Saturday, January 29, 2011

shower day

no, not the day of the week when i take a shower,
although i did take one today so as not to stink up the party
but today is the day of my second baby shower.
i am so excited...

here are pictures of me the day i got the shower invite in the mail




in the last one i am clearly rocking the little baby onsie
although when i texted it to my mom, she didn't get it.
oh well, i thought it was funny.

i'm excited.
i called my mom last night and she and my sister were at her house,
two busy little bees getting everything ready
i wish i could go over there now and see what they were up to
but i can't, i have to pace around my house for 2 1/2 more hours
in anticipation.

looking forward to sharing photos and stories soon.

have a good Saturday, i know i will.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

this week's pregnancy stats


I follow {the blog} of a girl I used to know.
She’s also pregnant, due only a couple weeks ahead of me.
Every week or so she writes a blog post full of pregnancy stats
It’s cute and it lets us see the progress of her pregnancy.
I know I haven’t done it week by week, but I thought it would be fun to share my stats as well
So here you go…

How far along am I? 35 weeks

Total weight gain: she stopped telling after a while, but heck, who cares…I’m 5 weeks out and have gained about 30 lbs. I feel like a whale but I don’t think I look THAT huge…I think it was silly to assume that since I didn’t gain at all (actually lost) during the first four months, I would gain less over the course of the next two. It catches up and I’m happy with that number, although at the end of the night, my feet may not be!
Maternity clothes: I have about 4 pairs of maternity jeans, but only a couple of shirts, I’m making due with what I have and I must say, for all the snarky comments I’ve gotten about refusing to buy a lot of clothes it’s actually working pretty well for me. I was never one to wear a lot of tight tops anyways, so I’m working with my longer, stretchier shirts and my large selection of cardigans are really working well for me.
Sleep? Sleep is getting harder and harder and not refreshing like it used to be. just this last week I’ve started dreading sleep, even though I find myself exhausted at 8pm. Rolling over is difficult and I literally wake up every time I move – between that and getting up to pee, I’m definitely getting ready for the lack of sleep that will be for other (cuter) reasons soon.

Best moment this past week: childbirth class with my man. Although it wasn’t the greatest class, I found it to be a really great bonding time with Curtis. Although I gawked and snickered at the breathing and practice exercises, it was just a fun day giggling with him through serious tee hee haaa breathing moments and letting him rub my back as we lounged on pillows. It also solidified what kind of birth we want and made us even more excited (and not grossed out) about our impending labor experience.

Movement: Lots! And another interesting fact – I’ve felt most of his movement on my left side. It’s almost like he snuggles up on my left side and refuses to move sometimes. Yesterday morning my OB noticed this fact and told me that she thinks it’s because of my unicornuate uterus, because most women feel the majority of movement on the right side.

Cravings: nope, none. I wish I did. I think I’ve been easy on the food end. No food aversions, no cravings, no heartburn. I’ve only had acid reflux once, but it was my fault because I chugged a glass of orange juice at a morning work meeting and then found myself laughing hysterically at something someone said, making me throw up in my mouth just a little bit. Whoops. Lesson learned.

Name: We’ve have one for a while now. We are telling people, but have decided to keep it off of the blog and facebook until he’s here. So wait for a grand announcement once he’s born.

Labor signs: nope. I had one Braxton hicks contraction about a month ago and then nothing. However, last week he “dropped” and now I feel like a (not) lean, mean waddling machine!

Belly button in or out: I know it sounds weird but it is half in and half out. I think it may be due to the fact that I used to have my belly button pierced – went and screwed it all up. However, if I’m laying back and use my stomach muscles (or what’s left of them) to hoist myself up, or if I get on a major giggle fest, it does poke out all over and look like a very messed up outie on top of a triangular belly mountain. Sounds weird, but if you saw it, that’s exactly what it looks like.

What I miss: raw sushi & margaritas – however, last night i got sushi with a friend, the cooked stuff which isn't as good, but will have to hold me over for a few more weeks. Although, the soy definitly didn't help the swollen feet -- they looked like little sausage toes by the end of the night.
Weekly wisdom: hmmm, this is a tricky one. I actually haven’t gotten a lot of wisdom recently, but something I told myself and others, including my doctor confirmed  is that it’s great to have a birth plan, but it’s also wise to be open to whatever happens. If the end result is a healthy baby and a healthy mommy, then if I can’t go natural, or we need a c-section (or whatever) it’s okay. It’s still a beautiful moment, and your still his mom and you still gave him life and helped him grow for many many months, and it’s still a birth. I thought that was great wisdom.
Milestone: While I’m not quite considered full term yet (that comes at the 37 week mark) my doctor told me today that if I did go into labor right now, they wouldn’t try to stop it. This was great news to hear, because despite not mentioning it here much, I only have one fallopian tube and really only half a uterus, so the fear was I wouldn’t be able to carry to full term. They said it wasn’t the case in all unicornuate uterus cases, but it is the most common risk. I really hadn’t thought about it in a while and hearing that this morning – that we are pretty much out of the woods in terms of risk at this point was very happy news.

Well there you go! Hope you enjoyed this little peak into my pregnancy. only 5 (or hopefully less!) more weeks to go!

Monday, January 24, 2011

ultimate anti-winter smoothie recipe


It has been so cold
So cold.
So it’s peculiar that I’ve been drinking fruit smoothies like it’s summer
But hey
They’re healthy and I’m pregnant and it could be so much worse

Here’s the one I created today:

small coconut greek yogurt
frozen banana
Handful of frozen pineapple chunks
Handful of ice cubes
Splash of orange juice
Almond milk until consistency is right


Sip and think of sun-shined skin
Sand between toes
And reading while watching
waves crashing on shore

And forget about cold and snow
And wind chills below zero
Runny noses and ice cold toes

Spring is almost here
(at least that’s what I’m telling myself!)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i write to remember


while at church
I had a moment of extreme thankfulness
tears welled up in my eyes as we were singing and I let them

I am not a crier
ask my husband
I only cry out of extreme frustration or anger
I am not a happy crier
a hurt crier
or a sad crier

but sunday I cried
happy tears I guess you could call them

I just was overwhelmed at how blessed we are right now
beyond blessed really
and far beyond what we deserve

the fact struck me
a question really
how do we ever not trust God
when we see how perfectly our lives are orchestrated
(and by "perfectly orchestrated" I don't mean only good things happening)
I just mean, how good and bad together work out for the best.

Let me explain the crux of the emotions that came over me on Sunday

If we would have gotten pregnant when we first started trying, in October of 2008, we would’ve had a baby
While struggling to pay off debt
Which would have meant that I would have had no choice but to go back to work full-time
Making money to pay for day care and paying off credit card balances simultaneously
and it would have sucked.

We would have never begun to think about adoption or Ethiopia or little babies on the other sides of the world
We would’ve never gotten to relate to so many couples going through infertility and the struggles and stresses that come with it.
our marriage wouldn't be as strong
and the list could go on and on...

But now, after almost 2 ½ years, we are ready.
Or as ready as we can be, considering where we were only a couple of years ago.

I know I’ve written about it before, but I’ll do it again, just so you see (and I remember) how perfect His timing is:

We are 2 weeks from being out of debt – (maybe another post in itself, but this was not a mere $500 in debt, this was school payments made with credit cards, paying for gas and groceries back when we were dirt poor, poor decisions paid with plastic – the balance was big, but in a little over a year, we went from a lot of debt to nothing – it can be done people, trust me, if we can swing it, anyone can!)

We are 1 month from paying off my car – (we are paying it off a year early, with the money that would have gone to pay off more debt if we had it, and our last Nestle school reimbursement from Curtis last semester. This will help our budget immensely as we try to cut it down even further to prepare for this boy.)

We are a month and a half away from having our son – (as of this coming Saturday I am six weeks from my due date – it’s unbelievable really, boy how time flies!)

AND I have just gotten word (like less than a week ago) that I have been approved at work to do exactly what i want to do after this boy is here - work from home part time (or less) - this is a huge! HUGE! answer to our prayers!

So, after three months of paid maternity leave that I will hopefully start at the beginning of March, I am going to be able to do the thing that I've wanted for so long to do – to be a stay at home (and part time work from home) momma!!! (even typing those words brings tears to my eyes…)

Why do we ever doubt that things will work out?
I am writing this post more for myself than for you to read, so when our next obstacle hits or struggle comes, I can look back on this post and remember
-like stone monuments in the wilderness during Abraham’s time –
that God is and has been good and faithful and kind to us.

the thoughts that come in the morning


Early this morning I woke up to use the bathroom (as I am accustomed to doing now at least a couple times per night)
It was 4:15 am and after I laboriously plopped myself back into bed
my mind would not stop racing

Not panic really
But just thought after thought about parenthood and motherhood and how my life is soon going to change forever
In that silent way that thoughts come between dusk and dawn
My mind would not stop:

How will I know how to breastfeed?
How will I know how many diapers to buy?
What if we don’t have enough socks for him?
What if I sleep through his crying?
What if he hates to read on my lap?
What if I’m not a natural at this?
What if I take all my frustrations out on Curtis?
Should we do cloth diapers?
Will the pack and play fit behind the couch?
What if his head doesn’t fit through my pelvis?

The questions to myself were endless
As I spent an hour questioning and thinking and worrying
Then, in that way that comes with an almost new day
I was filled with comfort and hope 

I don’t have to be the best parent
The know-it-all mother
The ideal wife

I can be me as I take each day as it comes
I can ask a lot of questions, read a lot of books, take a lot of deep breaths
And love a lot on a little baby, a forgiving husband and a great big God.

We’ll be okay if we run out of clean baby socks, clean diapers, burp cloths.
I’ll be okay if I have to cry over lunch or dinner or even 2am feedings.
Or if breastfeeding doesn’t work out, or my job doesn’t work out, or if I can’t find time to work out.

We’ll be okay.

And then I drifted back to sleep only to wake up to my alarm an hour later with those thoughts still on my mind


When i woke back up, I got ready then sat in the kitchen in silence
Eating a piece of banana bread and taking my daily vitamins
a myriad of drinks surrounding me

A cup of coffee
Glass of milk
Mug of orange juice and a
Cup of ice water

no exaggeration - lately i'm more inclined to drink than to that a craving?!

And as I sipped and chewed I thought about how the worries i have today, will probably not be the worries i have tomorrow
how my mornings will soon be so different
how much i'm looking forward to this new season in our lives...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

how to love someone after 11 (or 7) years...


Find his face across the room over a skillet of eggs; find his eyes, and meet them. 

I did not fight with curtis this morning
(i made him eggs)
Actually, we haven’t really fought for a while now
(knock on wood, I hope I’m not jinxing us)

Feel how his smile fills you up like good bread. 

(i had a bagel, coffee, orange juice)

when asked if I have turned into a crazy-hormone-raging-emotional-pregnant-lady
my sister responded that she thinks I’ve mellowed out
she said she noticed that I’m letting things roll off my back
that she noticed Curtis and I don’t bicker like we used to
more like a brother and sister than 
husband and wife

that was nice to hear

Walk away, walk back, keep walking until you encounter the warmth of his back. Reach out for him even though things are unresolved and will be unresolved again. Wrap your arms around him and press your body close until you can feel his heat through your shirt; through his.

so when I read {this}
although we didn’t have a knock-out, blow-up fight last night
(just the opposite really, we had a wonderful night in our home, getting to know a sweet family with three adorable kids, another on the way)
but whether i could directly relate this morning or not
when I read this post, it resonated with me

Learn to ask questions that don’t assume answers.

Not just the language (which is beautiful)
but the idea behind choosing to love
Even when it’s hard… even after eleven years
(we’ve been together almost 7 ½ years – not quite 11 but getting there)

Questions that are empty like a jar before rain. Questions that offer neutrality: how can I help? What do you need? How do you feel?

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding,
mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than
perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.
-Ann Landers

A decade feels short and long, just as days often do. Reach for his hand and feel his pulse.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

what's for dinner: two soups, one recipe


today i made an early morning trek through the falling snow
just so i could hear my boys heartbeat

then i decided on the way back that i wasn't going to risk wasting hours in the car driving to and from work today and made the last minute decision to work from home

last night the snow wasn't even that bad yet, and it still took me an hour to drive what should've taken me 20 minutes.

so i went home, and got to work, taking a little break around lunchtime to run to the grocery store before the roads got too bad. we were out of everything and although last night's french toast was a nice little treat for dinner and curtis was in syrupy heaven, we were hitting the bottom of the barrel.

when i got back, i unloaded my edible loot, put on my sweats, turned on the fire and have been working ever since - minus another break to make some soup.

two soups actually.
i just made two small pots of soup: broccoli cheddar and cauliflower
now i'm just waiting for the husband to get home to dig in.

creamy soup and crusty bread - what better meal for a snowy january evening...
here's the recipe i used for both if you're interested:
Cauliflower (or Broccoli) Soup

1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup chicken stock (I used the last of my frozen turkey stock left over from Thanksgiving)
3 T melted butter
2 T flour
2 cups cooked cauliflower (or broccoli)
salt & pepper to taste

blend all ingredients in blender
pour into pot on stovetop
simmer but do not boil

the end.

(for the brocolli, i just plopped in a chunk of cheddar cheese and stirred until melted into the soup)
not the most healthy of all soups, but who doesn't like a creamy soup every once in a while?

*photograph taken about two weeks ago - i'm now almost at the 33 week mark! only 7 more weeks to go!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

what i did on my christmas vacation


Left work a little early

Ate thai food with curtis’ family

Sat through curtis’ riveting graduation ceremony

Threw him a party to celebrate

Shopped till we dropped

Went to holiday costume party sans costume

Packed for Chicago

Drove to Chicago

Explored a german market and navy pier in Chicago

Crocheted 36 new granny squares

Gave and got a ton of gifts

Took a nap on Christmas day

Drove home with lots of potty breaks

Celebrated curtis’ birthday with an Indian feast treated by my parents

Made some returns

Did more shopping

Met some girlfriends for our once yearly lunch

Went out for a brunch date with my man

Ran into said girlfriend from above lunch randomly at a coffee shop

Sat and talked for hours

Went to bed early

Woke up early

Took down Christmas decorations before new years

Got my car fixed

Got sushi and thai food with friends on new year’s eve

Watched a kids movie and fell asleep before midnight

Stopped by a new year’s day party at a neighbor’s

Spent the evening snacking and laughing with friends

Returned to church after a month-long break

Shared a milkshake over lunch on my last day off

Ran around and did errands alone for the first time in two weeks

Missed him as I drove in silence pondering how our life is going to change

Went out for Mexican with most of my family

Ended vacation watching the second half of a movie we’d already started while snuggled on the couch

Went to bed early

Woke up to the start of eight more weeks sans baby

Repeated, “I think I can, I think I can,” over and over through a painful first day back.

Friday, January 7, 2011

things I’m looking forward to in January


My first of two baby showers is this Saturday

My wonderful girlfriends at church are throwing it for me.
I’m going with my mom
They are the sweetest bunch of ladies
I’m nervous that I won’t remember everyone’s name
But I’m excited

My other baby shower is also in January
My mom and sister are throwing this one
I’m much more comfortable with the idea of this one
It’s at my mom’s
And I know everyone on the guest list
They’re having a brunch
And I can’t wait for this one either

We will also be finishing our basement organization project

We will hopefully also be installing organization/shelving in the baby’s closet
as well as a book/toy shelf in a cute little corner behind the bedroom door
call me a nerd, but my organizational-loving side is excited about this

We will be attending our one-day childbirth preparation class this month
I think curtis is more nervous than I am.
I haven’t gotten nervous yet
I wonder if the nerves strike later on
Or if I’m just naïve
I’m more excited
Even about the actual delivery
Than nervous

I may pack a hospital bag towards the end of the month
Or at least make a list of what I should pack
Curtis is making me paranoid about not being ready if he comes early
I told him two months early we’ll have more to worry about than
Not having a bag packed
But we did have a friend just give birth a month early
So I guess late January isn’t totally out of the question
But first I have to do some research/ asking around as to what
One even puts in their hospital bag when they go to have a baby
I have no clue
I am naïve, aren’t it?

I also go to the OB twice this month.
The up side is that I get to hear my boy’s heartbeat twice
I like to hear it
It’s fast and strong and
Cute as a button
The downside is that my nerves always make my blood pressure rise a bit
I’ve been told I have white coat syndrome
I used to protest, but I really think I do
When I can convince them to take it again at the end of my appointment it’s always fine
I also don’t like being weighed
Especially when I can barely get them to let me put down my
20 pound purse
Let alone take off my boots, winter jacket and all my other layers of bulky winter clothing
That adds around 4 to 5 extra pounds per visit
And since I started being weighed in the summer
They just roll their eyes when I explain that I haven’t gained those last 5 pounds they’re adding on there
It’s annoying
And also makes my blood pressure rise

I will be eating a TON of clementines
I love them
I eat at least three every day at work
I think I may get a few weird looks when I’m on my third in the late afternoon
But I don’t care
Our love goes deep
They are absolutely one of the best things about winter
Apart from the fact that this extra baby weight is keeping me
Warmer than I ever thought possible in our 58 degree house
(I’m not joking – the average temperature in our home is 58 degrees in the winter)
But I will keep it low anyday for a gas bill under a $150 mid-winter.
I’ve got this baby and my love of clementines to keep me warm

And lastly, once January is over, I will be four weeks closer to meeting our guy
Seriously, once February 1st hits, we’ll only have about 4 weeks to go
(okay, 4 weeks and 5 days, but who’s counting?)
I’m secretly still holding out hopes for a February baby
I keep being told it’s not likely
And to not get my hopes up
But my mom encourages me by telling me that I was two weeks early
So maybe M* will be too!
Naïve or hopeful?
Maybe both

January is going to be a good month
I can feel it
Besides the whole going back to work thing
After a 16 day hiatus
It’s been pretty good so far
I see my husband at night
I see the baby move in my belly at night too
And I see the finish line ahead.
I’ve always liked January
Not for the cold and snow
But for the time it provides to reacquaint us with all things new
A new year
A fresh start
New goals
And dreams for a brand new year
I love that
I love breaking into a crisp new journal
With words that I didn’t know were lingering stagnant within
I love the possibilities of the unknown
I love looking back
And looking forward in the same hopeful glance
I love possibility
Potential for change
Making plans
And being okay to let them shatter and break at our feet
January is a sweet month
Always has been and hopefully always will be


We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up
a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to
balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...
not looking for flaws, but for potential.
-Ellen Goodman
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
-T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:
To rise above the little things.
-John Burroughs

tea and sympathy...lots and lots of sympathy


well, not really
when i'm sick, i usually don't want much sympathy
(that's more my husband's style)
i'm one of those sickies that likes better to be left to myself

today i'm home
still in my pajamas
sitting on our new living room shag rug and trying to work with a bounty of cold remedies surrounding me

a glass of water
a glass of orange juice
a finished cup of coffee
a pot of hot water on the stove for the cup of tea i'm about to go make
a box of kleenex
neosporin (to rub under my raw nose)
vicks nasal spray
and rosebud salve (for my lips and nose)
my cell phone
fireplace remote
and laptop

in the kitchen looks like a similar remedy warzone
the netti pot sits by the sink
next to salt, baking soda and a teaspoon to stir

my sinuses are too clogged and swollen
the water solution won't flow through
but i keep trying
baking soda is supposed to help loosen the mucus
we'll see

i just finished off my second box of kleenex
and everything from my chest up, hurts
but at least last night i slept

my doctor told me i could take benadryl
so i took her up on it and took it
slept like a baby minus a trip or two to the bathroom and to blow my nose
i woke up feeling like crap again, but at least i slept

now, i sit and type as mea sleeps next to me
and i think about what i should wear to my baby shower tomorrow (i know, deep thoughts!)
in a minute i'll get up to make tea
and maybe toast
and get back to work
and pray this cold doesn't linger too far into the weekend...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

but i don't have time to be sick...


on tuesday night i knew i was coming down with something.
i just knew it
i didn't have the symptoms yet, but i could feel them brewing
wednesday morning i woke up feeling like crap
then last night rolled around and i literally was up every hour on the hour
to sneeze, blow excess liquid out of my completely clogged nose and cough
oh, and i guess i can admit, by 4 am i was crying i was so tired
and poor curtis had to listen, or try to ignore - not sure which
but i got up this morning, against my body's temper tantrum and got ready
i had an important breakfast i had to be at and was determined not to miss it.
then, instead of following my gut and going back home to bed,
i ventured into work
but only made it to noon before waving my white flag in defeat
i drove home
a box of kleenex my co-pilot and did some work on the couch before trying
to sleep off whatever was inhabiting my body
the sleep was not a healing sleep and i woke up feeling worse than before
earlier curtis told me i should go to the doctor
and i resisted, but after that nap i broke down and called when i thought about my last night's sleep
plus, i have a lot going on this weekend that i can't be sick or contagious for
they had no appointments for this afternoon or tomorrow so i hung up and was going to call the urgent care center
until the receptionist called me back, telling me they could probably sneak me in if i came right then
so i did
i bundled up and trudged out into the snow, hoping for some relief
and relief came in a z-pack, again
i was just on it like a month ago, but after she told me i had two ear infections and another sinus infection
i knew i needed something to put me out of my misery
so i filled the Rx, came home, make a cup of tea, took the first dose and sat in the kitchen in silence and pain until curtis got home
so now i'm just praying that it kicks in and kicks in quick
i'm tired and my nose is raw from all the blowing
oh, and just now, as i was writing this, i think i had my first ever braxton hicks contraction
i've got a crazy, exciting life people - seriously, now i'm really ready for bed!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

we can, so we do


The sky was cold but blue yesterday
The sun made shadows of our building on the one across the street
Like a sandcastle sketched against a sandstone wall
There was no frost on our windows
The office was hot
Almost beach-like
Skipping socks and boots for heels
My feet were hot
So were my fingers as I typed

Monday night I was so uncomfortable
Feeling heavy and unsteady on my feet
I made dinner
Defrosted enchiladas from a previous cooking night
Made rice and beans

My heavy legs barely held me up under the hot water of the shower
Until my skin turned pink, nearly purple with the heat
The baby was not his usual still as I bathed
He kicked and rolled his big movements
Cramped in a space getting tighter by the day
No doubt as warm as I was
I was aware of his presence within me
As I washed my stretched belly twice
Once for me and once for him

Before the oven timer went off
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror
Once again in shock of my changing frame
Almost as if I was staring at someone else
Splotched red, a towel no longer wraps around me and covers my bare reflection

I am self aware but not as self-conscious as I once was
Whatever shape my body takes post birth will be my badge of honor
Although I hope to be one that tightens up moreso than before once that time comes
Time will only tell

So I laboriously dried off and scurried slippered feet back down to the kitchen
Finished dinner and we ate over talk of the day

We hadn't done that in a while
We are rusty at dinner talk
it came with familiar silences and bursts of chatter as it hit us
quite dinners just the two of us will be fewer and further between come march

We have been told to take advantage of these days
As just the two of us
And we have
We are

We’ve spent more time together over the last two weeks
Than the last 6 months combined
And it has been a lovely reconnection
Before everything changes

So we eat
then stand to scrape our plates
load the dishwasher

Nothing fancy
But at least we’re together
To wash dishes, watch t.v. and head to warmed sheets
Because hey,
we can.

So we do.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a new year, and an old sweater


this morning, after eating a bowl of grape nuts, sipping a cup of coffee and cleaning out our third bedroom in a rush of new year adrenaline
i decided to take a trip down memory lane and read some of my blog archives from last January.

i read {this} and laughed to myself.

what are the chances i would have on the same striped cardigan that i had on last new year's day?
and guess what i'm about to do...

take down my little december print and replace it with the january one i'm holding in that picture.
i would think my life is on repeat except for the fact that i can't button the sweater this morning.

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