Monday, September 26, 2011

My Big Fat Belly-27 Weeks

This one is a day early, but I’m going to be pretty slammed this week with a  few things so I thought I’d go ahead and post it…that, and I haven’t posted on pregnancy in almost a month.  Bad blogger…I know.

I’m changing up my preggo posts.  I’m tired of doing the different categories that everyone does because they take so long to fill out and some of them don’t even apply so instead I’m just going to write about whatever I want and what’s going on with me.

This time I’ll start with my 27 weeks pic…photographer out of town again, apologies.

27 weeks

The picture is awful, I’m sorry.  But it’s all I can do for now.  Yes, this is the new bathroom.  I’ll post pics on the new house hopefully this week or this weekend.  I’ve been meaning to do it for a while since we’ve finally gotten almost everything set up, I just haven’t had time.

So what’s going on now?  Well, I went to my 26 week appointment on Friday and finally got to see my actual doctor.  I’ve been passed around the practice the past 6 months because they want me to see all the doctors that could possibly deliver Carter, which I greatly appreciate.  I haven’t seen Hudson since the first appointment at week 5 so I was glad to see him and his nurse again.  Everything is great.  Weight, belly growth, and baby are all on track.  That appointment was also my glucose screening.  I had to get there earlier than normal, a 7:45am appointment.  I wasn’t allowed to eat anything up until then, which is comparable to the apocalypse for a pregnant woman. 

When I got there, I had to drink 5 oz. of the infamous orange drink.  I honestly don’t know why so many women have complained about this drink.  The after taste isn’t wonderful of course, but it sort of tasted and smelled like Sunkist, one of my personal favorite soft drinks.  And 5 oz. is barely anything at all, almost like a really big shot.  The way I’ve heard horror stories of this test made me think I had to drink a liter of this stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised it was only 5 oz. 

After drinking the fun juice, we had to go to my normal doctor appointment.  This took longer than normal for some reason.  The waiting room was jam-packed so tight that people were standing outside because there wasn’t a seat.  The receptionists all looked frazzled so it looked like they forgot a bunch of patients had appointments that day.  I finally got called back to do a finger stick and then they put me in my room to wait to see my doctor.  By the way, since it’s really only females that read this, I don’t mind being blunt….it’s really difficult to pee in a cup when you can no longer see your va-jay-jay.  Just some fun FYI.  Sorry if it produced a mental picture.

It seemed like an eternity that we had to wait on my doctor to show up.  Of course this is probably because I had been awake for 3 hours with no food and 30 seconds seemed like 20 minutes to me.  Nurse finally came in and took my blood pressure and we heard the heart beat, both of which were fine.  The doctor finally came in after her and measured my belly.  I talked to him briefly about an issue I’ve noticed lately.  In the middle of my stomach, I keep getting this stiffness that really hurts when I touch it.  I’ve had friends say that it could be Carter’s butt since their butts tend to be the hardest body part.  However, doc said it was probably his heel jabbing my stomach.  Not that he was kicking, but he would stick his heel in this one position and leave it there all day, leaving me quite uncomfortable.  I’m ok with this though, because if this is true, it means that Carter has started to turn out of the breech position and into the head down position.

We scheduled my next appointment which is at 30 weeks and is on October 21st.  This is the appointment where we will have the 4D ultrasound.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!!  I haven’t seen Carter since I was 18 weeks pregnant and it’ll be another 4 weeks before I get to see him again, so I am very ready to see how much bigger he’s gotten, and to see him in 4D so that I can make out his facial features better.  27 weeks marks the beginning of month 7 and at 28 weeks, I will officially be 2/3 of the way done with this little thing called pregnancy.  I’ll finally be in trimester number 3.  I can’t believe this is all flying by so fast.  So anyway, after leaving my normal doctor appointment, I went back to the lab to give blood so they could do the sugar test.  My husband, God bless him, can’t be in hospitals or even look at needles or he’ll pass out.  I’m starting to wonder if he’ll be able to make it through the labor to see our son or if he’ll be face down on the floor when he finally comes out.  Only time will tell.  Justin couldn’t watch them take my blood so he had to wait outside.  The nurse said that if I don’t hear anything by Monday (today) that I passed the test and don’t have gestational diabetes.  I’m praying that I don’t get a phone call today.

As far as how I’m doing….I’m pretty good.  Carter kicks pretty frequently, but unfortunately, he doesn’t do it when I’m trying to get other people to feel it.  Justin is the only person that has been able to feel him kick and he’s only felt it a handful of times.  Anytime I try to get anyone else to feel it, he stops.  It’s like he doesn’t want anyone but his momma to experience it….and I’m ok with that!  The linea nigra has started to form, but I was apparently way off on the time line of when my belly button would pop out, because she’s still nicely tucked away in there.

Still no cravings of any kind really, I’m ok with all the same foods I was ok with before pregnancy.  My working out schedule rocks.  I usually walk the Giz around the neighborhood (2 miles) about 3 times a week and then do a pregnancy toning dvd afterwards.  Those 3 times are usually during the week.  On the weekends, I like long walks by myself, completing about 4 miles on both Saturday and Sunday either on the Mountain Brook trail or the trail that goes from James Hill into Ross Bridge.  Last week alone I burned 2,044 calories.  I’m not real sure I’m supposed to be burning that much though…maybe I should ask if that’s ok.  But it hasn’t affected us yet, so I figure it’s good for me and for Carter.

While driving home the other day Justin said “I wonder if Giz will try to take Carter’s toys”.  Ummmm…holy crap.  Didn’t even think of that.  Anyone else have a dog that tried to play with the kids toys??  How do we keep her away from Carter’s things?  That may be a trial and error type thing to figure out.  Carter’s bedding came in and so did most of the furniture, so his room is close to being set up, but we’re still waiting on some things.  The glider hasn’t been delivered yet and we also still need to get a night stand along with a few d├ęcor related items.  Because of this, I probably won’t put up pictures of the nursery when I make the post on the new house, because I really want a lot more to be done first.

Lots of dates are coming up quickly.  On October 4th, I’ll be in my third trimester.  October 21st is the 30 week appointment and 4D ultrasound (this also marks the last appointment in a 4 week series…after this appointment, all appointments will be every two weeks and eventually every week until he’s here).  October 23rd are my maternity pictures that my sister Lindsey is doing on the Ross Bridge trails.  October 30th is my first baby shower, hosted by some fabulous ladies at our church.  The very next weekend is my second baby shower, hosted by three of my best friends, Lindsey Owens, Tiffany Lobdell and Carina Sanchez.  The week after that, November 10th, is my third shower from my co-workers.  Also some time in November, Justin’s friends are throwing him a baby shower.  I have NEVER heard of this before, but apparently, some guys throw “Beer for Diapers” showers.  Trevor Lobdell and Justin Yarbrough are hosting and inviting all of Justin’s good friends and everyone has to bring diapers and the hosts will provide beer.  Genius.

So we’re about to get REALLY busy.  I’m hoping it won’t be another 3 weeks before my next belly post, but honestly there’s just no telling.  Oh and the worst part of it all….I was waiting on someone at the doctors office to tell me to sign up for classes.  When I called and asked about it, they said the information was in the packet they gave me when they confirmed my pregnancy (literally haven’t looked at this packet since that day).  Turns out, I was supposed to sign up for childbirth and breastfeeding classes no later than month 5.   I’m in month 7 now.  Oops.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BMSS Needs Employees!!

I rarely ever write about my job on this blog, but I think I’ll make an exception.  My firm is looking for a few people to hire.  We’re looking for someone that has 3+ years in audit or someone who has the same experience level that does reviews/audit/tax.  I know changing jobs is a hassle, especially if you left public accounting to go into the industry already.  But PLEASE hear me out!! 

BMSS is not like other accounting firms, TRUST ME!  I worked at an international accounting firm for two years before joining the BMSS family and I am so incredibly happy I made that decision.  BMSS is a family, not a workplace.  We have 100+ employees, of which 45 are CPA’s.  We are a public accounting firm, however there is NO firm that gives you what we give our employees.  I’ll list out some of the benefits for you:

  • Limit on hours in busy season to 60 hours.  This is huge if you work for other public accounting firms.  You know that busy season is the hardest time of the year and there are always such LONG hours.  When I was working at my other firm, I would work a little closer to 80 hours on any given week.  So even though 60 seems like a lot, it’s much less than other firms.  Not to mention our hours are ONLY during busy season.  No required overtime for any other deadline!!!  Let me explain how the hours works.  Busy season is broken down into weeks.  We get emails on Fridays for how many hours we’re required to work the next week.  We start January out with 40, then 45, then 50, then 55, and finally 60.  Most years, we don’t even hit 60 hour weeks until mid-February.  You also will not work a Saturday until the hours are 55 or 60.  Two busy seasons ago, our productivity and efficiency was so great that we never had a 60 hour week and even on our 55 hour weeks, we weren’t required to work a Saturday.  It was my first busy season to not work on a weekend!!  When a Saturday is required, the only time you are required to be there is from 10am-12pm.  If you got 58 hours in Mon-Fri, you literally only have to stay for those two hours on Saturday and that’s it.  This is usually what most people do, but sometimes something comes up where you need to leave at 5 on a Tuesday, so you just make it up by working longer on Saturday.  Your schedule is YOUR schedule.  You set it how you want as long as it’s working well with the project.
  • There are Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and chicken minis provided for breakfast every Saturday that is required.
  • Also during busy season, our firm brings in massage therapists and everyone signs up to get a free 30 minute massage once a month during busy season in the office.  Usually we give them a small conference room or unoccupied office and they give massages all day to firm members.  No, you don’t take your clothes off, you keep them on, but they have the music going and everything.  Exactly what you need for a long work week.
  • Another busy season perk – dinners.  BMSS provides weekly dinners to the firm (these dinners vary each week.  We like to use Zoe’s, Tazikis, Johnny Rockets, Zaxby’s, Jason's Deli, McAlister's, etc).  These are paid for by the firm and are really a way to help employees not have to leave the office to grab dinner if they need to work late.
  • Towards the end of busy season, BMSS sends out an email to take a vote on everyone’s favorite flavor of dippin’ dots.  We choose the four that get the highest votes and provide dippin’ dots in one of the kitchens.  We get NUMEROUS bags of each of the four kinds, so the dippin’ dots cooler is usually full for a good week or two. 
  • Something that makes busy season easier (and even the rest of the year too) is our valet.  BMSS hired a person that runs any errand you need her to run during the entire year (not just busy season).  If you’re slammed and don’t have time to get your dry cleaning or take back that blockbuster movie or buy a wedding or baby shower gift or even take your car to get the gas tank topped off, you fill out a valet request form and the valet will email you back and tell you if she’s able to do it that day or if it may be something she has to do the next day, but she will do it for you so that you don’t have to leave.
  • Ready for the best busy season perk of all????  Get ready, because no other firm I have ever known of has done this….YOUR OVERTIME IS PAID!!!  That’s right.  You read that correctly.  All those 60 hour weeks that keep you from your family…yeah that’s not built into your salary like it is at most public firms.  You get a busy season bonus every May that pays you for those hours.  You don’t get time and a half overtime pay, but BMSS has a compensation method that is very fair and it all boils down to how much overtime you had that was billable.
  • 3 weeks paid time off unless you’re a senior manager or have 5 years experience with BMSS, then you get 4 weeks.
  • Paid one month sabbatical once you’ve reached 10 years with BMSS.
  • In addition to the 3 weeks (or 4) of PTO, you get an additional 3 days that can be used for volunteer work.  BMSS works with Habitat for Humanity every year in the fall and build a house.  It takes a month or so and our employees usually break up into groups and have 10-12 go each week to assist.  This counts as one of the volunteer days.  You can use the other volunteer days as you wish.  Lots of people used them this year for the 4.27.11 tornado clean up efforts.  These can also be used for mission trips for churches.
  • Flexible work schedule options.  BMSS has had numerous employees in the past start out as full time but ended up going flex time or part time for whatever reason.  You have to get this approved by management, however.
  • Now for my favorite perk – Every other Friday off.  From April 15th all the way through labor day in September, our firm gives every employee every other Friday off.   The firm is broken up into two groups, Group A and Group B and those groups rotate Fridays.  Group A will be here one Friday and then Group B will be here the next.  This is incredible for planning long weekend trips in the summer during our downtime and can help you take less PTO for vacations when they’re planned on your EOFO. 
  • And finally, overall flexibility is a huge thing at this firm.  For example, as long as you get your 40 hours in a given week, it doesn’t matter how you work them.  Just last week, Justin’s grandmother died and the funeral was in Pensacola, FL on a Wednesday.  I am trying to save my PTO for when our little one comes and don’t want to take that much PTO, so I took only 4 hours of PTO on that Wednesday, worked through lunch two other days and then I chose to work 2 hours on Saturday that week from home.  It’s a relief to know that if Carter is sick and needs to go to the doctor, that I can take him and just make up the time later and not have to constantly use PTO for it.  The flexibility at this firm can’t be beat.  Bottom line.

If you’re in the job market or like what you hear, email me!  Even if you’re happy where you are at, but wouldn’t mind getting together to have lunch to let me explain why BMSS is a better place to work, email me!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago Today…

…I was walking to my 8am Spanish class at the University of Alabama.  I remember that day very clearly.  When I was walking from my dorm at Tutwiler to my Spanish class behind the Quad, I noticed how beautiful that day was.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was amazing.  It was that fall weather with a slight breeze that made you want to close your eyes and jump into a pile of leaves.  The kind of weather that we SHOULD be having now, but for some reason it’s still in the 80’s and 90’s. 

In the middle of my class was when the first tower was hit.  My teacher dismissed the class and I ran back to my dorm so that I could watch the coverage on TV.  A terrorist attack hadn’t crossed my mind yet.  I just wanted to see the footage.  By the time I got to my dorm, the second tower had been hit and I knew it was on purpose.  I watched both of the towers collapse in my dorm room at Tutwiler.  I was watching with several people and our thoughts turned from “Oh my God I can’t believe this is happening” to “What does this mean?  Will we go to war?”. 

Flights were grounded.  Cell phones were down.  The country was in panic.  The lines at gas stations were unreal.  I remember seeing the footage of people jumping out of the building.  I was speechless.  I didn’t understand what our country did to deserve being attacked and suffering such a loss of life.  I am blessed that I did not personally know anyone that lost a family member or loved one that day, but the television and radio was full of interviews of widows and children that lost their parents.  Lots and lots of emotional songs began being played on the radio with inserts of people talking when no lyrics were being sung.  The inserts were from interviews of family trying to find their loved ones, 911 calls from people on the planes or in the towers, speeches from George Bush and Rudy Giuliani.  It was hard to even listen to the radio and not cry for several weeks after that day.

If anything came from this day, it was unity.  A unification of our country and an indescribable amount of reliance on prayer.  I truly had never seen or heard people on TV and radio talk about God more than they did that day.  Our country used prayer to get through that day.  George Bush declared September 14th a day of prayer, a rather risky thing to do in a country where our children are no longer allowed to pray in schools.

I know that in 10-15 years, Carter is going to come home from school with homework to do a history report on this day.  And he’ll have to interview his family members that experienced it.  How do I explain to him the impact of this day?  Will he ever truly understand just how much our country has changed since then?  Will he care since he didn’t live through it?

The world stopped on September 11, 2001.  And even though the rest of us have moved on, the world of the families of those that lost their lives have never recovered.  We’ve all made such a huge deal out of this 10th anniversary, but the widows and children and parents of the fallen have dealt with this every single day for the past 10 years.  There are children who were in the womb 10 years ago that have never met their daddies.  The thought of that puts me in tears.  I’m 6 months pregnant and if I lost Justin right now, my world would never recover.  How do you a raise a child that will never truly understand how wonderful their dad was and the things he did to save other people on that day, especially the fire fighters?  I can’t imagine.  The fact that Justin flies as much as he does scares me.  It didn’t start scaring me today, it’s scared me since we started dating almost 4 years ago.  Even though I know the odds are that nothing will ever happen to him, it doesn’t take fear away.  Every single time Justin flies, I pray for his safety.  I make him text me the second he gets on a plane and the second he lands so that I always know where he’s at.  I’ve forced him to start praying when he gets on a plane that he will get to his destination safely, for my sake.  My heart literally aches so bad that I can’t breath when I think that Justin could be on a plane if this were to happen again.

We are all so blessed to still be here and to not have had to experience this first hand.   Others are certainly not so lucky.  We discussed 9/11 this morning in Sunday School and read the following verses, and they’re good ones to keep in mind when thinking of such suffering and devastation as this:

  • Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. – Matthew 28:18-20
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” – John 16:33

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Big Fat Belly - 24 Weeks

How far along: 24 Weeks

Symptoms:  Still the same as last time.  The back pain, loss of breath at certain times, hurts to bend over, etc.

Maternity Clothes:  Love em’.  But allow me to say that I would NEVER buy maternity jeans from A Pea in a Pod.  I’ve actually gotten a few work clothes from there because they are super cute, but still slightly overpriced, so I haven’t gotten much.  The other day I went to look at jeans….$195.  for jeans.  that I will only wear for 3 months.  Who do you think you are Pea in a Pod???

Weight Gain: At 24 weeks I’m up to 15 pounds.  I had a doctor’s appointment at 22 weeks and 4 days and it was the first time they measured my belly from the outside.  She felt where the top of the uterus was on me (it was a little above my belly button) and measured all the way down.  She said I was right at 22 1/2 weeks in my measurements and that weight gain is right on track.

Baby Size:  This is where it gets difficult, so momma’s out there, let me know what your thoughts are on this issue.  It seems like every single website I go to tells me that I’m in a different month.  The Bump website says that at 24 weeks, I’m still in month 5, but BabyCenter website says it’s the 6th month.  It’s not as simple as multiplying because the first 2 weeks of your 40 week pregnancy, you’re not technically pregnant…so I don’t know.  I also went to random other websites and so many of them say either 5 or 6.  I have a book that breaks out the weeks and it says 6, but for some reason, I’m thinking I’m in my last week of the 5th month.  Either way, here’s the size pic for 6 months because if I’m not in it now, I’m pretty sure I will be next week.

Eggplant - Month 6

Movement:  Still haven’t picked up on a pattern just yet, but his kicks are getting more frequent and more forceful.  I still love it though.  Justin can still feel him and just last night he was kicking like crazy and both of us could actually see my stomach move.  Not like seeing a noticeable body part jump out, but just a slight jump in the skin when he would kick.  It’s so fun to see and feel it!!!

What I’m Looking Forward To:  Getting his room set up!!  The crib is in, but still in boxes.  We’re waiting to set it up until his bedding comes in so that we can put the whole crib together.  The bedding should be in this week.  The rest of the furniture from his room won’t come in until mid-October though.

Last Doctor’s Visit:   My last doctor’s visit was at 22 weeks and 4 days.  Like I said above, it was the first time they measured the stomach and said I was right on track at 22 1/2 weeks and was doing great with weight gain.  Before the doctor came in, the nurse tried to find the heartbeat.  Let’s just say Carter is S-T-U-B-B-O-R-N.  It took her a while to find his heartbeat and then as soon as she found it, he moved.  This happened four times in a row.  She said she’s never seen a baby move that fast and assumes he doesn’t like to be poked and prodded.  Apparently she mentioned it to the doc because when she came in, the first thing she said was “I hear we have a fast little mover on our hands”.  Everything went great at the doctor, I scheduled my next appointment for September 23rd at which time I will be 26 weeks and that will be my appointment where I take my glucose test.  My next appointment will be four weeks after that, which will be the 4D ultrasound and then after that the appointments are every two weeks and then finally every week until Carter is here.  TIME IS FLYING!!

Bump Pic for the Week:

24 Weeks