I am a Marilyn

Got this off Jen's blog. :)

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!


You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Be direct and clear
  • * Listen to me carefully
  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety
  • * Work things through with me
  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us
  • * Laugh and make jokes with me
  • * Gently push me toward new experiences
  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn
  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends
  • * being responsible and hardworking
  • * being compassionate toward others
  • * having intellect and wit
  • * being a nonconformist
  • * confronting danger bravely
  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often
  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents
  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt
  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy


Nine Month Flu

So now that word is out I wanted to share my experiences thus far. If it's TMI for you, just skim. Austin and I had decided last year that August 2008 was when we'd start trying to get pregnant. I went off the pill end of June and we crossed our fingers. I took a test end of August. Negative. End of September I was getting really anxious as I had a few possible signs that I was pregnant but I've had that in the past and I'm pretty neurotic. I was supposed to wait until October 5th to take the test, but I was getting curious. I had to know. We had an early test left over from the month before so I decided to take it, not expecting anything really as it was really early but I just couldn't wait any longer. So on October 2nd (which was a Thursday) I took the test and lo and behold two pink lines. But one was really faint. So then I was uncertain. Was I or wasn't I? I im'ed Austin over gchat and let him know that I might be pregnant and told him what happened. (In retrospect I wish I would have told him in a grander way.) I spent all day freaking out, but we decided we'd wait a few days to take another test.

On Friday night Austin and I went and bought more tests. Saturday morning I took another test, which also showed two lines, though the second one was again really faint. Then I read online about chemical pregnancies, which is when you have an early miscarriage but the test shows you're still pregnant for a while. So I freaked about that until Austin calmed me down. Sunday I took another test. Still positive. That's when we started talking about telling my family. We wanted to wait until we were further along to tell family (according to my dates I was only 4 1/2 weeks pregnant) but Heather was coming into town on October 5th, which means almost the whole family would be here and that doesn't happen often. So we decided to tell them Monday night because most of the family would be together to go to the corn maze. I called HayLee and Troy (and spouses) to tell them I was pregnant as they wouldn't be at the corn maze. I also told Taylor early as I couldn't keep the knowledge to myself. Keeping a secret this big was incredibly difficult.

Austin and I had a great idea on how to tell the family. We would do a group picture at the corn maze with Austin taking the picture. Austin would say "Say cheese" and then take another one saying "Say Tracie's pregnant!" that way we could get a picture of everyone's reaction. Let me just say how much of a bundle of nerves Austin and I were that night. We wanted to take a picture when we first got there but no one else did. So the family went through the corn maze and then started to play around on the many things there were to do. I thought I'd have a heart attack from trying to appear nonchalant. I didn't want to act excited because then everyone would ask "What are you excited about?" Every time people kept putting off taking the picture Austin and I freaked out a little inside. I just wanted to get it over with! So finally we took the picture. (after everyone asking "Why don't we find someone to take the picture so Austin can be in it?" etc.) When Austin asked everyone to say Tracie's pregnant. Everyone said it and was like, "what?", "Is this a joke?", "are you guys serious?" It's a common joke in my family to joke that you're pregnant. Even my parents still occasionally make this joke. "We've got an announcement. I'm pregnant." So people have a hard time telling when they're serious.

Everyone looked at me and was confused because I wasn't smiling. I was still trying not to smile and seem excited. But when they asked I replied that yes, it was true. Then everyone freaked and shouted and ran to me giving me hugs. Here's the pics Austin took.
Say Cheese!

Say Tracie's Pregnant!
Notice the grin on my dad's face. It's adorable. My mom is running to hug me. Trent and Jess are discussing how exciting it is that Lily will have a cousin close to her age. Everyone else is staring at me. I especially love the looks on Cheryl, Tyler, and Taylor's faces on the right.

Can I tell how relieving it was to finally have the family (at least my side) know? Whew. I'm glad I pulled off the surprise. I almost spilled the beans multiple times.

The next day we told Austin's family. Austin called Ammon and Lynette. For his parents, we decided to call them over Skype. We were chatting casually and then Austin told his mom that I had bought a new shirt and asked if she wanted to see it. Strolling up to the webcam I showed my "new" shirt which actually was a normal T-shirt with a sign that said BABY with an arrow pointing to my tummy. It took his mom a second but then she was super excited and grabbed Austin's dad and brothers. Everyone was excited, which was the reaction we wanted.

We told grandparents a little later and some people found out through the grapevine. We wanted to keep it mostly in the family until I was at least 12 weeks and until I told my work. Since we told work last Tuesday and I'm now 13 weeks, we are now telling everyone. Austin and I are both extremely excited.

For those who want to know what being pregnant has been like for me this far, let's just say it hasn't been all fun and games, as those who have been pregnant can attest. Once the excitement of finding out faded, reality (and morning sickness) hit. I've had morning sickness (really "all day sickness") on and off every day since about 6 weeks. I've had cramps, pains, headaches, and heartburn. I've thrown up a few times. I've gagged and dry heaved. Eating is a chore. Nothing ever sounds good but I know I must eat or the nausea gets much, much worse. I've had food "cravings." But I think this is really a misnomer as it isn't so much a craving as it's the only thing that sounds so good to eat while everything else makes you sick to think about. My sense of smell has been heightened. It's almost like another sense because I've never smelt things so strongly before. I feel fat as my jeans are tight and my shirts show my gut. I don't look pregnant yet but I do look like my belly has put on weight. Can't wait till it rounds a bit more so I look pregnant instead of chubby. My breasts have doubled I swear and I can't fit comfortably in my bra, thus I've been wearing my sports bra for now. Besides the nausea, the fatigue has been the worst. I've never been so tired in my life. However, despite everything, I wouldn't trade any of it. I love my little Squiggle.

Austin and I named the baby Sqiggle as we needed something to call it besides "it." And it looks like a Squiggle anyway. We got to see our baby for the first time a few weeks ago on an ultrasound as the Doppler could not pick up a heartbeat. I have a retroverted uterus (meaning it tilts toward my back instead of toward the pelvis), making the heartbeat harder to pick up. It was so great to see it confirmed onscreen that there is a baby inside of me and it is alive. We could see the flicker of the heartbeat. The midwife told me at first she thought it was twins but then discounted it. Though there was an unidentified mass near Squiggle. It bothered Austin that she couldn't tell us what it was. Oh well. Maybe we'll find out soon. I go in for my second prenatal appointment next week and we hope to finally hear the heartbeat. I constantly worry that my baby is dead or not growing.

That's one thing I've learned about pregnancy. It's just tons of worries. I worry about the health of the baby. Am I eating enough? Am I eating too much? Am I going to cause my baby to have a birth defect? Am I going to miscarry? Then there's all the fears about labor, delivery, and taking care of a baby. Will I be a good mom? Will I figure out how to take care of a baby? Will we have enough room for the baby? Will I be able to work and take care of the baby? Then I worry about work and insurance and FMLA and taking care of Austin and just everything really. It's just incredibly stressful and overwhelming. I'm so excited to have this baby. But I'm also really scared. It doesn't help that the hormones are on the overdrive.

Anyway, I look forward to what the next six months will bring me and Austin. Whatever happens, I know that things will probably work out for the best. I'm just going to take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey along the way. Thank you everyone for all your support!

Giving Thanks

I'm grateful for many things this year. I'd like to say thanks to all the many friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances in my life. Earlier this year I wrote posts specifically thanking people in my life. I still mean everything I said then. You can read (or reread as the case may be) my thanks here, here, and here.

This year I'm thankful for...

* my husband who really does so much for me and is my strength
* my family members, on both sides
* my friends, especially the new ones I've recently made
* the gospel
* my Savior
* my job
* Austin's job
* a home that keeps us warm and provides shelter
* a sense of humor


* my upcoming bundle of joy due June 12th. I know most of you already knew. The cat's out of the bag. Austin and I are now telling the world. (Which means I finally get to blog about it)

You can go to Austin's blog to see a picture of our little Squiggle. He/she is a little bigger than that now as that was 4 weeks ago.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving has come and gone once again. Though I took my camera to every event, I did not take any pictures. So you'll have to settle for words only. Austin and I had a great Thanksgiving. He wrote all about it for the most part, so I'll just sum up from my point of view.

The night before Thanksgiving Austin and I went over to my parent's as Troy, Jen, and family were there. They had decided to surprise us all. It was a wonderful surprise. That night was spent making pies (mostly by Mom) and singing karaoke.

Next day was all about food, food, and more food. We made my oh-so-famous cranberry sauce and pumpkin cheesecake and headed over to my parents. Mom's homemade rolls were excellent as always. The turkey was good as were the mashed potatoes. The gravy was absolutely superb, as was my cranberry sauce that I didn't personally eat. Everyone was there except for the Powells (who a lot of us had visited last Thanksgiving). Grandma and Grandpa McNeil also joined us this year. More karaoke was sung. Settlers of Catan was played. And many, many pies were eaten. My mom makes the best pumpkin pie (for reals). And I tried like 6 different pies. Austin and I played the Xbox for a bit and said reluctant goodbyes to Troy, Jen, Maddie, and Eric. Then Austin and I headed home to prepare for Black Friday. The plan was to go to bed, Austin get up at 4am to go to Kohl's, and then have him pick me up at 5am to go to Walmart. Then go shopping for a bit and go back to sleep. Things didn' t quite go that way.

Austin decided to stay up. I stayed in bed but couldn't sleep. You can read Austin's account for what we bought. After he got back from Kohl's we headed to Walmart which was absolute CHAOS. I've never seen such a crowd of people in such a small place. I had the distinct feeling of being a salmon trying to swim upriver. We didn't get anything we had intended to get as we were mostly there for cheap DVDs. But since no one told me that they were in the grocery aisle (!) by the time I fought my way to the electronics section, discovered they weren't there, and made it to the actual location, all the good ones were gone. Alas. But I did get a fuzzy hoodie for $8 that I love. By this time I was getting extremely nauseous as I was tired and hungry. W got home around 6am. By 8am I finally fell asleep out of pure and utter exhaustion. We slept till 1pm and then got up: sleep-deprived, hungry, and tired.

We headed over to my parent's house for the traditional Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup that my dad makes every year. It was good. As were the accompanying rolls and more pie we scarfed down. Austin and I played games the rest of the night: Scene It on Trent's Xbox and Settlers of Catan with Jessica.

Saturday night we went over to Austin's maternal grandparents' house. Dinner and company were grand, as always. Grandpa Valantine makes excellent turkey. Austin's cousin Cameron had tagged along for the ride up and played MarioKart and Mario Party with Austin when we got back home. I joined in after napping for an hour.

Sunday we went over to Austin's Uncle Jim's house. We ate delicious boneless ribs and mashed potatoes before going over to visit Austin's great uncle for his birthday. Then it was time for brownies and icecream, compliments of Betty Crocker and Dryer's. After all the food Austin and I went home to rest and digest. It was several days of happy gourging and being thankful. We had lots of fun with all friends and family we got to see over the break. It was nice to have a brief vacation from work. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.