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Archive for September, 2013

Happy 33!

Today I want to take a moment to wish my hubby a very happy 33rd birthday. In honor of his birthday, I thought I’d share a few memorable photos with all of you.

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Sept. 2004. This was the first photo we ever took together. And probably the only time I ever wore that hat.

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2007 or 2008. Can’t remember but doesn’t my hubby look handsome?

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2005 at a winery. We look like babies. Drunk babies.

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Oct. 2006. Cardinals in the playoffs!

Now let’s look at some pics of his birthday over the last few years…

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Sept. 26, 2008. His 28th birthday in Florence, Italy.

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Sept. 26 2009. His 29th birthday in San Francisco. And yes, I am wearing the same jacket as in the Florence pic.

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Sept 26 2010. 30th birthday in Charleston, SC.

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Sept 26 2011. 31st birthday in NYC. Sensing a theme yet?

Last year was the first year in a while that we were actually in town for his birthday. It was far more low-key, but pretty enjoyable.

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Last year. Birthday dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse.

But this year. This year, I feel like I let the ball drop a little. No fancy trips. No big party. I got him a gift, but a Michigan pullover (that looks almost identical to one he already has. Oops!) and some new socks aren’t exactly exciting gifts. We’ll have dinner with some friends tonight, at our house, and we’ll have a good time, sure. But I feel like I’ve just run out of creativity this year. Still, that doesn’t diminish the fact that he’s a spectacular dad and husband and D and I are both incredibly lucky to have him. So while we may not be celebrating in Florence this year, I still want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday! Love you to pieces, babe!

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12 Weeks

Post written 9/9/13

I’ve officially hit the 12 week mark. And even though this is my second pregnancy, I’m just now realizing that 12 weeks does not mean second trimester. Apparently that’s 14 weeks – 27 weeks. College math major, I was not. Oh well, I still feel like 12 weeks is a major milestone (3 months pregnant! 6 more to go!) so I’m documenting it.

How Big is Baby:  About the size of a lime. (Mmmm…margaritas…)

Big Developments: I’ll spare ya’ll the full BabyCenter details, but reflexes have developed and baby looks more like a baby now, with eyes and ears exactly where they should be.
Food Cravings:  None really, though I’ve really been into dried cranberry and walnut salads with blue cheese. And apples and grapes. This is completely different than my first pregnancy when nary a fruit or vegetable passed my lips for the entire 10 months.  Oh and beer. But I haven’t been brave enough to go out and find a good NA brew. I’m so picky about beer and don’t want to buy a 6 pack of something and have it go to waste.
Food Aversions:  Anything and everything. Particularly greasy and spicy foods because of the havoc it wreaks on my stomach. Also, coffee. Which is a tragedy in itself. I miss coffee, but just the smell of it repulses me right now.
Other Symptoms: The constant indigestion is the worst of it, truly. It showed up around week 6 and hasn’t let up ever since. I’m starting to learn the main triggers for it, but even something as simple as a bowl of cereal or a glass of water can make me feel awful. Fruits have been the best thing to eat, I’m learning. Apples, strawberries, grapes….all leave me feeling better than any amount of sugary-carby-goodness. Weird, right? I mean, who knew healthy foods could make you feel better? ;)
I’ve also been feeling a lot of movement lately. At first, I attributed most of it to the stretching of my uterus and rearranging of my internal organs. I feel everything with a bit more intensity this time around and it’s both cool and weird to know that’s what’s happening. But lately, I feel more “flutters” from time to time and know it’s the baby doing little baby flips and acrobatic movements in there. Love it!
The exhaustion is starting to let up a bit, but the indigestion sometimes knocks me off my feet in the evening so it’s not like I’m up running errands or anything when I’m not nodding off.
And maybe it’s because I’ve been more cognizant of eating more fiber or trying to work a few more fruits/veggies into my diet, but constipation hasn’t been much of an issue this time around so far (knock on wood and pray I didn’t just jinx it). On the flip side, I already have to get up at least twice a night to pee. I don’t remember this happening to me until almost my 3rd trimester last time. I guess baby D did some damage to my bladder.
Sleep:  So far so good. I’ve had a few nights where my arm or hand will fall asleep or I’ll get up to pee or tend to D and it takes me awhile to fall back asleep, but I haven’t needed to start using a body pillow yet so I’m considering things in this department to still be pretty good.
Maternity Clothes:  I’ve been wearing my new maternity jeans but that’s mostly because I only have one pair of regular work-appropriate jeans, and by some miracle they actually still fit. So I alternate between my pair of regular jeans and demi-panel maternity jeans, plus dresses/skirts for work. I still have two or three pairs of work pants that fit, but I’m not sure how much longer before I’ll need to start using the belly band. (I should also note that I like my works pants a little loose, hence the ability to still fit into them.) I haven’t dug out my stash of maternity clothes from 2011/2012 but that’s on my list for this weekend. Once I go through and take inventory of what I already own, I’ll allow myself to buy a few new items.
What I’m Looking Forward To:  My 12 week appt is later this week and I’m hoping for another u/s.  (Spoiler alert: I didn’t get one.) My OB’s office has also started doing this new blood test to check for abnormalities like Down Syndrome and apparently they can also tell gender at this stage since they’re already in there counting chromosomes. I don’t know much else about it, but I’m planning to do it and hope that I’ll get to know baby’s gender well before the 20 week u/s appointment. (Another spoiler alert: I did the test, but won’t hear the results for at least another week or two.)
Thoughts: Everyone – including me – is dying to know gender! All the grandmas and aunts are hoping for a girl. While I’d be excited to have a girl and buy all the girl clothes, the only thing that made putting away D’s baby boy clothes was the thought of using them again for another little boy. And D is just SO MUCH FUN that I can’t help but want another one of him. So really, truly, honestly – I do not have a preference one way or the other. I’ll be excited either way. On one hand – BROTHERS!! How special would that be to have two little boys as best friends and playmates? On the other hand, A GIRL!! A little mini-me perhaps to play dress up with and watch her lug around her baby dolls.
So what does my gut say? My gut says it’s a boy. I feel almost exactly the same minus the ability to choke down some healthy foods from time to time, which I was unable to do the first time around. Not to mention the heartbeat was very similar (165 bpm with D at 8 weeks vs 160 bpm with Baby #2). The hubs thinks it’s another boy too, and while he’d love to have a daughter some day, he’d be thrilled with another boy as well. (He wants three kids anyway, so if we have another boy, he’ll be more likely to convince me to “go for the girl” than if we have one of each right now.) I haven’t decided if we’ll do a gender reveal party or not, but I’d like to since us second-timers don’t usually get baby showers and I need an excuse to have a party. Then again, I’m already hosting a Halloween/Fall themed party in a couple of weeks so I’ll have gotten my party fix anyway. Decisions, decisions. If you’ve got a cute gender reveal idea, lay it on me.

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I Live for the Weekend

Another great fall weekend in the books!

Friday: It was rainy and gloomy all day so I assumed we’d end up staying in and possibly watch a movie after the babers went to bed. Instead, the clouds cleared and we thought (hoped) that the crowds at the annual balloon glow wouldn’t be so bad, so we decided to go. (The balloon glow is held the night before the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, where all the balloons are inflated and lit up for people to come by and check out. They just look stunning at night. ) We went last year so we figured we’d make it an annual tradition. Unfortunately, the weather did absolutely nothing to deter the crowds and it was probably worse than the year before. We sat in traffic for about an hour before we finally found a parking spot. It’s such a cool thing to see though, and D really enjoyed it so I guess it was worth it.

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Saturday: Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, followed by some good old fashioned lounging around the house, an afternoon nap, and then a trip to the Old Webster Groves Jazz & Blues festival. The weather was just too perfect to sit inside ALL day (though I did enjoy that nap). Although D still isn’t walking by himself yet, that doesn’t mean he likes to sit contentedly in his stroller. Oh no. He likes to be out, standing or walking with one of us holding his hand for support. At one point, as we were sitting, enjoying the music and chowing down on various festival foods, D started bopping up and down to the music while holding onto our legs. I guess he’s a jazz fan!

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The crowd really wasn’t all that bad, and there were a ton of dogs and other little kids for D to watch and laugh at. On top of that, we just had a good time exploring a part of St. Louis that was actually quite new to us. After we got our fill of the festival, we walked a few blocks to a popular pizza joint and had the most delicious fig and prosciutto pizza (the “porky fig”). Then it was back home so the hubs could have a sports night, flipping between his beloved Michigan Wolverines game and the Cardinals game. (Both teams won!)

Sunday: Another morning of cinnamon rolls for breakfast (I’m addicted), followed by a trip to Herman’s Farm to meet up with a couple of friends for more apple picking. (Can you believe almost all of the apples we picked last weekend are almost gone?? I’ve been on an apple kick lately.) Herman’s Farm is a small farm that really looks more like a nursery, but it’s kind of perfect for little kids. They have a “hay ride” which is a bunch of loose straw thrown in the back of a wagon, pulled by a very small tractor. It’s a little silly but the kids love it. They also have a play area with a slide, and a bunch of mini John Deere trikes/tractors/wagons for the kids to play on. Alyssa met us there with her hubby and of course, the adorable AR. Extra special since her name is Autumn and it was, in fact, the first day of Autumn! Angie and her two cuties were also there, and far more adventurous than D when it came to the activities. Her little girl is only two weeks older than D but she climbed to the top of the giant slide and had NO fear going down it all by herself. Little daredevil!! Thanks to Alyssa for the awesome pics!

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Check out that shiner. It looks a bit worse than in this photo. Little D had a run-in with the footboard of the bed on Friday.

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Family pic! Not letting go of that apple.

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D is clearly suspicious of AR, and grips his apple a little tighter.

So intrigued by AR's apple-eating abilities!

So intrigued by AR’s apple-eating abilities!

And now for a few of my own iPhone pics.

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By the time we wrapped our apple picking adventures, it was lunch time. We stopped by a new-to-us BBQ place in St. Charles, and while the atmosphere was impressive, the prices were a little ridiculous. I also wasn’t feeling super great by this point. I made the mistake of getting sweet tea and that just killed my stomach. After lunch, we took a brief walk around the area but almost immediately I felt the overwhelming urge to nap, so we headed home. Later that afternoon, we went to our favorite local park to check out some sail boat races, though they had already docked by the time we got there. Still, we enjoyed a nice walk and some dog-watching. On our way back, we stopped by the grocery store and couldn’t help ourselves when we saw the table of pumpkin pies and pumpkin gooey butter cookies. We ended the weekend with the Emmy’s, which my husband wasn’t super thrilled about, but he ended up enjoying them better than most award shows.

There’s just so much to do in STL in the fall, and I’m glad we’ve been blessed with great weather these last couple of weeks to be able to enjoy it. These are the moments that life is all about!

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The Second Time A-ROUND

Written 8/29/13

I’ve heard it said that women start to show a lot earlier in their second pregnancies. It’s like the body instantly “remembers” the shape it’s supposed to take when you’re pregnant again and wastes no time in re-acclimating itself to that shape.

Oddly enough, this fact hasn’t really bothered me much. Until now. Nearly 11 weeks in.  When I walked by a store window on my way to grab lunch, wearing a slightly form-fitting dress, what I saw in the reflection was CLEARLY a pregnant woman.  There’s no hiding it anymore, not that I was even trying to hide it to begin with because I wasn’t aware that there was anything there to hide just yet! Looks like I’m going to have to spill the beans at 11 weeks instead of 12.

The first time around, I remember IMing with my colleague-in-another-city and friend, C, who was maybe two weeks behind me, and talking about the changing shape of our bodies. I was so fearful that my boss and coworkers would figure out my growing secret, just by the look of my midsection. I wanted to hold out until 12 weeks, but wasn’t sure if I could. Surely everyone would already suspect it! C was having the same dilemma. A petite woman already, baby #2 was making himself known FAST so she started spilling her secret around her own office well before the 12 week mark and even before I told my own boss and colleagues.

I made it to 12 weeks before making my big announcement with D. I expected to hear a bunch of “I wondered if you were!” or “I suspected as much!” but everyone was genuinely surprised. Or at least, they were kind enough to let me think that.

This time, I don’t think I’ll get the same reaction.

On top of my rapidly changing appearance, I can actually FEEL my organs shifting and my uterus expanding. My belly will feel faintly sore or swollen from time to time but it won’t be anything food or digestion related. So I guess I should’ve expected to see the results of all that movement a tad bit sooner. I have a permanent “muffin top”.

Right about now is when you would expect to see a belly shot. Well, I’m not that brave at the moment so this will have to do.

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Or maybe this one is more fitting:muffintop700

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Five on Friday

This was a very long, very busy week. But also lots of fun. Why?

1. I had not one, but TWO lunch dates with friends this week. As someone whose idea of a “lunch break” is scarfing down a sandwich while perusing blogs for 15 minutes, it was a nice change of pace.

2. To make me feel like even more of a social butterfly, I attended a fabulous blogger dinner with 7 other lovely ladies, only half of whom I already knew. Thanks to Sara for coordinating. And my pal Alyssa did an awesome little write-up with mini-bios on each of us over on her blog. Check it out! And I’m not just saying that because she said I was awesome. :)

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3. Speaking of blogs, I realized that my site is woefully out of date. I don’t have any immediate plans to change my design but I did update my Blogroll and added a list of STL Bloggers now that I’m starting to find so many. One of these days I’ll update my “About” page, which still says “Coming soon…”. For more than FIVE YEARS now. Oops.

4. I still have NO idea what to dress D up as for Halloween. Last year he was Super Man Baby. I was leaning toward Mickey Mouse, but I don’t have a lot of faith that he’ll keep the ears on for longer than 30 seconds. Suggestions?

SuperBaby and his sidekick. Super Lobster

SuperBaby and his sidekick. Super Lobster

5. I don’t know if there’s anything cuter than a baby in a diaper, reading a book. Wouldn’t you agree?

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The First 10 Weeks

Written August 20th

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The good thing about having already been pregnant before is that I sort of know what to expect when it comes to first trimester sickness.

The bad thing about having already been pregnant before is that I sort of know what to expect.

Just like last time around, I’ve had almost chronic indigestion starting around week 6. But unlike last time, I now know that avoiding food entirely only leads to feeling worse. I also know that when TUMS doesn’t work, try Gas-X. (I try not to rely on either one too much and would just rather suffer a little than overmedicate.) And I know that keeping an active lifestyle also helps. It’s far better to go for a walk than to lay on the couch, no matter how crappy/exhausted I feel. I always feel better after a walk and never feel better after laying on the couch. Unless I’m asleep. Sleep always helps too.

And just like the first time, my food aversions are STRONG and vary from one minute to the next. As someone who loves her coffee, imagine my surprise when one day I woke up and the smell of coffee repulsed me. What a sad day that was. And the day after that. And the day after that. While it’s probably been better for me to avoid coffee entirely, coffee is one of my simple pleasures in life and I miss it.

And beer. I definitely miss beer, too. Of course, beer is not one of my food aversions so I may actually miss beer more than coffee.

So far, things have been pretty…predictable. Even the exhaustion has been right on cue, starting around week 6 and not quite letting up even at 9 weeks. A few nights last week, I went to bed around 9:30pm and didn’t get up until 7am, and let me tell you, it was GLORIOUS. In fact, the first 15 minutes after I woke up in the morning was probably the BEST I felt all day. Which is kind of sad, but also debunks that whole “morning sickness” myth. If anything, I suffer from “evening sickness” feeling my absolute worst between 5 and whenever-I-go-to-bed-p.m.

So that’s where I’m at. Pretty miserable most of the time. Pretty much the same as last time. I know it’s all worth it and blah, blah, blah, but I would just love to be one of those women that LOVES being pregnant and has zero issues. I know it could always be worse, and I’m thankful I don’t have hypermesis like some women I know. But it would be so nice if I could just enjoy a normal dinner with my family instead of trying to choke down a bowl of cereal by myself instead since EVERYTHING sounds disgusting.

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My Favorite Season

Taking a break from pregnancy posts to talk about our weekend. I don’t normally detail in minutiae our weekend adventures on this blog, but this past weekend was so wonderful that I want to remember it.

As a kid, Saturday mornings were always my favorite. On a good Saturday, there would be pancakes and bacon or biscuits and gravy for breakfast, accompanied by the absolute best cartoons on TV. Now, I’m the one cooking breakfast and cleaning up, and the cartoons aren’t nearly as enjoyable (I’m starting to hate the Hot Dog Dance song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), but there’s just something about hanging out at home with the family on Saturday mornings that I absolutely love. On this particular Saturday, I made cinnamon and sugar toast in the oven. So easy with minimal clean up and it makes the entire house smell delicious.

After breakfast, we just hung out while D played. At 11am it was kickoff time for my husband’s favorite college team – the Michigan Wolverines. I think I used some of this time to go online and order some Michigan gear for D since he’s outgrown all of his infant gear. We had every intention of leaving the house at half time to go apple picking but the game was too close and D ended up passing out about 2 minutes before halftime. I took advantage of the delay by putting away some laundry and then crawling in bed to read for a bit. Around 3pm, just as the game ended, we finally made our way to Eckert’s, about an hour away.

My mom used to force take me there when I was a teenager and I absolutely hated it. I don’t know why I was such a brat about things, but as an angsty teenager, nothing sounds like more torture than hanging out with your mom and her boyfriend and going to pick apples. Then, when the hubs and I first started dating, I thought it sounded like a pretty fun date idea. And we’ve been going just about every year ever since. It’s one of those few seasons traditions that we’ve carried on through the years and now I’m thrilled we get to do the same with D. Here’s our first trip together, way back in 2005!

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The Fun Farm is fantastic for kids, though D is still a little young to fully enjoy it. He was too small to ride any of the rides or jump on the giant trampoline, but he did get to pet the goats and watch the pig races. I think he liked riding the tractor out to the orchard. And even though this kid has never been handed a full apple in his life, he knew EXACTLY what to do with it and wouldn’t let it go for about 15 minutes.

20130917-221233.jpgStill can’t get over how cute he is here. Chuck Taylors? Baby jeans? Apple juice dribbling down his shirt? I can’t handle the cuteness.

I even made sure to take my good camera but the one thing DSLRs aren’t very good at yet are taking selfies, so the only family shot we got was this one.20130917-221243.jpg

By the time we left, little man was wore out! So back to the house we went so we could do our regular nightly routine of dinner, bath, books and bedtime. While I was on bedtime duty, the hubs busied himself by building a little bonfire so as soon as D hit the hay, mommy and daddy went outside to play. We roasted marshmallows and made s’mores and just sat outside, enjoying the cooler temps and the smell of bonfire. It only lasted an hour or so, but it was fun while it lasted.

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Sunday morning was just as pleasant as Saturday. A nice, leisurely breakfast of pancakes and cartoon watching, followed by our second week in a row of going to church.

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After we saw how much D loved the church nursery last week, we felt like we needed to go back. The first week, we went with our friends to their Sunday School class so we didn’t really get a chance to check out the service since they happen at the same time. This week though, our friends had other plans so we decided to go without them and check out the service.

If we ever had any questions as to whether or not our son has separation anxiety issues, we got a very firm answer of NO this weekend. In fact, when we went to pick him up after service, D took one look at us, realized it was time to go and started bawling! Even the nursery staff were shocked since it’s normally the other way around with kids crying during drop off. But not our child. Nope. He was mad that we made him leave!

After church, we grabbed lunch for my grandma and dropped by her house for a quick visit. Then it was back home so the hubs could mow the grass and I could get my pie-baking skills on. All of those apples called for an apple pie, of course! And it’s been YEARS since I’ve made an apple pie, though this time it was much easier than I remember and maybe even turned out a little bit better.20130917-221325.jpg

So that was our weekend. Pretty simple, but full of all of my fall favorites – apple picking, bonfire and s’mores, a little church and family time, and homemade apple pie! It was just one of those perfect fall weekends that reminds me why this is my favorite time of year and to be thankful for all of life’s little blessings.

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