Thursday, November 29, 2012

job application advice

If you are applying for a job, here are my tips for success, or at least increased likelihood of getting an interview:


  • read the instructions, and follow them exactly (if there is an application, you had better fill it out!)
  • always submit a cover letter and resume (letter should not just be the email you send with your resume, but a separate document)
  • if you expect confirmation that your application was received, ask for it
  • do not make spelling errors, or use funny punctuation (like ... instead of a comma, over and over again)
  • do not submit an application if you are not qualified, and if you do anyway, you had better explain in your cover letter ("I understand that I am not experienced in __________, but _____________)
  • do not submit word documents or jpegs, pdfs are they way to go
  • do not submit the application as individual pdfs for each page, it will irritate the heck out of the person compiling your application (separate jpegs are even WORSE)
  • if possible fill out the application electronically and then print it, even if that means copy and pasting into Word, printing, signing, and scanning it in again  (handwriting is archaic) 
  • don't submit a crappy looking resume, or one that is 20 pages long (formatting is not that hard, people)
  • if email is an option, take that option (do not fax your application, do not mail your application, do not hand-deliver your application, fancy resume paper is not what it used to be)

(Can you tell what I am doing at work this week?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

week 37


How far along: full term, 37 weeks (seriously? did I just type that?)

Total weight gain/loss: Big jump this week (maybe because I took a break from no-sweets?), up 48 lbs. That is scary. But, I had plateaued at +43 lbs for so many weeks, that really it is like 5 lbs gained in 5 weeks, and the midwife was not concerned at all. She also congratulated me on still having ankles (no swelling!).

Maternity clothes: Wearing them, but shopping for non-maternity now (hello, black Friday). The end it is in sight!

Stretch marks: Yes. Now more purple than red. So pretty.

Sleep: Still great (except that I am sick with a nasty cold, as of Sunday, trying to sleep sitting up which is not so good).

Best moments this week: Last and final baby shower, with the Nielsen family. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many loving and supportive people. Thank you all! Also Holidays with the fam (Nielsens on Thursday, Nelsons on Sunday). And, had a ladies' night on Saturday: Costa Vida and Breaking Dawn Part II. So fun! Also finding out my cervical dilation has DOUBLED since my last appointment. Awesome.

Worst moment this week: The head cold. I'm feeling worried about having to deliver while sick.

Food cravings: Nothing really, I feel sick every time I eat sugar so I'm thinking of keeping off of it mostly.

Any new symptoms: May be losing the mucus plug? TMI, I know. The thing I hate is that with all these symptoms (dilating, effacing, etc.) the only answer I get about when I'll deliver is "maybe tomorrow, maybe in three weeks." They don't really actually mean anything, or they can mean all different things. Amazing how much we don't know about the body.

Labor Signs: See above. Plus, dilated to a 3 as of Monday! Midwife didn't tell me what station, but said that baby's head was "really low." 1.5 centimeters progress in two weeks, that's not too bad for just going about my daily activities and not having any real contractions.

Innie or Outie: Outie.

Wedding rings on or off: Still mostly on, though opting more for just the band to prevent any stuck-on rings.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Generally happy.

Looking forward to: Recovering from this cold and having this baby.

Monday, November 26, 2012

days 21-26

Day 21. I am thankful to everyone who left work early, and made my 5:30 pm commute home a breeze!

Day 22. I am thankful for A, for putting up with my nonsense, and for being my best friend. We conquered Black Friday together!

Day 23. I am thankful for my wonderful in-laws, I really couldn't ask for any better.

Day 24. I am thankful for my Grandparents, and that I am lucky enough to get to spend time with them (at least 3 of the 4).

Day 25. I am thankful for patient primary kids and workers, who are patient with me as the chorister, even when I make mistakes on my signs.

Day 26. I am thankful for good health. Nothing makes you appreciate feeling good like feeling crummy (darn head cold).


Sugar update: took a Thanksgiving hiatus, but plan to get back on the bandwagon in December, with just one dessert day a week! Really, I've enjoyed November. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes I caved, but overall it taught me that I can say no, I can be in control of what I eat, and I can still feel good without eating sweets (sometimes even feel better).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

maternity leave

So, how long before your due date did you start your maternity leave?

At first I thought, oh I'll work up until baby comes. Then a few months ago I decided it would be good to start my leave one week before my due date. Then I thought baby would come super early (like, before Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow!). Then I saw someone in my babycenter.com birth club say they were taking off two weeks before their due date.

That would be in a little less than two weeks. And it would be so nice. SO so nice. But I don't know if I can justify it. What do you think? What did you do? I know every person is different, but what do you think is reasonable here? I would just feel dumb if I took off two weeks before, and then she came two weeks late (so, a month of unnecessary leave).

One of my coworkers told me I "didn't look happy" today. And it is probably true: I am tired, and everything aches and hurts. But, still not what I wanted to hear, you know?

day 19, day 20

Day 19. I am thankful for my dad. I love to just sit and chat with him, and he is so helpful to Mr. A in planning his school schedule. He's the best.

Day 20.  I am thankful that tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I am so excited for it, and I can't believe it is already here. Tonight I'll be starting my out-of-this-world roll dough. My sister-in-law and I will probably be the only ones that eat any (I always lose out to the marshmallow sweet potatoes, which are not my cup-o-tea), but I will certainly enjoy them. And it will mean a lot to me, to make and eat my family's traditional rolls on Thanksgiving (our family dinner is not until Sunday).

Sugar update: I can't believe I've gone 21 days with only 1 cheat cupcake, 1 cheat Greek candy (for the garlic breath after lunch at Aristos), and 1 permitted birthday cake slice. When I tried this in March, I think I only had 1 successful week! I am real excited to have pie tomorrow, though. And if there are sweets at the baby shower on Friday, I will probably indulge. And then feel sick. I'm thinking of extending until December, but modified to allow for one dessert a week (like after Sunday dinner). Still undecided, because I LOVE holiday treats (if anyone buys me the chocolate-covered dried fruit gift box thing from Costco, I will love them forever and we will be best friends).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

week 36


How far along: 36 weeks (28 days to go, one week until baby is full term!)

Total weight gain/loss: Only up 1.5 lbs this week, I think the no-sugar thing is paying off! It would probably be even better if I also gave up fried food and butter.

Maternity clothes: Made my other maxi skirt, so cute! This one was much easier, only two panels, and I used the surger which is a lot better.

Stretch marks: More and more every day. Andrew is so sweet about it though, whenever I complain he tells me I am beautiful and that it doesn't matter. What a wonderful boy he is (I was going to say husband, but I couldn't resist the quote. Can you name the movie?).

Sleep: Still great. I am so blessed. I napped for like, 3 hours on Sunday and was still able to fall asleep at night. I woke up Monday feeling awesome.

Best moments this week: Baby girl put on a show for her dad on Sunday night. Seriously, she was jumping in there, and continued for a few minutes so Andrew got to feel and SEE her move. It was adorable.  We've also been enjoying  a few last dates before she comes, which is a lot of fun. Friday we had a maternity shoot with Corissa, as part of our birth story package. She is awesome, and even made Andrew feel at ease (I think), and he is not a big fan of having pictures taken. I'm crossing my fingers that baby girl will wait to come until Corissa is back in SLC for December (she is Kentucky-based, but visits Utah often for those who want to schedule a shoot). Wait till December 8th, okay baby? Oh, also a lovely shower put on by my sweet coworkers. Seriously, they are the best.

Worst moment this week: My leg has been killing me this week. Every time I move. If I stand up, roll over in bed, walk, try to put on socks (don't even talk about trying to put on boots). Ouch.

Food cravings: Sugar! Can't wait for Thanksgiving pie.

Any new symptoms: Baby is pushing down and causing me some sharp pains. Not contractions, they only last a few seconds, but can be rather incapacitating. ***Update*** Now having some lovely ligament pains. Standing up is such a joy. This is my body's revenge for letting things be so easy up until this point!

Labor Signs: Other than the pushing down (maybe she's dropping?), nothing new.

Innie or Outie: Mostly out.

Wedding rings on or off: Mostly on.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Generally happy.

Looking forward to: One last baby shower on Friday with the Nielsen family, THANKSGIVING dinners (and pie), black Friday shopping with my favorite person, seeing Twilight on Saturday with the ladies, doc appointment next Monday, finding out if my body has made any more progress. Meeting this girl! Can't believe it is less than a month now. Seriously, it is unbelievable.

Monday, November 19, 2012

days 14-19

14. I am thankful for kind coworkers, who are so sweet and threw me a baby shower.
15. I am thankful for my mom. She is so thoughtful and generous, and really the best.
16. I am thankful for catch-up chats with best friends (manicures included).
17. I am thankful for breakfast dates with the hubs (Original Pancake House is amazing).
18. I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps.
19. I am thankful for the clear air, and to live close the mountains. Sometimes I forget to notice how beautiful they really are.


No Sweets November update: I cheated once last week. I ate a cupcake. It was not even delicious, and made me feel totally sick. However, we discovered no sugar added frozen yogurt at my favorite place, Menchie's. Last week the flavors were raspberry and caramel fudge. We went twice. It is so delicious.

I also ate cake at my nephew's birthday party yesterday. It was delicious. Also totally made me sick. Maybe if I get sick every time I eat sugar, I'll eat less of it. That would be ok. Lesson learned.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

maybe baby?

I think baby is dropping! Because 1: I have to go to the bathroom twice as often (every hour), and 2: I'm having sharp pains that last just a few seconds, I think from her head pushing down. I also feel "weighted" lower. I have to wait to go to the doctor until the 26th, when normally I would go on the 23rd, so unfortunately I won't know for sure for another 1.5 weeks. Darn Thanksgiving.

I did recently read about women who continued to be pregnant for up to two months even after being effaced 80% and dilated from 1.5-3 cm. That sort of took the wind out of my sails.

Oh, and question: I've heard that it is a good idea to have one or two preemie outfits for when baby is brand new, especially if she is on the small side (7 lbs vs. 9 lbs). I don't have ANY preemie stuff, and have found it nearly impossible to find (except one gender neutral yellow outfit at Target. ONE!). Is it really necessary? And where do I find these preemie clothes?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

day nine, ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen.

Wow, I'm behind!

Day nine: I am so thankful for a warm house, especially on snowy days.

Day ten: I'm thankful for a husband that will go to birthing class with me, even when it means looking at a recently-delivered placenta. Ew.

Day eleven: I am thankful to work with the kids at church. They are so stinking cute, and I love them.

Day twelve: I am thankful for service members, and not just because they give me a day off of work (ah, the perks of government employment) and also give me a 50% off day at Savers.

Day thirteen: I am thankful to be able to park in the garage. My sweet Dad gave up his parking spot for me, so I don't have to worry about scraping windows or freezing fingers.

Sugar update: Two minor slips. A convinced me that Diet Coke would be okay to drink because technically it is sugar free. I got a caffeine free one on Saturday. Not even worth it. In A's words, "it tastes a little better than water." Won't be doing that again. Also had an anise-flavored hard candy after a Greek lunch yesterday, but I had serious garlic breath, and that's what they gave as an alternative to a mint. I was desperate! Otherwise, staying strong. Passed up red velvet cupcakes, jello salad, punch, and some more cake. How many days till Thanksgiving, again?

week 35


How far along: 35 (35 weeks down, 35 days to go!)

Total weight gain/loss: Last checked at the doctor, up 33 lbs.

Maternity clothes: I got some more fabric to make another maxi skirt. Yay! It was on clearance for $10, and then all red tags were 50% off, so I paid $5 a yard. I love a good bargain.

Stretch marks: They are spreading, like flames licking up my stomach. Now on level with my belly button. Sad day.

Sleep: Sleeping well still, enjoying getting more than 2 hours at a time while I still can.

Best moments this week: Good news at the doctor (80% effaced, dialated to 1.5 cm, at -1 station), second birth class with the hubs, pretty snow, hanging out with my mom, finishing the crib skirt, and ordering the carseat. I almost feel ready for this little girl to come!

Worst moment this week: General discomfort, as usual.

Food cravings: None really.

Any new symptoms: Nope!

Labor Signs: Like I said, my body is getting ready to deliver. Thankfully no labor "pains" yet! I'm happy to wait for those until the last minute.

Innie or Outie: Hmmm... I think mostly out now.

Wedding rings on or off: On and off, depends on the day. Fortunately they are two different sizes (engagement is 5.5, wedding band is 6) so I can wear the band alone on days my hands are more swollen.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! I may complain a bit, and Andrew is so sweet to put up with it. He just says, "poor Marta." Hahahaha. Love that guy.

Looking forward to: No more progesterone meds, maternity photos on Friday with Corissa Ann (part of our birth story package, let's hope baby can wait for Corissa to get into town!), work baby shower, carseat coming in the mail, meeting this girlie! Which reminds me, I have to get a flu shot and TDAP shot before she comes. So does everyone who wants to see/hold her. Consider yourself notified.

Friday, November 9, 2012

progress report.

I went to the doctor this morning, for a normal appointment. They checked my cervix, among other things, and here's what they found:


  • it is very soft (soft=ready)
  • it is 80% effaced, about .5 cm (down from 1.5 cm)
  • it is dilated to 1.5 cm
  • baby is at a -1 station
  • baby is measuring 32 inches, and since I'm 34 weeks and 3 days, this is small. midwife said she'll probably be 6 or 7 lbs instead of 9 or 10 (good news for a natural-birth mama)
  • GB Strep test from last time was positive, meaning an IV and antibiotics for me at delivery (sad day)
So, the midwife wasn't worried at all about my cervix being .5 cm! Four weeks ago that would have been very, very bad news, possibly requiring bed rest. But she said my body is just doing what it is supposed to do, getting ready to deliver. And she predicted that things should go pretty fast for me because my body is doing all the work now, instead of at delivery. I hope she is right. I sincerely hope I'm not in labor for three days. Or two. Hours would be nice. 

She said that at this point, they won't do anything to stop my labor, that the side effects of any drug would outweigh the benefits of stopping contractions (no more nefedipine, yeah!). I can stop taking progesterone in one week, and can do things that naturally induce labor in two weeks (things that I've been restricted from doing for the past while). I can also continue to work, which is a blessing. I am getting pretty tired, especially when I have to work a 15 hour day instead of a 10 hour day. My boss and I have talked about decreasing my hours to 30/week instead of 40 as I get closer to the end. The past few weeks I've been telling people that I don't think baby girl is coming any time soon, but after today's appointment, I'm not so sure about that. We'll just have to see! Maybe we'll have a Thanksgiving baby instead of a Christmas one.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day six, seven, and eight.

Day six. I am thankful for the right to vote (I was singing "Sister Suffragette" from Mary Poppins all day!). I am very grateful to my foremothers that fought so that I can vote today. Well done, sister suffragette!

Day seven. I am thankful to read a few positive responses to the election results on Facebook. It is definitely apparent in my feed that I live in a conservative state, so it is nice to see some brave kindred spirits.

Day eight. I am thankful for a few fall leaves left, blanketing the streets of my oh-so-suburban neighborhood. I may even try to take a picture tomorrow.

Sugar update: still going strong! Gave away my giant chocolaty brownie from Paradise Bakery on Tuesday night. That was kind of hard. But it feels good, sort of empowering, to be in control of what I put in my body.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

take comfort.

If you're feeling worried about the US economy after hearing the results of last night's election, I have some words of comfort for you. But first, let me give you some background.


When we were in Las Vegas a few months ago, we visited a local ward there, and heard an amazing talk. The speaker was in the stake Young Women's leadership, and was employed in the financial industry (for a bank, I believe). The topic she spoke about? Following the prophet. She described sitting in the conference center for the October 2001 General Conference, and hearing a talk from President Hinckley (read the full talk here). This talk was a response to the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. 


President Hinckley said the following:


The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary. When I was a young man, my father counseled me to build a modest home, sufficient for the needs of my family, and make it beautiful and attractive and pleasant and secure. He counseled me to pay off the mortgage as quickly as I could so that, come what may, there would be a roof over the heads of my wife and children. I was reared on that kind of doctrine. I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day.


President Hinckley went on to talk about the Old Testament story of Pharaoh's dream, with the 7 fat cows and 7 skinny cows, and the 7 good and 7 bad ears of corn.


Now let me tell you more about the woman that spoke in Las Vegas. In her talk, she said that after that October Conference, 7 years of good economic times followed. Especially in Las Vegas, real estate values continued to go up and up, and the people generally prospered. And 7 years after President HInckley spoke those words, admonishing us all to get out of debt, to pay off our mortgages, the economy and real estate market crashed. As an employee in the financial industry, the speaker attended a conference where a nationally-renowned economist spoke. He said that according to his projections, the economy would likely take 7 years to recover from the crash.


Coincidence? I think not. It has been four years. Don't be surprised when it takes another three for the economy to fully recover.


Now, for some more words of comfort from President Hinckley's talk in 2001:


"Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him."


"Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us."


He was addressing the panic, fear, and grief that followed the 9-11 attacks in these quotes, but his words ring true today. I'm not among the group that feels that President Obama's reelection is "the beginning of the end," but I hope that those who find themselves worrying about the next four years will take comfort in these words, and have faith that things will be alright. And, on the bright side, the economy is going to get better in three years! 












Tuesday, November 6, 2012

nursery decor.

The nursery is almost done, and pretty soon I'll give you a virtual tour. But for now, I thought I'd share one small part.

I wanted a chandelier as a sort-of mobile, to be hung over the dresser where we'll put the changing pad. I even found a light fixture to rehab into a beautiful chandelier, but decided to go in a different direction for a few reasons. 1- beyond the $10 I spent on the light, I would have to buy paint, crystals, and a cord conversion kit (it used to be wired into the ceiling, and would have to be changed over to plug-in). 2- I was a little worried about the possibility of a metal chandelier falling on baby.

So, I went with Plan B. I found this kiddy chandelier decorating kit on Amazon. The example on the box looks pretty terrible, but I thought it looked like it had potential. Plus, it came with all the jewels, and with our Prime account was only $17.99 with free 2-day shipping!

{image via}

So, you'll have to wait and see how mine turned out. It is hung up in the room, and I think it turned out pretty cute! Let's just say that I tossed the pink and purple beads and jewels, and donated the glitter glue to the grandkid stash. If it falls on baby, she'll probably cry but at least there won't be any real damage.

Happy voting day.

I voted early, on Friday, because I have to work all day.

If you haven't voted already, go and do it. If you're wishy washy on who to vote for, feel free to ask me and I will advise.


Monday, November 5, 2012

week 34

How far along: 34 week, and still pregnant!

Total weight gain/loss: Haven't checked recently. At this point, what's the point?

Maternity clothes: Sometimes I think, oh only seven more weeks of wearing these clothes, I can do that! Then other times the thought of dressing for seven more weeks is really discouraging.

Stretch marks: Ugh. Sunday night I managed to see the underside of my belly. It is now streaked with stretch marks. I'm pretty sad about it. Good thing I'm not a bikini wearing girl, right?

Sleep: Enjoying daylight savings and the "extra" hour of sleep, though I'm sure that will wear off soon!

Best moments this week: Serious nursery progress. All of the clothes are washed, sorted, and put away. Andrew is convinced baby girl will never have to wear the same thing twice. I've tried explaining that the clothes are not all the same size, but to no avail. I also made the slipcover for my ottoman, the coordinating throw pillow, and restuffed and covered the boppy pillow. I also got to have two dates with Andrew, which was pretty fun! We're enjoying our last few months/weeks as just the two of us.Oh, also got to go to our first birth class (the Third Trimester class at the hospital). That's kind of a reality check, this is really happening! It also made me realize that I am not in nor am I close to being in labor. Short cervix or not, I think baby will wait until December to come. Oh, and we got family pictures back, and they turned out so well! I'll share, I promise.

Worst moment this week: A few stressful days at work. It is getting more and more difficult. That's all I'll say.

Food cravings: I'm "craving" a lot of sweets, but I think it is mostly because I'm having withdrawals! I'm doing a no-sugar-November thing, so I get my fix from delicious little mandarin oranges and yummy grapes.

Any new symptoms: Nothing new, just a continuation of back aches and baby jabs.

Labor Signs: After going to class, I've decided that I'm not having any labor signs. Braxton Hicks are normal, and as long as I stay hydrated I'm pretty okay.

Innie or Outie: No change since last week, still flat/in but can be made to be out.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Though tired and uncomfortable most of the time. Still.

Looking forward to: Second birth class, finishing touches on nursery (crib sheet and skirt, hanging pictures, chandelier, etc.), finding out progress in dilation and effacement at Friday appointment, getting through another week and being another week closer to meeting baby girl and not being pregnant anymore and going on maternity leave.

day two, three, four, and five.

Day two. I'm thankful for a 4/10 work schedule that allows me to have Fridays off to sleep in, have lunch with the hubs, hang out with my mom, and do errands.

Day three. I'm thankful for a mom that can sew, and help me figure out over-ambitious projects (last week we made a throw pillow and matching ottoman slip cover, and recovered a boppy pillow).

Day four. I'm thankful to have so much family close-by. We drove up to Logan to have dinner with my Grandparents and some others. It was really great.

Day five. I'm thankful for daylight savings. "Sleeping in" an hour never felt so good! And I was early for work, to boot.

Sugar goal is going well so far. I was sorely tempted by some donuts at a bakery this morning, not to mention the two dozen cookies I bought and took to work for a meeting. They smelled so so good. My new favorite "dessert?" A slice of extra sharp cheese (like Dubliner) and some red grapes. It is seriously so good.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

day one.

No Sugar November is so far-so good. And props to those that pledged to join in! We're in this together.

I've already resisted eating:

pumpkin snickerdoodles
baked pumpkin donuts my mom made
chocolate and vanilla costco cake (leftover from a work event)

I also refused to take home the leftover Banbury Cross donuts after the party last night. I seriously love donuts, so this was a big deal. It helped that I had eaten two, plus little tastes off a few others, so I was kind of donuted-out. I know, I have a problem. And, those are not the only sweets I ate yesterday, I'll admit. I had a mini almond joy, a mini milkyway, a small piece each of the costco cakes, a glass of homemade butterbeer, and half a Cutler's gingerbread cookie. I knew I'd be going cold turkey today, so I admit that I may have over-indulged a bit. Looking at the list, I kind of can't believe it.

November is also the month of gratitude, and I'd like to do some posting about that. Some people commit to post one thing everyday. I'm not committing to that, because I'd feel extra guilty if I missed a day, but I will do some.

Today, I'm thankful not to have a baby yet. Thankful that she is still inside, for now, that we made it to the end of October.
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