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Archive for April, 2011

Top of the World

Top of the Hay actually. G is basically the best husband ever (as though this is a surprise).  Even though he had to work all day yesterday, all night last night, and get up at the ungodly 3am hour this morning to produce the ‘royal wedding event’, he still accompanied me to a work dinner last night where he got to meet, well, a lot of German men.  The event took place overlooking the White House and, fortunately for all of us in a glass-encased rooftop room, tornados had long since passed and turned to (almost) sunshine.  Look at this view! 

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Even though all of the new items are just sitting on the dresser or leaning against walls, babygirlK’s nursery already looks pretty.  If only I could figure out where each piece should go.  G has his ideal setup in mind already, but I’m not so easily swayed.  I’m thisclose to photoshopping the room with all the various possible set-ups to decide…

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24 weeks

It’s hard to believe we’re already at 24. I feel like I swallowed a soccer ball. Puppies were outside for this picture, so no help this week.  BabygirlK is getting big!  Her heartbeat was strong at this month’s appointment — 142-147, likely from all of her morning calisthenics!  Measuring just a week ahead, and otherwise all good!  I’ve also been cleared for what will hopefully be our last ultrasound.  One more chance to see babygirlK this week or next!

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Summer weather

It’s finally warming up in southern MD, and it is Thrilling.  It’s Mini Monster weather, and shorts weather (except I only have one pair that fits…), and baseball weather, and gardening weather, and doggy pool weather.  And we did all of those things this weekend.

Saturday morning was the only abysmal part of the weekend weather show with lotsa rain and lotsa clouds, but it was the perfect time to get the nursery bookshelves painted.  I am just waiting on two things to arrive via the Present Man (aka UPS) — Wednesday!! — and we should be able to take some amazing pics of an almost-finished nursery.  I am so flippin’ excited.  G already got a sneak peak of one of the items I had ordered for the walls: wood, glass, antique, birds — swoon.

But by Saturday afternoon, the rain had disappeared, the sun had come out, and it was 72 and gorgeous for our trip to Camden to see the Yankees play the Orioles.  Probably the best baseball game we’ve gone to (and we’ve been to a LOT).  The all-you-can-eat seats are a no-brainer.  Awesome seats, no wait for food, covered seating area with TVs, private set of restrooms (that were always empty and pretty darn clean), and –actually — a really nice crowd of people.  Well, there was one O’s fan who may have been a problem, except the Yanks saw to it that he had nothing to say.  Oh, and did I mention all-you-can-eat food?  Let’s just say, babygirlK likes soft pretzels.  A LOT.  The baseball was pretty good, also.  15-3, and we saw it all: amazing pitching by CC, multiple bombs out of the park, a grand slam by A Rod, a late-game fan fight…  Perfect weather, perfect game.

On Sunday, the sun came out like it was summer, and the day was in the 80s.  It was garden clean-up day — a little later than normal, and much needed.  The back garden was cleaned out, the front and back yards mowed, the entire front yard mulched in the beds and around trees, and a whole lot more.  G is resisting my plan to remove every non-flowering shrub in the yard and replace them with roses, but I suppose my giant rose garden can wait one more season.  Of course, the rose bushes I already have are ENORMOUS — can’t wait to show those off once they bloom.

The puppies, who had run around the backyard all morning long (until Linus and Lucy let themselves inside and Sally collapsed in a shady hole in the mud) got their second wind for some time on the back deck with their pool.  I think the best part of summer (besides the beach and margaritas of course) is the end-of-day time that we spend with the doggies out on the deck while they swim, bob for tennis balls, sun, and chase bugs.  Ahh, summer.

Of course, the weekend post isn’t complete without mentioning the fact that it was Easter.  Since we had already enjoyed an Easter celebration with family a couple weeks ago, our holiday was pretty low-key.  We spent time across the street at the neighbors’ house, and the puppies celebrated with candy-colored stuffed toys.  Lucy was pretty unimpressed with her Easter present.  As it turns out, she prefers tennis balls, treats, and cheeseburgers.  Next year, Lucy.

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Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, Linus drove himself to the dog park for some outside fun. I believe Lucy, Sally Brown, and G also made the trip in trucky.  I’m, yanno, sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. 

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Simplicity

I miss writing.  Desperately.  I miss creating characters, imagining scenes, watching storylines come together, and tracking word counts.  I thought about putting it on the last blog post under ‘things I miss’, but I didn’t because doing so was almost an admission that writing had been replaced by all things baby.  And I don’t want it to be that way; I really want to get back to writing before this pregnancy jig is up.   Time is moving faster than I anticipated, however. Last night I said to G, “in three and a half months, we’ll have a baby.” 

Whoa.

Really?

Crap.

It isn’t as though I’m lacking inspiration — I have plenty; I’m not even lacking time or energy — I feel pretty good and do remarkably little thanks to my activity-rest (and thanks to G who is not on activity rest and does a lot).  I just can’t narrow down the ideas in my head into a workable scope. And I’m terrified of starting a new project (because goodness knows I don’t have the mental capacity to do the final fine-tune edit the other book needs to find its world of completion) that will be too complex for me to tackle fully.  And by tackle fully, I mean knock out a draft.  Three months to put one full novel draft down.  I feel like I can do it — the last book took six months for the first draft, and that was primarily because I had no idea how to sit down and write a book.

My dilemma?  If not inspiration, time, energy, or even motivation?

My head, and this silly international political world I live in.

I am desperate to write a single-location, single-detective mystery.  Just a book.  Something I can write to keep my writing fresh.  Something I can practice on.  Something that lets me knock out a first draft in three months and feel okay shelving it for a while with the baby.  I don’t want to say something easy — I don’t think writing a book is every easy.  But for the love of everything, can’t I just think of something that doesn’t require major research, a masters in political science, and a spider web plot that spins me in circles like the last one. (Yeah, yeah, still need to fix a few shortcomings in that one…)

But every time I start with something simple.  I kill off person A in location A and think to myself, now that wasn’t hard.  I only need motive.  And a bad guy.  But then I think, well person A is only dead because person A was doing major illegal cross-border, international activities, and he was acting with person B from country X and person C from country Y, and now all three of those guys are dead, and discovering why will expose a secret political undercurrent that will shake the very fundamentals of US-EU relations.

Sigh.

I think I’m broken.

But I’m determined to start writing a draft by May 1, which gives me two weekends to take the story I want to write, remove approximately thirty characters, and eliminate three countries, the CIA, and an underground political movement in eastern Europe.  Or, yanno, if you have a plot that you’re just dying for someone else to write (that involves, for example, one small town in the United States and NOWHERE ELSE), then I’d be set.

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Halfway there. Really.

20 weeks is the halfway point of 40 weeks. I get that.  But to say pregnancy is 40 weeks long discounts the fact that 2 of those weeks were too early to (really) notice, and the other 2 absolutely did not count.  At least in my mind, pregnancy is 36 weeks long: 36 weeks of symptoms, belly growth, and food issues.  So it stands to reason that the halfway point of experiencing pregnancy would be 18 weeks in (commonly known as 22 weeks for those who like to include the 4 aforementioned practice weeks).  And since I just trucked past the 22 week mark, and I have exactly 18 weeks left to experience this weight-gaining, burpy bliss, it seemed high time to assess how this whole pregnancy thing is really going so far.

I’m grateful that things haven’t been too bad.  The first trimester was exhausting — sleepiness was practically debilitating — but I really didn’t get sick, and most of my queasiness was quelled quickly with grilled cheese sandwiches and eggs.  Fortunately, that all tapered off nicely as the first tri wound up, and I have actually felt pretty good for the past 10 weeks, especially when I reintroduced vegetables into our diet.

There is a typical ‘pregnancy update’ that lots of people post on their blogs weekly.  I haven’t done it because I find most of it pretty repetitive and, until about week 16 very little of it matters anyway (like showing a belly and feeling kicks and all that good stuff).  But I thought I would do it today to mark the halfway point.

How far along? 22 weeks and counting

Total weight gain/loss: well I seriously side-eye my doctor’s assistant every time she weighs me — with clothes on?! cmon!! — and I don’t think she pushes the little weighted number NEARLY as far as it should go (though G disagrees — who invited him anyway?).  That said, about 16 pounds at my 20 week appt, which is somewhere near the top-end of my range for the 25-40lb weight gain my doctor mentioned.  (Who said subsisting off of cheese for 8 weeks was waist-friendly?)  Of course it seems like my stomach is twice as big now as it was then, so the 24 week appt should be frightening.

Sleep: Probably the worst side effect of this pregnancy has been sleeping issues.  In first tri — all of first tri — it was insomnia, which I chalked up to anxiety.  Insomnia was replaced by disrupted sleep and fitful sleep in the second tri, plagued by nightmares.  I hoped this was stress-related and would disappear after my work travels (not that I had any reason to suspect they were related — my nightmares revolve around scary bad guys and aliens), but unfortunately they came back in full force when I went back to work this week.  So still probably work related, but sadly not limited to my trip’s timeline. Not sure what I can do about these, but G has been good about waking me up mid-panic.

Best moment: In the blog update, this is done as a ‘best moment this week’, so I have modified it to represent the last 18 weeks.  There have been lots of good moments — moments of relief, happiness, etc. — so it is hard to choose just one, but I think the most enjoyable moment was the elective ultrasound we had.  Learning babyK was a little girl was awesome, and the elective was only about seeing her move and kick, and enjoying some time to observe it.  The anatomy scan, while a gazillion times longer, was not nearly as fun and not nearly as comfortable.  I much prefer to see babygirlK on a big screen from a comfy bed while G relaxes on a leather couch.  Why aren’t all offices like that?

Movement: I was concerned early on that babygirlK was going to be lazy, especially since she slept through most of our ultrasounds, retreated from dopplers, and seemed pretty uninterested in being bothered.  I never really felt the initial flutters; instead, she went straight to kicks, which I feel all day long now.  It really showed up as a constant, everyday thing during weeks 19-20 and made my trip abroad so much easier.  Now she kicks all of the time — when I eat or drink, when I am sitting at work, when I wake up at night — and I love it almost all of the time.  Occasionally, however, she tries to escape my belly butt-first.  It feels like a giant clock winding inside my stomach and takes my breath away, and I always know that if I look down at that moment, I will see her rear end sticking out.  G has caught it a couple of times, my mom caught it once, but most of the time I just nudge her (and my organs) back into place.

Food cravings: Well, I think we covered the first tri aversions pretty thoroughly in the blog.  Second tri has been more interesting.  I still really dig turkey reuben sandwiches though I don’t need them constantly.  More often than not, nothing in particular sounds good, and I need to think really hard about what sounds good.  I can usually come up with one thing and that’s what we have.  Meal planning sucks because I end up with food that sounded okay on one day and sounds terrible on the day I plan to fix it.  Sometimes it’s just an ingredient that sounds good, and I have my own version of Iron Chef while I try to figure out what to make.  Last night I wanted spicy mustard.  Then I thought, well soft pretzels would be good to dip into the mustard.  Along the same lines of German food-inspired thought, I also considered veal picatta a delicious option for last night, but I make it with white wine and, sadly, have none open and none planned to open.  So I did what any good German person would do: I switched gears, decided bratwurst would be outstanding with my spicy mustard and pretzels and threw in a spinach side dish for good measure.  Because I constantly want spinach it seems.

Gender: Three dots. Three lines. All girl!

Belly Button in or out? Sigh.  It wasn’t that big to begin with and the top half is already gone.  Not looking good.  I’ve got my fingers crossed for ‘flat’, but we will see how long that lasts.

What I miss: I miss soccer (and, frankly, all aerobic activity).  I hope some activities are restored after the 25 week ultrasound.  I miss the enjoyment of spending an hour in the kitchen cooking a really good meal while drinking a really good glass of wine.  Because my tastes are so finicky and my energy is low, cooking has lost a lot of its luster.  Pairing a long cooking session with a glass of water just kills all remaining motivation. I miss my non-polyester work wardrobe (though I totally dig elastic pants).  I miss having the dogs sleep on the bed.

Just kidding.  Did I get you with that last one?  Yeah, I never kicked them off.  Linus gets too sad, Sally is too cute, and Lucy is too set in her ways.  It’s never giong to happen, and I’ve accepted this.

What I am looking forward to: We are fortunate to have another ultrasound opportunity (in just 3 weeks!) and another chance to see babygirlK.  I am looking forward to when G can consistently feel her kicks whenever he wants.  I can’t wait until the nursery is finished (just having it be as complete as it currently is relaxes me immensely).  I can’t wait till the weather gets warm, and the bump and I can spend some quality time on the beach with my chair, umbrella, ice chest, a bathing suit that fits (hmm…), and a jug of water.  G is invited also. I’m looking forward to the arrival of babygirlK also, of course, but there’s a long way to go before that!

Milestones: isn’t everything a milestone these days?  I find sleeping through the night to be a major milestone.  Or is this supposed to be serious milestones? Like crossing first tri, feeling kicks, that sort of thing?  In that case, the next milestone I’m eagerly awaiting is the magical 24 week viability milestone which is somewhat arbitrary, somewhat relative, I know — But still, a sigh of relief.

And with all that said,

only 18 weeks to go!

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