Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Day Before

To tell you the truth, I love the day before Thanksgiving [and Christmas, for that matter] almost as much as I love the holiday itself.

The day before is full of so much promise. I love the excitement, the anticipation, the preparation and lists and scurrying around. On the day before the holiday, there is still the potential for everything to go right. No one has missed a flight yet, no one has burned the stuffing or over-cooked the turkey, no one has been stuck in traffic for hours and showed up for dinner grumpy. People are looking forward to seeing their families and friends, and even looking forward to the travel it takes to get wherever you are going - or the sound of the doorbell ringing when people arrive on your doorstep. There is still the happiness and [good, I think] stress of planning and organizing and celebrating. There's a bit of cheer in the air when you see people, when strangers give each other that knowing little smile and nod because we're all getting ready for the same thing, and even though the traditions are different and the menus don't quite match, we all have the same agenda: get together with people you like and love, enjoy a good meal, share memories, and count your blessings. For me, the day before holds its own magic.

Happy Thanksgiving, all - hope it is wonderful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bump-date: 34 Weeks

How far along: 34 weeks

Baby’s size: a Savoy cabbage

Sleep: so tired, so often... I'm up a lot to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, but I'm sleeping hard between breaks. And napping, when possible!

Loving: getting ready for Thanksgiving, fall comfort foods, macaroni and cheese of any sort, "iced tea with lemon" flavored Crystal Light packets in my water, oatmeal with raisins, anything spicy

Loathing: the texture of yogurt, not having a coat that fits (winter pregnancy problems... sigh)

Movement: all the time still - the doctor confirmed that Baby W is head-down already, so those are definitely his feet that he is jamming right up into my ribs... thanks, little dude.

Labor signs: nothing so far! And hoping to keep it that way for a bit longer. As far as I can tell, I haven't even had any Braxton-Hicks contractions or anything - fine by me.

Symptoms: belly pain (like, my skin hurts, and I kind of feel bruised all over), tiredness, forgetfulness, regularly being out of breath when I do simple things... sigh.

Wedding rings: might be on the way out. My rings are already pretty tight to start with, and a little bit of swelling is not helping the case. Most of the time, I'm ok, but if I walk a lot or have too much sodium, the swelling that happens makes my finger pretty uncomfortable. We shall see!

Husband: fought an IKEA dresser this weekend and won the battle. Very proud of him!

Can't wait for: Thanksgiving!! Bring on all the food (and the sadness that my compressed stomach just won't let me eat as much as I'd like to).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wild Weekend

The title of this post should indicate that is was anything but, right? Oh well.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time now, you probably know that I am notorious for over-scheduling and over-committing us, especially on weekends - there have been times when we've had 7 or 8 weekends in a row with major plans, which is obviously too much! I say yes to everything, then drive myself crazy with not having enough time at home and burning myself out. It's a vicious cycle. In fact, I'm guilty of this even as recently as September - October, when I'm pretty sure 6 out of 8 weekends or so were packed with things on the calendar. Whoops. That said, I have very consciously and firmly left our weekends in November and December leading up to the baby empty. Intentional time at home to do (or not do) whatever little things need to be done, and also just get ourselves prepared, mentally and physically, for having a baby in the house. With the exception of a couple events, we are hunkering down at home on the weekends until the little man joins us.

That said, this past weekend was definitely busy! There is plenty to do around the house, but it is really nice to be able to do a little here and a little there, rather than thinking to myself that I have one free Saturday out of five or something so I better do a full-house-clean. Amazing!

On Friday night, we ventured up 95 to IKEA in search of a dresser for the nursery. There is a ton of space and storage in the closet in that room, so I wasn't intending on getting another piece of furniture besides the glider and the crib, but I decided that it just looked like something was missing. So, off we went to see if we could find something that would fit the bill.

Some sort of magic must have been on our side, because not only did C and I find and agree upon a dresser, we were actually in and out of IKEA in under and hour. That place is insane, and to be able to find our way around all the levels and find what we were looking for in less than 60 minutes seems like a near-impossible feat, but we did it! Wahoo. After that, we met my in-laws for dinner at Nando's Peri-Peri, where we shared a family-style dinner of Peruvian chicken and several side dishes. So good! It was great to see them for a little while, and we made it home before 9. Like I said, wild weekend, indeed.

On Saturday, C locked himself in the nursery with all 6000 pieces of the dresser, determined to get it assembled. Needless to say, within a few minutes I was hearing mumbling and grumbling coming from the room... I stayed out of the way as much as possible. While he was working, I ventured to CVS to get myself a flu shot and a TDAP vaccine - who knew such fun things came with pregnancy?!

Two sore arms later, I made it home just in time to see the beginning of the Virginia Tech / UNC football game, which was very important: it was our head coach's last home game! Frank Beamer announced his retirement at the end of the season a few weeks ago, after coaching for almost 30 years, and it will be absolutely bittersweet to see him go. He is such a fixture at Virginia Tech, well-known and respected for so much more than all he has done for the football team. The beginning of the football game on Saturday featured lots of dedications to him, and it was really a special and emotional afternoon. I love this logo that they designed to commemorate Beamer's tenure as coach - it's so fitting!


After the game, C finished the dresser while I did some laundry and stuff around the house - like I said, it's really nice to feel like I can do a little here and there, rather than turning into a tornado, running around the house trying to get everything done at once. Instead of all the laundry having to be done, I can do two loads and stop! What a concept...

I think it turned out to be just what we needed to pull the room together, and it definitely doesn't hurt to have some extra storage space. It's empty for now, but I'm sure it will be full of things before we know it.

Sunday morning, we ventured to Wegmans for our final pre-Thanksgiving grocery shop, with the list narrowed down to mostly just the produce and perishable items. We navigated the pre-Turkey Day crowds rather well, and I was really happy to be in and out before the post-church crowd arrived! Holiday grocery shopping requires some serious strategic planning. The highlight of the shopping trip was finding a holiday treat that has eluded me thus far...

Dun, dun, dunnnn. I am a fan of all things peppermint and chocolate, especially around the holidays, so when I saw these little babies floating around the internet, I had to get my hands on them. Prior to this weekend, I haven't been able to find them anywhere. Wegmans was the winner! I should have know. Haven't broken into them yet, but it won't be long...

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning, doing more laundry, watching football, writing baby shower thank-you notes, and making a pot of spaghetti sauce. The sauce was me dipping my toe into post-baby freezer foods, being the first thing I've made specifically to freeze and use once the baby is here. For the record, I always use this recipe for spaghetti sauce, adjusting as necessary based on what I have in the pantry, and it always turns out deliciously. I know sauce doesn't really need a recipe, but those are the guidelines I use, if you're looking for a good meat sauce!

I managed to get both our kitchen and dining room tables just about fully cleared off, so as long as I can keep it that way for the next few days, we will actually have somewhere to sit down and eat Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. It'll still be on paper plates with paper napkins, but at least everyone won't have to balance their meals in their laps. That is a win, I think!

We finished off the weekend with C's homemade chicken parmesan for dinner and a few episodes of NCIS on Netflix before watching The Walking Dead (no spoilers but WHOA) and getting to bed early. Regardless of our "no plans" weekend, we kept ourselves pretty busy, and all that activity certainly catches up with me these days. I am heading to bed early every night while I still can!

Hope you had a great weekend. Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? What are your plans? Hosting, traveling, something else? I am super excited - just have to make it through a couple work days first!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Five for Friday: Turkey Time

Happy Friday! We met with our pediatrician this morning and had my 34-week doctor's appointment, so we've already been out and about and busy. Conveniently, that meant a pit stop at Sheetz for a pumpkin pie latte... doesn't take much more than that to make me a happy girl! It's the little things in life, isn't it?

Thought I'd jot down a quick Five for Friday today, since it's been a little quiet around here other than my weekly posts. Lots going on in life these days, and blogging always falls a little behind when that happens. Oh well. Let's see....

1 // I am firmly in the "Thanksgiving before Christmas" camp and you will not see any Christmas decorations around my house until after T-Day. That said, I have secretly been listening to the Holiday Jazz Pandora station when I'm home alone - it's just such nice background music!! It makes me happy. A little holiday jazz here and there doesn't hurt anything.

2 // Speaking of T-Day, we are hosting this year, and bought a 22-pound turkey last weekend. That sucker is huge! We are going to have a pretty full house, and my mom and C are doing all the cooking while I sit on the couch and eat pie. Joking, but... not exactly. It's going to be low-key (I'm talking buffet-style with paper plates) but everyone seems to be okay with that. As much as I love a fancy holiday dinner, there's something nice about just being able to be simple and comfortable with loved ones, too.

3 // There is a cold front coming through (those of you with snow know this already!) and we are going to have lows down in the 20s later this weekend. I am super excited for it to actually get cold and wintery - the random 70-degree days are making it impossible to dress each day and also causing my porch pumpkins to rot. Bleh. Apart from not currently having a coat that actually fits, I am ready for cold weather. I recognize that I am probably in the minority. Oh well.

4 // We are venturing to hell Ikea tonight in search of one more piece of furniture for the nursery. Wish us luck. People go in there and never get out, I'm pretty sure...

5 // Speaking of the nursery, I'm pretty sure we are just about ready for baby! (That is a scary thought.) We don't have everything we need, but we have all basics now, and are at a point where we could bring him home and have everything to survive for a while. The nursery is thisclose to being done - I love how it has turned out, and can't wait to share some pictures!

Happy weekending! Hope you have a great one, and get everything ready for Thanksgiving that you need to. I know I'll be cleaning like crazy and doing some last-minute grocery shopping. Wish me luck!

linking up with the five on friday girls:  Darci, Christina, April,and Natasha

linking up with karli and amy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bump-date: 33 Weeks

Messy hair and bags under my eyes... Why has this fashion trend not caught on??

How far along: 33 weeks

Baby’s size: a cauliflower

Sleep: not so great this week. A lady at work told me she could "see it in my eyes" that I wasn't sleeping - thanks for that. Sigh.

Loving: the usual - spicy foods, carbs, anything sweet, rocky road ice cream (can't get enough chocolate lately!)

Loathing: apples (why did I buy so many?!), yogurt (the texture is throwing me off, even when I add granola to it!)

Movement: still a constant dance party - he is so wiggly! It is basically an all-day thing, but especially noticeable in the late afternoon and around bed time. I've actually told him "you're hurting me!" a few times due to some extra-sharp kicks to the rib cage. He's not a very good listener so far, unfortunately.

Symptoms: some ligament pain in my lower stomach, getting out of breath if I do things like carry laundry up two flights of stairs, crazy bizarre dreams (this has pretty much been regular throughout the pregnancy - my brain is SO weird)

Mood: not so great. I had my first truly miserable day of pregnancy this week - my skin hurt, my pants were too tight, i was tired (from not sleeping!), I wore a sweater and pretty much spent the whole day in the office hot and sweating, and I was just so over it. Hopefully there aren't many more days like that ahead - everything has been pretty good so far.

Husband: has been a pro at rearranging nursery furniture whenever I ask, and did a great job with all the things that required set up and assembly following our baby showers. We now have a swing and a mini-high-chair thingy ready to go, as well as a working baby monitor and fully-assembled Radio Flyer wagon (currently hanging in our garage... it'll be a few months before Baby W is ready for riding anywhere, methinks!).

Can't wait for: our "meet the doctor" appointment the the pediatrician's office I think we will be using, as well as our next regular doctor's appointment, this Friday!