Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What (not?) To Wear

At 16 weeks, I have officially reached the point where I have nothing to wear.  Those of you who know me and are aware of my love of all things clothing-and-shoe-related know that this was/is a pretty tragic realization.  I feel like my belly literally popped out of nowhere this week, it is for sure noticeable now to the point where people are asking about it.  As a result, dressing myself is becoming a little difficult (already?!).

I still fit in my normal pants just fine, with the aid of the belly band of course.  I'm not sure whether I ever did a post/product review on this, but for those of you who are pregnant, this thing is a life saver.  It prolongs the amount of time you can wear your normal clothes comfortably, and is a much cheaper alternative than having to buy a bunch of maternity clothes right off the bat.  It just folds over (or not, whatever makes you comfortable)  your pants, and voila, they stay up!  Demonstration:
Photo Courtesy of Amazon
Anyway, so the belly band has helped my wardrobe as well as my bank account nazi husband wallet thus far (You're welcome, Prince Danny!  Actually, he heard me talking about how I wanted a few of these and actually came home from one of his "I'm going to surprise my pregnant wife" trips with one...SO cute.  I die.).  It used to be that I could at least partially zip my pants, but really starting this week I cannot even get them to zip at all, so I've been wearing the belly band slap out.

The problem is this: while the belly band is not uncomfortable, it's not as comfortable as I feel like pants that fit would be.  Does that make sense?  And I'm still too small for a lot of the maternity clothes I've tried on.  As I have stumbled across sales at stores and outlets, I've picked up a few tops and stretchy dresses in the next size (or sizes) up, and they've worked fine so far, but a girl needs some variety!  I don't like wearing the same thing all the time, which is unfortunate because I have a feeling I will be doing so, even when I do get maternity clothes - I can't justify spending the money on a TON of new stuff that I won't be able to wear for very long.  Plus, the bigger sizes won't work for too much longer.

Not to mention, it's hard to find things that look excellent on at this point since I have a bump but not one that's big enough for serious maternity clothes.  We have several weddings coming up, and I LOVE weddings and am so excited for these, but am running out of ideas of things to wear.  I bought this Lilly Pulitzer Blake Dress (sorry the photo's so small) a few weeks ago two sizes bigger than I'd normally buy, and it came in the mail and is WAY too big...it looks like a sack on me.  Literally swallows me whole, even with the pregnant belly.  I can't exchange it because I bought it on major sale and now they are, of course, sold out.  I guess the good news is, since it's so huge, I can hopefully get it altered so that it will fit perfectly.  If it ends up working, I'll make sure to post pics.

Anyway, I guess this was a pointless post, talking about my fashion troubles!  I am by no means trying to sound whiny - I of course know that I am totally vain to be worrying about clothes the end result will be WELL worth it, it can just be a little frustrating at times.  Any ideas from my Mommy friends out there of what to do in this crazy in between stage?

We are going to see my "little brother" perform comedy stand-up tonight uptown, and I am so excited about it!  I'm equally excited about a four-day work week both this week and next...bring on the weekend!

Sarah

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ritmo In Action

Happy Tuesday!

As you may or may not have read yesterday, Baby Geronimo's ears are developing this week, meaning he/she can now hear!  I have been SO excited for this week so I could try out the Ritmo sound system designed especially for Mommy and Baby. 

Before I go any further with this post, I  have two shares that I hope you'll find equally as hilarious as I did.  The first is, while flipping through the book to figure out how this contraption works (I'm still not convinced I have it hooked up right, but since I can[sort of] hear when I plug the head phones in I guess I'll leave it for now), I stumbled across the following photo:
This struck me as funny for various reasons, but the main one was this: I would never, EVER wear this thing in public.  Call me vain, choosing fashion over stimulating my child, but this thing is SO silly looking.  And there that lady is just chillin with her grocery bag and her Ritmo baby sound machine thing.  Hilarious.

The second funny thing that happened involved my sister, Katy, helping me try to figure out said sound machine.  Behold:
She is probably going to hurt me for posting those, but they were too funny not to share!  Look at that skinny b*tch (I had to say it!) trying to push her stomach out to make it fit!  Sadly, I may be forced to slap her (ma'am, eat a sandwich!).  She had a grand time modeling with both the ritmo and the boppy total body pillow.

I have been thinking about what to have Baby Geronimo listen to, and I think I've come up with a pretty good mix in what I have dubbed the "Lullaby Playlist."  Of course, this list is not all-inclusive...my husband wants him/her to listen to lots of classical music - specifically Vivaldi, because he loves it (Side note: earlier when he asked me if I'd played his favorite classical artist yet, I responded, "Who?  Vivace?"  For those of you who do not know, that is an Italian restaurant in Raleigh...NOT a classical musician.  Guess I have Italian food [or any food, really] on the brain?).  He has also requested a lot of Sinatra, which I am okay with.  Anyway, here's a list of what's on the Lullaby playlist so far:
  1. Golden Slumbers - originally a Beatles song, but I've got the Ben Folds version
  2. Carolina In My Mind - James Taylor
  3. Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
  4. Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
  5. To Make You Feel My Love - Adele's version
  6. Danny's Song - Kenny Loggins
  7. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Jewel's version
  8. Pooh Corner - Kenny Loggins (Mom used to sing me to sleep to this)
  9. God Speed - Dixie Chicks
  10. Little Miss Magic - Jimmy Buffet (My Dad's fav)
  11. Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift
  12. Shine the Light - Sugarland
  13. Power of Two - Indigo Girls
  14. Lullaby - Billy Joel
  15. Your Song - originally Elton John, but I picked the Ellie Goulding version
  16. Just My Imagination - Temptations
  17. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
  18. Making Plans - Miranda Lambert
  19. Nothing Fancy - Dave Barnes (Dan's and my song)
  20. Baby Mine (Dan's Mom used to sing to him when he was little)
  21. Crazy Love - Van Morrison
I normally lean towards country, so I tried to get a good mix on my playlist - and it's just a start.  I'm sure I will think of a lot more songs later that need to be added to the Lullaby playlist.  I'm not saying that I'm going to limit his/her musical taste to that playlist alone - there will be lots more to listen to (read: Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, etc.); this is just a list of songs that make me happy and seem to be soothing.  If you can think of any that I should add, leave me some comment love!  What are your all time favorite songs that you'd have to have on your lullaby list?

Hope everyone's having a great week so far!

Sarah

Monday, August 29, 2011

16 weeks already?!

I can't believe I am already at week 16.  It seems like just yesterday I was peeing on the 100 sticks.  It's crazy how time flies!  It  makes me feel really behind - mainly on thank you notes and updating my baby journal, but I'll get there eventually!  I am exhausted and still have some work to do tonight, so I'll try to keep it brief for once!

Size of Geronimo: An avocado!  I do not know why, but I have been excited about Baby Geronimo graduating to avocado size.  It just seems more substantial than any of the other fruits/veggies so far.  Tiny bones are forming in his/her ears, meaning the baby can now pick up my voice!  You know what that  means...I need to get on loading up the ritmo with lots of fun music for Baby B!  I can't wait.  More on that later.  Also, eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming.  Guess it's time to start eating healthy so Baby Geronimo hearts fruits & veggies and ice cream and pizza!

Weight Gain So Far: I weighed myself on Friday when I got home, and according to my home scale, I have gained a pound.  Not too shabby for 16 weeks, I don't think.  I am hoping to keep it at +5 or less by the time I see the doctor again in two weeks.  It will be interesting to see how close the two scales are.

Cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary or really different than the usual.  Dan told me over the weekend he wishes I would crave healthier stuff because he's gained more weight than I have.  I don't think he looks like it at all, but boys are lucky like that I guess!

Aversions: Nothing that I can think of; in fact, I feel like I've been eating anything and everything in sight for the past week!

Symptoms: PIMPLES, so gross, I am not used to them.  High school style.  Frequent urination - still up 2-3 times a night, normally.  And still REALLY tired.  I know, I say that every week.  I'm still holding out hope that I'll get the "2nd trimester burst of energy" that everyone's told me about, but so far it's not looking good for me and Baby Geronimo.

Movement:  I am PRETTY sure there was some this week.  I know it's still early, but it kept happening only when I was sitting really still and all around the same spot.  I'm still not 100% positive...I told Mom that I wish Baby B would just kick me or something so I'll know for sure, and she said to be careful what I wished for.

What I Miss: Can't really think of anything!  I'm sure I'll miss beer this weekend as college football will be kicking into high gear and we may be going to the first NCSU game.  I guess we'll see!

Things I am Thankful For: No hurricane damage this weekend, and that our families are all safe and sound.

Signs of a Bump: Yep, full force.  Evidence:
I know, it looks like I'm REALLY arching my back at a weird angle here, but it was just my hand digging into my back weirdly.  I made sure to have my photographer, Syd, take the picture BEFORE I ate dinner...after it always looks a lot bigger because I'm so full.  Syd wanted to know why I never want my face in the pictures, so I had to inform her that it's actually my ham-hock arms I don't want in the pictures, not my face.  Well, this week, it's my face too since it is very crater-like.  Ughhh high school acne go away!

Next Doctor Appointment: September 14, the gender reveal!  When we first booked this appointment I wasn't sure how I was going to stand the over-a-month-wait, and now that we're only two weeks away the wait is even worse, if possible.  I'm just ready for it to be here...and I hope Baby Geronimo is cooperative!

Well, I think that's all for tonight, folks.  No one said they were bored by the weekly updates last week, so I decided to keep at it.  Is there such a thing as a case of the Tuesdays?  Because I'm pretty sure I already have them.  SIGH!

Sarah

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Come On Eileen

Remember that song?  Dexy's Midnight Runners?  How can you NOT sing along, especially for the part in the middle that's like, "Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye!!!!!"  Side note: I wasn't sure how to spell that, but looked it up on several lyric websites and it was the same, so I went with it.   Anyway, I've had that song in my head for a week due to Hurricane Irene.  I know, the song is actually "Come on Eileen," but it rhymes with Irene, so I've been substituting it.  Luckily, the storm was not as bad as anticipated...in Raleigh, we just had terrible wind and a LOT of rain.  You never would have known that today, though - it was gorgeous out, and all dried up.  Layla did NOT love Hurricane Irene - she kept barking at the wind and was kind of in freak-out mode.  Evidence:
Dan's parents and sister and her husband live in Carolina Beach, and they took their chances and stayed during the storm.  Luckily, everything turned out fine...they had a lot of water and wind, but not a lot of damage.  While we are extremely thankful that everything is okay, I know that wasn't the case everywhere - my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who suffered more damage.

Other than that, I literally feel like all I did this weekend was sleep.  I got home from Charlotte on Saturday evening and was SO excited to spend the weekend with Dan - I'm happy that I've gotten to spend a lot of time with my family these past few weeks, but I miss my husband!  We had dinner with some friends on Friday night (thanks Meagan and Bo - it was delicious!) and then I went to bed and got 11 hours of sleep!  On Saturday, Dan cooked breakfast and the weather was so terrible that we just hung around the house, reading and watching TV (when the power wasn't blinking from all of the wind).  And then I took a 2.5 hour nap.  Not kidding.  Dan's parents came into town for the night, so we enjoyed spending some time with them on Saturday evening - and I enjoyed another 10 hours of sleep.  Still not kidding.

This morning was a little nuts - we've been wanting to try a new church, so we decided we'd do so today.  We arrived at said church, and long story short, there were a lot of suits and ties, which we hadn't anticipated, and we felt a little under-dressed.  We made a quick decision to leave and high-tail it over to a church that Dan's parents used to attend sometimes when they lived in Raleigh, and on the way, randomly drove by another church and decided to try it out.  I am so glad we did, because we really liked it a lot.  I'm excited about visiting again, and also about the prospect of finding a new church home in which to raise Baby Geronimo. 

After church, we had brunch at one of our favorite places, Irregardless Cafe.  Raleigh friends, if you've never been to Irregardless, you HAVE to go.  We love it and eat there often - and their brunch is spectacular.  We went home and spent some more time with my in-laws, and when they left I decided to lay down for a brief nap (I know, another one) which turned into 2.5 hours.  At this point, I have slept for 26 out of the past 48 hours, and probably another good 12 of those I spent doing absolutely nothing - certainly not finally cleaning out my closet like I'd planned.  Sigh!  Maybe there will be another rainy day soon?  Not my fault that rainy days are sooooooo much better spent napping!

Layla and I made the trek back to Charlotte this evening for another work week, which I am dreading - I am in need of a vacay, stat, and can't wait for our trip to Chicago in September!  Dan has to come to Charlotte at the end of the week to play golf with some clients, so my fingers are crossed that he can make it earlier than anticipated!

Boring blog post which was also all over the place, I know.  Better stuff to come this week - stay tuned tomorrow for the 16 week (!!!) update.

Hope everyone had an equally fantastic weekend!

Sarah

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ciao!

Apologies in advance, but this is going to be one of my more boring posts.  Today was pretty uneventful, aside from a situation at lunch time (Why do my "happenings" always revolve around food these days?).  I learned my lesson yesterday and took a LOT more snacks today, but I had to eat them all before lunch yet again...it's not what you think!  I did not get to eat lunch today until 2:00.  It was RIDIC.  The kitchen at this week's client has two entrances: through the President's office or through a conference room.  Today, someone scheduled some kind of meeting in the conference room that went through lunch, and the President was in her office all day, and I literally thought I was going to have to cut off my arm and eat it.  When the conference room FINALLY cleared out, I was ecstatic, and practially ran down the hall to get my lunch...only to find that the door leading into the kitchen was broken.  It wouldn't open.  The knob just turned in circles.  D Y I N G.  I leaned my head against the door in preparation to cry tears of hunger and sadness, until someone came and rescued me.  They clearly did not sense the urgency of the situation, keeping a pregnant woman from food.  Bad news bears.

ANYWAY, that story actually has nothing to do with what I want to post about except that both are related to food.  Remember I told you the other day that I have been craving some serious Italian food lately?  Case in point: I have made spaghetti bolognese and eaten pizza twice this week.  So, since the recipe I use for bolognese is DELISH, I thought I'd be nice and share with you all.  This recipe is courtesy of Giada de Laurentis (my husband's favorite chef to look at on the Food Network), and I originally stumbled upon it over at Nina's blog (which you should totally check out because she makes delicious things for you to try at home).

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. This will take approximately 1/2 hour. Finish bolognese with Pecorino Romano.

Just a note on this recipe: I often use jarred spices (i.e. basil and parsley, and I've even used minced garlic from the jar before when I was out) instead of fresh, and it still turns out fine.  It's not hard at all - more prep in the form of chopping than anything - and it is delicious.  It's also healthy (at least for pasta), especially if you pair it with whole wheat noodles, which I normally do.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Not much on the agenda tonight - I treated the family to Mellow Mushroom that I picked up on the way home from work for dinner, and we're going to watch the Panthers game.  I am so excited that I get to head home for the weekend and see Dan!

Until next time...

Sarah 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WHAT is that smell?!

In the words of my youngest sister, Sydney (when she was approximately 3), “I smell somefin’.”  And it is NOT good.
I like things that smell nice.  Just ask my husband.  I am all about trying to burn some scented candles in our house, and he has made it well known that he has an opinion on even the most minor household –related items and apparently wants our house to smell disgusting does not love scented candles.  Anyway, I have always been a little sensitive to smell, hence the liking of nice-smelling things, but pregnancy has made anything that smells remotely bad absolutely unbearable to be around.  I knew that my sense of smell would be heightened, but I was not prepared for it to be as sensitive as it has been.  Apparently pregnancy hormones – estrogen actually – are responsible for my nose resembling Layla’s in terms of sensitivity.
Today, dear readers, my sense of smell has been full-on assaulted.  I am not even kidding you, I have been on the verge of barfing all day.  It could be due to the fact that I’m auditing a University and classes started back and therefore led to extra people omitting gross smells being everywhere, I’m not sure.  It started just before lunch.  A vague but unpleasant odor wafted into the room where I’m sitting, which I assumed was the result of someone heating their lunch.  Although I was about to gnaw off my arm from hunger (I had already eaten all but one of my snacks before lunch today, whoops), I decided to give it a few minutes (20 to be exact) before meandering down to the kitchen to heat mine.  Hoping the coast was clear, when I finally did arrive in the kitchen, I legitimately thought I was going to yarf on the floor – which would have been unfortunate as it is connected to the President’s office.  It was so bad that I had to throw  my lunch in the microwave as quick as possible, hit some buttons and then walk all the way back down to the other end of the hall and wait it out there.  NASTY.  I was sincerely wishing for go go gadget arms.  From that moment on, all I could smell was someone’s nasty lunch.  I couldn’t even pinpoint what had been heated that smelled so bad – to me, it smelled like a concoction of the nastiest items (like dog poop, rotten eggs and fish…ew) in the history of the world had been tossed in the microwave and baked together.  I tried to work through it, but an hour later I could STILL smell it (my co-worker hadn’t been able to smell it in ages), and on top of it I thought I was going to fall asleep at my computer, so we decided to walk to the book store to stock up on some additional snacks since I clearly didn’t bring enough today.  BAD decision, because what do you know?  It smelled terrible outside too.  You name it, I smelled it: cigarette smoke from across the quad, gas from the lawn mower across the quad in the other direction, someone’s BO in the bookstore, a nasty fishy smell when we passed the cafeteria…and the list goes on and on. 
The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred in the women’s bathroom after we scavenged for snacks.  Prepare yourselves, this is going to be on the graphic side.  Due to the fact that I’m pretty sure Baby Geronimo is camping out on top of my bladder, I have to use the restroom (that politeness was for Mom – what I really wanted to write was “pee”) approximately every 30 seconds (at least that’s what it feels like).  So I walk into the bathroom for the 10th time today, and had I not had to go so bad I swear I would have walked right back out and held it.  For a LONG time.  Maybe even hours.  Whatever was going on in MY STALL was NOT good (I guess I should back up and explain what I mean by “my stall.”  You know how when you go to the bathroom at work or somewhere else where you are on a daily basis, there is normally one stall you use every time you go, and you’re not really sure how you picked it or why but you always pick that one?  So you literally use the same one every time you go?  And if someone’s in it you hold it and come back later (kidding…kind of)?  No?  Just me?  Perhaps that could be considered mild OCD.).  Anyway, so someone had the nerve to not only use my stall, but to absolutely destroy it.  Seriously.  Luckily it was a quick pee for me, because I had to hold my breath the whole time.  And at one point, I was wondering to myself, what in the world am I going to do if I have to barf mid-pee?  It’s not like there are individual trash cans in every stall like you have at your house.  It had the potential to be a full-on crisis.  Luckily, holding my breath and mouth-breathing did the trick…but it was a REALLY close call.  Not to mention that as a result of this woman, I had to find a new stall…at least for the rest of today.  I couldn’t bear to go back in mine after the damage that occurred in it.  Sigh.  You know what else I just thought of?  What if I had a repeat offender?  What if the bathroom destroyer was one in the same as the nasty lunch eater?!  TOO much to handle.  Serves you right for eating a nasty lunch, lady.
I do not really have a solution to said smell problem.  Most of the pregnancy websites and books suggest that you “avoid the scents that make you feel sick.”  Great, so I’ll be sure not to keep my house full of Layla’s dog turds, but really what am I supposed to do with OTHER people’s nastiness?  Not to worry, there’s a suggestion for that, too:  ask the people around you to be extra considerate.  Easier said than done, I say.  I am an auditor, after all.  People hate me on principle and run in the opposite direction when they see me coming.  Guess I’m just going to have to suffer through this one in silence!  Glad I have you guys to vent to.  Joys of pregnancy, right?  Any suggestions that aren’t stupid I haven’t thought of/read?
Hopefully I didn’t lose anyone on this one, it was a little detailed.  The good news for me is that tonight I got to attend an appointment with the florist for my sister’s wedding, so at least I ended my day on a nice-smelling note.  Ha!
Ta ta for now!
Sarah

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

15 Week Update

Howdy, followers!  Did y’all feel that earthquake today?!  I swear it was the craziest thing.  I am in Charlotte, NC for work for the next few weeks, and my girlfriends at work (who were all in different places) were saying how they felt their buildings shaking in Raleigh.  Next thing I knew, my desk was shaking!  I worked from home today and assumed that I was just being my normal dramatic self, but then I hopped on my old friend the Facebook and noticed that ALL recent status updates were about the earthquake – not only in Charlotte, but in places like Atlanta and NYC, too!  I’m sure everyone knows all of the details by now unless you live under a rock, but the epicenter was in Virginia, and the earthquake was felt as far north as New York City and as far west as Ohio.  In the words of my girlfriend Andrea from work, between an earthquake today and the possibility of Hurricane Irene hitting this weekend, y’all better make sure you’re right with Jesus (or whomever else!)!

In unrelated news, I have been wondering whether my “weekly updates” are boring.  I like to write them so that people who care can keep up, and so that I’ll have something to look back on and remember later, but they are not normally the most fun posts that I write each week, so I’ve been wondering if they aren’t fun to read, either?  I have always enjoy this feature when reading other pregnancy blogs, but for some reason it’s an easy post to put off.  Thoughts?  PS – what do you think of the new blog template?  Thanks, Di, for teaching me how to pick a fun background!

Anyway, without further ado, I give you the 15 week update:

Size of Geronimo: An apple – or a naval orange, depending on where you look – weighing in at around 2.5 ounces!  His/her legs are longer than his/her arms now, allowing joint and limb movement.  His/her eyelids are still fused shut, but Baby Geronimo can apparently sense light this week.  Pretty nifty, yeah?

Weight Gain So Far: I actually have no idea.  I feel like my belly has grown overnight – still not big enough that it’s noticeable to everyone at all times depending on what I’m wearing – so it will be interesting to weigh in at the doctor in a few weeks.  For now we’ll stick with -1.5 because it sounds good and I’ll try to remember to weigh in on my scale at home this weekend to see if I can get a better idea.

Cravings: Italian food – specifically pizza and spaghetti.  I swear I could eat pizza 10 times/week - same with spaghetti, recently.  I made Spaghetti Bolognese on Friday night (recipe to come in a later post because it’s DELICIOUS) in the mountains, and am making it again tonight for my family.  Hope they like it!

Aversions: Nothing really – still meat sometimes, but again not consistent enough that I’m sure it can be considered an aversion.

Symptoms: Still so tired!  I stayed up until midnight or after on Thursday, Friday AND Saturday nights this past weekend.  I was so proud of myself, thinking that maybe I finally had gotten this mysterious “second trimester burst of energy” that I keep hearing about, but by the time Sunday came around I was so exhausted I could barely move, and it’s dragged on into yesterday and today as well.  My nose is also pretty stopped up when I wake up in the mornings, and I’ve even had a few minor nosebleeds.  Not to worry, that is normal – who knew?

Movement: Ugh, I don’t know!  I thought I felt some over the weekend, but Dan thinks it may just have been gas (so ladylike, I know) or my stomach rumbling or something.  I think maybe I just REALLY want to feel the baby move!  I looked up when to expect movement, and everything I’ve seen in my books and the websites I follow says most women feel movement between 16-22 weeks.  Vague.  Here’s to hoping it’s 16!  One book also pointed out that thinner women tend to feel movement earlier and more often than women who carry more weight.  There is no definition of “thinner women,” so who even knows what that means or where I would fall.  Not helpful!

What I Miss: I missed wine this weekend while we were at the wedding.  I actually got brave and drank my first (VERY small) glass on Friday night to celebrate being out of my first trimester, and it was delicious.  I had to remove myself from being close to the bottle for fear of finishing it (And before you judge me, my doctor said it was absolutely fine to drink a glass of wine every so often after the first trimester.  If doctor says its allowed, Sarah's okay with it.).  :-)  

Things I am Thankful For: My family for taking me in for the next several weeks!  They are taking good care of Baby Geronimo and I – I know that he/she is going to be VERY spoiled.

Signs of a Bump: Yes!  Other people are finally saying they’ve noticed, too (see yesterday’s post for evidence).  Still not very big, but definitely there.  I know this is going to sound so silly, but I was touching it the other day and was surprised to feel that it is kind of hard.  I know your skin stretches and all that jazz, but I thought since I was not rock solid in the abs department pre-pregnancy that it would feel more flabby at first.  Not the case at all, wahoo!

Next Doctor Appointment: SEPTEMBER 14 – gender reveal day!  So excited!  My girlfriend at work, Andrea, told me today that she cannot wait for 9/14 and is getting so antsy.  She’s getting married in October, and taking several weeks of vacation, so I responded, “Why?  Is that when you go out for your wedding vacay?”  To which she responded no, it’s when we find out Baby Geronimo’s sex and she’s already marked her calendar.  I was so tickled – and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t immediately picked up on that date as I’ve been SO excited about it since the last appointment.  3 weeks cannot come soon enough!
I guess that’s all for today, lovely readers.  I think I must be pretty long-winded, because these posts always end up much longer than I anticipate when sitting down to write them.  My sister, Sydney, confirmed that the other day when she told me I should have some shorter posts.  Hilarious – I’ll work on it, Syd!
Almost another hump day – no vacation scheduled for this week but I’m excited to spend the weekend at home with Dan (and his parents, when they come visit on Saturday)!
Sarah

Monday, August 22, 2011

Boone Vacation Recap

I briefly considered being a trickster and doing the 15-week update today and saving the Boone post for tomorrow.  BUT, I had such a good weekend and am so excited to share the pictures that I didn't think I could stand to put it off.  Prepare yourselves, this is gonna be a long one!

Boone is one of our absolute favorite places on earth.  There is nowhere better.  My parents recently bought some property there and are working on building their house, and I can't wait to see it all come together.  In the mean time, Aunt Niecey and Uncle Jeff were nice enough to let us stay in theirs (thanks, guys!) - and we had an absolute blast!

We drove up on Thursday evening after work and arrived around 10 - we wanted to be able to enjoy the day on Friday, so I'm glad we did!  Rich and Eliza stayed with us on Thurdsay night and we got to spend most of Friday with them, and it was so nice to be able to spend some time with them and catch up.  Move back to Raleigh ASAP, you two! 

Friday morning, we got breakfast at one of Dan's and my favorite places - Boone Bagelry.  If you are ever in Boone and want the best breakfast ever, Boone Bagelry and the Sunrise Grill are my two absolute favorites!  We spent the day walking around campus to see all of the new renovations and doing some shopping (oh how I miss Gladiola Girls!), and then of course we ended up spending most of the afternoon at Klondike, where Dan used to bartend (In fact, Klondike is where we met!).  Luckily for Dan, he was escorted by a pregnant woman who was able to drive him home late that afternoon.  Please LOOK at the cute stuff I bought Baby Geronimo!



He/she will not be able to wear the hat with the ears for a while because it's kind of big, but I could not resist.  I can't wait to find out whether we're having a girl or boy to go back and get more stuff!  What I got was all we could find in the way of gender neutral.  Not to worry, I didn't forget about my other child...


I had to promise her quite a few treats (okay, possibly I actually had to promise her part of my cookie) to get her to cooperate, but she did good, don't ya think?  Friday night, we cooked dinner at the cabin and Ryan, Erin and Boswell came to stay with us. 

Saturday morning, the boys played golf, so the girls had a spa and shopping day (I know, I know...more shopping.  What can I say?  It's a disease.)!  First thing in the morning, we had mani/pedis, and then we went to the outlets in Blowing Rock.  While there, I realized I had forgotten to try on my dress to ensure that it still fit, so I bought a REALLY cute back-up just in case that I'll be able to wear for a while yet - plenty of room to grow (if you saw today's earlier post, you'll know that the dress did, in fact, fit!).  After that we met the boys for lunch at the new Mellow Mushroom (which, by the way, is fantastic, and WAY nicer than the old one) and then all went our separate ways to get ready for the wedding festivities.

I was not sure whether we were going to actually make the wedding because we were dawdling getting ready, but luckily we made it, and it was absolutely gorgeous!  I took around 150 pictures but am having a hard time narrowing them down for the blog, so prepare yourselves...there are a lot.

First, I have to talk about how ADORABLE their programs were.  They doubled as a program and a fan - and there was even entertainment in the form of a mad lib on one side!  Boswell and Dan had a lot of fun with that, which I will not share on my family-friendly blog.


The beautiful couple:



Please examine Baby Xander's cute factor:


I could really just eat those chunky cheeks!  Getting lots of practice:


We have the best friends - see below.  We missed you Nicky & Tracy!

Eliza & Rich

Erin & Ryan

The Farmer Family
The boys!
Side note: Isn't Meghan so cute and sickening?  True story: she just birthed that child 3 months ago.  You look fab, Mama!

Now, onto the reception!  It was at the Apple Barn, and everything was gorgeous and decorated so impeccably.


On the gift table, they had something so neat that I'd never seen before!  It was called a wishing tree.  You wrote your wishes for the bride & groom on the little tags, and hung them on the tree.  So cute (Side note: can anyone who uses blogger tell me how to put three images on one line instead of only two? I tried making them all small but still could only fit two, so annoying.)!



Dan and I goofing off, Olan Mills style:


More photos of the happy couple:


The whole group (minus the pregnant lady) taking shots:


Mike and Sarah, we had SO MUCH FUN, and are so excited that we were able to celebrate with you on your special day!  I hope you're having a BLAST on your honeymoon, and I wish for you many years of love, hugs and happiness.  Love you both!

As for the rest of you, I leave you with a shot of what a pregnant lady does when her feet hurt due to extremely fashionable (but not necessarily comfortable) shoes (don't worry shoes, I still love you and plan to wear you often!):


I hope you enjoyed this lengthy but picture-filled post...15-week update coming up tomorrow, so check back then.

Happy Monday!

Sarah

Boone Vacay Sneak Peek!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  And pretty sad about it.  I love vacation!

I had big plans for a detailed and very picture-oriented post of our weekend vacation and Mike & Sarah's wedding, but my computer did not want to cooperate, as it crashed mid-post.  I was hoping it was a sign that the computer realized Monday was right around the corner and was dreading the beginning of another work week as much as I am?!  No such luck, as it turned right back on - I just couldn't find the energy to re-do the post.  Anyway, here is a sneak peak of the weekend:
As you can see, the dress fit but was a little tight (story of my life these days!), and therefore the teeny tiny bump was out in full force.  It was a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to share the details with you all...so stay tuned!

Hope your weekends were all as spectacular as mine was!

Sarah

Friday, August 19, 2011

VACAY!

I'm sure you're all crying tears of devastation, but I will be MIA from the blog world until Sunday night or Monday!  For the next few mornings, I will get to wake up to this glorious sight:
That's right, I am SO excited about our trip to Boone, NC for the weekend!  We're leaving Thursday night after I finish up with a recruiting event for work, not to return until Sunday. 

On Friday, we plan to spend some time in downtown Boone, visiting all of our favorite places from college.  I'm also really excited to take a walk around ASU's campus and see all of the changes that are being made! 

Saturday morning, the boys are all playing golf, so the girls are going to do a "spa day" of sorts...I am so beyond stoked about the idea of a mani/pedi, I cannot even tell you.  I've been dropping all sorts of not-so-subtle hints to Dan about how lovely a pre-natal massage would be, so I'll report back Sunday or Monday on whether he picked up what I was putting down.  :-)  Saturday evening, two of our good friends Mike and Sarah are getting married.  We are so excited for the two of them to start their life together and can't wait to CELEBRATE!  Fingers crossed that the dress I ordered for the occaision still fits, oy.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures for a follow-up post when I return.  Until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Sarah

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Childcare 101

One pretty big item on my list of “this is seriously giving me hives, we need to make a decision and act on it pronto” is childcare for Baby Geronimo.  We have decided that, at least for the time being, I am not going to stay home.  At first, I was pretty resistant to this idea – I’ve always thought I’d like to stay home with my children until they went to kindergarten.  However, I’m in the process of switching roles at work that will be substantially less hours and travel, and we decided together that long-term, this is a better decision for us right now (I know, you’re all shocked that we agreed on something baby-related…we are, too!).  If I am being honest, I also secretly wonder if I am cut out for staying home full-time.  I have plenty of girlfriends who do this and are planning to do it, (and please let me preface these next statements by saying they are non-judgmental to the max), but I’m just not 100% sure staying home would be for me.  I went to stay with my sister-in-law to help with my nephews and niece a few months ago, and I swear I have never respected anyone more.  Andrea has a full-time, 24-hour/day job that I think is harder than mine most days!  As I said before, it is very possible that I’ll change my mind once Baby B makes his/her arrival, and I think my 4-month maternity leave will be a good trial run for me to see how it would be, but for now, the plan is for me to come back to work.
With that said, Dan and I have GOT to get busy on discussing childcare.  I have a girlfriend at work, Carrie, who is expecting in October.  Carrie told me that she thought that most daycares had a 6-month waiting period, but boy was she wrong.  She started calling a lot of places just last month and most of them won’t have space for her Samuel until May 2012 (she's due in October and will be back to work in January)!  Quite a few other people have told us that if we are even considering daycare in the least, we need to go ahead and choose some that we like and get on their waiting lists NOW.  We can always defer when the time comes or just tell them we’ll no longer need a space, no harm done.  With that said, how does one go about choosing a preschool?  Through the little bit of research I have conducted on this subject, I already to know that it is going to be a LOT of work.
The first thing we need to do is identify the things in a preschool that are important to us.  Mind you, Dan and I have not yet discussed any of this – once we do, I will report back on whether we were even on the same page!  My "wish list" is made up the following (in no particular order!):
  • I want a clean, safe environment for Baby Geronimo to spend his/her days. 
  • I would like something that is fairly close to where we live – preferably close to downtown Raleigh, if possible.  We live less than 5 minutes from downtown, and Dan works downtown.  While my office is not downtown, I’m only about 15 minutes away, so I just want it to be accessible so that in case of an emergency one of us can get there quickly. 
  • I want the school to be accredited, and I want a good teacher-to-student ratio – the fewer children a teacher is responsible for the better, so that every child receives the attention he/she needs and deserves. 
  • It goes without saying that I’d like for it to be learning-oriented and with excellent teachers, so that Baby B will be nourished and challenged! 
I know, I haven’t mentioned anything about cost yet – but it’s because I really don’t have any idea what childcare costs these days!  Dan and I are very fortunate to have good, steady jobs, and I am by no means saying that cost is not an issue, but I am willing to pay more for a good school.
So how does one go about choosing?!  The general consensus from the research I’ve done and people I’ve spoken to is that we should do our research, develop a short list, and then schedule visits to the schools that made the cut.  We should be sure to meet with the preschool directors in person and observe the teachers with the children – and possibly even ask for references from other parents that we could speak to for recommendations.  The problem for us is going to be even finding any time to sit down and develop a short list.  Several girlfriends have recommended the NC Division of Child Development to use as a reference.  I think I will start by searching that site for 5-star preschools, and then go from there.  I’m sure there will be many follow-up posts on daycare visits and this whole process, so stay tuned for those.
The other option that we have discussed but not in great detail is a nanny.  This is a whole new beast to deal with!  Ideally, we’d want someone with a background in nannying and preferably a degree relating to child development.  We would want this person to come to our home Monday – Friday.  I would not expect them to do any kind of cooking or cleaning or anything like that for us – our main focus would be childcare.  I have several girlfriends who have chosen this option and love it as well.  They have given me several websites to look into such as Sitter City and Care, but I’ve not gotten around to doing a thorough search yet.  The good thing about these websites is that they provide background checks, which we would definitely be interested in before even interviewing nannies.  I would ideally love for someone to stay at home with my child until he/she is around the age of 2, at which point I think I would feel better about sending them to daycare (I know, 2 is a random age, and I’m not sure why I picked it other than it sounds good.  I just like the idea of my child getting one-on-one attention, nurturing, loving and learning from a nanny before going to preschool to continue learning and developing their social skills.).  Again, I have no idea how much this would cost.  We cannot afford to pay someone a $55,000/year salary to stay at home with our child.  The limited research I have done says that the typical cost ranges form $10-$14/hour for one child, which seems reasonable but would still I think cost us more than if we put our child in even the best daycare.  The only thing working to our advantage from this standpoint, while horrible in itself, is that with the economy being so bad and teacher jobs being cut everywhere, my girlfriends have told me that there are a lot out there to choose from.  While it is unfortunate that our economy is in this state and that qualified teachers can’t find jobs educating our future, I am hopeful that this option will work out for us.  We’ll just have to crunch some numbers depending on what we decide to do to help determine which option will be best for us. 
Whew, that was a long one, but these are important issues!  Do any of you have any suggestions or opinions either way on this topic?  We’d love to hear from you, and could use all the advice we can get!
Until next time…
Sarah

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PRESENTS GALORE!!!

Baby Geronimo, I wish I could express to you how loved you already are!  We have been absolutely overwhelmed with all of the congratulatory words, love, prayers, support...and presents, too!  As I've said before, I've refrained from buying anything for Baby B so far (at least until we know the sex!), but at the rate we're going, he/she is going to need a bigger room to keep all of this stuff in!  We got some awesome stuff this week - seriously, we have the best friends and family ever. 

Remember Leah from yesterday's post?  Girls night out, gender test, just got married in May and moved away from me?  Yep, her.  On the same night as girls night out - Thursday night of last week - this little gem arrived on my doorstep (in case you are wondering, I purposely positioned them beside the oh-so-gorgeous housewarming vase she bought us):
This stuff is seriously awesome, I wish you could smell through my blog because it smells so good!  The belly balm is wonderful, not greasy at all and is so soothing to your skin. I also like the fact that all of the products are all natural, so I don't have to worry about anything gross or toxic seeping through my skin to get to Baby Geronimo.  I will be honest that I have not yet tried the leg and foot creme or nourishing body oil, but they smell equally as delicious and I can't wait to try them out.  Perhaps if my husband is following along this would be a good opportunity for him to offer me a massage and foot rub?  :-)  I'll put these items on my "product review" agenda for discussion at a later date.  In the meantime, if you'd like to try them for yourself, you can find them at Amazon and Target.  Thanks Leah, I am so excited about this gift!  It was so thoughtful and sweet of you to send, we love you!

The next gift came from one of my Mom's girlfriends, Pat.  She came to see me over the weekend - Mom and I were hanging out while the rest of the family went bowling - and it was so nice to catch up!  Pat's daughter, Leslie is maybe one of the funniest people you'll ever meet, and has the two sweetest kids, Sam & Abby.  Anyway, so Pat came to visit and gave Baby Geronimo the following:
SO precious.  It is a three-pack of onesies - the top one is yellow and has the cutest little animals on it, and the other two are white but one has a duck on it and one has a bear.  LOVE.  Pat told me that she bought the shoes first (she LOVES shoes, woman after my own heart!) and then decided she should get something to go with said shoes.  This 100% sounds like my logic when I'm out and see a pair of shoes that I need - buy the shoes first, find something to go with them later (Side note: if you think that is  a problem, you may never want to read this blog again.  I have a serious lack of will power when it comes to shopping, and am brilliant at justifying any and all ridiculous purchases.).   Pat, thank you so much for the sweet gift, I cannot wait for Baby B to wear all of it!

The last gift of the week was from my little sister, Sydney:


SERIOUSLY.  Could those little Appalachian State University booties possibly be ANY CUTER?!  For those of you who don't know us, Dan and I are both alumni of Appstate and lllooovvveee all things ASU.  The booties are so tiny and cute, I can't wait for Baby Geronimo to wear them!  Syd was very sweet, when she went out shopping with a girlfriend over the weekend she saw these and decided that Baby B had to have them, so she bought them.  Of course, when she relayed this story to my Mom, Mom could not stop crying over how sweet Syd was for buying us a gift with her own money.  I swear, possibly Mom is the one that's pregnant - she is unstoppable with the water works!  Anyway, Syd, thank you so much for buying us this awesome gift, we are so excited for Baby Geronimo to show his/her ASU pride.

Do we have the best friends and family ever, or what?  We feel so blessed to be so loved, and I can't wait for everyone to meet our little bundle when he/she arrives.

That's all I've got for tonight - I'm home for one night before we head to Boone tomorrow after work (Sooooooooo excited to catch up on Trueblood.  Yummy.).  I am going to TRY to post another blog tomorrow evening, but I know we won't have internet in the mountains so it may be Sunday before I get to post again...so keep checking back!

Toodles!

Sarah

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