Another year gone by

And here it is New Year's Eve of 2013.  This year flew by faster than any other - thanks to my pregnancy.  I never imagined on New Year's Day this year that I'd be sitting here at the end of the year with a four week old son.  It's still so surreal at times!

We did a lot this year even with the pregnancy.  Let's take a look back.

January - We finally got the couches my in-laws promised Nate years ago.  Checked out some of the new taprooms in our area and pretty much hibernated as it got cold.

February - Visited Winterfest, celebrated Valentine's Day at the new restaurant Louis in the upstairs of Cossettas.  Had our CD release concert for Praise Project.

March - Irished it up on St. Patrick's Day - maybe a little too much, ha ha.  Celebrated 15 years of being together as a couple on the 22nd.  Visited a winery in Wisconsin to celebrate and had a great dinner out at the Butcher and the Boar.  Sang with the choir at St. Stephens for Holy Week.  Went to Firkin Fest in St. Paul.

April - Celebrated my mom's birthday.  Found out we were expecting Oliver and as I have admitted, had a mild panic attack and chose to lay low most of the rest of the month.  We lost a huge tree branch in the backyard thanks to the late winter snow.

May - Nate went on a road trip with his beer buddies.  We saw Oliver on an ultrasound for the first time and announced to our immediate families on Mother's Day that we were pregnant and then to our friends at the end of the month.  Celebrated 7 years of marriage on the 27th.

June - I got to do my civic duty and served Jury Duty for two weeks - reporting in once.  We started receiving our CSA goodies on a weekly basis. 

July - We celebrated the 4th of July with Praise Project friends.  We traveled to Itasca with Nate's family for five days.  We helped some dear friends move into their first house.  We prepared for and then hosted a successful garage sale.  And we found out we were having a boy.

August - We went to the cabin with Praise Project, getting an extra day than normal and had fantastic weather.  We slowly started getting the house ready for baby but more so for starting Project: Replace front window.  We went to the State Fair.  We really started enjoying our weekly CSA share as most items were in harvest about this time.

September - The front window was successfully replaced over Labor Day weekend.  We went crib shopping and picked out/ordered the one we liked with my in-laws.  We registered for our baby gifts.  I found out that I unfortunately had Gestational Diabetes and learned how to manage it for the remainder of my pregnancy.  We went to our first Childbirth class on a Saturday.

October - Most of my showers were held this month - Nate's family, my family and my friends shower.  My mom and I went to see Josh Groban in concert again.  We opted out of Oktoberfest due to being so busy with the window project and baby prep.  We went to another class on coping with Labor.

November - We had another shower with Praise Project.  We attended three more child prep classes, this time focusing more on caring for our baby instead of the birth and delivery.  We celebrated our 32nd birthdays with a special movie treat at the big ICON theatre to see Catching Fire.

December - Oliver surprised us by coming 10 days before his due date - and we wouldn't have it any other way.  We had a great birth experience and were home and settled well before Christmas.  Celebrated his first Christmas with both sides of our families and have been adjusting to life as a family of 3.

It was quite a year and again, I say it every year, but how does the time go so fast?  It scares me to think that it will increase ten fold now that we have a child.  I already can't believe he's almost one month old.  He's outgrowing his newborn diapers.  I just don't want it to pass me by too quickly - so as always I just resolve to try and enjoy every moment of every day.  And I want to complain less.  I have so little to complain about when you look at the big picture.

Happy New Year to one and all!


Oliver's Birth Story

Finally getting around to writing this.  It's a bit long so I apologize for that!

I had been walking around with a backache most of the weekend of Thanksgiving weekend. I didn't think much of it figuring it was probably just late pregnancy discomfort. I also thought I had pulled a muscle getting out of bed.  We spent the weekend assembling baby gear and vegging at home - looking back I'm so thankful we did all of that!

Monday, December 2nd I started feeling a bit different and had this "I need to get things done" kind of feeling. Tying up loose ends at work, running last minute errands, etc. Ate dinner but wasn't all that hungry - which was odd. Went to bed and didn't sleep great because of my backache. Still didn't suspect labor, especially because it was a dull ache that didn't come and go.  I was also joking with people that there was a snowstorm coming so who knows, the barometric pressure change could maybe get things going.  I must have known more than I realized - maybe it was mother's intuition.

Tuesday morning I woke up with period type cramps but again wasn't sure if it was labor. I went ahead and went to work because of being close to the hospital and to home from there. I ended up with some bloody show (TMI - sorry) around 11:00 and called Nate to find out where he was knowing he could be anywhere in the Twin Cities for work. He wasn't far and we agreed that I would go home if things picked up in intensity. They did within the hour, so I headed for home by 12:30 to see if it was going to stall or become something more. I was contracting regularly but managing on my own until about 3:00, then I called Nate to come home, because I was starting to get a little panicky being on my own. He made it home and we labored at home until about 5:00. We were ready to call the hospital when our doula called us - we were supposed to have a pre-natal intake with her as she was assigned to us since we were doing a water birth, but we hadn't had a chance to meet yet, so her timing couldn't have been better. Nate talked to her and she thought I was probably still in early labor and said to call her if we wanted her to come over, otherwise she'd check on us later in the evening. Nate then called the L&D line just to check in, especially after a powerful contraction brought on a bunch more bloody show (sorry I know it's gross), we wanted to make sure it was normal. They said it was, we could come in then or wait. We decided to wait. After another powerful contraction I asked to see if the doula would come to the house. She said she was happy to and would be there in 15 minutes. It took her a little closer to 45 minutes because of traffic and in that amount of time I had almost decided I wanted to just go to the hospital, but after she arrived, she helped me get through another hour at home, she was amazing. At 7:30 she said she didn't want to pressure me, but wanted to know what I was feeling about going to the hospital - we didn't even realize it at the time, but I was starting transition here as I was beginning to vocalize more with each contraction. Knowing I could use the regular tub even if I couldn't be in the birthing tub yet I said I was ready to go (my contractions were mostly back contractions so the warm tub sounded awesome). Nate ate a little bit, the doula helped us load up the car and said she would call the hospital on our way. I had a few contractions in the car but they were manageable, that was the part I was most worried about. We made it to L&D by 8:00.

We checked in and as the nurse is asking me questions, I'm contracting very quickly so she said, "ok, we need to check your cervix now " So she checks and then says to me "let me ask you this, where would you like to be?" I said "I'd love to be a 7 or an 8, but I'm guessing that's not possible" And she says "I can give you that. You're an 8" I was shocked we had made it that far in only a few hours. At this point they were now in a rush to fill the birth tub so it would be ready when I was complete. It can take up to 45 minutes to fill the tub with a hose alone, but they started a bucket brigade to get it going faster. According to Nate,  I was smiling through my contractions at this point, guessing it's because I knew the worst was almost over. They got the tub filled in 25 minutes which was perfect, at that point I made it to 10 with a bulging bag of water. The doctor came in and asked if she could break my water because they really want to make sure it is free of meconium before you get in the birth tub, otherwise I wouldn't be able to deliver in the tub. The water came out nice and clear and they got me in the tub right away. I pushed for a hour and a half which really didn't seem bad, the time in between was very relaxing being in the water and they just let my body do what it wanted to do in it's own time. Finally Oliver's head started crowning, they had me reach down and feel because they all kept saying he had a ton of hair. At first I didn't want to, but I finally did and it was the motivation I needed, on the next push he was born. I pulled him out of the water and Nate got to cut the cord after a minute or so. They had me get out of the tub and let Nate do skin to skin while they delivered my placenta and stitched me up - I did end up tearing thanks to my son's 14" head. Otherwise everything could not have been more perfect - 7 hours start to finish, Nate was amazing through the entire thing and the hospital staff and my doula were amazing as well, they kept hanging out with us and thanking us for letting them be a part of our experience. We kept thanking them as well! We were moved into a recovery room by about midnight and spent the next 48 hours at the hospital before heading home as our little family of 3.

I never thought I'd be able to have a natural birth, but I'm so glad I went for it.  I think that one of the reasons Oliver has been nursing so well and has been pretty chill so far is thanks to his gentle birth.  I don't think any less of anyone who has used drugs in delivery though - if I hadn't been as far along as I was when I went to the hospital, I think I may have had to do so as well. Overall I just couldn't have asked for a better experience and I'd highly recommend trying a water birth to anyone and I also recommend getting a doula - she wasn't just a support for me, she was a huge help and support to Nate so he could be a good support for me.

Nate went back to work today and I'm sad he had to do so, but so far Oliver and I are managing well on our own!  I'm thankful to have six more weeks for my own leave.  I'm just going to eat up every minute!


And so it begins

Well.  What a weird and strange trip it has been.  Today was my due date.  Instead of being pregnant though, I'm enjoying life with my ten day old son.

I'm so little on time or really ambition to do it now, but I will try to write his birth story when I can, because it was amazing and special and I know I'll never completely forget it, but as the days go by I am already forgetting details, so I know I should do it soon.

Instead though, I am just eating up every moment with this special little boy.  I have realized that while I was hesitant for so many years to start our family - this is my calling.  This is who I was meant to be.  I look back on where I was last year and I realize that while I was very happy, there was a void, we were kind of just going through the motions of life.  Now I feel complete, whole and happier than I ever thought possible.  Is it all easy?  Heck no.  Is every minute totally blissful?  Nope, especially those trying to stay awake while nursing at 3 am moments.  But overall, I just can't even remember life without him. 

Much more to come soon.

Oliver Michael Kondrick
December 3, 2013
10:13 pm
7 lbs, 2 oz, 19 1/2 in long
100% pure love


November Recap

Well so long November.  I think it was the fastest month yet.  Wow.  I know life will seem like it's on high speed turbo crazy when the baby is here, at least that is what other parents tell me, so I guess it's a good lesson now to try and just slow down and appreciate every moment!

Here's my November Recap.

Books Read:
Slimed by Matthew Klickstein (in progress - cool book about the history of Nickelodeon)
Your Newborn Head to Toe by Cara Familian Natterson

Movies watched at home:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Behind the Candelabra
Free Samples
Get Shorty
The Birdcage

Movies watched in the theatre:
Catching Fire

On TV:
The usuals - The Walking Dead, Parenthood, Glee, HIMYM, Big Bang, started the Crazy Ones

Restaurants visited:
Burger Jones
Cooper's Irish Pub

Put myself on a bit of a ban, though broke it when I got a gift card for Target for my birthday!

Other adventures:
We survived taking both cats to the vet at the same time

Baby stuff:
Where do we begin? I'm 38 weeks now - baby's the size of a pumpkin (?!) and could theoretically come at any time.  In November we took a ton of classes - baby care, breastfeeding, CPR.  We also did a car seat install clinic.  Praise Project threw us our final shower.  At home we've been in the throes of final prep - getting all the gear unpacked and put together, washing and putting away clothes, cleaning house, decorating for Christmas.  I kind of feel like it's nesting, but it's also just my personality too.  If I had to guess I'd say we'll have him pretty close to the due date, but then again, the weather is changing this week so maybe that'll get things going sooner, you never know!  The mantra is still one day at a time, I'm trying so hard to stick to that and not panic.  I'm definitely over the small aches and pains of the end of pregnancy though, I can say that much!


32 and not too blue

So I will admit, I was feeling rather passive about my birthday this year.  I was thinking too much about all I can't do right now - no beer, no sweets, no fun shopping sprees for new clothes - and I wouldn't say I was throwing a pity party, but I was kind of like "eh" about my birthday.

But now that it's here, it hasn't been too bad all things considered.  Saturday Nate and I went to the ICON Showplace theater in St. Louis Park and enjoyed Catching Fire on the big screen in the 21+ VIP section.  It was the best experience, I want to do it again!  Comfy seats, lots of room, we shared a meat and cheese plate and Nate had some really good wine that I snuck a couple of sips of.  And the movie is phenomenal. They have outdone themselves from the first movie even.

Sunday we slept in and Nate made us delicious corned beef hash for breakfast.  We met up with Jes and she took lots of maternity pictures for us out in the frigid cold - but it was nice and sunny at least!  Then we compiled a list of returns for Babies R Us on duplicates we had received and decided to use our completion coupon on our registry for a few final things we wanted.  We came out pretty well all things considered on that!

We had mass with Praise Project late in the day, got stuck with a 6:00 mass at St. Stephens in Anoka, so that turned into a later evening than we usually like for a Sunday, but so it goes.

Today I went and got my free Caribou Coffee birthday drink and because my numbers for GD have been so good and even on the lowish side lately, I treated myself to my usual Vanilla Latte for the first time in weeks. It was heavenly!  The sweet baristas were trying to talk me into a medium, but I'm like, this is already a treat getting a full flavor shot in a small, that's OK.

And now I'm plowing through the workday, we're just laying low at home tonight, but Nate's making one of my favorite dinners.  Tomorrow we'll celebrate with our families.  I've been getting lots of love on Facebook and that always makes me feel good.

So big picture, especially as I look to Thanksgiving and count my blessings - I may be missing some of my favorite things that I like to enjoy around my birthday, but all things considered, it isn't too bad.  32 is going to be a pretty good year I feel too.  I think it will be eventful, but not quite in the same way 31 was!  Feeling my way through parenthood will be much different than being pregnant!  I'm ready though, bring it on!



And once again, I just haven't written as much as I wanted.  I have many things I wanted to write and may still do so if I can, but I guess if I don't get to them they're not as important as I thought right?

This will likely be a random thought post more than anything else.

So, in under a month I'll be someone's mom.  I know so many other moms who have talked about pregnancy going by so slowly, but man, I feel like just yesterday I was having that panic attack on the couch when the line turned pink.

I'm getting annoyed by the questions at this stage. "How are you feeling?"  "Are you nervous?" "Are you ready?" Let's see, I'm slowing down, but feeling decent.  I'm nervous but not scared.  I'm ready but yet I know you're never going to be truly ready.  And I've accepted all of that.

Every day my boss tells me "you've really popped out so much" and "Wow you really are close now."  Tell me things I don't know and also, do you think I'm about to deliver right here and now?  According to the OB at my last appointment just a few days ago - we're not looking at this little guy arriving anytime soon.  He's pretty snug and happy up there right now.

My birthday is next week and I'm feeling rather blase about it.  Yet, I'm excited for Thanksgiving and for what I am able to enjoy of Christmas.

And in things not related to pregnancy - I'm very disappointed in where this season's Glee has gone.  I'm torn about an upcoming special the Muppets are doing for Christmas because it's with Lady Gaga.  My new favorite show is The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams is hilarious.  I'm super excited to go see the new Hunger Games movie this weekend as an early birthday gift for Nate and I.  We're going to the big fancy ICON theatre.  I hear they have a gourmet meat and cheese plate - that sounds way better than popcorn to me!

Biggest mantra right now overall?  One day at a time.  It works people.  I'm not kidding.


October Recap

Another month gone by?  Seriously.  I do feel like we're getting a handle on things at home though so I guess it could be worse.  Anyway, onward to the monthly recap.

Books Read:
Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan
Birthing From Within by Pam Englund
Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke - still in progress
(do we sense a theme here?)
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Movies watched at home:
Lars and the Real Girl
This Is The End
Reservoir Dogs

Movies watched in theatre:
None - but plan to in November for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  It will probably be the last movie we see in the theatre before little guy gets here

On TV:
Finished The Sopranos and Orange is the New Black
Usual favorites - Modern Family, Parks and Rec, HIMYM, Parenthood, New Girl, etc.  The Walking Dead started again so we picked that back up

Restaurants visited:
Red Lobster
Barley Johns
The Bachelor Farmer
Five Guys
(not letting GD get me down!)

Hit up the Just Between Friends Baby and Kid Consignment sale with my mom and got a few items for both me and baby

Other adventures:
Saw Josh Groban with my mom, started cleaning and organizing at home more in prep for baby but also to clean up a bit in general

Baby stuff:
Took another childbirth class, finished cleaning out baby's room, set up the crib, had three showers with family and friends, starting to wash clothes and decorate.  We'll be 34 weeks tomorrow.  Getting closer to the homestretch.  I'll be having an ultrasound next week both because they do it for GD patients at this point, but they also feel I'm measuring small, so we're checking to see what's going on in there.  Applied for maternity leave.  Slowly crossing off my "to do" lists!


The good things

So yesterday was one of those days, I had a bad moment, I wrote it out here because sometimes that helps, but then I talked it out loud with my mom later and so I then came back and took it down from here.  It doesn't need to be here for the world to see.  Everything is much better today so that's all that matters.  The sun is shining and I'm feeling pretty good.

In the spirit of that I have decided it's finally time to highlight the highs so far of this pregnancy.  They would be as follows:

-Any time we've had an ultrasound.  It has helped me feel much more connected to this little being inside of me when I have actually been able to see him moving around on the screen.  My favorite was at one of the first trimester screens when they check for signs of downs syndrome or other disorders (fairly routine, though you can opt out) and he was moving around almost too much for the tech to get a scan and was even standing on his head at times.  The results still came back fine on that test in spite of his active craziness!

- Until the GD diagnosis, re-discovering my love for a good, real sugar soda.  No high fructose corn syrup for this gal.  I forgot how good an ice cold root beer can be though or how tasty real ginger ale is or even a cherry soda.  I didn't overdo it - that's not how you get GD by the way - but it was a nice treat now and then especially this summer.  I miss it a little, but actually since it's been colder it hasn't sounded quite as good now, so it works out!

- Finding out that he was a HE.  I pretty much knew from the start this was going to be a boy, I just had this feeling, but the day of the ultrasound was very exciting and we didn't have to wait long into the scan - they found his boy bits right away.

- People opening doors for you or offering to help with stuff.  Sometimes I don't like all the attention, but some days I get to work and my hands are full and having someone offer to hold the door just makes my day.

- Baby showers.  I had my mom's family's shower a couple of weeks ago, I have one with Nate's family tomorrow, one with my girlfriends next Friday and yet another one in mid-November with Praise Project.  This kid will be so spoiled, but we are so blessed.  I love it all.

- Interactions with the very kind and wonderful staff at my clinic.  They are seriously some of the nicest people from the front desk to the nurses to the lab and pretty much all of the OB's we've seen, save for the one who scared the crap out of us at the first appointment.  Obviously, I support Fairview as a place of employment, but I would recommend Allina to someone just based on the good experiences I've had.

- Maternity clothes.  Yeah are we surprised I'd find a positive in having shop for clothes?  I have enjoyed it simply for the fact that I challenged myself to find things at the consignment store and thrift store and have only bought a handful of things brand new.  And it's been kind of fun to dress the bump.  And PS - maternity jeans are so way comfy, I almost don't want to give them up after the fact!

- Feeling him move. It took longer for me to feel movement for the first time as my placenta is anterior - at the front of my belly so it acts like a cushion between baby and me. The moves felt odd at first but now I enjoy them.  I know he's doing ok and it makes me smile.  My favorite is watching it when I'm taking a bath or something - it's so crazy to see these ripples and pokes but I love it.  It makes me laugh.

- Strengthening my bond with Nate.  Seriously as I have said over and over - he has been my rock through this whole experience and I feel like we're closer than ever.  I have enjoyed our birthing classes because of how almost intimate it's been for us and this new journey is just so much more exciting and exhilarating than I ever thought possible and the baby isn't even here yet.  I know it won't always be easy, but I know we can do this as long as we are together.  I can't imagine loving him more than I do right now and yet I love him more every day as we get closer to this birth.  Yeah I'm sappy and mushy and whatever, but he is simply the best.

I'm pretty much in a good place right now.  I'm experiencing minor pregnancy discomforts that are typical of the third trimester - namely I have trouble getting comfortable and staying asleep at night - but those are so minor really.  I still can't believe I never was sick and that the worst of the worst was really getting GD - and even that hasn't been bad.  I hope this is a sign of things to come for motherhood as well, but I know you can only really go one day at a time, so that's my plan!


My GD story

So I mentioned I'd blog about the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows in this pregnancy.  Fortunately the lows have been few - once I got past the initial shock and weirdly dark place I was in when I first found out I was expecting, the lows really were nothing big.  There was the doctor that sent us into a blind panic when he couldn't find the heartbeat at 12 weeks, sending us for an ultrasound and having everything be just fine.  There was getting summoned for Jury Duty at the end of June and still being in the thick of my crazy hunger - but then not having to go in but one day and being released early.  There was the day I slipped on some collapsed boxes in the baby's room and kind of fell - thankfully not hard.  But for the most part, those are all pretty piddly things.  The low that brought my world to a crashing halt came about two weeks ago.

It's pretty much routine now that every pregnant woman is screened for Gestational Diabetes around the 28th week of pregnancy.  So I set my appointment up for the Tuesday of that week and while I wasn't looking forward to going in and drinking the 50g glucose drink because of horror stories I'd heard, I figured, I'll suck it up and do it and it's all going to turn out just fine.  I was almost a little cocky about it because I thought, I have a pretty darn good diet, this is going to be no problem.

So I showed up at 7:00 am on the day of my appointment.  I brought a straw at recommendations from others and they gave me the choice of orange or lemon/lime to drink.  I chose the lemon/lime and it was not bad at all, kind of like flat Sprite or 7Up.  I downed that sucker in about two minutes and then set about my 1 hour waiting time.  The time went pretty fast, I played Candy Crush and read a little and then I was called back for my blood draw.  After that was my routine OB appointment.  I saw my nurse practitioner and she pulled up my results and said "unfortunately, your blood sugar was a little high, and it's either pass or fail, so we'll have to have you come in and do the three hour test."  I was a little disappointed but after I got home I heard from so many people who were like "oh yeah, I failed the one hour, but passed the three hour"  So I thought, ok, this can still turn out all right.

I managed to get an appointment that Thursday, so only two days later.  In that amount of time I kind of did a sugar fast - which was really quite silly. I shouldn't have been trying to "cheat" that test.  I was also a little more apprehensive about the next test, they double the amount of glucose you drink from 50g to 100g and you have to fast the night before - so you're doing it on a completely empty stomach.  I knew more than one mom who reported getting sick from this test - and they still make you come back until you can keep it down.  Not to mention - you have to sit there for three hours and have your blood drawn four times.  We all know Beth does not do well with blood draws.  Thankfully my lab techs are quite awesome at this clinic, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I packed my laptop, my book, some snacks to eat as soon as I was allowed and planned to just take the whole day off of work in case I needed to go home and crash.  Once again I got to the clinic nice and early.  They took my blood right away and had no problem.  I was given my lovely drink once again.  It took a little longer to get it down - much thicker in this concentration.  But I downed the whole thing and the worst I ever felt was slightly lightheaded, but that was about it.  I sat in the waiting room and watched Dancing with the Stars on my laptop, played some games, did some Facebook and the three hours went faster than I thought they would.  I'm sure it helped that I had to go back to the lab once an hour for my blood draws.  The lab techs really were good though, they only had trouble getting a vein once, I was quite impressed.  At the last draw I asked if I would get my results via MyChart later in the day as I usually did - and the lab tech said "um, no, we'll have you wait in the waiting room and someone will be out to talk to you."  That was the first sign something wasn't right.

I had to wait way too long for someone to come out, but they were pretty busy that day.  Finally a nurse came and said "well unfortunately we do need to set you up with diabetic counseling."  At this point I pretty much knew that was the news.  She told me to wait and someone from scheduling would be right with me.  So now I'm kind of just trying to keep it together - my mind is in overdrive and I just wanted to talk to Nate.  I was able to meet with the scheduler who got me set up in the next available diabetic class, which sadly was a week away from that point.  She even complemented me on how well I was handling the news - I'm like, Lady if you only knew what was going through my head right now.

I practically ran to my car at this point and got Nate on the phone and as soon as he answered I was full out sobbing.  He couldn't understand me very well.  I know I was babbling about things that seem so pointless now but was all I could think about right then - no cookies, no orange juice, no apple pie.  He asked me to meet him for lunch so we could talk in person.  He's a smart man that one.  Of course after we talked he helped me see it was not my fault, it was nothing we couldn't handle and that it would only be for a couple of months.  He's a rockstar.

We blindly started following the dietary guidelines we could find online for the next week until I got to go to my class.  The nice diabetic educators were so awesome - again they stressed that while there are definite risk factors to getting GD, sometimes it's just that our hormones are wacky and don't know how to deal with the sugars from eating carbs.  They broke the diet plan down into a very simple regiment - basically showing how to spread your carbs out throughout your day.  They also taught us how to take our blood sugar which is not nearly as daunting as it sounds.

So, just one week in and I'm happy to report I'm doing very well.  I had a follow up visit yesterday and they said "your numbers are wonderful, keep doing what you're doing and you'll have a healthy remainder of pregnancy and a healthy baby!"  So I'm feeling good and confident and I know that I've got this.  And there are only 10 weeks to go until this little guy shows up.  It's totally manageable.  And I think this new diet has actually helped me feel pretty darn good too.

Moral of the story - what turned out to be the lowest low has somehow turned around to be kind of a high.  I'll take it.


September Recap

Well, well, another  month down!  The time is a flying my friends.  Here's my monthly recap.

Books read:
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Smart Mama, Smart Money by Rosalyn Hoffman
(one of these days I'll actually read fiction again!)

Movies watched at home:
Now You See Me
On The Road
The Big Year
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Movies watched in the theatre:

On TV:
Breaking Bad (watching the final one tonight!)
Orange is the New Black
Veronica Mars
Returning favorites: How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Parenthood, Modern Family, New Girl, etc.

Restaurants visited:
India Palace
Clauddaugh Irish Pub
Village Pub
Rye Delicatessen
Nelson's Cheese Shop

Visited 50% off sale days at the thrift stores over Labor Day weekend, picked out blinds for our new windows, though we haven't purchased yet.

Other adventures of the month:
Installed the new front windows over Labor Day weekend with the help of family and friends, golfed with my parents one Saturday, went to the zoo.

Baby stuff:
Currently 29 weeks, size is something around an eggplant I think.  We got our registry done at the beginning of the month and also went crib shopping with my in-laws and they purchased our crib.  Took our childbirth preparation class, have a few more classes coming up in the next couple of months.  Making lots of progress on the baby's room.  Learned I have gestational diabetes and have been controlling it with diet and exercise so far.  Also found out I'm rather anemic, so have started meds to help with that.  Feeling good about everything all around though!


Finding out

This is the part of our pregnancy journey that originally I said I'd never blog about.  I'm really not proud of how this went down.  But, in retrospect, from the much better place I'm in now, I feel like it's still part of the story and I really do want to remember the good and the bad.  And who knows, by sharing this, maybe I'll give someone else who may find themselves in my shoes someday a little bit of hope.  And if by chance my son ever sees this someday, I'm guessing by the time he's old enough to be reading he'll already know what a crazy, emotional lunatic his mom can be sometimes!  So here we go.

So you know on TV and in the movies there is usually this sweet scene between the husband and the wife when the wife says "honey I'm pregnant" and the husband is like "really?" And they cry and hug?  Heh.  Right.  I had brainstormed some ideas of how I would tell Nate and I wanted to surprise him and make it be special when it actually happened, but I also didn't think super hard about it because we still weren't truly "trying" all that hard so I figured I had some more time.

As I've shared we pretty much traced the, um, conception back to our anniversary.  Most women should get a positive pregnancy test about two weeks after said conception.  I had no clue for more like three weeks.  Looking back, there were tiny, little things that maybe should have been a hint that something was up, but at the same time, they could be written off as other things too.  For example, I had taken a few days off around Easter since I always have extra time to use - and one of the days I could not drag myself out of bed to save my life.  I also found myself getting hungrier than normal - and in fact after I knew I was pregnant it got rather extreme, something I later found out is actually another type of morning sickness believe it or not.  There was one night that Nate and I were having a small glass of scotch with some chocolate, and I normally really enjoy this particular type of scotch, but I was like "this tastes really off tonight, what is up with that?"  And finally, I was super overally emotional, but figured I was heading towards that time of the month and well, that's a common occurrence around that time!

So what convinced me that there was something different? Many early pregnancy symptoms and monthly female visitor symptoms are SO similar.  But the week leading up to when I finally took the test, while I keep feeling like that visitor was going to make her appearance, something did feel different.  I was crampy, but not in the same spot.  My whole lower half just felt kind of heavy.  It's really hard to explain, but it wasn't quite the same as what I usually felt.  And as the days progressed with no sign of Aunt Flo I started thinking maybe something wasn't quite right - but I was in some denial.  The night before I finally took the test was when Nate and I went to see Wits and I definitely had some beer that night.  I hadn't said anything to Nate yet, but even he says now when we look back, he could tell I was on edge that entire week.  I finally in my own head set the Sunday of that weekend as my deadline - if I didn't have my period by then, I'd take the pregnancy test.

But that Saturday I started really getting freaked out.  Nate was helping his parents shop for a computer and then they took him to lunch.  I remember that while he was gone, I made myself some lunch and decided to have a beer - not uncommon for me to do in those pre-pregnancy days.  I agonized over what beer to have as we had quite the assortment at that time and I think it's because somehow I knew that was the last beer I would have for a long time (if you're a beer nerd I chose Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA by the way, I took a picture of the bottle later on).  And let me tell you, I nursed that sucker.  I was barely through half of it when Nate got home.  He was going to do our taxes but before he sat down to do that, I finally told him I was worried about the fact that I still hadn't seen my monthly friend.  He asked if I'd taken a pregnancy test yet and I said no.  So he's like "Just take one, you'll feel better if you know."  I'm sure he thought there was just no way and that I was being irrational - especially since we'd had previous "scares" before that obviously turned out to be nothing.  I finally gave in, drank a ton of water and took the test.  And again, somehow I must have had more intuition than I thought, the entire five minutes I was waiting for the results I was completely shaking.  It was so weird.  Nate just set about doing our taxes like nothing was out of the ordinary.  The timer went off and I went to look.

Two. Pink. Lines.

I stared in disbelief for about 20 seconds.  Grabbed the test and went with shaking hands to Nate and said "um, I think we're going to have a baby"  And he said "really?"  And then I choked out "Oh my god" and immediately started sobbing.  Uncontrollable, I can't stand up, gut wrenching sobs.  I barely remember somehow ending up on the couch in the living room and Nate trying to tell me it would be ok.  I hate admitting all of this.  It was not pretty.  He convinced me we should pick up a digital test since the one we had was one of those cheapy guys.  We wanted to confirm it for certain.  So we stumbled to the drug store, bought one, headed home, lather, rinse, repeat as far as the testing went.  The result was immediate.  By now  I wasn't crying, but I went into a bit of a state of shock.  We both spent a lot of time in a complete daze the rest of that weekend I think.  Somehow Nate finished our taxes.  Somehow we went to have dinner with his parents and Ali and her boyfriend and even faked me drinking a margarita in front of them so they wouldn't know anything was up.  And I do remember going to bed that night and sleeping a very long time into the next day.  I'd love to say I woke up with a clearer head and immediately was excited but it wasn't quite like that.  It took time.  I think I spent a lot more time crying in those first couple of weeks than not.  So now you're wondering, when did I turn the corner and how the heck did I come out of it?

Well that's easy - you see that first sonogram and there is just nothing like it.  God bless modern technology, I'm not joking.  As soon as I saw him in there, that flickering heartbeat, it was like everything was going to be ok.  This was what was meant to happen.  This is not to say that I haven't had the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy since that point - but that was a huge turning point and from then on out I embraced everything about becoming a mom and I felt so much better.  The other thing that truly helped was when we could finally share our news with others.  We wanted to keep it quiet until the risk of miscarriage went away.  Once we could tell everyone it was another burden lifted, our families were overjoyed and our friends were so supportive.

I credit SO much to Nate for getting me through those dark days.  I truly lost myself for awhile. I really believe I may have been suffering almost a pre-part-um type depression.  And I most definitely would have sought help if it hadn't improved, but thankfully it did and he played such a huge role in that. He knew the right things to do, he helped take my mind of things when I needed it.  And of course that support has continued even after things were better.  He's been my rock.  He's going to be the most amazing dad.

From where I stand now, I do look back on those days with regret.  But it happened.  I can't deny that.  I also won't dwell on it.  At this moment I couldn't be more excited and just overall calm, happy and blessed. And really, that was the lowest of the low other than my gestational diabetes diagnosis - and that's the next thing I'll probably talk about and also start sharing the highest of the highs - as there have been so many now!


How did we get here?

Man.  I just have not been blogging much here.  I really wanted to blog more, to remember more about this pregnancy and share more and I just haven't done it.  I really couldn't say why.  And today we enter the third trimester and we're into the last chapter and I want to try to remember and record more.  I think I'll regret it later if I don't.  And yes, that includes the bad stuff even, like my gestational diabetes diagnosis yesterday.  I'll get to all of that soon - but I think to truly get the story documented from beginning to end, I should kind of explain how we got here in the first place.  I think it's good to look back and see the journey.  This could get lengthy so bare with me, but maybe it'll help everyone understand how we got to where we are now.

So as I've shared, we've been together 15 years.  And in those early years of dating, we used to imagine our future together, we talked about marriage and we talked about someday having kids.  We always said we'd have a boy and a girl, because isn't that how all idyllic daydreams work?  We used to give them names and everything.  We planned to be married immediately after college and to be done having kids by the time we were 30.  Yes, this was those blissful days of the late 90's/early 2000s, before 9/11, before the economic downslide.  We were pretty young and clueless back then.

Eventually we realized life doesn't always work out exactly as you plan it.  It took Nate a lot longer to get a full time job post college than it did for me, even though he finished his degree two years earlier than I did.  But he did finally get a job within the year after I graduated and while the dream fall wedding I always wanted didn't end up reality, we were able to be engaged by about a year after my graduation and then married after another year.  And we were blessed to be able to buy our house right away.  We figured even with a slow start, our life plan was still working out fairly well.  Getting married at 24 we figured still gave us time to at least have one child before turning 30 and still take a couple of years to enjoy life as a married couple.

Of course the first year of marriage was a little shaky - whose marriage is smooth sailing the entire first year anyway?  Nate losing his job a mere three months into our marriage was one of the most frightening things to ever have happen, especially when you just closed on your house.  But we still weren't planning kids in the first year no matter what, so it just kind of went in the "Someday" file for that time.  Thankfully that unemployment stint was short lived, he started contract work after only four months of being out of work. As we approached our first wedding anniversary things felt good and stable and I thought "we can wait awhile on the kids thing, why rock the boat now?"

Two things happened then that following summer after our first wedding anniversary (2007).  One of my friends from church had her first baby and I visited her and fell in love with her little guy.  And then suddenly we had a rash of people around us slowly start to become pregnant.  Somewhere in all of that I caught the baby bug.  I knew I didn't want to be pregnant until after Gina's wedding in the spring of 2008 though as I was the matron of honor and wanted to be able to fit my dress and be able to party and have a good time like we did at our own wedding.  But, I couldn't shake the desires I was feeling, so Nate and I had a conversation and decided, we'll spend the next 8-10 months starting to work on getting ready and as soon as that wedding is over, we'll start trying.  And you know that saying "We plan and God laughs."

I had everything falling into place and I was seriously ready - and then Nate lost the contract job he had. And while that had happened two other times previously, this time the agency didn't get him a replacement position.  Even with him calling and checking in with them, it was like they suddenly didn't want him any longer.  So he started looking for permanent work, which would prove to be a more daunting task than just pestering his agency.  It was the bottom of the economic downturn.  No one was hiring.  And due to that and other things around me - namely HUGE changes at our home church - I fell into a bit of a depression in 2008.  Early on during his unemployment we decided that I'd still quit my birth control pills because your cycles can take awhile to come back and we'd just use other means (TMI I apologize) to cover ourselves until he started working.  So we did and then the final nail in the coffin was learning I had some female problems that would not necessarily make my reproductive life easy.  And actually, I didn't learn this news until after he had started working again - but somehow during those months he was out of work, having a baby started becoming less important to me.  Those months took a strain on our marriage and so once Nate started at MasterSwitch it seemed at the time we needed to rebuild and reconnect with each other.  So poof, we stopped worrying about having kids at the end of the year.

I stayed off the pill and we just continued on our other forms of birth control and as time progressed I realized, my "must have kids before 30" timeline was really quite silly.  What was so special about the number 30 anyway?  And we finally settled into a comfortable life - one that I selfishly just wasn't ready to give up.  We started going with a one day at a time approach.  We simply decided, let's revisit this topic around or just after we turn 30.  There is nothing wrong with that.

The closer we got to that big birthday, the more I started wondering if we really should or needed to have kids.  We had a good life, we were fulfilled and happy.  And then Nate had his own rough year with work and stress and ugly stuff right around the time we actually did turn 30, so my focus was very much on getting him through that.  Shortly after his grandfather passed away in early 2012 we started talking about kids again though - truly, seriously talking about kids for the first time in a couple of years.  And it was becoming very clear, while I was feeling more hesitant - he was very much ready.  And I just wasn't sure that I was - or that I ever would be.  And that wasn't fair to him, it was always a part of the deal when we got together and got married that someday kids would be a part of the greater picture.  I will admit to being very selfish and sort of lost inside myself at that time.  But, he was right.  So very quietly without telling anyone - even my very best friends whom it killed me not to say anything to and I hope they will forgive me as I just really had to struggle through that time on my own - we decided to "not try, but not NOT try."  This was around March of 2012.  And again - I have female issues.  My cycles are WACKY.  And it seems the minute we decided to throw caution to the wind, they decided to be at their wackiest for awhile.  Which basically meant - again TMI here - I was on the rag more than I was off.  That isn't very conducive to making babies, I'll tell you that much!

So we just kind of had it in the back of our heads, but didn't stress about it too much and just kind of focused on enjoying our time together.  We had one what I will now call "scare" in October 2012, I was so certain that I was pregnant at that time, but it was just more wackiness.  After the 1st of the year I thought long and hard about it and I decided I didn't want us to be much older than about 32 or 33 before this actually happened.  We had planned to go to Duluth for a beer festival this July, so I told Nate, after that festival, we can start getting more serious about this trying business.  Deep down I was finally getting that motherly feeling back and I realized that I think it was something that I did still want for us.  And maybe coming to that realization and feeling peaceful about it is what allowed it to finally happen - ironically on our 15 year anniversary of being together.  I can't help but think that someone upstairs knows more than I do.

So that's the first part of the journey.  I will share more about what happened when we finally learned we were expecting - it wasn't all sunshine and roses which I'm a bit ashamed of now, but at least I know that this all has a happy ending - I am beyond thrilled and blessed and overjoyed at this little guy growing inside of me and that's the part that matters most now!



I posted this over on my fashion blog too, but for fun, I thought I'd also share here the before and after of our front window!  I'm super thrilled with how it turned out.  It's different and yet looks like it's always been there - it belongs!

Huge thanks to my dad, my father in law, Ron, and Dave for all their hard work on Saturday.  Nate and I appreciate it so much!  There will be more work to come, but Nate and my dad can do it at their leisure now.  And we've already picked out new window treatments that I'm very excited about too.  Bye bye ugly old lady curtains!!


August recap

Books read:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (in progress)

Movies watched at home:
21 and Over
Zero Dark Thirty
Shaun of the Dead

Movies watched in the theatre:
The World's End

On TV:
Breaking Bad
Under the Dome

Restaurants Visited:
Moonlight Bay (in Crosslake)
Manhattan Beach Club (in Crosslake)
India Palace
Barley Johns
Burger Jones
Izzy's Ice Cream

Bought a few things for baby, some more maternity clothes for me, nothing too major.

Other adventures of the month:
Spent a weekend in Crosslake with Praise Project, visited the Minnesota State Fair

Baby stuff:
25 weeks as of this post, baby is the size of a head of cauliflower, starting to feel much more movement.
Slowly starting to register for items, got shower dates on the calendar, registered for all of our needed classes, pre-registered at the hospital for delivery.  Continuing to mostly crave meat and about once a week a strong craving for ice cream.


A room with a view

So at long last, this weekend we are FINALLY replacing our front window.  This project has been in the works for almost three years.  THREE years.  I know, why did it take so long?

It all started when we painted the living room in 2010.  When we got to the portion under the window, we noticed some water damage and realized - crap, these windows leak.  It makes sense, they're old, and while that pop out style is cute, they just don't seal well.  They've always been rather drafty.

 For that moment, we just cleaned the wall mess up as best as we could, painted and left it alone.  We had bigger fish to fry in finishing the bar and other things that year and it kind of was forgotten for a little bit.  The winter that followed was a doozy as I'm sure many remember, but we sealed up the window with plastic and have done so each winter since, so that has helped minimize further damage.

2011 was just a bad year over all, hot in the summer, stressful at work and we just didn't take on any home projects.  And then I don't know what our problem was last year either, but it just didn't get done.  Maybe because of the sheer curtains I just kept ignoring that there was an issue because you really couldn't see it.  Or maybe we were just lazy.  It's probably the latter.

This winter we finally started talking about replacing it again when I started noticing more water leaking in more than just the one spot when I put up the Christmas tree.  I realized this was the year it just needed to happen.  So, my dad helped us take measurements and shop around a bit over the winter and into the spring, and in July we finally ordered a nice picture window with two double hung side windows that was delivered to us in the beginning of this month.  Then we just needed to find a free weekend to do the install - hah, free weekend?  What's that?

Seriously, this coming weekend was the first stretch with nothing going on we had so we jumped on it.  It's going to be hot, but it's going to get done.  No excuses.  Nate, my dad, my father-in-law and two very good family friends will be doing all of the work bright and early Saturday morning.  Old window out, new window in.  Best case scenario, everything goes well and they're done with the big work by early afternoon.  Worst case scenario...well, my dad has some back up plans, let's just say that.  But I'm staying optimistic this will go well.

In preparation, Nate and my dad took down some of the drywall around the window inside the house.  This stuff will be replaced and sadly I will have to paint again - but at least I still have a couple of gallons of the paint left from that 2010 project!  We will also put up new curtains - or maybe blinds - and the room will look completely different.  I am so excited for modern windows.  The cats will be able to sit in the windows and look outside too, they're going to love it.

I am really looking forward to the whole thing just being DONE too.  It's kind of all consuming.  My husband, God love him, can only really focus on one project at a time - so I'm glad this will be over so we can get back to this other big project - you know, planning for baby's arrival?  One day at a time, we will get there!


He deserves a metal

I need to just take a second and talk about how awesome this man up here is.  My wonderful husband - he seriously deserves a metal for all he's done for me so far in this pregnancy.  

I'm blessed to have been feeling good physically - but there are days where mentally and emotionally it just hasn't been all that great.  Let's just say some days my hormones are like PMS on steroids - and it is SO out of my control which I dislike.  And he puts up with it all.  I know at times I haven't been easy to live with - and yet he doesn't complain one bit.

Instead, he just hugs me when I need it, backs off if I want space and does his best to keep me in good spirits and laughing.  He seems to know just the right thing I need even before I do - something he was good at even before I was pregnant, but he's been doing awesomely with now.  And he's pretty much figured out if all else fails, the answer is ice cream.

He cooks us dinner pretty much every night now.  On days I'm in a good place/mood (and there have been many, don't get me wrong) I help him.  I joke that he's the chef and I'm the sous chef.  Other days if I'm just tired or not in the mood, he just cooks and I keep him company.  On rare days I don't even want to do that, he doesn't complain if I just sit in the living room playing Candy Crush.  It isn't the worst case scenario for him, he loves to cook and experiment with recipes.  Sure it might mean we eat a little later, but I always have a snack when I get home from work so it isn't so bad.

Another thing I appreciate so much is that while this baby has become a big part of our daily life - he also works hard to not treat me differently.  We talk about other things, we keep up with our regular activities - he treats me like ME.  He doesn't treat me like an invalid.  I have come across a few others who treat pregnancy like it's a disease or a condition.  I'm not an egg, I won't break.  I am not going to do something stupid and harm my baby, but I don't have to live in a bubble.  He doesn't make me feel like I'm in a bubble. He keeps things pretty much business as usual.

Last night I was tired and cranky and getting ready to go to bed and kind of grumbling as I got off the couch.  He came over and jokingly said "are you ok?  Do you need my help?  Do you need to eat for three? (the whole "you're eating for two" thing is a pet peeve of mine)"  And I just started laughing because it was all so tongue and cheek.  He just knows the right things to say and when and I just love him for it.

So anyway, he just deserves a shout out and a metal, I kid not.  I know if we can get through this together, we're going to get through parenthood together too.  He's a rockstar.



So we're about to embark on another extended weekend getaway.  It's our annual cabin trip with Praise Project and I'm really looking forward to it.  For once it sounds like we should have outstanding weather.  I suppose that is the difference by going one month earlier than normal!

Next week will be another short one so we can go to the Minnesota State Fair.

But then that's it.  No more time off save for a few doctor's appointments and holidays until the baby comes.  It's almost a little surreal.

It also brings to the forefront just how much I still need to get done.  Especially knowing we're past the halfway point now.

We have registered for our classes and I even got myself pre-registered at the hospital for the delivery - so those are big things that are done.

But we need to complete a registry.  We need to finish cleaning up that room.  I really want to de-clutter the house some more because Lord knows I won't want to do it after he arrives!

And there are other things looming - installing a window, repainting a wall in our living room, planning and throwing Oktoberfest....

I want to make sure too that Nate and I are taking time for the two of us as much as possible while we still can.  We were doing a pretty good job earlier this summer, but we're falling off a little bit as other things have been getting in the way.  Much of it has been good.  But I just don't want to get to December and wish we'd done more.

So, that's where we are.  I think this weekend will be good.  I think we need a little time to re-energize and just kind of forget about the other things right now.  And then we'll be more focused and ready to take it on when we get back.  It'll be on like Donkey Kong.


July Recap

July recap already?  Really?  Whoa.  This month really flew by.  Between vacation and garage sales and baby things and just man.  Anyway, here's my monthly recap - at least what I can remember of it.  My preggo brain is starting to kick in a bit!

Books Read:
Eternally 21 by Linda Joffe Hull
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Family Ties by Danielle Steel
(I read fluff in the summer, can't help it)

Movies watched at home:
The Burt Livingstone Incredible
The Thin Man
Donnie Darko
Warm Bodies
Movie 43
10 Years

Movies watched in the theatre:
Uh yeah, what's that again?

On TV:
Under the Dome
So You Think You Can Dance
Hollywood Game Night

Restaurants visited:
True Thai
La Casita
Tasty Pizza
West Forty Cafe (in Itasca)
Rocky's Pizza House (in Itasca)
Bar La Grassa

Bought a sweatshirt in Itasca for me, bought a t-shirt and a onesie at Itasca for the baby, bought our first baby item - an infant seat/swing combo, bought a couple of more maternity items because I'm weak and can't resist sales, bought supplies for the garage sale, ordered the front window that will be replaced very soon

Other adventures worth noting:
Spent four days in Itasca State Park with Nate's family, golfed both up there and once down here, cleaned stuff out for our garage sale.  Did the mini golf at the Walker Art Center, very fun.  Experimented with our cooking now that we're receiving CSA goodies once a week.  Visited the St. Paul Farmers Market as well.

Baby stuff (new category I thought I'd start entering): currently 20 weeks and four days, baby is the size of either a banana or cantaloupe depending on what app you use, we found out he is a HE, he is doing well, I'm still not feeling much movement thanks to an anterior placenta, we've bought a couple of things (see above), slowly starting registries and talking baby showers.


Everything's coming up blue!

So we announced to our family and then Facebook friends on Friday that we are having a BOY.  I'm excited.  I think a lot of people were thinking I'd be disappointed - that I'd want a daughter because I'm such a girly girl.  I think five years ago that was very true, I used to think I'd be devastated if I didn't have a girl someday.  I don't feel that way so much anymore.  Right now the only thing I'm disappointed about is the girl's name we may never use because I still feel in my heart we are likely one and done.  And even if we weren't - there are still no guarantees we'd have a girl with the second either.  Anyway, I'm babbling, but I'm truly happy about this, he's going to be a sweet boy and loved so very much by so many.  I can't wait to meet him.


Vacation brain

We're on vacation next week.  And it's currently 1:30 in the afternoon on the Friday before Vacation Week.  Yeah, you can see where my brain is right now!

It just couldn't come at a better time honestly.  Things are fine but at the same time my brain is just swamped with stuff.  Too much stuff.  I just need a reprieve.

I feel like I haven't been documenting this pregnancy enough - but thankfully it's been so uneventful, there hasn't been all that much to say.  I'm 18 weeks today, two more weeks and we'll know what we're having.

There is so much at home to be done, thankfully our garage sale is a week after we get back.  Though there is much to do to get ready for that, but I just keep telling myself it will all fall into place.

Work is interesting these days and is about to get more interesting when my boss has her second knee done in August.  I'll be flying solo again for a bit.

Beyond that I have nothing.  I just don't find the motivation to blog as much anymore, some days I'm even losing steam on my fashion blog and that makes me sad.  I think I just really need this vacation!

Three more hours and then I'm free!


June Recap

Books read:
Notes from the Crib by Risa Green
The Panic Free Pregnancy by Michael S. Broder (no I haven't been panicking, but this is an interesting read)

Movies watched at home:
Promised Land

Movies watched in the theatre:

On TV:
Arrested Development
Many of the others listed in previous posts.  We have been making a huge effort in the last week or two to turn off the TV and play cards or sit outside more.  It's been really nice.

Restaurants visited:
Athens Cafe
The Village Pub
Barley Johns
Clauddaugh Irish Pub

Some thrift shopping for maternity items at Savers
Clothes Mentor annual 50% summer clearance


Some updates

I had my 16 week OB appointment yesterday.  Everything is looking great.  We set up our 20 week scan and appointment for July 24th - and we'll finally get to find out boy or girl!  I can't wait.  Four more weeks.  It seems like a long time, but time has been flying by pretty fast these days.  And we have our wonderful Itasca trip to break up the month so I think that will be a wonderful distraction!

We're a little behind where I'd like to be with stuff at home, but the storms over the weekend kind of put a wrench in stuff.  We did take in some water again - blah.  After purchasing the THIRD dehumidifier we've owned since being in this house, we finally have things dried out again.  We'll be addressing the area of the lawn that keeps causing this problem very soon I think.

Our final golf session is this weekend.  Not going to lie - I'm glad.  I'm just not feeling golf this year and it has nothing to do with being pregnant, I am just finding my interest in it waning just a bit.  I'm thrilled that Nate loves it now and I hope he'll get a chance to go with my dad a few times because it's a good activity for them to do together.

We're slowly moving forward on Project:Replace Front Window.  Final measurements are being taken this week and then we'll order it.  We may have to wait a bit for installation yet, but at least the wheels are in motion.

Nate bought us a rug for the baby's room at a garage sale.  It's really a nice one.  We'll be spending some time in July getting ready for our own garage sale finally.  And then I can start really working on that room come August which is awesome.  I'm feeling a little less panicked about all of this stuff anyway.

Nate also brewed his first batch of beer in quite awhile this past weekend.  It is a clone of a beer called Zombie Dust.  We can't get that beer in Minnesota, but he got some on his Chicago trip.  We are still planning our annual Oktoberfest.  Not going to let being pregnant stop us from having a little fun, especially one last big hurrah before the baby comes.  I am hoping to hold said event in earlier October this year, maybe even late September, but it'll depend on how much beer Nate gets brewed and ready and when.

So, that's where we're at.  Kind of going one day at a time and feeling good.  Just enjoying where we are in the moment.  Sometimes that is all you can do!



So yesterday ended up being just what the doctor ordered.  I was required to report for Jury Duty, which at first I thought was going to be just awful, but then kind of came to terms with it.  Got to the courthouse, went through the orientation, hung out in our waiting area.  Then the Judge comes in and says "well, sometimes just the act of bringing you folks in is enough to get both parties to settle."  So we were free to go for the day.  At only 9:45 am.  I had arranged to be away from work for the whole day, so guess what I did?

I had a Me Party.

I stopped at TJ Maxx in Riverdale to see if they had any good maternity clothing - yeah that was a joke.  There was a Motherhood Maternity store near TJ Maxx but I resisted the urge to go in there - I knew everything would be expensive and I'm trying not to break my budget on this pregnancy.  Then I remembered there was a new Savers that had opened near Northtown.  So I swung over there.

I had a hard time finding their maternity section, so at first I looked at some size large drapey type shirts.  And then I found the rack.  Motherload, literally, ha!  I bought capris and four more shirts.  And only spent about $20.  Not bad at all.

Headed to my mom's to show her what I bought and also to eat her food, since that is what I'd have done for lunch on a normal workday!  My aunt Michelle came and gave me a present - cute little onesie that says "Established in 2013".  Second baby gift we've received and it's way cute.

Went home then and caught up on laundry (so exciting I know) and then played an hour's worth of Mario Party on the Wii, because I'm a giant nerd and have been in the mood to play it for quite a while.  I decided to head upstairs and considered going on a second walk for the day because the sun was out, but then got caught up on something on my phone and then the sun went away...and then I took a nap.  Darn that comfy living room couch that just sucks me in!

After that, I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, put away some more laundry and waited for Nate to come home.  He grilled us some delicious juicy lucy's for dinner and we watched a bunch of fluff TV.  Oh and in the midst of all that I called the jury line after 4:30 as I was instructed and learned I would not have to go in again today.

So anyway, I am so glad that I ended up with a day like that.  I think I just really needed it.  As I've said before, I'm soooo unbelievably blessed to be feeling physically quite good with this pregnancy, but emotionally there have been some tough days.  I think it's because right now our June is just so crazy packed with stuff.  Nate even said it yesterday morning, we really don't have a weekend at all this month.  Part of that is kind of our own fault, we shouldn't have signed up for golf lessons with a jammed packed June.  Fortunately, July is going to be fantastic.  We have an entire month off from Praise Project - and while I love and am so fulfilled by being a part of that group, I just need a break.  And then we have a week vacation in the middle of July and we'll be spending most of it in Itasca with Nate's family again.  I do want to have our garage sale at the end of July, but just having a bit freer of a schedule, especially on weekends, I think it will be do-able and far less stressful.

August isn't looking terribly bad either.  So really we just have to get through the rest of this month and then I think we'll really start enjoying summer - that is if summer ever really gets here!  At any rate, I think after having my day yesterday, I can survive the rest of this month.  Happy mama=happy baby.



I'm having one of those days.  "One of those days" before I was pregnant could usually be remedied with a beer and a burger after work. Obviously that is not the case anymore.  And having "one of those days" with extra hormones attached is not the most fun either.

I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm grouchy.

But then when I get home and I go to the fridge to get a non-alcoholic something or another to quench my thirst or try to replace the beer with and I see our ultrasound on the door from our 12 1/2 week scan and it makes all the yuckies go away.

I can't wait to get home tonight so I can be reminded once again why this is all worth it.  I need that little picture today.


May recap

May ended up being a more exciting month than April.  April we were keeping very quiet about our baby news since we didn't know how far along we were and I didn't see the OB until May 1st.  In May however we got an ultrasound, heard the heartbeat and slowly started sharing our news.  We told our families on Mother's Day and I wouldn't have it any other way - the excitement all around made it the best day ever.

I was starting to feel more like myself again too, so we started getting back into our routine of going out every now and then and doing fun things.  Nate also took a short trip to Chicago with his beer group, a trip I am still super jealous of and hope we can duplicate someday even if we have our tiny person tagging along.

So, here's my May recap:

Books read:
Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
Notes from the Underbelly by Risa Green

Movies watched at home:
Safety Not Guaranteed
One For The Money
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Movies watched in the theatre:
Still none

On TV:
Veronica Mars
The Sopranos
The Goodwin Games
Family Tools
Finished Parks and Rec (still sad about this, can't wait for the next season)

3 Squares
The Village Pub
Burger Jones
Red Lobster

Did some Clothes Mentor Memorial Day shopping at a buy one, get one 50% off sale - snagged a few maternity tops and pants.  My clothes still mostly fit, but are starting to get snug, so it's just a matter of time.


My new normal

So - I've made it known to almost the rest of the world now - Nate and I are having a baby.  It's still so strange to say out loud.  We were definitely taken by surprise with this news, but we're very excited.

I won't lie - in the beginning it was an adjustment.  I am a rather high strung individual - shocking I know - and I was kind of blindsided by this even though (TMI) we kind of decided a while ago to kind of not really prevent pregnancy any longer.  We also weren't exactly tracking things either, so I guess we weren't hardcore trying - kind of playing a game of Russian Roulette with my reproductive system.  I read my body fairly well and kind of knew times to avoid if I was really concerned.  And there were definitely times that I was like "no, I can't get pregnant right now, if I do, I can't go to Winterfest" or "If I get pregnant right now, then this winery visit is not going to happen."  And now I think I sound like an alcoholic!  But anyway, it kind of worked for awhile.  And then our 15th dating anniversary happened and well - again with the TMI here - but I guess we gave each other the gift of a lifetime.

A week or two into April I realized that my monthly calling card just wasn't showing up and started to stress out a little.  My cycles are not exactly normal, so it wasn't uncommon, but something just felt...off.  I told Nate about it and he was like "just take the darn test, you'll feel better when you see there's nothing going on."  And so I did.  Surprise!

We took some time adjusting to our new normal.  And I realized something.  The phrase "the more you want things to stay the same, the more they change" is very true.  And not in a bad way.  Change is good.  Scary, but good.

I just feel so blessed - our family and friends have been so supportive and showering us with love and good wishes.

I used to joke that my biological clock was on daylight savings time - but it's finally caught up to me and now that it's upon me, I'm ready.  I'm happy and delighted and cannot wait to meet this tiny human when it shows up come December.  My world is already different, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

(I'll still post a May recap, but felt this warranted it's own post)


April Recap

April was...a month.  Let's just say that.  There has been a lot going on in our home, not all of it good, but we take each day at a time.  Due to some of these events my monthly recap is going to be pretty sparse and boring, but here it is nonetheless.

Books Read:
Second Shift: A Silo Story by Hugh Howey

Movies Watched at Home:
A Prairie Home Companion
Hit and Run
No Strings Attached

Movies watched in the theatre:
None, but we went to Wits at the Fitzgerald Theatre

On TV:
Veronica Mars

The Anchor Fish and Chips
Dangerous Man Brewery
612 Brew

Stella and Dot open house at Lindsey's
Shoes and sandals from DSW and Clothes Mentor thanks to my mom



I have found myself really broadening my horizons when it comes to food as of late.

I have learned to love sushi - to the point that I crave it now.  I was never that girl until 2013 apparently.  Or maybe it helps that I was introduced to an awesome sushi place that has a decent all you can eat lunch so you can try multiple things (thank you again JL).  All I know is, sushi is awesome.

It's baby steps - but last night Nate made us BLT's for dinner.  And I actually ate one with the L and the T on it!  I still do not want lettuce on my tacos or burgers - but I may get there with some sandwiches.  At any rate, I enjoyed the BLT and I can't wait to have one again.

I've had the chance to have charcuterie platters at several different restaurants this year.  Again, due to texture, there may be things on these plates I might have passed up in the past, but not anymore.  And now it's one of my favorite things to find on a menu - not to mention, it's an easy thing for Nate and I to share.

It might be from all the different beers we drink now instead of sweeter drinks - but I have found a real appreciation for a good oaked chardonnay.  I used to shy away from these, but I like enjoying a glass with some good smoked meat and cheeses.  Makes a pretty good pairing.

I don't know.  I still don't think I'm a true foodie, but I'm finding more and more I want to stray from the normal, same old all the time.

That being said, I still love my grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch every Friday.  Just call me Sheldon (Big Bang Theory).



Shocking - here is an actual post of substance!

So it was an up and down week.  It started on Easter Sunday.  I woke up nice and early and planned to make us some cinnamon rolls as a little Easter breakfast before having dinner with my parents later in the day.  Before doing that however, I set up to clean up the kitchen a little bit as it was a mess from Nate making his hrutka (Russian egg cheese) the day before.  I started running water in the sink to do dishes and then saw it was draining really slow - figured the disposal needed to be run.  I start running the disposal and now water is backing up into the other side of the sink - ew.  This has happened before, we get little clogs every now and then and just need to clear them, so I told Nate I needed his help and he came in to start attempting to de-clog the sink.

But this time was different - no matter what he did the problem just got worse and worse - and then we discovered that it was now backing up into the laundry room tub.  So, we figured out, it had been nearly 7 years since we'd had our pipes drilled out to the street, so we needed to have the plumber come out and do that for us.

We still managed to make a nice breakfast - we just ate on paper plates and conserved as many dishes as we could.  The front half of the house wasn't affected, so showering and what not was no problem.  We had a nice meal with my mom and dad and came home to catch up on TV shows I'd missed while singing for all three Triduum services.

Monday I called our plumber first thing and they were able to have someone out to the house first thing - which was awesome, but then I was scrambling to call my mom to get her over to meet them!  She was thankfully able to do so at short notice (we had given her a little heads up on Sunday anyway).  I had left a signed check for her to give them and told her to call me when they were done so I'd have the total amount - and also to know if I should go to her house for lunch or mine.

I worked and caught up on being away from my office for two days and waited and waited to hear from her.  And it was almost 11:15 and I hadn't heard anything yet - thought that wasn't a very good sign.  So I called mom's cell - she was en route to her house - but now my dad is over at my house (he was off of work and returning home from a routine doctor appt and saw they were still there, so had stopped at my house) because there was a snag - not our fault or anything we'd be paying for, but the plumber lost part of his auger in our piping.  So he had to go back to his office and get a hook and a camera to send down and try to find it.  Ok fine, we're not responsible for this piece to that's ok.

I met my mom at her house for lunch and am happily enjoying leftover ham and potatoes and then my dad calls.  He says to me "Well this isn't your day"  I'm like "crap.  What happened now?"  Apparently when the plumber sent the camera down he discovered an issue we will need to deal with sooner rather than later - part of the pipe by the street is starting to separate and if it collapses, we'll end up with water backing up and causing problems.  This is something that just happens sometimes due to age and especially with our rapidly changing MN climate - cold, hot, cold, hot, pipes don't like that.  My dad continued to tell me "The bad news is you're looking at possibly as much as $3500 for the repair - they're going to have to dig up your yard and worst case scenario, they may have to remove the tree from your front yard."


The more we talked though my dad assured me it didn't have to be fixed THAT DAY, we have time to comparison shop for quotes on this and that from my dad's best estimate, the tree is far enough back in my yard that it should actually be ok, he thinks the plumber was misjudging.  So, he said I should talk it over with Nate and let him know if we had questions and we'd go from there.

Uffda.  So Nate and I talked and agreed we'll get some other quotes on this and see what we can do this summer.  I have another plumber from a trusted source to call.  We also talked to Greg and Marie (our Praise Project director) because they just had this done at their house a couple of years ago.  I guess that is about what they paid too, so I am just guessing it will be expensive no matter what, but I'm hopeful it won't be too bad.

So yeah, it's ugly but we're just going to go one step at a time.

The rest of the week involved roller coaster moments - some of feeling abundantly blessed in my friendships, some of fear because of things going on at my place of employment (if you've seen the news you probably know why) some of self doubt thanks to something stupid with my fashion blog (I'm over it now though) and some of pure fun with Nate - a rare weeknight date night last night which was just too fun.

So there's my long story.  I don't know that it's terribly interesting, but I thought it would explain some posts I'd made earlier on FB to those who were curious.



March Recap

Well, hello there April.  How nice of you to sneak up so quickly.  Now did you bring your friend Spring along too?  We'd sure to love to see her!

Seriously, March did fly by.  Here's my monthly recap.

Books read:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (yep, I'm now reading the books thanks to the movie watching)

Movies watched at home:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Monty Python The Life of Brian
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Movies watched in the theatre:

On TV:
The Walking Dead

Restaurants/bars/wineries visited:
The Butcher and the Boar
Chateau St. Croix Vineyard
Pizza Luce

Broke my ban a little early - bought a dress and two bags at a vintage sale and also bought a sweater and a necklace at a little boutique

That's kind of it.  March was a bit busy with church stuff so it didn't leave much time for anything else.  Hoping April is a little bit calmer!



So time.  It really does pass in a blink.

Nate and I will be together 15 years this Friday.



I have spent nearly half of my life with this man.  It's mind blowing.

I remember when we were young, time seemed to pass so slowly and I wanted it to hurry up and go faster so we could be married already and have our house and 2.5 kids and a dog and a white picket fence, etc.  Somewhere along the way time sped up and the road map changed a bit, not in a bad way however.

And now here we are and I LOVE where we are and yet time seems like it moves faster with each passing day.  And I wish it wouldn't.  I try my best to savor every single moment.  I wish with all my heart sometimes that we could just freeze time for a little bit.  But I know that's not possible either.

This journey has been such a gift to me so far and I know that it will continue to be that way as the years continue to go by.  My goal is to just keep taking it as it comes and stopping to appreciate the moment as much as I can.  I don't know where the journey will go next, but I certainly have no regrets so far at the stops we've made along the way.  As long as we're together we can weather any storm and chase any rainbow.

I don't mean for this to sound down or melancholy-like.  I just find myself especially retrospective on this anniversary this year.  Maybe it's the fact that as of late I've observed the power of how precious love is, how precious life is and how in just the blink of an eye those things can be forever changed and taken away.

So time.  Slow down a bit so I can appreciate just how blessed and lucky I truly am.  It's not something I take for granted even for a second



February Recap

Yikes, I posted nothing in February.  I really actually planned to and it just didn't happen.  Anyway, I am here again to do my monthly recap!

Books read:
Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox
First Shift: A Silo Story by Hugh Howey

Movies watched at home:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Wait Until Dark
Back to the Future Part III

Movies seen in the theatre:
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook

On TV:
The Americans

Thrifted a sweater, skirt and pair of pants early in the month, now on a shopping ban

Food and beverage:
Akita Sushi
The Happy Gnome
Louis Ristorante
612 Brew


January Recap

Here's my monthly recap.  I kind of like this kind of post.  Hard to believe February stars tomorrow!

January Recap:

Books read:
When It Happens To You by Molly Ringwald
Wool Book Five by Hugh Howey
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenger (in progress still)

Movies watched at home (criteria for this is movie I've never seen or movie I haven't seen in years):
Jackie Brown
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Forrest Gump
Pitch Perfect

Movies in the theatre:
Still none, hoping to get out to one this weekend so there will be one in the February recap!

On TV:
Amish Mafia (yes this is a thing.  It's awful and yet we can't stop watching)

Food and beverage:
Dangerous Man Brewing - grand opening
Pour Decisions Brewing - special releases
Nye's Polanaise Room

NONE!  Can you believe that?  I mean yes, I bought groceries, etc, but I did no shopping (like clothes and such) for myself.  It was not on purpose, it just worked out that way!


Couch swapping

Ok, so cute kittens aside, in the photo below is a couch in my house I hate.  I have always hated it, though when we first got it, Nate was living in his apartment and the couch he had prior to this one was worse - so we just went with it.  Especially because it was free.99.

It made it's way to our house and lived in our basement for awhile until we rearranged the living room upstairs and needed more seating.  It was always my intention that we would replace it at some point because I really do not like it.  The back is too low, the cushions pop out anytime anyone sits on it - even tiny skinny people - and the floral pattern just leaves something to be desired.  But seeing as we still have big home projects (some of which we are starting this spring, yay!) that need more of our attention and money, new furniture hasn't been high on the list.

Well, my generous wonderful in-laws are replacing the set they have in their family room and had long ago promised it to Nate if they ever did - so, we'll soon be the proud owners of a new to us couch and love seat in far better condition than the stuff we have.  And the set will even look nice in our living room.  I cannot wait.

Bye bye you awful junky couch.  But kitties, you stay.  You'll love the new stuff, I promise.



I found this post today I started back this summer - and never finished and posted.  It was some quotes I found on Pinterest that were inspiring and making me feel better on a not so good day.  I don't remember why I never posted this.  

I had a good weekend, but it was tainted by a few things that made me feel less than good today, so when I came across this post and re-read all these quotes, I realized I needed to hear them today and decided I would share this post finally. It's helped me feel a little bit better.

I think I've talked a bit about Pinterest a little bit before.  I am not quite as addicted to it as I was when I first started using it, but I do still love pinning recipe ideas, clothing ideas and lately, inspirational quotes I don't want to forget.  I wanted to share a few I've been reflecting on lately.  All of these were found on Pinterest and there are links to the original pieces from the Pin.  I do not own any of these.

I have found myself slipping a bit in my pledge to be a better and less cynical person, probably due in part a little to my falling off of She Reads Truth a bit, but also due to other things in my world that were causing me to slip down into a darker place and I just don't want to be there.  So I love this quote.  I want to be happy and I choose to be happy.  I don't want to be made to feel bad for being happy.  As Phoebe from Friends says "Get out of the bitter barn and play in the hay."  I'm going to play in the hay.  And in light of what happened in Colorado last week - life is definitely too short to not be happy.  (*author's note, this was originally written in late July 2012, same feelings apply even stronger now after what happened in Connecticut*)

I loved this one, my mom and I joke about how our family is kind of good at the holding a grudge thing, it's kind of in our blood, you just don't mess with the Millers I guess.  But at any rate, I really take this one to heart as I have had my feelings hurt a couple of times in the last month or so, but I'm just not going to dwell on it.  My head space is my head space and does not belong to anyone else!

Sometimes I feel judged or like I am not doing enough for a given situation or that I don't matter - I think that's human nature, we all feel like we are not good enough.  Well guess what?  You are enough.  I am enough.  We are all enough.

And this last one makes me smile - I do live in the moment as much as I can, but cookies do help when the moment kind of sucks.  It's funny.

I'm really glad I found this post today and I hope to come back to this whenever I'm having a bad day or even a bad moment.  These are good thoughts to reflect on and I hope they inspired you as well.