Friday, February 25, 2011

Chris's Big Moment and, of course, More Belly

Last night we mingled with engineering's Delaware.  Yes, it's slightly odd, but due to some weird requirements, Chris passed his PE in Delaware and is submitting for reciprocity in PA.  No worries, all will result in the same ultimate conclusion. 

I had planned on wearing the last remaining items that fit and were suit-like to this "business professional" event...and here's where it got tricky.  I got dressed a little close to the time I was to leave, noticing as I struggled to zip it up that we might have a problem.  However, when I got into the car and tried to sit down?  That was the last straw.  There was no way I was going to be able to breathe for 5 minutes much less the entire evening.  So...I scavanged.  Fortunately I found a black dress in my friend's maternity bin, and while it was a little casual for the event, I figured I'd be forgiven.  Here's a picture of what I WANTED to wear (when it still fit on my body last week)....but of course I didn't take a picture AT the event of what I ended up in.  Yes, I was 26 weeks pregnant in this picture, but I continue to carry almost exclusively in front of me, so you'd never know from this angle.

But even more importantly, here is a picture of Chris accepting his license.  I am so proud of him and so happy that he doesn't have to study any more! 

And, of course, here is where the belly currently is at.  I'm now 27 weeks, up 19 pounds (must...slow...down), and starting to feel quite large.  And we still have 3 months to go!  The Lion has been SUPER active recently, rarely taking a break to even breathe.  This is probably a good sign.  Oh, and, yes, as I had assumed, the lack of hearing from the doctor meant that I passed the glucose screening with flying colors.  So both the boy and I continue to be in perfect health.  Other than apparently I look like I haven't slept in a week.  I may be having some trouble on that front, just because of the Lion's activity and the severe heartburn.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Choice: Cheap or Delicious?

Saturday night we went out for the cheapest evening ever.  It was not planned as a challenge or anything (though, hmm...might be a fun one), it just turned out that way.

We met up with our friends Shammah and Cathy at Rock Bottom Brewery.  Chris was stuck on repeat both before and after the outing about how much he loved their beer, and after how glad he was that he finally got to have it again.  The place was PACKED.  We knew it would be.  It's in the 25th largest mall in America (ok, really thought that would be a more impressive stat when I looked it up), and it was Saturday night.  We waited an hour just to be seated.

We weren't bothered.  As I said, we expected it.  But as soon as we sat down, the boys got beers, and I started sucking down the massive amounts of lemonade I always consume.  We also quickly ordered a platter of nachos, and observed that a huge party had just been sat in the room next to us.  Just as a recommendation to all you restaurateurs out there, they do nachos RIGHT.  They spread out the nachos on a huge cutting board thing so that when you put the toppings on, there aren't any "naked" chips. You all know it's the gunk we're really interested in, so c'mon, help us fight naked chip-dom.

Having not seen each other since I got pregnant (wow, really?  that's bad), we were just enjoying catching up.  And the massive spread of nachos kept us from being too hungry.  However, the waiter approached the table, looking quite flustered, and apologized profusely and told us that our MEALS had been comped...because the meals still weren't out to us 50 minutes after the nachos.  The kitchen had been overwhelmed by the large party.  We all argued quite a bit over whether he had actually said "meals" or "beers" just because we couldn't imagine them covering the meals, even if it had been a long time.  We just decided to proceed as before.

When it was time for the bill...there was no bill!  When he said "meals", not only did he mean the entrees, but apparently absolutely everything.  Obviously, we tipped him $20 (over 20%), but other than that?  It was free!  Admittedly, my salad tasted like it had sat in dressing for awhile, and Chris said his steak was cold, but hey, I'll take it.  But would you? 

Would you choose the free food that had sat too long, or the full-price meals that were as they should be? 


Monday, February 21, 2011


I have some athletic ability...but I also can be an absolute klutz and injure myself doing NOTHING.  And that's what happened yesterday.  I was making trips to bring the groceries in from the car and stepped from my side door down one step onto our patio and then was on the ground.  Just landed wrong.  Fortunately, I did it right in front of Chris, so he was sufficiently freaked out to have pity on me for the rest of the evening.

For those of you worrying about the Lion...DON'T.  He's still kicking away at almost an irritating rate.  It hasn't slowed him down one bit.  I hit the ankle hard, then landed on my knees, and only then did my torso get anywhere near the concrete.  Of course, Chris's inclination was still to run over and grab my head, and I had to sputter, "Not my head, my ankle" before he'd let go.

Sadly, while I have about 10 pairs of maternity jeans, only ONE of those pairs actually belongs to me.  And that was the pair I was wearing.  Good news for Tina and Megan.  Sad for the pidly stock of clothes that are left if I ever decide to get pregnant again!  With everyone's generosity, I've only bought a couple items.  Assuming I can lose enough weight that they make sense.  And, ok, let's be honest.  Tina gave me hers permanently (as she's had 3 kids and is in her 40's), so her SEVEN pairs of jeans are available in the future...if I can get back to a size 4.  I can't wear any of them at the moment.     

Back to the ankle.  It's really swollen, and I can't really put weight on it.  I can hobble across a room in a lot of pain, but it ain't pretty, and I'm not doing it often.  But I'm too cheap to go for an x-ray yet, and well, would like to avoid exposing the kid if possible.  So we'll see how it's doing later.  Until then?  You can identify me by the ace bandage.

Friday, February 18, 2011

All in God's Time

This week has been such a roller coaster.  I opened my email a few days ago to an unbelieveable opportunity that seemingly just fell into my lap.  I couldn't believe my luck!  (And no, it wasn't some long lost relative from Africa leaving me a fortune.)  I immediately acted upon it, and things seemed beyond promising.  Until...the "you're pregnant" card fell from the deck. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm excited that the Lion is coming, and he will be loved and cherished, but I have truly struggled this whole pregnancy with the idea that things aren't happening in our "time", or according to our "plan".  Funny, right?  I'm 30, I should've learned by now that things never do work out quite the way you envision them.  But I have struggled at the times that I'm almost bitter with my little man for coming too soon. 

When we first discovered we were pregnant, it was daunting, but we could handle it.  My career wasn't exactly a Cinderella story, and we didn't have the money saved that we would have hoped, but we'd be able to swing it.  Then the dog, and the basement, and the lay-off...all just made things a bit more difficult.  Still, the whole time, I tried to remind myself that even with one income, we were better off than many people.  Our bills are paid, we have tightened our belts, but we're still moving forward.  

I tried my best to put myself into a better position, but it was seemingly going nowhere.  I dealt with rejection, and downright anger when I found out someone who I see as "charmed" felt I didn't deserve the one glimmer of hope that had appeared on the scene because it hadn't happened to her.  (Of course, everything worked out perfectly for her shortly after.) 

Anyway, this opportunity started to renew my faith that maybe I did have the promise, and the intelligence, and the skills that I used to believe I possessed when I was in school.  People actually thought I was "ideal" and were excited about ME.  And now?  I get to go back to where I was because of having a manditory break imposed on my life in June.  And that doesn't fit in their time.

Hopefully, I don't fall back into the depression that had really started to consume me a few months ago, and I can just see this as reassurance that something WILL happen next fall, or whenever is God's time.  For now?  The letdown after such a steep, unexpected climb is being accutely felt.   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Valentine's Day

In theory, we were doing nothing.  It turned into something, but it wasn't supposed to be.  Saturday we used free passes to go to the Philly Art Museum.  Which, I actually was fairly disappointed by.  I suppose you see so many comments about it because of Rocky, rather than the actual collections.  If you're into furniture or Asian art?  They have that in spades.  I like pretty typical 1750- about 1900 European art, so it wasn't as overwhelming a collection.  Dutch is my favorite.  But I'll stick with my favorite art museum in the world being the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, Germany, which just coincidentally houses a collection ranging from 1700-1900.  Anyway, this trip DIDN'T turn out to be free because we forgot to get our parking validated.  $30!!!  Crazy.

Afterwards, Chris has been wanting a Black & Tan for the longest time, so we went to our local pub.  So classy and indulgent.  But totally what we wanted to do, so I thought it was perfect.  I had chicken tenders and french fries.  What EVERY Valentine's meal should be, right?

Later that night, I made Chris's favorite cookies (both chocolate and peanut butter chips) and my furry valentines tried to steal some of Chris's dough.  Obviously, there is no way that he'd ever let that happen.

We were supposed to be done.  But NOOOO, I got flowers delivered to my office yesterday.  They were beautiful, but unexpected, and Chris TOTALLY went back on our "no presents" deal. 

So I got him something.  Not much, but this IS the way to Chris's heart in case any of you needed to know.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine's day, too!

Also, you should check out Kat's one-year-bloggaversary give-away:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 25

Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven't taken a belly pic in awhile.  I did a little better with the taking a picture in a mirror concept this time.  It helped that I had my good camera back and I COULD take it without a flash.  And...we're still struggling with looking like we're pregnant in these parts.  The sweater I wore yesterday?  Totally covered up the bump and I was back to just looking chubby.  This one does a bit of a better job.  Thank you, again, Megan.  I'm thoroughly enjoying your clothes.  :)

Welcome to week 25!!!

My recent obsession has been to follow the viability statistics, because you know what?  We are now on the chart!  At week 25, there is 50% viability!  Not that I want to meet the Lion any time soon, and viability doesn't equal HEALTHY, but it's good to have yet another reassurance.  And, assuming we make it to next week?  80%.  Crazy how fast he's developing at this point.

How am I feeling?  Difficult question.  Until last Thursday, I was finally hitting my stride.  I was feeling alright, just a little achy and tired, but was finally starting to feel like I could handle this pregnancy stuff.  Then Thursday, AHHHH Thursday.  I had been sick previously that week, but Thursday confirmed that I would be returning to morning sickness in the 3rd trimester.  Not only did I lose dinner, but I threw my back out in the process.  This past weekend was unbelievably painful, and only today am I feeling mobile, and not living on Tylenol.  That being said, I have high hopes that, while still nauseous, I'll do better with it on this 2nd go-around.  Yes, I have stockpiled saltines, ginger snaps, peppermint livesavers, and all my old standbys.  Bring it on.

How's the Lion doing?  As far as I know?  Just peachy.  He's kicking (and punching) away, and seems to be now turned in the right direction.  I was pretty sure he was breach earlier because of the low kicks, but now the kicks are up into my lungs, and the softer punches are lower, so I believe everything is as it should be.  I have another appointment next Wednesday where I can tell you more.

Any news from the doctor?  No, and I'm assuming no news is good news.  I took my glucose screening last week, and haven't heard a peep, so presumably that came back as it should.  I had the orange-flavored bottle of liquid, though I would never have known it.  I stood in front of the nurses station and chugged it so quickly that I received an amazed "Wow" from those that witnessed.  College trained me well.  I wish I hadn't gotten it QUITE so cold because it gave me an ice cream headache.  I believe that the ladies advising to chill it might have taken a bit more time with theirs.

Where are you in weight gain and maternity clothes?  According to my unofficial scale at home, I am up 15 pounds.  I had mis-estimated last post I did, and was in fact 12 pounds up at that time, so I'm actually not gaining as quick as it might seem.  And with the return of morning sickness?  We'll see how it goes.  I am SOOOO thankful for Megan's clothes right now!  I started in Tina's clothes, quickly outgrew those, and only have a few of my own, so having Megan's to supplement is such a Godsend.  It's pretty much maternity wear every day now, though.       

So, Grandma and Grandpa, do you believe that I can look pregnant now? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Power of Suggestion

I haven't really thought that I was having all that many cravings, but I seemingly am ENTIRELY suggestible to whatever someone else is eating.  It all started one day when Katy of Katy's Neverending Story talked about her fantastic pound cake.  I did bid on it, but it was a hot commodity and I lost out.  Of course, that Saturday also brought on a phone call from my mother asking how many eggs to put in a pound cake.  I told her my recipe had 5, she thought only 3, and, well, let's say she was disappointed later, but I am thoroughly loving mine.

So, Katy?  You either get the praise or the blame for my indulgence, depending on how you look at it.  Then, of course, I live on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel.  This has been referred to in the pregnancy forums as "Food P*rn" (sorry, I don't want the search engines linking THAT here).  I'm not entirely certain what show discussed Chicken Marsala, but, of course, it showed up on our plates for dinner.    

I suppose this is not a terrible thing, that I keep feeling the need to live in the kitchen, though perhaps Chris at least would prefer if all of you would discuss some healthier options.  I just hope that nothing too bizarre gets suggested, because you never know, I'll probably try it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Completed Nursery Painting

What?  You couldn't tell what the finished product was going to look like from the pictures of tape?  I suppose I can't really blame you.  I did the initial coat, but then threw my back out, so Chris really has to get credit for finishing.  We love it!  It still needs a bit of touch-up work, but overall?  Pretty darn pleased with how it turned out.  Now on to details!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life Without Prep Work

This week I did one of my least favorite things.  Prepping walls for painting.  But it really got me thinking.  Would I really want to just be able to snap my fingers and have all of it done for me?  Well, maybe the part where I was scrubbing stains of dog sickness off the walls, but it did occur to me that perhaps what I am so proud of in my finished products is the detail work.  Anyone can slap a coat of paint on.  Not everyone can make it look nice.  And, admittedly, we have a few spots in this house that you can tell there is spackle underneath that isn't sanded well enough.  Overall, though, I think I do a pretty good job.

So as I spent hour after hour sanding, washing, measuring stripes, and then taping them off, I tried to remind myself that this is the part that will ultimately make the room a success or a failure.  That I'm glad I spent an hour at Sherwin Williams with them retinting a paint so that it matched (that was actually kinda fun).  And I'm glad that I climbed a ladder 5 million times, even if I'm still incredibly sore.  By the way?  Try strapping 20 pounds to your stomach after you haven't worked out in 6 months and climb a ladder.  Talk about exercise!

I do think that ultimately I'll be proud of what I've accomplished, just like I'm proud when I cook from scratch, study hard for a test, train for a race, or any of the other not-so-fun things that get me where I'm going.  I just need to remember to enjoy the journey a bit more, I suppose.  So, from now on...bring on the sanding!  Yay!  Ok, I'm not there yet.  But I'm trying.