A DIY that is so easy, I can’t believe it took me this long.

So last summer, my parents moved from San Diego back to the East Coast. My parents were completely generous and redid our entire bathroom.

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It went from “eww,  this is so gross get me out of here” to “oh, la, la, so chic and modern!”.  It was a breath of fresh air. Now, if I loved it so much, why am I writing a blog about it a year later?

In the process of tiling the bathroom, my dad and I managed to drip/splash/not take our time, and get grout all over the bathtub. We tried to clean it up, but at that point, we were kind of over the project, and I never take baths, so it was kind of–NBD. So what if there’s grout on our bathtub? Let me state, I am not complaining at all about the bathroom, because it was A LOT of blood, sweat, curse words, all from my dad because Phil and I had to work. So I’m not complaining–but, just stating, we had grout drippings and I was too lazy to clean it up.

In the following months every time I cleaned the bathtub, I moaned and groaned, complained about the grout, and did nothing about it (shocker, I complained about something). Until last night, when I had such bad Braxton Hicks that I took a bath. And then I immediately got out of the bath because it was disgusting. So my plan was to get this grout off of the porcelain tub, ASAP–but HOW?!

The internet was no help. For some reason every Google search directed me to wire sponges/razor blades/everything terrible for a porcelain tub. Then, I turned to my co-worker. He suggested a wooden stick and water. I figured this was free, let’s try it first—and Holy Moses was he right!

All you need to clean year old (if not older) grout from your tub is a wooden stick, a cup of water, and a rag. I did not take a picture of the tub before because it was disgusting, nor did I take one of it after, but I did take a picture of spots that I scrubbed.

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Supplies (I had a sponge, just in case, but never used it)

Wet the stick/Wet the grout (sometimes I poured water onto the spots that were a bit “grittier” than others)

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Year old grout.

Put light pressure on the stick and scrape away

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and Voila! The grout comes off!

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Two more spots:

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Depending on how much you have will determine how long it takes, it was all over our tub so it took me about 45 minutes.

Cost: FREE! I used a paint stick from Home Depot.

Hope this helps others who have a similar problem.

Weekly Update #24

Remember when, oh, three weeks ago, I was bragging about how pregnancy was so easy. What do people complain about?

ha. ha. ha. f’ing. ha.

I now have mood swings similar, if not worse, to PMS. I can be very doting and sweet and thoughtful one minute, and then I have hateful moments. Such as last night. It doesn’t need repeating, but it’s been 18 hours and counting and I’m still not sorry I said them. Because yes, I am entitled to want someone to go out and get a Snickers bar at 9 pm at night after I drove for 10 hours this weekend to and from Charleston. Still not sorry I said that. If you’ve never been pregnant before, or if you were me 6 weeks ago–let me tell you about a thing called cravings.

When you get them, you have to satisfy them THAT INSTANT or else they will eat away at your brain and consume your thoughts. Regardless if it’s a Snickers bars, cottage cheese and peaches, lemonade, whatever it is. You need it and if you can’t have it, someone should get it for you if you can’t get it yourself. Please believe I will be buying candy in BULK on Friday when Halloween candy goes on sale. I will then be asking Phil to hide it, and only give it to me when I ask. This sweet tooth has gotten out of control. That by far is what I can’t handle. I can handle not drinking, I can even handle not having a turkey sandwich, caffeine all of it, fine. Easily not have it for the next three months, but try and take a desert away from me and I will wreck shop.

**Let it be known, that in the 24 hours since last night, and since writing this original post–Phil came home with all of this, called it his Emergency Pregnant Melissa kit. And now I love him even more and feel horrible for writing terrible things–but I won’t erase it because for anyone reading who hasn’t been pregnant, it’s real, and it’s okay to feel crazy.**

Pregnancy First Aid Kit
Phil’s Emergency Kit for Melissa

Besides food related PMS, I just have people PMS. If you say something that rubs me the wrong way–I want to yell at you but I won’t, instead I will complain about you for the next five hours. Such as everyone who’s like “Pregnancy is the time to gain weight, you don’t need to work out”. Guess what-I know that. But I also know that working out while pregnant is good for you and the baby, also really good for labor, also, I feel better after I’ve worked out. Its a stress relief for me (side note, I’ve just written three really bitchy sentences about comments people have said to me and my response and erased them…so that’s where I am). Pregnancy is really super fun. But only when everyone does exactly what I want, when I want, and how I want.

So that’s this week. We went to Charleston this weekend and took zero pictures, but it was a really great time. It was good to catch up with old friends both nights. I really like Phil’s friends from college. I wish they weren’t all so spread out. I also REALLY like their wives. All the wives are so similar that it’s sort of shocking. Are our husbands as similar as we are? (the answer is yes.) Next on the list are a few crafts and a few book reviews that I will be posting shortly. I’m trying to get away from about us, to more informative pieces, but–don’t rush me. I’ll get there in my own time.

Phil received his first interview request: Miami!

Baby Stuff:

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Where are my toes?

How Far Along: 24 weeks.
Size of Baby: Size of an ear of corn. 11.81 inches long, and 1.3 lbs. This week they say is a big growth spurt so I suspect  movement will slow down, while it’s sleeping to grow–which is fine by me. Hopefully I’ll get some more sleep.
Total Weight Gain: I think my 9 lb gain earlier this month has tapered off. I weigh the same as last week.
Symptoms: Hormonal swings out the whazoo. And my ligament plan is back. I spoke about it at prenatal yoga last week and one of the girls recommended a masseuse who specializes in treating the pain. Supposedly, if you let this ligament pain last long it isn’t very good for the baby. So–we will see how this massage works out, the next step is an acupuncturist. They also recommended a chiropractor, but, my husband would divorce me if I ever saw one of those. Oh and I have started to experience Braxton Hics..#cool
Eats: Every two hours. And all deserts. I don’t even care anymore. The cravings are so painfully bad that I’ll take whatever to make it go away. (Something I NEED to work on, because I shouldn’t be giving in to what’s easy–otherwise I’ll make a terrible mother)
Best moment of the week: Seeing friends this weekend.
What I’m looking forward to: Our crib came today, so putting that together this weekend.
Milestones: Big thing this week for BBT is that the lungs are growing and developing further than they were before. This is good because if ANYTHING were to happen, we are now at the point that the baby has a 50% survival rate outside of the womb. Loud noises may startle the baby now, so..Hatteras, please stop barking.

Donating Cord Blood

For some reason, when you become pregnant, your name is suddenly loaded into a database and BOOM, here come the cord blood emails. And if you have no idea what cord blood is, it can be pretty overwhelming.
So here is what I knew just by common sense stuff:

1) Cord Blood is awesome.
3) Cord Blood is expensive.

To learn more, I did what any person would, I researched. Cord Blood  is essentially “storing” stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to create our organs, blood, tissue, and help the immune system. They can be found in bone marrow, and fat tissue, but the most flexible and sought after stem cells come from the umbilical cord. They can be saved, and lifesaving one day.

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Once you have the baby, the doctor essential collects the cord blood and then ships it to a laboratory to be processed and frozen for long term preservation. If you  choose to do nothing, it’s discarded after birth. All of that valuable lifesaving material, just chucked into the trash like yesterday’s dinner.

So duh–why wouldn’t you want to do it?

Oh, because just like everything it cost money. I checked out the most well known banking system, which is CBR and the cost to bank with them is broken down as follows:

  • Collection and Processing: $1,695
  • First Year of Storage $130
  • One-Step Shipping $170
  • Total Price: $1,995 (GULP!)

Additionally, if you continue to store the cord blood it’s $130 per year. So–let’s say I pay this until my child is 28. Because I THINK that’s the last age I was when I was actually asking/needing money from my parents (not counting wedding, baby gifts, or just gifts–but genuinely “I won’t be able to buy groceries if you don’t help me out”). So that brings the cost to $3,510 over 27 years (first year is paid above) for a grand total of $5,500. While, a great idea, and I guarantee if something (knock on wood) were to happen when Bebe T is 15 years old I’ll be kicking myself, but right now it’s not an option. **Update–this blog writer stated that sometimes even the cord blood you store is not always an option for your baby!!**

But you know what is an option? Donating the cord blood. I donate blood, and I am signed up for Be The Match as a bone marrow donor, so this seems like the next logical step. Considering that 7 out of 10 people will not have a matching donor in their family for a range of diseases, I can’t imagine not donating this valuable resource. Unfortunately, there are not many hospitals that offer donating. I cannot tell you how SHOCKED I was to find out that MCV is not a donating hospital, even though UNOs is headquartered here and, I believe, BTM is headquartered here (but it might just be a regional office). Not to mention–MCV is a learning school!

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However, I did reach out to my sorority sister who does work at BTM for her help. She pointed me to this website: http://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/Donate-cord-blood/
Unfortunatly, I’m still too early in my pregnancy to make any moves, I’ll have to wait another couple of weeks to sign up.
I can also donate through Lifeforce Cryobanks or LifeBankUSA .

I called LifeBankUSA and learned that you need to be enrolled at least six weeks prior to your due date.  I am still awaiting their phone call to see how to follow up. Lifeforce has this form that you fill out and then mail it in. It seems a little less personable, and I know I will have all of the questions,  so I think I’m going to wait and hear back from LifeBank before making a decision.

The line “more than 25,000 patients around the world have received cord blood transplants because parents chose to donate their baby’s cord blood” really sealed the deal. If we can save a life, why wouldn’t we?

Behind the times update

23 weeks. Just two weeks ago I was all-times flying! and now, I feel like we are at a stand still. More than likely that’s because I have stopped/halted my insane schedule of traveling. This was the first weekend in three weeks that I didn’t have a single thing to do (except for this coming weekend when we head to Charleston, SC–not complaining about that trip!)

So I became a Pinterest Queen and did the following household fixer uppers.

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1. Arranged a bouquet of flowers that I got on sale from Kroger into a masterpiece.
2. After successfully cleaning my oven last week, I also successfully made the house smell like a bomb had gone off because WHO KNEW YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO OPEN WINDOWS? So this was my attempt to deodorize the house.
3. I thought that buying fresh herbs and drying them myself was so much cheaper–technically, it’s not. But I think it’s probably healthier for us? So in that route we win.
4. I took the extra fabric from our “closet”, and made curtain ties. This I actually didn’t follow a step by step..I just put two and two together on how to “make a hem”.

I also learned how to use a sewing machine today that I have no clue what I am doing with a sewing machine. Yia-Yia and Mammy, I think it’s time you took a trip to Richmond and taught me how to use this thing!

Hmm..what’s been going on with us: I am not sure if I talked about it in my last post but instead of seeing my Doctor every month, I belong to a study called “Centering Pregnancy“. It’s actually a nationwide program, that puts about 15-20 women together who are all due around the same time, to discuss  their pregnancies. I had my first class about a week ago, and it was incredibly interesting. I was also surprised to learn about the lack of knowledge some women have when it comes to having a baby. There is a girl in my group who is pregnant with her 4th child and she knows less about childbirth than those of us who have had zero babies. :/ Sooooo, it’s an interesting and entertaining group and I hope to gain a lot out of it.  hen you get pregnant, whether it’s your first, second, or fourth baby, I highly suggest looking into it. You get a lot more out of it than reading books and going to the Doctor on your own.Men are invited to come, but I HIGHLY doubt Phil will attend. I tried to get him to go to a child birth class with me last week and I think I may have bored him to death (because he’s already delivered sooooo many babies) so I really have to pick and choose what he should and should attend.

Phil sent out his application for residency fellowship on Saturday. The match program received it today and VERY soon we will start getting phone calls about interviews. So far all I know is of the 14 schools we could have gone to Salt Lake City and Nashville are out because we missed the deadline. Oh well. They would have been fun for a year, but it’s not the end of the world. So I think that leaves: Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Boston, NY, DC, Atlanta, 3 schools in Florida…and another one that I’m leaving off. Phil’s first choice is Gainesville or Seattle. Mine is Chicago. I would 100% take Seattle for a year, but I really want Chicago. I do not want Florida at all, because duh–Florida, it’s the worst state in the nation closely followed by Texas. But I have no say and have to politely keep my mouth shut.

So..for the more important stuff: Bebe T updates.

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People tell me I’m all belly…..okay sure, if you say so.

How Far Along: 23 weeks.
Size of Baby: Size of an eggplant (still). 11 inches long, and finally weighs a pound. Much more active, I can see it move across my stomach and do punches and jabs. There are times when I can feel its head and butt a lot. It really likes the right side of my body for some reason. Wonder if there is an old wives tale for that one?
Total Weight Gain: As of last Thursday, 15 lbs. Because I was of average weight/height prior to getting pregnant the healthy required weight gain is 25-30 lbs. I’m 15 lbs away and still have 17 weeks!
Symptoms: I have a phone call into the Doctor for something now. It’s really TMI, and unless you’re my mother or Phil I don’t want to talk about it. Everything is fine, but it’s one of those “Holy, EWWW, GROSS, WHY ME,” things.
Eats: Still dessert. Always dessert. Remember that scene in Clueless when Cher says “I feel like such a heiffer, I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and like 3 pieces of licorice.” Well Cher, last Friday I had an ice cream drumstick, a piece of magic cake that my father in law found, and a caramel covered apple from Busch Gardens. In 4 hours. So. I win.
Best moment of the week: Finally relaxing. Not having to be anywhere on Thursday.
What I’m looking forward to: Seeing Holly on Friday!!!
Milestones: Baby can sense movement now. So all those runs and dancing will hopefully pay off! It’s ears are developed so it can hear the dogs bark–hopefully it will be totally used to that! He or she has begun rapid eye movement sleep–but seriously, what can a baby dream about right now? More amniotic fluid? The skin is gaining pigment (hopefully more than what I have) and hair is darkening. But hopefully I don’t have that scary baby I thought I was going to have here.

Things not to say to Pregnant Women

First, let’s clarify,  I’ve 100% said these things to other women. But I sure wish someone had written a blog, or a magazine article, or heck just said it out loud–because whether these questions are coming from complete strangers, or friends, it’s annoying. There is more to pregnant women than what’s growing in their uterus. Most of us have jobs, most of us have other stresses, most of us did watch the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. Some of us are interested in knowing who is playing Christian Grey now that the other dude is out. And some of us, are actually concerned with the government shutdown. Sure, I have moments through out the day that I talk about the baby..but when we talked before I was pregnant,  you didn’t always talk about the baby.

So here is my list **these are also statements other pregnant woman have mentioned as bothersome, so they are not all directly things that have been said to me. mostly 1 and 2 pertain to me .***

1) How are you feeling?–This could just pertain to me because I don’t have anything to say. I don’t belong to the women who hate pregnancy club, because pregnancy has been really easy. So all I can say is “Great! Thanks for asking.” Which, I feel like leaves people wanting more “Any morning sickness? indigestion? something?..anything? come on, every woman complains”..and then there’s me. No. I’m good. I just complain because my clothes don’t fit and we don’t have any money. But those aren’t things I actually want to discuss with you. Unless I bring it up.

2) Are you excited?–Listen. The only acceptable answer here is yes. And if I say yes, then what’s the rest of the conversation. If you asked me if I was excited that college basketball was only a few weeks away, then I’d say yes. The questions is really the worst coming from strangers. I don’t know you, and I’m not going to beam you a smile and say “Oh yes, what a blessing!’

Basically, this question is really a way to hide what you are trying to ask which is:

3) Did you plan it?–Regardless if someone planned it or not, DON’T ASK. They may have been planning it for a long time and it took 3 years (those people are probably very interested in answering questions 1 and 2), but they don’t want to talk to you about their possible fertility problems. Or, complete opposite,  what if it was a mistake? That just makes everyone uncomfortable. And lastly, maybe it was like us..basically planned, basically happened as it should, so we don’t have anything to really talk about. Yes. We decided to try. Yes it worked.

4) Are you sure you’re not expecting twins?-Just, no. Don’t. Stop. Do I need to explain this one?

5) Not a question, but a statement: You don’t look that big!–What is THAT BIG? In who’s mind? I know I’m still skinny as a rail with a belly, but you know who feels like she looks THAT BIG–me. The fact that none of my pants fit me, I feel that big. And I don’t want to talk about it.

Questions that are acceptable to ask:

6) When are you due?–It’s a basic question and leaves room for other conversational pieces. (Just in time for March Madness!)

7) Do you know what you’re having?–I’ve seen this varied. Some people really hate it, other people don’t mind. I don’t really care. I just say we will find out in February!

Questions that I’m on the fence about:

8) Do you plan to breastfeed?–Actually, no. Move this up to questions you don’t ask. People are allowed to do whatever they want. If they want to know the benefits they can find them. This is my worst, 6 years ago, not being a mom, if you told me you weren’t going to breastfeed–I soapboxed the shit out of you. But now, upon reading..and maturing..basically, everyone’s entitled to their own thing. People in France don’t breastfeed. Yes it’s good. Yes I’m going to do it. But don’t judge someone else.

9) Have you started decorating?-I haven’t. So I don’t have anything to talk about. I would judge this by the person. I have some pregnant friends who LOVE decorating. I’m sure they are looking at samples as we speak. I wish I could get into decorating. I can get into painting. and Vacuuming. But not decorating.

10) Have you found childcare?-Again on the fence. I haven’t. Because it’s so expensive. Because I don’t know where to look. Actually, I think this is fine. It could add fuel to get me started.

Also–let’s face it. I’m so particular, I think the reason I don’t like people asking these questions is because I don’t actually feel like they are listening to me after they ask the question. They are either waiting for me to finish because they have already formulated their next thought, or they heard one part of what I’ve said and want to focus on that and only that (looking at you husband). Or all the questions they ask have expected outcomes. Personally, I think it’s okay not to be bursting at the seams every five minutes over the baby. It will get here when it gets here. And everything will fall into place.

For now, let me watch Vampire Diaries.

Updated: See, I’m not alone!! My friend Heather, who’s husband is in residency felt the same pains as I did. Read here and here.

18 weeks left.

I feel like I was just writing that I was 18 weeks pregnant (because four weeks ago I was). But now there is only 18 weeks left. Good Golly. Where has the time gone (also, where have my toes gone?)?

This past week has proven that I don’t want a job that requires me to travel. I use to want a job that would take me all over the world. But Sunday-Tuesday I was in Austin and Saturday though tomorrow I’m at Lake Lanier, just outside of Atlanta. Hotels have been nice (especially when I get free rooms, thank you Marriott rewards), but..I miss my dogs, I miss my house, I miss Phil. I miss having more clothing choices. I miss my friends. I’m just ready to go home. Here I am at a conference. I look real professional.

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I think the one thing I’ve learned is I’m real sorry for being stubborn and never letting men help me lift my suitcases at the airport. How come they aren’t bending over backwards to lift my suitcase for me? From now on, I’ll accept any and all help.

My pants have officially gone the way of not fitting, and I feel like I did a really really good job of not gaining a whole bunch of weight. However, in the past 2 weeks I think I’ve gained 8 lbs. Maybe I should stop baking late at night? I mean I know it’s totally normal, but I’m only 13 lbs away from my “maximum” weight gain that is considered healthy. But I also read that some weeks you can gain 3 lbs and some weeks you gain none..so maybe that’s what I have experienced?

I really am just updating this so I don’t go too long. I have a lot of things I want to write about, but I think once I get home I’ll have a more clear head. And it’s possible that I will have finished Friday Night Lights. I started watching it on Netflix a few weeks ago and can’t stop/won’t stop. Two more episodes. Two more episodes and I lose Tim Riggins forever. le sigh.

Here’s what this BB looks like now, it’s an exposed stomach because it’s huge.

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How Far Along: 22 weeks.
Size of Baby: Size of an eggplant. And I can see it all the time, and feel it all the time.
Total Weight Gain: I don’t want to talk about it.
Symptoms: Round ligament pain is very present. I also feel that my stomach is getting really tight. I have officially entered the uncomfortable stage. I still feel fine and can totally function, but I’m kind of over being a vessel.
Eats: Lemonade. Not really an eat, but I always want to drink it. All the time.
Best moment of the week: Joining the center for pregnancy class. I was able to hear the heartbeat. The nurse said “uhoh. You have a really active baby, it’s hard to get the heartbeat..good luck!”
What I’m looking forward to: We start baby classes on Thursday, but I’m most looking forward to getting to my house and no plans for two weeks.
Milestones: The baby is almost a pound. Hair is growing. Everything is proportionate finally, and He or she is reacting to sound. And is really active. REALLY ACTIVE.

 

Pregnancy and Registry

Be prepared. Be prepared for everything.

For those of you who have done a wedding registry,  Emily Post says its important to have a variety of different priced options. It’s okay to have expensive gifts, and it’s okay to have $4 gifts. Your invited guests don’t have to buy you a gift, but if they choose, these are some things you might appreciate and need.

The same goes for a baby registry. Do that and then some. Register for everything you need, and double it. DO NOT REGISTER FOR CLOTHES (I will bite my own tongue here, I do have some onesies on the list, but I don’t have outfits or anything). People will buy those willingly on their own (most likely, those are also the same people who won’t shop off your registry because they don’t want to buy you changing pads, diaper liners, or bottles but I’ve said it before –those are the things you need). Also–again, remember, when you have a baby, people aren’t required to buy you a gift and you shouldn’t expect them to give you a gift–but you should understand (and I understand) that people want to spend money on you. So register for the things you want! Sure right now, baby in womb–I’m all “Why the hell would I need a bottle drying rack for? I have a dishwasher.” But who knows–maybe three months into baby I’ll be OMG! I NEED A DRYING RACK (doubt it because I’m hands down the worst hand dish washer on the planet, but you never know!).

So because I just did some shopping today off a shower registry, and I hate unsolicited advice, but I desperately wanted to call this mommy to be and say “QUICK! Add all these items to your registry”, I am not going to do that– because, I know how much unsolicited advice annoys the shit out of me. (Also–I apparently was looking at an old registry, and she does have a MUCH MORE detailed one at another store that I didn’t even look at!) So here is my internet unsolicited advice, which I presume you are all reading because you want my advice:

1) The second you find out you are pregnant buy this book:
Baby Bargains

or if you are lucky like me, you have a very wonderful friend who will buy it for you.  It was very helpful in helping narrow down all the options down there. From strollers, maternity clothes, baby clothes, cribs, humidifiers, monitors, it’s all there! And it also goes into great detail about things you really don’t need.
2. Lucies List This was the second most important thing. Lucie’s mom didn’t have a clue what to do when pregnant. So she did this. And I love her. Thank you Meg!
3. Ask your friends. Ask all of them. Get books. Get all of them. Compare your registry with friends who are due around the same time (or maybe they already had their kid and their registry is still active). You may find things you didn’t even think about. I did. I didn’t even realize it might be a good idea to register for diaper rash cream, or wipes, or diapers, or soap, do it. Register for it all.
4. DO NOT FEEL BAD FOR PUTTTING TOO MUCH STUFF ON A REGISTRY. If you don’t get it, then you don’t get it. You can buy it yourself. Much like your wedding registry, you may also realize that some of that stuff you registered for is no longer needed (like the 18 pairs of candlesticks that I registered for) and you can return it, and purchase what you do need (bottles, butt cream, and burp clothes).

Also, at 21 weeks, I don’t know a single freaking thing. I haven’t even had my first shower. These are my opinions. I think they are correct, but who knows. There is always room for improvement!