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Archive for January, 2012

Well, here we are at the 20 week mark. Part of me feels like time is flying, but when I really think about it, I groan at the thought of waiting another 20 weeks. Then I remind myself that our “nursery” is still a spare bedroom/storage facility and suddenly, 20 weeks seems pretty tolerable. It might take me that long just to decide on paint colors.

I haven’t been very good at taking belly photos, which is probably for the better since I probably wouldn’t post them anyway. Something about my fat girl complex not being okay with posting photos of my stomach on the Internet. Still, it’s pretty apparent that I’ve popped. Or “blossomed” as one kind co-worker said to me late last week. That’s pretty much the nicest way to tell a pregnant lady that she LOOKS pregnant now. And oddly enough, I’m okay with that.

Other noticeable changes:

My boobs continue to grow, and not just in cup size. If they get any bigger, I won’t be able to shop for my bras at Victoria’s Secret anymore. Oddly enough, they don’t carry size BD, which is my abbreviation for size “boulder.”

Food aversions have mostly subsided. For awhile, I was blaming my reluctance to eat green, leafy veggies and grilled chicken on my pregnancy hormones. Turns out, I never really liked those things anyway. And as hard as I try, BBQ potato chips are not a vegetable. I need to remind myself of this almost daily.  Neither is frozen yogurt, but I discovered the secret to getting me to eat a serving or two of fruit is to stop by one of those frozen yogurt chains. I start with a base of non-fat yogurt, and load myself up with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Then, to make it even more appealing, I throw in just a couple of cookie toppings, and a dash of whipped cream with a cherry on top. Sure, it’s not ALL healthy, but whatever it takes to get in the good stuff, right?

Over the weekend, we decided it was time to start getting down to business on preparing for the wee one. After an inspiring twitter conversation with Alyssa, I spent an hour on Target.com registering for baby stuff. An hour sounds like a long time, in theory, but I don’t even think I made it through half of the baby categories. So that afternoon, the hubs and I headed to Babies ‘R Us and started our registry over from scratch. This approach may end up requiring double the work since I wasn’t able to see any product reviews of the items we scanned. So I’ve replaced my “register for baby stuff” action item with “check out reviews of baby stuff I already registered for and make changes if necessary.” Oh efficiency, how you elude me so.

But I guess the most exciting development so far has been feeling the baby move. I swear I felt him for the first time around the 12 or 13 week mark, but it only happened a couple of times. Lately I’ve been able to feel him every day, multiple times a day. I can’t tell if he’s doing flips or if those are kicks/punches, but it’s a really cool feeling in the lower part of my stomach. The last couple of days I’ve started putting my hand on my stomach to see if I could feel him from the outside, and this weekend, I did! And I’m pretty sure it was a kick or punch, not a flip. I’ve been anxious for the hubs to feel him too so the last couple of days, he’s been putting his head on my stomach to see if he could hear anything and sure enough, the little guy kicked him right in the ear! I can only imagine that the movements will just get more pronounced and powerful, and I hope I never get sick of it.

 

 

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…I would totally have a Pinterest-inspired wedding.

One of my bestest buds is getting married this fall and I’m so jealous of all the cool wedding inspiration she has, thanks to Pinterest. So that got me thinking. If I had it to do over again, what would I do?

Maybe some save-the-dates like this one?

 

Perhaps a giant letter for guests to sign, like this one:

And how cute would these cookies have been at my bridal shower?

If Pinterest had been around, I’d have known about these nifty heel savers:

I’d have also put these cute stickers on my shoes:

And if we hadn’t jetted off for the honeymoon at o’dark thirty the morning after, I would’ve totally done a mimosa bar like this one.

Or at the very least had a smores bar the night before, maybe after the rehearsal dinner.

Yeah, I’d have a pretty kick-ass Pinterest wedding.

(All images/sources/links can be found on my Pinterest board here.)

 

 

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Do More

I’ve never been much on new year resolutions. Most of the time, they’ve always been related to losing weight, eating healthier, working out more, etc. With a baby on the way, I’ve given myself permission to forego that mindset. If I want to eat a cheeseburger or have a cup of full-fat ice cream, I will. The female mind is already guilt-stricken enough, and I’ll have plenty of pressure to rock a post-baby body later this summer (thanks for nothing, Victoria Beckham and Miranda Kerr) that I’m just not going to stress about it right now.

Instead, I’m trying to take a more holistic approach to my fresh start. I’ve wavered back and forth between two phrases that really speak to me, and I think I’ve finally settled on one. The first one I considered was “be better.” As in, “be a better wife, friend, employee, etc.” But that wasn’t enough. Sure, the concept was simple, but it wasn’t the battle cry I needed. Instead, I decided “do more” was a better fit for me. When I wrote my 2011 recap post, one of the questions was “What do you wish you’d done more of?” and part of my answer was “more doing things.” Ambiguous I suppose, but true. I feel like I’m constantly taking in information, contemplating a mental to-do list, but rarely spitting anything back out in the world. So what do I mean by “do more”? I mean a lot of things.

Do more…around the house. While I watch TV, I could be folding laundry. If the filtered water container in the fridge is empty, take it out and refill it instead of waiting for the hubs to do it. It’s really not as much of a pain in the ass as I seem to think it is. When I think of something that needs to be done, do it. I have a bad habit of talking myself out of doing something, or getting something, simply because it’s upstairs and I’m downstairs and don’t feel like putting forth the energy to do it right that second.

Do more…at work. It’s getting to the point in my career where if I want to be recognized for doing great work, then I need to be more aggressive about it. I have a bad habit of getting comfortable in what I do and just keeping quiet. I don’t enjoy the rat race so I’d much rather sit back and let others get the glory for whatever it is they’re doing. And until the last year or so, this has worked out quite well for me. Until I became so quiet that people pretty much forgot I worked here. And that’s not good. So I’m going to change things up by doing more good shit, and then talking about it. But first, doing more good shit.

Do more…for friends. Friendships, like all relationships, require effort. I don’t think I’ve been terribly neglectful in this area, but I could always do more.

Do more…activities. This could be anything from cooking to scrapbooking to taking more photos to organizing to trying new restaurants, going for a walk, reading a book, exploring new music, or traveling. Anything at all, really. It’s so easy to get caught up in the familiar, to where every day feels like Groundhog Day. But if I just set my mind to doing a new activity every few days, I’ll have a long list of small accomplishments to show for it by this time next year.  I’m not going to pressure myself to read 12 books, or try a new restaurant every week, or start meal planning for an entire month. Those goals always leave me falling flat and feeling unaccomplished. Instead, I’m going to leave the possibilities open and endless, and just do a better job of documenting my progress.

Here’s to doing more in 2012!

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Let’s see, where was I? Oh yes, we left Friday and traveled about 8.5 hours eastward to spend Xmas with the in-laws, just like every year.

I didn’t get a picture of our SUV, packed to the gills with presents, but we came to the conclusion that there is absolutely no way in hell we can pack a giant suitcase, a dog, a baby AND all its baby stuff and still manage to fit presents in the car. So next year will be the year of giftcards.

Anyway, we weren’t at my in-laws’ house five minutes before the hubs asked if he could tell his parents that we’re having a boy. I had big elaborate plans to have both of our parents open their gifts, not knowing what to expect, and be completely surprised by the news. It was a good idea in theory, but Christmas was still 2 full days away and I knew the hubs was just too dang excited to keep quiet for that long. So we told them, and later that night when hubby’s sister and her two kids came over, we told them too. Everyone was definitely excited for us.

Christmas Eve was spent running a few errands with the in-laws in preparation for the huge gathering coming over on Christmas day. We also dropped by hubby’s uncle’s house to see all of his animals. It’s like a petting zoo over there. Cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, dogs, turkeys, and a potbellied pig by the trampoline.

See? Pig + trampoline. Not kidding.

Oh and the cows aren’t just pets. They’re future steak dinners. Sad, but true.

Later that night, we sat around sipping my father-in-law’s homemade hot chocolate while watching Home Alone 1 and 2. A classic Christmas experience.

And if there was ever a family that goes overboard on Christmas, it’s this one. I had to go to the second floor just to get this shot, which STILL doesn’t capture all of the presents.

Of course, when you’re celebrating with a family of more than 15 people, this doesn’t seem as extreme. But still. Ridiculous, right?

Christmas morning was spent getting ready, eating breakfast, and cleaning for company. Both of hubby’s sisters celebrate with their own kids in the morning, go to church, and THEN come over for present-fest #2, which typically starts around noon. My parents even made the drive this year to partake in the craziness. After all, they’ve heard me talk about it for years, so it was time they see it for themselves. And I’m so glad that they did. About 5 minutes after they arrived, I had my parents open the first present – the ornament announcing that we’re having a boy. My mom’s reaction was priceless.

And just like every year, I feel like we got way too much stuff. My in-laws gave me an entire new set of pots and pans, plus a seasoned, cast-iron skillet and dutch oven (among other things) and my husband got a ton of new clothes and some new shoes. He’s one of the few people I know that just loves to get clothes for Christmas. But one of my favorite gifts actually came in my stocking and was pretty much the only baby-related gift I received (aside from some lotion and a glider from my mom that was given to us early and a Babies R Us giftcard from my in-laws).

Looks like this baby will be a Michigan fan whether he likes it or not!

Oh and here’s the obligatory by-the-tree photo, after all the presents were opened.

One sister left shortly after meal-time. Something about having 5 kids, with two of them under age 2 being quite exhausting and needing naps. Not sure if she meant her or the babies, but I’m thinking maybe both. The other sister and her little family had a church obligation at 6pm that night, so the rest of us headed to the movie theater to see Mission Impossible 3, which I highly recommend, by the way.

All in all, I think our niece and nephew said it best when they declared this Christmas the “Best Christmas EVER!” You’ll hear no argument from me!

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Goodbye, 2011

Oh the year-end recap post. I always struggle with these, party because I hate looking back on the past when I’d much rather think about the future. Also because it’s a bit overwhelming for me to try and remember what I did last week, let alone what I did 7 months ago. Still, I’ll give it a whirl using the easiest, most common Q&A that I’ve found via All & Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Uhh…well considering I’m still in the same house at the same job, I guess the most logical answer to this question for me would be: got pregnant. But if I think a little harder, I guess I also visited San Diego, spent a week in Maui, hired a professional photographer, refinanced a mortgage, planned a surprise birthday party for my grandpa, moved into a window office at work, and started using Pinterest.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I didn’t make any resolutions for 2011. However, I did make a “30 Before 30” list in Dec. of 2010 that I need to revisit. I don’t know that I’ll actually make any resolutions as right now my idea of 2012 exists in pre-baby and post-baby. I have plenty of plans to get shit done pre-baby, and even more things to do post-baby. But those are the buckets I’m dividing things into right now.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


My SIL had her FIFTH baby in July. We’ve only been able to visit him twice, but he’s such a chill baby. He gives me hope for our own.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.
 Though I sort of kind of count Hawaii just because it required more than 10 hours on a plane. But no. No other countries.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A healthy baby, a promotion at work, a work-from-home husband, a new SUV.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 22 – Our five year anniversary and wedding vow renewal in Maui.

Sept. 8 – Our 7 year meet-day anniversary, and ironically enough, our estimated conception date.

Sept. 22 and 24 – Finding out we’re pregnant and telling the hubs.

Oct. 1 – Telling our parents the good news.

Dec. 21 – Finding out we’re having a boy!

Dec. 25 – Sharing the good news with family on Christmas

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Staying married. I made a conscious effort the last half of the year to be a better wife and we’re both so much happier for it. Everyone gets lazy, neglectful, and takes their partner for granted at some point or another. I’m definitely one of those people, but I’m glad to say I snapped out of it and things are better than ever.

9. What was your biggest failure?

The entire first half of 2011.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No illness other than pregnancy-related nausea, but I somehow injured my foot and spent months and months trying to figure out what was wrong with it. I spent weeks in a stupid boot, followed by a cortisone shot, which finally made things better. I apparently have arthritis in the joint, which I assume is from a previous stress fracture injury, so it still acts up from time to time and I can no longer wear heels taller than 1-inch, but all in all, I came out of 2011 relatively unscathed.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A trip to Maui, complete with a convertible to tour the island and professional beach photos. I say this all the time, but one of the only things I never regret buying is a vacation. Every one is worth every single penny.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, cell phone bills, gas, eating out.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Our Maui vacation, going to my first BlogHer conference in San Diego, surprising my grandpa with a birthday party, and having a baby.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Even though it came out in 2010, I feel like Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” was played non-stop on the radio in 2011. Everything by Adele also reminds me of 2011, along with LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It, and Stereo Hearts by Maroon 5 and Gym Class Heroes. Frankly, I’m ready for some new tunes in 2012.

The only song that reminds me of 2011 that I still love is Zac Brown Band’s Knee Deep. I played it almost non-stop when we were in Hawaii and it still takes me back to the beach every time I hear it.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? HAPPIER!!! So, so, SO very much happier.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. But I’d like to think that’s all for good reason.
– richer or poorer? Richer. Though not by much.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


More exercise, more traveling, more doing things.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Less navel-gazing, less time in front of the computer doing nothing productive (computer time is fine, as long as it’s productive), less checking of Facebook.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Like this.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Raising Hope all come to mind.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book. I recently subscribed to US Weekly magazine (or as my husband calls it – Kardashian Magazine) and between those and a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I just haven’t had time to read an actual book. But one of my favorites, which I read in one sitting, was Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


I’ve been so out of touch with the music scene this year that I just don’t have an answer for this one. I haven’t downloaded an album, or even a song, in MONTHS.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

 Super 8, Bridesmaids, Mission Impossible 3, Harry Potter

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29 and we celebrated in Maui. We ate pizza for dinner and instead of birthday cake, I had a deep dish cookie. The hubs also bought me a gorgeous Coach purse (my old purse – not Coach – broke RIGHT in front of the Coach store).

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Even though 2011 started out pretty crappy, I have to say that the last half of the year was pretty damn awesome. So I’ll just say something like winning the lottery would’ve been one of the few things that could’ve made the rest of this year even better.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Uhhh…fashion?

26. What kept you sane?

My husband. He deserves all credit for my regained sanity.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.


I have two:

People that are bored are typically just boring people that need more hobbies.

You get what you give – at work, in life, in friendships, and in love.

So that’s my 2011 recap. We sent the last night of 2011 out with a bang by getting dressed up and dancing the night away with friends. It’s been a long time since the hubs and I have danced together somewhere other than our kitchen, so we had a blast making fools of ourselves and watching everyone else do the same.

I’ve already written about what I’m looking forward to in 2012 so I won’t repeat myself, but I will say that I’m pretty damn excited.

Here’s to 2012, friends!

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