Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hiding Places

Well. I have really outdone myself this time.

So you know how your birth certificate, social security card, and marriage license are like, REALLY important life documents? I mean, the first two are my entire identity, and the third is a major part of my identity but also the legal document that makes my marriage, well, legal.

A WHILE ago, and I mean a WHILE – three years maybe? – I am pretty sure it was back when we were converting our Brewer room to the guest room, so that was… In 2013. January 2013. Thanks for working through that with me. Anyways, many moons ago when Daniel’s room was a storage space for things that we didn’t know what to do with, I had a box full of wedding memorabilia. This included all of the things that I eventually want to put into a wedding scrapbook (3 years and 9 months later… still not even started…) so that we can relive the most fabulous day of our lives for all of eternity. The box got moved down to the basement with a slew of other things.

Shortly after, I, for some reason that I truly cannot remember, was in the basement going through boxes. OH. Do you know what? I was looking for my DIPLOMA. Oh it’s aaaaaaaall coming back to me now. For Christmas 2012, Peter’s mom gave me a beautiful diploma frame. I was so excited to be able to hang it in my office at work! However, it dawned on me, on that wonderful Christmas morning, that I actually didn’t know what happened to my diploma. When we moved to our house at the end of August 2012, it just… disappeared. I was always completed confounded by this, because I can still picture today exactly where I had my diploma displayed in my apartment.

Anyways, I couldn’t find my diploma ANYWHERE. So I contacted UW-Madison and had to pay $55 to get a new one. I remember telling the story to my boss at the time, and he was like, “Huh. I guess when I hired you I should have asked to see your diploma. You DO have one, right?” Obviously his flash of doubt made me expedite the process of getting another diploma.

OH MY GOSH ANYWAYS. When I was looking for my diploma, I opened up my wedding box, and I saw my social security card, birth certificate and marriage license. I had never put them in a safe place after we moved, so there they sat. I remember being SO RELIEVED that I came across them, because, I mean, IDENTITY. We didn’t have a lock box at the time, so I put them in a nice envelope that was clearly labeled and was like “OK, I need to have a really good hiding place for these.” WHY I needed a really good hiding place is beyond me. But I honestly remember thinking, “This is SUCH a good hiding place!”

I also kept all of the document information (what to do if you lose your social security card, confirmation that we had a marriage license, etc.) in a separate envelope labeled “Social Security Card / Marriage License INFORMATION”. I put this “information envelope” in my nightstand drawer.

Fast forward oooooooh 6 months maybe? Something came up where Peter needed his social security card for something, for some reason I think it was a new passport – is that possible? Anyways, he needed his social security card, and it was at his parents’ house. Along with his birth certificate. So the next time we were down by his parents, his mom gave us an envelope with his social security card, birth certificate and immunization form with all of this shots and stuff from when he was an itty bitty baby.

When Peter started talking about his documents, I started wondering about MY documents. I kept this a secret because these documents are not something that you are supposed to lose, and I didn’t want to have to explain myself to Peter.

When we got back home, I went into our bedroom because my nightstand was ringing a bell. All I found was my “information envelope” with no sign of the ACTUAL documents. I went down and searched the basement to no avail. I looked in our file drawer and anywhere else I might keep important documents. Nothing.

Since I didn’t need the documents at that moment in time, I didn’t panic. But it was always in the back of my mind. WHERE did I put my IDENTITY??

A couple of times in the last year or so I’ve thought about how I really need to either find those documents or request new ones. My search was renewed after we got Daniel’s birth certificate and social security card. That’s when I bought a lockbox. So Peter and Daniel’s identities were safe, but mine was NOT because I had no idea what I did with that fricking envelope. I mean, was our marriage even LEGAL anymore if I couldn’t find the PAPER???

This evening, Peter and I were bringing the Christmas decorations (sad!) back down to the basement. Whenever I’m down there in the storage area, I think about my stupid identity. Tonight I casually mentioned to Peter when we were downstairs, “I told you that I lost my social security card, right? And also, my birth certificate. And also, our marriage license.” I was met with a blank stare and an “I’m sorry, what??”

I took that as my cue to find everything stat. STAT.

So I searched the places I had searched before, hoping that I missed something. Spoiler: I didn’t. I was sitting on my bed, going through every scrap of paper in my nightstand, losing all hope, when something caught my eye. I busted out laughing. Really, really hard.

“Peter! PETER! Come in here, you’re not going to believe this. LOOK at where I found my identity.”

I am such an idiot.

I put this very valuable envelope, INSIDE the nightstand. Like, I slipped it between the empty crack between the drawer and the actual nightstand, so it was stuck in this abyss.

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That’s my swimsuit/beachwear drawer.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

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In case you can’t read that, it says, “Marriage license / Sara’s social security card / Sara’s birth certificate”

So after Peter was like “Sara, wtf?” and I was laughing so uncontrollably that I had tears streaming down my face, I was like, “Well shit. How the hell are we supposed to get that out of there? WHAT was I thinking?”

We tried pulling the drawers out. Nope.

I went to the kitchen to get some tongs. Nope.

Peter then left me to my own devices because he was like, “Sara, I really have no idea what you were thinking.” and I was all, “Well if someone broke into our house they would ONLY be after my identity, so this was a really good place to hide it!” … Oops.

I sat there staring at the envelope and then yelled, “I’VE GOT IT!” Peter didn’t look up as I ran (“ran”) down the hall to the kitchen to get the longest wooden spoon we had and the duct tape. I put the tape at the end of the stick and fished for the stupid envelope.

And IT WORKED.

So now I have my identity properly stored in a REALLY SAFE AND SECRET PLACE that I told Peter this time, because clearly, I’m way too smart for my own good.

PS: One of the times that I was looking (again) for my identity, I found my original diploma in one of the storage boxes with junk that really should just be thrown away because it has been in that box since we moved over three years ago. So now I have two of the same diplomas from the University of Wisconsin proving that I am DOUBLY SMART than I thought I was.

That’s how that works, right?

The Romenesko Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas, darlings!

Oh, the most wonderful time of the year!  I know I say it every year, but my word, does time FLY BY.  In last year’s Christmas letter, I wrote about how I couldn’t remember the first half of the year because my mind was all-consumed with the fact that for the last part of the year I was pregnant with our little pookie head.

It’s the opposite this year; I’m trying to recall the first half of the year, but instead can only remember the second half because God blessed us with the most perfect baby boy.  I recently asked Peter, “What did we DO with ourselves before the baby?” as I was kissing sweet, squishy baby cheeks.  I think I watched a lot more trashy tv, and I KNOW that my house was a helluva lot cleaner, but who REALLY knows.

2015 was good to us, folks.  Really, really good to us.

We rang in the new year knowing that we had a big year ahead of us.  In January, Peter had the first big adjustment of getting ready for baby; his beloved Packer room got changed from man cave to man cave/guest room since the guest room was becoming the baby room.  It really cramped his style, and that’s when talk of finishing our basement got more serious.  We saw Daniel’s face for the first time, and we were more in love with him than ever.  Peter traveled to Switzerland for work while I ate ice cream at home.

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In February, Peter celebrated his 27th birthday in Mexico while I slaved away at home making him a little birthday cake for when he returned.  We spent a weekend in Chicago for Peter’s birthday.  As usual, February was a pretty quiet month for us and most of the Midwest as we waited for winter to finally end.  With February came the baby’s crib – the first piece of anything that was in the baby’s room aside from the huge bunny my mom insisted on buying at Babies R Us.

February

March was super exciting with Daniel’s first (“first”) trip to Disney!  My youngest sister Rachel graduated high school, so we took a sister/mom trip to Disney and had the most wonderful time.  My family made being in Florida at 30 weeks pregnant easy, with lots of AC and ice cream treats.  Peter traveled to Brazil in March.  I was starting to get a little bit of travel envy at this point; usually I am the one going to Mexico and Brazil in February and March!!

March

In April we celebrated our third anniversary and were getting realllly close to meeting the baby.  Peter went to India, and while he was there I learned at a late ultrasound that Daniel wanted OUT and would be making an appearance 2-3 weeks early.  Obviously I withheld that information from the father-to-be until he was home.  I was put on bed rest at the very end of April following a baby shower full of love hosted by my sisters, cousin, and brother’s girlfriend.  The doctor told me to keep my blood pressure down, but that was just impossible knowing the baby was coming soon and Peter was on the other side of the world.

April

And then… MAY.  Need I say more??? Peter had been home for about three days when we celebrated (and celebrated and celebrated and celebrated!) the birth of our son, Daniel Martin Romenesko on May 7 at 10:09 p.m.  After being induced and heavily medicated, my biggest concern during labor was when my mom told me that she saw the head and, “The baby has DARK HAIR!”  I was very, very concerned about this, repeating, “My baby can’t have dark hair!”  Then, out popped (that’s exactly how it happens! …) our blonde haired, blue eyed boy.  (Head bruises make hair look dark.)  I celebrated my first Mother’s Day, and after 10 days in the NICU we were able to go home with our little boy on May 17.  Daniel happily participated in conference calls, cuddling, monster pajamas and being photographed every 7 minutes.

May

In June I celebrated my 28th birthday with my two favorite fellas.  Behind celebrating my birthday, my next favorite June event was Daniel’s dresser being delivered so that I could finish decorating his room.  I downloaded the Amazon app on my phone during maternity leave and got to know our UPS man on a first name basis.  Peter celebrated his first Father’s Day with matching t-shirts, and we spent most of the month just staring in awe at our baby boy.

June

July went by SO FAST as my 12 week maternity leave was coming to a close.  Daniel LOVED his first Fourth of July with three outfit changes because if there is one thing people know about me, it’s that I love America.  I’m so glad that my friends want to impose my love of this great country on Daniel so they got him tons of adorable America gear.  We kept moving through the summer with lots of visitors, which Daniel and I LOVED.  At the end of July, Daniel was welcomed into Christ’s Kingdom with his baptism which we celebrated with family and close friends.  Following that wonderful day was one of the worst days ever – I cried as I left Daniel and drove back to work.

July

After one week of my returning to work, Peter started traveling again.  The second week of August, Daniel and I had our first of many mother/son bonding times when Peter went to Istanbul, Turkey for work.  Daniel and I spent a couple of weekends in Lake Geneva at my parents’ so that we didn’t get too sick of each other.

August

With September came the most wonderful time of the year – the Walworth County Fair!  I was so excited that at only 4 months old Daniel was able to experience one of the greatest things of all time.  Never mind that he slept through a lot of it.  Peter took a trip to China where the highlight of his trip was eating at Jackie Chan’s restaurant.  To show my full support of Peter traveling to China, I had Chinese food for lunch a lot while he was gone.  Also in September, Peter and I had our first night away from Daniel while Peter’s parents babysat.  It was my first night away from the baby; I cried when we left and cried when we got home.  I missed the little pumpkin head.

September

In October, Peter had his first solo-run with Daniel while I was in Madison for World Dairy Expo.  Pretty sure I was the one who cried the most during that whole thing, because the men had a great time.  Peter went to South Africa for work while I tried and tried to get D Money to roll over, but the pud just won’t do it.  He started eating cereal, and we can’t feed him fast enough.  Daniel was the cutest Oompa Loompa I’ve ever seen for Halloween.  We had to force the hat onto his big ol’ noggin, but it was well worth it for the pictures we got!

October

November came and went really quickly.  Peter stayed on American soil for the month which was wonderful for Daniel and I, as I’m sure Daniel was tired of me being in his face all the time.  I went on another short 3 night trip for work, and while I was away, Peter was super dad and took care of a sick baby.  Since being in daycare, Daniel comes home with EVERYTHING, and since I’m in his face all the time, I usually get it too.  Peter is smarter and keeps more distance, while I just can’t help myself. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, November didn’t go quickly because Daniel and I were sick for half of it and that really sucked.  I got an eye virus, which was REALLY fun, and I was also suffering from REALLY chapped lips (details to come in an upcoming post…) and it was all just weird.  Then Daniel got pink eye, which was a huge pain since he’s strong and smart enough to squinch those little eyes SHUT when he sees the eye dropper.  Daniel celebrated his first Thanksgiving, and his favorite food was Cool Whip which, aside from birthing him, further confirmed that he is indeed my child.

November

With December came some BIG CHANGES.  On December 4, I gave my two weeks’ notice to CRI after accepting a job with a PR company.  Two days after I gave my notice, our washing machine broke.  Then the next day Peter left for Indonesia, I got a HORRIBLE cold, and Daniel also got sick. Yaaaaaay.  It was a physically and an emotionally exhausting month as I started saying bye to my colleagues that had become friends over the last 5 years.  Peter got back from Indonesia to a very, very emotional wife and a 7 month old who was really happy to have someone hold him who wasn’t going to randomly burst into tears.

December

2015 was most certainly one of the best years of all time for our little family, as we’ve been blessed with love, overall health, safety, and happiness in all aspects of our lives.  Despite the complaints throughout the year, Christmas is a time to fully step back and reflect on all of the good that God has provided, and trusting in Him fully as He reveals His greater plan for each of us.

We sincerely wish each of you the merriest Christmas full of joy, and we are so excited to see what next year brings.

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With love and many Christmas blessings,
Peter, Sara and Daniel Romenesko

PS: When I was making these little collages and seeing Daniel as a teeny tiny baby, the only thing I was thinking is that I need another baby because Daniel is now a big lug who can sit up by himself (But still won’t roll over.  Priorities.) and won’t cuddle with me unless he’s sick or tired.

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2014)

Before I begin – I KNOW that it is still November.  BUT  This is such a fun gift to give to anyone!  And it takes some planning, so I wanted to share early.  (Lindsay, this disclosure is for you because last year I posted my 2013 Christmas gifts post and you were like “Sara.  It is not even December.”)

I wasn’t going to do the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts again last year.  I really wasn’t.  But then Jenna told me that she was doing it for Mark.  Her ideas for Mark were SO GOOD, so I figured I would do it once again for Peter.  Honestly, if you are looking for a fun and creative gift, this is the way to go!  It’s so stressful and I actually thought about giving up MANY times much fun thinking of the gifts and little rhymes, and even more fun seeing Peter’s reactions to the gifts!  Here are the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts from 2013.

Last year I had to do it a little differently than the previous year because I knew that we would be out of town for almost half of the days; I knew that “hiding” the gifts would be a challenge.  So, I decided to wrap all of them.  And I don’t regret it because it turned out soooo cute.  And I love wrapping gifts.

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Because all of the gifts were wrapped, I put all of them under the tree (save a couple that hadn’t been shipped to me yet) for him to see on Day 1.  I left a note on our bedroom door for him to see when he woke up.  I should bribe him with presents more often, because he’s never been voluntarily out of bed before 9 on a weekend until he saw this note!

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So!  I now present…

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS 2014
Item 1: Apologies for the poor iPhone photos.  Eh.
Item 2: I actually wrote the below portion of the post just after Christmas last year (I didn’t want to forget about my ideas!), so that’s why it’s in the phase of life where we didn’t know if Daniel was a he or she and stuff.  

Day 1 (December 14): a Dad t-shirt

As you well know, we’re having a baby, and he or she is due at the end of May.  I am totally picturing that Peter is going to be the kind of dad that tells dad jokes and shamelessly embarrasses his child.  Therefore, this t-shirt is PERFECT.

For all of the days, I put the note on top of the gift that was boxed and wrapped.  As you can see, I was MUCH more prepared this year, and had so much fun making all of the little notes and wrapping the gifts!!

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I just need to add in right now that Peter wore this t-shirt the day we brought Daniel home from the hospital.

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OMGGGGGGG look at how tiny my little pookie head is!!!

Day 2 (December 15): a pair of socks

Creative, I know.  Seriously though, Pete has asked a couple of times for “fun bid-ness socks”.

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Day 3 (December 16): Bootstrap to Billions book

A month or so ago, Peter asked me to get this book for him on my old Kindle that he uses.  I never did because I forgot, and then when I was brainstorming gifts to give him, I remembered!  They didn’t have the book available for a Kindle though, so I got him the actual thing.  He tends to prefer hard-copy anyways so he can write on the pages and stuff.

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Day 4 (December 17): St. Norbert College blanket

I am a sucker for a cozy throw blanket, so this gift served both of us well.  I wanted to get him something from St. Norbert College, and decided to do it on day 4 since he graduated 4 years ago.

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Day 5 (December 18): Meatball dinner

Peter LOVES meatballs.  They’re his favorite meal.  Unfortunately, his wife does NOT love dealing with raw meat to the extent that is needed to make meatballs.  So, although it’s his favorite meal in the world, I make it MAYBE three times a year.  We had planned to go bowling with his coworkers at the beginning of December, so I was kind of like UGH NO because it ruined the gift day.  And then, after this was wrapped, we made plans with our neighbors to get dinner the next night, so we are planning on having the meatballs sometime shortly after Christmas.

Since I couldn’t really wrap the meatballs… I wrapped a plate with a picture of the meal on it.  The meatballs aren’t the star of the picture… but he got the point!  He was very happy with this gift.

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DAY 6 (December 19): 6 pack of Mountain Dew

On Day 5 when he was getting his gift from under the tree, he said, “Day 6 is really big!!”  Little did he know…

This was a repeat gift, but who cares.  He sure didn’t!

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Day 7 (December 20): Simply 7 

I FINALLY FOUND ONE.  Also a repeat, but I FOUND A LOTTO TICKET WITH THE NUMBER 7 IN IT.  I was sooooo happy.  Instead of wrapping this gift, I put it in an envelope.  I loved that I was using different sized packages for the 12 different days!

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Day 8 (December 21): Jordy Nelson jersey

(This was the first day that we woke up in Lake Geneva.  On the 20th, I packed all the gifts into the Explorer and then I put them under my mom’s Christmas tree for Pete to open.)

I’m not sure if many of you remember the first time I bought Peter a Jordy Nelson jersey, but to say that it was a disaster is an understatement.  The jersey I bought him almost 4 years ago now has really gotten worn down.  One of the “N”s is almost completely off.  I decided that this would be his big gift for the year.

This time was much more of a challenge, but it all worked out in the end.  Not without gallons of sweat and a couple of tears though.  Blood too, if you count my nosebleed (which I do).

I thought that I was really on top of my game, ordering the jersey before Thanksgiving.  Turns out that the nice jersey that I wanted is one that everyone else wants too, and all stores are SOLD OUT of them until THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY.

I ended up finding this sketchy Chinese website that assured 100% quality and prompt shipping in 7-10 business days.  And the letters/numbers were embroidered on, and it was HALF THE COST of what the jersey would cost at the Packers Pro Shop.  I was pretty nervous about this purchase, especially after reading “We wish you enjoy your shopping time at our Packers Club!” on their website (that is a direct copy/paste…).

Two weeks after I placed the order, I hadn’t received an order confirmation or anything, so I emailed the website.  Thank heavens I wrote down the confirmation number!  (All emails are copy/paste.  I did not tamper with their grammar.)

From Sara, To China: Hello – On November 24, I ordered a Jordy Nelson jersey (#87) and I have not received any email confirmations or shipping notification.  Will the jersey be delivered soon?  It is order number 20141124553463. Thank you!

From China, To Sara: Your order not succeed at that moment , it was failed

From Sara, To China: Thank you for emailing me back.  Will the order go through??  Why did it fail????

From China, To Sara: Not yet, it should be your bank issue

From Sara, To China: Why didn’t I receive an email about this when I ordered?  Is everything cancelled?

From China, To Sara: If your order not go through then you will not received the confirmation email.

And then I gave up.  I started searching in the greater Green Bay area, La Crosse area (Taylor goes to school there), and finally Milwaukee.  After calling 12 stores with no luck, I called Finish Line in Milwaukee, talked to a wonderful man, and begged him to hold the jersey for me for 5 days, when usually they only hold things for one.  He was very willing to help me, and I could have hugged him through the phone.  Marty’s girlfriend Kathleen picked up the jersey for me, so I hauled all of my wrapping stuff to Lake Geneva and wrapped everything up on the 20th.

Peter is lucky I’m such a determined woman.

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Day 9 (December 22): 9 white t-shirts

It recently came to my attention that some of Peter’s white t-shirts were a little too small.  And they are OLD.  When I asked him why he didn’t tell me that his shirts were too small, he said that he didn’t want to get them for Christmas.  TOO BAD!!!  9 was the number that I had a lot of trouble thinking of (and 11), so I decided to do the t-shirts on this day.  It ended up working PERFECTLY because by some fluke I actually found a NINE PACK of t-shirts.  The odds were ever in my favor.

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Day 10 (December 23): Game of Thrones season 3 DVDs

We’re huge nerds, and I am not afraid to admit it.  I am heavily invested in the series of Game of Thrones books that I bought Pete last year for Christmas (he still hasn’t read beyond the first one…), and we borrowed the first 2 seasons of the show from our neighbors.  Instead of spending big bucks to buy season 3, I checked it out from the library.  One of my more brilliant plans, if I do say so myself.

… until I didn’t put the hold on soon enough, so didn’t have the DVDs in hand to wrap up.  Instead I put a picture of the DVDs in an envelope with the note.

(If you thought that I would have pictures of my cutesy notes and gifts for each day… I mean, I did a great job up until Day 10.  Then I forgot to take pictures, and now it’s been almost a year so the notes are gone too.  BUT I AM SUPER ORGANIZED SO I STILL HAVE THE RHYMES – HIGH FIVE!)

Ten episodes in season 3.
Game of Thrones marathon –
Sounds good to me!!

Day 11 (CHRISTMAS EVE!): Bottle of wine

The bottle of wine is Parallel 44 Frozen Tundra Red.  If you like sweet reds… This wine is for you!

I know that this doesn’t correspond with the day, but seriously YOU try thinking of 11 somethings.

My favorite wine on day 11.
Sipping this would be a taste of heaven!
It’s Christmas Eve, so have a few drinks…
(Sometimes pregnancy really stinks.)

Day 12 (CHRISTMAS DAY!): Desk calendar

I had kind of a hard time thinking of a day 12 gift this year.  Last year’s watch was perfect, and I had already done the big gift on day 8 so…. Michelle was the brains behind this one (rhyme included!), and I am very grateful.

Can you believe it?!
We’re already here!
Who knows where we’ll be
After the 12 months of next year.

Calendar Collage

When I told Jenna about the calendar, she said, “You’re only doing pictures of you and Peter??”  Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  After May he’ll have a cute little baby he’ll want to look at all the time, so I’m trying to make sure he looks at the person who carried the child for 9 months once in a while.

SO!  There you have it!

Happy gift giving 🙂

Hello, World.

He’s here!

HE! IS! HERE!

You guys.  I birthed a child.  A stunningly handsome baby boy.

I’m so excited to introduce him into this wonderful world that it’s not even funny.

Daniel Martin Romenesko was born at 10:09 PM on Thursday, May 7.

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THE LITTLE HUMAN BEING THAT PETER AND I CREATED IS.

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I’m biased, I know.  But seriously.

LOOK AT HIM.

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He came 3 weeks early, but still weighed 7 pounds on the nose and is 20 inches long.  When they told me how much he weighed, I was thought “OMG how big would he have been 3 weeks from now if he made it to his due date??”  Glad we don’t have to find that out.

So much has happened in the last 2 weeks both leading up to and following Daniel’s birth (how much do we love that we can say DANIEL instead of Baby Romenesko??) that I’m not quite sure where to begin!

The labor?
The bed rest?
The delivery?
The going to the doctor on Thursday morning for a regular appointment and being told that I was being induced Thursday afternoon?
The genesis of his name?
The NICU?
Meeting his grandparents?
My first Mother’s Day?

Here’s a brief run-down of the events that happened in the last week leading up to Daniel’s birth.

  • At my 36 week appointment (April 29), when Pete was in India (THIS wasn’t stressful at ALL), I had high blood pressure, which resulted in being put on partial bed rest (only working in the morning) because we didn’t want it to turn into preeclampsia.  I also learned that the baby would most likely come in the next 1-2 weeks.
  • The following Monday (May 4) when I went in to have my blood pressure checked, my BP was high enough that they sent me over to labor and delivery, and Peter and I thought I would be induced to have the baby that day.  After monitoring me for the afternoon, they decided to put me on full bed rest until the baby came, since I wasn’t quite full term (37 weeks) yet.  (I have a draft post finished about this that I didn’t post because I wanted to have material to get through the last weeks of my pregnancy.  That plan back-fired.  I’ll get this posted at some point in the next few weeks.)
  • At my doctor’s appointment on May 7, my regular check-up, I was officially 37 weeks pregnant.  Full-term.  I had enough symptoms at this point to qualify as “mild preeclampsia”, so at around 9:30 am Pete and I were told to go home, get our bags, and come back to the hospital at noon because guess what.  It’s baby day.  I was induced at 1 pm.

So!  Here I am now with a baby!  I’m a mom!  Pete’s a dad!  We’re still in shock!

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daniel was admitted to the NICU on Friday afternoon because he wasn’t overly interested in eating, was suuuuuuuuper sleepy, and wasn’t very responsive to things that babies should respond to (example: he got poked for a glucose test and didn’t even flinch).

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We’re on day 5 in the NICU now, and he’s doing much better!  Finally is drinking from a bottle and trying his best to nurse (They say nursing is a “basic instinct”.  Not so basic for my little fella.).  He’s a completely different kid than when he was first admitted.  We’re so happy that he’s in a place where he is getting the extra little help that he needs… But we’re sooo ready to bring our baby home!

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Pete and I are staying in the hospital hotel so that I can still get up every three hours (Motherhood!  I’m a mother!) to go down and feed Daniel.  We’re not quite sure how long we’ll be here yet, but your prayers and positive energy are SO APPRECIATED right now.

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We call this his smoldering gaze. Lookout, ladies.

After two feedings in a row last night when he wasn’t drinking anything, they put a feeding tube in his nose.  Now, he’ll alternate feedings between bottle and nursing, and then he’ll get the rest through the tube.  Our little man is kind of lazy…. But we’ve been REALLY pressuring him to do well.  You know, just to get him ready for a life of parental pressure to be the best at EVERYTHING.

This morning was also a big morning because he got his IV taken out, and they also are taking him out from under the jaundice light.  Baby steps.  Literally.

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OBVIOUSLY many more photos of the most adorable baby on Earth to come, along with more stories about our life with him.

Sigh.  You guys.  We’re parents.

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Our first family photo.

Baby Romenesko Post 15: Labor, Birth, and Beyond

34.5 weeks. 

Before I tell you all about how we are ready to be parents because we took baby class, I need to say thank you.  THANK YOU.  I was really nervous about publishing my last blog post about my panic attack because I was feeling very vulnerable and like we just are not ready to be parents, etc. etc. The positive and supportive responses I got from everyone were overwhelming and so wonderful and made me feel so much better.  You’re all awesome.

On Saturday, Pete and I attended our “Labor, Birth, and Beyond” class, and now we’re ready to be parents.

Just kidding, it was pretty terrifying all around.

Growing up on a farm, I learned at a really early age about life (and death, but let’s stick to life here).  On a farm, life starts when a calf pushes a cow out of her butt.  We then had to learn the difference between the place where poop comes out and the place where a calf comes out.  Anyway, sometimes the calf needed help coming out, so Dad would have to pull the calf by the legs and help the cow.  Now, we were told growing up that this was the miracle of life and yes, it was bloody and goopy, but it didn’t hurt the cow.  Sometimes a dad needs to tell that to his kids when they are seeing a live birth and wondering why the cow is making noises that sound like “JESUS GET THIS THING OUT OF ME BEFORE I KEEL OVER DEAD”.

After the calf was born, there was something else that had to come out of the cow that was this really gross looking blood and guts and slimy and nasty thing.  This was called “the cleanings”, and even though I had no idea what the purpose of this grotesque thing was, I knew that if it didn’t come out it was an even bigger mess and caused some big problems.  I also knew that the cleanings had to be put in the manure spreader because if they weren’t, the dog would get them and eat them.

Aren’t you jealous that you didn’t grow up on a farm?

Now, I’m not telling you all of this fascinating information that I learned at the ripe old age of 6 to show you how cultured I am.  I’m sharing it with you so that you know that I have seen live births before.  I know the science of it.  Keyword: science.

Watching three ten-minute videos of women pushing babies out of their vaginas was a completely different experience.  I mean, at one point I was thinking “Would I rather be WATCHING this happening, or FEELING this happening?” and definitely thinking that I was glad I didn’t have to watch it happen.  Because.  It was traumatizing.  And no one was saying “Oh, it’s the miracle of life and even though it looks God-awful painful and gross, it doesn’t even hurt!”  Uh-uh.  None of that.  No more farm lies to protect the women who were around 6 weeks away from pushing a baby out of their loins.

In the first video that we watched, the dad CAUGHT THE BABY immediately after it was birthed.  I looked over at Pete with big eyes to be met with even bigger eyes and a whiter face.  He shook his head and said with conviction, “Nope.  No way.”  I mean, WHY WOULD THEY EVEN SHOW THAT TO US.  Poor dads.

The third video we watched was a woman who didn’t have any medication during her labor at all.  Au natural.  This time, I was the one with bigger eyes and a whiter face and said, “There is no way in hell.”  GIVE ME THOSE MEDS.

It was really interesting because at one point the RN teaching the class asked if any of us had birth plans aka who in the class wanted the magic juice to ease some of the pain.  My hand went up right away because I have zero shame in admitting that I will need drugs because I am a real wimp.  As I was looking around the room, I noticed that the other women were looking around the room first, THEN raising their hands.

I don’t know at what point women in our society began “shaming” other women who decided they wanted an epidural, but let me tell you what.  There is no shame in needing a little somethin’-somethin’.  The majority of women who speak openly about their labor and delivery experience are the ones who didn’t have any medication, or did a water birth or something like that.  DO NOT get me wrong – more power to you if you can handle a human making its way out of your body with no medication.  I’m serious here – that is awesome.

However, I firmly believe that it is equally awesome if you have some sort of relief from the pain because let’s face it – every woman who gives birth to another human being is SO FABULOUS because look at what your body just did!  Your body incubated a PERSON for (around) FORTY WEEKS!  Your body literally created another life, nurtured it, and then birthed it out of a 10 centimeter hole.  10 centimeters is NOT THAT BIG.

And that’s not the end of it!  Your body then knows exactly when to release the right hormones so that you can produce the nourishment for you baby, shrink your uterus back to normal size and ALLOW YOU TO FUNCTION NORMALLY IN SOCIETY.  Take a second and think about this, you guys.  It really is fascinating.

SO ANYWAYS.  Women!  No shame in needing a little magic to ease the delivery!  And don’t let anyone else let you think otherwise!  I also learned in baby class that over 50% of women have some sort of medication during their labor and delivery, but the statistics are kind of complicated because age, race, and education level all play a part in that (isn’t that so interesting??).

BUT, I digress.

The first couple hours of the class went through the different stages of labor.  I really, really appreciated the RN who taught the class because she was just so honest, saying things like “Oh, at this part, it’s REALLY going to hurt” and “Nurses call this stage ‘the f-bomb hour'”.  Just FYI “f-bomb hour” is where you are dilating from 7 to 10 centimeters right before you start pushing.  According to the RN, if you make it past this point without going completely insane from the pain, you are pretty well set to deliver the child, even though things will stretch and tear and be all around terrifying.

You’re welcome.

Peter was pretty stoic during the whole class.  He is a really good learner, and I have no doubt that he will be just fine helping me through the agonizingly painful hell journey to welcome our child into the world.  He didn’t have a hard time breathing or anything, but his eyes got pretty big when he saw how little 10 cm dilated is and realized that I had to push a baby through that.

One of the parts that I was kind of “yeesh” about was when I learned that immediately after delivering the baby, the baby would be placed on a warm blanket on my chest.  You guys.  Babies are kind of scary when they’re born (even the nurse said this, so I am not feeling as bad saying it after seeing the live birth video).  They are like, bluish purple and covered in gook and look like something from another planet.  The thought of having that up in my face before it is pink and snuggly made me a little queasy, but my friend told me that it would be different when it’s my own child.

Let’s hope she’s right.

I also learned that when I pushed out the cleanings, or more scientifically known as the placenta, it would feel like nothing compared to pushing out the baby, and I would be in such La La Baby Land that I wouldn’t even care what was happening down there.  I would start to care, however, when the nurse had to “massage” my stomach to be like “Hey, uterus!  Nothing’s left in there!  Start cramping up, expelling the leftovers, and shrinking back to normal size!”  The nurse was very honest and said, “You really won’t like me when I do that, but I honestly don’t care.”  My kind of woman.

After the class, Pete and I got to tour the maternity floor of the hospital and were really happy with the “delivery suites”.  All the action takes place in one room, and then you stay in that room with the baby for the rest of your hospital stay, which I think is really nice.  All of the rooms have a window, which I also really appreciate.   Although, maybe it’s not the best idea to have a window in there if at any point I want to either jump out of it, or push Peter out of it.  We’ll see.

When we left, Pete and I were in the car chatting, and I told him that during the labor and delivery, I might say some really mean things to him.  I told him that as I was saying those mean things, I wanted him to remember that I truly did love him because if I didn’t love him I wouldn’t have wanted his child.

He said, “Oh yeah, I’m expecting you to be like, really mean in there.”

Well what the hell is that supposed to mean??  No backpedaling from that one, sir.  He tried and failed, so I made him buy me an ice cream.

SO!  Here’s to thinking about the video of a woman whom I’ve never met, but know more intimately than I know any other woman, birthing a child for the next 5.5 weeks.  I mean, maybe I’ll feel differently after I’ve given birth to the most perfect human being on earth (Let’s get serious, how can it NOT be with the genetics that Peter and I are giving it!?) but right now… That is some scary shit.

(Aren’t you so excited to read about MY OWN child birth experience after reading about what I took away from baby class??)

Buying a pregnancy test is really awkward when you act like an idiot.

Written earlier in 2014…. Before we were planning on starting a family.

Well.  This is awkward.

So, last night, for the first time in my life, I bought a pregnancy test.  It was… soooo uncomfortable.  So so uncomfortable.  Such is life.

I won’t embarrass myself further with details of how I ended up in Wal-Mart in my workout clothes and Sperry’s after exercising to buy a pregnancy test, but alas, that is where I ended up.

Oh, I should mention that instead of going to the Wal-Mart that was about 3 minutes from where I was, I drove 40 minutes to a different Wal-Mart just in case someone saw me buying pregnancy tests.  (Yes.  TestS.  Plural.  I know that I’m completely neurotic.)

So anyways, I had never bought a pregnancy test before, and I seriously made a super last minute decision (read: when the thought of the possibility of being pretty much un-planned pregnant got into my head, I was like OMG I HAVE TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.) to go buy one.

When I got to Wal-Mart, I sat in my car in the parking lot and Googled because clearly I had not thought this decision through.

best at home pregnancy test

Armed with new found knowledge via the most trusted source on the planet – the internet – I went into Wal-Mart looking like a complete idiot in my sweaty clothes, smeared makeup, and Sperry’s.  Classy.

pregnancytestspregnancytestspregnancytests where are youuuuuuuu?

Oh!  Theeeeeere you areeeee!  Not in the deep dark corner of the store where they should be.  Of COURSE they are in a main intersection of the store.  Not even a side aisle.  Main aisle.  Traffic area.  Gawwwwwwwwwd.

As I was walking towards the tests, I was thinking “What am I so ashamed of?  I am a married woman, and I don’t look like I’m 14 years old.”  Followed by “Is this the first time in my life that I’m going to (purposely) steal something from a store?”  I was seriously considering stealing those suckers.

Instead, I grabbed two different brands of pregnancy tests and put them under my arm… Between my body and between my purse.  Because I’m a complete idiot.  (Note: I described this entire episode to B the next day, and she about peed her pants laughing at me because I not only described the episode…  I re-enacted it.)

 
I realize that I look like a line-backer in this drawing. I was trying to illustrate my unattractively over-sized workout shirt.

Then I fast-walked to the self-checkout.  And then I fast-walked to my car.

And drove the speed limit home.

Pete was currently out of town during this episode, and my whole drive home I was telling myself that I was going to wait until he got home to take one of the tests because you all know how well I can keep super exciting news a secret… And the last thing I wanted to do was tell Pete that SURPRISE! You’re going to be a DAD! over Skype.

So obviously I took one of the tests the morning after I bought them because shit, I just had to know.

And it was negative and I was slightly bummed because for the less than 24 hours that I thought I might be pregnant I was like “Huh.  I guess we could be parents in 9 months”.  But then I was actually kind of relieved because holy shit, could you imagine me keeping that secret until Pete got home?!

Gawd.

The Romenesko Christmas Letter

Darling family and friends – both near and far,

The time has come to reflect on another amazing year, and as I’m trying to remember what happened in January, the only thing that is coming to mind is that WE’RE HAVING A BABY, making the last part of 2014 super exciting and clearly outweighing the rest of the year.  Suddenly our lives prior to finding out I am pregnant seem more boring than ever.

The year started out as one of the coldest ones in 50 years or something ridiculous like that.  Lucky for me, I was scheduled to be in the southern hemisphere for work during some of the cold snaps, so that was really perfectly planned.  Peter had to stay home and shovel the snow… But he survived and is fine.

In March I went on a mom/sister trip to Disney World to celebrate Taylor’s 21st birthday.  It was so fun and wonderful and WE LOVE DISNEY.

disney collage

Peter went with his dad to California, so everything was fair.  Fairness is really important when fun trips are involved because I have horrible travel envy we like to make sure that we both have equal fun opportunities.

CA collage

At the end of April, we celebrated our second anniversary by spending the weekend in Madison.  It was so wonderful and fun that I didn’t take any pictures.  I had a REALLY bad cold that weekend though, so my NyQuil and Advil Cold and Sinus intake made for a really romantic weekend.

Summer came really quickly, and with that I celebrated my GOLDEN birthday, which fell on a Friday and for the first time in two years I was not traveling for work, so I took the day off and it was just SPLENDID.

Pete treated me to sushi and a cosmo for lunch, and then I went and got an “I LOVE AMERICA” manicure.  Seriously, best decision ever and I will be doing it every year for the rest of eternity.

birthday collage

For my birthday, Peter and I took a vacation to Washington, D.C. and it was SO FUN.  I made a new rule in the Romenesko house that on your golden birthday, you get to choose a vacation.  I think it’s a great idea; Peter is bitter because he already had his golden birthday 10 years ago.  When he asked what our child would do if their golden birthday was when they were 1 or 2, I said that their mom would choose a trip on their behalf.  Again, I thought it was a fabulous idea; Peter was less enthused.

Anyways, we went over the Fourth of July and seriously, I cannot tell you how much I loved it.  I had never been to D.C. before, so I was thrilled to go, especially over the Fourth of July, because I LOVE AMERICA so it was the perfect place to spend the holiday.

We called the trip our “vacation of selfies” because every picture that we have of the two of us from D.C. is a selfie.  Oh well!

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I was feeling very American on the Fourth of July with my Starbucks and “I Love America” manicure.

DC collage

On the Fourth, we sat on the Capitol steps with tens of thousands of other people and watched a fabulous concert called “A Capitol Fourth” that Tom Bergeron hosted.  We also watched the Fourth of July parade which unfortunately was underwhelming.  On the Fourth of July we walked over 10 miles, and to say that I could hardly walk the next day is a sore understatement.  I made a poor shoe decision.

And I just love this picture of Peter.

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Over the summer, Peter got some new responsibilities at work.  Part of those responsibilities include traveling internationally.  In July, we were home at the same time for a total of about 8 days, but they say distance makes the heart grow fonder.  Needless to say, we’ve grown quite fond of each other.  With all of his travels, you’d think that I would be better at staying at home by myself.  Nope.

Fall came, and with that, FINDING OUT WE ARE HAVING A BABY.  The season was consumed with thoughts of our new addition: waiting for the first doctor’s appointment, slowly telling family and friends, and starting to make decisions about colors for the baby’s room (VERY important).

And now it’s December and my favorite time of the year.  We find ourselves thanking God more and more for each other, our families, our friends, and our health.  2014 was a pretty good one!

When we were reflecting on 2014, we were saying to each other that the year was actually kind of uneventful.

I have a really good feeling that all that’s going to change in 2015.

Merry Christmas, my friends.
Peter & Sara

PS: Check out our past Christmas letters here –
Christmas letter 2013
Christmas letter 2012