Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The One Where I Feel Crummy

I won't bore all of you with my laundry list of shitty yucky things to whine about right now because it's minor in the grand scheme of life.

Just wanted to say I'm alive and semi-well and all is great with the baby.  I'm just not feeling so great.  I will have some more extensive posts later this week.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The One with the Weekly Pregnancy Update

This week's update...

16 Weeks

I realized as I was uploading this picture that I've been wearing gray in the last three weeks' pictures.

How far along? 16 weeks (avocado)
Total weight gain/loss: still down about 3-4 pounds according to my scale at home
Maternity clothes: All.the.time.  Another lovely box from Gap and Old Navy arrived yesterday with some awesome tunics and sweaters.
Have you started to show yet? Yes, according to the family that I saw yesterday.  I got a few belly rubs while I was with them.
Sleep: Sleep has been coming pretty easily and I feel rested for most of the morning.  By afternoon, I'm ready for a nap.
Best moment this week: Not effing up Thanksgiving dinner!  In baby related best moments, I had a great time telling my students about the pregnancy this week and designing our Christmas card (more on both things in a later post).

Miss Anything? Definitely missed my glasses of wine at the Thanksgiving celebrations.  Also, had such a taste for Prosecco so I'm going to have to pick up some sparkling grape juice or something like that soon.
Movement: It's possible, but since I'm not exactly sure what I'm feeling for, I can't say with certainty.
Food cravings: mashed potatoes, chocolate, still eating lots of pears
Anything making you queasy or sick? Watching Hubs eat the heart and liver of the turkey this week!
Gender prediction: boy
Labor Signs: Not a thing

Symptoms: Still pretty tired and definitely more emotional
Major purchases this week? Just clothes for me at this point.  Been doing lots of research on items for our registry though.
Weekly wisdom: Buy lots of leggings.  I wear them almost every day.
Looking forward to: Going back to the doctor at the end of next week for my 18 week appointment and hoping to get a peek at the little one.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The One with the Proof

As in the proof that I, along with a great deal of help from my fabulous mother, managed to cook my first turkey evah.

Mom made the stuffing and turnip and brought up a beautiful 16 pound turkey.  I was in charge of the mashed potatoes, butternut squash, asparagus, appetizers, and pie.

While I only ate a little bit of the food, it seemed to be enjoyed by all.

The pepperoni bread that I've become rather famous in these parts for.

Here goes nothing...

In the words of my former nun of a mother, "The key to a good turkey is to baste the fuck out of it."

The beginnings of the to-die-for mashed potatoes.

Pretty damn good looking turkey if I do say so myself.

Hubs did a fantastic job carving the little guy.

Some of the feast.

I made the mashed potatoes earlier in the day and put them in the crock pot while the turkey finished cooking.  Made it much easier than trying to time everything perfectly.

Did the same thing with the butternut squash after I roasted it.

So, take that Thanksgiving gods...I pulled it off and we enjoyed the company, food, and laughter.

We had a gorgeous apple pie from Gregg's several hours later, but I didn't manage to get a picture of that before it got attacked.

Beyond thankful for the incredible blessings in our life this year (even for crazy Max who as I type keeps stealing the throw rug from the kitchen and running into the living room with it because I'm not paying attention to him).

And now, onto the Christmas preparations and festivities!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The One Where I Am Thankful

This is going to be a quick post because there is turkey to be cooked and potatoes to be mashed.

I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all the blessings we have been given this year.  From family and friends to our little bean, we have been incredibly lucky.

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The One with the Bath

I took a bath this afternoon.  It was glorious.

Until the toy that Max was playing with kept going behind the toilet and I had to keep getting out of the bath to "fetch" it for him.

Starting to get a little nervous about cooking the big meal on Thursday.

That's all I got for tonight.

The bean and I are off the lay on the couch and fall asleep in the next 30 minutes or so.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The One with the Children's Books

I have been thinking about what books I want to buy and order for the baby to start reading while I am still pregnant and also after the little one arrives.

As a first grade teacher, I am extra aware of how important it is that children are read to from a very early age (like in-utero!) and I cannot wait to share some of my favorite children's books with our baby.

I decided I would compile a list of some of my favorites.  I'll include the links to Amazon.  Please know  that I am in no way affiliated with any of these books.  They are just some of my favorite and I wanted to share them.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
This is one of my all time favorite books about a little girl who wants to do three things when she grows  up - travel the world, retire by sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful.

My brother and I grew up reading this book and still refer to each other as "The Pain" and "The Great One," although we debate who is who!

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This holiday classic needs no real explanation.  It is magical.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
This adorable story about a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight has a great message.

I always feel so bad for Alexander in this story.  Nothing goes his way and he wants to move to Australia.

I love the illustrations in this book.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
This book has such wonder and amazement at the first snowfall of the year and I can't wait to experience that with our child.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Love this circle story about how one little action can cause a whole lot of trouble!

Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh
Olive the dog hears "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," thinks the line is "Olive the other reindeer," and is convinced she should be part of Santa's team.

Jessica by Kevin Henkes
In this book, Ruthie has a friend named Jessica that no one else can see.

I could seriously keep going with this post and list tons more books that I love and want our child to love as well, but I will stop for everyone's sake!

I am looking forward to picking up some of these books soon to start reading to our little one.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The One with the Weekly Pregnancy Update

I missed posting yesterday purely out of forgetfulness.  Call it pregnancy brain.

Here is this week's update.

15 Weeks

I hate the "5" in this picture.  I erased and redid it 4 times and it still doesn't look right.

How far along? 15 weeks (navel orange)
Total weight gain/loss: -4 pounds since the beginning of IVF
Maternity clothes: Absolutely.  I just ordered several sweaters and some more leggings from Old Navy and Gap because they were having a big sale.
Have you told family and friends? Yes, it's definitely not a secret from anyone but Facebook anymore.
Have you started to show yet? I feel more pregnant looking this week, but it could definitely still be mistaken for too many Pringles.
Sleep: I am sleeping much better this week, but am still pretty tired by the end of the day and usually end up falling asleep on the couch pretty early at night.
Best moment this week: Finding the heartbeat with much more ease.

Miss Anything? We went out with friends to a hibachi restaurant last night and I was drooling walking by the sushi bar.
Movement: Not yet, but I've heard it could happen at any point now.
Food cravings: freeze pops, cheese, Pop Tarts (just a few of the random things I purchased at the grocery store this week).
Anything making you queasy or sick? This has improved in the last few weeks, but it's still hard to brush my teeth as well as I want to.
Gender prediction: Still feeling like it's a boy.
Labor Signs: No

Symptoms: Fatigue and round ligament pain as everything is stretching.
Major purchases this week? Been fantasizing about nursery furniture this week, but haven't purchased anything this week.  Contemplating that Power Wheels purchase on Black Friday.
Weekly wisdom: Don't be afraid to say no.  Growing a human is a lot of work and you can't do everything the same as before you were pregnant.
Looking forward to: Telling my students about the baby this week and celebrating Thanksgiving (even though I won't eat any of the food) with family.  Also going to be picking up some books to start reading to the baby this week.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The One Where I Feel Productive

I just finished ordering several Christmas gifts.  And there are quite a few bags in my spare bedroom that are also filled with Christmas presents.  I feel super on top of things this year with the holidays.  I mean, I am an early shopper but I have definitely gotten more done earlier than usual this year.

Love this lady!  Original image here.

This weekend I am going to work on getting a few lists organized and then hopefully I can finish up my shopping in the next couple of weeks.

Hubs' stocking usually takes the longest...

As a reward, I am heading off to make that amaze-balls looking popcorn from the earlier post this week.

I deserve it.

Have a fabulous Friday night.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The One with the Pets

NaBloPoMo's prompt for today is to write about your favorite pet.

It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite one, but I want to focus on the two most recent pets.  Heads up...lots of pictures will follow!

When Hubs and I started dating, Grizzly had been the sole attention getter in his life for 5 years.  Grizzly was literally the laziest and most laid-back dog on the face of this Earth.  He was a Rottweiler who had that "mean" Rottie look to him but would have licked you to death before he harmed a hair on your head.  If someone came to visit and he was sleeping, he would pick up his head from the couch, check out who it was, and go right back to sleep!

This was a pretty standard day for Grizzly.  At most, he would move from one spot to another on the couch.

Grizzly had a tough life from a medical standpoint.  He suffered through a torn ankle ligament, a ruptured ACL, and four separate surgeries for a cancerous lump.  This dog was a trooper through it all though.  (Warning: some of these pictures are a little graphic from his surgeries).

This was surgery one for the cancer.  He had a lump on his leg and required a skin graft to close the wound.

And surgery number two when the first skin graft didn't take.

And surgery three when part of the second skin graft didn't adhere.

And finally his last cast and procedure when he had skin and fur growing again.

This dog was seriously the best dog anyone could ask for.  We were lucky enough to spend 11 1/2 years with him (I was around for 6 1/2 of those).  Very good friends of ours got us a photo shoot for Grizzly the summer before he died.  It was the absolute best thing we ever did.  Julie Furtado was amazing and took some awesome pictures that we will treasure forever.  She came right to our house and we just got to play with Grizz for the afternoon while she took the pictures.

Just a few of them...I promise!

Grizzly died on August 9, 2011, just a few weeks after our wedding and honeymoon.  He had a brain tumor and was gone within 48 hours.  It is still one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced and we miss him every day.  He was truly one of a kind.

(And now I'm crying as I write this blog post)

And then you move onto our current monster.  Another Rottweiler, but Max could not be more different from Grizzly if he tried.  Max is a completely different looking Rottweiler, which was important to us when getting a new dog.  We didn't want to feel like we were comparing him to Grizz all the time and felt like if they looked different that would help a little.

Max was born on my birthday in 2011 and came to us on a plane all the way from California.

We should have known those eyes had a little of the devil in them!

Max has been rambunctious since the day he arrived and has certainly given us a run for our money!

I may look innocent, but really I'll eat all your napkins, shoes, and pillows.

I'm just so happy to eat dirt!

Max really is a wonderful dog, but he comes from a strong line of working dogs who have a ton of drive and need to be consistently challenged.  He is also still a puppy and is working out some of those puppy behaviors (like stealing every rug in the house and running wildly down the hall with them).  We are working on getting some more training for him to get ready for the baby, as he is certainly in for a surprise when he is not the only one getting attention in the house.

A big brother?  I don't think so!

We are so lucky to have been blessed with such wonderful animals to be part of our family.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The One with the Double Post

I haven't been so great at keeping up with the daily posts for NaBloPoMo.  Call it life getting in the way.  Really I just fall asleep at 7:30 at night and don't have a free minute during the school day to get anything done.

Here is what I planned on writing about yesterday (warning, it's all food related)...

I am dying to make this Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn that I saw on Pinterest.  It has been pinned about a million times so it must be awesome.  I think it may be my after school snack today.

Original image from chef in training.

Speaking of Pinterest, I got scolded by a friend this weekend for my lack of organization on my Food and Drink board!  And it is a hot mess.  My plan for the day after Thanksgiving (because I'm not doing any Black Friday shopping this year) is to get it organized into different categories.  There are so many things I want to make but I get very overwhelmed when I look at it because there is so much going on there.

Uh and while I'm on the recipe discussion, make this Baked French Toast Casserole for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning.  It's uber-easy and oh so delicious.  Plus, it's a Paula Dean recipe which means it will clearly clog your arteries which obviously makes it taste fantastic!

And onto today's post...

I do admit to a lot of dream shopping online for this baby.

I mean, I just can't resist looking at bedding and nursery ideas and clothes and strollers and car seats.  

But I never thought Hubs would indulge.  That is until he saw this...
Original image from here.

Little background on why this toy is significant.  Hubs drives a blue Ford Raptor.  It's his dream vehicle that he worked very hard to get.  He custom designed it and we waited almost six months for it to come in.  It's pretty high on his list of important things.  

So, he sees this Power Wheels replica of his truck in the Walmart ad a few weeks ago and is insisting that we get it for our unborn child.  He is adamant that our child will love it no matter what.  I told him I'd think about it and maybe we could get a deal on it after Christmas.  

But I did have to laugh at his dream shopping for our baby.  It is pretty cute.

Hope everyone has a happy hump day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The One with the Weekly Pregnancy Update

Here is this week's update.

14 Weeks

How far along? 14 weeks (lemon)
Total weight gain/loss: Still down about 4 pounds since this whole journey started.
Maternity clothes: Yes!  I just picked up some more shirts this week and I am planning on a trip to a few more maternity stores in the coming weeks.

Have you told family and friends? Yup and this week, several more colleagues at my work found out.
Have you started to show yet? Still haven't had that real "pop" yet, but the line between my upper and lower rolls is decreasing!
Sleep: I haven't gotten up much this week to pee during the night and the Snoogle pillow is definitely a life-saver with the back pain, so this week's sleep has been better.
Best moment this week: Seeing some family and friends over the weekend for the first time since they found out I was pregnant.

Miss Anything? Really wanted a good beer this past weekend.
Movement: Not yet.
Food cravings: pears, nachos, and still loving apple juice.
Anything making you queasy or sick? I need to have something in my stomach at all times or I start to feel sick.  I made it through my entire first trimester without throwing up and then threw up (in the backyard no less) two days into my second trimester while I was walking the dog!
Gender prediction: I'll say girl this week only because the heartbeat has been up in the 140s and 150s (old wives' tale says higher heartbeat = girl).
Labor Signs: No

Symptoms: Still getting heartburn from just about everything and my headaches are definitely increasing.  I'm really hoping the headache thing isn't a new trend that continues since Tylenol is useless and I can't take my migraine meds.
Major purchases this week? I haven't bought a thing this week, although my Pinterest boards are hard at work.
Weekly wisdom: Keep snacks in your purse so they are always easily accessible.
Looking forward to: Planning our gender reveal celebration for right before Christmas.

On an unrelated note, thank you to all the women and men who have served and are serving our country.

The One with the Unpopular Opinion

I'm gonna throw this out there.

I pretty much expect that there will be some people who disagree with my opinion.  I pretty much expect there are going to be others who really disagree with my opinion.

Here goes...

I. hate. Thanksgiving. food.

There, I said it.  It's out in the open and on the Internet and the dozen people who read my blog will know it.

I have never liked Thanksgiving food.  I mean I'll eat mashed potatoes any day of the week, but the rest of it - the turkey, the stuffing, the eleventy jillion cooked vegetables - it kinda makes me sick.  There is no great story behind my hatred of this food.  My father used to cook Thanksgiving dinner when I was growing up and I imagine the food was delicious to those that liked it.  We have great cooks in our family who have created wonderful meals throughout the years for this holiday.  I typically bring a salad to these dinners.  Something about all the food just doesn't do it for me.

Well, this year, I am apparently cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my immediate family (Hubs, my mom, and my brother).  We typically go to my sister-in-law's house, but decided to hang here this year and I insisted I wasn't going to cook anything Thanksgiving-y that day.  Macaroni or steaks or just about anything but Thanksgiving food.  And then Hubs gave me his "How could you deprive your husband of his favorite food?" face and I knew I was cooking the gross food this year.

My mom offered to help me out.  I love my mom beyond words, but cooking isn't exactly her thing.  This should be interesting.

So, it's off to Pinterest I go looking for decent recipes.  We set a tentative menu when I was in Connecticut visiting this weekend and I am hoping this all turns out alright.  I mean, I consider myself a good cook and I can certainly follow a recipe, but I have never cooked a turkey in my life.

Christmas dinner, no problem.  Easter, piece of cake.  Thanksgiving, potential disaster.

Just hoping it doesn't turn out like this...

Original image from here.

Any words of wisdom from veteran Thanksgiving cooks are greatly appreciated.