Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Daily Note: June 30, 2009

I’m so excited to be in week 31. The single-digit-week-countdown is on. I think this shot was taken at 30 weeks, 5 days?

The baby is obviously gaining in size every week and as a result, her movements have changed a bit. I’m not sure if I’m right, but I get the distinct impression that she’s decided to hang out with her head and feet permanently on my right side. She still gets hiccups every day and I can clearly feel them on my right side more than my left. I also usually have a really hard lump on my right, upper side that can be felt from the outside – her head? Occasionally the lump will shift visibly and rest for a while on the left, just above and to the side of my belly button. When this happens, there is an obvious distortion to the shape of my normally round belly and it looks like she could poke out of there, alien-style.

I think I’m entering the “nesting phase” that everyone talks so much about. Except due to the construction in our house, I’m having to put all my nesting energy into baking. This weekend I made a quiche (How to Cook Everything):

an apple-rhubarb brown betty (Martha):

and a blueberry peach coffee cake (adapted from the White Dog Cookbook - I added fruit and oats and omitted the nuts):

The brown betty looked pretty, but it was sort of blah. The quiche and coffee cake however were really good. It was pointed out to me today by a coworker when I mentioned my recent weekend bake-a-thons that I should probably be making lasagnas and other dishes for our basement freezer instead of perishable baked goods. Point taken.

Jeff is making good progress on the nursery closet and I hope to have photos soon. He’s in the caulking, spackling and sanding phase. Maybe tonight will begin the priming and painting phase. Normally, I’m the caulk expert (snicker snicker) in our family and when Jeff came down last night after spending some time with the spackle tub and caulk gun, he muttered, “Building things is more fun when YOU do all the hole patching…”. I felt bad for a minute and then remembered that I’m essentially carrying around a bowling ball for 9 months that causes back aches, calf cramps and hip pain. Then I didn’t feel bad anymore and asked him for a back rub. On the note of backs, pain, and soothing – I discovered last night that using a heating pad for 5 minutes on my lower back while reading before bed is like taking a hot tub. I should probably give the heating pad a name because I think he might be my new best friend. In fact, sorry to threaten you Amy, but you’ve now got some stiff competition for the “Friend of the Year Award”. Although I suppose my heating pad won’t bake me banana bread. Or pull my weeds.

We had a great anniversary “date night” on Friday. We tried a restaurant that we’d never been to, but always heard good things about – Chez Shea which is in Pike Place. My salmon was really good, but Jeff’s scallops with sweet corn and bacon were the clear winner. Then we saw Away We Go at the new movie theatre that just opened up a mile from our house. Such a good movie – smart and funny and sweet, and Jim Krasinski is hilarious. My only bone with this movie was that Maya Rudolph was supposed to be 6 months pregnant but still had the tiniest little twig legs and ankles I've ever seen.

A few other misc. pics from this week:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Daily Note: June 26, 2009

Today is Jeff and my 5th wedding anniversary. Want to relive the happy day with me? Here you go:


(click on any of the thumbnails to see the full photo)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Daily Note: June 25, 2009

I welcomed in week 30 on Tuesday. 67 days til my due date. The countdown is on. We took week 29 belly shots this last weekend, but I sort of hate them. Here's the best of the bunch:

I don’t really have any major pregnancy updates. In the last 2 weeks I’ve found myself more tired and am finally experiencing a bit of the mood swings that I was told I’d have in the first trimester but didn’t. Needless to say, Jeff is really enjoying himself. Oh, and I got another cold this week, which is my excuse for not posting earlier. I woke up Monday with a sore throat and have been super snotty and congested ever since. I had a marathon nose-blowing session in the last 24 hours though, and am feeling quite a bit better today.

We had a very productive weekend completing ridiculously gender-specific tasks. I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen making a rhubarb compote (really good on vanilla ice cream!), a huge pan of rice krispie treats (what? I like RKTs okay, layoff!), and topping the weekend off with cornbread (slathered in butter and honey) and jambalaya for dinner on Sunday night.

On Saturday, Jeff drove to the factory in Auburn to pick up our rocking chair to avoid paying delivery fees. There was a minor panic when the rocking chair was dragged into the dining room that it might not fit up the stairs where all our bedrooms are, but thankfully it just barely squeezed through the stairwell doorway. At the moment, the nursery could probably more accurately be described “the mess pile” because, well, it’s a MESS PILE. There are stacks of blankets and towels everywhere (we previously used this room as a big linen closet), a giant air compressor, nail guns, lumber (explanation below), measuring tapes, a crib, huge Huggies boxes filled with hand-me-down baby clothes from friends and coworkers, and now a saran-wrapped rocking chair. I think a trip to Storables for big plastic tubs, followed by intense packing and a trip to the basement is in order.

After the rocking chair pick-up, Jeff got to work on a beautiful built-in closet for the nursery. The closet in Edie’s room is precariously shaped with no structure and over the years has basically become a dumping ground for luggage, blankets, toiletries and the vacuum. That said, we’ve always had a vision for what we wanted the closet to look like. Recently, Jeff found a picture of exactly what we’d been picturing on another blog and was inspired to make it happen:

Before and after photos to come as soon as he’s done!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daily Note: June 17, 2009

Sorry guys, I forgot to take a week 28 belly shot and now I’m hanging out over here in week 29 so it’s too late. I guess you’ll just have to make do with the picture from the bridal shower in my earlier post. Perhaps you’ll forgive me when you see these pictures of the cutest cat ever?

No? Hmmm… well, then maybe I can appease you with a few pregnancy related updates?
We pick up our rocking chair this weekend and I’m excited to see some furniture start to fill up the room. I’ve transitioned to seeing the doctor every 2 weeks, which really makes me feel like things are starting to happen. Edie’s kicks have just recently transitioned to being sometimes painful. She’s obviously gathering strength. I’m bored with people asking all concerned how I’m “feeling”, I’m bored with only having 3 outfits that are comfortable, bored with people jovially commenting on how “huge” or “big” I am, bored with work drama when mentally I’m already thinking forward 2 months to my maternity leave, bored with my hips hurting, hmmm what else? Oh yeah, I’m bored with my own complaining. So I guess I’ll stop. At least for a little while.

The daycare facility we visited last week was nice (although I will confess to freaking out a little at the reality of picturing me dropping a baby off for someone else to care for all day) so we paid a deposit and have a guaranteed infant slot for February. This means we have to figure out what to do in January when I supposedly go back to work, but worse case scenario is Daddy Daycare as Jeff works from home nowadays. We’re also exploring the feasibility of a longer maternity leave, me working from home or part time for that month… etc. We’ll see I guess. At least we aren’t languishing on some vague waitlist, hoping for a call.

Since I started this post with an apology, I think I'll round it out with another - sorry this post sucked. Apparently I'm not just bored, I am also BORING.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Daily Note: June 15, 2009

This weekend was full of activity. Katherine flew in from California and we all worked together to put on Darrah’s bridal shower. Darrah is getting married the week of my due date actually, so between the two of us, this summer is filled to the brim with showers and festivities. The theme was a Garden Party and we hosted it in Heidi’s backyard. Darrah and her fiancĂ© recently moved into a house and were in need of gardening supplies so the theme all worked out perfectly for a June shower. I did a bad job of taking photos, so when Katherine sends us her pics, I’ll see if I can supplement with some of hers. She actually documented the adorable buffet table we assembled, the tiny pots of herbs that we planted for centerpieces on the tables, the giant basket of favors – vegetables tied with ribbons for people to take home and cook, the massive glass jugs of fruit infused water and raspberry lemonade at the beverage table next to bottles of peach champagne for blinis, the hilarious games that involved homemade puzzles and learning the dance from All the Single Ladies (long story)… let’s just say that we know how to throw a party. I started off the day with high hopes of taking lots of pictures, but after taking a picture of Amy frosting her cupcakes: One of my giant baguette sandwiches that I chopped into smaller slices:
And one of the backyard from the porch before the guests arrived:

Then I put my camera down and forgot about it until we had a group photo shoot at the end of the party. Here are “The Girls”:

From left to right: Kristin, Katherine, me, Darrah, Amy and Heidi.

Congrats D - we love you very much.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Daily Note: June 10, 2009

Last night I went totally ballistic and murdered billions of tiny ants that have infested our kitchen. I came home from work and poor Maurice was crying out for his dinner. I looked to his bowl and there was a trail of ants coming from the back door marching right into his food bowl. His food was more ants than food. I was outraged. I proceeded to spend a full 45 minutes vacuuming them up while yelling things like, "Yeah that's right, how does that feel you greedy little mother fuckers!? That'll teach you to eat my cat's food!" I finished by stuffing the crack under the door with vinegar soaked paper towels, which I read somewhere kills them.
Totally unrelated to my gross ant story is the adorable crib bedding that I just paid for on Etsy. This woman in Ohio is making us a crib skirt in the bottom right floral and then a quilt in a mix of all the fabrics. We figure we can buy cheap, solid colored fitted sheets in any of the colors below since we'll likely be changing those every few days. We also didn't order a bumper, even though they are SO cute, because all our friends warned us that the current safety standards say to buy mesh bumpers that won't suffocate the baby if she rolls into them (like I need that to obsess about). So we registered for light green mesh bumpers that match one of the greens in the fabric.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Daily Note: June 9, 2009

I really had a great weekend. Friday’s cleaning and hauling trip may have been boring, but having a clean house is sooo nice. On Saturday we met up with friends for lunch and then headed to the SIFF movie that my friend directed. It was amazing to see all the work that was put into the movie, fun to see Craig for his “big moment” and we all enjoyed the film. Then we hustled home for our big paella experiment with our friends Jake and Jean (only people whose names start with J were allowed at this gathering).

Photos of our adventure:

Jake cooking the chorizo above, then the chicken below.
The "sofrito" (onions, garlic, parsley and crushed tomatoes):

And the finished product. Ta daaaaaa!

The next morning I woke up, showered and was checking my email when I heard Jeff get up and shuffle downstairs. A little while later he shouted up to me, “Do we have any powdered sugar?” to which I replied, “Yes, in the bottom left cupboard!” A few minutes later the exchange registered – is Jeff COOKING? A few minutes later it started to smell delicious and I wandered down to the kitchen to find Jeff whipping up some Swedish pancakes in our fancy crepe pan.

This is unheard of. Jeff does not DO mornings, let alone make fancy breakfasts for no reason. Aside from his famous egg mcmuffin sandwiches that he sometimes makes at noon after waking up at 11:30, the only time I remember him making me breakfast was the day he proposed. Needless to say I was pumped.

So we pigged out on Swedish pancakes with berries and powdered sugar and then took my “week 27 picture”.

I’ll blame some of my girth on those pancakes. Or actually, maybe I’d rather blame it on Edie. Or maybe I’ll just blame it on the rain, Millie Vanilli style.

I kicked off week 28 today and I'm starting to feel the first inklings of impatience. What will she look like? Will she have hair? Will she be fat or little? Will her cheeks droop down to her shoulders like Jeff's did as a baby or will she be little with monkey ears like me?

This has been a very productive week for us - We bought our rocking chair this weekend and get to pick it up on the 20th. We picked out crib bedding, which probably won't arrive for a while, but it's worth it. I'm waiting for a few more things to come together in the nursery before we do a photo shoot; maybe next month. Right now, it's a bit chaotic in there. We also signed up for birth class and a hospital tour, both of which will be next month. We opted for the one day, 8 hour birth class - our doctor is either a hater like we are, or was able to accurately read us and explained that there are always at least 2 dummies in each birth class that ask really annoying, stupid questions and drive everyone bananas and that we'd probably be better off getting it all done in one day. We're honing in on a potential daycare place and are touring it this week. Keep your fingers crossed it doesn't suck because I really want this one to work out. I met with HR to determine my maternity leave options and it looks like we'll be able to swing 4 months, putting me back to work at the start of the new year. It will be nice to all be home for the holiday months. Oh, and we also registered. Wow, now that I look at this summary I am newly impressed - what's up Efficient Edna?!

When discussing this weekend, an honorable mention also needs to go out to "Friend of the Year nominee" Amy Ware, who came over Sunday afternoon and weeded my entire backyard for me because dude, all that bending over is HARD (and while Jeff can make a mean Swedish pancake, I'm not sure about his ability to distinguish between a weed and an expensive bulb that I planted last year). Amy also brought a homemade loaf of banana bread for us that is almost gone already. Thank you Amy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Daily Note: June 8, 2009

After about a bajillion irritating Comcast experiences, I just .... wait for it..... cancelled our cable TV! I'm feeling just a little bit like a life long smoker who's decided to go cold turkey - euphoric and terrified.

The rational is as follows:
1. I hate Comcast.
2. I hate how much TV I watch.
3. Summer is a good time to quit because I watch less TV and spend more time reading and socializing in the evening when it's nice out.
3. With the baby coming, we had planned to do the whole no tv with the kid thing anyways.
4. Now we can justify a membership at our local video store. Or we might even jump on the Netflix bandwagon.

Hopefully I won't get the shakes tonight without Bravo and TLC...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Daily Note: June 5, 2009

I passed my diabetes test! I had the appointment yesterday afternoon and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d been anticipating. My doctor said they have a better flavor than most offices – lemon lime. It looked and tasted like a super sugary Sprite. I chugged and then we got to hear Edie’s heartbeat (sounded good), I got measured for the first time (right in the middle range) and we talked with the doctor about birth classes while we waited to see how my blood levels would react to the sugar. About 30 minutes after the glucose shake, I started to feel sort of jittery and light headed. By the time they drew my blood (one hour after the drink), I was sliding into a brutal sugar crash. Jeff drove me home and I slept for an hour in the roasty heat (if it hadn’t been a bazillion degrees I could have slept a lot longer). They called during lunch today with the results that I’d passed. I celebrated with a fat (and free!) lunch at Wild Ginger with some of my old work peeps. Then I had some coconut cake from the bakery downstairs from my office and felt thankful that it would not be my last piece.

I mentioned to the doctor that I’ve been having some light headedness when I’m not doing anything active (ie “the Shelby incident” on the plane last month) and I guess they must have checked some other things in my blood as a result because the nurse today said that my hemotocrit levels were low. I guess this means that I’m borderline anemic and should increase my iron levels which will hopefully mean no more dizzy spells (I had another brutal one this morning). I was actually relieved to get an answer, because prior to that, people just kept telling me I was dehydrated, but I knew this couldn’t really be the case because I am practically Aquaman I’m drinking so much water these days.

Edie’s taken to getting hiccups about once or twice a day, which is cute for a minute and then kind of annoying. This is why I think they’re hiccups: they’re more subtle than her regular movements, all specific to one area, almost rhythmic in their frequency, and all of the same intensity. They last 5 minutes or so, then go away. Did I also tell you about the time last week when I was standing at the top of our stairs when Jeff came up to greet me. He stood a step or two below me and laid his head on my belly as if to listen. Literally the second his face touched my stomach, Edie punched him right in the ear. Hard. It was kind of hilarious.

Jeff and I are doing a major purge tonight now that the weather has cooled down (THANK GOD). I told myself this winter when we were snowed in for days and days that I wouldn’t complain when it got super hot this summer, but I kind of forgot that I’d be pregnant. I am really not cut out for 92 degrees and no air conditioning. After cleaning out the guest room to make space for the baby last week, we amassed quite a collection of CRAP in our dining room that needs to be taken to Goodwill.

Then tomorrow we’re meeting friends for lunch and heading to a matinee at the Seattle Int’l Film Festival that was written and directed by my childhood friend Craig Johnson. Afterwards, we’ve got some friends coming over to try and make paella in our backyard on the BBQ. I was given a big paella pan by my father in law for Christmas and I can’t wait to break it in. Even if it goes terribly wrong, it will be fun to try.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Daily Note: June 3, 2009

Well, I’ve waddled into my 27th week now and I have my gestational diabetes test tomorrow afternoon. I’ve been told recently by all my physician coworkers that my diet really doesn’t have much to do with passing or failing, so this is actually a huge relief. In fact, one of them failed her test after eating incredibly healthy and the doctors told her that her healthy diet may have been why she failed. They thought her body wasn't accustomed to the sugar so reacted poorly... I guess some people are just unlucky. Let’s hope I’m not one of them.

Here are some shots from this weekend. First up was a brief visit from my parents on Saturday. It was really hot, so we dragged the patio loungers from the patio (you can see the corner of it in the top right of the picture) to a shady spot in the yard and chilled while the cat rubbed himself all over the grass (bottom of the picture).

And here are a few of me and Edie Bee:

My profile is looking more and more ridiculous these days. My ribs are Edie's new playground, particularly at night, but otherwise I'm good. Hot and tired, but good. Also - hot tip for all you ladies that are knocked up - this tank top is currently on sale at Motherhood Maternity for $7 and it comes in a bazillion cute colors. Unlike the tank tops at Old Navy, it does not ride up in the front when you're smuggling a basketball.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Daily Note: June 2, 2009

In case you live in Seattle and were thinking of having a baby, here's some food for thought:

Fulltime childcare at my (non profit) company is over $1,700 per month and the waitlist is about 10 months. This is apparently normal for Seattle.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Daily Note: June 1, 2009

Last week I made a valiant return to prenatal yoga. It was good on a number of levels. Prepare yourselves for some reflections:

It felt good moving around and not just lounging on the couch after work, but more importantly it really got me thinking. I sometimes have moments of feeling isolated since none of my friends are really playing the whole “breeder” role with me (at least not quite yet). Before being pregnant, I thought pregnant women were all adorable. But when it’s actually YOUR body that’s bumping into shit and pulsing with extra hormones, it sometimes doesn’t feel quite as cute. But last night I was surrounded by women complaining casually about feeling big, itchy and awkward and it was so refreshing when everyone just nodded. No canned responses or platitudes were offered, just agreement. There were women of all shapes and sizes there and unlike last time, when I was still essentially looking and moving like the pre-pregnancy Jill, this time I found myself laughing along with everyone when we would change positions and you’d hear grunting from around the whole room as we all tried to strike a new pose.

I felt both curious and scared when we did a bunch of poses on all fours and the instructor made references to using this or that pose in labor. Labor! Oh God. I’ve put off thinking about the actual labor for a while now. But in the last week it’s crept back into my consciousness now and again. Since getting pregnant, I immediately stopped watching The Baby Story on TLC. I’m certainly in denial on some level, but I think that denial is almost necessary in order to take the leap of faith with pregnancy. In fact, when I could think about labor and feel it was worth it anyways was when I knew I really wanted a baby. So that night, while hanging out on all fours and rotating my hips around in a circular fashion, it was strangely familiar and totally foreign at the same time. I mean, I’ve seen women doing it on TV and in movies for ever, but this time it was ME doing it.

Oh, and I also fell for the whole dirty hippy moment at the end of class where we communed with baby by holding our bellies instead of touching palms at “heart center”. I was holding my hands on my stomach and breathing when Edie started squirming and kicking and for a minute I felt all Mother Earth-ish. At least until I started thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner when class was over. Then I remembered that there was a really good Chinese place next door. We had mu shu and chicken with broccoli for dinner.

Oh the ironies of complaining about weight gain and then wolfing down a giant plate of shrimp mu shu. And let’s not even mention the bowl of Butterfinger ice cream that Jeff encouraged me to eat as a finale to my salty Chinese food.