June 27, 2012

Great Pregnancy and Birth Blogs


This is random and out of nowhere, but so is much of my life lately.  One of the moms I know who is newly pregnant knows I'm interested in birth and asked me to send her my favorite websites/blogs.  I put together this list for her and figured I might as well post it here too in case anyone else is interested.  I'm not planning to ever be pregnant again, but I am very interested in pregnancy and birth and feel solidly that at some point I'll become more of an activist and/or a childbirth educator or be involved in birth as part of my life somehow.  It's not quite time right now, but I'll figure it out at some point!


Bellies & Babies
The diary of a childbirth educator, doula, mother and aspiring midwife
She also has an amazing list of really good birth videos here.

Birth Without Fear
"I started the Birth Without Fear Facebook page as an outlet for my passion. I want to help other women work through their fears and heal from traumatic experiences. I want to support women in having empowering births.

As the Birth Without Fear page turned into an incredible community of supportive women, there was a want and need for a BWF Blog. It is another strong voice for women’s rights and choices in birth. I can reach more women and educate them about what birth really should be. I can support women in their choices and journeys to have wonderful birth experiences."

Birthing Beautiful Ideas
"Feminist mother. Philosophical doula. Snarky storyteller."

Mama Birth
"When a baby is born, so is a mother. -Childbirth Education- -Information- -Birth Stories- -Motherhood-"

Unexpectant
"For everyone who has been through the journey to motherhood, you know of the decisions (OB/gyn vs midwife), the questions (what does labor feel like?) and the uncertainties (what kind of a mom will I be?) that each pregnant woman faces. Yet even though these are shared experiences, we often feel alone on the journey, constantly trying to make informed decisions without sometimes knowing what questions to even ask. Often the journey through pregnancy, birth, babyhood and beyond is something far from the expected. But it is a shared rite of passage even on those days when we feel far removed and alone.vSo here is Unexpectant–an experiment in collecting real mother’s stories–the ups, the downs, the lost expectations and alarming surprises. We want to hear your experiences and truths concerning pregnancy, labor, delivery, motherhood and more."

Pregnant Chicken
This one is a humor blog/website.

269 Days
This is a really cute comic strip this woman wrote/writes about her pregnancy.  It will make you laugh, especially as you get further along.

Dooce's Birth Story
This is a really awesome birth story of someone like me who had a regular hospital birth with her first, then changed her ideas in between and ended up having an amazing experience.

Finally, a post I wrote with some of my favorite birth videos.

If you have any other favorites, I'd love to check them out!  Leave a comment!
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June 20, 2012

Happiness/Beauty

So, I can't really write right now.  Instead I will post things I found and enjoyed because they made me happy or because they are beautiful.  I want to share them with you, and then  I will have a happy place when I feel like I need cheering up.  I hope you like them.


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June 12, 2012

Things.

So... there are things going on.  I can't believe I am saying it because I am a total nosy Nelly, and I HATE when people post on their blogs that there is shit hitting the fan but they can't talk about it.  Alas, that is happening to me.  It's about to go crazy anyhow because Sam's getting out of school next week and I'll have him all day, and for the first 2 weeks of July my Mom is going to be out of town so I won't have much time for writing.

Things are going on that I may be able to talk about here someday, and I wish I could share more about because I am full of feelings.  But I just can't right now.  So, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be around for the next little bit.  I'm not in a place right now where I can commit to writing here, so it'll probably be sporadic.  I am writing, because I'm a writer and because there are words inside me that are just aching to pour out.  I just can't put them here.  I will be okay, things are hard right now.  There is also at least one good thing going on I can't talk about.

Basically, I'm doing that thing I hate and saying I probably won't be around much for a bit (other than my weekly weight updates), but that I wish I could be and I will be back at some point, I promise.  And that I appreciate good vibes, prayers etc. sent my way and would love to hear from you in email if you feel so inclined.
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Week 27: Oh, well.

Current Weight:  220.4
+/-  this week:  +0.4
+/- this round:   -29.4
+/- total:    -46.8
Current Short Term Goal:  217 (50 pounds lighter)

The scale showed a 0.4 pound gain this week... oh, well.  Anytime I see a loss of less than 1/2 a pound I think 'at least it's not a gain.'  Anytime I see a gain of less than 1/2 a pound I think oh, well.  I guess I wore heavier pants today or didn't pee before I got weighed.  In other words, it's not really consequential.  So, it's just an "Oh, well" kind of week.

I didn't go over my points, in fact, I didn't even use all of my weekly points.  I also didn't' get as much exercise as I have been getting.  This week I hope to get more activity in.  We are going to bring the elliptical machine into the house and that will help a lot because I'll be able to do it after the kids are in bed and it's higher intensity than just walking.

Not much else to report this week, just chuggin' along!

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  46.8 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%) - Met 4/10/12
Short Term Goal 3:  217 (50 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 4: 213.5 (50% of final goal)
Short Term Goal 5:  207 (60 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 6: 199.9 (under 200 for the first time in 7+ years)
Short Term Goal 7: 192 (75 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 8: 189.8 (25% &  no longer "obese")

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
Total to Lose:  107 lbs
To Go: 60.4 lbs
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June 5, 2012

Week 26: Another Good One!

Current Weight:  220
+/-  this week:  -2.4
+/- this round:   -29.8
+/- total:    -47.2
Current Short Term Goal:  217 (50 pounds lighter)

I had another good week on the scales this week!  I am 0.2 lbs from -30!  Exciting.  And only 3 lbs away from -50 pounds overall.

I went over my weekly points again... I am just not being disciplined enough.  Maybe this week I'll be back on track.  I've been eating more fruit again and menu planning helps a TON.

I only got 28 activity points this week, which is almost double my "goal" that the Weight Watchers website gave me.  But I like to walk a lot.  Like at least an hour at least four times a week.  Unfortunately I hurt my foot last Friday.  I went for a walk in what turned out to be an ill advised pair of shoes.  That night, my foot hurt and when I posted about it on Facebook several of my friends suggested that it sounds like Plantar Faciitis.  Which... well, it's annoying.  I can do stretches and try to stay off it, but four days later it still hurts and I haven't been able to go for a walk in four days.  I can't afford to buy expensive shoes, but luckily I do have a pair of Keens and one of my friends said hers are really good for this.  In any case, we'll just have to see how things go.  I talked to Justin the other day about bringing the eliptical machine in from the garage.  Yeah, it'll be an eyesore but we pretty much never have people over anyhow, and I could do it while we watch TV after the kids are in bed which would be really nice.  So maybe I can get him to help me with that in the next couple of days.

Last week I mentioned my goal of being under 200 by my birthday on November 23.  Well, I looked at the calendar and I have 25 weeks until my birthday, so I would have to average less than a pound a week in order to meet that goal.  When I put it that way, it sounds pretty do-able, doesn't it?!  The idea of being under 200 pounds is really exciting to me.  For a long time I had the idea in my head that if I ever got to 200 lbs, THEN I would FOR SURE do something about it.  Then it turned into 210, 225, 250 etc.  Well, I am finally ACTUALLY doing something about it, and this will really mean a lot to me if I can make it happen.

Next week I think I'll update my measurements and see what's happening there.

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  47.2 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%) - Met 4/10/12
Short Term Goal 3:  217 (50 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 4: 213.5 (50% of final goal)
Short Term Goal 5:  207 (60 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 6: 199.9 (under 200 for the first time in 7+ years)
Short Term Goal 7: 192 (75 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 8: 189.8 (25% &  no longer "obese")

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
Total to Lose:  107 lbs
To Go: 60 lbs
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June 4, 2012

Why Can't I Get a Job?????

The other day the local paper had an article that our local T-Mobile call center was set to hire 300+ people.  With the financial situation we are in, the reality is that it would be really helpful to have a second income, and Danny's 2 now and not a little baby anymore.  So I uploaded my resume and took their hour long online assessment.  Within seconds, I got an email stating the following:
 "Thank you for your interest in the position of Customer Service and Sales Representative, Bellingham Call Center, US/WA/Bellingham WA-12004660. Thank you for taking the time to complete the assessment for this job. Unfortunately, your skills and qualifications did not match the requirements for this particular position. You may reapply for this position after 6 months have passed. Please keep in mind that you may still be considered for any other opportunities for which you have applied."
Wait... what?  I am smart.  I have a college degree and years of work experience, including over a year of call center experience.  I have worked in customer service and retail, have great organizational and technical skills, and am a good worker.  This job is not rocket science.  This is the kind of job that I could do without any problems - in fact, I have done this exact job before.  Twice.  Not only that, but for the customer service part of the test, I know what answers they don't want to hear, and which ones they do.  So WHY CAN'T I GET A JOB?

I recently applied for four other jobs.  One was for a new Torrid store opening in the mall.  I guess I am big enough, but not sassy enough?  One was for Lane Bryant, and I have NO IDEA why I didn't even get an interview for that one since I have open availability, she said she was looking for someone mostly for morning/afternoon, which was my preference, AND she told me that she hadn't been getting as much response as usual, which should have narrowed the field.  One was for a new Teavana store opening in the mall.  The last one was for a receptionist/administrative job in which the guy who interviewed me told me that he had never had someone give the exact response he would have given to one of the questions.

I totally get that there are a lot of unemployed people right now.  I get that for some of these jobs, I am overqualified.  But I WANT a part time job without a ton of responsibility.  If I applied for the job, it means that I actually want the job, even if it's not as complicated or doesn't pay as much as what I was making before.

I am extremely frustrated that I cannot get a job and help support my family.  Yes, it would mean giving things up.  I am at the point now where I am willing to spend a little less time with them to make things easier and smoother for the whole family.  I am finally at the point where the idea of spending a little bit of my 'kid time' with other grown ups in a work place sounds good.  But I have applied for probably 30 jobs on Craig's List and interviewed for three now, and no go.

If I had what I wanted, I would get a job working from home.  If it was my dream world, that job would be writing.  I had a job for a while doing some ghostwriting online, and it was great.  I emailed the woman I worked for to ask if she has any work and didn't get a response.  What am I supposed to do?  I feel like at this rate, I'll never be able to work again.

UPDATE:

After seeing my post on Facebook about all of this, my Mom emailed me a Craig's List ad for a photographer's assistant.  The description said they only need someone with a digital camera and a hot shoe flash, and some preference in Photoshop/Lightroom is preferable.  I already had the ad open on my computer, but was waffling about whether to respond to it because I don't have any experience and have a lot to learn.  In the email, my Mom said this:
I think you need to find something to do that will bring you joy and that you can be enthusiastic about. I think sometimes what we think we want doesn’t come because we don’t really want it and somehow, we unconsciously project that. Do you really WANT to work at T-Mobile or the mall? I believe your happiness lies in doing something creative. You actually crave that in your life. I look at all of the things you do when you CHOOSE based on what YOU want and they are all creative endeavors. You have the right to decide what you want to do with your time. You have the right to create a life that will fulfill you.
Well... that's true.  I do NOT really want to work at any of those jobs I didn't get.  Honestly, I'm not one to really believe in 'the universe does things for a reason' for the most part.  Or all of that stuff it says in The Secret.  But I have also had jobs that were not fulfilling to me, and it sucks.  I am still feeling panicky about our financial situation, but I'm trying to expand my search as wide as I can.  Yesterday I found a bunch of freelance writing jobs and sent emails about them.  I emailed the woman I used to ghostwrite articles for, and she says she has a few articles for me.  It may not be much, but it's a start.

In my head, I imagine my future and I dream about what I could do with my life.  Right now it's hard because money is tight and the kids are so young, but I have to believe that I will end up someday doing things I am really passionate about.  In the meantime, I feel slightly better.  I mean, how could I not feel better when I have such an awesome Mom, and am surrounded by friends who really believe in me?
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