Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sexy Time

I miss feeling sexy.


I miss walking down the hall at my old job, with a partially unbuttoned oxford and a pencil skirt and heels, knowing that every man checked me out as I passed. Even the gay ones.


I miss walking through a bar in a low-cut t-shirt and tight jeans and feeling confident enough to push my chest out and sashay just a tiny bit.


Now? Well, now I live in Puff's size large t-shirts and lounge pants. I haven't worn heels since I lost my job. And when I walk through a sports bar now, it's en route to the bathroom, head hung in shame, because I don't want to make eye contact. I'm just there for the fried pickles.


It's amazing how I went from this...


 


to this...


 


And it seemingly happened overnight!


Not so long ago, I would've cringed at the thought of publicly sharing a photo of my size 6 body in a bikini. I've never liked my stomach, even at its tiniest. But now? Now that thing has taken on a life of its own and I feel like I waddle with a 20 pound beach ball stuffed under my shirt. No, I never expected to feel or be sexy during pregnancy. But I also never thought I would lose all confidence in how I look.


It doesn't help when Puff tells me he'd like to watch me walk around in my sexiest panties. But only from behind.


(He should be thankful my ass hasn't grown so I can even still wear my sexiest panties!)


With 13 weeks (give or take) left in this whole pregnancy state, I suppose I should just embrace my growing size. I should indulge in the Poptarts and Fritos that have become a pregnancy diet staple. Because Lord knows, those will be out the window and a strict calorie counting will commence as soon as given the green-light from the doc. It will be nice to have moments when I feel "hot" again. My aim is by sometime in September to be back in my single digit pants.


Now if we can just get Puff to compliment me sometimes and remind me that he doesn't feel like he's married to a troll. Ya know, other than saying my boobs look good over dinner. Or that I would look pretty if I sat up straighter. Casanova, he is not. But I'm no Kate Upton either.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Store Boycott

For the most part, Puff and I try to live as debt free as humanly possible.
 
Sure, we have the mortgage and the two car payments. But outside of that, neither of us have any student loan debt and Puff has zero credit card debt. I would have zero debt, but then I lost my job and had to buy those Lion King tickets and put a down payment on a newborn photographer. So, yeah. That'll take another month or two for it to disappear. But it's not really a big deal. Not when I know people who are swallowed whole by thousands and thousands of dollars of debt from college. And outrageous credit card bills from things they probably don't even remember buying.
 
Why do I mention this? Well, because of an issue I recently had with our Banana Republic credit card. See... we each have minimal cards, but when we were both working (and I wasn't preggers) we definitely found ourselves making a lot of spontaneous purchases at BR every time we were at the mall or an outlet. So, we figured we might as well get some perks. Hey... we can pay off the debt as soon as we get the bill! And for every $XX you spend, you get $10 in rewards. Right now, we have $30 of free cash hanging on our fridge. We can use them at any Banana Republic, Gap, or Old Navy.
 
I got to thinking that with the weather being so mild all winter, soon, I'm going to need some maternity outfits that don't consist of jeans and a men's t-shirt. I stumbled across an ad that Old Navy had their maternity and baby stuff 30% off. I was hopeful I would be able to find a dress and use the $10 that expires first to buy something. So, I dragged myself out of bed on a dreary rainy morning and drove out to Old Navy. (First I hit up TJ Maxx where I found a green Ralph Lauren polo dress for Bimmer that will match her daddy's polo shirts. I couldn't resist!) Anyhoo... I struck out in the maternity section and actually was about out the door to leave when it hit me: I have $10 of free money. Why not get the baby something?
 
So, I did. I snatched up a cute little white skirt (that she can wear over any onesie) and a St. Patty's day outfit. Yes, I realize she's not coming until May, but it was generic enough I would've let her rock it late into the summer. Then, I went to pay. I gave the girl the $10 to cover the $15 purchase. And then she needed the balance. I handed her my debit card. She said I had to use the BR card. Well... slight problem. The card is in Puff's name. And in his wallet. And he was about a 35 minute drive in the opposite direction, hunkered down at work. I ended up buying the items, so as to not hold up the line behind me, but I couldn't help but feel duped somehow.
 
We spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year at Banana Republic and they want to give me hassle about a frickin' $10 rewards certificate?!?! The more I let it stew, the angrier I got. When Puff got home that night, I showed him my purchases. He fawned over the polo dress, of course. And thought the $5 white skirt was practical and cute. We were both sorta indifferent over the St. Patty's day outfit. And with that, I made the decision to return it. I felt so betrayed. Who cares how I pay the difference? If I have $10 in rewards, I should be able to use them! Yes, I realize how ridiculous I sound getting huffy over such a small amount of money. But the reality is, I could've bought a 4 pack of onesies next door at TJ Maxx for the same price.
 
When I texted Puff the next day from the line at Old Navy, he laughed and said, "Don't piss off my wife, people. She will return your shit."
 
Damn straight. And I will be hesitant to go in there any time soon. Sometimes, stupid silly stuff just gets under your skin. A shame, really, that the rewards expire. Because if they didn't, I'd be stockpiling them for the fall for when I get back into single digit pants and need to reward myself with a not-so-spontaneous trip to Banana Republic!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday



Sometimes I pick my Flash Bulbs months in advance. Now that I'm home and have time to do that, plus with Picnik closing soon, I went and got WAY ahead of myself. So far, in fact, that when I sat down to write a description of this particular photo, I didn't even remember where it had been taken!

Thankfully, Puff glanced at it and was like, "That's the overlook between Cashiers and Highlands, NC." Phew! Thanks babe!

After some additional research, I realized this was taken in the summer of 2009 on a whirlwind trip through that part of the state to check out some waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. It was also the first time we stopped in Cashiers to eat at their Wendy's. The one with an outdoor fireplace. We are nothing if not swanky.

Sure, sometimes the overlooks and sweeping vistas all run together after awhile, but that doesn't mean I would ever trade those adventures for the world. Soon, we won't be able to take the convertible out and we'll be in our SUV or our sedan and it won't be quite the same. There won't be the wind in our hair or the exhilarating rush from whipping around tight mountain curves. But we'll have Bimmer in the backseat, and that will be worth the adjustment.

And in a few years? We can get that BMW 3 series convertible Puff wants so badly. And we can share the wind with our babies.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nursery: Step 2

Rocking chairs make me queasy.


Have I not mentioned before that I am super prone to motion sickness? Yes, this woman here who likes to go for drives in the convertible on windy mountain roads, fly to Europe, and cruise the Caribbean. Eh... there are drugs for those sorta things. Taking drugs to rock Bimmer to sleep in the middle of the night? Not really something I want to do.


So, Puff and I decided that we would get the Poang chair from Ikea. It has enough of a bounce to be effective, but won't make me sick to my stomach. And the modern lines totally jive with my design sense. Plus, the price tag is pretty sweet, and we know the chairs can last a good while.


Enter Kimhead. She's had two of these chairs for years and years, which is why we know we love them. And recently, she made the call to rearrange her living room. Oopsies! One of those chairs no longer fits! So, being the super awesome friend that she is, she offered to let Puff and I borrow one of the chairs (footstool included) until she needs it back for whenever she moves again. And since she doesn't plan to do that within the next year, we were elated and overjoyed to be able to free up some space for her, while providing a cozy spot for Bimmer to curl up with us!


 


I had thought about buying a new cushion for it, so we didn't ruin Kimhead's, but after some thought, we figure it will be much nicer to re-gift it BACK to her with a new cushion. So, whenever we get the call that she has once again found space for it, we will be making a run to Ikea to let her pick out her cushion of choice. In the meantime, we are proudly chair-sitting for her, and we can always tell Bimmer that her Aunt Kimhead helped fill up that corner of her nursery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stupid Brats

When I found out I was pregnant with Bimmer, I was elated. And for more reasons than the super obvious, "I'm finally pregnant."
 
The timing was pure perfection for my old job. I would be out on maternity leave for our three quietest months. (Obviously, that doesn't matter now.) But it was also perfect timing because I wouldn't be couped up in the house during the winter months, where I worried depression would settle in. (Gotta love the irony of my current situation then, huh?) Except, one of the most exciting reasons for me was that I would be home when school was NOT in session.
 
For the past 2 months, I have spent every afternoon hiding. Yes, hiding from middle schoolers. I mentioned way back when I first started this blog about the moms who liked to drive their mini-vans through our yard. And then the kids who trampled our plants and figured our yard was a great cut-through for their lazy-ass, non-rule following soccer moms who refuse to get in the pick-up line. On pretty days, I'll duck out about 3:15pm, as the vans and SUVs are backing up down the street, barely missing my driveway. It doesn't matter where I go... bank, post office, grocery, Starbucks, park, or just driving around aimlessly in a school-free zone. If I'm not up to leaving, I hunker down in our back bedroom, shut the shades, turn on some noise, and pray for sanity during those 15 minutes that immediately follow dismissal.
 
Now, I realize I was a 7th grader at once in my life. And I am sure I yelled and screamed at my friends like these kids do. Heck, I'm sure the boys I grew up with taunted dogs like these kids do to our neighbors. But I swear, I never just walked through some random person's yard, every single day, with 30 of my friends, not caring what trash I dropped or what plant I stomped on. And I am certain my mom/grandma/friend's mom would've never let me get away with that either. It just makes me so violent that I have to hide myself from it, or else I will want to invest in a rifle and a pit bull to sit on my porch every day at 3:30pm.
 
The thing I notice most about the entire situation? (Prepare for what could potentially be misconstrued as a racist statement here.) But the kids who are the most disrespectful? The rich white kids. They're the ones with stay-at-home-moms in giant Navigators and Escalades who come straight from tennis practice to pick up little Winston Carlisle IV and his buddy, Tripp. The black kids never get off the sidewalk. Sure, they'll sometimes sit on the curb waiting for a ride, but they never touch anything, are never loud, and never throw trash in my yard. There's even a little boy who sometimes sits on the curb across the street for well over a half hour, waiting for a ride, who always comes in a beat up old car, probably rushing from work to pick him up. And the kid who rides the short bus (probably to an alternative school)? He's said "hello" to me several times, keeps to himself, stays on the sidewalk or in the street, and is generally, not a nuisance at all.
 
But dammit, do I want to stab a snotty, snobby, rich white kid just about every single day. Not literally, but I would like to scare the shit out of them. Or lace my yard with mounds of dog shit so they'd all step in it and then get it in their mom's perfectly detailed SUV.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Filling Fourteen Weeks

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by a post over on Bower Power and decided to create my own "Pre-Baby Bucket List." Now... this will definitely be different than a "Pre-Pregnancy Bucket List" because that would've included white water rafting, a week in Iceland, and several rounds of Malibu rum. This is more of an "I'm still unemployed and still pregnant and like lists" sorta list.
 
I'm 26 weeks along at this point, so I've got some time to get some of this stuff accomplished. Maybe you can hold me accountable for it and start an email attack in a few weeks asking for updates. Or you can comment on this post with your own ideas of how I should be spending my time. Who knows? Maybe your ideas sound like more fun than mine.
 
  • Catch up on printing hard copies of my private blog (Yes, because I'm a moron and like hard copies)
  • Catch up on copying and saving the entries from this blog
  • Figure out how to use I-Tunes and update my I-pod
  • Save all the pics not currently saved to my external hard drive
  • Burn CDs of all the pics not currently on burnt CDs
  • Scan old family photos, post on my photo site, save to my external hard drive, and burn CD copies
  • Finish as much of Bimmer's scrapbook as possible
  • Get a crib and dresser for Bimmer's nursery
  • Unpack the new flat screen TV we got for Christmas
  • Reorganize our filing system (Which, for Puff, involves just shoving envelopes into a desk drawer)
  • Reorganize the shelves in Puff's closet (Because he refuses to do it for himself)
  • Sell the nightstand, filing cabinet, and non-flat screen TV on Craigslist
  • Sell the set of glass pots & pans that we never use on Craigslist
  • Have my car washed
  • Keep applying for jobs, even if I don't think they'd hire me being this pregnant
  • Vow to dust, vacuum, and change the sheets more often
  • Make a list of what to pack for the hospital
  • Convince Puff to convince the MIL that she should contribute to this child and buy us our fancy pack 'n play
  • Make the final decision on whether or not we will be committing to cloth diapers
  • Keep up-to-date on my 2012 scrapbook for the year (Because you know I will fall behind come baby time!)
  • Sign up for a month of free Netflix to watch Season 5 of "Dexter"
  • Organize the baby's gear and clothes, once we have furniture in the room
  • Go for at least a 20 minute walk every day when the weather is nice (Like 55 or warmer)
  • Schedule a pre-baby pedicure (or two)
  • Continue to have as many lunch dates as possible with Lady V, Anita, Kathy, Scoop, and anyone else who is free
  • Figure out how in the heck to make a baptism happen back in The Fort
  • Finish the photo gallery in the office
  • Frame the prints for above the toilet in the bathroom (As opposed to the toilet in any other room)
  • Plan and book our trip to Florida for this summer to visit my mom
  • Research baby friendly hikes/walks/sites in the area for this summer
  • Accept every invite from friends to hang out, have dinner, see a movie, etc... even if it means driving an hour and a half one way to do it
  • Bake at least two new things I've never baked before
  • Buy some cute little headbands and/or bows for Bimmer to rock
  • Decide on Bimmer's "coming home" outfit
  • Celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary in May with a swanky steak dinner (Gotta treat myself one last time, even if I can't have my fave raspberry martini)
  • Plant flowers in our window boxes on the deck
  • Install a smoke detector
  • Get cable installed in our master bedroom
  • Continue to fight, every day, my depression, addictions, and demons
  • Feel the overwhelming love and support from all my friends and family who have been there every step of the way... you guys rock my world!

Think that's enough to fill (potentially) the next 14 weeks?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Man Candy Monday


 
Recently, my friend Trish posted a random list of several men on her Facebook page. All us willing participants added our own... in homage to "The List." Mine were essentially the same as that post from last year, with the addition of Hugh Jackman. Because really, I needed a sexy Aussie in the group.

 

But then... several of her friends mentioned "Criminal Minds" hottie, Shemar Moore. And yup... I jumped right on that bandwagon. (I'd rather jump on him instead, but I digress...)



After all these years of devoted "CSI" and "Law & Order: SVU" watching, I have no idea how "Criminal Minds" just ran under the radar for me until a few months ago. I've been taping just about every episode I can find. Thankfully, A&E likes to replay them a lot. As does CBS in the middle of the night on Sunday nights. So I get at least a few healthy doses of Shemar each week. He was also on "Ellen" recently, when I accidentally stumbled across it. He took his shirt off. And made out with a lady in the audience. Color me jealous!

 

Now, I don't typically find black men all that attractive. But um... HELLO! Are you seeing this super fine specimen? And in case you're a little confused or undecided... I'll let his abs do some talking...
 




And in a surprising twist of hottness, as I was scouring the InterGoogle for pics of Shemar, I came across this fabulus photo of his (not typically sexy) co-star, who plays Spencer Reed. Yum!
 
 
 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday



OK... $10 to the first person who can correctly identify these flowers.*
 
GO!!!

The Ex and I broke up in the spring of 2008 after almost eeking out five whole years of dating. And there may or may not have been a bit of an overlap in the "Gail's quasi-dating someone new" versus "The Ex hasn't moved out all his stuff" scenarios. Not one of my finer moments, of course.

However, this photo was taken on a skip day where Rush (the in between The Ex and Puff filler guy) opted to call in sick to work and hang out instead. We headed to a gorgeous park in town on a particularly warm and sunny March day. And since we recently learned I like to document everything, I had thrown my little point-and-shoot camera in my purse for the outing.

None of the photos were particularly jaw-dropping, but in a fit of learning my new photo editing software, I somehow got the picture to look like this. And I kinda love it. And since I'm anxious for spring to come around in full force, I thought it would be worth sharing. Even if I'm not really sure what it is. Or if that color is even possible in nature.

* I'll reward you the $10 after I've found a new job. Just remind me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strike a Pose

My life is documented like crazy.
 
Need an example? Here's a picture of me raking leaves. Yup... just to prove it actually happened.
 
 
 
So it's of no surprise to those of you who have known me since at least 6th grade (when I rocked a totally badass see-thru camera with neon insides) that I take lots and lots of pictures. Bimmer's life will be nothing if not photographed. That being said, it should also be of no surprise that I was anxious to get maternity and newborn photo shoots scheduled. Yes... photo shoots. Not trips to Sears.
 
I promise, there is a difference.
 
My awesome engagement and wedding photographer is going to be doing my maternity pics in March. She lives in West Virginia now, but is driving a few hours to meet me. God bless her! Unfortunately, the fact that we don't have a planned C-section is keeping me from booking her for the newborn photos. But I'm certain she'll be seeing much more of us in the future regardless! Anyhoo... I mention her because in my quest to find a local replacement, I found a good newborn photographer (there's an art to it for sure) who has a studio literally right up the street. She's got good props and seems to get some pretty awesome new baby pics, all at a reasonable price. (One lady wanted to charge over $500 and I only would have gotten 10 images! No way, Bucko!)
 
The local photog and I emailed back and forth and got all the details and I was ready to plop down the deposit to get on her calendar. However, I wanted to show Puff her work first. I figured he is the father and should have some say. Big mistake. He made faces at all of her photos and made comments about the babies looking "like aliens" or worse. Yup... it made me cry. I was so excited to get professional, artistic, photos taken of our Bimmer. Something to be cherished more than the ridiculous hospital photos they take. I was crushed.
 
I emailed my wedding photog and told her what Puff had said. She sent me the most amazing website to share with him... www.babyasart.com. The photos here are absolutely amazeballs. (Yup, I just said that.) While the local photog isn't this perfect, she definitely does some really great shots of babies in baskets and swaddled, etc. It is exactly the newborn photos I had in my head. Of course, Puff conceded and is letting me have them done. I think with some direction, we'll get some pictures we can proudly frame on our walls.
 
I understand that people all have different priorities and opinions in their lives... the quality of photographs being one of them. It's all subjective, so I can't say that a mother who takes her child to a portrait studio in the mall is wrong. If she loves those photos, then that's all that matters. Me? Well... in addition to being a travel snob, I am also a photo snob. I have great friends who are awesome photographers (have you checked out Anna???) and even lots of friends who just rock an SLR for the heck of it. Myself included. So, having higher quality, professional photos of my children is of higher priority than most. In general, I just really hate those awkward family photos from Olan Mills that we all have from our childhood. (Photos really do last forever, people!)
 
All of us execpt Puff. He's such a poor forgotten second child! For our wedding, I wanted a photo of him as a baby to put on our sweetheart table, but we were only able to find like one photo of him under the age of five!!! Perhaps that fact, coupled with never being around babies, was the reasoning for his distaste and confusion in my wanting to get these newborn photos done. I like to think that no matter the picture, if it's of our little Bimmer, he'll swoon over it regardless.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Share the Love, and the Lemon

Way back in June 2008, lemon bars changed my life.
 
 
 
It was my third date with Puff. I was smitten from the get-go. Our initial conversations and emails prior to even meeting were flirtatious and fun. Not to mention interesting. Our first date was fairly routine, but it must've worked because I sat for what seemed like hours on a park bench with him well after dinner and gelato had wrapped. Our second "date" involved him coming to my apartment to move my television so someone could buy my entertainment center off Craigslist. His co-workers were insistent that I was just using him. In my defense, I did buy him Wendy's for dinner as a thank you.
 
Then our third date happened.
 
I got to see his place for the first time and as I rolled up to the front of The Bungalow, I was definitely impressed. I had no idea that someday, that would be my home. The home where I bring home my daughter. But, I'm getting ahead of myself...
 
That third date took us out into the country for me to experience my first ever flea market. We laughed at all the ridiculous things, flirted it up, and maybe even held hands for a few brief seconds. Once we got back to his place, we commenced making lemon bars. He knew lemon desserts were my weakness, so he had scoured the InterGoogle looking for a recipe and had all the ingredients on hand. Neither of us are worth much in the kitchen, especially then, but it was definitely memorable.
 
I distinctly remember leaning over his sink and asking him if he cared if I went out on dates with other guys.
 
He told me he preferred if I didn't.
 
And just like that, we became Gail and Puff. No further discussion. No in depth DTR (determine the relationship). Just a passing comment and an intense connection that we knew was real and true. And here we are, almost 4 years later, celebrating our 4th Valentine's Day together. There aren't any grand dinner plans at a swanky restaurant or any card making festivities. But I love him now infinitely more than I did on that June afternoon all those years ago. And next year on this day? We'll have a squishy, cuddly 8 month old to dote on.
 
And it will be the best Valentine's Day ever.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Top Ten

It's been a few months since I did a "Top Ten" list. And no, I realize it's not Tuesday, but eh... who gives a crap. All the days run together when they all feel like a Saturday. Right... speaking of unemployment, that's the inspiration for today's list. In an effort to help keep my mind on the positive future that will ultimately come after all this nonsense, I'm focusing on the things that will be such sweet purchases once I get that first new paycheck.


This list is a mix of needs and wants, but that's part of the fun. Now to just keep our fingers crossed this list gets knocked out sooner, rather than later. In no particular order, the top ten things I will mull over and consider dropping some dough on when I get my first paycheck at my new job...


1) Paint the dining room (re: Hire someone to do this for me)


2) Baby girl clothes galore


3) Book our first family vacation


4) Pay off any credit card debt


5) Coach purse


6) Two pine trees to plant in the backyard for privacy


7) Pressure wash the house


8) Post pregnancy clothes from Banana Republic and J. Crew


9) A top to bottom, heavy duty cleaning of the house (re: Hire someone to do this for me)


10) Anything West Elm is willing to sell me



What would you do with a sudden increase in cash flow? Am I being too frivilous with this list? Too safe?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday


Two years ago, on Valentine's Day weekend, we woke up to a little surprise. Yup... sometimes, it does snow in South Carolina. (Need more proof?) I'm happy to report, however, that this weekend, there is no snow coming. In fact, we've been having temps in the mid to upper 50s at the coldest for highs during the day. Last week? It was 71 one day. In February. Rock on.
 
So, while there won't be any snow this weekend to force me and Puff to curl up together in bed, I can still appreciate the beauty of it. Sure, I bitch and moan about it all the time. But, if you can stay inside and just *look* at it, versus having to venture out in it? Well, then I suppose it's good for a few pretty photos and a cup of hot chocolate.
 
As long as it melts within 24 hours.
 
Oh... but am I allowed to get a little excited that next winter I can take Bimmer out in the show? The pictures will be priceless!

My kid is sooooooo gonna hate me!

"Here, Bimmer. Sit in this snow bank while Mommy snaps lots of pictures of you looking perplexed and cold and pissed off."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It Stings

Over on the Bower Power blog, (she is seriously the cutest girl ever) she recently put up this post... http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2012/02/prepregnancy-bucket-list/.
 
Now, I can totally relate to the wanting to get pregnant and feeling like it will never happen phenom. Sure, it was dramatically overstated in my world since I thought it would just happen the first go round, but still. That doesn't mean my feelings were any different than hers. However, since I *am* pregnant, the whole pre-pregnancy bucket list isn't what struck me in that entry. What was it then that struck a chord?
 
The sting.
 
She mentions "the stinging pain of the wait." And her description of that is the most profoundly close description I can come up with to what I am feeling right now with trying to find a job. It feels good to not be alone in wanting something to happen RIGHT NOW, but realizing it is out of my hands. Just a good, humbling reminder that things will work out in the end. (I did have a great interview recently and was their second choice, but didn't get it because I had no specific experience and the person they chose did. I was flattered to make it that far in their selection process!) I just have to find some patience. (A shame, really, that Mr. Smith never was able to instill that virtue in me, despite years of trying!) Maybe I should come up with an "Unemployment Bucket List" of things I need to accomplish while I have the time. Hmmm.... perhaps a new blog topic just arose!
            ____________________________________________________________
 
 
On a similar note... I have gotten so much love and support from every different angle on my "housewife debacle." It seems that everyone but me has a much more positive outlook on this situation. I've had over-worked friends tell me they are jealous of the fact that if I feel like crap in the morning, I can just roll back over and go to sleep. The overwhelming majority of comments have come from those who are already parents. They repeatedly insist that I enjoy this down-time and rest and relax and use it to get ready for the baby.
 
The only problem with that? I have no idea what I should be DOING to get ready for the baby three and a half months in advance! The eternal planner in me feels like I have already started everything I can at this point. Daycares are on alert. I've got a list of pediatricians to scope out. I've got our hospital orientation tour scheduled. The baby registry is in full swing. The baby showers are being planned by my awesome and amazing friends. The maternity pics are scheduled. The newborn pics are scheduled. The nursery is in progress. The clothes and toys and gizmos and gadgets are piling up. The scrapbook is being prepped.
 
Please, parents, tell me what I am missing!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

24 Weeks



I know I say it every four weeks, but can you believe how close it's getting to being able to actually meet this amazing little girl that's been kicking up a storm in my belly?
 
 
The past four weeks have been relatively uneventful. And considering how I rounded out week 20, I am definitely grateful for that. The quick trip to the hospital and several subsequent blood tests produced no result as to why I was having the debilitating pain in my lower abdomen. Their best guess still lies with either a kidney stone or a bowel obstruction. ::shrug:: It's been weeks since I had the pain, so I am counting my blessings doubly hard. Never mind I've been having more increased nausea again the past week. Par for the course, I suppose.
 
The bigget milestone is that I've officially hit the 20 pound weight gain mark. I guess it's a good thing it took me this long to get there, right? My goal was to stay under 40 pounds total while packing it on, so we'll see how close I come to reaching that goal. Being at home all day long, surprisngly, leaves me getting less exercise than if I was working. Perhaps I should have taken more advantage of those 65 degree January afternoons to go for a brisk stroll in the park. However, Puff still insists I don't look pregnant from behind. Somehow, I think, that's supposed to be a compliment.
 
It's hard to believe I've been out of work since I took my week 16 picture. In some sense, I'm trying to see that as a blessing. Less stress and worrying is always a good thing when baking a baby, right? Plus, I've been able to stay off my feet a lot which has kept down a lot of pregnancy swelling I hear should be happening right around now. I also don't snack as badly as I did at the office... I haven't had a piece of chocolate candy in ages! And it has given me and Puff weekends to spend trolling antique shops looking for the perfect old dresser or mid-century Danish modern buffet or record cabinet to repurpose into a dresser/changing table. We've struck out so far, but that doesn't mean we'll stop looking!
 
Oh... and I finally felt the pressure to start the baby registry! Bring on the goodies! But the best part was the night that Puff told me he is really excited that we're having a little girl. After some thought (I know he was initially unsure) he said that it's probably better that way. Because if we had had a son, he would've been disappointed had he been into sports instead of cars. Now, if Bimmer isn't into that, he can just blame it on her being a chick. And if she does happen to be into cars like her daddy? Just an added bonus!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pin Me

So... what are your thoughts on Pinterest?
 
I feel like I learned about it forever ago from the cool folks over at YHL. They did "Pinterest Challenges" where they did DIY craft projects inspired by something they found on the site. I had heard it was pretty addictive. And having an addictive personality, I avoided it for as long as humanly possible. It wasn't until I officially became a housewife that I decided I'd scope it out. The verdict? It's definitely a good time-waster. I wish I had had it when I was working! ::insert grin::
 
In the month plus that I've been at home, I have conveniently avoided any shopping sites (ahem, West Elm) or any real estate websites. I figured there was no sense in dreaming about things I couldn't afford, right? Well, Pinterest has sucked me back (a tiny bit) into my obsession with anything and everything related to redecorating. I like to think of it as a mood board for our future house. Because, this situation is only temporary, and we will eventually be getting a bigger house. One that I can decorate in the white/gray/turquoise color scheme that is running rampant in all of my "pins."
 
However... in addition to home decor and baby items, I have found a few recipes. I figure since I am home all day long, I might as well turn on my best Betty Crocker and at least attempt something new in the kitchen. Most of the things I've "pinned" with relation to food have been the few sweets that have come across my radar... raspberry lemonade cupcakes or Nutella cheesecake bars. But I was a dutiful wife and sought out something suitible to serve for dinner. And I found that in a crazy easy pesto chicken dish! Check it out over on Kalyn's Kitchen Blog! The verdict? Even though I scoffed at paying $3.99 for a thing of pesto (Puff later told me I should learn to make my own!) it was definitely crazy easy and super yummy!
 
Puff gave it two thumbs up. And an extra high-five for finding a new dish to add to our ever-shrinking dinner rotation of options. Winter nixes the grill most nights, unfortunately. So... while I seriously make no promises to start pumping out cool recipes for you guys to try, I will definitely keep you posted if I find something off-the-hook. Just nothing that involves a crock pot. I don't have one, nor do I want one. Sorry, CPFC (crock pot fan club), but when you have a tiny kitchen, you've got to pick your kitchen appliances carefully. And that frozen drink machine totally trumps anything that doesn't involve rum.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flash Bulb Friday



I keep going back and digging up photos from my "Lesbian Extravaganza Cruise" with Meghan back in 2008. Probably because the ports we hit were gorgeous and sunny. Reminissing about them in the middle of winter (no matter how mild it has been) is always nice.
 
This was from the streets of Old San Juan. We walked from our hotel (a ratty HoJo in the center of town... slim pickings for chain hotels in the old quarter) before dinner and headed toward the outer rampart walls of the city. This was a quiet side street en route. I loved the different colored buildings. Such charm! Such a seemingly easier life!
 
Now it's got me hoping we can take Bimmer on a cruise with us in a few years. So we can get her started out right on picking up some foreign countries!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nursery: Step 1

I've already thrown out there that Puff and I have decided on this white crib from Babies R Us for the nursery...



But now comes the decorating the crib part. Following a lot of research and discussions, we've opted to join the "No Bumper Crowd" and skip that for Bimmer's room. Sure, they make it look more complete, but if there are any safety risks involved at all, I'm not willing to go there. I am certain I can pull some tricks out from up my sleeve to make the room look adorable regardless. Plus, you can't use the quilt with the baby for like a year anyway... so what's the point in wasting the money for a bedding set that you can't even really use? (Case and point... I found MY old quilt from my crib bedding last July and it's in mint condition. So, we still have that for Bimmer to use if she wants a thick quilt anyway!)


Thus we land on the crib skirt debate. I had been super gung-ho about having our friend, Rachel, from Rachel's Creations, create us a one-of-a-kind crib skirt to rock in Bimmer's nursery. However, now I'm a bit stumped on what to do. First, here are the two fabrics that Puff and I narrowed it down to...




He prefers the yellow, but since our walls are sorta yellowish, I worry that it won't look right. Plus, the pink stripe gives more of a cabana feel to our baby's tropical beach-themed room. The problem? Of course, I wasn't able to find any fabrics I loved at a reasonably priced store, so these puppies come from the fancy-pants designer fabric store. And that means they come with a much heftier price tag. And with all the yardage required, plus Rachel's time, it's going to end up being more expensive than something we could register for and have someone else buy. In fact, this perfectly cute and coordinating one from Pottery Barn Kids would be cheaper...




::sigh:: I know I'm just over-analyzing things because of the lack of a job situation. Even with Rachel making it, it's a less than $100 investment that *should* last us through Bimmer's use of the crib and subsequent toddler bed. And that is perfectly reasonable. Plus, it'll look pretty darn cute with this sheet we found at Target that is white with pink stars. As I've mentioned before, this baby girl will want for nothing. Even if she couldn't care less about the stripes on her crib skirt!