Friday, March 24, 2017

Life Lately #7

Reading: Slowly making my way through Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. Isaiah and I are reading it out loud, which is...interesting. The actual reading of the book is totally fine, and it has a lot of good information for women who want an unmedicated birth, but the photos in this book are definitely not something I was expecting. In almost every single photo containing a woman, she is buck naked. Suffice it to say, I am reading while Isaiah listens. The book is also little bit outdated in some ways and with some of its information (the last revision was in 1996), but since there's no way for me to actually take a class on the Bradley Method, it'll suffice.

Watching: Nothing really at the moment. I've tried (and stopped) several shows lately, but nothing seems to hold my interest very long. Instead, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos.

Listening to: Lots of Ben Shapiro podcasts while I (im)patiently wait for the new Chainsmokers album to come out on April 7th.

Wearing: Lots of layers, because apparently winter is never going to end.

Eating: Lots of chicken and lots of oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the only things I've found for breakfast that actually fills me up for longer than a hot second, and chicken is cheap (ish) and easy to work around for dinner. Wednesday night I made BBQ chicken and pineapple pizza using this pizza crust recipe, and it turned out really well with a few tweaks I added. Next time I'm going to try half white and half wheat flour.

Loving: This gnocchi from Amazon. Yeah, you have to buy 6 packs at a time, but it's worth it if you have the space. They're dried, so all you have to do is boil them for like two minutes, then throw them in a pan with a little oil or butter to crisp them up. Then, the meal possibilities are endless. Here's one suggestion for you but really, it's not hard to be creative with these. Earlier this week I cooked them up, tossed them with pesto and some chopped up (cooked) chicken breasts and crumbled some goat cheese over the top. Marinara and sausage is another option, or use them in place of pasta in a pasta salad.

Not Loving: HEARTBURN and acid reflux and also how if I burp too soon after I swallow a mouthful of food or liquid it just wants to come right back up again. I'm pretty sure my stomach is situated right below my collarbone now.

Annoyed with: The cost of everything where I live. I was comparing some prices online to what we pay for the exact same items at our grocery store, and almost everything I found was literally three times the price. And I'm using the word "literally" properly, I promise. I can't even read blog posts about how to budget for groceries or feed your family of five for $100 a week or whatever people in the lower 48 do because it's literally (again, literally) impossible for me to do that here. And don't get me started on how our electric rates have been raised 20% in the last 6 months because we have the most incompetent city administration on the planet. Thank the good Lord above for wood stoves, that's all I have to say.

Creating: A spreadsheet that shows the cheapest prices for cleaning supplies and dry grocery goods (that will actually ship here) between our grocery store, Target and Amazon. Spoiler alert: Our grocery store is never the cheapest.

Wanting: This nail polish remover. I have never been able to wear nail polish without making my nails peel and split within a day of taking it off, and I'm pretty sure it's due to nail polish remover and not the nail polish itself. I've tried both acetone and non-acetone removers and they both wreak utter havoc on my nails. This alternative has good reviews, and I'm intrigued.

Laughing at: The checkout lady at the grocery store who pointed at my belly and said in a knowing tone, "You're having a girl?" I said yes, good guess, and asked how she was such a good guesser. She said that with both of her daughters, her belly button stayed in/flat; with her son, her belly button popped out. I'm only 27 weeks (tomorrow) so even if my belly button does eventually poke out I think it'll be a little while. 

Feeling: Pretty good other than lots of hip pain. It's not too bad in the daytime, especially if I get up and walk around a little bit off and on, but in the I feel like a 90 year old trying to get out of bed.

Anticipating: A quick jaunt to Seattle this weekend. We're flying out tomorrow morning and flying back Wednesday evening, so it's a quick there-and-back trip but we've been wanting to do a little baby shopping in person as well as get out of town one more time we have to start lugging a car seat/stroller/etc. with us. Also, the last time I saw my mom was at Thanksgiving and I was only 10 weeks pregnant and definitely not showing yet. We figured she might want to see her unborn granddaughter before she makes her grand entrance later this summer.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Myspace surveys are so fetch.

I'm stealing this from Michelle, because I have nothing better to do and nothing better to talk about. It's still snowing, I'm still running out of things to wear on a daily basis (my workout sweatpants barely fit around my hips anymore), and I'm still counting down the days until I can be done with my job.

So this is what's happening today.

Oh, and happy St. Patrick's Day. The day everyone pretends they're Irish and know who St. Patrick was.

1. What are your nicknames? What you do like to be called? As my blog title suggests, it's just Angi. My name is kind of a nickname by itself, since my parents didn't like the name Angela, but sometimes people call me Ang, and Isaiah calls me Ann on occasion. You can call me whatever you like, just don't call me Shirley.

2. What books are on your shelf begging to be read? War and Peace. No, not really, though we did find an old beat up copy at the thrift store a couple of years ago and snagged it because it looks good on our bookshelf. Truthfully, one of these days I need to read a Jane Austen book. Cue the collective gasps.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? I don't doodle a whole lot, but when I do, it's usually typography type stuff. I used to doodle various fonts a LOT in high school and college, and I have sloppily recreated one of my favorites for you here. Pretend it's done with multi-colored glitter pens.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive? Dude, if I tried to get up and do something productive in the midst of a bout of insomnia, I'd never get back to sleep. Usually I just lay there, grumpy about how tired I'm going to be the next day, until I finally fall back asleep.

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it? Well, I spend 90% of my time alone at home as is (cop wife problems) so probably quite a while. I don't want to commit to a number, though.

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? I usually save most of them for a while and then toss them. I try not to be a hoarder.

7. What is your dream career? A baker. If only it paid better and had better hours. I was *thisclose* to taking a baking job at a local cafe last fall, but the hours would have conflicted so badly with my husband's job that it would have been a miracle if we had two hours a week to spend together. In short, quality time is one of my top two love languages, so I passed on the job.

8. When making an entrance into a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost? Ha, fools, you assume I go to parties in the first place and worse, that I attend them alone.

 9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be? Good question. I personally don't think I'm terribly funny, I have an average sense of direction, and I refuse to answer this the obvious way (sight/smell/etc).

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror? These days, I'm torn between every 5 minutes and never. Never, because I don't even recognize my own thighs anymore and it's enough of a reminder trying to pull my jeans up every morning. Every 5 minutes, because I still can't believe the size of the basketball under my shirt.

11. What’s the strangest thing you believed as a child? I don't remember believing anything particularly weird or strange. I was quite the realist as a child (still am, who am I kidding) and my friends hated me because I thought they were stupid for believing in Santa/the Easter bunny/the Tooth Fairy.

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? Black licorice. Always and forever, amen.

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know? I'm not sure, honestly.

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections? I don't get an actual paper, but I read the news online every single day. Usually it's a mix of politics, local news and weird news.

15. Which animals scare you the most? Why? BEARS. Because coastal brown bears are some of the biggest in the country, second only to polar bears, and in the town where I live, they've been conditioned by irresponsible idiots to eat garbage. That means every single summer, we have to carry guns when we hike and stop/look/listen before walking to our cars in the morning. Did you know it was an Alaskan hunter who took the world record for biggest brown bear ever killed? NINE FEET. That's how tall that bear was.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? I think this totally depends on the situation and the person with whom I am conflicting.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savored? Isaiah always tells me I'm "good at everything" but I don't necessarily think that's true, though it makes me feel good when he says it. There are plenty of things I'm not good at. Making pie crust from scratch, for example. Or drawing realistic looking things.

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? My eyesight. I have rotten eyesight which I pray I do not pass onto my child(ren). Isaiah has great eyesight, so it's 50-50 there. Someday I WILL get Lasik surgery. I will. Now who wants to lend me about 5 grand?

19. Are you a creature of habit? Yes and no. There are some things I have to keep as a habit or I won't do them. But most of the time, I get bored and change things up.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain. Eh, I don't think so, but that'd probably be a better question for the guy that has to live with me.

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? July 2016, when we hiked the Laugavegur trail in Iceland. Between hiking 34 miles in 3 1/2 days, carrying a 30lb backpack the whole way and sleeping on the ground, it was one of the hardest and greatest experiences of my life. But I have to give birth to an actual child this summer, so we'll see which experience wins out as the hardest when all is said and done.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? I kind of have both. Living in a small island town and being married to a guy who has been here for 20+ years means I "know" a lot of people. But I don't have any actual friends here - I have a few good friends in other cities who I keep in touch with via e-mails and texting, and that's okay - though not ideal - for now.

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? Uh, neither?

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? Strange things don't really happen to me, especially not strange things I refuse to talk about. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else? Currently, it's a toss up between how many days are left until I get some time off with my husband and how many hours are left before I can go back to bed.

26. What’s something that amazes you? How perfectly a woman's body is designed to grow and house a live baby until that baby is ready to survive in the outside world.

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? How about a nice combination of shooting straight in a tactful manner?

28. Where’s your favorite place to take an out of town guest? I don't ever have out of town guests, but if I did, and they were into hiking, I'd take them to the top of a mountain.

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Cut my hair.

30. Do you have a catchphrase? No, do people actually have those and do people actually think they're funny after they're said once or twice?

31. What is one of your most cherished memories? Getting married, honeymooning in Hawaii, and backpacking in Iceland.

32. How and where do you prefer to study? Never and nowhere.

33. What position do you sleep in? I used to sleep on my side but kinda tilted forward onto my stomach, but now that I have a basketball in the way, just on my side. And...

34. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Seattle. Bet you couldn't guess that one.

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new? Kindness, able to hold a conversation, and a shared love of The Office.

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you? I don't really think it has, honestly, and I don't know how much stock I put in that birth order theory anyway. Most people seem to think that having siblings makes you codependent and unable to do anything alone, or that being an only child makes you super independent and/or antisocial. I have one younger sister with a completely (and I mean completely) opposite personality of my own, so we weren't that close growing up and don't even talk all that much as adults. I'm introverted and independent, thank you!

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? My shyness. It's a huge hindrance in a lot of areas. Also, my lack of upper body strength. I just want to be able to do pull ups!!

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? The one with my dad, but a) that's impossible now due to his Alzheimers and b) there were plenty of chances for that to happen in the past and one of us was never really fully interested, so there's that. I'm fine, really!

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? Eh, I wouldn't. I've never really wished my name was anything else, though I have always wished people would spell it correctly. It bothers me less as an adult, though.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? It depends, as usual. Sometimes, sure, but I don't want to be ignorant of a bear in my driveway and walk around my car and boom, there's 800 pounds of teeth and claws. That would not be a blissful experience.

41. What do you consider unforgivable? Eating the last piece of cake without asking if I want some.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Sure. I don't like to dwell on things that can't be changed.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize? I feel like "it depends" could be the answer to the majority of these questions. It depends how close I am to that person, it depends on what they did in the first place, and it depends how much what they did affects me going forward.

44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? I'm a Christian, so yes.

45. What three fictional characters best represent you? I have thought and thought and thought about this question and I just flat out have no idea. I have definite April Ludgate tendencies, though.

46. In what area of your life are you immature? I'm so immature I refuse to admit I'm immature.

47. What was the best news you ever received? That we're having a baby! I broke that news to myself via a pregnancy test though, does it still count?

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular? Honestly (ha ha), it's not that hard. I don't really care too much about being unpopular. However, with friends/family, I do tend to withhold a lot of my opinions until I'm either asked or in the middle of an appropriate conversation about said opinion. If I am asked, though...well, you asked.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? I have a couple of blog friends that I immediately clicked with, does that count? In person, probably my husband.

50. When do you find yourself singing? When you least expect it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Picking bones, as usual.

+ I don't really like to talk about work much on here because I rarely have anything nice to say about it and I'm paranoid someone will find it and report me, but I have to say that if I owned a business and one of my employees was having a baby, I would absolutely bend over backwards to make sure that person was able to quit/take maternity leave without guilt. Now that I'm about three months out from leaving, I'm suddenly getting suggestions like, "You could keep working and just bring the baby with you!?" and "Are you sure you can't just work from home for like...a few extra months, just to get us over the hump of changing multiple software systems at once?" No, I cannot. Lack of planning on their know the rest.

+ On a related note, it honestly surprises me how much people assume you're going to continue working after you have a baby. I feel like the attitude has switched, and I'm sure a lot of it just depends on where you live (cultural norms and all that) but I have been bombarded with questions about which daycare I'm going to use, if I'm really going to take three whole months off or if I'm just going to take a month or so and then bring the baby to work with me, if I'm going to continue working from home, and so on and so forth. Not one person has asked or assumed that I'm going to stay at home with my kids, like it's just not done these days. SO 1940s, right?

+ Forgive me, but I do not understand those in-home ball pits everyone seems to be buying for their toddlers. Are ball pits nothing short of amazing when you're a kid? Obviously. But all I can think about are balls rolling all over my house, all the time, and just the thought gives me hives. Also, it makes a perfectly good living room look like Chuck E Cheese moved in.

+ I was booking tickets for a super short trip to Seattle at the end of the month, but since the trip is two weeks away, seats were ridiculously limited. As in, the only two seats together on the way down were in the last two rows of the plane, and on the way back, there were literally six middle seats left to choose from. I'm praying now that someone will either switch us seats or not show up because I have no desire to be squashed between two strangers at 27 weeks pregnant.

HOWEVER, I digress. What I discovered during this particular ticket booking process is that Alaska Airlines, as of last November, now charges $15 extra per passenger for the privilege of sitting in an exit row. Back in my day, the extra few inches of legroom was your reward for being first in line to help other people get off the plane if it crashed. Now you have to pay extra. I didn't think I could like Alaska Airlines any less than I already did, but apparently it's possible.

+ Amazon Pantry does not ship to Alaska. Jerks.

+ The free Welcome Box that Amazon sends you as soon as someone buys something off your baby registry also does not ship to Alaska. Double jerks.

+ My biggest confession of this entire blog post, and the one that I think will probably get the most people riled up...I am not a huge fan of, nor do I ever really use the Oxford comma. Granted, there are times I will use it, if a list is particularly confusing and really needs the extra clarification (and I don't feel like rearranging the sentence). But otherwise, I think I just see such prevalent comma misuse that any extra commas, even appropriate ones, are a huge eyesore. Please don't hate me. I'm just an AP Style girl living in an Oxford comma world.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

This post was made with love.

+ I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but it bears repeating here. Is it just me, or do baby onesies that say "Made with Love" seem awfully...awkward? It's along the same vein as people who announce their pregnancies with a photo of themselves holding a positive pregnancy test while sitting on their bed. Like...we know how you got pregnant and we know how that baby was made. Thanks.

+ I don't know how I didn't realize this until last night, but Netflix has actually added seasons two AND three of The Great British Baking Show. Commence the binging.

+ Target is a butthole. Sometime in the last few months they've apparently decided they aren't going to ship anything smaller/cheaper than furniture to Sitka. I don't have official proof of this, but the fact that I was able to order a crib and dresser but not a few maternity tanks and t-shirts without getting a "cart error" (that NOBODY there can seem to figure out) is highly suspicious. I also tested this theory by removing the clothing items and replacing them with food and toiletry items. Same error. Also suspicious is the fact that both my coworker and a random post office worker have both said they've been having the exact same issue since around Thanksgiving time.

+ Pet peeve: Sending a message to an Etsy seller about a custom order, and not hearing anything back. It's been three days and still no response. Maybe I'm overly anal about customer service, but if you own a small business, you need to make sure you're checking and replying to emails at least once a day.

+ Speaking of Etsy, I ordered a small plant (heartleaf philodendron) from a seller on there recently and it arrived yesterday. I had to pick it up at the post office, and printed on a giant green sticker across the top of the box were the words "LIVE PLANTS". Considering that marijuana is legal in Alaska, I wonder what the post office lady thinks of me now. I almost said "It's not a pot plant, I swear," but I wondered if that would look like protesting too much.

+ In music news, have you heard this Coldplay + Chainsmokers collaboration? Catchy, sweet, and two of my favorite bands. I'm obsessed and also so VERY tempted to preorder the vinyl album this song will be on.