifesavers. But it hurts no matter what.

-I’m glad that I called a nurse when I needed help. From breastfeeding help to concerns about passing big blood clots, the nurses were a huge help. I absolutely loved my floor and everyone working on it. They were super nice, always ready to educate me, and very attentive. I would deliver at my hospital again in a heartbeat.

-I’m glad I sent Sophie to the nursery both nights. I felt bad about it at the time, but I was totally exhausted, and Tim wasn’t there to help me. I just needed some rest. I don’t know if she screamed the whole night, or how they settled her down, but I know they brought her to me when she was hungry and took care of her the rest of the night.

-I would’ve bought the breast pump before I delivered. I was so engorged three days after delivery that I cried. Sophie was having trouble latching on because I was so big, my breasts hurt, and we were both frustrated. The $30 hand pump was ok for a day, but if I had bought my awesome Medela by then, life would have been so much easier. At least I’ll have my pump for next time. Oh, and I’m so glad I didn’t pay retail for my pump. I got the Medela pump in style advanced for $230. The regular one is $250 at Target and Babies R Us, and my model sells for $350 at Target! I got it brand new from a medical supply company. Definitely the way to go.

-I’m glad I sucked it up and asked my mom for help breastfeeding. It was one of those times I had to overcome my modesty. Come on now, I don’t ever wear tight clothes, and I feel naked in a bathing suit. Letting my mom help me breastfeed meant I had to suck it up on two levels: asking for help, and getting past the extreme modesty. It was the right decision—my mom made all the difference. When I was so engorged, her help is one of the main reasons I didn’t give up breastfeeding.

-Actually, I’m glad we asked for help across the board. Thank goodness for our families. My mom even came up overnight and took the baby shift. And we had all sorts of help with food and errands and other things. Having so many people around to support us was a godsend.

-I need to remember next time that just because I’m home from the hospital doesn’t mean I’m back to my pre-baby self. I think I overdid it a little bit when I was first home. I pushed myself to clean and get organized (thank God other people were cooking). And I paid for it. I should’ve accepted the fact that it’s ok for me to be tired and worn down. My body needed to recover, and I pushed it too far.

-Also, that whole sleep when the baby sleeps? Total crap. When she was really little, she slept a lot, but only in small increments. By the time I fed her, got her to sleep, got myself fed and pottied, and went to lay down, she was already starting to wake up. And once she was older and I could get a nice hour or two free, I had so many other things that I wanted to do that I didn’t nap with her. But by then, she was sleeping overnight, and I didn’t need the sleep as desperately.

-I was hard on myself for letting Sophie co-sleep with us for six weeks. Everything I had read, and everything I had been told as a medical student, was that co-sleeping is bad. And so when Sophie wouldn’t sleep anywhere but between Tim and I, I felt bad. I tried the crib first, which was a disaster, and then we tried the bassinet. She hated it. And we needed sleep. So I gave in. I was worried we’d be too nervous to sleep with her there, or that she’d never be able to leave the bed. Know what? She sleeps in the bassinet every night now, on her own, and we were able to get some sleep. We were extra careful with her around, but it was just fine. And actually, I miss her a little now that she doesn’t sleep with us.

-The first six weeks suck sleep-wise, exhaustion-wise, and general mental health-wise. But it gets so much better.

-At my six week appointment, I was glad everything looked ok. When I asked about when I would get my period, she said it varies with breastfeeding. I was hoping to be one of the lucky ones that doesn’t get a period the whole times she’s breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I got it the next day. I had just stopped bleeding from delivery, and then I had my period. Totally sucks. But, such is life.

-Not everyone is healed and ready for “you know” at six weeks. Enough said.

In general:
-I love hand-me-downs. Sophie has boxes of adorable clothes to grow into, people gave us a swing and pack-n-play, and we’ve got more stuff coming. She goes through things so quickly—knowing that we don’t have to buy her a new wardrobe every month is huge.

-I’m still not 100%, but I’m getting there. I may never be exactly the same—I’ve got stretch marks to beat the band, my stomach (and I’m sure later, my boobs) are not back to their original tone, and I’ve got something in my left hip that is stiff whenever I first stand up. But that’s ok. It’s not like I was wearing bikinis or doing Olympic sporting events before I had Sophie. I guess they are my battle scars.

-I’m not sure how much the childbirth classes helped. The express prepared childbirth class was the most helpful. Tim didn’t get as much out of the daddy boot camp class as was advertised. The breastfeeding class was ok, but there wasn’t a lot they could tell us that we either didn’t already know or could really appreciate without having a baby there to practice with. The car seat safety class was useless, but at least we got two cheap car seats. I don’t think I’d do them over again. I’d take a several week childbirth class, but that would be it.

-It’s really true—you already know how to be a parent. We were both so nervous with Sophie. Even things as simple as diaper changing (which I’ve done a lot of in the far flung past) and baths were nerve wracking. Once we saw it done the first time, we felt better, and it gets easier as time goes on. I think it was natural that we were so nervous in the beginning. But it’s all worked out so far.

-I can’t imagine life without her. Yes, I miss just being able to pick up and run out to Target, or take our sweet time grocery shopping. But Tim and I weren’t big partiers before we got pregnant. She really doesn’t cramp our style too much. And being able to chill with her at home every evening is so much more rewarding that having the ability to get up and go whenever we want.

So, I don’t have resolutions per se for 2008, but there are a few things I want to work on.

-The perennial weight goals. I can’t diet—during therapy several years ago I was told that doing Weight Watchers or detailed calorie counting again would re-trigger my eating disorder. So I want to make better choices and listen to my body more. I’ve still found myself eating for emotional reasons on occasion, but I haven’t had the full-on binges that I used to. But I’ve gotten a little lax, giving myself permission to eat goodies since I delivered. Everyone says you need 500 extra calories or so a day to breastfeed. I’ve been getting mine in cookies. Which explains why I haven’t lost any weight since the first 30 fell off two weeks post delivery. And I’ve got another 30-40 to go.

-Along with that, I want to exercise more. Nothing crazy—I just really like walking, and I want to get back to it. We were so busy with house stuff last summer that we didn’t walk as much as we had before. Now I think it’d be fun to take the baby out with us.

-I want to finish my PhD and go back to med school. Some of that I can control—I really need to work super hard at being efficient and organized. However, I can’t control the outcome of my experiments. So I am also going to try and be accepting of whatever happens.

-I am going to try and be more positive about lab. I think a lot of life is reaping what you sow. I’ve been so unhappy in lab for so long that I have a terribly negative attitude about it. I want to think more positively and start a new outlook on lab.

-I am going to try and keep things in perspective. Sophie has helped me re-focus on life. Work is work, but it isn’t my life. I still like science, but I’m not as passionate about that as I am about my family. I think I want to practice medicine. I don’t know what type specifically, but I think some medical specialty suits my personality so much more than research or even general medicine. It’s more of who I am. And I’m not even as picky about specialties as I once was. Of course, I haven’t had enough clinical exposure to really make a judgment yet, but I think there are several specialties that could work for me. And I no longer need to pick the most prestigious one. I want one that challenges me, that allows me to see patients, but also gives me time with my family. It’ll be more time consuming than derm or radiology, but not as terrible as something like surgery.

-I know I had more goals, but I’m a bit brain numb at the moment. So for now, that will have to do. It’s not like I don’t already have enough goals to work on.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wow, time sure is flying. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, so this one might be a bit random. Here are the updates:

I’m back at work full time now. It’s actually going a little bit better than I expected. I gave a lab meeting on Friday to reorganize my thoughts and make sure I knew where I left off and where I am headed. It actually went pretty well. I have a few more experiments to run, but it seems like the story is coming together well. If these experiments cooperate, I may be done in enough time to write the paper and submit it by May or so. If it gets accepted fairly quickly, I could return to med school by July. If it takes a little while, hopefully I’ll be back by November. I am crossing my fingers and toes that I’ll be done this year.

I brought Sophie into work with me on Thursday (my mom and dad were driving my sister to Columbus so she could go back to California). That actually went pretty well. Of course it’s a distraction to have her—I just want to hold her!—but she slept a good part of the time, and I was able to get quite a bit of work done. I wouldn’t keep her around if I was doing anything hazardous, but in a pinch, it’ll work.

My sister is back in California now. It was so nice to see her for a few weeks. She got to meet Sophie for the first time, and she watched her for a few days while she was home. There’s something about having a baby that makes me really family-oriented, and it was so nice to have the whole family together. Amy’s already committed to jobs in California for the next year—she’s going back to the camp in San Francisco for the summer, and she’ll be back at her camp in the mountains of southern California for fall 2008 and spring 2009. She really likes it, and she’s found a great group of people to work with. For purely selfish reasons, I always hope that maybe she’ll come teach on the east coast. I’d love to be only a day’s drive away instead of three or four. But I give her so much credit for really doing what she loves. We’ll see her when she comes home in May—Sophie will be so much bigger then! I can’t wait.

Sophie went in for her two month shots on Saturday morning. Oh. My. God. First, she’s had a little cold for a few days. Nothing major—even the doctor said she looked fine. She gave us the rundown on what to look for (trouble breathing, fever, extended rapid breathing, etc). So far, nothing other than a runny nose. But it makes her uncomfortable, since she’s a nose breather, and that’s made her irritated. Add to that five vaccines—one oral and four shots—and we had an unhappy baby. We gave her some Tylenol, which helped some, but her legs were super sensitive. Unfortunately, she was upset because of the cold and shots, which made her flail her legs, which made her hurt more. Poor thing. She eventually exhausted herself and slept most of the day, but she was up every two hours or so overnight.

We did find out on Saturday that we’ve bred a giant baby. She was 13 pounds, 15.5 ounces (basically 14 pounds) and 23.5 inches long. That puts her at the size of a 4 to 5 month old. At least she’s consistent—she was at the 90th percentile for weight and length when she was born, and she’s still there. She’s proportional though. Her weight to length ratio is around 50th percentile. So she’s big for her age, but symmetrical. The doctor didn’t seem worried. She said that we’ll see where she’s at when she’s two and then guess how big she’s going to be. But I guess breastfed babies grow pretty quickly and then level off later.

Anyway, she’s doing ok. She’s so close to laughing. Tim is sure she’ll do it while he’s gone. There are pretty good odds of that—she didn’t do it the two days he was in New York City last week, but he’s in Virginia four days this week, so she’s got a lot of time without him. The traveling sucks, in my opinion. His company was pretty good about it the last month I was pregnant. But I guess the time has come. I hope that he doesn’t continue to travel as frequently as he is now. It’s hard being home with Sophie overnight without him—she’s pretty good, but especially when she’s sick like she is now, it’s nice to have someone else to run and get Kleenex while I’m holding her. Jen stayed overnight last week, and she’ll stay overnight tonight, and that’s a big relief. She’s having her wisdom teeth out on Wednesday though, so I’ll be on my own a few nights while Tim is gone. We do have great neighbors, so if there was an emergency, I know I could ask them for help too. I’m just hoping I won’t need to.

I’ve got a whole other post I’ve been playing with about 2007 in review/2008 resolutions. But that’s for another time. For now, I’ve got lab stuff to do. I’ve got to get this PhD done!