Thursday, April 23, 2009

She Did It!

I was helping Chris determining what was going where and in what car when I heard crying. I ran inside and saw Vivian rolling from her back to her side to her tummy! She's been trying the last couple of days and getting really frustrated with it, but she finally did it tonight! Another great memory in this house!!

Saying Goodbye

It's hard to believe, but the day has almost finally arrived. Today is the last full day that we'll be in NC. It's been a busy, busy last couple of weeks. On Saturday, we had a small get-together to say goodbye to our friends here and to let them know that we were leaving in less than a week.

This week has been a busy nightmare. Last Friday was (finally) Chris's last day at work, so he's been home this week to help pack and take care of Vivian. Today I had to go to the dentist (for my 3rd visit in the last 6 weeks) and then drove home to pick up Chris and Vivian to head to the chiropractor for our last adjustments. My sciatic nerve has been acting up again. BOOOO! After that, we headed to the attorney's office to sign the lien waiver and deed. We won't physically be here for closing on the 29th, so it was nice we could get things done early.

I thought I would reflect a bit on my time here. My stint in NC was only supposed to be for 3 months -- during the summer of 2004. I was a grad student at Virginia Tech in Industrial and Systems Engineering and had a summer internship at IBM. About 6 weeks into my internship, I decided to stay in NC and not return to my graduate program. Most of this was because of the lack of funding (as in I didn't have any) and the fact that I also didn't have health insurance and I became seriously ill while living in VA. I bought my first house in Apex and then was offered a perm position with IBM, where I stayed for 2 1/2 years until I was laid off in November of 2006.

I learned a lot at IBM, but I knew (once again), that industry wasn't for me. I considered transferring to North Carolina State, but I wasn't too happy with the rigor of the program. After IBM, I worked as a consultant for a year which was another interesting adventure -- one week I worked 80 hrs, the next week only 5 hrs. I also decided to buy a new house. I wanted a yard for Lilli and I was tired of dealing with HOA dues. So, I bought a house on 3/4 of an acre. I love this house and didn't really intend to leave it so soon (2 years and a month), but it's definitely time to move on.

Last year was a really amazing year. I remember having dinner on New Year's Eve in 2007 with my friend Tanya. I told her that I was completely happy being single. Little did I know that a wonderful man that I had met several months earlier was going to become a permanent fixture in my life. I remember talking to Chris in January about my plans for delaying my PhD program by a year. I needed to work and earn a lot more money (since consulting was so sporadic) and stay in my house to break even. I had also just started at Cisco. He kept encouraging me to pursue my goal.

I ended up delaying my PhD program by only a semester and started last fall, while pregnant (and now married) and working FT at Cisco. It was rough, to say the very least. Chris said we would take one semester at a time. I finally had to leave my position, which worked out for the best since it was eliminated while I was out on maternity leave. It also reduced a lot of stress, which wasn't good for the baby.

I continued my program FT during the spring semester, while managing a newborn as a stay-at-home-mom. Many probably thought I was nuts. Well, yes. Some days were better than others, but again, I have an extremely supportive partner.

I never thought this day would come...that I could actually complete my PhD, especially with a husband and a baby and a dog in tow. But, we're moving to make it happen and we couldn't be happier for the next chapter in our lives.

NC was just a pit-stop, where I learned so much about myself. It prepared me for the journey to come.

So...goodbye NC. Maybe we'll be back...maybe we won't. Never say never! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Helpful hints and tips from a mom of a 4-month-old

Of all the people I know that are expecting or recently delivered, Vivian (at 4 months) is the oldest baby. Between us, Chris and I know 10 mommies/daddies/babies. Good grief. I've NEVER known this many people to have kids. The economy goes to poo and everyone has a baby. Can you say baby boom?

Vivian's 4 month appointment at the peds went well yesterday. She's now 24" tall (50th percentile) and 13 lbs 2 oz (50th percentile). Dr. Adams said she looks great and is thriving. She did well with her shots too. Only got a bit fussy later in the day, so we gave her a very, very small drop of Children's Tylenol.

I thought I would put together a list of things we found we did/didn't need. We've been selling/consigning stuff like crazy recently because either we aren't using the items or Vivian didn't really like them. Of course, I must add my disclaimer: every child is different.

The Infant Bath Tub - In my opinion, it's a total death trap. We tried it twice. It did not go well, so we've been co-bathing (mommy gets into the tub with Vivian) ever since. I have far better control over the baby and she doesn't freeze since she's sitting in the water. She loves it. No more screaming and it's a great bonding time. If she pees, poos, spits-up, no worries. I just shower after! :)

The Changing Table - It's great for the first month. After that, it's much easier to put the baby on the floor. At some point, your baby will become a bit mobile. If you need to grab something, having the baby on the floor is a far better option than not being able to leave her on the changing table.

The Swing - Vivian used it for a few weeks. Considering we paid $130 for the thing and then sold it a couple of months later for $40, it wasn't worth it.

The Travel System - Unless you have a mini-van or Escalade or something, don't get one. The stroller takes up the entire trunk of our BMW, which makes it very hard to pack anything else. Honestly, we're considering getting a Maclaren which can be used up to 55 lbs and is good for your kid over 3 months. They're a bit spendy, but it lasts a long, long time.

Fancy Crib Sheets - Three Words: Late Night Blowout. Get two Ultimate Crib Sheets and you'll be set! They are waterproof and attach directly to the mattress.:)

Consignment Sales - I cannot speak highly enough of these sales. When your kid pukes, poops, pees, and whatever other fluid comes out of him or her, you'll be grateful you only paid a couple of bucks for the outfit.

Cloth diapers - Get a couple of packs. They absorb all sorts of things -- including spit-up and poo.

That's all I can think of for now. It's time to go check-in on a little one! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Are we nuts?

I left a voicemail for my dear friend Flora today asking if I was insane. Things are happening at lightning speed now and we had another major change this week. On Wednesday night, we decided that it would be for the best if we left NC when the house closes (or a few days before) and move to a temporary apartment in Tallahassee, versus staying in NC in one. This opens up a huge realm of possibilities.

#1. Chris can start working on his own immediately, which he's excited about.
#2. I can FINALLY take face-to-face classes at school, rather than trying to piecemeal a schedule together each semester with whatever is being offered online.
#3. We can become more acclimated to the weather, town, etc.

BUT, this also means that we're leaving NC in 2 weeks. Literally, 2 weeks from today the movers are coming to pack all of our belongings (except for what we must keep with us -- most of it is baby-related) and put it into storage (still in NC) until mid-July when it will be moved down to our house.

Can you imagine leaving your home for the last several years -- with 2 weeks notice? We are in the process of canceling doctor and dentist appointments that are scheduled weeks or months out from now.

We did find an apartment (sight unseen, of course), but it came highly recommended -- so that's definitely a plus. We need to set-up utilities, order the furniture, etc.

Forwarding our mail is a totally different issue. I swear USPS hates me. They hosed up our wedding announcements, destroyed a few birth announcements, oh..and I'm STILL getting mail from the previous owner of my house -- two years later! I had to cancel the forward to the apt in NC, so hopefully that will really happen. I'm so skeptical of these things. I signed up for a PO Box in Tallahassee online this morning, thinking we would just have our mail forwarded there. Well, they don't tell you (before you click submit and your credit card has been charged) that you need to be physically present to get the PO Box number. So, I can't forward my mail unless I have an ADDRESS! 5 phone calls to the 1-800-ASK-USPS number and an in-person visit to the post office this morning. We went home with a form, which still doesn't help me. Why doesn't it help me -- because in order to get a refund for your PO need the PO Box number, which I can't get unless I'm physically present at the Tally post office. :)

No wonder the price of stamps keeps going up -- it's to offset the number of damn forms one has to fill out to do anything!

On to Ms Vivian -- she's doing great! In about 11 1/2 hrs, she'll officially be 4 months. It's so hard to believe. Our sitter took her to the Duke Gardens yesterday to have her picture taken. I think Vivian had a good time!

Today, I took Chris to work and ate lunch there...and had to change a nasty diaper in the women's changing table in sight. Lovely. Hope the nice granite countertop is still okay! :)

After that excitement, we went to the mall. I totally forgot about the Easter Bunny but I thought it might be cute to get a picture with Ms Vivian. So, I headed to Gymboree (what a freaking rip-off, BTW) and purchased a cute little dress for her, took her to the family restroom, changed her into the dress, and then stood in line for the bunny for the next 1/2 hr. People are SOOO rude and seriously, it's a picture at a MALL people. If you want to get professional pictures, then GET them. Vivian did great with the bunny, but she didn't really want to sit in his lap. So, she stood up while he held her. It was pretty cute! :)

To close, here's a great picture from the other night with all of Chris's girls! :) Vivian, me, and Lilli.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another BUSY week!

I have a feeling that every week until the end of April is going to be very, very busy. Here's the quickie update:

We signed a lease on an apt in Cary. It's very close to Chris's work (like one exit away), so that should cut down on his commute and make him much happier. No more 45 minute drive!! This also means that I won't be eating dinner at 8 pm -- YEAH!! Remember, I don't do any of the cooking so waiting for dinner is a bit of a pain. But, at least we eat dinner together!

I spent the week running errands, finishing up a paper, getting all of the utilities in order, arranging for furniture and houseware rental for the apartment, and taking care of Ms Vivian.

Poor Vivian hasn't been feeling too well all week. She poo'd on Tuesday and then didn't poo again until Saturday morning..and then again on Saturday night. I called the peds office on Friday and they recommended helping her out, since she's been vomiting a lot and could be getting dehydrated (which is why she isn't pooing). I think she's feeling a bit better now!

We had a garage sale on Saturday morning. Did pretty well, although it was very chilly in the morning. Everything that was left over went to Goodwill. I didn't want to deal with more Craigslist no-shows.

Our house inspection was on Thursday, which went extremely well. We need to tighten a faucet, move the insulation away from the chimney flue, and cut down a couple of bushes that are touching the house. That's it!

I had a periodontal cleaning on Thursday -- that didn't go well. My face was much too numb and I had difficulty breathing through my nose since my sinuses were numb. Lovely, lovely experience. I HATE the dentist. I'd rather speak in public!

I now have a nasty, nasty cold which means I'm out of commission from packing or doing anything. There is so much to do this week. We're trying to pack the entire house and determine what needs to go with us to the apt (which also means going in the car with us to FL) versus what we can just stick on the truck and keep in storage until the move in July.

We're currently having a tornado warning, so I need to sign off for now! :) I'll update with some pics when I can!