Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Shared Pain

Last night, I watched Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette perform a courageous short program, just two days after her mother unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack.

It was too much for me to take. Because I know her pain.

I may not be an Olympic figure skater. But that look on her face when she finished her skate, as she was overcome with emotion - I know that pain.

And I know all too well the feeling of going through something so huge and wishing, wanting with all your heart, that you could share it with that parent who sacrificed so much for you.

But it's just not meant to be. So you go on, you forge ahead. Because that's all you can do.

There's irony in our situations, me and Joannie. Terrible, painful irony. Joannie would not have made it to the Olympics if her mother hadn't sacrificed so much for her dreams of being a champion. And I wouldn't be four weeks away from having my first baby if I hadn't found out last summer that my father was dying of cancer.

I so desperately wanted him to meet his grandson. We pushed up our timeline on having a baby because we wanted that so badly. And oh, how he tried to make that happen for us. Up until just a couple of weeks before he died, Wayne was still talking about how he was determined to stick around so he could hold his grandbaby.

I told him, a week or so before he died, that it was okay. We all knew his time was near, and I told him it was okay that he couldn't stick around. We'd be okay, me and Branden and the baby.

And we will be. Because we have to be. What other choice is there? But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, when I feel this child move inside me and think how very much Wayne would've enjoyed this time. When I think about the moment my mom enters the room to meet her grandson for the first time, and how Wayne should've been there too.

And so, while I might not be an Olympic figure skater, I know the pain Joannie is experiencing. And I feel for her. My heart goes out to her. That is a pain I don't wish on anyone.

My heart also goes out to my friend Serena, who lost her mother to the evil that is cancer over the weekend. Serena, I wish I could be there to give you a big hug. I know too well the heartache you are dealing with, and I wish you didn't have to go through it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nursery Pictures!!

I spent a good part of the day working on the nursery, and it's basically finished now! We still have a few odds and ends to get, and we'll probably hang some more pictures on the wall at some point, but for the most part, it's done! Here are the pictures...

The wall across from the you can see the crib, the color block painting we did, the letters I painted and hung over the crib, the glider/ottoman, and the hanging stuffed animal display to the right.

Close up of the crib. Only thing missing here is the crib skirt, which my mom is making out of some old curtains she originally made for my dorm room in college. Turns out M&Ms fabric is now considered "vintage" (I'm guessing there was a big clamp-down on unlicensed M&M stuff) and is verrry expensive now. Lucky we already had some!

A close-up of the stuffed animal storage. I got this years ago from IKEA, but this is the first time it's been used. I put a few Easter goodies in there for now (Snoopy and a couple of Easter M's)...then we have a stuffed Sneetch, and finally, in the bottom two slots, Ben's first stuffed toys of his own that we've been given as gifts.

Close-up of the glider corner. The blanket behind Clifford is a Peanuts blanket I used as a kid. The colors matched, so I decided to put it out. On the shelf, we have some plush M&Ms, a really cute handmade lunchbox I got from a friend at our shower, some posable M&Ms, a little train toy, and the stuffed Moose from If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Clifford, Sneetches, the Moose...can you tell we're a literary bunch? My mom's a librarian, and when I was growing up she was a children's librarian - so she instilled in me a love for good children's literature.

The blank corner where our changing table/dresser will go. It's currently being handmade by Ben's GranPoppy (Branden's dad). They'll bring it up next month.

The wall opposite the crib - just to the right of the main door. We have an M&Ms cuckoo clock, some dispensers, a shelf of children's books, and on the bottom, some socks and bibs that are waiting for the dresser, the bumbo, and the hamper. And if you look very closely, in the middle on the top shelf, you'll see a clay sculpture. It's a star-bellied sneetch dancing with a plain-bellied sneetch, and Wayne sculpted it for me. I figured it would be nice for Ben to have something of his grandfather in the room.

The wall we didn't paint - because it's taken up by this huge door, which leads to bathroom/closet/utility room.

Close-up of the crib.

And finally, the floor covering - a patchwork of four different rugs I found online.
So there you have it - a tour of our nursery!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


My debit card number, that is! Here's the story...

Sunday morning, Branden and I went out to buy groceries. When I attempted to pay with my debit card, it was declined. Branden paid for our groceries, and we came home, wondering what would cause my card to be declined.

After unloading the groceries, we logged on to our accounts online and boy, was I in for a shock! There at the top of the detail on my account were four strange charges that I knew nothing about - three to DHL totaling over $2200, and another to for $4.75.

Initially, I was in shock. Of course I'd heard of this happening, but didn't this always happen to someone else? A friend of a friend, someone a coworker knows, etc. But it was actually happening to me? Wow.

I immediately called my bank's customer support number. Here is where I have to brag on Chase and their fraud department. They never questioned me about the fraudulent charges. They had even already added a fraud alert to my account before I called - apparently the thief tried a fourth charge at DHL for over $900, but that one didn't go through. (Seriously - who spends over $3000 at DHL? What are they shipping, and to where?)

I spent about fifteen minutes on the phone with the fraud department, and they completely took care of me. The representative gave me a number to call back as soon as the charges actually hit my account (they were still pending) so that a credit could be issued. They also gave me a number to get in touch with DHL (that was a laugh...more on that in a minute!).

On Tuesday morning, I logged on to my account, and it was like it had never happened! All four fraudulent charges were completely gone, and everything looked great. The good news in all of this is that they only got my debit card number - so my actual account is still safe, as are our other accounts (savings and Branden's checking). I was issued a new debit card, which I should get in a few more days. Hopefully, this is all behind me.

Oh, except for the DHL part. I called their customer support line, and they said in order to get in touch with the fraud department, I had to e-mail them with my contact information. So I did, on Sunday. I have yet to hear from them! Good thing Chase is taking care of me, because they certainly aren't!

So to recap:
Credit card fraud stinks.
Yay for Chase!
Boo on DHL.

Nursery Sneak Peek

We started work on painting the nursery last weekend. For a full detail of what we plan on doing with the room, check out my latest post on Pregosaur.

I'm going to hold off on any "results" pictures until we get a few more things up on the wall, but here are a few sneak peeks to tide you over...

Branden taping off our design:

The letters that will go over the crib, painted in the same colors as our wall design:

The painting is all done, and the tape is down. I must say, I absolutely love what we did! I hope to make some more progress this weekend, so stay tuned for more pictures!