Saturday, November 20, 2004

An Update to the Madness


I'm 27 weeks pregnant now, which means I just started my third trimester. The baby weighs a little over 2 lbs and is a little over 14 inches long. He rolls around like an acrobat most days, particularly after I eat, and of course at night when I'm trying to sleep. All of the sudden, I look and feel huge.

While the morning sickness has subsided--except for the occasional toothbrushing-related gag--I've developed two new and not very comfortable conditions in the last few weeks. The first is horrific leg cramping. Despite taking my prenatals, and keeping my feet elevated at night, I still get these oh-my-god-my-muscle-is-going-to-detach-from-my-bone type cramps that wake me (and my poor unsuspecting husband) up at night.

"The Book" says to flex your foot and the cramping will go away. Fat chance. I had one the other week that lasted well into the next day. I think one of my legs may actually be shorter than the other now.

The other condition is pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome. It's evidently caused by pregnancy hormones and increased blood pressure pushing on my wrists. The result is continuous aching pains through my hands, fingers, and forearms, which make repetitive movements (like typing, so this one'll be short) very painful. I have to wear braces on both of my arms at night to keep the pain from waking me up and/or keep the swelling from rendering my hands useless the next day.

Both of these conditions my OB GYN assures me are perfectly normal during pregnancy and should disappear, oh, say, 2-3 weeks after delivery.

Pregnancy is fun!

Home Owners
We closed on our house. The actual closing process was pretty simple, just signing a crapload of papers. The anticipation to closing is tough to bear, however. You never get a final "yes, you're getting your house" answer until you sit down and sign. Even if you have everything in order, there is always the off chance that they overlooked something, or something weird pops up that prevents you from getting your house.

One of the things that we were particularly worried about was the employer check. Rick had been looking for work and had accepted a job at a new company about a month before our closing. He had an agreement with his new employer that he would not put his two weeks in with his old employer until we signed papers. (Switching employers in the middle of a house sale can jeopardize your credit and your chances of getting the house.)

While the new employer agreed to his terms, we still had an entire month until closing. Rick didn't tell anyone he was leaving, but there was still the off-chance of a slip up or something leaking. It was tense.

And lest you think they don't really check up on these things, they definitely do. The day before our closing, the bank processing our loan called both of our employers one more time, just to make sure we were still working there.

So we signed and all is well. Bought new living room furniture. You know, grown-up furniture. We actually have a couch now--no more futon. Rick's working on some cosmetic updates--stripping down some of the woodwork to refinish, replastering the living room ceiling, painting. Eventually, we'll rip up the carpets downstairs and redo that wood. Unfortunately, all of the work has been falling to him and some volunteer helpers from our friends and families. Everything we're doing involves caustic chemicals, and I am not allowed to participate. Not that I mind missing out on the manual labor, but I would like some hand (other than picking colors) on redoing our first home. Ah well. There will still be plenty to do after the baby comes.

Work Stuff
Rick started his new job this Monday. It's pretty much doing the same stuff he was, but with a regular 40 hour work week, better pay, and more stability. Ah, sounds nice. His commute is a bit further, but he hasn't seemed to mind that much.

My work moved me over to our Squirrel Hill store and they gave me a raise. This sounds fantastic: my commute is about 7 minutes long, and who doesn't like more money? But the Squirrel Hill store was the first of the four stores, and the owners still have their offices here. Working under their constant nit-picky surveillance can be very taxing. Additionally, the last manager was lack-luster and left a big mess which included multiple staffing issues and a completely disorganized workspace, retail floor, and storeroom. I've been here 19 days, and I think I've made a lot of improvements. However, since our busy season is upon us, my assistant manager is undertrained and recently completely absent (family troubles), and I've had to hire and train four new people, I've been working very long weeks.

I'm up to 54 hours this week, and counting. No days off, either. Blows. Blows hard. What raise they did give me is nullified by the increase in my hours and the decrease in my tip income.

So what keeps me here? Completely free health insurance. That's a big benefit when you're having a baby.

Ouch. Have to stop typing. More later.

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