Monday, January 31, 2011

snow panic

I moved away from Minnesota for reasons like this. The 10-14 inches of snow forecast. The 40 mph winds. The -20 degree temperatures. The dramatic statements like "...making travel extremely dangerous if not impossible."

Before you Minnesotans get all snotty about how you are used to this and it's no big deal, remember that this region had an ice storm a few years ago that knocked out my parent's power for almost two weeks. And it was not warm outside.

The superstar of government agencies, FEMA, inexplicably has also gotten involved and issued warnings. All I know is if I am trapped in my house once this blizzard gets going, I'm not relying on anyone in that department to save me. I've got enough cans of diced tomatoes to at least last us til the end of the week.

Friday, January 28, 2011

24 hours to happiness

In less than 24 hours, we will be rid of our irresponsible tenants and moving on to a more sane and orderly landlord-hood. Oh the stories I could tell.

But the important thing is they are being eliminated from our lives, and I wish I could properly express the joy this brings to my heart.

Or perhaps a song would better express my happiness.

Either way, JOY!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

13 weeks

Dear little baby,

This week, you're the size of a peach! Your intestines are forming in your abdomen, little bones are being built in your arms and legs and apparently you might be able to even suck your thumb. I'd really prefer you didn't though because we cannot afford braces.

Now that we're in our second trimester together, my body is loving you a bit more. Instead of nausea, I want to eat everything in sight though I'm trying really really hard to eat my fruits and veggies for you. Plus tacos. I envision a lot of your birthday parties consisting of a sombrero, singing waiters and fried ice cream. Sorry about that.

I'm also experiencing the importance of a lot of fiber and water in my diet since you insist on laying across my intestines. And round ligament pain? My body is expanding to accommodate you as you grow but holy moly, the sharp shots to the groin come unexpectedly!

Your daddy and I talk about you a lot more now. When we heard your heartbeat, you became all the more real to us. When we pray at church, daddy puts his hand on my growing belly. I've been looking at day care centers where you can spend your days. Slowly you're becoming part of us.

Keep growing, sweet thing. And enjoy the tacos.


Monday, January 24, 2011

adventures in 200-calorie snack land

I thought I knew what hunger was after running 12 miles. But good grief, growing a baby is much worse. If I don't eat every two hours, it's like the hunger monster is eating me alive. And I CANNOT FUNCTION.

Last week we went to sign the lease on our new apartment, meaning I wouldn't get to eat dinner until 7 p.m. Unacceptable to the ravenous baby. So we had to go get some of these:
This baby is going to come out Mexican. Luckily I've resisted my incessant need for tacos because they are 170 calories of pure garbage. (Plus, I stopped eating Taco Bell in college when someone on the news found a cockroach in their meat). Though I can tell you writing about them and posting this picture did nothing for my self control nor my ban of Taco Bell.

However, I have found healthy solutions that might give this little babe a chance.

Diced peaches in cups

No cholesterol or fat, barely any sodium and 80 calories. Plus counts as a fruit. Downside: every single time I pull the plastic wrapper off, it squirts juice on my keyboard and can be blamed for my stubborn space bar. The IT department LOVES me.

Dark chocolate almond milk
Lots of calcium (more than regular milk), Vitamin E and B12. Only 120 calories and 3 grams of fat. Totally thick enough to count as a snack.

Whole Fruit sorbet

Better than ice cream (except basically no calcium). No fat or cholesterol and basically no other nutritional value. Lesser of two evils though. Even better if you add chocolate chips, further degrading its nutritional contribution.


Usually I eat this with carrots or Melba Toast. It's got a little protein and makes my blood sugar return to human levels.

I also have found apples, yogurt, half a peanut butter sandwich, applesauce, spinach salad, a poached egg and cereal hold me over til meal time. I can't wait until fruit is actually in season.

Ravenous baby or not, what are your in-between-meals snacks? Seriously, I need ideas.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

galloping heart

I've been pregnant for three months now but until yesterday it just felt like an annoying virus. A virus with intense nausea and dry heaving. And abdominal cramping and shortness of breath. Then came the extreme exhaustion. Worse than the exhaustion I felt after a long run. Then the peeing five times a night and the HUNGER cured only by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 4 a.m.

But still, no real evidence that a baby was causing this.

Then yesterday, we heard the evidence that in fact, there was a baby in there! I was warned that it might take a few minutes to find it. After a minute or so plus some deep breaths heavy with anxiety, little baby appeared. Like galloping horses in a tunnel.

In the moment, I was relieved. Shea was the emotional one. Now, every time I watch it and see the smile on my face as the heartbeat appears, I cry.

Our friend from church had us over for dinner (a becoming weekly tradition) and surprised us with a happy heartbeat cake. Because it was a very big day.

Now it feels real. There is a real live baby in there. A baby - who is now the size of a plum - that is loved. And who has the most beautiful heartbeat.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

two sets of lines and a plus

It's amazing how two little pink lines can change everything.

I went home from work on Monday, Dec. 20. I had been sick all weekend blaming it on pizza and a bad K-State basketball loss. I was tired and wanted to throw up the cinnamon bread I had for breakfast. I told Shea that it was probably a stomach bug or my normal tummy troubles.

At lunch, I took a test I already had stashed in a drawer - just to be sure I could indulge in the hot chocolate and Bailey's at our Christmas party that night. Five seconds of pee, and 30 seconds later a cross sign appeared. Shaking, I came out of the bathroom and shoved the test in Shea's face. His reaction? Grabbed the camera and took a picture of it. For the blog, duh!


And we were off to buy two more tests in a different brand. Two more positives. Later, a blood test (to which I had to bring a barf bag along). Also "clearly" positive.

In the spirit of oversharing, I'd stop taking my pills in August. I was told at age 16 that I needed to take the pill until I wanted to get pregnant due to risk of endometriosis. The doctor told us it'd take four to six months for my body to adjust after so many years of hormones. So in September, I took my last pill thinking by spring time we could actually start trying.

It took awhile, but in October I got my period. Then in November I didn't. I took a test, and it was negative. After pushing 40-something days of no period, my doctor said to wait 90 days and then come see her. It was probably that my body wasn't even releasing eggs. Turns out, it was. When I got the positive tests I was actually already eight weeks pregnant.

I know we're lucky. 

We never had to go through the trying period. I never had to worry in a real way if we'd be able to have a baby like the anxiety many of my friends deal with. It just happened, on God's timing, not ours. I ran a half marathon the month before we got pregnant so my body is ready. We are finishing up a lease on our small apartment and can move into a two-bedroom just in time. We are both employed. We have supportive family and friends. And though daycare is expensive, we can make it work.

For awhile, I feared that because it happened so easily, it would just as easily be taken away from me. Now I'm calming down and just feeling blessed. 

And terrified. And excited. And really, really tired. All because of two pink lines.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

what i love today

Diffraction Fiber's Etsy shop
Seriously, a toast pillow? That's awesome. Check out her shop for mustard/ketchup pillows and peanut butter/jelly fluffy goodness.

Richard Scarry Blocks
I adore Richard Scarry, and look, blocks!

Art Shark Designs
I hope someday she has Kansas City prints. You know, because right after LA, DC and Paris, KC is the obvious next choice for art.

Hope you're having a splendid Thursday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

postal hell

After considering leaving my newly repaired wedding ring at the post office to avoid the horrors of actually going to the post office, I relented. However, my strategy was in place.

{not my actual post office, but similar torture scene}

Tip #1; Avoid lunch time, and closing time
Smartly I thought, I went at 2 p.m., avoiding the business lunch crowd - "Hi, I'd like 45 rolls of stamps, and then I'd like to mail this with delivery confirmation, tracking, signature required, expedited and YES, there is something liquid in this. By tomorrow."

Tip #2; Avoid the elderly
The strategy continued as I pulled into the parking lot and saw an elderly couple with two huge boxes. I booked it to avoid having to stand behind them in line. However, unrelated elderly man stopped me by grabbing the side of my coat and yelling "you must have been in the service." Me: "What?" Elder man: "Yeah! From the way you walk, you must have been an Army girl." Me: "Oh. No. I am just in a hurry." Elder man: "Well there's a huge line honey, you won't be going anywhere." FAIL.

Tip #3; If you are going to stand in line, enjoy the crazy company
I walk in to find 14 people in line. How many employees working? One, of course. Within five seconds, the following scene occurs:

Man with red scarf: "Where's the complaint form? I want to speak to a manager!"
Woman next to me: "Psst. That guy wants to fill out a complaint form. That won't make the line move any faster."

Man with wife tugging at his jacket and sshing him: "Is anyone else working here?"
Poor employee: "Yes..well, yes there are people here."
Man with wife now hanging head in shame: "I don't see them! Where are they?!"

Tip #4; Avoid people who have not mailed a letter since 1940

Poor employee announced to the current customer that this location was out of Forever stamps.


When crazy woman gets to front of line she then is very confused about the 44 cent stamp. Does it take one stamp to mail a letter? When are the Forever stamps coming back? Those are clearly less confusing then those regular stamps with numbers on them.

Bottom line, I got my shiny ring with all the diamonds in the right places and all the prongs checked. I have to go back tomorrow to mail my passport application. I feel a migraine coming on already.