Monday, November 19, 2012

To Trust Or Not To Trust

Being a police officer has made JD very untrusting.  I mean, I guess that’s what happens when you see the worst of humanity on a daily basis, but I’m still in the “people are inherently good” camp, so we make an interesting team.  The cynic vs. the faithful.

This weekend, we started moving some furniture around so we could start setting up the nursery.  This basically means that JD is sacrificing his “man room” so that it can become the guest room/office and the former guest room/office is becoming the nursery (wives can be so demanding).  Anyway, the previous owners had left a hideous entertainment unit in what was formerly the man room.  We had never bothered to get rid of it- JD was using it as storage for bike parts and such.  Now, we need as much space as we can get, so it was (finally) time for the entertainment unit to go.

“I’ll just post it on Craigslist and say it’s free as long as someone can come pick it up,” I said.

Officer JD did not like this idea.

“People use Craigslist to case houses,” he insisted.  “I see stuff like this all the time at work.”

While I knew he was probably right, I also knew that not everyone using Craigslist is using it for evil.  Some people genuinely can’t afford decent furniture and stuff, so I saw it as a mutually beneficial opportunity.  We didn’t have a vehicle large enough to take the entertainment unit to the dump (plus, preggers shouldn’t really be lifting heavy things), and the city would charge us to take it away if we left it at the curb.

“What if we put it on the porch, that way no one would have to come in the house?” I asked.

He agreed, although he still didn’t seem thrilled with the idea, and made sure I didn’t put our address in the actual posting.  Anyone interested would have to email me first for the address.  I was actually planning to do this anyway, but still wasn’t really sure how posting our address with no information that identified us personally would be beneficial to a Craigslist thief, since the posting clearly stated that the unit was on the porch and whoever was interested didn’t even have to ring the bell- “Just come by and take it!”

After he moved it to the porch, I took measurements and snapped a picture.  Within an hour of creating the posting, I had my first response.  The woman was clearly desperate, and said she would drive from an hour and half away to pick it up that same night.  It is for this exact reason that I wanted to be able to post it.  It seemed like a waste to send it to the dump, when there was someone out there who needed it. 

She and her husband came as promised, and quietly removed it from the porch.  Officer JD peeked out the window and took their license plate number, “just in case.”  I had to laugh a bit, but I do appreciate his protectiveness.

This morning, I came into another email from her that read, “Thank you very much for your help.  God bless you and your family.”  And that’s how I know we made the right decision.

In other news, part of the reason I liked the idea of just putting it on the porch is that the dogs can be such a hassle when people stop by.  I even responded to the woman to warn her that our dogs would probably go crazy when they heard someone on the porch.  These are dogs who bark at squirrels, doorbells on TV, our own neighbors in the cul-de-sac, or a leaf idly blowing through the yard.  Apparently, they do not bark at strangers walking up to our porch, seemingly uninvited.  Even Harrier, who has snapped at our own friends, sat quietly with his ears perked up- not a peep out of him.

JD and I both just looked at each other, dumbfounded.  Our only guess is that they were SO quiet when they picked up the unit that the dogs heard something, but weren’t quite sure what it was.  We never heard voices; all we heard was a bit of sliding when they moved it around before carrying it off.  Still, if the dogs are going to be loud and annoying over irrelevant things, I’d like to think that they’ll also be loud and annoying when we have a genuine security concern.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Crap R Us

Babies need a lot of crap.  A crap-ton of expensive crap.  At times, I’ve gotten overwhelmed by all the things we need to buy- from nursery furniture to car seats and a stroller to the everyday stuff like diapers.

I was relieved when a friend recommended a Craigslist posting her friend had posted with some beautiful, handmade nursery furniture (which also happened to be a steal of a deal).  It was a relief knowing we had some of the “big” things out of the way, and at least my baby would have a place to sleep at night.

Then, a friend who was visiting brought me some ADORABLE, gently used clothes that her girls had outgrown, and it was a relief to have a few things to hang in her closet and put in her dresser  (side note: there is a cherry-patterned swimsuit with a red ruffle and matching hat that I’m DYING to dress her in).

JD’s grandmother’s church does a huge kids’ consignment sale every year.  I have no problem with consignment, so I gladly went, and was able to pick up some of the staple items like a high-end Graco Pack N Play (many thanks to Grandma Carol for putting this aside for us!) and a bouncer seat.

After that, we had friends swoop in with incredible generosity.  Maybe because they’re all parents, and know that terrifying feeling of how are we ever going to acquire all we need?  Maybe it’s just because we have amazing, supportive, loving friends.  I think it’s a combination of both.  We had a couple offer us a full-sized baby swing.  Like, the mother of all baby swings.  This thing goes side-to-side, front-to-back, plays music or nature sounds, and might even vibrate, if I remember it correctly.  Basically, this swing covers anything your baby might find soothing.

The woman we found to do in-home day care even offered to let us borrow a bassinet.  How sweet! 

Thanks to a circle of women who meet once a month for ladies night (most of whom happen to be moms and have already proven a GREAT resource for scary pregnancy and baby-related stuff), a new mom offered us a high-end infant car seat that her son had outgrown.  Pretty sure there’s no safer place for your baby to be than this car seat.

Then, a co-worker offered me a barely-used umbrella stroller- a brand name one that comes with its own carrying pouch!  We won’t be needing that immediately since we have the infant carrier which will snap into a stroller base, but it only takes a few months for the babies to outgrow the infant seats, so I’m sure the time we will need it will sneak up on us, and it will be one less thing we have to buy.

Perhaps the most amazing thing to me is that none of these people asked for anything in return.  They could have sold them to a second-hand store or put the items on Craigslist or offered to let me buy them (which I still would have taken advantage of, for sure), but they just wanted to help us out.  I certainly plan to pay it forward.  Hopefully, once we’re done with our baby gear, there will be another new mom feeling nauseous every time she enters a Babies R Us or a Buy Buy Baby who I can offer a few things to and make her life a little easier.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Fun

There’s something about fall that seems to bring out good friends and good fun.

JD and I usually make a trip to the mountains at least once a year (usually camping at least once), but with the pregnancy, things just didn’t pan out this year.  The idea of backpacking and then sleeping on the hard ground just wasn’t appealing at all.  Plus, my stamina is not near what it used to be pre-pregnancy, so I’m not sure I would have been able to do it even if I’d wanted to, but once the weather started to change and fall was in the air, I started to really ache for the fresh air and views.  A friend mentioned some hiking that was less than 3 hours away, so JD and I decided to do a day trip.  We could not have picked a better weekend.  The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and the leaves were beautiful.  Although there still appears to be a lot of green on the trees, JD was back out that way riding his motorcycle a week later and said that a bunch of leaves had already fallen off the trees, so I guess we caught peak color after all.

The hiking wasn’t rigorous, but there was a lot of uphill, since we hiked to the top of Hanging Rock.  I was surprised how often I had to stop and catch my breath.  Oh, baby, you stole all my stamina!  (Note to self: Always stay in shape, because having no endurance stinks). 

Even Harrier got to enjoy the day with us (Sadie probably couldn’t do all that hiking because of her hip injury/surgery from 2 years ago, and Boyd would be too busy wailing at everything to even get up the mountain).  He was loving life for the first few hours, happily greeting every person and canine we passed.  We hiked a few short trails to some waterfalls and then up the longer trail to the top of Hanging Rock.  We stopped and had a little picnic lunch while enjoying the view at the top.  Being the moody dog he is, by the time we made our way back down, Harrier had decided he was done for the day, and was quite disgruntled.  He growled at pretty much every dog we saw (what a rough life he leads).

Our lunchtime view

Harrier's "majestic" pose atop Hanging Rock

Halloween generally isn’t my favorite holiday.  I’ll attend a Halloween party and maybe pass out some candy (although trying to wrestle 3 giant dogs to get to the door isn’t really worth it), but Halloween to me is more an obstacle in the way of better holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Things were a little more exciting this year, because I went to a Halloween party where costumes were required and it gave me a chance to take advantage of the round belly and incorporate it into my costume.  I had a few ideas, but on the night of the party, nothing was panning out the way I’d wanted, till JD had a stroke of genius.  “You should go as the Kool-Aid Man!” he exclaimed.  So, we painted my belly red and he painted the Kool-Aid smiley face on my belly.  Best part of the costume was that almost everyone at the party knew what I was right away (I was slightly afraid people would look at me and say, “So you’re a… red smiley face?”

This past weekend, we went to JD’s cousin’s wedding in Florida.  After a week at work that made me feel particularly burnt out, I was grateful for an extended weekend and a trip out of town.  Even though it was a long trip, I got to sleep plenty in the car and spend some quality time with his grandparents, who we rode with.  We stayed with JD’s aunt and uncle in Florida, who treated us to fresh omelets every morning and good times with good family, many of whom I hadn’t had the chance to meet before this trip. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  Now that things are starting to cool off in NC, it was nice for a few days in the 80’s again!  More importantly, we had beautiful weather for his cousin’s wedding day, who had an outdoor ceremony.  The highlight of the wedding day?  All of the groom’s Venezuelan friends and family rocking the dance floor.  You may consider yourself a great dancer… until you’re shown up by a room full of Venezuelans busting out their Latin moves and showing you how it’s done.

I, of course, am continuing to grow.  Every few days, I’m caught off-guard when I see my reflection and notice my ever-growing belly.  Little Loralai continues to move a bunch.  We’ve gone from taps and kicks to more rolling movements, where I can feel her rub all the way across my belly.  If I have my hand on my belly at the right time, I can feel roundness of a fist or a foot, rather than just pressure or bumps.  One evening, JD and I both happened to be looking when she kicked hard enough to make my belly move!  It was a little freaky, but we figured it was her way of saying hello :)