Monday, January 28, 2008

interior decorator *updated*

Here are a couple "shots" of Baby's Room - I still have a few things to do (you'll notice the walls are *ahem* rather bare...). But it's functional and ready to rock otherwise. The blue walls (and blue chair and blue futon and blue curtains) in no way indicate that we are "hoping" for a boy (I personally think it's a little creepy to "hope" for a specific gender...) I just really love blue. I love the bright colors in the room, and I love that most of what's in that room is either homemade, a gift, purchased with a gift card, or was something we already owned. (Honestly, I spent the same amount of money on the Boppy slipcoveras I did on the flannel sheets for the futon...)
*Update - the dresser I painted is along the wall to the right... the pictures I took of that wall are pretty dull, though, which is why I didn't include them here. It's basically blank walls, the other end of the futon, and the dresser. But it's in there, adding color & life, and serving as our changing table. Hooray for things pulling double duty!

Friday, January 25, 2008

unexpected treasures

I know I've complained (commented) on some people's inability to say anything constructive, positive or encouraging to pregnant women.
Today, I'm encouraged by some other people's ability to communicate such excitement, passion & awe about the process that is motherhood.
I *love* talking to people who look at things from a positive, growing, purposeful perspective. (I don't always do it myself, but I try, and am drawn to this quality in others). I just had a lovely conversation with a co-worker in the College of Business (she has 3 kids, aged 21 to 8). Her eyes were alight, and her genuine excitement for me was such a blessing.
Thanks, Lord. I needed that today. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

little guitarist

While you're pregnant, it's fun to find ways to actually interact with your baby.
Obviously, you can poke at the baby, and you'll usually get some kind of kick or thump in response.
I prefer to gently rub my belly, and watch Baby roll and squirm - almost as if s/he is trying to realign to where my hand just was, saying, "Keep rubbing my back, Mama."
But Mark and I have discovered a new, very fun way to play with Baby.
His guitar.
Mark's been playing the guitar for a few years now, and I think he's pretty durn good. I mean, we have professional-level concerts in our living room, with him strumming away and both of us singing our guts out. And the dogs and cats in our neighborhood howl right along with us...
Lack of identifiable musical talent aside - Baby seems to really enjoy when Daddy plays guitar. The wiggles and movements are strong and big - my whole tummy seems to be moving (almost on beat, which makes me laugh) along with the music. We serenaded Baby for at least 30 minutes last night - and not only is it fun to sit in the living room and sing songs (loudly and in *perfect* harmony) with my husband, it's incredibly fun to watch our unborn Little One enjoy it as well.
Either that, or s/he is flailing around, trying to get us to stop embarrassing it.
I'll go with the former. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

lazy saturday

Today I:
- slept in (until 7:20am!!)
- moved furniture around in Baby's Room, trying to figure out how to fit our futon, a dresser, a crib, a bookcase & an armchair glider into a 9 by 11 room (if you stick the bookcase in the closet, you've got a shot at making it work...)
- did dishes, cleaned up the living room & kitchen
- hung out with my friend Dana for about 7 hours; made delicious salads for lunch, made puppy chow for a snack, and watched the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring - oh, and talked a LOT
It was a nice, lazy Saturday. And now, I'm sitting on the living room floor, tv on in the background, Baby B hiccuping in my belly, and enjoying these little moments. I don't know why I seem to forget this - but God is absolutely woven into the fibers of our everyday lives, just waiting for us to look for Him.

Friday, January 18, 2008

bulletin board replacement

Our office has a bulletin board out in the wallway, encouraging students to "Meet Your Advisers!" (I don't know who really reads about us, but our pictures and short little bios/answers to questions are posted there.)
Yesterday, I walked past the bulletin board and noticed my picture was no longer posted. Andrea's happy face is smiling out from where mine once was. It's a strange, bittersweet, freeing kind of feeling... I'm phasing out of this place.
Life as I currently know it will stop abruptly in a few weeks, and alter its course forever. I'm entering a world of diapers, pacifiers, nighttime feedings, tiny hands in mine, and more wonder and heartache and joy than I can even comprehend. I can't wait.
But these halls - this office, these four walls, this place - will continue much in the same way. I'll be missed for a little while, but ultimately, I will just have been witness to just a few heartbeats in its lifespan.
I'm so excited to be a Mama to this little child of God. Sad to leave some of the familiar behind, yes. But I couldn't be more thrilled about the unknowns awaiting me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a crib made of sticks and spit

Yes, I am nesting. No, I will not build the crib (or any of the furniture for my child's room) out of sticks and spit. Although it does sound kind of fun to try...
Mama Bird instincts have kicked in (although the crazy task-master tendencies are balanced out by the physical limitations of my body - thank goodness!). I want the nursery ready to go - to walk in there, sit down, and imagine the room belonging to someone - as opposed to imagining what it will look like when I finally clean the silly room up.
Since the showers are all over now, I can go shopping for Baby B and get all the little things crossed off my list. Baby B is "due" in less than a month - and I've always worked better under a bit of pressure.
Mark and I saw an excellent movie this weekend - Juno. It's a little irreverent, and not *exactly* wholesome - but it's honest and heartfelt and has some terrific moments of what it looks like to love & serve other people. I cried twice (which may or may not be directly related to the raging ninth-month of pregnancy hormones...)
In other important news - I ate four cookies yesterday. Because three just wasn't enough.
Yum. I *may* eat four again tonight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

yahoo yippee hooray

That's the sound my brain made this morning when I realized it was FRIDAY. For real. Because my brain has been trying to convince that it was Friday since Wednesday... and it wasn't ever actually TRUE until this morning. Yahoo Yippee Hooray!! A weekend is just what the doctor ordered...
Tomorrow marks the official "Due Date is One Month Away" point. Things are starting to feel much closer, a little more real, and, well... bigger. Bigger both literally (this child feels enormous to me right now) and figuratively (realizing more and more each day that I have yet to realize how much different - in both good AND tough ways - my life is about to become).
Today, though - I'm trying to enjoy the moments as they come. Itchy belly, puffy fingers & ankles, a not-so-slight waddle-walk... but also the indescribable feeling of God's child moving around inside me, the daydreams of caressing little hands & feet in just a matter of weeks, and the overwhelming feeling of being blessed by this responsibility.
I'm gonna soak in those thoughts this weekend.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

is something wrong here?

Ever have a day when you think:
What in the world are people thinking??? Are they thinking? Or do they expect me to do all the thinking and the working and the problem-solving for them??
To be fair - for the most part, that's my job. Answering questions, helping students plan their futures (whether it's long-term, or helping them plan the next few days) - and for the most part, I love it.
This week is a busy week. The first week of classes ALWAYS is hectic, and for some reason, the first week in January is almost crazier than the first week in August. Or at least, a different kind of crazy. But knowing & expecting a crazy, hectic week doesn't always make it that much easier to deal with when the time comes.
I just got off the phone with a student. Our conversation went like this:
"Good morning, this is Katie. Can I help you?"
"Um. Yeah. Um. I just, uh, changed my major to Business PreLaw. I uh, need to know what classes to take."
(sidenote - classes began on Monday. It is now almost noon on Wednesday.)
"Okay - are you familiar with the business requirements? Have you looked at the requirements online or taken any of the courses already?"
"Uh. No."
"No you haven't taken any classes for business, or no you're not familiar with the requirements?"
"No, I don't know what's required. Uh, where would I even look online to find that?"
"Well, you can type "Business" into the search engine on the homepage, and it will pop right up..."
We went on like that for a few minutes - and lest you think I'm a cranky, unhelpful adviser - I pulled up his record (he'd gotten 0.0 in EVERY class last semester, by the way) and recommended a few courses for him to try to enroll in. Also recommended that he bookmark a few of those oh-so-helpful websites for future reference.
(And while I was in the middle of typing those last sentences, he called back. He'd forgotten everything I'd told him, and wanted to be told again. Ack.)
Now, I don't have a problem with students asking for direction & clarification. It's not their job to know everything about the University. What I do have a problem with is this alarming trend of people who are unable to do anything for themselves. They will not keep track (in any way) of their requirements for their degrees, they will not try to hunt down any information on their own or do any research... they want the easy way out of everything.
Here are some things I've heard in the past 2 days:
"It's my senior year. I mean, I just don't want to work that hard."
"Well, I live in Owen, and I'd rather not have to walk that far to class" (the class was maybe 15 minutes away)
"Studying abroad in the fall is easier than telling my roommate I don't want to live with her again."
"I just want to get the he!! out of here. Which class is the easiest?"
"All you have to do is get the right professor and take the right class, and you'll get the right grade. It's just a game."
I think there are TONS of awesome things about young people - I enjoy them VERY much and wouldn't be doing this job if I didn't think that teenagers and college students are some of the coolest people. Many of the high school and college students I know are incredibly mature, selfless, funny, articulate, and motivated. And I love them dearly.
But there are some scary trends that make me shake in my shoes. Just a bit.
(Thanks for letting me rant a little!)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

rain, rain

Yesterday we hit over sixty degrees. Last night - had severe thunderstorm warnings issued all over the place. Today - we're looking at almost sixty again, and flood warnings.
This is interesting weather for a Michigan January.
I'm not complaining - I like warm weather, I like thunderstorms (don't like flooding - but we're not in an area that's too susceptible to it). It's just a little weird.
Never fear - by the end of the week, we'll be back to more traditional temperatures.
It's the first week of classes at MSU - and things are appropriately crazy around here. Lots of students needing lots of help - scheduling, financial aid, graduation checks, etc. Yesterday was VERY busy, but I do so appreciate the time moving by quickly.
Andrea started work last week (this is the gal who will be taking my job at the end of January when I'm officially done working) - and it's GREAT to have her on board. She's been around MSU a long time and has so much energy and passion for working with students. I get to spend a couple hours every day answering her questions, orienting her to the position, and just getting to know her better. I love it. One-on-one interaction is one of my absolute favorite things. It makes it so much easier to leave a job I really enjoy when I know that it will be in SUCH good hands.
So, between busy days at work, and busy evenings at home (no, the nursery is NOT all set up yet... eek!), I imagine the next 5 weeks will fly right by. Ready or not, Little B is on his/her way! :)

Friday, January 04, 2008


I like new things. And I don't just mean "things" - although I'll be honest - I've always liked new clothes, new toys, new jewelry. (Luckily, I also like sales!)
But I like new recipes, new friends, visiting new places, new calendars, new years... there's something pretty cool about a clean slate & a fresh experience. Right now, it feels like my life is chock-full of new-ness.
First (and most obvious) - it's a new year. I'm still working on my personal goals (I don't like the word "resolutions" - not sure why...)
Second (and also very obvious) - we are rapidly approaching Little B's due date. Less than six weeks "to go" at this point.
Third - I have 18 more work days left at my job. This still feels very surreal. I'm so EXCITED about being able to stay home with our baby, but am also still feeling a little torn about leaving a place full of people I really enjoy and I job that I love.
These are the big new things - I'm sure there are lots of littler things are simply paling in comparison right now.
Anybody else got anything "new" coming up?