Welcome to our blog for keeping family and friends up to date on the latest Clemmer-family news, and all the ramblings of a stay-at-home mom trying to stay sane among all the craziness!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Missed reunion

Well, it's official. I have mommy-brain.

I was so incredibly disappointed this past weekend when, after weeks of anticipation, I missed my 10-year high school reunion. I know, some of you are probably wondering what's the big deal. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't Miss Popularity or anything, but being on the yearbook staff did have it's perks, and I knew a lot of our class on a first-name basis even if we weren't close. I was so excited to see everyone again. And I missed it.

For whatever reason, when I got the announcement that it was coming, I read it and got it in my head that it was Saturday night. I was so certain that I never looked at it again. I had no reason to question it. I had even written it on 3 of my calendars for Saturday night. Well, guess what. It was on Friday.

I was so upset I surprised even myself! Oh well, maybe I wasn't supposed to go. However, I work with a lady who has a son that I went to school with - him and his wife flew in for the Thanksgiving holiday and the reunion and she said they had a really good time. Not that I wanted to hear that it was a crummy reunion, but man, I wish I could've been there. I guess now I've just got to wait another 10 years... :(

Baby class

Well, this week is the half-way point in our baby class - we're almost done! Does that mean that we're officially prepared to have a baby? :) Somehow, I don't think so...

I've really enjoyed the class so far. Our teacher is awesome, she really is very encouraging and has made me feel a lot more at ease about the whole labor = pain thing. Last week we found out that we've got a certified massage therapist in our class. Pretty nifty. He offered to bring in copies of some of his relaxation CDs and even gave one of the fathers-to-be a massage to demonstrate how he could help his wife. Let's just see if we're all standing in line for our turns this week!

Other than the fact that I'm not finding the time (i.e. I'm not making the time) to finish our reading assignments, I think we're both getting a lot out of the classes. Oh, except maybe the practice we're supposed to be doing at home... somehow we just don't think about breathing exercises any other time than at class. Hope that doesn't come back to bite us later!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving lunch, and dinner, and leftovers

Well, Thanksgiving has passed and it went off pretty well as far as I can tell. No one got sick, nothing got burned, and everyone seemed to have a pretty good time. Good news for a first-time host! Brian and I hosted the family Thanksgiving lunch at our house this year, and I'm pleased to say that I think we did pretty well. Don't get me wrong, we didn't do all of the cooking or anything like that! But we did manage to get out house cleaned and by the time everyone had brought whatever dish they were bringing, we had more food than we knew what to do with! Let's just say that we'll be eating leftovers for a while - but hey, it keeps me from having to cook!

We had 16 people over - with us that makes 18. Considering our kitchen table only seats 6, the rest of us ate in the living room on folding TV trays. The good news - we didn't have any spills, drips, or ground-in crumbs on the carpet or sofa! (which I have to say really surprises me, not because any of us are particularly clumsy or messy, but when you have a house full of almost 20 people, stuff like that just happens...) Unfortunately, my sister and her family didn't make it - that would have added another 4, but they had conflicting family schedules and had to be at my brother-in-law's family for their dinner.

That's one thing that makes me really sad at the holidays - being apart from family. Brian and I have to juggle three families, two of which are out-of-town: one in VA, one in NC, and one in TX. It makes it hard being away from any one of them, but obviously there's only so much time you have during the holidays, and so much money for travel! Even when you're not spread out like that, there's still the question of who's set of parent's do you visit, or do you try to get them all in?

I remember growing up, we would have Thanksgiving lunch at one grandparents house and then Thanksgiving dinner at the other's. Talk about being stuffed! And when Christmas rolled around, we did Christmas Eve with one set of family and Christmas morning at home, then Christmas lunch with the other set of family. It's fun, but it does make for an exhausting holiday!

I just hope that once our kids come along we can find a happy medium between traveling to see family and having our own holiday traditions. Guess we'll have to wait and see what the next few years bring!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lost comments

Just a quick note that I've had some problems with comments disappearing. When I get my email notification and I choose "Publish," it takes me to the Blogger page that says something like "sorry, we cannot process your request." Later when I try again my comment was completely gone... So if you notice that your comment isn't published - Sorry!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Baby Seth has a middle name!

Yep, we've finally figured it out! Baby Seth now has a full name, although I'm not sure where the practice of giving a first and middle name started or why...

Seth Clemmer is now Seth Ethan Clemmer. I posted back in October about why we chose the name Seth. Ethan was a name that we had considered and liked, but never really pursued. Ethan is Hebrew and it means "strong" or "firm." This was neat for us because our names both mean "strong." (Seth is also Hebrew in case you were wondering.)

So there you have it: Seth Ethan Clemmer. Coming to a hospital near us this February!

Getting registered

We are finally and officially registered! It only took us 6 1/2 months to do it, but we're done. For now anyway. The funny thing was that even though the stores all provided a list of suggested necessities for having at home when the baby arrives, we still felt like we had no idea what we were doing. Although I'm sure that's completely normal for first-time parents, it wasn't terribly encouraging for us as we wandered up and down the aisles and aisles of baby stuff.

To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. But at least this time we weren't completely unprepared. A few weeks back, we went into Baby Depot in the Burlington Coat factory just to look around. We left there holding our chins in our hands with the shock of how much it was going to cost us to furnish a nursery and provide our baby with everything he "needed." Thankfully, we came to realize very quickly that much of the "necessary" items were more to promote sales than they were actually needed by either the baby or parents. Sure, I would think that having your wipes warmed before you used them on an unsuspecting baby's bottom would be nice, but babies have been having their bottoms wiped for years by cold, straight-out-of-the-container wipes and they're none worse for the wear.

So, after spending several hours walking through Baby Depot and Toys-R-Us, we are pretty much done. I also took a few minutes and ran through the Wal-Mart gift registry, and because I have had so many people tell me they either shop at Target or they have recommended their baby department, I will have to take a little time sometime in the near future and go register there. But, officially, we are registered.

Now we just need to work on finishing up the construction in the basement so we can move our guest room furniture down there and start getting the nursery ready... with Thanksgiving only days away and Christmas hot on it's heels, that leaves us with January before we hit the absolute last-minute panic button. Anyone think we'll be ready? Can you ever really be ready?

Meet the prude

Well, it's official. I have been dubbed a prude. I never thought this was something someone would say to my face, and I never really thought of myself as one. However, today I was informed that I was, in fact, a prude.

Don't get me wrong, thankfully it was done in such a way that it was humorous. Sure, I admit, my feelings were still hurt, but at least it wasn't a public humiliation. And after the incident of name-calling, I had to tell myself that in this case, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing after all.

I'll never forget a friend of mine making a statement that really cut me deeply. They never knew that what they said had such an impact on me and probably never will. The gist of it was that while we were talking about people of faith in our area, they told me that I was not much different than anyone else. Ouch. That was a better sermon in just a few words than many hour-long Sundays. What they were saying in a sense was that my life did not reflect any difference than those around me. What a poor testimony I was living for others to see!

Yet now, here I am being called a prude. Okay, still not what I'd like to be seen as, but still, it means that my life isn't just a reflection of society around me. Maybe that's a step in the right direction. If my life and my actions set me apart from the worldly ideas that surround us, maybe someone will see that difference and wonder why I am different. I just hope that I'm not reflecting a difference in such a way that will turn them away from an opportunity to pursue the truth. If my being a "prude" could possibly cause someone to stop and ask why, giving me an opportunity to show them a little bit of what God has done and is doing for me and in my life, then bring on the name-calling baby!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Learning how to have a baby

Well, we are officially becoming educated on how to have a baby! Brian and I started our "childbirth preparedness" class just last night. I wasn't sure what I expected, although I was a little skeptical since the enrollment papers they sent us told us to bring two pillows and a blanket. Not really sure how I felt about the thought of being on the floor doing breathing exercises with a bunch of strangers.

The good news is that once we got there and class started, I quickly warmed up to the teacher. Thanks to a good friend for recommending that we sign up specifically for her class! Our instructor has obviously been doing this for many years and knew just how to put us all at ease. We spent just a little time in pairs of couples to get to know each other briefly, which went really well for us (at least I thought). You know how sometimes you'll get put in that kind of situation and no one wants to "go first?" Well, let's just say we didn't have that problem. Even though there was an obvious age difference between Brian and I and the couple we were paired with, also they had two children already from previous marriages, we had no trouble picking up a conversation!

After that, the instruction part began, and it was really interesting. Like I've said before in earlier posts, the farther along I get the more I realize I don't know! The funny thing is that if you asked me to repeat anything from the class, the first thing that comes to mind is that she told us that people who know how to evaluate these kinds of things had determined that a woman in labor extends the same amount of energy as if you were to play two football games back to back with no breaks. I told Brian to remember that!

The funny thing to me was that after this class, not only am I really looking forward to going back, but I feel even more comfortable about the whole "labor" thing. Now, ask me again how I feel after we watch the dreaded birth video and I may have changed my mind! I'm still thinking an epidural is the way to go, but at least I'm not getting nauseous whenever I think of having this baby like I would have years ago!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rodney Atkins song

I'm a sucker for music - I love just about all kinds and wish I had some musical talent so I could enjoy it more than just by listening to it. I'm especially influenced by music that really touches me in some way or another. The other day when I got in my car, I happened to hear a song
that's new to me. The lyrics really got to me, probably because we're about 3 months away from having a little boy of our own.

It was a song by Rodney Atkins called Watching You, and although Brian does not listen to country, I really wish he would give it a chance specifically due to songs like this. The lyrics really pointed out how important being a parent is, how your kids really pay attention to you and what you do. It reminds me that everything we do is teaching our kids how to be the people they're going to be one day.

A snippet of the song goes:

He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool
I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We like fixing things and holding mama's hand
Yeah we're just alike, hey ain't we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I've been watching you

How awesome to be such a part of someone's life! God help me to remember when the parenting begins that someone looks to me for guidance - what a responsibility and a privilege!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

24-Week checkup

Just a quick note to let everyone know our 24-week checkup went well. And for those of you who are dying to know, I've gained a total of about 18 pounds since we started in June. Sorry, I'm not going to tell you what I started out at!

Next visit in December I get to take the blood sugar test. Fun!

I can hardly believe we're 6 months into the pregnancy - it's over half done already! February is just around the corner!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The sound of a daddy's voice

Baby Seth's movements have finally started to be strong enough to see from the outside. The other night while Brian was telling me about his work day, I couldn't help myself and pulled up my shirt to expose my belly. Seth was moving so much, I had to see if I could catch him in the act. While we talked, I watched as my stomach would occasionally jerk in one direction or another. It was so fascinating and so exciting!

The funny thing was that Seth definitely seemed to move more when Brian was talking. When Brian caught a glimpse of the "belly dance" I had going on, he would pause in his story. The movement stopped. I had to tell him several times to keep talking, and each time he did start again, so did Seth's exercise. Seems to me like he's already listening to daddy!

Fellowship of Pregnant Ladies!

A friend of mine confided in me today that she found out yesterday, for sure, through a test at her GP's office, that she is indeed pregnant. I am so excited for her and honored that she decided to share this with me since she is trying to keep it quiet. However, it makes me wonder why we feel the need to keep our good news on the low-down due to fear of our job situation.

Women have come so far over the years and gained access in the workplace that they've never had before, but still somehow, pregnancy seems to be a death sentence for the career of a lot of women. It is almost as if society sees a pregnant woman as crippled when it comes to the work force. I completely understand that a company loses time from that employee as they take off for doctor's visits, in some cases, morning-sick days, and ultimately a maternity leave. And yes, I realize that having a new baby also takes its toll on an employee's performance - there's going to be days when the baby is sick and there's no sitter or daycare won't take them. There's going to be days when parents have to take time for wellness check-ups. And yes, there are always the cases when an employee decides not to come back to work after the baby comes.

However, it's frustrating to me that many women feel like they're doomed at their jobs once they tell their employer that they're expecting. To see my girlfriend asking my thoughts and advice on pregnancy in a whisper makes me sad. While her husband can enjoy being congratulated at work, why does she, or any of us, feel like we have to hide our pregnancy until we can get a feel for how it will be received?

I look around the office I work at and see that most of my coworkers already have grown children. That means that at some point, they too had to take time off to be a parent. But, I also see that most of the women in my office are still in customer service jobs while men rise to the sales or executive positions. I'm not saying that the company I work for is sexist, although it is a running joke around the office, but I wonder how many women face just this kind of discrimination at their place of employment. Sure, like I said earlier, women are achieving more and more as far as position, title and even salary are concerned, but at what cost? I don't think it's any secret and I feel that few people would dispute the fact that women do have to work twice as hard (a lot of time for less pay) than men for the same jobs. Often times the world seems to think that we have something to prove. But why?

Often, we are not just dedicated employees, but we are full time mothers, wives, daughters, and siblings. We are active in our child's life, be it PTA, sports or other extra-curricular activities. We serve on our women's committees at church. We take care of parents and grandparents and still manage to have family dinner most nights.

I say hurrah for the woman who does it all, and another hurrah for the woman who chooses to stay at home with her family. Both are honorable choices, sometimes made out of necessity one way or the other. But whatever your decision, please, please support your sisters at work and home when they are facing the same decision! Pregnancy shouldn't be something women have to keep secret, but until that day, let's support and uplift one another - besides, who understands better than our girlfriends?