Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bump Watch

Five more bump pictures, for anyone interested!  I'll be 26 weeks on strange that I'm coming into my third trimester already.  During the first trimester it felt like pregnancy would be an eternity (probably mostly because of all the morning sickness) but second trimester really flew by.

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

Definitely feeling bumpy now!  Symptom-wise...I've had morning sickness again in the past couple weeks (several days, but at least not every day?....) and some leg/back pains.  Baby boy is pretty active and I love feeling his kicks!  (or punches?  Or hiccups...) Thankfully he doesn't keep me up at night though.  Yet!

We've signed up for childbirth classes in May...the info mentioned a childbirth video, my goal is not to faint! 

Not much progress on the nursery although we've put the existing furniture where we want it, to make room for crib/changing table/dresser.  We're going to get cousin Hayley's crib and changing table since she wants white furniture for baby girl (due in April!  So close!), so that's exciting!  Speaking of more babies, Caitlin had Rebekah Josephine in February and Brandi had Ian Scott this month!  Can't wait to meet them!

Three generations of beauties :)  "Bekah Jo"

And I will get to meet them very soon, as I'm flying to Texas on Thursday for baby showers!  Teri is throwing one in Dallas on Saturday, then my mom hosts one at her friend's house on Sunday.  Then I fly back Monday - whirlwind weekend!  Would have loved to stay longer but I'm trying to save all my PTO for when baby boy arrives.  Brad's already there - he flew down yesterday, coming back April 5th (not being able to find a job is of course frustrating but it does mean he gets plenty of Texas time!)  Right now it's 30 degrees warmer there than it is here, so I'm pretty jealous.  Ready to be there and to see all my loves.

Winter...I'm over it.  I'd like to think I've had a pretty good attitude about it overall, being a Texan and all, but I'm just done.  We've had a couple of days that get into the mid-40s and we get excited (it's really sad when that's exciting!) but then it drops to 20 again.  Sigh.  It's been a jerk of a winter all over, though, so I know we're all ready for spring (you know, that season that did technically start this week).

Other random tidbits from the past month:

I took a machining course!  Signed up through work - we spent three days learning just some of the basics on the lathe and the milling machine, and we made a "widget" (doesn't actually serve any real function) out of aluminum.  It may not seem like it has direct application to what I do, but it was good to get an understanding of how "can't you just machine 5 more specimens so we can get more statistical power with this test?"  can be a really big request!

The guys on my team of three were fun to work with, and I must say we were all-stars...we were the first to finish each task.  It definitely helped that the instructor used our piece as a demo for each new technique, but still.  Then at the very end, once we had already done most of the work on one of the more complicated pieces, we were reading the drawing for the position of a second hole after drilling the first.  I said "move down .945, move over .573", we positioned it, and the guy doing the drilling hesitated a bit, saying it didn't quite look right.  But I looked at the numbers again and said it was correct, so he went for it.  When he had almost finished the hole he stopped again, still thinking it was too far in to be correct.  We asked the instructor and sure enough, it was in the wrong spot.  Turns out it was "over .945, down .573" and I had just read it wrong!  I felt like a major doof.  Our nice, shiny piece now had a random extra hole in it.  So, we decided to put in two MORE holes in line with that one (for a total of six!)  to make it look more like it was "on purpose".  The instructor just laughed at us.


 We had to keep spraying oil on the machine so it wouldn't overheat as it's cutting into metal...I kept doing that part even though I sprayed it on the wall/teammates more than the actual point of interest.

 Milling machine

 Team with finished product!

 The "before and after".  So shiny.

The piece all put together.  It really does nothing, the center cylinder rotates and there are screws in the three (correct) holes holding the pieces together.  It's a lovely paperweight.

Since there were three pieces, we thought it fair that each of us keep one.  I volunteered to keep our big mistake piece since I was the one reading off the wrong numbers!  It's doing quite nicely as a pen holder on my desk (holds up to 7 pens!  Wowzers!)

Aside from that little adventure, mostly we've just been having fun times with friends.  Jenna bought a house recently:

(She's just a little excited.)

So we've been having game nights at her house on the weekends.  It's soo cute and I'm a little jealous!  (one of these days we'll be ready for home ownership, but for at least a little while it's apartment living all the way.)

Anna had a birthday party recently at a tea house, we rented out a back room and caused quite a ruckus with our Cards Against Humanity game.  I guess we didn't make the employees angry though, since they're wrote funny messages on our teapots:

And, as I've been typing this, Baylor men's bball has made it to the Sweet 16!  Sic em bears!!

I think that's all I've got for now.  Will be back with happy stories of Texas and baby showers!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Baby Boy!!

We had our gender scan yesterday (Valentine's Day!) and are pleased to announce that we're having a baby boy!!

Baby is developing well, healthy, 13 ounces.  I've been feeling plenty of 'flutters' and I know they'll be turning into more of a 'jab' soon!

Brad's already excited to take his son huntin' and fishin'.  He says I need to learn to catch, so he plans on throwing things at me with a much higher frequency.  He also plans to team up with his boy to play pranks on Mommy.  We've got some fun times ahead ;)

And of course, I have my 20 week bump picture!  Halfway mark...oh my goodness... time to actually think about the nursery!

We are so in love with our Baby Bear :)

In other news, this week we had the biggest snowstorm since Brad and I have been here (granted, we've only made it through one full winter and this is our second...) Got lots of snow Thursday and Friday, luckily our ultrasound was Friday afternoon so there was enough time for the roads to be cleared...and for us to dig out Brad's truck!  This is true love...Texas saw 70 degrees this week, and yet he agreed two  years ago to move here, with his sweetie, to be digging up feet of snow...

A few pictures of the madness!

Open the front door, and see snow up to the knees.  Super.

A blanket of snow (very thick blanket)

After we'd done a good bit of brushing off, and the plow had come through to push up a fresh wall of snow.  Poor LuLu was boxed in!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We're Having a Baby!

So, the biggest update since my months-long hiatus is that Brad and I are expecting :)  Our baby bear is due July 1st.  We found out toward the end of October, and kept it a secret for maybe just a week or two, then told our family and friends.  Close to Christmas time we posted our Facebook announcement:

and it's all very exciting!  Here's baby's latest snapshot, taken at 12 weeks.

I'm now at 19 weeks and 4 days, so of course he or she has grown quite a bit since this pic!  We'll get another set of pictures on Friday, where we'll find out exactly if we have a "he" or "she" :)  (assuming baby isn't camera shy!)

My first trimester...was rough.  Right around the day we started sharing our news with everyone (8 weeks or so), the morning sickness hit.  It continued, every single morning (often rearing its ugly head in the evening too, and a couple of terrible throw-up-at-work days).  At my 12 week appointment, right before I went to Texas for Christmas, they prescribed this magical thing called Diclegis.  That helped a TON, though I still had plenty of sick moments and generally feeling nauseated during the holidays.  Shout out to my mom for taking such great care of me, keeping the "only snacks that are appetizing right now" in stock, putting cold compresses on my head, baking all of the cookies for our traditional cookie trays since I was laid up with nausea and a terrible cough.  She's an angel!  And a great inspiration for me as a future momma :)

By the time I came back and went back to work, the nausea was easing a little but I still had some late mornings (luckily my manager is very understanding and I have a nice "medical time off" bank of hours to use).  By Week 17, I wasn't throwing up in the mornings anymore and decided to try going off the Diclegis, to see if I could still be okay without the meds.  And it worked!  Just one random morning sickness this week, otherwise it's been smooth sailing and I've felt much better in general.  Haven't really been affected by some of the other stuff, like fatigue (even in first trimester I was never super tired), and no major aches/pains yet (I know that's coming!)

In the first trimester I craved all things cheesy: Chee-tos, Cheezits, cheese sticks, macaroni & cheese.  Now I'm mostly craving spicy foods.  Last week we had a date night to get fried pickles and hot wings, and I was in  heaven!

I've been going to a prenatal yoga class, which is great.  Never really took yoga regularly (just a few classes through the Bearobics program at Baylor here and there) but it's so relaxing and feels so good to stretch.

Around week 17.5 I started feeling internal "flutters", enough for me to think it wasn't just...other bodily functions, haha.  This Tuesday (my 19 week mark) I was laying down, feeling the flutters and put my hand on my belly.  I was surprised to feel a little jab come up to meet my hand!  First time feeling it from the outside...Brad was right there and put his hand on my belly, and he felt the baby a couple of times!  What a neat experience.  Right now it's "friendly flutters" and just a cool feeling, I know soon it'll be more strange and painful jabs, haha.  And we do seem to have an active little one!

We haven't really started on the nursery (which will be the second bedroom here in the apartment - probably another year of apartment living before we start house hunting).  I'm sure I'll be full speed ahead after we find out the gender on Friday!  I'm flying down to Texas again the weekend of March 28 for baby showers, and Jenna and Brianna have graciously offered to throw one here as well!  Baby D will definitely be showered with love.

So, I think I've covered the basics on this lovely journey thus far, now a slew of bump pictures!  (I only started at Week 15)

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks

18 Weeks (did my bump shrink?)

19 Weeks (nope, hey, there it is)

I'll hopefully check in weekly with more bump pictures and how things are going (and of course, next week, the Big Gender Reveal).  Of course, knowing my blogging track record I know you won't anticipate much :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hellooo 2014

"I'mma finish this catchup post tomorrow!"  - she says in November...

Yeah...there I go again.  At least I haven't given up on this blog completely.  I go away for months at a time just to build suspense...

SO, I left off where I was about to recap my trip to Texas at the end of September.  Since then, Brad and I have both taken another nice long trip to Texas and come back.  But anyway, lots to report so here we go!

Six Flags

At Trinity Baptist we've made lots of friends and have our own little "church family" up here; some friends had extra tickets for their Six Flags New England trip and invited me and Brad along!

 Mark making a ride out of the bus into the park

 Chickens at the chicken exit!  (Although by the end of the day Brittany was riding everything!)

 We got rained on a few times.  But hey, less crowds!

 With our pal

 SIX people in this phone booth.

 Friiiied yuminess.

All in all...the park is VERY similar to our dear Fiesta TX.  Many of the same rides, just with different names :)  We had a blast with our friends!

Grandpa Red's 80th Birthday

When Grandma and Poohbah stopped by on their road trip to have dinner with us in July (coincidentally the same day Teri and Jared arrived for their visit), they mentioned that Aunt Sharon was going to throw an 80th bday party for Poohbah.  Grandma said "wish you could make it, we'll be thinking of you!" and I started hatching the plan in my head at that in touch with Sharon to find out the date, jumped on some cheap plane tickets out of NYC, and I was all set to fly in and surprise my Poohbah!  I came down pretty much just for a long weekend, but it was so great and so worth it.  Poohbah had tears in his eyes when I walked up to him in the restaurant, which made me cry too!  Almost the whole family was there and it was a wonderful celebration.

 Cousin Kacie!  Gah I can remember when she was a baby!

Of course, Sharon arranged for an over-the-top display outside of their house :)

While I was in town, we packed in several other adventures...really, I didn't sleep much the whole weekend but I loved seeing my people!

 After the bday party Dave and Addie and I went (in the pouring rain) to see Sean play with his band, and also to see Matt play with his band, Tele Novella

 On Sunday we had Green Pastures brunch to celebrate October birthdays!  Gotta love the peacocks. 

 And the gazebo pictures.

 We swung by Dad's house to hang out for awhile.  I got to have some bonding time with Muffin!

 Reunited with my BFF from elementary, Sarah!  We hadn't seen each other in 10 years, whoa.  She found my email address through the stats grad school page, and we'd been emailing back and forth catching up on everything.  She had a time capsule we made in 1998, "To be opened January 1st, 2000!" but opening it 13 years after that made it so much better.  Ahh, Backstreet Boys.  Matt Damon.  Feather pens.  Good times.

 On my last day in Texas, Caitlin had her gender reveal party!  Pink and blue decorations everywhere... they lifted the bowl on the counter for the reveal...

 Baby G is a GIRL!!!

 Skyping with her parents.  Very emotional!

 Happy parents

My Caitlins!

Other Fun Things

So the TX trip brings us to the beginning of October 2013...I'm not clear on the dates of all these other things, but anyway, the year wrapped up very nicely!

 Harvest Festival with Jenna and Anna.  Pulled pork parfaits, whaaaat

 Jenna had a moment.

 BEBE BUNNIES (truth be told, this was the primary reason I wanted to go to Harvest Fest -- the promise of little bunnies to snuggle.)

 Dude wouldn't let me hold the tiny precious baby, but I got close.

 Fall Foliage along the way back.

Next up, my 27th birthday!  I invited all the neat people I've met in our 1.5 years in NY, to a celebration at Dave & Busters.

 Erica with a HUGE salad.  She and I met through a event and we've had several get-togethers since then!

 Yeahhh free chocolate!

 The whole crew (poor lighting)

 On my actual birthday, flowers and chocolate from my sweetie (plus a funny card)

 It was a true birthday WEEK, with several goodies arriving in the mail!  Pumpkin granola bars from McGuire

 Dressed up spiffy to go out to eat (P.F. Chang's)

 Notepad, replacement Minnie ball (pretty sure the last one fell off in the snow sometime last winter) and pumpkin cookies from Marybeth!!  Jenna also made salted caramel pumpkin cheesecakes for me at work (but...they all got eaten at work of course, photos allowed there.)  These girls know my pumpkin-loving heart.

A few more random photos...
 Dan at work is pretty much obsessed with the movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox" so he lent it to us and Jenna and I watched it, then made Mrs. Beans Famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps.  It was a successful experiment (although her cats did try to sabotage the process several times)

 Our church put on a Trunk or Treat for the kids in a nearby community, and Brad and I did a fishing theme!  They threw the line over into the back seat, at which point Brad (laying uncomfortably across the laid-down front seat) attached the clothespin on the end to a candy, then I tugged it back over.  The kids were obsessed with it...I got in quite a frenzy throwing lines over the seat, and actually witnessed Brad getting pelted in the head a couple times.  He's a trooper.

Now, Thanksgiving...since we couldn't make it down for another TX trip, Cindy and Tim at church invited us to their home!  We contributed the sweet potato casserole, they pulled everything else together.  We had a great time and we're blessed to have church family up here when we can't get home to our TX family!  

Annd on the note of TX family...Aunt Sharon and Cousin Kacie flew up to NYC to celebrate Kacie's 13th birthday in December (she's a teenager, what is this madness).  I LOVE how easy it is to get down to the city via the Megabus (and cheap!)  I came down for a day, and we had great fun shopping and eating :)

 So glad they gave me the heads up on their trip, and that I was able to come visit for awhile!

Holidays in Texas 2013

 And, on to our extended stay in Texas (2.5 weeks, how great is that!  And Brad got to stay even longer!)  Brad finished up his MBA just before Thanksgiving -- how did I not mention that yet?  YAY Brad! -- so he was able to schedule a longer trip as he's still on the hunt for a job.  I came down 12/18 and the first order of business was showering baby girl Gursslin!  We had four hostesses for the baby shower and I'm quite proud of our efforts :)  It was a children's book theme (very fitting since Cait's mom is a librarian!) so all of the food tied in to a children's book:

 Peter Rabbit's veggies and dip

 Very Hungry Caterpillar fruit salad

 If you give a mouse a cookie...

 Fluffy Rabbit Moon Pies (yes, technically they're more of a whoopie pie...but what matters is, they were tasty!)

 Peppermint "Bark"

 Cloudy with a Chance of Cocktail Meatballs

 Party favors: Jamberry Hearts

 Game: cut the ribbon to try to go around Cait's baby bump! (without measuring first)

 So many cute little girl things!

 The group!

 Cait with her hostesses

Next, our traditional Christmastime Texas Tour (in which we have four different Christmas celebrations, in three different cities with four hours apart as the max distance).  First up, Hearne, where it was an exciting time since Kent and Cheryl were able to come in town from Virginia with their two kiddos, Teagan and Jorja.

 Cousin love (missing Jared!)

 Making the Christmas cookies!

 Brad and Mimi

Then, Christmas at Mom's house.  She had the Christmas decorations out in full force, of course.  Here's just a small sampling, the Christmas Story snow village:

 Dave and his nog.

 Yummy Christmas dinner!

 Crowns from the poppers - a tradition.

 Gift time!

 We learned how to play Farkle.  Here, Mom is winning!

 And Dave is losing.

 Stocking stuffers on Christmas morning

Next stop, Tyler with Brad's mom's family:

Then, before the fourth Christmas with my dad's fam, we went to Stephanie and Ben's wedding at the Oasis!

 Beautiful bride


 Another pic with my Caits!  Loved getting to see them so much on my TX trips

 Fourth and final Christmas celebration.  Whew!

Got to see Sarah again!  (And Brad got to meet her and her husband this time!)  We ate at Chuy's and played Cards Against Humanity.  Perfect.

 Annd wrapping up 2013 much like we did 2012, with a fun get-together at Caitlin and Matt's house.  All as it should be :)  No worries, that's sparkling grape juice in Caitlin's champagne glass, and also in mine, because... (see next post!!)