Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Holidays

I have struggled with this time of the year my whole life. Being Jewish means you feel left out of the whole magic of Christmas experience. I have celebrated Christmas dozens of times with friends, and now family, but it doesn't change the whole feeling.

So let's start with Chanukah. We celebrated every night. But it is such a minor holiday in Judaism...

For the last few months Matt and I have been taking an Introduction to Judaism class every week. And while it has not been the most fun class (the instruction method is a little dry), there have been some real gems of moments. Most of the class are young couples who are getting married or recently married. So when we started taking about Chanukah and Christmas it was very interesting for me.

I love holiday cards. Especially ones with pictures. Not so much the letter telling what everyone was up to this year. Those seem to glaze over the troubles and only focus on the positive, and that's not how the year really went. I digress.

So I was really worried that I hated Christmas. Not the holiday, but the actuality. I mean, how could you hate a holiday?

I read an article for class that... struck a chord. And then we talked about it in class and I learned a lot more about my relationship with Christmas. It wasn't Christmas I hated, but parts of it. I was finally able to compartmentalize Christmas.

I hate most of the Christmas music on the radio. And during our conversation at class I figured it out. I hate the commercialism of Christmas. All the ads on TV. The secular music that gets played over and over again on the radio. It drives me nuts and makes me feel excluded.

I love the religious aspects of it. I loved going to midnight mass with friends in high school. It was a beautiful service and a wonderful way to celebrate with family. I love sitting at my mother-in-law's house for a family meal, decorating the tree as a family, and being together. I love going to church with her and listening to her lead the congregation. I love her sermons. I love the candles.

But I LOVE the lights. Christmas lights feel like the marriage between Chanukah (and the festival of lights) and Christmas. They are a beautiful way of lighting up the darkest time of the year ands making the home feel inviting, whether for Santa Claus or visiting family. One of my favorite  holiday memories growing up was driving around Dallas to see the lights with my grandparents.

So Baby Girl, realize how lucky you are. You get to experience all of the wonderful parts of the holiday season. You have two excuses to be with family. You will get to experience all of the lights, both Chanukah and Christmas. Because we are going to celebrate a-la-carte. We are going to celebrate Chanukah with our family. And we are going to put up lights. And then we will celebrate Christmas with our family.



Marriage is a blending of two families and two sets of traditions. That means we each get a say in what we include. And I am excited that I will be included in some of the magic next year through our Baby Girl.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things you should know about being pregnant

I have been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks. Because there are a lot of things that I have learned since being pregnant that I only learned because I am pregnant and then asked about it.

Early Pregnancy (you know, from when you find out through the half baked). Let's do this from the top of my body down shall we.
  • the smells. Oh the smells. Things started to bother me around week 7 or 8. And they were random. They still are. At the beginning, I couldn't stand the smell of bacon - which was a problem because we had more than 3 pounds of it in the freezer. And the smell of my sweet husband's sweat. Oh lord was it awful when he came home from the gym. I used to leave the room... As the weeks pass, the smells that bother me change too. My sweet husband doesn't bother me anymore. But eggs do. The smells of eggs being cooked makes me swoon and nauseous. And I thought it was just the smell, but I tried to eat them the other day and it was just as bad.
  • the mucus. From anywhere my body can create it. I thought I had a cold for the first few weeks of school (end of the first trimester). Turns out that making a baby creates more mucus in your body. So I have more snot. Regularly. At first I thought I had a cold. Or the nicest flu ever! But I was never physically uncomfortable. I never had any sinus pressure. I would wake up in the morning with a sore throat from nasal drip. And when I found out it was normal and it was baby girl's doing, the mucus stopped bothering me.
  • the boobs. Oh Lord the boobs. These aren't my boobs. They haven't been my boobs since early September. They just started growing. And they won't stop. I have gone up two cup sizes already. And I think they are still growing. Completely INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR!
  • the leaks. Hahaha, not from my boobs yet. Everyone tells you that you will have to pee. That's common knowledge. For me, the worst part is that sometimes after having gone to the bathroom, there is an extra drop. Not enough to feel like I have peed myself. But enough to be kinda gross.
  • the dogs. They are weird about this whole baby thing. Well, not Misty. Mostly because I don't think she is aware of anything outside of the four of us right now - and Colleen & Ken. But Bones???? He is aware that things they are a changing. He knew first. He kept checking out my downstairs and sniffing around. It was different first. It made me uncomfortable. It still makes me uncomfortable thinking about it.
  • the farts (not bothersome, but funny). If you don't like talking about things that happen in the bathroom... well then I don't know what you are doing on my blog honestly. I love talking about the things that happen in the bathroom. Lordy, can I clear a room. Dairy was always my ammunition, but now, I am fully loaded all the time. And there is nothing silent about them. I farted sitting at the dining room table, and the dogs ran to the front door barking to see who knocked. Yup. That's right. I am very talented.  
Middle Pregnancy (you know, the middle trimester, DUH). 
  • my belly button. Or what's left of it. I used to be able to put my pinky finger pretty deep in there. Not gross deep. But way deeper than now. At this point, there is very little depth left in my belly button. It is still an innie, but not for much longer....
  • afternoon heartburn. So much and so often. It started slowly. And I thought it was after eating fruit - which infuriated me. Also, I noticed it more at night than any other time of the day, but it gradually moved earlier and earlier. There were a few days recently where I was popping them like candy every few hours. Gross. But then I realized that when I cut back on the candy (specifically chocolate), I have less heartburn.
  • the sweat. I can't believe how much I am going to tell you, but it's true. My feet sweat constantly. All the time. It was 7:30 this morning, and my shoes were soaked. Gross. My shoes look like I have been walking in puddles. And then recently, I got sweaty palms. Not in the dripping from my fingers sense, just forever clammy. Like I forgot to wipe off my hands after washing.  
  • having to pee... when I don't. This is the most common symptom. Everyone knows about this. It's funny, I can generally resist the urge to use the bathroom until I am at least a half tank full.
  • reaching my feet. seriously. Tie your shoes right now. I can't do that the same way you do. I can't lean over my knees and tie my shoes. I have to sit on the stairs and put one foot over my other knee and tie my shoes sideways. Or, the easier way, shoes without laces.
  • my crotch. is an overshare. You remember the farts from before? This is worse. I don't know the last time I saw it. It has been awhile. It is also inappropriately warm down there. So warm. In a swampy kind of way. There are times when I thought I had peed myself. I didn't. I was swampy. Because of this phenomenon, I have to be in pants. Otherwise I chafe. Really. Gross. And uncomfortable.
Let's talk maternity pants.
Yup, this gets its own list. They are that bad. Let's talk about my murderous rage when it comes to wearing pants right now. They suck the worst. There are a few options when it comes to pant:
  • Your own pants. You know, the ones you were wearing before you found out you were pregnant. For the first few weeks, they are fine and nothing interesting to report. And then, even though you aren't growing or showing, there is pressure out of nowhere. And so I stopped buttoning my pants. Then I added a hair-tie to help hold them shut. And a D-ring belt. And then I stopped zipping them. And then I knew it was time to move on.
  • Low with a thick elastic band. At the beginning, I LOVED the low pants. The elastic was really comfortable. I felt like myself. I was in my jeans. And they had room to move. I was hoping that I could last the entire rest of the pregnancy in these pants. But I grew...
  • High with no elastic band. Then, I grew (as bellies are want to do when pregs) and the elastic started to dig into my baby. I could handle it at work, but not all day long. But the high pants have nothing actually holding the pants UP! The large elastic part is not form fitting at all and is all elastic. There is no band to actually hold the pants up. Have I been clear about this?
  • And then there are the different brands. I asked around. Everyone has an opinion, and a favorite brand. Some said go with quality since you will be wearing them for half a year, and you will probably wear them again in the future. But I was wearing Target brand pants before I was pregnant. Something about the wear and tear of my pants and the amount I was paying for brand names didn't add up, even before I was thinking about the cost of this baby. So when I was looking for pants, I bought them at Target. But I also tried some from the maternity store. And yea, that was an epic fail. They didn't fit that well. In fact, they fit so badly that the day I wore them to work, I changed after 45 minutes into Colleen's workout pants. Anything would have been better than the crap-tastic pants I was wearing.
  • So what am I wearing now? Yoga pants and leggings. They are both low pants that I can move around. I bought new yoga pants at the beginning of my pregnancy knowing that at some point I would give up on regular pants. I hope that I can find a jean that is comfy again, because I miss pockets after only 4 days. Even my pajama pants have changed a little. I am only wearing pants that sit low and don't have a lot of elastic...

Let's see here... is there anything else I want to tell you? Well yes. I am still here. ME! DEBORAH! I am not just a vessel. I am busy "converting food into a person" (shout out to my genius sister Sarah). But I am still here. I am not okay with people talking to my belly. And I am definitely not okay with people touching my belly without asking for permission. It is MY BODY. And I am carrying this baby INSIDE MY BODY. MY BODY. So please be respectful of ME. Baby Girl is not here yet. Once she is, then you can touch her and love on her. But until then? Remember this:

PREGNANT WOMAN ARE REAL PEOPLE. 
AND WE WERE HERE FIRST - BEFORE THE BABY!


And really. If you don't like how we feel about it? Then you can be pregnant next time and see how you feel about it. And if that doesn't work for you? Then stop pushing your opinions on me. I don't believe I asked for it, unless you have already had a baby and I emailed you, then I did ask for your opinion, and it has been very helpful.

Know what's coming up soon? Baby showers! In January & February! I am excited to be with people I love and who love this little Baby Girl without worrying if she is brat or not. (We all know she will be at some point in her life, but.... we are were.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Phil & Lauren make it official!

I hope you like pictures of red heads. I know I do!

I don't even know where I should start this... Let's see... a few years ago, my wonderful brother-in-law pulled a "Reese." I don't know if you know this about the Reese boys (specifically my husband and his brother), but they like to pick their wives based on whether they are willing to hold their own in a bar. That's right. The stories for getting Lauren & I are scarily similar... in each situation both parties ended up praying to the porcelain ... and in both situations, a few years later, we were married. For Matt & I, it was tequila. For Phil & Lauren, it was car bombs. What can I say? We are classy broads! More importantly, we have classy men who know how to treat us...

And over the last few years, she has become an integral part of our family and friend circle.

Turns out, I have more pictures of Lauren than I do of Phil. Crazy.

And then, they got married!!!!! And it was wonderful! You could feel the love they have all weekend. They take care of each other in the most wonderful way. 

I felt special to be included in Lauren's life and even more blessed to be one of her bridesmaids. We spent the morning getting ready and enjoying ourselves with her friends. The boys drank. There are traditions that need to be upheld. No my husband and his brother are not lushes. Linda don't worry.



I mean seriously! Look how beautiful she looks. Radiant doesn't even cover it. And the two of them together? Beautiful. But really, Matt said it best. And he gave me permission to share it with you!!!! So here is his toast from the reception:

Good Evening. Typically my role as the older brother is to tell a few funny stories about how Phil and I used to fight all the time when we were younger or some other funny story about our youth, but our mother already had to live though that once and I am sure she would rather avoid hearing about it again. Phil instead I am going to talk about the best decision you have ever made. The decision to make Lauren a part of our extended family. 

Lauren, the person who Phil is today is completely different then the person he was before he met you. The growth I have seen in him over the last few years has been nothing less than astounding. He is more confident, happier, less stressed, smarter, he even has a swagger which was never there before. But most of all he feels so wise now, something I sometimes find annoying. I have always been more impulsive then Phil, but now he seems to know the right thing to say to let me know I am wrong. These changes are without a doubt because of your influence. You complete him in a way that is hard to describe in words, but without a doubt you are very much his other half and without you he is not whole. 

And Phil, I am so happy for you to have found Lauren. In fairy tales we read about true love and how there is “the one” out there for you. However with over 6 billion people on this Earth the odds of finding that person seem almost impossible. Fortunately, you have defied those odds because Lauren is without a doubt your true love. Congratulations on such a catch.
 

And finally to both of you, Today is only the start of the amazing future, congrats and enjoy the ride.


140?

Last night I posted about weeks 26 & 27. At 10pm. And do you know what happened overnight? 

140 pageviews today? I don't know that many people! I don't know who you are but I know where you are (shout out to Australia - hi Becky!!). But who are you in Thailand, China, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Panama, and the Ukraine?!?!?!?!?!?

But seriously!!! 140? That's crazy!

Whoever you are, I hope you are enjoying yourself and continue to check in on us. And feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself. Because trust me, I am curious. 
VERY CURIOUS!

















Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weeks 26 & 27

Pregnancy: 26 & 27 Weeks

Weight Gain: 23 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: We had a Dr.'s appointment at the beginning of December. And they measured my belly. 25 centimeters from top to bottom of my uterus. I don't know what that means, but it sounds good to me. Also, we are at the point where if you see me one week, and then see me again the next week, you can visibly see a change in my size. Bigger each time.
 
Sleep: This sounds like crap, but I am sleeping well right now. I am sleeping on more pillows, and somehow, it means that I am sleeping better. Honestly, I don't understand it at all.

Cravings: Still nothing crazy. I just like eating. Okay, untrue. I wanted alfredo sauce. So I bought it at Sam's Club, a tad overboard, but what can I say?

Feeling: Pants still suck. Yesterday was a bad day. I got dressed twice. The first time was an epic fail so I switched pants. When I got to school, I realized I was more uncomfortable in the second pair than the first. And I felt a murderous rage coming on. Not okay in a school. Thank goodness Colleen had an extra pair to rescue me. Changing into her sweats was the best decision I made all day!

Movement: all the time. Every time I sit or lay down I feel her kick. After I eat I feel her kick. All the time. Right now in fact. She has started to do the long gliding motions across my belly. And to kick and hit at the same time; really I can feel her on both sides sometimes.
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 26: She weighs a pound and two thirds and is a big as an English cucumber (a little specific) or 14 inches. Her ears are better developed and can hear both Matt & my voices. She is also practicing to breath with amniotic fluid (gross but necessary).

Week 27: She weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.5 inches long. She has been sleeping (while I teach) and waking (when I am trying to be productive) at regular intervals. And her brain is very active - now I am curious (what do you think she is thinking about?) And in other exciting news, I am nearing the end of the second trimester. I only have another 13 weeks to go. That is about as long as Matt & I kept this a secret at the very beginning. I don't want to say home stretch, or nearing the end, because I am not. But this has been a wonderful first two thirds.

What's going on outside the belly: 

And what about us? What have we been up to? So many things! We went to Matt's brother's wedding two weeks ago (crazy great fun!) and a post in the works already. We have been making serious changes in the house. Baby Girl's room is painted - post on that later. Her furniture is in the state - but still at the store waiting for us to pick it up. We are getting rid of some downstairs furniture - post on that too. Oh and Chanukah came and went last week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sarah Celeste

We have a new baby among us! Last Tuesday our good friends, Tim & Sarah,
welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family.


We went to visit them today at home and had a wonderful visit. 
She slept the entire time and cuddled each of us.

We wish Momma Sarah a speedy recovery.
We hope Baby Celeste continues to be a well behaved and easy baby.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weeks 24 & 25

Pregnancy: 24 & 25 weeks

Weight Gain: 20 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: Pants. I hate them. Too big for the low pants. Nothing holds up the pants that go all the way up. ROAR. I could write an entire post on how much I hate maternity pants. Seriously. On a different level - how does this fit into measurements?
 
Sleep: I'm getting used to it. But I have been having problems with rolling on my back. Then I move and it hurts like hell! Leg cramps galore. So I am back to using a second pillow to keep me still. Now it is between my knees instead of behind my back. 

Cravings: Orange food. You laugh? But I have eaten an entire bag of cuties. And Cheetos. And macaroni & cheese. Not craving it, just eating a lot of it... 

Feeling: At the end of the day, my back hurts. But that feels appropriate because I am on my feet all morning.And let's talk about heartburn. I have it in the afternoon. I thought it had to do with all the fruit I have been eating, but it is unrelated. It is every afternoon, regardless of what I have been eating. So I drink more chocolate milk.

Movement: all the time. Every time I sit or lay down I feel her kick. After I eat I feel her kick. All the time. Right now in fact. 
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 24: She weighs a pound and is a big as an ear of corn. And her taste buds are developing (weird since she won't eat anything interesting for months). And her lungs are doing stuff that will help them inflate once she hits the outside world. Also my uterus is the size of a soccer ball.

Week 25: She weighs a pound and a half and is about 13.5 inches long. She has been long and lean, but at this point she is going to start growing some cute baby fat. She is starting to look like a newborn. She is starting to grow hair all over. Cute.

What's going on outside the belly: 

And what about us? What have we been up to? So many things! We went to a family wedding two weeks ago. We have been feeling and watching her kick around in my belly. Matt helped me pick out a color and then he painted the whole nursery. It is a beautiful soft lilac. Also known as a very light purple. You would wonder who we are naming her after... hint hint. Not really. Hahaha!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weeks 22 & 23

Pregnancy: 22 & 23 weeks

Weight Gain: 16 pounds at the end of those two weeks. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: My boobs are another size up... that's all I will tell you. They went up another size... so crazy.
 
Sleep: I'm getting used to it. My understanding is that I will sleep again in 20 years... But I have been having problems with rolling on my back. Then I move and it hurts like hell! Leg cramps galore. So I am back to 

Cravings: For the last two weeks? It's been Thanksgiving. But that's because we have been celebrating Thanksgiving for the last six weeks. So I want more mashed potatoes - that must be a little better than french fries. I have been eating more meat, which could be the reason I am not having problems pooping anymore.

Feeling: I feel really good.

Movement: All the time! She is a little mover and a shaker.
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 22: She is starting to look like a newborn. The face is developing!! Eyelids, lips, and eyebrows. She is 11 inches long and the size of a spaghetti squash.

We had another appointment this week too! Unfortunately, Matt couldn't make it. So I invited the Grandmothers to come with me. It was wonderful. They met their granddaughter for the first time. And apparently, while sonograms existed at the time, they were not common practice. So they didn't have sonograms with us when we were little. It was a nice thing to share with them!

Week 23: She can hear music and feel me dance. The inner ear stuff is fully formed at this point. Which was perfect for Peter & Roxanne's wedding! She is now a large mango (which feels smaller than a spaghetti squash in my head). And I should be able to see her squirm under my clothing (totally did!). Her lungs are getting ready to prepare for breathing (although that won't happen until she is out).

video
She is kicking every three seconds or so to the left of my belly button.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to All!

If you know us, then you know that we just celebrated the most important holiday in our house. And we celebrate Thanksgiving 3 times! We celebrate Friends-giving, Reese-giving, and Thanksgiving.

So we celebrated our anniversary early with our friends. But can I tell you a quick story? Well, we know me, and it won't be quick! I know that I like to talk. Focus. Two weeks before Friends-giving, I called the grocery store and asked them to order a 25 pound turkey. It was now a week before,  and they had not called me to tell me that the turkey was going to happen. So I went in and asked. And they said they would call me on Monday... such a long weekend. Monday happened, and they couldn't get me a turkey that big. There wasn't a problem last year. And I wasn't pregnant and crying then either. So I tried another grocery store. Same results. They could get me two 14 pound turkeys, but nothing bigger. Because they were stock piling for Thanksgiving. And couldn't sell them to a customer. Crazy talk right?

In the end? I went for the two 14 pound turkeys because I didn't have a choice at all. And then I got to thinking? Two turkeys? One oven? Same cooking time? It is the same amount of turkey. But more surface area. But less thick. So I went for it and started cooking around the same time as if it was only the 1 huge monster. Turned out? Of course it did! It was me cooking turkey. DUH!

So the turkeys (remember I made two) were done about an hour and a half early. Thank goodness I checked them because had I left them alone, we would have been SCREWED! So the turkeys came out and got to rest. The best part? I was able to cook the gravy and dressing in peace. In the past, I have had a million friends in the kitchen once the turkey was out and I couldn't make the rest of the meal in peace. For the first time in 4 years, the gravy came out PERFECTLY! Sorry to all the people who have "helped" in the past. I officially don't want help at all.
Sorry. Don't hate me.

Because I had so much time and I was able to cook everything myself with minimal interference, I decided to repeat the double turkeys again for Reese Thanksgiving. It was wonderful again! I couldn't believe that my supposed misfortune turned into a wonderful surprise! I was so upset for nothing.

And this year, I only cooked two turkeys twice. For actual Thanksgiving, we traveled North to celebrate with my family. We have two weddings down here that my parents are coming for, so they were not going to make that journey 3 times in 3 weeks. So we went to them and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my parents, siblings, and grandparents.

We have been blessed this year, and we are thankful for so much.
  • all the love we experience every day
  • for the friendship we have in one another
  • for the friends we have both near and far who are willing to help us
  • for the friends who love our dogs enough to dog-sit when we are away for a weekend
  • vacations
  • the beach
  • a strong margarita (clearly not now for me)
  • a delicious Octoberfest beer
  • the ability to donate time and money to those less fortunate 
  • the ability to eat and keep our house warm
  • fried food and chocolate milk
  • jobs we love, or at least enjoy most of the time
  • video chats with family and friends
  • friends who visit
  • family we love to spend time with, siblings, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles & cousins
  • and for the little nugget on the way. We cannot wait to meet you in March!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turkey Time!

Turkey Time! (Thanksgiving)


I made Thanksgiving Turkey for the first time in 2008. I have made it every year since at one time or another.  Thanksgiving is Matt's favorite holiday because it centers on family and EATING!  So in 2009, when we missed Thanksgiving because we were on our honeymoon, I made Thanksgiving when we got back for the two of us.



Normally we celebrate Thanksgiving 3 times in  November:
  1. First Thanksgiving - to celebrate our anniversary (beginning of the month)
  2. Reese Thanksgiving - all of my husband's extended family celebrates the Sunday before so that on the day of Thanksgiving, they can be with their in-laws without any problems
  3. Day of Thanksgiving - duh on Thursday!

Here are some of the things I found useful and learned through this process.

Good Rules of Thumb
  1. Don't stuff the turkey. When you do this, you run the risk of not cooking anything fully. The turkey will dry out before the stuffing is cooked. Instead, bake them separately and add the stuffing later.
  2. SEASON EVERY INCH OF THE TURKEY!
    • inside the cavity (after you remove the bag of nastiness and pull the neck out - GROSS)
    • under the skin of the breasts
    • around the thighs and wings
    • outside of the skin
    Make your own seasoning. Include salt and pepper (duh) but also honey (or coke) for sweetness.
  3. Make it compact (right like that's possible)
    • tie the legs together
    • cover wing tips with foil to avoid burning
    • build a breast plate out of foil to protect
  4. Fill the roasting pan. Make it a hot tub of yummy smells to absorb into the meat. I used carrots, celery, onions, and chicken stock. I added the vegetables ahead of time and poured the liquid once it was in the oven so I wouldn't have to move the liquid and the bird at the same time.
  5. Once your bird is cooked - let it rest. It worked very hard. Don't slice it for at least 20 minutes.

Cooking

Here's how I cooked it. I did consult all my friends' mothers before I decided on Karen's recipe in 2008.  I have had only compliments with this recipe. 

  1. Put the bird in the oven at 500 for 30 minutes. This will brown it on top.
  2. Then add a breast plate to protect the breast meat (you have to make this ahead of time or burn your hands badly by molding foil to fit the breasts snugly. And add a thermometer to the breast.
  3. Reduce heat to 350 and cook until the breasts read a cool 161 degrees.
    Time will obviously vary by the size of the bird. And since I am no expert - you google it.
I am not a Thanksgiving fan or a turkey fan by any stretch of the imagination. But this was one of the best turkeys I ever ate.

SEASONING RECIPES
  • 2010 - Honey, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, basil, sage
  • 2010 - Honey, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, celery seeds, sesame seeds
  • 2011 - Honey, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, parsley, basil, CINNAMON  
  • 2012 - Marvin - Honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder
  • 2012 - Tony - Honey, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, cumin

Monday, November 26, 2012

Congrats to Peter & Roxanne!

You know how every family has a group of family friends that you grew up with, who aren't actually family because you share no blood, but they are family? This is one of those families. So let's start from the beginning.

When I was 9, we moved from Texas to Connecticut. Let's avoid the traumatizing part. On the first day of 4th grade, we were asked to bring in something that represents ourselves. I brought in the pillowcase that my friends from Dallas had decorated (that I still have by the way, even though I only talk to one of those girls now). One of the boys in the class brought in an entire large brown bag of Legos. And that is my first memory of Dan.

And then things got weird. Did you know? Well of course you don't! I haven't told you yet. Duh. Dan's family lived in Dallas too. Right down the street from my elementary school. But they moved much earlier than we did. Dan & I were in 4th through 12th grades together. Classes together all through middle school and 9th & 10th grades. Then I think our classes changed, he went for science classes, and I went anywhere else.

And Dan had two younger brothers; Peter is a year older than my sister Sarah, and Matt is my brother Dan's age. So long story, somewhat shorter, the 6 of us spent a lot of time together growing up.

Fast forward....17 years? More of less. Peter is about to graduate from GW (where he went with Sarah) and he begins dating a lovely Roxanne. And fast forward again.

We spent the weekend before Thanksgiving celebrating their wedding!

It was a beautiful ceremony and wonderful party. 

One of my favorite parts? Dancing with my hubs! But you know what? Our little baby kept getting in between us! It was the first time we went out dancing and it was different. But she had a wonderful time. And so did we.


 Who doesn't love family like this?
The only problem? I was too busy eating to take a million pictures. Weird right?

Lots of love to Peter & Roxanne! We wish you years of happiness and love!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 21

Pregnancy: 21 weeks

Weight Gain: 13 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: My pants are getting tight again. I have been in maternity pants for a few weeks now, because they are stretchy and comfortable. But they have been the pants with the low elastic band. That just happens to be where Baby Girl is currently residing. By the end of the day, it is no longer comfortable. She is growing. And taking up space in my pants. I don't want to buy more pants, again.
 
Sleep: If I stop drinking water with dinner, I can sleep through the night. But then I am thirsty. Win some, lose some. 

Cravings: For the last two weeks? It's really been Thanksgiving. But that's because we have been celebrating Thanksgiving for the last few weeks. So I want more mashed potatoes - that must be a little better than french fries.

Feeling: Apparently, my sense of humor has become very inappropriate. I laugh at things that are not funny at all. Like really upset babies.

Movement: I talked to the Dr. this week, well a nurse. And she said I probably wasn't feeling a baby in there. I was ready to get off the phone, so I went with it. But there is no way that is not a baby. And if it isn't, I want to know EXACTLY what it is.
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 21: This felt like an overshare when I read it, but I have told you everything else. She is growing her vagina this week. She also has eyelids and eyebrows. She is the length of a carrot and almost a full pound.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Food & Wine

This past weekend we went to the 17th Annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Last year, Colleen and I went to visit Leela, a friend, in Orlando to see Sugarland. I know it was very far to see a concert, but I had been trying to see them for over a year. And it was just a happy coincidence to be able to go to the Food & Wine festival.

So when we started looking at the calendar for Fall 2012, we knew we had to find a time to make that work and get back to Orlando. So we found two weekends, and picked one. And we invited our boys this time. So Matt & John came with us and we made a long weekend out of a professional day (to finish 1st quarter grades and plan for 2nd quarter) and election day.

We left Friday night and got into our condo (Colleen's parents' timeshare) between Friday night and Saturday morning. And went straight to bed.

Saturday morning the ladies got up and went to the grocery store to get food for breakfast and snacks at the park. John is one picky eater (because he eats very healthy) so we wanted to make sure there would be food for him. Then Leela met us and we were off to Epcot!

This year I (we) ate:
  • Argentina - beef empanada & Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée
  • Austrailia - Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
  • Caribbean Islands - Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney (I ate two - one was supposed to be for Matt, but I ate it)
  • China - Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun 
  • Hops & Barley (New England) - Perfect Maine Lobster Roll
  • Ireland - Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie & Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache
  • Japan - California Roll
  • Mexico - Crispy Shrimp Taco with Chipotle Lime Mayo and Cabbage Served on a Flour Tortilla & Taco de Filete with Cascabel Pepper Sauce and Scallions Served on a Flour Tortilla
  • Poland - Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream & Zapiekanki-Toasted Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Cheese Bread with House Made Ketchup
Now Matt & Colleen obviously drank their fair share, but I did not. So I have no idea what they drank. In fact, aside from what Matt ate (because I ordered it) I have no idea what Colleen & John ate either. But here are some foods I wish I ate:
  • Belguim - Steamed Mussels in Hoegaarden Beer Broth and Baguette
  • Canada - Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup & “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
  • France - Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni & Créme Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait
  • Greece - Greek Salad with Pita Bread, Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey, Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki, &, Spanakopita
  • Italy - Ravioli di Formaggio All’emiliana (Baked Cheese Ravioli, Creamy Beef Bolognese, Parmesan, Mozzarella)
  • Japan - Sukiyaki Beef Pan (Marinated Thinly Sliced Rib Eye with Sauteed Onions and Teriyaki Sauce Served in a Bun)
  • Morocco - Kefta Pocket (Ground Seasoned Beef in a Pita Pocket) - Matt ate that, but the smell bothered me
  • South Africa - Seared Filet of Beef with Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Braai Sauce & Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket
Crazy right? There was so much food to choose from that I was overwhelmed! Best part is? That isn't even all of the food they offered, just what I wanted to eat!


Let's see here... we did more than just eat... we rode two rides (there aren't many at Epcot). The one about food production at Disney and the one where you feel like you are hang-gliding over California. They also rode Space Mountain, but alas, I cannot.

Sunday, we slept in and then spent an hour at the pool. Followed by an hour looking for the football games. Epic fail. Went to Chili's for lunch. Saw Leela's new house. Met Colleen's cousin for dinner. Then we went to Downtown Disney and walked around.


Monday, we got up early (8am) and went to Animal Kingdom.


And we went on the Safari again and saw lots of animals.




Monday night we had to come back home - because some cop had to work on Tuesday. BOOO! Until next year Epcot. And then we will bringing our little monkey! But she isn't so little anymore....


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Half Baked

Please forgive me for not posting this one sooner. We are officially HALF BAKED! 20 weeks and so happy! And sorry. But there is no belly shot from me today. Just from the baby.

Pregnancy: 20 weeks

Weight Gain: 12 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: The baby is measuring right on target. At our last ultrasound, the head was measuring normal (THANK GOODNESS!!!! ~ I still love my husband!). But the legs... they measured a full TWO WEEKS longer than we are. Crazy talk!
 
Sleep: It's still uncomfortable, but I'm getting used to it. Unfortunately, I learned this week that I sleep better alone. But then I miss my husband. You win some, you lose some. I think I will keep my husband (for now).

Cravings: I have nothing. I just like to eat. No surprise there.   


 
Feeling: This week has been mostly good. And then I cried over turkey. Nothing crazy... just crazy because it was turkey.

Movement: I think I am definitely feeling someone in there. I feel the same thing over and over again. And all in the same spot. Right under my belly button. There is a little push. There are not butterfly feelings in this belly. There is a solid push, especially after I eat.

What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 20: We start measuring from head to feet starting now and baby is the length of a banana. And baby is working on the digestive tract.




Big News:I know what you are actually here to read. You want to know what kind of baby we have deep in my belly. Right? Well.... our baby is a .....

 GIRL!!!!



And the best part? Matt was thrilled to find our our baby is a girl. In fact, he said he wanted a girl more than a boy. Happy News for us!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A happy engagement shower

Where does this story start? It starts a while back. It starts with two people who are very good for each other. And that is the most important part of this story.

In a few weeks I am getting another sister. Legally. My husband has a wonderful brother. His brother is marrying a terrific girl.

Well, a few weeks ago, her bridesmaids hosted a bridal shower. We played a game and got to spend time with family. It was a lovely afternoon. 


I don't want to be rude to all the already married couples out there, or even our friends in relationships, but Lauren & Phil complement each other in ways that astound me. They are amazing together. I am very happy for them. And very happy for the new sister I am getting as a by product.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 19

Pregnancy: 19 weeks

Weight Gain: 11 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: At my last ultrasound, baby was measuring 4 days early. 8cm head to butt! This week it should be the size of a large heirloom tomato - about 6 inches head to bottom.

Sleep: It's very uncomfortable. I am now using TWO pillows. Imagine the airplane when it is parked in the terminal. You know how they put things under the wheels to keep them from moving? That's me. I'm the airplane. One pillow in front and one pillow behind.

Cravings:  Same as last week. French fries and chocolate milk. Not so much craving them, but wanting to eat them anytime. I started bringing money into work with me so I could buy chocolate milk. Matt is starting to worry that I am not eating enough. And definitely not enough protein. But I have no interest in cooking protein. I think I may have outsmarted myself by making shredded chicken yesterday. So now I can add it to my salads and pasta.
 
Feeling: I'm grumpy in the morning. I never liked waking up. And I really don't like waking up in the middle of the night to roll over.

Movement: A little bit. Not a lot. Not often at all. I have noticed ligament pain. Woo hoo. Apparently my uterus is getting bigger and harder for my body to manage. Shocker! Did you see the pictures from today? Where did that little baby come from?


I thought I would show you last week's photo... just so you could see what happened this week. It is crazy! I know this belly is really going to grow over the next few weeks (5 months) but the week to week change is crazy fun to watch. So enjoy!

Also - you should notice the AWESOME sweater I wore today! My wonderful and talented MOTHER knit that for me (for before I was pregnant)! It is crazy beautiful! I always get lots of compliments, and people who ask where I bought it. ~ Love you Mom!


What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 19: Sensory development all over the place! Smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch are all being located in the brain. Also, this little pumpkin can hear me. We already knew that if we shine a light on the belly, the baby will move to get away from it, but now it can hear me. And for that, I apologize for yelling at my 3rd period today - but they deserved it, every word of it.
Back to Optimus - ummm, it's growing a protective coating to "prevent pickling in the amniotic fluid." Overshare much? And weird - because I never thought about that.

Next Appointment: Oct 29 - SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!! That's next Tuesday! And we get to find out the gender! Let me tell you - I really don't care if my baby is a boy or a girl. I just want a healthy baby. But I am very excited at this point to find out. And I am sorry. I don't think I am going to post the gender here next week. We are going to call family before we post it here. Sorry. Don't take it personally.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weeks 17 & 18

Apparently I can't write these posts every week. I thought about writing this all week. But sitting down and remembering things... that is hard work! So here goes.


For Week 17 - I kept asking Matt to take my picture late and it just wasn't working out. So we put up a mirror in the nursery. I took a bunch of photos... this was the only one that came out. I don't know how all those ladies take good pictures of themselves in mirrors. I took 20 photos... Most were awful. Thank goodness for my sweet husband!



Pregnancy: 18 weeks

Weight Gain: 10 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: At my last ultrasound, baby was measuring 4 days early. 8cm head to butt!

Sleep: It's uncomfortable. But I solved it a few nights ago. It's a second pillow, right under my belly. I am was a belly sleeper. And now that's no longer an option. It took me forever to get comfy on my side. A few hours later I would wake up to pee and find myself asleep on my baby belly. So solution - pillow! I have a small squishy pillow that is perfect for putting under my belly. It keeps me from rolling onto my belly and I can kinda sleep leaning on my belly.

Cravings:  French fries and chocolate milk. Not so much craving them, but wanting to eat them anytime. I started bringing money into work with me so I could buy chocolate milk.

Feeling: This past week was great. I feel good. I am starting to walk funny, but not all the time. Just up and down the stairs. What else?

Movement: BIG NEWS!!!! I felt something last weekend. I did. A little flutter right below my belly button. I have felt it a few times. Not that often. But yea!

What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 17: Baby is changing from cartilage to bone. Eeww.
Week 18: Baby is about 5.5 inches and growing. About the size of a Red Solo Cup. CRAZY! And Baby is moving around all the time. I should be feeling Baby a lot soon.

Next Appointment: Oct 29 - SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weeks 15 & 16


These last two weeks have gone by really fast. It was the High Holidays and we went up to visit my parents for Rosh Hashanah. Then we stayed here for Yom Kippur.

So I have a belly shot for you from Week 15, but that's it... So here is Week 16.

Pregnancy: 16 weeks

Weight Gain: 5 pounds

Measurements: At my last ultrasound, baby was measuring 4 days early. 8cm head to butt!

Sleep: It's getting uncomfortable. I am having a hard time falling asleep. But that's why I go to bed before Matt, so I can toss and turn and finally find a spot to hopefully stay. Also, I am not sleeping through the night anymore. I have to get up once in the middle of the night to pee.

Cravings:  Not so much really. But here is something weird I noticed this week. I eat all day long and snack almost continuously. No real meals here. But 7pm comes around and like clockwork - I am done eating. The hunger just passes that quickly.

Feeling: I have had headaches all week. They start between 7:30 and 8:30. My response? Go to bed.

Movement: I can't feel anything yet :( But I could start feeling something any day now. I am starting to really pay attention to what I think I am feeling.

What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 15: Baby is developing working lungs. Baby is able to respond to light - shine a flashlight on my belly, and Baby will squirm away. Also, Baby has taste buds.
Week 16: Baby is going to start growing like a Reese (and double in weight and size) over the next few weeks. Baby is also growing toenails (gross).

Next Appointment: Oct 29

We had an appointment last week. I have started to gain weight. My heartbeat is great for me and low for normal people (happens in my family). Baby's heartbeat is nice and strong, maintaining in the 150's. Still moving like there is no tomorrow, which my Dr. likes. It was a quick appointment.
Share with you next week!!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The first month

This post is a long time coming... like 3 months coming.

Want to know how Matt & I found out about the baby? It's in here!
Want to know how hard that first month was? Not telling people? Especially when we saw all of our friends! It's in here!

So enjoy this insight into our first months.

July 9, 2012
On Saturday (two long days ago), Matt had a race. He woke up nice and early and left me to fall back asleep. Which I did. Then Bones kicked me in the chin and I was awake. The three of us (Bones, Misty, & myself) were laying in bed and discussing whether to pee on a stick. Misty didn’t understand the concept, but Bones was all for it. He is great at peeing on sticks and thought I should try it out. I don’t think he had the same thing in mind that I did. In fact, for the next 5 minutes or so, Bones sat there watching me, trying to tell me how I was doing this wrong - all the great sticks are OUTSIDE!

Now let’s remember that I have been peeing on the same kind of sticks for the last year. And every month those sticks have said the same thing. Only one blue line. However, this time, and before the full amount of time was up, like maybe 30 seconds later, there were TWO blue lines. I sat back down on the toilet and watched the make sure the second line didn’t disappear. Then I burst into the happiest tears of my life. And danced around our bedroom butt-ass-naked (I was about to shower).

I took a picture of the stick – Bones still didn’t understand – and texted it to Matt, knowing that he wouldn’t see it for another two hours. Yup, covered in pee and surrounded by dog hair. Welcome to our life.

No lie, this was the hardest weekend ever. Because my mom was here to visit! We had a bridal shower on Sunday that she came down for and we spent the whole weekend together hanging out. And not once did I tell her I was pregnant. Not even a little slip. I wanted to so badly. But we aren’t telling anyone. Not until August 10. Our appointment is on August 1. And then my whole family is getting together for my sister’s birthday on the 11th. So we are going to tell them all together. I feel badly about stealing my sister’s birthday thunder. But they have been hoping for this for awhile. I think I have a really great way of telling them too. I hope I can pull it off. And we are going to take Matt’s mom out to dinner before we go and tell her. How will I ever last a month with this secret?!?!?!?!?

Tuesday, July 17
My tummy hurts. It has a somewhat constant feeling of tightness? I am not so much nauseous, and not really hungry. I am just uncomfortable.

Sunday July 27
I don't know how Matt and I have not EXPLODED with giddiness. And the worst part? We have had all our friends over in the last two weeks. and neither of us cracked! Well, Matt did.

Last Friday we went to a wedding and two people figured me out - but I told you about that. Saturday night, we had 8 friends over for boys v. girls game night. And none of them even asked about pregnancy stuff. Which was weird. 

Monday, I went out to lunch with Matt's mom. She asked me how the baby stuff was going and I had to give her the answer about taking Clomid and explain how it works. She said she was praying for us. It is hard lying to everyone. 

I went to the pool with my BFF Colleen. When she came over to pick me up I was working on stuff for school. I am at the point in the curriculum that I will not be teaching in the spring. Already on maternity leave. She got there and I made a comment like "I don't know why I even care about this unit" in my head the rest of that sentence went like this "because I won't be at school I will be delivering a baby!!!" In real life I ended that sentence like this "because it is so far away."

She was really curious about how the whole thing worked and doesn't like all the info I have given her in this process. She asked all sorts of questions while we were at the beach. She knows when I ovulated and about taking my temp every morning. And we talked the 4 hours about everything and I had to do quick math and figure out when I would be testing if I wasn't pregnant RIGHT NOW. Seriously hard. And we work together and another woman who works in athletics with us at school is pregnant and due in December and we were talking about how we were going to replace her for the winter season. Little does she know we will be having the same conversation about the spring season and me. 

And then last night we saw the rest of our friends. Our neighbors have a pig roast every summer. It is a huge block party with kiddie pools and bouncy castles and more food than anyone could eat. So another 20 friends were here last night. 1 brought her new baby and another is due in November. So there was lots of baby talk and not once did I say anything about and us too in March!!!! SOOOOO HARD!!!!!!!!!! Matt almost said something a few times but bit his tongue. 

SOOOOO HARD! Matt did tell one friend last night while smoking a cigar. It seemed like an appropriate situation. And Matt swore him to secrecy. So much that he didn't say anything to me when he was the only one left at the house. So secret - he is not even telling me! 

Tomorrow, I am going in to work to get some materials and print some things out. I'm going in with 3 women from my department - 2 that I adore. This is soooooo hard!

I have a feeling that the next 3 days are going to be the hardest. And then we still have to wait. I don't want to be there and celebrate with them. Is that crazy? We will see his brother on Friday. But we won't see my family for another week. Maybe we will do a video chat with my whole family. Then we don't have to wait as long. Let me know what you think about this. 

I think this email is sufficiently long enough. Love you! 
All I am hoping for right now? A heart beat.