Friday, February 17, 2017

Mountain pillows are gender neutral but this baby is not.

A week and a half or so ago, I posted a photo on Instagram saying I was celebrating being halfway done with this pregnancy by working on hand sewing a mountain pillow for the baby's room, while simultaneously wondering if it might take me the last 20 weeks to actually finish it. The other tidbit I haven't shared until now is that a few days later, we had our anatomy scan at the hospital, and we made it very clear that we did, in fact, want to know the sex of the baby.

I am happy to report that not only did it NOT take me another five months to finish that pillow, this kid also cooperated really well during the ultrasound (the one and only time you want your child to be a public exhibitionist) and we were able to find out if he or she is a he or she!

So, I would like to officially announce that we are having a GIRL!!!

We did politely ask the ultrasound tech (who has been in the business for 31 years and made it clear she is not often wrong) how sure she was, and while I can't remember her exact words, the gist of her response was, "Well, you can never be 100% positive until they're born, but that'd be a funny looking boy if it's not a girl." I lol'ed.

On a related note, baby girl clothes are quite possibly the cutest thing in the entire world and it's taking all my self control not to buy certain items in multiple sizes just so she (she!) can wear the same outfits for longer than 3.6 seconds.

I mean, just look at these... 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Things I like

This recipe for zuppa toscana (soup) is delicious. I made it in the Instant Pot, as the recipe suggests, but you could totally do it on the stove top. Just saute the onion, brown the sausage, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the potatoes are tender, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. I would recommend buying spicy ground pork sausage. It adds a little extra needed flavor. I also used spinach instead of kale. I like kale, but oftentimes it doesn't wilt enough and I don't like crunchy greens in soup.

I apologize in advance for linking to this recipe for a giant, single-serve peanut butter cookie. I only made it once a few weeks ago, but I've been dreaming about it ever since. The only reason I haven't made another one is because the only thing that freaks me out more than diastasis recti is gestational diabetes.

This trailer for the new Beauty and the Beast hits me right in my core. Right at about minute 1:50 when the orchestra fully kicks in with the theme song...oh my goodness. I have not been this excited for a movie in a long time. Come on,  March 17th!

If you need a laugh, this YouTube video of a dog who can't catch food had me crying I was laughing so hard.

If you have a Keurig, these coffee pods are delicious, specifically the Fog Chaser version. They're also some of the most inexpensive I've found. You get 80 pods for $29, which works out to about 36 cents per pod. I don't know if you'll find a better deal on Starbucks or Tully's brands at Costco or Walmart or something, but since we don't have access to any of those stores, this is the best deal we've found for the best tasting coffee.

I've tried not to buy too many maternity clothes yet, considering I can still fit in most of my pre-pregnancy shirts without too much trouble, but sometimes you just need something new to make you feel cute while your waistline is expanding and you're feeling less svelte by the day. This sweater from ASOS is technically a maternity sweater, but it doesn't look like it. There's no ruching on the sides and it's not tent-like either, so it will totally be wearable post-baby. They only have one size left, but if you happen to wear a size 8, I recommend snagging one of these. You can't beat fifteen bucks for a cute sweater with suede elbow patches.

Update: It JUST went out of stock. Sad face. Keep an eye on it, though, if it comes back you should grab one.

Please note that none of these links are sponsored - I don't play like that. They're just things I like, therefore you probably need to know about them.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Life Lately: #5

Hey look, it stopped raining for half a minute.

Reading: The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. It's interesting so far, not quite what I expected but entertaining nonetheless. Mostly it's full of anecdotes, in no particular order, about various presidents and their wives/children. The one main thing being drilled into my head while reading this is the fact that White House staff members are extremely private, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to talk about their jobs, let alone tell stories (good or bad) about the presidents and families they've served. While I am on board with not speaking badly in public about your employer (especially if you're still employed), I'm also having a tough time believing that people like the Clintons were mostly peaches and cream to deal with. I guess I was hoping for the information to be a little more juicy and deep, and not just story after story of "every President is ahh-maaaaaaazing as an employer and we just looooooooove them!" Because...yeah, right.

Watching: "Lock Up: Women Behind Bars" on Netflix. Bitches be crazy, y'all.

Listening to: I cannot get enough of Closer by The Chainsmokers/Halsey. It's been on repeat over here and even though it's full of cheesy lines, I love it. It's a good driving song, too, which is perfect because it comes on the radio at least once every day on my drive home from work.

Wearing: Anything that will fit my growing stomach. I think this kid/my uterus must have some very distinct growth spurt days, because sometimes I feel perfectly normal and barely notice my stomach...other days (like today) I'm so uncomfortable, it's tight and crampy, and all I can think about all day are my sweatpants, sitting at home by the side of my bed, calling to me.

Smelling: The gas station across the street. There is nothing worse. I start smelling it between 1 and 2pm almost every single day and it gives me a headache and makes me nauseated and I spend the last two and a half hours at work alternating between breathing into my shirt's neckline and the bottom of my sleeve.

Eating: LOTS of hardboiled eggs. I'm finding it a little difficult to get enough protein without either a ton of eggs or supplementing with protein powder, since most meat still sounds disgusting and lunch meat is off the table. Good thing I like eggs. Also, on a related note, I finally found a foolproof way to make hardboiled eggs, so if you're interested, let me know and I'll share. I've made a batch of 8-10 eggs every single week for the last two-ish months and have only ruined them once, and it was completely my fault.

Loving: That Target sells (and ships!) these metal carts, somewhat akin to the IKEA carts that everyone knows about and loves. Since we don't have an IKEA here, and they won't ship to Alaska either, I was thoroughly thrilled to find a Target alternative. They don't sell them in any fun colors (gray and white only) but I was happy enough to find them in general, so the gray is fine with me.

Not Loving: When grandparents die, and you're 99% sure they weren't born again when they passed away. It's just so much more sad, even if you weren't all that close to them.

Annoyed with: Some family situations that are presently draining my mental energy. Not the aforementioned grandparent situation...just some other stuff that isn't immediately resolving itself and it's kind of getting me down.

Creating: Nothing at the moment, but I think I might attempt something like this. I'm trying to determine whether or not I have the patience for it. 

Wanting: To know if these little flutters I've been feeling for the last few days are baby kicks, or just my intestines shifting around. They're in the same general area every time, they feel...different...than gas bubbles or stomach rumblings, and while they've mostly only been happening in the mid-afternoons while I'm sitting at my desk at work, I felt the same little wiggly feeling last night while watching television. I'm almost 19 weeks along, so...maybe?

Laughing at: This graphic I found online (for the life of me, I can't remember where). I can't say I'm mad at a lot of the things that President (whut?) Trump has done in the first few days of his tenure, but I'm also in favor of calling things like I see them, and the "alternative facts" comment from Kellyanne Conway was, in a nutshell, asinine. Therefore, I found this to be quite hilarious:

Feeling: Overall okay, just uncomfortable, as previously mentioned. And also ready to quit my job like...yesterday. 

Hoping: That Isaiah can get a little bit of time off before this kid is born so we can take a trip to Seattle to see my mom and go on a hike near Mt. Rainier that we've been drooling over. Of course they're already short handed at the department, and now two more people are quitting (with nobody new hired, by the way) and they've all been informed by their lieutenant that "no more leave requests will even be considered until we figure out our staffing situation." Furthermore, they should all expect to work a lot of overtime over the next few months. Boo hiss, and I can't think about it too much or I will angry cry.

Anticipating: The return of The Husband this weekend. He's been in Las Vegas for a work training since Sunday, and the days until Saturday when he gets home have been ddddrrrraaagggiiinnnggg. It's been a struggle not to just eat pints of ice cream for dinner. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I have things to say about this whole "pregnancy" business.

+ I always knew I had a somewhat small bladder, but holy crap. The last week or two, I've actually started to get a legit baby bump (freaking finally), which naturally is making me have to pee more often. Here's the problem, and why that's especially annoying: Sometimes I have to pee SO BAD, so I go to the bathroom, and then all of ten seconds later, I'm finished. I feel like there should be a whole lot more liquid in there than that, but no. Ten seconds and I'm done, and 30 minutes later I have to do it all over again. Darn you, tiny bladder and increased water intake.

+  When I was a kid, I loved cow milk...I loved it so much that my mom eventually had to turn into the legit milk police and limit me to one cup of milk per meal, otherwise I would go through gallons a week. Then, as I got older, milk somehow turned disgusting to me. I couldn't even stomach the taste of it in my mouth unless it was baked into a cake or something. I haven't had an actual glass of milk in at least a decade, probably longer. Until this morning. I was starving, I ran out of Greek yogurt, I had a bag of granola stashed in my desk drawer and there was a half gallon of 2% milk in the fridge at work, and I thought...what the heck, I'll try it. At least there's protein in milk, right? I figured I could choke it down for the baby.

I have never tasted anything so good in my life. After years of utterly despising that nasty, fatty, milky taste in my mouth, I ate my granola and DOWNED the rest of the milk and had a brief moment where I even considered going back for seconds. I managed to find my self control so I didn't finish the rest of that community container of milk intended for coffee, and I probably won't make a habit of swapping my usual almond milk for cow milk any time soon, but I'm still in shock over this situation.

+ Maternity jeans are life. For the last few weeks, I've just been using the rubberband trick while still wearing my regular jeans. I could have continued doing that, but they were starting to dig into my stomach and cause some serious pain after sitting at my desk at work for any length of time. Cue the maternity jeans. I bought this pair by H&M for half price on eBay (brand new!) and glory hallelujah, I can breathe again and I don't have permanent indents in my waistline from seams and buttons. I should have started wearing them two weeks ago.

+ I'm finally over that hump of feeling just plain old fat and out of shape, praise the Lord. It's been a rough month. Everyone tells you to just embrace it, it won't last, your body's going to change shape anyway so might as well get used to it, yadda yadda, but I've worked HARD for the last two years to get into really good shape. We're talking strict eating habits, going to the gym regularly, reuniting with the treadmill, hiking for miles and miles on mountain after mountain, and so on and so forth. Working that hard to be happy with your body and then suddenly gaining weight and not being able to do jack squat about it is like working for two years to declutter your home, changing your shopping habits, sticking to a strict cleaning schedule, and then having someone bring a truckload of trash to your house, dump it in your living room and say, "There's nothing you can do about this, just get used to it! Embrace it! Live with it! It's for the baby!" Not fun, especially with first trimester sickness and being simultaneously so nauseated and so tired that eating right and working out are not even in the realm of possibility.

But I'm doing better now. I'm working out, I'm back to eating the way I (mostly) like to eat, and these maternity jeans have the added bonus of slimming my waistline while simultaneously making my belly look like there's actually a baby in there, not like I've been eating Thanksgiving dinner every night.

+ I honestly would like to know how people have the patience to wait to find out their baby's sex until it's born. I've been having to stop myself from even looking at baby clothes online, because most gender neutral stuff is not that cute, and it's pointless to shop when we won't know for another couple of weeks what we're having. It's hard when you know your baby has been a boy or girl since the moment of conception, but you have to wait FIVE MONTHS to find out whether he is a he or she is a she.

+ Confession: I am absolutely terrified - terrified - of somehow getting diastisis recti. My stomach and abs (ahem, or lack thereof) have always been the area of my body I've been most self conscious of, and I am paranoid that after the baby is born, I won't be able to go back to working out like I was before. I am paranoid that my abs are going to split apart completely and I'll forever look six months pregnant.

I'm not worried about giving birth. I'm worried about what's going to happen afterward.

+ Confession #2: This might be the most ridiculous baby "must have" that I have ever seen. Whatever did parents do before they had a $165 cushion to lay their baby on!? And don't forget the cover! That'll only run you another $60, turning this into a $200+ miniature mattress. Eyerolls for days, not sorry about it.

It's a good thing minimalism is somewhat popular these days because I don't get as many weird looks when I say that no, we're not buying a swing or Boppy pillow and no, we're not buying a crib and a changing table and a dresser and no, we're not planning to buy $60 crib sheets or $50 baby moccasins and no, we're not buying a stupid Dock-a-Tot.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stuff & Things: The Sixth One

Welcome to Thursday, where random thoughts are the name of the game and the prize is getting to read about everything going on in my head lately, lucky you. On second thought, maybe the prize should be an extra strong margarita can have mine.

So, Christmas happened. It was nice and quiet and full of food and movie binging, just how I like it. I made my annual cinnamon coffee cake, there was black licorice covered chocolate and cat-themed socks in my stocking, and Isaiah bought me an Instant Pot and an iPad Pro, which was definitely outside of the Christmas budget we had set for ourselves, but I'm not complaining. His reasoning was that I'm going to be at home alone all day (and all night) with a baby soon, my iPad 2 is old and slow and heavy and barely good for anything but a paperweight, and with the Pro I can use the Apple Pencil to do artwork and lettering, and who am I to argue with all that?

I made a traditional English fruitcake for the first time this year, too. It was as dark, dense and disgusting as I thought it would be. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really enjoy cake made out of mostly raisins and prunes. Isaiah loves it, however, and that was the whole point. This may be the first cake in existence that I have not eaten a single slice.

Next on deck, the year 2017. I can't complain too much about this past year, there were definitely some highs and lows, but that's every year as an adult. 2017 is going to be full of a lot of unknowns and new experiences, which I'm simultaneously excited and slightly nervous about, because who isn't nervous about walking (actully, slamming head first) into something they know virtually nothing about?

I'm not really a fan of new year resolutions or choosing a "word of the year", because I think that we should always be setting goals for ourselves and always be working on being better versions of ourselves. My friend Anna wrote a good post about this concept, you can just go read that and know that I'm over here with a big "ditto."

I will say this about the new year, it just me, or does "2017" just sound super futuristic and like how did we even get to this point? I remember being a kid and thinking the year 2000 sounded like something out of a sci-fi movie and here we are, nearly two decades later and it's not any less weird. On a related note, I feel super old.

Here are things I hope will happen in 2017.

I would like Instagram to get rid of the stupid Boomerang feature. If I have to watch one more set of clinking drink glasses or a backwards/forwards flowing waterfall, I'm going to lose it. I would also like every social media outlet that is not Snapchat to ban the use of Snapchat filters on photos. Trust me, you look better as a person, not a squeaky-voiced giraffe.

I would like people to start blogging about real life more, and advertising less. I can count on one hand the number of new blogs I've found this year that weren't in existence for the purpose of straight up moneymaking. I get it, if you have a lot of followers the occasional sponsored post is understandable (as long as it's for something awesome and not for menstrual pads or fabric softener because really??) but when one out of ten posts actually relates to real life, forget it.

I would like companies to get better hold music. I've been writing this while on hold with state Medicaid for the last hour and a half, and I've had to listen to the same three (bad) piano/orchestra songs over and over. Can't we at least get some top 40 or something?

I would like people to be more outraged about things like abortion/baby murder and less outraged about things like Cinnabon Tweeting that Carrie Fisher had the "best buns in the galaxy."

I would like my coworkers to adopt better kitchen and bathroom habits. Nine out of ten times I go in the kitchen, I have to clean up before I can make my food. Last week it was coffee, crumbs and half-and-half spills all over the counter all day, every day. This week it was something white splattered all over the front of the microwave. EVERY week it's unidentifiable food stuck all over the inside of the microwave and dirty dishes in the sink. I'm about to make a sign, a'la Pam Beesly.

My boss also had to send out an email earlier this week requesting that whoever is leaving poop smears all over the toilet seats please start cleaning up after themselves (I'm not joking), because the entire office is grossed out. Not an email you'd expect to have to send/receive in an office full of adults. I, myself, have had to clean up these poop smears on at least two occasions and one time it was all over the seat, back of the toilet, side of the sink, and toilet paper roll. I don't know who on earth makes it past 5 years old and doesn't learn that that's not okay, but I almost went home sick that day.

So, here's to a cleaner, less poopy new year. Until June, at least, when lots and lots of poop will make a grand reappearance in my life and I'll be cleaning it up all day, every day. At least babies are cute. My coworkers are not.

Linking up with Kristin for the last Stuff & Things of 2016!