Thursday, April 28, 2011

random ideas that come from daydreaming about babies

There's not a lot that I can do right now to prepare for the baby. Mostly because I need the help of a big strong man to move things around upstairs and haul/put together any furniture that we need. And my favorite big strong man is nowhere to be found. SO, I'm left to researching and making lists. And if you know me at all, you know I'm not complaining.

I'll show you my spreadsheets if you want.

Our plan is to spend the six weeks before Andrew goes back to school (in early July) getting as much baby stuff done as possible. Until then, here are some ideas I have rolling around up there. Some that are specific to baby-prep and some that are just general thoughts on things I'd love to do with the little one.

First up, We're going the cloth diaper route. Don't judge, k? We've done a lot of research and feel like it's the best decision for us. AND it'll save a lot of money.


I really, really LOVE this idea for holding books. Rain gutters in a little reading corner? Genius. I'm totally doing it.

I have several thoughts on a DIY mobile, but this one? I die.


It's a good thing I went through a fabric-buying phase and now have a good stash, because I'm totally doing this. Such a simple and sweet way to capture the babe's growth through the first year.


And how sweet would this print be framed on a nursery wall? Precious.


That's all I've got. Not really, but let's not get carried away. Besides, once we know what we've got baking in there, the fun will really begin.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

things that make me excited


First up, the flowers in the little courtyard that is my landlord's obsession pride and joy are producing all kinds of beautiful blooms. Yesterday, some lilies opened up. And I'm pretty sure the hydrangeas aren't far behind. I've got plans to get out there this afternoon and bring some of the happiness inside with me. I just love Charleston, folks.

Then, there's the fact that I heard my little bebe's heartbeat again this morning. They had a hard time finding it at first, so I held my breath and said a prayer and thought, "come on, little one" and then they found it. He/she was just hanging out on the other side! But there it was, all strong and wooshy. It always makes me smile.

The doctor also prescribed something to help with these killer headaches. Some days I have them and it's just annoying. And sometimes I actually think that tearing my eye out would be less painful than the throbbing going on above my shoulders. The medicine is a mixture of Tylenol that's a little stronger than the OTC version and caffeine, so I don't feel nervous about taking it as needed. So far, it's working well and for that I'm very thankful. Praise God for pain relief.

Andrew comes home in two and a half weeks, but you already knew that. I feel all giddy and stuff when I think about it.

Also happening soon? My mom's 50th birthday extravaganza, which is really just a weekend celebration with her and my aunt. I'm looking forward to lots of laughing and shopping and eating and sitting in rocking chairs amongst my front porch flowers and just in general, making my mom feel like the fabulous woman that she is.

I started a study on the God of the Patriarchs, so it's basically letting me hang out in the Old Testament. I love it. I can't explain it, but I've had a recent desire to spend some time there and this has done a great job of making it relevant.

I'm going to start some sort of exercise plan soon. I had been doing a good job of walking in the afternoons with my pooch, but lots of traveling and a sudden dive into hot weather threw me off course. I'm also hoping to add some kind of pilates/yoga to the mix. I tried a yoga DVD that's for pregnant mothers, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to get through it. SO CHEESY. I think I'll just stick with the pilates I know and love, and make sure I'm not pushing it. Any recommendations? I know there are a lot of moms that are reading this, because you've told me so. Now speak your piece :)

And finally, although there are really a lot of things going on these days that make me feel happy and blessed, there are two weddings and a potential joint baby shower coming up this summer that will allow us to see our sweetest and best friends. And given that one of the events will be in Chapel Hill, I'm pretty sure I can squeeze in a guacamole burger from Spanky's.

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.

Monday, April 25, 2011

15 weeks and an appearance by the baby daddy

Friends, I've been trying not to let every thought on the blog turn to babies but it's so hard! The weekly baby updates are allowed, right? I get the emails from on Fridays and it's a highlight of my week. Now it can be one of yours :)

This week, the little one is about the size of an apple. And here's what's going on in there:
  • By "breathing" in amniotic fluid, the primitive air sacs in her (let's use feminine pronouns this week! fun!) lungs are able to begin development.
  • Her legs are getting to be longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs.
  • Even though her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. Apparently, she would dodge the light if I shined a flashlight at my belly. Cool, huh?
  • She's got taste buds!
  • And in the next few weeks, we'll find out if it's a he or she. Then I don't have to switch up pronouns on you.

There you have it. And now, the bump...


Hey, look who it is!

I ventured up north again this weekend for a visit with that boy. It was cold and rainy, but thanks to lots of good food and movies, we made the most of it. I didn't take any pictures, but it went a little something like this:
  • Thursday: get in late after delays and a few wrong turns.
  • Friday: work for me and school for Andrew, reunite over clam chowder and flounder and salmon and strawberry rhubarb pie.
  • Saturday: sleep in and then enjoy a leisurely brunch at a hole-in-the-wall that gets all kinds of attention, the way only this kind of dive can. Head to the movies for Rio and popcorn and a Coke. And then have more clam chowder and the best scallops in the world. And tiramisu.
  • Sunday: watch an Easter sermon online from our old church in Durham, then head toward the airport. Stop at PF Changs for our Easter lunch because lettuce wraps and mongolian beef are so yummy.
The last time I left him at the airport, I was super sad. We had just had a great weekend and I didn't like the idea of being without him for seven more weeks. This time around, our time together just made me that much more excited for when he comes home. No sadness here, just lots of daydreaming about our summer together.

What can I say, I think I like him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

but i don't want taco bell

Several people have asked me if I've been craving things. Every once in a while, I'll think about something that makes my mouth water like I haven't eaten in days, but it's nothing crazy or exciting. Last week it was pineapple. Lucky for me, I had some in the freezer.

This week it's been milk. I've never, ever, ever been one to drink a glass of milk. I like it in my cereal and I like to dunk my cookies in it (duh) but I don't drink it alone. Until this week. Apparently, the baby wants/needs milk because I can't get enough.

But mainly, I just like everything. We're having potatoes for dinner? I love potatoes! Salad with my lunch? Alright! And I'm having no problem at all cleaning my plate. It's surprising really, since I don't usually eat a lot at once. Well, not anymore. That Moe's Homewrecker burrito's got nothing on me. And every time I finish a meal, I really feel a sense of disappointment. It just all tasted so good.

Nice, right? Healthy appetite for the growing babe and all that jazz?

But what happens when liking everything means considering food from places that I swore off a long time ago, a la Food Rules? Food that I didn't miss, but couldn't actually stomach the thought of eating? Don't get me wrong, I still have my share of processed foods and treats, but there are some things that I just can't force myself to eat anymore. I know too much!

What happens, friends, when you drive past a Taco Bell and your mouth waters and you think, "oohhhh Taco Bell!"

Dear baby, mommy doesn't want Taco Bell. And neither do you. Trust me on this.

So far, I've been able to talk the kid out of it. But I'm not gonna lie. When I was looking for that picture up there, and found a bunch of taco pictures along the way, I almost Map Quested the closest establishment.

Somebody save me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

26 days

That's how long I have to wait for Andrew to come home.

This separation has been so much easier than the last. For starters, communication makes a world of difference. A letter a week doesn't really cut it, in my opinion. But having phone calls, texts and Skype dates makes it a lot easier to feel connected, even though we're basically living two separate lives for the time being.

And then there's the fact that we just came out of Power School. Late nights and long weekends forced me to adapt to an empty house and it made it easier to turn on my Independent Switch when necessary.

And perhaps the best of all, I've seen him once already and I'm headed that way again this weekend. Spoiled? Maybe.

However, all that doesn't negate the fact that I'm ready for him to be here. In this house. And when he does come home, he has almost two months before the next phase of training starts up. But the thing that I'm most excited about is that my best friend will be here for me to hang out with this summer.

In Charleston, it is officially summer. The temperature hasn't dipped below 75 in the last several weeks and it's generally closer to 80 or 85. The air and the smells and the ice cream truck that makes its afternoon tour through the neighborhood bring me back to last summer, when we first moved down here. We spent the warm Friday evenings trying out new restaurants and we spent Saturdays exploring our new town. I loved it.

Now we've been blessed with another summer together, before the Navy takes over again and before this little one takes over in his or her own way as well. So this list is for you, love. All the things I can't wait to do with you when you get back...

  • Friday night date nights
  • The farmers market
  • Finding a good BBQ restaurant
  • Lunch at Chick-fil-a when we're out for our Saturday errands
  • Readying our home for our kid (can you believe we're having a kid?)
  • Taking Rudy on evening walks
  • Grilling out to good music
  • Wandering around downtown with frozen yogurt or iced coffee
  • Picnic in the park? Hotdogs? Ok!
  • Making you lots and lots of sweet tea, to make up for the top you lost up "there"
  • Sitting in the front porch rocking chairs with the sweet tea
  • Bacon, avocado and tomato sandwiches
  • (Cheesy alert) Holding your hand!
  • Beach trips for the day
  • Matt's Burgers on my lunch break
  • Yes, I know what you're thinking. Page, are you excited about eating good food or being with your husband?

    Please, people.

    The answer is BOTH. Duh.

    Hurry home, love. We miss you too much to spend the summer without you.

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    thoughts on pregnancy at 14 weeks


    That's how I feel after this week, now that I've finally had a chance to breathe. And sleep in. My laundry needs to be folded and put away, my suitcase needs to be unpacked (or maybe not, since I'm leaving again in less than a week) and my house really needs some more cleaning.

    But...I kind of don't care.

    Because first and foremost, I'm growing a human. And that is a lot of work. So if I choose to let the dishes sit in the sink for another hour, it really doesn't matter. Laziness doesn't exist when you're pregnant. It all falls under the "taking care of yourself and your baby" category.

    I knew I liked being pregnant for a reason.


    Second trimester, people!

    One of my two pregnancy resources says it started last week and the other said it starts today. Either way, I'm officially in it. Now that the news has been shared across the globe, I can start sharing updates on the ol' blog without hesitation. I've been sending emails to the grandmothers-to-be each week, but maybe they aren't the only ones who want to stalk my budding offspring?

    To kick us off, let's look at the obligatory baby bump picture, shall we? The iPhone-camera-in-the-bathroom-mirror is the best I can do until my husband returns to take more flattering shots, so just go with it and don't judge me. Because I will cry.


    There's a wee little bump...can you see it?

    Now for a list of info and random facts about my current state. Hopefully this will answer all of the common questions that might be floating out there, but feel free to ask any others.
    • He/she is due October 14, just in time to pick out a wee little halloween costume :)
    • I haven't had a bit of morning sickness, thankfully. I honestly can't believe it. But other than being a little more tired than usual and having some killer headaches every now and then, it's been a breeze so far. I've been able to really take care of myself as far as rest is concerned and I think that's helped a lot. Either way, I'm not complaining!
    • We are going to find out of it's a boy or a girl. In about five weeks!
    • The name will be top secret, whatever it is. I like the idea of having that one little secret between us until the end and Andrew doesn't want to have to deal with unwanted feedback/opinions from people who may not dig the name.
    • Yes, Andrew will be here when the baby is born. He may not get any time off afterward, but at least he'll be here for the big event!
    Developmentally, here's what I've learned about where we are this week. And let's use the male pronouns for simplicity's sake, but I promise I'm not hinting at anything. I have no idea what we've got in there. Now, the list:
    • The little one is about the size of a lemon and weighs about 1.5 ounces.
    • Brain impulses are in full gear now so he can make facial expressions and suck his thumb. So cute!
    • His body is starting to grow faster than his head, so we don't have the whole bobble-head thing going on anymore. And by the end of the week, the arms should be proportionate with the rest of the body.
    • The kidney, liver and spleen are starting their work...way to go, organs!
    • And even though I can't feel it, the babe should be moving all about. We saw some wiggles on the first ultrasound - I can't wait to feel them myself!
    So that's that. I can't believe everything that's going on inside my body right now, but it's amazing. God's creative nature has never been more evident to me than now. It's kind of crazy.

    And so incredible.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    a new england rendezvous

    Last weekend, I braved flight delays and airplane moonroofs and cold weather to visit Andrew. Because when you're married, you just have to make sacrifices. Except it wasn't really a sacrifice, because I missed him so. True story.


    I got in circa 2am on Thursday, after a mega-flight delay. Praise God for Netflix and airport wi-fi. On Friday, we headed out of Groton toward Newport, where we were staying at the hotel on Andrew's old OCS stomping grounds.

    We drove out of town, slowly, so Andrew could show me the sub base in all its glory. I'm not going to lie, it was depressing. It was cold and gray and rainy and I kept thinking about how I'd surely develop SAD if we were stationed there. But I came around by the end of the weekend and now I'm thinking it maybe wouldn't be that bad. Maybe.



    We arrived in Newport and much to our surprise and delight, it was Restaurant Week! Which means fancy food for not-so-fancy prices. Our first stop was The Pier. Andrew had some kind of bisque (crab, maybe?) and Chilean Sea Bass. I had clam chowder and the world's largest lobster tail. Stuffed with shrimp and scallops. And baked. And served with vegetables and a baked potato.

    That lobster and I got along reaaally well, my friends. The baby and I heart him.

    Dessert was an assortment of miniature brownie sundaes and then we headed back to our hotel. In a lobster coma.

    We drove around base and Andrew enjoyed reminiscing:

    "I did pushups in that grass."

    "I ran up and down that hill."

    "I got yelled at right there."

    Happy memories, I think.

    The next morning, while it was still dark, we woke up to a group of current OCS-ers running and yelling (chanting?) by the hotel. Then came reveille. Military life is so glamorous.

    We were ready for breakfast, so we headed back into downtown Newport, where we ended up at The Corner Cafe for pancakes and salmon eggs benedict. So charming. And it definitely gave me ideas for the coffee shop I want to open some day.



    We spent the day wandering around the different shops and art galleries. Andrew got me a necklace with an anchor charm, something I've been looking for since he joined the Navy. It's beautiful. We had lunch at the Black Pearl - more clam chowder was had and also some key lime pie - and then we walked around some more.



    Around 4pm, we decided to get in the car and drive, just to see where we'd end up. Little did we know that we'd take the most beautiful drive along the ocean, with gorgeous rocky cliffs and massive houses. It was honestly breath-taking.



    After a few hours of that, we headed back for a nap and then went back out for a late dinner. We went to 22 Bowens, which is where we had Andrew's OCS graduation dinner almost a year ago. More clam chowder and steak and pork and sweet potatoes and blood orange sorbet. We also witnessed an awkward first-ish date. That was fun.

    Sunday morning, we were back at The Corner Cafe for brunch and one more drive along the ocean.



    We headed back to Groton, where we unloaded and then drove into Mystic, just a few miles away. Pizza for dinner at the same place where Julia Roberts made her big debut.



    Thoroughly exhausted, we settled in for Sunday night TV movies: Hitch and Ratatouille. Perfection, if you ask me.

    And after some tears from the emotional pregnant lady, I headed home on Monday. Fuselage intact.

    Now I'm just daydreaming about clam chowder and my long-lost husband and potentially being a New Englander one day.


    The End.
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