Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finally, a Christmas Overview

If you think my break is due to the "blizzard" we're experiencing...you'd be sadly mistaken.  Here in the western suburbs of Philly, we only got about 6".  Although, that's what shut down London for so long, right?  All the snow meant for us was that we left Ohio EARLY Sunday morning (we're talking about 4:30 am ya'll), and drove back in time to beat the "onslaught".  We both still went in to work the next day.  Though, the roads were pretty empty.

Ohio was lovely.  They had a coating of maybe 4" of snow on the ground.  It was just enough for Harper to go, "Oh, yeah!  I remember this stuff!"  And promptly turn into insane-o-pup.  We went to the tennis courts at the middle school a couple of times so that she could chase her ball, and she just thought it was the absolutely most exciting thing she had ever experienced.  That, and, even though she usually has the nose of...well...something that can't smell, she decides to track everything once there's snow on the ground. 

Alright, below are going to be some pictures of our walk on Christmas Eve.  That were taken with our broken Canon Rebel.  It will allow you to take manual focus pictures either 1) With a flash or 2) No flash and INSANELY slow shutter speed.  So...I'll show you some of each, and you can experience the torture. 

Lovely, isn't it? 

Harper thoroughly enjoyed  Christmas morning, too, and insisted on helping open presents.

Yes, she received an Ohio State football, and the Lion got an Ohio State onesie.  Chris was not so thrilled, and immediately called his mother to tell her she had to help balance the sports attire that our child will be wearing.

Finally...visions of the "blizzard". 

Oh, no, she wasn't enjoying herself at all.  Just a little more than poor Chris.  Who wouldn't let me help him shovel.  Sometimes this pregnancy thing is alright.  ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

I haven't really shown any of our decorations, and Chris will be disappointed I don't have pictures of the outside of the house, but here are our 2 Christmas trees.  Every year we debate doing a 3rd of just Penn State ornanments (yes, we have that many), but never quite make it to number 3 before burning out.  Feel free to blame any bare spots on the dog and cat who both like to use the trees as their personal smorgasborgs.  One of the smartest things we ever did was to decorate the front tree with bells so that we have a little bit of a warning if someone is sticking her nose where it shouldn't be.  (Harper, I'm looking at you!)

The front one.  Chris always feels it looks too bare...and honestly?  From the picture?  I'm agreeing.  We can just never agree!  He wants to put fake snow (ugh), and I want to put ribbon (and he objects).  So...it remains sparse.

My little Charlie Brown tree as Chris likes to refer to it.  This was my tree from my single days.  At least it looks full!

Maybe I should have taken pictures with the lights on.  Oh well.  Post for another year.

Passing on the Word

Alright, I will still try and post at lunch, but I just HAD to share a series of posts that I have thoroughly enjoyed.  Lizzie at Mother Runner has been doing a really fascinating series of posts on running during and after pregnancy.  I have not ran more than a few feet after the dog during this pregnancy, but I might be considering it after reading her inspiring story.  It would be a lot easier if it wasn't so cold!  Anyway, check these out!

During Pregnancy - http://www.themotherrunner.com/2010/12/running-through-pregnancy/

After Delivery - http://www.themotherrunner.com/2010/12/back-on-the-road-after-pregnancy/

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Montage of Random Thoughts

1.  It is pathetic that it took until 2:00 pm for me to shower and dress.
2.  It is REALLY darn tough to take pictures of yourself.  How do those teenagers do it?  Maybe I need to be making the "duck face".
3.  You still can't see much of a bump straight-on.
4.  The scarf?  I won it from a give-away on Katy's Neverending Story.  Isn't it great?
5.  The downside of hand-me-downs?  You smell like someone else.  It's probably technically that I smell like someone else's DETERGENT, but still.  Rewashing everything I haven't worn now because it's driving me crazy.

6.  My husband rocks.  He knew how down I've been and got me flowers.  There used to be daisies, too, but I failed to take a picture before they died.

7.  Just been awhile since I posted a picture of my girl.  Still super skinny, but she's kinda behaved herself today.  Got sick on the new carpet once, shredded an egg carton (further), but generally, good.  So, I'll be happy with her and take her with me to the post office.   

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ode to the Fast Food Burger

(warning...giant dorky moment ahead)

Oh dear, vile, greasy heaven in a bun,
Why do the books all keep you from my babe,
I eat you and I fail to swim or run,
Two times in days consult the astrolabe.

At Wendy's I was quite distressed to find,
New fries were good but they too changed the beef.
My burger was no longer my prime bliss.

At Five Guys times were better in my mind,
Cheeseburger all the way with fries ain't brief,
Too stuffed the Lion said heartburn won't miss.

Ha!  Just had to subject all of you to more bad poetry!  Yes, I had burgers 2 days in a row this weekend.  I'm being SOOOO healthy.  I think the Lion will forgive me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Ok, I'll use our dead Canon Rebel as an excuse.  SERIOUSLY.  That thing is less than a year old, and having major issues.  Need to try and figure that out.  So...here is a picture of slightly lesser quality.  :P

Apologies for the hard-to-determine bump, but I figured I better take a picture RIGHT THAT SECOND when I thought about it, or it wasn't going to happen for another 2 weeks.  No time to change.  I'll be 18 weeks on Wednesday. 

***EDIT***  I forgot the weight stat.  Apparently my scale is screwed up because the official doctor scale said I had only gained 3.5 lbs total as of Wednesday.  Not the 6 mine was scaring me with.

How are you feeling?  Much better on the nausea front.  I haven't been sick in over a week.  I don't want to curse myself, but we may have moved past the morning sickness stage.  I've started having some crazy sciatica pain shooting up my tailbone, but at least it's not consistent.  Comes and goes.  VERY tired all the time.  Which, hey, wasn't that supposed to go AWAY 2nd trimester?  Taking a lot of naps.

C'mon, have you found out the sex yet?  Nope.  Haven't even scheduled the anatomy scan.  Need to do that.  I've even taken to referring to the Lion as a "him" most of the time, so I'm gonna really have to change my thinking if it shows a girl!

Feeling any movement?  OH yeah.  Particularly when I'm playing concerts.  I think that's part of why the concerts end up being so painful!  (that and sitting up straight in metal chairs)  The kid goes NUTS.  It's like being seasick on a boat.  He just starts rolling around having his own little dance party in there. 

Anything odd food wise?  Really?  No, not at all right now.  I'm feeling much more like myself.  Even to the point that I've debated dropping the meat.  Though the doctor said my iron levels were great from the bloodwork...and that's rare.  I usually show up as anemic, so maybe I should stick with it for now.  I'm still having a lot of trouble drinking water.  I don't know why I hate it so much.  But my blood pressure at last appointment was only 100/60, so that's verging on worrisome-low, and mostly says DEHYDRATED.  So...trying. 

Exciting events?  Ok, see that picture?  I'm wearing the hand-me-downs from my friend at work.  And those jeans?  Size 4.  Well, size 27, but same thing.  WOO HOO.  I'm so pleased that I'm going to be able to fit in her stuff!  Well, although (any males reading may want to stop), the boobs are out of control.  About to buy the next size up in bras.  Again.  This big-to-begin with girl did NOT need to go up 2 cup sizes.  Already.  Unless they plan on stopping.  Like...tomorrow.  At least Chris is enjoying it.  I think that's why the belly doesn't look so huge.  They kind of balance it out!

Anything bad this week?  Y'know, kid wise?  Not really.  The concerts were crazy painful, and I was certainly spasming afterwards.  Did not sleep well Friday because of it.  Other than that?  It's been alright.

Any funny quotes?  I really need to write them down when I hear them.  Preggo brain's not letting me remember.  Only vaguely funny one I can think of is a friend came up to me after a concert with her 4-year-old daughter and said, "She has a baby in her belly."  And her daughter said, "Nuh UH.  I'M a baby."  Cute.  Don't think she gets the whole process yet. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why so...quiet?

I'm trying really hard not to only write with anger, frustration, depression, or all the other negative emotions that have been swarming around.  And...since I have known that I would fail at that, I've chosen to stay quiet.  I've thought about plenty of fluffy posts I could write...about my love of the Singing Bee, the meatballs that were so successful, the flodni that was a complete disaster, or all of my decorations.  You may see any or all of these later, but I guess I'll own up to what's been going on.

I'm feeling fairly angry about the part-time lay-off, though I'm trying to not let it show too much.  It feels like I'm being punished for only having been there for four years.  FOUR YEARS.  In any other company I'd be getting a prize, but here I'm the newbie who deserves to be a sacrificial lamb.  It also feels like this is a decision based on the fact that I'm somewhat more financially responsible that others, and because I can't walk away because the pregnancy won't allow me to get a new job.  Yes, a fairly illegal rational.  I can't say I have felt very respected during the whole process. 

Pregnancy emotions are fairly unstable beings to begin with, but this has been really hard.  There's been a lot of crying and anger when I'm behind closed doors.  I feel so trapped, used, betrayed, any and all of the above.  I just don't have a solution.  And that's the hardest part of it all.  I try and figure out options, cry over other people's posts on getting things for a nursery that I can't afford, or snap entirely too often at the animals or my husband.  I can't even say that I've made it out of my pajamas yet today, though I have made that my goal for once I finish this post. 

Hopefully, I'll find a way to at least feel the holiday spirit soon, or find a way to see the pregnancy as a joyful event, and not what is trapping me, or even feel put together or attractive, but for now...I'm kinda wallowing.  And I know it's not a pretty picture to share with the world.          

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free Time

Well...if I'm not getting blog posts up, I have no excuse any more.  I have plenty of time!  My hours at work have been reduced by 1/2.  I have been expecting this, but it still will be difficult financially.  I have been eluding to this for some time, so obviously, it has not come out of left field that lay-offs were coming down the pike.  I just was hoping that it might be closer to my due date so that we could try and save a bit more money first.

I'm also even more stuck than I felt before.  It's pretty clear that I'm not just chubby, but rather pregnant.  And, while it would be illegal to discriminate against me, I think that there are enough people looking for work right now that any company I applied with would be able to find an equally suitable candidate...that wouldn't have a conflict in about 5 months. 

So, I will try and be entertaining and talkative, though, we shall see.  God never closes a door without opening a window, right?

Outrageous Comments During Pregnancy

I count my blessings that I have only had one person touch my belly so far (well, other than my husband), because that will really disturb me.  I just am not a touchy-feely person, so this is going to be tough for me.  I have had my share of comments, though.  Thought I'd share a couple for your amusement.

"I feel bad for your kid, it's always going to wonder what is wrong with its mother." - Must keep person anonymous for my own protection

"You should put the kid on top of a fence and see which way it falls to tell who its going to be a fan of." - Chris's cousin Sean

"It is not up for debate...either it is a PSU fan or it gets sent back!!!!" - Chris

Hmm...all I'm thinking of at this second.  Gonna be a short one!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Party

My office has been off doing Christmas parties for a few years, and Chris's is down to just doing an inter-office get-together, but better than nothing!  His party was this past weekend, with a semi-controversial idea behind it.  The party was to be during the parade that is in that town, and everyone could watch out of the windows.  Sounds like a good idea, but getting there and finding parking proved somewhat difficult.  It's a small town, but a lot of people come in for the parade, so they close roads, and I even ended up having to go the wrong way up a one-way street to get to the office, and blissfully, their own garage (though with limited spaces). 

The ironic part, is that Chris is so opposed to traffic, that we left before the parade started to go home, so that we didn't have to fight it on the way out, too.  Would've been nice to see.  What sort of Philly girl am I if I've never seen mummers perform in any setting? 

The food was good, and I inhaled it as I was almost at the end of my "eat every 2 hours or get sick" time frame when I arrived.  People were teasing Chris that he was a child, since he selected to only eat chicken fingers, mac 'n cheese, and desserts.  It's a party, so be it. 

There were probably more children than adult attendees, so it was interesting to track what all their names were.  And, the other interesting thing, is that kids in Chris's office run in 3's.  So...we're all making bets on who needs to join Susie and I in the Spring/Summer of 2011.  Chris is horrifying his single co-worker, Brittney, with his bet on her, while I wagered on Mike & Meghan having a third.  Chris thinks Mike would cry. 

I wasn't going to write about the party because I didn't have any pictures, but Chris's co-worker Kathy forwarded one.  So...here it is.  I'm not sure what my hair is doing...it looks...missing?  As does the bump...  Oh well, still cute.  And demonstrates why Chris prefers me not to wear heels.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pre-Natal Yoga

I haven't exactly moved past the sickness-stage, but I've decided that I've just got to ignore it and get back to exercising. So...step one? Pre-natal yoga.

I attended a class yesterday at Ocean Earth Wind Fire that was taught by Denise.

I have to admit, I enjoyed it thoroughly!  There were only 4 of us (in addition to the teacher), and I didn't feel too out of place at only 15 weeks.  The other women were at 28, 26, and 18 weeks, so a bit of variety there.  We started the class discussing our birthing plans, and honestly?  I'm glad I was already thinking of doing natural child birth because, not surprisingly, there was a strong push toward the more holistic paths.  There were 2 of us that said we were considering natural hospital births, and that almost came across as involving too much intervention when others were discussing home births, birthing centers, and doulas.  I honestly don't know the exact decision I will make, but I did feel a little pressure during this discussion, which, might have been somewhat uncomfortable.  I do plan on watching the documentary "The Business of Being Born" after everyone's comments, though.

As for the actual class?  I was surprised!  We still did almost identical poses to any other class I've been to!  I thought that inversions were supposed to be bad, but I guess that's just standing on your head type of inversions.  We still certainly were doing downward dogs and such.  For most poses, the instructor was giving modifications for people having balance issues, or their bellies were in the way.  I did not have these problems yet.  Also, there were plenty of blocks or bolster pillows available to help support in whatever position you needed them.  My only difficulty was feeling weak after too much of a break!  I had to come out of a few poses just because my muscles were shaking or would cramp up.

Awkward moment #2?  Having an instructor tell a room full of women to do a few kegels while in a pose.  I just don't normally consider this a community activity?  Ah, well.  Necessary.

And finally?  During corpse pose at the end, I swear I felt the Lion for the first time!  Which totally defeated the point of the "relaxation pose".  My mind was NOT clear.  As soon as I felt the flutter across my abdomen, I became entirely focused on that feeling.  Well, I suppose I can sacrifice a little relaxation for that moment.   

Friday, December 3, 2010

Week 15

Yes, this is a highly unusual update picture.  If you want the explanation, go check out my guest post over on Living Like the Kings.

So...we've hit week 15.  And I skipped week 14.  Thanksgiving and all that.  14 was more of the same, although I did miss my first day of work because I couldn't get the morning sickness under control.  Ah, the milestones.  Anyway.  15.  

Weight gain:  Well, whole awkward losing/gaining roller coaster aside?  I'm up about 4 pounds from my original weight.  Which means...woah nelly, better slow down.  It's coming on quick in 2nd trimester.

How do I feel?  Still nauseous, still exhausted.  I did go 4 days without getting sick, so hopefully the breaks keep getting longer and longer.  

Anything eventful?  Oh, guess this was last week, too, but I can now hear the Lion on the at-home doppler.  I probably could earlier, but hadn't tried.  It was pretty cool.  We tried to count the heartbeat as best we could and are getting about 156/minute.  So...make what predictions you will.

Sex?  We won't get tested til January, but I continue to be confused.  My co-worker did the "needle test" where you dangle it over your wrist and if it goes in a circle it's a girl, and back and forth is a boy...she says it's a boy.  For the first time this week, though, I drempt the Lion was a girl.  Most of the time he's showing up male, though.

Clothing?  We have moved into maternity pants.  The tops are still a mix. 

Husband moment of the week:  Ok, I don't  remember if this was this week, but I do know I haven't written about it.  Chris touched my stomach and said, "I thought pregnant bellies were supposed to be hard."  I had to respond, "Well, I've still got room in there for now!" 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Current Enemy

A long time has passed since the days when I used to fight with my violin and cello teachers over cutting my nails, but the cello is back to being the bane of my existence.

  This new found issue is nothing to do with cutting my nails, or practicing (though, admittedly, both have been problematic this past week), but rather that the Lion seems to have a major problem with my instrument. 

I noticed pretty early on that my core strength is minimal.  Walking Harper was hard, because she could easily pull me over, and already I stand and sit like I'm massively pregnant just because I'm weak.  This has made rehearsals very challenging.  For those of you that aren't familiar with cellos, they are the string instrument that you sit to play.  It takes a LOT of core strength to hold yourself upright and support your instrument and proper playing position.  By the end of a 2 hour rehearsal, I am SHOT. 

A few weeks ago was my first real issue.  By the end of the rehearsal I was shaking, aching, and all my core muscles went into spasms.  By the time I got home, I was throwing up uncontrollably (but what's new about that, right?).  Just another case of pushing myself too hard.

Well, last night at rehearsal, I didn't even make it to the end.  By the time I had ran out of rehearsal twice to get sick, I decided I needed to leave.  15 minutes early.  I am not looking forward to concerts.  The added nerves will only make it more challenging, I'd imagine.  And the fact that my conductor has called for a 2 hour rehearsal before the concert on Saturday.  EEEK!!!

I like to think that the Lion just doesn't appreciate either classical music, or the vibrations, though, not the entirely logical over-exertion explanation.

Regardless, if you're anywhere near the western suburbs of Philly, feel free to come to one of our concerts!  We're actually pretty good this year!  It'll get you into the Christmas spirit, and they are free admission.  See our website for details.  And who knows, you may just get to laugh at me as I get sick all over the other low strings.  Joyeux Noelle! 

The Audubon Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Catch-up #3: The (re-) Finished Basement

It's finally done!  Well, there are a few minor details to be sorted out (a piece of trim here, a dab of paint there), but good enough to call done!  Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU to everyone that helped.  Matt and Kyle for your labor, Sean and Bill for your tools, my parents for moving in down there for a WEEK, and my beloved husband, who spent every waking, non-work hour on it for a better part of a month.  We couldn't have done it without all of you.  So, you want pictures, right?

Wait a minute...there's not supposed to be a dog there...  She was much too eager to help make up the pull-out couch for my brother and sister-in-law.  Good thing they were used to dog hair. 

It's nice to be able to breathe, again!  (literally and figuratively - work and mold are DONE with!)