Thursday, September 17, 2009

pregnancy survey - week 24

* How far along: 24 weeks
* Total weight gain: 17 lbs (I haven't been weighed in the past 2 weeks)
* How big is baby: About 12 inches from head to heel - that's the length of an ear of corn; 1 1/2 pounds
* Maternity clothes: I'm living in them.
* Stretch marks: I have one on my thigh, of all places!
* Sleep: I haven't been sleeping as well this past week. I'm exhausted during the day, but I think I'm getting used to it.
* Best moment this week: (last week actually) We bought a crib! It was so fun watching Rodgers put it together, looking like a proud daddy.
* Movement: I've been feeling more flips and upside down jumping (usually kicking his feet against my waist band and ramming his head into my colon)
* Food cravings: I really wanted jelly beans this week. Jelly Belly brand is great for pregnant women because you can get weird combos if you just grab a handful and eat them all at once. The best combo I had today was watermelon and cinnamon.
* Labor signs: None
* Belly button in or out: Pretty much the same as 2 weeks ago. Just getting flatter and flatter. Nathanael kicked it last night and it turned into an outtie for a second before flipping back in. That felt weird.
* What I miss: Sitting in my favorite chair with Rodgers. It's a chair and a half with a big ottoman up against it, so it works like a chaise lounge. It's so comfy, but I can't get out of it without help or moving the ottoman. I've moved to the recliner for the most part.
* What I'm looking forward to: Now that there's a crib in the nursery, I'm looking forward to finishing the rest of it!
* Milestone: Nate's now considered a viable fetus. Here's a chart from some kind of scientific medical place. If Nathanael were born 1 week ago, he would have had a 10-40% chance of survival. If he's born today, he has a 40-70% chance. Of course, he would be considered a micropreemie and wouldn't be able to breathe yet - his lungs aren't ready. He'd be in the hospital for a long, long time if he were born so early. So I'm not saying I would want him to be born today, or in the next 3 months. It's just a milestone, people!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

our green card journey

It's thrilling how quickly and smoothly the green card process went for us, despite our case being delayed for a month. (We initially filed the wrong Affidavit of Support, so they sent us a letter requesting the correct one. The letter was addressed wrong and returned to them. Then finally it was re-sent to us, we received it, submitted the correct form, and got back on track.)

So, the process is thus: file forms, receive notification that they received the forms and opened your case (NOA - at this point, all previous visas really don't count anymore), receive a Request for Initial Evidence (RFE - if you did something incorrectly or left something out), receive Advanced Parole travel document (so the applicant can travel out of and back into the US while their status is pending), Biometrics appointment (fingerprinting), interview, decision, receive Green Card.

Using, I figured out when all of these things should happen for us, based on statistics they had on the website for then current applications. From filing to the decision, it should have been 183 days. Even with our 1 month delay, it was only 139! The timeline on projected Rodgers receiving his Green Card on November 4, but now, we're expecting it next week. Amazing! Part of it is that USCIS is moving cases quickly right now. The other part is a mystery. We're told that typically, no decision is made at the interview. They gather any additional info, take your statement under oath about whatever, and then there should be some process after the interview, which ends in approval or denial. However, towards the end of our interview, the interviewer went through Rodgers' passport, canceling all his previous visas, including the one that was still current. She removed his I-94, which shows that he entered the country at a legal point of entry. Then, she added a new stamp which says he is a lawful permanent resident and eligible for employment! And she stamped "Approved" on his application. We had taken all kinds of documentation and copies of documentation with us, but she didn't care about most of it.

In order to save all this info, so that I may return and marvel at how blessed we are, I'm recording our projected dates and actual dates here.

Filed (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, I-131 Application for Travel Document, I-134 Affidavit of Support, I-485 Adjustment of Status): April 24
NOA: (projected) May 4 // (actual) May 4
RFE (submit I-864 Affidavit of Support): June 6 case delayed 1 month
Advanced Parole: (projected) July 8 // (acutal) June 26 two weeks early
Biometrics Appointment: (projected) June 1 // (actual) July 10 a little over a month late
Interview: (projected) October 15 // (actual) September 10 a little over a month early
Decision: (projected) October 23 // (actual) September 10 six weeks early
Receive Green Card: (projected) November 4 // (actual) September 25 ~six weeks early

Monday, September 14, 2009

twilight zoney

This morning, a friend of mine on Facebook posted their status as "just another manic Monday..." Not surprising, as it is, in fact, Monday. Of course, other friends proceeded to comment on the status with subsequent lines of the song.
Friend 1: just another manic Monday...
Comment 1: wish it was Sunday...
Comment 2: cause that's my fun day... 
Comment 3: my I don't have to run day...
Then, another one of my friends posted the same status. These 2 friends do not appear to know each other. The rest of the song is beginning to build up on her FB page as well.
Friend 2: Just another manic Monday... 
Comment 1: wish it were Sunday...
What makes it weird is that these 2 friends have the same first name. What are the odds that 2 people I know, who don't know each other, but share the same name, would have the same FB status posted on the same day? That's kind of twilight zoney, right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

pregnancy survey

*  How far along: 22 weeks
*  Total weight gain: 17 lbs
*  How big is baby: Apparently he's about the size of a spaghetti squash - 11 inches head to heel, about 1 lb.
*  Maternity clothes: I think I may be growing out of some of my early ones, though I can still wear some of my longer, stretchy non-maternity tops.
*  Stretch marks: Not yet (knock on wood, fingers crossed, belly cream within reach)
*  Sleep: I wish I could sleep for 8 hours, be awake for 4, then do it again. I am loving my body pillow, but I often find myself sleeping on my back, which is strange because I'm a belly sleeper.
*  Best moment this week: Watching my belly bulge out about an inch and a half extra when Nathanael kicked. He's like a little ninja in there.
*  Movement: Every day! He kicks, punches, and wiggles. I feel a lot on the inside, and sometimes we can feel and see it on the outside as well.
*  Food cravings: I want to eat everything. Absolutely everything. Except onions.
*  Labor signs: None
*  Belly button in or out: In, but flattening. The center almost comes out right after a meal. It won't be long now.
*  What I miss: Staying up late. I still feel more mentally alert at night, but my body gets so tired, I have to go to bed early.
*  What I'm looking forward to: Having a baby shower
*  Milestone: Just kicking more and more. He seemed to respond to the doppler at the doctor's office yesterday. He got all squirmy when the med student was trying to find his heartbeat.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

scary things happen in my new bathroom

Story #1
Sunday morning, I woke up too early. Rodgers was already up, shaving in the other bathroom, so as not to disturb me. But since I was awake, and since I'm pregnant, I decided to go to the bathroom and then get back in bed. When I get up with the intention of going back to bed, I don't put my glasses on.

As I was leaving the bathroom to return to bed, I noticed an odd dark patch in the fake wood pattern on the floor. I thought that it could be a big ball of lint. We had been doing laundry Saturday, so it could have come from that. I needed to know whether it was something or part of the floor, though. I kicked it, very softly, thinking if I kicked nothing it was the floor, and if I kicked something it was lint.

I kicked something alright, but it wasn't lint. It was much heavier. It skid across the floor about 6 inches and stopped. I bent down to take a closer look and saw that it was a tiny dying mouse!

I didn't want to touch it. Touching dead animal post-butchering, I'm ok with. But I don't like touching un-butchered dead animals or dying animals. I assume they fumigated the apartment before we moved in and the little mouse got into that, and as a result, was taking its last breaths on my bathroom floor. I went and told Rod, "I have a job for you." He took the little guy, who was laying on his side, with all four feet twitching like it was trying to get away, outside.

We did report it to the apartment office, and they gave us a mouse trap, just in case there are more.

Story #2
This morning, Rod got up super early, as usual. I heard him occasionally as I hit the snooze button on my alarm. Around 6:45 he came into the bedroom to get something, gave me a kiss, and then went out again. Shortly afterward, I heard a car start up and drive away. I thought it was quite early for him to be leaving for his 8:00 class, but he's like that.

A few minutes later, I drug myself out of bed and started my morning routine.

I watch a lot of horror movies, suspense thrillers, teen screams, etc. They have one thing in common. The killer likes to sneak up on the victim when they're oblivious, have their vision obscured, or are otherwise preoccupied. Then, the killer waits until they are noticed by the victim, gives the victim time to scream, then goes in for the kill or torture, whatever the case may be. Sometimes, when I'm not totally awake, I get nervous about this scenario as I'm washing my face because 1) I'm not wearing my glasses and 2) there's soap and water in my eyes, so I most likely have them shut for a few minutes.

After washing my face this morning, I stumbled around in search of my face towel (my acne treatment bleaches most towels, so I have designated face towels which either aren't the type of dye to be bleached or are already bleached). I turned around as I was drying my face and heard a toothbrush clink in the toothbrush holder. Odd, I thought. I didn't think I was close enough to the vanity to hit a toothbrush with the towel, but that must have been what happened.

Then, I took the towel off of my face and someone was there, right in front of me!!! My heart stopped for a split second before I realized it was Rodgers. I didn't quite have time to scream, but I did feel the meaning of the phrase "jumped out of my skin."

He had not been the car that drove away at 6:50, after all.